Tuesday, December 31, 2013

feeding time.............

here we are.... Resolution Eve.
We've all thought it, haven't we?
In 2014 I will be.....
thinner, stronger, faster, healthier, happier..... I won't lie- they're all on my list this year.
I've discovered, I do a really great job sharing what I want and what I will accomplish, but sometimes (ok, most of the time) I forget to plan the details....
"I'm going to lose weight".... how?
"I'm going to get stronger"...how
"Faster".... well, you get it
I finally figured out that I rarely reach my goals because my eyes are always focused on the end, rather than the beginning. I know EXACTLY what I can accomplish, I simply neglect to map it out.
I sat down with myself Christmas morning and started the plan. My first step was to figure out what my best life looked like.... I pinpointed a time when I really felt in control of my health and fitness and thought about was different in my life now.
What I discovered is that I'm missing "me-time"~ you know that selfish little chunk of the day when you own every decision and control every action.
The last time I truly took "me time" on a regular basis was when I was training to open Goals in Ames. I had over an hour of drive time every day, I had workout time, learning time... my time to grow and thrive. Time to feed my dreams and desires.
my biggest struggle seems to be staying on task.... it's easy to get wrapped up in someone or something more fun that "me".
So..... on this "Resolution Eve" I am promising myself just one thing~  to feed myself well in the coming year....
clean food, heavier weights, new classes, many books, meditation, prayer and a daily purge of one space in my life.
I'm looking forward to the thinner, stronger, faster, healthier, happier me that is sure to show up for the fun.
May you find your best self in the coming year............

Friday, October 25, 2013

have your cake.......

....or pie as it may be.
As I mentioned last week I love fall.  The amazing colors and fall produce are a few of the redeeming things about living in the Midwest as I grow older.
I returned home from Las Vegas on Wednesday and discovered that it was much colder than when I'd left!! My "turn on the oven" instinct kicked in!! I had a sugar pumpkin on the counter and decided to see if I could tweak my favorite Pumpkin pie recipe so I could share it with my Goals friends.
We strive to teach that nothing is forbidden (especially pie on a special occasion) but if something can be modified without adding a ton of fake ingredients AND still be delicious- why not???

So here goes nothing..... hope you enjoy!!

Guilt-free Pumpkin Custard

3 cups cooked pumpkin (or canned pumpkin puree)
2 eggs
2/3 cup liquid egg whites
1 cup 2% milk
3/4 cup light agave syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven to 375. Boil water for water bath.
Spray non-stick spray in 10 half-pint size canning jars (wide mouth works best) or ramekins.
Mix all ingredients. Pour 1/2 cup in each jar.
Place jars in a 9x13 casserole dish and fill with hot water to the same level as Pumpkin mixture in jars.

Bake 45 minutes until sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean.

While the custards are in the oven, mix up your topping- (this is the important part GIM people!! It's delicious, but this is where you're going to get the protein to balance all of those yummy carbs!!).
Each custard  should be topped with 1/2 cup fat-free Plain Greek Yogurt that has been mixed with a heaping Tablespoon of your favorite vanilla protein powder. Vanilla Greek yogurt won't do...your carb: protein: fat ratio will still be off!!

Serve when custards are slightly cooled for an indulgent warm pie experience or cover with plastic wrap and chill for later (pssssst.... they're REALLY good warm!)
I added some toasted Pumpkin seed (just a Tablespoon or so) to make it look nice! Ok, so they tasted good too....
I tossed the clean seeds in a teaspoon of olive oil and baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I sprinkled with cinnamon and a little Ancho chili powder when I took them out of the oven.

Here's the finished product! Delicious and healthy. Made as I suggested above it is the perfect midafternoon or evening snack any (or every!) day.

Nutritional facts calculated on Sparkpeople.com recipe calculator: Includes one custard (1/10 of recipe), 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 TBS. Vanilla Protowhey protein powder and 1 TBS. toasted pumpkin seeds.
254 calories, 3.5g fat, 32g carbs, 30g protein!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

slipping in to autumn............

I love this time of year.
There is beauty, everywhere I turn. The colors have popped- red, brown and gold and
the air is crisp and clean and cold.....
Fall has always been my favorite season- there is something wonderful about waking up buried under blankets and still being able to grab some sunshine later in the day.
This year seems particularly vibrant to me, perhaps because I feel like I'm entering my own autumn.... Act III if you will.
a time to settle in to all of the good that has come into my life.
In a decade when so many of my friends and family are mourning the flight of their children or the change in their careers, I find myself settling in. I find myself appreciating my colors, my strengths and my gifts.
Perhaps I'm able to step back and enjoy because life has always been so busy for me.... perhaps it's because I pushed comfortable away and chose a new career path 3+ years ago...perhaps it's because I am able to feed off the good that happens in my world every day.... maybe it's the refocus on health and happiness....
regardless of the reason, I am grateful to be able to sit here in silence today, happy to live in my skin and to appreciate life the way I do.
I am still messy, unorganized, and scatterbrained.... but I have the very best intentions to get through the day and accomplish a great multitude of things. If it's important to me- it will get done. If not, it might happen after class ;)
Love to you all..........

Friday, May 3, 2013

half full......

 I just realized, as I look out my work window at a dull grey sky (that has finally quit producing snow on this third day in May), that I was dangerously close to half empty...... Ever been there??
I woke up dreading another cold day when it's supposed to be spring.... scheduled for 4 classes today...have several errands to run.... the house needs a little attention (ok, ok...a lot of attention)... how in the world am I going to accomplish anything when I feel so sluggy???
I hit snooze three times.... 4:23... have to get up- NOW!
Hopped out of bed, shifted into auto drive and here I am...........

Taught all 4 classes with amazing people- something awesome stands out from every class~
Bosu balls.... cheering..... new found strength and accomplishment on the scale....
Late start due to snowy conditions gave me good one-on-one time with Sam...
Former challengers, blessed with new babies, stopping in to share their stories and to get started again....
Snow melting to reveal beautiful green and a clean, fresh smell......
healthy thin mint cookies and a weekend with a smidge of down time....
friendly messages from dear friends and a long hot shower....

Amazingly, I have arrived at the end of my Friday afternoon....
and Thankfully, I am well over half full-

Monday, April 15, 2013


so it takes an idiot (or two or 100) to break me out of my writing funk, but I needed to share that I'm not happy.....
It would seem logical that I would be upset, like so many of you, about the senseless bombings that occurred today. People lost their lives, limbs and sense of security.....
we have all been plunged back into a state of "what if..."
The thing that is sticking with me...the thing that's really pissing me off, is that someone ruined someone else's day. They took a moment that should have been spectacular and turned it grey...
I work with hundreds of people....many of them have huge goals. The Boston Marathon would be the top of several lists of dream runs.....
My members have become my family.... they work hard to reach their goals. They sacrifice day in and out to get to the place where they want to be. They eat right and run and cross-train and STILL find the time to be amazing husbands and wives and parents and friends. They go to work every day to take care of the things that need to be done. But they have dreams and they work for their dreams.
And it makes me angry beyond belief that some one could take a day full of promise and fulfillment and throw it out the window.....
God bless the runners and the supporters and the families of those who were in Boston today.
Help us to be strong and to move forward....always reaching for our goals. Always striving to be the best we can be.
Congratulations on the victory that should have been yours as you crossed the finish line.........
Own it. Be proud of it. Do it again.....

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I've lived a pretty awesome life...
I've encountered joy far more than than sorrow.
I was nurtured by my parents and grandparents.
I had teachers who were truly called to their profession.
I've connected with friends who have been able to read my thoughts.
I've felt ultimate and instant eternal love with each sons' first cry.
I've experienced passion with those who could reach my heart.
I've met some pretty amazing people....

Recently I've started in an online guided workshop focusing on the psychology of change. I thought it would be helpful as I work with our members, especially those who seem to yo-yo or give up on their goals too quickly. I thought it would be as easy as learning some tips and tricks to help identify why we do what we do and why can't we change those things in our life that keep us from our goals.
The information provided has been basic and well researched and the assignments have been simple. What I didn't realize is how much I would learn about myself and how I would learn to identify the impact that others have on my life.

In a recent assignment, I was asked to identify 3-5 heroes in my life. Now, if I'd been in a big room full of people in a seminar setting, I would have hurriedly listed the obvious...mom, dad, grandpa, etc....
Surprisingly, as I sat back in the comfort of my home and really thought about it, I realized I am indebted to all of those people beyond measure and I will love them til the day I die, but others rose to the top of my list as heroes.
A hero is defined as:
1. a person of courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities
2. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal
After I compiled my list, I had the names of a couple of family members and close friends written down~ no super stars or politicians made my list!
Next, I was asked to write words that came to mind as I thought of each person.
Similar words came to mind for each of them....caring, loving, laughing, strong, accepting, engaged.
The next part of the assignment involved identifying how I would like to be remembered~what words would I like to hear if I could listen to others talk about me after I had passed.... caring, inspire...mom.
As I compiled my list of words, I was to find one "all-encompassing" word that would be mine.... something to hold on to when things got tough. A word that would represent all that is good in myself and my heroes. A word that would bring my world back into focus.
I thought about the men and woman on my list. I thought of who I would like to be, even on my worst day.....
                friend.......... grace
Grace.... my word. It encompasses those who made my list and it is who I want to be....
so, what did I do??
I googled it!! and I found this:
"Elegance is a glowing inner peace.
Grace is the ability to give as well as receive and be thankful"
~C.Joybell C.                                    
"The grace of God means something like:
Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because
the party wouldn't have been complete without you"
                                                                ~Frederick Buechner
What will I do with this? Who knows....  I love working with people. I love watching them to learn to love themselves again. I'd like to take the work I currently do and expand it to families and kids.
I like the fact that I've been invited to the party and I'd like to make a difference before I leave.
I like my word~ all that it is and all that it will come to be....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The New Year always seems to bring new plans, new ideas and new promises....
Here we are, in week 4 and I wonder how many resolutions are still intact.
How many people have walked away from promises they made to themselves or to other accountability partners? How many are still rockin it??
Living an active life with exercise and clean eating takes some serious planning, even if you were raised that way. It's really quite unrealistic to think "Tomorrow is a new day. I'll give up ________ for the rest of my life". And yet MILLIONS of people try to do it every year. Why is January 1 so special??
Wouldn't it be nice if once a month (or once a week) we had "jump day"? A day where publicly we had a chance to say "I'm finally ready to make a change...cheer for me, support me and hold me accountable!"
A problem I see frequently, in my job, is that people feel they've failed when their
resolution changes or when they detour off the planned route. Often they "jump" before they really think about the potential outcomes of their new way of life and the impact it will have on those around them. They try to completely renovate their way of life, without fully thinking through the process.
It takes a great deal of knowledge gathering and planning to make life-altering changes and to be successful at doing it long term. Frankly, you have to be ready if you want it to stick long term.
You also have to surround yourself with a support system and be willing to walk away from people or places that pull you back in to old habits.
In an interview this morning, I was asked why group fitness seems to work well for so many people.
I explained that we offer a great exercise program with an emphasis on clean eating, but that it's the people who make a difference at Goals. It's the coaches and instructors.... the maintenance members and challengers who make it a great place to be.
Someone is watching for you...... someone who cares.
Someone's waiting.....
Pick YOUR day~ all you have to do is jump.
Spring or stumble, we'll be there.....