Vacation – Don’t Let Your Goals Get Derailed

May 2015 vac - train

(A precious grandparent moment – taking 2-year-old Caden on his first big train ride. I’m not sure who was more excited – the child or the adults?)

Summertime is made for vacations.  Back in May, I had a wonderful getaway with my family.  It was extra special because we haven’t had a chance to have this experience with our now grown children in many years.  Going places, sharing new experiences, laughing and being away from the normal routine is good for us.  I hope you’ve had a chance to get away or have a plan in mind soon.

 At the time of our vacation, I was 4 months into using the 21-Day Fix Program and was seeing results.  I wondered how this time away would translate with the new lifestyle habits regarding nutrition and fitness I had been implementing.  I ended up having a good experience while away.  Here are my insights about how not to get derailed with taking care of yourself when you are away from home.

Remember the week before vacation will customarily been busy.  

 I created checklists to help me get things organized:

What needs to be done before I leave in regards to my home?

  • Mail, garbage, newspaper, plants watered, animals, clean out fridge, etc.

What needs to be done before the trip?

  • Packing list (clothes, medications, exercise equipment, electronics, chargers, workout DVDs, food, tickets, money, etc.)

vac2015-view from condo
(This was the view from our condo in Oceanside – it was perfect.)

I asked myself what did I want to experience when I came home from vacation.  Would I remember that I had a vacation experience but I was still on course with my goals or would I regret some of the decisions I made in regards to my fitness and nutrition.Okay – so now it was time to test myself –

  • After 4 months, did I have a diet or a new lifestyle mentality?  A diet often has an end date attached to it – we think once I reach this weight or wear this size clothing I’m done and then we are right back to where we started.  But a lifestyle change is different – it’s action incorporated in wherever our life is – even on vacation.
  • I decided before vacation what I wanted to happen when I got home.  I envisioned where I wanted to be when I took my stats (weight and measurements) at the end of the 3-week challenge group which happened to land on my last day of my vacation.  I was down 3 lbs the day before we left.  I decided I’d give one of those pounds away during vacation but wanted to strive toward a 2 lb weight loss.  What I didn’t want to happen was to take several steps backward in my journey. 

Chocolate Banana Almond Smoothie
Chocolate Banana Almond Smoothie Recipe

So now I needed to determine how I was going to make that happen..

  • I took my Shakeology with me because it is a portable and is a delicious meal replacement. This helped offset the occasional treat food and give me balanced nutrition.
  • I packed nuts in individual baggies – again because they are portable.
  • We were driving so I packed some sliced cooked chicken, cut up veggies, and fruit.
  • I researched restaurants before we arrived and decided ahead of time what I would order.  I usually ate half of what was served. 
  • I took my 21-Day Fix portion containers with me to be used when I wasn’t at a restaurant.  Happily I realized that the 4 months of practicing this system had cemented into my mind and I was able to portion out my food without them most of the time.
  • I ate several of my favorites but modified what the restaurant wanted to serve me.  For instance I love Fish and Chips (mainly the fish) so when I ordered it, I ate all my fish, 10 french fries and substituted the coleslaw for a side salad with oil and vinegar and you know what?  I was just fine with that.  Eat mindfully – choose your favorites and determine how much you will eat.  It may taste awesome but it won’t be awesome if you have to live with the results for months to come.
  • I chose iced tea or water instead of alcohol for several reasons – it doesn’t work well with my Interstitial Cystitis.  A glass of wine or beer isn’t worth several days of pain plus it gives me the munchies and I tend to overeat and that isn’t going to support my goals.
  • I brought my laptop and used Beachbody on Demand for my workouts (I forgot my dvds – very glad to be able to stream my workouts) and a set of 8 lb weights.  Don’t have weights – use 2 water bottles or 2 cans of vegetables.
  • Drink Water and then drink more water – we should be drinking ½ of our body weight in ounces.  For example a 160 lb person would drink 80 ounces of water a day.  I found this the most challenging.  I would get busy having fun and forget.  Take your favorite water bottle with you.
  • If you are staying somewhere where you have a kitchen, take a few easy to prepare recipes.  Spend a few minutes shopping and cooking so you have nutritious food to eat while away.  This will also save money.  Pumpkin Turkey Chili is a great choice.  You can even premeasure your spices at home and put them in a ziplock bag.  
  • Yes –  I had desserts – caramel cheesecake, crème brulee and a flourless chocolate cake with coconut sorbet but each time one dessert was ordered and shared with multiple people.  
  • I did my workouts early each morning before the day got started and I could find 10 reasons why I didn’t need to do it.  I decided before vacation that my workouts were non-negotiable.  It was 30 minutes and I’m worth 30 minutes.  I’m fortunate I have a supportive family but we can often find ourselves with others that aren’t on the same journey as us.  Not everyone is going to be your cheerleader.  Be true to your values and goals – you just don’t know who you might inspire.  
  • I stayed connected to my support system (challenge group – women who have like minded fitness goals).  What a help to know they were available on line so I could document my progress and look to them for encouragement when needed.
  • Stick to your eating routine as much as you can…Breakfast, AM Snack, Lunch, PM Snack, Dinner, Evening Snack.  Eating nutritious – real food left me content and satisfied.  We were in California so I allowed myself an extra serving of fruit.  Oh why oh why can’t the fruit in Arizona taste like the fruit in California?
  • I created a self-made calendar so I could map out my workouts before I ever went on vacation.

        vac2015-Evan and Rhi (We celebrated my son’s birthday by going to Stone Brewery for lunch, tour and dessert. The food was amazing as well as the memories. The engaged couple will soon be Mr and Mrs in a few short months.)

May 2015 Vac - Family
(One last picture before we hit the road home. I have learned over the past few years how important it is to take time to vacation, to build memories. It’s not just about what’s happening during the time away but about the joy you have in dreaming about beforehand and being able to carry those times with you afterwards.)

When vacation was over I am happy to say that I was down 2.4 lbs and this experience encouraged me that I’d be ready for the next get away.

These are my latest before and after photos.   I forgot the “t” in strength but I decided not to take the time to fix it because I continue to learn it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

 Feb - June 2015 Before and After Pics
I keep making progress – you can too. (Getting close to 15 lbs and 20 inches gone since Feb 16, 2015) We are halfway through 2015. Make the second part of this year time you build strength and learn to fuel your body with nutritious food. The next challenge group starts on August 3rd.  For more information on how you can get started working toward your healthy lifestyle goals, please fill in the form below and I will personally contact you.  The decision is the hardest part. I am here to help you.

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Summer Makeover

Summer - Flippy Floppy

My family has always struggled with weight so over the years I have become a student of different programs. I have counted calories, points, worked with trainers, tried to do it on my own. I have felt bad when my clothes became as my grandmother would say “snug”. But it was chronic illnesses that continued to motivate me to find a program that was the right fit for this body of mine that struggles with sleep apnea, interstitial cystitis, hypoglycemia and permanent nerve pain from shingles. I share this with you because I know that having a nutrition/fitness program that works for my body but has room to challenge me as I get stronger and allows me to be creative in the kitchen is a powerful tool in managing these conditions so they don’t manage me. Everyone needs good nutrition, a practice of proper portions and varied workouts that are being applied daily. Our bodies do so much for us but often we don’t maintain them well. If you are looking for a place to start because you’ve been lacking the proper tools, the at home program I’m using, 21-Day Fix, may be just what you need.  Read HERE for more information on my fitness journey.  I have spots for two women who are ready to make a change in my Summer Challenge Group starting Monday, June 29. It’s not too late to join us. Leave me a comment below or private message me.

 Note –   If June doesn’t work for you, I run a challenge group every month – just type I’m interest in a comment and I’ll email you.

Debbie - June Update - slant

Here is a healthy Chocolate Banana Nut Fudgepop I enjoyed using this recipe with a twist
Chocolate Banana Nut Fudgepop


Water – It’s a Choice!


I am on Day 5 of a Free 5-Day Happy Hydration Challenge with a wonderful group of women.  We are learning and encouraging each other about the importance of staying hydrated, especially with water.

Water Cups 

 I bought 2 new cups before I started the challenge as a motivator but I have to admit that drinking water is something I need to be intentional about.  I get busy and pretty soon the day is halfway gone and I am not where I want to be.   Making right choices isn’t easy.  It comes with effort.  It means I need to set aside something I want to do at that minute and course correct.

Here are a few ideas on how to infuse your water with flavor

Water Challenge - Citrus

Twenty years ago I was a mess. I had headaches, no energy, and brain fog. I was in my life but at the same time I felt like I was looking through a thick piece of plastic watching my life happen. Once my young son asked me how many dimes were in a dollar and I couldn’t find the answer in my mind.  That motivated me to make a doctor’s appointment.  After a 6-hour glucose test, the diagnosis came back that I was hypoglycemic – my blood sugar would dip into the 60’s.  The way I coped – feed myself sugar or simple carbs – feel good for a little bit – then nose dive again with my body screaming for more sugar and simple carbs.  A terribly vicious circle.  I’ve never had a substance abuse problem but I believe their must be some similarities.

That day I left the doctor’s office with a list of foods to avoid and a list of recommended foods. I was relieved that I had an answer but I also felt pretty sorry for myself – okay I’ll admit I was having a full blown pity party for something I enjoyed doing was researching recipes, making those recipes, sharing what I made and eating those recipes.  And now most of those items used for doing what I loved were staring back at me under the column titled AVOID on the piece of paper I held in my hands.

I complained to a friend who had the same condition “Look at all the foods/beverages I can’t have anymore.” She was a little older and lot wiser and she challenged me with “Look at all the foods you can eat.” Later at her house she asked me what I’d like to drink? “Well,” I responded “I can’t have anything but water.” I will never forget her words to me  “No, Debbie, you can choose whatever you want to drink. God gives you the freedom of choice. Now what do you choose?” I did some growing up that day. I’d asked for help – I had received it. I wanted to know what was wrong – I knew. But did I truly want to make the changes necessary to better my life. What was I willing to give up – to learn to do differently? I had to ask myself why would I continue to make choices of putting something in my body that essentially hurt it.

Well, little did I know that someday I would have a blog where I shared recipes, be a health/fitness coach and be running a water challenge. God does have a sense of humor. Over the years my body has been my classroom as new health issues have come up but the same truth repeats itself – we are to honor our bodies and I think the best way we can do that is to stick to as many foods/beverages that are as close to what God put on this earth.


So I’m going to touch on soda…I used to be a soda drinker 20 years ago.  Then I bought into the occasional diet soda thinking calories were all that mattered. When we are thinking of fueling our body/hydrating our body just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean it counts like water. Be intentional with what you are putting in your body – it will will make a difference in the way you feel, think and what kind of energy you have. 

Now I don’t know about you but I’m heading to the kitchen to refill my water bottle.

To follow my nutrition/fitness journey and read how I’ve lost 16 inches in 4 months click HERE  I have a new 21-Day Challenge Group starting on June 29th.  The program I am using, 21 Day Fix, as well as as 21 Day Fix Extreme is  on sale through the month of June so it’s a great time to jump on board.  For those that battle hypoglycemia, the highs and lows of blood sugar that sugar and simple carbs produce this program is a great fit.  I eat 6 times a day using the nutrition program and it’s amazing how this allows my blood sugar to remain stable throughout the day.  I’m just a message away at  We Can Do This Together.

My lastest published before and after pictures:

July Challenge - front