What’s the Beachbody Health Bet?

Lately, I’ve been talking to a lot of friends and family about the Beachbody Health Bet. It’s a bit silly but I LOVE what Beachbody has been doing the last few months! A lot of people look at Beachbody and think Insanity, P90X and while all of those fabulous programs DID come out of Beachbody – it’s not what they’re all about.

Yes, they are about fitness.

Yes, they are about health.

But truly, their desire is to reduce obesity in America and across the world – and if we get down to the nitty gritty – they’d like to get rid of it altogether. They want it so bad that they are going out of the box to try and make it happen.

Day 17 Only Happens When You Start at Day One!

The Beachbody Health Bet
Beachbody believes that if you get into a rhythm of health and fitness you will actually stick with it…but it’s getting people to take the first step that is SO HARD!

This might make it a little easier🙂

Beachbody is betting $1 million dollars that you will fall in love with getting healthy.



The bet is simple:

Work Out + Drink a Superfood Shake = Win a Piece of Up to $3 MILLION DOLLARS!

You read that right! Up to $3 MILLION DOLLARS [insert fun evil laugh and put your pinky out too:)]

It can’t be THAT easy!

Um, yeah, it is:)

And for fun – let’s run the numbers:)*

If 25,000 people participate in the Beachbody Health Bet Challenge. Think about it, lots of people SAY they are going to commit, but usually a SMALL percentage actually do it – so let’s say maybe 10% make it all the way to the end – that is 2,500 people…splitting a potential of $3M!

10% of 25,000 people = 2,500 people

$3Million split between 2,500 people = $1,200

What would you do with $1,200 extra in your wallet??

The actual requirements:CoachShakeWorkout

  • You need to join my Health Bet Challenge (starts Sept. 5)
  • You have to commit to eating healthy. And the way this is measured is by adding Shakeology to your nutrition plan. You must drink Shakeology (and track it in our group with a selfie) at least 5 days a week.
  • You have to commit to working out at least 3 times a week and log it into our group.

Voila – that is it!

So what are you waiting for? I’m so pumped I have actually gotten some smaller prizes to reward the folks who join my challenge group as we go through each week!

If you want to join in fill out this challenge group application and then I’ll reach out to you ASAP:) The best thing is to remember you won’t be alone. Taking the first step is the hardest, but once you do, you’ll be so glad! The group of women and men that are gathering for this Beachbody Health Bet Challenge are amazing people on their own health and fitness journeys!


Mood, Music & Me

Music has been a huge part of my life…IMG_3018

Age 3…I played harmonica to the cows in our backyard…and apparently they liked it because they would line the fence and listen.

Ages 6 – 10…We made multiple treks to Cincinnati to visit family. Long, 8 hour trips. I had an amazing Walkman with cassette tapes that ranged from kids records to Chicago (my mom’s favorite band). I also joined chorus and felt chills as we would sing “I’m proud to be an American”.

Music continued for me in middle and high school as I played trumpet and then explored other avenues…like the time I wrote a play based on my high school experience and tried to develop my own theme song…and yes I may have sung that song into a tape recorder and then replayed it for my mom. And she might have laughed aloud after hearing the first stanza…all in love, of course:)

I love the way music transports you to various times and places. It swirls around you and makes you tear up, or laugh, or a variety of other emotions.

Music moves me.

Healthychildren.org states, “An analysis of 5 studies on music for depression concluded that music therapy is not only acceptable for depressed patients, but it actually helps improve their moods. Music has proven useful in helping patients with serious medical illnesses such as cancer, burns, and multiple sclerosis who are also depressed. If it can help in these situations, it may be able to help you and your loved ones experience more positive moods.”

I believe it. I have had times where I have needed to put on music to change my mood – or to focus me. When I attempted running I needed music that would keep me motivated and pumped up. When I’m writing a sad section of a story, I want music that gets me in that mindset. I’m loving the my new workout, Country Heat, because the music is upbeat and not twangy so I find myself singing as we go which makes me more inclined to continue it to the end (there have been yoga videos I’ve done where the music was too crazy for me so I was more inclined to turn it off than to finish).

How do you utilize this knowledge to your advantage? Put together song lists so that you can instantly grab them when you need them. Happy songs – motivational songs – inspiring songs. When you’re at work, working out, driving to the store you can put them on and be transported to a happier place no matter the time  of day.
Not sure what moves you? Spotify is fantastic. You can go to their website or app and click on the mood your in (or the mood you WANT to be in) and instantly it will play music that falls into that category. Some of their categories include: Brain Food, Celebration, Chill, Mood Booster, Happy Hits, Songs to Sing in the Shower, Calm Down, the Cure for Loneliness, etc. In those moments where you feel like you can’t get out of your funk – remember – you have tools around you to help…it might not get rid of it completely, but it can definitely improve it!Signature_Pink

Working Out & Mental Health

IMG_2929I’ve had an up and down battle with exercise. I love to workout – but have no time for the gym (or really know what to do at the gym!). A friend of mine started doing in-home workouts and I was at a place where I felt the need to tone up…and the need for my family to get into some healthier habits.

Confession: I’d do it until life got so busy that I’d put it off…and instead catch a show on TV…but all the while, thinking, “I should be working out right now”.

I let a few months go by and each night I’d sit down on the couch and justify not working out.

I’m too tired. ..

I’m going to get up later…

One day off won’t kill me…

And on and on…we’ve all been there, right?

The CDC website suggest: “Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits. Some scientific evidence has also shown that even lower levels of physical activity can be beneficial.”

I believe it. I got into a funk. I was eating okay…but no superfoods were in my diet (at least not as many as were in my shake which equals a crazy amount of salads in one sitting) and the working out lapsed. I felt awful – lethargic and exhausted.

All. The. Time.

I made a decision and I vocalized that decision to my husband. Saying out loud what needed to be done began the accountability process. And then I made the commitment to some friends too.

It was almost comical. I started feeling better right away – I think it was because I was proud of myself. In a “I’m getting it done” way…and then one day I listened to a podcast that I had been listening to weekly until I’d quit working out and the peace that came over me as I listened was so bizarre…but it just reaffirmed that I was making the  right decision. Incorporating some positive, encouraging, motivating words in the morning was not a bad decision.

Mental health is just as important as physical health and the two are intertwined together in a magnificent way. It’s no surprise that the good feelings have been a welcome adjustment to everyday life.

And for the busyness? Well – I just had a whirlwind wedding weekend where Tim and I drove up to Cincinnati on Friday and came back home on Sunday…a crazy quick weekend…About a 7 hour drive each way. I figured out a way to get in my 30 minute workout in my hotel room. One night at 2am (don’t be too shocked – I do most of my workouts in PJs) and then then next day in the afternoon. I incorporated my superfood shake into an iced latte (a tip I picked up from my friend).

I conquered my fitness this weekend…and still had time to fit in 2 weddings (one is tonight!) and TONS of fun with my family!!

I’m looking forward to the challenge of figuring out ways to stay on track…it doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming…and the reward is so worth it!




IMG_2822Mental illness. The words have stigma attached. No one wants to admit there’s an issue. I’ve found myself doing it too…

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend. We were having a conversation about depression and mental illness in general. I told my friend that I take medicine daily for anxiety. Then I followed it up with, “well, apparently it’s because of my jacked up thyroid. The doctor said that if I hadn’t been taking it, he would have put me on it. I was treating the symptom before I knew what was causing it.”

And you know what? Later I realized that the reason I added the addendum was because I didn’t want to say that I had an issue. That I have anxiety. That my mind races over and over and over again and I can’t stop it. No matter how much I pray for it to stop, to slow down, to just chill…it doesn’t. And it sucked. For a long time.

My relationships with women have never had longevity. My closest friends I’ve met in the last 10 years. I always thought I had a problem. I had two sets of friends at different times in my life turn their backs on me because they didn’t agree with a choice I had made. It hurt. All of the relationships recovered, but over the years they faded…and some never recovered to what they had been. It hurt.

Those moments hit me as I’m driving home from work. There’s a lot of time in the car…and as I sit here, I think that this could be a part of the reason why I don’t like silence. Where there is silence my brain likes to talk…and it’s not always talking nicely.

The last few months I have been in a downward spiral. Too many thoughts…nothing that is detrimental…but I let laziness take over. I gave myself a pass because I was tired. I am tired.

This past weekend I was at a Coach Summit (some of you might have seen just a few posts – sorry about that;) in Nashville. Shaun T spoke on one of the days and I was floored. He shared something extremely personal from his past. Something I don’t know that I would’ve had the courage to share had it been me…but then again, maybe I would have, because here I am writing this post*.

He stated that admitting the problem was only part of it… Sometimes you can’t move forward unless you’ve divulged everything. For me, it was thinking about all of the conversations I’ve had with friends and co-workers where I felt like I was justifying the medicine I’m on…where I let my thoughts define me. When I let them defeat me.

I have been feeling God leaning on me lately to do more in certain areas of my life…to encourage and provide help in some way to those suffering from the ripple effects of mental illness…It could be depression, it could be anxiety, it could be so much more that I’m not aware of yet.

Praying our issues away is not always the answer. Sometimes we need something to balance it out…sometimes that’s medicine…and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter if there’s a reason that’s causing the illness, what matters is that we are doing something about it.

The more we share what we are dealing with the easier it’s going to be to find answers…Similar to AIDS back in the 80’s, I feel these are the years where we will be able to learn more about mental illness because we are talking openly about it, despite the repercussions. I’m okay with the stigma… because it won’t be a stigma for long.

The theme at the Coach Summit was #strongereveryday. We have to take it day by day. I can talk myself out of doing something because my brain always tells me I’m a failure…but I’m not. I’m a child of God and a miracle in itself when you really diagnose how children are created…I’m not going to waste this miracle and neither should you. Let’s be encouraging and let’s dig in and find a way to eliminate stigmas in general.

I’ll start…will you join me?






*Watch Shaun T’s talk here.

Shakeology Savings

What is Shakeology?

Shakeology is a meal replacement shake. Yeah, I was skeptical too, I’m not a shake person…but then I tried it…and then I felt the effects…and saw the effects on my family. I love that I can get dense nutrients in one drink – and that my kids can too. Lincoln HATES vegetables. So, while I still make him eat them, I don’t stress about whether or not he’s eating healthy enough. While I’m teaching him to eat correctly, whether he likes it or not, he’s still getting the nutrients (he just doesn’t always know it;)

Prime example: The Holidays! We spent time with my family and my nephews, one who was sick. When the nephews left, the rest of my family (mom, step-dad, sister, brother…EVERYONE!) got sick. We hung out with them too…and we NEVER got sick! I’m chalking it up to Shakeology – to building up my our immune systems (and no-I’m not replacing one of my kid’s meals with a shake, but I AM giving them a glass as “dessert” or to go with their breakfast).

Don’t just take my word for it – learn more:)




Inside Shakeology



Shakeology can be expensive – but there are ways to SAVE:)

1. Order Shakeology on Home Direct (Auto Ship): Shipping Fees are reduced to $2. Home Direct can be changed/cancelled etc. easily via phone or web chat if you don’t need it every month (you can cancel as soon as it is delivered and keep the savings) otherwise, it will continue to be shipped to you each month.

2. Club Membership: $38.97/quarter and gives you 10% off. Club Membership will also give you access to personalized meal plans, tips from trainers such as P90X Tony Horton, and more. Once you sign up for the Club Membership, you will get Shakeology with a special discount of 10% immediately, and continue to get 10% off each month you remain as a Club Member.

3. Discount Coach – save 25% off, with monthly fee of $15.95…The Discount Coach ends up saving about $16/month even with the monthly fee. There is a one-time sign up fee of $40 which is waived if you get a challenge pack when you sign up as a coach.

Challenge Packs range: $140-160 and provides Shakeology + Workout Program.



changeChange freaks people out. Change freaks me out. Even when I’m the one invoking the change, seeing it through can be painful, frustrating, or just uncomfortable.

Tomorrow I move out of my office at work and move into another office down the hall. I’ve been told the change was coming several times over the last few years, but it never panned out…so I didn’t really think it would happen. Moving down the hall seems trivial – and in the grand scheme it totally is…but yet it totally through me for a loop – that’s me, being honest.

I’m working at not being freaked out by change – one of my aunts LOVES change. I think that’s admirable. I want to be a go with the flow person…and in most cases I can be, but there are those moments where I want to just throw a tantrum…and just shout out “I don’t want change!!”

Two of the changes I’ve been looking forward to this year are implementing more health and fitness into the life of our family. Thus far we’ve been doing good sticking to our meal plan – there are a few times we’ve strayed – but what family doesn’t from time to time? As far as fitness – I’ve been 6 days in for P90 and I’m feeling stronger and looking forward to #flexfriday;) These changes are uncomfortable at times (I enjoy my time chilling on the couch and watching TV) BUT I’ve been choosing to get up and follow-thru…No one can make me change, I have to do the work:)  Here’s to 2016 – a year of change!


The Calm before the Storm

IMG_0683Christmas has come and gone. Per my 8 year old – “This was the BEST Christmas EVER!” Kellen (5) completely disagreed and thought it was the WORST Christmas ever…because it wasn’t snowing. I hated to tell him to get used to it – we live in Georgia kid. Regardless of the warm weather, I am inclined to agree with Lincoln. As crazy as it was (and in a family as large as mine there is always chaos!), it was filled with so many joyful moments. My boys were able to play with their cousins that were visiting from Virginia. They picked up right where they left off.

The adults had a lot of champs which I’ve saved up for moments like these. We downed a bottle of Clicquot Rose faster than I would’ve liked (because who doesn’t want to keep drinking Clicquot?!) and then followed it up with some Luc Belaire…My mom had some Whispering Angel on hand too (finally – some EDI brands in the house!) and let’s just say we had a good time…Dinner was the traditional Chicken Kiev with Christmas Crackers🙂

We went bowling the day after Christmas and Kellen told me later, “I hate bowling.” Shocking – he won the game with a little help from an adorable dinosaur ball slide. I asked why and his response, “I didn’t get to do more bowling!” I cracked up.

Lincoln introduced his cousin to laser tag and while their team lost, they had a lot of fun tracking down the “enemy”. It ended up being a team of kids (all about the same age) and two adults. Lincoln can not wait to go back! Something tells me we may be doing some type of birthday celebration there – thank goodness we have some time to save up;)

Looking back I have few pictures from this weekend, but it’s because I chose not to feel guilty about capturing every moment. My phone was dead a lot of the weekend or had a child playing a game on it (thus the phone being dead)…so while I did limit playtime on the phone, I also wasn’t in a major hurry to recharge it. When things calmed down I did some meal planning and today was able to execute it.

I’m feeling pretty pumped about the New Year – excited about the new things going on at Empire and with Beachbody! I’m pretty sure 2016 will be a year to remember…and it hasn’t even begun yet:)



Meal Plan: 12/28/15 – 1/2/16


Our New Year’s resolution (ok, mine) is to be consistent about cooking meals that our whole family can sit down and eat together AND to waste less food that I’ve purchased. We’ll see how well we do…I admit that I am more of a recipe-follower vs a creator of my own recipe person.

Breakfast (will be the same everyday):
Kids: cereal/milk
Adults: Superfood, nutrient-dense shake

Peanut Butter Sandwich
Fruit Leather (*homemade)
Drink: Water

Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Greek-Style Pita Chips


*Update – My first attempt went well. Assembling was super easy, pretty much chop and toss. My pita pieces were super thin so some were super browned, but nothing burned. Next time I’ll watch them a little bit more closely. I used this Greek seasoning. I liked it, but Kellen (5), thought it was a bit spicy (there’s some heat on the finish)…it was the only available at my grocer. I’ll continue to use it for Tim and I, but for the kids I’ll keep looking.

Couscous Chicken Salad

Chicken with Tomato, Basil & Feta, Orzo with Pine Nuts
Chicken with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, Mashed Potatoes

Odds & Ends

The Odds & ends of life as I sit here and watch The Voice;)

Burkina Faso & Ebola

Yes – I’m still going. No, I’m not in fear of Ebola. Burkina has zero cases of Ebola right now and missionaries THERE are praying for us HERE that the cases in the USA do not cause us to miss the trip. It’s a bit amazing watching the media, hearing from friends and family – those in the health industry and not – all the opinions. How could I do that to my kids?! Honestly? If I could take my family with me I’d totally do it! In fact, Lincoln has been continually asking me if he can go (he can’t) and I can’t wait to be able to one day take him on a trip like this with me.

I think this is a great testament to how we have to trust God. Awhile ago I wrote a post detailing my thoughts on “what if” God called us, as a family, to go to Haiti. Whenever I bring it up to friends and family the FEAR factor totally starts up. I’m not saying the fear and concerns aren’t relevant or valid BUT it immediately becomes “what if, what if”…We can’t let the fears of the future stop us from doing what we feel God is leading us to…regardless of the circumstances. I’m not saying go blindly…but if you think about it, Jesus called his disciples to Go and they went in totally blind…no clue of what the future would be and how their lives would change for better or worse, but they went anyways.

If you want to help support my trip…think about purchasing a challenge pack – get healthy & help send me to Burkina…or if you’d just like to make a straight up donation…details are here.

#FitNFabulous Challenge Group

Remember that time I said, “Hey Tim! Let’s do this thing called P90!”…Ha! Well, I’ve been doing it…and it’s been a bit crazy! I am totally huffing and puffing but I LOVE it and true to their word – I really think ANYONE could do it!!

Tim has not had a chance to start it just yet BUT I know that once he does start it he will LOVE it too!! I completely feel my legs & arms getting more and more tone – and I’ve had a few people comment on noticing the tone in my arms…Plus I’m not afraid to show off my “guns”!

I’ve got a few people in the challenge group with me and I am loving their participation! There is something to be said about having friends to help you stay accountable to items that have a tendency to slide down the priority list. I’m a late night workouter (ok, I know that’s not really a word;) and it would be SO easy to say, “Oh – I’ll get to it in the morning” but instead I’m popping in the DVD and working my tail off…and then I crawl into bed:) I will say if you don’t have a group you feel comfortable with helping you stay accountable with workouts (or you just want to make some new friends!) then shoot me an email or leave a comment below and I’ll get you hooked up! My goal is to get my family further on track to healthier living…and this has been a great step in that direction for us:)


We just finished up our first bout with Flag – Football. It was interesting to say the least:) Lincoln was a bit bored b/c he wasn’t able to play as much as we would have liked (a post for another time!) BUT I was super proud of the way he supported his team and embraced the challenges he faced. I was able to finally see him “tackle” someone (ie. grab their flag) so he had 2 tackles this season. He also found a love for snapping:) Tonight was the last game and he was awarded a trophy along with his other teammates! What’s next for him? When I asked him, he told me he would like to do tennis, baseball, soccer (again) and lacrosse…I think there are lots of ball fields in our future;)


Health, Wealth & well…good times;)

Health and wealth…in this case wealth is not exactly monetary terms…more like exciting times. I’m super pumped bc I’m starting 2 new ventures:

1. Health: So it’s not exactly a venture, as in corporate venture, but it is a fabulous new venture into my future. I have been wanting to invest in my health, but unfortunately the gym eludes me; mostly because I have quite the drive (minimal to some) but an hour + to and from…so time at the gym is a no-go for me. Instead, I’ve tried to incorporate bike riding or running or walking…but that typically gets deferred to my kids and dinner prep as well as darkness (our neighborhood has zero lights and sidewalks). I have a friend who began doing some Beach Body workouts – PIYO sounded intriguing to me so I tried it…and I LOVE it! I enjoyed the coaching aspects that MY coach, Laura Mendenhall, gave to me – encouraging healthy eating (including Shakeology – which sounded bizarre, but I tried it and…well…on the days I don’t have it, I can tell a difference!) as well as time management tips (when DO you work out inbetween drives, dinner and family time?!) and just a fun community…so I’m hosting my own group in September (check out my FB page for more info).

2. Wealth: Okay…so not $$$ BUT wealth as in…I’ve been blessed by the wealth of being born in the USA. I’m so thankful that I’m able to worship my God without restrictions from government ON TOP of the fact that I’ve been able to go through life without going hungry, homeless, etc. I have been given a wealth of resources! So, what am I doing about it? As you can see from previous posts, my want to help others has been top of mind lately. I want to be able to share God’s love with others and help my kids to see how blessed they are as well.

Earlier this week, our church announced that it is taking trip to Burkina Faso, Africa in February. Our previous church had a relationship with Haiti. (Check out Haiti Cherie!) Tim took several trips with them and I do believe one day we may do a long term trip there because of Tim’s love for Haiti and even Lincoln’s desire to go there. Our church now, has a relationship with Burkina Faso and I have been wanting to travel there since we first started attending. And in February that trip is going to come to fruition!

Sidebar: My dad’s mom always wanted to go to Africa and while my grandfather would travel ANYWHERE with her, Africa was not really his cup of tea…she died unexpectedly when I was in college and never got to go. When Tim and I got married I told him that Africa was somewhere I needed to go, in order to fulfill the dream my grandmother had had. Now, my mom tells me that my grandma would not want me to travel to Africa now (I wouldn’t doubt that), I, however, feel like it’s a trip I need to take.

I can’t wait to meet the people of Burkina Faso and am hoping to even me our Compassion child while we are there! Yes, EBOLA is happening in Africa…no, Burkina Faso is not one of the countries that has had a major outbreak (trust me, I went over this with my mom today!)…

So, in addition to a crazy hectic work schedule (my trade show is literally a few weeks away!!!) I am going to be challenging myself to a steady diet of work out, health and wellness (Starbucks, I’m sorry, but I’m having to take a break for awhile!!)…I want to be tip top shape, emotionally, spiritually and physically to embrace all that Burkina has to offer in February and all that life has to offer in between:)

Be praying for our family as we prepare for this amazing adventure…while they are not going with me, I know that God has some pretty exciting things in store for my kids and Tim while I’m away! I want them to be prepared to embrace that as well!

Below is a video from Engage Burkina – it will give you a taste of what we are doing in the country as wells as some stats. It’s hard to believe that while we have so much, others just a plane ride away, have so little.

And for those of you who think…what about the needs in OUR country? Soon, I will share some of the things our family will be getting involved with locally in the coming months as I agree, we don’t have to travel abroad to help others…we can help those in our backyard too.


Engage Burkina from Engage Burkina on Vimeo.