Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014...Hello 2015!

It is so hard to believe that 2014 is coming to and end and we are about to ring in 2015!  This year really has seemed to fly by for me.  It has been a great year, spent with great friends and family.  It had it's up and downs like every year.  However I feel blessed to have had more ups than downs.  I have made some new friends, strengthened a few friendships and have had a few kind of fade.  My sweet nephew was born this year too!  I just love him so much, and I can't wait for him and Ariana to grow up together.

On the "business" side of things, I didn't blog quite as much as I would have liked.  I re-branded from On Fire Fitness Healthy Living to Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy, Balanced.  I feel like I wanted to be able to open up my blog to more of my life and branch out from just fitness.  I am really happy that I made the switch and thank all the lovely followers who stayed with me through the re-branding!  That is one of my goals for the new year is to focus on my blog again and create a schedule that I can stick to so I can share more with you all.  Myself and a few of my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador have set up a weekly link up that will be launching on January 7th, a week from today!  I am so thrilled to co-host this fun link up, we hope you will join us!

In terms of my health and fitness life this year, I have had my ups and downs.  I gained some weight, then lost some weight, then gained it back and it has stuck with me.  Through it all the one constant is my workouts!  My love for fitness will never leave, it is a part of who I am.  In April, I tried paleo for 6 weeks and did great until I added some non-paleo foods back in.  Before I knew it I gained all I had lost.  Since then I have been struggling to find a true balance with my eating habits.  I have been an all or nothing girl, meaning that I am not eating anything "bad", working out and am all in or I am eating whatever I want and not really caring.  I realized just recently that I have a problem when I restrict any kind of food I do okay for a little bit, then I binge after going too long with restricting.  This is a problem because it creates a yo-yo effect with my body, and really my mind.  Since I have come to this realization I have been working to find the balance between the two.  I want to be happily in the middle.  Working out regularly, eating whole real food most of the time, allowing for treat meals and snacks, and no restricting.  It is going to take time to truly reach the balance between the two, but I know I will get there!  My goal is to lose about 25-30 pounds to reach my goal weight, then maintain within a few pounds of that weight.  I am not really too concerned with the number on the scale it is just a benchmark for me.  Using something that is like IIFYM, or flexible dieting I can eat whatever I want within my macros.  So I can eat the treats I want and still reach my goals.  I love the sound of that.  This will take away the need to restrict and then binge.  So like I said it is a work in progress.  I know 2015 will be the year I overcome this cycle and find freedom and balance!

I am so ready for a New Year and a New start!  I have written down my goals in my journal and will share them with you guys.  I would love to hear what some of your goals are.  Please share in the comments!

My 2015 Goals 

Health & Fitness Goals: 
  • Work daily on overcoming my restrict/binge pattern
  • Form new habits and create a new relationship with food
  • Track my food/macros daily 
  • Work with flexible dieting/IIFYM/balanced eating to find the balance that is right for me
  • Change my mindset with losing's not a short term diet it is a long term lifestyle change
  • Work to reach my "goal" weight this year and maintain, no more yo-yo's 
  • Challenge myself with my fitness, add new workouts
Personal Goals: 
  • Set a blogging schedule to help grow my blog
  • Work on personal development
  • Compete my CEU's for my NASM certification 
  • Write more for my partnership with
  • Grow my social media following by connecting with more people
  • Work on being a better mom and wife
  • Have a wonderful and productive year!
I want to thank all of you who have stopped by my blog, shared or commented on a post, and have been a part of my journey.  I am humbled to know people come by my little piece of the internet to read my little blog.  I am excited for what 2015 has to offer!  Wishing you all a safe and happy new year!  Signing off for the last time in 2014!  

post signature

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week in Review 12/15-12/21

Happy Sunday!  I have decided to get back to my week in review posts.  It is such a great accountability tool for me.  I posted on my Facebook last week about the struggle I am facing right now with trying to work through my relationship with food.  For a large part of my life I have been on the restrict/binge pattern.  I also have a tendency to get really close to my goal then sabotage my progress.  I am working with Anna Lavonne Richardson to help me overcome these obstacles that are holding me back from getting to where I want to be with my health and fitness. It is a whole other post in itself, but I just wanted to share a bit of what I am going through right now.  I know I am not alone in the struggle.  Once I get farther along in my journey I will post an update.  I hope that one day I can post about how I was able to overcome this struggle and get to a good balanced place.  I have been there before and I know I can get there again and this time stay there for the rest of my life.  If this is something you are going through too, send me a message, we can do it together.  Having a support system is important, and knowing that you are not the only one and not alone helps so much too!  You are worth the time it takes to work on the person you want to become.  That is my goal for 2015, to over come this hard point in my life and move forward.  It comes down to the mental aspect of it all and having positive self talk.  It is all a work in progress.

 Week In Review 12.15.14-12.21.14:
Monday- lifting: chest & arms, cardio: HIIT intervals on the treadmill 20 minutes
Tuesday- rest day
Wednesday- lifting: back & shoulders, cardio: tabata 20 minutes
Thursday- lifting: arms, cardio: HIIT treadmill intervals 30 minutes
Friday- lifting: legs, cardio: plyo intervals during my leg workout.
Saturday- rest day (I had planned on getting a workout in, however my little one cut her toe pretty deep and I had to take her to get it glued to stop the bleeding...stressful afternoon!  She is okay though, she didn't even cry once, she is a tough little girl.)
Sunday- rest day
Total calories burned according to my Polar Heart Rate Monitor- 2082

My plan for this week is to get all my workouts in!  Life can definitely get in the way sometimes and Christmas is this week.  We don't have anything going on until the evening so I plan on getting all my workouts in.  I love to workout....if I had someone making all my meals for me life would be so much easier.  I do enjoy cooking, it's the cleanup I don't love!
Here is my plan for the week:
Monday: lifting: chest & arms, cardio: 20 minutes HIIT treadmill intervals
Tuesday: lifting: legs, cardio: 20 minutes tabata
Wednesday (Christmas Eve): lifting: back & shoulders, cardio: 20 minutes HIIT treadmill intervals
Thursday (Christmas): cardio- Jillian Michaels Kickboxing- arms & abs 40 total minutes, 30 Minutes of Jillian Michaels Yoga inferno
Friday: lifting: legs (no cardio)
Saturday: rest or steady state cardio in the morning
Sunday: cardio and yoga

I am hoping that having a plan will help me to stay on track.  Usually is does help to know what I am doing each week.  Do you plan your workouts in advance?

The other thing that helps is thinking about what I am going to make each day to have in my fridge.  My eating is so much better when I am prepared with healthy choices and I am not eating out so much.
Here is a quick peek of what my weekly dinners looks like:
Tonight: turkey burgers with zucchini pasta and a little tomato sauce
Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: pork chops and Brussels sprouts
Wednesday: Christmas Eve dinner with my in-laws
Thursday: Christmas dinner with my family
Friday: most likely Christmas dinner leftovers
Saturday: a dinner out at a restaurant
Sunday: back to Turkey burgers, this time I will do a salad with hummus on the side.
My breakfasts are always similar, eggs, either bacon or chicken sausage (Applegate Farms), and fruit.  Sometimes I make Kodiak Cakes protein pancakes, or a piece of Rudi's gluten free toast or hash browns. Lunch is always a post-workout protein shake.  Then I have an afternoon snack usually an apple and almond butter.  Having some structure helps during the week.  Sometimes I will have lunch out with my little one or friends during the week too.
What does your week look like?  Do you plan your meals in advance?

I also have some fun news! I am working with a few of my Sweat Pink Sisters, Amber of Bold Fit Mom and Upala from Pretty In Pink Fitness to create a weekly linkup!  I have been trying to get involved in more linkups.  It is a great way to meet new bloggers and find new blogs to read and be inspired from.  We are hoping to get launched after the first of the year.  Which will be great since this is when people start to pay more attention to their health and fitness!  Stay tuned for more details and the launch date! If you are a blogger we hope you join us!

Have a wonderful Holiday week with your families! Make some time for your fitness and remember that at most it is 2 meals that you have to indulge, its not a whole week!  You can stay on track to reaching your goals with a little planning.

Today I am linking up with Mommy Runs Fast and Jill Conyers for the Weekly Meal Planning Link up.  Check it out and find some other super cool blogs to follow!!
post signature

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide for the Fit Girl in Your Life

It's so hard to believe that Christmas is only 10 days away!  I still have a list to make and shopping to do!  As I was thinking about the things that I would like to have for Christmas today I decided to come up with a list of things that the fit girl in your life might like, weather she is your wife, girlfriend, best friend, or family member.  I hope to make your Christmas or Holiday shopping a little easier this year.  Let's get started with this super fun and fit Holiday gift guide!

1) Gym Boss Interval Timer

I love my Gym Boss!  I use it when I want to get a timed circuit or tabata workout in.  It is also perfect if you travel and need to get a quick workout in.  There are a ton of fun colors to choose from!

2) Jump Rope
This is a simple gift that you can use as a stocking stuffer.  What fit girl doesn't like to jump rope?  You can pair it with the Gym Boss for a quick cardio workout!

3) Heart Rate Monitor
There are tons of different heart rate monitors on the market these days.  My favorite brand is Polar.  They have tons of models, so be sure to research what each one offers and choose the one that will do what your fit girl will need. If you know your fit girl is a runner Garmin offers a great line of watches to choose from. 

4) Workout DVD's
These are total time savers when you need to get a quick workout in at home.  I use them all the time to change up my workout and keep things fun in my workouts.  My favorite line of DVD's is Jillian Michael's.  I have tried a ton of hers and they are all great workouts!  Here are a few of my faves: Kickboxing, Yoga Inferno, 30 Day Shred, Yoga Meltdown, and Killer abs.

5) Ankle Weights
These are another great fitness add on gift.  I started using them in my leg/glute workouts and they really do make a difference.  You can get her a 2.5 lb pair and a 5 lb pair to switch it up.  They aren't just fashionable they are functional too!

6) New Gym Shoes 
What girl doesn't like to open up a brand new pair of shoes for the Holidays?  I know I get excited for a new pair every year.  My fave brand is Nike.  I choose the Free Run's every year because they are light weight but provide enough support for my lifting, HIIT and even my DVD workouts.  They are so versatile!  If you aren't sure what brand the fit girl in your life needs try to check out the ones she currently uses and get her the updated version (although make sure to include a gift receipt in case they don't fit right!)

7) Workout Gear
The one thing that always gets me excited for a workout is a cute new tank or pants!  I am always excited to try them out.  My favorite tanks right now are my ones with cute sayings from Pretty Fit Athletics.  They are comfy and soft and I love the motivational sayings to get me pumped up for my workout.  I am an ambassador for these tanks...use the code Angelena10 for 10% off your order!  Pair the tank up with a pair of Under Armor Capris and the fit girl getting this new outfit will be thrilled!  

8) Training Sessions with a Personal Trainer 
If your fit girl is looking to take her training to the next level she might like a few sessions with a personal trainer at her gym.  As a personal trainer I loved working with the clients who received training sessions as a gift, they were always so excited to workout.  If you don't want to choose a specific trainer you can purchase a gift certificate for her gym so she can use it on whatever she would like there.

9) Boxing or Yoga Classes 
You can search online for a studio near her home, check reviews from others who have visited so you can pick one she will be sure to use!  Most of the time these studios offer gift packages, so you can choose as many classes as you think she will use.  It is a fun way for your fit girl to change up her workouts!

10) A Subscription for a Fitness Box 
Set up a subscription for a fitness box that will come to her house every month or every other month!  It is the gift that keeps on giving!  I have received boxes from Bulu Box and I love the assortment of products they have to tryYou can get 50% off your subscription with code: BULUGAN016.  She will be thrilled to get her product box each month!  The other product box I received is from Fab Fit Fun, it was a gift from my husband.  I loved the new things that came each month to try.  If you want to check it out click here to sign your fit girl up!

As a fit girl I know that these are some great gifts your fit girl would love to receive for the holidays!
Are there any other things that you would add to the list?
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!!
post signature

Monday, November 24, 2014

Creating a Healthy Gut + Paleo again?!?

Last week I had the worst stomach pain/ache that I have had in a really long time.  I have a sensitive stomach and some mild food allergies/sensitivities.  So when I was feeling so bloated and full even when I was hungry I had no idea what was going on, but suspected it was what I was eating (processed food) and not eating (veggies).  It would come and go and I really wasn't eating a lot because of the pain that I was in.  Friday night was the worst, we went to lunch at a place we frequent and I had soup and a salad, for the rest of the night my stomach was so bloated and I was in pain anytime I moved.  I had my hubby stop and get me some kombucha, which is a fermented pro-biotic drink (more on that in a minute).  He said if I was still in pain in the morning I should go to the urgent care.  Well, if you have read any of my previous posts you know that I believe in healing naturally with food and lifestyle as opposed as going to the doctor for everything ( I know going to doctor when needed is important).  Saturday morning I was still in some pain but not as bad.  I struggled with the decision to go to the urgent care, but my thought was they would tell me I had a stomach bug and give me an anti-biotic.  I hate taking anti-biotics, they kill ALL the bacteria in your gut...good and bad!  Did you know that your gut health is directly linked to your immunity!  So I didn't want to wipe out all the bacteria in my gut (if that was even the problem).  So I decided to stick with the kombucha and cut out the foods I know are inflammatory to me, dairy, grains and sugar.  I made sure to eat lots of whole foods and made a few green smoothies to get some vegetables in too.  I also drank 1.5 more bottles of kombucha. By the evening I was feeling almost 100%! By Sunday I was back to normal and even ate a full meal (something I really hadn't done all week).  I was so ecstatic to have found a natural healthy way to get by gut health working properly again.  Kombucha to the rescue!!

The reason the kombucha helped so much is that it is a cultured, fermented pro-biotic drink.  I chose the GT's kombucha line because of the high pro-biotic count it has and the fact that they are live cultures means they helped right away.  I had had a few in the past here and there when I thought I was getting a cold and it always helped.  The link between gut health and immunity is not something that is new to me.  I have worked hard to get my gut health to where I wanted it to be in the past.  However lately, it was taking a backseat and I wasn't eating enough whole foods let alone veggies.  So enter the stomach ache.  I feel like my body was telling me something was wrong.  It was up to me to listen and figure out how to make it better.  I am happy I went the route of the pro-biotic and whole foods.  Had I gone to the doctor I most likely would have been given and anti-biotic and taken it I would have been left off with no healthy gut flora.  I am thankful that my past experience as a nutrition coach at Lifetime gave me the education to follow the path of natural healing.  Here is an awesome article by Dr. Mark Hyman on how to take care of your gut health.  Read it and learn how you can take charge of your own health by making your gut a healthy place.

I think this was my reminder that I need to pay more attention to what I am putting in my body.  I wasn't eating fast food or junk food.  However I was eating more processed food than normal and wasn't cooking enough of my own food.  I also know that I was not eating enough veggies. So that is a priority for me going forward...for me and my whole family.  I have made the decision to go back on Paleo for at least 30 days.  I know this will be a great re-set for my gut and overall health.  For me this means focusing on whole foods and avoiding the ones I know cause me the stomach pain.  I will keep you posted with my second journey with Paleo.  I remember how awesome I felt the last time I was paleo for 8 weeks.  All my sugar cravings were gone, my energy levels soared and I lost weight too!  So stay tuned!  Have you tried and elimination diet to re-set your gut health?  If so what is your favorite one?  I think that most Americans have some sort of allergy/sensitivity to the food they eat, but aren't connecting the dots to why they feel so terrible and are gaining an alarming amount of weight!  Whole foods is the way to go!!

 Lastly, I wanted to share a smoothie I made last night that tasted like chocolate and had greens!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Chocolatey Green Smoothie
1 scoop Vega Sport Chocolate Protein
2 tbsp. Spectrum Decadent Blend Chocolate + Coconut
1 apple
1 banana
2 kale leaves (no stems)
1 cup spinach
1.5 cups water
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
post signature

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life...It Gets So Busy! An Update On What's New!

It has been a little bit since I have posted, I have just been so busy and unfortunately my blogging ends up taking a backseat.  Not that I don't love it, it's just at the end of the day I am pooped and ready for a glass of wine.  I am still working on finding my balance with all things in my life, being a work from home mom and growing my personal training business, keeping my house in order (this suffers most days, sorry hubby!), daily responsibilities, spending time with my daughter, working out and then all the other little things there are to get done in a day, oh and I took up knitting and I have a list of things to make for people (more on that later).  I have learned to give up in trying to get everything done everyday and make sure I get the important stuff is done daily.   I know that not everything has to be perfect and if get most of what I need to done and my daughter goes to sleep happy then I had a successful day!  Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, so make sure you are taking the time to live life happy!  The photo above was taken by our photographer from Lulu & Lula.  She does great work and I am so happy she captured this photo, this is one I will treasure forever!

I also mentioned earlier that I learned how to knit!  I have been wanting to learn and decided to take a few classes at my local Micheal's Craft Store.  My cousin and a friend went with me and it was lots of fun!  I have been working on wrist warmers and boot cuffs ever since.  I posted some pictures on Facebook for fun and have had some order for them!  I am surprised people are willing to pay for my knitting!  I am thinking about opening and Etsy shop next year.  This will give me time to get some "inventory" for a shop.  Right now I am happy taking individual orders and working on them in my free time (mostly at night while we are watching tv and Ariana is sleeping.)  Needless to say it is a fun hobby and I am excited to have learned.  Check out the few things I have made and let me know what you think!

Last thing I want to mention that as a Pretty Fit Athletics Ambassador I now have a discount code that I can share with you all.  If you have had your eye on one of the cute tanks at Pretty Fit Athletics now is the time to get one!  You will get 10% off with the code angelena10.  Head on over and start your collection now!

I think I have caught you mostly up to date on what has been going on in my life.  I am going to try and blog at least once a week!  I really enjoy it and need to just get on to share new things with you all!

      post signature

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Destined To Be A Mother- Helping A Friend In Need

I came across my friend from high schools story when another friend posted a link to help cover the costs of bringing home her and her husband's soon to be adopted son.  As someone who as always wanted to be a mother herself, Angela's story struck a cord with me.  I remember how much she loved helping to take care of her brothers and talking about wanting to be a mom.  I truly feel that every woman who wants to be a mother should have the opportunity.  In hopes to share her amazing story and help raise money to help them bring their son home I asked Angela if she would be willing to share her story.  She is so strong, called on her faith and family and is on her way to becoming a mommy.  Please take a moment to read her story.

Angela's Story

My entire life has been framed around the day I would become a mother. Every choice I have made from the time I was a young girl, I made with my future children in mind. When I learned how to swaddle my baby dolls, kept a list of baby names in middle school, started working at a childcare center when I was seventeen, said no to peer pressure, joined the teaching program at Central Michigan University, said "yes!" to my caring, patient husband Ryan, bought an economy size washer and dryer, moved into the cul de sac of a subdivision and amassed a giant collection of children's storybooks I did all that with a clear picture of how it would affect the babies I would one day bring home.

 Caring for children has always come naturally to me. I spent my time while growing up babysitting my little brothers, neighbors, and many other families. I volunteered in the church nursery, and taught Sunday School and VBS.  It made perfect sense that I would study elementary education and childhood development in college and begin my career as a preschool teacher upon graduation. Mothering children was ingrained in my personality, it was my identity.  When I married in 2006 and my husband and I tried to start our family we were filled with hope and joy and the deep certainty that our "real" lives were about to begin. That was not to be, the future we had blissfully imagined was not God's plan for our lives.
  What was in store for us was a lot of painful growth down a path of struggle  We continued trying to conceive, on our own and with the help of doctors. We had no success.

In 2008 I was diagnosed with a rare, often deadly cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. A tumor had grown from my left kidney, through my renal vein into my inferior vena cava all the way to my heart. Over the next year with the support of my family and friends, the prayers of many, many people, and the help of my amazing doctors I endured twelve rounds of chemotherapy and a radical nephrectomy. By the grace of God, I survived and was allowed to remain here on this Earth with my loved ones.

While I was battling my disease I took comfort in the thought that perhaps this cancer was what was standing between me and motherhood. As soon as I completed treatment I begged my doctors to allow me to return to trying to become a mother. By 2010 I had their permission and went to see a reproductive endocrinologist. For two more years my husband and I went through the many invasive, painful, and expensive tests and treatments forced upon those desperate to become parents. One of my worst days came when I was told that the chemo that saved my life most likely took away my ability to conceive and give birth to a baby. Ryan and I were devastated, heartbroken, and lost.

We had no choice but to continue to live our lives and show love to the several nieces, nephews and godchildren we had acquired by then. Often, it hurt deeply to be around my students and other people living our dream when it seemed so out of reach, but each of the little ones we cherished would only be young for such a short time, and we refused to allow our grief to rob us of precious memories with them. We prayed that God would grant us a child of our own, and we were not choosy about how he would bring our baby home. We were open to foster care and adoption in addition to having our own biological children.
As the years crept by we began to pray that God would prevent our hearts from growing hard and bitter while we waited, and waited, and waited.

Then, unexpectedly, in May of 2014 a birth mom came and literally dropped her good news right on our doorstep. As a close family member of mine, she had observed Ryan and I on our long journey and wanted so badly to ease our suffering. She witnessed the love we have to give a child and chose us to raise her little one.  I don't know why God lead us down this long and lonely journey to parenthood, but I do know that He has brought THIS baby boy to us and I believe that we were meant to be his parents. We have delighted in preparing for his arrival, choosing his name, and attending doctor visits and ultrasounds.

 My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Through the sadness and despair, I have held tight to this message and cannot wait to get to know our sweet baby, and watch him grow over the years.

We are grateful beyond words for the indescribable gift our birth mom has bestowed upon us. We are also overwhelmed by all those who have reached out to support us with financial and emotional assistance as our greatest dream comes true. We consider ourselves immeasurably blessed and just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
~Angela & Ryan Edmond

To help Angela and Ryan cover the expenses of bring home their son a friend has set up a Donation Page.  Every little bit helps.  If you feel that you are able to help, please visit their donation page.  It's up to us to help those in need and to always Scatter Kindness.
post signature

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A New Month + Scatter Kindness

 I really can't believe that we are already 6 days into October.  Is this year just flying by or what?  I keep sitting down to write a blog post and something always interrupts me...but today I really wanted to share a few things with you all.  So here I am on this chilly fall day writing a post I have been meaning to write for 5 days now!  I love new months, it always feels like the beginning of something new with new opportunities.  Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, but for some reason I have been having a few "down in the dumps" days.  I know that we all have them, and I am human I have them too.  I think this happens when I am focusing on the wrong things.  I try to take a minute and figure out what is making me feel down and then decide what I can do about it.  I think one of the things that has been happening is that I am taking things to personally...have you read The 4 Agreements?  If not it is a wonderful book that I always refer back to when I need to evaluate how things are going and how I am feeling.  Of the the agreements is "Don't take anything personally."  This for me is the hardest one.  We are all so quick to think that everything is about us (it is in our nature).  I do this all the time.  If someone doesn't return a phone call, message or e-mail, I wonder what I did wrong or what that person didn't get back to me, and then I can get down about it.  If I remember not to take anything personally then it won't bother me.  It always has to do with the other person, most likely they are busy and have things going on that I know nothing about.  And more times than not they eventually get back to me.  I have been working on remembering this agreement and it helps to pick me up when I am feeling down.  I also call up a good friend (you know who you are), go workout, take my daughter for a walk or think about all the blessings that I have in my life.  At the end of the day, I am blessed to be exactly where I am in life.  I am taking the beginning of this new month to re-direct my thoughts and to remember the 4 agreements in my daily life.  Here are The Four Agreements, if you haven't read it I highly suggest it.  I have mine on my Nook and re-read it often.  What do you feel is the hardest agreement for you?

I have also started thinking about what I can do to help others.  I feel like I have so much to be thankful for that I want to find a way to help out and scatter kindness.  We all get so caught up in the day to day that I think we forget to give thanks for all the good that we have in life.  There is a saying or quote that goes something like: "Someone else is thankful for less than what you have".  Which makes me stop worrying about all the little things and give thanks for what I have in life.  I have a healthy and happy family, I have my health, I have friends that I love and who love me, a home to keep me safe and warm and food to eat everyday.  I want to start doing things for others...scattering kindness.  I would love to hear some of the things that you do to help others.  I am going to collect all the coats and blankets in my house and find a shelter in need of these items.  I want to find something each month that I can do for others.  If we all focused on what we are thankful for we would all be so much happier with what we have.  So, let's start a new trend of scattering kindness wherever we go.  If you have the opportunity to make someones day a little brighter...take it!
Lastly, I want to talk a little about my health & fitness goals for this new month.  It is always a great time to take a look at your goals every month and commit to your program.  No matter what your goals are if you decide what you want to achieve, make a plan and commit you can reach those goals.  My goals are to get back to keeping my workouts fun and exciting.  I think it is easy to get stuck in a rut, which seems to have happened to me.  I have added some Jillian Michaels workouts in, added boxing intervals and am adding my HIIT treadmill intervals back in.  I will keep lifting heaving and working on my functional strength too!  I love lifting and I always feel so amazing after a great workout.  What do you do you keep your workouts exciting?  In the spirit of new opportunities I have a new giveaway for October.  I will be giving away my HIIT E-book full of workouts and a GymBoss has given me an awesome interval timer to giveaway so you can do your HIIT workouts wherever you are.  I have had my GymBoss for years and would be lost without it during my tababta and boxing intervals.  Head over to the giveaway page for more details on how to enter.

Thank you to all my readers and those who stop by to my little piece of the Internet.  I am truly grateful for each and everyone of you.  It means a lot that you take the time to read my posts, really truly, thank you!
post signature

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Blog By Any Other Name + Lots of News!

I have been wanting to write this post since last week, I have just been so busy!  Well, here I am today and I am so excited to write this post and explain why I changed my blog name and what it means for the future of my blog/website.  I was up in the middle of the night last week, thinking about where I would like to take my blog and brand.  I also wanted to figure out how I could incorporate more of what I love into my blog.  Laying there, wide a wake I might add, I decided that I would re-brand to represent me and I came up with Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced.  I knew that this was a great fit for where I am in my life and in my journey.  I incorporate more about my faith, love of fashion, and more about my life in general.  I am still going to blog about healthy living, and fitness because both of those are still very important to me.

The quote from the image I created above is very fitting for where I am in my life right now.  We all search for who we are and what our purpose is in this world.  While I know that I am always changing and growing, I know that I am supposed to help others live a healthier lifestyle and also learn how to be balanced.  I really enjoy writing and sharing things about myself and my life.  A lot of time we are so focused on our day to day life we forget to stop and listen to what God is telling us.  We look at others and try to figure out who we are "supposed" to be.  But as I learned recently, "comparison is the thief of joy."  Why should I look to anyone but myself and my god for who I am meant to be.  I want to be the best wife, mother, sister and friend that I can be every day and while it might not be easy every day, I know all I have to do is stop and talk with God and remember how truly blessed I am in my life.  Don't forget to look around at all the blessings you have and know that where you are is right where you are supposed to be.

The biggest thing that I am working on in my life right now is to be 100% comfortable in my own skin.  I have spent so much of my life wanting to have different physical features and to be skinnier...all for what?  So that I could be happier?  I think with all the messages we have thrown at us from a young age, it becomes natural to want to look different and strive for "perfection".  If only we could change this!  I know that in order to be happy with myself I need to accept me for exactly who I am.  I try to see myself through my daughters eyes and only talk to myself the way I would talk to her.  I want to set the example for her, and I want her to grow up being happy and proud of who she is.  I think when we truly accept ourselves for who we are and really don't care what others think about us it really is a freeing feeling.  I don't mean that we can go around treating others badly, it just means that I am going to be who I am and if you love me great and if you don't well...I won't be losing any sleep over it.  I am living my life to be the best I can be and to be truly, 100% happy!  I hope that you will join me in LOVING YOURSELF!  You are amazing just as you are, love yourself, and treat those around you with kindness...everything else will fall into place.

My last piece of news is so exciting to share!  I was accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador!  I had applied the last time around and was not accepted so I kept working on building my name and my place as a fitfluential leader.  This time around I was accepted...never give up!  Always keep working toward your goals and dreams.  Fitness is a huge part of my life and I love to help inspire others to make it a part of theirs.  I want to say to congrats to all my fellow bloggers and sweat pink sisters who were accepted this time around too! 

Also a HUGE thank you all of my readers who have stuck with me!  I am excited for the new changes and ventures with my new brand.  I think that I will be able to cover more areas in my life and offer more to you, my awesome readers!  If there is ever a topic you would like to see please contact me!

post signature

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Next Best Thing...Healthy & Balanced

 Hi all!  I can't believe it's already mid August!  This year is just flying by.  I am working hard on my goals and feeling really great.  I have been consistent with my exercise and doing great at finding the balance I so need with nutrition.  I just potty trained my 2 and a half year old and she did great!  I am a proud mama.

As I mentioned above I am really finding my stride with staying healthy and balanced which really got me thinking about my past struggles and successes.  Recently I read a novel called The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner.  The title got me thinking about something that I do when it comes to weight loss...look for the next best thing.  I am a been there tried that girl, and the older I get, and hopefully wiser I get I have learned what really works the best for me and my body. I don't know about you, but when it comes to weight loss I have tried everything.  South Beach, Adkins, IIFYM, and most recently Paleo.  While I really loved the Paleo it was really hard to sustain with no whole grain carbohydrates.  Once I "fell off the wagon" with Paleo it was really hard to get back on that "wagon".  It made me do some soul searching and really listen to me, my body and what I want for myself.  I have learned through it all that what I need to do is eat a whole food based diet, allow for some balance with having some "treat" foods, drink a lot of water and workout with weights, HIIT training and cardio.  I don't know why I feel like I have to look to other things to really reach my goals when I know that I have what I need inside.

The biggest part of it all is being consistent.  This is something that I have struggled with in the past and I am working to make a priority in my life.  I know that if I am too strict with my eating at some point I am going to binge and then feel guilty about what I just ate.  I don't want to do that anymore.  I don't want a "label" to how I eat other than I eat a whole foods based healthy diet that is balanced and allows for treats when I want (that's a mouthful!).  I am ready to believe in myself because I know I have all the tools I need to get where I want to go.  Don't get me wrong I still want to learn and grow when it comes to nutrition, however from now on I am keeping it simple and trusting in myself.  I am so happy at where I am in my life and I truly want to help others to get to that place too.  I love my body, I am strong- in and out of the gym, and I really am happy.  Working out is one of the joys in my life and I want to eat to fuel those workouts and also enjoy a glass of wine with friends or take my daughter out for ice cream too!  I feel that life can be happy, healthy and balanced.  I will continue to work for the balance!  Some times you just have to eat the cupcake because life is short!
Have you struggled with this?  I would love to hear from you!

post signature

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reaching Your Goals...One Day At A Time

Hello!  How has your July been?  It is hard to believe that another month is coming to a close.  I had a wonderful month.  I set some goals and have been doing awesome.   I always start the month out with a workout schedule and I track all my workouts.  I have also been food journaling again, as this helps me to know if I am getting enough protein.  I am working on losing body fat while still building muscle.  Protein helps with muscle growth and repair so I need to make sure I am getting enough in daily.  Did you have goals for the month that you worked towards?  How did they go? 

I find that when it comes to getting my workouts done and working on my eating if I take it one day at a time, it makes it easier to tackle the goal.  I know what my weekly workout schedule is and know exactly what my workout will be when I wake up, so it is never a question of if I am going to workout.  I usually eat around 8:30am and workout around 10:30am.  I find that if I get my workout done first thing I will not skip it later because I am too busy.  Everyday I get dressed in my workout gear right after breakfast then do whatever chores or writing I need to do, this ensures I am mentally preparing for my workout.  Have you ever gotten dressed for the gym and then skipped it?  No one wants to take off gym clothes without doing a workout.  If you workout after work, pack your gym bag and change before you leave and head right to the gym.. Be sure to be prepared with a pre-workout snack or meal, and have protein in a shaker cup for your post-workout ride home.  I find that the "secret" to success is preparation!  If you have your meals ready to go, your workout clothes packed and a workout schedule ready for the week or month you are going to be able to stay on track.  If you feel like you don't know where to start check out my 4 Week Shape Up Plan, it takes the guess work out of reaching your goals. 

Here are some simple tips to help keep you on track to reaching your goals:
  • Write your goals down and keep them somewhere you will see them daily
  • Write your workout schedule down for the month 
  • Keep a workout journal
  • Track your food daily, at least for a few weeks to make sure you are eating the right foods
  • Keep your gym bag packed and have some extra snacks ready too
  • Have your meals prepped for a few days at a time
  • Find an accountability buddy
  • Keep track of your progress with pictures and measurements, not just scale weight
I hope these tips help you get started on reaching your goals or just help you to live a healthy lifestyle.  If you have questions or need help getting started don't hesitate to send me an e-mail. 

I was to excited that earlier this month I met Nicole Wilkins at her 5th Annual Nicole Wilkins classic.  She was so sweet and down to earth and if I wasn't so starstruck I would have asked her more questions.  She is such an inspiration to me.  She has created her life around her passion for fitness and has built an admirable physique.  I wish I would have asked her a few questions, but I did tell her that she is an inspiration of mine and that I follow her journey.  We stayed for the show, it was the first one I have seen.  It was so inspiring to watch.  I know that those athletes were totally dedicated and worked so hard to get their bodies into competition shape.  When we left my husband asked me if it made me want to do a show more or less...can you guess my answer?  I said MORE! 

I know that I have a ton of work to do in order to compete, but I have set some mini goals for my self.  We also have a vacation planned for this fall.  I want to rock a bikini so this helps keep me motivated.  My main goal is to lose body fat while building muscle.  I will see where I am at the end of the year an decide where to go from there.  It is always going to be a goal for me to compete.  I am not going to kill myself to get there.  I am going to work at it one day at a time and see where I am when 2015 comes along.  The 2015 Nicole Wilkins Classic is in the back of my mind and if I am ready when it comes time to do prep (usually about 16 weeks out) I will decide then.  I appreciate all your support with everything and it means a lot to get comments and feedback from you guys!

What are some goals you are working on?

Do you break down your large goals to mini-goals?

**Don't forget today is the last day to enter my July Giveaway!  There are almost 800 entries!  Good Luck and I will announce the winner tomorrow, so get your last minute entries in!**

post signature

Monday, July 7, 2014

Paleo Banana Nut Bread + A Giveaway

I love banana bread!  It is such a good way to use up over ripe bananas, and sometimes I let mine get extra ripe so I have an excuse to make banana bread.  In my 30 Day Paleo Re-set Group on Facebook, one of the members posted this recipe and I am so glad she did!  The original recipe can be found at Beauty and the Foodie.  I will re-post it for you here.  Stacey (the creator of this marvelous bread) made it with coconut flour (I used almond meal/flour) and even gives you a recipe for a chocolate sauce topping, which I didn't make, but it does look yummy!  Today I made 2 loaves one with chocolate chips and one without, my hubby didn't like the chocolate chips with breakfast (what?!?  I can eat chocolate anytime!).  They are moist and just sweet enough and the walnuts I added give it a good crunch.  This is such a yummy recipe that you won't even believe that it is grain free.  Go ahead and let those bananas ripen so you have an excuse to make this bread...soon!

Paleo Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Bread
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed.
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ Tbsp almond butter, melted (heat a little so it stir in easier)
  • 2½ Tbsp maple syrup or honey.
  • ½ Tsp baking Soda +1 tsp apple cider vinegar, mixed in a separate pinch bowl (it will be fizzy).
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt.
  • ½ Cup Almond flour
  • ⅓ cup Dark chocolate chips that are soy free, gluten free & dairy free, I use this brand 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350, and butter or oil a loaf pan.
  2. In large bowl combine all wet ingredients together : 3 Eggs, 2 mashed bananas, 2½ tbsp melted Coconut oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2½ tbsp melted almond butter, and baking soda apple cider vinegar mixture. Mix together well.
  3. Add almond flour and sea salt to the mixture and combine thoroughly.
  4. Add Chocolate chips and walnuts, mix well
  5. Spoon and spread batter into prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out of center of loaf clean.
This is seriously a wonderful recipe, if you do make it head over to The Beauty and the Foodie to let Stacey how you like it.  Be sure to come back and let me know too!

Giveaway Time!!

The July Giveaway is up and running!  Be sure to head over to the giveaway page and enter to win a PrettyFit Athletics workout tank of your choice and also a copy of my 4 Week Shape Up Plan.  I own about 5 of these tanks and they are my favorite workout tanks, they are comfy, high quality and are breathable during a hardcore workout! My 4 week shape up plan includes: weight training and cardio workouts that can be done at home or in a gym, workout schedule, whole real food guide with meal plan.
Weekly weight training and cardio workouts
Whole Real Food Guide and Meal Guidelines
Workouts can be done at home or in a gym
- See more at:
Weekly weight training and cardio workouts
Whole Real Food Guide and Meal Guidelines
Workouts can be done at home or in a gym
- See more at:
The giveaway will run for the whole month of July and you can come back and enter daily.  Good Luck!

Have you been wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, start re-shaping your body and boost your metabolism? 

I am excited to announce that I now have some fitness and nutrition plans available to help you meet your goals!  There are plans that you can just purchase and use as well as 1:1 coaching options for a more personalized approach to reaching your goals.  If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email before you purchase.  Click here to view the plans that are available.  I am excited to work with you on reaching your goals and creating your best and healthiest life!

I am working with some fellow bloggers to test out the 4 Week Shape Up Plan and I was excited to read Michelle's from Our Three Peas and hear that she is down 2 pounds in her first week.  Head over to her blog and read the review!  Thanks for the great review Michelle, I can't wait to hear how the next 3 weeks go for you!

post signature