Friday, January 13, 2017

Homemade German Chocolate Cake

For my husband's birthday I make him a german chocolate cake from scratch. It is a tradition that his mom started when he was younger and one that I continued and have continued for the last 14 years. I will say that the main killer ingredient that has to be made homemade, in my humble opinion, is the frosting. Yeah, the canned variety is great, but I have found that I LOVE the homemade frosting so much more! So regardless if I use a box for the cake, because some years I just haven't had the time or the willpower to make a homemade chocolate cake, I will always make the frosting by hand.

This year I did something different though. I didn't have any evaporated milk on hand. I thought I did but when I got home. I didn't. And I could have gone to the store to get it, but after researching how easy it was to make, although a little time consuming, I knew I could do it myself. Plus, one thing I learned is that the shelf life on the canned evaporated milk is YEARS! However, homemade evap milk is only a day or two, in the fridge, only. It made me think...what the heck makes the canned version last so long? I get it. It is sealed in a can but still, it didn't sit right with me for whatever reason yesterday so...I made the evaporated milk myself! Yes, I am crazy but, when I indulge in foods, I want them to be AMAZING and still as healthy and clean (no preservatives) as possible.

WAIT!!! I thought I came here for healthy eating and not junk food...Well, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. Or at least allowing yourself to still have indulgences. I firmly believe in eating clean and healthy 80% of the time and allow myself to enjoy other types of foods, that I don't eat very often 20% of the time.

Foods I eat less of / less often: sweets, treats like ice cream, cake, doughnuts, even pasta with cream sauce.

Foods I eat more of / more often: veggies, fruit, brown rice, lean protein, oatmeal.

Foods I avoid: processed foods, preservative laden foods.

General rule of thumb is to have an indulgent meal a week, or every other week, or once a month. It depends on how you want to think about it so that you can still enjoy life and avoid having major binge episodes. Think about it, in the past when you denied yourself having treats or whatnot, the diet didn't last long and often would end in a binge episode. Since I am not on a diet, but a lifestyle change, I need to allow myself those treats so that I don't deprive myself of the things that my mind wants or those fun meals with my family. My goal, to usually have an indulgent meal once a month for a birthday, Valentine's day. Holiday, family get together. If you can use those days as the day that you indulge and enjoy foods you don't have very often you are more likely to succeed and reach your healthy natural weight. Healthy living is not about depriving yourself. It is about creating healthy habits!



1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup coco powder plus 1 tablespoons more for pans
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs (or 3 large eggs) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans. Spray with cooking spray then dust the pans with coco powder. shaking it all over the pans to coat.
Sift flour, sugar, coco, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. mix on low speed until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
with mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined. Scape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean
Cool in pans.
Frost as desired.


12 ounces of homemade evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups (6 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) pecans

In a large pot combine evaporated milk, brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil.
Once at a boil remove from heat.
Add salt, coconut and pecans and stir
once evenly coated, transfer to a medium bowl and let cool before frosting.

makes 12 ounces (equal to 1 can) of evaporated milk

30 ounces whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring milk to a simmer, stirring frequently (do not let boil, because it will boil over very quickly and make a HUGE mess)

Once simmering lower temperature to medium low heat and now the waiting begins. Stir with a spatula every 5 minutes for about 40 minutes to break up the skim on the top to allow the milk to steam / evaporate the water in the milk and also to help avoid burning the milk on the bottom of the pan. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with every pass.

You may have to measure a couple times to make sure you have the desired amount of 12 ounces.

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Fit Family Couples Workout

The other day I actually talked my husband into joining me for my workout. Poor guy, had just finished pulling the night shift watching over Collin who was in the hospital for 7 days, and also had some of the same sickness that Collin had. So he wasn't 100%. But he craves to workout as much as I do. Check out some of the fun we had in our workout!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

RSV Symptoms & Awareness

If you have been following me on Facebook you know that my middle child got super sick just after Christmas. When he gets a bad cold he has always been wheezy a little, and it really takes a toll on him, but 4 days after Christmas he just started to get sick. And right away he became super snuggly with me (I don't mind that at all!) By the next morning he was really wheezing and was having difficulty breathing. His shoulders were rising quite a bit with each breath and you could just see it in his face he was struggling. Also Elyse was starting to get sick too. So I called the pediatrician right away. I always get scared having such a young baby during the bad cold and flu season.
Day 1: Pediatrician office
Day 1: Just after being admitted

When we arrived to the office, our doctor asses both Collin and Elyse (Mason already had the crud and was over it. We call him Patient 0). Elyse was showing signs of being sick but wasn't wheezing. Collin on the other hand, we ended up doing 3 breathing treatments in office for Collin to help his breathing. After the 3rd treatment the amount of oxygen he was getting was actually getting worse, they wanted him above 92 and he had dropped down to 87 and we were sent straight into the hospital to get him admitted. Once there he got tested for RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is a severe respiratory infection.
Day 2
New Years Eve: Day 2

We spent 7 days, doing breathing treatments, keeping him on oxygen, 104 degree fevers, a chest x-ray, 2 blood draws and antibiotics trying to figure out what this was. The main thing was he was sick with a really, really, really bad cold that can lead to pneumonia, and they did find some stuff in his lungs on the x-rays so he was put on antibiotics. But the one thing that was keeping us there the longest was his pulse oxygen levels. He would dip as low as 81 (Again the prime number they wanted was above 92) It was scary. He acted like he was fine most of the time, unless his temperature spiked, which it did a lot! The main thing is when your mommy brain goes off that "my kid isn't right!" GET YOUR KID TO THE DOCTOR! I was going to wait a day before I took Collin but just something in my head said, "NOPE GO NOW!" And we did. It was the first time I had a truly very sick child and I hope we don't have to go through that again.
Day 3

Rapid breathing
Effort To breath
Extreme Fatigue
Change of color to skin due to lack of oxygen
Day 4
Day 5

Good hand washing is key to help contain the spreading of germs. But that can be difficult when an older sibling brings them home from school. (Patient 0). If you do have a sick child or sibling try to isolate them from your other kids to avoid the transfer of the sickness. RSV is highly contagious. We were in isolation for 6 of the 7 days we were there.
Day 6
Day 7
8pm on day 7- Collin is getting discharged! 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Plus Size Pregnancy Progression

Plus size and pregnant. To be honest I was hoping I would be less on the scale than I was when I found out I was pregnant. I had just lost 20 pounds using 21 Day Fix and BAM! We were expecting. Since I am plus size I was prone to develop gestational diabetes,  pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor,  and have extra aches and pains since my body is already carrying extra weight. But I worked hard everyday of my pregnancy to make sure that I didn't gain too much weight and that I still exercised. And hoped that the hard work would pay off by not having to lose as much in the end. I ended up gaining a total of 26 pounds. You can get a glimpse into my plus size pregnancy progression and postpartum progression below. I am kicking myself for not getting the courage to take these photos earlier in my pregnancy. But these are when I was really starting to show with my pregnancy.
Goals during my pregnancy- 4th Trimester:
Exercise 5 days a week
Not give into cravings too much
Eat better over all
Learn to love my body
Allow myself 1 month to not restrict eating after baby
Start back with clean eating and normal healthy lifestyle of eating at 4 weeks pp
Light exercise 6 weeks pp, after ok from doc
8 week pp, hit exercise hard and keep building from there
17 weeks pp increase intensity to build more muscle in body and help shed excess fat

2017 goal: 
24% body fat
defined, lean muscle
Love myself no matter what
Get personal training certification
Professional Fitness photos
Help as many women who want and need the support to reach their goals and dreams too!

Long story short. Take care of your body while pregnant. It is easy to indulge in every sweet thing you have been denying yourself and not feel any guilt about it because you are growing a baby. But really, you want to be eating better while pregnant because you are growing a baby. Exercise 5 days a week to keep your body healthy. And when you are cleared from your doctor. Be smart. Eat enough calories to sustain your supply if breastfeeding and exercise 5-6 days a week, but don't push yourself too fast too soon. Go back into exercising slowly and slowly increase intensity and endurance over time. It took 9 months for your body to change and it can take awhile to get your body back to how you want it.

If you are wanting to get the help to reach your goals. Support, motivation, accountability, friendship, guidance from someone who has been there. Started at 0 and join you in your journey please, EMAIL ME NOW! Let's chat and talk about your goals. Talk about what we can do together to SUCCEED! 
12/14/15- Weight: 236.5
Weight: 252.4
Weight: 262.3
Weight: 264.3
Weight: 245.5
Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Top 10 Personal Development Books To Read for 2017

I had such low self esteem for most of my life. Even as an adult I would be so scared to let the real me show. What if I said something wrong, swore and offended someone, what are they going to think of me after this, what if I disappointed so and so... All these things have run through my mind as an adult. And it is totally natural. But what makes the difference between us is how we react to these things. As a health and wellness motivator and supporter I have to open myself up in one way or another. Whether it is posting pictures of me in tight clothing (that took some time to get used to), talking about my struggles with my eating habits or just getting through life to now I had to work on me mentally to be able to open myself up to feel "okay" with what I was doing. And that all started with me starting to read personal development. And now, after a year of doing it regularly I have opened myself up to being more vulnerable, open and I am even posting pictures of me in a sports bra!

I say a year, because prior to this I didn't really think I needed it. I'm an affiliate with Beachbody and one of our daily to action steps to do is to read at least 10 minutes of personal development a day. Again, I didn't think I needed it. Until I started to go see my counselor. Yep. Seeing someone to talk about "my problems" really opened up my mind to how much I really needed it. And let me just say, counseling is amazing. It has helped me so much. I have finally learned how to cope with difficult situations in my life in a different way. But when my counselor advised that I start reading personal development, I finally got off my high horse and dove into it. And really, to make a complete change in your lifestyle, especially going through weight loss, I highly suggest you start reading personal development because you have to change the way you see yourself, think about yourself, feel about yourself and how you love yourself if you truly want lasting changes when you do lose the weight. A lifestyle change is not a quick fix, lose weight fast thing. It is for life. It is a change in your mind and body for the better to be better! 

So...what personal development books are my favorite? Check out my list below! 
6) Girlboss - Sophia Amoruso

Want more daily motivation and inspiration?
 Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!


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