Listening to a miracle.

I have always been a geek at heart.  I love to read.  However, lately cannot seem to find much time to just sit and enjoy a book.  I know that come summer i can plant my bum in a beach chair and zen out to the sea in the background with a page turner.  Until then, i have to come up with some creative alternatives.  One of which is BOOKS on tape…. I age myself, now they are books on my iphone!

One of the best books that i read/heard a couple of months ago was by Gabby Bernstein, Spirit Junkie.

This book helped me to really come to terms with some of the fears that i had and really know that if i love myself and others first that i can succeed and accomplish whatever i put my mind to.  hmm… maybe i should listen to it again?  Do you ever re-read a book?

Well… I have been having a tough time balancing life lately and struggling to cope with stressors.  Oddly enough, as soon as i  thought about doing something about it, i got a new email – a blog post from Gabby on her NEW BOOK, Miracles Now.  I often read self-help books that will provide some great tips, but nothing concrete that i can apply in my daily life.  Now, i have JUST started listening/reading this book as of last week!  But, in the short time that i have been listening, i can tell you that Gabby provides some amazing tools, tips, and meditations that you can apply to your life TODAY, right now, this very instant!!  Each tip is a “Miracle Message” and she provides a # for you to pass it on!!

I am almost sad that i didn’t purchase this book in a hard copy.  I think the next time I venture over to the bookstore I am going to purchase a copy, that way I can highlight my favorite messages and have the meditations available when I need them most.

Do you ever read any self-help books?

If so, what’s your favorite?

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Mind over Munch!

 

We have all been there… it’s 3 pm, we are walking by the office kitchen or “snack area” and we see the leftover cookies from lunch.  We see it, smell it, grab it, and just go.  There’s no thinking.
Or everytime we walk by the candy dish, we grab a handful of M&M’s.  After 5 trips by that bowl through the day, you’ve eaten a lot of sugar and calories without even thinking about it.
We have to train our brains to STOP mindless eating.  We are doing a disservice to ourselves and our bodies.
Mindless eating is defined as eating while distracted, hurried or in a state of high emotion (excitement is included in this!).  I have fallen prey to this multiple times.  It typically happens when watching TV for me!  Everything from an exciting football game, to the last minutes of a chopped challenge!  (how did they cook all of that food in 20 minutes?!?)
Mindless eating falls into a few categories,

  • distracted eating – when you’re not fully aware you’re doing it.  I sometimes will eat while i’m making dinner!  I don’t even realize that i’m not just tasting the food to see if it tastes right, no i’m full on eating an entire meal before my dinner!
  • emotional eating – most of us are women here! we eat when we’re sad, depressed… or if we’ve had a bad day and we need to “soothe” ourselves with something comforting.
  • stress eating – when we come home from work and just need to unwind, so we grab the first thing we can, sit down and just eat to forget the day.

So how can we get a handle on these chaotic eating habits??? And make it Mind over munch??
Slow Down!  Enjoy your meal or snacks vs. scarfing it down!  I heard once to actually chew your food.  Weird to think about it, but even having that quick reminder to yourself, will slow you down!
Limit distractions – turn off the tv, get off the phone.  This is also a great time to just enjoy the fruits of your labor of cooking too!  You’ll learn to enjoy the time with your family as well!
Eat sitting down – when we’re standing we tend to graze more! If you sit down with a plate, you’ll most likely eat only what’s on your plate.

If you feel the need to eat and it’s not a “meal”/”snack” time or you just ate.  Give yourself a few minutes, have a drink of water, go for a walk or do an activity.  Then ask yourself, am i still hungry?

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I’ve never been a “me”, I’ve always been a “we”…

Did you know I was a twin?  Yup.  Identical.  I’m the older one, by a mere 60 seconds.

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Neat fact… my parents didn’t even know they were having twins until about a month before we were born.  I’m not quite sure how no one asked questions considering my mom was a peanut and was HUUUGGGEEE!  Per stories from my family she got stuck in doorways in a MG Midget!

So the reason I mention that I’m a twin.  Two actually.  First, it’s our BIRTHDAY!  Golden Birthday to be exact.  Have you ever heard of a golden birthday?  Apparently it’s when you turn your birthday on the date of your birthday.  For example, this year we are 31 on the 31st!  (Oh yah, we are also New Year’s babies! Double tax write off for my papa!)

twins current

Second reason I mention it is because I came to a huge realization this past week.  I was telling someone about me and I kept referring to myself as “we” in my past history.  It wasn’t until about 10 minute into the conversation the person I was talking to asked, “who is we?”  I quickly replied “oh, my sister and i.” It was at that moment that I realized that I will never be a ME.  I never have been, and never will be.  I have always been a WE.  I know that we have grown, and separated.  We live on separate coasts of the United States, and she is now married and creating her own new family.  But we will always be intertwined as a “WE”.  She is my soulmate.

Yes, I hope to have a “love” someday that will be my soulmate, that person that I will love more than myself.  However, my twin sister and I have a different bond.  It’s almost as much for me to say that I can’t breathe without her.  She is my other half, my best friend, sometimes my worst enemy… But I know that I am 150% certain that she was put on this earth for me, and I for her.

We have gone through some difficult times in our lives, and have always had to lean on each other.  I know that there is no way that I could have gotten through my life without my sister.  She played devil’s advocate MORE times than I can count, she calls me on everything I do wrong, she lifts me up when I need it, and she would fly across the country if I needed it.  Heck, most times with our “twin” powers, she doesn’t even need a call from me, she just knows when I need her….

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I just wanted to write my first blog post in a LONG time in thanks to her.

Sissy, we have spent 31 years together.  You are creating your new family, and I am just blessed that you include me in that.  I cannot wait to celebrate our birthday together this year!

I’ll be there soon.

oxo.

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Savory Puffy Pancake Recipe!

Posted from my IG for http://www.toneitup.com #summersizzle

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@karenakatrina #summersizzle #toneitup #recipe @toneitup savory puff baked protein pancake!!! I made this up the other night!?!  It was loosely based on a puff pancake my twin sis and I used to make that had lots of butter and flour! This was two base ingredients Egg whites and protein powder!  I used pea protein as I can’t really digest ‘rice’ based proteins after lunch time.  #sunwarrior I added spinach, asparagus, and carrots, #nooch! And baked! Yum yum yum!!!  ½ cup egg whites, 2 egg real egg whites, 1 scoop protein powder (natural flavor), 1 T nooch, I also did a dash of salt and pepper! Preheat oven to 400, pop veggies in a sauté pan (must not have handle that can melt!) and leave in oven to “semi roast veggies”.  Then I prep my other ingredients while that’s in the oven.  I beat the egg whites (all of them) until foamy with a hand blender whisk.  Then added protein powder and nooch.  Take pan out (with a pot holder!), spray with some #coconut oil and then pour egg white mixture on top!  Put in oven for 20 minutes. I checked on it at 15 to see.  Once it starts to brown on top! #glutenfree #dairyfree #eatclean #protein #weightloss #lowfat #tiuteam #tiusisters #toneitupnutritionplan

Today I plan on having ½ of it for lunch topped with some tahini!!

savory puff pancake

How do you get comfortable with being uncomfortable???

Okay, I get it. NO one likes to change.  Actually, we all have a physical reaction when something changes, good or bad.  We’ve all heard about the effects of stress on our bodies and the damage it can do?  Well what causes stress… CHANGE!  So any common sensed individual would be screaming right now, so WHY WOULD I WANT TO CHANGE?  Because some changes, while they may be difficult for us to go through in the moment will BENEFIT our overall health, both physical and emotional, long-term.  Sometimes we have to step back and think of the bigger picture…

What have you been wanting to change in your life?  There must be something!?  I am always a body in motion.  I am growing, learning and changing every single day.  Some may beg to differ that I will change in my personality, ahem ahem my father (who I live with!) lol, but for the most part, I am willing to adapt!  :P Do you want to change your body?  Eat better? Give up smoking? Save more money? Get out of debt?  Well… you’re going to have to change something to get to that goal, because right now WHAT YOU’RE DOING ISN’T WORKING.  I don’t mean to CAPS yell at you.  Well, I guess I do, but it’s just so you can understand!  You really have to look internally and think about what the cause is.  Why isn’t what you’re doing to work toward your goal working?  Obviously something isn’t working!  We can all come up with excuses, “Well so and so brought in a cake last Friday, and I had to eat some or they would be offended” or “My friends wanted to go shopping, and I couldn’t just go and not buy something”.  There is always an excuse so that we don’t have to change.  It’s our “scapegoat”.  What we need to stop doing is looking at others and start looking at ourselves.  Because, for the most part, that’s where the stem of the problem is.  And if you aren’t willing to change your habit or behavior, then things will NEVER change, and could even get worse.  For example, bad eating habits… you keep eating poorly or making excuses, you’re going to continue to gain weight or, even worse, could develop a health condition.  If you don’t stop spending money, you’re just going to go further and further into debt.

We have to get a little uncomfortable to get what we want!

 

Now, I do a lot of personal development.  I listen to a lot of podcasts talking about this idea of change, and that we need to change.  We should work  to create new habits, etc.  Some of them get me so fired up, but then they don’t follow through on giving me the tools to do so!  I still love them though.  They’re like the cheerleaders to the tools that I’ve collected in other places!  I’m going to share some tips that have collected and that have worked for me.  They may not work for you… but I know I’m a pretty tough cookie to crack, so if they work for me, they might be worth a shot in giving them a try.  These are pretty amendable, so they could be transitioned for different situations.

·         You have to more than one goal.  I’ve said this before.  You can’t jump a staircase, or a mile.  You have to take it ONE STEP at a time.  What does one step entail?  It’s basic, I know.  It’s putting one foot in front of the other.  But each of those steps is a goal to get you to the end point.  I try to think of it like a staircase.  I start with my main goal.  And then I look at it in pieces, what is it going to take to get me to that goal?  I then think of a mid-point and then work my way out from there.  I take as many steps as I need to succeed.  It’s going to be individual for each of you.  As an example…. My dog needs to lose weight.  Here’s his step chart!

 

o   Lose 15 lbs Weight (2-3 months)

     §  Go for 2 10 minutes walks twice a day (week 4)

·              Cut back dog food by ½ cup (Week 3)

                      o   Go on a 10 minute walk twice a day (Week 2)

                              §  Cut back dog food ¼ cup in morning (week 2)

·                                        Walk fumble to the end of the driveway 3 x day (Week 1)

                                                    o   Cut back dog food ¼ cup in the evening (week 1)

As you can see… I created a step chart, and then I added a timeline for each item! I also set realistic timelines.  I have never had a dog lose weight before, let alone a 200 lb creature.  So… I set my goal time a little extended.  I knew how to manage his food, and I know his walk schedule and that we had to increase his resistance for walks.  Change was uncomfortable for him.  He hates walks.  He was starving and asking for more food.  BUT, I didn’t give into him begging.  It was uncomfortable for him because he was hungry and his schedule was messed up.  It was uncomfortable for me because A. I had to change my schedule to walk him, (as well as my dad) and B. we had to say “no” to him when he was begging.  I kept thinking that I wanted a dog that was going to be around longer… and then it hit me.  My goal wasn’t for him to lose 15 lbs.  It’s bigger than that, it’s for him to be around longer and enjoy his doggy life.

Now, I know this is a silly example.  But it’s easy to understand for the steps.  Does it?  Please let me know

·         YOU HAVE TO step out of your comfort zone.  One of my goals is to meet new people, and make some new friends.  I have to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there to do this.  I’m not going to attract friends while sitting at my desk, or in my house on the weekends.  I have to constantly talk to strangers.  I KNOW this is something we are told not to do as children.  However, I know my Turbo Fire and Les Mills moves!  I can bring it if I need to! :P I also know who I shouldn’t just go up to and strike a conversation with! Lol.  I have also stepped out of my wheelhouse and have gone to a few meetups from meetup.com.  To me, this is the equivalent of blind dating for friends.  It is NOT easy! And it’s hard to do on your own, but I did it!!  And I will continue to attend them!  It’s a great way to meet new people!

·         Visualize.  We can all set action statements.  My goal is… However, I think it’s important to give a reason why.  And I think it’s important to rephrase into as much of a positive statement as possible.  When I succeed, I will… For example…. When I lose weight, I will be able to play with my children outside.  Put a reward to it!  Aren’t we all more apt to do something if there is a reward attached?  Pavlov’s Dog 101!

·           Make a competition for yourself!  Join an accountability group.  Do something that will hold you accountable daily.  This can be as simple as going to the dollar store and getting gold star stickers and putting a sticker on every day that you do some type of fitness!  You will enjoy putting that gold star on that calendar!  Or post your photos on IG.  It will be like a daily goal for you.  I can eat clean because I need to post my meals on Instagram!

·         Don’t stop learning.  Educate yourself as much as you can about behaviors, or things related to your goal.  I have podcasts galore on my iphone and I buy self-help audiobooks and listen to them when I’m driving to and from work.  Most audiobooks come with the book section as well for you to track your notes!

·         Try to surround yourself with people that won’t sabotage your success.  For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, you won’t stand outside with your normal crowd for 10 minute breaks.  That would be like hanging a mouse in front of a cat!  You want to surround yourself with ‘Like-minded’ individuals.  Join a new club, or a book group!  Or join a walking or running group.  Most running shoe stores actually have running groups that you can join!

·         Manage your surroundings!  Don’t buy unhealthy food.  If it’s in your cabinet, it’s only going to whisper your name.  Eat me, Eiren.  Eat me, Eiren.  It’s like Alice and Wonderland in your cupboards.  I try not to buy anything with sugar.  If I want something, I have to go out and buy it.  And more than likely in that entire process, is the bar of chocolate REALLY that worth it for the gas it’s going to cost for me to go purchase it?  Sometimes yes, but most times no.

·         Set reminders on your phone.  You can even get creative and visual with this one!  For example.  I snack while I make dinner.  Well, most nights I make dinner at the same time.  I can always set up reminders to show myself photos of my “sweaty selfies” or that bikini that I’ve been eyeing to buy.  Those reminders will trigger me to STOP and think about my habit!

·         Invest in your goal.  For example, if you are trying to lose weight.  Give yourself a reward (this goes back to the reward concept) for every day that you ate 100% clean.  This may not be every day because, heck, I eat healthy and I’m not “clean” everyday!  So say for every day you put $5 in a jar.  Well, at the end of the year I bet you’ll have a nice little jar all set up for something to treat yourself to.  Or perhaps enough to go away for the night and celebrate that new little body you’ve been working hard for!

·         Know your triggers.  This is a hard one because you have to put some thought into it.  I’ve heard people say that they mindlessly eat when they watch tv.  Well, instead of eating while watching tv, pick up a new habit.  Learn to knit.  Or brush the dog.  Or get up and jump rope or do some pushups when you get that “food urge”.  Most of us don’t drink enough water through the day, so I turned my mindless eating habit into drinking water.  I’ll get up and go to the kitchen, but instead of filling a bowl, I refill my water bottle.

Always remember that you are more likely to succeed if you plan for your “future” self.  These may seem like a lot of steps and a lot of work to do upfront.  However, if you don’t make time and change, then you’ll never change!  And if you don’t change… you don’t succeed.

What’s the worst that can happen?  At least if you TRY, then you are setting the wheels into motion and YOU ARE ALREADY CHANGING AND GROWING.  You aren’t standing still any longer!!

I hope this rambling , long post made some sense!

Oxo

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What are some changes that you have struggled with before?

What are some tips that have worked for you to create new habits and grow?

What are some of your favorite personal development books that have helped you?

making a belly change….

Hey all!!! OMG, so please don’t shoot me!! I have been SOOOO busy and have completely neglected my poor little blog.  NO MORE… i am back!!!!!

I will do a quick write up about what i’ve been up to in the last few months….

but here is my new blog on my belly change!

New food rules for me!! I have been STTRRUUUGGLING with too much food at dinner.  It’s almost 99% more psychological than anything and I am sabotaging all of my hard work.  I heard Trish Blackwell (Trishblackwell.com PS> AMAZING podcastS!) talk about this on her podcast and I’m going to put it into motion… along with all of my other food revisions as well!

Now I just need to plan out WHAT I’m going to eat!?? Lol!

AS SEEN ON TRISH BLACKWELL’S PODCAST!

 HUNGER SCALE

0=starving

1=empty

2=ravenous

3=hungry

4=pangs of hunger

5=neutral                                 4-6 is my “GOAL” zone! and i will be okay if i hit a 7 for now!

6=satisfied

7=full

8=stuffed

9=uncomfortably stuffed

10=sick to my stomach

- See more at: http://www.trishblackwell.com/5-intuitive-eating/#sthash.UZFysw1m.dpuf

What are my other food revisions??

Well. Let met me enlighten!

If you’ve read my past posts, you know that I have issues with IBS, or so that’s what they tell me.  And I am convinced that is because they don’t know what else is wrong with me.  In all of my research, I really should do an elimination diet or the FODMAP to see if I get any relief, however, I feel like a three year old screaming “I don’t want to!”.  I really don’t want to give up anymore.  It’s hard enough being 30, and trying to have a social life and find what you can eat that doesn’t upset your stomach, or makes you look 3 months preggers, OR having to explain yourself EVERy time you eat in front of someone.

I have learned to be confident in my decisions with food.  It is what it is, I can’t change it!  So I am okay with it.  However, after about the third person questioning what you’re eating, or why you’re not eating, or looking at me crazy because I have to send my food back because the order came with croutons even though I asked for it without, can be exhausting! (Almost as exhausting as that sentence.  Wow, do I detect passion in my writing? Lol.)

I have gone through and had success with little pieces of diet plans!

First, I started with the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan.  BEST investment.  Because it really started to help guide me with my gluten free lifestyle.  I was able to integrate dairy free into the plan as well! Plus, losing those last pesky lbs didn’t hurt too much either!!!

To this day, I still follow that plan 80% of the time.  My only pitfall is squash at dinner.  And I usually overeat it!!

I have been going through the motions with the gluten/dairy free lifestyle for a while now.  I know that most people will say that stress and IBS don’t mix.  They don’t!  I had a little hiccup in a diagnosis gone array a month or so ago, and there was quite a bit of grief and stress related to it!  All is better now, however I think my stomach didn’t like my psyche too much during that time!

I did some more research and one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Koffman @ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/ was talking about her ebook one day.  The Gutsy Girls Bible.  If you struggle with any digestion issues, this is a great resource from someone who understands, and has gone through it.  Still going through it too, if you read her blog!

I started reading her book and I began to slowly eliminate things from my diet that way too… I have stopped eating avocados, tomatoes, I try to cook my veggies instead of eating them raw… I don’t eat peppers anymore (RIP salsa!).  However, for all that I gave up, the feeling of eating a meal and not feeling like I am going to float away after is worth the sacrifice!!

I have learned to identify my “triggers”, or foods that I know will show up in symptoms after eating them.

However, along with that ‘stress’ came some old revolving food issues for me.  I didn’t realize it until this Monday.  I have a disordered eating past.  I have definitely come a LONG way and will never return to not eating.  However, I still battle with my relationship.  I don’t think I’ll ever be cured, but just able to deal with it better on a daily basis.  AKA food can’t win.  It doesn’t control me. BUT, I sometimes slip.  And I have realized that I have been ‘overeating’ now.  This morning I woke up with food guilt for the first time in a few months.  And this past 6 months, I have had food guilt at least 3 times.  That’s 3 times too many in my book.  NO ONE should have food guilt.

Okay, so I guess I should back up…. do you know what food guilt is?? www.hercampus.com defines food guilt as a spectrum.  There is your basic food guilt where you indulge in a meal and feel horrible the next day.  Then there is a more serious situation, where after every single meal you feel excessive guilt, shame or potential regret.  When I was in my disordered eating phase, every meal had food guilt. It is no way to live.  No person should feel any bit of shame for eating a meal!  Or feel badly for fueling their body.  It took me a LONG time to get over that guilt, so even when it rears its ugly head in a non serious way I get cautious.

Well, when I realized this, I thought about what can I do to change it?  If I stay the same, then I will probably go down a path that I will not like myself for.  And life is just WAY TOO SHORT not to like yourself!!  So I have made a decision to try another technique!  This grade my hunger thing!  I am going to go back to eating my 6 meals a day, which I have sort of gotten away from, and I am going to gauge each meal!  Half way through, I will stop and ask myself, am I still hungry?  If I am, I will finish my meal.

I am also a psychological eater… is anyone else tricky like this?  I will take 1 serving size and make it into two.  I always feel more satiated if I eat two servings vs. one… even thought that two really is one.  Hey, it works for my silly head and belly!

So I will keep you updated on my new habit! And let you know how I do!!

In the meantime….

Have you ever suffered from food guilt?

 Do you play tricks on yourself to let you think you’re eating more, when you’re really not?

oxo

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My Shakeology Muffin!

I recently posted a photo of my Shakeology Microwave muffin that I make and I have decided to blog the recipe!

I make a LOT of crazy recipes and I never know if they taste good or not.  Maybe some of my other gluten free, dairy free folks can relate? But i feel like i’m so used to eating weird foods, i could eat cardboard and it would probably taste good!

I came up with my Muffin recipe because i am a psychological eater. I need to chew food.  I can have a smoothie, or even soups, but psychologically i don’t feel satisfied if there is nothing to “chew” on.  I almost always feel unsatisfied and will find something else to eat, defeating the whole purpose of the smoothie!  I don’t know if anyone else has this problem?  But i realized it in my reflection of my eating patternS!  Chewing means a meal to me!  :P

I gave the recipe to another one of my fav bloggers Sara from Workout Brussels Sprouts, and she liked it!  And then I finally convinced my dad to buy Shakeology and try it!

Shakeology is a protein powder/meal replacement shake that is sold by Beachbody.  I am a Beachbody Coach and really LOVE the product.  Being that with my IBS, veggies seem to cause flair ups, i know there are days that I don’t get enough fruits and veggies.  I also know that my body needs extra calcium, so i love that i can get that benefit as well.  I purchase the chocolate vegan flavor, as i cannot have dairy either.  It’s one of the best tasting powders out there for me.

I know that everyone has their own favorites, heck, i also have other over the counter powders that i love, ie. Sunwarrior Vegan Raw.  FAVORITE too!!!

Well, i was worried because i noticed my dad hasn’t been eating 100% great. I’m home and watch what he eats, and i had a sit down, heart to heart with him, that i’m already without a mother, i would prefer not to be a lost child, so he needs to start taking care of himself.  He figured it was worth a shot.  Well, to introduce him to it! I made him my Shakeology Muffin that i eat every morning.  He has A VERY PICKY PALATE.  For someone who is very “vanilla” and meat and potatoes, you’d think he has a side job as a five star critic.  I would get him cupcakes back in NY from places renowned for their bakery pieces, and he was respond “eh, it’s okay”.  I was a little nervous yesterday morning.  But, after one bite, he LOVED it!!  He loves that not only can it satisfy a nutritional need, but also the chocolate craving!

You’ve all probably seen recipes floating around the internet with different microwave muffins.  I actually got my base recipe from a few sites…  and it was more for my Protein Waffles.  I started to have trouble with bananas, which i usually use, and tried to substitute pumpkin puree instead.  It worked great!!  So…. here is my Shakeology Muffin recipe! And the best thing about it, IT’S EASY! i make it the night before and just pop it in to warm it up for breakfast!

1/4 C Egg Whites

1/4 C Pumpkin Puree (or a mashed banana)

1/4 C water, almond milk, or i actually like to use the flavor Polar Seltzer waters

1 Scoop Shakeology

I spray a little container with some coconut oil cooking spray, mix everything together and then pop it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes.  Depends on your microwave!

Simple as that!!

I will sometimes add some flavor drops (i get mine from Netrition).  And i will usually top it with Peanut flour (i use Protein Plus Peanut Flour, also available from Netrition.  there is NO added sugar to that brand).

I have tried to use other protein powders and they come up “gummy’ after taking them out of the microwave.  Shakeology is by far the BEST tasting and consistency of them all with my recipe!

I’ve also used the Vegan Tropical too!  Great with fruit!

If you have any questions about my experience with Shakeology please feel free to message me!!

What is your favorite Microwave Muffin recipe???

What’s your favorite protein powder?