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Operation Beach Bod - Days 3 - 7

12/28/2012 *Sara-Marie* 2 Comments

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Morning :)

While I've been mindful of my food intake over the last couple of days, I have allowed myself to indulge in my mother's arroz con gandules, Christmas cookies, and some chocolate. Once this week is over, I will buckle down and eat only whole foods, I promise!

I have been good with keeping up with my workouts! Once 12/31 rolls around - we are going to go hardcore and really step our game up!

Here is a recap of our week via Instagram!

Hubby is a good motivater!

Christmas Eve before heading to my parents

My baby sister and niece are getting too big!

My other baby sister who is such a beauty!

My niece so excited that her dessert looked like Santa's hat!

My baby sister tried to do the same!

Baking and decorating cookies is a Christmas Eve tradition in our house!

My gorgeous sis showing off her Christmas leaf!

Our Christmas tree before opening up our gifts for each other

Santa, I mean Mark, was good to me :)

Now that we're visting Mark's family, Mark's little brother became my workout partner! He killed it with 11 rounds! I did 9 1/2 - my personal best for this WOD!

Post workout meal so lovingly prepared by my mother in law!


Operation Beach Bod - Day 2

12/24/2012 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Yesterday was Day 2 of Operation Beach Bod and it went fairly well!

I woke up rather sore from the push-ups, sit-ups and squats from the day before. It's amazing how quickly those simple exercises get to work!

Sunday means church day so we woke up early and I made a big breakfast. I attempted to make sweet potato and bacon omelets as I have successfully done before.

Leftover baked sweet potato and organic bacon sizzling on the cast iron
To save some time, I had the genius idea to make one very large omelet and then just split it with my husband. Well that was too much sweet potato than my spatula could handle so it didn't exactly take the shape of a traditional omelet. As long as  everything was cooked through, I didn't really care! It was yummy nonetheless. Mark's portion, pictured below actually kind of looks like a slice of pizza!

That meal kept us full pretty much all day. Mark went on his way to work and I spent the rest of the day at church and with my family. At church there was a Christmas potluck after the service which I was a little nervous about. Our church is full of Latinos so I knew there would be lots of good traditional foods and I wasn't sure how I would stand against them. I then decided that I would rather treat myself to my mother's cooking on Christmas Eve, so I stuck to my paleo guns! Here's my plate:
Lettuce, pernil, chicken and avocado

After doing some last minute shopping, I got home around 8pm and was slightly hungry. I wasn't in the mood for anything big so I had a banana plus some left over veggies that I mixed with half a small avocado.

Then I relaxed a little until my hubby came home at 11pm. Closing out the night with warm snuggles and heart-shaped candles on a cold, winter night are the things that dreams are made of. 


Operation Beach Bod - Day 1

12/22/2012 *Sara-Marie* 1 Comments

We officially booked our anniversary trip to Puerto Rico!!! Woot! Woot!

You know what that means?

First, almost a whole year has passed since our wedding day! Where did this year go? It seems like just yesterday I was tweaking out about last minute details and praying God would provide every last penny that we needed. Of course, He did, because He is an AWESOME GOD! And we had an AMAZING wedding. Maybe I'm just biased.

Second, this means I really need to get my act together and eat as cleanly as possible (I will allow a little flexibility on Christmas) and exercise more regularly. Even if its just a few rounds of push-ups, sit-ups and squats - they must get done!

Blogging daily really does help keep me focused and accountable, so I'm going to do it! Even if the posts are wordless and just include 3 pictures of my meals, I'm going to post it. I HAVE TO DO IT!

I want to look and feel my best while on the hot sandy beach!

So today starts 

Good Eats

Pre-work out meal (because I woke up starving): 1 egg scrambled in a little coconut oil.

a little fresh cilantro goes a long way to make this very simple meal feel special!

Workout: I did 7 rounds! Tomorrow I'm gonna push for 8!

Post-workout meal: 2 eggs fried in coconut oil, 1/2 small avocado, handful of baby carrots

Dinner: Dinner was SOOOOO GOOD tonight. Roasted Veggies (Brussels sprouts, red peppers, red onions) + mocha rub ribeye steak topped with a fried egg. (I know I ate lots of eggs today!)

Definitely hit the spot!
Tonight's dinner almost didn't happen. Mark was out finishing up some Christmas shopping, I was driving back from visiting my friend Julissa and her newborn baby in NJ, and Mark suggested "picking something up" on his way home. That's code word for something not so healthy, but convenient when we're busy. That has been the death of us lately and I was not going to let it happen again. Not after waking up this morning with renewed motivation! So I called Mark and reminded him that I would soon be home and that I could quickly throw dinner together. Thank God, I was able to keep my promise and deliver a wonderful, nutritious meal. This dinner was so yummy, so worth a little extra effort and so worth waiting another 30 minutes. 

Good, real food really does taste better than anything else we could order from a restaurant or get through a drive thru. Not only does it taste better, but I feel guilt-free enjoying it. And it's cheaper too!

We just have to keep reminding ourselves of that!

What helps YOU get through those nights when you are really hungry, really busy, and really tempted to just call the local pizzeria or chinese restaurant? 


Well that didn't go exactly as planned!

12/21/2012 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

So I was supposed to be blogging more frequently and we were supposed to be doing a Whole30, but it's been almost a month since my last post and I'm ashamed to admit that we did not stay 100% compliant on our 2nd Whole30 journey. SHAME ON US! I can try to come up with a couple of good excuses for why we decided to give in to some temptations, but I'm not going to do that. What good would that do anyone? Nobody forced less healthy foods down our throat - we made a decision to indulge and that's it. I'm not proud of our choices, but we can't take them back. We can just move forward.

We have been busy with work, holiday shopping, and lots of babies! Over the last few weeks, I welcomed three new babies into the world!

First was Baby Ethan, first son to my best friend Vivian:

We had been praying for this little guy for almost 5 years! But God knows everything and His timing is perfect!
Then there was my adorable new little niece, Baby Talia, who decided to come into the world during a Monday Night Football game, while her parents and big brother were still in the stands! 
Crazy story, let me tell you! 
Another little princess for our family! 
 And later on that same day, my college friend Julissa gave birth to her first son, Baby Amaury! I'm actually going to drive to NJ tomorrow to meet him! So many babies, so much love!

Anyway,  while I did admit that we failed during our second Whole30s, I do have to say that we still had some wonderful Whole30 meals. The last month was NOT a complete waste - I promise! Here are some pics to prove it:

Veggie Medley before getting roasted at 400 degrees for 30 mins
Thai Basil Beef (From It Starts with Food) and a fried egg

2 fried eggs with ground cumin and sweet plantains

Tuna in Tomato Sauce (Giada's Recipe) over mixed greens
quick snack: banana + cashew butter
Garlic Chicken + Lemon Roasted Broccoli over mixed greens

Our go-to 'taco' salad - this time with a dollop of homemade avocado dressing

Organic, grass fed rib eyes with roasted acorn squash and baked sweet potatoes
Veggie Medley getting sauteed in cast iron pan instead of roasted

The veggies above with some baked garlic chicken and potatoes

Curry Beef Skillet - inspired by recipe in It Starts With Food

Scrambled eggs with fresh homemade salsa and organic bacon
Baked garlic chicken wings over mixed greens and tostones
This special meal was prepared by my mother in law while I was up in Boston traveling for work!
Brussels + pecans + cranberries + roasted chicken breast + balsamic vinegar
Who knew roasted cabbage could be so good? Just EVOO + salt + pepper
Moroccan Sweet Potato Hash - Recipe Coming Soon!
Tostones, roasted butternut squash medley, and baked garlic chicken wings

Pineapple Curry Ground Beef Skillet - Recipe Coming Soon!

I really do want to continue on this path to optimal health, and I know that the only way to do that is to keep committed to eating a clean, whole foods diet and staying active.


I really do want to look and feel my best when we celebrate our anniversary in sunny Puerto Rico a month from today!

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers - I need the extra help! :)



Endures Forever.

11/28/2012 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Thank you, Lord.
Recently, I was given a new teen study Bible along with the other youth of my church. Since I teach Sunday School twice a month, it's nice to have the same version as my students. While I was waiting for my dinner to finish up in the oven, I decided to pop open the Bible for some quick spiritual nourishment. I found some additional notes on the meaning of the word endure that I just love and had to share with all of you.

The Hebrew word for "endures" is amad (aw-mad'). It means "to take a stand and refuse to be moved." To endure is to remain constant and never end. How incredible is it that God's mercy towards us is never ending. God has taken a stand on our behalf and refuses to be moved from our side.1

Amen to that.

1Extreme Teen Study Bible
Copyright 2012 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.


Proverbs 31 - A Virtuous Wife

11/25/2012 *Sara-Marie* 2 Comments

10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Proverbs 31:10-31 NLT


We're doing the Whole30 - AGAIN!

11/24/2012 *Sara-Marie* 4 Comments

After both successfully completing our own Whole30s, we did a little off-roading. At first it was just little things we allowed in, but slowly our old way of life started creeping in. As I mentioned in a post last week, I could feel a difference in my body. I had lost my Whole30 glow. So after Thanksgiving, we decided to start another Whole30 between now and Christmas. And then another Whole30 between Christmas and our anniversary in late January. Why you may ask?

1.) I want increased energy, better sleep, and that awesome feeling I had before to come back!

2.) I still have weight to lose - especially since a little bit came back :(

3.) We are going to try to go to Puerto Rico to celebrate our anniversary!!! This is Operation Beach Bod!
Excited about doing another Whole30!
We originally planned to go to Italy, but we just didn't save as much as we thought we would have saved by now. Life happens! But I'm really hoping we can make a small trip to PR happen. I have lots of family that would take care of us - if need be! Of course, we still want to save enough to spend a few nights alone in San Juan! ;)

I don't think I'm going to post daily about my Whole30 progress as I did before - I just don't have that kind of time. But I will most likely post pictures of my meals on Facebook - so if you don't already follow me there, you may want to consider it! I will, though, do a weekly recap, since Saturday mornings are my new dedicated blog times.

So here's to another 30 days of eating whole, real foods! For those that are not familiar with the Whole30 program, please click here for more information or take a look at my signs that are taped to our fridge!

Taken from It Starts with Food

Join us if you dare!