Saturday, January 31, 2015

All week I've been thinking about what I could post here for my weekly input. Well...I never was inspired with anything earth shattering. I do have a few quotes I really like - so I thought I'd share them. I didn't come up with them, but I sure enjoy the wisdom.

Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head. 
Joe Henderson

 Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
 Jim Ryun

Good luck this week everyone. I'm not getting perfect points, but I'm moving in the right direction and for that I'm grateful and will celebrate!

Sounds like it's time for some humor....

Tough week

The week started off great and I was doing awesome. Then my five year old got diagnosed with influenza A. It started getting rough with little sleep and not a regular schedule to go to the gym and barely holding myself together. Then my two year got it also. I am tired and cranky and want to eat crap and sit on the couch. So this is the point where in the past I may have given up, saying, I will never win, I am too far gone now, why even try. But I really need some support and encouragement to keep going. I don't want to quit. This was a tough week and the flu is not gone from this house yet (really only on day one with the two year old). I want to turn this around and keep going to make myself healthier and happier. I'm also kind of having a pity party. We got our flu vaccines this year. We wash our hands. We generally take good care of ourselves. So I'm bummed about this flu business. It's super bad here in Missoula apparently this year.

Ok. End rant. I will be better next week. Look for my come back. I will probably not win first place....I see several people earning all or nearly every point each week.  I will not be one of those this week. But I will do better next week. I promise. I will not quit.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fruits and Veggies

Me..walking through the produce section at the grocery store with my two year old.  I want strawberries!  I want broccoli!  I want grapefruit! The best... I want grass (asparagus)!

Yes...ladies are cracking up and laughing! What two year old wants fruits and vegetables!!

Yes we love fruits and vegetables at our house. What happened to my little sister (ASHLEY)! 

I Love Veggies

I have no problem eating 3 cups of veggies a week but Ashley hates them. So this week got creative in our meals to include veggies. Ashley thought that she hated cauliflower but after she tasted it realized she didnt.... We made cauliflower mashed potatoes that were great and we also had cauliflower tacos casserole. Instead of using a taco shell we baked cauliflower and then put meat, cheese, rice, beans, and corn on was amazing!

Racquet Ball

Steve and I have gotten into racquet ball lately and go three times a week. It is a great work out and so much fun. I get sick of going to the gym every day or doing exercise videos so this has been a great way to keep us motivated and help us get all of our exercise points!!!
Mighty funny that just being told that you can't have any stupid snacks next week I decided to have 3 bite size candy bars today!  Haven't really had sugar in a month!!!  Oh well!

Challenge Prizes

I collected $825, here is a break down of the prize money:

End of challenge prizes:

1st Place:  $225
2nd Place:  $160
3rd Place:  $120
4th Place:  $75
5th Place:  $50
6th Place:  $35
7th Place:  $25

Total:  $690

I kept $135 for 14 weekly prizes, $5 of that goes to postage.

If you sent a check I will be depositing it this week, just to give you a heads up!  Thanks!

At home workouts

I usually go to the gym to work out. I love the variety that a gym offers; so many different machines and classes mean that my workouts are never boring. It is so much easier for me to be healthy and exercise consistently when I'm doing something different every day. So when my kids are sick, like this week, exercising is more of a challenge. I have a few workout Wii games (Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Zumba fitness 2, and Zumba Core) and a Jillian Michaels dvd (which I remembered this morning I loaned to a friend) but I've done them all so much they're not a lot of fun anymore. We recently got Amazon Prime and this morning I did a kickboxing workout that was really fun!

So my question for all of you...when you're stuck at home, what are your favorite workouts that keep you motivated?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Peeling the Onion

So, as we get deeper into this challenge, I am feeling more comfortable with the process. What a change I have made in my life the last three weeks! Here's a little more of my story...
This challenge came just at the right time in my life. The new year brought more than a health change to our family, as last weekend my husband began his deployment to Afghanistan. It's his first deployment, which we have been prepared for and almost waiting for during the last 16 years of his military service. Now does feel like the right time. Our six kids are at what I think of as "good ages" for this to happen. The best part about this challenge is that it has brought simplicity and more consistency into my life. It has given me a little more focus and perspective on my health choices. Thanks for sharing this experience with me, and I apologize ahead of time for kicking all-y'alls behinds by the end of this thing!

We are all a little fruity

After 4 days of focusing on fruits and vegetables, I think we are all a little fruity. I would think my workout sweat would smell a little sweeter, but alas no, it doesn't!

Last night I did some kickboxing workouts from our Comcast on Demand. When I entered my workout on myfitnesspal, the closest one I could find indicated that 60 minutes of kickboxing burned 818 calories...yeah, I wish.

I hope you are all enjoying the stage of the challenge when you kind of want the cookie, but you realize that you don't want it nearly as much as you did 3 weeks ago.

Remember, eat all your veggies!

12 Snacks to Avoid When You're Trying to Loose Weight

I found this on pinterest, (not like I am EVER on it). Maybe it will help, I know I learned a few things. I also find that the days I try to get in a lot of protein are the days I don't feel hungry. Also good to keep in mind when we are surrounded by a month of sugar cookies and chocolate. Hopefully this won't be when Stephanie makes our weekly goal no sugary snacks. I have 3 kids with birthdays this month, and you would hate to crush their dreams of having a birthday cake right? nudge nudge ; )

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Love Your Body

One of my personal goal is to be kind to my body.  No criticizing it, no complaining about it, no mean comments about it.  Just love and appreciate it.  It's not a perfect body, but it is a wonderful one.  I'm grateful for it.  It's so easy to see its faults--too flabby, too droopy, too weak, too whatever--and I sometimes forget to see its strengths. Thank you, body, for being so great.

Week 2 Standings and Prize Winner

Week 2 Standings:
Great job this week!  Congrats to Amy, Ashley, Cindy, Danielle, Emma, Jenni, Megan, Molly, Nicole, Patty, Steve and Susan who all had perfect scores this week!  12 perfect scores...I'm thinking that's a new record!!!

If you didn't get your score to me yet, send it ASAP and I'll make sure to add it to the standings next week.

1.  Ashley          198
1.  Cindy            198
1.  Emma          198
1.  Jenni             198
1.  Megan          198
1.  Steve            198
1.  Susan            198
2.  Nicole            196
3.  Stephanie      195
3.  Karen L.        195
3.  Amy              195
4.  Danielle         194
4.  Patty              194
5.  Clark              192
6.  Carrie            188.5
7.  Molly             188
8.  Joe                187
8.  Sidney           187
9.  Elise              186
10.  Dakin            185
10.  Karen R.      185
11.  LauriAnn      183
12.  Lori               174
13.  Randel          167.5
14.  Bryan            153
15.  Jacqi             152.5
16.  Sara              146.5
17.  Karen J.         90
18.  Summer         88

The Winner of the $10 Walmart gift card is here:

Complete the group challenge this week to be eligible for the movie pass next week!
Keep up the good work!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ham & Cheese Party Sandwiches

3/4 C melted butter
1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard 
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 T. Poppy seeds (opt.)
24 mini sandwich rolls ( Hawaiian, or the pretzel buns work great)
1 pound sliced Ham 
1 pound sliced Swiss Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 
Spray a 9x13 baking dish (diposable work great)
In a bowl mix the first 4 ingredients 
Slice and place rolls in bottom of pan  
Layer ham, cheese, then remaining ham on rolls.
Place rolls tops in the pan.
Poor evenly the butter mixture over the top of rolls
Bake about 20 min. Until rolls are browned and cheese is melted.
Slice into individual rolls and serve.
I like to make a double batch and freeze one, pull it out about an hour before and then bake till brown.

Lori Mills

I love Mexican food and this is a yummy recipe!  Corn tortillas are always a lot less calories than flour tortillas and I usually cut back on the amount of cheese this recipe and other recipes call for.  I only put 2 cups in this recipe instead of 3.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (a.k.a. "Stacked" Chicken Enchiladas)

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | #mexican #glutenfree


  • 3 cups red enchilada sauce 
  • 16 corn tortillas, halved
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 6 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
  • 4 cups (about 1.5 pounds) shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Pour about 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in the baking dish, and spread until the bottom of the dish is coated. Top with a layer of about 8 tortilla halves so that the entire dish is covered. Sprinkle evenly with about 1 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn and a fourth of the green onions. Then sprinkle with a heaping cup of the chicken, and about 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, then sauce, then beans, corn, green onions, chicken, and cheese. Then a final layer of tortillas, sauce, beans, corn, green onions, chicken and cheese. Then conclude with a final layer of tortillas and sauce (reserving about 3/4 cup of cheese to add partway through baking). Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes.
Remove pan and remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas evenly with the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese, then return to the oven (uncovered) and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove pan, and sprinkle with avocado, cilantro, and remaining green onions. Serve warm.

This next recipe I shared on the blog last challenge.  I really love these apple cookies because it is like a treat but a lot healthier than eating a cookie! Perfect for the afternoon when I start craving sugar.

Apple Cookies

APPLE COOKIES from Rachel Schultz-4

 Just cut an apple into circle slices. Put peanut butter on them and then you can put choc chips, nuts, oats, and coconut on top. 

As far as health snacks go I try to have protein paired with a carb or healthy fat. I eat apples with peanut butter, cottage cheese and fruit or hard boiled eggs.


Fry 1/4 onion, 1/2 cup califlower, 1/2 cup broccoli in coconut oil until semi soft and then put in 1 whole egg and 1 egg white with just a little cheese on top. Serve with salsa and a piece of plain multi grain bread.  It keeps you full until noon!
Hey just a quick shout out to Megan, Emma, and AMY...PROUD OF YOU GIRLS !!

Recipe: Toast one English muffin. Add butter, cheese, fried ham, and a poached egg. Enjoy with your favorite OJ and hash browns.

Quick Quencher

One of my favorite healthy recipes has always been the 'mock orange julius'!

So easy, and so good!

1 -6 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup water
1cup skim milk
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 tsp coffee creamer (powdered)
1 tsp. vanilla

Throw it in a blender, and serve...


When I was little I remember my parents eating a bowl of popcorn a couple nights a week that they made in a grease coated copper pot on the stove.  Now that I am basically a grownup I have my own grease coated pot and I like to make (or rather have Joe make) popcorn a couple of times a week. I am a major dessert girl, but this nighttime snack is high in fiber and incredibly filling so I don't feel like I need something else. 

Here is the Vaterlaus family secret Popcorn recipe:
1 pan specifically dedicated to popcorn that you NEVER wash or use for anything else
Orville Redenbacher popcorn
Vegetable or canola oil

I put a thin layer of oil on the bottom of the pan and put it on high heat. I add a layer of popcorn on the bottom and shake it out into a bowl as it pops. I add some salt and that is it!  

Elk Steaks

Step 1: Kill elk
Step 2: Field dress elk
Step 3: Cut up elk
Step 4: Cut steaks
Step 5: Heat up pan
Step 6: Put steak in pan
Step 7: Season to taste
Step 8: Remove steak before the heat cooks the blood in the middle.
Step 9: Eat up cowboy!

Another recipe from Aunt Karen

Here is the best Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe you will ever eat.
Place in the crock pot:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt & pepper
 1 C honey
1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 C diced onion
1/4 C ketchup
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 t red pepper flakes
Cook on low 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours on high.
When chicken is cooked remove it and shred.
Add 1 - 2 T cornstarch to 6 T water in a small bowl and stir.  Add to sauce in crock and stir until thickened.  Add chicken and let soak up sauce. 
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

Recipe from Aunt Karen - goodness in a crock pot!!!!!

Enjoy this Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Recipe.
4 chicken breasts
1 packet dry zesty Italian dressing
2 cans cream of chicken soup
 ounce pack cream chees
3 C cooked rice or noodles
Place chicken in a slow cooker and sprinkle Italian dressing over it. Add cream cheese and soup. Cook on low 4 - 6 hours.  Leave chicken breasts whole or shred them.
Serve over rice or pasta.
Makes six servings.


I don't do a lot of recipe prepping.  I don't have enough time, but I like to snack.  I get really hungry at 3:00 pm everyday regardless of what I've eaten for lunch.  Historically, I would treat myself to something salty and saturated fat-laden.  However, over the first two weeks of this challenge I've substituted either a Honeycrisp apple or a FiberOne Lemon Bar.  Both are in the 100 calorie ballpark and I find myself full (more so with the apple).  Eating the apple is tiring in itself and curbs my appetite for chewing and swallowing which may be as much a part as any caloric need I may have.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Challenge in the Challenge

Did you say you are a light eater?Yea, when it is light outside, I start eating.... 

This is my caption for my appetite this week :)

I just want to honor you all with the privilege of hearing me rant each week: The attached rant is letting you all in on my life with secret details of my 3 roommates :)

I am in college and my roommates this semester are all engaged, so I can easily say I am the 7th constant wheel in my apartment haha! But this is a true story: They make three different meals (one per couple) each night and when I get home from work, I have three left over meals to choose from ha. And LET ME JUST SAY, I don't always just pick one. 

My brother and I are training for a half marathon in Las Vegas, I love to run and and am trying to work my way back up to running 13 miles without stopping. I made it to seven the other night but I am sure the quantity of food I eat is not helping! If anyone has any advice on how to say NO to foods please enlighten me! Diet is always my struggle during these challenges so I totally appreciate all of the recipes you all post! 
For my recipe:
I do this when I have a sweet tooth:
I take sugar free pudding (usually chocolate) make it as the package says and then get fat free whipped cream and layer them with sliced bananas in between.... YUM!

Happy Challenging!


Do you like popsicles? Well, I do! My favorite kind are the Outshine Popsicles! They are made with real fruit and fruit juices. The small ones are 25 calories, and are perfect if you need a tasty treat with very little calories left! I love them! I hope you get the chance to try them!!   ❤️/Sydney Mills

What am I into

I hate the idea that there is 3 12 packs of diet coke in the garage and i can not have any          whos  idea is it to not do soda and juice this week?    I want a diet coke !!!!

This is my recipe this week    take a 16 oz bottle of water and add a cristile light packet in it     shake the hell out of the bottle and bugity bugity bugity  you have it.  Drink and it counts for your water for the day.

Randel Mills

Taco Soup

This is a good soup full of protien! Plus if you have a busy day planned you can stick it in the crock pot! 

Taco Soup
1lb ground beef
1 onion
1 pack taco seasoning
2 cans of stewed tomatoes 
1 can of tomatoe sause 
1 can of corn with juice
1 can of kidney beans drained

Mix together in a pot and simmer on medium for 20-30 mins til warmed through or put all ingredients in crock pot on high for 3-4 hours! 

Serve with cheese, fat free sour cream, and chips are optional! 

Serving size:
1 cup for women
2 cups for men

Tasty Granola

Mix 3 cups rolled oats, 1 cup mixed seeds, 1 cup chopped mixed nuts, 1/4 cup shredded coconut and a pinch each of salt and cinnamon. Toss with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons honey. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees F, tossing. Cool; stir in 2 cups mixed dried fruit.
I keep this in a jar in my fridge and have it by itself, with yogurt, or in milk.

Thanks for all the great ideas!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Frozen Cravings

I love frozen treats!  I'd take a dish of ice cream over a baked good any day of the week.  When I'm doing well counting calories I usually have no room left to have such treats...but every once in awhile it just sounds so good.  So this week I thought I'd post a few frozen snack ideas that are a better choice than ice cream.
I saw that Danielle had posted the frozen banana "ice cream."  I've never tried it...but I'm going to give it a whirl.  I like to make fruit smoothies with frozen fruit, almond milk and a banana!  Delicious!  I also love to freeze grapes and eat them frozen.  YUM!
And here is a recipe I just might have to try if I get in a real pinch!  
Healthy Recipe Jello Pudding Pops from Sports N Fitness
1 package JELL-O Chocolate Sugar-Free Pudding
2 cups Fat-Free Milk
1 cup Sugar-Free Cool Whip
1. Beat pudding mix & milk in medium bowl with whisk for about 2min.
2. Stir in Sugar-Free Cool Whip.
3. Spoon mix into small paper/plastic cups.
4. Insert wooden sticks into the middle of each.
5. Freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
- To remove from cups, run under warm water.

No Bake Energy Bites

1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together and roll into bite size balls. Refrigerate to set.


One of my favorite snacks, especially in the summer, is yogurt, but it has a lot of sugar, so here is a homemade yogurt recipe that you can substitute the sugar for stevia, honey, or just leave out and use fruit to sweeten it. It is really easy to make, and has the consistency of Greek yogurt. I like that you could have it often and add different things like granola, fruit, chocolate shavings, ect and it doesn't feel like you are eating the same thing all the time.

Homemade Yogurt
For starter buy 1 yogurt which contains active cultures. Measure 1 quart of milk in blender and add 1 cup non-instant dry milk (double this if using instant dry milk). Pour into a large microwave safe bowl and add 1 more quart of milk. Microwave on high for 12-15 minutes to scald it, but so not let it boil. Let stand until 110 degrees (warm to hands). Whisk in about 1/2 cup yogurt starter, and 2 tsp vanilla (I always put in 4 tsp, that way it tastes better plain also). To sweeten stir in 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (or whatever sweetener you choose).Pour into 5 pint jars with lids.
Place jars in crock pot that has been heated (with lid on) on high for 9 min, put lid back on and turn crock pot off.
Turn crock pot on high for 7 to 8 minutes every 2 hours to rewarm it, then turn it off again. (don't remove lid)
Let jars sit 4-6 hours total in crock pot according to tartness desired, or until it looks like it has set up. Refrigerate and use with in 2 weeks. Save some yogurt to start a new batch.
If you have a heating pad that doesn't turn off, you can also use that by covering bowl with tin foil, on a heating pad turned on low. Cover with two kitchen towels and leave for 6-8 hours.

Chili, Lime and Cumin Cod

In August I went to Seattle for my friend's wedding and had authentic and super fresh fish and chips. Ever since, I pretty much crave cod fish constantly. Whenever it is on sale I buy it, though it is never as fresh and delicious as what I had in Seattle. One of the downfalls of living several states away from the nearest ocean... 

Fish is one of the leanest and healthiest meats there is. Throw it in the oven with some veggies and you have an easy, tasty and low-calorie meal. 

Chili, Lime and Cumin Cod

2 lbs fresh cod fillets
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano, parsley, or cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cumin
1 lime, juice of

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat oven safe pan with oil or cooking spray. Place cod in pan. Sprinkle chili powder, herb, and salt. Roast 5-7 minutes until opaque. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add cumin and lime juice and cook for 1 more minute. Before serving drizzle butter mixture over cod. Serve with your veggie of choice and/or with rice. 

Carne asada

So Steve just killed a cow elk and for us that mean lots and lots and lots of elk meat... Which I love. It's also super lean and healthy. You can use any cut of beef too. Cut the meat into thin strips or chunks. Get a pan on the stove nice and hot then add the meat let it sear on both sides with a little salt and pepper. Then add lots and lots of lime juice, enought to almost cover the meat. Then add chili flakes as much as you want for how spicy you want it. We love it extra spicy so we also put chili powder. Let the majority of the juice cook out and then it's ready to go. You can make taco, burritos, serve it with rice and beans or put it on a salad( healthiest choice). We love it. It's super easy and we make it all the time.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Apple Chips

use to hate apples but during the fall/ winter they have the delicious honey crisp apples! They are to die for! I love to use my corer/peeler and make fresh apple chips! If you don't have one, INVEST! They are like $12 on Amazon. I eat my chips with almond butter, peanut butter or Greek yogurt! Super filling and Crunchy delicious!  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

(Almost like) ice cream

I like this little treat and should have it more. Take a ripe banana, slice it and put it in a little Baggie into the freezer. Once frozen, put the banana slices into a food processor and blend like crazy until it's the consistency of ice cream! There you go! You could also add a little peanut butter and/or cocoa powder. It's yummy. And low calorie and healthy!

Snack Favs

Some of my favorite snacks are:

One package Kroger Greek Yogurt. I get these at King Sooper's. They are usually about 79 cents each if I catch them on sale. If I worked out super hard and am having a hard time getting to the next meal I will add to this snack a kid size clif bar. These are sold in bulk at Sam's Club. My kids like them, I like that they are small and pack a yummy punch.

Before I work out I enjoy combining a banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter. I can handle getting up at the butt crack of dawn a little easier knowing I get some of this yummy stuff.

I enjoy a half cup of low fat cottage cheese with half a banana or any type fruit. I love cottage cheese so will often use this as a go to snack. It is high in protein and my body responds will to a high protein diet.

This isn't a snack, but my 'trick' for passing on the afternoon munchies is to pop a piece of cinnamon gum in my mouth. I need to use this 'trick' more often...but when I is a lot easier to avoid the afternoon treats that call my name.

Hope everyone is having a great second week. I'm looking forward to another week of healthy success!
Hi again. I'm Stephanie's mother-in-law.  The weight I lost on the last challenge did not reappear over the holidays, so I'm excited to take the challenge again.  My exercise this week has been shoveling snow, good for the upper body & thighs.  I could feel the difference so I hope it keeps on snowing.

Week 1 Prize Winner Part 2

OH MY GOSH!  I was just cleaning my kitchen and found a whole list of names that were somehow dropped and left out of the drawing!!!  I'm so sorry!
I figured it was only fair to have another prize drawing for an additional $5 Subway card for the 7 names that were left off the here goes!

 My 2 lovely drawing assistants:

Yay!  Congratulations Nicole!
Sorry again everyone!  You can all vote me off the island if you want!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week 1 Standings and Prize Winner

Congratulations everyone on a great first week!  Here are the standings as of today!  I know a few of you didn't report your points to me yet...make sure you get them to me ASAP and I can add them to the total next week.  It doesn't matter what place your name is in today, this challenge is 12 just give it your best shot each week!

1.  Ashley          99
1.  Cindy            99
1.  Emma           99
1.  Jenni             99
1.  Megan          99
1.  Steve            99
1.  Susan            99
2.  Stephanie      98
2.  Joe                98
2.  Karen L.       98
3.  Nicole           97
4.  Amy              96
4.  Dakin            96
5.  Carrie            95
5.  Danielle         95
5.  Patty              95
6.  Clark             94
6.  LauriAnn      94
7.  Lori               93.5
7.  Heather H.    93.5
8.  Sidney           93
9.  Molly            89
10.  Karen R.     88
11.  Elise            88
12.  Bryan          88
13.  Heather L.   87
17.  Sara             86.5
18.  Randel         82.5
19.  Jacqi            71.5
20.  Summer       49
21.  Emily           37
22.  Karen J.       35

Watch this video to find out who won the $5 Subway gift card this week!  Remember to be eligible for the $10 Walmart gift card next week you need to post a healthy recipe or snack idea on the blog this week.

Healthy Choice for lunch

So I am not sharing a Healthy recipe...although I was making taco soup and thinking it's really pretty healthy and easy to make...until you add to many chips...  So this time I counted the chips and actually had leftovers!
Anyway...My struggle is healthy lunches.  I leave my house at 11:50 to go to work.  I never am thinking of lunch at that time of day (Just how many loads of laundry still need done)!  So I run to the fridge and search for leftovers while I quickly make ramen noodles for the kids!!! (I know AWESOME MOM) I've even tried buying bags of salad for my lunch but my kids eat that as a snack(I know salad as snack WHAT).  So I found that green giant and birds eye make steam fresh veggies with rice and noodle. They are a pretty low calorie lunch.  I love the one that is green beans and red potatoes.  This way I get extra veggies in and it is quick!! Sometimes being healthy takes planning ahead..(Not my thing)!!  This helps me.  I will be trying some of your recipes.  Thanks!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why does oatmeal have that slime?

A certain female I love refuses to eat oatmeal because of the slime produced while cooking it.  I didn't know about this until a few weeks ago. When she told me this, I realized I would be eating a lot of oatmeal for the next few months to clean out our supply before we move. So this morning I tried a new oatmeal recipe:

1 packet baked apple instant oatmeal with water
1 handful frozen raspberries
1 handful salted almonds

The calorie count was less than 250. The intrinsic heart health of oatmeal is exciting, and the raspberries and almonds more than made up for the slime. 

Here's to healthy eating!

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

This is one of my favorite soup recipes!  It is full of healthy ingredients and very easy to make.  You can certainly adjust it to add more or less of what you like.  I always add a little more chicken because I like it meatier.  Enjoy!

Black Bean and Salsa Soup
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 med. onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon oil
3 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin

In a large saucepan, sauté celery, onion, and garlic in oil until tender.  Stir in the remaining ingredients; heat through.
My challenge has been eating well while traveling. When my husband and I travel we love to try new foods and restaurants. Not as fun when you are eating healthy. We went to San Diego with friends and each of us on the trip gained five or more pounds. We just got back from San Fransisco for a gymnastics meet for my daughter. We ate some great food. I gained 1 pound because we walked all over the city. Our next trip is in Feb in Arizona for another meet. I'm hoping to be well into a healthy routine to avoid weight gain.

Beginning the Challenge!!!!!

Well, I'm attempting to take better care of myself through what I eat and the activities I engage in. I'm excited to be a part of this challenge! My biggest challenge will definitely be overcoming my love and enjoyment of Dr. Pepper! No matter what I will persevere!

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Let me start out by saying that I love, love, LOVE these!

3/4 lb lean ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken)
4 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp srirachi sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
3 oz mushrooms, diced
butter lettuce leaves, washed & dried

In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground meat (I used turkey), stirring often and reducing the heat to medium when thoroughly browned. Add diced onions; bell peppers. Stir frequently until softened. Add the garlic, soy sauce, srirachi sauce, ginger, and white pepper. Stir occasionally adding mushrooms. Cook a few more minutes until mushrooms are softened. Remove from heat. Serve hot in lettuce leaves

So while the meat was browning, I mixed the ingredients that go in after the onions and peppers in a bowl, which made things easier. Also, I left out the mushrooms, and used Iceburg lettuce.

I just finished weighing and measuring and was excited about the inches! Weight not so such.  I can't wait until next Monday morning! Can't thank Stephanie enough for doing this.  I can't believe it is the middle of January and I still ride my bike.  It is time to get to the gym!!!  Good Luck everyone!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ready To Be Healthy

Hey! My name is Carrie and I live here in Greeley and am a friend to Stephanie. I did the last challenge and loved it.  It really helped me stay focused and make healthy choices which was great, especially during the Holidays!  I defiantly have a sweet tooth and I would like to cut back on sugar a lot the next 12 weeks and hopefully make it a habit to not eat so much sugar! I love the accountability for exercise and hope to get all my exercise points for this challenge. I only have a couple pounds to loose to be at my goal weight and hope to reach it soon so I can get those maintenance points.  Anyways, good luck to you all!

Still Sunday night

11pm Sunday night, I'm still making it for the blog post this week. I've enojyed this first week of the challenge. I've got a 4yr old and a 7mo old, so I too easily use the "was up all night" and "the kids are fussy" excuse to skip the gym and drowned my stress with a Dr Pepper and chocolate. So here's to getting back to pre baby shape and then even better.

I refuse to go up another waist size

I decided to do this challenge because I liked the fact that my belt went down two notches after elk hunting in the fall of last year. We (Megan's husband JD and I) were hiking 10-12 miles a day for a week at elevation and I lost about 12 pounds. Upon my return to civilization I gained it all back in a week...Dóh! Anyhow everyone's posts are very positive so I won't bring you down by saying I gotta have my afternoon Mexican Coke no matter what. More point for yáll next week. Good luck all.


Aunt Karen

Hi, I'm Stephanie's Aunt Karen.  I figured if my brother Jeff could win the last challenge I am not going to be outdone - hahaha! I'm excited get myself a little healthier. I always think a group is incentive to do better.  Good luck everyone and we'll all be a bit healthier in 12 weeks.

End of week 1

I live in Greeley and love the accountability and support of these challenges. I always stick with it until the end and do pretty well, but have yet to come in as one of the winners. However, I maintain that everyone who keeps with it is a winner. Right? At least that's what I tell myself so I can justify paying for it every time.

I had foot surgery a week before Christmas and am hoping to be on the road to running again in a few weeks. I also have a goal to do a triathlon this year, so I'll see you at the pool Cindy.

My goals this time around are:
     - get every exercise point (this is particularly hard for me when I can't run yet, which is what I'd prefer to be doing most of the time).
     -get back to maintenance weight within the first two weeks (was a little too sedentary and treat happy over the break).
     -help my kids be active even though it's cold and crummy and we're not doing any organized sports until March.

Lets do this!

Thanks Stephanie! Can't wait to see the end results from everyone! Woo Hoo!!!
Karen Redden
Hi.  My name is Joe and I'm a stress-eater.  (I'll finish this post once I return from the stress-induced-binge related to figuring out how to post on here.)

Maybe I should've read a few of the other posts first, but since I haven't figured out how to navigate this thing quite yet I may miss the mark with my post.  Again, I'm Joe and 36 and I've been overweight for the majority of the past 20 years.  I run into bouts of fitness but typically slide back into my bad habits with the end result leaving me hovering around 300 pounds and sending my kids to do any tasks that require going up and down the stairs or covering more than 25 meters.

I look forward to learning some new skills to improve stewardship over my own health.  Best wishes all.  - joe

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Another Time Around!

Well hey there everyone! I met Stephanie when I lived in Greeley, CO with my sister Megan (who is also in the challenge).  We did a Summer Slim Down Fitness Challenge and loved it! So here we are re-devoting our time to counting calories and then attempting to burn them off :) I am in college, eating everything I shouldn't be, so this is going to be a fun roller coaster ride! Good luck everyone and may the weight loss odds be ever in your favor!
I'm Steve, Ashley's trophy husband. Ashley really just wanted to do this challenge so we could use our winnings to hire a photographer for my "Fun in the Sun" spring photo shoot and order an OG speedo instead of wearing one of those knock-off brands like I have in the past. Also in years past I couldn't afford to get a real bikini wax, I just did it myself chicano style with a roll of duct tape, so that will be nice too. Anyways, it'll be nice competing with all of you folks out there in cyberland, maybe someday we could meet for realsies! 
With big love,

The Steve


Hi, I'm Sydney. I'm 14 years old and really excited to get going! Good luck everyone!

Did You Get the Email?

Yesterday I sent out an email with instructions for reporting Week 1 and the new challenge for Week 2.  I know at least one person had it sent to their Junk email.  If you didn't get it, please let me know so I can work out any kinks.  I don't want anyone to miss out on anything.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Here we go!

My name is Ashley Batty. My husband and I are living in Logan Utah. He is going to school and I am a kindergarten teacher. We felt it was time for a change in our lives and we want to get more heathy. We are so excited to be a part of this challenge. I was definitely born with the competitive Peterson nature that Jacqi was talking about (but not any of the athleticism) so I am really excited to see what will come of this challenge. Thanks Jenni for getting us to do this:)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My name is Summer and I am a friend of Stephanie's. I didn't make it all the way through the last challenge due to family reasons so I'm excited to stick with it this time and see some results. We just got a gym membership and I'm excited to get back into shape. I'd love to lose 30 pounds and start the path to becoming a runner again. Good luck to everyone!

First Blog Post Ever!

My name is Dakin and I live in Boise. I have known Stephanie since we were teenagers and have always admired her. Now I have one more reason to do so. This is my first wellness challenge, my first time posting on a blog, and the first time I have felt the motivation to make a drastic wellness change in my life. I have six children between 11 months and 12 years. I am done being pregnant for the rest of my life and I'm ready to take on a new chapter. I am a bit competitive and good at checking off lists so watch out wellness challengers! Plus, I heard an old guy won last time and there's no way I'm letting that happen again. :)

Let's do it!

I'm Sara Mills, Steph is my cousin! When I heard she was doing this I got so excited because I'm competitive and if I can beat my family in anything I'll try my hardest to!  It's a good thing most of them are doing this challenge! I'm glad I also have them to support me in this! Dieting isn't my favorite but I'm ready to lose some weight! So bring it on! (:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I'm thick

I'm thick and soon I'll be thin
Just wait and see it's taking me some time to get into this
Let's see what happens

Hello again!

So excited to be back for another challenge!! I was a little over-indulgent during (and after) Christmas and am ready to eat healthy and exercise hard. My name is Cindy and I've done a few of these challenges over the past year or so and they are always so motivating! I have 2 kids, a 3 year old daughter and an 8 month old son. I gained 50 pounds over this last pregnancy and am still working hard to get it off. The process is slower than I'd like, but I'm making progress. I love to swim and do zumba and I can do pretty much any form of repetitive cardio so long as I have a good book to read to take my mind off the monotony. :) One of my goals for the year is to do another triathlon (I did my first one a few months before getting pregnant with my son) so I need to work on my endurance, particularly my running. I'm not much of a fan of running--it's hard to read on the treadmill, too bouncy--so I've been dragging my feet a bit with getting back at it. I have a membership to the Family Funplex in Greeley, so if anyone wants an exercise buddy let me know!!

Bring it on!

I'm Lori Mills Stephanie's aunt. I'm super excited to do the fitness challenge. I'm always trying to find ways to motivate myself. I officiate basketball for Utah high schools and I always need to be in shape. I had knee surgery 3 months ago and I'm trying hard to get back into shape. This is a great program to make me more responsible for my eating choices, as I love sugar. But i have found if I eat my fruit every meal I don't crave sugar. This is my tip of the week! Bring it on! I'm excited.

Challenge: Accepted

Hi, y'all! My name is Delanie, I'm Steph's niece, and Patty's daughter. I was invited to do the wellness challenge and I'm here to say that I've accepted and that I'm ready to try this out!
I am a college student, so this should be an interesting ordeal trying to manage my time enough to work out, count calories, and blog about it. But I'm definitely going to try!


Who Needs Sleep?

My biggest challenge as of late has been sleep. I started homeschooling one of my children this year, and started sleeping less in order to prepare lessons. My husband also works away a lot, so I would stay up late to get things done, or just get some me, alone, quiet time. It is taking a toll on me, and I have been sick a lot this winter -surprise, surprise. I feel like my energy level is non-existent, and that is bad news when you have 4 children. I have done one of these competitions in the past and I know that I am more competitive than motivated, so I know it will help me change things around and be more healthy and therefore more productive. We sent our homeschooler back to school after Christmas break, so I am hoping the sleep hours will start rolling in, and my house wont look like a natural disaster hit it everyday.
My name is Susan, and I am hoping to maintain my weight throughout this challenge, but build some muscle as well. I have been really bad about letting my workouts fall away the past month because I have been sick or had sick kids, and I am a much better person when I get my workouts in haha (my husband can attest). I feel like working out gives me the strength, energy, and sense of accomplishment I need to be more productive throughout the day. I am thankful Stephanie is willing to head up this challenge, because I know it is a lot of work, but it is much appreciated, because it is just want I need to get back on track, and I love knowing there are others out there doing it with me. Good luck to everyone and thank you Stephanie!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Back again!

I am ready for more accountability again! I did pretty well over the holidays but I am looking forward for things to get back to normal and to not see tempting treats at every turn. I walked away from a cupcake at enrichment night tonight. Anyone who knows me will know this is a big deal!

I am LauriAnn, a high school friend of Stephanie's. I live in Boise and have four kids, Madison, 10, Hayes, 8, Pierce, 2, and McKinley, 6 months. I lost 9 pounds in the last challenge and a ton of inches! I also am running at the fastest pace ever (still on the slower side) and have more muscle than ever!  I want to lose 5 pounds this time which will put me at my pre-pregnancy weight.  I gained a whopping 50 pounds during this last pregnancy and was worried I would never lose it all, but the end is in sight.

Good luck to everyone!

Monday, January 12, 2015

We're doing this AGAIN?

Howdy, all. I'm the lucky guy who married Stephanie almost 10 years ago...yes, Stephanie, it's been almost 10 years. I participated in the last challenge with her, and had good success. The inches started coming off in week 1, but the pounds took a while to get moving. Thankfully, they finally caught up and I ended up within 7 pounds of my goal weight. I've put a couple back on since we finished last time, but I'm still only 10 pounds away. My inches still have a ways to go, but I'm not really sure what my goal should be for that, so we will see how it goes.

My goals for the challenge:
1. Lose 10 pounds early and then maintain for the duration.
2. Earn every point for water, food log, group challenge, personal challenge, weekly weigh-in/measure, and weekly blog.

Here's hoping everyone can find success and stay positive with themselves throughout the challenge. Together we lost more than an entire person in both pounds and inches last time. Can we get 2 people this go-around?

Drum roll please....bah ha ha ha

Here I am!!!! Megan Hopkins! I am way excited for this challenge!  Just had my 3rd kid 7 weeks ago and NEED to be motivated!  I used to live in Greeley, and Steph is one of my very best friends!  We now live in South Dakota....BRRRRRR!  We live in a tiny community of gym is a joke, and a high of 0 outside. So, I get to workout in my basement...woo hoo?  I am hoping this challenge will help me love my treadmill, shed some inches and feel great!  Good luck everyone!!! Hope we can make it through week 1!

I volunteer as tribute...

I'm Amy, and as you can see, I have an adorable granddaughter. This picture was taken last week (with my husband, aka Papa Hawk). Our six children are grown, and we have three beautiful grandchildren. We moved from California to rural Missouri 6 months ago to help care for aging parents, post stroke. Consequently, it has also been 6 months since I have well, really (intentionally) exercised.  Prior to the move, it was a grueling year long process to take control of my health.  I had lost 50 lbs, was in remission (lupus), and was going to the gym 3 to 5 times a week. I am sad to say, I am almost halfway back to where I started from...
Motivation has been difficult. Instead of giving you all the excuses of how far we are from a gym, (aka civilization),...the type of menu I have to cook for my mom etc., after reading some of your posts, I feel renewed.
I am excited to not be in this place alone! For an added measure of support my husband, (whom I adore) has agreed to do this with me along with my two beautiful daughters!! I am grateful for your stories, successes, goals and positive life changing habits.
My goals for the challenge are to re-incorporate healthy habits I've 'misplaced' as well as making them "life long" habits, lose 20 lbs., which I know will result in more energy, less pain and living happier, longer.
My personal goal this week is to focus on positive motivation, everyday. EVERYDAY. 
So, with all that said, as we begin these healthy 'hunger' games, I volunteer as tribute...(my will that is), to be a better, stronger, healthier & ultimately happier me. 
I look forward to small successes that will make a difference. 

Let the games begin...and may the odds be ever in your favor!


My name is Patty and I am Steph's SIL.  I was invited to participate in the challenge last time but I declined because I was going on a major trip, my daughter was getting ready to head off to college, and my son was coming home from his mission and I knew I wouldn't be focused on my fitness. Well, my trip is over, daughter is settled in school, and son is 2 1/2 months post mission and off to college.  So no excuses this time.
My goals are to lose about 10 lbs; improve my general fitness; and be mindful of my food choices.
My personal goal for this first week is to be positive about my body.  It's really a remarkable machine and I want to appreciate it more.  So no complaining about it this week!
Good luck everyone!

In the GAME!

My name is Elise Adams. I live here in Greeley and am SUPER excited for another round of Stephanie's health and fitness challenge! I have to admit, even though I stuck the last one out til the last day - for the most part my head wasn't in the game. Yes, I made some changes, but I knew I could have done more and been more 'there' competitively. I lost a fair amount of weight, but I KNOW it could have been more. This time it will be different! I am committed to myself more fully and WILL see more changes this time. 

I am a runner, but have taken some time off from running through the fall. I'm committed to running again. I'm running a RAGNAR in June and do NOT want to be the weakest link on my team! I'm going to be running a half marathon in May in order to prepare for the Ragnar.

My goals for this challenge are 1) to KEEP my head in the GAME the ENTIRE time! 2) to lose MORE than I lost last time! 3) Reach my goal weight and MAINTAIN!!!

Oh...a little more about me...I'm a stay at home mom of four awesome kids ages 9, 7, 5, 3. My husband is finishing up grad school and will graduate in May! (I plan to look smokin' hot in those graduation pictures! LOL!) My husband will be living in Grand Junction as of next week to complete his 400 hours of required clinical time. I will be seriously playing single mom for the majority of this competition - which may end up making me MORE successful!!

Watch out and get ready. This challenge is a great way to get back on 'track' and have a lot of encouragement on the way. We can do this. Well...even if you don't...I WILL!!!
This is me and my cute daughter before we went to a tea party last year for Activity Days Girls.

Hi! I'm Danielle!

Hi everyone!

I am Danielle, from Montana.  My husband and Stephanie's husband grew up together in Colorado and I met both Clark and Stephanie at BYU after I got married. 

I am doing this challenge to help me make healthy choices and lose weight!  I put on a lot of weight after...get this...I had a stroke at age 29 (just 10 months ago).  I had a stroke because I had an artery in my neck tear (and we have no idea why that happened, since I'm fairly active and healthy).  For 6 months I had to recover and do absolutely nothing and for my depression because of everything, I ate food.  So now that I can exercise again I am ready to go.  I have some numbers in my head I would like to reach and sizes I would like to fit into.  I have two cute little kids and I want to be active and healthy so I can be around them for such a long time.  I also have a goal of one day running a marathon.  I'm going to start my completing my first 10k in April or May (can't remember right now when my race is).

I am excited to be a part of this and to help others in their journey as well!

Good luck!


Sunday, January 11, 2015


HI!! I'm Emily
After having my 5th baby I just couldn't lose the weight. 
I turn 30 in the end of April, and my goal is to 
lose 30 by 30!
I'm super nervous about all the details, but hopefully I catch on quickly! 
I'm excited to be here :)

Wish me luck!

I was born into a family of competitors. All of my aunts uncles and cousins are very athletic and hate to be wrong or lose! It's a way of life for the Peterson's! (Love you guys) Then there is me! I'm content to just be along for the ride. Iv never been competitive and that's always been ok with me, but I think it's time to step it up! Iv decided to compete with myself and only myself and that is enough for me! So this challenge will be about me and my personal goals. This is the first time I have done a fitness plan. I never owned a scale tell about a year ago, but it's time! I can feel myself getting older and I don't want to let my health get away from me while I'm young! I'm ready to take advantage of my youth and health and make a change! 
Good luck everyone! 


Jenni Checking in for round 2!!

Yes I am back.  Steph's favorite crazy cousin.  Thanks to Steph and Uncle Jeff (better know as F Jeff)  I think the whole family is joining up.  I better step it up.

My goals for this time...
1. Don't miss an exercise point!!
2. Lose more than I did last time.
3. Don't miss a day on the food diary.  I set up my phone to alert me and it is driving me nuts!!

So I see Steph has the Fitbit.  Right now I am using my phone as a pedometer... What else do people have.  Do you love them and think they make a difference??

Friday, January 9, 2015

Stephanie Signing in For Round 2

Welcome Everyone!
I'm so happy to be back in this challenge.  During the last challenge I lost 27 lbs, a lot of inches and felt so good that I was taking control of my health and wellness!

Christmas Eve jammies with my husband Clark and our 3 boys!  We live in Greeley, Colorado.
 It's been less than a month since the final weigh-in, and it's been rough.  With holidays, traveling and 2 weeks of the flu I've pretty much just been in survival it's time to get back on track!

Here are my goals for this challenge:
1.  Never miss an exercise point.  That will mean 4,320 minutes of exercise over the next 12 weeks.
2.  Lose 20 lbs.
3.  Go down a pants size.
4.  Log at least 10,000 steps a day 5 days a week on my Fitbit.

I challenge all of you to take a "before" picture on Day 1.  I took one every 4 weeks during the last challenge, and it was fun to see my results, especially on the days I felt like I wasn't really changing very much.

Have fun with it!  We're all in this together!