May 1.  It’s a big day at my house!

May 1st, I will restart my 24 Day Challenge (had to stop due to tooth and mouth pain issues!).  But also, May 1st begins NO SPENDING month at my house.

My 24 Day Challenge is ready.  I have food ready, and will be following the food plan in the 24DC book.  Getting this body ready for Memorial Day and the start of summer.  (join me!  Let’s get svelte!)  I can’t wait to help other people lose weight and get summer ready also!

No Spending month will be…interesting.

Our ground rules:

  • only buy things essential to our survival
  • can buy milk and produce
  • still pay bills (of course, duh)
  • no eating out
  • we have a plan for mother’s day gifts and will stick to it

Husband and I are committed.  Kids….are worried.  Ha!  My son begged me to take him to Target today so he could buy himself a video game and a piece of candy.

Truly I am excited to do this and learn from it.  I expect dinners to get interesting towards the end of the month.  I expect a tantrum from the kids.  I hopefully won’t cry.

I’m following the book 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero by Ruth Soukup.  There is a daily chapter and an activity for the day.  Basically, you do not plan much ahead.  Just get started.


Wish me luck.  Day one begins upon awakening in the morning.



Biking and Slim


I love my bike.  It’s 9 years old with great components and it fits me well.  I cannot believe my bike is that old.  And that means it’s been almost 9 years since my Ironman.  Life has certainly changed in that time!


I ordered a bunch of Spinervals today so I can get the bike on the trainer in my basement.  They’re having a sale until 4/30.  I do like a sale!  4 months until my bike event!  64 miles, here I come.

Still on soft foods.  It about kills my tooth to chew a salad.  I’m *almost* looking forward to having the root canal done.  (not really).  The root canal is delayed by a week because the first endodontist didn’t accept my insurance.  UGH.

So I want to eat nothing but Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Well, they are tasty.  But so so so bad.  I started Slim, which is a drink that has garcinia cambogia in it.  It’s for appetite control.  And heck, it actually works!  I’m not so hungry.  So while I’m waiting to restart my 24 Day Challenge, I’ll use Slim.  One in the morning, and one mid afternoon.

Apple Pear or Lemonade.  Not bad!

I am starting to think about my No Spending month of May too.  I need to really think about it this weekend and make my plans!  I’ll take any support or friends who want to join in!

Happy Friday!

Challenge on hold but workouts on GO


Shortly after I started my 24 Day Challenge, I had a tooth issue.  I am STILL on soft foods.  Sigh.  I have had to put my Challenge on hold.  And that is ok.  Once this tooth issue is resolved, it’s back to it!

That said, I CAN exercise.  I signed up for Venus de Miles 64 mile bike ride on 8/26/17.  That’s about 4 months away, so it’s all about the bike right now and getting strong.


I got out on my bike (OUTSIDE) this weekend.  I’m biking today.  I’m making a plan for training for the event!  Biking makes me happy.  I am not able to run anymore and I miss it greatly.  I have unfixable (is that even a word?) knee issues and my knee swells to ugly proportions with running.  Since I can bike and I enjoy it, I’ll do that!

There is not much that goes exactly as planned.  Being adaptable and having a good attitude makes a HUGE difference when you are trying to make life changes!  I can’t say I am good at this….but I’m working on it. Moving forward is what I need!


So I may not be able to follow my food plan because it hurts to chew.  But I will soon…and for now, I’ll focus on biking and fitness.  Evolve.  That’s my word.


Day 5 & 6


Not gonna lie, day 5 was a struggle.  Still had a decent amount of tooth pain.  I can’t say I really followed my plan, had to stick to a soft diet!  My tooth still aches, and I now have a referral to the endodontist to possibly have a root canal.  Life happens.  And some days just can’t happen.  After my 24 Day Challenge, it’s all about the 80/20 rule, but for now, I’m getting my diet on track!  April goals.

I had my FAVORITE Spark flavor – GRAPE.  I love that one.

SO, day 6 was back to the actual plan. Today was a GREAT day!  I got outside on my bike!


I have a goal to do the Venus de Miles women’s bike event and do the 60 mile ride.  It’s time to get serious about biking!  Event is at the end of August.

My food intake today went well!!!

Day 6:

  • Breakfast: Fruit Punch Spark, AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shake – chocolate mocha
  • Morning Snack: Muscle Gain protein shake post bike ride
  • Lunch: Big salad with Beyond Meat “chicken” strips and 2T sunflower seeds
  • Afternoon snack: 2 clementines, 1T cashews
  • Dinner: 1.5 cups cashew chili (leftovers!)
  • Evening snack: Mango Black Bean Salad

Muscle Gain is a protein supplement from AdvoCare.


See that painting in the back?  I did that 🙂  Anyway, chocolate Muscle Gain is the BOMB.

Mango and Black Bean Salad….never had that before!  I found the recipe here.  I liked it!  I used frozen mango, and I couldn’t find any plain mangoes, but there was a bag of frozen mangoes with chili lime – exactly the seasoning needed for the recipe.  I did add extra lime.  I haven’t done anything with jicama before, it added some nice texture.


I feel like things are settling down.  Hopefully I don’t have to have a root canal….’cause that would be bad news!  UGH.

Life changes…..making positive changes.  And I feel great!

Day 3 & 4


Day 3 was…interesting.  I wound up on a liquid diet ALL DAY because I had dental work and had a decent amount of pain.  My dentist is going to heroic efforts to save my tooth.  Rough day though!

Basically, this is what day 3 looked like:

  • Breakfast: Green Apple Spark, AdvoCare meal replacement shake (chocolate mocha! my favorite).
  • Lunch: protein shake with rice milk
  • afternoon: fruit smoothie
  • Dinner: protein shake with rice milk.

HENCE, I did not write a post last night.

Day 4 is better.  Still a bit of dental issues.  So I kept foods not-so-chewy today.  No exercise either because walking/pounding hurts my mouth.

Day 4 diet:

  • Breakfast: Green Apple Spark, AdvoCare meal replacement shake (chocolate mocha again!  YUM)
  • Morning Snack: 2 clementines, 1T cashews (because they aren’t so hard!)
  • Lunch: protein shake with rice milk.  I couldn’t bring myself to chew a salad today.  Maybe tomorrow
  • Afternoon Snack: Limeade Spark which was awesome on a sunny afternoon, and raspberries
  • Dinner: Cashew Chili.  How I love Cashew Chili.

I got this recipe for the chili from Wegman’s long ago.  I was visiting my family in Philly and went to Wegman’s – they had the chili in the prepared foods section and I LOVED it.  Luckily, they shared the recipe.  I love soups and stews and when they’re vegetarian, it’s even better.

Isn’t it pretty?


Cashew Chili – A few notes on this one.  I do not have the time or patience to cook my own beans.  So I used 3 cans of red kidney beans in the recipe.  You can therefore skip the water and bay leaves.  I also dislike huge chunks of tomatoes, so I use petite diced tomatoes.  I LOVE the colors and the smells!  So many spices.  It also makes a LOT.  14 cups!  It freezes just fine, so I throw some in a glass bowl with a lid and freeze it for the future.  I’ll be having this for dinner tomorrow too.  It takes about 1 hour total, and the last 15 minutes, you just let it cook.


My 2nd favorite Spark Flavor:


And with that, I will go to bed dreaming of my 1st favorite Spark flavor.  You’ll find out tomorrow!

Love and hugs!

Day 2 and I’m a bit hungry


Onward!  Day 2 is done and was a good day.  I stuck to the plan.

I am finding that I need to eat more for breakfast or lunch or both.  Because I was REALLY hungry before lunch and late afternoon.  And today was almost a repeat of yesterday’s diet.  I mixed up the fruit and nuts at least.

As a vegetarian, I find it a bit harder to get in protein.  I don’t like eggs.  Good thing there is a lot of protein in my morning shake.  Plus I really like Beyond Meat.  It’s pretty darned tasty.  And a great source of plant based protein….20 grams! I wish they would send me a lot of coupons.

And WHAT is the deal with the “pee smell” after eating asparagus?  That is just WEIRD.  (secretly, I kinda like it though)

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Fruit Punch Spark, AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shake (chocolate peanut butter!)
  • Morning snack: 1 apple, 10 almonds
  • Lunch: giant salad that contained asparagus, Beyond Meat “chicken” strips, 1T chia seeds, 1T pumpkin seeds
  • Afternoon snack: Limeade Spark, 2 clementines, 2T pistachios
  • Dinner: leftover spaghetti squash with kale, chickpeas and pine nuts
  • Night snack: AdvoCare Muscle Gain (freaking delicious!)

This was in the neighborhood of 1425 calories.


those clementines in the picture were the BEST I’ve ever had.  Seriously!

It’s time to start adding back in some workouts.  April is get healthy month.  May is no spending month.  Not sure what I’ll do for June.  It might be get-on-your-bike month.

I’m kinda proud of myself for sticking to a plan for 2 days in a row!  It can be done!

Hugs, my friends.





Woo HOO!  Day one.  Back on the plan.  Day 1/24 down.

That said, this is a lifestyle, not a diet.  I’m training myself to eat correctly.  Cause I like me.  And I’d like to live a while longer.

It isn’t hard to eat correctly and healthy.  YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PREPARED.

Here’s how day one went.  My Day:

  • Breakfast – Spark and AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shake
  • Morning Snack – 1.5 cups cantaloupe and 10 almonds
  • Lunch – big salad, Beyond Meat “fake” chicken, 1T chia seeds, 1T pumpkin seeds
  • Afternoon Snack – Spark, 5 oz raspberries, 2T mixed nuts
  • Dinner – Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Chickpeas (skipped the cheese in the recipe)
  • Nighttime snack (which I don’t normally eat) – AdvoCare snack bar

I drank 1 gallon of water.  Yes, I was in the bathroom ALL day.

Here’s dinner (recipe found here)


This is an AMAZING dinner.  I made enough so I can have this again tomorrow night.  I put in extra chickpeas and sundried tomatoes (not in oil).

I feel fabulous tonight!  Ready for day 2!  Excited to continue this journey.