Thursday, July 31, 2014

Almost August Things I Love Thursday

I can't believe tomorrow is August 1st!  This is the last...

of July!

IHOP Sugar Free Syrup
One of the lowest carb syrups that I've found that actually tastes like real syrup.  It only has 7 grams of carbs!

Isopure Dutch Chocolate
1 gram of carbs and 0 grams of fat.  It tastes amazing.  If you add just the right amount of unsweetened plain almond milk it tastes like cold hot chocolate.

Gold's Gym Ab Wheel
Great piece of equipment for your home gym.  It works the upper and lower abs with a variety of possible exercises.  It also works the obliques.  I bought mine at Walmart for under $8.  It doesn't take up much room and it's a great tool to take with you on vacation!

Free magazine from Vitamin Shoppe
I guess they aren't really free since you have to buy something to recieve them but, they have a ton of great information in them!

Chalkboard Fabric Paint
WHAT???!!!??  This stuff is awesome!  I found it at Michael's when I was looking for iron ons to make a business shirt with.  You paint it on the shirt (it come with a stencil to make the word bubble but, Ken thought a bigger space was a better idea), let it dry for 24 hours and then set it with an iron.  I love it!

Have you found any cool stuff that you love this week?  Share it with me!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fitness Fave

Mentally I have been feeling really good this week dispite missing my girls like crazy!  I stopped drinking MiO and my stomach has flattened out a bit.  
Physically, I'm a trainwreck.  A few nites this week I have ended up with crippling stomach pains.  The first nite they woke me up and I actually asked Ken to drive me to the hospital.  Turns out they are actually gas related.  When you have your gallbladder removed gas gets trapped and doesn't come out very easily.  So if you aren't careful you end up bloated and in pain from gas.  But this was the worst I've ever gotten!  I think it might actually partially be caused by depresseion from the girls being away.  For some reason one of the things that helps ease my pains is to drive around in the car.  I swear, I have the best husband in the world.  He has no problem driving me around the neighborhood for 30 minutes, like a baby who won't fall asleep.  

I have been playing with my food this past week.  I'm a foodie and a fat kid at heart.  I refuse to eat boring fish and veggies every day.  This week I've made fish patties, shrimp stirfry, and a bunch of other things.  The one thing I haven't been able to find is a good spice mix without any carbs.  If you have any suggestions please, please, PLEASE let me know!

I am still shocked at how amazing my back is looking.  But, I've started doing my workouts pyramid style.  A pyramid workout is where you lower your reps and up your weight {you can also do it the opposite way}  For example:  4 sets 15,12,10,8 you start with 10 lb weights and go up 5 pounds every set.  So you start at 10 pounds and end at 25 pounds.  This allows me to push and test my limits.  I'm not going to lie.  Today I really didn't want to be at the gym after I finished my shoulder workout today even though I still had a date with the stepmill.  So, I left, went and ran errands, then came home.  I did my stepmill workout the old fashioned way, using ACTUAL STEPS!  Yes, for 30 minutes I walked up and down the stairs in my house.  Tomorrow I will be back in the gym working my arms and running {evil} wind-sprints.  

I'm excited for tomorrow.  Ken and I are going to watch the NGA show.  I'm prepping to compete in an NGA show in October.  I'm really excited for a date with the hubby.  We haven't been on a date in many, many years.  And this is going to be nice.  The competition in the morning then we will end the day with dinner in Daytona.  

Which leads me to my Fitness Fav on Friday question, where do I draw my inspiration from?  One reason is my family.  Ken is always inspiring me and pushing me to do my best.  My girls are so proud of what I'm trying to accomplish.  They inspire me to do my best.  I've overheard Mo telling her friends "Yeah, my mom is training for a bikini competition."  Sunny will tell people that I can't eat things because I'm training.  They make me want to be my best.  My inspiration is also drawn from a few other sources but, mostly my family.

Your turn!  Where do you draw your inspiration from? 

JVKom Chronicles

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Most Hated Exercise

After my trip to the beach today and all the thoughts running through my mind I could TOTALLY write this post about all the things I love about my life.  I honestly am a really lucky person.  But no, instead I'm turning this post a whole 180 today and calling it.....

Yes, you read correctly.  Things I Love To Hate Thursday.  And guess what?  This weeks stuff is actually fitness related!  Let's begin.

Split Squats
UGH!  These are my most dreaded leg day move.  They have me in tears.  I have to force myself to keep going after only my second set.  But, they do have benefits.  A split squat, or a Bulgarian split squat, is done by standing in a lunge position and resting your back leg on a bench.  You then lower and raise yourself using your front leg only.  

Photo Courtesy of: Greg Corso
This move has some benefits.  {That's the only reason I push through this exercise}  It's a unilateral move meaning, it supports only one side and trains each side independently.  That way your weaker leg cannot slack off as with regular non-unilateral moves.    But honestly, this move is great for toning and strengthening your glutes, quads and hamstrings.  Give it a try and tell me if you love it or love to hate it!
Here are a few resources for more information about split squats Split Squat How-To

Amanda Latona Talks about the Bulgarian Split Squat

Wind Sprints
I am not a runner.  I hate to run, I don't run.  Period.  But, when coach tells you to do wind sprints, you do wind sprints.  UGH!  In order to do them I wear a knee brace on each knee and an ankle brace.  It's crazy.  But, it's what has to be done.  Wind sprints are evil though.   I do them on the treadmill.  So, basically a wind sprint is kinda how it sounds, it gets you winded.  If you are using the treadmill to do them you sprint for 30-45 seconds then jump your feet onto the side rails for 30-45 seconds to catch your breath.  
Wind sprints will help you burn major calories.  You'll continue to burn calories for hours after you're done with your workout!  If you've ever done a HIIT {High Intensity Interval Training} workout then this is along the same lines.  

Sagging Bikini Bottoms and Beach Flies
I know this one isn't fitness related but, they both annoy the crap outta me!  I have worn out my bikini bottoms.  They have no more elastic.  And why are there flies at the beach???  Shouldn't they be over a trash can?  

I do have one thing I actually love this week.  It's my new shoes!  They are Nike In Season Tr3's.  Super comfy!  I have been needing new shoes and I finally caved and bought some.  I found these at Hibbett's on sale for $45.  The original price was $75.  I couldn't resist!  {It also helped that I had Ken pushing me to buy them.} 

 What are some things you love to hate?? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Recipe Redux -- Bikini Style

When I was blogging at the Fat Free Queen I participated in a monthly recipe linkup called The Recipe Redux.  What is it?  It's "the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians,The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Dietitians Regan Jones (of ReganMillerJones, Inc.), Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly (both of Teaspoon Communications) founded the group on the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious. As the Latin term “redux” means to revisit or reinvent, we are reinventing the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach. We aim to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover."

The theme for this month is:
A Spirited ReDux 
From plain Jane vanilla extract to fancy-pants elderflower liqueur, we like to keep a little liquor in the kitchen. Show us how you like to cook, bake or mix-it-up with spirits, extracts and other alcohols. A splash of vodka makes summer sauces shine – and liqueurs brighten desserts: What’s your healthy recipe with spirit?"

The delicious dinner Ken made me for my birthday fit the bill perfectly.  

Shrimp and Lobster with Zucchini Noodles
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
.5 cup white wine, divided
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used extra large but medium is fine too)
2 lobster tails, chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
2 medium zucchini, spiral sliced into noodles
1 tomato, chopped


  1. Saute onions and garlic until soft
  2. Add .25 cup wine, shrimp, lobster, and rosemary
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until shrimp and lobster are done.  Set aside.
  4. Separately saute zucchini noodles
  5. When zucchini is almost done to your liking add the shrimp mixture, and tomatoes and gently toss together.
  6. Add wine and saute until wine reduces a bit and tomatoes are tender.

The best thing about this dish is that it isn't TOO much of a cheat.  It's nice and light and calorically won't break the bank.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2014


Hey y'all!  I'm actually writing this post while sitting on the beach!

So far this is the only upside I've found to my kids being gone.  I can sit back, relax, do some blogging, read a magazine, and work on some stuff for clients.  I don't have to watch anyone while I'm here, I don't have to worry about a kid drowning, and I don't have to entertain anyone.

Progress Picture

Due to the fact that the close up photos show a much more definition my coach has agreed to let me do close up progress photos from now on.  

Honestly on vacation my diet was followed perfectly.  How many people can say that??!!??  The only days that I messed up were our traveling days and I didn't cheat or overeat on those days I actually didn't eat ENOUGH.
Tuesday {my birthday} was the start of my new plan.  Did I cheat?  A little.  {Note:  Protein powder canNOT be used as a substitute for sugar in meringue.  The whole thing goes flat.}  The rest of the week has been spot on.

Tuesday through today's workouts were incredible.  I have been pushing myself, hitting every workout super hard and making myself proud.  I'm 11 weeks away from my first competition and if I keep going like this I know I'll place!

For this week's link up with Jen at the favorite of the week is, place to workout.  Honestly it depends on what I'm working on.  If it's weight training I much prefer to be in the gym.  For cardio?  Outside most definitely.  I used to pride myself on the fact that I didn't need a gym to workout.  But, since I started lifting weights I knew that I had to get into the gym.

Want to join the link up?  Click below!  Where do you workout?
JVKom Chronicles

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

It's been crazy since we got home from vacation on Monday.  My girls left with my parents and the house is so QUIET!  It's crazy.  It was really weird to not have them here with my on my birthday but, it just gives me an excuse to celebrate twice.

But, it's Thursday so that means it's.....

Zucchini noodles made with my veggetti

I have been wanting a spiral slicer for a while now and really didn't want to shell out the money for one.  But, when I saw this one on TV I decided it needed to go on my birthday list.  THEN I saw it reviewed on the Chew and bumped it up a bit on my list.  When my friend Jen at posted about it and loved it I knew it had to be bumped up to the top of my list.

This thing is great!  So simple to use.  Ken calls it a "pencil sharpener for vegetables."  The Veggetti is DEFINATELY worth the money.  It was used to make the zucchini noodles that Ken made me for my birthday dinner.

Being Home
Vacation is nice.  I love to get away and go somewhere new.  I love traveling in general but, nothing beats being at home.  I'm comfortable at home,  my stuff is here, and {most importantly} my gym is here.  

My girls
They left with my parents from Georgia and I'm picking them up before school starts.  I miss them so much!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Are You Peelin' the Love??

Hey y'all!  Have I ever told you what my favorite fruit is?  No?  It's the banana.  Before I started prepping I ate a banana every day.  Sometimes I ate 2.  I love everything that I've ever tasted that's made with bananas.  Banana Bread, banana sandwiches, banana in my oatmeal, banana ice cream, banana everything! 

Did you know that bananas are super healthy?

  • They help regulate and/or lower blood pressure
  • Studies have shown that kids who eat a banana a day are 34% less likely to develop asthma
  • Bananas can help reduce the risk of childhood leukemia and they are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer
  • They support heat health and can help reduce a person's risk of cardiovascular disease
  • They help reduce the risk of stroke, muscle loss, and preserve bone density and aid memory
  • Lowers blood glucose levels in Type 1 diabetics and improve blood sugar, insulin and lipids in Type 2 diabetics
  • Can be used to treat diarrhea
When I was contacted by Dole to be a Blog Ambassador for their Peel the Love Tour I was so excited.    What is Peel the Love?  It's a year long Dole campaign that celebrates the fun, irreverence, and whimsical side of bananas.  They are doing a Peel the Love "Banana Cabana" Tour that is traveling coast-to-coast.  It's going to cover 26 cities and luckily Jacksonville is one of them!

Here's the dates that they will be at the Winn-Dixies in the Jacksonville area. 

7/20 – Winn-Dixie (96076 Lofton Square Ct., Yulee, FL) – 10am-1pm
7/20 – Winn-Dixie (947 Amelia Plaza, Fernandina Beach, FL) – 3-6pm
7/21 – Winn-Dixie (450078 SR 200, Callahan, FL) – 11am-2pm
7/24 – Winn-Dixie (1545 County Rd. 220, Orange Park, FL) – 10am-1pm
7/24 – Winn-Dixie (290 Solana Rd., Ponte Vedra, FL) – 3-6pm
7/25 – Winn-Dixie (703 Chaffee Rd., Jacksonville, FL) – 10am-1pm
7/25 – Winn-Dixie (5647 Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville, FL) – 3-6pm

Not in the Jacksonville area?  Click HERE to find out when the Peel the Love "Banana Cabana" Tour will be coming to a city near you!

Each week I still have a banana on my cheat day.  Here's one of my favorite banana desserts.  I even made this for myself for dessert on vacation!

I put mine over Greek yogurt and added some raspberries.  Pure bliss!

Grilled Peanut Butter Banana


1 banana
1 T PB2 mixed with .5 T water
1-2 T sugar free maple syrup


  1. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with pan spray
  2. Slice your banana in half lengthwise and lay on the foil
  3. Spread the PB2 on one half, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle half of the syrup
  4. Put the two halves back together, drizzle with the other half of the syrup, and wrap the tinfoil tightly around the banana
  5. Place on the grill for 10-15 minutes until the banana is warm, soft and brown.
  6. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before eating
{It can also be done in a 350 degree oven for 15-25 minutes}

Option 2:  
  1. Wrap whole banana in sprayed tinfoil
  2. Grill for 10-15 minutes
  3. When it's cool enough to handle {but still warm} mush it with a fork
  4. Lay out 8 graham cracker halves
  5. Spread PB2 on 4 halves, and top with a chocolate square.  
  6. On the other 4 halves spread a thick layer of the warm banana mush.  
  7. Put a PB2 cracker and a banana cracker together
Voila!  A Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana S'more!  Perfect, healthy camping dessert!

What's your favorite banana recipe?  Are y'all going to join me at Winn-Dixie???  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Progress Vacation Style

(I wrote this post before and it disappeared.  Let's try this again.)  Happy Friday!   Right now I'm probably hiking Brasstown Bald. We are having a great time on vacation.  I love the mountains. 

I love my kids and I wouldn't skip vacation and family time (my patents are here too) for anything but,  if I'm prepping during our next vacation I'm going someplace near a gym.  (The closest one here is 45 minutes away!)

I know that my progress is sub par this week but, I'm being there are many competitors that get sidelined for a few days during prep. 

Here's my plan for making up for this week's crappy workouts.My hike today should burn some major calories and help tone my legs and butt. I'm not planning any major cheats for Saturday.  And I'm going to hit my workout (and my new plan) hard on Monday. 

Wednesday was COMPETLY screwed up due to traveling.  Thursday was more on track.  I hit up the salad bar at Ingles both notes.  I'm really proud of my self control.  I haven't touched even 1 marshmallow (one of my weaknesses)

Wednesdays didn't happen so now I'm stuck playing catch up.  Today is normally leg day so I kept it the same and decided to add in our hiking trip today.

The topic for this week's Fave on Friday is fitness fuel. I have 3.

Left: Isopure. This is the protein powder I'm currently in love with.  The toasted coconut (shown here) has only 1 gram of carbs and they have a ton of flavors that have 0 carbs. 

Middle: Extend by Scivation. It's a BCAA blend that is used for muscle recovery and helps keep away muscle fatigue.  This one is grape flavored. Normally I hate things that are grape flavored but this one tastes just like a Jolly Rancher!

Right: Cellucor Alpha Amino's.  Another amino blend that I use to help repair my body after a hard workout. 

JVKom Chronicles

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Things I Love Vacation Style

Right now I'm relaxing in Georgia.  It's gorgeous up here!  I always knew that I was born in the decade {I relate most to the Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke era} but now I think I've decided that I live in the wrong area.

I seriously like this country life.  I can be one with nature, enjoy the outdoors, and not have to worry about neighbors!  But, my love for this house and the area will be covered in a later post.  Today is.....

My picks for the week are...

I'm a magazine junkie.  They keep me updated on fitness treands, give me competition prep advice, and give me new ideas for training and nutrition for my clients.  I also find them quite entertaining, especially when I'm waiting for the rest of the house to wake up.  {Yes, I still set my alarm on vacation.  I'm THAT person.}

Ingles Market
I love this place! It reminds me of the grocery stores where I grew up.  They also have a rocking salad bar, bulk foods section, and grind your own peanut butter.

Salmon Jerky from Anthony's Fresh Fish
OMG this stuff is GOOD!  Before I stopped eating meat Ken would smoke meat almost every weekend.  {We actually went weeks without using the stove before.  He grilled everything!}  When we were picking up dinner for our anniversary I found Salmon Jerky in the refridgerated case.  I just opened it up the other day and it's amazing.  It's only been seasoned with some pepper but the smoke flavor REALLY comes through.  I had to stop myself from eating the whole bag.  I brought it on the road with us so I had a little snack.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Off We Go!

As you read this I am probably on my way to Georgia

It's an 8 hour drive so we are loaded down with healthy snacks and a TON of things for the kids to do!

I have a few posts planned for y'all an as long as I have cell phone service up there then I'll be posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

I'll also have a full recap for y'all when I get back!!

Have a great week, I know I will.

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Follow the links!


Friday, July 4, 2014

Progress and Stuff

Hey y'all!  Happy Fourth of July!  And happy anniversary to my amazing husband.  Today marks our 5 year anniversary.  Honestly though, it seems like we've been married 55.  We got married in Cocoa Beach, on the beach, at the Hilton.  We had just my parents, my sister, her boyfriend and Ken's best friend, his wife and daughter.  Oh and of course our girls were there.

 Yes, that was me.  I'm probably 175 pounds in that photo.  Here's a 5 year shot of me.

It's unrealistic.  Here's a nice side-by-side of me and Ken.

I love that man more today than I did 5 years ago.  Okay, I know y'all didn't come here for a sappy love story.  Y'all came to see some change.  Well, here's the progress photos I sent.

And I've decided I'll show you my 3 week progress.  Can you see any change?  I can't really except in my back.

I mentioned last week that I'd been feeling puffy.  Well, I figured out the source of my puffiness.  It's MiO.  I'm obsessed addicted to it.  I use it alot.  I stopped drinking it for a day and noticed I was a bit flatter in the stomach.  Am I going to stop drinking it for good right now?  No but, it's nice to know that I can thin out a bit if I stop.  And it's nice to know that I'm not really doing anything wrong.

Except for Thursday I pushed myself really hard this week.  Thursday's workout was done at home and I kept getting interrupted.  {If you're a parent you know how often kids decide that they need something when YOU are actually doing something}  I even made it to the gym this morning.  {Today was my second leg day of the week.  And leg days are my favorite so I couldn't miss it}  I've been having some issues in the gym though.  It's mentally taxing to have to be the only one who pushes you 6 days a week.  There's noone there to push me.  It's like there's two people battling in my brain.  One wants me to give up and quit my workout because it's hurting.  The other is there motivating me to keep going. {Does that make me sound crazy?}  I can tell I'm physically getting stronger even if my mental state is getting weaker.  

As you've seen I've been linking up with Jen from every Friday for the past few weeks.  July's link up topic is Fitness Fav on Friday.  This week's topic is Favorite Fitness Gear.  I'd probably say that my favorite gear is my heart rate monitor.  I adore it!  It tracks my heart rate and my calories. Best of all, it's PINK!  It's a Polar FT4 that my parents bought me for Christmas.  I can't imagine a workout without it.  

What's your favorite fitness gear?

JVKom Chronicles

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Things I love Thursday Number 3

I swear, the weeks are going by quicker and quicker recently.  Time again for...

My Anniversary
Tomorrow is my anniversary.  I've always loved the Fourth of July and the fireworks so, it made sense to get married on July 4th.  Ken and I never do anything super elaborate but, it's always fun.  {Just wait until tomorrow when you see the comparison photos}

Cellucor Alpha Aminos Fruit Punch
This stuff is yummy.  It actually tastes like fruit punch.  Almost like Kool-aid.

Anthony's Fresh Fish
Anthony's is located  at 401 S State St, Bunnell, FL 32110.  I get all my crabs and specialty seafood from them.   I picked up a whole fish and some crabs for my anniversary dinner. The staff is super friendly and the prices aren't outrageous.  So, if you're in the Flagler County area you should check them out.