Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Tighten Skin

This has by far been my most requested post and most frequently asked here it is everyone.

How do I/we tighten our skin and keep it from sagging?

It is actually very, very simple but first you have to understand a little bit about the skin tightening process. When I first started exercising I thought that my skin would bounce back as fast as my weight came off. WRONG! I have extremely poor skin elasticity, hence the stretch marks I got when I was twelve. It seemed like it took my skin forever to tighten up even remotely the first time. This time around, however, I know how the process works and what to do to encourage my skin to tighten up.
The above pictures are one week apart. The left was first thing in the morning (when my stomach was at its flattest) and the right was at about noon, after three meals, closer up, and in florescent light (which shows everything). You can see that my skin is not drooping at the bottom of my stomach like it was and the skin on either side of my stretch marks is not near as wrinkly as it was before. There are several avenues I take to help encourage my skin to tighten.
First: Drink at least one gallon of water a day. The more hydrated your skin the better the elasticity so drink up! I drink 1-1/2 gallons a day but a gallon is plenty.
Second: Exfoliate like crazy! I have use all kinds of exfoliating products from creams to brushes to mittens. What works best for me is the cheap scrub from Wal-Mart.
This is what I am currently using. It works really well for me & smells really good but any exfoliating product will due. Exfoliating helps remove your dry skin while increasing the blood flow to the targeted area and encouraging new elastic skin growth!
Third: Preparation H. I am going to be totally honest, I am not sure of the science behind how it works but I do know that it does work. TJ (my husband) swears by it. We have tried a couple of the less expensive "store" brand hemorrhoid creams but you definitely want to go with the Extra Strength Preparation H because out of all of them it works the best. Apply it before you go to bed every night.
Fourth: Lift, Lift, Lift. When I started lifting weights everything tightened up. My husband had one stubborn area (bottom of his rear) that just would not get tight and after focusing on doing more exercises targeting that area (squats, leg press, lunges) he no longer has any loose skin.
Fifth:  Eat a healthy diet. Do Not Yo-Yo. Losing and gaining repeatedly is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. focus on losing weight slowly and steadily if possible. Trust me this will make it way easier on you when it comes to skin tightening.

Have you ever tried those wraps? Do they work?

The answer is yes, I have tried them. Did they work for me? I suppose if I were looking for temporary results they worked great. TJ and I both gave them a try and our skin was tighter after each treatment, however, the results do not last. I personally think they're a waste of money unless you want to look good for a weekend at the beach or something like that. 

How long did it take for your skin to tighten?

The results above are a weeks difference. Though the results aren't staggering, they're lasting and getting better every single week. Tightening your skin is going to require patience and the ability to celebrate the small victories.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Green Bean, Ground Turkey & Bell Pepper

Here is another healthy variation of a typical "prepped" meal. It is super clean, super easy, and surprisingly very tasty! 

What you need:
-1/4lb 99% lean ground turkey
- steamed green beans
-1/2 cup bell pepper (color of preference)
-Ms. Dash Seasoning (flavor of preference)

I almost always have ground turkey and bell pepper cooked and put up in the fridge because they're both so versatile and can be used in so many different ways. I have started buying my veggies at SAMs because they come in steam-able bags that contain 4 servings a piece. Throw one in the microwave for 5-7 minutes and its ready to eat! What I have learned about eating clean is that there is ALOT of repetition with the kinds of foods you eat and, if you're like me, that gets old quick. So, presenting the foods in different ways helps me stay on track. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grilled Chicken & Bell Pepper Over Rice

Since several of my followers are new to eating clean, I decided I would share some simple recipes that you can throw together with the things you already have prepped to make your meal feel more "homemade" and not so much like a reheated leftover. 

What you need:
-1/2 cup brown rice
-1/2 cup bell pepper (color of preference)
-2-4 grilled chicken tenders

Typically, I have all of these things prepped and sitting in the fridge by Sunday evening so its simple just to throw it together. I use the skillet to re-heat all of them because, in my opinion, it makes the food taste like its freshly cooked. Mix them all on a plate & enjoy. For those of you who have been asking for easy, healthy dinner ideas this is one! It is even easier if you meal prep ahead of time so keep that in mind.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Breakfast Smoothie

Lately, I have been on a smoothie kick for breakfast. Its fast and filling so its perfect for me to make and run out the door with. 
Whats in my breakfast smoothie?
-1 cup water
-1 scoop Pro-V 60 Vanilla Ice Cream protein powder
-1 big handful of baby spinach
-1/2 banana
-1 handful strawberries/blueberries

Its so easy, just throw it in the blender, pour in a cup and go!
I usually only have them for breakfast because of the amount of sugar and carbs in the fruit but depending on your activity level/goals this would be a perfect smoothie for any time of the day. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Riley is 5 Months Old!

Last week our little girl was five months old! So much has happened this month that I couldn't fit it all on the chalk board. She has developed such a little personality and always has so much to say, even though we cannot understand her. She is holding her own bottle, starting to sit up unsupported, she has become very aware of her surroundings (recognizing people, sounds and the direction noise comes from) and she has started eating baby food. (See my blog post for homemade baby food here)
Holding her own bottle.
 So excited because her feet finally touch the ground in her jumper!

Her daddy had to put together her high chair so we could start introducing baby food!
I just had to throw this picture in there because its so cute. She was cracking up laughing at her daddy. 

Riley before her first time eating baby food & her first bite of baby food. She is still not too sure about it but once she gets the hang of it I think she will love it!

Homemade Sweet Potato Baby Food

I am very excited to share my experiences as I venture into making all of Riley's baby food. I decided to make her food myself for a few reasons; first, because I can make sure there are no preservatives or added ingredients and second, because it is way more economical which is important since we are only on one income. I bought four large sweet potatoes that were on sale for 68 cents a piece at HEB. 
First, you need to peel, dice and wash the sweet potatoes. 

 Then, pour the your sweet potatoes in a pan. Make sure your pan is lined with foil and greased with some kind of non-stick spray. Cover with foil and cook for about an hour on 350 degrees. The sweet potatoes should be very tender when you take them out. I do not advise boiling any of the produce you plan to turn into baby food because it takes away some of the nutrients.
Pour your sweet potatoes in a bowl and blend with your hand mixer until they are creamy like mashed potatoes; then, place about half of the mashed sweet potatoes in a blender with 1/2 cup of water and blend until they're the consistency you want. Repeat with the other half of the sweet potatoes then spoon into a clean ice tray, cover with foil and freeze. 
Once they're frozen, break apart like normal ice cubes and store in a freezer bag. Take 1-2 cubes out at a time and allow to thaw in fridge before feeding to your little one. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Help a Little Boy in Need!

Okay guys, typically I wouldn't do this, BUT my cousin in law reached out to me for some help spreading the word about a boy she babysits who is in need of some help. 
This sweet little boy is suffering from a neurological disorder and is in need of four treatments that cost around $3,500.00 that their insurance will not cover. My cousin in law, Brittany, owns an online boutique specializing in little girls accessories. She will be donating a portion of all of her sales to help this boy and his family. Please visit her website A Dash of Glitter and find some goodies for the little girls in your life and to help a little boy in need!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


So these are my numbers for week 7! Ive lost three pounds and 4.25 inches!

As you can see, I hold more fat on my left side than my right so its a struggle to get it all looking some what symmetrical but hopefully when I am at my goal it will all even out. Several people have asked why I show myself in a thong instead of just the usual bathing suit bottoms...well...because my butt is one of my trouble areas & I want to show exactly what it looks like at every step in the process. TJ is looking great! he cut his body fat from 10% last week to 8% this week and dropped from 223lbs to 215lbs. He is leaning out a little faster than we want because we would like for him to be on stage at 215lbs but he hasnt lost any of his size so hopefully he can maintain 215lbs and just drop what little fat he has left.