New Year New Me: A cuppa Folgers

At BlogHer, BabyShmizz and I hopped over to the Folgers booth for an afternoon pick-me-up and while I am not a coffee drinker {save for a cappuccino or caramel macchiato now and then} I was really impressed by the richness of the brew.

Later on at home, I noticed that there were a few of these beauties in my swag bag.

Here's my recipe for a healthy breakfast smoothie that will give you a little pep in your step!

500ml COLD water
1 pack of Black Silk instant Folgers coffee
1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology

Put it all into a blender and blend on the puree setting until you see that the coffee has been blended. {that's a whole lot of blending going on right there!}

Pour into a glass and enjoy.

The flavour is out of this world. It is rich and creamy, and tastes just like a coffee house iced mocha. Certainly, you could add some ice cubes or even make some ice cubes from a brewed batch of the Black Silk.


Calories: approx. 140 per 500ml


New Year New Me: Morning Meditation

There are so many wonderful benefits to meditating, and it is something that I have been doing at least once a day since about February or March.

I have my favourites {resources posted at the end} and usually do a meditation right before when I am going to bed. I find that it helps me sleep, and helps me wake up in a more positive head space.

A couple of weeks ago, Bear was deciding to sleep in well past 9:15am {yahoo!} so I thought that I would try a morning meditation.

I am always fascinated by what happens at the end of the meditation when I open my eyes. The room is always brighter and seems a thousand times larger than when I closed my eyes at the beginning. Everything feels fresh and new.

If you haven't tried incorporating meditation into your daily routine, try it! I find that it fills me with a sense of calm, it puts to ease my fears and anxiety, it helps me see the things that I truly want {and see them coming to life}.


Podcasts on the iPhone app by Meditation Oasis
Online guided meditations by Fragrant Heart
Podcasts on the iPhone app by Meditation Peace


New Year New Me, C25K Updates

So, I am now officially half done my C25K training. {well almost! I have one day left of week4!}

What an amazing experience. I absolutely LOVE running, and never in a million years did I think I would be able to call myself a runner.

But that's me...a runner! A RUNNER!

Last week, I had a huge achievement and felt like dancing all the way home at one point {I ran instead}. Here's my week 3 progression, and I'm sure you'll be able to tell why I'm so excited

w3d1: pace -4sec

w3d2: pace -2sec

w3d3: page -14sec

FOURTEEN seconds!!! I am getting stronger, my legs aren't as wobbly when I get back and more often than not, I end my cool down a quarter of the route from my home, then RUN home!

That's not to say when I get home, I'm not panting and then lying in a puddle of sweat and grime on my bathroom floor, but still!

Who are my runners out there?? High fives all around!


New Year New Me, Inspiration To Keep Going

Time for some inspiration!

How awesome are we as women? VERY!
We birth babies
We take on a world of stress
We rarely take time for ourselves
We care unconditionally for others
Did I mention that we birth babies??

Today, I want you to celebrate your awesome. Raise a glass, go for a run, look in the mirror and smile.

For you...are....awesome.

Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Zaggora, the makers of Hot Pants, for this incredible reminder. This post was not sponsored.


New Year New Me, I {heart} my running pants

So, I have a confession.

I am absolutely in LOVE with my new running pants. Previously, I only had one pair of athletic capri leggings that I really loved and didn't give me a wedgie while running or working out. Try as I might, no other pants quite fit the bill.

I went back to WalMart to get just another pair of the leggings, thinking that if I had two pairs, I'd be all set for running four times a week. Apparently, the capris only come in charcoal grey and I was looking for a little variety.

So, I bought these as well as the capris.

I have to say, I absolutely love them. Value wise, they're fantastic at just $12 a pair. What I love most about them is how slimming they are! I know that probably sounds really silly, but there's something really motivating about feeling good in your workout clothes. I see my slim legs (hello! Look at those calves!) and feel awesome about all that I have accomplished.

I definitely am going to have to go back and get another pair of the running leggings, especially before fall.

What are your fave workout clothes?


New Year New Me, Lateral Pull Downs and Alternating Jabs

Almost the last segment in the upper boy resistance training series! I'm getting really excited about how my upper body is looking, and that next week will be our last tutorial {a segment on a neutral row with a transition into a torso twist}.

Doing these upper body exercises has really improved my balance, strength and stability. I look in the mirror and see a confident woman who is strong and sure of herself.


I have really been focusing on bicep, back and chest strength without really even trying. I didn't realize that I had been neglecting my triceps, so that is something that I'll be focusing on over the next few weeks, along with leg strength and toning.

Another element that I'll be adding...jogging. Heck...maybe even running! We have a fantastic jogging stroller, complete with pedometer and iPod dock, but it seems to have seized when you try to unfold it. I'm not overly sure what happened what happened, but it's an issue I am determined to figure out. Stay tuned for pics of me on the go, Bear in tow!


New Year New Me, Resistance Training Tricep Extensions

I can't believe just how much my upper body is changing from doing a quick 20 mins resistance training circut in the morning before we get going into another busy day. I am thrilled with the results, and what is even more amazing is that others are noticing.

My full routine consists of 20reps of each of the following

Bicep curls
Tricep extensions
Standing row
Torso twist {great for the obliques!}
Lateral pulldowns

Sometimes I throw in an alternating jab, sometimes a bent over row.

I also had a big AHA moment this past week. I was having my headshots for my new BlogHer13 bio cards. It was this moment right here

Sitting in our chic guest room, wearing trendy and beautiful clothes by Kristine Cook, accessories by Amber Bryce, and big blue wedge heels...reading a book to my Bear, who was in his pj's. I had a moment of Wow...I am that trendy home decor expert and artist, and a mom. Both worlds collided and fit together so perfectly.

I honestly could not be happier right now. I look in the mirror and I saw thin, toned legs. I saw my cheekbones and my tiny little waist. I

and for once, I liked what I saw.


New Year New Me...Resistance Training

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I have a renewed sense of self and have made some really positive choices for myself over the past couple of weeks. I have been doing daily meditations to ensure that my head and heart are in a good space, and that I am open to the possibility of being awesome.

I have also been doing resistance training for my upper body, every morning, over the past two weeks. The sense of strength and the visual transformation that I have been noticing is incredible.

I was always that girl who was self conscious of her arms. I had the chicken wing/Oprah underhang and would wear the baggiest of baggy clothe to cover it up. Now, I have strong shoulders, a defined collar bone area, and I'm starting to get a bicep bump!

Training with resistance bands is something that takes a whopping 15minutes of my day, in the morning, and something that my little guy cheers me on while I'm doing. I absolutely love it and over the next couple of weeks I will show you the moves that I do so that you can recreate it at home!

And remember - you've worked really hard this week and have gotten yourself into a positive space. Don't throw away all of that work by slacking over the weekend. It's all about balance; if you want to go for a dinner out, get in an extra workout or make sure that your snacks are super healthy and clean!


New Year New Me, CHANGES!

So, some big changes happened this past week....I mean like hugely massive lifechanging changes

First, I chopped off my hair

It's also a lovely shade of red ombre now. I absolutely love it and it's going to be great for new head shots, new wardrobe and as we go into warmer weather!

And then this happened! I finally rewarded myself with the tattoo that I've been longing for. Heather at The Taste of Ink in London, Ontario did a fantastic job! I am so happy to finally have this on me. The O is perfect and actually matches my Tiffany Notes O Pendant that Hubs got me when we had our son, and the anchor is exactly what I was looking for.

I also completed the 3 Day Shakeology cleanse this week. I started on Sunday at 160lbs, and by Wednesday morning, I was weighing in at 157lbs.

Now. This cleanse isn't for everyone. I will fully admit that there were many times of lightheadedness and there was one point where my heart got all fluttery, the black spots came and my knees gave out. My recommendation would be, other than listening to your body, to add in a salad at lunch or a morning snack of some complex carb, even if it's just some fruit and peanut butter.

Wednesday morning, I started Slim in 6 - a program designed around cardio, total body workout and resistance training that is designed to help overhaul your entire body in six weeks. I felt like it was the first time stepping into an aerobics studio; I was so uncoordinated! The moves themselves were relatively simple and easy, it was just the pace!

I am really loving the resistance training, though. It's definitely going to help shape and sculpt those long lean muscles that I know are there.

What's next in your positive change challenge?? Leave me a comment and let me know what you're up to!

*This post contains affiliate links, however I was not compensated to link them within the text body of this post


ItWorks! No does!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the lovely Carrie, an independent ItWorks representative about boosting my New Year New Me journey with one of her products, the Ultimate Body Applicator.

It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I was in a big time rut and my motivation was seriously lacking coming off of being sick and being incredibly busy. So I thought, what the heck...let's try it.

Before... a bit of water retention and I was...I was okay with it, but definitely not super duper happy with it.

I took my measurements, which were 31.5" at my natural waist, 35" at my navel and 40" at my hips/lower abdomen.

I put the wrap on, wrapped myself in saran wrap, walked around like a robot for 45mins...drank 72oz of water and my belly got all tingly. It was so neat! I felt it working, which is something that I really hadn't expected.

Then, after 45, I unwrapped the saran wrap and massaged the rest of the lotion onto my abdomen.

And I took my measurements.

30.5" at my natural waist, 34" at my naval and 38" at my hips/lower abdomen. Not to mention that my whole stomach was smoother and my stretchmarks were lighter!

People! That's a total of 4" gone! GONE! The Wrap has the most impact after 72hrs, and by yesterday I had lost a total of 5.5"! Amazing!

It was certainly the kick in the booty that I needed to recharge my batteries and make me determined to finish Insanity.

and now....You can WIN one!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: I was provided one ItWraps Ultimate Body Applicator to use for the purposes of this review, and one to giveaway, free of charge by Carrie.


New Year New Me, Week 7

I think I've lost it.

Are you asking what? I'll tell you. My motivation.

I step on the scale and it's the same number within about 2 lbs consistently no matter how hard I try. I think my body may have plateaued, and likely needs a kick in the booty right now.

It doesn't help that it's grey grey grey outside. It makes me want to lay on the couch and do nothing all day, but that's simply not an option.

You see this guy? He watches everything that I do.

If it weren't for the fact that his little eyes are watching my every move, I'm not sure that I would be this close to finishing the Insanity program. If it weren't for him cheering me on, giving me high fives and saying 'Good Job Mommy!' I may have thrown in the towel by now.

That's what it's all about, folks. It's so much more than getting healthy for myself.  It's about getting healthy for him and setting a positive example.

So, my motivation? With these grey dreary days, it's hard to find the get up and go. It may have actually got up and went! But looking at his little face and seeing his smiles when I've done a workout with him around {piggy backs included} makes it all worth it.

It may not be a workout every day, but I'm so close to finishing this round of Insanity. How am I going to get through the next 15 days? What's my motivation?

I need a reward. I need to give myself something that I've longed for, for quite some time.
I'm going to give myself my tattoo.

Do you reward yourself? How do you stay motivated??

Last week, I promised you a Shakeology snack recipe. My coach Dara shared this one with my accountability group and I couldn't wait to try it. They're super yummy, and I don't feel guilty one bit eating them!

 Shakeology Peanut Butter Cups

2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology powder
splash of almond milk
squirt of honey

Mix together to a pudding like consistency and drop a teaspoon of the mixture into a mini muffin pan. Add a teaspoon of all natural peanut butter, then cover with more of the Shakeology mixture. Freeze for about an hour or until firm.

Now, they froze so solid that I had to get my Hubs to get them out of the tin, but am I ever thankful that he did! They're fantastic, and definitely satisfy that craving for sweets when it raises its ugly head!


*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Recovery Week

Oh Recovery Week...I thought that it was going to be easier than the rest. One thing that I have definitely learned in this whole BeachBody Challenge and doing Insanity is that it never gets easier, you only push your body harder.

While the moves on recovery week were a little slower, more focused on the core and strengthening your balance and centre, it was still really difficult! By the end of the week, I could get through the hip burners with only having to stop once, but my oh my! If you've had a baby and had your hips spread, be prepared for them to almost seize when you're doing the hip burners! It did not feel good, but nevertheless, I pushed through.

Another thing I learned this week was about fueling my body properly. Going into month two (Day37 today! woot!) I knew that I was going to need more fuel, but I didn't realize just how much. {ps: I'll share some of my favourite meals next week to fuel your body for these crazy workouts}

That's right...on Day36 of Insanity, I faced not only the fit test (450cal) but also my first max interval circuit (800+cal). Insanity sure lives up to its name! Pushing through was incredibly difficult, and I may have ended up in a pile of sweat on the kitchen floor, but I am SO happy with my fit test results!! I even beat Tanya the Machine (if you've done or are doing Insanity, you know exactly who I'm talking about...and have a love/hate relationship with her as well) on one of the moves! Even my coach Dara was impressed!

See!? You CAN do it! It's totally possible to get better, to focus and to challenge yourself. This isn't about anyone but me, and I know that I can do it; I'm already over halfway there!

Oh and the -3lbs weight loss over the week isn't too shabby either.

How are YOU challenging yourself to get fit and focus? Link me up in the comments!

Beachbody Coach, Dara Distel
*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year, New Me...Week 2!

So how did Week 2 of the Beachbody challenge go?

Well, I can absolutely say that I have seen huge changes in my body. The top left photo is a comparison of week 1 and week 2. The inches are coming off and I am so much stronger already!

What I learned....I've learned that I don't always have to keep up with everyone on the workout. This is about my limits and my boundaries, and me pushing them. I've learned that I love working out in my yoga tights and a sports bra {never ever ever thought I'd say that!} and I've learned that I need new bras and underwear as mine are TOO BIG!

Day 1 Fit Test (left), Day 15 Fit Test (right)

I've also learned that I love the Heisman, football drills, sprints, hurdle jumps and still really hate burpees. I'm not sure that I will ever love them. And I learned on Day15 that I have made some serious progress in terms of my strength, speed and overall cardio health.

My proudest moments over the past week were getting through Plyometric Cardio without tears (see b/w photo of me smiling in the first collage) and having Owen run up to me after a workout yelling "Good Job, Mommy!" It also felt pretty darn good to be complimented and hear the words "thin", "lost alot of weight", "you look great" and "hello, skinny Shannon!"

I know that I still have alot of work to do, and it's only Day 15 of Insanity as I write this. I know that I will have some challenges ahead - like facing the scale and it's dirty mind tricks (even though there is a drop in weight -3lbs since Christmas) - but I also know what I see in the mirror, and what I feel in my heart; positive change.

I also started on Tuesday with Shakeology, which I will be having each and every morning as breakfast for the next 30 days, and the incorporating into my daily routine to remain healthy, get the proper nutrition to set up for an excellent day, and curb the cravings that have plagued me for most of my life {hello, chocolate and bread! I'm talking to you!}

I also have learned that even with the amount of determination and motivation that I have, I still fall every now and then, and my emotions can get the best of me. This is when having a coach like Dara is so important. I am so thankful to be able to send her a quick message saying Ok, so I don't feel so great about myself today and for her to remind me just why I am doing this, and how much I have accomplished in just two short weeks.

Next week, I'm going to experiment with some Shakeology recipes and test the waters to see what I like. So far, it's a such rich and yummy chocolate shake that I absolutely love starting the day with - it's seriously like having a milkshake and getting a chocolate fix all at once. My craving is satisfied, and I know that I'm putting incredible ingredients into my body to help fuel it for a busy day. Stay tuned!! Next week is all about Shakeology and how it can help you attain optimal health, without chemicals, and embracing positive change into your life!

On your own health journey? Setting positive examples for your kids? Let me know in the comments!!

Beachbody coach Dara Distel, before and after Shakeoloy

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.