Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year Everyone!

OK, you got your goals ready? Now, how about your plan? Exactly HOW are you going to achieve your goals? You need to plan how you are going to reach your goals or you will not achieve them. If nutrition is your biggest problem, keep a food journal (on paper or online, like at If motivation to work out is your problem, plan to commit to a program for 30 days. If you don't like it, pick something else. You won't stick with it if you don't like it. (In fact, Turbulence Training has a 21 day trial you can try with a money back guarantee if you don't like the program.) Plan to cut out sugar (Dr. Scott Olson, author of Sugarettes, has even announced that January 2009 is International Sugar Free Month). Plan to eat more fruits and veggies. Make your menu for the week and stick to your shopping list. Plan your workouts like appointments on your calendar that you cannot miss. Break up large goals into smaller, more manageable goals. Instead of "I'm going to lose 20 lbs" say "I'm going to lose 5 lbs in January".

I don't have a recipe today for New Years Eve, but if you are going out tonight, stay away from the sugary mixers; maybe just have a rum and diet cola (my personal choice, for the once a year I have a drink). If you are staying in, there are many sugar free cocktails you could make; or you could go completely non-alcoholic and mix two 2-liter bottles of diet Sprite with a 2-liter bottle of club soda and a large bottle of cranberry juice (no sugar/Splenda sweetened if you can find it). Tonight, I will be curled up at home nursing my cold with a warm mug of sugar free hot cocoa. I probably won't even make it to midnight ...zzzz....zzzz....zzzzz.... Sleep is very important too. ;)

(Photo: Countdown Entertainment, LLC)

Monday, December 29, 2008

First New Workout And I Hate Being Sick

Got my first new workout in today. It kicked my butt. It doesn't help that I think I am coming down with a cold. Blah. I chose TT 2K5 as my workout for the first 4 weeks of the contest. (2K5 just refers to the year Craig created the workout.) I used 2K3 in the first contest, and 2K4 in the second contest. I didn't use any of the "numbered" ones for the third contest, so now I am using 2K5 to start this one. It's sort of an upper body/lower body split, which I don't always like. However, Workout A is more total body and incorporates some spiderman push ups and a bench press with the 1-legged squats and Romanian Deadlifts. Workout B is much more upper body focused with incline presses, chin ups, and inverted rows. First exercise this morning? 1-legged squats. Oh, man, am I feeling those tonight. I can't do them all the way to the floor. I squat down onto a bench. One of these days I want to try them using the cable stack rope for support and see how low I can go. But I'm a little bit chicken to try it out in front of everyone. Bawk Bawk BAWK!! One day very soon though....Maybe this Saturday morning. The gym is usually pretty empty when I go early on Saturday mornings. Hmmm....well, I'll let you know!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Year of Turbulence Training

Today is Day One of my next 12 week TT Transformation Contest. I didn't see any reason to wait until after January 1st since this is a lifestyle and not a "New Years' Resolution". I posted my new goals on last Friday, but I wanted to start this contest today just looking back over the past year. The picture on the left is my before picture from the first TT contest that I began on December 31, 2007. The picture on the right is my after picture from the third TT contest that I finished on November 23, 2008. Between 12/31/07 and 11/23/08, I lost over 30 lbs and I lost 28 inches (including almost 7 inches off of my abdomen). I am excited to be beginning my fourth TT contest and I wanted to take a minute to sincerely thank Craig Ballantyne and Turbulence Training for giving me the tools to get into the best shape of my life this year. I've lost a little of the definition I had in my final picture (love that holiday family cooking) but I know I'll have it back in no time! :)

New Years Day is just a few days away. Have you made the same resolution you make every year, only to still look the same when December rolls around? There is a woman at my gym who I see every morning on the cardio machines. She is always there, chugging away on the elliptical or treadmill, book or magazine in hand. She looks EXACTLY THE SAME as she did when I joined that gym over 18 months ago. Don't be that woman. Make your goals this year and stick with them. Make your goals specific! Don't say you want to lose weight, say you want to lose 10 pounds of fat. Don't just make "Resolutions", make lifestyle changes that will allow you to achieve your goals! Find a training program you like and that gives you results, eat healthy foods instead of junk, and find the support you need to be the best you can be in 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Turbulence Training Contest

The 4th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest begins today! I was dead set against joining, but ultimately I decided that if I am going to be doing the workouts anyway, it wouldn't hurt to join the contest and have the support from the TT Members Forum. There are male and female categories this time with the top prize being $1000 plus a 3 year platinum membership to the TTMembers site.

My start date will be this Sunday, December 28. In the 5 weeks since TC3 ended (for me), I've been on a muscle building diet and I've gained back a few pounds, which was intentional; although I didn't gain the pounds back as slowly as I planned (too many cookies - LOL). And now my midsection isn't quite as defined as it was, and I'm finding I don't like that! ;)

For TC4, I've adopted these 10 rules/goals:
1. I will make every workout count
2. I will drink less diet soda
3. I will weigh myself ONLY once per week
4. I will eat 2200-2500 calories per day while building muscle (to be reassessed as needed)
5. I will eat cleanly, but will allow treat meals
6. I will eat 5-7 fruits/vegetables per day
7. I will not worry about gaining extra weight while building muscle
8. I will not be neurotic with my diet
9. I will not be grumpy at my family
10. I will enjoy the contest and will not allow it to stress me out

If anyone out there is interested in joining, you can see the rules here:

Turbulence Training Contest Rules

And you can get your own copy of TT here:

Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

When you purchase TT, you get 3 months free to the forums, so you will have access to all the contest forums and could see what past winners ate, and what TT programs they used, etc. And if you wanted to join the contest, you just start your own thread in the Fourth Transformation Contest forum, and presto you're in! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday Recipe - Egg Nog

After a couple week hiatus, Recipe Wednesday is back! Or is it Wednesday Recipe? I forget now. Still need a catchier name! I wanted a holiday themed recipe and so here is a recipe for eggnog. It's adapted from Dana Carpender's 500 Low Carb Recipes and it's cooked, for those of you who don't want to eat raw eggs. Since it's from a low carb cookbook, it is sugar free, but definitely not low calorie!

Egg Nog (Low Carb)

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1 cup water
nutmeg, to taste

1. In a medium saucepan (double boiler if you have one), heat the half-and-half and heavy cream until very warm, but not boiling.

2. Whisk in the Splenda, vanilla, salt and eggs. The recipe didn't call for tempering the eggs, so I just drizzled them in slowly while whisking. Turn the heat down to low. Now you just have to stand there and stir the mixture until it is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film. It could take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. I dunked the spoon in right at the beginning so I would have a reference point, and then tested it again every 5 minutes. It seemed to me like it coated the spoon from the beginning, but I dutifully stood there until minute 18 when it magically got thicker! I just let it continue cooking all the way to 20 minutes.

3. From here, I poured the mixture through a screen strainer because as I was stirring, I noticed a few chunky bits. Sure enough, there was a custardy bit on the bottom of the pan. I poured it through the strainer into a pitcher and added the 1 cup water. Let it chill for several hours, overnight is best.

4. When chilled, add nutmeg to taste. Don't be shy with the nutmeg. Start with 1 teaspoon, mix it in, and taste it. Add more if needed. It should be quite spicy. I also added a tablespoon or so more Splenda because it wasn't quite sweet enough.

This doesn't taste EXACTLY like the stuff you buy at the grocery store, but it is very tasty in it's own right and has the nice thick texture of eggnog. Feel free to spike this too if you like your eggnog with a little spirit! :)

This will make about 6 cups. I don't have the nutritional info, but do you really want to know? ;)

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

7 Days of Fat Loss

Craig's new Turbulence Training 7-Day Weight Loss Call this week includes his 7 tips to help you get through the holidays guilt-free. I am definitely going to listen closely. My willpower gets a little weak over the holidays. :)

Here is the link:
7 Days of Fat Loss

If you can subscribe to the TT podcasts on iTunes:
TT on iTunes

And here's a Christmas present from Craig - free 10-minute workouts!
Free 10 minute TT workouts

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thank You!!

Thank you everyone for all of your votes and support, but I didn't win. Ah, well, next time. The next contest starts December 26. There's going to be a male category and a female category this time. Stay tuned for more details!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TT Video Contest Voting

The folks at Turbulence Training have decided that everyone can vote on the "Video Diaries" that were submitted for the Transformation Contest. If you would like to vote (I'm Video #5, down at the bottom), here's the link:

Video Contest Voting

Thank you if you decide to vote for me!!

And here are the winners from the TT Transformation Contest:

TT Transformation Winners

Congratulations to the winners!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Turbulence Training Finalists Announced

Well, I didn't make the finals this time. There were so many fantastic transformations! And I don't envy Craig's job of narrowing it down. If you would like to vote, here's the link:

Transformation Contest Voting

Congratulations and Good Luck to all the Finalists!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Transformation Contest Video

Whoo-hoo! It's finally done! I had my Turbulence Training Contest video almost complete and then our computer died, so I had to recreate it from scratch! So, without further ado, here it is:

Sorry, I removed my video.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekend Challenge Workout

This week's Weekend Challenge workout on the Turbulence Training Members Forum is the Advanced TT Abs 300 Workout. It's one of the challenge/bonus workout from the TT Home Abdominal Workouts program. My warm up this morning was 15 minutes of shoveling my driveway and front sidewalk before I went to the gym! For the spiderman pull ups, I did right, left, and then 2 normal pull ups. Then right, left, then 2 normal, etc. So I ended up doing 10 spiderman pull ups (5 per side) and 10 regular ones (with lots of breaks). I could see my underwear in the mirror every time I brought my knee up to my elbow so I wonder how many people I flashed this morning?

Advanced TT Abs 300 Workout
Prisoner Squat – 20
Mountain Climber – 15 per side
Spiderman Pull-up – 10 per side (5 per side plus 10 regular)
Side Plank Leg Raise – 20 per side
Stability Ball Jackknife with Pushup – 20
Underhand Inverted Row – 20 (beginner)
Elevated Pushup – 15 per side
1-Leg Squat or Pistol – 10 per side
Hanging Leg Raise – 10
Stability Ball Rollout – 15
Chin-up with Knee-up – 10
Decline Pushup – 20
1-Leg Reach Lunge – 10 per side
Stability Ball X-Body Mountain Climber (hands on ball) – 15 per side
Plank with Arms on Ball – 30 seconds
Spiderman Climb – 10 per side
Chop – 20 per side (5 lb DB - my arms were toast by now)
Bulgarian Split Squat – 10 per side
Decline Spiderman Pushup – 10 per side
Burpees – 10

Total time: 17 minutes, 18 seconds

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recipe Wednesday...ummm..Thursday

OK, I totally spaced that yesterday was Wednesday. What's my excuse? Well...I was watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show last night. I use "Fashion Show" loosely. Kind of inspiring though to watch a bunch of skinny minnies prancing in their underwear. I did jumping jack intervals while watching. :)

But on to the recipe...

I found a recipe for the most delicious carrot cupcakes. These were the most moist cupcakes I think I have ever had. The recipe said it would make 12 cupcakes, but I got 18 out of it. Maybe my princess cupcake papers were a little smaller than the normal size. You'll results may vary depending on how much batter your muffin tin will hold. I got this recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook. And don't raise your eyebrows at the prunes, they're the secret ingredient.

1/2 cup pitted prunes (about 12 prunes)
1/4 cup hot water
1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1 cup grated carrots (about 3 medium, or 14 baby carrots)

4 oz neufchatel cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup marshmallow creme

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake papers in your muffin tins, if using. Or lightly mist your muffin pans with cooking spray.

2. Place the prunes and hot water in a food processor and pulse until the prunes are finely chopped. Set aside.

3. Place the cake mix, oil, eggs, cinnamon and prune puree in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer for 1 minute on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter will be thick.

4. Fold in the drained pineapple and carrots. Pour into cupcake papers until about 3/4 full.

5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Place the neufchatel cheese and marshmallow creme in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.

7. When the cupcakes have cooled, top with a thin layer of frosting. Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts on top, if desired.

With my particular ingredients, and if you make 18, each cupcake has:

188 calories

2.1g protein

6.2g fat

31.5 carbs

Monday, December 1, 2008

A New Week, New Workout, and the Arrival of Winter

I woke up at 5:00am this morning to the sound of my neighbor scraping ice off of his car windows. Lovely. It's the most wonderful time of the year... After a week of rest (complete with a little viral gastroenteritis), I began my new Turbulence Training workout this morning. I chose TT Fusion Muscle Building from May of 2006. I wanted a muscle building workout, but wasn't sure I wanted to go to the gym 4 days a week, as per most TT muscle building programs (see today's weather for reason why). This particular program is 3 days per week. My workout this morning took me about 35 minutes. After I got home, my arms were still shaking. Not just "fatigued" - I mean my arms were literally shaking. Everytime I took a drink of my whey protein drink, my whole arm would shake. Putting in my earrings was difficult, and just forget about mascara! LOL

In other news, Craig Ballantyne has created a "7 Day Call" that everyone can download. Here is an email he sent out yesterday with a look at what is included in this week's 7 Day Call:

You need to focus on starting NEW, healthy, fat burning habits today. Don't wait till January 1st when Monday, December 1st is an even better time to start! Two habits I recommend are getting up earlier to exercise, and being sure to record all of your workouts and nutrition. I promise those two habits will help you lose weight.

New research shows that a 15-minute brisk walk can help you overcome chocolate cravings! Use that tip OFTEN this December.

My three favorite medicine ball exercises for office workers are: Woodchops, Golf Chop Squats, Lunge Chops. Listen to the call for more direction, or download the Medicine Ballworkout and watch the videos in the member's site.

Take Bally The Dog's "Fruit and Vegetable Challenge" to make sure you are eating more fruits and vegetables than him. If you aren't eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, start to add one new fruit and vegetable to your day - immediately!

If you want to gain muscle, research shows that doing 40 reps per bodypart in a workout is necessary. So 5 sets of 8 or 4 sets of 10. I share one of my new workouts on the call.

Research shows women eat the most fat, calories, and cholesterol at family meals. That means we need new recipe ideas! Share your cookbook ideas please!

Today's the day when you should be planning, shopping and preparing your food for the week. Here's "what's in my fridge". You can see the photos HERE.

So don't miss the call, go and listen to it or download it HERE. It's about 30 minutes long. I listened to it this evening and it's full of great tips! Keep 'em coming, Craig!

Don't wait for January 1st - December 1st is the perfect time to start your Turbulence Training workout! Give the 21-day trial a try!