NatureBox Review!

Howdy readers and Happy Tuesday! Is it just me or does the week go by fast? Oh wait I’m on summer break which means everything is in slow motion. Teachers report back in a few weeks and I’m sosososo sad. I really want to sit in a corner rocking back and forth singing a hymn or something. The bright side is that I will be back into my regular eating routine so there is very little room for error!

About three weeks ago we ordered from Nature Box since their ad is constantly showing in my Facebook feed. I’m almost certain you’ve seen it too. I was curious and intrigued at what the fuss was all about. These were snacks touted as healthy, no additives, good for you…ok well I can dig that. It took about two weeks from order date to the first delivery. They have a few options to choose from so we went with the medium sized box which contained 5 different snacks with 2 of each. The first delivery is a Discovery Box they call it. It contained a variety of snacks they chose for us. Here’s what was inside.

Of course the first thing we checked was the allergens. Unfortunately if you have a peanut or tree nut allergy, many of the snacks they offer won’t work for you. Since Lady S has both allergies, she couldn’t eat any of it.

Now onto the taste review of all of it.

  • Tuscan Summer Mix – Italian spiced trail mix that has a variety of seeds, sun dried tomatoes and other things. This was simply divine! Mister S enjoyed this one. It’s not too overpowering and taste delicious.
  • Mango Almond Bites – this is light and crispy. I enjoyed these the most! They have a light flavor and a great crunch. Very few ingredients but really good!
  • Tart mix – this is pretty simple…dried apples and cranberries. Good and good for you.
  • Cherry Crumble Granola – this one was divine as well and could be used as a topping for ice cream. Because of its texture, soft and chewy, it didn’t work out well for a snack by itself.
  • Plantains – we were not a fan of these. They were quite bland tasting. We trashed these.
  • All in all its a great service although the lowest priced option is 19.95 per month with 5 single bags of snacks. That puts the cost at around $4.00 per bag for 3-6 ounces of snacks. Kind of pricey for such a small amount of goods. For a family of 3-4 I would recommend the next size subscription offer at 29.95 per month. Your cost will be around $3.00 per bag except you get 10 bags of snacks.

    After your first delivery, you can choose what snacks you want and their interface is fairly easy to use.

    If you would like to try a box for yourself follow the link HERE

    Off to celebrate my birthday!


    Living Room Sweating! At home workouts…

    I’m on a roll this week! Two posts! Woohoo! This has been a rather interesting week with working out. I should say that I love my gym…I’ve been there a year and it serves its purpose. I have no complaints. With that said, I do get bored at the gym. I switch up my routines to break up the monotony of it all but sometimes that doesn’t work. On a quest to find something I could talk Mister S into doing at home, I ran to Pinterest to see what I could find. I stumbled upon the wonder that is Melissa Bender. I had seen her website before and never paid much attention. I remember that was at the BEGINNING of my health journey so I wasn’t focused on much other than getting started.

    Her website is nothing short of amazing! She has over 300 workouts that are free and can be done at home. They range from beginner to advanced….she’s got some yoga workouts, workouts without any equipment…the majority if them make you use your own body weight to see results! You’re probably thinking “Oh these must be easy!” Um……I have been doing them this week and I can tell you, as my abs and thighs will tell you, these are nowhere near easy! She also has workouts focused on specific areas. I’ve been doing the High Impact Interval Cardio workout that focuses on abs and legs and the Ab workout as well. Here is one for your viewing pleasure.

    HIIC Lower Body

    Now I know what you’re thinking….”Those are too tough!”…”I won’t be able to do the whole thing!” The good thing is that most of the workouts are between 10-25 minutes. On average I burn 130-140 calories per 10 minutes doing her workouts. Yes they are that intense! Feel free to check out her website and YouTube channel for workouts you can do yourself. Your body will thank you!

    Happy Friday!

    What in the world am I eating?

    Hola everyone and Happy Hump Day! Not much is going on in our home other than the usual for the summer which is wake up, breakfast, play, lunch, play, tv, play, dinner, play….Get the idea? I try to do as little planned activities as possible during the summer since I feel like I miss so much time during the school year from Lady S and Mister S. For a teacher, summer should be about recharging and doing nothing!

    Now on to the guts of the post. I get asked often how many calories I eat during the day, what my grocery bill looks like, what exactly is it that I am eating. I think most people would be surprised to find that I do not eat salads and low calorie foods all day everyday. As I have said before I LOVE to eat food! I love good food! I am not opposed to eating a yeast roll with some butter either and Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits *insert fainting right here*. I am still consistently using the MyFitnessPal app to track calories and foods for a few reasons.

    1. Portion control accountability – while I have a firm grip on portion sizes, keeping this in mind when something is really good is hard to do! MFP keeps me accountable.
    2. Eyes bigger than Stomach Syndrome – this is commonly characterized as seeing good food, eating more than you should, and then feeling like a bloated guppyfish afterwards. This ties directly into portion control as well.
    3. I don’t trust myself….YET – ok this is a really honest reflection of why I still use the app for daily calorie control. Being overweight my entire life, I have to have something that puts things into perspective and MFP does this for me. I have tried to go without MFP and it was during that time I lost zero and gained a few.

    Now how many calories do I eat and what does it look like?

    I work really hard to NET no more than 1500 calories per day. This looks a little different depending on if I work out on a given day or not. The best way that I can explain it is in two different scenarios. Hope this makes sense!

    • NON WORKOUT DAY – NET no more than 1500 calories although on no workout days it can be rather difficult some days depending on the week of the month *hint hint*. So for breakfast I may eat about 350-400 calories, Lunch is about 500 or so, and dinner sums up the rest. I am very careful these days to drink only water because the last thing I want is to miss some good eating because I drank a COKE! Remember that drinking calories will kill your journey!
    • WORKOUT DAY – On a typical workout I do between 30-45 minutes of solid cardio and at least 30 minutes of targeted weightlifting depending on the muscle group I am working for the day. I will admit that I go pretty hard at the gym. If I am going to spend 1.5 hours of my night there, I intend to make it count. I typically burn between 550-675 calories per workout depending on which muscle group I am working and which cardio equipment I use (Arc Trainer, elliptical, or treadmill). On these days I eat at least 1700-1800 calories BECAUSE I know that I will burn about a third of those off making my NET on those days around 1200-1300 calories. There have been days that I have not eating enough and after getting home from the gym find that I have netted around 1000-1100 calories which is NOT enough for me and not recommended for women. On those nights I come home and have a healthy snack or else I will wake up in the morning really hungry!

    Below are two screen shots of my logging on MFP. The first being a workout day and the second being a nonworkout day. At this point I do not eat back my workout calories. Personally, I feel like it defeats my purpose.



    So you can see for yourself what my tracking looks like! I do eat fast food BUT try my hardest to make healthy choices. I don’t deprive myself of things that taste good and I am not starving!

    Now lastly….Grocery shopping…..Oh I loathe this simple activity more than anything. I would rather stand out in the sun and get bitten my mosquitoes. Really…..The only time this is relaxing is when Mister S does it and I get to stay home preferably alone ūüėČ The challenge when we made THE change was how to affordably incorporate fruits and veggies into our diet without breaking the grocery budget. For a long time we were faithful Walmart, Food Lion, Harris Teeter shoppers and yes you can score some good deals but I haven’t seen decent deals on any fruits and veggies from any of those store. Costco has some really good deals because you can buy them in bulk. So after spending years being an Aldi snob, I bit the bullet and decided to try them out. I will say that the fresh produce and veggies I find have been amazing! .99 strawberries, 1.50 cantaloupes, 3.99 watermelons, 2lb bags of plums, peaches, grapes for 1.98? Sign me up for all of this! I haven’t brought one veggie or fruit that was less than good quality. If you eat organic everything then of course this isn’t the place for you. Head over to Whole Foods! Which might I add has some of the best meats I have ever eaten! The price is higher but the quality really is zero to none. And what about frozen veggies? Yes we buy and eat quite a bit of frozen veggies. Sometimes fresh veggies simply aren’t feasible for our family depending on the menu for the week. You can find organic frozen veggies that are just as good as the fresh kind.

    So with all that said, feel free to follow me on MFP, user name Jorasims, and you can see what I eat everyday, all day! Hopefully it helps you to see that you can still eat like a normal person and lose weight too!

    Til Next Time,


    Happy Phat Anniversary!

    The date totally snuck up on me! July 18, 2013 marked the one year anniversary of the beginning of my health journey! It was 7/18/12 that I went to the doctor and saw 300.4 on the scale at the doctors office. It was that day I came home ranting like a fool about how out of control things had become healthy wise. It was that day I decided to do better, eat better, workout, and track calories. I never in a thousand years imagined that I would be where I am right now. There are really days that I am awe of the changes that I have made. I am feeling my best and I think looking my best! I ask Mr.S often if he’s happy with the changes we have made and he always answers the same…. “I love you bigger or smaller…looks good either way” *insert awwwwww sound here* He’s really been a great inspiration for my journey. When you have the support of your love one behind you it makes a world of difference.

    And now an update picture. I started at 300.4 lbs and am currently somewhere between 205-210…. I’m not to certain of my exact weight because I’ve laid off the scale as of late…


    Speaking if Mr.S, he has made major changes as well. His health has drastically improved and he’s made many of the changes I have made.
    He started at 265 lbs and is currently between 190-195 lbs! I am so proud of him!

    Overall it has been a whirlwind of health changes this past year and we are all better for it!

    My goals for the next year of my journey are:

  • Improve overall health
  • Continue to expand our recipe collection incorporating more veggies and lean meats
  • Gradually increase weightlifting focus during workouts focusing more on abs and lower body
  • Decrease body fat by at minimum 15-18%
  • Decrease weight by an additional 35-45 lbs.
  • In the end I guess it’s Happy Anniversary to us! We started this journey and we’re gonna keep it going!

    Happy Weekend!

    The Scale is the Devil!!!!

    Hola readers!

    It has been rather busy around our house as of late. ¬†Lady S turned three a few weeks ago so we have been mourning the fact that we no longer have a toddler but now have a preschooler! ¬†Where in the world did the time go? ¬†I vaguely remember this boss lady being totally dependent upon me and now she is trying her best to open up the fridge and get her OWN drink. ¬†*insert baby fever here* ¬†She has become quite the opinionated young girl who has zero problems telling us what she wants, how she wants it, and why she needs it! *insert fleeting baby fever here*. ¬†With that, the last two weeks have been a flurry of touring preschools for her and deciding on one. ¬†She officially starts preschool next month and while I am happy, I am also quite sad. ¬†Mr. S hasn’t decided if he’s happy or sad yet but we’ll see the first day we walk her in the center.

    On to health updates…

    The summer has been especially interesting with our health journey. ¬†While we have not had many cookouts to attend, being at home all day long leaves a lot of room for foodie sins. ¬†Thankfully we have only committed a few…well maybe more than that but not too many.

    In the beginning of my health journey I loved the scale more than anything. ¬†I weighed every single morning taking note of any changes in the scale and it literally determined how hard I worked out and how often. ¬†While my focus was on overall health, I would be a liar if I said scale movement was not a big motivator in the beginning. ¬†One thing to take note is that the more weight you lose, the harder it is to actually lose it. ¬†I’ve gone through a few periods of phases where I go into a plateau meaning my body won’t release fat until I either 1) workout more or 2) create more of a caloric deficit. ¬†My most recent plateau happened at 80ish pounds and I stayed there for weeks! ¬†It drove me insane. ¬†Finally after a few weeks I started to lose again and this is where the scale comes in…..

    My advice is to stay away from the scale!!!!  It can completely derail your health journey and it can create some unhealthy habits in your eating and workout choices.  At last check 3ish weeks ago, I had lost 86 pounds.  I am completely unsure of how many additional pounds I have lost because I stopped weighing myself.  *gasp*  Yep I sure did.  At this point in my journey I fully accept that my weight loss will be a tad bit slower because of how much I have lost.  I am also embracing weightlifting into my health journey.  I am finding so much satisfaction by looking in the mirror and seeing definition in my arms and thighs, and watching my mommy tummy slowly disappear.

    Lastly I finally ordered a heart rate monitor to help me track my workouts better. ¬†Now the consensus on these are up in the air. ¬†Some people swear by them and others find them unnecessary. ¬†For a long time I thought the later because I have been doing just fine. ¬†Because I am switching the focus of my workouts, I think it’s important to keep a more accurate picture of my workouts.

    I ordered this one

    Now the very, very last piece…I ordered a box of healthy snacks from NatureBox and am waiting on them to arrive. ¬†A wonderful blog written by a really smart lady, Houseful of Nicholes, blogged about the service here. ¬†She totally prompted me to try them out so I can’t wait! ¬†I’ll let you know how they are!

    Til the Next Post!


    Run Forrest Run! Small victory!

    Howdy folks! It’s been awhile and I’ve been away enjoying the Fourth but I’m back! Last week was rather casual in terms of eating and working out. My mother came and stayed with us for a week so that allowed me to workout during the day which was really helpful! I was even able to squeeze in a few date nights with Mr. S which is always a good thing. We did indulge quite a bit since it was the holiday and we went out a few times. And I enjoyed it! Every once in awhile you just have to eat and be happy!

    This week I’m back on my fitness and eating grind. I had spoken earlier about upping my calories due to my increase in weightlifting. I decided to drop my NET calories back down to 1500 because I’m working on losing some more pounds but toning too. It seems to be working well. When you eat a bunch of fruits and veggies it tends to fill you up way better than processed foods!

    After getting back on my grind I decided to try running again. I started C25K back in April and hang without for a few weeks and hated it. No way to sugarcoat it. Looking back on it there were a few things I did wrong…

  • I started off without stretching! Major FAIL! I cramped terribly!
  • I started off trying to run too fast when I had no business trying to go fast!
  • I didn’t do my research on how running posture, breathing techniques, and proper footwear!
  • I paid for all of that and called it quits in the 5 week of the program. Last night I decided to just start running…like Forrest Gump but slower paying closer attention to all the things I missed before. Due to that I ran 8 minutes straight with no stopping! Now I realize that to some folks this is minor…even minuscule, but to me this is huge. This means I can pace myself and breath correctly. It also means my cardio capacity has increased! Yippee! I’m going to continue this every workout and see how far I can get!

    Lastly, I’m not sure how much I weight right now. My scale lies….tricky little thing. I can weigh at 7 a.m. and get one weight and 3 minutes later it changes +\- 5 lbs so I don’t trust it. I’m certain I’ve lost something since my clothes are looser but the exact number I don’t know!

    And to sum it all up….an accountability photo!


    We’re off to Whole Foods to score some goodies!