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January 5, 2012

"Living the Life" to lose weight Q&A...

Hey guys!  I am so excited that so many of you have showed interest in "Living the Life' by KristiApproved.  If you're just hearing about this for the first time, check out the post below this.

I have had lots of people asking me questions about some of the things I did so I thought I would answer some of them here for you.  Now remember, I don't claim to be an expert on nutrition and or exercise!!  I am only giving you some of the advice that helped me lose the weight I had to lose.  If I could only give all of you just ONE word of advice though, it would be to FOLLOW what they tell you to a T!  No cheating!  Remember, the percent you put into this, is the percent you'll get back!  Do this 100% and you will see the results that you will be looking for.

Remember also that everyone is different!  Some of you may see awesome results in the first 7 days of doing this, others may not see awesome results until week 2 or even week 3.  I lost 7 pounds in the first week probably because I had 25 pounds of almost fresh baby weight that I still had to lose!

Here are a few questions I have received:

1.  How do I get the 7 day challenge?  Where do I access it?  Is it free?
You can access the 7 day challenge by pressing the 'download' button HERE.  There is one for men and one for women, so just click the one you want as the meal plans are different per gender.  It will download a bunch of pages to your desktop explaining how this diet works, a grocery list, the recipes, recommendations, and exercises to do during your first 7 days.  It will also e-mail you videos with tips and motivational stories.  It is free.  You don't have to give them any credit card info or anything like that!  There are no strings attached.  They do have a 12 week book you can buy if you would like to take it to that level which my mom bought and the recipes are wonderful!  I just did my diet a total of three weeks and I never got sick of the food from week 1 so I just repeated it for another two weeks!  The food is yummy and filling!

2.  What protein powder is good and where do I buy it?
I have really only ever tried one kind of protein powder.  I buy it from Costco.  It's from Muscle Milk and it's 100% whey protein.  It comes in a huge bag and the scooper in it is fairly big.  It has 27g of protein per serving so I like to just use a half a scoop when I make my protein shake (strawberry ice cream is what they call it).  The protein comes in vanilla or chocolate.  I prefer chocolate, of course!
You should immediately notice a difference in your body just from the increased protein.  I love this diet so much because you get the majority of your protein from food alone.  I feel that this is a very safe diet as long as you follow it as laid out for you.  Remember, too much protein is not good for you as it can damage your kidneys.

3.  Did you change up the order of any of the meals?
One of the pages that you download specifically says not to change up the order of your meals except if you need to, you can switch up the first two meals ONLY.  The first two meals of the day are a protein shake (strawberry ice cream), and your egg wrap.  Sometimes it's easier to make my shake for my first meal, other times it's easier for me to have my eggs first.  So however works best for you.  But all the other meals you make, keep them in the order they say!  And make sure you are eating on schedule too, which is every 2-3 hours!

4.  Do you recommend buying specific brands for some of the ingredients?
Yes!!  Here are some of the ingredients I've found I really love!  (I hope there's a Costco near you!)

Whole Wheat Wraps:  Costco.  "Smart and Delicious Tortillas by La Tortilla Factory".  They are low carb, high fiber, taste good and you get 20 in a bag which will last you 20 days!
Salsa:  Costco.  "Jack's Special" in the refrigerated bottle.  At first I was using just a generic salsa but I found I started to stink everyday because of it!!  With this salsa, you'd never know I ate so much of it every day, plus it's soooo good!  Voted America's #1 salsa!
Oranges:  Costco.  They come in a big box and believe me, you will use all of them quicker than you think!

Frozen Strawberries:  Costco.  Definitely best bang for your buck! 
Cottage Cheese:  Costco.  You will go through a lot more of this than you think, so go with the big carton!

5.  Did you do the exercises exactly how they say every day?
This is the one place I didn't follow to a T.  I am a regular exerciser, thus I knew that as long as I kept exercising I would still be okay.  I think it tells you to do 20 min. cardio and it also gives you some cross training exercises to do.  I would still run but I only did the cross training every other day or every few days.  When I did do them, I loved them!  They really targeted the areas that I don't usually work out a whole lot.  Just make sure that you are exercising every day, especially if you don't normally exercise!  ...I'm guessing!  Again, I'm not claiming to be an expert!

6.  Did you ever get hungry?
Heck no!  In fact, I was a lot fuller than I normally am and it was even harder for me to finish some of my meals!  There were days where I didn't even eat the last meal because I was so full!

7.  Can I drink anything else besides water?
Here's the good news!  I read somewhere while doing this that it's still okay to drink your Diet Coke!  No joke!  My mom loves DC and she still gets to drink some.  As long as you've drank the recommended amount of water that day, you can still drink soda...although try to avoid it as much as possible!  But ***Drink lots of water*** it will flush you out and you will feel awesome!

8.  Is it hard to eat the same thing everyday?
No.  I love the meals.  Honestly, soooo good.  As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I prep all my foods.  I put my chicken in the crockpot, drain all my canned veggies, chop raw veggies, cook my rice, etc.  Then I separate them into bags so that all I have to do before my meal is grab the stuff and it's already half done!  And that's for the week!  Here's a GREAT video to demonstrate:  Click HERE.

Okay so those are just a few things I've been asked in the last few days.  If you have any other questions let me know and I will answer them the best I can!  

Good luck to all of you who are doing this!
 Here's a video about 'Live the Life'

Here are some before & after pics to motivate you:
After 12 weeks.  Read more HERE
Here's one of the co-founder's before and after pictures.  HERE

After 12 weeks.  Read her story HERE 

January 3, 2012

Swearing by something that works...

FYI, to get started this is the link you'll want to click on:

**But read below first**

I've had this picture pinned on Pinterest for a while now...
Okay, it's a new year.  We all have New Year's Resolutions and for almost EVERYONE who is reading this, your goal is to lose weight or improve your health, right?  For me, that's definitely a goal!  I had a baby nearly 11 months ago and still have those last 5 stinkin' pounds to lose and keep off!  I am a regular exerciser, but I LOVE food!  That's my problem!

I am here to tell you about something to help you all with your weight loss goals.  I am no expert, I am just telling you about something that worked for me in losing my baby weight last year.  Take it and try it or don't, but I hope you will because it's changed the way I think about losing weight.
This is not a gimick.

I first heard about KristiApproved (Living the Life) a year or so ago from a fellow blogger, Easy Peasy Grandma.  She is just darling and inspired me.  Check out her before & after pictures HERE and be inspired too.  She started this new way of life and in 12 weeks lost 27 pounds, 6 inches off her waist, and 6 inches off her hips!  If that's not motivation, I don't know what is!

Last June of 2011 I took the free 7 day challenge that KristiApproved has to offer and gave it my all!  I did it along side my sister and mother, both saw great results as well.
I don't consider it to be a 'diet', but a new, healthy way of eating. I began this 'new way of life' and started simply changing my eating habits, and continuing exercise.  In the first week I lost 7 pounds!  I'm talking 7 pounds of fat, not just water weight.  Easiest weight I ever lost.  The 7 pounds were gone for good.  I kept it going and I lost 13 pounds in 3 weeks, and 5 total inches! I felt great too, lots of energy, felt more tight and toned rather than flabby...eating the increased protein alone made me feel tighter and leaner.  The 13 pounds never came back.

Kristi Approved offers you a 7 day challenge for free. No strings attached. You download the instructions, menu, and recipes, and then follow them strictly for 7 days. I just repeated the 7 day challenge week after week because I never got sick of the food, and I didn't want to pay. That's another thing, the recipes are soooo yummy, and you make them yourself, no freezer meals!  This menu offers high protein, low carb, and low fat meals. You eat every 2 hours, so you never get hungry.
This keeps your metabolism going. If you see great success in the first 7 days, you can go on to buy the 12 week book if you would like.

Examples of meals from the diet are:
Southwestern breakfast wrap
Tropical smoothie
Chicken rice bowl
Chicken pizza
Strawberry ice cream (no, I'm not kidding)
and more..

I don't have any before and after pictures or anything like that, but you can look at the Kristi Approved Blog HERE or simply go to the Kristi Approved 7 day challenge page HERE to get started and watch the testimonials and stuff.

Just thought I'd share with all of you that this really works, and I'm so glad I know that it's a safe way to lose weight.  LIVE THE LIFE!

***Leave me a comment if you are interested in taking this challenge.  Note:  If you are going to do this you must do it 100%, no cheating or your results won't be as great.
I am anxious to know how many people are ready to do it!  I love seeing everyone's progress!

January 2, 2012

Vintage Pillowcase Apron

My  mom found a darling vintage pillowcase apron on Little Birdie Secrets a while ago and mentioned she would like me to make one for her.  I kind of forgot for a while and then remembered just in time for Christmas.  See theirs HERE, and another tutorial HERE.  I will give you a tutorial as well.  Here's what you need:

1 vintage embroidered pillowcase
sewing machine and sewing accessories, etc.
tape measure

This is for beginner/intermediate sewers.  (meaning if I can do it, pretty much anyone with a sewing machine can!)

I have some very talented grandmothers whom I'm sure have plenty of embroidered pillowcases lying around.  If you also know of someone you could get yours from, that's an easy way to get them.  Because I was pushed for time a little, I just got mine off of Etsy. There were lots to choose from.  I bought mine from HERE.

Start with your pillowcase laid flat and measure and cut the following:
Cut 3 pieces that are 4 ½” tall, the width of the pillowcase.  And then one 15" tall (the bottom piece with the embroidered design.)
Like this:
Next, cut up the back of all of your pieces so that when you spread them out it will look like this, with the design in the middle.
Hem the sides of your 15" piece by folding over twice then sewing a straight stitch.
On two of the 4 1/2" pieces, fold in half and sew along the open sides.  Finish off one of the ends on both with a diagonal cut.  Then you will turn these right side in!  These will be your ties for the apron.
Next, you will take your bottom (15") piece and baste the top.  The way you do this is to sew a straight stitch along the top with the thread length at the longest it will go...
Usually on machines it is at a 5, pictured here:
Then, change your thread tension to the highest it will go, mine is a 9.  After you change both those things, sew a straight stitch along the top of your piece and it will automatically ruffle/gather the fabric.
Once the fabric is gathered, take the 4 1/2" piece you haven't used yet and pin it to your 15" gathered piece.  Cut the extra 4 1/2'' fabric off of the sides. You will know how much you want to cut off after you hold it up to your waist and see how you want it to look. 
Before you sew the top piece on, put the two tie pieces inside the fold the top over.
 Then you will fold over the top piece and sew along the bottom and sides.
Then it will look like this when finished with the stitch.
I hope that all makes sense!  If not, check out those other two blogs I listed above! 

This is a great gift!  If you are going to give it as a gift, I found the most darling way to wrap it on Pinterest:  HERE is the link, From Pleasant-Home.

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