Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Total Gym Total Mom- Eating Healthy

***ETA- Enter the Total Gym XLS Giveaway HERE***

I am really learning how to get a great workout on my Total Gym XLS and am loving it, and love that I can see a difference in the shape of things (even if I can’t shake the 170’s).  Hubs is using it consistently, as well, and is really shaping up.  I am so proud of him!

As I have been on my getting fit journey for over six months now, eating healthy is not new to me.  That isn’t to say that I don’t struggle in some areas… like wanting chocolate nearly every day, or craving certain things at certain times of the month… but, for the most part, I have made a lot of healthy changes in my diet.

For starters, I drink water.  That may sound simple enough… but I hate water.  Absolutely can NOT stand the taste of it.  “Water doesn’t have any taste,” you say.  Oh, but yes it does.  It tastes like minerals.  Ugh and yuck.   Short of spending money we don’t have on a water filtering system, I have learned to add a sugar free drink mix to one 34 ounce bottle of water a day (the packet is supposed to go in 16 ounces, but I stretch it to 34 so it isn’t so overpowering), and CHUG the other 34 ounce bottle unflavored.  On days that I work out, I typically choke down another 30-40 ounces of water.

In addition to drinking water, I have cut WAY back on my caffeine intake.  I used to make a pot (12 cups) of coffee a day, and drink at least half (if not all) of it in the course of the day.  I unplugged my regular coffee pot and put it away.  I now use a single serve coffee brewer and make one cup of coffee most days.  Occasionally, I will make a second cup in the course of a day, but find that I really don’t need it if I stay active.

I also make better food choices.  Instead of eating chips as a snack, I grab a bell pepper or zucchini.  Did you know you can eat zucchini and yellow squash raw?  And that it tastes good?  Bell peppers, raw zucchini, and raw yellow squash are some of my favorite snacks right now.  I also love to freeze grapes or blueberries and use them as snacks, instead of those calorie and fat laden frozen creations.

Because I am eating more healthily, my family is, as well.  Yesterday, as I was running errands, I gave each of the kids a baggie of cheese crackers and I had a bell pepper in hand.  I only got to eat about half of it, because my two year old kept threw her cheese crackers down and said, “don’t like em.”  I asked her what she wanted, and she said, “Unt some Mommy’s pupper.”  She loves salad, and begs for more anytime it is served.  I just love seeing her eat like that.  My son protests all things green (he is three, and he is his father’s child), but I keep trying.

Because I am using more fresh produce in the house, I have also been playing around with a few different recipes, and thought I would share one of my recent favorites with you.  I made a Spinach Strawberry and Blue Cheese salad last week, and Hubs even wanted more!  If I had known this one would go over so well, I would have grabbed the camera and taken pictures BEFORE I served it.  As it was, the only thing left to take a picture of was an empty plate smeared with a bit of dressing!

Spinach Strawberry and Blue Cheese Salad with Grilled Chicken

For each salad, you will need:

  • 2 C- Raw baby spinach (KCal=14, Fat= 0.2g, Carbs= 2.2g, Fiber= 1.3g, Protein= 1.7g)
  • 2 T- Marzetti® Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing (KCal= 110, Fat= 10g, Carbs= 6g, Fiber= 0g, Protein= 0g)
  • 2 T- Treasure Cave Reduced Fat Blue Cheese Crumbles (KCal= 40, Fat= 2.5g, Carbs= 0g, Fiber= 0g, Protein= 3.5g)
  • 2 T- LaChoy Chow Mein Noodles (KCal= 32.5, Fat= 1.25g, Carbs= 4.75g, Fiber= <1, Protein= 0.75g)
  • 4 oz- Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (kCal= 120, Fat= 4g, Carbs= 0g, Fiber= 0g, Protein= 21g)

Toss spinach with dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and chow mein noodles.  I served the grilled chicken breast on the side, but you could also slice the grilled chicken breast and add it to the salad.

Servings: 1 Size: 2-3 cups Calories: 316.5 Fat: 17.95g Carbs: 12.95g  Fiber: 1.3g Protein: 26.95g

We use chow mien noodles in place of nuts, since my 3 yo has a peanut allergy.  You could easily replace the chow mien noodles with walnuts or almonds and it would be so OMY- or OH MY YUM!  I also used the full fat version of the dressing, because I WANTED strawberry vinaigrette, and I didn’t have balsamic vinegar to make my own. I could have saved 65 calories and 7 grams of fat by using Marzetti’s Light Berry Balsamic dressing, but that would have required a trip to the grocery store.  If I were going to grocery store, I would have just picked up the Balsamic vinegar!  And, if I had made my own, it would have saved 80 calories and 8 grams of fat! As is, though, the salad is less than 325 calories, and is quite a dinner!

My recipe for low fat strawberry vinaigrette is as follows…

Low Fat Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 1 C- fresh sliced strawberries
  • 1 T- Balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 t- ground black pepper- fresh is best
  • 1/2 t- sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 1/4 t- salt- (try sea salt as an alternative)
  • 2 T- canola oil (may substitute EVOO, almond, or walnut oil)

optional mix-ins

  • 1/4 t- minced garlic
  • 1/8 t- poppy seeds
  • 1/4 t- thyme
  • 1/4 t- fennel seeds
  • 1/2 t- dijon mustard

Place sliced strawberries, Balsamic vinegar, pepper, sugar (or substitute), and salt in food processor, and process until pureed, occasionally scraping sides.  Add oil, and process until smooth.  Let sit for one hour before serving, refrigerate any leftovers.

Servings: about 20 Size: 2 T Calories: 26 Fat: 2g Carbs: 1g  Fiber: 0g Protein: 0g

The calorie calculation is based on using real sugar, which I find tastes better for homemade dressings and none of the optional mix-ins.  If you choose to use olive oil instead of canola, make SURE it is the extra virgin olive oil, or extra extra virgin if possible, else the taste may be a bit wonky.

The thing to remember when making your own vinaigrette’s is that if you use a no-fat or low-fat dressing on your greens, be sure to add some other form of fat to the salad, so that all those yummy nutrients (vitamins A, E, and K in the spinach) don’t go to waste.

I also want to try my recipe with blueberries, but keep eating the blueberries from frozen as snacks, so they never make it to the dressing.  Oops.

So, what healthy recipes have you been making?  I would love to add them to my arsenal!

Take the Total Gym Challenge

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Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Total Gym Total Mom–My XLS

***ETA- Enter the Total Gym XLS Giveaway HERE***

As you know, last week I started the Total Gym Total Mom challenge.

When I received my Total Gym XLS, I was very happy that it came fully assembled and fit in one box!


The hardest part of setting this thing up was getting it out of the box, and that was a piece of cake.  Since Hubs did the work of unboxing it, I let him sit on it for a minute.


Then it was MY turn!


Can I just say, I love this thing?

The glideboard on the Total Gym XLS is padded and has a headrest/footrest area.  The XLS also has an upgraded pulley/cable system, flexible nylon strap handles, leg pull accessory kit, Pilates kit, and comes with an upgraded squat stand, which is padded for comfort.  Yeah.  It also comes with fourteen different workouts on five DVD’s, so whether you want to spend six minutes or sixty minutes exercising, there is a workout for you!  The exercise wall chart (includes 35 exercise illustrations) and training deck (over 80 illustrated exercises) are color coded by muscle group (i.e. Chest, Back, Shoulders, Legs, Arms, Abs, Stretch, and Compound exercises) which makes selecting a workout much easier!  There is also a nifty training deck card holder that sits atop the stand portion of the gym.  Dan Isaacson’s Nutritional Program & Meal Plan are included, as well.

The challenge participants also received the newest (and most popular) attachment, which is the AbCrunch attachment, which is sold separately.  The AbCrunch attachment comes with its own exercise DVD.

The thing that I love about this machine is it’s versatility.

I’ve been getting up at 5 a.m. daily to exercise (so that I can have it done by the time the kids get up).  Before I received the Total Gym XLS, I was doing thirty to sixty minutes of cardio 5-6 days a week.  Now that I have the Total Gym XLS, I have switched up my routine some, and I think I found one I like.  I start off the morning with 20-25 minutes of cardio, then I move to the Total Gym XLS for 30-40 minutes.

So far I have tried the 6 to 8 minute workout for women, the Total Body Makeover, and the AbCrunch workout.  I like them all.  The only exercise I do NOT like so far is the swimmer, but that is just because I am a weakling and it is HARD work.  Because the kids are sleeping while I am working out, I either watch the DVDs on mute, or I just follow the cards.  I am still experimenting with creating my own routine, and have done a hybrid of the 6 to 8 minute workout with the Total Body Makeover.  It was INTENSE and the following morning, the only part of me that wasn’t sore was my great big toe.  I do wish that the AbCrunch attachment had it’s own cards to add to the training deck, because I forget the positioning of for the different exercises, and have to turn the DVD on.  Of course, it’s only been a week.

As you know, when I posted my June measurements, I had made it down to 171 lb.  This last week, I saw anything but 171!  The scale climbed as high as 176 at one point, and I nearly had a melt down.  Then I kept telling myself- “sore muscles hold water, sore muscles hold water.”  This morning, I finally saw 171.6 again, so I am hoping tomorrow’s scale holds good news, and that things move in the right direction from there!  I have noticed that the definition of my “mama guns” has improved, AND, the other day, I noticed something in the mirror that I haven’t seen in a LONG time!  My collar bones came out of hiding!  Isn’t it funny how such a small thing can make you so happy?

You know how I mentioned I let Hubs sit on the Total Gym XLS for a minute?  Well, he likes it, too.  He has been using it faithfully and is even tracking his own measurements (which he can post).  I went ahead and ordered the weight bar attachment today for him, so that he can maximize his workouts.  I teased him and told him that since I am becoming the Total Mom, he can become the Total Dad, and together, we will be the Total Package.  I can’t wait to show you our after pictures!

For reference purposes, here are some “before Total Gym XLS” photos, which were just taken on our family trip to Pigeon Forge in the end of May…


Yup.  I did it.  I just posted a picture of myself in a bathing suit.  NOT something I ever thought I would do, but, I think it will put things in perspective when we post our after photos!

Want to see what a difference the Total Gym can make for yourself?  Save 15% on your Total Gym XLS here.

Don’t forget to check out my challengers this week!

Angela of MommyPR
Nina of The One Fantastical
Gina of A Wrestling Addicted Mommy
Emilie of Baby Loving Mama
Zippy of Champagne Living

You can also follow our progress on Twitter by following the hash tag #totalmom

The Total Gym XLS was provided to me to facilitate my participation in the Total Gym Total Mom Challenge through Blog Friendly PR.  Over the course of the challenge, I will be sharing my experience with, and opinion of, the equipment.  All opinions expressed are my own.  The Total Gym links contained within this post will net you a 15% savings off your purchase of a Total Gym, and while they are being tracked, I am not being remunerated for purchases made through them.

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Total Gym Total Mom Challenge

***ETA- Enter the Total Gym XLS Giveaway HERE***

I cannot EVEN begin to tell you how excited I am to write this post! As I told you back in March, I was selected to take part in the second Blog Friendly PR’s Total Gym Total Mom Challenge.

total gym total mom challenge

My first assignment for the challenge is to tell you my weight story.  In other words, how did I get HERE.  So, without further ado, my very first Total Gym Total Mom VLOG!

A special thanks to my husband for doing the video editing and taking out a lot of the cheese factor! >>>insert hand clap<<<

If you have read my blog at all, you know that I started this year with the goal of Getting Fit. At the beginning of the year, I weighed 225lb. Over the last six months, I have worked HARD and lost over fifty pounds.  And now that my Total Gym XLS is finally here, I am really excited about the next phase of my journey to fitness!

I know that I can not only accomplish my goal of Getting Fit, but I can Finish STRONG!

About the Total Gym XLS…

No assembly required! You can literally unbox it, and get started!
Click here to watch how easy it is!
Discover how easy it is to get fit and stay in shape with the Total Gym XLS home gym! The Total Gym XLS comes complete with our total fitness system of workouts and workout tools to take all the guesswork out of getting into shape. With our top of the line model you’ll receive the highest quality home gym with unbeatable savings. Order the Total Gym XLS now for the body you’ve always wanted!
The Total Gym XLS, the newest unit in the Total Gym family, sets the standard for fitness excellence. This total fitness system features:

  • 400 lb weight capacity for total strength and stability
  • Upgraded comfort system
  • Upgraded pulley and cable system
  • Flexible nylon strap handles
  • Upgraded squat stand
  • Padded glideboard with head support
  • Chrome package
  • Exercise capability – over 80 exercises

Dimensions Unfolded: 19″ W x 90″ L x 43″ H
Dimensions Folded:    19″ W x 51″ L x  9″ H

Want to take the Total Gym Challenge for yourself?  Save 15% on your Total Gym XLS here.

While you wait for yours to be delivered, be sure to check out my competition for the Total Gym Total Mom Challenge:

Angela of MommyPR
Nina of The One Fantastical
Gina of A Wrestling Addicted Mommy
Emilie of Baby Loving Mama
Zippy of Champagne Living


These ladies are fierce, so I have my work cut out for me!

I am supplying the will…

Here’s to being able to go down a ridiculously narrow tunnel slide in the very NEAR future, and to being named the next Total Gym Total Mom!


The Total Gym XLS was provided to me to facilitate my participation in the Total Gym Total Mom Challenge. Over the course of the challenge, I will be sharing my experience with, and opinion of, the equipment.  All opinions expressed are my own.  The Total Gym links contained within this post will net you a 15% savings off your purchase of a Total Gym, and while they are being tracked, I am not being remunerated for purchases made through them.

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Getting Fit- Yay Yay Yay

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just NEED a Yay Yay Yay kind of day?  This last week was one of those kind of weeks.  The kids were both sick with an upper respiratory infection, and on antibiotics.  Then they contaminated me.  Yes, I fell victim, too.  So, I’ve been on antibiotics, which I have to take three times a day for seven days, and they make me queasy! As if I weren’t feeling miserable enough, I had a food reaction on Saturday evening which caused my face to break out, my lips to itch, my nostrils to swell shut, and all kinds of other fun (NOT) symptoms. I was desperate for a Yay Yay Yay kind of day.

Well, the last 24 hours have been my Yay Yay Yay kind of day!

First Yay!

body fat scale

I just love my EatSmart Precision GoFit Digital Body Fat Scale!  As I mentioned in my scale review, I thought it was going to be SO much fun to watch the body fat number drop, as the body muscle number goes up.  It is even more fun than I anticipated!  The very first time I used the scale, it measured my body fat at 39.4% and by body muscle at 39.8%.  As of today, my body fat number has dropped by an entire percent!  I don’t pretend to understand why the body muscle number only increased by 0.2% (and not a whole digit), and I don’t care.  Of course, the body water number fluctuates, as can be expected.   (My apologies that you can’t see my toes on the scale… remember, I said it IS reflective).

I am loving how I can SEE on the scale the difference that adding strengthening exercises can make!

Oh yah, and did you notice that my total body weight also went down?

193.6 pounds this morning, baby.  Yup.  I have lost over 30 pounds since the beginning of this year.

And, my BMI is down to 32.2.

Second Yay!

The kids and I spent quite a bit of time outdoors on Sunday, and they absolutely loved that Mommy had the energy to chase them and push them around in their power wheels jeep.  Yes, I said push.  The blasted thing has a dead battery, so I pushed a power wheels jeep plus 60 pounds of kid around the yard for quite a while.  Talk about an exercise on the GLUTS!  Ha.  Anyway, after that, we came indoors, and the kids occupied themselves playing with their toys while I did laundry and switched clothing sizes for all three of us.  Yes.  All. Three. of. Us.  Mister graduated into a 4T, Sister graduated into a 3T, and I took out everything that is now too big and bagged it up.  I removed two large bags of clothes from my closet.

And yesterday, I gave them away.

There is no going back, now, because if I do, I will have to go nekked.

Third yay!

When I got home from volunteering yesterday, I had an email in my inbox letting me know that I have been selected to take part in the second Total Gym Total Mom Challenge. I literally burst out crying when I got the email, I wanted it so bad.  I am just so incredibly excited.

Just in case you didn’t read about the first Total Gym Total Mom Challenge, let me tell you a little about how it went.  Blog Friendly PR teamed up with Total Gym to create a unique campaign in which ten bloggers used the Total Gym XLS for eight weeks to see what a difference it could make.  The winner of that challenge, Michelle from A Happy Hippy Mommy, shed nine pounds and five inches.  She then got to give a Total Gym away on her site (which I blogged about here)!  I confess to having entered that giveaway many, many, many… many times.

I don’t have all of the campaign details yet, but I do know is this… this campaign is set to have six Mom’s, the campaign will last eight weeks, and my Total Gym should arrive in about 3-4 weeks.  Each of our weekly posts will be assigned a theme, and I cannot wait to get the first one!

So, as my son would say, “Yay yay yay!

Waiting for the Total Gym to come in is going to be tough (in the same way walking past wrapped Christmas gifts without touching them is).

But, I can assure you that I will not be sitting on my laurels while I wait.

When I Skype’d with Hubs this morning, he asked if he would be able to use the Total Gym, too.  YEAH!  So, you just might see some updates about him, too!

Total Gym® Official Store – Endorsed by Chuck Norris & Christie Brinkley. FREE Shipping + 10% OFF with Promo Code: 11001

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own