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Whos with me?

Why did I go from eating junk food, fast food, fried stuff, lots of red meats, too-large portion sizes, cookies, cheese on everything, and other naughty things all of the time. Well isnt that apparent? can eat junk like that all the time and be healthy. Its just not possible. I got tired of it. Enough. You know? Time for something drastic and long-lasting. Time for a new me! May 2012 I became a vegetarian and enter a whole lifestyle change.

Since then I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning and progressing, for me that’s what it is all about .. Progress not perfection! Progressing towards a completely plant based diet, towards someone who uses food as fuel not therapy, towards a mom who is confident and fierce. I’ve been feeling like it’s placed on my heart to start a new blog series, that’s also tied to my other social media accounts, which highlights the plant based/meat free diet. Starting in November each month will have a different theme and once a week I’ll post topics related to that. Themes like: 1) How to eat meat free on the cheap! 2) How to get all your protein from a plant based diet. 3) How to eat out while sticking to a veggie meal…

I get told a lot from people that they want to cut back on how much meat they are eating but are not sure where to start. Or even if its possible. I want to say – “Yes it is totally possible and here is a little info on how to do just that.” Maybe one day Ill get my ducks in a row and become a PiYo instructor and get a weight loss management certification. Become truly too legit to quit and all… But, admittedly I am not a personal trainer, Im not a nutritionist, I am not a size 2, and I dont have some body building 6 pack. So why am I even qualified to talk on this subject?

Well I am passionate about it and Ive stuck to it even through some struggles. Ive had many many people attempt to talk me out of not eating meat. It makes some people uncomfortable. Im not sure why but it does so they make it their goal to bring my diet up in conversations whenever they can, to persuade me to “go back”. No one cared enough to talk to me when I was 230 lbs, eating fast food multiple times a week, and clearly making bad choices all of the time! No one gently sat me down to have a heart to heart about what effect my diet and lack of exercise played on my health. None of these people seemed all that concerned when my choices lead me to getting gestational diabetes; while they saw me testing my blood sugars 4 times a day and restricting my foods to make sure I was staying within safe ranges for baby. Nope not a word to my face. However, after I decided I don’t want to eat any animals, limit the animal products (milk/eggs/cheese), and focus on eating more plant-based foods – that’s when people wanted to say something. Go figure? I know what its like to face opposition and my passion for my diet has helped me to not stop.

My passion drives me to learn more about the nutrition side. I love finding new foods and nutrition programs that will help me get closer to my goals. When I started out in 2012 I knew nothing. Not a single thing! I joined private Facebook groups, I scoured Pinterest, blogs and Instagram, I connected with like minded people, and I discovered some fantastic professional foodies/chefs. I honestly like looking stuff up! So if I didnt know an answer I’d dig around until I found it. Those all have been what has helped me stay on this path, but it did take some time. There are so very many different resources out there for vegan and vegetarians that it can get a little overwhelming, which is the exact opposite of what a newbie needs. Ive found some great resources from experts and the opportunity to have a forum where they can all be compiled together would be amazing.

While I know some would disagree with the method (meat free eating) I do feel led by the Lord to share my passion with others. He has given me a heart for helping people. I can feel that so clearly. The pull to want to come along side the person I was back in 2012 and help her see that there is a better way. To tell that frazzled mom: You don’t have to live in the prison of obesity, there is a better way, you can become comfortable in your skin, you can find happiness through exercise, and you can work at getting victory over the struggle of being overweight. As I am working for those things myself, I feel the Lord asking me to step out in faith because He has placed this passion in my heart for a reason. So my goal during this veggie series is to help others while honoring God. 

Check back on Mondays for the new blog posts that correlate to the monthly topic. You can also leave your email address to be added to the subscription list. Today was an introduction. I wanted to put my heart out there about why Im starting this in the first place. Next Monday Ill cover the main reason why I changed my diet to vegetarian – What are the health benefits of a plant based diet? (This wont be me ranting over eating animals. I wont go all crazy lady on ya. Lol. 😛 Nor will I be talking out of my butt. Ill give info from various professionals on the positive sides to a plant based diet and you can make the decision yourself about how you feel.)

Im excited! Who’s with me? 

Plant based vegetarian blog series trystea


Are you going too slow?

If you haven’t noticed, its fall! Its getting cooler so that means hoodies, Clemson football, fires in our fireplace, scarves, pumpkin everything. We also have several birthdays to celebrate in our family (my moms, mine, my hubby, the threenager) … I absolutely love fall time as it reminds me of new beginnings and special memories.

I’m right in the middle of my PiYo Challenge but the outdoors keeps calling me! I think it’s time to start running again, as fall has always been my FAVORITE time to run. It was during this time, 3 years ago that I started running. Something about being outside under the sun, in the cool crisp air. It clears my head and keeps me happy. I keep saying I want to start back so time to dust off my running shoes.

On Tuesday morning the hubby took the kids to the gym while I stayed home. I was going to work out and do house work, however after I completed PiYo Sweat, I took one look outside and was out the door. Off running before I could talk myself out of it…


My first run in ages! I had a goal in mind about how far I wanted to run, it went a little like this … Ok when I get to the end of this street I’ll stop, no no, when I get to the end of that driveway I’ll stop, no wait, when I get to that mailbox I’ll quit, wait, when I get to the top of this hill I’m definitely finished … That was my entire internal dialog, with a little prayer here and there asking Jesus to help me. Until finally. I was truly done. A mile finished a little under 14 minutes.

Now I’m sure that might sound “too slow” to some people but eh. Coming from a girl who use to never ever exercise, *I* am proud of my 14 min mile! I ran for 14 mins straight. The thought of quitting because I’m going too slow never crossed my mind. A 14 minute mile is just as far as a 7 minute mile! Woop! Shoot yeah I am excited because getting out there and trying is the accomplishment for me.

too slow run

On my run I had a goal in mind of how far I wanted to get and even though my abs were cramping, the legs hurt, my lungs burned, and that darn hill about killed me .. I made it! Which made me think, you know sometimes WE have to be our OWN cheerleader. Sometimes we are the ones that have to push ourselves, to look inward, to ask Jesus for a bit more strength to keep going. We are not always going to be surrounded by friends or children or a husband or a trainer to encourage us. It’s in those moments, when we are alone and faced with the choice to give up or keep going that we truly grow.

So weather it’s going on a run for the first time in a year, your usual workout or the daily healthy eating habits, or even something like housework! When you’re faced with the choice to either stop or keep going … Keep going! Be your own cheerleader. Push forward. Too slow? Never.

How to make the best choice?

I can’t sleep! Everyone else is tucked in their nice, warm beds snoozing away and I’m on the computer typing. What a shame, not being able to sleep should not be one of the problems that a mom has. Its not fair, really. Lol. I kind of did it to myself though, the husband fixes an amazing cup of coffee and I made the mistake of having some later this afternoon. So now I’ve got a coffee buzz – but no sleep!

Something has been bothering me… What do you do when you know you’re about to make the wrong choices but you consciously do it anyways? Like that stupid cup of coffee. I knew good enough that it would keep me up later tonight then what I wanted to but I went ahead and had it anyways. (But really, mama needed her caffeine. Ha.) Or when you peruse the cookie isle at the grocery store, knowing that it wont do you any good to stand there – but you do it anyways. Then you get home and find that somehow the Oreo’s managed to find their way home with you. Woops. Did you know the serving size is 2 Oreo’s? Really. Who eats just 2?! Not me. Ever. I might have good intentions to eat just 2 but then I look down and have eaten 2 whole sleeves.

There is this constant battle between knowing what is good for you and actually doing it. I talk about this with my 10 year old all of the time but it applies to me just as much. I’ll tell him that in any situation you’re faced with you’re always going to be presented with several different choices – so pick the best choice. Best choice: Buying the bag of Oreo’s that I know I will inhale? No. Buy the bag of apples instead. Best choice: Drink the coffee because I’m so tired and grumpy and have seemingly convinced myself that I cant function without it, even at 5:oo in the afternoon? No. Drink a huge glass of water or decaf green tea and deal with no caffeine.

Which brings me to my point. Picking the best choice by exhibiting some self control and discipline. Prov 25: 28 “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”

It is easier said then done but the more you practice it – the better you’ll get at it. Im talking to myself here. No late afternoon coffee pick-me-ups anymore. :/ Sad but I know its not whats best for me. They get me jittery, cant fall asleep until late, and then I wake up late. Which throws off my whole day. Which just sends me back to the late afternoon coffee pick-me-ups. Instead of cutting it out completely, I’m going to choose to replace it with some (decaf) hot tea.

I’m starting a PiYo Challenge group the day after Labor Day. I ❤ PiYo and what it did for me the first time I tried it so I’m ready to see similar results again this time (increased strength, inches lost, smaller stomach, more flexible). I can not wait to do it in a challenge group form, working it with some friends and being inspired by their hard work will be amazing! But my number one thing that must happen – I’ve got to get out of bed in the mornings. Early. I want to have time to get the workout in before the kids are up and before the busyness of my day starts.

I really hate waking up early, ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you – do not even come at me before 9am. LOL! However, for this PiYo Challenge Im going to really put my self control in check. Along with eating clean and daily exercise .. Waking up at 6:30am (that pains me to say). Doing my normal morning routine, plus adding in the work out. And then cutting the crap in the late afternoon so that I am in bed at a decent hour. No more of this 1-2am nonsense. Working at mastering self control and discipline because I already know what the best choice is – but actually doing it is the hard part.

prov 25 self control

Where my girls at? Fit Team Inspire

Back in November I joined the Beachbody family with a team of ladies, Fit Team INSPIRE, with the same passion for health and wellness. We are a group made up of female professionals and novice who all are dedicated to inspiring ourselves, our team mates, and others to crush fitness goals.

Amanda Tress is our fearless leader, I came upon her professional training Instagram account and was drawn to her dedication, passion, and genuine love for others. I had been looking and searching for some direction and it was if the Lord lead me straight to her! A woman who shines His light with concern for the well-being of others. She was offering a partnership using some amazing Beachbody products, along with tools to help me get fit and inspire others to do the same … I couldnt say no! I had previously lost weight (after the birth of baby #2) but I essentially did it all on my own. This time (after the birth of baby #3) I was longing to be connected to other like-minded mamas. And it was if God was directly answering that prayer!

I remember hanging up from our first phone convo super pumped at this opportunity, I finally found my girls!! (Holla, yall!) The Beachbody products themselves are pretty great, the workouts and shakes – they do work – and if you follow them they can do wonders for you … but why go at it alone?! Having a swolemate team of ladies that totally get you and your passion, friends who push and encourage you, women who love and want to inspire others; our group is small but mighty. Some of us are certified trainers and nutritionists, professional chef, diets that are plant based or follow the paleo diet, stay at home moms as well as working moms, some have battled with losing a fair amount of weight… We all have different skill sets that uniquely make our Fit Team INSPIRE awesome!

The tie that binds us together:
Mindful eating, exercising with a purpose, living with passion, uplifting others, challenging ourselves, and progressing towards goals – thats what we are about.

Fit Team Inspire

If you are also looking for a place to connect as well as opportunities to work at developing yourself and helping others, please please let me know! I can shoot you an email with specific details and you can see the Sneak Peak group of our team, on Aug 17th.

Why dont you act?

Its a pretty simple question, why dont I act? When faced with choosing something that is good for me I tend to try and talk myself out of doing it! Ill come up with a list of excuses, tasks to do instead, or reasons why it wont matter if I simply dont act. How many times have I woken up in the morning and faced tasks that I should do (eating a healthy breakfast, working out, doing some kind of a chore -laundry ugh-, or even spending time with my Lord in prayer and scripture reading) and instead of doing them, I simply dont. Ill talk myself out of it and choose to other things. (Netflix marathon of The Walking Dead, yes please!)

This past Friday the family and I were driving back from our vacation in Florida back to our home in South Carolina, we stopped in Walmart to stretch our legs and grab a few snacks for the road. We all split off and headed in different directions to go find what we wanted (no worries, the hubby had the little kiddies with him), when we met back up I somehow managed to have a package of Reese’s Cups in hand. (Um, Im not quite sure how they jumped off the shelf and into my hand, but they sure did!)

My hubby and I got to talking about how impulsive I can be. I have no problem grabbing a candy bar from the check out counter, its an impulsive move and almost an automatic move for me. (Stupid grocery stores and their junk food traps!!!) We get to the check out and I start scanning the chocolate to see if theres something I want. I know I struggle with making not so good impulsive choices but when it comes to the good ones, I can talk myself out of doing them without any problem.


Recognizing that this is an area where I struggle has helped me make baby steps, I know its a problem and I know I can work at fixing it. Its like when exercising a muscle, the more you target that area the stronger it’ll become. The more you replace bad habits with healthier ones, the more automatic they will become! You wont have to talk yourself into things like eating good food, working out, being productive, praying and reading your bible … because itll become like second nature. Be more impulsive with healthy choices.

What was my why again?

The baby just woke up from his nap, in my arms, so forgive me for any errors. Typing with a wiggly 8 month in your arms isn’t exactly an easy task however, I had something on my mind and decided Id better type it down before I talk myself out of typing this. Its not an easy thing to talk about but I know if Im struggling, someone else is too so maybe this is something you need to hear as well…

Going from someone who never exercised or wasn’t concerned with what food I was putting into my body – to someone who is really active and now refuses to eat meat, even Im amazed at the changes Ive seen. I feel more confident and stronger! Im ready to kick each day’s butt. But then when life throws a curve ball, its humbling and reminds me of why I even started this process. My family! I want to be able to give 100% of myself to my family, to be an active part of my children’s lives, and to live a long life with my husband. And simply put, I cant do that if I don’t take care of myself.

This all smacked me in the face over the weekend. I got a phone call on Saturday night: my beloved mama is in the ER, she is having stomach pains, something about her colon dying, and shes going to have emergency surgery. The exact details of the situation then were fuzzy but we knew it was serous. Um, what? What did you just say?! My mother? No, it cant be.. my mama is super woman. Shes like the Energy Bunny + Martha Stewart. She goes constantly, her house is immaculate, she takes care of everyone, never stops and multi-tasks like a pro, and whenever she does get sick- you still cant knock her down. This woman has gone through so much in her life and she just picks herself up and keeps going. She started her Saturday with some shopping at Kohls and she ended her Saturday with having some 11 inches of her colon removed.

Visiting her in the hospital, seeing her laying in the bed after such an invasive emergency surgery, hardest thing in my life that Ive had to do. Hands down. Shes so strong but to see her so weak, it was heartbreaking. And to hear how serious the situation was, if she had not gotten to the hospital for them to do the surgery in time and her colon ruptured, she would have died. My mom has always been pretty healthy but if circumstances were different, she might not be here with us.

My family has been blessed, in that my mom is doing fantastic! Her recovery is going slow but shes doing such a good job, even the nurses have commented about how great of a patient she’s been. Which is not unexpected news because she will not let this get her down, I told her I bet she will be running laps around the hospital! My mom makes emergency surgery look like a piece of cake. God is good and He most definitely answered our prayers.

Im the first to admit that I have not always been health conscious. My young adult life was spent figuring out this marriage, college, and mom thing so taking care of myself was not important to me, at all. Ive shared before … the result of those decisions landed me with my priorities out of whack, pretty unhappy about myself, and according to that stupid BMI chart, in the “obese” weight range (omgosh, I hate admitting that- but its true). I finally got to the point where the Lord showed me, “ cant continue like this!” So ever since summer of 2013 when I cut meat out of my diet, Ive determined to do something about it.

It sounds kind of trite to say but on Saturday I was hit right in the face with how important my health really is, a needed reminder of why I started this process. To be there for my family. Change is never easy, nor is it quick. Sometimes there are challenges you have to face or you might get a little off track. Such a decision requires you to totally change your way of thinking, your relationship with foods, your way of living, and you reevaluate your priorities. But keeping your focus and remembering your why will help you succeed. To be there completely for my family, yeah, Id say this change is totally worth it.

strength bible


What else is there?

I had a scary thought .. my kids are going to grow up and leave me! Lol. Which some moms may celebrate but I’ve been a mom since I was 18. I dont really know what else to do with myself. I keep thinking that in 9 years, my oldest will be the age I was when I got married, moved away, and became a parent. Gah!

After they leave me, what’s next? What am I suppose to do with all that new free time!? Stalk my kids and make sure they arnt getting into trouble? (Nooo, I’d never.) I guess I’ll have to figure out what my life is going to be like when I’m not constantly taking care of someone. What else is there, outside of being a mom? I will always be their mother but what will I do with myself when they grow up and don’t need my undivided attention? When they don’t need me to strap them into a car seat. (I cannot wait to burn the last car seat!) They stop wanting to be tucked in bed. Don’t follow me around the house. Or they don’t need me to constantly remind them to finish their dinner. Lord help us when they are old enough to drive!

I guess I’m realizing there’s more to life then being a mom and trying to figure out where I fit into it all. Aside from being a wife and a mom, what is there? (Is there such a thing as empty nest syndrome, before your kids actually leave the nest!? Lol.) I know the Lord has blessed me with having a heart for others.. something my wonderful mama passed onto me (she’s the definition of selfless).. God has presented me with an awesome opportunity to use my gifts and knowledge to uplift others. But honestly, I’m a little nervous. Fear of failure or of the unknown, along with self doubt, are huge motivators that keep people from presuing their dreams.


There are plenty of examples in the bible of people who were called to a specific task but they doubted that they were the right person for the job. God didn’t expect them to be perfect. He didn’t require from them that they had all the answers or that they never made a mistake along the way. He simply gave them what they needed, to do what He called them to do. The Lord doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called! He does require that we follow after Him. And then He promises that He will lead us.

Replacing old crappy habits with new ones, changing your lifestyle. Getting healthy and from that process losing weight, & getting that sexy body you’ve always wanted. 😉 Setting obtainable goals and killing it to get there. All while maintaining your sanity with all the billion responsibilities of a mom. None of that stuff is easy! But. It can be done! It’s not impossible. While I’m presented with the eventuality of my kids growing up and leaving, that’s what has been placed on my heart… To help others get to that place too!

And let me tell you, it’s kind of a refreshing & freeing feeling, to finally know what you’re suppose to be doing. WOOP woop!

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