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Monday, November 21, 2016

10 Tips for Getting (and STAYING) Fit!

Candy's Top 10 Tips for Getting (and STAYING) Fit!

No matter where you start, or how far you have to go, getting fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a bit of a process. But, it doesn’t have to be! Below I have listed 10 simple tips to help you stay on track and reach your health and fitness goals.

1. Love yourself *at ALL stages* 
Whether you’re just beginning, you’ve fallen off the healthy horse, or you’ve been on the gainz train for years; you have got to learn to love your body for all that it is. Nobody is perfect; we all have our flaws and things we want to change. But, you can be a work in progress and still be proud of who you are and what you know you’re capable of. Self-love is the number one!

2. Do it for YOU – Not for anyone else
The decision to get fit has to come from within. Sure you may want to be healthier for your spouse or kids but if you don’t have a strong desire to do it for YOU, it probably won’t last. You deserve to spend time on taking care of yourself; body, mind, and soul.

3. Don’t compare!
So you see these beautiful models with chiseled bodies on social media and you think, “Wow, if only I could have her butt or his arms…” STOP. Hold it right there! You are special. You’re unique. No two people are the same in this world and that is such a wonderful thing! It’s nice to be motivated by people’s stories but we all struggle and everyone has their own journey to reach their individual goals. Quite comparing your life or progress with anyone else. It is always you vs. you and guess what, either way you win because you’re awesome and working hard towards becoming a better person.
4. Listen to your body
What works great for your friend, co-worker, or some fitness model on IG may not work for you. Learn YOUR body. Find out what works best for you. Maybe you need more carbohydrates in your diet. Or possibly you find that you enjoy running long distances. Hey, maybe you’re exhausted from training so you need to take a rest day. Don’t burn yourself out. Rest when you need to because recovery is super important for muscle growth. Bottom line is, take the time to get to know your body and be mindful of what it’s trying to tell you.

5. Minimize the S word (STRESS)
Stress is a silent killer. It can wreak havoc on you mentally and physically. Make sure you practice being patient and don’t sweat the small stuff. People will annoy you, problems will pop up at work, family and friends can create drama; that’s life! Become a spiritual warrior and count your blessings every single day. Take regular breaks when you’re feeling overwhelmed and make time to pray and/or meditate daily.

6. Set SMART Goals
In order to succeed, you have to hold yourself accountable. A great way to do this is to set SMART Goals. Here’s an awesome pictograph explaining each step. (Insert photo) Now right down your SMART Goal!

7. Be Consistent
Know that good things take time. You will have awesome days, terrible days, and all kinds of days in-between. But the key is not giving up when times get tough. I have had my fair share of setbacks during my own fitness journey but every time I veered off track, eventually, I found my way back. Daily failures are like red lights during a road trip. When you’re driving a car, you’ll come to a red light every now and then. But if you maintain a good average speed, you’ll always make it to your destination despite the stops and delays along the way. Just keep driving!

8. Celebrate your progress
No matter how big or small, progress is progress! Be proud of your accomplishments and take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments. I personally like to buy a cute new outfit or upgrade my gym gear as a reward for reaching a goal.

9. BALANCE is key
Seriously. I am sure you hear this all the time but it is so freakin’ true! You have to learn to have a healthy, balanced life. Spending all your free time in the gym instead of making time for family and friends is NOT healthy. Cutting out your favorite foods forever and eating 100% “clean” is entirely unrealistic. Turning down invitations out and missing important events because you can’t track your food is just insane. You can be healthy and still enjoy a glass of wine, ice cream, pizza, and bagels. Moderation, not deprivation. Restricting yourself too much creates and unhealthy fixation. Learn to make smart choices and don’t sacrifice other parts of your life just to be fit.
10. Be Positive!
Your mindset is everything. Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it, and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one. If the negative thought returns, replace it again with a positive one. It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you have to choose to look at one of them, and disregard the other. Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively, and to ignore negative thoughts. If you expect only favorable results and situations, your circumstances will change accordingly. Stay focused and remain positive!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vanilla Protein Cheesecake

Vanilla Protein Cheesecake

My fiance and I make Protein Cheesecake all the time together.  This is our current go-to recipe for a simple Vanilla Protein Cheesecake.  With only 7 ingredients and 7 easy steps, you really can't go wrong with this recipe!  


  • 2 containers (8 oz each) of Fat Free Cream Cheese (Great Value Plain)
  • 2 packs of Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt (Dannon Light & Fit)
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 6 Tbsps of Egg Whites
  • 1 Tbsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 scoop of Protein Powder (BPI Vanilla Whey)
  • 4 packets of Splenda
  1. Preheat oven to 250F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat room temperature cream cheese and greek yogurt together until smooth.
  3. Once the batter is clump free, blend in the whole egg, egg whites, and vanilla.
  4. Next add the protein power and Splenda and mix well.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased cheesecake pan.
  6. Bake at 250F for 80 minutes.
  7. Let your cheesecake set in the fridge overnight before serving.

Nutritional Data
Per 1 Slice (Out of 8 Slices)
Calories: 137, Protein: 19.8 grams, Carbs: 11.6 grams, Fats: 1.6 grams

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake

Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake!

I LOVE cheesecake! What I don't particularly love about cheesecake is the crazy amount of fats and carbs it usually contains. So, in an effort to "have my cheesecake and eat it too" I finally decided to try baking a healthier version and boy am I so glad I did! I had seen numerous protein cheesecake recipes floating around on social media so I combined a few I found appealing and tweaked some of the ingredients to my taste and voila! Super scrumptious, creamy and delicious Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake! Just a heads up, you may want to double the recipe and make two cheesecakes because this has been a huge hit with my family, friends, and co-workers. So if you end up sharing, don't say I didn't warn you! :)

·         1.5 Containers *12 ounces* of Fat Free Cream Cheese (Great Value)
·         2 Containers *8 ounces* of Pumpkin Cheesecake Greek Yogurt (Yoplait Whips)
·         2 Whole Eggs
·         2 Egg Whites
·         1 Scoop *23 grams* of Protein Powder 
(VPX SRO Whey – Graham Cracker)
·         ½ Cup *122 grams* 100% Pumpkin (Libby’s)
·         1 Tbsp. Natural Sweetener (Zing)
·         1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
·         1 Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
·         1 Tsp. Cinnamon

1.       Preheat oven to 250F.
2.       In a large bowl beat cream cheese, greek yogurt, and pumpkin thoroughly until smooth.
*Tip* Make sure the cream cheese sits out and is room temperature before you begin. This will ensure the batter is lump free and a creamy consistency!

3.       Once clump free and pudding like, add in the eggs, egg whites, and vanilla and mix well.
4.       Next add your dry ingredients – protein powder, sweetener, and spices, and mix until incorporated.
5.       Pour mixture into a greased pie/cake tin and bake in the oven at 250F for 30 minutes.
*Tip* To prevent surface cracking: Bake the cheesecake in a water bath to keep the oven moisture high and the heat gentle. (A water bath is using a larger pan containing water in which to place the smaller cheesecake baking pan).

6.       After 30 minutes, change the oven temperate to 300F and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
7.       Finally, turn the oven back down to 250F and bake for a final 20 minutes.
8.       Let cool and enjoy!
*Tip* Let your cheesecake set and chill overnight for optimum enjoyment. :)

Nutritional Data
Candy's Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake
Calories: 122, Protein: 16.5 grams, Carbs: 9 grams, Fats: 1.3 grams


Cheesecake Factory's Pumpkin Cheesecake
Calories: 750, Protein: 10 grams, Carbs: 95 grams, Fats: 32 grams

I think mine "takes the cake!" Lol! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Raw by Rae - Nutrient Balanced Treats

Raw by Rae

One of my fabulous fit friends, miss Rachel Dora, was kind enough to send me several flavors of her delicious Raw by Rae nutrient dense desserts!  I was really excited to try these because I have a HUGE sweet tooth (I certainly live up to the name Candy) lol!  As you can tell from my blog, I love eating well.  I think it is very important to eat whole, all natural foods to fuel your body and mind in order to perform proficiently.  But let's be honest, like most people in this world I crave "junk" food too, especially desserts like cakes, cookies, and brownies.  Yet we all know those aren't exactly the best choices for our health and/or waistline.  That's why I love these Raw by Rae treats!  Not only do they taste heavenly, but they are HEALTHY, 100% RAW, ALL NATURAL, REAL food that everyone's body can benefit from.

So far, I have had the opportunity to try 4 flavors:
1) Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Chocolaty goodness; I just love the bites of raw cacao nibs!
2) Pecan Pie
- Sweet southern comfort! Chewy and decadent.
3) Orange Chocolate
- Just the perfect blend of chocolate and orange flavor. Rich and refreshing.
4) Coconut Brownie
- Rolled in unsweetened coconut shavings for a burst of coconut on top of a fudgey "brownie".

There are a variety of other yummy flavors to choose from too, such as; Original Brownie, Banana Split, Pumpkin Spice, Salty Caramel, Cinnamon Roll, Tiramisu, Lemon Coconut, and Mint Chocolate Chip.  Basically, whatever your favorite sweet treat is, Rachel has most likely turned it into a nutrient-packed gourmet dessert.  Although I must say, I recommend making a S'mores or Chocolate Peanut Butter treat!

Every treat is made fresh daily, with completely raw and unprocessed ingredients which allows the abundant amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids to remain in their optimum natural state . All the desserts are dairy free, egg free, gluten free, grain free, and soy free with no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives and no trans fat, which works well with specialty diets including raw, vegan & vegetarian diets.

My first bite of Raw by Rae - The Chocolate Chip Cookie!
An example of the ingredients you'll find in a Raw by Rae treat would be: dates, cashews, flaxseed, cold-pressed coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao, cacao nibs, vanilla extract, and grey sea salt, which is exactly what the Chocolate Chip is comprised of.

Pecan Pie!

Close up of the Raw by Rae Pecan Pie treat.
Packed with raw pecans, which are a rich source for energy, health benefiting nutrients, minerals, anti-oxidants, and vitamins that are essential for wellness, this treat was so moist and delicious!

Having an Orange Chocolate treat with my post-workout breakfast!

Here's a close up of the Orange Chocolate! Let me be honest by saying, I was hesitant to try these ones due to the fact that it was orange flavoring, I'm more or a strawberry or blueberry type gal! But, I was very pleasantly surprised by these! They were REALLY GOOD. The orange extract was not overpowering and it was just the perfect mix of cacao and orange. So tasty! Ingredients are dates, cashews, flaxseed, cold-pressed coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao, vanilla extract, orange extract, and sea salt! The texture to me is like a fudgey brownie. Two thumbs up for these healthy treats!

The Coconut Brownie treats makes me smile :)

To order online and have these treats shipped directly to your door, visit

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gender Reveal Party!

Gender Reveal Party!

Good morning and happy Monday!!!  Yesterday was my sister's Gender Reveal Party so I have some great appetizer recipes to share with you along with a little how-to guide for making a fabulous homemade gender reveal balloon box.

We made three healthy & easy appetizers:
1) Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
2) Capreese Bites

All three of the recipes were found on Pinterest (Check out all of my boards here.) which we adapted in order to work with ingredients we already had or were more readily available at our local grocery store.  They all provide different flavors for guests to enjoy.  Also, they are all natural, gluten free, vegetarian friendly, and Paleo approved!

Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

- 1 pt. container Strawberries
- 1 pt. container Blueberries
- 1  bunch (about 1 1/2 lbs.) seedless grapes (green, red or a mixture of both)
- 1/4 cup honey
- Juice from 2 Limes (about 2-3 tablespoons)

- Rinse strawberries, blueberries and grapes.
- Gently pat the fruit dry.
- Hull strawberries, then cut each in half; if large, cut into quarters.
- Remove stems from blueberries, if any.
- Remove grapes from stems.
- Combine fruit in a large bowl.

- In a small bowl, whisk together honey and lime juice.
- Serve on the side for guests to pour over fruit as they please.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Capreese Bites

- 2 packages of Mozzarella Balls *We used Formaggio Marinated Mozzarella Salad*
- 1 large container of Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Toothpicks

- Slide one mozzarella ball, one basil leaf, and one cherry tomato onto a toothpick.
- Assemble neatly onto a serving dish.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Avocado Bites

- 6 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch thick pieces
- 1 Tablespoon Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- Sea Salt, to taste
- 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 2 large Avocados, pitted
- ¼ cup fresh Lime Juice
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Alfalfa Sprouts

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the sliced sweet potatoes, cumin, paprika, olive oil, and sea salt to a bowl. Toss to coat.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the sweet potato slices out into a single layer. - Bake for 15 minutes or until tender.
- Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and ½ teaspoon sea salt and mash together with the back of a fork.
- Spread the sweet potato slices out of a serving platter.
- Top each slice with a dollop of smashed avocado, half of a cherry tomato, and a sprinkling of alfalfa sprouts.
- Serve and enjoy!

Gender Reveal Balloon Box

My sister really wanted to reveal the gender of their first baby to friends and family with a box filled with balloons.  So, what my big sister wants, she gets!  My mother and I were in charge of creating the balloon box so we got to work on it right away.  We searched high and low for a box big enough and got lucky at Lowes!  I just want to say that the staff at Lowes in Sunrise, FL is wonderful!  They were so incredibly kind and helpful, going out of their way to save us boxes (they compact all the boxes, so my tip to you would be to call ahead in the morning and nicely ask them to hold a box for you!).

We ended up getting a dishwasher box *for free at Lowes* that did not have a bottom/top so we went back the following day and got a refrigerator box which we cut to fit for a custom box top.  While there, we purchased a large roll of brown masking paper to cover the entire box.

After covering the box, we created a uniform heart but folding a piece of paper in half, drawing one side of the heart, then cutting like so.

Next we created several sizes of circles using simple household items such as bowls, cans, and lids which we outlined on various shades pink and blue construction paper.

After that, I printed out the letters (you can write them yourself, but my handwritting is not the best, therefore I decided to print out out the lettering, cut them out, then glue them onto the heart.

Lastly, we decorated the box with cute little baby charms and ribbon that we found (try the dollar store, craft stores like Michael's, Party City, Target, and WalMart for inexpensive decorations).  

And here it is at the party right before the reveal!


It's a GIRL!!!

Crystal & Jimmie!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Summer Salad

Hello my dears and happy Friday!  Today I would like to share with you a delicious and nutritious recipe I received from my sister's mother-in-law.  The first time I tried this yummy salad I was like OH. MY. GOSH.  It is just THAT good :)  So thank you very much Mrs. Kelderhouse for sharing your recipe with me and the family!

I figured I had to post it when I decided to make a big batch of Summer Salad for my co-workers to serve at our "For the Love of Diversity" Pot Luck Luncheon today.  Technically, we are supposed to, and I quote, "Bring your favorite dish, dessert and/or appetizer, that represents your Heritage or background as we take a trip around the buffet table!!" Well, heritage wise I am mostly German, Swedish, and surprisingly a little bit of Native American, but to be honest I consider myself "American" lol! #Merica! So, since this is a favorite dish of mine that has been introduced into our family, I thought it would be perfect to bring!

Summer Salad

- 2 packages of Publix Coleslaw (Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage, and Carrots)
*Jimmie's mother uses freshly chopped cabbage but I took the easy way out haha!*
- 5 large Green Onions, chopped
- 1 package of Ramen Noodles, crushed (I used the chicken flavor)
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Kernals (I used Planters Dry Roasted)
- 1/2 cup Sliced Almonds, toasted

- 1/2 cup Olive Oil (Jimmie's mother uses Peanut Oil)
- 3 tablespoons Pomegrante Red Wine Vinegar (Jimmie's mother uses regular)
- 2 teaspoons Truvia Sweetener (Jimmie's mother uses sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- Ramen Noodle Flavor Pack

- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Toast slivered almonds for about 4-5 minutes watching carefully so they do not burn.
- Combine all of the salad ingredients together (cabbage, chopped green onions, crushed Ramen Noodles, sunflower seed kernels, and toasted sliced almonds) in a large bowl.
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together (oil, red wine vinegar, sweetener, salt, pepper, and Ramen Noodle flavor pack) in a small bowl or container.
- Pour dressing over salad prior to serving and mix throughout.
- Cover salad and refrigerate until you are ready to serve!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shredded Chicken Tacos

As a follow up to my previous post which I shared my Healthy & EASY Crock Pot Chicken recipe, on Tuesday, my family and I decided to use that same shredded chicken as the base for some yummy tacos!  Arriba Taco Tuesday!!!!

THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO DO IS ADD LOW SODIUM TACO SEASONING TO THE CROCK POT CHICKEN!  That's it!  Mrs. Dash even makes a salt free seasoning mix.  And, if you don't care about salt content, use whichever seasoning you please.


Taco topping suggestions:
- Shredded lettuce
- Cabbage
- Fat free cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped peppers
- Avocado
- Salsa
- Low sodium beans

As for the actual taco shell, I prefer soft wraps.  Now-a-days there are soooo many healthy options you can choose from.  Whether you're on a diet or not, low-carb, or even gluten-free YOU CAN HAVE TACOS!

Personally, these are the ones I normally use.  You can find them at your local Publix grocery store.