Archive for April, 2021

Happy Friday, dear reader! I am currently in Week #2 of the Fast Burn Challenge, and I am holding my own. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 158 pounds. I lost 3.5 pounds in the first week of the challenge. Go, me! As I mentioned last week, I will be happy if I shed 10 pounds by the end of the nine weeks. Becoming a healthier version of me is what I am striving for over the course of the next two months.

Kudos to Me for…

  • meeting my daily water intake goal.
  • adding ground flaxseed to smoothies and oatmeal.
  • meeting my TRF 12:12 goal.
  • trying the Tender Baked Pork Chops. YUM!
  • continuing to eat more veggies.
  • meeting my daily exercise goals.
  • prepping most of my meals and snacks for the week.
  • choosing wisely when eating at a restaurant.

My hubby bought me some Mason Jars at the grocery store, so I could prep my smoothies for the week. I made a couple of extra smoothies for my friend Julia who I work with at school. It took me about an hour to prepare the Burner Smoothies on Sunday morning; however, it was a game changer and made life easier for me this week. Since my husband enjoys cooking more than I do, he cooked the pork chops for our Sunday dinner. I also asked him to grill a bunch of turkey burgers for me. He used a turkey burger recipe from Dr. Ian’s The Clean 20 book. This was great because I got a dinner and a lunch out of them, fed my youngest son, and froze a few for future weeks.


  • Drinking a cup of water before lunch during the work week.
  • Situations that interfere with eating schedule or menu.
  • Making the time to plan meals for the upcoming week.

I think I need to write a note (drink cup of water FIRST) and attach it to my lunch, so I do not forget to consume a cup of water before eating my lunch. I have forgotten EVERY day this week. This is weird to me since I have not forgotten once to consume the cup of water before breakfast or dinner.

I had an unexpected situation crop up at work on Monday morning that required me changing my breakfast at the last minute and caused my snack times to be slightly off throughout the day. Thankfully, I had an extra Burner Smoothie in the fridge to save me some time and get me to work earlier than anticipated. I also had to remind myself to be flexible. In addition, my mother-in-law cooks dinner for my family on Fridays. I found out Wednesday evening that she was making hamburgers (beef) this Friday, so I swapped Thursday’s and Friday’s lunch choices because I originally had a turkey burger on the menu for Friday’s lunch.

As for meal planning, I did better than the previous week and wrote everything out. However, I did not do it prior to my husband grocery shopping, and I discovered after the fact that I needed ground flaxseed for this week. Lucky for me, he had another errand to run near the grocery store, so he swung by and picked it up for me. Kudos to Barry, Sr. for being so kind!

Overall, I am doing pretty well. There is a learning curve when doing anything new for the first time. I must be patient with myself, flexible when life happens, and appreciate the journey. I want this experience to be enjoyable not stressful. It is not about being perfect. It is about showing up and doing my best. Happiness!

“Regardless of how big or small, savor and appreciate your victories. When you build the excitement that comes with success, you build momentum to keep going and achieve results.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M. D., Mind Over Weight

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Since returning from Colorado two weeks ago, I feel like my life has been moving at warp speed. Life, both at work and at home, has gotten busier. The school year is wrapping up (four weeks left) with lots of deadlines and end-of-the-year activities on the horizon while my personal life is ramping up. What’s more, I could not be happier! In the midst of it all, I am unbelievably calm because I am so looking forward to summer break and the influx of time that will flood my calendar.

Therefore, I have taken some time this weekend to indulge in a bit of distraction, a sort of calm before the storm. My hubby’s work picnic was cancelled yesterday due to impending weather, so he asked if we could go to the movies and have dinner afterwards. Sure! I’m always game for a movie and sushi. And, yes, I can have sushi on my Fast Burn program provided that it falls within the guidelines. He wanted to see Nobody which was a terrific choice. I think Bob Odenkirk aka Nobody did a wonderful job in the lead role.

Afterwards, we went to Kirin where we ate dinner at the sushi bar. Barry and I enjoyed talking to the sushi chef who prepared our meal. I had a small snowcrab salad and a Michelle Roll (snowcrab, crab stick, boiled shrimp, asparagus, avocado, and cucumber wrapped in soybean paper. NO rice! Barry ordered the Who Dat Roll and the Samurai Roll. It was a fun date night!

Once home, we settled in for the evening. Andrew was home, so he and I watched a few episodes of Modern Family. We are finally getting to watch Season 11, the final season.

The rest of the weekend will be spent scheduling my upcoming week, planning and prepping my meals for Week 2 of the Fast Burn Challenge, exercising, taking care of some chores, and relaxing. Yes, I will be partaking in some relaxing today, dear reader. I want to daydream a little bit about the upcoming summer break, read, and watch Fear the Walking Dead. Furthermore, if I can squeeze out another 1 1/2 hours of today, I will watch The Evil in Us which is the last movie on my Holiday Horror Movie Marathon list. Happiness!

“It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.” ~ Donna Karan

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Happy Friday, dear reader! Each Friday for the next nine weeks, I will update my progress on the Fast Burn Challenge which is a plan outlined in Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Energy Balance by Dr. Ian K. Smith. This new plan includes intermittant fasting, clean eating, and exercises. I have completed four days on the Fast Burn Challenge, and I am feeling pretty good about my progress, so far.

On Monday morning, I weighed in at 161.5 pounds. I would love to lose at least 10 pounds; however, my goals for this challenge are to try intermittent fasting, create weekly meal plans that incorporate clean eating, and maintain a regular fitness regimen. Basically, I am striving to be a healthier version of me. I have been following the food plan pretty well with the exception of eating a handful of pork rinds on both Tuesday afternoon AND Wednesday afternoon. Also, for lunch on Wednesday, I ate 15 Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion potato chips with my sandwich. Not good, but also not the end of the world.

Kudos to Me for…

  • meeting my daily water intake goal.
  • meeting my TRF 12:12 goal.
  • making The Burner Smoothie. Twice!
  • continuing to eat more veggies.
  • meeting my daily exercise goals.


  • Eating two hours after waking up.
  • Drinking a cup of water before each meal.
  • Preparing meals during the week.

I am not too concerned about not being able to wait two hours to eat after waking up. The only three days that I cannot follow this guideline is on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings because I have carpool duty and need to be at school by 7:00. I do not want to eat my breakfast in the car or at school, so my plan is to drink the Burner Smoothie for breakfast on those three mornings about 1 1/2 hours after waking up. I can follow this guideline and eat something different on the other four mornings.

Drinking a cup of water before each meal will eventually become a habit. I do not anticipate this being a challenge for very long. Since Monday, I have only forgotten twice.

Preparing meals during the week is time-consuming. It would be better for me to meal prep for the work week over the weekend for a couple of hours than to meal prep each evening for a couple of hours. Creating a weekly meal plan is great; however, it needs to go hand in hand with meal prepping. When I go to the grocery store this weekend, I will buy some mason jars to make a week’s worth of the Burner Smoothie.

I know it has only been four days, dear reader, but I feel like I am off to a terrific start. I am energized, optimistic, and excited. Happiness!

“The more you move, the easier it is to keep moving. Maintain the momentum.”     ~ James Clear

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Today is the big day, dear reader! For the next nine weeks, I will be participating in the Fast Burn Challenge with Dr. Ian K. Smith, Shelly, and thousands of other participants. We will be following Smith’s program outlined in his newest book, Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Balance. I will be intermittent fasting for not just one month, but for two months. I will be starting with the 12:12 method (TRF or time-restricted feeding) which means I will be fasting for 12 hours and then have a 12 hour feeding window. There are additional guidelines I will be following along with intemittent fasting.

I have purchased all of my food, planned meals for the week, scheduled my fitness goals, taken my body measurements, and weighed myself. Now, I simply have to make the effort, have a good attitude, and enjoy the journey. It is not just about losing weight. It is about getting healthy again, feeling better, and boosting my confidence.

I am eager to interact with the other participants, try some new recipes, and get back into shape. I am also hoping I will be able to get back to running again. I will update my progress weekly on Fridays with a series called Fast Burn Friday. It will be another way to hold myself accountable. Let the Fast Burn Challenge begin! Happiness!

“The more confident you are in the ability to succeed, the more motivated you will be to stick to your plan and ultimately reach your goals.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M. D.

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Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

I divided this year into quarters to complete my 21 for 2021 list. I have added a few new items (*) from the list to complete this quarter (April-June) along with continuing to work on some ongoing items for the duration of 2021. I will continue to manage my time, eat more vegetables, and scrapbook at least two times per month. I am hoping to complete the WordPress Blogging course, so that I can start the WordPress Podcasting course in the third quarter. I am excited about all the items I will be engaging in throughout the next three months.

  • #1 Manage time.
  • #2 Maintain a regular fitness regimen. *
  • #3 Create weekly meal plans. *
  • #4 Eat more vegetables.
  • #5 Try intermittent fasting for one month (Fast Burn). *
  • #10 Complete The Four Tendencies course (Gretchen Rubin). *
  • #14 Take a WordPress Blogging course.
  • #20 Scrapbook at least two times per month.

I did make one slight change to my list. Instead of trying intermittent fasting for one month using Dr. Ian K. Smith’s Clean & Lean book, I am using his recently published book, Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Energy Balance. I also joined his Fast Burn Challenge on Facebook which starts on Monday, 19 April. The challenge will be slightly longer than one month. It is actually nine weeks long. Shelly also bought the book and joined the challenge which will make this whole intermittant fasting adventure even more enjoyable.

Why now? Well…I had read Mind Over Weight last year and had planned to start eating clean again and exercising more regularly in June. Well, that did NOT happen. I read the book, completed the journal exercises, got my food journal ready, marked my calendar for 01 June, wrote a blog post about it, and NOT a damn thing happened. NO excuses! I have no excuses because I had plenty of time (all summer), resources, and the knowledge to accomplish the goal I set for myself in June. I had already successfully completed Smith’s The Clean 20 program in the fall of 2019 and was walking at least 20 minutes daily. I chose not to follow through, and that is all on me. As a result of my poor choices, I have gained more weight and feel tired all the time which is hindering me from making positive changes in other areas of my life. Therefore, I am ready to FOCUS on getting healthy during the next nine weeks.

Wish me luck, dear reader. Sometimes, it feels bewildering to start something brand new even when you are excited; however, it seems arduous to restart something that requires a great deal of effort like weight loss. It is definitely time for me to get off the struggle bus with my weight and get healthy. Happiness!

“If you believe in yourself first, then believe in the plan, and then put in the work, you will find that at the end of nine weeks, you are a different person physically and mentally than you were when you began the journey.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D.

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Happy Easter Blessings, dear reader! Jesus Christ has risen today and on such a gorgeous Sunday spring morning. It will be a low-key kind of day for me. My hubby drove my Daddy to Kentucky where they are visiting my Uncle Manuel for Easter. Son #1 will be celebrating the day with his girlfriend Kayla and her family. Since it is just Andrew and me, we decided to celebrate the day with a Mexican fiesta. I will be cooking bacon ranch chicken taquitos and tacos. We also plan to have chips and queso. Afterwards, Andrew will spend some time at his girlfriend’s house while I plan to watch a horror movie related to Cinco de Mayo. I admit it is not our traditional Easter celebration; however, it will suffice for this year. Additionally, I will not be attending Mass this morning because I attended the Easter Vigil last night.

I have a Godson! Since the end of September, I have walked with Mr. Mike (Shelly’s bonus dad) as his sponsor on his journey to becoming a Catholic. Last night, was the end of our journey together and the beginning of his journey as a member of the Catholic Church. Mr. Mike, along with five other catechumins and one candidate, entered into full communion with the Catholic Church last night at the Easter Vigil celebration at St. Margaret Queen of Scotland Catholic Church in Albany, Louisiana. Mr. Mike received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. I am overjoyed for him and all the others who made the commitment to walk with Christ.

The Easter Vigil was a beautiful celebration. Fr. Jamin and everyone who participated made the evening really special for the congregation and the newest members of the Church. Thankfully, Shelly and her husband Kerry attended the Easter Vigil as well. She took a bunch of pictures of Mr. Mike receiving all of his Sacraments. In addition, Mrs. Carol (Shelly’s mom) sponsored her niece Danielle who also became a member of the Catholic Church at last night’s celebration. What a wonderful evening!

May your Easter season be filled with joy and a renewal of hope, dear reader. Enjoy this special day with a song of love in your heart and peace in your soul. Happiness!

“We proclaim the resurrection of Christ when his light illuminates the dark moments of our existence.” ~ Pope Francis

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Book Club News: Chills, Thrills, and Kills

It’s offical! Kelsi and I are proud to announce that we have a name for our book club thanks to everyone who voted in our survey. Chills, Thrills, & Kills Book Club is now part of the literary universe, and we could not be more excited. Thirty-five friends or family members were kind enough to vote in our survey. As our survey illustration reveals, nineteen people voted for Chills, Thrills and Kills Book Club, nine people voted for Oh, The Horror! Book Club, and four people voted for The Mysterious and Macabre Book Club. There were three people who voted Other and suggested additional names. They included Spooky Happenings Book Club, Super Killin’ It Book Club, and I’m So Scared of This Book Club. Great ideas!

Kelsi and I have already scheduled a Meet and Greet with our book club members on 15 April 2021. Oh, the Horror! It will be an opportunity for members to introduce themselves, answer a few questions, and get the scoop on the six books nominated for our first book club selection. Afterwards, we will all vote on a book, announce the winning title, chit-chat about the mysterious and macabre for a bit, and set a date for our next book club meeting to discuss the selection.

It has been a pleasure planning and launching a book club, dear reader. I am looking forward to reading and discussing many books in the horror genre as well as thrillers, mystery novels, and those in the realm of science fiction. Happiness!

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ~ Stephen King

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