October 29, 2017

Primary Sharing Time-- Service Game

When I serve my family & others I am serving 

Heavenly Father & Jesus

Start by choosing two children to read each scripture: Matthew 25:34-40 (only verse 40 for the Junior kids) and Mosiah 2:17.
What do these scriptures teach us?

Talk about service and how serving others will bring us happiness and help us to be able to live with God again.

Choose 2 children at a time to come role-play acts of service, such as giving food to someone who is hungry, befriending someone who is lonely, visiting someone who is sick. ((scripture print outs in the file below!)) Let the other children guess what is happening in each role play.

Ask another child to read the following scripture: Mark 16:15
Act out the last prompt: Be missionaries teaching the gospel. You can have them use words or no words to act out. We let them talk for all role plays, except giving food to the hungry.

Now let's play a game! Our president had an awesome spinner so I just let each section represent a shape on the board. Instead of printing out the small copy, I created a larger version! (printable below)


I adjusted the topics a bit to be: 
--How can you serve a family member?
--How can you serve a neighbor?
--How can you serve a friend?
--How can you be a good example?
--How can you teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ?
*BONUS: move one space for reciting an Article of Faith*
--How can you prepare now to be a missionary?
*BONUS: move one space for bearing your testimony*
Choose a child to spin the spinner and tell how he or she could serve the person it points to. Then have the child move a game piece to the next square that corresponds to the color on the spinner. Repeat with other children until the game piece reaches the picture of the Savior. Remind the children that when we serve others we are serving God.

Share your testimony that when we serve others we are blessed. We feel the Spirit stronger and feel happier. Share a personal experience about service if you have one. As we serve others, are good examples, and teach the gospel we can feel closer to our Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ!


Click HERE to download the file!
((print on six different colors of paper))

July 25, 2017

Depression and Anxiety Journaling- WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHY...

For as long as I can remember, even in most of my childhood memories, I have struggled with anxiety. I had a traumatic experience while giving birth to my second, and my typical post-partum depression turned into PTSD, flashbacks, and a very dark time in my life. After every baby, I went through a bought of depression and had to find specific coping strategies to get though the rough times. Even with these health issues, I've always felt like I've had a gift of optimism and happiness, but there are times when, either my hormones are off, or situations get tough, that I have to work harder for these qualities to come naturally.

After struggling with depression during and after all of my pregnancies and recoveries, I recognized that my physical health played a big role in how mentally & emotionally stable I was. It was like a missing puzzle piece was found, and then became such a key component to my life that I cannot deny it's importance or divine timing.


About five years ago, I decided to become a health and fitness coach because I realized that I needed the accountability of helping others in order to help myself. I share my journey through social media and blogging because making real connections is important to me. I will always share my truth and my heart because I find writing to be therapeutic and a healthy outlet for me. I also know that as I am sharing my journey, I might be a light to someone else who is struggling. I'm thankful to have found many other amazing moms and men & women who are so supportive and loving! I have realized that part of the purpose of my struggles is so that I can turn around and help other women who are struggling as well. 

Today I wanted to share one strategy that I've been using for many months that has helped me during the hard times. Like I mentioned above, writing has been a very positive outlet for me to cope with anxiety & depression. Here's how it works. Each day wake up 10 minutes early. Earlier than your alarm clock, earlier than your first child, earlier than anyone expects you or needs you to be you. This time is allotted just for YOU and journaling purposes. (I know that when I am especially struggling, I tend to stay up later and have a harder time waking up... so IF you need to do this at breakfast and have a few quiet minutes alone, you truly can slip it in whenever. BUT if you are diligent with waking up, it's hard at first but may be the most treasured 10 minutes of each day) I always start with a prayer because it helps me to get my head right and I know with the Lord's help I can do all things, even hard things.
So get out your journal, or even just a napkin and write the following:
----------------------------
WHAT do I need today? maybe it's to laugh, to rest, to have social time, to work on a project, to feel loved (write it down.)

WHO can I help today? think and pray about this and see who comes to your mind. If you are wondering what you can do to help them, look at how you answered the last question. Pretty sure this person needs that today too. help them by giving them exactly what you wrote that you need. You'd be surprised, but when you give someone else exactly what they need, you get it too. (#miracle)

HOW can I take care of my body today? maybe you need a bubble bath or even just a shower. maybe a cardio workout will give you the endorphins and energy to get some important tasks done. maybe lifting weights does that for you. maybe yoga is your therapy. think about what you need and schedule it into your day.

WHY do I want to feel happy today? sometimes we look at this list above and think- well that would be nice but I don't deserve it (#bullcrap) so writing out WHY you deserve to feel happy is key. Think about your family, your divinity, your mission. Why is it important that you spend time & effort on yourself?

write it down and refer to the list as often as you need to. If you need a positive, un-judgmental place to report in each day, please reach out to me and I would be happy to support you!! I have created a community of women, many of whom struggle with depression, anxiety and taking time for themselves each day has been a saving grace for us!

June 8, 2017

Netflix your workouts!

Anyone else hate going to the gym or is it just me?? 

In the amount of time it takes me to get the kids ready to go, check them into the child care, and hope a group workout class starts the exact time I'm there (cuz I have no idea what to do with those machines)... I could be done with my workout without ever leaving my house!👊

I truly believe I have found the BEST workouts that are fun, fast and effective. I have tons of them on DVDs that I've collected over time that are well worth over $1,000-- but now we get access to the ENTIRE online library to stream online for the ENTIRE year for $160- say whaaaaat??? (but this price ends soon) This includes a month of superfood nutrition AND all future programs they release, access to cooking shows, meal plans, portion control containers, and support from me as your coach all year! Check out more info here: Clarkstrong.com/annualpass 💥 #yesplease


May 22, 2017

Self belief through our struggles

Recently, I asked what you all struggle with the most when it comes to getting and staying fit and healthy!


 --I can relate to each of you because I used to struggle with ALL of it! Although I LOOK like I'm pregnant in this before photo, I was NOT. I had no clue what I should be eating (even though I thought I knew what was "healthy"!) I had the WORST sweet tooth (I vividly remember at that time that I never missed a night of sweets- a cupcake a day kept the depression away was my motto). I had joined the gym with a friend but only attended classes once a week when she promised to meet me there. I was living with my parents, defeated and unhappy.

 Beachbody has been my solution. It's pure and simple health and fitness. It's daily support and constant encouragement. It's a team of other like-minded people rooting me on. all. day. long. I have learned how to cook & eat best for me and my family. My chocolate-a-day is now in the form of a healthy shake. I actually ENJOY working out- fitness is actually FUN now. I feel alive, healthy & joyful. I know that whatever I want to do in life is possible because I believe in myself now. The best part is this mindset shift I have experienced. Enjoying my workouts and eating right has given me back my confidence, my self-esteem, my self-love. Being able to guide others to their own journey has me feeling SO fulfilled and happy each day. I have more energy, my insides feel better, I feel calmer, I create more joy daily, I am a better mom... I could go on and on. Every area of my life was made better when I started taking care of me 💕

 So yes, we all have struggles. Making healthy decisions can be hard. I hear ya! But I have a simple solution... I didn't say an "easy" solution. But it is simple. I want to help you to love where you are in life. I want to help you be thankful for the community of women surrounding you. I want to help you create healthy choices and be dang proud of YOUR after picture! Comment below if you want details about my June Mentorship group. I will choose 5 women to work side by side with and be your true friend and help you create the progress and movement you are seeking for in your life!

January 5, 2017

Me

Usually on Tuesdays, I share transformations of my rockstar challengers and coaches.

Today, I'm sharing mine... The girl on the left was overwhelmed with life on a daily basis. She was struggling with post-partum depression, had no energy, little passion for life, and had some horrible, health draining habits. I knew I was spiraling into a deep dark place, and I wasn't going to let myself get there. I wasn't making myself a priority, they say you can't serve from an empty cup and I found out what that meant the hard way!

 Today, 4 years later, I'm standing here a completely different person!!! I'm still on a journey, I don't need to feel like I have the perfect body, but I have a new desire to make life awesome and work toward my goals daily! I am a work in progress, but with each new day I am striving to become stronger, more confident, healthier and happier. I wake up everyday excited to live my life!! You don't have to live at the gym. You don't have to go 100% vegan. You don't have to overhaul your life overnight. I've found a 🌟 balance 🌟 that still allows me to live my life. It's all about making small changes over time that will add up to a big transformation!

 If you're feeling stuck, if you're unhappy with your body or just want to feel less tired, depressed, unsatisfied.. Reach out to me! I know it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out where to start but I will help you EVERY STEP of the way!
Comment below or message me so we can chat more. ❤❤ #transformationtuesday

November 29, 2016

My Favorite Christmas Traditions!!

How to keep Christ at the Center of Christmas!

I love Christmas, but sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the overload of commercial products, all the hoopla around what Santa will bring, and feeling like your house has to be decorated perfectly. Remember, Christmas is all about CHRIST! It's about feeling peace in your home, giving from the heart, and enjoying traditions and memories together as a family. Here are some of my favorite things to do with my kiddos each year!

24 Days of Christmas Reading:

Ever since I was a kid I've been collecting Christmas books. I have some that say, "To Kirsten 1986, From Grandma and Grandpa B." I love that my mom saved these for me so that I can still enjoy them today with my kids!! Every year I wrap up our books and put them in a basket for the kids to open one each night! This helps our night routine go faster since the kids are excited to get to reading!


20 Days of Christmas Scripture Countdown & Ornaments:

A couple years ago I wanted an advent calendar that truly reminded me of Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. So I opened up my New Testament and marked my very favorites of the story of Jesus' birth and the nativity story. Each day the kids open the bag to find the scripture. We read it and open the tissue paper to find the item to either enjoy, create or decorate our tree!
I'm super bummed because I checked my computer (and my laptop) and couldn't find the document I created to share. So you'll have to type up your own, but here are the scriptures and the corresponding item I use!


Day 1: John 1: 1-5 Jesus is the light of the world (pull out the small Christmas tree and decorate with lights!)
Day 2: Luke 1: 26-32 The angel Gabriel was sent from God to the virgin Mary (angel ornament)
Day 3: Matthew 1:18 An Angel visited Joseph in a dream and told him to marry Mary (2 rings on a string (ornament) AND ring pops!)
Day 4: Matthew 1:21 Jesus shall save his people from their sins (cross ornament)
Day 5: Luke 2:1 There went out a decree that all the world should be taxed (chocolate coins)
Day 6: Luke 2: 4-5 And Joseph went up from Nazareth unto Bethlehem with Mary (plastic donkey toy)
Day 7: Luke 2:6-7 Mary brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger (nativity ornament)
Day 8: Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born.. he shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace (ornament that says Peace)
Day 9: Luke 2: 8-12 And there were shepherds keeping watch on their flocks at night (3 sheep ornaments)
Day 10: Luke 2:13-14 Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will toward men (musical note ornament- listen to Christmas music to fall asleep)
Day 11: Luke 2: 15-16 So the shepherds found Mary & Joseph and the Baby who was lying in a manger (candy canes turned into ornaments)
Day 12: Luke 2: 17-18 And when they had seen Him they made known abroad (jingle bells!! Did you know that the shepherds rang bells to spread the word?)
Day 13: Luke 2:19 Mary pondered these thing in her heart (heart buttons for the kids to make ornaments with OR heart ornament)
Day 14:  Luke 2:20 Shepherds return and praise God (rocks to decorate and put on pillows to remember to pray!)
Day 15: Luke 2: 21 His name was called Jesus (ornament with Jesus' name or Jesus nativity coloring book)
Day 16: Luke 2:24 Offer a sacrifice... in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves (not quite sure- either a service act we do for someone else OR a turtle dove ornament?)
Day 17: Matthew 2:1-2 There came wisemen from the East who have seen the star and come to worship Him (3 wooden game pieces to decorate like wisemen!)
Day 18: Matthew 2: 9-10 The wisemen followed the star in the East and rejoiced with exceeding great joy (JOY ornament)
Day 19: Matthew 2:11 They fell down and worshiped Him and brought Him gifts- gold, frankincese & Myrh (3 little presents)
Day 20: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life!! (Christmas chocolate or candy- the gospel is so SWEET! Look at our completed Christmas tree pointing to heaven and represents everlasting life!)

A lot of the little pieces are from Michael's. The little animal buttons, sparkly candy canes, wooden pieces) Others I've collected over time. Because I have limited wall space, I have a shoe organizer that I use to put the items in the pockets for each day and I've cut out Christmas decorative paper for each pocket and covered clothespins to make it look pretty :) Below you can see our mini tree that goes in the boys' room and we add an ornament each day!


((This shoe organizer also doubles as a Christmas card holder as well!! Just clip them to the clothespins and you've got yourself a fancy card display! ))

Christmas Pillowcases: 

My grandmother started a great tradition that I love!! She makes my kids special Christmas pillowcases! The pattern is super easy and simple, and they turn out so cute with their trimming and 3 coordinating fabrics. It would be fun to give them on Christmas eve to help the kids sleep well with all the anticipation and excitement... we love to enjoy them all month long!


Nativities:

I've simplified my decor quite a bit over the years. And what always seems to stay, is Nativity scenes! My entire mantle is my Nativity Willow Dolls and Creche that I have collected over the years.

Whether they're magnets, wooden blocks, little people toys, tiny clay figurines, or soft pillows, I LOVE having Nativities throughout the house that the kids are allowed to touch and interact with. I want to make sure my kids know what Christmas is all about and why we celebrate this special holiday. Then on Christmas Eve, we read the story of Christ's birth from the New Testament, and the children dress up as the parts as we listen and sing! It's probably my favorite Christmas tradition of them all!

One of my favorite gifts I made one year is this super easy home made nativity blocks:

I purchased a digital nativity scene, cut out the images, applied modge podge to the blocks and on top of the paper, and found a cute box at the part supply store! I made 10-15 of them for my parents, siblings, cousins, and other family members! It's definitely one of my favorite things to pull out of the Christmas decor boxes!

Service Elves:

I'm pretty sure my Grandmother made up "Elf on the Shelf" 30 years ago! They would have little stuffed elves visit their home, and move around each day as Santa's helper. Instead of making messes and getting into mischief (I have enough mess to clean up from my family, thank you very much!) Our elves come with a special note saying they are service elves. When you do something kind for another member of the family, you can "magically" (secretly) move the elf to that location. (For example, if Tyler makes Jackson's bed, he will move the elf to his brother's bed) Then Jackson can think of something kind to do for someone else and move the elf there. I want my kids to know that WE create the magic of Christmas by serving others and being kind!

A few more favorite Christmasy things:




November 22, 2016

Enjoy your FEAST!

It's THANKSGIVING this week!! Believe me, I know the panic you're feeling!! There's baking to do, gifts to think about, family to prepare for, and in the back of your mind... the dreaded fear of gaining weight over the holidays!
I'm here to help with that! How about a TON of healthier recipes so you can enjoy those sweet potatoes without all the extra sugar, and some gravy without all the fat, and the rolls without too much guilt!

Let's avoid that gross bloated, turkey baby belly, "I can't move off the coach for hours" feeling. Here's an entire blog FULL of healthy recipes for your Thanksgiving Dinner! You're welcome!! :)



Also, here are 5 tips to enjoy your FEAST- before, during and after, without the guilt!
Don't sabotage all the work you've been putting into your health!

1. Get a good head start. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, such as two eggs and whole-grain toast and a side of mixed greens, or any combination that’s high in protein and fiber. Or, for me, it will be my favorite nutrition shake that has 9 servings of fruits and vegetables and tons of superfoods..and it tastes like dessert! This will help your body to feel satisfied with plenty of nutrients without a lot of calories and make you less likely to inhale the appetizers. Since you won’t be starving, you’ll be able to more likely to enjoy the main meal in moderation!

2. Get your sweat on. Before the day gets crazy, crank out 20 to 30 minutes of exercise. When I start my day with a good workout, It's easier for me to remember why I need to eat within reason. It's almost impossible to out exercise a bad diet. 

 3. Don’t go overboard on appetizers. It’s easy to consume 1,500 calories before the turkey even hits the table. Instead of skipping the baked brie altogether, fill most of your plate with vegetables and healthier choices, then leave just a little room for a taste of the indulgent snack. Remember portion control: An average serving of dip or cheese is one ounce, roughly the size of your two thumbs.

 4. Start with the greens! One easy way to totally redo your Thanksgiving plate (and still have all your favorites) is to start with the green veggies. Put the green beans and the salad on your plate first. Then, add the turkey (aim for the the skinless pieces if you can find them), and then add on your other favorites.The calories aren’t low, but they’re much more reasonable than the typical plate.
 5. Remember why you’re there. Between the football game and your aunt’s amazing pumpkin pie, take a moment to pause and reflect on what you’re thankful for this year. As tasty as the dishes are, nothing compares to the people we share it with. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for the great people in our lives. Make them your feast and you will find yourself more fulfilled and less over weight!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

September 29, 2016

How to Create Consistent Habits with Exercise!

Creating Consistency is one of the most important qualities in life. We can't clean our house once and expect it to stay clean. You can't go to church once and feel uplifted for the whole year. Likewise, you can't eat one salad or do one workout and think that's enough to keep your body healthy. Here are some tips to help you create that habitual lifestyle where your workouts are naturally part of your day....

First of all, I totally have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with working out, but I have figured out a few things along the way that help me to enjoy exercising more and create a more consistent habit of working out:

1. Do it for the instant endorphins. Sometimes if our motivation is only weight loss or to look different, working out can be discouraging if you don't see results right away. Having the mindset of working out to get stronger, have more energy and feel happier helps because that will always happen when you workout!
2. Do what you enjoy!! I don't know about you but I LOVE being able to workout from home. I'm not a gym rat, and I don't like running. I LOVE the variety of the programs that Beachbody has to offer, there's truly something for everyone, or in my case- something for every mood!

3. Celebrate small victories: This is so important!! Recognize the small milestones along the way, like that you have more energy, are feeling more productive, your clothes are fitting better, you are able to go one size heavier on your weights, you can go longer into your workout before feeling fatigue, you aren't craving as much sugar, you are sleeping better, and the scale victories along the way. Don't forget to take measurements, as a lot of times as you lose fat and build muscle, the scale may not change but you will be losing inches.

4. Find your "sweet spot" I know for some people they love to get up early and do it before the kids get up so they can shower and be ready for the day early. Others like to do it at night after everything is done and as a way to unwind. My husband uses his lunch break during the day. I personally love to do late mornings after my big kids are off to school and I have already had breakfast so my body likes this time best. Figure out what works best for you and stick to that schedule. which brings me to #4.

5. Put it in your calendar like it is an important meeting you can't miss! You wouldn't cancel or a friend or your boss would you? Don't cancel on yourself!!

I've realized that exercise has been one of the biggest factors in pulling me out of a depressed state and helping me to fight off anxiety on a daily basis. If you need ideas on what workouts to do, you should try the On Demand Library. There's so many awesome workouts and even a Challenge du Jour each day which is fun too for variety!

August 18, 2016

Shakeology- more than just a superfood shake!

Shakeology is by far my favorite meal of the day! (Request your FREE sample packet HERE!)
Here's my favorite recipe for a delicious chocolate milkshake that includes 9 servings of veggies, and over 70 different superfoods to help your body function at it's best. I LOVE that it's easy and fast to whip up and that I'm filling my body with nutrients that I need and has helped me to lose fat, improve digestion, curb cravings, increase my energy and feel amazing!!

Superfood Shake

 BLEND in Blender:

1 cup almond milk (I love unsweetened vanilla flavor)
1 scoop Shakeology
1/2 banana
1 cup ice
optional mix in:
1 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter

--enjoy! :)








Peanut Butter Protein Balls

MIX UP:
1 cup chocolate Shakeology (Vegan or Regular)
1 cup almond or peanut butter
1 cup quick oats
1/3 cup honey

Form into balls and roll over coconut flakes- SO YUMMY!

I take these to any party where I know they'll have tempting treats. Everyone always asks for the recipe and we're all glad there's a healthy but delicious option!







Energy Bars

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole pitted dates (or prunes)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (like apricots, prunes, figs, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, or cherries)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (or seeds) (like almonds, walnuts, cashews, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds)
  • 2 scoops Shakeology, any flavor
Instructions
  1. Place dates, fruit, and nuts in a food processor. Pulse for 1 to 2 minutes; scrape sides of bowl.
  2. Add Shakeology; process for 2 to 3 minutes, or until mixture becomes tiny crumbs that can come together to form a loose ball.
  3. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with cellophane. Press mixture into pan until flat. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Cut into 12 bars. Store in refrigerator.
  5. Tip: For additional flair add one or more of the following: ½ tsp. rum extract, ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. raw honey, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1–2 oz dark chocolate chips, or 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger. Adding any of these items may change the nutritional information.

Natural PB Cups


Water
Chocolate Shakeology 
Peanut Butter (You can also use any nut butter you want to add variety in your treats)
A bowl
A 1/2 tablespoon
A spoon
Cupcake pan and paper cups
1. Place 1 cupcake cups in the pan. makes 4 so you only need 4 for the amount of ingredients here.
2. Place Chocolate Shakeology in the bowl. One full pack or 1 full scoop.
3. Add water until you have a wet pudding mixture. I started with 1/2 cup water, and added a little more. You want it a little runny, not as thick as pudding. You want to be able to pour it into the cupcake cups. You really can’t add too much water.
4. Mix the 2 ingredients well.
5. Take 1 spoonful of the chocolate Shakeology mixture you just made and scoop into each of the 4 cupcake holders. Use the spoon to spread out the mixture to cover the bottom of the cup. Put the remaining Shakeology mixture aside for later.
6. Mix your natural peanut butter well, and take 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter and scoop into each cup on top of the chocolate. Push it around to cover the chocolate as best as possible. This is your inner filling. Don’t use more then a 1/2 tbsp. because, all 4 Peanut Butter Cups will then equal 1 serving. (1 pack of Shakeology = 1 serving and 2 tbsp. of peanut butter = 1 serving size, so perfect combo.)
7. Take the remaining Shakeology mixture and add one spoonful to each cupcake cup. Spread out over the peanut butter.
8. Place tray in freezer for about an hour and a half to be nice and frozen.
9. Remove and enjoy! Remember, all 4 peanut butter cups can be eaten at one time to equal one healthy serving of Shakeology and peanut butter. I personally like to spread them out over the day and enjoy! I also found they are best after they have sat out of the freezer for 5-10 minutes!

Superfood Smoothie


BLEND in Blender:
1 packet tropical strawberry Shakeology
1 cup water
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen black cherries
1/2 frozen (or fresh) banana

--enjoy!! I always double the recipe and save the leftovers to pour in popsicle molds!! My kids love the shake AND the popsicles!!






Healthy Popsicles

Perfect for hot summer days, the kids will love these natural and healthy popsicles!!! Use recipe from Superfood Smoothie above!! Request your free packet of Shakeology HERE!



July 21, 2016

Tips on Staying Hydrated!!


It's HOT out there!! With this summer heat, it's extra important to make sure you're staying hydrated all day. If you're already in my challenge group, you hear me say it all the time. That's because I can't say it enough... if you want to lose weight, you need to drink water. If you exercise, you need to drink more water. If you want healthy skin, you need to drink water! If you want to be alert, have organs that function properly, and allow your body to function at its best, you need to drink enough water.

In the spirit of this post, how about pouring yourself a glass of water right now as to sip as you read? Go ahead, I'll wait ;)
Here are some tips to make sure you are staying hydrated and keeping your body healthy:
1. Drink a full glass of water RIGHT when you wake up. You haven’t had any fluids for 8 hours, so this could be the most dehydrated you will be all day. Plus, it’s a great way to jump-start your metabolism. Try leaving a tall glass of water on your nightstand and drink it before you get out of bed.

2. Calculate & Keep Track: Knowing how much water your body needs is key! The easiest way to calculate this is to take your body weight and divide it by 2. This is how much you should be drinking in ounces each day. So if you weigh 160, you would drink 80 oz of water each day. You can then divide that by 16 or whatever size your water bottle is and know that you need to fill it up 5 times each day. Not so bad, right? Keep track with tally marks, or grab a large gallon container and draw lines to calculate how much you should be drinking throughout the day.


3. Bring your water bottle with you wherever you go! Think of it as your "necessary accessory". I love carrying around a cute water bottle; there are colors and styles for everyone. Splurge on one you really like, the bigger the better. Glass and stainless steel are the best choices, as they won’t leach chemicals into the liquid contents. Avoid plastic bottles whenever possible.

4. EAT your water- Most types of fruit are at least 80% water. Fruits like melons, cucumbers, berries, and celery. Avoid fruit juices though, as they usually have extra sugar. Drink veggie juice instead!

5. Set a reminder- I have a hydration app on my phone that makes a little water gushing sound every hour so I remember to drink another glass of water. Sometimes I get distracted, so it's always a nice reminder. It also helps me remember to take my toddler to go potty! :) And if YOU're drinking enough, you'll probably be ready for a potty break too!

6. Give yourself a little variety: Sometimes I get sick of the taste of water (or lack of taste) so I like to add a little zing with a wedge of lemon, some crushed mint leaves, sliced cucumbers, melon or berries. My kids go crazy for fruity water too! If you love the bubbles of soda, get some sparkling mineral water and add your fruit for an extra yummy glass of H20.

7. Drink before you eat. I used to love a juice or soda each time I sat down for a meal, but now I drink water instead. Drinking BEFORE you eat will help you feel more satisfied and you will eat less to help you lose weight and keep it off. When you feel a snack-attack coming on, drink a glass of water, then wait 15 minutes. Dehydration pangs are often misread by your body as hunger. A glass of water will replenish your body and help you feel satisfied. If you are still hungry 15 minutes later, reach for a piece of fruit or a handful of raw nuts. If they are lightly salted, they'll help you want to reach for more water too!

8. Drink a glass before bed: Remember that glass of water on your nightstand? Fill it up again before you catch some Z's to stay hydrated until morning. Or, try a soothing mug of hot water with lemon and a small drizzle of honey.

Hope that helps!!

May 2, 2016

Overnight Yogurt Parfaits





One of my VERY favorite breakfasts is overnight yogurt parfaits!! Usually I use vanilla greek yogurt, with raspberries, strawberries, and/or blueberries and an organic granola on top!! These are so easy and fun to make ahead of time and stick in the fridge for the following day. My kids love them and I'm always glad when I have them in the fridge ready to go on busy mornings!

Clean Blender Blueberry Banana Muffins!!


I made these with my little girl one Sunday morning and they were so easy to make!!

Nonstick cooking spray (optional)
1 cup reduced fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp. raw honey
2 large very ripe bananas, cut into chunks
2 large eggs
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
⅔ cup chopped raw walnuts

***I added 1/2 C more oats
I also used vanilla chobani Greek yogurt instead of the plain

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare 12 muffin cups by lining with muffin papers or lightly coating with spray.
3. Place yogurt, honey, bananas, eggs, extract, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in blender (or food processor); cover. Blend until smooth, scraping once or twice, as needed.
4. Gently fold in blueberries and walnuts.
5. Evenly divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.

Enjoy!!! :)

April 6, 2016

The trial that changed my life


On Tuesdays I usually share stories of my coaches, challengers and friends. I love celebrating their victories, because when they are successful in reaching their goals, I am successful in my mission of helping women feel confident, happy, and strong.


Today I dig deep to tell my own story. Not many of you know this but when my second child, Jackson was born, he and I both almost died. Thankfully, he was born just fine, but I was left broken and had to pull myself out of a deep depression. I had to have an emergency c-section and for some horrible reason, they cut me up and down (to get him out quicker). The damage to my stomach muscles and the pain I endured was excruciating. As I recovered for months from this traumatic birth physically, I realized I was not ok mentally or emotionally. I would have flashbacks of the moments before they rushed me back, put me under, and the realization that I failed set in. I wasn’t even able to be awake when he was born, and Jeff and I both missed out on his birth and the first, very special moments of his life.

For months, I woke up sad, confused, exhausted, alone. I had a handful of wonderful friends that came to my aid to rescue me and to borrow Tyler so I could sleep with my baby. It’s so weird to say but at the exact same time that I felt alone and sad, I felt surrounded by angels. I started to learn about service and kindness. I LOVE helping others but at that time, I had to learn that it was my turn to be helped. I had to allow others to help clean my kitchen, hold my baby, play with my toddler, do my laundry, bring me dinner. WHAT a humbling experience.
Then one day I felt strong enough to serve someone else. After a series of random events, I ended up at the grocery store without my kids (that never happens!) and I saw a dear friend who had just gone through the exact same thing I went through a year before. I KNEW that she was in pain. I KNEW that it would be hard for her to get her groceries to the car. I KNEW in that moment why I was there, and WHY I had gone through this experience. It’s so that I can help others who have been through the same things I have.

We have trials so that we can help others through theirs. Almost every day I have a mom message me, asking for help. She explains to me about how she recently had a baby and wants to get her body back, or she had a c-section, her muscles are damaged, her energy is gone. And I thank the Lord that I’ve been through what we went through so that I can be here to help them because I KNOW what it feels like to be in that place.

The person on the left was me after having our third baby, Lulu. Another c-section (luckily a low, transverse) but I wasn’t where I wanted to be. My body hurt, I had no energy, I felt like the depression I experienced with Jackson’s birth would return at any moment. I knew I needed to be proactive and fight that off. I couldn’t let myself get to the point where I was at after Jackson was born. I had 3 little people who needed me to be strong. I told myself I deserve this. That’s when I started working out and eating healthy. I had to be intentional about my habits and my routine.
After about a week of doing my workouts every day and drinking my superfood shake, I felt like a totally new person. I had more energy to get my household tasks done, more enthusiasm for my kids. I wasn’t faking it when I played with them. I was truly enjoying life for the first time in years! And all it took was making the decision to get healthy and a strong desire to feel better.

If you are looking for help with your health and fitness, I would LOVE to be a part of your journey. I have helped hundreds of women reach their goals and in turn be a happier wife, a more productive mom, and stronger woman. Comment below and I will reach out to you. I am here to help you!

Go here for more information!!

Diastasis Recti- My Story

My body has been through a LOT... 3 pregnancies, 2 different types of c-sections, and an umbilical hernia. If you look closely you can see that there's a LOT of craziness going on around my belly button. I am ok with that because "perfect" is just plain and boring! I wear these baby scars proudly and with gratitude that my children are healthy and happy. My scars remind me of some of the most trying experiences and the things I learned along the way. View my story HERE. That being said, I realized this was not normal after having our 2nd baby, but I never knew why, nor did I take the time to research it. After our 3rd baby, I did a little research and realized that I have what's called Diastasis Recti. All the information at the time told me that it was irreparable, except through surgery and since I've done that 3 times, I said no thanks!Now I'm realizing that there are certain workouts to avoid- that make the separation worse, and certain workouts that help to close the gap. 


If you still have no idea what I'm taking about, do a google search and find a video about how to check yourself. I try to avoid sit ups/crunches and do bicycles instead.  That works my obliques instead of my lower abs, so I'm good with that. Although frontal planks is on the above diagram, I am ok with plank holds, because I feel the distribution throughout my whole core, back and arms. Anything standing over a workout laying down is always better. Doing bridge holds, legs slides or other core strengthening workouts are great to help build those other muscles up and take the strain off your lower abdominal muscles. Most importantly, do what feels right for YOUR body. Everyone is different, so listen to your body. If you're trying a workout that just doesn't feel right, make sure your posture is correct. If it still isn't working for you, modify as you need to. Here's a video about my story!


Here's a set of 5 great ab workouts that will not aggravate your muscle separation! 

March 19, 2016

FREE Carribean Cruise- Bahamas & Jamaica!!

I'm just getting back from the most amazing Beachbody trip!!
If someone told me 3 years ago that I'd be earning free trips, and traveling the world as a reward for helping people I'd say they were crazy! I feel so incredibly grateful for this opportunity I've been given to create beautiful memories with my family and earn a full time income from home so I can be there to raise my babies everyday.
If you've ever considered coaching and want to learn more about how to earn free prizes and trips by helping others live a healthier lifestyle, I'd love to chat with you!!
Fill out an application here --------> clarkstrong.com/join-coach-squad 
and I'll get ahold of you asap! 



February 18, 2016

Strive to be Better

This morning as I was reading my favorite scripture study book ((21 Days Closer to Christ)), I was reminded of a blog article I read a couple weeks ago about accepting mediocrity. I have to admit, this article totally messed with my head because I completely understand that the point of the message was that, a successful life is a happy life, and it doesn't matter if we are famous for doing anything specific, as long as we have taken care of our families and living with integrity. I loved reading "all I really want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough." And it should be "enough" BUT it allowed me to slow down and stop striving for better. 

And I think that settling for less than what we can achieve or become is just not why we are here and we are worth more. We are capable of doing so much good in the world...We do not all have the same gifts or talents, so it's important to learn to celebrate the gifts we have been given and then learn how to be the very best we can in those areas. It's really common to dwell on our failures, or our short comings, and I think that is where we want to just settle and say, "oh all I want is a mediocre life, anyway" But if we are consistently striving to do better, to reach out to more people, to improve our habits at home... we don't have to have a mediocre life. We can have a brilliant, wonderful, meaningful life where we offer our gifts and talents to others and bring people joy just because we are striving to be better!!

December 30, 2015

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU Challenge!

Wow, can you believe it- 2016 is quickly approaching on us?! New year's is definitely my favorite time of the year because I love to reflect on the events of the past and set new goals for the future. There are always some regrets, some disappointments, but more than anything; anticipation for the future and a new desired commitment to do better.

Imagine 30 days from now, just a month into the new year. You're more energized than ever before as you've developed healthy habits of working out 30 minutes a day. You're feeling stronger and more toned than you have been in awhile. You're eating healthy, clean, balanced meals that make you feel great.
This is totally possible, and I want to help.

Starting January 11, my team and I are kicking off the NEW YEAR, NEW YOU program- a 30 day health and fitness challenge, led by not one, but SEVEN experienced fitness coaches, all dedicated to making sure that you reach your goals, create new healthy habits, and finally start living a lifestyle that makes you happy and healthy. I'd love for you to join us!



I can't help but think back to the first year I started my fitness journey. I was a very busy mom, with a 6 year old, 4 year old and a small baby. I was struggling with post- partum depression that would always creep in after the first few weeks of newborn adrenaline wore off and I had many sleepless nights, and overwhelming days. I started out with a 6 week commitment, and a strong desire to get a hold on my life and feel happier. I knew that it was through the habits I could create, and how I spent my time that would determine if I was successful or not. I worked out Monday- Friday and sometimes Saturday, rain or shine. I followed the meal plan (not perfectly, but I did my best) and noticed that I had more energy, especially immediately after my workouts, so much so that I would enjoy doing loads of laundry and cleaning my kitchen right after my workout! I noticed this energy would literally get me through my day and help me to overcome the gloom that I could feel was ready to swoop in if I slacked off or delayed my workout to later in the day. As you can see, I had great physical results. I lost my baby weight 3 times faster than with my first 2 kids and fit back into my jeans quickly. BUT the biggest transformation for me, was what I noticed on the inside. My happiness level, the clarity of my thoughts and the handle I had on my emotions. So different than I had experienced in the past.

Since then, I have had many ups and downs with my commitment level, mostly my workout habits. I don't always enjoy the act of working out, but I ALWAYS enjoy how I feel when I have completed a workout. I'm excited to recommit to my goals and create a consistent habit of working out each morning with my husband. I know how hard it is to do this alone, which is why I'm so excited to have this challenge group where we will all be here to uplift and motivate each other to reach our goals. Our private support group will have men and women who are all working on creating healthy habits of working out 30 minutes a day, and following a healthy meal plan so that you will have all the tools you need to be successful.

Ready to get started? Simply click HERE to learn more and sign up for our NEW YEAR, NEW YOU group! If you have any questions at all as to whether or not this is for you, or what program is best suited for your needs, just get in touch. I'm happy to help!