The Most Wonderful Time…

Snow was falling in my neck of the woods yesterday.  This shouldn’t have been a surprise, since I do live in Buffalo, NY – however it’s almost Thanksgiving and that was the first snow we’ve seen this winter.  I’m not a huge fan of snow – I get anxious driving in it, it’s cold and wet, and it’s kind of depressing.  

I’m also not doing very well with my healthy lifestyle goals.  I’m stressed.  Like REALLY stressed.  Like, I should really calm down and take 1oo deep breaths before my head explodes – stressed.  

So, are the holidays REALLY the “most wonderful time of the year”?  Maybe.  In some ways.  But in a lot of ways they kind of suck.  Tons of food ready to throw off even the most careful healthy eater.  Lots of time indoors under cozy blankets doesn’t make for a great workout, does it?  Family coming together can be really awesome… or really stressful depending on who your family is.  Maybe not wonderful – but it can certainly be manageable.  

Some ideas I have to enjoy this season (even though it’s not my favorite): 

  1. Stay Positive!  I just wrote a really depressing blog post.  Even if you do typically like winter you probably hate it now.  Sorry about that.  I’ll try harder to see the upside! 
  2. Find time to move my body.  Indoor yoga classes, workout DVDs, dance parties with my kids.  I feel better when I move more… and I think you will too. 
  3. Think about what I’m eating.  It’s important to remind yourself – and often- that food is fuel.  It’s not a distraction from the conversation going on around you at a party, it’s not a reward for finishing all that wrapping.  It’s fuel for your body and nothing more.  

Remember this post from last year, I think it also has some great tips.

Winter Weight Gain- Why Does it Happen and What Can we Do?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I’m thankful for you :) 

Tough Love Thursday- Beachbody Coaches are NOT your Enemy

Tough Love ThursdayI belong to quite a few facebook groups that aim to support women and men with their weight loss journeys.  I enjoy being in them, and offering advice to people who have questions and support to those who need help.  
The thing that I DON’T enjoy, is the attitude in some of these groups about Beachbody programs and Shakeology.  People are flat-out RUDE sometimes.  Here are a few quotes that I’ve seen recently: 
“It doesn’t cost money to lose weight, don’t give a dime to Beachbody for something you can do by  yourself.” 
“Why are there so many Beachbody coaches in this group?  Don’t listen to them, they’re only trying to sell you stuff.” 
OK.  So maybe there are some BB coaches that are pushy and salesy, and just looking for sales.  I’ve seen them.  You’ve met them.  
But we aren’t all like that!! Those coaches that spend their time harrassing people to buy things won’t be successful in their businesses, and they won’t actually help anyone.   Any GOOD coach knows that our products are useless unless they come with genuine relationship between Coach and Client.  
Bottom Line: 
If you are a Coach, STOP pushing people to BUY!  Make relationships, offer solutions, and be supportive.  Sales will come later.  
And if you’re a person interested in losing weight or getting fit – Don’t discount working with a Beachbody Coach because it costs money – Most anything worth having is going to cost money – and we don’t reccommend these products for any reason other than we KNOW that they are LIFE CHANGING! 

A Facebook Support Group for Goal Setters

I am so excited to have created my very own group on Facebook that is strictly for people who want to work to “be ideal” and give support to others doing the same!  I have a small community already started, and I want you to join us too!  This Facebook support group is for Goal Setters!! 
Join the BI FB Group!!
Is your FB feed full of Negativity and drama?  Well, we can talk about how to fix that in a minute, but for now, Join the Group!  No drama allowed. 
Do you have some BIG goals that you’re not sure your friends will totally understand?  We get it!  Join the group and tell us about your goals.  We’ll keep you accountable and offer advice – but only when you ask for it. 
Are you ready to help lift others up on a daily basis?  Could you use some lifting up?  Join the group and check in daily.  There will be opportunities to connect with others and ask for support.  
I’m thrilled to be hosting this facebook support group, and look forward to interacting with my readers in a more direct way.  See you over there! 

{Happy?} Depression Awareness Week!

“There’s nothing, repeat, nothing to be ashamed of when you’re going through a depression. If you get help, the chances of your licking it are really good. But, you have to get yourself onto a safe path.” Mike Wallace
More than 20 Million people in the U.S. suffer from depression in a given year.  That’s twice the population of New York City!
The Depression Alliance  created depression awareness week in order to raise awareness for this epic, but often silent disease. 
Today, I’d like to offer some words of encouragement to those of you who may be suffering from, or living with, depression or other Mental Health disorders.  I hope that if you’re reading this today that you find something that you can relate to.  
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional.  Please seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of an illness or any thoughts of harming yourself or others.  I can not be held responsible for any actions taken by readers of this blog.  
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  You don’t need to suffer in silence.  Millions of people wake up every morning and feel the same way that you do right now.  Millions of others have felt as you do, but are now receiving help and feel so much better.  THERE IS HOPE.  There are counselors and doctors, and peers who can help you.  They want to help you, and they WILL help you when you ask them to.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  MEDICATION IS AVAILABLE.  Medication can be life saving.  It could be necessary, or it could be not the best treatment for you.  Consider trying it if it’s recommended for you.  BE OPEN to the process.  Counseling is not a quick process.  It takes weeks, months, years for some.  Many people continue after they are without symptoms and that’s OK.  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.  You are a person with a disorder.  A treatable, common disorder.  You have the power to change.  You have the power to ask for help.  You have the power to help someone else who feels like you do.  YOUR PAIN IS UNIQUE, but not yours alone.  Don’t hide it out of fear.  Don’t hide it out of obligation or responsibility.  YOU ARE WORTH IT.  
For more information about depression and to support depression awareness, please visit  


5 Ways that Helping Others is Good For Your Health

Altruism is when we put the needs of others before our own.  Whether it’s helping an elderly woman carry her groceries, making a cup of tea for your spouse, or building a well in a third world county, Big or Small, helping someone else can make a huge difference in someones day, week, or life.  
Besides the obvious outcome of making the recipient feel good, helping other people can have a measurable effect on our own well-being too. Both psychological benefits and physical health benefits can be enjoyed when you put others first.  
Over this past year, I’ve made it a point to help at least one person every day.  It truly is rewarding, and I’m noticing improvements in all areas of my life since I’ve started focusing on my own acts of altruism.  
Helping others
Here are 5 BONUS health benefits of helping others: 
1. Helping Others promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness
That happy feeling you get after helping someone is actually a change in the neurotransmitters in your brain.  This rush of emotion is often followed by longer periods of calm and lower levels of overall stress. Helping others improves social support, encourages us to lead a more physically active lifestyle, distracts us from our own problems, allows us to engage in a meaningful activity and improves our self-esteem and competence.
2. Helping Others keeps things in perspective. 
Helping others in need allows us to see how others’ lives are different from our own, and can give us a fresh perspective of how blessed we actually are. This can allow us to stress less about our own misfortunes and feel better about our current status in life.  
3. Helping others keeps us from getting sick. 
Giving back to the community increases positive feelings and reduces stress, therefore improving our immune systems.  
4. Helping Others reduces negative feelings
Negative emotions can cause mental and physical distress.  Helping others takes away those negative emotions and allows us to improve our health by having a positive mind.
5. Helping Others helps us live longer. 
Studies have shown that people who serve others live longer than those who don’t choose to put others before themselves.  Seriously.  Being nice will increase your lifespan! 
If you aren’t engaged in regular acts of altruism, I encourage you to start.  Sign up to volunteer your time and talents to those less fortunate, teach something you know well to those who can use the information, or resolve to be nicer to your co-workers.  I promise that your mind and body will thank you for it! 


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Birthdays are for Goal Setting.

Yesterday I turned thirty-two years old.  I can no longer consider myself a “young person”.  I’m a grown up.  I have responsibilities, a home, a husband, children who need me to be an adult.  It’s funny, that when you’re a child you long to be a grown up, and when you’re all grown up, you’d do anything to find your youth again.  

I spent my birthday reflecting on the past years, and thinking about what I want for the future.  I’ve come to the conclusion that my 32nd year is going to be a Fantastic one – really – any other conclusion would not be worth coming to.  I really do believe that you should wake up every day expecting for your life to get better.  That’s why I started “Be Ideal” – so that I can instill that belief in others!  

When I plan to have a fantastic year, I also visualize myself in March of next year.  I imagine what it will feel like when I have accomplished my goals.  I also imagine what my bank account will look like, what my house will look like, and how my family will act.  This visualization, which I’ve talked about before, here, is the life hack that I’ve found to be most effective for me.  

Visualization is key to getting what you want!  

My 32 Year Old Goals: 

Advance to Diamond in my Beachbody Business

Buy and Move into our Forever Home.

Complete 21 day fix extreme

Transition to a part time job and/or be 100% self-employed.


Do you consider yourself Young, or Old??? Does it matter?

Make Your Own Nilla Wafers

My kids really love Nilla Wafers.  It’s a staple on my weekly grocery list, and usually the box is gone in a couple of days between two kids, my husband and I.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the foods that my kids eat, and how I can make them healthier.  This recipe will allow you to make your own Nilla wafers without any artificial ingredients! 

van wafer

Now, I will say that this recipe includes refined white sugar.  I’m definitely going to play around with it to try to take that out as well.  All brown sugar would work, and trying a substitute such as honey might be really perfect.  (if you try another sweetener, please come back and let me know how they turn out!)  

These cookies were really easy to make, and I could definitely bust out a batch of them in a small amount of time.  They are *mini*, and I think they would make awesome little ice cream sandwich bites!!  

Ok, so, the recipe is so simple.  

Cream together 1 stick of unsalted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.  

Add one large egg and 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract.  mix to combine.  

Sift in 1 1/3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder.  Mix to combine.  

Done!  Now you’re ready for the fun part!  

Put your dough into a pastry bag or a heavy duty gallon size zipper bag.  Cut a hole in the bag so that you have about a 1/2 inch opening.  

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Then pipe the dough onto the sheet as shown.  Your dots should be just smaller than a hershey’s kiss, about the diameter of a nickel.  

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Bake at 325 for 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are light golden brown.  Let cool.  Try not to eat them all! 

Recipe makes about 8 dozen mini cookies.  

Homemade Vanilla Wafers
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  1. 1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars.
  2. Add egg and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  3. Sift in flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine.
  4. Put your dough into a pastry bag or a heavy duty gallon size zipper bag. Cut a hole in the bag so that you have about a 1/2 inch opening.
  5. Pipe dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, making dots slightly smaller than 1 inch in diameter.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cookies are light golden brown.
  7. Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container.
  1. Consider making a double batch of this recipe - the cookies are small and they go very fast!
Be Ideal



Les Mills Combat Giveaway Winner!

THANK YOU to everyone who entered my giveaway for a free copy of Les Mills Combat!!

The Winner Is…

LES MILLS COMBAT. Work out like a warrior. Get shredded in 60 days.

Angela C.!!! 

I will be sending an email to the winner tonight.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond with their contact info.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Superfoods that Fight Depression

Superfoods that Fight Depression


Wheather you have a diagnosed issue with depression, or just find yourself a bit down lately, there are a number of nutrients that are proven to help improve your mood.  

Firstly, it’s important to eat meals at regular intervals (I eat every 3 hours) in order to keep your serotonin levels in check, a chemical in the brain that has a calming effect.  Add  in some foods with high nutrient content to see even more benefits.  

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor.  Please seek medical attention if you believe that you may have a mental illness.  There is help for you.  This blog post is not intented to treat any disease. 


Here are some foods that fight depression:  


Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is always a great choice for dinner.  Omega-3 fatty acids also help prevent heart disease and stroke and may help prevent some cancers. Plus, salmon contains selenium, an important antioxidant mineral. When it’s in season, be sure to choose wild salmon, since it contains more omegas than farmed, or Atlantic, salmon.


A recent study indicated that people who suffer from depression also have lower levels of the antioxidant vitamin E.  Spinach, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, and avocados are all excellent sources of vitamin E.  


Dark green vegetables like spinach and peas are high in folate, a key player in the production of serotonin.  They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. 


Chickpeas are rich in fiber, iron, and vitamin E. Enjoy these beans on their own in salads, or as hummus! 


Chicken and turkey are both rich in vitamin B6, which plays a role in serotonin production in the body. They are both a good source of selenium and other vitamins and minerals, too.


And please, if you’ve been dealing with the symptoms of depression for a while, please contact your doctor to discuss available treatment options and medication that may be available to you.

Want all of your daily nutrition in one glass?  Check out Shakeology today!

All Shakes Are Not Created Equal – Tough Love Thursday

Its that time again – I’m going to speak to you like you were my family, someone who I love very much, someone who needs a little bit of tough love.  It might be hard to hear, but you’ll thank my later 😉
Tough Love Thursday
I am a firm believer in the amazingness that is Shakeology – that’s no secret .  I encourage everyone I meet to try it, and often I get some interesting responses, like: 
“I’m just going to buy some protein powder and use that instead”
“I have some “other shake” left from my last diet.  Isn’t that the same thing?”
“I don’t like to drink my meals, what can I eat to get all of that nutrition in one meal?” 
challenge pack hr
I’d like to answer these questions here in very blunt terms (this IS Tough Love Thursday after all) and explain some of the science behind my answers.  
1. Why is Shakeology not the Same as Protein Powder? 
    Shakeology has 70 ingredients, including non-soy protein, vitamins, minerals, superfoods, pre and probiotics, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.  How many ingredients does Protein Powder have?  ONE.  Just Protein.  
    Also, Shakeology is not a Protein shake.  Yes, it has protein in it, but only the amount of protein that should be consumed in a single meal.  Because it’s a Meal Replacement Shake!  
2. Aren’t other shakes the same as Shakeology?  
    No. I’ve tried other shakes, and I’ve read ingredient lists for almost all of them.  None of the shakes on the market right now have the same amout of nutrition, the same high quality level, and the same perfect balance of protein to carbs.  Shakeology is made with natural sugars – no chemical sweeteners like you’ll find in many “weight loss” shakes.  
3. Can’t I eat food to get the same nutrition found in Shakeology? 
    I mean, you CAN, but you’d be very full and likely way over your calorie goal for the day!  One Serving of Shakeology is equivalent to: 
1 bowl of exotic fruit- $4.40
4 cups of raw broccoli- 3.94
7 whole carrots- 1.99
10 cups of raw cauliflower- 4.30
3 cups of romaine lettuce- 2.99
4 cups of uncooked mushrooms- 8.97
3 raw onions- 2.91
1 cup of peas- 1.09
4 cups red radishes- 5.16
4 cups non fat yogurt- 3.49
1 shot of wheat grass- 1.95
That’s a Ton of food.  Way more than you could eat in a day, much less a meal! It would also be very expensive to eat all that stuff every day.  
I’d love to talk more with you about my healthiest meal of the day!  Shakeology  has a money back guarantee, so you  have nothing to loose – except those extra pounds :)