“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding” – Harvey MacKay

80/20. Could that really be true? 80% of weight loss is attributed to your eating and 20% to your exercise?

When I first heard this, I didn’t believe it. I was under the mindset that through all of my activity in athletics, I was entitled to eat whatever I wanted. After all, I just worked out hard…I deserved this food, right? I can’t help but look back and wonder how much better I would have been able to perform and how much better I would have felt had all those volleyball tournaments growing up been filled with quality food instead of puppy chow, walking tacos, and scotcheroos. How much better shape I could have been in had my lunch on game days not consisted of chinese food, french fries, and pizza.

I love counting calories. For me, it’s a sure-fire way to feel good, fight cravings, and balance meals. I can splurge on one meal, cut back on another. However, as I’ve become better educated I’ve realized that while keeping portions in check is always important, it’s also important to focus less on the number and more about the quality of food you’re putting in. For example, I bought a bag of popcorn the other day that only has 130 calories for 4 cups. But in those 4 cups is also 5 grams of saturated fat!! Yikes!! Or how about those low-calorie granola bars? Most of those calories are filled with sugar and processed ingredients, leaving you completely unsatisfied. You’ll be much better off having a handful of protein-packed almonds that will keep you fuller, longer. To avoid falling into these traps, be aware of those important other numbers on the nutrition label and avoid high sugar and sodium-packed foods with little nutritional benefits. Like I’ve mentioned before, an application like Fooducate on your phone can help you tremendously in this department!

So although there’s a lot more to eating well than your caloric intake, limiting and tracking your calories can be a great start and will definitely get you (and keep you) going in the right direction. It can be as simple as just keeping mental notes of the amount you’re consuming/expending, or what I would highly suggest doing is getting an application on your phone. It’s something you always have with you and is a great resource for looking things up. What I’ve used for a long time is the  LoseIt! app. LoseIt! helps you set your goals, track both food intake and exercise, and provides nutritional information for most common foods. Another good application I’ve tried is called SlimKicker. SlimKicker is a very similar application, but allows you to track other numbers besides calories if you so choose (carbs, protein, fat, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, and sugar). Be warned, however, that once you enter the world of calories there is no going back! You will never look at a Starbucks drink the same. In fact, you may stop eating out entirely:) Only kidding. This brings me to my next point:

Cheat days. We all have them…just sometimes too many of them. This day is important, especially when just starting out on a new healthy diet. It’s a day when you can eat whatever you want. Not only does this help in keeping your overall eating plan on track, but it also serves as a way to keep your exercise routine motivated. Sometimes I get in a funk, or I get dragged to a pizza joint by my husband, and decide to splurge. You better believe that next morning is a serious sweat session in the gym! As hard as it is to limit your cheat days and meals I promise you it gets easier with time. The longer you stick to healthy eating, the easier it is to fight cravings. Eat less sugar, crave less sugar. You will get to a point when eating unhealthy will physically make you feel sick, and it’s a lot easier to say no to things that don’t make you feel good! So enjoy your splurging (I thoroughly enjoy my much too often froyo trips), but be encouraged when you start having less cravings…it means you’re making progress.

So, there’s my 10 cents. 80/20 is completely true. If you’re trying to decide whether to start spending more time in your kitchen or your gym, make it your kitchen…trips to the gym become a lot more enjoyable when your going to tone what you have instead of work off what you ate.

If I were to finish by saying something it would be to stay encouraged. It takes about 3 weeks to form a habit and you’re not going to meet your goals by the end of week one . Not even week two, or three. Healthy weight loss is measured in 1-2 pounds a week, but I encourage you to make your change of habits less about the number on the scale, and more about how you feel!!! I absolutely love this picture:

Comparing yourself to other people isn’t going to get you anywhere. Love what you have and take care of yourself because it makes you feel good! Confidence and strength is sexy no matter what shape or size you are!

So speaking of losing weight…I’ve lost quite a bit over the last 8 months! Enough to have to throw out a good portion of my closet. It’s obviously a great feeling to have a “Jared” moment, but now I have nothing to wear! With work starting up and winter being right around the corner…my yoga pants aren’t going to take me much further. I’ve finally plateaued with my weight and am looking forward to a mini-shopping spree within my budget this weekend:) Woo!!

To wrap up I’ll leave you with some pictures, which are much more exciting than my words anyways…

Tyler has been fly fishing in attempts to bring home dinner…nothing like waking up to a fish in your sink. alive.

I took my mom on a scenic hike while she was here…relaxing here at the top.

Not only did we hike together, she attended my fitness class on Monday and totally kicked butt. One proud daughter!!

Tyler and I are on the same schedule now that my work (training) has started. Late night trip to the gym! Couple that works out together stays together, right? 🙂

Before you leave, be sure to check out this week’s new recipes…and ALSO my new intro and workout pages under “fitness”!

While my mom was here, we enjoyed some Mexican Squash Stew (recommended by my mother-in-law) and THIS yummy dessert!

Portobello Pizza

Made my favorite 2 ingredient pumpkin-spice cookies again and tried a new version w/ devil’s food cake mix! It just isn’t a Holiday until you’ve decorated cookies:)

My new go-to snack and dessert, smudgies!

Simple Slow Cooker Chicken

Avocado Dip made with Greek Yogurt

Egg White Pizza – credit to Miss Indy Uhlenhopp!

Week 3 of rambling complete – hope I still have some followers. Also, hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween! Things were pretty low-key here in Eagle. Despite my attempts at dragging Tyler into a Misty-Kerri costume, we ended up relaxing and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. All 3 of them. Which left us with a huge bowl of candy, and making it even more impressive that this was my first Halloween not having anything. I just don’t crave the things I used to. But before you label me some sort of saint, I will have you know that if that bowl had been full of ice cream or frozen yogurt – it would have been empty before it even got dark. Ohhh weaknesses….:)


With snow comes ski conditioning…and cookies.

Let me bring you to now. Sitting upstairs in our painful bright-yellow office room (played up to our best ability as a “panther” room despite the gross mismatch of yellows), digesting my oatmeal array of breakfast and mentally preparing for my ski conditioning class in an hour. As I mentioned in my last post, Tyler and I finally got our hands on a gym membership. After almost settling for a small (yet nice) workout facility in Eagle, we caught wind about a bigger, better facility in Gypsum about 10 miles away. Bigger and better is quite the understatement. In fact, the size of this could probably compete with the entire population of Eagle. It’s been a great investment, especially as the snow starts to roll in outside (and yes, it has started). Not that I don’t like doing in-house workouts, but I like some variety and unless I’m going to bundle up as the Michelin man – running outside will soon not be an option. Plus, I wanted a chance to get to meet some new people.

SO, as new Gypsum Recreation Center members *flashes badge*, we now have access to an indoor track, indoor swimming pool (with a slide, lazy pool, and hot tub in addition to lanes – whaaat!), rock climbing wall, large assortment of cardio machines, free weights, equipment, lifting platforms and racks, basketball/volleyball courts, and even a gymnastic area (I’ve only seen it used by kid’s classes but that wouldn’t stop me from channeling my inner Shawn Johnson should I get the urge). Besides all of this, perhaps the most beneficial factor this gym has to offer is the classes. I mentioned last week that Tyler and I did a spinning class together, which was brutal, but what I’ve started to really get into is their ski conditioning class. A fancy, mountain-name for something that is much like cross-fit. It’s an hour of complete butt-kicking and I love it. Each class, each week, each day, is different and challenging in its own way…but the theme remains the same. One day of the week is an endurance day, testing how quickly you can get through a specified exercise. Another is a strength day, usually a circuit focused less on time or reps and more on weight and quality of form. Lastly, there’s a power circuit day, where you are given a circuit to continuously go through for about 30 minutes – and you’re counting and competing for the number of times you can get around the circuit. I love workouts like these because you have people around you to compete with and it continually challenges you to get better. Reminds me a lot of what we did in college, but not at 6,000 feet. Sea level is for sissies:) Here’s a look at some recent workouts this past week:

These were all challenging in their own aspect, but that middle one was killer and not just because it was Monday. Our warm-up on the bottom was enough to get us sweating, then we jumped into our time challenges. First was 40/40, where we had to do 40 TRX rows and 40 TRX atomic push-ups as quickly as possible. Next was 40/40/40, the same first 2 40’s with an added 40 of TRX squat jumps. The last 40/40/40/40 was the previous 3 with an added 40 burpees. We recorded split times as we went along so we could see how our splits stacked up to the previous rounds. Although having an instructor with you is great for challenges and workouts like this, it’s not necessary…you can easily do this on your own in the gym or even at home, as long as you have a stopwatch. Don’t have equipment? Fill in bodyweight exercises like some sort of pushup, lunge, squat, jump, or anything else that challenges you. You’re one excuse away from having a good workout and feeling great so don’t let the little things get in the way! Be creative and push yourself. Most people think of Pinterest as a creative outlet for food and DIY projects, but you can find lots of good workout ideas on there if you would just get out of the food porn section and head on over to the “health and fitness” category. Not a Pinterest person? There are a ton of good phone applications that can get you moving. Nike Training Club, BodyRock.tv, Workouts, and Sworkit are just a few that I’ve found useful. More of a runner? The Nike running app will track your run, GPS your route, and give you feedback during your run about pace, time, and distance. Like to bike? MapMyRide may be a good choice for you. Take advantage of all the resources you have and remember that everyone has to start somewhere and even if it just means going for a walk it’s better than doing nothing! Just like you should look at the food you eat and think “how will that make me feel after?” , start looking at your workouts that way.

Okay, I’m off my fitness soap box…until next time. And since the next best thing about working out is your post-workout MEAL, I will share with you that there are a few things I need in my kitchen at all times. Plain greek yogurt, almond milk, and oatmeal. Bananas are a close 4th. So, naturally, when I realize we are out of yogurt on my way home from the gym, an immediate trip to CostCo all of a sudden becomes necessary…despite being in spandex. Lets be honest, I learned to deal with the “stares” of wearing spandex everywhere in college. A quick trip to CostCo while it’s snowing is really not an issue.

Sometimes I look back and wonder what the world was like before greek yogurt…what did I eat? Oh yeah, Doritos *sighs in reflection*. I get plain because it’s the most versatile and has less of the processed sugars that the other flavors do. I get greek because it packs more protein and, again, is more versatile. By versatile, I mean you can play it up to be sweet, spicy, tart, tangy – the options are endless by what you choose to mix it with. A few of my favorite combinations are 1) with cocoa powder to make a good chocolate dip 2) with pumpkin, spice, and PB2 (powdered peanut butter) to make a good pumpkin spice dip 3) PLAIN as a veggie dip (when I’m not already using my chili hummus or dill dip) and 4) mashed fresh fruit or fresh jam. Beyond dipping and nibbling, however, it’s an amazing healthy substitution when cooking and baking. Fettucini Alfredo is well-known to be one of the absolute worst items on an Italian menu. It’s also well-known for being absolutely delicious. So you’ll be happy to know that there are healthy recipes out there that can give you both. Like this healthy chicken alfredo dish in my recipes that uses greek yogurt as a main ingredient in the sauce. For other ways to make healthy greek substitutions, print this chart out and stick it on your fridge for reference:

Okay, I need to be cut off. I’m telling you I could blab forever about this stuff because I want everyone to be educated. I’ve come to realize the switches to eating cleaner and feeling/looking better are so simple and easy, but most of us just don’t take the time to figure it out. So this is me trying to do my part and help you get on the right track. Long-term success and a starting a healthy lifestyle begins in simple steps like being aware of the things you’re putting in your body. An application I preach about is called Fooducate. It’s an app that reads the barcode of your food or drink item and grades it, telling you what is good & bad about it and even providing healthier alternatives to what you scanned. Another good one is ShopWell, which is more directed towards those who are watching certain areas of their diet (like sugar, calories, fat, or salt). It scans food just like the other, but grades it based on what you are or aren’t trying to stay away from. Do be aware that once you start, you will never shop the same again…like this guy below who I found wandering off trying to find the worst thing in the store (he started with queso dip – not a bad start). You also will likely be found digging through your entire pantry in search of anything and everything with a barcode to find out what you’ve really been doing to yourself all these months. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Other exciting things this week included…

VOTING! Whoooo! One step closer to an ad-free inbox. But in all seriousness, I want all of you complainers out there to know that you are actually more annoying than the people who are voicing their opinions because you know what? People who feel strongly about the election feel strongly about their country and where it is headed. It’s a reflection of someone who cares about their country and exercises a right that not many people in this world have. So stop your yapping and get to the polls. As always, this week was filled with lots of food. Because I like to live and food helps me do that. So check out the latest additions to the recipe pages this week:

Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate (Carob) Chip Cookies

Margherita & BBQ Roasted Corn (cauliflower-crust) pizza

Slow cooker turkey white bean pumpkin chili & Peach Cobbler

But better YET, check out the new ReaganRambler Pinterest page! I know how much I use Pinterest to bring up recipes in the kitchen, so I thought what better way to help out you AND me by creating this page? Also be sure to re-pin your favorites and spread the love around cyberspace. More people trying recipes = more critiques = better recipes = better food = happier people.

Okay, so I have to admit this post got severely delayed throughout the day. I am no longer digesting breakfast and am instead actually hungry for dinner. But anyways, my mom gets in tomorrow to visit Tyler and I – praying we get some nice weather to go hit the trails. Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the weekend!!

Life, employment, and good eats

It’s the first day of school and I have my new Lisa Frank notebook open – excited but nervous to put that first precious mark on the page. Ok not really. I’m actually sitting at a coffee shop in Edwards, CO enjoying a latte, a few conversations around me, hoping the internet doesn’t go out and fighting the irresistible smell of crepes….but the feeling is the same. I’ve been waiting so long to have this blog up and running that I’m tempted to word-vomit everything I’ve ever thought into one post. For the sake of my readers, I will limit my first “real” post to an update on life, which of course naturally involves a few new recipes as well. But before I do, I have to share how completely overwhelmed I was to see I had over 1,000 views when I released this thing last week. And not only that, but views from countries I am in no way connected to! So with that, I’d like to welcome all of my Mexican,  Honduran, Kuwaitain (?), European, Australian, and of course American mates. I encourage you ALL to show some love in comments and other feedback throughout the site. For all I know, those first views were all a flop and I’ll never see any of you again. I did have some feedback from friends who tried a few recipes and I encourage anyone who does so to post how it went under the comments on that particular recipe. This is a community and I’d love to have feedback public so everyone can be involved!

Okay, so…life. The last few months have been a whirlwind. Tyler was assigned to a job in Eagle, CO a week after our wedding, moving him/us from the job he was currently on in San Diego. However, he was told it would be temporary and so for 3 weeks we were commuting from his place in Loveland (CO) on the weekends to a hotel in Eagle during the week. It was exhausting and we still weren’t sure where he would end up after 3 weeks, so I did the only thing I could do and started job searching around the Denver area, hoping that’s the place we would end up. I had interest from a few places, only to hear from Tyler that the company now wanted him in Eagle until the completion of the project, slated for April. Roll with the punches, that’s what we do!

Although it wasn’t what we expected to hear, we were excited to finally know where we would be and be able to move into a place we can call home…together. I mean, who can really complain about living in the heart of ski country during ski season?  To start the moving process, a few weeks ago I flew back home to Iowa to collect all of my belongings (and our wedding gifts), see a few family and friends, watch some Panther volleyball, and pack the U-haul to drive back to Colorado (BY MYSELF). 800 miles, 12 hours, and the endless state of Nebraska later, I made it to Loveland. It wasn’t without a lot of close calls (that puppy is a bit bigger than my Mazda when trying to maneuver throw small spaces – and EVERYWHERE is small when you’re in a U-haul), $500 worth of gas, and a few concerts in the front seat, though. In Loveland, we packed all of Tyler’s things from his apartment and with LITTLE room or time to spare, headed up to Eagle. It took about a week to get all settled in, but we now have a cute little townhome to relax in at the end of the day instead of a hotel. And as you can see from my Facebook, it provides some utterly amazing views and nearby trails. Better yet, it has room for VISITORS:)

This gives me a headache just looking at it! Tyler and the U-haul, before unpacking it in Eagle.

Taken at the top of a nearby trail…unREAL views around here!

Okay so as you read this and think, “what the heck are YOU going to do?”. NO I’m not going to be a mom and NO I have no plans to be a housewife. Lucky for me, a lot of places hire on extra employees during the ski season up here because of the huge increase of people that come through the area. Even areas not directly connected to the ski resort have to prepare for the increase in volume. As of yesterday, I can finally step out of the unemployment pool and share with everyone that I will be working as an admissions representative at the Beaver Creek Medical Center. I couldn’t be more excited and thankful for this opportunity. Throughout this whole job search I have trusted that God was opening and closing doors for a reason and that eventually He would place me where I needed to be. In this day and age, an MIS degree can place you into a wide variety of positions and industries but what I’ve always dreamed of getting into was health informatics. Helping manage and run the IT components in the healthcare or medical-related field is something that captured my interest from the moment I heard about it. This opportunity will give me just the experience I need on the medical end to be able to open doors for me and lead me in the right direction in the future. Vail Valley Medical Centers are highly respected and I look forward to being able to work and learn in this position. The specific medical center I will be working at will be at the BASE of Beaver Creek Mountain, and will see mainly patients who are coming in hot off the slopes. Shoes that I, unfortunately, have been in before when I broke my leg (correction: someone *else* broke my leg) in Keystone about 15 years ago. Looking forward to starting soon and being able to finally say goodbye to e-mails from careerbuilder!!

That brings me to today…to now. To my empty latte cup but the still tempting smell of crepes. Tyler and I joined a nearby health club, so besides to avoid making terrible food choices, I need to get out of here to meet him for our spin class tonight! Woo! Be sure to add me on Facebook, twitter, or instagram to enjoy more pictures (and updates). I’ll try to give you a few here, but there’s a lot you will be missing out on if you don’t check out some of my other sites as well.

As always, this last week has consisted of a few new recipes. SO, check out the recipage for the following goodies I tried out this week:

Homemade Ketchup

Greek Salad

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

Healthy Carrot Zucchini Bread


Ahh, my first post! It feels so good to finally have this up and running…as I’m sure most of you had given up on any such blog ever actually happening. I’ve been all talk, no action for quite some time. But to my defense, I’ve been doing things like getting married and being a complete nomad as my hubby and I worked on getting moved into a place we can finally call home.

So, what the heck am I doing starting a new blog? Well, because I’m entering a new stage of life, and doing so with a brand new outlook than before. As an athlete I have always been active, and have had the best intentions of being healthy, but it wasn’t until this last Spring that I decided to really commit and make a change in educating myself and kicking bad habits. Between a newly found passion for cooking, a desire to look my best in a pretty white dress, and a fear of becoming a pudgy retired athlete…I managed to lose weight, tone up, and am feeling better than I ever have before. I’ve gained a completely new perspective on what it means to take care of yourself and live a healthy lifestyle. For more detail on what this blog and myself is all about, click the about tab at the top of the page.

Keep checking back for food, fitness, and life updates with the Reagans – or go to the right hand column and click follow to receive updates when new content is posted! Comments are both encouraged and appreciated. Living healthy is a journey and you’re in it with me!