Monday, January 19, 2015

New Year New You

Hey everyone,

I want this new year to be full of success! I want goals to be achieved for not only myself, but for others. That is why I've titled this post 'New Year New You'. I want to help you to become empowered. To take your life back from your excuses & hang-ups.


I want this new year to be the year that you stop making excuses, and start making changes. I know that you have it in you, now look inside yourself.

Think of all the goals that you want to achieve. Write them down! Think about what it would look like to achieve those goals. To have that success. To have a smaller waistline. To feel healthier from the inside out. To be able to chase after your kids (or grandkids). To have more money (or money, period) in savings. To have a better relationship with your partner. To spend more time with your kids. To_____________ (you fill in the blank)!

Start by writing your goals down.

Think about your goals specifically...use the SMART acronym. You can click here to check out a video I made that talks about what SMART means for your goals.

The SMART acronym is a great way to start mapping out your goals for success.

'S' stands for SPECIFIC.

Your goals should be detailed. For example, instead of saying you want to save more money, write down a goal with some details like this, for example:

I am...(using present tense will help the goal become more personal, and allow you to think about it in terms that make you picture it as something you have already accomplished. Ever heard of the term 'fake it, 'til you make it'?).

SO...I am, saving $200 per month by making my own lunch and snacks to take to work, & by making my own coffee at home.

'M' stands for MEASURABLE.

The example I used above for 'S' is for SPECIFIC, is also a measurable goal, because you can calculate how much you are saving each month, and therefore see when you are achieving your goal of saving $200 per month.

You can track your purchases from previous months by look at your bank statements, and adding up the amount of money you spent on lunches and snacks, as well as on coffee (or other beverages). Then, you can compare what you just calculated to the cost of the food you buy to prepare your own lunches and snacks + beverages. It may definitely be cheaper to prepare your own meals.

Another example, say, for weight loss, if you want to measure changes that happen to your body with a new workout routine, or with healthier eating, you should be measuring multiple areas of data collection. You will want to weigh yourself once per week, as well as measuring your body. You can check out how I have my challengers measure themselves by clicking here.

You can also take before, during, and after photos of yourself, which I always do before I start any new routine. These photos are amazing ways to track progress that you may not have seen if you had only been weighing yourself.

I was so discouraged one time at a gain of an inch around my hips, until I compared my before photo with how I looked at that moment of discouragement. That discouragement turned to elation, as I realized that the gain had come from a workout-induced non-surgical butt lift! Wahoo! So, never underestimate the importance of measuring your goals, and also measuring them in multiple ways.

'A' is for ATTAINABLE.

When you are setting your goals, think about if they are actually goals that you can realistically achieve. Are they actually feasible based on your circumstances, or can you change your current circumstances so that your goals can be achieved?

For example, if you want to save that $200 mentioned up in the 'M' is for MEASURABLE section, do you actually have $200 extra that you can save? Do you have money that you are spending on entertainment or dining out multiple times per month? Think about where you can be saving, instead of spending, then you can determine if your goal to save $200 per month is attainable.

'R' stands for REWARDING.

I've also heard the 'R' stand for realistic, as well as relevant. Of course your want your goals to be realistic and relevant, or you would be wasting your time setting those goals, right? So, that is why I've chose to have the 'R' in the SMART acronym stand for 'rewarding'. When a goal is rewarding, you feel elation (and are rewarded intrinsically, and why not reward yourself extrinsically) as you achieve the smaller steps toward to bigger goal.

'T' is for TIMELY.

When you set a goal, you should also have in mind when you want to achieve it. You don't want it to get lost in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of your normal routine, but want it to be something that has a deadline.

Think about what you need to be doing every day so you can achieve your goal by the time you scheduled to achieve it. Yes, this can be flexible, because things come up in life that may knock you off track, such as unexpected events. When these happen, refocus and get back on track.

You should review your goals often, always assessing if they are SMART, and ensuring that they align with your priorities. As your life changes, your goals may change too. With set goals that you've written down, you will be directing your life, instead of just drifting through life.

Also, when you are thinking about your goals, think about them in a well-rounded fashion. In other words, you want your life to have balance, right? So, instead of focusing your goals on one area, such as your finances, include other areas of your life in your goal setting, as well. Set goals for your relationships, health, fitness, spirituality, etc..

Until next time...please check out my page and 'like' and 'share' it on Facebook: Sarah's Drive


-Sarah B.
Wife, student, navy veteran, fitness coach, & mom of a type 1 diabetic.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What are Your Numbers?

What are Your Numbers?

When you begin your health journey, there are a few variables that you need to consider as you get started. You'll want to know your numbers: (BMR (base metabolic rate), how many calories your burn during your workouts, how many calories you consume, etc.). Nutrition is really essential to your health journey, as it accounts for 80% of your results! Yes, that's right, 80%.

What you eat and how much you eat play a big role. Calories are key! You can track what you eat with a notebook, or you can use an app on your phone, whatever works for you.

One app I love in particular is the My Fitness Pal app (or you can use the website on your computer). I love this app, because it tracks my calories, & the app has a database of a variety of foods (and drinks), plus the option to add your own recipes, & scan the barcodes on food packages for access to the nutrition label inserted directly into your phone.

Don't cheat yourself! Keep track of EVERY bite (and drink with calories) that you put into your body. Samples, crust from little Tommy's pb&j, etc.. Record 'em!

Calories in vs. Calories out

Also, the My Fitness Pal app has a list of physical activities that you can plug in how long you did a specific activity for & it will tell you (approximately) how many calories you burned. The app calculates your calories for you.

OR, if you are like me and mostly do at home fitness programs, you can invest in a heart rate monitor to find out your calories burned during your workouts. Then, you can 'create your own workout' on the My Fitness Pal app, plug in your workout length + how many calories you burned, and it will calculate the calories.
Facebook: Sarah's Drive
For Mother's Day last year, my husband bought me a 60beat BLUE Heart Monitor. I've used it multiple times to track the intensity of my runs (I've done a lot of hill running), and my at home workouts. I've also purchased another monitor from Polar, for the ease of hand less monitoring, since it comes with a watch (instead of having to tote my phone for the toggle with the 60beat BLUE Monitor).

Track 'EM!

For awhile now, I've been tracking my calories burned during my at home fitness program workouts. I've decided to post them here! I'm an independent Team Beachbody coach, & love the products because they really do work. There is such a wide variety of workouts, & something for just about everyone!

I've heard some people say they don't think you can get an intense enough workout with an at home fitness program, but I know they are wrong, because I've had great success with at home fitness programs. You can read my transformation story here.

Plus, with at home fitness programs, you can get a really well-rounded workout in (cardio, strength training, and flexibility). The intensity of the Beachbody programs (and with just about any program you do) depends on how hard YOU work, and how badly YOU want results. You can always push yourself a little bit more, use a little (or a lot, but please be careful) heavier weights, go a little bit longer, etc.

The information I provide below about my calorie tracking will probably vary from person to person. I am 5' 2" & weigh around 120 pounds, to give you some background when comparing. You can do a little research on the Internet, if you want to be more accurate for your own tracking. You can purchase your own heart monitor for a relatively inexpensive price.

Also, muscle that you are building during your workouts will actually burn more calories in the long run, than what was recorded by your monitor. I can't give you an estimate for how many more calories that is, but just remember that!

The first program I started keeping track of my calories with a heart rate monitor was with Beachbody's P90X3.

P90X3 is from Tony Horton, and is full of variety included in 16 unique 30 minute work outs. P90X3 is not a graduate program for P90X, and is a great program for those with busy schedules, beginners (since there are modifiers for every move to help you gradually work your way up), & those who like the P90X workouts.

You'll need a few different tools to complete a majority of the workouts. You can use resistance bands in place of hand weights &/or a chin-up bar, a yoga mat, & some 'springy' shoes (Tony recommends court shoes over running shoes, since you will be doing some higher impact moves).

Calories Burned During P90X3

Total Synergistics
Minutes Performed: 31
Calories Burned: 336

Minutes Performed: 33
Calories Burned: 437

Agility X
Minutes Performed: 33
Calories Burned: 417

Minutes Performed: 34
Calories Burned: 403

Pilates X
Minutes Performed: 30
Calories Burned: 266
X3 Yoga
Minutes Performed: 30
Calories Burned: 191

Minutes Performed: 32
Calories Burned: 316

The Challenge
Minutes Performed: 31
Calories Burned: 272

Minutes Performed: 33
Calories Burned: 423

The Warrior
Minutes Performed: 30
Calories Burned: 328

Minutes Performed: 30
Calories Burned: 286
Minutes Performed: 30
Calories Burned: 290

Minutes Performed: 31
Calories Burned: 318

Minutes Performed: 31
Calories Burned: 370

Eccentric Upper
Minutes Performed: 30
Calories Burned: 297

Eccentric Lower
Minutes Performed: 31
Calories Burned: 316

PiYo is a low-to-no impact workout from Chalene Johnson. It is designed with just about everyone in mind. If you are a beginner, this program is a great way to get started, plus, as with many of the other Beachbody workouts, there is a modifier to help ease you into the moves. Also, if you're into more advanced workouts, PiYo will help your overall fitness, as it increases your flexibility. If you've had an injury, this program is a great way to get you back into working out! Plus, there is no equipment needed!

Calories Burned During PiYo
Align: The Fundamentals
Minutes Performed:42
Calories Burned:348

Define: Lower Body
Minutes Performed:27
Calories Burned: 253

Define: Upper Body
Minutes Performed:20
Calories Burned: 175

Minutes Performed: 37
Calories Burned: 391

Minutes Performed: 31
Calories Burned: 279

Minutes Performed:29
Calories Burned: 320

Strength Intervals
Minutes Performed:23
Calories Burned: 272

Minutes Performed:44
Calories Burned: 642

Minutes Performed: 30
Calories Burned: 301

Stay tuned, because in the future I will add more programs to my blog. I'm in the process of completing Les Mills Combat. I love love love this program! Talk about a non surgical butt lift, for sure!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

We Want a Diabetic Alert Dog!

More Than Just a Work Dog, It's A Friend

Long post alert, but it's worth it;)

It has been awhile since my last blog post, and I felt it was past due time to update anyone who may have been following my previous blog posts. In the past I have blogged about a variety of topics, including fitness, nutrition, my time in the navy, as well as my experiences being a mom of a type 1 diabetic.

Do you or someone you love, or know have type 1 diabetes?

Many of you may know that my 6-year-old son, Isaac, is a type 1 diabetic. Type 1 diabetes means that my son's pancreas no longer produces insulin, which requires him to get insulin through his insulin pump that he wears at all times. Insulin is the key to our cells, which allows cells to use the carbohydrates we eat as energy. Without the insulin, and thus, without the energy for our cells, we die.

On September 20, it will have been 2 years since Isaac's diagnosis. It has been a quick 2 years, filled with many good, and many not so good days. We have watched him finally gain weight and height. We have gone from injections, and now are using an insulin pump. It's a little less tedious at times, but still a struggle to change his infusion set every 3rd day (as it still involves a needle).

There have been many mornings where he has woken up with wonderful blood sugars, while other mornings (many of them happening in the past couple of days), in the 50s (his blood sugar range I'd like him to wake up around is above 100, but below 200). It has been rough!

Previously, things were going fairly smoothly with Isaac's diabetes (as smoothly as I could hope, considering). Then, life happens, and it may be (and probably is) a variety of factors that come into play.

Stress, growth, activity, and so much more can affect blood sugar, and boy have we had a lot of stress and activity, but still not a lot of growth. I know that he is growing, and I know that all kids grow at their own pace, but it can be disheartening to see the scale sitting at the same number for months. It is also disheartening to hear this 6-year-old shout 'why do I have to have diabetes?!' For a time, I was checking my blood sugar at the same time that Isaac would check his, and it has helped, but I know that he feels alone in his battle. Yes, I see diabetes as a battle, and what I can do for Isaac is to pray, hope for a cure, and give him my love and support.

Recently, my son attended a 1-day diabetes camp, where he got to spend the day with other type 1 diabetics. They did a lot of fun things like horseback riding, digging for gold, leather working, and hiking. When the day was drawing to a close, parents were invited to meet up with the group at a large park, where we were introduced to some diabetic alert dogs, and their trainer, KC Owens, who is also the founder of Tattle Tail Scent Dogs, which breeds and trains dogs to alert for type 1 diabetics (among other needs, as well).

I got so excited listening to KC talk about the dogs she has trained, and occurrences with her own alert dog. Her passion for these dogs, and the importance of the job that the dogs do made me vow that I would get one for Isaac. Not only are these dogs awesome for catching low and high blood sugars earlier than we could, they are incredible companions! Since they are work dogs, they are able to go just about everywhere.

I truly believe that having a diabetic alert dog would help Isaac in so many ways, not only for his low and high blood sugars, but for friendship! He feels so alone, and depressed at times, and I wish we could afford an alert dog now! Since I'm a student, and my husband works full time (many days he works 12 hours) at a low wage to pay the bills, we are working hard to save as much as we can.

The past couple of months have been the craziest for our family. Not one, but both of our old vehicles stopped working, so we drained our savings to purchase a third, and much more reliable vehicle, all at the same time that we decided to buy a house (since our mortgage will be close to what we are paying now for rent).

Being a Team Beachbody coach has helped me during the past year, but life has a way of allocating my time, so I have not focused on helping others as much as I should. I want to do more! I have goals that I want to achieve, including getting a diabetic alert dog for my son!

I love to help others achieve their goals, and Beachbody can help me to achieve my goals through helping others. I employ you (if you have been touched by my son’s story and our longing for a diabetic alert dog) to step forward if you are ready to commit to your health and fitness.

What are your goals? What do you want out of life? Now, what is holding you back?!

You can help us, while I help to support you, and help you to achieve your goals of losing weight, feeling healthier, gaining confidence, and gaining (or regaining) your health.

Send me a message, friend request me on Facebook (Sarah Biesen (Shull)), or visit my website: I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Fitness Journey: An Update


Since it has been close to 2 years since I began my fitness journey, I decided to update my transformation story.

My serious transformation story didn't begin for any particular reason. I wanted to begin working out. I wanted to get into better shape. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the way I looked. I always felt loved, no matter how much I weighed. My husband never criticized my weight, nor did other family or friends. I was content.

Yes, my clothes were getting tighter, and I did notice the numbers on the scale going up, but I don't remember being bothered by that fact. I thought I was keeping active enough. After all, I had a 3-year-old boy that I was keeping up with. At least, that's what I thought. Looking back at the pictures, I wonder how "active" I really thought I was.


You know the saying "calories in, calories out"-well, my calories in were quite a bit more than calories out. Ever since our son, Isaac, was born, we were told he was small, and we needed to see a dietician. Heck, from the day he was born, the nurses were forcing formula on him, because they were concerned for his health! We continued to hear it up until only a few months ago, at the age of 6.


Well, my husband and I tried to remedy Isaac's weight gain predicament by feeding him donuts, and quite a few other fattening foods over the course of about a year. No wonder I had gained so much weight-I was eating as many donuts as Isaac. I wasn't the one who had a medical condition that prevented me from gaining weight-Isaac did. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in September 2012. His body wasn't able to use all the sugar that we were feeding him. Looking back, we're saddened, because although the sugar wasn't the cause of his diabetes, it certainly wasn't doing his body any favors. If you want to read more about my son's story, you can find it in previous posts, including this one.


Since that summer, I've lost close to 40 pounds, and my husband has lost about 20. About 5 years ago, I began using Jillian Michael's at home fitness programs, but I wasn't very consistent. The habit formed, but fizzled out for various reasons. I just wasn't motivated. I moved on to other fitness programs, and then did some month-long challenges. I did a burpee challenge, and various other challenges that focused on different parts of my body, and I slowly trimmed down.

P90X & Focus T25

Sometimes I would be consistent at working out, but I still wasn't motivated. I found my motivational soul-mate workout in P90X a little over a year ago. In fact, I was so motivated by this workout and my Beachbody coach, that I signed up to coach. At first, I didn't really want to coach others, but then I thought about how many lives I could reach, and how many others I could help to live healthier lives.

Nervous about starting Focus T25

After P90X, I began Focus T25, and faithfully did the majority of the workouts at 5:30 in the morning-before my brain knew what I was doing. The workouts were good, but I missed Tony Horton (even though he is a little annoying). I also enjoyed how short the workouts were, and since I was back in school, 25 minutes was a better length of workout.

I like my short workouts


Clean Eating Support Groups

Around this time, I began hosting clean eating support groups. With these clean eating groups, I provide clean eating recipes, shopping lists formulated from the recipes, as well as providing support, tips, and advice about clean eating. These groups have helped multiple members lose an average of about 1.5 pounds per week just from eating healthier! It's exciting to see lives changed, and healthy habits established. You can learn more about these groups here. You can also check out some of my other clean eating blog posts, including this one, as well as get more healthy awesomeness at my 'like' page, Sarah's Drive, on Facebook.




I decided to try out P90X2, but didn't make it very far before P90X3 came out. My coach had invited me to join another challenge group with her doing either Focus T25 or P90X3, so I decided to snag P90X3 and go for it! Then, a month into the workout, our car decided to retire, and I hurt my back trying to push the car off a tow dolly. So, after a month of recovery, I jumped back into P90X3. And then, one month into Restart #2 of P90X3, my mom surprises me with the Beachbody Ultimate Reset. So, poor P90X3 was postponed for another month before I restarted it. And now, it's safe to say I will finish P90X3 this time...unless some other unforeseen event interrupts P90X3 for a third time.


Food for week 1 of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset

Beachbody Ultimate Reset

My journey through the Beachbody Ultimate Reset was a life-changing experience for me. I learned a lot about myself, and the unhealthy relationship I had with food at times. After my Reset, I feel more in control of my eating, and I think before I eat. Nowadays, weeks after finishing, I still don't drink water during most meals. Drinking water during meals dilutes stomach acid making it harder to digest.


Another tidbit I've learned, not from the Ultimate Reset, but from the research I do almost daily to become a better fitness and nutrition Beachbody coach, is that you should eat your meat first, and then your salad. This is because it's harder for your body to digest animal protein, and your stomach acids will need to work on that first, instead of being diluted with salad first. You can read about my Beachbody Ultimate Reset journey, beginning with my preparation here.

In the months leading up to my Reset, I had gained about 7 pounds, and I definitely wasn't happy about that! I didn't think I was doing anything differently, except that I was probably stressed, and sitting on my behind more than I should have been. I'd also started having some digestive issues. My mom has always had digestive issues, at least for as long as I can remember.


I mentioned the Ultimate Reset to my mom, since it's known for straightening out many of the digestive issues that can complicate our lives. I'd also told my mom about the digestive issues I was having, and how I hoped to, some day in the future, go through the Reset myself. Long story short (you can read about the long story in previous blogs), my mom bought a kit, along with one for me! My mom lost over 15 pounds, and I lost 9 (which was about 7% of my body weight). 



Since the completion of my Reset, I took up running again, and do that twice a week in addition to my P90X3 workouts. I recently began using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to map my caloric intake, as well as output. My husband bought me a heart monitor for Mother's Day, so I've been mapping my calories using that. Unfortunately, that heart monitor was having a few issues, so we purchased another one, so I could continue mapping the calories burned from my workouts.

I've completed P90X3, & have since then completed the 3-Day Refresh, which is a 3-day cleanse (kinda like a mini Ultimate Reset), Chalene Johnson's PiYo (low-to-no impact, but amazing sweat with Pilates, yoga, body weight training, & flexibility), and P90X2.

 Yes, I'm a free coach, and I take helping others seriously!


new heart monitor!


Do you want support?

If you want help getting started on your fitness journey, I would love to help you! Together, we'll help you make a plan, and find what works for you!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day 21, the Final Day, of My Beachbody Ultimate Reset

Day 21, Sunday

I've unfortunately still have pain, and I think it's just gas pain :/ It might also be from quinoa (which is one of the snacks that is allowed during the last week of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset. I'll just have to pay more attention the next time I have it.



Lunch was good, since it was the jicama-avocado salad that I made yesterday. Marinating it overnight was a nice touch.


I have my meals planned out for the next 3 weeks, as I phase foods back into my diet. I planned out my meals by writing a schedule down on paper, but you could do it in your phone, or however works best for you. I like to be able to see the game plan, without having to look at a tiny screen.


Today, we purchased most of what I'll need this week. I have found that some produce really doesn't even last a week before it gets droopy such as lettuce, spinach, and herbs. I still like to trim the ends of the leafy produce and put them in water like a bouquet of flowers.



Cucumber-avocado soup and roasted veggies is delicious. I'm glad that I didn't add more of the jalapeno to the soup than I did, because it made it the perfect spiciness! However, after having so many bites, I don't think the soup is as delicious as I first thought. I added a good serving of no-salt herbal seasoning blend, and heated the soup, which made it much better!


Cucumber avocado soup & Roasted veggies


I stayed up until midnight, and had some chocolate. This really isn't recommended in the guide, which encourages you to continue using the Phase 3 recipes for another week to readjust your body.


The day after

I weighed myself this morning....I lost 9 lbs, and I'm in shock!


I did not set out on my Reset journey planning on losing weight, but did it! I started my Ultimate Reset at 121.5 and ended weighing 112.8 lbs. That was 7.2% body weight lost in 21 days, just from following this gentle cleanse.


I ate about 1500 calories every day, followed the supplement regimen, kept in contact with my mom for the support. My mom lost about 15 lbs during her Ultimate Reset, which she finished up about a week after mine. 


It was so worth it to agree to doing the Reset at the same time as my mom (we'd originally planned on starting the same day, but my mom ended up getting the flu the first day of our Reset).


If you want support to get started on a journey to a healthier you, please contact me! I'd love to walk you through, supporting you, and holding you accountable to achieving the goals that you set out for yourself.



Your goals are important! Your health is important! YOU are important!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 19 & 20 of My Beachbody Ultimate Reset

Day 19, Friday


I decided to try the horned melon, or kiwano, a fruit from Australia. It's really interesting-looking, and tastes better than it looks. It's green and slimy-looking when you cut into it, and reminds me of citrus fruit in how it's made up of little pockets inside. You can't quarter this melon, though, like you could an orange. You scoop out the melon's flesh. It's great in the fruit salad, because it sticks to the other fruit, and not to the bottom of the bowl.


Kiwano (horned melon)



Lunch of hearty vegetable miso soup and microgreen salad was good and filling. Today, I finally admitted to myself that I've been having some digestion problems. My stomach feels like it's cramping. I think it may be from drinking Shakeology, since my body isn't used to so much good nutrition (after all, I'm eating nothing but fruits and vegetables this week). I plan on drinking #Shakeology every day again, once I'm finished, so I will continue to get my body used to it again.



Curried cauliflower was good, although I would have liked more flavor. I kept expecting it, too. The lemon-pepper kale, on the other hand, had a strong flavor provided by the lemon. I have no idea why 'pepper' is included in the title, because there is no pepper used.


Curried cauliflower & Lemon-pepper kale

Day 20, Saturday


The lunch I had planned ended up needing to marinate for an hour: jicama-avocado salad, so I swapped it with tomorrows lunch, Carrot-Seaweed Medley and microgreen salad. At least it's prepped for tomorrow!

I'm still having pain in my middle. I'm going to have an Epsom salts bath to see if I can find some relief. I had mint tea last night, but that didn't help relieve any of the discomfort.


Carrot-Seaweed Medley & Microgreen salad


Tonight's dinner involved quite a bit of prep work, as there are 3 dishes to prepare. Mediterranean beets bake for 45 minutes, then cool for 30, while baked tempeh bakes for about 25 minutes, and has an hour soak time. These dishes also cook at different temperatures. Coconut collard greens is the third dish. It was a good dinner, however long it took me to make!

I'm ready to be done after tomorrow, although, I'm still going to be having the same meals for the following couple of weeks. On Monday, I'll be finishing up my blogging on the #BeachbodyUltimateReset talking about my last day!


Mediterranean roasted beets, Baked tempeh, & Coconut collard green

Monday, May 26, 2014

Guest Blogger, Jen Bottom from Behind the Refrigerator Door

Ultimate Reset- YOUR questions, MY answers

The Beachbody Ultimate Reset is a program where you RESET your body to do things it was naturally intended to do. 
With our environment and the foods we eat we take on "baggage" that disallows our body to function at it's full capabilities. 

Anything in italics is from the Beachbody Ultimate Reset Program & Nutrition Guide. 
If it is not italics, it is my answer.
Beachbody Ultimate Reset. To learn more click here.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. I am 41 years old. I was a teacher for 15 years. I am a wife and a mother of two teenagers. I spent an entire decade (my thirties) over 40 lbs overweight. I am now passionate about health and fitness and teaching my family and friends all about what has worked for me!

What made you decide to do the Beachbody Ultimate Reset?
We recently moved back from spending two years in Beijing, China. After living there I knew I needed to detox with the horrible pollution. The strict meal plan intrigued me about this cleanse. I was not interested in a juice cleanse or anything too dramatic. I liked that it is all natural and healthy eating. I decided this summer would be my "Super Scary Summer Plan" and the UR would be Phase I. Pushing myself to do hard things is something I recently have enjoyed doing. 

Did you feel tired? Yes, I felt extremely tired. I have always required a lot of sleep and this just validated that.

Was it emotional? Not any more emotional than I already I am. I am pretty "needy" during the week before my period (which was around day 13-15 on the Reset). My kids might say I was grumpier. I think that was mostly from not exercising.

Did you miss working out? YES! Exercise, for me, is like a daily "Reset" and when I don't do it, my day feels off and I feel as if my hormones and chemicals are all out of whack. For the first couple of days I did walk and do yoga. After that, I really didn't. I really just felt lazy.

Did you lose weight? Yep! I did! Although I really was not doing this for the weight loss, it definitely was in the back of my mind the entire time. I thought I would've lost more weight than I did.

What did you hate about the Ultimate Reset? At first, I HATED the miso soup. Then I learned how to make it better (blending up the seaweed). At first, I HATED the Detox supplement. You drink it three times a day, beginning in phase II. It is brown with lots of floaties in it. But, I quickly got used to it and just downed it. The "green sludge" a.k.a. Alkalinize supplement I drank daily for all 21 days. It is green and just tastes like spinach. That wasn't as bad tasting for me. All in all, the supplements really grow on you and prove that we can do things that are hard if we are just persistent at it.
I learned I would DO A LOT for my health!

What was the hardest part of the Reset? If it was any longer I would say not eating what others around me were eating. For example, I went to a graduation party where there was just a little bit of fruit and no vegetables. There was yummy meat dishes, lots of creamy pasta salads and desserts.  I had eaten my Reset lunch before we went, and intended to eat my Reset dinner when we got home. We ended up staying at the party longer than I thought and I was pretty resentful about the yummy food that was being eaten around me. Then I got home and my dinner was going to take 45 minutes to prepare. So I just had a salad. Situations like this were doable because I was focused for 21 days. Like I said, I don't think I could've done that for even 30 days and been as successful.

Did you learn any tips or tricks to make the Reset easier? PREPARE- Shop ahead of time to insure you have ALL ingredients. Read the next days menu the day before and plan out your prepping. 
SHARE- Tell people what you are doing, especially family members. Most dinners I cooked for my family too and just added some more protein to theirs. They really liked the recipes A LOT and it helped me to have their support. I didn't want to feel like I was alone on a desert island. Also, knowing that I was making my nightly Facebook and Instagram posts helped me to be accountable.
WEAR- the bracelet! When I saw the bracelet I thought it was dorky, but I came to rely on it as times got hard. Now I wear it with pride!
SUPPORT- Find and join an Ultimate Reset support group! I can help you find one. This is something you will want to do with others. Your family will not quite understand everything you are going through. I am a "words of affirmation" gal and didn't feel like I was getting that from my hubby, but my fellow Reseters were meeting that need for me!

What did you love about the Ultimate Reset? I loved so many things about this process. First, I love that it is only 21 days! It is the perfect amount of time- not too short that it's easy, but not too long that you are nutso by the end. 
I loved pushing myself and challenging myself. Each time I had house guests, went out to a restaurant, went to parties or packed my food and supplements to go I felt a huge boost of confidence and empowerment. 
I loved have a pre-planned menu and shopping list. I loved having ALL the ingredients for every single recipe at hand. I loved learning new healthy foods and learning how to cook.
I loved being on a food schedule, with supplements thirty minutes before eating. With the supplements I would drink a full glass of water thirty minutes before eating and I would find that I would not be as hungry when it was time to eat.
I loved being in a support group, with others doing the same exact thing. Each day we would post and comment to each other our struggles, emotions, etc. It was really bonding and strong doing it together!

What did you learn from the Ultimate Reset? I learned SO MANY things from the Reset, I could go on and on. Mostly I learned that I eat usually eat for taste, instead of for health. The amounts I would eat prior to the Reset and what I would choose was ALWAYS based on emotion, rather than smart decisions. I have always wondered what it would be like to be one of those people who just "eat to live". Being on the Reset made me feel that way. I ate what my body needed, no more. I ate the BEST choices for my body, not my taste buds...You know what? IT FELT GREAT! Taking the emotion out of eating was so refreshing and I could really focus my emotions on SO MANY other things that deserved them more. For other things I learned click here

I used to think my body NEEDED sugar, especially on certain days out of the month. I learned that was just my head rationalizing my wants. 

Did you go up in weight when you started eating again? I ended the Ultimate Reset four days ago and have maintained my weight loss so far. I definitely did NOT go back to the way I used to eat. I will now eat far less meat and sugar.

Why is Shakeology not allowed on the Ultimate Reset, if it is supposed to be the "healthiest meal of the day"? We encourage you to follow the Beachbody Ultimate Reset meal plan exactly as written. You can, however, drink vegan Shakeology as a healthy, delicious breakfast alternative (phases 1 and 2) or snack option (in all three phases). Because phase 3 calls for less protein, we recommend using only a half serving of vegan Shakeology as a breakfast alternative during phase 3. I didn't get my "rear in gear" soon enough to switch my Shakeology order to vegan in time, so I went without it. I really, really regret that because Chocolate Vegan would've been a fabulous treat to have! Next time...for sure!

Why are you not supposed to workout? It is best not to do any strenuous exercise during the next 3 weeks. When you think about it The Reset is already giving your body a serious internal workout. It's important to allow your nervous system to remain in a relaxed state, and to refrain from asking your body to repair muscle tissue at the same time it's cleaning and releasing toxins. But even though you aren't doing any resistance training, you won't lose muscle or lean body mass during the Reset. Plus you'll soon reap the rewards of an internal system that works more efficiently, and a muscular system that's been allowed to rest, recuperate and recharge. 
As I said before, not working out was a challenge for me. However, I did feel achy at time, which justified that it was actually detoxing from my body. This is completely normal and expected.

Would you ever do it again? For sure! Ideally, I would LOVE to do it twice a year. Jan 1st and again in the fall. Two of the people in my support group had done it before and were mentioning that it is easier, mentally, doing it the second time and that you get different things out of it. That was interesting to me. I look forward to doing it again!

What are your favorite recipes? I posted many of my favorite RESET recipes here on the page. Please look under the label "recipes" to find them. Some of my favorites were the salad dressings, Roasted Roots, Roasted beets, Hearty-Vegetable Miso Soup. Jicama-Avocado salad, Coconut kale...there are really so many! I DID NOT like the cucumber-avocado soup.
Here are things that will now be a STAPLE in my house: toasted pumpkin seeds, homemade salad dressings, tempeh, beets, Bragg liquid aminos, rice vinegar, toasted sesame seed oil.

Advice for those considering the Ultimate Reset? Get your Vegan Shakeology ordered in time! Also, you can do this! If I can do it, anyone can. I am someone who used to consider myself a "quitter". With that being said, you will want to do it at a time when you can fully commit to it. There WILL NOT be constant trips to the bathroom, BUT you will be spending more time prepping your foods and your body will need rest. So consider WHEN you will do it. Set yourself up for success by working with a coach who has done the Ultimate Reset. The more support, the better.
Any more questions? Comment below and I will answer them for you! If you are interested in doing the Ultimate Reset, please contact me at or drake bottom.
I would LOVE to help you through this amazing process!