Getting In Shape {Recap 1 – Exercise Schedule}


Last month I posted about my recent journey of getting in shape and dropping the pounds I gained since my small intestine started to heal after being diagnosed in 2008. Did you know that depending on the amount of damage in your small intestine it could take anywhere from several months to up to three years to heal completely? Neither did I until I was reading articles for my research on project about celiac disease vs. wheat allergy. You learn a whole lot of thinks when reading research articles I tell ya.

For my anatomy and physiology class I had to write an article review so I decided to pick an article on fibromyalgia because I suffer from that as well. The article was all about a research done in Romania that lasted for 12 weeks and examined physical training and the effects it had on patients with fibromyalgia. During the 12 week study each patient had to perform the following physical activities: flexibility exercises, postural hygiene and balance exercises, pain aerobic exercises, and pilates. It wasn’t much of a surprise that when asked which of the four types of exercise they preferred, 74% of them said the flexibility exercises and two-thirds of the patients that completed the program said they continued the exercises at home after the 12-week period was over.

I have heard information like this in the past. One of the hardest things with fibromyalgia is that exercise helps, but having the pain can prevent someone who suffers from fibromyalgia to even begin to work out. From my personal experiences since going gluten-free my symptoms of fibromyalgia have reduced dramatically. I have much fewer days where I cannot get out of bed or function really.

So with this information in mind I was really trying to seek out a “work out program” that would suit my needs but also keep me interested at the same time. I get bored with this stuff rather easily and having the excuse of fibromyalgia on my side makes it all to easy for me to try something for a few days and give up. But this time around I am determined to shed these unwanted pounds.

I can’t afford a gym or to take classes anywhere so I needed to find something I could do at home. I was using some videos I found on my OnDemand, but I would start them and then they would be gone a day or two later. Talk about discouraging. When living in Monterey I went to a few Zumba classes both basic and aquatic and loved them. It’s a dance party that just happens to be a work out as well. If you didn’t know already I was a dancer growing up and I miss it dearly. So I tried to find some Zumba videos online but there wasn’t many that I found that I liked (mostly of the class and not of the instructor so I couldn’t tell what I was SUPPOSED to be doing).

I finally broke down and bought the Zumba Exhilarate box set. It comes with 5 DVD’s, an instruction booklet, and toning sticks. I’m pretty much in love with it. I do it at home, in my living room, without a bunch of people watching…just Penny, I go at my own pace, and I can fit it into my schedule.

After a few weeks of doing the Activate video I decided that I wanted to come up with a workout schedule so I (with the help of Bryan) put one together. Feel free to use this for yourself as well, when you get to the point of completing the Step-by-Step and Activate videos. The schedule below is a 2 month schedule so when the two months are up I will post my new measurements and anthropometric’s. Also on the schedule you will notice that it is five days of Zumba videos (Activate, Ripped, and Exhilarate) in addition to a day of yoga/stretching and one day of rest. For the yoga I follow the video that Bryan uses for his Tapout XT workout called Yoga XT. I’m not going to lie it will take me a while to get through the Exhilarate and Yoga XT videos completely, but I am determined. The yoga is a bit rough on my shoulders because back in 1998 I tore my left rotator cuff and had surgery on it, but no physical therapy so my upper body strength isn’t so great at the moment, but again I’m working on it and I’m rather determined.

I don’t own anything Zumba related…yet. When I can afford to purchase something this will probably be first on my list: 1-a0p00107-gdormostly because 30% of sales price from The Great Calorie Drive™ Zumba® merchandise sold are donated to World Food Programme and Feeding America. I love companies that donate and support charities that I support.

Who knows maybe someday I’ll do one of the Zumba training programs to become an instructor…


I am looking for a protein shake/meal replacer that is gluten-free and is affordable. I have heard many great things about Shakeology but I just can’t afford the $130 a month for it. So if anyone has suggestions PLEASE let me know! Thanks so much.


Active Accessories {Review}


A little more than a month ago I received some samples from Active Accessories to review. Active Accessories was started by Karen (whom I met through EatSmart Products) and her sister Jenna. I received the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch and two On-The-Go Hair Bands.

Earlier this weekend I posted about trying to lose weight, get in shape, eating healthier, just feeling better over all. In that post I mentioned that I can afford a gym of any sort so I have been working out at home. Once the weather clears up I hope to try some outside activities to help in my journey. So for now the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch has become my new wallet! I know that is not its intent but it works so perfectly. I can hold all of my important information, my Red Apple Balm and Lipstick, my iPhone, and in the center is a little strap that also holds my On-The-Go Hair Bands perfectly! This pouch is amazing…if my phone isn’t in it, I can just throw in my iPod instead. Also the little strap in the middle is great for holding your key chain.


Here are the features of the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch:

  1. Ripstop Nylon Exterior – Water resistant, light weight (2.2 ounces) and very durable
  2. Polyester Interior – Strong yet soft fiber to cushion valuables
  3. “Perfect” Size – Large enough to hold your smart phone, but small enough for your earrings
  4. Snap Button Holder – Inside button allows you to clip in rings or hoop earrings
  5. Ripstop Nylon Handle with Hook – Use the pouch as a clutch or clip it onto any bag

The On-The-Go Hair Bands are AMAZING!! I have thick curly hair and is just a mess most of the time. I don’t spend much time getting ready or pampering myself so the curls are just there hanging out. Most of the time my hair is pulled back and I am always needed to adjust it and re-tie it back. Maybe it is just me and my hair but when I do take it down, I have those weird bumps in my hair, which I can’t stand.


The hardest part for me and my hair is trying to keep it secure under my chefs hat…no one wants hair in their food, no one! But these bands are so good! My hair stays in place so well it is unbelievable. I just put it in a bun on the top of my head, wrap a band around it twice and I am good to go. Oh, and no weird bumps (at least for me!). I need to stock up on these little beauties. They come in so many fun colors. These have also been great since I started working out. No more stopping to adjust my hair in the middle of a work out!


Wondering where to buy these great products? Visit their online store here!! Also sign up for their monthly news letter and keep an eye out for specials and sales!

Want to stay connected to Active Accessories? Be sure to check them out on the following social networks:






Disclosure: I received On-The-Go Accessory Pouch and the On-The-Go Hair Bands in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own.

I’m On A Mission


(I can touch my toes!! )                         (pigeon pose – well part of it)

I am on a mission…to loose weight and be healthier! Since being diagnosed with celiac disease almost five years and my intestines slowly healing I have put on about 35 pounds. I’m saying around because I am not one to weigh myself much but I know about what I used to weigh when I was constantly getting sick and what I weigh now. This is not an easy post for me to write because lets face it I am overweight, borderline obese – something I never thought I would say, ever.

My family has a history of being overweight and we all carry it as visceral fat. There is also a history of diabetes (both my grandfathers), heart disease (both my grandfathers), Alzheimer, diverticulitis, crohns disease, IBS, and more. In addition to the weight gain from my celiac disease, my family history, I also have: chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. So I have all that stacked up against me but I am determined to not let that get the best of me, my body, and my health.

Here are my current photos and anthropometrics:

photo 4

photo 3

photo 5

BMI: 29.3 = overweight (borderline obese)

IBW: 95     IBW Range: 85.5-104.5     AIBW: 106

Bust: 41 (I hope I lose weight here as well, I never have but I hope I do!)

Chest: 33.5

Waist: 33

Hips: 40

Calves: 15

Thigh: 23

Arms: 11 3/4

BEE Harris Benedict x Activity Factor: 1626 kcal

Protein Needs 9 oz

Fluid Needs: 7 cups

Bryan has been doing the Tapout workout – and that is WAY out of my league!! So I have been trying to find something that was more my speed and I think I have figured out that the work outs that incorporate dance to them are for me. I get bored with just doing squats and what not, but when there is dance involved, I’m all for it. Probably because I am working out but I don’t feel like I am working out. I can’t afford a gym or and type of class so I have resorted to finding videos online, TV, etc. We have Netflix but sadly they removed all of their workout instant play videos so I found some on our OnDemand through our cable company. I found these two videos that at first made me laugh but I tell you what – I felt it afterwards!! I started out with Beautiful Belly with Hemalayaa and then finished with Hemalayaa: Bollywood Booty. I’m sad to say though after doing them for two days they are now no longer available! So today I found an online Zumba “class” which was fun but it focused on the class and not what the instructor was doing so I hope I did it right! I am back to square one with finding a video that I like and have to remember that if it is OnDemand, it won’t be there for very long.

I have also started doing a little bit of yoga. Like I said I can not afford any classes so with the help of Bryan’s sister Leigha (who has been posting some kick but yoga photos on her instagram!) and the lovely folks over at Aurorae Yoga who sent me a link to some online yoga videos, I have been trying out some different poses. Starting with the basics of course and as I can I will slowly move up to some more advanced poses. I have to say my favorite one so far is the pigeon pose! I also entered a contest on Aurorae’s Pinterest page to win some of their awesome goodies. Seeing as I am just starting out, I could really use this! So if you wouldn’t mind heading over to their contest page and give my photo  (pink tank, grey pants, green mat) a like and repin I would truly appreciate it. “Voting” ends on March 8th! The person with the most likes and repins wins an Aurorae Yoga package including: Aurorae “The Ultimate” Racerback Tank Top, Aurorae “The Ultimate” Long or Cropped Yoga Pant, Northern Lights Yoga Mat & Sling Yoga/All-Purpose Backpack!!

We are also changing the way we eat…more whole grains, legumes, vegetables, leaner proteins, less processed foods, red meat, and sugary items. We do not eat out much to begin with but we are cutting back even more and making our favorite dishes at home instead.

I am putting all of this out there as a way to keep my accountable. I really want this and need this. I want this for myself and my health, but I am also studying Culinary Nutrition and hope to be a registered dietitian after school, and let’s be honest, who in their right mind would take nutrition advice from someone who is overweight or obese? That’s right, no one would!

So let the journey begin! Keep checking back for updates.

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