19 January 2016

Push-Up Strong With Go Sport-It

*This is a sponsored advertisement post.  I received a product in exchange for an honest review.  Additionally, I am not in any way affiliated with the product I am about to review.  All opinions are my own based on my personal experience.

A home gym is really unique in that you can customize it any way you want.  Some people do it all at once, which is really awesome if you have the funds.  Some do it little by little, which is our case. And I have to choose wisely when adding new equipment.  In the past, I have added some pretty pointless pieces, which add to the clutter we already have here.

For the sake of my husband’s sanity, much thought is given to what I decide to purchase.  I know I need different ways to stir up my workout routine.  I can’t afford to clutter up the house at the same time.  So anything with multiple uses is automatically something I’m going to be eyeballing.  I’m all about getting the best well-rounded workouts possible from the comfort of my home.  

Here is what I accepted in exchange for an honest review of my experience.  I didn't have push-up bars and I've been wanting some so I thought  this would be perfect.  I received my push-up bars from Amazon in a timely manner, as always.  I opened it up right away and was super happy about one thing: I didn’t need to break out ANY tools.  This raised the likable factor.  It took all of 2 minutes tops, before I had it put together and ready for push-ups. 
In. Love.

Before I got these, I had been using a pull-up/chin-up bar that I would put down on the floor and use it for push-ups.  It was limited in use, because I couldn’t really customize my push-ups.  When I saw these push-up bars from Go Sport It, I jumped on the offer to review them, because I knew it would solve this problem for me. 

After using them for a week, I’m pretty stoked about grabbing them when I did.  Unlike the other bar I was using, I can change the width of my arms to do tricep push-ups or wide push-ups.  I can go lower without the risk of hitting my chest on a bar.  And I can use it for more than just push-ups.  I now use these to do planks, crunches with my exercise ball, and tricep dips.  I was given a bonus workout program that I have yet to check out too, so that is in the works.

At the end of this trial period, I’m happy to say that the push-up bars were worth adding to my home gym.  I’ll admit, I’m still pretty excited that I have these.  Push-ups are not my strong point and it’s something I need to keep working at constantly.  Because when you need to get stronger or more efficient at something, you find the right tools and get to work.

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17 January 2016

Be A Little Selfish - Love Yourself Challenge

"Happiness means loving yourself and being less concerned with the approval of others." ~Owen Campbell Jr.

Everyone could use a little more love in their lives. SELF-love, that is.  By that, I mean taking care of your star player, as Katt Williams would say. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in life, with our families, with other people, that we forget about ourselves and what makes us feel good.   Then there are times where we want to make a change, but we want to do it a certain way.  To be perfect, flawless.

There’s this whole downward spiral that happens when we aren’t happy and loving ourselves from the inside.  Sometimes the company, we keep is not a positive group.  Maybe we developed a habit of talking negatively about ourselves.  Or there are other unhealthy habits that we can't seem to break.   Being good to yourself is important, especially if you are always so giving with your time, effort, energy - you name it.  There has to be a balance.

You need to fill your cup so that you may continue to fill others.  Be a little selfish.  
Take a bubble bath.  
Snap a selfie because you nailed the winged eyeliner look (on both sides).  
Take the longer route so you can jam to a favorite guilty-pleasure song. (insert any of Justin Beiber's newer songs here)  
Splurge on those super cute leggings.  
Shave your bikini line - even while it's still winter.   (no she didn't!)  Oh yes.  I did.
Get your hair done, not just a trim. 

You deserve to feel good about yourself, however you can make it happen.  You are worth the time and effort.  So STOP putting yourself on the back burner, and find a balance to avoid it.

I’m trying something new.  New is my jam lately.  "New" is like a mantra for me to keep things alive and fresh and exciting in my world.  I decided to host a themed group on loving yourself again.  After some thought, I realized that I could stand to love and appreciate myself a little more. If you’ve been following me for a while, you already know that I am a busy stay-at-home mom of 3 here.  They keep me so so busy.  I have a husband who keeps late hours at work and sometimes travels.  And I have my own business, and this blog.  "So when the hell do I find time to do me?"  

That’s a question I used to ask myself.  The answer today is that I schedule in my time.  It is non-negotiable. For instance, one thing I did the other day was put on a little make-up.  I spent 5 minutes, slapped some eyeliner on and my foundation.  You know, I wasn't perfectly put together but I felt good about myself afterwards.  That one little thing that I did for myself was just enough.

(Nothing special here, just feeling myself at the moment)

Imagine if we put a little bit of effort in every day.  What would that be like?  Starting in February, I am hosting a "Love Yourself Challenge."  (Don’t forget, it’s a leap year!)  Ladies, I’m looking for you!  Anyone willing to set aside time to work on loving themselves, inside and out should be in doing this with me.  A group of cool internet stranger friends all bonding over "self-love" quotes and daily photo challenges?  Sure, why not.?!

I will create a group on Facebook and we will share our entire month-long journey in there.  I have some fun little daily challenges too, as we follow along with a template.  It’s meant to be fun and a way to keep each other going strong in 2016.  Hopefully everyone forms some sweet new friendships for 2016 too!  Fill out the form below and we can get started!

Fall in love with yourself again!  If you said yes or were nodding your head to any or all of the things I mentioned, then you need to get a little selfish.  I am encouraging it!

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08 January 2016

In Winter, We Don't Slow Down

It's winter. Most of the day, I stay bundled up in layers. When I go work out, most of the time it’s in a cold ass garage every day.  I like to think I'm shivering my way to gains. All choices I made to reach my goals tomorrow.  Nobody said it would be a breeze to get to where I want to be.  Those who have come before me have all paved their own way, fought their own battles.  Currently, mine mostly involves the freezing cold garage.  Oh, and this disgusting cough.

Winter Fluff to Summer Buff - Facebook Group
Right now might seem like the time to chill out, take some time off, "bulk up" on those comfort foods…it all sounds good and like the right thing to do.  Wrong!  Get out of that mindset if you have fitness goals! What ends up happening is you get comfortable, you lose momentum, and your excuses become welcoming options. DO NOT quit a month, a week, a day too soon. It will be worth it, even if it completely sucks right now. 

Let me just say this - goals can be broken down!  It’s best to make smaller goals out of the bigger ones.  Instead of saying “I want to be fit by summertime” be more specific.  “I want to lose X pounds each month” is more realistic.  And that makes a goal for you, in 30 days rather than 6 months or so.  You can build a plan and focus on that for a month, to reach your goal of losing X pounds that month, and do it again the following month.  

Make your goals bite-size and they won’t seem like mountains you’ll never be able to climb.  Oh yeah, and have a positive attitude. 

I paired up with my partner in crime to help push each other and not let each other quit. She started a crazy total-body cardio program, and I'm over here with Hammer & Chisel. They are challenging us, both physically and mentally, and we really NEED the accountability to get us through. A few handfuls of ladies joined us in our Facebook group, because it's 10x better with other people. There's a spot for you, too! Let's build up the momentum and get you through the rest of this winter.

Here’s how:  Send me a friend request on Facebook (danarae.williamson) and shoot me a message either in Facebook messenger or my email address (deedoesitall@gmail.com) stating you want to join.  Easy! 

*No quitting. No regrets.*
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21 December 2015

Santa's Sack Gift Exchange - The Opening!

Hey hey, it's me guys! Four days until Christmas and I am scrambling a bit.  Anyone else finishing up some last-minute shopping?  So not the usual for me, but it happens.  Big D has been spending more time at home, so it's just been kinda crazy.  Crazy but good.  Good but I don't know how to manage my time when I get fortunate enough to have him here.  Seriously, this is normally a one-clown rodeo around here and I have somewhat of a routine down.  When I get to have him around, my to-do list goes out the window along with routine.  Imagine that.

I recently had a holiday event to shoot over the weekend. In my downtime, I got this one snapped of me, before the rush.
I don’t know if you remember the gift exchange I had mentioned, but it has come to a close.  Not sure if everyone has received they're gifts yet, but I got mine and I'm too excited!

I did say that I would blog about what I got and I probably will as a recap. What I really want to do is open my box live! On Periscope!

How much fun would that be? Do you know what Periscope is? It's a new social media platform that has completely blown up in just 7 months or so since it was launched. That is incredible, right? I started an account but I haven't been real consistent with doing it - something I'm striving to get better with. I think it would be totally awesome if you followed me.  It's linked to Twitter, so you'll need a Twitter account. My handle is @dconstructs if you aren't following me yet. I haven't exactly decided on a time yet, but that's the cool thing about Periscope - you will receive a notification whenever I go live!  Can't wait!

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27 November 2015

Santa's Sack Gift Exchange

Fa-la-la-la-laaaa!!!  I have been patiently waiting to start up with all the holiday cheer.  I would have been put in time out if I jumped right into unpacking the Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving was over.  I'm going all out over here now though!

I decided to do something totally new.  Something I have never organized or hosted myself.  I love the concept of a gift exchange.  I remember doing one last year with my family.  We all live far away from each other so we opened our exchanged gifts while FaceTime-ing.  Technology...don't you love it?  This time, I thought it might be fun to do another gift exchange.  You might already know how much I love to send snail mail (receiving is nice too).  I've seen other bloggers do it, but I'm usually late to the party.

After talking to my blogging friend/penpal, I decided "Yep!  It will be so much fun to do." Let's see if I can get this thing rolling, shall we????  The ones I've done with my family were SO much fun so I am so positive it would be awesome with friends.

I created a gift exchange using the site Elfster (first timer here!) which seems to make it super simple to pull off.  This is open to anyone!  If you would like to participate, maybe invite a friend, that's totally cool!  The more the merrier!  (Only members can view the information)  Head on over to the link I shared below.

December 1st is the last day to join.  I will be "drawing names" from the list, that day.  Everyone should send out their gifts no later than the 20th.  And if you're a blogger, it would be fun to post about what you were gifted!

Let's spread some extra Holiday cheer this year!!!

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23 September 2015

Healthy Banana Coconut Bread

Of course I was winging it in the kitchen when I created this aaaaah-mazing bread. The original recipe was lost in the midst of a tornado that I call "3 little ones." I have been meaning to type it up, so one day I took it out of my recipe binder and added it to my To Do binder. Then I procrastinated. Then......it disappeared. And my bananas were there, lonely and waiting to be used. So ready to go.

Ever since I started decluttering the house earlier this year, getting rid of a TON of baking supplies, I've been clinging to my two bread loaf pans. And, baking season IS upon us! I vowed to bake a healthier version of banana bread. So like, healthy on a Level 3. The first one from the recipe was with vegetable oil. They gave an alternative recipe using apple sauce and a little less vegetable oil. I adapted it even further, and replaced the vegetable oil with coconut oil. Winning!

Wait, that would mean THIS recipe is actually healthy on a Level 4. Because it's even MORE adapted. I'm so cool I can't even handle myself. And my math skills pretty much stink.  Moving on!

Here is the recipe for you:
3 super ripe bananas
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C coconut flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
Pinch of salt (I used kosher)
1 t vanilla extract
1 t coconut extract
1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C water
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C shredded coconut, unsweetened

Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Grease bread pan with coconut oil spray, or coconut oil. Mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt in medium bowl. In a second bowl, combine brown sugar, extracts, apple sauce, and water. Mix in eggs until just combined. Fold in mashed bananas, then shredded coconut.

Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients mixing until combined, about a 1/2 cup at a time. Lastly, add the coconut oil while mixing. Put in the oven for 50-60 min. Check center for doneness.

When done, place bread pan on a cooling rack for 5 min. Then turn it to one side and firmly tap to loosen. You can also use a rubber spatula to gently run along the inside between the bread and the pan. Repeat on opposite side. This loosens up the bread so that you can take it out of the pan to cool it. Very important so it doesn't continue to bake in the pan.

Note: This will not be nearly as sweet as original banana bread. There is a significant decrease in the amount of sugar I used for this recipe. I was aiming for a healthier version on a Level 4, remember? So if it is not to your liking, feel free to tweak the amount of sugar you add, or maybe even try a different type of sugar!

-use the apple sauce that comes in cups! They are 4 oz, which is....drum roll...1/2 a cup!
-coconut flour is VERY absorbent. This recipe called for either more liquid or more eggs. I will one day attempt a full coconut flour banana bread version, but for today I tried both adding liquids and more eggs compares to its adapted version. (Level 3)
-breakdown for coconut to flour ratio is 1/2 C coconut flour to 3/4 other flour (gluten-free or white/wheat) OR you can use 4 eggs per 1 C of coconut flour

If you do tweak this recipe, make sure you come back and let me know what you did and how amazing it turned out. I'd love to hear all about it!

01 September 2015

90-Day Weight-Training Transformation

My dream came true when I ordered "Body Beast."  Look how excited I was!  I had been wanting guidance on lifting weights.  Like someone to be there with me, teach me lifting techniques, movements, etc.  I could write down daily workout plans from Bodybuilding.com all day long.  Doesn't mean I'll do it correctly at the gym, or include every move for that specific day.  Have you ever had to pull up a how-to video at the gym in the middle of your workout?! Such a hassle.  Not to mention it's slow.  And given that I was allotted 2 hours to work out, that's not much time if you're doing all of that and trying to actually put in the work.

Body Beast Transformation
Ever since I started lifting weights, I have had an affinity for them.  Yes, I do like other lines of fitness, and I will try new things.  But lifting is where my heart has always been.  I'm a weights kind of girl.  I enjoy the intensity, the sweat, the pain.  I dig it.

To backtrack a little, I did not want to become a Beachbody coach, because I honestly thought it was all about easy at-home workouts where you jump around and do sit-ups.  As in, not challenging enough for me.  I am really glad that I signed up though, because I was completely off track with that train of thought.  There is literally something for everyone; even I found something to suit my interests.

The program itself is 90 days.  That's right, 90 days of hard work.  But, wouldn't I have spent 90 days doing something anyway?  If you think about it, those 90 days are going to pass regardless of what you do.  And this was how I chose to spend 3 months of my life.  I was determined. 

Body Beast Transformation
There's a lot of info in these challenge packs, so I won't get into it all.  Of course you'll take your measurements and write them down for later.  Then you'll definitely want to go over the eating plan/guide to see what you should eat and how much.  If you buy supplements to go along with your shakes, then you should check out the info on those as well to ensure you're taking them properly.  These will only benefit you and  help with your gains/progress.  And there's an app for your phone if you want to take it to the gym.

There was so much I learned about lifting when I got started, and it was amazing.  I loved that I could get a killer workout at home.  Nothing or nobody to be intimidated by.  My personal trainer spoke to me through the TV.  (Haha kind of a weird concept but I love it)  I had my weights.  My preworkout.  My shakes afterwards.  And eating was simple.

Body Beast Transformation

Ninety whole days is a LONG time to commit to something.  I'll admit that.  Before this program, I completed a 60-day and a 21-day so this was a new challenge for me.  It is hard to set aside 3 months and say that you aren't doing a damn thing but stay home, meal prep, eat right, and work out.  That is exactly what did not happen for me. 

Plenty of obstacles got in my way, but I saw them as opportunities to see how badly I wanted to reach my goals.  If I quit, then I wasn't that serious.  I don't like to waste time thinking pessimistically.  I jump right to the "how do we navigate this?" mindset.  I'm simply someone whose mind wouldn't be settled until I arrived at a solution for whatever keeps me up at night.  I over-analyze these things to death.

Let's see, there were a few weekend trips out of town.  Those were a wash.  But then summer happened.  

Another fairly-sized obstacle was unavoidable: a visit to see my family in Ohio for over a month had already been set in stone by the time I began this program.  Once I realized that I couldn't bring my weights with me, I resolved to find a decent gym. Mission accomplished.  I actually wished I could take the gym and its people with me.  There was also a big combination of parties, BBQs, and dining out that occurred during my time there.  I tried my best to choose wisely, while sticking to the 80/20 rule. 

And of course I had to work around my kids' schedules as well as my family's schedule.  I had an agreement where I'd leave before the kids woke up and nobody would be burdened. Five o'clock in the morning it was!  Adapt and overcome.  It was actually a pretty decent schedule.  I was up before anyone else, it was nice and quiet when I slipped out of the house, and the gym was a peaceful place to be.

Body Beast Transformation
Must work on Before & After photos
The point with mentioning all of my biggest obstacles is to show you that they will happen.  During any part of your fitness journey you should expect them.  Wrap your mind around this idea, so you aren't surprised, and then find a way to get around, over, or through.  Never give up.

"Nothing worth having comes easy."

My end results weren't what I planned on, but I believe I still came out on top.  I feel great about my body, and it was amazing to be back with weights again.  I didn't go into this program thinking I'd come out beastly and huge, nor did I imagine I'd be bikini competition-ready.  I wanted to test this program out, see what I could do with it, how far I could go.  There will most definitely be a second round of this in my future, with the entire stack of supplements from the performance line that Beachbody offers now.  Thank goodness there won't be any guess work for me there!

Body Beast Transformation

Bottom line: It's just me against me, trying to be better than I was the day before.  So long as I am showing up every day and putting in the work, I'm making progress.  And all is right in the world.

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