I’m in love!


How can something so simple…and yes, so low in calories and so full of goodness…be so yummy??  I have fallen in love with the wonderful lunch from My Fit Foods.  One that I had just a couple of days was called the Mediterranean Shrimp Salad.  You can see the picture of my lovely salad here and you can see why I was loving my lunch time!  The salad has the wonderful elements of fresh greens, shrimp, cucumbers, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, feta cheese and I had chosen the Asian citrus vinegarette dressing.  So delicious and satisfying!   I have truly been inspired to look for seasoning and variety in my meals – and have been reminded that living a more fit life doesn’t need to be boring and drab-tasting.  So glad to find that hope in my journey!

And ladies.. My Fit Foods is doing something amazing for you and your friends in September!   Grab a friend and complete a 21 day challenge and you both will receive a $50 gift card. Get another friend or two involved and you each get a $75 gift card!  Great to do the journey with friends…and be able to support and encourage each other!

Another great bonus from My Fit Foods is Pay Fit Forward Fridays – every Friday in September – bring a friend into My Fit Foods, buy a meal for yourself and your friend gets a free meal.  And yes, you can get one of those yummy shrimp salads for yourself…and a friend.   Just leave one for me!
Check out all the September goodness at My Fit Foods here !


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Celebrating Day 10 of the My Fit Foods 21 Day Challenge!
Actually, ladies, it should be Day 16 of my challenge…but had to roll with a few days off during a very long drive to Notre Dame and escorting my son to college! And how, do you manage a gap in such a challenge, you ask? Well, David, my Nutrition Coach, was awesome to provide a day’s worth of meals and snacks that I could easily pack in a cooler. Boy, did that come in handy when my son wanted to stop at the Whataburger in Arkansas for one last Whataburger meal before heading out of the south! So, yes, it is possible to continue the challenge…even in the middle of a restaurant with yummy burgers and fries. I loved having my chicken salad – spinach wrap with fruit! So delicious and filling and nope, I didn’t even feel deprived. And I did pretty well avoiding all those cookies, chips and desserts during our trip!
Here’s to courage in the midst of the challenges you are facing…I’m just glad this challenge is a delicious one!

Share your challenge with us!  We’d love to hear about what you are working on or what you have courageously overcome!


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50 is fabulous!

2015-08-23 18.01.39Yes, today is that magical day in my life when I celebrate my birthday…not just any birthday, mind you, but the celebration of my 50th birthday!  Now doesn’t that sound mature? So happy birthday to me!  If you were here, I’d give you a piece of cheesecake…what my family traditionally shares with me on my birthday each year.  Even though I have been avoiding those sugar-laden treats, I figure that this monumental birthday deserves cheesecake.

There have been little reminders of late that I was approaching the half-century mark despite the 25-year-old feeling in my heart and mind.  My knees make an occasional, unique crunching noise and my back had an ache this morning when I woke up.  I like to think my body is just reminding me how it needs attention and care.  I have been more devoted to physical exercise lately and I do think I am benefiting in many ways!  I find that I have more spunk when I tackle stairs and I get up off that couch with much more determination.  Still it is hard work, isn’t it ladies?

Our bodies work hard for us and they are still prey to all the hits from the physical and psychological demands of our everyday lives.  Just two days ago, I drove away from the University of Notre Dame where I had just left my 18-year-old son to begin his freshman year of college.  My heart ached…my body ached…it was like a total union of ache and sadness mixed with excitement for him as he began a great adventure!  I had held it together (kind of!) when he hugged me tight, cried and admitted he was scared because everything he knew and loved was going to be over a 1,000 miles away.  My husband and I reassured him and blessed him….hugged him one last time and then we drove away.  Then it was my time to cry deep sobs and be reassured by my husband.  And my heart and body just ached.

The next day at our hotel, I got up and walked myself down to the fitness center and did two miles on the treadmill.  Figured if I was going to fret or think about so many things I might as well be doing something productive while I was at it!  Yes, my body still aches as I move and bring to life muscles that need attention!  I can work on that.  Don’t know how long my heart will ache as we get back to Texas tonight and life with my other boys gets back to normal.  But I realize there are good aches…that ache in your muscles as you move from sedentary to more active…and the ache in your heart that comes from loving someone so much and watching them grow up and move on.

I thought of all of you as we drove in South Bend and went past their amazing Chocolate Factory.  I had to take a picture of the street sign in front of their store.  I am glad we can all share in our journeys together.  I’d love to hear from you lovely Cocoa ladies…what are some ways you have worked through some of those physical and emotional aches?  What are you doing to get yourself ready for the run in January? Would love to hear how it is going for you!

50 and (working on) fabulous!


Sunday Schooled

The new year is upon us!  Well, at least new in the sense of academic journeys for my wonderful kids.  And I have to say quite honestly that I am exhausted!  So here’s a shout out to all the women out there who are getting your kiddos ready for school and tending to all those details that help your little ones (or not-so-little ones) get ready for new adventures!

My kids suddenly seem so grown up!  I have a 5th grader, 6th grader and 10th grader starting school tomorrow (Monday!) and a college freshman and sophomore beginning their classes in a week. What has suddenly made this journey so much more emotional and taxing is knowing I will drive my second son up to Notre Dame this week and then drive away without him.  Gads, even writing that down makes me weepy!  And there is still so much of the mundane things to do tonight…like wash that other load of uniform pants and find out where the freezer packs for the lunches are hiding in the freezer.  I know…I know…I should have just bought a few new ones but I’ll be darned if escaped freezer packs are going to tell me how to run my life!

Funny, how I get caught up in such trivial items in my day.  I know whether you homeschool or send the kiddos off to school, the strains and concerns and daily work is so real. It is hard not to get caught up in the worry and the work and efficiency of each day…and count our worth in how much we got done and how well we stack up against our friends in the daily Facebook accountings of blissful, amazing happenings! My kids are wonderful and they are incredible blessings but life is messy, chaotic and unpredictable.  I am deeply aware of how I have to rely on my faith and encouraging words of family and friends in the midst of all this.

One of the great blessing of this week has been having the meals from My Fit Foods.  During a hectic week like this one, it has been so helpful (and calming, I must say!) to just go to my fridge and find the lunch or dinner I am scheduled to eat and enjoy it after only a couple of minutes of heating it up.  I do like the variety…quite fun!  Last night I had Pear Salmon and tonight had the delicious Ninja Tenderloin.  And it has helped me immensely to not feel hungry!  I mean…let’s be real…at this point in my stressed and emotional state, I would normally be halfway through a bag of M&Ms.  But I have truly felt so satisfied and content.  The snacks (twice a day) are really helping to keep my hunger at bay and I’ve noticed helped me to eat my meals slower.  Even let my husband taste a couple of my meals because he thought they looked so good…and he was very impressed.  Truly helps to look forward to the next snack or meal and know that I will be happy even while I am being “challenged”.

I know this 21 Day Challenge does challenge me in body and mind.  I am glad to have that making me healthy and energetic while my spirit and emotions are challenged overtime by the 5 boys in my life.   I feel like I am going to school as well in a way.  Learning again what I need to keep my body healthy and my mind sharp.  Deciding to move and exercise even when I feel like sitting and vegging.  I found myself encouraging my youngest son to embrace the new school year and see it as a great  challenge to become smarter and stronger.  Could have been giving a pep talk to myself!  Here’s to learning more, moving to get fit, and eating to have the healthiest body possible.  We’re gonna get it done!

Hoping the new week brings great blessings!


Faithful Friday

Hello there blog world!

Well,  I started to ponder the title for todays blog and Faithful Friday is what I got for a couple of reasons.  There is either a little bug attaching me, or I am really getting my system accustomed to eating healthy and my body just doesn’t like me very much right now for stopping it’s joy of eating all that sugar, processed food, etc(oh man what I wouldn’t give for a warm chocolate chip cookie, or some M&M’s!!) Not saying it’s wrong to have the occasional cookie or dessert,  but I needed to purge first and stop my addiction and then enjoy those things I love so much in moderation…yeah me and moderation don’t mix when it comes to sweets. I’m a baker and love me a good candy with chocolate, and caramel, and……aaagh, I digress 😉

Anyway, as I started on this 21 day journey to better habits and eating healthier,  I knew it wouldn’t be easy,  and being faithful would come into play.  I absolutely love the word faithful by the way.  Loyal, constant, steadfast…all fabulous words to describe faithful.  So yep,  I am determined to be steadfast in being healthy.  I find too, this helps me to be faithful in other areas that are extremely important to me as well. Especially in being faithful to my faith life which really is the only thing sustaining me thru any type of challenge,  and faithful to the many tasks we as women, moms, spouses, co-workers, confidants, friends, etc. are presented with on a daily basis,  even if we totally have no desire or stamina to perform them.  So the great thing about having food ready to go and proportioned just right for me is huge.  And it makes it so much easier to be faithful as well.  Don’t get me wrong,  I LOVE cooking,  but when you are tired or emotionally drained,  or just want to make something you know the kids will eat,  even if it isn’t the best…well, you’ll cook anything to get it done,  and that’s where it is nice to have the My Fit Foods portioned meal ready to go for me.  The temptation is way less.  I am also learning about portion control as well.  So,  when I am off the 21 day challenge I will remember my portions from my meals and implement that into continual healthy eating.  Yep, my mind and body really want some processed junk.  I am also painfully seeing how much I emotionally eat when I am stressed, worried, or just having a bad day.  Food makes it all better temporarily.  Sugar high makes me happy,  but then it’s not lasting.  My happiness and health are rooted in much deeper and greater things. We have been blessed with an incredible woman machine.  God’s design for us is so perfect, gosh, I know I want to treasure what He created, and for me part of that is really getting serious and feeding it properly with the exercise.   I am excited to treat myself right and keep plugging along.  The exercise portion has slowed a bit because of the yucky physical feeling right now,  but am hopeful I will be back jogging or at the gym this weekend!  Here’s to good heath, and being faithful!

the sugar made me do it,



Kay and I got to enjoy these yummy lunches from the challenge a couple of days ago   while working at planning more fun things for Cocoa Half 🙂 Kay had the chicken and spinach enchiladas, and I had the salmon cake. Delicious!



Back with Purpose!

Heh there Cocoa World!!  We’re back and with a bang!  Figured what better way to start our blog back up again than doing a challenge.  So it starts.  Today, two of the Purpose. Race Events staff (Janelle and Kay) began a journey.  We have officially wiped the dust from our running shoes and piled the good eats in our fridge!  What does that mean, you say?  Well, for us, it means hopefully the start of something wonderful and fruitful as we strive to become more fit and healthy. And let us be the first to admit, that it is not going to be easy!

We sisters in health and fitness need to stick together!  And we mean that literally…since we are really sisters (yes, Kay is older and wiser….just getting that out there!)  And as sisters we have always tried to encourage and help one another.  The fun part of working together is meeting amazing women who are facing down incredibly obstacles with great perseverance and great faith.  We love what we do and actually you all live the joy of the journey so well we have decided to join in!  Why should you all have all the fun?!   Of course we have tons of fun serving all of you at the event, but always secretly thought it would be fun to join you out on the road,  until we think about the work involved 🙂

But we decided to do it and we are officially training to run (run/jog/walk!) the Cocoa Women’s Half Marathon on January 17, 2016th!  We are deeply committed and getting our bodies and minds ready for the challenge.  And we have discovered some great ways to get it done!  First being changing our eating habits…sigh…

Yesterday, we visited My Fit Foods here in San Antonio and officially started their 21 Day Challenge!  They are a new sponsor for our Spa Girl Tri series. We will be enjoying the MFF fresh, flavorful meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And don’t forget the snacks…oh yes, those are part of the challenge as well.  So we will be forging ahead during these 21 days of healthy eating – and enjoying fresh, all natural meals from MFF. Check out our little video below!   We met David, our nutrition coach, and sat down to discuss everything from our current fitness levels, health, nutrition needs and our daily schedules.  We registered our current weight (I did not want to weigh in, but ladies, I realized it is all about keeping it real and knowing where we start and where we want to end up!), measured our body fat and talked about our personal goals.  After all that, David prepared our personal meal schedules and we walked out with 3 days of food and lots of inspiration for our new beginning!

So, we will be sharing the journey with you as we eat healthy, train for Cocoa, and endure all the fun of daily life!  Oh,  and they’ll be lots of fun trying to fit in our training, and not be tempted to eat a bowlful of chocolate cookie dough!  See you on the road or in the gym…and if you see these crazy ladies out there,  we won’t be adverse to a little fist bump, or a “way to go” smile from ya.

yours in training,


Training Tuesday!

Well, howdy, and welcome to the start of our series called “Training Tuesdays” Whoohooo!! Yep, every Tuesday, we’ll be sharing a little nugget of training bliss with you all. Maybe you’re new to the whole half marathon thing, maybe you’re a seasoned runner and need to tweak your stride.  Maybe you just want to get healthier and feel better to run after those durn fast kids of yours cause it’s starting to get harder to catch them 😉 Well, we’ll be here for you… encouraging you and strengthening these awesome machines we’ve been given.  So, today we share a video from Chris Aarhus, a tremendously talented triathlete, Ironman, trainer, and most important to us anyway, fabulous husband and dad of three.  He’s great at explaining the basics. We think you’ll agree, and hope you enjoy our first little video he recorded for us on how to do a squat properly. Never liked these things, but realized how much they go a long way to helping so many areas, especially strengthening those leg muscles to help protect the ever important knee joints. Happy squatting everyone. And if you’re so inclined send us your shots of your squats on our Facebook page.  We can all use the encouragement. And by all means, if you have a question for Chris, or something you want to see addressed on here, comment away, or contact us with your questions and we’ll get them answered for you.

Facebook giveaway time!

We’re in the middle of a Facebook giveaway today. So, if you’re new here, and aren’t a fan on our Facebook page, then come on over and like us. Promise we’ll treat ya nice and keep you entertained.  Also make sure to subscribe to our blog for your chance for other fun giveaways here. Plus we’re gearing up for our weekly health/workout tips video blogs, so join us, and join the fun.   Viva la chocolate!!

And thus it begins……

Hello Cocoa Half blog world!
We are excited to get this blog going on our end. What will we be talking about? Well, everything chocolate of course!! Okay, and maybe a few things like celebrating women, health, recipes, training tips, inspiring stories, fun facts, and reminders when we have our weekly give-aways over on Facebook.(speaking of, there’s one going on today) Just like our 5K title, and what has become kind of a mantra for us here at Cocoa Half, we realize we all have a Wild Woman in us, and that’s a good thing. A women that is passionate and takes on the challenges of this world with purpose and fortitude. So join us in our little blog world, cause occasionally we’ll be asking you what makes you a wild woman. You can check out a few of the responses from an earlier post on our Facebook page.
Of course, we’ll also be sharing more about the people behind the awesome charities that we will be helping with this here fabulous race event. I don’t know about you, but I like to meet the people I help; their families, hearts, passions, struggles, strengths, etc. and get to know them on a more personal level. There are just too many incredible people in this world that we gotta share them with you. We are confident as you get to know them as we do, you will be excited that you not only are doing a run that will be extremely fun, but one that will also help some really great people. Thanks for reading folks! Until next time,
Cocoa out!