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Friday, November 30, 2012

Drop 'Til You Shop!!!

Hey guys!!

It's a new month! With that comes a new start AND a new contest! November was crazy busy and to be honest it got the best of us  took us out back and beat us to a pulp.... but we are ready to get serious in December! We realize that this month will more than likely be crazier than the last so we are going to set up some goals that will still allow us some flexibility. Soo...starting TOMORROW we are going to commit to 2 major goals: Exercising at least 4 times a week and NO fast food or soda!! We would love you guys to join us or set your own goals for the month and share them with us! Now, on to the contest....

Starting December 5th (our next Weigh-In Wednesday) we will be beginning a new contest. We're calling it ...

"Drop 'Til You Shop"
 (Clever, eh? We're pretty proud of this one!).

 How do you enter? It's simple! Comment every Weigh-In Wednesday with your pounds lost, gained, maintained (no judgement here, ladies!) If you comment every Wednesday, your name will be entered into a drawing for A BRAAAAND NEW..............$20 Giftcard to the store of your choice! Who couldn't use a little extra dough this month?? Mama needs a new pair of shoes! Am I right? Anyone? Ok....with that, we will be leaving you. GOOD LUCK!!!!

 Ashley & Holly

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday 11-21-2012

It's Weigh-In Wednesday! Unfortunately, this is going to be the weigh-in that never was. Things have been SOOO crazy for us lately, and we're sure they've been the same way for you!

We haven't had a chance to get together and do anything blog related because Ashley has been moving to her brand new house, and every spare second has been spent unpacking boxes and cleaning!

I have been busy helping her, along with my usual going-ons AND one of my very best friends is visiting us all the way from Florida this week, so things have been cRaZy!!!

Because of all of this, and because of Thanksgiving being tomorrow, we are taking a small break so spend time with out families and prepare for the Holiday! We will be back next week, but in the mean time we've prepared a few yummy pumpkin recipes to satisfy the soul!

I can tell you that I did weigh-in, even though we didn't get the chance to do this together, and my weight has stayed the same. I've got a new plan in mind, but I'm not putting it into affect until after Christmas because I don't want to set myself up for failure. I'm going to try eating more food because I don't think I'm getting enough calories, and I'm giving up wheat and or dairy to see if maybe I'm having a bad reaction to one of those two things. I'm also going to force myself into much needed time at the gym. (That will be happening before Christmas... If I'm going to eat the goodies, I need to do something to work them off, right?)

We wish you ALL a Happy Thanksgiving, and we can't wait to get back at it next week!

....... BUT WAIT!!! We didn't pick a winner for the get moving challenge!!! We didn't have anyone who commented every single day, so we randomly picked from everyone who participated!

We would like to congratulate:

Nicole Archambeault-Perkins

She is the winner of this weeks challenge! Nicole, if you could send us an email with your address, we will get your prize shipped right out!!!

Thanks you all so much for reading! We love you!!!

 Ashley & Holly

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday 11-14-12

It's weigh-in Wednesday again!!! This week has been a rough one...due to mother nature... But we're still here, and still recording our results!

Before we do that, we have a winner to announce! Thank you all so much for participating in this weeks "Hunger Games" challenge. It really helps to know we have people willing to share this with us. :)
And the winner is.....

Mariah Starr!!!!

Congratulations, Mariah!! We will be messaging you for your info very soon!! :) BUT WAIT!!! Because we had so many new likes this week, and it wasn't possible for all of you to participate from the beginning, we are going to pick another winner out of all the people who commented at least one time!! And that winner is....

Jacqueline Woltz Thomas!!!

Congratulations, Jacqueline!! We will be messaging you as well! Thank you so much for participating! :)

And now, on to those numbers...

Starting weight - 244
Current weight - 234
Pounds lost this week - 3
Total pounds lost - 10

This week was a little challenging because we are moving tomorrow and have had our house pretty much packed for the last 3 days. The temptation was definitely there to just eat out for these last few days but I'm so glad I stuck with the diet and even though it wasn't the easiest option, it was the healthiest for my family!  

Starting weight - 240
Current weight - 233
Pounds lost this week - 3
Total pounds lost - 7

I've gotta say, I feel a little disappointed because I assumed for as much as I was changing my diet and as much as I've given up, that the weight would just fall right off. So not the case. So not. I did give in to PMS a few times this week, but I didn't over do it on anything so I'd say that was pretty good. Hopefully next week will be better!

We really do want to know how you guys did this week!! Let us know in the comments or send us an email!

This week the challenge is all about getting ourselves moving!
The goal this week is to do SOME kind of exercise every day. We don't care if it's 10 minutes or the hour and 40 minute yoga from P90X, we just want to get moving! You know the drill - each night we will post a status on the Facebook page asking what you did. All you have to do is comment everyday, and let us know how you did. And remember, it's not about whether or not you did it. It's just about getting involved (although we hope you will push yourselves, and we promise to do the same)!

This week's prize ... dun dun dun duuuun!!!
This SNAZZY yellow pedometer!!! This Proform pedometer tracks your step count, distance walked, and calories burned, all while making sure you're the best looking walker on the block!!! This is not a prize I'd want to "walk away from"..... hehe.
We will also be doing another participation prize, to be determined.
So get out there, get moving, and then get on Facebook and tell us about it!!!

Ashley & Holly

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Monday, November 12, 2012

10 Ways to Eat Healthy & Organic on a Budget

Hey guys!

Most of us know what it takes to eat healthy, and most of us know that if you CAN buy the organic option, it's definitely best to do so. There's so much crap shoved into our food these days that it's just down right scary! From apples to chickens, it's pretty much all ruined by the time it gets to us.

The best alternative? Grow and raise your own! However, that's now always possible, is it?

The next best thing is buying certified organic. Unfortunately, that comes with a price. A pretty hefty price. Fresh fruits and veggies are easily twice the price, and the meat..... psh. Insanity!!!

So here we are, living on a very modest budget, and terrified to feed our families poison. How do we do it?? We're glad you asked. Here are our top ten ways to eat healthy and organic on a budget!

  1. Don't Eat Out!!! You'd think this would have to go without saying, but we fight this battle a lot. When it's late and you're still driving that 40 minute drive home from a 2 hour long soccer practice, it's tempting to swing through and get something. Did you know that it costs roughly $15 for a family of 4 to eat at a fast food restaurant? Did you know that you could make 3 (maybe more) organic meals ffor the whole family with that same $15? It's not worth it! So in those situations, plan ahead and pack something to eat for the ride home!
  2. Buy local if you can! From eggs to honey to fruits and veggies...Many times the foods offered at farmers markets and your local Amish store (if you happen to be lucky enough to live near one), may not be certified organic but are probably just as healthy (and sometimes healthier). Those places also offer the food at an insanely cheaper price than the only grocery store in town that offers a small organic section.
  3. Cook the whole chicken. Today we've become so used to having things done for us. When we're choosing meat, we carefully look over all the different cuts and choose the ones that look the most pleasing to us. While convenient, this is definitely not very cost effective. At our grocery it costs the same to buy a small package of organic tenderloins as it does to buy the whole organic chicken. Buy the whole chicken! You're going to get 3 meals out of it, instead of just 1. Look forward to a blog soon on how we prepare, cook and portion the chickens we buy.
  4. Check those clearance shelves. There are so many things on the clearance shelves that are still perfectly good! Most of the time, we can get organic milk on clearance for half the price and it doesn't expire for a week. With 2 kids, a husband and daycare kids in the house, our milk never makes it a week anyway! It's the same with juice, cheese, yogurt and chickens (which you can freeze!!!). Buy it weekly, and scout out the best price.
  5. Make your own. When we get together, we try to pick a project to do. Whether it be making our own chicken nuggets or baking our own bread, canning veggies or making and freezing soups, we spend the day making things that we need and that are expensive if you have to buy them already made. Rely on already made foods as little as possible. I'll just show you the price difference of one thing. A can of organic veggies averages $1.50 a can depending on where you go. Canning your own averages $.56 a can. That's cheaper than buying conventional AND you know exactly what's in ever last bite.
  6. Gardening. Having a garden is a great way to get free organic food. Even if you don't have a ton of space, you can grow things in pots on a porch or balcony.
  7. Left-Overs. When you're cooking for a family and using portion control, there's almost always food left over. If it's something like soup, we freeze it! Anything else, we save for Sunday and have a left over feast! It gets me out of cooking, AND it's like getting a free meal!
  8. Eat Simple. We usually buy ingredients for one or two "fancy" meals a week, and the rest are simple and inexpensive. It's going to cost you a lot less to serve chicken with rice and a veggie to your family than it will cost to serve Lasagna or Salmon steaks.
  9. Don't buy more than you need. Many times when we're grocery shopping, we tend to buy more than we need, especially if it is on sale. Remind yourself over and over again that you only need a certain amount, and unless it's a REALLY good deal AND a non perishable item, it's better to just leave it behind than to buy it and have it go to waste.
  10. Make a list! Going to the grocery store without a list is setting yourself up for budget failure. It's way to easy to toss things in to the cart and then freak out when you see that you've gone over your budget by $40 because you put a "few" extras in.
Following these rules, we can almost always feed our families on the exact same budget we had when eating conventional food. True, it's a little more work, but it's so worth it!

We really hope this has helped you out!!! Thanks for reading with us! :)
Ashley & Holly

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Friday, November 9, 2012

From the Fabulous "Sister See Sister Do"

Hey Healthin' Ourselves readers!!!
We are Michelle & Julie from a blog called
We're sisters (obviously) who love to DO & SHARE! Whatever we're up to, we blog about it. From furniture up-cycling, & home makeovers, to bargain finds, sewing projects, & activities for the kiddos..oh & lots of recipes & random thoughts! It's all there on our blog!

Today we're excited to be HERE, swapping blogs with 
Ashley & Holly 
as part of our SOUP WEEK!

I (julie) am so glad that Ashley & Holly decided to start 'Healthin Ourselves.' 
I love the way they share their personal journeys, the recipes they share, and even the posts they have on facebook. They're often very funny, yes! But more than that, they're INSPRING and straight up AMAZING!!! 
And the soup they're sharing on our blog today is amazing too. I have devoured it & know first hand how good it is.
I am a soup freak. Michelle is too. Must run in the family. I especially enjoy soup in the fall season! It's comforting & can be a fantastically FILLING meal. One of my favorite things about soup is that so many soups are loaded with vegetables and we all know how GOOD our VEGETABLES are for us, right?!

Today I want to share my recipe for 
because it's delicious & (AsFarAsIKnow) it's good for you!

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced (or more if you prefer)
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1 (16oz) Can Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14.5 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
2-3 Medium Carrots, sliced 
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1 Cup Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 Cup Uncooked Elbow Macaroni
3 Cups Fresh Spinach, Chopped

In a saucepan heat olive oil & add the onion & garlic. Saute until tender. 
Add broth, beans, tomatoes, carrots, spaghetti sauce & oregano. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. 
Add the elbow macaroni & spinach. Continue to cook for 8-10 more minutes, until macaroni is tender & spinach is wilted. 
Remove from the heat; let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread & garnish with Parmesan cheese if you'd like!!

And DEFINITELY share it with great friends!!
Recognize THIS friendly face!?!?

If you're looking to cut carbs, omitting the pasta from this soup is okay! 
I've done it many times if I've been out of pasta. It's still delicious!

Thank you, Holly & Ashley for joining us for soup week! 
It's so fun to invade your corner of cyber space!!

psssst...Let's do this again soon!


These girls have such amazing personalities and their talents are unbelievable! There's nothing they can't do! Be sure to check out their other blog posts at
AND like them on Facebook to see their updates!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday 11-7-2012

It's that time again! Another Wednesday, another weigh-in! We can't "weight" to hear how you guys did this week! But first, we have a winner to announce!!!

We've put all the names of the qualifying participants into a random name picker, and the winner is........

............    Melissa Moore!!!!!!

Congratulations Melissa!! Thank you SO much for participating in this! We will get your prize to you ASAP!!!!! :)

Now, let's get down to those numbers, shall we?
Starting weight - 244
Current weight - 237
Pounds lost this week - 3
Total pounds lost - 7
I have really watched everything I ate this week. I feel good knowing that I made the right choices and was able to avoid temptation (aka the 10 lbs of Halloween candy that has been sitting on my kitchen counter!) I had hoped to lose more but truthfully, I did not exercise at all this week. Maybe if I had I would've seen a bigger loss. One of these days I'm going to get it all together! ;) Now let's move on to the true heroes of this week...YOU GUYS and all of the water you consumed!! You all rocked it and you made us want to rock it! I seriously cannot express just how much I appreciate you all and the motivation you give me!!! We have a new contest starting next week and I hope you will all get involved!  ~Ashley

Starting weight - 240
Current weight - 236
Pounds lost this week - 0
Total pounds lost - 4
So, half of this week was decent and the other half was a-w-f-u-l. I got off track, ate things I knew I shouldn't have and I ate them at times that were the absolute wOrSt to be eating anything! I think I may have even had a little bit of a system shock from the fast food. However, all that being said, I learned some lessons this week.
1. It's humiliating to have to post that you've actually gained weight on your weight-loss journey (and not from gaining muscle... it's the bad kind of weight).
2. Eating out is NOT worth it. I felt like crap, gained weight and to top it all off,  it would have been quicker and cheaper to just pack a sandwich and some carrot sticks. Even the kids were sick, and that's just not okay.
All that said, these last few days have been a big turn around. I feel so grateful to you guys, because I know for certain that I wouldn't be this motivated without you! :) Especially the water drinking! My goodness! Some of you are like camels!!! Thank you so much for doing this with us! We truly do appreciate it.

We would LOVE for you to take this step with us! If you're feeling frisky, go ahead and comment below telling us how you did this week. Did you lose? Gain? Maintain? We Want To Know!!! Doing this with friends is soooo much more fun than doing it alone!

Before you go, we'd like to tell you about this weeks contest! We're calling it "The Hunger Games" ... hehe... It will technically start tonight, but we wont ask for your answers until the morning! Here's how it works! The rule is, no eating 2 hours before bedtime. In the morning we'll ask "Did you survive!?" and you'll either respond with a joyful "Yes!!" or a sad "I surrendered". You don't have to "survive" to win. You only have to comment with how you did, every morning! The names of the people who comment every morning will be entered into our cyber hat, and we'll randomly pick one person as the winner!
We've both made mention that we struggle with nighttime eating. There are many people that say not eating after a certain time at night helps with their weight loss. One of Bob Harper's (from the Biggest Loser) rules of weight loss is to go to Bed hungry. Some of the benefits of cutting out night eating? I'm glad you asked!
Here are a few:
  • If you know you're going to stop eating at a certain time it's easier to track your calories and not over do it. It's easy to forget to write things down or write them down inaccurately if you're just "munching".
  • Eating at night might upset your body's natural day/night cycle and lead to poor-quality sleep
  • Eating before bed slows metabolism and encourages weight gain

Obviously, everyone has different schedules so it wouldn't be reasonable to say no eating after 6 o'clock or 8 o'clock or whatever time. So that's why we decided to make it no eating 2 hours before bed. We're looking forward to hearing how you all do!


And the prize? We're glad you asked! For us, hot tea is a MUST HAVE for evening! It's comforting and it gives you the illusion that you're eating, but you're really not! The winner this week will get.....
This HANDSOME mug and some sleepytime tea to fill it with!
Good luck!!! ;)

As always, if you like what we have to say, we'd love it if you would spread the word around!

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

Hey everyone!!

    Welcome to cold weather! There's nothing better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold and dreary day, and we have the perfect recipe! Not only is this soup tasty, but it's also healthy! It has the perfect combination of carbs, proteins, fats and veggies! It's also a very inexpensive meal if you're eating on a budget.
     This recipe makes six large servings, so it's perfect for families. Is it just you over there? Not to worry! It freezes really well and warms up perfectly on the nights you're in too much of a hurry to cook anything! It was a life saver in our house when sickness struck! :)

Nutritional Information:
Calories - 347
Fats - 5.7g
Carbs - 51g
Protein - 23.5g
Fiber - 4g
Let's get started!
There is a printable recipe card for this soup at the bottom of the page!

Here's what you need!

 To really get the full flavor of this recipe, you need to use a whole chicken. We cook ours in a crock pot. Put it in before bed with 4 cups of water, salt and pepper. In the morning, you're ready to go. We separate the chicken and divide it into three portions to be used for three meals. Use all the broth from the crock pot for this recipe.

First, we put one of the divided portions of chicken (about 2 cups) and the broth into a large pan or stock pot and bring to a boil. We add another 4-6 cups of broth to the pot. The boxed broth is convenient or you can use the remains (that sounds creepy) of your chicken and your crockpot  to make your own!!  

Then we peeled and sliced 6 large carrots and added to the pan, and bring the soup back to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We used Tinkyada Brown Rice Fettuccine noodles which makes this a gluten free recipe! Brown rice pasta is a great alternative to whole wheat pasta and Tinkyada makes the best we've tried. Break the pasta into noodle-sized pieces and add to the pot.

Cook for the required time for the pasta and you're done!

There you have it! This recipe could not be any more simple! We really hope you enjoy it. If you decide to give it a try, let us know what you thought!
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