Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekly Weigh-in and mi vida loco

This has easily been the busiest month of my life/our lives!  We had a wonderful weekend shooting a gorgeous couple at the Portland LDS Temple, then traveled down to Roseburg for the reception.  So long, and so, so fun!  I love good people - and really, all of my clients are good people!  I'll have a photo blog post on this wedding, but for now, here's a sneak peak:

I know, I'm way behind on my weekly weigh-ins!  I have been weighing in weekly - and yes, I'm still loosing weight!  Hooray!

Today was my official 4 month weigh-in!

Here's my stats:
Weight: 244 lbs for a total loss of...wait for it...drum roll please...

71 lbs!  In FOUR MONTHS!  That is crazy-fast! 

Know what was so cool about going to convention last month?  I saw tons of people who had lost more than 100 lbs and know what?  NONE of them had hanging skin?!  I'll get into more detail about this in a future blog post - really, it's amazing!

Energy: I feel fantastic - a little tired after the pace of our lives this month, but I can NOT image doing it 71 lbs heavier!

Best. program. ever!

If I can do this and have success - anyone can!  If you're curious about the program or have questions, I'd love to answer them!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Pack or edit.

That is my decision right now. 

I have deadlines. 

I have a love/hate relationship with deadlines.

I love knowing that something is due (and so must be done), but I hate the pressure it brings!

Ugh.  We pack our truck and move in less than a week.  I should probably pack.

But I have 3 recent weddings and 2 other sessions to edit, plus a wedding tomorrow.  I should probably edit.

UUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH somebody think for me!

On a happy note:
I have amazing clients who are having fabulous success with their programs!  That makes me SUPER excited!!  We're coming up on the holidays...and the time of year when most Americans will gain at least 10 lbs - my clients will easily lose that much (and more)!  How do you want to look for your Christmas pictures?

I think this needs to be it's own blog post!  More on that later!

Be well!

PS - This gorgeous wedding is coming soon to a 50 Toes Photography Blog near you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Healthy Cooking Recipes: Asparagus Guacamole

One of the coolest things about my family's healthy eating habits, is  that I cook much better all the way around.  I love trying new recipes and changing up old favorites to make them less caloric.  We absolutely ADORE guacamole in our house, so when I saw someone post this recipe on Facebook (Thank you Kim & Lydia!), I knew I had to give it a try!  It was so delish, that I've made it a few times and just had to share it! 

So here goes:
Chop the asparagus into small pieces and put in a pot to steam.

Bring to a boil and steam for about 5 min. (I overcooked it the first time and it was much better at the 5 min. mark)


Get some nice green onions...

And chop 'em to pieces

Do the same with your tomato...

Place the tomato and green onion in a large bowl

Meanwhile, your asparagus will be about done, so take it off that heat...

...and pour into your blender (PS - I adore my Vita Mix!!)

Pretty little have no idea what's about to happen to you...

Blend it up!

Look at the gorgeous color - I love colorful food (THAT blog post is coming soon!)

Then add the following:

I love garlic

Dice (or press) the garlic into your bowl


Grab the cilantro


And dice it up


Then clean your jalapeno (use gloves if you have sensitive skin)


And give it a fine dice

Throw all of that in the bowl - don't lick your fingers yet (jalapeno, remember?)!


Add your lime juice (fresh lime is awesome, but this is what I had on hand)

Mmmmm Worcestershire Sauce


A dash of tabasco (more if you need more heat...or omit it altogether if you're a wuss like me)


And some nonfat Greek Yogurt


Mix all of that together:

Then add your pureed asparagus

Here it comes...
Mix well and VIOLA!  Cool it in the fridge before serving.

Scoop over chicken and add some more veggies and you have a fanastic meal, high in protein, low in fat and carbs and won't stick to your middle! 
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Asparagus Guacamole
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cut
into small pieces
1 tablespoon fat-free Greek
-style yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tomato, diced
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 dash hot pepper sauce
salt and ground black pepper
to taste
1.Place the asparagus into a steamer insert and set into a pot over one inch of water; bring the water to a boil. Place a cover on the pot and steam the asparagus for 5 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.
2.Combine the asparagus puree with the yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno pepper, garlic, tomato, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce in a large bowl; gently stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 22 | Total Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: < 1mg

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Laethym's Baptism

August 13, 2011 was a very special day for our Laethym.  After months of preparation and waiting she was baptized by her daddy.  It was a wonderful day filled with family, friends and the Spirit of God.

Before pictures

 Getting ready to go into the font...

 Fresh outta the waters and ready to put her dress on...

 The sweet dress my mom made for her

Christopher holding Logan

 Papa and Nana with Laethym

 The kiddos: Christopher, Laethym, Avonleigh, Payton, Zeke

 Grandma and Grandpa with Auntie April, Logan and the kidlets

Mom and Dad with our Peanut

We were so humbled by the friends and family who came and the family who participated in the program.

Special thanks to:
Grandma & Grandpa - for the dress, the scriptures and the books
Nana -  for giving the talk on baptism
Aunt Jessica - for giving the talk on the Holy Ghost
Papa - for conducting
Aunt Molly - for playing the piano
Aunt Kym - for doing the music
Uncle Alan - for running the slide show (if only I could figure out how to post it online!!)
Uncles Scott & TJ - for being witnesses
And the special Priesthood holders who confirmed her: Daddy, Papa, Uncles Scott, TJ & Alan

We love you all!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Big Announcement!

It's true.

Some of you may have already heard the news.

I can hardly believe it myself.

Oh, by the way, sorry for my absence in the blogging world - WORST. BLOGGER. EVER!

I can't wait to finish editing all of the recent weddings and sessions so I can share the amazingness we've been shooting!  With two more weddings coming up, that probably will happen later, rather than sooner...but I'm working like a mad woman!

Ok, back to the point of this pathetic excuse for a post...

Have you heard our news? 

You've already heard, haven't you?

Lots of exciting changes coming for us, no?  Unless you have no idea what I'm talking about...then none of this really makes sense now does it? goes...



(no, I'm NOT pregnant!)


Crazy, huh?

I never thought we'd leave the incredibleness of Corvallis...but alas, the time has come to move on.

I'm really excited because we are moving to my hometown of Florence, Oregon!

I drove down and registered the kiddos at the very same elementary school (even though they changed the name. LAME.) that I attended when we moved to Oregon 23 years ago. 

We certainly DID NOT pick the best month to be, can you please repeat after me, "Hey Steph, IT'S WEDDING SEASON!!!" 

Yeah, didn't think that through very well.  But that's ok - just don't invite yourself over to our house!  It's in pretty sorry shape right now!

As far as my photography goes - I have bookings here in Corvallis through November.  I will also be scheduling several days throughout the year to do sessions/mini-sessions.  So I will be up here a lot.  You're not getting rid of me that easily, Corvallis! ;o)  If you have a specific date that you'd like to book (wedding, family, senior sesh, etc.), just text/email me and we'll discuss!  I'll make the announcement on the photo blog as well.

Awesome.  I feel better having gotten that off my chest.

I can't wait to continue with my health coaching and photography in a new(ish) town...busy is good.

PS - Again, I'm so far behind in posting sessions, but this lovely maternity session will be on the photo blog soon(ish). 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Secret of 6

Haven't we all been taught that good little girls and boys eat their three meals/day?

...why everything your parents taught you (on this subject) is wrong:

Excerpts from Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen's Habits of Health:

The Myth of Three Squares

     A study by David Jenkins, MD, PhD demonstrated that eating small portions at frequent intervals is good for your health in a number of important, even remarkable, ways.
     The researchers divided their subjects into two groups.  Both ate the exact same food with the exact same number of calories.  But one group ate their food divided into the usual three meals a day.  The other ate more often, consuming lots of little meals.
     Surprisingly, the group that ate the small meals throughout the day lost more weight.  They lost weight because their blood sugar didn't continually spike and then dip down to an even lower level, the way it does after a big meal.  Their glycemic levels (amount of sugar in their blood) remained steady...and their cravings for sweet foods went down.
     That's not all!  They also found that, that same group who ate more frequently reduced their blood cholesterol by over 15% and the blood insulin by almost 28%.  That's key - because, in addition to regulating your blood sugar level, insulin plays a pivotal role in fat metabolism, inflammation, and the progression to metabolic syndrome.  When your body produces less insulin, you're much less likely to convert dietary calories into body fat.  Your body begins to work differently, and you're no longer the fat factory you once were.
     Small amounts of nourishment throughout the day are better than the same amount of food concentrated in three big hits.  If we feed the body at regular intervals, we send a signal to the body that it doesn't have to store calories.  Conversely, when we skip meals we send just the opposite signal for the body to store calories, creating a negative effect on the metabolism.
     Eating regularly satisfies our ancient programming, prevents activating the alarms of starvation, and turns off fat storage.  It's our modern-day version of hunting and gathering!  And by adding low-glycemic foods to those meals, making them more like our ancient diet, we do even more to control blood sugar and turn off the insulin pump that leads to dreaded fat storage - fat that's crippling our health and leading directly to disease.

The Science of Six Fuelings
The benefits of eating a small amount of food more often are staggering:

1) help you lose weight
2) control hunger
3) reduce blood insulin (a factor in fat storage and inflammation)
4) lower total cholesterol levels
5) reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol
6) reduce levels of apolipoprotein b (the "very bad" stuff)
7) depress glucose levels
8) increase bile acid secretion
9) suppress free fatty acids levels
10) reduce serum uric acid levels, a common risk factor for coronary heart disease
11) increase uric acid excretion
12) reduce adipose tissue enzyme levels
13) reduce fluctuations in satiety (fullness)

We have gotten our kids on a program of eating 6 small, balanced meals each day.  It has helped out tremendously!  I have found that they are less whiny (seriously, if that alone isn't worth it, I don't know what is), have better concentration, fewer behavior issues and less cranky throughout the day.  They've even shed some unwanted pounds.  We aren't perfect at it, but the effort is being made and we are happy with the results we're seeing! 

Hooray for the power of 6!  Now go eat!

PS - This lovely lady's senior session will be on the photo blog tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Water You Drinking?

Water is a critical component of your body, making up between 55 and 60% of your weight. Your body can't store water (unlike fat) so you need to replenish it often. That's why drinking at least 8 glasses/day is a key habit to a healthy lifestyle.

Water plays a key role in supporting health, particularly during weight loss, because it helps remove toxins and other unhealthy substances stored in your fat cells. Being well-hydrated helps all your organs and systems function properly. In fact, every function in your body takes place in water. It's the solvent that moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies and oxygen through your bloodstream and lymphatic system, and removes waste. And of course it's essential to your kidneys' ability to filter and eliminate metabolic byproducts and toxins.

If you don't drink enough, your body is forced to recycle dirty water, diminishing the efficiency of every metabolic function.

What you may not realize is that we actually lose nearly 12 cups of water every day: 2 cups through perspiration, 6 cups through urine, 2-4 through breathing - and nearly 1 cup through the soles of our feet! And in high altitudes or dry environments, you lose even more, so you can get dehydrated in a hurry.

8 reasons to drinks 8 cups:
1) It's calorie free, but helps you feel full and satisfied.

2) It keeps you from overeating. Studies show that when we feel hungry, 30% of the time our bodies are actually signaling for water.

3) It facilitates the removal of toxins such as pesticides and preservatives from your cells.

4) It prevents dehydration as your body eliminates excess salt and water from a diet of too much processed food.

5) It minimizes or eliminates fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, and unclear thinking.

6) It speeds up metabolism. A recent study showed that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of cold water increased metabolic rate by 30% for 90 minutes.

7) It helps your liver convert fat to energy.

8) It compensates for the loss of glycogen stores as you lose weight.

Q & A:
I'm just not thirsty. Do I still need to drink water?
Don't use thirst to guide your water intake! Thirst is a late warning symptom of dehydration. Waiting until you're thirsty to drink means that your body must function at less than optimal efficiency for several hours.

How do I know if I'm not drinking enough?
If you start feeling tired, have trouble thinking, develop a headache, or notice that your urine is darker than usual, these are late-stage signs that you need to drink more water! (Urine should be almost colorless unless you've just taken vitamins)

How much water should I drink every day?
The best gauge of how much water you should drink in a 24-hour period is a simple mathematical equation: take your current weight (as of last Monday - 253lbs) and divide it in half (126.5) = your intake in ounces. So for me, my goal is to drink at least 126.5 ounces every day! I use a 24oz water bottle and try to drink between 5 to 6 of those each day.

Is it possible to drink too much water?
No - not unless you have a specific medical condition that requires you to restrict your fluid intake, such as renal failure or severe congestive heart failure, or if you have performed intense physical activity in a hot environment, in which case you should consume an electrolyte-enriched drink.

Liven up your water by adding a squirt of lemon or some fresh mint leaves.

Vintage Payton drinking her water! (Utah, 2009)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekly Weigh-in and exciting news from Avonleigh

Every week I wait with anticipation as the weekend comes to a close.  "Why on earth would you want the weekend to end?!" you might ask.  Well, I get to wake up Monday morning and weigh-in.  It's an exciting way for me to kick off a brand new week, working on a brand new me!  It's the best form of motivation EVAH!

So...wanna know my stats?  Here they are:

8-1-11: 253 lbs
down another 6 lbs this week for total weight loss of 62 lbs!!

Do the math...yep, that's starting weight was 315 lbs. 

I should probably check my measurements again sometime soon.  One thing that I have really noticed is that, while I weigh more than I did when I could fit into my "goal" jeans, they are fitting (and getting lose on) me now.  My body is transforming in ways I didn't know were possible.  It is very thrilling!

 Can I just say how humbling it is to plaster your big rear end across the web for all the world to see?  Yeah.

In family news:     Avonleigh lost her first tooth!!

She was SUPER excited (too bad it doesn't come through in the pictures...haha).  My baby is growing up!  She's actually much older than her brother and sister were when they lost their first tooth, so she's been waiting a LLLOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG time! 

Love you Choochie Bear!

PS - Do you drink enough water?  Stay tuned for a whole blog post on staying hydrated...I think it will surprise you!

PPS - Click here to see an adorable couple on the photo blog!!