Exercise Accountability for Week Ending 12.13.15

This was the first week of workouts since completing the 90-day Body Beast Challenge. I’ve decided not to put myself on another program until after the beginning of the year. That’s not to say I won’t be exercising, though! I’ve already planned out all my workouts. I want to try several different workouts that are available on Beachbody on Demand. Not so much because I plan on doing any of them right now, because we own several programs that I haven’t yet completed. The reason I’m trying out so many different programs right now is so that I can help my clients decide which workouts are best for them. If you are in need of fitness guidance, please contact me. I’d love to help you!

This past week was a bit crazy! My husband was in a field exercise, which meant he was working long hours. It actually worked out well for us though, because I was able to spend the majority of my alone time to finish the ebook. I also decided to switch to a self-hosted site, which was quite an ordeal for me since I’m not a tech savvy person. Once everything goes through, I’ll be making some tweaks to the site to make it more me. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them! Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or contact me directly.

Auditions for community theatre were on Saturday. Callbacks are Tuesday, and I’m happy to say that I was invited back! The upcoming play is Spamalot, so I’m excited to (hopefully) be part of this production. There aren’t many female roles in this play, so we shall see.

Here are my workouts for the week:

  • Monday: Spinning class – 60 minutes
  • Tuesday: Kundalini Yoga – Yoga Beauty Body DVD – 60 minutes (available in the fitness section of my Amazon store: http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20)
  • Wednesday: Turbofire Low HIIT 20 – 20 minutes
  • Thursday: The Masters Hammer & Chisel Total Body – 36 minutes
  • Friday: PiYo Live Class Round 37 DVD – 60 minutes (I did the workout from my instructor DVD)
  • Saturday: Insanity Max 30 Sweat Intervals – 30 minutes, Dancing at auditions for community theatre – 20 minutes and more sweat, lol!
  • Sunday: 10 Minute Trainer Abs – 10 minutes, Relaxed Easygoing Flow from This is Yoga with Tara Stiles – 15 minutes (also available in the fitness section of my Amazon store: http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20)

As I mentioned earlier in the post, the ebook is complete! It took a bit longer than expected, but at least it’s finished! I’m still working hard to finish my personal training certification this month! I’m really excited to finish so I can help more people get fit!

As always, thanks for reading!

Thai Crystal Deodorant Review

One of my most frequently asked questions is “what’s a good natural deodorant?”

Thai Crystal is by far my favorite and the one that works best for me.  There are two forms of this deodorant (a spray and a solid) and I’ve tried them both, so I’ll discuss them here.

First up is the spray.  I like it because it is fast, and I can spray under my arms quickly (or anywhere else that tends to get stinky).  It takes a short time to dry, and then I can move on to the next in my beauty routine.  During a day with normal activity level, I can go all day without getting stinky.  During times when I get really sweaty, (summer or exercising) I have to reapply more frequently than with regular deodorant.  To me, that’s a small price to pay for not being exposed to harmful chemicals like aluminum, triclosan, and synthetic fragrance, etc.  My biggest complaint is that the pump that comes in the bottle inevitably stops spraying and I have to switch it out with the pump from other spray bottles that I have on hand.


Next up is the rock form of this deodorant.  It has the same effectiveness as the spray, but the application is different.  To apply, get it wet, then use it like a roll on.  If it’s too wet it will roll down past your armpits, and you’ll have to wipe it off.  If it’s not wet enough, it can pull the skin a little bit.  Another thing I’ve noticed with this one is that sometimes it has kind of an ammonia smell to it (I’ve never noticed this with the spray).  Not sure if that’s due to my body temperature, hormone levels, or something else, but it’s worth noting.

A few notes:

  • These products will sting if you use it right after shaving!  I’ve learned that the hard way a few times.
  • These products are NOT antiperspirants.  Since sweat is your body’s way of eliminating toxins, I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to trap it inside your body with an antiperspirant.  That can’t be good for you.
  • The liquid will crystallize if it gets too cold.  That’s exactly what happened to mine while staying with my grandmother during the winter because it was 28 degrees outside and there was a hole in her roof!

Overall, I like both forms of this deodorant, though I prefer the spray for the reasons noted above.  It keeps me from getting stinky, which has been an issue with other natural deodorants.  Here’s a link to my Amazon page if you think you’d like to give this deodorant a shot (look in the beauty/personal care section):  http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20

I hope you found this review helpful!  If you have any questions, please comment below or contact me.  Thanks for stopping by!

Gluten Free Cajun Turkey Burger with Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

This week my husband is working out in the field and has nowhere to heat up his food, so I didn’t make a large crock pot meal this week. Because of his acid reflux issue, he can’t eat past 6pm, and he’s been getting home later than that. He is also not allowed to have me bring him anything. What does all that mean? Well, I’m making individual daily meals for only me. In a few weeks, we have ½ a deer coming, so I’m trying to eat some things that we have in the freezer to make room for the meat.

We had half a sweet potato left over from Thanksgiving, and we had the frozen turkey patties on hand. We also had one Kinnikinnick gluten free hamburger bun left, so it was perfect! The dogs’ noses were going crazy while I was cooking this meal! My little living vacuum cleaners were hanging around by my feet waiting to clean up any little morsel I might have dropped 🙂

This week’s featured meal is delicious, stays within my dietary restrictions (no gluten, dairy, unfermented soy, refined sugars or anything artificial), and satisfied my craving for a burger and fries! Never one to do things in the typical manner, I don’t’ care for sweet potato fries with brown sugar. I actually prefer them with Cajun spices. It may sound weird, but the sweet potato with spicy actually went very well!


  • One turkey burger (fed proper diet & free of hormones & antibiotics)
  • 1 gluten free hamburger bun
  • ½ a medium sweet potato
  • ¼ cup organic baby arugula
  • Dijon mustard to taste (or mayo if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder & Cajun seasoning to taste


  • Use toaster to heat bun (I toasted it one round at the highest setting in our toaster & that was perfect)
  • When toasted, remove and spread condiment of choice
  • Lightly coat each side of burger with dry seasonings
  • Place thawed turkey burger in a skillet (I used a small cast iron skillet)
  • Cook on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until top of burger begins to turn light brown
  • Flip & cook on the opposite side for 3-5 minutes
  • When done, remove & place on bun – allow to cool while potatoes are cooking
  • Peel & slice the sweet potato into strips (no more than ¼ inch in thickness)
  • Heat olive oil in skillet on medium to high heat
  • Place potatoes in skillet & turn to coat with oil
  • Spread potatoes evenly across skillet & lightly coat with dry seasonings
  • Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, then turn
  • As potatoes are cooked completely, remove from skillet & place on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil
  • Once the potatoes are cooked and plated with the burger, add the arugula & the top of the bun – if you put the arugula on top of the burger fresh out of the pan, it may wilt the arugula.
  • Enjoy the meal!!

If you’ve never had turkey burgers, keep in mind that they have less fat than beef & have a tendency to stick to the pan. You may want to use a light coating of olive oil to prevent this. However, if you keep the heat low enough & watch the burger closely, it should be fine. When I cooked this, the best way that I could tell the sweet potatoes were done is by the change in color. The flesh is a bit darker & seems almost translucent. Another way to tell is by sticking a fork in them & if it goes through easily, the potato is cooked.  In case you’re wondering, the Kinnikinnick gluten free hamburger bun was really good!  It didn’t fall apart & it didn’t leave that weird coating in my mouth that I sometimes notice with other gluten free products.  Definitely buying these again!

Please note: I DO NOT recommend using a nontstick pan, as the chemicals used the coatings are toxic (especially if there are scratches in the pan).  There’s some awesome nontoxic cooking options in my Amazon store in the kitchen gadgets section:  http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20

If you’re in the market for a burger & fries but want to do it in a healthier way, this meal is for you! Of course, you can make this for your entire family instead of just for one the way I had to.  I plan to make this for my stepson while he is here visiting us for the holidays.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  As always, thanks for reading!

Exercise Accountability for Week Ending 12.06.15

This was the final week of my 90-day Body Beast Challenge with an extra week added because I missed a few when I was sick in October. It’s a good thing that happened because I don’t think it would have turned out well if Thanksgiving had been my final week, lol!

I’m absolutely satisfied with my results! If you’re a woman and you are scared to life weights because you don’t want to get big, don’t be! I’ve lost plenty of size in a short amount of time while lifting weights! If you’re like me and you prefer to exercise at home, Body Beast is the answer to get amazing results without setting foot into a gym!  Please contact me if you’re interested in trying it – I would love to assist you on your fitness journey!

While on this program, I’ve lost ¾ inch off my natural waist, 1 inch off my belly, ¼ inch from my hips, ½ inch from my biceps, ¼ inch off my thigh and ¾ inch from my chest. Chest, back and arms are the areas where I have the most fat, so I’m really happy to see them shrinking and getting more shapely. My muscles are tighter, my butt is lifted (as in my thut is gone!), and of course I’m seeing definition in places where there was none before. I didn’t lose much in my hips or thighs, but those are of less concern to me than my other areas. Also, I’ve lost 5 pounds. That may not sound like much, but I didn’t have much weight to lose.

The only thing that’s somewhat disappointing is that I’m not at my goal weight. However, I’m just 2 pounds away! Of course, I’m going to continue trying. For the remainder of the year, I have a variety of different types of workouts scheduled (yes, I wrote them on my calendar!). I’m kicking things off by going to a spinning class with friends for a change of pace.  By nature I’m an introvert and a bit of a loner and as such I prefer to exercise at home.  This is way out of my comfort zone!  But, sometimes you gotta step outside that zone 🙂

Here are my workouts for the week:

  • Monday: Body Beast Bulk Chest – 30 minutes
  • Tuesday: Body Beast Build Legs – 38 minutes
  • Wednesday: Body Beast Bulk Shoulders – 35 minutes
  • Thursday: Body Beast Bulk Back – 29 minutes, I taught a PiYo class – 45 minutes
  • Friday: Body Beast Bulk Arms – 35 minutes
  • Saturday: Beast Cardio – 38 minutes & Beast Abs – 10 minutes
  • Sunday: Body Beast rest day, but I did Total Body & Beast Abs 38 minutes & 10 minutes

For those who may be wondering, there have been a few delays with the ebook, but I’m still working on it and plan to finish up by the end of this week. I’m also working hard to finish my personal training certification this month! Can’t wait to start helping more people!

As always, thanks for reading!

The Importance of Buying Quality Supplements

Prior to when I began this nontoxic journey in 2012 and added several vitamins to help relieve my hypothyroidism symptoms, I didn’t think it mattered much which brand of vitamins I bought.That is, until I went to buy some vitamin C at a big box retailer and noticed a suspicious ingredient: sodium laurel sulfate! In case you don’t know, sodium laurel sulfate is a cleansing agent used to cut through grease in things like shampoo and cleaning products.  What the heck is that doing in a vitamin?  Not something I want to ingest!  Seeing that on a label for a vitamin was eye-opening.

From then on, I vowed only to buy quality vitamin supplements. Here are a few brands I feel good about recommending.

  • Now Solutions – their supplements are free of unnecessary ingredients and most are also free of many common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, etc. Now Solutions also has a wide array of vitamins, minerals and herbs and they are sold in the most bio-available form. Prices are reasonable – although a bit higher than the junk that sits on the shelf of many big box retailers. But, remember if it’s not in a form your body can use it’s a waste of money anyway. Most of the vitamins I buy are made by Now Solutions. They also have great personal care products!
  • Solgar – another quality supplement brand. They are made in the USA, in bio-available forms, and free of many common allergens. A bit more expensive than Now Solutions, but easier to find in my area, and they have a great selection of all types of vitamins, minerals, etc.  I buy mine at Vitamin Shoppe
  • Central Market – this is a brand that is available in limited markets (I believe only in southern United States). It’s available at HEB and Central Market stores. Before we moved away from Texas, many of my vitamins and supplements were made by Central Market. They are free of unnecessary chemicals and many common allergens. Many of the supplements are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans, too.
  • Puritans Pride – value vitamin brand that also sells some snacks, personal care, and beauty items. Great if you want to buy in bulk. There’s almost always a deal that saves you money the more you buy. Because I take so many different vitamins and supplements and we don’t have a huge pantry, I stopped ordering from them as much due to our limited storage space. I still recommend using them if you have the room to store the bottles, because they offer great deals and sell high quality vitamins.

Once again I want to throw this out there:  none of these companies paid me to say these positive things about them.  If you’re going to take supplements, make sure you do some research buy the most bio-available form of the vitamin.  Otherwise your body won’t be able to use it and you will be wasting your money.   Of course, you always want to make sure to talk to your health care provider prior to taking any supplements.

I hope you found this helpful, and as always, thanks for reading!

Leftover Slow Cooker Turkey Soup

For Thanksgiving we bought the smallest turkey we could find, which was 15 pounds! Too much for two people, even though that’s all we ate for days! We invited a few people over to share the day with us, but they weren’t able to come by, so I had to find something to do with the leftover turkey. After four days of eating the same thing, it’s time to move on but of course it doesn’t make sense to throw away perfectly good food because you’re tired of it.  It just needs to be re-invented in such a way where it feels like something new!  What to do with a Thanksgiving leftovers?  Since turkey was all we had leftover, I decided to make soup because it’s rainy and cold here. Not to mention, soup is kind of my go-to easy meal. I can simply dump the ingredients in a pot or the slow cooker, let it cook, and have a delicious healthy meal with minimal effort.

This soup is very similar to my slow cooker chicken soup. The hardest part about it was chopping the turkey into small pieces. Even with the time it took to cut the turkey, this was super simple to make. That’s the way I to cook, though: quick, easy, and healthy. I’m such a creature of habit! I can eat the same thing all week & it doesn’t bother me at all. Right now I need to focus on my upcoming ebook anyway, so the last thing I need is to spend all day in the kitchen. We had the chopped frozen veggies on hand, the turkey was left over, and we had plenty of broth on hand. When I’m feeling ambitious, I like to chop up mixed veggies, put them in a plastic bag & stick them in the freezer. Doing this has made my life much easier on many occasions!  Like this week – I wasn’t feeling ambitious, at least not in the kitchen anyway!  My ambition is focused on finishing my ebook – which is a guide to nontoxic living where I share the insights I’ve gained over the years of living a nontoxic lifestyle.


  • Leftover turkey, chopped into bite sized pieces (we had approximately 4 cups)
  • 3 32 oz boxes organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups chopped organic celery, carrot, onion & garlic mixture
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tbsp salt (I used pink Himalayan sea salt)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp sage
  • Note:  you may need to adjust amounts of ingredients to compliment the amount of turkey you have leftover


  • Dump everything in the slow cooker
  • Let cook on low all day (about 8 hours)
  • Cook rice separately & add just prior to serving

You probably already know this, but to make it Vegan, skip the turkey & add more veggies and/or a grain.  To make it Paleo, leave out the rice.  Rice & quinoa are two of the few grains I still eat & my husband really likes a heartier n soup, so I added.  If you have a house divided, I suggest storing the grain in a separate container and those in the house who want it can add it to their bowls. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating:  use organic food whenever possible!

This recipe is clean eating approved.  Hope you enjoy it!  Thanks for taking the time to read!

Exercise Accountability for Week Ending 11.29.15

As I’m sure it was for most people, last week was busy! Between getting ready for Thanksgiving, working on my ebook, and putting up Christmas decorations on top of normal daily activities, there was a LOT to get done! During busy times like this I’m reminded of why I exercise at home!  Not having to fight traffic to get to the gym and get a workout in is so nice, especially when it’s hard enough to find 30 minutes or so to spare! Fitness at home is my preferred method for sure!  At the same time, I also understand that some people prefer to leave their home to workout.  Sometimes out of necessity (no space, too many distractions, etc.).  Other times it’s just a matter of being around other people that helps them to get and stay motivated.  That’s why I got certified to teach PiYo and am working on my personal training certification in addition to becoming a Beachbody coach.

My husband was off for four days straight for the holiday, which was awesome! We weren’t able to go visit family this year but we did have a Skype call, which was really nice. I absolutely love that we now have this technology available to us!  We made our old traditions but in such a way that they are friendly to my food restrictions (no gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, artificial ingredients). What we ended up with was every bit as yummy! I’m so appreciative of the fact that more companies are making replacements for traditional foods that are allergy friendly. More and more people have food allergies/sensitivities, so it was only a matter of time before demand for these types of products were filled by companies with the ability to meet the need. Of course, as with any food that is free of one thing, you have to make sure that it is free of all your allergens or other things that are generally not good for you. For example, many low fat or fat free foods replace the fat with sugar, and low carb or sugar free foods replace the flavor with either fat or synthetic sugars (which are often worse for the body than real sugar!).

Here are my workouts for the week:

  • Monday: Body Beast Build Chest & Tris – 49 minutes
  • Tuesday: Body Beast Bulk Legs – 41 minutes
  • Wednesday: Body Beast Build Back & Bis – 50 minutes
  • Thursday: Took a rest day because it was Thanksgiving!
  • Friday: Body Beast Build Shoulders – 38 minutes Beast Cardio 38 minutes & Beast Abs – 10 minutes
  • Saturday: Body Beast rest day
  • Sunday: Total Body – 38 minutes & Beast Abs – 10 minutes

This is my final week of Body Beast and I’m really happy with my results so far. I’m definitely seeing definition where I hadn’t previously. Although, I’m not sure how much weight I’ll actually lose after eating so much food this past week, lol. The plan for this week is to go back to liquid meals twice per day and light eating throughout the day. Hopefully this will help me get back on track from this week. Next week I will be posting my results from the 90-day program. It’s a good thing I had to add an extra week due to my allergies because I would not want to end this program on Thanksgiving week! It’s going to be another busy week.  I need to put the finishing touches on the ebook, teach another PiYo class, get a guest blog post ready, and spend more time working on my personal training certification by the end of the year!  Good thing for me I get to exercise at home (with the exception of teaching PiYo of course)!

Hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving! And as always, thanks for reading!

Ninja Bender Review

My husband and I have been making smoothies for years on a regular basis. 5 days per week as a quick on the go healthy breakfast since mornings can get pretty hectic. We’ve always used frozen fruit instead of ice to avoid the smoothie getting watered down. That kind of use on a typical blender motor wears it out quickly! We broke several inexpensive name brand blenders this way. Each time one broke, we would buy one that was a bit stronger (and more expensive!). After we burned up the motor in a third one (in less than six months of use this time!), we decided it was time to get a high quality blender.

Because it’s just what I do, I researched. I looked into juicers, but most of them were only capable of making juice. Don’t get me wrong, I love healthy juice, but we make blended smoothies, so we needed a different capability. We decided to get the Ninja since it has three sets of really sharp blades, and a strong motor – a 1,000 watt motor to be exact. We went with the professional series that came with the single serve attachments and blade. This was perfect for what we needed. We use the large attachment when making smoothies for more than one, and the single serve when only one of us needs to make a smoothie.

We’ve had this blender since mid-2012, and it’s still going strong! Let me tell you, we don’t play when it comes to making smoothies, especially with the Ninja. We put in large clumps of frozen fruit & they turn to mush quickly! Add milk & it’s turned into a smoothie! When I use fresh unfrozen fruit the blender turns it into liquid within just a few seconds. It’s quite impressive! We’ve actually saved money on blenders since buying the Ninja. We’re no longer replacing an $80 blender every 6 months or so. If we had continued to do that over the period we have owned our Ninja we would have spent $480 if the prices for the same quality of blender stayed the same for three years. Instead we bought our Ninja on sale for $149. That’s a savings of $331 over the three years we’ve owned it. As it continues to last, it will continue to save us money on replacing lower quality blenders.

A few things to note: 1) it has suction cups on the base to keep it in place on the counter & they are strong! 2) the blender is not the best when it comes to food processing – if you’re looking for finely chopped instead of liquid, make sure you get the processor version (and pulse instead of using a steady blend), 3) if the blade and lid or not secure it will not start – that is for user safety since the blades are sharp and the motor is strong 4) you cannot take the lid off while the blade is moving for safety reasons. It took a bit of getting accustomed to at first, but that’s because I was used to blenders with low-powered motors.

Overall, this is a great product. For us it has been well worth the price. Because we use it so often, we definitely got our money’s worth out of the Ninja blender. We loved it so much we also got the food processing Ninja, which by the way also works for smoothies larger than single serve but not quite big enough to use the large blender for. It also travels well because the motor sits on top of the blender lid. It’s great for when we go on road trips and still want to have our blended Shakeology smoothies. We took it on a trip with us last year when we visited my niece and it was used to make cranberry orange relish and gravy for the turkey. Absolutely a must have in our kitchen!

Hopefully you’ve found this review helpful. If you have any questions about the blender please feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to help! The blender is available in my Amazon store here:  http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20

As always, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you had a Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie with Cashew Crumble

Pumpkin pie is my favorite food item at Thanksgiving!  I want to continue to eat clean and avoid dairy, but I refuse to give up my pumpkin pie!  When I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Minis with Coconut Milk and Cashew Crumble I knew I had to make it.   Wish I had come up with it because it’s really yummy!  The casein in dairy is a no-no for me, and I don’t want to eat all the chemicals in the typical nondairy whipped topping, so we topped it with coconut milk ice cream instead.  Delicious!!

I made a large pie instead of minis, because it’s just the way I’m accustomed to eating pumpkin pie.  This can be made a few days ahead of time, which will save room in the oven on Thanksgiving day.  Hope yours is a Happy Healthy one!