Selecting Our Meal Plan

Simple. Easy. Affordable.

That’s what we want our meal plan to look like.

ME 1

Dustin and I sat down on the couch Monday night and created our meal plan. Mind you, it’s nothing special. We aren’t a couple of geniuses.

The challenge is 30 days (with a few extra days tacked on since we started sooner). We didn’t want to come up with 30 different meals. We also didn’t want to have the same thing every day.

We split it up. 10 meals alternated every 10 days for 30 days.

Let me preface this by saying, this meal plan is what works for us. We tailored it around our work schedules. We work early. We see each other frequently for lunch breaks. After work we head to the gym and it’s usually 8p.m. or later when we arrive home. We don’t want to overload ourselves before bed.

We have already eliminated dairy for close to two months and will continue to. We haven’t eliminated meat. We plan to eat it once a day. We are looking to transition to a vegan-friendly diet sometime in the near future.

ME 2

We have a shake for breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, and a shake for dinner.

Our list:

  • Sautéed vegetables with rice and meat
  • Hamburger patty with cauliflower mashed potatoes
  • Chicken tacos
  • Homemade pizza’s (with cauliflower crust, garden tomatoes. YUM!)
  • Mozzarella, Tomato, with Balsamic Vinegar (my favorite!)
  • Zucchini Goulash
  • Steak Fajitas
  • Chili
  • Q’doba* (for those unfamiliar, it’s like Chipotle. This is the day we consider our cheat day. We don’t go crazy.)

As you can see, they aren’t recipes that are original to us. We chose meals that are easy to make. Having each meal repeating 10 days allows us to eat healthy while keeping it simple and interesting.

We don’t starve ourselves. We aren’t calorie counting but we do make sure we are getting adequate nutrition from various sources (I’ll go in to detail on this in another post). Every Friday during our challenge, we chose to “weigh in”.

This is not our main focus.

Building a healthy routine is the main focus. But for the curious ones, here ya go.

Chelsea: Day 1: 224, Day 5: 221
Dustin: Day 1: 346, Day 5: 336 (he killed it!)

How it’s working for me: So far, I feel amazing! I love structure. I love a plan. Choosing to better myself (in order to better serve my family & the world) has been a great experience so far. I’m motivated by challenging myself in the weight room.

How it’s working for Dustin: He isn’t feeling bloated anymore. Other than his seasonal allergies (we’re working to get rid of naturally) he feels awesome. He has joint pain that seems to have alleviated some. He isn’t as tired at the end of the day. He’s been finding natural alternatives to everything.

Don’t get overwhelmed with lifestyle changes. Do one thing at a time. Incorporate things slowly. Build a routine that suits your schedule, even if it isn’t what everyone else says. Keep your head up. You’ll start to see results of your hard work. It will pay off.

Keep On Shining,


The Thing About Weight

Let me get right to it.

In high school, I weighed 165-170 pounds (fluctuating during my period). College I was between 180-190 pounds. After kids and a stressful marriage, I got as high as 225.

My highest weight to date. Y’all it scared me SO much.

For the past three years, my life has been a ball of stress. Navigating a divorce I never wanted to go through made it really tough for me to accomplish daily tasks. I’ve fluctuated since, but not by 5 pounds. I’ve gotten as low as 208, only to go right back to 225. I stayed at 215 for about a year.

Along the way, telling myself to get my shit together. Telling myself my weight wasn’t that bad or that I could eat the second piece of cake.

All the while, being way too hard on myself internally to the point of breaking down at least once a week about how horrible I was. Insert eye roll and someone please give me a Snickers.

Within the last year, I’ve become way more educated on how I want to live my life and how I want to fuel my body (and my kids, but that’s another story). This past week, I hit the point of no return. The point where I realized this is do or die. I cannot go on like this and achieve my dreams. I cannot make excuses. I will not let my past rule my present or my future. It actually happened during a workout.


Let me explain.

I had eaten clean that day and felt really good. I decided to challenge myself the month of September. I wanted to work out every day for the month. An honest, sweaty, gritty work-out. I promised myself I wouldn’t get a post-workout shake unless I had put in some damn good effort and then some. I better be a muscle-shaking, almost can’t pick myself off the floor mess.

I kind of tricked myself also. I said I’d start September first, but wanted to see if I was really serious about it. So I decided not to wait. I got off work Monday and headed to the gym. I started with the treadmill (25-30 mins, usually listening to Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger podcast!), moved to the recumbent bike (25 min preset Fat Burn ride), then into the weight room.

Y’all, I get JACKED going to the weight room. It’s my favorite place to be. But lately I had been struggling with feeling up to the challenge. Nothing had felt right the last few days and I couldn’t get in my zone.

I figured with this challenge, I’d see if I could push myself.

It was now or literally never.

I pushed myself to failure for the FIRST time ever. IT FELT AMAZING! Up until then, I had not realized how scared I was to hit failure. I didn’t want to drop the weight, shake too much, or feel weak (makes no sense, I know).

I stepped away from the weights and took a quick lap around the room while tears filled my eyes. I was SO proud of myself and felt like I literally broke through what’s been holding me back these three years. No one mattered but Chelsea. I felt like such a different person. Until you experience it, I don’t think I could ever explain it correctly.

Here’s some challenge info.

I started Monday. It will technically end September 26th but I’ll go until the 30th. It’s the end of Day 3. I feel phenomenal. I won’t do another weigh in until Day 5 (every Friday). I’ll post details about my challenge in another post.

To give you a little more info, I took a few steps to start this off:

  • Ditch the junk
  • Use what we have (meal plan)
  • Build a routine
  • Food prep if I have to
  • Give yourself grace

If you want to hop on the train a little early, first thing’s first.

Get rid of the junk.

I filled two garbage bags full of junk food.

A couple more things.

I began this challenge for me. Dustin is doing it as well. I’m sure it could work for anyone that tries it. It’s very simple. This is not a calorie counter. This is not a starvation method.

In addition to working out for 30 days, I want to be 165-170 by age 30. I’m 27 on the eleventh and I don’t believe this goal is out of my reach. I’m pretty positive I can get there quite a bit sooner, but I’m starting with 30 days so I don’t get ahead of myself. I’m using this time to really focus on number 3…Build A Routine. I want a solid, daily routine for a while.

I’ll post more in the days to come about the meal plan we’ve selected for us, the workouts we do, weekly weigh in’s with updates, recipes, etc. I’ll let Dustin sort of speak for the guys while I stay geared towards the women. But feel free to use any of our advice as you see fit.

Most importantly, don’t forget to love yourself. Love the ups and the downs. Go easy on yourself. It took X amount of years to get to where you are now.

The thing about weight?

It is nothing but a number. It does not define you as a person. It does not tell me your favorite movies, your favorite hobbies, how you like your coffee, what fires you up inside.

You are an exceptional human being and I’m so glad you’re here with me.


Keep On Shining,


Family Visit

Well, my mom & sister are safe and sound back in their homes. We had such a wonderful visit this year! They were both here for about a week and the kids LOVED it. I must say I enjoyed the three days off of work it gave me.

I scrambled like a mad woman to clean the house and set up their rooms before they arrived. Lets face it, there’s usually dishes to be cleaned and laundry to be done around here.

Fun fact: Ashley did some research and she was here last year on the exact same day! Here’s a photo comparison. They look like BABIES!!







We got to do so many fun things! Last year we did all the “tourist” things. We went to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and a few kid-friendly attractions. This year we really wanted to focus on being together and didn’t go too far from town.

During the course of their stay I showed them my two favorite places in town, our wellness studio and our coffee shop. We went to the park more times than I think we’ve been in one week. The kids played so well together and each morning couldn’t wait to get out of bed to go see one another.

My nephew is 2 weeks older than my daughter so we did a joint birthday party and invited some of the kids’ friends and their parents over to hang out. We had a snack/dessert table set up. Now, some may notice the cake. I had the cake ordered way before the visit was final. But we made due and my nephew love it. We set up two kid pools and handed out water guns to each kiddo that was there. Later, we filled both pools with water balloons. One pool was the girls, one was the boys. We set up a mini water balloon fight for them and it was a blast! (Luckily they didn’t get too crazy with throwing).

We did leave town for one adventure! There is a really cool water park about an hour and a half from us. After spending a few days at the house we decided the kids would enjoy that. The water park has a splash pad, a “playground” that has a huge bucket over it that dumps water every couple minutes, a few different pools, a lazy river, a rock wall, an obstacle course, and the older kid/adult slides. It was so much fun, even Ashley and I enjoyed going on the bigger water slides!! My personal favorite was being able to ride down the slides on an inner tube.

Here’s more than a few pictures of the week we had with my sister, my nephew, and my mother. The kids miss them so much already. A few times they’ve asked if they’re still at the house and I reluctantly have to say no.

Any of you out there really enjoy being around your family? I’m right there with ya.


It was one of the best weekends we’ve had here in a long time. I cannot wait to start planning our trip to the east coast a year from now!!! More on that later.

Keep Shining,