Jumpstart to Skinny – Week One (with a grocery shopping list…BOOM!)

The road to health is paved with good intentions. It’s also littered with quinoa & chicken breasts.

– me (erin) just now


(picture from @trainerbob’s instagram and he totally does)

In the blogging off season some stuff happened, not the least of which was my baby brother Mike got engaged. And, there’s nothing like an impending wedding of epic eternal family pictures to light a fire under one’s post-anniversary-trip-with-10-bonus-lbs behind. So, I made a new goal: 40 pounds down by the wedding in October.

(Now, while it may flatter me, do not say I don’t have 40 lbs to lose. Believe me, come the fall I will still be 20 pounds heavier than my 18 year old self.)

So, we have ramped up our efforts. JR posted about our commitment to Tone it Up’s spring Bikini Series (which is bomb btw, check out their workouts here here here). But, in order to get extra serious I have added another trainer to the mix: Bob Harper from tv’s Biggest Loser (his Instagram @trainerbob is worth checking out).

All the lovely Paleo bloggers we have enjoyed in the past continue to serve us well. And, the ladies over at Tone It Up are righteous to be sure. It’s just that Bob came out with a new book recently, Jumpstart to Skinny, that’s all kinds of fabu and, frankly, is exactly what Karena & Katrina  suggest in their plan (except K&K say yes to greek yogurt. golly gee, do we love greek yogurt).

Then, BONUS, my little sister Rocket decided to join us. She comes over every week to hang with my kids while I work on becoming a novelist (yeah, i know, newsflash. more on that later. promise.) and we are partnering for success.

Health Protip: Get a partner. It is next to impossible to get healthy inside a vacuum  (have you ever seen what’s inside your vacuum? Gross. SO, Game. Set. Match. Get a friend to support and join you!)

Bob articulates a 3-week plan to reprogram your metabolism and “jumpstart” the weight loss. Similar to his persona on tv’s Biggest Loser, TB’s book is charismatically on point. He is humorous, empathetic and no-nonsense.

The problem came after I read the first week’s plan and was all set to get going. I realized there wasn’t a grocery list. Whaaaaaa? So I utilized our Weekly Plan sheet, filling in all Bob’s meals (reframing a few meals that are not Paleo – he has a meal with Oats and two with Ezekial bread, thankfully dairy has been left out, besides a few sprinklings of Parmesan I will skip.).


And, like the gracious host that I am, I will share my list with y’all. You will have to get the book to find the recipes and meal plan (don’t want to infringe on Bob’s copyright. You’ve just been Lawyer-ed.)

Bob Harper’s Jumpstart to Skinny Week 1 Grocery List 

(for one person)

Fresh Produce



Yellow Squash

2 Bell Peppers

Red Onion

Yellow Onion


Green Onion

Basil Leaves

4 Plum Tomatoes





Spaghetti Squash







Swiss Chard


Baby Bok Choy

Shredded Cabbage (Trader Joe’s)

Power to the Green x3 (Trader Joe’s)



Fennel Bulb

Persian Cucumbers


Dry/Canned Goods


Olive Oil Spray

Sesame Oil

Low Sodium Vegtable Broth

32oz crushed low sodium canned tomatoes

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Ground Flax Seeds

Liquid Aminos

* Ezekial Bread


Fridge/Frozen Goods

35 Egg Whites (4 TJ’s containers)

Frozen Berries

8 4oz chicken breasts

4 oz cod fish

4 oz salmon fillet

ground turkey breast

*Parmesan Cheese

*Rolled Oats


Cupid – We’re coming for you!

green and red healthy food

So it’s been almost two weeks since the New Year started. How are you doing on your resolution to eat better, cleaner, leaner, and healthier? Maybe you are doing awesome. Maybe you are having a rough go of it. Whatever the case may be, a bit of goal setting and motivation always helps.

So here it is. A challenge. Clean eating from now until Valentine’s Day. If you are on board with me and Erin, you are already Paleo for the month of January. Two more weeks will be the icing on the gluten free, sugar free, dairy free cake. If you missed out on joining Erin and I, it is time to jump on it.

So no dairy, no sugar, and no grain. And no boozing ladies. Lots of lean protein, lots of veggies, and some fruit. It will take work and dedication and some days it will be super hard to not devour your children’s mac n’cheese. But I promise you, you will see results.

I work best if I give myself some incentive. This time my incentive is avoiding public shame.   If I cheat I will make a public confession on the blog with photo documentation. Erin’s incentive continues to be her upcoming 10 Year Anniversary trip to Hawaii. What are you using as incentive? A new pair of skinny jeans? A pedicure? A day away from kiddos?

Tomorrow will be posting a freebie to help you out. Get excited!

Let’s do it! Who is with us?

Not the Healthiest Place on Earth


Last February I (Erin) went to Disneyland determined to eat paleoish and plan for my favorite treats in a very conscious way. After scouring the interwebs, I made a list of paleo-friendly restaurants and menu items. Then, and most importantly, I made a list of my planned treats. I did not want to experience the usual amusement park mindlessness of “hey, there’s a churro stand. let’s eat a churro then forget we ate a churro and eat a pretzle later”.

It was a moderately successful trip for the Paleoish person. However, new year new challenge.  We are heading back to the Magic Kingdom at the end of the month and wanted to share my keepin’ Paleo ideas with y’all.


I will be carrying a written plan with me. It helps when I am at home so I assume it will help in the park. (I will post a pic of this before we leave so y’all can check it out)


Our hotel has a pretty killer breakfast situation. Locally sourced and tasty meats, eggs, lots of veggies – lots and lots and lots.


There is not a goofy sour ball sour enough or a churro sugary enough or a french fry fried enough for me to cheat before the 10 year anni trip (40 days!!!).  Sometimes it is good to eat yummy carbolicious foods, sometimes it is the best way to celebrate, sometimes it fills your belly along with your soul. I get that and do that – except NOT when I’m in full GO MODE. So, this time, no beignets from ralph brennen and no dole whips from the tiki stand. Next time. I promise.

4. Follow this list of “approved” dining establishments

While it is next to impossible to completely know if there is soy or sugar involved in the marinating and cooking of some of these menu items my goal is to stay as Gluten, Rice, Dairy and Sugar free as possible.

Turkey Legs: Before I was paleo I was a HUGE turkey leg fan. Unsure if these feats of culinary mystery are really made of turkey (there is discussion of it being pork based) I know they are neither breaded or made of milk. I am positive that sugar is part of their deliciousness tho. I’m gonna let it go because of its overwhelming meatiness.

Village Haus: Bratwurst, skip the bun, extra (I mean EXTRA) kraut.

Bengal BBQ: Meat and Veggie Skewars. This is an expensive option for a full meal since the skewars are more of a snacky size. Though, super delicious.


Rancho Del Zocalo: Tostada. No shell. No beans. EXTRA grilled veggies.

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe: SOOO many salads to chose from.

Hungry Bear Restaurant: Big Als Chicken Salad. Smoked chicken on romaine and iceberg lettuce with watermelon, pecans, dried cherries, red onions. In other words, Yes Please.


Big Thunder Ranch: Grilled Chicken and Ribs and Coleslaw. While the bbq sauce is a sugar situation for sure I will scrape lots of it off and will make a small exception since my daughter and husband absolutely adore this place. Though avoiding the cornbread may make me cry.


Cocina Cucamonga: (CA) This is my favorite option and will probably be dinner all 3 nights we are in the park. 1/2 Citrus Fire-Grilled Chicken with Veggies. It is yum yum yum and totally paleo.

Citrus Fire-Grilled Chicken with Veggies


So, wish me luck. I’m gonna need it.

The Art of Going Without

I (Erin) have had a few years of struggling with the really real reality that I am limited. Like, super limited. And there’s nothing I can do about it. While my self-journey through the valley of less-than-ideal-outcomes has come with it’s share of set-backs, I remain hopeful. Why? Because, having limitations is okay, frankly it’s awesome.

I know a few people who seem to live without limitation in one or many areas of their lives and they generally seem more discontent. The rest of us know that algebra, long distance running, figure drawing and homemade pie crust brings us to our knees. There is comfort here: I do not have to worry about becoming a baker or a marathoner. Phew. It is good to know who I am and who I am not.

I am NOT someone who can eat wheat, sugar and milk without some LARGE consequences. Boo. The great sadness I feel about not realizing this until my 29th birthday is only matched by my great joy that I found out before my 39th. My twenties had their way with my midline/thighs/booty. However, it’s ok. I am a big fan of my twenties. They were a hedonistic playground of french fries, ginger cookies and flavored lattes. I chose to look back with fondness. Those times were delicious. Those times are over.

So, I go without.

And, I don’t complain. And, I dismiss cravings. And, I make adjustments. And, I refuse to give into foodie peer pressure (the worst kind). And, I allow myself the grace to fail sometimes without shame. Because, I can’t change the way my body metabolizes certain foods. And, there’s no point in bitching about it.

Luckily, I’ve learned some tricks to get me though that I want to share with you.


Two words: Cinnamon Tea
Harney and Sons makes my favorite: Hot Cinnamon Spice
A favorite of mine through grad-school: it can steep for days and is spicy and sweet and (most importantly for the early AM momma) caffeinated.

cinnful tea

Two more words: Coconut Creamer
If you are going to allow yourself a slight daily cheat I would go with creamer in your coffee. If you want to stay dairy free I would go with coconut creamer (nut milks are adequate, but do not satisfy). Avoid the flavored ones because they taste fake and gross (my opinion)


Tune in next time for a tale of snacking proportion.



This Little Piggie Went to Market


While we consume mass quantities of pizza, chocolate chip cookies and Nespresso lattes with refined sugar we plan for tomorrow. For tomorrow we go large. Tomorrow we get ‘er done. Tomorrow we start the first day of healthy living 2013. Tomorrow we go full caveman. Therefore, tomorrow we go grocery shopping.

So, if you are joining us for JANUARY PALEOLITHIC THRILL SPECTACULAR (JPTS) we want to say HUZZAH! and here’s a little list to set you up for success in the kitchen.

First: we keep to the edges of the grocery store, and shop primarily at COSTCO (C), Trader Joes (TJ) and Whole Foods (WF).

Second: we attempt at meal planning for all meals (including snacks).

Third: we have found that if we have non-Paleo food laying around we are borrowing trouble. Purging is necessary! Sugar. Grain. Rice. Potatoes. Refined Sugar. Dairy. All out! If it doesn’t have a face or come straight from the earth it goes.



LARGE bag of Baby Spinach (C)
Bag of “power to the greens” (TJ)
Bag of Arugela (TJ)
Bag of Asperagus (C)
Tray of Tomatoes (C)
Box of Cherry Tomatoes (TJ or C)
Precut Mushrooms (TJ or C)
3 bags of Precut Onions (because we are lazy) (TJ)
2 Miropex contaniers (because our laziness really knows no bounds) (TJ)
6-8 zucchini (TJ)
bag of brussel sprouts (TJ or C)
bag of baby carrots (TJ)
bag of little mixed bell peppers (C)
bushel of fresh basil (TJ)

berries, berries and more berries

***Here is the lowdown on fruit. It is delish because it is full of sugar. If you are really trying to lose weight go easy on the fruit and don’t eat it after noon. Erin is in the final 60 days till her 10 year anniversary trip and therefore is foregoing fruit all together. Brave girl.


2 dozen (at least) organic free range eggs (TJ or C)
2 lbs chicken italian sausage (TJ or WF)
1 lb pork spicy italian sausage (TJ or WF)
1 lb pork italian sausage sweet (TJ or WF)
1 lb ground turkey (TJ)
skinless chicken breasts/thighs
rotisserie chicken (C)
pre-grilled and seasoned chicken breasts (TJ)
frozen salmon or mahi mahi (TJ or C)
2 can tuna in water (TJ)

Canned / Dry Foods:

4 16-oz cans diced tomatoes (TJ or C)
2 16-oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes (TJ)
2 cans tomato paste (TJ or C)
2 boxes of beef broth (TJ or WF)
1 jar of sugarless basil marinara (TJ)
1 jar capers (TJ)
1 jar whole grain mustard
1 package almond meal/flour (TJ or WF)
ground flax seed (TJ)
dried organo (TJ)
21 seasoning salute (TJ)
red pepper flakes (TJ)

So, off to the market with us!

Oh, and Happy New Year!

2013 is gonna be a healthy shrinking good time.

Brace Yourself…Bikini Time

When we started this blog I had a very specific goal in mind. Wearing a bikini for my 10th Anniversiary. I knew we were going to go someplace tropical and I wanted to feel comfortable walking around in a bathing suit. My last experience with extensive bathing suit wearing was on family vacation at about 10 weeks post partum. Here is one of the only pictures of me in a suit. I tried to avoid any full frontal shots.


I’m not saying I looked bad. I just knew I could do better. So I worked hard. I kept to the Paleo plan, enlisted some help from my girls over at Tone It Up!, and kept to my workout goals. It was hard but it was worth it. Life got a bit crazy but I stayed focused. And then in June, Dr. Husband and I got to go kid free for a week to Cancun. It was lovely. An entire week of hanging out with my favorite person while being served endless fruity drinks and staring out at turquoise water and white sand. And guess what, I rocked a bikini.

So here I am at just about one year post partum, the day before our trip, and freshly spray tanned.


And here we are in Mexico. Besides the Montezuma’s revenge, it was an amazing trip.
IMG_1559So now it is December, my trip was over 6 months ago. I’ve softened up a bit but I still fit in my skinny jeans. In fact I’m wearing smaller skinny jeans than I did before either of my pregnancies. I feel like I’ve finally learned how to eat and exercise right, not just to attain a goal of wearing a bikini, but to maintain a healthy lifestyle that I feel good about it. I’ve learned somethings over the last year and I’m excited to share them here.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how important it is too have support. To surround yourself with people that understand your goals. I’m hoping that we can all do that for each other here. I’m hoping we can encourage each other to be the best versions of our healthy and hawt selves. Do you have any goals for 2013? We would love for you to share them here.

And we are back in the game

Almost a year ago we started this little blog thing, more importantly we started a journey towards healthier, and also fitter, then consequently, skinnier selves. While all our blogging intentions seemed to go the way of the Walkman. After a few fantastic (if we do say so ourselves) posts we just sort of let life and the inevitable pull towards getting through a full (and fit) mommy life just became too much for us. But, we hope that like the hammer or harem pant, another nineties throwback, we too will be making an unexpected and sometimes outrageous comeback.

So, where have we been? We’ve lived through a big year: collectively losing 55 lbs (then gaining 15 back during our vacation months – but more on that later), having husbands with insane work schedules and multiple international trips, moving across the state, leaving old then finding new zumba classes to teach, a few friends & family trips to Disneyland (read: faileo), a month living on an island, and all the while attempting-not-always-succeeding healthful living.

So, we are back. And, we welcome you to keep checking in. 2013 is gonna get real. It’s a new year for new challenges, new victories, new adjustments and new tales of two thirtysomethings.

Starting off: the first of January will be our kick off for a clean green paleo month of madness. Join us!!!! Till then, celebrate with some spiked egg nog and Christmas cookies. I know we will be Faileoing with celebratory grandeur for the next few days.

E and JR