Motivation Monday Christine McMillen

Motivation Monday Christine McMillien

Today’s motivation Monday post is about a lady I haven’t known very long Christine McMillen. I feel as though we had an instant bond because we are both navy wives. That really means we understand each other’s lifestyles. We also named our son’s the same name so that means she has great taste. Christine has been doing the weight loss mission with me for about 12 weeks now, and I noticed from the start that she is someone who doesn’t give up easily! As we have grown to know each other over the last months I have found out that her husband who is retired is currently deployed as a contractor. We also have had conversations about her son as well, he has a form of autism. Whenever we talk about him she always has a passion in her voice and a sparkle in her eye. Christine has a lot to juggle in life she works full time at a difficult job and many times she has long meetings and very stressful days.
One thing that spoke volumes about her drive to succeed was not too long ago when her husband was home on a rest and relaxation leave period. They took a trip to Hawaii and Christine made time to work out and make the most of that time, most people would have just simply rested but she kept on going with her goals. The very next day after she came back from her trip she came to our mission and weighed in even though her time with her hubby was quickly coming to an end. She’s so amazing!
This past week our mission was to climb a mountain. This isn’t an easy mountain by any means, it is 1,594 feet high, three miles total distance. One thing that we all love about this mission group is that it’s made for people of all levels, we are all competing with ourselves and setting goals for ourselves while encouraging our teammates. One of our rules when we do challenges is no man left behind. Well by some accident this time Christine was left behind. Little did any of us know that she had a miserable day and was looking forward to this climb, and the conversations that make her day better each Wednesday night. Well this week the norm wasn’t happening and as she struggled to keep up with the group she grew tired, both emotionally and physically. She decided to turn back and just go home.
This news soon traveled up the mountain to our trainer and he hurried down the mountain to try and catch her and to help cheer her on. He always runs up and down the mountain several times during these climbs to try and encourage all of us. He was too late and we all felt horrible that she felt so defeated. This isn’t the case with our group normally we all lift each other up. When I came home from the climb I jumped on face book to try and chat with Christine. I found her very upset and there was little anyone could do to cheer her up.
The great news is that Christine wasn’t defeated! This Saturday she climbed that mountain with our other trainer Sarah. I am so proud of Christine for accomplishing this obstacle even when she thought she wasn’t in good enough shape or that she simply would do it later. Our whole group knew that she could do it, we have seen her at the challenges and she is unstoppable.
I also have to brag again on our trainer Sarah. She took time out of her busy schedule to climb this mountain with Christine. She knew that this was something so important to Christine’s journey and that it would mean so much to her. That is another reason why I love my trainers, both of them. They share that passion for people that I share and it makes all the difference in their business.



As many of you already know, my husband and I are starting a challenge tomorrow, called the T30 (transform30). I wanted to go into a little bit about why we are doing this. Most people see me as pretty fit and in good shape, neither of us are overweight, and we have no current health problems. Our reasoning behind this is to just feel better! Sure along the way we may shed some pounds and inches, which will be pluses of the program. As a family, we eat healthier than most American families, but there is always room for improvement. We want to rid our bodies of toxins and just see what this program can do for us. We have done our research on challenges like this, and this one is the best around! The best part of this is that we are doing it together, we will have moments of weakness I’m sure, but we are in this together. Everything works better when you have a buddy along for the ride.

My friends who have already been doing this challenge for a while are having AMAZING results, and the best part is their energy levels. I think we all could use more energy for sure! So tonight, we will take some pictures so that we can truly see the results along the way. Feel free to cheer us on, or maybe even join in with us! It’s only 30 days, which may seem like a lot, but it will go by quickly. It just takes a little planning along the way. I’m looking forward to what simply putting more plants into our bodies and less processed crap will do, and how we will feel! Check out my website for more information or to contact me.

Fitness Friday SGO Fitness


This Fitness Friday I am going to focus on the people who really helped me get to where I am today. As I have said before I never was active my entire life. Well a little over 2 years ago a good friend of mine gave me a gift certificate for a free month of boot camp! As a girl who likes the word FREE I knew I needed to use this coupon. I received it for Christmas, so my plan was to start in January as so many people often do.

I remember the night before my first day, I was terrified, just the words boot camp brought me to thinking of Jillian Michaels screaming in my ear, or my worst fear being humiliated in front of people I don’t know. I barely got any sleep that night just playing through possible scenarios of what I knew was going to happen to me.

Well the day came and I went through with my new found resolution to lose weight and get into shape, for probably the first time in my life. My fears and worries were all wrong of course as we all find in life most times. What I did find however was a family. These were people who I could share jokes with, who would learn to know me so well that they can push me to levels I could never begin to push myself. I found a support system that is so important in a weight loss situation.

As I said this was two years ago and I am still a part of the SGO Fitness family. The whole group is amazing. I have met people of all types who I have learned so much about life from, which has also shaped me into who I am today. I have reached goals that I NEVER thought I would ever begin to accomplish. Most importantly I have friends who I know consider family. Even when my family moves to a new duty station I know they will remain a big part of my life forever.

I have heard so many people talking about bad experiences with trainers, or in gyms. So many people begin that resolution like I did that January and they don’t have a happy ending like I do today. They have the opposite experience happen to them. I am overjoyed that my fears were wrong and that I took that step into the unknown because I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t taken that step.
So for any friends out there who are having a hard time getting started or feel like your road is many miles long, it’s so important to find an activity that you love just like I love boot camp. IT will make all the difference in your success. Find friends who are uplifting and encouraging just like my SGO Fitness family.

I’m not saying that this journey is over by any means, or that I haven’t had sore muscles or never wanted to give up. All those things have happened multiple times, but Sean and Sarah Gogarty are the kind of people that will lift you up and remain positive in any situation. Thanks Sean and Sarah for your friendship, positive attitudes, and knowing just the words to say in every situation! I love you both!

Local Friends if you want to join in my experience and start your journey to health, it doesn’t matter what shape you are in or your age. Ability level doesn’t matter either. They will make it possible for anyone to participate in fitness and you will enjoy it on the way!

Here’s a workout I did with SGO this week for anyone to try.

SGO Fitness Bootcamp Workout
By: Sarah Gogarty (ACE-CPT)

Dynamic Warm up (10 minutes)

Bodyweight no rest HIIT circuits
30 seconds work, no rest x 3 sets

Wide squats
Heel clicks
Alternating Side Lunges

1/2 Burpees
Squat Kicks
Mountain Climbers
Bike crunches

Push Up Jacks
Back Extensions
Toe Touch Crunch

Toe taps in right
Sprinter start right
Toe taps in left
Sprinter start left

Boxer fast feet
Boxer shuffle

Cool Down and Stretch

Super Food Coconut Oil

coconut oil
My trainer Sarah probably knew this one was coming. I am always talking about Coconut oil. I am in love with it. There are so many uses for it not only dietary uses either. You can put it on your face as a make-up remover/ moisturizer, use it for dry skin or eczema, or of course there are many cooking options as well. We will stick to mainly cooking and benefits of it for today though.
From Dr. Oz’s website: Coconut oil is high in antioxidants and is very heart healthy. It can help boost your immunity to bacteria and viruses. It can also help with thyroid function as well as help maintain blood sugar. Other helpful benefits of coconut oil are that it can help reduce cholesterol, and aid in digestion.
Some ways you can use it are of course in baking, simply omit the other oils and substitute coconut oil. It goes well with kale and other leafy vegetables, or in oatmeal. Make sure you buy the organic virgin variety of coconut oil if you are going to use it, quality is VERY important with this oil.
Some major benefits of coconut oil are:
1. It contains lots of saturated fats which we are learning aren’t as bad for you as we originally thought. In moderation of course don’t go out and put coconut oil in EVERYTHING you eat. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.

2. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.

3. It can also help lower your blood cholesterol levels and help safeguard against heart disease as well.

4. Coconut oil can help protect your hair from damage, moisturize your skin, and be used as a sunscreen as well!

5. One other factor of CO is that using it can help prevent seizures in children who are prone to them.

Recipes with Coconut Oil:

Mom’s Salmon Patties
• 6 ounces salmon (I used Bear & Wolf Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon canned from Costco)
• 1 egg, scrambled
• 1 pinch ground sage
• 2 Tablespoons almond flour
• 1 teaspoon coconut flour
• salt
• pepper
• butter or coconut oil
This recipe makes 3 patties.
This is a very simple recipe inspired by my mother’s recipe, and her recipe inspired by her mother, my grandmother. Grandma called the Salmon Croquettes, but she dipped hers in flour before frying. My mother had a slightly different version, and the one you see above is my revision.
As I mentioned, this is a super easy recipe. If you’re using canned salmon, simply open the can and if your brand contains bones or skin, remove both leaving only the flakes of fish.
Pour the salmon into a bowl, break the fish into small pieces, and add in the scrambled egg and all other ingredients. Mix gently and allow to sit for about two minutes so that the coconut flour can absorb the moisture.
Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form patties.
Melt your favorite fat in a skillet and heat until nice and hot. Drop the patties in and sauté for about two minutes on each side to brown. These stuck in my stainless skillet so be sure to use plenty of fat.
Turn down heat and continue to cook on each side about two minutes until the patties feel firm.
Three patties contains: 340 calories, 45 grams protein, 17 grams fat and 5 carbohydrates.

You can read the original post here:

The following recipe is non-edible. I haven’t tried this yet, but I have been wanting to. I have a friend who thinks I am strange for wanting to make all these things homemade but I have my reasons. Regular deodorants have aluminum in them which has been linked to Alzheimer’s.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe with Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Coconut Oil
2 tbsp. beeswax granules
1¼ tbsp. Shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, etc. (I used Shea)
1¼ tbsp. coconut oil
½ tbsp. bentonite clay
½ tbsp. baking soda
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
6 drops rosemary essential oil
1. In a double boiler, or a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the beeswax, coconut oil, and Shea butter until melted completely and mixed well.
2. Whisk in the baking soda and bentonite clay until well combined.
3. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes and then stir in your essential oils.
4. Take an old (clean) deodorant stick and make sure the plunger thing is twisted all the way down. Carefully pour your warm mixture into the container
5. Let sit with the cap off until it has cooled completely. Then, use as normal.

Motivation Monday Erika

ImageThis week’s motivation Monday picture is of my dear friend Erika! I have known Erika for about 4 years. Our youngest children were in a mommy and me preschool class together. We quickly learned that our children were becoming very special friends and our friendship would also blossom quickly as well. Erika is the kind of mom that really does so much for her children and for other people’s children as well. She is always at her children’s school volunteering and running around taking kids here and there. Sometimes the kids aren’t even her own, but she does it with a smile. Well as most busy moms, usually we put our own needs last. We make sure everyone else is taken care of and there is no energy left at the end of the day for ourselves.

Well Erika has recently decided to start making time for her health, and I am so proud of her! When Erika sets out to do something, she doesn’t do it lightly, she does it with her whole self. She started boot camp classes with me and she really steps it up a notch. One day while we were doing a competitive game I looked across the field and I saw someone do a flip and then a roll onto the ground. I was staring in amazement, then I noticed it was Erika and I was then even more shocked, it looked like a move out of the NFL!

Another story about our friendship, Erika decided to join me on a hike around Christmas time. This isn’t an ordinary hike, it’s a 6.4 mile hike with an epic rock climb at the top to get onto the picturesque potato chip rock. This rock gets its name from the way it looks obviously. It’s very thin and if you have a misstep you will plummet to your death. Well Erika is afraid of heights. We got onto the rock by some miracle (neither of us really were excited about this part) and we are about to snap a picture together and I move closer to Erika for the picture and she says, “DON’T TOUCH ME!” This is why I picked Erika for this week’s motivation picture! She went on a women’s retreat this weekend and I was so proud of her when I saw these pictures of here repelling herself across a very high wire. I’m so amazed at the level she brings to the workouts and to life in general. She motivates me to push it to the next level and to go out of my comfort zone. I know have to really push my sprints to the next level at boot camp, because she is always on my heels. Erika, I am SO proud of you, keep up the good work girl! 

Superfood Beets

Well maybe I should have saved all the work I did before I posted a picture of beet pancakes by themselves.

Crystal's Whole Journey

Superfood Beets

So my family of course turned up their noses when I told them we were going to be trying to incorporate beets into our diet. To be honest I wasn’t very happy about it either, but I know we can always use more fruits and veggies into our lives. So a couple of things that I have done with beets so far is simply to peel them and blend them into my smoothies with banana, milk, and some other berries. That was very beautiful and it tasted pretty good too. I didn’t put a ton of beets into it to start because I knew if I wanted my children to drink it I needed to start small. Then one day I stumbled across a beet pancake recipe on I again was hesitant until I saw all the comments that the readers had posted. Many were saying that they were…

View original post 789 more words

Superfood Beets

Superfood Beets

So my family of course turned up their noses when I told them we were going to be trying to incorporate beets into our diet. To be honest I wasn’t very happy about it either, but I know we can always use more fruits and veggies into our lives. So a couple of things that I have done with beets so far is simply to peel them and blend them into my smoothies with banana, milk, and some other berries. That was very beautiful and it tasted pretty good too. I didn’t put a ton of beets into it to start because I knew if I wanted my children to drink it I needed to start small. Then one day I stumbled across a beet pancake recipe on I again was hesitant until I saw all the comments that the readers had posted. Many were saying that they were the BEST pancakes ever. So I thought we should give it a shot, I mean how often is it that you get to eat the BEST pancakes ever. Well turns out they were very tasty. I altered the recipe just a tad by putting white wheat flour in it and instead of vanilla extract, I put almond extract. They were very tasty! The kids couldn’t get enough of them! We will definitely be making those often! Here’s the recipe, I promise if you try them they very well may become a staple in your home as well! 

Red Beet Pancakes  (Serves 6)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 12 mins


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • medium beets, roasted & pureed (about 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. 1. Sift the first 5 ingredients into a bowl.
  2. 2. Place the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  3. 3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined (you don’t want to overstir the batter — some lumps are good).
  4. 4. Drop about 2 tbsp of the pancake mixture onto a greased griddle or pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  5. 5. Serve with desired accompaniments.
  6. * To freeze: Place the pancakes in labeled zipper bags and freeze for up to 3 months

So now I have done some research as to why beets are so good for our bodies. I am in no way a doctor but I like to research why we need to put certain things into our bodies. I like more of an answer that tells me what specific areas of my body each food will help. This also helps me try and help other people; which is my greatest passion in life. So here are some benefits of eating Beets. 

SuperFood BEETS

1. They are nature’s form of viagra. (well my face is now be BEET red). It’s true though the ancient Romans used them as a aphrodisiac. This comes from the fact that beets have high amounts of boron in them which benefit human sex hormone production. 

2. Beets are loaded with Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid. These are but a few of the many nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can be found in beets and beet greens. Beets are particularly beneficial to women whom are pregnant, as the vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body.

3. Betaine is a substance that beets are high in as well. This is commonly something that doctors use to treat people with depression. Beets also contain trytophan which we all know from our famous Thanksgiving day turkey comas. Trytophan definitely relaxes the body. 

4. Stomach acid tester- You can test how much stomach acid you have by eating or drinking a lot of beets. If your urine turns pink you know that you have low stomach acid. 

5. More energy- The Dr. Oz show’s website says: Many of our patients have mentioned that juicing beets will give them more energy for their day. Research is showing that this may be due to the ability of components in the juice to improve blood flow. Beetroot juice has been shown to help the body respond better to exercise, by balancing oxygen use and increasing stamina. I know I can always use more energy in my day! 

6. Cancer and heart disease prevention 

7. Garlic breath- beet leaves can rescue garlic breathe, good to know =) 

Some other ways to get some beets into your diet besides juicing them or simply cooking them, would be to try a European favorite Borscht. (Borscht, a very popular vegetable soup made of beets is a traditionally loved dish in Poland, Russia, Germany and other Eastern European menus. There are cold and hot Borscht soups and each country varies some of the ingredients, but beets are the one common and main ingredient of this revered and hearty soup.)

Hope that this is beneficial to you. I really enjoy learning more about foods and how to incorporate them into my family’s diet sometimes without having to taste them necessarily! That is the trick at times, but it works!

IF you find you need to get more fruits and vegetable servings in your day another way to Bridge the Gap between the servings you are currently getting would be to take Juice Plus+. Check out my website:  (Juice Plus capsules and chewables have beets)