Thursday, June 30, 2011

10 Weight Loss Tips that Work and 10 that just won't

For those who are looking to lose weight, wasting your time with ideas, behaviors, and diets that don't work can make the process even more frustrating. I deal with individuals trying to lose weight and become more healthy and in doing so, I have experienced and seen a lot of trial and error firsthand. I have seen success and failure. I know many of you are on the same path, striving for your own success and hopefully these tips will help you along the way.

What DOES work. In no particular order...
1. Journaling Your Food I say it all the time. Food journaling is the BEST way to lose weight. Being accountable for the food you are eating is only going to happen if you start to recognize what exactly it is that you are eating. 
2. Increasing Your Protein. If you feel like you are eating healthy, but aren't seeing results there may just be some small tweaks that you need to make in your diet. One of these tweaks may be increasing the percentage of protein you are eating while decreasing some of the complex carbohydrates. Here are some easy tips if you need power up your protein
3. Eating Clean. Processed food is usually packed with sugar, refined flour, and words you can't read. I can promise you the closer you keep your diet to clean unprocessed foods, the better off you will be.
4. Increasing your Cardio. This includes interval training. When you are trying to get the weight off you that you have packed on over the years, you have to burn off the excess. The best way to do that is with a combination of increased cardio, resistance training, and a healthy diet. If you want to see weight loss I'd suggest 60 mins 5-6 days a week.
5. Resistance Training. The best way to increase your metabolism is to increase the amount of calories your body is burning all the time. To do this you must increase your lean muscle mass. To increase your lean muscle mass you have to get lifting weights. It is a key part of weight loss. Resistance training works.
6. Portion Control. Watching what you are eating is definitely important, but actually taking into account that a serving of cereal (calorie-wise) isn't necessarily a bowl of cereal may take some getting used to. If you aren't watching your portions, you are more than likely eating more than you think.
7. De-Grazing. Stopping by the kitchen each time you pass it to grab a little bite of this or handful of that could be what is sabotaging your diet. Those calories add up, whether they fill you up or not.
8. Cutting Out Sugar. For those who have a sweet tooth, I realize this is the last thing you want to hear. Getting rid of the excess refined sugar is a VERY good way to drop some lbs. Most sugary items are just excess in your diet. Candy and treats are the extras we add in on top of our meals, so cutting them out means you are getting rid of calories.
9. Planning Ahead. This is one of the BIGGEST keys to success. Knowing what you are going to eat helps you to avoid last minute trips through the drive through, or binge meals that come because you are too hungry to care about anything else. Planning ahead allows you to have snacks on hand, and will keep you eating regularly which will keep your blood sugar at bay. All of this is conducive to weight loss.
10. Find a Buddy. Have a friend get involved in getting healthy with you. Get in on a weight loss challenge. Create a contest for your family, friends, or co-workers. Having some healthy competition may just be the best motivator for you to keep up with your goals. Have a buddy to exercise with. It may keep you in line and keep you from skipping workouts.

And the things that DON'T Work.
1. Exercising Endlessly without watching you food intake. Unfortunately, people think that exercise automatically means you get to eat whatever you want. If you are going for weight loss this isn't so. Think of exercise more as like the bonus calorie burn you get in for the day. Focus on your food. It will be the key to your success.
2. Having the "I deserve this" Mindset. When you feel like you deserve foods you are giving into your emotional eating. This leads to over eating which can lead to weight gain. What you really deserve is to look and feel healthy and happy.
3. Sneaking Handfuls. As I mentioned above. These unaccounted for "extras" will be just the thing to keep you maintaining your weight, or gaining. Don't let all your hard work go to waste by thinking small bites here and there don't matter. Guess what? They do.
4. Crash Dieting. Trying to follow crazy diets may help you see success for a couple of weeks or a couple of days, but in the end you are just fooling with your metabolism. Instead of giving into crazy diets, give into a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain and will help you to see long lasting results in a method that you can live with.
5. Forgetting to sleep. Sleep is SO important. Many people don't realize that it is so important to weight loss. Your body has to have time to recover and repair itself. Lack of sleep can lead to poor habits that can cause weight gain. Trust me, making sleep priority will benefit your weight loss success.
6. Eating out. You most certainly can eat out and eat healthy. I do it all the time. BUT, the truth of the matter is, most people don't. Most people see their trips to go out to eat as splurge times, even if they happen more frequently than they should. The truth of the matter is when you aren't preparing it you don't always know exactly what is going into your dish. You also tend to over eat in these situations.
7. Believing you'll just have to accept how you were, "made." I hate this excuse. If you don't like the way you feel and look. Change it. Genetics will tell you how your weight is distributed, but your caloric balance is what is determining your actual weight.
8. Eating processed foods. You really are what you eat. It is just the way it is, so eat good foods. Create a healthy expressing on the outside of the good, wholesome, nutritious foods you are taking in on the inside. Put the effort into your meals. You are worth it.
9. Hating Your Exercise/Eating regimens. Find healthy recipes and a workout routine that you enjoy. Do things that make you happy and make you feel good. If you don't, you will always be hating and dreading your workouts and your meals. A healthy lifestyle should be enjoyed, not dreaded! When you do things you love you will find it easier to stay motivated.
10. Do the same things and expect different results. If you don't make changes, you aren't going to see changes. That is the bottom line. Stop complaining about the way you look and feel if you aren't willing to do something about it. Change is possible, but it requires effort.

What are some of thing rules you've stuck by to see success in your journey for weight loss and achieving better health?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I love these links...and you might too

One of my favorite things to do is find new recipes online. I love to find ones that are healthy already, and I enjoy finding ones that aren't and dreaming up new ways to make them healthy. Sometimes I like to just experiment with new recipes and find delicious things that seem to go well together. It seems like I always end up with something using salsa or peanut butter...hmmm...both favorites I guess. I decided I should share some of my favorite places to look for great healthy food ideas.

I love the Cooking Light website. They also have a great little segment on lighter 4th of July fare if you're still looking to create your menu.

Another site I've come across is Gina's Skinny Recipes. There are always GREAT options on her site, and she includes the nutrition facts and WW points. I love nutrition facts. I really do.

Janetha at Meals and Moves is another great inspiration when it comes to good food. Not only is she darling, but she eats very similarly to the way I, I'm always itching to try her eats.
 One of my favorites that has come from her site is the Ranch Cottage Cheese and Chick Peas combo I'm obsessed with. Bless you for that one Janetha dear...bless you.

Lindsey over at The Cotter Crunch has some AWESOME eating ideas and is gluten free too...Plus, I feel like I know her. Is that weird?

Trainer Momma is a great recipe source as well as a good mix of great information. If you haven't checked out her site, you most definitely should.

Some other great sources are...
My Nutritious Dish
Great Blog Food Made Better
Runs With Spatulas
Lil Veggie Patch
Love Veggies and Yoga
Oh She Glows
to name a few...sheesh...I feel like this list could go on FOREVER.

What are your favorite healthy recipe blogs or websites? I know there are a million...share with me people. Do you have a favorite recipe that you've found off of someone else's blog? Again. I could name a TON. What is yours?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

C is for Cookie and It's Good Enough For Me...

Did anyone have the pleasure of singing that song in elementary school like I did? I believe we sang it for a Christmas program. We had giant paper "C's" taped to our Christmas attire. Aren't we sweet. Good times in the third grade.

Because the time is coming for picnics and treats and fabulous are all of my healthy cookie recipes that I love.

Hopefully these might give you some delightful cookie options for the weekend! Did any of you have to do ridiculous things for school programs growing up? The paper "C" is only the beginning. One time we did an assembly on recycling, and I wore a hat made of trash.
What is your favorite cookie flavor?? I think I claim these all as my favorites...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Get yourself ready for the 4th of July!

The 4th of July is a holiday that my family takes very seriously. Provo, UT happens to have one of the greatest Freedom Festival celebrations in the nation. It's pretty awesome. Firesides, fireworks, The Stadium of Fire, a 10k, a baby contest, a huge parade, a gala, hot air balloons, a community breakfast, among other things...It's pretty awesome. Having grown up here we have always been a part of it. We used to sleep outside with my aunt to save a spot for the parade. We thought it was quite possibly the coolest thing ever. We got to stay up all night? Yes, please. Here we are at the parade last year. It is one hot and schweaty display of patriotism.
My family still tries to convince me that I want to stay up all night to save a spot for the fam, but I have since come to my senses.  I let them save the spot. I sleep in and ride my bike over in the morning...way better option. What can I say I like my sleep? :) I am always VERY sure to catch the fireworks with my family or friends. Last year we watched them from up high on the hill overlooking the valley, and it was awesome. I literally am in love with them. Fireworks are the best invention EVER.
It seems like my family and friends always find a way to fit in a lot of barbecues and picnics around the 4th of July and I am never mad about it. I'm assuming you are probably the same, I thought I'd lend some suggestions so that you might be prepared to contribute some healthy dishes to your family freedom spread. 
If you are having a picnic, bypass the KFC deep fried buckets of calories and make delicious D-I-Y wraps or sandwiches. You can please everyone by offering a sandwich bar. Include different kinds of whole wheat breads, rolls or wraps. Get an assortment of meats, cheeses, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, green peppers, hummus, avocados, pesto, sprouts, etc. Get creative. With lots of options your family will feel like it is a gourmet event and they won't even miss the greasy chicken legs and gravy. 

Include some fun healthy salads, a relish tray, and fresh fruit. Everyone will go for these items and they will love them!
For some awesome healthy BBQ dish suggestions and recipes go HERE.
One of my favorite healthy desserts is the English Trifle my mom makes.
Imagine how delicious and festive this would look with strawberries and blueberries. It is such a light and tasty option.

What are your plans for the 4th of July? I plan on fireworking, parading, swimming, eating, and enjoying my family and friends like crazy! I can't wait. Do you have any 4th of July eats you are planning on making? I have some new recipes I'm excited to try and I will definitely keep you in the loop. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rest Day and Healthier Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday mornings usually involve some sort of baking for me. Sundays are my rest day and my day off, so I have time to do it. I love rolling out of bed and spending the morning baking in my pj's. It's divine.

Sundays = Rest Day. 
While I love my workouts, I also love my rest day. I have definitely been subject to over training and putting too much stress on my body, and I'm sure many of you have experienced the same situation. Over training can lead to injuries, fatigue, depression, decreased performance, and overall feeling of exhaustion; Some of which can be difficult to recover from.

In order for the body to perform at its optimal level it needs to have some time to recover and repair itself. In order for your muscles to become stronger they have to have to be worked, and they also need to rest so the body can repair them. Your energy stores need to be replenished as well. By allowing your body a day to recover, you will be feeling fresh and ready to kill it again the next day. As far as rest days go here are my suggestions...
- Don't take lazy advantage of the "rest day" excuse. Be real. You know when you aren't working hard enough...when you're rest days seem to pop up every other day, or seem to be happening more frequently than your actual workouts, you may need to restructure your workouts.
- Don't let your nutrition go buckwild on your rest days. Sometimes when we don't exercise we go into a spiral of bad habits and our eating isn't so great either. Try to keep your nutrition up to par, so when you get back at it the next day you'll be feeling fab and ready to go.

Rest days are important. Allowing your body some time to repair itself is something you need to be sure to do.  It is an important part of staying healthy.

and now on to the recipe...
Kristy posted this recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies the other day on her blog Sweet Treats and More, and it immediately caught my attention. I had to give it a try. I changed up a few things to add my own healthified twist, but she done good. These cookies were a hit!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies
(Adapted from Sweet Treats and More)

1/2  cup white sugar (You could substitute baking splenda/agave/honey here)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened (I used a 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup applesauce)
2 eggs (I used one whole egg and two egg whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375.

In the bowl of your mixer cream together the butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Mix in the mashed bananas, oats, and chocolate chips until well incorporated. Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Banana bread in cookie form? What's not to love? 

Do you take a rest day? I definitely do! Every Sunday. How much do you love banana bread? I am a huge fan. Let's be honest, I love everything banana-chocolate chip-ish...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exercise of the Week: How to not do a crappy lunge.

I'm a form girl. Having good form while you are working out makes ALL. THE. DIFFERENCE. Period. The end. There is no way around it. When people ask me what I think the importance of having a trainer is I would say ensuring proper form and safety and accountability are two of the top reasons...among many other things of course :)

Lunges and Squats are two of the biggest culprits as far as bad form goes. People say they can't do squats and lunges because they hurt their knees, but the truth of the matter usually is they can't do squats and lunges correctly and so they are hurting their knees. If you do them right, they shouldn't hurt. I have clients with double knee replacements who are carefully and correctly doing squats and lunges with no problem at all.

First the lunge with poor form...I could have made this real bad, but I tried to keep it close to what most people do wrong.
- Small stance which causes you to press the knee over the ankle
- Shoulders hunched forward
- back foot pointed outward (hard to see this one) back knee should be facing down at the ground

Now the lunge with good form...
- wide stance allowing you to keep your front knee directly in line with your ankle. You should be able to go straight up and down without that front knee passing your ankle.
- shoulders back, abs and core tight
- both back and front food pointed forward, and back knee pointed down at the ground

I LOVE lunges and squats because with different variations you can work all the muscles of your legs and core. You know I love my multi-tasking workouts and they are chalked full of squats and lunges. The muscles of the legs are also the bigger muscles in your bodies, meaning the more you work them, the more calories you are burning. Win-win-win-win-win if you ask me.

Do you feel like you have good form? It really is amazing the difference having good form can and will have with your workouts. Are there any exercises you are wondering about as far as how the correct form is done?

As you may remember I have been running a boot camp class at Elevate since the beginning of the year. It has been going AWESOME. Our group has had so much fun, and we've seen some amazing results. One fine chick-a-dee has lost almost 40 lbs!! We're taking some new members. It is a smoking deal and it's so dang fun. Here are the details...

Elevate is located at 147 W 400 N in Orem, UT  
The class consists of 3 one hour sessions per week (Tuesday @ 6PM, Thursday @6PM, and Saturday @8AM)
Weekly weigh-ins (This includes body fat and body inch measurements)
Nutrition planning & web-based tracking system to keep you accountable everyday
$150 per month, only $12.50 per session ($25 value)

It is a great way to have the help of a personal trainer at a lower cost. Feel free to email me if you have any questions at megolina21 at! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Berry Delicious

I can't seem to get myself away from my lunch of the week. I tell myself I'm going to mix things up and eat something else, but this healthy chicken salad has me completely hooked this week. Today I mixed it up a litttle by adding some fruit to the table. I forgot how much I LOVE fresh ripe berries.
So simple. So beautiful. So delicious. So healthy.

I sprinkled a little Splenda over the top of them to sweeten them up a bit, and they were to die for. Strawberries are CHALKED full of Vitamin C which helps build your immune system and strengthen your connective tissue. Blueberries have antioxidants like whoa, and raspberries provide both Vitamin C and potassium. They are SO low in calories.

1 cup strawberries =  53 calories
1 cup blueberries = 83 calories
1 cup raspberries = 64 calories

Berries contain flavanoids and phytochemicals which are thought to help protect against cancer. Plus they are just so dang tasty. They are great in salads, with dessert, in shakes, or even just plain. They are just great, so eat up!

What is your favorite way to eat berries?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Easiest Tasty Chicken Lunch EVER

As I promised yesterday, here is what my fave lunch as of late looks like. It seriously is soooo tasty. I realize there is a lack of color. I ate it with a huge old serving of cherub grape tomatoes, but those got devoured while I was prepping this. :)
It's quite easy...
1 can of Costco Kirkland Canned Chicken
2 TBS light Miracle Whip
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper...mix that all up.
I also made some Baked Tortilla Chips made from a La Tortilla Factory Whole wheat tortilla.
The stats for this little number are great and it is so filling...330 calories, 10 grams of fat, 54 grams of protein, and 14 grams of fiber.

It would be a great lunch to take with you to work or anywhere you need it to be portable, really. It would also be great wrapped up in the tortilla, served on whole wheat bread, or even over salad and veggies. It is just plain good. I was imagining that you might be able to make it with greek yogurt if you don't mind that sour creamy taste. I don't think I'd care for it too much, but just a thought. It would be a protein phenomenon if you did.

What is your favorite easy lunch? Do you eat at lunch at home or do you have to take it on the go?

Exercise of the week: Triceps Dips

One common area of concern is the it lunch lady arms, call it your angels wings...nobody likes when the bottom of their arm moves independently of your body. Triceps dips are a great exercise to target the back of that arm. It is a easy exercise that can be done at home, at the park, or at the gym.

Position your hands shoulder width apart on a secured bench. Move your feet out as far out in front of you as possible. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly lower your upper body down towards the floor and keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands and push yourself back up to the starting position with your triceps.

To increase difficulty put your feet up on another bench or place them on a physioball.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Things I Am Not Mad About...

I realized today that there are a lot of things that I am not mad about. 

I am not mad that I have found a new favorite lunch.
It is the easiest thing ever...
Ingredients: 1 can of Costco Kirkland Canned Chicken + 1 TBS light Miracle Whip + 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper...mix that all up. I eat that with some Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips made from a La Tortilla Factory Whole wheat tortilla. It is DELIGHTFUL. So filling...330 calories, 10 grams of fat, 54 grams of protein, and 14 grams of fiber. Yes please. I'll get some pics tomorrow!

I am not mad about my workout today
60 mins of intervals on the elliptical whilst watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I was fully entertained. I think I could have stayed there all day...
50 Minutes of weights with Benita. I LOVE when we get to workout together. It makes it so much more fun!

I am not mad that I came across this Cooking Light recipe for Black Bean Chicken Chilaquiles,
 (Photo from
 I think it looks DELICIOUS and it's fun to say... Click HERE for the recipe.

I am not mad that my sister just informed me that the snow cone place by my house has sugar free flavors...Can't wait to try them out! Awesome summer snack. Which reminds me that it's time for Chrystal Light Sugar Free Slurpees at the local Seven Eleven. I'm not mad about that either. I love summertime treats.

I am not mad that my foot is feeling better. I think I just may try and run again tomorrow. 

I am not mad that the food guide pyramid has been restructured.
(Image from
Go to to check it out. I love that HALF of the plate is produce. Love that. I also love that it is ONE plate. Basically saying, watch your portions. You don't need to go back for 18 platefuls. This is what I think America has a HUGE problem with. I think a food pyramid give the mental picture of eat all the food you can fit in a giant pile. The plate is more manageable. It is quick and visual. It helps people realize what they should eat for a well balanced meal.

I am not mad that the Bachelor is on tonight. Although I'm watching it right now, and it's kinda laaaamee this episode. I don't think I'm rooting for anyone, they are all goobers. This is weird.

What is your favorite summertime treat? Along with the Icees I LOVE fresh fruit, and of course, frozen yogurt. What do you think of the new food guide plate? Do you think It will help people get a better handle on their eating?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blue Lemon and a Date with Sis

Last night sis and I went on a date. It was a good time. I love when I get to hang out with her!! We always have so much fun. We headed up to SLC for some shopping, delicious dinner and a night at the theater. All things that we do quite well.
I have heard people talk about how delicious Blue Lemon was, and man were they right. Blue Lemon is a local Utah restaurant that has two locations; one in Highland and one in Downtown Salt Lake City. I was excited to try this delicious cuisine because they focus on pure clean food and they support local farmers. How cool is that? I love having options of healthy places to eat.
 We started with some hummus, pita and veggies. Their hummus was delicious.
 My sister and I both ordered the Raspberry Chicken Salad. It was grilled chicken, candied pecans, feta cheese, sweet and sour red onions, endive, raspberries, orange sections, house greens tossed with raspberry vinaigrette. It was so fresh and delicious.
For some reason they thought we ordered the butternut squash soup as well, and even though we didn't they left it at our table to try. It tasted like Christmas in a bowl. SO good.
Everything was so fresh and flavorful. I was loving every second of it. The food was healthy and the portion sizes were normal. Hard things to come by when you are out to eat. If you live in Utah, you MUST try it. I will definitely be back!

After dinner it was off to the Capitol Theater to see Mama Mia. It was my 4th time seeing it, and I think it was my favorite. I love all of the music and you can't help but dance! It's always so fun to head up to the Capitol Theater! The Mama Mia cast was so energetic it was amazing. They really were jumping all over the stage the whole time. In the back of my head I was wondering...I wonder how many calories they burn in one show. I think that is proof that I'm weird...
 Thanks for a great time Linds!
What is your favorite, "healthy," place to eat? I love Blue Lemon, Station 22, Pizza Factory (for the salad bar,) Jason's Deli...this list is getting long... Do you like musicals? My favorites are Les Mis and Wicked. Both absolutely amazing.

Also, thank you for all of your amazing, awesome, and inspiring responses to my last post about my own fitness journey. You guys are absolutely incredible!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life is a Journey; A marathon...not a sprint.

So much of what we learn in life is the course of several days, months, and years of trial and error, trying again, and continually pressing forward one foot in front of the other....and in some cases repeating that over and over again until some principles actually stick. As I was working out this morning I was thinking about my journey down the health and fitness road over the course of my lifetime and where it has taken me.

There have been ups and downs.
Trials, and most definite errors.
There have been triumphs and utter failures.
Lessons learned. Lessons forgotten. Lessons relearned...and again...and again.

I grew up dancing. Since I can remember it was straight from school to dance for hours and hours. I loved it. I never even considered it exercise because I was so passionate about it. It was so fun. When I got to high school I tried out to be on our school's competitive dance team and the showcase dance team. I made both and continued dancing for hours and hours a day.
 (Can you spot me? Fourth one from the right, back row.)
Now on top of the hours of practice, the anti was upped. For our competitive team, our training required running. Until that point running had been more of a form of punishment than anything, but I learned to love it. Healthy eating was always a part of my growing up years. My mom is an excellent cook, and was always providing us with extremely healthy food. I was also a definite sweet tooth. I ate my share of sugar, don't worry. However, I was dancing like a fiend, so it didn't effect me much. I did always feel like I was the bigger girl though. My junior year I went to a dietitian who helped me to dial into perfecting my eating and it was an awesome experience. She taught me some great information, and my love for nutrition began. I did an internship with a personal trainer my senior year of high school and got the bug for exercise as well.

Enter Brigham Young University. Megan decides to major in Business Management. life is crazy, right? No sleep, eating like garbage, and my dancing slowed down quite a bit. eating wasn't total garbage and I still was working out probably 5 days a week but my body suffered a total shock. My sophomore year of college I coached and taught dance classes, but sitting in front of a dance class somehow doesn't have the same calorie burn as taking the dance classes. Go figure.

Less activity + more ice cream = weight gain

I hated hearing the term, "freshman 15" and I swore I was not going to fall into that category. However, my calorie expenditure just wasn't what it was previously. You can't fool the body with things like that. So, I totally gained weight. I'd say like 15-20 pounds. Having grown up dancing, I have always been VERY conscious of my body. It is hard to hide anything in a spandex leotard...just saying. I started to hate the way I looked more and more. I think my depleting self-confidence probably showed too. Don't get me wrong, I loved my first two years of college. I had great friends, TONS of fun, and I was happy. BUT...I just wasn't comfortable in my own skin. I lacked confidence. To make matters worse, I had a lot of friends who could eat whatever they wanted and it didn't matter. I haven't ever been one of those lucky ducks. The bottom line is...It is hard to not dislike the way you look when you gain weight that hasn't ever been there before.
My sophomore year of college was about the same. Me still not loving the way I looked. I was still exercising. I've always liked to work out and be active. I even was taking some dance classes. My eating was alright, not horrible. I'm sure now I'd probably gasp at myself though. Lots of cereal...Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches (On whole wheat bread of course.) I found out about chocolate covered cinnamon bears which is I know I still retained some good habits, but not anything astounding. I was still coaching a dance team and teaching classes. In fact I was getting up at 4 in the morning some days just to get to practice 45 mins away. (I love it that much...crazy I know.) So, on top of being super busy with school and work. I was exhausted and sleeping...mmm...never. During that year I started working at Nordstrom as well. A friend of mine that worked there with me, started telling me all about the classes she was taking at BYU one day. She listed off classes about body image, weight control, exercise prescriptions, and nutrition. She was an exercise science major and I was JEALOUS. I was still focusing mainly on pre-recs, but her classes sounded a lot Was that possible in college? I wanted in. That next week I switched my major:

Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Fitness and Wellness Management. Boom.
Enter the love affair with Megan and anything health/fitness/wellness related. I seriously found my true love.

This same time that I started getting into my health classes I also tried out for a professional dance team and it was back to the spandex. I was less than confident about it. I can tell you that much. I didn't have the same body that I had back in the day. I felt gross. Something needed to change.

I started learning more and more about exercise, nutrition, and resistance training. I wanted to practice what I was learning. I kicked my exercise regimen into gear. I started changing the way I was eating. I started running more. Benita and I decided we wanted to run a half marathon. We signed up for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon and training was a go. I started to drop some of the pounds that had made a home on my mid section, but I still wasn't feeling like I was on top of my game.
My last semester of my senior year I took a class where our textbook was a book called, The Culprit and the Cure. It changed my life. It changed my whole mindset on healthy eating and nutrition. It helped me to realize you really are what you eat. I decided that sugar and I were going to have to break up. I fell in love with a website called I kept up my running. I started lifting weights on a regular basis. I finally started to see some changes.

After graduating I landed a job managing a private gym, (which later merged with thing that ever happened to me) and doing personal training and nutrition counseling as well. I LOVED it. Everything about it. I loved helping people to achieve goals and gain confidence. I was still sugar free, and my eating was pretty dang clean, but I think I was just eating too much. It doesn't matter if you are eating an excess of carrots and broccoli. Excess calories = excess weight. I still didn't I felt comfortable in my own skin. I decided I'd had it. Although I was in great shape, I didn't want to feel like I wasn't living proof of what I was teaching all of my clients. I started doing at least sixty minutes of cardio a day, and I started seeing some more results. Little by little that extra college poundage was coming off.

About a year later I decided I wanted to run a full marathon. Training was rigorous, but awesome. I craved my long runs. I loved feeling like I had just burned a bajillion calories. I felt strong and athletic. I finally started to feel good in my own skin. Not perfect...but milestones of improvement. I was eating good, still no sugar, and cardio was my B. I completed the Salt Lake City Marathon, and crossing that finish line was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had.
After the marathon I decided I needed to change some habits. I realized that my snacking had to go. I am a snacker by nature. It gets me if I am not careful. I started lifting faithfully 3-5 days a week. Again, I finally saw some changes with my body. I did lose my detested college weight, and I have cut down my body fat by over ten percent.
I also have come to the realization that my body is just going to give me a hard time with my weight. For whatever reason, I'm not one of those people who can lose five pounds by looking at some broccoli. In fact I'm pretty sure if I look at a piece of cake I gain five pounds.

Fast forward to this past January.
Still no sugar, aside from a few holiday cheat days.
Still lifting 3-5 days a week.
Still cardio-ing it up 60-90 minutes a day.
Still tracking my food. Unfortunately, I have tracked my food for so long, even if I don't enter it in the computer I track it mentally.
Enter the protein phase of life. You may remember the weight loss challenge at my work. I realized that even with my healthy eating habits I wasn't getting enough protein. I am not a meat eater. It is really hard for me, and so I had to REALLY make an effort to change this. It has helped SO much. It finally helped me see some actual results.

I'll be completely honest with you about a few things. I know that I am in good shape. I have worked really hard at it. I know I have muscle definition. I know that I have made some awesome improvements in my lifestyle, and my knowledge of good nutrition has increased. I have put A LOT of time into trying to figure out what exercises are most effective, and how the body reacts and why it responds the way it does. I have learned a lot, BUT I do still I feel like I have some improvements to make until I feel like I'll be at my prime goal weight for me. I know it is extra hard for me, for whatever reason. I tell my clients it's to keep me humble :) I'm not telling you this to be fishing for compliments, or for a pity party, or even so you'll agree with me that I do have a waze to go. I'm telling you because I want you to understand that I know how hard it can be. I am not just telling you what I think might work for you. I am telling you what I've seen work, what I've felt work, and in doing so I hope you can see some results of your own. I can tell you this much...

- living off of 4 hours of sleep doesn't work.
neither does...
- snacking all day
- having your main sources of food come from Wheat Thins, Dreyers Grand Light Ice Cream, cereal, and Cinnamon Bears

You know what does work?
- interval training and circuits
- being willing to put in some good cardiovascular time. If you really want something you have to work at it. ESPECIALLY when it comes to exercise.
- Food is 80% of the health battle. That is a big percentage. Get your nutrition in gear and you will see results.
- planning your meals out, eating clean, and watching your portions.
- getting rid of grazing and snacking
- eating enough protein, a lot of fresh veggies, good fruits and whole grains. 
- LIFTING WEIGHTS. I can't even tell you the difference this has made in my life. EVERYONE should lift weights. Yes GIRLS, WOMEN. FEMALES. Especially you! I feel like it is my personal mission to make sure you know this.
- Cutting back on your sugar. If you really want to see results, get rid of the sugar.
- finding exercise that you love and making it a lifestyle
to name a few...

Like I said...this life is such a learning process. I am continually learning, but I do feel like I have come SUCH a long way. I hope that in doing so I can help pass some of my knowledge on to you to help you achieve great things...because you are capable of SUCH great things.

What are some things you have learned along the way that have helped increase your health? It is amazing how sometimes it's the little changes we make that make big differences. What are some things you still feel like you can work on?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Winner for Wednesday...and yet another circuit.

And the winner of the Relax Remix Giveaway is...
(picked using

#1 Rene!

Rene has been such an awesome and supportive reader. So glad you won! :) I think this might be an omen that you really do need to start your own blog now too!! ;) Email me with your info and I'll get you your goods.
I hope you like this mix as much as I do. I've been listening to it in my car, at home, and poolside all week long!

Today I somehow managed to trick Benita into getting up early with me to go to the gym for a circuit workout again. We got another great workout in, and I was a schweaty mess after all was said and done. I don't know why but there is something great about the feeling of sweating like crazy with no makeup on. Its like it feels cleansing or something.

Our circuit went as follows...

Warm up 5 mins

repeat 3 x through
12 Step Ups  on the right leg to a shoulder press (15 lb DB)
12 Step Ups on the left leg with an upright row (15 lb DB)
12 Alternating Single Leg Squat Walking Pushups
(With these start on your right leg, do a single leg squat until you put your hands on the ground and walk your body out to a pushup position. Do two single leg push ups. Walk your hands back to that same single leg and stand up on the same leg. Repeat on the other side)
20 Alternating Plank Mountain Climbers Slow
20 Fast Mountain Climbers
3 minute sprint

repeat 3 x through
24 Alternating Reverse Lunges with a Rear Rows (20 lb DB)
(Step back into a deep reverse lunge with your right leg, holding your DB in your hand do a rear row with that right arm. Switch so your left leg is back in a lunge, switching the DB into your left hand and rowing back with your left arm. Continue alternating.)
15 Kettle bell swing squats (one 30 lb DB)
(hold a kettle bell or single DB in front of you like a candle stick, with legs hip width apart. Swing the DB between your legs while squatting, stand up and swing your arms straight up to just above eye level, and then back down into a squat.)
12 Sit to stand squat jumps
(you may want to do these on a mat or carpet. Squat down until you sit on the floor. Rock back holding your knees and then stand back up and jump in the air. Land soft into a squat and then sit back down...etc.)
3 Minute Interval Sprint  (minute 1 = hard/ 2 = hardest/3 = hardest)

This workout took us 70 minutes. I topped this off with 30 mins of intervals on the elliptical and I was good and sweaty. I was happy to come home and refuel with a Greek Protein Shake and some egg whites!

 There you have it! Two circuit workouts for you in one week! Hopefully that gives some of you who've been asking for some new ones some new material to work with! :) If you missed Monday's Circuit Workout go HERE. It  made my inner thighs and glutes so sore! I loved it.

Thanks for all the summer reading suggestions! There were a bunch that I have never heard of. Love it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Triathlon Tuesday and A Healthy Mind

A triathlon is..."a multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events." Thank you Wikipedia, the most trusted source on the web right? ;) 
My workout today was a triathlon...of sorts.

4 mile run
35 minute intervals on the elliptical
15 minutes on the stairs

That counts, right? I wanted to get in some good cardio, but I didn't want to push it with my foot so, after 4 miles I decided I should mix it up. I kinda like to do my cardio in this way sometimes to keep me from mentally going crazy. As long as you're busting it in what you're doing you'll be burning calories like crazy, and it may just help you get through what could be some boring cardio workouts!

Ever since I was little I have been a reader. I have so many memories that revolve around books and reading. When I was born I instantly became my older sister Lindsey's, side kick and "student." She taught me to read by the time I was three years old. I remember hundreds of trips to the library to check out stacks of books, and then there were the exciting occasions when we got to go to the bookstore to pick out a new book. I could never forget how my mom used to read to us every night before we went to bed. I can remember racing to get our pajamas on so we could be the one to sit closest to her on her big comfy bed.

Both my parents have always been big readers, and needless to say they have definitely passed that love on to me. I have been on such a reading kick lately, and summer trips are a great time to pick up a new, I thought I'd share my favorite reads as of late.

by Katherine Stockett
I LOVED this book. I was so sad when it ended. I wanted more. That is when you know you've got a good one! I can't wait for the movie on this one.

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This sweet novel is so well written. It covers every emotion. Clever and funny.

and the whole Hunger Games Series
by Suzanne Collins
I know this came out last year, and many of you have probably read it. I waited because I LOVED the first two books in the series, and I kept hearing everyone saying they didn't like it. It made me so sad, and I didn't want to be disappointed so I waited. Well guess what? I actually really liked it. I would recommend the whole series. Another one that is being made into a movie...should be interesting?

by Scott Westerfield
This is the first book in a series of three. My sister recommended it to me forever ago, and I think I kind of just forgot. One of my clients brought it in to me to read on my trip and I loved it. It was a quick easy read. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

I'm currently managing another triathlon...blogging, watching TV, and trying to keep my eyes open. Two triathlons in one day...sheesh...I'm ready for bed. 

Do you like to involve more than one type of cardio in your workouts? I definitely do. It makes longer bouts of cardio a lot more doable! Do you have any summer reading recommendations for me?

Don't forget. Tonight is the last chance to enter the Relax Remix Giveaway!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Morning Madness

Sometimes you just have to start the week out right. By sweating up a storm. Benita was kind enough to wake up super early with me today to get our sweat on circuit style. It went a lil' something like this...It took us about 70 minutes.

Warm Up 5 Minutes

3 X each
15 weighted burpees with 15 lb DB
15 In and out jump squats w/shoulder press with 15 lb DB
(With these you want to hold your dumbbells at your shoulders jump out to a wide squat and squat down. Jump back into a narrow squat and squat down and back up this time pressing your weight above your head. That counts as one.)
10 plank up/up down down aka Crazy Planks
right into 15 plank jacks
(With these you are right on your elbows in a plank and you want to jump your legs out wide and then back to the center. Do these quickly and continuously. That counts as one.)
3 minute sprint on the treadmill

2 X each
12 plank rear rows on each side 15 lb DB's
(Start in extended plank position with your hands on top of the dumbbells. Alternate rear rows, bringing your elbows back as high as you can.)
10 wheel lunges (all the way around on the right side and then the other side)
12 bicep curls with alternating plyometric lunges with 15 lb DB
(These are jumping lunges. Start in a lunge position holding your dumbbells by your sides. Jump in the air and switch feet, after you land do a bicep curl.) Continue right into...
12 weighted alternating plyometric lunges still holding the DB by your sides.
3 minute interval sprint
With this sprint you want do the first minute at a moderate sprint/2nd minute harder/3rd fastest you can possibly go)

We finished with 3 sets of 15 push ups!
It was an awesome workout. We were verrry schweaty.
I finished it off with 20 minutes on the elliptical before I had to head off to work.

My lunch of choice these days has been my Cinnamon banana berry protein shake with Fage greek yogurt.
I am such a huge fan of this shake. It keeps me full and it packs in the protein, both great things.

Some of you asked what I thought about artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes in the sugar post. Read THIS POST to answer that question.
You also asked if the recipes I post are lower in sugar. YES. I always try to cut out as much sugar from the recipes that I post as I can, or I will substitute with natural sweeteners or splenda. I have posted ONE recipe that doesn't live up to that standard and I gave you fair warning! After all, my goal is to show that you eating healthy is possible all the time.

I hope that helps a little bit! :)

Do you like to start your week off with a welcome back workout, or do you like to ease in? I always feel ready to get back at it after taking Sunday off. What is your favorite lunch option? I have loved this shake combo. Sometimes I whip up some egg whites along side it. 50 grams of protein in one meal, what? Is anyone watching the bachelorette? Favorites? I'm watching it as we speak...I think Ben (the josh groban look alike is my fave as of right now.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Preparation = Success

If I could offer one piece of advice to people trying to accomplish health goals it would PREPARE.
Simple right? It is, but it makes a WORLD of difference. It is the key to being successful. Having a plan and knowing how you are going to carry it out is the best way to make things happen. 
Yesterday on my way to work I saw all of the Utah Valley marathoners running down University Ave. I almost got in a wreck searching for everyone I knew that was running! I am so proud of all of you!! Traffic was going real slow, so I rolled down my window, and I may or may not have been cheering up a storm! I am not going to lie I was tearing up. I have wanted so badly to get back into races, and my body is just not having it. It has been super frustrating to me, and seeing all of the runners made me sad/proud/excited/jealous/frustrated all at the same time! I wanted to be out there with them so bad. 

I started thinking about how I love having a training plan to follow. It got me thinking about preparation in general and how it applies to life of course, but specifically to health goals. If you have ever trained for a race you know how important it is to follow your training plan. Getting in the right mileage, doing your speed work, and hill work is all going to help you achieve your goals.

The same theory goes for when you are trying to eat healthy. If you plan out your food before hand you are a lot less likely to find yourself starving and munching through your pantry; eating endless handfuls of calories that aren't going to help you achieve your goals. Making a weekly menu or meal plan, or even just planning out your food for the next day will allow you to stay on track with your healthy eating goals. 
Last Sunday my darling older brother Tyler invited me over for dinner. We had some tasty grilled chicken, salad, and fresh fruit and it was DIVINE. All of my favorites. He made a bunch and sent me home with a bunch of grilled chicken to eat for the week. It was so great. I ate it on top of my cottage cheese for and made some grilled chicken wraps as well.
- La Tortilla Factory Wrap
- Spinach
- Sliced grilled chicken
- Mango Salsa
- Drizzle of Fat Free Avocado Ranch

Done. Quick. Easy. Tasty. Healthy. 
It was so nice to already have it cooked and ready to eat, and it reminded me that it is so easy to do. If you are making something yummy, double it so you have leftovers. It can make eating healthy in busy times a LOT more doable.

Halfway through the week I made Benita and I some Salsa Chicken which is one of the easiest crock pot dishes ever. I used it to make a quick salad, but it would be awesome for burritos, over brown rice, with oven baked tortilla chips, or even just by itself. It's that good. 
Again, it was easy and already prepped for me. It didn't allow for me to make poor eating choices because I knew beforehand what I was going to eat. Plus, it was GOOD. Sometimes you may have planned to go home and drink a tall glass of wheat grass (Does anyone really plan that...probably not?) but because you don't like it you may just pick the Mac N' Cheese that your kids are eating instead.
 Plan ahead with meals that you LIKE. If there is one thing that I can share with people, I hope that it is the message that healthy food can be tasty. You don't have to starve yourself or eat bland gross foods just to lose weight and get in shape. You simply have to be on top of your game. Find good food that you like. Choose to eat healthy GOOD food. It is very possible.
My goal for you this week...make a plan...and stick to it! Sit down for ten minutes and decide what your meals are going to be for the week. Decide now when you are going to have time to work out and what you are going to do. Having these plans in place will help you to foresee obstacles that otherwise may pop up and stop you from succeeding altogether. Make a chart for the fridge. Put sticky notes on your mirror. Do whatever you need to do to remind yourself what your plan is for the week. Accomplishing goals a week at a time will help you to make huge strides as you go. Consistency in the small things makes a BIG difference. 

Preparation  = Success!

 I hope you all had a great weekend! I got to spend some time in the beautiful mountains. Utah is pretty hard to compete with when it comes to scenery.
I also go to go to the Orem Summer Fest to see my FAVORITE thing in the world. 
They make me so incredibly happy. I've told my mom for years that one thing I MUST have at my wedding reception is fireworks. I am obsessed!
Beautiful, no?

What are some ways preparation has helped you accomplish your goals? Having training plans for my workouts is always big in accomplishing my end goals. I also always have a mental plan as to what my meals are going to be. What are you going to do this week to prepare to meet some of your goals? Set a goal that will get you a little closer to where you want to be! You can do it!

Don't forget to enter June's Relax Remix Music Giveaway You have until Tuesday Night!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Relax Remix Giveaway

I think it's pretty clear that I love summer. I really do. I love the sunshine. I love being warm. I love getting to work out outside, running outside, and just having the desire to feel more active in general. I ALSO love lying by the pool/beach/lake in the sun with my IPod in, listening to my favorite tunes, relaxing. I think relaxation is a very important part of life, and music is something that helps me to do that. I have shared my love of crazy fun workout mixes with you, and I want to share this love with you too! So for this months music mix giveaway I bring you my current favorite Songs of Summer.

1+1 - Beyonce
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall - Coldplay
Missing You  - Tyler Hilton
I've Got This Friend - The Civil Wars
Michicant - Bon Iver
Faster - Matt Nathanson
Let Somebody In - Allred
Own Side - Caitlin Rose
Arms - Christina Perri
Someone Like You - ADELE
No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
If It's The Beaches - The Avett Brothers
With Arms Outstretched - Rilo Kiley
Skinny Love - Bon Iver
Paperweight - Schyuler Fisk, Joshua Radin
Everything's Right - Matt Wertz
In the Sun - She & Him
Passion Play - William Fitzsimmons
Call it Off - Tegan and Sara

There you have it. Some new favorites. Some old favorites. All awesome.

To enter to win:
1) Become a follower and leave a comment saying you are. If you already follow I love you to pieces. Just say so!
2) For an additional entry, tell me what your favorite summer song is this year. Leave in an additional comment, so it will count as an additional entry.
3) For more additional about this giveaway, tweet it, fb it, and just tell me you did so in a comment.

The last chance to enter will be Tuesday June 14th at 11:59 PM. Winner will be announced on Wed the 15th.
For Previous Workout Mix Playlists click HERE  
Bring on the summer!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Snakes are GROSS and A Birthday Cake to Be Reckoned With

Utah's strange weather has made what would be a brutally hot summer day, rather pleasant. It also makes for the perfect temperature for a mid morning run. I finished up with my morning clients today and I absolutely couldn't fight the urge to go running up the canyon, especially when I knew the alternative was the elliptical. My foot has felt awesome since my week off in NC, so I thought I'd see how I did.

I did 7 miles on the Provo Canyon trail. It was SO beautiful. Amazingly beautiful in fact. I really tried to take it easy pace-wise, to try and keep my foot happy. I did feel a little pain in my foot during the last mile, but otherwise I was doing pretty great. As I was running I saw TWO snakes. One is bad, but two? Really? The first one I almost stepped on because I didn't see it. I tend to be in my own, sing to myself world as I am running. When I barely stopped in time (We're talking a dead halt) it was like the snake and I were having a face off to see who would move first. I finally decided to creep around his back side, and then I sped the heck up to get out of there. The second snake was further away from me, but it was still on my trail. I could have done without seeing either of them. So gross.

As I mentioned before, my goal for the summer is to be able to run up to the Y without stopping. It was So nice outside this afternoon, and I was needing a break from some writing I was I decided to test myself. If you want a KILLER interval workout this should be your next venture.

I made it past switchback #5 (There are 10 total) so, halfway. Man it was HARD. I know my legs were already tired from my workout earlier, but dang. I think my heart rate was like 250! After switchback 5 I alternated walking a switchback and then running one to get to the top. It is a total distance of 1.2 miles, and made it up in 22 minutes. I wasn't able to run the whole way without stopping, but now I have something to measure myself against. I ran all the way down which was terrifying. It was more like taking baby steps at a quick pace, so as not to slip and roll down the mountain. My quads were on FIRE by the time I got to the bottom. I'm guessing I'll be feeling that tomorrow! It was a killer workout, leaving me with 9.4 miles for the day. My foot was killing on the way back down. I think I over did it a little, unfortunately. I'm going to be careful with it the rest of the week, that is for sure.

Tonight was my friend Dean's bday and I was designated to make the cake. Funny, because my friends know that I always try to health-i-fy all the recipes I make. This cake is a recipe my sister gave me a long time ago and it is DIVINE.

Jell-o Pudding Poke Cake
Ingredients: Yellow or white cake mix (you could use a reduced sugar mix here)
1 small box of vanilla fat free sugar free pudding (I have also used banana and it was delicious)
1 small box of raspberry or strawberry fat free sugar free jell-o mix (I have a large one here, but a small one will work perfect)
1 lite or fat free container of cool whip
Bake your cake as directed on the box. I used natural applesauce instead of oil, and egg whites instead of eggs. I have also seen Hungry Girl make her cakes with a mix and a can of diet soda, but I have never tried that. It would cut calories out. It's on my list of "to trys." Has anyone tried that before? Once your cake is done take it out and let it cool. Once cool take the end of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the cake. They don't have to be fancy or even. I like a lot of them because It makes the pudding sink in everywhere.
 After the holes are poked prepare your jell-o. Dissolve the jell-o packet into 1 cup of boiling hot water. Once dissolved, add 1/2 cup of cold water. Pour this mixture over the entire cake. Yep, it will look like an alien planet all bumpy and weird colored. Fear not, it's delicious. Put that in the fridge to cool completely.
 Once it's cool mix up the pudding as directed on the box. Pour immediately over the cake, letting it seep into the holes. Let this sit in the fridge until the pudding is set, for about an hour or so. I know it looks weird, just trust me.
 Cover entire cake with container of cool whip and place back in the fridge until it's time to serve it. You could decorate the top with sliced strawberries or raspberries if you like.
 Cut into slices and serve. It looks really fun where all the poke holes are. It is such a light and tasty dessert that everyone will enjoy!
I have also made this recipe into cupcakes, and they turn out great.

Do you have a favorite "summer dessert?" I love frozen yogurt. Oh wait...I love that all year round. Have you ever run into anything weird or scary when you are out running? Who wants to come run the Y with me??

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Coming back is hard to do...

I'll stop talking about my vacation now...I promise. I just have to say. Coming back to real life is rough. I feel like I've been MIA from the blogosphere because I have been trying to get life back in order.

I have been busy working.
Getting back to all my clients...
Getting back into my workout routine. Man it feels good.
Answering emails. (If I haven't got to yours yet, don't worry. I'm coming...)
Filling orders for these. Can you say time consuming? I can. Just call me Betsy Ross.
Trying to unpack/do laundry/clean my room. (It still looks like my suitcase threw up.)
Restocking my fridge/pantry. For me, eating right is all about the preparation. If I don't have my good healthy foods I end up eating cereal all day and night.

Oh yeah...and trying to get a blog post in every now and then.
Yep, these past few days have been insane, but worth every second. :) Don't worry. A good post is on it's way tomorrow. You just wait.

Also...thanks for all the questions/comments/concerns on the sugar post. I'll answer them asap!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sugar...bum bum bum bum bum bum...ohh honey honey...

As I was getting my cardio on today I was watching The Rachel Ray show, and they were talking about sugar consumption. I love this topic because I think if individuals who were trying to lose weight realized that sugar was the reason they weren't dropping pounds they would make some dietary changes. I have people ask me about this all time...about quality of food vs. calories. My answer is always, better to eat good quality food instead of empty sugar calories even if you are restricting your calories.
I have done a bunch of posts on sugar in the past because of this very topic...Instead of rewriting the same things over again I thought I'd just link them up for you!
For the girl who loves pastries you know who you are
For some help on getting through the candy filled times read How to survive the sugar aftermath
Many people are surprised as to what non-candy foods are packed with sugar, for some info on how many grams of sugar are in different foods read this post on The Sugar Low Down if you want some help on quitting your sugar habit read about how to Kick Sugar to the Curb

Like I always say, I am a firm believer in moderation in all things. I think there is room for sweets every now and again, but if you are really looking to lose weight cutting excess sugar out of your diet is one of the best things you can do.

Do you have any more questions about sugar? I would love to answer them for you! Are you a sugar-a-holic? Do you have any good secrets to curbing your sugar cravings?