Living a Healthier Life: Knowledge is Power & Christmas in New York

Can we just stop for a minute and discuss how it's already the MIDDLE of December!? What? No way! I feel like it was just Halloween!... who's with me? December is always crazy-busy for us. Besides Christmas, we also celebrate a bunch of family birthdays (including my own) and our anniversary this month. So between blogging, school, decorating, celebrations and Christmas shopping... there isn't a lot of time for much else.
1. The girls waking me up at the crack of dawn on my birthday, because they were SO excited to give me my presents. They included a set of new bath towels, a small umbrella to keep in my purse and a new electric pencil sharpener. Yes, it sounds crazy, but ALL things I actually asked for.
2. The outside of my card from Cason that morning. Yes. For THREE whole months I'm older than him, so he likes to point that out EVERY year. Regardless if it's just a measly three months or not, he thinks that being married to an "older woman" is totally hot.
3 & 4. A quiet dinner with my guy, my parents and brother... along with a happy birthday gift of a few more charms for my bracelet that I've been collecting over the years.

So with all of this madness going on and coming up, a few weeks ago we were asked if we'd like to attend a press event in New York, hosted by Amways Nutrilite Nutritional Suppliments. It was an event where we would be able to learn a bunch about how to implement healthy eating habits into our lives by top nutritional experts in the field.
Sometimes, even though there are a bajillion things going on, you just have to push them aside and say YES to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, right? So that's what we did.

I've had the chance to go to New York a few times for blogging-related events, but Cason hasn't ever been and to tell you the truth, I'd never had much time to really explore the city, especially at Christmas time, so we were excited.
Let me just say that we got lost... A LOT. Thank goodness for Google Maps or we would have probably never made it anywhere we were suppose to. Instead of hailing cabs to go places we walked everywhere and took the subway. I was hesitant at first because we had NO idea how to maneuver around the city, but after a few hours (and a 20 minute subway trip that took us the opposite direction we needed to go) we got the hang of it.

Like I mentioned in this previous post, on our first day in New York we adventured late into the night, seeing and doing as many things as we could.

It was awesome! Everything was so beautiful, regardless of how cold it was, and oddly enough the large crowds of people everywhere that never slept, just made each spot we toured THAT much more exciting.
Then for the next two days, we got down to business... if that's what you want to call it.

Something that blogging about our projects, trials and just overall daily lives has done for us, is create opportunities with other bloggers and companies, to further expand upon some of the topics that we already feel so passionately about. As a lot of you already know we've been trying our hardest to execute a healthier eating plan into our little family's way of living. And let me just say... it's been a little bit harder than I thought it would be. It's not that we had lots of unhealthy eating habits, it was more that we never really started them in the first place when we should of, especially with our kids.

While we were at the Nutrilite event we were able to mingle with some really amazing, knowledgeable people. Our first day was filled with a mind-blowing 7 course healthy, colorful lunch prepared in the David Bouley Test Kitchen. Not only did we get to enjoy each course, but we actually got to learn a ton about HOW to prepare it beforehand with one-on-one mini classes.

Filleting fish, making a chocolate souffle and learning some tips and tricks when it comes to baking a whole chicken, were just a few topics covered.

I was so wrapped up in sharing photos on Instagram of the whole process for you all to see, that I didn't even realize how pensive and attentive Cason had been... and with good reason. He was taking mental notes. Only two days after we were home, he whipped up his own version of Chef Ryan's delicious baked chicken!
It was DELISH!

Something that I realized during our lunch, was that even though a few of our courses may have included some butter in preparation, a bit of chocolate or a rich dab of sauce here or there, it was all done in very small portions.
All things in moderation.

This was something that I had a long chat with Dr. Micheline Vargas and Sean Foy about that following night.

I loved the casual setting that Nutrilite provided for us to talk face-to-face with these super smart nutritional experts. I was able to share my struggles and triumphs with my weight loss journey this last year and really get some awesome tips from each of them on how to improve my efforts, so I can continue to stay on track. During the event we had a point where these experts did a health assessment complete with a strength test, weight check and blood work, to find out what sorts of "colors" we were missing from our bodies.

You can take your OWN mini nutrition assessment here

Another thing that we talked a LOT about was making sure that not only me and Cason have the appropriate balance of foods in our diet, but that our kids do too; something that I'm ALWAYS looking for advice on, and also something a lot of YOU have already given me great ideas for, from the comments in this post (thank you so much!). Like I mentioned before, we don't have bad habits we're trying to break; more than anything it's the struggle of creating a routine with good habits, like exercise, making the right food choices and eating enough veggies and fruits each day.

Currently, at this point we're not crying and throwing fits about eating our "required veggie amounts" at dinner anymore... but finishing off our 5 pieces of broccoli can be QUITE the ordeal.
1. Eh, it's just broccoli
2. Ew, do I have to eat the fuzzy things on the end?
3. Okay, I'm just gonna hurry and eat it, so I can be done
4. See, not so bad
5. Okay, it's bad. (gag)
6. The big finish
7. Chasing it with water
8. Hey, it's not THAT yucky Mom!

Obviously we still need to work on "liking" our veggies (ha!), but something I LOVED was the fact that Nutrilite has designed a fabulous children's multivitamin supplement, to help fill in some of the little gaps. The vitamins comes in the form of "Pop Rocks"... you know, those snappy, sweet crackling candies. They're called Kid Multipops. No joke! I tried them and they taste awesome! I ordered a few boxes for my girls who boycott those other chalky kid vitamins and I'm excited to see how they like them.

While Cason and I haven't gotten our health assessment results back quite yet, I'm SURE that there will be things missing from our diets that we'll need to adjust and probably take supplements for as well. But like I've mentioned before... knowledge is power, when you're trying to be your healthiest self. So we're making strides.

Changing the way you eat, think and live is a HUGE undertaking. It's been an entire YEAR since I started in on my weight loss journey and it's not even CLOSE to being over... nor do I think it really ever will be. I'll always have to work towards keeping off the weight, resisting the urge to eat what I'm not suppose to and make the conscious effort to stay motivated and work out each day. But surrounding myself with educated people and (hopefully more) learning opportunities like these, will help keep me AND my family on the track to success.


  1. What an awesome opportunity! Keep up the good work!

  2. You look like Reese Witherspoon!! I'm so happy to see how you're doing. You're an amazing inspiration!

  3. Good for the both of you at being aware and trying to develop better habits. I was unfortunately diagnosed with type 2 this spring so have had to drastically change my eating habits. Have lost quite a bit of weight, but as you say, I will probably always have to watch and be aware of what I'm eating. The upside is that you look fabulous and what a great job you've done. Great to have pictures like that! I'll bet you feel fabulous too!

  4. Your post made me laugh. My husband is four months younger than me, and he LOVES to point out that he married an older woman. Such silly men. :)

  5. Sounds like a fun trip. Congrats on trying to get healthier, you are looking great!

    I have to say that following your blog now for quite some time my husband and I have noticed that we are a lot like you and Cason. I usually come up with a project idea but he is the one with the brains behind it and sees it through to the end. My 30th birthday is next week (Happy belated birthday to you) and I am also 3 months older than my husband and get teased like crazy those 3 months for being so old. Funny similarities.

  6. You look incredible!! Keep up the great work! =)

  7. You both look great. Congratulations on the weight loss......it isn't easy.

  8. You are looking great! Congratulations on sticking with it! It is hard! I am also an older woman, for just under two months of the year! My hubby never makes a big deal of it, but I personally don't really like it!

  9. Love your blog! Enjoy reading it:)

  10. That's awesome that you got to do that! Good luck!

  11. I am so proud of my sister! Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Happy late birthday, totes jelly that you got to go to New York & with your man!! You look amazing :)

  13. Sounds like a wonderful event - always good to learn new ways to incorporate the foods we need. You have done amazing on your weight loss journey - very inspiring!

  14. you look amazing!!! Way to go:)

    Once I get my table (the industrial one) cleared off of projects )I'll snap some pics to show you;)

  15. Even as an adult (since I also turned 30 this fall) I still buy gummy multi-vitamins! They aren't kids' vitamins. I just know I will actually take them if I enjoy them.

    I came across this site via Pinterest the other day, and thought I'd share to help out your broccoli situation. I LOVE Aaron Kagan's comment.


    The recipe is a little fancier than we usually do it, but I roast any and all vegetables! They do taste so much better than steaming or mircowaving them. We love to mix the veggies together when roasting. Our favorite combo includes cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, potato and/or sweet potato. Since going low carb we skip the potato. Brussel sprouts are even delicious when they're roasted! Just chop, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and stick in an 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Super easy & yummy!

  16. What an awesome opportunity! You have worked so hard, you are truly an inspiration!

  17. You look fab Shelley....so does Cason.

    Love the pics of your lil girl eating broccoli. HA!!! If you haven't roasted any veggies yet... give it a try. Love them and oh so easy :)

  18. Looks like you had a blast. Shelley you look gorgeous!

  19. My hubs is three months younger than me as well! He ALWAYS rubs it in! haha. You look HAWT lady! ;)

  20. My hubby and I are the same...for three months I am older than him, so he is always rubbing that in.

  21. You look fabulous! You are such an inspiration and a great motivation.

  22. You look AMAZING and are a true inspiration! What a great role model you are setting for your daughters.

  23. You look amazing. So absolutely inspiring. We LOVE Nutrilite supplements. We used to be a part of the community. The kids stuff is the best too!

  24. I Love your blog and enjoy reading your posts. You have a wonderful family. It seems you had a great day with your family.

  25. You are doing great and look fabulous, keep up the great work! Your journey, while although difficult at times, is beyond worth it and it's not even about looks. You have always been beautiful anyway! It's about your health not only for yourself, but your loved ones around you. And please take this tidbit to heart, I am old enough to be your Mom, so believe me when I say, it's key to get the weight under control now because metabolism is not your friend when you get older. Best to have those good habits now so they will become second nature and therefore your friend in the aging process. Keep the faith....

  26. Wow! How awesome! I am 4 months older than my husband, but we're still young enough that I rub it in his face! Haha! I'm sure that will change in a few years! =)
    Alesha <3

  27. I agree with Amanda - every time I read on your blog I think you look like Reese Whitherspoon. And you look really good, no matter what the weight. On the other hand, you are probably much more healthy with 70 pounds less. Congratulations on the weight loss you have achieved. I suppose it is not easy to change your eating habits.

  28. You look exactly like Reese Withersopoon! I have loved following your journey and am so motivated by your persistence. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  29. Ditto the above! Thought of you on our recent visit to SLC/ and Park City (Sundance).. got to see new film Ellen Page and Skaarsgard... blanking on his first name... apparently Sundance is a verb... we went Sundancing!

  30. this is awesome!! you're a huge inspiration. also, 70 pounds in a year is beyond amazing to me! you go girl!


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