2013 Healthy Living Survey

by Melody on April 10, 2013

I saw this fun Healthy Living Survey recently on Carrots n’ Cake and thought it would be a great way to explore the journey I’ve been on for the past few years.  If you are just getting started or are interested in making some changes, this will give you a little insight into our life.

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Scrambled eggs with fresh dill, sausage links and a strawberry, pineapple and spinach smoothie (testing out new varieties on the kids).

2. How much water do you drink a day?

Aside from coffee in the morning and tea in the early afternoon, water is all I drink.  I couldn’t really say how much I drink, I just always have a water bottle handy, so probably a lot.


3. What is your current favorite workout?

CrossFit, CrossFit and some more CrossFit.  Have I ever mentioned it? I need to feel like this on an almost daily basis.  I run on occasion, but mainly when I need to get out by myself and Jay-Z in my head is the only thing that will brighten my day.

By the way, in the picture above, I had just finished a 12-minute work out.  12 minutes.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I have no idea!  We eat mostly whole foods, with lots of veggies, no grains, very little dairy or sugar.  We basically eat as much as we want, but try to have a good combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat.  We play around with our quantities and proportions, but never think about calories.  Thank goodness, it might make me crazy.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Apples or pears with almond butter, homemade Larabars, cottage cheese, sliced veggies with homemade salsa, Pumpkin Amazeballs.  After workout, I try to have some kind of carb and protein right away.  Although not the best, I do love me a protein shake with cooled coffee, almond milk and vanilla protein powder.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

Generally leftovers from the night before, but if I’ve sent all of those with my husband to work, I make a big salad with chopped or sliced lunch meat, cottage cheese. I add a little feta or Romano cheese, some kind of sauteed veggie (tomato, kale, mushrooms) and dig in.  My kids generally eat a huge crudite platter, with sliced veggies, mandarin oranges or grapes, sliced cheese, hard boiled eggs.  They generally eat it quicker than I can put it on their plate.


7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

My upper body!  I’ve been working out for a few years now at home and have done exercises with hand weights, but nothing compared to CrossFit.  I never did any kind of weight lifting in school, so everything I’ve done has been new to me.  It is so ridiculously empowering to learn lifting techniques and watch my strength and endurance go up and off the charts.  Throwing weights around over your head is fun, more fun and some more fun.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but nothing.  I love that CrossFit is completely total body, from head to toe.  I never go in and say things like “I’m going to do abs today”.  They just come with the territory.  If I really had to choose, it is being forced to work on things where my technique suffers, but it’s more just a challenge than a least favorite.

What are your bad food cravings?

Oh heavens.  Even though we are eating pretty clean, I still have an obsession with baking things that are chocolatey and fudgy and cakey and cupcakey and cookie-like.  I really try to limit myself on this kind of stuff, so will attempt to make them just for parties or get-togethers.  My poor husband’s coworkers are the recipients more often than not.

Since I have zero willpower (no joke, zero, almost negative), I just can’t keep my temptations in the house.  I try to keep some “healthy” sweet treats around to satisfy my cravings instead.

If I HAD to choose.  Cadbury Mini Eggs.  100 Grand bars.  Skittles.  Any kind of ice cream with coffee or chunks of chocolate.  Anything that tastes like cookie dough.  Dark chocolate.  Oreo cookies.  Really good homemade frosting.  Coconut M&M’s.

Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Not really.  We are pretty firm believers in the fact that we get what we need from our food, including our kids.  We are toying around with the idea of taking an additional fish oil or Omega-3 supplement, as that is one area we aren’t doing as well in and there are SO many health benefits.  But seriously, what do we know?

How often do you eat out?

Very rarely, but not for the reason you’d think.  We can generally find something that fits our eating habits on any menu, whether it be a salad or a burger or sandwich without the bun or bread.  We just really don’t have room in the budget for eating out.  We probably go out once every few months or so, more if someone gives us a gift card. It just adds up so quickly and it pains me to pay $15 for a salad that would cost me less than $5 to make at home.

Plus, with toddlers, sometimes it’s just darn easier for them to eat at home and not be restricted.

Do you eat fast food?

Not in about three years.  I can’t tell you how many times I am tempted.  Maybe we are running late getting home from the gym and the thought of making or prepping dinner sounds horrific or I am running short on time before preschool pick-up, but I always talk myself out of it.  I try to keep some easy, no-prep veggies in the fridge and emergency protein (cooked chicken, shredded pork) so I have something to fall back on.

We first gave up fast food after watching Food Inc. and the whole idea of eating it just horrified me.  Since then, I have had Jack in the Box once that I can remember and I felt horrible for two straight days.  Bloated and greasy and disgusting and exhausted, so now that’s the reason we stay away.  It’s amazing how our bodies adapt to what we put in them.


Who is your biggest supporter?

My husband!  From day one, he has had my back.  He has supported my crazy workout ideas, motivated me when it all felt hopeless in the beginning and (mostly) graciously gone along with all of my research on food and our eating habits.  He has slowly given up processed foods, juice, most sugar, dairy and now grains because I decided it was the right thing to do.

He has run 5K races with me when I’m pretty sure he would rather stick a fork in his eyeball.  He listens to my endless rants about technique, how much weight I should lift, how I should have run faster.  He stands in front of me while I am lifting and talks me through every movement.

To go through this journey together has been the best thing we have ever done for our marriage.  We have lost together and grown together all at the same time.  I’m a lucky gal.

Do you have a gym membership?

Both my husband and I are members of Natural Selection CrossFit in Kennewick and go 3-4 days per week.  We used to work out at home, which suited our needs for awhile, but we had definitely hit a plateau.  Going to the gym each day with a fabulous group of people that feel like community and home is priceless.  They are so encouraging, motivating and just plain awesome.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Ugh.  Probably not enough.  While I love blogging and I love my boys, the two of them together make for an interesting combination.  Most days I end up staying up much later than I really should, just to squeeze in work time while the house is quiet and nobody is begging me for a snack.  On average, I get between 6 and 7 hours each night.  When we have had a particularly hard workout, I try really hard to go to bed a little early to let my muscles repair.

Do you have a cheat day?

Nah. I generally have a little bit of chocolate or a small treat every day.  We eat really well throughout the day and I don’t want to deprive myself completely, so I squeeze in a small “cheat” every day.  My friend told me recently that she eats 80% for health and 20% for joy.  I dig it.

Do you drink alcohol?

Yes, sir.  Not every day for sure, but an ice cold beer and I are great friends, especially on a hot, hot day or sitting poolside in Vegas.  Occasionally, I will enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail when we go out socially, but I’m generally a beer girl.  Again, 20% joy.


Do you have a workout buddy?

Besides every fabulous person at our gym?

This is my girl Dani.  If you had any idea how far she has come in her fitness journey, you would want to work out with her too.  She has completely changed her life around and went from a girl who swore up and down she was happy with her weight and didn’t like working out to a trainer at our CrossFit gym.  She is so strong and encouraging and passionate.

Without being pushy, she had been trying to get me to come to CrossFit for about six months.  She just told me how much she loved it and was a living example of how amazing it was.  Now that I have joined, I have no idea how she didn’t beat me over the head and drag me to the gym.  She and I text all day about what we’re eating, when we’re going to the gym, who is the cutest boy at the gym, who’s going to be at the gym.  I’m so lucky to have her.

Leave a comment and beg her to share her story.  You’ll be amazed.

What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

Oh my word, where to begin?  This has been a long journey, about three years now.  We have completely overhauled our lifestyle, including our eating habits and attitude about fitness.  We are healthier, happier and are trying to be the best role model for our kids that we can.

Not only have we lost weight, we are stronger, we have more energy, my husband’s asthma symptoms are almost completely non-existent.  We are eating for our health, not just to get full.  Both my husband and I are more confident in ourselves.  Because we have come on this journey together, our marriage is that much stronger.  We have a common goal and a common purpose and are constantly pushing each other just a little farther.

Confidence in our heath and our bodies has carried over into all areas of our lives, parenting, our friendships, our relationships with family, work.  It’s a catalyst.  Let’s find yours together.

Now that I’ve shared my entire life story, I’d love to hear from you!  What are your fitness and lifestyle goals for 2013?  Are you just starting out?  Have you been at it for awhile and are trying something new?  If you have a workout buddy, tell us what they are like and how they motivate you.

You can see more of our Fitness Goals and Results from the past few years if you are interested.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan April 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I have to say I enjoyed this post so much. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us. Mind if I ask a few questions? The cross-fit here is very expensive, like almost $100 a person a month. Is it cheaper there? Also, I love that your husband is your greatest supporter but I’m wondering, who watches the kids while you are there? I’m sure these seem like silly questions but I’m curious about the impediments that wouldn’t allow me to do this myself and looking for ideas on how you handle it. You sure seem to handling all the rest well so please share….


Melody April 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Not silly questions at all, totally legit!

It is expensive, we pay about $200 per month for my husband and I to go 3 days per week. We started at 2 days per week and just didn’t feel like it was enough. Our gym offers free Saturday classes so we take advantage of those as well. It was definitely something we had to think through for awhile and work the budget around. We see it as an investment for us and both of us love it so much, so it’s totally worth it. Does your local gym offer any free classes at all? Maybe check around and see if any do? I have a friend who just did the free classes for awhile to see if she really wanted to make the leap.

Our gym has a kids room, so I can bring my kids while I work out. It isn’t a day care and there isn’t anyone in charge, but they can see me through the window and watch movies and play. Sometimes I bring snacks or dinner, depending on what time we go. They have come to love everyone at the gym, so they just beg people not working out to feed them or read them stories. My husband and I tend to both go in the afternoons, but we have swapped out kids in the past if one of them is sick or we have to go to another engagement.

Please ask more questions, I’m happy to help!


Jessica F. April 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I’ve been a reader of your blog for sometime now, but it seems that it is becoming more and more slanted into a narrow scope that many families can’t identify with (ie Crossfit, a Paleo-ish diet). It seems like the days of simply promoting healthy eating, exercise and saving money for families are gone. I wish it would continue to focus on these things instead of jumping on and promoting the latest diet and fads and promoting them as a way of life for families. Simply said, I miss the old Beautiful Frugal Life.


Melody April 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Thank you for the feedback and comments. This blog follows the “trends” of my life and I guess if you consider eating whole foods, avoiding processed foods and exercising a fad, then we are pretty faddy around here. However, I will never call what we do a trend or a fad.

I still post about several store match ups, different ways we save money each week, freezer cooking, daily deals and more. I guess I’m not sure what it is that you miss or what I have stopped posting about?


Brenda April 12, 2013 at 12:31 am

Thank you Melody for your work and dedication to this blog. I find the honesty and candor in each for your posts to be very refreshing. Your willingness to share your triumphs with the lows keeps me coming back.
In totally honesty, I am on the complete opposite spectrum of health and wellness as you.
The fact of the matter is while I do actively try and make healthier food choices, I still have put on extra pounds over the years with not much interest in losing it. However, I still find your Crossfit training posts interesting as the concept of setting and achieving personal goals is a strong interest of mine.
I love your posts on healthy snacks and treats and tips to help manage the chaos around mealtimes.
I have noticed that your blog has changed a lot since I began following it. This isn’t a surprise to me, as your life changes it makes sense that your blog would follow.
I look forward to seeing what will come next!


Renee April 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm

This was a fun post to read. Like Brenda in the comment above, my husband and I are basically “opposite” of you- kind of in a blah stage right now. But who doesn’t at least acknowledge that they should be eating healthier, exercising more, striving for good health? I think there’s a little place in all of us that knows we SHOULD be doing these things 🙂 And, love your recipes and ideas (and Costco match-ups).

And, to Dani, tell us your story, pleeease!


Brenda April 14, 2013 at 4:14 am

Yes, please Dani tell us!!!


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