TurboFire: Week 3 Check-in

My Weight Loss Progress | aBliss Experience

My Progress To Date

Today is officially Day 1 of Week 4 TurboFire Challenge! Wahoo. Which means we have reached a close of Week 3 and I am checking in with my progress. I have to be honest, I have never followed the TurboFire workouts for this long. I usually get to Week 2 then start repeating some of the shorter workouts. Which wassuch a bad idea because my body was adapting to the movements – i.e. Where’s the challenge?

I am very pleased with my progress and I have to say, I feel fantastic! I wake up in the morning and I feel like Beyonce …now how many more squats until I get a booty like that? – MOTIVATION :) 

We flawless, ladies tell ‘ em. I woke up like this. I woke up like this.

-End Beyonce Breakout-

I am trying to take the emphasis off of the number on the scale and really focus in on my nutrition. Don’t get me wrong, I still hop on the scale all too frequently in hopes that I lost another 10 because dammit – it feels like it! Of course weight loss is important to me but more so I am really all about reducing my BF % right now (see fitness goals here).

The greatest progress has actually been with my thighs! I lost two inches from both thighs since I began the TurboFire challenge. Hello sexy legs? Yes beach, I’m dreaming about you too!

So overall, Week 3 went well and I was pleased with my nutritional intake although it didn’t quite meet the 30/40/30 I was going for and I ended up more around 45/35/20 which was pretty high on the carbs side but I blame all the apples I ate for that ;)

The eats:

Breakfast: Eggs or Greek Yogurt (with fresh fruit) or Protein Shake
I am horrible at taking time to eat breakfast so items that can be made on the go are perfect for me! I will share that I had an epic shake fail when I mixed up a PB-Banana-Chocolate Shake right after a 6am workout. Yuck – it tasted like cookies for breakfast and I will not be doing that again!

Snack: Fresh fruit (Did I mention that it’s strawberry season? Yummy!)
It’s best to eat your fruits solo and avoid eating them too soon after a full meal as it can cause indigestion. A near empty stomach is best because your body can more easily break down the simple sugars and fibers contained within.

Lunch: Chicken with Rice or Salad, and veggies
I prepped a spicy chicken this week which was delicious when thrown onto a bed of brown rice or on top of a big salad!

Snack: Veggies or “Oops I forgot”.
For some reason the hours between 2-4 are lost to me promptly followed by a 1.5 hr commute (where I am much more apprehensive about eating or drinking before the ride because there is no time for pull-off emergencies.) Oops did you see that? I inserted an excuse – oh my. Time to work on that one!

Dinners: Chicken, steak, or fish, with side salad or veggies, and rice.
I just want to point out the obvious here and note that chicken is my favorite protein. Toward the end of the week I was definitely craving more variety so I will be looking up so more creative recipes to keep things interesting.

Indulgence of the week:
Fresh Fruit with Greek Yogurt for Dessert.

The workouts:

Day of the Week Workout Calorie Burn
Monday Fire 45 EZ 586
Tuesday HIIT 25 300
Wednesday Rest  -
Thursday HIIT 15
Tone 30
Friday Fire 45 EZ 586
Saturday Core 20
Stretch 40
Sunday Fire 55 EZ (30mins) 344
Total Burn 2600 Calories

About these workouts:

The TurboFire workout is a high-intensity cardio program. If you are interested in learning more here is the link to the site. The dedicated HIIT workouts really get your metabolism FIRED up!  :) I was laughing one afternoon and could feel my body heat up! It’s incredible to be able to feel your body working that much harder because it is running more efficiently!

What did I learn this week?

1) Get rid of 100 calories packs!

I have to admit that for the past few years I really thought I was doing myself a favor by purchasing the 100 calorie packs because it reduced my caloric intake and it was pre-portioned. Well news flash! Not healthy at all. A bad snack is still a bad snack! Chocolate covered pretzels? High sodium and little to no nutritional value – just forget it! Not to mention, they are never really satisfying. You are better off switching this out for an apple, a rice cake with PB, or celery for that matter!

2) Sleep is critical to progress

I am still finishing up my last two college courses before I officially earn that diploma which means late nights for me at times. I completely felt the impact of this the next morning. I had one morning where I felt like my eye lids were swollen shut! I didn’t want to go to work let alone workout which completely threw me off for the day and made my workout that much harder to persevere through. Less intensity = Less burn. Woooomp. Case in point – a full night’s rest is in order for any progress to be made. You have to feel good to look good and sleep is recovery.

3) Isolated soy protein disrupts your hormonal balance

Now, I am not a vegetarian so I do not have a great deal of knowledge about soy. What I can tell you is that I  (used to) enjoy Boca Burgers and now I’m in complete question of their place in my diet. I actually learned about the soy protein isolate because I was investigating a nutritional weight loss shake called herbalife. Brenda-Lee Turner of LeanSecrets rated the Herbalife product line at like .5 a star because the first ingredient is soy protein isolate. Ultimately, soy increases your estrogen which disrupts your hormonal balance (which is already sensitive to begin with!). If you do not have any dietary restrictions, I don’t think you should be consuming this if you don’t have to!

What have you learned this week?

What helps keep you in check with your fitness goals? 

Ignite the light!


This morning as I was driving into work the song Fireworks by Katy Perry came over the radio. It’s not a song I have ever really paid attention and I can’t say that I’m a Perry fan either… However! When the chorus came on I was struck with new inspiration.

Ignite the light and let it shine!

So today, this week even, this will be my mantra and it’s perfect because…. I have some serious fitness goals and it’s time to ignite the light aka FIRE baby!

I will be completely honest, over the past few months I have regained the 15lbs that I lost earlier in 2013 and it’s time to take my health and fitness more seriously. In fact, I want to bring it a-whole-nother level!

My Health & Fitness Goals

  • Lose 25lbs or achieve 21-24% Body Fat
  • Active for at least 20-30 minutes daily
  • Balance nutritional intake with 40/30/30 approach

Lose 25 lbs or achieve 20% body fat

Instead of focusing on strictly weight loss my true goal is to reduce my body fat percentage. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) here are the recommended target ranges:


Image source: http://www.builtlean.com

My goal is to reach the fitness zone and really lean out. I am estimating that it will take a weight loss of 25 lbs for me to achieve this target range. The plan is to target an average weight loss of 1 – 1.5lbs per week using daily exercise and a balanced nutritional intake.

Active for at least 20-30 minutes daily

How many times have you set a goal to go to the gym a certain number of times a week and then perhaps missed a day or two? I know I have. It is my belief that the best plans go unplanned (to a certain extent of course). I am setting this as a goal compared to “go to the gym 3x a week” because it is more reasonable/realistic for me. I do a lot of at home workouts and  as I am more focused on weight loss and building endurance – the equipment at the gym is not a necessity. However , I will just say that the gym is like an oasis for me. Getting out of the house and into my own zone is like heaven on a Saturday or Sunday morning :)

My current fitness plan is the TurboFire workout. The program is a hybrid of high intensity and cardio. It’s a 13 week program with six days on and one rest day. I am currently on Week 3 and I will post more about this as I wrap up the first month!

Balance nutritional intake with 30/40/30 approach

As I near the end of my degree program I was “forced” to select a few elective courses and Nutritional Science was first on my list. At first I felt as if I wasn’t learning anything new – Everyone knows that you should eat a balanced diet, sure!

But it really got me thinking about the “science” of the diet and the effects on the human body, specifically your metabolism. So what about your metabolism? There are two types of metabolic reactions: synthesis and breakdown. The speed at which these processes occur is dependent on how many calories you consume and burn (genetics plays a role here too!). To achieve a healthy metabolism it is important that you are eating a balanced diet – it’s just that simple!

My target is 30% carbs, 40% lean proteins, and 30% fats which has been really easy to execute over the past few weeks with good food prep :). To reach this goal, I had to set some sub-goals on this one!

- Prepare meals at home
- As natural as possible!
- Avoid processed foods

An excellent resource for learning about the best foods in each food group is choosemyplate.gov. They have an awesome super tracker that I would recommend testing for a few days – even if you already track via lose it or fitness pal, it presents the data very differently and you can view macro and micro nutrients which is insightful.

Get fit: Light the spark and let is shine!!

The spark has been lit my friends and I am going after it with intensity :)

One of the things that was really important for me to think about is, “How is this different than the last time?”. I have set goals for myself before but they were always too rigid – lose 10 lbs, workout 4x weekly. In retrospect, although desired – they are quite arbitrary. It has to start in the kitchen!

What makes it different is the understanding of nutrition and seeking resources that help me to better feed my mind, body, and soul.

Here are some resources that have really inspired my new vision of health & fitness:

Live Fit Trainer by Jamie Eason
This is on the vision board for sure! The physique that can be achieved through this program is my target state. It’s a tier 2 goal that I will be looking forward to. Until then I just use this FREE program for inspiration.

Lean Secrets by Brenda-Leigh Turner
If you have not heard of leansecrets.com I suggest you visit her page. She has so many videos and tips about nutrition that really make you open your eyes. Another great thing is her breakdown of ingredients and how they truly impact your body. WOW!

21 Day Fix with Autumn Calabrese
I stumbled across this program in the IG fitness community and it’s exactly on point with the improvements I am trying to make to my diet. The program includes containers that help you understand portion control. It’s a fabulous way to start reconditioning your mind and body to be properly fueled.

Birchbox Go Time Review

Birchbox Review: January 2014 | a Bliss Experience

Hello 2014! The January Birchbox was themed “Go Time”

Birchbox Review: January 2014 | a Bliss Experience

CoastalScents Revealed Palette
I like the color combo I received, it will make for a great smokey eye.

Burt’s Bees Day Lotion
Somehow I forgot to get a picture of this by itself! Off to the left you can see a glimpse of the product sample. I’ve been using it to treat my cuticles with this dry winter air.

Birchbox Review: January 2014 | a Bliss Experience

Viva la Juicy
Since I began my membership to Birchbox in July of 2012 I probably received this sample at least four times. Let me just say, I don’t mind! This scent is fantastic and it’s perfect for putting in my travel kit.

Birchbox Review: January 2014 | a Bliss Experience

Nail Rock Caviar Set
This looks really fun to try. The whole 3d and textured nail thing seems to really have taken storm. I can’t say I think it’s very practical but it sure has pizazz for a few days (if you are lucky!)

Birchbox Review: January 2014 | a Bliss Experience

Look at these cute little caviar bits! I’m thinking I might be able to try to finish this nail look using my gel manicure set for the gloss/finish layer only.

Birchbox Review: January 2014 | a Bliss Experience

Serge Normant Dry Conditioner
I have received other samples of Serge Normant and the products are usually of quality. I don’t think they have the greatest smell though and I’m not a huge fan of dry conditioner so I will probably be passing this on.

Birchbox Review: January 2014 | a Bliss Experience

These cards were included in the box as well. I find them to be light-hearted and fun. It gives me a few ideas for some artwork styles that I want to use in my office so it’s inspiration but I won’t be using them.


Overall I’m pretty pleased with my January box. I think they have kind of stepped up their game which is good because for awhile there the competition was really providing better products. I also noticed from a few other posts online that the boxes this month have varied significantly. I don’t know if this is indicative of better matching or shorter product supply, we will go with the more optimistic point of view.  ;)

If you aren’t familiar with Birchbox it is a monthly beauty box subscription for $10 monthly. Each month they send you four or five beauty samples and sometimes more. It’s a great way to try new products without the big investment. Check out some of my previous Birchbox reviews for more information.