HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Tips for Diabetes Awareness Month

Exactly two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out that I had Type 2 Diabetes. I was devastated. I had borderline Gestational Diabetes when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had already followed a strict eating plan…I did NOT want to do that again. I like food and the last thing I wanted was to be told what I could eat and when.


However, looking at the picture above, it is very apparent that following a strict diet plan and get my Type 2 Diabetes under control.

**This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them**

So when Johnson & Johnson and The Motherhood reached out and asked me to take part in the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® program I knew I had to say yes.

If you have diabetes, there are a few things you can do to help…

  1. There are supplements that you can take that may help support your overall health. Be sure to check with your doctor and while you’re at it, have them set you up with a nutritionist. I followed the plan that my nutritionist set up for me and I lost 50 pounds!
  2. Your oral health is very important. Take it from me…I won’t bore you with details, but three years later and I am STILL dealing with issue directly related to my Type 2 Diabetes. The HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® website has various products you can use to better your oral health.
  3. One of the things people with diabetes deal with is VERY dry skin, especially their feet. HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® has LUBRIDERM®, a fragrance free lotion that is fortified with vitamin B5.

Right now, one in three American adults have pre-diabetes. When you have pre-diabetes you are at an increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Because I was borderline Gestational Diabetic when I was pregnant, that was my pre-diabetes. I didn’t listen to my doctor then when he told me I was at an increased risk of getting full blown Type 2 Diabetes later on. However, I did listen to my nutritionist and followed the plan she put together for me and within a year, I was no longer testing within the Type 2 Diabetic limits.

For more information on the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® products I mentioned above and more, PLUS over $35 in coupons, visit the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® website!

healthy essentials

Paleo Chili Recipe!

I don’t know where you live, but here in Michigan it can be below zero one minute and 60 degrees the next (I’m not joking).  One thing I love to have on hand all winter is yummy soup.  I hate being cold so there is nothing better on a cold, windy day than a bowl of soup.

Today I decided to take one of my chili recipes and make it “Paleo Friendly”.  I think it turned out fabulous!

**This post may contain affiliate links**

chiliPaleo Chili 


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 cans Tomato Sauce (14.5 oz each)
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes (14.5oz each)
  • 1 can Tomato Paste (12oz)
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Zucchini, diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup Chili Powder
  • 1 oz Unsweetened Bakers Chocolate
  • Salt to taste


  1. Brown the ground beef (I browned it with a little salt, pepper and minced garlic).  Drain and put in a large stock pot.
  2. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and beef broth to the stock pot.
  3. Dice the onion, zucchini and carrots and add to the stock pot.
  4. Place the chili powder, bakers chocolate and salt in the stock pot and mix everything together.
  5. Simmer on low for 1 hour 30 minutes (you can simmer a bit longer if you would like your vegetables a little more well done).

Sooo good!  This was a huge hit with my husband!  The nice thing about this recipe is that while I took out the beans and added vegetables to make it Paleo friendly, but you could easily take out the meat and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth and then the recipe would be vegetarian friendly!  I served the chili with Cheddar Beer Bread (which I KNOW is not Paleo, but…hey, half the meal was!).

Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!!  Play around with the vegetable combinations…I think next time I will put green pepper or red pepper in it!


Antarctic Krill Oil by Everest Nutrition Review

Since I have declared that I will lose all this weight, one of the things I have been looking into is what vitamins and supplements I should be taking.  Being a female, I definitely take Calcium and Vitamin D-3.  I had a HORRIBLY low Vitamin D count a couple years ago and having to be on an insanely high prescription dose of Vitamin D was horrible.  One of the things that I was told I have to take is an Omega 3 Fish Oil.  While I know it’s good for you, I always stayed away from it because I didn’t want to have a fishy smell coming from my pores or have fishy burps.  That would be gross.

Everest Nutrition

Well apparently not all fish oil is created the same!  Antarctic Krill Oil by Viva Labs is 100% pure cold pressed and it does not give you that fishy smell or fishy burps!  There are a large number of reasons why Krill Oil should be added to your daily vitamin regime.  The top seven from are:

  1. Cardiovascular Health:  significantly reduces heart damaging inflammation.
  2. Cholesterol Levels:  helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels.
  3. PMS Symptoms:  it has been found that women lacking Omega 3’s had higher instances of pre-menstrual pain than those that take Krill Oil.
  4. Inflammation:  Krill Oil helps to reduce pain, stiffness and functional impairment in those dealing with chronic pain and arthritis.
  5. Brain Function:  Krill Oil is rich in DHA and EPA which helps cognitive function and development.
  6. Anti-Aging:  Krill Oil effectively repairs aging cells!
  7. Overall Healthy:  strengthens your immune system, optimizing kidney function, regulating the body’s hormone levels, elevating your mood and emotional wellbeing, balancing blood sugar levels, regulating blood pressure levels, supporting eye health, boosting your energy AND SO MUCH MORE!
I was sent a couple bottles to try out.  I am happy to report that I did not have any fishy burps at all, which is a plus.  If you haven’t experienced that when taking fish oil…you’re lucky!  In a couple weeks I will be getting  my 6 month bloodwork to check my cholesterol level and to monitor my Diabetes.  I am very interested to see if my bad cholesterol went down!  Overall, I am very happy with the Antarctic Krill Oil by Viva Labs.  If you would like to check them out, be sure to stop by their website at  Hopefully, by taking this product long term, my knee pain will start to disappear!
Disclaimer:  I was given two bottles of Krill Oil for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are solely mine.  

Do You Have a Fitbit?

As you know, I want to lose weight…a lot of weight.  One of the things my husband and I did was get a membership to Planet Fitness gym.  We’ve been members of a lot of different gyms, but this one is by far our favorite.  I never have to wait for a machine (which is good…make me wait and I lose interest…seriously) and they don’t tolerate the whole body building thing where you feel intimidated by big huge guys walking around slamming weights all over the place.  Instead, if they hear that, they press a button sounding an alarm and everyone stares at the offenders.  It’s one of my most favorite times at the gym!  And to top it all off, the membership is only $10 or $20 a month.  I have the $20 a month membership because I like the massage chairs and the infrared machines.

I also use My Fitness Pal to log all of my weight and exercises (ImLeah525 is my screen name…friend me)!  I think it is key to use something like My Fitness Pal to keep track of what you are eating.  What I like about this site is that you can literally see, in pie graph form, the percentage of fat, carbs and protein you are eating.  This way, if you are not losing weight, you can see exactly what area you may be eating too much or too little in.  And they have an app for both your ipad/iphone or your Android phone!

But today I got something I have been wanting for a VERY long time.  I got a Fitbit.  This little thing will track how many steps you take, how many calories you burn and it will also tell you how well you sleep (can’t wait to try that feature out tonight)!  The other nice part is that the Fitbit site will connect with My Fitness Pal so I can see just how much calories I am burning and see where I need to step it up (literally) to be successful in my weight loss journey.  Here’s a picture of the one I got…isn’t it pretty?
Now I just have to decide where I want to wear it…on my waist or my bra.  Apparently women like to wear it hooked to their bra.  I’m thinking mine will be on my waist.  But really, I doubt it will be a bother anywhere I decide to wear it.  This thing is the size of a fun size Kit Kat.

Tomorrow is the first day I start to wear it (well except for sleeping tonight).  How many steps do you think I will take throughout the day?  Knowing my competitive nature, I will always try to one up myself in the steps department from day to day (which will help my weight loss efforts).  I could seriously see myself running around the block before bed because I didn’t beat yesterday’s steps.

Leave me a comment telling me how many steps you think I will take my first day…

Trying to Lose Weight

I’m fat.

There, I said it.  But here’s the thing…I don’t want to be fat.  Not anymore.  Almost a year and a half ago I found out I was Type 2 Diabetic.  It was the answer I needed to finally figure out why I was gaining weight and not losing.  Once I started Metformin to help keep my blood sugar in check AND counting carbs, the weight started to fall off.  I lost 50lbs in 7 months.  However, my busy life got in the way and I was not as careful with following my low carb plan.  Not only was that stupid because of my Diabetes, but I also gained almost 2olbs back.

But this all ends now.  I am back on the wagon, I am using My Fitness Pal to track my food and weight loss, and I am hoping all of you can help me stay accountable.  I am going to do something that is very hard for me.  I am going to tell every single one of you how much I weigh and I am going to do that each week I weigh in.  So without further ado…here is my weight as of July 6, 2012:

There you have it…219.8lbs.  UGH.

So here’s the plan:

  • Use My Fitness Pal to track all food I eat and log my weight each week
  • Meet with the trainer at the gym on Monday to carve out a plan for me
  • Work out at least 3 times a week, but shoot for 5 times.
  • Get back to counting carbs
Here is a picture of me taken today.  I am going to take a picture of myself every so often:

If you haven’t used My Fitness Pal…sign up!  You will love it!

So who’s willing to hold me accountable and help me get to my goal weight?  Ideally I would like to weigh 140.