S’Mores And More

S'mores Galore: Made with all-natural handmade vanilla marshmallows, TJ's cinnamon grahams and Lindt dark chocolate. Health...ier??

Before I introduce the final passengers on the Domestica Fitness Train, I gotta come clean.  This past weekend, my husband decided it was high time we did some family camping. I’m not gonna lie, the idea of using a “pit toilet” while forgoing showers for three days really doesn’t sound like a good time. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my fitness journey, it’s that some of my most awe-inspiring moments have happened while I stepped out of my “what’s comfortable” zone.  For example, not too long ago, you would have had to drag me kicking and screaming to wake up at 3:30 am to go hiking before the Arizona heat hits at 07:00. But when I did just that while visiting my new nephew in 2009, I was rewarded with the jaw-dropping beauty God has created for us and to this day, it remains as one of my fondest memories.  The hike itself wasn’t all that difficult but somehow I felt like I had conquered the world.

Taking in the sunrise at the top of Squaw Peak in Phoenix, AZ

So with that in mind, I got my camping game face on, packed up, and we hit the road.


Our little Jetta did us proud.

Ten hours later, we pulled into the Mojave Desert. As we stepped out of the car, our fancy ideas of baking in the warm desert sun quickly blew away as we shivered under the major cloud cover.  The only sun we’d be seeing in the next three days would be while driving home! Nevertheless, we soldiered on and set up camp. And with that, came the notorious camp food…

Over the past few years, I’ve pretty much abolished emotional eating from my habits.  Sure, I have the occasional slip but it’s nothing like the stress-relieving DQ Blizzard days of yore. That said, there are still a few experiences that get me when it comes to food association.  For instance, part of going to a movie for me is having Hot Tamales and Milk Duds.  It just doesn’t feel right without them.  And the same goes for camping. What’s camping without potato chips, beans & wieners, and S’mores?  While planning our meals before this trip, I tried to focus on as many clean eating options as possible — and did pretty darn well. But even still, the snacking was out of control and I knew the food journal wasn’t going to be happy.  Because this was a voluntary no-phones-allowed trip, I didn’t log all my foods as I ate them (which I usually do in order to keep a running tally through the day) and so when I got home Monday night, I had to face what I already knew — I had blown it BIG TIME. Thank God we did an intense 2-hour sand dunes trail run/hike on Monday or that day’s surplus would have crept over the 4-digit mark!

Notice all those lovely GREEN down arrows along the right-hand side? That would be my net loss of calories at the end of each day throughout the month of March. Then you'll notice the bright red UP ones from last weekend -- oy!

The first thoughts going through my mind were “okay, I need to do no-sugar for two weeks” and “maybe I’ll do a juice fast for a day or two”.  But as those thoughts of redemption came flooding into my mind, I was reminded of the words I quoted from fellow Train passenger, Heidi.

If I fail, I will pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again instead of giving up.

If you’ve blown it these past few days and are feeling discouraged, take a moment to deep breathe and let go of the condemnation.  Shut out the voices in your head that say you need to “make up” for lost time and step into today as a new day.  Thinking that we can “make up for” past failures is a sure-fire way to develop binge eating/exercising habits.  Although it’s unhealthy to binge, it’s also unhealthy to try and swing to the other extreme by being over-the-top healthy to make up for our past mistakes.  We don’t want extremes — we want balance.  So look today in the eye and let go of yesterday.

At the top of the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave Desert. I loved seeing my five year old boys destroy this 2-hour hike! Experiences like this are just one of the benefit's of raising a healthy family!

And now, allow me to introduce our final Train passengers!

Lisa‘s personal goal is to lose the 15 pounds she’s gained over the past few months.  She knows that refined carbs and sweets have been the culprits but is also keeping a food journal to see what other sneaky things have been sabotaging her health.  With two kids at home, she’s setting goals that work with the whole family; walking her daughter to school as much as possible, doing at-home workouts and opting for homemade meals.

Carrie is setting the bar high by committing to no alcohol, soda, or energy drinks for the duration of FTC. In addition to her own runs, she’s working with a personal trainer two times a week and logging her food by using Weight Watchers. Her end goal is to lose eight pounds during the FTC while also increasing her endurance training as she prepares for two 5k races.

An important side goal is to lead by example and motivate my mom and my husband to live a healthier lifestyle! I want them both around for years to come.
~ Carrie

Alyssa admits that the thought of losing 20 pounds is completely overwhelming so she’s taking this challenge as an opportunity to break her weight loss goals into chunks. By portioning out her snacks, trying new fitness classes, and adding more fruits and veggies to her diet, she’s looking to lose the first five pounds by the end of the FTC.  As her Vision Board, Alyssa has saved a favorite picture of her bikini-clad self as her computer desktop.

Tindy is determined to increase her running distance to 8km while continuing her weekly bootcamp classes. She wants to lose inches but also gain lean muscle mass and has set a tangible goal of doing 25 modified push-ups in a row. She realizes that drinking more water will help her body work at it’s full potential so she’s aiming to drink more H2O.

After reading my blog, Vanessa realized that she had been telling herself she was doing “enough” when in reality, she was doing very little.  With a goal to lose 10 pounds before trying for their next child, Vanessa is looking at her daily routines with a new fitness mindset and taking every opportunity to get a burn in.  Whether it’s doing a few push-ups, lunges, and squats while at the playground with her son or running around the block instead of just walking, she’s making small choices that will all add up to big results.

I’ve never been a big fan of calorie counting. It seemed an easy way to get too caught up into my weight and become obsessed. However, after talking to Natasha I realized that I can look at it as a way to see where I am at each day. Three days ago I downloaded an app that is very conveniently keeping my eating and exercising habits and telling me where I am each day in order for weight loss. And it’s great! Instead of just guessing how I ate each day I know for sure how it went.
~ Vanessa

Denise is starting the FTC with a one-week Mexico vacation (yes, we all feel so bad for her)!  She’s admitted that the taco chips and guac will get her every time but she’s doing her best to make smart choices while she’s away and is excited to hit the ground running when she gets home.  Her goal is to lose 5-7 pounds by fast-walking 5 times a week and hitting the gym regularly, as well. She’s keeping a food and exercise journal to see the hard facts and is making a concentrated effort to cut out unnecessary fats and sweets.

Colleen also holds a dear place in my heart because she birthed an amazing little boy who turned out to be an amazing man. I’m stoked to have both my Mum and my Mother-in-Law take part in the FTC!  With Type 2 Diabetes, Colleen knows that eating clean will quite literally save her life. By cutting out all white refined foods and committing to at-home workouts over the past few months, she’s already lost nearly 20 pounds, lowered her insulin injections by a whopping 50% and drastically changed her future. Colleens’ goal for the FTC is to lose ten pounds and eventually, rid herself of Diabetes completely.

Nothing will ever taste as good as being healthy will feel.
~ Colleen

Adrianne has eleven weeks left in her pregnancy and her goal is to get more active so she can be strong and healthy for baby #2’s arrival.  With regular yoga stretching, daily walks, and a focus on clean eating, she’s on the right track! With a small child at home and one on the way, Adrianne knows she has plenty of “valid” excuses but is determined to treat her body right in the here and now so that she will be even more successful in tackling the next phase of her life — as a mom of two!

After the birth of her second child, Jocelyne has been sitting at an unhealthy weight and knows it’s time to conquer it for the sake of her own health but also for the example she’s setting for her family.  Because these lifestyle changes are fairly new to her, she’s making a few changes at a time, starting with reducing her soda intake, keeping a food journal and eating breakfast! To add the burn, Jocelyne hit a fitness homerun by already registering for a 10k race on May 1st and will focus her exercise efforts on walk/run training for that.

I am so incredibly blessed to be a part of this journey with all of you! I will be honest in saying that I get tears in my eyes pouring over your emails and writing out these little blurbs. These few sentences only scratch the surface of how amazing you all are and how completely thrilled I am to see you making such great choices for your health, your family, and your future!


Domestically Yours,
Natasha Kay

7 thoughts on “S’Mores And More

  1. Tracey says:

    This note is for Vanessa…

    What was the name of the app you downloaded? I’m getting curious, I’d like to see if I’m eating as well as I think.


  2. Vanessa says:

    Hi Tracey,

    I used fatsecret and it is working well. And it’s free! Tasha – is this the one you have? I thought I remembered you saying you used that one.


    • Natasha says:

      Yep! To be honest, I’m not entirely sure it’s the best one out there but it seems to work well for me. Especially because all the Trader Joe’s products are in the database. 🙂

  3. Shannon says:

    Just so you know at the bottom of your blot, my Google ad in Switzerland is a Groupon for ‘All you can eat Macaroons!’


    • Natasha says:

      You are freakin’ lucky they were far apart! Seeing as our tent broke under the wind storm and we woke up to snow, I think you were the luckier one. 🙂

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