Tag: healthy



It’s been 48 weeks since I started my #bern200 journey. When I started I was determined to reach goals and break barriers my 400+ pound body would never accomplish. Over the past 11 months I’ve lost 150+ pounds and I feel like a new person! One thing that was always hard for me was standing up. I couldn’t stand on my feet for more than 5 minutes without breaking out in a sweat and experiencing back pain. Obviously any physical activity like jogging or running was just a pipe dream. However this Sunday I did the unthinkable; I ran a continuous mile in 8 minutes and 22 seconds, once again proving that setting a goal and working towards it every day makes the impossible a reality.
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#bern200 – Good Eats: Pizza Spaghetti Squash Bake by @koreangold


After the holiday madness of parties, dinners, get togethers, and epic cheat meals, I found myself missing the familiarity of my somewhat healthy kitchen creations. This weekend I had the pleasure of entertaining for some good friends and decided to introduce them to spaghetti squash. In my eagerness, I made WAY too much squash. As I opened my fridge and looked at the mountain of spaghetti squash, I was inspired to utilize what was already in my fridge and pantry to make something delish. I came up with this pizza squash combo and it tastes great!
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#bern200 – Moving The Weight: Raina Has Lost 61.5 Pounds So Far On Her Journey


It took me a long time to get the strength and courage to make the changes essential to live a healthier life. I consider myself very fortunate to personally know a handful of people that decided to take control of their health. ‘Moving The Weight’ is a series that will feature success stories from friends that have motivated me on my weight loss journey.

Name: Raina Wolford
Age: 29
Height: 5’8″
Before Weight: on August 15,2013 I weighed 292 lbs
How I gained it: I’ve been overweight my entire life, from early childhood up until now. I’ve essentially never known myself outside of being overweight.
Breaking Point: I started noticing health complications this year, and my moods were very erratic so I went to the Doctor on August 15, was told my blood sugar was 226 and that I was diabetic. Although I should not have felt shocked because diabetes runs in my family and I was significantly overweight, I was. I vowed that day after picking up my newly prescribed diabetes medication that I would not let MYSELF be my downfall anymore, I would step out of my comfort zone (which in a weird way, was my weight and food) and create a quality life for myself.
How I lost it: When I used to think about if I ever decided to really do something about my weight I always told myself I wanted to do it naturally, no gimmicks or energy pills or diet pills. I knew that by doing it naturally and through my own hard work and determination I would be able to take FULL credit for my transformation. That’s exactly what I did and continue to do. For the first 2 months I was extremely strict on what I consumed. Staying away from rice, white bread, pork, and red meats. I also stopped drinking alcohol, wine, and soda. I only drink water and coffee. I made my meals smaller portions but more frequently and I did 1 1/2 to 2 hours of cardio a day. Within 6 weeks I dropped 30 pounds and felt amazing. I began to ease up on myself after 2 months and incorporated wild and brown rice as an occasional add on in my meals, still refraining from white bread, white rice, and alcohols or sodas. For some strange reason I began craving peanut butter lol so I would request myself once a week or every other week by spreading some on a gluten free waffle and topping it with bananas and sugar free syrup. YUM! 🙂 My usual go to for breakfast is egg whites with plenty of veggies, like mushrooms, onions spinach etc, and turkey sausage. I also eat steel cut stove top oatmeal several times a week, with sliced bananas for added flavor and texture. My most important meal in my opinion is what I put into my body at the very beginning of the day. It sets the tone for the rest of my day. Now when it comes to working out, after the first 2 months I decreased the lengths of my cardio, but not frequency. I still go twice a day 4-5 times a week, but for a total of 1-1 1/2 hrs. I also started weights. I’m a firm believer that I have no goal. This is a lifestyle change for me, I have no desire to kill myself in the gym and over work my body so that I can go back to eating bad and not working out once I get to a goal. I feel like that’s setting yourself up for failure in the end. I leave the gym feeling happy, strong, and refreshed! Of course there are days when I don’t want to go but I always talk myself into it because I KNOW once I hit those machines I’m all in and motivated once again. I have back problems, diagnosed with mild scoliosis when I was in my early 20s, also knee problems but I have noticed my knees are getting stronger and my back hurts much less now. I am hoping to begin jogging and running in the near future! Progress is everything!
Current weight: As of 11/27/2013 I weigh 230.5 lbs
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GOAL: as I said before I really don’t have a specific goal. My goal is to not have to take diabetes medication for the rest of my life and to FEEL great in my body, which I get closer to daily!
The hardest part about losing weight is: the physical part of losing weight (exercising and eating healthy) isn’t really the struggle for me… The hardest part is fear of being a new me. Let me explain. Although there were definitely times throughout my life that I certainly was not happy with my looks or my weight, those pounds comforted me. That food gave me instant gratification, comfort and temporary satisfaction. Losing weight has changed me physically but MOSTLY, mentally. I feel as if detoxing my body has detoxified my mind. These are ALL positive changes but when someone feels uncomfortable or stressed, it’s a natural human reaction to want to retreat back into their comfort zone and for me that is fat and food! In the past I dealt with stress, unhappiness, and fear of change by going for what was comfortable and familiar. Now I have been conditioning myself to change those comforts and make a new safe haven for myself. Going to the gym is much more to me than cardio time. I am now comforted by my heart beating fast, my arms and legs rushing back and forth and my rhythmic breathing. If I’m struggling mentally with something entering the gym, you can bet that upon exiting the gym my mind is much clearer. I’m saying all this to say, the hardest part for me losing weight is continuing to make this new me, my comfort zone. Every day I feel more confident and stronger, so I am well on my way.
My advice to those trying to lose weight: DO NOT BURN YOURSELF OUT! Work hard, but make it fun, don’t make it feel like “work”. Take plenty of progress pictures, it will keep you motivated! Don’t obsess over your scale weight! As you work out and tone up you will gain muscles, which weighs more than fat, also your weight will distribute more proportionally so scale weight is only a PART of your result! Give yourself plenty of variety when it comes to eating so that you continue to make healthier choices. If I know I’m going to spend several hours away from home I pack food to go! Most importantly, look at it as a lifestyle change, not a quick fix! Good luck and let’s do work!

#bern200 – Good Eats: The 10 Minute Chicken Thighs / Spring Mix Lunch


Most people use time / cost / convenience as reasons to why they eat fast food. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming, or bad tasting. I’m very lazy in the kitchen but I still enjoy healthy and tasty meals on the daily. I posted a picture of my lunch of Chicken Thighs and Spring Mix salad on Instagram and someone asked me for the recipe, so I decided to share it with you. This meal isn’t very intricate at all, but it is simple, quick, and something you will enjoy.


Two Servings (2) Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
(Serving Size: 4 oz., Calories: 150, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 20g)

1/2 Serving ReadyPac Organic Spring Mix
(Serving Size: 4 1/2 Cups., Calories: 15, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 3g, Protein: 2g)

1 Serving Girard’s Light Champagne Dressing
(Serving Size: 2 tbs., Calories: 60, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 2g, Protein: 0g)

Season To Taste: Mr’s Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
(Serving Size: 1/4 tsp., Calories: 0, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 0g)

Season chicken with the Mrs Dash. Cook on stove top over medium heat in non-stick covered pan for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a Happy Call Double Sided Non-Stick Pan, then you should invest in one. While the chicken is cooking, put the Spring Mix in a plastic bowl and mix with the dressing. Be sure to flip the chicken one time during cooking. That’s pretty much in.

The finished product:

This meal totals 290 calories and costs about $2.50 per serving. This is much more convenient than fast food, and is surely more healthy than the burger / fry combo that you’re used to. Trust me, if I can take the time to make this, ANYONE can. Try it out and let me know what you think!

#bern200: ‘Death To All Dreamkillers!’ / ‘Friend or Foe?’


I wrote on Facebook that I wanted to compete in a marathon next year. Here was an interesting response I received:

‘Lmao that’s for the ultra super Olympic runners. It’s to qualify so it’s super competitive. I’m not saying (DJ BERN) couldn’t have done it, but LOL I seriously don’t think he could compete with the Kenyans. Who can finish in 2 or less hours and entire marathon. Plus you really need to train for it. How about a half to see if you even like running?’

There are a few interesting assumptions that I can pick out from this comment. The first is that I have NEVER ran in my life, since I need to ‘see’ if I like running. The second is that I shouldn’t plan on winning, since I am not Kenyan there’s just no way I would be able to compete. However, this single person and their narrow opinion on my marathon dream isn’t the point of this post. Before I started my weight loss journey, I expressed to others that I wanted to lose 130 pounds in seven months. I received a lot of positive, uplifting responses to my goal, but I was surprised by certain friends, family, and strangers when I was told that my goal was set “too high” and I needed to “pace myself.” Why are some people quick to discourage the goals of others? How can a person that doesn’t know you tell you that you’re aiming too high? How many of your family and “friends” support you verbally while they secretly want to you fail?

The way the majority of people in society that just take what life offers them is sad. A lot of people do just enough to get by. They fear failure and insecurity so they never take the risks necessary to get the things they want out of life. As we all know, misery loves company, so you’ll notice when you share your dreams and ambitions with people like this, their responses are usually aimed to bring you back down to earth. These people envy your aggressive approach, dedication, and bravery. They see your future success as a threat, as it would make them feel worse about the lack of achievement in their personal lives. The ‘crabs in a barrel’ mentality is a reality in the human race.

Then you have those folks that want you to do good, but not better than them. These people come forward with unsolicited advice about your goals. They like to talk about their personal experience with the subject, and tell you what didn’t work for them to warn you that it for sure won’t work for you as well. Advice from them often sounds like “You’re buying a house for how much? You can’t get it that cheap; I already tried. You’ll probably have to pay x amount like I did.” It is okay in their eyes for you to make strides and be happy, as long as you don’t pass them and make them feel inferior. For some reason, they want to be your ‘guide’ so they can feel responsible for your success, and in turn, make that success their own. They’ll hit you with a comment like “I don’t know why you want to be CEO. I chose to be a floor manager because it works for me. You should just go for that.”

Finally, the people most detrimental to your success are those friends and family that encourage you, but want to see you fail. They don’t want you to succeed, but in the rare case that you do they don’t want to be left out of the parade. They’ll tell you to your face that they hope the best for you, while telling others how foolish you are and how fast you’ll fail. It’s hard to spot these folks, but you can see who is present at all of your victory parties and absent during your struggles.

I’ve encountered all of these people an overwhelming number of times since March. These people have told me that I was losing weight too fast, that my goal was set too high, that i wouldn’t be able to do it without (random supplement) because that’s how they did it, how a friend of their cousins’ aunts’ nieces’ neighbor did the same process and failed, and a number of other counterproductive comments that would have broken a weaker man. However, I remained focused and kept my eyes on the prize with these simple steps:

1. Stay Self-Motivated. Friends and family giving you authentic encouragement is good, but how can you tell who’s real from who’s fake? More importantly, what if there are more people being negative than being uplifting, or what happens when the positive people aren’t around when you’re feeling weak? My main motivation has and will always be me pushing myself towards the goal, understanding that I am the master of my destiny and I won’t let myself down. I hold myself accountable for my actions and I will reap the benefits of being dedicated over time.

2. Stay Informed. Most unsolicited advice is from “know-it-alls” or dream killers that base their facts around simple Google searches and/or blog posts and have no real advice worth sharing. Read a book, talk to those people who have tried, failed AND succeeded and map out your own plan. Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

3. Stay Humble. Dream killers are ignited by others’ success, so it’s best to not celebrate until you reach the end zone. Let your success speak for itself, and celebrate your small victories with those that you are SURE have your best interests in mind. The haters can’t stop you when you’re at the finish line. When you cross that line, spend that time thanking those that truly helped you get there, instead of acknowledging those that wanted to hold you back.

At the end of the day, you lay down and sleep in your own skin, so as long as you’re content with the decision you’ve made and the actions that accompany them, you should never feel discouraged. Progress is a process, and slow motion is better than no motion. Months or years later, when you’re where you want to be in life, those dream killers will still be unsatisfied with themselves because they spent so much time focused on bringing others down, that they never took the time to better themselves. Don’t let your dreams die.

#bern200 – Moving The Weight: Me’Eisha Cheated Death, Lost 117 Pounds


It took me a long time to get the strength and courage to make the changes essential to live a healthier life. I consider myself very fortunate to personally know a handful of people that decided to take control of their health. ‘Moving The Weight’ is a series that will feature success stories from friends that have motivated me on my weight loss journey.

Name: Me’EiSha Barnett
Age: 31
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Before Weight: December 2010 – 281 pounds
How I Gained It: I never really took the time out to take actual care of myself like I should have.
Breaking Point: In 2010 I went to Ohio state university dental offices to get a tooth pulled. When the dental assistants were taking my blood pressure, they stopped everything and brought out the director of the dental school. He was shocked with me asking if I was feeling ok. He informed me that my tooth can’t be pulled because I had blood pressure readings of 258 / 149, and I’d have to be rushed to the E.R. asap. The staff had me on a rail bed, and wheeled me to the E.R. The doctors there had ended up putting me in the code blue unit, because my blood pressure was so high that they were expecting me to have an aneurysm or some kind of heart issue. I was kept overnight, given medicine to calm my blood pressure down, and monitored by about 5 different machines. They inspected further, finding out I had an enlarged heart that was in poor condition because of the effect of the bad. They finished my clinic scans, and let me go sending me home with originally 8 different blood meds. But then they decided to just give me 2 main pills instead. The doctors finished up by telling me that I’d have to do something about my weight, because the high blood pressure is a silent killer. I was way too dangerously close and could have died that night! So that’s the day I decided that I would take action about my weight loss as well and my eating habits……and this time, I’d make sure that I’d really get back into a healthy way of life!
How I Lost It: I changed my eating habits to a more healthy form, and I am an active member of my gym; Lifetime Fitness.
Current Weight: 164 pounds
GOAL: 150 pounds
The Hardest Part About Losing Weight Is: Honestly, weight loss to me is 80% mental and 20% “other”! If you don’t personally push yourself to do what you need to do to lose weight and be healthy; then you are sabotaging yourself from making it to your goals. True, that I get tired of waking up early to go to the gym, the consistent circuit training, and I HATE feeling sore!! a bit impatient about the time and patience it takes for the weight to come off and lifestyle habits to set in. But the progress that shows is definitely worth the fight!
My Advice To Those Trying To Lose Weight: When you make that decision to lose weight / be healthy……no matter how may setbacks you may encounter; KEEP GOING!! Prep yourself, think things through, and just do the best you can! If you REALLY put your heart into your efforts; you will get results! So be proud of yourself for everything you’re doing. IT’S WORTH IT!

#bern200 – Week 37: How Much Does 141.2 Pounds Weigh?


I weigh myself daily. This is not recommended for the most part, because depending on what you eat / drink, your weight can fluctuate 8-10 lbs every day. However, I eat and drink the same amounts day in and day out, and I consistently see progress on the scale in the form of lower numbers. Losing 3, 4, or 5 pounds a week seems like a small amount, but when you multiply that by the total number of weeks I’ve been going through this process, it adds up to a lot. I rarely sit back and reflect on how much progress I’ve made thus far, but I saw a post on the internet the other day comparing weight to everyday objects, and it really put things into perspective for me.

At my heaviest I weighed well over 400 lbs, but I don’t know the exact number because not too many scales go over that amount. I weighed myself this morning, and the scale read 238.8 lbs. When I started in March 2010, I was 380.0 lbs. This means in the past 8 months I’ve lost 141.2 pounds. How much is 141.2 pounds in the real world though? I searched the internet to find things to compare with this number, to put things in perspective.

I’ve lost 141.2 pounds since March 2013, which is more weight than

  • 7 Automobile Tires
  • 5 Technics 1200MK2 Turntables
  • 4 Cinder Blocks
  • 4 Mid-Side Microwaves
  • 15 Gallons Of Water
  • 1.8 Gold Bricks
  • The complete Encyclopedia Britannica
  • The average adult woman (at 5’4″, the average height)


I am very happy with my progress thus far, as well as surprised with how rapid the progress has been. However, my goal is still to lose 200 pounds total in a year, so I have 58.8 pounds, or the equivalent of an average 7 year old child, more to lose. Whatever your goal is, try to put it in perspective, and remember that life isn’t a sprint, its a marathon.

#bern200 – The Single Mother Fitness Struggle by @koreangold



I don’t have time.
I’m a single mom.
I work full time.
I work over 40 hours a week.
I have a school age child that I need to spend time with.
I have my family I need to make time for.
Gym memberships are so expensive.
I’m too busy!! (We all are!! I’m writing this as I’m facilitating an event at work)

If you’ve said any of the above things when it comes to reasons why you CAN’T work out / lose weight / get in shape / or ANY goal you have, you have effectively made up an EXCUSE. As long as you are making excuses, you will NOT achieve your goals. Goals with excuses attached to them are DREAMS! Wake up, smell the coffee, and PUT IN WORK!!!

This may sound harsh, but sometimes the truth is harsh and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Like a medicine that may leave a bad taste in your mouth, the truth will get you the results you desire, if you take it.

My truth came the hard way when clothes stopped fitting, when I was tired ALL the time, when my chin was touching my neck, when I started to experience chest pain, when my boyfriends weight was getting close to my weight, when my size 7 feet hurt from carrying over 200 pounds, when I realized I didn’t want to eat in front of others so they wouldn’t see how much I was eating, when I couldn’t do anything outside of work because I was too tired and too self conscious to be out and about. These truths HURT me and even though it hurt, I waited for something. Maybe I was waiting for zero calorie food to be created, or maybe I was waiting for a magic weight loss pill. I don’t know why I was waiting to be honest. A part of me thinks that I thought something magical was going to happen and take control of my weight and health without me lifting a finger.

I waited and waited and waited some more and nothing happened. The number on the scale didn’t go down, my eating habits didn’t change, my clothes felt more snug. I was doing something wrong; I was doing nothing.

It was time to take a long hard look in the mirror and do something about MY health. I needed to exercise some authority and control in my life! My life, my choices, my actions!

Being a single mother, my schedule is pretty booked. Work from 730-430 while the kid is in school and daycare. After work it’s time to pick up the crumbsnatcher, make dinner, homework, bathe her and me, and before you know it, it’s time for bed. Time is precious and limited!! We don’t have enough of it!! So how do you squeeze more into an already jam packed day??

1. Sacrifice

I’m TIRED and I want to spend my mornings sleeping but 4 times a week I get up and work out before work!!! This doesn’t take away from anyone’s time but my own! Would I rather work out in the evening or during the work day? OF COURSE, but that’s not an option! I work with what I have and it requires sacrifice! But you know what; I can be tired from working out or I could be tired from being fat! I choose the first, because at least that’s something I can be proud of!

2. Planning

I plan my meals and grocery shop for the week. Nothing crazy and nothing elaborate and I make sure that meals are interchangeable. Prep work is done on Sundays and the week flows smoothly. (More to come on this very SIMPLE and BUDGET FRIENDLY grocery list)

3. Letting Go Of Bad Habits

This is the hard one. You have to evaluate how you’re spending your time in order to maximize it. Once you do you’ll find that you’re wasting a lot of time on: sleeping, eating, Facebook, Twitter, IG, checking email, water cooler talk, going out to eat, day dreaming, web surfing, mindless tv, etc. Once you can pinpoint what those time wasters are, you can start replacing that time with more productive things such as a workout, meal prep, or self reflection. Let’s face it folks; we waste a lot of time. Even the busiest people can find time that they wasted that could have been out to more productive use.

The truth is everyone, single mother or not, ONLY has 24 hours out the day! We can’t change that but we can change how we use those 24 hours. Time can never be returned to you. Either you make the most of it or squander it. What are you willing to do to maximize it? How do you maximize your time? What are some ways you know you waste time?

#bern200 – Moving The Weight: Govan (@ThereIsNoOwl) Lost 135 lbs. & Is Adding Muscle With Motivation


It took me a long time to get the strength and courage to make the changes essential to live a healthier life. I consider myself very fortunate to personally know a handful of people that decided to take control of their health. ‘Moving The Weight’ is a series that will feature success stories from friends that have motivated me on my weight loss journey.

Not every story is just about losing weight. There are plenty of skinny unfit people walking around. Govan showed me the way with his story, and while I’m trying to lose 200 lbs total I’m also going to add about 30 lbs of muscle. Here’s his story.

Name: Govan Curl Jr
Age: 26
Height: 6’2″
Before Weight: 320
How I Gained It: Eating whatever i wanted and being an overall lazy person without a lot of real ambition or drive.
Breaking Point: There wasn’t necessarily a breaking point. in March of 2010, My parents signed the family up for a weight loss challenge through 10tv commit to be fit as a way to try and get me working out and thats what got the ball rolling.
How I Lost It: In the beginning i played a lot of basketball and ran in the mornings on the elliptical machines. I would go to the gym twice a day whenever i could and burn as many calories as possible. I ate mostly lean meats and veggies and i lost about 50 pounds in 2 months for the contest. I got down to about 185 in the summer of 2012 when i almost became a runner. I started to run races and i ran whenever i could but then it got cold and i fell madly in love with the weight room.
Current Weight: 215
GOAL: 235
The Hardest Part About Losing Weight Is…. Losing weight isn’t actually hard, in my opinion. The toughest part is convincing yourself that you need to and staying dedicated even when results aren’t immediately apparent. One thing i learned through my journey is that the battle with weight and body image is a hell of a lot more mental than physical. The human body is an amazing machine that will pretty much do anything your mind tells it to.
My Advice To Those Trying To Lose Weight: Don’t get caught up in the end results because there is no end to being fit and healthy. Find a way to take pride and find enjoyment in your journey and it’l be a lot easier not to get burnt out.

#bern200 – Good Eats: Four Ingredient Crockpot Spaghetti Squash ‘Spaghetti’ by @KoreanGold

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 8.54.39 PM

I literally have no clue what to call this. No jazzy name comes to mind but the meal speaks for itself. A no cook, no fuss ALL delish meal! This is a perfect meal for those days when you feel like doing NOTHING for dinner. Spaghetti with squash instead of pasta for the Paleo freaks out there!



  • 1large Spaghetti squash (approximately 5 lbs)
  • 3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 24oz can Spaghetti sauce (check the ingredients!!!!) (My own recipe will come soon but for this we used a Sprout’s version)
  • 15 Meatballs (again; CHECK the ingredients!!!) (Again, my recipe will follow but for the sake of being lazy and not wasting what was already in the freezer we used Kirkland brand frozen meatballs)

The Sauce
Toss your carefully chosen spaghetti sauce and meatballs in a crock pot on low for 4 hours or 6-8 on warm.

The Squash
We chose a pretty large squash but only because we used the leftovers for a yummy curry.
-Preheat oven to 400.
-Halve your squash and scoop out insides. Discard insides and lightly coat squash with extra virgin olive oil.
-Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper ( you don’t HAVE to do this, but who wants to wash a pan when you don’t have to). Place the squash flesh side down. Using a fork, poke holes in the squash. Place in oven for 40 minutes.

Your squash is done when you can easily pierce it with a fork or knife.  Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the squash out of its shell in a vertical motion. The squash will come out in strands and should come out very easily. Make sure to get to the shell; you can get A LOT of our your spaghetti squash if you exercise patience.

The Meal
Top your squash with your crockpot sauce and BOOM your meal is done!

The “Gold”en Touch
Make your squash a few days ahead of time. This will save you a lot of time during your week. Squash stores well in the fridge. One large squash makes about 6 hungry man servings or 8 reasonable portions.
Spend a day making your own sauce and meatballs. Both can be frozen and stored. This will save you tons of hidden calories and preservatives.
While the above tips might make this meal labor intensive, it is a ONE time labor intensive project that will make your week day meal planning so much easier. And if you lack the time or energy to make your own sauce and meatballs, that’s OKAY. Semi home made is ALWAYS better than your fast food or casual dining options; for your waistline and your wallet.

Also, keep in mind that spaghetti squash is NOT spaghetti. It doesn’t swirl on your fork like spaghetti nor does it have that bite like a piping hot bowl of al dente pasta but you’ll soon forget that once it registers that 1 cup of spaghetti squash has a whopping FORTY TWO calories!
Try it and let me know what you think! Leave a comment below!