Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Another day down!

Day 2 of Insanity = Success!  I forgot how much I love Shaun T.  And I continue to be surprised that my body isn't all too stressed about these workouts - they do not seem near as tough as the first time I ever started Insanity.  (This would be time #3? I believe at my attempt at the program.  I've never made it all 60 days.  That's my goal this time around!)

Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm Back!

September 4 - my last blog post.  I was about 12 or 13 weeks pregnant at the time.  That was also about the time I gave up on my quest to lose 60 pounds.  With a baby on the way, that was an impossible goal (for the next 6 months) and weight gain was inevitable.

Baby Boy arrived on February 20, 2013.  A healthy, happy, 8 pound 6 oz. baby.  Avery James Hill.  He's nearly perfect.  I gained about 35-38 pounds this time around.  More than I wanted, but what could I expect when I had given up and stopped caring?  I was SO ready for the pregnancy to be over and to get back to my healthy habits.

Five days post-baby I did my first workout.  It felt AWESOME!  I have continued working out almost daily since then - nothing major, just some treadmill or eliptical stuff, and a few arm and leg moves.  Today, 19 days post-baby, I did the first day of INSANITY.  Wow, it felt great, and not as hard as what I thought it would be!  I guess my body, and probably mind, remember what this is all about and is ready to DO THIS!

Did I mention that I'm already down about 18 pounds?  :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Long Time, No See!

Geesh time flies.  And I can't say I've been having fun!  It's been a busy 2 weeks back to school.  Not only did I have my first weeks back, but I had a bridal shower, bachellorette party, volleyball practices to run, and husband out of town for 3 days making me single mom.  Not to mention the husband took on a part time job and leaves some mornings at 3 AM for that!  I didn't mean to be MIA for so long!

The first week back into the swing of things, I kept up pretty good with exercising.  Last week, I didn't do as well.  But, the weight has stayed steady.  No loss, no gain.  And I'm ok with that because...

I have some news to share...

I'm 15 weeks pregnant.

Yep, do the math.  I've literally been pregnant this entire time.  Since the day I decided to begin this journey to get healthy and lose 60 pounds, I've had a little life to think about as well.  Way back in June when I started this blog, I didn't know yet.  I found out on June 23rd.  So for two weeks I was SO motivated and SO loving all the changes.  Then, when I took the test, I'm not gonna lie - I was shocked.  Mad.  Upset.  Excited.  Terrified.  Bummed.  I cried for nearly a day.  But then I got over it.  I'm maybe a bit in denial still, and have to remind myself somedays that I'm having a baby.  But I'm happy about it now!  I definitely wanted more babies, and I feel that my quest to get healthy probably came at the perfect time!

My goal now is to just maintain a healthy weight throughout these next 25 weeks.  And to have a happy, healthy new baby!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What I Whipped Up Wednesday

I had intended to write and post this on Wednesday.  However, it being my first week back to work, I just didn't get around to it.  So now it's Sunday and you are getting this post.  Deal with it.  I think you'll get over it.

Last weekend I spent lots of time in the kitchen.  Muffins were my first project I tackled.  I froze them all, and have had one or two here and there for breakfasts this week.  My opinion is still in favor of the chocolate ones, but not so much the other two.  I might try to use the ingredients from the chocolate recipe and change it up with some different ingredients and see what I get. 

My second cooking adventure revolved around chicken. I had 3 lbs. to work with. First, I froze some with a delicious dry rub that my hubby makes. It's deliciously tasty and very easy. It makes a lot, so we always have a container of it handy.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 T. black pepper
2 T. onion flakes or salt or powder
1 T. paprika
1 T. garlic salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Use on your favorite meat.  Store in an air-tight container.  Makes about 1.5 cups.

It was a chilly day here last Sunday.  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup sounded fabulous, so that is what I whipped up next.  This is my own little version.  Here's how I did it.

Start with some celery.  Chop it up.  This is 4 stalks.  It was kind of a lot, but I like it that way!

Next, chop up some carrots.  This is about 1 cup.  See my chopper there in the picture?  Love that thing.

Onions are next.  Chop those up too.  I would have used white or yellow, but all I had was red onion.  It works.  This is about 1/4 of an onion.

Now I know this is angel hair pasta, and not your egg noodles that one would typically use.  But I was going for healthy, and these are organic and while wheat. 

My pictures are out of order, and I'm having issues moving them around.  Anyhow, after the veggies are chopped, throw them in a pot with about 6 cups of water.  You can't see them, but there are also 4 chicken flavored boullion cubes in there.  You can certainly just use chicken broth too.

I broke up my pasta and measured it.  I put in 4 oz.  Do you like my super-duper old-fashioned food scale?!

The entire time I was chopping my veggies, my chicken was cooking.  This is a bean pot.  You don't know what one is?  You don't have one?  You NEED one.  They are the best.  I cooked my chicken in the microwave for about 12 minutes.  Came out perfectly done and moist.  Then I used my salad chopper to chop it up!  So easy.  For the soup, I used about 2 cups of chopped chicken.

Ok, so veggies and broth are boiling.  After about 10 minutes at a medium boil, I put in the pasta.  After about another 5 minutes at a medium boil, I put in the chicken.  And my secret ingredient:  poultry seasoning!  About 1 teaspoon.  I let that boil a few more minutes, and it's ready to go! 

Here's the finished product.  So YUMMY!

With the rest of my chicken, I made chicken salad. 

Ok, for those of you who need directions and amounts:  About 5 Tablespoons of mayo and 1/2 t. of onion salt.

About 1 cup chicken, 2 celery stalks, 15 grapes cut in fourths.

Mix it all together!  Now I forgot to add the slivered almonds.  Then I thought maybe they'd get soggy, so each time I had a serving, I just added some.

I hope this gives you some good recipes for chicken!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Muffins Galore!

I baked 4 things today, all in the form of muffins.  Two of the recipes were originally for bread.  I made a few modifications and wanted to do muffins, as my plan is to freeze them for easy-to-grab breakfasts or snacks. 

The first recipe I modified, and am calling it "Greek Strawberry Blueberry Muffins."  The original recipe was for Greek Yogurt and Strawberry Banana Bread.  Click [here] for the original recipe.  I did not have any ripe bananas, so I didn't use those.  I also just used plain strawberry greek yogurt rather than strawberry banana.  And since I didn't use bananas, I added a bit of almond milk instead.  Blueberries replaced the actual strawberries.  The result.....eh.  Just ok.  The texture was very very dense and chewy.  Not muffin or cake-like at all.  I've found when using whole wheat flour in baking, this is usually how things turn out.  Anyone know why that is??  The flavor wasn't bad.  I'll still eat them, but not sure if they will be a go-to recipe for me.  I was able to make 14 muffins, and at 86 calories, 16 carbs, 1g fat, and 4g protein per muffin - not too shabby.

While those were baking, I whipped up my Skinny Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.  I used my own version of this recipe [here].  Rather than all-purpose flour, I used whole wheat pastry flour.  Instead of sugar I used stevia.  Low fat milk was almond milk, and oat bran was ground steel cut oats.  I feel the same about this recipe as I did the other.  Flavor = fine.  Texture = dense and chewy.  I still ponder why that is......?  Nutrition info per muffin (I got 13 muffins this time):  86 calories, 17 carbs, 2g fat, and 3g protein. 

Now it just gets better from here.  The Double Chocolate Chunk muffins I made, following this recipe [here], I thought were great!  Not too sweet but sweet enough, and a bit more fluffy and cake-like than the others.  Is it because you use cream of tartar in this one??  Plus they are chocolate, so how can you go wrong!  Definitely a recipe I will make again.  Nutrition info per muffin (I got 17 muffins this time):  132 calories, 22 carbs, 3g fat, and 5g protein. 

Picture courtesy of www.makeitandloveit.com

The last thing I made was Parmesan Quinoa Bites.  HOLY HEAVEN!!!  I absolutely LOVED these to death!  They were SO easy and SO tasty!  I could tell I was going to love them as I was mixing all the ingredients.  They smelled delicious, and certainly tasted that way too.  I'm so glad I found a recipe with quinoa that I LOVE!  Here's a link to the recipe [here]. 

A few adjustments:  I didn't have green onion, so I used red.  I didn't have parsley, so I used some italian pizza seasoning.  It was recommended to use LOTS of cooking spray in your muffin tin so they won't stick.  I thought I used plenty, but would use more next time.  They did stick just a bit for me, but not too bad.  It's recommended to dip in Honey Dijon Dressing or Ranch - I'm sure those would be great!  But I used pizza sauce, and that was super delish in my opinion!  5+ stars on this one!!

Alright, let's see what yummy things I can whip up tomorrow...

Cooking and Baking

Happy Saturday!  It's very chilly in our neck of the woods today - only in the 70's!  We've had a good straight month of high 90 degree weather, so this is a pleasent change.  Would have been a great morning for a run, however I went to the gym and did a Cardio Circuit Class.  It felt great!  I'm slowly recovering still from a week ago when we went on our mini-vaca and I ate my heart out.  I was down 3 pounds that week, only to gain it all back in a matter of 2 days, and took about a week to get it off again.  So, working hard for 2 weeks to blow it in 2 days?  I'll have to remember that next time...

This weekend, my plans are to do plenty of cooking and baking.  I'd like to get some meals ready to freeze, as I head back to work on Monday.  Being organized, for me, definitely makes life go smoother!  And I know if I have tasty, healthy options ready to go, I will be less likely to falter in my diet. 

Here is what I plan on getting ready this weekend.  I'll be sure to post my reviews on each one!

Marinated Chicken
Almond Crusted Chicken
Skinny Greek Yogurt Chicken
Greek Yogurt and Strawberry Banana Bread
Fresh Blueberry Cake
Skinny Lemon Poppyseed Bread
Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffin
Parmesan Quinoa Bites


Thursday, August 9, 2012

What I am up to today...

Hello everyone!  I am in a very grand mood today.  Feeling good and feeling motivated!  Let me tell you about my day.

Started off with a great 30 minute run.  Have I told you that I can now run 30 minutes straight without stopping?  Yes, I am patting myself on the back.  I LOVE IT!  I've done it a handful of times now on my usual neighborhood routes, and don't ever plan on looking back!  Today's run felt good, and I know I pushed myself a little harder.  You see, I have this heart rate monitor.  It was on my Christmas wish-list about 2.5 years ago.  My mom bought if for me, and it's the kind with the watch and the strap you wear around your chest (is there a kind WITHOUT the strap?  I'd like to upgrade to that one day...).  It worked great for quite some time, however how much trust do I really put it in that the calories burned and such are totally accurate?  Anyhow.  I've tried wearing in a few times in the last 2 months, and it just didn't work.  The watch could NOT get a heart rate reading and keep it for an extended period of time.  So during an entire 30 or 45 minute workout, it would say that my heart rate was a steady 98.  It was frustrating, and I just thought "Darn it!  What a piece of crap!"  Well today I had a revelation - what if the STRAP part needs a battery?  I dug it out of the closet, and sure enough, there was a battery opening on the back.  Changed the battery before my run and wore it, and it worked beautifully the entire time.  30 minutes, with a 3 minute walk to cool down at the end, and 344 calories burned.  So both of those things made me happy!

Then I gave the kids some breakfast, and Leah and I did some nice coloring together.  We called Grandma, and she met us at the park.  It was a gorgeous day, so made for a nice quick walk to get there, and we were the only ones there for awhile.  Despite Leah getting her knee stuck (and stuck pretty good!) between a post and a pole, and CiCi (the little girl my mom watches) falling from nearly the top of the equipment (no injury, just frightened!), we had a good time.  Pizza for the kids for lunch, which is always a success.  I called Lindy up and offered to take him to a little restaurant downtown called The Cookie Jar.  It's been there for ages, however I"ve never eaten there.  What a quaint, cute little vintage place!  I loved it!  We both had pulled pork sandwhiches, me fresh fruit and he chips.  The meals come with, of course, a cookie.  Mine went to Leah.  She was a bit disappointed because when I asked her what cookie she wanted, I thought she said "the clown one!"  So that's what the waitress brought us.  Needless to say, she had said "the CROWN one!"  Sure enough, there were not just one, but TWO cookies decorated with a crown that said "Princess."  I should have known better!  I reassured her that she could have that one next time.  There will be a next time, as I LOVED the place!  And it's just downtown, so we'll have to walk there - I like combining exercise with pleasure!

The kids are both napping as we speak, and I've been browsing many blogs for weight loss inspiration and some recipes to try.  I've got some yummy ones I am anxious to try, and will be sure to post about.  I've also written TWO other posts today - one on my Weight Loss Goals and the other on my Fitness Goals.  Check them out!

Photo courtesy of www.peasandthankyou.com

Speaking of yummy recipes, I tried one last night for Quinoa Lasagna that I found from this blog [here].  It wasn't too bad.  The flavor was very tasty, however the texture was a bit strange for lasagna.  But I think I would make it again, although the rest of my family won't eat it.  The hubs tried it but wasn't a huge fan.  Leah won't eat ANYTHING so of course all we could get out of her was to lick it!  I've actually got a funny story about this encounter.  Stop reading now if you hate "my-kid-is-so-cute-listen-to-this-story" stories...

I know lots of kids are picky eaters.  Leah is one of them.  However, to say she is picky isn't entirely accurate.  In order to know that you don't like something, you actually have to TRY it and TASTE it first.  She will not even put anything in her mouth.  She literally has a panic attack where she screams, vomits, cries, and carries on about putting a new food in her mouth.  It's both frustrating and ridiculous.  We are to the point where she will let us put a little on her plate, but she immediately says "I don't have to have that, do I?"  UGH.  We've tried forcing her to try a bite, but that not only results in tears from her, but from me too.  Plus I know it's not a healthy parenting practice and I don't want to scar her for life.  So for now, just a bite on the plate is all it is, even though she never touches it.  We thought we could up the anty a bit, and possibly bribe her with some special treat she gets - something that she can only have if she tries a new food.  We had some Blow Pops leftover from her birthday party, so we thought we'd start with those.  It worked one night with some pasta that she tried.  But it hasn't worked since...

Ok, so that is the background info.  Here's a little more.  (Sorry, this is getting to be a long story!)  The hubby is pretty picky himself, and was pretty much the same way as Leah when he was a kid.  He's alot better now, but still annoyingly picky in many ways (like with onions).  So he himself was a bit hesitant to try the lasagna last night.  One, the "noodles" were zuchinni, and two, the "meat" was quinoa.  He put the TINIEST helping on his plate, then we proceeded to tell Leah, "Daddy is scared to try this.  He is afraid he's not going to like it.  But he's going to be a big boy and take a bite!"  Leah considered this for a second, and then said, "What are you gonna get Daddy?  You gonna get a Blow Pop?"   We laughed out loud!  If she gets something for trying a new food, then daddy should too!  Fair is fair, right?  HA!

Well sorry for the long post.  Little Man is awake now and beginning to need my attention.  I've got a load of laundry to fold while I watch last night's Big Brother, then some junk to get ready to sell at a friend's garage sale.  Here's to the rest of a productive day!  Thanks for reading friends!