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!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I'm Thinking Wednesday....

So I've been toying around with the idea of some certain "Wednesday" posts.  I've seen lots out there in the blog world.  "What I Wore Wednesday."  "Wordless Wednesday" "Where I Was Wednesday."  "Pinsperation Wednesday."  I'm sure this is not original to me, but I was thinking of a "Weekly Weigh-In Wednesday" post.  But maybe I'll just do a "Whatever I Feel Like Wednesday" post.  I'll try to mix it up and keep it real for ya, folks!

First off, let's start with the weign-in.  Not up, not down. Exactly the same as last Wednesday.  I'm ok with that, all things considering.  My weekend was a total cheat with friends for our getaway (see my last post).  And then I totally slacked on Sunday too.  Even though I stayed sober (driver) on Saturday, you would have thought I had drank all day based on how I felt Sunday!  Might as well have drank a six-pack or two.  Monday and Tuesday were better, but once again, not the greatest day today.  UGH!  I am SO SICK OF SAYING THAT!  I can do this.  I did 5 weeks straight of nearly perfect eating and exercising.  And I'm going to do it again!  Here's why...

I've got a goal for 5 weeks from now.  In exactly 5 weeks and 2 days, my sister is getting married.  Now, my bridesmaid dress was purchased back in January (?) or so.  It fit then, but considering I've lost about 15 pounds since then, it fits better now!  And my goal is to be down 7 more pounds on the day of the wedding.  A VERY do-able goal, if I do say so myself.  Thank goodness that the material is very stretchy and not too fitted, or it might look ridiculous!  I've just got a few obstacles to overcome in that time frame...

First, the bridal shower/bachellorette party in 2 weeks.  We just finalized all the food choices tonight.  I must practice portion control and not overdo it!  And school starts soon too, which means back to work and a busy schedule.  Which means I need to get meal-planning and organized so as to keep myself on track.  If I don't have a plan for my meals, I will wander to the fridge or pantry and just pick out whatever I darn well feel like! Not good.  And the first week back, when it's just teachers, always means numerous outings for lunch together.  I will stay away from that, so as to watch not just my waistline but also my wallet!  And then there is book club in a few weeks too, which always lends itself to yummy treats...

So in addition to 7 pounds gone, I am also setting a goal to control myself when temptations arise!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Away from it all...

A weekend recap.

My group of best friends from college and all our hubbies had a weekend away.  Away from kids, jobs, home, and for me, diets...

Our BIG weekend away was going back to our little old college town of Vermillion, SD, and re-living the good 'ol days like we were 21 again!  We had a great time. 

The ladies started off with mani/pedis while the guys golfed.  Lunch at my favorite restaurant in Vermillion, followed by an afternoon/evening of bar hopping, bar food, bowling, and monitoring the drunk men!



We had a blast.  Definitely a little getaway to do again!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Updates and Poppyseed Dressing

Started off my day right, with a 30 minute run.  Didn't stop ONCE.  (I know.  I can hardly believe it myself!)  After that I did Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD.  Felt great to begin my day that way, and it's helped me to be more productive and organized too!  I love being organized, makes me feel so much better about things!  And I think I forgot to tell you that I ran in a 5K on Saturday.  In the rain of all things!  I had a goal time in mind, but I must have been setting myself up pretty high, because I didn't make it, by a long shot.  I was hoping to run it in 35 minutes.  Took me 39.  Oh well, it felt great doing it!  Running just may be my thing for awhile....

Summer is flying by.  Less than 2 weeks left before I head back to work.  I'm loving being home with the kids, although as the days and weeks wear on, they are trying my patience more and more.  Gee, once they go back to daycare then I just get to deal with other people's children all day long....I'd rather deal with my own!

Here's a few pics of the kiddos getting in some swim time in the backyard, followed by some pizza!




My baby girl turned 3 last week.  Holy cow!  I'm loving each stage she is growing through, and what a little lady she is becoming.  Here she is with a picture of the homemade cake (done by me and my sister!).  She had to have a butterfly theme, so everything was pink and butterflies!  Maybe I'll do a post with some of those pictures soon, so I can show off all of my hard work! 


I felt as if I had been in a rut with my food choices there for awhile.  Nothing sounded good and I was sick of the same old thing.  My mom makes this SUPER yummy salad with a homemade poppyseed dressing that I absolutely CAN'T get enough of, so I decided to treat myself one day.  It's definitely NOT healthy.  But man oh man is it good!!!!  There's something about the combination of the ingredients and dressing that just taste so delicious!

Here's the dish: 

Lettuce Cashew Salad
Romaine Lettuce
Shredded Swiss Cheese
Cashews
Bacon Bits

Poppyseed Dressing
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (add more if you want/like it sweeter - the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup)
about 1 teaspoon mustard (I think I add more?)
1 teaspoon onion salt or powder
1 teaspoon poppyseeds
1 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients except oil into a blender. Blend on low until mixed. With blender still going, slowly add oil in a steady stream until dressing becomes thick and creamy.

Pour desired amount over salad ingredients and mix just before serving. (Less is more!)
Now, I made this salad for my book club and we gobbled it up!  I saved the dressing that didn't get used and decided to try it on a different salad.  Here's what I came up with:
You are looking at spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, slivered almonds, and the same dressing mentioned above.  TO. DIE. FOR.  This was just as good as the other one!  And the salad ingredients are a bit better for you too!  I've had this two days in a row for lunch now and it is so very yummy.  I just wish I knew the proper calories and serving size.  It's hard to know when you make it homemade.  I suppose I could figure out how many tablespoons are in a cup, since that's how much oil was used in the recipe, and go from there.  (Does anyone REALLY know that off the top of their head?  I'll google it and figure it out).  I've used just a tablespoon of the dressing each time I've used it. 

Go ahead, give it a try.  YOU'LL LOVE IT, I just know it!

Monday, July 30, 2012

New!!

New computer! FINALLY! New blog design! FINALLY! Both things I've been wanting for quite some time now! YAY! Hope you like the new look - in time hopefully I'll have a new look myself. If only it were a matter of a short amount of time and a few clicks...ha! I'll be back tomorrow with a new post, some picture updates, and a new recipe or two! YAY! Feels good to be back!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Addiction

I've come to realize that I think I understand addiction. Like a true, serious problem that does your body no good. I once had to do a counseling session in college. It was for some class requirement. We were to attend a few sessions by another student who was practicing to be a counselor. There wasn't much I needed coumseling on. She asked me lots of basic questions about me, my family, stuff like that. Alcohol was a topic of conversation at one point. I suppose, young college girl, it was only assumed that I went out and partied. Which I did do my fair share of. She asked if anyone in my family had issues with alcohol addiction. I responded truthfully with a "yes." Then she said something that I took major offense to. She told me that addiction was hereditary and that based on how much I told her I drink, I could consider myself an alcoholic. I was furious by that. I knew there was no way I was an alcoholic. I don't think I went back for my final session. Looking back, I know I wasn't addicted to alcohol. That was just a time in my life where I was young and dumb. I know I wasn't addicted because I didn't think about it constantly. I didn't crave my next drink. I didn't drink all alone when no one else was around. I didn't have one drink and then not stop until I made myself sick (ok, I might have done that a time or two...but it was because I was dumb, not a drunk.) I didn't look for liqour in odd places like cough medicine. But, looking back, I can honestly say I have an addiction. Just not to alcohol. I've come to realize that I have a serious addiction problem to sugar. No joke. I get a craving and it's all I can think about. I find sugar in odd places like a bag of chocolate chips, my kids' fruit smacks or sugary breakfast cereals. I don't buy hardly any candy or cookies but I can find something to curb my sugar addiction if I have to. And then I cant stop. Once I've had one tiny taste I will eat the entire box. I will have the entire bag of chocolate chips. I will eat the entire loaf of banana bread. I will eat it when no one is watching so I don't get judged. And I cant stop until I have this disgustingly gross feeling in my stomach and am practically sick. It's. A serious addiction. There should be an AA meeting for that. I started this journey and was sugar-free for five weeks straight. I felt awesome and lost about 14 pounds. The last two weeks have not been so great. I've indulged in sugar and sweets more times than I want to admit. A bag of M&Ms. Not a treat sized bag. The large bag that you buy to set out in a candy dish. An entire bag of rolos. Probably 3/4 a loaf of zucchini bread. Countless bags of fruit snacks. Three or four chocolate chip granola bars in one sitting on more than one occassion. My daughter's birthday cake in the form of one GIANT piece. Oh and dont forget the cake batter and spoonfuls of frosting as I was making it. Yuck. It's giving me a headache just thinking about all this. But no more. I'm stopping cold turkey. I've done great today and will continue like this from now on. I'm not sure if there will ever be a time where I can control it and just have sugar in moderation. Hopefully some day bit for now it's mist something that I wont eat. Somehow through all of this I managed to maintain my 14 pound loss. But I'm ready to see the scale move again in a downward direction! Thanks for listening to my crazy disgusting sugar addiction habit. It feels good to be honest!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Losing momentum

I desperately need a computer back. I need to get back to regularly blogging. I feel as if I am losing momentum and losing my support from you, my loyal followers. Letting the blog world know what is going on in my daily life makes me feel like I am being held accountable. And I need that. That computer purchase needs to happen immediately! Just make make that purchase tonight... I've had a busy last week. We spent most of our days preparing for Leahh 's TWO birthday parties. With all that party planning came a lack of meal planning. Which led to poor food choices, mindless snacking on more than one occasion, and a piece of birthday cake...or two. The workouts held strong but my choices in food were less than stellar. I feel as if I am in a rut with meals. I'm running out of ideas and nothing sounds appetizing. Except for sugar and grease and carbs. How gross is that? Yuck. All diet disasters that's for sure. I do feel as if I'm living in reality and know that such is life. I'm gonna have days where I cave in to my cravings. Not every day is going to be perfect. And that's ok. A bad day or two is not going to sabatoge all of my efforts. Because I wont let it. I'm still continuing on this journey and going to try my best, bad days and all. I've stayed pretty steady at a 12 to 14 pound loss the past 2 weeks or so. It fluctuates from day to day. I'm feeling great about that! I'd love it if you would leave me a comment or send me a message and let me know that you are still following. And if you have a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack option to share that is one of your favorites, I'd love to hear that too! Here's to a better day tomorrow and a promise to get a new computer so I can blog more regularly!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

week 5 results

Another pound gone and feeng good! I changed up my workout some this week and veered away from the Insanity. This second half is HARD and almost an hour long each. I was feeling DEAD by the end of that hour and most of the time couldn't even finish the hour because it hurt so bad! I'll get back into it. So instead I did a few days of jillian Michael's ripped in 30 and a few days running. I ran a new route this week. The first time I ran it I finished in exactly 30 minutes. I knew I was kind of taking it slow. The next time I ran that same route I finished in 26 minutes! I felt really good about that! I feel like I am starting to figure out more what my body needs. If I go too many days without limited carbs, the weight loss starts to slow up. I've also figured out that my body goes into starvation mode quite quickly. If I eat too few calories even just one day, I hold on to the little calories I've eaten and lose nothing. It's refreshing to realize these things now that I am paying attention! Still no computer but hopefully that will change next week. Then I can get back into more interesting posts! Take care my friends and thanks for reading!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Month One Results

Well due to a broken computer, thanks to a certain 15-month old, it's been hard to post. There should have been a week 4 results post on Saturday, so I appologize for those of you that have been waiting on pins and needles. Today marks the beginning of month two on his journey. June 9 was my official start date. So hard to believe it's only been one month! I still feel incredibly motivated and am anxious to keep this up. I am motivated to learn more about healthy food choices and am constantly trying new recipes. (Although you may not get a post about that until my computer is fixed). In my eyes I am loving how everything is going and I sincerely thank you all for your support and encouragement. Now for the news you've all been waiting for...as of this morning, the official weight lost is 13.2 pounds! This even includes some bad choices on Saturday (think ice cream, bagel, and chocolate granola bars...) I'm pretty darn pleased, to say the least. I'll post when I can but don't forget about me if I don't post as much. It's pretty hard to type all this out on my kindle. Until next time all!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

What a hot hot day!  Despite the crazy heat, our day was filled with lots of time outside with good friends and family.  We started the day with a trip to Lennox to spend some time with good friends Rob and Becky (and crew) and their son Carter.  We enjoyed your typical small-town 4th of July parade (think LOTS of fire trucks), where Leah was a SCAVENGER for all the candy they threw!  It was a blast to watch her having so much fun.  After the parade we enjoyed a nice lunch and let the kids play, both inside and out (with a sprinkler, of course!)  


After some nap time at home, we headed to my mom's house for our traditional family dinner on the 4th of July, as my oldest of my two little brothers (it's weird to call them "little" brothers, because they aren't very little anymore!) celebrates his birthday each year on July 4th.  Today he turned 21!  We did a few little fireworks before we took 2 exhausted, dirty, sweaty, and smelly kids home for bath and bedtime.  An all around good day!


Now, here is where the truth comes in.  I veered off the wagon today a bit.  But I don't feel bad about it.  Because I controlled myself and listened to what my body needed.  I didn't work out today, or even yesterday for that matter.  I've been feeling very tired and worn out, and my muscles are quite achy.  So I took two days to rest and relax.  It's what I needed, and I'm not beating myself up over it one bit.  I think it will make my workouts the next two days that much better, because I've been able to let my muscles rest up to push them back into the grind.  It actually felt really nice.  And I'm going to give myself a little credit - in the last 27 days, which is how long ago I started this blog, I have worked out 22 times.  I think that's pretty darn good.  (My brain immediately went to a percentage on this one:  22 out of 27 is about 82%.  I'm good with that!)


And as far as food goes - I feel like I am still doing great!  Did fine yesterday, stayed within my calorie goal, drank plenty of water, etc. etc.  Today was great until dinner with my family.  I had an awesome smoothie this morning, complete with berries, Greek yogurt, almond milk and spinach.  Lunch was some delicious homemade white chicken chili, some cold veggies, fruit, and a small turkey sandwich (I probably could have done without that, but I was still hungry).  I steered clear of the chips and chocolate chip bread even!  My snack this afternoon was 1/2 an avocado, kashi crackers, and cottage cheese.  So far so good.  Then dinner came.  Remember when I posted about my family's tradition on birthdays about having the birthday individual chose their birthday meal, and it's pretty typically always the same each year?  Well in my brother's case, the menu is this:  Bisquick taco bake, corn-on-the cob, watermelon, red white and blue (of course!) jello salad, and watermelon.  This year my mom threw in a new item as well - a taco salad made with beans, crushed Doritos, western dressing, and I don't even know what else.  I was only planning on having some corn and watermelon.  But, once again, I was VERY hungry and starting to get a headache.  Now mind you, I used to get a headache ALL THE TIME if I went to long without eating and let myself get super hungry.  Key words:  "used to."  That hasn't happened to me at all in the last 3 weeks.  But today it did.  So I took that as a sign that my body needed some more fuel that what I was planning.  So I had some corn and watermelon, but also had 1 piece of the taco bake (which my mom made with grass-fed beef and her own homemade taco seasoning) and some of her new taco salad.  Both were delicious and kept my headache at bay.  Now considering the other choices, I think those were ok foods to choose.  I did not have the jello dessert, nor did I have the homemade sugar cookies with homemade frosting or the homemade lemon bars.  So even though I ate a bit more than I planned today, and they may not have been the healthiest, I am ok with my choices and ready to conquer tomorrow in full force!


Hope you all had a great holiday and were able to relax and spend it with family and friends!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Off topic...

I don't "tweet", do you?  Never even logged on to twitter to see what it was about.  There's this blog that I follow for a lady named Angie who makes AWESOME jewelry.  I have a few of her pieces and LOVE them.  Well she's doing a super fun giveaway, and I WANT TO WIN!  I could enter the giveaway up to 9 times by doing various tasks - it was quite simple and easy to do.  However, I was only able to enter 8 times, because I don't twitter...or tweet...heck, I don't even know the correct lingo!

Anyhow, you should check out her blog {HERE}.  (This is the link to the giveaway.  Enter by July 8.  Wait - DON'T enter.  If you enter this giveaway too, that decreases MY chances of winning!  Just kidding, enter if you want...)

And check out her etsy site {HERE}.

For anyone out there who ever wants to get me a gift for being so awesome, you could always remember that I like this jewelry!  ;-)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Week 3 Results

Gosh, I didn't realize it had been so long since I had posted.  I guess I didn't have too much going on - nothing new in my world!  Still eating lots of healthy foods and have not had one cake, cookie, or sweet treat, and haven't ventured out to try a new recipe in awhile.  However I have one planned for tonight, so if all goes well and it is delicious, I will for sure tell you about it.  And still working out with Shaun T. each morning.  Just 3 weeks left of Insanity for me!  I might have to reward myself with a nice pedicure or something when that happens...as for my day-to-day happenings, the kiddos and I are just playing lots, going to the park, the pools, etc.  We sure love summer!


Ok, so this morning was the completion of my third week.  It feels like a lifetime ago that I began this.  Has it really only been three weeks?  My healthy eating choices just feel like second nature to me.  I don't even think about it anymore, I just do it.  And I wake up each morning and don't even have to try to talk myself into working out, I just do it.  Can this really be a lifestyle change that I stick with and live with for good?  I'm thinking so!


So you wanna know my weigh-in results?  Two more pounds lost and four more inches overall!  Woohoo!  For those of you that aren't stellar mathematicians like me, or who haven't ready some of my previous results post, I'll do the math for you:


Week one 6 lbs. lost + Week two 1 lb. lost + Week three 2 lbs. lost = 9 TOTAL POUNDS 

!!!


I don't think I posted about my measurements after week one.  I didn't measure week two, but did today.  A total of about 10 inches gone overall!  And I'm definitely starting to notice a difference.  I put on a smaller size bra the other day and it FIT!  (Sorry if that is TMI for you...) 



I'm sticking with it, and thank YOU all for sticking with ME!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Insanity

This is Shaun T.  I work out with him every morning.

I've gotten used to doing crazy moves like this over and over and over and over again as fast as I possibly can until sweat is dripping in my eyes and I'm panting like a dog.

Today I did an INSANE move like the one you see below.  A diamond jump.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  And you want me to do this over and over and over and over again as fast as I possibly can until sweat is dripping in my eyes and I'm panting like a dog?  I could barely get my feet off the ground, let alone high up in the air like that. 
Hardest thing I've ever done.  
Babysteps.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Like Exercising

I like to exercise.
I like how I feel after I exercise.
I like it when I am dripping sweat in my eyes and down my face.
When I sweat a lot I know I'm pushing myself hard.
I love how a nice long drink of ice cold water feels in the middle of my workout.
I like the challenge that exercising gives me.
I like it when I can hardly do a move the first time, but as I get stronger, I notice the move gets easier.
I like running.  (NEVER did I think I would say that!)
I like breathing in the cool, crisp morning air on an early morning run.
I like pushing myself just a little bit further each time I run.
I like staring my day with a good workout.
After my workout is done, I feel energized and motivated to make the most of my day.
I like waking up the next morning after a good, tough workout and hurting all over.
It's a good hurt - let's me know that my body is getting stronger.
I like to exercise.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Week 2 Results

Well to sum up this week, I can think of one word...BLAH.  Is that really even a word?


I hated my Insanity workouts.  I hated that it wasn't as high intensity as I'm used to.  I hated that it was the SAME workout 6 days straight.  I bet my body needed the rest, as I'm feeling revved and ready to go for the last half of Insanity that I will start tomorrow.  I'm actually very excited to see what the first workout in the MAX series of workouts has to offer!


The food this week was nothing new either.  Pretty much snacked on the same things, ate the same salad almost daily, at the same dinners and lunches for the most part.  However, enough variety where I'm not bored of any of it yet.  And hopefully I won't be.  I did make my avocado feta dip (I blogged about it here) which was new for me, and fabulously delicious.  And I also went to a BBQ party on Friday night where I had this amazingly awesome spinach blueberry salad.  I got the recipe, so I'll be making that soon, and I'll probably blog about it and let you know what it is so you can enjoy the amazing awesomeness of it too!


Speaking of the BBQ I went to (which was a super fun time, thanks Patty!) reminds me of all the things I avoided this week.  I'm going to stop for a minute and give myself credit for all the unhealthy options I passed up.  First of all - a 3rd birthday party today where I avoided some super cute monster-decorated cupcakes.  A BBQ Friday night where I avoided potato salad, yummy summer pasta dishes, brownie pudding, cookies, cake, and alcohol.  McDonald's for the kids' lunch one day and I had salad at home.  Dinner guests on Wednesday night and they brought yummy brownies and chocolate chip cookie bars that I didn't touch.  The hubby's birthday on Tuesday where I made him a homemade chocolate cake and only had the tiniest of tastes.


So here's the thing.  Even after all healthy choices I made and workouts I did, just about a one pound loss on the scale this week.  A little bummed about that, but I'm not going to let it get me down.  A pound is a pound, and I'll take it!  I'm thinking with the more intense workouts this week, I'll see some different numbers come next Saturday.


Hope you all had a great week - I keep thinking tomorrow's Monday already, but I still get one more day with the husband and kids before that happens, so yay!  I even cleaned the entire house this morning, so I don't even have that to worry about.  Double yay!  Thanks for following my friends, and see you next time!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nothing new

Are you bored with me yet?  Nothing new to report.  Worked out, ate healthy, that's about it.  Feeling good and ready to keep going!  I'll share with you my dinner tonight.  Awhile back I found this Asian Stir Fry mix at Sam's club.  A giant bag of frozen veggies that comes with a sauce packet.  I heat the veggies in my wok, put the sauce packet on top, and add chicken.  Serve with brown rice, and it's one of my go-to meals.  Easy to make and good for you - one serving (one whole cup!) of veggies with the sauce only has 50 calories!  




 We've been doing a lot of dancing this week.  By "we" I mean Leah.  She had her first dance camp, and she LOVED it!  They danced, at snacks, and worked on a secret craft all week.  Turns out they were making tutus and crowns, which they wore on the last day for their zumba lesson!  SO CUTE!  Here are a few pictures of her week at camp.









Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Observations


My biggest downfall in my past attempts at dieting was eating at night.  After dinner, nothing else to do, feeling lazy and just wanted to watch TV, read a book, waste time on the computer, and EAT.  Almost every single night.  I would do great during the day, eating as healthy as I possibly could, then just blow it at night.  It was a mindless task that I wouldn’t even think about.  I wasn’t hungry, and didn’t really want the food, but would just find whatever treat I could and eat it.  Tonight, for the first time since starting this venture, did I feel like that.  It was about 7:45 or 8:00 p.m.  I just wanted to get up off the couch, grab some food, and eat.  I didn’t, but I sure wanted to.  And I would have, had I not made this commitment to you all and to myself.  Another babystep concurred! 

So then I tried to ask myself “Why?”  What was I feeling, or what was going on, that made me want to do sabotage all of my hard work for today and blow it?  Was I bored?  No.  I had 2 kids to bathe and a bedtime routine to get started.  Was I hungry?  Not in the least.  So what brought on the feeling?  I have no idea.  Something I’ll have to ponder more about.  If I feel this way again, I’ll try once more to really think about what was going on and figure it out.  Have you ever felt this way??  If so, do you know why?

Another revelation I had today had to do with my workout.  While I like routine and can handle repetitiveness pretty well (like teaching the same class 4x a day…), I don’t really like it when it comes to exercising.  I need to change it up on a daily basis.  This doing the same workout for 6 days in a row is not something I am liking this week.  Probably why I skipped it yesterday and went for a good long walk instead.  Twice more of this same, boring, monotonous workout, and then I can start mixing it up again.  I’m looking forward to Sunday when that happens!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby


First of all, happy happy birthday to my wonderful husband!  Rather than starting my morning with a workout, I started my morning by baking a made-from-scratch chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting.  I had a little helper, and she was very good and “cleaning” the beaters. 

Not once did I lick the batter, the beaters, the spatula, or the frosting.  It wasn’t hard to resist it, and I kept thinking to myself “If this were 2 weeks ago I would have eaten two spoonfuls of that frosting, easily!”  I did die a little inside when I just rinsed the extra down the drain, rather than sticking my head in the bowl and licking it up.  (What, you’ve never done that before?  Oh, you think that’s weird….?  Hmm…)

The family enjoyed the chocolate cake after dinner.  I had one teeny tiny taste, to see how my made-from-scratch cake turned out.  It was just ok, not fabulous as the reviews from the website said.  Oh well, I’m not going to eat it so it doesn’t matter.

But, let me tell you what I did make today that was absolutely the.most.delcious.thing.I’ve.ever.eaten.  Period.  I think I have a new obsession with avocado and feta cheese paired together.  I’ve used this combo on tuna sandwiches and thought it was good.  I had them with my leftover pork in a tortilla last week, and that was really yummy.  But this salad today was to die for!  Once again, inspired by a recipe found on Pinterest (click here if you want to see the original).  I modified it to fit the ingredients I had on hand, and to eliminate the ingredients I don’t care for.  (Like dill….I HATE dill.  I vividly remember a dinner my mom made when I was a kid.  Some sort of Hamburger Dill Casserole.  She MADE my sister and I sit at the table and eat until it was gone, and I cried and cried and cried because I hated it so much.  I will never eat dill again.)  My recipe consisted of 1 avocado, ½ a chopped red pepper , some chopped red onion , ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, some chopped up cilantro, and a few generous squirts of lime juice.  I ate it for breakfast with Kashi Fire Roasted Vegetable crackers.  Then I ate it again for lunch with my leftover tilapia.  I ate the entire batch by myself, and probably would have eaten it again for a snack and dinner if it wasn't already gone.  Good thing I have more ripe avocados ready to eat, as I plan to make some more tomorrow! 

For dinner I had a BBQ pork sandwich, homemade coleslaw, and an apple.  Overall a yummy day!  My workout today just consisted of a nice long 45 minute walk on the treadmill at the gym (while I watched LOST…I like to multi-task).  I listened to my body today and took it easy, as I’m still feeling a bit sore and tired from all the intense workouts.  So I gave myself a bit of a break today, yet still got in a little cardio.  I did some inclines and such, so I am still happy with what I accomplished today.  Plus I’m thinking that from picking strawberries last week, I didn’t just overwork the muscles in my back, I think something is a bit out of line, as I’m still sore and not in an overworked muscle kind of way. 

Back to the grind tomorrow!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cajun Pulled Pork Tutorial

I've mentioned that I've eaten and used pulled pork for many of my meals last week.  I thought I would share with you my all-time favorite recipe that is super quick and easy to make, and tastes divine!  Don't let the "Cajun" scare you - it's really not that spicy!  
Buy a pork tenderloin.

Mine was about 6 lbs.  I cut it in 1/2 and wrapped the rest in tinfoil to freeze for another time.  

This is my bean pot.  It's magic.  Cooks food like you wouldn't believe.  A crock pot would work fine too.

The cast of spices:  1 T. brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each garlic salt, onion salt, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and cumin.  Funny how it's called "Cajun" Pulled Pork, but doesn't use Cajun seasoning?  I've used it before in the recipe, but didn't this time.  

Dice up some onion.  I cut my pieces big, so the hubby can pick them out.  He's had years of practice doing this, and is ready to be a surgeon in his next life....he can find the teeniest tiniest piece of an onion in ANYTHING...

Put your pork in the pot.  Add 2 cups of water (sounds like and looks like a lot, but trust me, you need it!).  Mix up your spices, then throw them in, with the onion.  Put the lid on. 

Cook at 350 degrees for about 4 hours, give or take the size of your pork.  It will look like this when it's done.  

Take 2 forks and shred it.  You will be amazed at how it just falls apart!  You can serve on buns with our without BBQ sauce, eat with some rice, make my own special version of a taco (found in this post), or make pulled pork enchiladas, which I plan to do tomorrow with the leftovers!  LOVE IT!


Mangos?


About 2 years ago, a student of mine asked me if I liked mangos.  I had to honestly answer that I had never had one!  Well today I did for the first time.  Ehhh…can’t say I loved it.  First off, I don’t think it was ripe enough AT ALL.  I was afraid I wouldn’t even know how to find one at the store when I went shopping.  Thankfully they had them clearly marked and labeled for idiots in the mango department, like me.  Then I didn’t know how to cut it…it was just short of an all-around disaster.  But I salvaged what I could to make a fruit salsa for this Tilapia Fish Taco recipe that I made for dinner.  My overall review was that it was kind of bland and I didn’t care for the salsa.  The tilapia was good.  Now I have lots of leftover fish and plan to try a few different versions to find one I like.  As always, I can thank Pinterest for some different recipes to try!  I’ll update you if I find one that’s better.

Nothing new in the area of my workout today.  Same as yesterday, minus the run.  Breakfast was a smoothie, lunch a salad with chicken, snacked on yogurt, almonds, and string cheese.  Then dinner was my tacos.  No sweet treats yet again today, even when Lindy was sharing some M&M’s with the kids.  Now don’t get me wrong, part of me wanted to put my hand out for some too, but my willpower is still going strong!

Here’s a cute picture of Leah at dance camp, which started today.  She was SO excited for it, and had a blast!  The first thing she said to me when it was over was “Mommy, can we come back again?”  Good thing we’ve got 3 more days of it!


Hope you all had a Happy Monday, and have a great week!