by Melanie

Crazy Crazy Life, but Still Goin’ Strong!

October 28, 2014 in Family Life, Low Carb, Meal Ideas by Melanie

Well folks, life has been hEcTiC lately!!!!

That is the understatement of the century.  Holy Hannah.

Just to paint a picture, here are some of the things I’ve been up to this past week….

Lunch with friends at The Cheesecake Factory

Lunch with friends at Cheesecake Factory

I got the Cobb Salad.  Yum.

Cobb Salad from Cheesecake Factory

Doctor Appointment for Carson.  He had to have 3 Shots. :-(

Carson at his doctor appt with me and Jake

Preschool Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch…

Jacob's Preschool Field Trip

Second trip to the Pumpkin Patch with ALL the kids…

Pumpkin Patch with the kids

Kev had surgery on his shoulder over the weekend…

Kev's Shoulder Surgery

He’s doing fine, but had to stay overnight in the hospital.  His heart rate and oxygen levels were too low because of his pain meds and anesthesia.  Weird.

ALL of the kids wanted to sleep in my room the night Kev was gone.  It WOULD HAVE been fun, but I was so worn out from a long day and all the kiddos were a little worn out and ornery as well.  We all went to bed at midnight.  I snapped this pic just before I turned out the light…

Kids sleeping in my room

I know one day I will miss all of these cute faces living together under the same roof.  Love my kids.

We also carved pumpkins with the kids last night…

Pumpkins with kids

We had a great time. ;-)

Well, those are all the things I’ve taken pictures of over the past week.  However, I also…

  • Took the kids to ortho appointments
  • Went to a fun church Halloween bike parade with the kids
  • My daughter and I spoke at a church meeting Saturday night with several hundred people in attendance.  Eeeee.  Yikes.

Phew!  We’ve been busy doing a lot of fun/good things, but my stamina is pretty much at ZERO now.  Oh, and that’s not to mention all of the million things I do every day as a wife and mother.

I feel pretty much just like this guy…

guy in the desert

I don’t mean to complain, but I’m just keepin’ it real my friends!

Consequently, my exercise has been almost nonexistent, BUT I’m happy to say I’m still stickin’ to my healthy low-carb diet.  Woo Hoo!

Yes, I have not wavered AT ALL.  I’m now down about 6 pounds and I can actually feel a difference!  My “painted on” jeans are now just “very tight” and my “Costco sized muffin top” is now just a “normal sized muffin top!”

That’s progress!

I’m getting so sick of the same ol’, same ol’ food, but I just keep pluggin’ along.  I’ve tried to get creative with the options available to me, but I’m running out of ideas.  Sigh.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating…

Various Egg Creations.  I pretty much have one of these every day!

Egg Creations

Salads, salads and more salads!

Low Carb Salads

Random leftovers from the fridge.  I pretty much open the fridge, dump various things on my plate and call it a meal!

Random meals from the fridge

Various Healthy Dinners…

Healthy Low Carb Dinners

I’ve made chicken several times using my favorite marinade, Green Bean Fries, Cauliflower Potatoes and Turkey Burgers!

I’ve also grabbed a few things on the go…

Low Carb Restaurant Fare

I made myself a quick salad the other day and took it with me in the car.  I laughed when I realized I put the salad in an old Cookie Dough container.  Ha ha.

Me with a salad on the run

Well, that’s my crazy week in a nutshell.  Thankfully, life should be slowing down a bit now…..just in time for the Holidays!!!

It’s about 10:30 PM and I need to head to bed so I can refuel a bit to tackle my life tomorrow!  I will leave you guys with a dang cute pic of a dang cute baby that I love very much…

Cute Carson

‘Night!  Love you all!

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by Melanie

Stickin’ to the Plan + a Fun Trip to Idaho Falls

October 21, 2014 in Adventures, Family Life, Goals, Low Carb, Restaurant Food by Melanie

Hey, hey, hey!  I’m happy to say I’m still goin’ strong with my low-carb diet.  I really love it, although I’m getting a little sick of eating so many of the same things.  I’m eating a TON of veggies, eggs, nuts, chicken, salads, protein pudding, protein shakes and a little cheese.

Here are some of the positive things I’ve been experiencing on this diet:

  • I don’t really have a lot of cravings, which is nice.  Carbs and junk food always sound good (I’m sure they always will!), but I don’t crave them and it’s not too hard to stay away from them.
  • I sleep like a baby.  Seriously, it’s like a deep, restorative sleep.  I love it.  Whenever I clean up my diet, I always sleep better!
  • I’ve lost 3-4 real, legit pounds.  Right before I started this diet, I bloated up and gained a couple pounds for some reason.  I felt so so chubby.  Soooo, if you count those “superficial bloated pounds”, then I’ve lost 6-7 pounds total.  Woo hoo.
  • It feels SO GOOD to eat real, nutrient dense food.  I’m so happy to be disciplined and not controlled by all of the yummy food temptations lurking around everywhere!
  • My clothes are fitting ever so slightly better.  I have TWO pairs of jeans that I can “fit” into.  However, I’m very much poured into them and have a beautiful “muffin top,” but they do ZIP UP and technically fit.

Here are some of the negative things I’ve been experiencing on this diet:

  • I am SO DANG tired and have a major brain fog.  I know this is a typical symptom of a low-carb diet though.  My body is used to using sugar/carbs for energy and it’s in the transition of using fat for energy instead.  Yay.  I’ve heard that the fatigue/brain fog can last for 2-3 weeks though.  We’ll see.
  • I am seriously so sick of veggies, but I will continue to eat them!  I like to think of them as “medicine” and just eat them anyway….kind of like it’s my duty.  Ha.
  • Exercise is very HARD and very DAUNTING lately because of my lack of energy.  I still try to fit some sort of exercise in most days, but I’m cutting myself a little slack too.

Well, that pretty much sums it up!  I’m still feeling very determined and WILL NOT quit.

******************

We went on a quick trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho over the weekend and had such a GREAT time!  We went up Friday night for our nephew’s wedding and decided to make a “fun family trip” out of it as well.

I was so worried about sticking to such a strict diet while traveling, but we did great!  Thank heavens Kev is doing it with me!  I packed a bunch of healthy things into a cooler and it worked out perfectly.  I also made myself some protein pudding just as we were heading out the door and ate it while we were driving.

Healthy Low Carb Travel Food

I packed “homemade chocolate,” peanut butter, nuts, jerky, chicken, hard boiled eggs, string cheese, olives, and veggies with guacamole and ranch dressing.  Everything tasted so good and I was so happy to have our little “healthy stash.”

Oh, and I’m still working on the “homemade chocolate” recipe.  When I get it right, I will share it.  It’s basically a mixture of coconut oil, cocoa, protein powder and stevia.  It’s great.

I have a million pictures to share with you from our trip, so here goes nothin’!

We stayed in the Hampton Inn and I LOVED it!  It was just perfect for us.  It was so clean, spacious and comfortable.  We also loved the indoor pool and yummy breakfast in the morning.  BTW, the hotel in no way sponsored this post; I’m just sharing my own thoughts and opinions. :-)

We got two adjoining rooms and it was awesome.

Kev and the kids in our hotel at Idaho Falls

On Friday night, we took the fam to Panda Express for dinner.  I ordered the two-entree plate with mixed veggies, String Bean Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken.

The Fam at Panda in Idaho Falls

This was definitely one of the better choices on the menu, but afterward I looked up the nutrition stats and was surprised to see it had 42 carbs!  What the??!  It was high in sodium too, but I figured that would be the case.  I wasn’t too worried about it though because we were on vacation and it was still a pretty decent choice.

The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel.  They of course had plenty of sugary, carby options!

Temptations at breakfast in Idaho Falls

My son’s waffle looked so dang good.  I was happy they had some ham and little omelets available.  It wasn’t super healthy, but it fit the bill.

Having my breakfast in Idaho Falls

After breakfast, we took the kids swimming in the hotel pool.  They had a ball!

The fam swimming in Idaho Falls

My oldest son looks like he’s missing an arm in that bottom pic.  Weird.

Carson and I enjoyed sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone play.

Me and Carson in Idaho Falls

After swimming, we went on a beautiful walk on the Idaho Falls Greenbelt.  I would LOVE to go running there.  It was gorgeous!  There were so many fun things to see along the way.  The kids loved it.

The fam on a horse bench in Idaho Falls

The kids on a bike bench in Idaho Falls

With the moose at Idaho Falls

The kids on a train in Idaho Falls

The kids on our walk in Idaho Falls

The Family with the Idaho Falls Temple

Kev, D and Brooke in a tree at Idaho Falls

I saw this beautiful area of green grass and I told the kids they “had to” run and play on it for a bit.  I want them to live up their childhood, lol!

Walking in Idaho Falls

It was a beautiful walk and everyone had a great time!

Afterward, we went to lunch at Chick Fil-A.  Kev and I both ordered the Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken.  It’s so good!

The fam at Chick Fil-A

After lunch, we decided to go bowling!  Kev and I didn’t bowl (to save time and $$!), but we loved watching the kids bowl.

Bowling with the kids in Idaho Falls

After bowling, we stopped by a fun novelty ice cream/candy store and the kids loved it!  We let them each pick one thing.

The kids in a fun candy store in Idaho Falls

We then made the 3+ hour drive home.  It was such a wonderful weekend and we had so much fun together!

Overall, I was happy with how I ate and I was very grateful for the fresh food I brought from home.  I didn’t drink nearly enough water while we were traveling though.  It’s so much harder to stick to my “water goals” while traveling!

Well, this post is MEGA long so I will end it.  I also need to head to bed!  I hope you all have a wonderful night!

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by Melanie

The Storm Before the Calm

October 17, 2014 in Adventures, Exercise, Low Carb, Meal Ideas, Nutrition by Melanie

I don’t have a lot of time today, so I’m gonna make this quick (that would be a first!!)  Ha.

Anyway, I’m loving this low-carb diet thing SO MUCH, but it is freaking hard!  I’m on day #5 and my body is slowly starting to adjust and chill out.  Days #3 and #4 were so so hard, but I told myself to NOT give up because I know it gets a LOT easier eventually.

Seriously though, we went to Costco on Wednesday night and I wanted to eat the ALL of the (Costco sized!) bags of Halloween candy.  The bread, muffins and fruit all looked so dang good too!  Heck, the Cheerios even called my name.  It was tough.  However, this morning I’m starting to not feel so ravenous.  It’s still not easy, but I’m encouraged that it’s getting easier.

On Day #3 I did have one small “issue” and it was pretty lame.  Oh, and it happened right after we got home from Costco.  Hee hee.

First off, I have to mention one thing that’s hard about low-carb is that I haven’t felt “satisfied.”  My body may not be hungry (I’m eating plenty of food!), but I always feel like I want to eat “something.”  I think it’s more of a craving instead of hunger.  With that being said, I ending up snitching a few chocolate chips.  They looked so good and they only have 9 carbs per tablespoon.  Soooo, I justified it by saying I could have 6-7 chocolate chips….then I went back for 3-4 more!  But, that was it.  No big deal.

BUT, right after the chocolate chip incident, I was cleaning out my fridge and saw a container of Cool Whip (yes, it’s full of terrible ingredients that will kill you) leftover from Carson’s blessing.  Anyway, it was almost gone so I thought I’d throw it away to clear out some space in the fridge!  BUT, it looked so good to me (yes, I’m desperate!) so I looked at the carb count and it only had 2 carbs per 2 tablespoons SOOOO I grabbed a spoon and ate a spoonful!

Then, I promptly left the kitchen.  Geesh.

I’m happy to say I think that was my LOW and things have gotten better since then.  It’s still hard, but I’m not craving everything in sight.  In my experience, if you can get through the first week of a low-carb diet it almost becomes easy.  BUT, that first week is NO JOKE.  Man.  One thing that’s helped me is to tell myself, if I give up then I’m essentially accepting my body/weight/fitness level the way it is.  I ask myself “Am I OK with that!?!”  Of course the answer is “Heck NO!”

Soooo, I keep plugging along.

Some of you may think I’m “obsessed,” “fanatical,” “crazy nutzo lady,” but I know this is what it takes.  Food cravings and food addictions are very REAL and very STRONG, so you have to FIGHT back HARD.

I like to think of myself as “committed” and “dedicated.”  Oh, and if you’re just trying to “lose a little weight” or become an average size/average looking person, then you really don’t have to be this “crazy.”  You can just watch portions/calories and exercise a few times a week and you’ll eventually get there.  Buuuuuuttttt, THIS is the type of body I’m striving for….

Athleta Model motivation

Yes, you gotta have a little bit of “crazy nutzo lady” in ya to get there!  Oh, and this chick is an Athleta model and I really think they are inspiring.  They look so healthy, athletic and fit…..not sickeningly stick thin.

Oh, and I WILL get to this goal eventually and I WILL get there doing it the RIGHT, healthy way with proper diet, sleep and exercise.  Oh, and I know that overall health is a lot more than just a rockin’ bod like this chick has.  I love to be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle because it makes me FEEL good, gives me so much more energy, confidence and it just feels good to be disciplined and in charge of my life.

Make sense?

Okay, that’s the end of my rambling today. ;-)

Sooooo, I thought I would share a pretty picture…

Beautiful Sunrise

I drove my son to High School the other day and the sunrise was gorgeous!  BTW, Kev usually drops my son off at school on his way to work, but KEV crashed his car (fender bender), so it’s been in the shop and we’ve been a one car family.  Yes, it sucks.  Oh, and these pics were taken after I had already taken Kev to the train station.

Crazy life.

BUT, I love the beautiful world we live in.  This sunrise made me want to go running!!!  But, as long as I have a baby who is waking me up in the night, I will NOT be a morning runner.  Ha.  Oh, and just so ya know, my son took these pics as I was driving, NOT ME!

*****************

I’ve still been having some sort of eggs for breakfast every morning.  I’ve had to get a little creative….

Scrambled eggs with green onions topped with cheese and avocados and some grape tomatoes on the side.

Eggs with green onions, cheese, avocado with tomatoes on the side

I cooked up some BACON yesterday and crumbled it on my eggs.  It was a nice change and tasted indulgent.

Eggs, bacon, tomato and avocado

I made this interesting concoction this morning.  I made some scrambled eggs with green onions and peppers and then topped it with cheese, romaine, cucumber, tomatoes and salsa.  Totally weird, but it worked.  I also had my warm lemon water on the side.  I usually have it separately, first thing in the morning, but today I didn’t!

Interesting egg, cheese, veggie salad with warm lemon water

I had some leftover chicken/veggies for lunch the other day…

Leftover veggies and chicken

I cut up some celery and put peanut butter on some and some Frank’s Buffalo sauce on the others….

Celery with peanut butter and buffalo sauce

This was really good!  Oh, and Optimus Prime wanted to be in the picture as well.  I was inspired by his strength.  Hee hee.

I made some Chile Verde (pork roast) for dinner the other night and made myself a little salad with it.  It hit the spot…

Chile Verde Salad

Kev and I grabbed some In-N-Out burgers the other night.  We got them “protein style” (wrapped in lettuce) and “animal style” (meat cooked in mustard + grilled onions and special sauce.)

Kev and I with our In N Out Burgers

Oh, and I looked up the stats for these burgers and they have 11 carbs, which is higher than I want right now.  I’m thinkin’ most of the carbs came from the “special sauce” though.  I think next time I’ll get it with no sauce and just mustard.

I’ve been LOVING my protein pudding every day!  I look forward to it!  Yesterday I added chia seeds and crushed almonds to it.  Yuuuuum!

Protein Pudding with chia and almonds

I’ve still been exercising pretty regularly.  I ran 3 miles on the treadmill yesterday and 2.5 on Monday.  I also did this workout on Wednesday and it killed me!  The last time I did that workout I was 8 months pregnant and it was WAY harder for me this time.  Lame.

But I got ‘er done AND I’m taking a break today.  My body is SORE and we have a crazy day today so I’m taking a “rest day.”  Although, somehow the word “rest day” doesn’t accurately describe ANY day in a Mother’s life.  Ha.

Well, I gotta run!  Did I keep it brief?!??!….not really.  Dang.  Have a great weekend!!!

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