by Melanie

It’s Tough to Eat Well When You’re Sleep Deprived

September 19, 2014 in Family Life, Meal Ideas by Melanie

Happy Friday one and all!!  I love weekends so much.  Kev and I are thinkin’ we may go on a short date tonight.  Woo hoo.  That sounds so so nice!

Look at this cutie pie

Cute Carson sacked out

I took that pic just now.  He’s totally sacked out on me while I’m typing.  I am LOVING having a baby SO MUCH!  He is such a sweetie and he’s starting to get a little chubby!  Check out that double chin.  Love it.

Anyway, I’m still doing pretty good on my healthy diet thingy, but I did have one “small problem” that I’ll talk about in just a sec.  I’ve mostly been eating a lot of the same things; eggs, more eggs, salads, yogurt, protein pancakes, fruit, chicken, cottage cheese, etc.

I didn’t take too many pictures this week, but here are a few things I did take pics of…

This was my yummy breakfast this morning…

Breakfast Wrap and peaches

It was my version of a breakfast sandwich.  I scrambled one egg + 3-4 egg whites, topped it with cheese and put it in a La Tortilla Factory tortilla with some ham.  I also cut up a peach on the side.  Everything tasted so good to me and I was stuffed for hours!  Sadly, there weren’t any veggies in it, but it was chock full of protein.  It was super tasty and I’m sure I’ll be making it again.

I’ve had a crazy busy week, so I grabbed this as I ran out the door the other day…

Turkey, apples and yogurt

A few slices of turkey, an apple and a Greek yogurt.  Totally random.  I ended up eating the turkey and apple and was too stuffed to eat the yogurt.  It was such a quick, easy and portable meal though.

We had this for dinner the other night and it was so so good!

Pasta e fagiloli soup with breadstick

It’s a recipe for Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli soup and it is awesome!  My friend gave me all of the ingredients for this soup at my diaper/frozen meal shower that my friend’s held for me just before Carson was born.

The soup is TASTY, quick to throw together, somewhat healthy and super filling.  We’ll definitely be making it again.  Here is a link to the recipe my friend gave me.  It’s a keeper. :-)

I also decided to make a batch of my Best Breadsticks Ever to go with it.  They are seriously SO DANG GOOD!

The Best Breadsticks Ever!

They are NOT healthy at all, but I decided to have just ONE with my soup.  They are just too dang good.

Oh, and I didn’t consider the breadstick to be my “one problem” this week.  THIS ended up being my problem…

Derek with his birthday cake

Auuughhh!  Yes, my 10 year old is now ELEVEN.  I thought I could resist the birthday cake, but I COULD not.  I just had one small piece, but it was so so good, I must say.

My son decided he wanted to have a “Lego birthday.”  We let the kids have a “friend party” every other year and they have a “family party” on the off years.  This year it was a “family party” and we had a great time.

He wanted a Lego cake, so I decided just to make the cake myself (I think homemade is much better than store bought!)  I also decided to just take the easy route and buy a $10 Lego set to go on top.  My son was thrilled.  We washed all of the Legos the night before his birthday and I told him he could build it ON his birthday.  Soooo, he woke up at 6:00 AM to build his car.  Too cute.

My son wanted Dominoes Pizza for dinner, but I made myself a big salad instead.  After dinner, we took the family to The Lego Store at the mall.

It was such a fun store and full of so many cool Legos.  I totally forgot to take any pictures while we were there though!!  Lame.  As we were leaving the mall, I said, “Wait, I forgot to take a picture.”  So, this is what we got…

The kids leaving the Lego store

We let the kids each pick out a small thing to buy at the store.

When we got home, we had cake and opened presents.  Guess what my son got!???!

Derek with is lego presents

He was in heaven and said it was one of his all-time favorite birthdays.

Ya know, I felt pretty good about having just ONE small piece of cake and I didn’t beat myself up about it.  HOWEVER, that night my baby had the WORST night sleeping ever.  He woke up at 3:00 AM and didn’t really want to go back to sleep after that. :-(  It was torturous.

In the morning I felt terrible.  I had a huge headache and just wanted to crawl back into bed for the rest of the day.  Sooooo, when I saw the leftover birthday cake on the counter, I just thought, “Hand me a freakin’ fork!”

Ya, it wasn’t pretty.  It did make me feel a little bit better though.  I have to say that lack of sleep is one of the biggest factors in how well I eat.  When I’m super tired, I lose all motivation and just fall apart.

But, after the “cake massacre,” I got back on the wagon and have eaten well ever since (that was Thursday morning.)

I guess we just live and learn, right?

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

I have to share some cute pics with you guys.  On Wednesday, I went over the Elementary School to watch my kiddos run in the Jog-a-Thon for the school’s fundraiser.

My 4 year old gave his older brother a high five every time he came around.

Derek and Jake at the jog a thon

The kids were also encouraged to wear “crazy socks” and “crazy hair.”  We didn’t do much with my boy’s hair, but they both wore crazy socks.

Ben at the Jog a Thon

It was such a cute event!  The kids ran for 20 minutes or so and the parents cheered them on.  There was a DJ there playing songs like “Everything is Awesome” and “What Does the Fox Say.”  It was such a fun event and I have to say I got teary-eyed as I watched and cheered for my kids.

Yes, I’m a sap.

Sadly, it was 95 degrees (WOW!), so my boys were melting.  Thankfully Carson stayed nice and cool in his stroller…

Carson at the Jog a thon

I love my kidlets.

Oh, and look what Kev brought home from work yesterday…

A bunch of produce Kev brought home from work

HOLY COW!  He spent the day with a client who gave him all of the things in that green box (zuicchini, spaghetti squash, peppers and corn.)  He also stopped at a local fruit stand and bought a bunch of apples, peaches and tomatoes.

Sooo, we plan on making some salsa tomorrow and will make applesauce if we have time.  Otherwise, we’ll do applesauce next week.  I’m also going to be busy making a million zucchini things!  I’ll let y’all know what I decide to make!

Well, Kev’s home from work and we’re getting ready to head out, so I gotta run!  Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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by Melanie

Seein’ Some Results + I Love Clean Eating!

September 15, 2014 in Healthy Tips, Meal Ideas, Nutrition, Weight Loss by Melanie

I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday!

I spent my morning playing soccer in the backyard with my 4 year old…

Jake Playing Soccer

He has his first soccer game tonight, so I thought I better teach him a little bit about soccer, lol!

We also spent some time playing “Go Spidey” (aka. Go Fish)….

Playing Go Spidey with the boys

I don’t think the baby’s a fan, lol.

I’ve felt so bad for my poor 4 year old the past couple of weeks.  All of the big kids have gone back to school and I’ve been so dang exhausted with the baby, so he’s spent entirely too much time watching TV or playing with some sort of electronic device.

It’s just about killed me.

Sooooo, now that life has calmed down ever so slightly, I’ve been trying to spend more quality time with him.  We’ve had so much fun!  He’s such a sweetheart.

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

I’m happy to say that I’m still goin’ strong with my “mega healthy diet” efforts and I seriously feel so so great!  It’s been pretty miraculous.

I’ve only been following this “diet” for 6 days and I lost 5 pounds!  Woo hoo.  Now, 5 pounds in 6 days is usually too fast for weight loss, IMO, but since I’m dropping baby weight and bloated water weight, I think it’s A-OK!

And, for the FIRST time since I had my sweet baby, I finally feel somewhat slimmer.  Wahoo!  I still have a long way to go, but I’m just happy for the progress.

Here’s a pic I took yesterday…

4 weeks postpartum

I still can’t fit into most of my “real clothes,” so I’ve been wearing all of my bigger clothes.  For now, I’m fine with that.

AND, I can’t tell you how much more energy I’ve had the past few days!  It’s been insane.  I’m still tired and sleep deprived since I have a new baby, but I’ve been able to accomplish so much more.  I’ve been so happy ’bout that.

It makes me feel sorta kinda normalish again.

The “diet” I’ve been following is how I LIKE to eat all the time.  I really enjoy healthy, real food and I feel so much better when I stay away from all the crap out there.

However, as I’m sure many of you can relate, I really enjoy eating a cheeseburger, cookies, donuts, etc. from time to time as well.  AND, I think it’s perfectly fine AND actually healthy (mentally speaking) to indulge once in a while.  The hardest part for me is getting back to “clean eating” after I’ve indulged a little bit.

So, I’ve learned it’s actually easier for me to steer clear of sugary, fatty, salty, crappy food as long as I can and then if/when I do indulge, I try to make sure it’s short-lived.

Getting back on the wagon is always the hardest part for me!

Anyway, it’s actually been quite easy to stick to my healthy diet so far.  I have learned a few things that have made it easier for me….

  • Stock the kitchen full of clean, real, healthy food!  I love to have things like fruit, veggies, nuts, string cheese, grilled chicken (in the freezer), cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, protein pancakes (in the freezer), oatmeal, eggs, cooked quinoa or brown rice, dried fruit, etc. on hand.
  • Prepare foods ahead of time for easy meal prep!  I love to chop up a bunch of things for salads or egg scrambles (my version of an omelet) so that I can throw it together in a hurry.  I like to cut up lettuce, olives, onions, bell peppers, turkey/ham slices, broccoli, etc.  I also keep things like tomatoes, avocados, apples, hard boiled eggs and sliced nuts on hand (I usually cut them up as needed since they don’t stay fresh for too long.)
  • When I’m starving or craving something that’s not good, I stop, take a deep breath and tell myself to “chill!”  Then, I calmly and rationally find something healthy to eat!  If I let myself get too hungry, I start to crave crappy, convenient, quick, easy food like crazy.  However, once I’ve filled my body full of real food, the cravings usually go away.  If I’m still craving something sweet/salty, I’ll grab something like fruit leather, dried fruit, nuts, a small spoonful of peanut butter, popcorn or a few healthier chips.  It always seems to scratch the itch.
  • Drink water like crazy!  Water helps to regulate the appetite, aids in weight loss, improves digestive stuff and removes impurities.  I love how I feel when I drink lots of water.  I especially love to start my day with a glass of warm lemon water.  It’s so so refreshing.  Also, if I start to get hungry late at night and don’t want to eat, a warm glass of lemon water always soothes my tummy and makes me feel more full.  Love it.
  • When deciding what to eat, I like to think about what will fuel and nourish the body, not just what will taste good.  I also like to think about how it will make my body feel.  Healthy, clean food always sits well in my tummy, energizes me and makes me feel good!  Crappy food always tastes good, but I usually end up feeling sluggish, run-down, tired, and just blah.
  • I always like to plan what I’m going to eat AHEAD of time, so I won’t be tempted to eat something that’s less healthy.  I’m always thinkin’ about what my next meal will be; not in an obsessive way, just in a “plan ahead, take charge, be prepared” kind of way.
  • I like to eat a lot of the same foods in an effort to simplify things.  I’ll buy a big case of peaches, apples, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. and eat some every day until they’re gone.  I love to eat leftovers too.  It really makes things easier.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now.  I’m definitely sticking to this “diet” to a T until the end of the month.  I may take a day off after that and then get right back at it.  We’ll see.  Those “one day offs” can be dangerous.  Hee hee.

Anyway, I’ve been eating a lot of the same things I ate last week, but here are some other things I’ve been eating the past couple days….

I had protein pancakes for breakfast this morning.  I topped them with some Peanut Butter and berries.  I omitted the syrup altogether.  A drizzle of 100% Maple syrup is a good choice, but I decided to save on the sugar and calories.  I could taste the peanut butter and berries so much more without the syrup on there and I really liked it!

Protein pancakes with berries and PB

I had this for lunch

Salad with Brown Rice Chips for lunch

A salad made of Romaine, avocado, apples, hard boiled egg, olives, chicken and sliced almonds.  I topped it all with a little Balsamic Vinegar.  It was soooo good!  I also had a few Luke’s Brown Rice Chips to satisfy my salty/crunchy craving.  It was perfect.

close up salad and brown rice chips

I was craving something sweet a little while ago, so I chose this…

dried pears, nuts and granola

Some dried pears, nuts and a little Cascadian Farm Protein Granola.  It totally hit the spot and filled me up too!

I made this interesting concoction yesterday…

Breakfast Burrito Taco thing with strawberries

It was a mix between a breakfast burrito and a taco.  I topped a La Tortilla Factory tortilla with scrambled eggs mixed with onions and peppers, cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce and salsa.  It was awesome!   I also had some strawberries on the side.

I had this as a “treat” yesterday…

Toast with butter and honey

A slice of Aspen Mills bread topped with a little butter and honey.  Tasted just like heaven.  I’ve really been trying to eat high quality carbs (things like fruit and oats) and have been trying to stay away from bread for the most part.  This was definitely an indulgence, but it tasted great!

Well, that’s all the pictures I took.  I’m going to keep on pluggin’ along and will keep y’all updated on my progress.  I also can’t wait to exercise again in 13 days (who’s counting!?)

Oh, and I just want to put in a shameless plug for myself, K?

If y’all would be so kind as to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs, I would SO appreciate it!!  All you have to do is click on the picture below (or the one at the bottom of each post or in my sidebar) and it counts as a vote for me!  Seriously, that’s all you have to do.  It really helps me a lot and makes me so happy!

If you’re feeling extra generous, you can vote each time you visit my site!  You can only vote once a day though.

Thanks so much!!

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Have a great night!

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by Melanie

Obesity Trends + My Seriously Healthy Plan

September 11, 2014 in Deep Thoughts, Healthy Tips, Meal Ideas, Motivation, Nutrition by Melanie

A couple nights ago, Kev and I were watching the news and they were talking about the latest obesity trends for the United States, which was sobering to say the least.  They said that Utah had the 5th lowest obesity rate, but that our state was still climbing at an alarming rate.

For Utah, the obesity rate for adults was 24.1% in 2013, but in 2004 it was 19.6% and in 1990 it was only 9%.  Frightening!  Here’s the map that was shared on the news,

Obesity Rates

Ya know, when I was growing up (in the 80’s and 90’s) I really didn’t know or see too many overweight people.  Nowadays, it seems like MOST people are overweight, including teenagers and kids.  In fact, it seems like fit and healthy people are a rarity these days.

I think the majority of the obesity problem stems from the foods our society considers to be part of a “normal diet.”  It seems like fast food, take-out and processed foods have become the “staple” of many people’s diets.  Families don’t seem to take the time to make home-cooked, “real” meals anymore.

Fast Food

I also think people are SO busy these days.  Kids are in 8 million different after-school activities and parents are involved in so many extra things.  Soooo, fast, easy, convenient foods help people/families free up some time and accomplish more things!

And, let’s be honest, fast foods, take-out, processed foods and junk food taste pretty darn good!  However, these highly processed foods, full of “who knows what” ingredients will jack with our hormones and metabolism.  They actually mess with the blood sugar, make people more tired, MORE hungry, and make people CRAVE more!

It’s no wonder we have an obesity problem.

However, lest I be a hypocrite, I must mention that I really love crappy food too!  I have a SERIOUS love of cookies, french fries and donuts.  I feed my children less than stellar food choices at times and the kids LOVE to get pizza on Friday nights.  I also have a couple of picky eaters that I battle all the time!

With all that being said, that news segment really motivated me!  It made me want to “buck the trend,” work hard, take control of my health and get my butt in gear.

I know life’s a little insane right now with a new baby in the house and I’m tired, sleep deprived, can’t exercise and basically stay at home all the time, but I know I can still do a lot of things to improve my health!

Lately, I’ve been justifying WAY too many food indulgences and have been going to bed later than I should.  AND, because I’m so darn tired all the time, I CRAVE crappy food A LOT.

Soooo, yesterday I decided that I’m going to eat as well as I can until the end of the month!  I’m going to load up on fruits and veggies and stay away from processed, sugary, fried, fake food.  I’m not going to count calories; I’m just going to listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry!  I’m also going to try to go to bed around 10-ish.  It’s so hard to go to bed early because I have teenagers, homework and baby stuff going on, but I will do my best!

Oh and I plan to continue my healthy efforts after the end of the month too, but I like to plan shorter-term goals with an end date in mind.  It helps to keep me motivated. :-) I’m also planning on eating a lot of the same foods in an effort to simplify things.

Soooo, I’ve been having my beloved warm lemon/lime water first thing in the morning.  It’s such a great way to start the day and is so soothing.  Love it.

My Warm Lime Water

I had this for breakfast yesterday…

My egg veggie scramble with fruit

1 egg, a bunch of egg whites with peppers, onion, turkey, olives, tomatoes, avocado and cheese.  YUM!  I also had some fresh fruit on the side.

This breakfast tasted so good, fresh and real to me!  In fact, I’m planning on having eggs for breakfast every morning if I can.  I’m sure I’ll get sick of them, but I love that they’re a lean, complete protein and that I can mix them with a bunch of veggies!

I had this for breakfast today…

Egg Veggie Scamble with fruit for breakfast

Pretty much the same thing except with different fruit.

Oh, and to simplify things, I cut up a bunch of “egg fixin’s” and put them in containers in the fridge.  It definitely makes the process so much simpler!

Food prep for egg scrambles and salads

I haven’t really had a “real” lunch; I’ve just been having lots of snacks throughout the day.  I had some protein pancakes yesterday (don’t mind the munched pancake; it got stuck in the toaster.  Hee hee)…

Protein Pancakes with blueberries

I topped them with a little peanut butter, blueberries and a drizzle of sugar-free syrup.  Oh, and BTW, I’m not going to use sugar-free syrup anymore. :-(  Once this bottle is gone, that is it.  I really don’t consume artificial sweeteners too often, but I want to cut them out as much as I can.

I had this as a snack today…

Greek yogurt and a peach

A Black Cherry Skotidakis Greek yogurt with a peach.  Super yum.  I bought a case of that yogurt at Costco recently and I LOVE it!  I’m usually a Chobani or Fage yogurt girl, but this may be my new fav.

I’ve also been snacking on things like string cheese, bananas with peanut butter, nuts and fruit leather.  I also cut up a bunch of lettuce and hard boiled some eggs to give me some more options…

Chopped lettuce and hard boiled eggs

I know in order to be successful at staying with a healthy diet, I have to be prepared.  It’s vital that I fill my kitchen full of healthy, easy and convenient options.  Otherwise, it’s just too tempting to give in/give up.

I made this for dinner last night…

Chicken, veggies, zucchini noodles and apples for dinner

I made zucchini noodles, veggies and grilled chicken and topped it all with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.  I also had some apple slices on the side.

I also had the leftovers for dinner tonight.  YUM!  I made homemade pizza for the kids tonight, FYI.

That pretty much sums it up.  I know it’s only been two days, but I already feel better.  I love feeling disciplined too.

Oh, and I have my 3 weeks Postpartum picture to share (brace yourselves)….

Me 3 Weeks Postpartum

I’m still feeling very, very poofy and I haven’t lost any more weight (I’m down about 18-19 pounds.)  In fact, my face feels chubbier than when I was 9 months pregnant!

I must say that I am a very hormonal lady and my weight/bloatedness is very sensitive to hormones.  I always poof up the minute I find out I’m pregnant, gain weight during the PMS time and poof WAY up when I’m nursing.  In fact, I usually cling onto 5-10 pounds of weight until I wean my babies.

So weird.  I’m hoping a healthy diet and soon-to-be exercise regimen will help to regulate things a bit.  I’m really hoping to de-poof sometime in the near future.

Anyway, that’s all for now folks.  I need to hit the hay!  Have a great night.

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