Refocusing…

I’ve been wanting to hop on here and do a quick blog post for days!!!  We’ve been crazy and I’m worried that this “crazy” is the new “normal.”  Eeeek.

However, the kids are back in school.  I love them very much, but….

WAHOOO!

I get to have a somewhat organized and scheduled life again.

Phewwww.

With this new found organization and schedule, I’m feeling particularly motivated.  I’ve been somewhat of a morning person too!!

Gasp, I know!

Since my 12 year old is in Junior High now, I have to wake him up at 6:30.  That might not sound all that early to some of you.

It is early to me.

I don’t want to wake up and be a tired, groggy, ornery mom, sooooo….I figure I have to wake up early anyway, I might as well make the most of it.

So, I’ve been going to bed earlier!  Yay!

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

I’ve always loved mornings, but the problem is I’ve always loved nights too.  Sadly, I’ve realized I can’t be a morning and a night person and expect to have any sort of energy or motivation.

It’s not that hard of a concept, but for some reason I’ve struggled with it my whole life!

I’m so productive at night because it’s quiet and the kids are sleeping.  It’s hard for me to just “go to bed” when I have so much to do.

But, I don’t like being tired all the time, so I’m not going to be!

I’m going to be disciplined.

*******************
So, this morning I went on a quick 4 mile run.

I really love running in the morning.  It is so refreshing.  It’s also so nice to have my workout done first thing!

Check!

I must say though that (as usual) I DID NOT feel like running this morning.  I went to my favorite Boot Camp class last night (which, btw was not cancelled, but just moved to a different gym, yay!).

That class kicks my can every time!  I feel like I work every muscle (some I didn’t know I had!) in my body.

I’m sore EVERY time.  I love it!

Anyway, I was sore this morning and felt like an 85 year old lady.  It also didn’t help that my 1 year old was up in the night crying because he’s getting a million teeth right now.

Excuses, I know.

My mind starting thinking, “Oh, I’ll just run with the kids in the jogger a little later.”, or “I’ll run on the treadmill”, or “I’ll run later tonight.”

I’ve learned when I start thinking like that, I need to just turn my mind on “auto-pilot” and get up and get it done!

The minute I walked out the front door, I felt motivated.  I was so happy to be out there and glad I didn’t procrastinate!

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

When I got home,  I had a very yummy protein shake.

Love it!

Here it is…

Almond Joy Protein Shake

(recipe adapted from www.pimpmyproteinshake.blogspot.com)

  • 1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1/2 C. Coconut Milk (you could use Skim milk, Almond milk or water!)
  • 1/4 C. Water
  • 1/4 C. Cottage Cheese
  • 1 T. PB2 (or use any all-natural Nut Butters)
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 T. Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1 T. Cocoa Powder
  • Spinach (optional)
  • Ice cubes

Here’s everything you need minus the spinach, water and ice. I bought the Protein Powder at Costco, the Unsweetened Coconut at Sunflower Market, the PB2 online and everything else at Walmart.

Almond-Joy-Protein-Shake-Ingredients

Add liquids first (Milk, Water, Cottage Cheese, Extract)

Add everything else (Protein Powder, PB2, Coconut, Cocoa)

Mix well in blender.

Almond-Joy-Protein-Shake-Blender

Add Spinach (sorry, I always do)

Almond-Joy-Protein-Shake-with-Spinach

Mix well.

Almond-Joy-Protein-Shake-mixed-with-Spinach

Add Ice and mix well!

Almond-Joy-Protein-Shake

Enjoy!

My 3 year old and 1 year old love my protein shakes so much that every time I make one, I have a little entourage that follows me around the house.  I usually pour some into cups for them and they love it!

Btw, that is a toy snake in the background, but it looks kinda real in this pic. Freaky.

Baby-with-Almond-Joy-Protein-Shake

I love this shake.  I love the flavor of almond extract and I love the little coconut bits in it.  Yum.  I may add some coconut extract next time to add a little more coconut flavor.  We’ll see.  Oh, and the way I made it is about 260 calories (add more or less if you use different liquids or real peanut butter.)

K, here’s a little 411 about some of the ingredients I used.

Coconut Milk (I buy So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)

coconut milk

You can buy this anywhere….you just need to know where to find it.  You can find it in the Ethnic food aisle (usually by the Asian stuff) or I’ve found it in the milk section (refrigerated and non-refrigerated) by the other kinds of milk (rice, almond, soy, etc.)

  • Only 50 calories per Cup
  • 5 g. fat per cup (but it’s the healthy beneficial kind of fat!)
  • Coconut Milk has also been known to help people lose weight, boost the immune system, fight disease and help lower the risk of heart disease!

So drink up!!!  If you want to read more about the health benefits, click here.

PB2

PB2

This “food” is a stroke of genius!!  I read about this on the internet and one of my good “peanut butter lovin” friends told me how much she liked this.  I decided to give it a try and I LoooVE it!  It’s basically like peanut butter (in powdered form) with a bunch of the fat and calories taken out!!  Who knew??  They keep it “all-natural” too and don’t use any chemicals, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.  Awesome.  Two tablespoons of this stuff is only 45 calories!  You basically mix 1 part water with 2 parts PB2, create your peanut butter and use it how you please.  I also just use the powder in my protein shakes or in baking too!  I bought this online.  For more info, go here.

Unsweetened Coconut

unsweetened coconut

I’ve been surprised at how “non-readily” available this is!  I’ve only been able to find it at Sunflower Market or Whole Foods.  It might be at Smiths too, I need to double check.  I love it though because you get all of the coconut flavor without all the sugar!  Yay!  I don’t have any sweetened coconut in my house, so I don’t know the nutritional facts for it, but unsweetened is 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar and 10 grams of fat for 3 Tablespoons (I usually just use 1 T though).  It’s all healthy and all natural.  Love it.  Oh, and I love love love Bob’s Red Mill stuff!  He is the bomb…that dude comes up with everything!  Love him!

So, go buy all these funky ingredients and have fun using them, K?

I will also share with you a yummy dinner I made last night.  It’s one of my favs because it’s so so so healthy and perty easy too!

Easy, Yummy, Healthy Chicken Veggie Stirfry

This is why I LOVE this recipe…

Veggies-for-Stirfry

It’s an awesome way to eat tons of yummy veggies!

This really isn’t a recipe, but this is how I make it.

  • Prepare and marinate chicken before hand.  If I have time, I use my yummy marinade.  If I don’t have time, I use my easy marinade.  When Kev gets home, I have him grill it.  Love that!
  • Cut up any veggies you want to use.  I usually use the following: broccoli or broccoli slaw, carrots, celery, green peas, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, green beans, sugar snap peas, and whatever else I have on hand.  You could even use little corn cob thingys or water chestnuts.  Whatever.
  • Cut up, slice, chop, etc. all your veggies (a food processor or mini chopper makes this SO MUCH simpler!)

Chopped-Veggies-for-Stirfry

Throw all the “harder” veggies into a wok or big ‘ol electric frying pan (preheated with 1-2 T. Olive Oil).

Stirfry-Veggies

Cook them for a little while (maybe 5-7 minutes), then add a little seasoning salt and lite soy sauce to taste.

Seasoned-Salt-Soy-Sauce

Then add any softer veggies like broccoli slaw, green peas, corn, etc.  Btw, I really love broccoli slaw…lots of nutrition without a lot of work!

Broccoli-Slaw

After I added the broccoli slaw…

Veggies-Broccoli-Slaw-Stirfry

Cook and stir occasionally for 5-10 more minutes depending on how crunchy you like your veggies.  There is no “right” or “wrong”, it’s just personal preference.  I like mine on the crunchier side.  You can also add more seasoning salt or soy sauce if needed.

stir fry veggies

Serve with quinoa or brown rice…

quinoa

Here’s my cooked quinoa.  If you want to know more about it and how to cook it, click here.

Serve with grilled chicken on the side or cut up and mixed in!

I also made a “clean out the fridge” fruit salad to go with it…

mega fruit salad

Here’s my plate…

chicken, stir fry veggies and fruit

Kev and I both love this meal, but I must say that my kids are not big fans.  They don’t love rice or quinoa too much and they prefer their veggies not all mixed together.  They love the chicken and fruit though.  I always get complaints when we have this, but I remind them that their mom loves them and wants them to be healthy! 😉

That is all…easy, healthy, and yummy!  Love it!

Oh, one more fun little thingy…

I ran a free “just for fun” 5k that my church organized on Saturday morning.  It was so much fun!!!  I didn’t have my running watch though, so I felt like I was running blind.  However, the good news is because I was “running blind”, I didn’t know exactly how fast I was going and couldn’t really pace myself.  I ended up finishing faster than I thought I could (24:15, 7.48 pace) and came in 2nd place for all the women (probably because most of them walked it!) 😉  I was happy about it though!  Yay!

Here’s a pic with my little ribbon.  Fun.

me after running the church 5k

’till next time!  Hopefully soon!!!



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