Family Time, Crazy Life and Healthy Living

April 3, 2014 in Family Life, Nutrition, Pregnancy

Well guys, today is my littlest baby’s birthday!  He’s now a big 4 year old. :-(

I can’t believe he is so old!  Seriously.

:-(

:-(

:-(

We’ve had a fun day though.  I took my two littlest kiddos to Carl’s Jr. (their favorite!) for lunch today.

Cute kiddos at Carls Jr

It was a Carls Jr./Green Burrito combo restaurant, so I ordered a Grilled Chicken Taco Salad.  It was great, but sadly I didn’t take a picture.  It was a pretty healthy salad, but it did come in a big fried taco shell.  I only took a small bite of the shell and then threw the rest away.

Afterward, I dropped my older son off at kindergarten and then my baby and I went home and made his birthday cake.  He told me he wanted a “Rescue Bot” cake.

I though…..”ummmmmm, ya, how in the world am I going to make a Rescue Bot cake!??!”

Soooo, I took the easy way out and bought some cute Rescue Bot figurines at Target and put them on his cake!

Jacob's Rescue Bot Birthday Cake

He was thrilled and we had a lot of fun making and decorating his cake!  Oh and yes, my green frosting had issues.

Jakie with his Rescue Bot Birthday Cake

We’re getting ready to head out to a movie with the fam in a little bit.  My baby requested we go see “The Lego Movie” again, so I’m sure I’ll be singing “Everything is Awesome” all weekend long. ;-)

Joy.

Moving on…..I’ve still been enjoying a pretty healthy diet this week and I love it.  I’ve just been trying to eat real food and make really good food choices every time I eat.  I’ve really been trying to “think” before I eat and not just mindlessly snack.  It’s been great.

I’ve been having this for breakfast pretty much every day this week…

Eggs with veggies and protein pancake with strawberries

YUM!  1 egg + 2 egg whites scrambled with onions, peppers and spinach and topped with a little cheese and tomatoes.  I also had a Chocolate Protein Pancake on the side topped with a little natural peanut butter and strawberries.  I could have this every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it!

I really think the key to making healthy eating a lifestyle and not just a fad diet is to find great tasting, wonderful food that you LOVE and then just keep eating those foods!  Pretty simple, eh?

I’ve still been trying to have a big salad every day.  I made this yummy salad yesterday and I loved it!

Big salad and English Muffin

It consisted of spinach, romaine, apples, cucumbers, raisins, chicken, sliced almonds and Feta cheese.  I also had a whole grain English Muffin topped with honey on the side.  That English Muffin tasted just like a treat to me!

We had a crazy night on Monday, so I just picked up some Subway sandwiches for the kids and a Grilled Chicken Mango salad at Costa Vida for me.

Yummy mango chicken salad from Costa Vida

This salad was fabulous!

Oh, and I recently got an email from a local Costa Vida in Colorado asking if they could use one of my pictures on their Facebook page.

Costa Vida Facebook pic

Isn’t that funny?  I love Costa Vida!  They have incredible, fresh, real food that tastes awesome.  What’s not to love?

In fact, last night I made our own version of “Burrito Bowl” salads for dinner and they turned out so yummy!

My yummy Burrito Bowl for dinner

I made the BBQ pulled pork in the Crock pot, some Cilantro Lime rice in the Rice cooker and then we added black beans, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and Pico de Gallo.  Everything was so so good!

I will share all the recipes soon.  I’m sure this will be a regular staple in our home.

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

We got together with some friends last night to play some games and to celebrate our friend’s birthday.  We had a great time playing Dominion.

Playing games with friends

We also had lots of yummy junk food around…

Yummy treats with friends

My friend made those incredibly yummy, decadent Ghirardelli brownies and they looked SO dang awesome and gooey.  I really, really wanted one, but I stayed strong!

Woo hoo, right?

I was actually so glad I brought that Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop popcorn!  It is so so tasty and I know it saved me from all of the other yummy goodness.  Oh, and it’s only 37 calories per cup.  Awesome.

Oh, I also wanted to share my 20 weeks pregnant picture too!  I am officially half way done!  YAY!  Actually, I’m almost 21 weeks now.

Me 20 weeks pregnant

I really do not like being pregnant….like at all, but I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can because I know it will be my last time.  I’ve been feeling the baby move around and kick quite a bit and it is just so dang cool.  Feeling a baby moving around inside me is one of my favorite things about being pregnant.

Well, I gotta wrap this up because we’re heading out for a “birthday evening,” but I also wanted to share that I was recently interviewed by Deborah over at the Prayerful Mom.  She asked me all about how I stick with a healthy diet and exercise plan and still keep up with all the mom stuff.

If you guys are regular readers of my blog, y’all know I struggle with it all the time!  BUT, I strive to do my best always and learn from my experiences and failures.  It’s definitely a journey and not a destination.  Anyway, if you’re interested in reading the interview, here’s a link.

Well, I gotta run!  I hope you all have a fabulous night!

 

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Getting Back to Healthy Again

December 2, 2013 in Family Life, Nutrition

Well, we are back from our fun Thanksgiving trip to Oregon.  We had a wonderful time, but it’s always so nice to be home.

Last week was such a crazy week!  Kev and I went on our little overnighter on Tuesday and then we were out of town the rest of the week.

I pretty much lived “high on the hog” (no pun intended, but wait….I think that pun is very appropriately named, lol!) all week long!  Kev’s mom made homemade bread, french toast with that homemade bread, amazing whole wheat waffles (I need to share the recipe with you guys!) and the best pie (pumpkin, apple, cherry, pecan, etc.) in the world!

Everything was amazing.

I also made the HUGE mistake of buying a giant Costco bag of assorted CHOCOLATE candy for the trip!Big bag of Chocolate candy from CostcoYa.  Dangerous.

I thought it would save us money in the long run because the kids always want to buy treats every time we stop at the gas station.  Well, I’m not sure if it ended up saving us any money, but I know it DID NOT do my body any favors.  Yikes.

It pretty much went down like this….”okay kids, you can each have two small candy bars.”  (mom secretly eats 5-6 herself.)

**one hour later**….”okay kids, you can each have one more…isn’t your mom so nice?”  (mom secretly hooked herself up to the “Chocolate Costco IV bag” and has a constant stream of them entering her body.)

It was not good.  Note to self….DO NOT under any circumstances buy a ginormous bag of chocolate anything for any reason whatsoever.

When we arrived in Oregon, I tried to give all the candy away to anyone who would eat it in an effort to save myself from utter destruction.

Ya, I definitely ate WAY too much unhealthy food, didn’t drink nearly enough water and didn’t exercise at all.  It was actually really nice.

But, it’s amazing how roly poly I feel!  It’s also amazing how much damage can be done in just a few short days.

Soooo, I’ve been eating very clean today and I can already tell a difference.  Here are some of the things I ate today…

Breakfast….1 egg + 3 egg whites scrambled with green onions, peppers, spinach, ham and topped with a little shredded cheddar.  I also had half of an apple too.  Loved it.

Eggs scrabled with veggies and an apple on the side

For lunch, I made myself a big ol’ salad with some leftover pot roast I had in the freezer.

Big salad with roast beef on the side

After I made my salad, I set in on the counter next to my three year old.  He immediately scooted his chair over to my plate and said, “Ooooo, you’re eating all of my favorite foods!”

He ended up eating about half of my lunch and loved every bite…

My son eating my salad and roast beef for lunch

There were olives on my salad (you can’t really see them in the picture) and he pretty much loves anything with olives on it.

Later on, I made myself a very yummy protein shake.  It included 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 scoop chocolate Veggie protein powder, 1/3 of a frozen banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 2 big handfuls spinach, 1 tablespoon cocoa, a tablespoon of Stevia and a splash of almond extract.

It was amazing!  I’ll probably make this same shake every day this week.

Yummy fruity chocolate almond protein shake

Kev and I went to our fav Boot Camp class tonight and it just about killed me!  I hadn’t worked out in 6 days and it felt more like a month!  My body felt so heavy and sluggish.  We did some pushups and I thought, “how in the world did I ever do these before!??”

It was pretty pathetic.  BUT, I pushed myself hard and just about died.  One of my favorite instructors substituted the class and she is an animal.  She seriously gives a whole new meaning to the word “high impact.”

It’s really, really insane.

I snapped a quick pic of Kev and I after class ended….just before we puked and passed out, lol.

Kev and I after Boot Camp class

On the way home, I ate a Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Kind bar and it tasted like heaven.

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate KIND bar

I was recently sent a bunch of KIND bars and KIND Peanut Butter healthy grains clusters to try out and so far I have LOVED everything!

Package full of KIND bars and granola

I love KIND snacks because they’re full of good, quality ingredients and they taste like a treat!  Seriously, they taste just like yummy candy bars.

A whole bunch of KIND bars

They also have so many amazing flavors like Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew, Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio and Almond & Apricot.  Yuuummmm!

Seriously so good.   Seriously.

If you’re a fan of nuts and amazingly tasty things….you will love these!

Anyway, the Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate KIND bar was the perfect thing to eat after a tough workout.  When I got home, I quickly threw together some chicken, veggies and Pot Stickers and called it dinner.

Chicken, Veggies and Pot Stickers

It tasted so good to me.  I can tell my body is loving all this real, nutrient dense food!  I’m hoping to get out of the “heavy, sluggish, blah” slump soon.

Well, I need to head to bed soon, but before I do, I want to share a few fun pics we took while we were in Oregon.

Kev’s parents live right across the street from this huge field with a bunch of trees.  Kev said when he was little he LOVED raking up all the leaves and playing in them.

Sooooo, we all decided we would do just that.  Kev went over with the kids (and our niece) for a while and then I joined them a little later.  Oh, Jimmer (the dog) had an absolute ball playing in the leaves as well!

Kev and the kids playing in the leaves

Me and Jimmer the dog in the leaves

Kev and the kids playing in the leaves 2

It was a beautiful fall day and the perfect way to spend Thanksgiving weekend.

Me and the kids playing in the leaves

Well, it’s getting late so I gotta hit the hay!  Have a great night.

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What I Learned from My 100 Days Without Sugar Challenge

November 13, 2013 in Adventures, Deep Thoughts, Healthy Tips, Motivation, Nutrition

Well as y’all know, my “100 Days Without Sugar Challenge” ended last Friday.  It was a tough challenge, but I really loved it and am so glad I did it!

First off, just to recap….I started the challenge on August 1st and it ended November 8th.  The only “official rule” of the challenge was to not have ANY sugary treats like chocolate, cake, soda, cookies, muffins, candy, etc.

Yes, I still had foods that contained sugar.  I just didn’t have these kinds of foods (with the exception of the chips)…

Assorted Junk FoodSource

Yes, it was tough to avoid these foods for 100 days because they are so tasty!

BUT, even though they taste friggin’ awesome, they are seriously so so so bad for our bodies and are just as addicting as drugs and alcohol, IMO.

There was actually a recent study done that showed Oreos are more addicting than Cocaine.

I BELIEVE IT!

That’s why the majority of our country is unhealthy, overweight and probably miserable because of it.

Obviously, cocaine is far more detrimental to your health than Oreos, but it’s interesting to see how strong that addiction is.

Anyway, I’m definitely a lover of sugar.  I’m sure I’ll fight cravings and my sugar addiction my whole life.  But, that is WHY I did this challenge….to prove to myself that I am stronger than any temptation, craving or addiction out there.

I wanted to strengthen my willpower and take charge of my health.  Here’s what I learned…

Results

I lost a total of 6-7 pounds.  I am now back down to my normal low weight.  I wish I would have lost more, but I know why I didn’t.  I will talk about it more in a sec.

I also lost my muffin top, my clothes all fit great and I gained a little muscle too.

I took some “before” pictures, but I haven’t taken my “after” pictures yet.  I plan to do that soon.  They won’t be earth shatteringly amazing (It’s only 6ish pounds), but I’m hoping I’ll be able to see a difference.

What I Learned

I learned that eating a healthy diet (and sticking with it!) is 90% mental!  The other 10% is the physical aspect of not bringing crappy food into the house and then choosing to not put it into your mouth!

Seriously, I just made up my mind that I was NOT going to quit.  I can be pretty stubborn sometimes, so I just put on my “stubborn cap” and decided never to take it off.

If I found myself craving a sugary food, I quickly told myself, “STOP thinking about eating that food!”  “I AM NOT going to compromise my goals, so why am I even considering it?”

If I was in a place that had lots of sugary goodness around (and that happened often!), I didn’t even think about it.  I knew it wasn’t an option, so I didn’t give it a second thought.  I didn’t agonize or stew over it and I certainly didn’t think “poor me” or think of myself as deprived.

I thought of myself as strong, capable and determined.

Oh, and this was the first Halloween season in my life that I didn’t have a single piece of Halloween candy.

I was pretty happy ’bout that.

I also learned that it’s not too hard to resist yummy, sweet foods UNLESS I’m hungry!  When I’m full, I can resist crappy food all day long.  BUT, hunger is a POWERFUL force not to be messed with.  I knew I had to be extra diligent when I was hungry.

I tried to recognize when I was hungry so I could eat something healthy and calm the hunger demons.  I also had some “legal” sweet things that I allowed myself to eat.

The Sweet “Legal” Foods that Helped to Keep Me on the Wagon!

Throughout the challenge, I kept several sweet foods on hand that I would eat when a sugar craving hit or when I just needed something sweet.  Some of the foods were very healthy and some of them really weren’t.

All of the foods definitely saved my bacon.  Here are my favs….

Fruit Leathers!

Stretch Island Fruit Leather
These are so good (I buy them at Costco.)  They are 45 calories each and contain 100% fruit and no added sugar.  These were probably my #1 “go to” sweet snack.

Bananas with peanut/almond butter.

Banana with Maple Almond Butter

I LOVE bananas with peanut butter and could eat them every day!  This is also a great snack because it’s sweet, but it’s filling, nutritious and satisfying too!

Coconut Chia Seed Protein Balls

Chocolate-Coconut-Chia-Seed-Protein-Balls

These are made with all healthy ingredients, but they do have honey in them.  They are so good, but it’s really easy to overdose on them.  SO if I did eat them, I limited myself to two.  You can click here for the recipe.

Graham Crackers/Goldfish Grahams

Graham crackers and goldfish grahams

These were probably the “least healthy” snack I ate, but I decided at the beginning to make them “legal.”  I only had a few small rectangles or a small handful of the goldfish grahams at a time.  The serving size for the goldfish grahams is 35, but I would usually only have about 10-15.

Greek yogurt/Protein Pudding

Chobani Raspberry yogurt and Chocolate Protein Pudding

You have to be careful with yogurt because all yogurts are definitely not created equal!  I love Chobani and Fage brands because they use real and quality ingredients.  It’s best to use plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fruit, honey, etc, but I LOVE Chobani Raspberry.

I also LOVE protein pudding.  I use plain Fage yogurt in it and it’s wonderful.  You can click here for the recipe.

I had other snacks that I enjoyed as well, but these were definitely my most common.  I LOVE them all!

Why I Didn’t Lose More Weight

Mmmm Kay, I’ve told you guys that I’m a slow learner.  I figured out about 2 months into the process that I was eating entirely too much crap.  I ate healthily most of the time, but I definitely snacked and indulged too much (on non sugar foods) on the weekends.  I talked about it in this post if you’re interested.

I lost 2-3 pounds within the first few weeks of the challenge, but then my weight loss came to a complete halt.  That’s when I decided to take it up a huge notch and cut out all fried foods, white flour and most processed foods.  I lost another 2 pounds within a week and could actually see a difference in my body.

Sadly, I piddled out the last week of my challenge and went back to eating my normal “healthy, yet sometimes crappy” diet.

I know if I would’ve cut out the white flour, fried foods and most processed foods for the entire 100 days, I would have had AMAZING results!  That’s extremely hard to do though, dang it.

But, one thing I definitely learned from this challenge is you get out what you put into it.  When I busted my butt for a couple weeks, I definitely SAW and FELT the results.  But, when I slacked a little, my results slacked.  Go figure.

Did I Cheat At All?

Other than one small issue, I didn’t cheat at all!  I did have one bowl of Froot Loops, but I didn’t count it as a treat.  I decided not to make a habit of it though, and only had them one time.

I went to Chick Fil-A twice during the challenge.  If you dine in the restaurant, they come around and bring you dinner mints.  I ate the dinner mint both times (gasp!)

Soooo, other than those two small indiscretions, I only had one full blown issue.

Ya….during the LAST week of my challenge I had a lemon bar!  Dang it.  My daughter made lemon bars and I really wanted to try one.  I hadn’t had a lemon bar in years, so I decided to take one small nibble.  Well, that small nibble turned into several small nibbles and I probably ended up eating an entire bar.

Super lame.  My daughter said, “you better put that on your blog!”

So, I am.

Little stinker.

Yes, I was sad I faltered at the finish line, but I’m still very happy with how I did as a whole.  Ya know, that last week of the challenge was definitely my hardest!

Isn’t that weird?  It reminded me of running….if doesn’t matter if you’re running 5 miles or 25…that last mile is always the hardest.

Well, that’s my challenge in a nutshell.  I learned so much from it and I’ll probably do it again.  The main thing I learned from it is I can make my life what I WANT it to BE!

If I want to lose weight, I CAN!
If I want to tone up and gain some muscle, I CAN!
If I want to eat a healthy diet, I CAN!
If I want to stop eating sugar (or any other bad food), I CAN!

If just depends on how bad I want it.

I also learned to NOT give up!  Healthy living is a lifetime process, not a destination.  You just gotta keep on trudging along.

Well, I’ll be quiet now.  Here’s an awesome quote I’ll share with y’all…

Stop Giving Up quote

Have a great night!  Love you all.  xoxo

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