Weight Loss (Woo Hoo!) and a Fun Halloween Weekend!

November 4, 2014 in Adventures, Family Life, Holidays, Low Carb, Weight Loss

Happy Monday everyone!  Today is also November 3rd, which is the 3 week mark on my little low-carb diet challenge.  From the beginning, I told myself that on November 3rd, I would analyze things and see if I wanted to continue or change things up a bit.

First off, I’m happy to say that I did a VERY awesome job adhering to the goals I made for myself.  Woo hoo!  I really stuck to my guns and am SO happy I did.  I ate SO MANY veggies and I loved it!  I ate them with almost every meal and I didn’t have to throw out ANY produce the entire time!!  That’s pretty amazing ’round here, folks.  It seems like there’s usually  some form of wilted/dying/rotting produce in my fridge at all times, lol.

I also feel really good!  My appetite is very much under control, my body feels very clean and functional (I know that sounds weird), and my skin looks more clear and smooth than it has in a long time!

I have to admit, I did poach some Halloween candy from my little kid’s buckets on Halloween night though. ;-)  That was really the only indulgence I had.  I probably had 4-5 small candy bars.  Not good, but HOLY COW, I know I would’ve eaten so much more if I didn’t have my goals.

Anyway, here are the results from my 3 week low-carb adventure:

  • I lost 7-8 pounds.
  • I actually feel thinner.  3 weeks ago I felt very, very chubby.  I certainly don’t feel “thin” right now, but I don’t feel mega chubby anymore either.  I’m so happy ’bout that.
  • I’ve been able to add a couple more pairs of jeans to my wardrobe!  They don’t fit beautifully, but they technically FIT!
  • I’ve had a couple people give me some nice weight loss compliments lately and that always makes me happy!

Here’s a “before” and “after” picture, taken about 3 weeks apart…

3 Week low carb comparison

The picture on the left was taken the day before I started my challenge.  It’s a very scary picture and I don’t think the angle is doing me any favors, but I felt like a GIANT chubb that day.

The picture on the right was taken on Halloween.  I still have a LONG way to go, but I think I can tell a difference in my face and overall body.

I have about 15 pounds to lose until I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight.

Oh, and FYI I’m usually a loose size 6 and can sometimes fit into a size 4 (which is probably technically a size 6, but the store marked it as a size 4 so that people like me would buy it and feel happy about fitting into a smaller size!)

Pretty good sales tactic if you ask me.  Hee hee.

Anyway, I’m probably a tight size 8 right now.  The jeans I have on in that picture above are a size 10.  My sister bought them after she had her last baby and then she gave them to me.  I wore them with this pregnancy and with my last pregnancy as I gained and then lost weight.

Those size 10 jeans were SO TIGHT on me about a month ago.  I could barely zip them up!  When I wore them on Halloween, they were so baggy!  I could almost take them off without undoing the button.

Awesome, Possum.

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

Soooooo, with all that being said, I decided to make today a “squishy day.”  What I mean by that is that I indulged a little here and there throughout the day.  I didn’t take a full-out cheat day, but I snitched a little bit of Halloween candy and then I made cookies with the kids tonight.

It was so fun and I don’t regret it one bit!

We had a fun family night.  Kev played “Clue” with some of the kiddos….

Kev and the kids playing Clue

And I made cookies for everyone.  My oldest son wanted to “help” me make the cookies, which I thought was very cute.  This is really not a good picture of ANYONE, except maybe the baby, but no one wanted to stop and pose.

Me and the kids with cookies

The kids were THRILLED that I made cookies.  Chocolate Chip Cookies are the favorite treat in our house and my kids have definitely missed them.  We have had ZERO treats in our house the past few weeks and my older kids kept reminding me how deprived they were.

Cry me a river…..lol.

It was a really fun night and I loved my “squishy day.”  I actually think “cheat days” and “cheat meals” are healthy for the psyche.  After I’ve had a few treats and indulged a little bit, I usually feel motivated and anxious to get back to work!  It’s kind of like taking a vacation….it’s always so so nice to take a break and get some R&R, but it’s also nice to come back home and get back to organization and structure again too.

Make sense?

Soooo, starting tomorrow, I’m going right back to my low-carb diet stuff, but I’m going to add in fruit and sweet potatoes.  YAY!  I’ll probably only have 2, maybe 3 servings of fruit/sweet potatoes a day though.  It’s good to spread the sugary/carby stuff out throughout the day so the blood sugar stays stable.

I’m planning on sticking with that diet until Thanksgiving, which is 3 1/2 weeks away.  Between Thanksgiving and New Years, I’m going to loosen up a bit and enjoy the holidays and then I’ll hit it hard again after the New Year!

Sounds like a plan.

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

We had a very fun Halloween weekend and I loved that it fell on a Friday.  I know there are a bunch of “Halloween Haters” out there and I really don’t get it!??!  Halloween is such a fun holiday!  Yes, it’s weird, warped, totally strange and a little psychotic, but I LOVE IT!

It makes me feel just like a kid again.  I’m so happy I have so many kids so I can “live it up” vicariously through them!  I’m not a big fan of the bloody, gory, evil stuff though.  I do love the scary aspect, just as long as it’s not too over-the-top.

I’m also a DIE HARD trick-or-treater!  We usually just leave a bowl of candy out on our porch and then make trick-or-treating a family affair!  We head out just as it’s getting dark and then keep on going until we can’t go anymore.  We’re usually out for about 2 hours and I love every single minute.

My two teenagers didn’t come with us though.  Sniff, sniff.

The weather was so so perfect too!  We really didn’t even need a jacket.  I love our neighborhood so much!  We saw so many friends along the way and stopped and chatted for a bit.  It was a great night.

I snapped this pic of the kiddos just before we left…

The kiddos on Halloween 2

My baby was a cute puppy dog and we also had a grim reaper dude, a green ninja (he was the green ninja last year, but wanted to be it again!  yay!), a cute “super dog” and a golden ninja.

I laughed so hard when I saw this picture because it looks like Jimmer (the dog) is smiling!

The kiddos on Halloween

Cute, cute kidlets.

Oh, and my two ninja kid’s costumes are from the show Ninjago.  One of the mottos on Ninjago is “Ninja never quit!”  Sooooo, when my poor kids started to get tired of Trick-or-Treating, I would remind them “Ninja never quit!”

Ya, I’m so mean.  Thankfully, we brought the double stroller so they could get a break from time to time.  At the end of the night, Kev just held the baby and we let the other kiddos (and dog!) ride in the stroller!

Coming home from Trick Or Treating

It worked out perfectly.  Oh, and even though I’m a HUGE lover of health and fitness, I don’t really mind all of the Halloween candy too much.

It seems like the kids only really eat a lot of candy for a day or two and then they get sick of it.  Some years, I offer to buy it from them and then I just throw it away.

I’m not too concerned about it though.  Halloween is such an EPIC childhood memory and I really want them to enjoy it.  They really don’t have candy too often throughout the rest of the year anyway.

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

We also went out to dinner with some fun friends on Saturday night.  We went to HuHot Mongolian Grill and it was delicious!

I loaded up my plate with lots of veggies, some meat and a few Pad Thai noodles.  It was phenomenal!

My food from HuHot

It was a little bit spendy ($12.99 a person), but it was nice to have a “real,” fresh meal.  It was “all you can eat” too.

I also loved spending time with some of our favorite friends!

HuHot Mongolian Grill with friends

It was a great night and a great weekend!

I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend and a wonderful Halloween as well! xoxo

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Weight Loss (Woo Hoo!) and a Fun Halloween Weekend!

November 4, 2014 in Adventures, Family Life, Holidays, Low Carb, Weight Loss

Happy Monday everyone!  Today is also November 3rd, which is the 3 week mark on my little low-carb diet challenge.  From the beginning, I told myself that on November 3rd, I would analyze things and see if I wanted to continue or change things up a bit.

First off, I’m happy to say that I did a VERY awesome job adhering to the goals I made for myself.  Woo hoo!  I really stuck to my guns and am SO happy I did.  I ate SO MANY veggies and I loved it!  I ate them with almost every meal and I didn’t have to throw out ANY produce the entire time!!  That’s pretty amazing ’round here, folks.  It seems like there’s usually  some form of wilted/dying/rotting produce in my fridge at all times, lol.

I also feel really good!  My appetite is very much under control, my body feels very clean and functional (I know that sounds weird), and my skin looks more clear and smooth than it has in a long time!

I have to admit, I did poach some Halloween candy from my little kid’s buckets on Halloween night though. ;-)  That was really the only indulgence I had.  I probably had 4-5 small candy bars.  Not good, but HOLY COW, I know I would’ve eaten so much more if I didn’t have my goals.

Anyway, here are the results from my 3 week low-carb adventure:

  • I lost 7-8 pounds.
  • I actually feel thinner.  3 weeks ago I felt very, very chubby.  I certainly don’t feel “thin” right now, but I don’t feel mega chubby anymore either.  I’m so happy ’bout that.
  • I’ve been able to add a couple more pairs of jeans to my wardrobe!  They don’t fit beautifully, but they technically FIT!
  • I’ve had a couple people give me some nice weight loss compliments lately and that always makes me happy!

Here’s a “before” and “after” picture, taken about 3 weeks apart…

3 Week low carb comparison

The picture on the left was taken the day before I started my challenge.  It’s a very scary picture and I don’t think the angle is doing me any favors, but I felt like a GIANT chubb that day.

The picture on the right was taken on Halloween.  I still have a LONG way to go, but I think I can tell a difference in my face and overall body.

I have about 15 pounds to lose until I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight.

Oh, and FYI I’m usually a loose size 6 and can sometimes fit into a size 4 (which is probably technically a size 6, but the store marked it as a size 4 so that people like me would buy it and feel happy about fitting into a smaller size!)

Pretty good sales tactic if you ask me.  Hee hee.

Anyway, I’m probably a tight size 8 right now.  The jeans I have on in that picture above are a size 10.  My sister bought them after she had her last baby and then she gave them to me.  I wore them with this pregnancy and with my last pregnancy as I gained and then lost weight.

Those size 10 jeans were SO TIGHT on me about a month ago.  I could barely zip them up!  When I wore them on Halloween, they were so baggy!  I could almost take them off without undoing the button.

Awesome, Possum.

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

Soooooo, with all that being said, I decided to make today a “squishy day.”  What I mean by that is that I indulged a little here and there throughout the day.  I didn’t take a full-out cheat day, but I snitched a little bit of Halloween candy and then I made cookies with the kids tonight.

It was so fun and I don’t regret it one bit!

We had a fun family night.  Kev played “Clue” with some of the kiddos….

Kev and the kids playing Clue

And I made cookies for everyone.  My oldest son wanted to “help” me make the cookies, which I thought was very cute.  This is really not a good picture of ANYONE, except maybe the baby, but no one wanted to stop and pose.

Me and the kids with cookies

The kids were THRILLED that I made cookies.  Chocolate Chip Cookies are the favorite treat in our house and my kids have definitely missed them.  We have had ZERO treats in our house the past few weeks and my older kids kept reminding me how deprived they were.

Cry me a river…..lol.

It was a really fun night and I loved my “squishy day.”  I actually think “cheat days” and “cheat meals” are healthy for the psyche.  After I’ve had a few treats and indulged a little bit, I usually feel motivated and anxious to get back to work!  It’s kind of like taking a vacation….it’s always so so nice to take a break and get some R&R, but it’s also nice to come back home and get back to organization and structure again too.

Make sense?

Soooo, starting tomorrow, I’m going right back to my low-carb diet stuff, but I’m going to add in fruit and sweet potatoes.  YAY!  I’ll probably only have 2, maybe 3 servings of fruit/sweet potatoes a day though.  It’s good to spread the sugary/carby stuff out throughout the day so the blood sugar stays stable.

I’m planning on sticking with that diet until Thanksgiving, which is 3 1/2 weeks away.  Between Thanksgiving and New Years, I’m going to loosen up a bit and enjoy the holidays and then I’ll hit it hard again after the New Year!

Sounds like a plan.

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

We had a very fun Halloween weekend and I loved that it fell on a Friday.  I know there are a bunch of “Halloween Haters” out there and I really don’t get it!??!  Halloween is such a fun holiday!  Yes, it’s weird, warped, totally strange and a little psychotic, but I LOVE IT!

It makes me feel just like a kid again.  I’m so happy I have so many kids so I can “live it up” vicariously through them!  I’m not a big fan of the bloody, gory, evil stuff though.  I do love the scary aspect, just as long as it’s not too over-the-top.

I’m also a DIE HARD trick-or-treater!  We usually just leave a bowl of candy out on our porch and then make trick-or-treating a family affair!  We head out just as it’s getting dark and then keep on going until we can’t go anymore.  We’re usually out for about 2 hours and I love every single minute.

My two teenagers didn’t come with us though.  Sniff, sniff.

The weather was so so perfect too!  We really didn’t even need a jacket.  I love our neighborhood so much!  We saw so many friends along the way and stopped and chatted for a bit.  It was a great night.

I snapped this pic of the kiddos just before we left…

The kiddos on Halloween 2

My baby was a cute puppy dog and we also had a grim reaper dude, a green ninja (he was the green ninja last year, but wanted to be it again!  yay!), a cute “super dog” and a golden ninja.

I laughed so hard when I saw this picture because it looks like Jimmer (the dog) is smiling!

The kiddos on Halloween

Cute, cute kidlets.

Oh, and my two ninja kid’s costumes are from the show Ninjago.  One of the mottos on Ninjago is “Ninja never quit!”  Sooooo, when my poor kids started to get tired of Trick-or-Treating, I would remind them “Ninja never quit!”

Ya, I’m so mean.  Thankfully, we brought the double stroller so they could get a break from time to time.  At the end of the night, Kev just held the baby and we let the other kiddos (and dog!) ride in the stroller!

Coming home from Trick Or Treating

It worked out perfectly.  Oh, and even though I’m a HUGE lover of health and fitness, I don’t really mind all of the Halloween candy too much.

It seems like the kids only really eat a lot of candy for a day or two and then they get sick of it.  Some years, I offer to buy it from them and then I just throw it away.

I’m not too concerned about it though.  Halloween is such an EPIC childhood memory and I really want them to enjoy it.  They really don’t have candy too often throughout the rest of the year anyway.

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

We also went out to dinner with some fun friends on Saturday night.  We went to HuHot Mongolian Grill and it was delicious!

I loaded up my plate with lots of veggies, some meat and a few Pad Thai noodles.  It was phenomenal!

My food from HuHot

It was a little bit spendy ($12.99 a person), but it was nice to have a “real,” fresh meal.  It was “all you can eat” too.

I also loved spending time with some of our favorite friends!

HuHot Mongolian Grill with friends

It was a great night and a great weekend!

I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend and a wonderful Halloween as well! xoxo

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I Love Jack LaLanne!

October 25, 2011 in Exercise, Nutrition, Recipe

Hey everyone!!
Just thought I would write a quick post and tell you all that I love Jack LaLanne.

What a cool dude.

I think most people have heard of him, but in case you don’t know who he is, here’s a few little tidbits about him:

  • Some people call him “The Godfather of Fitness”
  • He was born in 1914 and just died in January of this year (age 96!)
  • He opened the first official Health and Fitness club in the nation in 1936.
  • He designed a lot of the first weight machines.
  • He had an exercise TV show for a bunch of years (my mom said she exercised along with his show!)
  • He was a wonderful example of health and fitness!  He exercised for 2 hours every morning (1 1/2 hour of weights and a 1/2 hour swim) most of his life…even into his 90s!
  • He ate healthy, real, whole foods most of his life!
  • He taught people how to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.
  • A lot of the “ideas” he had “way back when” seemed crazy to most people!  Doctors told him the kind of exercise he was encouraging people to do would give people heart attacks!
  • He was always a very optimistic and happy person who loved life and lived it to the fullest!
  • He was is a Rock Star!

I love him.

I recently checked his newest book out at the library; Live Young Forever.

What an inspiring book.
There are also a bunch of You Tube videos of him floating around out there.

Click here if you want to watch one of my favs…

He was so wise way before anyone else ever caught on….

I love him.

So inspiring.

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

K, moving on….

Last weekend, we took the kids hiking at one of my new favorite spots.

We went up Bells Canyon, which is just off of Wasatch Blvd. in Sandy, UT.

It’s a beautiful hike and not too far from our home.

The hike we went on is not too long, only about a mile or so; however, it is wicked steep and a killer workout.

I want to go up there with Kev sometime and run it.

That would be awesome.

FYI, there are a bunch of different hiking trails up there.

This one’s my favorite though…it includes a bridge over rushing waters, beautiful views of the Salt Lake Valley and canyon, and a gorgeous reservoir.

Love it.

I’ve heard there are some waterfalls up there too, but we haven’t had a chance to check them out yet.

Anyway, here are some pics…

 Very fun.

******************
I thought I would also share a fun recipe.  It’s for a Coconut Chocolate bar.  What’s not to love!?

I found it at www.genaw.com.

It’s a great site, full of lots of awesome low-carb recipes.

Coconut Chocolate Bar

1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder
2 tablespoons cocoa
3-4 teaspoons powdered Truvia
Pinch salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut

TIP:  I tried this with Truvia and Splenda and it was good with both.  However, you have to “powder” the sweetener before you use it or else it will be grainy.  I found the easiest way to “powder” it is to run it (1 C. sweetener + 1 tsp. cornstarch) through my Magic Bullet….

I’ve used my regular blender for this too and it works just fine, it’s just a little messier.

In a small microwaveable bowl, mix all of the ingredients except the vanilla and coconut.

Microwave on HIGH about 1 minute.

Stop as soon as it starts to bubble.

Stir in the vanilla and coconut.

Pour into a foil-lined bread pan and freeze until firm.

Cut into about 20 pieces. Keep refrigerated or frozen.

It doesn’t taste just like regular awesome chocolate, but it is good!
I must mention that I think things taste especially good when I’m carb-deprived though.

It is especially good if you dip it in a little peanut butter first!  Seriously, yum.

Enjoy!!!

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I’m ALIVE!

October 18, 2011 in Nutrition, Recipe

Yes, I’m alive!!!

…And still goin’ strong!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT????

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

I have been on this Low-Carb thingy for 6 ½ weeks!  Only a week and ½ to go!  Wahoo!

When I first started this diet, 8….weeks….seemed….like….forever!  But, it really has gone fast.  I’m ready for it to be over though.  I’ve been pretty diligent, but I have “cheated” just a little bit here and there.

…but I don’t feel guilty!

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

For the first 5 ½ weeks of this diet, I officially give myself an A-.

Yay.

But, for the past week, I give myself a B-.

Lame.

For the first 5 ½ weeks, I only had a “little” cheat once a week.  Like, when I made dinner for a friend who just had a baby.  I made her brownies for dessert….well….I had to try a little crumb….and then a bigger crumb….it probably ended up being the equivalent of a small brownie.  But, it tasted so freakin’ good.  It was worth every bite!

The next weekend, I was at my mom’s house and my sister came over with chocolate chip cookies and brownies (holy COW!)  I tasted just a little bit of both.  And, I didn’t feel guilty.

So, I kind of went like that for the first 5 ½ weeks.  I ate pretty much “to the letter” and then had a small indulgence on the weekend.

But, this past weekend was terrible!  I didn’t fall completely off the wagon, but I just kind of chugged along.

Kev and I went to Sizzler for dinner on Friday.  I got the 6 oz. sirloin steak with broccoli on the side.  It also came with their yummy salad bar.  I did great and just got a small salad with all “legal” toppings.  But, after my meal was done, I indulged on a small portion of their Oreo pudding.  It was yummmmy, but probably not worth it!

Well, the NEXT night, we took the kids to Chuck-a-Rama for dinner.  I ate all legal things, but then ended with a sugar-free cookie, some sugar-free pudding and a piece of cinnamon pull-apart!  What the???

Then…(yes, more!)…we took a quick trip down to Cedar City (3 1/2 hour drive) on Sunday to visit Kev’s brother’s family.  They served marshmallow brownies and cake and ice cream at their house.  Freak!  It looked so good….but I didn’t have ANY!  Yay! 

However, when we left to go home, they sent us with all these YUMMY treats that were leftover from a bake sale they had….sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, caramel apples, caramel corn mix, etc.  I was dying!  All my FAVORITE THINGS!

I had one tiny bite of a chocolate cookie and then a little bit of the caramel corn mix.  I also had a few Skittles that I had in the car to keep the kiddos good for the drive!  Crazy!  I didn’t eat a TON of anything, but I just kept tasting things all weekend long! 

So, there are my confessions.

The one thing I WAS happy about though was that I didn’t give up.  I didn’t feel defeated.  I jumped right back on the wagon and went on eating all my yummy low-carb fare.

I think that is the kind of lifestyle I want to live forever.  Eat healthy most of the time, but have a few indulgences here and there.

Oh, FYI, I’ve lost about 8 pounds on this little endeavor.  Not as much as I hoped, but progress nonetheless.  I’m gonna keep pluggin’ along until I reach my ideal weight (whatever it may be!).

I’ll let you know when I get there.

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

So, a few weeks ago, I was feeling bugged that I hadn’t lost more weight.  I analyzed my diet and tried to see what I could improve on.  I realized I was having too many of these….

Peanut-Butter-Cookies-all-done

Yes, these Peanut Butter Cookies are the bomb.  Yes, they are low-carb and “legal’, but no, they are not LOW-CALORIE!

I think I was enjoying these a little too much.
So, I decided to replace my “legal” sweet indulgences with this…

Sugar Free Jello Whipped Topping

Sugar-free jello.  Yum!  0 carbs and 10 calories per serving.  You can’t beat that!  topped it off with my some fresh whipped cream.  Yummo.

Another diet tweak I adopted was this…

Turkey Hot Dogs

Yes, “mystery meat” Turkey hotdogs.  I know they are not the epitome of health, but they fit the bill.

Sometimes for lunch, I like to slice hotdogs up, fry them in a frying pan and enjoy them with mustard.

Fried Turkey Dogs

Fried Turkey Dogs with Mustard

Looks gross, I know.  But they are yummy, low calorie and very filling.

They are rather good.  I’m sure there are higher quality “turkey dogs” out there, but these are only 70 calories and 5 grams of fat.  Not bad.  Not exactly “healthy”, I know.  But, when you’re eating low-carb you have to be creative.

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

Well, because I haven’t posted for a while, I have SO MUCH to put on here!  I don’t want this to be a novel, so I will just post a yummy recipe we had for dinner the other night….

K???

K…

We had Chicken Cordon Bleu.  One of my favs!

Here’s my recipe…

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts; trimmed, cut thin, and tenderized
  • Ham; cut in thin slices
  • Swiss Cheese; cut in thin slices
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Parsley
  • Canola or Olive Oil
  • Breadcrumbs or crushed almonds

I set up a little assembly line…Chicken, Ham, cheese, spices, olive oil, and “breading”

Chicken Cordon Bleu Assembly Line

Take a piece of chicken, top it with ham, cheese and then all the spices.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Roll it up and secure it with a toothpick…

Rolling Chicken Cordon Bleu

Brush it with a little oil…

Brushing Chicken Cordon Bleu with oil

Then roll it in breadcrumbs or crushed almonds…

Rolling Chicken Cordon Bleu in Breadcrumbs

Place in a greased (with Pam) baking dish and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or so.
I always check the biggest one to make sure it’s cooked completely through.

precooked Chicken Cordon Bleu

Way yummy.
We served it with Cauliflower Potatoes and fresh veggies with guacamole.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Cauliflower and Veggies

Well, ’till next time!  Hang in there!

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