Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Day of Food: What I Honestly Ate

I've written before about the fact that I apply the 80/20 principal to my diet. That means when I go out to eat I sometimes get dessert. Or have cheese fries. I'm extremely flexible with what I eat and don't count my calories but I do everything within moderation. I eat some cheese fries- not all of the cheese fries. ;) Your success really starts with what you allow into your home- I rarely buy much junk food, but yes of course I like to have one or two things "for the kids." I make sure those things aren't overly tempting for me. You know what things generally tempt you the most to over-eat. I set myself up for success by preparing healthy things ahead of time (also see food prep weeks one and two) and getting in plenty of protein and healthy fats so I stay full and never feel hungry. If I feel myself getting out of control with the unhealthy food or eating out, I scale back and concentrate on making better choices.

One other thing that helps me stay on track is never participating in any weird diets- I just eat as many whole, home made meals and snacks as I'm able to prepare. I say this as someone who has weighed 160 pounds and also as someone who has weighed 110 pounds. I don't weigh either of those numbers now and I rarely if ever weigh myself but I assume I'm somewhere in between, which is where I should be. I don't follow strict diet programs or take pills or pre-made shakes or supplements or anything like that. I love all of you women but pleeease don't follow me on Instagram to try to sell me those belly wraps to make me skinny. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look your best but with any amount of diet or exercise you might never get what you believe is the 'ideal' body. I believe- and research says- a balanced real food diet along with plenty of exercise and adequate sleep is really what you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. It's feeling good that makes you function at your best- functioning at your best allows you do to the things that make you happy and being happy and healthy is what makes you beautiful. So... here's a day in the life- what I honestly ate!

4:30 AM: Alarm goes off, head to gym to workout from 5-6 AM.

6:30 AM: Come home, have a whole milk latte- make with a 1/2 cup of milk. I have this every morning. Yes I add 2 tsp. of sugar.

8:00 AM: I wait usually an hour after my coffee to eat breakfast. This morning I worked out pretty hard so I had two over medium eggs, a piece of whole wheat high fiber toast with a little butter, and two pieces of turkey bacon. I drank this with a glass of orange juice (watered down half juice/half water).

10 AM: I had some roasted nuts (1/2 cup) as a mid-morning snack, and drank a glass of seltzer with lemon/lime cut up. 

12:00 Lunch: I had home made chicken noodle soup with a salad on the side. I almost always have soup and salad for lunch. 

2:00 PM: Normally a few hours after lunch I get hungry. Sometimes I have a piece of chocolate, some days I have peanuts or even yogurt with fruit and granola if I'm more hungry. Today I had chips and salsa.

6 PM: Dinnertime! Everyone in our house rarely eats the same thing for dinner. Since I prep everything ahead of time, that's actually fine with me. Its no extra work. I think the kids should be able to eat what they are in the mood for, as long as it isn't inconveniencing anyone and is balanced. I know I prefer to eat what I am in the mood for! On this night I had fajita chicken with quinoa, mushrooms, and green peppers. Often my kids will eat something more basic, like chicken or some sort of meat with cut up raw vegetables and a little sour cream plus some sort of cut up fresh fruit.

8 PM: I might have a glass of wine and some popcorn, or something else small before bed. I never follow the rule of not eating anything before bed, but I do try to limit how much I eat during night time. On this night I didn't eat anything but I drank seltzer water. I'm definitely addicted to seltzer with ice and lemon/lime. It helps curb cravings for sugar and keeps you hydrated. Win/win!

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Week of Workouts: seven days, what I did.

I've been sharing more on the health and fitness topic recently, just because that's what I've been inspired to write about. I promise the kids and I have been having plenty of fun baking and making crafts. We start our home-school co-op this week so I've been busy preparing for that as well- I'm teaching the pre-school class on the five senses this semester. Lots of fun and messy times ahead :)

For today, I'm sharing all of my workouts over the course of a week. Here's exactly what I did! Remember, variety is the BEST! 

Day 1: Today we were snowed in! Typically on Sunday nights I play co-ed indoor soccer which is great cardio- 50 minutes of pretty intense workout. Last week the team that played after us needed a player so I stayed for an extra game. Since I'm not going to get out on the field tonight I decided to pull out the yoga mat and get some exercise with the little girls before breakfast. We did the 'hot abs' Day 1 by Betty Rocker. Betty is amazing- she puts out awesome meal plans and work out plans for people that need (or like to) work out at home! I followed that up with a half hour of the Tracy Anderson Method. I've always liked dancing and this is a fun way to get some cardio in. Here is a good beginner video if you're interested. Takes a half hour and goes over some of her most basic steps. I finished up with 50 sit-ups, a few 60-second planks and then rolled up the yoga mat! A pretty light day but it felt good to get moving after being snowed in for two days.

Day Two: Crossfit this morning at 10 AM since it was another snow day for Andrew. We warmed up and then did a front squat progression- 5 reps at 65,85,105,115, and then 135. Then came an "invigorating" round of 30 power Snatch, 30 power Clean and Jerk, and 30 Thrusters all at 55 lbs. Finished in 11:58 and my legs were pretty much finished afterwards...which is how I like it!

Day Three: 5am WOD (Workout of the Day) at the box! Today we warmed up and then did a progression from 3x5 Strict Press (55) lb, 3x3 Push Press (95 lb), to 3x1 Split Jerk (105 lb). After that I did three rounds of 12 dead-lifts, 24 toes to the bar, and 36 wall balls. Finished in 12:48 seconds. An exhausting morning, so in between cooking and school bus runs and loads of laundry I made sure to catch a nap before playing soccer at 9 pm. I'll be taking the morning off from Crossfit tomorrow! To accommodate a late night Tuesday I always let myself rest Wednesday mornings.

Day Four: Rest Day! Mentally I don't like rest days because I'd love to work out every morning, but sometimes I know my body needs it. After two hard work outs yesterday my legs were pretty much exhausted so a rest day was just what I needed.

Day Five: 5 AM WOD again today. Warm ups followed by a Clean progression- 3x3 High Hang Clean at 65 lbs; 3x2 Hang Clean at 95 lb; 3X1 Clean at 105 lbs. After that we did a 20 minute mix of pull ups, push press, sit ups and deadlifts. 

Day Six: Another 5 AM WOD, warm up and then bench press. Bench press is definitely my weakest lift (by far) so it's good to get some work in on it even though I really hate it. I did five sets of five, at 55, 65, 75 and failed at 85 lbs. Then I did two rounds of 30 weighted squats (35 lb), 40 knees to elbows, and 100 single jump ropes. (Took ten minutes) Finished up the morning with 50 burpees, completed in 4 minutes and 53 seconds. Whew!!!

Day Seven: Rest Day! Feeling pretty tired from some hard exercise this week but I'l be back on it tomorrow night for soccer.

These pictures below are before and after I started to exercise. In the first picture I'm 18 months post-baby and in the second I'm a little over two years post-baby. I had my diet under control for the most part but wasn't doing any exercise. In the second picture I'm doing 5 days per week of moderate cardio and weight training, consistently for six months. I share this to show that diet is important, but working out is definitely the other piece to the puzzle! I don't use "belly wraps" or buy pyramid scheme videos, or take supplements or expensive shakes or anything else crazy. I just eat the best I can, enjoy ice cream once in a while, and work really hard on accomplishing my goals!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Meal Prepping Week Two!

In a previous post I wrote about how I prep our food for convenience and also for health, and I want to talk more about that now. Things have been going really well using this system. Typically I shop on Monday mornings and that afternoon during nap time prep all of the food. Again- I'm not working a 9-5 job right now, but maybe a few hours on the weekend could be your "day" if you do work in an office.
Andrew's goal over the last six months was to gain some weight in muscle- he's definitely accomplished that- up twenty pounds from last winter. I've maintained my weight from last winter, but my body is completely different. I look longer and leaner and although I don't calculate my BMI I'm confident it's much lower. I attribute meal planning and consistent intense exercise to our changes. Here's another week of meals to give you some ideas of how we do it. Andrew's trying to eat about 220 grams of protein per day to sustain the work he does in the gym, while I'm happy (and feel good) with 80 grams :)

Just like last time I'll explain things from the top to the bottom of the fridge:

-The box of wine. Shameful as it is, there's pretty much always one in there. I'm not an every day wine drinker (or a wine snob) so it just makes sense, plus Andrew doesn't drink wine.

-Meal 1: Meatloaf with Cauliflower, Carrots and Zucchini: I used a pound of 93/7 lean ground beef, two eggs, and basically just dumped a bunch of seasoning in there- hot sauce, Parmesan cheese, basil and a little ketchup because... it's meatloaf ;) For the vegetables I roasted everyone chopped small on a big pan lined with foil and olive oil- seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper. I add red pepper flakes to everything so those are in there too.

 -Meal 2: Fajita Chicken with Grains, Beans, and Vegetables: I used chicken tenderloins because they are the easiest for me and there's very little waste. I use some kitchen shears to chop them up into small pieces and saute with a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. While they're cooking I season them with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. For the grains I cook one part grains (I used wild rice, quinoa, and Bulgar for this particular mix) to two parts chicken broth in my rice cooker. I made a huge amount because I use it for another meal as well. Oh- and I roasted some peppers and mushrooms and added beans at the end.

-Cauliflower Soup: I usually like to make a big batch of soup at the beginning of the week. I typically have soup and salad for lunch when I'm home. This week I sauteed some onions, carrots, garlic and celery in olive oil. I added two cup of chopped cauliflower and a quart of chicken broth. Simmer for twenty minutes until the cauliflower is tender, then add a cup of milk with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed in. Simmer and additional fifteen minutes and add salt/pepper to taste.

-Meal 4: Tofu with Grains and Vegetables: I use those wonderful frozen Asian vegetables from Aldi for this meal. Heat those up and add to your containers with a scoop of grains. Afterward in a pan coated with olive oil, I chopped extra firm tofu and sauteed it with ginger and soy sauce. I sprinkled a tablespoon of chia seeds on top for an extra boost of protein. 

-Meal 5: Sausage and Peppers: I chop the sausage small and saute with garlic and olive oil in a hot pan. I throw the peppers in about halfway through. 

-Meal 6 Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash: I made some BIG meatballs and baked them with some mozzarella cheese in the middle. Then I roasted a spaghetti squash cut in half and laid face down on a pan at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. When it's done just use a fork to scoop out the inside! Looks like spaghetti and for those of us who get bloated from pasta it's a real life saver. I poured some organic spaghetti sauce over top and added some Parmesan cheese.

Meal 3: Pork with Asparagus and Red Potatoes: This one is the easiest meal yet! Put everything on one large pan and bake at 375 degrees until the pork tenderloin is cooked through- about an hour. I bought an already seasoned pork loin and seasoned everything else with salt, pepper, and a little balsamic vinegar.

-Chopped Fruit: This is easy smart to prepare in advance and I like to put it at face level so I don't forget about it in the crisper drawer. Mid-afternoon snack for the girls and I might be strawberries and pineapples. Or I can throw them in smoothies with a little yogurt and spinach! I put individual servings in bags for Isaiah to take to school. Same with veggies!

-Prepped Vegetables: Ahh. The vegetable drawer. Basically I choose about three types of raw vegetables to have available for the week. This week it's celery, baby carrots, and cucumbers. I slice them and put half in a huge salad that will last the week and half in baggies for Andrew and Isaiah to take to school. Most of the battle with eating fruit and vegetables- in my opinion- is preparing them. If they're cut and available and you have a healthy dip to eat them with, you'll be far more likely to make the right choice! I speak from experience.

When you're all done fridge stocked and the kitchen cleaned, you've definitely earned a seat on the couch :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

Since Happy Goats Soap Co. has taken off, I've realized something's gotta give. Doing special projects with the kids shouldn't be one of those things, but elaborate recipes that require all afternoon? Those can go. So this year we made our cut-out cookies out of a bag! That's right, it's the Aldi's special folks. And guess what? They were great! No complaints from anyone under this roof and we had more time to spend together making the house extra cozy for Christmas.

 For the icing on these cookies I mixed a tablespoon of corn syrup with a half cup of powdered sugar and enough milk to make it just a bit runny. We put the icing in plastic bags with a hole poked in the corner and let the girls go to town. Check out Evie's extra-fancy decorating skills below... she definitely used the "more is more" principal!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Thanksgiving Tree

I'm one of those people that really loves Christmas. Every year I get so excited to make it special for our family. We have traditions, make decorations, and bake pies. I decided this year I'm not rushing the wintery stuff- not as much as I usually do anyway. Okay okay we do have a tree up. But it's not what you think- I promise! 

Our Thanksgiving Tree is our newest tradition. The second week in November we put up the tree and decorate it with all things fall. Leaves, pumpkins, and corn stalks. So basically... I get to decorate the tree twice in one year. :)

Today the house smells like cinnamon because we used my recipe for these cinnamon ornaments and made leaf cut outs. In white paint marker we wrote down the things we were thankful for. This year "Caillou," "Princesses," and "My Friends" made the cut. 
Oh yeah, "Mom and Dad" too... but we were more of an afterthought. 

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