HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I think that New Year’s Day is one of my top favorite holidays.  To me it is symbolic of a fresh start.  It renews my spirit with a sense of anything is possible.

Happy New Year!via

On January 1st 2010 I started a “diet” and through that year and into 2011 I lost 50 pounds and haven’t looked back.  It was such an amazing year for me.  I have grown so much since then.  I know so many people will be embarking on yet another “diet” and I would just like to encourage everyone that will be.  It is possible.  You are completely capable of it.  You are in control of your own life.

I would like to share some of the things that kept me personally motivated through that year.

1. “Treat” yourself without food.  For every 10 pounds I lost,  I rewarded myself.

  • Take a long hot bath with some special bath salts or bubble bath.  Listen to music, light candles, read a magazine.
  • Pedicure/Manicure
  • New clothes (about every ten pounds I needed new clothes anyway!)
  • Facial
  • Massage

2. Find other ways of coping with stress beside turning to food

  • read a magazine or book
  • take a long walk
  • listen to music
  • meditate
  • write

3. Change your mindset.

  • Envision yourself at a healthy weight.  What does your life look like? Focus on that like a hawk.  Create a vision board. Either in real life or on Pinterest!
  • Write down healthy mantras ex. “My stomach is not a wastebasket” “Shut up and Sweat” “I am one workout away from a good mood” One thing that I played over and over in my head was this “Would Jillian eat this?”
  • Realize that you were created for and worth more than a vicious cycle of defeat. You deserve the best that life has to offer.
  • I thought of the whole process as a project.  A challenge. It was one that only I was in control of.  It was one that I refused to fail at.

4. Renew your habits

  • If you always have something sweet after dinner, replace that habit with a peace of gum or a cup of herbal tea.
  • go to bed early
  • decide to only drink water
  • learn to say no and mean it.  “Would you like some cake?” “No…but thank you!”

Happy Habits

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5. Find what motivates you and stick with it. These are the things that motivated me.

  • Fitness magazines and websites.  I recommend Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine
  • Watching The Biggest Loser. A new season starts on January 6th!!!!  With Jillian returning!!!! I am SO excited about that!!!
  • Thinking about my overall health.  How eating right and exercising is making my heart stronger.  Envisioning my legs getting stronger, my lungs healthier and more elastic. Lowering my cholesterol.  How good it would feel to go to the dr for my yearly exam and not have that horrid anxiety about stepping on the scale.
  • Being an example to my family.
  • Finding great workout music and making awesome playlists.

6.  Finally and possibly one of the most important things is DO NOT give up.

You will have days that you slip up on your diet.  This usually occurred about once a month for me.  I allowed myself to have a “treat day” once a month.  On this day I let myself eat anything I wanted without counting Points. (I used the Weight Watcher’s program)   It really renewed my determination and honestly helped keep me sane!  I think it’s very important that you have days like this every once in a while.  Be careful they don’t turn into “treat weeks”. Smile  Here is a GREAT little article about why having a cheat day is important!  I found it to be very accurate in my experience.

You will have times when working out is just not an option.  Whether its because of your schedule, an illness or injury, or you just are plain too tired.  But honestly, in my experience exercise was only about 10% of the equation.

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It’s all about what food you are putting in your body. Think about the behavior and habits that got you to where you are and don’t do them anymore.  If you want to change, then you have to change.

Goals, not resolutions…

I don’t really set resolutions but I do like to set goals or things that I would like to accomplish in the coming year.

My first goal is to sell this house!  We definitely did not think it would take this long but over the past few months I have learned SO much.  There have been so many many things that I needed to see about myself that I never would have if our wish was granted in an instant.  I am so thankful for these last few months and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  I am so looking forward to the blessing that will follow these trials.

After we sell the house, move into our new one & get settled, I am going to get my personal training certification! My original plan was to begin in January.  Well, I can’t very well do that when we could have an offer on our house any day now.  Then our lives would be turned upside down and I would be a mess.  One thing at a time is my motto. 

In the fall I am planning on going back to school!  I want to get certified as a registered dietician.  My long term goal is to have my own personal training and nutrition counseling business.  I’d like to help others focus on improving their over all health in a holistic natural way. 

There are some other personal goals I would like to work on spiritually and emotionally.

Some fun things:

  • Do one Pinterest craft project per week.  Silly I know….but for real there is some brilliant stuff on there!
  • Do Yoga with Aidan. 
  • Go on a date with Luke at least twice a month.  We never get “just us” time and he really enjoys it.  So do I!

I wishvia

I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.  Good luck with your goals!  You can and WILL do it!

Sites you may enjoy!

4 tips to keeping your New Year’s resolutions – Real Simple

Success Stories – Fitness Magazine

T’was a week before Christmas

and I am up to my ears in all things Christmas.  I wouldn’t change a thing but, it is SO important that I don’t get so caught up in the doing that I forget the whying….What?  I don’t know….Confused smile

Anyway, I thought I would try to check in quickly….to catch up.  I should be wrapping presents. That was on my “to-do” list today and I haven’t gotten to it yet.  I’ve reached that point where I still have so much I didn’t get done today that I have decided to just give up and blog instead. I’ll try again tomorrow!   We’ll see how “quick” I can actually make this!!

So…..where do I start?

Tuesday

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Tuesday was Luke’s first Orchestra concert.  I was so proud.  I mean, let’s be honest, they are 11 year olds who have been playing for 3 months. I was prepared to have my ears bleed.  But NO!  They were fantastic!!!  The 6th graders played Canon in D which is my all time favorite song probably EVER.  I was sold.  It made me want to go to a big time show.  I am trying to get Jer to buy tickets to the Dallas Symphony for us….like every show.  Isn’t that season tickets or something?  Yes please!

Aidan and The Giant Nutcracker.  He is obsessed with them.  Every time we see one it’s the same thing.  “Mommy!  A Nutcracker! LOOK!”  Plays with the handle, sticks his fingers in the mouth, pretends its eating him, laughs hysterically…..

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After the concert we stopped at CFA for dinner.

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Oh no, they don’t belong to each other AT ALL!

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Wednesday

Wednesday was our Date Day.  We finished up our Christmas shopping FINALLY! I don’t know how families with more than two children do it. Much respect. We had planned on going to see Silver Linings (Bradley Cooper? Yes please!) but the only showing was at 1:50 so that was a no-go.  We also ended up looking for a new desk….. for the office I will have eventually have…… in our new house…..when ever we actually sell our house!  Don’t get me started on that…..it will happen….it will happen….it will happen……Annoyed

Lets change the subject and look at some cute things….

This little brat is too much.

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He hates that cat…..but she sure does love him!

I was feeling a little sassy on my Date Day so I wore my “Sassy Pants”.  I rarely wear these.  I have to be in just the right mood to pull them off.

sassy pantsvia

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Top and Sweater: Ross

Hot Pink Sassy Pants: Honestly I can’t remember the name but it’s a store in the mall.   It’s like Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe.

Boots: Payless

We ate lunch at Corner Bakery again and I got my special Starbucks treat.  Perfect Day with my love.

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Thursday

I don’t remember Thursday…..is that bad or what?

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Friday

Ugh, Friday….not a good day.  I woke up feeling absolutely terrible with a number of unrelated ailments that kept me in bed all day.  The only thing good about days like that are being able to catch up on some reading and Dr. Oz.  I was also glued to Fox News with tissues.  I was going to post that day but felt it was highly irrelevant.  I don’t even have words to describe how heartbroken I was.  I couldn’t keep my mind from going to those dark places that only a parent knows about.  It was all I could do to not walk….no run over to the school and get my kids.  I cried as I saw them walking up the steps and hugged them in a way I have never hugged them before.  There are so many opinions out there that I agree & disagree with to an extent.  But all I am going to say is God help us all.

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This was Friday night.  If it weren’t for Jeremy saying nay, I would have had a slumber party with two little precious babies.  I didn’t want them even a foot from me.

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Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning with such a heavy HEAVY heart.  I was reminded of how I felt after 9-11.  I felt this vague sense of guilt as though I had an obligation to mourn with those who lost their children.  An obligation to watch the news for hours on end. To cry until I had no tears left.  But after reading a post by someone who I can’t remember now, I realized that I absolutely can not do that.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I was reminded to lift those who mourn up to God in prayer, pray constantly for all those involved and to live my precious life not in mourning or in fear, but in love and in power and in self control.  We never ever know when will be our last moments here in this earth.

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After all that deep spiritual stuff,  I had some power shopping to do…..grocery shopping that is.  Am I the only who has a love hate relationship with grocery shopping?  I love a full pantry and fridge, but I hate actually going to get the stuff.

After grocery shopping pretty much all day,  I prepped some food for Jeremy to take to work this week.  Since he is gone for 15 hours a day, he has to pack a snack, lunch, snack and more snacks….actually they are small meals for most people.  He can stop drinking cokes and lose weight.  I have to basically eat spinach all day in order to lose .5 lb. Yes, I might hate him a little for that.  Anyway…..I was buying him frozen meals like Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisines….but it killed me inside a little each week to do that.  The man needs food, like real food, like a lot of food.  But he is also health conscience.  Therein lies the conundrum.  Healthy food with a lot of good fats and calories…..He is also on board with me to nix the sugar and excess carbs in our diet.  So during lunch on our Date Day we brainstormed and came up with the most obvious solution.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before! I would make him homemade Lean Cuisines!!!!  I decided I would make a one dish each Saturday just for him to take for his lunches the next week.  When I make dinner for the family, we eat the leftovers until they are gone in order to stretch our grocery budget out.  So there are no leftovers for him to take to work.  I am thinking casseroles, a batch of veggies, brown rice, fish, chicken, turkey burgers ect.  Something that will make 3-4 servings.

This week I baked some fish with lemon pepper seasoning, roasted some frozen veggies and cooked up a batch of brown rice.

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I packed them in some containers.  3 for the 3 days he works this week.

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And stacked them in the fridge for easy access and visibility at 5am.

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I felt 100% better about his fuel for the week.

I also made some “Quick Energy Bites” for him to replace his Clif Bars.

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There are several variations of these all over the internet. I’ll post the one I use with my variations sometime this week!

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Sunday

So that brings us to today…..finally.  I woke up feeling pretty terrible with those same “ailments” as Friday.  I was feeling better on Saturday but they came back today.  I was scheduled to serve in the nursery this morning at church but I just couldn’t get myself together, let alone two children and the house picked up in case of a last minute showing.  So I had to call in.  I was so sad.  I SO look forward to my “baby fix” each week.  As the morning went on I started to feel better and got out and about this afternoon while The Boys were at a birthday party.  I went to the library in search for a particular book I have been wanting to read.  Couldn’t find it there so I went to Garden Ridge (I saw it there once) Target, Barnes & Noble, then Walmart.  I must REALLY want this book if I (person who would rather go to the dentist than be in a crowd of people) braved the mall 11 days before Christmas.  I couldn’t get in OR out of there!  Parking was MAD!  But….after all that, sadly I still can’t find my book.  Fortunately my mother-in-law has it!  Too bad she lives 300 miles away!  She is bringing it to me on Friday when they come for Christmas!

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Well, that took much longer than thought…..so alas I must bid you adieu….Hopefully it won’t be another week before I post again!

Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse: Part 1

Earlier this week I wrote about how I fell into a bit of a funk over the last couple of months because of various challenging situations.  One thing I wasn’t doing was eating right.  Beginning with Luke’s birthday through Halloween and the weeks after,  my sugar addiction was full blown.  I have always had a “Sweet Tooth” but manage to keep it in control by keeping “contraband” out of the house.  Well this house was abounding in contraband and I was eating it left and right.  I wasn’t worried about it because the scale wasn’t showing any sign of my sugar binges.  Bottom line…..that is not how you should measure your health.  I was feeling like utter and complete crap.  Tired, anxious, irritable, moody, depressed, fatigued, headaches everyday, not sleeping well, foggy brain.  Not at all like me…..one day after many many many many……many M&M’s I had a stomach ache so bad and my heart was racing.  I thought ok……this is it.  I CAN NOT keep doing this to myself.   The thing I needed to change would require something drastic on my part. I am what they call an abstainer when it comes to dieting.  I have to just completely stay away from the thing in order to overcome it.  So I decided I was going into sugar rehab!!!

I started researching how to break a sugar addiction and the negative effects of sugar on the body.  I found a plethora of articles on it.  Apparently this is not an uncommon problem.  Around this same time I watched a DVR’d Dr. Oz that talked about how sugar affects your body and a 3 day cleanse to help reset your body.

Below is the link to the show I watched.

Dr. Oz Show

Everyone knows my infatuation with Dr. Oz. I just adore him. He is always bringing new information to the table for me. I think he is brilliant in many ways. As I have said before, I love his philosophy on using holistic means to heal the body, as I am a firm believer that food can kill you or heal you.

It was a sign.  I was going to do it!  I decided that after Thanksgiving would be a perfect time.  Jeremy would be off the three days after to help me through the nasty withdrawals and lend support.  Boy did he ever!  God Bless that man!

So without further adieu here is my experience with Dr. Oz’s 3 Day Detox Cleanse.

 

Dr Oz

 

The purpose of the cleanse is to “eliminate harmful toxins, restore your system, and reset your body” by pumping it full of nutrients.  Smoothies are a great way to get concentration of nutrients in at one meal. Can you imagine sitting down to a meal of 4 celery stalks, a cucumber, 1 cup of kale, half an apple, half a lime, a cup of pineapple, half a cup of almond milk with a tablespoon of coconut oil on top?  Me either.  Also because they are already broken down somewhat,  it makes them more easily digested and absorbed by your gut.

3 Day Detox_Final_REV2

First of all I was so excited about this printable.  So cute and simple!  You can find the original printable by clicking here.

 

Breakfast Drink

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The breakfast drink was really good.  Not much different than what I have made in the past.  This was the Snack Drink I chose also.  I added a lot of ice to it in order to make more volume and make the texture a little more satisfying like a smoothie.

Lunch Drink

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The recipe looked like it would taste good to me and it did.  It was the mealy texture that made it so hard to choke down.  I decided to use only 2 stalks of celery and half the cucumber the next two times.  The hard thing about recipes like this is that they don’t say how big or small the produce should be.  I also added tons of ice.  Doing it this way made it actually very good in my opinion.

Dinner Drink

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I am sorry I don’t have a picture of the dinner drink ingredients. By this point in the day I was super out of it.  This one had a very interesting mix of flavors.  It calls for cayenne pepper but just a little, only 1/4 tsp., but wow did it give it kick!  I also added ice to this one to help dilute the spiciness and to give it more volume.  The first time I made it I didn’t peel the mango.  I am not a fan of mango and have never eaten one whole like an apple.  I wasn’t aware that you shouldn’t eat the peel.  I Googled how to eat a mango and read that you aren’t supposed to eat the peel because it has toxins in it!!!  I immediately started to have a panic attack and then read further that that’s not necessarily the case. I also read that people generally don’t eat the peel because it’s bitter.  The drink did have a bitter taste to it. So the next night I peeled the mango and I used spinach instead of kale because it’s less bitter.  The drink was so much better this way in my opinion.

For the Epsom salt bath I was able to find a lavender Epsom salt for 4.99 at Target.

Dr Teals

Click here for the benefits of soaking in an Epsom salt bath.

This was SO necessary and wonderful by the end of the day.

Day 1

This day started out with green tea and lemon. It was so hard not having any coffee. But one of the things I hoped to accomplish was to completely eliminate coffee and drink tea instead or at least go to one cup instead of two. The rest of the day was relatively easy. I was just super tired and laid around most of the day.  I drank several cups of herbal tea which made such a huge difference.  It was soothing and comforting.  I also had a  slight headache most of the day.

Day 2

Oh my sweet mother of Mary. Let the caffeine headache and sugar withdrawals begin.  I woke up with a massive headache that lasted all day.  I slept in pretty late until about 8:30.  After I drank my tea, I tried to start on the housework and I just couldn’t get going. I felt like crying because I couldn’t get the things I needed to get done because of the fatigue and brain fog.  Poor Jeremy came over to take the broom from me and I snapped at him.  “I don’t NEED your help…..”  What? Of course I needed his help.  He looked at me like I had slapped him in the face!  As I was getting ready to leave for the afternoon we were talking in the bathroom.  He wasn’t understanding what I was saying and I flew off the handle.  He was like, “What the hell?”  I spewed something about how I’d rather starve than drink the lunch drink, and needing coffee, wanting oatmeal, drinking vegetables, he just doesn’t understand, that he can’t get mad at me for being irritable, I’m sorry for being such a (insert expletive) and to just leave!!!!!  It was very drama…. trust me.  The tantrum ended with me in tears and him apologizing and telling me to go get a pedicure.  God BLESS that man!  At that point I honestly thought I was going to give up.  I thought he would tell me to go eat a sandwich and make some coffee.  But he didn’t.  He just talked me through it, told me how proud he was of me and I could finish it like a boss!  That was exactly what I needed at that point.  The rest of the day I kept my cool but felt as though I was on the verge of boiling over at any point.  We were out the rest of the afternoon & I had to skip my snack drink.  NOT COOL!  When we got home I made the snack drink and then the dinner drink.   I wasn’t able to finish the dinner drink so I put it in the freezer for the next day.  I drank my herbal tea and had my bath. The bath felt so wonderful and was absolutely essential.   I was so ready for bed.  I just wanted the day to end.   I was happy I had made it through the second day and had just one more day to go.

Day 3

This day was so much better.  I woke up feeling awake and full of energy!  I was also super hungry and a little nauseated.  This was the only time I felt hunger the entire cleanse.  I was I was a little anxious because I was worried about making it all the way until 2 pm with out being able to have my drink.  I was volunteering in Aidan’s Sunday schools class and wouldn’t get out of there until around 1:30.  Jeremy had gone home after the service and set my leftover frozen dinner drink from the night before out to thaw so it would be ready for me when I got home.  I was so glad he did.  As soon as I pulled into the garage he walked out and handed it to me.  It was the best thing I had ever had in my life!  After I finished it I made my lunch drink and that was also the best thing I had ever had in my life!  I was amazed at how quickly my taste buds had changed!  After “lunch” I slept for 2 glorious hours and then got up to make my dinner drink.  I was so glad it was my last one and I was day dreaming of all the food I was going to eat the next day.  I prepped two batches of tuna salad and baked about 6 sweet potatoes.  I didn’t have my last bath because I just wanted to go straight to bed!

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I will do a second post or a “Part 2”  about cleanse with the results.  How I am feeling, how much weight I lost, cravings, changed eating habits, and the endless energy I have now.

Stay tuned!!!

Random ramblings…

It’s a gorgeous day here in the Dallas area! I love this time of year, cold but not too cold which is why

I Red heart Texas!

After my ONE….yes just one cup…..of coffee, I made some breakfast.

Steel-Cut Oats

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1/4 cup steel-cut oats

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp. Jif Natural Peanut Butter

1 tsp. ground flax seed

1 tsp. honey

When I first made steel-cut oats I didn’t know that they don’t cook like regular oats.  I am telling you that if it weren’t for Google, we would be eating out of boxes forever.  I tried to make them like my regular oats.  Oh no, not the same…..

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Fun With Cats…..

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Isn’t this just ridiculous?  I took Trixie in for grooming yesterday and they brought her out with this thing around her neck.  I ended up putting it around her belly like a skirt because it was huge around her tiny little neck.  So this morning I thought it would be fun to put it on Rya.  The funny thing is that she just walked around like no biggie.  I am more than sure she is thinking “I hate you so much right now.”  I love you too huss.

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I have a lot of people ask me what I feed my kids, how do I feed them, how do I get them to eat healthy food, etc..  The answer is simple.  I provide healthy food for them.  If they don’t want it, I don’t make them eat it. But the only other option is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I used to send them to bed hungry but I never could get right about it.  Then one morning Aidan woke up not feeling well and as he went to sit at the kitchen table for breakfast his hands and legs were shaking.  After he ate breakfast he was fine.  From that point on I decided to never let them go to bed hungry, but if they don’t eat what I make, all they get is a sandwich, nothing else.  Whereas if they ate my dinner they’d get a bedtime snack of a piece of fruit or a granola bar, bowl of cereal….

So what do I pack them for lunch? Some combination of the following:

  • Sandwich on whole wheat bread – turkey and cheese, natural peanut butter and all natural jelly or honey.
  • all natural yogurt such as Simply Go-Gurt or Trix.  Believe it or not they are making an all natural one. The kids love it.
  • pretzels
  • baby carrots
  • string cheese
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • fruit
  • goldfish
  • water (for Luke)
  • 100% apple juice for Aidan
  • Sometimes a Quaker granola bar if we are short on options

That’s pretty much it.  I am not one of these mom’s who packs spaghetti or quesadillas or hummus wraps.  They wouldn’t eat that anyway.

So this was Aidan’s lunch today.

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Orowheat sandwich thin with Jif Natural Peanut Butter and Welches all natural strawberry jelly, unsweetened applesauce, Trix yogurt, pretzels and apple juice.

And this was Luke’s

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Same sandwich as A, string cheese, an orange, pretzels and a full bottle of water.

Then I pack an ice block to keep it cold.

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Easy peasy!

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Today I needed to go shopping for a new workout top to wear on Friday for my super exciting thing that’s happening.  I can’t wait to share the news.

Outfit

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Top: Ross

Jeans: American Eagle

Boots: Payless

I was trying to show the side of my boot but it didn’t turn out so well…..Thumbs down

I was able to find two awesome shirts on sale at Marshalls and Target today! I will be outside and you never can trust the weather report in Texas to be accurate.  To be safe I bought a thick one and a light one. I love the lighter blue one because it has has thumb holes and a light fleece lining.  The darker one has a super cute ruching on the neck and cuffs as well as a hood.

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SCORE!

After Marshalls and Target we headed to Chick-Fil-A for one of my favorite lunches.

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Side salad, sunflower seeds, berry balsamic vinaigrette, and a small fruit cup dumped on top.  Delish!

After lunch I had a cup of Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice tea with a tsp. of honey.

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Since the cleanse I have stopped eating sweets after my meal, actually stopped eating sweets all together.  Even though the cleanse really helped with the cravings, the habit is still there.  How do you get rid of a bad habit?  Replace it with a good one!  So I have been making a cup of herbal tea before my meal.  While I am eating, it’s cooling and ready to drink when I am finished in place of dessert.  It’s warm and comforting.  It signals my brain that the meal is over.  It also fills me up if I am not quite feeling full yet.

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So I have this crazy thing about weird and fantastical chotchkies.  I wish I could have a little closet full of them.  I love them.  The best place to find them are TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross.  Lucky me, I frequent those places often!

I found this little gem today!  I couldn’t stop staring at it.  I am so fascinated by this one’s moobs.  The nipples were sharp!!!!!

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I found this one last week at TJ Maxx.  I SOOOOO wanted to buy it!!!

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Since I know better than to spend money on stuff like this (lest I be thought of as strange)……I have to settle for a photo album of pictures.

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Please click below to meet your cuteness quota for the day!!!

Cute Babies!

Women’s Intuition

I have some exciting news and some not so exciting news….Thumbs down But I will get to that in a minute.

It’s been a CRAZY few days.  Since Friday we have had so much going on that I honestly wouldn’t remember what we did if I didn’t have a couple of pictures to remind me!

Friday we ran some errands including taking my wedding ring in to be shipped off for inspection and polishing.  I have had numerous borderline panic attacks since Friday after trying to nervously twist it and it’s not there! We also went to Garden Ridge and Hobby Lobby to look for a Christmas tree!  We found one but are going to wait to buy it considering it isn’t even October yet Winking smile.

But look what I did buy!!!!

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I was over the moon about finding these at Garden Ridge on the cheap!!!!  I have wanted both of these for awhile now.  I haven’t tried them out yet but I will give a full review when I do!

Saturday was an epic grocery shopping trip that included 3 different stores.  We stopped for lunch at Corner Bakery because I had been craving the Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad & Tomato Soup for days!  As a matter of fact I am going to recreate the meal tonight! Minus the Sweet Crisps unfortunately…..Thumbs down

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Over lunch Jeremy and I had a life changing conversation.  I expressed some frustrations I had been having and that led us to an exciting decision that is in the works.  I won’t say what it is just yet.  We have a meeting about it Friday afternoon so maybe after that I can share!

So I have been busy the last few days because of this decision and haven’t had a spare second!  I have lost sleep over some of the things we had to consider first but it seems to all be working out perfectly.

So that’s the super exciting news!

Now for the not so exciting news.  First let me say it isn’t serious, everything is fine, but never under estimate the power of a woman’s intuition!

I have a condition/syndrome called Dysplastic Nevus.  Basically it puts me at greater risk for skin cancer and I am supposed to stay out of the sun (check) use sunscreen at all times (check) and be checked once a year for changes in my skin (ooooops, no check).

I learned I had it many years ago but disregarded it because I was young and stupid.  You know what else I did when I was young and stupid?  I tanned in a tanning bed.  For years…… Within the last few years my regular doctor removed one spot that came back normal and since then I have been diligent about checking spots for changes.  I haven’t had any real changes but something was telling me I needed to have a full skin check done by a dermatologist.  Since I didn’t have one, I visited my general doctor last week for a referral.  I was able to get an appointment right away.  She check me over but missed one area that I was concerned about.  When she checked it she was glad that I had showed her.  At first she instructed the assistant to put a watch on it but then after a few minutes she wanted to look at it again. At that point she decided to do a “shave biopsy” **cringe**.  It wasn’t bad.  Not even CLOSE to when I had the other spot removed from my hip.  OUCH!

With all the other excitement over the weekend I completely forgot that I would probably be hearing from them on Monday morning.  Around 10:30am and within the first 15 minutes of me vacuuming, the office called and of course I missed it.  I listened to the message and was immediately freaking out because on my new patient forms I checked for them to leave a message with normal test results.  This message said “call back so I can go over the pathology results of your biopsy with you.”  Commence Freak Out.  “Pathology results of the biopsy”?  Scary.  Plus, they were supposed to just leave a message.  WTH is going on?

I immediately called them back and what do you know?  I have to leave a message.  Let me tell you what, I am SO glad I had the “exciting news” to get ready for (and Target) to keep me distracted because after an additional phone call and message left by me, I finally heard back from them at 4pm!

“Hi Amanda, do you have a few minutes?”

“Yes! Of course!”

My heart is pounding out of my chest and I feel like I might hurl at any moment but yes of course I have a few minutes.  Disappointed smile

She said the spot came back as (long complicated term alert)

Atypical Melanocytic Hyperplasia

Definition: proliferation of melanocytes showing nuclear atypicality, especially as scattered single cells high in the epidermis; interpreted by some pathologists as malignant melanoma in situ. (source)

“An atypical or dysplastic (abnormal, irregular) mole or lesion are also known as atypical melanocytic hyperplasia, atypical mole, or dysplastic mole. The majority of these moles or lesions are benign (non cancerous). Some have a significant risk of actually being a melanoma or developing into melanoma. This is determined by physical examination or a biopsy by a physician.” (source)

I have an appointment on Thursday to have the rest of the area removed.  OH JOY!

I have always had a certain gift of discernment/woman’s intuition/whatever you will.  I used to dismiss it but have really honed in on it over the past few years.  I am glad I have and I am also glad that my Dermatologist seems to have it too.

*******

Boys are coming home soon and dinner needs to get prepared for their hungry bellies! I guess I should do something about that!  Winking smile

What I love about….

Luke:

He makes little gems like this.

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Target:

They give away Starbucks K-Cups

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The Rain:

That rainbows follow it.

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I am SO grateful for my new BFF, my bodybugg.  I was incredibly hungry all day on Saturday.  Like every two hours hungry.  I knew it was coming at some point since last week seemed to be the one week out of the month that I am not ravenous.  I didn’t get the workout done on Saturday like I had planned so I didn’t have the extra calories to play with like I usually do. That’s where my new best friend came into play.  Since the Bodybugg measures calories burned, I was able to see how many calories I had burned at any given time and eat appropriately.  Without it….Saturday would have been a disaster.  Instead I remained in control the entire day.  I even ended up with a good size deficit and my hard work all week didn’t end up in the toilet.  Bodybugg fan for life!

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Saturday afternoon I made a recipe form the latest issue of Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking magazine.

It’s Pizza Pasta!

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The guys ate it all weekend!  Minus Aidan…..that’s a blog post in itself…. He has become quite the picky eater and that is an understatement.  Frustration doesn’t even cover the feelings I have when I try to get him to eat.  I am forced to go against every belief I have when it comes to feeding my children…..I am becoming a short order cook and I hate that.  But the child is skin and bones and has lost weight he didn’t have to lose.  I have resorted to letting him eat peanut butter out of the jar because its fun for him…..and one of the only things he will eat voluntarily.  I am on the search for every tip, trick and recipe I can find for picky eaters, as well as encouragement that this too shall pass.

*******

I was sad to see the weekend go but was ready to get back to my beloved routine.

Breakfast:

Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt, 14 almonds and cinnamon.

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I jogged for an hour in the park this morning.  It was lovely as usual!

My new favorite thing to have after a long workout is Vitamin Water.  It makes me feel so much better.

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I also had an apple and some almonds a little later after a long shower.

Lunch was so yummy today!

Orowheat Sandwich Thin with ham, guacamole, and provolone cheese pressed in my Panini maker, carrots and more guacamole!

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I better start meal planning for next week.  I am hoping to have Aidan search recipes with me.  Maybe, if I am lucky and he can sit still for 2 minutes, we will find something!

Good Luck to ME!

Finally Friday

It’s been a long week friend.  I am glad it’s Friday.  I get to SLEEP IN tomorrow!  Whatever that means!  I pray the boys will have the same thing in mind.  It’s supposed to be rainy all day so hopefully the dark clouds will trick them into thinking it’s still night-night!  One can only hope.

Dinner last night was a delicious comforting bowl of Progresso Light Italian-Style Soup.

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When school started we changed up our eating schedule to accommodate the famished children that come home in the foulest of moods.  To be honest, I am famished by 4 pm too.  Instead of eating dinner at the traditional dinner time, we eat it after school and then have a snack later on in the evening if we get hungry again.  Most times they don’t or they get hungry for a little something right before bed.  It has been working out so well.  They relax for about 30 minutes then eat dinner. Afterward, I clean up the kitchen while Luke does his homework and Aidan plays.  So by 6 pm we are relaxing and enjoying the evening instead of just getting dinner on the table.  Rushing through it so that I can get them started on their bedtime routine while cleaning dinner dishes.  <—–impossible.  Another advantage is that they aren’t snack, snack, snacking every 30 minutes because 1) they haven’t eaten since 11am and 2) They are much happier having had a full meal because they come home HANGRY!

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I also am not snack, snack, snacking my way to dinner and ending up not hungry for dinner but still unsatisfied because I haven’t had the ritual of dinner.  It’s a win-win.

So…..later in the evening I had a little treat of a Chia Tea Latte and a Luna bar.

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A few hours later I was hungry again and had an apple, a few almonds and a piece of Jamie’s cinnamon bread.

The Bodybugg looked good again yesterday!  Even though my workout was a bust, I stayed active enough the rest of the day to make up for it I think.

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*******

Today’s breakfast was the same as yesterday. Nature’s Own Bagel Thin and peanut butter…..I actually sat down for 2.5 seconds to enjoy it! Winking smile  Better than on the run.

The weather in Dallas was dreary dreary dreary.  One of those morning I would have loved to have snuggled back down in the bed and listened to the rain.

Instead I went to the gym and did an upper body workout.  It was a nice compromise.  Even though weight lifting isn’t easy, it is easier than running for an hour when all you want to do is crawl back in bed!

I printed a workout from Bodybuilding.com that I found a few months ago.  It’s a fat loss training program and I REALLY like it.  It has an upper body workout, a lower body workout and then a total body.  I like separating the strength training this way because I think it works well with my body type.  Since I tend to put on muscle pretty quickly and being as short as I am I don’t like to spend too much time on it, but I know it’s essential.  I skipped the air bikes and did 20 minutes on the elliptical instead of the Stairmaster.

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After my workout I had my ever trusty Luna Bar.

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Lunch was a Blueberry Banana Protein Shake

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Today’s Shake Had:

1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 scoop MRM protein powder
1 cup water
lots of crushed ice
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. sugar-free vanilla pudding mix.

100% delicious!

After talking to my dear friend for 2 hours….I went to pick up my sweet baby girl from the salon.

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It’s tough being a diva.

What’s funny is that she’s not really a diva.  She’s a total tomboy.  The groomer was not happy when I reminded her not to put bows in her hair.  I said “For real….I can’t explain how much we both hate them!”

After school the guys ate yummy delicious greasy pizza from Little Caesars and I had a French bread pepperoni pizza from Lean cuisine!

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It’s ok though, I had a cookie afterwards.

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Kashi Cookie

Sorry there is no lovely picture because I am sure we have all seen a lean cuisine pizza but honestly I was so hungry I forgot until it was half gone….and the cookie, I was just too excited about having a cookie.

Sadly, the cookie wasn’t very good.  I am surprised because I love Kashi foods.  Especially the dark chocolate oatmeal cookies.  Strangely enough it started to taste good about four bites into it.  I think the flavor of the cookie didn’t agree with the spicy pizza I had just eaten.  I will just have to try it again!

We are planning to watch Snow White and the Huntsman tonight but what I really want to do is watch my DVR’d X Factors!!!  We’ll see who wins! The odds are not in my favor….I am out numbered ya know!

New & Old Faves + a plea from me

Things are back to normal around here finally. I am so glad. I thrive on a routine and schedule and so do my kids. I have found it really remarkable that all last week while the boys were away, I didn’t need a nap or feel the slightest bit tired at any point. Yesterday by 2 pm, I crashed and burned. It may have had something to do with the fact that I got a solid 8-9 hours of sleep every night last week and then Sunday night I was up every hour with a small child who wouldn’t stay in his bed. Could it also have had something to do with the fact that BOTH children were up at 5 am with me? Even though I could really use a nap right now, I am so delighted to hear them playing with army guys in Luke’s room right now. I know for a fact that the break was so good for my mental and physical health. I have found myself calm and assertive instead of screaming with a headache and frazzled nerves. THANK YOU MIMI AND PAPA for taking them for an entire week so I could re-charge!

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Sunday night I made a new recipe from my Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook

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New Favorite Recipe:

Taste of Home Baked Tilapia

This was incredible. THIS COOKBOOK is simply the best.

Old favorite breakfasts:

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These were my breakfasts the last two days

Above: 1/2 sandwich thin with 1 tbsp. JIF natural peanut butter (yesterday morning)

Below: 1 tbsp. Justin’s Maple Almond Butter on a banana (this morning)

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Microwave the banana and nut butter for 30 seconds for a warm delicious breakfast or snack.

Old favorite post work out snack:

Dannon 0% Greek Yogurt in Blueberry w/ 2 tbsp. homemade granola

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I had this yesterday after the gym along with an apple

New Favorite Meal:

This was dinner last night and most likely I will have it again tonight. I am not a fan of a heavy dinner so I REALLY like having this low calorie/nutrient rich smoothie.

Healthy Smoothie:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ~ 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 scoop EAS Lean 15 Protein Powder in Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds

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Old favorite workout:

Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred.

Over our vacation last week I decided to take an extended break from my workouts. Meaning I didn’t workout for 7 days. The break was nice. Very nice, but I was more than ready to get back in the gym Monday morning. Much to my surprise…I was not able to do what I had been able to do the week before! Imagine that. My heart rate was crazy high so I had to keep it slow and steady. I broke a sweat after just 10 min of jogging at 5.0 mph. I guess it was a good reminder of my humble beginnings. Yesterday and today I have been easing back into my old workout routine by breaking it up a little. Yesterday I jog/walked on the treadmill in the morning for 30 min and then in the afternoon I did level 2 of Shred. Today all the treadmills were taken so I had to use the elliptical machine. Thumbs down I just did 30 minutes on that and then when I got home I popped in Shred again. Aidan loves to workout with me. I have a secret prayer that we will be running buddies someday!

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and listen…if my 5 yr. old can do it….SO.CAN.YOU!

Today’s lunch was YUM! Maybe a new favorite.

I put a Morningstar Asian veggie patty on a FlatOut flat bread and grilled it in my Panini Maker, along side some strawberries and baby carrots.

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……and THEN these came!!!!

NEW FAVORITE!

We found these at the Allen Outlet last week but they didn’t have my size. So we ordered them and they came today!

Nike Women’s Flex Trainer

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super light and comfortable.

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they came with hot pink laces that I will be putting in ASAP.

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Nothing better than a new pair of running shoes!!! I do love my K-Swiss Tubes, but it was high time for a new pair! The tubes will retire to my running shoe graveyard.

*****

I wanted to share a really great post that I read on another healthy living blog that I love.

“You Can’t Out Exercise A Bad Diet”

She hit the nail on the head with this post. I couldn’t agree more with everything she said.

Now it’s time for me to get on my soapbox. I try not to give advice on here, only what I have experienced personally. Everyone is different and different things work for different people.

I see time and time again people jump head first into a fad diet (think low or no carb), excluding entire food groups. Start an intense workout regime like P90X or Insanity when they haven’t so much as walked a full mile in ten years. They expect their lives and bodies to change over night or they believe they have found a miracle! I know there are a lot of exceptions but I think 9 times out of 10 they have set themselves up for failure, defeat, gaining more weight, feeling hopeless or unworthy.

I have done the same thing. I have done it all. Adkins, South Beach, Hydroxycut, Xenedrine, Weight Watchers, starvation….. I have learned one thing. I must do everyday what I know I can do for the rest of my life. Can I live with no bread? Can I do 2-3 hours of a workout 5-6 days a week? I could, but would I want to? It isn’t sustainable. I have seen time and time again (myself included) people start out sprinting on Monday, but then peter out by Friday because they are burned out already. And rightly so!

Then there is the diet situation. You can’t out train a bad diet. You can workout all you want but if you don’t change your diet, cut waaay back on drinking (or better yet, quit all together), quit smoking, quit staying up all night….working out isn’t going to do a thing for you. DIET & Exercise. When I lost the first 30 lbs., I wasn’t working out at all. It wasn’t until I hit a plateau that I started working out. It’s been said, 80% diet 10% exercise and 10% genetics. This is the absolute truth.

So I am going to get off my tangent now and just pray that if you are serious about getting in shape and getting healthy, you will take a look at the entire picture. Look at what needs to change, what you are willing to change for a lifetime and start there. Start by just going for a walk, then a jog….start by weaning yourself off soft drinks or for crying out loud quit stopping at fast food joints, better yet, quit eating out all together. Most would be floored at the calorie bombs these places serve up. Horrific. Educate yourself on what you are putting in your body & get real & honest with yourself.

I guess it’s about time

that I finally post something!  It’s been a full summer thus far but I think it will be slowing down here in the next week or so.  Luke is going to be going to his dad’s for the month of July beginning Friday so it will be just me and Little A most of the time after that.

Last week the boys went to stay with Jeremy’s parents for the week.  On Monday we met at Chili’s, had lunch (I got a cup of the Chicken Enchilada Soup, so YUM) and then we drove back to Dallas…..alone.  It was so quiet that it was just plain weird.

We had planned to get some things done Monday afternoon when we got back into town but I was so tired by the end of the drive and had a headache from reading in the car.  All I wanted to do was lay down.  So I DID!  It was glorious!

Tuesday

Tuesday we got to go somewhere that I had been wanting to go for a really long time.  The last time I went to the Allen Outlets was a few years ago and I only got to go into one store.  Jeremy and I made a day of it and got there first thing!  We shopped around a while, finding nothing and getting hungry so over lunch I devised a plan of attack!

I circled and labeled all the stores I really wanted to go to and when we got back we started on one side and worked our way to the other.

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FINALLY,  I found the first of many purchases at Kenneth Cole.  I love the tagline on their shopping bag….Everyone Needs an Outlet.  Yes, and shopping is one of mine!  Thank goodness for Jeremy’s sake I am a bargain shopper.

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I couldn’t believe I found these, they look almost exactly like my ones from Target!  These are better because my Target ones don’t have the braid over the ankle and my heel slips off the back when I walk.  These feel much better made although I have a blister on my big toe now.  It’s ok…they are cute enough to endure the pain!  Winking smile

We had lunch at Mimi’s Café.

Tomato Basil Soup & Fresh Turkey Sandwich

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Would you like some turkey and bread with your lettuce?

I asked for no tomato and mustard instead of mayo….I guess they heard no tomato sub lettuce, no mayo sub lettuce.  Either way it was really good!  I ate half the soup and half the sandwich and it was a perfect portion for me.  I hate the huge portion sizes they serve at restaurants.  It’s so hard to leave half on my plate even though I KNOW that even just half is usually too much.  I think every time…..such a waste, there are people starving.

Wednesday

Reality of Love

I think the original name was “I Want to Marry Ryan Banks” but I guess they changed it at some point.  Good move, I want to marry Ryan Banks is cheese.

Reality of Love

I LOVED this movie!  I love it so much I want to buy it!  It was adorable and honestly, who doesn’t love Bradley Cooper?  If you don’t, you should see someone.  I want to watch it again.

Thursday

We went to breakfast at La Madeline.

I ordered the Breakfast Sampler.

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Fruit Salade (no, I didn’t misspell), Mini Chocolate Croissant, Oatmeal with brown sugar and toasted almonds

This was REALLY good.  I ate half the oatmeal,  half the croissant and all of the fruit.  It was perfect and filling.

Then we caught the matinee of Snow White and the Huntsman.

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Love, love, loved.  It was freakin loooooong but I had no clue.  This says a lot because I have the attention span of a 5 yr. old.  I think Kristen Stewart did a great job.  Clearly she has had some acting lessons since her Twilight days.  Charlize stole the show for me though.  Evil Queen indeed!

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I had on a cute top under this jacket….but since I get cold if its 85 degrees and there is a breeze, I turned into a fashion DON’T before our movie.  Good thing we were in a dark theater.

We decided on lunch at the Chick-Fil-A in the mall.  It was 2 pm and I was getting hangry.  So I figured it would be a good idea to get something quick.

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We found a sunny spot to thaw out under and enjoyed lunch.  I got my usual side salad with fat free honey mustard.  I added all the sunflower seeds and croutons.  This time I decided to add my fruit cup on top instead of eating it separately.  I didn’t like it as much…I don’t like the honey mustard on my fruit.  I think I will do this next time but change my dressing to the vinaigrette.

…and then this happened

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Jeremy made me do it…..but really, it was inevitable.

I didn’t eat it ALL…..just about 3/4!  It was REALLY good, but as expected not as life changing as I had imagined.  I could totally make this at home and in fact, have made something like this before with plain M&M’s, granola, raisins, and some sort of cereal.

That night I got to watch the week’s episode of Dallas!!!  I am so excited to have a new show to watch!!!  I never really get attached to a series because I never have time to watch them.  But this is appointment television for me!  Scandalous!  I vaguely remember the show from when I was little, but I want to buy the original series and watch all of them!!!

Friday

I can’t really remember what we did Friday, but I DO remember dinner!

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Crunchy Onion Barbecue Chicken w/ Alexia Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries.

I can’t even begin to tell you how good this was.  I have yet a THIRD go-to recipe from my new cookbook!

Friday evening we watched this movie.

In Time

In Time

Great storyline, just waaaaaaay toooooo long.  I fell asleep but was rudely awoken several times by sounds of gunshots. Thumbs down  I’d recommend it, just know it’s really long.

I just remembered what I did Friday. Confused smile DUH!  Jeremy worked his extra job so I had the day to myself!  I slept in late, cleaned the house a little and then went to exchange some things from Ulta & Target.  By Friday I was REALLY missing the boys.  I was honestly sort of depressed.  It’s funny because when I said goodbye to them on Monday, I thought….gee I am not sure 5 days will be long enough.  Clearly….. I needed a break.  By Thursday I was getting pretty bummed and by Friday I was just depressed.  I really missed my little boys.  It was so incredibly quiet Friday morning.  The energy they give off is tangible.

Saturday

Finally FINALLY it was time to go get them!  The drive there seemed endless.  We met again in Abilene and ate lunch a Chili’s.  I had the chicken enchilada soup again!  So YUM!!!!

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The best mom/mimi in the world and her boys!

I am so glad they are back.  We all slept late this morning and had a great day today!  Fussing, complaining, fighting and all!  It was music to my ears. Tomorrow is back to reality and a regular schedule.  I hope the treadmill doesn’t kill me after a week of ignoring it!

Weekend Recap (Recipes Galore)

Saturday

I think I left off yesterday before I ate lunch.

Lunch

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2% Strawberry-Banana Chobani w/ 2 tbsp. homemade granola, 2 light rye Wasa Crackers with turkey and Sargento’s Ultra Thin Colby Jack cheese.

Dinner

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Taste Of Home Southwest Vegetarian Bake

This the second recipe I have made from my new cook book “Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet”.  This is an INCREDIBLE recipe!  From the crunch of the red onion to the slightly smoky taste, to the cheese.  Man oh man.  It’s a second new Go-To recipe.  It was so simple and easy to make.  You can find the recipe by clicking on the blue text above.

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For dessert I made Hungry Girl’s Chocolate Chip Softies. These were good!  They reminded me of a healthy breakfast cookie/muffin. They aren’t like life changing or any thing but are very good for a girl who has a raving sweet tooth!

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

Sunday

Since Jeremy is on vacation this week I took advantage of it and I got myself up at 5am and went for a 5 mile run in the dark.  It was marvelous and slightly cold!  I got chased by some armadillo, chased away about 5 bunnies and I admired the cobalt blue sky as the sun was beginning to rise. The moon was an incredible shade of pink/orange.  I do love me some early morning runs!  I see things I never would otherwise.

Running = Cheaper Than Therapy

Went went to the early service at church and then went to eat breakfast at our favorite, Sweet Tomatoes

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Breakfast focaccia bread, some sort of Mexican egg thing that I wasn’t crazy about and potatoes O’Brien.  SO YUM!

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Donut Muffin, waffle, French toast, baked cinnamon apples, cinnamon roll, and a blueberry muffin.  I also had some vanilla nut flavored coffee that was delicious!

As usual, I was full but unsatisfied because the food is SO delicious and I just wish I could have a to-go box for later.  Thumbs down I think I just need to go eat there more often.

After lunch we went looking for a pair of running shoes for Jeremy.  This was his Father’s Day gift.  After 5 stores over the last week and one last one today….we finally found some at Sports Authority.  We are a picky bunch aren’t we?

After a little cat nap it was time to make some cookies for Daddy!

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Gina’s Skinnytaste Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is to-die-for.  They come out crispy, chewy, and super delicious! My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Today I doubled the batch so I could take some to Jeremy’s dad tomorrow.

Speaking of…..we are driving to Abilene in the morning to meet up with Jeremy’s parents.  The boys are spending the week with them in Lubbock!  Jer and I will be sans kids for 5 1/2 days!!!!  HOLLA!  We don’t have a whole lot planned but just being able to speak complete sentences to each other will be glorious enough!