Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolutions

It's almost that time of year again! When everyone starts making those New Year's Resolutions!
I love that people want to make fitness a part of their lives in the new year, but I get annoyed when they hog the gym! It's selfish maybe, but I cherish my early morning gym time with the "regulars" that have been getting up early with me to get in an early sweat session. I never have to worry about getting an elliptical, treadmill or have the weight area clogged up with people. Come Jan. 2nd I will. Boooo!!
Ok, I am over it. Unfortunately ( or fortunately-however you want to look at it), most of the newbies will be a thing of the past by the end of Jan. or Feb. at best. In a way it is kind of sad and I wonder where they all go. I only hope that they just could not hack the early mornings and start going to the gym later in the day.
I have not made any resolutions for myself and probably won't. I just like to make goals for myself throughout the year. They might change and some might not happen, and that's ok. As long as I put forth a good effort-all is good!
I would like to continue to raise a healthy and happy family in 2009.
I have a few possible tricks up my sleeve for this blog and another blog as well. I am still working out the details, but don't want to talk about too much--it might jinx it!
Happy New Year.
Make the most of 2009..I know I am.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 more sleeps!



Well, we have finally finished Christmas shopping. Nothing like procastinating and then complaining under your breath that the stores don't have what you are looking for! We were able to wrap everything last night as well. The kids will get their gifts tomorrow and then head to Matt's parents house either tomorrow afternoon or Christmas morning-it depends on the weather.


I was able to get my long run in this weekend. I was looking forward to getting the 5 miles in outdoors on Saturday morning, but Amara had a quick flu bug Friday night ( actually Saturday morning at 12 midnight is when she got sick). Needless to say I was up all night with her and did not even think about attempting to run on Saturday. She is probably 100% better already. So glad it was over with quickly.


Nutrtion has been fairly good. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination! I am hoping to just maintain until the new year rolls around. It will be much easier to comply when Matt is 100% again. I like cookies anyway!


I am thinking of starting a new blog based solely on my training for the 25k and other athletic escapades. I am still keeping this one, but feel I am not staying true to the title! We'll see though. So that 's what is going on with me! I hope to update before the new year, but if not


Happy Holidays and be safe!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is Christmas over yet??

I don't want to sound like a Scrooge, but this time of year is always way too busy!
Maybe it's because we love to wait until the last minute to make decisions and get gifts. Nah, that can't be it!
We finally went present shopping for the kids this past weekend. I hope to finish up this week for them and all the other people we have to buy for. We only have, what, 9 shopping days left??? Ugh........

Despite my busy schedule I am still making time to plan my menus everyday. Yesterday I had my first " free" meal since the start. I cannot believe that I forgot to plan it! That is so not like myself. It was one of my best "free" meals in a looong time.
We found some frozen ground beef in the freezer that was from my mother in law. I am pretty sure it came from a grass fed organic cow farm! I made burgers with it and it was delicious! I also used white potatoes and made some oven fries. Amara was really excited about the tater tots she thought she was eating!
We don't normally eat anything besides sweet potatoes. The main reason being that Matt has rheumatoid arthritis and sometimes white foods cause a flair up for him. I think it happens too if he goes overboard with them, and I am happy to say that he did not, and in turn, had no flair ups! Funny how that works.
Workouts are going very well. I was able to get all my workouts in last week and then some. I don't like to announce my weight/fat loss to the world (ha), but let's jsut say I am very happy with my progress thus far. I am not doing so well with drinking my water, but I am working on it.
This week is also my last day of teaching for a client until after the new year. I will miss the participants, but it is a much needed (and dare I say deserved) break from teaching. I am really looking forward to spending that extra time with the kids.
Both kids are doing great. Amara had her Christmas program at school today and it was fun to see her interact with her friends and to see Miles on the loose in her classroom.
Miles is talking a lot more and signing a lot more as well. It's a lot of fun to see his personaltiy coming out more and more everyday.
And that's today's update!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday!

The week has been going well. It is Day 6 of being on my plan. Things are good. I only miss sugar. I love sugar. It's my downfall in life. It's not really a downfall. I just love it.
I feel so much better now that I am done with the snacks, too big portions and sugar! I know better, but just needed a small break from being rigid. Now I want to be rigid once again.
I was able to make Zumba last night thanks to Matt!! The YMCA Kid Zone closed at 6pm for some reasons. Zumba is not done until 6:30. He was kind enough to leave work early so I could participate. I have had to skip that class for 2 weeks already. I must have been getting cranky about it. I learned a few new dances last night too. Good thing I am an awesome dancer ( sarcasm)........
As usual, this class did not disappoint.
Not too much going on besides getting ready for Christmas. We have not bought one gift for anybody yet. We like to live on the edge. I hope to get most of the shopping done this weekend if not all of it. Who am I kidding? We probably won't get any done!
The kids are doing well. Amara is doing really well in school. She loves to learn-I hope this is always the case as she gets older. Matt and I have discussed starting both kids on a second language. Italian being the choice. Matt is 50% Italian and 50% polish. I think it would be great and he and I would of course have to learn it as well.
Miles is getting more and more fluent with his language ( sign language) he uses it regularly now as he tries to communicate with us. He can verbalize about 10 or more words + several alphabet letters and numbers.
Life is good!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Past....







It's been so busy these past couple of days. So I decided to take a trip down memory lane! It's so funny to see how much the kids have changed in one year!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's on..again!

I finally received my nutrition parameters late last night...so I am on my new "lifestyle" plan..NOT a diet. Things are going well. I am still nice to my family and I don't feel the need to gnaw my arm off. This will be my 3rd time doing this program. Every time I have done it I have been very successful and every time I have done it it has been for a different reason. I take the breaks because a girl can only measure her food for so long!
It's always easy to eat really clean when Matt is on the ball too. I am thankful that he shares the same interest in health and fitness that I do. If he didn't that would make it a lot harder for me to comply.
Here is what was on the menu today so you can see that it's not weird and strange foods--plain maybe, but that's only because I choose not to be creative today!

1. 2 protein pancakes and grapes
2. oatmeal, cottage cheese and an orange
3. protein shake, asparagus and coconut oil ( not all mixed together-yuck)
4. chicken and romaine salad
5. lean ground beef, couscous and broccoli
6. egg whites and salsa

So this may not sound so tasty to a lot of people, but I actually love everything I ate today. This is not so different from the things we normally eat, but the difference is I am measuring out just about everything I put into my mouth. It's annoying at first, but after a few days it's just something I get used to. And it works for me so I ain't complaining!

Amara is full of questions when the food scale is brought out. I don't tell her I am trying to lose weight ( except for after I had Miles-did I mention he was almost 11lbs!??! It's been a while since I brought that up.....). I just explain that food is energy and I need to know how much energy I am getting so I can teach my classes, run and take her for walks. I tell her we don't want too much or too little energy and sometimes I use the scale to keep me on track with that. She seems satisfied with that answer.
This week I also started weight training again. I am being smart and trying not to overdo it with my shoulder issues. So far so good. I just need to not get cocky and start lifitng too heavy to aggrivate them once again.
Today I was able to run 4 miles and then take an hour long Power Spin class. I normally would not do both, but I really wanted to take the class. I am glad I did. It was very tough today and just what I needed! I might use some of the things I learned in class today and take it back to my own Spin class.
It has been snowing almost non-stopfor 2 days now. I am not a lover of the cold weather. Amara loves playing out in this stuff! She went out twice yesterday and was in it today as well. Miles wants to go out, but I am sure he would not be able to walk with all the stiff clothes would have on plus the boots! He had fun watching Amara from the inside though ( so did I). I might venture out in is to build a snowman tomorrow with her-or Matt can do it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh well...

It turns out I don't get my new plan today. I'm ok with that. I will just do it on my own for this week!
I made it to the gym early this morning and knocked out 4.5 miles and did a very short and lightweight full body workout. I need to take it slow so I can still move tomorrow.
I still have to teach a class at noon and another at 5:15pm.
I just need to keep my food choices in check and I am good to go!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ready for the week to begin!

I am so ready for Monday already!!
We are going out with a bang today and getting our favorite BBQ chicken pizza. I am not sure who is more excited-Amara or myself!
I already grocery shopped early this morning and sipped my full fat Starbucks fancy coffee drink as I walked the aisles. No more of that for a while!
I won't get my plan ( for SOS) until sometime tomorrow so I will just make the best choices and start following the plan on Tuesday. I have done it before so this is nothing new. The plan will have set parameters for protein, fat, carbs etc. for me to follow. I actually kind of miss this. Kind of.
In order to succeed I really need to be ready for this and I feel I am now.
I have made 3 batches of protein pancakes. The brown rice is simmering on the stove and the chicken breasts are cooking in the oven. The protein powder should be here by Tuesday. The fridge is filled with containers of cottage cheese, romaine lettuce, baby spinach and low fat yogurt. This is actually nothing new for us, but I did have to dust off my food scale again so I know exactly how much is going in my mouth. This is how I have found the most success when trying to drop some pounds. It can be tedious and annoying at times, but it works for me!
Bring on Monday!
Protein pancakes:

6 egg whites
1 cup cottage cheese ( I use 1% milk fat)
1 cup dry oats ( old fashioned)
cinnamon ( optional)
vanilla ( optional)
sweetener of your choice ( I use Stevia)
Cook on stove top like a pancake
You can blend in blender or just stir really well.
I fill a 1 half cup and can get 5 pancakes out of one batch.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give thanks

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
Please take a moment to give thanks to all the good and positive things in your life. I am most thankful for my friends and family today and everyday. I am also thankful for all the food and yummy desserts I will be eating this afternoon. I am thankful for whomever "invented" the idea of having a second helping of food-Thanks..I owe ya!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday

I actually exceeded my 6 recipes in 6 weeks! Take that!
On Sunday I made a loaf of banana bread with 1/2 cup cauliflower puree. It was very good!
This morning I used a1/2 cup of the same puree to make scrambled eggs. Amara asked for seconds! Both of these recipes get a thumbs up from me! If I remember correctly 6 out of the 8 recipes from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook were better than I expected. I might be making some repeats soon. Matt has asked for spaghetti pie again so I might make that this week.
Today I rejoined with my online trainer (www.cathysavagefitness.com). I still have high hopes of running the 25k this spring and this time I want to be properly fueled during my training instead of guessing on my behalf. I worked with this trainer to prepare for the figure show and I also joined from January to July of this year to aid in weight loss after having Miles. Since July I have only put on 2 pounds so I am very happy with that! I am very excited to see what happens next!
Since taking off from weight training these last few weeks my shoulders have been very happy. They feel normal.What a difference using 5 pound dumbbells make while doing a shoulder press. I am used to using 15-25 pounds for that exercise. I do miss lifting heavy, but I will be back at it soon enough. I hope my shoulders appreciate this rest as well.
Eating has been alright. I am probably very lax with it since I know I start my new "diet" and training in a few days. I have not gone hog wild by any means, but I sure am looking forward to all the Thanksgiving treats!
Happy Holidays!

Scrambled eggs:
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
Pinch of salt
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tsp. olive oil
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, sour cream, cauliflower puree, Parmesan and salt.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, then set the pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Add the egg mixture, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula, until the eggs are scrambled—firm but nice and moist—2 to 3 minutes.

Banana Bread:
nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 ts baking soda
1/4 ts baking powder
1/2 ts sea salt
1/2 ts ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 lg egg whites
1/2 cup pureed bananas
1/2 cup pureed cauliflower
1 ts pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan, or 2 mini pans, with cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix the flours with the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, Mix the sugar and oil with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the egg whites, pureed banana and cauliflower, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.
Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes for a large loaf and 25-30 for 2 mini pans. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool before serving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recipe review, Turkey "Dinner", and the Rockettes


Today has been a busy day. Well, first I will review the turkey chili I made yesterday. It was good. I made a few changes though. I made mine with lean beef. I used a can of tomato sauce instead of chopped tomatoes ( Amara has a thing about chunks of tomatoes) and I used black beans in addition to the kidney beans the recipe called for-we love beans and 1 can just seemed like it was not going to be enough. This chili was a bit "soupier" than we normally make. Amara even made the comment, " This is not chili, it's soup." It just had more liquid then we are used to. It's not very spicy at all, but you can doctor up your individual bowl if you want to.

This recipes "hidden" veggies were red pepper and carrots..both are on the bottoms of the list of Amara's favorite things. She had no clue either. She also made a comment of " Yum, dinner smells sooo good!" Little did she know I was sauteing onions ( " I don't like onions momma") She ate it right up!

Today Amara had her turkey dinner at school. It was at 11:30am so it was really lunch, but she got upset if I said it was lunch. Matt and I were able to attend. It was really nice. They had everything. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls and nasty cranberry sauce. I can't stand that stuff. We were able to stay for about 45 minutes. Amara only went to school for part of the day because she and I and a friend and her daughter went to see the Rockettes perform!

The Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular Tour made a stop in Grand Rapids this year. I was not sure Amara was old enough to enjoy the show since she is not big on loud noises and big productions. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and was pleased that she sat through the entire 1.5 hour show ( in her own seat and not on my lap) without complaint! I was also not sure if this was my kind of thing. I changed my mind after seeing how much Amara enjoyed it. She is big into all things that sparkle and the outfits had plenty of bling too. We had a great photo opportunity while we were headed to the car- 3 of the rocekettes were coming out of the building, but Amara got suddenly shy, so no picture! She did fall asleep on the 10 minute drive home though!




Turkey chili
1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup red onion, chopped

1 pound turkey,

ground 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp chili powder, or to taste

1 tsp salt

½ tsp sweet paprika

⅛ tsp pepper

15 ounce chopped tomatoes

26 ounce chicken broth, (low sodium, reduced fat)

1 large red pepper, pureed (about ½ cup puree)

1 cup carrot, pureed (about ½ cup puree)

¼ cup cornmeal

2 tbsp flaxseed meal

15 ounce kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Coat the bottom of a large pot with cooking spray and set it over medium heat. When the pot it hot, add the oil. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle the turkey with the garlic, chili powder, salt, paprika and pepper. Add the turkey to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Add the broth, red pepper puree, carrot puree, cornmeal and flaxseed meal, and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, 15 to 20 minutes, or until the flavors have blended. Stir in the beans and cook a little longer, just to heat them through.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday
















So just a few words........I got this idea from a lot of the blogs out there!










Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Biggest Loser

I just finished watching The Biggest Loser. I love this show!!!! It's a 2 hour block that I carve out every Tuesday night at 8pm. I allow Amara to stay up an extra 15 minutes so she can watch. She loves to see the people exercising and "getting healthier than the last time". The people on the show are very inspiring and motivating to watch. Jillian is such a kick butt trainer with super buff arms ( and body) that I envy! Bob is tough when he needs to be, and just a great person ( as if we hang out or something). I am actually in the midst of reading Jillian's book called "Making the Cut" So far so good! A lot of the information she gives is stuff I already know, but I have learned a few things along the way. I have already Incorporated some of her fancy weight training moves in my group exercise classes.
This week is going well. I have decided not do any heavy weight lifting of my own for the rest of the month to give my body a break. It's smart to take a break from that every so often and I admit that I rarely even do unless forced to do so. People should take a break every 8-12 weeks depending. The last real break I took was after I had Miles 13 months ago--so I am a few months overdue! I love to do cardio anyway and am liking the shorter gym visits as well.
Tomorrow I am meeting my partner in crime to take on Power Pilates again at 5:30am. Later on I plan on hitting the Zumba class for my cardio fest. I am not sure if it's because I have been less active this week, but I have not had much of an appetite. I read somewhere recently that there is no direct correlation between exercise and hunger-that after exercise you really are not hungrier than if you did not exercise. I don't believe it at all. I need to research this more because I know that on very active days ( such as today-I teach 3 classes) I always feel hungrier than on a day that I am not as active. I will get to the bottom of this!
I have not been posting about our "cheat" meals recently because they are too boring. $5 cardboard pizza one week and Taco Bell the next. Blah. Too boring to talk about.
Matt is going to make his way back to the gym. He has declared that after Thanksgiving will be his debut. He has added another day of basketball to his regime already so that's a great start. He always takes a break during hunting season.
Amara can almost do a full blow cartwheel thanks to her once a week gym class at school!
Miles has taken up the practice of "sprinting" and jumping off of anything that happens to be in his path. Boys!
I am slacking on my recipe of the week. This is the last week so I need to figure out what to make. I will post about it later this week.
I have to get to bed. 4:30am will be here soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cookies!!




I made the chocolate chip cookies on Thursday and let me tell you, they did not disappoint! I think the only reason I thought they would be good was because Oprah said so. Otherwise I am not sure I would have even made them. Who wants a chocolate chip cookie that has a big 15oz can of garbanzo beans?!?! You could not taste, see or smell them in the cookies. Well, I take that back..every once in a while I did get a piece of bean "skin", but that was the only evidence that they were even included in the recipe.
I would not go as far as to say these are a totally healthy dessert, but it is a healthier version of the standard chocolate chip cookie and a healthier alternative. It's all about finding a balance. There are not many cookies that are full of fiber and protein and actually taste good. The recipe also includes trans-free tub butter spread alternative. The jury is still out on this. I have read that real butter is the healthiest thing to use as the fake stuff is compared to the actual plastic container it comes in.
Next time I might try real butter or even using a fruit puree instead. I might add some cocoa powder and use a white flour-whole wheat flour mixture.
I will definitely be making these again.
I will include the actual recipe this time!


Recipe by Jessica Seinfeld - Deceptively Delicious
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (15 - ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
2 Cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cups raisins (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour1
teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, walnuts and raisins (if wanted,) and mix on a low speed until a thick dough forms.Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes; do not over bake. Transfer to a rack to cool.Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
As a side note: I know there are a lot of moms that read this blog ( I think so anyway!) Here is a link to an awesome blog that is offering a cool free Christmas Giveaway from V-Tech.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday

This entry is not really about Thursday, I was just at a loss for a title........
I think I'm sick. I am not sure though. Sometimes I confuse sickness with allergies or just being tired. I have been using Zicam like nobody's business and my own concoction of echinacea and vitamin C. I hope something helps. It was only a matter or time. Amara has been congested for about a week now. Those darn preschool germs. She slept for an unheard of 13 hours the other day. I kept checking on her. She is usually good to go after at 11 hours or so. Lucky girl. I don't think I could even sleep that long if given the chance.
Besides feeling slightly under the weather this week has been a fairly good week for me. I am on track with all my workouts this week. Matt skipped his night hunt yesterday due to poor weather so I was able to go the the gym kid free. I think I was almost there for 2 hours! It was a good time--Zumba was great. My Zumba partner ( my brother's ex-girlfriend) and I were discussing that we might be getting bored with Zumba--say it ain't so!!! After last night's class I can say that it is just as exciting for me as it has been in the past months. Especially after missing it last week-it was great to be back!
I am behind on my recipe for this week. This will be week 5 of 6. I hope to whip something up today if I can find the time. I might make some chcolate chip cookies that use a whole can of garbanzo beans. Oprah said they were excellent so you know they must be.. Oprah don't lie!
I hope to post again later tonight about the cookies or tomorrow. Until then........

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday.....

The day is almost over and I survived-YAY! I don't know why Mondays are so blah...coming off the weekend, going back to work ( a mother is never off-duty), getting back in the swing of things- it's hard.
I was able to get up nice and early and get to the gym and really push myself. It's been a while! Matt decided to "sleep in" and let all the deer get away so I could do my thing today. Although Miles had other plans for him-he was up from about 5am-6am. Glad I was at the gym! I was sore by 8am- that is something different for me, but in a good way.
I did something bad yesterday..I called myself Fat Butt in front of Amara! I try to never say stuff like that. I don't want her thinking I have issues ( even if I do). She just laughed I think and asked me why I said that. I told her I was just joking. She seemed OK with that answer.
I must be doing something right though--earlier in the day Matt asked her if she was going to quit ( I cannot remember what they were talking about), and Amara says " Girls don't ever quit. I'm not quitting" she has also been known to say "Girl Power!" at any given moment.
I need to say more positive things such as that and no more negative body image talk--even if I'm joking!
Miles had his flu shot today and all he did was frown in confusion after it was administered. So happy about that. I hate having to hold his arms down during shots, which is why I normally make Matt do it. The flu shot is the only doctor's visit I don't mind him skipping since it's just a shot and takes 2 seconds.
Amara's halloween candy is almost gone and I have not touched any in at least 4 days. She probably gets 1-2 pieces a day and noticed that her candy basket was getting kind of low. Ooops...I might've blamed Matt. I took credit for eating the big Tootsie Roll though--since Matt told her he did not eat it and she knows Miles didn't.
Here's to a fabulous week!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recipe Review--

Tonight for dinner we had Burgers I from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. The "secret" ingredient in this recipe was pureed cauliflower. It also called for soy sauce, garlic, breadcrumbs, black pepper and milk. When I make these recipes the purees I use are no secret to Amara. Have you ever steamed broccoli or cauliflower before? It's hard to keep that a secret with the strong smell. I put my own secret ingredients in these burgers though-- flax seed flour and wheat germ. Just for a nutritional boost. You can't even taste it. So anyway, I thought the burgers ( I used extra lean ground beef) were very good and flavorful. Matt liked them as well. Now, Miss Amara initially said her burger was good, but I asked her again after I noticed that she ate the whole bun and her burger was still on her plate. She changed her mind and in fact did not like it at all. Oh well, I can't win them all! She ate it all anyway ( because I made her-it only took her an hour.....)
Workouts have been so-so this week. I think I am suffering from burn-out as well as over training. Not good. I think I have done really well all year in avoiding both of these things, but now that the year is coming to an end I feel the need to take a break from it all. Well not it ALL, just a break from work. I would love to be able to just do my own thing for a week or 2 and then go back to work refreshed! Ahhhhhh--I will keep dreaming. No Zumba today. Miles has decided to be text-book and take 2 naps a day like 13 month olds should do!
I have pregnancy induced carpal tunnel--I have it when I am pregnant ( hence the name) and for while after the babe is born. So, of course I was a bit concerned/terrified/sick to my stomach as to WHY it is flaring up so much lately??? Nope-not pregnant ( knock on wood), but I sure do look super hot wearing my 2 braces to bed everynight. It's either that or waking up every 30 minutes because my hands and arms are tingling. Braces it is!
It might be because I have been on www.cropmom.com so much lately!! I am an addict. And since I mentioned the site on my blog the president( not Obama) thanked me by giving me a coupon to print a page for free! How cool is that!! Thanks Kathy!
Let's see, my eating will be discussed at a later date, when Amara's Halloween candy is gone. That should be real soon at this rate.
All in all this week has not been one of my better weeks, but I'm not concerend. It happens and you get over it and get back on track. Which is exactly what I plan to do-starting on Monday!

Monday, November 3, 2008

CropMom











The President of CropMom.com emailed me to let me know how to post creations--Thanks Kathryn!!








Sunday, November 2, 2008

New addiction!



I try to limit my time on the Internet to when the kids are sleeping and/or in school, but I became addicted this weekend to: http://www.cropmom.com/
I always wanted to scrapbook( and to be good at it). I have done a few pages here and there, but never found the time or money to keep up with it. That, and I am just not that creative or imaginative when it comes to things such as that. I take a look at others efforts and then I think mine look like a joke! I had grand intentions of chronicling my pregnancies and the kids lives, but well, that has never happened! We have so many pictures of them on the computer, but nothing that I can share with people in a cool way.
I was up very late last night playing around on this site-it was a lot of fun. I am still new at it though, so I think I will have many late nights again.
I have no idea how to "share" my creations on my Blog, but if you join up for free, my name is mardgra if you want to take a look at my attempts at digital scrap booking! All you have to do is click on View Gallery.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!







Halloween is almost over and I only ate 3 pieces of candy. And I only stole one piece from Amara's pumpkin bucket. She had a lot of fun. She went as a Snow Princess this year. The last 2 Halloween's it has been either raining, freeing cold or both (freezing cold rain). She was Snow White her first year and Cinderella last year. She had to wear a jogging suit underneath her costume both times it was so cold. She did not look very princess like! So it was my brilliant idea to convince her to be a snow princess. A long to the ground fleece get-up, complete with hand muffler that she would be warm in--too bad today's weather was in the 60's! She put her costume on this afternoon to go to Matt's work and asked me to turn the air conditioner on in the car she was so warm. Oops! It did cool down by the time it was time to Trick or Treat though so I am thankful for that.
Cutey Miles was a Playful Puppy. He seemed to like his costume well enough. So easy to please at this age!



Thursday, October 30, 2008

Success......

Recipe number 3 was yesterday. Spaghetti Pie. It looked nothing like the picture, but it was a hit with the family nonetheless. Amara heard what I was making and warned me that she was not going to like it. I told her thanks, but too bad for her because that's what we were having for dinner.
This recipe used broccoli puree ( which I cooked longer and it turned out a lot smoother than my first attempt a few weeks ago), and carrot puree. I did not have any eggs so my meatballs were a little loose, but other than that this was pretty tasty. Other changes I will make for the next time are: I will use spaghetti sauce instead of plain tomato sauce and maybe use a bigger pie pan.
Even though Amara took her usual snails pace to eat this meal I was convinced she really did enjoy it. Matt will basically eat anything I cook, but gave thumbs up to this dish and even packed the leftovers for his lunch today.
Workouts have been as good as I can make them this week. Matt is on a hunting mission so my early gym mornings have been put on the back burner for the most part this week. I even agreed to sub a class this week so I knew I would get a workout in!

So Zumba was last was last night. I was watching myself in the mirror ( that's why they are there people!) and I felt I looked kind of stiff and uptight. That is so not what Zumba is about! It's about being loose and carefree. I decided then and there to get over myself and have more fun during class and loosen up. I did, and I seemed to have even more fun!! I was not worried about the people that were looking through the class-- they were all jealous and wishing they were in class. I just know it!
I have also been notified that I will be a single mom this weekend as hunting will be priority since it is not going so well. So good luck to you Matt!
Food choices have been quite good this week too. I must have a mental image of those ladies from the figure show in my head or something. Whatever it takes I guess.
Amara had her gym class yesterday and she learned some sweet new moves. She also learned about grains. I tested her and asked her if she had fun learning about broccoli and oranges. She assured me that those were not grains, but pasta and breads were. She was also quick to point out that the grains they showed in class were white and not the brown healthy kind that we use at home. It's nice to know that she listens to us. I better not get used to it though-she's only 4!
Miles is coming into his own as well. Sleeping for over 10 hours a night, using sign language and trying to run. That's a sight to see.
Here's to many more successful days!

Monday, October 27, 2008

New found motivation???

It's Monday! The start of a brand new week. I was able to wake up at 4:15am and was at the gym by 5am this morning. I made it to the gym bright and early 3 times last week and I think I handled it fairly well. I got at least 5 hours asleep--6.5 one time! I think I looked more tired than I felt. I will try to make it 3 times again this week as well.
The weekend always seems to take forever to arrive and is over before you know it. This past Saturday I attended a figure show. I explain a figure show as a bikini contest with muscles. It's not really, but people who don't know seem to accept that answer. I competed in a show in 2006. This was totally out of my comfort zone. I don't even wear a bathing suit to the beach. I was up on stage in a very tiny bedazzled bikini, 4 inch clear heels ( I wore ankle socks to my wedding), and TONS of makeup ( I wore makeup in my wedding-courtesy of my sister in law). This was all so foreign to me. I am glad I had the opportunity to do it though!
This was the show I had planned on entering, but since that did not happen I decided to watch it and see who I would have been up against! I am confident that I could have placed in the top 5 in my class( there were 9 girls I think in all). I will admit I was a little jealous sitting there in the audience thinking about the "what ifs", but I am mostly over that now! Seeing those beautiful bodies up on stage seems to have given me a bit of motivation ( hope it lasts..) to get more serious about my own workouts and more diligent on my eating. I don't like to use the word "diet" when talking about myself becasue I am trying to make it a lifestlye, not just a way to drop some pounds quickly.
That was my weekend pretty much. Here's to new found motivation!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Deceptively Disgusting

The Macaroni and Cheese was not a success. It wasn't totally nasty, but I am sure I won't be using the recipe again. Amara kindly told me that she likes the kind in the box better. Matt doused his w/ hot sauce, but he does that with the boxed kind too(and most foods in general).
It was kind of bland to say the least. It was totally the recipe at fault and not my awesome cooking. Hopefully next weeks recipe will taste better.
There was another mac n' cheese recipe in the cookbook as well. I wonder if that one tastes better. The one I chose ( Mac and cheese 2) used garbanzo beans as the "hidden" veggie. Mac and cheese 1 used butternut squash or cauliflower as the vegetable. The only reason I picked the one with the beans was because it had less ingredients. So much for time management!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bummer...........

I have been gearing up to start my new goal in January. That would be to start training for the grueling 25k race that I swear to NEVER RUN AGAIN every year. It hurts so good. My goal is to run in under 2 hours. That's pretty quick for 15.5 miles. I have been thinking about joining up with a running club again for at least 4 months now. I took it upon myself to email the new coach and ask( brown nose) a few questions about the upcoming season.
The running club offers guidance on how to train for races. They have a speed session workout during the week and a long run on the weekend. It's up to you to do the other prescribed runs during the week. I really love the group aspect of training, doing something besides teaching group exercise, being outside and just enjoying other grownups! There are people there who are at or around my fitness level and can really push me when I need it. I need that push.....
So it really saddened me to find out that the speed sessions are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I can't attend either of those days-stupid work.
When I was last with this club the speed sessions were offered on Tuesday and Wednesday-perfect for me and would have been again. I would have to give up my Wednesday Zumba, but dare I say this would be worth it?? YES-it would have been. So now I don't know what I am going to do. I really feel the speed work is in intricate part of me doing well and achieving my goal. I really don't see myself on a track by myself doing 800 meter repeats anytime soon. Lame.
So I apologize for the pity party. This is just a total bummer.
OK, moving on to some positive things.......
I don't get to do Power Pilates on Wednesday because Matt is hunting early. Oops, that was negative. Zumba- take me away!!! I still have that hopefully........
Amara had her gymnastics class today during school and I am able to log onto the computer and spy on her whenever I want. I was able to see her in action as she had tons of energy this morning even before school started. She was as funny as I expected. She jumped on the trampoline, walked the balance beam ( just a line on the floor I think), did a somersault and a cartwheel and the while a big smile on her face ( I wish there was sound..I am sure she was giggling the whole time). She gave a couple high fives after the stunts and then repeated the process again. I think she wore herself out. She was pretty tired for us today after school ( ie: whine bag).
Miles had a pretty big day as well. He signed his first word--SHOES! Proud mom over here!
His exercise of the day was dancing to the opening theme music of Yo Gabba Gabba! This show is either the coolest thing ever or it can be scary. I play it a few times in a row so he can get his heart rate up ( kidding).
I pretty much took the weekend off from, well, everything! Monday and Tuesday have been great exercise wise. Monday- not so well with a minor almond M & M attack. Moving on.
This weeks ( maybe tomorrow) recipe will be homemade macaroni and cheese. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Half Marathon........

I thought I would be blogging about my last race of the year today. I made up my mind yesterday afternoon that I would not participate in the half marathon. Or should I say it was decided for me when I found out the price was almost $90! That's what I get for waiting to the last minute to make a decision. My pal Mary ran the race though and totally stomped her under 2 hour goal--way to go girl!
It was most likely a good decision though. I am way too competitive a person to settle for just jogging it at a normal pace (especially at that price!). That's just not my style. I probably would have hurt myself and that would be most unfortunate. I suppose I have something to look forward to next year......The good thing was that while the race was gong on I went grocery shopping; and since there were a few thousand people at the race, my shopping experience was great- no crowds at all. So worth skipping the race.....
More good news is that I am officially finished nursing my son! He got cut off this weekend. That probably sounds harsh, but I swear it wasn't. It was easeir that I thought. So, now I can stop using the excuse that I am nursing and need to keep my calories high-- dang! But in all honesty, I am very grateful, and blessed that I was able to nurse as long as I did. My goal with him was 6 months, so I really outdid myself (ha!).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

1 down 5 to go

I did it. I made a recipe out of my new cookbook last night! I made fish nuggets ( recipe), toasted almost pilaf and red skinned potatoes and green beans. Sounds pretty fancy! The fish nuggets were a big hit with the family. I was not so sure what Amara would think about the green hue the nuggets had ( made with a broccoli puree), but she was all about it. Matt says it was one of his favorite fish meals that I have ever made.
Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.recipezaar.com/257969 the only difference is I made mine with tilapia so you reduce the cooking to 2-3 minutes per side. I might also add that next time I do a broccoli puree I will cook the broccoli longer. I was afraid of overcooking it and it does not puree as well when undercooked. Lesson learned. I need to choose 5 more recipes to make.

Well, yesterday's Power Pilates was really great. It is such a challenge for me. It is so easy to do pilates wrong that I am grateful for my instructor- she reminds the class to engage the abs throughout the session and every time she reminds me I realize I was not fully engaged.
I am a little sore right now and expect the pain to worsen as the day goes on. Can't wait.
I am also grateful for my buddy Mary. She met me at the gym bright and early for class. We just might make this a regular thing for us. If we can both drag our butts out of bed on time. I think I had my alarm set for 4:25am. I am not one that can just roll out of bed and be on my way. I need to eat and to drink my coffee. After that I seem like a normal morning person. I did power pilates at 5:30am. And 12 hours later at 5:30 pm was my beloved Zumba! It was a good class too. It was very crowded and hot which would normally annoy me, but not this time. Most of the songs and dances are getting to be familiar to me so I feel more confident in myself. I am not quite at the point where I would not be embarrassed if someone I knew walked by and decided to watch through the glass. It happened once and I got all flustered and messed up my moves! Dumb I know, but I'm working on it. I love that there are so many different ages, body types, fitness levels and ethnicities that attend this class. There is one woman that stands in the front row. She might be in her 50's or 60's and you can tell she is having the time of her life and not a care in the world during the hour long class. There is also a woman/girl ( she could be 12 or 30--it's hard to tell), that might be working on her stripper moves too. Not even going to go there, but it is something else to watch. Whatever reason she is there is fine with me. Everyone has a story, so I won't judge! The point is people are there to have fun and I am all for that!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's stinkin' early....

Here it is dark thirty in the morning and I am getting my caffeine so I can participate in Power Pilates. This might be a new goal of mine( yipee!)....an oldie but a goodie. I used to do this class every Wednesday morning a few years back ( 2006!), and kind of got out of the habit. I should also add that I am not very good at pilates. I try very hard and it irritates me that I find it so difficult. I also get great results from it since the kids totally destroyed my core. When I take it on a regular basis I can really notice an improvement on my midsection (ie: I start to look less and less like E.T.)

Miles has slept for 12 or more for the past 2 nights, but naturally that was not the case last night. He slept for about an hour and then woke up and was up until after 10pm. I was really trying to be in bed by 10pm last night knowing that I needed my game face on to concur this pilates crap. Oh, and when I took it years ago it was only Pilates-not POWER Pilates so this should be interesting.
Ok, so here I go....wish me luck!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Goals.....







I love to make goals for myself. I really got into goal setting after having Amara and wanting to lose the rest of the baby weight. My first goal after having her was to run a 25k race almost exactly a year after I had her. After that I ran the Chicago marathon( sub 4:00--woohoo!). After that I did a few more races. After that I participated in a Figure Show. After that I got pregnant with Miles. After I had Miles I did the 25k and a few more races again. Now that leaves me here today. Goalless and out of sorts. I have been without a goal for a few months and it sucks! I have gotten so bored with not training for something specific that I might on a whim run a half marathon this Sunday. Not too smart, but it has given me something to look forward to. I am not signed up yet and I might not even go through with it. Matt does not think it's such a good idea either. I did run 10 miles on Saturday and it went a lot better than my 9 miles the previous week-so I have that going for me.

Next weekend I plan on attending a Figure Show near my home town. This particular show was one of my goals this year, but it just was not in the cards for me. Maybe next year. Which leads me to try and figure out what my Activity Goals for next year are.
I have a few for sures: In January I will join my local running club to help me prepare for my races. In April I will do a 10 mile race and in May I will run the brutal 25k in hopes of doing it in under 2 hours. My best time for that race so far is 2:04. So I am close. After that things get a little hazy. I would love to try a duathlon (a triathlon but without all the stupid swimming in a big body of water so I can drown), but I don't have a bike-kind of a necessity. I would like to do a figure show again, and I am contemplating doing another marathon. I can only pick one activity though because they all have very specific training. I guess I have until May to figure it out, but I like to plan things out so not knowing yet is killing me.

One of my vain goals this year was to be at my pre-pregnancy weight by Miles' 1st birthday. This was really an estimate as I really do not know what I weighed before I got pregnant. It was kind of a fake weight anyway. I had just done the figure show ( and weighed what I did when I was I high school--for real!) I was probably at my pre-pregnancy weight by 6-7 months post-partum..it just was spread around in various places. Some areas of my body like to hold onto the fat stores ( read: BELLY). My neighbor friend and I were having a discussion on which one of us looked more pregnant, which one of us was flabbier and who can suck in their guts better. It's unfortunate that I won this discussion and even more unfortunate that she is indeed 8 weeks pregnant. I think this is a good place to stop this blog entry.......
So, here's to figuring out what the heck to do with myself!
~Pictures are:
My first 25k
Figure Comp.
Chicago Marathon

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Has anyone seen my wagon?

This week has been interesting for me. I have had really awesome workouts all week. I even got up and made it to the gym by 5:30am twice this week ( thanks to Miles' 4am wake up call--thanks a lot buddy.) I actually like getting to the gym early; it's not as crowded and I can take my time for the most part without worrying about the kids acting up in the gym child watch. It's strictly my time by myself. I am also finally at a point where I can "get by" on 4-6 hours of sleep a day and still be nice to my kids and husband!
And then we come to my food choices this week-- I have had better weeks for sure! It's not so much that I have been pigging out on a bunch of crap. Just not making the best choices for myself all the time. I can say it was partly due to all the birthday festivities and such, PMS ( oh, I guess that was 2 weeks ago..must be some crazy lingering symptoms) and maybe my increased physical activity. Sometimes I don't even realize things have not been going all that well... until my daughter shows the signs. POOP TALK AHEAD.
I heard her voice calling from the bathroom, " Mom, I need help!! I have soupy poop today. Must be because I have not been eating enough vegetables." Thanks for not sugar coating it honey. But she is right. I always feel bad too, because it's one thing if I eat a bunch of garbage, I'm an adult and make that choice for myself. And the smell...no poop smells good, but as a parent you can smell the effects of a not so healthy diet. She is only 4, so I make most of the decisions for her. I never thought boxed organic mac n' cheese could do such horrid things to a person. Her little tummy just is not used to tons of processed foods. This should be a good thing, but when we do go that route every so often she ends up paying the price. Not to mention the birthday cake ( it was reduced sugar and quite good!), birthday lasagna, caramel apple with sprinkles and the free bag of popcorn given to her because "she's just so darn cute!" It's not that we don't let Amara have treats, but this amount would be in a few weeks time, not all in the same week, some even in the same day!
I'm just now realizing that there is most likely a direct connection with her naughty behavior all week as well......it's really not ( all) her fault! Dang.
I asked for and received a cookbook for Christmas last year called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, ( yup, Jerry's wife!). I have yet to make any recipes out of it. I have at least 20 cookbooks with the same story. My goal starting next week is to make at least one recipe a week out of it for 6 weeks- even if it is a dessert which includes cookies made with garbanzo beans. http://www.deceptivelydelicious.com/site/
I am off in search of my wagon........

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why?


Why in the world did I think it was a good idea to get up on Saturday morning and run over 9 miles?!!? My highest mileage since the end of July has been 5 miles-once a week if I am lucky. This was a dumb move on my part. I am lucky I did not get injured. I started off strong ( 9-10 minutes a mile) and ended not so strong--I am guessing a 12-14 minute mile pace for the last 3 miles!!
Why do people that know me ( personally or professionally) insist on looking into my grocery cart to " see what you eat." This kind of annoys me. It happens often. Some people make comments and the rest try to pretend they really are not looking in my cart, judging me on my food choices! It should not bother me, but it does. How would they like it if I commented on the 12 ( yes TWELVE) 2 - liters they have in their cart?? I know the sale was BUY 10 get the 11th free ( and you have an extra one at that!), and that most of your choices are diet..but who needs 12 - two liters of anything?!?!
Why does it cost so much to eat healthfully? My grocery bill is higher and higher every week and for the most part I buy the same stuff. Food manufacturer's need to make more coupons for those trying to eat well. I don't mean more fat-free and low fat/baked chip coupons either. They should make coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables, organic products and unprocessed foods.
Why am I thinking about running 10 miles next weekend? Because I am hardcore that's why. Or just plain stupid.


I would like to give a shout out to Matt and Miles!! They are celebrating their birthday's tomorrow!!
Matt is turning the BIG 3-0 and Miles is 1!!! Love you both!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just roll with it......




Well, it was a sad day yesterday. I had to miss my Zumba class. It was the right decision. Kids were driving me bonkers and it would have been very cruel of me to leave them in somebody else's care while I was shakin' my money maker.
I think I have not missed a class in 5 straight weeks. I am almost an expert. It's almost time for me to move from the middle to the front row! Well, not yet. I guess this gives me something to look forward to for next Wednesday! Things happen, especially with 2 small children ( plus 1 grown one), and I just have to adapt. I don't like missing my workouts, but it's not the end of the world either.
I also became a hunter's widow yesterday. Bo hunting season started, so that makes my time for myself even less. It's OK though, Matt will get his time taken away again when I start training for my races next year!! We are good that way I think.
It has been a crazy week here so that is probably why the kids were acting like lunatics. We got home late Sunday (9pm), and have not really gotten our acts together. I got to the grocery store at about 10pm and bought the essentials in about 20 minutes-so we have been pretty much scrapping meals together all week ( read post: Fail to plan, plan to fail). I think we have done a good job though, no major catastrophes have occurred. Just minor ones! Tilapia Wednesday was moved to Thursday. Spaghetti Friday was moved to Wednesday. I also added Red Licorice Wednesday in this week--just for me though. All the rest of you can get your own.
Besides missing my beloved Zumba this week, workouts have been great. I plan on going to Spinning on Friday and maybe even running more than 5 miles on Saturday. We'll see what happens though.
I am proud of myself for not throwing in the towel this week regarding eats and workouts just because things didn't go as planned. Just roll with it........

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I came, I saw, I ate some crap

Well, I had a very fun weekend!!! I love visiting my brother and sister in law. We always have a lot of fun. I did not make the best of choices, but I also did not eat very much all weekend. It's hard to say which is worse!
We had Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and I really had every intention of ordering Naked Chicken Tenders and a side of broccoli. Didn't quite work out that way though.
Dessert was a Nestle Toll House cookie ice cream sandwich ( which for the record has no fat or calories--since I refuse to look at the nutrition information- the stats don't count).
Breakfast was whole grain waffles and turkey bacon.
The baby shower had lots of healthy choices to choose from. Hummus, pita bread wraps, tabouleah, salads ( surprisingly, none were drowned in mayonnaise!!), fruit bowls, cheese and crackers. I sampled most of everything.
For dinner at the in-laws we had fresh perch ( caught this morning), green beans and broccoli. Dessert was a mini Twix ice cream treat-it was very mini.
On the way home in the car I had a gas station cappuccino and many handfuls of Skittles.
Exercise was pretty much nonexistent on Saturday and Sunday. I never thought I would find myself ready for Monday to start! Bring it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hittin' the road

Today my family is going on a quick road trip. It will be a nice, fast get away. We will probably not be eating the best while on the road. It's only a 2.5 hour drive ( give or take an hour---we have small children!)
My goal while away from my own kitchen is to make the best decisions possible. With these stupid gas prices, that means the best choices on the .99 Value Menus! If you try hard enough you can actually order some good stuff ( healthy) from those menus.
I also will be at a baby shower on Sunday so that might get a bit tricky with eating. There is usually a veggie and fruit platter at gatherings such as this. And there will probably be some funky salad with mayonnaise ( barf- I have never likes mayonnaise) that I won't be eating. I will do my best with what is offered.
And since Matt surprised me with a late night dirty meal last night. I need to be on my best behavior! I was saving my dirty meal for this weekend since I knew we would be away from home. Yesterday was tuna sandwich night and I was not feeling it at all. I had a big salad for dinner and 2 hours later I was super hungry again ( go figure). I knew better. I lifted heavy weights and did bike intervals earlier in the day and I always have a big appetite on very active days. If you ever get a chance to eat at Bennigen's Grill & Tavern, order the Turkey O'Toole sandwich. It's the best thing ever. Did I mention it came with a side of fries? Because it did and they were delicious!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fail to plan, plan to fail...

That's kind of how I live my life. Today I had an excellent day-mainly because I planned out everything in advanced--my meals, my classes and my workouts etc.
I try and plan my menus from Sunday to Wed and then Thursday to Saturday. That usually works out really well for me. At the start of this week for some reason I did not have a plan, and I acted as if I had no idea what to eat! I mean, I went grocery shopping on Sunday so the kitchen was fully stocked.
We had pasta on Monday. We never eat pasta on Monday-that's usually our "end of the week meal because we ran out of everything else dinner". Either that or tuna sandwiches.
After dinner on Monday I did the menu up until Thursday. I felt so much better knowing I had it all planned out.
I am the same way when teaching exercise classes. I taught 3 classes today and each one got better then the next and I started off pretty up there! I like when that happens. I planned out all of my classes on paper in advanced today. It was either my great teaching abilities or all the coffee I drank before my classes.
The same goes for my own personal workouts. If I step into the gym without a plan I usually have a less then stellar workout. I try to at least make a mental note of what I want to accomplish in the gym and go from there.
I hope I don't sound like a robot. I'm a fun girl--really!
I know the whole planning things does not work for all families, but I feel it works best for mine. I just need to figure out how to plan to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. That would be awesome.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Feel the pain

I am getting old. Either that or I am overtraining! I am sure it's overtraining......I'm not that old. My shoulders are a mess. I teach 8 classes a week and it is starting to catch up with me. My shoulderse are the first place to feel it, next it will be my knees. I'm not old. I really don't like backing off in my classes. I look kind of lame not doing the full 3 sets of ten pushups that I ask my classes to do. My problem is I might do that 3 days in a row. Not too smart. And then I expect to be able to workout on my own 3 days a week.
I am trying to figure out a way to separate reaching my personal fitness goals and teaching my fitness classes to my full potential. This is not an easy task, but I need to figure it out before I injure myself. In all of my 10+ years of teaching I have never injured myself ( knock on wood) and I want to keep it that way. It might help too if I incorporated more stretching in my day or a yoga class a few times a week.
I cannot believe I am actually certified to teach yoga! I taught it for about a year or so and stopped when I was 5 months pregnant with Amara. It's too slow for me. I'm all about action over here! I noticed a huge difference in my flexibility and I am the first to recommend yoga too. It's very hard to go to someone elses class after teaching 2-3 myself that day. The only exception is Zumba-but that's a given.
So I guess I have a lot to figure out in regards to finding balance in that area of my life. That and dinner. I have no idea what to make tonight. We usually end up having tuna sandwiches when I can't think of anything else.
On a side note ( I know, this is about the 3rd side note of this blog) the vegetable turkey meat loaf was a hit! Amara says she liked it ( with ketchup of course). Matt pretty much likes anything, so I was sure he would eat this without a problem. I liked the fact that it was really easy to make and that it's super healthy with all the vegetables inside. As Amara happily exclaimed "I can't even taste em'!!" Whew!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not bad

I ended up making my turkey meat loaf about an hour ago. It looks interseting to say the least. I got the recipe out of a book called Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding. I am positive I gained weight while following the guidelines of this book. Not sure how that heppened, but it did. So I do not recommend this book for weight loss at all!
Ok, here's the recipe:
Vegetable Meat Loaf
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 cupes finely grated vegetables any combination ( carrots, zucchine, carrots, mushrooms, green beans, bell peppers, onions)
1 cup crushed crackers, unsweetened flake cereal or bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350*. Mix all ingrediants in a bowl until they are well blended. Press into a 8-inch by 4- inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until done. Serves 4.

I went to the grocery store today to buy my veggies. I went to the produce section because I know that a lot of the stuff will be marked down since a new sale starts on Sunday. I was able to get some organic yellow carrots for $1.50 and organic bell peppers for dirt cheap. I also bought some organic baby greens for less than $1.

I followed the instructions for the most part. I used lean ground turkey. I advise against using extra lean ground turkey unless you are a fan of dry meat. Although, the veggies might bring enough mositure to the loaf--I just thought of that-dangit! But we all need some fat in our diet so, whatever. I choose to use itlalian bread crumbs instead of cereal-that just seems weird. For the veggies I used yellow baby carrots, orange baby carrots, green bell pepper, onions and baby greens. I just piled a bunch in the food processor until I had a little over 2 cups. It actually turned out nicely. It looks kind of like confetti when you slice it. It counts as 1 serving of vegetables too. I ate a little piece, and it is moist enough so I might not need to use ketchup. I am sure Amara and Matt will though.

I used to cook all the time and I think I might start doing it more often. Maybe.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What a day...

The last few days have been hazy. As I type it is 2:32am. I have no idea why I am awake-Miles has been sleeping since 7:30pm ( he woke up around 1:22am and was sleeping by 1:42am), I just never settled back into sleep for some strange reason. That's kind of how my day has gone today--or should I say yesterday??.
Amara had her fitness class today. So I decided it would be a good idea to walk there. It's only a 10 mintue walk from our house and we left a little late. Amara ( bless her heart) ran the entire way with me pushing Miles in his stroller behind her. We made it on time, good thing since class started late today for some reason. My plan was to take her to class and then enjoy a nice walk in the park a few feet from where Amara's class was held. Miles and I set out on our walk when I decided it was time to clean the ants off the stroller. ( Oh, I forgot to mention that..I noticed quite a few ants on the stroller when we left, but since we were late I let them be). None were on Miles and I wanted to keep it that way. I took Miles out of his stroller to clean the ants off. He ended up brushing up against the muddy stroller while I was cleaning...what's that you say?? That's not mud? Oh, of course not, it's dog poo! Nice. And to make matters worse I forgot the diaper bag at home and all I had was a tissue I snagged on the way out of Amara's school, of course it was full of ants and crumpled up. I wiped up what I could from Miles' pants and decided I was grossed out enough to walk home and change his clothes. We hurried home, got changed and disenfected and walked back to get Amara. What a start to my day!
At least Amara had a good time. She showed Miles and I more skills and then some! She was doing some walking lunges-I asked her if they did those in class. She said no, but you do these so I wanted to do them too ( tear) She also learned about whole grains and serving sizes which I elaborated on the imprtance of both.
I taught one class today ( Totally Toned) and walked a total of about 30 minutes and also had my weekly dose of my new obsession-ZUMBA!
I have fallen back into my good eating habits. I am not thinking about it, I just make good choices as if it is second nature again. Finally! Tonight for dinner we had tilapia. It's a mild white fish that is easy to make and tastes pretty darn good. I dreadged it in a few egg whites, seasoned it and then dipped it in Italian bread crumbs and baked it in the oven. I think tilapa is is one of Amara's favorite dinners. She usually takes about an hour to eat, but on tilapia night she takes less then 30 minutes-that includes her second helping of fish and she has to eat her sides first-tonight was sweet potatoes and broccoli. Stay tuned for my turkey meatloaf I am attempting tonight! I never liked anyone's meatloaf besides my dad's when I was growing up. I used to make one in college that used lots of salsa and corn that I thought was tolerable. I probably drowned it in ketchup
I never understood how restaurants even served meatloaf and why people would order it. That and pot roast in a restaurant-gross.
Anyway, I shuld try and sleep since I am sure Miles will get up as soon as I close my eyes..
The joys of parenthood- I wouldn't change it for the world!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bottoms up!

Our family is settling in nicely with our eating habits once again. It's not that we were sitting around stuffing our faces with garbage, but we still did it a little more often then was needed. I am doing this first as a way to become healthy and to show my kids what it means to be healthy. That also means not making comments about how fat, ugly or dumb I am in front of her. That's easy for me since I am non of those things.....haha!! We are trying to teach her that it's not all about looks and all things beautiful ( she is in that stage of all things must be pretty) that it is important to eat well and exercise in order to stay healthy which will make her smart first and all the other things are just a bonus. Which leads me to announce that I have lost 4 lbs since the start of all this. Go me! Amara got her exercise in these pst 2 days by jumping in the puddles for at least 30 minutes for 2 days! It literally rained here for 48 hours without much of a break. She had the best time. I think I exercised 5 out of 7 days last week. Not too shabby. Matt made it to the gym a few times and went fishing.
Miles has been exercising--mainly his lungs. Not all crying thank goodness!
I think I was praising Miles' sleep habits a bit prematurely. That night was just a fluke.
He is now officially my problem child ( Amara is off the hook for now). Hopefully, whatever he is going through will be over soon. Like today. I have a feeling tonight is going to be another long night for us.
I need to take up drinking ( should probably start tonight). Not really, but all the "experts" make claims that drinking one alcoholic bevergae a day can do lots of stuff: increase good cholesterol, lessen heart disease, lowers risk of diabetes and breast cancer etc.
One study also claims that people that exercise and drink (I assume not at the same time) had a beneficial effect on thier heart. This is all good news. Or so I thought. The same study said to not start my 1 drink a day habit until I was 45 or 50 years old! Dang! Now I have to wait over 10 years to start my new hobby. I can either do that or have 1 drink a few times a week. I also know that "they" say red wines are best ( for all the good things that grapes provide) Anybody know of a cheap red wine that tastes sweet and more like a white wine?
Cheers!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Exercise- A family affair........




The past couple of days have been pretty good. Miles slept better last night, so that is good news for our household. He has been walking for about 1 month now so he is getting his exercise in these days. He was a pretty big baby ( 10 lbs. 10 oz.- I love to throw that in every chance I get). He is 11 months and around 22-23 lbs. Healthy guy with precious baby rolls galore. His face is starting to thin out with all his activity.
Amara has started her new gym class at her preschool. It's a great idea and I wish I thought of it. An outside source comes in once a week ( Rising Starz Fitness) and teaches the kids about fitness, self-esteem and nutrition. I asked her how she liked it. Her response, " I loved it!" After that she demonstrated a few donkey kicks, somersaults and a faux carthweel that she learned that day. I asked her if they talked about nutrition and she said, "fruit and oil". Not quite sure what the means, but she's only 4-I am happy she paid enough attention to the non-activity portion of class to tell me that much!
I think Matt made it to the gym twice this week, which for him is great. He does full body workouts on his lunch break. He is not really a cardio machine type of guy. He would rather play basketball although that has not happened in a few weeks. We are still working on that. He's the type of person that will eat well for a week, make it to the gym 3 times and play basketball 1-2 times and a 6-pack magically appears. No fair. Back off ladies-he's with me. He is into fishing and hunting, so that gets him plenty of walking in when the season hits.
I am back to teaching 8 fitness classes a week. It can really wear on me after a few weeks of this. I can get burned out very quickly. I am trying to avoid this by trying to do doing different things everytime I teach. It worked this week.
I did a Boot Camp style class with 1 minute drills. For another class I did compound exercises the entire class. One class I only used the Body Bar for equipment. My Spinning class is always different-this week it was hills and sprints. I like to teach classes the same way I like to be taught. I talk as little as necessary and I am not always in your face telling you " Good job!" and " Way to go!" I know, I know..that does not sound very motivating, but I do give kudos when it's needed. I let my classes know they are doing well. My feedback is great and a lot of people tell me the reason they keep coming back to my classes is because of the resasons I stated.
I ended up getting to the gym today and did my own thing- A full body circuit and intervals on the treadmill. Sometimes people cannot believe I still go to the gym after teaching all week. I have to, or I will go insane. End of story.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cold Stone anyone???

Miles won't sleep. He is either:
a) teething
b) sick
c) both a and b
d) neither
e) likes to party all night
I have been going on auto-pilot these last few days. Not. Fun. At. All. Stressed to the max! The bad news is I am a total stress eater. The good news is I have not given in! Even when my loving husband called me tonight on the way home from running errands ( buying broccoli, chicken and turkey bacon). The conversation went something as follows.
Matt: Hey Marcia...I'm not trying to sabotage you or anything, but I am near Cold Stone..do you want me to stop?!!?!?
Me: NO!!!
Matt: Ok, bye. Just thought I would check.
This was a pretty big step for me. A month ago, I would have been all over that!! If you don't know..Cold Stone Creamery is just the best ice cream ever invented! Take a peek: www.coldstonecreamery.com/index.html
They do have some "healthier indulgences" options to choose from, including a Sinless Sans Fat-non fat no sugar added ice ceam ( um, no thanks!). If I am going to eat ice cream give me the real deal please!! If you ever get a chance to go there, I highly recommend it..in moderation of course!!
My 4 year old is learning what a "cheat" meal is but does not really like the word cheat. She wants to call our next cheat meal a fun meal instead--they sure do learn fast at this age! She's still a tad confused on why her cheat still has to include a side a broccoli though. Hmmmm, how to explain that one.......

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What a waste.....

Today was my first official " cheat meal" of the week. A cheat is basically an off plan meal that might be something you craved all week--basically something fried, cheesey, sugary and all things that I am trying to avoid.
I had Taco Hell and it was not even worth it.
I took Miles for a walk while Amara rode her bike for 30 minutes ( exercise for me--yay!). After the walk we just started driving and we ended up at Taco Hell. It did not even taste good. UGH!!! I even passed on the pizza today at Chuck E. Cheese. What was I thinking???
Sometimes "cheats" are needed and necessary for me to stay on track. Next time I will remind myself that if I just don't really feel like it then I won't have the cheat. Either that or just get pizza. I can never go wrong with pizza.