Living for T

Two years ago, just a few minutes past midnight, I shook my husband awake. “Time this…ok, how long was that?” My husband, bleary eyes instantly becoming huge, said, “Oh my God. That was only a minute.” He shot out of bed and started getting things in the pickup.

Seeing as this was my first child, I was really dumb. I kept calling the hospital earlier that afternoon and asking them if I should come. They told me that if I felt I was in labor I should come, but it could be a false alarm, which is common for first-time moms.

I didn’t want to miss work that Monday for a false alarm, so I waited…from 5:00PM until after midnight when I kept getting woke up by twinges of pain. I also waited until there was a complete ND, white-out blizzard. If you’ve ever been to the mid-west during one of its blizzards, y’all know what I’m talking about. Plus we had to drive 75 miles to get to my hospital. We barely made it on the interstate before highway patrol shut it down. The going was slow and no visibility at times, but we made it. I called my mom 10 minutes from the hospital to tell her because I knew if I called her before I left she would have called the ambulance. Anyway, we made it, I got roomed and was 6cm along when I arrived.

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At 11:27AM my life changed forever. I was greeted by a pair a beautiful eyes (and chin) that mimicked mine in the most perfect way. It’s amazing how natural everything comes when you have a baby. Well, most everything. I can’t say it was always easy, but I trusted myself to know what was best. I remember soaking in my epsom salt bath looking up articles on how to breastfeed or what temperature was best for his room. I remember trying to change his diaper for the first time and wondering how in the heck I never learned this in 25 years. I worried constantly about if I did the right thing.

I don’t think the worrying stops, but today I have a happy, healthy two year old. I did everything I thought was best as a mom. He walks, he can slay any animal noise, he’s independent, a daredevil, and loves his puppy and kitty. He’s smiley and active, and while he can throw a mean tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, he can also give the sweetest kisses.

He’s the reason this blog got started. I wanted to document my weight loss journey, and I named my blog Living 4 T because that’s what I am doing: I’m living for my son, Tristan. I’m becoming more positive, more energized, more active for him so he can grow up to be a good person who leads a healthy life too. His presence has made me want to be a healthier person, so I’m setting an example for the beautiful boy that graced my life two years ago. I’m living for today, tomorrow, and Tristan.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweetheart. Mommy loves you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for making me a better person and for helping me to believe in myself, that I’m worth it.

The “L” Word

This morning as I walked out the door to go to work I told my mom, who takes care of our son during the day, “I never thought I’d ever be the person who would take a hard boiled egg with sriracha and a piece of cheese to work for a snack.” It’s the honest truth too. Hard boiled eggs growing up, unless they were deviled, were THE devil. You couldn’t pay me enough to eat one, and yet, here I am eating them and actually enjoying my snack. I still like my other snacks, but I’ve since modified the kinds of snacks I take. Gone are the days of just a few Cheez-its or candy bar. I buy organic snacks low in sugar, or I take an apple with peanut butter. When you make good choices, you start feeling better and because you start feeling better you love the healthy choices you make.

Speaking of better choices, I started the dreaded “l” word in the exercising world–Lifting. On MFP it seems to be the most menacing form of exercise, especially if you’re a cardio junkie like me. If you had told me a year ago that I’d be lifting, I’d have laughed at you. While I’m starting to see a change by doing cardio, I’m really serious this time and wanted to add more to my workout. I talked to our fitness instructor about personal training, and she was so excited I approached her because she needs a partner to lift with, so she is doing it for free. I am very blessed and fortunate that she is donating her time and talents.

We didn’t add any weight to the bar yesterday, but I was able to do eight squats with the 45lb bar. I felt really good about that, especially since I’ve never lifted before! Lifting was a lot less intimidating that I first thought, and my instructor has assured me that I’ll only get stronger and more confident and eventually I’ll be lifting way more than a 45lb bar. We also did tricep dips, diagonals, chest flies, one-legged squats, and some ab exercises. We did one ab exercise that requires to to lay on your back, heels as close to your butt and reach behind your butt for the opposite foot. I told her this kind of resembled how I put on my pants in the morning, haha!

I have a feeling lifting is going to become my new health obsession, and I can’t wait to see my body and attitude change even more. What healthy changes are you making today?

 

The Breakfast Blues

I eat breakfast every single morning and a healthy one at that, which is far cry from when I was younger. I came from a family who didn’t eat breakfast (and still doesn’t),except for Sunday mornings, but my brother and I would grab our big mixing bowl, fill it up with cereal, and watch Saturday morning cartoons. I’m glad I don’t have those same habits as an adult, although they taught me a few things about my diet and how those habits were hard to break.

I did some research about when the best time to eat breakfast is, and I guess I eat more of a brunch. They say to eat breakfast within an hour of waking so it kick-starts your metabolism. My breakfast falls somewhere between 2 hours before lunch and 3 hours after waking up. It has worked for me, but perhaps my body needs a shock. So this morning I woke myself up a half an hour early, made two egg whites and had a piece of cheese. I tell you what–it took a lot to choke down that egg white. I am unsure why I hate food that early, but it is a change I’m willing to stick with to see what happens.

My day was made better when my son (T) gave me a kiss though. He’s a very independent toddler, and typically when I ask for a kiss he struggles to break free and runs screaming. It’s like high school all over again, haha! Perhaps T sensed I needed a mood boost because while I was holding him and talking to my husband, he planted a kiss right on my cheek. As I started to tell him just how much I loved him, he puckered up and laid one right on my lips. *Sigh*

Recipe Time

Over the weekend I bought some chicken legs because I found a recipe for the Best Chicken Drumstick Recipe EVER. I was skeptical, but it seriously is the best chicken recipe I’ve had. It calls for the simplest ingredients:

-Raw Chicken Drumsticks
-Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (I forgot this step, oops)
-Salt
-Black pepper
-Garlic Powder
-Paprika
-Cinnamon (she says not to skip this, and I agree. This MADE the recipe)
-Cayenne (I didn’t use this because of T, but I bet it would really amp up the chicken)

You literally just rub the drumsticks with the oil, put the salt on, and then sprinkle the remaining ingredients. Put in the oven on 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flip the drumsticks, and bake another 30 minutes. She uses parchment paper, but I used our Yoshi Mat. If you don’t have one, make your life easier and go buy one. They are worth it.

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My mouth waters thinking of these drumsticks. I also made two potatoes with dill weed, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper in a pan on the stove. Took me about 30 minutes on low heat, constantly tossing, so they wouldn’t burn. They were delicious. Don’t be scared to put on as much or as little seasonings as you want with either the chicken or potatoes. Recipes without exact measurements used to turn me off, but I experiment, and I actually end up loving the recipes a lot more when I put my own twist.

Hope you have a terrific day, and thanks for reading!

Happy Friday!

It is supposed to get to the upper 60s/lower 70s today, setting a record for March. Say what?! Even yesterday was beautiful, so beautiful that I packed my little guy up, and we took a quick 30 minute walk before dinner.

Ah, dinner. It was so delicious. My husband was gone last night, and typically when he is gone I break out a box of mac and cheese for dinner (and in turn I am hungry an hour later). Yesterday I was proactive and took out a pound of ground turkey and decided to also use the zucchini in the fridge. I found a recipe for Clean Eating Garlic Parmesan Turkey Meatballs. No, that is not a typo in the recipe. It does indeed call for 10 cloves of garlic, and yes, you should use 10 because that is what made these meatballs delicious. My toddler son, who won’t eat anything but ham, oatmeal, green beans, and fruit, gobbled up a whole meatball himself and then wanted more of mine.

To go with the meatballs I kind of formed my own recipe with the zucchini:

1 Tbsp oil (I used Wild Tree Organic garlic dipping oil)
1 medium zucchini
3/4 cup of southwest style hasbrowns
Onion powder, garlic powder, dill weed, Italian seasoning and pepper to taste

You can leave the outside on the zucchini, but I took mine off for my son. I put the oil in the pan with the potatoes and zucchini and then just eyeballed my spices. I like a lot of flavor, so I used quite a bit. Cook for 10 minutes, and you have a quick, easy side dish that is healthy too!

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I was actually full after it as well. I’ve been “tricking” myself with the smaller plates though too, so maybe that is helping as well.

Tonight I am headed to the gym after work to do some of those chin-ups and work on strength. The rest of the weekend will be spent going out to eat unfortunately, but I’m hoping we go somewhere that will allow me to make good choices. On the plus side we will be moving my brother, so I will be lifting heavy boxes and walking a lot!

Have a fantastic Friday! xx

Going Strong

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. Things have been slowing down here, which is nice because I always feel busy, as everyone is I’m sure. It is something that I’ve been trying to improve in my life. A couple Christmases ago my husband and I were so exhausted we got sick a lot. Even last fall/winter was busy, so I made a commitment for 2016 to cut down on that busyness. Cutting down on the commitments we make to others has helped us reconnect and rest up on the weekends and get our own work done at home.There is nothing like napping with a toddler ❤

I learned something new at the gym last night! Our instructor asked if I wanted to do some pull-ups. I honestly haven’t done any of those since I was a kid screwing around on the monkey bars. The gym has these resistance bands that you put the arch of your feet in, and it helps you do the pull-up, so I managed four of them. It was fun to learn some new equipment because I feel when I work out by myself at the end of the week I am always on the bike because that is where my comfort zone is, and I need to break away from that, especially if I want to build up strength and muscle.

I even made the effort to pull out something for dinner tonight. Typically when my husband is gone it’s mac and cheese night because it is quick and easy. I reminded myself to take out some ground turkey so I can make some meat balls tonight and stick with my clean eating.

Recipe Time

Speaking of clean eating, recipe time! The other night we made Thai Chicken Bites, and it was the best clean meal we have made to date. You can find the recipe at iFoodreal by clicking here. It required a little effort, but it was so worth it in the end. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Have a fantastic day and stay positive! You’re doing the best you can.

Spring Has Sprung

Perhaps I am putting the cart before the horse by saying that spring is here, especially since our last snow storm of the year usually hits us in May, but after seeing some fresh baby calves, it is hard to argue that spring hasn’t sprung at least a little bit.

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Baby moo moos are so cute, aren’t they? I could have spent all day smelling manure and petting babies, and I’m about as city slicker as it gets.

I have already been plotting my spring/summer marathons. My bestie and I already signed up for a 5K at the beginning of May, and my husband and I are going to tackle the Insane Inflatable 5K at the beginning of June.

That, paired with all the wonderful weather really got me in the mood to take a run yesterday evening. It’s not every day we see 70 degree weather in March.

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Not too shabby for my first run since last fall! I was surprised I went as long and as far as I did (and we have a killer hill before you get to our house, so when you already want to quit and die just a block from the house, that hill just mocks you). And now with all those marathons scheduled, I have motivation to continue to work hard on those nice days. My goal is to run a half marathon this fall, so I am on my way.

Recipe Time

I love oranges, but unfortunately the last bag I bought were terrible. They were sweet enough, but I like my oranges pretty supple, and these were just a bit too soft for my taste. Rather than lament over a bag of oranges I spent a bunch of money on, I decided instead to be proactive and figure out a way to make these oranges work. I came up with my own smoothie recipe yesterday morning, and it was so good that my husband, who NEVER makes smoothies (or eats breakfast), whipped one up for himself this morning for work.

1 whole orange, peeled and parted into sections
1 cup milk (I used Silk original soy milk)
A handful of frozen fruit–any frozen fruit will do. You could probably just use ice cubes too, but I liked the added fruity flavor

Throw everything in the blender and mix it up!

I’m very spoiled and have a Ninja, and it is SO easy to shove everything in the cup, slap on the blade, and blend right into the cup. I blend until the consistency is what I want. If it is too thick, add a bit of water. If it isn’t thick enough, add two ice cubes at a time until you’re happy with the thickness.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and wherever you are, if you have a bit of sunshine today, get out there and enjoy it! It’s a beautiful, brand new day to start again.

Temptations

Temptations are everywhere, and they’re going to be everywhere no matter what you do. It isn’t feasible to avoid all situations that have temptations, so you just have to make the best of it.

Work is one of those places with temptations. I can pack my own lunch, but I need to have the will power to resist chocolate covered donuts, which is EXACTLY what I did this morning. I instead opted for a cup of fruit (it paired nicely with a delicious, clean waffle I made this morning– click here to get it, courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny).

Work isn’t even the worst place for temptations for me though. Enter: my parent’s house. I have terrific parents who care for and love us a lot, but I never grew up eating healthy. My mom always said, “If it doesn’t come from a box, I don’t make it.” And that is seriously how I grew up. Rice-a-roni, Schwans, and Hamburger Helper, just to name a few. My brother and I always tease our mom about the time we finally got cable TV, and my mom watched Food Network all day. After that she made one week of healthy meals and then it was over. My brother and I were back to eating cereal for dinner (my husband is flabbergasted we were allowed to do that). And when I say we ate cereal, I don’t mean we had bran flakes in a small bowl. We had Fruity Pebbles or Cookie Crisp in huge bowls, kind of like in the beginning of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” when Peter is eating cereal out of the mixing bowl on the couch. Pretty much us growing up:

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While I think this did/does contribute to my expanding waistline, I can’t blame it all on how I grew up. When I lived by myself I had the choice to make a salad or turkey burger but instead chose the lazy route of take out and pizza, and I didn’t exercise.

Tonight is the first true test on resisting temptations as we are heading over to my parent’s to watch a hockey game. Mom asked if we’d be interested in Subway, and honestly I am VERY interested in Subway. I chose to go with a healthier sandwich loaded with veggies and no sauce so I can still have a treat, but not completely compromise my mission. I am also bringing my own snack of apples and dip, reducing the likelihood that I will go there and eat chocolate everything.

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A much healthier choice than chocolate everything and still super delicious.

2oz plain non-fat yogurt (I chose Chobani Greek yogurt)
1 tbsp pure honey
1 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter (I’d be curious to try this with PB2)
Cinnamon to taste

I’m not saying I’ll never enjoy a chocolate covered donut again, and when I do, I am not going to beat myself up over it, but I am, however, convincing my body that it can be perfectly content with something that fuels me and keeps me on track. It’s a satisfying thought, and I am happy with my choices.

Enjoy this beautiful day wherever you are!