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!

Changes Are Happening

Every day is a great day when you choose to make it that way, but this morning was especially exciting for me. While on my journey to healthier living, I am watching my weight. I understand why some people don’t. My husband refuses to weigh himself or take measurements because he doesn’t want the opportunity to be disappointed. As for me? Old habits die hard. I do try to find a healthy balance and not do it too often. Not only do I weigh myself, but I also take measurements every once in a while, pictures, and I find non-scale victories to focus on.

Curiosity killed the cat this morning though, and I had to check, especially since I feel really good. When I started this journey on Sunday I was 188 pounds and today I weighed in at 184. I was shocked an excited to see how just those changes in my eating habits have helped pave the way for me to reach my ultimate goal. In balancing this with a non-scale victory, today is the first day in months that I have been able to wear my wedding ring and birthstone rings to work. I did wear them for Valentine’s Day, but I had to keep switching them to my pinky fingers because they were so tight I was afraid I was going to get them stuck!

I had a few more non-scale victories this morning. My clothes are looser, and I am no longer bloated. I am feeling so good, and that is what matters the most. I am sugar detoxing right now, and that seems to be the hardest part, but I know it will get better, and I will feel better soon.

I know I may not always have weeks like this, and I will make mistakes, but I will keep reminding myself that it is ok because I am human. As long as I am patient and trust my journey, I can’t go wrong.

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Mmmmushroom Stroganoff

It’s hard to believe that on Saturday it was near 70 degrees and yesterday it was 11. With the snow last night I decided to hunker down at home in lieu of going to the gym because I didn’t know how the roads were going to be after dark. Better safe than sorry!

I stayed in to make a real comfort food: mushroom stroganoff. I was able to find a clean version at iFoodreal and was very impressed at how easy it seemed. After work I’m so tired that the thought of pumping hours into a meal just isn’t appealing. Plus I have a toddler in the terrible-twos who remains independent and uninterested until you try to do something…then he wants scream and latch onto your leg to see how high he can climb.

Back to the stroganoff. Easy, clean, and delicious. All the things I am looking for in a meal now. While I loved it in its original form, I would tweak a couple of things to suit us:

  1. Use beef broth instead of chicken broth
  2. Use mushrooms like the recipe calls for or cut the mushrooms smaller
  3. Add a little more salt and perhaps some garlic

Other than that my husband and I really enjoyed it. I took a smaller plate and loaded it up with a serving, and I was so full after I got done that I didn’t even have a snack last night, which is my biggest weakness in my lifestyle change journey. I’m unsure if it was because the dish was so filling or I tricked my brain with the smaller plate (maybe a combination of both), but either way it worked. I am looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today!

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Pantry Makeover

Pantry, meet people. People…meet pantry.

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Quite the eyesore, right?

We’ve lived in our house for a few years, and it has looked this way since the beginning of time. I could tell by all the food I pulled out that expired in 2013. Oops! In the quest for cleaner eating (and to save my sanity) I decided to redo it. I am not a real Pintrest professional, and quite honestly that wasn’t what my intention was with this pantry anyway. My intent was to organize so that my family and I could find what we were looking for, specifically the good-for-us food.

SO without further ado…

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Tada!!!!!! I am very happy with how it turned out. I still need to get a few additional boxes, but it is still organized until that can happen. I found all my jars at Big Lots for $43.50. The 2 organizers I used for the canned goods were $8.00 each at Walmart, so all in all I don’t think I spent too much to make the pantry look refreshed!

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It’s even been approved by Zeus, and that is no easy feat since this cat is unimpressed with everything except food and bubbles.

I put everything that was opened in the baskets and labeled the baskets accordingly. Everything behind is overstock and lines up with what is in the basket. I put all unhealthier items up high so I have to think about if I truly want them or not. I’m 5’2″ so dragging out the foot stool to reach up high sounds very unappealing most of the time. The rest of the “unclean” items are on the bottom shelf. There are some items my husband can’t give up, and that’s ok.

I hope this inspires you to think about how you can redo your pantry to not only make it easier to find items but to also organize to eat healthier. I know it has me, and I’ve also been inspired to start organizing under my sinks next. Happy organizing!

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First Official Day

Today is the first official day of me having my own website/blog. I’m pretty excited to share my journey. If I even inspire one person that would mean a great deal to me.

This weekend’s project is to redo the pantry. That was my breaking point, so I threw out a bunch of stuff and gave my mom some items, and after I buy some racks, boxes, and canisters to put everything in, our pantry is going to be amazing! I am excited to organize it so I can actually find the healthy food to use. I will be sure to post a before/after picture of it to show off my hard work!

Hoping this is just the motivation I need to continue on the clean eating path and get to that healthy lifestyle. I’ve already got the working out part down, but it’s my diet that is holding me back, and that is due to my poor choices. No more excuses!