If I haven't posted for a few days, be sure to check the bars to the left, I often have new links to health news, recipes or blogs you can explore.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pride in Losing

It's been years since I've been able to have any kind of regular exercise schedule, but now that the children are getting a bit older and easier to care for, I'm trying to fit it in whenever I can. This has been going on since the beginning of August. It's really not much, maybe 1-3 times per week... but usually once, and on a super lucky week - maybe twice. Mostly deep water aerobics, with a little aqua zumba and some boxing training. I've been disappointed because I haven't lost one pound since stepping in the gym.... but today, while I was kicking my heart out in 12 feet of water as the final song of the session played - "We Are the Champions" I realized that the results of my most recent measurements are directly related to my workouts. I haven't lost anymore in my chest (thank goodness!) and I'm the same in my arms, though I know they are more defined, so I think that means I've gained some muscle there and lost a little bit of my "chicken wings" : ). Waist is the same too, but I know my pants in a smaller size fit better than they did this summer and even my hips oddly are the same. BUT I lost an inch off each thigh and 3/4" off each calf! That's pretty awesome.

But what I'm really proud of? That I haven't taken one pill, not one fad-shake, cleanse, boost or powder or appetite suppressant as a means to do it. I've only eaten REAL foods, real fruits and vegetables and I feel awesome because of it and not one pound has come back in over a year and a half (within reason, obviously, the body fluctuates and I've fluctuated +3 to -2 over the months, but nothing that's lasted). I feel like I can be super proud of this and I'm finally going to say it here because I don't make a practice of bragging on facebook or talking about any weight loss there. I'm not saying people shouldn't brag about their weight loss accomplishments on facebook, I just don't because I always had this weird feeling of jinxing my progress. I also feared opening up a can of worms with a public forum about my personal journey out in the open for all those nay-sayers and negative-nellies to balk at my lifestyle choice - I just don't think that's what I need. Over the last year, I've seen several people talk about trying this or that with the same results... unsustainable. Eating juiced meals or taking pills just isn't something you can do for the rest of your life. And when you quit? Those pounds are going to eventually sneak back up on you, hopefully NOT with a few extra friends in tow. I'm glad I finally figured this out and I'm staying where I'm at because I take it all in moderation.

Yes, I could probably drop another 10 pounds if we never ordered pizza again (and we order the absolute healthiest thing we can get now) never drink again, never partake in any celebratory cake or dessert, and work out 6 days a week. But is that sustainable? Not with my life. I want to enjoy those parts too, so it's all about moderation for me. And that is probably why I'm at the same spot in pounds as I was a few months ago. And I'm okay with that. My body is still going through this strange reconfiguration even if it's not shedding pounds, it's still changing-- toning, tightening the skin, regaining some of that more youthful appearance I thought I'd lost forever. So for now, I'm pretty okay with that, too. I feel like I haven't felt since I was in my 20's - excited to go out, to try on jeans, to get dressed up, wear something daring, hit a club... I really thought these days were behind me and in some ways, I'm a little annoyed that I didn't get healthier sooner. But I can't live in the past, I have to focus on the future and keep moving forward. I was in mommy-mode for a while and I'm glad that I've regained some of myself again before it was too late and I'm too old. It's taken me a year to give myself the permission I deserve to be a fun wife and still be an awesome mom. I know deep down, that in doing so, I'm teaching them so many more things that I wouldn't have otherwise. Sometimes, it still doesn't feel real, like it could change in an instant, or that if I talk about it, it will suddenly disappear, so I'm trying to quit living in fear and just keep doing what I've been doing. I'm proud of where I'm at- 43 pounds lighter- and that I got here in the most natural, steady, healthiest way possible. And I plan to stay that way.

At "Tonic" in Lawrence, with my hot husband.

Having a blast with my sister... the bouncer said he thought we were twins (lol) not 10 years apart.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Great App for Your Phone

And it's free! Check it out: Fooducate

This great little app has a scanner so you just scan your item and all kinds of info comes up on it, including WHY it's good or bad. You can also just search by product title.

My husband is having a great time with this. He's actually the one who showed it to me. He's been educating all the guys he works with on what a heart attack they're consuming every morning before even lunch, between their ho-ho's, dunkin' stix, lard roll, deep fried fat balls and drowned with 3 servings of the typical carbonated caffeinated death drink that includes 1/2 cup of sugar in total.... you get what I mean. He cracks me up, I just hope the guys are getting some eye opening awareness before they wind up orphaning a family. I forget how awful people can eat when they choose to just ignore it. I forget it's even out there because I choose to never look at it. But when you do, after you haven't... it's shocking, truly. I can't even believe some of this crap is legal.

Check out the app though. I was surprised to see that even some things I thought weren't so bad, are still in the grade of "C" range.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Treat - Pumpkin Spice Latte with Honeycrisp Apples and Caramel Yogurt Dip

I found the yummiest fall treat ever! First, brew some coffee (decaf is fine too) and add about 1/4 tsp (or more) of pumpkin spice to your coffee grounds to infuse this wonderful fall flavor into your coffee (without he $4 Starbucks price!)

While that is brewing up and making your kitchen smell warm and heavenly, finely slice up a juicy honeycrisp apple, (think "chips") about 1/8" thickness. Take about 1/2 cup of some 0% Fage Greek yogurt and put into a ramekin or small bowl and add a tsp or more of this awesome Caramel dip I found in the health foods section at Hyvee (Walden Farms also makes some amazing salad dressings, marinades and other items too! See their nutrition page for all their products at a glance - I just noticed they have Alfredo sauce - yay!!) Add a couple drops of vanilla extract, a few dashes of pumpkin spice, mix and taste, add more of any ingredient until it is to your liking.

Add some sugar free french vanilla creamer or sugar free almond milk to your coffee when it's done brewing and sit back to sip on your pumpkin spice latte and crunch on those divine honeycrisp apples, savoring that sweet caramel yogurt dip. All of this with no guilt - you're still under 200 calories : D Super treat!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday Morning Blast - aka Cinnabun & Coffee Smoothie

Okay, stay with me, alright? This is going to sound a little unconventional, so just bear with me for a minute.

I always have leftover coffee in the morning that I want to drink, but microwaving it is NOT always my first choice. I think about making a blended iced coffee, but then I feel like I should be blending a smoothie instead. So I just recently found an awesome new secret weapon in my world of making veggie smoothies... an AWESOME whey protein that has nearly no carbs and tastes incredible! ...I think it's better than even the shakes at the health clubs. Today, Hyvee had 10% off the health food section so I bought a bunch of different flavors of NNW 100% Healthy Whey protein powder because I loved the samples I had tried.

(samples- $1.97)

The kids have been LOVING these too. I thought the Cinnamon Bun sounded really good, so I thought I'd experiment.

(medium bags- $12 something)

Here's what you need:

coffee (I'm not sure how much I added, but maybe 12 oz? Cold coffee would be best) (10 cal)
1/2 frozen banana (50 cal)
big handful of kale, maybe 3 leaves, no stems (36 cal)
heaping tsp of flax seed (17 cal)
quick pour of liquid sugar free vanilla creamer (30 cal)
2 Tbs of Cinnamon Bun protein powder (50 cal)
2 splendas
Ice as desired
(less than 200 cal, roughly)

First blend the coffee, powder and flax seeds to pulverize them, there's benefits to this which I'll talk about further, but there are also benefits to eating them whole, so if you don't mind drinking the seeds whole, that's really okay too.
Then add the other ingredients and 6 cubes of ice, then add more ice until it's to your desired thickness.

This tasted like a cinnamon roll flavored coffee frappucino, SO good.

But here's why I really liked it, especially for a Monday...
I really need a super boost on those mornings, so the coffee is a great addition to my smoothie (two birds with one stone) the kale and the flax is an awesome way to sort of detox after a weekend of kids' birthday cakes and eating out for social stuff, which usually makes me feel pretty horrible by Sunday night. The kale is fantastic for digestion and the flax seed is amazing for taking care of your lower system after a rough weekend. (I'm trying to put this gently : ) You know what I mean. I didn't add any fruit besides the banana so the carbs are good and low. I only use 1/2 the serving suggestion on the protein powder package just because I think 1/2 is enough and the stuff is a little pricey, so I want to make it stretch. I saved a bit for my husband and he even liked it. Really, give it a shot, it's good! and really good for you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lunch Combo with Watermelon Smoothie

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been crazy busy with work plus the kids' camps and activities are all over now, so they're home 100% of the day. Be patient with me, blogging is a privilege for me.... I haven't read a book without pictures since before my 5 year old son was born, if that tells you what kind of "free time" I have with working full-time from home.

I just had this yummy lunch combo and had to share. You never know what might spark an idea for someone else : )

I typically eat lighter lunches since I have to cook pretty large dinners to fill my husband and son. (the ultimate bottomless pits!) We're having veggie lasagne and that will be pretty heavy for me. So, I made a smoothie, had low fat cottage cheese and a seedy crunch bar from the Wichita Farmer's Market last weekend. (it's filled with sesame seeds, coconut, pepitas, sunflower seeds, etc. probably brown sugar, not much holding it together)

The Watermelon Lime smoothie:

• 1 1/2 C. watermelon chunks (some seeds still in- these are actually good for you! plus my Blendtec pulverizes them)
• 1/3 frozen banana
• lime wedge with 1/2 the peel left on
• big handful of fresh spinach leaves (maybe 3/4-1 C?)
• a few blueberries 15-20

This came out more like an agua fresca than a thick smoothie because the only thing frozen was the banana, so I poured it into a frosty mug and added a few cubes of ice. I'm sure there's enough for nearly two mugs, I put the rest in the freezer until I finish this mug, then I might just drink the rest! I call it Watermelon Lime because that is mostly what I taste. Refreshing, summery-- yum-mee!

Hope this inspires you. If you have a great smoothie combo you've discovered, please share, I'd love to post it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Favorite Site for Recipes

I'm always looking for new smoothie recipes. I stumbled onto this site that has an "app" built into the web (you can also download for your iPhone/iPad here: Visit the App Store


You can categorize by recipe, ingredient, or type of recipe by the navigational tools at the bottom. Check out these great webshots:

If you find a great recipe source, please share in the comments below! I would certainly love it if I could find one site that had them all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Celery Smoothie!

....whaaa???? It's good. And this coming from the girl who has hated raw celery since I was born. I would hide it in my mouth and spit it in the toilet, bury it in my mother's house plants, conceal it in my napkin to throw it away... ANYTHING to avoid swallowing it! I don't mind it cooked in stuff, but it's one of only maybe two or three vegetables I cannot stomach. So when my daughter decided today that she had changed her mind and no longer liked it raw either, well, I couldn't really say too much. I had only bought it because the kids said they had it at camp and she liked it. Jack has never liked it either.

So I looked up celery as a keyword at the Vitamix recipe site and tried this one:
1 celery stalk (about 8 inches)
1/2 frozen banana
1 orange, peeled and quartered
3 baby carrots
1/3 C dried cranberries
1 C ice
(a bit modified from the original with more carrots than called for and dried cranberries since I didn't have fresh, and frozen banana, not raw)

It's good! Really didn't expect that. Perfect amount in my frozen mug. And even the kids liked it. Cheers!