Friday, January 31, 2014

Making Healthy Choices

I'm posting from my phone for the first time, so this will likely be short and sweet. I'm not posting as often as I'd like, but hopefully life will calm down some soon and I'll find more time to write about life.

I'm out at a training all day, and as usual I brought my straw cup with me (3 cups of water) to keep chugging the water throughout the day. I also stopped for my coffee fix on the way (the training was about 40 minutes away so I wanted something for the ride) and packed an apple for layer. Unfortunately, early into the trip I realized I skipped breakfast (uh oh!) and the apple became breakfast. When I got to the training I made sure to fill up on the fruit, but decided to treat myself to a bagel and cream cheese (panera breakfast, yum! Asiago cheese counts as protein, right?). As 10:30 rolled around, I didn't have my packed snack to rely on, or the nuts I wanted to bring from the office, so I went for a half bagel (baddd).

This training is AWESOME. It's being presented by the Upside Down foundation which is an incredible group focusing on brain development and how that impacts childhood and adolescence. The first half was on how child abuse affects the brain and the afternoon is on suicide and brain development.

Aaanddd lunch... so panera catered again (double yum!). I loaded up my plate with fruit, salad, and a pickle spear, then grabbed a bacon turkey bravo and chips. I sat down, looked at my plate, and decided I needed something better. I got up and swapped my sandwich for a Mediterranean veggie. Sat back down, and decided that wasn't enough. Swapped the chips for an apple. And then, I did something I CONSTANTLY struggle with: I didn't finish my food! I ate the fruit, salad, and pickle, and decided I was full. Not full, satisfied. The sandwich and apple are saved for that 2pm slump, when I'll need a healthy boost, and can avoid the siren call of the cookies.

I am DETERMINED to make a change in my life. I'm noticing changes in my cravings (hello, almonds), and it's getting easier to say no to sweets (I've had a dove bar in my desk at work for over a month). I'm hoping the scale and mirror will reflect this soon, but I just keep reminding myself that it's not about the weight, it's about being happy, healthy, and active for AE.

Moral of the day: it's ok to give in and make a "bad" choice when striving to be healthy (bagels...), as long as you don't let it ruin your day. And the brain is incredible! much for short and sweet...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Being as Productive as We Can and ZUMBA!

Accept you’ll never get everything done: You haven’t “done everything” until you’re dead. So instead of freaking out about the fact that there will always be more to do, decide which activities really fall within the “Critical must-do” category and let go of the rest. If the activities in the second “Would be nice to do” category get done, great. If not, it probably doesn’t matter very much.
Quote taken from an awesome blog: Run to the Finish

If you know me well, then you know that I obsess over getting everything done. If I have someone coming over to our house, I focus like crazy on cleaning, and really stress over whether I'll finish. I get upset when I plan to get X, Y, and Z done for the day, and I don't even make it that far because AE had a bad day, I'm not feeling up to it, or something just got in the way. The husband has been amazing at helping me off my ledge when things don't go the way I plan, and I'm not as productive as I'd like. I was going through my bloglovin' feed (did I mention I love bloglovin'?) this morning and came across the above quote on another blogger's post this morning. It really resonated with me. I need to keep this in mind in everything I do. I cannot continue to overload myself and then blame myself for not getting to everything. I need to accept that my house will never be pristine, I will never cross everything off the To Do list, and that's ok. As long as AE grows up happy and healthy, hubby and I continue to make healthy choices, and Love and Family are what come first in our house, we'll get to the rest eventually.

In other news, I talked a close friend (and recent relocation to Western Maryland, YAY) into joining Zumba with me. I had been looking into joining a gym, and complained that I really just wanted to do Zumba, and if I could just pay to take those classes, I'd be happy. Well, a coworker suggested I look into the Recreation Department in our county and see if they offer anything. Lo and behold, Zumba started the following week! This is now week 2 of Zumba, and after getting snowed out on Tuesday (Boo!), I am super stoked to go tonight after work. I LOVE Zumba! If you haven't tried it yet, you really need to. It's an incredible workout and it's SO Fun!

So to end this ramble, have a wonderful day, weekend, week, month, year. Remember to focus on your priorities and let the rest go. And above all, live a happy, healthy life. <3

Thursday, January 16, 2014

SUPER Yummy One Pot Pasta

I have recently discovered bloglovin', which is a collection of blogs from around the net. There are blog of almost any topic you can think of. In the theme of my new healthy focus, I've started following a lot of blogs focused on fitness, health, and nutrition. One of the blogs I've been following is A Beautiful Mess, and I've been finding the neatest recipes on there.

Last night we had One Pot Pasta, which was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe (thank you, Martha). It's SUPER easy, and incredibly delicious. I am not a fan of chives, so I added in extra oregano and cut out the chives. I also used Barilla Plus instead of regular pasta to throw in some more protein and fewer carbs. Basically you just throw everything in the pot, simmer and stir. When the pasta is al dente, you let it muddle a little in the pasta-water-turned-sauce, and serve with fresh basil and some feta. Hubs and I ate almost the whole thing! Later that night, I went to log the calories in my fitbit, and found that even though we both ate probably way too much, my part was only a total of 375 calories! Whoa! Totally making this again. It's perfect for a busy weeknight when you don't feel like cooking. I cooked this while loading bottles in the dishwasher, and it was off the burner before I turned the dishwasher on. You have GOT to make this! :-)

Try it? Love it? Comment and let me know! Thanks again to the girls over at A Beautiful Mess for posting this amazing recipe.

Know any other One Pot Pasta dishes? Please share! I'd love to have a handful of these to put in my weeknight dinner rotation.

Pasta Photo:

Becoming a Morning Person

The last two weeks, I've been focusing on my health. It's my new thing and I'm totally focused on it. Luckily, hubby supports it and is right there with me. I've got extra weight to lose and he has health issues he wants to kick, so we're a super awesome team right now.

So anyway, I'm becoming a morning person and I LOVE it. In doing Bikini Body Mommy, I have daily workouts, and every other day is a strength day. On strength training days, I like to get up early, work out, and then make breakfast and get ready for work. I feel so accomplished when I get my workout done in the morning. Well, this week I started Zumba on cardio days with a close friend, and didn't have a reason to get up so early in the mornings.

Today, AE woke up at 5:15am (today is Zumba day), so I got up to tend to her. I decided that I'd stay up and do some YouTube Yoga, which totally made for a calm, relaxing morning. I set AE down on the rug in front of me, and she watched, played with some toys, and even laughed at me. Afterwards, I took her into the kitchen with me and made breakfast for myself and the hubs and gathered some breakfast for AE as well (apples, YUM).

It's so nice having the extra time to get up, get ready, and get out the door. I'm getting to work on time, even early, without extra effort, spending time with the dogs in the morning, and bonus: I have a healthy lunch and healthy snacks prepared each morning instead of running to Sheetz or Quiznos (the two fast food places in walking distance to work).

How do I do it? How do I manage getting up at 5am and running with it? I go to bed super early for one. The past couple of weeks, it seems like anything that needs to be done happens on the weekend. I don't run errands in the evening unless I have to. I don't spend HOURS watching tv anymore. I'm in bed between 9 and 10pm every night. Hubby loves it because he can do his P90X in peace while AE and I sleep.

I read a post on one of my new favorite blogs yesterday called "You're only one workout away from a good mood!" She talks about how great you feel after working out, and how it can really improve your day. Why save that for the end of the day? Working out in the morning brightens your day and puts you on a good note first thing, rather than waiting all day for that natural high. Plus, if you work out as soon as you get up, you can't talk yourself out of it later, because it's already done!

So follow along as I transform myself from a "get out of bed 20 minutes before I leave for work" person into a "work out, shower, and feed the baby, and still have time to get to work" person. I'm excited for this to become just another part of my normal routine. Are you dedicating yourself to the same transformation? Comment! Share what you do to motivate yourself in the morning!

Sunrise Photo:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Challenge

I was catching up on Facebook a few days ago and saw that several of the ladies in my July 2013 moms group were signing up for the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge. I looked it up, and found that it's a free 90 day workout program designed for moms. It looked like something I could fit into my schedule, and I was excited to join other moms I know in this program. 

So Day 1 came, and I totally did not have the drive to do it. I had a busy day with a fussy baby and a sick husband. Instead of saying "yea, you're right, this is probably more than you can handle right now," though, my amazingly supportive husband asked me, "Are you going to regret this?" When I honestly thought about it, a quick workout was not that hard to do, and he was right, I probably would have regretted it. I did my Day 1 Fit Test at 10:00 at night, and of course had trouble sleeping. Now I'm focusing on getting up early enough to get my workout knocked out before work, so my evening is focused on cooking a healthy dinner, feeding AE her evening combo of formula and fruits/veggies, and getting prepped for the next day.

Those who know me well have heard this "I will get healthy and work out" mantra several times. What makes this time different? I'm not just doing this for myself. I'm not doing it so that people can see my transformation or so that I can buy smaller clothes. I'm doing this because I want my daughter to know me as a healthy, active mommy. I don't want her to remember me at 200+ lbs and a size 16/18. Hopefully when doing this for my daughter and keeping in mind that it's all for her, I will be able to stick with it this time. Kids are sponges and they are definitely affected when parents aren't healthy and when they have low self-esteem. I never want to hear AE call herself fat or go on a diet. I want her to have the skills early on to make healthy choices. I want to be active as a family, and spend family time outside, having fun.

For anyone interested, here's the Bikini Body Mommy schedule. And of course Briana from BBM's website.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 -- A Year of Health

I'm really into blogs lately. I've been wanting to start a new hobby, a way to chronicle all of my new beginnings, focus on my beautiful family, and keep track of all of the healthy changes I want to make. I don't want to plan out what exactly this blog will become, because I think that's been my downfall in the past. I plan to use this to write about what my current focus is. I want this to be a place where friends and family can catch up and follow along with my little family. I also want this to be a place where I can continue coming back and keeping up with some of my favorite websites, blogs, etc that I find along the way.

I've been telling everyone lately that I read a piece on Huffington Post about making a New Year's Theme instead of a resolution. I really grasped on to that idea, and want to incorporate it into my life. That's why 2014 is my year of health. I want to focus on making healthy choices for myself and for my family. I don't want a specific resolution that will fall apart in a month. I want to be able to refocus myself back to "Health" as many times as I need to and hopefully make some new habits along the way. Join me as I make some healthy habits, track the first year for my beautiful daughter (or the last half of it at least), and maybe pick up some new healthy choices for yourself as well.

Welcome to my new blog. If you're following along, share for yourself: what is your New Year's resolution or theme? What new healthy choices do you want to make as 2014 unfolds?