Friday, April 21, 2017

Quick, easy meals with BrightFarms!

Meal planning and prepping is an essential part of me being able to stay on track with my eating throughout the week, especially as a full time working momma. This week I partnered with BrightFarms to focus on incorporating more greens into our family meals, which there never seems to be enough of!

All of their greens are from local farms and are also sold in Giant stores, which is great because we do most of our shopping (or PeaPod pick-up) from there and Trader Joe's.

For breakfasts this week I have used the Bright Farms local baby spinach on my egg sandwiches.

I've been making a one pan open faced sandwich every morning this week which is quick and delicious. 
I sauté the spinach while toasting my Ezekiel english muffin, multitasking at its best! When the spinach is almost finished cooking I push it to the side and crack my egg which I prefer over easy, because runny eggs are the best eggs. 

Once the english muffin is toasted I spread ricotta cheese on top, sprinkle some bagel seasoning then add the spinach and egg. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes and I am fueling my body with nothing but the best to tackle a busy day!

For lunches this week I made mason jar greek salads with the local spring mix as my base.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to get into mason jar salads but now that I have there is no looking back.

For dinners I made Mexican inspired burrito bowls. 
In the bowl:
Bright Farms local baby kale
Black Beans
Fresh mango
Brown rice
Diced tomatoes 

For my dressing I used freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice with a dash of sea salt  to tie all of the flavors together which was the perfect finishing touch.

As a mom I find myself hiding greens in most meals I make for Molly, I will try anything and everything but usually lose the battle of the picky toddler. This week I made a fresh batch of juice using carrots, blood oranges and an entire container of Bright Farms baby kale inside. 
Eddie and I both loved the juice but for Molly I blended it with one of her yogurts and to our surprise she drank the entire thing!

Thank you to Bright Farms for allowing us to incorporate more greens into our meals this week, it's definitely something we plan to do more of in the future.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Moments I want to remember...

Last night I sat on the floor and watched you run around for 45 minutes before bed. You were playing with three items: a small tub of Vaseline, your little stuffed pig (Kevin Bacon) and my underwear that you pulled out of the clean basket. You carried all three items back and forth between your chair and your table, putting them down, saying "bye bye" before picking them back up again and running over to your next destination. I recorded most of it just so I would forever have that memory. Maybe you will see it, maybe you won't. But I want to say that I am so happy you are in our life, you have taught me to slow down and appreciate the innocence of time. 

You will never be as little as you were yesterday and as much as I love watching you grow up, I find myself torn between loving and hating each new day. 

I sat there as you ran all over the house trying to catch the dogs while holding those three items and I just cried. Not because I was sad, but because I can't believe we are already in this place where you can run, jump, put together words to form requests, climb up the slide and even more that doesn't come to mind.

I never want to forget these little moments, I want them to become lifelong memories for us to keep for the rest of time. 

Some days are easier than others but every day is worth it and that's all because of you.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Meal Plan: Week of 3/26

On Friday's I map out my meal plan for the coming week. As long as I plan and prep for Sunday-Friday I find that I am able to stay on track. Saturdays are always up in the air because we tend to be out and about or have plans with family and friends so I just opt to make the best choices wherever we are but I don't put too much stress on myself.

When approaching my meal plan I try to pick 2-4 recipes to alternate for lunch and dinner throughout the 6 days, it doesn't always happen but it's my goal. 

Above you will see only M-F but I started this plan today. The recipes I am alternating this week are:

TIU Banana PB Oats

(My own recipe from 2012!)
*Red lentil pasta with chicken sausage and roasted broccoli, I just made this up but can share if you're interested.
*Snack boxes, inspired by Starbucks protein bistro box. Here are a few great ideas from Cooking Light to make your own: Copycat Starbucks bistro box

Off to meal prep!
Whats on your menu this week?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Happy Space

Do you have a room, spot, or corner of your home that is your favorite?
I didn't until this past weekend.

(this was from the day we moved in)

When we first bought our home last March there was a spot in the kitchen that would make the perfect coffee nook but the builders didn't put an outlet there so it became a "throw everything that doesn't have a place" spot.

For my birthday Eddie knew how much I wanted this spot to be my happy space so he spent 4 days working on the wiring to get everything just right so I could have my nook.
He even included a USB outlet which is too exciting and now I want to change every single one in our house to match.

You know you're old when you get excited about outlets

On Sunday, Molly and I went to Home Goods and Marshalls to find the perfect additions to my new nook and I have to say, I love it even more than I originally anticipated. Even if it's still a work in progress.

What is your favorite space in your home?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Finding myself again through BodyBack

I have been trying to find the words to write about my experience with the BodyBack program for the last two weeks but it's hard to sum up something that has changed you, inside and out, in a single blog post. 

But I am going to try.

Left: September, before session 1 Right: March, End of second session 2
I wish I had taken my shirt off this round to really see the changes.

Moving twice in less than two years, to two different states can really affect someone. Throw in birthing a child for the first time then buying your first home two months later and you realize very quickly how easily it is to lose yourself.

Finding the time to juggle being a full time mom, wife, employee, daughter, sister, friend, etc was extremely difficult for me, especially during the first six months of Molly's life. I never lost the baby weight, in fact, I was one of the lucky ones that gained even more weight during postpartum. I was working out but not giving my body the proper nutrition it needed, and having been on a similar journey before I knew what I needed to do but wasn't doing it.
 Nothing was "clicking" for me like it had in the past. 

Until I started my second BodyBack session. 
I was fortunate enough to work with the same coach and have many of the same friends with me that I had been with during my first go around, but this time was different, this time I was ready. I got out of my own way and allowed the help from my coaches, friends and the program itself to do its work. I lost over 13lbs in this last session (based on my home scale we've had for years) and 5 inches, but I gained myself back in ways I didn't think were possible. I had the drive to workout hard and consistently again, to fuel my body with clean foods and most importantly, open up. 

Left: January, before session 2 Right: March, end of session 2. 
Same pants (different color, and same tank)

I've always been one to shut down my emotions but the group of women I spent the last 8 weeks with found a way to make me feel safe enough to allow my vulnerable side show and really share my ups & downs with them. We laughed, cried, and sweat twice a week together and while we lost so much in weight and inches, we gained a lot more in knowledge and friendships.

End of session two

I have 10 lbs left before being at pre-Molly weight and 25lbs to be back where I was before leaving Long Island. BodyBack has reminded me that I am worth the work and more importantly, that I CAN and WILL do this.

With that being said, I start my third round of BodyBack on March 21st and I couldn't be more excited to see where I am in 8 weeks!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Scenes from the weekend #3

Has it really been a month since I shared my last scenes from the weekend post?
I did do my fair share of Instagram live videos throughout the course of the weekend, mostly food related but who doesn't love to see what other people are eating or buying at the grocery store?

Friday morning Molly tried to delay my workout by demanding she wear my tank top.
It didn't work but she sure is cute in it!

Post workout we cleaned ourselves up and went out for a late lunch/early dinner and shopping date with Daddy. After a 50 picture photo shoot, this is the best one I got. 
Thanks Molls.

How cute are these new Spring pieces for Molly? 
That ice cream cone! I can't handle it.
I picked up a few new pairs of jeans (mine are all too big!) and workout pants and Eddie got some new polo shirts. 
Everybody wins at Old Navy.

Saturday morning I was up and out before 7 am for an amazing workout with some of my favorite moms and the weather was so beautiful we were able to spend the entire hour OUTSIDE! This was the only pre/post workout picture I took but I am so excited to share all of my results from round 2 of BodyBack with you next week.

We had family in town over the weekend and they spent the afternoon at our house visiting so I took advantage of that to practice my 2017 resolution, to perfect the art of making a cheeseboard.

Everything on both boards was from Trader Joe's and they were a big hit!
After everyone left I was too tired to cook so we went out for burgers at the Brgr Joint which were even better than anticipated. I forgot a picture but mine had american, avocado, raw onion and was wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. 

Sunday morning I was up and out again for a workout before 8 am. 

If it weren't for snapchat I wouldn't have any photos to share, I need to get better about that.  Regardless of my lack of pictures the event was amazing, I shared my story with friends and strangers and cried because this program has changed my life.

The remainder of the day was spent in pineapple pj's meal prepping and playing with Molly. 

I finally made the red lentil pasta I picked up at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and paired it with steamed broccoli and shaved parmesean gouda cheese, leftover from Saturday's cheeseboard creations. It was DELICIOUS!

I ended the weekend with the Oscars. Wasn't Jimmy Kimmel a great host? I laughed until I fell asleep around 11pm which is late for this momma.

How was your weekend? 
Share in the comments below!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Osteoarthritis Update

Three weeks ago I went back to my Orthopedic doctor to discuss the results of my MRI I had done on my left knee. For those of you that have been on this journey with me for awhile, this is the knee I had surgery on in June of 2014, which we have since discovered did nothing beneficial for me, in fact it has made my knee worse.


My doctor flew into the office and basically said, there is absolutely no need for us to discuss surgery at this time, especially a knee replacement surgery (which I was originally told I'd need full replacements in both knees by 35 the rate I was going) however I have a baker's cyst, meniscus tear and osteoarthritis, which is arthritis of the knee cap.
I've known about the last part for almost four years and have pushed through, mostly pain free until recently which is what landed me in his office for a new treatment plan.

(Left knee, the white is my arthritis)

He instructed that I get blood work done to rule out further arthritis such as Rheumatoid and Lyme's disease, both of which came back negative. I was also told I need to lose the weight to take the strain off my knees (no shit doc, I've been working on this for awhile now but my knees are holding me back) and to stop lunging, squatting, running, jumping, cycling, etc. 

That is when I burst into tears.

This man is unaware of my fitness regime before I moved down south and how much I had been through already with my arthritis, and telling me I needed to completely stop almost everything I love and enjoy doing was completely devastating to me. We decided to move forward with a cortisone shot to help alleviate some of the pain and swelling then have me come back when the blood work came in.

Over the last three weeks I haven't stopped working out, I have modified myself in a big way which has proven to be a mental struggle as much as a physical one, because every workout has squats and lunges, but I'd rather workout with my friends at a modified level then not at all.

This morning I went back for my follow up and told my orthopedic how fantastic my knee feels. I have not been pain free in over five years and now I am. We discussed where we go from here and decided to stay on the cortisone shots as needed and that I am cleared to walk/run, jog and jump IF it feels right. Mini/half squats are okay if I want to try them but no cycling or lunging as both are aggravating to osteoarthritis. 

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions these last three weeks but I have a fantastic support system here as well as a doctor who takes the time to actually diagnose me properly rather than just put me under the knife to temporarily fix other issues.

I have two weeks left in BodyBack round two and already signed up for my third! I am also hoping to run a 5k the first weekend in June if I can properly train and remain pain-free.

At the end of the day, I am going to work on keeping my head held high when my knees tell me to slow down or take a break and know that some sweat is better than no sweat at all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January PopSugar Must Have box

Yesterday after my post I went to Stroller Strides and got in a great but very modified workout in. My knee had been really swollen, tight and painful since Friday morning but as always I pushed through the pain and did what I loved to do, workout with my friends.

Right after class I called my Orthopedics office in hopes of a cancellation so I could go in, discuss my MRI results and figure out our course of treatment. They had a last minute spot at 11:30 am and needless to say the appointment didn't go as I had hoped.

I want to discuss everything in detail so I will share that in a separate post later this week but I spent a lot of yesterday in tears and in pain.

Thankfully after I left the almost two hour appointment I came home to some happy surprise mail in the form of a PopSugar Must Have Box!

For January the focus was on self care which is something I am really trying to practice more of in 2017. Since becoming a mom I have put my needs on the very back burner of life and it shows, I am in desperate need of a haircut and color, pedicure and gym pants without holes in the knees, but I digress.


Upon opening the box I was pleasantly surprised to see a yoga mat towel, yoga is something I need to practice more in 2017 as well, but I was ecstatic for the hair wrap towel.

I have always wanted one for myself but could never justify buying it, no matter how cheap they can be it just seemed unnecessary to spend money on.

The yoga towel will be joining me tonight for my BodyBack class where I can really put the sweat activated grip to the test. I have a Manduka yoga mat (which my mom is currently "borrowing" ) that I love so I am excited to try another product of theirs. 

These little sticky notes were just what I needed yesterday. 

I thought they may be fun to leave randomly around the house for Eddie or when I visit someone else's home, I may go as far as putting them in a public bathroom! You never know whose day you're changing with a simple smile or compliment, right?

This May Designs calendar and Glade candle went right into our guest room, it's always nice for friends and family to have a space that smells nice and tells you what day it is, right?

And last but not least a facial peel. To be honest, this is something I will most likely pass along to my mom or a friend, it's just not "me."

Overall, I loved this months PopSugar Must Have box and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next month.

Which product would you like to try? 
Leave a comment below!

Monday, January 23, 2017

This is not a sprint, it's a marathon

Tomorrow kicks off week three of BodyBack, which means it has been two full weeks of tracking my food (using MyFitnessPal this time around) and consistent workouts.
The past two mornings I have woken up feeling lighter and I said to Eddie that no matter what happens on weigh in day tomorrow, I feel good and I need to remember that.
Although tomorrow is my "official" weigh in day, I decided to step on this morning and I am down 4.2 lbs which is on target for a 2lb a week loss.  However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little frustrated thinking it would be more, especially after this last week.

This is not a sprint, it's a marathon. 
Slow and steady wins the weight loss race.
Repeat that to yourself 3 more times.

Overall, this last week was much better than the first, mostly because I wasn't sick anymore so I was able to get in 6 workouts and burned 3,744 calories!

 My knees are really bothering me the last few days but I finally got an MRI last week and (hopefully) I will have a treatment plan when I go to my orthopedic next week! In the meantime I have hopped on the collagen peptides train and I am hoping it will bring me some much needed relief. 

I was planning on taking a rest day today but Monday workouts set the tone for the week, so I am off to sweat. 

Here's to another great week full of clean eats and strong workouts!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The first step is

Admitting the problem. 

I have been living in denial of my choices and I need to reflect on that for a moment.

My poor relationship with food came back with vengeance during pregnancy and somehow has stuck with me over the past year. I have done (and ate) things I am not proud of and to be honest, I have just pretended it didn't happen just so I could blame my weight on anything but myself.

The truth is: 
I have "justified" more trips to the drive-thru than someone should, especially when four years ago I wouldn't even think of going to one. 

I have "justified" eating junk at all hours of the day/night because I didn't have "time" to cook anything else, even when I was cooking a healthy meal for Molly and Eddie.

I fell into the trap of believing meal planning and prepping was something I didn't need to do because I was a mom now and I should be spending my time doing something else like laundry or playing with Molly.

Constant lack of sleep has lead to more missed workouts then I care to admit, but when you're working full time while taking care of your child somethings fall to the wayside. Unfortunately, for me it was also something that brings me happiness.

I am back at the exact weight and starting point that I was when this blog started. The work I have cut out for me to lose it this time around is a big part of the internal struggle I am dealing with. 

The first time I lost the weight I had nothing else to worry about, I could hit the gym at anytime for as long as I wanted. There were days I was in back to back classes for almost three hours and I still had energy after  to run errands, clean, etc. Now I am lucky if I make it through 45 minutes of a modified workout without feeling completely exhausted or in pain from my knees. I can't stand being this person and that is why it's time to get out of my own way. 

 Being aware of the choices I am making and holding myself accountable is a big part of successfully losing this weight. If I eat something and think to myself "I don't need to track this, it's fine" it doesn't mean it didn't happen, and it will only hold me back from reaching my goals in the long run. 

Getting back to a place of feeling strong, energetic and loving how I look/feel in my clothes is something that is extremely important to me. 

I know all of these things, I just need to apply them to my everyday life.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The "befores" and looking for my AH-HA moment

Thursday night was our official BodyBack kick-off meeting. Over 30 moms and 6 coaches sat in a room for close to two hours discussing how we will attack the next 8 weeks, together. We shared stories, took our before pictures and got our measurements done. It was so refreshing to be back in a place where even though our end goals may be different, we all shared similar wants/needs and struggles. 

This is not my first weight loss journey but it's very different this time around, it is so much more difficult to lose this time around because I don't have time to put myself first all day, everyday. 

Before the meeting I took my own pictures to share here as my accountability for myself. This corner of the internet helped me lose 50+ lbs before and I am hoping it can help me lose 35lbs now. 

My body has done amazing things, it has given me my Molly and I need to remind myself of that when I start to get down on how I look. But I also need to stop justifying eating crap because I am tired or lazy after a long day of working and being a mom. If I can spend the time making sure she is eating the best foods, I can do that for myself too.

Last night I ate two Reese's trees for no other reason than I wanted them and didn't care that they weren't clean or healthy. We went food shopping earlier in the day but I didn't feel like making a meal, so I opted for candy on the couch. Thirty minutes later I felt so sick that I ended up in bed from eating them. 

Worth it? 

I asked Eddie to remind me of this moment when I say I want to eat candy/junk or if he sees me reaching for it. 
 Five years ago I would never even consider doing something like that and I need whatever it was that clicked for me then to click now. There are too many times I find myself reaching for chips/snacks instead of clean/whole foods, I know what to do but I am not doing it. 

WHY am I not doing it? 
WHY am I standing in my own way?

My goal over the next 8 weeks is to figure out the answers to these questions and hopefully have my "ah-ha" moment. I want to get back to the place of wanting the best for myself and my body, because I deserve it.

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