Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Let Go of What's Holding You Back

Yesterday when I woke up I did something that has been on my mind for a very long time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gift Ideas for Every Man in Your Life

This post is sponsored by Babblebox.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

With Father's Day just behind us I'm sure you're thinking, why is she posting this now? The truth is there is no right or wrong time to spoil the man in your life, whether he is your spouse, brother, father or friend I wanted to share a few of Eddie's current "must have items" with you to keep in your back pocket the next time you're searching for the perfect gift.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Making Memories

For as long as I can remember my mom has been telling us to "make a memory." 
Because at the end of the day, it's not about the money you have in the bank but the memories you have to look back on.

Since becoming a mother myself this little quote of hers has really taken on a new meaning, I find myself looking to do things with Molly and Eddie every chance I get.  This weekend was jam packed with moments that I know will turn into memories.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Find Your "Person"

One of the hardest parts of any journey, weight loss or otherwise, is feeling alone.

I mean think about it, who wants to do 100 push ups while eating boiled chicken and steamed broccoli, by themselves?

Answer: No one

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How to Crush Your Early Morning Workout in 6 Steps

Since rejoining the 5am club a few weeks ago I have finally nailed down my routine to getting out the door swiftly and most importantly, easily.

6 Steps for a successful early AM workout:

1. Set out your clothes the night before. 
For me, this is key because I am not only trying to avoid waking my husband and our dogs but the toddler who is in the room right next to us. The less steps around the bedroom(s), the better. Plus, I like to look cute before I turn into a sweaty mess, it motivates me.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

What's New at Trader Joe's #2

When I went looking for the first post I did in this "series" I couldn't believe it was back in November. I need to stop taking such lengthy breaks between regularly posting.

This morning after class I ran home got Molly fed and dressed before getting back in the car for a Trader Joe's run. We were those people sitting in the parking lot for twenty minutes waiting for it to open.

My original plan: Milk, PBJ bars and ghee. 
What I left with: $165 of groceries

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

If You Need Us, We'll Be Outside...

Is there anything better than playing outside in the Spring and Summer?

Some of my favorite childhood memories include swimming in pools or the ocean with cousins and friends, catching lightening bugs or planning sleepovers.

So far we have spent the majority of our free time outdoors and by the looks of it, we won't be stopping anytime soon. 

Which is more than okay with me!

I am so excited for our first real Summer with Molly where we can play and explore new things, go on adventures, take family bike rides after dinner and eat too much ice cream on the porch.

I've been thinking about putting together a Summer 2017 bucket list, something that we can use as a guide over the next three months and to remind us to enjoy every moment.

Have you ever made/used a bucket list? 
If so, what was on it?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Setting a Summer Goal and Starting Over

It's funny how my last post I was raving about my final assessments and how I improved in all areas, some even by a large margin.

Those numbers were from a little over three weeks ago and as I had mentioned I am no longer "in session" but I am planning on attending every morning class that is offered. 

This morning kicked off the Summer sessions and the beauty of having a membership is not having to be a part of assessments, which for me means not having to run a mile. But I wanted to see how eating a little less strictly and drinking a little more has affected my workouts, if at all.

For once, I slept really well so it helped me get up at the ungodly time that is 4:45 am. I made my coffee with collagen and nutpods before hitting the road at 5:15.

In my last session we ran first and did everything else after, but this morning we did the opposite. As you can see (and if you remember) all of my numbers are less than what I finished with less than a month ago.

And the mile run?

I am essentially right where I started in March. However, this was the first mile I ran straight through without a single stop and it was a different time of day on different course. Who knows if that affected me but I am using all of these numbers as a reminder to keep myself in line and stay on track because ultimately I want to continue to improve in strength and speed.

FUN FACT: If you don't take a selfie after you workout, it doesn't count.

My goal for before Labor Day is to run a mile in under 10 minutes. I've never been able to pull it off but I'll be damned if I don't work at it and try.

What are your Summer fitness goals? 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shifting My Focus: BodyBack Final Results

I have gone back and forth about sharing my results from my final round of BodyBack mostly because I didn't meet the expectations I set for myself, body image wise. I still see so many things I wish to change, while fully appreciating how far I have come. I have a lot of "soft" spots and places I wish were more toned than they are but this body has been through a lot and I need to remind myself of that.

 I hold weight in different areas and with having to modify workouts to a certain extent because of my arthritis it takes longer to lose the extra pounds and inches. 
I am not perfect but I don't aim to be. I am who I am and that's enough.

I am not and will never be someone who wears a size 6, it's not my body shape or size and THAT IS OKAY. Actually, it's more than okay.

I am healthy
I am strong
I am more fit than I was before this journey began in September

Will I get back to where I was before having Molly weight/inches wise?
But I have stopped focusing on that. 

I have improved in every area of our assessments but the part I am most proud of is the mile. Running is not and has never been my friend. It hurts my knees and it's hard on my lungs because I do not breathe properly, but it's a big part of our workouts so I cannot avoid it anymore.

Session 1: I couldn't complete the mile run at our initial assessments and didn't bother trying at our final assessments.
Session 3: I ran the mile and then in 8 weeks I shaved an entire minute off of my time.

That's a huge accomplishment for me and something I want to continue to work on, slowly.

Working out isn't just something I have to do, it's a part of my life I "get" to do, so 
instead of focusing on how far I have to go, I am focusing on how far I have come. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Mother's Day Full of Surprises

Yesterday I was lucky enough to celebrate my second Mother's Day since having Molly and it was just as good, if not better than my first.

Molly was sick all weekend so my day started earlier than usual, at 5:45 to be exact but this mug was sitting on the counter waiting to get my day started.

 Eddie snuck out after I had gone to bed Saturday night so I would be greeted by the most beautiful bouquet I have ever received. It was a really nice and much appreciated surprise.

When Eddie woke up a little later than Molly and I (I thought moms were supposed to sleep in on Mother's Day? Kidding....kind of) he surprised me again.

I mentioned once, in passing, that I wanted an instant pot and he remembered. I was so excited I immediately started looking for recipes and made soft boiled eggs from Skinnytaste. The instant pot I have is a little different from hers so the eggs were slightly more cooked than I had wanted but I will definitely be making them again, they only took FOUR MINUTES!

After breakfast and naps, Eddie went to work and us girls spent the afternoon at my sisters with my mom.

My mom gifted me with a special craft her and Molly had made earlier that week which was so unexpected, I absolutely love it and plan on laminating this week.

We spent the day drinking, eating and chatting, what else could you ask for on a sunny Sunday? 

I hope you all had as perfect a day as we did, and an even better weekend!

Friday, May 12, 2017

One minute

Last night I completed my final 8 week BodyBack session. I won't know my overall weight and inches lost over the three sessions until next week but I do have my assessments from this session.

I tried to look for my numbers from my first two sessions but I don't think I took a picture of them, if I get them next week I'll update this post.

The only number that mattered to me for these assessments was my one mile run. My first session in September I didn't complete the mile, I quit after 3 of 5 laps. I stopped mostly because of my knees but also because I simply could not do it.

Running has always been difficult for me, it's not something I enjoy. In fact, I find it to be a form of torture. It hurts my joints more than I care to admit and it burns in my lungs because I breathe so heavy, almost like I am drowning. 

Something to work on

I was determined this session to complete the one mile run and I did, twice. I was fortunate enough to have a good friend run with me for the first one just to get me through  and last night I almost bailed due to the weather (cold and rainy) affecting my arthritis but I am glad I didn't.

There were a few times I stopped to walk because I was in so much pain, but I didn't give up, I finished and I shaved one minute off of my time from 8 weeks ago. 
It's always easy to quit or give up, the hard part is pushing through the pain and the "I can't" mentality.

 Living outside of your comfort zone leaves a lot of room for you to surprise yourself.

I suggest trying it more often.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Coffee & Collagen

How do you take your coffee? 

As of January I took the plunge into the world of adding collagen peptides into my morning cup and have to say it has changed my world for the better. I am a researcher so after seeing Vital Proteins constantly flooding my Instagram feed, I decided to read up on all there is to know about collagen peptides and its benefits. A few favorite resources for me were:
Vital Proteins
The Balanced Blonde
Wellness Mama

For me, anything that promotes cartilage, bones and joint help is something I am willing to try. I can't say that I feel a life changing difference in my osteoarthritis but I do have less pain in my joints which is a win.

Around November I had made the slippery slope of adding 1/2 & 1/2 into my coffee and at 2-3 cups a day the calories and fat was adding up. Thankfully good friend introduced me to Nutpods and I was able to easily kick that habit.

Last but not least I add a dash of cinnamon. Personally I add it for the taste but it also has added benefits, most importantly it's an anti-inflammatory.

So now I must know, how do you take your coffee?

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?