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?

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!

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