Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What I Ate Wednesday: Toddler Edition

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com

We survived the first week of school! I hope everyone else did as well. While I catch up on life I thought it would be fun to do a "What I Ate Wednesday" post today but let Molly be the star of the show, she's cuter anyhow.

Breakfast

This is the one meal of the day I can count on Molly to eat every single bite of so I try to my best to make it a healthy, balanced meal.


As any toddler mom would know, sneaking in veggies is key to any successful meal. Green Giant made this incredibly easy for me with their "Veggie Tots" broccoli option. Molly loves sweet broccoli and ate gobbled these right up #momwin!

Alongside her veggie tots, she had her two favorites pancakes and sausage and instead of milk I opted for a "Fruit Shoot" fruit juice. 


I try to keep Molly's juice consumption a minimum but Fruit Shoots' are made from real juice, contain mostly water and has no high fructose corn syrup therefore making it a healthy morning option. 


Snack #1
On Tuesday's and Thursday's when Molly doesn't have Preschool, Eddie takes her from 9-12 to run errands, play at the park, go on runs etc. No matter what they're doing I always make sure she has a snack packed because there aren't many things scarier than a hangry toddler. 


Lately one of Molly's favorite snacks are the "Veggie Straws" from Sensible Portions and I will pretty much buy anything that says it has vegetables so it's a win-win in our house.


While they were out for the morning I used the time to work from our local coffee shop. I make sure I never leave home without several snacks in my bag and more often than not you will always find an RX Bar with me. I have talked about these before, they're a staple in my diet, not only because they're clean but they are delicious. I have a few favorite flavors (in no particular order) Chocolate sea salt, blueberry, peanut butter and of course, pumpkin spice. If you visit their website you can get 15% off your first purchase using code BABBLEBOXX.


Lunch

Lunch is hit or miss. It depends mostly on her nap, how long it lasts and her mood when she wakes up, which more often than not these days is cranky (thanks to teething and early terrible 2's) 
To keep Molly from avoiding eating lunch all together I made sure I had two of her tried and true favorites and we had it picnic style while watching Daniel Tiger.


Can you ever go wrong with PB&J? 
Nope
Advance Pierre's PB Jamwich was the starter for our picnic lunch in the strawberry flavor, of course. I love that these sandwiches are small enough for tiny hands and with no crust they minimize crumbs. 


After a quick location change we added in some Entenmanns' Little Bites into our picnic lunch. These muffins have been a part of our weekly grocery shop for the last 6 months and with 10 flavors to choose from, Molly never gets bored. 


With lots of energy to burn we usually head outside for awhile after lunch to "exercise"  until dinner. Last night our dinner consisted of grilled nuggets from Chick-Fila and fruit due to running late at the gym and having a billion errands to run before heading out of town tomorrow.

Once Molly was in bed for the night, I did my nightly pick up routine and got into bed with my own guilty pleasure treat, Sour Punch straws.



These were my go-to movie snack as a kid and all through high school so I was instantly brought back to my younger years while enjoying them in bed at 8pm. 
#NoShame



What are some of your toddlers favorite foods?










Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Quick and Easy Back to School Meal


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

With back to school starting next week (in our house at least) I have found myself in a whirlwind of emotions and chaos. It feels like everything has gone out the window: Meal planning, meal prepping, and doing the laundry on a regular basis.

okay, I never did that to begin with....

I just feel completely upside down and out of sorts.
Please tell me I am not alone.

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?
Maybe
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 
Cilantro

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.