JUNE 2012


    talks about Confessions, Recipes

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    Confession: Last week I didn’t do a menu and I totally paid for it.  I didn’t realize what a huge difference being prepared in that way meant for me.  It was big. 

    It’s not that I went totally off plan, but I’d say about 50%.  Not cool.  And, my treadmill finally died Thursday which was totally sad because I just don’t get the same workout on the elliptical {but made myself do 45 minutes each day anyway}. 
    So, I felt a bit off.  Anyway, this morning I knew that being prepared & planning ahead would be one of the keys to making this a winning week.  Here it is-hopefully it will help someone else, too.

    Monday:  Leftover Ground turkey/French bread boats, green beans

    Tuesday:  Gone for a meeting; husband making breakfast-for-dinner with kiddos

    WednesdayChicken Fajita Salads

    ThursdayCilantro Lime Shrimp, Mashed Cauliflower

    {picture via Eat Yourself Skinny}

    Friday: Asian Lettuce Cups + fresh fruit

    Saturday: Date night


    talks about Confessions

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    {picture is mine-please do not use without permission & if you pin, please direct back to this post & site}

    Confession: I’m not naturally athletic.

    I bet none of you could have guessed that. (;

    My husband wrestled in school, but wasn’t huge into sports, either. {He always loved fitness/weights/running, though.}

    Enter exhibit A.  We have kids.  Of the male gender. 

    Holy cow, what do we do with them??  How do we encourage something that didn’t come naturally to either of us & wasn’t something we really grew to love until we were adults??! 

    Enter exhibit B.  T-ball. {4-6 year olds}

    We signed Gray-4 years old-up to play T-ball.  He is his mother’s child and wanted nothing to do with it.  He said, “I hate t-ball.”  I reminded him he’d never actually played.  We went to his first practice & he did awesome.  Totally listened to his coach, tried his hardest, and really enjoyed himself.  So much that he was telling everyone, “I am awesome at this game!”  He’s done great at all his games, too.  He listens, tries to improve, semi pays attention, and usually hits the pitched balls without having to use the tee.  He obviously doesn’t live for it like some kids on his team though, and will tell anyone listening that he “hates running,” and “only likes batting, playing catcher {which consists of standing straight as a statue wearing the cool gear while balls fly around him}, and playing at the park before/after games.”  He also has a lot to learn about being a team player & the “there is no i in team” concept because he tells us he wins every game all by himself.  (:

    Watching him play brings back a slew of memories for me.  My parents put me in t-ball around the age of 5 & here are the things I remember:

    -Idolizing two older girls named Christy & Brandi.  I thought they were athletic Godesses or something.  They could throw AND catch, bat without using the tee, and were super nice & helpful to all the younger kids, not to mention super cool.  I followed them around like a puppy & wanted to be just like them…I just didn’t want to work very hard to do it.

    -HATING the outfield.  It was so boring!  I mean really, how often do you actually get the ball when you’re way out there & playing with a tee anyway??  I remember sitting-multiple times-criss cross appleasuace, and picking dandelions off the field.  My parents would desperately be yelling for me to stand up & watch the ball, but I just thought, “it’s so hot!” and “what’s the point?”

    -I don’t have a memory of this, per say, but I bet my dislike of running started in t-ball.  I’m sure I was pretty slow then and realized that running=hard work, so I didn’t want to participate in anything close to that. 

    -The ONLY saving grace-besides my friends & great coaches-all season was the treat at the end of the game.  I think when everyone else was thinking, “I hope I get to catch or throw a ball tonight,” or “I hope I hit a homerun,” I was thinking, “I cannot wait for the snack.  I totally hope it’s cookies & chocolate milk….or a popsicle!…or chips…”  I just wanted to eat & be done with the physical activity aspect.  That really hasn’t changed much. (;

    So when I look at Gray in the outfield covering his face with his mitt, or loping slowly from base to base, I yell at him to watch the ball & to run faster, just like my parents did.  But I also laugh quietly to myself because I know that t-ball isn’t a dealbreaker.  If he doesn’t naturally excel or adore this sport it doesn’t mean he won’t love any sports or be completely unathletic. 

    And I hope that someday he’ll thank us for encouraging {read: forcing} him to do hard things that he didn’t necessarily always love.  Because I’m sure grateful to my parents for pushing me outside my comfort zone….in t-ball and beyond.


    talks about Confessions, Recipes



    Last week I posted our weekly Menu and I hope it was useful.  It was helpful for me to have them written in one place where I could easily click the link & have the recipe up in full view while preparing & cooking.  So, here’s this week’s edition.  Maybe you’ll get some inspiration! 

    Monday: Skinny Chicken Divan {+ taking THIS to 2 families in our community who are sick}

    Tuesday: Chunky Beef Stew {sans white potatoes} + Rolls

    Wednesday: Grilled Kabobs {with shrimp instead of chicken} + baked sweet potatoes

    Thursday: Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken {last time I made double, so this is already done in the freezer} + Salad

    Friday: Cauliflower Pizzas

    Saturday: Date night Out


    Some of my favorites:

    Eating for Life {cookbook}

    Dashing Dish {blog}

    SkinnyTaste {blog}

    Eat Yourself Skinny {blog}

    Sandy’s Kitchen Adventures {Blog + Great for clients on TSFL}

    Our Best Bites {cookbook + blog= mostly for free days/meals}

    The Pioneer Woman {Blog: for free days/meals-her maple cinnamon rolls are my very favorite}

    What are your favorite sites/cookbooks? 

    Oh yeah, did I mention….


    talks about Confessions




    Last Saturday I wrote this post about falling majorly off the healthy bandwagon & making the decision to get back on track.  I said I’d keep you posted, so here it is.  A rundown of my week starting Sunday June 3rd:

    -I woke up early each day

    -I exercised Monday-Saturday, for at least 35-55 minutes each day, logged 17.5 miles, and 2 great weight lifting sessions.  I also focused on stretching quite a bit which is always my big downfall.

    -I got an average of 196 ounces water each day

    -I majorly stepped out of my comfort zone & will be sharing more on that in the coming weeks.

    -I ate six small meals daily & wrote down every single thing that went in my mouth.  Even Tuesday when I was stressed and gave in to my craving for a bowl of granola with milk, followed by a bowl of frosted shredded mini wheat with milk.  I even measured those things out & wrote them down.  This is HUGE for me, because usually when I “cheat” or go off my plan at all, I just stop recording & pretend like it didn’t happen.  Then I’m mad when the scale doesn’t do what I want.  Think I’m in denial much? (;  Anyway, other than that little slip, my meals have been clean & delicious, with 3 Medifast meals as my snacks.

    {image via Pinterest}

    + I made homemade cookie dough for the boys to eat & it’s still in my fridge and I haven’t touched it.  This is an even bigger deal because there are few things I like more than raw cookie dough {it’s eggless if that concerns anyone}.  And, we took the boys to a movie {Madagascar 3} & I took my Medifast puffs & a bottle of sparkling water with me while they enjoyed popcorn & Reese’s.  Movie popcorn is a big time temptation, so I felt good about that.

    -I also got a little more sleep this week which helped a lot.

    -The scale showed a 2.8 pound loss, too, which is always a nice reward for doing really great stuff for your body.

    Feeling much better about life today.  It’s amazing what just a week back in the game will do for you.  And, I don’t plan on letting it slip away anytime soon, either.  I’ll continue posting our weekly menu at the beginning of each week because that helped me more than anyone!

    This health journey is all at once the most exciting, exhausting, frustrating, amazing, and rewarding thing ever.  I’m in it for the long term, though, so here’s to another great week!


    talks about Confessions

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    {picture via Pinterest}

    In honor of National Running Day, I wanted to share a story that’s been on my mind all day.

    Ten years ago I weighed 220 pounds.  I would rather have eaten a full cube of butter or let a cat sit inside my car than run a lap around a track.  {Those who know me know I’m not a fan of animals in cars, so that’s a big deal}.  My trainer {who I later married} challenged me a lot that summer.  I told him up front the one thing I’d never do was run in front of or with him.  I was not a runner, I’d never been one, and I didn’t plan on becoming one.  Plus, I was incredibly attracted to him and pretty unattractive myself, so I didn’t want him to see me in the completely unflattering light of attempted running.

    He encouraged me to try on my own & gave me a program to follow.  Each day he’d call and check on me and whether I’d done my workout.  I wanted so badly to change my reality and I didn’t want to disappoint Zac, who’d become my trusted friend by this time.  I started with just walking.  I built up to 30 second interval jogs between the walking.  Then a 30 second running interval.  Finally, a few minutes in a row of jogging.  Still nothing incredible, but a super big deal for me.  After a couple months, he stopped by my work to pick me up & said he had a surprise for me.  He had my workout clothes/shoes & after I got changed & we left, he drove me to the high school track. 

    I vividly remember the entire experience.  My heart was beating crazy fast in my chest and I felt like I wanted to throw up.  He said I was ready.  He would be with me every step of the way.  We warmed up with a fast 5 minute walk.  Then he told me to start running.  He ran beside me.  He ran circles around me.  He talked to me.  I just ran.  I could barely breathe, I cussed his name under my breath, and I didn’t say a word…mostly because I couldn’t. (:  After some time he said stop.  He had his stop watch.  I had just run for 20 minutes straight.  Almost 2 miles.  I wasn’t fast.  I didn’t break any records.  But, I ran the whole time.  I RAN!  I was a runner.

    I punched him in the arm because I wanted to throw up, but then I hugged him.  Tight.  For giving me one of the greatest gifts.  Health.  Confidence in my ability to do hard things.  For running alongside me & shouting that I was doing it, that he was proud of me.  And, for loving me even when I weighed 220 pounds. 

    A year later-after much running on my own & with Zac-I ran my first 5k

    Last October I ran my first 10k

    Fast forward to today, ten years since that fateful & life changing summer.  I have logged over 2000 miles of running since then. 

    I’m still not the fastest.  I’m still not in it to compete with anyone but myself.  The farthest I desire to go is a half marathon.  When I’m injury free & able to be consistent, it’s the best feeling ever.

    But, I love it. 

    And, I am a runner.

    Happy National Running Day.  Go log some miles & be grateful that you are able.


    talks about Confessions, Lean & Green, Recipes




    Confession:  I hate to make dinner.

    I know, I know, worst wife/mom ever, right?  It’s just that I always put it off and never have any ideas and then I look at the clock between 4 & 5 PM and think, “Dang…what should I make for dinner?”  No wonder it’s stressful!  About a month ago I started making a meal plan menu for the week on Sunday nights.  I’d grocery shop Monday morning for that week & be all prepared.  No more waiting til the last minute to plan & prepare.  Each morning I’d set out whatever I needed {thaw meat, put stuff in crockpot, cut & store veggies, etc.} and then the late afternoon/evening prep was much more enjoyable!  What a surprise, right?  I’ve got to be the first woman ever to have figured this concept out! (;

    The last couple weeks were all thrown off because of the communicable disease that chose to run rampant in our home {ha!} and I got out of the habit.  Last night I sat down & worked it out again though, so I thought I’d share.  Enjoy!

    {PS: Dinners around here consist of a lean & green friendly meal for myself & the same for the husband and kiddos, but with an added carb to theirs.}

    Monday: Baked cilantro/lime Tilapia, {using this recipe, but subbing tilapia for shrimp} Green salad, baked sweet potato

    Tuesday: Crockpot chicken, Asparagus, Wheat pasta

    • 24 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
    • 1 celery stalk
    • 1/2 onion, diced
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 16 oz fat free low sodium chicken broth

    -Put all ingredients in crock pot, chicken broth until chicken is covered, add additional seasonings as desired.  Cover & cook on high for 4 hours.

    Wednesday: Ground Turkey boat with French bread

    Thursday: Chicken & veggie stir fry, brown rice

    Friday: Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce, corn

    Saturday: Leftovers/Date Night

    Sunday: Veggie &/or cheese Omelets & wheat toast

    I’d LOVE to hear what’s on your menu for the week.  Feel free to share your recipes, too!


    talks about Confessions




    It’s been a while & I wanted to give a heads up as to what’s going on around here.

    My routine was almost perfect for 3.5 weeks.  I was on a roll, loving my holy hours that came from being a member of the 5:00 am club, and enjoying the progress I was making.

    Then, my 2 year old got sick.  A different sick than he’s ever been.  A scary kind of sick.  For the past 12 nights, I’ve gotten an average of 3 hours of sleep each night.  Lots of tears {him & me}, 3 trips to the doctor, some tests, and finally, yesterday, a positive test result for Pertussis-aka: whooping cough.  Yes, he’s been immunized.  No, we’re not sure why he was affected so badly.  He has finished his antibiotic and now the rest of our little family is being treated as a precaution, including extended family who are around him often.

    Needless to say, the past 3 weeks have taken a toll.  My program {and any semblance of a healthy lifestyle} flew out the window.  I’m desperate to get it back.  I feel terrible.  Bloated, unattractive, weak, etc.  I take full responsibility for the way I feel-no excuses.  I know I could have found time to exercise & could have {and should have} used the Medifast meals as my energy fuelings to help me feel the best I could.  I made a choice not to though, and now I’m experiencing the consequences.  Like I so often try to teach my 4 year old, for every choice we make-positive or negative-there is a consequence, good or bad.  I made some less than stellar choices the past couple weeks and I am paying for them.

    Last night was the first night I had five hours of sleep.  I felt strangely refreshed this morning and am hoping we are on the upward hill for the little guy.  At least he’s mostly happy & always super cuddly. (:

    So here’s my plan: tomorrow is the start of a fresh week.  I plan on waking early each morning, getting 5 workouts in, drinking 150+ ounces water each day, and feeding my body 6 healthy fuelings throughout each day.  I will report back & expect to be held accountable.

    P.S. With the extra cuddling & down time, I’ve caught up on a few shows on Hulu & Netflix.  Some of my past & current favorites are: Psych, Lie to Me, Greek, Glee, Up All Night, Gilmore Girls, Drop Dead Diva, Jane by Design, Melissa & Joey, Hoarding-Buried Alive, Bent, The Office, Wonder Years, Saved by the Bell, New Girl & Community.  I will often watch a show and hear a song & think, “I wish I knew who sang this so I could download it.”  Well GUESS WHAT?  I came across the coolest site ever.  It’s called Tune Find and it’s “the largest online directory of music heard on TV shows.”  Totally amazing!  I just typed the name of some of my favorites into the search bar & it pulls this dictionary of songs up by season & episode.  I then created a playlist on Spotify using some of my favorites.  Check it out & share what you find & love with me!