Monday, April 29, 2013

Shopping Therapy

So I meant to post this last Friday, but life got in the way...again.  What else is new?  LOL! 

ANYWAY...  I was having a real slump of a day last week and I just couldn't seem to get over the hump.  I woke up with a really bad headache.  One of those that is all over your head.  Bleh.  I took some meds and that seemed to help, but I was still kind of blah.  So I did my workout, I showered, I read part of a book, but nothing seemed to be helping.  I even cleaned up part of my kitchen hoping that the accomplishment would make me feel better.  Nope!

Later in the day I'd finally had it.  I had promised my daughter we would go get her new shoes after we took her brother to his class.  We went to the store, and not only did she get shoes, but she got a new wallet and a hat to boot!  Now shopping with my daughter is always fun because she is such a fashionista (and I could kind of care less)!  But once we were done with her, we wandered into the women's section and it occurred to me that maybe what I need is something to look forward to, like maybe some new workout clothes!  Oh yeah, that was totally what I needed!  Here's what I got:

I know it may seem boring to buy new workout clothes, but when you also need to get them in a smaller size, then it's extra fun!

So that was pretty much all I would have told you about if I had posted this last Friday.  But I'm happy to say there is now more to the story.  :)

This weekend I had a chance to spend time with some dear friends.  And believe it or not, we went shopping!  I don't know if you know this, but I am also pretty crafty.  I like to make a lot of my own stuff.  I don't mean clothes, but jewelry, purses, etc.  That kind of stuff.  Anyway, my friends have some projects they wanted to work on and they wanted my help.  So I went down to the city (Chicago) to visit and we ended up running over to Michael's Craft Store while I was there.  Now, this can be very dangerous for me.  Every time I go there I find more stuff that I HAVE to have.  And NO!  It can not wait.  I must have it now!  (And if you saw all the stuff I already have, you'd wonder what the heck is wrong with me. I think it's an addiction.) 
So we went to get them some extra beads and some stuff to string them on, and of course I ended up with some beads of my own, some new string, earring hooks, and a few other things to make said earrings.
We went back to their apartment and since they needed so much help I ended up not making anything!  LOL!  (Guess I didn't NEED to buy that stuff after all, huh?)  But it was still so much fun.  And I DID end up making something this morning before I posted this, and I'm really excited about it.  It's not much, but, well, you'll see in a minute.

So this week I am trying very hard to be aware of my water intake.  I mean I usually get my 64 oz. minimum, but this week I want to make sure I get MORE!  I'm holding water again and I really want to flush it out.  So this is what I made this morning as a constant reminder to keep drinking the H2O!

I plan to wear this everyday for the next week or 2.  And I am not alone in this either.  I'm having a bunch of my friends track their daily water with me.
Anyway, all I can say is that by doing some shopping therapy, and getting out my normal rut, I was able to find my mojo again and keep going.

So what do you do when you find yourself in a slump?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Milk and Cookies! Oh Yeah!

Well, I took a week off of blogging.  Oops!  It happens.  Last week was rough, so this just dropped lower on my priority list.  But I'm back and as a thanks for still being a follower I've got a sweet treat for you!  And it's all clean!  (ok, well mostly  =D  )

So I've decided that it is more economical to make my own Almond Milk since I am using it every day now.  There are a TON of different recipes out there for this, but I kind of found a few and then adjusted to my own liking.

1/2 cup of plain almonds
16 oz hot water
24 oz filtered water (cold)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Take the almonds and soak them overnight in the hot water.  You can leave them out or throw them in the fridge once the water cools.  (If you are in a serious rush, you CAN soak them for only an hour-it comes out almost the same.)  Once you are done soaking, rinse the almonds well and place in a blender with 24 oz filtered water, vanilla, and cinnamon (in reality I probably shake the cinnamon in and use about 3-4 shakes, but thought you'd like an actual measurement.)

Blend on the highest setting for about 2-3 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or use a nut bag (I need to get one of these!)  Make sure to press or squeeze out all the moisture.  And "Ta-Da!"  You now have almond milk.  Just pour it into a container and store it in the refrigerator.
By the way, you can make it plain too or add any other seasonings to it when mixing to create different flavors.

Now before you throw away all that great nut pulp, here are some things you can do with it so you don't waste it!  You can toast it and use it as a topping on yogurt, you can mix it in with granola or cereal, you can dry it out and grind it up more and use it as almond flour, or you can store it in the fridge or freezer as is and use it in this next recipe...for COOKIES!

A friend of mine recently posted about finding some easy and quick to make cookies that were totally clean and healthy for you.  So of course I had to try them... I LOVE COOKIES!!!!  They really are totally easy, and they are pretty good too.

The basic recipe is:
2 ripe bananas
1 cup quick oats
(and then add anything you want, I used cinnamon, raisins, and some vanilla extract).

The second time I made these I changed it a little because I thought my first batch was a little too gooey.  So here is my revamped version of this easy cookie.  And of course this time I made them chocolate chip!

2 ripe bananas
1 1/4 cups quick oats
2 tbsp. flax seeds
almond pulp (from making almond milk - it's around 1/2 cup)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 cup Enjoy Life brand semi-sweet mini chips (depends how much chocolate you want!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mash the bananas until they are basically like baby food.  (I just mash them up with a fork - I get a good arm workout that way - LOL!)  Add in oats, vanilla, flax seeds, and almond pulp.  Stir all ingredients together by hand until well blended.  Add in the chocolate chips (or whatever you decide to use).  Spoon mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet (I make them about 1 1/2 inch diameter).  I usually get about 8 on each sheet.  Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Let cool on the sheet for about 1-2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Then EAT!  Just don't eat the whole batch!
I seriously have to watch how many of these I eat each day.  When someone tells you that there is a cookie out there that you can eat while staying healthy, it can be pretty hard to stop.  But I limit myself to 3 max per day (if I can!)  I also added dried cherries to part of this batch, but the plain chocolate chip ones were my favorite.  Kind of like chocolate chip banana bread...YUM!  But there is so much you can do with this recipe.  That's one of the reasons I love it.  I think next time I'm going to try them with chopped up apple.  Maybe I'll be able to control myself better that way!  LOL!

What would you put in them?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In memoriam - 26.2

I may not be the fastest
or better than the rest
But I'm going to try my hardest
I'm going to do my best
For those that have been harmed
and those that have been lost
I'm putting on my shoes and running
no matter what the cost
I'm tying up my laces
making sure they're tight
I have no swag or shirt or colors
but I still think this is right
In support of those in Boston
Twenty-six point two I run
I may have to walk, or only go minutes
but I won't stop until I'm done
For runners are a community
who hold each other dear
They laugh and cry, rejoice and hurt
and for each other always cheer
So today I head out on the path
to do the best I can
because although I'm not a runner
Today I surely am.

~Erica Miller

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Well, I'm happy to say that I am doing really well with staying on track with my nutrition.  Ever since this past weekend when I cleaned all the sugar out of my system, I can honestly say that I have not even been craving anything sweet.  Even CHOCOLATE!  Ok, maybe a little, but I just use my Shake for that.  :)

I'm taking more time to cook meals for myself and my family.  I'm including more vegetables and fruits in all of our meals.  Woo HOO!  Here are some of the things I've been eating this past week.

Scrambled eggs with mixed peppers (red, yellow, green, and orange), spinach, onions and a little cheese on top!  So yum!

Caesar-style wrap!  Pre-roasted chicken, sliced.  Romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, a little mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and some light Caesar dressing all wrapped in a whole grain Flat Out wrap.  I know you don't normally add carrots to something like this, but I like them and I wanted the extra veggies!

Stir-fried veggies - broccoli, onion, shredded zucchini, and shredded carrots.  Then I added some chicken, a little whole grain pasta, ad some light soy sauce for flavor.  I don't usually shred my veggies for this, but I was starving and didn't want to wait for them to cook.  I discovered something really funny about this dish when I ate it - it tasted really sweet to me!  And there was NO sugar of any kind added.  I think my taste buds were actually tasting the natural sugars in the pasta and the carrots.  It was weird to realize this, but kind of cool too.

And this has been my Go-To snack all week.  one whole sliced apple with 2 tbsp. of all natural peanut butter with flaxseeds.  It has definitely satisfied what used to be my major sweet tooth!

I hope that some of these meals have inspired you.  I'm planning on making a ground turkey spaghetti sauce next to eat with spaghetti squash.  That will have to wait until tomorrow though.  :)

If you have any great recipes to share please feel free to post them in the comments below.  I love new recipes!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Go Outside and PLAY!

I haven't posted for a few days because I have been trying to keep myself busy and out of the house.  I've been doing this Shakeology Cleanse with my Nutrition bootcamp group for the past 3 days and it can be hard to be around other people's food when you are trying to get clean.  So I spent a lot of time outside with and without my family.
Friday I made sure to take a casual walk with the dogs and my kids after they got home from school to get out of the house.  It was 30 minutes of pure joy because my kids almost never go with me anymore!
I even let them try to walk these crazy dogs.  And I was surprised at how well it went!
Then later in the day my husband and I took the kids to the playground and chased them around on the equipment.  We had so much fun together just playing and laughing!

It was a really great distraction for me so I didn't have to think about FOOD!  Although, don't get me wrong.  Doing the cleanse is not a practice in starving yourself, but you drink a lot of shakes, a few pieces of fruit, and only have one real meal each day.

The first few times I've done this cleanse I used to only eat a light salad with some grilled chicken breast, but I wanted to get a little more adventurous this time around.  So I gave up on the salad and made some cooked broccoli slaw and real broccoli instead.  Cooked in a pan with a little olive oil and some onion powder, garlic powder and dried basil and I was all set to go.  And this was way better than a salad!

Now I'm down 6 more pounds and over my sugar cravings!  And I am so thankful to my friends in my nutrition group for going through this with me.  Next up on my list is to start an actual program again and stick to it all the way through.

This is what I'm starting today.  Power 90 with Tony Horton.  It's kind of a precursor to P90X which I don't think I'm quite ready for.

If you'd like to join me, let me know!  :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Time Management

Well, you didn't see me yesterday due in part to time management issues.  While I was actually doing really well with my day, I didn't leave time for unexpected appointments. 

I've gotten a new tool to help me stay focused on what I have to get done, and I've tried to get realistic about what I can accomplish in one day.  I used to make a list of what had to get done and it would be 2 pages long because I would list every single thing I had to do and stay on top of doing to get my house and self exactly where I wanted them to be.  Now I am being more realistic and just trying to get done what I think I can each day.  I tried using a calendar, and I tried using a planner - one that even went hour by hour.  But I'm realizing that I am a very visual person and if I don't walk by it and see it all day long, I will forget to look at it.  So I got myself a dry-erase board at the dollar store and hung it up right where I will see it all day.
(This is actually today's list)
So far it's helping a lot.  And I was feeling really good yesterday when I realized I got everything I needed to done early in the day.  However, I got a call from my son's orthodontist office and there had been a problem with a recent impression that they took and they needed us to come in and do it again.  Unfortunately this was when I had planned on working out.  But now I had to pick up the kids, help them with homework and then go to the ortho.  By the time we got home it was time to plan and make dinner.  After that it was bedtime and then I had a webinar that I had registered to watch last night that was really loooooonnnnggggg.  So yesterday ended up being a rest day, but I'm still going to workout today.
I'm learning that I need to really plan on getting in my workouts earlier in the day, so that they can't get waylaid by the unexpected.
(If you'd like to see what I wrote for my Team Athena Blogpost you can go HERE)

When do you get your workouts in?
What do you use to help you stay on track?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Get the hell off the COUCH!

So I told you that I would be posting more and letting you know how things are going.  Well today's battle was with actually getting my ass off the couch and getting moving.  It was really hard.  It shouldn't be so hard, but I have been spending so much time lately telling myself why I have to do other things first and why I don't have time for exercise that it was really hard to overcome the negative inner dialogue.  I mean, I know I spent the last few days crazily running all over my house cleaning and such, but actually having to put on those shoes and face the fact that I have to move this body that is no longer the body it was a few months ago was not easy. 
So I gave myself a time limit.  If I didn't get all of my "excuses" done by a certain time, I was throwing on those damn shoes and at least going for a walk outside.  My dogs need it, I need it, and the Vitamin D is a BONUS.
Guess what?  I DID IT!  And I was so happy that I did it, that I took some pictures of our path and the nice scenery we get to walk through.

There was one picture that I was really sorry I missed though...and this is way of topic, but I swear every spring I get to see nature in action and I really did not need to see those 2 squirrels going about their business on the side a tree.  No thank you!  Ok, it was kind of funny, but still...

At least the dogs had fun!  Ok, me too.  :)
See you tomorrow to talk about more moving and maybe some food too.  Now I need to go shower!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Plummet :(

So I haven't blogged in a few weeks.  Basically it's because I've been afraid to come here and admit that I have far off course.  I've been blowing off my workouts and basically eating all sorts of stuff that I know I should not eat.

I have mentioned before that I suffer from depression, and that I get SAD in the late winter and early Spring.  For some reason, this year it was just really tough.  And it's been really hard for me to come to terms with it.  I mean, I'm a health and fitness coach, I'm supposed to be the one who knows what to do to get healthy.  I'm supposed to be an example of what I am teaching all the people I work with.  And I was really afraid that if I admitted to what's been going on, that my friends and clients would be disappointed in me.  But Dammit, I am a good coach, I'm just not always good at working on myself.

So this is my confession.  I have not been practicing what I preach.  But that is going to end here and now.  I am starting over from the beginning.  And as I pass each hurdle along the way, I'm going to post about them here on my blog.
The first one I managed to get control over the last few days has actually been my house.  When I fall apart, everything falls apart.  My house has been messy beyond control.  So I spent the last 2 days putting things away where they belong, catching up on laundry, and cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and washing EVERYTHING.  And I know that a less cluttered home is going to make it easier to feel less cluttered in my head.
I am going to start a new workout program this week, and I am getting back on track with eating.  But really this is where I am for now.

And I apologize if this post seems to kind of ramble from one place to another.  Obviously I haven't cleared all the cobwebs out of my brain yet.  But I'm working on it.  So stay tuned...