Monday, February 10, 2014

98 Days to my First Marathon: Week 2

Day 8: Sunday- I was supposed to run 5 miles today but I couldn't do it the morning since I was volunteering at church at 8 am.  I hoped to get it done in the afternoon but we decided to go hiking the trails up at Turkey Mountain instead.  It was definitely a workout but not the 5 miles I needed.  And we had tacos from Bueno for dinner.  I had a green smoothie for breakfast ad quinoa salad for lunch so I didn't feel too bad but definitely not the healthiest choice.

Day 9:  Monday- Had hip hop on the calendar for tonight and I went.  I haven't been in 3 weeks since the kids and I have been sick so it felt really good to go.  I burned 780 calories (including about 15 minutes on the elliptical before class)!!!

Day 10:  Tuesday - Sophia has strep, started running a fever last night...  I was just bragging about how all the kids are healthy now.  So no Barre for me today.  I did about 30 minutes of yoga on Hulu instead.

Day 11: Wednesday - I did my 8 mile long run this morning and it was SO COLD, 20 degrees!  My water bottle was frozen!  It felt good to get it done but I felt very tired and my average pace was 11 minute mile.  My goal is to finish at 10:40 so I really need to work on my speed. I think I may try eating something small in the morning before my long run.  I usually go on an empty stomach, but I was starving and tired.  The route I took is very hilly though so that was good for training.  My husband and I had date night tonight and I had pasta, a chocolate martini, and a couple bites of carrot cake.  Glad I burned that 900 calories this morning!

Day 12: Thursday - Supposed to be a rest day but I did about an hour of yoga/pilates on Hulu this afternoon.  I felt like to needed to stretch so that was good.  I had a green smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, some roasted veggies for dinner and some of the leftover carrot cake after.... glad that's gone because I can't help myself!!

Day 13: Friday - I had a 4-mile interval run on the calendar for today.  I took the kiddos to the gym after lunch so I could do it (uninterrupted) on the gym treadmill.  I warmed up for the first 2 minutes, stretched, then started the intervals at minute 5, here is what it looked like:
min 0-2: warm up 4.0
min 2-4: jog 5.0
min 4: run 6.0
min 5: run 8.5 (7ish min/mile)
min 6: walk 4.0
min 7:  5.0
min 8: 5.5
min 9: 6.0
min 10: run 8.5
Repeat until I hit 4.5 miles!
I am still red-faced and that was like 3 hours ago.   I read that high intensity interval training (HIIT) will burn extra calories even hours after the workout is over!!

Day 14: Saturday - Rest Day!

Day 15:  Sunday -  I am 2 weeks in and feeling great so far!   But I only got a 3 mile run in on the treadmill today, instead of my 6 miler.  I woke up to it snowing and below freezing this morning.  SO ready for Spring!

Here is my February Schedule.  The only change is I moved my long run from the 12th to the 15th for a race here in town.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

98 Days to my First Marathon: Week One

Here is my schedule for January:

Day 1:  Sunday - my neck is hurting but I have a 3 mile interval on the agenda for the day.  I am researching marathon nutrition as I feel that will be the key to my success.
3 mile interval COMPLETE:  5 min warm up (3 min fast walk and 2 min stretch), 1 min all-out sprint (7-8 min mile) 1 min walk, 3 min steady run (9-10 min mile); repeat 5 times.  I felt pretty good except for my neck which was very tense.  Hopefully this gets better ASAP.

Day 2:  Monday - my neck is still very tense.  And Christian is sick, coughing and congestion, so I can't take the kids to the gym for hot yoga or hip hop tonight.  I didn't get any workout in today but I did spend hours outside with the kids so I was very active.

Day 3:  Tuesday - My neck is still sore but I made it to barre today.  It felt great to get back in the gym and the kids are starting to feel better!

Day 4: Wednesday - Went to the chiropractor this morning and it is a muscle that is inflamed and pushing on a nerve in my neck/shoulder.  I feel looser already!  I even went to hot yoga today at noon.  I need to get some more runs in, though!

Day 5:  Thursday- Supposed to be a rest day after my Wednesday run.  But since I didn't get my run in on Wednesday, I did 4 miles on the treadmill today.  My neck didn't hurt much at all and I did it at 10 min 40 second pace!  It took longer than that though, since the kids like to ask me for things while I'm on the treadmill.

Day 6:  Friday - Went to chiropractor again today and my neck is gradually feeling better.  Been icing it every night too.  I got my 3 miles in on the treadmill today.  I felt slow today and tired.  So I'm taking Saturday off as a rest day.

Day 7: Saturday - Rest Day!  Need to get 5 miles in tomorrow so I need to be strong for that.  It's supposed to be 60 something tomorrow so I'm hoping to get my run in outside!

Nutrition:  I have been drinking a green smoothie every morning for breakfast and veggies/quinoa for lunch.  Dinner has been a little off and I need to quit snacking at night.  I don't sleep as good and I can't wake up refreshed.  I reserved a couple books at the library on marathon nutrition so I'm picking those up and hopefully get a nutrition plan for the next couple months.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

THE RECIPES - How a Busy Mom Makes Healthy Dinners Easy

Although I am a VERY busy mom, I still make eating healthy as a family top priority.  Instead of continuously finding new recipes and making a different dish every night, I have about 20 recipes that are no-fail, family pleasing, budget friendly, and easy to make.  Here they are, in no particular order!

1. Quiche with easy homemade whole wheat crust from 100 Days of Real Food.  I love this recipe because prep takes about 5 minutes and you can switch it up, depending on what your family likes.  You can add bacon, ham, turkey, applegate sausage (yum), veggies such as spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and any kinds of cheeses. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What snacks I brought on our little Spring Break getaway

We just got back from a 2-day trip to Kansas City and had SO much fun!

We went to a Science museum

Checked out Union Station, a millennium-old train station

Went to a cool attraction by Hallmark, the company which was started in Kansas City

Went to the zoo on a snowy day

And enjoyed some yummy breakfast
(I know pancakes weren't the most healthy option but we don't completely deprive our kiddos!)

The day we left, I was busy in the kitchen whipping up some snacks for the road and to snack on as lunch or breakfast while we were there to save money on eating out.  Instead of buying a bunch of packaged snacks from the store, I decided to homemake all of our snacks.

Here is what I made:

  • Homemade PB cookie Lara Bars
  • Maple breakfast cookies (without pecans because I didn't have them on hand)
  • Banana muffins (made with ww pastry flour, sub almond milk for yogurt, 1/2 c oil instead of 1/3, and made into muffins cooking for 12-13 minutes)
  • Cinnamon protein bars (made without chocolate chips and protein powder because I didn't have them)  Still yummy though!  Mike said they were more of a PB bar now, but they still had plenty of protein with the PB!
  • I would usually make some homemade trail mix too (honey oat bran sticks, raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries or raisins) but I didn't make it to whole foods to get all my ingredients from the bulk section.  All my kids love the trail mix and I pre-portion them out into little containers for an easy snack.  
We were able to skip lunch our first day and breakfast our 2nd day in KC and just snack on the stuff I made.  

With a little planning, you can save a ton of money and make your road trip a little more relaxing by making some snacks beforehand.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Family Friendly Busy Mama Meal Plan 1-28-13

Hey y'all!!  Here is my family meal plan for this upcoming week, including 5 dinners and sides:

Whole wheat mac n cheese with roasted broccoli (chopped & tossed with olive oil/sea salt/ground pepper/garlic powder at 400 degrees for 25 mins)

Slow cooker chicken tacos (using a whole chicken slow-cooked 4-5 hrs instead of the pork shoulder) served with avocado, organic cheddar, organic sour cream, shredded lettuce, and salsa.

Clean Sloppy Joes served on whole wheat buns with roasted sweet potato wedges (tossed in olive oil, sea salt, pepper and baked until crispy on edges at 400 for 25-30 mins)

Perfect Potato Soup (without the bacon) served with whole wheat crusty italian bread (sliced in half lengthwise, smothered with organic butter and garlic powder, and baked wrapped in aluminum foil at 350 for 20 mins)

Baked Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti  with Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Have a great week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

How I lost weight and maintain my weight loss

This post has been brewing for a long time.  I see so many commercials and advertisements for the newest weight loss drug or weight loss "trick" and it makes me so frustrated.  Why?  Because 10 years ago, heck 5 years ago, I would have done anything to lose weight and get "skinny".  I was desperate to be thin.  I was the person these people market to.  Because who wants to really lose weight the "healthy" way?  We just want to lose the weight, like, yesterday.  So that pushes people to believe the hype/ads and try out every fad diet & pill on the market.  
Before - 200 lbs

After - 130 lbs
Keep in mind, I am not a registered dietician.  If you have any questions, you should consult your physician.  I am only speaking from my own experience and knowledge from research I have done.  I have been there, done that in regards to dieting:  see my post on my weight loss journey.

Here are tips on how I personally lost weight and also how I have maintained it.

1.  Eat Real Food.  This seems simple right?  Well unfortunately because of all the options now in the grocery store from huge food companies, there are many "food substitutes" on the aisles.  Most of them make health claims.  Low fat!  High fiber!  Probiotics!  Blah blah blah.  This literally means nothing if they have to add a ton of sugar and chemicals along with those couple grams of fiber or other nutrient (which is, by the way, not natural and was created in a lab).  So, here are my real food rules:
a.  Eat food as close to nature as possible or straight from nature:  lots of fruits and veggies.
b.  If eating meat, it must be organic, antibiotic and hormone free.  If possible, buy straight from the butcher.  Buy local as much as possible, such as from your farmer's market.
c.  Dairy should be organic (from cows not treated with rgbh - growth hormone) as to avoid added antibiotics and hormones.  Buy local as much as possible.
d.  Eat complete grains, ones that have not been broken down.  All pasta, rice, and bread must be whole wheat/whole grain.  Also, brown rice pasta, brown rice bread, and brown rice tortillas are great gluten free options.
e.  Strive for 5 ingredients or less on your packaged foods.
f.  Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.  Dehydration can cut your metabolism by as much as 80%!
g.  Look for no salt added products or low sodium.  You'd be surprised by how much salt is in canned soup and other canned products.
h.  Sugar should be a real form, such as honey, pure maple syrup, molasses, or organic pure cane sugar (unprocessed).  And when I am losing weight, I restrict my sugar intake considerably.  Sugar is very addicting and causes cravings and fake hunger cues.
i.  No soda at all!  Go cold turkey!  Soda has been proven to cause cravings and overeating.  If you want to lose weight, seriously, do not drink any more soda.
j.  Here is a quick list of chemicals and additives to avoid at all costs:
  • Artificial colors (red, green, yellow, FD&C colors)
  • Benzoate preservatives (BHA & BHT)
  • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
  • Potassium Bromate
  • Propylene glycol
  • Propyl Gallate
  • Sodium Nitrate & Sodium Nitrite (in 99% of all deli meats and hot dogs..this one is proven to cause cancer)
  • Mono sodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Olestra
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
2.  Count Calories.  I put this tip as #2 since I don't recommend counting calories alone.  The first and second tips MUST go together.  Figure up your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is essentially how many calories you burn on a daily basis if you were completely sedentary.  This does not include any calories you burn doing daily activities or exercise.  My BMR is 1,300 calories.  I work out almost every day, burning 400-600 calories plus I'm very active with my kiddos.  In order to maintain weight, I eat about 1,800 calories per day.  To lose weight, I would eat 1,400-1,600 calories per day.  And keep in mind, not all calories are created equal!  Eating an apple is much better than eating a100-calorie pack of oreos. 
I count my calories using a free app on my iPhone, MyFitnessPal.  You can go in and enter your info and goal and it pops out with how many calories you should eat per day to meet your goal.   

3.  Exercise 4-5 days per week.  I have gotten into the habit of exercising for not just weight loss but also weight maintenance.  As many calories as I burn off exercising I allow myself to eat extra that day.  I figure up how many calories I burn on my free iPhone app, MyFitnessPal.  Also, when I exercise, chances are I will make better food choices that day.  Why would you work out hard at the gym then want to go through drive thru?  It takes a lot of time and planning for me to exercise with 4 kids.  I am not going to ruin that by making bad food choices to completely cancel out my workout.  
Find forms of exercise that make you happy, it should not be a chore!  There are so many options out there.  Have a gym membership?  Try some new classes!  Zumba, Pilates Yoga, Hot Yoga, Kickboxing... Don't have a gym membership?  Try jogging or walking outdoors, download Nike Training app for your iPhone, or buy some workout DVD's.  You can also find TONS of workouts on HULU Plus and even on YouTube!  

4.  Set a goal.  When I am in weight loss mode, it helps to set a goal.  Usually it is for an upcoming trip.  For example, if I know I will be going on a beach vacation in June, I will set that as my goal date.  I make my goals realistic.  Losing 1-2 lbs per week is realistic for most people, as long as you are being consistent in eating good and exercising.  

5.  Manage and limit your bad eating days.   When I fall of the wagon, even if it's just one meal, I always have a plan to get back to my weight loss track.  If you want to lose weight in a timely manner, you can't afford too many bad eating days/meals.  Don't let one bad meal or even one bad day turn into two days or a week or a month.  I always limit my "bad days" to once in a week - MAX.  If even that.  This would usually be a night out or holiday or special occasion of some sort.  Don't get derailed from just one bad decision.  It doesn't have to completely ruin your efforts.  If I feel like I had a really bad weekend or couple days, I detox the next day to "start over".  Basically, I limit my meals and snacks to fruits and veggies only with a green monster smoothie and tons of water.  If you have a juicer, bonus.  Here are a couple other detox plans from Food Babe and one from Skinny Ms.  

6.  Meal plan.  I am never caught with "my pants down", so to say.  I make my worst food choices when I didn't plan out my day well enough and forget to eat in a timely manner.  When I get to the point that I'm shaking and light headed, I will literally eat anything in sight.... forget about healthy meals or choices.  
  • OR if 6:00 rolls around and I haven't planned dinner, guess what?  It's pizza delivery.  Every week, I go through my recipes and plan 5 dinners (with sides), breakfasts, lunches and snacks.  Here are some of my favorite recipes.  
  • I have also got into the habit of bringing snacks with me in the car while I'm out. My favorites are raw nuts, trail mix, PB packets (Justin's), pear, and banana.  Or if I know I'm going to be out during lunch time, I pack a green monster to sip on. 
  • Make a big container full of chopped veggies and take a portion out each day with some dressing for a quick lunch.  Example: today I cooked 4 c chopped broccoli, 4 c chopped cauliflower, 3 c chopped tomatoes, and 1 c sliced olives and tossed with 1 c cooked quinoa.  I separated it out into 4 servings for lunch all week.  I could serve it with some chopped avocado and olive oil and vinegar or even 3 T hummus.  This can even be served cold!  
6a.  Don't keep problem foods in your house.  Serious about losing weight?  Get rid of the crap in your fridge and!  If it's there, you will eat it.  Don't overestimate your self-control.  So, on the other hand, stock up on healthy snacks, tons of fresh fruits and veggies.  

7.  Drink lots of water.  I always start my day with 2 huge glasses of water before I put anything else in my mouth.  And I drink a huge glass of water about 15 minutes before each meal.  I make sure to have about 8-12 glasses of water per day, depending on my activity level.  Water is the only beverage I drink, other than some green tea and coffee.  I do not waste my precious calories on things like juice.  Plus, most juices are chocked full of sugar (see tip #1).  Many times in the afternoon, when I'm feeling a little sluggish and hungry, I have 1-2 glasses of water.  That leads into my next poing, #8:

8.  Assess if you're really hungry.  When you make the switch from eating processed, sugar-loaded, fast foods, it could take a little while for your brain to go back to normal.  The foods most americans eat are loaded with sugar and make us have crazy cravings and ravenously hungry.  When I eat all real foods (see #1), my cravings disappear and I am more satisfied.  Sometimes we eat out of boredom or as a stress-reliever.  When I feel like I'm having one of these moments, I think to myself how I will feel after I eat the thing I am wanting and how I will feel the next morning when I wake up.  I know I will feel bloated and mad at myself for making the poor decision.  If I'm really hungry, I will go for some raw veggies with homemade hummus or a piece of fruit (banana, apple, pear, etc).   I know this one seems like a no-brainer, but you wouldn't believe how often we eat just because we're bored or stressed or whatever, not because our body really needs food.  

9.  No sugar.  When I was losing weight, I could not eat any sugar without getting crazy cravings.  When you eat sugar, you want more. It's a vicious cycle.  Try to limit your sugar intake or cut it out completely if you can.  

10.  No late night eating/snacking.  This one has made a significant difference for me.  Not everyone has an issue with this, but I do.  I could do great all day but after the kids are in bed, that's when I decide I want to de-stress from the day and food did that for me.  I had to cut it off almost completely.  I sometimes have a glass of wine or some homemade popcorn with a movie rental with my husband, but I limit it to that.  I make a point to eat a satisfying dinner so that I'm not hungry after the kids are in bed.  

Maintaining my weight loss
  • Many of the tips I mentioned above are still valid for maintenance.  The biggest change is the daily calorie intake is increased to approximately 1,800.
  • Just because I have reached my goal weight doesn't mean my healthy diet is over.  This is a healthy lifestyle and I will never go back to eating the junk I ate before I lost the weight.  When I eat healthy, I have more energy, have better moods, and wake up more easily in the morning.  
  • I still pay close attention to my daily calories and intake.  I notice when I don't input my calories for a week or so, I can easily gain a pound or two.  You can gain weight eating real food too!  
  • I make a rule for myself that I will never buy a bigger size of pants.  If my pants are fitting tighter, I detox or get more strict on what I'm eating.  
  • I don't weigh myself very often.  I usually weigh about once a month.  I can tell if I have lost or gained weight depending on how I feel and how my clothes fit.  
Hope these tips help to get you motivated to lose weight or help you to maintain your weight loss.  Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Healthy Kids Birthday Party

Today we celebrated my daughter's 3rd and son's 2nd birthday!   I made every effort to make this day as healthy as possible for the kids and adults that attended.  

Back in the day, I used to have pizza delivery, chips and dips, and store bought cake, plus favor bags equipped with even more sweets (candy).  I chocked it up to, well it's a special occasion!  I used to feel so gross by the end of the parties, not to mention a little guilty.  The kids get sweets so often, even on not-so-special occasions.  At school, at the bank, at the store, at other kids birthday parties, at holidays, etc....  The pictures of their faces covered in artificial coloring (icing) started to bother me when I learned about these chemicals.  They are well-known to cause ADD/ADHD and other behavioral issues in children.  So I decided to make their birthdays as healthy as possible.  I knew this was going to be more time consuming but it is worth it to me.  

So, here is a re-cap of what I had today at their party:

1.  Homemade whole wheat chocolate cake with whipped cream topping.  Instead of the berry sauce, I cooked berries (strawberry for pink and blueberry for purplish)  on stovetop until mushy, then pureed.  I mixed the pureed berries with some extra whipped frosting.  I had some cake decorating tools I got last year to use to make the design around the edge.  
**Note on the whipped cream.  You will need to mix this with your hand mixer for about 8-10 minutes for it to reach the desired consistency.  
The cake turned out REALLY good.  Usually those store bought cakes are SO incredibly sweet.  This was light and the whipped cream made it.  I will seriously make this just for a special occasion fruit dip or for other desserts.  

2.  For snacks, I had:

  • Boom.Chick.Pop. popcorn
  • Homemade trail mix (with raisins, almonds.sunflower seeds, sesame sticks, whole grain pretzels, and dark chocolate chips
  • Annie's Organic Bunnies.  I wouldn't normally buy these but they were on sale at Target and the little ones like these.  

  • Fruit tray with dip (plain traditional Greek yogurt with a little swirl of local honey)

For the main meal, I had a "make your own pizza" party.  I bought some whole wheat pitas (which only had a couple ingredients) and bought some toppings.  I had lots of fresh veggies, homemade super easy pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and applegate (nitrite/nitrate free) pepperoni.  

I think everyone enjoyed choosing the toppings and making the pizza!  It was at least a nice change!  I bought a bunch of pizza pans at the dollar store and we were able to fit up to 3 mini-pizzas on a tray at a time.  I had the toaster oven and regular oven cranked up to 400 degrees and we were able to pump out the pizzas in about 5-6 minutes!
 So, I think it was a success!  We all had a great day and I don't feel bloated and gross, which is a huge bonus.

Happy birthday Sophie & Baby Chris!!