Go make breakfast….YES! Right now!

The hour of reckoning has come. It’s time for me to go back to work and I am not excited. Nope not at all. Let me explain…..I am ready to see my students, some of my coworkers, and none of the paperwork that my job involves. But alas, here we are! Lady S is starting preschool and Mister S is on year two of college with a full course load! That means we do a lot of prepping and planning in this house.

Lady S is provided breakfast at school which is a huge timesaver for us in the mornings. We like to give her something homemade anyway just for the ride there. I am thinking muffins this year and rotating the recipes I use. I can only imagine how hungry she must be by 8 when breakfast is served. For the Mister and I, we keep it pretty simple with different breakfast sandwiches, CLIF bars, yogurt and granola, and the occasional burrito.

I’m jumping on my soapbox for a minute here. I’ve probably said this a million times before, but the blow to success is inconsistency and lack of planning. Being healthy is not some bandwagon to jump on and off. It truly is a lifestyle change and a major part of it is cooking and what you eat! There are tons of excuses as to why someone can’t cook but please…if I can go from thinking hamburger helper with a salad was a meal to fresh foods and veggies then you can too!

Yes McDonald’s is easier but do you really know of that patty is sausage? I’ve always thought it was hamburger on a smaller scale. Yes iced coffee is delicious….a grande, French vanilla, iced coffee with extra cream and sugar is not. And I’m not judging here…I used to do both of those things above. A little planning goes a long way.

I’ve been asked for the recipe for breakfast sandwiches/burritos and I’ll share it with you!

To Go Breakfast Sandwiches
Ingredients

  • 1 pound of bulk sausage (avoid Jimmy Dean small tubes, Swaggerty’s Gwaltney–they all have MSG and/or fillers) OR 1 package of Canadian bacon
  • 1 pack of mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 dozen of eggs
  • 1 pack of English Muffins (12 pack) OR 1 tube of biscuits OR 1 package of tortillas
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried parsley
  • Baking pan
  • Muffin tin
  • Plastic wrap

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If cooking biscuits, set the oven to the temp the biscuits say. This may reduce the time the sausage and eggs cook.
  • While the oven heats, line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray a muffin tin (holds 12) with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cut sausage to desired thickness being sure to end up with 12 total pieces and place on baking pan. If using place Canadian Bacon, just lay on baking pan.
  • Place meat in the oven and let sausage cook all the way through about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven*Canadian bacon will take a shorter amount of time*
  • In a bowl, crack 7-8 eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add dried parsley to your liking. I don’t measure the parsley. Just eyeball it y’all.
  • Pour egg mixture in each muffin tin to about 1/3 full. Repeat until all cups are full. Place in the oven.
  • Go watch tv or fold clothes or read the other posts on my blog. ūüôā
  • Once all components are done cooking, make an assembly line and begin to assemble your breakfast!
  • Place cheese on the bottom, then egg, then meat. Wrap in plastic wrap and place inside a freezer bag for storage.
  • The night before eating, defrost in the fridge. In the morning, cook in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute keeping an eye on the sandwich. When the cheese has melted, it’s warmed through.

Voila! You just made breakfast for a week or more in one hour!!!

Pointers
* I LOVE bacon. I really do, but it does not reheat well. Do not even attempt turkey bacon. Thank me later ūüėČ
* To cut down on calories, buy a thin sliced version of mild cheddar cheese. Target has one and Sargento does as well.
* You are welcome to add veggies to your eggs or do a vegetation version without meat if you prefer.

Monkey See, Monkey Do…Fit Kids

As I sit in the park with Lady S watching her make up games as she goes and making sure the spaceship doesn’t blast off without her, I often think about how her little mind and body works! Oh the minds of kids. It’s amazing when you become a parent because once kids hit the right age, they start to do everything you do and say all the bad things you say.

Lady S is the kind of kid who repeats and emulates all that she sees and hears the people around her do. ¬†There have been many times when we thought she wasn’t listening, only to discover later that she heard it all. ¬†This can play in our favor and against us! ¬†Now that she is four going on sixteen years old, she is hellbent on doing it all and mostly by herself.

Except eat vegetables.  This she refuses to do.  Even if I put cheese, butter, and bacon all over every vegetable that hits our table, she will not eat anything green and proclaim that it is nasty.  The conversations typically go like this.

  • Me: ¬†Eat some of your green beans! ¬†They are SO good. ¬†Mommy made them for you!
  • Lady S: ¬†Mommy, you made them for you, not me! ¬†(Actually this is quite true!)
  • Me: ¬†*insert stern parent face* ¬†If you don’t eat your vegetables you won’t be strong like Daddy.
  • Lady S: ¬†*insert sly preschooler smile here* ¬†Mommy….don’t be silly. ¬†I already have big muscles! ¬†(The kiddo proceeds to flex her miniature bicep)

So you can see where this conversation goes….right….exactly nowhere. ¬†For some reason she has an aversion to all things green! ¬†Her only saving grace is that she loves spaghetti and noodles and corn and sometimes mashed potatoes. ¬†I can often times slide in some finely chopped veggies into her spaghetti.

When we workout at home, she often decides to that she needs to workout as well. ¬†It is complete hilarity to watch her try to do a burpee or a pushup. ¬†She often sits on Mister S’s back while he does his workouts and has become my accountability partner while working out.

As a child and teenager, I was obese.  Always have been and it never occurred to me to do something about it.  Once I became old enough to decide what I wanted to eat, it was often an unhealthy choice.  I have heard those comments about having a pretty face.  Thank God I had a healthy dose of self confidence from an early age despite my weight.

Childhood obesity is real all over the country and it is so disheartening. It is so very important that children see the adults in their lives making good choices when it comes to being healthy. ¬†No, that does not mean that everyone in a child’s life has to have slim to no body fat. ¬†It simply means that kids need to see adults eating those fruits and vegetables and breaking a sweat every now and then. ¬†They shouldn’t think that a home-cooked meal comes from McDonald’s or that desert always has to be something drenched in sugar.

Just a few pointers to help with this process

  • Keep fruits and vegetables in the home at all times. ¬†Most kids love bananas, strawberries, citrus fruits. ¬†Whatever fruits they like, keep them so that they are readily accessible.
  • DO NOT….I repeat DO NOT use food as a reward for good behavior and other things. ¬†Kids are quite smart and will do “good” things just to get those sweet treats.
  • Put it on the plate –> ¬†Whether they eat it or not, present vegetables to your kiddos at each meal. ¬†The more they see, they more they realize it’s not an option.
  • Moderation of sweets –>¬† Offer sweet treats a few times a week and do it randomly so that it becomes and unexpected event!
  • Send them outside –> ¬†Kids need exercise every single day and the sun does their little bodies good! ¬†Although they are quite stinky when they are done playing, physical activity is important to their overall physical and mental health.

Do you struggle to get your kids to eat vegetables?  Any pointers on how you made this process easier?

 

Coffee Drinkers…yes you…come here!

I’m addicted to coffee. All kinds of it. Light, dark, medium, flavored, organic…I don’t care as long as it’s coffee! Until I’ve had my cup of joe in the morning, it’s best to not ask me multi step questions or those you want serious answers to! I simply can’t think straight! It’s one of the main reasons I avoid morning meetings at all costs.

With the coffee comes my obsession with creamer. My amazing grandfather Dupe used to drink it straight black. No sugar or cream! I’ve tried that and it didn’t fair well. I guess you could say I like mine diluted a little bit. In the eight million eight years Mister S and I have been married, I’ve converted him over to the dark side as well. Sometimes I let Lady S smell the coffee beans since it helps the airways for asthmatics. Win win for everyone!

We probably used 2-3 quarts of creamer a month. I used to just turn that creamer bottle upside down and let it rip. And the 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. I can’t even imagine the calories. Well actually I can and I am sure it was somewhere around 150-200 a cup just in creamer and sugar. Bad I know cause the creamer has sugar in it too!

That all had to change of course. I replaced the sugar with Splenda and then decided I didn’t like that either so now I use stevia and I quite like it. The creamer is a different story though. We still use it although it’s limited to 2 tablespoons. Problem is, as I get more conscious about what goes in our bodies, I couldn’t reconcile those chemicals in the creamer. I know what you’re saying because I’ve said it too!

It’s only a little bit!

The flavors are so good!

There’s chemicals in everything!

That led me to Pinterest to find an alternative. I don’t like almond milk as a creamer so that was out. I have to be in the mood to use half and half or milk as a creamer. I like flavors. What can I say! Pinterest has tons of homemade, easy recipes to use for creamer so I decided to give one a try. The recipe is simple and it gave my coffee the right amount of sweetness and creaminess.

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Base Recipe for coffee creamer

Ingredients
1-2 cups of milk – you can use whole, reduced fat, almond milk, or soy milk
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
Pure extracts of any flavors you like – vanilla and almond are popular

Directions
In an airtight jar (Mason is good to use here) combine the milk and sweetened condensed milk. Add teaspoon of extract. Seal tightly and shake vigorously until well combined. Pour into coffee. Savor the flavor. Go out and be nice to people!

I found this to be a great alternative to store brought creamer. The only downside is you must remember the expiration date of your milk. Also using 2 cups of milk/almond milk/soy milk will make about 3 cups of creamer when it is all combined. Keep this in mind as well.

Now go forth on Pinterest and find all the flavor combinations you can make!

Sickness Sucks! Listening to your body…

Ah!!!! I’m sick. Down for the count. In bed looking a mess. I feel like poo and look like it too! It’s been days since I had a good run or workout and I am really hating it right now. I’ll spare you all the grimy details, but let’s just say that jumping up and down would not be in my best interest today!

There have been a few times that I’ve been down for the count with working out. There have been a few times when I stupidly drudged through a workout only to feel like a train wreck afterwards. It’s that blind optimism that all I needed to do was sweat it out and then I’d feel better. Or a little light cardio *no such thing* would be alright. I learned my lesson a long time ago to rest when it’s needed.

There are people reading this who might think that working out all the time is going to get you there faster. Or working out when your body is telling you not to, is a good idea. Well….I am here to tell you it’s not.

If you find yourself not feeling that great or your muscles are hurting to the point of pain, it will not derail your journey to rest a bit. Your body needs those rest days to repair itself and to have the opportunity to build muscles. The last thing anyone wants is to not feel your best and risk injury on top if that? It’s simply not worth it.

So what am I doing today? Lying in bed relinquishing all parenting duties to Mister S. Drinking lots of water and sleeping. The workouts can wait ūüėČ. My body will thank me later.

YouTube workouts. Go get you some :)

The summer is coming to a close for me. ¬†In three short weeks I will be back at work fulltime, Lady S will be starting preschool, and Mister S will be working fulltime AND going to school fulltime! ¬†It’s going to be busy here in our house to say the least. ¬†I’ve got my charts printed out already so that I can start menu planning for the month of September! ¬†I have to admit I am ready to get back into the chaos that is our lives during the school year. ¬†Anyone who knows a teacher knows we don’t¬†really¬†take the summer off. ¬†We just do a little less!

I am on the tail-end of a 30 day challenge that BodyRockTV has hosted on YouTube. ¬†It’s called Transformer and you can find it here. ¬†It has been tough to say the least. ¬†Since taking a hiatus from Planet Fitness, I have been working out solely at home. ¬†Driving to the gym was just too time consuming and I really feel like I get a better workout at home. ¬† The other upside is that Lady S will do her jumping jacks and burpees and jump rope with me!

A lot of people will ask me what I actually do while working out. ¬†It would take at least an hour to name it all, but I try to do exercises that incorporate working all my muscle groups. ¬†If I am going to spend 30-45 minutes of my life working out, then I plan on getting as much in as a I can. ¬†There are a few channels on YouTube that I follow religiously. ¬†I find workouts that I like and do those. ¬†There really is no science to it. ¬†If my shoulders are tight, I’ll focus on lower body and core work and vice versa.

My disclaimer is simple:

  1. Know your limitations.
  2. Practice good form.
  3. Ease yourself into the workouts if you haven’t worked out in a long time.
  4. Take breaks as needed.
  5. Stay hydrated.

Some of my favorites are:

  • Melissa Bender –> ¬†Beginner to Intermediate Levels. ¬† Most workouts are 15-25 minutes in length and incorporate cardio and strength training. ¬†She also has some yoga exercises as well.
  • Fitness Blender –> ¬†Beginner to Advanced Levels. ¬†Workouts include cardio only, strength, yoga, Crossfit style, and weighted workouts. ¬†Each workout typically includes a warm-up and cool-down helping you to avoid injury. ¬†They also have meal plans and workout plans if you want to really step up your game.
  • BodyRock –> ¬†Intermediate to Advanced Levels. ¬†Most workouts are fairly difficult and require equipment including dumbbells, bars, or other materials. ¬†You can easily adapt the workouts to your level, but may have a hard time with the equipment piece. ¬†I would not recommend starting with these workouts if you haven’t been physical in awhile. ¬†Unless you like torture. ¬†Then in that case, be my guest ūüėČ
  • XHIT Daily –> Beginner to Intermediate Levels. ¬†Short and sweet workouts primarily focused on women. ¬†I haven’t found any of these to be especially hard but they do make you feel the burn.

Have you tried any of these workouts from the channels?  Do you feel like workouts are better in the gym or at home?

What’s in the Fridge? You get to see!

If there is one thing that is constant in my conversations with people is that they ask a million and one questions about what is in our refrigerator. ¬†People want to know what we eat everyday…do we only eat fruits and veggies….do we have sweets in the house…do we use sugar or Splenda or nothing at all…. ¬†It gets mindboggling to answer everyone individually so I’ll answer a few of the questions we get most often below. ¬†Keep in mind as you read my answers, these are the things that work for US as a family and may not work for you. Things we find appealing, you may not like. ¬†You won’t get a side eye from us if you decide to switch it up for you and your family.

The Fridge Q&A

  • Which one is better? ¬†Sugar? Splenda? or Stevia? ¬†When I first began this journey, I avoided sugar like the plague. ¬†I know that a lot of foods that are typically in the grocery store have a ton of hidden sugar. ¬†For example….I love greek yogurt, BUT I have to be careful of what kind I buy because the sugar content in some of them is off the charts. ¬†You would be better off just eating a couple of tablespoons of sugar. ¬†I personally switched to Splenda and then got weirded out by all the strange ingredients and went with Stevia. ¬†Stevia is a natural sweetener, however, be careful of what you buy as some in the grocery stores are filled with additives. ¬†Mister S continues to use sugar which isn’t all bad. ¬†At 15 calories a pop it’s not gonna kill you…well unless you eat a ton of it!
  • Do we really eat fruits and veggies? ¬†The short answer is yes we do. ¬†The long answer would be that we are super picky about both. ¬†I don’t particullarly care for fruits except for citrus fruits, apples, and a few berries. ¬†Mister S likes fewer than that…some berries and grapes. ¬†Lady S seems to like all fruits except for melons. ¬†We try to keep berries, bananas, and apples in the fridge at all times. ¬†As far as veggies go, Lady S eat zero except for kernels of corn. ¬†Mister S and I eat just about anything except he finds mushrooms repulsive while I love them! ¬†For dinner each night we have a veggie or two and Lady S gets fruit and hidden veggies! (Don’t tell her)
  • Do we eat out at all? ¬†Absolutely! ¬†I have talked many times about how restricting yourself too much will lead to diet failure. ¬†Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance of the good stuff and the not so good stuff. ¬†I will freely admit that we are huge fans of ChickFilA! ¬†It is one of the few places that we can take Lady S and her peanut/tree nut allergy and feel secure with what we feed her. ¬†Our treat is once per week we eat out. ¬†Sometimes it’s twice depending on how busy we are and what we have to do. ¬†I always caution people and say that yes take out food has MSG in it and yes it has food dyes and yes it has GMO’s….not all but a lot of it. ¬†You have to decide for yourself if that’s ok with you and your family.
  • Organic or Natural? ¬†Oh this is a loaded question! ¬†I hate to burst everyone’s bubble but products labeled as natural mean nothing other than someone got crafty and put it on the package. ¬†The most natural foods are those straight from the Earth likes fruits and veggies you grow yourself, but other than that nothing is really natural that is produced and processed. ¬†What is labeled as organic is truly that. ¬†When buying organic you can ensure that it has been through a rigorous process and it is free of GMOs or genetically modified organisms. ¬†Now before you start complaining about your grocery bill, let me tell you I already know. ¬†It’s expensive to feed a family completely organic. ¬†We don’t, BUT we try to buy as much organic as we can. ¬†We also spend the extra money at Whole Foods and a local farm to get responsibly and humanely raised meats that are free of antibiotics and not fed GMO feed (ORGANIC basically).
  • Do we eat sweets and do we drink soda? ¬†To answer the first question, yes we do eat sweets…in moderation. ¬†Ice Cream was replaced with frozen yogurt. ¬†Store brought cookies have been replaced with homemade cookies. ¬†Unfortunately we can’t replace Oreo’s with anything so they stay! ¬†haha!! ¬†We do drink soda from time to time but severely limit it in our home. ¬†We just got a SodaStream machine and hope to find some options that are free of food dyes.

I think that hit all of the high spots and questions that we get. ¬†If you have one specifically for us feel free to email or leave a comment and we’ll gladly answer!

Toodles!

Ro

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The 100 Lbs Lost Club!

Howdy readers! ¬†It’s been over a month since I last updated my blog. ¬†Oh I have been so lack but life has been really busy and I have been enjoying my family and just living. ¬†I’ve been fairly relaxed with my journey within the last couple of months. ¬†In the beginning I went pretty hard every other day, working out sometimes probably a little too much! ¬†Since August I have worked out consistently at home every other day focusing much more on toning, strength building, and muscle development and less on calories burned. ¬†Now don’t get me wrong, I still wear my Polar heart rate monitor and still keep an eye on overall calories burned during workouts, but not as much as I used to. ¬†I also took a 2 month break from logging my food intake on MyFitnessPal and really made a conscious effort to make healthy choices without being anal about it all. ¬†The break from MFP was much needed. ¬†If you log for over a year straight, it can be come a little monotonous. ¬†And well the meaning behind it gets lost because you really are tired of logging. ¬†In conjunction with all that, I quit weighing myself. ¬†Literally in the last 3 months, I have probably stepped on the scale 4 times. ¬†There’s a reason behind that. ¬†Yes I am still working towards an overall number of pounds lost goal, BUT I am using other things to gauge my progress.

I will say that the last time that I stepped on the scale 2 weeks ago it read 200.4 lbs. ¬†You guys know what that means right? ¬†That means that I have officially lost 100 lbs! ¬†WooHoo!!! ¬†That was my original goal at the beginning of all of this and I did it. ¬†I made it. ¬†I set my mind to a fitness goal and through a lot of sweat, groaning, moaning, sore muscles, and pain did what I set out to do. ¬†Some days I am still in awe of the fact that I accomplished this goal. ¬†And then the cocky side of my steps to the forefront and I think “well of course I did it!”

So where do I go from here.  I am still in the business of getting healthier and slimming down but not to the point of excess.  I am no hype dreams of being a fitness model or enter some body contest, BUT I plan to continue to on and continue what I started.

Til Next Time!

Ro