Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Too Busy Having Fun...

Sorry that I've been slacking on blogging this week! My husband had a convention he needed to attend in Las Vegas for work and he doesn't like going out there without me so I happily tagged along. I packed my running clothes with the best intentions of running while I was here but instead I've spent the last 24 hrs eating yummy food, walking around shopping by myself, watching Walking Dead in our hotel room, gambling a bit, and overall having a darn good time. Hopefully I'll have something more interesting to post in the next couple days. Oh well, I'll do my running tomorrow. 

I haven't taken a single picture this whole trip but here is a photo of us from the last time we were in Vegas. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Losing weight....

I knew when I began my healthy changes that I would lose weight. It was bound to happen. I was not eating every candy in sight, not snacking as much, choosing an apple over a huge bowl of cereal and not eating out. That would eventually change my outside as well as my insides right?

YUP! It did. I slowly trimmed down a bit and clothes started fitting better.... then I hit a plateau and maintained. If I was at the weight I wanted to be at then that would be great, but I'm not. There is a  bit more I would love to get off before I hit 35! Wait, I'm going to be 35!? That is nuts!  The older I get the harder it will be to keep weight off, I'm assuming, so I need to do it now.

"Although weight gain is common in your 30s, it is not inevitable or necessary. Maintaining a healthy weight during your 30s reduces your risk of overweight, obesity and chronic illnesses in later adulthood."  Tina M. St. John 

So......... I needed to step it up a notch. We started the couch to 5k which feels incredibly effective. I sweat so much and feel like I'm working hard for that short 30 mins. I also do ab and arm work outs through the week too. But, I think that's what I would normally be doing anyways for health. I think the biggest thing now I need to work on my portions and late snacking.

If I'm truly hungry, I eat, and I want to keep it that way. The areas that I can cut back on are smaller portions at dinner time and not having late night snacks. I have done that over the last 2 weeks and have already seen results. Matter of fact.... I fit into my goal shorts SO SO much better! I still have work to do but seeing progress is so encouraging!

For me, it looks like my normal healthy eating and work out routines will help me maintain my current weight. If I want to trim down at all, I need to make a few tweaks with my eating and that is the nudge my body needs to drop a bit of the poundage.  What about you guys? What works for you?

Fighting against the muffin top,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Tip For Beginner Runners

For some reason I've been having a hard time thinking of things to blog about lately.  I think that part of the reason is because I don't really feel like I've made any new changes lately, and partly because I've been busy and distracted with life.  I'm not sure how full time bloggers come up with things to write about everyday, my life just isn't that interesting!  I mean how many times can I possibly write about coconut oil before I scare everyone away?

Last week we started the Couch to 5K.  Now I realize I'm kinda cheating since I already completed this program a couple years ago, but running is one of those "use it or lose it" kinda things…. and since I haven't been running I've completely lost it.  The one thing that quickly came back were my sore knees.

I run on a treadmill in my living room, nothing about it makes for a good photo. :)
*Side note* About 10+ years ago I had an illness called Graves Disease.  Part of my treatment was some pretty high dosages of Prednisone (a steroid) for about a year.  Side effect of those steroid treatments were some pretty messed up knees, along with a slew of other things… don't even get me started on my disdain for steroids now!

Anyways, one of the most valuable things I learned last time I did the Couch to 5K was the importance of stretching before and after running, especially if you have bad knees like I do.  But not just any stretching, dynamic stretching.  Dynamic stretching is just like regular stretching except you do it while you're moving.  This is the video I followed on dynamic stretching.  I do each exercise for about 30 seconds and it has seriously diminished (and often eliminates) any pain I might get in my knees.  Without the dynamic stretching I tend to feel it in my knees after about 1 minute of jogging.  Everyone is different, and you may need to stretch more or less than I do, but keep on testing it out until you find what works for you.

I am a complete beginner and I'm just passing on info that has worked for me.  From what I've read it's best to do dynamic stretches before running and static stretches after.  Static stretch are when you've cooled down, usually sitting in one position and holding each stretch to help pull and lengthen the muscle.  Static stretches are pretty much the normal stretches that most people are familiar with.

I hope this helps!  Don't skip stretching, it doesn't take much time and your muscles like the prep. :)

Anyone have any suggestions for stuff to blog about… Help! Please!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Couch to 5k - Day 1

We don't plan on blogging everyday about our Couch to 5k adventure but I thought I would share about day 1 of 27!
this is what the app looks like

Here is where I will be doing most of my runs...in my wee garage. It's not the most inspiring atmosphere but if I listen to music real loud, it will do the trick. You know... be content, bloom where you are planted, use what you got type thing :)

my girls stayed close and got real excited for the running parts

The 30 minutes went by pretty fast, I really enjoyed the walking bits :) It was pretty much walk 1.5 minutes and then jog 1 minute for 30 minutes total. The app is great, easy and I love how it interrupts the music you are listening to to tell you when to start jogging or walking. I was sweating like a buffalo when I was done and so so so excited to see the "Workout Complete" screen!  For a girl who has a hard time finishing things she starts.... seeing anything that says I completed something is a good thing. Even if its day one of many many more to come.

So far so good... who is starting with us? 3 times a week of this is super doable right!? 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I hate running and I'm doing "Couch to 5k"

Seriously, what in the world is happening? I hate running, I've always hated it. So of course I'm going to start the "Couch to 5k" app on my phone. ( Brianne is going to do it too!)

Couch to 5k is a running app on your phone that is a beginners program " The idea is to transform you from a couch potato to a runner, getting you to begin running a 5k or 3.1 miles and on a regular basis in just 2 months"

I was so blessed to get a hand me down Treadmill and I have no where to stick it other than my hot tiny garage but who cares! It was free and it will work just fine in there. This way I can get my running done with my girls playing or doing school work nearby. This way I have no excuse why I cant "go" running. I can do it at home OR around my neighborhood. Do you notice how often I need to create situations where I can have "no excuse", clearly I'm good at making them up.

I've always wanted to try this and stick with it through all the hate and pain it will cause. We are also going to add in weight and ab workouts through the week too.  We will keep you updated on how it goes....we start tomorrow, as in Thursday the 13th!  You wanna join!? Come on!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I Get It Now

It's become very clear over the last few months how people turn into health nuts.  First you make a few little changes, then you start feeling better and want to make more changes, then BAM before you know it you're a full blown crazy health nut.  I still consider myself so far from health nut status it's not even funny (especially considering I've had dessert twice this week and it's only Tuesday, oops!), but I definitely have a much better idea on how that sneaks up on you.  

So as much as I dislike the idea of being a health nut I'm realizing that it's not as far off as it once seemed… But really who am I kidding, I have the self discipline of a 2 year old, I'll never be a health nut. 

I should also mention that I actually find these posters amusing and even somewhat motivational now, which I'm sure says something about how nutty I'm becoming.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Its been a good week!

Finally I feel back on track! I don't have much to share at all except for a few things that I think helped me have a strong week.

#1. I have worked out earlier in the day all week. I get it done before I talk myself out of it or get too busy!

#2. I have been carrying trail mix and small apples in my purse so I have no excuse to eat a bad snack while Im out.

#3. I have been making a good amount of chicken every Monday or Tuesday. I have learned this really helps me to stay on track with my eating! I can quickly make a chicken salad, have chicken and veggies, sandwich or chicken tacos. They are meals I look forward to, are quick and according to my eating plan.

Chicken tacos, my new favorite meal.  Corn tortillas filled with chicken, 
black beans, onion, lettuce, salsa and a tad bit of cheese.

I'm really happy with the 90 day Hasfit work out schedule, but I do feel an urge to step it up a notch and add in some running (which I hate) or find a class to take. What are you all doing!?

- Kristin

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Best Banana Bread. Seriously.

My girls asked if we could make banana bread last week and I was happy to do so.  As much as I'm consciously avoiding sugar and lots of breads I knew that making any other recipe bedsides this one wasn't even an option.  I've made the same recipe with my girls for year and it's their favorite and mine.  I love knowing that they'll grow up with fond memories of recipes we've made their whole life, both health and more indulgent.  

Not all banana breads are equal, if it's too cake-y or dry then I'd rather not even eat it.  This banana bread is perfectly moist, dense, and downright delicious.  Now I know this isn't a healthy banana bread recipe, especially since it has sugar in it, but it is definitely the best banana bread recipe I've ever tried.  I made it with Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour so that it wouldn't hurt my youngest tummy.  I shouldn't go further without mentioning how much I love this flour.  This is by far the best gluten free flour I've tried, which explains the hefty price tag.  Anyway back to the banana bread… If you're looking for the best banana bread then make this, if you're looking for the healthiest banana bread then you may want to keep looking!  Even though this isn't the healthiest recipe out there it sure does make for a nice treat.  

Banana Bread

5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe mashed bananas
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray bottom of a 9 inch round pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2.  Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3.  Add granulated Sugar and brown sugar; Beat until well blended.
4.  Add egg, egg whites and vanilla; blend.
5.  Mix in the mashed bananas, and beat the mixture on high speed for 30 seconds.
6.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
7.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the cream, ending with the flour mixture.
8.  Pour batter evenly into prepared 9 inch round pan (or loaf pan).
9.  Bake until golden brown, and toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (About one hour).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cake? Yes please, it's a special occasion!!

When I set out on this journey of new healthy habits I always wanted to give room for having treats! I told myself, I will only have treats on "special occasions". I am learning very quickly I need to redefine what that means. I started to find myself in a very consistent flow of these "special occasions". 

My sister is visiting = special occasion = eating nachos
I'm in a really neat book store = special occasion = rice crispy treat
I'm on a road trip = special occasion = licorice
I'm babysitting...
I'm meeting an old friend...

See what I mean? 

I will still have treats BUT clearly I need to change what qualifies this treat allowing event! It seemed like every little fun, slightly out of the norm, thing that came up was starting to be a "special occasion" and BOOM I was eating greasy and sugary foods. 

So, once I again I need to step back and reevaluate this. I need to remind myself that all those treats add up and aren't helping my overall goal of keeping greasy and sugary foods to a minimum so I can help my body do its thing to heal itself. 

I mean, come on, at the rate I was going....I might have called tying my shoe a special occasion and treated myself to chili fries smothered in ranch. 

On a less depressing note I made some super healthy and yummy pancakes this week. I follow a feed on Instagram called Eating_Whole and that is where I got the recipe! 

Makes 5 pancakes:

1 large ripe banana (mashed)
2 eggs
1 pinch of baking powder
1 tablespoon of Chai Seeds
1 tablespoon of Flaxseed Meal
1/4 cup of cottage cheese ( can't taste )
Lots of cinnamon

Use a bit of coconut oil on the pan before each pancake, medium heat


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Helpful Hints Part 2

A couple weeks ago Kristin posted her helpful hints, and since I enjoyed reading the things that are helpful to her I thought I'd share some of mine.

  • Get a large cup to take everywhere.  We all know how great it is to drink water, and lots of it!  I've found that a good cup goes a long way.  I prefer the metal cups from Starbucks.  I keep filling it up during the day, take it with me when I'm running errands, and when I want my water cold it does a really good job of keeping it cold for quite a while.  Drinking lots of water is easy for me now but when I was first getting in the habit it took some work, anything that helps get it down is a bonus! 

  • Always keep a couple go-to healthy meals on hand.  I know that if we don't have something at home to eat it's so much easier for us to get off track.  I make sure we keep a few basics around for those times we're in a hurry or scrounging to make a meal.  Frozen chicken and veggies along with a couple cans of canned chicken are things we find handy when we need a quick and easy meal.

  • Try something new at the grocery store.  I often try and pick up one or two things at the grocery store to help with finding new healthy things we can eat.  Grab a new granola, or a different type of yogurt, maybe you'll find something new that you love.  I tried coconut sugar a little while back and I'm totally hooked now! 

  • Paper to-go cups!!  I might sound crazy here but putting my dandy blend (or coffee for you normal people) in a paper to-go cup and bringing it with me to church or while I go grocery shopping has done wonders in keeping me away form all those coffee shops out there.  I still get the fun of having my little cup with me without the added sugar and caffeine that I try and avoid. 

  • Keep a chocolate bar in the fridge.  I find that if I keep a chocolate bar in the fridge and have a little square or 2 when I'm having a craving it has done wonders with keeping me from fully caving.  My favorite is this Chocolove Almond with Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate (you can find them at most grocery stores).  It's rich enough to fill the urge for something sweet without needing to feel guilty for overdoing it... It didn't on the other hand keep me from sharing a cookies and cream shake with my friend today.

I would love to hear your helpful hints… what keeps you on track?  Any tips for us?  It's always nice to hear what has helped others along the way.