6 teen weeks and counting











Soooooo with the begining of this year came yet another struggle with getting my yet older and softer self to the gym to get back into shape. This year a new angle actually eating a bit better to go along with it. I have started with just a regular circut workout. 15 min on the treadmill and 15 on the elypticall and then about a half hour on the free weights hitting all areas and always ending the night with a set on the abs.  It has been going good so far and especially with the late hour shift I have to work. I have been eating a lot better although I still have my little bit of pizza about once a week with the kids, I will never be able to give it all up like some can. Why work hard if I can’t enjoy the things I like once and a while to?  I don’t do Too many vegies at all, I just don’t like most of them due to either texture or simple taste .  Yes I am the picky eater. But I do like a lot of fruit and make an attempt to work them into my diet a lot more. I like my chicken and rice and have recently aquired a rice cooker. My breakfast is a small bowl of shreaded wheat every day or an egg with a piece of wheat toast. Then I take some Jacked 3D pre-work out mix and some testosteone boosters before the gym.  I do my work out then head to work and have some noodles for lunch. Dinner is usually around 3 am and consists of a small bowl of chicken and rice with a fruit and jello cup and a greek yogurt. I also pack either oranges or banannas for small snacks through the night. I head home and hit the bed by 9 am if I am lucky. I drink as much water as I can at all times. The biggest adjustment I have been getting used to is portion size as I used to eat big.  I am getting used to the smaller portions quite fast and the time in the gym is already giving me extra energy.  I will be moving to higher weights next week.  I feel the energy building, now I am looking for the waist size to start shirnking. I will keep you updated on the progress and how it goes as I am sticking this out. I have a graduation I wanna look great for in may with a special girl I wanna impress and a date in summer 2013 that I wanna be my best for. Most of all I want to live a good healthy life without having to dig out from under over and over again. Fighting Weight here I come. Fighting in tournament again in my 30′s here I come!

J.R. works nights on these jets for the air force



{January 23, 2012}   *Sigh*

This has been me.  And it wasn’t just cake.  It was popcorn, chinese food, soda, pizza, you name it and I probably ate it.  Why?!?!?  I’ve been trying to balance it with trips to the gym but it still didn’t make me feel all that great about all that crap I had been putting into my body.

School has started for me again, and with that, an actual schedule.  I’m hoping that being in class and studying along with participating in TWO choirs, karate, and church that I won’t have a lot of time to, a.) think about all the crap I could be eating and, b.) have access to the crap I’ve been craving.  I’ve also scheduled in time for my classes at the gym and stocked up with healthy snacks and meals for on the go.  Here’s to hoping I stay on track this time!

WHOOPS!  Just binged on your junk food of choice?  Here’s some tips I found to ease the “pain” of bad choice:

-Drink lots of water since water flushes out the toxins and will help eliminate water weight.

-Eat fruits and veggies because your body will be nutrient deprived.  Plus fruits and veggies are light on the calories.

-Work-out since your metabolism is proven to be boosted for several hours after you exercise.

-MOVE-ON:  You can’t change what happened but you can move forward with better decisions.



{January 9, 2012}   Picky, Picky

If your kids are anything like mine, then you’ve probably put some thought into how you are going to get some veggies in them.  If you have a picky eater (like my AJ), then it’s even a bigger and more creative challenge to get those nutrient-packed guys in our little one’s bodies.  Fear-not!  This supermom is here to the rescue with some sneaking recipes to get those veggies down.

The first recipe is a hands down favorite of BOTH my boys.  And if it has AJ’s seal of approval, well than, you’ll be sure that you’re little guy or gal will love it too.

Minty Pea Pops

These Minty Pea Pops look and taste like mint chocolate chip ice cream but the main ingredient is really peas (if you hadn’t guessed it by the title).  Your sweet angel will think you rock for letting them eat their ice cream before dinner but little do they know, their actually getting their veggies in!

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup frozen petite green peas

scant 1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/8 to 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

6 popsicle sticks or wooden craft sticks

Preparation:

Place the cream cheese, peas, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 20-second intervals until the cream cheese is softened to room temperature.  Using a stick blender or a standing blender, puree the ingredients into a smooth paste.  Add the extract and mix again, scraping the bowl frequently.  Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.  Place the mixture in a large zip-tip bag and cut about 1/2 inch off a bottom corner.  Squeeze into a clean ice cube tray or mini muffin tin, place 1 popsicle stick in each, and freeze until solid, about 1 hour.  Depending on your freezer, you may have to let them freeze for up to 4 hours.  For best results, make and freeze these overnight.  Once the pops are frozen, remove them from the molds by twisting just like ice cubes and seal in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

This Minty pea pops recipe, along with the picture, are from the book, “The Toddler Cafe” by Jennifer Carden.  I really love this cookbook because it’s geared for toddlers and has recipes for foods that toddlers really enjoy, such as finger foods and food with a variety of textures.  This book isn’t entirely about hiding veggies and fruits in foods as it is taking classic toddler foods and giving them a fun twist.  You can find it here on amazon to get all the yummy recipes.

The second recipe I have are brownies that hide carrots and spinach in them.  You can find the recipe here.  When making these brownies, I usually fold in a cup of chocolate chips to make them extra chocolatey.  I really also love the book they came from; Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  There are a lot of recipes that older kids can enjoy unlike The Toddler Cafe.  In Deceptively Delicious, Jessica finds ways to sneak in veggies and fruits into kids usual comfort food along with tips and advice for meal time from her and other moms. You can find her cookbook here.  I have an extra copy I can give away if you are really interested as well.

Mason's Green Monster mustache

This last recipe is just preferred by Mason and I discovered that he liked by accident.  I had found the recipe for a smoothie that contained spinach in it on pinterest one day and thought it would be a great way to get more veggies into MY diet.  One day when I was drinking it, Mason wanted a sip.  And then another sip.  Before I knew it, he had drank nearly all of my smoothie!  It’s really easy to make:  Toss in the blender 2 cups of fresh spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup of almond milk, ice, and 1 tbs of ground flax seed.  Blend it up and you’ve got your Green Monster.  To read more about this smoothie and see other takes on the Green Monster, click here.  Mason really is sold on the name, by the way.  Sometimes, it’s all about how you sell the product!



{January 7, 2012}   Good-bye Detox

After just four days on the detox program, I quit.  But rather than it be a thoughtless, rash decision, it was more thought out and weighed heavily in my mind before I did it.  Here are a few of the reasons that I decided to go off the detox:

-Money.  The amount of produce and organic foods that went in to this LONG detox was simply taxing on my wallet.  Not even a weeks worth of the ingredients I needed for the detox cost me around $150!

-Inconvenience.  The time it took to prepare every meal, juice, or smoothie was time consuming.  I was wondering how I was going to do it once school started and my schedule was going to get really crazy.  Also, I’m not always going to be at home at meal time to stay committed to the detox.  For example, I’m going to an all day retreat at church today and all meals are included.  In fact, my registration fees were for my meals.  Having to tote my detox meals to church (and then having to prepare them) was just to overwhelming for me as well as wasting my money.

-My health.  On day two of the detox I was feeling incredibly crappy, with a horrible headache and feeling so nauseous, I was balled up on the couch.  I felt better after taking a Tylenol, but the next and well into day four, I was having bad body aches.  My joints and lower back ached so bad, it was hard to get comfortable to sleep.  Speaking of sleep, all I wanted to do was rest or sleep.  I had little energy and that was probably due to the lack of calories I was getting.  Originally, I wasn’t eating because I was so nauseous but after feeling better from the headache and nausea, I just couldn’t stomach the juices and smoothies.

Weighing all these factors I decided to just come off of the detox.  I was healthy about it (and will continue to be), eating some soft boiled eggs since I was craving them and then I got some sushi rolled in brown rice for dinner.  Yum!  I’m still drinking a ton of water and this morning I’m starting to feeling a little better.  I still have some aching in my joints and lower back, but I feel like it’s slowly getting better.

Last night, my dear friend Elizabeth, emailed me some links and told me that she was glad that I was off the detox.  After reading the links, I feel even more better about “failing” the detox.  Click here and here to read up on the negatives on detox diets.

I did find some keeper recipes that would go great in a well balanced diet, a soup that made a few servings that I froze for a future busy night meal and a salad that satisfied my craving for something salty.

Until next time, here’s a bit of motivation for you:



{January 2, 2012}   Making a Healthy Start

Today's inspiration

Like many people in the start of a new year, I have resolved to get back into shape.  But this year I have made my goal more obtainable.  There isn’t a set number on the scale that I’m trying to get to or a picture of a celebrity that I want to look like.  I just want to get healthy.  Eat healthy and make exercise a consistent part of my life.  So, if you are reading this and it sounds like a goal that you had in mind for yourself, then join me on this journey.  Share with me your goals and what you are doing to get there (and maybe you’d be willing to be a guest writer on my blog, wink, wink).

To kick-start 2012, I’m going to participate in a 28 detox to get my body and health back on track.  To read up on this detox plan or to follow it yourself, click here.  I was originally going to start this plan today but I never made it to the grocery store so I’m going to tomorrow.  But I’m still going to make healthier choices today and get out on a run this morning.

As for running, I’ve never really been that great of a runner.  I had to run a lot in the military and I always was slow and griped every step of the way.  So, I know that I’m going to really be sucking wind when I get out there today.  I’ve decided to start slow and work up to longer spurts each week.  Here’s a look at what I have planned for running:

Week 1: Run one minute. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat eight times. Do three times a week. Week 2: Run two minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat seven times. Do three times a week. Week 3: Run three minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat six times. Do three times a week. Week 4: Run five minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat four times. Do three times a week. Week 5: Run eight minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat three times. Do three times a week. Week 6: Run twelve minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat three times. Do three times a week. Week 7: Run fifteen minutes. Walk one minute. Run fifteen minutes. Do three times a week. Week 8: Run thirty

I plan to do this at a little park near by so the kids can play while I get my run in.  Tomorrow I plan on doing some sort of class offered at the gym I go to (or am SUPPOSE to being going to).  Here’s to 2012!



{January 1, 2012}   I’ve been RAK’ed!

So my final RAK for the Christmas season was delivering home-baked  cookies to a few people who were working Christmas eve.

The goods

One box went to the lady that was working the front desk at the Queen of the Valley’s ER department and the other went to our neighborhood 7-11 clerk.

I’m slightly disappointed that I didn’t get a RAK done every day until Christmas.  I kind of felt like I had failed and it made me a little sad.  But I am glad that I got to do a majority of the days until Christmas and bring lots of smiles to some unsuspecting people.  My RAK’s this year taught me a few lessons.  First, that the point of the season is more about giving than receiving and when you give outside of the box, it really brings back those childhood feelings about the season.  Second, when I do a project like this, I should set more realistic goals for myself.  Trying to perform a RAK everyday starting the 1st of December and knowing that I was in the midst of finals, as well as my full-time duty as a single mommy, made this project a little stressful at times.  And having a kindness project be stressful made it hard at times to appreciate the good feelings in doing the RAK’s.  I think next year I may just do a RAK once a week or hit a list of a set number, such as performing five RAK’s before Christmas day.

However, the times that I was unable to hit someone with a RAK, I found myself the recipient of some RAK’s.  Here are a few of the things that happened to me this christmas season:

-My dear friend, Barbara Thompson, tutored me in math for my final.  Free of charge!  And she really helped me to understand some problems that I had been really struggling with.

-One of my besties, Elizabeth Dreyer, watched AJ for me when I had to go to fill in as an instructor at Karate at the last-minute.  And it was also, free of charge!  (I was super broke at this point)

-All those who came out to help Kayla, Elizabeth, and me in our caroling RAK at the senior facilities.

There were many more that I cannot recall at the moment due to my horrible lack of memory, the loud movie on in the background right now, and the boys wrestling with each other currently.  But nothing went unappreciated and I feel truly blessed to have ALL the people I have in my life right now.  I have been RAK’ed!



{December 21, 2011}   Those Who Sing Together

First off, let me apologize for neglecting my blog for the past week.  I guess I am enjoying my freedom from deadlines since finishing my finals last week.  Second, I have failed in my original goal for my RAK (Random Acts of kindness) project.  I will share the details of this breaking story in my next post.  However, the good news is, I have dusted my self off and am continuing with my RAK’s despite not completely fulfilling the ideas I had for this special Christmas project.

I would like to share with you my last RAK that I did, along with a wonderful group of amazing singers and friends.  This past Sunday (the 18th of December) a bunch of us went caroling at two local care facilities in Napa.  This idea was the brainchild of my good friend Kayla Newport, who I met through my voice class at the college this last semester.  I got the ball rolling to get her idea in action and my talented friend, Elizabeth Dreyer, fine tuned all the details to make it possible.  I have to say, Elizabeth did this despite my few “blonde moments” that made some things a bit confusing, such as posting the wrong address to one of the care facilities and forgetting to post times to rehearsals.  Whoops.

We sounded AMAZING if I must say so myself and it was because of the awesome talents of each and everyone who participated that day.  I really wish I would’ve got some video of it to share but alas, I had forgotten the camera at home. Sigh.

I was so excited to see Laura Lewis show up with her violin!

From right to left: Elizabeth, Jon, Kayla, and Dorothy

There's my dad (my mom is here somewhere but ended up chasing my kids around)

Residents at the first care facility, looking down at the carolers

Kayla and her boyfriend, Jon

Do we get extra-credit, Dr. Wilkes? The NVC voice class three representing: Me, Elisabeth, and Kayla

I’m hoping to make this a yearly tradition and hope to get even more people to participate next Christmas season.  It truly melted my heart to bring the joy of music to those that quite possibly needed it the most: those in need of healing and peace.



{December 13, 2011}   Toys for Tots

Yesterday we donated to toys for tots.  It was a lot of fun to pick out a cute girl toy to donate and even more fun to explain to Mason that it was going to go to a little girl that doesn’t have much.  It was kind of a hard concept for Mason to grasp, especially when he had it in his mind that he was going to ACTUALLY see the little girl, but he understood the basic idea of what we were doing.

Donating a toy for a little girl

Anyway, today’s RAK was just simply grabbing an item needed at Mason’s preschool.  Due to budget cuts, they are in a little more need of the parents donating items they need around the classroom.  I would like to say that I bought the rope lights they had on their list, but in reality, my mom bought it.  We were at Costco and I saw them and told her I’d pay her back but so far I haven’t gotten the chance to pay her back so, for right now, it was really my mom that made it happen.  I love her.



{December 11, 2011}   Dinner’s On Us

To start off, yesterday my RAK (random act of kindness) was donating the boys clothes they have out-grown and toys they no longer play with, to the local Goodwill.  To learn more about the Goodwill and what they do for communities, click here.

Tonight, the boys and I decided to have pizza for dinner.  We also decided to get a pizza for their Uncle who lives near us.  The boys Uncle has been working feverishly the past month or two so we decided that we would make dinner easy for him tonight.  We hand delivered the pizza to him after the pizzas were delivered to us.  Hope he enjoyed our choice in toppings for him!

Knock, knock...RAK is at your door!



{December 10, 2011}   Does This Count?

I was so frazzled and out of last minute ideas yesterday, I really didn’t have a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) planned.  So, at family movie night at Mason and AJ’s daycare, I added a few more dollars than I spent on food.  The night was a fundraiser for the parenting club so I figured I would make my RAK an extra donation to their awesome club.  Does that count?



et cetera
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