Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ready for the Fall

Even if the weather hasn't cooled off the much, I'm just going to start eating like it has. I'm ready!

I made the kids Baked Apples and Granola with vanilla yogurt for breakfast. The smell of our house alone made me want to run out and rake leaves to jump in. I love the fall!! I ended up stealing some of Lincoln's baked apple to add to my oatmeal. Yummy!

To make these, I just cored the apples and put them in a microwave-safe dish. I mixed together a little brown sugar, granola, raisins, craisins and almonds and stuffed the mixture inside and around the apples. I poured about 1/2 cup apple juice in the bottom of the dish, then covered it and microwaved it for about 10 minutes. I guess you can bake them in the oven, but that takes more like 45 minutes and the kids had to get to school.

For lunch I had some soup (still going with the Autumn theme here.) I LOVE this soup and it has only 50 calories per serving. I topped it with some Sunflower Basil crackers and had a string cheese on the side for protein.
My afternoon snack was a Kashi granola bar. These aren't protein bars, but it was just what I needed to get by until dinner. I have to say, it was pretty small, though. Oh well. I also had more sugar-free cider because I am still nursing a sore throat.

Dinner was Big Beef Subs on whole wheat buns. Wednesdays evenings are insanely busy at our house, so I have to do something easy and portable. These were perfect.
Well last night I overcame my desire to sleep and went down and did a lower body workout. This afternoon, when I normally would have been working out, I succumbed to my desire to sleep and took a nap. I am trying hard to listen to what my body needs and go with it--not only in terms of eating but in other aspects. I think I really needed to sleep today because I am still fighting this cold. I think it might not be a bad thing to take a little siesta every afternoon--I just usually have way too much to do.

I'm feeling good now, though--not too exhausted. I did an upper body workout this evening and now I need to go get ready to start another day tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I have no title for this.

I had great intentions of getting back into the swing of things today--after all, the kids were back to school (HOORAY!) Unfortunately Lincoln, my youngest, is really sick and that sort of put a kink in my plans.

I made the kids their traditional back-to-school breakfast of Swedish pancakes (with sweet potato puree). By 9:30 I had to call the doctor because Lincoln was struggling to breathe (he has asthma) and we spent all morning in the doctor's office doing breathing treatments and pulse-ox tests. So, my morning work out didn't happen. I had a yogurt bowl when we got home and then did the elliptical while poor Lincoln slept fitfully on the couch and moaned.

All I wanted for lunch was an apple and cheese, so that is what I had. That was a dang good apple, too. And I know you are jealous that I have i-Carly cheese.
My afternoon snack was just finishing one of the kid's bag of Sun Chips. I think I had another cheese, too. I know I intended on doing so, but I honestly don't remember if I actually did. Huh.
Dinner was Rotisserie grilled chicken and baked potatoes. The chicken was a bit overcooked, but school has started again, so I was grilling chicken while simultaneously helping two girls with homework, reminding one boy repeatedly to get ready for soccer practice and taking care of a sick toddler. So the chicken got overdone. It was still yummy.

And then I had a small serving of ice cream and hot fudge. Not because I was particularly stressed or anything. Mainly just because I wanted it. I figure it's not too bad because I really didn't eat all that much today. I do need to get it out of the house, though. Out of sight, out of mind. Now I really should go do some strength training. Why am I always soooo exhausted by this time of the day?! It really doesn't help all my big plans.

Better late than never!

Got the new menu plans up on the left sidebar (Becca)! Enjoy!!


I was still dragging yesterday--I ended up spending most of the day on the couch or on the floor. I am starting to feel better today, though, so hopefully the end is in sight. I discovered this drink last winter and it is perfect when you have a sore throat!
Only 10 calories!! I will probably be drinking it a lot in the coming months. For breakfast I made the kids bread pudding with added sweet potato, egg whites, almond milk, Truvia and Agave Nectar. They loved it! I did taste a little--I was afraid it wouldn't be sweet enough, but it was fine.
For lunch I still had no energy, so I just made myself a PB&J sandwich and some cottage cheese.

Ever since I read the book "This is Why You're Fat" by Jackie Warner, I have been trying to drastically reduce the amount of sugar in our diet. It is by no means an easy thing to do--sugar is in everything! Including copious amounts in many of our favorite protein bars. So imagine my delight when I came across these the other day! I bought a variety of flavors. Yesterday I decided to try Chocolate covered Strawberry (15 grams of protein!!)

Ryan took Creamy Peanut Butter to work ( a whopping 20 grams of protein!!)Well, I took one bite...
and threw the rest in the trash. NASTY. They were so gross. Ryan actually ate his at work, but said it tasted like sawdust. So the hunt for a decent, low-sugar protein bar is still on!!

Because I threw my entire afternoon snack in the trash, I was famished when dinner time rolled around. So I'm sure I ate way too much spaghetti and meatballs, but at least it was a very healthy version!!

Monday, September 27, 2010


I came across this article that I just had to share. Apparently the new trend in yoga studios around the nation (or at least in the more liberal parts): NAKED YOGA. Um, ew.

The founder of Naked Yoga NYC (whose name is Isis Phoenix--real name? Somehow I don't think so) claims that when you are posing in the nude there are fewer distractions. "You're more mindful of your form when there aren't baggy pants or a tee obscuring your asanas." I'm sorry, but what about the naked asana of the person in front of you all up in your face?! Ew, ew, ew.

Any of my loyal readers want to try it out and report on the experience for us? Personally, I try to avoid being naked as much as possible, especially in public. But I'd love to hear how it goes for any of you! :)

I found this fascinating tidbit in the September 2010 issue of Fitness Magazine, page 24.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

If I don't say it out loud...

maybe it won't be true.

This is what I've been trying to tell myself for the last few days as I have felt the symptoms of some sort of sickness coming on. I tried not to jinx myself, but I don't think I succeeded. I tried to ignore the signs all yesterday morning as we ran to and from the different events we had going on. By the afternoon I gave in and went to bed. I slept all afternoon and woke up in time to have a healthy smoothie and go out to dinner. I put so much fruit and antioxidants into that blender--I can't believe I don't have superpowers today. I also had a Vitatop, because I figured I could use as many vitamins as I could get.

We went to Cafe Rio, which is a hugely popular restaurant in Utah and has recently debuted here in Denver. I ordered a Fire Grilled Chicken Salad. I love that they offer a whole wheat tortilla option! The creamy tomatillo dressing is served on the side and it is very yummy!

They make the salad right in front of you so you can get what you want(guac, cilantro) and leave out the stuff you don't (cheese, full-fat sour cream).
I really enjoyed myself and the salad. That is, until today. My stomach has been revolting all day. I feel awful. I'm not sure it was the salad, but either way, this may have ruined Cafe Rio for me forever.

So, between my flu-like or allergy symptoms and now major stomach distress I have done no exercising and lots of sleeping the last two days. Hopefully all will be better tomorrow and I can start the week off right.

Friday, September 24, 2010

LONG day.

I didn't sleep well last night, so I decided to mix things up a bit today and I did Pilates first thing in the morning, followed by an upper body work out. I'm glad I got the upper body in when I did--I got a flu shot today and my arm is killing me. There is no way I could have worked out after that! Speaking of getting a flu shot--I just might count that experience as cardio for today. It certainly was a work out. Three of my kids did fine. Audrey--not so much. I don't even think I can count how many times she has kicked nurses and doctors as they are coming at her with pointy objects. Today was no exception. So I got to be the one to use all my strength to hold her still while they gave her the shot. It took us about 10 minutes of struggling. We all ended up drenched in sweat. Fun times.

Breakfast for the kids was Cream of Wheat with added Sweet Potato. Except I didn't actually puree it so the kids caught on quickly and were wondering about the orange bumps. Next time I need to take the time to do it right.

I didn't eat again until lunch, when I made myself fish tacos with the leftover salmon from last night. Tasty!! I added baby spinach, tomatoes and salsa.

I had a yogurt bowl as a snack after the infamous flu shot incident. Then dinner was one of my all time favorites--Italian turkey burgers!!

Now, I will tell you what I am planning to do. Ryan has been at work since 3:30 this morning. He is still not home. As I am typing it is 7:07 pm. It has been a long day for him. It has been a long day for me. I don't do "single mother" well. I am making a conscious decision to eat chocolate tonight. I told Ryan to stop on the way home and pick up some chocolate ice cream and hot fudge. Because I need it. So there you have it. Let's just hope he comes home soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flu prevention and fish cravings

I need my kids to go back to school soon! The longer they are off track, the more I crave chocolate. This full-time mom of four thing is intense. Man, I am exhausted.

We started off the day with smoothies and sourdough toast. I made their smoothies with low-fat vanilla yogurt, frozen mixed fruits and berries, chia seeds, baby spinach and water. I also added in some herbal drops and ecinachea as well. Flu season is upon us, folks. This time last year I was in bed for over a week with the swine flu, only to get complications and end up hospitalized with pneumonia a few weeks later. Not fun, let me tell you.

I have had a weird lack of appetite lately--which is not a bad thing, but I do have to get used to really listening to my body and not just eating because it is "time to eat." So, I wasn't hungry at all after breakfast and I didn't eat until lunch time. I had leftovers from last night's dinner--turkey bacon wraps. This time I had the time to add lettuce and tomatoes as well.

I also have to admit I finished off a crust of one of the kids grilled cheese sandwiches and one cookie.

There was only one left and I didn't want to put an almost empty box back into the pantry!

I wasn't hungry again until right before dinner, when I had a snack pack of Annie's chocolate chip bunny crackers. They aren't nearly as good as the cheese ones. For dinner we had grilled salmon, sweet potatoes and green beans. Lately I have been craving fish. So weird. I don't know what that means, exactly. Am I low in Omega 3's? I have no idea. But I am going to try to start incorporating more fish into our weekly diet.

Today was 30 minutes cardio in the a.m. and lower body in the afternoon. My kids go back to school on Tuesday, so I will be able to get back into a better routine then!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Serious lack of planning on my part today led to some bad eating. That's what happens, I guess. It also led to me forgetting to take any pictures of my food!

We started off the day okay-- I made the kids German pancakes (with added chia seeds), whole wheat toast and fruit. I had oatmeal and an egg.

I packed us up a lunch and we headed out to the science museum for the day. For some reason I didn't pack any snacks. Fail. We ate an early lunch and by the time we left the museum I was famished. So what did I do? I rummaged through the kids lunch boxes and ate whatever crusts of their sandwiches they hadn't finished. I really should not ever let myself get hungry. It just isn't pretty. I'm sure my friends who were at the museum with us can attest to this.

Wednesday evenings are super busy, so I had just enough time to throw a whole wheat tortilla with melted reduced fat cheddar and two slices of turkey bacon into my mouth as I drove the girls to gymnastics. It wasn't enough, so when I got home from gymnastics, I had some of those DIVINE bunny crackers I discovered yesterday.

And then later I had a small blueberry protein shake with a Vitatop.

The problem is I am still feeling snacky. I should really go brush my teeth right now, but I can't promise that I'm going to.

Today is a rest day for strength training. It is needed--I am really sore, which is definitely a good feeling! Did you know that after just four days of not working out you begin to lose muscle tone? So even though I tried to keep up some semblance of exercise while we were at Disneyland, my soreness now is a good indicator that I lost some muscle on vacation. I did 30 minutes of cardio this morning, and I had intended to run again tonight, but I am beat. I think I'll just do some Pilates instead.

**One very strange, yet positive thing happened today at the museum. A man asked Isaac if his older sister wanted a turn. Yes, folks. He was referring to me. So maybe I don't have the perfect body that I wish I did, but I guess I still look young enough to be my son's sister!! (Either that or the man had forgotten to put in his contacts this morning.)

Hey look, everyone, it's me with my younger brother, Isaac!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cracker danger ahead.

I love blogging the day after I go grocery shopping. So much more interesting!

I made the kids whole wheat French toast this morning. Unfortunately, we still don't have any milk. There was a miscommunication with the milk-man and we won't be getting our delivery until Friday. So I made the batter with egg whites, almond milk, agave nectar, cinnamon and vanilla and it was yummy (I'm just guessing by the amount consumed--I actually resisted temptation and didn't eat any of my all time favorite breakfast!!) I am out of purees--I need to get going on that!
I came across this brand of instant oatmeal (on the left) recently and decided to give it a try. I think it is pretty funny that they call it "Whole Grain Oatmeal." Isn't all oatmeal whole grain? Either way, it is really yummy and it has no added sugar, but they did add flaxseed and plant sterols. It has a lot of random ingredients, unlike my regular stuff that is just oats, so I think I will save it for days when I'm in a big hurry.
I wasn't remotely hungry after my oatmeal and HB egg, so I never even ate a morning snack. I made this organic mac and cheese for the kids for lunch and it was a big hit.
For myself, I used up the leftover black beans from last night and put them on corn tortillas and then broiled them for a bit. I added a creamy salsa sauce and spinach leaves. It was good. I also had carrot sticks on the side.
I had found these snack crackers at the store and gave them to the kids for lunch too. As I was cleaning up their plates, I decided to take a nibble of the leftovers. Oh. My. Gosh. I don't even like Goldfish or Cheez-its or anything like that, but these crackers and pretzels were SO GOOD. I not only finished off the kids, I went into the pantry for more. DANGER!!
Snack today was a blueberry yogurt bowl--plain Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries, chopped almonds and Oatmeal Squares cereal. YUM!

For dinner I made Zesty Italian Chicken, which reminds me that I need to post the next month's recipes on my sidebar. I'll get to it, I promise. Anyway, this chicken is quick and easy.

We had whole wheat garlic toast on the side.
And then I had to finish off my eating part of the day with a bit of chocolate in the form of a Goodness Knows snack. These are just right.

Work out routine was the typical one--30 minutes of elliptical this morning, upper body this afternoon. I am planning to run as soon as I get the kids down. I also cleaned the house all day long and I really think that should count for something.

Monday, September 20, 2010

There is no place like home.

I love to travel. But I really love to come back home. I loved getting out of my own bed this morning and doing 30 minutes on my own elliptical, watching my own Netflix. I loved doing a HARDCORE lower body work out in my own gym this afternoon and running on my own treadmill. It's good to be back.

I had oatmeal for breakfast, but I have gone over a week without any eggs now. Don't worry, I went shopping before lunch time! I chugged a weight loss shake on my way to the store, but I was starving by the time the shopping trip was over, so I grabbed this turkey wrap from Sprouts. It was heavenly!! (I think in retrospect there may have been mayonnaise involved, and that is why it tasted so good.)

Snack was a frothy chocolate peanut butter spinach protein shake and I made a grilled chicken salad for dinner.

I had to get weighed again this morning--we are updating our life insurance and I had to get a physical. It was highly depressing again. I don't know why I weigh so much, but I just have to use this negative info to positively influence me to try harder and get my behind in gear.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Healthy Choice

Heidi asked a good question about our frozen meals. They actually aren't frozen. You just add water and nuke it and then it is ready. Probably full of preservatives, but they only cost about $1.50, I think, so I'll take the preservatives once in a while. Those Disneyland meals cost us about $60.

Home, Sweet Home

I'm back! I don't know if you missed me, but I missed you! I really love blogging. After this trip I came up with my modified Christmas wish list. Santa, I don't care about brands or colors or even capabilities, I just want to be able to blog away from home!
We had a great time in sunny CA. Traveling always presents a variety of challenges in terms of healthy living, but I think I did pretty well. Our hotel had a pool, so I was able to swim laps every day. We also spent at least eight hours a day booking it around a giant theme park (we take Disneyland seriously, no aimless meandering for us!) And I usually got in some Pilates and basics (squats, lunges, push-ups and crunches) in the hotel at night. I am very excited to be back home to my own stuff now--I can't wait to get in a real work out tomorrow.

Food wise I feel pretty satisfied with myself as well. As I mentioned, we brought a lot of our own food, so I was able to plan healthy choices a head of time. The first day was long and stressful and I have to admit, my splitting headache and out of control hunger led me to flee the hotel room clad only in my swimsuit in search of medicinal caffeine. All I could come up with was this, but it helped.

I felt a little bad, because I had given up Diet Coke, but Ryan was kind enough to point out that this isn't Diet Coke. So there you have it.

Dinner that night was these Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers (except we ate them right side up.) For a microwave meal, it was pretty good! And it has 16 grams of protein!

The "Free Continental Breakfast" provided by the hotel was a JOKE. Seriously, cheap bread, danishes, under-ripe fruit and some cereal knock-offs. NO protein. Luckily a friend had warned me about this particular hotel's lackluster breakfast, so I came prepared with my own food. I had plain microwave oatmeal with chopped almonds, raisins and craisins and almond milk every morning. Yum!!
We had a picnic lunch in the park every day--either PB&J or coldcuts on whole wheat bread or sandwich thins. We also brought along fruit, Sun Chips, organic cookies (for the kids) and plenty of water. Dinner on the second night was at IHOP, where they have a whole section of the menu with healthy options and kids eat free! My kind of place. I got a grilled chicken sandwich.
The trip certainly wasn't without its indulgences. I couldn't resist these pineapple whips. Complete with the cute little umbrella!
Lincoln was a fan, too.
A second night of microwave meals was just as good as the first. The kids got spaghetti and meatballs (with turkey meatballs!)

And Ryan and I had more of these Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, this time in a Tuscan Chicken pasta flavor. Very tasty.
We did dinner at Disneyland a few times, too. I was pleased to see they have started offering a lot more healthy options as well. I got this grilled chicken sandwich with avocado salsa and it was even on a whole wheat bun!!
Another night I got a turkey sandwich with cranberry marmalade. It was huge, but I was starving so it worked out.

I only go to Disneyland once a year, and I have a tradition that I have upheld every year that we have gone. This year was no exception. Once a year I get this...

A delicious scoop of chocolate ice cream in a chocolate and peanut dipped waffle cone with hot fudge in the tip. Oh, it is heavenly. I will dream about it until next year.

Now back to reality.