Thursday, January 24, 2013

Weigh-in 1/24

Previous weight: 150.2
Current Weight: 149.8
Change: -0.4

The scale keeps bouncing around between 149-151. I am hoping that the number will stay down, but we shall see. As much as I am trying NOT to focus on the number, it's aggravating me.  It's stupid to be so concerned with little fluxuations, but AHHHH! It may be time to take another mental health break from the scale.
Exercise is on point, but I'm battling some knee pain and swelling.  I cannot run right now without causing inflammation in my left knee so I'm doing my best to baby it. I've already signed up for a race on Feb 2nd, so I've got to take care not to injure it further. Sigh. I swear, if it's not one thing it's another.
Sorry folks, I'm in a bit of an off mood today....
I think I need an attitude adjustment, or possibly a nap...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Take the time to feel nice...

So I decided to go in a little different direction than normal for my post today.  I want to talk about little things you can do to feel better about yourself.  As a stay-at-home mommy I admit that it's easy to let things go and fall into the trap of looking and feeling "schlubby".  You know, not getting out of yoga pants or doing your makeup.  Basically not taking the time or effort to look halfway decent.  The truth is, if I don't make a little effort to look nice(r), I don't feel as good about myself.
My mother once told me (in a nice way), that I look better with a  little makeup.  It didn't hurt my feelings because I happen to agree.  I also happen to find it amusing since she doesn't wear makeup. Now, I'm not talking about a "full face" or a "going out on the town" look. I'm talking about 5-7 minutes of quick easy basics.  The other day I had no plans to leave the house.  I still put on some makeup. Husband walked by and asked "Are you going somewhere?" to which I replied "No, I've just been feeling a little blah today and this makes me feel nicer". And it's true. Something as simple as putting on jeans and a cute pair of flats or slapping on some makeup can improve how I feel.  I'm not saying I can't feel good in yoga parts, as there's something to be said for a cute "yoga butt", but if I'm wearing them to avoid jeans that are snug or because I don't want to take the time to look nice, I need to stop and think.
So is it easier to take my daughter to school in the morning without getting dressed and putting on makeup? Most of the time, yes.  Have I been making an effort to look more presentable first thing in the a.m.? YES! Because I feel prettier that way. I took pictures this morning just for you...
I know, there isn't a huge difference, but that's the point. It's me, but with a little polish.

These are some of my "essential" basics.  I just discovered BB Cream and I love it!  It gives a nice even skin tone without looking or feeling heavy.  I also love my mosaic translucent powder.  The other  product I love is dry shampoo. I don't wash my hair everyday and this absorbs the oil between washings and freshens up my hair. The ponytail this morning was necessary because no matter what I tried my hair wasn't cooperating...

Taking the time to dress nicer is still something I'm working on.  I don't generally wear dresses or skirts. I feel weird and awkward wearing a skirt. I'm a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl.  I am trying though.  A necklace, a scarf or a pair of boots.  Sometimes all it takes is an accessory to elevate an outfit....

Do you fall into the trap of not making an effort to look nice? What about "favorite essentials"?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Balancing Act

Saturday afternoon hubby called on the way home from work and said, "Wanna go out tonight?".  Of course I said, "Let me make a phone call and see if Grandma can watch the kids!!".  Thankfully she was thrilled to come over and hang out with our monkeys so we could have a nice evening away.
I got dressed up in something pretty and off we went.  It felt so good to feel like "I look GOOD".  I've been having more and more of those days lately.  It's definitely a shift in mindset and a positive one in my opinion.  For so long I've struggled with negative body image.  While I still have areas that I consider "problems" I can look objectively and say "You've worked hard and it shows".
The hubs and I had an interesting conversation at dinner which I thought was worth sharing....
Normally when we go out I get some sort of salad. Not always, but most often.  I shocked him on Saturday when I ordered Chicken Picatta and just doubled the veggies. He voiced his surprise at my choice.  Nope, it wasn't ultra healthy as it was covered in a rich white wine sauce. Did I enjoy it though? 100%  That led to a conversation about finding balance. 
I want to go out every once in a while and eat something out of the norm.  I'm really working on finding balance and learning how to live life without the extremes of "dieting".  It was one meal.  I enjoyed it and shared dessert with my husband and then came home and fell right back into the "norm" on Sunday.  In life there are going to be occasions to overeat. But, I like how I feel right now.  I hate how I feel when I'm out of control and shoving crap in my face.  So now it boils down to what kind of decisions will I make.  Will I choose to eat well MOST of the time or will I choose to let food and sugar control me? I choose to feel good.  I choose to be active.  I choose balance.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weigh-in 1/17

Previous Weight: 150.4
Current Weight: 150.2
Change: - 0.2

Sorry this post is a day late.  Yesterday just didn't work out to sit down and write.  To be honest, it's been 4 years since I started this blog and I almost feel like I don't have anything new to share... I know that's not true, but it's feeling a little that way these days.
I had a good week. Boring right?  I didn't have any food or emotional meltdowns.  I got a haircut.  That was the highlight of my week.
I changed things up workout-wise, this week. I decided to dust off my "Mama Wants Her Body Back" DVD program.
If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I like to change things up with my workouts.  I like DVD workouts, especially in the winter.  I sat down and figured out my workout schedule and plan on sticking to it for a month.  Next month I'll switch things up again.  Maybe Insanity. But, I've also been looking into this one....

The Brazil Butt Lift workout.

I like my legs and bum.  I get quick results when I work these areas.  They are powerful and strong.  I think this workout might be a good fit for me personally.

Do you use workout DVDs or not? Do you have a favorite?

I will make a serious effort this week to bring you all some good blog content :) 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Power Smoothies and Super Foods...

Okay time for the promised "Power Smoothie" post! This little graphic is helpful... thank you Pinterest.  I pinned this a while ago, and found it to be a helpful jumping-off point for the green smoothie newbie.

Now for what I personally use...

Bee Pollen, Hulled Hemp Seeds & Spirulina
Flax Seed & Chia Seed

Protein Powder

Soaking my flax & chia seeds (I do this for about 1 minute+)
Wheat grass
I also throw in whatever greens I have on hand.  Spinach, kale, beet greens and cabbage are the most prevalent. I don't personally add extra sweetener (like in the graphic) but I do use some frozen fruit, again whatever I have on hand. Usually I stick to 1/2-3/4 cup.  To bump up the protein I also throw in about a half cup of Fage plain greek yogurt.  Blend away and you have a tasty smoothie that is full of nutrition.

Some of you are probably looking at  all these ingredients and going "Seriously Tiff?!?". I know,  I take it to another level :)  Here's a great site to explore. It's a raw food site but it has some really great info.

Here's a quick break down of each "super food":

Spirulina-  This is a dried algae powder or you can get it in capsle form. A little goes a long way. 1 tsp equals approx 3-4 servings of vegetables. Be warned though that it has a "seaweedy" smell.  You cannot taste it once it's mixed in, but the smell surprised me the first time I opened my jar. Here's a great article with more in-depth info...

Bee Pollen- "Bee pollen contain more than 96 different nutrients, including every single nutrient that you need to live. It's made up of 40% protein." -
I added local bee pollen in an attempt to alleviate some of my allergy issues and because of it's high nutrient content. Currently I'm adding 1/2 Tbs to my daily smoothie.

Hemp Seed- Hemp is a high protein seed containing all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). It also has high amounts of fatty acids and fiber as well as containing vitamin E and trace minerals.
Read more here.

Flax Seed- This one is a little more mainstream :) Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, manganese and fiber. You can use whole seed or ground.  If you shop at Costco you can buy a large bag of ground flax seed for under $5.  The ground flax is convenient for cooking or adding to smoothies. Additional reading here.

Chia Seed- The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and protein. More on the subject here.

Wheat Grass- "Wheatgrass contains most of the vitamins and minerals needed for human health. It's a whole meal and complete protein with about 30 enzymes. It has up to 70% chlorophyll (which builds the blood). It's an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc."

I hope this clarifies WHY I use all of these super foods in my smoothies.  If you are just starting out, I recommend the ground flax seed and spirulina.  I feel like those two additions will provide the biggest bang for your buck.

Finally, I'll touch quickly on the protein powder.  I really like the MRM brand because it's sweetened with Stevia and not artificial sweeteners. I read lots of labels before settling on this brand. One scoop contains 85 calories, 18 g of protein and 1 g of sugar. 

The beauty of smoothies, in my opinion, is that you can vary your ingredients and get a ton of nutrition all at once. 

So there you have it folks! Super foods and power smoothies...

Did you find this helpful??


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weigh-in 1/10

Previous weight: 153.0
Current Weight: 150.4
Change: -2.6 lbs

This week was pretty much on point.  I've been starting my days with a "Power Smoothie", jam-packed with super foods and nutrition. I gotta tell you, I feel awesome (even with TOM coming). My energy is up and my cravings are down. 
I know I promised last week that I was going to do a "Super Food" post, and I still want to, I just have to find the time to actually sit down and write it. Sorry folks.  I feel like such a bad blogger sometimes, but there are times it takes me forever to write a post because I am constantly editing myself, rereading & rewriting. Finding the time to blog isn't always at the top of the list.
Anyway. I will do my best to get that taken care of in the next few days. I have the pictures all ready to go, I just have to sit and write.

Soooo, the ankle is doing better. I started exercising again this week.  I've been doing a random assortment of strength, hiit (high intensity interval training), yoga and yesterday I even managed a 3 mile run.  Today I plan on doing this:

And also the "Burpee Workout" which goes something like this:

10 Burpees/1 Squat, 9 Burpees/2 Squats, 8 Burpees/3 Squats, 7 Burpees/4 Squats, 6 Burpees/5 Squats, 5 Burpees/6 Squats, 4 Burpees/7 Squats, 3 Burpees/8 Squats, 2 Burpees/9 Squats, 1 Burpee/ 10 Squats. Rest 1 Minute. Repeat In Opposite Direction. 

I love body weight/basic exercises like these... and doing them in a ladder fashion means I can move quickly, not get bored and I get a good workout in a short amount of time. Hard to argue with that.

What is your favorite exercise??  I love squats and deadlifts. It's funny because four years ago, when I started this blog, I HATED squats (so much so that I wrote a blog post about it lol). Now, they are one of my favorite exercises. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Weigh-in 1/3

Previous Weight : 151.6
Current Weight: 153.0
Change: +1.4

I am taking this gain as a good thing. I have easily gained 10 or more pounds during holiday seasons of past. So really, this is progress for me, and I'll take it!!  There are definitely some areas where I could've improved, but there's no point living in the past.  Today is what matters.  I'm going to drink my smoothie this morning and go about my business.
Today's focus is not snacking.  We have this rice cracker mix I've been dipping into too frequently, and that has to stop.  1 serving is a 1/4 cup... I've logged it into my diary, but I haven't been measuring it. Standing over the bag picking through it is not a healthy habit :-/
Some of you may have noticed a few "different" ingredients in my smoothie recipe yesterday (like bee pollen, spirulina and hemp seeds).  Stay tuned because I plan on doing a post on the "Superfoods".
Have a great day!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hey there lovelies! Hope your new year is off to a great start.  Mine....ehhh, a little rocky thus far.  Monday morning, two minutes into my workout, I landed wrong and now I'm sporting this bad boy....
Totally awesome right??

Ugh. I was so pissed! Thankfully I know what to do. Ice & elevation helped a lot.  I also did an epsom salt soak yesterday. Today it's doing pretty good.  I'm hoping by Friday it will feel good enough for me to get in a power walk, but we'll see.  I won't be running or jumping on it for a while, but it is what it is. There are plenty of exercises I CAN do.
So anyway, moving on....
I've never really been big on setting New Year's Resolutions.  I do like setting goals though.  I've been trying to concentrate on fitness goals more than anything lately so now seems like the perfect time to reflect and think about what I want in terms of fitness & health this year.
After some thought, here's the list of goals I came up with:
  • Perform 5 pull-ups with an overhand grip (Currently at 1 with a neutral grip)
  • Perform 30 military style push-ups (Currently at 12)
  • Run 5k in under 23 minutes/ sub 7:30 mi pace (Current best 7:48/mi pace)
  • Dead lift 1.5x my body weight -225 lbs (Current max DL ? Current DL 80-90lbs during multiple rep strength training) 
  • Eat more "RAW" and high quality foods
I'm dabbling with a more "raw" diet...generally 1-2 meals a day are mostly raw.  Nothing really extreme, just making a concerted effort to eat plenty of raw vegetables and some fruit.  I like how I feel when I eat this way and I have an awesome new blender that makes it even easier. 
I love me a green smoothie!!  This one is a power house. It has kale, spinach, parsley, wheat grass, frozen cherries, flax seed, chia seed, hemp seeds, bee pollen, spirulina and whey protein powder. Because of the wheat grass, parsley and spirulina it is quite energizing.  I make one of these and I'm not hungry for a long time...probably due to the fact that it contains 13 g of fiber and 44 g of protein.  This particular smoothie is 430 calories and tons of nutrition!!! Win-win in my book.
There are so many smoothie variations you can never get bored.  I have found that some ingredients are not suited for smoothies. I made one yesterday that was unpleasant.  I do not ever plan on putting cucumber into a smoothie again.  I thought I had a brilliant idea to make a "Bloody Mary" -esque drink. Turns out I was wrong. I powered through most of it but had to dump the last bit cause I couldn't handle the texture. Whoops :)
So my question is:
Do you make smoothies (green or otherwise)? Please share your favorite smoothie recipe...

I'd also like to hear about your goals for the new year.   
As always my friends, keep moving forward....