Tag Archives: fit life

Perspective is Everything

It all started with a Facebook post…a Facebook memory, actually, that a woman shared on her Timeline recently.

when1

It was a picture of her daughter, 2 years ago, sitting poolside, in a tankini, eating a sandwich.  It was summer.  The sky was a crystal clear blue.   The sun was glistening off the gentle waves in the water.

The caption she wrote with the picture reads:  Really missing our pool days this year.

See, her daughter, who is 7, is fighting cancer for a  second time.  And instead of spending the summer outside, drinking up the sun and swimming, she and her daughter are spending their time rotating between the children’s hospital and The Ronald McDonald House.

Here is where the perspective part comes in…

I have three, healthy children but they have been driving me crazy this summer.  There’s been a lot of bickering and not listening and acting out because Daddy is away at school.

I have found SEVERAL gray hairs that were not there a few months ago.  I have had more wine in the past couple of months than I have had in the past year.

It takes 2 hours, literally, for us to get ready to go to the pool.  There’s the packing of the pool bag (which is often interrupted by breaking up fights between my children) – change of clothes for 4 people, snacks, water bottles, extra swim diapers, baby wipes.

Then there’s the part where I have to get all the kids changed into their swimsuits.  I have to fight with my toddler to put it on because everything is “no” these days.

Then there’s the part where I have to get them into the car.  This, as many of you Mamas know, is like herding cats.  All of the sudden they can’t find their shoes that I have been asking them to put on for the last 30 minutes.  And then the baby makes a dirty diaper and I have to change him.  And then my daughter decides she needs to bring 5 books, 3 dolls and a pen and paper so she can writer her own book.

“Can you carry these, Mommy?”  She asks me as she thrusts her superfluous items into my hands, which are already full with a  pool bag, diaper bag and a baby in a car seat.

By the time I get everyone strapped into their seats – I’m exhausted.

There were days this summer that I found myself hoping it would rain so that going to the pool wasn’t an option.  Sometimes I would find excuses as to why we couldn’t go.  Sometimes I found myself rolling my eyes and losing my patience as I tried to get everything ready while they yelled at each other about whose turn it was to play with the little red car.

And then…that post popped up in my Newsfeed…and I thought – Well, shit.

Those two, that Mama and her daughter, would give anything to be able to go to the pool every single day, no matter how long it took them to get ready.

This weekend, I took the kids to the pool every day.  And as I wrestled my toddler into his bathing suit, stopped to feed the baby and packed the millions of things into the pool bag, I was grateful.

pool

So grateful that I could take my kids to the pool…that we could spend the afternoon there and play Sharks and Minnows and eat watermelon.

Life is ALL about what you make of it.

There are some things you can’t control, of course.  BUT – there are some things you most definitely can – like your thoughts and perspective.

If you change your perspective, does that change everything?

My answer:  YES.  (Case and point:  I happily packed up the pool bag this afternoon PLUS packed dinner for all the kiddos and the whole time I was thinking – even as my toddler, in nothing but his swim diaper, ran away from me as I tried to get him changed – this is going to be fun)

NEVER lose sight of what is TRULY important.

We live in a busy world.  It’s easy to take things for granted.

I will continue to try to do better.  I hope you do, too.

If you would like to learn more about this little girl’s story or how you can help through monetary donations, then go here:

https://www.facebook.com/TeamSavannahFightingLeukemia/

Start at the Beginning

Let’s say you are at the book store.  You’ve got your coffee in one hand and the newest, just released, thriller from the hottest New York Times Best Selling Author in your other hand.

Document

You sit down in a cushioned chair (that has an awful floral pattern on it).  You  put on your reading glasses.  And you turn to….

The middle section?

To the 40th chapter?

To the last page?

NO!  Of course not.

You begin…at the beginning.

the

Everything else in life is no different than this…starting a new career, a new relationship, a new fitness program, a new hobby…no matter what it is….you have to begin at the beginning.

So why is it, then, that after spending, let’s say, a week, exercising religiously and following a meal plan to the exact number of carrots we are allotted per day, we throw in the towel because we aren’t seeing results?  Because the scale hasn’t moved?  Because that dress still doesn’t fit?

Y’all!  It takes TIME.

We are a society of instant gratification.  We (and I am definitely including myself in this “we”) want it NOW.

You can’t expect to start doing a fitness program by doing 100 burpees when you’ve never even done one.  You can’t expect to look good in that bikini after a week of exercise.  You can’t expect to have end results when you are still at the beginning.

Everyone has to start somewhere.  The MOST important thing is that you just START.

If you want to start exercising…than just START.

If you want to eat healthier….than just START.

If you want to switch careers…than just START looking for a new job.

The month of August has just begun.  A new month.  A new  start.  A new chance.

192156-Hello-August

What will YOU do to START working on your dreams?

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In honor of new beginnings and a new school year already starting in some areas, I wanted to share some tips on how to pack a healthy lunch for your kids!

  1. Skip the juice box!  It has tons of added sugar and unnecessary calories.  Pack milk or water.
  2. Pack a balanced meal.  Include fruits, veggies and protein
  3. Breakfast for lunch is always a hit!  Pack a hard-boiled egg, turkey sausage and a multi-grain waffle with berries.
  4. Make your own lunchables.  Bento boxes are a fun way to pack a variety of foods into your kid’s lunch.  Here’s an example – you can find tons more on Pinterest.

lunch 1

5. Dessert is okay – in moderation!  Give them one cookie instead of a whole package.  Better yet, make your own cookies at home, with your kids, and put one in their lunch – they will be proud of their contribution!

 

 

And Then There Was Light

Darkness comes before the light.

You’ve heard that before, right?  BUT have you ever stopped to really think about what it means?   To think about how that simple, yet powerful phrase, applies to so many aspects of your life?  Of any of our lives?

even

Life isn’t easy.  Let’s just say that and get that out of the way because anyone who has been on this planet for more than 5 years (and hasn’t been living in a bubble) can attest to that.

“Darkness” can refer to SO many things – pain, depression, tragedy, relationship problems, health problems, addiction, career issues…the list could literally, go on and on.

If there wasn’t darkness, would you be able to appreciate the light?  To appreciate the good things that come your way as the black veil dissipates and the light shines through?

To be honest, for me, I’m not so sure I would be able to.  It seems, when you’ve had pain or struggle or any kind of “darkness”, the good stuff that eventually comes your way is SO much sweeter because of it.  (It’s kind of like when you put a pinch of salt in cookie batter – it brings out the sweetness exponentially.)

Is that human nature?  Or me just not being able to appreciate something without a kick in the pants?  My guess is – it’s probably a little of both.

Here are some things that I believe and have learned about darkness:

  1. The hard times are…well…HARD but they WILL be followed by good times.  I truly believe that no matter what you are struggling with, there will come a time when it is only a distant memory.
  2. It makes you STRONGER.  You will be amazed at how capable you truly are.
  3. There is a REASON for it.  It may not be evident at first (or for a long time) but I truly believe there is a reason for everything – whether it’s to teach you something, teach someone else something, or pave the way for others.

We will all have to suffer through darkness in our lives – in varying degrees- for short or extended periods of time.  There’s no doubt – it’s part of being alive.

BUT

Here is something else I believe:  There WILL be LIGHT in the end.

sunrise

Stay strong.  Keep fighting.  What you want…what you need…is on the other side of the black night.

 

All About the Veggies

In 6 days I will be embarking on my Ultimate Reset journey.  This 21 day program is designed to reset your body to it’s “factory settings” (so to speak).  There’s a complete guidebook on how this is to be done.  Essentially you end up eating a vegan diet (which is totally fine with me since I could care less about meat!)

After the 21 days, it’s recommended to ease back into regular eating habits…so…in light of that…I thought I’d share some delicious 21 Day Fix Approved vegetarian recipes!

EGGPLANT ROLL-UPS

EGG

 

Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into ¼ inch oblong pieces from end to end.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced, or 1 tsp garlic power
  • 1 cup of organic spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup of 2% cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 4 tbs of goat cheese to sprinkle on top
  • 2 tbs oil
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place middle rack in the oven.
  2. Take eggplant pieces and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Salt the eggplant and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes and baste with oil.
  4. Take the chopped onion, minced garlic and olive oil and place into a skillet to saute until both the garlic and onion become translucent and soft, do this while the eggplant is roasting.
  5. In another small mixing bowl add in the cottage cheese, chopped spinach, basil, oregano, parsley, sauteed garlic and onion to mix thoroughly.
  6. Take a ½ cup of marinara sauce and using a spoon spread evenly on the bottom of the 2 qt glass Pyrex casserole dish.
  7. Pat your eggplant strips dry and place 2 tablespoons full of the cottage cheese mixture into the top of the eggplant and roll up. Place the eggplant roll up into the dish with the seam facing down.
  8. Repeat this process until you have no more eggplant and cottage cheese.
  9. Take 2.5 cups left of the marinara sauce and spread over the top of the eggplant roll ups.
  10. Sprinkle the 4 tablespoons of goat cheese over the top of the roll ups and place in the oven.
  11. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.
  12. serving = 1 eggplant medium sized eggplant rollup (some are smaller due to the end of the eggplant so the largest size you make I consider 1 serving)
  13. The 21 Day Fix containers = 1 green container, ½ red container, ½ blue container, ½ purple and 2 tsps

Source: http://www.inspiredhousewife.com/eggplant-roll-ups/

CHEESY SPAGHETTI SQUASH

SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 16oz container of lowfat cottage cheese
  • 1 jar of no sugar added marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup of cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you cook your spaghetti squash. We typically slice the spaghetti squash in half, place it on a platter with a small amount of water and steam it in the microwave for 10-12 minutes until cooked.
  2. Scoop out the seeds, then use a fork to pull the spaghetti squash from the sides so it resembles spaghetti and place it into a bowl
  3. Add one container of cottage cheese, Italian herbs and one jar of marinara sauce to the bowl.
  4. Mix until well combined and then add to an 8×10 banking dish.
  5. Top with one cup of cheese and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the dish is warm throughout and the cheese is bubbly.
  6. Slice casserole into 6 portions.

One slice counts as 2 green, 1/2 red, and 1 blue container. (serves 6)

Source: http://www.coupleinthekitchen.com/blog/2016/2/1/cheesy-spaghetti-squash-casserole

STUFFED PEPPERS

stuffed

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup whole, peeled canned tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Herbs of your choice (we usedHerbs de Provance and oregeno)
  • 4 bell peppers, tops cut off and insides removed
  • 2/3 cups shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and also start to make up your quinoa. Upon cooking, it usually doubles in size so keep that in mind while making your quinoa. Once cooked, remove from heat.
  2. In a saucepan, sautee sliced mushrooms until soft.
  3. Add garlic until fragrant then add the can of tomatoes. Use your spoon to break them up a bit.
  4. Mix in quinoa and your herbs.
  5. Scoop filling into each bell pepper.
  6. Pop them into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  8. Put your oven on broil and place the peppers back in for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is toasted and bubbly.

This recipe counts as 2 green containers, 1 yellow, and 1/2 of a blue container. (serves 4)

Source: http://www.coupleinthekitchen.com/blog/2016/1/17/stuffed-peppers

CHUNKY VEGETABLE CHILI

chili

Ingredients:
2 tsp. olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce, no sugar added
1 medium zucchini, cubed
6 Tbsp. nonfat plain yogurt

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add sweet potatoes, onion, and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
3. Add chile powder, cumin, tomatoes, chickpeas, beans, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
4. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 10 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
5. Top each serving with 1 Tbsp. yogurt.

container counts: 1/2 green, 2 yellow

Source: https://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/recipes/chunky-vegetable-chili

Spring Forward with Salads

There’s something about Spring that makes me think of salads.

spring

Maybe it’s because the trees are starting to bloom or because the air smells fresher or because it’s a new beginning OR maybe it’s because Spring is quickly followed by Summer which means it’s bikini time and I am DETERMINED to wear one despite having a baby in January!

Sundays are meal prep days and for the past few weeks I’ve been prepping salads to eat for lunch for the week.  (This has worked out REALLY well since, during the day, I don’t have time to chop veggies and put together something other than a PB&J – which is what was happening before I started meal prepping).

So, I wanted to share some delicious salads that I’ve recently discovered that you can have for lunch OR dinner OR both 🙂

QUINOA AND SMOKED TOFU SALAD

(serves 6)

q salad
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (see Tip)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 6- or 8-ounce package baked smoked tofu, (see Tip), diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
    1 cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint

PREPARATION

  1. Bring water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Spread the quinoa on a baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, tofu, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and mint; toss well to combine.

source: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251928/quinoa-smoked-tofu-salad/

QUINOA SPINACH SALAD

QUI

Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh spinach
  2. 1 orange, sliced
  3. 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
  4. 1/4 cup blackberries
  5. 1 apple, diced
  6. 1/2 cup prepared quinoa
  7. 1 lemon, juiced
  8. 1/2 cup olive oil
  9. 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced into strips
  10. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Assemble the ingredients for the salad.
  2. Sprinkle with prepared quinoa
  3. For the dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice and fresh basil into a small mason jar.
  4. Cover and shake until well combined.
  5. Toss the salad with some dressing and serve.

source: http://www.carrieelle.com/quinoa-spinach-salad-lemon-basil-vinaigrette/

(NO MAYO) MEDITERRANEAN TUNA SALAD

tun

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 can light tuna in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers (jarred in water), chopped
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
  • black pepper to season

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil until emulsified. Stir in the tuna, red onions, roasted bell peppers and basil. Season to taste with black pepper. Boom.
  2. Serve as a sandwich with bread, half of a pita, or a sandwich thin. This is also AMAZING served over some greens for a yummy, filling salad.

source: http://thefoodieandthefix.com/no-mayo-mediterranean-tuna-salad/

DECONSTRUCTED FISH TACOS  SALAD

FISH

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 oz fish or shrimp
  • salt-free taco seasoning
  • fresh cilantro
  • 3 limes
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1 avocado, 1/2 of it diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salad greens, chopped
  • Cabbage, shredded

DIRECTIONS

  1. Marinade the fish in taco seasoning, juice from 1 lime, and a small bunch of cilantro. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the mango through the diced red onion from the list of ingredients to make the salsa, using the 1/2 diced avocado. Add juice from one lime and a tablespoon of chopped cilantro.
  3. Grill fish until flaky and white.
  4. While the fish is cooking, make the Avocado Cilantro dressing. Simply place 1 cup of cilantro leaves and stems, the remaining half of avocado, the Greek yogurt, water, garlic and squeeze of lime. Pulse and you are DONE! Go check on your fish.
  5. Plate your salad with greens and cabbage, fish, mango salsa, and top with a Tablespoon of the delicious dressing.

source: http://confessionsofafitfoodie.com/2015/08/21-day-fix-deconstructed-taco-salad-with-avocado-cilantro-dressing/

 

I hope you enjoy these!!!