Tag Archives: happy life healthy life

Langsam, Bitte

Ever since we found out we were moving to Germany, my husband and I started working on learning German.  (We have been using Duolingo – a free app and Rosetta Stone -just in case anyone is interested in learning a language).

In German, “Langsam, bitte” means: Slowly please.

This has been my mantra the past few days…ever since I took my son for his 9 month check up.  Which, by the way, it’s like I blinked and he’s already 9 months old.  How did that happen?

At the doctor’s office, I began filling out the standard questionnaire.  You know, the one where they ask about fine motor skills, communication, etc.

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As I sat there, with the pink clipboard in my lap, the pen in my hand, and my son smiling up at me from his car seat, I realized something.

I couldn’t answer many of the questions.

Does he look for an object if you cover it up?  I don’t know.  I’ve never tried that.

Does he use his thumb and forefinger to grab something?  I think…maybe…I’m not sure…

Does he pick up a small object with one hand?  Um…..

Does he toss a toy back and forth between his hands?  Well…I’ve never seen him do that…

Does he say words like “ma”, “ba”, “ga”?

That last one…that last question…it was like a punch in the gut…the one where I thought to myself “I can’t believe I haven’t noticed that he isn’t doing this”.

Until I read that question…until the doctor mentioned that he had some concerns about his communication skills…I had not noticed that he is so quiet.

Talk about feeling like a crap mother.

The doctor assured me that there’s no need to worry YET.  After all, he was born a month early but it is something that we need to keep an eye on.

Holy.  Shit.

It’s not so much about me being worried that he will have problems communicating (and if he does he will just get speech therapy).

It’s the fact that I haven’t been paying ATTENTION.

It’s the fact that I have been running in twenty different directions, trying to do EVERYTHING – trying to exercise daily, to eat perfectly clean, to cook healthy dinners, to get the kids signed up for after school activities, to volunteer in my daughter’s classroom, to go see the sights, to meet friends, to do laundry, to read to the kids, to get them to bed at a decent time, to finish unpacking the house, to work (I work from home, auditing charts), to go on a date with my husband, to find decent babysitters for the kids, to learn the language, to learn the socially acceptable ways to behave in a German village, to navigate the German grocery stores…I could go on and on and on.

After that doctor’s appointment I realized I need to slow WAY down.  I need to STOP worrying about the next thing that needs to be done and just PLAY with my kids at the park.  Just sing to my baby and read him books.  Hold him and take time to sit at the table and feed him, instead of shoving a cracker in his hand as we run out the door to the next activity.

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All that matters is that we are healthy.  We are together.  And I will figure this all out…eventually.

Langsam, bitte.

Slowly, please.

In a world where we want everything YESTERDAY, remember that life is PRECIOUS.  Life is fleeting.  Life is NOT guaranteed.

The little moments are TRULY what matter the most.

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As a side note, one of the things that has helped me slow down is the Crockpot!  I throw dinner in there in the morning and it’s ready in the afternoon.  Instead of spending time in the kitchen after my daughter gets off the bus, I can spend time playing with my kids.

In case you find that you need to slow down as well, I wanted to share a few crockpot recipes from my current online accountability group that have been a hit here at my house!

Pumpkin 3 Bean Chili

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS:

o 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

o 1 cup onion, chopped

o 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

o 3 cloves garlic minced

o 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

o 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

o 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

o 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

o 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes

o 2 teaspoons chili powder

o 1.5 teaspoons cumin 1.5 teaspoons oregano

o 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

o ½ teaspoon sea salt  o 2.5 cups vegetable broth

o Toppings: Fresh cilantro Avocado Scallions

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and pepper, sauté until tender.

3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.

4. Transfer to Crockpot.

5. Add remaining ingredients to Crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours.

6. Top with fresh cilantro, avocado and scallions

 

Chicken Enchiladas

10 servings, about 1 cup each

INGREDIENTS:

o 1 tsp. olive oil

o 1 medium onion, chopped

o 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

o 2 medium jalapenos, seeded and deveined, finely chopped

o 1 lb. raw ground chicken breast (or whole breast cut into strips or bitesize pieces)

o 1½ cups dry farro, rinsed

o 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed, drained

o 1 cup frozen corn o 1 (15 oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes (or diced tomatoes), no salt added

o 1 cup water

o 1 (10-oz.) can red enchilada sauce

o 2 Tbsp. chili powder

o 1 Tbsp. ground cumin

o 2 tsp. ground coriander

o Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

o 1 cup shredded jack (or cheddar or Mexican blend) cheese

o 3 medium green onions, chopped

o ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.

3. Add garlic and jalapenos; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until jalapenos are soft.

4. Add chicken; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

5. Place chicken mixture, farro, beans, corn, tomatoes, water, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, and coriander in a 3-quart slow cooker; mix well and cover. Cook on high for 3 hours, or until liquid has been absorbed, and farro is tender.

6. Remove lid and stir mixture. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Add cheese; mix well. Cover until cheese has melted.

7. Top with green onions and cilantro; serve.

*You could use brown rice if you can’t find farro

*I got already cooked, diced chicken from the refrigerated section
 

Hello, World

I know I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks and here’s why – we just moved to Germany!  And let me tell you, it’s been a RIDE.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is in the Army.   Several months ago we got orders to go to Germany, and now…well…here we are.

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I’m going to be real with you.  My exercise routine is shit right now.  I’ve been eating a lot of crap (partly because I wanted to try some of the authentically German treats and partly because the first 2 weeks we were here the jet lag was so bad it was like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy).

 

I’m homesick.  I miss my family.  I miss the familiarity of everything back in the states.  And the driving here – whoa!  It takes some getting used to.  I have not ventured out very far unless my husband has been sitting in the passenger seat.  It’s like I’m a teenager all over again with my learner’s permit.

The first day we got here, my daughter and I couldn’t even figure out how to flush the toilets.  And the shopping carts here – you can’t just take one.  They are all locked together and you have to put a coin in the slot to release one.  When you return it, you get your coin back.  Well, before someone took pity on us and told us that, my husband was quite a sight trying to figure out how to get a shopping cart.  He was yanking.  He was pulling.  He was muttering to himself.

I’ve gotten lost several times already walking around on base.  I’ve thrown my kids in the back of a stranger’s car (a soldier’s at least), sans car seat, and gotten a ride to my daughter’s school to go pick her up because I was 20 minutes late.  I’ve been stranded at the grocery store, with my baby and a cart full of groceries, for over an hour, because the taxi stood us up.  And yet again, I sat my kid on my lap and got into the backseat of a stranger’s car, with my groceries in the trunk, and got a ride to our hotel.

We bought a car off the “lemon lot” and I’m afraid to say we may have actually gotten a lemon.  I only had it 2 weeks before it had to go in the shop…It needs a new muffler…which they have to order from the states…

It has, literally, been one thing after another.  I have gotten a few workouts in here and there.  I’ve had a few healthy meals and a few not-so-healthy meals.

Wah, wah, wah, right?

I mean, here we are, in Germany, in this beautiful country, in Europe, where we have the chance to experience other cultures, try new foods, learn other languages and travel…and here I am…bitching…

So, now, here’s where the cool part comes in:

The OLD me would have continued to focus on the negative and the fact that our lives right now, every day, have been a true comedy of errors.  I would have decided that this is going to be the worst three years of my life.  I would have cried.  I would have spiraled into a depression.  I would have dug my heels in and begged my husband to take us back to the states.

germany 5

BUT…now…being in this particular situation of just moving to another country with three children in tow…I can truly see how far I have come.

There are times that it really sucks right now.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  My nerves are frayed.  I have very little patience for my children’s shenanigans.  My husband is stressed.  I’m stressed.  There are tons of partially unpacked boxes in our house.  There is a TON of trash piling up in the garage (not to mention bags and bags of dirty diapers) because we have yet to receive the trash cans our landlord ordered for us.  Our dishwasher doesn’t work.  We have an ant problem in our dining room…and yet….

Despite all of this, (this is the cool part), I KNOW it’s all going to be okay.  I know that once we get settled, we are going to love it here.  I can see beyond all the shit (and I do mean, literally, all the shit in the diapers in our garage) that this is going to be a once in a life time opportunity to travel and explore and learn and grow and make many wonderful memories with our family.

 

 

Just Go For It

I’ve been taking a lot of risks lately – not physical risks like skydiving or bungee jumping…but more of the emotional type of risks.

I have just been going for it – and guess what?  It feels AHH-MAZING!

better

I’ve been reaching out to people and asking them to be a part of my team (Team Fight For Fit).  I’ve been asking people if they would like to join challenge groups to work on their health and fitness.  I have been connecting with old friends I haven’t seen in a while (like years) and asking them to hang out.

I am going after what I want.  I am going after what I want my life to look like.  I’m being more authentically ME.

Even when the people I reach out to don’t respond or they say no – you know what?  I feel PROUD.  I’m proud of myself.  Proud that I tried.  Proud that I won’t keep wondering “what if” because now I have an answer.

The rejections I get.  The silence on the other end.  It means I’m LIVING.  It means I’m working towards my dreams.

And do you know something else I’ve recently realized?  It’s not about whether the person says yes to joining my team or not.  It’s not about whether the person responds or not to my offer…it’s actually NOT about the outcome at all.

Before, I used to think it was ALL about the end result.  That’s how you measure success – how many “yes’s” you get, how many people you recruit, how much money is in the bank – BUT I’m here to tell you it’s NOT!

As I put myself out there more and more, share my personal thoughts and feelings, share my transformations (inside and outside) I realize it’s all about the PROCESS.  It’s about who I am becoming.

I am becoming STRONGER.  More confident.  More sure of what I want for myself.  Of who I want to be.  Of my purpose in life (besides wife and mother).

woman-walking-tightrope

So, today I say to you:  Do what scares the CRAP out of you.  Do that one thing that you are afraid to do.

Climb that wall.  Jump that hurdle.  Because, what’s on the other side is BEAUTIFUL.  It may not look like what you expected, BUT it’s beautiful all the same.

 

 

Make the Shift

Let’s talk shop…SHIFT SHOP!

Shift Shop is Beachbody’s newest program and it does NOT disappoint!

It is geared for ALL fitness levels.  There are modifications for beginners and there are hard core moves for fitness gurus.

Chris Downing is the newest super trainer for Beachbody and he is genuintely motivating and encouraging.  He lifts you up.  He makes you feel good.  He makes you feel like you CAN.

He pushes you.  He works with you.  He gives you EVERYTHING you need to get RESULTS – fast!

shift

Here is the official blurb:

Using a breakthrough “ramp-up” method, Chris starts you out slow in Week 1 with 25-minute cardio and strength workouts you can really do, and a nutrition plan you can stick with. In Week 2, you push harder with 35-minute workouts, and consume more protein to fuel the burn. But it’s nothing you can’t handle. Finally, in Week 3, you kick your shift into high gear: 45-minute workouts and clean eating.

Can you really get results in 3 weeks?  YES!

This is me…16 days into Round 1!

results

Now…I’ll be honest with you (because you can always get that from me).  I didn’t stick to the meal plan all that well.

I’ve been traveling.  I’ve been staying with my in-laws for the past few weeks BUT I’m not saying I’ve been eating like crap either.  I have been doing my best.  I have been drinking Shakeology daily.  I have been eating clean (the majority of the time).

I think that if I stuck to the meal plan that is prescribed with the exercise program I would have seen even BETTER results in 16 days.

So, with that being said…I am about to start Round 2 on Monday, August 7th along with a whole bunch of other ladies who are ready to get it in gear and MAKE THE SHIFT to a healtheir, more confident version of themselves.

For Round 2, I will be more dilignet about sticking to the meal plan.  (I will still be out of town for the first week, BUT I will do my damndest regardless).

Why am I telling you this?  To hold myself accountable!  It’s one thing to say it in my head but it is a completely different thing to say it out loud….to put it out there on the internet for all to see.

To honor the fact that I am planning to really ramp up my nutrition (along with my fitness) – I wanted to share a few of the recipes that are in the Shift Shop meal plan (These recipes are approved for Week 1):

Egg White Omelette

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Egg White Omelet with Mushrooms, Tomato, and Cheddar

Arugla Salad with Chicken and Black Beans

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Arugula Salad with Chicken and Black Beans

Chickpea Curry Chicken

Chickpea-Curry-with-Chicken_gujddu

Chickpea Curry with Chicken

Cloud Bread

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Cloud Bread

 

If YOU would like to join my next accountability group (August 7th) where you can get access to this AMAZING exercise program AND nutrition plan – then find me #thisfitlife on Facebook!

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.