Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Spin on Jack-O-Lantern's

I think I have a new favorite recipe.  It's amazing.  I love buffalo flavored things.  Buffalo spice and buffalo sauce are so yummy.  Must be he hot sauce.  Anyway.  I found a recipe for Buffalo Chicken stuffed peppers.  Wow, so good.  Lily had a blast helping me make them too because we carved faces in them!

How's that for a Halloween dinner!  Talk about good timing on that one.  I of course would never have thought of such a thing on my own and the good people at primally inspired thought it up for me.  The recipe is here:
It was really easy to make too.  Just mix some spices, sprinkle on chicken, bake, melt butter and add hot sauce.  Combine with chicken and boom!  You just have to make sure you start plenty early because the baking time adds up to over an hour.  Not a spur of the moment meal, but not a hard meal and you can do other stuff while the food is baking in the oven. 

Lily made each one a different monster.  That big yellow one above is a zombie, the red one a vampire.  There is also a Ghost and I think the bright orange one is just a pumpkin with a smiling face.  They were a little spicy since they do have hot sauce in them, but Chloe ate them.  They were a little hot for Lily but she said she liked them.  Definitely recommend!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Caching Up

I promise I have not abandoned my blog.  I have just been unusually busy the past several days.  It's been the kids of days where I get up and start going and don't stop until I'm too exhausted to do anything else.  I've had flute lessons, Temple trips, play dates, Home Parties, and various other activities to attend.  On Friday nigh we went to Boo at the Zoo.  The kids had a great time.  I was worried because it was drizzling when we got there but it turned out great.  My feet got pretty wet but it wasn't too cold (we had lots of layers on) and the kids had so much fun.  We went inside and they had lots of booths set up where the kids could get candy and the adults would get flyers from each company.  They had everything from Sams club, to Skyzone, to swimming lessons, and even dentists. 

Lily went as Rapunzel and Chloe went as Cinderella.  Lily's favorite princesses right now are Rapunzel, Jasmine, and Ariel.  Chloe is fond of Cinderella and Aurora.  Lily loved wearing the blonde hair, and if it fell off she insisted that I put it back on right away.  We all went out to Noodles and Co. for dinner when I got the Asian Buff Bowl.
I think it is awesome that they are offering some of their menu items "In the Buff" where they remove the noodles, add spinach, give you meat and double the vegetables.  Score!  And the kids love that place.  Mac and Cheese all the way.  They each got some color changing cups that they wanted to use for their soda pop.  They have never seen anything like that so when Lily's cup changed from pink to purple she was super excited.  Chloe's cup changed from yellow to green.  I only ate one piece of candy (one of those fun size pieces you get for Halloween) so I was pretty proud of myself for that.  My sister came over later that night and we watched Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.  I love vampires and Vampire movies so I enjoyed it even though it was kind of a dorky movie.  We still had a good time.  I'm going to the theaters with my dad and sister on Wednesday to watch the original Dracula with Bella Lugosi.  I'm pretty excited, it will be a fun time.  My mom is going to take the kids to the church Halloween party while we are out watching Dracula, so they will have a fun time too. 

Today was my sister's 17th birthday party.  I didn't do too well staying out of desserts, but I didn't go nuts and make myself sick either.  I had one piece of cake and one scoop of ice cream.  My mom made a special salted caramel cheesecake for Chase for her birthday and it was Amazing. 

My weight has been hovering around 153, and my goal now is to be able to 'effortlessly' keep it there.  Once I stop the up/down/up/down cycle and feel more confident with controlling what I'm eating and I feel like I have found a place where I am stable and eating generally well most of the time, then I will be ready to start tackling weight loss again, and this time I am going to do it by making a few small adjustments at a time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A New Approach

Right now I have to carefully monitor myself.  I just can't trust myself, and I can't control myself.  If I have the green light I really just go crazy.  So I've decided to look at my calendar and outline the special days that I will allow myself "less healthy" food.  When I know of an event that I know I will want to eat something special at I will determine what I am going to allow myself to have in advance.  This may seem a little strict but it is better than "no off plan foods ever" and it isn't so free that I just eat a whole plate of cookies every day.  So I know my sister is having her birthday next week and if I am celebrating with her (teenagers-I'm not sure I'm invited to the party yet.  But I am sure we will celebrate sometime). I am allowing myself one piece of birthday cake, or maybe I will take her to coldstone since she doesn't like cake and she loves ice cream so I will allow my self one small Ice cream.  For Halloween I am going to let myself have 4-5 pieces of candy and that's it.  That will insure that I pick out my favorites and hopefully I will think to eat them slowly and enjoy them because I only get a few pieces and not the whole bag.  This way I don't miss out on life, but I have a plan.  Sure there will be occasions where things pop up where I will want to eat something.  But for now (unless I know about it several days in advance) I'm just going to say no.  If the day is not outlined and it is outside of my planned treat then the answer is no.  I just have to suck it up and learn to say no.  I need to get a healthy relationship with my treats.  Not feeling deprived, depressed, or like I'm missing out, and also not going AWOL.   I might be a little bit more liberal with my diet soda.  That will probably be the last thing I kick.  For now, lets try to find a plan that I can actually do!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Seashell Necklaces

I've been having a hard time lately getting the kids to go to the gym.  Lily is usually fine but Chloe has been putting up a fuss lately.  She just doesn't want to go.  When I say we are going to go to the gym she starts crying and fussing and saying she doesn't want to go and then when I drop her off she throws a tantrum.  I've been thinking of stopping my gym membership lately.  The kids have been so sick this year and I'm pretty sure it's because of the gym.  We are in the longest stretch right now that the kids have had of being healthy and I'm thinking it's because we didn't go to the gym for two and a half weeks.  At the same time I don't want to quit because I like going to Zumba class and if I didn't have a gym membership it would be very difficult for me to keep up my running.  I would pretty much have to quit and start over again another day when I had time to actually go running by myself without worrying about the kids, maybe when the kids are all in school, which won't be for several more years.  Also, Lily does like going to the gym and she protested a little when I mentioned quitting the gym.  She said if we quit then she wouldn't be able to see her friends at the gym anymore.  Chloe was all for quitting, she doesn't seem to want to go anymore.  I've been itching to do my beachbody workouts again: Turbo Fire followed by Chalean Extreme, and then maybe getting a new program to do after that.  I'm also looking at things from the perspective of being pregnant (No I am not pregnant now!!!) but Matt and I have decided to start trying for our third.  So I'm thinking about how to handle that with exercise because you can't do high impact when you are pregnant... maybe the first trimester but after that, lifting weights could be a good program, and then maybe Piyo or just finding a maternity program.  It's still a ways away so I don't have all the details figured out.

The weekend wasn't the best as far as eating goes, I went to the annual Harry Potter Party that my girlfriends put together and I ate a lot of junk.  (Hey! When else do you get to eat chocolate frogs, treacle fudge, cauldron cakes, and all those other yummy Harry Potter treats.  ummm... pretty much never).  Yesterday was decent.  I did make some cookies in the afternoon, but I had a protein shake for dinner (mostly because I just didn't want to cook) but also because I hadn't eaten the best earlier in the day and I wanted to keep it light. 

On another note we have finally started doing some things with the seashells we collected at the beach.  Some of the shells we found had holes in the top and so we decided to make some necklaces. 
Now I'm not a jewelry maker and I'm not into jewelry making but I thought that they turned out pretty cute.  (I saw that idea on Pinterest)  I'm feeling pretty tired today.  I'm not sure if it's due to how I've been eating or having interrupted sleep.  The kids have gotten up in the middle of the night several times over the past several nights and the kids wet the bed on back to back nights which was rather weird. 

Other than that things have been going about the same as always.  I know I've been saying it a lot but I really just want to find a good lifestyle, and establish a baseline and stop going up and down and up and down.  I need to stabilize and once I feel like I can sustain my weight at about 150 without doing the on plan off plan on plan off plan, gain 5 lose 5 gain 5 lose 5 crap I've been doing for the past year, then I will look at refining my eating and exercise plan.  For now, healthy and sustainable is the goal. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Going Down

As you know by now I can't seem to stay off the scale, so yesterday morning I was 153.2.  And this morning I was 152.6  I was happy to see that my bloatedness is finally going down, however I still have five more pounds to go before I get back to where I was a few weeks ago.  I'm not going to get on the scale again until Sunday, that's my plan.  Shouldn't be too difficult, it's only two days.  I hate this process.  You would think I would learn my lesson and stop doing it.  I would much rather be at my low weight working on being healthy and losing more weight instead of being at a higher weight working on getting back to where I was before I went AWOL. 

I've been thinking of healthy and sustainable over the past few days.  What can I sustain for the long term?  Don't deprive myself, but eat healthy meals.  I've been eating eggs with vegetables and coconut milk for breakfast.  I don't usually snack before lunch but if I workout I am making sure to get a post workout snack so I'm not starving by lunch time or by dinner time.  Lunch has been a salad (there is this really delicious recipe out of one of my Paleo cookbooks).  And some Chicken Apple Sausage.  Today was leftovers though since they are kind of piling up.  Dinners have been from my Paleo cookbooks.  I've eaten if I felt hungry, and tried to eat something good for me like avocado and tomatoes or green beans and apples or celery with almond butter and some raisins.  Yesterday the kids asked for popcorn and I  made them some.  I got myself one bowl and indulged in one bowl.  I didn't want anymore, but I made sure I didn't feel deprived or left out or upset I couldn't have any.  It didn't make me feel very good though, so that is something to think about.  Last night the family had pumpkin pie and I decided I wanted to have a little piece too, so I allowed myself to eat a piece.  When I finished I knew I was done, it made me feel kind of cruddy.  But I still went down in weight and I can only assume that if I were at my lowest I would just stay the same weight.  Yesterday was not a bad food day, it was a pretty good food day, but I did indulge a little bit.  Today I don't feel like I need to indulge especially because I have fresh in my mind how it made me feel yesterday and I don't want to feel that way. 

So that is how I am structuring my meals, and how I am planning on eating.  I am just focusing on using what I have learned from Whole 30 to structure my meals and cooking from my paleo books and really zeroing in on sustainable and healthy.  What is it that I really want to do for the rest of my life?  And I've really enjoyed my food this week.  I've felt full and satisfied.  Knowing that nothing is off limits, for real this time, but also knowing that I don't HAVE to eat less healthy foods and knowing how those foods make me feel and having a strong desire to just feel good again has helped me get out of the vacation funk and moving forward into the right direction.  I would love to get to a place where I just don't obsess about weight loss anymore.  I'm trying to avoid looking at myself in the mirror.  I can't help but asses, and judge myself whenever I see my reflection and that isn't good for my self esteem. 

Today went well.  I ate a RX bar after my gym workout.  I wanted to try the RX bar because they are Whole 30 friendly.  They are made with egg white protein which I thought was interesting.  It does make them taste differently.  I think they taste a lot better than regular protein bars because I don't really care for the taste of Whey protein. 

I had my salad and sausage for lunch.  There is enough salad and sausage for tomorrow and then I will have to figure something else out for lunch.  Blast.  Lunch is the hardest meal of the day for me to figure out what to eat. I really enjoyed doing Zumba today, it's been several weeks since I've been to class.  I had a lot more energy today than I have had the past several days.  I am finally starting to recover from my vacation.  Been drinking a lot of water... or at least a lot of water for me, I haven't been counting how much I've been drinking. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jet Lagged

I've still been feeling jet lagged over the past few days and the kids haven't fully recovered yet either. Yesterday we went to a friends house in the morning and Chloe couldn't hardly play. She sat in my lap most of the time and fell right asleep when we got home.  She slept for three and a half hours and went to bed at 9pm which is unusual for her if she takes a long nap she usually won't go to bed until 10 or later.  This morning I was 154.8 so I've gone down a little bit, not as much as I expected but I really did a number on myself while on vacation and I drank a ton of diet Pepsi which I am sure is making me retain water. I've been thinking of how good I felt after my whole 30. I just felt so good and energetic and so happy and I want to get back to that place again just to feel good. I'm tired of feeling bogged down by food and feeling bloated and tired.

Yesterday I had my first flute lesson and I was so nervous. I don't know why but I was sweating like crazy on the way over and my hands and feet were sweating and my hands were shaking. I kept thinking to myself that this is stupid! I am going to a person who is going to help me and work with me and make me better, I have no need to be nervous! But I couldn't calm myself down. If you've ever started taking music lessons with a new teacher the first thing they have you do is play something for them so they can asses your playing style, your technique and your level so they have an idea of where you are at and how to help you. I knew which piece I wanted to play, it was a piece I have played a lot and performed twice yet when I played it for her I was such a nervous wreak that I totally botched it. I had to stop in the middle and start the phrase again because I just messed up so badly. My fingers were shaking and I kept missing the notes in the fast part and I was so nervous my face was sweating and my flute kept falling off my face. I kept thinking this is so ridiculous! Why am I so nervous!? But my body had a mind of its own and wouldn't listen to the logic from my head. I hate it when that happens. After I played my new teacher proceeded to turn my whole flute playing career upside down. Turns out I learned the flute when they were teaching a certain technique to new students in band class and that technique has now been proven to not only not work but to actually be harmful to a persons playing because it places the flute up too high on your face and created a lot of extra tension. So now I get to spend the next 4 weeks unlearning bad habits. Story of my life!! I feel like all I'm doing right now is changing bad habits, bad eating habits, bad exercise habits l, bad drinking habits.

Well hopefully some good will come from all this bad habit changing and hopefully I can be successful at changing these habits. But I was really happy with my first lesson even though I was totally embarrassed by how badly I played and then I couldn't do the exercises the had me start to work on changing my habits. I was thinking "no! Let me go home and practice this and then you can hear me play, because right now I can't even make a sound ony flute doing this!" But now I have nothing to fear because I did so awful during the first lesson I should be good on the next, and now that I know her I should be less nervous.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to better myself and that I can do something for me to develop my talents and do something that I really enjoy.  I'm also glad that I talked to my brother about picking a flute teacher before I settled on one.  When I was taking lessons in high school my teacher didn't say anything about my embouchure or teach me the proper way to breath.  It was all just working on music and practicing notes and rhythms.  And while those things are important having a correct mouth placement and proper embouchure seems to me to be the most important thing you can develop.  It's the foundation on which all your playing comes from.  So I am excited for my lessons and feel like I can really improve and do something with my flute playing. 

Anyway, today was a pretty good eating day.  I did have a bite of croissant bread at dinner time, but not a whole roll.  My mom made a really good chicken stew and a salad.  I had to pick up Pippin from my parent's house today and I got a free meal with it.  I also braided Lily's hair.  She surprised me by asking for me to braid it that is the first time ever so I'm not very good at it right now but it turned out cute enough even if it didn't stay long.

Monday, October 12, 2015


I just got back from vacation in West Palm Beach, Florida! 
Chloe on the airplane traveling to Florida, she was super excited

We had a good time but it was also a very strange vacation just because all these weird things were happening.  My diet flew out the window as there were seven of us all together and we ate out several times.  I didn't want to worry about it.  We had a very small kitchen so we focused on easy meals: Tacos, spaghetti, and frozen stir fry.  I ate oatmeal for breakfast and had a lot of sweet potato chips and drank a lot of diet pepsi.  (and I'm paying the price for it now.  I'm really bloated and today I am so incredibly tired... but that also might be jet lag.  I'm sitting at 155.4 after vacation.  Ouch).  But still the kids had a good time playing at the beach and making sand castles and looking for seashells. 

There was a hurricane that went North of where we were staying so it didn't hit us but it caused really large waves and a strong riptide current so the kids couldn't go out into the water for the first four days.  They splashed around in the waves as they washed up on the beach and we had to hold onto Chloe because she liked it when the water pulled at her as it washed back into the ocean.  On the fifth and sixth days the current disappeared but the waves were still a little large and there were thousands of fish in the water.  Along with the fish were sharks.  It was crazy because you could see the sharks chasing the fish.  There would be a line of fish that would jump out of the water then you would see a dorsal fin of a shark come up and see them chasing after the fish.  It was really neat to watch.  But there was no playing in the water those days.  On the seventh and final day the ocean was finally calm enough to go into with the kids and the sharks had departed.  The kids were having a blast in the ocean as it was the first time they had been able to get in all week.  They really enjoyed floating in the waves... until Chloe started screaming.  She was grabbing her foot and of course I immediately thought of the sharks last night and thought there were sharks in the water.  Not so.  I put my hand down by her foot to see what was going on and immediately felt intense pain on my forearm.  It was a jellyfish.  Just our luck.  Poor Chloe got stung across the top of her food by her toes and my forearm was swiped.  We both booked it out of the water, closely followed by the rest of the family.  Lily still wanted to go in the water so while Chloe and I were sitting in the sand waiting for the pain to pass (Being from the mountains I had no idea what to do when getting stung by a jellyfish, and my sister-in-law's advice of peeing on it was not helpful.  I was not about to start peeing on my daughter's foot on a public beach.)  So Matt took Lily down to play in the waves and he was looking out in the water and said he saw a large jellyfish floating in the water.  I was thinking they would have been the smaller ones but nope, we get large ones.  I'm just glad that Chloe's foot didn't get wrapped up in the tentacles. 

Those pictures were taken today, so three days after being stung.  Chloe definitely got it worse.  But Chloe gets over pain pretty quickly and after a while she decided to go play in the pool where there weren't any "mean jellyfish".  It was so sad, because that was the first time they were able to play in the ocean all week.  So back to the pool we went.  Chloe discovered jumping in the pool this last week and she spent several hours just jumping in the pool an climbing out over and over and over again. 

Three of us shared a bed but I would always put the kids to bed first and then bring Chloe out to sleep with her Aunt on the fold out couch.  I went into the bedroom after putting the kids to bed once and found this:
That was pretty funny.  I didn't know kids actually slept like that!  We also went to the turtle rescue center.  That was neat, they even had an albino turtle that someone found!

We also went on a little nature hike.  That turned out to be a bad idea though because the kids got eaten alive by mosquitos and lily freaked out after smacking one on her hand and it exploded blood all over.  I'm sure in her head it was like a horror movie.  You have all these bugs all over you exploding blood all over the place.  She ran out of the trail screaming. 
And we ate out A LOT.  It was such a nice break from cooking and from worrying about what to make and what to eat and what not to eat.  I just ate everything.  I tried not to overdo it, but probably failed.  As my weight manifests. 

I am glad to be back home.  I just felt so thankful for my own house when we got home at 1am (which was 3am Florida time).  I'm feeling better about trying to figure out what is a good way of eating for me.  My neighbor who has continuously done Whole 30 looks amazing.  She has lost a ton of weight so I know that I want to follow the Whole 30 guidelines, do some Paleo, and maybe even add in Shakeology.  I remember really loving Shakeology and it could be a good lunch for me.  I struggle with what to eat for lunch.  I always have, it's a meal I just have not mastered yet.  I'm feeling pretty confident with breakfasts and dinner but lunch is always difficult for me.  If I could just make a shake and eat some veggies and some avocado with it that would be perfect.  I'm still thinking about it especially due to the price tag of Shakeology. 

Today has been tough, there has been a lot to do and I'm totally exhausted.  We went to the gym in the morning and I chose to run the treadmill.  I worked so hard to get my running up and I really enjoy trail running and that is one thing I don't want to lose.  So I figured I would just take it easy.  I ran at 5 mph and walked when I needed to.  I did better than I thought but I didn't run for an hour straight.  I had to do all the laundry and the grocery shopping.  I was so tired doing the shopping all I wanted to do was sleep.  Lily has dance class in a few minutes so I need to get ready to go to that now.  I still need to pick up my dog from my parent's house but I don't know if  I will be able to get there until Wednesday!  Tomorrow morning I have a playdate with my neighbor and in the evening I have my first flute lesson!  Maybe  can go pick him up Tuesday after lunch.  Well, got to go now and get ready for Lily's Dance!