Mighty Mommy Monday

It’s Mighty Mommy Monday! Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter and I have decided to challenge you on a weekly basis.  Claim the Mighty Mommy title for yourself — every day, not just Mondays. Every week, we’ll host a link up for you to tell us what you’re doing to take care of your health: workouts, menu plans, how to keep your family active, etc. I’ve set a few goals for 2014, but my biggest is to swim a total of 30 freestyle miles this year. Join us!

 

I had planned to talk about modifying workouts today. I had a whole post on ab exercises for those who have diastasis recti… it’s super exciting (well for me anyway), but I just was too busy to write today. I planned to write tonight while the hubs watches an episode of Chuck I already watched. Side note: I’m such a binge watcher. I discovered the show two weeks ago and have to exercise ALL my self control to not spend my days watching it. I’m pathetic, I know.

Anyway, I’m working my way through the 30 day shred, wondering what the next goal will be when my friend, Angie, texts me to ask if I’d like to run a half marathon with her. Now look. I do things that scare me. I do. It’s not really my personality or desire to strike out and do these things, but I feel that it’s good for me. If I didn’t do things that scare me, I’d always eat the same food, read the same books and drive down the same streets. I’ve now competed in two triathlons, one I loved, the other I loathed. LOATHED. Also, I cried a lot on that one, so… I was terrified before I did them. I was petrified when I stood in the corral before the Warrior Dash. I’m incredibly proud of myself for even showing up on those days and trying, even if I wasn’t the fastest one there.

I laughed at the text. Why would I willingly run that much? Sparkly encouragement signs? That’s a little bit more my speed (pun not intended). But, again, here we are with something that scares me to death. Really, it’s the fear of failure that scares me more than the potential blisters, but it’s fear nonetheless.

So I signed up. Yeah. I’ve never run more than 3 miles at a time, and that was only because it was for a grade. I’ve thought about it, buuuuuttttt…. I’m too out of shape, I’m too tired, I’m too fat, etc. You know the excuses. Therefore, I am going to start attending a running class on Thursday mornings to train and will continue to cross train with swimming. Currently, I’m at a total of 6 miles for the year, but am going to return to swimming on a more regular basis soon.

I have almost 6 months before race day. I’m counting on the fact that I’ve already paid and I have people who witnessed it to keep me motivated. And the fact that since going gluten free my joints haven’t left me in nightly pain and I’ve lost the first pounds in two years. So there’s always that 🙂  I’m not excited yet, in case you were wondering. Give me a few weeks, ok?

Mighty Mommy Monday – App style

It’s Mighty Mommy Monday! Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter and I have decided to challenge you on a weekly basis.  Claim the Mighty Mommy title for yourself — every day, not just Mondays. Every week, we’ll host a link up for you to tell us what you’re doing to take care of your health: workouts, menu plans, how to keep your family active, etc. I’ve set a few goals for 2014, but my biggest is to swim a total of 30 freestyle miles this year. Join us!

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! What are you doing tonight? We are headed to a party… first one in 5 years, so you know… big times for us. BUT, just because I’m going to be out and having a grand time, it doesn’t mean that my dietary plans are going to be derailed. I rejoined MyFitnessPal last week and have really been enjoying monitoring my food intake.

Enjoy? Yes, enjoy. If you have trouble with controlling your every bite or stressing out about your calories, this might not be the best app for you. I, however, like it because of how it breaks down your food into fats, proteins, carbs, etc. Since I’ve been ascribing to a diet that is more paleo in structure, I’m watching to make sure I am getting enough proteins and fats. According to this program, I can have almost 2100 calories a day, but at this point, I have yet to exceed 1460 calories. In the book Practical Paleo, they recommend women beginning their day with at least 20g of protein and personally, I’m still struggling to even meet 10g!

I’m a busy person, always buzzing around the house and working on some project or another, so for me, tracking my food intake is a great reminder to make the foods I ingest worthwhile. Prior to being gluten free, I didn’t realize how often I was guilty of mindless eating all the carbs. I didn’t realize how when I had a crummy day or was bored or lonely or frustrated, I pulled a box of crackers out of the cupboard or smeared cream cheese on a mini bagel. I didn’t consider that in a given day, I ate bread products at every meal, plus for a snack(s).

And besides all that, I just like to organize and make lists 🙂 Strategy for tonight’s party? I will eat before I go. I am bringing gluten-free Irish Soda Bread as our contribution to the food, but I cannot be sure of the ingredients in the other foods, so I’m going to protect against being anxious (party = waaaaayyyy too much social anxiety) and hungry and making crummy food choices. An apple and almond butter will be my pre-party food. I’m not a fan of beer, so I won’t be drinking my calories either.

So now it’s your turn. How you make wise food choices on party days? Do you keep track of your food intake, exercise routines, calories in general? What are your favorite fitness apps?

Oh!  And check out this fun and fast workout by Pumps and Iron today!


Snow day comforts

Yesterday morning when I left for the chiropractor, it was barely sprinkling and yet the forecast called for ice and anywhere from 3-10 inches of snow. Yeah right. The wind was warm and nonthreatening. I dressed Liam for school, got his bag packed and then set about my chores. I was in the basement when I sounded like someone was trying to break into the window. But it was just ice.

That nonthreatening wind? It brought ice. And almost no snow. I was incredibly disappointed… I like it when winter gives us one last hurrah of blizzardy weather, just one final blast before I break out the flip flops. I did not get my epic blast of snow, but man alive, the ice was scary! PreK was cancelled and we got to stay home.

Snow days look like this in our home: blocks, batman moving next door to the squirrel family, snacks, movie, coloring and me piecing as quickly as I can while the kids are occupied.

Because of the whole avoid-gluten-like-the-plague thing, I started buying gluten free pasta, which is fine, but I also realized that we were way too dependent of pasta as our starch. And although I am finding great substitutes I still like my pastas… So once a week I’m scheduling it into our menu because there’s no sense in deprivation, right?

Anyway, last night was the perfect opportunity for comforting pasta. I’m learning to like Alfredo sauce, especially when it’s loaded with veggies. I used what was in my fridge to make the dish colorful, so don’t be shy changing up what you add to it… The best part about making your own food is that you can truly make it your own, so don’t be shy!!

Confetti Chicken Pasta
– 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, cut up into small pieces (I used leftover roast chicken)
– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– 3 cups chopped veggies (my choices? Peppers, onions, peas and carrots)
– Alfredo sauce (one full recipe or one jar of store bought)
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– olive oil to sauté
– 1 lb pasta

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add your veggies. Sauté until they are tender and then add in the garlic. At this point, turn your heat down to a simmer and add in the Greek yogurt and chicken. Heat through while you make your Alfredo sauce. When the Alfredo sauce is done, pour it into the chicken and veggie mixture and start cooking your pasta. Drain the pasta and serve hot with the sauce mixture.

In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed changes in my body’s response to food as I eliminated my usual flours and pastas. Instead of being hungry every hour or so, I am finding that I’m only hungry while I am preparing our meals… It’s as though my stomach is actually satisfied… Huh. My mother would be so proud.

Mighty Mommy Monday – Avocado edition

It’s Mighty Mommy Monday! Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter and I have decided to challenge you on a weekly basis.  Claim the Mighty Mommy title for yourself — every day, not just Mondays. Every week, we’ll host a link up for you to tell us what you’re doing to take care of your health: workouts, menu plans, how to keep your family active, etc. I’ve set a few goals for 2014, but my biggest is to swim a total of 30 freestyle miles this year. Join us!

 

Now personally, I’m not a fan of avocados. I don’t eat them any other way than in this snack. I know they are so, so, so good for you, but I cannot get past the texture. However, when blended with a tart, crisp apple, it serves as a creamy addition to raw applesauce. This is a quick and easy snack that will fill you up through the afternoon and give you plenty of beneficial fats. Which, I’m learning the further I get into the book, Grain Brain, are very important for the health and function of your brain!.

So here we go: 1 ripe avocado, 2 apples, 2 Tbsp honey, 1 pear per person served and cinnamon. Cut up your avocado (this post has great instructions if you’ve never encountered one) and place it into a food processor with the 2 apples. I peel the apples, but you can do as you wish. Add in the honey and process until smooth(ish). Chop up the pear and spoon your avocado mix over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Eat right away, it will turn brown if you forget about it. (Brown is ugly, but doesn’t impact the flavor in case it ever happens to you.) 

I’m making an effort to share this recipe so that I would be reminded again why I loved this as a child. My mom used to make it as a breakfast option it is truly very filling. I’m having to make some adjustments to my workout routines as I’ve learned more about how to get and keep my thyroid in proper working order, and as I mentioned above, I’m reading literature about our diets again. Did you know that your brain is dependent on fats to function? And that research is showing more and more a connection between those people who ascribe to a high-carb, low-fat diet and dementia? Makes me want to go hug my ghee!

Tell me, are there any ways you like to incorporate avocado into your diet? 



Waving farewell – to my beloved gluten

Over the years, this blog has seen a lot of food changes. Back in 2007, I’d been married less than a year and needed to learn how to cook the basic foods. So I blogged about it. Then, because I’m a reader and really prefer information to fiction, I read a few books on local eating. And my goodness, it appealed to every single fiber in my body. Because, you know, as a child, I wanted to be a homesteader.

So during this time, I learned how to can and preserve my food. I had garden space all over the yard. I got pregnant and am not going to lie: having food cravings that were further than 100 miles away?  It did not go well. And let me tell you… cantaloupe was ALL I wanted come February 2009. After Liam was born, I settled into a food rut. The rut continued, with a brief trip down the comfort food lane while pregnant with Sylvi. But then, you see, Liam had more and more trouble with textures and what seemed like routine meals became a set series of meals in a rotation so I could pretend our child wasn’t struggling.

In the last two years, we’ve been working with Liam through occupational therapy and although the therapist kept telling me I needed to work more at home, I just couldn’t. Sitting at the table with a little boy who needs to be encouraged to swallow the food in his mouth, it’s exhausting. I gave up and served the shapes of pasta that didn’t take him hours to chew and swallow.

Now imagine my horror when last week my doctor looked me in the eye and said “Less grains, Laura, less grains.” She then said that my health issues were either the result of my thyroid bottoming out or lupus. So. Gluten free it is. And as Dr. House has “proven” time and again, it’s never lupus. Nope.

So now? Now I have to start adapting all my recipes, learning to use gluten-free flours and pastas and most of all, I need to expand my horizons once again. And I need to expand the experiences of my little boy. In the last 10 days, we’ve eaten a very grain-light, gluten-free diet. It’s hard for him. While the other three in our home are enjoying the variety and the almost-three-year-old is stealing all the broccoli out of the serving dish before I can even sit down, my little guy is slowly, but surely being forced into more and more variety.

So what does that mean for this blog? Weeellll… I guess I’ll have some recipes to post again! Ha! But seriously. When you don’t stray from a rotation of 10 meals, there isn’t much to share. I ordered several new cookbooks and am excited to try more gluten-free, paleo type meals. I didn’t realize how much I relied on breads and crackers to fill my belly until I couldn’t any more! And with the extraction of gluten from my diet, the joints that have often swollen and been so painful by the time I went to bed that I could only limp around, have seen a dramatic change. As I’ve done more research into the adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism, I’m learning that I also need to adjust my workouts, so as to not place additional stress on my body. Funny. All these years, I’ve been working so hard and it’s just done more damage!

Tomorrow you’ll get a post about one of my absolute favorite vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo snacks to kick off the week! Now… if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out what side I’m going to serve with the glorious Maple Dijon Chicken that’s roasting away in my kitchen. But don’t worry… the pug is really enjoying all these changes. Really. A lot. 🙂

Work in Progress Wednesday – Confetti

It’s almost embarrassing how many plans I’ve already made for the year. I know of 6 babies due before school starts in the fall, so I’m planning ahead with great enthusiasm. At this point, I have enough fabric to make 6 baby quilts, 1 queen sized and 1 twin sized. But you know what? Once I finish one, I feel such a let down. Yes, yes, I created something and it’s beautiful… but what now? I like to always have something to look forward to!

I just finished my nephew’s quilt and was working on his twin sister’s quilt top when I realized I hated the backing I had originally chosen from my stash. So I ordered material from fabric.com and it should be here tomorrow, so that’s on my list to finish over the weekend. Hopefully.

But with her top finished (and absolutely unnecessarily difficult to piece) I sat back and wondered if I should start another baby quilt or do something for myself. As I type this, a light snow is falling and although it looks so dreary out, I’m aware that spring is actually coming and I’ll have to put away my Winter’s Lane quilt. So I cracked open the wrapper on my beautiful Wishes bundle and started a cheery quilt using Sweetwater’s pattern Confetti.

Lots of ironing and piecing in this project, so I’m taking the time that I have and trying to maximize it. I’m hoping to have this done before the end of the month as then I’ll really need to buckle down and start working on Easter outfits!