Posted in Baby Girl, Fitness, Life + Living, Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

1 year update: Cliffnotes

The last year has been a whirlwind. It seems like we were just putting up streamers for Little Elfkin’s first birthday, and here we are planning out the party for her second birthday. (Spoiler: it’s Moana themed.)

What’s Changed: 

Little Elfkin has gotten bigger, braver, and much sassier. She has come to the point where she says “NO,” I say “YES!” and she says “FINE.” Teen years are coming earlier and earlier…

I quit my job. No, really. It was a joy working with my customers, but my boss threw me under the bus one-too-many times and I just couldn’t take it anymore. There seemed to be a lot of systemic issues with the business overall, though. It turned into a toxic environment where crying was expected and stress levels were notoriously and consistently high. No one wants that.

I found a new job. I spent 3 months looking for my next career and landed in the tech industry. I’m still getting to know the new business, but I feel like it’s going to be a good fit. It was a little bit of culture shock coming from a super-corporate office into a tech company because the atmosphere is so much more relaxed–but that is part of why it’s so great. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Our health as a family has changed a lot this year. My weight has changed. I had another miscarriage, but haven’t lost the weight that came with the pregnancy yet. Hubs has some things we’re sorting out and combined, it’s really motivating us to get in shape. We both have FitBits now, I re-joined Weight Watchers and I attend an HIIT class every week at Orange Theory Fitness. 

What do I hope to accomplish with this blog?

I really don’t know. I’m on Facebook less and less these days, and on Instagram more, but I just haven’t found a great outlet for connecting with people who want fitness and wellness. I am hoping that by writing here, I’ll be more accountable again and get healthy enough to start reaching other goals.  I’ll flesh out a plan later on but I think that’s as good a place as any to start. At a minimum, I hope to write at least weekly.

 

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Posted in Food, Menu Planning

Menu planning vs menu doing

It all starts with a nice solid plan. You know? You take the inspiration from cookbooks, Pinterest, fitness blogs, Facebook, Instagram, or what have you. You put pen to paper, stylus to screen, or fingers to keyboard and you’re off! Meatless Monday,  Tenderloin Tuesday, leftovers Wednesday, chicken Thursday, pizza Friday, tacos Saturday, and Sunday you do it all over again! At least,  that’s the plan. 

This week, I got pretty far, actually. I made the menu, made the corresponding grocery list, bought said groceries, and boiled the eggs. Then,  well. 

Randowis

Little Elfkin started getting sick.  Like,  both of us missed work, worked from home, and kept her out of daycare for days kind of sick. I managed to boil a couple eggs, but really, the majority of my time was spent trying to make her comfortable and watch for changes. 

We were supposed to have a paleo breakfast bake for this week’s breakfasts. We ate a lot of cereal and/or bought breakfast on the way to the office while the other parent stayed home. 

Side note: Affogato Strada Espresso is delicious. 

*weak stomach warming, skip this paragraph*

Ohhh Roseola. Not fun.  SO not fun. The thought of cooking goes right out the window when your little one is burning up,  throwing up, and refusing to eat. Her fever got so bad at one point that it caused her to throw up, even though she hadn’t eaten anything.  Poor dear. Poor Jeff, too! She got him completely and stunned him.. that didn’t stop the process, though, so she also got the floor, the changing table, and my foot. All Jeff could say was “it’s HOT.”

103.8

So, off to the ER we went, where they told us that “sometimes, sick kids throw up.” …real insightful. 

All this to say: the menu was planned, but the menu was not done. The thing is, life will always be busy and hectic and in the way. I know how to not go completely off the rails, though! Some of it is planning ahead, yes, but more of it is sticking to my plan even when nothing else does. For example, when we had Jersey Mikes, I got a “sub in a tub,” and saved about 300 calories. When having pizza, I loaded it with veggies and split half with Jeff, even though it’s a personal pizza. At the gas station, I tried to pick snacks and meals that fit into my day by checking it on My Fitness Pal (sn: Aminarra) first and making a decision based on that. 

Now, if you open my refrigerator, you’ll find cherries that have gone soft, avocado that’s seen better days, and iceberg lettuce turning yellow instead of pale green.

This week’s plan is to salvage what I can and go from there. It’s always a bit grating to waste food, so we’ve learned to live with wrinkly peppers and to adjust our expectations. The plan is much simpler this time around. Oatmeal for breakfasts, batch cooked chicken for dinner, and either salad or sandwiches for lunch. I picked up some fruit at the grocery store because whole food is fast food. This is a plan I can stick to even if life goes crazy again. It’s not easy, but is doable. So just do it. 

Posted in Food, New Food, Recipe

Paleo Pumpkin Pecan Porridge 

With honey, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. 

Originally, this was going to be a recipe from Practical Paleo, but then I realized that I was missing some very key ingredients like tahini and coconut, and I had an extra ingredient: pecans. 

I used that recipe as the inspiration for this one and it was lovely. 

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1/4 cup pecans, pulverized
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/4 cup raisins 
  • Honey to taste

Are you ready for the hard part? Put it all in a pot, mix it up, then heat to your desired temperature. Easy as that!

Here, I garnished it with a whole pecan, a cluster of raisins, and a swirl of honey. 

Posted in Challenge, Fitness, Life + Living

Level up with loot!

This is not a sponsored post. It’s also about a month old because I never hit “publish” lol..

————

I’ve been chugging along for 2 months to the day,  back on the wagon.  I took my weights and measures today to see how I did and the results were less than stellar. 

In case you can’t read my chicken scratch,  I summarized the results by saying that the difference could just be in the way the measurements are taken. There is no concrete change one way or another. 

I’m motivated to keep going. Despite the heat,  I’m still jazzed about Pokémon GO. Earlier this week,  I walked for 2.5 miles just to hit up a pokemon gym. 

I don’t even walk that far to the regular gym. Of course,  that’s because I quit my membership,  but still.  Hahaha 😁

My most consistent work out has been playing with Little Elfkin. We go for walks,  which is great for my core because in bent over holding her little hands. I rough house,  which is great for lats and traps because I throw her into the air and catch her multiple times daily. 

To keep the motivation going,  I’ve developed a Loot List:

  1. Trip to Target (something from the One Spot)
  2. New nail Polish
  3. New book
  4. Fun pens
  5. New t-shirt
  6. ???

I’m just weeks away from my first big loot, which is the shirt featured at the top of this post. Active Apparel might just be a new go-to for big loot at the end of challenges. I already ordered the shirt and even received it, but I’m saving it up as a reward for a 4 week nerd fitness challenge or something similar. I see the package daily and really want to earn it. 

Posted in Food, Menu Planning

A quick reflection on menu planning

In talking to a friend tonight I realised that,  not only had I not blogged in a while,  but I hadn’t planned a menu in a while either.  We’ve been experimenting, in my house,  with buying meat in bulk but buying produce daily. This has added up to an empty fridge,  frozen meat, and an increase in reliance on fast and processed foods. I think this is because our time always seems pressed during the week.  We’re rushing to work,  rushing to get Little Elfkin from day care,  rushing to get home to feed her, making sure to nourish her mind and her body with story time,  play time, bath time, and bed. Honestly,  by the time she conks out, I’m ready to pass out too! I’m cutting into my sleep time to make this menu and reflect: menu planning would be so much easier if you didn’t also have to make the grocery list, buy the ingredients, and actually cook. 

I’m going to try to find time for:

  • Swirly Crustless Quiche 
  • Pumpkin pancakes
  • Grain free porridge
  • Salmon
  • Mustard glazed chicken thighs
  • Zucchini pancakes
  • Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps
  • Sweet potato and apple soup
  • Sage roasted turkey legs
  • Spaghetti squash bolognese
  • Bacon wrapped smoky chicken
  • Sausage and pepper stew
  • Turkey meatballs and squash

Now,  this is a ton of food, so I will disclaim this: not all of it will be made,  but what is made will be eaten and not wasted. For me,  menu planning is mostly a suggestion,  not a concrete agreement. 

What’s on your menu? Do you have a go-to meal plan?

Posted in Uncategorized

Stop before you Pokémon GO 

I’m there.  I’m not just *on* the bandwagon…I’m one of those people who said “hey,  let’s get the band back together!” Haha

Let’s talk Pokémon GO. It’s an augmented reality mobile game that lets you catch Pokémon and then use them to battle and train at gyms with trading Pokémon anticipated for future releases.  “Augmented Reality” (in this case) means that the game relies on your location and camera to simulate having Pokémon in your environment–and the type of Pokémon that appear are largely dependent on said environment with grass types in grass,  water types near water,  fire types out on hot days,  and electric types…. well, I’ve only ever caught one so…mystery remains. Or,  you can Google it.  

The thing I am loving about this game is that it combines so many of my hobbies. 

  • Going for walks
  • Playing video games
  • Instant gratification
  • Taking pictures 
  • Sharing on social media

The instant gratification is what makes this game so addicting to me. Often,  when I’m out catching Pokémon I’ll think to myself “oh, if I just go a little further I can hit that Pokéstop.”

My weekend steps have easily tripled in the pursuit of Pokémon. Not only that,  but I’ve integrated the local Pokéstop into a workout routine that’s easily repeatable. 

Clockwise from top left: (modified) burpees,  run to Pokéstop,  (modified) push ups,  body weight squats.  

Sure,  it’s only 4 moves, but it’s 4 moves that I wouldn’t have been doing had I not wanted to collect items from the Pokéstop. 

 There are plenty of opportunities to combine Pokémon with community service as well:

  • Taking a bag on walks to clean up the neighborhood 
  • Partnering with a local shelter to walk dogs
  • Partnering with a virtual shelter to turn miles into money for local shelters
  • Getting to know your neighbors

Now,  before I forget and leave it out altogether–if you’re going to play Pokémon GO, please be safe! Travel or play with friends. Don’t trust every stranger. Don’t play while driving!! It’s so tempting to just cruise and catch,  but that’s not the point and it’s dangerous to boot. 

Now, get out there and catch some fun. 😊