Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Dec 20-- Year in Review

First off I want to say thank you to all of my M sistas for their constant support and encouragement. I know I would not be where I am today in my weight loss journey w/o your support.

Last year about this time I decided it was time for a change. I had reached an all time high with my weight and I was so miserable. I was unhappy with where my life was and with how I felt. I knew I had to get serious about getting healthy. So I started making changes and trying to get more serious about getting healthy. I weighed in at 172 at my very highest. January, February, March all went by and I was doing little things trying to make a change but I wasn't seeing much change. I was getting more active than I had in the past but I wasn't trying like I needed to. Then in April I finally started looking into this mv thing I kept hearing about from Lori and Lisa (I love those 2). And I was watching them both working so hard to get healthy. I knew that I had to give it a shot.

So in May I posted my first mv Monday post and joined the sistahood! I can't believe the changes I have made since then. I have lost 14 lbs and several inches (I can't find my original measurements from last Jan at the moment). I got a gym membership and I actually use it, lol, we are incorporating more clean eating into our diet and cutting out most processed foods. Last week I weighed in at 158, I would have weighed in today but I forgot first thing this morning and by the time I remembered I had just eaten breakfast-maybe I will think to update this tomorrow morning.

I have done so many new things this year like getting a Wii and a new bicycle (I hadn't owned one in probably 20 years).

So thank you all for your love and support!

I also want to thank our sponsor this week and thank all the other mv sponsors like Chef's requested, Earth Footwear, EA Sports Active.

Congrats to everyone who has been kicking tail and getting fit! You all inspire me to keep going. I hope you all have a very Blessed Christmas and that this Holiday season brings you lots of Love and Joy. I will probably be off the radar for a couple weeks w/ the holidays but I will be back in action at the beginning of the year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Dec 6th

AHHHH Less than 20 days til Christmas. That always stresses me out a bit. I am pretty close to being done w/ my shopping but I haven't even started wrapping yet. And I always worry that I have missed an important gift for one of the girls or got more for one than another, no matter how hard I try to keep track of it all. It always works out fine but I stress about it anyway.

Stress during the holiday season is so common. I am excited to hear from our guest tonight and learn more about yoga. I have never quite gotten the hang of it all but I can totally see the benefits and how it could be good for my whole family. Life has been pretty stressful for us all this year and I think finding an activity like yoga that we can all do might be just what we need. And since it is so cold outside right now, finding something we can do inside is also a plus. Thank you Christine Ristuccia for being our guest on MvTV tonight. She has created Learn With Yoga and some ABC of Yoga cards that even the kids can do and enjoy. Yoga is supposed to be a great for your body and your mind.

Congrats again to Shelley and Rachel for finishing up their time as Mv Mom's you both really kicked some tail and I was so impressed by your before and after pics that I am considering another go at it. We will see, not committing fully but I know I need to decide quickly if I am going to do it.

Congrats also to Megan (@mnmspecial) for being chosen as our Sista of the Week.

Thank you to Earth footwear for your constant love and support for mv.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday Nov 29

Why can't I seem to stay well these days. Last Sunday I had a stomach virus and on Thursday I started getting a cold/upper respiratory junk. My head is still somewhat congested but mostly my throat is dry and hacky. I am sick of being sick. Welcome to fall in Missouri. :(

I started out the week feeling hopeful that there was lots of gym time in my future (the kids were with their dad over the holiday weekend). I did get in some gym time, but with the cold I didn't get there as much as I had hoped. I hate working out when I am stuffy headed and got a runny nose, I spend more time holding a tissue to my nose than working out. Plus it is just uncomfortable to breathe.

I had hoped that some of the weight loss I saw last week would stick but unfortunately it did not. I am at 160 which is down one pound from where I was before I got sick.

So once again I am whining about being sick and frustrated.

On a good note I won a chance to talk w/ Mr Pete Cohen sometime in the future. I am not sure how that is supposed to work but it was for getting my cardio minutes in.

I know all this crumminess is temporary and I am going to keep chugging along. I am drinking my hot tea w/ lemon and honey to kick this sore throat and I hope to be back to normal in a couple days (what is normal anyway).

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Nov 22

I am keeping this short and sweet because I have been sick with a stomach bug for the last 24+ hours. today it is brown rice and water for me, maybe some applesauce and yogurt if I think I can handle it.

I wish I could say I lost 5 lbs this week for all my hard work but I think it is dehydration and sickness so I don't think it counts. I hope to have a more accurate number next week.

I hope to stay up for tonights mv tv, it sounds like another great night. I would love to see Billy Blanks Jr.

Thank you Subway for supporting mv and for the Commit 2 Fit challenge program. It has really inspired me to keep moving forward in my journey to being healthier and fit. My goal is to do a bike race in the spring. This week (before I got sick) I spent over 150 minutes working toward my goal and sweating it out. :) I hope next week will be even better if I can get my energy back.

Congrats to Heather for being picked as the mv sista of the week again. You are totally deserving and such an inspiring person.

what do you eat after you have had a stomach bug?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Nov 15 No Excuses

I am tired of feeling blah and run down again. And I know why I feel the way I do. BAD EATING and LACK OF EXERCISE. I can make excuses all day for all of it and none of them are good, so I won't bore you with all that.

I weighed in today and I am at 161 that means I am heading the wrong way on the scale. I could blame it on the fact that I started my period but lets be honest and know that isn't the only problem.

So what am I going to do about it. Well I started yesterday by throwing out a bunch of stuff that managed to sneak into my house. CAKE for my daughters birthday, biscuits, muffins and some other items that don't need to be here. I am also restocking my pantry. I got lazy w/ cooking and bought some convenience food and then realized how terrible that stuff can make you feel if you haven't been eating it like you used to. WOW if that won't convince you how bad some of that stuff can be I don't know what will.

I have been having a lot of bloating and upset stomach lately and I know it is all diet related. So back to fresh food and low processed items. I will be feeling better in no time. Today I am kicking it off w/ a meatless Monday dinner. Putting beans in the crockpot and we are having burritos (bean cheese and brown rice) for dinner.

I will get moving in the right direction again. I did it before and I can do it now.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Is it over yet?? AHHHH Monday

Why does it seem that just when I start getting back on track life gets busy or someone gets sick. AHHHH Calgon take me away.

So I missed my post last week, just too much to do and not enough time. I missed Mv TV and have been pretty quiet this week. Seriously just lacking time to sit down and do this stuff. I need an extra 4 hours in a day I think.

I did manage to get to the gym 2 times this week well 3 if you count the failed attempt one day, of course one day when I actually paid for childcare at the gym. I was in the gym and ready to work out, my sis was supposed to have a rehab appt that got screwed up. So we ended up leaving because she was in pain and upset. I felt really bad for her and it was one time when I had to help take care of my big sis, and I was glad I was there for her. She hurt her ankle over a month ago and it swells and is very painful and all she has gotten for treatment is the run-around. So frustrated for her.

More running this week. My Sammie is turing 9 on Sunday and we have a big party planned Sat. So I have lots to do to get ready for that. With Halloween last night we have been busy this weekend and I am glad that is over and will be glad when this weekend is over too. I am ready for fall and for craft fairs. :) We have a big weekend of them the week of deer season. So the men folk deer hunt and women folk craft hunt. haha

Speaking of Halloween, I have to tell you our plan for the candy. I am really excited and so are my kids. Our dentist office is going to take their extra candy and buy it from them, $1 a pound up to $5. So happy to get rid of it and my kids are happy to get some money for it. So it is a win win for all.

I hope everyone has a great week. Rachel and Shelly I can't wait to see you on Mv TV tonight, I haven't been keeping up with the 2 of you very well but I know you are both going to do an awesome job. Congrats to our Sista of the week, Lorrie cuteangel79. You are such a sweet heart and I love chatting w/ you.

Thank you Subway for supporting Mv! We love ya around this house Subway is our go-to "fastfood" these days and my girls all have there special sammie. Good luck to Jared in the NYC ING Marathon. Its on my Sammie's B-day so I know you will do great!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday TWITTER PAR_TAY!!!

Twitter party is just over an hour away. I wasn't going to even write a post today because I was a little frustrated this morning but things make more sense now. I'll explain.

I worked my butt off this week and really worked hard to eat better and just be more aware of what I ate and how much. It was a really good week in my eyes. I stepped on the scale this morning and was so disappointed that I saw the same number I saw last week (159 if anyone cares). I was bummed. So I thought "eh, its the twitter party day I will just skip my post this week. No biggie" I wasn't going to weigh in this week but I just wanted to see if the work I had been doing was enough.

Well fast forward to this afternoon when and unexpected visitor shows up. You know her, I am sure she is a regular at your house too. That made me realize that my weight may be her fault. ;) So now I don't feel so bad.

This week I plan on keeping with the program. Now that I am getting more comfortable w/ my kettlebell I want to start extending the workout because I am quickly falling in love with it. I have several meeting and stuff going on this week so I am not sure how I will get to the gym but I have the kettlebell and my treadmill to keep me moving at home.

I have a rough menu plan worked out for the week. I like to just kind of plan and then let they days fall how they may, but I at least have a stack of meals ideas ready for the week and lots of fruits and veggies to snack on. Oh and the water. It isn't my friend yet, but we are doing better.

Good luck to all the Finalist tonight, the stressful wait is almost over and the Move It and Lose it challenge is underway, so everyone should be busy bustin' their butts for it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm BACK!! Monday

(You know you are addicted to twitter when you start to write #mv for you blog title. lol)

Anyway, maybe you are thinking "why I'm back?" Last week I said I was ready to RE-commit to Fit and this week I feel myself getting back into a good groove. It is so inspiring to me to see people like Jared and Leah saying "hey I need to get back to where I need to be." I have struggled for a few weeks to figure out how to balance being a work at home mom and getting to the gym. This week I have just decided that gym time HAS to be a priority and I WILL make it work.

To show my commitment I am also going to start weighing in every other week, and that starts today. I haven't weighed in for some time and I had a feeling I wasn't going to like what I saw but I did it anyway. I am at 159 (up 4 lbs from 155). I wasn't eating right, snacking too much and making bad choices along with not working out like I should. I EARNED that gain and now it is time to EARN my Loss.

Yesterday I did my first Kettlebell work out and WHOA was it great! I feel it in my back and inner thighs today, that is a GOOD feeling.I am not sure if Kettlebell workouts count as cardio but MAN Do they make you sweat. lol Today I got to the gym early (5:20 and did 25 min of cardio and 35 min of cardio weight training). I call it cardio weight training because I am already hot from my treadmill time and boy do I sweat more during my weight training time. Plus I really try to do the movements quickly (but safely don't get me wrong) I don't take breaks between sets and I try to keep my heart rate up.

I am getting back to menu planning and semi-journaling. I am not very good at either but I can see that I need to hold myself more accountable during the day. So I am making the effort.

Definitely working to get more water in during the day, and doing pretty good with that most days.

Congrats to all the sistas applying to the mv mom campaign. It is tough to sit (wait I hope you aren't just sitting around there is no time for that) and wait to see who will be a finalist and then the final 2 but you all deserve the spot and I can't wait to see how you do. And then get to watch the rest you all kick booty in the Move It and Lose It challenge. Congrats also to Amanda @beeacutie2. She is such a doll and so sweet always having positive things to say to everyone.

Monday, October 4, 2010

(Re)Commit 2 Fit Monday

It must be going around, lots of people losing their motivation for working out and staying fit. Thankfully we have each other to help remind us that it is ok but we need to get back to work and refocus. And that is what I am trying to do. I have had a few not so great weeks but now I am ready to get back at it. I am getting my eating back on track and making more effort to get some movement in my days. It is hard since I care of children other than my own in my house, but if I try hard I can find the time to do it. I just need to make myself.

I am in good company. Jared (from Subway) and are recommitting to their fitness goals too. Jared and Subway have started a new Commit to Fit Campaign to help others get on track with their fitness goals. Keep watching Lisa and Rachel_L blogs for great giveaways as part of the Commit to Fit campaign. And watch for the #commit2fit hashtag on twitter.

So this week my goals are:

1. Drink 60-70 oz of water a day.

2. Find healthy and fresh snacks when I get the munchies.

3. Try to get to the gym 3 days this week. And on the other days try to spend time on my treadmill or w/ a workout video.

Are you ready to commit to fit?? I hope so. :)

Congrats to Momma_oz for being Sista of the week. And good luck to all the moms applying to be the next 2 Mv Mom's. You all deserve it and I can't wait to follow your progress in the up coming weeks.

For those feeling the cool weather coming on here is a Great Vegetarian Chili I HIGHLY recommend. I made this the other day and it is yummy. Be warned it is pretty spicy so cut back on the chili powder and omit the cayenne if you don't like it too spicy.

Emeril's Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
* 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
* 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
* 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
* 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 tablespooon ground cumin
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
* 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
* 3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 cup vegetable stock, or water
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* Cooked brown rice, accompaniment
* Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, garnish
* Diced avocado, garnish
* Essence, recipe follows, garnish
* Chopped green onions, garnish

Directions

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Essence and green onions and serve.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sept 27 Monday

Gotta make it quick this week. I've got a little one sick w/ a tummy bug.

I am still struggling to get a routine w/ the daycare kids. They are 2 2yos and one has a broken arm, so we can't do much recreation out side right now. I think I am going to just start paying for them to all go to the daycare room at my gym, that just gets expensive w/ 3 going at one time. But I need to get back to moving.

Eating has been a bit of a struggle and it is my fault for not planning. We have just been so busy in the evenings. So I need to really consider that when planning meals and I need to make my crockpot do the work. It hasnt' been terrible but I definitely can see where it could be better.

I am so excited for Pete Cohen to be joining us again tonight. He has so many good things to say that I can never get enough of him. I am definitely in need of some new inspiration and motivation so I hope this weeks M TV is just the kick in the pants I need.

Good luck to all the m applicants this round. I would love to apply again, but I can already see that I won't beable to give my full focus on the campaign. I am excited to support you all through this campaign. Good luck everyone!!

Congrats to our Sista of the week Joanna of @way2gomom!! She has jumped right into her roll in the sistahood clearing up food myths and setting us straight about food. I enjoy having twitter convo's with her and she always has something encouraging to say.

I hope everyone has a great week, and I hope next week I can report back w/ more time and w/ a renewed commitment to getting fit. (Now if I could only find about 4 more hours in each day. lol)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where's the wagon? Monday Sept 20

I feel like I can't keep up with the wagon these days. I won't say I fell off but maybe it is dragging me behind it. I am trying to keep up but life has been busy and overwhelming. Doing home daycare is NOT conducive to a workout schedule. or at least it isn't for me. By the time the girls go home and my girls get home from school it is homework, dinner, baths and bedtime. And when that is over I am wiped out. I can't seem to find time in the day to get a workout in. I have a treadmill in the garage but w/ these littler kids in the house I can't get out there to use it. Without my gym time I have been less motivated to make healthier meals. I just feel like I am getting swallowed up in the day to day stuff around here.

I am excited though that my sister joined the gym I am a member of. She really needs it, she is very over weight and has trouble w/ swelling in her feet because of her extra weight. I can't wait to help her get to the gym and start shedding some of the weight that is making her miserable. I am working on her about her food choices too, slowly we will get her off soda and junk food and get her incorporating more fresh healthy choices.

She even said the other day that she thought about going to Subway for breakfast after her workout. Which is great since it is right next to the gym and they offer so many great (and healthy choices.) I am so excited that Subway is sponsoring this week's blogging carnival. AND they are taking , @ljenator and @Rachel_L to New York to help Jared train for a Marathon. Subway has supported m in different ways and I am so happy these ladies are getting this opprotunity. Follow the hashtags #commit2fit on twitter to hear all about what is going on. They will go to Central park to run on Tuesday.

Congrats to @PamelaMKramer for being sista of the week. I have been a terrible sista this week and barely been on twitter. But Pamela is always willing to support the sistas with encouragement. You rock!!

My goals this week is find ways to get in bits of exercise through the day. I know my body needs this and it helps my stress levels.

Get back to planning meals so I can make healthier choices. I have been doing last minute cooking which leads to less desireable food choices. When I plan my menu I do so much better because I don't have to think about what to make each day.

keep drinking plenty of water, I have been doing pretty good but can always do better.

I hope this week will be better than last, and I hope you have a great week too!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday

Well just when I feel like I am getting a handle on incorporating a healthy lifestyle into my life things get bumpy. Last week I was stressed w/ divorce stuff that actually went much better than I figured it would. Thank you everyone who prayed for me and keep me in your thoughts. It really means a lot to me. Just as I am getting back into a good workout schedule I get a call to start babysitting everyday full days. So there goes my workout plan (3 under 4 and no jogger). But I will figure it out, looks like I will be back to working out in the evening, not my favorite but gotta do what I gotta do.

Last week, blah, I don't even want to talk about food last week. Well ok, I will. My problem isn't what I eat it is how much. I was stressed and coming down from being stressed and I ATE LIKE CRAZY. There were times when I knew I wasn't hungry I just felt like eating, but by the end of the week I was getting things back in control.

I finally stepped back on the scale (I had to hide them for a good week) and I am surprised to see I am down a pound since I last weighed in a few weeks ago. So I am now at 154 which is a total of 17 pounds lost since joining ma.

My goals this week are:

1. get my workout schedule fixed.
2. Be better in tune w/ my hunger and find better things to do when I want to eat but I am not hungry.
3. keep drinking plenty of water (esp now that my allergies are acting up)

Thanks to Chef's Requested for once again sponsoring M and this weeks blogging carnival. You rock and your steaks are AWESOME. Finally found some at my local walmart, I got bacon wrapped filets (and removed the bacon.)

Congrats to Stephanie @fitmomtraining for being our Sista of the week. I have had some great tweets w/ her this week about working out at home w/o equipment and I am stoked to join the MamaGuns challenge. (I will ETA pics soon) These guns will be shining pretty soon! You are a great addition to the M Leadership and a great choice for SOTW!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How God is working and healing in my life

Recently a friend put me in touch with another one of her friends. M has recently separated from her husband and her situations is kind of similar to mine. Our mutual friend thought it would be good for both of us to have someone to talk to about what is going on in our lives and how losing our marriages is affecting us. I didn't feel I had much to offer in the "mentorship" arena but figured it would be nice to talk to a fellow Christian about how this sad time in our life is changing us.

But God had a plan. He has used my time talking w/ M to help heal me and help guide her (I hope at least). For me the pain started over a year ago, but for M it has only been a few months. I am at a different stage in the process but our situations are so similar that I can't help but feel her pain and know where she is. I have been able to share how I got through and how I can now feel (dare I say it) happy with where my life is today. Did I want to get divorced and be a single mom? NO WAY, but it is where I am and I can choose to be sad about it or I can choose to make the best of it. And THAT is what I choose!

Here is an excerpt from an email I sent her today. I am not sure it "flows" with what I wrote above but I guess I just want to save it because I truly feel it was God inspired.

I know that he and I will never be back together. And I am ok with that. I am sad that our marriage is over because I never expected to be divorced but I can honestly say I don't think I could ever trust him enough to get back together with him. I was really nervous about going to the lawyer and signing documents but I was not sad at all. I tend to cry at the drop of a hat and I haven't cried at all. It almost seems weird to me, but I think I am past that stage of mourning my relationship with him. I am just ready to move past it all. I know you aren't there yet so it probably seems impossible to feel that way. I know I didn't ever expect to feel this way. I think I also feel this way because I know that God has a plan for me through all of this, he is going to turn this bad into something good for Him. Tuesday morning (before we signed papers) I was so nervous, but when I got home I found this verse (I don't even remember where now, maybe that website I sent you).
John 14:1 (NIV)
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

That verse was just what I needed Tuesday. And today, I am still so in awe of how God reassures me. My friend posted on her facebook page:
What is forgiveness? It's the ability to know down in your soul that you can now handle the pain that was caused you. It heals your heart, not theirs.

again, just what i needed today. I think I am moving into forgiveness and that is why I am not hurting from all the divorce stuff anymore. It is a process, it doesn't just happen. I am just at a point in the process where I can start forgiving and not hurting. You will get to that point too, down the road, and you will hurt less. I pray that for you.


And I figured I would share a little more about me and what my life is like in hopes that maybe it lifts up someone else. I know there are others out there hurting from something someone else has done and maybe my words God's words will touch someone else.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Does you Mom style get a little wrinkled?

I don't know about you but mine does. Some days I am so busy getting 3 girls dressed and out the door (maybe even brushing their hair as we do) that I often just grab something to wear and go. Ironing is something I only do on Sunday for church and only if it really needs it (thank goodness for more wash and wear clothing).

Well if you are like me then listen up! Electrolux and Kelly Rippa have teamed up to take the wrinkles out of our life and better yet to help support Ovarian Cancer Research. Check out http://kelly-confidential.com/ TODAY at 1pm EDT for the "Rumpled to Runway" fashion show. This fashion show will show how the Electrolux Perfect Steam can make any outfit Runway ready.

And their timing couldn't be better, September is Ovarian Cancer Research Awarness Month.

So every time you go to http://kelly-confidential.com besure to "Perfect Steam" a item and you will be donating to Ovarian cancer research.
In addition, every day you press the Perfect Steam™ button online to take your garments from rumpled to runway-ready, Electrolux will donate $1 to OCRF2, plus you'll be entered for a chance to win a shopping spree between $50 and $250 and the grand prize: a luxury washer and dryer from Electrolux3.

Fun for a good cause who can beat that, and you have a chance to win a washer dryer set from Electrolux!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Walk and Tone Coupon code

Some of you may have noticed the button on the side of my blog. You know the one one with the lady running. Well that is there for a reason. It is there to make it easy for you to purchase the Fitness Cheerleaders Walk and Tone audio workout.

Watch this week for a review and giveaway on this blog. But if you just can't wait, buy it now and remember at checkout to use the coupon code "LAUNCH" This will get you the workout for $1.99 (normally $2.99). What an inexpensive way to add some oomph to your workout.

(As and affiliate I earn $1.00 for every purchase made from the link on my site)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Labor Day Monday!

Is it Monday already? No it isn't it Sunday but I am getting a head start on things this week. Why? Because I can for a change, the girls are gone this weekend so I am catching up on lots of things. Like balancing my checkbook and cleaning my room. You know that stuff you put off because it is no fun but needs to be done. Yeah thats me. :) But that also means I have have more time on the weekend to do things I do like to do, like posting my Mv post!

Last week (someone)scolded me for saying I needed a break from the scale. But I didn't clarify that very well. I just have been putting too much stress on the numbers and have started letting it control how I feel about my day. I don't want the number to define me or control me. I know there will be ups and downs so I am going to only weigh in every couple of weeks or so, unless I start seeing the numbers go up too much. I feel like I am starting to get a good handle on what it takes to get my numbers to go down so I am trying to get away from the scale. I have been bad about peeking through the week an letting it get me down when I don't see what I like. I hope that makes sense.

I have a feeling my numbers are going to be off for the next few weeks. Some of you have seen my tweets about going to see the lawyer and stuff, that is to finalize my divorce. So I am a bit stressed and nervous about this. On one hand I am glad to be getting it over with but at the same time I am sad to have to deal with it. Some of my local friends have been here to help cheer me up and keep me busy during this stressful time and I appreciate them immensely. I also appreciate all the love my m sista's have shown me the last few days as well. Your virtual hugs are felt.

I took my stress out at the gym the other day and man have I felt it ever since. I must not have stretched well before or after and my calves and ankles have been SOOO SORE. so take that as a warning. Don't workout when you are stressed unless you stretch REALLY well. LOL But I did some running on the treadmill and didn't feel any shin pain, that was a plus.

I want to thank @ChefsRequested for sponsoring this weeks blogging carnival. I keep hoping my Walmart will start carrying these steaks, so until they do I am sans Chef's Requested. BUT I do follow them on facebook and if you do too you know this weekend they are running a promo that if you post a pic of you and a Chef's requested steak you get some for free. Besure to post your pics!

Congrats to Greta for being Sista of the week. She is a great motivator and truly deserving of the title!

I hope you all have a really great week. And if you think about it say a little prayer for peace for me on Tuesday. We sign papers that day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I need a Monday

I have to admit I have been lazy this week. Maybe I was taking a mini staycation I don't know but I slacked this week and I have been paying for it ever since. Here was the problem. I needed to go to the grocery store but 1 wasn't feeling it and 2 I have a little girl I babysit so getting to the store isn't as easy on those days. (There I did it I made my excuses). We were out of veggies (that is a good problem to have) and I didn't get to the store to get them, so we didn't eat very well this week. I ordered pizza one day and we ate that for leftovers the next day and we had a hectic weekend. I am proud to say that even though I wasn't making good food choices I didn't over eat. But needless to say I am paying for it today. I FEEL LIKE CRAP. I feel heavy and tired and sluggish and YUCKY! Oh and I forgot to mention the zit factor. I face is broke out today, I know it is the bad food trying to get out of my system

And my Gruve is mad at me too. I forgot it on Friday, then Sat I forgot it about half the day, and Sunday I spend so much time in church I don't get a green. So I haven't had a green day in 3 days. I think this is also contributing to my generally yucky feeling.

But it was a good learning lesson. I think I needed it because with my success in weight loss the last few weeks I felt like it was ok to slack off, but I am paying for it dearly now. I haven't wanted to work out so bad in my life. because I know moving is gonna help me shake off this yucky feeling. And I went grocery shopping this weekend and got some veggies again so this week will get on track.

I am also taking a break from the scale. I loved the mv campaign and the move it and lose it challenge but I don't want to become so obsessed with the numbers and I was getting to that point. I love to get a shout out but I think for now I will just weigh in maybe every other week, or when the urge strikes instead of every week. I am going to focus on healthy eating and being as active as possible. Its been working and I know it will continue to work even if I am not checking my weight every week.

I think I need to win this weeks blogging carnival after the week I had. This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by a protein and detox product. I have tried a few detox kits before but never could tell much difference. Some people swear by them so maybe I just didn't get the right thing. Plus I am notoriously terrible at remembering to do something every day for weeks on end, so remembering to take a bunch of pills is not my thing. Since these are shakes maybe I can actually pull this one off. LOL

So tell me what you like to do when you feel stuck in a fitness rut or not in the mood to cook or go grocery shopping. Maybe with some good tips I won't have another week like I did last week. :)

Congrats to Janice @fitcheerldr I just love her. I have been doing her Walk and Tone workout and I LOVE it! Watch for my review and giveaway soon. ;) ;)

Congrats again to Lisa and Jenny I loved watching you get tortured these last few weeks. HAHAHA No seriously I am extremely proud of you 2 and so happy to have had a chance to watch you transform. I look forward to following the rest of your journey!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Carrot Spaghetti

Carrot Spaghetti

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

3 medium carrots
2 small cloves garlic
1/4 of an onion, diced(I slice mine thin and cut the slices so the make "noodles too")
3 tablespoon olive oil or less or I used 1 tbs coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup of your favorite pasta sauce (I skipped this and opted to top it w/ Parmesan cheese)

Directions:

Wash the carrots well, especially if they are not organic. With a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long thing strips and sprinkle with salt. Finely dice the garlic and onion (if desired).

Coat the bottom of a large pan with the olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. When hot, add the carrots. Toss frequently (this works well with tongs). When the carrots start to soften, add the garlic and pepper (add onion here too if you like). Keep tossing for a couple of minutes until some of the carrots get brown around the edges (don't burn!) and the garlic is golden.

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce (tomato based, I really can't vouch for alfredo or other fancy sauces). Again I skipped this step and topped w/ parm cheese.

The nice thing is that it can be twirled with a fork the same way as regular pasta! Great if you're a carrot lover as I am.

Serves: 1

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recipes to share

Ever want to make hummus but can't find the tahini sauce, well here is a great recipe to try. I love it!

Hummus and baked pita chips


4 pita pockets, each cut into 4 wedges
Olive Oil cooking spray
salt and pepper

1 large clove of garlic (we have the kind already minced... I just use about a tablespoon and adjust from there)
1 can (15.5 oz) of garbanzo (chick peas) beans (I've only used rehydrated dried beans and they are wonderful)
3 tbs. sour cream (KEY INGREDIANT!)
3 tbs. lemon juice (it says fresh.. but I use the old crappy bottled kind)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cumin (another KEY ingredient)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

Put the pita slices on a cookie sheet, spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, mince garlic (if you use fresh) in the food processor. Add everythign else... but save the olive oil. Process until ALMOST smooth. With machine still running add the olive oil until mixture is smooth. Serve with the pita chips still warm...

This enchilada has become a favorite in our house.
Veggie Chicken Enchilada

1 large onion, chopped
1 med bell pepper chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 c red enchilada sauce
1 8 oz can of no salt tomato sauce
8 corn tortillas
2/3 c shredded lowfat Monterey jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Spray nonstick skillet w/ cooking spray. Add onion and cook 5 min over Med heat. Add pepper and zucchini and cook 5 more min. Stir in chicken, set aside. in a small bowl combine enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Soften tortillas in the microwave or on a warm skillet. Dip tortillas in sauce then place 2 tablespoons of mixture on one side. Roll up and place in 9x13 baking pan. Repeat w/ all tortillas. Pour remaining sauce over rolls. cover loosely w/ foil and back 20-25 min. remove cover and sprinkle w/ cheese, bake 5 more min to melt cheese.

Nutritional infor Cal 305, Carb 43, Protein 21g, Total Fat 7 g, Dietary fiber 7 g.

** I didn't have red enchilada sauce when I made this, I just used the green I had and didn't add the extra can or tomato sauce. And I used flour tortillas because that is what we like. VERY YUMMY!!

I had this last year at a church chili cookoff and it was great.
Veggie Chili

Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
* 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
* 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
* 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
* 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 tablespooon ground cumin
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
* 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
* 3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 cup vegetable stock, or water
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* Cooked brown rice, accompaniment
* Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, garnish
* Diced avocado, garnish
* Essence, recipe follows, garnish
* Chopped green onions, garnish

Directions

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Essence and green onions and serve.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

* 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Having a positive attitude! Monday

Being and staying positive is something I struggle with, but something I KNOW is very important. A positive attitude can totally change how a situation turns out. Trust me I know. After my husband left me last year I could have (and did for a while) sunk into a deep depression leaving my kids without a stable parent (Lord knows there dad wasn't being very stable for them at the time). But I knew that I had to keep it together for my kids and for myself if we were going to make it through such a bad situation. The days when I don't think positively are hard nasty days, but I have learned that I am in control of how my days feel by how I feel. As I lose weight I am finding that the same positive attitude that got me through my dark days last year is helping me shed major pounds this year.

When I first started my weight loss journey I did a lot of negative self talk. "I am not a self motivator," "I don't have much stamina for long workouts," "this exercise is too hard for me," etc. You get the picture and you have probably said some of those same things too from time to time. But as I saw that I could do (or almost do) some of the things I thought were too hard and the weight started coming off (and staying off) I became more positive about it. And you know what happened I LOST MORE WEIGHT! and it GOT EASIER!!!

I have been following Pete Cohen's program since he was on a few weeks ago and something he said clicked. Not because I hadn't heard it before but because I realized it was why I have finally been succeeding!
The most important thing to remember is that you get what you focus on. So focus on feeling good for no reason at all. Look for the positive things that you’re doing and give yourself some credit and you will achieve more.


So if you are stuggling yourself take Pete's advice:
We’re all human so we’ll all have challenges from time to time. So the next time you start to give yourself a hard time:* stop it.* talk politely to yourself….be gentle…..be nice.* give yourself some encouragement.* be kind to yourself.* be your own best friend.
Congrats to Shawnee @ShawneeH! Being Sista of the week is such an honor and you totally deserves it!


Another special thanks to Earth Footwear for sponsoring this weeks blogging carnival. You have been truely amazing to mamavation and we all love you!

This is the last week of the Move it and Lose it challenge and I am proud to finish strong! I started this challenge at 163.5 (166 the day I applied for M Mom)and today I am at 155! That is another 3 lbs down from last week. I am not even sure how that happened but I am happy to see it!


AFTER



BEFORE



Measure 6/28 Measure 8/9 Measure 8/23
Waist --38.5--- 37.5 ---38
Chest --39--- 37.5 ---38
Hips-- 44--- 43 ---43.5
thigh R --26--- 25.5--- 25.25
Thigh L --26.5--- 26--- 25.25
Calf R --15.5 ---15 ---15.25
Calf L-- 15.5--- 15.25 ---15.25
Bicep R --13--- 12.5 ---12.75
Bicep L --12.5 ---13--- 12.75

Weight --163.5 ---160 ---155

I am not sure how my measurements are bigger but my weight is smaller. I am gonna blame it on pre-Aunt Flo bloat as she is due any moment now. But I still am shocked at the weight loss, I truly had only hoped to maintain this week.

Sorry for such a long post today, I try not to get too windy but today just feels good.

I hope everyone makes this week the best it can be. Stay positive and find the good in every day! Mwah!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First day of school Monday


I feel like I am doing good to start this post today. 2 out of 3 kiddos started back to school today. It was a busy morning but I was able to get up and weigh in before they woke up. Then I spent the morning convincing B (my 5 yo kindergartner) that she does want to go to school and riding the bus will be fun (afterall she will be w/ sis on the bus and she has been so excited until today). Even S, the oldest, had a few butterflies this morning. I felt like the worst mom ever after I put them on the bus. Should I have taken them? It doesn't really matter now, they need to get used to riding the bus, they are gonna do fine. (I keep repeating that to myself in hopes that I will soon believe it, lol). Later G, the little one, and I will be heading out to find her some new clothes because I was again worst mom ever when she realized she had no new clothes for her first day of school (cuz I would just let her have the new stuff as I bought it not thinking she would want a new outfit, blah can't win for losing w/ these kids, hehe)

And apparently losing is something I am getting good at!! :D Cuz the pics don't lie, I am down another 2 lbs from last week!!!!! I totally didn't expect it because last week seemed like a bust, I didn't get to the gym and I wasn't making very good food choices. We were busy with back to school nights and gearing up for back to school. What I did do right was watch my portions and kept water with me all the time. Honestly I had hoped to just maintain this week so I was SHOCKED to see 158 on the scale, which mean I am to my next mini goal of being into the 150's!!!!!!! For those keeping track I started my weight loss journey at 171 so I am down 13 lbs (I started the Move It and Lose it Challenge at 163.5--down 5.5 lbs since then).

Thank you all for your encouragement.

Congrats to @Christlikemommy (Kimberly). I am slowly getting to know her better and she seems like such an awesome person, you deserve this girl!!

Thank you @boogiemom of for sponsoring the blogging carnival this week. I haven't had a chance to try these yet but I did share a pack with my cousin who just had a baby. I can't wait to get more and keep for G because she always seems to have the crusties (darn allergies), I am sure she will appreciate them and so will her nose.

If you want to learn more about Mamavation and how it is helping moms everywhere get up and move and get healthy be sure to check out mamavation.com. Pledge our sistahood and receive the wonderful support of moms like you and me!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More fav recipes-- For the Lunchbox

I realized the other day that most of the recipes on the blog are yummy and well not so healthy. So I decided I need to pull out some of my faves and start posting again.

This one I love, the girls love, great for at home or lunch boxes.

Finger Lickin' Chicken Salad
1/2 c cubed roasted chicken
1/2 rib of celery (bite size pieces)
1/4 c mandarin orange segments
1/4 c seedless grapes
(apple chunks are also good)

Dip
2 tbls lemon yogurt
1 tbls reduce fat mayo
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

toss together chicken, celery and fruit.

Combine dip ingredients.
If sending in lunchbox, besure to keep chilled w/ ice pack.

Peanut butter Apple wraps

3/4 cu peanut butter (or similar nut butter)
4 whole wheat tortillas
3/4 c finely chopped apple
1/3 c shredded carrot
1/3 c lowfat granola w/ raisins
1 tbls wheat germ.

spread peanut butter on tortillas. Sprinkle each with the remaining ingredients. Roll up tightly. Cut in half to serve. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. We put an ice pack in the lunchbox w/ these.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What a great WEEK!!!! Monday

Maybe being sick is my good luck charm?!?!!!! lol Well I wasn't very sick, just a head cold/sinus whatever junk. But something was going my way this week. Monday night on Mamavation TV I won a Gruve (and it arrived Friday how great!!)Then you all honored me by making me Sista of the Week which was truly a shock and an honor, you don't even know how great that made me feel. And then this morning I wake up and find this...



Yes that is a 2 pound weight loss this week!!! Last week my Wii photo was at 162 this week the TV and Wii were already occupied by my lovely children so I decided to use the other scale (that isn't always as kind as the Wii) so I was extra shocked to see that number. This also means I have passed my first mini goal of 10 lbs down (officially down 11 total and 3.5 since starting the Move It and Lose it challenge)

I have also started noticing my clothes are looser, which of course is a good thing. I was hoping to be down a pant size w/ 10 pounds gone but that hasn't happened YET. But I rechecked my measurements and here is what I found.
Measure 6/28 Measure 8/9
Waist 38.5 ---37.5
Chest 39 ---37.5
Hips 44 ---43
thigh R 26 ---25.5
Thigh L 26.5 ---26
Calf R 15.5 ---15
Calf L 15.5 ---15.25
Bicep R 13 ---12.5
Bicep L 12.5 ---13

Once again I am super excited about Mamavation TV, I can't wait to hear from @Pete_Cohen since I missed him the last time he was on. I am so proud of Lisa (@Ljenator) for being picked to be the NEW Mamavation Mom, she is my inspiration so much of the time. And I want to thank Lori (@gutimom) for sponsoring the Blogging carnival and Mamavation TV this week. Be sure to check out her Avon site.

And thank you all again for your love and support and for allowing me to the Sista of the Week. It has been such an honor! Thank you EA Sports Active for sponsoring the Mamavation Sista of the Week by giving each of us a copy of EASports Active More Workouts.

These are the reasons I do what I do (and our Fur baby who was missing her buddy last night because she spent the night at my mom's hehe)




~~Julie (@jamnsfld76

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mamavation Monday Aug 2

Woot! Am I really posting a day early, YES I AM!! ;D

Congrats to Rachel Steffan @RachelSteffen for being chosen as Sista of the Week. Rachel is phenomenal support and I have loved getting to know her. She is a true Sista!!

Well since Aunt Flo left town this week my numbers are back and looking better. I am down 1.5 lbs (that is a total of 9 lbs since starting Mamavation and .5 lbs since the start of the Move it Lose it challenge). I am glad to get past the lb I gain the past 2 weeks and be back moving in the right direction again. I am at 162 and I am super excited to be inching closer to the 150's.



I need to get back to my goals sooooo..........

1 MORE WATER!! I have been slacking again, too easy for me to get out of the habit since it isn't my favorite thing to drink. I am trying. Work toward 60-80 a day.

2 Try to get in 5 cardio days and 3 strength training days. And figure out why my stability ball isn't holding air, (hope it is the valve not a real leak).

3 Get a menu plan in action again this week. Food has been good but is better when I menu plan.


This week's blogging carnival is sponsored by Gruve Solution. I have had my eye on one of these handy gadgets for a while now but they are a bit out of my price range at the moment, one day I will get one. Maybe I will get lucky and win one this week. :D A girl can dream right!

I hope everyone has a good week. My head is plugged and my throat hurts but I am getting water ready to do a neti rinse, hope that helps. :-/

Julie :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mamavation Monday

Last week, ahhhh, I am just glad it is in the past. It wasn't a bad week just busy w/ VBS. I didn't get my workouts in because I was just plain exhausted, those kids can sure wear a girl out. I definitely know that I am not meant to have a bunch of kids. lol But it was fun and I am glad I was there to be w/ the little ones so their moms and dads could help the other VBSers. :D

I could have a million excuses for this week but I am not gonna bore you with the why and hows. I gained 1/2 a pound. I am not worried about it because I know that it is temporary and I know I ate well. I planned for not working out this week and made sure I was making good food choices since I knew getting to the gym was going to be tough. This week will be back in full workout mode so I am confident that 1/2 pound will be gone again soon.


Speaking of working out, I am SUPER excited about our special guest this week and blogging carnival is sponsor, Katy Bowman, and her Aligned and Well series. I have been very interested in body mechanics since college when a friend was double majoring in Nutrition (same as me) and Kineseology. If I hadn't been 2 semesters away from graduation and already had one kiddo I might have considered doing the double major too. She and I talked a lot about her major and I was (and still am) fascinated by the subject. I have been checking out Katy Bowman's website this weekend and I am very interested in what I see. I can't wait to check it out more. I am hoping to learn more about how to improve my running technique and learn how to help my over-pronated step and knee problems as well.

I also want to give a big shout out to Rita, for being Sista of the Week. The poor girl struggled after having her car stolen. I hope this honor brightened her week and put a smile on her face. Keep up the good work and keep your chin up sweetie!

I hope everyone is ready for a great week. I am!! If it starts out crappy remember that you are the only person who can change it, so make it a good week. :D

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For My Lisa Zucchini recipes. :D

My Dear Friend Lisa has been dubbed the Vegetable Contessa over at Mamavation and as a salute to her new title I offer these tasty recipes. They sound really yummy to me but I must admit I haven't tried them yet. I wish I had kept the links but this time I didn't. I hope you enjoy. If you try them let me know how you like them and I will update the post when we make them.

Zucchini and Corn Salad
Recipe by: Susan Voisin
The fresh herbs really give the salad its pizzazz, so try to find some if you don’t grow your own.
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia (about 1/2 cup finely chopped)
1 pound zucchini (about 2 cups chopped)
1/2 medium red or green bell pepper (about 1/2 cup chopped), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1-2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
If the corn is frozen, put it into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cool water to begin defrosting. Drain well, and place the corn into a 2-quart or larger bowl. Add the other vegetables and the basil and oregano and mix well.
In a measuring cup or jar, combine the garlic, water, seasoned rice vinegar, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir to coat well. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour or up to 2 days. The zucchini will release moisture as the salad marinates. Lift out salad with a slotted spoon to serve.

Zucchini Rice Bowl
Makes 1 very large bowl or 2 smaller bowls
Ingredients
• 1/2 T. canola oil
• 1/2 medium red onion, diced
• 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
• 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
• 1/3 cup shelled edamame, cooked
• 1/2 cup brown rice
• 1/2 T. low sodium soy sauce (or tamari / Bragg’s liquid amino acids)
• sea salt, ground pepper
Prep
Saute the onion and zucchini in the canola oil on medium-high heat until they are soft and bit brown. Turn the heat to low and add the peas, edamame, brown rice, and soy sauce. Stir the mixture together until everything is evenly distributed, sprinkle with salt/pepper to taste and serve.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mamavation Monday July 19

Don't mind me if I keep this brief this week. I am wiped and today is only day one of VBS, 9 kiddos under 4 and 2 grown ups, not good odds. lol

Last week was a bad eating week for me, I don't really know why except I had a lot of residual stress from the week prior. Made bad choices and regretted them when I was making them but could stop myself most of the time. Except for the time when I was going to eat a big piece of leftover birthday cake but instead ate a couple bites and threw the rest out. I am proud of that moment.

Measurements this week:
waist 38 (down 1/2 an inch from last week)
hip 44
bust 38 (down an inch from last week
r arm 12.5
l arm 13
r thigh 26
l thigh 26.25

don't pay attention to the loss on here. Last week after I weighed in my power went out before it saved. So I am actually back up .5 lbs. Which honestly I expected it to be more. So not complaining.




Thank you to Chaquita for sponsoring this week Blogging Carnival. I personally am not a banana fan (its a texture thing) but my girls LOVE them and I like to bake with them. But Chaquita isn't just bananas you know, they have lots of great products.

Congrats to LORI!! @gutimom for being Sista of the Week. I have "known" Lori for a few years now thanks to world wide web and I think she is just plain awesome. I am glad others do too. Love you Lori!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut oil Review and GIVEAWAY

This Giveaway has been completed and the winner is #27.

July 20, 2010 2:29 PM
Rachel said...

I subscribed to their newsletter! I will contact Rachel by email.





I am so excited this is my first time hosting a giveaway and better yet it is a product that I have come to love and can't live without. I mean I love it so much I keep a spare unopened jar in my house all the time.

I started using coconut oil about 2 years ago for my dry skin. I started just using it as a lotion, rubbing it into my dry skin as a moisturizer. Then a friend told me she loves it, eats it all the time, sometimes just by the spoonful. I though, hmm, sure why not. And then she told me about Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil and I was hooked. I love the light coconut flavor. I love it on toast in the morning w/ a sprinkle of cinnamon. Then I started reading the recipes on the free coconut recipes blog and I started cooking with it. First I made granola then I used it to saute chicken for stir fry, sometimes I even use it to cook my eggs for breakfast. It is so easy to sub it for butter in baking especially when the butter needs to be softened. Then we got a dog from the humane society. She was covered in ticks and was a little puny after being spayed. I had read that it is safe for dogs so I gave her a little with her food. She loved it and it was one of the first foods I could get her to eat after coming home.
If you want to know more about coconut oil check out this video.
So when the opportunity came up for me to post a Tropical Tradition giveaway I was ecstatic I love tell others about this product and I am happy to give someone else a chance to try it. If you can't wait for the giveaway to end you can always go buy it yourself, right now they have it BOGO free. That is a sweet deal. Also if you decide to order and it is your first time ordering from Tropical Traditions you can get your own complimentary copy of our Virgin Coconut Oil book by taking part in our Referral Program. When you choose “Referred by a Friend” and enter my User ID: 5644129 on your first online order, the book will be automatically added to your order. Also note that I will receive some coupons as a Thank you for referring you to Tropical Traditions, and if you refer someone you will too.

Tropical Traditions did not compensate me or provide any products for this review and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway.

Now for the Giveaway details!! (I know this is what you are waiting for. This giveaway will run until July 22, 2010. I will use a random number system to draw the winning entry and will verify with Tropical Tradition that the main entry is part of their subscription list.

Main Entry:Subscribe to Tropical Traditions newsletter to receive emails about sales and specials.

Bonus Entries:

1. Go to the Tropical Tradition website and tell me one product you would like to try. (one entry)
2. Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter. (one entry)

3. Follow me on twitter. (one entry)

4. Check out the recipes http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/index.htm and tell me one you want to try. (one entry)

5.If you try a recipe and post a pic on twitter or your blog, link me to the pic for another entry. (one entry)

Remember this giveaway will end on July 22, 2010.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Birthday girl

I love to make my kids birthday cakes. Am I good at it, depends on who you ask I guess but it is one of the few creative things I enjoy and I am forced to finish. HAHAHA If you saw the list of unfinished projects around my house you would totally understand. WE have had sand castle cakes, scuba diver cakes, dolphins, Dora, Littlest pet shops, etc. A few times I have actually purchased store bought ones and once let my mom's friend make my oldest a barbie doll cake, but I just feel guilty that I didn't make the cake myself. I like doing it.

So this year I saw on the cover of Woman's Day magazine a really cute summer cake I couldn't resist. It was a watermelon and perfect my 5 yo July birthday. What says summer better than a big ole slice of watermelon? right!




I was just happy to get a pic of her smiling. Just a couple hours later we went to the ER because she had been in pain all day with a tummy ache. Thankfully it wasn't anything serious. Glad she had a great birthday and I can't wait to see what the other girls will want their cakes to be in Oct and Nov. :D

Really Rockin' Now- Mamavation Monday

I feel like I am in a fog after this weekend so if I forget to post something important please remind me. lol

Why do I feel like I am in a fog, well mostly because my 5 yo DD spent most of the weekend scaring the crap out of me. She started complaining of a tummy ache Sat morning and by sat evening was running a slight fever and she was doubled over in pain. Saturday was also the day we had planned her birthday party, so during her party she spent most of the time on the couch watching everyone else, sat at the table long enough for us to sing happy birthday and pulled a few strings on her pinata. Every time quickly heading back to her spot on the couch. So after the quick party we headed to the ER. After several test and a recheck on Sunday the decided it was NOT appedicitis, must have been bad gas or constipation which she does have trouble with from time to time. (Sorry TMI there) So I am worn out from all the time at the hospital but VERY thankful it wasn't anything worse.

So back to me. I had another pretty good week. The weekend was a bust and I didn't get to eat that great but the picture tells the story.
I am down another pound. Sorry for the bad photography I told you I am tired and didn't feel like retaking it until I got a good one. I am down 8.5 lbs now.

Measurements on July 8 (sorry these aren't from today next week they will be done Sun or Mon)
Height 5'1"
Chest/bust 39
Waist 38.5" (measured in Jan at 41)
Hips 44
Thighs R 26" L 26.5"
Calves R 15.5" L 15.5"
Biceps R 13 L 12.5"


Sorry no front shot, I took it and apparently somewhere between my camera and my computer it got lost, and the one time I tell the camera to delete photos after transfer. next week.

My goals for this week.

More water. I have been slacking again. Kim and Lisa I need you two to stay on me this week. WEll any of you, but I know Kim and Lisa will give me lots of crap.

Keep up the gym schedule. I am getting in at least 2 times a week and doing cardio at home most other days. This week I had 5 days of cardio so I want to keep that pace.

And just keep watching what I am eating. This week wasn't terrible but wasn't great either. I mean Sat did include a birthday and I made the coolest watermelon shaped cake. Of course I ate a piece (small) and Sun my mom bought a pie that sounded too good to resist (Apple/Strawberry/Raspberry) so I had a very small slice. Because of our ER trip Sat I ate a very late but light dinner at 10 pm. I don't normally but I was really hungry after not eating since around 3 that after noon.

But hey I LOST ANOTHER POUND. So I am not complaining.

I can't wait to tweet with you all this evening and find out who will be our next Mamavation Mom. Our Twitter party is bound to be fab!! I am ready for it. Congrats again to the 5 finalist, I can't wait to see who wins it.

Congrats also to Shannon Hamilton (@Trulove821) for being picked as this week Sista of the week. I have enjoyed getting to know you recently and look forward to getting to know you more.

Thanks everyone for always having such kind and encouraging words. I really appreciate it. Last week was a tough one for me w/ my kids visiting their dad and some of you really stepped up and gave some virtual hugs when I had tough days. Thanks! I love you all for it.

Julie

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mamavation Monday


It has been a great week. My 5k was awesome even if I came in last with 3 other ladies. I finished in less than an hour and that was my goal. I can only get better from here.

And I am proud to announce that I am down another pound this week. That brings me to 7 lbs down since joining Mamavation. Here is the proof. I know it isn't my toes but I always weigh in on the Wii and I want to stay consistant with that. If that isn't ok then I guess that is just tough cookies.

My goals this week are to just keep it up. I am doing good w/ my water and eating well. I can do better and I hope I do. I plan to get to the gym several times a week and keep moving forward. Oh and I am considering (but not sure) signing up for an 8k Pink Run that is planned for Oct 30. I will keep you posted on what I decided on that.

Congrats to @MMScarlett our Sista of the week!! I have enjoyed getting to know Scarlett and encouraging her to quit smoking and living healthier. She has fought hard to do it and I am proud of her for her efforts. You totally deserve it.

This week's blogging carnival is sponsored by @BSkinz. BSkinz is a fitness line for women full of patterned and colorful compression wear. The winner of this week's blogging carnival will get a bottom and sports bra of their choosing.

Thanks to everyone who supported me in my effort to be one of the next Mamavation Moms. I know I don't have a big name blog and press like many of the others so I knew my chances were slim. But I hope you all can already tell that this was just a spring board for me to push me harder in the direction I need to go. I have learned over the years that I am the only person who is gonna truly be there for me when the going gets tough. This campaign reminded me of that and I am one of those types that like to prove myself stronger than most give me credit for. My stubborn streak is a mile wide. You will see me get my goals even if no one knows my name or really gives a whoot that I do. Support or not I will succeed.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Healthier Biscuits and Gravy

Some of you may have seen my tweet about Hardee's sending me coupons for biscuits and gravy. I LOVE biscuits and gravy it is my most ultimate favorite breakfast food ever. SERIOUSLY love it and lived on it when I was a twig of a girl in high school. But these days gravy sticks to my rear and so do those big ole biscuits. So I did some digging and found several recipes for lower fat versions. Now mind you I don't think these versions are HEALTHY by any means just healthy-ER (I know that is supposed to be an ier work with me here). And this is NOT a recipe I recommend for daily meal planning, but on that special and RARE occasion that you really feel the desire for some good ole biscuits and gravy then these recipes just might do the trick. (I haven't tested them out yet but trust me I will soon). These were taken from here.


11/2 cups all-purpose flour


1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour


2 teaspoons baking powder


1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1/4 teaspoon salt


3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces


3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Lightly spoon the flours into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir just until dry ingredients are moist.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead four or five times. Roll dough to a ½ -inch thickness and use a 2 ½ -inch biscuit cutter to make each biscuit.

Bake biscuits on a baking sheet at 450 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until biscuits are golden.

Makes 12 biscuits.

SOURCE: Cooking Light

8 ounces light sausage


2 tablespoons light butter


1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour


1/2 tablespoon cornstarch


2 cups fat-free milk(I may sub skim evaporated milk here)



Salt and pepper to taste

Brown and crumble the sausage in a skillet that doesn't have a nonstick surface. Remove the sausage crumbles to a paper towel-lined plate. Keeping the skillet hot, add the light butter to the skillet and use a spatula to scrape loose the tidbits of meat sticking to the skillet. Add the flours and cornstarch and whisk the mixture until it's well combined and smooth. Stirring constantly, add the milk. Simmer, whisking, for five minutes or until thickened. Fold in the sausage crumbles. Season with salt and pepper.

PER SERVING (2 biscuits with a half-cup of gravy): Calories 338

Fat 14.1 g Cholesterol 35 mg Sodium 670 mg Fiber 1.3 g

Carbohydrates 36 g Protein 14.6 g

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mamavation Monday

Well last week was a lot of hard work and in more ways than one. First I had my first week as a new member of my local gym. I had an assessment to see where I am fitness/health wise and that went pretty well. I am about where I expected to be, strong arms, weak core, and OK cardio. Everything can use improvement of course. ;) Then the next day a trainer set me up on a personal program to help me meet my goals, she gave me a series of workouts to do and told me to get in at least 30 min of cardio.

The kids also had their last day of summer school on Tues. which means for the rest of the summer I will have at least 5 kiddos here everyday. So we spent one morning at the park riding scooters and bikes (I walk/ran laps) and one afternoon playing in the sprinkler. And Friday we wrapped up the week with a trip to the NEW local water park (just my 3 not all 5, I am crazy not insane). It was a great week playing and enjoying the kids.

Keeping track of my nutrition was a little trickier than I had hoped, but I didn't give up. If I miss a day I just pick up the next day and keep going. Menu planning was helpful but I have a hard time sticking to it, my days change before I know it and that often means I either forget to pull stuff out of the freezer or I don't have enough time to fix what I planned. I try to just change days of the week when I can or eat leftovers from a previous night to help stay on track the best I can. I also decided not to meal plan on the weekends, they are always our busiest days and I always have some kind of leftover to use up so I try to do that on the weekend. I can still serve healthy meals that way (because hopefully I cooked healthy earlier in the week) but I don't have to worry about planning it so much.

I didn't do so well on the water front this week, seems like if I do good on one thing I slack somewhere else and that was water this week. On a good note, no headaches so I did ok, and I only had one can of soda for the whole week so I wasn't drinking lots of bad stuff, just not enough water. not too shabby.

Earlier this week on Twitter @bookieboo said " I want to see what u are doing to change ur lifestyle NOW in ur #Mamavation Monday posts." I think I covered that pretty well in last weeks post , and started living it this week. And I am proud to say that the changes I have made have resulted in a 1.5 lb loss this week. I have been holding steady but am not down to 165 even. I am proud that I was able to lose even after a weekend that included a lunch at a not so healthy Italian restaurant and a birthday party for my 3yo niece. That is enough motivation for me to keep sticking to it and getting better in the areas where improvements can be made (everywhere).
Watch Lives Change
In case you missed it, here is my application post to be the next Mamavation mom, please remember to tweet for me whenever you can.
"Hey @bookieboo! I want (@jamnsfld76) to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa" Thank you all for your support!

Catch you all tonight for our Mamavation TV night and tweet with you later this week. Make it a great week!! <3

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kick it into high gear- Mamavation Monday

Another week of no loss, and I am not gonna take it anymore. I refuse to have another week of getting by. So here is my plan.

1) I sucked it up and joined a gym. They were running a special w/ a really low enrollment fee so I did it. Now to pray I can afford to pay it for a year, we will get to that bridge when we get there.

2)I made a meal plan. I have everything I need to carry it out.

3) I am going to keep a journal of everything that goes in my mouth.

4) I am going to drown myself with water. I am going to set a timer to drink water every hour and plan to drink at least 8 oz at a time when I do.

I thought I had a good week, but when once again the scale wasn't my friend I knew it was time for a new attack mode. I had already planned a menu for the week but I knew I needed to journal to keep myself honest. And well I battle water so much and find if I am not a home I don't follow through so I will give myself a gentle reminder w/ a timer on my cell. I went in Friday and signed up for the gym membership because I know that if I am spending my money for it I am going to use it, and it will be easier to make my gym appointments because I have to leave the house to go do it, and I will have to make plans for the kids to go some where so I will need to schedule it like an appointment. Plus they do offer childcare if I need it, at 2 bucks per child (I have 3) I hope not to need to use that too often but it is there if I do.

I am also excited that I registered for my first 5K. It is on July 4th, which is a Sunday so that means I need to finish before church because I am scheduled in the nursery that day. That should give me some extra motivation. I don't plan to run much of it but I felt like I needed to push myself to do something new, so even if I walk all of it, I will complete it and I will be proud that I did.

So why all this effort. Well I am planning to apply to be one of the next Mamavation Moms but I figure if I am not picked I need to have a plan and why wait until then, I may as well get my plan in action now. I will be posting (hopefully later today or tomorrow) my application, so be on the lookout. I will need all your support.

I am truly excited for tonight's mamavation tv. Shay from the Biggest Loser will be with us to share tips and advice. I have become a big fan of hers so I can't wait to "meet" her on Mamavation. This week our blogging carnival is sponsored by Subway which is pretty fitting since Subway has continued to challenge Shay in her weight loss journey. And my family and I love Subway when we want to "eat out," I love it because I can feed my family something healthy for less and my kids love it because they get to pick what they put on their sandwich. Its a win win!

Congrats to our Sista of the Week @Rachel_L. I can not express how excited I am for her. She was one of our last Mamavation Moms and she has really blossomed. You are such an inspiration.