My Healthy Life: A Journey

my healthy lifeSo, today is my birthday! Hooray! It’s also my goal date for my weight loss, and I’m about 14 lbs from it. Obviously, I’m not going to lose 14.5 lbs today, but that does not mean that I’m not proud of what I have done. Although I have cheat days, I focus on eating whole, clean food that makes me feel good when I eat it. I have started a yoga routine, and sometimes I’m even able to fit in a work out.

I’m able to wear some of my old clothes, and I was able to store some clothes that were just too big, and that feels so good. Sometimes when I’m showing Cecilia herself in the mirror, I catch a glimpse of myself and I’m comfortable with what I see. So even though the scale may not be showing the results I was hoping for, I can already see the improvement in my confidence and personality.

And it’s not just the weight loss. I feel a lot healthier than I did before. I can chase my daughter all over the backyard and not feel winded. I have learned how to bake and cook because of this journey, and I have saved my family a lot of money because we don’t go out to eat all the time like we used to. I have done it all just by eating better and working out. I did not take a magic pill, or limit myself to shakes. No crazy diets…just eating better and remaining active.

Wanting to step up my game a little, I decided to take a Core Strength Yoga Class from Sadie Nardini. Let’s just say that it was a 30 minute class, and I lasted 15 minutes. I was happy to hear my daughter cry when she woke up, so I could pretend that’s why I had to stop. If you want a yoga class to make you cry, check her out. I’m pretty sure I threw my back out, but I’m going to try it again this weekend to see how far I can get without injuring myself.

Photo from Sadie Nardini. Talk about a badass yogi

Photo from Sadie Nardini. Talk about a badass yogi

Yesterday, I wanted to find a low-impact workout since I was still feeling messed up from that yoga class and walking over 2 miles to find the Sacramento Antique Fair (one could say I really love antiques), so I found a good pilates class…and I think I’m in love. The class was a 15 minute beginner class so it was perfect for me, and it’s through Pilatesology. You can sign up for $19 a month and can opt for a 10 day free trial if you want to test drive before you buy.

Photo from Pilatesology

Photo from Pilatesology

I also made this pumpkin turkey chilli from The Gracious Pantry, but used potatoes instead of turkey. I added a couple cups of water to help soften the potatoes, but that is really up to you. I absolutely loved the way it turned out. My soups usually lack flavor, but not this one. The coconut milk was perfect for this recipe, and added a lot of spice and flavor. Next, I’m going to make it hotter by adding some chili peppers.

DSC02668

And finally, I wanted to share something I found on Greatist yesterday. It’s a list of 50 bloggers making a difference in fitness, health and happiness…and it’s definitely worth checking out. The bloggers are all listed by category and you can click on their names to be directed to their site. I’m going to go through the list and will share some of the bloggers that I find inspirational and awesome.

Image from Greatist

Image from Greatist

Are you ready to take this pledge with me? To include healthy and real ingredients in our food and to remain active – no matter what the activity is? I would love to get this healthy party going. I will be sharing more and more healthy recipes, workouts and yoga routines that I feel are worth sharing, and introducing more real food bloggers. If you would like to join me on this journey, I would love to have you. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and share your journey with me by using the hashtag #myhealthylife or tag me in the post.

My Healthy Life: A Journey

Well, I’m exactly one week away from two things I have been looking forward to – my birthday, and my goal date for my weight loss. They happen to fall on the same day, and that is no coincidence. I was hoping to reach 130 by my 31st birthday and kept assuring myself the whole time that I could most definitely do it. And I probably could have…if I locked myself in my room with a mini fridge filled with only the healthiest and best food, and my only activity to do during the day was to exercise.

But, let’s face it. Real life happens…and sometimes your best intentions fall short. I will say that I am proud that I have not only lost all the weight gained during my pregnancy, I am between five – ten pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant. Sure, I still have 15 lbs to go before I reach my goal weight, but I have had the willpower to turn down fast food and soda, when both are so easy…and sometimes so good.

I have put myself on a workout regimen, and sometimes I actually stick to it. But sometimes I don’t, because I’m freaking tired after chasing around my daughter, and sometimes I count mopping my floor (so what if my mop is actually a Swiffer) and doing laundry as my workout for the day.

18ac2a84412a11e3b44322000a1f92df_8My morning walk with my daughter. My favorite workout routine

So, I’m going to make a proclamation for myself, and if you would like to join in, I would love your company:

  • No more following websites that have the word “Skinny” in them. I don’t want to be skinny. I just want to wear my old jeans. Not the jeans I was wearing before I got pregnant. The jeans I wore when I was at my most comfortable weight. Sure, my hips have expanded. Babies will do that to ya. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But damn did it feel good to put on a pair of jeans I have not been able to wear in over a year.
  • While on that note, no more pinning “Skinny” recipes on Pinterest. If you haven’t heard this before, most of the skinny ingredients are worse than the real thing. Look at the ingredients and decide if you really want all of that in your body. If you do, go for it. If not, put it down. It ain’t worth it in the long run.
  • Follow bloggers and recipe developers who use real ingredients for all of their food. They don’t do a diet version, because they don’t need to. You don’t need a diet version of granola – it’s granola! A good site I just found today is A Sweet Spoonful. Her recipes have real ingredients in them, and most of them aren’t crazy. Check out these pumpkin spice muffins (you know how I feel about pumpkins). She also has a book called Whole Grain Mornings – I think the title says it all – that will be available on Dec 31. You can pre-order it now through Amazon, and it will be perfect for your New Years Resolution, if you’re about that.
  • Remain active. Even if I can’t get a workout or yoga session in, I remain active. I sit at my computer to write blog posts, and do some work. But I take a break after every project I work on to go walking with my daughter, to play with her, or to clean my house. It keeps her entertained and happy, and I stay active. We hardly ever sit down to watch TV until after dinner. Because that’s my family time, and that’s how we like to relax.

I’m still going to work on my goal, but I’m not going to hate myself if I don’t get in that 15 minute yoga session, and then 15 minutes of bodyweight workout, and then 15 minutes of yoga at night. Because sometimes I’m just tired. And I have other stuff going on. But I will (attempt to) drink all of my water, and I will cook real food for my family. Because not only do I want to look good in my jeans, I want to feel good, too.

2b58fe7e3ff311e38f8522000a1fb838_8Homemade apple butter on wheat toast with banana. Breakfast is served.

Here is my promise to you, and this is one I can stick to. I will continue to share sites with you that I feel good about sharing. I will continue to show you new recipes that incorporate real, healthy food. I won’t ever share anything that has the word Skinny in it. Unless I have checked the ingredients and they are all real. That’s my only exception.

So, to start things off. Here are some of my favorite sites that embrace whole foods and healthy living:

The Gracious PantryIf you have read my blog just once in your life, you probably know how deep my love for this site runs. Tiffany not only shares a whole bunch of clean eating (the elimination of processed foods in your diet) recipes, she also advises on healthy food substitution, like the sugar substitution chart, and she loves pumpkin, too. My kind of girl.

Healthy Aperture – Healthy food photo sharing site. A good way to find recipes that you will love and continue to use, and you can also find new healthy bloggers to follow. If you find yourself liking a bunch of recipes from one poster, maybe you should check out their site and see what else they have. There’s also a blog with healthy tips and recipes.

Attune Foods Blog – This is a new one that I found today, through Sweet Spoonful. It’s a healthy recipe sharing site, and you can also join the FitClean community, which focuses on incorporating both fitness and clean eating in your daily life.

Are you ready to take this pledge with me? To include healthy and real ingredients in our food and to remain active – no matter what the activity is? I would love to get this healthy party going. I will be sharing more and more healthy recipes, workouts and yoga routines that I feel are worth sharing, and introducing more real food bloggers. If you would like to join me on this journey, I would love to have you. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and share your journey with me by using the hashtag #myhealthylife or tag me in the post.

New Year Challenge: just a little lighter

Current weight: 160 (eeek!!)/ goal weight: 130

So I’ve finally learned the trick to not cringing every time I get on my Wii Fit to weigh in. Push the mute button. Of course, the day I figure this out is the same day I actually want to hear what that little Wii Board dude has to say! I finally did it…I lost 3 lbs!

I made sure to track everything I ate and not just ignore the app when I hate something that would rack up the points. Of course, I allowed myself a splurge day at Macaroni Grill on Saturday, but to be fair…I was moving and cleaning that day.

I also started following the 12 Exercises for New Moms, which is way easier than trying to work out through my daughter’s screams and cries. When she gets cranky while we’re working out, I just take a break and let her chill out then we get back to it. Being able to work out with her will make it easier to stay on track.

challenges_aheadI also wanted to start making weekly challenges for myself. In just a couple days, it will be a month since I started this diet. By this time, I was hoping to lose 10 lbs, at 2.5 lbs a week. Since my main goal was to lose 30 lbs in 3 months, I’m a little behind.

So, my goal for next week: do a new exercise routine every day with the baby. If I complete this goal by next week, I can move on. If not, I will keep that same goal for the next week and so on, until I finish it.

One of my biggest issues I have with myself is not being able to finish anything I start, so hopefully this will also boost my confidence a little.

Do you find it easier or harder to achieve your goal when you set yourself little challenges, or do they prove to be obstacles?

healthy garlic mashed potatoes and honey roasted carrots

I have no problem maintaining a healthy diet…as long as I’m secluded in my apartment by myself and have no access to the outside world. Once I leave the house, all my willpower leaves with me.

The other issue is cooking for two, and making food that both of us will like. Sure, I can cook anything I want, but if we’re both not into it, what’s the point? Since Sam has agreed to support my diet by eating what I want to cook, I figured I would at least make something that wouldn’t make him gag when he looked it.

SONY DSC Lo and behold, I found a Skinny Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe on Skinnyms.com! I finally got to use my slow cooker…bonus! The mashed potatoes came out surprisingly full of flavor and the puny 1/2 cup I was allotted on Weight Watchers was actually filling.

Yields: 5 Cups | Serving Size: 1/2 Cup Calories:144 | Total Fat: 1 gm | Saturated Fats: 1 gm | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 2 mg | Sodium: 37 mg | Carbohydrates: 28 gm | Dietary fiber: 2 gm | Sugars: 3 gm | Protein: 5 gm | Points: 7

  • 3 lb. russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, no sugar added
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt (Greek yogurt is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk (or more for consistency)
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Prep your potatoes as usual by washing and cutting out any bad spots. Puncture holes in the potatoes with a fork (please don’t stab yourself! Do this carefully!)

Place all the potatoes in the microwave for 15 minutes on high or until they are nearly fully cooked. Allow potatoes to cool enough to be able to handle them.

Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes (I did this while letting the potatoes cool)

Cut cooled potatoes into slices and place in slow cooker with chicken broth. Pour the garlic on top of that and mix everything up briefly to distribute.

Cook on low for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the potatoes are completely cooked and soft. Remove the insert from the heating element with pot holders and place on a heat-safe surface.

Using a hand blender or potato masher, mash the potatoes together with the milk and yogurt. Add salt to taste.

While I was tooling around on Pinterest, (I know…shocking, right?) I found a Honey Roasted Carrots recipe from one of my favorite sites, Six Sisters Stuff. I added the recipe to Weight Watchers and it turned out to only be 4 points per serving, SCORE!

SONY DSCHoney Roasted Carrots
Ingredients:
1 lb baby carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix together carrots and olive oil until carrots are all covered. Spread the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle the honey over the carrots and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.  
Bake uncovered, turning once, under just tender (about 25-30 minutes). 
Serves 4-6.
Points: 4
So, my dinner totaled 11 points. This may seem like a lot, but when you consider that a carrot cupcake is worth the same amount, it doesn’t seem that bad!
Now, onto my next goal: finding exercises to do with the little babe since she’s not a fan of me doing anything without her.