Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm happy with me

So I have to tell you, the inspiration from this blog comes from many ideas that have been floating around my head.

I'm quite busy now, and this blog gets pushed to the back burner because most other things in my life take precedent. I am not trying to offend any uber blogger, I just can't take the time to sit down and type up grammatically perfected and creatively crafted blogs. But I currently have something on my mind I need to record outside of a facebook status.

If you've read this blog for a while or thoroughly then you know about my past with eating disorder, disordered eating, excessive exercise, unhappiness with body image, struggle to overcome all that, and then also the tough emotions that came with learning to be "just" a stay at home mom.

Thankfully, I kept plugging away at all the anxieties and insecurities. I suppose it's probably something most new moms go through--the uncertainty of finding your way as a new mom. And it's definitely common for many of those moms to take to the blogosphere to find support and information. I was totally one of those moms. In the moment, I thought I was confident and comfortable, but definitely looking back I was not nearly the mom or woman that I am now. Which is a mature thing to be able to say... No one could have done anything about my anxieties or issues, it's something I think nearly every woman has to work through on her own and at her own pace... so if what I write here can help one person tweak her thinking a tiny bit, then it's worth it. Someone at sometime said something that pushed me down the right path.

Ok enough sentimental jibberish.

Recently online there was an article about how J. Crew released XXXS sizing for women, and most commenters were disgusted by it. They "discussed" what it means for the body image of girls growing up knowing such a thing exists as "extra extra extra small." Some people commented, though, that there are medical conditions that exist affecting people who need such small adult clothing and that people shouldn't call them anorexic or 'disgusting' because that's unfair. I can see both sides; but I think the population of women who legitimately are that small, without having an eating disorder, is a tiny percent of Americans. The percent of girls who will hear of a size XXXS and try to achieve that size unhealthily has got to be much larger. But I'm not trying to marginalize those women with a condition, I just think it's a similar situation as little people who need their clothes altered or buy specifically from clothing companies who offer entire lines of clothes for their sizes.

Numbers on a scale and sizes on pants are not at all an indicator of health. They are simply a way to measure a person. Unfortunately many, many people have a desire to reach the lowest weight or lowest size. I think the biggest measure of health is happiness, because life is such a fickle thing that you could be a size 2 and get hit by a car tomorrow...or you could be a man size 48 and live to be 70. If you are happy with yourself and your quality of life is average or greater; who cares what size you are? Quality of life can be defined as that life is easier if you an averaged size person because transportation seats (bus, train, plane, car) are not made with obese people in mind. Life is easier if you aren't having to give yourself insulin shots, or life is easier if you aren't in and out of hospitals for anemia or dehydration etc.... I think everyone reading this can agree that being 'normal' is nice. And not having to work hard to be 'normal' is even nicer. But 'normal' is varied by person. So with that is my humble attempt at how to get you to achieve your best self.
recent dinner of BLT-E salad
Clean up your eating. Just DO IT. Quit buying crap, because then you won't eat crap. At first I was a little worried that eating clean would lead me more to disordered eating because of cutting out entire groups of food. But the truth is, eating clean doesn't cut out any types of food, it just means you have to make them yourself or buy the more expensive versions with less crap in them. Mac and cheese isn't cut out, peanut butter isn't cut out, bread isn't cut out, dessert isn't cut out.... it's just a different version. So this actually doesn't lead to disordered eating because you can eat anything you want! :-) Yeah it takes some work, but it really comes down to commitment and determination. Don't quit. If you have to use those "shake" diets to get you started (think Herbalife, Shakeology), so be it, but it's my personal opinion those aren't the best things for you because it's not a whole-food product. It's processed and not the way humans were meant to eat... I mean... consuming your calories in liquid form? Not for me... but do whatever you have to do to get on the clean eating train but don't let them be a crutch for you for forever because A) expensive and B) I think you'd be happier figuring out a way to enjoy whole foods through chewing and a meal experience. It's more mentally satisfying. I know there are studies and claims saying they help you lose weight, and I'm sure that's true... but go for the lifestyle change that's long term and not a quick fix or unsustainable the second you quit the diet.


Live an active life. Notice I didn't say 'exercise.' It's my opinion again that exercise is simply a means to an end. It helps release beta endorphins, but so does sex. It helps build and strengthen muscle, but so does chopping a load of wood. It helps burn calories but so does walking everywhere you go. See what I'm getting at? As long as you are active on a daily basis, you'll be happier, stronger, and fitter. I love working out, but it's not possible for me to do it every day anymore, especially when my husband travels. I just keep an active life by playing with my kids outside, walking to the park, cleaning the house, baking all of our meals from scratch. I USE my body to live my life and that's what matters. You should try it. Don't work so hard at your job that you don't leave time for yourself!

I know this is maybe a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to some of you... but I am just so happy that I've reached a place in my life where I care more about making my body work for ME and not me working for my body. If I have pudgy love handles so be it, I can do a lot of s*#t and I am proud of that. I am satisfied with the quality of food going into my body, so I am happy with my body. If I don't eat crap, and don't live like crap, I am happy with me! I literally could sing it from the roof tops. I have no desire to reach a size 0 or XXXS. If I naturally get there, fine (but we all know that's not my natural body size). I have no desire to reach 130 lbs, if I naturally get there (won't happen either) fine. I'm not going to restrict calories (or even count them), I'm not going to kill my body to reach a crazy ideal. I'm going to eat good food, be active, and be happy. Life's too short-- plus I'm a Christian and this life isn't the end!!


Reach out if you want moral support :-)

Saturday, July 05, 2014

What's a brain?

My conversations with G before bed are always fun, but tonight was spectacular and worth remembering for sure. We talked about various things and then she asked what we were doing tomorrow (...which she always does. She likes to know what's coming up. She is a future planner and is very detailed oriented.) I told her the run down and then she asked if the next day was Tuesday. I said no, the next day is Monday. She said, "oh? What are we doing on Monday?"

I told her the main this is taking J to the ear doctor. Of course she asked why and so I said, "to make sure he is hearing well and that his ears don't hurt or anything." She asked, "why?" To which I said that his ears are a little different and we just have to check them sometimes. She asked if her ears were different and I said, not really, they're pretty regular. Then she mentioned how sometime lady bugs are different (last night I told her a story about a lady bug who was black with red spots instead of red with black spots) which I said, "yes that's right sometimes they are!"

Then she asked who J's ear doctor is... And I told her his name. She then said, "oh one time we took J to the nosey doctor and that's dr XXXX too!" I was so floored at this point because it's been months since we went to the ENT and she remembered his name that she heard like once! So then I said, "yup! It's the same doctor for his nosey and his ears. You're so smart! You have a big brain, huh!?"

Then she asked what a brain is..... Yeah, been waiting for that one! Haha

So I told her that brains are like computers for people. That they tell us what to do...whenever we have thoughts that's our brain and they are inside our head (I pointed to show her). I also gave examples of things brains do, like tell our body to move in certain ways, or have thoughts about our friends... I mean it's tough to explain to a 3 year old but I did my best.

She seemed appeased with the answer and then asked if I had a brain, if J had a brain, if daddy has a brain...and I said yes to all of them.... THEN she asked if daniel tiger has a brain (lol!!). I said, "sure! But only the daniel tiger on the tv show, not your daniel here (in her bed), he's just squishy so he doesn't have a brain" then she said, "just a squishy brain!!" And burst into giggles.

Oh man, I love this girl so much!!!! Our nightly conversations are the best <3

Just wanted to record for posterity and maybe someone else might find it amusing! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day in the life of mom

Alarm at 425 am, up and ready & out the door by 4:46
5 am, workout, today was lower body circuits. Rocked it.
6:05-6:45 am, home, shower, throw on the toddler-mom summer uniform of athletic shorts and a collegiate t shirt, eat a post work out first-breakfast (Greek yogurt, honey, PB, apple), kiss hubby good bye (the benefit to early morning workout is I'm actually awake enough to tell him have a good day).
Close to 7 am I consider (A) folding the laundry sitting in baskets next to my bed or (B)starting the cleaning I've got scheduled for the evening but I'm pretty spent and so I make the rare decision to (C) lay down on the bed for a while.
7:40 am, little miss enters my room to say "I need to go potty!" She used to just get up and go, but now it warrants an announcement I guess, so we traipse downstairs because she likes going down there better. I start a load of laundry.
7:50 am, she (thankfully) doesn't ask about watching a show, so we decide to do some "school pages" (I bought her preschool reading, preschool math, and preschool sequence & patterns workbooks and the first two are completed & we're wrapping up the s/p one now)
8:25 am, I think J is awake (didn't grab the monitor, I was just hearing thumps through the ceiling) so we head up to get him, but it turns out he's not (we had a late night and busy weekend so I guess he's catching up, too bad he's not my only kid so I could actually enjoy the late sleeping ha!)
8:30-8:50 am, instead of returning downstairs I start folding the clothes in my room & G asks what she can do now, I tell her she can play, look at books, or help me. She's not keen on any of it and whines a good amount so I dump out the whites and tell her to comb through it to find her underwear. She's great at helping so that goes over well. Then she gets antsy and so we chat and sing songs while I finish. J is still a sleeping toddler, so we decide I'll make breakfast and G can watch a show
8:50 - 9:30 am, laundry switch, swiffer floor, empty dishwasher, make breakfast. G watches end of dinosaur train and start of sesame street. 
9:30 am, G turns off TV with no fight (huzzah!) and we go get mister-man up. His diaper is super smelly (taco salad the night before eeeek). He hates diaper changes these days so :-( to that
9:40 am Breakfast is whole wheat grassfed buttermilk pancakes and blueberries on the side. The kids have agave on top of theirs and mine are plain. I don't always make a fancy breakfast like that but it's grocery store day and somehow we are all out of dry and hot cereal and there aren't any weekend leftovers and I only have 2 eggs. Whew.
9:50 am, the treasurer from my mom group drops by to get a check I forgot to give her yesterday, my bad!
10:05 am, kids are down and playing while I clean up. It's good for them to have unorganized self moderated play. At least this is what I tell myself while I slave away in the kitchen because I'm too type A. Don't bother telling me to save the mess for later, ain't happenin' sister. Although I did leave a few hand-wash dishes in the sink, mostly because I was washing my dryer mat.
10:15 am, told the kids we were gonna get ready and go do a craft at the library...G pitched a fit because she didn't want to go. Are you kidding me??? She loves crafts and loves the library. Ugh #lifewithagirl I roll with it because, hey, it's not something we HAVE to do and I'm not gonna fight her to go do something fun. We do have to grocery shop though.
10:20 am, we facetimed with Grandma to talk about visiting and since we hadn't in a while. It went okay. Of course G was shy at first and J was a little ham who then got mad when I wouldn't let him hold the phone.... We chatted about 10 minutes and then got ready for the store.
10:50 am, head out the door....this is a process, almost every time. Need to potty? Where's our socks? Do we have snacks and drinks packed? Why are you both crying? Ugh, Ugh, Ugh! Why do we even both leaving the house? Because the fridge is here we go!
11 am; I was in the mood for paradise by cold play so I turned it on and got this sweet conversation from G; 
Me; jamming out.
G; What's this song called
Me; Paradise
G; What is paradise
Me; Paradise is a beeeaaaautiful place
G; oh yeah! Like you also skate on ice! Right mom?
11:05 am, we drive past the library and wouldn't you know G pipes up "I do want to do a craft!" "I DO want to go the library!" I think about saying, too bad, you shouldn't have said no at home....but I really wanted to go myself, so I give her a hard time about not making that decision at home and how we don't have our return books or our library card so it's going to be more difficult but we will definitely go and to the craft because it's something fun to do and next time let's make that decision at home.
11:10 - 11:50 am, decorate a Styrofoam cup with crayons and googly eyes, shovel in potting soil and plant a sunflower seed with each kid. Check out a few books and play a bit.
11:50 am head out to the grocery store. J hates his car seat now (it's really time to move him up to the big boy seat) and so getting into the car is never my favorite thing.
noon, arrive at the grocery store just as it's feeding time at the zoo. Oh well. I salvage the trip preemptively by utilizing the race car carts that have two seats and steering wheels. My kids have never got to sit in these (hello germs!) but I make the exception today after Clorox wiping it down (I used 5, in case you were wondering how many it took). They are so stoked! I also hand them their snacks and drinks and we mosey inside.

12 - 1 pm, stick mostly to our list but still manage to spend $180. I hate how much healthy food costs. I did buy like 8 packs of Sargento cheese though because it was on sale. Also got; peaches, pears, cherry tomatoes, lemons, grapes, cherries, two packs of power greens, radishes, butternut squash, egg plant, bell peppers, cucumber, pineapple, Italian sausage, regular sausage, omega 3 brown eggs, almond milk, grassfed cottage cheese, 7 yogurt cups for the kids, tub of grassfed Greek yogurt for us, pita chips (splurge this week), nitrate free ham, several boxes of annie's homegrown snacks for the kids to take to grandma's house, 2 things of honey, 'clean' strained tomatoes jar & 'clean' pasta sauce in case I don't get enough homemade sauce out of that, oats, 5-grain cereal (bob's brand), blue-pom wheat-fuls (MOMS brand) cereal for the kids, non concentrate OJ (2 plus calcium/D and 1 plain), nitrate free bacon... I think that's it. Of course we had our occasional hiccups of behavior, but overall it was pretty good thanks to the 'lets-be-real' cookie from the bakery I let the kids scarf down because they were teetering on the edge of fighting. Mostly I hated the trip because of how expensive it is. I really wish we lived in the country so I could get into gardening. I have to say though, we'd probably spend the same amount on food even if we weren't eating clean, just because we never eat out and I never did like to buy pure crap. I did earn 10 cents off per gallon of gas too.
1:20 pm, get home and unload the groceries.
1:30 pm, G is used to getting to watch a show while I make lunch...that became a habit after her preschool camp two weeks ago, soooo yup. Another 20 minutes of screen time here. Grand total of an hour, so I'm fine with that. J doesn't really care about TV, he ends up flipping through some books and then bugging me for bites. G actually takes his cue and looks at her new library books too instead of really watching the TV. Win.
2 pm, lunch is a homemade wheat bun turkey, cheese, spinach sandwich for G, with veggies & fruit and a few organic corn chips. I have a salad with (leftover) grassfed beef sauteed with carrots/onion/garlic/homemade taco seasoning plus cucumber chips, radish, bell pepper, salsa, a slice of pepper jack cheese and some organic corn chips. J has a combination of our two lunches cut up smaller. For dessert we split 2 graham crackers and milk. G has to go potty in the middle of lunch because she's gotten into that annoying habit, but better that than blowing up.
2:40 pm, kids play / fight while I clean up (don't worry, I do have G help me a little bit by carrying things over)
3 pm, switch a load of laundry and corral the kids upstairs to get ready for naps. I usually aim for earlier than this but the morning was long.
3:35 pm, both kids are in their beds after reading books, telling stories, drinking water and such....J cries for a while before zonking out (I think it's because it's the first time since Friday that I put him down) and G never goes to sleep.
4:30 pm, after an hour of 'quiet time, I get G up. We read a few books, change some laundry, pick up toys, and start dusting
6 pm, check to see if my husband has called to say he's coming dice. G and I keep plugging away on our cleaning/playing. He finally gets home around 6:25 pm.
6:25 pm, get J up from his nap since he was still zonked out. I don't usually ask my husband to make dinner, but since it's just grilling and I want to finish my cleaning, he obliges me. He gives the kids a snack of yogurt while prepping dinner and I clean upstairs. Dust, vaccuum, , toilets, sinks, organize...thankfully I'm jamming out to some tunes and it's enjoyable :-)
6:45 pm, the kids head outside with my husband. I'm sure it's a hassle, but he's sweet like that ;-)
7:30 pm, I'm done and we start to plate dinner. I change J's diaper and he's actually cooperative! Hooray.
7:45 pm, Dinner is grilled butterfly pork chops, grilled zucchini/squash/carrots/mushrooms, grilled sweet potato, and grilled butternut squash
8:20 pm, done with dinner, and yes G had to got potty during dinner again.
8:25 - 8:45 pm, I played with the kids a bit and my husband cleaned up outside. Then we both start cleaning up the kitchen because many hands make light work and the kids play.
8:45 - 9:10 pm, family dance party to josh turner. It's super fun. My husband and I dance together to part of a song, despite the kids whining at our feet. I tell him, sometimes you just have to have ear muffs. We dance with them all the other times, we deserved a minute of solo dance LOL
9:15 - 9:30 pm, get ready for bed, which is all together. My hubby takes care of J and I help G. Then we come together to read books and say prayers. The cutest thing happens while I'm reading the book "What Brothers/Sisters Do Best." J is holding G's cup and offering her a drink (Water) and G picks up J's cup and offers him a they are sitting there giving each drinks. It was really precious, especially because they were giggling and smiling at each other. Life is good! My husband puts J to bed and I stay with G for a little bit. We chat about the day and our plans for the next day. One of my favorite parts of the day is when she says, "Mom will you stay with me for a little bit." and I say, "of course baby." I lay my head next to hers on the pillow and we snuggle up. It is so sweet and peaceful.
9:45 -10:15 pm my husband makes his lunch (I used to do this for him and then I just kind of handed the task over in exchange for me doing other stuff) and I pack up for my job the next day. After I'm done I stay in the kitchen with him for a minute and grab a few bites of the munchies he's eating...had told myself I wasn't going to snack after dinner anymore but his pretzels look so delish. so I have a handful and don't feel bad about it at all.
10:30 pm, after getting ready for bed myself, I lay in bed for far too long typing up this blog and I still don't finish so at 11:15 pm I save it and go to sleep.
apparently my hubby came to bed around midnight after watching two of his deadwood shows.
We used to go to bed at the same time but since I've been getting up early to work out, I try to go to sleep at a decent hour.

So there you have it...this really was a typical day in the life of me :-)
now you know why I never really post any more! love to you all 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Helper tiger and picnic

(Should have posted last week, lame blogger!) 
Our summer has been going along swimmingly aside from some stress, a cr repair, and a sinus infection bug that went through the house.
I'm going to try to post more lately we've been....
Picnicking (mostly I pack our picnic but yesterday we had coupons and went against clean eating for a convienient and yummy chik fil a dinner)

Trying to fish as a family. Pretty challenging with young ones and a terrible fisher wife. Nice memories though.

Working. I have been doing a lot of happy family work and the kids usually come with me to small things. 

Reading. Summer reading program is in full swing and j is even growing in his attention span. He loves Pete the cat and llama llama! 

Cooking. Clean eating has been a year habit now, and it's awesome. Ie definitely gotten into a grove with the cooking and meal planning. It's just expensive. Anyone that tells you they eat clean and well on a cheap budget is crazy. There's no going back though. I can't let myself but anything with crap in it. It's shocking how well I shop the perimeter, except at target, yo'. I've been feeling generally great about myself and it's really only if we are traveling and I've not been eating well or if I've not been able to work out that my body image gets out of wack.

And then there's my helper tiger!
Check out her folding skills, to the left of my trifold are her half folded small towels. Love her!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Just a quick post!

G told me today that the snack at preschool camp was "boonneeessss!" Like dog bonesssss! And I asked what they tasted like, to which she said, "like bones, like that dog I made that project with at the new "muu-nee-um"! Which translates to Scooby snacks! Lol ( we went to the children's museum a few weeks ago and in the art room there was a Scooby doo project)
Aside, muneeum and furnanure are my favorite words she says... Behind "I love you"

She recently told me that no one else is married but her aunt d and r. They just got married this past week, and it's G's belief that if we didn't go to your wedding, you're not really married!

She did great at YMCA soccer and has been exceeding my expectations at her gymnastics classes (no more parent tot, yay!) we also enrolled her in that preschool camp for a week for some socialization and for me and j to get some alone play. It's been great! We've also been hitting the library once a week and park play dates lots!

J was evaluated for speech delay today and it went really well. He's like super off the charts for receptive and non verbal communication, he just doesn't have words. Which is really similar to G, if you recall, but his craniofacial team was concerned so he's gonna get speech therapy. Should be something to do, and hopefully fun, at least.

He's such a little ham and there's been too much development for me to really catch this blog up on.
He has all but the 2 yr molars. He weaned fully on 5/29 (I got him down to just bed time, then about 2.5 wks later he decided he was done all on his own, kinda sad but at least it was "easy" ish). He hates diaper changes and has gone a lot on his potty, though not lately, so I need to just buck up and train him. He's 18 months on Monday so I'll write more about him then!

I've been doing an intense boot camp style workout. I think it's kinda working on toning my flab up but I mostly just need a tummy tuck for the skin hanging around... We go on a trip in a few weeks but a two piece is never in my future. Still working for the organic baby food company part time. We are all still eating 90% clean and loving it. I can never go back now.

My husband has been doing great at his job, and recently built himself a work bench in the garage from scratch (including running electricity and installing outlets). Super proud of the man I married.

We've had a few date nights and have been keeping busy with social activities or kid things (plus my job!)

Much love to you all!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mom's Brunch Recipes, Clean Eating Chocolate Zucchini Muffins,Strawberry Shortbread Trifle, Egg Sausage Strata

I had a few moms over for a brunch today and wanted to share the recipes I made!

Eat Clean Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

3 eggs, set out of fridge when you begin
3/4 cup grassfed butter (regular is fine, but not as clean), softened a bit
1.75 cups white whole wheat flour (still a whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour is made from white wheat, versus red wheat the traditional whole wheat flour is made from)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use half dutch cocoa and half regular, the dutch results in a richer color and better flavor)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1.25 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder (regular will do, but not 'clean')
2/3 to 3/4 cup (depending on preferred sweetness) honey or agave nectar
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
2 medium zucchini, grated (I used the shredder disk & my food processor)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60 % dark chocolate are the best! but you can also use semi sweet)

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, soda, and powder. In a large bowl (stand mixer preferred), blend the softened butter and honey until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add the zucchini and whip away (I let mine go for quite a while to, as I like to call it, pulverize the zucchini so it doesn't stick out as noticeably in the baked muffin.) Add the dry ingredient mixture and combine until everything is moist. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tins, or use baking cups of some sort. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Will make ~24

Nearly Clean Strawberry Shortbread Trifle

So this takes some work because I make everything from scratch, but it's totally worth it! You can also sub in a store bought angel food or pound cake and store bought whip cream for ease, but the homemade way allows you to control ingredients and tastes better :-) But I understand being pressed for time or not that handy in the kitchen.

First I make the shortbread biscuits. 

2 cups white whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting/patting
1 tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
several dashes of salt
1/2 cup grassfed butter (or regular will do)
2 tbsp honey
1 egg
3/4 cup grassfed milk or almond milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and then use a pastry cutter to cut in 1 stick of butter. Continue cutting until the butter is well distributed and finely incorporated, will take several minutes of cutting (you can also do this in a food processor and pulse, it's easier that way but I hate cleaning my food processor and I have a pastry cutter so I use it)
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and put the egg, honey, and milk. Whisk the wet ingredients within that well and then incorporate the flour mixture with the wet until a ball comes together. You will have to add some more flour, probably, so that the dough isn't too wet. You want it to be tacky but not too sticky. You can roll the dough out and cut if you want, but since these biscuits will be getting torn up for the trifle, I don't care if they look sloppy, so I just roll them in to balls and pat down into 2.5" (ish) circles. Bake at 450 degree for about 9-10 minutes or until done. Let cool before trying to break into bite size pieces for the trifle. The biscuits and the strawberries can be done the day before you want to assemble your trifle.

You will also need to clean two pounds of strawberries and cut off the tops. 

Cut them into bite size pieces and let sit, covered, in the fridge for a while to naturally "juice".

Right before assembling the trifle, I make some whipped cream. 

I use grassfed cream and *gasp* unclean powdered sugar. It's processed, but it's better than the crap you buy in the store, so deal with it or try to make whipped cream with maple syrup?

To assemble the trifle, layer the cut up biscuits on the bottom, then strawberries, and then whip cream, I repeated this twice. I topped it with three whole strawberries for presentation :-)

Clean Eating Egg Sausage Strata

This is basically a Taste of Home Recipe but I make it clean by making the bread from scratch and hand shredding my addition to choosing better for you sausage and bacon and free range eggs. When I make this strata, I make a whole loaf of bread (typically whole wheat in my bread machine--tip, add vital wheat gluten to keep whole wheat bread from being a brick!) and then make two stratas because each strata takes half of a 2 lb bread machine loaf, and this recipe is really easy to double even if you're using store bought bread. You can prepare the stratas and then freeze one for later and let one refrigerate overnight to eat the next morning. This is an amazing brunch recipe and awesome for crowds. It's very easy to make, if you don't do it clean. Because making it clean takes longer, I usually make the bread the day before I want to prepare the stratas, which is a day before you want to eat it because it has to set overnight. You can also add mushrooms, spinach, etc... very customizable!
Recipe is found here;

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our First Marathon!

We recently ran the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz -- yes, we ran 26.2 miles!! Okay, we probably walked about half a mile of that, but still, that's a small percentage!

I have always said, and still maintain, that running that many miles is absolutely crazy. After we finished our half marathon last fall, we basically looked at each other and said, "We can totally do a full!"
So we signed up for one.
Then the training was pretty terrible. Training for your first marathon over the winter is challenging because you end up running long distances on a treadmill or outside in the freezing weather and then something ends up pulled, torn, etc...There were also illnesses to contend with, and not to mention our two kiddos. So needless to say we did not stick to our training plan very well. We did manage to get one 20 mile run in, and it didn't go too terrible.
Despite both having tweeked ankles and my husband falling down the stairs two days before our race, we went ahead with the run and beat our goal pace by 3 minutes!! (Originally I had wanted to run the race under 4:30, but from about week 4 on we knew that wasn't going to happen. We changed our goal to 5 hours. Then when we picked up our packets, we saw there was a 4:50 pacer, so that became our goal)

Here's a run down of how the race went for me (My husband said he hurt basically the whole time and in my opinion is seemed the worst part was the beginning for him - just speaking from how it came off);

Mile 1; Excitement, but then I saw a sweet girl with a "go mommy!" sign that made me think of how proud she must be of her mom and how hard that mom must of worked, and then it made me think of how hard I've worked and how I'm trying to be a good example for my kids.... which made me actually a bit emotional inside and I couldn't believe I felt a tear in my eye!

Mile 2; settling in, going smoothly, that last mile was SLOW! But we wanted to start slow because it sets up a better last half if you don't go out to fast. Hubby needed to stop and stretch, his ankle was hurting.

Mile 3; rain drops sprinkling down, sky looks very bad....greaaaattttttt
When we split from the half marathon there was a guy directing runners and he said, "to the right, hurts a little, to the left, hurts a lot" I LOL'd and said, "true true!"

Mile 4; a bit of a break in rain, my husband needed a porta potty stop, lost our pacer

Mile 5; picked up speed to catch our pacer, rain was pouring at this point. I was pretty mad about it

Mile 6; sprinkles, hills, puddles, grumpy at the weather but chugging along physically

Mile 7; TORRENTIAL DOWN POUR, thunder, lightening....yeah this is DUMB and INSANE but by God we're doing it

Mile 8; GU stop! I grabbed a chocolate flavor and cared only minutely that GU isn't was SPECTACULAR. The consistency is perfect and it tasted awesome. Definitely needed that pick me up during the miserable storm

Mile 9; decided that at least the storm is propelling us on, because who wants to WALK in the rain?? Get done sooner, get out of the rain sooner, just keep running! But we did heed the warnings to not let the rain make us run "too" fast, so we kept our pace right between the pacers.

Mile 10; Just as I asked my husband if he thought we had another hour or so in the rain...the sky cleared a tiny bit and the rain stopped! It was a miracle, haha. The wind was still around and so trees were still spitting water and the ground was disgusting, but my posture improved so much since now I was able to run standing up.

Mile 11; we are doing this! We were in a groove at this point. Walked up a short steep hill and didn't feel bad at all

Mile 12; we made it through the part of the course I was most worried about--the first 12 with the most hills and the rain had stopped, I was happy for sure! My husband was hurting pretty bad though. Walked through an aid station, stretched.

Mile 13; Feeling pretty cheery through the first half. Our time was right around 2:25 which was almost 20 minutes slower than our half marathon race time, but again, that was the plan, slow and steady to finish.

Mile 14; Neither of us are feeling to great. Since the rain had stopped, we had nothing to distract us from our hurting bodies.

Mile 15; walked some on the bridge, my smart husband brought a sample pack of biofreeze to rub on his ankle and he let me have some for my super aching knees -- I was SO surprised at the difference it made. Instantaneously my knees were rejuvenated. This was totally what we needed.

Mile 16; at the park and split for the trail.

Miles 17-19; Sticking pretty close with our pacer, watching those who had already made the turn run past us was a great distraction. We chatted some through the next few miles. Walked up a few steep inclines...stopped and stretched once

Miles 20-21; heading back to and through the park, stopped to stretch a bit, not feeling awesome, belly hurting but at 21.5 we saw the kids and my sister and soon to be brother in law! it was so great to see them!! I gave G a huge hug and sweet J got a kiss. They waved and it was perfect timing.

Miles 22-23; this was my "wall" but thankfully my husband was there to help me get through it. I didn't stop...obviously, and even at one point my hubby asked if I wanted to walk and I barked out a "no!" because I knew I wouldn't start back again

Mile 24; when we hit this point, I knew we'd finish and I had worked through the mental exhaustion of the previous few miles. My husband even said he was "excited" at this point, which propelled me even more because he's not an excitable person! We walked through the last aid station ready to smash the finish.

Mile 25; holy s$%* we are DOING THIS! We were passing people left and right at this point. This was our fastest mile. I think that speaks volumes to our training and our racing mentality. You can't start out too crazy, there has to be something left in the tank to finish strong...and we did that. I looked at a lot of the times on the results and we were some of the only people who had slower pace times at 13.1 and 18.5 miles than we did over all...because our back 8 was faster than our first 18 miles.... pretty proud of our finish
booking it buddy!

Mile 26; this course has an incline to get to the finish, and I knew that because I had run the route, and I had prepared us for that....we rocked it (painfully, but still).  My husband was a bit behind me, I slowed a tiny bit for him to catch me because I wanted to finish together

Mile 26.2; We both ran to the finish, what felt like a sprint was probably not, but we were going faster than the whole race and people were cheering...and the MC was shouting out encouraging things and said how impressed he was with our neck and neck finish. My husband ended up edging me out by 6 thousandths of a second! I'm totally proud of him, but he was apologizing because he "beat me." I don't see it like that though :-)
just finished...ya it was rough but so proud!

So there you have it! When I sit here and think about it, I can't believe we really did it!

forgot to stop my watch until about a minute after we finished

Monday, April 21, 2014

Personalities - INFJ or ENFJ

I know I'm in desperate need of a kid-family life blog update, but I had to just get out my observations on a personality crisis I've been having. And I think the fact that I look at it as a personality crisis proves that much more that I am an INFJ.

Lately my humanmetrics myers-briggs/jung personality test has been labeling me as an ENFJ (though my E-extroverted is only 1% preference). The 16personalities test also labels me as an ENFJ... For 6 years I've thought I was an it was a tad bit concerning to me that I was now this new personality....

So I investigated probably more than I had time to find out the subtle differences between INFJs and ENFJ... I feel like both descriptions fit me pretty well but I felt it necessary to pin myself down as one (I think this is a classic INFJ desire, Jung himself was an INFJ). I do enjoy socializing, but it is written that INFJs are the most extroverted of the I's and ENFJs are the most introverted of the E's....they are apparently very hard to tell apart.

The website I found most helpful in determining what I really am was on and was a post called INFJ vs INFP, ENFJ, ISFJ

Basically it says that INFJs main objective is to understand the world and the ENFJs main objective is to change or influence the world. While I would like to do both, let's be honest... I am not a mover or shaker, I dream about being one...but mostly I just want to make sense of it all. ENFJ's have a hard time saying no....and I definitely don't mind saying no.

Anyways, like I said I've spent way too much time researching this, so hopefully soon I'll have time to sit down and post kid pictures and life updates!

The protector vs the giver
if you have a chance to read those and know me personally, which fits me better in your opinion? I'd bet it's the protector ;-)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's not like I want to have a house full of sweets.... I just get sucked into baking from outside commitments! Bringing a mom from a church group who just had a baby is the latest "reason" to bake some desserts.

I just hate breaking the clean eating thing for some treats, so I generally try to 'clean' everything up, so if we have some left around the house, I don't feel completely terrible after throwing a few back. But, they are a treat, they are sweet, and they aren't really healthy. Everyone need a chocolate fix now and again, though. Sue me!

I recently took the King Arthur Flour white whole wheat cookie recipe and swapped out the sugars, among other alterations seen below.

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 tbsp butter (grass fed preferred)
1/3 c agave nectar
1/4 c dark molasses
1.5 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 egg (cage free organic)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
1.5 c white whole wheat flour
8 oz dark chocolate chip (greater than 60% preferred)

Beat the butter, agave, molasses, honey, vanilla, and salt together until smooth (no, really, don't short cut it, beat until smooth). Beat in vinegar, egg, soda, and powder. Blend in the flour until combined and then stir in the chocolate chips. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mat (or grease the pans directly). Drop by tablespoons or teaspoons for mini cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes depending on size. Don't over cook, these will be soft on the inside.

I got 2 dozen average size cookies, including some sneaky dough tastes.

Green Pancakes DYE FREE! Recipe

Happy St Patrick's Day!!!!!
This is my favorite holiday, so I try to do it up big.

This year we had fun science experiments with our church friends, then a wife of my husband's co-worker had some wives/kids over for playing and fun green lunch.

Oh, and I started us off right with some GREEN PANCAKES :-)
of course they were clean eating, which means no dye, because who wants that ruining their festive eating? not us!

Here's the recipe my friends!

Green Pancakes - clean eating & dye-free

2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat works great too...I actually used a combo)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2.25 cups almond or grass-fed dairy milk
2 cups (or "handfuls") baby spinach
2 eggs
4 tbsp melted grass fed butter (or coconut oil)
1 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a blender combine the milk and spinach until pureed. Add eggs, melted butter, and agave--blend away. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour onto hot griddle in desired size (silver dollar pancakes are perfect for SPD) and flip once they start to bubble. Serve with pure syrup, agave, or honey and fruit. ENJOY!!