6 day reset, clean eating, strawberries and Disney!

6 day reset, clean eating, strawberries and Disney!

What’s new with you?? I keep trying to get in here to blog and it keeps being pushed to the back burner. So, that’s just how it is right now in my life on a daily basis. Pretty much every time I sit down to the computer I have one or both kids coming to me. Child 1 likes to inform me of various lego kit facts, such as you need to be 7 years old to purchase the Nexo Knights Monster Crasher (made that kit name up, and I’m not planning on buying him any legos any time soon, mean mom that I am), but he still likes to browse all his lego magazines and let me know about his findings. And he wants me to provide him undivided attention to share these very crucial details, so typing while he talks is not acceptable. Child 2 just prefers to climb on me, stand on my lap, pull my papers and pen from me and scribble on them, pound on the keyboard…basic two year old antics, which results in me feeling like a terrible parent and therefore giving in to her attention needs and giving up hope of getting anything done for quite some time.

I have been fairly consistent with getting in 6am workouts for the past month – 22Hardcorps, only 22 minutes long! I am really loving the alternating days of cardio focused workouts and resistance workouts. Lots of push-ups and burpees, but I need push-ups. I hate them. But I need them. I’m starting to see some solid upper body results!!
AM workout

Some fun things we did the past few weeks: Kindergarten registration for my oldest child, done! If you’ve done this, you no doubt remember the feelings that come with this… mixed feelings of excitement yet sadness, worrying if it’s too much time in school vs free play, hoping he gets a teacher he will love and will love him back…we had New Beginner’s Day last week, where he got to meet and interact with several teachers and see his new school. He did great and I am really pleased with the school.

Strawberry picking at one of our local organic farms! We’ve been eating a lot of strawberries and I froze a lot of them as well, because they pretty much start going bad in a day (the fabulous nature of organic, fresh picked anything). Also, for the record, $20 of strawberries may be too much.  I got a little out of hand.
strawberries

I’m also kicking off a 6 day clean eating reset this week! I like to do this reset every 6 months or so…because I tend to get in the subconscious habit of picking…eating bites here and there, especially with my kids snacks and food…and it catches up with me. Following a laid out, simple and healthy meal plan for 6 days really helps me kick those bad habits for a while and also knocks off a few lbs. Here’s some more info on the reset here if you’d like to see what I’m doing.

And lastly… Disney planning!!!!!  Ahhhhh!!!! I’m only KIND of excited!!! Early this year my husband suggested we do Disney – the last words I ever expected out of his mouth as he is not about crowds/mainstream activities/fun things (just kidding). He is lots of fun, he just prefers camping and solitude to waiting in lines to see Mickey and Minnie. Our youngest turns 3 in July, so she is just under the wire for free admission to the parks. So we are heading to Walt Disney World in a few weeks for Magic Kingdom, Legoland and also some beach time. We’ve been busy buying tickets (holy smokes the cost), researching and planning our itineraries. Because apparently you can’t just walk in and leisurely do whatever you want, that’s setting yourself up for complete failure in this day and age. Seriously. I read a blog on it. And my husband read like 10 on it. If you’ve done Disney you probably know this! I’ve been Fast-Passing it up and we have our plan. I’d love to hear any tips you’d like to share!!

Apple Cinnamon Oat muffins

Apple Cinnamon Oat muffins

Anyone else enjoy the old produce rack in the grocery store as much as me?

No? You don’t know what that is? Look for a rack by the bakery/produce with bags of brown bananas, bagged organic apples that are a bit soft…cheap produce! I snagged a few organic apples for 99 cents for the bag and since they were a bit soft decided to use them for some muffins.

I found this recipe in my search for one that didn’t use a lot of regular sugar, and then modified it based on what I had at home and wanted to use. I think it was a hit, as my 2 year old ate 6 mini muffins after they were done! I know, I should have cut her off, but they are actually pretty healthy…so I didn’t really mind her making her dinner out of them. She also woke up at 4am and had two full size ones. Ummm, are you growing?? What goes on with toddlers and their sleep patterns?!?  I guess my muffins are just that good it makes you want to wake up at 4am to have some…

Anyways. Hehe. Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:
1 heaping cup of rolled oats (I used old fashioned)
1 cup white flour (I was going to modify and use whole wheat, but I didn’t want to go too far on the health train here and ruin the recipe – it’s happened to me before – will try whole wheat next time and see how they are!)
1/2 c coconut sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg (you could probably omit this and just add more applesauce if you prefer)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
2 large apples or 3-4 small, peeled and grated.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tins or use silicone (may need to spray paper liners, as there isn’t any fat in these muffins to serve as a non stick agent!)
Place oats in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Combine with rest of dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients separately, gently folding in the grated apple last.
Combine wet and dry ingredients. Once mixed, put in muffin tins. This made one mini muffin tin (24) and about 8 full size muffins for me.
For mini muffins – cook 12-15 minutes; for full size muffins cook 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

These are very…I don’t want to say the M word, because so many people despise it, so…I’ll just say there are GOOD muffins because of the grated apple. Enjoy!IMG_20170324_163334494-01

Spring Into Summer Challenge Group starts April 3rd!

Spring Into Summer Challenge Group starts April 3rd!

Here in North Carolina we had some wonderful warm weather in February…shorts for some days! And then we got a little snow and it got cold again, wah.  But it will be warm soon enough – and summer bodies are made in the winter!  It’s time for swim suit shopping soon, are you ready?? I’m getting there with the help of my challenge groups! A challenge group is a small group of people, in a private group (we use the Beachbody Challenge Tracker App) who have the same goals – get fit using Beachbody nutrition plans and workout programs with the support of others doing the same! Comment or message me for more information about the group! It helps to have support to hit your goals 🙂 springintosummer

Stuffed Pepper Frittata

Stuffed Pepper Frittata

You know when you get really excited over a recipe?? No? That’s just me? Ok. Well, this one got me revved up this morning, and it did not disappoint! I’ll be making it again. And again. I may bust it out on my husband’s extended family weekend in a few weeks, because in addition to being delicious and healthy it’s also kind of fancy.

Bell peppers are the #1 veggie in our house right now, as everyone in the family will readily eat them raw. That includes husband, 5 year old and 2 year old. Ok, the 5 year old must eat every veggie dipped in ranch, but he’ll eat them. My 2 year old devours them and hubby will take them to work. And I enjoy them as well. So it’s on my Costco list every week to get the 6 pack of stoplight bell peppers, and that’s where I found a version of this delightful recipe.

Ingredients: (for 1 serving, multiple for more)
1 bell pepper
EVOO
2 eggs
handful of shredded cheese (1/2 blue container for portion fixers!)
handful of spinach (or cooked and chopped turkey sausage would be amazing too!)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400. Cut off top of bell pepper and remove seeds. Rub outside of pepper with a small amount of olive oil and place in baking pan or dish. If it won’t sit flat, insert peppers in muffin tin to hold them upright. In small bowl, scramble eggs and combine with cheese and spinach (or whatever additives you like!). Pour into egg and put in oven. Cook for approximately 30-35 minutes until egg is set to your liking. I cooked mine for 35 minutes because I don’t like yokey/runny eggs. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!!IMG_20170315_073848903-01

My first marathon experience, mysteries of the metatarsals and will I do it again?

My first marathon experience, mysteries of the metatarsals and will I do it again?

March 4th was my first ever full marathon, the Myrtle Beach Marathon! I’ve ran 4 other half marathons over the years; my 4th one being in December and then I carried on the long distance running from that point.  So many fun yet painful memories in that weekend. Two good friends joined me and ran the half marathon, and it was an awesome girls weekend in Myrtle Beach (apart from the running, haha). I am able to walk unassisted now, thankfully! I don’t know what I would have done without them helping in so many ways after the race!

MBM

So those dang metatarsals. I think the race would have been much less painful had I been able to train the last 4 weeks leading up to the race. I got sidelined on a 15 mile run 4 weeks before the marathon, my right foot started hurting during the run. I was able to finish, I presumed it would settle down in a day or two, but 2 days later it hurt worse and I was limping just walking, couldn’t consider running. After another day or two where it wasn’t getting better I saw a podiatrist. Xrays were fine, it was an inflammation of the tissue around the 6th metatarsal. He prescribed a topical cream, an icing regimen and said to see how it felt. After a week, it seemed to be doing better and I was able to run a few miles on it. It seemed ok, but it wasn’t healed and it continued with the same sort of consistent dull pain that concerned me that I would be doing more damage.  I also have a pinched nerve in both feet around the 4th metatarsal bone, which acts up on a regular basis. I addressed this with the doctor as well. He told me there is no easy fix, it is from the nerve being pinched, and to make sure my shoes aren’t too tight. The treatment is either to put a shot in the nerve or to kill the nerve off.  Umm…sounds painful. So yeah, never mind about that nerve!

After another failed run (tried to do a 10 miler 2 weeks before the race, had to stop at mile 2 because it kept hurting) – I took to google. I know. But, in this case it worked out.  I researched the whole pinched nerve issue, stumbled upon some article (which I can’t find now, who knows what search term I used in my desperation…) which indicated that the foot pain I was having could be related to the nerve pain. Constant and regular nerve pain/damage can radiate to the rest of the foot, causing inflammation. It just so happened that the right nerve had really been twinging a LOT lately. The article mentioned that toe spacers could help, because it kept the metatarsal bones separated, therefore the nerve wouldn’t be pinched. What a ridiculously easy thought, and that certainly wouldn’t be my solution, I thought to myself. But I wound some toilet paper between my toes, like is done sometimes when you get a pedicure. And wow, foot pain was pretty much instantly gone. Nerve pain and the rest of my foot felt great!  I found some toe foam bandages at Walmart that acted as toe separators and that wouldn’t irritate my feet while running, practiced walking in them a few days before the race, as well as started doing ice baths for my foot at night and didn’t run at all on it the week and a half before the race.

I also picked up some Dr. Schol’s active inserts at Walmart for my running shoes, I figured it couldn’t hurt. They are wonderful by the way. Why have I never used orthopedics/inserts before?? So the foot was grand for the race. It didn’t hurt one bit. The legs on the other hand…I had done some lower body strength workouts, some elliptical and some stationary bike workouts, but it definitely wasn’t enough. I started feeling the legs at mile 8. MILE EIGHT. Are you kidding me?? I was able to push through it and keep up the pace (3:45 finish pace) until the half marathon point. And then my legs completely cramped up. They felt better every time I ate or drank anything, so I pretty much ate everything I had by mile 16, and then started double fisting drinks and eating anything they had at the hydration stations. I had a few banana pieces and lots of amino type drink and water. It would help my legs for about 1/4 mile after the station and then go back to a very very tight sensation. It didn’t even really help to walk, it just took longer. So I kept going, just slower and slower as my legs weren’t allowing much. I ended up finishing in 4:28. Yes, I added 45 minutes onto my time just in the second half of the race. Kind of crazy, but my lack of training the weeks before the race plus not realizing the hydration I would need definitely added to that (it wasn’t even hot out.  It was 40’s, very nice running weather!).

After the race my legs were so sore, it was hard to walk fast!  Curbs (stepping up and down) were a REAL challenge. We went to the post race party (not that great) and oohh the steps. Then went out to dinner and more steps. Of course! The soreness continued for the next 2 days at a pretty strong intensity and then got much better. I’m fine now. My one achilles (on the right) is still sore and my LEFT foot (interesting!) at the same spot as the right one was hurt, is still sore. But I’m icing and they are getting better.

So within 2 days after the race…I was already considering doing it again. Being a beginner marathoner, I researched how quickly again one could do another marathon, because my logic was that hey I’m already in pretty solid shape now, maybe I’ll just bang out another one next month! But apparently it takes 3-4 weeks if not longer to fully recover from running a marathon, and you shouldn’t push your body too hard and do hard races too close together, it increases your chance of injury. So…I decided instead to do the same race next year. I need a break from long distance running! I plan on doing some shorter races come summer – I already have the Ultimate Win Run scheduled for June, along with a Brew Dash for June as well. Soccer is getting started for the spring, and I will have that in the fall as well – and then after it’s over I will start marathon training sometime in December. It’s so far away I’m not even going to think about it. But I’ve learned some good things about metatarsals, I already scored some HOKA’s at a GREAT price which should last me through the marathon since I’m not running a large amount of miles and I have the tiniest bit of experience now!  So can go into the race with a better plan than this year. And both my friends are in to do the race again!  Myrtle Beach Girls weekend 2018 is on! mbm2

 

Sun-dried tomato pesto zoodles with chicken and spinach

Sun-dried tomato pesto zoodles with chicken and spinach

This was one of those everything but the kitchen sink recipes that actually turned out pretty amazing. I had some leftover Rosso Pesto from Aldi (sun dried tomato pesto) that I wanted to use up and it worked out great combining it with a number of other yummy ingredients! There are so many ways you could add variety to this and it would still taste great. I was going to add bite sized chunks of fresh mozzarella too! But I’m trying to stay a little tighter on a budget with the “wants” and “needs” of my grocery list. I already had Parmesan cheese at home, so decided to go with that instead of buying a chunk of mozzarella.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 package chicken breasts
1/2 tsp chili powder
2  medium squash, yellow or green, spiralized (if you buy this spiralized in a package probably want 2 packages)
2 Tbsp sun dried tomato pesto (love Aldi’s brand and price for this)
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
grated parmesan for topping
Salt & pepper to taste

Cut up chicken in bite size pieces, season with 1/2 tsp chili powder and salt & pepper to taste and saute in 2 tsp EVOO in large skillet over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until fully cooked. Remove from skillet. Add 1-2 Tbsp of water to pan, return to heat and add spiralized squash. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add pesto, gently combining with spiralized squash until fully mixed (this takes a minute to get it all mixed in!) Once mixed, add in grape tomato halves and fresh spinach, cook 2-3 more minutes to wilt spinach and cook tomatoes. Return chicken to skillet to heat up.  Once everything is hot, remove from heat and top with parmesan to taste!

Portion fix – I would count this as 1.5 green, 1 red, 2 tsp. Depending on the amount of parmesan you use, may need to count as 1/2 blue also.

sun dried tomato pesto zoodles

Maple pumpkin baked oatmeal

Maple pumpkin baked oatmeal

Somehow I am feeling pumpkin-y this spring! Actually, I’ve really been wanting to make a baked oatmeal recipe, and I had leftover pumpkin from the pancakes I made last week, so the baked oatmeal became pumpkin by default. I took my favorite baked pumpkin oatmeal recipe and made a few little tweaks to make it healthier and fit in my portion fix containers.

img_20170227_091921654-01
Maple pumpkin baked oatmeal

img_20170227_091946765_hdr

Ingredients:
1/2 c pecans, chopped (walnuts would be good too)
1.5 c pumpkin puree (I use from a can, just make sure not the pumpkin pie kind!)
3/4 c vanilla unsweetened almond milk (or 2% reg milk) at room temperature (mic for 30 seconds)
2 eggs at room temperature (so the coconut oil doesn’t solidify! Place them in a dish of warm water for a few minutes)
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or spray an 8×8 baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients together. Mix in rolled oats, spices and nuts. Spread in pan and bake approximately 25 minutes until set. Cut into 8 slices (It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get 8 out of this vs my usual 9 slicing method for a square. Here it is to save you some time: X across the middle, then divide it again with a cross. Who says you never use geometry outside of high school?!).

I like to top mine with Oikos Triple Zero French Vanilla greek yogurt and a few more pecans! For container counters: 1 yellow, 1 red(if you do yogurt), 1/2 purple, 1 orange, 2 tsp.

Pureed pumpkin counts as a purple – in it’s original state (chunks) it counts as a green but as a puree, it counts as purple because you can fit more in a container and you get less purple containers. I don’t really get that either, you can listen to Autumn explains why here; but that’s basically how it is!  I think it’s really just to make sure you eat your veggies! If that really bothers you just count it as a green. It’s not going to make a big difference in my opinion unless you are eating 3 cans of it every day, haha. Enjoy!!!