Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Journey to Health...an update

I just realized that I haven't written a blog post (aside from my cabbage rolls recipe I posted last night!) for a month and a half!  Yikes!

I thought it was time I posted an update as I have recently had lots of people ask how things are going with my diet/exercise.  So here's the low down...

My diet...I wouldn't say I've fallen off of the paleo wagon, but I am definitely holding on and being drug by it. ;)  I cook paleo 90% of the time at home.  When I go out, I am conscious of my choices, but definitely haven't stuck to paleo.  And you know what?  I can tell...not in my weightloss, but in how I FEEL.  Eating paleo just makes you FEEL good.  Period.  I stay away from pop (unless I am drinking a cocktail, which is rare it seems) and have really tried to avoid cheese...well, dairy in general.  I have continued to lose weight...at a slower rate (and much slower than I would like to!), but it's still going in the right direction.  I would like to get back to full paleo soon.  Or at least be better about it when I go out.

I ate this one night in the last month...and have had several other desserts that I didn't photograph!

The fact that I am still losing weight might be a bit of a miracle! lol

However, when I eat like that, I work out extra hard...I do machines and then walk and plank and do stairs and do Body Pump.  I work out hard when I go to the Y and now am super excited to be able to start running outside!

The ARC at the Y kicks my a$$!  I have a serious love/hate relationship with it.  I love it when I am done and I see this...

I recently got a Fitbit Charge HR and am a slave to it.  Seriously, it is going to probably be the reason I lose weight...I've already lost another pound since having it and it's only been 5 days!  It's amazing...I log all of the food I eat and every ounce of water I drink.  It tracks everything!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

And I still have to say that having working out buddies has been my saving grace...the reason I haven't given up.  I can't say enough how thankful I am that Sam has motivated me and kept me going to the Y even on days when I just wanted to sit on the couch...I hope I have done the same for her!  Even Lisa has started to join us every now and again!

And the consistency and how hard we are pushing ourselves...it is working.  We are getting stronger every time we go.  I am so proud of us!  It feels so good!

And when I'm down in the dumps and feeling lazy, the best way to motivate me to go to the gym is to buy some new, crazy, fun workout clothes, and then I HAVE to go to the gym because I need to wear my new clothes! LOL

These pants are my fave...and they are crazy and Lisa and Sam make fun of me for wearing them, but I love them.  They match my crazy personality.  I like things that most people don't! Ha!

On the horizon for me?  Color the Quads, Inflatable 5k and I think I am even going to run the Bix for the first time!  Eek!  A little nervous about that.  And my sister is trying to talk me into a sprint triathlon in the fall.  We'll see!

So there is my update...healthier every day (aside from this stupid cold I am battling right now!) and stronger every day...and with the help of my Fitbit and my friends holding me accountable, hoping I will continue to be LIGHTER every day!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Cabbage Rolls Recipe

(These are not Paleo, but could be changed up to be paleo pretty easily)

I have never made cabbage rolls...or eaten them, but have wanted to for a loooong time.  And tonight I just made a super simple recipe, but they were super good!  Now that I've made them and my ENTIRE family LOVED them...like devoured them, I will now know how to change them up and make them a bit more flavorful next time.  I think the next time I make them, I will use ground sausage for more flavor.  So here is my recipe that I created by mixing a few different cabbage roll recipes I found online. :)


1 head of cabbage (this made 14 rolls for me, so 14 large leaves...some I used 2 smaller leaves)
1 lb ground beef (or sausage)
1 egg
1/3 cup uncooked white rice (or brown)
1 jar marinara sauce
1/2 onion
garlic salt (I didn't measure...maybe a couple teaspoons?)
salt and pepper

Cook your rice and mix it with your ground beef/sausage, 1 beaten egg, 1/4 jar of marinara sauce, garlic salt, chopped fresh basil (you could use dry basil) and your onion.  Don't go to light on the seasoning, because I was pretty liberal with mine and worried it may be too salty, but it wasn't at all.  Boil some water and put your cabbage leaves in for about 3-4 minutes.  Take out and drain and pat them dry.  I cut out the tough rib on the end of the leaf so there was a V shaped cut out of the end.  Roll a spoonful of meat into the cabbage leaves...roll them so that  the ends are tucked in and no meat is showing.  Place them in a large saute pan and pour the remainder of the marinara sauce on top.  Put on medium-high heat until the sauce starts to boil and then turn down, cover and let simmer for about 35-40 min.  One of the recipes I saw said you could put cheese on top.  We didn't do that, but it would have been good, I bet. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tate in the Kitchen - Paleo Pumpkin Spice Granola

This stuff is a staple in our house...we almost always have a batch on hand!

What you need:

1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups plantain chips (or banana chips)
2 cups almond slices
2 cups coconut (unsweetened)
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup raw honey
4 Tbls Pure Maple Syrup
2 Tbls Pumpkin Spice Spice
1/2 tsp salt
2tsp Vanilla Extract

Pre-Heat to 300 degrees.

Mix all of the nuts, seeds, coconut, plantain/banana chips, dried cranberries, salt and the pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.

In a sauce pan, heat up the coconut oil, honey, maple syrup and vanilla extract until it is all melted together.  Pour the mixture on top of the nut/seed mixture and stir together to make sure everything is coated with the liquid mixture.

Pour everything onto cookie sheets on parchment paper...I use silpats.  Bake for 25 minutes and then take out of the oven and cool before breaking it apart.

This makes a TON, so you could cut it in half if you don't want that much. :)

I eat it like cereal with almond milk over it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Something happened yesterday...

Wesley's story is complicated and the details are not something I plan to disclose, but yesterday for the first time, something happened...here was the conversation we had...

Wesley: "Mommy?  What was I called when I was a little baby?"

Me: "What do you mean?  What was your name?"

Wesley: "What did the girl who I grew in her tummy call me?"

Me:  "She called you Wesley, that is the name she gave you when you were born."

Wesley: "My name was Wesley when I was a little baby?!"

Me:  "Yes.  That was the name your birth mom gave you...your name has always been Wesley."

Wesley: "My birth mom?  Do I have a birth daddy?"

Me:  "Yes.  Your birth dad's name is Wesley also!  You were named after him.  You know how Tate's birth daddy is named Brandon?  Your birth daddy is named, Wesley."

Wesley:  (giggling) "That is silly!  Are you almost done with my hair?  I want to go play."

And that was it.

That is pretty much how things go...any serious conversation doesn't last long with Tate OR Wes, but Wesley has also NEVER asked about his birth parents.  It is something I have thought A LOT about and how I might respond to what questions he might have.  I am nervous about a lot of it...I want to say/do the right things for him and also for our family.  I want him to know where he comes from, but also want to protect him from knowing the "bad" stuff.  I don't know that I can.  He's 6...these questions were bound to start coming out.  I was caught off guard by it last night and now can't stop thinking about that short exchange.  I know this is just the beginning.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tate in the Kitchen: Crockpot Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks

What you need:

16 Chicken Drumsticks
6 TBLSP Coconut or Olive Oil
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
6 TBLSP Soy Sauce (or Tamari if you are GF)
2 TBLSP Honey

You are SUPPOSED to Marinate the chicken drumsticks in this mixture for 24 hours or put the mixture and drumsticks in a freezer bag for later.  Then, put in the crockpot for 8 hours.  However, we didn't plan ahead and we just put frozen drumsticks directly into the crockpot and poured all of these ingredients on top and let cook for 8 hours and they were sooooo delicious!  The chicken was falling off of the bone and it was super flavorful!

Tate in the Kitchen : Roasted Vegetables

In an effort to get back in the habit of blogging more, I am going to TRY to start a bit of a series here on my blog called "Tate in the Kitchen".  I will post each time Tate makes does his cooking and include the recipe.  Obviously, the dishes will be super easy as he is the one making them completely on his own, but so far the last two things he has cooked were DEEEELISH!  Maybe for my friends out there who have kiddos his age, they will be able to have their kiddos make some of these dishes too! :)

Roasted Veggies:

Use the veggies you like, we roast lots of different kinds of veggies, but this time we did broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and onions.

Pre-Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Put your veggies in an even layer on the pan and and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 10 minutes, flip them over and roast for approximately 10 more minutes.

That's it!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

An emotional roller coaster...

These 3 shots were all taken in the exact sequence as pictured above...literally snap, snap, snap...probably all within 4 seconds of each other.  It's impressive really, the emotional roller coaster this child lives on! ;)


Friday, January 16, 2015

Well Hello!

It's been almost 2 months since I've posted!  YIKES!

I don't even know what to write about.  It's been busy....and stressful....and exciting.....and busy.  Sooooo...pretty normal I'd say! ;)

I am still going to the Y about 6 days/week.  Still so proud that I've stuck to it.  I am working on being better about eating...I didn't do great with Paleo while we were in Florida just before Christmas, but tried to get back at it when we got back.  I am still only cooking Paleo, but when we go out, I struggle to stick to it.  I am going to get back at it this week though.  Still only Paleo at home, so I'm mostly there!

I am HOPING to run the Bix7...that is my goal this year.  Maybe I'll push for a half marathon in 2016...we'll see.

All I know is that I feel best just after I've worked out.  Why did I wait almost 34 years to make this a part of my life?!  I have done so much more than I ever thought I could back when I started working out in September.  I cannot imagine how much more I will be able to do in another 5 months!  I feel more energetic, healthier and happier.

I am not going to lie...I feel like I am working my ass off and wish the weight would be just falling off, but it IS coming off....just much slower than I had hoped or expected.  I don't weigh myself, so all I know is that my clothes get looser and looser until I need a smaller size and I feel like I've been at a plateau for a while.  Probably because of my poor food choices over the holidays though.  If in a month, I am still feeling like things aren't fitting differently, I may need to change something up.

As far as the family goes...it's a damn miracle that Wesley has remained healthy all winter so far!  Where is some wood I can knock on????!!!!  Tate has a scope procedure on his esophagus/stomach in a couple of weeks to try and figure out what is going on with his regular throwing up.  Cason is progressing and doing amazing as usual...and he turned 4 a couple of days ago!  Sean is back at school after his winter break.

So that's what's going on!  Hopefully I won't wait another 2 months before I blog...I want to be better about it...like is just so busy! :/