About my blog

In the past year, I have lost over 55 lbs while working full time and being a full time mom to Maddie, 5 and Carter, 2. I want to encourage other moms who are pulled in a million different directions every day - if I can do it, you can too. I promise it IS possible.

On this blog, you will find information about how I lost the weight (this is an ongoing endeavor!), recipes enjoyed by me and my family, couponing and saving money, thoughts on parenting, yoga, people in general, or whatever else I feel like blogging about that day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The yoga itch: my new addiction

Today I had a new experience. I haven't been able to get to a yoga class in a week. Today my muscles itched - I can't think of a better way to describe it. Like I was going through some kind of withdrawal. Every time I bent down to put a book away, or carried a big stack of books to the desk, my muscles would get all excited thinking I was going to start working them out. Then they would feel all itchy and I would need to bend or stretch a little to get them to settle down. Those of you who work out on a regular basis - do you know what I'm talking about? Does this happen to you? It's the weirdest feeling! Tonight I came home and did some yoga on my own and it felt SO GOOD. My muscles were like, oh thank God!

I think I'm going to just start doing my own routine at home. It's so hard for me to get to classes with my schedule and Scott's schedule. I have yet to find a yoga video I like. I found this website http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/sequence_builder where you can build your own routine.

It makes me think about how I'm changing and how I felt when I started. I remember thinking after my first class that I would never be able to do those poses all the way through. I couldn't breathe in child's pose. I couldn't imagine ever being able to hold plank. I remember the yoga instructor telling us to tighten our stomach muscles and I tried but I couldn't even tell if they were tightening or not. I thought, "what stomach muscles"? If it wouldn't have been for the little resting part at the end where you get to lay there and feel your body all warm and stretched out, I don't think I would have gone back.

I love many different aspects of yoga. Many of these came much later, 6-9 months into my yoga practice, like the breathing and the spiritual aspect - mostly due to one amazing instructor. But I think the best thing is how you can see how much stronger you are every time you practice. It's not a cardio class where you just repeat the same routine over and over. I went from not being able to do anything to being able to hold downward facing dog for more than a few seconds, then holding plank for a few seconds, then seconds turned into minutes, and I could do upward facing dog, and finally I could breathe when I was in child's pose (partially due to the weight loss, I'm sure). I could feel myself getting stronger with every tiny goal I accomplished and I was able to do more every week. This is the best feeling - my body getting stronger and stronger. I can feel my stomach muscles now! And with yoga there is really no end to the challenges you can give yourself. And who wouldn't love an exercise routine that includes, as a friend of mine put it, "a little nap at the end"?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quinoa, or as Carter says, Keeen-WAAAaa

I spent Labor Day with family and friends and ate lots of stuff I shouldn't have - hot dogs, brownies (my mom made them so I CANNOT RESIST), and lots of chips. We played a lot too - swam, kayaked, walked - so I would like to think it all evened out, but I doubt it. It's cool with me though, I had a great weekend and I can start over with counting and measuring today. Even if I gain I will lose it again next week. I enjoyed every bite this weekend! Totally worth it.
In the kayak with Carter - we loved it!
I made an awesome dinner tonight and just have to share! Wish I had pictures but we ate most of it. I made chicken enchiladas (8 points) and Mexican quinoa (3 points). I made it because I had leftover chicken from the tacos we made this weekend. I love making chicken tacos - so super easy! Here's how I made the chicken: put a bunch of chicken breasts in the crock pot. Sprinkle with some kind of Mexican seasoning. Top with a can of diced tomatoes. Turn it on low and leave it alone for 6-8 hours. This makes the BEST chicken for tacos!

Here's the recipe for the Chicken Enchiladas:


Saute green pepper and onion over medium heat for 5 minutes with any desired spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic). Add cooked shredded chicken to heat. Place a heaping 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in each tortilla and roll up, placing face down in a pan. Mix together sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro and salsa. Pour over the enchiladas. Top with 1 cup cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Here's the recipe for the Mexican Quinoa:

After many failed attempts at making quinoa, I finally got it right tonight! My conclusion from my failures: don't put any other stuff in the quinoa (other than water or broth and spices) when it's cooking and cook it till the water is gone even if the recipe says 15 minutes. If you want to add other stuff add it at the end. My kids love saying quinoa..."Mom, can I have more keeen-waaaaaaaaa?" They compete to see who can say the "waaaa" part the longest.

1 cup(s) uncooked quinoa

2 cup(s) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin    
1 tsp chili powder    
1 tsp garlic powder    

1/2 tsp garlic salt    

Rinse quinoa and toast over medium heat in a saucepan for a few minutes until it starts to brown. Add spices and stir. Add chicken broth and cook, covered on low heat for 25 minutes.
Serving sizes are: one enchilada and one half cup quinoa. 11 points total for both and it's a lot of food! I thought this was one of the best dinners I have made that didn't come from a cookbook.