Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 1 Recap - Active Living Challenge

My fitness, like my blogging, has been sorely neglected lately.

In true perfect timing form, Fit Approach and Lorna Jane started an Active Living Challenge!  August is seriously our craziest month of the year, with 4-H obligations at the county fair, a birthday, football practices beginning, and the prep for back to school and church activities starting up in September.  Not to mention gardening and harvesting and canning.  But I am gonna keep on keeping on and this challenge has been a great way for me to think about fitness and healthy food every day!

Day one got me planking again.

Day two was a great dinner - all home grown and harvested.  I followed the instructions in one of the Costco cookbooks for pan frying the steelhead.  The green beasn were sauteed in garlic and olive oil.  I splashed in fish sauce and soy sauce somewhere during the saute process.  They were amazing.

Day three we went on a family run.  I love family runs.  I love seeing my kids excited about running and pushing themselves.  Connor was frustrated because it was his first time running post broken heel, and he learned a hard lesson about fitness and what happens to your body when you've taken a break.  Jason and I were reliving that experience as well!

Day four I made eight batches of pizza crust... prepping for fair meals and quick dinners after football practice.  Food prep in my kitchen isn't always quiet, but it is definitely calming.  Being prepared for dinners and lunches reduces my stress level exponentially.  My KitchenAid just makes the work easier!

Day five and six and seven I have spent gardening and cleaning out the duck pen and the chicken coop.  I worked up more of a sweat moving wheelbarrows of duck manure than I did in all my running this week!  We've had record "hot" weather here. It's in the 80's and 90's, and we are all dying.  I know... we are wimps.  But, my post workout sweaty selfie was post wheelbarrow workout!

This week is our county fair.  Life is going to get insanely crazy with barn duty and kids' fit and shows and auctions and activities, but I'm staying in the challenge!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

When You Can't Even Remember the Last Time You Blogged...

The only reason I know the last time I blogged was because my posts are dated.  If I was an awesome blogger with a ton of followers, everyone would have thought I had met a tragic end and been worried.
Thankfully, it appears no one is worried, and my sudden split from social media didn't seem to impact anyone at all.  Looking back, I know I have this pattern.  Every year it seems I take an unplanned vacation from all things bloggy.  This year, that break happened to include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and whatever other media I have as well.

My break has been a good one, and I don't think I'm fully back yet.  I just needed to remember what it felt like to sit up late at night in front of a glowing computer screen, hearing nothing but the tick tick of the keys and the humming of the fish tank pump.

I'm on a ledge.

Life with my kids and husband has been number one.  Work sucks a lot, and it takes all my energy to get through that and still be on the ball at home making the best life I can for my family.  My cyber world has had to take a back seat, along with my fitness (I'm thinking the two have become interdependent).  There isn't a single thing in the last six-ish months that I would take back.  I've done my best to choose Jason and the kids first.  This summer, we have jumped at every opportunity to make memories and get outdoors and in the dirt and the water and the sunshine.  But I am starting to miss the way blogging motivates me.  I'm missing the cyber camaraderie that gets me out the door so I can post a workout and give kudos to others doing the same.  I'm sitting on the ledge because I have got to figure out how to keep what I have and fit in what I miss.

Who else struggles with finding a balance?

My kids could care less if I finish a blog post on any given day or not.  They love to run with me, but they won't read my Flipbelt, Vivobarefoot, -fill-in-the-blank- review.  And, I am...sadly... not so awesome these days at juggling a million things.  When I stay up late to get a post finished, I am snappy with my kids and too tired to do good things the next day.

Am I... *gasp*...getting old?  Is this what happens?

Whatever is wrong, I am working on sorting it out.  I'm scooching my butt closer to the edge.  The leap will happen soon enough.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Move Nourish Believe Challenge: Week Three Recap

Week Three: Believe

2/17: Spoil Yourself! - Do something just for you 

today! Take a walk, go to yoga, spoil yourself!

I loved that Monday was President's Day, and we didn't have to work.  I spoiled myself by sleeping in.  My hubby had to work (poor him), and the kids wanted to stay with Grandma.  I hardly knew what to do with myself the night before... but boy did I enjoy those extra hours of sleep! Aside from taking solo shopping days or getting long run hours all to myself, sleep is my favorite activity.


2/18: 5 Mindful Minutes - Do good to your body, 

meditate for 5 minutes and find your zen.

Without a doubt, I know I need more mindful minutes.  And I know that my mindful minutes should be spent reading my Bible or praying.  Yet, so many times I spend doing busy work around the house or zoning out on the computer or watching some mindless episode on Netflix.  Not good uses of my time.  This was a good reminder day for me.  I spent time reading in Psalms and then spent time studying up for my girl's group on Wednesday night.  


2/19: Be Happy - Show us your happy place!

My happy place is home with my kids.  I spent a long time looking through my phone for pictures of a favorite run or of all of us at the beach or on a trail or out visiting someone, and every time I ended up on a picture of the kids at the house, I immediately felt this little rush of joy and longing.  Hands down... I'm happiest at home with my kids.  Ironic that I am a working mom who travels and spends more time away from home than the normal human... but, maybe that's why I appreciate it more.  This was a good reflective lesson.  I know I won't be a stay at home mom, but I know that I am making every effort to make the most of the time I have at home with my kids.  And, I hope they remember those good times the same way that I do.


2/20: Thankful Thursday - Let us know what you 

are thankful for!

Seeing everyone's thankful posts and thinking about what I was the most thankful for inspired me to start a Thankful blog post... but life got in the way, and I haven't finished it yet.  Thursday night, my husband and I went through the kids' memory boxes looking for handprints.  He is getting a tattoo done with all the kids' handprints, and he needed some for the artist to reference.  I spent the whole day listing thankfuls off in my head, but as soon as I saw my boys' kindergarten handprints and photos from their first year at school, I had to post how thankful I was for those memories. 


2/21: Share the love - S/O to your #1 

supporter/motivator!

This last few weeks, I have spent time every day doing some kind of workout, taking random pictures, making sure I had posts done each night.  Never once did my husband complain. Jason is no doubt my #1 supporter. He encourages me in my running goals.  He runs races with me. He helps make sure I follow my training plans. He participates in random health kicks and diets.  He spent all last week bragging about how his wife completed a Level One Gladiator workout (which made me feel pretty awesome).  

Overall, I really liked this week.  I'm the first to look at diet and exercise when trying to get healthier, even though I should know that my heart and mind need to be in the right place to truly be healthy.  I'm thankful that this challenge helped me to remember this.  I'm sad that the challenge is over, but I am excited to have completed each day and remained strong.  In the past I have started challenges and faded away towards the end or not completed at all.  It's a good feeling to have finished each day and given each day a good, solid effort.  I'm excited to keep moving forward and to keep finding new ways to challenge myself each day.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Solo Monday Morning

Today is a day I was able to sleep in until 9:30!  That, folks, is a miracle.

And it only happened because the kids are with grandma and Jason had to leave for work at the horrific hour of 5 a.m.

This morning, I cleaned my bathroom counter (a rare occurrence).  I made delicious stove top coffee. I hung out with my ducks and chickens and goats for a bit.  I washed the mud and gunk off our running shoes from yesterday's trail run.  I started a few loaves of bread, made quinoa for quinoa cakes, did some laundry, put away some stuff, and found some new Facebook pages to like.  The SITS Girls have a great group, and I am happy to be a part of their network.

Now I'm getting ready to steal my kids back because I miss them.

Today I want to bake and go on an adventure and clean out the duck pen.  All exciting things.

We'll put up a picture later.




Sunday, February 16, 2014

Move Nourish Believe Challenge: Week Two Recap

Week Two: Nourish 

2/10: Go Meatless - Skip meat today! Try vegetarian/vegan meals.

I was excited for Meatless Monday, because I always talk about it, and I rarely follow through.  

However... this particular Monday, I had pre-made an amazing smelling red coconut curry with lamb Sunday night for a quick Monday dinner.  This was my second lamb experiment, so I wanted to see if I liked it better in curry than I did as chops.  I can leave a lamb chop.  

But. I powered through.  I picked out the meat, ate the rest of the sauce and decided to have the full meal for leftovers during the week in my lunch.  The rest of the curry sauce was amazing though, and we mixed rice and couscous and sprinkled fresh cilantro on top.  Delish.

The beginning of my Meatless Monday was equally delicious.  

Breakfast - Homemade greek yogurt topped with honey and granola for breakfast.  I was in a bit of a rush, so I had to eat it out of the container driving down the highway.  

Lunch - Kalamata olive and feta salad topped with veggies and raspberry vinagrette.  I also snacked on cheddar kettle chips and raspberry ginger kombucha on the drive back from our work meetings.


2/11: TYLTW! - Take Your Lunch to Work today! Choose a recipe from movenourishbelieve.com to inspire your packed lunch!

Amazing Lorna Jane Salad  I made a salad with kale, cilantro, and spinach and packed a baked sweet potato on the side.  It was as close as I could get to the awesome salad recipe on the website.

2/12: Write it down! - Journal your food today and share your WIAW with us!

Oh dear... this was a bad day.  

Breakfast - I started out decent enough with an americano with honey and cream, homemade wheat toast and a banana.  Later on that morning, I had a glass of orange juice.

Lunch - A giant salad with spinach, kale, cilantro and french dressing.  I also had about 1/2 a cup of leftover venison, carrot and potato stew with a dumpling.  Later that afternoon, I had a crazy stress craving for a Squirt - they are not low calorie!

Dinner - We ate at Jason's grandma's house, and she had made chili dogs.  I went low-carb and opted for a bowl of chili with chips, onion and cheese.  

Snacks - This is where I lost my mind.  Wednesday nights I lead a group for high school girls.  It was our "reward" night, so we went to a local restaurant for ice cream.  I caved and had a small peppermint patty cyclone.  It was delicious.  So good that I ended up have two chocolate chip cookies when we got back to the church.  

My self-control slowly went out the window.  I ended the day 400 calories over.  But - this was a great exercise in accountability!

2/13: Smoothie Day! - Happy Thirsty Thursday! Make a healthy smoothie today!

I almost missed this day!  After Jason and I finished our Gladiator workout, I made a smoothie to test out my first ever batch of kefir.  I added homemade raspberry freezer jam and ice cubes. 

Delicious!  And great recovery for my super tired muscles!

2/14: Go Raw Friday! - Choose a recipe from movenourishbelieve.com and go raw!

For some reason, every time I check out Lorna Jane's recipes, I end up at the salads.  They all look SO good!  Of course... I never have everything in my cupboards and fridge for an exact replica... so I improvised.  Friday night we had homemade fish and chips.  Jason took some lingcod out of the freezer, and I made an experimental corn meal and corn chip breading.  We made homemade sweet potato fries too.  For extra sides, I heated up corn and made a coleslaw style salad with cabbage, kale, cilantro, and grated carrots.  The salad and the fish went awesome with a homemade yogurt and dill sauce.  


Overall - this was a great week.  I'm definitely going to keep up on documenting meals on MyFitnessPal.  I'm also super impressed with kefir smoothies!  Those will stay in the rotation for breakfasts and recovery!