Monday, September 24, 2012

Living&Active Week 2

This is my second check point! Last week I got in the four required workouts and memorized our verse: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. " Matthew 6:34 I also kept up with my Setting Captives Free study every day and am loving it. 

My workouts consisted mostly of walking just because that is the easiest thing for me to do with the kids, plus it is supposed to be good for my back. I did play soccer with the kids one afternoon in the backyard, and also made up my own circuit workout of exercises like push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, etc. It was KILLER. I am also trying to stretch for 5-10 minutes before and after each workout as well as the days I do not exercise. 

As far as my eating, I am still waiting for hunger and full cues, which seems to be working. There is also a TON of prayer and study involved, helping me to keep my focus on Christ rather than food. I won't say I didn't mess up at all, because there were definitely some rough days. But God is still working and I'm excited about the changes He is helping me to make. My accountability partners have been awesome too, and I am still really enjoying their camaraderie. 

Oh, and I lost 2.8 lbs this week. :D

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recent Recipe RoundUp

So the weekly recipe roundup has become the recent recipe roundup! I can't always get to it every week so I will just save new recipes and do a longer post, less frequently. :) 

First up, Chicken Roll Ups. By the way, in case it isn't clear, you can always click on the title of each recipe and it will take you to the website that I originally got it from. Anyway, these were delicious! The tweaks I made were using canned chicken, adding adobo (if you do not have this in your spice cabinet, get it! It is great on so many things), and halving the amount of shredded cheese in the recipe. Next time I want to use less cream cheese as well because they seemed a little too creamy. Basically, this is just shredded chicken, cheese and spices rolled into crescent rolls and baked. The outside is brushed with butter and bread crumbs, which adds a nice finish. Overall these were good, and I will probably make them again. 

Next up is Cookie Dough Balls. I was drawn to this recipe because it contained no eggs and no baking. The best thing I can say about them is that they were interesting. Not bad necessarily, but I threw them out after only eating a couple. The texture was a little strange, kinda powdery and greasy at the same time. I feel sure I will not make them again. 

I realized on the day of (Sept. 10th) that it was grandparents' day. Since my own grandparents live in the area and the kids have grandparents locally as well, I decided to whip up some cookies to show our love for them. I stalked my pinterest cookie board to see what looked promising, and what I could make that I already had ingredients for in the house. I came up with the skinny version of Chunky Monkey Cookies.  And honestly, I didn't realize they were a skinny version until Jason tasted them and asked if they were diet cookies, haha!  After he said that, I couldn't eat them without thinking they tasted weird. Maybe not weird, but definitely not sweet enough to classify as a cookie. They tasted heavily of unsweetened cocoa powder and seriously needed some kind of sweetener. I forgot to snap a picture of the finished product, but here is the batter:

I felt too bad about the taste to give them to all of the g-parents so unfortunately they ended up with delicious (store-made) no-bake cookies. I will say though that Jason had the clever idea of rolling them in powdered sugar which made them edible enough for his co-workers! :) Oh, and I also had several friends who made them and actually liked them too. Goes to show that cooking/baking is always subjective!

Alrighty, next up we have Blueberry Angel Food Cake.  I am almost always drawn to recipes that have few ingredients, and in this case there were only two: angel food cake box mix and a can of pie filling. And it was delicious! I was impressed by the low calorie count that went along with such a tasty sweet. It was best with a little bit of vanilla ice cream on top. 

Somehow I forget to snap pictures of some of our trials (I blame mommy brain), but another recipe we tried was called Ranch Chicken. You mix crushed cornflakes, parmesan cheese, and a ranch dressing dry packet together, dip the chicken in butter and then coat with the cornflake mixture. This was very easy and very tasty. I will definitely make it again. 

Last up is a pancake recipe. These claimed to be 1-point weight watcher pancakes, but after I did the math they are actually 2 points (this was before I made my decision not to follow weight watchers). They were delicious, nonetheless! The recipe called for wheat flour, but I used white since that was all I had. I also only made 5 servings instead of 6. These were a great comfort food and I really enjoyed them. Eden didn't like them though, just as a side note. 

That's it for now! I did want to mention that I tried another pinterest trick of freezing chopped green onions in an empty, cleaned water bottle to be used to top dishes as needed (I always buy a bunch and end up throwing them away before I use them all). Worked like a charm! Didn't lose any flavor in the freezing process and I didn't have to thaw them, they thawed while sitting on the hot dish. Just an extra tidbit for ya! :) 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Day at the Park

 The weather has been turning nice and cool here and the kids and I took advantage by going to the park a few times last week. Here are some shots from our visits:

Harry spent the entire time running everywhere (which means I did too):

Eden climbed all over the place and even went down slides by herself:

I LOVE the fall weather - it means I can let them loose outside to expel all of that energy! :) 

P.S. - here's a bonus shot of Harry tickling Eden's feet. :) 

Living&Active Checkpoint #1

Here it is, my first check in for my health goals! I think the easiest way to do this is in bullet form:

1. Physical: I did my four days of exercise for the living and active challenge through Peak313Fitness. This mostly consisted of walking, but I also threw in some fun stuff like dancing with the kids (holy cow, that is exhausting for a full 25 minutes!). This week I am hoping to get at least 5 days in!

2.  Spiritual: I memorized the verse for Peak313 and also did the Setting Captives Free (SCF) Bible study every day - this is a big one for me! To have a solid week of study everyday is a big accomplishment - I started a habit of doing it first thing when the kids take a nap so I am almost guaranteed enough time to finish before they wake up. I have had to let some other things go (napping and sometimes even showering!), but it has been worth it. This study has been incredible. 

3. Eating: this has taken a major change this week. I have realized through my Bible study that overeating is a sin and the only way I can overcome that is to call on the Lord. It is not just about what I eat, not even mostly about what I eat - it is about being submitted to God and His leading. I am sure some people think I am making a bigger deal out of this than is necessary, but I know for me, this is bigger than simply what I eat. The SCF study has encouraged not participating in a specific "diet" but rather being aware of hunger/full cues  that our bodies naturally give us. I know this seems really logical and obvious, but it has finally clicked in my brain. I have been in constant flux, thinking I should do weight watchers, then paleo, then gluten-free, and the list goes on. But I have realized this week that I want to be free from a diet-ruled lifestyle. God does not restrict the things we can eat but we must eat in a balanced, self-controlled way. Although weight watchers does teach that, I was getting way too caught up in the rules and limitations. I was placing too much focus on every little thing rather than just being led by the Spirit.  

I hope that makes sense - like I said, it is something that I'm sure some people will look at as silly. But this has been a major breakthrough for me. I am more satisfied, eating less, relying on God's direction, and more concerned about Him than food. That is an upgrade. :) I will share more about the eating changes I have made as time goes on. Here is a post I put in our FB accountability page that may explain a little better:

 I've had a major breakthrough! As I was doing my SCF study last night, I realized something - I am still trying to do this myself and I am totally discounting God's power. I kept thinking "I have weight watchers to follow and fall back on" or "I need to do paleo"...I have realized that it isn't about what I eat as much as about what God directs me to do. Now this is totally scary for me - not to have a step by step approach to what I can/can't eat, but I'm convinced that is exactly what God wants from me - total dependence. To trust Him fully and to be seeking to hear the Spirit's voice with such fervor that I trust even as He leads me in what I should eat. I am listening to my body's signals for hunger/fullness. Although I feel very vulnerable without a specific plan, I feel at such amazing peace and freedom too! Please pray that I will stay focused as I listen closely for God's leading.

4. The accountability through our FB page with Sarah and Melissa has been amazing. The support they have offered has been priceless to me!

So there's my update - some great things are going on, and although I am feeling a bit vulnerable with not having a specific eating plan, I am feeling WAY more peaceful about it!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Joanna :)

Last week we had a wonderful visit with Jason's younger sister, Joanna. I am blessed with awesome in-laws, and Joanna is no exception! She was the first person I met in Jason's family, and we clicked right away. The kids took up with her quickly too, and she played the doting Auntie Jo very well. I didn't manage to get a ton of pics while she was here, but we did take time out on her last night to snap some family pictures. 

Jason and Joanna

This is the best shot of all four of us we were able to get - Eden's hair is a bit funky and Harry isn't even looking at the camera, but at least no one is crying! :) 

A super sweet outtake. <3

The double daters: Jason, me, Jo and Ken (Jason's best friend who has been an adopted part of the family for years).

Dad C and Joanna

Jason and his Dad

Love this one!

We had such a great time, I hope she will come back soon! Joanna was a huge help to me with the kids and I enjoyed her company very much. We would love for to just move here to NC and be close by all the time (shameless plug, Jo!) ! :) 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Living and Active Day 1

Today is the launch day in with the Living and Active Challenge by Peak313! Obviously, there isn't much to report since today is day one, but I still wanted to get things kicked off properly. :) 

There are several facets that I am tying into my current fitness/diet goals, so I thought a post spelling it all out would be helpful for you and me! Here we go:

1. I am doing the Living and Active 5 week challenge through Peak313Fitness. This involves an exercise goal of at least 25 minutes a day, at least 4 days a week. It also has a spiritual goal of memorizing one verse a week. 

2. I am following a 60 day Bible study called Setting Captives Free. This is another spiritual goal, to spend time studying the specific topic of overeating and how to overcome it with the Word. 

3. I am still doing weight watchers and am considering doing another whole30 (paleo). I am trying to ease myself into eating mostly paleo-approved foods anyway, but would like to do another whole30 (30 days of strict paleo eating) just as another level to my diet.  I will keep you updated if/when I decide to start that. 

4. I am keeping accountable in two ways: first, a competition with some of my family members to see who can lose the most weight between now and Christmas. We have all put $20 into a pot and whoever wins gets all the money ($120 total). This is great because not only are we all trying to change our lifestyles, but there is good incentive to keep it up. I am also part of a three girl accountability group made up of my SIL and her best friend from high school (my SIL introduced us and we have been friends for a while now too :)). I am SO excited about this! We have created a facebook page just for us and we post daily about what we are eating, how we are exercising, our struggles, etc. All three of us are doing the Living and Active Challenge together. I'm hoping that we will continue to share each other's journey even after the 5 weeks of that is finished!

5. My plan is to devote one blog post a week (probably on Mondays) that recaps all of my exercise and food for the previous week. This is more for another level of accountability for me rather than a stimulating read for all of you (sorry!). It helps to see in writing what I have eaten and done physically one week at a time. 

So there you have it - my first checkpoint will be next Monday, so check back to see my progress! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Labor Day Beach Trip

Over Labor Day weekend, we were able to go to the beach with Jason's sister Joanna, and our very dear friends, Glenn and Rebecca and their daughter Holley. Holley has been watching our kids since Eden was a newborn, and she is our favorite babysitter! 

(sorry this is so fuzzy, it was so hot that my camera fogged up on a few shots) 

I need to just take a minute and say what a blessing this family has been to ours. Glenn and Rebecca have gone over and beyond to help us with anything and everything we have needed. We have known them for about 7 or 8 years and they have always been so generous to us! On top of that, their daughter Holley has been wonderful for our kids - they love her! She is just like her parents, having such a giving spirit. We are so grateful to have this family in our lives and we love them dearly! 

Harry and Eden got lots of love on our beach trip, being passed from one lap to the next:

And don't forget their doting Auntie Jo was there too, just in case they didn't have enough attention! Here she is walking down to the beach with Eden:

Not surprisingly, the kids had a great time in the sand and water:

(this is one of my favorites!)

After getting some good play time in, some birds decided to crash our party:

(I love that Holley is chasing Harry in this picture)

(this is one of my favorites too; Eden is chasing a little tiny bird wanting to catch it so badly!)

(Harry was getting a little tuckered out)

(walking back with Holley)

Sorry there are no shots of Jason at the beach, he didn't end up going with us the day I took my camera. But we weren't beach bums the whole time, there was lots of game playing, shopping, and eating involved too. 
Since we had our favorite babysitter with us, all of the adults were able to go out for dinner one night:

Glenn and Rebecca

Jason and Joanna

Me and Jason

We had such a wonderful time! There was a ton of laughter and many memories made. The Lord also provided some stellar deals at the outlets for the kids' fall wardrobes. We are so grateful to our grandparents for letting us use the beach house to get some much needed rest. :)