Literally every post ever.

Seriously, every post. Every single one, right?

This time though I’m here with a happy update. Back in February I talked about starting keto. And then again in March, and April, and May, and June and you already get where this is going because you know the months of the year.

In August my husband listened to a bunch of podcasts, read a bunch of stories and studies and decided that he was on board.

A few days later, me and my hustle got taken down by the flu, which then turned into pneumonia. It was miserable and I slept for basically a week straight. I lost like 10 pounds. My body was mad at me, and was like, “Rest already!”

We, (or should I say he) finally started when I got back on my feet on August 31st. Me? I’m a sugar addict and surrounded by chocolate and ice cream all day at work. I cheated. That’s how I roll.

Or rolled I should say. After a week, I felt bad and dove in for real.

You know those $1.99 weekly magazines where some woman is interviewed for losing 200 pounds, and she says some variation of “I don’t know what was different this time. Something just clicked and I finally stuck with it. If I can do it anyone can!”

I get it now. I always thought it was some BS fluff, but now I totally understand.

It’s been easy. I’m no longer a sugar addict. My glucose numbers are normal. I’m turning down chocolate lava cake, ice cream, peppermint patties easily. Like, I don’t even care or feel like I’m missing out.

We even attended an event with a cheesecake bar, and I was totally cool just drinking my coffee with butter.

Who the heck am I even?

Right now I’m down to 195 pounds. 10 more and I’ll weigh what I did in middle school. Middle school. That’s bananas.

And totally awesome. I can’t believe how easy this way of eating is. I never feel deprived or hungry, and weight is literally falling off.

Have you tried Keto? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear more!

I promise some day I’ll figure out how to line these photos up right.  Maybe, hopefully.  

Maybe I’ll even get a photographer who isn’t 4 or 5 years old.  😂😂😂

Oh, hey! I’m getting good at these “I’m back!” posts!

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted.  I’m fairly confident that like 1/8 of my posts are posts where I claim, “I’m back!  I’m totally going to crush it, now!  I’ve got my head on right, no more Fake It Til You Make It!  I’m for real this time.”

This isn’t one of those posts.  I mean, obviously I’m back.  But I’m not here to lie and talk a big game where I know there’s going to be minimal follow-through, I’m not here to post all the BS Motivational Monday Memes I can find, to wax poetic with quotes about how I’m a winner, full of fire and determination.  I’m here, and that’s all I can promise right now.

See, three weeks ago I started doing a ton of research on Keto.  As I always do, I dove into podcasts and books, blogs and facebook groups.  I found all the popular people, I followed them.  I researched recipes, planned meals, and went shopping.

I wrote a little journal entry praising myself and my newfound lifestyle.  Talked a big game, about how I was going to stick with this and change my life.  For myself, for my family, for all of us.

 And then I started.

Except I didn’t.  I kind of did.  I made it three days before deciding that I needed a drink.  And then there was that party.

So I started again.  The Next Monday.  Another Journal entry:  Day One Again.  Big game talk, and then realizing that the actual Big Game (remember when you couldn’t say SuperBowl?  Why was that?!) was this week, so why not wait until next week so I can eat whatever I want?

Can you guess what I did today?  Another Journal Entry:  Day One…Again.  For Real.

It’s almost comical right?  I’m going to run out of qualifiers, and I’ll still be writing random Day One journal entries.  Just 200 pages of entries titled “Day One _____, _______:_______.”  An entire journal full of nothing but excuses, fake outs and blatant lies I tell to myself.

No, I have to be honest.  I know myself well enough to know that I’m not speaking my truth.

What do I need to do to actually do it this time?  I have to really want it, and I’m only 87% sure I do.  There’s this part of me that says, “Maybe you’re not worth it.  You’ll fail, and you’ll have to admit that all this time has been wasted.  You don’t deserve this.”

That was the scariest, most honest thing I’ve ever shared here.  People who know me can attest that I am full of confidence. I’ll get up and speak in front of any group at any time, I’ll dance my heart out knowing I can’t dance.  I know who I am, and I love who I am.  But there’s always been this part of me that’s terrified to fail, to get hurt.

If you don’t try, you can’t fail, right?

I’ve spent 35 years with my feet firmly planted inside my comfort zone.  It’s snuggly here, and I’m surrounded by my favorite people.  I know what to expect.

But I’m tired of feeling like I’m stuck here.  I don’t want to wake up in ten years, with a journal full of “Day One” entries.  I don’t want to find out that the feeling of regret that comes from “What If?”far, far, far outweighs the current fear of failure.  And I’m 100% sure that it will.

I’m not a math genius, but even I can see that 100% is greater than 87%.  (Though I had to delete my first draft sentence there, because I put the less than sign instead of greater than…and then remembered PacMan, and that I should stick to words because numbers require me to google.  Don’t tell.)  Maybe I should just focus on doing the scary things, and see what follows?

So that’t the new plan.  Stop bullshitting everyone.  Be authentic, and just do the scary things.  Like sharing my actual weight, and measurements and pictures.  Share the photos of my bad angles, the ones with the double chins.  Don’t hide the “bad” foods and slip ups.  Stop hiding behind this screen, and let the universe know what’s up.  

I mean, anyone who sees me can see this, so “hiding” it and not sharing doesn’t make it any less true.  So let’s share!  (I’m on a roll here, two super scary arse things in one post.  Eeeeek!)

Day One (*Maybe):  February 13, 2017

Photos taken by a 5 year old, don’t hate.  

Height:  5’5″

Weight:  224.2

Measurements:

Waist- 45.5

Hips- 50.5  (this includes my lovely hang from two c-sections)

Bicep- (L) 14

Bicep- (R)  14

Forearm- (L)  10

Forearm- (R)  10

Thigh- (L)  22

Thigh- (R)  22

Calf- (L)  16

Calf- (R)   16

 

I know I’m not alone in this.  If you’re like me, if you can relate in any way, send me a message or comment below.  I’d love to chat!

 

Breakfast + Me = BFFs

Are we friends on social media?

If we’re not, then you should go click those little links to the right, because then you’ll start to understand how much I love breakfast.

And if we are then you already know how much I love breakfast.  My list of loves in life pretty much goes 1) Kids/Husband 2) Breakfast 3) Everything Else.

Specifically I have a love for Breakfast Salad.

breakfast salad

Yup, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  Slap an egg on it and enjoy!

I know it sounds weird.  A few months back I would have thought it sounded weird.  “Salad?  You mean like lettuce, tomato, cucumber? That salad?!  Salad isn’t a breakfast food!” seems like something I would have said had I had a fake conversation with my past self.

But what are the benefits of breakfast salad?

I’m so glad you asked because I’m actually doing a bit of research right now!  Well, not right now right now.  Right now I’m writing this, but you know what I mean.  (You’re smart like that!)

I spend so much of my free time researching nutrition, it’s almost bonkers and I’ve come across some amazing facts that I can’t wait to share.  I’m not a doctor or a scientist, and I don’t pretend to play one on TV or the internet, but the amount of studies and information available to us is astounding.  

There’s just so much information I’m going to break it down into a few parts.  The word count about the benefits of eggs alone has got to be close to 1,000.

I don’t want to leave you totally hanging though, so I’ll leave you with this study from Purdue University.

“Wayne Campbell, Ph.D., Professor of Nutrition Science, Purdue University working with postdoc fellow Jung Eun Kim, Ph.D., R.D., conducted a study to assess the effects of egg consumption on carotenoid absorption from a raw mixed-vegetable salad. Sixteen healthy young men ate three versions of the salad — one with no egg, one with 1.5 scrambled whole eggs, and another with 3 scrambled whole eggs. Those who ate the highest egg amount with the salad of tomatoes, shredded carrots, baby spinach, romaine lettuce, and Chinese wolfberry increased absorption of carotenoids 3-9 fold. This is a very significant effect, said Campbell. The carotenoids found in the salad include beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, the latter two being found in egg yolk as well.

The research grew out of his group’s previous study showing that by adding certain oils to mixed raw vegetables, the consumer experienced enhanced absorption of carotenoids.”

 

Breakfast Salad is legit, y’all.  And I’ll be back with even more awesome benefits that will have you piling your plate high with leafy greens before 9am every day.

Shhh…Just Listen.

I’ve spent my whole life blissfully unaware of how certain foods effect me.  I was so out of tune that I could ignore things, and just consider them normal.

I have a confession:  I’ve taken a head first dive off the wagon straight into a chocolate swimming hole, surrounded by fried foods and take out.

See, I have a really fun, amazing job that takes over my life from March until October every year.  I’m lucky that the kids come with me, and someone actually pays me to plan fun theme weekends and make sure that our guests are having fun.  The days are long, and it’s an adjustment from the winters when I have all the time in the world to cook and food prep.  I’m tired and cranky and I just don’t wanna!

I still make 90% of our meals, and I make sure that everyone is getting in healthy nutrient dense foods mostly.  But we are literally surrounded throughout the day by a food truck, candy, cupcakes, ice cream…all of those things that I’ve found myself sneaking the last three weeks.

I think, “No biggie!  I’ll just do better tomorrow.”  And tomorrow the cycle continues.  And then I feel guilty because I know it’s just me making bad choices even though I know better.  It’s a mess, and I’m a mess.

And you know what’s happened?  My body is revolting.  When you eat poorly all the time it’s so easy to miss the warning signs, because you just feel bad all the time and don’t even know it.

 I promise you it’s true.

In the last three weeks alone, I’ve experienced:

Acne on the back of my neck

Eczema (This is totally new for me)

Joint pain (Mostly in my hips, making it hard to walk)

Increased irritability (Sorry y’all!)

Trouble Sleeping

High Blood Sugar

 

And of course!  I’m stressed, feeling overwhelmed at my suddenly tight schedule.  I’m feeling guilty because I’m not being the best version of myself in my family relationships because I’m stressed.  I’m turning to comfort foods and take out to “reward” everyone because I feel guilty about not being the best version of myself right now.  Do you see the pattern, too?

Stress and guilt, refined carbs and sugar, not sleeping well?  Of course my body is screaming for more attention and to be carefully cared for and fed!

seymour

More Vegetables, Please!

I can’t ignore the signs now that I’m healthy enough to recognize them.  I’ve tried, but it’s not pretty.

It’s time to buckle down.  Dial it in.  Take the bull by the horns.  Do the hard yards.  Be about it.

And other random sayings that basically mean “Stop being stupid, and just do it already.”   

Sleep Smarter Book Review

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of “Sleep Smarter” written by one of my absolute favorite people in the world of health and fitness, Shawn Stevenson.  You may know Shawn as the creator of the number one rated Fitness and Nutrition show on iTunes, The Model Health Show.  Along with his co-host Jade, Shawn shares an insane amount of knowledge in all things health and wellness each week, topped off with an enthusiasm that is sure to motivate and inspire.

I’d go as far to say that he is the single most motivating person I’ve ever listened to, and y’all know I love podcasts!

So when the opportunity to review the book came along, I jumped at the chance.  I may even have broken out some old school cabbage patch/running man hybrid dance when I read the email.  Ok, I totally did.  For like a solid minute, at least.  Have I mentioned that I’m a huge fan?

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Time to dig in!  Breakfast Salad and Sleep Smarter. 

 

Sleep has been a major struggle for me for the last four years.  Neither of our children are what you’d call “good sleepers” or even decent sleepers.  I’ve spent the last four years walking in a fog, supplementing my lack of sleep with caffeine (and chocolate, no doubt) and wanting nothing more than to wake up feeling refreshed.

I’m not even slightly exaggerating that I lost my keys at least four times a week.  Do you know how stupid that will make you feel?  Once, twice, or six hundred times it’s funny.  Nine hundred and fifty-two?  That stops being a cute quirk and becomes a real problem.  I’m surprised no one forced me into an MRI machine for a brain scan.

But how could this book help with that?  How could this book possibly help a sleep deprived mother?  It’s not like you can change the way your kids are sleeping so you can sleep better in turn, right?

Wrong.  The tips and tricks in the book aren’t just for adults they can be applied to help everyone in the family sleep smarter, and wake up more rested.  (I mean some are, but I’m fairly sure most of our kids aren’t hitting the booze bottle before bed!)

kids

Look at these well rested, happy faces!

Today is the last day to pre-order the book and receive some amazing bonuses:

  • $25 Thrive Market Gift Card + 1-Month Free Membership
  • Free one year (10 issue) subscription to Men’s Health or Women’s Health Magazine
  • Free Sleep Smarter Video Series ($49 value)

Check out the full list of bonuses for purchasing more than one copy, and give a copy to a friend or family member who needs better sleep.  That’s all of us, right?

Bottom Line:

The book is well-written and comes across more like a conversation with a friend than a “How To” book.   If you know Shawn, you’ll hear his voice in your head as you’re reading along…and if you don’t know Shawn you’ll still enjoy the jokes and stories.  The information is concise, practical and applicable.  The 14 Day Plan included is a game changer, and will help you to improve your sleep and in turn improve your life.

Buy it.  Buy it now!

 

 

I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I did a scary thing…

I quit the gym today.  

Well, technically I’m doing it tomorrow, when customer service is open to fill out the paperwork.

And, technically I’m putting my membership on hold for three months, but still, it feels like quitting.

To say that I haven’t been feeling it lately would be an understatement.  I totally lost my mojo, and I haven’t been enjoying it.   I’ve barely been since before the holidays, when I was a solid 3-4 day devotee for the last year.

It’s a gorgeous facility, with an amazing staff, but I’m just kind of over it.

I’ve been working out at home lately, and I’m enjoying it.  Like, a lot.  There are a ton of resources thanks to pinterest and instagram and periscope.

One of my favorite people to follow right now for home workouts is Noelle at Coconuts and Kettlebells.  She’s a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, and hosts a podcast I always recommend to new paleo peeps, The Paleo Women.  If you sign up for her newsletter, she’ll even send you an e-book full of home workouts.

I’m nervous because what I love most is lifting heavy things, and that just isn’t possible for me at home.  At least not with my budget, I don’t think it is.   Maybe my Dad could get me a tire for hitting and flipping, but I’m not going to have a squat rack or sled or anything crazy (awesome) just yet.

I think ultimately I’d really love to get into strongman*, or power lifting or something.  But for now, I’m content with building strength and muscle and using the outdoors as my playground.  I’m itching for the warm weather (I’m actually typing this outside right now!) and looking forward to sweet sunshine on my face as I keep on keepin’ on with this whole journey into health.

I’m more excited and motivated thanks to this change than I have been in months, but I need your help!  What equipment would you consider a must-have?  What’s a waste of money?

 

*I can’t believe I said that out loud.  Kinda makes it real.  I feel like I should say “No take backs!”

Clever Title Not Found.

I’m so tired, I can’t even brain right now, so excuse the lack of a title, please.

sleep6

I’m pretty sure that’s not even a joke, just an observation.

Our super adorable kids are not the best sleepers, or even what one might consider decent sleepers.  There was a long time when I was positive that I’d log onto Facebook one day and see that all of my friends had deleted me, because it was basically ALL I talked about.  Sleep.  Lack of sleep.  Needing a nap.  Being tired.  Sleep.  And lack of sleep.

Then, a few months ago things started to change.  It happened so slowly I almost didn’t notice that I was getting more sleep.  I’d wake up feeling refreshed, the brain fog started lifting.  I stopped misplacing my keys every day.

It was glorious!

Was.  As in past tense.

I’m sure it’s just a sleep regression due to a developmental leap, but it’s still hard.  I promise not to complain too much.

Thanks to my new found friend, Coffee, I’ve been making it through the days just fine.

coffee

 Have I ever mentioned how much I love Aldi?  It needs it’s own post!

We tried a few new recipes this week, and there are a few I can’t wait to review.  Until then, here’s a sneak peek at some of the best foods we’ve eaten this week!

Vegetable and Meat Chili

chili2

chili

chili1

Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup1 minestrone soup2

BBQ Bacon Burger Salads

bbq bacon burger salads1

 Roast Beef

salad roast beef

Zucchini and Almond Butter Brownies

zucchini brownies

And of course, my favorite food in the world #BreakfastSalad.  This is the only meal I remember to share on social media 9/10 times.

black coffee breakfast salad

breakfast salad

What Are We Eating This Week?

It’s no secret that I like lazy, easy, healthy meals.  I don’t mess around with recipes that call for 947 ingredients, and I certainly don’t want to extend my time in the kitchen any longer than I have to since I’m pretty much there for hours a day already.  I’m not saying eating real whole food made from scratch isn’t worth it, because it totally is, I’m just saying Can I Live?***

If you’re here, chances are you relate.  You want to be able to prepare a meal of real whole food quickly, without hassle.  Weekday, Weekend, it’s all the same to us, right?  In and out, baby.  Let’s get this food to the table, let the kids decide if it’s a “This is the best dinner ever!  Thank you Mommy!” night or a “I know this is my favorite food ever, but not tonight!” night, so we can wash the dishes for the twelfth time today.  Am I right?

I know I’m not alone, so for all two of you who read this blog my gift to you is “What Are We Eating This Week?”

I’ll share links when needed, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Breakfasts:

Sausage Egg Cups From PaleOMG

These are for my husband, so I use hot ground sausage.  Aldi, my second favorite place on earth right behind the whole state of Alaska, has it for super cheap.

Breakfast Salad   Spinach, cucumbers, avocado, cherry tomatoes with  fried eggs on top.

(My friend Jaci at Chasing A Hundred once said that anything is better with a fried egg on top.  She’s right.  She should also start blogging again! Ahem!)   I literally eat this every day.  It’s my favorite meal.  There’s something about using the egg yolk kind of like a dressing that’s extra amazing.  Add in the creamy avocado, and bacon, and it’s making me drool all over myself just thinking about it.

Lunches:

Salads with Rotisserie Chicken

Leftovers

Tuna Salad Wraps with homemade mayo, carrots, cucumbers, and olives

Egg Salad Wraps (also with homemade mayo)

Zoodles and Meatballs

Dinners:

BBQ Bacon Burger Salads

Featuring Home Made BBQ Sauce from Happy Wife Style  It’s really the star of the show!

Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli

Rotisserie Chicken with Kale Chips and Salad

Bangers and Mash  (Have I mentioned that Aldi carries ground sausage for cheap?)

Slow Cooker  Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef with Swiss Chard, and Cauliflower

Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken in Boston Lettuce Wraps with olives and raw veggies

(Have I mentioned how good that BBQ Sauce is?)

 

The kids love helping, and their favorite thing to make is Kale Chips.  They’re pretty much experts at this point.  I just pull up their Learning Tower, give them a bowl and watch them skillfully rip the leaves into pieces and throw the stems on the floor.  (I’m not kidding, they totally do that every time!)

IMG_7123

Kale is serious business!

***Yes, I did link you to an Urban Dictionary entry because I’m super hip.  Don’t hate.  I’m actually fairly certain that none of these things I’ve said in this line are still cool.  Please don’t go.  I’ll try my best to not be so, um, uncool?

I’d love to hear what’s on your menu this week!   What’s your go-to easy meal?  Do your kids insist on throwing food items on the ground even if you’re standing six inches away with your hands extended?  

Recipe Review: Stupid Easy Paleo’s Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

I’m secretly convinced that Steph Gaudreau and I would be BFF’s if she knew I existed.  Her  Podcast Harder To Kill Radio is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.  Her website Stupid Easy Paleo is the first place I look when I want to try something new.

I appreciate that the recipes are actually easy.  I spend all day in the kitchen as it is, the last thing I feel like doing is making a dinner that has 947 ingredients and 312 steps.

Her recipes are tasty and easy, perfect for someone like me who is lazy and a novice chef. 

When I thought of reviewing recipes, I immediately knew the first one I wanted to share:

Paleo Chick-fil-A Recipe – Grain-Free

 

So good.  So, so, so, so good.

Easy.  Fast.  Cheap.  Delicious.  Everything you could ever want in a recipe!

How does it stack up?

Lazy Scale:  9/10

Taste:  10/10

Lazy Novice Tips:

  • Read the whole recipe.  It calls for at least an hour, preferably more, to soak in the pickle juice.  The longer it soaks the better.  Do it the night before, trust me.

  • Don’t cut the chicken pieces too small.  You’ll want to be able to cut them to check for done-ness.  The first time I cut the chicken into chick-fil-a sized pieces, only to be left with little pieces once I cut them in half to check.  I’m a freak about under cooked chicken, so I always need to be sure it is done.

Sunday Funday: Football Edition

It’s Big Game day.  Remember when you couldn’t say the words Super Bowl a few years back?  Was that only if you were trying to profit from it, or was that some weird thing that no one cares about any longer?

We don’t have cable, but I’m streaming the game.  The kiddos are in bed, finally and my poor husband is at work, alone.  Don’t feel bad for him though, he’s getting paid to watch the game.  Alone.  In silence.

And he totally got the hook up when it came to Big Game Munchies!  I cooked from 11:30am-4:00pm just to finish them all.

Chick-Fil-A knock off wings, fried pickles, hot wings, and deviled eggs.  I didn’t even sneak in a single vegetable!  You can find all the recipes here.

LAZY NOVICE TIP:

When making deviled eggs, add the filling mixture to a plastic ziplock bag.  Just cut the corner off to make a handy, mess-free piping bag.

You’ll have less waste, and it looks way prettier that way!

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On to the Super Bowl Grub:

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Hot Wings with diablo sauce

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Deviled eggs with homemade mayo

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Chick-Fil-A knockoff nuggets with homemade BBQ sauce, fried pickles and deviled eggs

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…just because no post of mine would be complete without a breakfast shot.

As you can see my husband ate well despite having to work, so don’t feel too badly for him.

IMG_6912

I mean, maybe a little bit because he did miss this.

How was your Sunday Funday:  Football Edition?  Did you go to or host a party?  What did your plate look like?  I’d love to know!