That happened.

Yesterday I got to have a fun, much needed afternoon lunch with some of my favorite mom friends.  I’m incredibly lucky to have the support system that I do, and so grateful for these ladies.

While at said lunch, I jokingly said I should go get a tattoo.   “Yes!  Seriously yes, let’s do it!”

An hour later, this happened.

And then I had this:

It is likely the most spontaneous thing I have ever done.  It is for sure the most spontaneous thing I have ever personally initiated.  

The artist tried to get me to turn it the other way, but no dice.  This is for me, dude.

A reminder to love myself, to always choose love, to respond with love, to appreciate and accept all the love the universe is hell bent on bestowing on me.

I think my response was, “Nah.  I kinda hate everyone though.”

I don’t, obviously, but I tend to make jokes rather than getting too real.  I’m working on that too.  That’ll take some time, though, I can’t unlearn it over night, right?

So here’s to doing all the big scary things, to not overthinking, to trusting the process without knowing the outcome.

To smashing that quiet voice inside that says “You can’t/shouldn’t/won’t.”   To loving and accepting that other, braver, more authentic voice that wants to shout out “Yes!  Seriously let’s do it!” and then does it.

To doing the damn thing.

And loving it, of course.

This is my face after being told to stop giggling. 

I don’t know what to do with my face if I’m not laughing.  

 

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, 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!”

I finally started when I got back on my feet on August 31st. Except, 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.

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.

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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!

It doesn’t even make sense…

I’ve been making homemade mayo for what, four whole weeks here?  That basically qualifies me as an expert, right?

Had you asked me before today I would have told you it’s so easy, fool-proof even.  I opened a fresh new bottle of light tasting olive oil, cracked in the egg and mustard powder, and slowly added the rest of the olive oil.  And then?

Liquid.  No emulsifying.  No thickening.  Just liquid.

I figured I could fix it.  I’m smart, I’m good in the kitchen.  And I have literally all of the knowledge in the world in the palm of my hand!  

I found a bunch of tips.  Add more egg.  Add boiling water.  Make another batch and mix this in instead of oil.

Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.  Well, something.  But just liquid.

Apparently sometimes it just happens*.  Or that’s what I (along with hundreds of others who sought out advice online after messing up a batch) hear.  It just happens sometimes.  You didn’t do anything wrong, ok?  It just happens.  Let it go.  It’s just mayo, you’ll be fine!  (I’m only slightly exaggerating, I seriously hate when things go wrong in the kitchen.  I may take it a smidge too personal!)

On the bright side, dinner was amazing.   We had Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef, cinnamon sweet potatoes and swiss chard.  It got a big thumbs up from all of us, kids included.  It was super flavorful and super easy, too!

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*Personally, I’m blaming the cheap olive oil for the mayo fail!

My favorite lazy meal

How in the world have I not shared my absolute favorite, most yummy, incredibly cheap, super easy perfect for a weeknight lazy dinner ever?

It never fails to hit the spot.

It’s really a BBQ bacon burger without the bun, but I can pretend it’s a salad.   What’s not to love?

bbq bacon burger salads1

BBQ Bacon Salads

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of your favorite lettuce (Boston lettuce is my go-to)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Dill Pickle, diced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 c. homemade BBQ Sauce
  • 1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. Grab the biggest bowl you can find, trust me you'll want more!
  2. Combine the first six ingredients. (You know how to make a salad!)
  3. Top with BBQ Sauce and crumbled bacon.
  4. Enjoy!
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I’m a sucker for a bundle…

Some women love handbags, some love shoes, some love home decor.  Me?  I’m a total sucker for a bundle.  Throw some amazing bloggers/podcasters/experts and their materials into a package and I will eat it up.

I mean, first I’ll make the recipes included in the bundle and then I’ll eat it up.  But before that I will download whatever is included in any bundle and immerse myself in all of the e-books, guides and resources that are now available for me.  For hours, maybe days.

So, imagine my giddy grade school giggle when I saw an email in my inbox today from Arsy at Rubies and Radishes about a free bundle!  

I actually found Arsy and her site when her book Easy Paleo Slow Cooker Meals was included in The Family Resolution Revolution bundle put out by Paleo Parents in January 2015ish.

You can signup and get the free bundle by clicking her link any time before February 12th.   I’m not being endorsed or paid for this in any way, I’m just sincerely sharing this because I’m excited and I want all three of you who actually read this to be able to grab your copy today!

There are a ton of resources included covering topics like recipes, sleep, stress reduction, fermentation, fertility, skin care and saving money while eating real food.

Grab it while you can!  And let me know your favorite resource!

Whole 30 Day Something Or Other

You may have already guessed it, but I have fallen off the Whole 30 wagon and landed square on my bum.   But, I’m resilient and some may even say stubborn!

Our oldest just turned four!  FOUR!  I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but the tall human who replaced my baby girl assures me it is.  She’s silly, and funny and a ton of fun and everything I could ever want in a daughter.  We moved to NYC on New Year’s Eve, and she was born just a few weeks later.  She loves the city, so for her birthday we took her and little brother to celebrate.  And celebrate we did!

We went to Max Brenner for lunch and had chocolate pizza.  It was worth it.

Then a few days later we had drinks.

So today I figured I already lost this Whole 30 game and I’d hop on the scale.  I was surprised and thrilled to see that I have lost 12 pounds in just 24 days, despite my cheating.  Then I realized that I was wearing the same outfit as my day one photo, so I asked my husband to take some photos.   To say that I am motivated now would be an understatement!

image1

Note to self:  You’re not Arnold, put your arms down in the next photo set

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 Clear skin thanks to Whole 30, New tooth thanks to Dr. Cathy

So I’m determined, I have fire in my belly and I’m ready to do this.  Tomorrow is technically Day One…again.  Except I shall refer to it as Day 25 of my Whole 55, because my mental state can not take calling it day one.  Is that cool with y’all?  (Because I’m doing it anyway.  Stubborn, remember?)

I’m heading back to the gym tomorrow.  I love working out.  I love lifting.

I also loved my personal trainer, but adulting got in the way of that.  I lost my mojo and felt discouraged.  I didn’t even want to be there any more.

Last night I was so inspired by This Post by the amazing ladies at Girls Gone Strong that I had already decided to go back and work hard tomorrow.

I figured I already own Jen Sinkler’s Lift Weights Faster 2 so I might as well use it, right?  I’m going to figure out my schedule and the plan of attack now.

(Maybe not like now now.  Maybe after a spoonful of some vanilla almond butter that I’ve been avoiding since it has palm sugar and isn’t compliant.  After all, day one doesn’t start until tomorrow, right?!)