Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reclaiming my life has been my motto!  Not only am I trying to get my body back, but also my house! With two little kiddos and two step sons, my house is over run with clothes and toys.  

For the last year my family has been in survival mode!  We have not had the opportunity to go through and get rid of all the old clothes, unneeded baby stuff, and the mounds of toys.  So starting today (like I don’t have enough I on my plate) I decided to start going through some of the boys’ old stuff! (Really I needed to put a few bins in the basement and have run out of space….starting to feel like we need to call the hoarding show…LOL!)  I have a few bins already to sell, some to donate, and some to just toss!  There is something freeing about purging stuff (and weight). 

Balance really is key in life.  So I am trying to find time in my crazy schedule and reclaim my house!   (I know my hubby will be a lot happier when he can finally find some “empty” space!)

The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it. Anonymous

I found this today and thought I would share:

Tips for living a well balanced life:

1.      Take care of and nurture yourself. 
You cannot accomplish anything if you're unhealthy. Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat properly. Many people think they can burn the candle at both ends, eat junk food, get very little exercise, and still function adequately. You may be able to get away with this for a while if you're quite young, however, at some point this type of life style will catch up with the best of us. Burnout is a real possibility.
You may want to set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as walking, working out or listening to music. Or, allow yourself to unwind after a hectic day by reading, meditating or taking a nice hot bath.
2.      Know what your priorities are.
Balance doesn't mean do everything you can. Examine your values and decide what's important to you, then set your boundaries. You may be in the process of building a career, starting a family or going to school. Depending on what stage you're at in your life, your focus and energies will be different. Try not to become overwhelmed by juggling too many big projects in your life at once. Maybe planning a wedding is not a good idea when you're studying for the bar exam. Nor, is starting a family when you are unsure about your career direction, or relationship status. Not knowing what you want and trying to do everything at once can be a recipe for disaster instead of the road to leading a well balanced life. Try not to bite off more than you can chew.
3.      Create an efficient mindset.
Be organized and plan ahead. Take time at the beginning of each week to assess what needs to be done. Make a to-do list in a planner or calendar for upcoming appointments, exams to write or study for, or meetings to attend. Be sure to assign recreation and quality time for yourself and your family as well. Taking time to connect with family and friends will recharge your batteries and make you more efficient in the long run.
4.      Expect the unexpected.
Rather than get stressed and upset, allow yourself to roll with the punches when something you have no control over happens. You may get stuck in traffic, your computer could crash or your child could get sick with the chickenpox. Stuff happens. We've all experienced the unexpected. If you accept that anything can happen at any time, it's less likely it throw you off your stride when it does. Be able to adjust your game plan.
Note also, that there are times when achieving balance may not be possible. For instance, you may have a family or career crisis that needs your immediate and undivided attention. It may require an exceptional amount of your time and resources. When that happens, do whatever it takes and when things go back to normal take time to refresh and rejuvenate yourself.
5.      Maintain a positive mental attitude.
Begin each day with the intention of making the best and most of it. It may not always go as planned, but it can go more smoothly if you put it in perspective. Part of living a well-balanced life is learning how to deal with adversity, unforeseen events and uncertainty. If you practice not letting things get to you, you will not only learn to live a well balanced and less stressful life, you will learn to live in and savor the moment. Once you've done everything you can within your control, let your life unfold. Be prepared for the future, but don't worry about it.
While we can't anticipate and plan for everything in our lives, we can decide how, where and when to concentrate our energies. This may require some critical thinking and problem solving, but in the end it will lead to much less stress and a well balanced life.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe

Made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit! Gotta say it was VERY EASY!!!  I added extra garlic though!  I served w/ cooked carrots, corn on the cob, and watermelon!

Easiest Pasta and Broccoli RecipeGina's Weight Watcher RecipesServings: 6 • Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 289.2 • Fat: 7.1 g • Carbs: 48 g • Fiber: 4.9 g • Protein: 11.7 g • Sugar: 1.0
Sodium: 103.7 (without salt)


  • 12 oz uncooked pasta
  • 6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets, no stems
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper

For full recipes:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weight Loss = New Clothes

So my hubby told me today that for every 10lbs I lose, he will buy me a new outfit!  YAY…I am all about that! Poor guy has no clue what he has just done.  He never specified what an outfit consisted of, so I think I will be layering for sure!  (I am blessed with a wonderful, supportive hubby)

My daughter starts preschool on Monday.  Very excited for her, but sad for me! Can’t believe my baby is growing so fast! In my decision to which school I sent her to, I decided that I would choose one close to the YMCA.  My plan is to drop her off at school, then since I will be out of the house, head straight to the Y.  As I have it scheduled right now, I will get 5 workouts this week! So excited, I am seeing many new outfits in my future. 

I think tomorrow I am going to weigh in (I forgot to on Friday), and take measurements!  For me measurements are so important b/c I tend to drop inches before I drop lbs, so it is very good motivation to see some results. 

Hmmm……what am I going to buy first!!!  (I wonder if a coach purse counts as part of an outfit??? LOL)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dinner Menu for the Week

Well I planned the dinner menu for the week.  Trying a few new recipes…..hoping they are successful and that the kiddos will enjoy them!  With a blended family, kids in sports, and me coaching in the evenings, we are on the run!  Trying to find quick easy meals that my hubby can warm up and not have to think about while I am gone! 

Going to the store tomorrow to shop for the week…..if there is good sales on Fruits & Veggies…I will add those in as well!!! 

Sat: (NOT SURE THE PLAN)  (veggie burgers if needed)
Sun:-  Homemade VEGGIE ONLY Pizza  & Salad
Monday: Easiest Pasta and broccoli recipe & Salad
Tues: Crock Pot - Chicken taco chili & Fruit Salad  (turkey sandwiches for kids if needed)
Wed: Homemade Chicken Soup – cut up fruit
Thurs: Chicken Soup Leftovers & crock pot baked potatoes
Fri: Chicken Parmigiana Burgers & Salad
Sat:  Oriental Chicken Salad – cut up fruit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Red White and Blue Trifle

I made this while I was in South Carolina....It was a big hit with the family!!!! 

Red, White and Blueberry Trifle
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 14 • Serving Size: 1 cup  • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 169.1 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 2.5 g • Carb: 38 g • Fiber: 3.0 g • Sugar: 16.5 g Sodium: 102.8 mg  

  • 10 oz angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes*
  • 2 pints strawberries, sliced
  • 2 pints blueberries

For the cream filling:
  • 6 tbsp fat-free sweetened condensed milk (I used Borden Eagle)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 package sugar-free white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 12 oz fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:  Whisk the condensed milk and water in a bowl.
Whisk in the pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set;
fold in the whipped topping.  Arrange half of the cake in the bottom of a 14-cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Spread half of the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spread (I piped it using a plastic bag and cut the corner off).
Top with a layer of strawberries. Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries, then add more blueberries and top with the remaining cream mixture.
Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a pretty pattern. Cover and refrigerate at least one 1 hour.

*I only used 10 oz of a 16 oz cake.

Comfort Food

Grandpa passed away and we had the funeral on Monday.  We are finally back in Ohio after being gone for almost 2 weeks! I was very sad to leave, but extremely happy to get back to life (& ZUMBA)

While we were in SC, people were amazing during our time of need.  We had so many people helping out, and especially cooking food for our family.  I have to say that my grandpa’s neighbors and friends were very generous and amazing cooks.  But that was also a curse!!! The comfort food that they brought, brought some of my lost pounds and inches with them.  Desserts, potatoes, noodle casseroles, fried chicken, and bacon in everything (even coleslaw) did nothing good for my figure.  So as much as I appreciated it, I am kicking myself for letting this food “comfort” me!  Well here we go…..a new day….AGAIN! 

I like to make food for others when they are in need or having difficult times.  I know realize that maybe a fruit salad, veggie tray, or green salad might be a good option to take!!!  LOL….why is it…that fruits and veggies go a lot faster when they are cut up??

(I did make some healthy recipes while I was there…..going to post a few later!!!)

A new day – A new week – A new body in the making! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's a New Day!

We got to South Carolina yesterday morning ().  I drove with my sisters, two four year olds (my daughter and niece), and an almost 2 year old (my son).  It is sad to say but driving food is so unhealthy.  The snacks we packed were more for keeping them quiet for our 9 hour trip then really trying to “be good”.  This was an impromptu adventure, my grandpa was put in to hospice with not many days left, so we were just trying to leave fast, so we didn't really care about our choices. The saving grace was that most of the snacks were in the back of van by girls rather than by me. 

After a few hours of sleep after we got there, the troops were up and running.  The only thing I was running for was coffee!!!  We got the kids ready to go to the hospice house and the next thing I knew I was hearing screams from the back room.  The little girls were playing as we finished getting things together to go, and my daughter hit her head on the bench in the bedroom.  I heard the scream and knew we were heading to the hospital!  So 4 stitches later, we finally made it to see grandpa.  The visit with him was short.  It breaks my heart to see such a strong man in such a fragile state! 

Once the visit was over we went to dinner, at this point diet was so far from my mind.  The only thing I could think about was comfort.  The stress of the day and the emotional rollercoaster was just too much!  So it was fried fish, hush puppies and onion rings, and cookies and chocolate candy! 

I really didn’t care about my choices until the morning! It is funny how you start to feel guilty after you start trying to watch what you are eating and blow it!  So this morning as I was waking up I decided it is a new day!  I know my grandpa’s outcome!  I know these next few weeks are going to be crazy…..but that is even more of a reason to take care of myself.  I learned from taking care of my husband while he was sick how your really can forget about your health!  So Today is a new day!!! No beating myself up….good choices today!!! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Well I can’t wait to shed this weight!!  Yesterday I was at ZUMBA and half way through the class I had to go to the bathroom.  (I usually try to go before class, but the drop off at child watch was a bit difficult with my daughter and I forgot to go! ) So between songs I ran up the stairs to the locker room.  It is moments like these that I realize how much I want to be skinny.  Well…….I wear my gut sucker everywhere!  I refuse to have a muffin top….it is going to get sucked in as best as I can (c-sections did nothing nice to my body!).  Well after a half hour of ZUMBA I was a sweating mess….so I struggled to peel this wet sweaty gut sucker down.   Once I was finished going I realized that I had to pull this silly thing back up!!!!  Skinny girls you really do miss out on all the fun. I really wonder what my feet looked like as I jumped around struggling to get this thing back up! 

Well I  finally got it on and back to class.  Wow the joys of gut suckers!!!  LOL (I have many stories about them!!!) 

I am going to burn these things one day…..and that is a promise!!!!  One day I won’t need a gut sucker!!!  These moments motivate me to keep going!!! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I am not a “cooker person” as my mom would say.  I can bake, but cooking is not one of my strengths (But I am getting better the more I practice)!  My grandma & sister are really good at just grabbing what’s in the fridge and just throwing something together.  LOL my poor husband has been the victim of me trying to make a lot of my own recipes.   

So recipes for me are a MUST! 
I really like recipes that have pictures of what things should turn out like….not that mine always do, but good to know that it is me that kind of sucks rather than the recipe…LOL I try! 

Any way….I have to say that I have loved Gina’s Skinny Recipes online!  I have found them to be easy to follow, and she adds some extra helpful tips that people like me really appreciate!!!  Check it out!!!  Really suggest Santa Fe Chicken – Awesome Crock Pot Recipe!!!!  (That is going to be on next week’s meal plan)  I also love that she uses “normal” ingredients  Not being a “cooker person” I appreciate not having to look up what the ingredients are or how to pronounce them.  LOL I have to say people look at me crazy when I ask where certain things are at the store – Cumin!  Oh yes I learned I wasn’t saying that right at all!!! LOL   

So check out Gina’s low fat meals at

I wanted to update this post and add two special features that Gina has on her site:  1. You can save the recipes you like to a recipe box.  2. You can send recipes you like to a shopping list which seperate the ingredients by catagory and amounts!!!  I am on the go alot so any thing to make my life easier is a blessing! 

Monday, August 8, 2011


My daughter wanted nuggets has been a crazy morning with the full moon right around the corner….so I gave in!  While I was getting out the nuggets I decided that I wasn’t going to eat them (even though I was hoping some one wouldn’t finish theirs and I could). 

So while the kids started eating I made myself some tuna.  I have never been a huge fan of it, but it is starting to grow on me.  Great thing about making tuna…it is fast!!! 
1 can of tuna in water drained
1 Large carrot chopped in the processor
½ onion chopped
¼ cup black beans squished  (can’t really taste them but added fiber)
1 ½ tablespoons miracle whip light
I have also found I like to chopped apples in it (haven’t tried apples with the beans though)

Might sound weird, but I think it is pretty yummy!!! 

When I got finished eating I realized little man didn’t eat his nuggets….oh how I wanted them…..but in the trash they went before I ate them!!! 

I know it is going to be a crazy week….so trying to make better decisions when I can! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Whats for Dinner?

I don’t know how many times I have been so busy during the day that I lose track of time and then realize it is either lunch or dinner time.  (Usually cranky hungry kids remind me!)  I then try to drop what I am doing, search the pantry and fridge and figure out what to make.  Usually two things happen: 1. I am in such a hurry that I just grab convenience and not healthy (my babysitter meals). 2. I realize I am hungry and snack the whole time I am cooking, and then I am full when the meal is ready, but feel I have to eat it since I made it.  Not a good situation!!! 

So…...starting this week I am getting back to my scheduled meals!  Last time I did really well losing weight I tried really hard to plan my meals for the week.  With all the kids events and coaching I think it is going to help save time, crazies, and pounds if I have a game plan!    So today I am going to sit down with my calendar and figure out what meals I will be cooking and go the store and get what I need so it is here for the week.  Last time I did this not only did I save money not buying things I wasn’t going to use, but I shopped quicker & smarter!  (Love new recipes so please share!)

Going to run to the Dollar Store and pick up another dry erase board to put on the fridge.  That way my family knows what is coming and if changes need to be made it is easy!!! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Morning Workout

ZUMBA was this morning!  I got the kids up, we dashed around the house, and out the door by , which is early for us.  (I must say that that since they are older it is a bit easier to get out before !)  Dana was ready to kick our butts from the moment the music started!   I had to laugh though…..during the workout Dana reminded us to hold our abs in.  My first thought was like a light bulb going off….I guess holding your abs in would be smart.  So I squeezed them in….well at least I tried to (after two c-sections I am never sure if the lower ones are doing anything)!  So I focused really hard to keep them tight….but the bad thing is I forgot to breathe!!!!  LOL…..I can only imagine my facials as I am not breathing fighting to hold these non-existing abs in!!! Once I realized what I was doing it took me forever to recover!! Oh the joys of getting in shape! 

But I have to say I do like working out in the morning!  Although it is crazy getting out of the house…..I find that I eat better the rest of the day because I hate to ruin all the hard work I put into my workout.  I think when I workout at night I feel I can cheat more during the day b/c I am going to work it off anyway!  Oh how distorted my little mind can be.  Another great advantage is  it gets me up and moving!  I don’t get sucked into the computer or anything else….I start off being productive & then have more energy for the rest of the day….and I make sure I get my workout in – No excuses!!!  So right now I am very thankful that my schedule (and kids) allows me to dance my mornings away!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I love my kids, but they have ruined my body! 

I look around and see all these cute skinny pregnant girls, and wonder “what did I do wrong?”  Ok so I wasn’t that small before pregnancy….but seriously that just is not fair!  I really think that during pregnancy there should be a required amount of weight a person should have to gain! I think that would only be fair!!!

Pregnancy did nothing good for my body!  If the amazing almost 40 lbs, stretch marks, and huge boobs weren’t enough, the amazing 10 lbs that I gained in the hospital after my C-Section should have given me some indication of how much fun losing all this weight was going to be! 

Oh well, each stretch mark is a constant reminder of how blessed I am!  I love my kids and I wouldn’t trade them for anything!!!  But in my next life time….I want to be one of those skinny girls that look really cute the entire pregnancy and then pop out the kid and have an instant 6-pack!!! 

Laughter burns calories right!!!! 

National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

My moms group celebrated National Hot Fudge Sundae Day last week with our little kiddos.  I had everyone over to my house and I supplied the ice cream while they brought the toppings!  Well I’m not sure how many people I thought I was feeding, but bought two of the 5 Quart ice creams (there was no low fat/calorie…. lol I guess skinny people don’t buy low fat 5 Quarts at a time).  We only used half of one!!!! Needless to say I have a lot of ice cream left over!  Since I normally don’t keep a lot of ice cream in the house (because I eat it) I have given my self permission to so snack on it!!! BAD IDEA!  So after everyone is in bed and I have time to sit and relax, I have been getting out the Ice Cream and caramel sauce and making little sundaes. After a week of snacking,  I am finally realizing that is not the best time to eat my little treat (ok not so little treat)!

Need to get rid of this ice cream…..and not by eating it!  I hate letting things go to waste, but my body can’t take the waste any more!!!   

Monday, August 1, 2011

Plateau Suggestions

Hitting a plateau is never fun when you are trying to loss weight. I know I get very frustrated and sometimes I find that I start to cheat on my diet when I hit a stand still. I know over the past few months I have been seeing the inches melting...but my weight is staying the same!  I am ready for a bit of a change!!! 

 Here are some suggestions that I think I am going to try:
*You might already be doing this already but make sure you are lifting weights before you do cardio exercise. Whichever type of exercise you do first will burn off sugars from the previous meal. The secondary exercise will start to burn fat. It is ideal to warm up for 5-10 minutes, lift weights for 30 minutes, cardiovascular workouts for 30 minutes and cool down for 5-10 minutes. you may also want to invest in a good heart rate monitor that will allow you to keep track of your calorie burn. It may surprise you to see how many calories you are actually burning in a workout (its usually considerably less than you think it is- and the machines are always wrong.) By wearing the HR monitor you can figure out how much harder you need to work to meet the burn you need to either lose or maintain your weight.   - Tina a personal Trainer!

*Sometimes I go for a week or so without losing any weight even though I've been eating sensibly and exercising. I get a little frustrated and then remember to take out the measuring tape. I usually find that I've lost an inch or so from my waist which inspires me to workout even more.

*When eating super clean and exercising regularly, I found I had hit a plateau. A friend of mine suggested pigging out for 1-2 days - eating anything I wanted, then going back to eating clean the next day. This would shock the metabolism and more than likely get things headed in the right direction again. The key is to make this part of your plan (eg. "tomorrow and the next day, I will eat whatever I want") not "well I ate bad today so I'll use that as my 'plateau pig out' session".

*If you have lost weight (especially a significant amount) consider reassessing your goals and see if you need to have your calorie ranges adjusted. As people loose weight then require less calories.

*If you are not regular you may not lose weight. I think the toxins prevent it, so always see that  you are eating  fiber &  drink more water. 

Map your Walk / Jog

Do you ever wonder how far you've walked, run or biked outside? Finding out is as easy as clicking points on a map! Plus, you can calculate your speed, calories burned, share your map with others and add your workout to your Fitness Tracker! is a free weight loss site!

When my hubby and I moved to our new house we really didn’t know how far things were from our house. We were able to customize the maps of SparkPeople and find out not only how far we walked but find out the calories we burned! It is a great tool!!!

GO to MY FITNESS, scroll to the bottom, and hit Map My Route!

This site offers a lot – kind of like a free online weight watchers (if I were to compare it to something!!!)

Did you Know?

When you have your Health anything is possible……when you don’t have your health nothing else matters!

I have always been very trusting! I just thought everyone (people & companies) does what is right, especially when it comes to health! Well over the past two years I have been learning that is not the case. Especially since my husband was diagnosed with cancer, my life has changed even more!

When someone showed me what was in my everyday products (cleaning, beauty, children’s product, bath and body) I was mortified. I realized that there were so many carcinogens (cancer causers) in them!!! After doing some research I realized I needed to change what I was doing to myself and my family. I was never a “green” person…but after all I have learned….I will never pick up Lysol, Baby Shampoo, or regular toothpaste (any many more products) ever again!!!! There is more to getting healthy then just working out and eating right!!!

Check out a short video….. TOXIC BREW – just a start to how we need to open our eyes!

Sports Bra that Works!!!

One thing I have learned that is very important in weight loss is a good sports bra!!!

After a good month of ZUMBA and working out….I realized that I was starting to get a lot of pain in my chest! I actually feared that I had something wrong and made a doctor appointment and had an exam done! Once learning it was a lot of muscle pain I was having from the strain of “the girls”….I started to double up underwire bras! Doubling up helped a lot, but was not really comfortable!

Thinking about finding a sports bra was very frustrating. Nothing would remotely hold the girls in place. I joked with the girls at ZUMBA that I wasn’t sure who was going to get black eyes….me or them as I jumped around!

To my surprise my mom (who is wonderful) found a sports bra on line and sent it to me! Now it is not cute… comes up high…..but it works! This bra holds my girls and actually makes me look like a normal size! Being a 40 G (and thankfully they aren’t a J any more) is hard to look “normal”!!!! I have to say I have been able to increase my workouts and don’t worry about black eyes so much any more!

This bra has great reviews and is the one Oprah wore when she ran her marathon!!!! Unless you have this problem….you have no idea how important it is to find a good one!!!   check it out!!! 


I talk about ZUMBA a lot! Well that is because I LOVE IT! It is a fun workout, that really kicks my butt! I look forward to going each week, and really hate to miss. The great thing about this class, is that ANY one can do it! The first class was a little intimidating b/c I didn’t know what to expect….but someone said give it 3 classes and you will totally be hooked….and I was!!

Another thing I love about the class is there is every body type! Young Teens (well behaved) – Seniors are all together dancing, having fun and working out their crazies! There are totally toned bodies (LOL not mine) – 300+ lbs. And since everyone is dancing… really don’t have time to watch anyone but the instructor. So it doesn’t matter if you are coordinated or not!

Check out the website –
You can find a class close to you!!! Each instructor is a different….so find one you like!!!

If you go to the North Canton YMCA…check out Dana’s Class! She is awesome and so inspiring!!! She has a fun, high energy, motivating class that will work out every muscle in your body (thanks to her I have found many muscles I never even knew I had!).

If ZUMBA isn't your thing that is ok.....find a class you connect with, that motivates you, and you see results doing!!! 

Excuses = Failure

For the longest time I wanted to work out, but I couldn’t seem to find the time to fit it in. I hated to give up time with my hubby when he got home from work, but really had no one else to watch the kids. My mom kept telling me to drop the kids off at the YMCA child watch, but I kept telling her with how shy my daughter was there was just no way. I decided to give up on working out! BAD MOVE!!!

After my hubby’s surgery my mom and sister talked me in to going to ZUMBA one night…..and needing a break from reality decided to go! I had my dad watch the kids, and went and danced my crazies away. After that night I was hooked. Between my dad and John I was able to go twice a week. Then I realized my favorite instructor taught in the mornings! Well now I needed to find a way to get to the Y. I put it in my mind that my kids were going to do the child watch! I told them they were going to be like Calliou (a cartoon character) and go to play school. First drop off was a bit tough….a few tears were shed, but they made it an entire hour!!! Mommy finally found a new freedom!!! I find my day goes better, and I am a better mommy after I work out!

My lesson I learned….I need to stop making excuses before I try. I was making decisions on how my daughter would do before I even gave her the opportunity. I was holding myself back from getting healthier and reaching my goals b/c of my fears. It was easier to make the excuse then fail! But now she plays with the little kids, and I play with the big ones (I guess I should say adults…LOL)… win situation!!
EXCUSES = FAILURE without effort ! 

Party Disaster?

Parties can be a killer to weight loss. My daughter just turned 4 years old and wanted to have a Dora party. I love to decorate and cook depending on themes, so first thing that came to mind was a FIESTA. I decided from the start that I was really going to try and be healthy in my cooking choices (as much as I could be). I am one of those that way over cook b/c I don’t want to run out….and then I have leftovers for the next week and hate to see them go to waste. So not wanted to way over eat unhealthy for the next week, I really tired to think about what I was cooking and make wiser choices. Over all, everyone ate & there were not too many complaints (except from those that really don’t eat Mexican).

So this is what I decided to to:

*Sante Fe Chicken – which I had taco shells to wrap it up in (drained some of the extra juice!) or just by it self. This is made in a crock pot so easy prep on party day!!!
*Turkey Taco meet – not sure if people realized it was turkey instead of beef
*Salad – had a big interesting salad made next to stuff that could be added to make it in a taco salad.
* Fruit Salad
* Cheese dip – made with turkey meet.
* Veggie Tray
* Mac and Cheese for the kiddos.
* Limited chips

I also tired to send some leftovers home with family members. That way I had less that I felt like I “had” to eat!!!!
My little one enjoyed her party – with a special visit from Map and an adventure. And mommy went to bed that night not feeling horrible about what she ate for the day!

Fancy Water

Drinking all the recommended water a day can be a challenge! The first glass or two goes down pretty easy, but after that I start to struggle! So…..I have been making my own flavor water! I got myself one of those big ice tea jugs, and I fill it with water. Then I cut up some fruit and add it and let it sit for a bit. I have such an easier time drinking it then!!! We had a small bonfire the other day, and my family kept asking for my “fancy water”, whatever works!!! Tried lemon, orange, & cucumber!
Also, to help get enough liquids, drinking from a straw helps (a weight watchers instructor shared this tip with me!)

Water Body

Why is Water Important?

We have all heard that drinking water is important! WHY?
A rule of thumb, 2/3 of body is consists of water, and it is the main component of human body. Did you know that your tissues and organs are mainly made up of water?
•Muscle consists of 75% water
•Brain consists of 90% of water
•Bone consists of 22% of water
•Blood consists of 83% water

The functions of water in human body are vital. The water:
•Transport nutrients and oxygen into cells
•Moisturizes the air in lungs
•Helps with metabolism
•Protect our vital organ
•Helps our organs to absorb nutrients better
•Regulates body temperature
•Protect and moisturizes our joints

HMMMM....Sounds like we better get drinking!!! 

Got A Buddy?

In the past I have gone to work out classes, stuck with it for awhile, but then the excuses started to come about why I could miss. Had the kids, need to run errands, it was to nice out, had cramps, just didn’t feel like it; all seemed like good reasons not to go. As I look back on it, I think that the real reason I would stop going was that I didn’t have anyone to hold me accountable. When I started this time I started with my sister (who is slacking at the moment…lol). I thought if her skinny little butt could go, so could I. It kinda became a challenge, but also a great time to spend with her since we are both really busy.

I also did something different this time…..I talked to people around me in the class. (Yes I am normally a big talker, but being surrounded by a bunch of skinny in shape people can be intimidating) So, I started off with a hi and moaning between songs, but now we facebook and text about class and make sure that we are all going. My older has joined me as well and has been a great motivation! I am excited for my mom to get back in town so that she can join us too!!! LOL…..our poor instructors!!! I think when you have a buddy, or a bunch of people motivating you, and supporting you, it is so much easier and fun then doing it by yourself! In 2 months I have not missed class!!

Facebook Blues

Facebook is great. I love catching up with people I went to High School and College with, or seeing family that lives out of town. But the down fall to facebook is that I see all these people who are skinny, beautiful, and always out with friends. I see all the trips they get to take and the fun they are having. It is hard not to get a bit sad and frustrated that my life is so different!

As I scroll through their pictures on their pages and start to feel sad, I stop and think about all the amazing things that I do have. I might not be as skinny as I was in high school or college. But, the lack of abs reminds me of the 2 C-Sections I had to bring my babies into this world. The stretch marks are a constant reminder of how God blessed me to be able to become pregnant and carry two healthy beautiful kids, when I was not supposed to be able to get pregnant.

I might not get to go on spur of the moment trips or hang with friends all the time. But I have two little kiddos here all the time that take me on an adventure everyday! No day for me is ever the same, there is always a craft to be made, a snack to prepare, or a game to play. My kids’ endless imagination keeps the adventures coming. I also have the opportunity to hang with friends in my moms group! Our play dates that we share and the support they offer have created such amazing friendships not only for us moms but our kids as well.

I might not get to go away for the weekend. But, every night I get to tuck my kids into bed, say prayers, and kiss them goodnight!

So I don’t get to live the way many of my friends live, but I have to believe that many of them would give up their lifestyles to have a supportive loving hubby & wonderful kids. I am so blessed to have the wonderful family I have! I am thankful for all that I have. I might not get to travel at the moment or have as much adult time as I would like or be in the shape that I want to be….but these are temporary things. I will be in better shape….I will be more successful…I am reclaiming my life!

From Old Blog Site May 2011

Veggies all the same? Color Chart

Veggies all the same?

After my hubby's tumor was removed, and we knew that it was cancer, I really wanted to find him some type of support group s. To make a long story short, we found a workout group that had a nutritionist that came twice a month to talk to the group. One topic she shared with him was about needing all colors of fruits and veggies. I guess I am out of the loop, but I didn't realize that the different colored fruits and veggies had different nutrients that are essential to our health. I am trying to add in a lot of the different colors to our meals. So now not only are we getting more nutrients, but our plates are a lot prettier b/c of all the colors on them. (I think that when something looks more interesting, it is a lot more fun to eat!!! ) 

Found this article about the different colored fruits and veggies
By Darrell Miller - 2008-01-12

The majority of people know that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is very important.   But by eating fruits and vegetables of a variety of different colors, one can get the best all-around health benefits. Each different color fruit and vegetables contains unique health components that are essential to our health.

Fruits and vegetables are very important to our health because they are whole foods, created by nature, that are rich in a large amount of nutrients. The processed foods that we so commonly eat, can never compare to the health benefits provided by strawberries or broccoli, which have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.

Eating plenty of healthy vegetables and fruits helps prevent heart disease and strokes, diverticulitis, control your blood pressure, prevent some types of cancers, and guards against cataract and macular degeneration or vision loss.

The phrase "eating a rainbow" of fruits and vegetables is a simple way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible, so that you can maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are a small clue as to what vitamins and nutrients are included. By getting a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, you are guaranteed a diverse amount of essential vitamins and minerals.

According to the food pyramid potatoes are not counted as a vegetable, as they are consist mostly of starch and should be consumed sparingly.

Red Fruits and Vegetables
Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.

Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables
Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.

Green vegetables and Fruit
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.

White fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.

From old Blog site May 2011

Healthy = Expensive

When I think about cooking healthy, I think expensive! Diet recipes always have a million veggies, spices, and crazy ingredients that cost a ton! I think that I have put off cooking healthier b/c I hate to put in the cost! Not to mention I hate trying to figure out what some of the ingredients are....I often have to stop and ask someone that works there, or someone that is shopping that looks like they cook, or I phone a friend! Hmmm.....I have also learned the correct pronunciation for many ingredients CUMIN!

One solution to the cost problem is that I take advantage of cheaper stores. One of my favorite stores is Aldi. I use to make fun of my grandpa for shopping there, but once I actually went in and realized how much I could get for my money I got hooked. Every time I go I usually pick up low fat yogurt, string cheese, veggies, fruits, low fat/cal cream cheese, oatmeal, wheat bread, spices, and many more! They have the Fit & Active brand there (which I think is Aldi's generic) which I love! Now that I cut the cost, I can focus making more recipes that are healthier!!!

I am also getting very excited about the farmers markets, and going to Hartville Flea Market for some cheap fresh fruits and veggies now that the weather is getting nicer! 

Dinner with the Family

Last Friday was my hubby's last day of chemo....Praise Jesus!!!  He has been craving a cowboy burger from since we were celebrating his last day we decided to order pick up (taking a 3 1/2 year old and 19 month toddler anywhere we don't have to we don' 

 I looked at the menu on the website and noticed that they had a nutritional guide to the menu.  WOW! I was amazed at how many calories and fat grams were in my typical choices.  The Cowboyburger, (and yes my hubby still ordered it after reading what was in it), was 1170 cal, 69 total fat, 24 sat fat, 2.5 trans fat, 2650 sodium, 77 carbs, 5 fibers, and 60 protein!  HOLY MOLY! 

The nice thing that Applebees does have is not only the weight watchers menu, but also the under 550 calories menu! I ended up getting the Teriyaki Chicken pasta.  It was actually really good!!!  

I am adding the applebees nutritional guide under the links. If there is somewhere that you eat often, I would suggest seeing if they have a nutritional guide.  I know for my hubby and I, taco bell was another eye opener!!!  (LOL.....wondering how we became over weight!!!)


Well this week has been nuts (like normal).  My grandmother in SC is in her final days after years of battling Alzheimer’s.  With the stress of knowing what is coming, and not knowing when it will happen,planning has been extra hard and stress eating has been extra easy!  As I think about her and what a wonderful woman she is, I feel sad for her and the family. 

During these times eating sweets seems like the right thingto do! Eating is one of the only things I have control over in this situation.  But…..I am working on changing my mindset!!!  I know I am stress eating,so on Monday I added a workout b/c I knew that dove chocolate bunny I ate wasgoing to tick me off on Friday when I weigh in! I used Zumba last night to not only exercise but also to dance away someof the crazies!  I find that when I workout at night I have a harder time coming home and justify eating crap!

The other hard part about knowing what is to come is that I didn’t plan my meals and do my grocery shopping.  Since I didn’t know when we were going tohave to leave, I hated to buy a lot of food and then let it spoil! So insteadof having a plan, I did the “oh crap it is time for dinner what is quick andeasy”!  I am quickly learning (ok well not quickly enough) that this is not a good thing for me to do!  As meal times approach and I find that I am getting hungry, I tend to snack while I cook. Then after snacking I eat thequick meal that was easy and not necessarily the healthiest!  GRRR! Time for a change!

So…..In the next few minutes I am going to sit down andwrite out my meals and figure out what I am going to need from the store. I am thinking I will only plan a few days that way I don’t have an abundance of food that will go to waste!  I also want to think about what snacks I want to take for our long car trip.  11 hours with kids in the car could be a disaster!!!!  ( I will post what good things I come up with for the car ride.....with kids in the care so long...Margaritas might be one of them!)

Day Full Of Events

Well yesterday was a glimpse of what is to come for the summer….running from one event to the next! Yesterday I had a baby shower, church meeting / dinner, then an impromptu dinner with an out of town guest. I had every intention of doing good! At the shower I skipped the croissant and just ate the chicken salad, but the grommet cupcake....well couldn’t pass that one up!  Then off to the church meeting which I knew was going to be a pizza party!  So I picked the pizza with banana peppers, and ate two slices with salad.  I went back for more salad when I still felt likemunching!  Well next to the salad sat the desserts! Man do I have a sweet tooth……the red velvet cake and chocolate chip cookies looked so yummy!  Looking back I should have cut a smaller piece so I could have just tasted it, rather than eat the pre cut pieces that was on the table (Or I could have skipped it)! Then the impromptu dinner came…..well….I picked a veggie sandwich thing….but I guess I should have just had water!!!  But the positive thing I did do……..I DRANK WATER ONLY ALL DAY!!! 

As summer approaches and the days are packed with events, Iam going to need to come up with a plan! Graduation cake & goodies at all the events is not going to cut it!  Need to make some Veggie Survival soup (what my momma calls it) and eat that before an event!  Soup is a good filler!!!  Maybe keeping a full water bottle  to drink as I drive between events will help so that I feel full when I get there (I wonder if the Garmin has a button to show where all the bathrooms are?). 
Hmmmm……..any suggestions would beappreciated!!    

From Old Blog Site May 2011

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

 VERY YUMMY! Made this last night for the hubby! I was going to serve it over brown rice.....but my rice would not cook!  Oh well it was good with a fork - My hubby used a few tortilla chips! 


 Slow cooked shredded chicken with corn, tomatoes and black beans. Prepare thenight before and turn your crock pot on in themorning for an easy weeknight meal. Low fat and low in points. Serve over ricewith chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, fat free sour cream and reduced fat cheddar.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 servings • Size:1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+:4 pts
Calories: 190 • Fat: 1.5 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Carbs:23.1 g • Protein: 21 g

24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
15 oz can black beans
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro,scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Seasonchicken breast with salt and lay on top.

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt andseasoning. Serve over rice (extra pts).

What are you Wearing?

My room is covered in clothes!  I have them in my closet, in the dresser, and on the floor.  Since I have so many clothes my husband doesn't realize why it takes me so long to get ready.  Well....I have all sizes!  I have maternity, my pre-prego clothes, and what I now consider my fat clothes!  Trying to find something to wear especially when I am between sizes is such a pain!  Most times I get so frustrated and then end up in my "normal" clothes. 

Recently I have decided to get rid of alot of the pre-prego clothes and move the maternity clothes to the basement (I am not getting rid of them b/c I have heard you get pregnant as soon as you do!!!).  Seeing all these clothes that don't fit, especially ones that I don't even like add extra stress that I don't need.  I figure that once I get rid of the weight, I am going to treat myself to some shopping!!! Plus by the time I get back into them who knows what the crazy style will be!!!

I have also noticed that what I wear affects my mood.  Often in the winter I just throw on a big hoodie and jeans, put my hair in a pony and get the kids out the door.  When I take the time to put on something nice (my non-mommy clothes) I tend to have a better attitude and more confidence.  When I wear a bit of a heel vs sneakers, I walk with better posture.  I have noticed that when I feel better about how I look, I tend to do better on watching what I am eating!   Not sure if anyone else feels this way! 
So..........really going to try and replace the hoodies & tshirts with somehthing that fits my body better!!  LOL......I am starting to hear Stacey and Clinton from what not to wear in my head as I get dressed! 
From Old Blog Site May 2011

Stop Late Night Snacking

Late Night Eating is a big problem for me! I found 9 tips to helping with late night eating, So I thought I would share!

Copied from
Late night eating is a terrible problem for most dieters. Many people maintain good diets during the day only to blow it late at night. Below are 9 tips to curb late night eating.

Be sure to eat 3 good meals during the day with 1 or 2 between meal snacks.

Most people try to eat too few calories during the day only to binge late at night. A good insurance policy is to eat most of your calories before 6 PM.

When you feel the urge to eat late at night, try drinking 2 or more cups of water. You can also make a cup of herbal tea sweeten with honey or artificial sugar. Hot liquids have a soothing effect on emotions and appetite.

Remind yourself that it's normal to feel hungry late at night due to habitually eating late. Breaking this habit is like learning to quit smoking. Remind yourself of your goal to lose 20 or 30 pounds and the key to losing this weight is to STOP late night eating.

Much of late night eating after dinner can be avoided by hiding the junk food. Put foods that you're prone to eat late at night out of sight. Better yet, don't buy junk food at all, though this may not be possible if you have kids.

Suck on hard candy. Most hard candy have only a few calories and they give you the satisfaction of snacking.

Keep a written copy of your diet plan in view, which will keep your goal of losing weight firmly fixed in your mind. The temptation to snack late at night will not be as great if you don't give into the urge for several weeks.

Some people have great success by simply brushing their teeth late at night. This method has been known to curb late night eating for many people.

The most vulnerable time for eating late is 1 hour after dinner right up to bedtime. Keep your life interesting by working on a favorite hobby and NOT watching TV. The ads on TV can subconsciously trigger the impulse to eat. Boredom is your biggest danger to late night eating.

Psyche yourself for the battle. You know that you will feel tempted to snack late at night. It's an artificial feeling that will go away when you go to bed. The next morning, you probably won't be hungry .... eat breakfast anyway .... it's the most important meal of the day.