Good Change

photo 2Change is good right? It’s my word for this year and I’m open for it. Last year for my birthday Rich bought a groupon for fresh organic produce delivery. It was AWESOME. I got fresh produce delivered right to our door step every other Tuesday for just over a year. It had me trying new recipes and I tried very hard with each delivery not to waste the food. I found though that for the most part I was the only one who really ate the produce and on top of the produce that was being delivered, we still bought our apples and banana’s and berries and a few other produce type stuff at the regular market. I decided to cancel the service this week. I will miss it, it was a little like Christmas every other Tuesday morning however we have formed a new really cool tradition that I love even more. Why? Because for one it includes motorcycle man. Two we get to get out and three, we always get ourselves a little treat.

photo 1A super nice employee offered to take our picture!  She also walked me straight over to the baking soda that I couldn’t seem to find on my own.

Are you wondering what our new tradition is? We drive the jeep to Sprouts! We finally got one somewhat close to our house last summer. Motorcycle man loves all the bins of bulk stuff. He will typically grab himself a few scoops of mixed nuts and then head over to the olives, cheese and artichoke hearts. (That’s our treat) He picks out a few different olives, some cheese balls, occasional mushrooms and artichoke hearts. We snack on those when we drive home. We also love to make it to the coffee aisle (big deep inhale) it’s my favorite smelling aisle by far! We then get ourselves a tiny cup of coffee to sip on while we travel the store. We split up lots during our visit getting different things on our list to knock it out quicker. I decided rather than have my home delivered produce I would much rather shop with my guy. This change is good! That’s all for today folks.

photo 3photo 4people are friendly around there.  See our photo bomber.

Guess what today is? Update time.

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as turtle man likes to say “live action” me now…doing what I do! (listening to White Stripes, song Jimmy the Exploder & blogging my heart out) 

Today is the last day of April.  I stayed home from work today because my littlest and only girl had the most terrible migraine headache.  Poor little baby.  No light, no sounds and she just felt horrible.  I feel helpless as she gets through it.  She is on the mend now and things are looking up.  It’s a wonder what a shower will do.  I took one before I picked up soccer player from school today and he agreed to be my photographer.  I decided today was a good day to wear red lipstick.  Why not, it makes me smile an awful lot because it’s completely out of the ordinary for me!  When I began this journey in January I weighed in at 180  and today I’m 170 pounds. I have lost 10 pounds since January.  Although that’s not a speedy weight loss it’s going down and at this rate by the end of the year I should be down at least 20 and that’s pretty awesome.  I mean I’m still quite enjoying myself when it comes to food.  I will eat frozen yogurt WITH toppings, I will have a glass of wine, I will even eat a cupcake.  So not bad for still eating things I like. I also eat a lot of GOOD things and my water intake has increased quite dramatically since I began this journey.  I drink more water than most anything else.  Miss Moonspinner introduced me to heart shaped ice cubes made up strictly of pure lemon and cranberry and this is my new refreshing way to enjoy my water.

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my happy ice cubes

I really, really, really LOVE my fitbit.  It has motivated me way more than I could have ever expected.  I mostly get in my 10,000 steps a day, burn 2,000 calories, get my water quota in, and make it to around just over 4 miles a day and for sure get in 30 minutes of what it calls active minutes in a day, some days even more than that.  Don’t get me wrong though, there are some days I don’t reach my goal and getting in 10,000 steps for someone who sits at a desk half her day is not easy.  It takes quite a lot of intention.  I also have had days of great failure and that’s being harsh.  Like today for instance as I honor my body, it’s tired and my cycle has a way of draining my energy to levels of nearly zero.  All I want to do is lay in my bed or sit in the recliner and do virtually nothing.  Rather than beat myself up over still being in the turquoise and with only 1,500 steps so far today at 3:00, I will say “some days are for rest, today is that day”  “tomorrow will be a new day”  Lasty I upped the protein just a bit.  I had received some great advice not only from my mom but even some friends and so I changed it up a bit and when I did, I began to lose again.

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170 End of April 2014

March 2014.jpg

174 didn’t lose a single pound in March 2014

weight174 end of February 2014

Feb 2014 beginningJanuary 2014 180

I’m half tempted to join a challenge that Prevention is having for the month of May.  This will be my change it up for May.  I’m thinking hard on it, so close to signing the contract;)

The eight P’s

Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.

William Arthur Ward  [1921–1994],
American Author, Thought Leader

 I just stumbled upon this quote by William Arthur Ward and not much is written about him that I could find but he wrote some mighty great quotes. I may sprinkle a few of them in here or there.

So Preparation. I’m going strong on my preparation. Which A) Is not easy B) hard work. And I would like to pat myself on my back for keeping this up for so long. You see on Sunday I made more glo bars for my snacks, I made heart-shaped ice-cubs of lemon and cranberry to spruce up my water. Thank you Miss Moonspinner for the fabulous idea! I rinsed my produce, cut it all up and stuffed my salad jars. I made my smoothie baggies for mornings, this week it’s a smoothie called “morning glory” and I must say, it’s pretty glorious. It’s very simple, just frozen banana’s frozen strawberries, 1/3 cup orange juice, a 1/3 cup coconut water and a dash of vanilla, this recipe is also from the “Oh She Glows” cookbook

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got super excited about this rainbow chard!

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Even this weeks kale was gorgeous

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My salad for the week.  I take Friday’s off to go to lunch with motorcycle man

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The glo bar.  I forgot vanilla in this batch but it still tasted good.  Turned out I had left over pumpkin seeds (a tiny bit) I added more coconut to this batch, she doesn’t do the coconut but I like it.

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My smoothie prep

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The morning glory smoothie.  It makes me smile and I like it better than the one with kale…of course, it’s all fruit!

I have also been walking my butt off, I wish it were that literal but really since I got the fitbit I have walked 10,000 plus steps a day, minus the two days I was working longer hours and out doing some notarizing. I have burned my calorie goals, I have been drinking 84 oz plus of water a day and I added some very light arm weights, sit ups and leg exercises to the mix (the past 3 days) Each day I jump on the scale ( I know, I know the scale is evil but a necessary evil for me) I’m not losing and in fact the past few days I have gone up and don’t give me that crap muscle weighs more than fat, I have only been focusing on my muscles for three days. In my little vent session this morning out loud (bad mommy) the littlest and only girl comes up with some fantastic and very wise advice and her words filled me with encouragement. She says and I quote “It could take you a year mom! So don’t give up” So again. I’m here to say as difficult as it is and as frustrated as I get. I’m not giving up. I just thought I would be much smaller by now and much stronger too but the process is LONG AND HARD…VERY LONG, VERY HARD.

When I do my muscle training, legs and arms I look at the bulletin board above my computer blogging station.  It inspires me!

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Off to WALK to the post office, it’s tax day and when one waits until the last day, well I think we all know what that means.

preparing for the week ahead

A wise woman once told me this,” we don’t plan to fail just fail to plan”  and it couldn’t be more true.  It’s not easy either when it comes to planning, maybe even more difficult for us mom’s raising a family, when our first instinct is to make sure they have all their needs met first.  However I also know that I will not change or can’t change until I put some real true effort into the transformation.  The Fitbit is amazing.  It motivates more than I ever realized it would.  I went the entire month of March gaining first three pounds then coming back down to even it out to a complete wash.  My first week of April wearing the fitbit I lost 2.8 pounds.  I got in all my steps and met every single goal every day from Sunday until Friday when I weighed in.  I just returned from a weekend with the girls Sunday afternoon and I returned refreshed and ready for a new week.  Good friends, and mountain air has a way of doing that to you.  I decided to try two new recipes from my awesome new cookbook called “Oh She Glows” also a great blog to visit. I made her “present” glo bar for this weeks snack.

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chopped and measured my pecans then toasted them up in the oven (giggle..I see a heart in the nuts)

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Measured all my dry ingredients for the barIMG_3886

Rinsed my kale for my salads this week and my smoothies in the a.m.IMG_3889

Is this not the cutest little owl measuring cup?IMG_3892

peeled my banana’s for the smoothiesIMG_3900

Figured it would be much easier to put a majority of the smoothie ingredients in a bag and toss into the freezerIMG_3902

And this morning, let me tell you!  It was so easy to toss this in a blender and just add, almond butter, ice and almond milk.  This is also from the “Oh She Glows” cookbook.  The getting ready part wasn’t a part of it but the awesome recipe part was. IMG_3907

The recipe for the glo bars made 12 bars, my model was more than happy to hold my tray for me, first he only had his underwear on and I figured that wasn’t very appropriate so he ran into to put some real clothes on and we took the picture again. IMG_3912

My salad jars once again are filled up and ready to go.  I know, I know kind of boring the same smoothie breakfast all week, the same glo bar snack, the same salad for lunch but it’s quick, it’s easy and it makes the most sense to my checkbook.  Then for dinner we make whatever comes to mind that’s where I get my variety.  I can tell you the bars and the smoothies are very, very yummy and I can’t wait to try more recipes from the new cookbook which I also highly recommend.  My friend Alice introduced me to this cookbook and the reason I’m most interested in it is because my oldest doesn’t eat chicken, pork or beef and his darling girlfriend is Vegan.  So This mama here wants to be able to cook meals she can share with them too!

April 1st check in – weight loss progress

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Start of April 2014 (No loss)

January 1 2014

Beginning of January

This is embarrassing to report. On March 1st I was supposedly re-energized on this eat healthy move more plan. Well, turns out I actually gained a few pounds then to shed those to be exactly the same as I was the end of February.  Sigh…honestly I want to scream my lungs out, break a window, hit a wall. Funny right? And you thought I was all about peace. I get angry. I do. This is not easy. In fact it’s really hard. I LOVE food! I love food of all kinds, good bad and in between. I love food so much I take pictures of what I eat. I’m all about it. It has to be presented well and taste good. Let me explain something about me. I have this personality flaw…the all or nothing haunting trait. So you see, I was using an app called my fitness pal and I would put in my calories and exercise etc. I was on a streak like 60 days and that was getting me pumped up, I thought “can you imagine if I do this for 100 days in a row?” What an accomplishment that will be!! So I hop on one day and I notice a message that reads, you are on a two day streak. I was like “what the what!” Turns out I had forgot to “complete” an entry one night and it started me all over again. I even tried to go back those few days and complete the entry but it didn’t fix the problem. I was beyond angry. So in my human, stubborn head….you have no idea how stubborn I am. I dig my heels in real deep, have you heard that phrase, “cutting off the nose to spite the face?” That’s me! And hello, who came up with that phrase? It’s just weird but it’s used to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem. Yep, that’s me and self-destructive is the only thing this is. The app doesn’t care that I stopped using it, no sweat off its brow. I’m basically just hurting myself. Turns out that app does kind of help when it’s used properly. It helps keep me aware of what I’m putting in my body. I have decided April will be better than March and in order to succeed, one must have a plan.

And just like my other prior check-in entries I will fist share some success that I had in March.

I’m not sure how many days I walked (hence not tracking) but I know I walked several times this month.

I drank water and not just water but detox water with lemon, mint and cucumber a few different times

I brought lots of salad in a jar to work for lunch

I kept up my weekend activates with littlest and only girl so our blog can have weekly updates of how we are having fun being healthy with each other. If anything I’m having fun being outside with my girl. And you may take this as being conceited but even though I’m 175 pounds I feel like I look alright. I do get frustrated trying on clothes but I feel like I look like a healthy curvy woman. I’m proud of my curves, that’s one thing for sure. God made me with some curves and sturdy legs but my feet have started to hurt again. They stopped for a little while in February and I guess it just takes going up a pound or two for me to feel the difference in my tiny little feet. This part I want to change the most. If I have been asleep or sitting for any period of time I hobble like an elder when I first get up.

My plan for April will include continued walking, more and more water, salads in a jar for lunch (see, I already made my weekly salads)

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(approx 300 calories in a jar)  the olive oil, balsamic, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds take up a good majority of the calories but make it yummy to eat.

I also just purchased something called a fitbit flex! I will be logging my calories on to this app now, it doesn’t require me to close out my day, it just keeps track of what I put in there.  It also keeps track of my steps.  My goal is 10,000 a day. It also knows when I wake up in the middle of the night, how many minutes I’m restless etc.  It’s kind of trippy. It’s day two and I’m obsessed (easy for me to do)   I’m NOT QUITING.  Although not much changed in March,  I visually in these photo’s see a difference, my butt isn’t as big. Oh and one last goal for this year and health.  I want to do a head stand, so I need to work on getting my core strong.

Spring Lunch in an Egg Carton

Of course this is NOT my original idea, that’s what Pinterest is for and I saw it there first.  Although my girl is in the 6th grade, she is still super-duper excited to take her lunch tomorrow.  This is how we did it.  I think it should be enough, I made four tiny heart sandwiches but also nearly another whole slice of ham cut into hearts and an addition slice of cheese, all which pretty much equal a full sandwich when you add them all up.  I could actually stuff a little more into the egg once I put the tops on.  I took this idea a step further though and decorated the egg carton.  We had the egg carton on hand, we had eggs from years and years of egg hunts, I save them and re-use each Easter and even the things I used to decorate the carton were in my craft cupboard.

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I began with the carton

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filled it up with 4 heart ham and cheese sandwiches, heart cheese, heart ham, tomatoes, one strawberry, black olives, blueberries, little fish crackers and lemon wafer cookies.

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and remember when the top goes on, more can go on that side of the egg.  I will see tomorrow if this ends up being enough food for a 6th grade girl.  We could always pack an apple or other snack on the side.

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I also snuck in a little note.

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TaDa! Her most favorite color, pink of course!

walk

treeThis week so far I have held up my end of the bargain with “myself”  I told myself I wanted to walk every day this week and to increase my walk by one lap. (this bit of talk about deals with myself reminds me of the movie “Best in Show”  that’s just a side note off the subject)  Today is Thursday and so far so good.  Yesterday was even better because Mama bear joined me.  She kept me company on my first lap and my first lap was my most favorite lap, it went by very quickly.  On our lap we saw the slightest rainbow through a part in the clouds, it kept getting stronger the closer we got! (sorry no photo)  The next three laps I spent with my headphones on.  I can get lost in certain songs and mostly I get lost in the sky.  I kept thinking “I had better be careful or I may trip”  I was looking up more than down and I couldn’t get enough of the sky.  It was sprinkled with clouds and they shifted and changed with nearly every step.  I watched ity bitty airplanes fly through the air, my cell phone couldn’t capture what my eyes saw.  I watched birds fly through the air into really tall trees, carrying twigs in their beaks as they were building their spring nests. I’m realizing what a blessing it really is to fit in a walk each evening.  It’s not easy fitting it in either but this week has been good.

photoI took the top image and turned it to black and white and added some words

palmI love our California palms.  When three are in a row I think of my three children

pink ribbonThe image in the sky that got me most excited was as I was finishing my last lap, I looked up to see a cancer awareness ribbon in the sky.  I darkened this image so it can be more easily made out.    I showed a friend at work and she spotted a heart too. It’s in the light part of the sky, so it was a double bonus!  I actually began to run towards it to see where my best angle would be.  Running up the side of a hill, “no”  it was when I stood between my in-laws home and my neighbor’s house that I saw the ribbon best. I felt blessed yesterday.

What do you see on your walks.  Maybe you will share a story with me or an image?  I would love to know.   Or if you have been stuck inside maybe step out and tell me what you find.  There are miracles and messages all around us.  We just need to keep our eyes open.   Try not to trip though!