Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Thankful Thursday November 15, 2012

It has been a couple of weeks since I linked up with Jessie at Jessie Loves to Run for her Thankful Thursday link-up, so I thought it would be good to do it today.  Every day I strive to live more in the present and cherish each and every moment, as part of my new focus. Taking some time to think about what I am thankful for is a great way to slow down and reflect on what is really important.

Before I talk about what I am thankful for, I want to tell you about last night’s dinner creation: Mediterranean Chicken in the Crock Pot. It was delicious and quite the hit with my husband and Keenan! Keenan gobbled his up in minutes and my husband requested that I make it again!

Here are a few things that I am thankful for this week:

The little moments: Yesterday morning, Keenan wanted to help my husband grind the coffee beans. Since we have a hand grinder, Keenan sat in my husband’s lap and his hand in my husband’s and they turned it together until all of the beans were ground. It was such a precious moment of the two of them working together; it melted my heart!

Being silly: Keenan loves to laugh and be tickled. This week has been filled with “Mommy The Tickle Monster” moments, lots of laughs and goofiness!

Singing: Keenan loves listening to music, singing and dancing. I usually make up all kinds of songs throughout the day, especially to help with getting him to do something or as we are doing something (when in doubt, break out in song!). This week, especially, he has been asking me to create all kinds of songs: about his books, breakfast, lunch, “Baba” and Slinky. He loves to join in and create the songs, so it has been a lot of fun!

Playing: I am so thankful for having the time to play with Keenan, whether it is play doh, legos, making food in his kitchen or doing arts and crafts. As adults, we sometimes forget to play, due to the chaos of life, but it is truly important for our mental health to let loose and “play” every now and then (with your kids, or just being a kid, yourself!).

Time with my husband: Whether it be cooking, doing dishes, working side-by-side in our office, reading in bed or cuddling on the couch watching our favorite TV show, I’m thankful for all the moments I spend with him.

Before I forget, I want to share a little Thanksgiving craft idea that Keenan and I did this morning. Since Thanksgiving is next week, I thought it would be fun to make a little turkey. When I was young, I enjoyed making a turkey using cut-outs of my hands, so we did that today. I traced Keenan’s hands and he also made a few hand prints. He colored them and we used a small plate to glue the hands for the turkey’s feathers. I made the turkey head/body while he continued to “help” glue his hand cut-outs and prints. I have to say, he didn’t do too bad with the glue, though he still managed to get it everywhere (thankfully it was washable!). Keenan was so proud of his little turkey!

After Keenan wakes up from his nap, we are heading to CrossFit, as usual, though I’m staying to do some heavy back squat work after class and help with the beginner’s class. I’m looking forward to the weekend, because my body is already tired (luckily not too sore!) from the WODs this week!

Have a great afternoon!

Questions: What are you thankful for? Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Are you hosting or being a guest? We are going to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving and my husband and I are helping my mom cook!

 

A Tough Tuesday and An Easy Crock Pot Recipe! November 14, 2012

Well, today was just one of those days! This morning, while I was making breakfast, Keenan was “helping” me make coffee and as I was getting ready to put the coffee in the French Press, it tipped over and broke into a hundred pieces! Glass was EVERYWHERE and Keenan and I were in the middle of it (not a good situation!). Keenan started crying and all I could think of was making sure he wasn’t cut and cleaning up the glass. Luckily, Keenan was fine and I was able to clean everything up. But, we were extremely late for our play date with our friends in Roseville, Giselle from A Healthy Happy Home and her cute little guy, Ayden.

Once we met up with our friends, we had a great time! Giselle is so sweet and her little guy is adorable. We walked through the farmer’s market, played a bit and even went on a little train ride (which Keenan absolutely loved!). As we got closer to lunch time, Keenan was getting tired and cranky, so we headed to Whole Foods to pick up a quick bite to eat before heading home. As we were getting food, Keenan was so tired that at first he wanted something and then he didn’t, getting more and more cranky. So, I got something quickly for him and we ate outside before getting in the car to drive home. Since he was so tired, he ate very slowly and took forever to swallow his food. I kept telling him to swallow, but  he just kept his food in his mouth for the longest time!

Having fun on the train ride! Keenan supplied our “sound effects,” because he kept saying “Choo Choo” during the entire ride!

Enjoying the train ride together!

As I expected, Keenan fell asleep as soon we drove out of the parking lot. Thinking that he would transfer well (he usually does), I transferred him to his crib, but after a few minutes, he woke up and didn’t go back to sleep. I let him sit in his crib (in hopes he would fall back asleep), but it didn’t help. He kept talking to his animals and then eventually calling for me. Needless to say, today wasn’t the best! I definitely don’t feel like I’ve earned the “best mom” award. I can’t help but feel bad about the whole day: broken glass everywhere, staying out too late this morning, thus causing Keenan to act out in frustration, and keeping him in his crib in hopes of him falling back asleep while I got some work done. The lesson learned is I need to learn to take a step back and reevaluate the situation and let things go. I also need to not worry about getting “everything done,” and just appreciate these moments (good or bad), because they go by so quickly.

Well, on another note, I survived yesterday’s extremely challenging WOD, “Murph“, yesterday. I finished in 49minutes and 24 seconds! I was SO relieved when it was over! I have to say that was one of the most mentally challenging WODs I have done. It was  hard to stay focused when there were so many reps to do! At least today’s workout wasn’t too bad. We had a small WOD of 15 hang clean and jerks of 65 lb and 15 box jumps, completing as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. It was a nice change from yesterday! In addition, I did 100 burpees after class, as extra work our coach is having us do in preparation for our upcoming competitions (and for being a few minutes late…).

Before I forget, tonight we made Kabocha squash for the first time! We quartered it, added spices and roasted it in the oven for 45 minutes. When it was ready to eat, we just scooped it out with a spoon. It was really good! I’ll definitely be buying it again!

So yummy!

To go along with it, I made pork with apples and onions in the crock pot, a recipe I found online. It was good, though a little too acidic. I accidentally added too much apple cider vinegar. With a little less vinegar, it would be much better. Here is the recipe. It is super easy, since you throw in frozen pork chops or country style ribs!

Good (though it doesn’t look that great)!

Crock Pot Pork and Apples: (serves 2-3)

Adapted from Frugal Foodie Mama

Ingredients:
– 2-3 pork chops or boneless country pork ribs (frozen)
– 1 medium red onion, chopped
– 2 medium apples (any kind), cored and chopped
– 1/4 cup apple butter
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1 1/2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp pepper
– 1/2 cup apple sauce
Directions:
1. Mix apple butter, vinegar, mustard, apple sauce, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
2. Place apples and onions at the bottom of the crock pot.
3. Place pork on top of the apples and onions.
4. Top with mustard mixture, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
After a day like today, it is time for a much needed hot shower and heading to bed early. Have a good night!
Question: What kind of “bad mom” moments have you had? What did you learn from them?
**The winner of the Fiber Gourmet giveaway is: Heather! Congrats!! Please email me your address at fitnwellmommy@yahoo.com
 

Healthy Halloween Tips October 31, 2012

I can’t believe tomorrow is Halloween and then we are into November! The holidays are going to be here before we know it…crazy! I love the holidays and I can’t wait to see everything through Keenan’s eyes this year, but I’m just not quite there, yet. There are so many things going on between now and the holidays, it is hard to think that far ahead! Does anyone else feel that way?

Anyhow, onto today, “Halloween Eve:” We started our day off with toasted leftover paleo pancakes! I think they are actually better toasted! Keenan topped his with pumpkin butter and a little maple syrup. I topped mine with yogurt and strawberries. In the spirit of Fall, I made myself a pumpkin pie latte…so good!

Yum!

We also started our day with a new spin on potty training: an “Elmo” potty chart! Every time Keenan goes number one on the potty, he gets a stamp, and when he goes number two, he gets a sticker to place on his chart. My mom gave Keenan an Elmo Potty Time” coloring book a while back. The book came with a potty chart and stickers, but Keenan wasn’t ready to use it at the time . Yesterday (out of the blue), Keenan mentioned the potty chart, along with the stickers, so I thought it was time to give it a try. Today, he got four stamps! He was pretty excited to get his stamps, so I am hoping the chart with help (fingers crossed!). I’m going to give this a couple of weeks and if it doesn’t work, I think we will try the “pant-less” method. I’ll keep you posted…

Hopefully “Elmo” and his potty chart will work its’ magic!

Since we so busy yesterday (and Keenan has been so tired lately, getting up between 8 and 8:30 a.m!), we stayed home this morning and played. I had some watercolor paints, so I thought it would be fun to show Keenan how to use them and paint some pictures. He didn’t quite grasp the whole concept of dipping your brush into the water first, then the paint and, finally, painting on the paper. He kept wanting to take the paints out of the package and use them as finger paints! Needless to say, we didn’t do any painting. Instead, we played in his sandbox and cuddled with Slinky!

Putting toys on Slinky!

Cuddling!

To get Keenan ready for Halloween and trick-or-treating, I have been talking to him about what to say, but for some reason, it hasn’t sunk in. He knows that carrying his pumpkin bucket equals candy, but saying “trick-or-treat” is another story! He keeps getting “knock knock” jokes confused with saying “trick-or-treat,” because when I asked him earlier today about what to say when he rings the door bell when trick-or-treating, tomorrow, night, he said, “knock knock!” I laughed so hard; it was too funny!

Speaking of Halloween, Keenan seems to be fixated on having candy! After our MOMs Club Halloween party on Friday, he kept asking to have candy. So, tomorrow shall be interesting. I am going to have to cave and let him enjoy at least one piece of candy! This is why I tend to buy healthier things to pass out, such as fruit snacks and rice krispies (though, not the healthiest, but better than candy!).

If you are taking your children trick-or-treating tomorrow, and/or passing out candy at home, and you’re trying to stay good and not over-indulge in too much candy, here are a few healthy Halloween tips:

  • Instead of buying a huge bag of candy, buy one small bag and a couple of bags of healthier treats, such as rice krispies, fruit roll-ups, fruit snacks or raisins. Mix everything together in a big bowl, so the candy is mixed in with the healthier things. (My husband says to be careful, though, as you’ll be known as “that house” if you don’t have a good ratio of candy to “clean” treats. I think he’s crazy.)
  • After the last trick-or-treater has gone and you still have a bunch of candy left, don’t save it, as you will be tempted to eat it! Donate it to an office (or bring it to your office, though you will probably still be tempted to eat it!), or throw it away.
  • If you must have a piece of candy, choose your two favorites. Eat one of your favorites on Halloween and save the other one  for the next day, as a treat to look forward to. If you save a handful, you might be more inclined to eat all of it in one sitting. (My husband also told me that he would “stretch out” his candy stash until Christmas. Talk about self-control!)
  • While you are passing out candy, have some healthy treats to munch on, such as popcorn, homemade kettle corn, nuts, trail mix, no-bake peanut butter chocolate snack balls and fruit. If you have some healthy snacks out, you might be less tempted to indulge in candy.
  • Last–but not least–if you do slip-up and indulge in one too many pieces of candy tomorrow, don’t beat yourself up. Get back on track the next day!

Speaking of getting back on track, yesterday and today’s WODs were hard, to say the least! Yesterday, we did 100 double unders followed by 3 rounds pf 20 ring dips, 20 kettle bell snatches (35 lbs) and 20 box jumps. The time cap was 15 minutes and I finished 2 rounds and 45 reps (just shy of 10 box jumps to finish). The ring dips were the worst (something I have to work on!). I used the lightest band, red, but they are still difficult!

Today’s WOD was 5 rounds of thrusters (95 lbs) and over-the-bar burpees with a 20 minute time cap. I finished in 16 minutes and 49 seconds, using the prescribed weight. It wasn’t too bad, but we did max deadlifts for the skill beforehand, so my lower back is pretty sore! So, we’ll see how tomorrow goes…

I had to include this! Keenan was wearing a wrap that you put ice or hot packs in for your back. My husband was wearing it on Sunday, so Keenan wanted to give it a try!

Before I wrap-up this post, I have to share this picture of Keenan playing the guitar with my husband on Sunday. Since he was over at his friend’s house while I attend last week’s The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peek, Keenan has been fascinated with guitars! My friend’s son had a mini-guitar that Keenan played with most of the evening. Once he got home, he wanted to play with my husband’s guitar. So, on Sunday, my husband and Keenan re-strung and tuned the guitar together, and spent some time playing it. Keen was SO excited! It was too cute!

Making music!

Questions: Are you passing out candy tomorrow night? If so, what do you usually give out? What do you do with the leftover candy?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter the Artisana giveaway!! Contest ends tomorrow, October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

Weekend Recap and Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 October 29, 2012

I hope you all had a good weekend! We had a great weekend, pretty low-key, which was nice for a change!

On Saturday, I headed to our box to do two WODs (my first double-day, in preparation for my upcoming competition on Dec. 8th). Our first workout was really heavy skill work of hanging squat cleans (95 lbs), toes-to-bar and thrusters (95 lbs), completing the movements in 24 minutes, every minute, on the minute. The second workout was push presses, over-the-box burpees, kettlebell snatches and one other movement that I can’t remember for the life of me! The second workout was time capped at 12 minutes, doing as many rounds as possible. Needless to say, both workouts were tough!

On Saturday afternoon, we went on a bike ride and got some frozen yogurt (which Keenan loved!). That night, my husband and I made a nice dinner of grilled eggplant, tomatoes and country style boneless pork ribs (sharing a bottle of wine, of course!) after Keenan went to bed. After dinner, we finally got caught-up with all of our favorite TV shows. It was a nice and relaxing evening!

Yesterday, we stayed home and had a wonderful family day. We made grain-free pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and carved pumpkins in the afternoon! I can’t take credit for the pancake recipe; I used Megan’s recipe, except I doubled the recipe (to have leftovers to freeze), added a 1/2 cup of almond flour, 1/2 tsp of baking powder (for more loft) and used 3/4 cup almond butter (since I didn’t have much left). I topped my pancakes with pumpkin butter and a little maple syrup. They were SO good; they tasted like pumpkin pie! Keenan enjoyed his so much that he devoured his pancake in seconds! Sorry, we were all so busy enjoying our pancakes, that I forgot to take a picture.

It was fun carving pumpkins with Keenan for the first time! At first, he wasn’t sure of the slimy pumpkin seeds/flesh and didn’t want to stick his hand in the pumpkin to take them out. After a while, he got the hang of it and enjoyed “scooping” out the seeds and helping to carve!

Not so sure…

Having fun with the seeds!

Our pumpkins!

Now, onto the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40!

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend a local blogging event, a home party for Graco’s new Snugride Click Connect 40. The event was sponsored by the SITS girls, an online blogging community of more than 40,000 women bloggers. It was a fun event, meeting other local mommy bloggers and some of their little ones, as well as learning about Graco’s new car seat. For attending the event, we all got to take home a car seat, which was quite a nice surprise!

The SnugRide Click Connet 40 allows you to have your child sit rear-facing from birth to two years old (or 40 pounds), which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is the only infant car seat on the market that allows you to have your child rear-facing until they are two. The really cool feature about the car seat is that it grows with your child, adjusting to give your growing child/toddler enough room to sit comfortably (no frog legs, which is what happened to Keenan, before transitioning him to front-facing!). Another nice feature is that the car seat comes with different levels of padding, so you can start with the highest level for your newborn and gradually take the padding out, as your child grows. In addition, the car seat features a one “click” connect to easily transition your child from the car seat to the stroller. Last, but not least, the base of the car seat has a built-in seat protector that can be pulled up once your child is bigger, to protect your seat from shoe marks! You can find the new car seat at Babies R Us and it retails for $219.

Graco’s SnugRide Click Connect 40 will come in handy for our next child (whenever that may be!), because instead of transitioning them to the convertible car seat (facing front) shortly after they are one year old, they can be safer, staying in the same seat for another year! If Keenan is still riding in his convertible car seat at the time we have another child, it also saves us from having to buy another car seat!

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Questions: What did you do this weekend? How do you get ready for Halloween? Do you carve pumpkins?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Artisana!! Giveaway ends October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

What I Ate Wednesday and Babes and Babies Event Giveaway!! October 17, 2012

It’s Wednesday again and time to link up with Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

This morning was rather rushed due to Keenan sleeping-in (which was nice!) and heading to his swim class. I was so glad that I made a batch of pumpkin almond flour muffins last week to keep in the freezer for quick breakfasts, because they definitely came in handy this morning! Keenan and I each had a muffin (his topped with pumpkin butter) and mine with raw walnut butter that Artisana sent me (stay tuned for a review and giveaway of their products coming soon!). We also had some slices of strawberries on the side. Since I wanted something a little more sweet, I added a little dab of pumpkin butter to my muffin, too! For some reason, Keenan took a long time to eat his breakfast and didn’t seem too interested. He asked to try my walnut butter, so I gave him a taste and then he immediately didn’t want to eat much more of his breakfast…

Still smiling while eating his breakfast!

My breakfast with walnut butter and a little pumpkin butter on top!

Raw Walnut Butter from Artisana.

Well, after swim class, we stopped at the library to check-out some books and when I went to get him out of his car seat, he puked all over himself and his seat three times! Poor little guy, he was scared and crying, not knowing what happened or why he threw-up. He kept saying, “mommy out, mommy bath!” I felt so bad for him. Since we were at the library, which is only a few minutes from our house, I told him we will take a bath as soon we get home. He just sat frozen in his car seat on the ride home, covered in puke, poor thing. As soon as we got home, I stripped him down and put him in the bath. Before I put him in the tub, I took his temperature and it was normal, so I’m not sure what caused his stomach to be upset. He seemed fine and his usual playful self during his swim class. I don’t know if it was the walnut butter, but I ate the same thing as him and I was fine. Anyhow, after his bath, he felt much better and was a little back to his normal self. He wanted to watch some “Elmo’s World,” so I put that on while I attempted to clean his car seat, ugh!

After I got Keenan’s seat out of the car, I took off the cover and straps and hosed everything down. I tossed the cover in the wash (which I didn’t know you could do!). I learn something new everyday! Once everything was cleaned (or at least washing), I made Keenan a light lunch of half a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich with some applesauce. He definitely had his appetite back, because he ate everything in a matter of minutes! I, on the other hand, wasn’t super hungry after cleaning up puke! Once I put Keenan down for his nap, I made myself my “usual breakfast,” except with a peach and some Go Raw Original Super Cookies (stay tuned for a review and giveaway of Go Raw products coming soon!) crumbled on top. It was the only thing that sounded good to me and it hit the spot! I also enjoyed a latte, since I didn’t have a chance to make coffee this morning!

My “usual breakfast” for lunch, but with some Go Raw Super Cookies crumbled on top!

Once Keenan wakes up from his nap and depending on how he feels, we will head to CrossFit. If he has a bug, I don’t want to expose the other kids. So, we’ll see. Yesterday’s WOD was tough, doing 7 front squats (115 lbs for women), 12 toes-to-bar and 50 double unders for as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. Since my 1 rep max clean is 120 lb, I did 105 lbs for the front squats, which was still tough! I did 3 rounds and 5 reps, not too bad. I was really tired yesterday, so I knew the WOD was going to be challenging. After my class, I stayed to help coach the beginners class. The beginners had a team WOD (3 people) of burpee box jumps, sumo deadlift high pulls and running 200 meters for as many reps as possible in 15 minutes. Since there was an odd number in the class, I did their workout, too (2 WODs within 2 hours!). Boy, was I pooped when I got home last night! With that being said, my body is tired today and my lower back and left arm are still sore. If I don’t make it to CrossFit today, I think it will be good for my body to rest and go back tomorrow.

Since my husband is out of town tonight for work, on the menu for me is a GIANT salad! I’m thinking of making an apple walnut salad with chicken and  feta cheese or “everything but the kitchen sink” salad. I’m excited to have a big bowl of salad all to myself! 🙂

Before I forget, the generous gals at Appel and Frank contacted me a couple of days ago about their upcoming event, Babes and Babies in San Francisco. They invited me to attend, but unfortunately, I’m not able to make it, due to our CrossFit team competition being held on the same day. It is an event for Moms and moms-to-be to enjoy a day of shopping and education in San Francisco on November 3rd from 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Patron Hall. There will be 65 designers and companies with lots of baby/toddler clothing, accessories, gear, toys and resources at discounted prices. Guest speakers will be talking about sleep training, diapering, cord blood registry and much more. Also, as an added bonus, gift bags will be given to the first 200 families that attend! In addition, there will be play areas, activities for kids and raffle prizes! It seems like a lot of fun and I sure wish I could be there!

If you would like to join in on the fun, Appel and Frank generously offered one lucky reader 2 free tickets!!

To enter the giveaway, please follow the steps below:

1. Leave a comment on this post stating why you would like to attend the event.

Earn an extra entry by:

1. Like Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy’s Facebook page

2. Follow Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy on Twitter: @FitNWellMommy

3. Like Appel and Frank’s Facebook page

Post on YOUR Facebook page or Tweet, “I want to win tickets to the Babes and Babies event from Appel and Frank and Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy at http://www.fitnwellmommy.com.”

*Make sure to leave a second comment on this post with your Facebook post, Tweet or Like, in order for your extra entry to be counted!

The giveaway ends Sunday, October 21st at noon PST! Good luck!

I have to include this picture of Keenan, as a fun note to end with (especially after today’s puking episode!).  He took this picture all by himself with my camera yesterday afternoon. My husband and I were laughing so hard when we saw this! Have a great afternoon!

Our little photographer!

 
 
 

Crafty Tuesday and Quest Bars October 16, 2012

Since Keenan and I didn’t have to be anywhere today, it was a perfect day to do some painting! Giselle inspired me to do something with our little pumpkins (we are saving our larger pumpkins for carving!) that we picked-up at the pumpkin patch this weekend.

After a lazy morning of reading and cuddling in bed (Keenan woke up at 8:00 a.m.!), we had some No Oat Oatmeal with pumpkin (which tasted so much like warm pumpkin pie!) and then started our painting project!

Before painting, I used tape to make a K for Keenan’s initial and then had him add the rest of the tape. After we were all done taping, I peeled the rest of the tape away around the K and we headed outside to paint! Keenan had fun mixing all of the colors together and painting away! I had him wear his bib, so there was much less mess/paint to clean-up this time. Once the paint dries, we will peel off all of the tape and the pumpkins should have some pretty good designs (I’ll be sure to post some pictures!). Since there was leftover paint, Keenan also painted a picture. Slinky sat right next to us the whole time, but she managed to get away before Keenan could paint her (like he did last time)!

All taped!

Our almost finished project (once the pumpkins dry, we’ll peel off the tape).

After we finished painting, we played in the sandbox for a while making “sand drinks” and “sand cakes.” Keenan was pretending our drinks and cakes were all kinds of flavors, such as chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, strawberry, etc. To decorate our cakes, we picked-up leaves from the ground and added them to the top. It was a lot of fun! Since I haven’t pruned or weeded in a while, Keenan was my “Gardening Helper.”  He helped me “prune,” by holding the branches/areas that needed a trim, picking them up and putting them in piles. As a team, we got everything trimmed and picked-up before lunch!

Fun in the sandbox!

Speaking of help, Keenan is all about helping these days. He loves to get his little step stool and help us cook, bake, wash dishes and make the coffee. In the last two weeks, he has taken more of an interest in helping us with daily tasks. It is so cute, because he always says, “Keenan help Mommy do dishes”, or “Keenan help Daddy make coffee.” I hope it continues!

After we finished painting and cleaning-up our back yard, we had lunch. Instead of going on and on about our lunch (since I want to keep things fresh and “mix things up a bit“), here is a picture of Keenan’s (leftover quesadilla from yesterday) and I forgot to take a picture of mine (a loaded turkey sandwich with spinach, lettuce, tomato, avocado and carrots), sorry!

Keenan’s lunch!

Of course, lunch wouldn’t be complete without a cheesy smile!

Now, onto Quest Bars:

The box of samples!

Quest Bars are protein bars that are different than most nutrition bars out there. They are made with wholesome ingredients and very few of them, at that! The ingredients are whey protein, milk protein isolate, almond butter or peanut butter (depending on the bar), dry roasted almonds or peanuts (depending on the bar), cocoa, sea salt, stevia and any other natural flavors. In addition, they are packed with protein (20 grams per bar) and fiber (17-18 grams per bar)! Also, they are pretty low in calories considering how much nutrition you are getting. Each bar is roughly 160-200 calories. It is definitely a lot of bang for your calorie buck!

Good nutrition!

The kind folks at Quest Nutrition generously sent me a sample pack of their bars to try. Of course, I had to try the chocolate peanut butter bar first and WOW, it was good! I ate it after my workout last Friday and shared some with Keenan. I have to say, I’m pretty critical when it comes to nutrition bars. They have to be loaded with nutrition, low on calories, and full of flavor for me to really like them and even buy them. If I am going to eat something processed, it better be worth it! I have to say Quest has done a really good job, because the flavor was great, definitely very chocolatey with hints of peanut butter. The one downside was the bar was pretty hard, thus making it a little difficult to chew. Quest does recommend microwaving the bar for a few seconds, in order for it to soften like a cookie. I haven’t tried that, but I plan to with the next bar that I eat. I also tried the coconut cashew (sharing it with my husband) and it was good, too! If you don’t like chocolate peanut butter or coconut cashew, there are many other flavors to choose from, such as: vanilla almond crunch, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate brownie, mixed berry, cheesecake, apple pie and cinnamon roll. All, in all, I definitely recommend Quest Bars, because they not only taste good, but they are one of the only bars that I have seen that are packed with good nutrition and wholesome ingredients. They are a perfect meal replacement, if you are on the go and don’t have time to prepare breakfast or lunch, or they are great for a post-workout snack. You can buy them directly from their website, Amazon or even in some local stores.

The lineup of flavors!

Since Keenan just woke up, it is time for a little fun with play doh, before heading to CrossFit. I’m helping to teach the beginners class tonight, so I’m going later. As for dinner, we are having chicken fajitas, since we have been craving Mexican food!

Questions: Do your children like to help you with daily tasks? If so, what kinds of things do they like to help with?

 

Weekend Recap and Drink Chia Review and Giveaway!! October 8, 2012

Happy Monday! We had a good weekend, though not enough relaxation. I’m looking forward to a weekend when we don’t have any plans (if that is possible!). Anyhow, before I talk about today and Drink Chia, here is a little bit about our weekend.

On Friday, we had our “at home date night,” and enjoyed some roasted spaghetti squash seeds with some wine as we were waiting for the spaghetti squash tomato bake to be done. My husband offered to roast the seeds and he did a really good job; they were yummy! We are definitely going to do this again when we make any winter squash, because the seeds make a great snack or addition to homemade trail mix! After enjoying our scrumptious spaghetti squash tomato bake, we watched a couple of our favorite TV shows, i.e. “Up All Night” and “Parenthood.” For dessert, I didn’t end up making the microwave cookie like I had planned. Instead, we enjoyed a scoop of vanilla ice cream with some of my husband’s cousin’s famous fudge sauce…SO good!

Yummy roasted squash seeds!

Delicious spaghetti squash tomato bake with chicken right out of the oven!

On Saturday, we went to our local farmer’s market and loaded up on produce for the week,  followed by running a few errands. Before I forget, my husband made a very yummy breakfast: eggs benedict (well, a pseudo eggs benedict: poached egg on top of toast with tomato, avocado and Costco’s yogurt jalapeno dip)!  In the afternoon, we headed to our friend’s son’s birthday party (Keenan had a blast playing with all of the kids and eating a chocolate cupcake!) and then to my parent’s house. My husband and I helped out at an event for my hometown’s school, since my parent’s couldn’t be there. While we were at the event, my cousin babysat Keenan, so it was a nice “night out” for my husband and me!

Eggs benedict thanks to my lovely, husband!

Yesterday, we made a nice breakfast of eggs, oatmeal pancakes and fruit for my dad (since my mom was out of town) and headed to church. After lunch, we headed home for Keenan’s nap. Once he got up, we enjoyed a chocolate peanut butter milkshake (minus the milk) with flaxseed added for a snack and got our groceries for the week. Keenan was SO excited to drink his milkshake, in fact, he pretty much sipped every last morsel in his cup!

Milkshake time!

Now, on to today and Drink Chia! Keenan and I enjoyed our “usual” breakfast this morning of Fage Greek yogurt, flaxseed, chia seeds, strawberries and Kashi cereal (I know, boring!), since we had to get out the door quickly to go to his music class. Tomorrow, I’m thinking chocolate protein oats or no-oat oatmeal for breakfast…we’ll see! Anyhow, after class, we played in the park with some of the kids and Mommies from his music class before heading home for lunch. I made Keenan a turkey and cheese sandwich with avocado and a glass of milk. I enjoyed a peach and walnut salad with dried cherries and chopped chicken tossed with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It hit the spot!

Using his fork as a “microphone” as he was eating his lunch!

My lunch!

This afternoon, we are headed to CrossFit and then home for dinner: grilled country style boneless pork ribs with roasted brussel sprouts topped with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese!

Drink Chia:

Before I go into my review, here is a little background on Drink Chia: it is based in Florida and was founded by Chandra Davis, a mother of two young children, who was training for a marathon and wanted to enhance her nutrition. She researched different things and went to her local health food store and bought some chia seeds. After many hours in the kitchen experimenting with chia seeds, mixing them into different fruit juices and adding various sweeteners to get the perfect beverage, thus Drink Chia was born. She drank her concoction everyday and noticed a difference in her energy and she experienced less aches and pains in her knees and ankles from her training. Chandra co-founded Drink Chia with her fitness trainer, Mark Theisen.

Drink Chia’s lineup.

The kind folks at Drink Chia generously sent me some of their drinks to sample last week. They have four flavors: Mango Tangerine, B Meyer Lemon, Honeysuckle Pear and Strawberry Citrus. The first one that I tried was Strawberry Citrus, which was excellent (all flavors were great)! The flavor was great and I hardly noticed the seeds (but, before drinking, it needs to be chilled and you must SHAKE it, otherwise the seeds could clump up). Prior to trying Drink Chia, I have to say, I was not a fan of chia beverages, due to the seeds clumping up (with or without shaking) and the feeling in my mouth (more of a texture thing than flavor), but Drink Chia proved me wrong! They were definitely able to make a great tasting drink with chia seeds and without the funny texture like other chia drinks. Another nice thing (or added bonus) about their drinks, is that they are only 40 calories and are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, lots of B-complex vitamins, zinc, selenium and only 4 grams of sugar. It is a great drink for a quick afternoon “pick-me-up,” prior to your workout or part of your post-workout snack. Instead of sprinkling chia seeds in your food, you can just drink them and still gain the same nutritional benefits (or more!). I love chia seeds because they are so beneficial for your health, thus I try to put them in everything I can (yogurt, baking and sprinkled in salads), but I will definitely be drinking more of Drink Chia! They can be purchased online, through Amazon.com or you may find them at your local grocery store.

Such good stuff!

Since Drink Chia was so generous, they offered to send one lucky reader a half case and a t-shirt!!

To enter the giveaway, please follow the steps below:

1. Leave a comment on this post stating when you would drink your Drink Chia, i.e. part of your post-workout snack, part of your breakfast, after lunch, etc!

Earn an extra entry by:

1. Like Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy’s Facebook page

2. Like Drink Chia’s Facebook page

3. Post on YOUR Facebook page or Tweet, “I want to win some Drink Chia from Drink Chia and Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy at http://www.fitnwellmommy.com.”

*Make sure to leave a second comment on this post with your Facebook post, Tweet or Like, in order for your extra entry to be counted!

The giveaway ends this Thursday, October 11th at 8:00 p.m. PST. Good luck!

 

A Day of Painting and The Importance of Sleep October 4, 2012

Painting!

I love it when I have a day with nothing planned (except for working out) and no place to go! Today is that day for us! Aside from taking my mom to the airport this morning, Keenan and I stayed in our PJs (a onsie, for him) and played at home. Since he has enjoyed playing with the box, I thought it would be fun to paint it. My original plan was to paint it as a car, but then Keenan said he wanted it to be a “Choo choo train.” We started out painting it as a train, but then it ended up being a smattering of different things and colors, so it is just one big colorful box! In the midst of painting the box, Keenan managed to paint himself, too! 🙂 In order to get all of the paint off, I gave him a quick bath, which he kept saying, “not bed time, no bath!” He sure is a child of routine, since he knows he doesn’t take a bath, unless it is bed time! All, in all, we had a great time painting outside this morning and Keenan can’t wait to play with his “painted box!”

His painted box!

Paint ALL over!

Before I forget, we tried something new for breakfast this morning. I saw a recipe for chocolate protein oatmeal the other day and decided to give it a try. I like oatmeal, but I rarely eat it, because it hardly contains any protein and it is loaded with WAY too many carbohydrates.  If I eat a bowl of regular oatmeal, I am usually hungry within 2 hours. When I saw this recipe, I was intrigued! It contains over 23 grams of protein!
Since I made it for the first time, I followed the recipe exactly, except I only had vanilla protein powder.

Chocolate protein oatmeal!

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal: (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup whole oats

– 3/4 cup water

– 1 tbsp flaxseed (ground)

-1 tbsp almond or peanut butter

– 1 tsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)

– 1 banana mashed

– 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

Directions:

1. Mix oats, flaxseed, almond or peanut butter, cocoa powder and water together in a microwave safe bowl.

2. Cook in microwave for 2 minutes and stir.

3. Mix in mashed banana and protein powder. Enjoy!

Notes: It was good, but I think the chocolate protein powder would have made it more flavorful. Also, I think the peanut butter would have tasted better with the chocolate, so I will be sure to use it next time! All, in all, it was very satisfying and kept me full until lunch time. Keenan enjoyed it, too!

Enjoying his chocolate oats!

After breakfast, taking my mom to the airport and painting, Keenan and I had some “piano time” and then it was time for lunch. Since Keenan seemed more tired then usual, I made him a quick lunch of his favorite: peanut butter and honey sandwich with some carrots, applesauce and a glass of milk (in his fishy cup!). I felt like yogurt, so I made my “usual breakfast” for lunch, except with a peach this time! Also, look who got new slippers today…”Elmo” ones, thanks to Nonna!

Sporting his new “Elmo” slippers and enjoying his lunch!

After Keenan’s nap, we will head to CrossFit and then home for dinner. I am trying another crock pot creation/experiment for tonight’s dinner. I put 3 frozen chicken thighs at the bottom of my crock pot and topped it with a can of black beans mixed with onion, green and red bell peppers, salsa and lots of cumin, oregano, garlic no-salt seasoning from Costco and garlic salt. I’m letting it cook the rest of the afternoon. The last 30 minutes, I’m going to add some plain Greek yogurt and let it sit for 20 minutes before eating. I’m pairing it with a salad and dinner will be complete! I saw a similar recipe through a random search online that gave me the idea, so we’ll see how it turns out. I’ll keep you posted and be sure to take some pictures to share tomorrow!

Speaking of Keenan’s nap, I am still trying to work on getting more sleep these days. I know I said a while back that getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night was one of my goals, well… it still is! I have to admit, I haven’t been good at going to bed on time lately. It seems that there is always something to do and the only time I really have is after Keenan goes to bed, thus making my nights long. I always have the best intentions on going to bed early, but before I know it, it is already past 11 p.m.! Anyhow, I have been reading more about sleep and how it affects so many aspects of your life (not that I didn’t know this before). A lack of sleep can increase your risk for developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Insufficient sleep affects hormone levels that regulate appetite (eating more to stay awake), metabolism and stress, not to mention making you more irritable and decreases your ability to focus/concentrate on certain tasks. In addition, not getting enough sleep can lower your immune function, making you more prone to catching a cold. Inadequate sleep also affects your workouts, such as not having enough energy to get through them, which can decrease the intensity and power of your workout.  Also, your body can’t properly rest and repair itself, such as recovering from a strenuous workout. Sleep is a major part of our lives and it is important to make time for it. My goal for this month is to set an alarm at 9:30 p.m. every week night to remind myself to get ready for bed, allow some quiet time for reading and shutting out the lights by 10:30 p.m. Since I worry about Keenan getting enough sleep, it is time I take care of myself, and make sure I get enough sleep to be the best that I can be (no matter what is done or not)!

Question: How many hours of sleep (on average) do you get a night? What kind of bedtime routine/ritual do you have to help yourself unwind before going to sleep?

 

Just Another Tuesday October 2, 2012

Today is one of those days…I have been dragging since the moment I woke up. It definitely didn’t help that my husband and I stayed up late watching the first episode “Revenge” (of this season) last night, but it was SO good! In addition, my body just feels tired and somewhat rundown, so I don’t know if I am fighting a bug or coming down with something (hopefully not!). Needless to say, I’ve loaded up on vitamin C and started Zicam! I am planning to head to bed early tonight and hopefully feel better tomorrow.

Before I talk about our day, I have to share this picture of Keenan. He had SO much fun playing in this box last night that we received from Target, for my friend’s baby gift! I am thinking of making it into a car or train for him…any other ideas?

Enjoying his box!

As promised, here are the recipes for the almond flour flaxseed pizza crust and pumpkin muffins:

Our beautiful pizza before it went into the oven the second time!

Almond Flour Flaxseed Pizza Crust:

(Adapted from the Paleo Plan)

Ingredients:

– 1-1/4 cups flaxseed (ground)

– 1 cup almond flour

– 1 tsp salt

– 2 tsp baking powder

– 1 Tbs honey

– 1 tsp Italian seasoning

– 1 tsp garlic no-salt seasoning from Costco

– 3 large eggs, beaten until smooth

– 3 Tbs olive oil

– 2 Tbs water

– toppings of choice

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 425° F.

2. Combine flaxseed, almond flour, salt, baking powder and seasonings until smooth.

3. Beat eggs, oil, honey and water until smooth.

4. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients.

5. Press into desired shape and poke a few holes in the dough with a fork.

6. Place on a pre-greased or non-stick pizza pan or on parchment paper on a pizza stone.

7. Bake for 15 minutes in the center of the oven until cooked.

8. Add your favorite toppings, return the pizza to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

*Notes: Remember to poke holes in the dough before baking, otherwise your crust will have large bubbles, thus making it hard for the toppings to stay on (this is what happened to our pizza!).

Mixing the ingredients all together to form the pizza dough.

Forming the pizza crust prior to baking it.

Pumpkin Almond Flour Muffins:

(Adapted from the Paleo Plan)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup almond flour

– 1 cup canned pumpkin

– 2 eggs

– 1/4 cup almond butter

– 1/4 cup honey

– 1 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well.
3. Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and divide batter among six cups.
4. Bake for 32-35 minutes or until muffins are cooked all the way through.
*Notes: Oven baking times vary, so set your timer for 27-28 minutes to check and then (if needed), bake for an additional few minutes. My muffins were done in 28 minutes. Also, this an easy recipe to involve your kids! Keenan was my “baking assistant” and loved putting the ingredients into the bowl and mixing everything all together.

Fresh out of the oven!

This morning, Keenan woke up requesting to watch “Elmo’s World” on my nook in our bed, so we spent some family time cuddling in bed watching Elmo! It was nice because my husband and I were not quite ready to get out of bed yet. But, I have to say the past few mornings have been nice nice because Keenan has been waking up at his usual time again, 7:30! Anyhow, after we got out of bed and made our way downstairs, we had breakfast, our “usual” and then played with legos, before getting dressed and heading to the park with our friends.

His lego house!

The boys were SO excited to see each other, it was too cute! After playing at the park for a while, we headed home and had lunch. Keenan had his favorite: peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich with a couple of baby carrots and a glass of milk. Yesterday, he ate a baby carrot without spitting it out, so I think with his two top molars, he can now eat raw carrots! I’m so excited because it makes my life easier! 🙂 For my lunch, I made myself an Egg White Florentine in a Mug topped with some pasta sauce and a side of leftover grilled zucchini. I craved something sweet, so Keenan and I shared a small peach. A little while later, I also enjoyed an iced coffee, since I didn’t have time to make a latte this morning.
After Keenan’s nap, we are heading to CrossFit (as usual). Yesterday’s workout was tough. The WOD was 3 rounds of: 21 deadlifts of 95 lbs (not bad), 15 pullups and 9 hang cleans (95 lbs). I didn’t have time to eat a snack prior to going to the gym, so I was “out of gas” before starting the workout (not a good thing!). I was able to finish in under the time cap at 12 minutes and 37 seconds (the time cap was 20 minutes), but it wasn’t a great. Lesson learned: I need to make time for a pre-workout snack, no matter what! Today’s workout should be interesting. My husband went to the morning class and told me about it, so I am already dreading it! The WOD includes a mile run followed by as many rounds as possible of 26 over-the-box burpee jumps, 16 grasshoppers and 6 back squats (135 lb). We’ll see how it goes…
After dinner, I’m excited to pick-up the book, “Paleoista,” at the library. I requested it a couple of months ago, so I can’t wait to finally read it. I have heard some good things about it, especially the recipes it contains. For dinner tonight, I am trying something new in my crock pot: chicken topped with chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic, followed by chopped kale. I placed frozen chicken thighs at the bottom and poured a can of chopped tomatoes on top, along with an onion (chopped), some garlic, spices and a lot of kale (as you can see from the picture below). I am hoping the kale will be nice and soft and the chicken will be tender. I am planning to serve the chicken, tomatoes and onion over a bed of the cooked kale. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Tonight’s dinner experiment!

Oh, I forgot to mention that my TOMS and Reebok Nanos arrived the other day! I’m SO excited to start wearing my TOMS, once the weather starts getting more fall-like (I can’t believe that we are still having 100 degree weather in October!). I’m going to wear my Nanos to CrossFit today, so I’m curious as to how they will do.

My TOMS!

My Nanos 2.0!

Enjoy the rest of your afternoon!
Question: If you are coming down with something, what do you like to do/take? I don’t like taking a lot of medicine, so I’m a big proponent of taking more vitamin C and zinc, along with drinking plenty of water and/or tea.
 

Tired Thursday September 28, 2012

Today was one of those days…from the moment I woke up, I was dragging all day long! I should have felt somewhat rested, since I was able to get seven and a half hours of sleep last night, but for some reason, I wasn’t! On top of it, today was cleaning day at our household, so I was in total procrastination mode. Who really looks forward to cleaning? I sure don’t, but I love the feeling of having a clean house!

Before I forget, here are a couple pictures of Keenan and I in his crib from a few days ago! I thought I would post a couple today! He wanted me to get in his crib after he woke up from his nap and go “sleepy sleep” with him. We had some fun taking silly pictures!

Being silly in his crib!

Another picture!

More about today: Keenan was tired, too and unusually fussy, getting into things he knows he isn’t supposed to and constantly testing the waters. Finally, one of his bottom molars came in, but the other one is not quite there yet, so I think that was the reason for his behavior today, Nonetheless, we had A LOT of time outs today! It is so easy to let things slide as parents, but it only gets worse if you don’t deal with the issues at the time. Consistency is key in parenting, though it certainly is tiring after a while! My patience were tested to the limit today, but without consistency, I feel Keenan will not learn what he can and cannot do or what is right from wrong.

Anyhow, more about our day…before talking about food, I completely forgot to take any pictures of our meals today, sorry! For breakfast, we had toasted almond flour pancakes leftover from last weekend topped with pumpkin butter and some slices of strawberries on the side. I had a latte, as usual! After breakfast, I preped our dinner, so it would be pretty much done by the time we got home from the gym.

Once dinner was prepared, we headed upstairs to start cleaning. Since Keenan was fussy today, he wasn’t too interested in being my usual “cleaning helper.” Though, when it was time to clean the bathrooms, he was excited about helping me scrub the bathtub and cleaning his potty!

For lunch, I made Keenan his favorite (of course): peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich with some cooked carrots and a glass of milk. I made myself my Egg White Florentine in a Mug topped with salsa and some baby carrots, sugar snap peas and a small peach on the side.

After Keenan went down for a nap, I finished cleaning and made myself an iced coffee (using my husband’s coffee concentrate), but I still felt tired, ugh!

Once Keenan woke up, we headed to CrossFit and I felt defeated prior to even working out! I was out of gas from the start, but it felt good to  workout. Today’s WOD was: 4 rounds of 200 m plate carry of 25 lbs for women, 15 over the box jumps and 15 squat snatches (65 lbs for women). I completed 2 rounds and 29 reps (just 1 rep shy of completing 3 rounds!). It was a hard one, to say the least!

Prior to going to CrossFit, Keenan insisted on having a snack, even though he almost always eats his snack at the gym. Today, he seemed to be hungrier then most days, so I gave him a snack before we left (and brought one for the gym). Anyhow, it made me think about kid snacks and how much “junk” is out there. I thought I would talk about here.

It seems that every processed kid-friendly food is marked as “contains whole grains,” “contains all of the essential vitamins and nutrients” or is “high in fiber,” even though the first ingredient is enriched white flour, contains a very low amount of fiber, high in sodium and loaded with sugar! It is such a marketing scam, because unless you actually read the ingredients, you think you are buying something relatively healthy for your children.

For Keenan, I apply the same healthy eating philosophy that my husband and I adhere to: eating “clean.” We eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole foods (little to no processed food), lean meats, nuts, whole grains, dairy and healthy fats, practicing mindful eating. For Keenan’s snacks, I try to make sure they are nutritionally packed as possible. Some of his favorites are plain cheerios (of course), which don’t offer much nutritional value, so I add dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries and some slivered almonds to make “trail mix.” He also LOVES Trader Joe’s Fiberful dried fruit and veggie bars (which have 6 grams of fiber and no added sugar!), fruit and veggie pouches and yogurt melts from Happy Baby. When we are at home, I usually give him little cubes of cheddar cheese with Ak Mak crackers or fruit, or peanut butter with some banana slices (of course!). Sometimes I even give him popcorn (plain popcorn that I pop in my air popper). I try to give him as many “whole food snacks” as possible. It is easy to buy whatever snacks that “look good” at the grocery store and are advertised towards kids as “healthy” or “organic,” without looking at the label and applying your  healthy eating habits to your children. Just because your children are kids, it doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy and have fun eating healthy food, too!

Trader Joe’s AWESOME Fiberful fruit bars and Keenan’s “trail mix” (though I ran out of slivered almonds\, so it only contained cheerios and dried blueberries today).

New Yo Drops from Plum Kids that we recently tried. They are too small (which get everywhere) and contain only 1 gram of protein. The yogurt melts from Happy Baby are much larger and contain about 3 grams of protein per serving (I know, not much, but at least it is more!).

Speaking of food, for dinner, we enjoyed grilled country style pork ribs that I marinated with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, spices and Worcestershire sauce, roasted butternut squash with walnuts mixed with cinnamon, maple syrup and a little butter, along with a salad. It was delish!

After a long day, it is time for bed. Night!

Question: What kinds of snacks do you give your kids? Any homemade kid-friendly snack ideas?

 

 
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