Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Competition and Weekend Recap + Coconut Flour Pancakes! December 11, 2012

Sorry that this post is so late; my usual afternoon blogging time got cut short due to finishing up some odds and ends around the house and Keenan waking up early. Lately, if Keenan isn’t in bed for his nap by 1:30 (at the latest), he has trouble going to sleep, taking between 30-40 minutes to finally fall asleep. In addition, if he falls asleep later (like he did today), he tends to get up at his usual time between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m., no matter how much or little sleep he got. I can’t figure it out!

Anyhow, look where Peanut was this morning! Keenan wasn’t so happy that she was playing with his tractor and car!

Enjoying a ride on Keenan's tractor, much to his dislike!

Enjoying a ride on Keenan’s tractor, much to his dislike!

This weekend, she was also found hanging onto one of the Wise Men in our nativity scene. Keenan was glad to see her out of his toys!

Having fun with the Wise Men!

Having fun with the Wise Men!

Well, onto my competition…I had a lot of fun and I’m so glad that I did it. I am much relieved, but also proud that I was able to do it and in the Rx (advanced) division. It was tough and after the first WOD of heavy deadlifts, my back tightened up (due to losing my form, something I must work on in order to stay injury-free), so I had to really push myself the rest of the day. I made it through all three of the WODs and accomplished my goal of not coming in last! I placed 20th out of 24 girls in my division, not excellent or great, but not bad for my first time, especially in the Rx division. I learned a lot and saw so many strong women pushing themselves to be the best that they can be. It inspired me to push myself even further, to work harder, be stronger, be faster and never stop trying to be the best that I can be. Some think I am crazy for doing two competitions in a row, but I am really looking forward to participating in this coming Saturday’s team competition (hopefully, I’m fully recovered and not as sore by then!) and pushing myself even harder than I did last weekend. After the holidays, I look forward to signing up for another competition or two, participating in the CrossFit Open and most importantly, working on my weaknesses to become a better CrossFitter overall.

Oh, how I dislike thrusters!

Toes-to-bar!

Toes-to-bar!

After the competition, we didn’t do anything exciting, except make a slow drive home in hopes Keenan would take his nap, but of course, he didn’t! Since he stayed awake, we made a stop at Costco since we were out of so many things. That night after we put Keenan to bed, we enjoyed our wonderful truffle brie cheese with some wine, followed by a yummy one-pot meal of sauteed brussel sprouts with bacon, onions and roasted pine nuts, thanks to my husband! It was delish and perfectly satisfying after competing!

So good!

So good!

Yesterday, I was exhausted, not to mention sore, so we enjoyed a relaxing day at home, starting with Coconut Flour Pancakes (recipe below)! We looked up a few different recipes and then came up with our own, which was really good, though a tad dry. I’m not sure if it is just the  texture of the coconut flour, or if we need to experiment with adding more liquid (though the recipe has A LOT of liquid!).

Perfect Sunday breakfast!

Perfect Sunday breakfast!

Later that day, I made a huge batch of pasta sauce that my husband canned (he stayed up until 3:30 am!) for Christmas gifts and to keep us stocked all year long. He is making homemade pasta later this week to go with our sauce. In addition, I also made some candied walnuts, which will be for gifts, too!

Lots and lots of sauce!

Lots and lots of sauce!

Lots and lots of jars of pasta sauce!

Lots and lots of jars of pasta sauce!

Last night, we made some hot chocolate and took a nice walk around our neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. Keenan was mesmerized with all of the lights and LOVED his hot chocolate! He pretty much sucked down his drink before we left the house!  He’s definitely like his father, when it comes to chocolate. After he was done, he kept asking for more! It was fun to see Keenan’s reaction to all of the lights and sounds (some of the homes had Christmas music playing with their displays); his eyes were so big, taking everything in! After we were done and walking home, he kept saying, “more lights please!” It was so cute! We are going to drive to the Fab 40’s later this week to walk through that neighborhood, since they are known for their incredible light displays. I can’t wait for Keenan to see them! The holidays are truly a magical time, especially seeing it through your child’s eyes.

Today was another lazy day at home. Keenan and I enjoyed some piano time playing Christmas songs, and doing some arts and crafts, making Santa and Frosty using cotton balls. He colored Frosty’s hat and “helped” to glue the cotton balls on by getting glue everywhere and cotton stuck to all of his fingers! He kept wanting me to wipe his hands clean only to get them dirty with glue and cotton balls again!

A fun (but messy) project!

A fun (but messy) project!

Coconut Flour Pancakes: (makes about 10 large pancakes)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup coconut flour

– 8 eggs

– 1 1/2 cups (+ possibly 1/2 cup, more) milk or liquid of your choice

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 2 tbsp melted coconut oil

– 1/4 tsp cinnamon

– 2 tbsp raw honey

– 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients, except for baking soda, together in a medium size bowl. Mix wet ingredients, except for vinegar, and add to dry ingredients. Let sit for a few minutes.

2. After batter has hydrated, add just enough extra liquid to make a batter that’s too thick to spread by itself. Add in baking soda and vinegar and mix just until incorporated.

3. Using an ice cream scoop, plop batter onto a greased or oiled skillet, spread out batter, and cook for a few minutes per side (until browned on both sides of pancake).

4. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

*Notes: For the milk, we used some leftover coconut milk, and regular milk. My husband said that he made the batter too thin, and a thicker batter will flip much easier, and not break so easily. He added 2 extra ounces of liquid.

Well, it is late and time for a hot shower (since I’m still in my sweaty workout clothes from CrossFit tonight) and bed. Have a good night!

Questions: What kinds of holiday activities have you done or have planned? What was the highlight of your weekend? How do you like your hot chocolate? I love adding a little Frangelico or Amarula to mine, along with a couple of marshmallows!

REMINDER: There is still time to win a box of the BEST popcorn EVER!! Angie’s Popcorn giveaway ends tomorrow, December 11th at 8 p.m. PST!! Click here to enter!

 

Friday Favorites December 8, 2012

TGIF! Look where “Peanut” was this morning…sitting on top of our Advent Calendar! Keenan was very happy that she was not playing with his toys and back by the couch!

Enjoying the view from the Advent Calendar!

Enjoying the view from the Advent Calendar!

Anyhow, I’m glad it is Friday, but anxious about tomorrow: my first real CrossFit competition! I didn’t sleep well last night in anticipation for it and I know tonight isn’t going to be any different. I am going to go there tomorrow and do my best, give it 100% and have fun (at least try to!) At the end of the day, I know I will be glad that I competed, but I will also be VERY relieved! My husband and I are planning a special “at home date night” tomorrow night with a truffle brie cheese that we picked up at Costco, as a little reward for competing; I can’t wait!

On Sunday, I’m looking forward to a nice relaxing family day of finishing up our homemade Christmas gifts, baking and looking at Christmas lights in the Fab 40’s neighborhood of Sacramento (such a great place to look at lights!). I can’t wait to see Keenan’s reaction to all of the lights!

Since it is Friday, it is time for “Friday Favorites!” I love Fridays, because it is nice to look back on the week and think about all of the great things that happened and great things we ate! Don’t get me wrong, I love that Fridays also equal the end of a long week and the start of the weekend, too!

Favorite Moments:

  • Singing with Keenan in the car to the song, “Someone I Used to Know” at the top of our lungs! He loves that song so much that we have to play it at least twice when we are driving (if he had his way all the time, we would ONLY listen to that song!).
  • Watching Keenan find “Peanut” every morning and trying not to laugh when he gets so irritated that she is playing with his toys.
  • Playing with the box of baby wipes!

    Having fun with his empty box of wipes!

    Having fun with his empty box of wipes!

  • Dancing with my husband and Keenan to Christmas songs and playing “Ring Around the Roses!”

Favorite Eats:

Serious about his No Oat Oats and Coconut Whipped Cream!

  • Paleo Pancakes topped with Coconut Whipped Cream

    Such a yummy breakfast!

    Such a yummy breakfast!

  • Turkey Wraps

    Still one of my favorite things to have for lunch!

Keenan is waking up, so it is time to head outside for a walk while Keenan rides his trike and then some piano time playing Christmas songs! Have a great evening and weekend!

Questions: What were your favorite moments and/or eats from this week? Do you ever get so nervous for an event/race that you wonder why you signed up in the first place? How do you calm your nervous energy and tell yourself you will be fine prior to an event and/or race? I am a competitive person and have always loved competition, but every time before an event, I get SO nervous! Even though I know things will be okay in the end, I can’t stop feeling anxious.

REMINDER: There is still time to win a box of the BEST popcorn EVER!! Angie’s Popcorn giveaway ends next Tuesday, December 11th at 8 p.m. PST!! Click here to enter!

 

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas December 3, 2012

I hope you a had a nice weekend! We had a great weekend, though a tad busy, but definitely a productive one! Among attending our good friends’ baby’s baptism on Saturday and having dinner with friends (while Keenan and his best buddy played), we got our Christmas tree, decorated it and finished almost all of our Christmas gifts/shopping! Also, we enjoyed a nice visit with my brother on Saturday night (eating the BEST pizza from Masullo and pretty much finishing the last of the Paleo Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies!) before he flew back to Montreal. Also, I’m feeling better (though still a little stuffy). Keenan unfortunately came down with my cold this weekend, but he doesn’t seem to have it as bad (at least so far!).

On Saturday, we started the Advent calendar and”Elf on the Shelf” traditions. We read the story to Keenan on Friday night and he named our elf, “Peanut.” When he woke up on Saturday morning, he was super excited to find Peanut, which she was hanging on our coat closet door.

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Yesterday, she was on top of Keenan’s kitchen and today, she was sitting on top of the couch by our Christmas tree.

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Keenan asks about Peanut all the time, such as where she is if we aren’t in the same room as she, as well as where she will be the next day. It is pretty cute! My husband and I are enjoying reminding him that she is watching him at all times, so he needs to be a good boy, in order for Santa to bring him presents. I’m not sure if Keenan fully understands the whole concept of the elf, but it certainly can’t help! I am having fun thinking of ideas to place her. I’ve been looking on pinterest for some cute ideas that I can’t wait to try soon!

For the Advent calendar, I put a couple of stickers in the boxes the past couple of days and an old empty spice container today. He was more excited with the spice container, because he immediately ran to his kitchen to start playing with it! Shortly after, I was taking his empty baby wipe box to our recycling bin when Keenan insisted on playing with it. Before I knew it, he dumped out almost all of his toys from his toy basket into the box and climbed in!

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Yesterday, we all slept in SUPER late (a very rare occasion), waking up at 10:00 a.m.! I heard Keenan start to call for me at 10:00 and I took a double take at my clock. I couldn’t believe it! We have never slept in that late since having Keenan! I think with Keenan’s cold and not having a nap on Saturday, his body needed the extra sleep. Needless to say, we all needed our sleep and it felt great! For brunch (since it was so late), my husband made almond flour waffles, which was good, though a little dry. I need to experiment with the the recipe a bit to figure out how to make it more moist. Either way, they were still good and especially topped with a little of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, thanks to my friend for giving it to us!

After breakfast, Keenan and I decorated our tree together. He was having more fun looking at all of the ornaments, in fact “playing” with them, rather than hanging them on the tree. When we were all done with the tree, I turned on the lights and he looked up at it and said, “Wow!” It was too cute!

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Well, after Keenan wakes up from his nap, we are heading CrossFit, to get in my last few days of training before the competition this Saturday. The WODs were posted last night, so now the nerves are starting to settle in. Fortunately, they don’t look too bad, but I just want to make sure I don’t strain my piriformis again, especially since the first WOD includes heavy deadlifts. My plan of attack for this week is to workout today through Wednesday (doing our regular WODs), do some cardio, unloaded bar deadlifts and gymnastic movements on Thursday and take Friday off. At this point, I just want to get the competition over with!

Have a great Monday!

Questions: How was your weekend? Have you started any holiday traditions with your children? If you run marathons, do triathlons or participate in any fitness competitions, do you get nervous? How do you train the last week before competition/race day? 

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a cute workout headband from Simple-Trends! Giveaway ends TONIGHT at 8 p.m. PST!! Click here to enter.

 

What I Ate Wednesday and More November 29, 2012

Happy Hump-Day! Sorry this is so late; this is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down in front of my computer all day! It was a busy one, to say the least! Keenan woke up past 8:00 a.m. which was nice, but he also woke up at 3:00 a.m., calling frantically for my husband. I think he had a bad dream because he just wanted to be held and sung to when my husband went into his room. Fortunately, he went right back to sleep, but my husband and I had a hard time going back to sleep. Needless to say, we were tired this morning!

Today was cleaning day (not one of my favorite days, especially with a cold!), so after Keenan and I ate breakfast, I  did a little cleaning downstairs while he played (which included some cuddle time on the couch with his critters!) before we got ready to head to the box. I met a couple of my fellow athletes to do some skill work, back extensions on the glute ham developer, light deadlifts and box cleans. It was good to get some extra work in before the evening class.

Snuggling with his blanket and critters!

Tonight’s WOD was challenging: run 400 meters and 3 rounds of 15 pullups and 15 hand release pushups for 20 minutes, doing as many rounds as possible. The pullups were tough on my arm and the running is always a challenge. I’m slowly working on a faster pace. I was able to complete 2 rounds and 200 meters, not bad, but definitely not the best. After class, I helped coach the beginner’s class, which was fun, as always! It is fun to meet new people who have just joined and those who have been coming for a while and are continuing to get stronger!

Since it’s Wednesday, you know the drill! I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

Peas and Crayons

Here are some of the things I ate the past few days:

Breakfasts:

  • My husband’s famous “cheesy eggs” (with feta, for a change)

    My husband’s scrambled eggs are some of the best I have ever eaten!

  • Pumpkin Pie Latte with my husband’s leftover homemade whipped cream (a nice compliment to my breakfasts!)

    So yummy; perfect for cold and rainy mornings!

Lunches:

  • Turkey wraps with spinach, tomato, avocado and pepperoncinis

    One of my new favorites!

  • Egg whites in a mug over a bed of spinach, tomato, avocado, pasta sauce and roasted pumpkin seeds

    I just can’t get enough of this!

Dinners:

  • Thai red curry stir-fry of baby bok choy, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and chicken

    A great meal for a cold night, thanks to my husband for making it!

Well, it is time for a nice hot shower and then bed! I’m exhausted! Have a good night!

Questions: What have you eaten the past few days? Are you still eating turkey leftovers? Have you tried any new foods or recipes lately?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a stylish and comfortable workout headband from Simple-Trends! Giveaway ends Monday, Dec. 3rd at 8 p.m. PST!! Click here to enter.

 

Giving Back and Simple-Trends Headband Review and Giveaway!! November 27, 2012

Well, I definitely have a cold. My throat is not as sore as it was yesterday, but I definitely have a lot of post-nasal drip. When I woke up this morning, everything had moved into my head. Ugh…I just hate head colds, because I feel like one giant nose (like in those cold medicine commercials)! Fortunately, Keenan woke up late this morning, at 8:30, so I was able to sleep in a bit, which helped. My husband doesn’t seem to be as affected, so far, and Keenan seems to be okay. I’m hoping he doesn’t get it.

My husband was very sweet this morning and fixed us a nice breakfast of his famous “cheesy eggs” with a pear and a latte. It was nice to come downstairs and have breakfast all ready!

After breakfast, Keenan and I headed to our local retirement home for my MOMs Club service project. As part of my duties as the Vice President, I have to plan at least one service project for the year. Since we haven’t done any work with retirement homes, I thought it would be nice to coordinate some activities during the holidays with them, especially since many of the residents don’t have any family. Today, we did holiday arts and crafts: making cards, pictures and ornaments with the residents. We are going back in a couple of weeks to attend their holiday party and give a card and picture or ornament to each resident while singing Christmas songs. The residents were so happy to have us there today. Some of them enjoyed helping the kids color and glue, while others just enjoyed watching. They kept talking about how they were looking forward to having us come back for their holiday party, as well as starting a regular story time. In January, we are starting a monthly story time where the residents will read their favorite stories to the kids. Overall, it was great morning, both for the residents and for our kids. I look forward to going back, soon!

It feels so good to give back or help those in need, which is what the holidays are all about (or should be). It shouldn’t be so much about shopping and giving gifts to friends and family members; the real gift of giving should be volunteering your time (or money, if you have it) to those who are less fortunate (or don’t have anyone in their lives, like the residents of the retirement home we visited today). Maybe for every gift you buy for someone, you donate money to your favorite charity or donate your time this holiday season–just a thought.

On another note, I’m excited to host a giveaway, just in time for the holidays!

Nicole at Simple-Trends kindly sent me a couple of headbands, one to try and one to give away. They are just what their name implies, simple, but comfortable (and versatile) headbands that you can wear for working out, when out-and-about, or simply spending the day at home. You can wear their bands wide, or tuck them in to be thin. You can also wear them with your hair up or down. All of Simple-Trends headbands are handmade in the U.S. and come in a variety of prints.

I wore my band to CrossFit last week and I have to say, I loved the style and fit (so comfortable, I practically forgot it was on my head!), but as soon as I started my WOD, it slid right off. The band doesn’t have any material underneath to make it stay on your head, so it is definitely a band to wear for low-intensity activities, only, such as yoga, pilates or walking. I love the style and how it feels on my head, so I will definitely wear it out and about, but I just can’t wear it for CrossFit. If you are one who does yoga and pilates, Simple-Trends is the band for you, or if you just want a fun and stylish band to wear out-and-about, I highly recommend them!

Since Nicole was so generous and sent me an extra headband to give away, see below on how to win it!

To enter the giveaway, please follow the steps below:

1. Leave a comment on this post stating how you would wear your headband.

(Optional) Earn an extra entry by:

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

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

3. Follow Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy by email

4. Post on YOUR Facebook page, or Tweet, “I want to win a headband from Simple-Trends and Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy!”

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

The giveaway ends Monday, December 3rd at 8 p.m. PST!! Good luck!

Well, it is time to get ready for CrossFit and finish preparing dinner (crock pot pork and apples with roasted broccoli) so it is done when we get home. My piriformis and rhomboids feel pretty good today, but I’m still not going to go 100%, to make sure I continue to feel better (in addition, my energy is low due to my cold). Enjoy the rest of your afternoon!

 

Thanksgiving Weekend + New Pumpkin Recipe!

I hope everyone had a great holiday and a relaxing long weekend! Despite the septic incident and part of the turkey catching on fire while we scrambled to keep sewage where it belonged, we had a nice Thanksgiving. All of our food was delicious (including the turkey which turned out nice and juicy!).

Our Thanksgiving table!

Since we went to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, we stayed until Saturday, to spend some time with my parents. Keenan enjoyed playing with Nonna (either inside or outside and “helping” Avo and my husband fix the septic system).

Having fun riding cars with the “baby” and Nonna!

On Friday night, my husband and I met some friends for drinks for a fun double-date! It was nice to have a night out while my parents babysat. On Saturday, we took Keenan to see Santa at Bass Pro Shops, an awesome sporting goods/outdoor shop near my parents’ house. He was SO excited and actually smiled this time (last year he cried!).  In addition to taking a picture with Santa, there are so many things to look at and do at Bass Pro Shops; it is huge! They have a big aquarium of fish, along with lots of different animals. Of course, Keenan enjoyed sitting on the toy four-wheeler, playing all of the kid games and sitting on the “real” four wheelers and buggies, outside. It was also the first time my husband had been there, so being an “outdoorsy guy,” he was like a kid in a candy store!

Keenan was so excited to sit on the toy four-wheeler!

Coloring at the arts and crafts area at Bass Pro Shops (they really do have everything!).

Enjoying a picture on the buggy!

On Sunday, Keenan helped me put all of our Thanksgiving decorations away and decorate for Christmas, as well as lending a hand to my husband while he put the lights up, outside. But, in the midst of decorating, Keenan fell ill and threw up–twice! We ate Pumpkin Almond Flour Muffins that were leftover in the freezer, but something didn’t sit right in Keenan’s tummy. When I made the muffins the first time a couple of months ago, he also threw up, but I had given him a taste of raw walnut butter, so I thought it was attributed to the butter. Needless to say, I’m not sure what happened yesterday, because my husband and I were fine. We ate the last of those muffins, so I won’t be making them again (or at least giving them to Keenan!). But, after Keenan was done puking, he ate a good lunch (saltine crackers and applesauce), napped well and was back to his usual self by the evening. Since I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store, we used what was in our cupboard and made a delicious pumpkin white bean soup for dinner. Keenan devoured his soup, so I knew he was feeling better!

Speaking of, here is the recipe for my pumpkin soup!

Such a nice (and easy) Fall soup!

Rustic Pumpkin and White Bean Soup: (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

– 32 oz. can of pumpkin puree

– 1 can of cannelloni beans

– 1 yellow onion (diced)

– 5-6 oz. pre-cooked chicken (chopped)

– 1 cup chicken broth

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tsp Italian seasoning

– 2 cloves garlic (minced)

– 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

– 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cumin

– salt and pepper, to taste

– tiny splash, each, of Worcestershire and soy sauces

– 1/4 C spiced, roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, salter, pepper, herbs and spices in olive oil.

2.Meanwhile, drain and rinse can of beans.

3. Once onions are translucent and herbs and spices smell wonderful, add beans, pumpkin, and chicken broth to pot and cook for 5-20 minutes (you can whip this together, or let the flavors meld).

4. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Add sauces. Add more chicken stock if too thick for you. Taste, and add more seasoning if needed.

5. Divide amongst 3 soup bowls and place chopped chicken and pumpkin seeds on top. Enjoy!

*Notes: I added chicken for more protein since this was a one-pot meal for us, but you can serve this without chicken as a starter for a dinner party or as a side. Instead of canned pumpkin, you could use a fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, diced and roasted. Add roasted pumpkin or squash to pot and blend as directed.

Today, my husband and I both woke up with scratchy throats and post nasal drip, so I was dragging all day. My mom was getting over a cold last week, so I’m hoping we didn’t get what she had (keeping my fingers crossed!). Though, my husband made each of us a mini Cafe Bon (minus the Amarula and half the chocolate) since we had some of his whipped cream left over. It was good!

My new favorite holiday beverage!

As my husband was adding the whipped cream to our Cafe Bon, Keenan wanted a taste, so as you can see from the pictures, my husband kindly gave him some!

Having a taste straight from the container with his critters (thanks to my husband)!

A mouth full…

So good!

Anyhow, Keenan and I didn’t do too much, except for playing with legos, having some music and piano time. We also managed to go to the grocery store to stock up for the week. After Keenan woke up from his nap, we went to CrossFit and did a short but challenging WOD of max box jumps and 5 snatches every minute on the minute. It felt good to have a workout, especially since I didn’t do much of anything for the past 4 days, due to straining my piriformis and rhomboids (which are still a little sore). I did okay today, but my plan is to train conservative this week (not going to heavy), until everything feels better. My first competition is on Dec. 8th, so I have less than two weeks to prepare. We’ll see how this week goes…

Well, it is time to finally take a shower and work on some Christmas gifts before heading to bed to fight off whatever bug my body seems to be fighting. Have a good night!

Question: How was your Thanksgiving and long weekend? What was your favorite thing that you did or ate over the weekend?

 

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips + New Pumpkin Recipe! November 20, 2012

Wow, Thanksgiving is only two days away! I can’t wait! Tonight, I’m making Artichoke Torta (our family’s tradition) and getting everything packed to head to my parents’ house tomorrow. Keenan is so excited to go to my parents’ house that he keeps saying, “Go to Nonna and Avo’s house now!” I keep reminding him that we are going tomorrow and not today. He definitely has Thanksgiving down because when I ask him why we are going to Nonna and Avo’s house, he says “Thanksgiving and eat yummy food!” It is too cute!

Speaking of Thanksgiving and all of the delicious food that will be around, it is a great time to re-evaluate your eating habits during the holiday season, check-in on your goals, and have a plan in place to not get off-track. For myself, I look forward to eating all of the tasty goodies that I only get once a year. I allow myself to splurge, having a little bit of everything (though not going overboard). I always try to get some sort of exercise in on Thanksgiving or really push myself the day before, as well as working out the day after. I say “try” because it doesn’t always work out the way I plan, so I just aim to do my best. We usually do something fun as a family the day after Thanksgiving, so I might not have a chance to work out. Either way, I try not to be hard on myself and just plan to get back on track the following day (by then, my body is usually craving my normal routine!).

In preparation for the holiday season, here are a few healthy eating tips that I try to follow:

  • Don’t starve yourself: With a big meal ahead, you might be tempted to eat as little as possible (or nothing) during the day, to save your calories. By not eating, your metabolism actually slow down. In addition, you might feel cranky, irritable and even tired, if your body isn’t consuming its regular calories as it is used to. Instead, eat as you normally do during the day, but a little lighter, saving room for consuming extra calories at your holiday feast.
  • Portions: Since most of the foods at your holiday feast are probably ones you only get once a year, allow yourself a small handful size portion of everything and don’t go back for seconds. By having a taste of everything, you won’t feel guilty or too full! Even if you think you are still hungry, save yourself for a small slice of pie or other dessert. I’m sure that after having dessert your stomach will feel satisfied! We tend to eat with our eyes instead of our stomachs, so having a small portion of everything will be enough.
  • Leftovers: I love Thanksgiving leftovers because you can do so much with them! When you think you need a second helping of your grandma’s casserole or mashed potatoes, think about saving it for the next day. This way, you get to enjoy your “once a year goodies” again the next day (without stuffing yourself the day of your feast). Change up the form, like turning mashed potatoes into potato pancakes with some turkey and cranberries. Or, chop leftover turkey into small pieces and add to a salad for lunch the next day.
  • Exercise: Keep moving! Plan your exercise accordingly. If you don’t have time to fit in a workout on the holiday or the day after, do as much as you can on the days leading up to it. I try to workout extra hard on the few days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as plan some time on the days after to workout (to make up for all of the calories I consumed!). If it means involving your family in your exercise, do it (what a great way to model healthy behavior!)! Go for a jog with your little one in the BOB stroller, a long family walk, ice skating, sledding or snow skiing! Most importantly, stay as active as you can during the holiday season, making sure to not miss a workout no matter how many things you have to do. The more you move, the more you will be able to stay fit throughout the holiday season and not gain those extra pounds!
  • Maintain: If you have been working on weight or body fat loss the past few months, change your focus to just maintaining during the holidays. With all of the tempting goodies, it is hard to eat healthy 100% of the time. Take off some of the pressure and allow yourself to taste everything (a small handful size portion), without depriving yourself. But, keep things in check so you don’t go overboard. Be mindful of how your clothes fit and how you feel to make sure you don’t get completely off-track.
  • Being Mindful: Take the time to truly savor each bite of the scrumptious food you will be eating. Listen to your body and know when you are full. Enjoy and cherish the time you are spending with your loved ones, appreciating each and every moment. Sometimes we get in “rush mode” (as I like to call it), due to the craziness of life and we forget to slow down during the holidays, taking the time to appreciate the important things in our life like family.
  • Don’t Beat Yourself Up: If all else fails and you indulge in a little too much pumpkin pie, egg nog, gingerbread or stuffing, don’t be too hard on yourself. Get back on track the next day with your healthy eating and exercising. One day isn’t going to destroy all that you have worked hard for!

Well, today was another “semi-lazy” day at home. We were going to meet some friends at the park, but Keenan woke up late (8:05 a.m.!) and after eating breakfast, preparing tonight’s dinner (another new recipe, coming soon!), cleaning out Keenan’s closet and battling an eye infection (…from trying a new eyeliner on Sunday. Ugh, my eyes are just too sensitive!), we both were not motivated to leave the house. Instead, we had some good play-time of making soup in his kitchen, racing his cars, dancing and riding his trike. By the time Keenan went down for his nap, he was pretty tired! It was a great morning!

Lining up his cars and trucks for a race!

After Keenan went down for his nap, I headed to the box to do some extra work of kettlebell swings, snatches, GHD (glute hamstring developer), double unders and bench presses. Once he wakes up from his nap, we’ll head to the box to do today’s WOD of burpee box jumps, deadlifts and double unders (which I’m not looking forward to!).

Before I forget, here is my new recipe for pumpkin muffins. After searching the internet for new pumpkin ideas, I came across a couple of recipes for pumpkin pie muffins, so I experimented and came up with my Paleo-friendly ones!

Healthy pumpkin goodness!

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Muffins (makes 8 muffins):

Ingredients:
Muffins:
– 2 cups almond flour
– 1 tbsp baking powder
–  1/2 cup xylitol
– 1 tsp raw honey
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
– pinch of salt
1 cup pumpkin
2 tbsp applesauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup any milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
Filling:
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 tbsp xylitol
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
– pinch of salt
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, mix all of the dry ingredients of the muffins together in a large bowl.
3. In a separate (small) bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
5. Prep a muffin tin by spraying it with cooking spray.
6. Mix all ingredients of the filling in a small bowl.
7. Add a scoop of the muffin batter into each muffin tin (leaving enough to cover the filling).
8. Next, add a scoop of the filling on top of the muffin batter, followed by another scoop of the batter (so the filling is in the middle).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Enjoy!
*Notes: If you don’t have Xylitol (or don’t want to use it), you can sub it for more raw honey!
Questions: How do you stay on track with your healthy eating and exercise routine during the holidays? Do you have any tips that you follow?
 

Weekend Recap + Two New Recipes! November 19, 2012

Happy Holiday week! I hope you had a restful weekend! We had good weekend, but definitely a busy one (not enough rest!).

After coaching the weekend CrossFit class on Saturday (which went great!), we ran a few errands before heading home for Keenan’s nap.

Being silly in the shopping cart at REI!

That night, my husband and I had our date night: dinner at a fairly new restaurant in downtown Sacramento called, Trios and then we saw the show, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” It is a musical about dating, falling in love, marriage and having kids, as well as how men and women interact with each other. It was so funny and so relevant to my husband and me! I highly recommend seeing it!

On Sunday, we ran more errands, such as going to Costco (such a bad idea the weekend before Thanksgiving!) and even visited our local animal shelter. We are thinking of adopting a dog. My husband and I grew-up with dogs and since we got married seven years ago, we have wanted to get one, but never had the space. We still don’t have the most ideal space (our back yard is tiny!), but Keenan loves dogs (especially my parents’ dogs), so we are thinking of taking the plunge and getting one. We are looking for a small/medium size dog that is low-key, cat-friendly, loves to go on walks or jogs, but is okay with a smaller space.  There are a couple of dogs that we are considering, in fact, we will be meeting one tomorrow! So, we’ll see… My husband and I still have a lot to discuss, especially since we love to travel and get away on the weekends. Having a dog will definitely change our lifestyle.

Before I forget, on Friday night, we had our “at home date night,” and made a yummy roasted cauliflower arugula salad that I want to share. We had a great evening (probably one of our best dates!) catching-up and just talking about life and our future. We talked so much, that we only watched one of our shows, “Parenthood,” that had us both in tears! It is getting SO good!

Anyhow, here is the recipe:

Such a satisfying salad and perfect with a glass of red wine!

Roasted Cauliflower Arugula Salad (serves 2):

Ingredients:

-1 large head (or 2 small heads) of cauliflower (chopped)

– 1 bag of arugula

– 4-5 slices of thick cut bacon (diced and cooked)

– 4 tbsp roasted pine nuts

– 1/4 cup of Gruyere cheese (shredded + extra for a garnish on top)

– 3 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp champagne vinegar

– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– 1/2 tsp brown mustard

– 1/2 tsp honey

– pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Place chopped cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil on top, as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Combine, so all of the cauliflower is thoroughly coated. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees (until golden brown).

2. Add arugula to a large bowl, along with pine nuts, cheese and bacon.

3. Mix the rest of the olive oil, vinegars, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

4. Add cauliflower to salad and pour dressing on top.

5. Toss and divide amongst two plates. Shave a couple of pieces of cheese and place on top of each salad for a garnish. Enjoy!

*Notes: We added some chopped roasted walnuts for extra protein. You can also add some roasted or grilled chicken.

Last night, after Keenan went to bed, I baked an apple for dessert that my husband and I shared. It was my first time baking one and it was delicious! It is such an easy and healthy dessert for a cold fall or winter night! Here is the recipe:

So good, especially with vanilla ice cream!

Baked Apple: (serves 2)

Ingredients:

– 1 large apple (any kind is fine)

– 1 tsp brown sugar

– 1/8 cup of cranberries

– 1/8 cup chopped walnuts

– 1/2 tsp butter

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees.

2. Wash and core apple (making a deep hole in the center of the apple without cutting it all the way through).

3. Mix sugar, cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

4. Add sugar mixture to the center of the apple. Top with butter and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until apple is soft and butter is browned.

5. Cut apple in half, divide amongst two dishes and top with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Before baking the apple.

Since we had such a busy weekend, Keenan and I had a lazy morning making pumpkin muffins (a new recipe coming soon!), watching “Sesame Street,” playing in his sandbox and cuddling with Slinky. It was the perfect morning!

Don’t you just love the PJ’s with his”Elmo” shoes?!

Hello!

Well, it is time to get ready for CrossFit. Today’s WOD is a partner one, so it should be fun! On the menu for tonight is one of our favorites: roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes and a red onion, along with grilled country style boneless pork ribs!

Questions: Are you ready for Thanksgiving? What is your Thanksgiving menu? We are having turkey (of course), pumpkin sage risotto, my mom’s famous broccoli casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, artichoke torta (family tradition!), a green salad and my mom’s homemade beer bread. As Keenan said, “we will be eating a lot of yummy food!”

 

Friday Favorites! November 16, 2012

TGIF!! I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the weekend, especially since it is suppose to me cold and rainy here in Sacramento! Even though we have errands to run and things to get done around the house, it will be nice to have an excuse to cuddle up on the couch with a warm cup of hot chocolate. It is also crazy (and exciting) that Thanksgiving is less than a week away! Is it just me, or has this year flown by?

I’m also looking forward to a date night tomorrow night, thanks to an anniversary gift from my parents. We are going to dinner and then seeing the show, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at the Cosmopolitan Cabaret. It should be a fun night! Tonight, we are having an “at home date night,” making a roasted cauliflower salad with Gruyere cheese, bacon, roasted pine nuts and arugula, along with a bottle of wine that we bought last weekend after Keenan goes to bed. We have a lot of shows to catch-up on, so I think we will be having a TV marathon after dinner!

Before I talk about my “Friday Favorites” for this week, I want to tell you how my coaching went last night. I coached the CrossFit beginner’s class again and it was SO much better than last week! There were only 8 people, so that made a huge difference, but overall, I felt more confident and more of myself. I was able to loosen-up, be louder, make people laugh and remember everyone’s names from last week. I had a blast coaching and I can’t wait to do it again! Speaking of, my coach asked me to coach the weekend class tomorrow morning, since his wife is in a competition all day in the bay area. It should be fun, and another great opportunity to practice my coaching!

Now, onto “Friday Favorites!” If you missed my post from a few weeks ago, I decided to start a new theme for my Friday’s posts. Every Friday, I plan to reflect back on my favorite moments and eats from the past week, as part of my new focus of living more in the present and cherishing each and every moment.

Favorite Moments:

  • Doing arts and crafts with Keenan yesterday: making a turkey using his hand cut-outs and hand prints!
  • Having our “morning family snuggle time” in our bed reading stories with Keenan.
  • Having breakfast with my favorite silly guy!
  • Coaching the CrossFit beginner’s class last night.

Favorite Eats:

  • Egg whites in a Mug over a bed of spinach with avocado, tomato, roasted pumpkin seeds and salsa or pasta sauce (another thing I just can’t stop eating!).

Have a great afternoon and weekend!

Questions: What were your favorite moments and eats from this week? Any fun plans for the weekend? Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

 

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!

 

 
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