Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Healthy Living Blogs! December 4, 2012

Filed under: Featured Posts — Fit 'n' Well Mommy @ 10:56 pm
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Look who got into Keenan’s kitchen stuff! Keenan was happy to find “Peanut” this morning, but he wasn’t happy that she was playing with his things. When he found her, he said, “I need to put this back!” I could hardly take a picture, because he immediately started putting his stuff back in his kitchen! After he finished “cleaning up” as he said, I asked him if he liked where “Peanut” was this morning and he said, “No, I want her on the door!” It was too funny!

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Speaking of kitchen stuff, today I’m so excited to be featured on Healthy Living Blogs for their Healthy Living Tuesdays series, “Health For the Whole Family!” Healthy Living Blogs is a community of thousands of Healthy Living bloggers that come together to encourage and support once another, whether who live locally, across the country or across the world.  I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, so I’m delighted to share it with all of you! Please take a moment to check out my post and share it with your friends and family members!

healthy living tuesdays

If you are new here, grab a cup of coffee or tea and stay awhile. Being a mommy doesn’t always mean sacrifice: In order to be your best self, you have to fulfill your needs, such as eating healthy and nourishing foods, staying active, and doing things to treat yourself. Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy chronicles my day-to-day juggling act of meeting my needs and the needs of my family. I invite you to explore the site and check out topics that might be of interest to you, especially if you have little ones who are just starting solids, or if you are struggling with breast feeding. Maybe you are having a tough time with establishing routines. Or you might be way past the baby stage, and just want to find ways to get into better shape and eat healthier foods. If you are pregnant, check out ways to stay active, eat healthy, and learn about my birth story. I hope you will join me, especially on the tough days where all we look forward to is having a much-needed glass of wine and some dark chocolate once the kiddos are in bed. If you don’t have any kids, I’m sure you know a mom who could use some support and ideas that are found here. Feel free to share this blog with them!

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Healthy Living Tuesday September 25, 2012

It was nice to get up early again this morning and have a little bit of quiet time checking emails before Keenan woke-up. I’m really liking this, but we’ll see how long it lasts!

Before I forget, since it is the last Tuesday of the month, I am linking up with Healthy Living Blogs today for Healthy Living Tuesdays with my article that I posted a couple of weeks ago: Health Lessons Learned Lately: “We eat our way, the way that works for us.” If you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to do so!

Keenan woke up a little after 7:00 a.m. this morning and was in a silly mood! He asked me to get in his crib with him and go “sleepy sleep!” We also read a couple of stories. My husband climbed into his crib a couple of weeks ago, after he woke up from his nap, and Keenan loved it! Since then, he loves having us climb in with him and pretend to sleep or just read stories; it is too cute! Next time, I will have to take a picture!

After we both got out of the crib and I changed Keenan, we headed down stairs to have a quick breakfast of our “usual,” Fage Greek yogurt with strawberries, chia seeds, flaxseed and Kashi cereal. I don’t know why, but I have craved yogurt the past few days! But, I have something different in mind for tomorrow’s breakfast, so I think we will change it up a bit!

After breakfast, I took my latte to go and we headed to our local firehouse for a tour, an outing that was planned through my MOMs Club. I told Keenan about this yesterday and he was SUPER excited, especially since he is all about being our little “Firefigther” these days! During breakfast, I asked him if he remembered where we were going today and he quickly replied in a loud voice, “The Firehouse!” He was SO excited that he ate his breakfast in record speed and was ready to get dressed and head out the door (with his fire hat and boots on!) quicker than I’ve ever seen him!

My little Firefighter!

Buddies!

As soon as we got to the firehouse, he was excited, but apprehensive. At first, he didn’t want to walk, he wanted me to carry him and he wasn’t sure of getting into the fire trucks. I’m not sure why he acted that way, especially since he loves everything that has to do with Firefighters! Since there were a lot of kids there, I think he might have felt a little overwhelmed. As soon as he climbed into the Fire Truck with his friend, he was all smiles! He listened intently to what the Fire Captain said and took everything in. But, as soon as the Fire Captain slid down the fire pole, Keenan started crying. I’m not sure what made him scared! After that, he didn’t want to take a picture with the Fire Captain, he only wanted to give him a high five (with me carrying him). All, in all, it was a great experience (I even learned something!) and Keenan definitely enjoyed himself, because on the way home and during lunch, he only wanted to talk about the firehouse!

For lunch, I made Keenan his favorite: peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich with some applesauce and a glass of milk. He devoured everything in minutes; he was hungry! I made myself a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and some yogurt jalapeno dip from Costco (they finally have it again!). In addition, I had some baby snap peas, carrots and a small peach. It was very satisfying!

Once Keenan wakes up from his nap, we are heading to CrossFit (they moved into their new space today, so it will be great to have more room!). Yesterday, we had a challenging, but good WOD. I surprised myself on how well I did! The WOD consisted of: run 400 m, 21 chest-to-bar pullups (I was finally able to string 5 in a row!), 15 thrusters, run 400 m, 15 chest-to-bar pullups, 12 thrusters, run 400 m, 9 chest-to-bar pullups and 9 thrusters. The prescribed weight for women was 65 lbs and the time cap was 16 minutes. I completed it as prescribed in 14 minutes and 8 seconds! I was so thrilled! It was probably one of my best WODs! So, we’ll see how today goes!

After CrossFit, we are heading home for dinner of leftover cheesy pasta bake with a salad. After Keenan goes to bed, my husband and I have a date on the couch to catch-up on a few of our favorite TV shows!  As promised, the recipe for my cheesy pasta bake is below. I think this was the best batch that I have made because it was so gooey and flavorful (even my husband agreed!). Keenan even loved it because he ate all of his portion in minutes! Sorry, we were so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of it, after it came out of the oven!

This is the cheesy pasta bake (prior to being baked) that I made for a mom in my MOMs Club who recently had a baby.

Cheesy Pasta Bake (serves 6):

Ingredients:

– 1 box of whole wheat or brown rice rotini or elbow noodles

– 6 Italian pre-cooked sausages (diced)

– 5 roma tomatoes (diced)

– 3 cups spinach

– 2 cups mozzarella cheese

– 1/2 cup feta cheese

– 1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

– 4 Tbsp garlic no-salt seasoning from Costco

– 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

– 1 tsp pepper

– pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9X13 glass dish with olive oil or cooking spray.

2. Cook pasta according to package, making sure to add a pinch of salt to the boiling water. Once cooked, drain and place into a large bowl.

3. Add all ingredients, except for bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, to the pasta and mix well.

4. Place pasta mixture into prepared dish.

5. Mix bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of the pasta mixture.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until brown on top and bubbly.

Notes: If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use two small cans of diced tomatoes. You can also use different seasonings, especially if you don’t have Costco’s garlic no-salt seasoning. If you want to store this meal for later, you can prepare it as directed above, cover it with plastic wrap, then foil and freeze until ready to bake. When you are ready to bake it, take the plastic wrap off, but leave it covered with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, uncovering it the last 15 minutes so it can brown.

Question: What health lessons have you learned lately?

 

Health Lessons Learned Lately: “We eat our way, the way that works for us” September 14, 2012

Loving his sweet potatoes!

Today, I am linking up with Healthy Living Blogs, as the theme for the month of September is “Health Lessons Learned Lately.”

Fact: With the food we eat serving as fuel for our bodies, it’s important that we properly fuel ourselves for our daily activities. Fact: Everyone is different.

I’ve noticed that some people feel the need to drastically change their diets and dive into a whole new way of eating, when they want to make positive changes in their overall health. Yes, if you’re only eating fried chicken wings and drinking milkshakes during every meal of every day, not too many people will deny that drastic changes in your diet will benefit you mentally and physically. A balanced diet comprised of fresh, whole foods doesn’t seem like it should really be altered, though. Most Americans simply eat too much, so changing how much you eat might make more of a difference than what you eat, if you’re already trying to eat a healthy diet.

Some ways of eating advocate very drastic changes, and others dictate specific food groups to be avoided. It seems that the Paleo way of eating (or diet) is a hot topic these days, or has been for a while, now. In the CrossFit box that I work out in, there are a lot of people eating Paleo. Many people have experienced significant changes, such as losing weight, gaining more lean muscle and improving their performance. But the question that I ask is: Could someone experience the same results by just eating “clean,” i.e. by eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole foods (little to no processed food), lean meats, nuts, whole grains, dairy, healthy fats and practicing mindful eating? Though I am not a medical professional or Registered Dietician, my knee-jerk answer is, “Yes!”

By cutting out whole food groups, of course it will be easier for someone to lose weight, but is it necessarily healthy or sustainable for a lifetime? How do you make sure your body is getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it needs if you are cutting out food groups? In addition, once your body consumes the foods that it hasn’t had in a long time, what happens? You might find your weight slowly creeping up or your body can no longer handle/digest the food as it did before.

I am a firm believer and advocate of adopting healthy eating habits that will last lifetime. When I was working as a Health Educator in physician’s offices, many patients would ask me to provide them with a list of foods that they could no longer eat and/or a specific meal plan. In addition to it being out of my scope of practice–since I am not a Registered Dietician–I would never provide anyone with a list of what they can’t eat or a set meal plan, because it is not practical in real life. In life, we are faced with eating out, dinner parties, holidays, meetings with catered food, cooking for a family, etc, so how can you eat Paleo or any other diet 100% of the time?

As I have met more and more people following “set diets,” and achieving results, I have learned that I need to do what is best for me, my body and my family. I have achieved my own results with practicing mindful eating and listening to the needs of my body (eating when I am hungry and stopping when I am full) and witnessed even greater results in my husband: My husband lost 23 pounds since he started CrossFit in January of this year, while he also ate healthier, practiced mindful eating and cut back on his portions (he used to go for “fourths”… no joke). For myself, I have put on more lean muscle and have more muscle definition, while maintaining my weight pretty consistently over the past two years. We eat “clean” by rarely eating any processed foods, except for Kashi cereal and a few pita or tortilla chips every once in a while (like special occasions when we have company over, or are on vacation). We still indulge in dessert every now and then (usually allowing ourselves one splurge a week) and drink alcohol (wine and beer). It is something that works for us, makes our bodies feel good and–most importantly–we are able to sustain it. When we travel and splurge WAY too much, such as the cupcakes last weekend, we cut back as soon as we get home by eating salads or lean protein, veggies and fruit for the first few days (until our bodies get back on track). It is a give-and-take and I like to say we eat healthy 90% of the time and allow ourselves to eat “not so healthy,” i.e. ice cream, cupcakes, gelato, french fries, milkshakes 10% of the time.

In the end, my most important lesson learned is listening to the needs of my body, not someone else, as they don’t lead my life. I eat to maintain my health, while still fueling my body for intense workouts. If someone is mainly sedentary, their daily nutritional needs are much different than someone who is working out every day–let alone an athlete! Find what works for you and your family. If you can sustain a “set diet,” then more power to you! Maybe your entire family is eating Paleo, so at family functions, you don’t have to worry about what you can and cannot make or eat. For me, it just doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, I love to bake with almond flour these days (more often than whole wheat flour), because of the nutrition that it packs, or even sweet potatoes. At times, we do eat meals that consist of just lean protein and veggies, but we don’t limit ourselves to only eating a certain way. We eat our way, the way that works for us.

Speaking of eating, here is the recipe for the spaghetti squash tomato bake with added turkey, that I promised:

Spaghetti Squash Tomato Bake with Ground Turkey: (Adapted from Roni at Green Lite Bites)

Ingredients:

– 1 medium spaghetti squash (cooked) *I cut mine in half, scoop out the seeds, fill the inside with a 1/2 cup water and put the top half back on and microwave (covered) for 10 minutes.

– 2 large tomatoes sliced

– 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)

– 2 lbs. ground turkey

– 1 onion (diced)

– 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

– 1 clove garlic (minced)

– 2 Tbs olive oil

– Italian seasoning

-garlic (no-salt) seasoning *I use one from Costco

– salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 11 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray.

2. Caramelize onion and garlic in large pan and add turkey. Cook until turkey is browned.

3. Spread about one cup of spaghetti squash in the bottom of the casserole dish (using a fork to scoop out the flesh).

4. Add a layer of turkey on top of the squash (enough to cover it, but not too much, saving enough for a second layer).

5. Add six tomato slices over the turkey. Sprinkle with basil and spices.

6. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the tomato slices.

7. Repeat the layers: squash, turkey, tomato slices, basil, spices and cheese.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (until the cheese is browned and bubbly on top).

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before we cut into it!

*Notes: You might need to add one more layer, if you have a large spaghetti squash, thus increasing the amount of the other ingredients. The turkey makes this casserole pretty thick, which was good! I love the added turkey this time, because it added a ton more flavor and protein, making this a one-pot meal!

Enjoying his pancake with pumpkin butter!

Well, today was “cleaning day” at our household, so after eating breakfast (something different this time…toasted pancakes with a spoonful of Fage 0% Greek yogurt for me and pumpkin butter for Keenan, in addition to slices of strawberries and a banana with a latte!) and prepping tonight’s dinner: turkey meatloaf in a crock pot with roasted sweet potatoes (I set my oven for a delay start) and sauteed kale with a red bell pepper (I washed and chopped everything, so it was ready to cook when we got home from the gym), Keenan and I cleaned house. Today, he wasn’t into helping me as he usually is, but he definitely wanted to vacuum and mop! We finished everything in time for CrossFit!

My breakfast…it is becoming one of my new favorites!

“Helping” me prep dinner!

Well, it’s late and I’m exhausted after a busy day and a hard workout tonight: 5 rounds of 15 hanging power snatches (women weight: 75 lbs), 30 air squats and an alley carry of 35 pounds (weight for the women) with a 30 minute time cap. I tore my hand while doing chest-to-bar pullups on Tuesday, so I had some issues with my grip today, thus slowing me down. I was halfway done on the last alley carry (my 5th round) when the timer hit 30 minutes, ugh! Have a good night!

Oh, don’t forget to leave a comment on yesterday’s post , if you would like to be entered in the Sweaty Bands Giveway! The contest ends at noon PST tomorrow!

 

 
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