Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

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?

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TGIF: At Home Date Night September 21, 2012

TGIF! I’m SO glad it is Friday!  Even though the week went by fast, it was a long one! Did anyone else feel that way? Since I really didn’t have a relaxing or restful weekend last week (though, I had a blast at the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course!), this week seemed long. I’m ready for the weekend and our “at home date night” tonight! As an added bonus to kicking off the weekend, I just found out that I passed my CrossFit Level 1 exam, so I am officially a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer!! I felt confident when I took the test last Sunday, but hearing the news today made me relieved and ready to celebrate!

Keenan woke up early (6:45 a.m.) this morning, but fortunately he went to bed on time last night. I REALLY hope he gets back to his normal sleeping habits soon! While I got breakfast ready, Keenan wanted to watch “Elmo’s World.”

Watching “Elmo’s World” and smiling for the camera!

For breakfast, I felt like yogurt, so we had our “usual” with Fage Greek yogurt, chia seeds, flaxseed, strawberries and little of Kashi Cereal. Keenan insisted I add cheerios to his yogurt, in addition to the Kashi! Before my husband headed out to his work event, he made each of us a STRONG latte, which was SO needed, because I felt really tired this morning.

Friends!

A little while after breakfast, Keenan and I met our friends for a walk and to play at the park. It was nice to catch-up with my friend, and let the boys play. Keenan and his friend are only 5 days a part, so it’s cute to see them interact together. They are pretty much the same size, too.

Playing on the Frog!

The boys sharing the swing!

After playing at the park, we headed to Marshalls to return some workout shorts and then home for lunch. Keenan was SO tired, so I made him his favorite: a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich with a glass of milk. He sucked that down in minutes! Poor thing, he must be worn out from the past couple of days, in addition to his teeth bothering him, because he fell asleep in less than 5 minutes!

Once Keenan gets up from his nap (hopefully, a long one!), we are heading to CrossFit. I missed yesterday’s class, due to the awful traffic going through downtown Sacramento on my way home from my parents’ house! I thought I could make it, but I completely forgot how backed up the traffic gets at 5:00 p.m.! Needless to say, I am looking forward to a good workout today!

Sine we are having our “at home date night” tonight, we are feeding Keenan, putting him to bed and then making our dinner. I am looking forward to having a relaxing dinner, sharing a bottle of wine and catching-up on all of our favorite TV shows that we recorded this week! On the menu is pizza made with a cauliflower crust inspired by Megan. We are going to make a Margherita pizza using the tomatoes we picked yesterday, fresh basil from our garden and leftover mozzarella cheese that I had from last week. For additional protein, we are going to add some chopped chicken. For dessert, I’m going to make a peach cobbler, using the peaches we picked yesterday, almond flour and Xylitol. Look for the recipes and pictures on Monday!

Question: What are your plans for tonight? Any fun plans for the weekend? We are staying home and running errands, including a trip to Costco, going to the Farmer’s Market and hopefully fitting in a nice run with some speed intervals (I need to work on improving my run time/pace for my WODs)!

 

An awesome weekend of CrossFit! September 17, 2012

I had an awesome time at the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer course this weekend, but it is sure nice to be home with my favorite boys! Though, I enjoyed the alone time and quietness of staying at a hotel for two nights, I missed Keenan and my husband. It was just too quiet for me! Keenan was so tired yesterday after two busy days with Daddy (bike riding for 16 miles on Saturday and playing at the lake yesterday), that on the way home from the lake, Keenan said to my husband (crying), “No more Daddy!” It melted my heart when my husband told me. Since Keenan was still awake when I got home last night (talking to his critters in his crib), I went in and gave him a big hug and a kiss. He was definitely happy to see me, as he said, “Keenan miss Mommy.” When he said those words, I had tears in my eyes…I know…I couldn’t help it, I’m just an emotional Mommy! 🙂

About my weekend: I had a great time, learning SO much and meeting some new friends. CrossFit Headquarters really does a great job in presenting all of the material and mixing it up between lecture and hands on teaching of the movements. When I entered NorCal CrossFit (where the course was held) the first day, I was in awe when I saw some of the top CrossFit Games athletes, such as Miranda Oldroyd, Sarah Hopping and Neal Maddox. They were a part of the crew that put on the course. Each one gave a different lecture and then worked with us in small groups to perfect and learn how to teach the major movements. All of the athletes were very nice and extremely helpful in making sure we were getting as much out of the course as we possibly could. We did one of the benchmark WODs, Fran, on Saturday, which is: 21-15-9 of thrusters with 65 lb for women and pullups. It was a little intimidating working out with 60 other people, but I managed to get through it and improve my time by 2 minutes (finishing it in 8 minutes!). On Sunday, we did a mini-WOD of 8 pushups, 10 medicine ball cleans and 12 sit-ups in 8 minutes (doing as many rounds as possible). I was able to complete 5 rounds and 2 pushups, not bad! All in all, I had a blast and I am SO glad that I went. I was nervous about the test yesterday, but I felt confident. Hopefully, I did well (keeping my fingers crossed!). They send us our results in 3 weeks!

I’m excited and eager to use what I learned over the weekend to improve my own technique, form and performance, as well as train others. In addition, I’m also going to put my nutrition to a test, following more of the CrossFit guidelines/prescription of Zone eating. After hearing Miranda’s lecture on nutrition, I was intrigued. We pretty much follow the Zone principles of eating whole foods ( “clean,” as I call it): meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fats, some fruit, little starch and no sugar, but I want to refine it a little bit. I want to eat more healthy fat, such as avocado and nuts (which I know we lack), less grains of cereal and bread and consume more of our carbohydrates from vegetables. We don’t eat that many carbs from bread and grains, but there is always room to fine tune things. Also, over the weekend, I was not feeling like eating my “usual breakfast” of Fage 0% Greek yogurt with Kashi Cereal, flax seed and chia seeds, in fact just thinking about it, kind of makes me cringe. I think I have eaten my yogurt breakfast WAY too much, so it’s perfect timing to change things up! My husband and I are going work on this for 30 days and I’m going to track my energy and performance levels in my workouts. I am mostly curious in how it will affect my performance. So, we’ll see…I’ll keep you posted!

Drinking water out of his new cup that I got  over the weekend! Crazy…they were on sale at Starbucks for $3.00!

Speaking of food, my husband made a wonderful boar stew over the weekend, so we are having some of the leftovers for dinner tonight, along with zucchini sauteed with an onion and sun dried tomatoes! It should be good!

Well, it’s time to head to CrossFit. Keenan woke-up 30 minutes ago, unusually early. He woke up early this morning, too, at 6:45 a.m., even though he fell asleep around 8 p.m. last night. I’m not sure what is going on…if it’s his teeth, since he has a couple of molars coming in on the bottom or his lack of sleep this weekend (he only slept for 30 minutes yesterday on the way home from the lake). I’m hoping he will get back on track with his sleeping tomorrow.

Question: Have you ever eaten a food (that you once loved) so much that you can no longer eat it? If so, what was the food?

 

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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