I maintained in May

The month of May consisted of planning a garage sale, cleaning out the garage, and setting up the home gym. I got a few work outs in but not many and I wasn’t consistent. We also had a little potty training regression with our little one so that has been rough. I am really surprised at how well I maintained given the stress and lack of sleep throughout the month.

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I picked a different sports bra and shorts this time. Trying to change it up! The weather has certainly warmed up here and I have been doing well with my workouts over the last week. I’ve gotten 3 in so far and plan to do at least 4 a week throughout the month.

This was me this morning:

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What you can’t see is my little one working right along with me. When I took my shirt off she did the same and was doing push ups with me. I could hear her yelling “go mommy go” as I sprinted (let’s be honest there was no sprinting) up a hill with a 14# medball and she ran right along side me as I made my way back up the drive. This was the perfect motivation for me. Having my little girl see me doing this and trying to mirror it. Teaching and showing her how to live a healthy life is my job and dammit I had a proud mommy moment today!

What habits are your kids picking up from you? What are you showing them without even knowing you are teaching them? Is it good? If not how can you change it right now… Don’t wait, do it now!

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A full day of play and clean eating!

We are in our third and last week here in sunny CA and yesterday was a full day of play. We planned a day trip into Santa Barbara. I made a picnic lunch for us the night before.

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I made a bunch of Trader Joe’s chicken sausages and sliced them into bite sized pieces, sliced up some peppers, grabbed some apples, grabbed a bag of cashews and almonds, and popped some organic popcorn kernels. Filled up some water bottles with water and we were all set for a day at the beach.

Ryan and I did talk about the business a bit but I have to say that the majority of the day was spent having fun. Seeing some sites, playing in the water and the sand and taking a nice drive back to Ojai.

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I knew that when we got home the last thing I would want to do is cook. So I made sure I wouldn’t have to by planning ahead for dinner and made one of the family favorites, avocado tuna salad, a few nights a head of time. I did need to cook some black beans (they go perfectly with the cilantro lime rice left over from the night before) but that takes very little prep time and they just simmer on the stove top for a while. I also had a workout I needed to do before dinner. Here is a tip on how to get all this done and not waist any time.
I turned the oven on to 375, prepped the black beans and got them going on the stove. I changed into my workout clothes and by the time that was all done the oven was up to temp and all I needed to do was put the avocado tuna salad in the oven and then turn the oven off. By doing this the dish will warm up without over cooking. I can leave it in the oven warming up while I was doing my work out and the beans were simmering away. By the time I was done with my workout all I needed to do was put the pieces of dinner together for a yummy dish.

By planning a head you really do save yourself from making bad choices! We could have easily grabbed take out or pizza on the way home but we knew we had a clean and super tasty meal waiting for us.

It was a great day filled with good fun and good food and too much sun!

Day 31: The Naked Truth

So how did I do?
Here are the before and after pictures.

Before

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After

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*Mentally it was tough this time. While I didn’t have the food temptation in the house this time, I did have wine and liquor tempting me. It also seemed every time I went grocery shopping the bakery was working on over drive (bread and cakes and donuts and cookies all around me). I avoided all the temptations and stayed true to the reset.

*Physical appearance changed! Since I wasn’t over weight to start with my appearance may not look as though it has changed but I have clearly slimmed down in the waist (NO BLOAT). My clothes fit so much better now. I don’t feel bloated and my pants aren’t hard to zip. My skin is better, no break outs and so is Lucy’s. Lucy has eczema and keratosis pilaris. She has patches of bumps, almost like little pimples, on her arms, legs, and cheeks. These patches have been getting better over the past 30 days but have not gone away so I know there is some fine tuning I need to be doing with her. I will address that in a later post. Had I stepped up my cardio, meaning had I done cardio more than 3 times in the whole month there would be a very noticeable difference in my muscle tone. And if I’m being honest I was really hoping for more of a change with my ass. I have no ass and I did a boat load of squats. Things don’t change over night. I never had an ass to begin with so to create something from nothing will take some time, mobility, lifting heavy shit and more focus.

*On the inside I feel physically better as well. I have had more energy, even though Lucy has been sleeping horribly, throughout the day. No bloating, PMS symptoms were almost undetectable by the innocent by standers in the house, and my headaches have stopped!

*Added bonus – creative recipes! I made sweet potato chips, rutabaga fries, coconut whipped cream, coconut cream chocolate mousse, and a new stew recipe.

Our reset may be over but our desire to eat clean and provide our bodies with proper fuel and nourishment is stronger than ever. We head off to the west coast tomorrow and I look forward to taking advantage of the farmers market. Creating new dishes/recipes and really proving to myself that I won’t slip back into having “treats” so often. I am a much happier person when I eat clean. I feel great, I function better, and I look great when I take care of myself! Why would I want to go back to the grumpy, bloated, nothing fits me right, zero patience, here comes another headache, I slept like shit last night, frustrated, unhappy person I become when I eat crap? Doesn’t sound like a good investment to me!

Are you willing to give it a try yet? If so let me know how I can help you? If not, stick around for April. I’m kicking up my cardio, taking on a new challenge, sticking to clean eating, and I’ll be on the west coast which means pretty pictures and a fantastic farmers market (more recipes I promise)!

Thank you for tagging along on this journey with me. I hope you all stick around and that maybe in the next 30 days I’ll hear from you in your comments! I’d love to hear what you all are doing to eat clean and stay active. >

I Triple Dog Dare You!

As week three of this reset ends and week four begins I find myself thinking about what “treat” I’m going to have on day 31. My husband and I did a New Years reset last year and that seemed like a piece of cake compared to this one. Even though we were living with my parents, my mom is notorious for coming back from the grocery store with items that she just “had a taste” for, and we had temptation behind the pantry door it seemed so much easier than this one.
We removed all temptation from the house. However, this month we potty trained Lucy, transitioned her to a toddler bed, my husband has been working 12 hour days 6 days a week, it’s been a very long winter and March has been so f’ing cold…I think you get the point, there was ALOT of stress this month. Stress can make sticking to a paleo/primal way of eating with no treats and no alcohol tough. But you know what – I’ve stuck to it and in this final week I’m going to do my best not to make a mental list of all the things I want to eat when the 30 day reset is over. I have already decided that on 3/31 I will enjoy a little tequila and some organic popcorn. AND THATS IT!

Instead of planning out treats I’m going to focus on all the great things that came out of this reset. When you cut out the crap you become more creative in the kitchen and I loved getting creative with food again. I also love that my skin is better (no break outs), my daily headaches are GONE, I don’t wake up in a fog in the morning, my moods have leveled out for the most part, I don’t have a constant feeling of bloat in my abdomen, my digestion is “regular” (hey we all do it and isn’t it nice when it’s not an issue), and my “monthly cycle” was not disruptive to the household (very few Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episodes).

The biggest difference I have noticed is with my toddler and tantrums. While she still has tantrums, that is just my reality for the next few years, I have noticed that I can cut her off at the pass now. Before the reset she would fight you to the death if she wasn’t getting her way no matter what approach I took with her. Now, as soon as she starts to come apart (We all know the signs. The mean face, jumping up and down, tears, and screaming) I get down to her level and tell her to collect herself and to calm down. I let her know that her behavior will not get her what she wants and as the weeks progressed she got better and better at being able to take control of the emotions she was feeling. I haven’t seen a full blown melt down in about a week or so. Some doubters will call it a fluke or have some other reason to explain it and for those people/doubters I say….I DARE YOU! I dare you to take the 30 day challenge with your kids. I am a firm believer that we are what we eat and if we eat natural clean food our bodies can be amazing machines and if we supply it with junk your machine will break down from the inside out.

If you wouldn’t willingly drink liquid drano why are you willing to drink soda? We know it’s loaded with synthetic ingredients, chemicals, artificial this and that but Americans consume this in staggering amounts. If you wouldn’t willingly eat rat poison why are you willing to eat fast food or food that was “created” with synthetic ingredients, chemicals and artificial this and that? Next time you go to the grocery store and you are checking out take a look at what you loaded into your cart. How many products have nutrition labels? Of those items with labels how many of them have more than 5 ingredients? Of those items with more than 5 ingredients, do you know what they all are? Can you pronounce them all? If not you probably shouldn’t put it in your cart or your mouth. It’s probably making you sick.

Even if you commit to one item a month that you will no longer purchase or consume is a step in the right direction.
Being a Clevelander I find this closing statement appropriate…..

I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU! Starting April 1st what will you commit to no longer purchasing and consuming?

Family Favorite

I mentioned in a previous that I never liked meat loaf. That is until I tried PaleoOMG’s sweet and savory meat loaf. Bacon, raisins, cinnamon, sweet potato, and spices. It sounds like a weird combo but it goes together so well. My daughter gobbles this up like she hasn’t eaten in days. Check it out if you want something different and tasty. http://paleomg.com/paleo-savory-sweet-potato-meatloaf/

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Yes those are mashed white potatoes. We do eat white potatoes every now and again so stop freaking out.

Week Two Starts Today:

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Week one is complete! If I have to asses how I did I would say I did pretty darn good. Kept up on my work outs, kept to the smaller cup of tea, no crap food, but I did eat way more fruit than I should have. This week I will be focusing on the fruit intake. It’s important not to replace one old vice with a new one. You are just creating a new bad habit. While fruit is healthy and you shouldn’t be afraid to eat it, it’s still sugar. Combining protein with good fats and healthy carbs, fruits and veggies are my carbs, and making sure you have a healthy balance of each you should do well.
The last few days, mostly the last 24 hours have been difficult. We are in the midst of potty training our very head strong 2 year old, transitioned her to a toddler bed (naps and bed time have been challenging) and she took a pretty nasty tumble down the basement steps yesterday. My nerves were so fried by 7pm last night. I was really wanting a little tequila or bourbon. If it weren’t for this little journey that I asked all of you to follow me on I would have added a long pour of bourbon in my tea last night. Again, thanks to all of you, you keep me honest. I think that also says a lot to having some accountability when making a change to your lifestyle. If there is no accountability then there is no consequence to failure. Why do you think Weight Watchers is so successful? They offer support and accountability! When this 30 days is over you all will be looking for the results not the excuses. And so will I.

As I prep to stay the course in week two I have made a list of meals and sides that I will be making/trying in the weeks to come. I hope you continue to follow my journey and I promise if you do… More recipes to follow. Maybe one or some or all….

Beef Stroganoff – this one was already posted and was so f’ing good!
Stuffed Cabbage
Rutabaga Fries
Meatloaf
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Chili
Stew
Honey Lime Salmon
Fish Tacos

You all have been pretty quiet. Any questions or comments are welcome! Would love to know who I have following along. For the new followers… Thank You!

– Jen

Day 6

With all of you watching and waiting for those “after” pictures I find this reset easier than the last one. The hardest part so far is my smaller cup of chai tea in the morning. I experienced some headaches from the drop in caffeine intake but my cravings are not as strong has they have been in the past. Again, I attribute that to all of you. Having people who hold you accountable makes it easier to succeed. Who do you have in your corner? Who holds you accountable to reach your goals? Who can you lean on when it gets tough?
I have a great community of friends and family who genuinely want me to succeed in life! I encourage all of you to take a step back and look at your inner circle. Do they lift you up or drag you down….? Sleep on that question. If you have folks who drag you done maybe you need to reconsider those that are in your inner circle. That may sound rough, or harsh but negativity begets negativity. Surround yourself with positivity and you will be surprised at what that brings your way.

I have been keeping up with the squat challenge and push up challenge but I have to admit I have been really missing the challenge of a good AMRAP or METCON (my CrossFit family knows what I am talking about). So my husband programmed a few work outs for me that can be done in our basement. Today I did a 10 min AMRAP of 10 KettleBell swings and 5 ring rows and completed 10 rounds and 8 swings – along with 75 squats! I am still able to complete the added work out and the squats and push ups in 30 mins, even though the amount of push ups and squats increase each time.

I am really thankful for all of my followers and supports. Thank you for keeping me honest, accountable, and motivated. OH and the beef stroganoff from Marks Daily Apple (yesterday’s post) was AMAZING!!! I beg you to give it a try!