Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: Whole30 Week 2

Another week of Whole30 down, and another 2 pounds lost! I can't believe that it took me the entire summer to lose 5 pounds, but after just two weeks on the Whole30 I'm already down 6. I'm so close to my goal weight! There are other non-scale changes I am noticing, but I will recap all of those at the end of my Whole30.

Lbs Lost So Far: 24
Lbs Left To Lose: 3

I thought I'd take you along on a day of eating Whole30 compliant foods. Just to remind you, I haven't actually read the Whole30 book. I did some reading online about the basic rules of the program, but I'm sure I'm not 100% eating Whole30. So if you've done a Whole30 and some of the ratios on my plates look off to you, it's because I haven't read the book yet. Here we go:

Breakfast: I tried a new recipe this morning for an "instant" Whole30 Hot Cereal. Recipe here. It reminded me of oatmeal, which was nice. I basically heated up coconut milk and stirred in almond flour, flax, chia seeds and cinnamon. After about 1 minute on the stove, it resembled oatmeal! I topped it with half of a diced pear. On the side I fried an egg in clarified butter, and of course had my black coffee.

Lunch: I love having protein leftover from the previous night's dinner because I can always add it to a salad. This salad was leftover chicken, romaine lettuce, tomato, shredded carrot, cucumber, radish, avocado, and cilantro. Topped with a simple homemade balsamic dressing.
Snack: I grabbed a quick snack of a date and a spoonful of Nuttzo nut butter.
Dinner: By the evening I could tell I was getting sick so dinner was simple. I mixed together a bunch of spices and rubbed the mixture all over a piece of mahi mahi. I seared it in a pan, and microwaved some frozen veggies. I had planned on cooking a yam for some healthy carbs, but my throat was too sore to eat anything else.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ready For School

Jenna is officially in school! Well, at least according to her she is!
Every week when we go to MOPS Jenna gets excited about her class. She calls it her school.
She insists on packing snacks in her "lunch basket" and bringing them along. Funny thing is, snacks are provided in her class so she doesn't actually bring the food inside with her. She just sees her brothers bringing food to school every day, so she wants to do the same.
I may send Jenna to preschool next year (2018/2019). After that she will have a year of TK. And then, when she is almost 6, she will start Kindergarten.
She may be a long way off from real school, but I think Jenna will be well prepared by the time she gets there!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: Whole30 Week 1

I think it's pretty obvious that my weight loss has stalled. In the past 3 months I have only lost 5 pounds. I know it's better than nothing, but I'm still anxious to get the last of this weight off. I have been more diligent about exercising, and while that has been good for my health, it hasn't affected my weight.

In general, I believe a diet of "everything in moderation" is the way to go. Unless you have food allergies, I think a diet rich in all the food groups is the way to go. Eating moderate amounts of protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, full fat dairy and other healthy fats is the best way to eat, in my opinion. That's why I loved doing the 21 Day Fix. No food groups were off limits (except sugar!), and instead the focus was on portion control.

Last year my sister and her family did the Whole30. They asked me to participate but I declined. For one thing, I'm just not a fan of these "gimmicky" diets. If you are unfamiliar with Whole30 (it's hugely popular....just google it!), it's basically 30 days of eating whole foods, with the exception of dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol, and sugar. Here is what the website says: "Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition, like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies, or chronic pain, that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms are often directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?....Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days."

Supposedly, even if you don't suffer from any of these ailments, you will feel amazing by the end of the 30 days. When my sister (and some friends of mine) announced they were doing another round of the Whole30 this month, I thought "why not?" I was ready to get this weight off and kick my sugar cravings. If that meant eliminating a few food groups for a month, then I was willing to try. For me, I do best within a set of rules. I like having structure and rules when losing weight. So I figured I'd give the Whole30 a shot and it would be kind of fun to do it as the same time as my family and friends.

Any maybe I'd finally lose the last of this baby weight!!

Speaking of that weight. Today is day 6 of my Whole30 adventure. And guess what? I'm down 4 pounds since I last checked in here.

Lbs Lost So Far: 22
Lbs Left To Lose: 5

Whoa baby! I haven't lost that much weight since right after I gave birth. When I stepped on the scale this morning I actually wondered if maybe I'm not eating enough. I wouldn't want to do anything so drastic that it would jeopardize my breastmilk supply. With Whole30, you can eat as much as you feel hungry for, as long as you are eating the right types of foods. Here are a few pictures of what I've been munching on.

For breakfasts, I prepared two big batch recipes ahead of time. First up was a delicious egg, sausage and veggie casserole. I loved how satisfying this meal was, especially with some extra healthy fat on the side.
For the mornings when I woke up wanting something less savory and more sweet, I prepared a big batch of chia pudding. I mixed the chia seeds with coconut milk and a mashed banana, and then in the morning topped with fruit and nuts.
I also made some nutty espresso balls for times when I was hungry but just needed a quick snack. I made these with almonds, walnuts, dates, espresso powder and coconut. Snacking is not encouraged on this plan, but since I'm breastfeeding I am ignoring that rule.
At one point this week I realized my counters were absolutely covered with vegetables. Any plan that encourages me to eat this much produce has got to be beneficial, right?
I've been keeping dinners pretty simple. One night was chicken skewers with baked potatoes and roasted vegetables. Another night I made a fantastic vegetable beef stew. Last night I made meatballs using grass fed beef and pork, and served it over spaghetti squash. I honestly didn't miss the wheat noodles, and that is huge since my favorite meal is spaghetti. (I did miss the cheese though!)
So I'm only a week into the Whole30 but so far so good. Have you tried the Whole30? Did you notice any health benefits?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Jenna's First Haircut

Jenna got her very first haircut last week!
Jenna's hair is very thin and fine, and it tends to look really scraggly and messy. She hates when I try to put any sort of clip or ponytail in her hair. So I thought a little trim to even things up might help her hair look nicer.
She was so excited!
The hair stylist told me that kids don't get their full head of hair until the age of 7. So she said there is hope for Jenna's hair to thicken up! haha
 Jenna did so well. The stylist just trimmed off an inch or so, and rounded out the front.
 Still thin....but maybe a little bit better?
 Then Jenna got a bow and some glitter.
 Afterwards she looked like such a big girl!
I can't believe she is getting so big that she can sit for a haircut. I just love this girl so much.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Two Things (x4)

Two random little facts about each of my 4 kids right now.

RYAN (7 years, 5 months)

-Ryan loves doing anything that makes him feel independent. This week I had him cross the street to check our mailbox a couple times by himself. I could literally see him puff up with pride because it made him feel so old. He is even asking to walk home from school by himself, but we're not ready for that!

-Ryan finally likes potatoes! Until a couple months ago the only way he would eat potatoes was in French fry form. Now, if I cut them into wedges and roast in the oven, he will devour them. I realize they are still slightly fry-ish. But for Ryan, this is a huge improvement.

LUCAS (5 years, 4 months)
-Lucas is so funny about hand soap. He always comments on the way it smells and gets really excited when I put a new soap in the bathroom. The other day he came out of the bathroom and very seriously told me "Mommy you're going to have to buy new soap. I do NOT like how the new one smells".

-Lucas loves working in his math book! It is optional homework for Kindergarten but he doesn't know that. I assign a few pages to him while Ryan does his homework, and he always does it without complaining. He is currently about 5 pages ahead of where he should be....and eager to do more!

 JENNA (2 years, 10 months)
-Jenna is unbelievably polite! She says Thank You all the time, for both little and big things. Just yesterday she walked outside to see her Daddy washing the car. She exclaimed "Oh thank you Daddy for washing our car!!".

-This girl adores her eggies. Almost every morning she wakes up and asks for eggies. She will eat them fried, scrambled, or boiled. This week she ate 2 boiled eggs for lunch and then asked for more. I think she makes up for her brothers in this department, since they won't touch an egg from a mile away.

 ANDREW (7 Months, 10 days)
-Andrew is not a cuddly baby. In fact, he is getting nearly impossible to hold! He squirms and wiggles and grabs my face and pulls my hair and arches his back and kicks my stomach. No way will he let me rock him to sleep. He'd rather beat me up!

-Andrew rubs his little feet together constantly. I can't tell if something is itching him, but he acts as if his feet are uncomfortable. He rubs them together so hard that his toenails cut and scratch his feet. I've had to start keeping socks on him.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Bishop's With Jenna

On Monday I went to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm with my MOPS group. Now that both older boys are in school, I can go places with the younger two and focus more on Jenna.
 I was really excited to spend quality time with Jenna, without being distracted by the big kids.
 She had so much fun!
 We played on the tires....
 Took a ride on the train....
 And I don't think Jenna stopped talking the entire time. She loves having Mommy's full attention!
I honestly didn't realize how distracting all 4 kids can be until two of them started school. I am trying to soak up every minute I have with Jenna at home while I can. Going places, even to the grocery store, are just so much more enjoyable when I can have conversations with Jenna. She is such a joy to talk to! Now I have to plan another trip to Bishop's so I can bring the big boys!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: Food and Exercise

I still have 9 pounds of baby weight to lose. Despite my best efforts to bump up my workouts this week, my weight stayed the same. I did get off track a bit with my eating over the weekend, so maybe that's why the scale didn't budge. However, this week I did discover that I fit into 3 pairs of my old jeans! So maybe my body composition is changing, even if the scale is taking a while to catch up.

Here is a little summary of what I've been eating for dinner and how I've been exercising this past week. I tried to integrate a bit more strength training into my workouts. I enjoyed it because I honestly really don't like cardio. I'd rather lift weights until my muscles burn than run until my lungs burn. Ha!

Thursday: Dinner was really simple. Steamed broccoli and cauliflower, brown rice, and ground turkey topped with Worcestershire. On this day I walked/ran 1 mile on the treadmill and then did the 30-minute Upper Body Fix workout.

Friday: Dinner was a turkey and orzo stuffed pepper. While I waited for my stuffed bell pepper to cook, I snacked on fresh raw veggies and homemade ranch dip. On this day I did the 30-minute Lower Body Fix workout.

Sat: I went to a MOPS Mom's Night Out at a friend's house and we had nachos for dinner. (unpictured) Exercise was a brisk 30 minute walk around the park that morning while my boys played.

Sun: I ate an early dinner at my sister's surprise party. It was a plate of various pastas from Buca di Beppo. I also had a small piece of cake, and later that night I ate a large salad. Exercise on this day was a 1.5 mile run/walk on the treadmill.

Mon: Dinner was teriyaki chicken made using a homemade sauce on top of diced boneless skinless chicken thighs. I ate it with leftover brown rice and a mix of steamed carrots/celery/cabbage. For exercise I did the 30-minute Pilates Fix.

Tue: Dinner was hamburger soup and a small piece of cracked wheat sourdough. I had a bad headache on this day so instead of doing my planned treadmill workout I just went for a 40-minute walk outside while pushing the double stroller.

My one complaint this week is my back. Oh my aching back! By the end of the day it is hurting so badly. It could be from carrying the baby around, although I have noticed it gets a lot worse after I run. I'm wondering if maybe my core stomach muscles are so weak from pregnancy that it is affecting my back? Time to do more crunches I guess.