Friday, November 30, 2012

Roasted Vegetables


3-4 Sweet potatoes
1-2 handful carrots
head of broccoli (or sub asparagus)
1 onion
1/2 green pepper sliced
package of mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1/2 red pepper sliced
2 cloves garlic
olive oil


1. Boil water in large pot and peel sweet potatoes.
2. When water is boiling, add potatoes. cook 6 minutes
3. After the 6 minutes add carrots. Cook 2 minutes.
4. Add broccoli. Cook 1 minute.
5. Strain in colander. Let sit and cool.
6. Cut potatoes and broccoli into pieces/chunks. Chop green and red pepper.
7. Heat oven to 425. Spread potatoes, carrots, green pepper, red pepper in casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil and thyme over top and mix together.
8. Cook about 20 minutes, checking and stirring halfway through.
9. While that cooks, heat a skillet with 2-3 tbsp olive oil.
10. Add chopped garlic, onion, mushrooms. Cook until tender and sprinkle thyme, salt, and pepper over top.
11. After veggies have cooked for the 20 minutes, pull out and put skillet full on top, plus broccoli. Mix altogether and put in oven for another 15 minutes.
12. ENJOY this deliciousness :)

Broccoli Salad Recipe


The other week I had this broccoli salad at my parent's new was YUMMY. I didn't get the recipe but took note of some of the ingredients in the salad before I devoured 2 helpings...hehe. I looked online for recipes and decided to use ingredients I had and tweak a few recipes with my own twist. I made this salad last night and it was good (along with homemade meatloaf, skillet green beans and cornbread muffins. yum) brother and sister in law had dinner with us and Rebecca loved it (my hubby and Erik won't touch it of course). So I told her I would post this :)

This is my OWN version and I am not always good at measuring things..I eyeball. So don't freak out when I say "handfuls" in the's my best guess of what I did. If you feel something is too much/little then adjust for you :)
 Aren't these pics just pretty? I have truly been enjoying the beauty of fruits and veggies God created for us!

Steph's Broccoli Salad (healthier than any version I've seen)
1 head broccoli
1/4 chopped onion
couple handfuls of grapes
handful almonds
handful craisins
3-4 slices bacon
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 lemon zest
1/2 of the juice of a lemon

1. Cook bacon and crumble.
2. Cut broccoli into small pieces or however big you prefer. Chop onion. Cut grapes into slices.
3. Put broccoli, onion, grapes, almonds, craisins, bacon in a bowl.
4. In a small bowl combine yogurt, mayo, vinegar, sugar.
5. To zest the lemon take a small grater and just lightly grate the outside of the lemon (1/4 of the lemon). Cut the lemon in half and squeeze into the small bowl.
6. Whisk wet mixture or stir together.
7. Pour wet mix over broccoli mix and stir together. Let sit in fridge for a couple hours before serving.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Postpartum- Week 4


This weeks stats are the same. Weight and measurements are the same. I've hit a plateau. What do you do when you hit one? Well, I'm not discouraged, I knew it'd come sooner or later. What's my plan now? I'm not going to cut calories to lose more weight. Continually fine tuning the quality of foods I'm consuming is still a top priority. What I am going to do is focus on my weight training.

Weight training? Not cardio? Some of you may be asking these questions. Why weight training? Adding muscle and reducing my body fat is my #1 goal. If I cut my calories then my metabolism will slow down. If I increase my activity and I'm cutting calories then my deficit will be too big and I don't want that. What I want to do is increase the speed of my metabolism through weight training. I can readjust calorie intake once I start decreasing fat and increasing muscle.

Muscle is the key after having a baby. When we (women) get pregnant, our bodies fat percentage increases naturally to help take care of the baby. So I need to take those extra pounds of fat off my body now that I'm not pregnant. If you don't actively lift weights to increase muscle mass after having a baby then you're setting yourself up for a big problem. Each child you have will increase your body fat percentage. Which will in turn slow your metabolism down....making it HARDER to lose weight. Sound familiar? It is possible to reverse the cycle by lifting heavy weights (not 5 pounders).

My Body Fat percentage is currently 25%. My goal is to get back to 19-20% like I was. The healthy range of body fat is between 19-32% for women.

I've still got 10 pounds to go and the "fun" has just begun. Ha. I am ready to take on this challenge. I know it'll take time and consistency. Losing the last few pounds takes time.....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

THE Key Ingredient to Getting in Shape


I've talked about some things I do to stay in shape and get back to pre-pregancy weight, etc. We know it's essential to watch/track what we eat and to get a variety of exercise with weights and cardio. But what about the will and drive to do it? How do we get the discipline to get up early and fit in an effective workout? How do we get rid of the constant thoughts of wanting to go get a cookie from that table at work or eat another brownie left over from that party? Or you just want another can of diet coke (whatever you soda poison is ;))! You know what I mean? The thoughts that run through your mind all day long sometimes when you're really craving or addicted to sugar (or something else unhealthy)? What do we do to fight it?

The only way I maintain a healthy lifestyle is by seeking my Father in heaven. I have been praying for God to break me of my sugar addiction and asking Him to bring me back into my normal habits. I've got hormone craziness, I'm breastfeeding every few hours, I don't like the way I look in most of my clothes, I'm exhausted by the end of the day (or the middle), and I'm taking care of 2 kids and a husband who works hard for our family. Can you relate?

So this morning I woke up and got Abby off to school and then I ate breakfast and hit the basement for a workout while Hannah sleeps till her next feeding. As I'm exercising the natural endorphins are kicking in and I'm feeling good. All I want to do is Praise the Lord.

Exercise brings me closer to the Lord.

Yes. It does. I have to seek His strength to get up and do it. We were created to be active....think about it. When we get into a slump in life, what do people usually neglect? Exercise and good nutrition. They want to stay on the couch and get lost in the TV. You know how many times I've been struggling with something huge and the best thing was for me to take off on a run or get on my bike and go battle it out with the Lord and hit my workout as hard as I can? I can't even count how many times I've taken myself to limit in a hard workout and then fallen on my face before the Lord because He is working on my heart. But it is also a catalyst for worshipping Him as well. Listening to music that brings my focus and praise on Him and praying during exercise is normal. Before eating I usually pray. These activities are spiritual formation for me. Are they for you?

God created us to be active. In Genesis chapter 2:15 it says that God created Adam and Eve and left them to work and tend to the Garden. That is an active job. Caring for all the animals and all the plants. He created Eve to be Adam's helpmate. Work and activity were not a result of the fall, they were something God had for us in the beginning.

Along the lines of nutrition God says, "Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food" (Gen 1:29). Later after the flood God allows eating the meat of all the animals as well. This is why I call these "God foods." God made them for us to eat today and they are proven to be the best for us health wise.

There's a vulnerability when you surrender to the Lord and seek His plan for exercising and eating healthy.

How are we vulnerable? There's something about pushing yourself that creates it. 3/4 of the clients I have worked with have had an emotional breakdown at some point in our workouts. It gets to your core. Exercise is more than looking good or losing weight, it works on your emotions and spirit.

In order to get there you must seek the God of the universe who created us to be active and healthy people. It doesn't come by our own strength.

I am excited to see what ministry opportunities God has for me in the area of exercise and nutrition. I am praying about it and I am praying for those of you I've talked with recently for God to help you in these areas. God ANSWERS PRAYER...are you seeking Him in these areas?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Postpartum- Week 3


I didn't have time to post this weekend. My brother came for a surprise visit to see my Dad for his birthday! It was awesome and fun to see him. So here's my progress a couple days late...and I took the pictures myself so sorry if they aren't fantastic :)

From 11/10

Arm: same
Chest: same
Waist: 34 1/4
Hips: 36
Leg: same
Calf: same

Weight: 135

Compared to last week this means I lost 1/2 inch total. 1/4 off my waist and 1/4 off my hips. I lost another pound and a half. I exercised 2 times last week and kept it light trying to not overdue anything and was fine. Desserts are going better. I don't have as much of a craving. I did eat some of these amazing cookies my mom made this weekend but I'm feeling good about this week. I've got to keep momentum going for the company party my hubby is having at the beginning of December! ;)

Here's a peak at the first picture I took of my tummy (about 2 weeks ago)...

...a little bit of a difference I'd say! This is what I want to get back to (pre-kids)....

...working on it. I will share other ways I'm "working on it" this week that will hopefully help and encourage you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Postpartum Exercise and Food


A few people had questions about my post yesterday. What does cooking from scratch look like? Is it budget friendly? Doesn't it take a lot of extra time? I want to help and answer everyone's questions. Hopefully what I do can encourage you to take on cooking more at home for you and your family! It can be an adjustment but it's well worth it in more ways than one.

A couple advantages of cooking from scratch...It really is cheaper! Pretty much anything you make from scratch will cost less money. Definitely less than eating out and less than boxed foods (unless you buy a super cheap box meals...which aren't healthy!). The benefits outweigh the cost. Cooking from scratch will help you live a healthier lifestyle which means less health problems....and that translates to less bills. Another advantage is the sense of accomplishment you get out of cooking a fresh meal for your family and KNOWING what's in it. The last but not least advantage is the taste!! I truly believe that making something from scratch tastes so much better than boxed/processed meals. I believe this because I grew up on meals from scratch and have wonderful recipes that when I make for anyone, love it. My husband is a true testament to this.....he loves my home cooking over almost anything else.

So here is what my day looked like today....

For breakfast I ate organic apple cinnamon oatmeal (bought a box for $2 at local organic store) and I had an apple.

I did a postpartum exercise routine after breakfast.
3 Minute warm-up (marching, step touches, squats, stretching)
Tupler exercises- (elevators, pelvic lift, pelvic tilt)
Intervals segment (squat and jumps, jumping jacks, kick boxing punches, front kicks, standing ab work)
Cool down and stretching

Post workout snack was 2 eggs scrambled with onion, tomatoes, and a little cheese. I also had a piece of whole grain toast (made by my MIL with fresh wheat) and had natural PB on it and homemade organic blueberry jam (low sugar) I made this summer. I had water and prenatal vitamins as well. This cost me not even $1.00 for this meal.

Lunch I went out with my parents to Chick fil a. I had the chargrilled chicken wrap. It really is a good item on their menu. I did have a small fry as well. Water of course to drink.

For dinner I'm having homemade chili. I put it together this morning between my morning snack and feeding Hannah. I also made cornbread muffins to eat with the chili. It took me 10 minutes to put together and 20 minutes in the oven. The chili contains fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce I canned this summer. It is cooking in the crockpot all day. So my homemade meal tonight took me about 20 minutes to put together plus cooking time, and is ready for tonight! The muffins cost me no more than $1.00 to make 12 and the chili cost about $4.00 to make but it can last a couple people several meals!

Last night I made homemade pizza. The dough takes about 10 minutes to put together then rising time and putting the pizza together. I used homemade tomato sauce again. I grated fresh mozzarella cheese for it and fresh vegetables. The pizza cost $2.50 for me to make (maybe a little less, I'm rounding up). I had 1/4 cup mixed vegetables and homemade apple sauce (no sugar added) with it.

Ways to save TIME when cooking from scratch....
- We know it's worth take time on the weekend to make a couple things for the week. Or find people to who can food items and get in on it once a year! I did salsa, applesauce, tomato sauce, 2 kinds of jam, and apple pie filling this year. Each one took an afternoon with family and friends to make but now I have homemade items for the whole year. I know what's in it and I can control how much sugar is put in without ANY chemicals.

- Canning too much for you? Then just start with picking some healthier ingredients and making your meals. You can buy tomato sauce and add seasonings for spaghetti. Make your own fries instead of frozen ones. Make your own cinnamon rolls instead of canned ones. The internet is the best source you have for finding recipes!

- Overwhelmed? Write me on here or FB and tell me what meals you buy in a box that you think may be hard to make from scratch. I would love to help anyone who has questions!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Eating to Lose Weight


We all know that exercise helps us burn more calories so we can lose weight. We also know that what you eat also helps you lose weight. In fact, eating is at least half the battle (a lot of nutritionists say it's up to 85% of losing weight). What are some healthy ways to lose weight other than just cutting calories? I would love to share what I do and some tips for you to start doing, not only to lose weight, but to go more towards a healthy lifestyle.

Cutting calories works to lose weight but there is much more to it than that. First, how many calories are you consuming each day to start off with? How much do you weigh? What's your BMR (basal metabolic rate)? BMR is how many calories you burn while resting. Are you breastfeeding? What's your body fat percentage? Knowing the answers to all these questions are key in figuring out how many calories you should be eating to maintain your current weight. Do you know all these answers? Do you know any of them besides your weight? If not then guessing how many calories to cut in order to lose weight doesn't always work. Once we find out how many calories you should be having, that's when we can figure out how many calories you can cut to lose weight.

Now, a lot of people don't even like to count calories. Understandable. There's a good amount of work involved to figure it out and keep track. I want to focus on this aspect. Not many people are going to go to a personal trainer or nutritionist to get the answers about how many calories they should be consuming (yes, you can do a general formula to figure it out...but you need to find the right formula).

Let me talk about what I do. When Kyle and I got married, over 5 years ago, I was not a personal trainer and I didn't know that much about truly being healthy. I bought boxed mac and cheese, frozen pizzas and processed snack foods. I believed the companies about their healthy granola bars and bought Fiber One Bars, protein bars, ate Lean Cuisine, and Healthy Choice meals. I truly believed that those "healthy" items were really healthy, and if you just didn't eat too much you could eat whatever you want (within reason) to lose weight, and just exercise to get the body you want. WRONG. I had a typical view.

It wasn't until the chiropractor I worked for and my nutrition training that I made changes and saw the difference in myself! I was doing some of the same exercise routines but changed my eating habits. That's when my body took the shape I always wanted. It was subtle changes yet desired changes. My tummy flattened, love handles disappeared, and body looked more toned. I had even more energy, was stronger, and didn't struggle so much with mood swings/low blood sugar. I began to "listen" to my body and noticed how I felt if I ate something my body didn't like.

What do I do to eat healthy??
Yes, I have counted calories in the past. I do feel it is a great measuring stick to see where you are at. I actually enjoy doing it....weird I know. Because I counted my calories, I have a lot of things memorized and I can guess what foods might contain. That took a lot of repetition though and it is kind of my job :)

First off, I DON'T BUY PROCESSED FOOD. Well, we'll say 99.5% of the food I buy is not processed. That's the biggest thing. Eating processed food is the biggest culprit to our society for eating. I could do multiple blog posts on this. Let me know if you want more info.

Second, I don't drink soda. I cut that out a few years ago. It's crap for your body and ALL statistics point to being at risk for multiple health problems and overweight if you drink it. Why make your body try to sift through the loads of chemicals and/or sugar with only negative known affects??

Third, I cook everything from scratch. Pizza, mac and cheese, garlic bread, lasagna, muffins, rolls, tortillas, and every meal. If I want breaded chicken, I make my own breading and bread it. Stuffing? I don't buy a box of it, I make it out of bread. Desserts are a current downfall but I ALWAYS make them myself as well. I can't imagine buying a boxed or store bought dessert now. Yuck tasting and filled with chemicals. The more you can make on your own, the more nutritious it will be. Overeating is harder to do because the food will have more fiber, protein, vitamins, and won't have chemicals (processed) that create reactions to wanting more. It's proven. Processed food contains higher amounts of fat, sodium, and chemical make-ups that make your body crave more food.

Fourth, I eat every 2-3 hours. This keeps the metabolism high and burning more efficiently. Plus it cuts cravings, balances blood sugar, and helps avoid overeating (blood sugar plays a huge role in weight).

Fifth, I NEVER EVER starve myself. If I am hungry, truly hungry, I eat. I do not skip meals. I eat in the evenings actually. If I ate dinner at 6 and am not going to bed until 10, I eat around 9. Eating every 2-3 hours keeps your body running like a machine. Fill it up and it works efficiently. I try not to eat just for eating sake though. Once your body gets into a cycle of 2-3 hours then it burns more calories during the day and it knows the next time you'll eat.

Sixth, I eat balanced. Look at your plate and make sure you have protein, fruits and veggies on it. Most people don't have an issue with carbs being on their plate (fruits and veggies contain carbs). Our biggest problem is that we eat mainly simple carbs and not enough of the other stuff. Spaghetti and garlic bread, pizza and breadsticks, etc. I try to eat good helpings of green vegetables and I'm not just talking salads. Peas, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli. These are the powerful vegetables that have whole lists of health benefits, contain protein, have high amounts of fiber, and have tons of vitamins and minerals. Just increasing your daily intake of green vegetables alone will boost weight loss quickly.

I know this is a long post but so many people don't know about these things. I don't realize how most people live because I'm so used to cooking everything from scratch myself and buying a lot of fruits and vegetables for my family. So when I have a meal at someone's house or see what people have in their grocery cart at the store, I get a reality check of how most people live.

So remember, listen to your body. Eat whole foods (not processed). Get a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eat your protein. Consume food every 2-3 hours. These things alone will balance out your calories and promote weight loss. Ahh I just love talking about nutrition. If you have questions please ask and I can always do another post to explain more :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pinterest Recipes and Craving Update


So I've decided to actually go through and make recipes from Pinterest instead of just pinning and never getting to them. So I've made 2 and have plans for more! Remember, I have a picky husband so I try to make things that I know he would like. A couple I've made so far have been hits with him. Yay! Some progress with more variety. Here's what I've done. 

I made scalloped potatoes that turned out great (click link to find recipe)
Then I made Cheesy Nacho Bake tonight and that was yummy. Here's how I made it...

I used only 2 tbsp light sour cream. I didn't use as much cheese and made it with 1/2 pound ground beef. We liked it. Next time I might use salsa instead of diced tomatoes. I like to tweak recipes.

Recipes I am going to make (any recipe I pin that uses processed food I will make homemade)....

Also, I have done great with no sweets today! Some exercise in the morning and spending time with the Lord has made my craving for sweets dissipate today. Should I try to stay away tomorrow?? We'll see how it goes :) Maybe I'll stay away from sweets till the weekend...

Ohh....and here's most of my world right now. My 2 adorable girls :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cutting the Craving


Tomorrow it starts....getting off sweets. I can't stand it. I am SO ADDICTED to sugar right now. I did ok but then with people bringing us meals and yummy desserts, man I can't stop. I want something all the time. It's just too much for me to handle. I feel like I'm on a drug! Haha. But it does provide a drug-like addiction. So tomorrow I'm not having a single sweet/dessert. I need accountability and that's why I'm writing this. Keep me accountable please!

I may be praying a lot more tomorrow :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Postpartum- Week 2


Results from Saturday November 3...

Arm: same
Chest: same
Waist: 34 1/2
Hips: 36 1/4
Leg: 20 1/8
Calf: same

Weight: 136.5

Compared to last week this means I lost 1.5 pounds, 3/4 inch on my waist, 1/4 inch on my hips, and a not quite a 1/2 inch on my leg.

What I'm doing....
- Drinking a lot of water
- Still nursing and pumping a lot
- Tupler elevators exercises (7-10) each day
- Eating at least a couple servings of vegetables and fruits each day

Yesterday I did my first workout. It was about 25 minutes. I got on my workout ball and did back lifts to strengthen my mid and lower back. I did push-ups off the ball and leg lifts to strengthen my pelvic floor, thighs, and glutes. Then I did part of a Turbo Jam workout but kept my movements low and did no jumping. I finished with pelvic lift exercises and stretching. Then I had part of a protein shake with organic no sugar added soy milk and fruit. Today I do not feel like I overdid at all. Feel good and no soreness. Wahoo!

I found measurements for myself from 2009, before I got pregnant with Abigail (who measures themselves consistently over the years?? Well, I guess an Elite Trainer does, hehe). I was encouraged. The main area to work on is the expected, midsection. I have about 4 inches to go on my waist and only a little more than an inch on my hips. So it's nice to see where I was before I started my journey of pregnancy and motherhood :)

If you've had a baby recently or are pregnant then remember to keep up workouts (if no restrictions) and lifting weights because MUSCLE BURNS FAT. My body is making fast progress because I kept up those workouts and worked between pregnancies to build muscle and reduce body fat. Your body will thank you for keeping up with exercise during pregnancy!