Saturday, December 29, 2012

Postpartum- Week 10


Ok, let's put this week in perspective here....Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, plus my birthday and family in town...I know I didn't eat the best and ate too much. That's ok, I'll survive. It just didn't fair well with my progress report. But this is life, right? I don't want to be misleading or make it seem like I'm perfect, cause I'm not! Hopefully some of you reading this can relate. So here it is...

Weight: 136.5 (up over 2 lbs...eek)

Measurements...not even doing this week because my weight is up. I don't want to get discouraged! The biggest thing that I am not proud of is my lack of fruits and vegetables yesterday. I only had 1 serving of veggies and no fruit. I consider that to be worse than my weight. Fuel is so important. So today I've already had about 4 servings of fruit and vegetables...and we are at lunch. So time to move on! Motivation is my new cute workout shirt my brother bought me for my birthday and my nutribullet.

Exercise this week was not as much. I only did 2 workouts (I think...2 or 3 ha). I have decided to started working my abs more because I've been strengthening my core with weight lifting and the Tupler exercises. Flat tummy here I come! Be ready for some awesome posts on exercises and nutrition to help get your body back in 2013! I would love to hear your goals :)

I want to write a little note of encouragement to those women who have had babies or lost weight....If you have sagging skin or a stomach pooch don't be down! The best thing for your stomach going back to "normal" is eating a clean diet, lifting heavy weights to build muscle, and getting your ab workouts in. It takes time to improve. I was discouraged after I had my first girl because I had wrinkly skin and a pooch plus stretch marks...but lifting weights and improving my eating tighten up my skin and flattened my tummy. It just takes time and I know we all hate that phrase, but it's true. Stick to it and you won't be disappointed...who has ever been disappointed by truly being disciplined in fitness and nutrition??? Then once you accomplish your goal you can encourage other women going through the same thing and be a testimony of inspiration for others!! So chin up and exercise on :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Why do I use Flaxseed?


New Years is a few days away...this means I am thinking of GOALS. One goal I have already thought of is to research more on healthy foods or God Foods, as I like to say. One food I was wanting to look at more is flaxseed. I use it and have gone in spurts. I have been adding it to my Nutribullet smoothies so I want to see why other than knowing it's good for me.

I purchase milled, ground flaxseed, such as this...

According to WebMD, flaxseed reduces your risk of:

- Cancer
- Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Lung Disease
- Stroke

Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

Recent studies have suggested that flaxseed may have a protective effect against cancer, particularly breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. At least two of the components in flaxseed seem to contribute, says Kelley C. Fitzpatrick, MSc, director of health and nutrition with the Flax Council of Canada.
In animal studies, the plant omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed, called ALA, inhibited tumor incidence and growth.
Further, the lignans in flaxseed may provide some protection against cancers that are sensitive to hormones without interfering with the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. Some studies have suggested that exposure to lignans during adolescence helps reduce the risk of breast cancer and may also increase the survival of breast cancer patients, Thompson says.
Lignans may help protect against cancer by:
  • Blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism.
  • Interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells.

Flaxseed can also fight hot flashes and reduce menopausal symptoms. 

I don't know about you but I think I'm going to keep adding flaxseed to my bread, muffins, and smoothies. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and watch out for my next postpartum post :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Frozen Pizza and Smoothies


Mmm pizza. We love pizza. It's Abby's favorite's Kyle's favorite may be my favorite food. Ha. I grew up with my dad working for Pepsi at Pizza Hut for 15 years. Actually, my parents met at Pizza Hut! My mom was a waitress and my dad was a manager. You could say I've had my fair share of pizza in my life. Plus my brother worked at Papa John's a year or two in high school and my sister has worked at Volcano's for quite a few years now.

So when it comes to eating pizza, it must taste good! I have worked at perfecting my pizza crust and continue to do so. We can't afford to go out and get pizza every week but we like eating pizza, let's be honest, at least 2 times a week. So making it saves SO MUCH money. It costs me about $2.40 to make a large pizza.

When we were first married I bought frozen pizzas (before I knew not to) and we liked the Meijer ones.  So now I decided to make my own frozen pizzas. With Kyle home a lot of days now working I have to keep him eating here instead of going out to LC (Little Ceasars). So bam! Homemade frozen pizzas it is. Super easy. Make your pizza up and then stick it in the freezer for about 20 minutes at least to get it hard. Take it out and put foil over it and put back in freezer. Preheat oven to 400 when time and stick it in straight from the freezer. Piece of cake! If you're interested in my current pizza recipe then let me know and I can post a recipe.

Now...on to smoothies. 

Can I say I'm a little bit obsessed with my Nutribullet? Well I am. My favorite so far.....

plain nonfat yogurt

Holy cow.....YUM. Even my picky husband and BIL, Erik, liked it.


Let's talk about this amazing vegetable. Here's good info I found from LIVESTRONG...

"Low in calories and high in vitamins, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. One cup of the leafy green vegetable contains far more than your daily requirements of vitamin K and vitamin A, almost all the manganese and folate your body needs and nearly 40 percent of your magnesium requirement. It is a good, very good or excellent source of more than 20 different measurable nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein. And yet, 1 cup has only 40 calories! Spinach is an excellent choice for nutrition without high calories."

Spinach also fights against ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, protects brain function and prevents aging. 

Still need motivation to eat a few servings of spinach every day? This dark green leaf will protect your brain function from premature aging and slow old age's typical negative effects on your metal capabilities. Spinach accomplishes this by preventing the harmful effects of oxidation on your brain. Those who eat a vegetables in quantity, especially those of the leafy green variety, experience a decrease in brain function loss. However, there is no such correlation with fruit consumption. Oh, and iceberg lettuce doesn't cut it. A good rule of thumb: the darker the leaf, the better. Which brings us back to spinach.

This is all in 1 cup of spinach....which is contained in that smoothie I made! I love learning about foods God made for us. So eat your spinach because it's loaded with amazing benefits! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Postpartum- 8 Weeks


My Hannah is 2 months old! I can't believe it. Exercise is in full swing and I'm giving it all I have now with no restrictions on intensity and how heavy of weights I'm using...tough but a nice feeling. I'm doing weights 3 days a week and cardio 2-3 days a week. Sweets have been going well and they aren't too much of an issue (Praise the Lord). I'm so excited about little changes my body is making because of the use of heavy weights! Muscle burns fat!

Weight: 134

Arm: 10 (same)
Chest: 35 1/2
Waist: 33 3/4
Hips: 35 1/4
Leg: same
Calf: same

Here's my awesome birthday gift from my in-laws....even more healthy eating happening over here! 

This one was broccoli, carrot, blueberry, and strawberry smoothie. Today I had an apple, carrot, and strawberry smoothie. The Nutribullet makes it very fast and I stick almost everything in it whole. It doesn't extract nutrients from it (like a juicer) so it's filled with every good part of the fruit and vegetables! Plus you can add seeds and nuts.

Here's my 2 MONTH OLD!! She has been giving lots of smiles and still sleeps all the time :)

If you are trying to lose weight and are discouraged....don't be! Remember to be lifting weights, getting your cardio in and watching what you eat!!! You CANNOT FAIL if you are doing those 3 things. 

One more thing about watching your nutrition. If you are counting calories then remember that calories are good for you. Also, don't get too wrapped up in being completely exact and perfect with it. God wants us to live a healthy lifestyle and still have discipline but not be obsessed. There's such a fine line sometimes with eating. I've been on both spectrums of being too crazy about what I eat and then not caring at all with what I'm doing...either aren't really good for me. Just remember that if you're keeping out processed food (something I am a stickler on) and eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables (God foods) then you can't go too wrong if you're watching portions and not stuffing yourself. Coupled with your exercise routine, it should all fit into place. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Healthy Eating


I haven't done much on food lately so I thought I'd post. What are more ideas on eating for a healthy lifestyle? Well, eating plays a huge role in losing weight, shaping your body, keeping yourself from diseases and sickness. Matching your food with your exercise habits is great because it'll give you better results. Plus, your body uses so many vitamins, minerals, and water that eating a healthy diet is extremely important to replenish what was depleted. If you don't then you put yourself in harms way and can lose muscle among other important things. If you just had a baby then this is ESPECIALLY important for you because having a baby depletes your body more than any other life event (leaving out serious diseases/sicknesses).

So I want to post what I'm eating today. Hope what I'm doing helps you! This is what I ate today (or going to eat). I'm big on planning. If I plan it and am prepared then I will do it. If I get lazy and don't plan then my eating and dinners are terrible (maybe not terrible but not as good). Anyways, on to food...

Breakfast 7:30 AM: Homemade cereal with almond milk and 1/2 large banana. Both of these foods give a good amount of carbs before my workout. When exercising you need energy! Recipe HERE for cereal.

Exercised: Burn Circuit #1 on Chalean Extreme program

Snack 9:45 AM: Protein shake with almond milk. This is great for repairing my muscles after the workout.

Snack 11:30 AM: String cheese in the car on my way to get Abby from preschool 

Lunch 12:45 PM: Salad with boiled egg, craisins, carrot, tomato, feta cheese, croutons, and yogurt ranch dressing served with a sweet potato and mushroom cut and cooked in olive oil. The picture is not actually what I had..forgot to take one.

Snack 3:30-4:00 PM: Apple and 1-2 tbsp peanut butter

Dinner 6:00 PM: Tacos with sauteed vegetables. The taco meat is grass fed beef, homemade salsa (RECIPE), and the tortillas are homemade (RECIPE). 

Of course lots of water to drink in there as well and my vitamins. I still take prenatal right now with breastfeeding and I take 5000 IU of vitamin D with the winter here....Hope this gives you ideas! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where to Start with Exercising


I've been asked this question a lot lately, "I want to workout at home but don't know what to do? Where should I start?" I've been getting asked by a lot of new moms as well who are wanting to get in shape or lose weight. So here's my opinion with a "starter set" of workout suggestions.

1. If you're a mom then I HIGHLY recommend starting with this book. Amazon or buy it on your iPhone or whatever electronic device you read on. This is important for your tummy because most women have Diastasis Recti (splitting of the ab muscles) so you don't want to go start with sit-ups if you have this. Go HERE to read more.

2. You can start your exercising with something like this Lindsay Brinn DVD set. I bought this at Target for $10 I do believe. It does have exercises for each trimester, which are great, plus it has a bootcamp for post pregnancy. Great place to begin because it is geared towards new moms and it's in short segments (about 10 minutes) so if you have to leave and come back you start a new segment. 

NOW....for those who see my posts on Facebook or read this blog, you know that I absolutely LOVE Chalene Johnson. She is definitely my fitness role model. I have almost all her exercise programs and just love every one of them. She is fun and her workouts give you results. Her programs are geared toward meeting the needs women have. 

3. If you don't want to start with the Lindsay Brinn workout then that's fine. Start with Chalene's Turbo Jam workouts (buy HERE). She has a starter disk which instructs you on her core moves and gives you a practice workout. Then it has a 20 minute workout that gets the job done fast. Plus she has Turbo Sculpt which uses weights, about 40 minutes. There's Ab Jam and Cardio Party. Ab Jam is 20 minutes and works the abs standing and on the floor. Cardio Party is more intense and is about 42 minutes. All 5 of these workouts come on 2 discs. They are EXCELLENT. You already have a great base of workouts right here that could keep you busy a while for working your way stronger and to higher levels. 

You can purchase a starter set HERE  and it comes with the 2 pieces of equipment you need....yup, only 2. Plus it includes a few more workouts (I own all of them and love them). Brand new it's $60....that's a good deal. I would splurge on that instead of looking on ebay or amazon. Think about it.....a few hours of working out that you won't have to think about once you stick it in the dvd player and you get to keep them the rest of your life!!!

4. From there I'd go with her ball workouts, which are still part of Turbo Jam. Kickin Core and Total Body Blast. These are amazing for burning calories and are so focused on your abdominals. They are tough but fun. They last 40 and 60 minutes. Fantastic and worth it. She does cardio with the balls and lots of ab work plus balance work.

5. NOW once you've done those for a while (a few months or even a year if you buy all the ones I've mentioned) then move on to CHALEAN EXTREME. Talk about fat burning and getting you in the best shape of your life....this will do it. It's a 3 month program and everything is laid out for you with weight training 3 days a week plus cardio and ab training. Yoga and stretching are in it as well. It is very tough and does require a wide range of weights or bands. But remember, exercise is a journey so investing your money into equipment and dvd's is necessary to keep increasing your fitness level. But once you have enough equipment (weights, ball, a couple bands) you don't have to buy it again, unlike a gym membership you continually pay each month.

6. Then move on to Turbo Fire. This is another 3 month program of Chalene's that is geared towards cardio conditioning. It involves a lot of shorter very intense workouts to get your body burning good fat. You can combine Extreme with Turbo Fire and get another variation of a workout program. This includes a couple weight lifting workouts plus yoga and stretching. 

These are my recommendations and the order to do them in. I hope this helps all you women who are looking for direction in your workouts! Purchase any other ose workouts on my sight, HERE.  For other advice and tips on workout equipment for the home, check THIS blog post out.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fat Blasting Workout


Want to get a good workout at home? Here's an awesome one I put together that you can do throughout the day if you have kiddos and can't get away from them.....just do one, take a break, do another later, and repeat until you've gone through them all. 30 seconds to a minute each will do. If you do have time to complete without breaks then go through the set 2 or 3 times with small rests in between. Make sure you warm up for a few minutes with light activity first. So chase your kids around the house or walk up and down the stairs. Why not play a few rounds of Ring Around the Rosy too? Whatever to get the blood pumping first and then a few stretches. You don't need a workout room or equipment...just bring on the intensity!

1. Burpee
Keep your legs far apart. Make sure you keep your knees over your ankles. Do 10-15 or 30-60 seconds. Either one is up to you. Keep your pace quick and work up to doing more. This is a great full body exercise. Keep your tummy tight and suck in the belly button!

 2. The Boat
Start sitting on the floor and feet flat. Bring yourself to a balance position (find your spot, may take work to find) with your legs up and extend your arms to your knees without holding. Suck in the belly button tight and hold the position for 5 slow breaths. Bring back to starting position and then repeat. Do 5 of these. 

 3. Squat and Jump
This is a personal favorite. Squat and keep your butt back with your knees over the ankles. Then shoot up jumping as high as you can. Keep this very fast and do for 30-60 seconds depending on fitness level.

4. Push ups
Keep belly button tight. Start on your knees if you need to and work on doing one push up at a time on your toes continually increasing. Start with 10 push ups or 30 seconds. Work your way to as many as possible increasing in number. When your form fails move to your knees or stop. 

5. Squat Thrust
The picture sums it up. Just do as fast as you can. This one doesn't involve jumping at the end. 30-60 seconds.

6. Tricep Push ups
Keep your arms close to your body and your hands pointed forward. It's best to start on your knees because your triceps are a smaller muscle and tend to be weaker. Keep your biceps close to your ribs when you come down. Just do as many as you can and don't get discouraged because it is a more challenging exercise when done correctly.

7. Pelvic Lift
Squeeze your booty and suck in your tummy. Lift up and back down. Keep your booty from touching the ground even when you go back down and you'll get a better workout. Repeat 30-60 seconds.

8. Swimmer or limb raises (similar to superman)
This is great for strengthening the back. Lift the opposite arm and leg up then switch to the other side. 60 seconds.
I hope you find these exercises challenging and rewarding for your body! You will get stronger and notice a difference in your physique as you do these. It is a total body workout. It is great because you can split them up through the day if you can't get away from kids or you're at the office with little spare time after. If you can do these without taking breaks then I suggest that because you'll get the best fat burn by keeping your heart rate high. Be sure to keep your tummy in tight and practice the form pictured for each exercise so you don't have any injury. Warming up and cooling down before and after is best as well with stretching. So no excuses! Get up and get working out cause I just laid out an awesome guide for you :) :)

***Always have doctor's permission***

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chunky Crunchy Cereal


I said 'bye bye' to boxed cereal junk a while ago. Sometimes I bought organic cereals but they're so expensive and can still contain a lot of sugar. So I haven't had any for probably at least a year. I like eggs for breakfast. I still bought cereal for my hubby but processed food just makes me cringe....even if I'm not the one eating it. I love him but he is still a picky eater. He likes convenient and easy things (when I'm not making it and handing it to him on a plate) when he gets ready and goes to work. So I've been on this mission to find yummy cereals that he will eat for breakfast so I don't have to buy him any boxed...or any pop tarts (yuck). Anyways, on to the recipe.....

I think it tastes like those cinnamon cluster type of cereals. It is crunchy and kind of chunky, hence the title. When you add milk (I like almond milk) it doesn't make it too soggy. It's just delicious. 

Chunky Crunchy Cereal

3 cups oats (it says rolled but I used old fashioned)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup almonds (I added)
1/4 tsp ginger (I did not have and didn't use...tastes amazing without!)

Mix together and make well in center

1/4 cup oil (I used olive but will use coconut when I buy more)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup milk

Pour in well and mix together
Put in 9x13 pan and spread out
Bake at 300 and take out every 10 minutes to stir. Repeat 4-6 times (40 min-60 min depending on oven and preference of doneness) 

You could add some other nuts and raisins to the cereal but I'm pretty simple when it comes to food usually. 

Getting ingredients assembled

Oats and whole wheat (I used fresh ground from my MIL)

Make a well

Wet ingredients in well


Put in 9x13

Bake at 300 degrees


Add in Tupperware 

Like my container that's like a cereal box? Love it.

Abby likes it :)

I'm working on a new cereal that will be awesome but I want to make a whole batch and test it will be a higher protein cereal and give a good chocolate fix to those who love it. Stay tuned, it's going to rock! :)