Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Don't feel bad about eating all that left over chocolate


Do you still have chocolate hanging around the house taunting you from Easter? I do and here is why I'm not feeling too bad about eating it. (In moderation, of course!)

- People who eat chocolate regularly can benefit their heart health with lower blood pressure and lower risk of heart disease.

- A Swedish study concludes that women had 20% less risk of stroke if they indulged in 45 grams of chocolate a week

- A study at the University of Copenhagen found that darker chocolate can help curb hunger cravings. Milk chocolate, however is less effective.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The perfect Easter brunch!

For all of these ideas and more, visit Pinparties if you're throwing this years Easter brunch!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baby weight update

In my last post, I was excited that I had lost 15 pounds. That was a month ago, and since then, I've lost another 5 pounds! I honestly think that it could have been more but my family came to visit and I went off track a little bit, but I still maintained my weight which is GREAT because I ate A LOT of crap! That tells me that my metabolism is kicking itself back into gear and that what I'm doing will have long term results. This is a lifestyle change, not a short term diet.

I've also learned SO much more about the way a woman's metabolism works since then. Last Thursday, Dr. Oz had Julieanna Hever on his show to explain new research about how woman's hormones play into weight loss. It was AWESOME!! Seriously, this explained so much and I finally put the tips to the test yesterday, and lost 2 pounds. PLEASE watch this video, it will change your life. If you don't have the time though (you have no idea what you'll be missing out on), here are some basics:

- NEVER skip a meal. I used to do this all the time and never lost weight. I thought that less meals equaled less calories, equaled weight loss. This will destroy your metabolism. You need to eat within an hour of waking up and then don't go more than 4 hours without eating during the day. I eat every 3 hours with my last meal being at 6:30.

- Eat protein - Most woman don't get the protein they need to keep their metabolism going. You should aim for 20-25 grams per meal and snack, making up 30% of your daily calories. I know it sounds like a lot, but did you know that one cup of greek yogurt can have up to 20 grams of protein? I buy plain greek yogurt and use it in place of butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, and sometimes oil. For breakfast I will mix it with sriracha (spicy foods are good for the metabolism too) and put it on my eggs, and for snacks I will mix a cup with a little honey and cinnamon (also great for the metabolism). Here is a great table on foods you can substitute with greek yogurt:

- Eat foods that help your metabolism and aid in fat burning. Here is a list of my favorites:
  • Coconut Oil. I use this whenever I need oil. It's also in my after dinner treat - paleo fudge. You can find the recipe here.
  • Flax meal. I use this in my coffee, yogurt, oatmeal, really it's endless. Flax meal can be mixed into anything.
  • Cinnamon. Again, I use this in my coffee, yogurt, and anything else that needs sweetness.
  • Greek yogurt. My fave!!
  • Rooibos tea. My favorite drink at Starbucks when I was preggo was the Rooibos tea latte. It has no caffeine so it was a great go to drink. I don't love tea, but I LOVED these. Then, I found out about all of the benefits. Seriously, this is the miracle tea... even better than green tea. Here is the latte recipe:
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1 rooibos tea bag
1 teaspoon vanilla syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use more)

All you have to do is heat the almond milk and 1/2 c water with the tea bag for 2 minutes. Then add the other 1/2 c water and heat for 1 minute. Take out the tea bag (I find that my bag breaks so I take it out right away) and mix in the vanilla and cinnamon. That's it! It's SO yummy and SO good for you!
Again, it's REALLY important to track your calories. The lose it app is great because you type in your goal and how long you have to lose it and it will tell you how many calories you should be eating. NEVER go under 1200 calories, it will slow down your metabolism and your body will store fat. If you have to go under 1200, just move more to make up for the extra calories your eating.
I also use pinterest a lot. There are so many great low fat recipes. I post the ones I have tried that actually turned out great HERE. You should also try to limit your processed foods. This has been my favorite part... I love knowing everything that's going into my body, and now I even feel bad about the fiber one brownies I eat because I can't pronounce half the ingredients on the packaging.
I hardly ever eat out since I've been staying home and I drink A TON of water! I know that this has helped a ton. I also move as much as possible. I play with the kids a lot, lift them over my head, do squats above them while we play, and do crunches while lifting them in the air with my legs. When I watch TV I do lunges, squats, and crunches during commercial breaks and I try to get out and walk whenever it's sunny. I park in the back of parking lots and take the stairs. These little changes make a HUGE difference. It's so important to move more. Also, did you know that one hour of house cleaning burns 150 calories? Sex helps too!! :)
I hope this has inspired you. If you have any questions or would like to know what a typical week of eating looks like for me, please comment!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

co-sleeping and SIDS

New studies show that co-sleeping isn't as dangerous as it once was believed to be, so long as certain precautions are made. Here is a great article on how you can keep your infant safe in your bed.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I've lost 15 pounds!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I'm trying to lose this baby weight. In the past I have tried EVERYTHING! Working out, starving myself, cutting out carbs, paleo, and nothing ever worked. This time, I decided to just eat healthy, track calories, drink a lot of water, and move more. I've lost 15 pounds in a month!! Since I've already talked about being more active and trying to stay with the 60% carb, 20% protein, and 20% fat ratio, today I just want to give you an example of my day.

Wake up - I start the morning with a cup of coffee with about a 1/4 cup of almond milk. Coffee helps me wake-up and helps control my appetite. I've also read that women who start the day off with coffee lose more than those who don't, so why not?

Breakfast - I try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. A half hour is best, but by the time I get Jet ready for the day, feed him, and get myself ready it ends up being about an hour. Breakfast is SO important!! People have always told me this but I never listened and I never lost weight. The most important thing is to keep your metabolism going and that's what food is for. Here are some examples of my breakfast:

Waffle Sandwich
1 whole wheat waffle cut in half (ego)
1 strawberry or 1/4 cup of blueberries
1 tbs greek yogurt
Greek yogurt breaks down fat! If you can eat a small amount at every meal, it will help. Blueberries are a great antioxidant so that is always my first choice, but they can be expensive so strawberries are great too.

Fiber One chocolate
3/4 cup cereal
1/4 cup almond milk
I LOVE chocolate and Fiber One tastes just like cocoa puffs. It also has 9 grams of fiber in every serving which keeps me full a lot longer.

Lunch - I usually skip a morning snack because I stay pretty full from breakfast, and I drink a ton of water, but if I need one I have an orange or some baby carrots. My lunches are pretty basic because I'm usually fitting it in between taking care of Jet and housecleaning. Here are some of my favorite lunches (I try to add a fruit as well):

Almond butter and Jelly Sandwich
2 slices of reduced calorie wheat bread (45 cal each)
1 tbs almond butter
1 tbs of cherry jam
Mike found this great cherry jam at Home Goods. It's all natural, has no artificial ingredients, no fat, and no high fructose corn syrup. The brand is Favorit and each serving is only 48 calories!

2 slices of reduced calorie wheat bread
2 slices of turkey bacon
2 tomatoes
Dijon Mustard
I love BLT's and they're super easy to make. Dijon mustard adds a great taste without all the fat and calories in mayonnaise.

Snack - I always need an afternoon snack. That's when my sweet tooth hits and I get a little bored waiting for Mike to come home so I usually turn to these:

Fiber One Brownies
These are great! They're really rich and only 90 calories each!! The fiber keeps me full and it's more than enough chocolate to keep me satisfied. Plus, Target has a 12 pack on sale for $4.50!

Paleo Fudge
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
All you have to do is blend these ingredients, and then put a tablespoon each in a muffin tin. They are sooooooo good and only 90 calories each! Plus, you're getting all of your healthy fats and little sugar.

Dinner - My dinner depends on how many calories I've had during the day and what my percentages look like. I track everything with the Lose It app for Iphone. I always try to have one lean protein, and a lot of veggies since I don't eat very many during the day, and I limit my starches. If I do need carbs, I will have brown rice or whole wheat pasta. I always cook with coconut oil over canola oil or olive oil, and substitute most dairy with greek yogurt. I use A LOT of Pinterest recipes! (I'll continue to post favorites)

Late night - Usually I am satisfied and full by the end of the day, but I'm human and I get some late night cravings so I will turn to fruit, a glass of wine (correct portions ladies :)), or I will have a piece of paleo fudge.

It's important to always have fruit on hand and mix it up! One week we'll buy watermelon, the next pineapple. It's important not to eat the same foods everyday so your body doesn't get used to digesting the same thing over and over.... it will make your metabolism lazy. And move a lot! Fidget, stand when you watch TV or bounce on an exercise ball. Play with your kids more, get on the ground, lift them over your head, take the stairs, do crunches during commercials. Losing weight does not have to be hard!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pinterest recipes that worked!

While watching the Superbowl, my friends started talking about Pinterest and one friend mentioned that she tried one of the recipes and it was terrible. Another friend posted on Facebook later that day that everything she makes from Pinterest never turns out. I LOVE Pinterest and I've actually tried a ton of recipes that turned out great, so here are some of the favorites that I've made so far, and I'm hoping to post more at least once a week. All of the following recipes can be found on my Pinterest board. I'm also going to try to remove recipes if they don't turn out, and then I would like to create another board with recipes that I have tried that were tasty. That way, you can follow my board and know that the recipes will turn out great! I will let you know when I have time to get THAT organized. (yeah right)

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. This one is great because you can throw everything in before you go to bed, and it's ready when you wake up! Mike also commented on how it was so nice to have real oatmeal for a change instead of the instant stuff.

Paleo fudge. This is my favorite recipe I have EVER made! Each chocolate is only 90 calories and they couldn't be easier to make! I love that I know exactly what goes in them, and that the 90 calories I am eating are GOOD calories.

Roasted sweet potatoes. Mike and I have been cutting back on bad starches, so we  
have been eating a TON of sweet potatoes. These were really easy and unlike sweet potato fries, weren't mushy. I broiled them for about 5 minutes to get a little crispy and they were sooooo good.

Weight Watchers Apple Crisp. I made this for Mike and his Mom and neither of them knew it was a low calorie dessert. Those are my favorites! :)

Biggest Loser Pancakes. This is the WEIRDEST recipe I have ever made. They were really easy to make and are full of great ingredients, but ingredients that would make pancakes? I didn't think so. I was wrong... these turned out great! Way better than regular pancakes and Mike actually agreed.

So there you have it. 5 great Pinterest recipes. I'd love to hear about recipes found on Pinterest that worked for you. Please post below!

Why your child should have life insurance

Please see my daughters memorial page for information on how important it is to have Life Insurance for your child and some of the savings options that are available.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

So the smoothies didn't work...

Earlier this year I wrote about Green Smoothies and how I was using them to lose the baby weight. That didn't last long. I NEED to chew things and I got really bored of smoothies after a couple of weeks. Turns out smoothies and juicing just isn't for me. It really didn't make me lose that much weight anyway. I was losing maybe a 1/2 pound to a pound a week. With my new eating plan I'm losing up to 3 pounds a week! I'm not doing anything crazy either, just switching up some eating habits. Here's what's worked for me:

Track your calories!! This is the MOST important thing to do when losing weight. I've done a ton of weight losing in the past so I'm pretty familiar with calorie content, but am still amazed when I eat a SMALL shake that's 700 calories... that's an entire meal! I've found that I don't snack as much either because it would just take too much time to log 5 M&M's. When you're aware of what you're eating and the calorie content of each item, it is SO much easier to stay within your calorie budget. My favorite app for calorie counting is Lose It. It tracks food, workouts, and goals.

Find healthy recipes. Thanks to Pinterest, there are so many healthy recipes at your fingertips. There are also a ton of substitutions and ideas to make your favorite meals taste just as good with fewer calories. I really haven't heard Mike complain that any of the food I make tastes differently than it did with the fatty recipe.

Get moving. I had no idea how many calories I burn while cleaning the house, rocking Jet, or doing basic child care activities. You have to do it anyway, so make the most of it. Park in the back of the parking lot, take the stairs, or go for a walk on your break.

Use a small plate. I've heard this many times and guess what? It works! My plate looks full at dinner time and I'm full after eating.

Try to find a good balance. I'm using the 60% carbs, 20% fats, 20% protein ratio. Lose it tracks this for you! I don't worry too much at Breakfast or Lunch but when I'm deciding what to make for dinner I'll look at my ratios and see what I need more of and less of and go from there. It is SO easy!

Seriously, this has been the easiest way to lose weight ever. After a couple of weeks you don't even have to think about it because it's a lifestyle change, not a diet and when you see the weight fall off it's even easier to stay on track. It will take time and work but I'm healthy and will have long term results. Diets DON'T work and quick fixes are temporary. I'll be posting updates on my success and hope that you guys will join in too!

What are you doing this year to get in shape?

1/2 price Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen has some 1/2 off offers today only. Click here to find participating locations near you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why you shouldn't use products that 'claim' to prevent SIDS

Here is some great information on why products that claim to prevent SIDS could actually be harmful for your infant.

Friday, January 18, 2013

SIDS Age Range

Did you know that SIDS Age Range is actually 1-12 months? For more information on how you can prevent SIDS and for statistics, please read this article.

Free BBW lotion!

Head over to Bath and Body Works Facebook page to get a coupon good for one FREE Americas Sweetheart body lotion.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My decision to stay at home

Yesterday I officially became a stay-at-home Mom. For a lot of woman it's an easy, no-brainer decision but it wasn't that easy for me. There are a lot of things to consider when giving up everything that you've worked for in the past as well as a social life. Having a baby is already life-changing and I didn't want to rush to a decision while being in the middle something that makes you so crazy and unable to think clearly; AKA motherhood. For those who are struggling with the same thing, here is what I considered:

Finances: Obviously your finances are going to make the biggest impact on  your decision. We are lucky enough not to have a ton of debt, but a fair amount, and also lucky enough that my maternity leave coincided with tax season making it easy to pay off everything but my car. Still, we are having to postpone the wedding to Spring of next year, postpone saving for a house, and I will have to babysit at least one child a month to make up for the difference.

Social Life: I already gave up my social life when I moved to Oregon. I found out I was pregnant with Olivia a few months after moving here, which made it really hard to go out and meet new people. Going to work was the only thing that gave me that sense of belonging and social interaction. Even being home on maternity leave gets to me a few days a week. Having a new baby in the Winter is hard... it's rainy and windy and you really don't want to go out, especially if the baby is going to freak out and make you go back home anyway. It's a lot of work getting your newborn and yourself ready for the day. I get really bored sometimes, and crave that everyday interaction. Luckily, Jet will get older and become more entertaining, the other child I will be watching will keep me busy, I'll be seeing the parents everyday and there are play date groups I'm looking as joining as well. I also try to get out by myself at least one night a week to go tanning and relax, and Mike is good at convincing me to go on family outings once during the week as well.

Feeling accomplished: Being a Mom and Wife is hard. You're up all night feeding the baby, then when you wake up it's coffee, playtime, feeding, nap time, cleaning, playtime, feeding, nap time, dinner, clean-up, bath time, feeding, bed time. Eat and shower if you're lucky. Then you also have to try to fit in grocery shopping, socializing, and making sure your relationship isn't getting forgotten in the shuffle. You do all of this with little recognition or appreciation, and it can get you down. It's important to remember that what you do IS important. Looking back, I so appreciate that my Grandma was home with us all day. I became so close to her, she was always there when I needed to talk and I trusted her more than anyone. She taught me all the basics... cooking, baking, cleaning, crafting, and everything I needed to know about keeping a house in order. But then she also taught me about charity and loving others... something that she might have been to busy for if she was working. It was also important to her that we sat around the table, with a healthy meal, and ate as a family... something that I now realize the value of and can't wait to do with my own family. Your children might not realize how special these moments are now, but they will when they have their own family someday and that's when all the long days and sleepless nights will pay off.

At the end of the day, this is an opportunity that I wanted so badly with Olivia and didn't get... an opportunity that a lot of Mothers don't get. After Olivia passed away I regretted the fact that while she was in the care of people who I trusted and who loved her more than anything, I missed SO much time with her and so many milestones. I don't want to miss anything this time around, life is too short, and these are moments that you'll never get back.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Great food for your Superbowl party

Are you hosting this years Superbowl party, but aren't sure what to serve? Be sure to check out these great Superbowl party appetizers that are delicious AND healthy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Make money with cashcrate

If you're looking for an easy way to make a couple extra bucks, you should definitely join cashcrate. I usually don't advertise these kind of websites because they can be shady, but this one seems pretty legit. I joined last week and randomly get on for a few minutes a day and have already made over $5. Not bad for a week. The blogger (trustworthy) who I signed up under is making over $600 a month!! (he's received an actual check in the mail as well)

There are a lot of things you can do to earn money such as take surveys, participate in offers, shop online, and complete online tasks. Some of the offers cost money, but as long as you cancel your trials, you'll usually end up making more money and getting free product as well. I would also sign up under an email address you use for spam since you're going to get a lot of it from this site, but for some extra cash it's totally worth it! I participate in offers from my phone while I'm feeding Jet, waiting in line, or watching TV.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, sign up by clicking HERE!

Nomorerack Deals

I know that I've mentioned Nomorerack in previous posts, but this site has gotten even better. They used to post a few different things a day, but now they post TONS of awesome deals! I introduced it to Mike and immediately wished that I hadn't because he's constantly trying to get me to purchase everything, and it can be SO tempting with the prices on this site. Here are some of today's great deals:

This Android tablet is $98. (Orig. $299)

These Australian classic tall boots are only $26 (Orig. $130)

This slimfit external battery for iPhone 4/4S is only $16 (Orig. $56)

And I seriously could go on and on. We've purchased many items and most have been great quality. They have a little something for everyone and tons of great gifts, and the best part? $2 shipping on everything! I love this site!!

Superbowl Party Ideas

If you're hosting this years Superbowl party, be sure to check out these great party ideas!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What if your child will only sleep on their tummy?

It has been proven that belly sleep has 12.9 times the risk of death as back sleep. Even though your child might sleep better on their tummy it is NOT worth it. Please check out my blog in honor of my daughter Olivia, who passed away from SIDS for more information. Help spread the word, and put an end to sudden infant death.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

SIDS: How you can help

Please share Olivia's blog to help spread the word on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I will be updating periodically with SIDS facts and what you can do to help.