Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bike Rider

Guess who has two thumbs and a bike with two functioning wheels?

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This girl!

Bless Dan's heart - he was determined to get my bike working yesterday.  

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Doesn't he look determined?  He went to three different stores (on crutches) and then took the tires on and off twice before he got it right. 

When I got home from work I was so surprised and pumped.  When he told me to go change into clothes for a test ride, I thought it would be hilarious to put on the tri-suit that Courtney let me borrow.

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Hilarious.  And apparently a photo opportunity.  Thanks Abby for the photos!

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Now I just need to learn how to ride the darn thing.  Dan gave me a crash course in switching gears, most of which went over my head.

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I asked him if I could just stay in the same gear the whole time and he said, "Sure, if you want to come in last place."

I don't mind coming in last place, as long as I finish on the bike and not on the ground.  Ha!

I can't tell you how relieved I was to have my bike working - when I got on the bike I felt like a big weight (that I didn't even know was there) was lifted off my shoulders. 

Dan earned some major husband points yesterday, so when he asked if he could have his favorite pizza place for dinner, I agreed, as long as I could make what I wanted.  

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Dan had pizza.  Ina and I had balsamic fig and onion chicken with quinoa (recipe from my girl Sarah).  Served with a salad thanks to the beautiful head of lettuce that Kim brought over!

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Ina loved the figs - we know she likes something when she smacks her mouth louder, sucking the flavor out.  She fed herself, alternating between chicken and figs, kicking her feet happily smacking her lips the whole time.  

I plan to get an actual bike ride in with Courtney later on today.  Please pray that I stay upright on the bike.  

I hope you all are having a good start to your holiday weekend!  

<3

Friday, August 30, 2013

How I Lost My Baby Weight

Yesterday's WW meeting was a pretty big deal.  

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I am officially back to my pre-Ina weight!  

It took me 9 months to gain the weight, and almost 9 months to lose it, as Ina will be 9 months old on Tuesday.  

Nine months on, nine months off. Ha!

I know I don't talk about my weight that often, but I thought it would be beneficial for other moms or mom-to-bes to discuss losing baby weight.  

Because I am super cool, I made a chart showing my weight loss over time since Ina was born

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I gained 43 pounds during my pregnancy, which is more than ideal.  At my two week post-delivery appointment I had lost 13 of them, and when I started WW on Ina's one month birthday, I had 24 more pounds to go.  

So, it took me 8 months to lose 24 pounds. 

That is a LONG time.  I will be the first to admit that weight loss has not been my top priority over the past 9 months. What I looked like has often been the last thing on my mind, topped by almost everything else on my list of things to do in a day.  

When I first started back at WW and work, I really did try to calculate all my points and watch every single thing I put in my mouth.  However, I quickly realized that something had to give.  I would be sitting there at the end of the day, trying to add up all of my points while feeding Ina and attempting to give Dan the 30 minutes a day of attention he got from me.  It was exhausting, and I couldn't stand the thought of wasting my emotional and phsical energy on something so trivial during such a valuable time in my life.  Ina was growing so fast and I didn't want to miss out on anything.

Now that I have more sleep and am a little more used to the mom routine. managing all of that has become so much easier.  

Honestly, as long as I wasn't gaining weight, I was happy to let the pounds fall off as they did.  As you can see from the graph above, there were a few bumps in the road, but nothing a few good runs couldn't fix.  

For what they are worth, here are a few things I did that I think helped prevent me from gaining weight.

  1. Nursing - It is no secret that nursing a baby helps you lose weight.  The extra calories needed are equivalent to miles of running.  However, just like with running, nursing made me ravenous.  It took months for my appetite to be under control and to not snack through the night.  I continue to eat quite a few more calories than I would if I wasn't nursing, so when that stops things will get interesting.
  2. Clean eating - although I haven't done the best of counting portions/points/calories, I have tried to watch the quality of food I eat. I would say I eat clean about 80% of the time, with the other 20% being pizza, wine and ice cream.
  3. Exercise - even though I say that losing weight hasn't been a top priority of mine, exercise has been, which I know can be a little confusing, but really they are different.  The second my mid-wife cleared me for activity I was on that treadmill walking my heart out.  Exercise gives me the mental clarity, mood stabilization, and the energy boost I need to get through the day.

I know, not rocket science, but still good things to point out.  

The last thing I want to say is this - I know some moms who went back to their pre-baby weight in a matter of weeks.  I took 9 months.  Some might take a year and nine months.  To me, it doesn't matter how long it takes, as long as you are making an attempt to live a (mostly) healthy lifestyle and are headed in the right direction.  

At the end of the day, the number on the scale means so little compared to that little baby in your arms.  

This isn't the end of my weight loss.  I have 10 more pounds to go until my BMI is in a healthy range and within WW's lifetime limits.  I plan to lose those last 10 the same way I lost the baby weight - slowly.  Once I stop nursing I plan to start tracking / counting points again, but until then I will keep doing what I am doing.

Thanks to all of your for the support through this awesome, but sometimes difficult, time in our lives!  Muah!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Link-Up: Weekly Food and Fitness Plans

Is it bad that I let Ina play in the dog bowl?

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At first, I was thinking, no-no, we can't get into that habit.  But now, I am thinking, if I can find anything to keep her safely entertained and not playing with the wine bottles for 5 minutes while I cook dinner, I am okay with it.

We might have dog bowls in every room of the house.

The dogs will be very well hydrated.

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One thing that has been nicer this week is having my meals planned out. When I get home from work at the end of the day, I don't want to think anymore.  Knowing I have all the ingredients to create a well rounded (edible) meal makes me feel a littler more prepared to battle the day / week.

My list of this week's workouts is also keeping me motivated.  On Tuesday I really didn't want to go to the pool, but then I remembered that I told all of you I was going to swim, so I felt like I had to.

Bullies.  

So, when Deneene from Southern Living Yankee apporached me about starting a blog link-up with weekly meal and workout plans, I was pretty excited.  I know posting my weekly plan will help keep me accountable and reading others' weekly plans will help keep me motivated. 

Really, it is a win-win for me (and you!).

We would love for you to join!  

Here is our button: 

Running with Racheal

Every Sunday morning I will post the link-up and you have until Monday evening to post your post and join the par-tay.

Our first post will be this Sunday, September 1st.

Hope to get to know you guys a little bit better. <3

Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Triathalon Training Update

So, remember when I said I was going to participate in a triathalon?

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Well, the triathalon is in two weeks.  Yikes.

Here is the breakdown:

Running - I am good.  If I am cashed out from swimming and biking I will walk with my head held high.

Swimming - eh.  I don't think I will drown.

Biking - I have no idea because I haven't been on a bike once.

Not once.  

Yesh, where did the time go?  I think the main reason there has been zero training on the bike is because I don't have a fully functioning bike.  Dan's step-dad gave me a road bike (which I am soooo thankful for) but the back tire was flat.

Of course it took me three weeks to order another tire.

Then it took 3 weeks for me to ask Dan to try to put it on.

Then last week he announced it also needed an inter tube, which I didn't have.  I am convinced I am riding my bike this Friday, so I better get that tube-thing today.  

Back to swimming - yesterday I went to my gym and swam 900 yards.  

The race is 500 yards of swimming, and because I have limited pool time, my plan is that if I do get a chance to go to the pool, I will try to swim 500 yards without stopping, and anything extra is gravy on top.  

Speaking of gravy, or sauce, I made this spicy almond butter chicken recipe last night and, oh my, it was amazing.

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Served with brown rice and broccoli.  

Ina liked the chicken (minus the sauce because it has honey in it).

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She tried to shovel that chicken in as fast as she could, hence the very blurry pic.  

This is the fifth night in a row we have loaded her up on protein for dinner, and the fifth night in a row she has SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!  Last night was 7:45 PM to 6:00 AM.  I feel like a new, totally refreshed woman.    

Have a good hump day.  Only 2 more days until a 3 day weekend!  Yay!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Little Chili Bean

You know your life has changed when the highlight of your night is counting how many chili beans a baby can get in her mouth in a row without dropping one.  

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Her record was five, but she dropped many, many beans. When we took her out of her chair, there were beans everywhere, stuck in between her little leg folds.

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I thought I wiped them all off, but a few beans were even floating around in her bathwater.  

Hilarious.

So far my workout / meal plan this week has been a success.  Yesterday Ina and I ran 4 miles (one mile longer than planned) and Dan made us chili for dinner (via barstool).

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Our family member Stacie was so sweet to send me a HUGE package of GF baking mixes.  The cornbread went perfectly with Dan's spicy chili.  

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Yum, I can't wait for leftovers. 

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I am off to swim.  Have a good one!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meals and Workouts for the Week

I am starting today off with a plan.  I just need to remember my plan in the morning when I wake up.  Ha!

Dinner plan:

  • Monday - Dan is making chili.  I need to put him to work somehow and don't care that it will be 95 degrees today.
  • Tuesday - Crockpot almond butter spicy chicken with brown rice and mixed veggies
  • Wednesday - stuffed pattypan squash
  • Thursday - my mom made chicken and rice casserole for us that I am going to pop out of the freezer (Thanks Mom!)
  • Friday - leftovers 

 

Workout Plan:

  • Monday - 3 mile run
  • Tuesday - 700 yard swim
  • Wednesday - 4 mile run
  • Thursday - off / short walk
  • Friday - 10 mile bike (pending on my bike being fixed)
  • Saturday 6 mile run
  • Sunday - off / short walk

Yesterday Ina and I went on a 2 mile walk before church.  It was awesome to walk with her and I hope to start doing it more often on my off days.  Or, when Dan can put all of his weight on his leg, we can goon family walks.  

I hope you have a good week!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Good morning and Happy Sunday!

Let's all get on our tippy-toes.  

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Any big  plans today?  We are going to church, and then to a family reunion, and then possibly back to church.  

Big day, I don't know how much time we will have. 

Yesterday started off with a 5.25 mile run with Danielle.  

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Whew, that run was hilly and just about did me in.  My decrease in activity due to Ina not sleeping and Dan's surgery is really starting to show.  I have two races coming up that I need to be in much better shape for, so my goal for the week is to be active 5 out of the next  7 days.  Hopefully I will get one bike and one swim in too.  

After the run I worked a little, laid around the house, 

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(yes, she jumped herself to sleep)

and then push mowed our yard.  (I figured out how to start the mower, thankyouverymuch.)

After running and mowing, I earned myself a long shower and then we got ready to go celebrate my brother and nephew's birthdays at Zio's, an Italian restaurant.

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Happy Birthday Matt and Alex!

I thought ordering something gluten free from an Italian menu would be very challenging, but when I asked the waitress if they had an GF optoins, she brought  me out an entire menu!  I chose the GF veggie pizza.  

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Beautiful.  

Have a blessed day! <3

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fast Buggy Runner

Yesterday morning I really didn't have time for a run. 

I slept in.  Dan needed his medications.  The laundry and dishes were piling up.  It was hot out.

However, I knew I needed it, so I strapped Ina in the running stroller and away we went.

As we were running by an elderly neighbor working in her garden, who we often wave to in the morning,  she yelled at me, "You run faster with the buggy than anyone I ever saw!"

I resisted the urge to run up her driveway and give her a sweaty hug / kiss and instead just yelled back, "Thanks!"

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Now, I assume that I may be one of the only people she has seen running with a jogging stroller, and given the limited sample size, I would be the fasted by default, but a compliment is a compliment.  You couldn't smack the smile off my face the rest of the day.

Reasons why a smile stayed on my face: 

- Ina playing with a watermelon (used as a distraction to stop her from playing with the wine rack)

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- Picking veggies in the garden while Dan and Ina played in the pool

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- Ina bobbing for cherry tomatoes in the pool

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- Grilling jalapeƱos for these spice-a-ritas (those are a must try, they burn soooo good)

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- Dan's turkey burgers (no picture - needed to eat it as soon as it was ready)

- Our friends Chessa and Brad brought over their new 1 week old baby Silo.

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He loves me so much he was giving me a kiss.

- Ina playing with Dan's crutches

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She stuck her tounge out as soon as she saw I was taking a picture.  What a stinker!

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cooking Dad

Good morning!

When baby learns to sleep through the night, so does momma. And then some.  I woke up when it was light out and thought I slept the day away!  

Dan is getting up and moving around a little bit.

He even made us dinner last night from the kitchen table.  

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It was an "empty out the fridge hash" with potatoes, peppers, onions, beef, etc.  We just plugged in the electric skillet to the wall and away Dan went.

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Ina helped by sucking on a green onion.

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Served with corn on the cob and roasted egg plant.  

Other Eats:

Breakfast: zucchini baked oatmeal

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Lunch: a huge tomato and cottage cheese

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Snacks: apple; yogurt and cantaloupe, roll up with a corn tortilla, deli turkey meat and string cheese.

And a glass of wine.  

We have a visitor this morning, so I am off!

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Have a good weekend!

(Happy Birthday to my Aunt Jerri!)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Amazon Mom Review

Many things are scary about having a baby, but one of the scariest is the financial strain an extra little one adds.  

My entire life I have heard the expression, "diapers aren't cheap."

Then, I discovered Amazon Mom (<-- affiliate link)

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As it turns out, diapers ARE cheap.  And delivered to your doorstep.  

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If you use Amazon Mom.  

Right now, we pay $26.39 per month for diapers.  Another $20 every two months for wipes and let me tell you, Ina goes through some diapers and wipes. 

What exactly is Amazon Mom?  You can read much more information about it here, but it is an Amazon Prime membership (benefits of 2 day free shipping, unlimited free streaming of many videos, and free rental of many ebooks), with an added bonus of 20% off diapers and wipes and 5% to 20% off anything else you might use around the house.

I get so many things through my Amazon Mom membership, all at 20% off: 

  • Baby Tylenol, Gripe Water, and diaper cream
  • Dishwasher and laundry detergent
  • Toliet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo / conditioner / soap
  • Coffee
  • Brown rice and quinoa
  • Feminine hygiene products

I have all of these items on what they call "Subscribe and Save."  I subscribe to them and select my shipping schedule - eg, we get toliet paper every 2 months and quinoa every 6 months.  The subscribe and save is what allows the 20% discount.  However, just because I subscribed to soemthing, doesn't mean that I have to purchase it.  Amazon will send me an email a few days before my order goes out and I can cancel any or all of it without any consequences.

My favorite perk is hands down the 2 day free shipping.  I will think of something I need at the store, like batteries, put in an order, and they are at my front door, sometimes even the next day!  It would take me 3 or 4 days to get to the store otherwise, and I would most likely forget to buy batteries.

I also like the reminder the subscribe and save provides.  For some reason, I always forget to buy deodorant, mostly because Dan has armpits the size of dinner plates and uses a stick in a week.  The next week he uses mine, and I will go from having a full stick to nothing in a matter of days.  The people around me and Dan should be thankful for Amazon Mom. Ha!

To try Amazon Mom, you can sign up for a 3 month free trial, and then it is $79 per year.  The $79 a year quickly pays for itself in shipping if you use it often.  

I hope I did a good job of explaining this - if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!

---------------------

In other news, our friends Ashley and Brady brought over Indian food for dinner last night. 

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Lamb Korma, shrimp saag, butter chicken, and more.  I am pretty sure that is what Heaven looks like.

Dan dipped a stem of Ina's broccoli into the saag and it was love at first taste.  Her eyes got really big and she started sucking and licking her lips and grunting for more.  We also gave her little bites of the chicken and lamb and she gobbled them right up.  I see many trips to Indian restaurants in our future!

Dan's parents, grandma, and aunt also stopped by yesterday afternoon to visit him.

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Poor Ina, she rarely gets any attention.

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It is sad really.  

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I am off to my WW meeting.  Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What to do with All Your Summer Zucchini

Remember this?

Zuc

My poor little zucchini plants produced a few more of those babies before some nasty bugs took over and killed them. I was kind of sad, but kind of relieved that I didn't have to figure out what to do with all of my zucchini.  

Add the zucchini from my CSA and my fridge is full.  

Taking a hint from my friend Kim, yesterday morning I shredded all of it and put most of it in the freezer for future baking endeavors.  

I also saved some for current baking endeavors.  I made Steph's zucchini baked oatmeal for breakfast yesterday.

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I doubled the recipe and it was very difficult to stop at half.  Make it now.

And these flour-less zucchini brownies are baking in oven right now.  

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Ina slept from 8:30 until 4, which hasn't happened in months, and I couldn't go back to sleep after I fed her.  So I decided to make brownies instead.  Not weird at all. 

Other zucchini recipes that I like: 

Whole wheat zucchini muffins

Zucchini Pineapple Cake

Stuffed Zucchini (just used zucchini instead of pattypan squash)

Quinoa, cheese, and zucchini bake (just add shredded zucchini to the recipe)

Healthy cheesy baked egg tart with tomato and zucchini

Chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini boats

Zucchini Squares

I also love to roast it with olive oil, garlic salt, and parm cheese or add slices to kabobs.  

Other recipes I haven't tried but look good: 

Zucchini Pizza Crust

Healthy Baked Zucchini Sticks

How about you?  Any zucchini recipes you would like to share?  I am sure I will get a new load in my next CSA box.  

A Dan update - he is doing a great job recovering.  He can't put his full weight on his leg yet, so PT is dealyed until then.  Ina has taken it upon herself to make sure he is staying active though.

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Have a good day!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On Days I Don't Run

Ina and I snuck out of the house yesterday morning for a glorious 3.5 mile run.  It had been almost a week since I had run and my body could tell.  

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My body could tell during the run, because it was extra tired.

But, my body could also tell all those days that I didn't run.  On days I don't run I feel dirty.  I seriously feel the toxins building up inside of me and the only way to get rid of them is sweat them out.  

On days I don't run, I hate taking a shower.  For some reason, I don't feel like I "deserve" a shower unless I have some salty-sweatiness to clean off. 

On days I don't run, I feel this antsiness creep up in my stomach.

I days I don't run, I loathe other runners.  On my drive to work I want to yell, "stop showing off," or "aren't you special."  (This is quite the opposite on days I do run - when I see other runners I actually do roll my window down and cheer them on.)

On days I don't run I don't deal with stress well, and there is an exponential relationship between my ability to deal with stress and the number of off days I have.  

ATDWS = 20-10^DIHR

(ATDWS - ability to deal with stress; DIHR - days I haven't ran; 10 = baseline)

When life gets super busy, it is really easy to put exercise on the back burner. However, what I need to keep telling myself is that if I run I am able to deal with the super business so much easier.  

Whew, glad I got that off my chest. 

Anyone else feel the same way?

I also wanted to share my breakfast yesterday because it was pretty good - 

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Sriracha-egg-cheese-corn tortillas (idea from here) with blueberries, which are Ina's new favorite food.  We buy them by the pound from Aldi and can only keep them in the house for a few days.

My mom brought over dinner last night which was really sweet of her.  How did we get so blessed?

Have a good day!

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