Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Family Time

 Caleb is definitely my water baby. 
I started bringing him to the marina when he was just two weeks old. 
He's always had a fascination with boating and now he's at an age he can really enjoy it. 


He's brave as long as his sister is in the water! 



I taught myself to swim by using a life jacket when I was a kid. 
I know that this will help Caleb along too. 
He's learning how to maneuver more this way. 






Ryan's parents brought dinner and went out on the boat with us for the first time. 


Bryce is content fishing. I've never seen anyone so patient with it.
I just love it! Maybe we have a future pro in the family? 


By far my favorite picture of the evening. 

Clean Eating Meal Plan #3


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Ryan and Caleb drink a lot of milk, so I stocked up this week. 


We all love snacking on frozen fruit pieces at night. 
I absolutely love frozen mango! 
It's better than any sugar filled dessert to me. 



When I'm looking at tortillas, breads, bagels, and flatbread, I watch for the "Made with 100% Whole Wheat". I use the flatbread for lunches and it's really good. 


We eat a lot of spinach and I love it fresh and frozen. 

The bags of frozen chicken have quite a bit in them. I think they are a great deal for the money and they always taste fresh. One bag feeds all five of us easily. 



I'm going to try to address some of the questions I've gotten on the whole eating clean thing....

1. I will make a copy of my receipts at Aldi so you can see them. Yes, I was going to share this week's receipt with you but unfortunately I cannot. My oh so dear husband literally threw my receipt away before we ever got the groceries put away. I asked him where it was and he looked at me like I was crazy. He apologizes to each and every reader today. So on his behalf, please forgive him for interfering with what we're doing here. He promises not to do this again! Bless his non-blogging heart! 

2. Yes, I am temporarily using paper plates. I like those over styrofoam any day. Yes, I do care about the environment. If you have read my blog for a bit (which you totally should), you would realize that we are typically a family of 3. My two stepchildren have joined us for a few weeks on their summer vacation. Basically, I have gone from 3 to 5 overnight. That means laundry, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of 5 people when I am used to 3. I also work 50+ hours each week while trying to run a household. If I was a stay at home mom and wasn't awake until 11:30 each night trying to keep up with things around the house that I obviously cannot do while I'm working plus blogging around here in the evenings, I would absolutely wash all of the dishes from those 5 people instead of using paper plates. Seeing as though I'm more focused on feeding my family properly, the environment will have to forgive me for the six weeks they are here. I will return to using dishes as soon as they leave. 

3. I am so proud of all of you that are eating clean as well! Please take the time to share your recipes with me too! I love new dinner ideas and it's tough finding great recipes. 

4. I buy my almond milk at Aldi as well. From what I'm seeing, some of the Aldi stores carry different brands/products. We have two local stores. I will go in one, but I absolutely refuse to go in the other. 

5. As I post these recipes on the blog, I am linking them to the Eat Clean section located at the top of the blog. If you're wanting a recipe, check there for a link to it. 

6. I have been asked how I prep for this whole eating clean thing. Normally, I start out by looking for great dinner ideas on Pinterest. If you search for "eat clean" or "clean eating" there will be tons of ideas out there. I look for ideas that are quick and easy. I save the more complicated recipes for the weekend when I have a little more time to cook. Sometimes I find ideas on Pinterest, but change it up a bit to appeal for our family or fit what I can find at Aldi. 

7. We've got in the habit of eating leftovers for lunch or using whole wheat tortillas with different clean "fillings". We experiment a little and find what we like. I'll eat my salads. We tend to not complicate the lunches! Same with breakfast. We all know what we like and we stick with it. Oatmeal is always my go-to breakfast. Ryan prefers eggs. Our dinners are where we get diverse! 

I did not get the pizza night stuff at Aldi this week. I found a special at Earth Fare for organic pizza supplies and I am going to run over there to grab them. We also eat dinner with Ryan's parents on Sunday so I have left that as our "cheat day". Ryan's mom always makes pretty healthy food anyways, so it doesn't kill my diet anyways! We try to eat 80% clean and it works well for our family. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

She's Got Bling!

Our Chris Craft project is coming along. Now that we are enjoying a summer of boating, we're knocking out some of our projects. 


Ryan finished installing our bow rail and I think it looks great! 


The bow rail was destroyed before we got her so Ryan had to completely make a new one. 


He also removed our Chris Craft emblems, polished them and put them back on. 


Seeing it all come together is so exciting! 
I love that I chose the silver striping now that I see the emblem close to it. 


Just lovin' it! 


And Ryan's got one happy wife! 


Healthy Mexican Casserole

Last week I told you I would share my latest clean eating creation. An almost 4 year old devoured my wheat tortillas, so instead of bringing you the whole Tortilla Casserole we are going to improvise and pretend today. 

I'm going to take you through all of the steps and you can add in the tortillas if you have them, but it's still sooo good without them! 



I started out by cooking my brown rice. I decided to make double the recipe so we could use this in lunches later on in the week. It's wonderful stuffed in a whole wheat tortilla and grilled like a quesadilla. 

I made 6 cups of cooked brown rice. 


Then I browned one pound of ground turkey meat.


My family loves Mexican food and I made enchilada sauce earlier in the week. 

Enchilada Sauce:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp wheat flour
1/4 cup red chili powder
2 cups homemade chicken stock 
1 small pureed tomato
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the flour and chili powder, whisk for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the chicken stock, tomato puree, oregano, and cumin.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Makes 2 1/2 cups.


I poured it over my rice. 

After my turkey was browned, I added two cups of corn and two cups of black beans. 
You can also add some diced onion, but I didn't have any. 

I dumped the mixture into my rice and stirred everything together. 

If you are using whole wheat tortillas, add enchilada sauce to the bottom of your dish. Then add a layer of tortillas. Top with mixture. If I had tortillas, I would have sliced two or three into strips, browned them in the oven with some olive oil brushed on and heated them until they were crispy. They would be perfect on top of this dish. 


I topped with cheese (Watch your ingredients on some cheeses. I use Amish made and they don't have all of the preservatives in them.) and baked my casserole for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. 


My husband ate two large plates full, Caleb had one and a half toddler plates, and my stepchildren ate heaping portions of it. Literally inhaled the entire first dish (I made enough for two large casserole dishes). 



Can you tell it's "clean"? 

Nope, not one little bit. 
The enchilada sauce takes a little time to make, but it's worth the extra effort. 
I used dried beans, plain frozen corn, and brown rice. Just throw it all together and I promise it's worth every bit of effort you put into it! 


If you like extra cheese, add it. Just tweak it to whatever your family likes the most. 


Monday, July 29, 2013

Motivation Monday #12

Last week was our largest link up yet! Twenty-seven people linked up here and I think that's beyond amazing. I love all of the great tips, advice, and progress you all have shared her. It truly inspires me each and every week!
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This link up is great because of my sweet co-hosts, of course! These awesome ladies are doing fabulous, so go cheer them on...


Wendy @ Daily Dose of Del Signore
Veronica @ V Watts' Thoughts
Morgan @ Fat to Fit Confessions
Tiff @ The Fit Train
Katie @ The Carb Monster
Alisha @ Coily Locks

If you link up with us, please share the blog button on your post as well. 
Don't forget to follow the my super sweet co-hosts too! 

The Workout Mama shared her Home Workout Must Haves with us last week. If you're anything like me, I don't have time to go to the gym! She has some great ideas for those of us who workout at home. 
homeworkout
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I've been asked several times what to do first if you're just starting out. 
I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure your body is properly hydrated. 
If you aren't drinking enough water for your body, it will work against you each and every time. 


So, how much water should you be drinking each day? 

Take your body weight and divide it in half. That's how many ounces of water your body needs every day to function properly. 

One of the first signs of dehydration is a feeling of hunger. 
Water also helps our bodies flush toxins and waste out properly. 
It helps our organs operate and when we deprive ourselves of it, our entire body notices it. 

Yes, you will go to the bathroom a lot initially, but I promise your bladder will adjust. 
Give it a try and see if the weight doesn't fall off and if you don't feel ten times better physically and mentally! 

So, here's the fun part....Share what you've got! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Insanity

My first day of doing the 30 Day Shred was interesting...

I decided to go to my regular hour long Zumba class. I absolutely love going, but I swear they tried to kill us this week. They did several fun, face paced songs and I was bouncin' like a bunny. I try my best to take it to my max level because I know I'll get a better workout. By the time I walked out of class my legs were aching, but I was definitely on a Zumba high.

The best way I can explain it is being overly energetic, happy, and feelin' like you can conquer the world since you just survived an intense Zumba class. You get this sense of "I can do anything" and it makes you want to take on the world.

Comes out for 30 minutes every day while doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred.
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While most of us can appreciate that confident feeling, it's not always a good thing.

Not when you've committed yourself to this whole 30 Day Shred thing on top of it.

Yes, Wendy got the bright idea to bound her happy butt home and do the Shred. On top of that, she also invited two stepchildren and a husband to participate.

Why is that not such a good idea???

Oh, about 5 minutes into it I realized that my body was pretty exhausted  but I'm stubborn enough to show off in front of two kids and a husband. Did I quit? Um, not even close. My persistent, pig headed self decided to give it my all and show off.

Good Heavens! I thought I was gonna DIE!

I officially am not BFF's with Jillian Michaels or the two women who stand behind her in the video. And I'm pretty mad that Jillian seems to not be workin' as hard as I am. I mean, she can still talk while doing all that??? I can't utter a word...I'm strugglin' to breathe....I sure ain't talking.

But, I made it through the whole thing and I realized something. A year and a half ago, I did try one day of the 30 Day Shred. It was before I started losing any weight and I couldn't do half of what I did this time. I remember being so disgusted with myself and angry that my fit husband could do everything so easily. So I gave up and did not come back to it until this week.

The things I felt this time were a determination to improve, a sense of completion and accomplishment, and relief that my body could actually do so much more now. Never in a million years did I think I could do an hour and a half of workouts in a day. I've never done that in my entire life.

Day 2 of the 30 Day Shred...DONE!
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Cauliflower Alfredo and Gnocci


Finally Friday, y'all! I have really been looking forward to this weekend for quite a while now. I can't wait to share everything with you....but for now I'm going to share my latest healthy dinner creation!

I'm sure if you're a Pinterest addict like I am, you've seen the cauliflower alfredo sauce recipe. I definitely wanted to give it a try, but I wanted to clean it up a bit as well.


I took a head of cauliflower and broke it into pieces. After washing it well, I added water and cooked it in the microwave on High for 15 minutes. I just cooked it until it was tender. While my cauliflower was cooking, I drizzled a little olive oil in a pan and sauteed 10 cloves of garlic that I diced.

I transferred the garlic and then the cauliflower into my food processor. I pureed it and added a little bit of almond milk until it had the consistency of a sauce. Then I added some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I love Parmesan, so I put about a half a cup in. I put it back into the pan and warmed it with some freshly chopped parsley.


I served the kids the "sauce" over whole wheat pasta. I fixed whole wheat gnocci for myself and my husband.

It was absolutely worth the extra effort! It tasted exactly like Alfredo sauce and all of the kids loved it. It was like fancy mac and cheese to Caleb. And none of them knew that they were eating cauliflower! I think it was much more filling than regular Alfredo sauce since it was packed with veggies.

The sauce contains 137 calories per serving and it is sooo good! This would be great with salmon on top, but we used some of our leftover turkey. It was delicious!



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