Day 2

CaptureI am so proud and excited about the following awesome things:

  1. I got up BEFORE 6 am and pressed play by 6:10 AM and finished by workout by 6:42 AM
  2. I was not as sore as I was after starting my last 21 day program…but still sore enough to know that I worked really hard (Todd has a very different perspective on his soreness…he’s not happy about it)
  3. I had time to do some of the morning farm chores (Fed Harris and put him back in his daytime area, let out all 70 chickens and 2 goats and fed all of them)
  4. I fit into a new size of jeans today!!  That’s FOUR sizes down!  But who’s counting? I AM! I am totally counting!!

So yeah, day 2 has been amazing!

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Chicken Fajita Wraps

I made these chicken fajita wraps and had some pretty low expectations. I mean really, a taco without the crunchy, salty goodness of a shell?! I also assumed I’d be starting 4 minutes after finishing them. Here’s how they actually turned out. But first, how I made them:

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Lettuce that makes ‘cups’
  • peppers (any colors)
  • Taco seasoning
  • (optional: leftover shredded cabbage from mason jar Asian salads)
  • Salsa
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Shredded cheese

Chicken: bake thinish (we get the HUGE breasts and slice them in half  to make two thinner pieces) chicken breast at 375 degrees for 25 min. I just season with salt & pepper for baking. Then I slice thinly and dice it all up. Then I dump in a bunch of taco seasoning (“to taste”)

Peppers (and optional cabbage): Saute sliced peppers and I added the leftover shredded cabbage (Todd’s idea!) in some coconut oil (or olive oil) with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until soft and browned to your liking.

Assembly: 

  1. Scoop seasoned chicken into lettuce cup
  2. Add pepper mix on top
  3. Dollop on salsa
  4. Dollop on Greek yogurt
  5. Sprinkle on some cheese if you’re feeling fancy!

The verdict??  DELICIOUS!!  They tasted amazing and I was actually FULL after eating them. My plate is the bottom left.  The kids INHALED them!  Callister, my SUPER picky eater ate them so fast that he was finished before I even got to sit down!!

Day 1

Today is day 1 of my next 21 day program. This time Todd and Thatcher (he’s 8!) are doing it with me which is super exciting! I got our meals for the week planned out yesterday and have my shopping list ready to roll for later today. We also got our workout done before 8:30 am. On a Sunday!

Post workout group selfie

It felt great to get back to working out after a few days off!! I think the workout took Todd by surprise…he nearly vomited! One of the things I LOVE about he workouts is that they can be as hard as you can push yourself. There are always modifications. I’m thinking Todd may modify more for the next ones.

Who else wants to join me??

Meal Planing & Prep

Let’s be real for a minute. Being a parent is HARD. It’s hard if you stay home. It’s hard if you work outside the home. It’s hard if you have 1. It’s hard if you have 4 (or more!). It’s just hard. And incredibly rewarding and amazing…and frustrating and maddening. Sometimes all at the same time!

One thing that I struggle with is feeding everyone. Seriously, just the basics can be really, really hard. About once per week I would go to the store and load the cart with good intentions.  From there, I look at it and make plans in my head. Then I  get home too late, or the kids are cranky, or I’m just tired. Then I watch all the good, healthy food go bad until I eventually feed it to the chickens or throw it away. Meanwhile, we pop in a frozen pizza or make PB&J and call it good.

The thing that has saved us is some super basic meal planning and weekly prep. Here are the steps I go through:

  • OPTION 1: Choose your meats, plus 1-2 veggies (+ rice, barley, quinoa, pasta, etc. if you do carbs).
  • OPTION 2: If you’re feeling fancy! I start by browsing recipe books, my old Blue Apron recipe cards, or online for ideas based on my current food mood. Then I make a list of all dinners I want to make and make a list of ingredients I need to buy
    1. It’s KEY to have a least a few super quick dinners to fix – like breakfast for dinner or spaghetti. Because…life happens
  • I keep breakfast simple – cereal, pancakes (frozen), or eggs for the kids. (I just have a protein shake so that’s super easy!).
  • I assume 3-4 lunches will be leftovers and I make really simple lunches to fill in the blanks. Sandwiches, quesadillas, etc.
    1. My lunches are always mason jar salads – quick, easy, versatile, and they keep all week!
  • To my list I add snack options. I eat what we have in the house so I try to pick things that would still be healthy for me. String cheese, apples, berries (blueberries are in season – go pick some for way cheaper than a store!), pretzels, etc.

mealsThe biggest thing I’ve found to be super helpful is to, when I get home from the store, start prepping things. Or do it at nap time or after bedtime! You can use Tupperware or just Ziplock baggies. I will wash and chop all my veggies so they’re easy to add to salads or throw in a pan for dinner. I do the same with fruit so it’s cut and ready to snack on. The kids love strawberries, but you need to wash them and cut the tops off. Possibly cut them up too. It’s easier to reach for junk in the name of time when you’ve got a hangry little one. This solves that one little thing…and sometimes the little things make all the difference.

I’ll portion out big packs of chicken (or other meat) into the amount I’ll cook for a meal (bonus points if you toss in a marinade!). If there is a sale I’ll stock up and freeze meal size portions for later. While it takes me about an hour to do this for a family of 6, it saves loads of time by not needing to prep when making meals or getting kids quick snacks. I make my weekly mason jar salads at this time too.

I feel like this relatively small amount of prep both saves up time and money (food is being eaten and not going bad!).  Speaking on money, if you haven’t discovered Aldi yet, get thee to a store!  I can easily feed our family of 6 all 3 meals plus snacks for a whole week for $90-150 (depending if I’m also buying things like toilet paper).  so let’s do the math there.  2 people eat 2 meals per day (28 meals per week) and 4 eat 3 meals per day (84 meals per week). Todd and I do shakes for breakfast. That’s 112 meals per week – YOWZA!  At the top end, that’s $1.34/meal – hooray for Aldi! Add our shakes and it bumps to $1.78/meal. Still awesome!

21 Day Fix – RESULTS!!

 

I finished my first 21 Day Fix and it was amazing. I’m going to start a challenge group to start a new program very soon – I want YOU to be a part of it with me!!

Here are my results:

  • Lost 10 Pounds! (60 Pounds lost since January 1!!)
  • Lost 15.5 Inches! (55.5 Inches lost since January 1!!)
  • Gained strength and flexibility
  • Gained new healthy eating and working our habits
  • Cut my coffee consumption by more than half due to increased energy from my workouts, shakes, and healthy foods
  • Replaced my morning coffee with my superfoods packed Shakeology…and stay full until lunch!
  • Got my kids involved in weekend workouts – they love yoga especially (Elara thinks it is ballet)
  • Learned that I CAN make time for workouts and meal prepping because I AM a priority

I am so excited and energized by my results! I’ve been a very active person most of my life until about baby #2 so this has helped me start feeling like myself again. I was a ballerina for 14 years, rowed crew for 4, was an aerobics queen, then discovered triathlons. I did a whole lot else in between that, but those have been thing things I’ve been most passionate about.

One day, I’d like to get back into tri shape and complete a full Ironman.  I have completed a half ironman while I was training for a full, but then I broke both of my feet and had drop it.  Once I was back at it, I got pregnant with Thatcher before I could complete it.  One day…maybe. It’s a goal. It’s good to have goals and stay motivated!

Right now though, I’m going to take about a week and just have fun trying whatever different workouts suit my fancy, then dive into another program. More to come on that!

Thanks for all of your support!  Your comments and message of encouragement are really what keep me going!

Kofta Kebabs with Pita Bread, Tahini & Tzatziki Sauces

kofta kebab mealThis recipe was a HUGE hit at our house! All of the kids devoured them both night one and for leftovers (I tend to cook with leftovers in mind). We had them with homemade pita bread, roasted veggies, and both tahini sauce and tzatziki sauces.

Kofta Kebabs:

  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground lamb (or beef, or a mix)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp grated onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Mash garlic and salt into a paste with a mortar & pestle or the fat side of a knife. Mix everything together and form into meatballs. We refrigerated overnight to let the flavors blend, but 30 minutes would do the trick too. Soak wood skewers for 30 min then form the meatballs around them and flatten into ovals along the skewer. We ended up cooking on a grill pan inside because it rained…but if you can grill them, do it. About 3 min per side. (for my roasted veggies we used cauliflower, golden beets, red onion and carrots and sprinkled with all the seasonings above plus olive oil and roasted for about 25 min at 450)

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Blend it all up in a little food processor. Make a double recipe – this is soooo yummy! Add the water to get it to the consistency you like. Garnish with olive oil and any or all of teh spices used.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 large grated cucumber
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste
  • About 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • chopped parsley, mint, and dill to taste

Peel and grate the cucumber and squeeze out as much water as you can. Put it in a colander and sprinkle with salt to extract a little more water. Mix the rest of the ingredients then add drained cucumber. Use straight away or refrigerate and let all the flavors marry up overnight.

We had all of the above with THIS awesome pita bread recipe.

I’m Getting Stronger!

This is my last week of my 21 Day Fix program. Today is day 18. My workouts this week have been amazing! I am modifying the exercises much less and there are things I thought I could never do that I can do now! I honestly didn’t think I’d see the kind of gains in strength I have in just over two weeks! So awesome!!

It’s also getting easier to ‘find’ the time to workout. It’s a top priority and non-negotiable! I even did two workouts in one day 🙂 I used to do that on most days and it felt great to feel a little like my old self.