Friday, September 30, 2016

Harry Potter Birthday Party

So Maggie turned 11. Not quite sure how we got here so quickly, but here we are. As we were talking about what she wanted to do for her birthday this year, she decided this would be the perfect year for a Harry Potter party, as she turned 11, just like Harry did in the first book. We looked through Pinterest for ideas and came up with:

The invitations: A letter from Minerva McGonagall inviting her friends to a preview session of Hogwarts where they would make wands, have a feast and watch a "documentary" about Hogwarts.

Wand Shopping: They made wands using yarn, hot glue, pony beads and their imaginations. We then painted them brown.

The feast included Butterbeer (the girls were not fans), Quiddich (shepherd's) pie and baskalisk bones (spaghetti) and pumpkin pasties. The cake was red velvet and decorated like Hagrid decorated Harry's first cake! After the feast, they watched Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone.

Overall, it was a successful party. Maggie & her friends had a great time and Maggie ranks it in her to 10 birthdays!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

#21DayFix Day something ...

I haven't exactly kept up on this. I've been following the guidelines (kinda) and attempting to track, but football season is in full swing and you have to have Buffalo Wings during the first game of the season. The tracking app I use doesn't allow you to "skip" a day and pick up again; well, it does but not easily. You can restart, but I don't like a restart, I prefer to pick up where I left off.

I've got a couple of other areas to keep me accountable though. My "workout boss" (as Jessie calls her) Anjali got my into the BeachBody Health Bet: minimum of 3 workouts & 5 Shakes each week. Easy peasy. 

Rocky and I are also tracking our fruits & veggies for the wellness program thru SDSU.

Again, my goal here is to make better choices. So supper tonight had 2 veggie choices: peas and broccoli to go with shrimp and wild rice (Jessie's favorite). And a glass of wine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

#21DayFix Day 3

I think the hardest part of the 21 day fix is figuring out when to have my carbs. I only get 2 (TWO). And wine counts as a carb so if I want to have A glass (4 ounces), then that really limits what I can have. My ideal meal would be bread, cheese and wine. So I have to get creative.

This was tonight's supper: salmon, brown rice, broccoli, & a stuffed red pepper (spinach, cottage cheese, mozzarella, & bacon). This is 2 veggies, 1 carb, 1.5 protein, with 2 tbsp of oil. I'm still working on portion control -- the salmon filet is hard as it doesn't fit neatly into the red box! I did a little bit of guessing. I tend to be better on using the containers with lunch as it makes it easier to put it in my lunchbox!

This "diet" -- it's not really a diet but a life style choice, learning how to make better food choices and what a serving is. This is a good match for me because of its flexibility. Very little is off limits. If I wanted to have bread, cheese and wine, I could. Now an entire loaf, with 8 oz of cheese and 2 glasses of wine would be too much -- as it should! Again this is about portion control. A healthy diet includes a wide variety of food and lots of fruits & veggies. And that's something that my diet, my food choices typically lack. This has challenged me to look for more fruits, bringing more fresh and frozen fruits and veggies into the house -- we won't eat what isn't here!

I am enjoying the challenge and seeing my diet improve. I'm excited to see where this round takes me!

Monday, September 5, 2016

#21DayFix Round 2

I didn't quite make it through my first 21 day fix. The last week of the fix, we were in Minneapolis and, while I did attempt to stick to it, it is really hard to track your food when you are eating out. You can't control exactly what is put on the plate and forget about portion control (still have that "clean your plate" mentality sometimes and sometimes, man, it was too good to waste!) I stayed away from too many fried foods, but probably drank more pop in those few days than I did the rest of the summer! 

Even so, I would call my first venture a success: 11 inches and 5 pounds gone! It works -- who would have thought that adding more fruits & veggies into your diet and controlling carbs and fats would help you lose weight? Shocking I know. I definitely do not have a knowledge problem when it comes to weight loss: I have an execution problem!

When my coach (or my "workout boss" as Jessie calls her) invited me to participate in the BeachBody Health Bet, I knew this would be another great opportunity to try the 21 Day Fix. The Health Bet is focused on tracking Shakeology & workouts, but I decided I need to continue to challenge myself to execute my nutrition knowledge!

I'm going to blog about this as well to hold myself accountable and hopefully remind myself of the recipes I've enjoyed.

My Shakeology today was Cafe Latte, almond milk, salted caramel syrup, pumpkin purée and pumpkin spice. We got some sugar pumpkins from Rocky's brother, so I roasted them and made some purée. (Later, Maggie & I are going to practice making pumpkin pasties). The shakeo was delicious but next time I'm definitely adding some graham crackers!

Still trying to decide what's for lunch today -- work days are much easier to stick to the plan than lazy stay home days!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

#Bod4God Back for More #21DF

Since completing the Bod4God program, I've done pretty good keeping up on the exercise portion of what I learned. My choices have changed and I have really felt growth in Piyo, which is definitely my continued workout of choice. I love that I work up a sweat, my heart rate goes up yet I don't have the jarring affect that the high impact exercises have on my joints (jeez how old am I?). Piyo has made me stronger than I ever thought. Strong enough I felt confident to participate in the Brookings marathon relay with a group from work. I had a 3 mile leg and did it in a little over 11 minutes/mile.

I have not done as well with the nutrition side. I struggle with portion control, and of course, my beloved bread, cheese and wine! Anjali has been a great coach encouraging me to take a variety of challenges, designed not only to challenge me, but also teach me something. I did a 5 day Shakeology challenge and discovered that I really do like that stuff -- with almond milk & a coffee syrup (salted caramel & s'mores are my favorite). Also discovered the girls like them so it may become a regular rotation for their breakfast.

And now I'm on the 21 Day Fix which is all about portion control. The program comes with these handy-dandy containers to help you get the right portion for each type of food: vegetables, fruit, carbs, protein, healthy fat, nuts or dressing. The program also allows for some cookie "fats" or other flavoring a in teaspoon increments.  And of course, as much water as you can possible drink
This was my lunch the other day. It took me quite a while to finish it all!! I'm simply not used to eating so many fruits and veggies!! While I haven't really craved sweets, I do find myself wanting more cheese (healthy fats) as I'm only allotted one portion of healthy fats each day.

I just finished the first week. I haven't weighed myself or taken any new measurements but I've enjoyed the challenge. We ordered in pizza last night,so I had to find a way to get some fruits & veggies. Fortunately, I picked up a bunch of frozen fruits and had bought some fresh kale -- kale chips where have you been all my life?!?

I'm really not looking to lose weight or inches. I'm hoping to come away from this having become more mindful about what I eat.

Friday, July 29, 2016


I am a feminist. I believe in equal and equitable treatment for all people. So last night was HUGE. Really really huge.

My girls were/are SO excited. They are very big Hillary fans. And I encourage it. This election is bigger than who will be president of the United States. This is about that glass ceiling. No longer is the idea that a woman could be president theoretical. Much like the election in 2008 was about the idea that a black man could be president, this election is about that same thing. Love her or hate her, Hillary is finally that woman who broke through, brought the ceiling crashing down. 

We watched her speech outside on the big screen. Maggie was disinterested until Hillary began speaking (Sorry Chelsea), but once Hillary began, she watched with rapt attention. I could tell Maggie was really listening. She was commenting and got into the chanting -- raising her fist and saying "Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!" She understands how important this is. She knows it is important for us to actually SAY Girls are just as good as Boys and that it is ridiculous that we have to say it. Everyone deserves a seat at the table.

"Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights." Hillary Clinton. 

And so last night, we set up the inflatable screen, the projector and sat out under the stars to watch Hillary Clinton become the first woman in the United States to accept a major party's nomination (and for all those who want to argue about other female candidates - yes, they were candidates, but they were not from a major party and let's not get into their actual chances). I am voting for Hillary, because a vote for Hillary is a vote for both of my daughters.