Monday, November 11, 2013

"Skinny" Shepards Pie

I have a few basic things that I keep in mind when I'm planning meals for my family each week.  Shepards Pie has always been one of them.  It's pretty easy to make and usually a crowd pleaser.  So, when I wanted to lighten it up a little bit, I applied one of my very basic rules, and I bulked it up with veggies.  It may not be recognizable as one of your good old comfort foods, but I can say that the first time my "meat and potatoes" husband ate it, he was pretty happy.  He did say that it didn't have enough meat in it, so I added 50% more, and the calorie count is still pretty impressive.  

"Skinny" Shepards Pie

6 medium sweet potatoes (or 3 cups)
2 cans no salt added cut green beans
1 can no salt added corn 
1 c. canned creamed corn
1.5 lb 90% lean ground beef
1/2 cup 1% milk

Peel and cube sweet potatoes.  Then boil and mash with milk.  Meanwhile, brown and drain the ground beef.  Set your oven at 375.  In a 9"x9" glass or metal baking dish spread the beef on the bottom.  In a seperate bowl mix together corn and creamed corn.  Spread that mixture on top of the beef.  Drain the green beans well and then scatter them on top of the corn.  Lastly, spread the mashed sweet potatoes on top of the green beans.  Put the casserole in the oven for about 30 minutes to heat it through.

This makes 6 servings at 331 calories each.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weight Loss and Portion Control

In my experience, one of the major components to weight loss is portion control.  I've always known this, just seldom choose to care.  Right now I care, big time.  Since I am tracking all of my calories, it's important to pay attention to these things.  I've mentioned that we have always eaten pretty healthy food.  For instance tonight I'm making my family pasta and meatballs.  I am using frozen meatballs, which I would prefer not to do, but it's a big time saver for me, and whole grain pasta.  You might be surprised to know that a serving of whole grain pasta is 2 ounces.  It looks like this:

If you are like me, your heart might have just sank a little.  The first time I actually measured a serving of pasta was within the last 3 months.  It looks pretty sad doesn't it?  So, you might be wondering how to make this work.  Here is how I do it for myself and for my boys also.  

This is a serving of whole grain rotini, a serving and a half of broccoli, 4 mini Italian meatballs, and 1/4 cup of marinara sauce.  Oh, and a little bit of Parmesan cheese too.  I didn't put all of the cheese on so the photo would look better, but you better believe I will be adding some more before digging into my dinner. So total calories for me here is 440.  If you are weary of the broccoli paired with marinara sauce, just try it! 

To be clear I don't measure and weigh my kids food but I sure do for my own, and it's working wonders.  It takes all the guess work out of portion sizes really.  I recently invested in a digital food scale and I'm in love.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hi!  Happy Monday.  
Here I am yesterday after my run.  

My mother in law took Evan Saturday night, and since Mike went fishing first thing in the morning, I got to do one of my favorite things.  I took the twins for a jog with me in their stroller.  It's an ass kicker of a workout and I feel ah-mazing afterwards.  If I plan it right the munchkins will fall asleep for me.

Well, I believe they were both asleep, but Noah woke up when we got home.  Tobey screamed for a few minutes about half way in, so I gave him my towel and then he fell asleep.  He's a bit of a momma's boy.  

Noah was just all smiles, so I had some fun taking adorable pictures of him.

And a baby-mama selfie.

When we got home, I decided it was a good idea to also do the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred (on level 2).  My mother in law was making me dinner since my 31st birthday was last Monday.  Since I knew I was having a splurge, I figured I should earn it!  

So, I kicked my butt, napped with babies, painted my nails, then had dinner. A few other things in there not worth mentioning I'm sure.

At about 10 minutes of 8 I asked Mike what time it was.  This was because I feel bad if I go to bed before 8.  Turns out I didn't feel that bad about it.  Evan and Noah were snug in their beds, and my needy munchkin Tobey was with me.  Does it make it better if I was up at 5??

On another note, I decided I'll be posting my daily workout stats, and occasional meal stuff on my Facebook page, so check it out if you are interested.  
I'll post anything worth writing more than a few sentences about right here!  

Friday, October 25, 2013

So I mentioned yesterday that I had lost 27 pounds in the last 9+ weeks.  I'm pretty happy with that.  Even with great success, sometimes there is doubt.  My total weight loss goal was/is 66 pounds in total and I guess if I think of it that way, I'm almost half way there.  39 pounds to go.  I have also set myself smaller goals, so that I can feel the glory of achievement along the way, to help me keep going.  So far I have reached two of those goals.  The next is a weight benchmark that I want to get to by the twins first birthday (November 19).  To reach that goal I will need to lose 9 more pounds.  I haven't set a date deadline yet and I'm not sure if I will get there by then, but I know I will get there.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Getting Started

I've been working on my weight loss back-story for at least a week now.  I knew I wanted to share some info and recipes so I wanted to discuss why you would possibly give a crap what I have to say about any of it.  It's taking me too long and I just want to get started.  The bottom line is this:  I decided to take my weight loss and getting more fit seriously as of August 19, 2013 (the day my twin boys just so happened to turn 9 months old).  It's been just over 9 weeks and I have lost 27 pounds.  

I am no expert, but it seems to me that I am doing something that is working, at least for me.  If I can share a little of that, and it works for you too, that's fantastic.  I set a date and I just did it.  So here's to getting started.  

First of all my family eats pretty healthy.  We always have.  You know, whole grains, lean proteins (mostly), and lots of fruits and veggies.  My big problem, I learned, was/is portion control.  Especially after the boys were born.  I was a huge snacker and I would just grab the whole container of whatever I was eating and have at it, not paying attention to what a serving size was at all.  So I would grab a healthy snack like nuts, but eat way too much of it.  You will be pretty shocked if and when you do start paying attention to the serving size of certain things.  I'm currently using "Myfitnesspal", mostly on my phone.  It's super easy and helps me keep track of my nutrition.  

So, anyway more on this story and whatnot later.  

Here is a little about what we had for breakfast today.  Do you like oatmeal? 

 Me, not so much, BLAH, however I can fix it so that I do like it.  And the kids like it too.  So, I buy the little packets that you mix with water and microwave.  Low sugar and fat for me, regular for the kids.  And we spice it up.  For the munchkins I make the oatmeal, and mix it with applesauce, this is awesome for a few reasons, one of which is that it cools the oatmeal down to mix it with the room temperature applesauce, so they can eat it right away.  For me, I cut up a whole apple and add 2 Tablespoons of low sugar Craisins.

This adds texture which is super important to me, and lots of yumminess.  It's quick and easy to make and using my ingredients clocks in at 290 calories.  Not such a bad start to the day, especially on a chilly autumn morning like we have today. 

The audience approves! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Goings on

Some busy times are ahead.  It's October 16th, in five days I celebrate my 31st birthday.  By celebrate I really just mean I turn 31, I don't believe there is much celebrating to be done this year, not for any reason other than it's the first year we have three kids birthdays to pay for.  Speaking of which.  Noah and Tobey are turning a year old on November 19th.  It's been quite a year.  I have not documented it much at all, darn me!  I think about blog posts in my head all the time and never get to my computer to put them down.  
Up next, Evan turns three December 21st.  And four days behind that is Christmas.  Oh and I guess I forgot about Halloween and Thanksgiving somewhere in there.  It's going to be kind of nuts, and I'm going to love it.  I seem to thrive well in times like these.  

So, what's been going on?  I put my business on hold for a while.  There are two main reasons for this.  I was putting too much focus on it, and it was taking away from my kids.  I was working when they napped and when they went to bed and I was exhausted.  Reason 2:  I had twins last year and really needed to focus on getting my weight under control, and my body back.  It's been a few months, and while I miss the feeling like I was contributing, I don't regret it at all.  I know that I am crazy lucky to be at home with my kids just like I wanted, and I'm taking it all in as much as I can.  AND now that I am focusing on my fitness, I have lost 24 pounds in just under 2 months.  There's nothing like success to motivate you.  

Other than that, Mike started going to college, something I didn't much expect to happen.  He's taking two classes and doing well at it.  It's going to be a long haul, for us both, but totally worth it in the end. 

I hope I can bring my ass to this chair far more frequently, I miss it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good Days

This past Monday I had a special day.  It was the first day in a really long time that I felt like I had my shit together.  Things just fell into place and it was amazing.  These days I am normally fumbling every step of the way.  Tired most of the time and merely pondering (and looking at) all that I have to get done, as I just don't have time to do it.  The boys were all in good spirits for the most part and all napped simultaneously so that I was able to get a little bit of work done, and two rush orders out.  We even walked down to a park that is close by and I didn't panic at all.  Evan walked by himself and the babies were in their stroller.  It was awesome.

I've said it before and I'm sure I will continue to say if for a lot of time to come, but this world is just not made for my family, not as we are now anyway.  It's a struggle to do just about anything.  I get it, it shouldn't be made for us, not a whole lot of people have a two year old and two babies, but it still makes me sad how limited we are.

The last two days a good friend accompanied us first to a great park and walking trail, and then today to an indoor playground.  I wish I could go do these things every day.  Evan would love it, and that's what makes me happy.  But I am so grateful for these past few days where things have gone right, and I have felt at least a little normal.

As I write, the boys are all sleeping soundly, and I should be working.  I am working, just taking a break I guess, to check in, and remember these good days.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Yogurt Bomb

I started the day thinking I was going to write about changing diapers.  As you can imagine with three in diapers it seems endless sometimes.  I lost count at ten around noon. I'll get back to that later, because what became more important to me was that I share with you a public service announcement straight from my house to yours.  

If you have a toddler, don't give him a yogurt tube and then leave the room to bathe his sibling. 

I almost wish I had been able to see what the F he did in there while I was gone.  It must have been pretty interesting. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hand Towel

I thought it might be fun to share the fact that, somehow, despite doing what feels like 72,324 loads of laundry per week, I had the displeasure of drying myself off post shower today with a hand towel.  Now, I'm not talking about a small bath towel.  I'm talking a legit towel that is too small to dry off my babies with.  It was probably the first time in months that I didn't set my towel out for myself before getting into the shower, and I paid for it dearly.  When I opened up the linen closet, there it was, and empty shelf where the larger towels should be.

Most of the time, it's a real luxury to have a relaxing shower these days.  Kids will do that to you.  The shower in itself wasn't too bad, however, I should also note that it was 5:30 in the morning.  Since the babies had their 4 month check up with the pediatrician at 9:00 I wanted to make sure I got a shower in before everyone woke up.  

That brings me to another thing that is strange to me since I became a parent.  Time.  Pre-parenthood, I thought any person who did anything before 9:00 am was ridiculous.  But, when you wake up at 4:30 in the morning most days, 9:00 seems pretty late. I also have no problem going to bed at 8:30.  No problem at all.  Most of the time it's just not possible, but I would do it much more if I could.  

Anyway, the towels are washed now, sitting in a basket in my dining room, but washed.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Back at it...

Ugh, I just looked back and have seen that it's been way long since I've written.  October of last year.  Maybe I didn't think it was so long because I am constantly writing in my head.  Things happen and I'm like, yeah I should write a post about that....
Clearly it hasn't happened in many months.
I guess I sort of have to start over with this whole blog in a sense, because I'm a totally (well a lot anyway) different person since I first began writing.

Noah and me

I am now a mother of THREE children.  The twins arrived November 19.  They are now four months old, as of yesterday.  Unbelievable still that I have twins, that I have three children, that I have any children or a husband.

Noah, Evan, and Tobey

This is my real life.  I now stay home with the kids.  I love it a lot of the time.  I hate it sometimes too.  As you might imagine, three small children can really bring it in the crying department.  When the three of them are going at the same time, you better believe the stress level is high.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I feel like I missed so much in the beginning of Evan's life while he was in daycare.
My days are filled with diaper changes, and feeding the kids, and laundry, and cleaning (well sometimes).  My nights are often filled with work.  My business is doing quite well.  I reopened my shop after maternity leave on January 2, and it's kept me very busy.  I never thought I would love what I do, but I really love it.  I am often up until way later than I would like to be, sewing away, but I still love it.
I would love to make a conscious effort to write about these days that are going by so quickly.  We'll see how it goes I guess...


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