Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fitting In Fitness #Dishthefit Link-Up

Good morning!! 

Guess what today is?!

It's Tuesday and it's time to #dishthefit with Jessica @ TheFitSwitch and Nicole @ Thefitpepper!

Today's topic: How do you fit in fitness? 

When you're a stay at home mom it can be quite difficult to get in a good workout. Some may think, "no way, sahm's have so much time on their hands." When in all reality we don't. Not for ourselves anyway.

Now that both of our kids are in school, I have about 7 hours to get in my workout. Oh how hard my life is!

So for all you newbies out there, struggling to fit in fitness while staying home with the kidlets, I put together a list of how SAHM's can fit in a workout in between diapers and feedings.

Here we go!

*Nap time! Using the time your little one goes down for a nap is THE BEST time to get 'er done! I used to make sure I had enough time to shower before Kate woke up so I didn't have to let her play in the bathroom while I showered. Not my shining, parenting moment but it worked at the time.

*If you have older kids that don't take naps on a regular schedule, set aside a special activity they get to do when mommy works out. Special crayons, markers, play dough, stickers..the list goes on. Whatever you have to label as "special" and will keep them occupied for 30-45 minutes will be gold! Eventually you may have to switch things up but it should work for the first week at least.

*Use electronics. Gasp! I said electronics! Kate used to love playing on ABC Mouse while I got my workout in. She was happy and she was learning. We've always had a time limit on games in our house. I hate when I see kids looking like zombies, glued to tablets and gameboys. Oh wait, kids don't play with gameboys anymore do they?
Anyway, since we set limits, it makes their game time precious to them. It didn't always work out how I planned, but most of the time, Kate played nicely and I got in my time with Jillian.

*Use what you have! You don't need anything fancy to get a good workout in! Especially now-a-days! Hello Google!  The only thing you'll probably need is an open space. These days, it's all about using your body as resistance. I.E. pushups, squats, lunges, yoga...

*If all else fails, recruit daddy when he gets home from work. I always made sure the fam was well fed and happy, then headed to the garage to get my sweat on. Every now and then the kids would end up in the garage, staring at me... awkward! I'd ask, where's dad? They'd say, I don't know. We wanna watch you. Haha! Little did I know that would be a good thing for them to see me living an active life!

*Include the kids! Pile them into the stroller and go out for a walk. Let one ride a bike or scooter. If you don't live someplace where it's safe to walk, load up the car, drive to a park or just into town and get your walk on there. I started running a couple years around a park, while my husband watched the kids at the park. It was a half mile loop so I'd go around a few times while they played.

 I think I had more successful workouts when I included them in being active. Soon my husband started running so we all went to the high school track. That was the best idea ever! We could run while they played on the field or in the sand box...I mean the long jump. :-)

*Look into joining the gym. If day care is included and you're ok with leaving your kids there for an hour or so, go for it! It sort of takes the brain work out of fitting in fitness and there's so much to choose from! AND your kids aren't far away! You can check on them whenever you want and you're available if the staff needs you. If your kids are a bit older, like mine, most gyms will let you take them swimming with you as long as there isn't a class going on. My kids loved doing laps with me!
Please don't get us kicked out!

What are some other ways you can fit some fitness into your life?? 

Stick around and dish some fit with the fitfam! After you're finished here, head on over to Jessica or Nicole's blog and see what everyone else is dishing up today! 

Happy Tuesday everyone!! Make it a great one!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Benefits of Waking Up Early

I enjoy waking up early. Scratch that, I LOVE waking up early. I'm one of those people who most non morning people want to slap and tell them to go back to bed. There's something about the stillness of the morning. Seeing the sun rise is such a relaxing way to wake up. 

Get this: I actually look forward to my alarm going off at 5:30 am. Pretty sick and twisted eh? 

If I wasn't so afraid of coyotes and other wildlife like mountain lions that have moved down into the valley to find food, I would get up early and run out our back door on the canal. But, I don't think I could outrun such wildlife. So instead I'll enjoy my mornings from the sofa, coffee in hand, blanket on lap and just listen to the world wake up. It comes to life by 6:45-7am. And I don't mean the IT's sleeping in their rooms.

So what are the benefits of waking up early you ask? 

-Quiet time. If you wake up before anyone else in your house, you get to experience the most calm part of the day. 5:30 happens to be early enough for me so I can have a good hour before Thing 1 aka Kate wakes up. 

-Sunrise. You know all those fabulous sunrise photos you see on Instagram and Google? Well ya can't capture that kind of beauty waking up after 7am! (Not here anyway) One of my all time favorite things to see is when the night becomes morning. It allows my brain to wake up slowly instead of in a shocking instant to a kid swinging open my bedroom door only to stand and stare at me until I get up. 

-Time. Waking up early gives you extra time in your day. I love feeling like I'm getting the most out of my day. I see the sun rise and set. Its a very rewarding feeling to know I'm getting everything out of the day that I want.

-Early rising gives me a prepared, ready-for-the-day kind of feeling. If I can wake up, drink my coffee, catch up on social media, read the Bible and/or pray, I feel I'm ready for whatever mood my kids wake up in. I'm alert and ready to make sure they have everything they need for school and I feel I am awake enough to handle if someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. 

I can't describe what exactly getting up early does for me so I challenge you to wake up half an hour to an hour earlier for one week. See what it does for you and let me know! Feel free to tell me I'm one of the select few who enjoy waking up early on purpose if it's just not your thing. :-)

Have an amazing weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Fit Dish Link-Up #2 #dishthefit

It's Tuesday again folks and I'm teaming up with my #fitsisters TheFitSwitch & 

Let's jump right in and #dishthefit on 5-10 healthy foods I can't live without! 

First up: smoothies! 
Yes, I know that could be more than one because technically there are multiple fruits and other goodies in a smoothie. Smoothies are just so versatile and I've really grown to love them over the summer. You can have your fruits and veggies all in one glass!

#2: Frozen bananas! 
I promise I didn't copy you, Jessica! :-D When we have a stash of frozen bananas on hand and not a lot of groceries, I feel like we're good because you can make delicious snacks (and smoothies) with a small amount of ingredients. I.E:banana muffins, ice cream, smoo.. oh wait, I said that already. Frozen bananas, when frozen before they turn black, are delicious sliced an eaten as a cool snack.

#3: Eggs! 
Our family could not survive more than a day without eggs! Boiled, scrambled, over easy, over hard or even as an egg salad, we love whatever the egg can do! I eat two eggs a day for breakfast. I prefer them over hard or as we call it: egg patties. Our kids love boiled and over easy and my husband enjoys them scrambled. Eggs are considered a superfood so we're all winners in this house!

#4: Fruit! 
When we have a good variety of fruit in the house I have no excuse not to eat healthy. I love just being able to grab a handful of grapes to snack on or slicing up an apple to add some crunch to my lunch. I also love having a non-Frozen banana before I workout. Takes away those darn hunger pangs and holds me over for about an hour. Fruits are a necessity in this house!

#5: Sweet potatoes! 
I'm the only one in our house that loves sweet potatoes! My son tried my homemade fries and seemed to like them but doesn't prefer them over a good ole spud. When I have sweet potatoes in the kitchen I know I'll always have a side dish with dinner. I don't usually eat the same side dishes my family eats, mainly because I don't like a lot of carbs at dinner. So I'll eat meat, veggies and half of a sweet potato. Side note: we live in Central California where MOST of the US's produce is grown, and guess what was just harvested?! Yep, sweet potatoes! If I didn't have a conscience I'd be making pit stops at the fields picking up the sweet & savory goodness they leave behind. But, I wouldn't do that. ;-)

Well, that's all I have time for this morning! There are lots of other deliciously healthy foods that we can't live without but these are the staples! 

So what is one of your favorite healthy foods you just can't live without?? Tell me so we can #dishthefit and then head over to Jessica's site to find out what the #fitfam is dishing up! 

Have a stupendous Tuesday everyone! <------That almost doesn't sound like a very nice thing to say! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Updates on Life and Life Without Running

Hola amigos/amigas! Como estas? Muy bien aqui! 

I bet you didn't know I knew Spanish! ;-) Muy poquito, my friends. I took Spanish in high school but I'm hoping to learn more while I'm studying to become a Nutritionist!

Injury update:
So, some of you may remember a few weeks ago...um, four weeks to be exact, I was experiencing some heel and Achilles pain in my left foot. I was terrified that it was Achilles Tendinitis so I immediately stopped running and most activities besides walking. I iced it multiple times a day, rested as much as humanly possible and it still ached! So I emailed a fellow runner/blogger friend who has been recovering from an Achilles injury which took her out of running for over a year and a half! Her advice helped me so much! I no longer have tenderness or pain in my Achilles, only slight tenderness in my heel.(Thanks, Kristy!) I put heel lifts in my shoes and I added a tennis ball to my recovery routine. I roll out the bottom of my feet a couple times a day just in case it was a slight case of Plantar Fascitis. I didn't see a doctor because the insurance we have is garbage, sorry to put it that way, but it is; and it's just about impossible to see a good doctor these days for ANYTHING. *stepping down from the soap box*

Sweaty hands=awesome workout
I haven't gone for a run in 4 weeks and you'd think I'd be going nuts. But I'm actually ok with it. I know that running is my outlet, and I'll get back to it when the time is right. Instead I've been using the elliptical at the gym and strengthening my core and legs w/out impact on my feet. I got a really good sweat in the eyes kind of workout in the other day. It was just what I needed! Oh yeah, we joined Fitness Evolution for an amazing price of $9.99 a month! You can't beat that with a stick! It's a new-ish gym, but they have over 50 locations nation wide. It's smaller than your typical In-Shape, but we really like that about it. They have a wide variety of machines to choose from, weights & kettle bells, plenty of cardio machines, classes, massage & tanning!

Education goals:
I talked to a representative for Ashworth Online College and they are indeed an Accredited College. I will be in touch with them within the next few weeks after we find out if my husband got the job he interviewed for last week! I'm so excited to start a new journey into the health and fitness field! I'm ready for a change and looking forward the future!

Fitness goals:
Like I said before, I'm ok with not being able to run these days. Believe it or not, I'm actually enjoying doing other things! I'm loving the elliptical and I have even incorporated weights into my workouts! No I don't want to be She-Hulk. I have realized a big difference in my lower half now that I do squats and calf raises with dumbbells. I've also been using leg machines and I love them!

Life goals:
Right now I'm loving anything positive and uplifting! My husband and I are working on keeping any negative talk out of our conversations. If it's something negative and we aren't going to benefit from talking about it, don't even mention it. Sometimes we slip but we're pretty good about saying, "ok, enough of that. Think positive thoughts." Life is so much more enjoyable when you focus on the good. This sums up the way I'd like to live:

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Finding My Unique Contribution

Hey there friends & fitfam! How's your week going so far? Mine has been wonderful & I hope it stays that way! 

Now that our kids are in school and my husband is on the brink of going back to work *fingers crossed for a new job!* (after a really long lay off) I've been pondering my "unique contribution" in life.

Life as a stay at home mom is great. I mean, I wake up, get the kids ready for school, drop them off and I'm free for 7 hours a day! I have time to go to the gym, eat breakfast AND lunch in peace and do all those "mom" things in between like cleaning and grocery shopping. What more could a mom ask for?! ...Apparently, this mom wants more out of her life.

I heard the term "unique contribution" on a Christian radio station the other day. It's a program we love called, Focus on the Family. A married couple were talking and the woman mentioned this term quite a few times. The first time I heard it, my ears perked up. I told my husband, "this is exactly how I'm feeling right now!" He said he knew already and he could see that I've been doing some soul searching. I'm trying to find my niche. My place. My role other than being mom & wife. I was a dental assistant for a short time and I thought that was the career path I wanted to take. Life has it's ways of changing things and putting forks in the road.

So today marks day one of my quest. I'm doing some online searches for Accredited Online Colleges to begin classes to become a Certified Nutritionist.

I want to work with people who need help learning about what foods to eat and which ones they should limit. I want to get into schools and teach children how to decide for themselves which foods to eat to make their bodies feel good. I want to help people to love and nourish their bodies.

This is something I feel passionate about and it's something I can do along with still being a mom, wife and caretaker of the home. With our kids in school, my husband back at work, what better way for me to spend my time than going back to school myself? :-)

It's time to find my Unique Contribution and make it my own! 

Have you found your unique contribution? 
If you've taken online classes, which college did you go through?
What is one goal you are working towards? 

Have an amazing Thursday everyone! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday Link-Up: The Fit Dish #dishthefit

Hey how's it goin?! Pretty great over here! 

I was invited to join another awesome link-up hosted by Jessica Joy @ TheFitSwitch!
I recently started following her on Instagram after seeing some of her posts for the Active Living Challenge. (Which she won by the way!!) Her posts are very unique and I love how her positive attitude radiates through her blog and social media sites!

This link-up is co-hosted by Nicole @ TheFitPepper! I'm looking forward to all the new friends I'll be making through this awesome fitness link-up! This week's topic: Being Fit Means...

The other night I was thinking about what to write for this post. I mean, I can only say "I run to keep my depression in check" so many times before my readers start rolling their eyes and move on.

Just a little excited about Soccer
After a full day of total kid activities, I sat on the couch, laid my head on my husbands shoulder and said, "I. Am. Pooped! I am so worn out I feel it in my face!" Other moms out there, ya know what I mean? That tired in your face kind of tired? We had an awesome day, it was just jam packed. Our day started at about 6:45am. We had to be out of the house by 8:10am to make it to my sons 2nd soccer game of the season by 8:30, game at 9. We arrived at about 8:45, which was ok this time since other players were just arriving as well. He played a great game, kicking their butts winning 5-0! The Terminators are undefeated! ...so far! :-)
Feelin' pretty good after a great game

After the game, Kate and I went to Wal-Mart with my mother in law to buy some gifts for a cousin's birthday party. We rushed back to her place, stuffed the gifts in some gift bags, scarfed some lunch, washed stamps off of Kate's arms, fixed her hair for the millionth time, and hand washed her shirt that ended up having pink stamp all over it. Daniel was still in his soccer attire and decided he wanted to go to the party. Um, walking in cleats all day is not a good idea. We had to drive all the way across town to my house which is about a 20 min drive, grab his shoes then head to the party. We ended up being late to the party but there were no hurt feelings so we're all good. The kids had such a great time at the party, Bella loved her gifts and we all went home happy. But tired. Oh so tired!

So what am I getting at? I realized I am so thankful that I am no longer 50+ lbs over weight! If I was, I wouldn't have been able to keep up with my kids on a day like this! Yes I was tired, but it was at the END of the day. Not during the day. I love being active because it means I get to spend more quality time with my kids, instead of watching them from a seated position. I no longer get out of breath going on walks with my kids and no longer have an excuse not to run around the yard with them. Being fit means being involved in my kids' lives. Not just present. It means living, not just existing. Being fit means making memories with my children and I wouldn't change that for the world.

Ok, I'm done getting all sappy on ya! Now head on over to the other amazing blogs involved in the link-up!
Click on one of the host's sites for all the info and how to join us every Tuesday! (There are two lists so be sure to check out both! Next week there will be a one stop shop for all the links!)

Thanks for stopping by! But before you go, What does being fit mean to you? 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Let's talk about vitamin D

Wikipedia's Definition:
Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calciumironmagnesiumphosphate
and zinc. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. 

Sounds like a pretty important vitamin to me!

Let me back up a bit. My husband battled insomnia a few years ago to the point where he lost his job and almost lost his life. He went 14 nights without sleep, ended up in the ER only to be sent home with some heavy sleeping pills.

The pills did not help him. His body seemed to be shutting down. He became deathly ill. I remember sitting on our bed, crying and begging God to take away his agony and to allow him to sleep. We thought he was going to die.

He had been working for several years as a 911 dispatcher, then as a dispatcher for the Sheriff's department. He worked in a dark room at odd hours, slept when his family was awake, didn't exercise, eat healthy or get adequate sun exposure on a regular basis. This was a recipe for disaster.

After much prayer and research, we found out where he had gone wrong. Still deathly ill, he hobbled downstairs, told me he was going outside to work in the yard and proceeded to do so. I sat in the living room in a bit of shock but I left him alone. A few minutes later I checked on him and he was sitting in a chair out back, soaking up the sun. He did this every day, along with some yard work and soon he started to get better. We give God all the honor and glory for keeping him alive and blessing him with sleep! We also thank Him for showing us that he needed to change his lifestyle and showed us what he was lacking.

Soon he started exercising and eating healthier. Then he heard from his uncle about how taking vitamin d changed his life. His uncle suffered from migraines his whole life. Now, I'm not even sure he deals with them any more! Michael began taking vitamin d every day and the rest is history! He did lots of research before jumping into it (along with getting his levels checked) and now he is helping me to understand how it can change my life.

Now, I'm not saying it's a magical pill and it'll fix all your problems but let's look at some facts about vitamin d.

Those are just some of the benefits of having a healthy level of Vitamin D in your body. I suffer from migraines usually from being out in the heat too long, exertion or from time to time tension headaches. I'll spare you too many details but I also deal with extremely painful menstrual cramps and heavy cycles. When I read what vitamin D could do to help me in those areas, I went and got my levels checked.

According to doctors today, a "normal" range is 30-100. Obviously under 30 is insufficient and over 100 could lead to toxicity. My level is 38. 38!! That's low!
So I began taking 5000IU a day. I get 1000IU in my women's daily vitamin and I take two 2000IU tablets of Vitamin D3. I've been doing this for almost two weeks now and I can already feel a difference in how I feel during the day. I don't get that mid day nap attack feeling that I have been getting just about every day for the past year or more. I sleep better at night and my joints feel a lot less achey.

Here are some signs & symptoms for low vitamin D levels:
-General muscle pain & weakness
-Muscle cramps
-Joint pain
-Weight gain
-High blood pressure
-Restless sleep
-Poor concentration
-Bladder problems, diarrhea

*Vitamin D is actually considered a steroid hormone, not a vitamin. Researchers have pointed out that increasing levels of Vitamin D3 among the general population could prevent chronic diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives each year world wide.*

It is extremely important to have your vitamins D levels checked before starting a supplement program. Knowledge is definitely power!

One last note, it is almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from the sun just from day to day activities. Unless, of course, you live outside and bask in the sun like a lizard. ;-)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let's Play Catch Up

Good evening friends! I'm working on an "informational" post but my brain decided to stop cooperating..or maybe it was just the app I was trying to use. I can't remember. See what I mean? This mom is T-I-R-E-D!

I wanted to take a minute to fill you in on what I've been up to lately and what some of my plans are for the near future.

First of all, I haven't been running. Oh no, someone call the waaambulance! ... I'm going to vent for a minute. It seems like every. Flippin. Time. I start to train for a race and say it out loud, I get injured. My last run was over two weeks ago and it was a measley 3 miles! The day before I ran I used the gym stair master..my left Achilles and heel didn't like that too much so they decided to throw a fit and flare up on me. Not cool. So I've been taking it easy and thankfully it's getting better. I bought some inserts for my shoes just in case the low(er) heel drop is what's causing it.

So, am I still going to train for that half? You bet.
I have until Spring 2015 to get it together.

Moving on.

With soccer picking up and the kids in school, I feel like I have been going non stop. Speaking of soccer, Daniel had his first game last Saturday! His team won! 6-0! (His best friend came with us to watch)

At this time of the year we have birthdays all the way up to May!
Sunday was my nephews 2nd birthday party. This little guy has me wrapped around his finger!

I've also been dealing with a head cold that feels like a sinus infection. My face hurts...
Toast is delicious when you're sick. (Shared on Instagram-I was bored, sick & alone..well, not quite alone)

We've been plagued with frogs! I can't have our front door open without at least three coming inside! Today I think I found their hideout. Kate got rid of them for me but decided to let one stay in the flower pot so it can keep the bugs away.

This morning I had to exchange some boots my mother in law bought me for a really early birthday present. Since I didn't have the kids or the husband, I took my time and browsed Target. I love me some Target!

This post has taken me two days to finish! I'm rushing off to bed now so I'll catch up with everyone tomorrow! I have found so many great blogs, I really should stop following new ones for a little while so I can catch up on everyone's posts! 

Goodnight everyone! Enjoy your Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wonder Mom Wednesday-Sneaky Recipe

Well hello again! These Wednesdays sure do sneak up on me! Speaking of being sneaky, today's topic is Sneaky Recipe! Per usual, I'm linking up with Sue @ ThisMamaRunsForCupcakes
Susan @ MomSwimBikeRun and Amanda @ MomWhoTris

Now, most people know it can be tough to get kids to eat fruits and veggies. So as a parent with two kids who have become quite the picky eaters, I had to get creative!

No one wants to sit down at the end of the day to have a meal with a couple of picky eaters. Breakfast and lunch are pretty simple, but dinner for us is a different story! As soon as I put a plate of food in front of the kids they start eye balling what they don't like..or what they think they don't like. When our kids were a bit younger the Wiggles' song, "Try it, you'll like it" used to help. Now they just stare at us like, are you really singing that preschool song?

So how does one sneak the "good stuff" into picky eaters' meals? Ya camouflage it. There are quite a few food items like cheese that hides things like chopped mushrooms and onions quite well. Here are a few ways I get more of the good stuff into our kids' bellies without them even knowing.

1. Cheese. Did I mention cheese? We like lasagna, spaghetti and lots of other pasta dishes. We grown ups like our mushrooms, onions and peppers but the kiddies don't. So, I like to chop those up rather small, create a casserole type pasta dish and cover it with cheese. Our kids love it because all they see is the dairy on top. My stomach? Not so much. But we don't have to make empty threats just so they'll eat their dinner.

2. Speaking of pasta, I buy the Garden Delight Veggie Noodles. They're made with carrots, corn and squash. We all love them and they don't have a weird flavor or texture!

3. Another thing that seems to work well is chowders and soups. They seem to eat the veggies a lot easier if they're in a bowl mixed with flavorful juices or a creamy sauce, than if they are sitting on a plate staring back at them. Here's one of our favorite Chowders! It's not really "healthy" but it's full of protein and veggies!

Broccoli Tortellini Chowder

Don't forget to go check out how the other moms are sneaking the good stuff into their kid's meals! Click on any of the links at the top and there will be a list at the bottom of the post.

I have quite a few readers that aren't yet moms, so I'd like to know, what would you try in order to sneak in some fruits and/or veggies into your kids' meals? 

I hope everyone is having an awesome week so far!