Friday, November 21, 2014

Zoodles of Fun Distractions

Yesterday I made the most of those Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupons everyone gets in the mail and usually tosses in the garbage. Instead, I saved mine because I've been jonesing for a spiralizer....much like the one pictured below. They're apparently all the rage now and since I'm trying to limit/cut out as many carbs/gluten as possible I'm up for trying some zoodles. Even if you're not giving up carbs or gluten, this is simply another way to get one more veggie into your meal. It's all part of eating clean and getting those healthy fruits and veggies in the daily diet! Plus....it's FUN!


I looked at the BB&B site and sure enough they had this exact one!! Perfect! So I bundled my kids in the it's-only-November-not-February-yet weather and traipsed off to get me a spiralizer. There was huge display of plastic spiralizers immediately in the doorway so the boys were pretty ecstatic that they found one right away, but that wasn't the I had my heart set on....I therefore grit my teeth and ventured further into the store with an almost 3 and 5 year old. Of course I couldn't find it quickly...and of course they found the silicon spatulas and started sword fighting with them. I had to get out of there and I don't mess around anymore with the littles in tow...I just asked for help. Our helper elf found it in 0.435 seconds and we were on our way. Saving more than half the price later, I left with both my sanity and the spiralizer. Hashtag winning.

Now I had to use right away, so that meant spaghetti for dinner and some distraction while I learned how to use the thing. Thankfully we received a snowman scene with reusable stickers in a Scholastic book order, so they were content doing that for 15 minutes. Luckier still, this little contraption is SUPER EASY, quick, and amazing!! I will definitely be using it for all sorts of things. I can't wait to try my favorite cuke salad recipe with it!! 

I discarded what was the innards/seeds of the zucchini and next time will peel some of the skin off of it. I then microwaved the strands for 1 minute -- no water added. That was too long, but still edible. I topped the zoodles with meat sauce and scarfed it down. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of the final product. You'll just have to trust me. Very good with slightly soggy noodles, so I can only imagine how satisfying it's going to be when I prepare the zoodles properly. 



As I got thinking about the boys working on their stickers, I realized that I do a lot of "centers" when I'm preparing meals that I need to get together fast and/or they're simply not into helping me. They've worked on their felt caterpillar "center," which is mainly making a mess and then sorting the googly eyes and then messing them up again. Whatever...it buys me 10-15 minutes of kitchen prep and/or clean up. I'm sure I'll be using this set-up when I have little holiday things to do here and there. I know from last year that these worked when I wanted to do work in two extra 10 minute exercise seshes to try and keep my sanity. Playdoh works wonders...especially if you're doing a squat challenge! ;) 


The other day they wanted to play with their musical instruments and I finally said yes...only to realize that I could actually do something fun with them aside from look at them. I reached out to friends on Facebook and received some wonderful activities to do. I tried one of the suggestions and Duders was very happy to participate until Brub distracted him. We will definitely do the pattern repeat on the xylophone again when it's Brub's nap time. 


All in all, it's all about having a plan of action while needing to do stuff. I realize the TV is always an option and I do use it, but we tend to have special TV time and aside from that we don't have it on at all. The constant wrestling that comes with having boys really gets to me sometimes because it usually leads to whining, which I detest. Having a bit of structured "centers" helps keep them occupied enough for me to get one task accomplished be it dishes, cooking, menu planning, or dropping some squats....and that's something for which I'm VERY THANKFUL!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

HBH: Week 4

| | | HOME BUILD HAPPY | | |

The Foundation


We had a big hole. We needed to fill it and fast. If we didn't we ran the risk of the dirt walls caving into themselves at the bottom from the water pressure in the ground. It was so important to secure these walls that David actually lost sleep over it, finally got out of bed at 2 AM, secured the walls until 4 AM, and then promptly fell asleep when he returned to his bed. I have to admit that with the plastic it really changed the atmosphere from really-Big-Hole to wow-we're-building-a-house. The next day, er, I mean, later that morning the installation of the French drain began. That is the path of stone you see around the inside perimeter of the Big Hole. The last picture shows some of the pipe that makes up the French drain ready to knock Duders in the head.




The next set of pictures is the arrival of our foundation walls. Adam chose to go with Superior Walls. They are a precast, interlocking system that are said to be long-lasting and guaranteed weatherproof. Check out the crane they brought to lift the precast walls! It was quite the event the morning these babies arrived. I woke Duders up early to get his warm outside clothes on, Adam called the house when he passed the crane and then again when he passed the first load of walls. We passed the second load of walls on the way to the Children's Museum. As we drove by we could read our names hand-written on the walls. It was such an awesome feeling knowing they were headed to our Big Hole! David said the whole process took about two hours and that included a minor on-site cut the installers had to make on one of the precast walls. Talk about efficient!








Sunday, November 16, 2014

Holiday Survival Smack Down 2014

The holidays are officially upon us and for many that means hustle, bustle, and our healthy habits taking a back seat until the new year. NOT THIS YEAR! Those couple of weeks that we let the busyness, the stress, and the rip tide of parties get the best of us can completely undo all the hard work and progress we made in the weeks and months prior. For me I start off by thinking that "letting loose" and "picking it back up in January" will make my life easier, but in truth I just end up feeling guilty emotionally and heavy/bogged down physically. Last year I made the commitment to get through the holidays while keeping my healthy habits intact, but making some concessions and compromises along the way. I even challenged myself to some new health goals for just the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It not only DID NOT add to my stress level, but helped me keep some peace and clarity of mind. 

This year, along with some of my fellow Beachbody coaches, I want to share what I did last year to make it through the holiday season on a high note and therefore put myself in a place to ROCK the new year in January. We're calling it the Holiday Smack Down and it starts THIS MONDAY! Don't worry, we'll be happy to add you whenever you can make --- these tips are too good not to share!


No matter where you are in your life, you'll be able to benefit from our Holiday Smack Down support and accountability group. We ALL have heightened stress, a longer to-do list, and are pulled in even {more} directions these last six weeks of the year.

Oh and throw in those family with lots of birthday parties these last six weeks as well. Both of my boys were born after Thanksgiving, so our family's engine is buzzing on high from now until the new year. Despite ALL of that, I know that I have to keep up my fam's healthy lifestyle as much as possible and continue to teach about healthy decisions in a fun way. Why? It's because we actually {enjoy} the holidays {MORE} when we do!


Take for example the picture above -- these are some foods that we try to always have on hand and combined with other pantry staples makes a quick, delicious, healthy, and family friendly meals. 

And no matter your fitness level, we have solutions for you to get your heart rate up safely and effectively. It's a great way to clear your head and make room for all those lists you have hanging around in there!

Make sure you head over to my Facebook page and get in the ring with us as we give the Holidays the Smack Down!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quick and Easy Moo Shu Pork at Home

Yesterday I realized that I had two items in my fridge that had to go. I either had to eat them or they had to get tossed into the garbage. One thing about me is that I'm cheap. I {HATE} to throw food away. Not only is it wasteful, but I view it as throwing money right into the trash. And I ain't got time money for that!

I had leftover pork roast that I made in the crock pot that I made using this recipe. I didn't use the short-ribs, like I said, but a roast and it was delicious. I just still had some taking up space in my fridge, so I chopped it up, pulled it apart, and was left with a nice pile of flavorful shredded pork.

I also had two bags of coleslaw mix that were given to me, but unfortunately one bag was already the consistency of sauerkraut. No bueno! Into the trash that went, much to my chagrin....BUT, I did have the other bag and so I was going to use the coleslaw mix as a super, duper short cut to make some homemade take-out!

I'm going to be honest and because I was very hungry, I wanted very quick. Super, super, super, quick. I didn't make any rice to go with this dish. I didn't make any hoisin sauce to go with this dish. I didn't use any pancakes with this dish. The end result didn't taste like an exact replica of what you'd get at the local take-out joint, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Ingredients
  1. left over pork roast
  2. 1 bag of coleslaw mix
  3. 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  4. 1-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  5. 1-2 tbsp organic, gluten free, reduced sodium tamari sauce (what we use for soy sauce)
Instructions
  1. In a small container, mix/whisk together the oil, vinegar, and tamari/soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Add shredded pork to medium sized pan and reheat over medium to medium-high heat.
  3. Add entire bag of coleslaw mix to the shredded pork. The coleslaw will take up A LOT of room, but will wilt down.
  4. Add the sauce mixture.
  5. Turn the moo shu mixture over and over again with a pair of tongs until the coleslaw is wilted sufficiently for your liking. 
  6. Plate and add more tamari/soy sauce if you'd like. 

If you click here, you'll get to a site with a bunch of Whole30 (super clean recipes!) recipes on it. The recipe that inspired me to be lazy and make this dish this way is from @tara_eats_whole and is the second recipe shown. Her version is out of this world, but takes a bit more time. ;)