Monday, October 31, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 10/31 - 11/6)

Another busy week is starting over here and I'm trying to figure out how to eat mostly healthy and mostly at home.  We have some extra things this week so it will be challenging but not impossible.  I did pretty good last week sticking to my plan until the weekend.  We got home later than we expected from trick or treating on Saturday night and were tired and a little buzzed.  So instead of the planned dinner, we ran to Meijer to grab some appetizers from the freezer section.  Those were dinner for both Saturday and Sunday.

So far I'm doing pretty good keeping up with my new freezer system that I started last week.  I'm using what I have, not buying any more.  And I know what I have, which is half the battle.  It's nice to have it on a spreadsheet (because I'm an Excel geek at heart) instead of having to rummage around in three different freezers trying to find something.  I'm hoping I can keep this system up!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pizza - Happy Halloween
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Harvest Chicken Skillet (carryover from last week)
Thursday - Ravioli with homemade sauce from the freezer (carryover from last week)
Friday - Beef Roast from the freezer with veggies & gravy in the crock pot with Beets & Sweets
Saturday - Either leftovers or out - I'm at Barre training all day (yay!!)
Sunday - Turkey Breast with roasted patty pan squash (one of my new favorite veggies that I discovered thanks to our CSA this summer)

Water Flavor - Apple Parsley.  I love the taste of parsley in the water, and I had just a little bit left over from my last CSA bag.  I have a ton of apples so I'll probably be using them a lot!

Food Prep - Again, I didn't do much for this over the weekend.  We were very busy celebrating Halloween and catching up on stuff around the house.  I have all the groceries I need for all of the meals except Sunday so that's a plus.  I also set up the water for the week and ordered tomorrow's pizza.  I guess that's a pretty good start to the week.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 10/21 - 10/27)

Friday (10/21) started very early for me when the power went out and Daniel came in scared because of the dark.  I finally got settled with him in the spare bedroom and dozed off to be woken up by our Superintendent to tell me that the power was also out at the school and we were on a 2 hour delay.  Yawn!  The delay messed up my whole morning flow but I still managed to get everyone to school and get some stuff done.

After everyone was done with school and work for the day we headed to another school in our district for their Trunk or Treat event.  It was a fun night seeing lots of friends and teachers that we know.  The stations weren't really very decorated but it was still nice to be outside walking around (in past years it has been inside).  The boys had fun and were very excited about their full buckets of candy that we brought home!
Saturday (10/22) was a very full day!  We started with our normal Saturday schedule of Zumba, Brain Balance and soccer.  Then we met at home for lunch and regrouped for a day of Halloween fun.  First we headed out to Gahanna's Creepside event.  It was fun, if a little crowded.  We got a ton of candy and the boys had fun walking around.  They also got to play some Pokemon Go which was fun for them.

After that we headed over the Stoneybrook church for their Trunk or Treat event.  We do it every year and always have a good time.  There didn't seem to be as many "trunks" this year as past years, but the ones they had were really good.  Some of our favorites were Snow White, Minions & Candy Land.  We enjoyed hot dogs and popcorn there for "dinner" and the boys also got to jump in a giant pumpkin bounce house.  We finished up playing on their pretty cool play ground.
We finished our day at the Jefferson Township Halloween party at a local park.  The boys got treat bags and firefighter hats there.  We went on a family hayride around the park and then we headed into the haunted forest.  AJ got scared right at the beginning of the trail so he and I turned around and did the not spooky side of the trail.  The other boys made it thru the whole haunted trail with Dad and said it was awesome!  It was a very fun (and exhausting) day for all of us!

Sunday (10/23) was a recovery day for us.  We slept in, went to church and then tried to get as much done around the house as we could.  AJ had a birthday party for a good chunk of the day where he enjoyed some Jedi training, eating pizza & cake and playing with friends from his class. 

Monday (10/24) started with another change in our schedule when Zak's school was cancelled due to no subs being available to cover class.  So he came with me to run errands, go to the chiropractor and go to a Barre class.  We went to his friend's house for his weekly play date in the afternoon, then ran back to the chiropractor for AJ and Adrian to have appointments in the evening.  Busy day with lots of running for all of us!
Tuesday (10/25) we finally had a normal day of school after two days of changes!  Everyone went to school and work in the morning, then Zak and I headed across town to get everything AJ and Daniel needed for their Cub Scouts uniforms.  Then we came home and had a fun afternoon of board games and Peppa Pig's Halloween special.  AJ and Daniel had their second Cub Scout meeting of the year and are both really excited about being involved this year.  I am very happy this is working out better than it has in our past two attempts.
Wednesday (10/26) was a pretty typical day here with school and work for everyone.  We had been planning on going to a trunk or treat at one of our local churches, but we were all pretty tired and just didn't feel like it.  Daniel had his awards assembly for the first quarter of the school year and he earned an award for being "Responsible, Respectful & Safe" in school.  He was so excited to get this award and we are all very proud of him!!
hursday (10/27) was another typical day for us.  We went to work and school and Brain Balance.  It was the calm before the storm of the upcoming Halloween weekend.  We made sure AJ's homework was done and that we were ready for the busy weekend.  Zak helped me a lot in the afternoon cleaning up around the house and putting away a bunch of laundry.  I've turned it into a game and then reward him with some TV time (while I continue working). 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 10/14 - 10/20 - Part 2)

Our camping trip was so much fun that it was a lot of writing to recap it.  I did part 1 yesterday complete with a photo dump of the weekend.  Here is part two of our week.

Sunday (10/16) was pack up day to head back to reality.  The boys woke up and once again headed right back on to the play ground.  Adrian and I worked on packing up our stuff.  Then I took the boys to the jump pads and to play mini golf while he finished packing us up.  We finished up with letting the boys "mine" for minerals and then hit the road for home.
We got home in the early afternoon and I immediately started on laundry.  Adrian watched last night's OSU game since he didn't get to at the camp ground.  The boys headed to AJ's friend Brooks' birthday party at Lazer Craze.  They had a fun time playing laser tag and video games and also eating cake and pizza.  Adrian and I finished up the night with takeout from Piada and the Cowboys game.  What a fantastic fall weekend!!

Monday (10/17) was a super rough day getting back to reality!  No one wanted to get up for work/school this morning.  I finally got everyone where they needed to be.  Zak had a rough day at school, including laying down during center time.  Then later he fell asleep in the car ride to the YMCA.  We mostly took it easy, just did what needed to be done.

Tuesday (10/18) was slightly better than yesterday but everyone is still dragging.  After our normal day of work and school, Adrian took AJ to Brain Balance and I took the other two boys to Meijer.  Daniel's pumpkin that he picked a few weeks ago started to rot and we needed to throw it out.  His new winter hat also broke on our camping trip.  So I took him to replace both of those things and pick up a few things we needed for the house.  It was an interesting trip since Zak left the house with no shoes on!  Thankfully I put him in a cart and we were in and out pretty quickly.
Wednesday (10/19) we finally started to find our groove again!  We got out in plenty of time for everyone to get to school.  I went in to volunteer in Daniel's class and did sight words with nearly his whole class.  I love being in there!  We had a rare night with nothing going on for the boys and we enjoyed our time off.  Adrian was able to get out and golf since the weather is so great this week!  

Thursday (10/20) was a fairly typical day for us with work, school and Brain Balance.  This was the worst day for us this school year so far getting out in the morning and AJ and Daniel were technically late to school.  Thankfully express was running late and we still made drop off.  After a busy day of running, we finished up with our traditional family viewing of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 10/24 - 10/30)

It's been almost exactly a month since my last menu plan post.  I didn't really mean to take a break, but honestly the meals around her haven't been very exciting.  We needed to empty our deep freeze so I was pretty much taking stuff out of that to use up.  I was pairing it with whatever veggies I got from my CSA and that was dinner.  Often I would cook a big meal or two and then we'd eat leftovers for the next 2 or 3 nights.  We've been very busy keeping up with life over here.  I've been blogging about each week so I'm sure you already know how busy we've been.

But we finally got the whole freezer emptied.  Well, we thought it was empty until it started to thaw and we found some more food in there, oops.  That's what we've been eating the past week.  So now we are ready to start planning and eating with some more variety.  Our CSA also ended last week so once we eat all the veggies we have, we're back to buying them from the store.

This week is super busy for us with lots of extra Halloween stuff.  I'm going to try to stick to my plan, but I also have some easy meals on here so I can adjust as I need to.  Tomorrow is going to be a challenge because I have to make the peppers in the morning before we all leave for the day.  Or at least start on them.  If I don't have time we will have ravioli tomorrow and I'll juggle the menu around.  I also have to get to the store tomorrow and then start really watching the sales to restock our freezer.

I'm trying a new organization system for our freezer and I'll be listing out what we have in each freezer in a spreadsheet.  I'll go there first before I menu plan and buy our food for the week.  I'm hoping to use what we have instead of always buying new stuff.  I tend to buy/make stuff, stick it in the deep freeze and completely forget about it.  I'm hoping this new method will help.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Salads
Tuesday - Sheet Pan Bruschetta Chicken
Wednesday - Hamburger Heaven Soup
Thursday - Turkey Chili Soup
Friday - Rueben Sandwiches with Beets & Sweets
Saturday - Ravioli with homemade sauce from the freezer
Sunday - Harvest Chicken Skillet

Water Flavor - Mango.  They were on sale so I grabbed one last week to use for my water this week.

Food Prep - I need to get back to this.  I didn't really do anything this weekend.  I wanted to make the stuffed peppers today but I'm missing a few ingredients.  I'm hoping to get back to prepping next week for sure!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 10/12 - 10/18)

As I mentioned last week, I pushed the button and registered for Barre training in just 2 weeks.  I started my training this week by going to a Barre class at the Y that fits perfectly into my schedule.  I will take this class every Mon until at least the end of the year to learn how to teach the class.  I have taken Barre before and loved it and this class was no exception.  We didn't use the barre as much in the Y class as I have in other classes, but maybe that was just this week.  I'm hoping to get to a few other barre classes at other places in the next few weeks but my schedule is tight so we'll see.

I can say that going to this class has made me SORE!!  It's Wednesday night as I type this and I'm still feeling it.  My core is especially sore.  And I know I need a lot of work in that area.  It's funny that since I'm so sore I can actually tell when I'm using my core in my classes and when I'm not.  I can definitely feel it this week!

Other than the new class, it was a fairly typical week for me.  I didn't teach on Saturday since I was camping (recap coming this weekend!) but I was for sure able to keep up my exercise streak while I was camping.  I actually was upset to not have a Fitbit on Saturday because I feel like I walked at least 5 miles that day!  We had so much fun!!

Here's how my week went:
Wednesday - Taught a one hour Zumba class plus walked back & forth from school
Thursday - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, & 2 one hour Zumba classes plus did a 15 minute core workout
Friday - Taught a one hour Zumba class & helped set up camp plus some walking on our first day of our camping trip
Saturday - Walked a ton around the camp ground - corn maze, trick or treat, nature walk, etc
Sunday - Walked around the camp ground with the boys plus packed up the sight then unpacked at home (and did 4 loads of laundry!)
Monday - Took a one hour Barre class, taught a one hour Zumba Gold class, taught a one hour strength class & walked back and forth from school
Tuesday - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, a 45 minute Zumba Gold class & a one hour Zumba class plus walked back & forth from school

Lots of variety this week and some strength training as well!  Great week of workouts in the books.  Now my eating on the other hand...not so great from Wednesday thru Sunday.  But I had fun and don't regret one bite.  I got back on the wagon on Monday and am hoping to stick on it for a while, but the weekend looms again.  I was happy when I got on the scale and only gained 1 pound this week.  That is a huge win for this week!!  Hoping to see it go this upcoming week!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 10/7 - 10/13)

Friday (10/7) after our normal day we headed to the baseball field for AJ and Daniel's first game of the end of the season tournament.  They started the game with the playing of the National Anthem, which I thought was pretty cool.  We won a close one and will play again tomorrow for the championship.
Saturday (10/8) started bright and early for me when I headed to the school to help with the unloading of the trucks for our fall flower fundraiser.  Adrian got all three boys ready for their sports for the day and we headed out for that.  He took AJ and Daniel to baseball and Zak and I went to Zumba and soccer.  The boys won again and were the champions for their baseball league this year.  They each got a medal, trophy & game ball for all of their hard work this season.  Way to go Cobras!
After a busy and active morning, we all met at home to regroup.  We planned to head to Lynd's to do the corn maze, but we were all honestly worn out and decided we wanted to rest for the rest of the day.  Adrian worked, I did house work and the three boys played.  After dinner, we had a family movie night and watched "The Angry Birds Movie."  It was kind of cute, but it didn't hold my attention very well.  That could have been because I was exhausted.  The boys loved it though so I consider it a win!

Sunday (10/9) was a fun filled family day!  We started out at church together for the first time in a long time.  Then we headed to swim lessons at the Y.  It was our last class for this session.  The boys all continue to improve and we are very proud of them.  We will be taking the next session off because we just have too many other things we want to do for all of the upcoming holidays.  We will start again in January.

After that we headed to Easton to grab lunch and Halloween costumes.  We were going to go to Steak N Shake, but then I saw Red Robin and we changed our plan.  The food was awesome!!  The boys loved the bottomless fries.  We filled our bellies and headed across the parking lot to Halloween City for the boys' costumes.  They were pretty overwhelmed with all of the choices (especially Zak) but AJ and Daniel picked theirs out.  Then Zak decided he wanted to do a similar one so now we have a theme.  We are trick or treating for the first time next weekend so you'll have to come back next week to see what they decided!

After that we headed downtown for the big event, Peppa Pig Live!!  I didn't even know this was happening until the past week and at the last minute we decided to get tickets for all of us.  The boys were so excited!  We all enjoyed the show, especially Zak and Daniel.  AJ was a little disappointed that some of the characters were puppets instead of people dressing up like those characters, but he said it was good.  Adrian & I enjoyed it, but we enjoyed seeing the joy on the boys' faces even more.
The blurry boys - "jumping in muddy puddles"

Monday (10/10) was Columbus Day so Adrian was off.  We thought about going out for a breakfast date but I ended up having to be in school for AJ's IEP meeting.  After that we just spent the day finishing up all the stuff around the house that we didn't get to this weekend, including decorating for Halloween and making our food list for our camping trip this weekend. 
Tuesday (10/11) was our only normal day for the week.  Everyone went to school and work but when I picked Zak up from school his teacher told me he wasn't feeling well and had some green snot.  So he and I went home and he rested for the rest of the day.  AJ and Daniel joined Boy Scouts for this year and had their first meeting tonight.  We tried to convince them not to do it since our schedule is really busy, but they really wanted to do it so we agreed.  They both had a great meeting and got "homework" to do before their next meeting in 2 weeks.

Wednesday (10/12) Zak stayed home from school and hung out with me.  He seems to be OK but he does have a lot of drainage from his nose and a bad cough so he'll be out today and tomorrow.  We ran a few errands then relaxed in the afternoon.  AJ had Brain Balance at night so I took Zak and Daniel to Meijer to get some camping supplies, spend some of their allowance and get a birthday gift for a friend for this weekend.  Zak used his allowance to buy a Magic Track set, he's been wanting one since he saw the commercial.  And Daniel used his allowance to buy some new Pokemon cards.  We also got everyone new winter hats and gloves because it's supposed to be very cold Friday night while we're camping.
Thursday (10/13) Zak stayed home from school again and got to go to work with me.  The older women that I teach in the morning loved how cute he was being.  Very thankful for their understanding!  We finished up shopping for our camping trip and headed home to rest for a while.  Zak and I also had dentist appointments this afternoon.  He did great & has no cavities!  I have a cavity that I need to get filled, boo!

Thursday night Adrian took the three boys to Magic Mountain for a fundraiser for their school.  I had to work and pick up their costumes for the weekend so I couldn't go with them.  They had a great time playing mini golf, riding go carts, eating pizza, running around the play area and playing video games.  They were there until after 9pm!!  After they got home, we got the boys to bed and finally started trying to get ready to leave to go camping.
Then a funny thing happened.  Well now it's funny.  We had been trying to empty our deep freeze and defrost it.  I finally got it emptied and unplugged on Wednesday.  Thursday night Adrian went downstairs to freeze some water for us to use for the cooler and he found 6 bags of marinated meat in there!  It had been covered in frost and we didn't know it was there.  Thankfully it was still cold and sort of frozen.  So I spent the next hour or so cooking the food so we can eat it next week.  I didn't get to do anything to prep for camping.  It was not fun at the time, but I'm sure I will be thankful not to have to cook at all next week!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 10/5 - 10/11)

Another good week of workouts in the books!  Of course they are pretty much all me teaching my classes but I still did that a lot so I'm happy about that.  I also officially pushed the button and am signed up for Barre training on Nov 5th.  I can not wait to get this license and start teaching this class in the new year.  Starting on Monday I'll be taking a class at the Y every Monday to learn from the current teacher.

The other thing I've been thinking about this week is how far I've come since I started on this healthy journey.  I'm often asked for a before picture and I don't have an official one.  I never thought it would go this far, or go on for this long.  I figured it would be another attempt to lose weight, I'd lose some and then gain it all back.  That's been my pattern for years.  But this time things seem to have stuck.  I think the difference is this time it is more of a lifestyle change.  I eat healthy about 80% of the time and then don't worry about it 20% of the time.  I do my best and don't beat myself up when it's not what I planned.

The other difference is obviously being so active.  I am so blessed to have a job where I have to work out just about every day.  It is such a great motivation to not only exercise but also to eat right.  Because when I eat badly, I feel horrible during my classes.  I don't give my students as great of an experience as they deserve.

Here is a family picture from 6 years ago compared to one this past summer.  You can clearly see the difference.  I'm not where I want to be, but I'm so happy with where I am.  I have things I'm still working for so that keeps me motivated.  But if I never lose another pound I will be happy with where I am and what I have accomplished.

Here's what I did this past week:
Wednesday - Taught 2 60 minute Zumba classes
Thursday - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, a 45 minute Zumba Gold class and a 60 minute Zumba class.  Also walked back and forth from school for pick up.
Friday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba class
Saturday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba Toning class, did a 20 minute core workout and helped unload the flowers for the boys' school fundraiser for about an hour.
Sunday - Walked around the living room for 10 minutes and practiced my 2 new Zumba songs
Monday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba Gold class and a 60 minute Zumba Toning class
Tuesday - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, a 45 minute Zumba Gold class and a 60 minute Zumba class

I didn't have the best eating over the weekend (side note - why do I struggle SO much over the weekends??  That's a post for another day I guess).  But I still did a lot of workouts and ate healthy the other 5 days.  I was happy to see that I lost 1 pound this week!  This weekend we are heading out on a camping trip so I'm sure I won't see a loss next week.  That's OK, bring on the s'mores!!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 9/28 - 10/4)

It is going to be pretty hard to top the past few weeks of workouts but I again had a pretty solid week.  I actually forgot to mention something in last week's recap, probably because I had so much else to talk about.  Last Tuesday, my mom came and took my Silver Sneakers Classic class and my Zumba Gold class.  She did pretty good and seemed like she had fun.  She got a little tripped up in Zumba, which can happen when you're not familiar with it.  I'm glad she was able to get a peak into what I'm doing as an instructor.

This week was a pretty typical week for me.  I worked out a lot, probably didn't rest enough and feel sore today.  I also added yet another class to my schedule which will start next week.  I promise I keep trying to cut down, but I just love my students and don't feel like there are any classes that I can cut!  This one is a corporate class and it's only for 6 weeks so I can handle it for 6 weeks.

Here's what I did this week:
Wednesday - Taught 3 60 minute Zumba classes
Thursday - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, a 60 minute Zumba Gold class & a 60 minute total body strength class
Friday - Taught 2 60 minute Zumba classes
Saturday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba Toning class, did a 20 minute core workout and went apple and pumpkin picking
Sunday - Rest Day - Practiced new Zumba songs for about 10 minutes and walked around my living room for about 10 minutes
Monday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba Toning class and a 60 minute Zumba Gold class
Tuesday - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, a 45 minute Zumba Gold class & walked back and forth from school

After teaching the 3 classes on Wednesday, I had a horrible plantar fasciitis flare up that I have been struggling with ever since.  On Thursday night I was supposed to teach a Zumba class but only had 2 students show up and we agreed to do a strength class instead of the high impact cardio.  It was a great workout and we had a ton of fun!  We may throw that class in every few weeks just to change things up.  I have a doctor's appointment next week to see if I can get it under control again.

I took Saturday and Sunday off from counting calories and enjoyed ice cream, Thurman's and multiple other non healthy things.  As a result, the scale didn't move this week.  I'm glad it didn't go up though!  This will again be the goal over the next few months as we get into the holiday season.  I am hoping to drop a few more pounds but will be happy if I can just end the year right where I am now.