Monday, May 26, 2014

Clean Eating Burrito Bowl

This was definetely a hit with my family! My husband and kids are very picky eaters but they devoured this meal (and what I didn't eat)! And the great thing was that it's clean! I got the orginal recipe from but I changed it up quite a bit.

Before it was mixed together!

This was the bowl mixed all together!


-1/2 cup brown rice

-1 chicken breast

-2 tbsp taco seasoning (recipe below)

-1 can of 50% less sodium black beans (drained and rinced)

-1 handful of green leaf lettuce shredded


-diced tomatoes


-grilled red and green peppers

-grilled onions and garlic

-Shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or Parm (I barely put any cheese on my bowl)

-Plain greek yogurt (optional sour cream replacement

Instructions: -Cook rice according to directions on the box or package. I added 1 tsp of taco seasoning to it to add extra spice.

-You can either rub your chicken with the remaining taco seasoning or if you already have cooked chicken like I did I just added the seasoning with the shredded chicken in a pan with 1/4 cup of water. I simmered it in the seasoning so it took on some of the flavoring. Next time I'll probably add the spices to the chicken and cook it in the crockpot to take on the flavor a little more.

-Assemble the bowl by laying the rice layer first. Top the rice with the black beans, grilled veggies and garlic, shredded chicken, shredded lettuce, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, lime, and greek yogurt.


Taco seasoning recipe:

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper

1 tbsp for every 1/4 cup of water

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My journey to health...

I've been wanting to do a post on my fitness journey for awhile now but didn't feel like I had achieved all of my goals yet or that I had any business giving health advice because who am I kidding, I'm still a newbie in the fitness world. But then I realized that I'm never going to achieve all of my goals and always going to be learning new things. I'm going to always be pushing myself to be better. So why not show my progression over the last few months?

A few months ago I started crossfit. Some of those that follow me on facebook probably are thinking, "WE KNOW ALREADY!!!" I know...I know... I'm just a TINGE obsessed with crossfit. If I can't make it to crossfit even one day in the week it literally ruins my day. I love it so much and have seen great results. I still have a ways to go but here are my results so far:

The first picture was taken a few months ago. I was not happy with my body but was able to accept I wasn't ready to start my journey yet. And I was really ok with that. I don't think you can really begin your journey unless you are completely ready. Nobody can make that decision but you. I gave myself plenty of time to recover from having my last baby and knew that it was time. And I don't regret giving myself that time, but man am I glad I got started when I did! The second picture was taken yesterday.

These show more of a progression of my stomach. It's amazing what clean eating and exercising does in just a few short months! What is funny is the first and second picture I didn't lose ONE POUND according to the scale.

When I first started my journey at crossfit I was very frustrated because I didn't see results right away according to the scale. In fact in three weeks of eating good, doing crossfit 5 times a week, and even working out most days at home on top of crossfit I didn't lose ONE pound. I would lose a couple of pounds and then the next day gain it right back. It was affecting my mood and I would just wonder what I was killing myself over if nothing was changing anyways. I felt my clothes fitting a little better but I wanted faster results.

So I called my sister Becky who is pretty fit herself for some advice. She told me to STOP weighing myself. It seemed so outlandish because I am totally a scale watcher. I mean how else are you supposed to gauge your sucess or whether you need to switch things up? I was reluctant to try it but I decided I would hide my scale in the back on my closet. My sister made some great points. One was even if I got to my goal weight what would that change? Would I suddenly love my body? What if I was the weight I was now but just very fit? Would that matter to me? Second was even if I got to my goal weight would I stop doing what I was doing? Wouldn't I just go right back to where I started? This was about a lifestyle change and the results come when they come.

As much as it was scary for me I decided to try it. I tried to forget about it and even when I had the urge to see if anything had changed I resisted. And what was amazing was that I found I was A LOT more consistent in my diet when I didn't weigh myself. Instead of feeling defeat and having the "who cares what I eat anyways since its not even working" mentality, I had the man I feel a lot better eating this way! I'm going to keep on going with this!

Also I haven't done any special diets, wraps, detoxes, juicing, etc. I started doing herbalife for a couple of weeks but it just wasn't working for me. It works well for some people and I'm sure if I switched up my plan I couldn've made it work but I just realized I wanted to learn healthy eating habits in general. One thing that was great about herbalife was that it gave me TONS of energy! And their cafe latte mixed with the dulce letche...ummm delicious! It's like a healthy latte that gives you tons of energy!

I also didn't do the zone diet or the paleo like a lot of crossfitters do. I decided that I needed to do this the realistic way and not something that was only temporary. So this is what I do basically:

I wake up in the morning and first thing I do is make breakfast. I try to make breakfast my biggest meal of the day. A lot of people want to skip breakfast but its a BIG mistake. You need the energy to get you through your day and your workouts! Usually I have something packed with carbs and protein.

Example: Plain oatmeal mixed with fruit (no added sweetners besides fruit) and a whole wheat english muffin with PB or honey. Another favorite is 2 egg whites mixed with spinach and cottage cheese, side of fruit, and a whole wheat english muffin. Sometimes I even make a little egg mcmuffin with the english muffin, an egg white, avocado, spinach, and a slice of turkey bacon.

After breakfast I will usually do a workout. Either at crossfit or if I can't make it in the morning I'll wait til Havey is asleep and do a workout. I'll take a home crossfit workout that I've pinned on pinterest, write it out in big print on a sheet of paper and then tape it to the tv stand and do my workout while I watch my favorite shows I want to catch up on. Killing two birds with one stone since I will admit I LOVE my shows!

After I workout I'll grab some water and shortly after grab a snack.

Example: I usually do fruit with a spoonful of cottage cheese (watermelon or oranges are the best). Or carrots with hummus.

In between workouts and snacks I try to keep active during the day. Either with the kids or doing chores around the house. I also try to pound down the water.

Lunch is my next biggest meal of the day but it's not as big as breakfast. This is the last time I try to have any starches or breads.

Example: Instead of plain whole wheat bread I like to get little whole wheat rounds (you can get them at costco). They are pretty thin and a lot less filling than bread. I will either take half of a round and toast it or if I'm really hungry I'll just use both halves. Instead of mayo I LOVE just plain avocado to keep my sandwich/burger nice and moist. Then I'll grill some onions, bell peppers, garlic and a lean turkey burger. I'll top it with dijon mustard and either spinach or romaine lettuce. Or I'll make a sandwich. I use low sodium deli meat FROM THE DELI! No packaged meats at all!

I like to incorporate garlic and onions into a lot of my meals. Jayda and Chase HATE the smell of it and that I am constantly adding it to meals but they are so great for you! They act as natural detoxers and are great for flavoring without all the salt.

A couple hours after lunch I'll have another snack.

Example: An apple and a small handful of almonds. I also love strawberry and honey greek yogurt mixed with half a banana and blueberries. I try to have an apple and blueberries everday. They are my favorite and they are so great for you! You might be tempted to stay away from greek yogurt because it has A LOT of calories and sugar. But if you look at the ingredient list it's got far less crap than "low calorie" or "no sugar added" yogurts. Plain greek yogurt is the best because it doesn't have the amount of sugar the flavored kind has but I only take a little scoop of it to flavor fruit or to make a green smoothie. Everything in moderation.

In general I try to look at the ingredients list of my foods and not so much the calories. If there is a large list of ingredients I stay away from them even if the calories are lower than something that has less ingredients. Also if I can't buy the ingredient as a whole food then I stay away from it. What is sodium erythorbate for example? Where do I go buy that? The answer is no where! Stay away from things like that!

I try to keep it simple for dinner. I ususally just have veggies and a protein of some sort or a salad. It's usually chicken because I'm not a big red meat eater. I don't eat pork at all (stay away from it!!) and I don't eat seafood of any kind. I sometimes wish I did because fish is so great for you but I just can't bring myself to eat any of it. Maybe one day!

After dinner I will either go to crossfit or do a home workout.

After my workout I'll come home and have a bowl of fruit and some herbal tea. I try not to have anything after about 7-7:30 but water or tea that way my body has a chance to burn off my food before I go to bed.

The first few days you'll probably feel a little hungry and you might get a headache. It's totally normal but it will go away after a couple days. After that you'll have so much energy! And before doing this plan I couldn't go to sleep earlier than 11pm. Sometimes it wasn't until 12 or 1. And when you have kids that wake up at 6-6:30am that can make you very tired and groggy throughout the day and starts a vicious cycle of tiredness. Now I have tons of energy and my circadium rhythum is stabalized!

After about a month I decided to weigh myself! Gasp! What is funny is I only lost about 10lbs from the before and after pictures. That's why watching the scale means nothing. I would've never thought that only a 10lb weight loss I would look so different. The number means NOTHING! How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Pay attention to that and throw your scale away!!

I still have plenty of goals....bikini anyone? I'm so not there yet but I will be one day! And I have goals besides how my body looks. Some of those include: doing a pull up without assistance of a band, doing ring dips without assistance, doing a muscle up (LONG ways away!), handstand push-ups and lifting with the big 45lb bar. So in other words I just want to be stronger...not skinnier. The important thing to remember is to stay consistent but remember to reward yourself too. If I want a small treat I will have one and honestly I do every 3-5 days depending on the week. What I don't do that I used to is get down on myself if I do treat myself. I would have the mentality that I failed if I had one bad thing and so my whole day was therefore shot. But that's not true. So what I had a piece of chocolate? Now I'll do a little workout instead of gorging myself when I "failed". Luckily eating healthy you start to not even want your treats as much.

There will be hard days and some days where you just don't want to work out. Can anyone say box jump gone bad anyone...

But there will also be good days where you achieve your goals and see tremendous progress...

This is my first handstand hold! It took 3 months to get the guts (and strength) to do it unassisted. I felt so much pride achieving my goal! My next goal...banging out handstand push-ups without the backpack to assist me. It's not too far off!

If I know I'm not going to have the option of eating healthy for a meal then I will plan my day accordingly. Instead of having a full out meal for breakfast or for lunch I'll replace it with a green smoothie or just have something really small. I realize that by not going 110% with my diet its going to take longer than if I was very strict. But by doing it the realistic way I'm going to form good habits and have more long term results even when life gets in the way.

It's so easy to get intimidated when you are first starting out. I by no means consider myself a health expert and even one that knows a whole lot about nutrition. I do consider myself someone that loves to learn more about health and nutrition and take critism and put it to use. No one is perfect and you shouldn't hold yourself to those standards.

The first day I started crossfit I couldn't even do a full crunch. It was embarassing that I couldn't even do one unassisted. I had to use a weight to get up to my feet. Now I'm doing get-up sit-ups with no problem. It just takes time for your body to get stronger. There is no shame in that.

Lastly find someone to do your plan with. Having friends or a support network is essential! I love going to crossfit because of the people I work out with. I love having my trainers push me. I could do the workout at home and still find results but having people motivate me everyday pushes me that much further. And in crossfit there is healthy competition. If I see a girl who has the same althetic ability as me I try to push myself to keep up with her or pass her in my workout. And chances are she's doing the same. But even though there are all kinds of people there with different levels of atheletic ability I haven't come across one who is snoody or has a huge ego. Everyone is so nice especially if you are new! That's definetely a refresher from some gyms I've been to.

And this is not to say this would plan work for everyone. I have a lot of friends who are super fit and healthy who do things like herbalife. I think its awesome when people find something that works long term for them. My advice is to be completely ready when you start and find something long term that will work. Also be good to yourself! Don't expect to be perfect because you will be so disappointed! Plus NO ONE is even if they say they are! They are lying to you! :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

To my girls...

I've been thinking about writing this letter to my girls (aged 5 and 18 months) for a few months now. Sometimes I think about what I want out of my parenting experience and if I died today what pieces of advice I'd want to leave behind to my girls. I don't want to even pretend to know how to raise teenagers. I know I won't always take my own advice but in an ideal situation these are things I want to teach my girls. Not everyone will agree with my views or my values and I'm completely ok with that. So here is a letter to my girls from the bottom of my heart...

To my girls,

Right now you girls are still my babies. There are so many things I want to teach you that you just wouldn't understand yet but there are things I can instill in you while you are small. I'm not perfect and I make mistakes. What matters is I am trying. There is perfection in inperfection.

I think every parent wants their children to have better then what they had. They want them to not make the same mistakes. That would be ideal. But I actually want and expect you to make mistakes even if it kills me to watch you make them. It's a part of life and a part of improving.

If life were ideal I would tell you to not get married til you're AT LEAST 25. Go travel the world, get your degree, reel in several fish in the sea before you keep one, have a handful of friends that accept you for who you are, and just live life as free as you can.

By the time I turned 19, I was married. A year later I was pregnant. We really were just two kids who didn't know much about life except for the fairy tale we had imagined up for our lives. I'm surprised your dad and I didn't kill each other the first year of our marriage. We hardly knew each other and jumped into something because it's what we thought we were supposed to do. Although I don't regret marrying your dad or having you girls so early in life I don't want that for you. I want you to date the person you fall in love with for awhile. I want you to get an education and a great job before you settle down and have kids. If that's what you even want. I don't ever want you to rely on another individual, especially your partner, to be the sole provider. You need to have the resources for you and your children if it so be that you need that. It's your responsibility to provide that security if need be.

Don't ever let someone tell you that your only purpose here is to have kids and be a wife. I'm not saying those aren't incredibly fulfilling and important jobs. I've enjoyed doing that for the first years of your lives, but I've also witnessed countless women lose their identity, their sanity, and their individuality trying to fit in "the mom and wife box". It's easy to get so lost in caring for others that we forget ourselves. We've been taught in society that if we take care of ourselves before others that is selfish, but it's a lie. If you don't take care of yourself how are you supposed to care for others? If you've lost your identity how can you help shape your children's individual identities? You simply can't. When/if you become a mom remember that you and your partner are a team. Your dad and I share the responsibilty for you kids because we are both parents. Your dad has always been great at that. No one team mate is better or more powerful than the other. Never forget that.

Remember that health and fitness are important. Take care of your body and the things you put in it. You can add so many years to your life simply by eating whole foods and exercising. Make it simple, realistic, and more importantly fun! Your body and your mind will thank you for it. And never forget moderation, moderation, moderation!

Pick something you're passionate about and put your heart into it even if others tell you that you can't achieve it. But never forget to balance reality with passion. You can dream big but find a realistic way to achieve your goals.

Dont rely on others love to determine your happiness. The other day, Jayda, you told me that you were your own best friend because if you don't love yourself you can't love others. I'm so proud that at 4 years old you have already picked up on that concept because even some adults don't get it. But please have a best friend besides yourself because that's weird...

Always question authority because even they make mistakes. Look at both sides of an argument even (especially!!) if authority tells you not to. People will try to tell you how to think or what is true but it's your responsibility to search that truth for yourself. Think critically about every situation but try not to become a know it all that refuses to admit they were wrong. Always be willing to switch viewpoints. That's how we learn and obtain truth. Be skeptical but not untrusting. Sometimes it's a hard balance. And remember that just because we want something to be true doesn't make it so.

When someone tells you something that sounds too good to be true it probably is. When you see something is free it probably has strings attached.

As for religion, I want you to apply the same principles as anything in life. Be skeptical and question authority but I will never tell you what you should or shouldn't believe in. If I can help it I'll make sure no one around you does the same. Your religious journey is your own to walk and no one else's. You make sense of whatever you want and I'll support you 100% even if I came to a different conclusion. Just never conform your views just because it's popular or easier. That goes for things besides religion too. It could be politics, values, social norms, etc. If you go with the crowd you're cheating on yourself. That is a true tragedy in life.

I'm not going to lie to you. There will be hard times in life. It's just simply a part of your story. No good story is perfect, without its tragedies. The hard times make the good times that much better. Just never forget to communicate the way you feel to those that you love and trust. Holding in things is not healthy and leads to anxiety. But also don't dwell on the negative and learn to move past the painful experiences.

Learn to accept criticism and realize that not everyone is going to like you. You're not here to impress anyone and you'll learn in life who your true friends are. Those that are there for you through anything, even when they don't agree with your life choices, are the keepers. You can't waste your time with conditional friendships. They aren't worth the energy or head space.

Never be afraid to talk to me about something. I'm here as a guide, not to be your authority figure. You will have good and bad consequences for the things you do in life. I'm just here to enforce them.

When you go rock climbing you have a guide who knows way more than you do but they've also experienced the climb a thousand times before. They are there to help you get to your destination safely and to help correct your mistakes. It would be wrong of them to expect you to not make any. It would also be wrong if they forced your head in the direction they wanted you to look, or put blinders on the parts they don't want you to see. They don't control your climbing experience just like I don't control your life. You'll take different things from the same things we experience.

I want you to feel comfortable sharing with me your mistakes and your triumphs without the fear of judgment. I want you to be able to talk to me about boys and sex. Sex is a dirty word for so many parents but it's a very natural part of a relationship. Always be safe and smart. Be in a monogamous relationship and make sure you have the emotional maturity to handle such serious things. Bottom line, have respect for your body but never ever let anyone tell you what to do with it. Just remember that every choice has a consequence. Good and bad.

Heart breaks are completely normal even expected. It will happen probably more than once. One time after a boy broke my heart I literally threw up. Now I laugh at that situation and one day you will too. Try not to throw up though. That's gross and totally not worth it. I promise.

Don't take yourself too seriously.

Yes your body is fantastic. Stop analyzing yourself by a number on a scale. How do you feel? That's your best indicator of health and beauty.

Men can control themselves and their thoughts. You are not ever responsible for their thoughts and don't buy into it if you're told you are.

You are not a licked cupcake or a chewed up piece of gum. And if any man has a problem that you weren't abstinent before marriage than he cares more about his ideals than you. It's not necessarily his fault, he's just been taught that his whole life.

Which leads me to my final point. Always have empathy even if you can't understand someone completely. Actions are a consequence of thought. Thought is a consequence of upbringing. And upbringing is something we don't choose. Always look at why someone did something because there is almost always another layer to what we see. Not everyone questions what they were told to believe because they don't understand there is more than one way to look at a situation. And if they do they just want what's easier, not what's true. That's a bias of the human brain and not always a character flaw. But there is a difference between having empathy and being a doormat. Again it's about the balance.

"Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been one of these."

I love you girls more than anything so when I need my mama time don't take it personally. That's going back to having my individuality and space. Personal time and space is essential for your mental health. It has nothing to do with you. And if/when you become a mom don't feel guilty taking a break. You deserve it.

Keep a journal. One day you'll love to go back and read it and laugh at yourself and the problems you thought you had. And read my journal to compare notes. I'm sure we made some of the same mistakes so don't be scared to talk to me because I seem old. I probably will be able to relate at some level.

Remember this is advice you have the choice to take or leave. Choice is your right but consequences are not.

"Compassion is free, but respect is earned."- (The show you guys still have Netflix? If so, watch it!)

Love always and unconditionally,

Your mama