Friday, May 30, 2014

I heard one of the best things I could ever hear this week. I inspired someone.(Thanks Tina!) That just makes me all warm and mushy inside. I love hearing about how she is starting meatless and would love to hear more about anybody else's journeys as well. Like I said before, doing this together is so much funner then doing it alone!

Alright so I'm going to be honest. I'm writing this the day before my weigh in tomorrow and I'm NERVOUS. I've had a rough week and an even rougher time staying on track with consistent meals and snacks. Then Memorial Day I wanted to have a cheat day so we did full out fried chicken, mac and cheese and potato salad..and beer!

Here's the thing though. I don't believe losing weight is about depriving yourself so I really don't feel guilty at all for my cheat day. And if this week I stayed the same...I know it's not because of one day. It's about the week as a whole.

As for my meals, you'll have to forgive my skip of the weekend. I wrote in what I remember but that's it. My husband was out of town, my daughter suddenly didn't know what napping meant, I had my nieces over for a sleepover night and Sunday was my friends graduation party. So it was hectic and the last thing on my mind was writing down what I ate.

I guess this week will be a good testimony to how diet and not putting it as a priority can quickly mess up your progress. Honestly I think it's all a positive because I now get to see exactly where all my weak points are and make sure it doesn't happen the next time. So next week will be better :)

22nd: Bfast: Leftover prime rib, mashed potatoes and broccoli
           Snack: Celery, carrot and hummus w/ watermelon and almond plate
           Lunch: Tuna salad wrap w/ celery, tomatoes, onions and a pickle on the side
           Snack: Frozen burrito, string cheese
           Dinner: Brown rice sushi rolls
           Activity: BAR Method (1 hr)
23rd: Bfast: Vegan chorizo and egg whites, 1/2 pear, gluten free toast with pb&j
          Snack: Veggie Shake
          Lunch: Salmon, black beans, brown rice, roasted veggies
          Snack: Fiber One bar, a couple spoons of Ornan's Yogurtland
          Dinner: Quinoa plate w/ raw veggies, salmon and hummus
          Snack: Popcorn, green tea, a few dark chocolate chips
24th: Bfast: 1 egg/2 egg whites, 1/2 apple, gluten free toast w/ pb&honey
             Dinner: Macaroni and cheese
25th: Activity: BAR Method (1 hr)
              Lunch: Ribs, potatoe salad, chicken and carrot cake
26th: Bfast: 2 eggs w/ feta, gluten free toast w/ pb&honey
         Lunch: Chicken sandwich from Carl's Jr.
         Dinner: Fried chicken, mac and cheese, potato salad and beer
27th: Bfast: Gluten free toast w/ peanut butter& honey, watermelon
              Snack: Protein shake
              Lunch: Veggie chili
              Activity: 15 minute sprint intervals on treadmill, 25 pushups and 1 minute of dips
              Dinner: Veggie chili and salmon & green tea
28th: Bfast: Greek yogurt parfait w/ almonds, raisins and cinnamon & 1 egg/2 egg whites w/ feta
             Snack: Hot water w/ lemon and honey and gluten free toast w/ pb&honey
             Lunch: Salmon w/ chili

 Meal prep - I like to make a lot of stuff at once so I don't have to cook every night
 Usual breakfast - Eggs, fruit & gluten free toast
Snack - 1/2 yam, watermelon and almonds


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I know we get a lot of questions when we tell people we eat mostly vegetarian, I guess you would actually call it pescatarian because we eat all sorts of seafood. It's a fair question seeing as the day I suggested the switch to my husband, he looked at me like I had four eyeballs and asked "What the hell are we going to eat?!"

We've done this now for I'd say about two years...maybe a little more. We stopped when I was pregnant because all I wanted to eat was steak, steak and more steak. Throughout our time making the switch we started to learn what to keep in our pantry at all times and what some easy go to recipes are. Since my husband is a big guy he eats a lot, and when I cook I have to think about quantity and taste.

Below I've included a list of what we always have on hand and some recipes we commonly use in the house. These are all SUPER healthy and tasty, you don't feel like your losing out on anything.

- Black Beans
- Canneneli Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Stewed/Diced Tomatoes
- Tomato Sauce
- Tomato Paste
- Canned Corn
- Every single spice that you can imagine (Start with cumin, cinnamon, oregano, curry powder, basil)
- Lentils
- Quinoa
- Brown Rice
- Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Carrots
- Yams
- Broccoli
- Carrots
- Onions
- Celery
- Basil
- Bellpeppers
- Spinach
- Kale
- Lemons
- Limes
- Some fish (usually salmon)
- Organic Eggs
- Honey
- Canned Tuna
- Greek Yogurt
- All different kinds of fruit...lots!
- Nuts (usually walnuts or almonds)
- Almond milk
- Butter
- Garlic
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Chicken broth
- Quinoa Pasta
- Hummus
- Popcorn
- Bread Crumbs

I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but that's what came to mind and will make you a surprisingly large variation of meals. It will take you awhile to accumulate the spices and sauces, unless you feel like dishing out all that cash in one trip. Now here are some amazing recipes, which I recommend making a large batch of to be able to nibble on throughout the week. Click the name for the recipe.

This bowl is awesome because you really just put any variation of veggies in it. And if your feeling lazy and don't want to cook, skip the spices and the wok. Throw in your fav veggies and put a big spoonful of hummus. SO good!

This recipe is amazing because I throw in what we have on hand veggie wise. Also, this can be used to stuff just about anything. I've stuffed potatoes, eggplant, mushrooms and it all has tasted amazing. The best part is, it's so healthy you can put as much parmesan as you like. YUM!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Yesterday I wore this outfit to spend the day with my family starting at the library. They do awesome free events for kids, this particular one was a baby/toddler story time. Call your local library, they should have a scheduled or you. They sing, play games and have the kids participate. My favorite part is having Penelope interact with other kids since she's not in daycare.

My husband surprised me with taking a day off before his trip to Vegas so he got to see my much talked about library time. After we went and had lunch at a yummy organic place in Berkeley and then walked around and did some window shopping in Walnut Creek.

These pants are one of my favorite, boyfriend denim that isn't too baggy and tapered just right. This blouse I've had for ions and still love. I got a bunch of strange looks for wearing heels at the kid event, but I say if your comfortable and you feel great....who cares?


Friday, May 23, 2014

HELLO one week check in :). <--- Smiley face means things are going well. Very well.


Let me tell you. I feel AMAZING! Drastically changing my diet was hard the first few days, but now I find it exciting to figure out healthy ways to eat. I'm not sluggish at all, I'm practically jumping off the roof with energy. My weigh in after three days was already 2 lbs less and my workouts have been getting easier.

I get a lot of questions, why mostly vegan. There's no short way to answer that, but I definitely recommend you watch two documentaries. Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Both were life changing for my household. We're not fully vegan. We still do eggs, seafood and feta cheese. The occasional meat dabbles in once a week. But I PROMISE if you try making a huge shift, you'll come to be me and be like oh my god I feel amazing.

I made some very conscious choices when this challenge started, that I know in the past have worked really well for me

- Going mostly meatless again
- Going mostly gluten-free
- Drinking green shakes everyday 
- Drinking green tea every night
- Taking two fish oil pills a day and a multivitamin 

On the green shake note, it is NOT a few measly spinach leaves and a bunch of fruit. The reason is because I am drinking one as a meal. So in order for it to actually be a meal, I have to put enough food in there to equal the liquid form of a salad. Every night I've made one for the hubby and I. My go to is 3 cups spinach/kale mix, 1/2 carrot, 1/2 apple, 1 stalk celery, 2 ice cubes and some water. 

The consistency is thick, (you can thin it out by adding more water) but the taste is great. The apple really makes it something that you can drink everyday. The shake itself ended up not being enough for me not to try and munch later, so I added in a black bean patty. Perfect combo.

Lastly, I chose to do the green shakes for dinner out of all meals because it's super light. Dr. Oz mentioned in one of his shows a fast way to lose weight is to eat liquid meals for dinner - soups, shakes...something that is easy to digest and your body will thank you for it. After doing these for dinner, I don't feel sluggish at all and my digestive system is thanking me times ten! <--- TMI?? Lol.

15th  Bfast: Eggs, whole grain toast w/ pb&j, watermelon
          Lunch: Top Ramen & salmon
          Snack: Carrot and ranch
          Dinner: Steak Salad and green tea
16th  Bfast: 2 eggs w/ kale and feta, 2 strawberries, whole grain toast w/ Nutella
          Lunch: Chicken, red potatoes and brown rice
          Snacks: Piece of salmon, butternut squash, dark chocolate, greek yogurt
          Dinner: Green shake
          Activity - 20 minute walk with the peanut, 20 min on elliptical doing speed intervals
17th Bfast: 2 eggs w/ feta, 1 pear, gluten free toast w/ pb&j
          Lunch: Kale salad w/ carrots, onions, feta, jalepenos and balsamic vinaigrette
          Activity: BAR Method (1 hr)
          Snacks: Greek yogurt, almonds, Fiber One bar
          Dinner: Green shake, black bean patty, green tea
18th Bfast: Veggie chorizo and eggs, gluten free toast w/ pb&honey, 1/2 pear
          Activity: BAR Method (1hr)
          Snack: Fiber One bar
          Lunch: 1/2 Whole Foods tofu wrap, asparagus salad
          Activity: Swimming 30 minutes
          Snack: Watermelon, almonds
          Dinner: Veggie shake, black bean patty, green tea
19th  Bfast: Egg whites w/ kale & feta, 1/2 pear, gluten free toast w/ pb&honey
             Snack: Rest of bfast, coffee, almonds, greek yogurt
             Lunch: Quinoa, salmon, 1/2 avocado, black bean and corn salad
             Activity: BAR Method (1hr)
             Snack: Fiber One bar, almonds
             Dinner: Black bean patty, black bean salad, hummus

20th   Bfast: 1 Egg w/ kale & feta, watermelon, gluten free toast w/ pb&honey
           Snack: Almonds, greek yogurt, watermelon
           Lunch: Quinoa bowl with raw chard, onions, celery, bell pepper and 1/4 avocado.
           Activity: 40 minute walk with Peanut, 22 min intervals on elliptical and treadmill
           Snack: 1/2 bag of popcorn w/ hot sauce, five dark chocolate chips, Fiber One bar
           Dinner: Top ramen w/ tuna & 1/2 veggie shake
21st  Bfast: 1 egg/1 eggwhite & feta, watermelon, gluten free toast w/ pb&honey
             Snack: Coffee, almonds, watermelon
             Lunch: Veggie shake, black bean patty
             Snack: Fiber One bar
             Snack: Fiber One bar, protein shake
             Dinner: Prime rib, mashed potatoes and broccoli

- Green shakes for dinner were super quick, much easier then making a full meal like usual
- Spending a day to pre-cook large batches of healthy things we could eat throughout the week
- Bringing a snack. When I wasn't starving I was willing to put in the time to make better decisions
- Logging my food
-Pre-cutting all veggies. When I need them I just throw em in to whatever I'm eating
- Buying new clothes that are my size before I was pregnant
- LOTS of water. Have some with you at ALL times!

- Not pre-making the green shake. Dinner time one night was right at Penelope's fall asleep time. I chose letting her fall asleep over the loud blender.
- Forgetting to bring my snacks with me. It was all I could do one night NOT to just grab Burger King.
- On the go meals. I didn't want to spend money on lunches when I was out but I had to because I didn't think to pre-make a lunch I could take on the go.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Today I finally got around to shooting the peanut burglar. She is six and a half months now, and let me tell you how fast time has gone by. Right now she is so happy and playful and curious. She plays with other babies and she's babbling dada and baba. She's teething again, so she likes to be snuggled more then usual. With all this cuteness happening, that's not a problem to Mama.

She's loving her solids and only a couple days ago started eating "real" solids. By that I mean I just hand her a chunk of something and she attempts to eat. (Thank Kelly). I had no idea she was ready until I heard from another mom...but Penelope absolutely loves it. I think she likes the independence of it all. This little cutie demanded food right after and conked out, so I get a chance to post.

Is it strange that I'm already thinking about what I'm going to do for her first birthday? I'm starting to call around and look into district transfers for school too. It's our goal to get her in a great school so even if we don't live in that area, she can go. Can never start TOO early right? Lol.

I'm working on my photography skills indoor. After over a year of shooting outdoor, indoor is a whole different ballgame. Lighting is so important so still trying to play around with it. But she gave me a good ten minutes of fierce cuteness and I got tons of amazing pics. Can't wait to blow these up and hang them in our home!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's time to get funky...what what! I don't know about you but I work better at achieving things when I challenge myself, public displays of failure help a lot too. This is a month challenge where I'm giving myself one month to lose 10 lbs.

That might be a bit excessive at first glance to some but here's the background story. Before I got pregnant I weighed the least I've ever weighed since Freshman year in high school. I now weigh the most I ever have in my entire life, save for actual pregnancy. So I happen to know that when you are much heavier then your body is used to, those first ten lbs go a lot easier then say the last ten lbs.

I currently weigh 158 and my goal by June 15th is to get down to 148. Admittedly, I'm a little stumped since I basically eat grass everyday and I'm pretty active. I've also recently joined the Bar Method with my sis which I happen to love as well. So public humiliation seemed the right thing to kick my ass even further to reach my goal.

And now the why. I feel sluggish, and it's not because I'm tired but just because of the extra weight. I work in fashion, and I'd like to wear fashionable clothes to blog about. I'd like to get my confidence back. I've haven't worn a bikini happily since I was like....Two. And finally, I'm having more kids, but I would like to be at what I feel is my best before I get pregnant again.

In a week, I will check in with a pic of the scale. Also, I'd love if other people joined the challenge with me. Stay tuned my friends!

158lbs - MAY 15th


Sunday, May 11, 2014

I count this as my second Mother's Day since my first I celebrated when I was pregnant. I never thought I wanted to be married much less be a Mother. I felt I was too selfish to make anyone else happy for any extended period of time. And I was. But everything has it's perfect timing, and when we found out about you I didn't think I was ready.

I checked out every book about pregnancy from the library. I spent hours reading articles online about parenting. I took classes, I listened to advice. I was positive I would be THAT mom who forgets to put the elf on the shelf. The horror! But everything really does happen for a reason. I wasn't just ready, but I believe I was born to be a Mother. All trials and tribulations have led me to what I believe to be my calling. Which is you. Where I thought I would be stingy with my time, I am ecstatic to share with you.

I spend hours staring at you. The faces you make the first time you discover something new, or when you realize I'm not next to you anymore and you look for me. The first time you taste a new food and it looks like your eating a sour grape. When I walk into the room in the morning after you wake up and your face lights up with joy.

Your eyes crinkle up with laughter anytime somebody talks to you. "She's SUCH a happy baby!" everyone says. It's true. I don't know that I've ever laughed so much with anyone else in my life.

Your giggle is angelic. It's like God created the most heavenly sounds and inserted it into your little body. You are loving and curious, funny and so smart. Your not even One yet and I can see your going to be too smart for your own good.

You love to dance with Mama. We'll put our hands together and dance around the living room like silly girls. You stare up at me in wonder, and then suddenly your nose crinkles up to match your smile.

When your playing by yourself, I tell myself there's a lot of work to be done. But I just can't tear myself away from the little wonder that is Penelope. I watch everything, take it all in. Everybody told me time flies by so fast, so I fear losing a moment that I won't get back.

As you grow up you'll find through my actions, that I've made you promises while you were still in my belly.

I promise to love you when it's not as easy
I promise to listen to you when what you tell me isn't what I want to hear
I promise that I will not force my judgement on who you are supposed to be
I promise I will be there on your field trips
I promise I will keep trying to bake so I don't embarrass you at bake sales
I promise I will make time to put you first
I promise I will make time for myself so you can have a happy mommy
I promise I will learn how to do hair so you don't look like a jungle child
I promise you can talk to me about anything
I promise you will learn what it's like to be a lady
I promise I will teach you that it really doesn't matter what others say
I promise I will show you the importance of serving
I promise I'll take you on mommy daughter dates
I promise to pick your nose until you figure out how to do it yourself
I promise you will know what it's like to be a kid and make mud pies and eat sand
I promise to let you makes mistakes so you can learn from them
I promise that if you say you want to be an astronaut that sells cookies to aliens on Mars, that's what I will help you do
I promise to step in when I know you need me to
I promise if anyone bullies you I will try with all my might not to go to your school and scare the little shit
I promise to teach you that your body is a temple
I promise to show you through my marriage how a man should treat you
I promise that I am devoted to you, and that will never have to be something you worry about...ever.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Starting this blog is about my journey as a parent and an individual. My findings, my experiences, my   highs my lows, and most importantly my opinions.  I've tended to shy away from stating my opinions on parenting and societal issues because I've found it usually elicits a negative response. Too often I can sense that the person feels I've come across as "I'm better then you". It could be my delivery or it could be the receiver. It's probably both. But no, I do not have an almighty complex and maybe my writing will convey that better then my speaking can. I do have opinions, very strong ones usually and in the end if I bring up a strong reaction, that that means a seed of thought has been planted...and that's awesome.

We've all been guilty of it. Oh my god, I NEED that brand new car.  Babe, you NEED to buy me this big fat ring. We NEED more money, how else are we going to buy all the clothes, shoes, purses, toys we want?

The problem in that is that your worth doesn't come from crap. Your joy doesn't come from crap. Your child's personal development doesn't come from stuff. I love a good fancy leather smelling Louis bag just as much as the next woman, but at the price of having to work just to have it? I'll pass. My choice very early on in my pregnancy was that my priority would be to succeed at home first. 

I think succeeding at home first means, finances willing, having a parent responsible for taking care of your children and your household. At what point did that become not a job, but merely an extra responsibility added on to a full work week? Money? Yeah I don't provide that stuff. My husband does. 

I provide the first face Penelope sees as she looks up from her naps and gives me a big two tooth smile. I provide social environments to create an active future community member. I provide hundreds of pictures and videos of time we spent together that we will never get back. I provide the knowledge of what she needs as Penelope the individual on any given day. I provide her with fresh organic, homemade food to eat day and night. I provide the assurance that I am her playmate, that I have the energy to focus solely on her. I provide the environment also that enables her to learn how to play by herself and be independent. I provide the chest for her to lay on when she drifts off to sleep and to nuzzle into when she's dreaming. I provide the knowledge to her, that when she cries, her Mama will be there and will always be. This is just a fraction of what I provide for this household, and no they aren't monetary but I would argue they are priceless. 

And so my confusion lies in this. At what point did the important of meaningless shit, take priority over the emotional and physical wellbeing of your family? I think somewhere as parents we signed an unspoken contract that our lives were no longer just a self fulfilling journey. That we were now responsible for the wellbeing and joy of another human. 

Our family doesn't have a lot, but we have enough. We live in an apartment, I have a band for a wedding ring and we bought a used suv that we could afford. My husband wears his socks too long and almost never buys himself new clothes. But my joy is something I wake up with every morning and it's because we were blessed to have a choice, and choosing our household first is my priority. 

In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the author writes that every person has a mission statement. A life mission statement that is the reason behind every decision and action you choose to do. My family tops that list. So my actions reflect this. My day to day actions, from what I do with my time to what I made for dinner. Just as I was getting into my groove, God tested me.

Not too long ago my business began to flourish almost overnight.  Money, orders, new business inquiries...all of that. And I had worked SO HARD to get here. So I was on my computer all day, on the phone, fulfilling orders. As a result, Penelope played by herself...all day long. I hung a toy over her head as I was doing research on my phone for a few minutes at a time here and there. We didn't go anywhere, she didn't get attention. She could wait... I worked so hard to get here I told myself. When she was fussy I thought, GOD what it wrong with you?? Your taking time away from what I need to be doing. So she got more fussy. After about a week, I had an epiphany, my mission statement said SPECIFICALLY "succeed at home first". All my choices reflected the polar opposite.

Being a stay at home parent is a blessing. It is something not everyone can afford to do. It doesn't have to mean that's all you are. I am also an individual, a wife, a friend, a lover of vodka shots, a Bar Method freak and a bathtub recluse who loves to blast Young Jeezy in my "Mom SUV". But it's so important to make choices centered around what you truly feel to be a priority. Hopefully one of your top priorities is your children, so can you afford to have one parent stay home? Work part time or not at all?

Many of our problems today are created by people who's parents didn't pay attention, they weren't there. I myself am the product of a mother who loved us so much, but she was never there. Her work is her life. Angry kids turn into angry adults. Hurt people hurt other people. The need for attention they never got turns into girls dating assholes and boys going to prison. 

Self fulfillment is important, but so is serving for a higher purpose. Children, our future, is a higher purpose. Looking at what we really "needed" in a new perspective became the best thing we could do for ourselves as individuals, our marriage and our child.