Saturday, September 29, 2012

Busy, beauty, Easy and delicious

Had a busy but pretty perfect day today.
Started the morning off by heading downtown with one of my closest friends to run a 5K in honor and support of those women battling ovarian cancer. It was a powerful and emotional run as said closest friend's BFF is currently battling this disease. As in she just had her surgery 2 weeks ago!! And she was out there this morning in the brisk air surrounded by her sister and friends and many other survivors!! She walked part of the 1 mile family walk, and rode the remainder. What a testament to her strength!!
As I was running I just kept telling myself, "don't quit, don't stop running"! See that voice of negativity that lives inside my head was running her mouth again! I would have an internal dialogue with her as to why I shouldn't stop, and then when she would shut would be at that moment I would catch a glimpse of someone in a teal shirt, or a cluster of teal balloons. And remember that these incredible women are running the race of their lives, and they can't quit, so why should I have that luxury!?!...I crossed the finish line without stopping in about 29ish minutes. To all you men, women, and precious children battling for your lives I honor & pray for you.

After the run we spent the next couple hours meeting with our BTWG group. It's crazy that the program is already wrapping up! Holy cow these 12 weeks have flown by!! I truly hope our group stays connect and follows through on the amazing ideas we came up with. I know I need the support!

Then came lunch! I got to sit and eat a meal with my main squeeze!! It was simple quick and easy (all was cooked in the microwave)!!

Threw some broccoli florets and slices of onion, butter, salt and pepper in a bowl and cooked for about 4 minutes. Then cooked half a spaghetti squash
Warmed up some cooked chicken.
Tossed in layers on a plate with some fresh tomatoes. It was scrumptious!!
Ala "pasta primavera"

Finished off the gorgeous evening with a quick stop off at Town of Avon park so the girls could slide and run a Lil bit around the pond!!
It was a great day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pancake Labor

Monday, Labor Day, I'd been looking forward to this day for a few weeks....
On our agenda was to run the "Old Fashion Days" annual 5K. This year I got some of my dear Friends to join me, and we were there running in honor of Craig Porter; the late Brother of Kyle's dear friend Melissa Meek. I finished the 93% humid, hilly run in 31:08. We cheered in the rest of our friends and were off to breakfast. I was super excited as I had publicly proclaimed this as my super cheat meal before starting the Whole Life Challenge in just a couple weeks....which just set myself up for a huge disappointment. Someone forgot to make real homemade pancakes this year. Seriously, who decided to serve up the frozen microwave pancakes. Ugh!!
Moment of growth: any other given day I would have just eaten them b/c they were there. On this day I took a bite, realized they weren't what I wanted, so I stopped and didn't eat another bite of them.
Moving on: I still want my pancakes darn it!! So I made the executive decision we it was a BFD night. Breakfast for Dinner that is.

So here's what I made, served up with mixed fruits, Bacon, sausage, real butter and organic maple syrup!!

Paleo Pancakes

8 eggs
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 c. Coconut flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger (I left out)
Honey to taste

Beat eggs, add all the wet Ingredients. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Dump the dry into the mixing bowl (hope you are lucky enough to have a kitchenaid mixer). Heat a griddle spread a little coconut oil on it. Spoon two heaping spoonfuls into pan and spread a little thin. Cook a couple minutes and flip.

Optional ingredients are: pumpkin (Mmmmm) or banana instead of the honey.
Adapted from Fast Paleo.

These were very filling and tasty, I think I kicked my hankering for pancakes ;)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What a Crazy week...

For some reason I feel like I've been railroaded this week.....

Monday: Started off the week with a sickie lil' girl, #1 Sassy Z.  I missed an appointment I had at the dentist because we were getting a strep culture done.  That was all negative; nothing is "wrong" with her....she was just randomly throwing up and running a fever off and on and having ear pains...awesome.

Feeling completely overwhelmed by being gone all weekend, having homework to makeup, and then spending the majority of the day in the doctor office and then rushing home hitting the grocery and getting it all put away before it was time to pick up #2, Crazy Z from school I made the conscious decision to skip the gym and stay home with the girls to get caught up. 
While at home I decided to make the girls something "fun" to pack in their lunch box for the week. 
So Crazy Z and I whipped up some "Granola Bars" (NOT BTWG approved)  while Sassy was doing homework (I'm sure baby was running around like the holy tornado she is)...

5 ingredient granola bars
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2c. honey
1/2c. pb OR 1 stick softened butter
3/4c. raisins, dried cherries, or cranberries, M&Ms, mini choc. chips, sunflower seeds, anything you like really
 Heat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray of line with foil and spray
**Note: Do NOT use wax paper!!  It is NOT the same as parchment paper, and oh will catch on fire in the oven. No worries, I noticed the instant  smoke rolling out the oven door and saved the day!!**
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Press into prepared pan and bake for about 18 minutes, until light golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes cut and cool completely before serving (yea right).  Store in air tight container.

So they were a hit, the girls loved them, and so did I.... I'm sure too much!
 We made them as this recipe is written, next time we'll opt for almond butter, or butter, probably cut the brown sugar down by half and sneak in healthier toppings.  But I had to trick them into it first right?!
I did like that they got a special treat, which they are always asking for, that wasn't grossly processed~!

So the other bad overwhelming part of this  day was that it was Big Daddy Z's birthday.....he had to work....ALL Day!! Boo!! 
I had it all worked out to make him this delish looking Paleo approved coconut cake and surprise him with it when he got home....
open cabinet.. not enough coconut flour
run all over town to groceries while baby is napping (w/ Gma Z) one carries it nearby.
Out of time for a trip to Whole Paycheck.... GREAT!

Wife Fail: having nothing special planned for your husband's birthday!
*Guess I could have given him a Granola Bar*

The rest of the week fell into the normal hustle bustle routine...sort of...just multiplied! 
Tuesday: Big Daddy Z and I managed to make it down to CityYoga for the first time together for an evening class!  It was great, challenging, refreshing!  I was so proud of him for just embracing the moment and giving it all he had with no expectations! 
Fast forward to end of Class: our favorite yoga instructor will no longer be teaching  the Tuesday night class. Boo!  (But glad for him, he will be able to spend more time with his family, he deserves it) :)

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday blurred by with work, school, homework, gym, small group, hurry up, hugs and kisses, worry, home inspection, worry, drama, tears, bedtime stories, oh and we added potty training Baby Z into the mix.....

this all brings me to the moral of this tangent:
This week I've felt down in the dumps, down-trodden, and all I can think about is my sweet tooth, I just want to shovel food in my face...again!
Why? Just when I thought I'd gotten past this feeling.  I feel like I am back to week 1 where all I think about is stuff I shouldn't be eating, or how I'm not thinking about stuff I shouldn't be eating, or how I'm not going to eat the stuff I shouldn't be eating b/c I have some will power, right!  To the point that I literally had my tongue ready to go into a tub of frosting.....I didn't, instead I ate one of those granola bars....but why?!!  Was I hungry?  Maybe a little... Was I bored?  Possibly. Is it the illusive magical week? Is that a true symptom, or now my excuse?  Is it b/c I know in my mind *right now* it is "off-limits", where if it were "no big deal" b/c someone is reading my nutrition journal; it would be a non-issue?  Or am I just reverting back to what I know as my comfort....  Lord hear my prayer, I hope not!

So like an addict of anything else, will I ever be completely free of these chains that bind me?

Random word vomit over....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sweet Potato Hash...Thank you very much!

Recipe share:

I made this on a whim one night for dinner, b/c well I'd already had some sausage cooked up, and had a couple sweet potatoes on the verge so decided to just go with it......It was amazing.  The girls loved it, and so did mom.  So much that there wasn't any left for Big Daddy Z when he got home from slaving at work all day.....negative wife points for me. 
Hoping to redeem myself.... I made it again, this time I made a big pan of it, and had some leftovers even! 

Here is the recipe link:

Sweet Potato Hash w/ sausage and eggs

Because I don't ever like to do more dishes than I have to, I didn't follow this recipe exactly, and it still turned out great!

Here's my simplistic version.

1. cook sausage
2. dice potatoes and onions and toss with Evoo and seasonings in a 9x13" pan. 
3. Mix in sausage
4. bake for 30-45 minutes
5. make the well thingys and add your eggs.
6. bake again about 10-15 minutes until eggs are done. 

Easy peasy, and oh so yummy <yea I know it doesn't rhyme, but greasy, no it wasn't, and cheesy, it is Paleo and this version didn't have any cheese involved....>

Monday, August 20, 2012

1/2 way there ?!?!

6 weeks, really already!?!?  I can't believe the time has moved by so quickly.  6 weeks ago I began a journey to transform my life and to begin learning all I can about being healthy: mind, body, and soul health. 
Today I was brought back to a quote by a very wise Kelly Rota-Autry, "It's not a procedure, it's a process".  I'm a Type A personality. I like to be in control, I like it all laid out in black and white, I have little room for gray in my life!! ......those of you who know me best are surely shocked by this revelation, I know weird, right!?!  Pick your jaws up off the floor and move on!
Today we were asked, "What has been your biggest breakthrough or insight thus far in your BTWG journey?"
1). It's NOT a procedure, it's a process.
2). It's hard to deny the truth, when it's all laid out in front you (you know that black and white I love so much)...there's no escaping that!
3). Take care of your body, and it will take care of you in amazing ways!

In the past week I've gotten 2 personal records in the gym.....

8/16/12 90# Overhead Squat (prior to this, the most I've ever done was 65#)
8.20/12 105# Split Jerk (prior heaviest was 75#)

Tangent: I remember when I first started at PR in August 2011 Chris saying to me that I would learn not to worry about the number on the scale going down but to focus more on the number on the barbell going up.
I thought he was just talking crazy talk!!

Did I make these 25 and 30# gains b/c I've been actually fueling my body with what it needs, and working to keep it injury free with mobility and yoga?  Hmmmm, the magic 8 ball says......strong possibility!!

I praise God for all these things, He is constantly amazing me with the wondrous works He performs in my life.   So many people have entered my life at just the perfect moment to lead me down a path to better myself!  And for that I am forever thankful!

~Don't you realize your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Donut disasters

Old habits die hard, I know this to be true. I fought urges many times. I've walked by the dessert table, passed on French fries, and sworn off pizza.
Some things aren't so easy. Not when they are staring you in the face, swimming in their sugary goodness.
My old weaknesses creep on in and take hold. I was weak and gave in a little, a little bit more, and even a little more; makes me mad it wasn't even on the "good" stuff.
I guess in hindsight the old Nicole would have indulged in probably the entire box, so the "new Nicole" is fighting to come out even in my moments of weakness. I just need to let her out more often.
So for a moments joy I walked away with a huge belly ache (2 days later my belly still isn't right), a headache, and guilt.....and I suppose a good lesson. Donuts=disaster.
Can I say I'll never eat them again, not likely. But I will rule them, they won't rule me.

You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:7 NLT)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Free to be me...

Is anyone truly content with themselves? How many times have you been in a store, on the street, or in the gym and wished for something someone else had? For me it happens a lot.....a cute outfit, amazing hair, seriously sweet's hard to remember in times when we are wishing for something we don't have we are missing out on the blessings we have been given.
I was brought back to this simple
Realization tonight while helping Miss Sassy with her homework. We read the story , "The Mixed up Chameleon" by Eric Carle. If you're not familiar with the story here is an excerpt....
"one day the chameleon saw a zoo! It had never seen so many beautiful animals. The Chameleon thought: how small I am, how slow, how weak! I wish I could be big and white like a polar bear. And the chameleon's wish came true. But was it happy? No! I wish I could be handsome like a flamingo. I wish I could be smart like a fox. I wish I could swim like a fish. I wish I could run like a deer...........I wish I could be like people. Just then a fly flew by. The chameleon was very hungry. But the chameleon was very mixed up. It was a little of this and it was a little of that. And it couldn't catch the fly. I wish I could be myself. The chameleon's wish came true. And it caught the fly!"
So often when I'm longing for something else I end up feeling down at myself as though what I have and what i am isn't good enough. But I know In my heart of hearts, I am good enough because I am made by God; unique in my own purpose, strong and weak for a reason, a reason I may never know. Although it is difficult I must be content with that and be the best me I can be.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (Psalm 139:14 NKJV)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lessons learned...

There is always a lesson to be learned.  We just need to have our eyes and our hearts open to it, and reflect on it.  That is what I have spent some time doing, reflecting on this past week, dubbed Hell Week @ PR, and I've learned this: I'm am truly NOT the same person I was one year ago; and for that I am grateful!!
You see I took my first "freebie" class at PR during 2011 Hell Week, and in that class we did a 3ish mile "rifle run" w/ a 10# weight plate, and when we were not running we did situps, pushups, bear crawls, crab walks, relay sprints, and some Indian runs.  I remember that workout and the pain I felt just like it was yesterday, but it wasn't it was a year ago!!  In that year I've truly changed, I remember constantly thinking how weak I was and angry at myself that I couldn't keep up with these athletes! I hated walking and slowing everyone up, I recall leaving that class just physically and mentally beat down.  I was weak, overweight, and truly miserable.  So instead of wallowing in my self-pity, which is what I normally did, I put on my big girl panties, and did something about it.  I called up the Coach and setup my foundations courses.  Big Daddy Z was pretty hesitant at first, he is the realist you know, pretty certain he thought this was just another one of my brilliant ideas that I wouldn't follow through on.  But he joined up with me, through some prodding.....
Fast forward one year to Hell Week 2012.  In retrospect, I truly enjoyed this week as a whole, maybe not in the moment, but always afterwards.  There was not once that I thought, "I am too weak" or "I can't do this".  I didn't completely doubt my ability to complete any of the workouts to the best that I have.  I knew that when I would start to get down, my family would be there to help me through it, and they were.  I also found how much I loved being there for them as well.  At home I really focused on my nutrition, trying to properly fuel my body and give it the rest it needs.  It paid off, I was able to hang with the guys sometimes, and be there to contribute to my team. While I still need to work on that voice inside my head, she isn't nearly as loud as she used to be, that or I've gotten better at proving her wrong!!
What a difference a year has made, excited to see what the next year will bring as I continue growing and learning!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
2 Timothy 4:7

Sharing some of the week in pictures from PR Facebook page....

 Wednesday's 1 mile tabata run with my team and Big Daddy Z's....

3/4 of my team after completing our Fran "cool down" Wednesday

Thursday:  Do you see that voice, she is trying to talk to me...

 Thursday: But see I didn't let her beat me during those 25 minutes of Burpee Broadjumps

 Posing for a pic with the "family" during our only rest period :)

Thursday: Aftermath..most mentally difficult day

 Friday: Carrying and dragging our wounded

Fri: Everyone cheering on Roxy as she finishes our last reps of leave no man behind.

Enjoying some well-deserved watermelon!

Until next time....

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What the Hell was I thinking...

Yesterday marked the first day of the annual "Hell Week" at my gym.
So you may be asking what is this week, and from the sounds of it, why would anyone do it??
Trust me, there was a time (or maybe two) when I've asked myself the same thing. It is different than any normal week at the gym in that.....
1.) sometimes the Coach is nice enough to post the WOD ahead of time. I find this beneficial b/c sometimes I need to mentally prep myself for what lies ahead, or often I like to check out videos of different skills so I know how to do them or at least picture them in my mind.
Well during Hell week there is none of that. You are sworn to secrecy, and if
You do tell of the workout there is punishment. To the entire class as well as the recipient of the info. Tough right?
2). There is no time for slacking, you walk in the door class begins on the dot, and you don't stop for the entire 60 minutes.
3) it is brutal, constantly for the entire duration.
4) it's more about your whole team than just yourself. The week operates under the notion of "leave no man behind". Who cares if you are the fastest? Guess what yesterday we were privileged with having an active duty Army Ranger join us, and he, just as expected Whipped everyone on every run. But he, and many others ran back out to help usher anyone left behind back in.
5). I've found a lesson to take away from each class. While the lesson may be different for each person, there is a lesson to be found.

So why would anyone subject themselves to this level of crazy? For me, there is so much positive that I gain from the sheer torture, that spills into my life as a whole.
When was the last time you were at your weakest moment, and someone came up and said I'm here to help, they just swooped in and mentally picked you up and you were able to keep going?
When was the last time you thought I am not strong enough, I can't do this, but you did? Because you are strong.
Or the time that something sucked or hurt so bad you just wanted to give up, but you kept pushing through because you knew there had to be a purpose on the other side?
I found all of those things in just 60 mere minutes I wonder what the rest of the week will bring?

"I really regret doing that workout," said no one ever.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT)

PS. In case you are curious, Monday consisted of loving a 40# sandbag (60# for the men). For 60 minutes we picked it up and put it down in various ways, threw it on our shoulder and laid down, and then got back up and did it again, and in the midst of that we humped them for 2.4 miles. It was truly a "FUn" time ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A new endeavor....

Hey there and welcome!!  2 weeks ago I started the next phase in my life to seeking out peace, happiness and wellness to my life.  Kyle and I joined a 12 week program entitled, "Bridging the Wellness Gap" created and led by Chris Roche. 
I've always enjoyed putting my thoughts down on "paper".  I've found it to be a natural release, so when we were given the optional assignment of creating a blog I thought "why not?, now I have my own little piece of real estate in cyberspace!".......Now to come up with a title!  I enlisted the help of my Facebook friends, and one blew me out of the water! 
She came up with the title "Carry On", she hit it right on the head.  I couldn't love it more, and her reasons for loving the title are perfectly in line with mine....(man great minds think alike)
1. I think of all the baggage we "carry on" our shoulders. 
2. Sometimes we "carry on" and make drama out of things that should be simple. 
3. "Carry on" means to keep moving forward or continue. 
4. "Carry on" can reference a few good exercises at our favorite box.  (AKA gym)
5. Makes me think of the Kansas song. :)
It also follows a wonderful scripture that I'm going to start referencing more.....
"and I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns" Philippians 1:6
~God has begun a good work within me that started over a year ago (more on that later)....

So thank you friend for helping me get started.....and to the rest of you follow along, the best is yet to come!

Carry On my friends!!