Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#HealthyEating for a #HealthyFamily

Here are some of the foods we ate and recipes we used while I was in bootcamp. We loved some of the changes we made with food so will continue to eat these even though we aren't intentionally losing weight - just maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  I don't have all the calorie counts for the foods I made, I usually used My Fitness Pal to help calculate what I was eating.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken
This one was super easy and VERY delicious!!  The greek yogurt gave it a nice cream sauce with the chicken. 

Chicken Pizza Recipe  by: Lisa Simpson Rambo
1 boneless chicken breast, pounded flat if thick
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, to taste
1 tablespoon pizza sauce
4 slices pepperoni
1 teaspoon butter or oil
2 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 thin green pepper rings
1 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded

Makes 1 serving
Can be frozen but the peppers will get soft
Per Serving: 310 Calories; 16g Fat; 36g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
PIZZA CHICKEN - SIMPLIFIED METHOD (No pre-grilling or pre-cooking involved)
Flatten the chicken breast to make it an even thickness all over. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the chicken then top with the pepperoni, raw mushrooms and green pepper rings. Sprinkle the vegetables with a little more salt if you like. Bake at 400ยบ 15 minutes then top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is done to your liking

Turkey Burgers
20 oz pkg of 93/7 (Lean) Ground Turkey
1 pkg of Lipton Onion Soup (dry - the sodium is a bit high in this; just an FYI)
1 pkg of Sara Lee Delightful Wheat buns (80 calories)

Mix the ground turkey and onion soup. Let it set in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.  Make patties (makes 4-5) and grill.  Each patty is around 120-140 calories + 80 calorie buns = 200-220 calories. 

Southwest Chicken
15-20oz pkg of boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 can of black beans (optional)
1 can of corn
1 cup of salsa
1 pkg of taco seasoning

Slow cook all of the above ingredients in a crock pot all day.  Shred chicken and serve over Romaine lettuce, rice, in taco shells or alone!  Top with cheese and avocado (or guac).  More calories but good fats!

We ate chicken ALL THE TIME when I was counting calories.

Just put the chicken breasts on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-4 hours.  Shred.  You can add these to low calorie wraps with lettuce, tomatoes, (Low calorie) salad dressing (Cesar, Southwest, Ranch, etc), for a quick easy meal.  I mentioned serving over lettuce with the SW Chicken above.

We grilled chicken and simply used BBQ sauce and served with fresh veggies and a side salad.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A New Way of Living. #HealthyMama #HealthyFamily #HealthyKid

I gained 31lbs of baby weight that somehow didn't miraculously fall off when I left the hospital, so last year I started running.  I ran 5Ks, 10Ks, and finished with a half marathon.. and even after that I kept running.   But the weight still didn't fall off with all that running.  The reason?  Because I wasn't EATING properly. I have learned that 80% of weight loss comes from the kitchen and 20% in the gym. I do a majority of the cooking in our household which means that I am ultimately responsible for what we eat. (All opinions in this article are my own and I have not been compensated for them)

We started by making small changes in our house. We incorporated more fruits and veggies.  We drank more water and less soda.  And as we started to see our bodies change we also started to see our attitudes and minds change.   I also changed our recipes. We absolutely LOVE eating tacos in our house.  So we switched out chicken for beef, made salads instead of shells, and replaced our sour cream with Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt.  Greek Yogurt contains more protein and less calories than sour cream.  When I first told Adam I was fixing supper with Greek Yogurt he was less than interested.  This is the man who will eat ANYTHING and he refused.  So I did it anyway. And you know what?  He didn't know the difference.  So to my surprise when I was out of town, I found he had eaten ALL of our Greek yogurt and had to go buy more. I call that a win!

I also have a little yogurt addict in my house too! I thought I was being such a good mama getting up and making George pancakes and waffles in the morning.  Then one morning I was running late, gave G some yogurt and from that morning on he's eaten it every single day. Not because I'm lazy but because this child DEMANDS it!  And seriously, you can't be mad if your child demands yogurt, right? But I URGE you to read labels.  One brand has 26 grams of sugar in a 6oz container of yogurt. This is the same amount of sugar in 1/2 of a can of Mountain Dew.  Let's be honest, you'd NEVER let your kids drink a 1/2 can of soda, so why would you feed it to them?

George eating one of his favorite Chobani Greek Yogurts - Grape
After doing my research I found that Chobani has yogurt just for kids. YAY!   The sugar content is 7 grams lower (compared to a 6oz container) and they come in fun flavors like grape and watermelon.  They are easy to take on the go! And work great for breakfast or as a sweet dessert after supper. 

We are an active family so food is not the only way we try to remain healthy.  We take family walks and go on family runs.  We go outside and allow George to explore the grass and get fresh air.  I always keep the sliding door open to allow him to play on our deck and we make trips to the park.   I try to make sure that I keep fresh snacks on hand at all times.  We eat things like freeze dried fruit, frozen fruit (defrosts wonderfully!) and of course our handy yogurt pouches. 

After making several changes in our diet as a family I've seen the positive benefits.  We are a much happier family without all of the refined sugars and processed foods.  I am not a nutritionist but I am a mom and I feel it is my job to make sure that I'm doing the best for Adam and George to ensure they are both happy and healthy. Adam and I have both lost around 20lbs with our changes. Start small and you never know where it might take you!

My Before and After pictures taken during my healthy body transformation

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stitch Fix #10 - My Fix Reviewed

I've had a few people ask me if I quit doing Stitch Fix... And the answer is no! I actually took a break from receiving a fix for a while because I was on this AWESOME weight loss journey. I wanted to celebrate my loss by getting a fix towards the end of my boot camp. (Which will be another post when it's officially over this week!)

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a monthly or as you request clothing service that's delivered to your door. You sign up, fill out their Style Profile, and then pay $20 as a styling fee. They send you clothes that match up with your profile. If you purchase something, the $20 is applied against your purchase. If you do not purchase anything, then the $20 is forfeited as a "styling fee."

Colibri Paisley Print Sleeveless Top
Market & Spruce

I LOVE the color Teal...maybe it's because winter has been so dreary and cold and I am simply ready for a little color in my life.. I just love the way it compliments my skin tone (even my "winter skin color").  It's so bright and happy.  But the shirt... I adore this paisley print.. I think my inner 80s girl is coming out!  The split neck collar and sleeveless features are my favorite... I think I'm simply ready for warmer weather!!    Verdict: Kept

Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean
Kut from the Kloth

Oh my gosh! These jeans are so friggin' cute!!  I am a SUCKER for boyfriend jeans.. I think it's because I have thicker thighs and these are actually comfortable and fit my legs.  The slight distressing and darker color are awesome - love them... However... They were a size too big :(  They were falling off of me so I had to send them back.  The good news is that Nordstrom's carries this, so I ordered them a size smaller. YAY!!!  Verdict: Returned 

Geno Halter Blouse
Skies are Blue

When I first saw "halter" I was immediately disinterested... but then I put it on and it was relatively cute.  I loved the colors and the print... but it was completely see through.  So the crummy part was that it required a tank underneath it.. so while I could pull this off with a strapless bra, I would have to coordinate a tank under it and then you could easily see the straps.. as a mom this is way too complicated and too much work while getting dressed.. so I had to return it!  Verdict: Returned

Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse

This color... I adore coral.. it make me look naturally tan whenever I wear it.. so of course I was totally pumped when I pulled this little gem out of the bag.  Unfortunately I don't have a ton of luck with these tops.. I think I'm just too picky!  I didn't like the sleeves on these. They were a scalloped cut and weren't super tight around my arms but were tight in the shoulders.. and I just need to be comfortable.  Verdict: Returned

Emer Polka Dot Tall Straight Leg Pant
Margaret M

Still can't figure out why they are sending me 5'4'' KV tall pants.. but I will refrain from complaining because last time I did I ended up getting Petite sized clothes... which I am not petite.  So when I got these I was a little disappointed... they are JUST LIKE the last pair of tall straight pants I received.. that I don't think I ever did hem. So while these had super cute little polka dots on them, they were too long, too big and not keepers.  Verdict: Returned

For those of you who aren't familiar; Stitch Fix carries sizes XS-XL and 0-14. It's not age or body specific, they do try to meet your tastes and likes! If you're interested, here is my referral link. I receive a $25 credit for you signing up and once you sign up you can have other friends sign up under your personal link. (The credit isn't applied until the first box ships!)

Until next month my dear friends... Thank you for all of your support!  It makes me happy to know you enjoy reading these posts and miss them when I take a break.   

Much love,

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Cleaning

In my last post I mentioned that I recently decided fell into becoming a consultant with Norwex.. How does that happen?  Well Norwex is having this really awesome deal right now where you can sign up to become a consultant for FREE (ish)!  Yes. Free.  No obligations, no required sales, straight up free.  You get a smaller starter kit (see below) but all the stuff is free just for the cost of shipping - which is why i said "Freeish" - My shipping cost $10.54.   If you sign up for the larger "starter" kit - you are required to sell $2000 within the first 90 days or you are charged $200 for the kit... But the kit I signed up for? Totally free!! What's not to love with that? Some basic info:

JOIN FOR FREE!* March 2015
• Be your own boss and set your own schedule!
• Earn 35% Commission and generous monthly incentives!
• Eco-friendly products for a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet!

Receive FREE Products!
• EnviroCloth™red, BacLock™
• Dusting Mitt blue, BacLock™
• SpiriSponge (2 pack)
• Window Cloth purple, BacLock™ 

I've used some of the products and had good luck with the ones I bought in the past... (including the purple window cloth, which I am MADLY in love with!).  So I decided to setup a Facebook party and see if anyone was interested in purchasing from me... well it turns out that my awesome friends and family were totally into the products.. which means that I am officially selling Norwex :)

Even better?  I already met my first sales goal and get MORE Free product.  Sweet! I heart free stuff!!    Are you interested in becoming a consultant?  How about free product?  Yes, the consider signing up to be a consultant... test out your friends and family like I did - you might be surprised!

Sign up here:

Okay - I wasn't trying to do my "become a consultant" sales pitch.. it just happened :)

Anyway.. let's be honest, who actually LOVES cleaning? Because I seriously don't.  I grew up with a grandmother who cleaned hospitals for a living, so you can imagine what it was like making sure our house was clean enough for grandma to visit!!  

We set aside Saturday to do our spring cleaning and I was really excited to use some of my (FREE) Norwex products!  I had already started deep cleaning my kitchen earlier this week... but I'm ashamed me say that our walls had some pretty nasty food spatter on them... relate?  Well, I used my SpiriSponge to scrub the walls fresh and clean!  I love products (or anything) that makes doing any kind of job easier (esp when it relates to manual labor!).

I pretty much cleaned my entire Saturday... and we are talking deep cleaning.. on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors, walls, baseboards, etc.. We took down light fixtures, changed out lightbulbs and deep cleaned our house.  I am beyond exhausted but know when I wake up tomorrow it will all be worth it!!  

I was able to use a bunch of my awesome products!! I used the dusting mitt on my ceiling fans (Gross! who wants to touch those?); on my tables, shelves, you name it, I used it!  I used my EnviroCloth when cleaning my refrigerator and counters, used my purple window cloth on my sliding door, windows and even polished my stove top.  Of course I used the dishwashing powder in the dishwasher (with my magnet ball) to get our dishes extra clean.   I'm pretty sure I used other products but after 9 hours of cleaning I am spent!!

Are you getting ready to do your Spring Cleaning?  What products do you need to be ready to get the job done?  Let me know what I can order for you (or if you'd like to join my team!)

            -- Kristen

PS  - a VERY big thank you to Grandma Judy and Grandpa Paul for watching my sweet boy so we could get all of this accomplished today!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

An Influenster Review - Dessange Oleo Miracle

One thing I absolutely love doing is surveys.  It's silly I know, but I always wonder who votes for products or thinks that commercials are hitting the target market (I often question what they are actually advertising and to who)?  So I signed up for Influenster to do product reviews on things I already use and to receive full size products in exchange for my reviews. 

Recently I qualified for a VoxBox (that's what Influenster calls the boxes of goodies!) for hair products. Okay ladies, which one of you wouldn't be jumping for joy receiving FULL SIZE shampoo, conditioner and Replenishing Oil?  I know I was pretty jacked up! 

...Until I tried the product.  I am blessed because of my dear sweet (hopefully someday sister in law) Jayme.  She always provides me with the best products so I'm a hard sell when it comes to these things.  I gave the Dessange products a chance.. I really did. 

The first time I washed my hair with the Dessange Oleo Miracle Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner I was very hopeful because it lathered nicely and I thought for sure it was going to be a great product.  Then I took my hair out of the towel and was nearly in tears as I combed through snarl after snarl that refused to come out.  Usually my hair has a few snarls that I can work through, it was forever before I was able to get through these bad boys.. I used the oil on my hair after I finally brushed through it and it was just okay. I wasn't blown away.. but I wasn't going to just try it once and write a fair review.

So I gave it a week, combed my hair out a few times more before I jumped in the shower... this time it wasn't nearly as snarly but it was still more than I'm used to dealing with.  Used the oil again... and still.. wasn't super impressed. 

I truly think because I use a high quality salon product (Bumble and Bumble) with my Kerastase finishing oil that leaves my hair looking and feeling amazing without hours of snarls to comb through.  I can't say that I would recommend this product because I would feel for anyone who has to comb through knots in their hair!!  It was wonderful to try a freebie but I'm glad it was free because I know I would have been disappointed.  

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Brief Hiatus!

Friends... I have been laying L-O-W from this blogging thing lately!  I was fully ramped up and ready to go with super blogging and then BAM! Christmas came...and went... and I just stopped. Completely stopped.  So where have I been? What have I been up to?

Back in January I joined this fabulous group - Losing it with Lisa.  It's hosted by Lisa Rambo, a former Biggest Loser contestant.  She is one of the most amazing and inspiring people I have ever met.  I have always struggled with my weight and after having a baby, I seriously thought the weight would magically come off... but even after a year I was still 15lbs above where I wanted to be.  So each week I go to Lisa's bootcamp, weigh in, work out, learn about nutrition and leave feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week.  So far I have lost almost 20lbs. Yes. TWENTY FREAKING POUNDS.  I am seeing numbers I haven't seen since high school.  So that has been my focus.  I workout, eat well, and spend time with my family.

I think when I fell away from blogging I almost felt a sense of guilt about when I should come back and if I should even come back.   I am grateful to have such supportive friends and family who inquired if I would be blogging again... I plan on it!  I promise :)

Here are some things of what you might have missed in the last few months...

George's 1st birthday (Yes, this pretty much engulfed my entire month of January!) How is it possible my sweet little boy is almost 14 months old?!

Great Grandpa and George

Aunt Bootsie, Brentley, George and I 

Brentley, Cousin Jenny, George, and I 

Stinky Butt 
Godparents - Greg and Jayme

George, me and Sophie

Helgeson Family, Adam, Great Grandpa, Alex, George, me, Grandma Judy and Grandpa Paul

February brought Valentine's day (completely uneventful), a golf vacation for Adam (which left me a single parent with little help since the grandparents were also gone!), and a chance to get out side and do some running.  

March has also been busy. I spent the first weekend in Illinois doing an intensive review course for a designation I'm working on -- and passed!  I have 1 more (of 9) to complete - which means I am eligible for a trip to Hawaii for conferment. YAY!!!  This girl needs a beach vacation!   I also ran my fastest 7k (and first 7K - ha ha) ever.  My first mile was 8:42 which was a PR for me.  I am so excited to see what this summer of running brings for me.  

Tory, Jen and I before the Get Lucky 7k

I am also launching a new business venture this month!  Ahh.. what started as a whim has proved to be a total motivation to try something new!  I cannot wait to write all about it (and share some before/afters and personal testimonies!) for my business.   More to come!!