Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday'sYummiest Healthy Food Linkup

***EDIT: I jumped the gun on this, and there is no linkup this week. I'll link this post to the next one I suppose.***

It's that time of the week to linkup with Alicia and Candra for the Yummiest Food that's Healthy too!

Camo & Lipstick
 I'm getting to participate this week with a recipe that I tried a couple of weeks ago since going gluten and dairy free with the 30 day challenge with Adie. (you can read more about that, here) I love a good meatloaf and this one did not disappoint. I was actually quite surprised that this turned out so well! Here's the original recipe I found over here ... Pinterest has been a lifesaver for me and this whole gluten thing.

Gluten Free Meatloaf
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 4
Ingredients
•1 pound lean ground beef
•½ cup rolled oats (use gluten free if necessary)
•¼ cup ketchup, plus 2 Tablespoons
•¼ cup onions, finely minced
•1 egg
•1 teaspoon salt
•½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2.Place all ingredients (except the 2 Tablespoons of ketchup) in a large mixing bowl.
3.Mix together using your hands until well combined.
4.Place ground beef mixture onto a baking sheet and form into a loaf shape, or place into a loaf pan.
5.Spread the remaining ketchup on top of the loaf. 6.Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until meatloaf is cooked through and is no longer pink.
7.Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

Now I tweaked it a bit, for my tasting. I added in some garlic powder, some chopped bell pepper, and rand my oats through the blender before adding them... and I may or may not have used more than the recommended amount of ketchup.  Oh, and I added brown sugar to the top.  And I may have greased the pan with my left over bacon grease...

*whaaaat?!*

What I would have done differently: def keep all the listed ingredients, and keep the ones I added too.  I did more than the 2T of ketchup on top, but I think if I would have mixed it with the SPLENDA brown sugar blend (I tried to stay healthy), then it would have went farther and I wouldn't have had to use as much. I also would have added a couple of tablespoons of the brown sugar blend to the meat mix too. You could also add some strips of bacon maybe even turkey bacon) to the top of the loaf as well, if you don't want to grease the pan with your leftover yummy grease. LOL. Don't judge me. We have to fit in all the flavors we miss, without adding AS MANY calories as if we were to eat the real thing.

Anyway, that's my healthier recipe for the week! I really enjoyed it, and so did my honey.  He did request more ketchup though. Hope you're having a great week and that you link up with these lovely ladies!

What are you're favorite healthy recipes?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weigh in Wednesday: Day 10 of 30

It's that time of the week again... I'm having a really hard time NOT weighing daily it seems.  But with a weigh in on Sundays with Adie, and a weigh in on Wednesdays here, it seems like I should weigh in every morning! With that being said, while I'm in this 30 day challenge, I think I'll do my weekly weigh in with her, and just post is here on Wednesdays. Deal?
Alrighty then... here it is for this past Sunday, the 23rd, 7 days into the challenge:

That's down 2.4 pounds. I finally feel like I've broken that plateau I was in for the whole month of February! I'm sure that being more careful with the grains (gluten) has helped because I've stayed even farther away from anything bread related than normal.  And maybe I DID need to cut out my cheese. Even though it was only about 6-10 tablespoons of shredded cheese a week, maybe it was just enough to not let me get past what I needed to.

This is our second week of grain/dairy free, and like I said, I've tried to go as gluten free as possible as well. I'm not sure it's something I'll stick with forever, but it does make me stop and think more.  And like I said last week, I don't FEEL any better.  I know that it can take weeks and months for your digestive tract to heal from most problems, and who knows... once I reintroduce those things into my diet, I may THEN feel the difference.

Over the weekend I had a couple of meals out. I took my brother to dinner, and my sister to breakfast, both at a buffet. This was a good option for me, since I could pick and choose exactly what went on my plate.  I tried to stay with the salad bar, fruit and meats as much as possible.  I did have a baked potato (no sour cream) and I think that was the majority of my NON salad veggies. I had a baked chicken breast for dinner and for breakfast I had sausage. mmmmm.... All in all, I'd say I did pretty good. For eating out of course. I stayed within my calorie range, so it's a WIN!

My walking suffered over the weekend, but a cold spell moved in Friday night, so I didn't do much.  I did get in a small workout at Sam's Club Sunday though... Them baskets are HEAVY! It's still chilly, but I'm hoping to get a few walks in this week. Or some yoga. I could use some yoga. If I could find the time.

Anywho- as always, I'm linking up with Ash and Nina... if you don't read their bogs, you should. IJS.
Also- Monday I posted about the Woolzies I won from FoodFitFab.  They've got another giveaway going that you should totally check out, here.

Happy Humpday y'all! Make it a good one!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Woolzies from FoodFitFab- A Review

Happy Monday to you folks... I'm here with a short review today.

A couple of weeks ago, FoodFitFab was doing a quick giveaway for Woolzies Dryer Balls  over on their blog, here. I was lucky enough to be one of the few to win, and I got my package last Monday. Unfortunately, Sunday is my laundry day, so I didn't get to use them until this weekend!
Here's a quick description off of the FoodFitFab post that I won these little babies off of.


"You guys have to check out Woolzies Dryer Balls! They are a natural fabric softener made from 100% pure New Zealand Wool , and reduce drying time by 25%. They soften your laundry naturally without the chemicals of your typical fabric softeners. I don’t know about you, but I hate wrinkles and Ihate ironing my clothes. Woolzies Dryer Balls help eliminate wrinkles. JACKPOT! Other features include:
  • Helps Reduce Static
  • Saves Energy
  • Noise Free
  • Eco Friendly
Woolzies are hypo-allergenic so they are totally safe even if you have any wool sensitivities because they do not shed onto your clothing.  Want to know the part that differentiates themselves the most from other fabric softeners and dryer sheets? They last up to 1000 loads. To use: Insert three balls for a small load or 6 balls for a large load into dryer."

Now, I used 2 balls per load of laundry, rather than the three, but I didn't have any problems. So far, the clothes haven't come out with any static, no "odd" smell, and the clothes dried in one round of drying, instead of two. (I think my dryer may be going out) And while they say that they are noise free, I could hear them tumbling around, but not like shoes would or anything.  I DID NOT add fabric softener to my wash, or dryer sheets to the dryer, so all in all, I'd say they're a win! I'll save money by not having to buy the sheets, and if all goes well, by cutting down my drying time. Great product and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to try these!

If you haven't heard of FoodFitFab, I'd suggest you look them up! I found their blog on accident, while doing reserch on the FitBit's that I was looking to buy. (You can read about those, here) They had just done an article on the FitBit Force and it was the information I was looking for!  I had a few more questions, so I left some comments and they were so great at getting right back with me.  It was their article and answers that really forced my hand on the purchase.  And I don't regret it one bit! Anyway, the lovely peeps over at FoodFitFab are always looking into new things, recipes, and they latest gadgets and, they're based out of my favorite city in the whole USofA... LAS VEGAS! (Did I mention that I'm going next month!) They're also doing a giveaway today on their IG account, so READ UP PEOPLE!!

Happy Monday y'all!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hi there, hey there, ho there... Lots of links in this post!

I'm (obviously) a little behind on this weeks posts. Please forgive me.  I'm sure most of you will if you know whats been going on, but still, please.

So lets get down to it!
Monday started my 30 day challenge with Adie of Four Fit Sisters. So far, so good.  I'm loving the daily "homework" she posts to our facebook group, although, I'm not as impressed that I'm in a group of mostly repeaters... I feel like I'm asking stupid questions pretty often, and don't feel like other people are "participating" as much since they've already asked most of the questions they're going to.  Oh well.

Our first assignment was to figure out our average RMR (mines 1844). You can do that here... This number tells you how many calories your body should burn just sitting around. Not doing anything additional.  You should try to eat at or just under that number of calories per day.  Uh... hello! That's about 400 MORE calories than I've been eating for the past two months! So, I've adjusted my calorie intake on my LoseIt App around 1725. I just couldn't make the dive to over 1800... Just couldn't.

Our second assignment was to take pics and measurments of ourselves. Now, I had just done that on the fourth for the month, but I went ahead and did it on Sunday as well. Here they are:
 
 

Hey Look! I got new clothes to take pics in! Not really, I was just tired of those grey pants... they made my ass look terrible.  And that cheapo bra was driving me crazy!

Anyway, I posted mine on the facebook group page.  I'm pretty sure she said we were supposed to... but I'm the only one that did it. :-/ It's there... No take backs now!  Anyway, we're supposed to cut out wheat and dairy for the first two weeks.  So far, so good I think. I'll know more in two weeks! I don't feel any different as of yet, but I tried not to consume wheat anyway just because its usually in bread and so high in calories/carbs.  And the only dairy I really eat was shredded cheese on my eggs and salads... I do kinda miss that.

So... after two days of being in the group, this was my weight for weigh in Wednesday... I'm not sure if it's actually due to the group or he lack of wheat/dairy or just a better day for me.
And of course, since it's a weigh in, I've linked up with Heather and Ashlee

Weigh In Wednesday

And Nina here...

(Sorry it's a day late guys!)

Back to the 30 day challenge group, Another assignment we had was to fill this out.  

This page was so emotional for me, given the circumstances I've been in the past couple of weeks.  After dropping my son off at the airport on Sunday, this hit home so much more than on just a weight loss level. Each one of these answers both pertain to me losing weight, as well as things I need to work on for myself emotionally. Ugh. Talk about a tough day.  And I'm super glad that it wasn't Monday's homework.  Cause I was a wreck that day.  I didn't make it to work, I laid in bed a cried.  I'm at work today, I'm trying my damdest to make sure each assignment is done and that I put on a (semi) happy face.

Two of the ladies that most inspired me to jump in to Adie's group challenge are hosting a linkup today for healthier foods.   Alicia at Brew Mama

 and Candra at Camo & Lipstick

.Since so many of us are on diets of "clean eating", "gluten free", "low carb" etc, I think this linkup will be SO beneficial to so many.  Even if not all of the recipes appeal to you, ONE of them will.  I'm so excited for this and have already been scouring the recipes for myself! Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe to add this week, but you can have a gander over here...

Brew Mama

Anyway, that's all for now. Hopefully I can whip out another post tomorrow. Thanks for the understanding on the late posts, and hopefully, you'll stick around. Happy Thursday folks! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Wednesday off course.... Vegas Baby!

I promised a post about Vegas, and a post about Vegas you will get! I know it's Wednesday, and it's normally weigh in Wednesday, but I'm taking this week off. I've got a lot going on, not to mention, the new challenge with Adie, so I'm holding off until Sunday for my weight and new measurements. Now, back to one of my favorite things on earth...


Darrell and I go to Las Vegas yearly.  Usually around the last two weeks of April, and for a week each time.  Most people don't like to spend a whole week in one certain destination, but I'm the type that would rather spend a long time in one place, than to spend a short time hopping around.  I don't want to miss anything, and if I'm hopping around from town to town, I'll for sure miss something.

We usually stay at the Jockey Club located on the strip, just between the Bellagio and the Cosmopolitan, and across from Planet Hollywood.

This place is perfect for us since it's located where it is, doesn't sit directly on the strip and is a non-gaming casino.  While it would be nice to be able to sneak down and play some slots while my honey sleeps in, in the mornings, it's nice to not have to fight your way through smokey crowds to go to bed when I want to.

The Jockey Club is a Condo/Suite/Resort type location, so it's a little more family-friendly than some casinos, plus it's so much quieter. But, don't think for one moment that you'll get gypped on hospitality! I book directly with one person EVERY year.  Johnny Hul is an amazing asset to the Jockey Club and always is so wonderful to work with when it comes to our stay.  He makes note of our preferences, is always quick to answer any email or question I may have, and is always accommodating.  Also, I've noticed that over the past 3 stays, Tess has always checked me in.  She's also just as accommodating and is always a friendly face after a long flight.

The Jockey Club has 1 & 2 bedroom suites, as well as studio suites.  They all have a kitchen, a bed and usually a pull out sofa as well.  They still do daily cleaning, making the bed, straightening up sort of stuff, and request that you only place necessary towels to be laundered in the baskets. We can usually use the same towels for a couple of days, but we always get new rags. And they still change the sheets once a week. Seriously y'all. If you're looking for a great place to stay, I definitely recommend the Jockey Club.

And seriously... Who doesn't want THIS to be your view in Vegas? I was lucky enough to wake up to this and go to sleep to this.  Every day. Literally.  This was taken from my window. The fountains are my absolute favorite thing about Vegas to be honest. I could just pop-a-squat in front of the Bellagio and be perfectly happy. Alas, I still have to work, and while I'm actually there, Darrell likes to do stuff. (so do I, I suppose) Good news? The Jockey Club has a webcam so you can watch them from home. Or the office... or wherever! When it gets really close to our trip, I find myself watching it more and more. :)

Last year, Darrell and I went to the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur.


Basically, if you're familiar with the Dixie Stampede in Branson, MO, then this is the same thing, but with knights and horses.  You're sat in a "country" you cheer your country on, and you eat with your fingers. :) My honey is in to knights and armour and all, so it was a fun thing for him.  I enjoyed to too, food and all! I suggest doing this you've got an open night while there, or if you're going with kids. Tickets aren't too terrible, and if you're like us, you can get it for FREE! That's right, I said free.

Facebook has a game called MyVegas Slots. It's basically a slot machine that you can collect coins to play with (for free) and you rack up Loyalty Points. When you're ready, you cash in the LP's for free stuff within the MLife properties and their affiliates! things range anywhere from free desert at certain restaurants, to free stays and free meals. They have also brought on a couple of really nice affilates as well.  This year, we'll be getting our 5 day Monorail tickets for FREE! ($38.75 value/ea) Anyway, I'm not here to sell you on playing those damned Facebook games that everyone sends all those pesky invites for (I promise I only send them to people I know that play), but if you're looking to save some dough on your next trip there, I'd suggest at least looking it over.

This year, we've decided to see Elton John at Cesar's! WHOO-HOO!

I can't wait! Every time I've been in Vegas, it's been an off week for Elton.  This time... it works! I'm very excited to finally see Sir Elton, and I expect it to be so much better than I ever imagined! LOL.  We're about 8 rows back from the stage... Can't get any better!

I also hoped to see Britney (Bitch) while we were there too...

She's across the street from our hotel at Planet Hollywood this year and while I'd love a meet and greet too... it seems she's sold out directly from Ticketmaster. While I know this girl has gone off the deep end lately, once a fan, always a fan.  I'd love to see her. I'm not going to break my back to see her, but I think it'd be fun. Maybe next year if she's still in her residency.  Fun Fact: Britney is the youngest artist to take up residency in Las Vegas. (according to Jordan Miller with http://www.breatheheavy.com/)

I'm also excited about going to Tiffany's. (as always) We make it a point to visit a Tiffany's whenever we're around one since they don't have them in dear old Oklahoma. A couple of years ago I purchased a cupcake pendant for my current Tiffany's necklace I already had,

and then my necklace broke. :-/ I've sent it off to be repaired, and I expect it back in a week or so. Plenty of time to be able to wear it in Vegas again.  This year, I'm going for a poker chip pendant, I think.

 Darrell has challenged me with an incentive to lose weight. He's offered to pay me $10 per pound lost, by the time we leave for Las Vegas, to spend at Tiffany's.  Now, I know our trip is only 5 1/2 weeks away, so I probably won't lose that much, but, I'll add it to my budget so that I can buy my poker chip. :)

That's my post on Vegas for now, I hope you've enjoyed it, as well as the Weigh in Wednesday break. I'll be back with more info on the challenge with Adie as well as the starting weights and measurements later this week.  Wish me luck and Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday... a happier post

Hi y'all! Sorry about yesterdays Debbie-downer post, but I needed to get it out, and Facebook doesn't allow that many words, or pictures. ;-)

It's Tuesday, and a new day. I'm not bawling... yet. And am seriously trying not to today.  I had a great talk with Ayden's teacher this morning, and am so glad I have her as a friend.  We've been blessed with some of the best teachers in my kids lives, and Ms. Ramsey is one of them.

I mentioned yesterday that I've signed up with Adie of Four Fit Sisters, (yes, those are two separate links) for a 30 day challenge/accountability group. We got our first welcome letter last night, and assigned to a Facebook Group this morning.  It's called the Spring Slim Down group and it starts up Monday, the 17th.  After flying my boy off on Sunday, I'm going to need all the help and motivation I can get for the first week, I'm sure.

Anyway, she'll send out information on better foods to eat, things to cut out of our regular diet, hopefully some meal planning help and she's all about accountability.  We've already got homework of taking measurements and pictures for the start of the challenge! Now, if you've read my blog already, then you know that I just did photos for the beginning of the month, but because this is a new challenge I'm doing, and because I want to really see just how much this helps, I will be doing new photos, weight and measurements on Sunday. I may move my weigh in day around a bit, just so I'm not weighing too much during the week.  I'm a firm believer that if you weigh daily, it can bring you down. So.. Sunday night or Monday morning I'll have a new post up for you, with my starting... well.. everything.  I'll be changing my "before photo" outfit up a bit, as I want to see all of what it helps... BEWARE! lol

So today... and the rest of this week, I feel like I need to be doing some prep work.  Recipe searches, grocery lists, meal planning.  I need to not fail y'all. I NEED this to work. With Ayden leaving, I almost feel like I know I'll fail if I don't have someone pushing me. I'm an emotional eater. I don't want to pack on 15 pounds of crap just because my son is gone for 9 weeks.  I have vacation coming up. I need to drop 5-10 before it gets here. (especially if I want to have any money to spend at Tiffany's like I told y'all about) I have another little boy that I need to be healthy for... and for Ayden for when he comes home. I NEED this, so badly.

Anyone have any gluten free, dairy free recipes they want to send my way? Or healthy make-ahead snacks?




Monday, March 10, 2014

A Monday Morning of "I don't want to"

I hate time change... Can't we all just get along? Leave stuff alone, already. Really. I love having more daylight, but my kids hate going to bed while the sun is still up.  And hate getting up when its still dark.  Just stop. MMMMKAY?

I woke up late. I'm not sure if it was just me (I'm sure it was) or if my FitBit failed... no vibrations this morning.  I didn't wake until 7:00.  Jumping out of bed at a mad dash is NOT how I want to start a day, and it usually means I have a headache within 30 minutes of the abruptly waking. DING, DING.  The pain is on!

Today is also a lot harder for me because I'm finally facing a cold hard fact that I've been avoiding for 2 weeks.  My oldest son, Ayden is leaving to live with his dad on Sunday.
I love this boy with all my heart and it pains me so much to let him go. But if any of you have read my blog previously, or follow me on Facebook, you know that he and I have had problems. Ayden is a very smart, beautiful young man, but he's also very strong willed and angry right now.  I'm not sure about what, as he won't talk to me, but he's just not happy. His dad and I made the decision two weeks ago that he needed to move in with Zack. I'm not happy about it, but I have to put the well being and health of all involved, first. Ayden's anger is causing problems for him, me and his little brother Remington as well.  I can't place Remington in a bad situation. I want nothing more than for Ayden to be that happy little boy that he used to be. And this is what we're trying next, to make that happiness appear.
Please send happy thoughts and prayers for strength for this Momma who is, quite frankly, a blubbering mess since yesterday.  I have 6 days left with this boy, and most of those days will be spent at work and school. He has come to terms with leaving, this momma has not, and his little brother just doesn't quite get it. It's going to be hard on all of us.

That's all I've got for now folks... Tomorrow I hope to bring you some info on the new challenge I've signed up for with Adie of Four Fit Sisters that starts on Monday. Hope your day is as pretty as it is here... I also hope you're feeling good enough to enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Weigh in Wednesday

It's that time of the week again, and because it's also a new month, I've got measurements for you too.
This weeks weigh in?

Yup.  All four of those were taken within a couple minutes of each other. WTF? So, I'm going with 216.4 I suppose. Just average it out, right? It's a small loss, and small is better than nothing, right?

And here are this months measurements compared to last months.
 
that's bust, under bust, waist, tummy (at belly button), hips, thighs, biceps.

And this months photos? I can't tell a difference in, but here they are, I'll put January and March up:

I really have no idea what I'm doing, I just hope that something works... and soon! lol I think that the stair climbing I've added has done some good. I lost well over an inch in one thigh... although a little weird that its only in one. My arms have gotten bigger, even though I'm not doing anything to do that to them... so that's a little confusing. My hips dropped an inch... so much that I re-measured three times, just to be sure. Bu apparently my boobs got bigger? Ugh, I need those puppies to get just a tad smaller. Please.  And thank you.  Amen.

In Monday's post, I mentioned breaking down my gaols into monthly smaller goals. I need to lose about 8 pounds this month to get back on track for my 30 by 30 campaign. And in order to reach my 18# goal by the time we leave for Vegas.  Momma needs money to spend at Tiffany's. I also need to figure out how to get rid of that Shar Pei on my back... blech... 

I also set a goal to workout 30 mins a day, for at least 4 days a week. I've started back on my yoga videos (again, I know) and also am doing a couple of IG challenges. These are my photos from #MarchYogaWithJoJo up until today... 

Anywho- Congrats to one of my favorite bloggers and IGer's Valarie at Fab Chick Gets Fit... She hit 10K followers on IG overnight! WHOOT! Check her out and give her a follow!

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone that posted kind words on last weeks post.  I'll be able to elaborate soon, but each thought was felt and appreciated. THANK YOU!

Since it's Wednesday, it's linkup day... Heather and Ashlee here...

Weigh In Wednesday
And hopefully Nina this afternoon.
Have a great week y'all and make it count... It's almost tank top season!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Madness... in my world

Hey there and Happy March! I wanted to put in writing what my goals are fort his month. Maybe, just maybe, if I do that then I'll be more accountable?

I'm currently (as of weight in Wednesday on 2/26) down 9.6 pounds since January 2nd.  February has been terrible for me and I'm basically a month behind weight loss wise.  The scale literally hasn't moved. I still have so much further to go, but know that it's the little things I need to look forward to, rather than long term. So... Here it is.

March Goals:
Weight loss of 8 pounds. (that's averaging 2 pounds a week)
4 flights of stairs a day (currently doing a minimum of 3 each day)
Work out at least 30 mins a day, 4 times a week. (I'm setting a realistic number here)
Complete #MarchYogaWithJoJo (Challenge Yoga pose a day)
Meal prep and actually eat what you cook (this is the hardest for me at dinner time)

March includes birthday prep for my son's birthday on April 3rd and it also includes Spring break for my boys.  They'll be off for a week, and my oldest is going to his Dad's in Colorado. I'll be able to take a week off of cooking dinner since they probably won't be here, so that might save my diet.  HOWEVER, St. Patrick's day also falls during that week, and that may or may not mean that a Pub Crawl is in play... 

While discussing meal prep- Do any of you have any ideas about calories and what your bodies need? I know what my Loseit App suggests,  and what my FitBit app says, but I'm not so sure it's what I actually need. I've been trying to stay at or under for two months now. This week, I've gone over, but I did it on purpose. Not just because I had too many cheat meals. I decided to up my calories this week and see what kind of a difference it makes with my metabolism.

I know that there are several factors to take into consideration when figuring out how many calories you should consume.  And I have done the research, but I guess I just don't understand it?  I have an 8-5 job that basically consists of me sitting at a desk that whole time, so I know that I am not near as active as I should be.  However, I have recently made the conscience decision to climb the stairs at work (up to an apartment) any time I leave my desk to go to the bathroom (or kitchen). That ups my active time, and if  I stick with my March goals, I'll be able to add much more active time too.  What bothers me, is that the yoga video I do doesn't keep my FitBit active enough to count as very active minutes. (You can read my review of the FitBit Force here) I can input the activity, but again, I really have no exact way of knowing what I'm burning or how my heart rate is. Looks like I'll have to make a secondary investment into a heart rate monitor/calorie counter for that.