Crash!

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Did you hear that?

What was that loud crash?

Oh yeah. That was me, falling off the wagon.

This was not a good week. I can make a lot of excuses for the bag of chocolate chips I almost finished, and the hershey kisses I ate,and the cupcakes + frosting, plus the McFlurry the other day – like oh the snow wasn’t plowed, I was stressed, I had to make cupcakes for the kids’ Valentine’s day party – but the truth is, I gave in.

The stuff was in my house, and I was too weak to resist. This is why I haven’t bought any sugary snacks in weeks – because I knew if it was here, I would eat it. I thought maybe since my cravings have subsided, that I would be safe. But when those receptacles for frosting – I mean cupcakes – were in my sight, smelling so sweet and tempting  sugar-craving monster found its familiar place on its shoulder and picked up right where it left off.

I’m certainly not proud of this setback, but it is what it is. All I can do is put it behind me and start again.

Blizzard

A week of deadlines, followed by a blizzard has not been the best atmosphere for keeping my healthy habits. The stress of the deadlines had me craving sweets more than ever, which T indulged by getting me TCBY. Better than ice cream, I guess, but not exactly without sugar! It actually turned out to be ok since I missed my “weekend cheat” by being completely snowed in…

Then, came the news reports that a blizzard was headed towards our area. The forecasts were saying anywhere from 3-27inches of snow. I went out and stocked up on the obligatory bread, milk,and batteries, but did manage to bypass the cookies and ice cream, although it was a very difficult urge to fight! Instead I bought chips and pretzels, which proved to be a nemesis later.

The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy had everyone everyone around here in a panic and so I waited on line Friday morning for gas, the second thing you are “supposed to do” when a storm is imminent.

Then the snow started falling… and falling … and falling .I set the thermostat to 80 in fear of the power going out. The wind gusts were forecasted to be over 50mph and after being without power for 9 days following Sandy, I was paranoid. By the time it was all said and done, 32 inches of the white stuff covered everything.I have never seen so much snow fall at once, but the power stayed on, so I was grateful for that.

Before the storm hit I had figured we’d be stuck inside Saturday, but everything would be back to normal on Sunday. That was before cars got stuck everwhere. That was before plows couldn’t get down streets because of stranded cars, and were getting stuck themselves. Luckily, a plow came down our street Sat. morning, and semi-cleared a narrow lane, but major roads around me still hadn’t been plowed on Sunday.

Today, Monday, it is raining, and the streets are a mess. People went to work in the horrible conditions and are getting stuck once again, joining the vehicles that are still stranded on the sides of roads. School was cancelled, so me and the kids are inside for the third day in a row. I haven’t been to the gym in days and am eating pop chips as I write this.

A blizzard and healthy eating do not mix – that’s for sure.

And after two major storms in three months I now understand why you are “supposed” to go food shopping, and why you are supposed to fill up your gas tank.

This is what my street looked like on Saturday morning:

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I don’t want to be THAT momI

ImageI am not a germaphobe, I’m really not. I don’t care if my kids play in dirt, roll around it, and then tell me how tasty it is. I actually think that peole are too “clean” these days. No, I don’t mean they take too many showers, I mean that people are obessed with antibacterial stuff. Bath and Body Works makes a killing on their antibacterial line of soaps and lotions. I am a firm believer that people, escpecially kids, need to be exposed to different “germs” in order to build a strong immune system. I think bacterial resistance is becoming a serious issue due to the overuse of these products (and the unecessary prescribing of antibiotics, but I’ll save that for another post.)

However, in the winter, there is a germaphobe who sits on my shoulder whispering to me about the dreaded stomach virus and that nasty influenza. I make sure everyone in my family practices good hand-washing, which, in reality, is important all the time, but I also tend to become a hermit in the winter; not wanting to leave the house because of the fear someone will contract something and then everyone in my house will be vomiting. And we only have one bathroom… 

There are certain places I avoid – like the play area at the library. That place is like an incubator for disease. I used to take the twins there when they were babies, and they would get sick every single time. 

This year, I have been avoiding the nursery at the gym. The problem with this is that it cuts down my time at the gym to only weekends. I joined this gym back in September when my twins started preschool because it had a nursery/babysitting included in the membership. I figured I’d drop Little Man and Monkey off at school, and then Boo Bear could stay in the nursery while I worked out for an hour. This was great until Boo developed stranger anxiety like two months later. I would only be able to leave her if her brother and sister accompanied her. So this limited me to Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Then, the flu season started. I started to think of the gym nursery like the library play area. So, it became a place to avoid. The past week I’ve been reconsidering. After all, the twins go to preschool and Boo goes to Mommy and  Me, so they’re getting exposed to all this stuff anyway. 

This brings me to the point of this post. I decided I would go to spin class today and drop all three off in the nursery. But you can probably guess what happened. All three kids sick. They all have a hacking cough, and Monkey has that glassy eyed look she always gets when she is under the weather. If I took them I’d be that mom. The one I always criticize for bring her sick kids to school, the library, the gym. 

I’m ready for spring. 

Creamsicle Smoothie

I’ve been on a smoothie kick lately. I can’t say they don’t have sugar, because that would be a big fat lie, but they don’t have any added sugar, which is what I am trying to stay away from. They are great in the morning, especially if you add in protein power – I stay full for hours with it. 

I usually make strawberry banana smoothies, but that can get boring after awhile. I’m a big fan of coconut, so I was excited to see that the February edition of Eating Well had a whole section dedicated to recipes with coconut! When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it.

Creamsicle Breakfast Smoothie (from Eating Well magazine)

  • 1 cup cold pure coconut water; without added sugar or flavor
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen of fresh mango chunks (I used fresh, I couldn’t find frozen for some reason at Whole foods or Trader Joe’s!)
  • 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 cups ice

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Put it all in a blender

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Blend until smooth, pour into a glass and enjoy!

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It really was delicious. Just the right amount of sweet, and without the guilt. I did not put the protein powder in this because I have chocolate flavored protein powder and I thought it would ruin the “creamsicle” flavor.

The kids loved it too – they are huge smoothie fans. My son keeps asking me for more! Smoothies are great snacks for kids, especially for those who may not have the greatest of diets. My kids devour fruit in any form!

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What is your favorite smoothie flavor?

Weekend Cheating

My love affair with sugar is way too strong to let it go completely. Maybe sometime the infatuation will wane, but for now, I have to keep it in my life. So what I’ve decided is that I will allow myself one indulgent dessert on the weekend. Starting on Thursday, I was so looking forward to my weekend sugar rush. It was like waiting for some special event in my life – which is kind of pathetic, now that I think about it. 

Oh well. What can I do? It is what it is. Friday night I actually had a dream about ice cream. That’s how excited I was. 

Saturday morning I started off the day with a half a banana and spin class. Spinning was followed by the rest of the banana and cereal. I won’t bore you with the rest of my meals. 

We went to my parents’ house later that day and my brother and I discussed the benefits of protein powder. You may remember my post last week about being hungry all the time. I’d read on some forums that people use protein powder in shakes or smoothies to feel fuller longer, so I thought maybe I should try it. I picked some up at Whole Foods earlier in the day, and since my brother is into fitness and stuff, I thought maybe he’d tried it before. He said it is pretty disgusting and that he puts it in a glass of water and chugs it… Here I’d been thinking of this beautiful shake with berries and banana and a scoop of protein powder as this healthy and delicious thing and he ruined it. I’m still going to give it a try, but of course now my mind is tainted. 

Fast forward to coming home and putting the kids in bed and it was DESSERT TIME. I went all out. I’m a little ashamed but I made my husband go out and get me a Friendly’s sundae. Not that he was really complaining. And what am I saying I was ashamed? I’m not ashamed. I went the whole week without eating sugary crap (well, not counting that damn granola bar) and this was my reward!! 

You know what though, I do think that the cravings are starting to subside a bit. I’m not thinking about it constantly now, maybe only once or twice an hour. Ha – that still sounds bad. I’ll get there. I have faith in myself.  

Michelle Obama’s Arms

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I have to admit, I sort of have an obsession with Michelle Obama’s arms. Don’t get me wrong, I think the First Lady is a pretty amazing woman all-around – her commitment to fighting childhood obesity, her White House vegetable garden, her impeccable sense of style – but her arms are incredible.

I know this has been discussed thousands, maybe millions of times, on various blogs, magazines, television shows, and the like. I did a Google search for “Michelle Obama arms” and a countless number of articles and images came up.

Getting arms like that is one of my goals. When the warm weather arrives and the tank tops come out, I want to be able to flex my arms in the mirror and see that kind of definition. I want the strength that comes with those lovely, sculpted muscles. And yes, I want other people to be envious. There. I said it.

Of course, there are a plethora of workouts out there to claim to be able to achieve Michelle Obama Arms.

I like this one from Fitness Magazine  because it incorporates some yoga (sun salutation), and is doable at home. It also has really helpful videos of each exercise. I’ve kind of been doing my own version, but I am going to start on this one during my next workout. I’ll be updating on the results!

Hungry. All.The.Time

Why do I always feel hungry? I am trying to hard to be healthy but baby carrots and sugar snap peas just aren’t filling me up. I am trying to drink more water – but all that makes me do is pee all day – and all night long. I’ve been waking up several times a night to pee, and losing sleep can’t be a good thing!

What did I eat today, let’s see. Breakfast was a bowl of Kashi Warm cinnamon cereal. I had a mid-morning snack of a banana. Lunch was a slice of whole-wheat toast with sunflower seed butter. I then had a snack of snap peas and baby carrots with a little bit of ranch dressing. Then dinner was homemade pizza, followed by more snap peas and carrots.

My husband was went to the gym after the kids went to sleep. I worked out at home and the whole time and I was secretly hoping he’d bring home a McFlurry. I love those things. Mmmm. I really want one now. It is like 10 degrees outside and here I am thinking about ice cream. I used to have ice cream every night. I did. I keep telling myself, I’ll save it for the weekend, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I miss it, I really do.

So what about this hunger thing? Is it because I just got my monthly friend? Or am I not eating enough? I plugged in all my information into mapmyfitness, which I mainly use as a GPS tracker, but was curious about the nutrition thing. I feel like it gave me a ridiculous amount of calories a day. So maybe I am eating too little. I need to do some research on healthy, FILLING meals and snacks. Maybe if I felt full I’d stop thinking so much about ice cream.

mcflurryMcFlurry, oh how I miss you…

Ugh

I just caved and ate a granola bar. A granola bar is one of those sugary, crap foods that is disguised as “healthy.” Unless you make your own, it is really no better than a candy bar. Especially the kind I just had – with chocolate chips and a chocolate-covered bottom. I don’t even know why I went to the kitchen and opened the pantry door. Its like something took control of my limbs and made me go in, reach for the box and devour the fake health food. Then, of course I immediately felt guilty and ate some baby carrots, like that would erase the what I had just eaten. 

Also my entire body is sore from yesterday’s workout. I decided to start weight training. So today I am walking around like I am 97 years old. I also did a spinning class this morning, so I’m beat, but I needed to take advantage of the hubby being off today and being able to go to the gym sans kids. My body is in definite protest. I’ll be taking a rest day tomorrow. From working out, that is. There is no such thing as an actual rest day, is there? Like where all you do is rest? 

Date night

My birthday was two weeks ago, and we were supposed to go out to dinner, but I had been struck by some horrible nasty cold which might or might not have been the flu, I’ll never know for sure.

Our babysitters (aka grandma and grandpa- my parents) weren’t available the weekend after, so last night was the make-up night. Of course, I logged onto Open Table to make last minute reservations at 2:30 in the afternoon that same day, so the earliest time available was 8:30. Well, actually it was 4:30, but this was supposed to be a date night. Who makes a dinner reservation at 4:30? Is a restaurant really so crowded at that time that one even needs a reservation?

Anyway, I digress. My son had been begging to go to Panera all week, so we went there for lunch yesterday and I had the Asian chicken salad, one of my favorites. I have a Panera rewards card, which builds up points so you can get free stuff sometimes. Well, they had loaded something onto my card for my birthday – I was hoping it was a smoothie, but alas, it was a free pastry. Damn it. They looked so good. And when did Panera start carrying cupcakes?? It took everything I had in me to give up that free pastry. But I have to confess something here – I had already decided I was going to have dessert that night. Date night doesn’t happen too often and it was technically supposed to  be my birthday dinner.

I spend the rest of the day cleaning the house. I had an apple and a cheese stick for snack. Then I thought about the sugar in the apple. There’s a lot of sugar in an apple. Then, I decided I was being ridiculous. You can’t compare an apple to a cookie. So, I  need to revise my goal here a bit: to control my REFINED sugar addiction.

Back to date night. It is always so weird to be in the car without any kids. Usually, getting into the car takes 20 minutes. With no kids, its get in and go. Nobody is screaming or crying or complaining about the song on the radio. It is also weird eating without any kids. You can have a conversation without being interrupted 18 million times for more of this or none of that. No one is throwing food on the floor or getting sauce in her hair.

front entranceOne of our favorite Restaurants – Pasta Pasta in Port Jefferson, NY

We arrived at 8:30 but of course there were no tables ready. It was like being in a doctors’ office. Why do these places make you wait for so long? I was convinced that this restaurant did it to get people to buy wine. Everyone in the waiting area was drinking.  I was so hungry, that if I’d had a glass of wine I’d either be on the floor drunk or puking before I even got a chance to look at the menu.  My mood was quickly going downhill. I’m usually getting in to my pajamas and thinking of my bed at 9pm, not waiting to just get seated for dinner.

RearDiningRoomIts is very cozy inside. The service and food is spectacular.

Once we were finally seated, I decided to be adventurous and order something I never had before – lobster. I know this sounds crazy. 35 years old and never had lobster? Well, its the truth. I ordered a pasta dish with lobster, and it was delish, especially the sauce, although I have to admit, I’m not really sure I understand the big deal about lobster. Is it an acquired taste, like beer or coffee? As we waited for our food, I saw desserts being delivered to tables all around us. The all looked amazing; and I was thinking more about dessert than the entry, the crazy sugar-addicted person I am.

I didn’t stuff myself to oblivion with my pasta because I had to save room for dessert. I had denied myself for three days and now I was going to indulge. I ordered a brownie-oreo-chocolate chip cookie confection with ice cream. It was A-MAZ-ING. I was actually glad that I hadn’t eaten sweets for a few days, because it made this dessert a million times better. It was then I really, truly realized I don’t need to have ice cream, or cookies, or chocolate every day, because then when you do, it is like heaven-on-earth.  Thank you date night, for teaching me this very valuable lesson. Oh, and for letting me spend some much needed alone time with the hubby.