Summer Reset- Day 10

Happy 4th of July! I knew today was going to be different than my usual days because of the holiday. We had plans to go to a grill out at my parent's. It was a fun time; most of my family was able to be there. We talked, played some games, ate dinner together and had homemade ice cream. Yummy!! Because of the change in the routine, I was sure to fit in my exercising in the morning because I wasn't sure if I would have time or energy to do it in the evening. I did forget to take some food pictures though. Oh well, there will be days like this. :) Here's what I ate today:

Breakfast: Several years ago, I made a Flag Cake for the July 4th get together with my family. I made it two or three times over the  years. The cake was always a big hit! It was a delicious cake; it would have to be with the amount of butter that was in the cake and in the frosting, along with the large amount of cream cheese too! My kids remember the cake too because of the fun flag design on the top of the cake made out of fruit. I didn't want to make such a rich dessert again, but I liked the idea of using the fruit flag design still since that always looked so festive and it was my kids' favorite part. So I decided to make pancakes and top them with strawberries, blueberries and bananas in a flag design on each one. It was a success. Not only did the pancakes look good, but they tasted great too!

Snack: We had a later breakfast and had plans to eat an earlier dinner with my family later so I wasn't too hungry at lunch time and didn't want to fill up too much either. I decided on a plain Greek yogurt with some fresh blueberries stirred in. It was exactly what I needed to tie me over from breakfast to dinner.

Dinner: This was an All-America type of dinner. I had a grilled hotdog (gluten free dog and bun, of course) and potato salad. Then for dessert, I had 2 bowls of homemade vanilla ice cream topped with a little chocolate syrup and whipped cream and some strawberries individually topped with whip cream and a blueberry on top. I even pour a little chocolate syrup into where the core had been removed from the strawberry then topped it with whipped cream and the blueberries. Delicious way to end the day!

Flag Pancakes

 

Here's how I exercised today:

Today was Friday- a Tone It Up day. I tried their Love Your Body HIIT Routine. That was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed it. It wasn't complete repetition like some HIIT routines, which kept me from getting bored, tired and wondering when the workout would end. Instead, the workout time just flew by and I had a great workout and fun doing it in the process. Check out that routine here: Love Your Body™ with HIIT! High Intensity Interval Training 

Summer Reset- Day 9

Today was one of those days that I had to practice rolling with the punches. I babysat 3 of my friend's children again today while they moved into their new home. I offered to picked them up right after breakfast so I knew I would not have time to exercise in the morning. I would have to make time for it later. The kids all had a good time but there were some touchy moments. My son was overly tired and a bit out of sorts all day. Her children were tired out too from the busy last month they spent remodeling and running back and forth between their old and new home. And to top it all off, it had been a really hot all week. The kind of hot that just sucks the energy right out of you. But in spite of all of that, everyone had a good time overall. I didn't eat like I would have liked to; I did a lot of quickly grabbing food. And I had too much sugar, which left me feeling a bit jittery and icky by dinner time. I have a dominate sweet tooth and I have been trying to gain control over it during this Summer Reset. I realized today after eating a lot more sugar than I have in 9 days just how it affects my body. I just hadn't noticed because I was regularly eating a lot of sugar. I was glad for the chance to see this. It reinforces for me how much I need to keep the added sugar in check.  

Here's a breakdown of what I ate today:

Breakfast: I was in a hurry and just gobbled down a gluten free flaxseed waffle with too much jam. It was very tasty, just too much jam.

Lunch: This was spread out over the afternoon. I made Chex Mix and Muddy Buddies for all the kids because I was low on snack and lunch options because I really needed to go to the grocery store the day before but didn't because we had really strong thunderstorms so I stayed home instead. I tasted a handful of Chex Mix then I had a small bowlful of Muddie Buddies. I also had some cherries and just to get some quick protein in there, I had a hardboiled egg too. Later in the afternoon I had a second very full small bowl of Muddy Buddies.

Dinner: After the kids went home, I took my 2 kids and we went grocery shopping. By the time we got home and got everything put away, it was dinnertime. The perfect dinner solution tonight was a frozen Udi's gluten free pizza with sugar snap peas from the mother in law's garden and leftover coleslaw.

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How I exercised today:

Tonight I did one of my favorite Yoga with Adriene videos: Freedom Flow. This is a repetitive video that gives you the chance to move from pose to pose with ease and to "find what feels good". Try it out and let me know what you think. You can find it here: Freedom Flow! I was feeling so good after doing this routine that I decided to challenge myself and try some yoga moves that I have been aspiring to do. With Ron spotting me, I was able to do a Forearm Stand! And then one my own I did a Wheel Pose with my back completely arched up! I was so excited!! Last time I tried the Wheel Pose I only could get my body half way up. So it was quite exhilarating to get it all the way up this time. And as for the Forearm Stand, that felt so amazing! I hope to one day do that completely on my own. Trying these moves encouraged me to keep practicing my yoga. Even when I feel like I'm not making any advances in my practice, I really am. Slow but surely my body is stretching and strengthening. Just have to keep going. :)

 

Summer Reset- Day 8

I made an interesting discovery today. It isn't just good enough to exercise; our mindset while we exercise is vitally important. And along with that, the trainers that we follow along with, or the people that we exercise with, play a big role in influencing our mindset while we exercise. For my Summer Reset, I have been exercising exclusively with Yoga with Adriene and Tone It Up. All of these girls are so positive on their videos and they have an appreciation for what the body can do. Their respect of their own bodies shines through the screen and impacts the individual exercising with them. Not only do I feel amazing and upbeat right after exercising with their videos, but their positivity is having a long term affect on me too. As I was working in the kitchen this evening, I caught a glimpse of my profile reflection in the oven door and thought, "I love my curves. And I love how strong my muscles are getting under my curves." Wow, that's huge! For the first time in a long time, I really looked at myself and didn't say, "Ugh! I really don't like (insert whatever body part was offending me the most in that moment)." And I don't know if I ever said that I loved my curves. This is a big deal. It is a mindset shift and I know that I owe a great deal of that shift to the positivity of the trainers that I have been exercising with. If I had been following someone who presented exercise almost as a punish for the body, like "let's do squats to get rid of that jiggly booty!", I know that I wouldn't have had the same reaction to seeing my reflection. So keep that in mind when you exercise. Are the trainers or your exercise buddies feeding your mind with positive body-image or negative body-image? Something to think about.  

So here's what I ate today:

For breakfast I revealed my Southern roots a bit. My mother in law gave us a jar of her freezer strawberry jam the night before. Her jam is the best! I already knew the night before that I wanted toast and jam for breakfast the next day. I knew that I need more than toast though. So I made oatmeal with a fried egg and salt and pepper to go along with the jam and toast. And just like that, it took me back to summer mornings as a kid. Eating a yummy breakfast just like this then running outside barefoot, the grass still wet from the dew and the sun already hot. It's funny how food is tied into our memories so intrinsically.

For lunch I decided on a bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt topped with walnuts, raisins and chopped dates with a side of guacamole and carrots to dip in the guac.

Then for dinner I tried my hand at making coleslaw with the fresh cabbage head from my mother in law's garden. I never made coleslaw before, even though I love it. Not sure why I never tried to make it before. I got a little carried away with grating carrots to add and ended up with a orange-tinted slaw. Oh well, it still tastes great. :) Along with the slaw, I had some delicious steak that my husband, Ron grilled and some peas on the side.

For a snack I had a second brownie (had the 1st one while they were hot out of the oven). I was so happy with how these brownies turned out. I have tried to make my own recipe of gluten free brownies several times and they never turned out like I remember my favorite (pre-gluten free days) brownies tasting. I have tried several gluten free brownie mixes too and was never happy with the results. But today, I tried again after not trying for a long time and I finally nailed it. Watch for the recipe! I'll make them again so I can get some pictures and then I'll post the recipe.

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Here's how I exercised today:

I did a new Tone It Up video called Love Your Total Body! This was a really fun video. It was another circuit style video. I like circuit training because it gives me a chance to learn the moves quicker and I can usually do them better the 2nd or 3rd time around. But I don't like circuit training when the circuits are repeated more than 3 times though. That can get monotonous for me and I begin to dread some of the harder moves as my muscles are fatigue and I'm tire out. For this routine, two circuits was perfect, plus they add some great ab moves at the end too. You can check it out here: Love Your Total Body!

Summer Reset- Day 7

Today I saw a great video and I want to share it with you. You may have seen it already. The video has gone viral since it was posted. Today was the first time I saw it. Check out this video here: Always #LikeAGirl. I saw this commercial on my friend's Facebook page and I just loved it. It made me feel proud to be a girl. This was my favorite line from the video. I love how the girl says it so strongly too.

"I mean, yes! I kick like a girl, and I swim like a girl, and I walk like a girl, and I wake up in the morning like a girl...Because I am a girl. And that is not something that I should be ashamed of, so I'm going to do it anyway."

I wish we all, girls and boys alike, could feel proud of who we are and feel like we don't have to be ashamed of the quirks or mannerism that make us who we are. To accept one's self is the biggest gift we can give ourselves. With that positive thought, on to how my day went.

 

Here's what I ate today:

Breakfast: Blueberry pancakes made with fresh blueberries topped with a little butter and maple syrup. Delicious start to the day.

Lunch: I had a little taco meat leftover that I wanted to use up and since my taco dip yesterday was so tasty, I decided to repeat the same thing for lunch. Today I added a side of red grapes.

Dinner: We had a classic summer sandwich of BLT's. I love these sandwiches. We don't have them often but boy, are they amazing. We'll have to make them again later in the summer when we have our own tomatoes from our garden. It was a gorgeous evening so we sat outside on the patio for dinner. I think our dog Maverick was hoping I would drop some of my bacon :D

Snack: The perfect end to the day was a scoop of chocolate ice cream!

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How I exercised today:

Today is a yoga day and I chose Detox Yoga | 20 Minute Yoga Flow for Detox and Digestion by Yoga with Adriene. I have done this video several times and really enjoy it. You can click here to try it: Detox Yoga | 20 Minute Yoga Flow for Detox and Digestion.

Summer Reset- Day 6

After making my husband his green smoothie to take to work with him, I decided that if he could drink a green smoothie several days a week then I could start drinking it at least one day a week. He has been drinking them for about 6 months now and has the recipe perfected. But it has taken me a while to get on board with the green smoothie. I know that they are incredibly good for me but the thickness of the smoothie was difficult for me to adjust to. We finally replaced our nearly 15 year old blender that kept limping along, refusing to just die already! And we were pleasantly surprised by how much blenders have improved in 15 years. :D Our new blender blends the food really smoothly, so I decide it was time for me to try the green smoothie again. I was quite surprised by how good it actually was. It's not as quite as tasty as the fruit smoothies I usually make, but it is still a great way to start off the day with a healthy boost of kale. You can get the recipe for this Green Smoothie here: Green Smoothie  

Here's what I ate today:

Breakfast: Green smoothie with an Udi's Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with cream cheese.

Lunch: Layered Taco dip with tortilla chips and a good book. I layered leftover taco meat, a sliced of cheddar cheese, salsa, a mini pack of Wholly Guacamole, and a dollop of sour cream. This is one of my favorite lunches.

Dinner: Cold pasta salad. I cooked Barilla Gluten Free Penne pasta and let it cool. Then I stirred in leftover cold grilled chicken, peas, and grilled onion. Then I stirred in a handful of grape tomatoes that I quartered, added a little dried basil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. It was a really quick, delicious and filling dinner for a hot summer evening.

Snack: a handful of dark chocolate chips. Because sometimes you just need a little chocolate. :)

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Here is how I exercised today:

Today I did one of my favorite Tone It Up Routines- Bikini Body Routine! This is IT! BIKINI SERIES 2014 ☀. This is such a fun routine. It is a circuit of about 6 exercises that are repeated 3 times then there are about 4-5 fine toning exercises added to the end of the circuit, including the "Bikini Walkout". This is such a fun, albeit hardworking move! You'll have to try it and let me know if you love it as much as I do. You can try this routine here: Bikini Body Routine! This is IT! BIKINI SERIES 2014 ☀

Summer Reset- Day 5

Today was a really busy day. Or as my 6 year old son put it, "We went SEVEN places today!!" :D We were out from midmorning into the mid-afternoon. We knew we were going to be out over lunch time and would have a late lunch. So we packed a water bottle for everyone and threw a few Larabars and KIND bars into a lunch bag with an ice pack to keep them from getting melty in the hot car. And we were ready to hit the road! I love keeping plenty of variety of the Larabars and KIND bars on hand for a quick go to or on-the-go snack. Being prepared saves you from making food choices that you wouldn't normally make when hunger strikes and you're away from home. Another good quick on-the-go snack is a baggie of mixed nuts and dried fruit with a little chocolate chips if you'd like too. And water; don't forget to take water with you, especially if you are going to be away from home for a couple of hours. Here's the rundown of what I ate today:

Breakfast: Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and cherries. The fruit was so sweet that I didn't even need to sweeten my oatmeal. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It all depends how sweet the fruit is. It's a good idea to taste test first before adding the sugar. You may be surprised to find that you don't always need the added sugar.

Noon snack: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar. Yummy!! If you've never tried a Larabar or you want to introduce your kids to them, this is the one to start with. There are a lot of tasty Larabars but this one is one of my favorites for sure.

3PM snack: At this point, I really didn't want to ruin my appetite for dinner. So I chose a hardboiled egg and a container of Greek yogurt. A high protein snack was perfect for holding me over until dinner but not filling me up too much before dinner time.

Dinner: My husband tried grilling tuna steaks on the grill for the first time. If you never tried this, you have to try it! The tuna was so amazing that I don't think we will ever make it any other way! Along with the grilled tuna we made Jasmine Rice (leftover the the other evening), grilled onion, steamed asparagus and fresh pineapple. It was such a perfect dinner. Grilled tuna is going on the menu again for next week!

Evening snack: After the kids went to bed, I decided to sit outside for a little, hovering around my citronella candle for safety. ;) For a snack I picked a pack of Dole Banana Dippers with Almonds and a glass of homemade iced tea. I love these Dippers. They are so good at satisfying my ice cream and chocolate cravings. Now Dole makes Strawberry Dippers too. I thought I'd like those the best since I love strawberries. But actually I love the banana dippers the best. The frozen bananas are so creamy; they really satisfy the taste buds. Have you tried the Dippers yet? What do you think about them?

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How I exercised today:

Today I chose to exercise before bedtime because that was the best time I could fit it in. Since it was almost bedtime, I wanted a gentle yoga routine. And since I had a bellyache, I picked Yoga for Digestion by Yoga with Adriene. This was the perfect gentle routine for my belly and for the lateness of the hour. I went to bed feeling calmer and stretched. Good end to the weekend. You can find this yoga routine here: http://youtu.be/0MNiHTHkyyc

 

Summer Reset- Day 4

Here's what I ate today: Breakfast was a quick blend of a smoothie before taking the kids to their Jiu Jitsu class. I blended together 1 banana, 3/4 c. frozen blueberries, 1/2 c. frozen strawberries, 1 tbsp. natural creamy peanut butter, 2 scoops of Jarrow Formulas Hemp Protein Powder, about 1/2 c. reduced sugar plain almond milk and about 1/2 c. chocolate almond milk. Blend up until smooth and enjoy! It is a super tasty way to start the day. We have tried a couple of hemp protein powders and really like the Jarrow Formulas brand. It blends well into smoothies without too strong of a taste and no grittiness like some hemp protein powders have. We purchase ours from Amazon. Here is a link to it on amazon.com: http://amzn.com/B001GKXT24.

Lunch was a GF ham sandwich topped with spinach, dijon mustard and a little mayonnaise with a side of caprese salad and sliced nectarines with fresh blueberries.  Caprese salad is a simple summer salad. It is typically made up of fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella dressed with a little salt and olive oil. Our fresh basil was not quite ready to eat yet and we didn't have fresh mozzarella. We improvised and used dried basil and sliced up a mozzarella cheese stick. It may have not been the most tradition, but it was still quite tasty. You can't be afraid to improvise in the kitchen; go with what you have and make it work. You may just be pleasantly surprised. :)

For dinner we had grilled chicken breast, the rest of the leftover green and yellow beans with carrots, a side of jasmine rice and deviled eggs. Deviled eggs can be a wonderful side dish. They don't need as much mayo as you might think. Equal parts of mustard (I love them mixed with dijon mustard.) and mayo, and a dash of salt. Mix until smooth and you have delicious deviled eggs.

After the kids went to bed, my husband and I decided to watch the movie "Serenity". We were really looking forward to watching this movie since we finished the "Firefly" TV series the weekend before. "Firefly", in case you never saw it, is a Joss Whedon space western drama (with a healthy touch of comedy) series that aired for one season in 2002-2003. It is a really great television show! It caused quite a lot of disappointment when it was canceled after one season and it has quite the cult following. Because of the fans love of the show, Joss Whedon produced the movie "Serenity" in 2005 to wrap up the story. We really enjoyed the TV series a lot and were so excited to watch the movie. And it did not disappoint. Along with this great movie watching, I was hungry for a tasty treat to eat too. I made a little chocolate and cherry sundae with all natural chocolate ice cream, fresh sliced cherries and whipped cream. Great movie and great treat! I highly recommend you try both, but make sure you watch "Firefly" first. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Here's how I exercised today:

I decided to do a kettlebell workout with my husband. He's been doing kettlebells for a while and he asked me if I wanted to join him today. We turned on some good music (I think it was a R.E.M. album on YouTube.) and worked out with kettlebells for about 40 minutes. It was a good workout and a lot of fun to workout with him. I wasn't going too hard since I'm a kettlebell newbie with preexisting joint issues and he was concerned about me hurting myself the first time. So sweet. :) So after we completed the workout I asked him if he was game to go a little longer. He was, so I introduced him to the Tone It Up routines. We did the Bikini Body Routine 2! BIKINI SERIES ☀. This 14:07 minutes routine is a whole body workout. He really enjoyed it and by the end we both had worked up quite a sweat. It may only be 14 minutes but those girls give you a really great workout in a short time! You can find the routine here: http://youtu.be/4RQ4EL8e8bI.

Summer Reset- Day 3

Today I babysat 3 of my friend's children for a few hours so she could get some uninterrupted painting done at their new house. They were coming over soon after breakfast so I knew I need to make time for exercise before they came, in case I was too tired that afternoon after watching 5 kids! I squeezed some Tone It Up in right before they came. Then with the exercise accomplished, we had a really fun day. It ended up being far easier watching 5 kids than I expected (it helps when they aren't toddlers and babies anymore ;) ). We ended the afternoon playing in the sprinkler before they went home. Five kids shrieking as they ran through the water. Summertime memories in the making. :) Here is what I ate today:

For breakfast, I knew I needed some protein after exercising and I needed a quick breakfast before the kids came over. I decided to reheat a Gluten Free Flaxseed Waffle that I had made the day before. (Here is the link for the recipe: Gluten Free and Dairy Free Flaxseed Waffles.) And instead of topping it only with maple syrup, I spread it with natural peanut butter then drizzled a little maple syrup over top. I don't know why I never thought about trying that before. It was delicious!

After making lunch for all the kids, I reheated some vegetables from the previous evening's dinner. I had green and yellow beans with carrots with a side of baked yam, smashed and topped with a little butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Then to round out my meal with some good fats and protein (and the all important food group- chocolate!), I had a Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan KIND bar. My husband and I both really like KIND bars. They are a satisfying and healthy snack or addition to an on-the-go meal.

After my friend's kids went home, I took some time to sit down and relax with popcorn that I popped on my stovetop and with a cold glass of iced tea mixed with lemonade. Then I sat outside and read. I read far longer than I meant to. It's just so hard to put down a good book! Currently I am reading Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)'s latest book, "The Silkworm". I am really enjoying the book so far. Rowling/Galbraith is such a talented writer. She is someone I respect so much and admire. I wish I could be a fraction of the writer that she is. Her books are so engaging and they draw you into the world she created in the books. Her latest book is no different. It is captivating and intriguing. I'm enjoying trying to figure out the mystery before Cormoran Strike does. Have you read the books in her Cormoran Strike series?

By 4:30 my kids were exhausted from the busy day and asking about dinner so I sadly had to set my book aside and start making dinner. Tonight I made tacos with natural oven baked fries and broccoli. It was worth setting my book down for. ;) For the tacos, I mix up my own seasoning of spices. You can find that recipe here: Taco Seasoning.

Before bed I was hungry and craving something sweet. I decided on a bowl of cherries. They were so sweet and juicy. The perfect bedtime snack- sweet, tasty and not heavy in my stomach. Plus, did you know that cherries have melatonin in them? Melatonin occurs naturally in our bodies and aids in regulating our sleep. This naturally occurring melatonin in cherries makes them an even more perfect snack before bedtime.

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How I exercised today:

I decided to pick 2 Tone It Up videos that would target different areas of my body. The first one was the BIKINI SERIES ☀ Inner & Outer Thighs Routine! This 13:22 minute routine works the thighs in so many ways. It is a great workout. Here is the link: http://youtu.be/TaW3Pl2LCc4

Then I did the 12:47 minute Bikini Abs Routine! BIKINI SERIES ☀. My abs really felt worked by this video. You can find that video here: http://youtu.be/h9wbX1vKKck

Both of these videos were really good at targeting the specific area they are intended for. I plan to repeat these routine many times in the future.

 

Summer Reset- Day 2

This morning I couldn't wait to start my day with a Banana Mocha Hemp Smoothie. I was feeling tired from going to bed late the night before after helping my friends paint their new house. So I knew this new icy drink was the perfect boost for the day. I'll include the recipe in a separate post. That recipe can be found here. It was just the thing I needed to start my day!  

Here is what I ate today:

Breakfast: Banana Mocha Hemp Smoothie and Udi's Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with cream cheese. I never thought I would eat a bagel again so I was excited to try these bagels when I found them. They are really good. Nice flavor and chewy texture like a regular bagel. Score!

Lunch: Leftover burger from the night before with a side of tortilla chips and a Wholly Guacamole Mini pack. We love these mini packs! So convenient for a tasty lunch or snack.

Dinner: This evening the kids had Jiu-Jitsu class, which means they needed a quick and nutritious dinner that wouldn't be heavy in their stomachs. I decided to make scrambled eggs with a side of mixed green and wax beans with baby carrots and mashed yams with a little butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Delicious and nutritious fast food!

Snack: Tonight I ended the day with a bowl of Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt. Such a creamy bowl of wonderfulness. :)

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How I exercised today:

Since today is Thursday that means it is Yoga with Adriene day! I love this girl so much; her vibe and the way she teaches yoga really resonate with me. She's all about finding what feels good in yoga, not seeking perfection in the poses. If you haven't tried any of her yoga videos yet, you HAVE to try them today! You are going to wish you tried them sooner. :) She has videos on her website plus a YouTube channel. Check it out!

For today's practice I chose Morning Yoga - Energizing Morning Sequence. This 24:06 video lives up to its name. It is a great way to start the day. I felt ready to go start the day after finishing this sequence. You can find this video here: http://youtu.be/K-Ina_WW4Yc. Try it out tomorrow and let me know what you think!

Summer Reset- Day 1

Today is the day that inspired me to reset. I woke up this morning and decided I was ready to feel great again. (Read this post to find out more about my reasons and goals for this reset.) And since there is no time like the present, today is Day 1 of my Summer Reset!  

Here is what I ate today:

Breakfast was a bowl of gluten free oats with fresh blueberries, walnuts and just a sprinkle of sugar. Before breakfast I made an awesome new smoothie drink but I didn't get a picture of that. I'm going to post that in tomorrow's post along with the recipe for it.

Lunch was half a piece of leftover flounder from the previous evening's dinner. I would have eaten the whole piece but I had to share the leftover piece with my hubby for his lunch today too. Ahh, the things we do for love. ;) I paired my flounder with a spinach salad with sliced carrots and onions sautéed in olive oil. Along side that for a sweet and creamy treat, I stuffed two Medjool dates with cream cheese. This is one of my favorite treats ever. So good!!

Snack was a piece of a warm gluten free chocolate chip cookie bar. This recipe is special to me because my son and I created it together one day this past winter when he told me he wanted to make something in the kitchen and told me he wanted to create his own recipe. Not gonna lie, that was a proud moment for me. :) He called it "Brown Sweet". It is really tasty but since it is not mine to share, I'm going to have to keep this recipe to myself.

Dinner was amazing! My hubby makes really great burgers. So yummy!! For the burger we used Udi's gluten free hamburger rolls. These are by far the best gluten free hamburger rolls we have tried. They come frozen so I defrost them in the microwave for about 30 seconds then split them open and toast them slightly on the grill. They taste really good, no off flavor or texture with these. They remind me of regular hamburger buns, except, according to my husband, they aren't gummy like regular hamburger buns. I eat these out of necessity; my husband eats these out of preference. I topped my burger with shredded spinach, sautéed onions, a slice of cheddar cheese, a little dill relish, mayo, ketchup and mustard. Perfection! Along with the burger, I had peas and fresh pineapple. A very filling and satisfying end to the day!

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Here is how I exercised today:

My plan for my Summer Reset is to doing toning and cardio videos on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Then do yoga on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. So since today is Wednesday I started off my Summer Reset with two Tone It Up videos. I love the Tone It Up videos. Karena and Katrina are the trainers on the videos and are best friends. They are so happy and positive! It is so much fun to exercise with their videos. And they work it in their videos! I am always sore a couple of days after completing their exercising. These girls know that they are doing and they know how to have fun with it too. Who said building muscle and toning up had to be boring? Someone forgot to tell these girls that exercise was supposed to be a chore. Their positive attitude makes the time you spend exercising with them just fly by!

First, I did the Bikini BOOTY Routine! BIKINI SERIES ☀. This 12:47 video really works the booty by targeting it from different angles and directions. It is a great video! You can find it here: http://youtu.be/tQ2WoFVK08k.

Next, I did the Bikini ARMS Routine! BIKINI SERIES ☀. This video is a killer 11:46 for the arms. I never knew my arms had so many muscles! And boy, did I work every single one with this routine. I loved it!! You can find that workout here: http://youtu.be/G5fgSJ6wb0Q.

I ended the day feeling really good. It felt really good to work my body again and to fuel my body with balanced meals throughout the day. Day 1 off to a great start!

Summer Reset!

So much has happened since the last time I wrote. I graduated from nursing school, passed the NLCEX and secured my first job as a registered nurse. I am really excited to begin working as a nurse. My first day is July 7th! Yay!! In the meantime, I have been catching up with all the household related things that got pushed onto the back burner when my time was consumed with studying, or at least with feeling like I should be studying. :D In addition to some household chores getting pushed off, exercising became less and less. First the times I was exercising got shorter. Then it became a sporadic activity at best. I was feeling so great when I was exercising regularly in the fall. Unfortunately, I just wasn't able to keep it up during the winter and spring months. I spent most of the last 6 months studying, shoveling lots of snow and sleeping. I am finally starting to feel like things are leveling out again (just in time for another major shift when I start working!) and I have noticed that I really don't feel that great anymore. Physically, I'm feeling a little too soft for my liking. Mentally, I'm short on patience most days. And emotionally, I'm feeling a little down. At first I thought I was feeling down as my body and mind reacted to the lifting of the major stress that I was under while I was in nursing school. But it has been 6 weeks since I finished school and 1 month since I passed the NCLEX and I am not feeling better. At times, I'm feeling worse.

I thought that once I had more time, I would jump right back into exercising. I mean, why wouldn't I? I felt so great when I was exercising regularly before. But then I realized something. Could it be that I am afraid of committing to exercising regularly because if I slack off I no longer have an excuse like when I was in school? Now if I don't keep it up, it is me "failing" at achieving my goal. The thought of failure is something that I have long struggled with. I don't like to fail so maybe if I make excuses and don't start then I can't be disappointed with myself when I fail. Here's the thing though. I will fail. We all fail. Sure, not all the time and with everything we do. But the truth is that if we put ourselves out there and work toward a goal, we risk failing. But if we don't risk failing, we will most definitely achieve NOTHING! Whether I fail and disappoint myself is not a guarantee, but not risking failing by doing nothing and I am guaranteed to not meet my goals.

July is a big month of change for me. I am about to embark on a new career. I am going into this new job knowing that the first 6 months, maybe even first year, I will feel out of my element and like I don't know what I am doing many times. That is just how it is starting a job as a new nurse. That is a very common feeling. Also, I am going to work outside the home for the first time in 10 years. TEN YEARS!!! It is going to be a major adjustment for us all to say the least. And I know that as I adjust to my new role as a new nurse and being a working mom I am going to make mistakes, hopefully not too big of mistakes. ;) But does that mean that I shouldn't try my best? No, I know that I will make mistakes or not know some things; but I will get better. With each day and each experience, I will become a skilled and experienced nurse. And I am excited to begin the journey, mistakes and all.

So why can't I apply the same logic to my personal goals? For starters, I realized that when I am referring to what would be an expected learning curve, I called it mistakes; but when I am referring to not meeting my personal goals, I call it failure. Hmm...that's interesting...maybe it's time for a language shift...The other reason is that I am still holding myself up to a high (sometimes unachievable) level of perfection. When other people are setting the expectations I am finally able to measure myself against those standards instead of my own impossible ones. But when I am making my own personal goals I still set the standards at too high of levels at times. Then sometimes this stops me from ever even trying to achieve my goal because I know the goal is too high from the get go. Maybe it is something I could achieve in steps over time but instead, I create too high of a goal then don't attempt it because I don't want to "fail" and disappoint or embarrass myself. Another reason that I struggle to meet my personal goals at times is self-sabotage. For whatever reason, if I start to feel really good about how I am doing, I find reasons or excuses to stop doing it. Why?? That is a question for the ages because I don't think I am alone in doing this. Why do we self-sabotage ourselves? Do we not think we are worth it? Do we think we are going to "fail" big if we keep going so instead we stop before that happens? I could spend a long time thinking about this and trying to figure it out; but quite frankly, I don't really care too much why I do this. I care more about changing these thinking patterns and taking action to feel my best again. Sometimes we don't need all the answers; sometimes we just need action to shake us out of our stagnation.

My birthday is coming up in July and I will be 34 years old. I decided to give myself two gifts this year. I am going to give myself the gift of feeling my best again and the gift of learning that it is okay to make mistakes. I decided this morning that for 34 days I am going to exercise 20-30 minutes a day and feed myself balanced and nutritious meals. This isn't a diet; I will eat snacks (ahem, ice cream) too. :) And I will be completely honest about my exercise and my eating. My hope is to get back to the more balanced eating and consistent exercise that I was doing in the fall when I felt so great. Over the course of these 34 days, I hope to make this balanced eating and exercising a habit. That is why I decided to do it every day for 34 days. I also know that there is a very good chance that I will have days when my eating isn't as balanced as I am striving for or may have days when I don't exercise. I almost made my goal to exercise 4 or 5 days a week because of this. But then I realized that by setting every day as my intention I am giving myself the chance to learn to roll with the days that don't go according to plan. This gives me the opportunity to challenge this faulty thinking that "I can't fail". I think that giving myself the gifts of good health and of making allowances for myself to make mistakes and then keep going are the best things I can do for myself this year. So for my upcoming birthday these are my intentions for myself.

What are some intentions you want to set for yourself this summer? It doesn't have to be big. Start where you are at and think about that you would like an area of your life to look like by the end of the summer. Why not going on this journey with me? You can follow along with me as I go through the next 34 days. I plan to blog each day and giving a honest summary of the food and exercise that was apart of each day. Some posts will probably be short and sweet, after all I will be starting a new job and adjusting to working full time during this time too. Other posts will probably be longer and include recipes and anything else fun I want to share along the way. I will be posting pics on twitter of my meals throughout the day with the hashtag #SummerReset. Then at the end of the day I will blog about it in more detail here. It's going to be a fun, challenging and rewarding time. Summer is a great time to hit the reset button with its longer days, more sunshine and abundance of fresh food available. I hope you join me on this SummerReset. Post your progress on Facebook or twitter with the hashtag #SummerReset and let's work together to feel our best!

Update: I made it through 12 days (only wrote through Day 10) of my summer reset until my new job started and consumed all my time and attention for nearly 2 months. I did learn a lot from this Summer Reset though, even if it was not the full 34 days as I had originally intended. I'm glad for the time I did spend reseting my exercising and eating habits. It made me keenly aware of just how much of an impact exercising and eating well have on my overall wellbeing. Now that I have started to settling into my new job and new routine, I aim to make exercising and eating well a priority again. (Sept. 4, 2014)

Summer Reset!