Monday, April 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

I'm gearing up for my monthly grocery trip soon, so these are mostly pantry or freezer meals, trying to use up what I have on hand. I still haven't figured out if the monthly trip is actually saving me money yet. I am still playing around with what method of grocery shopping and planning is saving me the most money. We've been trying to eat healthier around here, so I think one big monthly trip (for canned goods, on-sale paper goods & diapers, etc) plus a couple of small trips for seasonal produce & milk is likely what will work best for us.

Monday: Spaghetti & Meat Sauce (freezer meal - this is our all-time favourite spaghetti sauce), Salad

Tuesday: Three Bean Chili Chowder & Cornbread

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Crispy Southwest Wraps (using beef instead of chicken, though), Veggies & Dip

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Something Simple (hot dogs or something like that...)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fitness Friday

Since last Friday, I am down 1.6 lbs and, for the first time, I'm into the next set of 10s. I am very happy with that because it is the first time in 6 weeks that I've actually felt like I'm making real progress.. even though I indulged in pizza, pop, and donuts this week! Before this week, I had been gaining and losing 1 to 2 pounds every week for 6 weeks with no real progress happening.

I feel like I've had a good week so far trying to eat healthier and get more active. Since starting my 21 day challenge (on Monday) to stop eating chips, chocolate, cookies, pop, and cut back on breads and empty carbs, I have only "cheated" a few times. I don't really like the word "cheat" because, honestly, I will never cut these foods out of my diet completely, so I'm not worrying if I have these things a few times in the 21 day challenge. I don't like the idea of forbidden foods as a long term way of eating.  The purpose of the 21 day challenge is not really to forbid certain foods (even though that's what it is - haha). It is more to help me think more about my choices, realize how much junk food I was eating before, and see that eating junk food is not necessary (especially not every day!), which is why I don't worry too much about a "cheat" here or there. Tuesday was a big "cheat" day for me  - our Aunt & Uncle were so generous to invite us over to watch the Flyers' hockey game and have supper with them. We had Pizza Hut pizza (my favourite!), wings, pop, and donuts. It was SO good (and a fun time!) Pizza is one of my all-time favourite foods, and my hubby loves it and requests it once a week.

As for being more active, I had an okay week. I have not been running as much because of my knee. I did a strength (arms) video on Monday, did Week 3 Workout 3 for the Couch to 5K on Tuesday, briskly walked/ran on the treadmill for half an hour on Wednesday, and did nothing on Thursday. I have yet to figure out how to consistently fit exercise into my day as I would ideally like 45 minutes a day, but doing something is always better than nothing, even if it's just a 10 minute HIIT video.

I'm using My Fitness Pal to track food, calories, and exercise. I am loosely counting calories, but the My Fitness Pal app makes this super easy as you can  even just plug recipes into it and it will calculate calories for you.

And...just for fun, here's a picture of us three girls.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Eggs with salsa & cheese

Leftover Turkey Vegetable Soup
Pita Pizzas
Snack-y lunch (crackers, cheese, pickles, sliced apples)
Macaroni & Cheese
PBJ Sandwiches
Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Pancakes & Fruit

Monday: Turkey Vegetable Soup  with buns

Tuesday: BBQ Steaks & Potatoes (if it's warm enough...hopefully!), Salad

Wednesday: Sweet & Sour Meatballs, Rice, Veggies

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night & Salad

Saturday: Tuna Macaroni Casserole & Veggies

Sunday:  Leftovers

Couch to 5K Update: Last week I finished 2 out of the 3 workouts for Week 3 of the program. My knee has been giving me issues again since starting to exercise, which is why I didn't get all my workouts in last week. About 12 years ago, my knee got injured while playing basketball. (I believe it was a torn MCL). It has given me trouble here and there ever since, but I have really noticed it to be worse since starting to run again. It makes me so sad & frustrated as I have otherwise been enjoying running and working out. I will likely need to go to the doctor again about my knee as I fear if I don't get it figured out, it will give me issues for the rest of my life. I might try doing Week 4 this week as long as my knee isn't hurting too badly. If it does, I will probably need to hold off on running until I see the doctor again about it. I am struggling so much with getting the weight off this time. I know it will take time, but it is going sooo slowly this time around, which is frustrating me. Is this because I'm getting old??? :-D.  I know I'm going to have to really watch what I eat more carefully. I am going to be doing a 21 day challenge of no chips, pop, chocolate, or cookies. I won't say that I will for sure never cheat as I won't likely turn down desserts for special events/birthdays or company's houses, but I'm really going to try hard to cut out more of the junk food, bad snacks, and cut way back on carbs from bread. I'll plug in here once in awhile to update my progress (hopefully not my lack of progress!) with the challenge.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfasts (Breakfasts are very simple around here. Many mornings we just have toast, oatmeal, cereal, or eggs, and add in fruit)
Toast & Fruit
Stovetop Oatmeal
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (plan to make early this week)

Borscht Soup (x2)
Grilled Cheese
Pancakes & Fruit
Pita Pizzas
PBJ sandwiches

Suppers (I imagine we will be spending some time with family over the weekend and eating with them, so the weekend meals can easily be skipped without affecting my groceries too much :-) )

Monday: Sweet & Sour Chicken over Rice, Stir Fry Veggies

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Amazing Sloppy Joes over Artisan Bread, Tossed Salad

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday: Potato Soup or Freezer Meal

Sunday: Leftovers

Friday, April 11, 2014


I am enjoying running. Enjoying running. I honestly am not sure that I have ever, in my entire life, truly enjoyed running...until now. Though I was very active in high school, played lots of school sports, and even did cross country running and track and field, I never really liked running. I just did it....just because it was expected of me. I actually really hated cross country running. Why I put myself through that just to please my teachers and coaches is beyond me! I was a major people pleaser and big-time overachiever in high school. I think I've loosened up quite a bit since then, especially since there is no way to "do it all" as a mom - ha ha.

Hubby has started his new job this week, and things are going quite well. It is a 1 year term job, but it might turn permanent (it's iffy, though). He is home much earlier than I was used to in his previous job, which is a HUGE blessing. It is also so nice to be able to go to church together as a family every Sunday. With his last career, he had to work some Sundays and I was by myself with the kids for Sunday (a pretty major task, especially when church is a good 45 minute drive out of town!) When the weather is nice, once he gets home he will take the kids out to play while I finish up making supper.

Today after supper, he took the kids outside to play for well over an hour. I took the time alone to do a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and jump on the treadmill to do Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program. I play Christian music while I run, and it is such an awesome time for me to recharge. Though it is not the same as sitting down and reading the Bible, the songs I listen to are filled with truth from God's word and are such an encouragement to my soul. I have been feeling much more stressed and anxious this year with all the changes and uncertainty. Taking care of 3 young kids all day can leave me quite frazzled by the end of the day.  Exercise is a great stress reliever but adding in a time of worship and prayer while exercising and listening to truth is truly a stress reliever. As crazy as it might sound, I really think that those 30 minutes of pounding it out on the treadmill are helping me be a better wife & mama. The songs that I listen to while I run challenge and encourage my mind & spirit. I'm sure this is the real reason I am finally enjoying running. For example, one song speaks of increasing my faith in God when times are difficult, another might speak on living a life that reflects Jesus (I consider my attitude and actions toward my kids & husband when I listen to this song). Though finding time to exercise is a challenge, I know that I need to make time. The physical part is important for my health, but the spiritual part of listening to worship music and praying for the time is even more important.

I hope to check in here on Fridays with my progress as I work to drop the pregnancy weight, but more importantly, work toward being a healthier wife & mama. This week I didn't lose anything much. I am still trying to sort out what I need to do food and exercise-wise in order to get over this plateau and get the weight moving again.

Here's just one example of lyrics that spoke to me and challenged me while I was running.

Live Like That - Sidewalk Prophets

Am I proof that You are who You say You are?
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true
People pass
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You?

As I think of those lyrics, my mind goes toward my behavior and attitude at home. My prayer is that my kids will see Jesus living in me...that I would be kind toward them and serve my family as Jesus served and as I train them up in His ways.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfasts (Breakfasts are very simple around here. Many mornings we just have toast with fruit or eggs)

Oatmeal Strawberry Smoothies
Toast & Fruit
Stovetop Oatmeal
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (plan to make early this week)

Lunches (I will be having Caesar salad with a fried egg (no croutons), BBQ chicken salad, and sauteed veggies over quinoa in place of the sandwiches, which the kids will be having with simple fruit & veggie sides (sliced strawberries, cucumber, carrots, apple slices, etc.)

Hamburger Vegetable Soup (x2)
Grilled Cheese
Pancakes & Fruit
Ham Sandwiches
PBJ sandwiches


Monday:Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry (NEW) over Brown Rice    

Tuesday; Grilled Chicken Piccata over Penne (NEW)

WednesdayCreamy Tomato Sauce over Spaghetti (this one but without the artichokes. It's a meatless family favourite. I love it with the artichokes, but leaving them out saves money, and it's still delicious), Caesar Salad

Thursday: BBQ'ing steaks, baked potatoes, coleslaw

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night (The last few pizza nights we have been using the 5 minute artisan bread recipe on a preheated pizza stone, and it is AMAZING, especially after leaving the dough in the fridge for about a week to give it a bit of a sourdough taste).

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Leftovers or |Kommst Borscht Soup

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday hosted by 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pictures & Update

Life is busy right now :-). There is not much time for blogging, which is perfectly fine with me.I will never get these days back and would much rather spend my limited time with my precious ones than online blogging. Of course, I will still blog here and there as time allows. Thanks for understanding :-). 

This week I began the Couch to 5K program. It was wonderful and horrible in the most exhilarating,  torturous kind of way! Isn't that just how it is with exercise? At least that's how it is with me, especially when starting out again after basically sitting on the couch for the past 9 months. It's a bit frustrating being so horribly out of shape, which is all the more reason why I need to get exercising again. Unfortunately the baby weight (plus more) is no longer moving. I have gone a few weeks without losing a single pound, and I have at least 30, ideally 40, to go. My plan is to use a common sense approach, which seemed to work the last two times. This time, it seems to be a bit more difficult for me, though, as I feel like I should have lost a bit more already without "trying." The hard thing is knowing how to fit in exercise with 3 young kids. It was so easy with just Elianna. I remember I would put her in the baby swing and then could have at least an hour to exercise with no problem. I am not a morning person, and Brielle is still up several times a night, so trying to get up before the kids are awake does not work the best for me right now. In the evening was my go-to time to exercise after Nathanael was born, but these days I'm finding that I'm completely toast by the time the kids are in bed. I may have to lose my afternoon quiet/rest time and try to fit it in then. Nathanael still naps after lunch, so I may be able to put a video on for Elianna, Brielle in the swing, and try to fit in at least 30 minutes then.

As for our job situation, it looks like my husband will be starting his new job on Monday. We do not have to move for this job, which is a blessing. After several months of trying to figure things out, applying to different opportunities, and having many doors open and then close, it looks like we will be sticking around at least for the next year. It is only a year-long term, but it has the potential to become permanent. It's not in his field of training, but it is still a good job. The hours are phenomenal.

Love these little munchkins!

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