Wheeew, wheeeew!

Well, it finally happened today…After 13 years of driving…I got a speeding ticket. (I’ll save you the math, I didn’t begin driving by myself until I turned 18. To answer the next three common questions: Why did you wait so long? My parents wouldn’t allow me. Why? I don’t have a clue. Wasn’t that embarrassing? Yes, especially since I was one of the oldest kids in my grade.) I wish I had a dollar every time someone asked me those questions…I could probably pay this ticket! Haha!

This meme kinda makes the rough start to the morning a little funny. What kills me is that I really don’t speed. Don’t get me wrong, I go the speed limit and some times I find myself creeping up going 5 over the speed limit. However, I’m not someone who continually speeds 10-15 over. To put the cherry on top, I hardly ever take the interstate to my daughter’s school because the merging area is extremely congested. So what made me decide to take the interstate today? Experiences from last week. One day I had an old lady in front of me driving all over BOTH lanes of traffic. She couldn’t keep her speed consistent and she hit the curb/ran off the road several times. At first I thought she was a drunk driver (at 8:30am) or texting/playing on the phone. When I was finally able to pass her, I saw she was elderly and she came over into my lane. Then, the next day or so, I was pulling out of my driveway and had to wait on a speeding school bus to drive by. The bus then slowed down below the 25mph speed limit until it reached a side street. I thought it was going to turn down it to pick up some kids. No, it just blocked the entire lane of the road and sat there with its flashers and “do not pass” sign out…for nearly 10 minutes…waiting on a kid and mom/grandma (I’m not sure) to walk to the bus. (Do you know what my bus would have done if I wasn’t standing by the road? Leave my ass! Never in my life have I had a school bus WAIT on me for 10 minutes! Shoot, there were several times I watched the school bus drive past me standing there.) Guess what?! That made me late dropping SP off to school and getting me to my workout. The next day after that, I was driving back from picking SP up and a loving truck had dropped several large pieces of pine tree in the road, prompting people to jerk over in front of the people driving next to them. I had enough driving that road!

And that’s why, this morning, when the school bus drove past my house as I was backing out of the garage; I decided to go the interstate. Bad decision. Honestly, I’m just glad SP didn’t shout “My Momma was going pedal to the metal!” She’s been doing that for a few weeks now and has Hubby convinced I speed everywhere.

Hubby is understandably frustrated at me. I mean, my careless driving just gave us an extra $250-$275 bill to pay. (Let’s hope he pays it or they’ll issue a warrant out for my arrest!) I don’t think he’s that frustrated at me.

Today was one of those days where I really needed to work out my frustrations in the gym. I wasn’t able to go today because I had to run some errands that are easier to do minus one kid. I’ll be ready to hit the gym tomorrow morning though.

I’m trying to be more positive. So, tomorrow is a chance to have a better day. I’ll wait until I’m at the gym to take my pre-workout.


Why Isn’t This Working?

Hubby shared this meme with me…after he watched me eat an entire box of Thin Mints in two days. I admit it, I ate an entire roll in one sitting. I felt terrible afterwards, not physically, just for stuffing my face like that. I mean…I do live in the city where the Girl Scouts began. I have to support them! (Plus they are on every corner, outside every store with their adorable smiles and cheery “Buy some GS cookies?” ) I can only say “no thank you” so many times!! I literally run past them in my neighborhood! At least I only purchased one box this year. Haha!

I strive to follow an 80/20 healthy to unhealthy rule. Lately it’s been more like 60/40. I realized I’ve picked up a nasty habit this past year…emotional eating.

When I feel stressed, depressed, and exhausted; I go searching for unhealthy foods. A soft drink to pep me up, take out after a busy day, or brownies and milk to unwind. (Not foods to fuel my body.) And we all know I’ve been struggling emotionally for the past year and a half. I paint a good cover up though, like a YouTube make up tutorial. Add some concealer…blend (I’ve got this.), blend (I’m an awesome mom.), blend (I’m not going to cry today.) … add some foundation… blend (Just give it to God.), blend (God won’t give me more than I can handle), blend (I feel abandoned here, I need to do another bible study, maybe it will speak to me.) … press on the powder… blend (I’m doing better, I only cried twice today.), blend (I had a two hour break from the kids, I’m refreshed.), blend (Working out is a stress outlet.)… apply blush… blend (Just think happier thoughts), blend (Fake happiness until you make it.), blend (Smile more, you’ll seem happier)… apply waterproof mascara (Because I know I’m not better, I’ll break down again today). What will be the trigger be today? My daughter having a sensory meltdown, my son refusing food he needs to meet his PHE goal, my husband making an honest mistake because he’s tired, my daughter needing speech therapy, insurance not covering that therapy, son refusing nap again today, one (or both) of the kids has allergies bothering them, or disappointed in myself for not being better from depression. I could go on…there are so many more.

Although I work out for two hours a day, you cannot out work an unhealthy diet. Unless you have some awesome genetics that grants you with a fast metabolism. (Guess what…I don’t anymore!)

I decided that for March I was going to get back on track and cut out my unhealthy eating habits. I’m striving to eat more veggies and less simple carbs, drink more water, and building up my willpower to say “NO” to those unhealthy food cravings. Each day have a healthier day than the previous. When I fuel my body appropriately, I have better workouts and a better mood.

A sample of my first hour workouts:

Essentially, it is what everyone knows as Crossfit. However, due to red tape, it’s known as “functional fitness”. My second hour includes body strength exercises to strengthen the stabilizer muscles that accompany the larger main working muscles that constantly work in Crossfit. Tuesday and Thursday tends to be my high cardio days, where I might take a cycle class, lift lighter weights with more reps, or run several miles.

I want to lose these extra 15 pounds, but I cannot do it unless I watch my diet too. Exercise is great. Unfortunately, it will only get you so far if you don’t watch your diet too.

I’m a honest person when it comes to my struggles. I’m not a paid fitness expert that has my entire day scheduled to be in the gym for 5 hours and my meals catered for me. This post is to encourage you. If you fall off track to meeting your goals; don’t completely trash them. Get back on! Make the next day better!

With my workouts I’ve flattened my running shoes. So I invested in these:

Oh yeah, and sometimes, just buying something to help you kick your rear into gear and make that goal is pretty awesome too.

*Throws Calendar in the Air*

My memory in a nutshell. This also pertains to blogging. I always remember to blog, when I have zero access to said blog. Driving the kid to school…I need to blog. Checking out at the grocery store…I need to blog. Working out…I need to blog. Finally home and eating lunch…I need to blog after this. After lunch…OMG, I’m so tired…nap. After nap…why did I do that? I was supposed to blog! Sits down to blog…

And that’s how three weeks can go by without a post.

Seriously though, balancing mom life, fit life, and work life has my blog on life support. In my last post I shared my battle with a terrible sinus infection. I’m doing much better! It’s still pollinating here…as in…you can visibly see swirls of yellow pollen blowing in the air. I’m not even exaggerating. Hubby and the kids washed my car on Saturday, they couldn’t spray the car down with water without pollen immediately falling on in. My son has terrible allergies and he is not a happy camper at the moment. He has a gross runny nose and watery, goopy eyes. I also mentioned how Hubby NEVER gets sticks. Well, the next week, he suffered two horrific days from a runny nose, congestion, and sinus pressure. I bought him some Flonase and he is all better. I’m telling ya, Savannah is trying to kill us with pollen.

It doesn’t help that I’m constantly working out or running outside, just huffing in that poison. If the pollen doesn’t kill you, the mosquitos and gnats will eat you alive. We’re just a bunch of face swollen, snotty nosed, bug bitten complainers over here! HAHA!

With all of the complaining, we do have some fun stuff planned. Hubby’s birthday is tomorrow (the big 3-2). We are having a little birthday party for him this weekend by having some friends over. As a Valentines present, Hubby bought us tickets to see Brad Paisley in concert. I’m super excited about that. I hope he sings “Then” because that was Hubby and I’s first dance song. SassyPants has so much going on with school, from St. Patrick’s Day parades to Easter celebrations. We will be closing on our Auburn house soon. There’s just a ton of stuff going on! My calendar has so many scribbles and I’m running out of room to add any more events. As usual, Mr. HappyPants is just along for the ride of life, taking it one day at a time with this crazy family.

A little PSA for Mr. HappyPants: Tomorrow, Feb. 28th, is Rare Disease Day. Our son has a rare genetic metabolic disease called Phenylketonuria (PKU).

No One Can Escape The Germs

Unless you are my husband. Somehow that man doesn’t catch a cold. Last year, he had food poisoning with me and he only went to the bathroom twice. Meanwhile, I was living in the bathroom all day long. He also had a mild case of allergies for a whole week. Now that I think back to it. I’ve only known him to get the flu once. He also contracted Hand, Foot, & Mouth disease from our daughter. He was pretty miserable from that. He has an amazing immune system.

Since moving to Savannah, each year my allergies have become worse. Not to count that I tend to catch any stomach bug, cold, or pink eye from the kids. I have to say, since beginning essential oils, I have been able to ward off many illnesses or drastically reduce the run time of the sickness. At the same time, I do believe the oils can help only so much. With the case of pink eye, you should go see a doctor; not rely on oils. (No brainer there…)

Over the weekend, I woke up with a terrible sinus infection. I’ve never had a sinus infection before, until two months ago. I had a small one that worked itself out with the help of sinus congestion medicine. Then it went back to chest congestion, wheezing, and coughing. So when I woke up Saturday morning feeling like a dump truck had ran over my head, I wasn’t happy. I just finished a round of antibiotics! I suffered with intense sinus pressure, ear pain, runny nose, coughing, dizziness, loss of smell, and loss of taste. I was relieved to be able to get an appointment with the same Nurse Practitioner I saw just two weeks ago. I was given two shots in my rear and another round of a higher level antibiotic. Yet, here I am, still feeling like complete crap. I cannot workout. I can’t even breathe through my nose. I still have the sinus congestion and pressure. I would have thought I would have been given a medication to help with the mucus production and congestion. So, I sit around this house, feeling like I’m on Death’s door step, looking like…

Drinking hot coffee to wake me up from a restless night of coughing, blowing my nose, and unable to breathe.

Literally, carrying a box of tissues with me where ever I go. My nose doesn’t stop running, yet it never clears up enough to breathe through it.

Drinking plenty of water because the antibiotic can cause dehydration. (Not to mention burst tendons from working out. Yeah, actual fine print of the medication handout.) Since I can’t workout, eating healthy snacks…like these almonds I can’t taste.

Trying to “rest” as my son uses me as a jungle gym and patient for playing doctor.

In 10 days, if the sinus infection still isn’t cleared. I get to visit an ENT to have my sinuses flushed out. Honestly, by this point, I would rather just have that done. I think two rounds of antibiotic and steroids in two months while the sinus issue gets worse is plenty of evidence for a referral to a specialist. But who am I??

My daughter developed an ear infection last week from a runny nose due to allergies. She’s on antibiotics, an antihistamine, and breathing treatments. And my son has a constant clear runny nose with a little cough. I mean, when does the sickness end?! I’m hoping soon. This momma is sick and tired or being sick and tired.

I would say I’m the only one going through this, but I know I’m not. All of my friends, co-workers, etc. are having to take their kids and themselves to the doctor for various issues. I’m not the only one suffering through allergies. It’s like what could possibly be pollinating in Savannah right now?! Well, it will be 70 degrees tomorrow…so I’m sure there are plenty of plants producing their horrific reproduction poison.

Stay Germ Free, My Friends.

My last post gave you two new health-ified recipes to add to your arsenal of healthy meal options. I feel like I spend a lot of time making unhealthy recipes into healthier options. When I began my weight loss journey, nearly 4 years ago, I realized many of my “go to” recipes were filled with unhealthy junk. No wonder I was overweight! I’ve learned to change my eating habits to attain a better weight… a healthy weight. For instance, this weekend the Hubs and I wanted a steak dinner. It helped that the ribeyes were on sale. I made sure to buy cuts of steak that were leaner, without a ton of fat marbling throughout. In the past, we would have accompanied those steaks with a loaded baked potato. Loaded meaning covered, smothered, and soaked in butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon. Yeah, not very healthy. Because I am trying to reduce my body fat (stubborn fat from the pregnancy around the abdominal area), I’m reducing the amount of carbs I eat. I decided to stick with cauliflower as the potato substitute. I did have 4 slices of bacon I needed to cook leftover from my breakfast meal prepping. So, I baked and crumbled those. I roasted the cauliflower in the oven on 400F for about 25 minutes. I sprinkled a little cheddar cheese on top and melted for a couple of minutes in the oven. I topped with the bacon crumbles and chopped green onions. My “loaded” cauliflower was a much healthier option than the loaded potatoes of the past. My other side was my steamed garlic and onion green beans. All I do for those is sauté minced garlic and onion in a little oil (whatever works for you…I like ghee) for 7 minutes, add my green beans to the pan, add a 1/4 cup of broth (can be veggie, chicken, or beef…I do opt for no added salt) and top the pan with the lid. I keep a small opening to vent the steam. It takes about 20 minutes on medium high heat. Another healthier meal for you. I pair those sides with roasted chicken, pork tenderloin…whatever, really, even salmon. I obviously cannot make some recipes healthier, like brownies. I mean, there are countless recipes on Pinterest that try; but there is nothing like brownies made with flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. That’s where your willpower has to kick in. You just cannot eat those types of food all the time and lose weight. Valentine’s Day is coming up. You are bombarded with candies, cakes, and other mouth watering delicacies. It is fine to indulge on an item or two. I know I will be enjoying a dessert. However, don’t undo your hard work. I try to keep my desserts to special occasions, like Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or social occasions. I will admit, there is a certain week of the month, where I have strong cravings for chocolate or sweets. It could be brownies, chocolate chip cookies, or cake. I find that if I deny myself that one craving, it gets worse. However, if I go ahead and eat that craving, just once, it totally disappears. This last time was an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen. I haven’t had one in a year; but the craving was intense. I shared one with Hubs and I’m good on them. That’s all I needed. That also helps you to tell yourself “no” for the next craving. It’s like parenting myself. “No, Kayleigh, you may not indulge your craving this month because you did last month.” It sounds weird, but I feel it holds me accountable to my fitness goals.

I have a very special day coming up this week. My daughter’s pre-school does a “Donuts with Dad” program. Unfortunately, Hubs cannot make it this year. It will be donuts with Mom and Little Bro, who will have his specially made donuts. I will enjoy every bite of that donut with my little girl. I won’t go overboard and eat five of them, but I will enjoy at least one…maybe a donut hole or two if they have those. This is why it is so important to make each workout count. Push yourself each time, and there shouldn’t be any guilt when you do indulge.

Onto a slightly different topic about health, let’s talk about the flu. Holy Cow! It is bad here. Everywhere I turn someone else’s kid is down with the flu, strep, or a stomach virus. I’m trying to keep us germ free. I probably look like a crazy mom sanitizing hands, spraying Lysol on everything, wiping everything down with Lysol wipes, and constantly washing my hands.

While some people knock them, I’m using my essential oils too. I’m diffusing several times a day and applying my Immunity blend roller to feet at night. My viewpoint is, if it hasn’t been 100% debunked for effectiveness, I’m using it. Haha! Seriously, the oils have helped me with my sleeping issues. I used to be an incredibly light sleeper. I would wake up every time Hubs moved. Not to mention, any time I was stressed or worried about something; I would stay up most of the night unable to calm my head for sleep. I have zero sleeping problems. I have a few blends I mix for peaceful, deep sleep. Even Hubs is amazed at how well I sleep at night.

I couldn’t help but laugh at this meme. Hubs recites Shakespeare’s Macbeth the witches scene to me every time he sees me making oil blends. We have an on going joke about my oil use being related to witchcraft. (Disclaimer: We are simply joking and do not believe that essential oil use is in any way associated with witchcraft.)

Realistically, all you can do to protect yourself from these germs is to wash your hands. If you or your kid does begin to have any symptoms of being sick, stay home or go to the doctor. For goodness sake, do not go to work, school, or any other place to spread your germs.

Stay save and healthy!

Healthier Food Options

It’s no secret that I love food.

Unfortunately, if you do not fuel your body with the appropriate types and portions of food; you carry around extra weight in the form of fat. There is the obvious form of fat that stores under your skin. However, fat cells can build up in your arteries and heart; creating serious health problems. Even carrying the extra fat causes joint and bone damage over an extended period of time. That is why it is incredibly important to me to keep a healthy diet, along with exercise.

I’ve been overweight. I literally ached all the time, my breathing was labored over the smallest tasks, and I was physically sick most of the time. After I had my daughter, I knew I needed a change in my lifestyle. I needed to be a healthier version of me for her. I still struggle with the balance of health foods versus unhealthy. I mainly struggle because unhealthy foods are readily available in the forms of drive thrus, quick grab bags, and no clean up afterwards. It’s easier to come home pre-heat the oven for a unhealthy casserole of some sort, quickly eat, and finish the evening activities…or better yet, just go through a drive thru.

That is where I have to make the deliberate decision to say “no!”. To do that, I meal prep. Basically, I make a bigger batch of my healthy food and store it in the freezer for those hectic nights. I also plan out my menu each week and only buy those items needed for those meals. You can’t cook tacos if you don’t have the ingredients!

My first recipe is a healthier version of an egg roll. I enjoy Asian takeout! But the calories, sodium, and preservatives are terrible for you.

First, I browned a pound of ground pork in my cast iron pan. I drained the pork. Then I threw a bag of shredded cabbage and shredded carrots into the pan and sautéed with a minced clove of garlic, sprinkle of ginger, a teaspoon of sesame oil, a teaspoon of chili sauce, a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, and a tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos. I opt for the aminos. Then I mixed the pork back in with the cabbage for a couple of minutes. While all of that was going on, I had a sheet pan of chopped broccoli, squash, cauliflower, yellow onion, and red bell pepper roasting in the oven. I seasoned them with a small splash of sesame oil, ginger, and black pepper. Super basic. I wanted to top all of this off with chopped green onion; however, the grocery store has been out lately. This made enough for 6 meals! It’s also easily adapted to fit into the Keto, Paleo, or Whole 30 diets. It was absolutely delicious!

My second recipe was a sausage, sweet potato noodle, and broccoli one pan meal.

I used a nitrite free, natural andouille sausage for this. You can use turkey sausage or any ground sausage, really. I just love Cajun foods and decided to add a little spice to my life with this dish. I spiralized 3 large sweet potatoes. I browned 2 pounds of the andouille in y cast iron pan, then threw the sweet potatoes on them. I steamed a head and a half of broccoli. I felt the andouille gave enough flavor to this dish without anything added, except a clove of minced garlic and a hint of black pepper. The entire dish took 20 minutes to cook and gave me 8 meals. I topped the dish off with a sprinkle of feta cheese to give a creamy factor to cool my tastebuds between the bites of andouille. If you use an Italian sausage, you could use parmesan. Yet another simple, healthy, and tasty meal.

By cooking in bulk, I’m able to save time (and choose a healthier food option) for those busy nights where I am tempted to eat unhealthy meals.

I love to share my recipes in hopes that I am helping someone else to choose a healthier food option.

Finally Thawing or Maybe Not

Two weeks ago was an unusually chilly week for Savannah. (Chilly might not be the right word to use.) We actually had snow! We looked like this while playing in it…

I bundled up the kids for a run to the park. Within a few minutes, SP was begging to turn around. She normally doesn’t even notice the weather temperature when she has park time on the agenda. However, when the snow fell, she couldn’t have been happier. She’s been begging for snow. Last year, when we took our mountain vacation during Christmas, we were expecting snow. She was incredibly disappointed to leave without it snowing. (It snowed the next week…such our luck!) This Savannah snowfall was a wish come true for this little girl!

It also helped that she had hot chocolate waiting for her each time she came in from a snow adventure. It was a super special experience for her during the Christmas break.

Last week was her first week back to school. She was excited to start back and see her friends. She cares so deeply and I love that about her. Speaking of school, it is that time of year to register again. It has made me realize how fast this move to Auburn is coming…And all of the things I need to arrange. I can tell she excited to go to a new school, but sad to leave her friends here. It has helped that two other students have already moved this school semester. She makes remarks that she will be moving too and her friends will miss her. I think it helps that we are allowing her to finish the school year. Downside to that is that she will not be able to attend any summer camps. I will have her all summer long…right up my rear…along with her brother. Yaaaayyyyy…

January is usually when the gyms are crowded with New Year resolutors claiming this will be the year of weight loss. There is a major decline in participation by February though. I’ve been three times so far. Between the weather, sick kids, my unending respiratory issue, traveling, and hurting my back; my fitness has taken a back seat. (I didn’t hurt my back while working out. I was wrestling my son into his car seat when I pulled a lower back muscle. I mean, man, that made me feel old. I don’t even have a cool story to tell about it. Haha!)

I am going to see a doctor about my respiratory issue that I’ve been struggling with since Thanksgiving. I thought it was a little cold. I woke up with chest congestion and a dry cough. I never ran a fever or even felt “sick”. You know, the tired blah feeling from a cold. I feel absolutely fine, other than having this hacking wet cough (that worsens while working out), wheezing, runny nose, sinus congestion, and periodic sinus pressure. Here is the kicker, the symptoms begin to go away when I travel away from Savannah. Once I’m back, all of the symptoms hit me harder than ever.

Recently we traveled back to Auburn, AL to look at a few houses. The entire week leading up to the trip, I was miserable with sinus pressure and headaches. While in Auburn, I didn’t have one sinus pressure headache, my cough and chest congestion lessened, and my runny nose disappeared. It is the strangest thing ever. I have noticed my allergy issues have worsened with each year we live here.

I’m hoping the doctor can figure it out. It’s kind of embarrassing to be running or anything cardio and begin a burst of hacking coughs. Even SP has a cough and runny nose, now that she’s finished with her allergy medicine too. I’m convinced we are allergic to some pollutant in Savannah’s air. Growing up, I never had allergy issues; even being on a farm.

I have two recipes I will share next time that you can add to your healthy meals repertoire. I’m doing more meal prepping for myself, mainly for lunch. I already meal prep so much for LB (my son), that it doesn’t take much extra time to prep for me either. We eat a lot of the same fruits and veggies in our diet. I just have to be careful not to season his portion of the food and keep my protein away.

Until next time!