Friday, July 3, 2015

Fitness Friday: Complacency

Complacency.  It is an ugly word, isn’t it?  I cannot tell you how many times on my fitness journey I have looked at that bag of M-n-Ms and thought, "Hey, being a size 16 isn’t so bad.  I mean, just a few of these colorful little sugar bombs of yumminess won’t kill me.  I was a lot bigger at one time..."

But is it every really just a few?  And once you give into that little voice that says you never wanted to be supermodel skinny, anyway, and you don't really want to go overboard with this healthy eating thing after all, it gets harder and harder to tell it to shut up.

Complacency is more than just giving in.  It is giving up.  It can be one of the biggest hurdles you face in your fitness journey.

I have fallen victim to it a few times on this crazy roller coaster.  In fact, I am battling it right now.  I am actually only 8 pounds away from one of my BIG goals.  It is so close I can taste it, but the heat always gets me down.  Some people perk up in summer and start doing all the things they have been dying to do all winter.  I wilt like some little delicate flower.  I pout because it is too hot to go do anything but eat ice cream and sit directly under the air conditioning vent.  And suddenly that goal doesn't seem that important.

Even he doesn't believe there are 2 servings in one bag
One of the things that can truly help you battle complacency is keeping track.  There are a million apps and most of them you can even access online if you don't have a smart phone.  One of my favorites is Fitness Pal.  You can keep track of everything you eat in a day, your exercise, and your weight.  You can "friend" people and give each other support and praise when they post a workout or weight loss, which is huge for fighting feelings of "is this all worth it?"

Keeping track of your food can be a huge bonus.  When you look at that bag of M-n-Ms you will either skip it, because you don't really want to know how many calories are in a handful, or you might just eat less than you normally would.  This does take some will power, of course.  So don't lie to yourself when you track your food.  Yes, Amy, you did eat that whole bag of plantain chips, not just 1 serving.  Did you know I have a thing for plantain chips?  They are supposed to be a healthier option but not for me.  If they were dipped in chocolate and peanut butter I would probably run away with them.  

At the same time, don't get anal about it either.  You don't need to use measuring cups to make sure you only ate 1/4 cup of chopped onions (and is that before or after you cooked them??), but do keep track and do the best job you can.  Soon it will become routine, just like any good habit, and it will help you make better choices.

Complacency is a pain and it can completely derail your very best efforts.  Keeping track of your food and having someone to help support you will help you to fight the good fight.  Love the body you are in but don't give up on yourself either.  You are worth it. Just take it a pound at a time!

Friday, May 15, 2015

{7QT} Instagram Smash!

For this weeks Seven Quick Takes, I thought I would blast you with photos from this weeks Instagram feed...


My oldest and I went to see The Age of Adaline on Wednesday.  The two of us haven't done this in ages!  It was so much fun to see a great movie and have dinner with this young woman.  We both really liked the movie.  The last part was a bit corny and I personally think it should have been cut, but... the rest of it was great and I would happily have Adaline's wardrobe.  There are also some great romantic tips for the guys, though you would probably owe them big if they take you.

See what I mean?  The clothes!  Sigh.


Did you know I knit?  Look here, here is something I made wearing things I made!  Squee!


Last week, big brother had to go the charter school and do a make up test.  The school is 20 minutes away, so we just hung out on the playground while he worked.  We were lucky we got a small break in the rain to play.

But I love rain.  I miss rain.  It makes me happy.

So I'm more than happy it has been raining off and on.


Wrong end bud.


Remember what I said about Adaline's clothes?  Yeah, this was not in that movie, but you have to admit, the parrot hat does have a je ne sais quois about it, no? Yes, I am being sarcastic.


My mother's day gift!  Isn't it lovely?  The very talented owner of SaongJai was at our parish for Mother's Day and I got to pick out my gift.

On last thing.  I have been reading 33 Days to Morning Glory, and in my reading for today (I am not sure if I am ahead or behind) was a letter from Mother Teresa.  It spoke very clearly to my heart and wanted to share it with you:

"The Devil may try to use the hurts of life,
and sometimes our own mistakes,
to make you feel it is impossible that Jesus really loves you,
is really cleaving to you. This is a danger for all of us.
And so sad,because it is completely the opposite of what Jesus is really wanting,
waiting to tell you. Not only that He loves you, but even more, He longs for you.
He misses you when you don't come close. He thirsts for you.
He loves you always, even when you don't feel worthy.
When not accepted by others, even by yourself sometimes,
He is the one who always accepts you.
Only believe, you are precious to him.
Bring all you are suffering to His feet,
only open your heart to be loved by Him as you are.
He will do the rest."
- Mother Teresa

For more 7QT, visit This Ain't The Lyceum.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

{yarn along} May 13, 2015

I getting this up a little late in the day but I had to share with you the adorable little dress I am making for Posy!

 I am almost done with the Pinafore Dress I found on Ravelry the other day.  It is very simple and looks so adorable!  I only have a few more rows to go.  I decided to add an extra row before the arm and at the bottom.  I should finish it today!  As for reading I am working through 33 Days to Morning Glory.  I have tried to read it before and always gotten distracted, but I am determined this time!

So I am going to run along and drink some of this and finish my project!  What are you working on?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Large Family Eating: Are You ALL Paleo?

One of the hardest things I have had to combat on my path to being healthy is eating what everyone else doesn't.  Actually, it would be more correct to say, everyone else is eating what I cannot.

When Tony and I decided a few years ago to go Primal (think Paleo with cheese) we tried to get everyone else on board.  After all, we knew that grains weren't really as good for you as they all say.  When you consider that our diet was probably 90% grains you can imagine what kind of a challenge that was!

Needless to say, it didn't go over well.

For a family of any size, this kind of dietary change would be difficult, imagine doing this for a family 5 times the size of an average American household.  It wasn't pretty.  Meal planning became so essential that to stray from it even for one meal could prove disastrous.

Now that I am Paleo, and this time going it all alone, it has been an easier transition knowing that I don't have to take everyone with me.

So how do we do it? 

In our household we have a variety of food issues.  I am gluten intolerant, which appears to be getting worse as the years progress.  One of the kids is lactose intolerant and cannot stomach pork products (including bacon!!!), and another is gluten free.  So our meals together are.... guess what?  Paleo.

That is usually dinner.  With kid's ranging in age from 20 down to 6 months, all in the home, the one meal we generally eat together is dinner.  Breakfast and lunch, the older girls fend for themselves.  Since they are on different work and school schedules they usually cook their own breakfast and lunch. 

The younger kids, however, I feed.  Breakfast is usually really simple during the week and it often involve gluten free grains like oats and rice.  Lunch is usually a sandwich, we buy a special gluten free bread for our one younger child who is gluten free. Sometimes it will be a salad, leftovers, or perhaps potatoes.

Dinner and snacks are usually Paleo or Primal.  The kids love green smoothies (even dairy free ones), insist on gluten free pancakes, and throw a party when I give them hard boiled eggs for lunch. My gluten free little girl loves a nice leafy green salad!  And when we serve sweet potatoes... forget about it!  I have one kid who thinks broccoli is the pinnacle of all vegetables and would eat it everyday. 

Truth is the kids do better on a diet low in grains and we get raw milk from a local farm.  I try to make sure that the main source of food in this house isn't grains like it once was.  Our kids diets are probably more like 25% grains now, unlike before when it was the major staple in the house.

I never make the kids meals that would tempt those of us who have to go without certain things, too terribly.  Yes, pizza enters the house, so if you go through my garbage can you might actually find a few boxes from Little Caesars, but you will also find a ton of apple rinds, lettuce ends, and banana peels.  And no, I don't eat the pizza.  Just offer it up, as they say.

Avoiding huge temptations everyday are the key to success.  Don't get wrapped up in what you cannot have.  Even if you are watching someone eat a pb&j and thinking, man I haven't had one of those in years..., STOP.  Make something you really love.  We keep Costco frozen turkey burgers in the freezer.  They are gluten free and really quick.  Top it with a favorite sauteed veggie, bacon, and/ or real fermented sauerkraut, and that pb&j becomes pathetic.

Keep easy to make things stocked in your freezer and fridge.  Make sure you have your favorite fruit available.  And get one special thing different every time you go to the store.  This last time I got snap peas to snack on!

Soon I will share with you a typical week of meals in our house.  Until then, remember, making changes in your diet are never easy.  There will be days where you will question your sanity.  Make sure you have food you love and that makes you feel good in the house.  And that will make temptations easier to combat.

When you are trying to feed a family, it is important to feed them the best you can.  But don't beat yourself up if it isn't perfect.  Perfect is not for this world.  If you have to do grains, pick healthier options and eat them a lot less.  Don't beat yourself up that your kid's won't eat red peppers for snacks.  I know adults who won't.  Being healthy is not the same for everyone... not even for those living all under one roof!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What I've Been Knitting

I haven't been able to do as much yarn play here lately, sadly.  I am praying for things to slow down without people getting sick, injured, or broken in some way.  That would be awesome.

So with all this running around I have been able to get a few rows in here and there.  In March it was Maria's birthday and I was able to make her a cowl.  She even wore it on Easter... wait!  I haven't even posted about Easter!  Goodness.  Anyway... here she is...

I was wanting to make The Honey Cowl for awhile now, I think it has been in my queue for... oh I don't know... years.  And I of course twisted the stitches when I cast it on, but it came out great anyway.

Another cowl I have been wanting to make is The Riverbank.  I am about halfway done with it, but had to take a break because the weather changes dried out my hands so much the needles were actually hurting.  This normally wouldn't be a problem, as I would have just slapped some band aids over my fingers (yeah, I'm hardcore) and kept going.  But we were out of band aids.

As for reading I have been slowly working my way through It Starts With Food.  There is a lot of great information in there and it helped me to figure out a few questions I had about Paleo, such as why no dairy other than the concept that people are allergic to it.

I'm also reading Matilda with the kids (I love the cover on this edition).  I have never read this, but the older girls and I have seen the movie a million times as it was one of my mom's favorite -- did you know she was the principal at a small Catholic school?  I wonder if she had a chokey.

So what your you crafting and/or reading lately?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Celebrating the Sacraments

Last May we celebrated two sacraments in the matter of a week.  It was crazy!  Throw in pregnancy complications and a shift change for Tony at work and it was such a mess!

I had to throw together some quick gifts for them both.  Considering that many of you might be in the same boat or pretty close to it, I thought I would share with you what I gave them and some other great ideas for First Communion and Confirmation gifts that won't break the bank.

Here are the simple, yet beautiful, gifts I got my two girls:

I have been wanting to get something for the kids from the Mod H Mary Etsy Shop ever since I discovered it!  I love her drawings and awhile back I even shared that she has free coloring pages on her website.  So, last year, I ordered both Buttercup and Daisy some beautiful holy cards.

I wanted to get Buttercup another rosary, something very special that she could cherish all her life.  Barbara is so talented so I headed over to her Mary Devotions Etsy shop and ordered another rosary!

For Daisy, I wanted to give her something truly special.  I gave her a very precious rosary that had once belonged to her grandmother.  My mother got it when she visited the Vatican many years ago.  It has the St. John Paul II crucifix, which is a lovely reminder that she was confirmed the same year this great pope became an official saint.

I really love trying to shop at Etsy stores or the like.  You know you are helping support small business owners and hobby artists.  Here are some great places to find amazing gifts:

Saint Anne's Studio: Pope Saint Leo the Great
  • Saint Anne's Studio makes adorable wooden peg saints.  They also have new pillow dolls.  The wooden peg dolls would be great for either First Communion or Confirmation, as you could get them their saint!

  • Audrey Eclectic is one of my favorite shops.  I have requested one of her prints for Mother's Day.  She has so many beautiful prints!

  • Paradise Jewelry has lots of great pieces!  She even makes sweet things for babies, which would make great baby shower gifts.

This particular rosary is the Regal Sacred Heart
  • Another great Catholic Etsy shop is Saongjai.  She makes beautiful rosaries and jewelry.  Right now, until Mother's Day, if you use the code MAG50 she will donate a $1 of every sale to Magdalene Home for teen mothers.

  • Gail Giron is a wonderful designer that I have ordered from before.

And don't forget!  Mother's Day is right around the corner! 

Some wonderful books you could also get are:

For the 1st Communicants in your life:
Jesus Make Me Worthy
The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith
My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories

 For your teens:
Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints
Radiate: More Stories of Daring Teen Saints
LIVE - NRSV Catholic Edition: Youth Bible, Catholic Edition
The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of the Little Flower (Tan Classics)
Archbishop Fulton Sheen's St. Therese - A Treasured Love Story (This is out of print but one of my absolute favorites)

And finally, if you are crafty and have a little time you can always visit my shop, Knit Together Designs, and purchase a pattern!

Or make your own wooden peg doll!

I am praying for all of you at this very special and busy time of year!  God bless!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

70's Flashback

In the last few weeks my teens heard some references to two 70's commercials and knowing what a knowledgeable mom I am, I looked them up on You Tube, so my children could appreciate that they were born 20 + years later...

So for your viewing enjoyment, I share with you these classics.

Again! But different...

My littles keep singing this. I have created monsters.

And finally this one.

And now I have made your Saturday complete. Your welcome.