Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My New Inspiration

Consider me INSPIRED. I stumbled upon Gabby Reece's website http://www.gabbydaily.com/ recently, because I am a huge fan of her husband, big wave surfer Laird Hamilton. Let's just say he is a hottie. And amazing. I remember Gabby's volleyball days and I remember years ago hearing about how she married Laird and they have a couple of adorable daughters. They are fit,  healthy, and socially responsible people that I respect.  Not fake and phony Hollywood yahoos. In my quest for finding a way to "do it all" I found that Gabby's website is exactly what I am looking for. She blogs about being a Mom, daily frustrations, making fitness goals and eating healthy. Even better, she posts work outs - which are great because they are something different than what I usually do and so far have been things I can squeeze in at home while my kids are playing or sleeping.

I will never be 6 ft. tall, gorgeous and married to Laird Hamilton, but, someone as cool as Gabby making herself so accessible and so real is what I find inspiring. She deals with the same struggles we all do, and being beautiful and in shape and eating right while taking care of her family is just as challenging as it is for any one of us. I am having fun (and working hard) adding her work outs to my routine and look forward to trying her recipes as well.

Wishing you inspiration in your every day life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Time Commitments? What?

MySpace Graphics

Ok, so my 4 year old started t-ball today. I am stoked for my boy to start getting involved in sports! But here it all begins...the time and financial commitments that I hear parents of older children groan about. Fortunately, for his age group the games are only on the weekends and there are no weekday practices. And, through the YMCA the cost is only $55. Believe me, I am not complaining yet, but the thought of what's to come is a little daunting. Next year, he will be in the league that practices once during the week and has a game on the weekends, and my little guy will be in the league that also has a game on the weekends - at a different time. It only goes on and up from there!

Fortunately, my husband is off on Saturdays. The field where my son plays t-ball is on the same block as my gym. Today, my husband, my 4 year old and my nearly 2 year old drove over to the field. I popped my toddler in the stroller and he went to the child care center at the gym - which is awesome by the way - while I went to work out. I may have felt a tad guilty for not being there to watch his first game, but not too much. See, my oldest tends to act differently, maybe  a bit more babyish around me and more needy since I'm his "nurturer". And, with his dad working so much I really felt that they needed this time together. And my baby, who doesn't go to preschool yet and doesn't see many friends beyond  a weekly music class he goes to really enjoys going there to play with new toys and new kids.

So actually, this is all working out to be quite a positive experience for everyone. And I have no excuses to miss my Saturday morning workouts, save the flu, since I can't blame my kids or family commitments. Since he doesn't start until 11, I am pretty sure there will be plenty of mornings that me and the little guy will leave early in our own car so I can work out and then watch t-ball afterwards. I am quite excited for the season!

What sports do your kids play? How do you juggle school, homework, practice, games and meals??

Friday, September 17, 2010

Focus on Fitness, Drop the Excuses

In the beginning of this year I was facing 40 and was determined to be a fabulous 40, not a frumpy 40. I think I've managed to do a decent job in many areas: I have paid more attention to the food I ingest than I ever had in my life. I don't think I have ever put so much attention on eating fruits, vegetables, whole wheat/grains, organic products and cut WAY down on my sugar. I have made a point to try to eliminate the processed food in my family's diet. I have paid way more attention to how we spend our money.  I have become far more concerned with the environment and reducing my carbon footprint, and finding new uses for things and recycling as much as possible. I do my best to eat locally grown products.

The one area that I have not excelled is my fitness regimen. I haven't failed, but not met my goals. It's hard because I have two kids and my husband works most nights. I get home, do dinner quickly, bathe them, read books, put them to bed and I'm lucky if I get to read some of my book, look at a magazine or watch a TV show. Frankly, by the time my kids are in bed, I don't feel like working out. I'm tired and I want to sit down. So the smart thing to do would be to get up early and work out before my kids get up. Naturally, although I have set my alarm several times to attempt this, it just hasn't happened more than a few times. When summer was in full swing we would go for a walk in the neighborhood some nights after dinner, which was great. But that meant to get the kids to bed on time they had to skip their bath. Ok to do occasionally, but not something I would plan to do several times a week!

I have been diligent about working out both days on the weekends. I run with a friend, hit the trail with youngest in the jogging stroller, and hit the gym. The last couple weeks I have managed to fit in one weekday work out. I am going to try to do two next week.

I would love to get up early before work and at least do some cardio. I do not wake up until 7 a.m., some would say that is sleeping in! I haven't had to get up earlier than 7 a.m. EVER, so my body is conditioned...When my oldest starts kindergarten next year he will have to be at school at 7:45, and my that will all change, so I might as well start prepping now. I just have a hard time getting out of bed when it is still dark outside. Stay tuned on my progress.

Run 12 miles per week
Do interval training workout on treadmill if having a rough day
Weight training 2x per week
Yoga 1x per week

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekends Are SO Good and SO Short!

What is an ideal weekend to you? Some like to travel, go out to dinner, meet up with friends, go shopping, see a movie. Some like to do nothing. I think if it were up to my husband an ideal weekend would be one of no commitments. For me, I like a mix. I like to have non-commital weekends for the most part as well, but it is nice to have special events to look forward to also.  I love getting up at my leisure (or when my kids wake me up, which is what usually happens), enjoying breakfast with my family, working out both days, and going to the Farmer's Market on Saturday. I like to spend some time reading my book of the moment, and perusing my magazines for organizational ideas and recipes. Usually at least once a month there is a playdate in there somewhere, a date night with the hubby, birthday parties for my kid's friends, going out with other couples/friends, and all of that keeps us pretty busy.  My family usually gets together for dinner on Sundays...my parents, Grandpa, Aunt and Uncle and us...and that is how we end our weekend.

I try not to keep all my errands for the weekend. During the week at work I will often run out things here and there, even to get grocery items I need or diapers at Costco. Being a full time working mom is hard, and I cherish my weekends and want to spend them relaxing and doing things I enjoy. During the week, although I have the help of my Mom and MIL to watch my kids in my home, they both have a long drive home from my house, and I have a heinous commute, so that leaves me no time to do anything after work unless I ask them to stay as a special favor beforehand. Fortunately, I have a Target and a Walmart a stone's throw from my house, so its easy to build in stops there on our way to or from somewhere. As I have posted before, when I am pressed for time I fit in my "exercise" by running there with my son. A Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do.

I do enjoy getting outta dodge regularly. It is in my blood. If I don't go out of town I start to feel antsy, and even depressed. Sometimes its not an actual over night trip but a day trip that does the trick. This weekend we had a fun-filled day at the Capitola At & Wine Festival. It was pretty crowded, but it was at the beach. So my family and I could not have had a better time, we took turns going to get the tastes of wine, while the other played on the beach with our sons. We are pretty sure we were not supposed to have our wine glasses on the beach, but no one stopped us and we saw some other folks doing it too. So that made it ok.  ha ha

I exercised both days, fit the Farmer's Market in, and had no errands to run. My husband promised my 4 year old a toy they saw a week ago, and since they were going to get it I had him pick up what I needed. How lucky am I?! I am grateful to have had such a great weekend since my 22 mo. old was supposed to have surgery on Friday and we originally planned to be housebound all weekend but it got postponed. That just left me with nothing to do but take advantage and relish in all the good things my life has to offer.

Did you have a good weekend? How do you usually spend your days off? Are your kids in sports? My 4 yr old is starting T-ball next weekend and I am so excited for him!

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Milk Plan

Crazy - I read in the news today that milk is being recalled in 5 Northeast states for failed pasteurization. If its not one thing its another! I've been thinking a lot about milk lately - organic vs. regular, hormones, and milk alternatives for my family. I stumbled upon this great article in the Huffington Post that was brief and very informative for your average joe (like me). I think I am at peace with my new plan. I will buy organic milk for my kids. Although I hate the price, I feel it's very worth it. And for myself I will buy organic almond milk. I had never thought about the fact that the shelf life of almond, as well as soy and rice milk is much longer than regular milk which is another nice benefit. My hubby will likely just drink what I buy for the kids. It's so hard to decide when there are so many choices, but I am glad I did some research and feel good about my Milk Plan.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Saving the Earth One Baggie at a Time!

When I stop and think about some of the changes I have made over the last 6-9 months, I almost can't believe it myself. If you had told me in the beginning of this year that I would be quitting my favorite non-dairy creamer that I have been addicted to for the last 15 years, I'd say you were crazy. If you had told me 9 months ago and I would be quitting diet soda after 20 years of nearly daily enjoyment of the sweet, syrupy fizz, I'd say you were lying. If you had told me that I would be diligently bringing my healthy lunch to work with me every day after years of spending way too much money on lunches out while on the job in outside sales...I'd laugh. But folks, I have done it. I am getting my act together and grocery shopping specifically for items for my lunch, and giving myself enough time in the morning to put it together. Geesh, I almost sound like a grownup!

I have really been trying to cut down on my use of plastic baggies but had a major lapse when I started bringing my lunch to work all the time. I was typically using a bag for a sandwich, a bag for some carrot sticks and another for chips. Then, maybe another for blueberries, strawberries or grapes, when I didn't bring a solid fruit like an apple or nectarine. I decided that when finished this last box of baggies, that I was going to have to change my habits. I've seen some cute reusable sandwich wrappers and such, but haven't decided yet if that's the way to go.

For now, I have decided to use small reusable, plastic, sealed containers. My lunch today contained NO baggies. The downside is that they take up more room than baggies, and I have to take them home to wash them. I'm sure that when both of my sons are in school full time, I am probably not going to want to deal with it! But at least for now I don't have that post-lunch guilt that I had when I was throwing 3+ baggies in the trash.

What type of containers do you use to bring your lunch to work or pack your kids lunches for school?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pop! Goes The Potato!

Lays, we have had quite a love affair...but sorry to say I have moved on. I see your shiny yellow bag on the shelf and I just keep walking. Over the last few months I have been buying these yummy Pop Chips to bring to work for lunch. They are all natural , with no preservatives and a perfect compliment to my sandwich. One serving is 23 chips, way more than I ever eat at one sitting, and only 120 calories! 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and no sugar. The sodium is 280 mg (12%) and 20 g of carbs. They are not fried or baked...they are popped with heat and pressure. Don't know how they do it but I sure like the results. They taste so good! For me to change after decades of the yellow bag...these must really be something!

Have you tried these yummy chips? I really don't miss the grease. What do you think?