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Archive for the 'Health' Category

Fall Is Approaching

We are all under the weather (just in time for Hurricane Sandy to blow by). Today was mostly grey and misty so we decided to take advantage of what felt like our first real fall day by sitting outside around our fire pit.We built the pit with cinder blocks that were previously a patio under the garden shed. We like it when we can make things that pretty much cost nothing!

The leaves seemed to have changed colors and fallen overnight. In Chicago by now we’d be wrapped up in coats and boots sipping mochas on our morning walks. That sounds dreamy as I write it but this afternoon sitting around our fire sipping lukewarm coffee and wiping our runny noses was pretty dreamy, too.






Managing Food

Nathan and I joined weight watchers together.

I love weight watchers for its tools and simple approach to eating healthy. This will help me in a big way as a mama of two since I tend to stress eat. Both babies crying…have a fig newton… Spit up in my hair as dog knocks over Eleanor…have an extra serving of dinner. You get the picture. WW has helped me a lot over the last few years including losing 35 pounds and having a healthy first pregnancy with Eleanor. My goal is to get back to my pre-Eleanor weight of 156. I still had about 10 pounds to lose when I got pregnant with Molly, and have about that much to lose now. So I’m 20 away from my goal but mostly I want to remind myself about healthy choices.

I always loved cooking and food but the role of motherhood has definitely steered me from that. It’s mostly stressful to cook now. Just being on weight watchers the last few days I’ve really began to love it again. The recipes are easy, healthy, and take me out of my cooking comfort zone. So far I’ve made black bean and lentil chili, Greek burgers, red pepper and tomato soup, lots of California wraps and sandwiches. I’m excited for Nathan too. His weight is constantly on a yo-yo swing due to beer consumption. He can lose weight in a heart beat but he can also pack it on just as fast. This will hopefully teach him about balance, as well.

I’m actually excited about food again because it seems manageable with the tools I have. My big need will be exercise. We go on walks often but I need to sweat. I’m planning on working out a schedule with my mom or Nathan for making this possible without being away from the kiddos too much. It was a struggle with just Eleanor, since it wasn’t necessarily fair for me to leave to exercise once Nathan had been home with her all day. I ended up going at night after she’d gone to bed but the studio was a block away from my house in Chicago. And bike riding as a transportation means will be tricky since NC is mostly connected by interstates. One step at a time, right? When do you find time to exercise?


Cheer Up, Buttercup

I haven’t been feeling very good lately. Or this week, I guess. It’s a combination of (mainly) excruciating lower back pain on top of lack of sleep, missing Eleanor a lot, wishing Nathan and I had more time together, needing to get away, and a heavy work load. I try not to complain, but when I’m in pain I get sad. It just slows me down. It’s hard to deal with. It hurts to even pick up Eleanor. It hurts to lie down, stand, work, sit, everything. I can’t believe that it doesn’t hurt to ride my bike! Something about the angle of my back when I’m on my bike actually gives me some relief.

I made an appointment for Friday afternoon. I know doctor’s can’t do much for back pain, but I’m hoping they can give me some sort of relief. If not I might be trying acupuncture for the first time soon.

I tried to cheer my self up yesterday by taking my lunch break in the park out side of the Museum of Contemporary Art. I laid down in the grass and rested my eyes. I ate my lunch of pesto with pasta (a left over from the night before) cold and a salad. Then I mosied through the farmer’s market and bought myself a cherry tart and a bunch of sunflowers. Sunflowers always make me smile.

Lunch break in the park

Mca farmers market

Bought myself sunflowers - they always make a day brighter

Green City Market

The video I was interviewed for is up! So exciting.

Check out your local farmer’s market, too!

To Market, To Market

This has been a great weekend. It started out grey and rainy on Saturday, and off we all went to the market. We stopped in our own garden to pick a few peas before packing up though. I showed Eleanor what she will be eating in a few months! She is already giving it the get-in-my-tummy-look.

To Market To Market Week 6

This week we picked up lots of goodies. My brother is fresh off a trip to Italy, and he was after cheese and bread to go with the amazing wines he brought back for us to share. He went all out by purchasing the 12-year cheddar from Brunkow. Oh my dear is it delicious. We had the best dinner of bread, cheese, fruit (hello, berries from Ellis Family Farm!), and wine.

To Market To Market Week 6

I was also interviewed at the market. I was super excited about this! It was for a student film for Columbia, and they seemed so timid about asking me like they had been turned down a couple of times before. I totally remember what that was like, and really wanted to help out (plus as you can tell I love encouraging people to get to know their local farmers as well as shop locally).

To Market To Market Week 6

To Market To Market Week 6

I also have to say as a side note that I love wearing Eleanor in the Moby in the newborn hold. I am really, really going to miss that snuggly curled up baby feeling in a few weeks(?) when she’s too big for it.

To Market To Market Week 6

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30 Day Shred Week 2

I started level 2 today. Pushups are really hard for me, so all of these exercises in the pushup position are definitely a challenge! But I made it through.

I am definitely feeling more toned and tighter, and am really proud of that!
My weak spot on my body my whole life have been my arms. Since I was very overweight as a child I have a lot of left over flab from losing weight. Wanna see me? I’m the big one in the orange. I have what you call mama arms! Anyways, my brother snapped a few photos of me randomly holding Eleanor and they already look more toned!

I can see an itty bitty muscle in there!

This week my goals are:

1. Do the Shred in the morning during Eleanor’s first nap. I’ve been waiting till she goes to bed the past few days and it is a real struggle to make myself do it. I’m proud that I have only rested one day so far which is pretty good for also having company, I think.

2. Incorporate more stretching during the day. I’m definitely feeling a bit looser but the last two days my knees and hips have been real achey.

3. Continue to drink 100 oz of water a day. This has thankfully been super easy since nursing makes me insanely thirsty.

How are you all doing? This is my first time linking up to something in the blog world, and I’m still trying to figure out how to read your 30 day shred updates more frequently. When it comes to computers I can pretty much turn it on, get on the internet, and type. Anyways, stay motivated!! I’m excited because a friend of mine Maggie started the shred yesterday. And, my mom wants to do it with me when she gets here next week.

Naptime Momtog

30 Day Shred update

It’s day 4.
I really did not want to work out today. It’s been go go go. Errands, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, Eleanor’s appointment, and then she woke up screaming at 7:30. I was so worried…I ran around like crazy trying to find the thermometer so I could check her temperature. She didn’t have one, thank goodness. Just wanted to be held…so we sat on the couch for an hour until she fell back to sleep.

And then I really didn’t want to work out. But I did (thanks to some encouragement). I feel better for it. And, everyone is right it does get easier. Day 4 was way easier well except for those darn bicycle crunches and the tail of end of those side lunges.

My legs have been burning for days, and I can definitely feel some increase strength in my abs. It’s amazing how easy it is to feel muscle when you actually work it out.

26 more to go!

Naptime Momtog

It feels like summer!

Goodness gracious it is hot around here today! Eleanor and I got up early to hit the market thinking we would beat the heat, but that wasn’t happening. Summer is officially here!

All of the berries were sold out by the time we got to the market today, but there will be plenty soon. This is what we picked up!

Week 5

Arugula from Growing Home, Inc (Cannot get enough! It’s organic, too and grown in Chicago.), mixed lettuce and chives from Radical Root Farm (They are the sweetest little farming family with a baby named Huckleberry!), honey and asparagus from Ellis Family Farms (Their honey is amazing… and I am almost out of the 2lbs I bought last year.), sprouts, peonies, and my very own lemon verbena plant. I can’t remember which farm it came from but I also picked up some lemon verbena there last week. He is the nicest guy, and told me that you can make lemon verbena bread with the herb. So I did! It was delicious.

Bake Off: Lemon Verbena Bread

He also mentioned that you can bake chicken with it as well. I will get his name next week for sure!

Week 5

Farmer's Market Week 5

Week 5

I can’t wait to throw some sprouts on a wrap, grill asparagus, and plant my herb in our radio flyer wagon.
Have a great weekend!

30 Day Shred Challenge

I’ve been itching to move. And since I love Jillian Michaels so much (hello, going to miss the heck out of her on the Biggest Loser next season!) I have decided to join all the other blogging mama’s for the 30 Day Shred Challenge. I actually bought the dvd sometime last year when I went on my personal Biggest Loser challenge, and lost 30 pounds. I didn’t end up using the Shred very much because I am terrible at videos. Mostly due to the fact that I have a very small living room with a lot of stuff in it (including a chandelier that I hit every time I reach over my head) and animals that like to get in my way. But Nathan said he will take the chandelier down, and I will just have to put the dog outside when I do the video.

Here are my before measurements (everything was measured at the widest part):

Arms – 12.5 inches
Thigh – 25.5 inches
Upper Waist (smallest part) – 34 inches
Lower Waist (belly button) – 39 inches
Hips – 44.5 inches

And, now I’m about to put my before photos up! Oh boy!

Before 30 Day Shred

Before 30 Day Shred

I gained a total of 40 lbs with Eleanor (I was 199 when I had her), and am currently 179. So I have about 20 lbs to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. I know that won’t happen with just a month of working out, but I’m excited to see what the 30 Day Shred will do. I will probably go the first week without weights, and then introduce them the following week. I can’t wait to follow along with everyone else, and encourage healthy fit ladies!

Edit: So I did my first workout. Whoa. It’s been a while since I’ve worked out (Did I mention I hate working out? I do. I was never athletic growing up minus softball, and the only reason I like biking is because it doesn’t seem like working out. It’s a means to get somewhere but you burn calories doing it!). I wanted to stop somewhere 3/4 of the way through doing jumping jacks of all things but I kept going. I said to myself… hey you had a baby! With no pain medication! You CAN DO THIS. And, I finished. 1 down, 29 to go.

Anyone can join. They say you can lose around 10lbs and a dress size. Want to know what to do?

We are all doing before pictures and measurements. For your measurements take a soft measuring tape or some yarn and cut to the sizes then you can use a flat ruler to measure the yarn.

Where to measure?
Each arm (thickest part)
Each thigh (thickest part)
Upper waist (smallest)
Lower waist (at your belly button)
Your hips (biggest part)

Write this info down, or put it in Excel so you can come back to it after 30 days. After we complete the whole 30 days we are going to remeasure and take after photos.

Naptime Momtog

This Little Piggy

This is the first Memorial Day weekend Nathan and I have spent together where we haven’t traveled somewhere. But that’s just fine because I’m ready to explore Chicago with our little Ellie James. And Candyce! Candyce is our cute as a button, lovely friend from Florida who will be here any minute! I don’t think we’ve seen her in 4 years!

Eleanor and I started the weekend like we do every Saturday with a trip to the market. Here’s our loot!





This week we picked up swiss chard, asparagus, eggs, lemon verbena, arugala, an allium (for my pretty baby girl), and some other flowers. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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