Monday, April 15, 2013

Refreshingly Clean Spicy Italian Cucumber Salsa

God has blessed me with MANY things. My stunning beauty. My quick wit. A phenomenal taste in clothes. An amazing rack.  HAHA - if you know me in real life - you know that is totally not me. Ok - maybe the rack part is me!

One thing I was NOT blessed with was the cooking gene. I have struggled ALL MY LIFE with coming up with healthy, tasty, and quick foods.

Yesterday, my hubby helped a friend move. He came home and politely ordered me to make him this salsa that they had for the crew at the move. It seemed simple enough although some of the ingredients seemed a bit strange to me. But, I took his word for it, got the ingredients at the store this morning, and made it when I got home. I also bought some Stacy's Pita Chips because who can have salsa w/o having chips to dip IN the salsa?!

I took one bite and was BLOWN away. The odd combination of foods WORKS! This salsa is amazing. It would be perfect for a snack beside the pool this summer or even as an appetizer at a party.

Here's my version of Ryan and Melissa's Spicy Italian Cucumber Salsa:


  • 1 seedless cucumber, skin on, diced into small pieces
  • 1 small/medium red onion, diced into small pieces
  • 1 15 oz can organic whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes, most juice drained out (you could use organic tomatoes and add in jalapenos, but I didn't wanna mess with it today)
  • Italian dressing to taste (I use my own homemade Italian dressing which is a packet of the good seasonings dressing, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, EVOO, and water. I am not giving you my exact recipe cause then I would have to kill you)
  1. Get a pen and paper to write this down because it's very complicated.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, except for dressing, into a large bowl.
  3. Add as much Italian dressing as you want, stopping when you have the taste you desire!
  4. Bust out your pita chips and NOM NOM NOM!
Now go shopping for all these ingredients and EAT THE FOOD!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Finding a new normal

These past two weeks have been UNREAL in my house!

My son got the flu two Saturdays ago. My husband got the flu the following Monday. I went back to work that Thursday. Friday, my daughter's first day at daycare, I got a call that she had a fever of 102. She screamed all weekend. I got the flu Sunday. We also took my daughter to Urgent Care on Sunday and she had her first ear infection. I missed my 3rd day back to work. My 4th day back to work, I got sick AT work and didn't think I was gonna make it home. I ended up being sick from Sun - Thursday.

So, now that it's Saturday the 13th, two FULL WEEKS after the craziness began, I think we are finally settling into a new routine. It hasn't been an easy one to come by and it is exhausting. Here's what my days a FULL TIME working mom of two look like:

5:00am - wake up and work out
5:45am - shower
6:00am - get dressed and check in with my FB groups.
6:30am - nurse daughter
7:00am - make shakeology and out the door
7:00am - 8:00am - en route to school with dropping off kids at daycare on Wed and Fri.
8:00am - Noon - teach kids
Noon - 1:00pm - pump and eat lunch
1:00pm - 3:30pm - teach kids
3:30pm - en route home
4:00pm - unpack from day, nurse baby, get dinner ready
5:00pm - dinner
5:30pm - feed kids
6:00pm - bathe kids
6:30pm - I nurse baby to sleep while hubby gets son ready for bed.
7:30pm - kids are in BED!
7:45pm - get lunches ready for tomorrow, defrost milk for baby for tomorrow.
8:00pm - check in with FB groups
9:00pm - BED!

I can honestly say that I feel like I'm on a non-stop hamster wheel. I have NO IDEA what I would have done if I was still very overweight and eating unhealthy. The ONLY WAY I can get through my day is because I fuel my body correctly and start each day with a blood pumping workout.

I want to be a stay-at-home mom more than anything. I know that my children will be ok if I continue to work, but the TRUTH of the matter is, I won't be ok. I miss them. I miss being here with them. I miss my son asking me to lay down with him. I miss nursing my daughter during the day. I LOATHE my pump. I miss making PB&J sammies for my son for lunch. I miss having time to try to catch up on laundry. I miss playing Candyland at 11am.

The ONE THING that makes me working bearable, is that my students at school are the SWEETEST kids in the entire world. They love playing in band and they really make my job easy. It's so much easier to teach kids who WANT to learn!

One nice thing about being sick all last week, I didn't get to use my meal plan that I worked so hard on! I didn't eat at all on Sunday or Monday. I had Shakeology on Tuesday and then got sick again. Wednesday was 1/2 a plain bagel for breakfast, a cup of brown rice for lunch, and a cup of whole wheat pasta for dinner. By Thursday, I was able to eat some real foods. So, for this upcoming week, I am doing the exact same plan! I have all the ingredients already, I just need to buy some fresh lettuce and turkey breast! Easy peasy and CHEAP grocery week!

^^^ dates are still from last week - I'm not redoing it! #lazygirlproblems

Hopefully I have shared enough with you, my readers, so that you realize that I am a REAL person with REAL issues. I don't have everything figured out. I don't have all the answers. I'm not always perfect. In fact, I slip up a lot. But, what makes me different from your average Joe is that I realize that it's PERFECTLY OK to slip up. I'm not gonna let one bad decision, one bad day, or heck - even one bad week - ruin all my progress! I'm gonna enjoy this crazy ride that we call life. Some days are good, some days are bad, and some days all we can do is laugh!


Monday, April 8, 2013

60 pounds gone forever

It's taken me 6 months and a LOT of work. It hasn't been easy. In fact, it's been a struggle. But I reached another goal today.

I've OFFICIALLY lost 60 pounds.

That's a lot of weight! I went from a size 20 to a size 8, and my size 8 jeans are starting to be a bit loose! I never thought I would be able to say that!

The past 6 months have FLOWN by. I really don't know how I did it. I think the difference for me, this time, was that I didn't look at the big picture. I looked at each day as it came. Heck, I still have to take it one day at a time. I can't look too far down the road or I get too overwhelmed. I mean, I have goals for the future and all, but I don't dwell on them. I focus on my small, attainable goals and go for them!

I am on week 7 of my Body Beast workouts. I never thought I would be losing weight with this program, but I am. I am lifting HEAVY. Really heavy. And I love it. I love feeling my muscles burn. I love feeling sore afterwords. It makes me fee ALIVE!

The coolest part about the Body Beast program, is that I am seeing a huge difference in my body. I've lost 5 or 6 pounds since starting it, which really ins't a lot. I mean, I lost 35.6 pounds in 2 months with ChaLEAN Extreme. The difference with Body Beast is that I'm eating a TON of food so I can focus on GROWING my muscles. I am working on building muscle mass. And, I'm a smaller person now. I don't have as much to lose.

In all reality, I would be happy if I only lost another 5-10 pounds total! It's not about the number on the scale anymore. It's about how I FEEL and how I LOOK. I know that I'll probably never wear a bikini again, but it's only because I don't want to. I'm not comfortable with showing off my c-section "shelf". Those of you who were lucky enough to have a c-section, you know what I'm talking about. My shelf used to be huge and filled with fat. Now it's just saggy skin and it freaks me out. So, my belleh will stay covered. That's ok with me. There are TONS of cute tankini's out there!

So, I guess I kinda got away from what I meant to blog about. But at least I'm blogging! It's been kinda rough since I got back from Texas in mid-March. All I wanted to do was spend time with my kids before I went back to work. Everything else kinda hit the back burner. But, that's what being a mom is about. I do what I need to do for my kids. And I needed to spend time with them!

And - I got side tracked AGAIN! GAH! I have so much on my mind!

Anyways - 60 pounds. I lost 60 pounds! Go me!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

My first week back

I did it. I conquered my first week back to work after being off for (almost) 10 months.

I'm not gonna lie. I cried like a baby when I was pulling out of my driveway. My mom came down to watch the kids on my first day back. That was the only way I was going to be comfortable enough to leave the house.

Lucky for me, I had a transition day with my sub. This allowed me time to get the schedules set for the rest of the year. I had to plan for all the extra rehearsals, in school concerts, 3rd grade presentations, tryouts, and of course - finding a consistent time each day to pump. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOATHE pumping? I love nursing my kids but I just really really really dislike the whole pumping thing! I have a love/hate relationship with this thing:

Anyways - my original plan was to wake up at 5am every day to workout. If you know me, you know that the idea of me waking up at 5am each day is comical. I am NOT a morning person. I LOVE to sleep and I LOVE my bed.

Here's the good thing though - I LOVE MY NEW LIFESTYLE MORE! Both Thursday AND Friday, I was able to get up at 5am to workout! I even had extra time on Friday to get some Beachbody work done before heading to take my daughter to daycare for the first time.

And while we are on that subject - her first day was an EPIC fail. She slept for a total of ONE hour and cried from 10am till I picked her up at 4pm. They even called me at work to tell me she had a fever of 102! Well, she didn't really have a fever, she just had herself worked up! I felt like the worst mom ever. But I know that she will adjust and I LOVE my daycare. The ladies there LOVE LOVE LOVE my kids and cuddle them all day long. They are just like me!

Sorry for the aside about daycare - back to the main story!

I was also determined to keep up my clean eating while at school. This means that I needed to be VERY organized and have all my meals ready to go the night before. Again, if you know me, the thought of doing this is comical. I have never been a planner. In fact, I am usually late because I don't get myself ready in time or plan ahead.

I am proud to say that I planned ahead Wednesday and Thursday nights and had all my food ready to go each morning.

Here's how my meals looked for my first two days back. There was NO variety - I need consistency!

Breakfast: Shakeology
Mid morning snack: Pear and 2 cheese sticks
Lunch: All natural turkey breast and reduced sodium swiss cheese roll ups and a pear
Mid afternoon snack: carrots and roasted garlic hummus
Dinner: Whatever was already cooked in the fridge
Snack: Shakeology frozen yogurt

I am proud to say that it worked for me! I was not ravenously hungry during the day. I found times to eat, which can be hard to do in an allergy controlled school where NO food is permitted to be around the kids except food that is provided for them at lunch! Luckily for me, I have an office that the kids aren't allowed in, so I can eat in there. I also don't bring nut products to school, just incase!

So, now that the first week is behind me, I am prepping for my first FULL week back at work. This week is a 5 day work week. I am ready to go! I made my meal plan. I already went grocery shopping. I am cooking my food tomorrow morning. Everything WILL be portioned out ahead of time and ready to go - including our dinners. This will save me hours of prep time in the evenings and also save the headache of "Whats for dinner???" and the chaos that shortly follows!

Here's what my meal plan for this upcoming work week looks like. I am planning on making my hubby and son a meatloaf tomorrow because they don't always like to eat the healthy stuff I make. I try not to eat red meat because it upsets my angry gallbladder! I apologize in advance because the entire meal plan is boring. I like things to be consistent when I'm busy and I don't really mind eating the same thing every day.

Now you can see what I eat each day. Maybe it will help you plan out your week!