Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 25 - Lean mean balance machine.

As one of the world's clumsiest people, I feel like Barre3 has become my saving grace... literally. I blogged almost 2 weeks ago about doing the 30 minute Lean with Sadie and falling down about 50 times. I vowed to do it again the next Saturday... at which point I totally chickened out. Well, today I did it. I didn't fall once. I did 90% of the postures at full expression. I did modify the side planks to my knees, but the fact that I did it at all is nothing short of a miracle. I'm just feeling so much more balanced in general. Yesterday I tripped over my own toe while holding a full cup of scalding hot tea. Typically, I would have ended up on the floor with some bruises and 2nd degree burns. Instead, I leapt gracefully on to the other foot like a friggin puma - not a drop spilled. I may consider becoming a part-time ninja if this keeps up.

My core is getting strong. It's so cool. I have a pretty severe abdominal separation after carrying the twins. Because I was "obese" when I got pregnant... and of course after the birth, my doctor had me shy away from the traditional physical therapy for fear that the extra weight on those muscles might actually make it worse causing a hernia. Now that I've slimmed down a bit, it feels good to work those muscles. I can see a 2 pack forming. I can't feel the separation at all now. I imagine I'm well on the way to recovery thanks to Barre3.

So, if you're doing the challenge with me, you have just a few more days to go. I'm going through to the 9th (33 to Grammy), but then I'm getting right back on the wagon when I get back from LA. I'm totally bought in to this and am excited to see where I end up after 90 days. I've had a handful of friends do P90X and come out with great results and new habits. Those workouts aren't for me though... So I'll call this B-90-3 :)

After the boys were born, I set a goal to lose 82 pounds. Not just to be thinner, but to build healthy habits and an active lifestyle so I could be a good example for the boys... and a fun mom! I want to take them snowboarding, hiking, swimming, on roller coasters (which at my biggest I could barely fit on).  I wanted to do it in two years. I have 26.5 lbs to go and until the end of April before I'm at the 2 year mark. 36.5 would be even better... but I'm not going to go nuts here. Less focus on the scale, more focus on how I look and feel from here on out.

Tonight we're going to see Muse. I can't wait! I had yogurt with walnuts and berries for breakfast and will make a chicken salad for lunch. Sweet potatoes and the rest of the leftover chicken for dinner with some cucumber or something on the side. No grains!

Are you feeling more balanced? I'd love to hear how it's going!

xo
Jenn




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 24 - 1, 2, 3 times a lady.

Soooo much success yesterday. I did not one, not two, but three workouts. The 40 minutes with Candace in the morning, then 15 minutes on the TreadClimber in the afternoon, and 10 more with Sadie in the NYC workout after dinner. This is my plan for the rest of the challenge. With my schedule, I find it nearly impossible to do an hour at once. I'd rather do multiple things throughout the day and give my metabolism lots of little reminders to get with the friggin program here.

It so fits with this awesome quote I just saw someone post: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." ~Aristotle

In other good news, dinner was great. I planned on making the Easy Red Bean and Quinoa chili, and then saw Sadie's Facebook post challenging us to skip the grains this week. So, I made it anyway, sans quinoa. When I told my husband it was super healthy, he said: "Really?" through a mouthful of delicious chili with a look of speculation on his handsome face. Score.




The recipe of what I actually made is down below if you're interested.

So this morning, I had a bright and early hair appointment for a color refresher and a trim. I am getting my hair and makeup done for Grammy night and wanted to make sure the gal has a good canvas to work on. Sitting in that hair chair made me realize how little time I have left and totally gave me that extra motivation to work hard this week. I needed the boost. This stupid cold is sucking all of the energy out of me. I guess the miracle of twin toddlers is that we bring home every germ on planet earth. Ugh.

Then my husband sent me an article that says Justin Timberlake may be performing at the Grammys. That sent me over the edge! If he's going to fall in love at first sight with me, I'd better keep at it.

I only had 30 minutes when I got home, so I did the Runners workout with Jenni. She crams a lot of hard work into it! TreadClimber again today, and then 10 minutes with Regan this evening.

For lunch, I had leftover chili and an orange. Dinner tonight, I'm thinking grilled chicken in a big salad.

Are you skipping the grains this week?

xo
Jenn



INGREDIENTS:1 can organic red beans
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 container of Trader Joe's pre-diced Mirepoix OR about 2/3 cup each of diced onion, celery, and carrots. 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large orange pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
a dash of cinnamon
2 cups organic sugar-free tomato sauce
1 cup water
PREPARATION:
1. Drain your canned beans and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat (Tip: choose one that is large enough to hold the beans, too).
3. Add veggies, salt, garlic, pepper, and spices.
4. Sauté for several minutes, allowing the onion to soften.
6. Add rinsed beans to the veggie mixture and pour in the tomato sauce and water.  Simmer together for 30 minutes. Taste to add more salt or spices to meet your taste buds – enjoy!



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 23 - Upper Dorsimus (UFMs)

Ok, before I get started, let me tell you about the movie snacks I indulged in last night. I gotta come clean. Not only did I have a handful of skittles (Skittles are a "whole food" right? They fall out of the rainbow that way!) and a kid's sized popcorn (no butter!), but it was pre-meditated. Sadie. I'm sorry. We didn't end up making it to the movies over the weekend, so we went to a late showing of Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters last night. TOTAL crap movie, but I was thoroughly entertained. I'm not recommending that you see it, but if you do... go 3D.

Anyway... knowing we were headed to the theater, I had just yogurt for dinner. Then movie snacks... but instead of a big fizzy soda, I got a chamomile tea to go with my bag o' sin. I felt like Sadie and I found a middle ground and compromised. So, as per usual, I'm making myself pay today. I'm doing a triple whammy. Ballet Sculpt with Candace was this morning. Next up, I'm going to hop on the TreadClimber for a bit. Then this evening, I'll do the NYC workout with miss Sadie. That should do it.

This morning I got dressed and was putting some lavender lotion on my arms when I noticed a new muscle. A muscle I don't know the name of and have never seen on my body. Unidentified fabulous muscle? UFM? It's right above my elbow. As I was admiring my new muscles from all directions in the mirror, I thought of Ron Burgundy and got a pretty severe case of the giggles.

"You've got your ubulus muscle which connects to the upper dorsimus, its boring, but its my life." - Ron Burgundy




I giggled all the way to the Chiropractor's office on my lunch break and then proudly showed him my fabulous upper dorsimus. He was a competitive body builder, so quickly took away my fun by informing me that the muscle is just the triceps. So yeah. I'm not the brightest star in the sky I guess. 

If you haven't seen Anchorman, your homework is to rent it and watch it immediately. 

For lunch today, Nanny brought me some fresh-caught crab meat. I had that with a salad. Yum! For dinner, I'm making the Easy Red Bean and Quinoa Chili. I accidentally bought an extra container of pre-diced Mirepoix at Trader Joes, so my version will have celery and carrots too :) 

Happy Tuesday! 

xo,
Jenn




Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 22 - Wedding Belles

Rehearsal was a blast last night. We hadn't played music together since before the new year, so we were all excited to dive back in. We have a show Feb 22nd for all you Portland area peeps. Details here.

My sweet cousin Danielle is engaged! She told me all about it yesterday as I listened tearily in the parking lot of the Children's Museum. He really pulled out all the stops to pop the question in a meaningful way. I couldn't be happier for them!

So, naturally, last night I had wedding dreams. The only thing that is really sad about being so happily married is that it's very unlikely that I'll ever get to have another wedding. I loved my wedding. I told my husband that I want to do a vow renewal ceremony at some point so the twins can be involved... but that's not the same. So, this morning I was looking at some pictures from our wedding and all I can think is how big I was! I guess it didn't seem like it at the time. Now that I'm 27 lbs away from my goal... it seems a lot more achievable than being 90 lbs away.

I love this picture though. We had just been pronounced man and wife. One for the highlight reel.



Slowly but surely, I'm getting there. When I get there, I'll be staying there thank you very much. My awesome husband loves me at any size and shape, but I am happiest in my own skin when I'm fit and healthy... like in this vintage pic of us I cirque 1996... 


PS: Overalls were awesome in the 90s. Don't judge me. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing. Time for more celebrating! My dear friend So-Mai gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Winter David Quickel today. I would post a picture, but that is an honor reserved for the new parents. Take my word for it though, he's perfection. Congrats Quickels! I would say let's pop a cork or eat a cake... but that's not happening. Time to figure out a calorie-free way to celebrate things! 

Now we're in week 4 of the challenge. There is no turning back! This morning, I had my new staple - Muesli. So good. Then I did the Twist work out with Jenni. This afternoon, I'll spend a bonus ten minutes with Regan for the Ski Conditioning workout. My tush hurt for two days after the last time! 

For lunch I'm making eggs and avocado. Big salad for dinner. 

I feel a cold coming on, so fighting it with copious amounts of water and emergenC. 

We got this! 

xo
Jenn





Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 21 - Rest, Reflection, & Rehearsal.

Ahhhhhhhhh. Big sigh of relief! We made it through week 3 unscathed.

So, I got on the scale this morning and then got back off, reset it... and got back on. I weigh exactly what I weighed last Sunday. Still down 9 lbs. Not an ounce more. I whipped out the tape measure though and am 3 inches smaller around the waist... so there is that. Now... in my head I know that muscle weighs more than fat and that my body is changing... blah blah blah. I REALLY wanted to see a smaller number on the scale. 12 more days until I fly to LA for Grammy weekend.

Today was another busy one! My husband brought me breakfast in bed including coffee, 2 pieces of bacon, and some yogurt with rolled oats and blueberries. What a guy!

Then I met a friend for coffee in NoPo and then popped by the BMW dealership to drool over the X1. Going to the auto show last week may have been a bad idea for me... SWOON.

Then I came home, grabbed a Lara Bar and the family and headed off to the Children's Museum. Buying that membership was a good call. The twins think it is paradise. Nothing makes me happier than seeing those little guys grinning.




For dinner, I had split pea soup. Boring, but quick and easy. Then I got to work laying out a spread of snacks for band practice tonight. I always provide sustenance and treats for the guys. I can't help myself. I think I have the 50s housewife gene. Of course snacks include chips and guac, bean dip, and 2 different kinds of skittles. Aaaaaand no rehearsal would be complete without a fresh sack o' wine in the Wine Log. Now I'm sitting next to the counter of deliciousness while I type this waiting for the band to show up. Me want Skittles. Grr. Instead, I'll just take a good long drink out of my water cup.



Tomorrow, I'm recommitting to the challenge. I haven't derailed, but I feel like I haven't been planning well enough for meals this past week. I've done the grab-and-go thing more than I should have. I think I'll take Sadie's advice and replace more grains with veggies this week too. That and the beefed up workout schedule she emailed out should be a good push in the right direction. We're down to the wire! 

Here's a link if you want to hear the band: http://theheritageportland.bandcamp.com
There is still a free Christmas song for download on the front page. I keep forgetting to take it down, so now's your chance for a freebie! 

I hope you had a great weekend! 
xo 
Jenn

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 20 - A day about others.

Today has been a busy one all about taking care of everybody else. It definitely started off on the right foot. The twins slept in, which means Mommy slept in! I was running low on pretty much everything in the fridge, so I made the muesli for breakfast with a bit of whatever fruit I could scrounge up. 2 big strawberries, some pomegranate seeds, and a few frozen raspberries.


Last night, my eldest twin Easton was getting frustrated over the fact that he was bored with all of his books. He has such a love of being read to, so my heart went out to him. After breakfast, I took him on a special trip to Powell's books, just he and I. He'd never been into a book store before and was totally awestruck. As soon as we walked in he took one look around and yelled "WOW!" at top volume. I can't wait to start taking him to the library... you know, once we outgrow this whole eating books phase.


Afterwards, I put the kiddos down for nap and then ran errands to stock up the house for the week. I came home just long enough to drop off the groceries and then headed off to the Ronald McDonald House to cook dinner for some very deserving families with friends from the Junior League


We put together a taco/burrito bar with root beer floats for dessert. I wanted to eat all of it. Alas, I came home and did Sadie's NYC workout instead. Then I made dinner for the boys and had some chicken and salad. Ho hum. 

Now I'm off to take Xander with me to Target so he can have a "buh bye" like brother got. 

With all this running around today, I'm killing my Nike FuelBand goal. I think it makes up for the short workout! 

Tonight we're going to a late movie after the boys go down. Not eating movie snacks might just be the hardest part of this challenge yet! Wish me luck? 

xo 
Jenn



Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 19 - Ex-stress-yourself!

Yay it's Friday! Two wonderful days ahead of me to sleep in and laze around the house.

Oh wait. 

I have two toddlers. 

Right. 

:) ...and I wouldn't have it any other way! 

Seriously though, this work week has been a killer! Mentally and emotionally challenging, and packed with lots of good old fashioned stress. I LOVE my job, but there are many days in which I look at my workload or at an expectation and wonder... not if I can do it necessarily... but if it is actually possible. Now, let me make it clear here that I am not complaining. It should be said that I am not happy in life without a little more than my fair share of seemingly insurmountable obstacles in front of me. I thrive on the feeling of achievement. The harder it is to get, the better the pay off. I'm sure there is a diagnosis for it... but I like to think of it as ambition and a zest for life. I'm hoping that through this challenge, I'll come to look at fitness the same way. 

All that being said, we all know that stress is stress. Our bodies and nervous systems cannot differentiate good vs bad. My stress manifests itself in a number of ways. Sometimes it causes me to have trouble sleeping, get dry skin... or less attractive things like picking at my cuticles absentmindedly. Typically, by Friday of a week like this one, I'd have to submerge my fingers in Neosporin and mummy-wrap them in bandaids. Right now I'm looking at owie-free hands. THAT my friends, is a Barre3 miracle. This movement that feels so good to my body is also helping me channel stress in a new way. Not too shabby. 

So last night, I ended up working late and scrambling to get the boys ready to go to the Auto Show by the time my hubby got home from work. I had every intention of making a fabulous dinner. I found a great recipe for Barre3 worthy sweet potato fries and put them in the oven. By the time I got the boys fed though, I was out of time. So, for dinner I had some sweet potato fries and a handful of almonds on my way out the door. I'll share the recipe though. It's by Paula Deen. (Not butter & gravy Paula Deen, new and improved healthy Paula Deen). Here you go: 


Ingredients

  • Olive Oil, for tossing
  • 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips, using a crinkle cut knife
  • 1 tablespoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with House Seasoning and paprika. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Per Serving (based on 3 servings): Calories: 273; Fat: 9.5g (Saturated Fat: 1g); Protein: 4g; Carbohydrates: 44g; Sugar: 9g; Fiber 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1,670mg

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
For the House Seasoning:
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

I just used a regular knife and upgraded the recipe by using sea salt rather than table salt... and not much of it. 


Sooooo yummy. I highly recommend them. Then we took the boys to the Auto Show which was actually really fun. I was shopping for my dream car in the "luxury loft" while the twins drove their little matchbox cars all over the stroller shouting "beeeeep beeeeep!" 



Also, with all that extra walking, I KILLED my Nike Fuel goal for the day by nearly 1,000 points!


My best Thursday so far! Woo hoo! 

Then today I had yogurt with berries and walnuts for breakfast and launched in to a super hectic work day. I did Ballet Sculpt with Candace in chunks between calls this morning and did not get a lunch break. I had a hard boiled egg and a Lara bar. In the afternoon I snacked on cashews and dried cranberries. 

For dinner though, I'm going to actually make chicken and broccoli. Sounds good! 

I also just did the 10 minute Ski Conditioning workout video that just went up on the Barre3 site taught by my fabulous Junior League pal Regan Nelson! For some reason, I just didn't feel the burn as much doing my workout in pieces today, so I wanted to do a little bonus one. Regan just kicked my butt in 10 minutes! Awesome workout! 

Lastly, I want to thank those of you that are leaving comments on the blog and sticking with me. I'm so inspired by each of you. Truly madly deeply, thank you! 

Tonight, I'm going to relax. Ahhhhhh

xo
Jenn





Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 18 - Pity party.

Ok, so not to be a total downer, but I found myself a bit blue last night over my results so far. I was thinking about the fact that I gained 8 pounds over the holidays. Now that I've lost 9 (maybe more by now!), I just keep thinking if I hadn't eaten everything in sight from Thanksgiving to New Years, I could be almost a size smaller by now. I try not to dwell on things that I can't change. After all, the last thing I want to do is give myself worry lines! Still though, it's hard not to want to kick myself a little for that.

Now that I've put it out here into the blogasphere, I can come back and read it... to remind myself that backtracking isn't worth it. "A year from now, you'll wish you'd started today." Right? "Success is a staircase..."

I try to remember not to put so much pressure on myself. Sometimes knowing better is only half the battle though.  I had a session with a pretty fantastic "intuitive councilor" last month in the Portland area at a cute little whimsical book shop called Crystal Heart. He called me out on some things. Like when I whined about how disappointed I was in myself for derailing a bit, he wanted to know why it mattered. I told him that my band had a big audition and I wanted to look my best. He said, "Well, you're singing... not auditioning for America's Next Top model, right? What does a few pounds here or there have to do with music?" Touché. I heard him, but it's so easy to sink into the swamps of sadness for a moment now and then.

I guess I realized in that moment how important it was to ME. When I realized it didn't truly matter, that didn't make me feel any better. It did however change the way I felt about my wellness in general. It made me want to work on it for just myself. This challenge came along at perfect timing.

Last night I had Miracle Meat Pile again for din din. I had a big portion on my plate, but Xander kept me honest by eating a good 1/3 of it. The whole family loves meat pile.

This morning I had Muesli and spent 30 minutes with Sadie doing Standing Slim. Such a great workout! Sadie also reminded me that "it's only Barre3" and doesn't need to be taken so seriously. On that note, I'm moving on from the coulda-shoulda-woulda to the here and now. Today, I was able to do a really tough balance move with Sadie that I didn't even attempt 2 weeks ago. That win was just what I needed today. That and this big salad packed with delicious avocado. Mmmm

For dinner tonight I'm making chicken with broccoli and sweet potatoes. Yum!

I hope you're having an awesome day!

xo
Jenn




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 17 - Miracle Meat Pile.

Hello, Gorgeous!

(Yes, I'm talking to YOU.)

Good news. Last night's meatloaf experiment was a shocking success. In the spirit of over-sharing, I'm gonna tell you all about it. So, I posted the recipe yesterday, but I'll tell you what I really did. Those that know me know that I'm a bit of a mad scientist in the kitchen. I really only look at recipes so I can defy them. When I was looking at this recipe, I had the Barre3 Portion Prescription in mind. Right away, I knew that Sadie would not approve of the grain to veggie ratio, so I started there.

Also, let me just mention... I realize that she can't see me. I get that. She tells me so in nearly every online workout. That being said, it is 2013 and technology has come along way. One can't be to careful.

Anyway. The recipe called for 1/2 cup each of diced carrots, onions, and celery. Trader Joe, being the visionary that he is, sells a pre-diced container of Mirepoix. I used the whole thing... effectively tripling the amount of veggies in the recipe. I sautéed them with a large orange bell pepper in some olive oil and lemon juice.


In my largest mixing bowl, I threw in 1 lb of very lean ground beef, 2 cups of cooked quinoa, an egg, and some seasonings.



 Then I combined all the ingredients by hand... which felt sooooo gross. 


Then I smashed it all into a bread pan and glazed it with organic ketchup. I baked it for about an hour at 350 just to make sure it was really done since I don't have a meat thermometer. I spent the better part of that hour washing my hands over and over again. Meat massage is enough to turn a carnivore vegan!

Luckily, all the yuck paid off. By the time the timer went off, the kitchen smelled amazing. I was half starved from all the calories I burned washing my hands... and cut right into it without taking a picture. From the top though, it looked like any meatloaf. Of course as soon as I went to serve it, it fell apart. Too many veggies to keep it together. Next time, I'll add another egg.

My husband has become a pretty good sport about this whole challenge and the lack of cooking I've done for him. He'll eat pretty much anything I make without complaint. So, even when I handed him his plate and proudly announced that I'd made "meat pile" for dinner, he politely said "thanks Babe".


We took our first bites at precisely the same moment and exchanged surprised looks of delight. "It's a miracle!" I exclaimed. The meat pile is super delicious. I can't wait to have leftovers for dinner tonight. 

I spent the rest of my evening sending texts to my friend Lesley complaining about my sore thighs. We're in this together which is wonderful. As usual, she said all the right things :) 

So, moving on to today. Again I woke up SO sore. I did Lift with Sadie this morning though just the same. The stretch series at the end was awesome. I'm really getting excited about the way my body is changing. Slowly but surely, I'm getting stronger every day. I can push myself a little bit harder with every workout. My balance and flexibility are improving little by little.

I had yogurt with berries and walnuts for breakfast while the twin's got haircuts from their fabulous Nanny:


Then I made myself a salad large enough to share... and ate it all. 


That's it for my day. I'm going to do some yoga this evening to give my sore muscles some extra love. 

Also, just as a public service... I have to tell you. Andrea from Replenish PDX had suggested Raw Chocolate if you have a sweet tooth. I found these raw cacao nibs to try and HOLY COW are they nasty. DO NOT EAT. I will send her a Facebook message today to see if she has another option. 


(Do not eat these. Ever. Not for food.) 


xoxoxo
Jenn


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 16 - Good jeans.

Last night's stir-fry was colorful and delish. It made a great lunch today too! I put my own spin on the Ginger Stir Fry recipe from the Barre3 blog by tossing in every veggie I had on hand. I also added about 1/4 cup of brown rice and a chicken breast in the mix just to make it a one bowl meal.


This morning I woke up VERY sore. I'm telling you, that Power Sculpt yesterday rocked my world. Today I did the 40 minute Burner with Sadie, showered, and then wiggled in to my pre-holiday weight jeans. They fit comfortably. Whew! Now... hopefully they'll be too big by the end of this thang. I'm taking the challenge all the way up to Grammy weekend, so instead of 28 to Great, it's more of a 33 to Grammmmmy. I feel like this is a realistic lifestyle for me to keep going with even after the fact, so that's encouraging. Though I will bring back in an occasional glass of wine or dessert, this way of eating just makes sense to me. Whole foods. No chemicals. Small jeans. I like it. 

I found a meatloaf recipe online last night that I'm going to attempt to make this evening. It follows the Barre3 rules and sounds easy enough to make. I'm subbing lean grass fed ground beef in for the turkey, and olive oil rather than safflower. I'll let you know how it comes out! 

xo 
Jenn

 Here it is: 

Here's a healthy meatball or meatloaf recipe courtesy of Tricia Williams, a New York City chef whose business, Food Matters NYC, delivers healthy meals to city dwellers every day. Make this on Sunday and you're set for several meals.

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs or Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf

Servings: 6 to 8

2 cups quinoa, cooked

1 pound ground turkey

1 Tbsp. safflower oil

½ cup carrots, small dice

½ cup celery small dice

1 red pepper, small dice

1 yellow pepper, small dice

½ cup Spanish onion, small dice

1 egg

1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil, carrots, onions and celery. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and continue cooking until peppers are soft, about three minutes.

Remove from heat, set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine turkey, quinoa, vegetable mixture, parsley, eggs, sea salt and pepper. Mix by hand until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

For meatballs:

Roll into 1 inch balls. Brown in a nonstick skillet, turning frequently.

For meatloaf:

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack mixture into a nonstick 10 inch meatloaf pan. Glaze with applesauce or ketchup, if desired.

Cook for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.

Let cool.

Refrigerate up to three days.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 15 - Paying penance.

It's day 15 and I'm making it count.

I have a confession to make.

Last night... I had 8 french fries. Not teeny ones... Red Robin fries. Also, I stole them from my kids. OMG were they ever delicious. So good going down... but then the dread came-a-calling. A wave of guilt washed over me that my children and their children will tell stories about around the campfire many years from now. For the most part, I consider myself to be a spiritual person albeit not devoutly religious. Still though, I had dreams last night about the mighty hand of God and the thunderbolts of Zeus headed right for me for the smiting. Then Yoda was making me carry him around in a backpack while I did Sadie's famous "Power legs" posture. Seriously, stress dreams. Like all night. Damn you, french fries. Damn you.

Anyway, I had those along with a salad for lunch after a super fun outing to the Portland Children's Museum with my dudes. Here they are driving a bus:



For dinner, I made Lemony Chicken with actual lemon. It is SO good. We had it with steamed broccoli and clementines.



This morning, I think my Muesli was mocking me. 


See that smirk? Rude. 

So, knowing that Fridays are stacked for me, I've been moving the 60 minute workout to another day of the week. Still feeling guilt over the fries, I did it today. Power Sculpt with Sadie. By FAR the most challenging one yet. She means business, y'all. Get ready to be sweaty. My legs were shaking like never before. Needless to say, I'm feeling better about the whole french fry thing now. Thanks, Sadie! 

The frustrating thing? After the toughest Barre3 workout yet and a shower, I had only earned 505 Nike Fuel points. My goal for the day is 2200. 


I'm telling you. This thing is so motivating for me. I am aware of how much I'm moving (or not) throughout the day with it on. I've hit my goal the past 4 days in a row. I intend to keep that going for the rest of the challenge. Guess I'll be hitting the TreadClimber later! 

For lunch, I made a DIY salad with leftover Lemony Chicken. Delicious again. You really can't go wrong with any of the Barre3 blog recipes. Dinner tonight is veggie stir-fry! 

I hope you're enjoying your day! 

xo 
Jenn

PS - Did I mention that I'm down 9 lbs now? 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 14 - Rest, Recovery, and Reflection.

I believe that we can't do too much to inspire and support each other. Now that we're at the half way point, I want to share some quotes and thoughts that have become mantras of mine these past two weeks. I think it is absolutely imperative to be intentional about your inner monologue.

I heard this on a commercial from the next room... no idea what they were advertising... but I love this:

"A year from now, you'll wish you had started today."

I can't even count how many times I've looked BACK and wished I would have made positive changes sooner. I'm doing this for myself. My future self. I want her to be proud of me. I also want her to have a great ass.

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda. I think that one speaks for itself. That's why I love the 28-day challenge. It's a do or do not situation. It's not a challenge to sort-of sometimes eat well and work out if you're not too busy.

Then there's Oprah's classic:

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." That helped me through the first week... what I call the drought days when I was still craving everything horrible for me.

Now I've amended it to: "No couch is as wonderful as the feeling of being strong." The fact that I played at the park and ran with my boys today without getting winded - that feels amazing.

I also love Sadie Lincoln's quote: "The hardest part of the workout is pressing play." I have found that to be SO true. On the days I just don't wanna... once I start, I'm glad I did. 100% of the time.

This one is a great one to help quiet your inner "Debbie Downer":

"Achievement has always belonged to the optimist." I believe fervently in mind over matter and the law of attraction. That adamant belief doesn't always keep me from straying to the dark side though. I think there is a little self-saboteur in each of us. Remember to tell her to stuff a sock in it.

Another one I've tried to keep close at heart:

"Success is a staircase, not a doorway." This is the mindset that keeps me off the scale everyday. I can't speak for all of us, but for me... the lack of instant gratification can be extremely demotivating. I'm doing my best to celebrate the little wins along the way while staying away from things that might derail me. For example, not losing any weight for a couple of days... ignorance is bliss.

Every couple of days I try to celebrate something that is changing for the better during this challenge. Not all just visible things like missing a chin or moving the putty... but how I'm feeling. Sleeping better, craving healthy foods, feeling stronger, or catching myself moving with more grace. I pointed my toes when I reached for something today. That made me giggle for a good solid minute.

So no matter how many pounds I lose, I'm making positive and impactful life changes. I'm also taking the time to take care of myself which is a whole new habit in and of itself. These are the benefits that I'm most excited about. Also, my kids are eating more veggies! I offer them, but they rarely eat them. Now that they see me eating them multiple times a day, they are getting more adventurous. The power of "monkey see monkey do" at work.

Ok - that's it for my motivational speech. Thanks for letting me ramble!

I'll leave you with the wise wise words of a certain little engine:

"I think I can I think I can I think I can."

xo
Jenn


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 13 - About face.

Today my super sweet hubby let me sleep in a little bit. That was nice. Then I got up, shoveled down some Muesli and cleaned the house. I hit 1400 Nike Fuel points by noon which bodes well for the daily total. When the boys went down for their nap, I decided to try a new workout and did the 30 minute Lean with Sadie. In a word, it was hard. All the workouts are deep, but some of the moves in this one were just logistically tough for me. Side plank = me falling repeatedly and swearing. I just felt a little less than coordinated today. I vow to try it again next Saturday after I've had another week of training my muscles. Still though, I worked up a sweat.

Now that we're two weeks through, I'm starting to see subtle changes. This picture was taken of me right after Christmas. Note the third chin that extends all the way up the side of my head. What is that though? Is there even a name for it? It may have eaten my neck.


After my shower today, I took a selfie just to compare. I tried to duplicate the smile and capture the least flattering angle possible aiming up at my face... 


Not only is the third chin MIA, I can hardly see the second chin. I should have taken a "before" weight of my head. :)

I still have a long way to go, but this is great motivation for me to keep at it. I hope it is for you also!

Tonight I'm grilling up some super lean beef. I'll top it with avocado and have a big salad. I haven't had lunch today... forgot to schedule that in. I'll grab a Lara bar on my way to the park with my boys!

xo
Jenn


Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 12 - Skin deep.

Well, the Harvest Lentil soup was a big hit. My handsome husband and I had it for dinner, then he took some for lunch today too. My Mother-in-law takes care of the boys on Fridays, so we had the rest of it for lunch. I'll definitely be making it again soon.

Mine looked nothing like the picture on the Barre3 blog, but it was pretty nonetheless. My sous chef time is limited to how long I can keep the boys entertained in their highchairs after they've finished their dinner. Therefore, whether the recipe said dice or mince... I cubed... quickly. I used some lovely heirlooms and red split lentils. Delicious and perfect for these cold winter days.





Day 12 has been a busy one! Music Together class for the twinnies was a whirlwind. I also spent 60 minutes this morning with smiling Sadie. The "diamonds" are a KILLER workout! Anyone? Whew! I felt that. I love the incline core work. It feels amazing to my back.

I made a bowl of Morning Muesli for breakfast. It's still my favorite. It gave me lots of energy to get through my crazy day. I took a picture... but I'll spare you the repetition :)

Can we talk about results now for minute? I told you about moving the putty, but today I noticed something else profound. My skin looks like the skin of a younger, carefree woman. After a week of being sick, this is the first day I had put on makeup in a while. I walked up to the mirror with my NARS super foundation at the ready when I saw my reflection... Let me back up a second.

I was diagnosed with rosacea after pregnancy, so I'm always blotchy. I'm used to having a moderate amount of puffiness around my nose and cheeks. With two toddlers, I can also always be counted on for dark circles and major under-eye baggage. Add the stress of an awesome but hyper-paced job, and I have a permanent acne-ish rash on my forehead. I've been seeing an esthetician for months now working on the forehead rash. We've tried just about everything, but it remains. Correction. Remained.

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but my entire face is blotch, puff, and bump free. Is it the diet? The workout? Did someone cast a spell on me? I don't know but I'll take it. Seriously, I feel like Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out from behind his hidden camera any moment and tell me that they swapped my skin in the night.

Anyway, I just put on a little blush and mascara and called it good. I'm not runway ready or anything, but I'm never this low-maintenance. Score!

Sadie, if you're reading... are these results typical?

Happy weekend! xo
Jenn




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 11 - The proof is in the putty.

Happy day 11!

Last night I had one of the DIY salads for dinner. I've come to look forward to this meal option, partly for the fact that that it's always filling regardless of how skeptical my growling tummy may make me. Partly because it's like a little art project every time. As a mom of twin toddlers, I'm something of an expert when it comes to hiding healthy foods and vitamins in delicious things. Exhibit A:



These gluten-free pancakes have a daily dose of probiotics, Juice Plus, flax meal, and 2 egg whites each. I slap a little peanut butter on them for the boys and they gobble them right up. They had carrots and snap peas too. Bonus veggies!

Since I'm already privy to my own tricks (and my Mommy lives in Seattle), it's a little more complicated for me. I want to get all the greens into my body, but I don't typically love greens unless they are dressed in calories. Not gonna lie. Hence, the art of the big-ass salad. Since this challenge began, I have learned to balance things I love like walnuts and blueberries with things that I don't love like raw spinach and cabbage. Voila. It's a win win.


Leftover chicken, snow peas, carrots, cucumber, walnuts, blueberries... 

It also doesn't hurt that it takes ages to eat a big salad. I get full just because it takes so long. Especially in my house! Last night, I kept having to get up from the table to rescue Easton from Xander. Xander wanted to play horse. Easton didn't want to be the horse... you get the idea. I managed to snap one blurry picture before my conscience got the best of me and I put down the camera to save the screaming baby.


Today I woke up with sore thighs, abs, arms... the works. It's a great way to wake up. It's funny how sore muscles have transformed from a complaint to a point of pride.  I did the Runner's workout... which is probably the closest I'll come to being a runner. It was great though. I like Kait.

Also, my body is changing. I won't get back on the scale until Sunday or Monday, but today I left the house in yoga pants to run to the grocery store. (I know, stereotypical Mom move.) I have one pair of yoga pants that have silly putty on the right butt cheek. (For those of you that have ever sat in putty, you know it becomes one with the fabric... mating for life like penguins.) Those are the pants that are only used for actual yoga/barre. NOT errands. So, before I ran out of the house, I gave myself the once over in the full length mirror and saw a putty-free backside. It wasn't until I was in the checkout line that I realized the putty was there... it had just moved. It's now at the top of my thigh rather than on the tush. So there you have it. My butt is perkier. The proof is in the putty.

I picked up all the ingredients for the Harvest Lentil Soup per Sadie's suggestion. I'll let you know how it comes out, but it sounds like perfection. A special shout out to Trader Joe's for having such wonderful seasonal offerings.

PS. I had coffee today. Just one little cup...

xo
Jenn







Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 10 - The drought days.

It's day 10! Can you believe it!? We're over 1/3 of the way there and I'm through the worst of the cravings. I have heard all the nutrition gurus say things like "Your body only craves what you give it..." and the like, but those skinny jerks don't have to live through the 9 days BEFORE you get all that garbage out of your system. You know, before the point when your body starts to give up and let go of the dream of fast food tacos and butterscotch chip cookies. It's these past nine days that I need to remember when this challenge is over if I am tempted to revert back to my chubby-girl ways. No sugary treat is worth repeating the drought days.

Last night my Clemen-tiny chicken came out great. I bet it would be better with lemon, so will try that next time. We did dinner with steamed zucchini and broccoli.






This morning I had the Morning Muesli again and it hit the spot. I made another small batch of the little dark chocolate clusters to keep on hand (now a hit with my husband too!) but added dried cranberries to the cashews and golden raisins, then topped off the chocolate with a pinch of sea salt. I haven't been craving sweets the last day or two, but I still think it's better to have a safe fall back if I do. They sure come out pretty :)



For my workout today, I did Ballet Fit with Candace (swapped Monday and today). I really gave it my all today doing the full expressions of almost everything. Even when I got to that core move where you're on your back, hips up, squeezing the ball for what feels like forever... yeah. I did that. I may have let an F bomb or two slip... and I may have been making an awful face... kind of like the faces my kids made when they saw Santa this year: 



THAT is why I prefer to do my workouts in the privacy of my own home. My legs are really feeling it this afternoon. Now that I'm getting the hang of the method and feeling more balanced, my goal this week is to do each workout to the fullest. No modifiers! We'll see how many times I fall :) 

For lunch, I'm having this: 


Avo-eggs which have become my go-to when I'm short on time, some peas, and the rest of the twins' apple from lunch. That and a 20oz water. Dinner will be easy. I'm building a DIY salad using the leftover chicken from last night. 


I hope you are feeling strong and optimistic on this 10th day! 

xo
Jenn








Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 9 - Do the Twist

Still sick, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Holy cannoli this flu means business! Back at work today and making up for lost time, so had to make sure to schedule my workout into my day. The Twist was probably the most challenging yet. Definitely the sweatiest. It could be the fever... but I feel like my whole body got worked.

I started my day with the super yummy Morning Muesli. It's so good and takes no time to throw together.

For lunch, I had leftover Rice + Beans from last night. Mmm. For dinner tonight, I'm going to attempt the Lemony Chicken recipe. I am fresh out of lemons, but I have like 50 Clementines, so I'll make Clemen-tiny chicken with zucchini and leafy greens. I know that kind of defeats the purpose of the recipe after reading Andrea's awesome blog about all things lemon... but it's what I have on hand.

I haven't missed a workout while being sick, but I do feel the slightest pang of guilt for throwing my limited energy in to this challenge instead of into playtime with my little dudes. They've had more TV in the last few days than in the last month combined. We've found new games to play that don't require Mom getting off of her lazy buns, like dress-up:


 Or who can jump the highest on the couch without breaking any bones. Or my personal favorite... child labor:


Tonight I'm thinking of teaching them to do windows. We'll see how it goes.

How did you like the Twist?

xo,
Jenn


Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 8 - Blogging from bed.

The throat flu from hell is still alive and well. The steroids helped though. I promise I won't be breaking any home-run records or competing in any international bicycle races, but the swelling is down. I slept in today and then gargled with the super-nasty numbing mouthwash so I could take a few bites of yogurt with walnuts and blueberries. I tossed a few pomegranate seeds in too. So good!



Feeling no better really, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I'd skip today's workout. The truth is, I wanted to do it. I'm sick and sore all over and was craving some movement.  I decided I'd do Standing Slim with Sadie. I remember it from last week and thought it was a little easier than Ballet Fit. Maybe a better sick option. My memory just isn't what it used to be. That is some serious ship. (Yes, I have two toddlers. I say ship.) But hey, if I'm only spending 30 minutes on my feet today, I'm glad I made it count.

Then I took the world's longest shower to just breathe in the steam. Is anyone else showering differently? I caught myself Pilates rolling up from shaving my legs. I really do feel more centered and balanced after just a week. So cool.

Now I'm back in bed. I had a Lara Bar for lunch. It's about all I could stomach AND it follows all the rules.




Tonight, I'm making the beans and rice recipe with some extra kale thrown in. I made these little goodies last night just as an experiment. I love the Barre3 "donut holes" but wanted to have another treat in my arsenal. These are just cashews and golden raisins with just enough SUPER dark chocolate (80%) to hold it together. Trader Joe's has some great dark Belgium chocolate options. Just melt in the microwave and spoon on. I'll let you know how they taste when my throat feels better.


How are you feeling at this point? I'd love to hear! Going to sleep now. Zzzzz

xo
Jenn


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 7. Recovery day.

So, ignoring my sore throat didn't work. I went to urgent care today and they gave me a steroid so my throat wouldn't swell closed. The Doctor assured me I wouldn't wake up with a mustache or small balls or something. "It's not that kind of steroid." I bet that's what they all say.

I have laid low all day today just letting my body recover. Eating has been the hardest part. It hurts to swallow, so I definitely haven't eaten much. I had yogurt with berries and walnuts this morning... probably a half a serving. Then tonight I had scrambled eggs and some pomegranate seeds. I set a record for the lowest amount ever of Nike Fuel points. It's good though. I am a terrible patient typically and won't sit still long enough to recover. I'm making my body a priority which is really saying something.

I haven't had enough liquids today either, so will finish off my 20 oz cup and sip on some chicken broth before bed. I'm taking a sick day from work tomorrow and plan to crawl out of bed long enough to spend 40 minutes with Candace for Ballet Fit.

Barre3 is really fantastic. The moves feel good to my body. I'm looking forward to it.

Also, I got on the scale this morning and am down 5 lbs in my first week! That means I only have 3 lbs of Holiday weight left to burn and then I'll be able to start getting ahead.

Yay! Thanks, Barre3!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend and have been more successful than I at dodging this pesky flu bug.

xo
Jenn

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Night 5, Day 6 (pushing through the plague)

Dear Candace,

OUCH.

Sincerely,
My body

Ok, seriously, I am sure that Candace is a lovely human being but holy cheese and crackers that Ballet Fit workout hurt. I was "quaking" like there was no tomorrow when she said nonchalantly "Just forty more seconds." I replied "F$**!". Then after 40 seconds, did we get to curl into the fetal position with a blankie and a story for naptime? No. "Now pulse." I stuck it out, but let me tell you - it wasn't pretty. Her version of rolling back on to the mat gracefully for core work like she's made of water equated to me tripping over a weight and tumbling on to my tush. Still though, I stuck with her for every count. I know she is just giving me tough love and someday I'll thank her... yada yada.

By last night, my sore throat had gone from bad to worse. I had no appetite and it hurt to swallow. I had celery sticks and hummus for dinner.

This morning I woke up sick as a dog. I got out of bed long enough to make myself some eggs and avocado and then tucked right back in. My husband took one look at me and just got the kids up and took care of everything. Super Dad.

Whereas I wouldn't dream of going for a jog or hitting the gym in this condition, I was actually craving the Barre3 workout today. It's day 6 which means I could choose any of the workouts online. I had decided I'd do the Standing Slim with Sadie because I really enjoyed that last week. My inner child is a teacher's pet though and tends to get her way. When I got to the computer to press play, I decided to go back to Ballet Boot Camp. I felt so clumsy in Ballet Fit yesterday that I wanted to make it up to Candace. Though I followed Stephanie through a handful of the modified postures, I definitely had a little more grace today. Do I get a gold star? Extra credit?

Now I'm going to hit the shower and go back to bed to nap while my monsters do. Tomorrow is a day of rest and I intend to use it! I just cancelled band rehearsal so I can truly just recover. Need some new tunes to listen to on your day off? www.theheritage.co

xox
Jenn






Friday, January 11, 2013

Night 4, Day 5. (Whining about wine)

So, Sadie might be a wizard. After my 60 minute workout yesterday, my soreness subsided almost completely. I think that workout has healing powers. 

By dinner time, I was ravenous. I was afraid to walk into the kitchen for fear I'd eat everything in sight. Luckily, my youngest son (by 2 minutes) decided to help out by having an extreme blowout in his diaper. 1,000 wipes later, I wasn't hungry at all. 

So, I made this: 



A grilled salmon patty, some greens, 1/2 a sweet potato, and my share of the cucumber that I split with the twins. It doesn't look like much, but I actually got FULL. Truly full. It's amazing how quickly my stomach's capacity has diminished. That's half the battle for me. Whew! 

After dinner, we had friends over and opened a bottle of wine. That was hard. I love wine and I didn't want it to think that I was mad at it. That would be alcohol abuse, right? Emotional abuse. My husband brought me a big wine glass with sparking water and a slice of a clementine in it. It worked. Don't worry though. Later on, I pulled the bottle of wine aside and apologized. I let it know I'd be back soon but that I needed my space. We're on a break. It's not a break-up. 

After everyone left and the boys went to bed, I still had 350 more Fuel points to earn on my Nike Fuelband before the day ended. I busted out some sweet dance moves in the living room for about 10 minutes while my husband watched highlights from the Blazer game. 
Day 3 of hitting my goal in a row and I got to see this little guy's moves: 



To my delight, my husband didn't mock me. He told me that I've inspired him to work on his own personal wellness goals. Bonus. 

I had 4 20 oz waters yesterday as well. That is a personal best and really plenty. Yesterday was also the first day I didn't have coffee. 2 green teas and a headache, but not a major one. 

Today is day 5. The twins had their very first day of "school". They are 21 months old, so school is a 45 minute Music Together class. I woke up at 3 am with a sore throat, so I stayed in bed until the last minute rather than getting up early to workout. We scrambled to get out the door on time this morning, but I shoveled down the yogurt with blueberries and walnuts recipe from the Barre3 blog. Really good and fast! 

Music class was fun. My little monsters were the only kiddos running around like crazy people. The rest of the kids sat with their parents and stayed relatively engaged. Regardless, my boys enjoyed themselves and provided comic relief for the other moms and their demure tots. I came home a little stressed and running late for a conference call. (Yes - I have a day job) Though I would have rather had a vodka, I made myself a weak cup of black coffee. Maybe tomorrow I won't have coffee. Baby steps. 

My throat still hurts, but I'm planning to ignore it. Mind over matter. Mind over matter. Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. I'm in a good mood though. All these extra endorphins are really helping. 

Squeezing in a 40 minute Ballet Fit with Candace before my afternoon meeting. Wish me luck! Wishing YOU luck today too! We got this! 

xoxo 
Jenn