We Eat/She Eats and Monday Motivation

Today marks the beginning of another school year, and though I’m excited to get back into the classroom, I feel much less so about leaving A.  She has great daycare, but my schedule this year is a little tighter than last and lands us at home around 4:30 every day, instead of 3:30.  A celebrated last night by waking up about five times — thank God Jason is the one who does the back and forth to the crib, or I’d be an even more tired Mama.  Along with the return to school comes the return to pumping and scalding my milk because of the extra lipase that makes it really disgusting for poor A if it’s frozen (tastes just like soapy water).  I’m hoping to post about that soon, but it’s such a process that the thought of taking photos of it has been overwhelming in the past.

In terms of exercise, I maintained last week, dropping about a half pound, despite not tracking food via WW and just enjoying my last week of freedom with an evening beer after the little one went to bed most nights.  I did complete T25 Beta, but ended the week with so much hip pain and lower back achiness that I’m taking a week off to focus on yoga and core building.  I’m not sure my post partum body was ready for Beta yet (even though it seemed really fun!), and I’m considering another round of T25 Alpha before I move on.  A lot of reading I’ve done suggests a week off between Alpha and Beta to protect knees and hips from the jumping, but I’m still weighing my options once I get through seven days of twice daily 20 minute yoga work.

Goals for the Week:

  1. Survive the 4 a.m. Alarm Clock – One Day Down, Four to Go!
  2. Live healthily by packing my own lunches, drinking my new Klean Kanteen of water (40 ozs) at work every day, and getting in those 40 minutes of yoga.
  3. Limit caffeine – one cup of coffee a day at school – that teacher’s room pot is sometimes such a siren song…
  4. Make dinner every night – no takeout!  We did takeout pizza last week, and I felt so gross afterwards… then we did pizza on the grill at home and it was So. Much. Better – no grease, healthy toppings, happier tummy!

We Eat/She Eats:

Monday:
We Eat: Eating Well’s Picnic Chicken, Wild Rice, Green Beans
She Eats: Bits of Chicken, Water Melon, Wild Rice (chopped if large), Green Bean Bits, Yogurt with Pear Sauce

Tuesday:
We Eat: Roasted Pork Loin, Homemade, Sugar-Free Apple Sauce, Roasted Potatoes & Steamed Carrots
She Eats: Bits of Pork Loin, Apple Sauce, Potato, Steamed Carrots

Wednesday:
We Eat: Chicken Cesar Salads with Garden Veggies
She Eats: Grilled Chicken, Cucumber Bits, Watermelon, Avocado, Parmesan Cheese

Thursday:
We Eat: Cheese Burgers (Grass Fed) on Sandwich Flats, Roasted Fries, Salad
She Eats: Sautéed Ground Beef (Grass Fed 90/10), Potato (baked), Cucumber Bits, Cottage Cheese or bits of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar

Friday:
We Eat: Chop Suey (Jason will make with Grass Fed Ground Beef, Homemade Tomato Sauce, Homemade Salsa and Elbow Mac), Green Beans,
She Eats: Leftover Chicken (from salads), Pasta, Green Beans, Avocado

Amelia also turns ten months this morning (5:17 a.m.) – where has the time gone?

Happy Ten Months Old, Sweet Amelia!

Happy Ten Months Old, Sweet Amelia!

 

We Eat/She Eats and Monday Motivation

I’m feeling a little low as I write this, having just waved goodbye to my mother and younger brother.  We had the best weekend, and even though we got a little off track on the healthy eating (my mom is an awesome cook!),  I still managed to lose another pound last week and finish the full T25 Week Four lineup.

Hanging with the family before they headed south.

Hanging with the family before they headed south.

So here we are… the Monday two weeks before I go back to work.  A is down for a great morning nap, I just finished the day’s workout, and I’m starting to try to imagine a world in which she and I get home from work at dinner time and have to shuffle ourselves into a routine of snuggling, nursing, and still getting a meal on the table.  Over the next few days, I’m hoping to post about some of our favorite make ahead meals.  Living in a rural area, the takeaway options are nearly non-existent or incredibly unhealthy, so we combat that by making and freezing meals ahead of time to try to help balance evenings when I have to work later than normal.  So here’s our lineup for this week:

We Eat/ She Eats Week Five:

* = Produce from Our Garden

Monday:
We Eat: Chicken Cesar Salad: Grilled Chicken, Salad Greens, Organic Lettuce, Cucumbers*, Tomatoes*, Red Onion*, Zucchini*, Organic Croutons and Parmesan Cheese
She Eats: Chicken Bits, Cucumber*, Banana, Parmesan Cheese, Cabot Greek Yogurt, Avocado

Tuesday: Plan Ahead & Freeze for Back to School
We Eat:  Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Sauce with Pasta, Green Beans*, Side Salads*
She Eats: Bits of Meatball (working on an Amelia-friendly recipe), Pasta Pieces, Green Beans*, Watermelon, Parmesan Cheese

Wednesday:
We Eat: Indian Chicken made with Seeds of Change Masala Sauce, Peas*, and Organic Chicken Thighs, Brown Rice, Cucumbers* in Greek Yogurt with Mint* and Garlic*
She Eats: Chicken Bits, Cucumbers* in Greek Yogurt with Pear Sauce, Brown Rice, Pieces of Peas* (chopped up)

Thursday:
We Eat: Hamburgers on Sandwich Flats with Sweet Potato Fries and Cucumber* Spears
She Eats: Ground Beef Bits, Bits of Bread, Sweet Potato, Cucumber* Chunks

Friday:
We Eat: Tomato*, Bacon & Pepperoni Pizza on the Grill (homemade crust)
She Eats: Cheese, Chopped up Soft Pizza Crust, Avocado, Lean Protein (Probably Organic Chicken Breast)

Goals:

  1. Continue to drink more water … I’m really struggling to get to that 10th glass every day.
  2. Live in the moment – summer is fading fast!
  3. Start getting up at 4 a.m. and working out to prepare for the return to work.  Sigh.
  4. Try to get to the blueberry fields.

Hope you’re enjoying a lovely summer Monday!

We Eat/She Eats and Monday Motivation

Somehow, another week has blown by!  I look back over last week, and how much we accomplished even though Jason had to spend the entire weekend working out at his dad’s house in preparation for its inspection, and I am so thankful we’re still balancing things.  Cords have been picked up and put away, more baby proofing has been accomplished, and I finally got to those pesky floors!  And, by some grace of luck, I managed to week and mulch our flower beds and stain the decks before we had company last Friday night.  But to get down to the purpose of this post… last week’s meal planning went great, and A ate what we ate (or what I had planned for her) every night of the week!

This week, we’re getting ready for a visit from my mom and brother (Amelia’s Uncle Sparky).  They’ll be arriving Friday night and staying through the weekend, and since Uncle Sparky lives in LA, this will be his first time meeting little Miss Amelia.  I can’t wait!

In terms of how things are going… I fully completed Week 3 of T25, and with the addition of more careful eating practices, I am down 1.5 pounds!  I’ve noticed some hip pain this weekend, but I think it’s just my body continuing to adjust.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed!  Eating healthily is so much easier with all of our own fresh veggies finally coming in!

Fresh Peas from the Garden!

Fresh Peas from the Garden!

This week’s We Eat/She Eats focuses a lot on what we can get out of our own garden at this time of year: onions, garlic scapes, zucchini, and cucumbers.  The tomatoes and corn are coming, albeit very slowly!  Amelia is also loving watermelon or watery-melon as I call it when I feed her, so we’re going through about one a week, and it makes such a great, healthy snack for Mama, too!

Monday:  Jason Working at His Dad’s House – Homemade Takeout
We Eat: Grilled Chicken and Cheddar Panini Sandwiches on Rye Bread, Crispy Fries, Cucumber Spears
She Eats: Grilled Chicken Bits, Cheese,  Avocado, Cabot Greek Yogurt with Fruit

Tuesday:
We Eat: Eating Well’s Easy Salmon Cakes over Salad with Cucumber Spears and Creamy Dill Sauce and Watermelon Cubes
She Eats: Cucumber Bits, Watermelon, Cabot Cottage Cheese, Leftover Chicken

Wednesday:
We Eat: BBQ Chicken with Homemade Sauce, Sautéed Zucchini with Melted Parmesan Cheese, Orzo with Herbs,
She Eats: Chicken Bits, Chopped Zucchini (sauteed but before I add the cheese) with Fresh Parmesan (unmelted), Bits of Orzo, Fruit (Mama needs to buy more watermelon!)

Thursday:
We Eat: Hamburgers on the Grill on Sandwich Flats, Sweet Potato Fries, Cucumber Spears
She Eats: Sautéed Ground Beef, Cucumber Bits, Watermelon, Cabot Cottage Cheese

Friday: Mom & Uncle Sparky Arrive!
We Eat: The Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs (without eggs), Salad, Bread, Green Beans
She Eats: Meatballs (chopped up) without Sauce, Pasta Bits, Green Bean Bits, Bread

And in case you were wondering what meals look like at our house… here’s Taco Salad from last week:DSC_0098

What are you and your little ones enjoying the most this summer?

We Eat/She Eats & Monday Motivation

Though it took me several days to make it (for some reason it fell out of the rotation last week),  we had a real We Eat/She Eats success on Sunday night when A ate exactly what we did – organic chicken sausage (with sun dried tomato and basil) sauteed with organic zucchini and red pepper over pasta (hers was all cut into tiny bites), garnished with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  She gobbled it up and finished it with a side of Greek yogurt with pear sauce.  She also ate a great lunch on Sunday of turkey (chopped), blueberries (diced) and cheddar cheese with a few Cheerios.  It’s really interesting to watch how much more delighted she is with more seasoned and flavorful food.  Here’s hoping we’re raising an adventurous little foodie!

In other news, T25 is still going great.  The scale still hasn’t moved much, and since balancing nursing with weight loss is such a struggle for me (I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight, which I’ve maintained since doing Weight Watchers this past spring), I’ve decided to commit to three more months of WW to see if it can get me to my goal weight.  I went off when I traveled home to Vermont, knowing that I didn’t want to pay for two weeks during which I’d probably slide off program, but I’m ready to finish slimming down in hopes that a little less weight might ease up the last of my residual back pain.  I should note that all of these dinners are pre-tracked in my WW calculator, something that I’ve had really good success with in the past.  I tend to eat the same breakfast every day, and knowing what dinner will bring allows me to make better choices at lunch and in the early afternoon, when I tend to be most snacky.

We Eat/She Eats: Week Three

Monday:
We Eat: Grilled Chicken with Homemade BBQ Sauce, Maple Braised Carrots, Orzo
She Eats: Chicken Bits, Steamed Carrots & Chopped Orzo with Greek Yogurt & Pear Sauce if she’s still hungry after dinner

Tuesday:
We Eat: Cheese Burgers (90% lean, grass fed beef) on Sandwich Flats and Homemade, Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Watermelon
She Eats: Sautéed Ground Beef, Cheddar Cheese, Sweet Potato (Frozen), Watermelon Bits

Wednesday:
We Eat: Homemade Taco Salad: Lettuce, Tomato & Peppers Studded with Ground Beef (Homemade Spice Mix), Light Sour Cream, Avocado, Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar & Tortilla Chips (garnish – think croutons)
She Eats: Sautéed Ground Beef, Avocado, Watermelon Bits, Sharp Cheddar or Cottage Cheese

Thursday:
We Eat: Chicken, Sautéed and cooked in Seeds of Change Masala Sauce over Brown Rice with Broccoli and Garden Peas!
She Eats: Sautéed Chicken, Broccoli, Chopped Peas, Cottage Cheese

Friday: Possible Dinner Guests
We Eat: Homemade Pizza on the Grill – Pepperoni and Veggie
She Eats: Leftover Chicken, Leftover Broccoli, Cheese, Cheerios

What are you looking forward to cooking this week?

 

Meal Planning Sunday

I have one more week of classes before two days of faculty meetings and then… summer vacation!  In my last post, I talked briefly about a back injury that is still clinging, nearly a week later.  So I do my physical therapy stretches, and Jason does all of the in and out crib lifting of Baby A, and we wait.  Hopefully, by next week, I’ll be able to tackle the flower beds.  On top of all this, though, is the nagging reminder that 90% of this injury is the lack of core work I’ve been doing since A arrived.  I’m hoping that over the next twelve weeks, I can eat healthily and exercise my way back to an injury free self, just in time for fall classes to start.

As a new mom, it’s really important to me that I teach A to respect her body, rather than spend her time wishing she could look like someone else.  And the only way to teach her that respect is to set a good example though healthy, sustainable diet and exercise and a positive outlook.  Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially when even though I’m back to my pre-baby weight, things haven’t quite settled back where they used to be.  I’m hoping to use this injury as a way of being thankful for what I have: good health, a happy, healthy baby, and plenty of time to get myself into shape over the next few weeks.  And what’s one way of holding ourselves accountable?  Meal planning.

I’ve been an avid meal planner for most of my adult life because I hate extra trips to the grocery store.  And now, with a seven month old in tow, they’re even more complicated to plan and execute.  And although takeout pizza still happens (more regularly than I’d like to admit), hopefully by owning my meal planning, I’ll be more likely to get into the kitchen and cook with the last of last year’s garden produce before this year’s garden starts ramping up.

Sunday:

Steak on the Grill/Asparagus (Fresh & Local)/Local Potatoes Roasted with Olive Oil, Herbs & Garlic

Monday:

Grilled Chicken (Mom’s Secret Recipe) with last year’s Green Beans and Wild Rice

Tuesday:

Chicken Sausage Pasta (Organic Chicken Sausage Sauteed with Summer Squash and Zucchini over Angel Hair Pasta with a bit of Parmesan and Mustard)

Wednesday:

Taco Salad Bowls (Grass Fed Beef/Homemade Seasoning/Diced Veggies over Salad Greens)

Thursday:

Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

Friday:

Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries (Grass Fed Beef with Veggie Trimmings on Sandwich Flats with Homemade Sweet Potato “Fries” Roasted in the Oven and Home-Canned Pickles)

Saturday:

Plan & Shop for Next Week

What are you planning for this week?

Saturday Meal Planning

Happy Saturday!  I say that, after getting rattled from sleep at 4:30 by an overzealous cat

Oscar... sleeping all day, so he can be up, knocking things over at all hours of the night.

and hungry Australian Shepherd (the cat knocked over my bedside lamp, while the dog whined at the back door as though our chicken coop were under attack, then proceeded to herd me to her food dish).  Ugh.  Since then, I discovered that our main light in the chicken coop blew out last night (though, I find it hard to believe that the dog wanted anymore than her cup of kibble at 4:30 since we didn’t make it to the coop until almost 7 a.m., and she was content to return immediately to bed after eating).  That replaced, I did manage to get into town for groceries after a very early bout of meal planning.

In our quest to try to eat more locally, I’ve focused most of this week’s meals around our own, home-grown chicken and vegetables.  Though, I was totally entranced by Food & Wine’s Italian Wedding Soup, which I’ll be trying later today and posting about tomorrow.  I was introduced to it over at Red Deer Foodie, and I imagine my version will end up being a mixture of the two.  I’ve talked a bit about meal planning here lately, so I thought I’d give you this week’s rundown, marking our own, homegrown ingredients with a *

Saturday                          Sunday                        Monday                        Tuesday 

Italian Wedding Soup     Roast Chicken*              Saturday’s Soup             Picnic Chicken*
Homemade Bread           Roasted Potatoes*         Homemade Bread          Green Beans*
Braised Carrots                                                                                                     Mashed Potatoes*
Homemade Bread

Wednesday                              Thursday                                      Friday
Homemade Chicken Stew*         Dinner w/ friends                        Roasted Vegetable Pizza
with extra veggies*                       but still making a                           with Feta Cheese
Homemade Dumplings               Mexican Chocolate Torte             &  Tomato Sauce*
&  Strawberry Preserves*

Today, I’m also making another batch of homemade granola and some kind of cookie to snack on since it’s still super chilly outside and one or two warm cookies will taste great after some snowshoeing!