Fall Fitness-Guest Post: Make A Plan

My new series “Fall Fitness” was started a few weeks ago to get myself (and hopefully others) back on track with both physical and financial fitness goals.  This week I’ve brought in a guest blogger to give you a different perspective on your fitness plan.   If you’ve missed any of the previous Fall Fitness posts, check them out here!

Hi all! My name is Sarah and I blog over at There She Goes…Running in Virginia! My mission at There She Goes is to provide resources for active females of all ages, and runners of all levels with practical tips about nutrition, product reviews, and first hand accounts of how being active and healthy can change your life!

Lets be honest here…

How long has it been since your last workout?

 

I’ll wait – go ahead…do the math!

For me? It’s been since I arrived here at our new house…3 weeks ago. Before that I stayed a few days at my parents house (visiting) while my husband finished packing our apartment (we have small children so being gone was the best I could do to help!).

At my parents I was walking roughly 2.25-3.50 miles a day with my father. Before that…well, it had been off and on for months. You see – I just had baby #2 (June 25th) so that last trimester was a challenge. I gained 40lbs and gave birth to a 9.5lb, 21inch long baby!

Sure, I may have occasionally gotten in a little brisk walk or even a very slow jog w/ my toddler riding her tricycle those last 3 months but mostly I just prepared for what was coming next and working.

Regardless of my life circumstances…I fell off the health & wellness wagon hard!

 

 

Falling off the workout wagon hurts. The initial fall is usually so slow; so subtle we barely feel the impact. As the sting of the road rash sets in…we know we should be doing something more. We should be better than saying, “I’ll workout tomorrow”, or “I’ll try to do better starting next week!” I don’t know how many Mondays have been my NEW BEGINNING! While those words echo through our minds, roll off our tongues – we wonder – “How many tomorrows have I racked up avoiding “TODAY?”

 

Sure, I’ve got excuses and allowances I give myself to feel better about not working out:

  • I’m tired
  • I had a baby
  • There’s not enough time
  • It’s too hot outside
  • I have a million other things to do

And the list could go on…

 

But here’s the reality of all those excuses:

  • I stayed up too late
  • I had a baby 3 months ago…can’t use that excuse forever
  • It only takes 15min to get a workout in (I know I waste more than 15min on FB multiple times a day) – Read Fast 15 for a quick workout idea.
  • So stay inside: do a workout DVD
  • Even though I’m staying busy w/ all my million “to-do’s” there is only one thing on my mind – my avoidance of getting back on the wagon!

 

So what do we do now? How can we fix this?

We have to remember that each day is a new day and a new opportunity to start fresh.

Since I’m a planner let’s map this out!

 

1st Step:

Making a plan of action! For me: the house is the most quiet in the mornings and during naptime. There are two perfect windows of time – where can you find one or two windows of time in your day?

I can’t leave the house b/c the kiddos are sleeping in both windows of time so I’ll have to be creative. I can do a workout DVD (I’ll admit it – I have about 10 different DVD’s that collect dust!). I can also do Crossfit type exercises – stuff that doesn’t require any equipment. Where are your windows of time? Are you at work, at home, in the city, in the country or near a park – parking lot – stairs?

 

2nd Step:

Take a deep breath…and go clean out your pantry and fridge. There is nothing more deflating to a new plan of action for health and wellness than a bunch of junk food temping you each and every day. Even the cleanest/healthiest eaters have a few items they could toss.

For me, it just takes one or two items (calling my name from the pantry) to start the downward spiral of munching/eating poorly. Sometimes I even eat the kids’ snacks…I know – pitiful! Hey, if I don’t need those animal crackers…neither does she! Lol! But lets just be honest – she doesn’t even like them – I’m eating them little by little to avoid “wasting” them. Which leads me to Step #3.

 

3rd Step:

Get over your attachment to “wasting” food. If you slipped up and bought a few things (or just one) that really DON’T need to be eaten by you…TOSS IT! Or if it’s unopened donate it or take it to work and put it in the employee break room. Let your solidarity be the example! Don’t just eat things to get them out of the house and into your belly (and I am speaking from experience). We all do this – get over it – and throw it away or give it away.

The last time I cleaned out my pantry was April 2011 when I decided to go Paleo. I put all the items I would no longer need, eat, or cook with into a book and let my neighbors pick threw it.

 

4th Step:

Get out of the house! Step away from the computer and go for a walk. Breathe some fresh air! Are you at work right now? Go walk the steps in the stair well right now! Not in a multi-floor building? Walk to your car and back. Pretend you forgot something really important in there…like your MOTIVATION!

Not at work – are you at home? Regardless, stop clicking the mouse aimlessly – GO!

 

5th Step:

BE PROUD! Be proud about being motivated – and come back and read more!

 

I’ll leave you with these thoughts…

It’s not about gym memberships, workout accessories, or even proper footwear right now.

What it is about is YOU finding 15 minutes each day (or just 3 days a week) where you put YOU first. 15 minutes where you are more important than anything else.

Put yourself on the top of your daily task list

and I promise you’ll see and feel a difference.

 

If you’re looking for a challenge to jumpstart your health and wellness goals OR if you just want to end this year with a bang – then please join me over at my blog for some great group challenges I’ll be leading my readers through starting Monday, September 17th, 2012.

 

 

Fall Fitness Week 4: Declutter

Welcome to my new series: Fall Fitness!  If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, check them out here!

If you pay close attention to my Facebook page, you know I enjoy running as my main form of exercise. Unfortunately I hurt my back a few weeks ago and have been unable to do very much physical activity-which has driven both my body and mind NUTS! Also, it’s made me a bit lazy on menu planning since it’s been difficult to move from my heating pad! Sadly, this has led to way too many take out meals. I am pretty much 95% healed so it is time to get back into shape-both physically and financially! I will be writing this series “Fall Fitness” to hold myself accountable and to hopefully gain some team mates in the process (that would be you)! I will share my goals, menu, and tip each week that will hopefully keep us fit thru the fall!

Update from Last Week’s Goals:

Fitness:  I was able to meet both goals last week.  I completed Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 5 times (which is 1 more than my goal) and I was able to run 4 times.  However, on my “long run” day, I upped the miles and my back paid the price.  I was in a lot of pain and am going to have to go visit the therapist again; so unfortunately, I will be taking the week off from running.  I am continuing taking measurements and weighing myself-this week I only lost 1 1/2 inches but I did lose 1 pound…not much but it’s still a loss!

Fitness Goals Week 4:

  • Complete Jillian Michaels’s Ripped in 30 5 times
  • Go walking at least 2 miles 4 times (This is to replace the running. Since I have 3 races coming up, I need to be doing something).
  • Cut back on soda.  I know, soda is HORRIBLE for you, but I don’t drink coffee and generally allow myself 1 soda a day…but with the baby cutting teeth I’ve been indulging in more to pep myself up from lack of sleep.  I will only have 1 a day this week and then starting weaning myself from that one down to none (eventually).

 

Menu Plan Week 4:

  • Monday:  Mexican Monday-We grilled chicken and pork over the weekend so we’ll be using the leftovers to make soft tacos.
  • Tuesday:  Zucchini lasagna-I have a recipe I am playing around with and making some changes so I will post the results.
  • Wedneday:  Baked chicken with brown rice and broccoli
  • Thursday:  Grilled Cheese and tomato soup (soccer practice so needs to be easy)
  • Friday:  Whole wheat pizza using a store bought crust and adding lots of veggies.
  • Saturday:  Husband’s choice
  • Sunday:  Turkey Chili

 

Tip of the Week:

Clean out the clutter!  Not only will this help you feel better about your home, but you may be able to find some items to sell.  You can also donate items and receive a tax deduction-that’s a win win!

 

Fall Fitness Week 3: Reduce!

Welcome to my new series: Fall Fitness!  If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, check them out here!

If you pay close attention to my Facebook page, you know I enjoy running as my main form of exercise. Unfortunately I hurt my back a few weeks ago and have been unable to do very much physical activity-which has driven both my body and mind NUTS! Also, it’s made me a bit lazy on menu planning since it’s been difficult to move from my heating pad! Sadly, this has led to way too many take out meals. I am pretty much 95% healed so it is time to get back into shape-both physically and financially! I will be writing this series “Fall Fitness” to hold myself accountable and to hopefully gain some team mates in the process (that would be you)! I will share my goals, menu, and tip each week that will hopefully keep us fit thru the fall!

Update from Last Week’s Goals:
Fitness- My goal was to do Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 4 times and I did it 5 times!  Also I wanted to run 4 days last week and I ran 5 times so I that was great.  My distances weren’t far but my back is still giving me trouble when I hit 2-3 miles.  I also mentioned taking measurements and weighting myself last week.  I did both of those things and although I didn’t lose any pounds, I didn’t gain any either…I did however lose 2.5 inches-in one week! 

Week 3 Fitness Goals:
1. Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30workout-4 times
2. Running at least 4 days-I want to up the mileage as well.  I feel like my back is getting stronger every day and even if I can’t run longer distances, I will at least walk.  The boys really enjoy these outings and we get to talk a lot about nature!

Week 3 Menu For the Week:

  • Monday: We always have Mexican Mondays but since it’s Labor Day we will be grilling out!  The plan is to have turkey nitrate free hot dogs (Trader Joes), corn on the cob, vegetarian baked beans, and salad.
  • Tuesday: Taco Tuesday!  We will stuff tacos with crockpot chicken (chicken breast with one can of low sodium chicken stock cooked on low in the crockpot all day), black beans, and salad toppings.  Served with brown rice.
  • Wednesday: Beer BBQ Chicken on whole wheat buns- I’ve actually altered this recipe to add black beans…soooo good!
  • Thursday: Cranberry Pork Chops in the Crockpot
  • Friday: Veggie Pizza-Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (store bought) add homemade tomato sauce and add chopped veggies and low fat cheese (we didn’t do this last week so we will try it this week)!
  • Saturday: Husband’s choice…I will be out celebrating a friend’s birthday!
  • Sunday: Grilled chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes

 

Tip of the Week:

Call your utilily companies and credit companies and ask for reductions.  For example, our local cable company gives discounted rates if you promise to stay with them for a year.  Also, if you’ve been on time paying your credit card bills, they can often lower your rate-it never hurts to ask!  In addition, don’t forget to shop around-there are always “introductory deals” out there you can check out!

Fall Fitness: Week Two-Cut Back

If you pay close attention to my Facebook page, you know I enjoy running as my main form of exercise. Unfortunately I hurt my back a few weeks ago and have been unable to do very much physical activity-which has driven both my body and mind NUTS! Also, it’s made me a bit lazy on menu planning since it’s been difficult to move from my heating pad! Sadly, this has led to way too many take out meals. I am pretty much 95% healed so it is time to get back into shape-both physically and financially! I will be writing this series “Fall Fitness” to hold myself accountable and to hopefully gain some team mates in the process (that would be you)! I will share my goals, menu, and tip each week that will hopefully keep us fit thru the fall!

Update from Last Week’s Goals:
Fitness-I ran 5 times but for short distances and I did use weights 3 times.  I also purchased Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 but did not make it to my neighborhood gym to do the trial week. 

Week 2 Fitness Goals:
1.   Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30workout-4 times
2.  Running at least 4 days
3.  My goal is to lose 10 pounds in the next couple of months so I will take my body measurements this week so I can also see how many inches I lose.

Week 2 Menu For the Week:

  • Monday:  Mexican Monday-We have Mexican every Monday night; this week will be using ground turkey. 
  • Tuesday: Honey Marinated Chicken Breasts-marinade is 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tsp rosemary, and pepper/garlic to taste.
  • Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops with brown rice and broccoli
  • Thursday: BBQ Chicken and Black Bean Burritos (cook chicken in crockpot with BBQ sauce, add black beans at the last 30 min of cook time and put mixture in whole wheat tortilla.
  • Friday: Veggie Pizza-Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (store bought) add homemade tomato sauce and add chopped veggies and low fat cheese.
  • Saturday:  We will be having a Labor Day Weekend BBQ-Turkey burgers, nitrate free turkey hot dogs, various fruits, grilled balsamic potatoes, and corn on the cob.
  • Sunday: Husband’s Choice

 

Tip of the Week:

Sit down and create a list of anything you spend money on that is not a necessity-meaning Starbucks coffee, lotto tickets, massage, mani/pedi, movie night; you know…the “fun stuff”.  Number each item by order of importance and see if you can eliminate the item that ends up at the bottom of the list.  If you really don’t want to give it up completely, cut it back by at least 1/2.  If you get Starbucks everyday, try to do it every other day.  If you get a manicure/pedicure once a week, try every other week. You get the point-cut back on unnecessary things and you will see the savings add up!

24 Hour Fitness

Fall Fitness-Week 1: Baby Steps

If you pay close attention to my Facebook page, you know I enjoy running as my main form of exercise.  Unfortunately I hurt my back a few weeks ago and have been unable to do very much physical activity-which has driven both my body and mind NUTS!  Also, it’s made me a bit lazy on menu planning since it’s been difficult to move from my heating pad!  Sadly, this has led to way too many take out meals.  I am pretty much 95% healed so it is time to get back into shape-both physically and financially!  I will be writing this series “Fall Fitness”  to hold myself accountable and to hopefully gain some team mates in the process (that would be you)!  I will share my goals, menu, and tip each week that will hopefully keep us fit thru the fall!

Weekly Fitness Goals:

1.  Run at least 4 times (length will vary depending on how my back handles it).
2.  Using weights 3 times (I have several home videos that use weights and I also have a few favorite moves). One video I plan on using is Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30.  I have always been a big fan of Jillian since she helped me lose my baby weight from my first son.
3.  Check out my local gym.  They have a free week trial so I am hoping to learn some new tricks!

Menu For the Week:

  • Monday:  Healthy Mexican Monday-Chicken breast and stock on low in crock pot all day-use the chicken to stuff whole wheat tortillas with lettuce, salsa, and low fat cheese.  Serve brown rice as a side!
  • Tuesday:  Baked Pork Chops with brown rice (left over from Monday-will add frozen peas and carrots to the rice).
  • Wednesday:  Ground Turkey and Zucchini Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Thursday:  Chicken Mexican Rollups-Using leftover chicken from Monday, I will mix chicken, black beans, and low fat cheese and bake them in tortillas covered in salsa (my husband really loves Mexican food).
  • Friday:  Birthday Party At Friends House-will have to pick the most healthy food offered!
  • Saturday:  Husband’s choice-something grilled
  • Sunday:  Grilled chicken and veggie kabobs

 

Tip of the Week:

If you’ve been eating out a lot, add up the money spent and cut that amount by 1/4.  If you feel like you can do more-do it!  Remember though, baby steps help the most!  Not only will this help your pocketbook, your waistline will thank you too!  Each time you want to eat out but decide to eat at home instead, put $5-$10 in a jar and see how much you can save for the month.  Use this “extra” money to pay a bill, put aside for Christmas $, or if your budget allows, splurge on a little something special you’ve been wishing to purchase!

 24 Hour Fitness

All Magazine Prices

As a busy mom of two who is running her own at home business, I do not have a lot of spare time. Between chasing after my wonderful and highly active boys, and taking advantage of nap time to run a smooth (and clean) household, I barely have time to keep Momondealz running!   That being said, I also LOVE reading and staying up to date on current events, fitness news, and always enjoy finding new recipes and crafts.  One genre I can always count on is magazine subscriptions to find this information. 

 I always try to find and post the best magazine deals for my readers as well.  I am aware that no one has a lot of time and definitely not a lot of money to waste these days!  As a bargain shopper, I also like to compare prices, stores, and websites while I try to save money on our budget.  This shopping strategy is the same when finding deals on magazines.  I frequently take advantage of my daily magazine deals to buy subscriptions for familymember, friends, and even myself!  It’s important to note that not all magazine prices are the same! 

Cover prices are constantly changing and companies will also offer special discounts at various times of the year.  With summer quickly approaching it’s end (back to school deals are already out!) you should keep an eye out for the fitness magazine deals to stop and more holiday related deals to be popping up.  Remember to keep checking the site and I’ll do my absolute best to keep you up to date for the best prices!

Are You Gluten Free?

Did you know that one in 133 Americans has celiac disease – a lifetime condition that requires those who are diagnosed to completely remove gluten from their diet? That’s a startling statistic but one that is real.

 Since gluten is found in several commonly used ingredients that means it can be very difficult for someone with celiac disease to attend summer cookouts and enjoy a good meal.  This can also be a challenge for hosts of the meals!

In an effort to get word out about their gluten free chips, Frito Lay sent me a Gluten-Free Guide to Entertaining kit – including two bags of gluten-free Frito-Lay snacks, a color-coded condiment tray and chalkboard place cards to aid me in hosting a summer BBQ.  The guests LOVED the chips and I loved the color coded tray!  My sons really enjoyed helping me label the chalkboard place cards and everyone enjoyed a delicious meal!  Best part?  I didn’t have to worry if the chips and dip I served would bother anyone’s diet!

Making Memories-Leaving Your Kids With Someone Else

 

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

Making Memories-Leaving Your Kids With Someone Else-Seems like a contradiction uh? 

This week I wrote about traveling without my kids and how hard it was for me since it was my first time away from them.  However, it gave my children some valuable time with their dad and grandparents.  They were able to make some crafts, play outside, read books, and just do everyday activities with them that they normally miss out on doing.  Plus my mom has an amazing camera so I am looking forward to the pictures they took and hoping to take advantage of the free 8X10 canvas print offer happening right now.Everyone had a terrific time and it even seems I was not that missed!  While I missed them terribly, and despite my time away being a business trip, I did get some Mommy time which is crucial to any parent’s patience level. 

So, have you left your kids with someone lately?

Traveling Alone-Well, Kinda

 

My Traveling Companions

This past week I joined up with some other blogger friends and we hit the road to Washington D.C. for a conference.  While it was an interesting and fun trip there were also some times that made me think I may need psychological treatment

As a mom to two young children, I don’t get a chance to often travel, especially alone.  While I was with other bloggers, I was still alone-no husband, no children, just me.  I was excited and scared at the same time.  How would the kids do without me?  Would they sleep?  Would they miss me?  Would they be mad at me for leaving them?  I know, silly uh? 

Luckily my parents came into town to help out while my husband worked so this lifted  a huge burden off my shoulders.  Low and behold, during one of my many phone calls to check in, I asked my husband if the kids had talked about me or asked where I was.  He immediated burst into laughter and said, “Did you forget your parents are here?  I didn’t even get a hug when I got home from work! Of course they didn’t ask about you!”  Can you tell my kids are IN LOVE with Mommom and Poppop?

So, as much as my ego may be bruised, it seems that my family can survive 28 hours without Mommy. It really is true that separations like this are much harder on the parents than it is on the children.  Perhaps it will get easier if I take more trips~What are your thoughts?

Making Memories-Make T-Shirts!

Making Memories is brought to you by Momondealz and Madame Deals. The purpose of this weekly post is to give you creative ways to make memories with your children.  This week’s idea is by Amee at Madame Deals.

I have a family tradition that is unique to our family according to my husband. I run out every Valentine’s day and buy the children shirts. I am sad to say this will be the last year that I can buy shirts at a store because my son is in their largest size. I guess big boys do not wear Valentines day shirts. I decided that I am going to make our own summer camp shirts to wear when we go out this summer. It will make it easier to find the children and provide a memory that will last them for a lifetime. We all know I love finding a good deal so every time Vistaprint has the $2 shirt plus shipping offer I am taking advantage of it.

Click Below if you are looking for a fun way to brand your family this year… I think The Madame Deals Camp Crew sounds good.

 

Vistaprint $2 T-shirt

What would you put on a shirt for your family?

Making Memories: Visit A Construction Site

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

Take your child to a construction site.  Granted I have 2 boys, but girls can love this activity too!  You can hang out in the car and watch all the machines and vehicles working and talk about what you’re seeing or just talk about the weather!  Taking a short amount of time to observe the world around you can really have a positive effect on your child and can give you important bonding time.  Will loves cranes, dump trucks, and the interest has motivated him to read more about them.  Whenever we pass by construction sites he notices their progress and always makes a comment about how hard they are working.  I love that he recognizes the steps that are being taken to finish a job and can identify the results of hard work. Last year we visited a site and took the workers bottled water-he still talks about that all the time!

Toddler Tip Tuesday: Stop Throwing Food!

 

“Toddler Tip Tuesday” is my new weekly series I have started for 2012. I am in no way a toddler expert but since I am going through the joys of toddler hood right now, I will bring you tips that will hopefully make your life a bit easier! This week’s topic is filled with tips to get your toddler to stop throwing food!  You can read my past tips HERE.

Throwing food is completely normal and a very natural developmental stage for toddlers.  But that doesn’t make it any easier to handle! You little one’s experiments with gravity can be messy, funny, and let’s face it-at times very irritating.  Luckily this stage was short lived for my 3 year old but my 14 month old is loving every second of seeing his food go “plop” on the floors, walls, the dog, or anything within a 5 foot radius (yes, he’s got a GOOD arm)!  Here are some techniques that worked with my oldest son and others that I found while searching the net:

[Read more…]

Making Memories: “Hunting”

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz

Hunting with kids?  Yes!  Each week I teach my sons, I focus on a different letter.  At the end of the week we always go on a “letter hunt”.  Will LOVES this activity and always makes his daddy go on the hunt with him when he gets home from work.  This is such a fun activity and besides making awesome memories with your child, you’re helping them make connections at the same time!  It doesn’t have to be a letter hunt, it could be a toy hunt, a food hunt, even a book hunt!  Make possible tantrum situations into a fun experience by hunting for the toothbrush, hunting for the pillow your child will sleep with at night, the sky is the limit!

American Baby Magazine

Making Memories: Taking Funny Pictures

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

I am not a great photographer but since having kids I have become sort of addicted to trying to capture as many memories on camera as possible.  I know time flies and am amazed I already have a 3 year old and a 13 month old. How did that happen?!  In addition to snapping lots of pictures, every once in a while I try to have a silly photo session where I may have the boys pose with a funny sign, make faces, or just do something off the wall while the camera clicks away.  Here is a shot from the most rescent goof off.

I love that not only do we get to laugh while creating these pictures, but the memories will always be there to look back on and giggle at when they grow older!