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Growing up, my brothers, neighborhood kids, and I would leave the house in the morning, MAYBE come home for lunch, and return home when our moms dragged us in by our dirty sweaty arms. We’d take bike rides or hikes that included impressively steep hills, cover distances that give a nod to my one brother’s ultra marathon habit, and create adventure and imaginary worlds that even Impress Roald Dahl. Or so we hoped. We would build forts with sticks and ferns. Play backyard kickball and made up games. 

And this week my sons did the same thing. They went on a hike in the woods in the back of our neighborhood. Play driveway basketball. Ate ice pops. And got dirty and sweaty. 

Next week we resume swim lessons and an array of camps, but this week they are enjoying free unscheduled play strengthening their bond as brothers and learning what it really means to Play. 

As you will see, my meals during the day really don’t change. Fruits and veggies are swapped in and out based on what is seasonal. But other than that, dinner and infrequent meals out offer me variety. I find that having predicable meals like this lower my stress when it comes time to food shop and prep. My weekly grocery bill is roughly around $110, depending on extra events like kids’ parties or holidays. I do bulk buy meats at SAMS Club once every other month or so, but since I am feeding myself, my husband, and 4 sons, I works with our budget.

I designed this meal plan from what I’ve learned from Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet as well as Autumn Calabrese’s 21 Day Fix Meal Plan. Since incorporating what I’ve learned, I’ve found my daily meals as a whole more balanced and my performance and energy levels more regulated and optimal.

1. Breakfast, 7:30 am
a. Steel Cut Oats (about ½ cup cooked) with 1 TBSP chia seeds, 1 TBSP wheat germ, and ½ tsp honey OR agave nectar. 2 Hard Boiled Eggs.
b. Scrambled Eggs (1/2 cup egg whites and 1 whole egg w/ cracked pepper) and chopped veggies (2 mushrooms, handful of spinach, ¼ tomato, and onion). Topped with ¼ avocado.
2. AM Snack 10:30 am
a. 1 cup milk, 3 ice cubes, 1 scoop shakeology well blended
3. Lunch 1:30 pm
a. Fruit Salad (about 2 cups chopped grapefruit, berries, kiwi, banana. 1 TBSP almond slivers and 1 TBSP raw coconut shavings). 6 oz nonfat plain Greek Yogurt with tsp honey or agave nectar.
b. Veggie Cruddetts (1 cup sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) and canned tuna mixed with 1 tsp hummus or spicy mustard, capers, finely chopped onions.)
4. PM Snack 4:30 pm
a. Salad ( About 2 cups baby kale, arugula, spinach base and seasonal veggies)
b. Nonfat Plain Greek yogurt with agave nectar or honey.
5. Dinner 7:30 pm
a. Meat, veggie (baked zucchini or asparagus etc), and grain (brown rice, sweet potato, etc)
b. Meat and grain
6. Evening Snack 9:30 pm
a. Hot Tea
b. BONUS air popped corn

10 Things About Me

I can not tell you how hard this was. And how easy. Coming up with 10 things I like was the easy part… but then I had to make sure I was picking the 10 things I like THE MOST. I decided to keep people out, since to me it went without saying, people are more important than things.

The hardest was 10 Dislikes. I found myself thinking of things I would do anything to avoid. I realized that a lot of these were situations and feelings not so much as ‘things.’ I also realized that a lot of them were very ‘first world problem’ things. It is what it is…

What are your 10 Things??

10 Likes: (no order)

1. Historical Fiction

2. Urban Fantasy Novels

3. Whiskey

4. Fashion

5. Biking

6. Hiking

7. Spa STUFF/ ANYTHING

8. CLEANLINESS

9. Working Out

10. Chocolate

10 Dislikes: (no order)

1. Clutter/Mess

2. Foul Smells

3. Being Ignored or Dismissed

4. Feeling Bloated

5. Being HUNGRY

6. Cauliflour

7. White Gravy

8. SPAM

9. Cliques or Clubs

10. Being told what to do, especially if it is unsolicited.

The Basic of Me

I between having my fourth son, moving, settling into a new home in a new state, and undergoing major construction in said home, I have neglected my blog! So much has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. We welcomed our fourth son, Kai Walker to our family February 18th, 2013. My husband was promoted and moved from Texas to Connecticut, with all of us in tow. We are now right in the middle of transforming our 1.5 bathroom 1928 Colonial into a more modern 3 bathroom home with separate laundry and mudrooms and closets. It’ll look great when it’s done- just not there yet.

I am still a stay at home mom, while my three older boys are in school and my youngest runs me haggered. Whenever people ask me about myself, this is the role that always first comes to mind, so I guess it is what defines me the most. Boymom to 4. Interesting tidbit, I also have 3 younger brothers that enjoy teasing me and ruffling my feathers. They are all single and without children, so what stresses me out and sends me in a tizzy amuses them. I am also a wife, certified PiYo instructor, and online fitness coach.

I enjoy working out and along with PiYo, I am currently doing Insanity’s Max:30. I really love the intensity and especially the after burn. There is just something about being able to brag the next day, or even hours later about feeling sore. Kind of a badge of honor about working so hard. I love feeling strong and imagine myself being BadA$$ like the heroines in the books I read, even though I am actually really girly girlish.

Speaking of books, I love reading. My current favorites are Urban Fantasy (Psy-Changeling series, Elemental Assassin, Night Huntress) and Historical Fiction. Right now I am reading David Gemmell’s Troy series and am on the 3rd book, Fall of Kings. Plus I am always a sucker for a good romance. 🙂

I rally like dressing up, getting my hair, makeup, and nails done despite being surrounded by so much testosterone… or perhaps because of it??

But, I also enjoy being outside and getting good and dirty and sweaty. I love biking, hiking, and exploring with my family.

When asked by a friend what we were planning to do the next day, Father’s Day, my husband replied, “It’s just another day.” My husband has the same attitude about birthdays.

I’m not going to lie I felt shamed. I had been asking him for well over a month what he would like to do. If there was something special he wanted. If there was somewhere he would like to go. If he would prefer to go out with friends, be alone, or have us around. But he’d reply, “It’s just another day.” Just like he has done every year since I have known him. This day is bigger than just one man and one day.

We celebrate Father’s Day to honor our own fathers here and gone. What they have taught us and the memories we have of them.

We celebrate so our children are able to embrace their fathers and express gratitude for their fathers.

We celebrate so our children understand that fatherhood is not simply a paycheck but a honorable and meaningful role in their lives.

We celebrate because without spotlighting men who try their best to be the best they can be, less than best would become common.

 

We went out on the bright, cloudless Sunday and collected our spots equipment and took to the fields. Playing, learning skills, and bonding. I saw my sons giggle, squeal, and embrace their father.

 

Breakfast Fruit Salad

I have recently fallen in love with fruit salads. Specifically for breakfast. And to be completely honest, it’s not really about the fruit. Not really. The secret?

Coconut Flakes.

Here I have diced grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries as well as blueberries chia seed & coconut flakes.

I have stumbled upon fruit salads with the add ons while playing with this new meal plan from the 21 Day Fix. This particular meal is 1 purple, 1 blue, & 1 orange. While reading and researching I discovered I was doing Ok filling the other containers but not doing great with blue and orange, so it has been a challenge to find a way fit them into my daily diet. And even better I not longer NEED to blend my fruit in shakes as much and enjoy actually eating it.

Why does Juice Plus+ make sense for me? And more importantly for my family? I believe in my children and know that I must help them realize their potential through experiences, training, education, and most importantly nutrition.

My first child, Ethan, was born only one week early. However, it did not come without complications. He came out just fine. Healthy, robust, and full of life. However, when he was put on my chest and the nurses and I tried to coax him to breastfeed, it just didn’t happen. The first time, the second time, and every time after that. I was made to feel like it was my fault, like I was deformed, doing it wrong, or incapable. Still, Ethan needed to be feed, and to all of our surprise we discovered, he could not suck. At first, he had to be fed with a syringe. I remember my OB mentioning something about what would we do without technology (I guess to make me feel better). It didn’t make me feel better.

Ethan grew into a very intelligent, rambunctious, little boy. I was astounded by his intellect and athletic ability. Knowing what I knew of my own childhood, I never expected to have such an awesome kid. I didn’t think I had it in my genes.

Then something else threw me for a loop, Ethan refused to eat any fruits or vegetables. When it came time for us to feed him baby food it was a complete disaster. He clamped his mouth shut for everything from rice cereal to peas and carrots.

Beyond my children, I had another challenge within my family. My husband was also a notoriously horrible eater. And while he was a very successful wrestler, I noticed that his brother was a lot taller than he was. His sister was also not short. And even though he barely got sick, when he did, the bugs and germs that affected me really knocked Doug out. I was concerned that his poor food choices were causing all of these things. I could not make my husband eat foods he didn’t want to (he is a grown man). But I needed to do everything in my power to give my picky eater son a fighting chance.

That’s when I started putting Miracle Reds, Amazin Greens, flaxseed, wheat germ, PediaSure in shakes and pancakes. The problem was that at Ethan’s young age, he still would not consistently eat all these fortified foods, and to be honest, I was making them as consistently as I should.

My family grew (I now have three young boys), but my challenge remained. How could I consistently offer the variety of nutrients that my family needed and that they would eat?

Then I found Juice Plus+ Gummies. All three of my sons love fruit snacks, and Juice Plus+ Gummies have the taste and texture of these same treats. Now my sons can get 17 fruits, vegetables, and grains every single day without me having to even ask them to. And along with a healthy diet, they are now on their way to realizing their potential.