Monday, April 21, 2014

Almost 2 years???

One of my goals for 2014 was to start blogging again. The first of the year has gotten away from me, but I think I'm ready to get it going again. Anyway - I'm excited to start writing again because it makes me feel better (not that I feel bad), it is just a good habit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Right after I got married, I was left with an abundance of clear marbles, flat marbles that had been used in my centerpieces. My wonderful Aunt Sally, told me of a friend that was having a boutique in her parents AMAZING home. Do any of you remember this?I participated for several years eventually moving on to sewing bags and kid stuff. One day I got really sick of it and I decided I didn't want to do boutiques anymore. After I had kids it was too tricky to keep up. They are a lot of work and while I always made my money back, I never really made more than enough to take my family out to dinner and then buy the next fabric stash.

Anyway, I have quite a few friends that are making a decent living off of this kind of stuff and I'm giving props to them for it. Below is my dear Suzanne and her sister Aimee at Craft Lake City last month. Aimee and I went to Ricks together and were great friends right away. Her lil' sis Suzanne is my bro Tim's age and I just wanted them to get married. Well - they are good friends, but not spouses. I digress... Suzanne just won ANOTHER great award for being a local fashion genius! She makes all sorts of cute things and sells them online and at markets/boutiques. Go buy a cute shirt here! As a side note, Aimee is obsessed with Pyrex and puppies. :)

My sister Lyn and my mom rocked the fair and won blue ribbons with their creations in Weber County (all I got was one blurry pic of my mom). I wish you could see this dress close up. The detail is unbelievable.

Then I have my Sister in law Missy, graphic artist extraordinaire. I don't have a pic of her, but here is a link to her cute Etsy shop, Lil' Miss Missy Boutique. I have a few of her prints, but my favorite is the Princess & the Pea that hangs in Piper's room.

I have so many other crafty friends. I love being surrounded by them all. They (along with this almost Fall weather) make me want to more. If you are one of my crafty friends, follow me on Pinterest and lets get inspired together. AND... leave me a comment and I'll add your blog to my list.

Love you all! Let's get our glitter on!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Yesterday I spent the bulk of the day cleaning and organizing my office. I was completely buried under a pile of paper and toys (read: When I work a lot, my kids relocate to the office and play at my feet. I really should take a picture next time it happens. I know it will happen again because I can't stay on top of my cleaning, or work for that matter). It isn't a cute office/craft room like I see all over Pinterest, but it is tidy and functional. (after looking at these photos, I need more uniform storage containters... that would help)

The only decor I have in the entire room... and some printers.

Computer, Cricut Cartridges, adhesives, scrapbook embellishments, buttons, punches, work stuff

Sewing and Cutting station (or kids area for when they join me)

Ribbon holder (that is usually on the back of the door), fabric, paper, In the dresser I store yarn and office supplies. I need to figure out what to do with that ironing board.

Overall I think it works for me... It is really dark in there, though. I have 3 different lamps to use depending on where I am sitting.

And - because I was recently released as Primary President, I now have Sunday mornings to craft away. So Pippy gets to wear a new dress to church today.

Pattern: New Look 6695
Fabric: Riley Blake
Trim: Neon Orange for sale by the Yard at JoAnn

Thursday, August 16, 2012


This time of year is extremely busy for me at work. As mentioned before, I work for Carone Fitness. Because school is starting we have a lot to get ready for clients. Last week I worked over 60 hours and this week I am well on my way to getting there again... at times like this I feel like there is no end in sight. I know... I know... wawa! I have to work full time like a real person, but I just haven't really worked a 40 hour work week in about 5 years. But I've worked 3 40 hour weeks in only 2 weeks time. I'm tired. I had to leave my office yesterday before my butt came one with my chair. I went to a spin class, mowed the lawn, harvested the garden, and started sorting laundry (the time to hesitate is through - we're out of clean underwear around here!). Then I actually made my kids lunch, even though they prefer the bag of chips I've been throwing at them lately AND went to a wedding reception AND went to see Step Up Revolution (good company, terrible movie). Whew - it felt great to get out of my house but I was welcomed back to reality when I checked my email this morning.

I just wanted to take you on a photo tour of what happens when a mom does nothing but work for 2 weeks strait...

I'm pretty sure it is after noon - still in jammies and sitting in a pile of my hoard. I'm moved Mike's computer in my office so I could spend some 'quality time' with my kids while I work.

My cucumbers got huge and turned yellow. I ate one for breakfast. It tasted just fine... just had a lot of seeds.

A sink full of crooked neck squash - in fact, enough to feed all of the pilgrims and Indians. Who wants some? I'm the only one that eats is around here.

See that cute mail/paper organizer I made! Oh wait... at least they are off of the counter.

All of the laundry in the house has been gathered and semi separated. Now I need to finish sorting and start washing. I should probably make my bed while I am it.

What toy organizers?

Lego Lego Everywhere.

My kids can clean their own rooms, but I have to get them started. So there you have it folks... I've had a one track mind lately. GET MY WORK DONE! Things will go back to normal in a few weeks.

PS. I was tempted to show you the stack of soda cans and 7-11 cups that have collected in my office. It could rival a beer can tower in a frat house. I'll spare you the visual because I'm classy like that... and I don't want to be nominated for Hoarders.

Friday, August 10, 2012


My workload is INSANE right now. INSANE. By Wednesday I had already worked over 40 hours. I don't know how you work-aholics do it. It is not the life for me.

I took a little break from my work this morning and went to Material Girls and took advantage of their sale. Today and tomorrow all Fat Quarters are on sale 20 for $30. Woot! I've been looking at some Halloween fabric but didn't want to pay over $10 a yard for it. This is perfect because I just needed little bits of each.

Now I have some motivation to get to the bottom of my desk and task list so I can get stitching!

:: END OF 8 WEEKS ::

So my second 8 Weeks were not as successful as my first 8 Weeks. I took a little trip to Idaho Falls and had a little set back. Last week we had a family reunion in Lake Tahoe, NV. SO FUN, but not completely diet friendly. However, my weight is still down and I am excited. From the beginning of the year I am 54 lbs lighter and still feel great. I had to lose 6 lbs twice, so technically I've lost 60 lbs. I can't count that though. Thanks for the support. I hope some of you were successful, too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

:: WEEK 7-8 FOOD LIST ::

WEEK 7-8: Add a 1-2 portions of whole grains. Oatmeal, steel cut oats, wheat tortillas, whole grain toast with your eggs. 

YO! We're almost there. However, I cheated last week so I don't feel like I should to move on to the next stage. BREAD IS SO GOOD!


So, I didn't post last week. Not because I didn't lose any weight, but I actually forgot. Well, I'd remember when I wasn't at my computer and then I'd forget. So, last weekend I went on a binge. Not sure why, I just did. We went on a trip to Idaho Falls Friday - Sunday and I ate what I wanted. I came back for my Monday weigh-in and I was up 3 WHOLE LBS. Lame! So last week I concentrated on losing those 3 lbs. I lost 2.5 lbs last week so I feel almost okay about it. It is just a minor set back.

Hanging out by the falls

Chasing Squirrels

playing Frogger
at the pool
Growing up near Idaho Falls, I never really took the time to explore it. We just wen to IF to go to the mall and Taco Bell (they didn't have one in Rexburg until after I left). It is a cool little town. We got a hotel downtown by the green belt and explored downtown. We visiting some fun shops and a farmers market. Our main purpose in going was to visit Mike's Aunt Sue is battling cancer. She looked great and it was a fun visit with her.

amazingly they slept the entire night
Playing air guitar over continental breakfast

Monday, July 09, 2012


Is anyone still with me? If so, you made it to one more level of this crazy plan.

WEEK 5-6: Add legumes and lentils. Quinoa, and you can add up to one serving of starchy veggies each day. You can add other nuts as well, but go easy on the peanuts. Popcorn is now on the list. It is a good treat (just steer clear of the butter).



So... no pounds lost this week. However, I had a great exercise week. I did pretty well with my jogging. I kept myself going even though I was hating every minute of it. It is a good challenge for me and I always feel better at the end. The highlight of the week was that Mike came to a spin class with me. He acted all macho but then admitted that it kicked his butt a little later. :)

Monday, July 02, 2012


I'm not frustrated! I'm not frustrated! I'm not frustrated! If I keep telling myself that maybe I'll start to believe it.

Week 3 weigh in: -1.0 exactly

It is time to change things up. I eat pretty much the same thing every day. I do pretty much the same workouts each week. In my internet browsing of "plateaus", I've found that a switch up to shock my body is about what I need right now.

So - last Friday I ran... slowly... and for short bursts of time... but I ran. I was terrible at it. I must have looked extremely silly with my short shuffling stride, and my bright red face, but I did it. I was dreading running this morning. I got up and did it and I did better than Friday. I found a 'Couch to 5K' in 30 days program via Pinterest.

Source: via Maria on Pinterest

I did the 5 min walk/ 2 minute jog on Friday for 30 minutes. Today after I weighed myself (and didn't get frustrated), I decided to go for more. Today I did 5 minute walk/ 3-4 minute jog for 35 minutes. Then I worked out my arms. I hope this little change up does something. I haven't really run since I before I was pregnant with Cohen, so that was 8+ years ago.

Any seasoned runners want to give me some tips? How was your weigh in this week? How do you break through plateaus?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

:: BRB ::

Work and entertaining kids has gotten the best of me this week. It is a hard balance. AND ... my house is a disaster. Please excuse me for a few more days while I clean it up and get on top of my work pile.

I cheated last night and had sushi with a bunch of great gals. I picked a healthy option and the rice in the roll was the only thing not on my approved list of foods for week three. I may or may not have had a few fried pot stickers, too. Oh well. Eat it and move on. Today I am 100%.

Happy weekend. See you Monday.

Monday, June 25, 2012

:: WEEKS 3 & 4 FOOD LIST ::

If you started this cleanse with me on June 11th, CONGRATS! You've made it to Week 3. I personally think this is the best week of the entire 8 weeks. It is so nice to taste sweet things again.

You get to add fruit - glorious fruit! It tastes so yummy. These are a few things I learned from the first go round:

  • Eat more servings of veggies than fruit each day.
  • Fruit tended to get my inner-workings moving (sorry) a little too well for the likes of me, so I am going to take it easier for the first few days. The first time I gobbled up about a pound of strawberries for breakfast. I was paying for it by lunch. 
  • I try to stop eating fruit by mid afternoon. I don't always, but I try. 
  • Smoothies are super good! You can use coconut milk as new treat. It has more fat than Almond milk, but if you're ready for something different give it a try. Coconut oil is also on the list and you can 'bread' chicken and shrimp in unsweetened coconut flakes for different flavor. All health food nuts rave about the health benefits of coconut. Google it and you'll find tons of info out there.
(from my garden last week)


I must be real for a minute. I am OVER this 'cleanse' in every way possible! I am trying to hard to stay positive and optimistic. The results this time around haven't been as 'quick' as the first time. I knew they wouldn't be, but I was still hoping for the best. But, for the most part I stayed pretty diligent and made it. I'm so excited to start week 3-4. Fruit! Delicious wonderful nectar of the Gods (actually, I think that is Diet DP, but I am trying to change my thought patterns).

I lost 1.4 lbs. this week. This puts me at my goal #1. I wanted to weigh a certain weight by July 4th and today I do. So I am a bit ahead of schedule and that is great. I'm happy. HOWEVER, on Thursday of this week I weighed 2 lbs less than I did this morning. I had hit my -50 lbs, but since my 'official' weigh-ins are on Mondays, I guess I have to take that victory back. :-( This is the first time I've gained any lbs since April. I'm trying to not get frustrated... try to use this as motivation to 'get back out there'... blah blah blah! I'll make it. (Sorry, I am just talking myself through this.)

How did you all do?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Becoming aware of my eating habits has been pretty eye opening. When I first started working with my nutritionist, she told me to write down everything I was eating for 30 days. She said, "EVERY.SINGLE.THING." In the first week, I was shocked at how many extra calories I was consuming by nibbling. I usually did okay during the morning, but as soon as lunch hit I was like Cookie Monster. Num! Num! Num!
(image via)

As I was cleaning up lunch, I would always eat the remaining bites of whatever from Piper's plate. As soon as dinner prep started, so did my munching. I ate an entire meals worth of calories from 'tasting'. Then after dinner, rather than boxing up the (barely there) leftovers, I'd just finishing them. It was easier. Then I liked to have a little snack before bed even though I was totally stuffed. I was honestly shocked as I totaled up 900+ non-meal calories IN ONE DAY! 

(image via)

Writing EVERY.SINGLE.THING. down really made the difference. In the past when I've participated in Weight Watchers, the weeks I would lose are the weeks I journaled my food. My laziness always gets the best of me. Using a journal is often a pain, so I got to the point where I wouldn't eat the extra snack so I didn't have to write it down. As I started this, I was consistently losing about 5-6 lbs a month. SLOW, but extremely steady. It happened 3 months in a row. 

There are so many free journaling tools out there. These are the few that I've used. (seriously... Did you all know the Food Pyramid we grew up is no longer? For my job I've been updating our course content to reflect the USDA's new food recommendations. This site is totally cool and very helpful. Check it out!) (They've got a contest going on right now for all of you weight losers out there) (although this one costs a few bucks a month)

It will make all of the difference in the world. It not only prevents you from eating to much, it helps to make sure you're eating enough.  What other food journaling programs/techniques have you used?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

:: My Fitness Pal ::

*Disclaimer... I don't have a fancy phone with apps. My phone makes calls and texts and has a 1/2 megapixel camera. In fact, every two years I update to the newest free phone that T-Moble offers. I'm lame like that.

That being said... I got a Kindle Fire for my birthday last year and downloaded my first apps. It was very exciting. I don't remember where I heard about MyFitnessPal for the first time, but when I told my nutritionist I was using it she was very excited. Have you all been using it for-like-ever?

MFP is a way to keep track of calories in and calories out. The database on MFP is HUGE! Users have added so many different food items and exercise options. I've never not found what I was looking for. I find this app extremely helpful, especially as I am deciding what to eat. It is even cooler if you have a cool phone with a real camera (not like mine). You can just scan the bar code of any packaged food and voila! you have the nutrition facts right there.

Just last week I found out that you can have MFP 'friends'. Yahoo! You know how I love my social networks (online social media is like the water cooler for a gal like me who works at home in her basement by herself all day). My username is 'igobylorivw' so find me and be my friend and we'll keep cheering each other on. I'm so close to hitting the -50 lbs mark and I want you all to see it on there and celebrate with me.

And because this blogs needs photos (even if it is a terrible one of me)... That little pipsqueak leads a double life. She is either like this:

 (taken last month)
Or like this... not much in between.

(taken last year)

Monday, June 18, 2012


One week down only seven to go... Did you make it? If you didn't, did you get past it and just start again?

For the past 10 Mondays mornings, I have had an official weigh-in in my very own bathroom. I use Monday as the day I mark my 'pounds' lost. I have a tendency to over-weigh myself throughout the week (which I know some of you also do, because I have talked to you about it). This week I tried really hard to stay off the scale every morning so I wouldn't get discouraged if I wasn't down from the day before. I only weighed myself 3 times this week and it was pretty gratifying to see the numbers down more than an ounce at a time.

This week I lost exactly 6 lbs. Yippee! That first time I did this 8 week cleanse, my first week was  stellar, too. I tried to not get disappointed was the numbers slowed down each week. After I lost 9 lbs, then 6 lbs, and then 5 lbs, I only lost 0.8 lbs on week four. I WAS BUMMED! That morning I went to my spin class feeling a little deflated. However, that week my instructor announced to the entire class that I had lost 20 lbs in 4 weeks. I was embarrassed that she blurted it out to everyone, but I no longer felt like that 0.8 was a bad thing. I lost 20 lbs in a week and that 0.8 helped me get there. A loss is a loss and makes less you have to lose.

In February when I started to get a serious about my weight loss, I made a goal to be a certain weight by the 4th of July. In my head I felt there was no way I would make it. I'm proud to tell you all that I am 1.4 lbs away from hitting my first goal weight!

But more importantly, how do you feel? Have you seen the documentary Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead? In this movie, Joe goes on a 60 day all juice cleanse and loses a bunch of weight. It also helps a lot of his health problems. It is worth watching. Anyway, one of the things Joe talks about is how every few months he 'reboots' his body and goes on a mini juice fast. Starting this 8 week program over is just that. On Wednesday - Friday I didn't feel so great, but by Saturday I felt fully charged. Our bodies don't want to be bogged down with that extra gunk. I wish I would have realized this 8 years ago before I started gaining so much weight.

Anyway, I'd love to hear more about your weigh-ins. You don't have to put your actual weight in the comments, but share with us how you feel and if you are down any weight. If you don't want to comment, email me or send me a message on Facebook.

NOTE: This blog needs some photos. I'll get on that.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Happy Father's Day! My dad stopped by for a quick hello and a hug. He is on his way to my sister's house in Las Vegas (105 degrees - no thanks!) for the weekend. I mowed 1/2 of the lawn, weeded, and then replanted some herbs. Side note* - I am terrible at spacing my plants. They are either too far apart or too close together. I've transplanted a lot of stuff this year. Maybe that is why my beds look wilty. Maybe next year I'll figure it out. Then I took a nap. My energy was zapped in that hot sun. Mike is a good dad. They kids are ''so glad when daddy comes home." I am, too. He is way better at playing with them than I am. He likes to take them with him when he goes somewhere. He involves him in his hobbies. I am lucky to have him.

So for today's recipe. I've been craving anything but salad all day. It is almost easier to not eat than to try and eat more lettuce. I found this recipe a while ago and I didn't document where. But I haven't tried it yet, but I think we will tonight. It is still fried chicken, but it is on this diet and may satisfy your cravings for something different. Your kids will probably like it, too.

Almond Crusted Chicken

2 large eggs
1 – 6 oz. bag sliced almonds (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup almond meal flour
1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
oil, for frying

Heat your oven to 200* and place an empty cookie sheet inside the oven.

Lightly beat the eggs in a wide bowl.  Place the almond slices and flour in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are chopped, but not fully ground.  Transfer the almond mixture to a shallow plate, for dredging.  Season the chicken tenders on both sides with salt and pepper.

Dip one pieces of chicken at a time in the egg.  Shake off the excess and then dredge the pieces in the almond mixture.  Press the flour mixture onto the chicken to help it adhere.  Set the breaded tenders on a wire rack.

In a large skillet, heat 2-3 Tbsp. of oil over medium heat.  When it’s shimmering hot, it’s ready to work with.  Working in batches, cook the chicken until light golden brown on both sides, turning often, and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per batch.  Add a little more oil to the pan with each batch as necessary, and remove any large almonds that have fallen off of the chicken, from the oil.  Drain the tenders on paper towels after cooking, and then place them on the warmed cookie sheet in the oven.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Scenario: You are out and about. You know you are not going to get home for a few hours. Your stomach is threatening to eat itself. If you drink any more water to prolong the hunger you'll drown. You've already eaten the emergency stash of almonds in your pocket. Sound familiar?

Fortunately there are fast food options to you 'IN CASE OF EMERGENCY' only! Fast food is still fast food. BUT, some fast food is better than other fast food.

These are my go to's when I feel like I have no other choice but to eat my arm:

Chick-Fil-A: Did you know their tasty nuggets come grilled?  They are pretty good on their own. You can get an 8 piece for less than 200 calories and only 5 grams of fat. Chick-Fil-A also wraps their grilled chicken sandwiches in lettuce if you need them to. They have pretty tasty salads but the dressings all have added sugar.  Just resist the temptation to smother everything in the delicious magical Chick-Fil-A sauce. They also have applesauce and fresh fruit in the kids meals (for week 3 of course).

McDonalds: You can eat a grilled chicken sandwich without the bun. With the bun and cheese and mayo it is 350 calories. If you just ate the chicken breast, lettuce and tomato you'd come in way under that. There is always salad (but in my opinion they are grody!). My brother in law told me going to McDonalds for a salad is like going to a hooker for a hug.

Carl's Jr: They have pretty good turkey burgers and they'll wrap them in lettuce for you. This burger with the bun and everything else has about 500 calories. Skip the bun, mayo, and 'special sauce' and you'll be able to get it down. The bonus is you will get a little roughage with your lettuce.

Subway: They may be sandwich artists, but they make pretty good salads, too. All of their sandwiches can be built on a bed of lettuce. Use salt, pepper, & vinegar on the side.

Making this list makes me feel like a fast food connoisseur (embarrassing) and really the best option is just to quit eating it. But life happens, and making sure you know how to control the situation is what is going to help you succeed, right? Your friends will ask you to eat out over 20 times during the course of the next 8 weeks. Just be prepared and do the best you can.

NOTE: My friend Bev left a great list in my last posts comments. I wanted to share it here. BTW - the chicken and turkey sausage is pretty lean and offers a lot of flavor when you need to switch things up (we are having it for dinner tonight). I love the Costco peppers and the small cucumbers, too!

so, i'll just post some of the stuff i've been eating...probably the same as everyone else, but if not, maybe some new ideas.
-chicken sausage (a little more fat than grilled chicken, but i got sick of eggs!)
-mexican scramble with egg whites, peppers, onions, salsa, and could add avocado.
-lettuce wraps with meat inside
-lean ground turkey cooked with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes
-stir fry
-taco salad minus everything good! haha!
-shish kabobs (yup, still chicken and veggies, but it's in a fun disguise!
- celery with almond butter (you can make your own at Sunflower Market--it's just ground almonds)
-turkey pepperoni for snacks --only 70 calories in 17 pieces!
-and i'm loving the mini sweet peppers from costco. easy snacking.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

:: UMMMM ::

Have you seen the Avengers yet? If so, you know that scene toward the end where the Hulk grabs Loki and flings him back and forth into the ground? I feel a little like the Hulk today and am rather irritable.
Source via

Am I alone in this? I remember day 3-5 of this diet being the hardest. I'm drinking a lot of water today just to stay on top of it. My energy is shot. It gets better... I PROMISE!

I've had several emails/calls/texts asking for more recipes. I'm at a loss today... sometimes chicken and veggies is just that... chicken and veggies. This is what I had for lunch today:

I sauteed two chicken tenders in about a tsp of olive oil and lemon pepper and minced garlic. When they were pretty close to done I added chopped zucchini and bell peppers and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

A marinade that I made up and call "Mojito chicken" was a favorite among the kids.
4 chicken breasts - pounded flat
1/4 cup olive oil

Juice from 6 key limes (you can use regular limes, too)
2 TBSP raw honey
2 cloves minced garlic
chopped mint leaves
salt & pepper

I put the tenderized chicken in the marinade for about an hour and then grilled it. Cohen loved it and ate a second helping (which never happens).

Other chicken marinades:
Pretty Chicken Marinade - I only used about 3 TBSP of olive oil and omitted the liquid smoke (because I don't like it).
Italian Chicken Marinade - I used a packet of dry Italian seasoning (prepared like the instructions on the packet) because the salad dressing I had in the fridge contained high fructose corn syrup. There a ton of oil and vinegar based dressings out there that are okay to eat. You could separate some out and marinate some mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, and onions kabobs and this would be SO tasty.
Apple Cider Marinade - I've never made this one, but it looks tasty. You could skip the wine.

I use a lot of Lowry's Seasoned Salt, lemon pepper, citrus, cumin, parsley, and pepper on my chicken (not all at the same time). Share your marinade recipes with me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


In my opinion, a green salad is best smothered in ranch dressing. Preferably Hidden Valley. Sadly, Hidden Valley Ranch is now a thing of the past. Just as I was about to throw my dry salad out the window, I found this book at the library. Everyday Paleo is written by (what I feel) is a pretty hardcore lady. Sarah Fragoso also has a great website full of recipes and motivation and workouts. Although I would never follow the Paleo diet 100% (too much meat and I love my beans), this cookbook is full of so many wonderful recipes that will help you prepare meat and veggies in a way that you may have never thought about. I've loved EVERY recipe I've made from this book and promise to buy it soon.

Two recipes that I found to be lifesavers were the 'dressing' recipes. I have had salad for almost every lunch for the past two months, and these dressings were welcomed (and probably over used). I adapted the recipes just a little to satisfy my taste buds.

CHIMICHURI (adapted from Everyday Paleo)

1/2 red onion
4 garlic cloves (or 4 tsps minced garlic from a bottle)
2 cups fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh parsley (I like regular parsley better, but I had flat leaf on hand and it still tasted just fine)
Juice from one lime (I added juice from  1 1/2 lime because I had a 1/2 in the fridge)
3/4 cup olive oil (I only used about 1/2 cup and it seems fine because of the extra lime juice)
1 tsp salt

Put it all in a food processor and mix until nice and smooth.

*NOTE - We ate this over grilled chicken on the first night I made it and it was divine. The next day leftovers were even better. I've had this batch in the fridge for over a week now, and it is tasting just fine. Because of the oil, there is a high fat content. Use only on TBSP for a large salad. It is so packed full of flavor that you really don't need much.

AVOCADO DRESSING (adapted from Everyday Paleo)

2 ripe avocados
4 tsps Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves
1 TBSP lemon juice (I used juice from 1/2 a lemon and a few squirts from a bottle)
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup mild green salsa (I used some salsa verde that I canned last summer but there are plenty of store brands that are safe. Just avoid added sugar and high fructose corn syrup)

Put it all in a food processor and mix until nice and smooth.

*NOTE - This is great on taco salads. I made some fish tacos on Saturday (you can use iceberg lettuce as a taco shell until you get to week 5 - then corn is okay) and this was a great topping.

Anyone else have a good 'cleanse safe' dressing?

Monday, June 11, 2012


Today has been crazy and I am just finding a moment to sit down. I have a love/hate relationship with days like this. They go fast, but then it is 4:30 (time to start thinking about dinner) and I haven't accomplished what I exactly needed to (work).

I'm pretty excited with my comments on Facebook and the general interest y'all are showing toward this 'cleanse'. I have had many great conversations about my reasons for losing weight, my eating plan, my exercise routines... It has been extremely therapeutic. It has been fun to reconnect with people that I haven't seen in years. I woke up this morning so happy and that has been a long time coming. I have good friends! It is also comforting to know that I am not alone in this diet.

So those that are joining me on this, now that you are nearing the end of day 1, how are you feeling? What kind of stuff do you need from me to help you be successful in your endeavor?

I am going to share with you my favorite marinara recipe that I personally think knocks the socks off of any homemade sauce EVER (if you've got something better, send it my way!)

(this recipe was adapted from the 1998 Jr. League of SLC 'Always in Season' cookbook. pg. 116. I'm not sure if you can still get this book or not?? I inherited it from my Grandma Seegmiller when she passed 10 years ago)

Magnificent Marinara

1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 2 tsp pre-minced from the jar)
1 cup chopped parsley or flat-leaf Italian parsley (fresh)
1 cup mushrooms (add more/less if you love/hate them)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes, or 8 large fresh tomatoes (I use 1 quart of puree that I canned last year)
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine or beef broth (I only add this when I use store canned tomatoes. The fresh tomatoes and home canned tomatoes have plenty of liquid)
1/2 water
1 1/2 tsps each dried oregano and basil leaves (fresh is good, too)
1/2 tsps each garlic salt and pepper (or more to taste)

Saute the onion, garlic, parsley and mushrooms in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
Add undrained tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and stir in 1 cup of wine broth (if using). Reduce heat to low and add the water, basil, oregano, garlic salt & pepper.
Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup wine/broth (if using) and simmer for 10 minutes longer, or until desired consistency.

I love to add ground turkey (cooked in another pan) or Italian turkey sausage in the last ten minutes. In the fall season, I add squash, zucchini, and eggplant to it. You can add any veggies when you add your mushrooms. You can also add 1/4 cup kalamata olives when you add your spices. I can get about 3 meals out of this recipe for my family of four.

In the good ol' days we ate this over gobs and gobs of angel hair pasta, but recently I've eaten it over spaghetti squash. To prepare a spaghetti squash, I cut it in half and clean the guts out. Then I bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400*. When it is done, you can shred it with a fork. It is good! I usually prepare the kids regular pasta because mine won't eat squash (although 1/2 the time I sneak squash into the sauce anyway). Leftovers will keep in your fridge for a few days.

Other uses for this sauce:

I take 4 large chicken breasts and pour about 2 cups of sauce over the top. Bake it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 375*. I used to add mozzarella to the top in the last 10 minutes. If that would make your family more excited, add it.

It is good over roasted eggplant. Just cut your eggplant in slices and dry them out for a bit on a paper towel. Add a little olive oil and garlic salt to both sides. Roast in the over for about 10 minutes at 400*. Flip the eggplant circles and top with sauce and cook for a few more minutes.

Mix it with ground turkey and make meat loaf.

I know we all want to dip cheesy breadsticks in it, but resist! I promise it does not taste like a healthy food!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

I just returned from the grocery store. I really try to avoid the grocery store on Saturdays, but sometimes I must suck it up and do it. There is a bonus to Saturday shopping... I can leave the kids with Mike! Woot!

I was asked a few questions about what I actually eat and buy each week. This is a brief list of how I prepare and make quick meals for the week. Mike has to pack his lunches in the morning, too, so we do a lot to get make it as easy as possible. We  chop everything in bulk so we can assemble quickly.

Breakfast (during week 1 & 2):
 We buy about 5 dozen eggs. YIKES! We love our eggs and that lasts about 2 weeks. Mike usually boils 1/2 of them so he can take them for breakfast at work. I usually eat one egg and one egg white. I fry it up in a little oil. I like to add deli lunch meat (if you eat lunch meat just check the label to make sure it is mostly meat and not mechanically separated turkey drowned in high fructose corn syrup) to the pile. I never thought I would eat grilled veggies for breakfast, but I actually love it. I like to saute about 2 cups of fresh kale with lemon juice and garlic. Spinach is also good this way. Other commonly used breakfast items are mushrooms, chicken or turkey sausage (again - read the label), bell peppers, salsa for the eggs, and onions.

I have a salad almost every day. I buy two heads of lettuce at a time. I'm a bit picky about my lettuce (I figure I can be because I sure eat a lot of it) so I'm willing to run to the store more often for it. I chop one head of lettuce at a time. I use a lettuce knife (it is hard plastic) because supposedly that makes the lettuce less wilty. I don't know if it is true, but I have one so I use it. When all of the lettuce is chopped, I put it in a gallon Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel. It stays good for a week. I also buy a bunch of spinach and do the same thing. I include carrots, celery, banana peppers, beets, pickles, cucumbers, almonds, tomatoes, avocado, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and anything else that is on sale that week. (side note: I noticed this afternoon at the store that the produce is getting more affordable. YAY for summer. Take advantage of Farmers Markets & road side stands and just the general joy of fresh produce!) If I have grilled chicken or fish left over from the night before, I'll add that. Usually I add tuna fish or canned chicken (a little gross) or chopped up lunch meat. Sometimes my salads are so big that I don't need the meat. I dress my salads with red wine or balsamic vinegar, juice from the pepperoncini jar, salt and pepper. I've got a recipe for chimichuri and I like to add a dollop of that for dressing.

I HATE making dinner! After hanging out with Piper all day and trying to squeeze exercise, work and church stuff in, I'm spent. At lunch I will I will put the meat in the fridge to thaw. Now that the weather is nice, I've started using the grill more often. I like to put mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, and onions on the grill with a little olive oil and garlic salt. My kids are even willing to eat it. We eat a lot of broccoli and cauliflower because they like that, too. Cooked carrots are a favorite, too. Besides grilled chicken, fish and turkey burgers, we also eat other stuff because you'll find out really quick that meat and veggies can get really boring really fast. I make marinara sauce from scratch and put it over roasted spaghetti squash instead of noodles (I usually boil some noodles for the kids). Season ground turkey and have taco salad (minus chips and cheese). We've made tacos and used lettuce as our 'shells' (corn shells can be eaten in week 5!). I bake the chicken in left over marinara sauce in the oven and it is good. Shred a few lbs of chicken in the crock-pot and have leftovers during the week. The good thing about chicken is you can make it taste like whatever you want. If you get desperate for something different, marinate your chicken breasts in lime juice, chili powder, and a dab of honey. I like to make meatballs, too. Jenni-O has some turkey Italian sausage that is quite tasty.

So, hopefully this gives you a little more hope that there is a lot of ways to eat the same thing. So, tonight have your "last drunk" (family reference of one last crazy night) or eat 10 dinner rolls on Sunday at your in-laws. Then say a little prayer that you'll make it through until Thursday. If you make it to Thursday, you will be totally golden.

Friday, June 08, 2012

I WORK OUT (read in the LMFAO voice)

I have been blessed with many great people in my life. Finding an exercise partner has been crucial in my "sticking with it". I look back at the times that I have been faithful in my exercising and there is always someone else with me. So here is a SHOUT OUT to all of my buddies.

At Ricks College, I worked out with Kirstin at the Raquetball Club at free aerobics classes. The teachers were students at the college and we warmed up to "Cum on Feel the Noise". I also dabbled a bit in running with Kim Eckman. On Saturdays we'd run (well... she would run and I would walk) up to the Rexburg water tower and then run home (downhill). Lets not forget the countless hours of longboarding either.

On my mission, I tried to run along Erin Enke. She was always about a block ahead of me. Sometimes we'd run on the beach (at 5:30 am). I played tennis in Gainesville with CJ Christensen, and walked around St. Mary's with Megan and some ladies in our ward.

After my mission, while still single, I worked out at the gym with Melanie Landon-Hays and Bev Pecoraro. Then I talked Mike into joining the gym (he was a terrible gym partner).

After Cohen was born, I went "Stroller Striding" with Kim Borchert and Lindy Funaki. While I was working at 1-800-Patches I met Genell Brunhart and Stephanie Berg at Kaylene's freakin' insane 5:00 am class of million weight reps Power Flex class. Lindsey Smyth joined us often.

I hired a personal trainer and it was  waste of money, but I learned a little. He was NOT a good gym buddy.

Since I've moved to Taylorsville, I've started meeting Lindsey again for classes and weekly chat on the treadmills. Kimmie Clark joins up often. I started going to K-34 Zumba at the church on Mondays with Ashle Powell, Mandi Sanchez, Candice Bohne and everyone else.

Thanks for working out with me... because being a fat girl in a exercise class is about as comfortable as your tight jeans after Thanksgiving dinner. It takes a lot to put yourself out there and get to a class. I've been the most successful when I have a class to attend (like I need to leave in 15 minutes for Jackie's spin class - my favorite class of the week).

My goal is to burn about 3500 calories a week exercising. For some that doesn't seem to hard, but for me it is. I'm a beginner... This takes me about 5 workouts to accomplish. Most weeks I take two spin classes, one Zumba workout, lift weights once, and walk once. I need to incorporate more weight lifting into the mix (side note: I went to a sculpting class yesterday. Every inch of me is sore. I've been working out regularly for 6 months.) This goes to show that I needed a switch up.

I've also started treating my workouts like important appointments. I wouldn't skip a dentist appointment to go with friends. I wouldn't skip a work meeting. Now, I won't skip a workout. Having my kids in the gym daycare helps because I have to make an appointment for them. 

What kind of workouts do you do? How do you stay motivated? Tell me all about your workout buddy.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

8 Week Kick Start

So many have asked what my eating plan is. This plan is basically an 8 week cleanse, of sorts. As I mentioned in my last post, my spin instructor was prescribed this eating plan to help rid her body of something that was causing allergic/intolerant reactions. I decided to go with it because she said her husband lost about 15 lbs... and I was willing to try anything. Also another side note, at the time I started this 'cleanse',  I was meeting with a licensed nutritionist at Intermountain Healthcare and following a plan called "The Weigh to Health". (You can find out more information about it here.) I asked her about it all and she said it was a sound, well-rounded eating plan. I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I am not an expert. But it worked for me, so it may work for you. Leave any questions you may have in the comments.

Drink 8+ glasses of water each day (8 oz.)

Try to consume no more than 1500 – 1600 calories a day. (If you are smaller already, you may have to eat less. But you  should  at least 1200 calories each day). 

Meat servings should be between 4 oz – 6 oz. only. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you should probably eat beans & soy from the very beginning for added source of protein.

I also didn't eat anything after dinner unless I was absolutely starving. However, I tried to cut myself from all food about 2 hours before bedtime.

WEEK 1-2: You  may eat only chicken, eggs, turkey (ground or breasts), fish, shellfish, eggs, and veggies. You can use olive oil and seasonings in your cooking. You may have almonds and cashews (in moderation). Almond milk and almond butter are okay if they contain no added sugar. I used a lot of red wine vinegar and pepperoncini juice for salad dressing. You may have avocados and tomatoes and sweet potatoes. 

WEEK 3-4: Add fruits. YUMMY. Strawberries will never taste this good in your life again. Fruit almost tasted like candy after 2 weeks of savory veggies. Make sure to eat more servings of veggies than fruit each day. I also tried to stop eating fruits before dinner. 

WEEK 5-6: Add legumes and lentils. Quinoa, and one serving of starchy veggies each day. You can add other nuts as well, but go easy on the peanuts. Popcorn is now on the list. It is a good treat (just steer clear of the butter).

WEEK 7-8: Add a 1-2 portions of whole grains. Oatmeal, steel cut oats, wheat tortillas, whole grain toast with your eggs. 

At the end of week 8, add back in anything else you may be missing. I chose to stay away from dairy all together. Leafy green veggies have plenty of calcium.  Your cravings should be gone and hopefully you'll want to continue eating this way on a regular basis. My one downfall is having Diet Dr. Pepper each day. I think I've almost convinced myself to quit drinking it (after the case in my fridge is gone, of course).

If you follow this plan, you should be able to kick-start whatever goal you have set for yourself. I lost almost 30 lbs in 8 weeks eating this way. I am starting again on June 11 if you want to join me.  I've found some pretty great recipes so it doesn't feel like you are always just eating a grilled piece of chicken with a salad. I'll share those, too. 

Start mentally prepping yourself. We can do it together! 
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