Uncategorized

Week 7 – School Lunches

We have been using Rudis wraps for a little while since I got them for a great price at Costco before they quit selling them. Really $2.18 for a 18 pack of gluten-free wraps is a great deal!

I have been asked a time or two about how much my kiddos really eat. For the most part they eat their entire lunch especially if it is something they really love! Plus I try to only pack what I know they will eat. What is the point in packing a lunch if they won’t eat it. The kiddos and I have a deal that they eat what they can and they keep whatever they don’t eat in their lunch box. I do this for a couple reasons. 1. I don’t want them to be wasting food, and if they don’t finish it will stay cold until they get home. 2. I want to know how much they are eating. 3. Whatever they don’t finish they will eat when they get home from school as part of their snack. For instance my boy will sometimes run out of Frank’s Red Hot and will wait until he gets home to get more to eat with his chicken.

So here is another week of healthy school lunches for my elementary kiddos!

Monday: Red and Orange sweet peppers. Oranges. Stonyfield Vanilla yogurt. Grilled hamburger. Banana chips and Dark Chocolate Honey Mint ( I get from Trader Joe’s).img_0805

Tuesday: Cheesestick. Organges and Blueberries. Sweet Pepper. Rudis wrap with sunbutter and honey. Banana Chips.img_0806

Wednesday: Wholly Guac with organic corn chips (forgot to picture the corn chips but I put them in a separate baggie. Carrots. Oranges. Stonyfield organic vanilla yogurt with strawberries. Scrambled eggs. Wallace Farm Nick-Sticks ( you can buy them here).img_0807

Thursday: Pork and scrambled egg rudis wrap. Dried Apricots and plantain chips. Carrots. Sweet Pepper.img_0808

Friday: Organic Corn Chips. Oranges. Carrots. Grilled hamburger with organic ketchup. Half of Kind barimg_0809

Another week has gone by as we embark on the coming November month. Which also means we are super excited to be spending time with the in-laws!  I am very much a family person so I love it when I get to spend time with family. I love that my kiddos get just as excited as I do when we see our extended families 🙂

 

School Lunches

Week 6 – School Lunches

Happy Saturday as we approach the end of October! That means Halloween weekend is coming up! When we moved to Arizona over a year ago now it was weird to finally trick-or-treat actually on Halloween. It is great here to see all the homes decorated and people outside. With the usually nice weather, people are sitting out front to great the trick-or-treaters. In Iowa we had a designated beggers night and time in which the kiddos would go trick-or-treating. I like the change and really look forward to going all out once we buy our own home here! For now I will enjoy decorated the inside of the home and putting up a few lights outside. My oldest boy really wants one of those big blow up halloween creatures out in the front yard. I tell him that will be the first thing he can go and purchase with dad when we find our new home!

I hope you are enjoying my weekly school lunch post. I enjoy sharing what we have for lunches and how easy it is to pack a lunch! It is also great if your kiddos are old enough to help and pack them the night before or that morning. So here you go another week of healthy and delicious lunches in our Yumbox.

Monday: Cheesestick, celery, and cherries. Grilled hamburger. Lettuce leaves. Dark Chocolate Honey Mint that I get from Trader Joe’s. Those mints are so so so good! Even better in melted in your hot chocolate. Will be sharing my recipe for that soon, so stay tune!img_0799

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Salad with Goat Gouda cheese. Plantain chips. Mango Salsa ( you can find my recipe here).img_0800

Wednesday: Sunbutter and Honey wraps using Rudis wrap. Blueberries and Strawberries. Celery. Mix Kale salad ( I get from Costco, but I do not use the salad dressing in it.) Pepitas and Cranberries. Nick-Sticks ( you can buy them here). I love Wallace Farms Nick-Sticks they are a great protein made from grass-fed cows. I love to add them to lunches. They also make a good snack, keep in my purse on the go, or even after a workout!img_0801

Thursday: Bulgarian Yogurt with Raw Honey and Enjoy Life Foods mini chocolate chips. Blueberries and Strawberries. Uncured all beef hotdogs. Plantain chips. Carrots.img_0802

Friday: Lettuce Leaves and grilled chicken. Blueberries and cheesestick.img_0803

Another week in the books. Some days I struggle and don’t feel like making lunches, but then I remind myself how much my kiddos look forward to their lunch I pack them. Also I then know they are getting the fuel they need throughout the day to keep them going. I can say it was amazing not having to wash lunch boxes during fall break!!

Enjoy!img_0804

Fitness

Sunday Weekly Workout Review! 10/9-10/15

This week I designed to be kind of a low key week following the triathlon. I will be switching to a little more of a run focus in these weeks ahead. I have two 10ks coming up and will be training for a another half marathon in April 2017!  Since Rob is training for his first Ironman 70.3 in 2017; I figured why not train along with him a little bit and do the half marathon portion with him. Overall, this week went great!img_0823

Sunday – This was the day after my Sprint Triathlon. I was feeling pretty good following the triathlon so I did a recovery run just to shake things out. Ran 3 miles averaging 13:47 per mile. Keeping my heart rate below 140 beats per minute. I averaged around 135 beats per minute for this run. It felt great just to get out.

 

 

 

Monday– Set out and did an afternoon ride of 30.4 miles. Followed 10 minute core workout.img_0824

 

Tuesday – Did a morning strength leg focus workout with some ladies at the park. Then I followed it with 3.1 miles of speed intervals. 1 minute speed workout at about 8img_0826 minute mile followed by 2 minutes of recovery at 12 minute mile. Continued this interval until I reached a 5K. img_0825

 

Wednesday– Stretch out swim. Went to the pool with the family in the evening and got in 663 yards in the pool. Not as many yards as I wanted, but I at least I got something in. Goal was to stretch it out with each stroke.  I also did some yoga. I personally like Yoga with Adriene. She has a lot of videos on YouTube you can check them out here.img_0827

 

Thursday – 4 mile easy run. Walked for 45 seconds to a minute at each mile marker. Averaged 10:37/mile. Then swaimg_0828m with the family. Didn’t track yards in the pool, but swam a few laps with the kiddos.  Evening stretch out with bedtime yoga you can find here.img_0833

Friday – 11 mile hike with ladders and some jogging with my older 2 girls. Technically was only to be a 5 mile hike, but wanted to try a different trail. Should have consulted the map before venturing on. Didn’t realize it was such a long trail. It was great bonding time with my girls and they did amazing! We really love our hiking days together.

 

Uncategorized

School Lunches – Week 5

How did this weekend already pass me by?!? Kiddos are finishing up on fall break and keeping me busy that is for sure. Enjoying our evenings as a family at the pool winding down the day. Crazy to think of it being Fall, and the weather is still well into the 90s around here.

Since the kiddos are on break I am sharing my lunches I made for them the first week of school. They got to enjoy dinner leftovers of course and a special treat that week! Here is another week of healthy school lunches in our yumbox.

Monday: Scrambled Egg and Shredded Pork in Rudis wrap. Strawberries and Blueberries. Carrots. Lettuce leaves. Special dessert: Goat Cheese Cheesecake. YUM! Seriously taste just like cheesecake!  You can find the recipe here.img_0793

Tuesday: Tuna cakes (find my recipe here) Dates. Plantain chips from Trader Joe’s. Broccoli slaw and lettuce leaves. My kiddos are not dressing fans and eat their salads plain.img_0794

Wednesday: Chobani yogurt tube, Dried Apricots, Carrots, Veggie fried rice, and shredded pork. Seriously my kiddos are pork fanatics, and I have to cut them off!img_0795

Thursday: Cheesestick. Mango Salsa ( you can find my recipe here) Broccoli Slaw that I by from Trader Joe’s. Gluten-Free pancake with sunbutter and honey that was leftover from that mornings breakfast. Uncured all beef hotdogs.img_0796

Friday: Blueberries. Celery. Lettuce leaves and grilled chicken. Ginger-Lime Cauliflower Rice ( you can find my recipe here) I love me some cauliflower rice! I buy the organic frozen bags from Trader Joe’s and it makes it for a quick throw together veggie!img_0797

So there you have it! Another full week of healthy and nutritious meals for the kiddos. Fuel the body with wholesome food 🙂img_0798

Fitness

First Sprint Triathlon Review

Let me first say I am totally hooked! Training for this triathlon has been both fun and rewarding. My goal was to complete my first triathlon by age 35. So no better way to turn 35 then do a triathlon. A fabulous birthday weekend it was. I honestly couldn’t have done it with all the love and support of my husband and 5 kiddos. They all cheered me on every step of the way! Of course my mom too, no matter the miles she is always encouraging!!

When I first started out training for this triathlon I wasn’t a strong swimmer, but I can say I have grown stronger. I still have room for improvement and I am ok with that. I mapped out a 10 solid weeks of training. In my training program I schedule out 3 days of swimming a week.  I typically swam at least 1200 yards per training session. Before starting this program, I never lapped swim. I only played and swam around in the pool with my kiddos. So thanks to my husband, Rob, for taking me under his wing and coaching me along in the pool.

The biking and run I knew I wouldn’t have a problem with individually, but transition from one right after the other came with practice. It started out as a weird feeling from getting off the bike to running, but by the end it felt great!

That brings me to race weekend! I picked up my packet and was thankful to run into the lady from TriSports as she walked me through setting up my transition area.  I felt like I had a good understanding after watching and talking through it with Rob during his triathlons, but she provided me with a lot of insight. Watching her set up and go through the flow certainly helped me on race day! img_0784

 

That evening I laid out all my gear that I would need for race day. This way I didn’t have to worry about it in the morning. So here is what I packed. On the left: Altra Running shoes with my socks already in them. Headsweats visor. Performance Bike cycle jersey that I will put on after the swim. In the middle: cycle helmet, CamelBak water containers, goggles, swim cap, Girls Run Fast Tattoo ( I put on that night), race belt and bib. On the right: Lululemon Energy H2O sports bra and SLS3 triathlon shorts. img_0792

That morning woke up early and had some sausage and eggs for breakfast along with some water. Braided my hair so it would easily fit in my swim cap and allow me to put on my cycle helmet without having to make any adjustments. We got to the race site at 5:20am to be sure got a good transition area spot. Race didn’t start until 7am. We found prime location just beside the bike out portion. I would rather spend less time running with the bike then having to run with my bike. Coming out the water I had to run a little further to get to my bike, but then I was right at the bike out. Coming back in from the bike I only had to go a short distance with my bike back to my rack. I also did a little walk through my transition area of how things would go when I actually had to transition from swim to bike and bike to run. Also very important to know where your transition area is in regards to landmarks since the area will eventually be filled with several other bikes! Then I set up my transition area as you can see below. The cap and goggles will go with me to the pool. Then I set up exactly how I will need to grab my stuff and put it on in each transition. This way when you get to your transition you have a flow and can get going!

Then it was off to number markings, timing chip, using the bathroom one last time, and checking out the pool!img_0790

Leg 1: Swim 400m…The swim was in a 50m pool. I trained in a 25m pool, but didn’t think it would be a huge adjustment. Just told myself to stretch it out in the pool and pace myself so I wouldn’t get tired. Even though I swam with someone in my lane while training, it didn’t really prepare me for what it would be really like with all these people in the pool! I started out great for the first 200m, but then caught up to a group of fellows. They were fast then slow and it took a lot of my reserved energy just to try to get around them. For me that was a little frustrating on myself, but I managed. It was a great learning experience for sure and shows I still have plenty of room for improvement too. I loved seeing everyone out there and really giving it there all. I saw everything from freestyle, to backstroke, sidestroke, breaststroke, even chicken-airplane-soldier. Really whatever it takes to get through those 400 meters! It took me 10 minutes to finish 400m ( about 1 minute slower than my time trials) but I was happy with the outcome.

Transition 1 to Leg 2: Bike 12 miles…My favorite part is the bike. I transitioned well and gave it all on my bike. I was a little exhausted getting out the pool. More exhausted then I thought I would be. I biked a smooth 12 miles and even chatted up with some friendly competition on the steady inclines. Enjoyed hearing everyone cheering each other on. While on the bike I was sure to refuel and hydrate. Since this isn’t a long triathlon I didn’t need a lot. I used Tailwind Endurance Fuel in with my water while on the bike. Which was enough to hold me through until the end. I averaged 18.9 mph on the bike.

Transition 2 to the final Leg 3: Run a 5K…Off the bike I went. I put on my Headsweats visor and grabbed my race belt and off I went. The nice thing about the race belt is I can fasten it while I run. Since I don’t have cycle shoes my running shoes were already on making this transition a breeze.  The run went as I expected. I was able to keep a steady pace and run the entire course. Coming of the bike my pace was quicker, but didn’t want to exhaust myself so backed off just a bit and averaged 9:45/mile for my run.

Overall I was very pleased with how my first triathlon went and certainly can’t wait to do another one! I was tired, but full of smiles when I was done. For now I will continue to work on my swim and sticking with Sprint triathlons until I feel ready to conquer more meters in the pool. I certainly loved every minute of this process. It was also great to join up with a family friend!!img_0787

 

School Lunches

School Lunches – Week 4

Another week in the books for school lunches. For me, school lunches are a great way to finish up leftovers. Makes menu planning and prepping a breeze. It is also a way to have your kiddos help out if they are old enough. I keep my weekly menu board up in the pantry. Olivia, my daughter, loves helping out in the kitchen. When she is done getting ready for school she will step in and see what needs to be done for school snacks and lunches while I am making breakfast. She can look at the board and start going to town putting everything together. It helps me out, and gets them excited to help pack lunches and snack bags.

img_0740

Week 4 meals were kind of a mixture of odds and ends left in the fridge. I have emergency protein on hand if we go through more of dinner than what I had planned. One of my favorite things to have on hand is Wallace Farms Nick Sticks. They make great snacks, after workout protein, and easy to cut up and throw into lunches! Here is a break down of what my kiddos enjoyed eating this week!

img_0735
Monday: Hard Boiled Egg, buffalo chicken, lettuce wedges, mango, and cheese stick.
img_0736
Tuesday: Hard Boiled Egg, Jello, Pickles, mango, and Lettuce Wrap Ham Rolls. Ham roll: guac, goad gouda cheese, carrot slices, and uncured ham slices.
img_0737
Wednesday: Pulled Pork with Frank’s Red Hot, Lettuce wedges, Celery and Sunbutter, White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt with Raw Honey and Strawberries, and Green Beans.
img_0738
Thursday: Plantain Chips, Uncured Hotdogs, White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt with Raw Honey, Grapes, Carrots, and Pickle.
img_0739
Friday: Wallace Farm Nick Sticks, Carrots, Plantain Chips, Apple Slices, and Cheese Stick.

Another great week of healthy, wholesome school lunches. Providing nutritious food for growing bodies. Living life one day at a time!

 

Enjoy 🙂

Fitness

Weekly Workout 9/25 – 10/1

This is the final week before taper week for me. Mesa Sprint Triathlon is quickly approaching and I am feeling ready. Since this is my first one, I don’t have an big expectations for myself. My bike and run I will have no problem with. The swim I feel ready for and just need to remember to pace it out. As Rob reminded me this week in the pool a 400m swim isn’t like 400m on the track. I can’t treat it as an all out sprint otherwise I will be overly exhausted getting on the bike. So this coming week swims will be working on pacing and really stretching it out in the pool.

This week I also worked out in my triathlon suit that I will be wearing for the race. This way I get a feel for what it will be like. Since my swims are in a one piece suit, it was a total different feel for me this week in the pool. I am wearing tri shorts and a swim bra top. When I get out of the water I will just throw on a cycle jersey for my bike and run.  With it being my first race I didn’t want to sink money yet into a triathlon suit. As I do more, then I will look at buying one, or look for them to go on sale 🙂 I miss the feel of a full body compression of a one piece swim suit and felt like I was dragging in the pool this week. Could be mental thing, but just didn’t like how I have felt in the pool… Hopefully this week will feel better in it.

Here is my weekly workouts:

Sunday: Ran 10k at run 5 minutes : walk 1 minute.

I felt really good the first 3 plus miles, but as soon as I hit mile 4 I hit a wall. I really could have used a boost of energy. I have never been a person to eat/drink while running even when doing my half marathon I didn’t. Although, now I am noticing good changes when I keep myself hydrated and have extra protein/energy boost during my longer workouts.

Monday: Biked 16 miles followed by a 2 mile transition run. Cool down 15 minutes of Yoga.

Tuesday: Morning swim: Warm up: 100m freestyle, 100m kick x2. 300m freestyle x3 , cool down: mixed strokes, 50m kicks, 50m freestyle. Total of 1316 yards. Then I met up with some local ladies for a 50 minute strength training workout; consisting of kettlebells and body work.

Wednesday: Rest day with some stretching and foam rolling

Thursday: 12.9 mile bike ride followed by an evening swim. That evening swim wasn’t what I was thinking it would be. Dark goggles and night time don’t mix. I could barely see in the pool! One thing I will need to work on as I progress with my swimming. I stuck to 25m drills. Worked on kicks and then arms drills for a total of 1068 yards.

Friday: Rest Day. Took the day completely off. I was shooting for a quick run, but just didn’t happen. Day was busy full conferences and assemblies at school. Then doctor appointments for myself. By 8pm I just wasn’t up for a night run so I took the time and spent it with my family!

Saturday: With approaching race week my swim coach, who is my husband, took me out and was giving me pointers on my swim. One thing I am hoping for in the weeks to come is to spend more time with him in the water. With works schedules and availability I didn’t get in the pool with him as much as I wanted to. The good thing though is it has only been 8 weeks since I took on this swimming gig, and I can say I have learned a lot. Very proud of where I have come and I thank him for helping me get to where I needed to be. Never thought I would be doing as well as I am in the pool. So started out with a timed 400m test swim. Then did 50m kicks, 50m buoy and arm workouts, arm reach drills, streamlines, and 50m mixed strokes for total of 1232 yards. Followed that up with a 21.5 mile bike and a 1 mile post bike cool down walk.

Sunday: Joined my pacer in 3.3 mile run. My lovely pacer is my son on his bike. Sometimes I feel stuck with my runs and he knows just how to push me. Plus we get some time together to chat! I ran 5:1 (run 5 minutes: walk 1 minute) intervals with a sub 30minute 5K!

Next race coming up for me is the Girls Run Fast 10K in November!  It isn’t too late to register, and they have a virtual run too.  Go check out the Girls Run Fast Women’s 10K here. The have a 5K, 10K, and 15k challenge.

Saturday ended the month of September with a total of 26 tracked hours of training. Of those training hours here is the break down of my swim, bike, and runs.

Swim: 12,771 yards

Bike: 140 miles

Run: 32.8 miles

img_0756

Clean Eating, School Lunches

School Lunches – Week 3

Week 3 into my weekly school lunch theme.  I hope you all are finding these useful. At least for me, it gives me a place to come back to when I am in a pinch for ideas. You know when you meal plan and trying to decide what to have. A lot of times I look through pictures I have taken or old blog photos for meals to revisit.  Take a look at Week 3 school lunches in our YumBox lunch boxes.

Week 3- Healthy School Lunches:

img_0623
Monday: Tuna cake, kale salad with raisins and grilled chicken, pickles, blueberries and strawberries, and sunbutter ball.
img_0629
Tuesday: Carrots, kale salad with cranberries and pepitas, pickle, ham and cheese wrap, and blueberries.
img_0635
Wednesday: Carrots, kale salad, hardboiled egg, steak, cherries, and mini banana muffin.
img_0637
Thursday: Pickles, ham/carrot/cheese wrap, jello, celery with sunbutter, and strawberries.
img_0641
Friday: Carrots, grilled chicken, green beans, pickle, chocolate avocado pudding, pineapple and blueberries, and sunbutter ball.

Another week has gone by with another week of freshly made school lunches. Keeping my kiddos fueled with healthy and nutritious lunches! Living with purpose on this journey called LIFE.  Enjoy!

Clean Eating, Dessert

Cassava Flour Mug Cakes

I am a sucker for a great mug cake. Usually I make them with almond flour and/or coconut flour, but I wanted to try something different. My oldest child’s birthday is coming up in October so wanted to try a new version of a mug cake.

I have an awful sweet tooth so when it comes to making desserts in the house I try not to make a lot as I would go to town on it! So mug cakes are amazing for portion control. I spit them in half or even into thirds. Now I don’t have to worry about extra cake/dessert laying around the house.

This mug cake is a definite winner in my household. Plus I can make it nut-free by substituting in sunflower seed butter. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Whisk egg, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup together in mug.img_0751
  2. Whisk in chocolate coconut peanut butter img_0755
  3. Add in baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  4. Add in Cassava Flour. Mixed until combined IMG_0310
  5. Mix in chocolate chips.img_0748
  6. Microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds (depending on your microwave)img_0753

Eat it plain…Top it with fruit…Enjoy with some vanilla ice cream!

img_0754

Clean Eating

Hello Autumn- Bring on the Chili

Finally  my favorite time of year has arrived – Autumn! I love everything about this season from the weather to the holidays. Oh and you cannot forget FOOTBALL. Along with football comes my delicious crockpot chili. For me I can eat a bowl of chili and a side salad all week long.

Seriously Rob and I are totally on par. As I was sitting here writing the title of this blog post, Rob pops into the room to say this:

Rob – “You know what sounds so good right now?”

Me- “No dear, what?”

Rob – “A bowl of Chili”

Me – “Are you serious, I am totally blogging about my chili recipe right now”

So you know what will be going on the menu for the upcoming week 🙂

The best part about this chili is I can ground up the meat and then throw everything in the crockpot to simmer the rest of the day until dinner. My kiddos call this “hot” chili. Although not too extremely hot, it is pretty delicious with a kick!

img_0741

Crockpot Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4lbs of meat ( I use grassfed beef or organic ground turkey)
  • 2- 6oz cans of tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2- 8oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 4tbsp chili powder
  • 4tbsp of cumin
  • 1tbsp grade b maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 bottle of hard cider
  • 1/8-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper depending on your liking
  • basil
  • oregano
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • 2 cans of black beans (optional)-drain and rinse
  • Mushrooms (optional)

Directions:

  1. In skillet add either oil or butter and chopped onion. Cooked onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add ground meat and cook until browned. While meat is cooking sprinkle in basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Blend fire-roasted tomatoes in blender and pulse a few times ( you may skip this step and just add to the crockpot. I prefer my tomatoes more pureed)
  3. In crockpot pour in hard cider, and mix in the tomato paste
  4. Add in fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, and maple syrup. Mix until combined
  5. Add in chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle in more oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix until incorporated.
  6. Add in cooked ground meat.
  7. Set temperature to low and cook for 5-6 hours, or until heated through.

There are several ways you can add chili to the menu during the week. Here are some of my favorite ways. Although, my favorite way is to serve it in a bowl with crushed plantain chips on top!

img_0742
Baked Potato and Chili
img_0743
Chili Dog Style
img_0745
Halloween Style – Chili, goat gouda cheese, and hotdog cut up like and octopus.

Now go enjoy a bowl of chili because I know I will!

** edited 2/20/18 To add in black beans and mushrooms. Loving them in my chili. I currently omit the maple syrup in my chili now too.