maintainingmommy

Maintaining Through the Holidays

I won’t lie, I’ve been hitting the Halloween candy pretty hard lately. It always happens. This time of year is when the real struggle begins. There are so many amazing things to eat during the holiday season, and it’s harder to get out and be active in the cold. It can be hard to find the willpower, but the way I see it is that I might as well get used to it and figure out how to work through it because if I let it defeat me now, all my hard work will be all for nothing. Around this time last year, I still had my last 15 pounds to work off. I kept that goal in mind, but decided not to be too hard on myself as long as I didn’t gain any weight through the holidays. I continued to exercise everyday, and made healthy choices as often as I could. I knew I didn’t want to feel deprived of all the holiday goodies, so I let myself indulge.  I continued to log all of my food and exercise to hold myself accountable. It was nice to have a visual to look at to see how often I was indulging in things that weren’t helping me reach my goals. I kept track of my measurements and my weight, and sometimes I scheduled my workouts to go a little longer, or added an extra mini workout into the day. Somehow by the end of the year I had managed to maintain my weight.  It was nice to be able to enjoy the holidays and not feel guilty about it. Once the new year came I was ready to get right back on track.

There are plenty of things to cause stress around the holidays, don’t add to it by placing unreasonable expectations on yourself. If you make it through the rest of the year without gaining weight, then you did better than most. That is something to be proud of.

Music as Motivation

So, yesterday my husband wanted me to go for a run with him. I had already done 5.5 miles a couple hours earlier, so my phone battery was too low to take with me, but I have to have music to run.  After thirty frustrating minutes of searching, we found my misplaced MP3 player, and we were on our way to the trail. It wasn’t until we got there and started our run that I realized I forgot to change into my running shoes. I decided to go for it anyway and just run. About 2 minutes into the run, my earbud fell out and the rubber piece that fits in my ear popped off and went bouncing off to some unknown location. At this point I considered going back to the car and waiting for my husband to finish the run alone, but I decided to tough it out with the bad shoes and one earbud. My only motivation for that decision was my awesome running playlist.

Music is the one thing that can make or break my workout. If my Pandora plays track after track of all the wrong songs, it kills the whole workout no matter how motivated I am going into it. On the flipside, if I have a great playlist, I can turn the workout that I didn’t even want to do into one of my best workouts ever. I’ve compiled an hour long playlist of some of my favorite songs to workout to, and I’d love to hear any songs that get you into the zone. I’m always looking for new stuff to help keep it fresh.

 

The List:

Ways to Go by Grouplove (3:36)
I love it by Icona Pop (2:37)
Buttons by The Weeks (5:17)
Sober by P!nk (4:12)
Charmer by Kings of Leon (2:56)
Stronger by Kelly Clarkson (3:42)
Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World (3:05)
You’re So Damn Hot by OK GO (2:39)
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark by Fall Out Boy (3:07)
Crazy Possessive by Kaci Battaglia (3:37)
Problem by Natalia Kills (3:55)
Lovumba by Daddy Yankee (3:41)
I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys (2:34)
Failure by Design by Brand New (3:15)
Get Over It by OK GO (3:17)
My Body by Young the Giant (4:05)
E.T. by Katy Perry feat. Kanye West (3:51)
Ready by Kelly Clarkson (3:04) – Cooldown

I hope you find some songs on this list that liven up your workout, and as always I would love to hear any questions, comments, or suggestions in the comment section below or at my email: MaintainingMommy@outlook.com
Thanks for reading!

Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins!!!

Okay, it’s been a minute since I’ve been able to post anything. Between the kids starting school, me starting school, and the many August birthdays we have, I have been pressed for time. That means I need to save time in as many areas as possible right now. I know most people can relate to that, so I thought I would share a quick, healthy, amazing muffin recipe. They are so delicious!  I love them because they don’t take long to throw together, and it makes enough for breakfast for the whole week. Just pop ’em in the microwave for a few seconds and go. Did I mention there are only 92 calories per muffin?

I wish I could say I came up with this recipe on my own because that would be impressive, but I didn’t. I got the original recipe from my husband’s cousin, who got it in an email from some place or another and we both added a couple of minor changes. I like to use almond milk because I think it makes them a little sweeter, but I’ve used regular ol’ fat free milk from a cow, and they taste great that way too. You can add things like nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, or whatever you want, but you will have to account for the extra calories. My cousin-in-law said she adds ground up flax seed  for an extra health kick. I haven’t tried it yet only because I never remember to pick  up flaxseed when I’m at the store.

If you are addicted to all things pumpkin like me, you HAVE to try making these with pumpkin in place of the applesauce, and pumpkin spice in place of the cinnamon! Seriously, DO IT!

There are so many ways you could tweak this recipe; you could have a new muffin every week. I’m sure if you don’t have the aversion to bananas that I have, you would be able to try that too.  Okay, enough talk, on to the recipe!

 

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Old fashioned rolled oats – not instant ( I have used quick oats, and they work, but old fashioned are better)
  • 1 cup almond milk, or nonfat milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour – you won’t even be able to tell, I promise.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (or baking powder)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tbs cinnamon
  • a mixture of 1tsp cinnamon and 1tsp sugar (white or brown) to sprinkle on top

Soak the oats in the milk for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and the egg whites. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl whisk dry ingredients (except the cinnamon/sugar mixture) together. Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix the batter or your muffins will be tough. Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan. Top each muffin with some of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.

That’s it for now. As usual, you can post any questions, comments, or suggestions in the comments section below, or email me at maintainingmommy@outlook.com Thanks for reading!

Dealing With Injury

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Nothing puts a dent in your fitness goals like an injury! I have dealt with plantar faciitis, shin splints, ankle and knee pain, and now my most recent ailment; a groin pull.
The first three were had more complicated healing procedures, but I a feeling this groin pull might be the hardest to overcome because it requires something pretty foreign to me…REST! I love working out (especially running) because of the mental benefits. It’s like a re-alignment for my mind after veering off course after a stressful day. Having to go a minimum of 4 days without it might make my brain explode, so if you don’t hear from me again you can assume that’s what happened.

Before that happens, I will leave you with some advice with how to deal with the injuries I have experienced.

PLANTAR FACIITIS:
The symptoms are pain in one or both feet (for me it was mainly in the heel.) It’s usually the worst when you first get out of bed or after sitting for a period of time and walking on it again.
For treatment, you need to go to a podiatrist. They will wrap your foot for a few weeks to see if it heals. I may heal and you will be fine, or the problem may occur again and you could need shoe inserts. They may also give you a cortizone shot. This is what they did for me after 4 weeks of having my foot wrapped with no relief. After the shot, I quickly felt better and never had another problem with it again. In less common cases, the patient may need surgery to repair it.

SHIN SPLINTS:
Symptoms are pain in the lower leg. Mine ran along the shin bone and hurt like hell when anythig even touched my leg. I couldn’t run at all because of the excruciating pain shootingt up my leg. I tried a million things to try to heal it, until I finally found the shin splint cure. It sounds easy, but it burns like hell, and works really well. My sister called me saying she had shin splints and needed to know the exercise I do to fix it. After she did it she said it immediately felt better. I swear by this exercise, and anytime I start to feel any shin pain at all I do the exercise and it feels better in a day or two. Though, at first you will have to do it for a few weeks to really strenghtent he muscles.

KNEE and ANKLE PAIN:
This is a pretty easy fix. If you are experiencing
pain in your hips, knees, or ankles it’s most likely because you are not wearing the right kind of shoe. Wearing the wrong shoe can also cause foot numbness during workouts. You can read this article and look up shoes that are good for your foot type, and go from there. Though, I reccomend going to a running shoe store to have your foot, old shoes, and gait evaluated. They will help you find the best shoe for you, and can answer any questions you might have. Gary Gribble’s Running Sports has a good reputation here in Kansas City, and they have a few locations to choose from.

That’s all I have for now. You can send me any questions, comments, or suggestions in the comments section below, or at my email address; maintainingmommy@outlook.com. Thanks for reading!

Healthy Cooking Substitutions

As promised in my last post, My Top 5 Rules for a Healthy Lifestyle, I have compiled a short list of healthier substitutions I use in recipes. They have really helped me cut my calories, they don’t really take any extra time, and you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. In the words of Michael Scott, “It’s a win, win, win.”

  • In Place of Heavy Whipping Cream

I use either fat free evaporated milk (which usually adds a sweeter taste as well), or I use a mixture of Skim milk, cornstarch, and flour. The amounts I use as found on Ehow is 1cup skim milk, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon flour. (Obviously if your recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of cream, you would only add 1/4 cup of the mixture.) 

  • In Place of Oil

I use applesauce when making cakes, brownies, or muffins. You would simply replace the oil witht he same amount of applesauce. I ususally opt for the all natural, no sugar added applesauce because you don’t want to add any more sugar to a recipe than needed, right?

  • In Place of Butter

 I use the I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray. It’s calorie free, but if you are on a “clean eating” diet it may not be right for you as I bet is has some highly processed ingredients.

  • In Place of Sugar

You can always use a zero calorie sweetner like Truvia, but I find it can be too sweet and/or taste too much like artificial sweetner. You can try a mixture of half sugar half Truvia to cut back calories without sacrificing the taste too much. Just keep in mind that the measurement replacement ratio of Truvia to sugar is a little different. You can use this Truvia conversion chart to help guide you.

  • In Place of Egg

There are a few egg replacements found at IcedJems. I have not used them yet, but thought they may be helpful in this post.

  • In Place of Mayonnaise

I always use greek yogurt. Mainly because the idea of eating mayonnaise just grosses me out. It always has. Since I was a kid. I don’t even want the stuff to touch my skin. (If you haven’t caught on yet, I have many food aversions that helped get me labeled a “picky eater.”) Chobani has a great conversion chart for many items you can replace with greek yogurt, so check those out too!

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you found these useful, and  if you have any substitutions that you like, I’d love to hear them. You can also send me any questions comments, or suggestions in the comment section below or at my email: MaintainingMommy@outlook.com

Thanks for reading!

My Top 5 Rules for a Healthy Lifestyle

 Starting out is the easy part of any fitness regimen. It’s sticking with it that’s hard. However, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to live on lettuce and carrot sticks to get to where you want to be. Trust me! I am an avid vegetable hater. I can’t even stand the smell of broccoli, I refuse to consider a brussel sprout as an edible option, I won’t eat anything that might even appear to have an onion in it. Fruits are another thing I have a hard time with. I hate bananas so much that I won’t even eat banana cake, and I LOVE cake. A LOT! Yet, I still managed to lose eighty pounds. If I can, anyone can.

There are five basic rules that I have followed since I began this journey. They are simple enough that I have been able easily continue following them for over two years now. Before I go into them, I must say that I am not a nutritionist or a Physical fitness expert. I am simply letting you know what has worked for me. Please consider that when making decisions regarding trying any of these things.

1. Set a Goal.

Set any goal big or small. Set multiple goals if you want. When I left the hospital weighing 215 pounds after the birth of my 3rd child, I decided I had to do something. I set my ultimate goal of 150 pounds. I didn’t put a time constraint on it. I just set it and decided not to give up before I reached that goal. From there I set weekly goals. 3 pounds, 5 pounds, whatever I felt like I could manage that week. I also reccomend keeping track of your measurements. It helps keep from getting discouraged if the scale doesn’t read the way you hoped. Sometimes your measurements change more than your weight. Recording this progress is awesome motivation!

2. Log Your Food. 

Write down everything you eat. Even if it’s just a few chips or m&ms. It all adds up if you are a habitual grazer. I started out using Livestrong to log my diet and exercise. I later switched to MyFitnessPal because they have an app that I can use on my phone which makes it super easy to log your food. You can just scan the barcode of your food item and it logs it for you. Livestrong may have an app now too, but I am so accustomed to myfitnesspal that I just stuck with it. You can also enter your height, weight, and your goal weight and it will tell you how many calories you should consume each day to achieve your goal. Logging your food can be hard to get used to, but try really hard to make it a habit. It keeps your mind conscious of what you are putting in your body. Keep in mind that 3500 calories = 1 pound, so any calorie deficit adds up to weight loss. However, you don’t ever want to eat less than 1200 calories in a day as it can put your body in starvation mode and you will begin to store fat rather than lose it.

3. EXERCISE!

At least 30 minutes of cardio each day (with one rest day a week). This is my favorite rule. Maybe because I love to exercise. Many people detest it, and I understand, but it’s so important. My advice to getting it done on days you don’t feel like it is to not give your mind time to think about it. Just put your workout clothes on and do it. If you sit around and tell yourself ” I NEED to workout, but I don’t FEEL like it,” you are giving yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of it. Sometimes I just put my workout clothes on, and I find that within an hour I end up working out because it would be silly to change your clothes and not workout. Another motivational tip is to promise yourself at least 5 minutes of exercise before deciding not to do it. Usually after 5 minutes I don’t  want to quit. Getting started is the hard part. They say “The hardest step for a runner is the first one out the door.” So lace up, and get out there. Walk, jog, run, get on the treadmill, the elliptical, do some yoga, or Zumba, join a fitness class, just do SOMETHING! You may find it helps to plan your exercise for each day ahead of time. Get the kids involved too, they will love the active quality time. I also encourage you to log your exercise daily as well. It helps keep you motivated.  It adds to your calorie deficit too.

4. Cook at Home

Yes, you do have time. Make the time. It’s necessary. Make meals ahead of time if neccesary. My strategy is to make a menu and shopping list for the week, and stick to it.  I still eat all my favorite comfort foods. The key is to use healthy ingredients. I use a lot of reduced fat, low calorie foods. There are many brands of foods out there that are a healthier option that taste just as good as the full fat version. Example: Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta. You won’t even know the difference. I promise. (I also use fat free evaporated milk in place of heavy cream in a lot of recipes.) You can look up all kinds of tips and trick on the internet. I will try to post some more soon for reference. In the meantime, you can get some recipes from D-Life and SparkRecipes. They have a wide variety of all kinds of delicious healthy versions of nearly anything you can imagine.

5. CHEAT!

You read it right. Have a cheat meal each week. Remember, the goal is not to deprive yourself. The goal is to find a realistic way to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can’t live with restrictions 100% of the time. You will get burned out and give up on your ultimate goal.  Cheat once a week.  Enjoy it. No need to feel guilty, because after that meal, you will be right back to your new healthy lifestyle.

That’s it! Sounds easy enough, right? Try it and see for yourself. Give it a week and see how quickly you can drop a few pounds.

 I’d love to hear any questions, comments, or suggestions you might have in the comments section below or you can email me at: MaintainingMommy@outlook.com

Thanks for reading!

Welcome to my blog!

As a mother of three I know how easy it can be to lose your identity in the “mommy” role. Life becomes more about taking care of others, and less about taking care of yourself. It’s not until you’re sitting on the couch eating an entire package of oreos that you find yourself wondering what happened to the girl you used to be. Ya know, the skinny one with goals, and dreams, and aspirations. The one that is now covered in frumpy clothes, baby weight, and likely, a lot of “I ate my way through boredom and sorrow” weight. Don’t fret, though it may seem that girl is gone forever, I assure she’s not. She’s waiting just below the surface for you to direct a little time and attention onto her so she can break free and live again.This blog shares some of the struggles and triumphs I experienced and continue to experience in my journey to finding and maintaining the lost “me”. 

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