Meal Plan Monday: Sept. 2-8

It’s that time of year again. The flutter of loose leaf paper and smell of sharpened, (ok, mostly broken), pencils fills the air. The first week of school is the most important of the entire year, and I need to be on my A game.

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G has decided one wake up a night isn’t enough, and instead is waking regularly at 1:30, 3:30, and 5:30.* And not only does she wake up, she wants to nurse for 30 minutes, or more, at a time! This girl is normally a 3-5 minute nurser. This round the night nursing has led to an insatiable hunger, much like the one I experienced when she was a newborn. A combination of the lack of sleep + revved up supply I suppose. As a result I’m making protein packed breakfasts, like my chicken sausage breakfast burritos, to get me through the morning, and being diligent about meal planning. I’m also trying to be more creative with my leftovers, which I’ll explain below.

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*sidenote, I’m now a zombie. And sock buns are the only way Iook professional these days.

Thanks for creating this link up Racheal! It inspired me to get back into my meal plan groove 🙂

Running with Racheal

Meal Plan

*(L) indicates leftover

Monday: burgers with local organic beef from Wild Aspen Ranch, zucchini sauted with garlic & parm, kale chips & watermelon.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday w/(L) Mexican stuffed bell pepper filling (recipe tested and approved for the blog – will be up this week) mixed with black beans. I’m looking for a good corn salad to go with – ideas?

Wednesday: (L)  Scooters Spaghetti – this is from my last freezer meal stock up. I highly recommend it! Served with a salad, or more sauted zucchini, depending on how our garden is looking.

Thursday: (L) Mexican stuffed bell peppers with zucchini cilantro lime rice (recipe tested and approved for the blog – will be up this week).

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Friday: Pesto ranch chicken thighs (from my freezer meal stock up) over quinoa, and a salad.

Saturday: Going out for our anniversary (which is really on Friday, but I’ll be in bed by 5 for sure!). I’m thinking Clover, Central Food, Casper Fry, or Sante´. I can’t decide.

Sunday: wild card. Something that will provide leftovers. It can be a little more time involved. I have chicken, fish, and ground beef. Suggestions?

Lunches throughout the week will be roast beef sandwiches + fruit/veggies or a black bean dish made with the leftover zucchini cilantro lime rice, feta, tomatoes & corn.


I plan to walk/run 3 miles, 4 times a week. Let’s see if the first week of school has other plans for me.

What’s on your menu this week? Doing anything different with your leftovers?

Body After Baby: Month 3

Joining Elf 4 Health helped jumpstart my motivation. Thanks in big part to my round 1 and round 3 elves, Kelly & Hannah, as well as all my new instagram friends! I have just over a month left of maternity leave *wah!* and my goal is to be able to wear my work wardrobe when I return.

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Last weekend I did a MAJOR clothes purge – getting rid of quite a few items that even when I do fit into them again  I know I still won’t like. Two kitchen size garbage bags went to Goodwill, and 2 more are bundled up to try to sell to Fringe & Frey. Genevieve helped me pick what to keep and what to toss. I tried on every pair of pants I own, no joke, and almost ALL of them zip(!!). They don’t look great by any stretch of the imagination, but the fact that they zip is pretty motivating. I’m still looking to tighten up a bit, and ditch about 3-4 inches overall. I’m so close!

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One of the Elf 4 Health challenges this week was to create a fitness goal for the year. I have two! One is pretty loose: get back into running. I can’t really participate easily in this goal yet, as the roads are still pretty icy in my neighborhood and I dropped my gym membership last January. But I am going to train for Bloomsday (a 12K on May 5th), either to run, or to join the stroller group, which I’m only allowed to walk in. I’d prefer to walk, but it would be nice for Genevieve to be able to participate, so if I need to walk it I will.

My second goal is to go to Zumba every Saturday morning that I am in town. So tomorrow will be my first Zumba class since G was born, and I am so excited about it! I’d love to go Tuesday and Thursday afternoons too, but classes start at 4:30, and the hubs is still at work. But once a week is still pretty good.

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The other days of the week I plan to cross-train and weight train. I’ve been using G in my squats and lunges for my weights, and wow, my bum and hamstrings are killing me! I also use my elliptical a lot. Genevieve is not a huge napper – just short cat naps here and there – so I start my workout while she’s napping, then I transfer her to her play gym when she wakes up. Sometimes she lasts for the remainder of my workout. Other times (ok, most of the time) she gets fussy and I have to hold her. She LOVES riding on the elliptical with me. She talks to me and giggles the whole time. It is pretty cute, but if I don’t pay attention to my posture it can really kill my back. I need to order the Ergo to hold her, because she weighs too much now to make the baby bejorn comfortable. Here is a little video I shot of how I make this work (ignore my baby-talk voice!):

So there it is, my no excuses/make it happen approach to body after baby. It is working so far!

Mamas, how do you fit your work-outs in?

Body after Baby: Motivation

On Sunday Genevieve will be 8 weeks old, and I’ll be 2 weeks cleared for normal exercise. Only I’ve only exercised once. I’ve also gone on a few non-brisk walks. I can get my exercise in easier with walking, but as temps drop, I prefer the comforts of home with my on demand, US Weekly, and elliptical.

But during the day Genevieve doesn’t like to nap longer than 20-30 minutes. I need to figure out some more efficient ways of going about my day so I can hop on the elliptical as soon as she falls asleep. I also need to find the motivation to get out of bed a bit earlier so I’m not starting my day at 10ish.


Additionally, I need a little motivation in the eating department. G’s needs come first, and I often find myself not eating for over an hour after I get up. I need to get back in the habit of making a pb&j each night so I have it ready and waiting as soon as I wake up. Not having immediate fuel in the morning leads me to make poor choices later on on the day.


So I signed up to be an Elf for Health, and I’m hoping my required check-ins will jump start my motivation. I’m 2-4 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight…but I got knocked up right after Christmas, and all the treats, so I am hovering about 10 pounds above my normal weight. Not only that, but I have some loose skin in the belly area I’d like to tighten up. And my lower body needs some general toning too. My arms are getting a great workout carrying Genevieve, and all her stuff, around, so at least that’s covered. I have the reasons, (general health, energy levels, and a wardrobe I’d love to fit back into), but am lacking the motivation to get moving and not eat dessert every night.

What do you do to boost exercise motivation?

I’m a January quitter

I’m sure you’ve seen the Weigh in Wednesday tab at the top of my blog…the one that hasn’t been updated in, oh, months. Once I started What I ate Wednesday-ing and Pinterest Recreating, I let my normal Weigh in Wednesday posting slide. I could re-name that tab something else non-alliteration-filled, or I could stop joining linky parties. As much as it pains my fourth-grade teacher heart, I think I’m going to have to re-name Weigh in Wednesday if I want that series to become prevalant again.

And it needs to.


I gave up the scale a while back, and I’m glad I did. It took hold over my worth and self respect for too many years. Once stepping off the scale I discovered a love of running and finally felt enjoyment from exercising for the sake of exercising. Getting out and moving your body. Being one with nature. You know, all that good stuff. And the added bonus? The weight melted off and I found myself craving naturally sweetened and good for me foods.


But then I pushed too hard and too fast, as many newbie runners do, and I injured myself. I started to notice knee pain after long runs during half-marathon training, but I pushed the pain aside, took Epsom salt baths and downed magnesium pills, thinking I was just experiencing the same twinges of pain all new runners felt, and the pain would eventually subside.

yes, this is a recycled photo, and no, I still don’t know where I found it

I was wrong. So very wrong. Around mile 7 of my half-marathon I was hit with intense pain in my left knee. I was coming down a very steep hill, and had to do a shuffle/hobble the rest of the way down. I’m still not sure how I managed the rest of the half-marathon. But I did, and then I promptly called my doc to set up a physical therapy appointment. After six weeks I was only feeling worse.


This, coupled with some additional health issues, led to my doctor ordering me to cut way back on running. The pain in my left leg helped me listen, but, unfortunately, I didn’t replace the running with enough cardio to compensate.

I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

I’m starting January 2012 around the same place I started January 2011. I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost (at least I assume, I still don’t weigh myself), and my energy levels are really, really low. At first I blamed my lack of exercise on my new job and subsequent jam packed schedule. But the heart of the matter lied in the fact that I got lazy and fell into the path of least resistance. That path included a lot of treats.

So that is why I became a January quitter. A January quitter is pretty much the opposite of a January joiner. Instead of hitting the gym with full gusto every day, I quit. I’m over the 15/20 minute drive there, the 5/10 minute locker room shuffle, and 15/20 minute drive back. In that time my work out could be complete. So I quit.

And purchased an elliptical.

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With the hubs help (ok, lets be honest, he did everything), my 3rd bedroom went from a makeshift office/guest room to an exercise room. Since set up, I’ve bounced out of bed each morning and caught up on trashy reality t.v., courtesy of E! My alarm was very motivating.

My alarm to get off the elliptical and hit the shower is equally motivating.

I’m happy to be a quitter this month.

Do you belong to a gym? Or do you prefer to get your exercise outside or in the comfort of your own home?