My Never-ending Quest for Productivity

If we’re Facebook friends you may have noticed that I’ve been pretty productive lately. I’ve been heavily inspired by the blog Clean My Space! Definitely check them out for tips­čÖé

Case in point, look at some of the organizing I’ve accomplished.

I’ve also done a lot more cooking, and have kept up with my laundry and dishes pretty well! It has all seemed effortless and I feel like I’m creating some pretty great habits.

Today, however, I feel like I’m losing steam, lol.I’m sore from workouts earlier this week, and just want to relax a little bit. I was feeling a little guilty, but then I realized that today I ran to the pharmacy and the commissary, folded my clothes (still have the girls’ left to do,) made a healthy lunch, and swept and mopped heavy traffic areas in the living room.

That’s a lot more than I used to get done in an entire day! I’m allowing myself to do the bare minimum for the rest of the day. As long as I’m doing *something* everyday, I think I’ll be fine, lol. Not stressing out about taking some time to chill out­čÖé

Summertime Laziness

We’re already going into our 3rd week of summer break and it has turned me into a lazy bum! With the kids home all day to make messes, household chores feel more overwhelming than ever! And we are having trouble keeping any real routine. I’d love to be the kind of mom who can get her kids to help with chores, but honestly the effort and struggle doesn’t seem worth it most days! I know over time it will get easier and they’ll complain less, but getting started is definitely the hardest part.

Olaf summertime

Like most families, we have a problem with too much screen time. I’ve read a lot of the tips and ideas I’ve seen on Facebook and I’m not sure I’ve found the right solution for our family. Anyone out there want to share what their family does? I’d also love to hear ideas about housecleaning, but honestly for me the biggest thing is just staying consistent.

In a book I read recently it talked about how when we feel overwhelmed with too much to do, just try to re-focus and really try to enjoy the process. So I try to tell myself, with each step I take, I’m making my house a more pleasant place to live… even if it feels like I’ll never get it perfect, each step matters.

So, how is your summer going? What sort of routines have you put in place? Or are you like me and just go with the flow?

Veggie “Experiment” (Recipe included)

There are only so many plain salted/steamed veggies one can eat without getting bored, so today I decided to try something new. Michael was grilling salmon with a pre-made marinade (not the healthiest choice, but they’re yummy and simplify cooking for us.) I checked out the ingredients list on the back and decided to use similar spices and ingredients so the meal would be “cohesive.”

The marinade for tonight was Lawry’s Hawaiian veggie experimentMarinade with Tropical Fruit Juices. Some of the ingredients that stuck out to me were the garlic, ginger, onion, and paprika, along with the tomato paste. I had already been set on sauteing zucchini and bell pepper, so decided to add in fresh tomato as well. I figured going off of the ingredients from the marinade would guarantee that the flavor would be pretty good, and I was right! So without further ado, here is the recipe, although I didn’t really measure much­čśŤ haha!

Ingredients

2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp of ginger paste (you could use fresh if you wanted)
1/2 a small red onion, diced
1 Bell Pepper diced
2 Small Zucchinis, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
Pink Himalayan Salt
Black Pepper
Paprika (All spices to taste)

  1. Heat oil in large pan for a minute or two. Add Garlic, Ginger, and red onion, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, until red onion is soft.
  2. Add Bell Pepper, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add Zucchini, stirring frequently, for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Lastly add the tomatoes, stir, and then add salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir frequently for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. After that I turned off the heat and covered and let it sit until our fish was done, so everything was able to steam a little more, but it probably isn’t a necessary step, it just depends on how soft you want your veggies.

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Time: 15-30 minutes prep (depending on how good you are at chopping) and about 10 minutes cooking time.
Servings 4-6

I was really happy with this recipe and will probably use a similar formula for creating future recipes!

I am feeling a little “Pensive”

Today’s post is in response to the daily one-word prompt:┬áPensive

I wasn’t really feeling pensive until I saw this daily prompt and decided it is a good time to reflect and seriously think about how things are going.

It is a day after completing the 3 Day Refresh, yet again. I’ve done this program time after time, and I always have reverted back to my old bad habits. I know that it’s because I haven’t planned for a way to maintain the healthy habits going forward, so I am not going to let that happen this time!

The number one thing I want to take forward with me is to STOP mindless eating! A few cheese-its here, a bowl of ice cream there, all eaten on a whim, quickly adds up to overeating for me. I also know that I really need to be better with meal planning. My failure to meal plan leads to nights where I feel too lazy to cook, or really too lazy to decide what to cook. That leads to having fast food of some sort, which has not been kind to our finances. So for me, meal planning is about health AND finances.

One thing that has helped me succeed this week is meal planning with my mom. When we take turns making meals, we stick to what we’ve planned because we know the other is counting on that healthy meal. I feel so lucky to live down the street from my mom so that we are able to easily eat meals together!

I also need to take time to reflect on how I have kept up with household chores (a major weakness of mine,) along with managing our finances, and getting the house organized. But that would all be a little too much for one blog post­čÖé

Have you taken time recently to be pensive and give deep thought to your life and goals? Giving ourselves time to just sit and think deeply is so important to our happiness and success. As long as you do it productively and not in an anxiety-fueled state. Stay neutral in your deep thought and maybe even a little optimistic!

The Miracle Morning

Earlier this month I read a book called “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. As per usual, I enthusiastically started the routine for a couple of days, and then skipped some days, and then tried to pick it up again. I love starting things but really have trouble sticking with the same thing day after day! But, today I am trying to get back into it, in fact I am writing this post during my miracle morning!

Basically the gist is that most people aren’t making time for personal development and we are more likely to have a productive and happy day if we start each day with a routine of self-growth. It sets the tone for your entire day and helps you refocus on your goals, since it’s so easy to be swept away by the day-to-day busyness of life. If you are interested in learning more, you can take a look at the author’s website.

I definitely notice a difference when I actually follow through with it, even if it means I usually end up taking a nap, haha! Starting each day with intention is definitely a life-changer! Let me know in the comments what your morning routine currently consists of­čÖé

I’m Back!

Hey! I can’t believe I’ve been MIA for 3 months! Definitely not my longest hiatus, but I’m glad to be back writing again­čÖé

I actually did have good reason to be away this time, although not justifiably for three months, haha! We made a big move from Iowa to Kentucky at the end of February, so my time has been taken by settling into a new place and a new routine. I’m definitely feeling at home now and want to get back to doing things I love, which includes blogging, but I never manage to write as much as I really want to.

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Celebrating my nephew’s first birthday!

My husband and I are finally living together after four long years of living in different countries, and that alone makes being here amazing! But on top of that, my mom and all three of my siblings live here, and that makes it even more amazing.

 

I’ve been back on my antidepressants ever since my last post and they are doing wonders. I haven’t had any real bouts of depression lately. I may have a rough day here or there but nothing I haven’t been able to handle.

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Ready to run!

 

In fitness related news, I am on week 2 of the┬áprogram Masters Hammer & Chisel and am absolutely in love with this program! There is just so much variety, and I haven’t missed a workout yet. I also ran my first 5k last month with the support of my amazing husband!

Nutrition on the other hand… I am still sucking,lol. With my consistent workouts I am still gaining weight because I just can’t seem to find a meal planning/ food prepping system that I can stick with! I think I just need to force myself to do prep on certain days and make a more detailed meal plan each week. Now if I could just get myself to do it!

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My eating hasn’t been *all* bad though.

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I’ve had good days here and there, lol.

Start Where You Are Right Now!

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I’m finally on the upswing from a really long bout of depression. I went off my meds for a few months, thinking I could cope on my own, and I was so wrong. People say, “just exercise and eat right, get enough of the right nutrients and you will feel better.” And sometimes that works, for some people, but for me and many others the depression makes it so hard┬áto do all of those things that I┬áknow would make me┬áfeel better. It’s one of those things that you can’t understand until you’ve gone through it. I love the way Stephen Fry explained it once. The bouts are like a rainy day, you can pretend it’s sunny, but that won’t change the fact that it’s raining, and sometimes all you can do is remind yourself that someday the sun will shine again.

That was a little backstory, now onto what this post is really about…

During the last two months of this bout I began having trouble with my shoulder once again, so my workouts decreased a lot. You’d think that I’d focus on eating healthier when I can’t workout as much, but for me I feel crappy when I can’t workout and I just spiral instead of doing the┬ásensible thing. So I’ve gained 6 pounds since October (not the worst thing in the world.) But what really bothers me is that I feel sooo weak! I’m completely┬áout of shape and it feels like I’m starting from square one. Honestly I feel like I hit a peak in the fall of 2014. I came close to feeling that good a few months ago when I was doing P90X3 but I’ve never quite gotten to that same level since my shoulder issues started.

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February 2014/October 2014

Also 2015 was not a good year for my eating. It could possibly be that I’m just reflecting on the last few months of the year where I was off my meds and couldn’t pull things together enough to consistently meal plan and eat at home more. But 2014 was way┬ábetter as far as nutrition is concerned.

As I think about how bad things have gotten and work hard to get back on track, one of the biggest struggles is knowing how far I had come when I was at my best. Knowing that you have all that hard work ahead of you again can be a little disheartening. We have this image in our head of a steady improvement all in the same┬ádirection, up, and when the reality of the ups and downs of progress hits you, it’s not easy to deal with. So for me, I have to come to grips with the fact that I am not as strong as I once was. I’ll have to use lighter weights than I might have before. I might need to modify moves that I could once do full out. I need to test where I am, and then go from there. When I try to push myself as hard as I did before I just risk injuring myself more.

Goals

True story.

It might be hard to feel like I’m starting over, but I have to remind myself that this is a lifelong journey and things won’t always go the way I want them to. So in 2016, I want to make nutrition my primary focus. The workouts will be secondary, and I actually think I need to make it a goal not to overdo it, but to still work hard in every workout. I swing from one end to another, and this feeling of how much strength I’ve lost makes me feel like I need to ramp up my workouts. But what will really help me regain my strength is time and consistency, not doubling and tripling the amount of time I spend working out. I start to let the workouts takeover my days, and that’s not the lifestyle I really want for myself.

So my message to you is that, backsliding will inevitably happen, due to injuries, a busy period in your life, any big transition you might experience.┬áNot giving up on the lifestyle and results you want is what really counts. Having something to work toward is great, but the work is what is really important, not the “end” result. Because there really is no “end” when it comes to health and fitness, this is a lifelong journey.