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    6 years ago

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving & 6 Months

This week was a hard one, this was our first Thanksgiving as well as the 6 month birthday of our second son, Thomas.   

When I look back at the last 6 months I am amazed at how fast the time has gone.  I also am grateful at the fact that I made it to this point. I honestly wasn't sure how I'd get here.

This little guy is a big reason I keep going each day.

We celebrated the holiday by going away, which meant extra time with my little guy and workouts each morning.   I think I needed it more than he did this week of all weeks.

On our 'rest day' we headed to a local indoor pool for some water fun!  I love sharing my love of fitness with Ben, we never do it because we 'have' to, we always do it because we want to! Which is huge, and something that took me years to figure out.

While I missed my bare bones basement gym, we had a nice back up gym in the garage - it was chilly, but once you get moving chilly doesn't matter anyway!

...but by chilly, the first day we went, it was 37 degrees! Thank goodness for heaters.

In food news....

This is a recipe I had found that I tweaked a bit - crock pot lentil chili! It was easy and I got to basically mix all the veggies I had in the house (squash, sweet potato, eggplant, onion, tomato) with lentils, quinoa and a few bay leafs for a yummy hearty meal!

And my other favorite food from the week is this salad - I can't claim to have made it but I can claim to have enjoyed it!  This is proof that you can eat well even on the go.   This is a 'double' order of the house salad at the restaurant I was at, I ordered the dressing on the side and asked for a veggie burger on the side as well.  A nice mix of fats, veggies and protein! And with the veggie burger I also get some healthy carbohydrates in as well.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Holiday Hustle

In many ways it has felt like time stopped for me on May 22nd with the heartbeat of our youngest son, Thomas.   I look at the calendar and wonder how 6 months have passed.

With each day I remember more of ‘life’ that I’ve forgotten about these last few months, each day unraveling the new version of the prior me.

This past weekend, I had a recertification for my fitness credidation.  This is the first time I’ve attended a teacher training since Thomas was born, and while I’m in great physical condition, I will don’t feel or ‘look’ like my prior self.  The grief has worn on me in different ways.  

As an outsider, you wouldn’t know, no one in the class knew about Thomas which was both refreshing and sad all at the same time.

I was anxious about going, but it ended up being a great experience, and it felt good to have a bit of ‘the old’ me back.  

Here I am in the practice session teaching a circuit of moves.

Another part of the old me that I pulled back into my routine the last few months has been my morning reading routine.  I read with purpose and try to pick my favorite concept or quote from each day.

This one really stuck with me. I find it works with health, career, fitness, and so much more. 

This is proof.  

For years I dreamed and dreamed of having s fitness business was, I dreamed of loving my job.  3 years ago I put my plan to paper and I can honestly say I’ve never been happier and more fulfilled with my work. 

I am grateful to have such a community to lift me up, the love I have poured or the last few years continues to come back to me.

This holiday season is full of emotions, I’ve always loved the holidays, but there is a void there, wher ethomas should be.  

As we decorated I struggled realizing I had not gotten any decorations for Thomas in the same way that I did for Ben, but then I remembered the beautiful ornaments that were given to us in the weeks that followed his birth, lifting me up, remaining me how much love surrounds Thomas’s short life. 


I have also found myself seeing his presence more and more each day as the holidays approach, as if he’s telling me, it’s ok Mom, I’m still here.

Elephants are one of our few signs for Thomas, and I have been seeing them all around recently, including this lone elephant that I spotted last weekend. 

I am grateful every day for this little boy.  He reminds me what I do have, he reminds me also of the ability to balance sadness with joy... the resilience ksonnier a child is unparalleled.

Here he is with our weighted Thomas Bear, exactly the size and weight that Thomas was, 6lbs 15oz and 20 inches.

It took months, but I’m finally into more of a groove with consistent cooking as well.  Here is one of my favorites, one I hadn’t made in months - butternut squash crusted pizza (listed under my recipes)

And a recipe I created after visiting an amazing vegan restaurant over the summer - chickpea ‘chicken’ salad (also listed under my recipes)

A go to staple, eggs! Easy to add veggies too and easy to have on hand!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Vegan "Chicken" Salad

Vegan "Chicken" Salad

This salad is a favorite, it's full of veggies and protein with no meat! 

  • Can Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 6 tsp "Just. Mayo" (or regular mayo for non vegans)


1. Mash the garbanzo beans with a potato masher, it won't be a creamy consistency, you want it to be 'chunky' but mashed
2. Add in veggies and mix
3. Add in vegan mayo (or regular) and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Veggie Burger - Sweet Potato Yummies

Sweet Potato Veggie Burger

Serves: 6


  • 1 small Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (or avocado oil)
  • 1/2 large Sweet Potato (peeled, diced)
  • 1 large clove of Garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pink Salt
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Corn
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of Beans (I like garbonzo)
  • 6 tablespoons Breadcrumbs (I use panko)


  1. Preheat oven to 435F and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Heat Oil in a pan on medium heat. Add onion, sweet potato, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft. 
  3. Remove pan from heat and place sweet potato,onion,and garlic into a medium sized bowl. Add spices and mash ingredients together. Set aside for 10 minutes until cool enough to handle. 
  4. Add corn, beans, and breadcrumbs to somewhat cooled sweet potato mixture. Mix well with hands and form into 6 patties. 
  5. Place on parchment paper lined baking pan and bake for 15 minutes on one side, flip, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 
  6. While burgers are in the oven make your yogurt sauce by combining yogurt with spices to your taste. Start with a little of each spice and slowly add more until sauce is to your liking.
  7. Remove burgers from oven, serve on buns with onions, tomato, lettuce and sauce, and enjoy.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Making an Impact

I have been reading a lot about mindset, and it truly does affect how I look at my days, and my life.  We don't always have control of what comes our way, but we ALWAYS have control of how we look at it.   

A big topic has been around having 'faith' - not necessarily religious faith, but faith in life itself.  That if you look around, you can always find a way to learn from every experience and have it change your life for the better. 

For example, Thomas's short life has helped me appreciate this little guy more than I ever thought I could.  I loved him more than anything, but since Thomas I have learned to appreciate him, even the hardest days, that much more.

I have also found comfort in spreading love and support in Thomas's honor.  This is my first set of gifts I have put together, each with a handwritten note, for other families and siblings that leave the hospital without their baby.

I continue to work on my personal health daily, which may seem odd - that I have mental capacity to do this.  But honestly, I can't imagine where I'd be if I DIDN'T make this time to eat well, and move each day. I am forever grateful that I was in the habit before Thomas was born, because it lifts me up on the hardest days.

I have a community I work with, and taking photos like this for the group, and seeing all of them working bit by bit, day by day as well, has been extremely helpful for me. 

Moving on with food news, I wanted to share a few simple recipes in this post.   Here is a staple recipe in our house - my son (4) devours them.   Easy, and full of actual foods! 

This one is not so much as a recipe, as it is a suggestion.  Each week, I cut up all the veggies I have on hand, and just simmer them until they are cooked.  This time, I started with sweet potato and regular potato.  Then added onion, peppers and finally spinach.  Easy to add seasoning too and have with any meal during the week!

Another quick & easy food - eggs! I often do eggs with spinach, and if I have room for it, add in cheese, or have with toast.   This week I added in turmeric and black pepper for added nutritional value.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Chickpea Tofu

Chickpea Tofu

I love this option as a vegetarian who tries to stay clear of soy as much as possible. It's extremely easy and you can keep the ingredients on hand for long periods of time which makes it great for a quick protein option!


1 Cup Garbonzo Flour
2 Cups Water
Seasoning (examples include Curry, Turmeric, Italian Seasoning)


1. Mix all ingredients, if you are adding in extra seasoning  see 'tips' for my suggestions
2. On medium heat, stir constantly in a sauce pan (whisk first to break up clumps)
3. Once it solidifies, which won't take long, transfer to a casserole dish (the above makes 4 servings, so I use a smaller dish)
4. Place in fridge, makes 4 servings!


For curry, I add in 1tbsp of curry and 1tspn of turmeric as well as a dash of hand ground peppercorns to bring out the benefits of the turmeric

For Italian seasoning, I put in approximately 1tspn of dried Italian herbs

Thursday, November 2, 2017

3 Ingredient Banana Pancakes

These are a hit in my house - my son devours them before I can make a second batch! 


1 Ripe banana (spots are good for this!), mushed with a fork
1 Egg, beaten
Dash of Cinnamon (optional)


1. Mash Banana with a fork (you can also blend it, but I find my son prefers it mashed and they are puffier this way)

2. Beat egg and add to banana, sprinkle on cinnamon. I prefer Ceylon for the health benefits.

3. Cook on a nonstick skillet (using non stick spray) on medium heat. TIP: Make them small, approximately silver dollar sized and use a small spatula to make it easier to flip. If they are too big it's really hard to flip them over. They only take a few minutes at most on each side to cook.


You can play with other ad-ins like vanilla for a different flavor, or use a blender for a smoother consistency.