August Goals

I always admire other bloggers who post their “goals” for the month. I did the ONCE. Yes. one time and it was like 2 years ago – and who knows if I even remotely came close to accomplishing them. Let’s just go with probably not.  I’ve been really trying to push myself with writing so why not set some goals, right? 


My goals.. For August… 

This is the dirt pile in our front yard… 


1. Landscaping.   We have been working on this landscaping since we moved in.  Last summer I pulled a ton of pavers out of the front yard with the hopes to plant grass by fall.  That never happened and this is what our front yard looks like now.  (I cannot wait for another year to show the ENTIRE progression of start to finish!).  Didn’t quite get to this but are starting THIS weekend!


2.  Running.  My running has been so limited because of my back injury. However, I can start running again (slowly) by adding some biking and other low impact activities.  I only have 1 race scheduled for August and it’s a 5K this weekend (Gopher to Badger).  Last year I was in top shape and ran a great 1/2. This year I’ll be cheering on all the runners looking forward to my next one! (Which I swore last year was my last… but hoping to do Grandma’s in 2018 and MAYBE gopher to badger 2017?!)  Ran Gopher to Badger 5K and didn’t have my best run 🙁 


3.  Cleaning/Organizing/eBaying. I am a clothes hoarder.  This has been a bit of a revelation as I’ve gained and lost (and gained) weight. I cover up with new clothes.  So I’m slowly paring down my closet and selling my shit high quality clothes (several with tags) that I couldn’t live without and have never worn 🙂  Typical, right?   DID it.  Got rid of a ton of stuff!


4. Weddings.  Not mine. HA HA HA.  Two of them.  One which happens to be on my favorite weekend of the year.  Adam is in one so we’ll be doing wedding festivities all weekend the last weekend in August.  They will both be fun 🙂  handled.  One I spent two days recovering from.


5.  Pub Crawling.  Erin Adams’s Hargrove’s 10th Annual Polar Pub Crawl (North St Paul, MN) is this upcoming weekend.  I can’t even handle that it’s been 10 years since she started her pub crawl.  There have been a lot of fun memories, and some not so fun memories (headstands and card cheaters) okay that fits in both columns 🙂   We haven’t made it to all 10 but are really excited about making it this year.  See Instagram. Had a blast!!


6.  Pepper Fest See #4.  My favorite weekend of the ENTIRE year is in North Hudson, WI.  I grew up down the street from Pepper Fest and L-O-V-E going every single year!!  This year will be cut short by a wedding …ahem… please be considerate and check a calendar next year folks… j/k.  Parades, Italian Food, Beer, Music, and old friends!  What more could you ask for?  (Pepper Eating Contest, Spaghetti eating contest, a 5k/10K race, rides for the kids, bags tournaments… ) Seriously, one of the best summer get togethers around!!  Only made it to the parade this year.


7. Help Dad.  Dad is having knee replacement surgery August 15th.. So while he’s pretty humble about his health and what’s going on, he is going to need his army behind him for this one!  While I’ll be covering most days and a few nights, the rest of the family will be helping as well.  So grateful for all that he has done for us and am so happy to be able to give back and help him 🙂    Did this!  He is recovering like a champ!

Grandpa and George taking Sam for a walk


8. Unpack.  Seriously.  We STILL have boxes at Adam’s parents… and we STILL have several unpacked boxes in our basement.  I think until we actually paint and get each room the way we like it, we will have boxes of stuff just waiting to make its debut!  I tackled TWO WHOLE boxes this month.  Hoping for more next month!


9. Go to Church.  I am baptized and confirmed Catholic but have never felt as connected as I once was in Arizona (99-01).  I recently went to a funeral (good time to think about your Faith) and admired how connected the Pastor is to the community.  The following Sunday George and I went to service and the minute we sat down, the pastor walked over and introduced himself. I felt welcomed and knew that was where I needed to be.  George and I have been going to church the past few weekends there and plan to continue going.   This one sadly fell by the wayside.


10.  Be in the moment.  That was last week’s church message.  Just appreciate where you are when you are there.  Put the phone down. Put your tablet down.  Put any and all distractions aside and simply live in that moment.  How often do we meet a friend for coffee, or take our kids to the park only to find ourselves with our heads buried in our phones or thinking about something else?  I AM SO GUILTY!!!   I am trying to simply put my phone down and enjoy a few minutes of whatever it is I’m doing. Simply be.  Oh how I need to remember this one.


11. Live in front of the Camera.  I read a blog post another woman wrote, where she recognized that she was capturing all of her children’s milestone moments but was never visible in any of them. She was behind the camera.  There was nothing to show that while the child blew out his birthday candles and opened presents she was there.  She was taking the pictures.  This hit home with me. I was looking for a recent picture of myself with George and my storage is maxed out but none of them have me in them.  So when I stumbled upon this it truly spoke to me. My goal is to post one picture a day for the next 365 on my Instagram Account.   Go check out my Instagram (shameless plug) @upnorthmama1 for my daily post of in front of the camera!  While I didn’t get a post in every day, I am definitely better about being in front of the camera now!

Dinner selfie – no filter, unedited. 

XOXO

Kristen 

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Healthy Eating – Chicken Pizza Recipe

chickenpizza

A year after I had George, I joined a Bootcamp program that taught both healthy eating and fitness.  While I had a pretty great foundation for fitness, I learned so much about food.  I love to run and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t lose weight when I was running 20+ miles a week.  What I discovered is that Nutrition is 80% responsible for weight loss and Fitness is 20%.  WHAT?!  Lesson learned. “You cannot outrun your fork.”

The bootcamp I attended was put on by Lisa Simpson Rambo who was on the Biggest Loser Season 14.  She is such an incredible coach and person. She has been through the journey and gets it.  (If you’re in the St Croix Valley area, I would HIGHLY recommend her bootcamp!).   One of her favorite recipes is Chicken Pizza. I wanted to share with you the recipe as it is such a great healthy alternative to regular pizza.
Chicken Pizza Recipe  by: Lisa Simpson Rambo

  • 1 boneless chicken breast, pounded flat if thick
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pizza sauce
  • 4 slices pepperoni
  • 1 teaspoon butter or oil
  • 2 fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 2 thin green pepper rings (optional)
  • 1 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded
Makes 1 serving
Can be frozen but the peppers will get soft
Per Serving: 310 Calories; 16g Fat; 36g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Flatten the chicken breast to make it an even thickness all over.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the chicken then top with the pepperoni, raw mushrooms and green pepper rings (toppings optional)
  5. Sprinkle the vegetables with a little more salt if you like.
  6. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes then top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is done to your liking
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A New Way of Living. #HealthyMama #HealthyFamily #HealthyKid

I gained 31lbs of baby weight that somehow didn’t miraculously fall off when I left the hospital, so last year I started running.  I ran 5Ks, 10Ks, and finished with a half marathon.. and even after that I kept running.   But the weight still didn’t fall off with all that running.  The reason?  Because I wasn’t EATING properly. I have learned that 80% of weight loss comes from the kitchen and 20% in the gym. I do a majority of the cooking in our household which means that I am ultimately responsible for what we eat. (All opinions in this article are my own and I have not been compensated for them)

We started by making small changes in our house. We incorporated more fruits and veggies.  We drank more water and less soda.  And as we started to see our bodies change we also started to see our attitudes and minds change.   I also changed our recipes. We absolutely LOVE eating tacos in our house.  So we switched out chicken for beef, made salads instead of shells, and replaced our sour cream with Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt.  Greek Yogurt contains more protein and less calories than sour cream.  When I first told Adam I was fixing supper with Greek Yogurt he was less than interested.  This is the man who will eat ANYTHING and he refused.  So I did it anyway. And you know what?  He didn’t know the difference.  So to my surprise when I was out of town, I found he had eaten ALL of our Greek yogurt and had to go buy more. I call that a win!

I also have a little yogurt addict in my house too! I thought I was being such a good mama getting up and making George pancakes and waffles in the morning.  Then one morning I was running late, gave G some yogurt and from that morning on he’s eaten it every single day. Not because I’m lazy but because this child DEMANDS it!  And seriously, you can’t be mad if your child demands yogurt, right? But I URGE you to read labels.  One brand has 26 grams of sugar in a 6oz container of yogurt. This is the same amount of sugar in 1/2 of a can of Mountain Dew.  Let’s be honest, you’d NEVER let your kids drink a 1/2 can of soda, so why would you feed it to them?

George eating one of his favorite Chobani Greek Yogurts – Grape

After doing my research I found that Chobani has yogurt just for kids. YAY!   The sugar content is 7 grams lower (compared to a 6oz container) and they come in fun flavors like grape and watermelon.  They are easy to take on the go! And work great for breakfast or as a sweet dessert after supper.

We are an active family so food is not the only way we try to remain healthy.  We take family walks and go on family runs.  We go outside and allow George to explore the grass and get fresh air.  I always keep the sliding door open to allow him to play on our deck and we make trips to the park.   I try to make sure that I keep fresh snacks on hand at all times.  We eat things like freeze dried fruit, frozen fruit (defrosts wonderfully!) and of course our handy yogurt pouches.

After making several changes in our diet as a family I’ve seen the positive benefits.  We are a much happier family without all of the refined sugars and processed foods.  I am not a nutritionist but I am a mom and I feel it is my job to make sure that I’m doing the best for Adam and George to ensure they are both happy and healthy. Adam and I have both lost around 20lbs with our changes. Start small and you never know where it might take you!

My Before and After pictures taken during my healthy body transformation
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A Brief Hiatus!

Friends… I have been laying L-O-W from this blogging thing lately!  I was fully ramped up and ready to go with super blogging and then BAM! Christmas came…and went… and I just stopped. Completely stopped.  So where have I been? What have I been up to?

Back in January I joined this fabulous group – Losing it with Lisa.  It’s hosted by Lisa Rambo, a former Biggest Loser contestant.  She is one of the most amazing and inspiring people I have ever met.  I have always struggled with my weight and after having a baby, I seriously thought the weight would magically come off… but even after a year I was still 15lbs above where I wanted to be.  So each week I go to Lisa’s bootcamp, weigh in, work out, learn about nutrition and leave feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week.  So far I have lost almost 20lbs. Yes. TWENTY FREAKING POUNDS.  I am seeing numbers I haven’t seen since high school.  So that has been my focus.  I workout, eat well, and spend time with my family.

I think when I fell away from blogging I almost felt a sense of guilt about when I should come back and if I should even come back.   I am grateful to have such supportive friends and family who inquired if I would be blogging again… I plan on it!  I promise 🙂

Here are some things of what you might have missed in the last few months…

George’s 1st birthday (Yes, this pretty much engulfed my entire month of January!) How is it possible my sweet little boy is almost 14 months old?!

Great Grandpa and George

Aunt Bootsie, Brentley, George and I 

Brentley, Cousin Jenny, George, and I 
Stinky Butt 
Godparents – Greg and Jayme

George, me and Sophie

Helgeson Family, Adam, Great Grandpa, Alex, George, me, Grandma Judy and Grandpa Paul
Family

February brought Valentine’s day (completely uneventful), a golf vacation for Adam (which left me a single parent with little help since the grandparents were also gone!), and a chance to get out side and do some running.  

March has also been busy. I spent the first weekend in Illinois doing an intensive review course for a designation I’m working on — and passed!  I have 1 more (of 9) to complete – which means I am eligible for a trip to Hawaii for conferment. YAY!!!  This girl needs a beach vacation!   I also ran my fastest 7k (and first 7K – ha ha) ever.  My first mile was 8:42 which was a PR for me.  I am so excited to see what this summer of running brings for me.  
Tory, Jen and I before the Get Lucky 7k

I am also launching a new business venture this month!  Ahh.. what started as a whim has proved to be a total motivation to try something new!  I cannot wait to write all about it (and share some before/afters and personal testimonies!) for my business.   More to come!!
XoXo 
Kristen

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