Fitness Friday: A Peek at my Week

 

Fitness Friday:  A peek at my Week.  Come get inspired! || Happy Healthy Mama

I love hearing about other people’s workouts, and I especially love looking at what other people do over the course of the week.  I thought you might like it, too, so I thought I’d try a new spin on Fitness Friday and share what my workouts looked like this week.

As I was making the graphic for this post, it felt rather self-congratulatory to write “get inspired!” on it.  I feel like there are soooo many women out there who are truly more inspirational than me when it comes to fitness.  I hope that despite this, at least some of you find inspiration here on my Fitness Friday posts.

What I am is a busy mom who is trying to squeeze in exercise when I can.  I am trying to be a good example of healthy living for my children.  I may not be the gym rat who lives and breathes for working out, but I am a real mom who is striving to make fitness a regular part of my life.

All right–let’s get to it!  Here’s a peek at my week in fitness.

Sunday:  off

Monday:  40 minute interval run on treadmill

I created a play list for this alternating between slower songs and upbeat songs.  For the slower songs I ran around 9:30 minute mile pace and for the fast songs I ran around 7:30 minute mile pace.  Overall I ran 4.6 miles. This was a good workout and a fun way to run on the treadmill.  I’m not really a treadmill fan, but the weather this week is too hot for my liking, plus the gym childcare is really helpful.  

Tuesday:  A 45 minute Cross Training class at the Y (A new class for me–I’m working on my Summer Fitness Bucket List still!)

This was a super fun class that went by really fast. I loved that it worked my entire body.  We started with a 5oo meter jog to warm up (5 laps on the indoor track) and then 5 minutes of alternating jump rope and push-ups. Then we moved to three different “boxes” that had 3 exercises each that we completed as many rounds that we could in 8 minutes.  In between each box we ran 2 laps on the indoor track (I ran fast to get some cardio in) Here’s what each “box” looked like:

Box #1

TRX rows-15

Wall Balls (squatting with a medicine ball, then jumping up and throwing the ball on the wall)-10

Jack knife sit ups-10

Box #2

Burpees with box jump-12

Run stairs with  weighted bag-3

Kettlebell swings-15

Box #3

push ups with weighted bag pull through-10

jump rope-100

one more thing that I can’t remember ;-)

For each round I made it through three sets and was working on my fourth when time was up.  We ended the workout with a jog to cool down.  I loved this class and will do it again for sure.  

Wednesday: Lifted arms and then ran on the treadmill

Arm workout:

Dumbbell curls 3 x 10

Tricep Extensions 3 x 10

Dumbbell bench press 3 x 10

Lateral extensions 3 x 10

Tricep dips 3 x 15

Treadmill:

3 miles total

mile one: 9:30 minute mile pace

mile two:  7:08 minute mile pace

mile three:  9:30 minute mile pace

I wanted to run a fast mile and see how it felt. It felt good! It was hard, but not too hard.  

Thursday:  off

Friday:  4 easy miles morning run outside.  8:45 minute mile pace.  I wanted to run 5 today, but didn’t get up early enough.  Such is life, right?  

Saturday:  Not sure yet.  We have a busy day planned, so most likely off.  But I’d love to get up early and get a run in and maybe some leg work.  We’ll see!

Overall, I’d say this is a typical workout week for me.  About as “typical” as you can get with me, because I change things up a lot! My goal is always to get four workouts in and most of the time that happens. Sometimes, though, it’s only three.  Other weeks I sneak in five.  I’m not consistent! My life doesn’t give me that luxury right now, but I think I’m doing okay given the season of life I’m in.

Let’s inspire each other! What did your workouts look like this week?  Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Fitness | Tagged | 2 Comments  

Easy Homemade Fruit, Nut, and Seed Granola Bars

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Do you guys have to send snacks with your kids to school?  Meghan is in kindergarten this year and we are required to send two snacks with her every day in addition to her lunch. And somehow, when she gets home, she’s starving again.  So let me just warn you that you may see an increase in snack recipes around here as that’s a lot of food.  Creating new healthy snack recipes isn’t really a bad thing though, is it?

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Of course I want the snacks I send with Meghan to be healthy.  I think healthy snacks are nourishing and help sustain energy and focus throughout the school day.  These easy, homemade granola bars are perfect for that.  They nourish little bodies (or big bodies, these are for everyone!) with oats, almonds, two different kinds of seeds, dried fruit, and very little added sweetener.

I was brainstorming ways to make a traditional-style granola bar (not the date and nut Larabar type bar) without so much sweetener.  The thing is that honey is sticky and really helps hold granola bars together. The secret ingredient here is something you might think only grandpas eat.  Think again!

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Even if you think you hate prunes, don’t disregard this recipe.  The prunes add sweetness but their flavor doesn’t overpower the granola bars.  They are sticky enough that by using them I was able to reduce the honey I used to 1/4 cup.  That is half the amount I use in this peanut butter granola bar recipe.  

The prunes also add some nutrition.  Dried plums are a good source of vitamin A and also add some calcium, iron, and vitamin C to the granola bars.  And everyone knows about prunes’ ability to help us, um, keep things moving.  

These easy homemade granola bars also have some peanut butter which adds a great flavor with the honey, but again, not too much.  There’s just 1/4 cup peanut butter, which is nice as organic peanut butter is expensive and I tend to use it in a lot of my recipes.  The rest of the ingredients:  oats, almonds, and seeds are all healthy, energizing foods.  You can’t go wrong with this easy, healthy snack!

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Posted in Snack Recipes, Toddler Eats, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes | Tagged , | 8 Comments  

Summer Vegetable Tacos

 

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One of my favorite ways to cook a vegetarian meal is to stuff a bunch of vegetables into a taco. I put half of my CSA box into these tacos.  The vegetables are absolutely the star of this show.  But the avocado creme is trying hard to steal their part.  Avocado, greek yogurt, lime, and a little cayenne pepper come together as a perfect topping for these fresh vegetarian tacos.  Quinoa and black beans show up for added bulk and protein.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I cooked the massive heap of vegetables (about 5 cups worth) in butter and garlic.  Not exactly authentic Mexican cooking over here, but lovely for simple flavor.  A little bit of heat comes in from the beans and the avocado creme, balancing the mellow vegetables.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven though there’s a couple different components that require multitasking in this dish, it comes together pretty easily for a quick weeknight meal.  This is especially true if you are good at doing your meal prep ahead of time and chop all those vegetables beforehand. But even if you don’t, no worries, this is still a rather quick meal.

If you have anyone in your life who doubts if you can get enough protein in a vegetarian meal–serve them these tacos and let them know they are eating 12 grams of protein with each taco.  I ate four for dinner, so that was a dinner with 48 grams of protein, with no meat involved. Take that, doubters.

 

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Posted in Dinner Recipes, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes | Tagged | 4 Comments  

Double Chocolate Banana Zucchini Bread

It’s the time of year when you can easily eat zucchini for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.  And I have been.

Today, I bring you dessert.  Or, if you are so inclined, breakfast.  I mean, this quick bread does have zucchini and bananas.  Also, it’s made with whole wheat flour. That totally makes it breakfast-worthy, right?  I think so.  I’m always down with chocolate for breakfast.

But really, we ate this for dessert.  It’s healthier than your average dessert as I reduced the sugar drastically compared to most quick breads.  With two ripe bananas in the mix, you don’t need a ton of added sugar, so half a cup of whole cane sugar was plenty here.

This recipe produces such a moist and decadent loaf, you won’t believe it’s actually a healthy double chocolate banana zucchini quick bread.  (<—–there’s a mouthful for you!) Even with reduced sugar and reduced oil, this bread tastes like dessert.  With both zucchini and yogurt in the ingredient list you are bound to end up with a super moist bread.  Sorry I keep using that word, but really, it’s the only way to describe this loaf.  The whole wheat flour and greek yogurt also boost the protein content.

If you are worried about your kids not liking this because of the zucchini, you can’t even tell it’s there.  The dark color of the loaf disguises it well.  As you can see in the pictures, it’s not totally undetectable, but for kids who are excited about eating a piece of chocolate bread, trust me, they won’t care.

When Meghan saw this loaf cooling on the counter when she got home from school one day this week, she squealed.  I hope it makes your family as happy as it made mine.

 

 

If you have zucchini coming out of your ears and need even more baking ideas, try one of these recipes from the past:

Vegan Zucchini Muffins

Veggie Pancakes

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Are you going to bake this weekend?  Whatever you do, have a good one!

 

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Posted in Breakfast Recipes, Dessert recipes | Tagged , , | 14 Comments  

Learning to Say No

It seems children today are offered candy or junk food during or after every activity in which they participate.  Where do you draw the line?  This is the story of how I’m learning to say no.   

Meghan had her first day of school yesterday. (She’s repeating kindergarten at a new school.) I picked her up and she chatted happily the entire ride home, telling me all the details of her day. It was such a relief to have her be happy, such a relief to know she had a good experience.

As mothers, I think it’s our instinct to want to hold on to our little ones, to not let go.  Having Meghan start school this year feels like I’m having to let go a little.

It’s a hard line to walk. I want her to go out into the world and be independent, yet I want to protect her and keep her safe.  The world is a scary place. There are so many things out there that can hurt her.  How can I keep all the bad things away? What do I let her experience on her own and what do I shelter her from?

I’m learning that there are times when I need to let go more and times when I need to hold on tighter.

This summer, Meghan did three activities.  She took swimming lessons, tennis lessons, and did a golf camp.  Every single one of those activities ended with a sweet treat.  Swimming and tennis were ongoing activities and after every lesson the kids were presented with a Dum Dum sucker.  The golf camp was only a 3 day event and at the end of each day the kids were given a full-sized candy bar.

Through the years I’ve settled on the philosophy that I will control what foods I buy, but won’t make my kids refuse treats at special occasions like birthday parties.  The older Meghan gets, however, the more I realize that those special occasions are not so special. Candy and junk foods are being handed out to my kids for everything they do.

And why do kids need candy after a sport lesson or camp, anyway?  What, exactly, is the purpose?  To reward the kids?  Why do they need a reward for taking a lesson?  Isn’t the lesson the reward?  It’s a privilege to be able to take a lesson.  The kids who are able to take lessons are lucky.  Why on earth would they need a piece of candy? It certainly seems to contradict the message of active, healthy living, which I would think any sport lesson should be trying to convey.

The breaking point for me came near the end of the summer.  I was sitting with Luke, watching Meghan get her tennis lesson.  There was a group of moms, none of whom I know that well. Luke, as a typical two-year-old, was not sitting still and he fell and started crying.  The head tennis coach went right for the sucker tub, declaring, “Oh, he needs a sucker!” Don’t get me wrong.  His heart was in the right place.  But my kid did not need a sucker because he was crying.  If I gave him a sucker every time he cried…well let’s just say he’d be eating suckers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  He’s two.

The tennis coach went on to say how popular the suckers had been that summer. They’d gone through 1,500 suckers. I wanted to say, “No, shit. Artificially colored sugar’s been a big hit among kids?! You don’t say?!” Instead I just smiled and nodded my head while my two-year-old got a blue mouth from the Blue #2 he was licking frantically.

After that day, I realized I’d had enough. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have it in me to speak up.  Why I couldn’t say the things I wanted to say to the people handing these candies that are potentially damaging to their developing brains?  Nobody wants to be the overbearing, crazy mom, right?  But I knew something was going to change.

I started by buying an organic bag of lollipops.  Still a ton of sugar in those things, but at least there wasn’t the artificial food dyes. I put it in my purse and was armed with an alternative to the suckers they were handing out.  I felt like at least I was doing something.

Meghan, of course, wanted to know what the difference was.  5-year-olds ask questions like this.  So I told her.  Those Dum Dums she’d been given were full of food dyes that were proven to be bad for our health and they could hurt her brain.  I liked giving her candies that were naturally colored better.

After that, she didn’t look twice at the Dum Dum bin after a swimming or tennis lesson. Tim brought her to her swimming lesson one day and came home shocked:  “What did you tell her about the suckers?  She said she didn’t want one because they weren’t healthy for her.” And he didn’t even have an alternative to give her.  She basically forgot about wanting a sucker at all and since then doesn’t ask for the organic lollipops.

I kick myself for waiting so long to just say no.  I’m not sure what I was afraid of.  My kids throwing a fit?  (Wouldn’t be the first time.) Being judged by other moms?  (I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time for that, either.)  My kids feeling deprived? (Doesn’t every kid need a healthy dose of that once in a while?)

Slowly, I’m learning to say no.  It’s okay to stand up for what I think is important in real life, not just hidden behind this blog.  Why is it so much easier to publish it on the Internet than say it out loud? I don’t have to pressure anyone to make the same decisions for their kids that I do.  I won’t judge you if you aren’t as afraid of artificial food dyes as I am.  But I’m done being quiet about my kids getting candy or junk food that I don’t want them to have day after day.  Sometimes, it’s my job to say no.

What do you think?  Am I crazy or is the amount of candy offered to our kids outrageous?  How do you handle it?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in General Nutrition, Parenting | Tagged | 30 Comments