Saturday, July 05, 2014
Well, A achieved his goal and he and I swam an entire half mile alongside each other on Thursday. I was so proud of him! I could see that, after three days of swimming, his endurance was better and he was doing two full lengths and barely getting winded. He bragged to everyone that he swam a full mile this week!
You know what really ticked me off, though? At Day Camp, he asked his counselors if he could swim laps during pool time and they told him he couldn't because they don't want "immature swimmers" in the lanes. He told them he swam 1/4 mile two days I'm a row and wanted to reach his goal of swimming an entire half mile and do you know what those jerks told him??? "I don't think it's possible. You won't be able to do that." Omg!!! FU%&ERS!
Anyway, he DID it and it was POSSIBLE. SO THERE.
We had a lovely 4th of July. Took the kids to a great parade and then to Lake Lemon for swimming and a picnic dinner and fireworks.
Occupy Bloomington (with my friend, Mary, and her 7 kids)
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Well, if you read yesterday's blog, you'll be wondering how A is doing with his "training". We went to the pool today and he and I swam laps together. He got his 15 lengths in (another 1/4 mile!) and I got my 30. We had so much fun together and he was even more proud of himself today than he was yesterday! He SHOULD be proud! It's a BIG deal! He is DETERMINED to swim a full 1/2 mile tomorrow. Ay, the energy of youth! My body is like SERIOUSLY SORE, you guys!
We've truly had a great week together! On Monday, I actually picked the boys up from Day Camp and surprised them by taking them out for frozen yogurt. We took a lot of funny pictures and I posted them on Facebook with the following captions....
Torturing the bonus boys and making them eat frozen yogurt and ride waterslides. #EvilStepmother #Mwahahaha
The torture continues... #EvilStepmother
That night, a very happy and tired A gave me the sweetest hug and said, "You are the BEST stepmom. You are NOT an evil stepmother."
He and I have really bonded a lot this week. It's been a perfect past few days!
Mr. T and I have stayed true to our vegetarian diet for the past couple weeks. Thought I'd share some more delicious pics. It has been anything but boring and we haven't really had any cravings for meat or anything. Granted, we have had a harder time letting go of dairy completely...in fact, still working on that. But we have SIGNIFICANTLY cut down on the dairy, so baby steps. Right? :) One more week and it will be a habit!
Tarragon roasted butternut squash and red onion, with sauteed kale and red wine reduction over whole wheat pasta (a Mr. T custom creation)
Chana Masala (aka Chickpea Curry) with homemade Naan
Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Toasted Coconut with Spicy Peanut Sauce over Brown Basmati Rice (a Mr. T custom creation)
Fresh Spring Mix & Spinach Salad with Cucumber and homemade Red Wine Vinagrette with Roasted Butternut Squash & Garlic on top of Sauteed Kale and a sprinkle of Mozarella (a Leah day-before-payday-using-all-the-veggies-we
-have-left-in-the-fridge custom creation)
And my personal favorite this week...it was SOOOOOO good and even better leftover!
Polenta Black Bean Burgers on Toasted Ciabatta served with Guacamole and Grape Tomatoes and Roasted Butternut Squash, Zucchinni, Tomatoes & Onion
Every day, we think of more creative recipes and everything we have had has been filling and delicious. I never imagined this sort of diet would be this amazingly yummy and easy to follow. You just have to have plenty of variety and creativity!
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Had to pick up kids from Y Day Camp today and decided to let them swim for a bit. My goggles were broken, so no freestyle for me.
However, instead of lounging in the hot tub, I swam 1/2 mile backstroke instead. Whoa! That was a whole different workout! Shoulders shoulders shoulders!!!
The best part, though, was when I told my stepson, A, that I swam 1/2 mile, he was so impressed and wondered if he could do it.
After a few lengths of the pool, he exclaimed, "This is ADDICTING!" So, for the next half hour, I watched this rather uncoordinated asthmatic kid determinedly struggle up and down the lane 15 times. HE SWAM A QUARTER MILE!!!!
AND, all on his own, he devised a "training plan" to swim 1/4 mile today, 1/4 mile tomorrow and a full 1/2 mile Thursday (for a total of 1 mile this week). It was so adorable. He asked, "Leah...can we swim laps together?" Awwww! The kid is only 9 yr old. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!!!!
There's nothing I love more than seeing an active kid - especially when it's a kid who has not had the best examples in terms of adults who model healthy behavior. In fact, downright TERRIBLE examples of health...obesity in this house and awful sickness and morbid obesity in the other. UGH. But I love that we are now getting healthy as a family. And I know we have a LONG way to go, but at least we are headed in the right direction!
I've also just been informed that lap swimming is THE best exercise and activity for kids with asthma! Perfect! It was so meaningful and special to watch the switch flip in his mind and to see him get a little spark of passion for something. I know that if he keeps going, he could improve his form and who knows? Ironman someday???
The rest of the night, he was just on Cloud 9. He kept hugging me and saying over and over, "You are so awesome! Leah, you are so awesome!" It was really precious.
It just goes to show...people are watching. And you may inspire someone when you least expect it...after a regular old, non-PR run-of-the mill workout.
Get out there and do it!
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Today, Todd took me for the first time to one of his extended family events, the annual Family Reunion. So, apparently they don't get together too often (only a few times a year), but when they do, EVERYONE goes and it's a BIG deal. So, as you can imagine...I was a little nervous!
We pulled up to this place in the woods surrounded by trees...a beautiful log cabin! Just GORGEOUS!!!
I was introduced to a veritable crowd of people - Todd's Dad has something like 5-8 siblings. Lol. I can't remember. So I met all of them and all their spouses and their kids...and THEIR kids. I spent a lot of the day trying to get familiar with all their little families and figuring out "who goes with who".
It was SO much fun! Everyone was SO interesting and intelligent and kind and welcoming. My goodness, they are some seriously fascinating people!!! And the kids are ridiculously amazing!
They had the most incredible spread of food! I literally FILLED a plate and every single thing on there met our requirements of vegetarian. All of it was delicious and I'll tell you what...the beer was a-flowin'! Lol.
I'm just so grateful. Not only have I been blessed to have a second chance at true love with a man that I respect the hell out of and who treats me like a queen and so passionately cares for me...but I ALSO get to inherit this ridiculously talented, amazingly kind, fiercely loyal clan on top of that? My cup runneth over. And every single person asked about my kids too...and made it clear that they were also welcome into the family, no questions asked. I'm just stunned. I'm so indescribably happy. I LOVE my life!
Friday, June 20, 2014
What a lovely response to my blog yesterday about the documentary, "Forks Over Knives", and Mr. T's & my decision to change our eating style to a plant-based, whole foods mentality!
Since yesterday, I have learned (for those interested) that, if you go to the Forks Over Knives website ( www.forksoverknives.com/ ), you can find out where you can watch the film online. I believe it's $9.99 to buy it on iTunes and $3.99 to watch on Amazon. Of course, the best way is to watch it FREE on Netflix. But not everyone has that option! You can also view the trailer there, get 12 pages of awesome veggie recipes, and read all sorts of cool testimonials about people whose lives have changed as a result of switching to this way of eating.
I thought it might be fun for you to see how we are starting off...in picture form. No one starts off really wonderfully, but I think we've been eating pretty well this past week...and, lucky for you, I snapped a few photos AND I've included recipes!
Hint: My honey uses a website for most of the gourmet-esque meals he makes me and I don't think he's ever made anything that wasn't delicious when he used this site. It's food52.com/recipes . He's been using this one for years...so it's not strictly vegetarian. It has all sorts of stuff! And it's all delicious!
First vegetarian meal (cooked by my darling) was AMAZING!
It was Tarragon Lemon Summer Squash Soup & Sauteed Corn, Green Onions, and Shiitake Mushrooms
A lot of interesting flavors here!
In the soup, he substituted coconut milk (in the can) for the cream and used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. It was exquisite and really yummy the next day for lunch!
Recipe here: food52.com/recipes/22700-tarragon-le
In the corn, I was surprised to find that the mushrooms were very "meaty" and mimicked the texture and flavor of beef!
Recipe here: food52.com/recipes/6285-sauteed-corn
My love's next attempt at a lovely vegetarian dinner was a Spark Recipe - SP_Stepf's Technicolor Pasta! :)
Recipe here: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
We actually didn't use whole wheat pasta. We like Barilla Plus (in the yellow box), which has added protein and it gives a whopping 17g protein per serving. We had kale on hand, so we used that instead of chard (even though I love chard more than kale!) We substituted white onions b/c that's what we had at home. Instead of feta, we just used a sprinkle of parmesan on top.
And lest you think we only eat gourmet all the time, here is my "sad desk lunch" from yesterday (except, it wasn't that sad because it was DELICIOUS! And filling!)
Here's something interesting. In the documentary, they talked about how, after going meat and processed food and dairy free, they could now REALLY taste all their food. I felt that way yesterday with this very small, but flavor-packed lunch. Fruit has never been so sweet and vegetables so powerfully delicious. I do believe my body is starting to crave it.
Another great side effect is that I am coming in exactly on track with my daily calorie numbers, according to the food tracker. Hence, the rapid weight loss.
So, I know this change in eating patterns does worry some people...especially in terms of PROTEIN. In a plant-based diet with plenty of variety (beans, legumes, leafy greens, soy, etc), it is not difficult to get the daily recommendation of protein, but I have been watching it carefully this first week. I found this article very helpful on the subject of protein for vegetarians: www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,207
And this morning, I went a little crazy at our co-op grocery!
Look at all this yummy goodness! A prepared salad, a bagel and hummus and coffee and edamame salad for today's meals. Then, dried red lentils, green lentils, organic couscous, coconut granola, brown basmati rice, organic quinoa & some nutritional yeast. This is about 10 meals worth of stuff...all for about $30. Add some veggies and we're set! No one can tell me it costs more to be healthy. Meat is SO expensive! And with the money we're saving on that, we're getting fresh produce. Great deal!
I know this is not for everyone...and not everyone will be on board. That's OK. I'm just over the moon excited about how our family's health is going to improve. And the fact that Mr. T has jumped on this train with me...with no resistance whatsoever and with full commitment...I can't even explain how that makes me feel. Neither of us has ever been with a partner that actually cared about health enough to make real changes. It's an exciting journey together and I'm so glad to have him by my side in this.
Til tomorrow...lemme know what else you want to know. I'm an open book!
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