Chicken Stir Fry

So, I failed at posting my food everyday.  However, I starting using MyFitnessPal and that has really helped me become accountable and aware of what I am eating and putting into my body.  I highly recommend using this.  The best part of the app is that you can scan barcodes of your food.

Since I am horrible at posting what I eat each day, I hope to post at least one recipe a week for others to try.  Tonight, I made chicken stir fry.  This is a staple in our house and we have it about every other week.  The best part of stir fry is that you can change up the meat and veggies for some variation (although we often stick to the same thing).

Tonight I used 3 chicken breasts, one head of broccoli, about half a bag of baby carrots, and about half a tray of mushrooms.   The recipe that I use is adapted from my Eat Clean Cookbook.  I have been using it for years, and have always done my own thing to the original recipe and tonight I finally took the time to write it down.

Here are the first steps:

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1.  (PICTURE #3) Cut your chicken your chicken into small pieces (I use food scissors to do this).  Once it is in a bowl, add the following ingredients to the chicken:
2 Tbspn low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbspn lemon juice
2 Tbspn olive oil
1/2 Tbspn mincel garlic
1/2 Tbspn chopped ginger
(If you choose, do this ahead a time and let marinate).
Once you are finished throw all of this in pan and let cook.

2.  While the chicken is cooking, chop your vegetables.  You may add different vegetables and more or less of them. (Pictures #1 & #2) and also…

3.  Make your Stir Fry sauce and place in a separate bowl (Picture #4):
1/4 cup of chicken broth
2 Tbspn of lemon juice

2 Tbspn of low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbspn of orange marmalade
2 Tbspn of hoisin 
1/2 Tbspn of minced garlic
1 Tbspn of chopped ginger
1 Tbspn of corn starch 

4. Once your chicken is finished, remove from stove and place in a bowl.

5.  Begin cooking your vegetables.  Start with the veggies that take the longest first.

6.  Once veggies are finished, add the chicken back.

7.  Pour in the stir fry sauce and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until it thickens.

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I serve this over brown rice, and we get about five servings out of it… great the next day for leftovers.  I put this in MyFitnessPal and without the brown rice, one serving of this is 274 calories.   Maybe I will change it up next week and try a different protein and some different veggies.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think… Enjoy!

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Claire is 4 Months

Happy 4 Months (last week on the 10th) to my sweet girl, Claire Renee.  

Just like every mom, I am not sure where the last four months have gone.  It is hard to believe that my little girl is already four months.  I know it is cliche, and everyone says it, but it is the truth: she brings more joy to my life than I ever imagined possible.  

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Josh and I often joke and say, “we are just going to stop and call this a walk-off home run and not have any more kids.”  Claire is such a good baby.  She is rarely fussy, sleeps 10-12 hours a night, is a great nurser, does great at the child watch at the Y and for other people… she is just wonderful.  This past weekend, she spent the whole day Saturday with Josh’s cousin Michael and his wife, Rachel while we went to the IU game with my Mom and Thom.  Michael and Rachel said she did great, and really enjoyed spending the day with her.

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At four months old she can roll over belly-to-back and back-to-belly.  She is always smiling (besides when I took her four month pictures) and laughs a lot.  She has become so much more vocal and will try to mimic sounds you make.  She enjoys books and will sit still and listen to us read a book and help turn the pages.  She makes her teacher mommy so proud.

Besides mommy and daddy she recognizes her Grammy’s (my mom) face and voice very well.  We also FaceTime and when we do that, she grabs for the phone.  Speaking of grabbing, she is grabbing for everything these days.  The other day at lunch, she was sitting on my lap and quickly grabbed for my soup.  Now begins the days of watching her.  She is constantly grabbing my hair too.

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Claire is obsessed with her feet.  She is constantly grabbing them, trying to put them in her mouths, pulling her socks, and the bottom of her pants.  She is finally starting to enjoy toys too.  She still loves her snuggie (little blanket with the tags), but is showing interest in other toys too.  Her Godmother, Emily got her a Violet (Leapfrog Dog) for Christmas and she loves it.  She also received this little crab that has a mirror on it and she thinks it is so cool when she is doing tummy time.  She still likes her Sophi giraffe and is reaching Eric Carle lion that is attached to her carseat.  She also has the Eric Carle caterpillar, but for some reason is ALWAYS reaching for the lion instead.  I even tried to switch them around to see if she was just partial to one side, but it wasn’t that; she is just partial to the lion.

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I am so blessed to be able to be with her every day and be able to experience and see her grow and learn.  She makes my heart smile!

The Kennedy’s

First things first… FOOD.

Before I get to the title of my post, I apologize for not posting my meals yesterday or posting my dinner on Monday evening.  Yesterday I came down with something yucky and had me under the weather for the majority of the day.  My meals consisted of oatmeal, chicken noodle soup and more chicken noodle soup.

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Today I started the day with my favorite oatmeal concoction once again- you will learn that I am a creature of habit.  I then had a snack of a small banana and a half serving of almonds.  In light of trying to drop this baby weight, I am being very diligent about counting and measuring my food.  It also helps that I am entering everything into MyFitnessPal (thank you, new iPhone).  For lunch I had leftovers of my dinner that I didn’t post from Monday night: turkey enchilada casserole.  I also had a late afternoon snack of a handful of almonds and dark chocolate chips.  Dinner came together quickly thanks to one of our favorite crockpot meals courtesy of Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers: chicken, carrots and sweet potatoes with soy sauce and some spices.

What I am learning from documenting my food is that I MUST EAT MORE VEGGIES- my goal for tomorrow!

It was a beautiful day January day in Indiana today and I was so glad I was able to get in a run outside.  I planned on going in the late afternoon when the sun was still shining, but agreed to wait so that the hubby could join us.  Despite having some road blocks (literally) and having to push the baby jogger through some slush, we logged in 3 miles at a 9 minute pace.  (I am getting there!)  I came home and then completed two circuit workouts.

The Kennedy’s

So, I have a slight obssesion with the Kennedy’s.  Okay, maybe obsession isn’t a good word, but I am very intrigued by the family and President JFK’s administration.  I used to just be in love with Jackie’s fashion and style, but a few summers ago there was a mini series on AMC that we watched and after that I started actually reading a lot instead of just admiring Jackie’s attire.

Prior to the mini series, I didn’t realize how much JFK’s father had his hands in the decisions in President Kennedy’s decision.  I felt as if he was living vicariously through JFK and filling the void from his other son who he had initially hoped would some day become president, but then passed away.

I have a very good friend that is just as intrigued as me and recently recommend a book to me: Mrs. Kennedy and

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 I am currently about 1/3 of the way through the book and am hooked (although it takes me much longer than it used to finish a book).   The author, Clint Hill, was Jackie’s bodyguard during her time as first lady and shares some very intimate details about Jackie not only as a first lady, but also as a person.

I hope to finish the book within the next week and am excited to do so.  Once I do, I will begin listening to these…

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I was surprised to find a box from Amazon with these on the porch the other day from my hubby: “Historic Conversations On Life With John Kennedy”.  The best part of these are that these are real-life interviews, her voice!  I am quite excited- my husband sure does know me well!

Is there a famous person or family that really intrigues you?

My Day: Fighting Irish, Circuit Workouts & Beginning Reading Behaviors

Ahhh Mondays….

I started off this morning with my favorite breakfast of all time!  Oatmeal topped with a teaspoon of melted dark chocolate and strawberries, and of course a cup of coffee and water.

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Lunch consisted of scrambled egg whites with red pepper and mushrooms and a piece of grilled Jennie O turkey ham.  I am not usually one to buy or eat deli or processed meat, but if I do this is the one I choose.  My mom always has this at her house and I had purchased it to use in a breakfast casserole and I needed to get rid of it.

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We were also ready to cheer on our Fighting Irish today from the time we woke up.  In fact, we were so excited that someone refused to take a nap until just now (3:24).

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Since napping was unsuccessful until late in the day, Claire decided to roll over from back to belly again.  She did it last night, but neither of us caught it- I caught it today though, but not on camera.  I am sure there will now be many opportunities for me to catch her rolling in action.

Since napping wasn’t an option until late in the afternoon, Claire decided to make her “teacher” mommy proud…

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YES, we are working on beginning reading behaviors at 4 months in my house!  (Teacher friends you will appreciate this.)

I also had great intentions of making it to the gym, hopping on the dreadmill treadmill to log some miles and doing a heavy lift, but my intentions were quickly shattered (just like my window- no pun intended).  Last week my windshield shattered from the freezing cold (thank you, Indiana winter) and the glass company was supposed to come fix my window.  Well, I assumed they’d be here early and then I could go…. NOT, they called this morning to say they’d be here between 1:00 and 4:00.  So, I knew immediately I had to resort to some at home circuit workouts.

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I put on my cross trainers, grabbed my watch and completed workouts 1 & 2 from the January challenge group totaling 34 minutes of exercise.  Wow, I worked up a sweat and didn’t even need a single piece of equipment!  I then grabbed a post-workout snack of almonds and an apple.

Now, we finally have a napper so it looks like this Mommy will attempt two more circuits, some laundry and meal prepping for tonight.  Turkey Enchilada Casserole, IU basketball, and the IRISH in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP game is on our agenda for tonight.

What do you do when your workout plans are shattered?  

January Challenge

With a new year always comes the hopes for a new workout regimen, starting one or continuing one.  My good friend started a Facebook group in December called, “25 Days Until Christmas” where she posted a short, at-home, circuit workout each day to keep people on track during the crazy holiday season.  The group was so successful she decided to keep it going, but asked me to do the workouts for January to take some of the burden off of her.

This past week I posted 4 workouts and we had 32 people complete all or some of the workouts and 19 people that completed all of them.  I am so proud of the people that have committed to making fitness a priority this month.

In the midst of this, I have had several people message me and ask me about their diet and nutrition.  “What should I be eating?”  I am not a nutritionist, in fact, I can log a ton of miles, several workouts, spend hours at the gym, but my eating habits are my downfall.  The 9 months I spent carrying my sweet Claire I thought I could eat whatever I wanted which included McDonald’s french fries and regular cokes- two things that were previously not found in my diet.  I ate a ton of sugary cereal, and pasta with just olive oil and parmesan cheese.  To say the least, I lost any healthy ways of eating I had.  Before becoming pregnant, I was “okay”.  I would have good days and horrible days.  I was about 5 pounds heavier than usual when I became pregnant and I would contribute that to my diet.

It is hard for me to give other’s advice on what to eat if I don’t follow my own advice.  I know how to do it, but it is about making the change, saying “no”, and committing myself and my family to a change.   When I was in my best shape and felt the healthiest was when I followed Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet (I hate the word diet because it is a lifestyle change, not a diet).

So here I am challenging others to complete four workouts a week, but also challenging myself to take the month of January to set the tone for the rest of the year of clean eating.  Now this doesn’t mean I don’t have cheat days, but I have less of them.

I have decided to start my clean eating lifestyle by documenting what it is I eat through pictures… here goes today.

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Breakfast: I started the morning like I always do with plain, natural oatmeal.  Today I topped it with an apple, cinnamon and walnut pieces.  I of course had my coffee, but made sure I matched my coffee with a glass of water as well.  I knew I had a hard workout coming up and needed to hydrate.

Pre-Workout Snack: I taught my interval training class at noon today at the YMCA.  As I was getting ready to leave, I started to feel hungry so I grabbed an apple and a spoonful of natural peanut butter and ate it in the car while I gulped down some more water.

Workout: I taught a tough 55 minute interval training class today.  I love that class!  We alternate between 4-5 minutes of high intensity cardio moves and recover with 2-3 minutes of strength moves.  Great workout!

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Lunch:  After my class I was starving!  Unfortunately I had to go to the grocery to get items for Josh to make chilli.  I was wishing I would have packed a protein shake or something, but I didn’t- I need to get better at that.  I resisted all junk that looked good at the grocery store and waited until I arrived home.  I fixed 3 egg whites on a sandwich thin with avocado and a few dashes of tabasco sauce.  Mmmm that is my go-to quick, healthy, high protein lunch.  I also ate a red pepper alongside it.

Lunch #2: Josh was cooking chilli as I ate my first lunch and my hunger couldn’t wait.  So, once it was finished, I was still a little hungry so I had a very small bowl to tie me over until dinner.

Dinner: Just a bigger bowl of chilli- he really makes the best chilli!  We use turkey burger in it instead of hamburger too.

Snack/ Late night treat: I love my sweets!  As hard as I try, I just can’t give up my sweets, so I try to limit them as much as I can.  Tonight I cut up a few strawberries and melted 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips in the microwave.  Just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

I know I will get better at eating clean.  After looking back on today, I need to eat more veggies- a good goal for the week.

What are you challenging yourself to do this January?

A New Year

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With a new year always comes those New Year’s resolutions.  I am not really one for New Year’s resolutions.  It is probably because I get frustrated with those New Year’s resolution people at the gym that take up the treadmill during the only months (January & February) it is necessary for me to use the treadmill.  Don’t get me wrong, I am GLAD they are there and trying to become more healthy, but come on people, let’s make it an all-year round goal.

So, instead of New Year’s resolutions, I usually make a list of goals or things I want to accomplish.  Since I made my 30 before 30 list and my 30th birthday is in March of 2014, I better achieve most of the things on my list this year.

There are some of my goals that will be completed the first half of this year:

Run a race for charity/ Run a sub 1:50 half marathon:  I am signed up for two half marathons on back-to-back weekends.  I will be running the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon with my husband and some friends at the end of April and then the Cincinatti Flying Pig Half Marathon the first weekend in May.  Now, I am not sure I will break 1:50, but I am going to try.  I will also be running the Flying Pig in memory of my Grandpa who just passed away from melanoma.

Ski Trip Out West: Yes, Josh and I will be heading out to Vail soon!  There are very few things I love more in life than spending a weekend on the slopes.  It is absolutely wonderful!  I started skiing when I was 4 and have loved it ever since.  Growing up, we used to do a ski trip every winter as a part of our Christmas gift.  However, I am a bit nervous about leaving Claire for four days, but know she will be in great hands with my Mom. (And how wonderful my mom is to take her!)

Print pictures/ Make a shutterfly book for each year: What a better time to do this than in the winter.  I guess while I am stuck in the house, I better get on this because I know once Spring comes I will want to be outside all the time.

Read: My goal is to read 30 books (not professional) by the time I am 30, so I think I better start my saying I will read 12 in the first half of 2013.  Now that I have a new kindle (hubby broke my other one), I can get going on this.  I am currently reading, Mrs. Kennedy and Me.

Other goals I have for 2013:

Eat better!  Being pregnant is no excuse, but in 2012 I allowed more crap food in this house than ever before, so we are back on our clean eating lifestyle and I want to make a conscious effort to not stray too much from it (yes, we have cheat days) in 2013.  Part of this is going to take next week and photograph and blog about everything I eat.  I keep getting Facebook messages from people asking me what they should eat and I can’t give good advice unless I am eating well.  So, one week of this documentation will help me help others.

Get more involved!  Now that I am not working, I feel I need to get more involved at church, in our community and find things that still challenge my mind.  I am looking forward to getting more involved with Girls on the Run again (an organization I founded here in Hamilton County) and trying out MOPS at our church.  I need to also find ways to stay involved in the education world, but I need to really brainstorm that (advice welcome).  

Things I am looking forward to in 2013: Beyond the goals I have set for myself, there are many things I am looking forward to this year:

– Wedding dress shopping and all wedding related activities for my best friend from college’s wedding- I can’t even wait!
– My brother’s return from deployment is just around the corner and I can’t wait for him to meet his niece for the first time.
– Having some good friends of our’s close again.
– Being able to take Claire back to my mom’s in the summer to spend the day at her pool.
– A ski trip with my siblings next winter to the same place we went to when we were growing up.
– A deep tournament run by our Indiana Hoosiers… I love March Madness!
– Watching my little Claire grow and learn- she makes my heart smile!

What goals do you have for 2013?  What specific things are you looking forward to?