Category Archives: Tips, tricks and what’s making our lives easier

Sugar Free Adventure Update

When I first brought up the idea of this little experiment to my fiance his reaction was priceless. I told him about the article I read and some of the research I had done and he said ‘Damn it internet’. You see, he is a pretty big fan of candy, ice cream and hearty meals. I must confess that I am too. When I first thought about going sugar free I was really nervous because I didn’t know how meals would taste now, I wasn’t sure if my taste buds could adjust to whole wheat and a lack of sweetness. Fortunately I found some sites that had recipes that looked pretty yummy. So I thought I would share with everyone on here what I have made for dinner for the first two nights.

Our first sugar free dinner was a shrimp, avocado and red grapefruit salad. It was super easy to make. First I set a 16 ounce bag of cooked shrimp in cold water. Then while the shrimp thawed I cut up one avocado and scooped the pulp out of one large red grapefruit. I stirred those together in a bowl and left them. Then I rinsed the shrimp and set them in a bowl of lukewarm water. While that set for a few minutes I chopped up some chives and grabbed black pepper. Then I mixed the shrimp in with the avocado and grapefruit sauce and tossed some chives and a bit of black pepper on top. The recipe can be found here.

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The second meal I made was a chicken, spinach alfredo calzone and it was delicious! The recipe called to make your own dough but I don’t have a mixer so I just used whole wheat pizza dough and it worked out well! The recipe for that meal can be found here

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So after a couple of delicious dinners I am happy to say that Matt is much more excited and supportive of this lifestyle change! Our first grocery shopping trip was also very interesting this week. I normally buy a fair amount of produce each week, but I noticed that this week the grocery cart was nearly full of fruits and vegetables. Focusing on taking the sugar out of our diets has really forced us to expand our food interests and to look more closely at what we are putting into not only our meals but also our snacks. Its made us stop and say ‘what do we like to eat and what can we try’. So far this little adventure is going very well and I’m extremely excited to see how it continues. Until next time I hope everyone is having a happy and healthy week!

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And so a Sugar free journey begins

Last week I came across an article about a family who went completely sugar free for an entire year. At first I was like, that’s insane, who could possibly do that/ who would want to do that/ how the heck do you do that. So I read the article because I was a bit curious and wanted to see if it worked for them and how it affected them. Well it turns out it completely impacted this family in a very positive way by boosting their energy, improving their moods and making them feel healthier. I thought about it and realized that it does make sense that there would be a correlation between the increase in sugars and additives and the increase in mood disorders and health issues that people face. As someone who has been struggling with mood disorders, weight control, and overall feelings of lethargy and decreased motivation I’ve been wanting to get healthy for a long time. Not just by getting active but also by changing my eating habits. Whenever I’ve tried though, I’ve felt stuck in the what do I do to improve my eating habits phase. I mean there is so much contradicting information out there on what you should limit or cut out, whether it’s sugar, carbs, fats, trans fats, saturated fats, processed foods ect. So when it came down to it I just got overwhelmed and while I did try to improve our eating habits, I must admit I primarily focused on the girls first. I make sure they eat plenty or dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. When it comes to their diets I shop only organic and try to get the healthiest food. When it comes to us however, I usually just go with the, whats cheap, whats easy, whats quick and of course the what am I in the mood for. I am ridiculously guilty of indulging in almost every craving I have. I have tried many times to improve our diet, but it’s been hard to make things stick. I try to make little changes but they always seem to wear off after a week or two. So I decided after looking more into this whole no sugar thing that it was time to do something drastic to kick our butts into gear. I want to embark on a 1-2 month no sugar adventure and see if it helps or has any affect on us. It’s sort of an experiment that will hopefully lead to a healthier, fuller, happier life. Tomorrow begins day 1 of our sugar free diet and I must admit I’m a bit nervous since with 3 kids we tend to be pretty busy so it will be interesting to see how we can adjust our meal planning. If your interested in seeing which meals we end up making and sites I end up finding to help aid in our sugar free adventure you can check out my Pinterest where I have a new board titled ‘Sugar Free Adventure’.

Clutter, Pick up, Clutter Repeat…

When I started having baby fever, I had this lovely picture in my head. Any mom reading this knows exactly what picture I’m talking about, the one on any tv ad, or any television show, or in any movie where the baby is chunky, cooing, smiling and relaxing perfectly in your arms, snuggled in a soft blanket sleeping peacefully. Then the image slowly transitions to the adorable pitter patter, giggling, and bright quick smiling. While this image is thankfully pretty accurate in terms of how adorable and perfect kids can be, it doesn’t even come close to covering what it actually means to have children. I mean, seriously having children is the most wonderful blessing, a real miracle, truly amazing. You know what else is amazing, the fact that kids have somehow come into this world preprogrammed to have a singularly unique ability to make the same mess every. single. damn. day. And parenting often means less chasing and playing and more begging and pleading with them to please not dump the box of crayons on the floor and then proceed to throw throughout the house for the twentieth time that morning to no avail. I mean seriously, its so frustrating. The worst part is the fact that no matter what you do or say, they will make mess’s and you have to just accept it. I mean I have to accept the fact that they do not possess the cognitive ability to recognize the fact that the mess they make is going to be a pain in the ass for me to clean up. It’s not that they don’t care (although I’m still debating this point) its that they don’t understand. Do you have any idea how much that makes me want to tear my own hair out (though I suppose that would be counter productive). It just sucks, because I hate the constant mess, but I can’t get made at them for it either because its not they’re fault. They are adorable, perfect little beings who I love with all my heart, so I can’t blame them for simultaneously being little hellions possessed by some sort of demonic mess creating, havoc wreaking creature. But man do I want to. Just this morning my little Erin was at her easel drawing so well. I was so happy. I was making her and her sisters lunch and she was actually entertaining herself, it was a miracle to say the least. Of course it couldn’t last, oh how I foolishly hoped it would last, it just couldn’t. Sure enough about 5 maybe 7 minutes in I hear something hitting the floor. I take a deep breath and turn around to see her watching me as she scoops up a handful of crayons. Eyes on me the whole time she chucks them, they scatter all over the floor that I had stayed up until 10pm cleaning up last night…I mean seriously, I cleaned up the same damn crayons less than 12 hours ago!! And not only that, but she is just doing it to piss me off. Ok I know she’s really doing it to see what my reaction is because she’s curious, but when it’s happening and she’s watching me like that I just feel like she’s trying to piss me off. It’s an ongoing joke in our household. Because many times the girls will come up, crawl in one of our laps and hug us only to then immediately start to pinch our cheeks. So we try to make light of it by using the sour head expression, first they are sweet, then they’re sour. Anyway, so this crayon thing is happening and it’s only two handfuls in so I’m thinking, ok she hasn’t thrown them all yet, maybe I can salvage this, maybe I can reason with her (man do I need a swift reality check in these moments). So I walk in and try to explain that mommy has to clean this up and it’s a lot of work so could she just draw some more or try another activity. She just stares and smiles. Then proceeds to throw another handful. Ok, seriously she is trying to piss me off. I switch tactics telling her that if they go on the ground then she can’t draw with them. I tell her I will have to take them away if she keeps throwing. Now this gets a reaction…it gets a fricken giggle. She giggles and smiles and throws another handful! So at this point I realize that I am dealing with an unreasonable little fiesty pants. Fortunately I have learned a few tricks throughout this grand adventure of parenting, one of them being knowing when to say fuck it. Yep, that is a true lesson any mom of multiples should learn, just say fuck it and deal with it later when your alone or not. So I just stopped talking, turned around and went back to making the lunches. Sure she covered the floor, and sure she might have won. But really I think we both won. Because she got to gleefully throw things and not get yelled at or lectured by her mom and I got to not be stressed and at least know that sure, she’s making a mess, but she’s happy. She’s smiling and laughing, and sure it might be a mess later, but some mess’s are just worth it. So yes, I’ll pick up the crayons again tonight, along with a bunch of other mess’s, and sure I’ll clean more of the same tomorrow, but I’ll do it while remembering how cute the sound of her laugh is and how sweet that gap toothed little smile is. I’ll do it knowing that one day (hopefully soon) they will pick up they’re own mess’s but for now it’s my job, and it’s really not such a bad job, it’s just one where you have to pick your battles.  At least they are sweet first 🙂

Getting Active

It’s been a little bit since my last post, mostly because I tend to leave my computer in my during the day and typing on an iphone is just awful. Over the next few days I’m going to try and catch up on some funny stories that have happened to me in my ever chaotic parenting journey, but for today I wanted to talk a little bit about my new goal for fitness. I had been going to the gym for a month but then I decided to trade my gym membership for appointments with a Chiropractor. Which is amazing by the way. I highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity goes to a chiropractor for at the very least a consultation. I was feeling terrible for a very long time, and after just a few weeks of appointments the change in my energy levels, mood and the overall feeling of my body is incredible! But anyway, now that I am not going to the gym I need a new fitness plan so that I can try to not only shed some of the baby weight but also just feel better and more active. So with that in mind, I bought a new jogging stroller and signed up for a 5k in September. Because if there is one thing I have learned about myself, its that the prospect of embarrassing the hell out of myself in front of hundreds of people is fantastic motivation to get my ass in shape. The 5k I signed up for is extremely exciting! It’s the Color Run 5k that’s coming to Burlington in September! It’s going to be so much fun, assuming I get in shape. The whole idea is that you run with hundreds of other people while stopping at designated areas to get covered in colorful paints! To get ready for this fun event I bought a new single jogging stroller because the double stroller is a bit big for our little peanut. The jogging stroller I got can be found here and I have to say it is by far one of the better ones I’ve seen and has completely surpassed my expectations. I was able to set it up very quickly and easily and take it out for a brief stroll today. It was brief because go figure it was far windier outside than I anticipated and of course after getting bundled up Jacy was cranky as can be so yeah it was a brief stroll. But on the bright side Jacy looked adorable and it was extremely easy to push. It has springs and large wheels that makes it ride ridiculously smooth. It was so easy to steer with the swivel front wheel and the cup holders are awesome. It also fit Jacy’s carseat in there perfectly while providing an extra layer of protection in the form of a buckle that goes right over her seat holding her firmly in place. So yeah if anyone is looking for a jogging stroller I cannot recommend this one enough! Now that I have signed up for the race and gotten a stroller the next step for me, that I am hopefully going to begin tomorrow is to once again make use of my iphone by using a free app called myfirst5k. It’s an app that helps you get ready for a 5k by having you begin running daily for 30 minutes. The way it does this is that for the first few days you walk and run in 90 second/30 second intervals. Then you progressively beginning switching every few days until you are running for 90 seconds and walking for 30 seconds. Eventually you should be able to run the full 30 minutes. I really love this app because it provides you with a great framework to work with, is easy to use and keeps you on track. So here’s to fitness and motivation and hopefully being able to write next week that progress is being made!

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Good Things Come in Sneaky Ways

I don’t know how it happened, but for some reason Lily and Erin are acutely aware of what each and every vegetable looks like and point blank refuse to even try them. I swear kids are pre programmed with knowledge of healthy foods and use this knowledge to drive parents insane by avoiding them at all costs! So after months of working hard to pack brightly colored, healthy lunches and having them returned from daycare with each and every vegetable uneaten I have decided to go the sneaky route. I am still going to pack these lunches but I am now going to use a new approach so that the girls get all of the fruits and vegetables they need in one simple serving. That way when the vegetables I send are returned uneaten I can just sigh but feel no guilt, worry or frustration. My plan is simple, smoothies! What kid doesn’t love yummy fruit smoothies. I found a few different recipes that all include both fruits and vegetables in each smoothie. The tricky part for me is finding the time to make these smoothies every day. I don’t exactly have a ton of time available while getting the girls ready to cut up fruit and vegetables and blend them. Fortunately for me I found a solution at momables.com. The site provided me with the idea for creating DIY smoothie bags, the exact instructions can be found here. I was so excited when I found this that I immediately made 3 bags and it only took me 15 minutes! I then ordered two thermos bottles from the site so that I can start sending smoothies for the girls to have at snack time each day. Now they will hopefully like them and get their daily servings of fruits and vegetables and I will have less of a headache about it!

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