Meal Plan Monday – Week of February 19, 2012

Last week was a bear.  There, I said it.  It started with a very romantic Valentine’s Day dinner that I made for our little family.  I followed this up with a dessert of nausea, vomiting, chills, sweat, achiness, and a headache.  I’m sure my husband found me tres attractive.  Actually the most romantic part of the evening was that he took care of everything (cleaning up and posting on the other blog) and took care of me too.  So nice.  Luckily he worked from home the next day and that let me rest and on Thursday, I was feeling much better.  Unfortunately on Thursday night, he was not.  It was his turn.  We weren’t sure if it was some sort of food poisoning or if it was the flu until he got it and had an achy body, chills, etc. also.  His seemed to be more severe, though, and it wiped him out most of Friday, into Saturday.  Unfortunately this messed up his plan of running a half marathon on Sunday.  Boo.  And did I mention Miss K popped another tooth?  We couldn’t tell if it was the tooth or if her milk allergy is back or if she was sick, but she was F-U-S-S-Y and sadly inconsolable.  I felt so bad for her.  She was throwing up milk a little here and there, she was crying and crying for no apparent reason and she wasn’t sleeping well.  Our biggest fear was that she had what we had.  But it looks like it was mostly her tooth and it seems she’s caught a cold.  Poor little dumpling.  All this sickness made it tougher to cook at home.  Let’s see, we had Rice, Dal, and Raita, Quinoa Burgers, Veggie Mac n’ Cheese, and ate out pretty much ever other night.  Eeks.  Working on making this week different.

Sunday:  Enchiladas with Veggie Shreds cheese.  Cheese was a little weird.  I think we’ll stick to the real deal.  We hardly ate any enchiladas, mostly because we had a monsterous late lunch in Pasadena before coming home on Sunday.  So now I have eight enchiladas to eat over course of this week’s lunches.

Monday:  Vegetarian Chili and Apples.  Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Avocado, and Cheese for Miss K.

Tuesday:  Spaghetti Squash, Broccoli, and Pasta Salad.  I’ve never actually made spaghetti squash so I’m kind of excited to try it.

Wednesday:  Gonna make that ten bean soup from a dry mix from last week.  Will serve with sandwiches.

Thursday:   Hubby is heading out to hang out with the guys to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Friday: Spinach, garlic, onion, tomato and cheese omelets

Saturday:   Some friends are coming over and I have yet to decide what we’re having.  Better hop on that.

Quinoa, I Believe in Ya!

Oh quinoa, you have ascended to lofty nutritional heights in my mind.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a grain (I’ve also read that it’s a seed so I dunno) that has been gaining popularity over the last ten years.  It has an incredible protein composition – it contains ALL nine essential amino acids.  It’s the only plant based food to provide that.  It will give you stamina and provide protein that you would otherwise only find in meats.  Additionally its glycemic load is low, which means it’s less likely to cause a sugar spike like some of the foods it’s often subbed for – rice, pasta, couscous.  We like it and I have had several conversations with people that start out something like this: “I bought some quinoa but I have no idea what to do with it.”  So I thought I’d share some recipes that I’ve made and enjoyed.  Oh ya, and I don’t usually take pictures of the food I make so the pictures I’ve included are ones that I pulled off the intarwebz.  Bon appetite!

Quinoa Bowls – this is a staple for sure at our house.  Think Chipotle burrito bowl but with quinoa.  I usually have the ingredients on hand and it cooks up quick so we like it.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp green chiles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained  (OR rehydrated dried beans!!!!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Add green chile.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
  3. Stir frozen corn and salsa into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
  4. Top with avocados and shredded cheddar cheese

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa -  I made this recipe up so you might need to play with it a few times to get it exactly the way you want it.  I kinda wing it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups COOKED quinoa (usually is yielded from 1 cup uncooked quinoa)
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped into small trees
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and saute onion until soft.
  2. Add broccoli and saute until softened.  Remove from heat.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes until fragrant and light brown in color.
  4. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce.
  6. Combine cheese sauce with quinoa and veggies.  Top with additional cheese for extra cheesability.  :)

Quinoa Burgers -  Got this one from a blog called Eating Well Living Thin.  Made this on Valentine’s Day with the intention of forming the patties into hearts for my man and my bebe.  It did not work out that way so we had plain ol’ round patties.  OH. SO. GOOD.  Definitely a keeper.  This makes a hefty portion – 10 burgers at least.  Seriously, REALLY good.  Surprisingly so.  I modified the ingredients a bit:

Ingredients:

  • 2 rounded cups COOKED quinoa 
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 green onions, including white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil for frying
  1. In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, zucchini, eggs, flour, green onions, Sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
  2. Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.

Quinoa Khichadi:  My mother-in-law makes a DELICIOUS sabu dhana kichadi.  I thought I would try to make it a little healthier by using quinoa instead of the food coma inducing tapioca (Or at least I think that’s what sabu dhana is).  For those of you not familiar, kichadi is a mishmash dish that typically has a grain and a bean.  Her version uses peanuts and is awesome.  Mine’s not as awesome but it ain’t bad.  It can be as spicy as you want it.  This is another recipe that I didn’t do a great job measuring; I just made it.  If you know how to make indian food, don’t use these measurements, use your gut.  If you don’t, this should serve as a decent guideline.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups COOKED quinoa
  • 2 small potatoes, cubed into small chunks
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 green chili of some sort
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, ground into a fine powder (reserve 2 TBSP for yogurt chutney below)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (the indian kind, not the kind you put in chili with beans and beef and tomoatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Yogurt chutney:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder (again, the indian kind)
  • 2 rounded TBSP ground peanuts
  • pinch of sugar
  1. Warm olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add potatoes and saute, stirring frequently until soft.  (After cooking for about five minutes, I actually put a lid on it and added some water to help the potatoes along)
  2. Add green chili and saute briefly, about 1 minute.
  3. Add quinoa, spices, and peanuts and continue to stir until heated through.  Remove from heat.
  4. Combine ingredients of yogurt chutney in a medium bowl.  Adjust salt, sugar, and chili powder to suit your taste.

Serve bowls of khichadi, stirring the desired amount of chutney in for each person.

Hope these come in handy for you!  I was at a loss after buying a four pound bag from costco so I started looking for recipes.  There’s all kinds of good stuff out there to make and if you’re a vegetarian especially, quinoa is a great addition to your diet to help you get those amino acids.

Beans, Beans – Good for your Heart!

Been thinking about beans.  Ya, I know.  Maybe I need to get a hobby or something.  But really, my husband’s been asking about using dried beans instead of canned beans and I’ve been seeing bits and pieces about dried beans vs. canned and it’s making think I’d like to move in that direction.  Since we’re leaning more vegetarian these days anyway, maybe more beans in our diets wouldn’t be a bad thing.  We don’t use a ton, but we do use a lot of pinto beans in the refried kind we buy, we also use black beans for quinoa bowls and chili, and we use kidney beans in the chili we make too.  And lately I’ve been giving my baby lentil soup.  Here are a few good reasons why I think I’m going to start soaking beans:

  1. BPA levels in canned foods are scary.  I gotta tell you…when I read this, my heart sank because I’ve been giving Miss K lentil soup (from a can) that she loves. I bought it because the label had ingredients that were simple.  No scary chemicals.  The list was short.  Didn’t think about BPA at all.  I don’t know if the brand we buy has BPA but I know that dried beans don’t.
  2. We would produce Less waste.  A biodegradable plastic bag for a whole lotta beans vs. a can for a few beans…hmmm.  Dried beans wins again.  Although the cans are recyclable, so at least there’s that.
  3. Dried beans are less processed.  I don’t know what that slimy liquid is in the kidney beans we have but my guess is that it’s not a natural byproduct of the bean.
  4. It’s more economical.  I often throw away a quarter can or half a can of beans because we don’t finish them.  Now I can measure out how much I need.  Dried beans are way cheaper than canned.  I’ve read that dried beans about double in weight when you refresh them.  I can of refried pinto beans is usually around $1 and weighs 15 oz.  You can get dried pinto beans for about half that.  I’m sure if you bought in bulk it’d be even less.
  5. Some beans have added sodium.  Using the dried kind allows me to control the salt I put into them.

Now, like so many other things that I’m choosing to do because it’s better for our health or the environment, this will be a little more work.  I’ve read that it’s better to soak beans overnight.  So that means I have to plan and that I’ll have less on-the-fly options if I do away with them completely.  I think I need to be reasonable, so I think I’ll still have a can or two that I can use in a pinch but for planned meals, I’ll use dried equivalents.  My mom does it every week.  She uses all kinds of dried beans, a couple days a week.  I just need to plan better like she does.  It might take a while to update on this one…too bad I bought an 8 pack of refried beans and a 4 pack of lentil soup from costco that I need to get through first.  I did buy some dried bean soup mix that I’m gonna hop on within the next week or so.  That will be my first experience!

Now I don’t know if they’ll taste different (better or worse, don’t know!) but I’d like to try.

Miss K and I made it through a journey together

It’s happening.  I think my baby no longer needs me to breastfeed her.  Hooray/sniff sniff/woohoo/boo hoo/yippee/fall-into-a-puddle-and-weep-because-this-might-mean-she-doesn’t-need-me-AT-ALL-anymore.  Get a hold of yourself, woman!

Seriously, though, I’m really having mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, hallelujah!  I can wear a normal bra again!  Finally!  On the other, it’s the one thing I could give her that no one else can.

I always assumed I would breastfeed my daughter, mostly because I wanted to give her  the benefits of breastmilk and as long as I could, I should.  Though, even after I was pregnant, I didn’t know how long babies typically were breastfed nor did I ever understand how truly hard it is to breastfeed.  No one told me (cries the victim!).  I was lucky, though.  Karina was relatively good at latching on and eating out the gate.  And I was blessed with a good supply of milk.  In the early days, the biggest challenge was that it hurt.  And I was tired.  And she needed to eat like 8 times a day and each time took 30-45 minutes and every time I turned around, it was time to eat AGAIN.  I was dripping (literally) with milk all the time.  It was like nothing I had ever experienced.  But we stumbled our way through it, my husband sitting on the floor, keeping us company, while I sat in our rocking chair, holding and feeding our baby.  He would tickle her legs and put a wet washcloth to keep her awake so she could eat.  Babies are sleepy little buggers.  It was hard.  And I soaked my clothes and felt like I was going to pop because I was so full of milk.  A funny cow.  But it was beautiful and I hope I never forget those little moments that were shared just between us.  I gave her what I had when she was inside of me and here was one last physical way that I could share what I had on the inside with her.  So maybe you can kinda understand why I’m crying now.  :)

Then by month 3, things got easier and they got harder.  I didn’t know it but my milk was inflaming her gut.  It seemed that Miss K. had some sort of an allergy.  It all started when I saw blood in her stool.  We went to the doctor and they said the most common cause was allergies.  So the doctor had me cut dairy out of my diet and we went back a week later and had her stool tested.  There was still blood in it.  The doctor said maybe it was something else.  So she had me cut out dairy, shellfish, peanuts, wheat, soy, and eggs.  We went back a week later and tested her stool again.  Still positive with blood in it.  So now we had at least three weeks of bloody diapers (so so scary), poor pumpkin was throwing up often, was crying and crying while the milk ran through her system and I had no idea what to eat.  The doctor said we should try giving her formula for a week just to rule out that it was, in fact, an allergy.  If, after a week of being on formula, she still had blood in her stool, then we’d need to see a GI specialist.  So she sent me home with some formula samples and I cried (and cried and cried).  I just wasn’t ready to stop feeding her.  But for that week, I did.  Again, we got lucky.  Miss K is incredibly flexible and drank the formula from a bottle without much fuss.  I LOATHED that formula.  It smelled bad, it made her poo gross, it gave her constipation.  I was pumping six times a day to make sure that my supply didn’t drop.  It sucked.  Not only do you have to pump, but you don’t know if that milk will ever be able to be used, you have to wash bottles and pump parts, AND we were buying some of the most expensive formula out there.  Not gonna lie.  That was a really rough week.

But that formula kept Miss K.’s stomach calm.  There was a noticeable change in her demeanor.  At the time I thought the formula “sucked the spirit out of her.”  And yes, I believe I actually used that phrase but in actuality, it allowed her calm, easy going nature to come out.  The poor thing was screaming in pain and we didn’t know that it was my milk that was doing it to her.  But I was resolved to feed her breastmilk.  I wanted her to have that benefit.  So I went back and cut out the six most common allergens again: wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, dairy and shellfish.  For a few months, I was constantly confused on what to eat.  Pretty much anything processed had one of those ingredients in it.  I thought that the whole gluten-free trend would help me here but usually they use soy based products to substitute the wheat.  Couldn’t eat asian food – pretty much everything had soy sauce.  Couldn’t eat fast food – not many choices.  Couldn’t eat pizza or ice cream or cookies or any of my favorite things.  So I ate a lot of avocados and tortillas and rice pastas and rice.  Actually I lost a lot of weight then.  Did that for a few months but also found that the stinkin’ formula was keeping her gut calm.  So we decided to give her half breast milk and half formula and did this til we transitioned out the formula and transitioned in cow’s milk a month ago.  The last few months of breast feeding were easy.  She knew what to do and was efficient.  My milk supply had dropped waaaay off so I was more comfortable; no engorgement, no leaks, no nuthin’.  Our morning feedings were a sleepy beautiful little salute to the day.  Precious moments that I hope I’ll never forget.

Well, we made it.  I’ve been cutting back the feedings one by one.  She’s been drinking out of a sippy cup, no more bottle.  Yesterday I didn’t breast feed her at all.  She didn’t seem to notice.  My baby’s getting bigger.  I’m so proud of her.  And well, ya…I’m proud of me too for making it to 13 months.  I’m going to miss those close moments but I know there will be other ways for me to bond with her. I bonded with her when I was feeding her the bottle, too.  I guess it’s time for a new page in our story.

Meal Plan Monday – Week of February 12, 2012

We out a LOT last week.  Three birthday dinners for my husband, breakfast from a bakery, and three lunches out…all between Friday and Sunday.  Geez Louise.  While all that food was fun and delicious, both hubby and I are feeling gross.  Time to see what we can do about fixing up our habits.  I have a bunch of vegetables that are just losing their nutrients in the refrigerator, waiting to be eaten!  Must do something about that pronto!  I don’t know that I’ve ever really used the word pronto before.  It’s cheesy.  I like it.

I was kind of happy about the meals that we DID eat at home though.  I was confused about what to make (Did I do a meal plan last week?  If I didn’t I didn’t follow it at all) so I threw together some meals.  I made a spicy pasta dish without a real recipe…I just made a sauce with Rotel tomatoes and chilies, olives, pasta sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic and onion and then tossed with pasta and tofu.  My husband actually liked it!  Yay!  And then I made a quinoa kichadi, with peanuts, chillies, spices, quinoa, and potatoes.  Mixed it with a yogurt sauce made of pepper, yogurt, sugar, salt and peanuts.  I was trying to emulate a kichadi that my mother-in-law makes.  It wasn’t nearly as good as hers but it wasn’t bad!

Here’s the plan-o, Dan-o:

Sunday: Lucille’s…oy…such exciting foods to order.  But I did pretty good.  Got a salad without the chicken (leaning vegetarian these days) with the dressing on the side.  I did, however, split a huge biscuit with my daughter and had a watermelon jalapeno margarita.  If it counts for anything, it was on the lite menu.  :)  And come on, with a description like that, there was no way I was staying away from it!

Monday:  Quinoa burgers, and Broccoli.  Saw this on pinterest and was intrigued.  The blogger seemed to love it so I thought I’d give it a try.  AAAAND we’d be using some of that quinoa we have.  Ya, I bought a three pound bag, in case I hadn’t mentioned it.  I do want to make quinoa once a week.  It’s a great protein source and so much better for you than rice or pasta.

Tuesday:  Enchiladas of Love with veggie cheese instead of cheddar.  We’re cutting back on cheese at home and when you combine this with vegetarian meals, it can become a bit dicey because everything we love has cheese!  But I wanted to see how this tasted so I picked some up at the store.  I figured even if the cheese is grody, we know we’ll like the enchiladas!

Wednesday:  Soup and Sandwiches.  Last week I picked up some 10 bean soup mix from the bulk bins at Sprouts.  the problem is that the mix only has beans.  And no instructions (DRAT!) so I’m going to try and make some nice veggie soup with it.  All the suggestions I’ve received from my “cooking for your family” board includes ham.  I’m going to not use ham (see above where I mention the vegetarian eating at home).

Thursday:  I think hubby has poker night so baby and I are on our own.  I just discovered today that she loves Trader Joe’s veggie burgers so maybe we’ll make that and some baked sweet potato fries.

Friday:  Rice, Dal, and Raita.  A simple dinner.  I bought some premade dal and we’re going to give it a try.  If it sucks, in the future I’ll work on just making plain ol’ dal like my husband likes.

Saturday:  Eating out

 

Happy Birthday to my One and Only

Today’s my husband’s birthday.  It’s official.  We’ve spent more of our lives knowing each other than not knowing each other.  He’s awesome.  Really really awesome.  So I thought I’d take a quick minute and tell you 35 reasons (one for each year of his life) why I think he’s the best person I’ve ever known (in no particular order):

  1. He’s a good dad.  A REALLY REALLY REALLY good dad.
  2. He’s genuine.
  3. He loves his sister and would do anything for her.
  4. He came to see my dad after he had a heart attack even though we hadn’t really been hanging out for years.
  5. He knows about computers.
  6. He’s good with directions.  Unless I’m in the car.  For some reason, he misses exits when we’re together.
  7. He’s open minded.
  8. He keeps our lives fresh.  If it weren’t for him, I’d never leave Orange County.
  9. He had a picture of Dolly Parton on his computer as a kid.  That cracks me up to no end.
  10. He likes to collect things.
  11. No matter how busy he is, how stressed or upset he’s feeling, or what’s going on, if I smile at him when he’s walking towards me, he’ll smile back.  NO MATTER WHAT.
  12. He puts up with my personality deficiencies and loves me anyway.
  13. He teaches our daughter how to do things like float in the water, wave, and sign “more” in sign language.
  14. He has a broad chest.
  15. He lets me warm my cold feet on his in the winter.
  16. Every fantasy he has of running away or going somewhere includes me and our daughter.
  17. He went from hesitantly wanting one baby to twelve as soon as he held ours.
  18. He knows the difference between right and wrong and always chooses right.
  19. He hates singing but doesn’t hesitate when it comes to baby.
  20. He came to my college graduation even though he caught a lot of grief for it.
  21. If any of our parents need or want something, he will research it, buy it and help them learn how to use it.
  22. He’s smart.  Really really smart.  Like my-feeble-little-mind-can’t-keep-up-with-him smart.  And yet he tells me I’m smart without me feeling like he’s patronizing me.  Never once has he made feel stupid.  Well, maybe once but that was due to pregnancy/mommy brain and that was more my bad than his.
  23. He has beautiful brown smiley eyes.
  24. He’s the purple panther.
  25. His average height matches my average height.
  26. He works hard but makes it seem like it’s a piece of cake.
  27. He eats food I make and never complains.  He even claims to like it.
  28. He makes changes to improve his health.
  29. He processes what people tell him and will politely and respectfully point out when someone is wrong.  He doesn’t just take what people say at face value like I do.
  30. He’s patient and helps me with stuff that’s a pain in the neck.  Like setting up this blog or finding gdiapers.
  31. He actually thinks I’m good at stuff.
  32. He remembers how to play stuff on a piano despite not having played in a good 15-20 years.  Why is he playing again?  Because he wants to play with/for our baby.
  33. He’s an innovator/early adopter.
  34. He’s strong.
  35. He can run and run and run and run and be inspired by it rather than be tired by it.

I could go on (and on and on) but I think I’ve embarrassed him enough for now.  Happy happy 35th birthday, lovekin.  I love you and so does Neenu.

#13 on The LIST – Exercise

I didn’t really exercise at all for the last two years.  I wish it was an exaggeration but unfortunately it’s not.  Literally didn’t exercise for pretty much all of 2010 and 2011.  Ridiculous.  So in 2012, I’m starting up again.  It’s hard.  I’m out of shape and weigh more than I wish I did and my body is weak (or if you prefer, I have a weak body – that one’s for you, puppy).  And it’s a little tougher to exercise with Miss K.  She’s a little amused when I’m trying to exercise but mostly, she tries to climb on me or cling to my legs.  It just doesn’t work.  The alternative is to go to the gym after she goes to sleep but an hour work out ends up being a two hour affair, between changing clothes, driving, showering, etc. and usually that’s not until at least 8:30 because after she goes to bed, usually I’m cleaning up the dinner aftermath, working on the other blog, and generally wasting time.  :)

Despite that, I’m happy to say that I’ve been making time to exercise over the last few weeks.  Nine workouts in the last 14 days – last week I logged 245 minutes of working out.  Not bad for me.  I’ve been squeezing it in wherever possible.  I’ve done a few run/walks with Miss K in the jogging stroller.  Running is a lot harder when you’re pushing 20 pounds of baby + another 20 pounds of stroller.  It doesn’t help that I’m so out of shape or that I need to lose 10 pounds or that I’m stiff as a board (but not light as a feather).  I remember when I was running more regularly, it would take a mile or so to “shake off the rust.”  This was the period where my body was warming up, I was working through the mental battle with myself (“I hate running!  Why am I doing this!” “Don’t be a baby!  It’s good for you!”  “But I don’t wanna!”  “Shut up, do it!”).  But I’m getting out there and doing what I can.  When I don’t walk/run, I’m doing workout videos at home.  So far I’ve done several yoga videos (in different levels of difficulty), the p90x cardio workout (tough but actually kind of fun), and Zumba.  Zumba is a funny thing.  I break a sweat every time and I do think it’s challenging.  I feel like an idiot a lot of the time, but I’m catching on.  It’s kind of cheesy but it’s keeping me moving for 40-60 minutes (which HAS to be good for me).  So I guess where there’s a will there’s a way.

I do think it would benefit me to get myself to the gym once or twice a week, though.  I tend to step my intensity up when I go to the gym and it’s good just to get sometimes.  Also, I’m not really doing much resistance training.  If I don’t make it to the gym, I’ll need to work in pushups, planks, squats, etc.  Some sort of weight training.  I’m tired though.  :(  Maybe I will do an extra 20 minutes of pushups, planks, squats, etc. if I only do a 40 minute cardio workout.  The nice part is that I can do something canned with the Wii.  It doesn’t have to be exciting; I just need to do it.  Cardio for me has to be exciting.

So my goal with exercising is doing something 4 times a week.  That something has to be more than 30 minutes at once.  Most days I need to break a sweat for it to count, the exception being yoga.  I need to do yoga to loosen up my tense muscles.

The sucky part about this whole thing is that I haven’t dropped an ounce of weight (yet).  I’m disappointed about that.  I don’t know if it’s my age or my post-baby body but in the past I would have seen some return for this level of effort.  Maybe I just need to be more patient.  I think I can!  I think I can!  I think I can!

 

Some Updates

Wow.  I’ve been neglecting the blog.  January was busy, I guess.  And now February has been busy too.  I’ve been helping my husband with his blog and trying to workout and joined a book club so I’ve been sneaking in minutes here and there to read the book (tonight’s the night!  I’m hoping that the book club is nice.  I love reading and the last one I joined was pretty disappointing).  Today I thought I’d update on some of the natural product choice changes we’ve been making from The LIST:

#3: Stop Using SLS based shampoos and soaps.  Happy to say this is going well!  I’ve eliminated a bunch of products already: facial cleanser, shampoo, baby wash, bath gel, and toothpaste.  Yay for us!  We do use softsoap to wash our hands, though and I’m not sure but I’m guessing that also has SLS.  I need to look into that and also to see if Dove moisturizing bars contain SLS.

#4 – Begin Using a Natural Toothpaste.  We’ve been using a natural toothpaste from Trader Joe’s for several weeks now.  No complaints here.  My mouth feels clean and fresh.  The texture of the toothpaste is different from what I’m used to though.  It’s thicker, drier and grittier than the toothpastes we typically buy.  I haven’t heard any complaints from my husband either.  We’ll see if the dentist notices anything.  If not, then we’re sticking to it.  I bought a tube of Tom’s to try next.  I think I want to experiment a little and see what we like out there.

#14: Switch to cloth wipes.  I started using cloth wipes about two and a half weeks ago.  So far it’s going well.  I made up a solution of olive oil, baby wash, and water and have been spraying it onto wash cloths to wipe down baby.  I use them for both wet and dirty diapers.  It’s really not that bad.  I do still use disposable wipes but WAAAY fewer.  Sometimes on Karina’s crazy diapers, I’d use five or six wipes.  Now I’ll use a couple cloths and maybe a disposable wipe or two.  Much better.  And I really really like the idea that I’m not putting so many scary chemicals on her, like the kind that are toxic when inhaled.  Ugh.  I do use disposable wipes on the go, however.  I think now that I’m going to be using them more sparingly, I’ll buy the natural/flushable kind. I’m open to any recommendations if you have any!

On a side note, we’ve also switched the type of garbage bags we use.  We used to buy a big box of them for pretty cheap at costco.  We just started buying biodegradable garbage bags.  I’m not sure if my city shreds garbage before putting it in the landfill so I thought these couldn’t hurt help the contents of the bags biodegrade a little faster.  So far we haven’t had any issues with leaks or anything like that.  One thing that is a little more cumbersome is that the kind we bought don’t have drawstrings like the old ones did.  This makes things harder in two ways…first, I have to get a garbage tie and tie it up instead of grabbing the drawstring and tying up the bag on the way to the big garbage can in the garage.  Next, since there’s no drawstring, it slips out of the kitchen trash can more easily and I find that I’m having to re-fit it at least once a day.

Man. Being less green sure is easier.  Sometimes I think about whether or not I’d be more productive if I just trashed stuff like diapers and wipes and didn’t bother recycling.  I guess I would have a few more minutes in the day but that’s just not me.