A Different Plan for 2015

Today’s topic is on New Year Resolutions…it’s a brand new year and whether we like to admit it or not, we all do it (myself included). We make resolutions to eat better, exercise more and lead a healthier lifestyle. But what is gonna set this year apart from all the other years that we’ve made and break our resolutions before the month even ends? We need a plan, a different kind of plan perhaps one that requires some action…

Action#1: Write down 2-3 of things that you would like to FOCUS on this year (2-3max). Next, make little circles that you can check off and write down actual things that you will do to stay focus on your main goals (sorta like a To Do’s list). Now make sure to put this somewhere that you can see everyday!

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Action #2: Take an inventory of the fridge and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my fridge well stock with fruits, vegetables and lean meats?
  • Do I have a plan for what I will be feeding my family this week?
  • Have I made time to eat a balanced breakfast before starting my day?
  • Do I have lunches packed for work or a last-minute playdate?
  • What kind of snacks do I have on-hand for the 3pm munchies?

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Action#3: Make a plan. We’ve all heard of the ol’ saying’ “Failing to plan is planning to fail” Plan to have clean workout clothes, shoes, socks, ipods in a designated area of your home. Plan to have meals and snacks ready-to-eat stocked up in the fridge. Plan your workouts and give it some priority. For example, I used to try doing ALL the housework while my daughter takes a nap which leads me to be exhausted by the time she gets up and is ready to play. Now I use her naptime to workout instead, so by the time she wakes up I’m refreshed, energized and ready to play with her. As for the housework? We do it together! She has fun and I get things done.

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A Final Note: Keep it Simple, life’s complicated enough without all those different diet programs and exercise gadgets. Don’t just resolve to stop doing this or stop doing that, try to focus on the things that you want to do instead of the things that you shouldn’t do. For example: If you want to start exercising more this year. Don’t just say “I’m gonna try to workout more”. Ask yourself, when will I find the time to do it? and schedule it in your calendar just as you would schedule a doctor’s appointment (no one ever misses a doctor’s appointment). The most important thing is to write it down! this action alone will help you mentally commit to it. A few years back, I’ve resolved to not resolve but instead to just focus on the people and things that matter most to me. Some call it “Law of Attraction”, I call it a Blessing from God who always hears our prayers and every year has been better than the last. 🙂

Cheers to a new year of health & happiness!

 

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WOD: Legs & Abs

Deadlifts 11/50 11/50 15/50
Side DB Squats 11/15 11/20 11/20 *20lbs was more difficult but better*
EZ Barbell Squats 11reps 11reps 15reps
Plank Hop Tuck 5reps 6reps
Plank 40secs 50secs
Bridge Pump 11reps 11reps 11reps
Bridge Hold 30secs 60secs 60secs *60secs was good, felt the burn*
Weighted V-Ups 11/10 11/10 15/10
Sumo Squats 11/30 10/30 10/30 *30lbs was too heavy to maintain proper form, will reduce to 25lbs next time*
Wall Sit with ball 20secs 30secs 30secs 
 
Broomstick Twist 50/15 50/15 50/15
Deadlift with DB 11/15 11/15 15/20 *Clearly I can use a 20lbs instead of 15lbs* 
 
Post-Workout Notes:
Today’s workout was pretty awesome! Thanks to another great night sleep and staying on track with my nutrition yesterday. I did have a bit of ice cream after dinner (because it was just sitting in my freezer begging to be eaten) 😛 Oh well it’s no big deal, I don’t consider it a failure because I worked out and ate well for most of the day. Now that the ice cream is gone, I’ll just have to work on not asking my husband to buy it. Out of sight, out of mind right? Tomorrow will be rest day and I’m kind of dreading it because I love how awesome I feel after every single workout but I know that it is VERY important to let my body rest and recover so that I can be stronger for my next workout. 
 

 

WOD: Chest.Shoulders & Biceps

Bench Press 11/50 11/50 13/50 *add 5lbs more next time*
Weighted V-Ups 11reps 11reps 15reps
Standing Arnold Press 11/10 11/10 11/10
Alternate Bicep Curls 11/15 11/15 11/15 *try 20 next time*
Standing Pectoral Fly 7/5 9/5 11/5 *failed to complete full reps*
Dumbell Front Raises 11/5 11/5 11/5 *try 8lb next time* 
Hammer Curls 11/10 11/15 11/10 *15 was too heavy, couldn’t maintain proper form*
Push Ups 11reps 11reps 11reps *go for 15reps per set next time*
EZ Bar Upright Row 3sets of 11reps
EZ Barbell Curls 3 sets of 11reps
Close Tricep Push Ups 3sets of 11reps
Incline 3 Dumbell Press 11/15 10/20 *LOVE THIS EXERCISE* 
3 Grip Dumbell Side Raise 33/5

POST-WOROUT NOTES:
Today’s workout was pretty good, I had alot of energy (probably because my daughter finally slept though the night) after waking up every hour for the past 2 weeks from teething and a cold (my poor baby). My focus today was on MIND to MUSCLE. Trying to feel every contraction so that I can cause some micro damage on the muscle fibres and with proper nutrition and adequate sleep this will help muscles to grow. I really want to grow more muscles because I’m so happy that after only 2 months of consistent training. I was able to carry in ALL the grocery bags into the house yesterday in ONE shot. This makes me feel so strong and happy!

 

Finding Balance

This week has been hectic, but I was finally able to schedule a night out with some local moms in the neighborhood. It’s funny how making new girlfriends is so much easier after you’ve become a mom (well at least for me anyways). I guess we’re all on the same boat…exhausted, clueless and desperately seeking for some adult conversation. Our night out was at the local pub The Black Dog. The food was good, the service could have been better but everyone was just too happy to be out of the house for a change. All the mommies looked different (myself included) but everyone looked really good. We had initially planned the outing for just a couple of hours after our babies went to bed. Let’s just say, the night ended way past our own bedtimes :P. It was a great night!

My 1st Mommy's Night Outfit
This was my outfit for the night.

We also had our 1st annual Operation Christmas Child packing party at home. It was a potluck party because I’ve finally accepted that trying to serve all the food at my own party, will now be a thing of the past. Potlucks has always been a foreign concept in my own household. As my mother would say “If you invite people over to your house, you should feed them“. Anyways, this potluck was successful and no seem to mind that I wasn’t providing all the food. It was really nice getting to know some of the mommies. Mommy conversations are still mostly within the 3 P’s (Pee, Poop & Parenting) but it was still just really nice to be talking to another adult. I hope to make this packing party an annual tradition.

So, I convinced my husband (which didn’t require too much effort) that I needed to get a massage this week. I found a local RMT online that ran her practice out of her own home. I was a bit hesitate at first but, I was really glad that I decided to try it. She was fantastic and was able to work with my shoulder specific injury from strength training. This has been a hectic week but with the girl’s night out, massage and children’s party. It has been a balanced week for me.

Highlights of Our Week

Mommy Tip: I have a mommy friend, who once told me that the one thing she learned about being a Mother after 7 years is that “For the rest of your life you will always have to live with the mommy guilt, so deal with it”.

Life of a Mommy

My original plan this week was to get up at 4:30am so that I could finish my workouts earlier and have a bit of time during the day to catch up on house chores. My daughter had her own plans and decided to get up at 4:30am too. Oh well, I can only try to do everything but sometimes I just have to decide which is more important. For me, the decision was made on the day my daughter was born that her needs will always come first! My husband’s second and everything else…i.e. the housework can always wait another day. I also discovered that even though sleeping-in was never my thing, this too has changed since becoming a Mommy. I call this Life of a Mommy.

Highlights of Our Week

This week we got some hand-me-downs toys from a really nice neighbor. I should have triple checked the old toys. My little girl got a cardboard cut from one of the broken toys and her little finger started to bleed. I was so traumatized with the sight of her blood, I didn’t know what to do. Thanks to my hubby’s calm nature & quick thinking, he immediately wash her wound, applied polysporin and a tiny bandage for her. He kept assuring me she is 100% fine and even though she was also laughing & giggling again in no time. I couldn’t get over the horrible feeling that my baby got hurt :(. This reminded me of the movie The Passion of The Christ The main focus of the movie was of course about Jesus and I would never forget that in my heart. But when I watched that movie again (shortly after my daughter was born) I saw it differently. This time I saw Jesus through Mary’s eyes and now I understand how it’s so true when people say that “your child’s pain is worse than your own“!

 

 

 

 

Being A Better Mommy

Starting any kind of new fitness regiment is really hard but trying to stay on track is even more difficult. I’m happy to announce that everything is getting better & easier for me this week. Remember “You can’t take care of anyone else, until you take care of yourself first” This statement may sound a bit selfish but it’s actually the furthest thing from it. By taking better care of myself in terms of eating well and working out again, I have so much more energy to keep up with my rambunctious little girl. After every workout, I’m in a better mood which is good news for hubby. These positive changes has overall made me a better mother & wife. So, how could caring for myself be an act of selfishness? If the result is creating a better version of me for my family.

Being a Better Mommy means:

  • Eat a balanced breakfast, no time? try a Breakfast Smoothie
  • Make time to sweat (a little), here’s a quick Workout idea
  • Take time for yourself (take a bath, read a book or write a letter). Do whatever makes your heart glow, your family will thank you.
The loves of my life and main motivation to stay healthy
The Loves Of My Life and The Main Reason For Me To Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

A Meal Plan for Nursing Moms

Breastfeeding my daughter has been one of the most wonderful experience of being a mommy. The benefits of breastfeeding are endless but here’s a few reasons why I feel that “Breast is Best”

  • I’m 100% confident that my daughter is getting the best nourishment.
  • Breast milk contains antibodies and lymphocytes that helps my baby resist infections.
  • It’s available whenever and wherever she needs to eat
  • Breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of (SIDS)
  • It’s Free 🙂

The only downside to breastfeeding is how hungry I feel ALL THE TIME. It’s true that breastfeeding may help your body burn up to 500 extra calories a day (without exercise). This is not the time to start eating whatever you want. Keep in mind – good quality foods that you consume will produce good quality milk for your baby too. So, start thinking about the importance of healthy eating and consuming nutritionally dense meals before your baby’s next feeding. This is also not the time to be cutting calories or going on a crash diet in hopes to shed that baby weight quickly (my biggest pet peeve). Do you really think your baby cares about what you look like before you had her? The answer is probably, NO!

Important Nutrition Tips:

  1. Drinks lots of fluids to stay hydrated (limit beverages that has added sugar, like sodas or fruit drinks) stick to lemon with water, skim milk or homemade broth.
  2. Meals should contain a lean source of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.
  3. Snacks between meals.
  4. Talk with your doctor to find out if you need a multivitamin.

Here’s a sample of my meals:

Pre-Breakfast: Squeeze half a lemon into a full glass of water (lemon juice naturally detoxifies the body and gets your digestive juices flowing to help with better absorption of nutrients in your meals) Drink this 10-15 mins before your first meal.

Breakfast:

  • 2 egg whites + 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of red, green, & yellow peppers (or any kind of vegetables you like)
  • 1/4 cup of onions (minced)
  • 2 slices of multi-grain toast with 1 tsp of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • Prenatal Vitamins & Fish Oil Supplements

Breastfeeding Breakfast

 

Snacks: Breastfeeding burns calories, so keep healthy snacks on hand to help refuel throughout the day. I usually snack before lunch and dinner and depending on how long my nights are (when baby is teething) I will have another snack right before bed.

Healthy Snack Options:

  • Edamame
  • Homemade Coconut Bran Muffins
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait (Raisins, Plain Granola and Unsweetened Coconut)
  • Hummus, Carrots, Multigrain Toast & Hard Boiled Egg

 

Lunch:

  • 2 spinach egg muffins
  • 3 cups of mixed baby kale greens
  • 1/2 pear (chopped & slice)
  • 1 slice of multigrain toast with real butter
  • 1 cup of orange juice (not shown in photo)
  • 1 cup of Water (not shown in photo)
  • 2 capsules of Fish Oil Supplements

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Dinner:

  • 3 oz grilled salmon steak ( 2x a week)
  • 1/2 of green beans (steamed)
  • 2-3 small boiled potatoes (usually with the skin)
  • 1 polish turkey sausage ( or another source of lean protein)
  • 1 cup of orange juice (not shown in photo)
  • 1 cup of water (not shown in photo)
  • 2 capsules of Fish Oil Supplements

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This is just a sample meal plan. I DO NOT eat the same foods everyday because it’s important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and different source of protein.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week#2 (Staying on Track)

Just when I thought that getting started was difficult…I realized this week that staying on track is actually the hardest part of any fitness journey. I have my reasons for working out posted on the walls of my home gym to give me a visual reminder of why I need to keep going especially on days that I feel like giving up. It’s a very simple and effective way to keep me on track. I would encourage you to try it too 🙂 all you need is a black marker and some posted notes 😛

This Week’s Food Prep: Food prepping after a long-weekend is always a bit more difficult than usual because a) I’m way too stuffed from the weekend to think about food for a while. b) I still have so much food leftover that we’ll be eating turkey for the next 2 weeks! So, this week I prepared only our staple items like

  • Spinach Egg Muffins
  • Hard Boiled Eggs (for quick snacking)
  • Baked Chicken Breast with Sweet Potatoes *recipe coming soon*
  • Apple Cinnamon Squash Soup *recipe coming soon*

This Week’s Fitness: I’m so happy, even after taking a year-long hiatus from working out. My muscles have already adapted to lifting weights. So, after completing my 2nd week of training and healthy eating. My hubby rewarded me with 3 sets of heavier dumbbells. Yipee…I’m so pumped for week#3 now!

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Results of Week#2

Monday: One of many cool things about being a mom is that you will NEVER get to sleep-in again 😛 Okay, maybe this is not a cool thing but if you are trying to stay on track with your fitness regiment and have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Now, you have a mandatory “get up” alarm a.k.a the baby 🙂 Despite the fact that it’s Thanksgiving Monday. Our daughter woke up this morning at her usual time and ate breakfast at her usual time and went back for a nap at her usual time. My husband decided that he would go back to bed and I was so tempted to join them, but I did my workout instead. As always, no matter how much I dread the workout at the beginning…I always feel 110% better after my workout is done.

Tuesday: I woke up today with a list in my head, a list of all the things that I needed to do

  • Bake some chicken for my daughter’s lunch
  • Puree the carrots and beets for my daughter’s dinner
  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Finish the weekend’s laundry
  • Clean the bathroom

the longer I stayed in bed, the longer the list grew. So, I finally got out of bed but just thinking about the list made me so tired that I just didn’t want to workout anymore. Then the thought of being lazy made me want to skip everything on that list too! This is where I like to practice something called “mind over matter” my mind is trying to convince me of all these untruth but I know better that the truth is working out equals more energy and more energy equals getting more things done. So, I’m happy to say that after making my workout a priority and getting it done first, I was able to complete everything else on my list plus more.

Wednesday: Today I listened to my body and decided to take a rest.

Thursday: So, after taking a much-needed rest day. I was fully charged to get my workout going this morning, especially since today is LEG day (my favourite). I got up, put on my workout gear, fed the baby, changed her and just as I was about to put her down for her usual nap. My husband called to tell me that the delivery guys for our fridge will be here in less than 30 mins!!! (we’re told the night before that they will give us a 3-hour window) so I was not happy about this. This was an unexpected situation but one that had interrupt my daughter’s nap time, my workout time and instantly put me in a bad mood. My husband came home early and offer to watch our daughter for an hour, so that I could still workout today. But I was already in such a bad mood after the delivery guys ended up arriving later and my daughter got cranky from having her nap delayed. I just didn’t want to do anything at all (especially did not want to workout), but hubby knew me best and he assured me that no matter what I’m feeling now, a workout will  always makes me feel better and he was right. This reminds me that it’s really important to have someone to keep you on track, especially if you’re prone to fall off track like me 😛

Friday: Fridays are always crazy in my house, even with the help from my husband who works from home. I still can’t seem to find enough time to get anything done and get to my Mommy & Baby Ministry on time ( I hate being late). So, today I was inspired to create a workout that would give me a full body circuit in less than 15 mins! and posted this on my facebook page to helps others who might need a quick workout plan.

Saturday: After becoming a mom, I realize that there is no such thing as weekends. I get the choice between busy days or super busy days and today definitely fell under super busy day. Thankfully, I was prepared with a workout plan so as soon as baby went down for her nap. I got my workout in and now I feel like I can take on the world. 😛

This Week’s Fun Stuff

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Spinach Egg Muffins

After making a batch of Kale Pasta for my daughter this week, I decided that we should all be eating kale & spinach 🙂 The best way to teach your children about healthy eating is to lead by example.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 8 Whole Eggs or (12 Egg Whites)
  • 1/2cup of Skim Milk
  • 3cups of Fresh Spinach
  • 12 Slices of Turkey or Chicken Deli
  • 1/4tsp of Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Optional: 1/4cup of low-fat shredded cheese

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Heat butter on medium heat and add 3 cups of spinach to frying pan.

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Cook on medium heat for about 7-10mins. Look how much it shrunk 😛

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

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Lightly grease muffin pan with butter and line the cups with deli meat. Beat the eggs with 1/2 cup of skim milk, add a pinch of salt and fill the wells 1/2 half way. Add spinach and top with shredded cheese and bake for 20mins.

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Perfect protein packed breakfast food or on-the-go snack!

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Serve with 2 slices of light rye bread and glass of skim milk for the perfect post-workout meal!

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Kale Pasta for Toddlers

I’ve been a very lucky mom, for the past 7 months my daughter has been an excellent eater. Recently, she has discovered that playing and exploring is much more fun than eating. So, trying to get her attention and keeping it long enough to feed her a meal has been a challenge. The fun part is learning new ways to make her meals colourful, nutritious and appealing.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of miniature star pasta
  • 2 cups of frozen kale
  • 2 tbsp of boiling water
  • 1 tbsp of flax-seed oil

Bring water to a rolling boil, add pasta. Reduce heat and cook for 10 mins

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Add 2 cups of frozen kale and 2 tbsp of water. Blend for 10-15seconds.

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Strain pasta and add 1 tbsp of flax-seed oil and mix in the purée kale.

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This recipe will give you about 24 cube servings. In my home this will last for 4 days!

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Beautiful little green flowers are very appealing to little fussy eaters.

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Care to Share:

How do you deal with little fussy eaters?