It’s time to lose the baby weight!

Okay, it really is time to get serious about this.  I have basked in the glow of motherhood and neglected myself for long enough.  Summer will be here before I know it and I want to be able to get out and be as active as I normally would.  Not to mention I need to be the best me I can be for my family.  I need to be healthy in order to take care of them.

So this week I joined Weight Watchers Online and I’m learning the ropes.  I’m making a commitment to a healthier me.  I have officially started today and I’m ready for the change.

I’m going to try to post some of my favorite Weight Watchers friendly recipes with the points per serving as I learn more on this program.

I have a lot of goals this year and being heavy isn’t part of the plan.  I do cut myself some slack though on the weight.  Let me give you the whole story.  I used to be very active, outside all the time, showing horses every weekend, at the lake any chance I could be, just going non stop.  It was great!  I had so much energy…the more I went the more I could go!

Me and The Husband dressed for dinner!  :)

Me and The Husband dressed for dinner! :)

 

Me before I tore my MCL & cartilage

Me before I tore my MCL & cartilage

 

Then I was injured in 2009 right in the midst of horse show season.  I twisted my knee (not on a horse or even around a horse) tearing my MCL & cartilage.  I am a bit VERY clumsy on two legs.  I kept pushing and riding/training hard (like an idiot) and was in pain for close to 2 years before I met my chiropractor and got straightened out for the most part.

Needless to say, pain will make someone depressed and not being able to be as physically active as I had been allowed me to gain weight.  It was really a rough time.  I couldn’t do what I once did and it really hurt my confidence.  As the weight came on it of course made everything feel even worse. It became a vicious cycle: pain, stress, food, no activity, depression, etc.  This was probably one of the worst but in the long run beneficial times in my life.  I reevaluated a lot and reorganized priorities and goals.  I did a lot of soul searching during all of that (emotional & physical) pain.  I had to find other outlets to channel my stress, pain and emotions.  I slowly began to get better physically and emotionally.  I found my “happy” again.

I think God gives us trials like that when we need to work on ourselves from the inside out.  It’s His way of giving us a “thunk” on the head and saying “Slow down and realize what is important”.  This is, at least, how it felt to me.

During all of this my husband and I decided to start thinking about a family.  The timing seemed right.  We were approaching 30 and it just seemed like a good age and good time in our life.  Then before long I was pregnant and you don’t really lose weight while pregnant so here I am heavier but so much happier.  My life is right where I want it and where it should be.

Me at Christmas last month

Me at Christmas last month

Now I just need to get back in shape and doing the things that I love.  I need the outside to look and feel as happy as the inside.

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Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

Brrr….It’s COLD!!!  It is 2pm and it is only 16 degrees…and the temperature is dropping.  We had a dusting of snow last night and the low for tonight is -3 degrees but with the wind chill being miserable.  I almost can’t believe it will be 53 degrees Friday.  Anyway, my Little Man and I have been home all day today staying warm.  I’ve been cleaning and getting everything washed up in case of an electricity outage and he has been playing like a wild man.  When I laid him down for a nap I started to think about what I should make for supper tonight.  There was one thing that popped into my head: soup!  Then I had to narrow it down and I decided on Easy Vegetable Soup.  It really is a perfect day for it!

I use a Dutch oven anytime I do soup, stew, roasts, steaks…a lot of things.  That’s what I used for this soup.  The one I used today is by The Lodge.  It’s an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.  I think it is the 6-quart size but I’m not 100% on that.

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes,
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 14oz Can of Beef Broth
  • 1 Onion, Peeled & Cubed
  • 8 – 10oz Steak cut into chunks (Any kind that suits, I happened to have tenderloin)
  • 12 oz. Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Peas, Carrots, Green Beans)
  • 4 Medium Potatoes, Peeled & Cubed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil, about 2 Tbsp. give or take
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1 ¾ Cups of Water, more if needed

Prep the food first.  Peel and cube potatoes and onions.  Cut the steak into chunks, salt and pepper liberally.

In my Dutch oven, I put roughly about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat till it’s pretty hot, about medium high heat.

Olive OilAdd the onions.

Onions 1Let them sweat a bit…

Onions 2And brown a bit.

Onions 3Take them out and put them to the side.

Onions in BowlAdd the steak.

Sliced SteakLet it brown a bit.

SteakTake it out and set it to the side.

Steak in a BowlThe bottom of the pan should look like this.  All of this is FLAVOR.

Bottom of the PanPour the Beef Stock in to the still hot pan

Beef Stock

Whisk getting all the bits of flavor off of the bottom.

Adding Beef Stock

Put the steak back in…

Add Beef BackFollowed by the onions…

Add Onions BackAnd all the other ingredients…

Frozen Vegetables

Added Frozen Veggies Potatoes

Added PotatoesTomato Paste

Added Tomato PasteCrushed Tomatoes

Added Crushed Tomatoes

Water & Beef Broth

Added WaterStir mixing all the ingredients

Stirred & ready to simmer

Simmer for 3 hours on medium low heat.  Keep a check on it and add more water if needed.

Enjoy!

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Goodbye 2013, Our Best Year Yet!

This year has been so full of changes, joy, adventure and love.  Sure we’ve had some trying times as well but overwhelmingly this year has been such a blessing.  We are blessed to have wonderful family and friends in our lives.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!

A few things I’ve learned:

  • Becoming a Mother is the best, most rewarding, hardest, selfless thing I could have ever done and I’m so glad I did!  The love that I have for my child is the most intense emotion I’ve ever felt.
  • I can’t believe how much I love my husband after having our son.
  • Inspiration can come from anywhere.
  • I’m stronger than I ever thought.
  • I’m way tougher too.
  • There are some people who just want to argue and cause trouble…love them anyway, at a distance if it’s extreme and never let their craziness dictate your mood/day/life.  What they are doing isn’t about you at all, it’s 100% them.
  • There are still a lot of beautiful, giving, loving wonderful people in this world.  I know there is a lot of bad/mean spirited/evil people out there and they seem to get on the news all the time but there are so many out there that do such good things that we never see.  It’s easy to get in that rut of thinking that the world and everyone in it is so bad but if you look around it isn’t nearly as bad as you think.

 

I don’t do “New Year’s Resolutions” but here are some goals for 2014:

  • To keep working hard and keep having fun!
  • Enjoy every minute I can with family
  • To not take anything for granted because every second is a precious gift
  • Keep running 5ks
  • Get back in good riding shape and do a little showing
  • Keep the attitude that if today was bad, tomorrow is new day, a new start and it will get better

 

Just a few fun pictures!

3 months old

3 months old

 

Halloween

Our Little Monster

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

6 months old

6 months old

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