This is ONE way to get fit in Japan, apparently. Thanks to Scott Kleinberg for the heads-up.

Good grief!

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

We’ve had this recipe for the better part of ten years now, and it’s our go-to smoothie recipe. Perfect for breakfast, an after-school snack, or anytime! In place of the Carnation instant breakfast, I’ve also used vanilla protein powder (the kids had no idea…bwa ha ha ha ha!). We also usually use a whole frozen banana in place of a half banana; it makes it much more like a milkshake.

Enjoy!

Blue Monkey Smoothie

The name makes this healthy smoothie a hit with the kids.

Prep Time: 5 min.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 cup fat free milk
* 1 container (8 oz.) blueberry fat free yogurt
* 1 packet Classic French Vanilla NESTLÉ CARNATION INSTANT BREAKFAST
* 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
* 1/2 banana

HOW TO DO IT

Place milk, yogurt, NESTLE CARNATION INSTANT BREAKFAST, blueberries and banana in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Serving Size: 2

Suggestions:
* For added variety, blend in any flavor of fat free yogurt or unsweetened berries.
* For a frostier drink, omit yogurt and blend in 1 cup (about 2 large scoops) of your favorite fat free frozen yogurt.

For more great recipes, stop by Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace.

Menu Plan Monday

I’m trying to get it all together. And one of the things that helps a LOT is a preplanned menu. So though it’s late, here’s my stab at a menu plan for this week:

Monday: Frozen Chicken Parmesan (Schwan’s) with spaghetti & marinara from the pantry (not the healthiest of choices, obviously)

Tuesday: Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with sausage;  fruit and yogurt parfaits

Wednesday: Dinner out

Thursday: Grilled chicken tenders with sides TBD

Friday: Dinner out or leftovers

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Simply Roasted Pork with mashed potatoes and broccoli

I know, I know…three dinners out. Busy schedule. Need to find a few go-to crock-pot recipes and a regular day of the week to grocery shop. Babysteps!

For more great menus, stop over to I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday!

As a mom and as a daughter, I’ve always associated food with love, for better or worse. I can’t imagine opening the pantry and not having anything to feed my kids. Not only that, I’m the mom on the block that always wants to feed the neighbor kids, too. And their families, if they’ll let me.

Look, times are tough, all around. If a food bank donation or a couple of hours of volunteering will help, I’m all for it!

As a member of Weight Watchers, I plan to participate in the Lose for Good campaign, too. My local meeting’s donations are going to my church’s food bank, so I know it will make a big difference right where I live.

It’s Hunger Action Month. What are YOU gonna do to end hunger this month?

Thanks to Fed Up with Lunch for inspiring this post!

Hi. It’s me, Kath. I’m back. Again.

As you may have heard, my mom died back in April.

That was followed by a long summer. An adjustment period. And my sister’s wedding!

Two of these bridesmaids are pregnant, but it's not me (I'm 2nd from left). So what's MY excuse?

But now it’s September. The wedding festivities are over, the kids are back at school, and we have a routine again.

Time to get back on my head.

My Weight Watchers leader had a great meeting last week; nearly every word she said pierced my heart. I confessed to her afterward that I’m TERRIBLE with tracking, and she told me she wanted to see my tracker next week.

That was all it took. Well, maybe not ALL, but it was a great start. I vowed to start small. I’d eat whatever I wanted, but track everything.

But I found that just the act of writing it down made me think twice. Later that same day, I reached for a leftover pastry. I had the fleeting thought, “Nobody cares if I eat this.” Then I remembered my tracker. And my leader’s face. And felt disappointed in myself. And I walked away from the pastry.

I tracked every day. Probably not perfectly. Right through dinner with my sister and her bridesmaids, through the pizza at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding cake and chocolate fountain at the reception. (Even through my dad offering to take my half-eaten dinner plate from me at the reception…his idea of portion control, I guess.)

And yesterday, I lost at my Weight Watchers meeting: 1.6 lbs.

I’ve also been back to the gym: twice in two days. I’m starting small…just 15 minutes on the elliptical and a bit of lifting. But I feel successful already.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
-Psalm 51:10

*Blows away the dust*

Getting a bit musty in here, isn’t it?

*Throws open the windows to let the springtime breeze in*

I’m still around. I still have hopes, dreams…aspirations.

Even if they are a bit…dusty.

Things have been pretty hectic with my mom. Three hospitalizations since January, a move, and hospice care.

But I’m still trying to be healthier.

Now that Mom is in assisted living, I’m hoping things will slow to a more normal pace. More regular workouts. Time to shop for and prep healthy meals.

Time to let myself breathe, so I don’t feel the need to self-medicate with food.

I saw my new general practitioner in January. She challenged me to lose 10 lbs by my next visit two months later.

While I didn’t make the 10 lb mark, I was the lowest I have been in 14 weeks!

However, I’m feeling the pain of my poor choices. Literally. My plantar fasciitis is acting up pretty badly. And I hurt myself trying to do this workout (hey! it seemed like a good idea at the time!). The injury involved my lower back (strained muscle?), and once I got me some good meds, I was ready to take my kids’ Girl Scout troops camping (wait: that’s a whole other post)!

Hoop at your own risk!

So I’m back at Weight Watchers (okay, I never left) and trying to get consistent. Baby steps.

Note to self: The plan works better if you TRACK what you’re eating!

As of this morning, I was the lowest weight I’ve been in I-don’t-know-how-long, despite doing some stress eating last night.

Wish me luck. Better yet, pray for me!!

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” -Matthew 25:21

I still pinch myself occasionally to make sure I really do have THREE boys. Of course you’d think the stinky diapers and 3 am feedings would be enough proof! :)

Little Darth made his appearance on 10/1/10. The Tweenager is thrilled and The Manimal is adjusting. My body slipped easily back into the swing of a nursing baby and the 20 pounds I gained slipped right along with it, thank goodness!

A bonus with this pregnancy has been the additional weight loss I’ve experienced due to a wheat-free diet. This was not my decision, as I absolutely luurrrvvee pasta, breads, cereal, etc. Unfortunately, Little Darth displayed what the doctor calls a “sensitivity” to wheat/gluten products. In other words, the boy had some MAJOR gas. After I went without dairy for three days (UGH) and it didn’t work, I eliminated wheat and voila! Most of his gas was gone. Don’t get me wrong, the boy can hold his own with his older brothers. But at least now he isn’t crying out in pain most of the time.

And as much as I sometimes wish I could have  a slice of pizza or a crusty roll, I haven’t missed the wheat as much as I thought I would. I’ve been enjoying lots of salad, and made some cookies with gluten free flour (not worth the effort).

I’m down about 10 lbs from my pre-preggo weight and it’s a happy place to be. The goal now is to use this as a springboard. I really feel that the Lord has been calling me to something greater this year, and I think better health is part of that. One of my goals this year is scripture memorization and in choosing my first verse, I kept going back to Jeremiah.

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11, NIV)

Here’s to a year full of following God’s plans!

Hi Shauna and Carla!

I don’t know if you’ll be able to get this in the podcast you’re recording today, but I’ve been meaning to get you my blogger news:

I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to establish a regular habit of walking my dog each morning for about an hour. I started in August, when my youngest started first grade. It was the first time in over 9 years that I’ve been child-free on a daily basis.

Making time for a daily walk doesn’t sound like much, but for me, it’s a huge victory.

I’m now over 100 lbs overweight. I’ve lost 60 lbs on two different occasions (once on Weight Watchers, once with a personal trainer and a very clean, high-protein diet), but gained all of it, and then some, back after my elderly mom moved into town. I’m her sole caregiver, and she’s been juggling multiple health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. The added responsibility in my life resulted in my being diagnosed with depression, which I tackled with the help of a therapist and prescription medication.

Starting in January, Mom’s health took (yet another) turn for the (even) worse. She began the process on being evaluated for a kidney transplant. That resulted in my taking her to 3-5 doctors a week between January and August. My health and fitness got dropped off the list completely.

During that process, Mom was diagnosed in April with lung cancer. We learned last month that it’s stage 4, and not much else can be done for her. Her oncologist gave her “less than a year.”

In the meantime, I’ve gained about 25 pounds since January. Walking every day is just the first step, of many I hope, in taking back control of my own life. And this time, I vow to do it in a way that I can sustain for the rest of my life.

I’m not in any hurry to go back on anti-depressants, and I’ve found that my daily walk has been INVALUABLE to keeping my sanity. I’ve posted about it a couple of times:

http://sohelpme.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/walking-on-sunshine/

http://sohelpme.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/my-morning-walk-is-my-prozac/

I have to tell you, your podcasts are a big reason why my walks are so addicting. I found them not long after I started walking, and having your positive comments ringing in my ears instead of listening to my inner critic for an hour made a huge difference in my outlook. I blew through your archives very quickly, and now I eagerly anticipate each episode. After hearing all the blogger news from runners, I even wonder if I might be able to one day call myself a runner!

Thanks for all you do. You have no idea how much it has helped me.

Kathleen
@SoHelpMeKath http://sohelpme.wordpress.com
@sandwiched http://sandwiched.wordpress.com

P.S. Say hey to Mrs. Fatass! She’s also been a huge inspiration for me. She’s an amazing writer, she doesn’t take any crap, and she’s one of those people I can SO relate to!

This was a comment to Tara’s post from this morning. I’ve been horrible at posting; maybe this is why.

Thank you for putting this out there. I’m trying to start over—again—and it’s important to know that this mental battle is never really won. I lost 60 lbs 4 yrs ago, and regained because when I “arrived,” it didn’t get any easier. I gained back everything and more.

Four years later, everything is still hard…and I’m up 90 lbs from 4 years ago (25 lbs since January 2010). Just typing that makes me want to crawl under something and die, but there’s nothing for it but to keep trying.

*sigh*

“‘Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” —2 Kings 20:3 (New International Version)

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