It's Not Called Toddler Weight...


If your baby's first birthday has come and gone, but the weight hasn't - you've come to the right place.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Recipe of Lies

I can hardly believe it's almost the end of 2012.  With a new year comes a sense of starting fresh and renewal.  I don't know about you, but I personally have started to get away from the whole "resolutions" since they are usually over-zealous, over the top at times and tend to be hard to maintain - or at least the ones I've tried to keep up in the past.

My goal for most of last year and will be into 2013 is to be healthier.   As I mentioned, I'm a diet whore junkie and I've recently been following the Eat To Live plan by Dr. Fuhrman.  It's been going really, really great.  Aside from currently having a cold, I feel really good.  The weight is still not coming off as I'd hoped but I haven't weighed in again hoping for a bigger loss (fingers crossed!).  I'm also currently reading his books Super Immunity and Disease-Proof Your Child.  They're quite eye opening and informative.

Ok, back to the post and my recipe of lies.

So, for 2013 my goal is be healthier.  Not skinnier or fitter or anything like that.  I'm just striving for health.  Just this past weekend I actually got my husband on board with the whole cutting out processed foods and eating healthier idea also which is awe.some.  I've been on Pinterest for quite some time and I've come across some awesome blogs and resources for recipe, inspiration and so much more.  So as 2012 went on, I had already incorporated green smoothies and had been eating a more vegetarian diet.  Now, I'm almost borderline vegan (but not exactly) due to the Eat To Live plan.  And now with the hubby aboard the healthy train we should be in even better shape to achieve health in 2013.

Me eating healthier. Check.  Husband on board and agreeing to eat healthier, unprocessed foods.  Check.

Kiddos - Yeah.  Not quite a check there yet.

It's just going to be tricking the kiddos to eating healthier that I have to work on.  I started that plan today by making Zucchini Banana Muffins (recipe found on Pinterest on this blog) which I made without the glaze.  No offense, but the "glaze" in the pictures looks like ketchup and is so unappealing - but I altered the recipe a bit to make it a little more palatable for our taste.  So I turned the Zucchini Banana muffins into Zucchini Banana Applesauce muffins and they are yummy!  (Note:  I think they are but I can't taste anything really due to this darn cold!)

Without further adieu, I present the recipe of lies!

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1  teaspoon cinnamon(I added more since I like cinnamon!)
1 egg
2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce (the original recipe called for butter but I didn't use any)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4  cup of white sugar
1/3 cup milk – plus another splash as the mix was a little too dry after mixing
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups freshly grated zucchini
1/3 cup mashed banana (about 1 small banana)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and then get the muffin pan ready with either liners or non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine together flour, baking soda, salt,and cinnamon.  Mix well.
In a larger separate bowl, whisk the egg and brown sugar until smooth and until there are no lumps. Add in white sugar and continue to mix.  Add vanilla extract, applesauce and 1/3 cup milk. Add more later if you find the mix is too dry.  Whisk again until smooth and stir in the previously grated zucchini and mashed banana. Once combined, slowly add the dry ingredients a little at a time, folding the batter until just combined.  Divide batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

The finished muffin
Oh whoops, I forgot to put in the key ingredient.

THE LIE!


So, in the whole tricking the kiddos theme, my 4 year old daughter helped me bake these muffins.  I should note that she is a fairly picky eater and does not really enjoy trying new things. Or eating vegetables.  Or trying new foods.  Or - well, you get the idea. My 3 year old son is a bit more adventurous with trying foods and his overall taste for diverse foods.  So, when my daughter saw the green zucchini, she asked me what it was.

So, I sort of lied and called it a green banana.

Well, she totally bought it!  I was shocked.  This coming from a child who would shy away from parsley and green flecks in anything that was on her plate.

Then once the muffins were baked and cooled, she proceeded to eat it - green bits and flecks of zucchini and all.  (See image)

Am I proud that I lied?  No.  I mean, she saw with her own eyes that it was green - a color of food she normally is repulsed by.  Maybe because I quickly called it a green banana, it made it okay by her standards?  But for the sake of her long-term health and getting her to eat more green vegetables I guess I'd have to say it is a lie I'd tell over and over again.

And I just may.

While I consider myself an honest person, I'm kind of a huge fan of trying to sneak more veggies into foods that kids prefer to eat - such as chicken nuggets, cookies, muffins, chili's  soups and stews.  I really love Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook which I need to go back through and try more of the recipes again now that my kids are older.

Now tell me, do you struggle with the same "picky-ness" with your kids?  How do you or did you overcome it.  Did you ever tell lies to get your kids to eat new things?  I'd love to hear it?
~Carly

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eat To Live

Hello!

Well, as usual (lately anyways) this post is overdue.  I've had some changes happen over the past few months and I've been way off schedule. And sidetracked.  And distracted.

However, I've had a little more time to get back to doing a little more work now that my kiddos are both in preschool a few mornings a week.  It's not a lot of time, but I have been able to reclaim a little "me" time which has been very nice.

As you know from reading this blog (or if you're just joining me, welcome!) then you know that I'm somewhat of a diet hopper.  It's pretty safe to say that if dieting and I were family we'd be beyond dysfunctional.  This post is coming about three weeks into my latest "diet" craze on a lifestyle called Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Furhman.

Image courtesy of diseaseproof.com

Dr. Furhman has been featured in the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, on the Dr. Oz Show a few times and is highly respected in the medical community.  You may be thinking along the lines of Doctors writing books - aka Dr. Atkins of the Atkins Diet, Dr. Agaston of South Beach Diet, etc.  I thought along the same lines also - another Doctor with some miracle diet - blah blah.

Until I read the book.

It totally made sense.  In an easy to read and follow type of way.  The diet itself is another story.  It's NOT an easy diet to follow if you're not used to eating this way at all.  Especially when you have two small children who are somewhat picky and a husband who likely won't consider eating this way.

Luckily, I had already been drinking green smoothies and eating more of a vegetarian style diet for some time now after seeing a few documentaries, reading some articles and talking to some people.

Okay, back to the point...

According to Dr. Furhman and some other people recently - like Michael Pollen...this way of eating isn't or should not really be a short term thing.  Dr. Furhman  has said that weight and health have to go hand in hand.  They are very much intertwined.  This book promotes healing diseases such as diabetes (among other things) with the foods you eat.  This book promotes a vegan lifestyle for six weeks and in that six weeks you can lose up to 20 pounds or more.  There are non-vegan or vegetarian options you may follow but the results may vary.

I highly suggest reading the book, but in case you can't or just don't want to and would like the lowdown on the diet, here it is in a nutshell:


UNLIMITED (eat as much as you want):
  • All raw vegetables, including raw carrots (goal: 1 lb. daily)
  • Cooked green vegetables (goal 1 lb. daily)
  • Beans, legumes, bean sprouts, or *tofu (minimum 1 cup daily in total of these)
  • Fresh fruit (at least 4 daily).
  • Eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato and other non-starchy vegetables, cooked and raw (unlimited) (Dr. Furhman calls these GBOMBS on a Dr. Oz show)

*Beans should be eaten daily; tofu should be eaten less frequently.

LIMITED (not more than one serving):
  • Cooked starchy vegetables OR whole grains–Maximum 1 cup per day (butternut or acorn squash, corn, sweet potato, brown rice, cooked carrots, whole grain breads*, whole grain cereals*)
  • Raw nuts and seeds (1 oz. or 28.5 grams a day) or 2 ounces avocado
  • Ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon a day)
  • Soymilk, low-sugar preferred–Maximum 1 cup a day (I've been using unsweetened Almond Milk)

*avoid breads and cereals as much as possible

OFF-LIMITS:
  • Dairy products
  • Animal products
  • Snacks between meals
  • Fruit juice or dried fruits
  • Salt
  • Sugar

Sound confusing or crazy to eat that many veggies and avoid all that other stuff?  Glorious bread, sugar, sweets, chicken, cheese?  Yes.  It is.

Image courtesy of myself
At first.  At some point in the book it is mentioned that it's recommended to eat that much veggies, but not necessary.  He does say the more greens and veggies you eat the more weight you will lose.  I think I maybe have eaten the full two pounds of veggies a few days out of the past few weeks.  But still, I've been eating a lot of vegetables.  A lot.

So, going on week 3 how am I doing.  You're dying to know, right?  

Well, after my escapades in weight loss this year - Weight Watchers, Cinch, etc...I was nearly back up to my original weight when I started dieting!  

Frustrating.  Annoying.  Insert expletive here.

I've been yo-yo dieting all year.  Since I've started this plan, as of 5 days ago I've lost 5.8 pounds!  Yes, I've been tracking what I eat still on MyFitnessPal.  And yes, I count cleaning as cardio these days :)  It's extra and it counts.

Is the weight loss miraculous?  No.  Do I feel really awesome and amazing? Yes.  I can't tell you how good I feel cutting out a lot of the Standard American Diet (SAD).  So, again, this was as of 5 days ago and I haven't weighed in since so it may be more at this point.  

Have I stuck to the plan exactly?  No, not as I would have liked to in a "perfect" world where there are no cheddar bunnies to tempt me or heavenly smelling chocolate chip cookies I baked for a cookie swap coming up.  So, yes I have "cheated" a bit on this plan - I had a sprinkle or two of some cheese on a few things and I did have a turkey burger (all natural) the other night.  I did in fact taste test the cookies to make sure they were tasty.  So by no means have I been perfect.  I even had some cake for my son's 3rd birthday this past weekend.  I passed on the pizza but just could not pass on having some cake :)  

Again, this diet Dr. Furhman promotes is all about healthy weight loss that can be sustained over time.  I have really enjoyed this diet so far and I plan to continue. 

Do you know anyone who follows this diet?

By the way, feel free to add me as a friend on MyFitnessPal - I'm duckycarly!
~Carly

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Liebster Award! And...Check out Meredith!

It's been an embarrassingly long time since posting but a friend of mine just gave me the nudge I needed to post here again.

Check out From Meredith to Mommy when you have a moment.  She's fun, fresh, honest and a good read.  She's also now one of the Circle of Moms Top 25 bloggers!  Woo hoo!

Meredith is up for a Liebster Award and has kindly pointed some new peeps in my direction.  As part of that award process, I'm answering 11 questions she's posed to me and a few other bloggers:


So, without further adieu, here are my responses to the questions from Meredith:

1. What would you do with a financial windfall?
If I came into a lot of money, I would certainly spend some, save some and then give some to close friends and family and then donate some to a few favorite charities on the local and national levels.

2. What TV show do you watch, but hate admitting that you watch?
Sadly, I love the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange County and New York City.  It's crap and I love it.  

3. Given a limit of five words, how would you describe yourself?

Loyal, honest, resourceful, loving and amusing.

4. If you had to leave this country, what country would you choose to live in?

Hmmm.  I would definitely have to say England.  I've always wanted to go abroad but would love to live in London.  

5. What is your dream home like?

With web sites like Pinterest and Houzz it changes every day.  Would I love a sprawling, huge mansion?  I used to.  So, I know it's cheesy and all but I'd say my current home is my dream home right now.  A center hall colonial with plenty of room, a fireplace, a guest room and a formal living room - which I call the "room that no one sits in."  It needs a lot of work and updates but it's perfect - neighborhood and all. 

6. If you could give up one household chore forever, which one would be GONE?

Cleaning the floors.

7. If you had to KEEP one household chore forever, which would you hang on to?

As annoying as it is, cleaning up after the kids.  They grow so fast that I know one day before I know it I'll be wishing I had toys to clean up and legos to step on :)

8. What habit do you hope your children (or future children) pick up from you?

I hope my children continue to love reading for fun and not only because they "have to" as they grow. 

9. What habit do you hope your children (or future children) NEVER pick up?

I hope they NEVER inherit my tendency to over exaggerate or be overly rude at times.  

10. What meal do you most enjoy PREPARING?

I like cooking dinner.  I make a really good chicken parmigiana   It's one of my husband's favorites and I really like making it. 

11. What are you most proud of in your life so far?

I'm very proud of many things in my life, but I think I have to go with the mother I've become for my two kids.  As any mom knows, kids can drive you crazy but I'm amazed at how much sacrifice and unconditional love you truly can have for your kids.  I always knew I wanted kids but I wasn't sure of the type of mom I'd be.  

So, there you have it!
Be sure to check out Meredith's blog and I'll be back soon with more updates :)
~Carly


Monday, September 10, 2012

Update & Pinterest Picks - 9/10/2012

I have not posted in quite some time. I have been somewhat busy with life and have gotten away from my blogging. However, I have been somewhat good about diet - but not exercise. It is actually what I've pinpointed as being the real pitfall of my efforts.
It turns out I've just been - well - lazy. Terribly, terribly lazy.
So, today after I dropped the kiddos at school, I leashed up our dog and we went for a 23 minute run with a few minutes of walking.
I have to say I'm impressed and proud of myself ;)
Now, if I can just keep it up!

Maybe wise Ryan can help:


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Eat Fresh

And, no. I do not mean Subway!

I luckily live in a very nice area in Connecticut with access to tons of local farms and farm stands right in my town.

This is what I picked up today for about $5.

Yum!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

Morning!

I'm on day 3 of South Beach again and I feel great!

Obviously this recipe is not for me - it's for my kiddos who do enjoy a granola bar. Not everyday, but a few a week. They are quick and easy snacks to take along on our outings and to eat on the go. So, like most people I buy them at the store pre-made. I've tried both Cascadian Farms brand but my kids didn't like them as much as the Quaker ones.

So, considering my obsession with baking combined with my love of Pinterest - I came across this recipe from Savor The Thyme for either bake or no bake homemade 5 granola bars:

I only had some of the ingredients in the house - the key ones anyways.  However, you can make any combination of ingredients - almonds, dried fruits, nuts, flax, chia seeds - anything goes.

I made ours out of rolled oats, honey, peanut butter and some chocolate chips.

After one hour of being refrigerated and then cut to size

Cut to kid-sized portions on wax paper


Wrapping them and then storing them in tupperware

The long list of ingredients in  the chocolate chip Quaker  brand.

It was super easy and they taste really good. (yes I taste-tested!)
The kids couldn't even wait to try them before I could cut them up!  

If that's not success with a picky 4 year old eater and a 2.5 year old, I don't know what is :)

So after seeing that crazy long list of ingredients, making these is a no-brainer!

What do you make homemade versus store-bought?
~Carly

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back on the wagon

I hope this post is finding you well - and unharmed by my inability to stick to a choice of diet or exercise :)

I'm back on the South Beach/Low Carb lifestyle. I've had a lot of success in the past with it and I feel ready to do it again...again.

So, my breakfast today was eggs. Snacks were veggies and low fat ranch dip, a cheddar cheese stick and a lot of water! Dinner is baked salmon with sautéed spinach and garlic.

More updates on what I've been up to and some other changes I've been making!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pinterest Picks - 6/25/2012

Well hello!
I have been quite the exerciser this week and feeling pretty sore and proud! I've surprisingly skipped the gym and been doing some at home DVDs and even brought it back to the 90s doing some Tae Bo!

Still doing Cinch but adding in more meals and using the snack bars, meal bars and shakes. They are so yummy!

I haven't lost much weight but I definitely feel smaller and looks like my stomach is flatter. I will post an update soon with new measurements and stats!

Saw this on Pinterest and I'm really finding that this is true - I don't think I was exercising enough to lose weight. I'm feeling great and actually have been looking forward to doing it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Drink Up

We all know that drinking water is key to good health, hydration, promotes weight loss - the list goes on. And on. And on.

Sometimes I forget to get my full 8 glass a day requirement in.  I hover around 5-6 but I'm really trying to remember to drink more water every day.  I do actually like plain water.  For me, it's more about remembering to drink something during the day. I do mix it up a bit and add a little squeeze of fresh lemon if I happen to have some in the house - but most days it's just ice water - straight up.

I used to drink Crystal Light, but I'm really trying to refrain from that as it's got a lot of artificial ingredients and flavorings.

Fast forward to today in Connecticut and we're in day 2 of a heat wave with temperatures expected to be around 100 degrees!  Yikes.

So, I really want to keep myself and the kids hydrated and I just happened to come across a lovely pin on Pinterest for some water recipes.

I just made myself 2 quarts of cucumber lemon water - it's very refreshing.  Yes, I was hesitant at first to try it.  I like cucumbers.  I like lemons.  But together?  Hmmm.

My LemonCuc Water - YUM!
However, it's very refreshing and I've already drank 20 ounces without a flinch.

Here's the recipe from I made today from Lose Weight By Eating!

Really simple.

A pitcher or container that holds a good amount of water
1/4 of a cucumber sliced thin
1/2 a lemon sliced thin


Place slices of cucumber and lemon in the bottom of your pitcher and then place a few handfuls of ice and then fill with water.

Easy peasy and so deeeelish!

Now I'm hooked - here's another pin I found on Pinterest from Nancy Creative for a TON of other really neat sounding recipes for flavored water!  The Watermelon Basil sounds delicious and so does the Melon Cucumber - maybe that'll be next up on the water menu since I'm about to be done with this lemon cucumber combo!

Cheers!
~Carly


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where Does It Go When You Lose It?

Where does it go when you lose it?

Image from everyday Health web site slideshow

That's the question I've asked myself quite a few times.  What question? And what is the it I'm referring to?

When you lose it meaning FAT and weight - where the heck does it go?

I came across this slideshow article from everyday Health's web site on explaining where the fat goes when you lose it.

I'm also now on Day 7 of Cinch (again) and I'm still going strong!  Feeling great, lots of energy, feeling a bit smaller but I'm planning to do a full two weeks on the plan before taking measurements again.

So, stay tuned and have a great day!
~Carly

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pinterest Picks - 6/9/2012

Happy Saturday!

Literally just saw this on Pinterest and thought - YES! This is how to look at those slip ups along the way.

So, just shake it off. Move on. Don't "smash" your diet.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cinch - Day 1...Again!

Good morning!
It's a beautiful and cool Wednesday morning and I'm happy that I'm starting the Shaklee Cinch Inch Loss Plan...again.

Yes, you read that right.  It's Day 1 again.  As I mentioned in my post from Monday, I should have just stuck with it all along - and who knows, by now I may have been closer to my goal weight.  But, we can't live in what if's - so I'm just getting back to it since it worked so well the last time.

To recap:

I began Cinch with a 2 week starter kit on April 9, 2012
Starting measurements were:
Bust- 40
Waist - 36
Hip - 44

April 17th update were:
Bust - 38
Waist - 34
Hips - 43

I had lost just about 6 pounds and 5 inches in one week! You can read that full update here.

So, here I am just about two months later.  I'm back up a few pounds in weight (although I have my "friend" so my weight is a bit higher due to that) so I'm not sure exactly how much I have gained back.  Nevertheless, my starting measurements again are:
Bust - 38
Waist - 35
Hips - 44

So, I'm still down a few inches total but up a few pounds.

But I'm not giving up.  I'm off to the gym this morning and I am expecting the rest of my Cinch Transformation pack to arrive today - the tracking on the UPS site says it's "Out for delivery"!

Yay!

Have a great day and I'm looking forward to my results again from Cinch...again!
~Carly

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho It's Back to Cinch I Go!

Happy Monday!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend. It was rainy here but we had a nice day Sunday and went strawberry picking.  You can't beat fresh produce!

I quickly wanted to put an update on where I stand diet-wise and my realization - I've got a bit of diet obsession and confusion.  I can't seem to stay focused on one before switching to another.  I started off with the Cinch Inch Loss Program.  On that, I lost 6 pounds and 5 inches in less than 2 week.

So, why on earth did I stop that?  Well, I'm not going to kid you - it is expensive.  I received the two week starter kit for free.  I wanted to continue, but the cost frightened me a bit.  (Stupid mistake - keep reading)

So, I opted to not continue with it and joined Weight Watchers since everyone was raving about it and I decided to join the bandwagon.  Why spend extra money when I can count points and track things with Weight Watchers - "the number one diet in the country"?  There was a special 3 month sign up promotion which cost about $60.

Well, initially I lost on Weight Watchers - key word being initially.  BUT, I felt hungry.  Nothing is worse than when you're on a "diet" and you're hungry.  I was cranky and irritable and tried not to be.  Even though I had used tracking and journals before to help lose weight - this was different.  I was obsessed with my points.  How many points were in these?  How many points do I have left?  Is this worth it to eat it if it's 4 points?  What if I run out of points?  Points...points...points!  I was working out and earning activity points, I stayed within my daily points and dipped into my "extra treat points" every now and again but they never were used up - ever.  According to Weight Watchers, people I spoke with and even the Customer Service guy I spoke with - I should be losing when in fact I had gained back a few pounds.

All this effort and nothing to show for it. I was irritated and it got annoying.

Really annoying.

Then, one day last week, I was perusing through the pantry because *big shock* I was hungry - and I came across a Cinch Snack Bar that must have been left over from my last order and a few extra packets of the Chocolate Shake Mix.  I'm pretty sure I "ooohed" out loud and excited at my find.

So, for lunch that day, I had a shake for lunch.  It was good.  Like, super-yummy-good.  And, for the next few days, I couldn't help but think to myself:


Why did I stop using this?  It worked fast.  It tasted great. And, I felt awesome and saw results.  


WHY DID I STOP?  

Sorry for all caps - but I was mad at myself!  Well, I already mentioned it before - the cost - but then that got me thinking too - this program is designed to be a 3-4 month time commitment and you learn with the program to go into a lifetime maintenance after you lose your weight and inches.

So, it's simple.  Back to Cinch I go.  Pulling another diet switcheroo - but this time, I've ordered enough for an entire month's worth instead of the two weeks supply.  I ordered it Saturday and I can't wait for it to arrive!
I lost 6 pounds and a few inches pretty quickly last time and now that I'm working out again on a regular basis, I hope to see results quickly again.

Therefore, Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho it's back to Cinch I go!

I will take measurements and everything again - like last time and keep you posted on my progress again.  In the meantime, have a great day!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pinterest Picks - 6/2/2012

Hello and Happy Saturday!

As we just came home from a family trip to the gym - I thought this Pinterest Pick was quite fitting:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Article: 50 Ways to Make Your Diet Work

Happy Friday!
Image from article 50 Ways To Make Your Diet Work

I came across this article and it's got some really great advice - complete article can be found here.

While there are a few things in here that are a bit silly and I would never do.  For example I'd never do suggestion 31 and I find that suggestion 35 isn't a problem for me with two kiddos!

I really love this quote from the article:
"...the word "diet" no longer refers to that thing you routinely cheat on with the trendy name. Those days are over. "Diet" refers to the ongoing, consistent delivery of essential nutrients in sufficient amounts for the sole purpose of fueling the body efficiently for muscle development, recovery, movement, and the production of heat for burning fat."
If you have time, I'd highly recommend reading it and skimming through or bookmarking it for later.

Have a great Friday!
~Carly

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chicken Salad Gone Fruity

Hello!

I am excited for Summer weather for quite a few reasons - the glorious sun, beaches, pools, parks and lazy Summer weekends.

I am also excited because naturally as the weather warms, I crave cooler & lighter foods.

So, I'm happy to share this recipe with you I made the other day which I call:


Chicken Salad Gone Fruity

I have no idea where I saw the original recipe, so no credit given but not saying I invented it! :)  Also, I know I've been eating a more vegetarian fare, but I do like some chicken every now and again.  Especially in the form of this recipe!

Before adding mayonnaise - colorful!
Ingredients
Chicken breast (I like to buy those pre-cooked chickens at my local store)
Celery stalks
Mayonnaise
Red Grapes (can substitute with fresh apples, craisins or pears)
Salt & Pepper to taste


Note:  This recipe is to taste so I left out quantities so you can alter it to your liking!


Directions
1.  Take any amount of leftover chicken breast and chop up into small pieces (or you may shred the chicken with a fork depending how you like your chicken salad)
2.  Get a larger mixing bowl and place chicken inside.
3.  Chop up any amount of celery you'd like depending on how much you like celery (or omit if not a fan) and toss in the bowl.
4.  Slice up grapes or your fruit of choice and add to bowl.
5.  Add salt and pepper if you desire
6.  Add mayonnaise to taste - I do not like it too much so I go light!
7.  Mix, mix, mix!

You can eat it with some crackers, over a bed of mixed greens or on your favorite bread - or just plain!

It's so fresh and tasty.
All mixed up and ready to eat.

Any favorite warm weather recipes?  Link up or feel free to comment!
~Carly

Monday, May 28, 2012

Motivation...got some?

Hope you are well on this lovely Memorial Day Monday!  Thank you to all those who serve and have served our country.

One thing I've been struggling with lately is motivation. How to find it, how to keep it going and how to keep it at the forefront of all that goes on in day to day life.

I'm sure we can all agree that a huge part of weight loss, exercise, eating right and lifestyle changes all stem from motivation.

Aside from the obvious reasons for losing my toddler weight - my motivation was to not only look better but also feel better, too. I had really wanted to lose 30 pounds before my 30th birthday last year. That didn't even come close to happening. You can read more about that here.  However, my new goal is revised.

I'd like to lose 20 pounds by my 31st birthday. I'm just around the full 10 pounds lost so far and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

As motivation wanes and disappears, I surprisingly got a little dose of motivation that has pretty much been exactly what I needed and seems to have really hit home.

So, what is this magical motivation?




I apologize for the blurriness of the picture - but if you look past my swinging iPod headphone cord, you'll clearly see that it is a walker in front of the treadmill next to me.  And, on that treadmill next to me was a very old man - close to 85 years old at least - walking on the treadmill.

I thought in that very moment:


WOW.  If he can get on that treadmill and walk then I sure as HELL can walk, if not RUN.


I mean, seriously - what on earth is my excuse?

The answer is - I don't really have one.  Not one good excuse.  If he can leave his walker and get on that treadmill despite his reasons or medical condition - then I can get my more than healthy @ss on that treadmill and work out.

I know the picture doesn't really do the power of the situation justice - but I ran/walked for 29 minutes this day.  What's so great about that?  Well, this situation really gave me a boost and reality check I needed.

I continued to be active for the rest of the week, too.  I went on a run Saturday morning and was going to go to the gym this morning - but they closed early and baby sitting was not available today. BUT, that's not an excuse, so I'll take a run on the treadmill in our basement in a little bit - too hot here to run outside today!

When you lose your source of motivation, where do you find it?  What re-ignites your passion for fitness and health?

I'd love to know!
~Carly

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Diet Tips & Tricks

Happy Tuesday!

Right now, the dinner hour is approaching and I'm already hungry.  My husband doesn't usually come home until about 6:30-6:45 pm so we have late dinners.

So, I'm hungry but don't want to spoil my appetite or snack before dinner.  What's a girl to do?

Drink tea. 

image via Sanjay Tea Company web site
It might be a silly "trick" but it seems to work quite well.  It's been my go-to diet trick for a few months now - actually, when I started Cinch!  Their energy tea is really tasty.

I choose either herbal decaffeinated or green tea!  It comes in a ton of flavors and is warm so it feels like I'm full.  Plus, you get to include the decaffeinated variety as a serving of water for the day.

Also, tea is chock full of antioxidants and the best part?  Little to no calories.

I'll drink to that!
Cheers!
~Carly



Monday, May 21, 2012

Beyonce, Mariah, Bethenny and me (?) in the news

That's right - just me, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Bethenny Frankel mentioned in an article together.  Well - the article mentions them where I'm quoted.  So, kinda-sorta!
Anyways, here's the full article.  I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts.
Either way - enjoy.
~Carly


Celebrity moms lose baby weight fast, but slow and steady wins the race for most women

By Scott Gargan 


Call it the mystery of the vanishing baby bulk.

This month, Internet gossip sites gushed over Beyonce's rapid weight loss after giving birth to her baby daughter, Blue Ivy, revealing photos of the slender "Single Ladies" star in form-fitting dresses and sexy swimsuits.

It is a trick that Carly Kirsch, who delivered two children in three years, wished she could have pulled off. "The weight didn't come off as quickly as I hoped," the Cheshire resident said. "I tried low calorie diets, exercising more -- everything under the sun."

A lot of celebrity moms magically morph into their pre-baby shape within weeks of leaving the hospital, she added, "but for most women, it's not realistic."  Indeed, it takes most women six to nine months to shed the excess poundage put on during their pregnancies -- a fact they need to keep in mind, even as they're bombarded by images of strikingly svelte, postpartum stars, experts said.

Kirsch, owner of Newly Nested, a Connecticut-based baby planning and consulting service, said celebrities such as Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Bethenny Frankel enjoy a "support system" -- a team of nannies, trainers and personal chefs -- that isn't available to the average child bearer.  "You have to take that into perspective," she said, adding that "it's more practical to lose the weight a little bit at a time."

New moms pack on an average of 25 to 30 extra pounds during their pregnancy, said Barbara Schmidt, nutrition and lifestyle specialist at Norwalk Hospital who heads the organization's Transformations weight-loss program. If they stick to a diet and exercise plan, they can safely lose 1.5 pounds per week.
But that's often easier said than done, Schmidt said. After all, new moms have enough to think about. So they must make it a point to treat themselves right, Schmidt said. She urged them to avoid "empty calories" from juice, soda, cookies and candy and stick to "healthy choices" such as skim milk, water, lean meats and vegetables.

"You want to make sure to eat a well-balanced diet and, over time, you'll start to see the difference," she added.

Another important weight loss tactic will come a little more naturally. According to Kari Gravitz, a registered dietitian at Albany (N.Y.) Memorial Hospital, pregnant women store fat during their last trimester that is "meant specifically for the purpose of breast-feeding."

"While you breast-feed, you lose this fat," she said, adding that the activity burns about 500 calories a day.
Lactating women should drink plenty of fluids to maintain milk production and remember that "a healthy diet equals healthy milk," Gravitz added.

Of course, dieting and breast-feeding aren't enough to get back into those pre-pregnancy jeans -- new moms need exercise, too. And though they might not have a team of personal trainers backing them up, there are plenty of ways to stay active, said Linda Antignani, owner of Mother's Embrace Yoga Studio in Shelton.

At her studio, Antignani offers Postnatal Pilates Workshop, Zumba for New Moms and Mommy's Time Infant Support Group -- classes designed to "burn calories and get the metabolism working," she said. If they don't have the time to take a class, new moms can always push a stroller or strap on a baby carrier and go for a walk.

"I encourage everybody to be as active as they possibly can," said Antignani, a mother of three. "It can be frustrating trying to lose the baby weight, but once you start exercising, it will make you feel a lot better."

New moms also will feel better when they keep their weight loss expectations in check, experts said. Depending on their weight, activity level and rate of metabolism, it can take six to nine months for the scale to go back to the way it was. The average woman packs on 25 to 30 extra pounds -- sometimes more -- during gestation.

"We usually say that if it took nine months to put the weight on, it's going to take nine months to take it off," Gravitz said.

Moreover, jumping into a strict diet or demanding exercise plan post-pregnancy isn't usually the best way -- after all, new moms need time to heal and adjust to their new role as parents.

So, when images of postpartum personalities pop up on television with their bikini bodies weeks after giving birth, new moms needn't agonize over how they did it. Perhaps, it's best left a mystery. "People don't know how to talk about it or where to begin, and the media doesn't help," Kirsch said of the pressure put on women to reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies. "It's better to be honest with yourself and just as important, realistic."

Baby Weight Loss Timetable -- After getting the ago ahead from the doctor, new moms can start dieting and exercising (typically six weeks after giving birth, experts said). Here's how new moms should shape up month to month.

First 6 weeks -- Dieting and exercise may not be recommended. Consult your doctor.
At 2 Months -- 3 pounds
At 3 Months -- 9 pounds
At 4 Months -- 15 pounds
At 5 Months -- 21 pounds
At 6 Months -- 27 pounds (A postpartum woman should have returned to her pre-pregnancy weight by this time, but may need to continue a weight loss plan if she gained more than 25 to 30 pounds during gestation).
At 7 Months -- 33 pounds
At 8 Months -- 39 pounds
At 9 Months -- 45 pounds


Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/health/article/Celebrity-moms-lose-baby-weight-fast-but-slow-3573662.php#ixzz1vWVIEZnY

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weight Watchers - Because it works?

Yes. Yes it really does.

My first week on Weight Watchers was great! I lost three pounds bringing my weight loss to 9 pounds since starting Cinch in April. Not too shabby!

I do owe a lot of credit to the Shaklee Cinch Inch Loss Program with the start of my transformation to a truly healthier me. It helped me learn again what hunger was and how great I can feel when I eat right!

I'm hoping Weight Watchers is the best way to achieve the rest of the weight loss I want to lose. I am also sticking to more of a Vegetarian-based diet also.

I'm now 11 pounds from my goal of where I'd be comfortable with weighing - even though weight now isn't as important as how I look and feel.

I'm making some more changes in addition to diet and exercise - which I plan to post about soon.

Have a great day!
~Carly



Monday, May 7, 2012

Yikes - been awhile!

Hi there!  My absence is inexcusable - to myself and to all who have been checking in to read.

I've maintained my loss from Cinch and continue to enjoy the snack bars, but I have decided to not continue using the products.  Since they are great quality and wonderful ingredients, unfortunately it is also somewhat expensive.  At this time, I'm not going to continue with the shakes but will recommend it to anyone who asks!  I have some left that I plan to use as a treat now and again.  Yum.

Along with my decision to eat more of a vegetarian-based diet, I've decided to also join Weight Watchers.

I've seen some friends on Facebook who have joined to make a change and have had some huge success with it.  Consumer Reports has rated it the #1 diet in the country and anyone I've chatted with has either used it in the past or knows someone (like me) who raves about it and it has worked for them.  I actually used the old points program back in 2002 and I lost weight, but I think it was because I was extremely active while on the plan and did a ton of walking at an internship I had at a theme park.

So, what the hey - why not try it for myself...again?

I joined the online program this morning - even though I've been counting points for a few days now with the help of a close friend who just joined and let me sneak a peek.

image via weight watchers web site

Today's plan is to track my points using my online account and the Points Plus Program and get back to the gym now that my sprained ankle is healed.

So, as the spokesperson Jennifer Hudson sings and says - It's a new day.
Be back soon to update!
~Carly



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pinterest Picks - 4/26/2012

Good morning!

As an update to my post from yesterday.  I did indeed have a cupcake and it was completely delicious.

Speaking of cupcakes - I do believe you have to treat yourself occasionally.  Aside from last night's cupcake, I've stopped rewarding myself with food related "treats" (I'm not a dog, remember?) and started shifting what I treat myself with.  I'd prefer a mani/pedi, a massage or a new piece of clothing or shoes!

For today's Pinterest Pick, I found this.  Again - simply stated.

I always thought I ate healthy and right. Starting to really believe this.


So, stop eating what you've always eaten and make the change today!
Have a great one!
~Carly

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cinch Update & My New Obsession!

Hey there!

So, it's now going on my third week of Cinch!  I sprained my ankle so I haven't been able to get as much exercise in as I had hoped - but I'm still down in my weight and plan to weigh in again and measure in a few days.

I'm still feeling really great and am truly enjoying the program.  I have started incorporating more food and snacks into my diet instead of a shake or a bar and I have gotten my appetite, portions and hunger much more under control.

I think a lot of the credit goes to Cinch for that!  I saw a friend yesterday - one of my very best and dearest friends in the world - and even she noticed I've slimmed down a bit.

However, I might be undoing what Cinch has done due to my new obsession:

Image courtesy of ME!
A KitchenAid Stand Mixer!

I have been wanting one of these for quite some time. And this one was free.  Yes - you read that right.

Free.

How, you ask?  Thanks to my wonderful mother - this beauty was laying unused and unloved in the basement at my parents house.

How did I not know she had this?  Apparently she bought this when I was in high school.  I had no clue.  And, she had no clue I wanted one.
Equally silly on all parts.

So, her nearly $300 investment years ago is my amazingly awesome gain.  Now, onto my newest obsession - aside from the mixer - baking.  As you all know, I love Pinterest.  I've been pinning recipes for quite some time.  Sadly (until now), each time I read the recipe or directions for these lovely looking breads, muffins, cupcakes, pretzels and more - they all seemed to call for a mixer.  Since I had nothing but some mixing bowls and a whisk - it just wasn't going to cut it.  So, I pinned it, sighed and moved on.

All mixed & ready to assemble - so easy!
Today is a different story!  I literally just whipped up a recipe in my new mixer for homemade vanilla cupcakes.  I actually had all the ingredients in the house.  However, I do not have the makings for any sort of topping or frosting - so today, I will cheat and go get some pre-made frosting.  (shhhh - it'll be our secret!)

So, as I mentioned I had all the ingredients and made this recipe found on Allrecipes called Simple White Cake - you can see it here. It received some fantastic reviews.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous making something from scratch and using this mixer for the first time - but it went very nicely.  The mixer is easy to use and really is so much better than my measly whisk and mixing bowl.

Oh boy, how I love the smell of vanilla!  The house smells very yummy right now - and I'm not dying to dive into these cupcakes either!  I may actually even abstain from having one - that's how awesome this Cinch Plan is :)

Cupcakes cooling & waiting
to be frosted!
Another side note - in case you counted in the picture - I have 11 cupcakes now made, that are cooling and waiting to be frosted.

Why 11 and not 12 like my baking pan allows?  It never fails - whether it's prepared mixes or now apparently recipes from scratch - I always end up with not enough batter to fill that 12th spot!  Quite frustrating, but at least I'm consistent!

Now that this initial baking adventure is done - I cannot wait to try more recipes, flavors and combinations.  As I've learned on Pinterest - the possibilities are truly endless.  My next project is to try making some homemade frosting - minus the trans fats of the Duncan Hines I bought just now.

That way, my family can enjoy the occasional tasty new treat - but they will be healthier versions with organic ingredients and no unwanted chemicals or trans fats.

Behold - the final product: 




Not too shabby for my first go around.  I had all the ingredients - minus the frosting.  I now plan to make more and more goodies in the near future!  I'm now debating whether or not to sprinkle the tops with some of those ball-shaped sprinkles.  Hmmm - watch out, I'm unstoppable now!  Hah!

Also, you can follow my boards on Pinterest if you'd like!

Have a great night!
~Carly



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pinterest Picks - 4/22/2012

Happy Earth Day!

Today I am cleaning, doing laundry, organizing and hopefully relaxing a bit.

Ate out last night and feeling a bit guilty for having some French fries with my garden burger - so I'm being strict today to keep on target with my ultimate goal.

Speaking of eating out - here's a good guide for eating out and in general (note french fries not on good side of list):



Friday, April 20, 2012

Internet Find - Losing Inches & Free Dieting Tools

Good morning!

Stumbled across this web site the other day and it has a ton of free dieting calculators and tools -

http://www.freedieting.com

Specifically, I like this daily calorie calculator for daily caloric needs.

They also have a calorie calculator for caloric intake for during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
(Not recommending to use this instead of professional advice.  I'd still consult with a doctor or lactation consultant, but it's a good tool just to see)

There's some other good resources and information on this site.

Additionally, I found this article on Pinterest from Live Strong, called Losing Inches vs. Losing Weight.  It was published last year, but it's a great read.

Off to make my shake for breakfast!

Have a happy Friday and a great weekend!
~Carly


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cinch - Day 10

Hello!

Despite a sprained ankle, I'm still feeling really good!  I haven't weighed myself in two days due to not being able to put full pressure on my ankle to actually stand on the scale.  I will likely weigh in tomorrow or Saturday when I'm hopeful I'll be all healed.

I'm sipping a Cinch shake right now as I type and I have really started to look forward to drinking these meals.  I decided out of chocolate and the vanilla flavor shake mixes that vanilla is my favorite.  Go figure since I am a sucker for anything chocolate.

When I open the shake mix canister each morning, I quickly smell the mix which smells just like cake to me.

It's soooo good.

Just this past Friday I ordered some more Cinch vanilla shake mix and the chocolate snack bars to get me through another two weeks.  It was delivered yesterday - which is really speedy delivery.

I've been really impressed with Shaklee and I'm happy to have discovered them.  I really see this fitting into my lifestyle long term and I don't think I've been able to say that about any diet before.

Have a great day!
~Carly

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pinterest Picks - 4/18/2012

Hello!

Kind of blah over here today. I sprained my ankle pretty bad yesterday. Ugh! There goes my plan to get back to the gym this week.

Figures!

I used this graphic I found on Pinterest (source unknown) to help accurately measure myself the other day and last week. As I'm learning more about weight loss and going through my own inch loss via Cinch, I'm more and more curious about it.

So, here you are and get measuring!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cinch - Day 8 with update!

Gooood morning!

As I already shared with you, last Monday was the beginning of my Cinch Inch Loss Program.  It's now Day 8 and I still feel amazingly great.

I'm energized, still not feeling deprived or hungry and motivated.  But most importantly - I'm seeing results.  Fast.

So, after 8 days of two shakes a day, a snack bar, tea, lots of water and a healthy dinner each night -
here are the stats I'm sure you want to know:

Starting measurements:
From April 9, 2012
Bust: 40 inches
Waist: 36 inches
Hip: 44 inches

Day 8 results:
Today, April 17, 2012
Bust: 38
Waist: 34
Hip: 43

In just over a week, I've lost a total of 5 inches and I have lost a total of 5.8 pounds*!

My legs, arms and face look and feel smaller, too.  I have always had hips, but I'm a little disappointed (if I should even be allowed to use that word) that I didn't lose another inch there, but I'm so thrilled.

I'm still in awe of how well this is working and keep asking myself:
Why didn't I find this sooner?

Let me know if you're interested in learning more about the Shaklee Cinch Inch Loss Program.
~Carly

*Note: I know since I'm opening up about this experience and blogging about it, I know I should share my weight. But I'm still embarrassed about the actual number.  Even though I know it's "just a number" I'm not ready yet to share.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pinterest Picks - 4/16/2012

Happy Monday!

Here's today's Pinterest Pick.

I came across this and it's just one of those things you find just at the right moment that speaks directly to what you're currently going through. Or one of those things that make you see something differently or more clearly.

For me, I saw this last night and spoke to because of my current (and ongoing) goal to have a healthier lifestyle and making changes to my body - inside and out.



What does this image speak to you about?  
~Carly

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cinch - Day 6 and update on progress!

Good afternoon!  I hope you're enjoying a gorgeous Sunday.  I know we are here in Connecticut - check out my super cheap/Ballard Designs inspired tag sale find over on my other blog for Newly Nested Baby Planning.

So, I'm on my 6th day of the Cinch Inch Loss Plan and since I'm impatient, I weighed in early since I felt so good and found I had already lost a few pounds!

Today, since starting only a week ago, I'm now down 5.2 pounds total in just 6 days.

I'm sad to admit this and do not condone not exercising, but today is the first day in a very long time that I actually exercised - going for a very long walk with the family around the neighborhood, pushing a double stroller with two toddlers AND some crazy hills!

So, I've lost 5.2 pounds in 6 days pretty much using the Cinch diet alone with very little added exercise.

It's completely crazy and I'm so beyond thrilled with this plan for a few reasons:

1.  I feel fantastic.  Seriously feeling very good health-wise and about myself (for the first time in a long time).
2.  I'm not hungry, nor do I feel deprived.
3.  The shake mixes, bars and tea is really very tasty.
4.  It's easy for me to incorporate into my day.
5.  It feels right to do this plan.
6.  Lastly, it's working.

Isn't that the point of making changes to your lifestyle - to make a change to see or experience a better outcome?

To keep my progress going and to keep that scale going in the right direction (FINALLY!), I'm going to hit the gym again and up my cardio and add in some weights to further promote some inch loss.

A big thank you to Melissa Moog for sharing her personal struggle with baby weight and to the fabulous Sommer Poquette for being an inspiration herself on the Cinch Inch Loss Program.   Thank you both for introducing me to Cinch!
~Carly