Another Chapter

So, I’m a typical mommy emotional mess today!

I thought after my first born, who graduated high school last year, with me sobbing like a baby; that this year would be a cinch.

But not so much.

I am sitting here, remembering when they were little. My young daughter and her little brother; playing with their stuffed animals and play toys and just so innocent and eager to please mommy and daddy. Now, I sit here blubbering like a fool and in disbelief at the childhood years that have gone by….too too soon.

I am just so proud. Not sad, not upset, and definitely far from disappointed. The irony is that I am someone who is usually non-emotional. For example, when there are times that are clearly meant to show some tears; I couldn’t will them out if I poked my eyes with my fingernails.

Don’t think I haven’t tried wiling them out…(no, I never poked my eyes with my fingernails, but trying to make a point about this moment)

 

So, here I sit. Thinking back to the previous 17 years of my sons’ life. The day he was born and when my daughter, only 18 months at the time and still a baby herself, was brought to the hospital to visit us. She happily sat on my lap in the hospital bed and my husband brought our son, Philip to meet her…

And she angrily threw out her arms and screamed, “NO NO NO!!!! Go Away!” She pushed him away and just hugged me; wanting me all to herself. It was a touching moment I will never forget because from that point on, they have been so close that the memory of the hospital meeting was almost a story of fiction. When their youngest brother was born, 4 years later, they were a team in keeping him in “check” 😉

I cried last year when my daughter proudly walked across that graduating stage. I don’t doubt that I’ll be blubbering away tomorrow night at my son’s big night too.

I know it is an emotional time for every parent as their child moves onto a new beginning…and closes another chapter in their younger lives. The past five years have been a trying and busy time for our family and I cannot believe the maturity and adaptability levels of our children through it all. We had relocated across the globe; not once, but twice, to set up home in another country. And yet, we returned; not once, but twice, back to where we began because that was what we were meant to do.

It wasn’t easy on us at all. But I knew in my heart how much strength it took on our children’s parts to adapt; and adjust each time we resettled again.

I know that nothing is truly forever, but as a parent, you want the best for your children and want to protect them from all additional challenges that we have control over. (or at least think we have control over)

But each time, they just worked diligently to make up the lost time in school or make the necessary adjustments to the current living situations that were so.  I know that these experiences only helped ground them for life’s changes as will undoubtedly come and go.

So it is not with sadness that the tears flow. It is with great joy and pride of the amazing, young adults that have emerged from those young, giggling children who seemed too innocent to grow up so soon. God Bless the class of 2015.

 

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Who Wants ABS? (or maybe I should just ask who doesn’t to weed out the non-committed folks!) :)

IMG_0953This is for all the beautiful people who have been dreaming and wishing and hoping to one day have a sexy midsection! Is that YOU?? I am pretty sure it’s most of the population! LOL

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

Seriously, I know! I’ve worked out so intensely and so often that if this was a proven method, I’d have had a six pack for most of you reading this today! 😉  But, alas, foods are the KEY to getting those abs to POP!

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.) Tell me how much protein do YOU get each day? I see and talk with so many women who DON’T bcuz they think it will “bulk” them up….

NOT! Get that protein in yo face asap! 😉

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. DUH!  If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge. And “double-whammy” is such a fun word to use that I encourage you to try it out a few times this week!

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss. It’s why I eat Greek yogurt and drink my Shakeology DAILY!!

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many women tell me that they don’t know why they aren’t losing weight; since they only eat maybe 1 time a day!!! EXCUSE MOI??????

Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core. You MUST eat!!! It’s the ONLY way! 😉

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  I will challenge you to drink the recommended amount for fit individuals; 1/2 your body weight in ounces!! So for someone who is 150 lbs; they would need to drink at least 75 oz of water every day! Or a gallon if you are really up to the challenge!

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks. Something to seriously consider especially over the weekends, am I right or am I right? (you are SO smart! lol)

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but that’s just  for free.

Do you need an added incentive? I have a BUSY MOM’S support group starting first of the month and welcome you to message me today for info on joining. You can succeed and have time for your family AND save money along the way! All thrown in for extra bonus!! 😉

Email me at: http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

Did Someone Say, “Special Brownies”?

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to me!! Haha!

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Seriously, I have been following my Clean Eating plan religiously after completing my Body Beast program and now starting up with P90X2.  I have started this program once before but wasn’t quite excited about the stability training it started off with, since I was hoping for a more challenging and crazy workout.

Do you ever go through phases like these?  It’s interesting how I chalked it up to needing more “burn” for the hour of fitness at that time.

Now? Like I mentioned earlier, following my 90 days of Body Beast and building some major muscle definition and mass in my body; I’m quite excited and eager to take on X2 this time around.  For starters, I get to rebalance my focus to my core, primarily, at this time in the plan.  That wasn’t the main focus in the Beast; although don’t let that fool you into thinking he doesn’t focus on the core enough!  Contrary, my friend!

Anyway, I have somehow lost my original focus in this post.  I wanted to share about how committed I’ve been to my Clean Eating and portions.  Not as easy to do again; after getting used to bulk up eating!

I saw a recipe post for these amazing, gooey, chocolatey brownie-like treats.  I had to have them!

In reading the first ingredient; I was a bit thrown off.

Yams.

In brownies?  I guess…

So, off I went to the store to purchase the items that I didn’t have on hand and on the top of my list was a bag full of yams.  (My current stock was depleted!)

Since I’ve now made them (and enjoyed my portion for today, thank you, very much!); I thought it’d only be kind to share with you and hope you can enjoy them just as much as I.

In honor of Mothers’ Day and mothers everywhere; here’s a healthy and clean version of our most sinful foods in chocolate form!

Put 1 medium-large sweet potato in the oven at 400*
Cook it for 30-40 minutes. Remove the skin and place it in a blender.

Then add: 3 eggs
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp rice malt syrup or raw honey
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract

Mix in a separate bowl:
2tbsp coconut flour (for a more fudgy feel, use less)
5 tbsp cocoa powder or cacao
1/4 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt

Combine the sweet potato mixture to the dry ingrients and then add 3 tbsp cacao nibs if you like a bit of a bitter crunch.
Pour into a lined 8×8 baking tray and put into a 350* oven for 30-35 minutes.

Simply delish!!! Even if I have to say so myself!

Now, note to my family; I don’t need chocolates as gifts, but I’ll gladly accept gifts in all other forms!

Happy Mother’s Day!!!