21 day fix, energy bites and work

I am a school teacher. I teach young minds all day and love it. I went back to work last year. I was able to go full-time this year. I struggled all last year with fitting in fitness with just a part-time schedule. Enter in full-time, the struggle became worse. Add the fact we have children in some activities and our life is busy.

Then one day I saw my friend mention something on Facebook about having a better you in 21 days. I am not a large person at all. I don’t need to lose weight, but I do need to tone up. I signed up for the 21 day fix. Why did I do this? I wanted to begin whole food eating and begin working out regularly. I also wanted to be strong. I think as women we all get caught up on the magic number on the scale. How about just being strong?.

I began this journey that corresponded with my two week break from school. I did not want to be super cranky while detoxing off of sugar and caffeine. I had gotten into some really bad habits. Like eating candy EVERY SINGLE DAY! I was drinking pop way too much. So, I started. The first few days were good, then day 4 hit. I was super cranky and hungry. Just plain hungry. I wasn’t use to portion sizes and I was’t used to not giving my body non-junky food. I also had headaches from the detox of sugar! I was like my body hates me. Then the second week came and it got better.

I have not lost a single pound now entering week 3, which I am very okay with, but I am losing inches and toning up. I will not share photos of me, due to personal convictions.  I also have struggled staying within the necessary limitations. I am eating whole foods. I have not cheated by eating junky food, but some days I get more carbs then I should or too many fruits etc.

I don’t believe in doing something for 21 days and then quitting.  I am trying to make this my lifestyle. This has to be a change in how I cook , shop and eat. This is a mind thing, not a 21 day thing. I would rather have the set backs with support from my coach now, then after the 21 days.

I go back to work on today.  I do believe I have formed some habits that now I can stick too. I also desire to workout now. I have been doing it for 14 days straight. I did miss Saturday due to feeling a little icky, but I did workout again on Sunday. The desire is there. On the days it wasn’t, I did it anyway.

As Autumn says in her video “To get what you have never had, you have to do something you have never done.”

Now onto the energy bites! This is a quick recipe that takes 20 minutes. It is an adaption from every pinterst recipe out there:

You need:

1 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice

1/2 cup nut butter (I used almond butter)

1/3 cup honey

1 scoop of Vanilla shakeology

1 tsp Cinnamon

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Put all in a bowl and mix.

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Scoop out with a mellon scooper and roll into a ball.

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Freeze for about 30 minutes. Then stick in the fridge until you are ready to eat.I really like them. You can use any protein powder or leave it out!

 

 

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A new attitude

I have not blogged in a while. I miss you!  I am changing the blog a little bit. I am going to focus more on journey in fitness and being a working mom. I have noticed that a lot of blogs out there are written by stay at home moms. (or maybe it’s just the blogs I tend to follow.) So, after much thinking and prayer, I have decided to open myself up a little as a working mom struggling to maintain fitness, being a wife and mother.

As my blog takes this change, I want to make a few disclaimers:

 

1. This is not against stay-at-home moms. At times, there seems to be a hidden war with women. I am not sure why, but the two sides : Stay-at-home vs. working moms. The battle lines get drawn and it’s on. Well, I have been both. I have been a stay at home mom with working mom friends. Now, I am a working mom with stay at home mom friends. Listen folks, we are all moms with unique struggles.

2. My blog will have mistakes! Grammar, word usage etc. I am not perfect. I proof the blog as much as I can, but hey I am human.

3. I am a Christian. My posts will reflect my beliefs.

4. I will not disrespect my husband or family.

5. I will not blog on my profession as a school teacher. This is to maintain privacy for my professional life (well as much as possible!). Parents will always be able to find my blog. I will keep that in mind as I blog on certain subjects.

 

I am not expecting anyone to read my life journey. This blog will never go viral, but if two people read and find something they need. Well, then it was well worth it.

 

Thank you for taking this journey with me.

Are you laughing?

How often do you laugh? I mean really laugh. The kind of the laughing that makes your belly hurt. The laughter that fills your lungs. You laugh so hard you snort or can’t breath. If you haven’t laughed that hard in a while, what’s causing you to stop? What is stressing you out so badly that it takes away your joy and laughter?

We just recently did a photo shoot for our family pictures. Instead of being completely stressed out and it being enjoyable, we decided to do something fun. Our photographer brought color powder. The type that is used in the color run. It’s a powder that is lightweight and it is like chalk. We were instructed to wear blue jeans and white shirts. We did just as we were told. We explained to the girls what was in store that day.

View More: http://christinagregorphotography.pass.us/schrempf-color-shoot

It was a bright sunny day. We walked down a beautiful wooded park. We let the girls run ahead.

View More: http://christinagregorphotography.pass.us/schrempf-color-shoot

 

We got into the stream and played in the water.

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After exploration, we had to find the perfect spot to throw the powder. We walked and found the perfect little path in between the trees.  We got the powder ready…

View More: http://christinagregorphotography.pass.us/schrempf-color-shoot

 

And began to throw…

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It was the most fun we have had yet as a family. We laughed so hard and made memories. It was not a stressful day. It was fun. The pictures turned out beautiful and we still look at them and laugh. We remember how good it was to play and have fun.  My oldest daughter #1 still talks about it. She wants to do as an extended family with her cousins. It was so fun.

 

 

View More: http://christinagregorphotography.pass.us/schrempf-color-shootSchrempf Color Shoot-0102

 

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Every time I start to stress and sweat the small stuff. I go back to these pictures.  I look at them and laugh. I thank God for the blessings that He has bestowed on me. I remember He is in control. I try to find something to laugh about everyday. I find the joy and laughter surrounding me. I have to look for it. I have to find it in my children, my students, my husband and my everyday life. It’s hard some days, but there is something in every single one of my days to laugh about and find joy in. I really have to look and find it.

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Photographs by: Christina Gregor Photography. https://www.facebook.com/Christinagregorphotography

Naturebox

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Naturebox is a product line I found randomly on-line. I am constantly looking for easy ways to find clean snacks for me to eat. I found this actually on an ad on Facebook.  I liked the variety of gluten-free, low carb, and diary free items. It has a mix of sweet, savory and spicy. It is $20.00 (Well, $19.95) a month for 5 full bags of your pick. Then you can add-on additional for $3.00 . The first box was $10.00 for trying it out.

In my first box I picked out:

Pb&j granola – This is amazing! I love it. I snack on it, but you can put it on your favorite yogurt, dessert or really anything that could add a little peanut butter kick!

Chili munch mix -this was a good spicy mix. I couldn’t stop eating it. It was the right amount of crunch and spice.

Big Island Pineapple Rings– Have not tried yet, but they look good!

Chocolate Nom Nom-OH  MY WORD! Seriously, you eat one of these and it stops the craving for chocolate. This is a healthy version something sweet.

Mana Crisps– these were a little salty, but good. I am trying to cut down on my salt intake. These really a good sub for chips.

Blueberry Almond Bites– This to me was a glorified rice cake. Not my favorite.

Yellow Curry Peas – Loved this so much that I will be receiving them next month. They are unique in flavor and help with the snackies.

Dried Pears- I have not tried these yet either.

Overall, this is the best risk I have taken. I will continue on with this membership for a long time.

This is not a paid review.  I just love it and I wanted to share. 

Going to Kindergarten

My oldest is started Kindergarten yesterday! Oh my gosh, where did the time go? My baby is a going to school all day. I can’t believe it. My mind is blown and sad all at the same time. It felt like yesterday, I was holding her in my arms. The first summer wrapping up and thinking to myself, we have all the time in the world. In a flash, the years are gone. GONE!

My beautiful girl1(BG1) is having a hard time with going to a new school. The safety net of what is familiar is now gone.  BG1 is really not understanding the whole “big” kid school. The whole day thing, the eating lunch with a lunch box, the recess etc. She is freaked out. She is freaked out to the point that she making up imaginary scenarios  in our home. For example, Sunday rolls around. Bed time comes to our home. We put BG1 and BG2 to bed. Then all of a sudden BG1 is bawling her eyes out because there could be a fire that burns the whole house with her beloved Lambie. She is crying and we are at a loss. We talk to her about how God has protected her and Lambie, how he will continue to do so. That seemed to ease her mind.

She is completely my child. I have allowed fear to enter my life many times and it is now showing up in hers. It is heartbreaking to watch this BG1 struggle through this. I want to take it all away. But alas, I can’t. I have to teach her that God can. I have to model this behavior in my own walk with Him.

 

Running Playlist

Long run Sundays have entered back into my life. Before the month of August, I will complete a 20 mile run to get ready for the Chicago Marathon.  This will be my 3rd marathon, my first time raising money for a charity 🙂 I am raising money to support Oasis. They help Kenyan orphans.  (Want to support me? Click here: Oasis for Orphans 

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This Sunday I woke up extremely late. I had been preparing my classroom for the school year and I was wiped. I decided to do my long run at the gym. (Most runners just shook their head in either digest or pure brilliance.)  I looked at my playlist and realized I needed a change in my life. I had been running to this one for at least six months.

I googled so cool playlists…I could do better than those…right?!

This is my attempt:

1. Clarity (feat. foexes) – Zedd

2. Girls Chase Boys- Ingrid Michaelson

3. Ain’t it Fun– Paramore

4. Fix My Eyes- For King & Country

5. Timber (Feat. Ke$ha) -Pitbull

6. Somebody to love– Queen

7. Problem ( feat. Iggy Azalea) Ariana Grande

8. Alive – Hillsong Young & Free

9. Wake — Hillsong Young & Free

10. Sinking Deep — Hillsong Young & Free

11. Come and Get your Love– Real McCoy

12. Pompeii-Bastille

13. 22- Taylor Swift

14. My Walk- Caton Jones

15 Popular Song (Feat. Ariana Grande) –MIKA

This playlist lasts a little over an hour. I loop it for as long as needed. What should I add to it?

Failure and Victory

10523724_1500808026823540_2318229284230353014_nIt started it out with a lost pair of keys. The keys were not in sight. I looked high and low. I looked at the two eager girls ready to go conquer Target to tell them quietly ” We won’t be going today. I can’t find my keys.”

Failure.

My daughters looked at me with disappointment shining in their eyes, quietly said ” Okay, we understand.”

They walked out of sight.

Failure.

The feeling hits every mom somewhere at some time. It being the lost car keys, the broken promise of some kind. It truly inevitable in our life. We will do it to our children. We are human beings.

Failure is like a cloak we wear. The feelings of failure is accompanied with the thoughts of other areas of failure.

My house is not organized (clean, but not organized).

My laundry is behind.

My classroom is not completely set up. 

Failure is something I don’t wear often. I take it off like a bad pair of jeans. The feeling sometimes just won’t leave me. I can’t shake it. I feel it in the pit of my stomach all the way to my heart.

I sat and cried about the missing car keys. I have yet to find them. Even as I write to you. I am struggling with not crying.  The missing cars are symbol of things much bigger. I know it. I know it will leave.

Are you living in failure today? Let’s take victory today instead of the failure the world will give us. We are not super moms nor do we need to be. We are just moms. I told my husband last night, I was not a super mom. I am too needy. I need the Lord too much to be super.  I can’t make it a day without Him. I will swap super mom for being the Lord’s any day.

Victory. Jesus gave it to us. Let’s take His hand and run with him.

Confessions of a working mom…

Today is my last day of summer break. I go back into the teaching world for my second year as a teacher, my first full-time year. This is new to me. I am learning to work full-time with two girls. I have one going into kindergarten this year and one entering her second year in preschool. The time has flown by and taken the years with it. My babies are no longer babies and I am not in my twenties anymore.

I have not worked full-time, since my oldest, was 16 months old. Last year was a sink and swim time in my household. I struggled and struggled hard. There is no doubt. My personal life changed. The things I once held as important are no longer important. My time is spent differently.

Confession time: working full-time while running my house hold is hard. Note, I am not saying that staying at home isn’t hard work. 

My full-time day looks like:

6:00 a.m. wake up get ready for the day with my daughter in tow. Get everything going for the morning.

By 7:15  a.m., I will be walking out the door with a five-year old in tow. My youngest waking up and hanging out with her dad until her sitter arrives to take her to school.

Get ready for school between 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. …then I teach until 3:00 p.m.. I will pack up and get ready to go home with the five-year old in tow. By 3:30 p.m., I will be home and ready to be mom again to do the night-time routine.

I am just tired thinking about it and I haven’t even gotten to dinner or running my mileage. Did I mention I am training for a marathon?

By 8:00  p.m., I will put the kids in bed and turn my attention to my husband. By 9:00 p.m., I will be passed out in order to do it all over again the next day.

I know you are thinking : ” You are a teacher, you don’t work all summer long!” Not true, I have been working the last three weeks in order to get ready for school. That’s setting up my classroom, buying materials and finding awesome curriculum.

Confession time: Some days I love it and some days I don’t.

Some days are amazing as a teacher. You see kids learn and you get to experience everything with them. The others days can be hard. With meetings and expectations that are high. I constantly try to keep creative ideas flowing (which doesn’t come easily) and then all the grading, prep-work and other stresses. Some days staying at  home looks more appealing. It looks inviting. I miss the playdates in the afternoon and lunch dates with my friends. Those days are gone.  Even in the summer,  I found it hard to balance it all.

The youngest first race this summer :)

The youngest first race this summer 🙂

Confession time: Stay at home moms are tough to be around.

I love my friends that stay at home. It’s awesome, I use to be one of them. But the other perspective , I did not fully understand until I worked full-time. I see my friends be able to stay at home with little to no financial difficulty. They get to do fun things with vacations etc. It’s hard at times to realize that God gave me a different life. I LOVE MY Life, but we all struggle at times. This is where social media I have found to be dangerous. I have found that the pictures of the constant bombarding of pictures of the joys or not so much joys of staying at home on my Facebook feed all the time.  (One of the many reasons, I deactivated my Facebook account.) Working moms can do that too, but I think it’s viewed that we choose to work. The choice is sometimes voluntary and sometimes not.

Confession time: I hate the view that if a wife/mother works she is not giving all she can to her children.

I have struggled so hard against this in the church culture. I don’t like it. There is a view that if you work, then you can’t possibly raise “good Christian kids.”  People have told me that I should have stayed at home until the girls are in at least junior high.  I heard a sermon by Tony Evans about Kingdom Women. HE is preaching on the proverbs 31 woman. This is the woman/wife/mother verses in the bible. The verses everyone looks to to be the perfect woman. In  the sermon,  he talked about how this woman gets up early to get ready for the day (v13),  she works hard in labor including outside of the home (18-19, v.24) and she looks good doing it (v.22).  A woman in Proverbs does not over commit herself, but she is serving God and her family. Can I get an AMEN!

Confession time: I love my job.

The kids in my school are in 85% below the poverty line. I am blessed to be their teacher.  I am blessed to walk into their school everyday and teach them. God gave this job and I intend to my best.

It’s hard to be a mom. It’s hard to stay at home or work while raising a family. As women, we should encourage each other and love each other.

Let’s run this race we have been given with endurance. Let’s do this woman thing with God by our side, our husbands and raise some awesome God-loving children. Let’s not doubt our call in life, but understand it and thrive in it. Let’s not wish for a life we don’t have, but enjoy the one we do. 

 

 

A learning curve: My life on Paleo

I blogged last week on my favorite things on being on Paleo. I have been successful in my way to clean eating and being on this way of living. We have switched the kids over at dinner. Not quite 100% in all areas in our family life, but I am pretty much 100 %. I have found eating out is difficult. I have managed to pick places that have a gluten-free menu items and are friendly in those areas. I constantly look on Pinterst and find new ideas.

Then I have my moments. Tonight was one of those moments. I just wanted cheese and crackers. I rarely crave these combination of food items, so on my way home I picked up each of these items.  I wanted to be as natural as possible in this splurge. I went to our very small and limited health food department. I looked for veggie cheese, because I had heard wonderful things about it. I really wanted to try it. I couldn’t find it in the blocks of cheese. I did what any good girl would do and begin to read labels. I picked up Super Natural Pepper Jack Organic Cheese. I am not always fooled by the front label. I read the ingredients. It did contain milk but everything was all natural. I bought it. Next was the  crackers. I wanted to stay way from gluten. I found Curnchmastter Multi-Grain Crackers. Again, found the ingredients to be all natural. (not necessary paleo).  I felt like I was on some what of a good kick. Not 100% Paleo but all natural for processed food.

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How did it all taste?

The cheese tasted great. I loved it. I really found it to be no different then non-organic cheese. The crackers were not Ritz. They were thin but really crispy. It did  help with the craving for the cheese and crackers. I did not have a  headache afterward. This was a win night for me.

I also made a Cobb Salad with Green Goddness Dressing.  It’s super simple. I did opt out of the bacon and cheese just for personal preference of taste.

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The recipe is as following:

2 heads romaine lettuce (or a mixture of lettuces), chopped ; i used Kale.
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 2.25oz can sliced olives, drained
2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used 2 grilled chicken tenders  and shredded them)
2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
3oz cooked bacon, chopped
2oz bleu cheese, crumbled

Recipe from: http://thedomesticman.com/2013/12/17/cobb-salad-with-green-goddess-dressing/

The dressing was amazing as well. I also opted out of the chives of the dressing and did not have tarragon. The dressing turned out okay. A bit strong taste of lemon, so I will reduce some of the lemon ingredients.  Click on picture for recipe. Overall, a great salad 🙂

Recipe from: http://thedomesticman.com/2013/12/17/cobb-salad-with-green-goddess-dressing/

Recipe for the dressing:

1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup full-fat greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
rind of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tsp), minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp each chopped chives and fresh tarragon
1 tsp each salt and Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper

 

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I am experimenting with avocados because it is a staple in the Paleo Diet.  I found a spread that I love, love , love. Did I say how much I lOVE this spread? I really feel like it’s more like a  dip than a spread. I will use it on my cut veggies and other items.

Cilantro Lime Avocado Spread:  http://fitfoodiefinds.com/2014/05/cilantro-lime-avocado-spread/

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lime, juiced (I used 1 whole lime juiced)
  • 1 ripe avocado (I used two ripe avocados)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic ( I doubled this and used 1 TSB of garlic power and 1 tsp of garlic salt)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro ( I subbed 1 tablespoon of dried parsley)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (none of this)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a small food processor and process until smooth or at desired consistency.

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I had to avocados tonight to use up before they went bad.  I had to use them up.  I doubled the recipe . I also did not have fresh cilantro, so I subbed  dried parsley in for it (just the recommended for a one batch) and used 1 TSB of garlic powder and 1 tsp of garlic salt. It was awesome!

What are some of your tried and true recipes? What are some must-have’s in your pantry?

A new Paleo life

I have blogged about my attempt at clean eating. The failures with it. I am now back on the wagon with a new ambition to really feel better. I am on a new path of a life style. I want to feel better. My headaches are ramping up again and to avoid more medication, I believe the food is a good place to start.   I am on summer break from teaching. This is a good time to start learning new recipes and quick and easy breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas.

I have discovered some new recipes and products that I will share:

1.  Avenno face wash, lotion and BB cream. I began using this after a suggestion from a friend of mine. I was tired of having my skin breakout and using the same old products that are not working on my 33 year old skin. I have found this is working so far. I love the BB cream. (Don’t get it in your eyes, it burns!) The BB cream is amazing. I have found it can build up to a great coverage. Then with a little powder, blush and lip gloss, I am done! unnamed-1

2.  Frozen fruit in water. I just started adding frozen fruit in my water to give it a little more flavor. It is amazing and tastes great. It also helps me get in the water  I need for the day.

unnamed3.  Apple chips: This is a pinterst thing. I first made this with a flop. I cut them to thick and they turned out chewy. The second batch turned out much better. I cut them paper thin and added just cinnamon. I baked them a little higher setting and boom, they are pretty good. Disclaimer, they are good, but it won’t take the place of real sweets.

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4. Whole fruit pops. This is also a pinterst thing. We went to this amazing whole fruit popsicle place in Dallas. In the Quad Cities, we don’t have such a thing. This type of stuff we have to make on our own. Enter pinterst, the Ninja, fruit, honey and lemon juice.  They aren’t ready tonight as I blog. There will be an update for adjustments on these. I will have to let you all know, how they turned out.

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I am also trying homemade marinades for chicken. It does take more time to eat this way, but I feel the benefits out weigh the prep time involved.  Any suggestions for more eating clean/Paleo?

 

 

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