March 28, 2014

Early Morning Alarms

You know that thing, when you set your alarm for a new early wake-up, and then wake up 4 times during the night just to make sure you didn't miss the alarm? Yeah, I did that last night/this morning. I'm going to visit my local rowing club's indoor practice here in less than an hour to see if I feel like I can row this year. I have taken a few years off, and feel like I'm on a good path with my food and fitness choices right now. Love rowing, don't love what I allow the group/team dynamic to do to my head.

So, this morning is research. Meet the coach, say hi to potential teammates. See what I think of adding the early morning drive to my days. Then make a rational decision.

This is what I miss.... (that's me sporting the mega-orange OK State shirt. and hot pink visor. because my 5 am morning fashion is just that good.)

March 22, 2014

Thriving, Not Just Surviving

credit: big thompson crossfit
Well, I survived my first week back in regular CrossFit classes. I would even say I thrived. I made it in three times, completed the workouts, and lived to tell about it. Better yet, my attitude was good. I'm happy. (I did smart off to my coach that I swear he is programming to make sure he runs my a$$ off, but hey, even all the running was fine. Really. You can get up off the floor from your dead faint now.)

It's also been really fun having my 12 year old in class with me- he's really working hard, and I'm very proud of him. That's him in the only photo he would give me permission to use here. :D Even though I jumped him in the box the other day for "mom. mom. mom. mom."-ing me... "Buddy, this is MY space. I am happy to have you here, but do NOT do that to me while we are in the box. Period." Message delivered, message received. (Poor kid- he won't do it again, I'm sure of that.)

My major ah-ha moment was working on the hang snatch yesterday. BTW, any of the lifting stuff = fabulous. Love it. Anyhooo, I learned that I wasn't pinching my shoulder blades before starting the movement. HUGE difference. I can't wait to work on that some more.

And yesterday the WOD had kettlebells. Which I love. That is all.

One more week down...




Enhanced by Zemanta

Vemma Bode Bento (Week 4)

This week, I had to force myself to make food. I wish I understood why I tend to avoid doing things that I know need to get done... and that I know are best for me. It wasn't a big deal once I got in the kitchen (after one false start at lunchtime when my family all converged to eat and mess up my prep space... so I vacated). I just put on an episode of Freaks and Geeks and got to work. I  also ran out of some my Vemma Bode Burn towards the end of the week, and I didn't realize how much I had come to rely on the stuff. It's a way I can easily get some protein down in the afternoon consistently.

burn & cheese 
burn & pistachios
burn & sesame chips
burn & olives
ham & cream cheese

cottage cheese & pb

chicken & bbq sauce

blackened salmon

turkey mcmuffin
sparkling water

March 21, 2014

Snacks for the Family

Obviously, a big theme of my life is learning to take care of myself in the midst of family life. I chose them, I love them, and I wouldn't change them.  However, I am finding that having snacks ready to go is a huge plus during this season of my life. Now, I've figured out my meal packing and family dinner preparation, but one area I was still struggling was snack food. We have bins of veggies, fruits, and dairy (yogurt/cheese sticks) in the fridge. But I was buying a lot of snack food- granola bars, etc.- that add up very quickly. Part of the problem is that kids were grabbing those things because they were easy, rather than eating dinner or heating up leftovers. And there are times were I need to yell at them- "Grab your water bottle and a snack and GET IN THE CAR!" (Not that I ever yell. Ever. <eye roll>)

I needed to portion out the snack stuff I brought into the house. Magic! All of the sudden, kids were not eating mass quantities of the convenience stuff. Now, I'm not sure what happened, other than they are aware they have a limited quantity and therefore are being smarter with their choices, but it's working. 

Basically, I just used the same awesome candy jars my mom bought for me (family holiday tradition thanks to my grandmother). Instead of putting all the granola bars in one bin, all the fruit snacks in another, jerky in another, etc., we parcel them out by person.

Here's how it works:
  • Kids unload car. 
  • We stack like items together on the counter. 
  • We divide up the items based on likes/dislikes.
  • We put items in the jars. 
  • Dad gets a plastic bin to take up to work.
  • Kids eat out of their own candy jar. 
  • If they dislike something, they can trade with a sibling for another item.
Love it. Not my problem anymore! And our budget is going further as well... (I still don't understand the mechanism here, but it suspect it has to do with greed and territorialism.... I'm kidding... sort of.)

Lots of junk in these jars, but mostly healthy-ish stuff from a discount grocer nearby.... kids picked Buddy Fruits, Funky Monkey fruit snacks, veggie chips, beef jerky, some candy, etc. I scored some Perfect Fit cookies (protein), olives, and nuts. I actually find I need to reapportion my bin during the week to share with the kids because I'm just not getting through them... which is good, but also nice to have some quick options to grab if I get behind on my eating plan.

And I'm having fun playing with Canva and Zemata to help with my blogging. Neat tools I learned about from other A to Z bloggers by visiting their blogs!

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 19, 2014

Life Begins at 40

"Oh, now life begins!" - Cameron Diaz on turning 40.
The part of this I'd like to embrace is the attitude of loving moving into this time of life and also the concept of feeling old if we are not caring for ourselves.

I'd like to make self-care a priority, but not a selfish endeavor. Delicate balance.

With that in mind, I'm working on a list of 40 things I'd like to do in the next year as I'm turning 40.

40 List

  1. Go to a tanning salon.  Started this week
  2. Get that purple highlight in my hair I've wanted for years.
  3. Change my body composition. (read: lose the extra 45# of fat I've been dragging around)
  4. Get uber strong- pullups, watchout!
  5. Hang out at the beach for a weekend.
  6. Get a totally wimpy tiny tattoo somewhere not too noticeable. (Brave, huh?)
  7. Find a job that actually pays me in a way that I feel valued. 
  8. Participate in a Spartan Race. 
  9. Participate in the CrossFit Open. 
  10. (more to come...)

March 18, 2014

Moving Beyond Basics

credit: big thompson crossfit
This week, I started back to regular CrossFit classes after the four weeks of Basics at Big Thompson Crossfit. Although I have been involved in CrossFit before, I chose to go back through the introduction class just to get my fitness level ramped up... and it's a really good thing!

Most of my Basics class just moved from one class time to another en masse, so it is nice to have the camaraderie present as we progress to more difficult workouts. The photo above is from the last basics workout... and that's me doing air squats in the front.

I think this week's programming theme has been "Thou Shalt Run. Lots. And you will LIKE it." Thanks, Cliff, for the opportunities to work on my weaknesses. <rolling eyes> Welcome to class with the big kids! Goodness gracious... (wonder if I can get through each round of tomorrow's WOD by pacing out that song- the boys would kill me if I asked if we could put this song on repeat... mwahahaa. not sure using the iDevice is a great idea with the squat cleans)

Food for the Family

One of the things I have been working through is how to get my family fed in the evenings. Sure, I'm good. I have my meals for the day packed. And I eat on a schedule that doesn't always work with eating together in the evenings (especially if half of us aren't at home or we wait for dad to arrive from work).

Now, the family food is cooked and in the fridge/freezer/pantry, but it seems to be a task of gargantuan proportions for the rest of the family to get the food out, heat it, and eat it. I tried making sure there was a 'menu' list on the fridge. Didn't work at all. Last night, several parties that shall remain nameless chose to eat Hot Pockets rather than the pre-made food. Another party chose to not eat and woke up at midnight starving and had to brave unknown creepy things and sounds to sneak into the kitchen, nab some food, and run back to the bedroom before the zombies could attack.

I give. My priority right now is my own health and well-being. I have made things available to my family, but obviously that is still too hard for them. I cannot be everything to them, and with our schedule the will have to make some choices to step it up. However, I will feel guilty and eventually quit caring for myself or opt to take on their stuff if I can't make this sustainable for them.

Here is the new plan... bins in the outside fridge with all the fixings. This accomplishes several things:
  1. No one can say they forgot what was for dinner. Grab the freaking "Tuesday" bin and eat what is inside it.
  2. My inside fridge actually will have some space for leftovers and snacks now, in spite of my huge shelf of pre-packed meals. 
chili and spinach salad
pork chops, fried potatoes, asparagus
The bins are the Mainstays Large Storage Basket from Walmart. ($3.49) They are cheap and big enough to fit a 9x13 dish (needs to be set on top of something in the bottom or tilted a bit). I purchased four- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday is pizza night. Saturdays and Sundays are leftovers, snack foods, and sandwiches/frozen items. I'll be adding 4x6 cards with directions, so that anyone in my house can prepare the dinner. I'm not sure what the new 'rule' will be, but I know it will be that you have to eat what is in that night's bin.... no grabbing yourself a corn dog or some other junk because you don't want to fix it. I think I'll leave it to them to figure out... the rule may be that he who is hungry first is responsible for rounding up the rest of the family to cook together. 

I'll let you know how it goes in a few weeks. I'm taking down the list that has been ignored. (Note that things keep getting crossed off, but magically are never eaten. It's like the oil and flour that never run out... except the family is still hungry.)

March 16, 2014

Scale Wars

It's been a good bad day. I woke up this morning noticing positive changes in my body. This evening, I started feeling all scale crazy... you know, when you want to get on the scale just so some stupid number can make you feel better? Or worse? Depending on the snapshot of that second in time.

The dumb thing is still in the box I packed it up in weeks ago, although I was tempted to take it and the sledgehammer out to the driveway this evening. Seriously. But it's cold out there, and I'm already in my pajamas.

Rather than be destructive, I thought I'd come up with a constructive list of questions for me to ask myself when I'm scale psycho. Maybe they'll help you too.

Scale War Questions

  1. What are you feeling right now that is making you seek validation from a number?
  2. What will stepping on that scale accomplish in this moment? 
  3. Will you change your eating or exercise based on this information?
  4. Are you breaking a promise by getting on the scale?   
Most of this boils down to patience. I get all hyper and want things fixed ASAP, never mind that it took me decades to get to this place. I know that doing some shopping for some new workout togs is what set me off this time, so I need to leave that alone for a bit until I've regained some sanity. 

Follow Julie Cunningham's board Scale Wars on Pinterest.

March 15, 2014

Bento on a Budget

I'm a big fan of the whole bento box thing. I think it makes lunches more fun for all ages. When I started researching this, I found many options for boxes- including some amazing ones from PlanetBox that are very cool. (If you are a night-before/morning-of lunch packer, your kiddo may like on of these.) However, they are very cost prohibitive for a family of 6.

ziploc divided, ziploc short round, glad mini-round
toothpicks, silicone baking cups, mini-dippers, salt shaker

easy lunchboxes coolers and slim ice packs

I was looking for something I could pack in advance, so I knew I needed 20-30 boxes at any given time. I also wanted other 'support' lunch supplies. Here is what we use to keep our 'bento on a budget'.

There ya go... the least expensive route I could find to pack tons of these little guys. I'm really thankful that I can just pick up another bento when my son crushes one to death in his backpack. For more interesting ideas, you can follow my "Bento on a Budget" Pinterest Board below.

Do you know of any inexpensive tools I should put in my lunchkits? 

Follow Julie Cunningham's board Bento on a Budget on Pinterest.

Vemma Bode Bento (Week 3)

Since I was out of town all day Friday, I had to shop/prep/cook today. With that in mind, I chose pretty simple meal options. I learned last week that I avoided packing the meals that required heating, so no more of that. I also threw out about 5 meals from last week because the veggies didn't stay good all week or I just didn't like it. This is a journey. I'm doing well with hopping right back on plan after I choose to get off for a social occasion or unplanned meal out... which is a huge victory for me! That's a lifestyle and mentality shift that makes me proud of myself. Go Jules! :)


  • BEST: ham, cream cheese, veggies (note the repeat- AGAIN!)
  • WORST: gumbo and chili (reheating was a total fail)


  • Wash and cut up all veggies after soaking in vinegar water. 
  • Figure out how to add carbs to more meals for 'high carb week'.

cottage cheese, pb, veggies
ham, crackers
turkey/bacon tortilla
roast chix, mango lime dip
sparkling water
illy caffe
cherry cola zevia
turkey egg mcmuffin
burn & pistachios
burn and cheese

Now I have a bunch of to-go meals ready for the week! I also prepped my weekly family meals... but I'll post that here in a sec. Happy Julie shelf in the fridge- full of yumminess.