I have a favorite new side dish: mashed cauliflower. I first caught wind of mashed cauliflower when it started to circulate in the Paleo/low carb world. I tried it a couple years ago and, looking back, put way too much liquid in it resulting in cauliflower soup. It was good, but not really what I was looking for. Well, I decided to give it another shot and am so glad I did!
it might sound a little intimidating at first but it really is so easy. Trust me, I’m super lazy and I’ve made it three times in the past two weeks.
Easy Mashed Cauliflower
(can be paleo, vegan, and gluten free)
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 tbsp butter (can use ghee, coconut oil, or vegan substitute)
- 1/4 cup nonfat milk (can use almond milk)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- dash of garlic powder (to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
first, cut up your cauliflower into florets. Next, steam it either in a steamer or the microwave.
Once it’s steamed, just throw everything into the food processor (or blender) and blend until it has a mashed potato-like consistency.
my favorite helper!
stealing some mash…willow’s not amused
Yum!! Try it, I swear you will like it!
Here are a couple variations to try:
- Roast some garlic cloves and add to the mash
- Add rosemary or other spices
- Use half and half for a creamier mash
- Lighten up cals by using skim milk and a little olive oil
- Try only coconut: coconut milk and coconut oil
- Add cheese! Parmesan is good….but so is every cheese in the history of cheese so you can’t go wrong!
- Use a potato masher for a chunkier mash
Hi ya’ll!! It has been way too long since my last post, but we won’t dwell on that. Everything is good on my end!!
My post partum bod is coming along (I’ll do an update soon) thanks to many workouts and cleaning up my diet (at least on most days). I do belong to a gym, but we live pretty far from it so I only stop in once or maybe twice a week. That means most of my workouts these days have been at home. Some days I do an old Jillian Michael’s DVD or find a workout on a blog, but other days I make up my own either involving just body weight or kettlebells (we have three laying around, yay!).
This particular workout is bodyweight only so you can do it anywhere-no excuses!! Bodyweight workouts are great to have in the back of your mind for those times you either can’t get to the gym or you’re away from home with no equipment. I swear bodyweight workouts are just as hard as workouts involving weights.
Without further ado, here’s a quick workout for your viewing pleasure:
So, a typical tabata workout means 8 rounds: 20 seconds of “work” then 10 seconds of rest per exercise. The per exercise part used to get me. So, in this case, you would go through and do 20 seconds of pushups (followed by the rest of 10) 8 times in a row, then move onto squat jumps. It gets pretty brutal around the 4-5th round.
The first few moves you are probably familiar with, but here is a breakdown of the last couple:
Dips- Tricep dips. I did these on the edge of our fire place but you can perform these on a chair or bench.
These are great! Start on one foot (let’s say your right). Jump off your right foot to the left landing on the left foot. Repeat back and forth.
Pike Push-Up- Start in the downward dog position. From there, perform a pushup. The emphasis is more on your shoulders in this exercise compared to a traditional push-up which is all chest.
Plank with Leg Lifts- Start in high plank position (hands on floor). Lift your right leg off the ground, then your left. Alternate back and forth.
It’ll burn baby!! Let me know if you try it!
5 weeks! I want to say it has flown by, it also kind of feels like we’ve had Willow around for years. Maybe that’s the no sleep talkin’.
Anyway everyone is doing well! I wanted to update you on my post partum bod. I started to workout a little which has been nice. It can be a bit frustrating at times because it literally feels like starting from square 1, but ya gotta start somewhere right?
Typically, most doctors recommend waiting about 6 weeks until you dive back into a workout routine. That recommended waiting time is a bit of a generalization because it kind of depends on your own personal healing time and what you consider working out to be. So, basically, you want to check with your doctor first. Of course, I haven’t checked with mine, so maybe don’t listen to me :).
My “workouts” have been fairly light though. I haven’t ran or been doing any high intensity training, mostly just lifting some weights and walking. That alone has made me sore! I try to remind myself that the strength and muscle will come so just be patient. The more important thing for me is working on the diet.
When I say “diet” I’m not on a traditional diet by any means, I mostly mean eating whole foods and trying to get off the sugar addiction. Honestly, so far things are going pretty good. I started using the My Fitness Pal app again (awesome app! tracks your food and exercise) to really see what I’m eating and that really does help. It can be a little tedious but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad.
Kale smoothie! Kale, milk, protein powder, and banana
I’m really trying to use the app strictly to see what I’m eating, not to necessarily consume less calories. I’m breastfeeding so I do need to make sure and eat enough calories. It’s kind of hard to find that perfect number where you can produce enough milk, but also lose some of the extra weight from pregnancy. I’ll let you know when I find it!
I’ve noticed several articles too on exercising and its’ affects on breastfeeding. Apparently there was an article published in 1992 claiming a mother’s milk was higher in lactic acid after exercising and that babies did not respond well to the taste. From what I’ve read, that generally doesn’t seem to be a problem. In my experience too, it hasn’t been. The bigger problem I find with breastfeeding and exercising is that my boobs are enormous and it’s hard to run or jump :). Two sports bras may be in my future.
Post Baby Body Update
Not much to update here really. I weight about the same, give or take a pound. I thought I’d lose more weight but I think I’m being a little impatient.
5 weeks post partum
I despise posting these pictures. I feel so awkward but it’s a great way to measure progress!
Happy Labor Day!! I hope you’re all enjoying your time off!
Is it me, or does it seem like women are ridden with guilt all their lives? Or at least their adult lives? Most women want to have some sort of career or professional/personal life, but also want to have children at some point (most women…not all, and that’s cool). The problem they face of course is feeling guilty if they go back to work OR feeling guilty for not working. It’s almost a lose-lose situation.
I constantly feel crappy about the lack or career. I love my children but it would be nice to have some sort of personal life beyond them (no offense Brooke or Willow). On the other hand, I realize I should thank my lucky stars that I can stay home with my kids because a lot of mothers can’t. Ughhh..the grass is always greener right?
Anyway, this post is mostly about the lack of attention my two year old is getting these days. I find myself turning on the TV more for her because I am feeding the new baby or trying to make dinner or just don’t feel like dealing with her. I HATE seeing her stare at the TV. I feel like such a shitty mom. I just don’t know what else to do sometimes.
Brooke’s also started to get a little aggressive with the new baby. I think it’s to get attention from me because she will swat at or towards Willow then look right at me. I try to distract her typically with one of her toys instead of just saying “no” (because that doesn’t work), but sometimes I get so upset with her.
I’m thinking about putting Brooke in a daycare once a week. Not so much for my sanity, but mostly so she can act like a toddler and not have me either telling her “no” or giving attention to the baby. It must be hard on her to have this sudden change. I know it’s hard on me!
Any tips on handling a toddler with a newborn in the house are much appreciated!
(Hopefully this post makes sense I wrote it in like, 5 minutes because Brooke’s being a two year old ).
Hi! Been a while huh? A lot has changed over here. We moved for the 500th time and had our baby girl, Willow, on July 26th.
Willow Elizabeth Gray
All is is well with her so far. We had a somewhat stressful end of the pregnancy because she was measuring small so they diagnosed her an IUGR baby (intrauterine growth restricted). I had an ultrasound once a week and a non-stress test (checking her heart rate) twice a week. No actual problem was ever found so we sort of assumed she was just a small baby and guess what? She was…kind of. She was 6lb 7oz so not that small but compared to Brooke (8 pounds) she was small.
Anyway, she was and is healthy so that’s all that matters.
Sleep and Emotions
So, it’s been two and a half weeks. I’m really trying to enjoy the newborn stage this time around. Last time it was pretty tough. So far, emotionally, it’s been easier. I don’t feel quite as depressed as I did last time. I go up and down of course. Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by our situation but I know lack of sleep has a lot to do with it.
Willow has been an okay sleeper. She typically sleeps 2-3 hours at a time although a couple nights ago she was up about every 45 minutes-it was torture! Thank god Brooke is a great sleeper and wakes up around 8 so I don’t have to get up too early.
I think I am enjoying this stage more this time around but I admit, I’m looking forward to her getting a little older so she will sleep better. It’s such a shame these newborns have such a terrible sleep schedule. It would make a world of difference with just like, 6 straight hours of sleep!
All I can say is, epidurals are amazing. So, because we were diagnosed with an IUGR baby, they wanted to induce me a week early. Sounds counter intuitive right? Apparently, small babies have a higher risk of mortality and morbidity the closer they are to 40 weeks or beyond. So, they induced me at 39.
Since I was induced, the day was just long and painful. They gave me pitocin to start contractions which lasted forever. When they told me I was 5cm dilated-and that’s it- I decided I wanted an epidural. Willow was sunny side up too so I was having a lot of back pain. I just decided, what’s the point? Labor is hard enough so why not make it easier on me and my body with an epidural? It’s not a dangerous option by any means so I tried it out.
After the epidural, I was basically a difffernt person. I suddenly had a rush of energy which was only because of the lack of pain. It was awesome! Not to knock natural birth, but seriously, wow. I didn’t feel a damn thing and I was thrilled.
The pushing part only took 45 minutes this time compared to the almost three hours with Brooke. It was a little weird because I never really knew when I was having a contraction so it was hard to know when to push, but it could have been worse. I could have been feeling every contraction :).
It was a very different experience but all was well in the end. Willow was healthy and so was I and that’s all that matters!
I’m healing up pretty well (I think) and starting to get antsy about working out again. It’s still too soon, so I’ve been trying to go on walks and focus more on my diet.
I ate fairly decent during the pregnancy but am definitely a sugar addict. Ugh, damn you sugar. It’s just so good. Getting off the sugar train is going to be challenging. I’m trying to start slowly by finishing up sugar laden foods (like granola and flavored yogurt) then replacing them with healthier options. I know myself well enough to know if I cut it out cold turkey and think I’m replacing it all with veggies, that’ll last a day and the veggies will soon be in the trash.
That being said, I’ve really been enjoying salads lately, but probably because I use ranch dressing. That will be another switch: lower calorie dressing.
I gained almost 40 pounds during this pregnancy. I think I gained a little less with Brooke but I started at a lower weight this time. It’s amazing how your abs feel after birth: nonexistent (bowl full of jelly ha).
I’m planning on documenting my body after baby journey. I’m not a fan of the these post-partum pictures, but I think pictures are a good way to measure progress.
Here’s a before picture taken back in October (I was planning on trying to gain more muscle but then I got knocked up oops) compared to my two weeks post partum bod.
Starting Weight: 105
Pregnancy weight at 39 weeks: 138
Weight two weeks post partum: 127
I was thinking I’d drop more weight than I have, but I think I’m being impatient.
So that’s my starting point! Next week, depending on how I feel, I might start doing a Jillian Michael’s 6 pack abs in 6 weeks DVD. I’m definitely not expecting 6 pack abs (although I’d be cool with that), I just want to get some strength back.
I will keep myself accountable through the blog! It’s up to you guys to make sure I don’t fall off the wagon :).
by the way, this post took me 3 days to finish. You’d think it would be epic but in reality life just gets in the way! I also wrote it on my Ipad so forgive any typos.
Scary name, huh? Well, I can’t take credit for it. This is a workout I found on Bodybuilding.com’s website.
First of all, you should check out their website if you haven’t before. No, they aren’t paying me or “encouraging” me to tell you that. I just think the title “bodybuilding” can sound intimidating and not what you’re interested in, but they have great workouts.
You can pick a muscle group, or checkout other people’s transformations and the workouts they do. It’s pretty awesome! I promise doing a workout from their website won’t result in you looking like a bodybuilder….you have to work for that (and really really want it). But I can tell you you will get a good, hard workout!
Anyway, this workout is by a lovely young lady, Dana Linn Bailey who is ridiculously ripped so I trust her workouts will be tough.
From Bodybuilding’s Website
I tweaked a few things from the workout because I wasn’t 100% sure about some moves. Here is the original workout. Here is what I did:
- Reverse Cable Fly’s- warmup of 15 reps
- Face Pulls- warmup of 15 reps
- Reverse Cable Fly’s- 4 sets of 8-10
- Face Pulls- 4 sets of 10
- Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise- 4 sets of 8 both arms
- Cable Upright Rows- 4 sets of 10
- Single Arm Shoulder Press- 4 sets of 10 using 15lb weight
- Lateral Raises- 4 sets of 8-10 using 8lb.
- Underhand Grip Front Raises- 4 sets of 8 using 8lb. These were hard!
- Front Raises with Plate- 25lb plate 3 sets of 8
Good shoulder workout!! I love working my shoulders. They’re definitely my favorite muscles to train. My least favorite? Legs and Abs.
What’s your favorite muscle to train?
This is so ridiculously easy it’s not really a “how to” post…more of a short sentence.
So, oat flour is great because you can use it as a gluten free substitute while baking (that being said, sometimes oats can be cross contaminated and actually have gluten. In general, whole rolled oats should be gluten free). It also has a decent amount of fiber and is not a highly processed food.
I’ve only used oat flour in one recipe: Jamie Eason’s pumpkin protein bars. I’ve made them numerous times and they’re a pretty good homemade protein bar.
I researched oat flour a bit more though and it turns out, you can use it as a 1:1 substitute for all purpose flour. For example, if this recipe called for two cups of all purpose flour, I could use two cups of oat flour.
You can buy oat flour if you’d like (that might be a simpler option if you 100% need it to be gluten free), but you can also make it. If you have whole rolled oats in your pantry, then you can make it! All you do is grind the oats up in either a blender, food processor, or even a Magic Bullet (<– what I do because I’m too lazy to clean a blender or food processor).
It’s so easy, that’s it! You have your oat flour. You could probably grind up a ton of it at once and freeze it so it keeps longer. I just grind up the amount I need when I need it.
I made those pumpkin protein bars again yesterday and they came out yummy as ever!
I’m sure you get a finer grind if you use the food processor but I don’t really mind a whole oat or two in my pumpkin bars.
Mixing my Vanilla protein powder. I found this brand at Walmart and I am not a huge fan so I use a little less than the recipe calls for.
What I do with the protein bars is portion them out. I wrap 2-3 in Saran Wrap, freeze them, then take them out one pack at a time so I don’t eat a million in one day. If you’re like me and lack self control, I highly recommend doing that!
Oat flour success!!
One of these days I’ll have to give it a whirl in another recipe and see how it does. I’ve read that it comes out pretty well. There are so many different flours and they all create different outcomes so we will!!
Have you tried oat flour? Any suggestions on how to use it? Any good homemade protein bar recipes?
Thank you for the nice comments about our new addition! Mondays the big day…boy or girl?
So, the picture associated with this workout suggests that it uses Kettlebells-it does not. Sorry, false advertising. I’m still new to using Pic Monkey to edit photos and I needed a picture, so I took one of our Kettlebells. They’re lovely aren’t they? Anyway, the workout does use a bosu ball, medicine ball, and a dumbbell.
Sorry, the green color looks a little bright at least on my computer. Here is a breakdown of each move:
*Perform each move for 1 minute, 2-3 times*
Up and Over’s with Bosu and Medicine Ball- place the bosu ball on the ground, blue side up. Start with right foot on bosu and left on the ground holding the medicine ball in your hands. Bring the medicine ball overhead, then jump up and over the bosu so you switch feet-now the left foot is on the bosu and right on the ground. When you land, squat down bringing the medicine ball down towards the ground, then back up overhead when you hop up and over again. So, you’re going back and forth squatting down and also bringing the medicine ball overhead and back down. Hopefully this one makes sense, it’s a little hard to explain. Let me know if it doesn’t, I will try to take a video.
Bosu Ball Tucks- Flip the bosu over and place hands on top so you’re in a plank position (blue side facing down). From there, tuck knees in towards your chest, then back out into plank. So, it’s like the beginning of a burpee, just not the whole thing (just the knee tuck).
Burpee with Side Jumps over Bosu- Place the bosu on the ground however you want (you’re not really using it in this exercise). Start on one side of the bosu, perform a burpee with pushup, then side jump over the bosu to the other side. Perform another burpee.
Ninja Jumps- These can be a little tricky. If you’re not comfortable with these, do squat jumps instead. Start on your shins on the ground. From there, use momentum from swinging your arms and jump up landing in a squat, then come back down to starting position.
Deep Goblet Squats- Ooooo let it burn!! Grab your dumbbell and hold it between both hands in front of your chest. Starting position is actually a squat so thighs are parallel to the ground. From there, squat lower-ass to the grass friends- then back up to squat position. So, yes, you are in a squat of some kind the entire time. Ouch.
V-Ups with Medicine Ball- Grab your medicine ball and lay on the ground legs extended out in front of you and arms overhead (holding med. ball). Crunch up, bringing legs up and your arms overhead to meet your legs so you look like a V, then back down to start. Try to keep legs straight if you can.
I love the bosu ball!! There are a million things you can do with it and they’re always challenging. It’s an awesome way to create some instability so you’re forced to use your core in order to balance.
Hope you guys like it! Let me know if you give it a whirl!
Hey guys! It’s been a while. I really do have the intention of blogging every day every month but apparently that’s just not going to happen. I try.. I swear.
Anyway, I have some exciting news: we’re expecting baby #2!
This isn’t brand new news (I am almost 19 weeks), but we haven’t really “announced” it. I kinda mentioned it on Instagram which is lame, I know. No official Facebook announcement yet (also lame, but ya gotta do it). The hubs wants to wait until we have an ultrasound pictures of the babe which will be 1 week from today! Yes, we are finding out the sex. I can’t wait 20 more weeks..I wanna know now!
That’s pretty much a terrible comparison, but yes, I am showing a little bit! I have to find my little chalkboard it’s somewhere in the garage…ugh sounds like a project.
Anyway, I’m feeling pretty good for the most part. This pregnancy has been a little different in that I’m way moodier (lucky for my husband and child…and everyone else who comes in contact with me).
I’ve had a lot more ups and downs: one minute I feel great, the next I’m crying on the phone to my husband because my neck hurts and Brooke keeps slapping me in the face. I’m actually laughing now reading that-but that really happened…earlier today actually.
I really don’t want to be a crazy mother who doesn’t appreciate the things she has and/or isn’t grateful for each day. I recognize hormones and probably exhaustion (thanks to Brookie poo) have something to do with this, but I still don’t like it.
I’ve always been a happy person so feeling unhappy, angry, emotional, etc. makes me really uncomfortable and sad. So, I’ve been trying to change my outlook. I’ve been taking more yoga, reading, even been to acupuncture.
By the way, “snowga” is fun for like, 5 minutes, then it’s just cold.
I just downloaded this book to hopefully help me find some peace and calm:
Gettin’ my Zen on…I’ll let you know how that turns out :).
(I love Seinfeld anything…serenity now, insanity later…)
Anyway, some days are better than others. Which I guess is just life. I try to stop my internal bitching and take a look at my daughter who is amazing and perfect in every way.
She could play outside all day long, which I love. Summer is going to be a blast with this one.
It’s nice to blog again….I have a new workout for you guys I’ll post tomorrow. I tried it today I think it’s pretty killer!
Have a great day! Hopefully you’re all staying warm..spring will be here sooo soon I can feel it (Arizona, California, and Florida, this does not apply to you since it is always spring there..boo).
Hi guys! We have our winners….. (also want to apologize for the grammatical errors in this post I’m doing this on my iPad).
I picked numbers in a super official way: had my husband give me two random numbers. I figured even by using a number generator I could cheat if I wanted to so what’s the difference? (That being said these are the only toe numbers he chose I swear).
17 and 30!
That’s Hayley and Laurel! Congrats guys! I will shoot you an email and give you details.