Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spill the Beans!

Most of our family and friends know by now, but we did keep it a secret for quite some time.  And now it's finally time to let everyone know...

We're moving!

Dave has lived in our little old house for over 7 years (since he graduated college) and I moved in 2.5 years ago.  It was a perfect spot for a bachelor and then a young couple plus a pooch.  But now that we're married and our 30th birthdays aren't so far away anymore (yikes), it's time to move on.

Photo cred goes to Megan!

Our new house is about 10 minutes away from where we live now.  Although Valley Forge National Park won't actually be in our backyard anymore, it's still super close and we have a creek that runs along the edge of our yard, so we can pretend.  The house is huge with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths!  The storage space is unreal.  We have a wood stove and a fireplace.  There's a huge back deck.  The school district is awesome.  There's a nice park and a local trail right down the street.  It's an amazing house (minus the often soggy backyard and super steep driveway - yes, we'll be investing in a snow blower)!

Courtesy of googlemaps - hence some of the weird glitches in the photo.  I owe you a better one!

The house belonged to Dave's grandparents.  His grandfather moved into a gorgeous retirement community about 2 months ago.  Although the grief from his grandmother passing in February is still present, I know that her love will live on in the house.  I think of how unique it will be to create memories with our own family in the same house Dave grew up spending time with loved ones and celebrating holidays in.  Although I can't say we're sticking with the ivy wallpaper themed kitchen, there are plenty of details and decorations in the house that will continue to remind us of Dee for years to come.

We're slowly but surely prepping the house for our move in, but we've been so busy that it's sort of been on the back burner.  We're currently removing wallpaper, picking out paint colors, and doing lots of cleaning.  We're also working on meeting with a contractor to redo the master bathroom (goodbye tile & stand up shower).  Our goal is to move in sometime in October.  It sounds so far away, but there's plenty of work to do and my weekdays are currently consumed with cheerleading!  Did I mention I've never painted a room before?

At some point I'll have to do a house tour, but in the meantime...

Do you guys have any painting tips?  What's your favorite living room wall color?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Wedding Recap Part 4: Photos in Valley Forge Park

I'm so sorry I made you guys wait over a month, but all that Whole30 nonsense was keeping me a little preoccupied ;)  Anyway, these posts only feature a fraction of the amazing shots we got from Fuller Photography!  I cannot say enough about them and I am in love with our photos.

Want a second look?
- Part 1: The Day Before
- Part 2: The Ladies Get Dolled Up
- Part 3: The Guys & Our First Look

Summer shandys and ciders were passed around the trolley and the hip hop road trip Pandora station was cranked up!  We cruised around Valley Forge National Park for two and half hours and the photographers captured the most amazing shots.  I felt so relaxed during photos.  The weather was perfect.  The trolley was so much fun.  The park locations we picked out were picturesque.  Our wedding party was amazing.

We actually finished pictures a little early and good thing, because we didn't realize the trolley couldn't fit under the railroad bridge on the way to the church!  We had to turn around and take the long way, but we had plenty of time.  When we arrived at the church, all the girls went into a private room and Megan came to touch us up!  A few of us really needed a little refreshing and soon we were all looking our best.

While we were waiting, I had a first look with my dad (and Tom)!

He came in and told me he had a special gift for me.  It was a picture of him holding me right after I was born.  It was so precious and had quite a few people in the room wiping away tears!

I also had another visitor.  Dave's grandmother Mimi "accidentally" came in while looking for the bathroom.  In typically Mimi fashion, she went on about how beautiful I looked and how happy she was that I was joining the family!  She is really just one of those people that always the nicest things to say.

Dave's grandmother Edythe sadly passed away earlier in the year, so I wrapped her handkerchief around my bouquet to make sure she was with us on our big day.

Soon, we were lining up in the hallway for our big entrance!  This was actually the first time I was nervous all day!  My stomach was doing flips, this was it.  We were getting married!!!!!

To be continued... Part 5

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Few Weekend Pics + Pan Fried Chicken with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

This weekend was a good one!  It began with a happy hour date in downtown Phoenixville with Shayna and Puddin'.  We sampled their menu and some martinis, took in some live classic rock covers, and really took advantage of the perfect weather.  Puddin' even got a doggie ice cream treat :)

The rest of my weekend was spent being super productive.  Saturday was a serious day of cleaning!  Sunday was spent at church, running errands, and then starting our Folk Fest prep!  Dave even finished building our brand new industrial wagon.

Obviously we had to test it...

After busting my butt for two days, ordering dinner out started to sound pretty good.  But I had plenty of food in my fridge and I knew ordering out would lead to bad choices.  So we sucked it up, Dave was in charge a frozen veggie side, I made a salad and came up with a quick recipe that may end up in my regular rotation.

This is one of those recipes that I really shouldn't even call a recipe.  It is so easy and simple, but so delicious!  Who knows, maybe you've even made this before.  But if you haven't considered frying some chicken and onions in bacon grease, you probably should!

Pan Fried Chicken with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

- bacon
- chicken breasts
- chopped onion
- salt & pepper
- garlic powder
- chipotle powder
- oregano

1. Fry some bacon in a pan over medium heat.
2. While the bacon is frying, season your chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chipotle powder, oregano, and any other spices that move you at the time.
3. Remove the bacon from the pan when it is done.  Add your onions to the pan.
4. When the onions become translucent, add your chicken.
5. Cook the chicken, flipping throughout, until it is no longer pink inside (slice into it to make sure).
6. Serve the chicken and onions with your crispy bacon on top!

So easy, so tasty!  I think next time I'll be adding some mushrooms to the mix too.

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My July Whole25 Results!

Let's get right down to business!

But seriously, how does my body change this much in 25 days?!  I also feel like my posture improved quite a bit lol.

Day 1   Weight = 154.2
Day 25 Weight = 145.2
Weight Loss     = 9 lbs

Other thoughts about what a Whole30 does for me:
  • My skin definitely looks better when I'm doing a Whole30.  I noticed the few times I cheated, I would wake up with a small blemish the next day.
  • I love not feeling sleepy (food coma) or crazy full/bloated (food baby) after meals.
  • I honestly didn't mind giving up booze.  I loved waking up down the shore, knowing I wouldn't be hungover.
  • The Whole30 helped motivate me to get to the gym!  Since I was making my health a priority, it was easier to commit to CrossFit.  I'm guessing the extra energy my diet was giving me helped too.  I got to the gym 3x per week for the entire month, which was definitely a first for me since I started last March!

Well another Whole30 (Whole25) has wrapped up for me and I think the pictures speak for themselves.  You can really see how much my diet affects my stomach.  A carb and sugar indulgent Fourth of July weekend left me completely bloated for those before pictures.  I mean I wasn't eating very healthy before then, but knowing I was going to start my diet, I totally pigged out and ate stuff that I wouldn't have normally (like sandwiches made with white bread, 3 days in a row).  Perhaps that's the downside of the Whole30 for me, transitioning in and out of it brings out a bit of disordered eating.  If I told you I really made an effort over the past week with only a few slips, it would be a big lie.  

Perhaps part of my problem is that I did not fully follow the rules.  I cheated and justified it in my head.  I didn't feel bad eating cheese because the salad I was eating was a better choice than a cheesesteak.  I ate a freaking cupcake, epic fail.  Obviously that didn't help anything, but the large amounts of fruit I consumed probably didn't help me break my sugar habit either.

I know I'm not going to eat a perfectly healthy diet all the time, I believe in the 80/20 principle.  However that is not a Whole30!
The only way this will work is if you give it the full thirty days: no cheats, slips, or “special occasions.” This isn’t us playing the tough guy. This is a fact, born of education and experience. You need such a small amount of any of these inflammatory foods to break the healing cycle—one bite of pizza, one splash of milk in your coffee, one lick of the spoon mixing the batter within the 30 day period and you’ve broken the “reset” button, requiring you to start over again on Day 1.
Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a box of doughnuts, there is no “slip.” You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even started.
So maybe I should stop calling what I'm doing a Whole30.  Maybe I should just say I'm doing however many days of strict Paleo.  I don't know.  But I do know that my Whole30 posts have reached a few of my friends and a ton of curious people across the internet.  I truly love helping other people learn how to fuel their bodies :)

Looking for more Whole30 Results?

Don't forget to like Busy, Bold, Blessed on Facebook!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guest Post: Julia's Whole30 Recap!

Shortly after I kicked off my July Whole25, I realized my friend Julia was also doing a Whole30.  She's a friend from the gym and she's also in the process of becoming a coach!  Going through the Whole30 with other people makes it so much easier and it was great to have her support (and someone to commiserate with) throughout the month!  Congrats Julia :)

To preface my improvements throughout the past month, let me give you a background of where I am coming from.  I did my first Whole30 November 2013.  I did well throughout the program, but once I was done, I spiraled back into my bad eating habits prior to my Whole30.  Not being completely able to get back into a steady 80/20 paleo diet I watched my progress in crossfit slow down, my sleep patterns falter, and my overall mood become negative.

Improvements during my detox:
  1. My weight lifting improved.  At the end of June, my gym (CrossFit Valley Forge) tested its members’ max effort clean and jerk.    My previous max was 140lbs, and I couldn’t even get close to it.  I was ashamed of my futile effort, hitting only a modest 125lbs.  That one instance in which I failed to set a new record drove me to do my second Whole30.  Six days ago, I cleaned 135lbs. FIVE times.  Three days ago I cleaned 145lbs. one time.  The improvement is 99% due to the dietary choices I made.  I don’t think I necessarily got that much stronger over the past month.  I think the fact that I was able to be a more positive thinker contributed to that extra 20lbs. I added to my lift.  Bottom line: the right food allowed me to confide in myself.
  2. I didn’t drink as much caffeine.  When your hormones work properly, the rest of your body can function independently of drugs and chemicals.  In fact, the time of day when we need caffeine the least is in the morning as long as our (stress hormone) cortisol fires at the right time.  Most people don’t even know what that initial jolt of early morning cortisol is supposed to feel like because it gets buried under the mentality of “needing” caffeine to function in the morning.  I’d have a small cup of coffee or tea and be all set for the rest of the day. 
  3. Meal preparation is a useful task for everyone, Whole30 or not.  Meal prep not only saved me money during my Whole30, but it kept me from overeating those restaurant sized portions of food.  One of my take aways this time is to always be prepared.  Especially since I play in a band and often find myself at bars which specialize in chicken wings and greasy French fries.  Even if prepared meals aren’t an option, find an approved recipe for a protein shake and bring some compliant jerky, cut up veggies, or Larabars with you – something is always better than nothing.
  4. Coming out of the Whole30, it is perfectly okay to cheat in moderation.  In fact, cheat meals (pizza, a slice of cake, whatever your guilty pleasure might be) act like a “jump-start” to your metabolism.  Believe it or not, cheat meals are crucial to successful weight loss.  The mistake I made after my first Whole30 was that I pigged out on everything I had missed for a whole month.  The thing to remember is, you will absolutely be able to have that cup of ice cream again! Don’t worry, I promise.  But you probably shouldn’t have that cup of ice cream, half of a pizza, a 6 pack of beer, and a box of cookies all in once sitting (sadly, a true story).  Space it out over a couple weeks and you’ll have been able to treat yourself to all of the things you missed out on during your Whole30.
  5. Once again, I have made it alive through a Whole30.  The non-compliant things I have invited back into my diet all have a purpose in the grand scheme of my 80/20 paleo regimen (I’ve been calling it “As Paleo As Possible.”).  Whole milk, for example, has an exceptional amount of calcium and vitamin D.  I only drink it right before I go to bed, as it helps me sleep and provides protein to aid the body in recovery.  Honey, too, because it is in many of the paleo sauces available via Steve’s Paleo – at 2 grams of sugar per serving, I’m not that worried about it.  Eventually, I will add rice post workout and maybe even yogurt for the benefit of its probiotic content.
Thanks for reading my post.  I hope it helps answer some of the questions and concerns that might surface during your own Whole30.  My first Whole30 overlapped Thanksgiving and Christmas; meaning I had to be compliant during holidays, too.  It just goes to show that nothing is more important than the food with which we choose to fuel our bodies.  Remember: it’s only 30 days.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My July Whole25: Days 22-25

I meant to post this on Friday and then totally forgot...

Day 22 - Monday 7/28/14
  • Breakfast: Cup of coffee and slice of the egg casserole
  • Lunch: Leftover Lemon Ginger Chicken from The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook with Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice and a tasty peach
  • Dinner: Onions, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach sauteed in a pan with some shaved beef, some tomato paste, a splash of ACV, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder
  • Workout: 6 pm CrossFit - The strength portion was a back squat of 3 reps EMOM (every min on the min) for 8 minutes at 80% of your max.  I lifted 115 lbs.  The WOD was a killer:
    • 15 Hang Squat Cleans, 9 Box Jumps (20")
    • 12 HSC, 12 Box Jumps
    • 9 HSC, 15 Box Jumps
    • 12 min cap
I used 65 lbs for my squat cleans, finished in 7:41, and was wrecked.  This was definitely a sprint and I tried to keep my breaks to a minimum.  Holy moly the 6 pm class was crowded!  I guess I'm officially a fan of my 6 am classes.

  • Sleep: 7.25 hours
  • Thoughts: My simple dinner didn't come out great (too much tomato paste) and I'm really starting to get sick of cooking.

Day 23 - Tuesday 7/29/14
  • Breakfast: Cup of coffee and the last slice of the egg casserole
  • Snack: An apple pie Lara Bar and a small green apple
  • Lunch: Leftover Lamb Meatballs with Paleo Tzatziki Sauce with a side salad of spinach, a blend of shredded carrots, cabbage, and celery, grape tomatoes, and sliced almonds with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Italian spices
  • Dinner: Chicken Spinach & Prosciutto Bundles (that I may or may not have made with non compliant bacon because I didn't have enough prosciutto...)
  • Snack: Pineapple, mango, coconut milk, and spinach smoothie
  • Workout: 6 am CrossFit - AMRAP in 15 minutes:
    • 400 m Run
    • 21 KB Swing
    • 12 Pull Ups
I completed 2 full rounds + the run + all 21 KB swings + 3 pull ups.  This was my first WOD with unassisted pull ups!  I have been working on pull ups for a while now and I got my first real one a few months ago, but I really can't string them together and putting them in a workout seemed impossible.  Doing them with resistance bands just isn't the same though, since CrossFit pull ups involve kipping (aka swinging your legs and popping your hips for momentum), and the resistance band definitely gets in the way.  I can't say they were the best pull ups in the world, but I was excited about them!
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Thoughts: Can't believe I went to the gym last night and this morning.  I feel like I was pretty hungry throughout the day and I guess that probably had something to do with it.

Day 24 - Wednesday 7/30/14
  • Breakfast: Coffee and pineapple, mango, coconut milk, and spinach smoothie
  • Snack: A small green apple
  • Lunch: Lunch out in the city with some coworkers after a meeting, coffee and a skillet with hot italian sausage, bacon, long hots, broccoli rabe, potatoes, and some sharp provolone.
  • Dinner: Coffee and a banana bread Lara Bar, by the time I got home from cheerleading it was 9:30, I had a headache, and I just went to bed.  I honestly wasn't really hungry all night, but I felt like crap by the time I went to bed, so it could've been lack of food, too much coffee, or a combo of both.
  • Workout: Worked out with the cheer girls that I coach.
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Thoughts: I have a coffee problem!  I've just been chugging it down all day lately and I need to pull back.

Day 25 - Thursday 7/31/14
  • Breakfast: Coffee, 2 hard boiled eggs, and an orange
  • Lunch: Chicken Spinach & Prosciutto Bundles
  • Snack: A bowl of pineapple
  • Snack: A small green apple, a Mystic Mango Kombucha, and some strawberries
  • Dinner: 3 pieces of grilled chicken (at 9:30 pm)
  • Workout: 6 am CrossFit - This one was a doozy:
    • 1000 m Row
    • 9 Shoulders to Overhead
    • 80 Double Unders (since my dubs suck, I did as many attempts as I could in 3 minutes, I got to 42 with 1-2 singles in between each one)
    • 7 Lunges with Bar in Front Rack (7 each leg)
    • 60 Sit Ups
    • 5 Thrusters (squat bar and then press overhead)
    • 400 m Run
    • 3 Overhead Squats
    • 20 Bar Over Burpees
    • 1 Bear Complex (power clean bar, front squat, press overhead, put on back, back squat, press overhead, throw bar down in victory :D)
When I looked this one up on the website the night before, I was like are you kidding me?!  It just seemed like a lot.  And nobody likes burpees at the end of the workout, especially when you have to jump over your barbell.  I racked up 65 lbs and finished in 19:00!  I felt like I really killed it on those burpees that I was especially dreading.  My coach was on my case during them and it really helped!  I think that's one of the biggest reasons I like CrossFit, it brings me back to me team sport days, when I would push myself to impress my coach.  I will definitely go further and faster when someone (other than myself) is holding me accountable.
  • Sleep: 7 hours
  • Thoughts: Today really lacked veggies.  With cheerleading starting up, I'm really going to have to do a Sunday cook ahead, utilize my crockpot, and lean on Dave a bit to make sure we're eating healthy.

Thank God it's over!  This weekend was a busy one and I definitely owe you some results!  Sorry to keep you waiting.

How do you eat healthy when you're crazy busy?

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