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I Lost 5 LBS in 5 Days By Following These 5 Principles

By on Jul 13, 2015

Most people think that losing weight means that you have to deprive yourself of not only yummy food, but food…period. But last week I learned that depriving oneself of good food is a myth. In fact, the key to losing weight is in what you eat, how frequently you eat it, and your water intake. I lost weight by eating! I actively try to be a healthy eater, but after birthing my 3rd baby in 4 years I felt it was high time to call in the professionals. Not just for the sake of weight-loss, but for the sake of giving my family a strong healthy relationship with food. So this past week I decided to embark on a Clean Eating Challenge lead by a personal trainer and dietitian. My coach defined clean eating for me (nothing out of a box, bag or can…besides tuna) and gave me the flexibility to take the lead on my own meal planning while offering suggestions along the way. So what did I eliminate? I eliminated breads, pastas and rice (even brown). I cooked and prepared my own food everyday and I ate frequently instead of waiting until I felt famished. My meals included all kinds of meats (YES…even BACON) and a host of yummy fruits and veggies. I drank 1/2 my body weight in fluid ounces of water, and I was rarely hungry. I ate a total of 5 complete small meals a day composed of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Now I’m still working on portion control…but here’s a sampling of the meals that I prepared and enjoyed!. I lost 5 pounds in 5 days by staying hydrated and EATING regularly. I didn’t have any major cravings until the hubby brought home my favorite treat TWIZZLERS! But instead of reaching for them I pulled out a bowl of sweet sweet watermelon. It wasn’t easy…but I stuck to it. And you can to. Below are the 5 principles that helped me surpass my goals: 1. Find a Coach or an Accountability Friend Accountability is HUGE! The good thing about my Awesome Coach was that she encouraged me to eat frequently and educated me on why. She checked in with the group (via FB) and shared reminders and tips as needed. Sometimes it helps just to have someone go through the journey with you. If I didn’t have a coach or a group of determined women to hold me accountable, I certainly would have opted for Twizzlers over Watermelon! 2. Plan Ahead The weekend before the big Clean Eating Challenge the group was instructed to purchase all groceries (for the week) over the weekend. This wasn’t a totally new concept for me, but it was a kick in the butt to make it a conscious priority over the weekend. I mapped out my meals for the week, crafted a grocery list and went to the store without the kids to minimize distraction. Everything was within reach when it came time to prep a meal. 3. Set your goals – Goals should be realistic and achievable Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this challenge with regard to weight. So my goals were to learn how to eat healthier, actually eat healthier and resist artificial sweets. The weight loss was just an awesome by-product of my disciplined eating habits. In fact, I bought my first scale the weekend before the challenge…and I’ve quickly become obsessed. Uh Oh! 4. Share photos of your meals Each of the participants in the Clean Eating Challenge would share photos of their meals. So each day there was an expectation of one another to share 5 new photos representing the 5 balanced meals each person consumed that day. Sharing photos of your meals is a great way to hold yourself accountable for what you are eating AND it’s a great way to share meal ideas! Lettuce wraps in our group were a big hit! 5. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your weakness to the group…you’ll find help It was Thursday evening when the Twizzlers appeared on the scene. The girls had gone to bed, Phil (the purchaser of said Twizzlers) was working late and I was alone…knowing that the Twizzlers were somewhere within reach. I had the notion to tip-toe downstairs and ransack the house looking for the bag, but decided to check-in with my on-line clean eating group first. I confessed my moment of weakness and they came to my aid. “You’re so close, Amina,” “You’ve been doing a great job so far, just eat fruit,” and my favorite piece of advice “Just go to bed!” As a result, I didn’t succumb to my craving, but instead reached for a bowl of cool, sweet watermelon! Yum! I learned so much in just 5 days, and I’m slowly starting to see the ripple effect. I’ve lost weight, I’m energized and waking up earlier, I’m always satiated and hydrated, and lastly, my eating habits are encouraging my Hubby to eat better.  It’s been a win…win…WIN! So go ahead…challenge yourself for 5 days and see how it can change your life too! Are you eating balanced meals…regularly? Don’t be a stranger! Follow us here and come hang out on Facebook to get the scoop on the latest news, tips and all things Motherly.   Share this:ShareLike this:Like...

Why You Should Never Agree to be Photographed on a Whim!

By on Jul 2, 2015

Do you recognize this meme of Jamie Foxx? It has been floating around the internet serving as a reminder to my fellow Average Joes to be selective about who captures our image. Now I’ve taken absolutely wretched photos in the past, but an impromptu “photo shoot” on Father’s Day proved to be hands-down one of my worst! It was the perfect day for a picnic by the lake; great weather, great food and even better company. But as we laid out on the grass basking in our contentment we were interrupted by a gentleman lingering nearby with a camera. Now I’d been nursing Sydney at the time (wearing my breastfeeding cover of course), and was a bit alarmed to see him inching closer and closer to our picnic locale. Was he a perv? A peeping Tom? A Chester? Who knew! So I whispered to Phil about our lurking stranger when suddenly he breached the silence and asked if he could take a photo of our picnic scene for the Hyde Park Herald Newspaper in honor of  Father’s Day. We hesitated but ultimately agreed. I mean… could this be any more random?!?! He immediately began taking a few shots, which I assumed were test shots because clearly we weren’t “ready” and I was still breastfeeding our baby. But before I knew it, he was proudly shoving the camera in our faces to show the image he’d captured in pixels. In my haste to unlatch baby and re-latch bra I nodded in approval. Bad idea! Fast forward to Thursday morning and my shower is interrupted by Phil remarking that the photo that we’d taken at the lake had actually made it into the Herald… and that unfortunately I wouldn’t like it. Of course I demanded that he show me the photo and to my horror… YUP! That actually happened…   Are you bold enough to poke fun of and post one of your worst photos?                           Don’t be a stranger! Follow us here and come hang out on Facebook to get the scoop on the latest news, tips and all things Motherly. Share this:ShareLike this:Like...

Sassy Salmon Salad w/ Wasabi Mayo …Yes Please!

By on Jun 25, 2015

As an uber busy Mom, it’s so hard to make time for the most basic tasks like eating! If I don’t eat breakfast with the girls, then I might not eat breakfast. And if I don’t snag a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the girls for lunch (one of my least favorite lunch options), then I might end up surviving on a piece of fruit or a handful of crackers. I know…I know, it’s not the ideal meal plan. After all, when does eating nothing for breakfast and close to nothing for lunch equate to a meal plan? It doesn’t…and I’ve finally found the perfect go-to meal. During a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, (one of my favorite places on earth), I made a b-line for the food samples and discovered an awesome new lunch dish. It’s quick, it’s tasty and incredibly healthy. It’s called Sassy Salmon Salad and here’s the recipe: Ingredients: Wild Alaska Pink Salmon (2 cans) Green Onions, Minced (1/2 cup) Wasabi Mayo (1/2 cup) Crackers Yes, a mere 4 ingredients!!! You rock Trader Joe’s! Now here’s what you do with them… Drain the salmon. Chop the onions. Mix salmon, onion & mayo until well combined. Add some salt and pepper (if you choose). As an option, you can add chopped celery for crunch. Serve Salad with tomato, avocado, cantaloupe or your favorite crackers. It’s a mere 5 minutes to make from beginning to end; 4 minutes to prep and 1 minute to plate and pop it in your salivating mouth. Voila! Your taste buds can thank me later! But get this my friend, the simplicity and deliciousness of this meal isn’t even the best part. The best part is that this dish is so healthy for you. Never mind the obvious omega 3’s found in salmon, lets talk about the amazing benefits of… Wasabi! Wasabi offers a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. Boom! It would be more than enough if we just stopped there…but the benefits just keep going.  It also boasts anti-inflammatory properties for joints and muscles. So if you’re anything like me and your bones ache to signal the coming rain (which we’ve had a lot of lately), then Wasabi is for you. It also defends against bacterial infections in the mouth and body and can even reduce some of the effects of seasonal allergies! Bingo! So Wasabi is especially helpful to asthma patients who have environmental triggers like dust and pollen. And lastly, but certainly not least, the antioxidants found in Wasabi help to boost the immune system and remove harmful toxins from the body. Wasabi is seriously an all-star! Oh yeah…AND it gives my salmon salad a real flavor kick. So go ahead and get your Wasabi on! Note: No salmon on hand? Then try chicken or tuna. You can also just add a little of the Wasabi mayonnaise in place of your regular mayonnaise in a cold cut deli sandwich. You’ll thank me for it. Don’t be a stranger! Follow us here and come hang out on Facebook to get the scoop on the latest news, tips and all things Motherly. Share this:ShareLike this:Like...

9 Deceased in South Carolina Massacre, Yet Many Still Pray and Praise God

By on Jun 20, 2015

Like many of you, my heart has been so heavy these last few days following the massacre of 9 African American men and women in the house of worship. It is yet another horrific scar on the face of America. But this cut runs even deeper because it occurred in God’s house… a sacred place for refuge. Yet despite the attempts of the gunman to triumph over all that is good, we continue to hear the following questions: How can the families of these victims offer forgiveness so easily? How can they pray for God’s mercy on the gunman’s soul? How can the people of South Carolina unite and sing God’s praises amidst this horrible tragedy? These questions baffled even the most astute reporters who covered the televised memorial. The answer is that God remains at the center of it all. As I reflect on recent events there is a bible verse that comes to mind that reads as follows: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” ~Genesis 50:20 You see, in the midst of a media storm that is divisive, unethical, and brazen with idolatry. Despite attempts to strip “honest” religion and all that is good and holy from the spans of the earth, in order for media outlets to capture “the story,” they are forced to show images of ALL races of people united, praising God’s name and acting upon His word. Above the weighted sentiments of frustration and anger that resonate amongst many affected by this tragedy are the voices of a victim sharing “we welcomed you, ” and the Killer acknowledging that “[he] almost didn’t do it because everyone was so nice to [him],” and the echoed sentiment of forgiveness amongst grieving relatives and friends. God remains at the center of it all… It’s not easy to serve Christ when all things of this world contradict His instruction. But what an awesome example we now have of modern day followers of Christ who lived and died for Him sharing his love and light with an unbeliever. What an awesome example of God’s instruction to forgive and have mercy on your brethren as demonstrated by the family of the victims. And finally, we stand as witnesses to the examples of His love and comfort in the face of tragedy as evidenced by the gathering of believers to pray and sing God’s praises. In the Baptist Church where I attended as a youth, the Deacons would sing the Hymn “Come to Jesus” at the close of every sermon. It’s an invitation to accept Jesus Christ, the son of God into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Even now I can hear their deep, rich voices bellowing out the invitation. God doesn’t discriminate. He takes you as you are, just like the 9 worshipers who accepted Roof into their bible study; A white, racist, bigot and murderer.  In the words of the Pastor “won’t you come, there is room for many in my Father’s house.” To my fellow believers I implore you to continue to walk in faith and light and believe that despite what happens here on earth, God’s work IS being done. To unbelievers, this tragedy and all others before it and after are signs of a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah… and there will be an end. I urge you to “choose this day whom ye will serve.” How has the shooting in South Carolina affected your belief system? Don’t be a stranger! Follow us here and come hang out on Facebook to get the scoop on the latest news, tips and all things Motherly. Share this:ShareLike this:Like...

Easy- Peasy Pizza Dough

By on Jun 9, 2015

With our newest Nevels member on the scene, we’ve got Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s pizza on speed dial. Now the beauty of pizza is that it is one meal that I don’t have to persuade our picky toddlers to eat, but the tragedy is that these girls eat a lot of pizza. We’re easily dropping $40+ on just a one topping pizza! Needless to say, our bi-weekly pizza splurges were starting to break our piggy bank and this frugal Momma was compelled to take action. Up until recently I’ve been too intimidated to make my own pizza from scratch. Sure I’ve tried the pre-made flatbreads, but those certainly pale in comparison to freshly made pizza dough. So how did I conquer my insecurities? I turned to Betty Crocker and my trusty stand mixer. The recipe instructions are outlined so simply that I even let little Miss Jada join in the fun. Check out the recipe for this awesome pizza crust: 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 package regular or quick active dry yeast 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 1 cup very warm water In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast. Add oil and warm water. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 Fahrenheit. Grease pizza pan with oil and divide dough in half. Helpful Tip: For a crispy crust bake dough for 7-8 minutes before adding sauce, cheese and additional toppings. After adding toppings cook for additional 8-10 minutes. The best part of this recipe is that I didn’t have to run to the store for any ingredients. I already had the ingredients for the dough on hand. I was also able to involve a very curious toddler in the dough prep (measuring and pouring) and the kneading process (think edible play dough) which culminated into some quality mother/daughter time (two birds and one stone). Not to mention, for once I felt like I was ahead of the game. Instead of fretting over what to cook for dinner and how long it would take, I had a yummy pizza locked and loaded in the oven in just minutes. So ditch the pre-made flat bread and give this a go! You won’t regret it. Are you spending your grocery budget on pizza delivery? Don’t be a stranger! Follow us here and come hang out on Facebook to get the scoop on the latest news, tips and all things Motherly.   Share this:ShareLike this:Like...

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