Getting Fresh and Fit

So you may remember that one of my new years resolutions was to be healthier overall.  Here it is in print actually :-)

2.  Be healthier!  Obviously not skinnier or things like that (don't have a heart attack those who think I am too thin.. Ok. Dad you know I am talking to you :-)  But just overall healthier. Eat better, incorporate new eating in our lives since I am staying at home, going to the gym which is already working fantastic since the YMCA has great childcare! Maybe do some "clean" eating.  Definitely live on a healthier budget with more fresh produce, etc. Cook our meals, clean with more natural products, and just improve overall quality of life

Well we have been making some BIG changes around here.  In fact, Justin and I laugh that when our friends and family come they won't know whose house they are staying in!  Justin has lost a little over 40 lbs .. YEAH JUSTIN!  which is awesome and he is feeling great. We have been working on how we eat, what we put in our bodies, and what we feed the boys.  This has been a huge change for us!

Have you really sat down and read and researched what is in A LOT of the processed food we eat?  Yucko! If you really read the labels on the back of the boxes and jars in the grocery store.. shocking! Or should I say shocked me?  Why put all that extra yucko stuff in there?  

 Now I have to say, we have family that is Paleo or Maker's Diet, we have family on the Engine plant based diet, we know those that only clean eat.  We are not there.  We are making healthy better choices but each of those diets leaves out certain things that we don't necessarily want to cut.  For example, paleo doesn't include beans.  Well, we like beans :-)  The plant based diet doesn't include any meat and while we would have made more organic and healthier choices in meat, its not something we as a family won't to cut out either.  I am not eating meat for Lent and I am struggling to meet protein needs right now.  So what have we done?

Justin has cut milk.  If you don't know the controversy surrounding dairy, google it and read you can read more that you could ever  possibly want to know.  We tried to switch the boys to almond milk but it was a no go.  Can't get them to drink.  Eli told me "mommy, this old milk!  Eli want new milk" Beckett just threw it down and said "yucky" So we ended up with this. But be careful, not all organics are created equal!  I have learned all about homogenization, pasteurization (ultra is bad) and what happens to milk.

We are eating meals based around a lean protein (smoked, baked, or grilled chicken, turkey, or fish) and vegetables cooked as little as possible.  Gone are recipes made with this :

And replaced with vegetables made like this!

We have had fun changing the way we shop for vegetables.  Farmer's market or from a local farm up the street if we can make it, if not we try to be organic veggies at the grocery based on this list.

It has really broadened our horizons on veggies.  I have found a new LOVE for kale.. wait. Let's call it OBSESSION. I eat a huge pan of kale chips everyday.   You have to get the curly tight kale and dry it really good.  Yummy! Even the burnt pieces are delish! I was going to link the recipe but when I tried to find the link I realized that I am doing a mix of several.  Here is what works best for me.

Oven at 375.  Tear into strips and coat with olive oil. I just drizzle and then use my fingers to work it in, dust with garlic powder (not too much it burns easily) and sea salt.  I line my pan with tin foil for easy clean up.  Put in over for 10 minutes shake and check.  Ends probably start turning dark but might be a little soggy. Put back in for a few minutes keeping a close eye.  When it comes out all nice and crispy take a small sliver of lemon and lightly squeeze and drizzle over the kale.  YUMMERS!  I like mine nice and salty like potato chips.

That is a good looking bunch of kale.

Perfect with a BLT

Roasted brussel sprouts by my dear friend (ha! I wish!) Ina Garten The Barefoot Contessa Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Can you believe even my Eli loves them. (Beckett is a little choosier :-) We even make baby bok choy with this recipe Simply Recipes Baby Bok Choy with Cashews and found it delicious! 

Eli even ate some of my sushi!

It sure changes the way you grocery shop. Basically skip the entire middle of the grocery store!  I have been cooking with new products that I have never even explored before like flaxseed meal and organic oat bran.  That stuff is really good for you and surprising yummy.  Here are 2 of my current favorite recipes - Engine 2 Mighty Muffins and Sugar Free Mom Individual Oatmeal Cups 

Mighty Muffins

We are working on switching out the boys snacks to a healthier alternative like apples, bananas, grapes but we still LOVE our crackers.  Ritz, gold fish, and Cheeze -its still are regular friends hanging out in my pantry.  And so are the girl scout cookies!  We bought them from our dear friends next door with the sweet twins before we started this healthy stuff :-) and I can't bear to throw them out so Eli is working on them.  He loves cookies that little munckin.  Beckett not the biggest fan.  He loves him so Nilla Wafers :-)  And they recently got a surprise from Daddy's business trip!

swollen eye day :-( but loving my cracker jack

We have gotten way better at breakfast.  We are limiting the pancake, waffle, syrup fest to that special Saturday treat.  

Daddy's Saturday morning treat for the boys!

And Beckett has become a yogurt addict which we switched to organic as well. Fresh fruit, yogurt, whole wheat cheerios, homemade biscuits or muffins, oatmeal, all these wonderful choices we are trying to switch too.  Here they are shopping dad's plate for some yummies. I swear they worse than the puppies when we try to eat :-)

Hard boiled egg for Eli - slice of apple for Beckett

The price we pay for convenience!  Do you know how bad this stuff is?  And I LOVE it. Seriously Love it.  But it had to go.

And get replaced by this.

And some of our other easy switches...

We are also getting FIT!  Justin and I are getting up at 5am everyday because we are crazy and doing the INSANITY workout.   6 days a week.  Yep, not ashamed to admit that I threw up the first day (and the 4th).  It's hard.  This guy is in my nightmares :-)

First day of Insanity
As crazy as it is, it really does make me feel better all day long just to get up and get the workout in. Plus, I can't let Justin out do me can I?  I am really enjoying finding and trying new veggie recipes or healthier alternatives.  As some would say, I am hoping this will be a lifestyle and not a diet.  Looking back, I hope this is the year that we look out to say that we really changed our family into a healthier direction.  Have any good recipes?  Send them too me!  I would love to try. 

The Riley's