Friday, February 26, 2010

"Food for Thought" Friday

This is week 7 of my diet and week 6 of P90X... at my weigh-in earlier this week I hit a weight-loss milestone! I am currently over half way to my goal weight... I have lost 31 pounds! I am so excited! I'm starting to be able to squeeze into clothes that I haven't worn since Kent and I first started dating! I still have a long way to go but am actually enjoying eating healthy and working out. I have so much more energy and can't wait for Spring so we can spend lots of time outside going for walks and playing at the park.

I have a kid/husband friendly recipe to share today that is fast and simple. Before dieting we ate a lot of burritos, enchiladas and tacos. It's relatively simple to cut the fat back on all of these yummy dishes and all it takes is a little imagination.

Chicken Soft Tacos


1 chicken breast baked or broiled and shredded (this is plenty for the three of us as long as it's good sized)

a package of taco seasoning or red ground pepper (I normally only use the red pepper)

fat free or whole wheat tortillas

shredded cheese

lettuce or baby spinach


1/2 of an avocado

purple onion

1 TBS. fat free mayo

Season your chicken with either the taco seasoning or red pepper and bake (or broil). One thing that I love about this recipe is that you can easily get rid of leftovers by using up what you have in the fridge. I normally fix this when I have made baked chicken or even a roast. If you are making this dish using leftovers, simply season and microwave. (This saves a ton of time and cleans out your fridge w/out having to throw things out to the dogs!)

While you wait for your meat to finish cooking, smash up 1/2 of an avocado, add a TBS. of mayo and some finely chopped purple onion (you don't need much). Mix it all together and put it back in the fridge till later. Cut up your tomato and chop your lettuce and set aside as well.

When your chicken is ready, pop your tortillas in the microwave and warm them up. Take your avocado, mayo and onion mixture and spread it on a tortilla. Place a handful of shredded chicken down the center of the tortilla, add some cheese if you like. And finally, top off your taco w/ lettuce or baby spinach and tomato.

Pair this with a side of fat free refried beans and you have yourself a healthy alternative to that Mexican restaurant you all love!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

NoGood Intentions

Have I mentioned how totally excited I am about becoming an aunt again?! This will make niece/nephew number three! It's almost as exciting as having one of your own! Jaxon is really excited too. He seems to believe that Traci's baby resides in our garden shed... where he got this idea is beyond me but funny none the less! Yesterday he asked me how Traci's baby was going to come out.... I told him to go ask his father!
I have been dreaming a lot lately about "Baby" Meier and had to share this unbelievable tale from the other night! I dreamt that Traci had had the baby and that it was a boy... (Jaxon is convinced that it's a boy because Uncle Tony has only "boy toys" at this house)! They wanted us family members to be surprised so they waited for us to get to the hospital before they shared "his" name w/ us. When we all arrived at the hospital the conditions were far from anything I would consider "normal". The postpartum room was basically a waiting room for new parents nestled inside the cafeteria of all places.
As we walked into the room, Traci announced "Baby's" name to us.... NoGood Intentions Meier! We were all busy picking our jaws up off the floor when we started asking, "why?" Her response was, "since it was a boy, I felt Tony should have the ultimate decision. His other choice was Kevin Hick Meier, and I thought NoGood was a lot cuter."
I really hope that this is not a sign that the names my brother has picked out are completely crazy! Traci has shared a few w/ me and none of them even compare to NoGood Intentions so we will just have to wait and see what name they will pick for "Baby"!
I have been so lucky to have been apart of helping to ready "Baby's" room! Here are a few pictures I took over the weekend...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spaghetti Made Healthy

I figured that since I am almost half way there (to my weight loss goal, that is), I should give an update! As of this morning, I am down 27 pounds! Can I get a HELL YES?! I haven't had a real hard-core work-out week... I've been doing other things and haven't had as much time. I am still sticking to the diet, working out when I can find the time and tracking my food intake and fitness.

I wanted to share another recipe that I have started making that is a BIG hit w/ Mr. Jaxon. Spaghetti has always been a staple food at our house and I have finally found a way to make it healthy enough to keep fixing it!

Since starting my diet I have bought only whole wheat pastas. Wal-Mart has a nice variety of all different types so I can keep every meal, at least looking a little different. One of our favorites is whole wheat penne w/ red sauce. It's very simple and doesn't cost much to make.


2 cups of whole wheat pasta (I used penne and two cups is plenty for the 3 of us.)

1/2 of a can of Spaghetti Sauce (I try to pick something all natural... or at least as all natural as you can get when buying sauce in a can!)

red onion chopped finely (I use a tiny amount and chop it finely enough that my child doesn't sift through his food to find them!)

1/4 of a tomato chopped

a handful of fresh sliced mushrooms (The kind that are big enough for my child to find so he can pick them out!)

I boil a pan of water and add the penne. I cook this a little longer than normal, whole wheat penne tends to take a little longer to cook than the regular old pastas. As that is cooking, I chop up my veggies and start my sauce. I cook the veggies and sauce all together until it comes to a boil, drain the water from the pasta, cover and serve. (I have been fixing this w/out meat but you could easily add ground hamburger, pork, chicken or even shrimp for those that prefer something a little less vegetarian.)

We like to pair this meal w/ a small spinach salad and a side of jello... Jaxon even requests seconds and the only other meal that he asks for seconds on is Mac N' Cheese!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Boy Room

I have been trying to get Jaxon's room changed from nursery to big boy space. He has been sleeping in the twin bed for almost a year and a half and this whole time I have thought it was time to make the switch. I am not big on character themes and swore that I wasn't going to do any of that until he could tell me that he wanted a "Diego" themed birthday party! I also said that the same would go for his room... and here we have a John Deere themed room, already!
We painted his room a while back and picked yellow because it is bright and cheery. We also thought that it could easily match any theme we would choose down the road. (Luckily it matches perfectly w/ the John Deere theme!)

My Mom does vinyl cutting as part of her business so I have an advantage when it comes to "writing on my walls"! I stole a phrase similar to this from a scrapbook website and made some adjustments to keep w/ the tractor theme. This fall I took a bunch of pictures of Jaxon riding in the tractor w/ my brother Tony. I wanted to use them as part of the room w/out spending a ton of money on frames so I took baling twine, secured it to the wall and hung them up with clothes pins (that I hope to eventually paint green). (I am still unsure if this is the way I want to leave it, so I haven't painted them yet.)
Jaxon seems to be settling right into his newly transformed room and for awhile was sleeping much better in his bed. I'm afraid the newness has sort of already worn off though, he informed me this morning that he gets lonely at night and that's why he comes to visit Daddy and I! I just try to keep in mind that he will only be little for a short time and someday will want nothing to do w/ co-sleeping... at least I hope so!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lessons in Baby Proofing

You know how when you go to someone else's house with you child, you have the talk on the way there about how we are going to behave, leave the host or hostesses items alone, stay out of their food and flush the toilet after you've finished?! Yah, well, we do that! It's sort of like liability for us in a way, I mean if we've told him to do all of these things, he's going to listen, right?!

Yah, that was not the case yesterday! My brother Tony and his wife Traci, are having a baby in April. She has been busy getting the baby's room ready and had asked me to help her with some painting so Jaxon and I went over after lunch. He loves going to their house and asks several times a week if we can go visit so I knew he'd be really excited when I told him where we were headed. He had his backpack all packed w/ toys, movies and snacks to occupy his time while there.

Upon first arriving, he immediately headed to their workout/game room. My brother collects John Deere toy tractors and has a box full of them, (for awhile he stored this box in the closet of this particular room). I was in the baby's room getting things ready to start taping for Traci's paint project when I heard Traci ask Jaxon to show her where it was. Where what was? I went down the hall to find that Jaxon, (who was so busy looking for those toys that he forgot to get to the toilet), had peed on her carpet! I was mortified! Not only had he done this, but I had no change of clothes! AND I was going to have to try and make sure he stayed off the furniture!

We got the pee cleaned up, got Jaxon off the couch (yes, he climbed up when I wasn't looking) and got back to work. A little while later I went out in the living room to see what he was up to and he had opened a tin of popcorn! He had popcorn strung from one end of the house to the other. And as I walked into the kitchen to throw some candy wrapper trash away, I discovered that he had been in the fridge... and had left the door hanging wide open! Again, totally embarrassed!

I started a movie for him at that point and for awhile we were able to get some work done w/ of course a thousand interruptions, but hey, he was doing pretty good and at least I knew he wasn't making another mess, right?! WRONG! (And I should probably admit here that when my child is quiet and I haven't heard from him in less than about 2 minutes, that is a red flag! That is when I go and check to make sure he isn't doing something that he shouldn't!) I guess we were just so busy and actually accomplishing something that I didn't even think to check on him. For a split second, I thought that maybe he'd fallen asleep... what was I thinking?!

We were just finishing up when I told Traci that I thought I better check on him, after all, it's been a little while since he'd checked in last. I walked out into the living room and what I saw made me want to cry and laugh all at the same time! Jaxon had found a jar of Spackle... he was painting a picture with the Spackle on the carpet!!!

So let's review shall we?! He has peed on her carpet in the game room, thrown popcorn all over their living room, left the fridge door wide open for who knows how long, not thrown any of his Valentine's Day candy wrapper trash away, taken a notepad from his backpack and tore all of the pages apart, decided to do some Yoga in the kitchen w/ Traci's Yoga Mat and finally, spackeled their living room carpet! (God must have been getting a really good laugh about all of this!)

Needless to say, we ended our day w/ myself and my (7 months pregnant) sister-in-law on our hands and knees scrubbing the carpet. Do you now see why we have the "we are going to someone else's house" talk?! Sorry Traci! I was really hoping that you wouldn't of had to learn the art of Baby Proofing from your nephew!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Diet UpDate

Today starts week 4 of my diet and I am happy to announce that I have lost 16 pounds!!! I am very pleased with my progress so far and am enjoying the journey to a better me! Jaxon has been my little drill sergeant the past couple of weeks, encouraging me to keep going even when I feel I can't go anymore! It's really quite humorous actually! Over the weekend, Kent decided to "workdown" w/ me and I really enjoyed listening to Jaxon "encouraging" him!

I have a long way to go before I reach my goal but feel very positive that it can be achieved. I am still doing P90X as well as a few new workout DVD's that I've added into the mix. Still counting those calories like a mad woman and logging my food intake as well as my fitness everyday.

I have been trying out a few new low cal recipes lately and wanted to share a favorite of ours. I discovered this little jewel on one of my favorite recipe websites....!

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts


1 chicken breast per person

2 slices of turkey bacon per chicken breast

a handful of baby spinach leaves

3 TBSP. of fat free sour cream

1/3 cup of shredded cheese

Microwave the baby spinach leaves for about 30 seconds and stir; do this again until the leaves are welted. Next combine the fat free sour cream and the cheese w/ the spinach. Take a spoonful of the mixture (from above) and place it down the center of one of the chicken breasts. Next, fold the chicken breast around the spinach mixture and wrap the uncooked bacon around the chicken breast. Secure the bacon with toothpicks and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. To ensure that the bacon is cooked all the way through, use the oven's broiler for an additional 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

So yummy! Jaxon, who is not a big fan of spinach, even enjoys this meal! Pair it w/ a side of steamed broccoli and some fresh fruit and you have yourself a filling meal worth less than 400 calories!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jaxon's ArtBoard ~ January 2010

One thing I've learned from spending less time crafting and more time exercising, is that the ArtBoard suffers! We didn't do a whole lot in January as far as paper and scissors go. We spent much more time playing w/ new toys from Christmas and watching Mommy's calorie intake!

One new thing that you will see added to our ArtBoard every month is "the Letter of the Month"! I had planned on doing a "letter of the week", but decided that baby steps were in order. We started out simple with the letter A. Santa brought Jaxon some new Thomas the Train flash cards, so we put the A's up on the fridge and talked about them everyday after breakfast. (Some days more than others!)

We also made a few flashcards of our own! I simply cut out pictures from old Parents magazines that I had laying around, (anything I could find that started with the letter A). Gave Jaxon a few blank sheets of paper, the bottle of glue, the magazine clippings and had him glue them on to the blank sheets. While he was busy gluing we discussed the object in the picture.

We are in our countdown to PreSchool phase so I felt it was important to start introducing the alphabet. We've got our B flashcards up for the month and will be squeezing a few new flashcards out as well as lots of cute Valentine's crafts! Watch for next month's ArtBoard... I promise to do better w/ the crafts!