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1 Year Later- Fitness

This past year has had MANY ups and downs fitness/weight wise. The stress/time/ that goes into buying and moving into a house really kept me out of the gym and caused me to gain some serious weight. Honestly, I just got comfortable being bigger and didn’t care much. I was still really active- Brian and I started off every day over the summer with a 3-5 mile hike with Casey the Dog- but it certainly wasn’t enough activity to counter the amount I was eating and lets be honest, drinking.

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June 2016

In September a family friend moved and gave us their treadmill and it has been incredible. I was running 2-3 times a week but wasn’t really pushing myself. My mom got me a Fitbit for Christmas which turned everything around. I loved my Jawbone Tracker but the Fitbit can do and track soo much more.

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November 2016

Since Christmas I have lost almost 20 pounds and I am proud as HELL. I am back to the healthy weight I was when I got married, something I had given up thinking was possible years ago. One of the worst parts about having hypothyroidism is how easy it is to put on weight and how impossible it can be to get rid of it. After 5 years I now know that for me, I have to work twice as hard and workout everyday if I want to see some progress. It’s a pain in the ASS, but I have managed 40 active minutes every day since Christmas. That’s 4 consecutive months.

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I am the smallest I have been in 5 years and the happiest because of how strong and active I have become.

So here is what I’m doing…

  • I owe most of my success to my brother Brian and my cousin Kelly. Each week we do a Fitbit challenge to see who can get the most steps and it’s a huge motivator. We are all pretty competitive people…

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  • Nolan got me a punching bag for Christmas which I’m obsessed with. Putting on those gloves makes you feel so badass and hitting something…..feels so good. It’s also the first time I have done significant upper body workouts. I am getting faster and stronger and hoping to tone up my arms. But mostly, it’s a great way to release any pent up aggression or anxiety.

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  • Setting up a home gym that’s functional and easily accessible has been a major development. Having a house with a basement gives me that extra space I need and I genuinely like being down there.

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  • Monday’s after school I am in a fitness class for teachers. I’ve tried out a few new workouts and taking a more HIIT approach to my workouts.
  • It’s volleyball season! For the 6th(?) year, Nolan and I are in a rec league that plays for 2 hrs Thursday nights in the spring. It’s such a fun way to be active and competitive. We have a blast playing both together and against each other each week and it adds a special component to our relationship.

Besides these scheduled workouts, being an elementary school teacher comes with the perk (or curse depending on your mood) of never sitting down. I am constantly moving all day and typically have 5k-6k steps after an average day of work. I cannot fathom having a desk job and being stuck in one place for long periods of time. If I need an extra thousand steps to pull ahead of Brian I just walk around the classroom during read aloud or take the kids out for extra recess ;-).

So right now I am very very active. I feel like I’m in a good rhythm and I’m liking the diversity of my days. I am hoping to keep this going and continue to enjoy getting faster and stronger.

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This Week’s Eats {4-24-17}

Over the past 2 years I have become a food prep-er. I really enjoy (we weird as it sounds) spending my Sundays prepping ingredients and cooking meals for the week.

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At 29 years old I have given up on the thought that I will EVER be a morning person. I shower at night and wake up 20 minutes before I need to leave every morning. This means every conscious morning decision needs to already be made for me, ie what to eat for breakfast and what to pack for lunch.

This year what has really helped me save time and stay on track calorie wise each week has been making one thing that I have for breakfast each morning, one thing that I have for lunch each day, and having a weekly snack.

I’m sure that some of you are thinking “how can you eat the same thing for breakfast everyday for a week?!” Look, I’m asleep until I’m halfway to work. I don’t need to be making food-decisions at 7am. Plus as a teacher, I’m lucky if I get 15 minutes to eat my lunch so I honestly don’t care what I eat. Hell it’s usually being scarfed down while I’m teaching a math lesson. It’s not a time of day that I look forward to, as those who work in an office do. This strategy works for me. I save money, don’t waste food, and can manage my calories successfully. I try to keep my breakfast + lunch + snack =close to 750 calories because in our house dinner is where we get creative. Because it’s something we both eat and sometimes make together, it’s good to have a lot of calories to spend.

For breakfast this week I’m eating two eggs Image result for trader joe's shaved brussel sproutssunny side up on a bed of Shaved Brussels Sprouts from Trader Joe’s and a side of  fresh cantaloupe.

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I am obsessed with Trader Joe’s and this has become one of our staples. I will go through two of these bags a week for breakfast, and at about $2.50 a bag, you really can’t get much cheaper. I only cooked up one bag on Sunday night and once those are gone I’ll cook the other bag probably Wednesday. From experience-they should be eaten within 2 days of cooking them. I top it with some salt, pepper, and of course ketchup. I cannot eat my eggs without ketchup or salsa.

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This week I’m keeping snack simple- Chobani of various flavors.  I’m going with the fat free ones this week because my lunch has lots of fat. *Balance*

Lunch this week is another Trader Joe’s find. I really like their chicken sausages and at 110 calories per link they are hard to beat and easy to portion. We have bought several kinds of TJ’s chicken sausages in the past and I especially recommend the sun-dried tomato ones which go great on pizza! This week I bought two packs of the Sweet Italian Style.

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They come with 5 links in each pack for $3.99 each so this week I am bringing two for lunch each day with a mixture of mushrooms peppers and onions. I cooked one package on Sunday night and I’ll cook the second pack on Wednesday to keep it fresh-ish. Doing the math- this comes out to be under $2 per lunch.

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I think this took me…15 minutes to cook? That includes cutting the veggies, and now I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to have for lunch each day. Done. Bam.

I have some fun and creative things planned for dinners this week which I can now devote all of my culinary energy into. When I have to make too many food decisions in one day I get overwhelmed and sometimes take a real “fuck it” attitude and end up munching on something stupid without doing any real cooking.

So hopefully this gives you an idea on how you can do some simple food prep or a new ingredient to try!

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Fast Forward 1 Year…

Yes, a whole year. I don’t really know how this happened. Well, scratch that- I do.

There have been many time in my blogging-life where I have taken a hiatus from posting. Most were a month or two and I always have the intention of going back to the blog. But a year?!

I never intended to stop writing for so long but time just slipped away from me. The last year has brought some big and exciting changes, but from re-reading old posts it’s clear that most things have stayed the same. Through it all blogging has always been in the back of my mind. I have recently had several people ask me why I stopped and if I planned to pick it up again. That, paired with the notice I got in the mail asking if I wanted to renew my domain name brought me back! I realized I wasn’t ready to pack it up for good, and that I really missed posting my recipes and life experiences. I’m not sure the direction the site will take but I know it will still be 80% food based!

So….what’s been happening in the last year?

Well where we last left off, my husband Nolan and I were just told we had to move for the second time in two years. We were house hunting and about a month into our search…

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We bought a house! The whole process was nauseating and stressful and time consuming so it didn’t really sink in until….well it’s still sinking in. Everything moved very quickly and we officially moved in on July 1st. The amount of perfection that went into the whole thing is still unbelievable to me. It was EXACTLY what we were looking for, in our budget, in our neighborhood, with the backyard of our dreams… and sitting in that side porch right now typing this, I still can’t believe it’s ours.

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933 Old Connecticut Path, Framingham, MA 01701

As exciting as it is, it’s also terrifying because after 7 years of renting we are now responsible for anything and everything that breaks. Knock on wood- everything has gone smoothly this first year as we have made it our home. This past week we bought the last few pieces of furniture that really make the place feel complete. (pics to come)

But the most exciting thing…Nolan and I can both fit in our kitchen…at the same time!

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933 Old Connecticut Path, Framingham, MA

And we have been cooking like crazy! I’m really excited to share some of our new recipes and unique creations.

Aside from the house, everything else is business as usual.

I was on April vacation this past week and I am in the home stretch of my third year of teaching 5th grade. My class this year is ..to say incredible would be an understatement. I love this group of kiddos and this year has been the most fun and productive yet. But there are only 41 school days left before my beloved summer vacation!

I still spend as much time outside as possible with these guys…

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My brother Brian and our family dog Casey. Since Brian’s college breaks don’t line up with public school breaks, Casey and I went on quite a few solo hikes at Callahan State Park this week. :-)

Nolan and I still don’t have kids-or plans to start a family at all right now to be honest, even though we are both turning 30 this year. Truthfully we are having a blast together and are not ready to give up our selfish ways.

This post is getting a bit long, so I will stop here for today but will be posting plenty in the weeks to come. Promise.

Feels good to be back!

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Last Week’s Eats

Sunday night was of course, the now legendary stuffed mushroom pizza.

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Monday night:

We had some leftover bacon (did you know there was such a thing?!)  from Sunday night’s pizza, so Monday night we made bacon cheese burgers! It’s funny how seasons make you crave certain foods. With summer so close I can take it we have been craving more cookout friendly meals.

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Tuesday night:

What would a week in the Sullivan house be without a pork tenderloin? I can never pass these up when they are BOGO at the store so we always have one or 3 in the freezer. I served this one up with some green beans and no, not mashed potatoes, but mashed cauliflower! This was an accident. I tried to rice the cauliflower and ended up mashing the hell out of it and just had to run with it. I am so glad this happened because mashed cauliflower may be my new favorite thing! Recipe to come.

20160502_175151Wednesday night I got very creative. I created a shrimp and avocado dish that was so incredible to eat, and even pretty to look at-which is not always the case in our kitchen.

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Thursday night was leftover night. I scarfed down a leftover hamburger and some mashed cauliflower before heading to volleyball.

Friday Nolan and I went out for dinner after meeting with our realtor to look at another property. While we didn’t love the house, we did love the sushi we ate at Ten-Ichi. This is an old photo, but we got most of the same rolls.

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After this sushi dinner, I was asleep on the couch by 8. Another wild Friday night for this teacher. :-)

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Recipe: Stuffed Mushroom Pizza

Happy weekend!

The weather was cold and rainy here in Massachusetts this week which means one thing: Indoor recess. Those are the worst two words an elementary school teacher can hear, ESPECIALLY in May. More than ever, my 5th graders need to be out running around, getting out their energy.

Anyway, onto the food!

*WARNING: This is in no way a low-cal dish. Eat with caution.*

Last weekend Nolan and I got VERY creative and messy in the kitchen. We created something new- stuffed mushroom pizza, and I finally had an opportunity to sit down and record the recipe. Basically we used all the same ingredients as our stuffed mushrooms, and added a few pizza-y ingredients to balance it out. We omitted bread crumbs- the crust takes care of that. You can use your favorite deconstructed stuffed mushroom recipe if you want- don’t feel the need to mirror ours.

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pizza!

If you can get it, the Ken’s Parmesan and Peppercorn dressing is INCREDIBLE in stuffed mushrooms and a little goes a long way. I wish I could take credit for discovering this ingredient, but I found it on their website. Here is a look at that recipe.

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It’s now our go-to stuffed mushroom recipe. :-)

Here’s a look at some of these pizza steps. Regardless of the S.M recipe you choose to use and deconstruct, I highly recommend using the globs of chive cream cheese on the pizza. I had cream cheese as a pizza topping for the first time at a restaurant in Fort Collins Colorado and I was a bit hesitant at first, but when it heats up it gets so rich and creamy! Those little pockets make for the best bites!

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Nolan and I both agreed that this was the most delicious thing we have made in a LONG time, and we are always trying new recipes and ingredients. It’s salty, cheesy, and pretty rich. And there is bacon. What’s not to love?! 😉

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