Hey guys! Sorry for not being in touch lately. Working, cooking and kids have been taking most of my time and energy. By the time I get to sit down on the couch, both body and mind are no good for anything. I sit in front of the television and watch some brainless TV program and… I think I drool… (I have convinced myself that I don’t and I really don’t want to ask Mr B if I do drool, but in my heart of hearts I think I do…) (anyway… moving swiftly along…) 😛 Read more
Autumn is not really my favorite season. I see it as a gateway to winter and, for someone who does not like the cold, the rain and the darkness, it is bad. Really bad…
For the last year or so, I have been looking at ways of reducing our meat intake. The main reason behind this decision is the fact that most of the available meats in the markets are full of hormones and antibiotics. You can of course buy free range and organic produce but not all supermarkets have them and unfortunately I don’t always have the time or the opportunity to go to specific shops for specific products so if I can’t buy free range/organic produce, I don’t buy it.
Life has been so busy lately. I guess that when it’s sunny and warm, sitting on the couch doing nothing is not an option.
We have been out and about most weekends and the ones we have stayed at home, we’ve spent them working in the garden, painting furniture, weeding…
A couple of weeks ago we went to King John’s Castle here in Limerick. It was a great family day out.
It is one of Limerick’s landmarks, it’s only around the corner and the boys have been wanting to go for ages. So we took them. Because that is how we roll. We are cool parents. Ask my children (only 1 day a week though, and I will tell you exactly when to ask them, right?). Cool parents, indeed!
Big Monkey got to do some sword training and archery, his latest obsession.
Chaotic Monkey got to climb to the top of the towers and investigate every room, which he loves.
The views from the towers are spectacular!
Most of the history went right over their heads but between the weapons and the other props, the boys imagined themselves to be right there with Robin Hood.
Great family day out. Where have you been?
Week 3 of my Losing Weight with Smoothies!! Half way there! Yay!!I have to admit that I am looking forward to finishing this challenge. It’s not so much fun having the same thing for lunch every day but knowing that is working, that I am loosing weight in a healthy and natural way is keeping me going.
This week I have lost around 1 kg! Although it was my weekly set target at the beginning of the challenge, it was not as good as last week but considering that there was no smoothie in sight yesterday, it is pretty good, I think.
This week’s smoothie is still delicious, still nutritious and still green although a lighter shade of green this week.
WEEK 3 : APPLE, BANANA & AVOCADO SMOOTHIE
100 ml of coconut milk or you can also use unsweetened almond milk
1/2 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
1 green apple
1/2 large or 1 small stalk celery, chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
10 mint leaves
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
If I was describing the smoothie like a wine I would say that this smoothie has a very gentle taste with a subtle hint of mint that makes it refreshing.
I have to say that I was worried about the celery because I don’t like celery at all but you can’t taste it once blended with the rest of the ingredients! Just delish!
We all have those moments, something happens, it keeps happening and then, that’s it! We’ve had enough! Something needs to change.
I had one of those moments before Christmas.
But let me start from the beginning.
Back in 2009, Mr B and I bought our current home which had 4 bedrooms upstairs. Big Monkey was already with us and we were expecting Chaotic Monkey. As Mr B and I were planning the distribution of the house, we had a few things very clear: our room is the one at the front, we need a double spare room and the kids will share a room.
Both Mr B and I grew up sharing rooms with our siblings and we always loved it (except when you hated it!). The laughs, the fights, the camaraderie… we wanted that for our children. At this stage we didn’t know the whether Chaotic Monkey would be a boy or a girl, but it was irrelevant. We wanted them to share for as long as possible. So that was the plan.
The Chaotic Monkey was born and it is amazing how siblings can have such different personalities, even at the baby stage. I have to say that I was an extremely lucky mum in that both Monkeys fed and slept well. Big Monkey would feed, you’d change his nappy and put him down on the cot and he’d be sleep in minutes. Chaotic Monkey would also feed well, and after a nappy change he’d settle well in the cot, not problem, but he wouldn’t go to sleep straight away. He’d start talking (making noises…). He wouldn’t cry, he’d be happy, but I would not be able to go to sleep until he was sleep himself. At this point we have to take into consideration that I had an emergency cesarean (with both of them), I was breastfeeding, in a lot of pain, hormonal to the max and exhausted, so no logic applies here. NONE!
After few months, we moved Chaotic Monkey from our room to the nursery and by the time he was 7 months old he was already sharing a room with his brother. Perfect! It worked! Both of them have always been great sleepers, so this worked a treat for many many years. Until it didn’t.
As their personalities developed and evolved, some basic things did not change. Big Monkey would go to bed, he’d be happy to have a little chat with his brother and then turn around and go to sleep, Chaotic Monkey would not. He would want the chat to go on for longer and so if Big Monkey wanted to sleep they’d start arguing, or Chaotic Monkey would keep talking (he doesn’t need anyone to answer back!) or start singing at the top of his voice hoping that his brother would give up trying to sleep and join him in his shenanigans.
Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. More often than not, there would be bickering, fights, “he said, no he said”, “he started it…” and so on. They would of course be tired the following day which made the bickering start earlier and earlier as the week progressed. Mr B and I had never walked those stairs more than the last 6 months! Up and down every 5 minutes (or roaring from downstairs if we were too tired) with the “stop arguing”, “stop talking”, “stop singing”, “I don’t care who started it”,”stop talking”, “go to sleep”…
They were threatened with being separated, being sent to different rooms. Despite the fighting, they hated that idea, so I had some leverage there for a little while. Besides, I think they thought it would be too much work and we wouldn’t do it. Until one day, when I had enough.
One normal day, we all woke up, had breakfast, got school lunches, waived everyone goodbye at the door, got my electric screwdriver and went upstairs and started moving furniture around. It was tough but I was determined. I sent some photos to Mr B in the middle of the day with all the beds taken apart and in different rooms and I’m sure he had a little heart attack at work and thought of not coming home that day but he also knew that it was all for the better.
The beds were up that night in different rooms. When the kids came home after school they got a shock. Different rooms? How could I? Chaotic Monkey cried and mourned the loss of his big room. Big Monkey loves having a room to himself although I am sure that he misses hanging out with his brother. Both of them are sleeping much better now although Chaotic Monkey still insists that he needs to share the room with someone for him to sleep better.
As there is an extra mattress in Big Monkey’s room, they are allowed to sleep together at weekends. They love it! So they get the best of both worlds – they get to sleep earlier on their own on school nights and they still get to hang out at weekends.
Mr B and I are loving the new sleeping arrangement, the kids are getting more sleep and we all are in better form for it.
Adapt or die they say. Well, it’s true.
Do your kids sleep together or separate? How does it work? Share with us!
This week’s smoothie for my personal challenge of Losing Weight with Smoothies is (drums roll for dramatic effect…) a Spinach & Kiwi Smoothie!!!
I am already in my second week of my personal challenge for February and I am delighted to say that I have lost 1.5 kg last week (3,30 lbs), 50% more of what I was planning, so feeling pretty good about myself, I have to say. And all thanks to smoothies! who would have thought?
I have to admit that the first week was easier than anticipated. In all honesty, I was worried that I would get bored with effectively having the same lunch every day but I didn’t. The kale & pineapple smoothie kept me full until dinner and I didn’t even feel like snacking between meals. I think that also knowing that in every smoothie I was getting plenty of nutrients, vitamins and all sort of goodness helped me stay strong until dinner.
The dinners were had with my family. The same dinner as everyone so no extra work. On Tuesday I even shared a brownie with Mr B after dinner! And I still have managed to lose weight, so I am truly delighted and very much fired up for the second week!
As predicted, the weekend was the most difficult time to fit the smoothie into my diet but with a bit of thinking ahead I made it work. It’s all about being prepared. I have been making the smoothie in the morning and I take it with me if I am going out so there is no chance of being tempted while out shopping, or if you feeling hungry earlier than usual – there smoothie is right there with me
This week smoothie is another nutritional delight full of vitamin C, iron, folic acid and calcium, and also delicious, because there is not point in drinking something super healthy if it tastes yucky, right?
WEEK 2 : SPINACH & KIWI SMOOTHIE
100 ml of coconut milk
1 kiwi fruit
2 cups spinach
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
The cucumber and the kiwi make this smoothie so fresh!
The original recipe of this smoothie does not include chia seeds or the protein powder so feel free to leave out. I like adding chia seeds to any smoothies as they are high in omega 3 and healthy, and the protein powder bulks it up and helps me stay full until dinner.
I am so ready for this week’s challenge. What about you?
I have been wanting to lose some weight for a while. I usually start the week full of good intentions but, as it happens, the week rarely goes according to plan and on average the diet goes out the window by Thursday. Now, I have never nor I will ever be a person enslaved to diets or food plans. Life is too short for that. But I would like to shed some weight so…
I decided that the best way for me to stick to some sort of plan is to set myself a public challenge so there is so backing down. Name and shame, people, it’s the only way forward for me…
My goal is to lose 4 kg in a month (or 8.81 pounds). I believe that 1 kg a week is an achievable target and it can be managed with healthy diet and without starvation, which is very important in family life and to guarantee the survival of the rest of the family, if you know what I mean… As smoothies are easy to make, quick, versatile and delicious,(see previous recipes here, here and here) I decided I would go with green smoothies for this challenge.
So the plan is: substitute my daily lunch for super healthy, protein filled and delicious smoothie that will fill me with plenty of nutrients and enough energy to keep me going until dinner where I will be able to enjoy it with my family.
I am thinking that Monday to Friday will be easy enough to follow the plan and drink the smoothies at lunchtime. However, I’d imagine the weekend will be harder. I will be enlisting Mr B and friends to support me and to help me stay strong through the challenge.
If you want to join me, I will be posting one smoothie recipe a week and I will keep you updated during the week by twitter and Facebook with a more in-depth report (I know you like those ones) every Monday this month. I will not, however, be posting my before and after weight. Nope. Too embarrassed.
WEEK 1: KALE & PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE
2 cups of chopped kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk you prefer)
1 banana (frozen if you want)
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 slices of pineapple
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (not in the photo)
Blitz and enjoy. It is delicious. 2 pieces of fruit, 1 serving of vegetables, omega 3, calcium and good source of vitamin B6, fiber, calcium,potassium and vitamin E. And, I know you are wondering, the taste of kale is not at all dominant in it, but it works so well with the rest of the ingredients.
Well, are you coming to the green side with me? Come on! It’s only a month! and it’s the shortest month!
I love to hear your comments so please feel free to comment below and share the post with your friends to help us create a community.
Much appreciated. Thank you!