May the Fourth…

Those in geeky circles know that May 5 may be Cinco de Mayo, but May 4 is also a holiday. It’s Star Wars Day! Get it? No? Say this: “May the fourth be with you.” Now do you get it?

(It’s a play on “May the force be with you” if it still doesn’t make any sense to you.)

When we recently went to Disney World, Mira got to take part in the Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios. She was part of a class of kids who were trained to do a short lightsaber fight routine, and then put their training to the test when Darth Vader came out to challenge them.

Jedi Mira with LightsaberLook at the concentration on that face.

Each kid had their moment to shine, facing Vader one-on-one. Naturally, Darth Vader made sure to follow the kid’s lead and not accidentally hit them, although Vader did get tagged a few times by kids who didn’t follow the choreography, including Mira. It was very, very cool, and Mira didn’t get scared at all when it was her time to face off against the (very tall) Vader. Nerves of steel, that kid.

Jedi Mira vs Darth VaderThat’s her Jedi Master next to her, helping guide her through the fight sequence and giving moral support.

Mira still tells us she’s a Jedi now and she knows how to use the force. She’s so proud of her accomplishment.

This particular Star Wars Day also happen to be Free Comic Book Day at your local comic store, too. Be sure to visit them and pick up some free comics.

And, to make this the geekiest Saturday ever, it’s also the opening weekend of Iron Man 3. We got to see a sneak preview earlier this week, and I highly recommend seeing it. If you want to read a full review of it, check out Aaron’s review of Iron Man 3 on his blog.

It’s a good day to be a geek. Happy Star Wars Day, everyone! Just because I can’t get enough of Mira in her Jedi robe, here’s one more photo to leave you with:

Jedi Mira



My Goal To Be Healthier: Week 1 Results

At the beginning of the month, I declared that I needed to clean up my diet. I spent most of spring break finishing out as much of the junk food we had in the house. Those Thin Mints were soooooo good. And then on April 7, I said goodbye to my Coke Zero and chocolates (with an especially emotional parting from my Nutella), farewell to bread and snack crackers, and plunged headfirst into eating as clean as possible for the next week or two.

Clean eating, for me, means no soda, no artificial sweeteners, limited sugar, and limited processed foods. Lots of fruit and vegetables, nuts, lean meats and eggs, beans, and smaller amounts of rice and dairy. Along with water to drink, I’m also having one coffee or tea each day. It’s not exactly Paleo, but it seemed like a good idea to help me detox from the foods I’m most addicted to.

So how’s it going so far? I’ve made it a week and half now without any soda, sweets, or heavily processed foods. The most processed thing I’ve eaten so far was the tortilla strips on a McDonald’s salad.

My feelings over the past week and a half have swung back and forth. The first seven days went a little something like this:

Day 1: Hahaha, this is fun! We’re going to be healthy! We’ve got this covered!

Day 2: What the hell do I eat for breakfast? Or lunch for that matter?

Day 3: It’s 8pm, I really, really, really, really, really want something sweet to snack on. An apple, while sweet, does not sound exciting.

Day 4: I fought off the chocolate cravings yesterday! Go me! I’ll celebrate by…baking some eggs.

Day 5: If I have to eat another salad…wait, Chipotle is mostly real food, right?

Day 6: Uh-oh, we’re out of dried fruit and nut mix. Everybody panic! Costco run, stat!

Day 7: I’m barely sleeping at night, and yet I’m feeling OK during the day. That’s odd. Hey, pass the almonds, would ya?

There’s no way I can tell you that it’s been a breeze. If you don’t like to cook from scratch, it can be difficult to find enough food to eat on this plan. We’ve had dinners of grilled chicken and veggies, chicken tikka masala with rice, and grass-fed organic steak one lucky night. Hard boiled eggs (baked, actually – the Pinterest idea really works!) and nuts have been good protein for lunches. Fresh and dried fruit help curb my sweets cravings. Carrots with hummus is a great snack.

Yum!

These? Are awesome.

But I am getting a little tired of the same foods mixed up and rearranged over and over. And it’s not cheap, either. We buy a lot of our food from Costco, which does help in price, but our food bill has increased over the past week. Nuts are expensive. I’m looking forward to summer when we can count on farmer’s markets for local fruits and veggies.

Overall, I have to admit that I’m feeling pretty good. It’s easier to wake up in the morning, even when I stay up late working. I’m not feeling the wild energy swings throughout the day. (I do still feel the mid-afternoon slump, which is usually when I reach for the coffee or tea.)

At first I was worried that eating calorie-dense, higher-fat foods would result in gaining weight. Instead, I’m finding my hunger isn’t as strong as it used to be. I don’t even feel like eating large meals now – I prefer to graze throughout the day.

Best of all? I’m down two pounds, and more importantly, my belly looks slimmer.

I’m really proud of myself for sticking to this so far. Yes, it’s been only a week and a half, but that can feel like a long time when it comes to food. I’d like to keep to this strict level of eating clean for at least another week, then gradually expand my diet again, still trying to keep limits on the sugar and processed junk.

Next up is to get back to working out regularly. Yesterday I laced up my new running shoes and broke them in for a 30 minute run/walk (mostly walk, really). I wasn’t excited to work out, and I felt like my heart was going to break out of my chest and run away afterward, but I did it. My dayglo shoes probably played a part to get me moving:

Asics tapped into my 80's memories

Blinded by the light!

I’m hoping this will all become habit so we can be a healthier family. Aaron is eating the same foods with me, and is far ahead of me in getting back into running. And our ultimate success of the week: Cordy and Mira will both eat grilled chicken and broccoli now.

Anyone else trying to make any healthy changes right now? Please share how it’s going for you, or what you’re planning to do!



Pause

Wow, looks like it’s been awhile since I updated here, eh? Seems like that always happens – I get focused on looking and feeling healthy for a blog conference, and then after it’s over I just want to forget about it all for awhile.

Although the back-to-school season had a lot to do with it, too. It’s nearly impossible to keep up a workout schedule when your entire life is turned upside down with a new school schedule, bus routes, paperwork to fill out, school supplies to go purchase, and the overall exhaustion that comes with all of that. And my husband started a new job, meaning a new schedule to adjust to for him as well.

I know…excuses, right? Yep, I’ve been making plenty of excuses while I tried to fit in small amounts of sleep here and there.

But the fury of the school year is beginning to ease, and so my schedule is returning to a more predictable routine. Working out can no longer fall to the bottom of my priority list.

I’m registered for more boot camp classes this week, and I intend to go to them. Aaron also signed us up for a 5K this Friday, too. Unlike last year, I’ll probably be walking a majority of the route this time, although Aaron hopes to run the entire 5K. (And I think he can do it, too.)

It’s time to hit Play and get my fitness goals back on track again. After all, the holidays are looming ahead, and I refuse to let the lure of baked goods add more weight to the scale this year!



Diets in Review Guest Post

I’m over at Diets in Review again today, sharing some tips on how to stay active with your kids this summer. Go check it out!



Guest Post At Diets In Review

Not to brag or anything, but I’ve got a guest post up over at Diets in Review this week discussing the dreaded plateau and how to get past it.

And considering my history with plateaus, you know I’ve got some real-life, practical advice to share.

(I also love the image they selected to go with my post. They could have also used an image of a scale being thrown through a window. I’d have even volunteered to pose for that one.)

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