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My body does not like time off

Last week was crazy for me. I only had the chance to lift once, and practice yoga twice. Now, I know that sounds like a pretty good amount of activity, but I’m used to lifting 4 times a week, as well as hitting the treadmill about three times per week, plus yoga once or twice.

So this week I’m back at it and I’m exhausted and weak. I can’t lift as much as my previous stats, and I’m just not feeling it. I’m tired!

Instead of throwing in the towel, I’m dragging my ass to the gym and picking up heavy things, putting them down, and picking them up again until I can’t do it anymore. I’ve got goals baby.

Tonight I’m going to go to bed on time and tomorrow morning I’m going to wake up, go to the y, and have an awesome workout that includes rolling out, lifting weights, doing abs, and getting in some hiit on the treadmill.

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Let’s be real here, our bodies are awesome

I’ve been thinking about my body a lot lately. Since starting a weight lifting program, I’ve been kind of forced to. How much I am lifting, how fast I’m running, how long I can hold a plank. And through getting stronger, I’m still trying to maintain my flexibility in my yoga practice. I’m working hard but I’m not where I want to be. Yet.

There are a lot of beautifully ripped women at my gym. Sometimes I get jealous. I have to remind myself that fitness is a journey and that although I’m in pretty good shape, the goal I have is going to take a lot of work, and it’s going to be awhile before I get there. And that between now and then, my body’s going to change. That if I give up now because I’m impatient, I will never realize my goals at all.

I think sometimes we get a little judgey out of insecurity. We get down on ourselves for not being the person we want to be, so we start to judge others as a way to comfort ourselves. I know I do it and I know it’s wrong. So let me say this: fitness is for everyone. For fat people, skinny, uncoordinated, already fit, and in between people. You never know if the person you see at the gym working out is on their journey or already arrived. And it’s not for you to say where they should be. If they are happy and healthy that’s all that matters.

My body has changed immensely in the last 4 1/2 years. I went from 120 lbs of lean, long distance non-stop running, cut, size 0, weight lifting, clean vegan diet body, to pregnant at almost 200 lbs, and back down to a healthy weight and back to massive pregnant lady and now working on getting back in shape…again. It’s exhausting. Losing weight, gaining it, losing fat, gaining muscle, fine tuning my diet. I don’t have time for someone else’s criticism or my own!

So I’ll say it again: fitness is for everyone.

I feel like a total dork lifting weights. I have almost no muscle definition, I have super juicy butt and thighs, my post baby mom pooch is still visible. And oh yeah I’m covered in tattoos which probably confuses people quite a bit. But I’m on my way to getting ripped. If I stop now it will never happen.  I’m sure people look at me and wonder what is she doing here? She’s not buff. Nope I’m not. I’m working hard as hell to lift 15 lbs in an incline dumbell bicep curl. But I’m doing it! Yup, fitness, it’s for me. Lifting weights makes me feel like a boss and I’m not going to stop because I’m not already stacked. That’s dumb.
I want to celebrate my body for what it is now and what it has the potential to be  someday.

This is why I’m not taking before pictures. Because there’s nothing wrong with my body the way it is now. I’m curvy, dead sexy and I know it. My husband, he loves my body. It’s squishy in some places and that’s awesome. It doesn’t matter. I’m healthy. Are you squishy? Flabby? Fat? Round? Rolly? I don’t care. You know what’s actually important? Are you active? Eat clean? Working on being a better you? Then you are already winning my friend. If you want to be healthier and leaner and fitter there’s nothing wrong with that either. That’s also awesome. Go do it. Now.

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Feeling good

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Deodorant Recipe

I have extremely sensitive skin. Especially my scalp and arm pits. I know, attractive. My skin has grown increasingly sensitive over time, especially so with each of my pregnancies. When I was pregnant with my first, I got these great big lumps in my arm pits that decreased significantly when I stopped using my antiperspirant. But I was so weary to stop using it because I had always been so afraid that I would smell really bad and would pit out. I was back in my high school head when I cared way too much about what people thought of me. So then I had to realize that I was, you know, carrying life inside me and shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about what people thought about me, especially if I was doing something healthy for myself.

I tried to use store bought natural deodorants, but they all left me hanging, with BO by about 10 am every day. Oh and I forgot to mention, I was working full time still. Smelling not nasty was kind of important in a professional office environment. So I reapplied and reapplied and reapplied that deo, day after day after day. Sadly, I didn’t discover effective homemade deodorant until AFTER my second son was born. A friend at my MOPS group was making some during one of our meetings and so I tried it. The large amount of baking soda irritated my skin, but I didn’t smell! It was amazing. So I got the recipe, and tinkered with it until I had a product that was both gentle and effective. And I’d like to share it with you!

Here’s what you need:

Baking Soda: 1/4 cup

Arrowroot Powder: 1/4 cup

Corn Starch: 1/4 cup

Coconut Oil: 6 Tbsp, melted or at room temp (just not solid)

Essential Oils: Just a few drops of each for a small batch. I always use tea tree oil, but also enjoy adding, cedar, rosemary, lavender, geranium, or whatever my mood dictates.

Other things I like to add: 1-2 drops grapefruit seed extract, a dropper full of emu oil, and maybe a tsp of Vitamin E Oil.

Mix together in a bowl using a spatula. The spatula is useful for smashing up the little pieces of powder that don’t want to incorporate. If you want to make an enormous batch, the ratios are 3/4 cup of each powder and a little over a cup of coconut oil. Obviously increase the essential oil amount for a bigger batch. When I make a big batch I usually use my stand mixer. I use a wide mouth mason jar with a plastic lid for storage. Applying the deo is easy, just swipe up a little with your finger and spread it evenly onto your underarm.

If any of your make this I would love to know how it turns out 🙂

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Home workout, not an afternoon person

Yesterday was a little quirky and I missed my regular morning gym routine. I had a MOPS steering team meeting to attend in the morning, but I still wanted to get my sweat on. So I worked out in the afternoon at home in my kids’ play room. First, let me say, that I hate working out in the afternoon and evening. My body likes being active in the morning. Getting into the gym around 9:30, first of all, makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished something, and secondly gives me energy for the rest of the day. But I also just feel like I have the most energy to be active at that time. When I work out in the afternoon or evening I feel slow, tired, and just not into it. So my plan yesterday was to do some T25 while Emil napped, and then once he got up, head to the Y to lift some weights. Well, I got the T25 part in at home. I just did the first cardio DVD and it was awesome. Great, intense, explosive moves that made me sweat and didn’t require a whole lot of floor space. My muscles are also very tight so I decided to do the T25 Stretch DVD as well. Shaun T definitely has some fantastic stretching advice. It’s what I would call active stretching; very little floor work, lots of flexing and releasing the muscle you are focusing on to get a better stretch. For anyone thinking about investing in your fitness and wondering about T25, I highly recommend it! I would also like to point out how “fun” it is to try and work out with an awake 3 year old. I didn’t want to put Beau in front of a show because he had already watched way too much PBS that morning, and he seemed interested in exercising with my so I went for it. It is fun watching him try to do jump squats and lunges and jumping jacks, or walk in circles around me while I’m stretching. But not so fun when I do down into a low squat and knock him over with my butt because he’s 6 inches behind me and I couldn’t see him. Or when he tries to climb on my back while I’m holding a plank. I know, you’re thinking: “added resistance!” but no, in the moment it’s not cute.

So after my cardio and stretching session I just could not bring myself to get out of the house to go lift weights. Once 3 pm hits I am just so tired. It’s like that every day. It’s especially difficult because the boys turn into tiny little monsters starting around 3:30. From 3 until Bryce gets home from work around 6 is like torture. Every single day.

So today I hit the weights again and I’m happy to say I have officially completed my first week of The Female Training Bible! I know, it took me more that a week and I didn’t follow the cardio guidelines to a T but whatever! I’m doing exercises I’ve never done before, my muscles are sooper dooper sore, but I feel myself getting stronger and more confident. I’m looking forward to hitting the weights again tomorrow…morning 🙂

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Never a lunk. Plus my favorite summertime crock pot recipe

See this picture?

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Sorry it’s blurry. I had to take the picture real quick like before I died of embarrassment. Because a pull down bar fell on my head. You know, the extra big bar for lat pull downs? Because the y doesn’t have a lat pull down machine, so I thought, it’s ok I’ll just use this here pulley station and sit on my knees on the ground. And what do you know I went to increase the weight and of course the second I pulled the pin out of the stack of weights the bar came crashing onto my head. So sad because I was totally zoning on some Usher feeling like a bad ass weight lifting mama too. Welp at least you know I will never judge your gym faux pas. Unless you have bad form. That, my friends, is unforgivable and just down right dangerous 🙂

I tried a new thing today: kettlebell swings. I watched lots of YouTube videos to make sure I used proper form, and since it was my first time using a kettlebell, I kept the weight fairly light. I have to say, it was pretty fun. I think the biggest reason I’m enjoying this weight lifting program is because it’s getting me out of my comfort zone. I would never, in the past, have tried ANY plyometric exercises. But I have to say, they are pretty fun. Quick tip though, if you don’t have a partner for medicine ball chest passes and have to throw the ball at the wall instead, do it from your knees instead of standing. As to avoid a very heavy ball from hitting you square in the crotch. I speak from experience folks.

Now, onto the delicious food making. I call this my Crock Pot Pork Roast Chili. It’s perfect for many different seasons. But I really love it for the summer because you can just leave your crock pot on low all day long and it doesn’t heat up your ENTIRE KITCHEN just to make dinner. I also love this recipe because it is high in protein, fiber, and has great complex carbs. I’ve got 2 variations for you, the most simplest version, and one that is more complex. Feel free to take yours to any level.

Crock Pot Pork Roast Chili. The simplest version.

Approximately 2 lb pork roast
1 jar high quality tomatillo salsa
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp cumin

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on lowest setting for about 4 hours until roast is cooked thru. Remove pork and shred with a fork. Serve over brown rice or quinoa, top with avocado, cilantro, lime juice and Chicaoji if you like 🙂

Complex version

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2 cups dried beans of choice, soaked overnight then rinsed
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 lb pork roast
1 30 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup dry quinoa
1 small or medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and diced
Chicken or beef stock, or vegetable broth as needed
1 small can diced chiles or authentic spicy salsa
1 cup red wine
6 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
Sea salt to taste

Place diced onion, quinoa, soaked and rinsed beans, pork roast, sweet potato or yam, canned tomatoes, canned chiles or salsa, red wine, and broth or stock as needed in crock pot and cook on lowest setting (mine is “keep warm”) for several hours. After a few hours or once pork is cooked through, remove roast from crock, shred, and place back in crock along with the garlic and dried spices. Add water or broth if necessary. Cook for a few more hours on lowest setting. Serve hot with avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce.

Enjoy!

Ps, the second recipe makes a lot of food and is great if your family likes leftovers, like mine does!

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A recipe! Gluten and dairy FREE zucchini brownies

This weekend was another busy one for the Jacobson clan. Blackberry and apple picking, working around the house, surprise birthday present-ing for my husband, and a big family reunion BBQ.

I am finally growing a successful crop of zucchini and am having a lot of fun figuring out what to do with it all. I decided to grow only one zucchini plant, the smaller yellow kind, and harvest them when they’re about 7 inches long so they stay tender and don’t have to be peeled. I’m not sure how many I’ve gotten so far…maybe 20? Anyway, I needed a potluck dish to share at the BBQ and decided it should be something that I could eat, and that my mother-in-law would enjoy as well since she is gluten free.

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Super delicious gluten and dairy free zucchini brownies

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13″ Pyrex

2 cups Namaste gluten free flour blend
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
.5 cup white sugar

.25 cup apple or other fruit sauce (I used fig sauce)
.25 cup melted coconut oil
.25 cup brown sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
.25 cup cocoa powder (good old Hershey’s works great here)

2 cups shredded zucchini, no need to peel
About 1 cup bittersweet or semi sweet, dairy free chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt, and white sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, cream the fruit sauce, oil, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine with a big spatula. Then add the zucchini until incorporated, and then the chocolate chips.

Spread evenly into greased pan and bake, uncovered for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.

Wait until cooled, slice, and enjoy!

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