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I’m a mom. And this is what I strive for:

Writing this blog has been a bit of a challenge—and not for the lack of content—but because of the abundance of information that Jason and I want to share.  We feel that though we both went through this together, we do have some different views and tips.  We both have really been trying to hold back on our information—and to space out what we have to share.  But this one just can’t wait.

Again, if you watched our show, you met our two wonderful children, Sam and Sabrina.  But you didn’t get to see as much of them as we liked.  And it bummed us out kind of, because they are just simply awesome kids.  Sabrina is full of questions and curiosity.  She is ALWAYS listening.  Sam has a sweet soul and THE. BEST. LAUGH. that you may ever hear.  They are both full of spirit and happiness.  And I’m not just saying this because they are our kids.

Okay maybe I am.  But I’m their mom and that is what moms do.

And long before Chris Powell ever came into our lives, Jason and I had decided long ago we did not want to pass on our “unhealthy” behaviors.  We decided, pretty much from birth on that we didn’t want Sam and Sabrina to ever really love food in an unhealthy way.  Part of that was to lead by example.  Part of that was to provide them with better choices than we sometimes chose.  Really, I feel, it came down to balance.

You see, for a long time, I strived for perfection.  I wanted my diet and exercise to be perfect.  I never wanted to sway from my plan.  It was all or nothing.

And that kind of thinking, led me to 290 pounds.  Not just that—there is more where that came from, but a lot of it.  I didn’t want my kids to ever think they had to be perfect.  Life isn’t about being perfect.  Perfect is not realistic, it’s just not.  So instead, I strived for BALANCE.

It really started with my children long before I practiced it myself.  Jason and I wanted them to eat healthy and to have a wide variety of food choices.  But we also knew that we couldn’t always control their environment if they weren’t with us.  So, we simply gave them the best choices that we knew how.  And we hoped that because of those healthy choices and options they would learn to make the better choices.  Balance, not perfection.

For example, something that was missed that the TV camera’s filmed was “The Healthy Game”.  The Healthy Game is a quick game played in the car or when making dinner…really, wherever.  I would simply ask, “Apple.  Healthy or unhealthy?”  And Sam and Sabrina would answer accordingly and it opened up a discussion about different kinds of foods.  With some foods it really is more than just a simple yes or no so it was fun to sometimes take apart the food and see what we could come up with.  Eventually they would start the game off and play with each other or with Jason and me.

Today, Sabrina eats a huge variety of food and favors almost any kind of fruit.  She could demolish a cantaloupe in one sitting.  But you know what?  She also loves ice cream and has it, on occasion.  Not every day or night, but on occasion, when we stop and get ice cream as a family.  BALANCE, not perfection.

Sam, my son who I raised in the exact same fashion, cannot stand cantaloupe and prefers no skin on his apples.  His palette has been a little tougher, even with all of our hard work.  But he also enjoys asparagus with sea salt and loves grilled chicken and shrimp.  If you were to offer him soda (okay, I really say pop here in Michigan) of any kind he would turn you down flat.  But he loves birthday cake.  And you know what?  He has it, on occasion.  BALANCE, not perfection.

I have so much more to share about being a mom and raising children in this crazy busy world where convenient foods ARE easier for our busy lifestyle, but not always necessary.  There are quick and healthy recipes for a TON of things out there.  The same goes for snack ideas.  I went through this year trying to find time to take care of our children and our house, exercise, do laundry, take the kids to their activities, attend family parties and functions, and just LIVE life, all the while things were crazy and busy.  Many times I didn’t think I could do it.

But I did and I want to share how.  To inspire others.  To motivate.

And if you are a mom, trust me when I say that I get it.  I know you are tired and busy and life is overwhelming and hard.  But you can do it.  Really.

BALANCE.

Stay tuned.

 

waffle

(homemade whole wheat waffles–recipe to come soon)

Chips and Salsa

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I know there has been a ton of “food” questions as that was not covered on our show. Well welcome to the first of MANY food posts. I know for me personally 80% of my success was based on food. So you’ll hear some good and some bad, some things that may sound a little crazy and some that just sound delicious.

For me I like chips and salsa. Love chips and salsa. While salsa is a great food to have around you should check out the sodium content. The salsa in a jar are usually much higher in sodium. (More about why sodium sucks in a later post). I get my salsas in the deli or produce section. They are fresher, refrigerated and usually have a bit less sodium.

The challenge is the chips! Those damn tortilla chips climb up there really quick when it comes to calories. Usually close to 170 calories for 10 chips. Lets face it, I could never eat just ten, let alone one. One of the solutions I came up with this year is Carrot Chips and Salsa. With carrot chips you get the crunch and something to scoop up the salsa with without all the calories. (Works great for hummus too!)

Sounds strange but very effective. Lets do the math:

The entire container of salsa pictured is 160 Calories. The entire bag of carrot chips pictured is 175. Grand total if you pig out and finish all the chips and lick the container empty is 335 calories. I promise if you do finish it all you may be in the bathroom in a few hours. I speak from experience. :)

Where as if you went with tortilla chips and finish half the bag and all the salsa you are looking at over 1200 calories on average.

Lastly if you are really trying to “lock it down” use celery sticks instead of carrot chips.

Hope this helps and as usual would love to hear your feedback and questions!

-Jason

Have you seen any good movies lately?

This one didn’t make the show but we talked about it during our finale. When you are trying to lose weight with someone you care about you don’t want to be rude and say, “Hey, you might want to put the fork down”. But you do care and want to help in some way. Well one thing we did if either felt we may be eating something we shouldn’t or just something bad in general we came up with a code phrase. Our is “Have you seen any good movies lately?” Believe it or not it sort of snaps you out of it and make you think about that next bite. While your partner doesn’t have to feel bad for saying something especially when its discreet.

Feel free to use it or make up your own!

Jason & Rachel