I have been asked to be a guest blogger by Janetha. I guess I should introduce myself. I am her oldest sister, Marisa. I live in the Bay Area and luckily Janetha has the foodbuzz thing this weekend, so she added a couple of days to visit me. I think she really just wanted a taxi to H&M and Trader Joe’s, but I pretend she likes me. I could tell you lots of stories but I won’t. I will tell you that she likes to discuss weird things with me…like, “Is my blue your red?” Wrap your head around that one. We also love numbers and word games. Maybe it is because we didn’t have a TV until I was 12 and so for entertainment we’d sit around and make lists of homonyms. We are word and number geeks.
I am also wife to Eric for 11 years now. He is working long hours (5 am- 10:30 pm) for the next couple of weeks as they complete the hospital in San Quentin Prison. I manage to keep the fort down and running the girls to school, soccer, the park and barely keep our own blog: www.ermakaluso.blogspot.com It is not nearly as exciting as “meals & moves” but there are cute girls and our adventures on there.
So, as you can tell, I am pretty busy. Janetha wanted me to share my experiences being a busy mom and doing Body for Life (BFL). Here is my story…
About 3 years ago, Eric decided he wanted to start an exercise program. And he wanted me to do it with him. Sofi was only 6 months old at the time and I still had some extra padding from the pregnancy. I told him the only way I’d do anything is if we had a set plan. I didn’t want to aimlessly go to the gym and try to eat healthy because I knew that would last 3 days. We decided to do Body for Life starting on January 1, 2007. Back then, Eric’s schedule was a little easier so we made a plan to do BFL together. We did cardio on MWF EARLY mornings and then he went to work and I went back to bed and rested until the girls were up. T Th & S was weights. We did all the work outs in our own home and did not have any fancy gym equipment.. jogging in place, jump roping without the jumprope, and just a few hand weights. We had that figured out. Except for the food. Breakfast and snacks were easy. We’d do protein shakes for breakfast, cottage cheese and apples and stuff like that for lunch. It was dinner that I struggled with. Keeping to the BFL guidelines, we basically ate a lot of chicken, salmon, spaghetti, rice, potatoes and salad the first week. It got old fast.
Finally, I ordered the Eating for Life Cookbook and had my eyes opened to eating food we liked BFL style. We started eating enchiladas, Asian noodles and protein pudding. Stir fry, sloppy joes, chicken kabobs. Taco pasta salad, shrimp scampi, meatloaf. As the weight started dropping off and our bodies were feeling better, we knew it was something we should always do. I know the Eating for Life cookbook isn’t pure by the book Body for Life style, but it taught me how to balance things and make them better. It taught me to make healthy food that tasted good and then the free days were really special. Free days were full of Dr. Pepper, eating out and random cravings. The 12 weeks flew by. In the end, I lost about 12 pounds (I am only 5’1″) and Eric lost 30 pounds. We were converted. This is last month:
Now that time has passed, we have slacked off with a strict BFL style of life, but I pretty much still cook BFL dinners. I use whole wheat noodles and ground turkey. I find healthy ways to make the food we like. My kids know they have to eat a few bites of whatever I make and have actually started requesting meals that they used to ward off like poison. Sometimes they drench things in ranch dressing, but hey, they’re kids…and they still eat it.
Eric has taken up triathlons and eats small meals throughout the day. It really makes life easier knowing that I need to have a protein, a carb and a veggie. If anything I’ve learned, it is two things: eat more protein (since carbs are all around us and so easy to get) and watch portions. Even being a BFL slacker, I’ve managed to maintain my weight. I have to try my best and that is a lot better than it used to be.
It can be especially hard when you make chocolate chip cookies that put Mrs. Fields to shame. Try these!
3/4 cup butter, melted (use unsalted for semi-sweet and normal for milk chocolate)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Cream together. Add:
1 egg yolk
1 TB vanilla.
Mix and add:
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips.
Scoop by 1/4 cup scoop and bake at 325 for about 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. This makes about 12-15 large cookies. You could always make smaller cookies or double the recipe to get more…which is very dangerous!
They are amazingly delicious and if you are trying your best to do BFL, they are definitely free day food!
In closing…I find that life gets busy, but you still have to eat…so make good choices. I am by no means perfect (even though my mom thinks I am) and I need to head back to the gym between all of my mom responsibilities, but I figure being mommy to my girls is really important to me right now and I am trying to be the best me for them. I love reading meals & moves because Janetha keeps me inspired to do better and when she loses weight she passes her clothes on to me. Bonus! I love reading everybody’s comments and the nice things they say about my baby sister. Isn’t she the best? You should meet her in person…then you’d really like her and love her like I do!