We moms know that not much else compares to feeling like you have your sh*t together. Those periods of time where you feel relatively balanced and you’re able to tell yourself, “I’ve got this!” To be honest, it’s a feeling I’m not quite used to having, but am enjoying right now. Maybe sometimes you just have to hit your low in order to really appreciate the victories. For me, there have been three main areas in my life that were affecting me even more than I had realized at the time – my diet, my exercise habits (or lack thereof), and not dedicating any time to feed my creative spirit (because man, I really do enjoy being artistic and crafty!).
So, over the course of the past month I’ve been making a conscious effort, and working hard, to pull myself out from the slump that I had so gradually fallen into. I have been chipping away at these “problem areas” and what I have discovered is a chain reaction. Eating healthier has made me feel better and more energetic which has helped me to get back into exercising more regularly and pushing myself a bit harder. In turn, I have also felt more motivated to be creative – maybe it’s my change of attitude and feeling more positive. Maybe it’s also due to my higher energy level. Whatever it may be, I’m liking it.
Planning fun hiking adventures with my family (since it is the perfect time of year for hikes) in addition to signing up for organized runs has been helping me stay motivated and on track with exercise. Last weekend I ran the Hartford Marathon 5k and the weekend before that I did Mudderella (a 5 mile muddy obstacle run). I especially loved the fact that Mudderella raises funds to help end domestic violence and the themes of the obstacle run are women supporting other women and that you are stronger than you know. YES!!! The feeling of accomplishment I had once I crossed the finish line was just plain awesome. I may not be a fast runner, but I’m now able to run much farther than I ever thought I was capable of. I never thought I would be someone who could run more than a mile, and now I’m able to run over 3.
I love having the opportunity to get my artistic juices flowing and have been trying to set aside more time to do just that. During last weekend’s family hike, my daughter found a huge leaf on the ground. When she showed me, I immediately decided we would use it for an art project. We took that leaf home, painted one side of it with a couple different paint colors, and pressed it onto a canvas (which can also be done on a piece of paper instead). Leaf stamping! It’s a great time of year to go out and collect some fun shaped leaves and make some masterpieces!
I’m not one who really enjoys to cook and far too frequently I would come home from work without a plan for dinner. It’s something that easily led to less healthy meal choices. I would be lying if I didn’t say that this is still a struggle for me, but I’m making a conscious effort to be better about meal planning. My compromise is to find quick and easy, yet also healthy, meal choices (the crock pot is one of my best friends)!
A friend of mine who is not yet a mother, but certainly appreciates an easy and healthy recipe, gave me one of her go-to crock pot recipes – shredded salsa steak tacos. The convenience of fixing and forgetting is something I cherish, so of course I had to try it out. Also, my kiddos act as though they are starving to death as soon as I get home from work so it’s really nice to have a meal that’s ready to go as soon as I walk through the door. And since I’m a good sharer, I’ll pass along the recipe to you all!
- Steak (make sure it’s a thick cut. I used a few thick cut pieces of sirloin)
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Chopped onion
- Tortillas or taco shells
- Taco fixings (i.e. shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce, diced tomatoes, olives)
- Put some salsa on the bottom of the crock pot.
- Add your steak and add some salsa on top.
- Add chopped onion and cilantro.
- Cook on low heat for 8 hours.
- Shred the steak with a fork (it falls apart really easily).
- Serve in tortillas/taco shells or for a healthier alternative, on top of a salad.
- Eat and enjoy!