Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Probably the Best Granola Recipe...Ever!

Hello There!  I hope that my greeting sounded as friendly to you as it did to me because today, I am happy.  I have been without sweets for 7 days and I'm feeling pretty dang fabulous about it!  I know, I know, 7 days is not that long for most people.  But hey, 7 hours without sweets is a huge accomplishment for me!  I've also refrained from most other junk food/fast food and I'm back to exercising.  Go me!
I have been trying to find meals and snacks to eat that will fill me up and keep me satisfied for more than 10 minutes.  Well, ladies and gents, I want to share one of my favorites with you.  My husband found this granola recipe a few months ago and it quickly became a favorite in our home.  This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated with one minor change in it. 

Cook's Illustrated Granola
Just look at that picture, doesn't it look delicious?  Is your mouth watering yet?  Yes?  Good.  This granola is so simple to make and it makes ALOT so you won't have to worry about getting enough before your husband or kids get to it ;)

The Best Granola Ever!

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup light brown sugar
4 tsps vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups hand chopped raw almonds
2 cups dried fruit (we use dried cranberries or cherries)
1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

*The original recipe calls for 5 cups rolled oats and no pumpkin seeds, but I find it better by substituting 1 cup oats for 1 cup pumpkin seeds, they are a great source of iron.

Oven at 325, line a full sized rimmed baking sheet w/parchment and adjust the rack to upper middle.

1. Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in bowl
2. Whisk in oil
3. Fold in oats and almonds until coated
4. Place all ingredients onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, level it off, make a nice rectangle, pat it down hard to compress (should be about 3/8th of an inch thick).
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotate half way through baking.
6. Once cooled, break granola "bark" into pieces as large as you'd like. 

This recipe makes roughly 11 cups of granola and there are 225 calories/half cup.  I know, that seems like too many calories for such a small serving, but that's about normal for granola.  And trust me, 1/2 cup with some milk or Greek yogurt really fills you up! Plus, it gives you plenty of energy.

Try it out, I bet you will love it too!

xoxo, Whit

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Beginnings

Me and my mister on New Years Eve
Happy New Year everyone!  I don't know about you, but I LOVE the month of January.

 Is it beyond freezing?  Yes. 

Are the holidays over and therefore the holiday blues might arise?  Sure. 

Do I get sick of seeing the beautiful white snow that once sat on the sidewalks get uglier and more grey?  you bet. 

Inversions?  No thank you.

BUT, I love the chance to start over.  A clean slate.  A new beginning.  Almost nothing can beat that!

Because I love the newness of January, it shouldn't be surprising that I also love writing down my goals for the new year.  I have never accomplished all of my goals, but I find that I do better myself, at least a little, If I write down the things that I want to achieve the next year. I also love coming up with a theme for that year, something to live by that makes me a little better.

This year I want to focus on not just my physical health, but also my mental health and spiritual health. 

Here are a few of my New Year goals for 2015:

- Floss everyday
- REALLY cut back my sugar intake (like only have sugar on special occasions).
- Go to the temple once a month.  (Click Here to learn more about temples)
- Read one book/month
- Run 300 miles. 
- Stick to a budget/keep that credit card out of my wallet!

And I've decided that my theme is Control (yo'self).

I have never been good at practicing self-control and so this year I want to try.  I want to prove to myself that I can control how I treat my body, I can control how I spend my time, and I can control how I spend my money.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HIIT Treadmill Workout aka My New Obsession

     After becoming a mother of two, I quickly realized that I have almost NO time for myself.  For the first few months it didn't matter.  I was adjusting to life with two little boys and soaking it all in.  Then, I found myself in a rut.  I wanted to do so many things like read, shop, watch tv, exercise, all by myself.  The constant companionship of my children was making me agitated, angry, and claustrophobic.  I even found myself not wanting to be around my husband once the kids went to sleep. I just needed time for me. 

     I don't like feeling that way.  I love my kids, I love my husband, and I really am an extrovert.  I just also have a small bit of introvert in me and I need my own time everyday.  I realized that one of the things that I missed most about my pre-kid years was being able to go to the gym on my lunch break.  That was always the time that I could be alone, do something good for myself, and just let myself think.

  So, I decided to bring that gym "me-time" back into my life.  Unfortunately I can't take a lunch break from my kids.  I also didn't want to give up the time with my husband at night, so I decided I had no other option than to go before everyone else wakes up. 

  I've started going to the gym at 6 a.m. 3-4 times per week and it feels fantastic!  I go to spin on Mondays (which I love!) and the other days I do cardio and weights.  I also go to yoga during the day once a week. I pay my amazing babysitter and peace-out while she feeds the boys lunch :)  Going to the gym first thing in the morning is such a great start to my day, and forces me to go to bed early which is so nice! 

  Before kids I used to run on the treadmill a lot, I loved it.  The last two years I have done most of my "running" (I say that because its mostly a pathetic fast walk/jog where I'm panting the entire time) in the warm weather months with my kids and our trusty Bob stroller.  Now I am getting back into running on the treadmill and I decided to try a HIIT workout. 

  HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training.  Below is an example of a HIIT workout, one that I use and love. 

  It keeps you engaged and if you only focus on the current 3-minute interval you are doing, you don't
think about how long you will be running for.  Plus, it burns those calories!!  In 30 minutes I burn 350 calories, I'll take that!  Afterwards I usually spend about 10 minutes working on upper body, lower body, or abs. 

  The first week I started HIIT I lost two pounds.  It really does kick your butt but it feels so good!  Give it a try next time you find yourself staring at the treadmill not wanting to do the same old run. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Off With Her Hair!!

Well, I did it, I cut my hair!
Twelve inches of beautiful, thick hair all gone.
Well, that's not true, its still around it will just be on someone else's head.  I donated my hair to Locks of Love so that someone else, going through something much harder than I've ever had to face, can have her hair back again.  I'm glad that I am able to donate something that I was so proud of and so attached to, to help someone else.
So, why did I do it?
  My first reason was that it has been on my bucket list to donate my hair (check!)
My second reason was that I didn't want to have my little monsters pulling my hair anymore (check!)
And my third reason was that I thought my long hair was beautiful.  I know, if I thought my long hair is beautiful, then why cut it?  I thought that it was the best thing about me, I had gorgeous hair and lots of it.  But that was the problem, I realized that I thought it was the ONLY beautiful thing about me.  The ONLY thing that people noticed, the ONLY thing that made me attractive, inside or out.  I had a realization one day that if I cut my hair, I'd be forced to find other things about myself that I liked. That is a work-in-progress right now, but I'm giving myself a lot of love and I'll see those good and beautiful things soon.
Now don't get me wrong, I still LOVE my hair.  I feel new and sassy and young and more energetic with my short hairstyle, I think I'll keep it for a while :) 
xoxo, Whit

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Well hello blogging world! 
It is I, your long-lost friend Whitney.  Its funny how having another child has made it almost impossible to sit down at a computer unless absolutely necessary. 
Since my last post (roughly a year and a half ago) I have had another little baby boy!  He is now almost 6 months old and I am so incredibly in love with him.  Expect to see a post about how much I love my little men on here very soon. But not today, today I want to talk about motivation. After all, I am still trying to lose 25 pounds that I packed on while carrying my children and I want it gone!
It seems like I have plenty of motivation to lose weight (feel better, look better, sense of accomplishment, etc..) and yet I just can't seem to put down the ice cream.  Seriously, its ridiculous.  I haven't lost a single pound in the last 5 months, not one!  I know that part of that is that I am not nursing this time around.  Another HUGE part of that is that I just love food.  


So, I am trying something new.  I have collected a few shirts (on sale, of course), a pair of new workout pants, and a beautiful new shade of Essie nail polish.  I will let myself have one after every pound I lose.  Lose a pound, get a shirt.  Lose another pound, I get to rock my new nail polish.  I'll start with the smaller items (or those that I'm not as in love with) and have to work harder to get the stuff I really love, like those awesome Indy Brand shirts.  I've also thrown old clothes into the mix.  Things like pants that I can't quite squeeze into yet, or a shirt that just doesn't fit the same way it did last summer.  I love to shop, I love new clothes, so I am hoping that these things help motivate me to kick start my weight loss!   
Now I want to know, What motivates you??

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I've earned my stripes, but it doesn't mean that I need to like them.

I guarantee I am not the first, and I won't be the last to admit that I preferred my pre-baby body over my post baby body.  I had much less sag, much more bladder control, and my stomach didn't resemble a deflated balloon.  I have the tendency to get a little depressed when I think about how I used to look and how I look now. The pictures above were taken in Istanbul and on the Black Sea.  Little did I know that I was a baby mama at the time (I just took that picture to document that Greg actually agreed to watch it with me).  I can't believe I thought I was so fat back then. 
 But the other day I heard this quote and it made me feel a little more love towards my not-so-perfect body because I have the ability to make oh-so-perfect babies. 

 "You're body is not ruined, you're a tiger who earned her stripes."
    First of all, this picture is so fake.  At least for 99% of mothers out there, we do not have a flat belly and a few stretch marks.  Our stomach has stretch marks AND flabby skin, AND dimples, and all other signs of being stretched almost beyond capacity. 
    Second, AMEN SISTER!  motherhood is an amazing thing and the fact that my body can nurture and grow another human is incredible.  So yes, I would say that instead of being left with these horrible marks, we need to look at them as something earned. 
...that being said, I don't think I'm ready to go run around in a bikini and show them off.  I just felt like this was a good reminder to me (and any mothers or future mothers out there) that my body has been pushed to the edge, it has been stretched, it has been pained, it has been put to use to bring a perfect little boy into this world.  And I will do it over and over again.  I gave up a very big part of me to have a child but when it comes down to it there are no regrets.  If I work hard and care for my body maybe one day I'll fit into my pre-baby jeans.  Maybe I never will again.  Who cares, I am a mother and that feels a million times better than having a six pack.  
 When I see pre-baby pictures I immediately think "oh what I would give to look like that again!"  But you know what, its all about what I wouldn't give.  I would never give up my opportunity to be a mother just to have a few less stretch marks on my stomach.  I can (and will!) lose the weight, even if it is after my child bearing years are over.  But the little (or big) belly sag that comes with a C-section, the marks, the wider hips, those I will keep and that's okay.  Its okay because I am a mom and that is exactly what I want to be. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Starting Over

I have started my weight loss counter over.  The 50 pounds I have lost so far is great, but I feel like it came off relatively easy after having Rees.  So, its the last 17 that are killing me.  Losing these last 17 pounds will be MUCH more of an accomplishment than the first 50.  Besides, 8 of that was baby, and about 30 was water weight.

What scares me most is that I'm planning on having another baby relatively soon (not an announcement!) and I just don't want to go through this all again.  It is so hard.  It depresses me a little bit.  It makes me question whether or not Rees needs siblings.  But, as my mom says, this is my season.  My season to give of myself completely, in every way possible, and bring beautiful babies into this world.  When this season is over I will miss it so much, and I won't care what I weighed.  I love my mom, she is always there to encourage me, in everything.

I am a goal setter, so if nothing else, just seeing that number on this blog will remind me of my daily goal to take care of myself.