Jun 30, 2014

Recipe: Summer Tuna Pasta Salad

I spend the summers at home with my children.  I LOVE that I get to do this.  During the summer, lunches are always tricky for me when trying so hard to eat healthy.  It is so tempting to just eat a bowl of mac 'n cheese or a hot dog with the kids.  It is also tricky not to snack, so the lunch that I choose HAS to keep me full for the afternoon.

This recipe is one of my favorite go to lunches when I am at home during the summer.  It is good for packing too, but I like this recipe a lot better when the pasta is hot and fresh from the stove.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe that I found on the Skinny Taste website.  I liked the idea of the recipe, but was not a fan of some of the ingredients, so I adapted it slightly to appeal more to my personal taste.

Ingredients Needed:

Fresh Baby Spinach (I use a handful or two.)
Fresh Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half (I don't measure...usually a small handful.)
1 can of chunk light tuna in water (albacore is yummy too)
1 serving of whole wheat penne pasta
1 T olive oil
1/2 T red wine vinegar (balsamic would be good too)
1 teaspoon of grated parmesan

  1. Cook your pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, layer your plate with spinach and tomatoes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, and parmesan cheese together.  Pour dressing over spinach and tomatoes.
  4. When pasta is finished, drain and pour hot pasta over the spinach.  I like doing it this way because it wilts the spinach down a little.
  5. Layer the tuna on top of the pasta.
  6. Sprinkle with some pepper.
  7. Enjoy!!
I typically eat this and then have a bowl of fresh fruit for dessert.  If I am also drinking my water the way I should, I am satisfied until dinner time!

Jun 24, 2014

Summer Clothes I Love

I love summer.  I love the warm sun.  I love the fun activities.  I love the food.  I love that I HAVE SUMMERS OFF!  The only part of summer that I do not particularly care for is fashion.  Growing up a chubby chick, I have always dreaded the time of year where I have no choice but to shed the hooded sweatshirts and jeans in place of clothing that is more revealing.  This has always been a struggle for me.

This summer, I have tried to branch out a bit and try to enjoy clothes.  It occurred to me that there is no reason why I am not allowed to wear shorts, skirts and cute things just because there is a little more jiggle in my step.  ;o)  I should not be stuck sweating it out and miserable in clothing that covers me up!

Luckily, this summer I have found some looks that I feel cute in.  They are looks that are still flattering, but definitely summer appropriate.  Of course, it also helps that I do not have to dress up for work during the summer.  I usually have until August to figure out what I am going to do about that!

So without further ado, here are my favs for the season...

(By the way, I decided to use Polyvore for this because as I have previously stated, I SUCK at mirror selfies.  SUCK, I tells ya!  And my husband looks at me like I have a third nostril every time I ask him to take pics of me for what he sees as no apparent reason.  It is the same look he gives me when I take pictures of what I am eating.  <sigh>


This first one is probably the look I go for most.  I love cropped jeans with the rolled leg.  I honestly just use an old pair of jeans that I roll up myself.  I also LOVE Old Navy graphic tees.  I especially love them now that I have moved out of wearing exclusively women's plus tees.  Now that I can wear the XXL in regular women's, there are tons of cute options.  I never understood that though.  A t-shirt is a t-shirt!  Throw in some extra fabric and let the plus sized ladies have the same choices, dang it!  But, I digress...   I also love the classic black converse.  So cute.  I love the way they look.  I finish off most of my outfits with a Vera Bradley cross body purse.  The cross body bag is perfect when you need your hands free to wrangle children at the park.  I also love the fun patterns.  I have been really lucky though because I have gotten all my Vera bags at the outlet sale for low prices.  If anyone knows ANYTHING about me it is that I am a bargain/clearance shopper!

The next look I love is the maxi skirt with a basic t-shirt and flip flops.  I had wanted a maxi skirt forever, but was too cheap to pay $30+ for one.  My day was made one night when I was shopping alone at Target (a rare, yet beautiful occurrence), and I found one in MY SIZE on the clearance rack for a whopping $7.99!! JACKPOT!!  Again, most of my t-shirts are Old Navy or Gap.  I don't ever pay more than $10 for a t-shirt, by the way --- cause it is a t-shirt.  There is no way I am paying more than that unless it has magic belly fat melting powers.  I don't have this EXACT bag, but I have one that is very similar that I got off the ideeli website for $20 (Originally a $100 bag --- CHA CHING!)  Anyway, I love this look because I feel well put together and pretty in it.  It is also so comfortable it isn't even funny.

I have also grown very fond of sun dresses.  The one pictured is very close to one that I recently purchased at the Gap Oulet store.  It cost me a mere $12.  I was super pumped because not only was I comfortably fitting into a Gap dress, but it looked cute too!  I pair it with a white cardigan (because I still am not comfortable enough with my arms to go sleeveless), a pretty necklace, and some simple, yet pretty flip flops. I wore this outfit out with Tim on a recent date night and I felt very comfortable and pretty.  

The last look I really like for the summer is basic jean shorts with a pretty shirt and basic canvas shoes.  I don't want to wear t-shirts ALL the time (although it is tempting), so I try to pair something casual like shorts with a pretty top.  I have a shirt similar to the one above (I could not find of pic of the actual one I own). I have to say that wearing shorts has been a HUGE step for me.  I have not worn them in years.  I decided recently that it was stupid for me to sweat just because I hate my pasty, wide calves.  Nobody will be paying attention or caring unless I am wearing said shorts around my ankles.  I decided to just get over it.  I also like my canvas TOMS and sunglasses are also a good call.

I know these outfits are nothing profound.  It is just a big deal for me to break out into something other than old t-shirts, jeans, and yoga pants during the summer.  I am feeling more confident in my own skin and have decided that there is no reason why I can't dress the part.  

What about you? What are your favorite summer looks?

Jun 23, 2014

Why not me?

I started regularly blogging about a year ago.  The blog was meant to document my journey towards a healthier me --- mentally, physically, what have you.  I just wanted to give you  a real glimpse into the life of a working mother who is trying to make it all work for herself.  I mean, it is so hard to accept the fact that you have to be selfish and take care of YOURSELF when you have children, a husband, a home, pets, and a career to take care of too.

Throughout this past year I have set a lot of goals for myself -- some I have reached, and many I have not. My previous blog entry discussed inspiration and why I am feeling inspired more than I have in a long time. It is amazing how many revelations I have had recently, since I have opened myself up to not only accepting them, but understanding them as well.  Well, folks I had had another.

This one seems pretty obvious...but it wasn't always obvious to me.  I spent some time over the weekend (including during a very long car ride home) reading success stories of women who have overcome incredible challenges and have lost insane amounts of weight.  Through losing the weight, they seemed to also have found themselves.  As cliché as that sounds, it really is true.  After reading all of these stories...some which caused me to get a bit emotional, I came to the realization of..."Why not me?"  Then as I thought more, that question became..."Yeah, Courtney, why NOT you?  There is absolutely no reason you can't do this!"  Yes it is HARD, but I had to question what I wanted more....the temporary satisfaction of shoving my face full of chocolate and then hating myself later or doing the right thing and living a longer, healthier life?  The sad part is that the chocolate has won waaaay too much.  Am I seriously choosing a bag of M&Ms over living longer? Over being more active with my kids?  The list goes on and on...

What I always blamed my pitfalls on was stress.  I just realized that stress is going to be in my life no matter what...so stop using at as excuse to let myself down.  I am finished with all that.  It may take longer than I want.  There may be times where I want to give up.  There may be days where I eat a less than desirable amount of candy, but life goes on...and quitting is not an option.

So that's it.  I am going to do this.  There is no other option.  At all.  Ever.


On another note, my nutrition plan throughout this journey is going to be the 21 Day Fix plan.  It is by far the best nutrition plan I have ever followed.  I have always had a big problem with portion control and eating a balanced diet.  This has helped me with that TREMENDOUSLY.   Thanks to this plan, I am eating so much better and eating the right foods -- real food.  I was seeing results as far as my appearance in only 2 weeks time!  The great thing about the 21 Day Fix, is that it also comes with a great workout plan.  The workouts are only 30 minutes and they really are awesome.

So, with that, I wanted to invite my readers to participate in a 21 Day Fix challenge group hosted by yours truly.  I will offer support throughout the program and you will have one another to bounce ideas off of, etc. I also plan to offer recipe ideas and other tips.  I really hope that you will participate!  It really is a great 3 weeks and you can lose up to 15 pounds if you work the plan! Actually, a lot of people cycle through multiple times because they enjoy the eating plan so much.

Here are some details:

The challenge begins on July 7th, so you will want to order your package soon!  Click here to access the website to order!  Just choose "fitness programs" as your option.  The essential package is $59.95 plus shipping.  That order includes (taken from the Beachbody website):

6 easy-to-follow workouts on 2 DVDs
Ready for a major calorie burn in only 30 minutes? We made these workouts short so you can get in, get out, and get on with your day. But that's no excuse for taking it easy. The workouts will challenge you at every level to help maximize fat loss. And there's always a modifier on screen to show you how to dial down the intensity without losing the benefits.

Your 21-day portion-control system Forget about ounces, cups, and calories. These seven color-coded containers and Shakeology shaker cup deliver exactly the right portions every time, so you never eat too much or too little. Fill them up with as much food as you want—if it fits, you can eat it!
Blue—Healthy Fats and Cheese
2 Orange—Seeds and Oils
Shakeology® Shaker Cup—Drinks

And 4 FREE BONUS gifts:
21 Day Fix Eating Plan
This simple Eating Plan takes you step-by-step through the process and makes portion control so easy, you won't even have to think about it. Enjoy delicious, healthy food without counting calories, and watch the pounds fall off.
3 Day Quick Fix
Get beach-ready in 72 hours! This is Autumn's secret weapon for losing weight fast before a competition or photo shoot. Do it during the last 3 days of 21 Day Fix for mind-blowing "after" pictures.
Dirty 30 workout
4 rounds of fat-burning exercises help carve out a leaner, stronger physique.
24/7 online support
Get extra support and motivation from weight-loss experts and other 21 Day Fix customers.
Results guaranteed. Or your money back!
We're going to let you try the entire program—the full 21 days—and if you don't get the results you want, simply send it back within 30 days for a full refund of the purchase price (less s&h). You don't have to wonder if 21 Day Fix is going to work. You get to finish the program and then decide if you want to keep it. That's how convinced we are that you're going to love your results.

I hope you will join me!  E-mail me if you want more information or need help with ordering!  I am excited to get started with this challenge!

Daily Dose of Del Signore

Jun 16, 2014

My Dream Board

A friend of mine, Jess @ Operation Skinny Jeans, recently posted a dream board and suggested that others try and do this for themselves.  I thought it sounded like a great idea...so I decided to give it a whirl.  As I was trying to think of things to put on my board, I struggled a little bit.  I am not sure why.  Once I got going though, it started to come a little bit easier.

Soooo...here is my board....

Reach my Goal Weight:
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.  My ultimate goal is to lose 100 pounds.  That has been my goal for years...I just never had a real plan for how to do it.  I want that for myself in the coming year.

Look Hot in Skinny Jeans:
This may seem superficial, but I want to look and, most important, FEEL hot in a pair of skinny jeans.

Reach Emerald and Diamond Status as a Beachbody Coach:
I am new to being a coach, and I have not gotten far yet.  I do, however, hope to reach more and more people...not because I want to make money, but because I want to make connections with people and actually help and support them.  That's what makes being a Beachbody coach so cool.  I want that so badly.

Make it to Summit in 2015:
The Beachbody Summit, that is.  Yeah, this one kind of goes hand in hand with the one above.  It is just that I have "met" so many cool people since I got involved with Beachbody.  I would love to meet up with all of them at summit next year.

Learn to be a Better Swimmer:
I know how to swim...as in if you threw me in the water I would not drown.  I do not, however, have any technique whatsoever.  I would love to swim for exercise, but I do not have the stroke techniques down at all.  I want to step out of my comfort zone and take some lessons at the gym to help with that.

Buy a Bigger House:
I really like the house we live in now, but we have outgrown it.  The kids share a room and we are running out of storage, etc.  I am hoping that we can get ourselves in a position soon where buying a bigger house is a realistic option.

Build My Savings:
This is essential for the new house thing.  I am actually good with money and work very hard to save money back.  I just want to do even better and learn some new strategies for managing money.  I think everyone has room to improve in that area.   Along with saving money in our regular savings, I would like to start a college savings for both kids that cannot be touched until the time comes.

After I publish this, I am sure that I will think of other things to add.  How about you?  What would be on your dream board?

Finding Courtney

I have started my posts like this too many times...

"I know I have been gone for awhile, but..."

As much as I love blogging, it is difficult sometimes.  I don't always know what to say.  I mean, you don't want to hear about the stress of my job or the state of the cleanliness levels of my house.  Sometimes, I feel like my day to day is not noteworthy...not something you want to spend part (although a tiny part) of your day reading.

I am at the beach right now on my family vacation.  I am as relaxed as I have been in a long time, and it is amazing how just sitting on a balcony and watching the ocean and people can clear your mind.  It is amazing how being really relaxed for the first time in months can put things in perspective.

The reality is that I am not a success story...yet.  I have a lot of goals (fitness and otherwise) that I want to accomplish.  You are going to hear about my struggles and my successes...my good days and my bad days.  I am real life.  I may be just like you.  I think my writers block has sometimes been due to that I did not have any good news to share.  I have blogged about my favorite new workouts...but not on the disgusting display of binge eating that took place in my kitchen on Memorial Day.  What I COULD have said though, is that I had a disgusting display of binge eating, but I stopped myself and got rid of the foods that triggered it.  I could also say that I got right back on track the next day and even completed the day with a workout.  I didn't though...because I was too afraid to share my failures.

You aren't going to see progress pictures that take your breath away...yet.  I have shared pictures and I HAVE made progress.  I just ask you to to be patient with me as I meander my way through.  I KNOW those pictures will happen.  It is just taking some time.

I don't really know what the point of this entry is.  I guess I just wanted to explain my reality to an extent. The truth is that after spending a lifetime overweight, changing things around is HARD.  I am proud of myself though because I am doing things I honestly thought I could NEVER do.  I am pushing my body, fitness-wise, to places that I never thought it could go.  I am so proud of that.

I guess I also want to give a plug.  Of course, there is my blog facebook page, where I share my posts and other tidbits.  I have also created a facebook page dedicated to fitness and health.  I want this to be a place where people can share ideas, victories, and even struggles.  This is where I hope to coach everyone along.  Being a coach does not mean that I am an expert.  It just means I am a support system.  It means I am a cheerleader.

If you would like to be a part of it, then click below and "like" the page.  Strength is in numbers, right?  I called the page "Finding Courtney."  The reason is that I really feel like I am finding parts of myself that I did not even know existed.  I hope that if we embark on this journey together, you will find those qualities in yourself too...no matter what they may be.  Join me!  I cannot wait to get to know you!

I am linking up to Motivation Monday...just in case you need a little motivation and would like to join.

Daily Dose of Del Signore


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...