Shrimp, tomatoes, and spinach pasta

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Hi Folks,

So today I made a super yummy dinner that was quick and easy. I’m thankful for easy because I am exhausted and just want to go to sleep. The next time I make it I’ll be sure to actually write down measurements because I tend to freehand everything and apply the little bit of this, little bit of that technique. It’s not good for sharing recipes  (because I typically don’t use one, or if I do, I alter it), but I’ll get better. I promise.

Ingredients:
-1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
-Olive oil
-Butter
-Garlic
-Old Bay
-Tomatoes, I used a variety of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
-Spinach
-1 pkg. of whole wheat pasta, cook according to package directions

Warm the oil and butter. Add the shrimp and garlic and cook until done. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Add tomatoes and spinach to the pan, cook until tomatoes create a sauce. Add shrimp back to the pan and remove pan from heat. Serve immediately with pasta.

Like I said, next time I’ll be sure to write down the particulars. My family always asks me if I wrote down what I did and I never do. I’ve got to start doing better.

Jess

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Square Foot and Container Gardening

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Hi Folks

So it’s getting close to planting time for me! In fact, I am currently finishing up my garden plans for this year and will be ready to start putting some of the cool weather friendly plants and seed in the ground within the next week.

I’ve been gardening using raised beds for a few years and for a while I was using a blend of regular dirt and some garden soil blends, but nothing really fancy.  I chose raised beds because of their supposed ease of use.  I was promised no major digging, or having to turn the soil like you would if you were planting directly into the ground however this simply was not the case.  With the dirt blend that I had, I had clumps of rock hard soil that I had to break up just like I would if I had an in-ground bed.  My yields weren’t spectacular either so I was ready for a change.

I started to research Square Foot Gardening to see what it was all about based on something that I saw on Pinterest (yup, I’m one of those crazy pinners, lol).  I could find bits and pieces of information online but I didn’t get a lot of definitive information until I found the book “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew.  In his book he discusses everything from how to build the box (which I had), what blend to use, how many plants of any specific type you can out in any Square Foot (i.e. 16 onions or 1 pepper plant), when to plant, etc… This book gave you any little bit of information that you could ask for to start using a Square Foot Garden.

From my experience with this, especially when considering what I was using before, I LOVE IT!!!  SFG has completely revolutionized how I plant my garden.  I get a ton more in my yields, and as soon as I’m done using a Square foot I can immediately allocate that space to plant something else.  It’s so much easier to plant because I don’t have to dig in the ground; with “Mel’s Blend” I can just push it out of the way with my hand and plant.  No more digging, no more turning (I’ll use a hard rake to fluff it back up a little after this winter), I will be completely ready to go with little effort.

I have 6 beds, 5 of which are available to be used for SFG, the other one has strawberries and if you’ve ever planted them you know that they have a mind of their own and refuse to be confined to a mere square foot, J however I am debating on whether or not to take those out his year and use the bed for something else. Each of my beds is 3’x5’ giving me roughly 15 sq. ft. in each bed to play with.  My garden will consist of plants that I’ll purchase as well as items that I’ll start from seed.  The plants are always super easy to just plop down in the blend and let them do their thing.

This year I also plan to add more container planting to my mix. Doing this will allow me the flexibility to move plants around if I feel like they aren’t getting sufficient sunshine. My plan is to get some buckets and bins to plant things in. Will it be the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen in a backyard? Not at all, but my goal is not about having a backyard that is aesthetic beautiful, but instead, have one that serves a purpose. That purpose happens to be providing healthy, fresh, and yummy food for my family to enjoy for the summer, and if I have more than I can handle at any given time, I will share with friends and neighbors and learning to can so that I can enjoy MY food for a longer period of time.

Many people are really nervous about gardening but it’s actually pretty simple. Plants generally only need food, water, and sun. Nothing fancy, just simple things. The other thing is that by using containers, gardening is accessible to people who have very little outside space. In fact, fresh herbs can be grown indoors by a window.

I am, by no means, an expert at gardening, but many members of my family have grown food for many years. I can remember going to my great grandfathers and looking at his neat rows of food planted in the backyard. There was little to no yard (play) space, it was all allocated to the garden. My grandmother has always kept a small garden (which my brother has taken over and is very successful with). My mom has always had one too. The example that has always been set for me is that it’s a good thing to grow your own food and to have that connection with your food and the earth beneath you. My husband and teenage kids love going out to the garden and getting tomatoes or whatever else they want, when they want it. I definitely appreciate the lessons that I’ve learned from my family and the love and respect that I have for my little plot of land. It’s such a blessing.

Happy Planting!

Jess

Change of Plans

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Hi Folks:

So my original plan was to finish P90X3 then move on to The Master’s Hammer and Chisel in January, however I decided to go ahead and change my plans and start Hammer and Chisel on this past Monday. If you haven’t heard about it yet, this is the new Beachbody program from Beachbody trainers Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev.

Why I chose this program:

Simply put, I enjoy a challenge! I love workouts that tax my mind and my body and push me to be my very best. I get bored easily so the daily variety is helpful. This program also includes portion fix containers and a meal plan to assist in the ever important nutrition aspect of your wellness journey.

I am a week into my program and I absolutely love it so far. Partially because of the short workouts but also because the nutrition is easier once you plan out your week and prepare ahead of time, limiting any surprises.

Beginning January 4, I will be hosting a 60 day accountability and challenge group to start the New Year off right. The group will feature the Master’s Hammer and Chisel plus Shakeology, however you can use any Beachbody program. I just want you to use the program that best suits you and that you can commit to completing.

This will not be a time to quit on ourselves, but rather a time to commit to our health and well-being. Taking the 30-40 minutes a day to workout is an easy way to begin to prioritize yourself and not allow the challenges of daily life to get in the way of you living your best life.

If you’re interested in joining the challenge group and want to get your copy of The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, click the link below:

http://www.teambeachbody.com/checkout/-/bbcheckout/challengepack/hammer-chisel?referringRepId=782033

Remember to order by December 14th to receive by Christmas (with standard shipping) and December 21st to receive by New Years (with standard shipping).

Jess

Having Purpose

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Hi folks

One thing that I always have told my daughters is to do things “with a purpose”. I said it when they were young and I feel that I say it more now that they are teenagers. This morning it came up as I was dropping my youngest daughter off at my mother-in-law’s house. My oldest daughter went in the house and raided the cabinets for some snacks to take to school. I waited for her patiently but she seemed to do everything in slow motion. I told her to “move like you have a purpose”. I said that mainly just to have her pick up the pace so that I could get her to school and me to work, on time.

When I tell them to do things with a purpose it’s because they are part of a generation that has a tendency to mosey through life aimlessly wandering, not having a clue about anything. Having purpose, to me, is to have dreams and goals and to be willing to do what is necessary to accomplish it.

Today that phrase resonated with me. As I said it I came back to the fact that in my life, how often have I done things without purpose. How often were there missed opportunities due to lack of purpose? I’m not really sure, but I will say that I’m learning to live with purpose now, and I will do everything in my power to make sure my kids do too. I want them to learn to set goals and be driven enough to see them through.

Jess

*quote-Fit Moms For Life*

Day 13

Hi folks

Can’t quite figure out what’s going on but I did gain a pound (176.8). I’m not going to stress about it, but I will say that I thought that I would have lost a little bit due to the 700 calories that I burned on my ride yesterday. Maybe my body is just faking me out and will show a nice  loss in the morning. I could be hormonal too. Not sure, but I’m ok and will keep up the good work to reach my goal. I plan to run a little tomorrow, since I need to make sure that I run more than just on my group run days. I also plan to ride my bike on Monday, my last day off before returning to work on Tuesday.

Jess 

Days 8 & 9

Hi folks. Checking in again. Tomorrow is my last day of the cleanse phase and I can’t be more satisfied with my progress over the last 9 days. I’m down just shy of 7lbs and hope to meet that mark between tomorrow and my Thursday weigh ins.  That way I can start the max phase on a really good note.

Regardless of what that scale says, I feel good and just hope to keep up the good work.

Current weight 177.8!!