Healthy.Nappy.Nerdy.Mommy. Update.

marvel cap running
Out for a 2 mile jog.

So its been a LONG time since my last post. Over NINE MONTHS to be exact. I think the same thing happened last year. I started strong, but once the school year got going, (I’m a teacher), I fizzled off, then got going again during the summer. I am going to try really, really, hard to stay active with my blogging. I enjoy it, and I’ve been told a time or two that I’m good at it. My page started to get some traction and I want to keep it going. Here’s a little bit of what’s been happening with the Healthy Nappy Nerdy Mommy, and what’s to come.

Healthy

I’ve been doing some rollercoastering in this department. Pretty much for the same reason I stopped blogging….life. I’ve gained 30 pounds since my lowest after having my son, 4 YEARS AGO. Its not baby weight anymore, its just plain weight. If I gain 30 pounds again, I’ll be back to the weight I was after I left the hospital with him. I’ve got to get back in gear. Exercise is not my problem. Since rejoining the YMCA, I usually workout 90 minutes to over 2 hours at least 4 times a week. I know it is nutrition. I have been trying to follow mostly a Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle. That’s a step further than vegan. It means no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no refined sugar, no white flour, and no oil. At first glance you see all the things I can’t have, but there are so many better things I CAN have. I love fruits and vegetables. I also love cooking, so I am definantly capable of doing this. I’ve seen videos on Facebook of these women that look so young and vibrant into old age. I want that for myself and my family. My ultimate goal is to have an organic garden and cook most of our food from our own backyard.  As Physical and Health Education teacher I have to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk. My body, animals, and enviornment will be better off as well.

Nappy

I started locs. I’ve thought about for a while. Last summer when I cut my hair it was a step towards this. I could’ve done it without cutting my hair, and part of me wishes I had, but I think I am going to enjoy the process of growing my locs from baby twist. Last summer I cut my hair to a fade, in December I cut it down low, and in April I started locs with finger coils from that growth. I started them on my own first. I did like the results and tried again with my husband’s help. I helped me part the hair horizontally, to make sure there was some uniformity. I don’t want perfect locs, but I also want some neatness to them. We shall see what this journey brings.

Nerdy

Most recently, and I mean VERY recently. I’ve gotten back into Pokemon Go. I started playing it when it came out 2 years ago, and fell off. Two days ago my husband and I started playing again. I did my first raid and my first micro transation within a game. I’m excited because I’ve never been a gamer before, aside from pressing buttons repetitively on some fighter games. I have been of course continuing to watch Anime. We’ve been watching My Hero Academia, Borotu, and Black Clover. We also started One Piece. It is an old anime that neither my husband nor I had ever watched. We also, started watching Sword Art online again. I was not blogging when all the Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War mania was fresh. I’m not going to backtrack and do seperate post, I am just going to say that I though both were AMAZING. As a Blerd or Black Nerd, I was more than ecstatic about what Black Panther brought to the table. As a marvel fan period Infinity War was pure gold. Every summer, save the one right after having our son, we’ve gone to Otakon. I am not sure if we will go to Otakon this year. But I know we will be going the Raleigh Supercon.   Moving foward you can look to hearing about more Pokemon Go, Anime, and movies.

Mommy

Our son is 4 now; we have moved out of the Troublesome Three’s. Night time potty training is much better, although not perfect. I am told things don’t really taper off until 6, and that 6-10 are the best years. God, I can’t wait for that. This boys is really driving me crazy. I love him though, as coo coo for coco puffs as he is. This year I hope to get him into a Pre-K program. Either way I will be making sure he is ready for Kindergarten. As he’s gotten older he has shown many gifts and interest. He likes singing and dancing. He also seems very inquistive and into nature. Any anybody who know myself or him, knows he is a ball of endless energy. I may have a musician, athlete, or scientist in the making. I can’t wait to see what he is interested in. I have no intentions of making him conform to anything. Whatever his niche is, I will nuture it to the fullest.

Of course there’s been more happening in the past 9 months, but I didn’t want to ramble on and on, plus some of it deserves it’s own post. Here’s hoping I can keep things going. What are some changes or updates that’ve happened with you?

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First 2017 Weigh-In

The scale and I have a love hate relationship. Really, its just a hate relationship. Weighing myself is typically never a good thing. If I’ve gained or not lost as much weight as I think I should, I get discouraged and start thinking it doesn’t matter. I think I’m just destined to be overweight and go back to eating whatever I want and quit working out. If I have lost a significant amount of weight I end up loosening up too much. I think I just lost 10 pounds I can afford to treat myself, and I never stop. So since I started working out consistently and eating primarily plant based  in January, I had not weighed myself. I decided I would weigh myself at least every month. I can adjust my diet and/or exercise if I need to but it not like doing it weekly which causes me to obsess over the numbers every weigh-in. So here’s what happened for the first weigh in of the year.

I lost weight! Yay…..but it was only a pound. I was shocked to see that I only lost a pound. I felt like it should’ve been

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Progress photo {before (right)-after (left)}

much more than that. I thought I could see a difference in my body, and I surely can feel a difference in how my clothes fit. I was thinking it would be at least 5 pounds. As a physical and health education teacher, I know the “muscle weighs more than fat” deal. But I did not think that my exercise regimen would cause that much muscle gain. I only do crossfit once a week on Saturdays. During the week I alternate between beachbody’s Cize and Insanity. I know insanity is intense, but its all with only my body weight, no heavy lifting, which is what I believed to cause the bulk up, gain weight effect. I may go to other ways of measuring my success, like monthly measurements and pictures.

I am staying positive and I am going to celebrate (mentally not with food) my pound of weight loss. At the end of the day I feel better and the numbers are going in the right direction, even if it is at a slower rate than I’d like.

7 Benefits of A.M. Workouts

morningSince the New Year, I got the crazy idea to start working out in the morning. I always avoided it before, because I need my precious sleep. But I’d always end up too tired or overwhelmed to exercise in the evenings. I thought I’d lead workouts after work, but those have been a flop this year. So I finally decided to stop making excuses and get my workouts done in the mornings. These are the reasons I’m loving it.

1. It gets me pumped!

Exercising in the morning has been so rejuvenating. Rather than tire me out for the rest of the day, it gives me energy. Exercise releases endorphins, those chemicals put me in a good mood and gets me ready to concur anything that comes my way.

2. I have to be organized

Because I am waking up an hour early to workout if forces me to organize the rest of my day so that everything doesn’t fall apart. I pick out my clothes, make lunches, clean, prepare lesson plans, and etc. I do all this to make up for waking up an extra hour. I usually make up more than that and I am more on point than ever before.

3. I actually get MORE sleep

Yes, you read that right, waking up an hour earlier actually allows me to get more sleep. Because I am preparing to wake up earlier I deliberately go to sleep in order to get my 8 hours in. Sometimes I still fall short, but its much better. Before, I would stay up on social media until 1, 2, or sometimes 3 in the morning. My sleeping schedule was HORRIBLE. Before I was working out I’d pass out shortly after I put my son to bed at 8, wake up again at about 11 and then be up until 4 in the morning, no wonder I had no energy to exercise, much less anything else. I was miserably just getting by during the day. Now I am well rested and energized through the day and fail asleep soundly somewhere in between 9-11, then wake up ready for my next workout.

4. I drink more water

Drinking water has always been a struggle of mine. Even if I was eating healthy I would not drink water. I could go an entire day without drinking anything but coffee. Before I workout I drink a big glass of water, I drink another during the workout, and another after. That’s half of the water I need for the day. It does make me have to rush to the bathroom right as I clock in. After that if I get just 1-2 bottles in at work and 1-2 at home with dinner, I’m good for the day.

5. I get creative

What exactly am I doing at 5 in the morning? Right now I’ve been alternating between doing Beachbody Cize workouts and Insanity. The Cize day is like the fun workout, and Insanity puts me in beastmode. I do the videos Monday-Friday, Saturday is a wild card day for a free community class or playing with my son, and Sunday is a rest day, I might do some yoga if I feeling up to it.  I also have a fitness room at my apartment that I could use. I have saved tons of circuits and workouts from Pinterest that will acutally be put to use now. The sky is the limit, but I have a chance to actually get creative and independently try new things without being worried about the other people around me are doing or thinking.

6. I have “me time”

I absolutely love my husband and son. I love my job. But these morning workouts I have all to myself. Its just me and the living room space. Sometimes I lose myself in the workout, I don’t even realize I’m exercising because I can hear all the thoughts that I don’t hear during the business of the day.

7. I eat healthier

Doing my workouts in the morning sets me up for healthier eating throughout the day. I’m already motivated and don’t want to undo my progress. So many times before, I’d put the workout I intended to do in MyFitnessPal and the never do it. Now I already have it covered, so I know not the overindulge. Plus, I still have the opportunity to do a little extra if I want at the end of the day. Although I still have issues with extra snacking, at least I’m motivated to plan better meals, because of my exercise routine.

I hope I keep this up and don’t fall off, because it has been really beneficial for me all around. My husband has even noticed. He says I seem happier and not so exhausted and defeated when I get home from work. He even claims he can tell a difference in my body, but I never believe him when he says that, because he says it even when I know I’ve put on 10 pounds. You can’t beat these results though. My ultimate goal is to lose weight, but all the other improvements are great as well. I waiting a month before I weigh myself. Even if I don’t like what the numbers says, sometimes there’s more to it that just losing weight. I’m just trying my best to be healthy, hoping that everything will fall into place. Making exercise a MANDATORY part of my schedule is my first step.

Healthy Nappy Nerdy Mommy: Year 2016 in Review

All over social media there have been post and memes about how horrible 2016 has been. As I prepare for a new year of bettering myself, I thought it would be beneficial to focus on the positivity of 2016. New Year’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to fill in gaps and review some of the HEALTHY.NERDY.NAPPY.MOMMY awesomeness.

January

Being that this is pretty much National Diet Month,  I was busy trying different products and recipes to accumulate myself to my new lifestyle. I did a clean eating and yoga challenge, and we started officially trying to potty train my 18 month old son. Now I know it was too early, and we didn’t stick to it well. But it gave me a good chance to get some bare bottom photos as blackmail when he gets older.

yoga
Yoga Challenge

February

For Valentine’s Day my husband and I enjoyed a movie date to see “Deadpool”. It was a breath of fresh air to see this rated “R”, as a true “Deadpool” movie would have to be. We also enjoyed playing some “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4”. My son transitioned from stay at home dad care, to daycare. It was hard on us all, some of this I later shared in “Peez, Ana” . But it was also for the best.

March

March opened with Spirit Week at my school, and as the Student Council adviser I had to go all out with a X-men’s Storm costume. It wasn’t the best (couldn’t find the right wig), but good enough for the crowd I was serving. My students were calling me “Thunder Girl”, they didn’t even know my character’s name. It was my son’s 2nd birthday on the 14th so we planned a “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” party, complete with meatball sub buffet. As he was a big boy now he also got a small “Jake the Pirate” party with cupcakes and juice at daycare. For the 3rd birthday we just might leave it at treats at daycare and family dinner.

storm
“Thundergirl” aka “Storm”

April

This month was the grand debut of HEALTHY.NAPPY.NERDY.MOMMY! During Spring Break we did indoor camping in our little apartment living room. Complete with a fort, s’mores, kababs, and baked beans.It was also my husband’s birthday which and our dating anniversary that marked 9 wonderful years being together. We celebrated with a family party at his cousin’s, complete with Baskin Robin ice cream cake, a game stop gift card, his favorite Snickers &  Bacon- Cheddar gourmet popcorn, and a gamer screen t-shirt. His celebrations tend to be more family inclusive while mine are typically dates with just the 2 of us giving me a mommy break.

May

We celebrated Mother’s Day with yet another movie date highlighted in (Marvel)ous Mother’s Day. I cannot express how much I enjoyed “Captain America: Civil War”. This month I officially became a “Flexi-Vegan” and I was experimenting with vegan and allergen free recipes.

June

This is one of my favorite months because it marks the end of the school year and time for a short break. I always teach summer school, but in June I get a couple weeks off before I have to crack back at it. We enjoyed a small beach trip with my parents. It was also the month a tried my first Cross Fit class, and started watching the original “Dragon Ball” series for the first time.

cross-fit

July

The biggest thing that happened in July was the introduction of Pokemon Go. I was so excited about this game, but that excitement quickly fizzled and I don’t even have the app downloaded on my phone anymore, but they were good times while they lasted. I’m interested to see what the craze will be this year. July was capped by seeing Kakashi’s face in the latest episode of “Naturo: Shippuden”

flareon
My first Eevee evolution

August

I don’t know which is a bigger deal my wedding anniversary or Otakon. I don’t think my husband would even be mad at it. I talked about our excitement for Otakon in 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom and fully anticipated doing a full post on it, but that never happened. So this is your mini overview of it. It was bitter sweet, as this was the last year it would be in Baltimore, MD. But I am excited for the new location. Otakon 2017 WILL have a post, maybe even an entire page dedicated to its greatness. In preparation for this trip and the start of a new school year, I got crochets for the first time. Its a great protective style, and I’ll never set for 10 hours getting individual sengalese twist or box braids on this thick head of hair again. Oh, yeah my son came back from staying with my parents while we were at Otakon potty trained! He still needed the pull up for night and doesn’t poop until then.

otakon
My seneglese twist crochets and excited for Otakon grin!

September

I entertained the ideas of starting a garden. I starting some romaine, but I didn’t follow through. For this spring though, I plan on starting both an indoor and patio garden for herbs, fruits, and veggies. Look forward to pictures, how to’s, and testimonials in the near future. I also developed an addiction to the online make up line Colourpop. I’d never been a make up girl before, but I found myself needing something to step it up a notch. Lipstick for me is the easy answer (I love Matte). Just the lipstick, some eyeliner, mascara, and maybe BB cream and I’m good to go. From my first purchase in August to now, all of my profile pictures feature me in one of their shades.

romaine
Some romaine lettuce sprouting up.

October

In the last week of October I went on my first cruise! I had so much fun and relaxed with friends and family. I became known as “the girl that ate all the weird food” because at dinner I always tried the most exotic thing on the menu. Why would I pay all that money for something I can eat any day? We enjoyed the dinners and events on the ship as well as the beach and sights of Nassau, Bahamas. I might save big for a Disney cruise in the future, I’ve heard, while expensive, they are the best. Disney should do a line dedicated to Marvel or Star Wars since they are taking over everything. Universal Studios could take on a Harry Potter cruise as well.

duck
Smoked duck with oranges and Thai rice noodle salad

November

In November my son woke up early in the morning vomiting several times within two weeks of each other. I took him to the doctor the second time, and they said it was probably to different viruses. After leaving the doctor I started thinking he might have food allergies like me. Both times he never had a fever or acted sick, it was just vomit or diarrhea. It could be allergies or an intolerance at the least. I took him off dairy for a week, but didn’t really notice a change. After he returned to his normal diet he didn’t have anymore stomach issues, so maybe it was just the stomach bug like the doctor said. We of course enjoyed Thanksgiving with family. I took an allergy pill, ate what I wanted, and hoped I wouldn’t end up in the ER with anaphylaxis.

December

The holidays are busy for everyone. We began this month by putting up our Marvel Christmas tree. I’d seen some superhero, Harry Potter, and Star War variations. Ours was simple we just added some superhero masks we had from our wedding photo booth along with our normal red and gold decorations. My birthday was the 17th. We had a quiet, childless, evening at home watching some Luke Cage on Netflix, with carry out sushi, and wine. I found out two days after my birthday that I won “Teacher of the Year” at my school. I had a great Christmas as it was the first our son was really excited and understood what was going on.  We later celebrated my birthday  and the life of Carrie Fisher by finally watching “Star Wars: Rogue One” and I realized first hand that The Force is with Me. My husband and I’s catch phrase has become “the rebellion was built on Hope.”

christmas-tree
Our (Marvel)ous Christmas Tree

I hope you’ve enjoyed my year in a glimpse. I look forward to sharing more with you in 2017, Happy New Year’s to you and yours.

7 Reasons I Became a “Flexi” Vegan

 

Many people are familiar with the term “Flexitarian”, a Flexitarian diet or a semi-It's a Wrap!vegetarian diet is mostly plant based with the occasional inclusion of meat. I have decided to be a “Part Time Vegan”, which I guess you could say is a Flexitarian as well being that I occasionally include meat, but I still don’t consume other animal products such as eggs and dairy. These are the 7 reasons you should be a Vegan Flexitarian.
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  1. Recipe Creativity

Since I won’t be able to “cheat” with foods like bacon and cheese to create delicious recipes I have to get creative with my meals. Some of my favorite ingredients to include in my vegan meals are avocados, quinoa, black beans, kale, mushrooms, tofu, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes. I used these foods in my cooking before but even more so that I am focusing on vegan cooking. Mushrooms are a great meat substitute being that they give a dish a heartiness like meat does. Avocado often takes the place of creamy dairy products like yogurt, sour cream, and cheese. Black beans, tofu, chickpeas, and quinoa are very good sources of protein in a meatless diet. Almost nothing beats oven baked crispy chickpeas or tofu in a dish, well almost nothing except bacon, but I’m not going there. I’m constantly searching Pinterest for interesting ingredients that get me excited about preparing and enjoying meals even without meat.

2. Limiting Hormones and Other Chemicals

If you enjoy eating meat, fast food, and processed food I am warning you, DO NOT watch “Food Inc.” I saw it on Netflix and as a health and fitness professional I felt obligated to see what information the popular documentary had to offer. I’m not sure if I am happy that I know or that I am mad that it ruined food for me. Conventional foods are pumped with all kinds of chemicals to keep up with the consumer’s demands. First its the growth hormones, that give us chicken breast the size of footballs. Then the antibiotics, that may be causing bacteria to become resilient and end modern medicine as we know it. Then its the overall harmful and unsanitary treatment of the animals. I saw cows that had feces matted in its fur, from being packed in factories rather than rooming in a field. This also reminded by of slaves packed on ships during the middle passage.  I used to believe that it didn’t matter since they were going to the slaughter house, but it does matter. The harmful treatment passes down to us at our dinner tables. Not to mention the abuse that is done to the humans that must work in these environments. I hate to be that person preaching about bad meat is. I’m not going off it totally hence the “flex” part, but a drastic decrease was necessary for me.

3. Weight Loss

Eating vegan does not necessarily mean you will lose weight. I mean french fries and oreos are vegan. But a clean vegan diet, will definitely help. Animal based proteins typically come with higher saturated fat and calories, so if I’m swapping out things like fried chicken, hamburgers, and steak, for quinoa, tofu, and beans typically that will cause a calorie deficit and therefore weight loss. I do have to be careful, because with the saturated fats I lose with animal proteins, comes the “healthy” fats with plant based proteins. Nuts, seeds, and avocados while full of healthy unsaturated fats still pack a lot of calories. I find myself leaning on avocado because I love it so much and it satisfies a lot of calories, so I have to still use portion control. Even fruits can be a gamble because while its natural sugar, certain fruits like bananas, grapes, watermelon, and pineapple have a lot of fruit. So while a vegan plant based diet will hopefully help me reach me weight loss goals. I still have to make sure I am eating clean and using portion control.

4. More Nutrients

Eating a diet that focuses on real plant based products, rather than a lot of processed junk will ensure that I am consuming an abundance of nutrients. Because I am eating fruit and vegetables with every meal, because they are the focus of most of my meals I am guaranteed to reach my vitamin and mineral needs. A clean vegan diet includes pretty much all nutrient dense foods.

5. Cheaper

Meat is expensive. It is the largest part of my grocery bill, and while I am not dragging my husband and son into this, just the reduction of meat on my part will help us reduce our grocery bill. I would probably spend $50 a month on chicken breast alone. I used them so much; in salads or wraps for lunch as well as main courses for dinner. Now I only need to purchase meat for my husbands lunch and dinner. Although my son rarely eats meat anyways, he’s pretty much a vegetarian himself just my being a picky toddler. I live off of chickpeas and black beans when it comes to lunch and whether in the can or dried variety they are a fraction of the cost of meat.

6. Allergies

Many people have allergies to dairy products. I have done some research that suggest that humans should not even being consuming cow’s milk. We are the only species that consumes milk from other animals. This milk, like a human mother’s breast milk ,

 

was meant for their young. I wish I could say the decision I made was based solely on this, be I’m not that righteous.  A few months ago I discovered I was allergic to a few foods including milk and eggs. So minus the meat I was vegan already. When I first learned of this I thought I’d rather be allergic to meat that milk, but I’ve decided to turn this into an opportunity for self improvement.

7. I still like meat

This reason is geared towards the “part time” , “flexi”, and “semi” part. If animal protein are so bad, why not cut them out completely. Because I’m a foodie and I love all food, including and especially meat. I have always been a meat eater, but the grown up wiser me is making better decisions for my well being. I thought maybe I’ll stick with just seafood from time to time. But that just isn’t realistic for me. I enjoy eating a good medium rare steak, and will eat a pack of pepperoni myself, and bacon, don’t get me started on bacon. But I know these things aren’t good for me to be eating in excess, so I’ve decided to drastically reduce, not eliminate my consumption of meat.

This is why I’ve chosen the semi, part time, or flexivegan (whatever you want to call it) diet. I will always stand firm that moderation is key. I never, say never, when it comes to food. But I am making better decisions that will hopefully be worth the sacrifice in the long run.