Tabatas for Kids

One of my most important goals as a parent is to help my children foster an appreciation for fitness and activity. What better way to do that than to take my workout outside and let Mackenzie take part?

I’ve already mentioned that I’m doing tabata style workouts. The two I previously posted (which you can see here and here) are great for doing with kids.

Over the weekend, I decided to take my workout outside and do a running tabata with Mackenzie.

First, we made a chalk line for our “start” and another line for our “finish.”

Then, we raced.

Rest for a ten count.

Race again.

Repeated 8 times through.

Then, we took turns running “as fast as we can.”

*Bending the rules of tabata to match what works for Mack and for me*

We made sure to have lots of water and a healthy snack :)

Then dad got home from his bike ride and we raced him.

Then we raced on the bikes.

I also did Tabata Three with Mackenzie!

That one has some really fun moves: caterpillar planks, jump squats, spider planks, etc. Mack had a blast jumping around with me and before we knew it, we had both done a pretty good workout.




Lots of fun!

I want to make sure that y’all have seen these printouts for the tabata workouts. The printouts have lots of little tips and also show how to do some of the moves you might not know just by name. There are three so far – you can find all three under the Fit Mama: Workouts tab.

*After putting this post together, I saw an article from the BBC about playgrounds for adults. I absolutely love this concept and hope that it gets adopted here in the US. You can read the full article on the adult playgrounds here.

The point is, working out can also be family time. It doesn’t have to be time spent away from the kiddos, cooped up in some gym. The goal for me is an active and healthy lifestyle for us all.

How do you incorporate fitness with your kids?

Bicycle Commuting Faux Pas

Once upon a time I thought I could ride my bike from Salt Lake to Ogden, no big deal.

As you know, I stared bike commuting on Wednesday. Since my overall commute is 84 miles roundtrip I can’t bike the whole thing (yet!). There is also a super dangerous rode – where I crashed the truck – that I will never ride my bike on. Instead, I ride through the dangerous canyon with Nick and have him drop me off just on the other side. From there, I ride about 4 miles to the train station.

The train has these great bike compartment cars

This is not my bike but you get the idea…

Thirty-some miles later, I arrive in Salt Lake City. From there it is just about 3 miles to my office.

That’s only 14 miles throughout the day so I thought I’d just wear my regular clothes – no need for fancy biking gear.

But then, after work I got this brilliant idea: “what if I just skip the whole train thing and just ride my bike the whole way”

Now, to be fair, I did tell this idea to Nick and he was incredibly kind and supportive. “Okay,” he said, “keep me posted on where you’re at.”

And off I went.

Note to self: Do not trust BING maps. You know you love Google. You know you can trust Google. Don’t be misled by the preinstalled app on your Windows Phone – BING is not your friend.

The directions for “my location” to Ogden, selecting a “walking route” which should theoretically be a bike friendly route quickly led me to a freeway interchange and no options but to get on the highway or to continue due east. Okay friends, Ogden is due NORTH so going East for six miles was really not a happy choice.

I sort of got lost. And just as I started to get frustrated, I saw this sign.

Lies.

I ended up going 13 miles before Nick called and said he’d already left work, picked the kids up from school and was on his way south to come find me.

Good thing too. I did 13 miles and ended up maybe seven miles outside of Salt Lake. I also want to point out that it took me forever to do those 13 miles! I got stuck at two different trains and had to sit and wait. Here’s the complete inefficiency of my route:

 

That put me at a total of 19 miles for the day. I use the Garmin Forerunner 405 to track my distance, time and pace. The 405 then syncs to my computer and online account which is where that handy little map you see comes from :)

Also, remember when I thought I wouldn’t need any fancy bike gear? Ha!

I could have used something a bit more athletic than skinny jeans and a pair of Tom’s.

Lessons learned my friends. Lessons learned!

Today, I’m riding the train sans bike so that I can pick up my car in the city and bring it home – bike commuting will resume on Monday and I can guarantee that I’ll be appropriately dressed.

Chilled Salmon Salad w/ Dill Dressing

Remember that yummy salmon I made yesterday? Well, I had ulterior motives for cooking up that salmon: I’ve been craving salmon salad!

I simply threw together the chilled leftovers of yesterday’s salmon with some orange and red cherry tomatoes, sliced carrots and spring mix.

This dressing is super easy to make and tastes so fresh and so incredibly light. It’s also incredibly healthy.

Fresh Dill Dressing

  • ½ Cup Chobani 2% (you can also use the 0%, but I opted for the extra creaminess of the two)
  • ¼ Cup Milk
  • Chopped Dill Sprigs
  • 1 Tbsp Pickle Juice (optional)
  • ½ Tsp Seasoning (such as Johnny’s or Lawry’s Seasoning Salt)
  • Place all ingredients in a sealable container such as a mason jar. Close and shake until well combined.
  • Chill overnight for best flavor.


This dressing is great with the chilled salmon but would also pair nicely with sliced veggies as a dip, used as a sandwich spread, I especially recommend it with red bell pepper slices.

And one more picture because the colors are just so lovely :)

You can find other recipes using Chobani by visiting the “My Chobani Kitchen” tab under “Recipes” – you can make recipe requests there as well! Go check it out!

**

I’m off to work bright and early this morning! I started bicycle commuting – yesterday was my first day – and it takes a little while longer to get to work. It is totally worth it though and I really enjoy getting the fresh air instead of rotting inside my car each morning.

The only thing I’m missing is a coffee cup holder:

Why yes, that is me riding my bike through the drive through at Starbucks. Don’t even worry about it :)

Mental Strength Conditioning

I have good news: my kidney infection is just about cleared out! I spent the afternoon at the doctors office having some exams and tests done. The positive is that the antibiotics are working just fine and my kidney infection is just about over. However, I still have some stuff going on that they can’t quite explain. I should get some test results back in the next few days and we’ll be able to see whats going on. Its nothing major – its not like I’m waiting to hear back if I have cancer or anything like that – just some girly stuff, hormone stuff that has been giving me all kinds of trouble.

After being poked and prodded for a couple hours, I knew I wanted to treat myself my family to an extra nice dinner. I made Dill Salmon, which is one of my favorite salmon recipes, and paired it with roasted green beans and shrimp cocktails. I don’t know about you but whenever I make seafood, I feel like we’re super fancy – especially now that we live in Utah and good seafood is hard to come by (trust me, this filet I managed to find nothing to brag about – IF YOU LIVE IN UTAH, might I recommend that you pick up your seafood from Harmon’s – I wasn’t near one of their stores and had a hard time finding any salmon, let alone decent salmon). That being said, our meal was still very good.

To make this salmon: simply place the salmon filet on a piece of foil, sprinkle with black pepper, fresh cut dill, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Wrap and bake for 25-30 min on 350 – until fish is flaky but not dry.

I also prepared the green beans in foil just so I could use the same pan and make clean up a little easier. I added a teaspoon of olive oil and two chopped cloves of garlic – wrapped and baked alongside the salmon.

Talk about super easy!

We decided to go out for a leisurely post-dinner family workout. Nick took the boys in the double jogger to run, while I rode my bike.

I’m pretty sure Nick’s work out was anything but leisurely since our neighborhood is full of hills and he had all the weight to push but my bike ride was fairly easy and was a great “let’s see how we feel about this” kind of a ride. I’m not supposed to be pushing it too hard with the exercise thing until my kidney infection is completely gone. I felt good though, so why not?

We paused at the top of one of our hills to enjoy the view as the sun started to disappear behind the mountains.

As I was riding up and down the hills, I realized that I have really improved my riding skills even in just a few rides. I used to hate the hills and dread them from the moment I left our driveway. Of course, I love the “whee” celebration I get to have on all of the downhills but I absolutely hated that upward push. And I was terrible at hills – slow, breathing all over the place, not maintaining a straight line. I have forced myself to continue going up these hills even when I’ve wanted to get off my bike and walk. (I should mention the hills in our neighborhood are monsters – there is nearly 1,000 foot change in elevation between our house and the main road.) Anyway, my point is this – I’m getting better! I’m starting to actually enjoy the hills because I can really feel my legs working hard, the blooding pumping and once I crest that hill I get this immense feeling of accomplishment. Every hill is a victory.

Last week, I saw an ad in a magazine for “mental strength conditioning.” The ad was for Griffin Hill and here is their sales pitch:

“Before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Heather McPhie was ranked #27 in the world. Then she met Dr. Craig Manning, Griffin Hill Mental Strength Coach. Six months and 25 sessions later, Heather was #2 in the world and on her way to the games.”

I was intrigued because even though I grew up knowing all about the “power of positivie thinking,” I had never heard of mental strength conditioning or coaching. I checked out Griffen Hill’s website and it doesn’t give away too much info about the “how” or principles behind their practice. So I instead turned to the internet for some answers. Turns out the gist of this is something along the lines of improved self confidence, clarity of thought, harnessing stress and anxiety, relaxed concentration – all of which come together to help you overcome plateaus and deal with the twists and turns that become game changers.

Most everything in fitness is a mind game. Every time I see those hills coming, my mind starts complaining “great, this is gonna suck.” If you have ever gone for a run, you know that your mind will tell you that you are “done” long before your body will. Another great example of this is the contestants on The Biggest Loser. Almost all of them end up having some sort of psychological reason behind their weight gain and once they can shatter those thoughts, the pounds really start dropping.

And even though I know that its all a mind game, I still hear myself say things sometimes like “I’m not a good runner” “I’ll never be able to do the big hills” or “I can’t go that fast.” Why do I do that? I mean certainly, I’m no outstanding runner today. But why can’t I be? Why can’t I go that fast? Why can’t I bike those mountain passes?

I think getting out and putting in the work on the pavement is really only half the battle – getting my mind to join me is the other half. Getting my thoughts to line up with my intentions.

I am becoming a good runner. I am getting faster. I have an opportunity for greatness.

These are the mantras I should be running to/ biking to/ swimming to. These are the thoughts I should hear in my pulse. Let the mental strength conditioning begin!

What do you hear in your pulse? Is your inner voice defeated or building you up? What will your new mantra be?

Book Recommendation: but it comes with a warning

There are some big changes going around these parts – a lot of them are behind the scenes stuff that has changed the way that I post and put together posts. With other things, you’ll be able to see a difference once it all goes through. I’m excited, nervous and a little overwhelmed right now. Just hold tight as my posting schedule might be a bit erratic and will be based solely on my ability to access this site. Thanks for being patient with me!

As you all know, I was diagnosed with a kidney infection last week. Several people have asked me what’s going on with my kidneys since this isn’t the first infection I’ve had to fight since I’ve been blogging. Well, long story short, I have a problem with my right kidney and I am much more susceptible to infections. I have had several since my first one in 2005, this being my fifth. They are extremely painful but the sooner I can get to the doctor and get on antibiotics, the better. I can also do things to avoid them, which I haven’t been that great about lately. Foolish.

Anyway, I had lots of down time on Friday and over the weekend which allowed me to finish both of the books I was reading; one of which was Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.

I absolutely loved Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.

For anyone who has been reading The Bloggess for a while now, you know that Jenny Lawson is laugh out loud funny, irreverent and ironic. Her voice comes across loud and clear in all of her writing and all of her stories are so completely ridiculous, you can’t help but remember them.

Reading a funny book while recovering from a kidney infection is a terrible idea.

Why? Because laughing hurts.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t put the book down. I laughed, and I “ow ow ow”-d and laughed some more.

I’m not really sure how someone can write about having turkeys for pets, arguing with your husband about zombification versus resurrection, and an imagined unicorn named Harold and have the story come together into a cohesive whole that not only makes sense but actually makes you happy.

I laughed at Jenny’s stories of growing up, working in HR, trying to impress her to-be-husband’s family. But I also loved the not-so-funny parts when Jenny talked about her troubles with anxiety, her attempts at becoming a mother – the losses she has had to deal with.

I highly recommend this book. Even if Jenny’s writing isn’t really your style – the book is so funny and so absurd that it will be a nice break from your own life every time you turn a few pages.

Here’s what you’re in store for:

“I apologize in advance for that, and also for offending you, because you’re going to get halfway through this book and giggle at non sequiturs about Hitler and poverty, and you’ll feel superior to all the uptight, easily offended people who need to learn how to take a f*ing joke, but then somewhere in here you’ll read one random thing that you’re sensitive about, and everyone else will think it’s hysterical, but you’ll think, ‘Oh, that is way over the line.’ I apologize for that one thing. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“High school is life’s way of giving you a record low to judge the rest of your life by.”

“I’ve never really liked girls. I realize this is stereotypical and hypocritical, since I am one myself, but to be fair, I probably wouldn’t hang out with myself if given the option…. Whenever I head of women who are still friends with the girls they went to school with, I always make a mental note to avoid them, because I assume they’re compulsive liars.”

[About the pile of laundry yet to be put away] “I see it as a personal achievement… a physical manifestation of all the laundry I’ve done over the last few months…. Victor says it’s like a crazy person lives in our house and is sculpting Mount Vesuvius out of the sweaters that need to be in storage.”

And, finally, my most favorite:

“Because I can finally see that all the terrible parts of my life, the embarrassing parts, the incidents I wanted to pretend never happened, and the things that make me “weird” and “different,” were actually the most important parts of my life. They were the parts that made me me…. Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. Because there is joy in embracing – rather than running screaming from - the utter absurdity of life.”

Granted, the stories that made me laugh the hardest are also the stories that are completely inappropriate for me to share here. So, you’re gonna have to just get the book and see for yourself. Unless of course, you’re super conservative and will be not only offended by that one thing as Jenny mentions, but are instead offended by every last word. Yeah, then I don’t recommend this book at all. Know thy self, people!

What I really loved about this book is that even though I can’t relate to being mortifyingly embarrassed during a “Cow Husbandry” class in high school, where a turkey baster gets lost *somewhere* – I can relate to thinking that I was the odd duck in the group and wishing I could just be more normal and then coming to a point in life where I most certainly do not want to be other people’s “normal.” It’s a lesson all of us can appreciate even if we get lost in the Jesus-zombie debate ourselves.

Affinity Fraud

The other day I read an article in Utah Business about fraud in Utah. The article starts out discussing Val Southwick “the Bernie Madoff of Utah” and his sentencing for “the biggest fraud scheme in Utah history” stating that Utahns still haven’t learned their lesson – that there are still a growing number of white collar crimes, namely affinity fraud.

In “State of Fraud: Why is Utah Rife with Fraudulent Investment Schemes?” Gaylen Webb uses the argument that “In Utah, we tend to know who are neighbors are…[there is] a lot of inherent trust… it makes Utah a great place to live but also makes us vulnerable to this type of activity.”

What is affinity fraud? It’s when you are taken advantage of someone you know and have a relationship with. The article is of course centered on investment fraud but it really got me thinking about other ways that we can fall victim to affinity fraud.

    But first, I just have to share this because it is so incredibly absurd and I think will help flesh out the rest of what I want to discuss:

“Woodell (Utah Division of Securities Director) describes one con artist who defrauded a woman in his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Church congregation by saying that he had come from the LDS temple, that he had been very blessed in his life and that he had prayed about what he should be doing now. “He told her, point blank, he had received revelation that his mission in life now was to help people like her with their finances. Essentially, he said, ‘I have been sent by God to help you.’ That’s a powerful argument. If you feel like this is a good person, and you share the same faith, you can understand why that kind of strategy sometimes succeeds. They guy ended up just flat out stealing her money.”

You can read the whole article here.

So back to what I was saying about the other ways we fall victim to affinity fraud. Just allow me this one other tangent. I promise it will all come together in a minute.

I’ve spoken very little on this blog about how messed up my life was growing up. I try to keep things pretty upbeat around here and that stuff was all so long ago that I don’t feel that it matters all that much. Except that it does matter – how I was treated as a kid, how incredibly low my self-esteem was, how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin – those memories, experiences and lessons have all made me the person that I am today; for better and sometimes for worse. The better and the worse part of it is better left for another post (no pun intended).

Here’s the short story: I grew up in private Christian school and I hated every moment of it. I hated that because my parents were divorced I was some sort of black sheep in the tribe. Which was really just odd considering that I wasn’t the only one with divorced parents – we were all equally shunned but dealt with it in different ways I guess. Because of my parents’ divorce, whenever I acted out in class – questioning things, doubting authority – I just got sent to therapy because I had anger issues over my parents’ divorce. I was super skinny and uncomfortable for all the normal reasons people feel uncomfortable in middle school and junior high – but being sent out of a class to go see a psychologist because I’d questioned the teacher was a really great way to help me feel normal. Yeah, that’s sarcasm, in case you were in any way confused.

I hated the school. I hated the kids I went to school with (for the most part…I did manage to have some friends) but overall I just couldn’t wait to get out of that hell hole (ironic since it was in a church) and get out into the real world and meet real people.

I’ve mentioned before about my memory of being told that I’d end up “knocked up and alone.” I was told lots of really great things by those folks prancing around and calling themselves Christians teachers.

And here’s where I get to the point: Those hurtful things were all affinity fraud.

“Affinity fraud is analogous to child abuse: a person in a position of trust victimizes another individual who has trusted them in good faith.” (also from the above article)

People close to me, people who had a relationship with me, they sold me on the idea that I wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t pretty. Was too skinny. Wasn’t talented in anything. That no one would love me. They sold me on lots of ideas. And they flat out robbed me.

They robbed me of opportunities I didn’t think I was capable of going after. They robbed me of a lot of happiness in my adolescent years. They robbed me of my own self-worth.

“We Con Ourselves”

In the article, Gaylen states that “the good con artists help us con ourselves.” And I think that is incredibly true with the hurts that I have had as well. Certainly, those people said horrible things, but how I let it affect me and how I have carried that weight on my shoulders has been my own doing. Certainly, I am a stronger person now – but those past emotions still creep up on me from time to time, still leave me feeling anxious about others opinions of me, nervous around new people, always on the mission to impress people. But I am growing; I have grown. And I know now that these feelings are just me conning myself; robbing myself.

And I realize that this post really doesn’t go along with the whole “I try to keep things pretty upbeat” but this is real life and it’s important to me. And yes, those moments were long ago but I have to wonder if they still go on for someone else, maybe even for me and maybe sometimes we are our own “affinity con-artists” selling ourselves on ideas that end up robbing us from what life really had to offer. Anytime we’re told that we can’t, or that we aren’t good enough, or that we don’t deserve something – those are the words of a con artist. Whether the artist knows it or not.

Who are you listening to? Are you investing in yourself or are you being conned into something less?

Fun Reads for Friday

Well guys, you may have noticed that I was gone all day yesterday (special thanks to those that emailed asking if I was OK).

I don’t want to bore you guys with all the details but the end story is that I have a kidney infection.

I had woken up in the middle of the night with intense nausea and pain in my lower back, spreading toward my abs. I thought at first that maybe I had an upset stomach because we had REALLY spicy food for dinner, then I thought maybe my stomach hurt because I have been really stressed out this week. But, it just wouldn’t let up. I finally worked up the strength to drive myself to the doctor, where I was immediately put on an IV with fluids. They also gave me pain meds and nausea medicine through that IV in intervals. Fun times.

I received some antibiotics to take over the next week and instructions to get some rest. I know a kidney infection sounds awful and while it is, you should also know that I am more susceptible to getting them and I get them quite often. This is my fifth one so I am pretty used to the whole routine at this point. Basically, don’t worry about me!

Since I’m still not feeling too great, I thought I’d check in with y’all and send you some fun reads for Friday.

  • Creamy Avocado Smoothie. A “Green Smoothie” with no spinach and NO DAIRY!! Woohoo, now all you lactose or non-dairy folks have something to get excited about! I was actually directed not to have dairy for at least 24 hours with this kidney infection so I have a feeling I’ll be making one of these today!
  • So You Want to Try a Tri. A great post about starting out in triathlons – what to wear, what bike to ride and how to coordinate race fees. You all will remember that I got into a car accident the day before my first triathlon (which was an indoor tri that would serve as my first try – pun pun pun :) ) I know that I still really want to do a tri and I am working to get back to that place of preparedness. I really appreciate this info and I assume any other first time tri -ers will too! For more tips on TRIs you might want to consider joining the FitFluential Tri Group on Facebook.
  • Y R U So Nasty. I really like Cam’s thoughts on the lyrics in a lot of current pop songs. I often tell Nick that I don’t want to listen to such and such song because I find it especially demeaning of women, or just plain old disgusting – Cam’s point is that some things are better left to the imagination. And like Cam, I have often wondered if these feelings make me what she has phrased “a Granny Grump.”
  • The Day in the Life of a Work-at-Home Mom. Just a super cute post that made me smile. Enjoy.

I’m off to read my books! The plus side of not feeling well and not being able to sleep: I’m getting a ton of reading done :)

Chicken Skewers with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Here’s another super-fast weeknight dinner for ya!

The sauce takes a little forethought but I’d still consider this a quick and easy meal.

Chicken Skewers with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 8-10 min* Serves: 4

*The sauce requires prepping the peppers overnight which I did not include in the prep/cook time.

Ingredients:

  • 3 -4 Chicken Breasts, cut into 1″ squares
  • 1 lb Tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • 2 Jalapenos (for a less spicy sauce use only one or replace with green chilies), sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • Small Handful Cilantro
  • ½ Cup Chobani Plain 2%

Method:

For the sauce:

  • Chop garlic – cut tomatillos and slice jalapenos – clean cutting is not important as we will be simmering these in the crock pot.
  • In a crock pot, combine the cut tomatillos, minced garlic and sliced jalapenos. Add in ¼ cup water. Simmer on low for roughly 8 hours (I just set mine overnight)
  • Strain this mixture and refrigerate until cool.
  • In a food processor, combine the tomatillo mixture, cilantro and Chobani.

For the skewers:

  • Prep the skewer sticks by soaking in water.
  • Pierce the chicken onto the skewers, season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Grill until full cooked (I did mine on the George and it took about 3 minutes on each side)

Serve topped with sauce or on the side.

We enjoyed our skewers alongside black beans topped with cojita cheese.

Now, we’re off to enjoy the last bit of sunshine for the night and relax from a rather long and stressful day. How you ask? With adult beverages and a dip in the hot tub :)

Have a great night!

You can find more recipes using Chobani by visiting My Chobani Kitchen under the Recipe tab.

 

We’re All Just Learning to Walk

Good morning! I hope you all are having a great start to this Wednesday! I’m happy to hear that several of you have already tried and enjoyed yesterday’s tabata workout. I loved it so much that I actually did it again last night while watching the Biggest Loser :)

I also just need to apologize for the pictures in this post – I couldn’t find the real camera this morning so this post is riddled with myspace-esque cell phone photos. Who’s excited?

Workout

If you enjoyed yesterday’s tabata circuit, you are going to be happy because I have another one for ya! This one focuses a bit more on your arms but it still gets the blood pumpin!

CLICK HERE FOR THE PRINTABLE VERSION of TABATA TWO

Before I completed the tabata circuit, I went out for a quick bike ride around the neighborhood. I did a total of 2.25 miles – just a baby short ride! I really did not want to get off my bike and I would much rather that I was telling you I went out for 20 miles but I figured that no one in my office would appreciate me using my shower time to go for a long bike ride. There’s only so much that deodorant can hide :)

The 2.5 mile ride was still a decent effort because it was almost all hills. I hate hills! But, I also sort of love them once its over.

Breakfast

I whipped up a delicious smoothie/milkshake this morning that you guys are going to love. I omitted ice for the first time which made the smoothie much more smooth and ice-cream-like than my typical concoctions.

Chocolate Orange Protein Shake

  • 1 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 -6oz Chobani in Blood Orange flavor
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder (I used vanilla because that is all I had but if you use chocolate powder, limit the addition of cocoa powder by half)

I also packed one of the breakfast burritos I made yesterday. I packed “the classic” and added in some chives and jalapenos. I’ll probably heat this up and enjoy as a mid morning snack since that smoothie really filled me up.

**

Learning to Walk

Back when we lived in Everett, I worked as a volunteer with Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Snohomish County. In order to become a volunteer, I had to go through the DVS training program in order to learn how to deal with certain aspects of the department (such as 911 calls, working in the shelter, counseling women and children and other various things). The DVS program is an “advocacy based” social service. The core belief is that you are always acting as an advocate – offering resources, support and a listening ear; we do not “do” anything – we help the women “do for themselves.”

The idea behind this is similar to the old saying “give a man a fish, he eats for a day – teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime” but it goes a step beyond that. The idea is that if we merely do the work for the women in the shelter – get them a job, find them housing, etc then they still are in a position where they can’t do it on their own. Helping someone too much gives the subconscious message that they can’t do it themselves. Helping people, however, and being there to answer questions is much more powerful.

I have always believed this but the class really helped to flesh out this type of teaching. You can see this principle at work in lots of places. I see it in everything I do for my children.

Spencer is just learning how to walk. He is a speed demon when he has something he can walk behind and push in front of him.

He’s a happy clam when I hold his hand to walk.

And I’m fairly certain that he could walk on his own if he would just let go of my finger. I try to switch from my letting him grasp my whole hand, to just one finger and eventually pry that away from him as well. Sometimes, if he doesn’t notice right away – he’ll remain standing and go to take an additional step without my help. As soon as he realizes my finger is gone though he will drop his bottom down to the floor and then crawl. Its only when he sees that he isn’t holding a hand anymore.

So he’s not walking yet.

But I keep letting go of his hand and eventually – he’ll do it on his own.

Life is a lot like learning to walk. Sometimes things are intimidating or even impossible for us where we are currently. We haven’t developed the skills yet or we aren’t well versed in whatever it is we are stepping into.

And so we like to have a “hand to hold” and help us wobble around and get a good feel for things.

Eventually that hand has to go away though. And maybe we’re still trying to grasp onto that pinky finger that we believe “we still need” but how will we know unless we let go? In the real world, its more often the case that the pinky finger is taken from us before we would really like it to be or before we truly feel comfortable on our own.

As a parent, its always good to remember that taking away the pinky finger is not only beneficial, its necessary. We can’t “do” for our kids forever – we have to let them stumble a bit and pick up on their own. Be an advocate for our children.

As a person, its always good to remember that sometimes we’re going to feel as though our safety net (that pinky finger, or whatever it may be) has abandoned us. It is then that we get to hone our skills, find our strength and take a step on our own. And that’s really what we want isn’t it? People in our lives that will help and encourage us to be able to do for ourselves rather than coddle and suppress our growth. Our weakness is only a chance to become stronger. I have strong advocates in my life – I want to be a strong advocate in others.

After all, we are all just learning to walk in some fashion or another.

Three Breakfast Burritos

I have a dirty confession to make.

I kind of don’t even want to admit that I lust after this as much as I do.

But, when I drive to work in the morning I pass by three and I have to admit there have been days that I’ve had the will power to skip one, even two and then given in to the third.

What is it you ask? The breakfast burrito from Carl’s Jr. It is pathetic how much I crave that thing. The last time I was there, I looked at the menu while I was waiting for my food and noticed that my beloved burrito comes in well over 700 calories and had a boatload of fat.

I knew it wasn’t exactly healthy but my goodness.

It sounds like lots of you have a similar craving for spicy breakfast and the other day I received a special request to put together a recipe for a fast and easy breakfast burrito using Chobani. The funny thing is that I do this quite often but I’ve never taken a photo or posted about it.

When I want the scrambled egg style burrito, I always use Chobani, but there are times when I want more of a runny, sunny side up type burrito. So…

I’ve put together three different breakfast burritos that you can easily prepare in under 5 minutes! That’s less time than it would take you to sit through the drive through line and I promise these are way better than anything at Carl’s Jr.

#1 The Classic

Start with two eggs, ¼ Cup Chobani, 1 or 2 Tomatoes, cilantro and some cheese.

In a glass bowl, whisk the eggs and Chobani together, adding any desired salt and pepper at this time. Cover and microwave for 1 ½ minutes. (Seriously, cover it up, it will probably poof up and pop a little)    

Use a fork to whip up the eggs a bit and then place your eggs, cheese and tomato slices onto a tortilla.

Consider adding any of these other items to add some pizazz: jalapeno, annaheim pepper, chives, or avocado. I usually add in whatever it is that I have on hand at the time.

#2 Mole Breakfast Burrito

Start with two eggs, 1 Tbsp Mole Sauce*, and some cilantro.

In a glass bowl, heat one egg at a time in the microwave. Microwave for about 35 seconds.

Place the cooked eggs over two corn tortillas and top with mole sauce and chopped cilantro.

#3 Tomatillo Breakfast Burrito

Follow the exact same instructions as the mole version, substituting the mole sauce for tomatillo salsa*.

** The best place to get mole or tomatillo sauce is to stop in at a local mom and pop Mexican Restaurant. They usually prepare salsa fresh daily and you can buy even a sample cup size. There is a place in Ogden that I stop in at from time to time – I asked them if I could buy some of their sauce in order to do these burritos and the woman simply gave me some.

And just to prove to you how quick and easy these recipes are:

That’s the time it took me – start to finish – to make all three of these, take the photos and clean up :)

What do you like to have for breakfast? Do you go for the hot and savory or more for the sweet and sticky?

I’m off to hang with the boys a bit and prep for tomorrow’s long day in Salt Lake. Hope y’all have a great evening!

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