Monday, August 18, 2014

Strawberry Flank Steak Salad

The first day of school has approached and I'm having such emotions- happy, sad, disbelief and nervous.  As a mom its difficult to admit that I'm ready for school to begin.  I love my children with all my heart but the lack of routine, them being at each others throats is driving me crazy!  I hate being the mom who always seems short with their kids and I'm ready to get back to the mom who's full of patience.  

By 3:00pm, I'm so excited to see my girl get off the bus to hear what her day has been like.  Our conversation usually lasts for only 10 minutes during the warmer months until she's ready to run outside to play with her sister and friends.  I've been lucky to still have our family dinners but know these will soon changes too.  Our after school activities have already started to leave our house pretty busy at night.  Instead of fussing over an elaborate dinner during these hectic times, I'd much rather spend the time with my family.  
{Enter the Perfect Meal}

I love this summer salad because it's so versatile and can be made ahead of time or on the run.

Strawberry Salad with Spinach, Feta and Flank Steak

Yields 4 Servings @ 365 calories per serving

8 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. poppy seeds
8 cups fresh baby spinach
3 cup sliced strawberries
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
8 tsp. sliced raw almonds
12 oz. flank steak
Juice from 1 Lime

1. Preheat oven broiler or grill.
2. Marinate flank steak in lime juice, salt and pepper. Do this right on the paper the steak comes wrapped in for easy clean up.
3. Place on broiler pan and cook, turning once until medium rare, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
4. Remove to a cutting board to rest.
5. Combine oil, vinegar, mustard, and poppy seeds in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
6. Combine spinach, strawberries, and green onion in a large serving bowl; mix well.
7. Slice steak
8. Drizzle salad with dressing. Season with pepper; toss gently to blend.
9. Top with cheese and almonds.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Danger of Comparison

A couple of days ago I posted a quote on Facebook that seemed to strike a cord with a lot of women.

It got me thinking.... 
Instead of feeling confident about where we are, why do we doubt ourselves?
So many of us are exposed to photos 24/7 due to Instagram, TimeHop and Facebook.  When I'm having a great day, these photos are wonderful to look at but when I'm having a bad day looking at the photos makes me feel like I'm not good enough.

 Am I failing as a mother because part of me is excited for them to go back to school?  
Have I done something wrong that my girls are yelling at each other all day? 
Am I a less than par wife because I don't get butterflies every time my husband walks through the door?

It's easy to look at people and assume they have the perfect life- happy Facebook photos, smiling kiddos, and always wonderful things to say about their significant other.  I will admit that I have gotten sucked into these 'perfect' pictures and started questioning if I was doing something wrong.  After posting this quote and my feelings, I was amazed by how many other women felt the same way. I realized that I'm not alone.

Most of us have internal struggles, rough moments with their kids and ups and downs in their personal life. We need to stop comparing ourselves to how others appear from social media.  A photo can be retaken hundreds of times before the perfect one is posted, most kids will smile every time someone takes their photo even if they're halfway through a tantrum and a couple smiling in their selfie is probably because they're enjoying some kid free time.

The next time you start comparing your life to other based on photos, stop and take a look at the photos you've posted.  You'll see love, fun times and the awesome life you're creating for yourself. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My 1 Year Transformation

It's been 1 year since I decided to make a change in my life!
Who knew back then I was even looking for a change?

Although I've always been very physically active, I never watched what I ate or drank.  I used the excuse that since I workout out hard, I could eat whatever I wanted.  Unfortunately, not having an understanding of food vs. exercise was what kept me from reaching my potential.

I was not living with the body I knew I could have so I made a change.  I decided to give my gym a break and try an at home program.  A week later, I joined a T25 Challenge Group and received unconditional motivation, encouragement and peer support for 10 weeks.  I was surprised at how driven I was to workout and eat right. 

T25 helped set a foundation for me both physically and mentally.  It took me a while to get over the guilt that I could achieve a better more effective workout in 25 minutes then I could at the gym.  Once I got that idea out of my mind, I was excited to explore other programs.   

I still have days where I'm not motivated.
I still have days where I get down on myself when I think I'm slacking.
  I still have days where I just feel like a complete failure. 

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