21 Day Fix results

I know most people see mega results after following this meal plan… but you know me… I had to take my fair share of cheat days. And with multiple birthday sushi dinners thrown in there and other friend/family celebrations, I’m SUPER pumped to be down ten pounds. My typical pattern is to usually gain a bit this time of year, so no diet shaming here!

The biggest tweak I made to my diet is to basically cut out the heavy carby carbs prior to dinner. Breakfasts are usually apple and peanut butter or hard boiled eggs. Lunch is always veggie-heavy with some protein. And then dinner is a more of a free-for-all situation. If we’re cooking at home, we’re making food light on carbs. If we’re eating out, it’s obviously harder to plan. No matter what, I try to track as much as possible. Here’s my system (pic taken yesterday):


It’s basic and easier for me than Weight Watchers.

Other changes: EXERCISE! I sweat nearly everyday. I’m seeing major improvements in lifting weights, planks, push ups, ab workouts, stamina in spin class and ankle strength.

I’ve told a few of you about the black bean brownies I’ve been making to kick the sweet tooth. They’re from Chocolate Covered Katie and found here. Here’s my second batch:


Sorry, still working on my blogging skills.

Ok, now I’m off to check out the website Paleo Leap… suggested to me by Amanda during our fabulous salad party lunch earlier today. Long live healthy friendships!

Any other healthy foodie websites I should check out?



One week in


I even have Eli on board… and I truly believe he’s the secret to my success. My advice if you’re looking to change your lifestyle: be open and honest with the people in your home/life, and ask for the help you need. Although he’s not tracking food with me, he is an all-star in the kitchen and can make healthy ingredients taste restaurant quality (i.e. meatball stuffed poblano peppers in spicy tomato stew…drool!). And he’s 100% into family fitness and showing Cassidy how much we value being outside and active as a family. He totally kicked my butt on Saturday when he suggested we climb the Mt. Tabor stairs… with Cass… on our backs. He carried her up once and then strapped her to my back for round 2. Brutal. People probably thought we were insane-o. I thought we were insane-o.

I’m down 6 lbs this week, which isn’t surprising… water weight and such. But I’m already stronger with improved stamina during my workouts.

Stay tuned for a recipe in my next post… an approved sweet treat all three of us love!


21 Day Fix

Ty graciously lent me her 21 Day Fix food and workout system a few weeks ago (she also included 3 bottles of wine, which I was much more interested in), and I’ve been avoiding the food plan like nobody’s biz (loving the workouts though!). The color coded containers that you’re supposed to measure everything with just look so… small? Can I really curb my appetite THAT much overnight? “Here Cass, Auntie Ty sent you some mini containers to play with.” And then they vanished under the couch and never bothered me again.

Until I fished them out and started using them… TODAY (ten minutes ago)! Ahh! Another day, another diet. All in all, this is a lot like Weight Watchers, with an even bigger emphasis on portion control (my Achilles heel). No freebies here, folks! We’re counting fruit and veggies now… hooray!?

I’ve been pretty consistent with the morning fasting since my last post (and it should be noted that I’ve seen zero weight loss since then)… but this morning I went to a 5:30am spin class (toot toot!), and there is just no possible way to make it until noon. So I busted out my containers and made myself a mini brunch (minus the mimosas) of 2 hard-boiled eggs and an apple with cinnamon… that’s one purple container and one red container…

This is going to be complicated, isn’t it? I just made the silliest little chart as an attempt to keep track. If I’ve learned anything from the diet merry-go-round, it’s that I don’t lose weight if I’m not tracking.


Still missing the red one, blame the baby



And a snapshot from Easter in Florence:


Blowing bubbles by the sea





St. Patty’s Day

Our family doesn’t go too far with St. Patty’s Day celebrations. Sure, Eli loves his Irish Whiskey, and I don’t mind dressing Cass up in current holiday flare, but we aren’t the ones running around town drinking green beer mid week. So it was almost an accident when we planned to make Smitten Kitchen’s broccoli fritters on Thursday. But hey, green food! Maybe Cass will diss this like everything else I try to feed her. (Seriously, how did the two of us get a picky eater?)

This recipe was incredibly easy, and we’ll modify it with other veggies in the future. We used avocado oil for pan frying… so healthy fried food, right? Find the recipe here! We served it with a Costco rotisserie chicken and hot sauce.


Cass enjoyed playing with them but not so much eating them. I guess I’ll have to make Cheerio fritters next time.


Today is my first day off from working out this week (but we still plan to walk a couple miles)! I’m loving the momentum and increased stamina. And thank you all for the sweet comments, texts, phone calls and emails about the site. It’s fun thinking about my blog, recipes and pictures again. XO



Inching my way back

I’m just gonna sneak back in here and hope no one notices for a while. It’s been a year and a half since my last post, so I assume no one is even checking anymore. Life has changed in a million ways that are hard to even list or put into words. And those questions I was riddling myself with in my last post? Well (most of) those things are either laughable, irrelevant or have long been resolved. We DEFINITELY use the 80 wipes my mom made. And yes, I can manage the cost of health insurance. As far as the daycare questions go – we feel like we won the lottery in that department. Cassidy loves it there and we feel like it’s the best money we’ve ever spent. Generally speaking, it seems most things in the parenting category are falling into place… for now.🙂

But… wait for it… I still weigh over 220 pounds. I’ve lost almost zero pounds since the birth. I took all the delicious advice to “eat what you want, you’re eating for two!” and “don’t worry, you’ll lose weight when you breastfeed” and “give yourself a break – you JUST HAD A BABY!” Basically these statements took over my brain, became my new mantra and guess what… Those old eating habits that I spent the better part of my late 20’s and early 30’s undoing came back in full force.

So here I sit. My back hurts, my ankle hurts and my self-confidence is shaky. There are weeks when I maintain a workout plan, and then the excuses take over and convince me to focus on anything BUT physical activity. Or I’ll try cutting back carbs… which just means I eat more meat, and that doesn’t make me feel good either. There are days when I track calories, but then I “forget” to do so when pizza becomes an option.

So Sara told me to pick one little thing at a time to change. I spent awhile thinking about that. What can I feasibly change on a daily basis (consistently) to improve my health? Knowing my personality, I know that I need elimination for success. Elimination gives me guidelines that I know I can’t talk myself out of. So this might sound drastic, but I’ve decided to fast until noon every day. I’m five days in, and I kind of love it. My morning appetite and productivity have decreased and increased, respectively. And now I’m inspired to have a healthy lunch to keep my momentum for the day going. I’m also committed to at least 30 minutes a day (for six days a week) of exercise that will make me sweat. I’ve been using the 21 Day Fix workout dvd’s as well as gym classes… and so far so good! Having an option to workout at home makes a huge difference.

My next change will be to further manage my caloric intake, but I’m not quite ready for that yet. Let’s see how these two commitments go for time being.

For any moms out there struggling with (or mastering) the post-baby healthy body game – I’d love to know what your journey has been like. Let’s inspire each other to be the fabulous women we are!


So it turns out being pregnant for the first time leads to an endless string of relatively unanswerable questions (that may or may not be keeping me up at night):

Is the baby healthy? What name sounds equally dignified and precious? What if she doesn’t sleep well in this bright sunny room? What if she doesn’t sleep at all? What if I don’t sleep at all? What if I have to randomly go out of town for work and don’t have daycare lined up? What if we are all too tired to do laundry everyday to wash the 80 reusable wipes my mom is so kindly making for us? Will she be mad if we don’t use them? What if my sister moves here to help us and then doesn’t like it here? How much is my insurance going to go up after my personal population doubles in size? Will my short-term disability pay be enough during maternity leave? What if my temp is better at my job than I am? What if never get used to moving car seats around? What if we don’t agree on a stroller? Am I asking my doctor the right questions? Am I gaining too much weight? When will I actually look pregnant? What supplements should I be taking? Why are there so many conflicting studies about pregnancy (and health in general)? Is my advice nurse sick of me bothering her yet? Is the dog going to like the baby? What about a church? And schools? And a college fund? And retirement fund? And and and and and to infinity!

I mean, seriously. The unknown is just so… abstract. It can really make a person a little crazy! And then I feel her little feet or arms or whatever she’s got going on in there bang around and somehow I just chill. Sometimes the unknown is sweeter and easier than the definite. Her name is Cassidy Bree Black, and I can’t wait to meet her!!

A moment of total peace in the dahlia field when my mama was visiting:


Eli’s birthday present from my parents; although I think this might be a tad small:


We found a matching baby hat at Cabela’s that says “I hunt for hugs” which nearly brought me to tears. Never thought I’d get so emotional over a gun joke.🙂

A new recipe!

I had lunch at Grain & Gristle last week, more as an excuse to visit Sara than out of hunger. And then after not one, but two cups of their soup special, I begged her to get me the recipe for this luxurious yellow magic potion. This soup is changing my life!, I exclaimed over-dramatically. To oblige my food obsession, she asked the chef to come out and give me the deets. And here they are! Enjoy the deets!

Summer Squash Soup

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 C water
tsp salt
2 C white wine (any flavor)
4 C chicken or veg broth
3-4 lbs. yellow squash and zucchini combo, chopped (do not peel or seed unless they’re big and extra seedy)
3-4 Tbsps heavy cream

In a stock pot, saute onions with butter (or oil) and salt, add water and cook on medium low until onions are soft but not dark.

Add wine and simmer until liquid reduces by half.

Add squash and broth and continue simmer for 20 minutes until squash is soft.

Add cream.

Blend– in batches as to not blast hot soup all over your kitchen. (G&G uses a Vitamix, leaving the soup completely homogeneous and really silky smooth. I used my average blender which does a good enough job for the home cook. Use whatever you got; even an immersion blender would be swell.)

Slightly reheat soup in the stock pot… I like my soup piping HOT.

It’s not much to look at, so I’m including a splash of color from the mani Ty gave me last week:


I also made this yesterday, but we won’t discuss THAT bad decision:


Room for expansion

A new era of the Grateful Apron emerges! This part-time amateur blogger is pregnant! Most of you know this already, but we found out on June 24th that we’re expecting Baby Black (due Valentine’s Day). It’s quite thrilling, really, to have a wee one growing inside me. And honestly, I never thought I’d be healthy or fit enough to get pregnant… and now I’ll be eternally grateful that I, unlike so many other woman, have been blessed with the ability to create this life. When my mind starts to race, I just remind myself that waaaaaaay bigger idiots than us have brought children into this world… everyone just manages. WE will manage. Bring on the chaos, Baby B!🙂

So let’s talk about hunger. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HUNGRY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. If I go for more than two hours without food, I get so famished and light-headed that I can almost hear my baby screaming for food already. And on days like today, when I go to a spin class, I can pretty much just expect to need food every hour on the hour for the rest of the day. If I don’t adhere to this, I end up slamming a bowl of raisin bran at 3:30 in the morning. It’s silly.

So, what have I been craving: CARBS! I mean, I’ve always loved carbs, but I’ve also been able to manage those urges. Not anymore. Rice, pasta and bread is really what I prefer these days. Meat and veggies unfortunately are of no interest to me… it drives me (and Eli) nuts. But I think some of that is passing. Today for lunch I made a red beans and quinoa bowl with sautéed veggies and cherry tomatoes from our garden. I added only a little shredded cheese, Greek yogurt and salsa. It was pretty good… not as good as pizza or a burrito, but good enough. I need to eat more meals like this… must eat veggies, like it or not.


Ok, time to put one foot in front of the other and embrace this new school year. I’m kicking and screaming. Back to work I go…

Weigh-in Wednesday

Down 1.2! A total of 10.6 lbs since rejoining WW. Money well spent, I’d say.

And a very happy birthday today to one of my dearest. I love you, Ty!


Can we pleeeease going wine tasting this summer??

Moving days

Since my last post I’ve been quite preoccupied with moving (in with E!). And can I just tell you I will never live anywhere with so many stairs ever again? I’m happily downsizing right now: purging, consolidating, organizing, sharing, selling, donating, recycling, composting…

I just FEEL lighter without all the pointless stuff I’ve been swimming in.

Bodypump has taken a backseat to heavy lifting this week, but I’ve stayed true to my Spin classes: five workouts in the past six days!


I packed my scale already, so weigh-in will be an extra fun surprise tomorrow.🙂