Reflecting on 2013

I’ve been such a bad blogger.

Every year I resolve to blog more and it never happens!

I was organizing our photos from this past year and just wanted to share a few highlights.

I LOVE New Years. In fact… I might like it as much as Christmas (in a different way)

This post was going to be more heartfelt and thoughtful, but I woke up at 2:30 a.m. to a vomiting toddler and I just don’t have the energy to give you anything good. BUT this was a great year and 2014 is looking very bright and it hasn’t even started.

January

Josiah and I saw AIDA

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ImageFebruary

We bought our first ever reliable car (no picture)

March

This

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And this

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April

(according to my records nothing happened in April)

May

Emsley’s Birthday (since I forgot to blog about it here’s a few photos we took that day)

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June

We spent everyday at the Park

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July

We Went to The Teddy Bear Band concert…and Emsley loved it. Obviously

August

Josiah shaved his beard

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September

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary

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October (busiest month of the year for The Hults)

Josiah’s 27th birthday (no picture), a visit from Micaela, Alyssa’s 24th birthday (I was very sick) & Halloween

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November

Emsley got her first real hair cut and Josiah’s family visited

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December

Alyssa’s family visited before Christmas and then we spent Christmas Day going through storage (we’re in the process of moving) and got this classic photo

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Exercise Recap

Ahh this blog…. This poor, sad blog.

I just don’t know what to do with it.

It’s always been a random collection of what I’m doing. Why mess with a good thing, right?

Today: Exercise

I frequently get asked about my exercise routine and I don’t really have a short answer, because what I do is always changing.

I used to exclusively do cycling and strength training classes. Now I teach cycle classes so when I’m not teaching I like to do my own thing. My weeks really look different depending on my teaching schedule, but this past week here’s what I did.

Sunday: Day Off                                 

Monday: Day Off

Tuesday: Teach 2 Cycle Classes (1000 calories)

Wednesday: Strength Training (290 calories and was sore for 3 days!)

Thursday: Day Off       

Friday: Teach Cycle Class (410 Calories)

Saturday: Teach Cyle Class (500 calories)

Due to stress I really didn’t eat very well this week, hence all the days off. When it comes to athletic training nutrition is so incredibly important! I typically don’t get excessively sore, but after lifting weights on Wednesday and then eating a bunch of junk food my body just crashed and couldn’t properly recover.

This week’s goals: eat nutritious balanced meals, find effective ways to manage my stress, add two extra workouts and avoid eating my body weight in mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.

What are your favorite exercises? Do you follow a plan or do you go rogue?

Two Week Freezer Meals {Take 3}

I was so excited when I got home yesterday and added up all my receipts because I spent $98 for 2 weeks of meals! Last time I went to the store I spent around $150 because we ran out of pretty much every single pantry staple. (My goal is under $120) The extra $20 that we saved will be used to replenish any vegetables or snacks for Emsley throughout the pay period. I also think this has been the healthiest Freezer Meal Plan as I’ve added waaay more veggies than I have in previous plans. I’m getting the hang of this!

I was also able to find online versions of most of my recipes this week too!

Meals

Tofu Scramble + Roasted Sweet Potatoes (x2)

Pad Thai (x2)

Tortilla Soup (x2)

Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches (x2)

Tomato Spaghetti Squash Soup + Vegan Grilled Cheese (x2)

Mexican Cabbage (x2)

Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry + Brown Rice

Vegetarian Meatloaf (x2)

Lasagna Rolls

Smokey Apple Baked Beans (x2)

Extra Vegetables (as side dishes)

Sliced Carrots

Cucumber slices

Sliced Bell Peppers

Frozen Broccoli

Kale

Frozen Asparagus

Frozen Brussels Sprouts

Russet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Read 2 Weeks of Freezer Meals Take 1 and Take 2

4 Things We Learned in Our 4th Year of Marraige

Today is our 4th Anniversary! We feel like we *just* celebrated our last anniversary… this year went really fast!

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A lot of stuff changed since last year and we wanted to share our top 4 things we learned over last 365 days

1. Less is More. We embraced a more minimalist lifestyle over the past year and got rid of a lot of stuff we didn’t need/use. We committed to buying high quality things and truly loving what we own.

2. Car A.C. totally rocks! We bought a new-to-us car this year and for the first time since we’ve been married we have A.C. in our car. #worthit

3. The Importance of Community despite your opinion on Hilary Clinton… she’s right- It really does take a village to raise a child.

4. Gentle Discipline: Over the past year we really established our parenting style. (see Attachment Parenting International)

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Then we told her to watch T.V. so we could finish taking pictures of ourselves #winning

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2 Weeks of Freezer Meals {Take 2}

We ate through almost all our freezer meals I made two weeks ago and despite all the extra work that goes into cooking 28+ Meals in 1-2 days it was SO so SO so nice not having to cook! On average it took about 10 minutes to prep the frozen meals and about 15 minutes to clean up (and we don’t have a dish washer!)

SO! Here’s what’s stocked in our freezer for the next two weeks!

Meals

Pad Thai

Tofu Scramble + Roasted Potatoes {x 2}

Chili + Cornbread {x2}

Veggie Burgers + Sweet Potato Wedges {x2}

Black Bean Tomato Soup + Vegan Grilled Cheese {x2}

Macaroni and Not Cheese

Pineapple Tempeh Teriyaki + Brown Rice {x2}

Pizza {x 2}

Potato Soup {x2}

Vegetarian Meatloaf {x2}

Thai Pineapple Curry+ Coconut Rice {x2}

Pinquito Beans+ Spanish Rice {x2}

Copy Cat Chipotle Burrito Bowls {x2}

 

Vegetable Sides

Kale {2 bags}

Broccoli {3 bags}

Brussels Sprouts {2 bags}

Asparagus {1 bag}

 

Snacks

Sliced Bell Peppers

Carrot Sticks

Homemade Potato Chips

Edamame

Cucumber Slices

Air Popped Popcorn

Apples

Bananas

Dates

Raisins

Frozen Fruit

Cereal

Oatmeal Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Day I Deleted My MyFitnessPal Account

In the past two years I’ve lost 35 pounds, and about 25 of those pounds were since last October. That might not seem like much, but I’m 5’ tall and when I was 35 pounds heavier I was obese and now I’m a comfortable, healthy weight.

About a year ago I started using MyFitnessPal to track my food. After the first few weeks I hardly used it.

At the beginning of the summer I was feeling really crumby and decided to start tracking my food to see if I was missing something from my diet, and I eventually started getting really strict about my calorie intake.

For Example:

One day I was making my oatmeal breakfast and I was entering my food. 1 tsp. of sugar added  15 calories, and a banana would add 100. I opted for the sugar. Though I knew it was nutritionally desolate and the banana would help me stay full longer and provide my body with vital nutrients. I chose the sugar simply because it was a way to cut calories.

I told Josiah that day that I was going to stop counting calories. I took two days away and became extremely stressed about not knowing if I was “eating too much” or “going to gain weight” and I went back to calorie counting.

I stopped lifting weights because I was afraid if I developed any more muscle that I’d stop losing weight.

Then I stopped doing yoga (my favorite form of exercise) because I wasn’t burning enough calories. I started exercising simply so I could eat more.

This weekend I went clothes shopping. I grabbed size 10 jeans and size large shirts to try on. I eventually went home with size 4 jeans and petite small shirts, and when I finally found the correct sizes I looked in the mirror and said “I could get smaller” ….1 year ago I never even thought I’d wear single digit jeans or medium shirts again! I have a very distorted view of my body.

Finally yesterday: I was very hungry and I wanted a snack. As I was calculating my food to see how much I could eat I realized that if I ate a snack I’d HAVE to workout in order to stay under calories. I became deeply depressed, because I’ve been sleep deprived the past few weeks and I simply didn’t have the energy to exercise, but I was HUNGRY!

I decided to screw it because I was hungry and didn’t want to exercise. I ate a snack and told myself I’d exercise double the following day.

I then started reflecting on the past few months and things I have highlighted came to mind.

I realized that even though I was losing weight I was very emotionally unhealthy.

 I deleted MyFitnessPal account. I needed it to be totally gone. I needed to remove a major culprit and go back to the basics.

I’m still very committed to eating healthy and fitness, but I need to find joy in it again. I need to rediscover that health isn’t how I look, but how I feel.

I need to get reacquainted with the Alyssa who wrote On Self Love and On Body Image

Please do not be worried about me. This has only been going on for a couple months.  I’m not the only person in America to become obsessed with weight-loss. That is why I chose to write about this with so much transparency because I hope that my experience maybe, just maybe will help one of the many, many people struggling with disordered eating (not to be confused with eating disorder!)

Have you ever done something extreme to try and lose weight?

Fall Bucket List (2013)

We love fall! Sadly it always goes so fast, and so this year I wanted to be more intentional and came up with things to do before Thanksgiving.  A lot of them are Halloween-themed activities because we love Halloween. What are your Fall traditions??

Fall Bucket List (2013)

Go to a pumpkin patch (duh): buy pumpkins (and other squash varieties) go on hay rides and walk through a corn maze

Roast veggie dogs and bananas over a fire

Watch a scary movie on Halloween (not with Emsley, obviously)

Attend some of Anoka’s Halloween festivities

Make Emsley’s Halloween Costume

Go Trick or Treating

Make Popcorn Balls and watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Take Emsley to get her first haircut

Go to the Nature Center

Collect Pinecones: make decorations

Collect Leaves

Go to an apple orchard

Go to the local Halloween Kiddie Parade

Make Pumpkin Butter and Apple Butter

Make Chai Tea