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Everything posted by Lauri-b

  1. I got the idea for these brownies from a recipe for PB&J cookies but I am an evil genius when it comes to turning desert into a real guilty pleasure! Here is the recipe: 1 1/2 cups plain flour 1/2 t baking powder 1/4 t salt (omit if using salted butter) 1 13oz jar Nutella 1/2 c. sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Chocolate Chips (I used about 3/4 of a bag) Cream butter, Nutella and sugar together. Add egg and mix well. Mix in dry ingredients. It will be thick, almost like a dough. Grease and flour a square pan, maybe an 8x8. Press half the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Cover with about half a bag of chocolate chips. Spread the rest of the mixture on top, covering the chocolate chips. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Enjoy!! You will need a fork- they are to ooey-gooey to hold in your hand!!
  2. I'm in, but can someone explain the +1STA to me please? I don't understand what any of that stuff means!
  3. I know the end of the school year can be crazy! It's okay that you have been struggling a little- it is a challenge after all!! Just keep going! Glad to hear you are healing well!
  4. I am still amazed at how this mindfulness challenge is having a positive impact on me each day. Yes, I have lost weight ( I am down to 150.5 now!!) but I feel better and WANT to do better for my body. It really has lead me to understand the whole 'lifestyle change' idea. I am calmer and less stressed throughout the day, I am sleeping better and thanks to the yoga my body just feels more...comfortable? I mean I am not all stiff and creaky like I usually am. Also, I am not only mindful during my meals, but also about what my meals consist of. I have largely replaced my coffee with tea, though I still enjoy a cup of coffee if I want to. My breakfast on most days has been a green smoothie made of 1/2 a cucumber, half an avocado, spinach or other greens, a banana, water and two stevia packets. I enjoy it and it helps me feel really great!! I am still enjoying treats and sweets, like the Nutella Chocolate Chip Brownies I made yesterday, but instead of hogging the entire pan like I usually would, I had one brownie, enjoyed it and went on with my day. I really usually make myself sick from eating so much in one sitting when I have something sick, but yesterday was the first time in a long time that I haven't. It hasn't been much longer than a week, so I am really excited to see how I feel at the end of this challenge!
  5. I am usually a coffee junkie but since adding in a green smoothie in the morning I was able to stop drinking it! It sounds like you are making great progress on the headstand already, only 80 degrees more to go!
  6. Well, I took all my measurements this morning. The tape measure showed a loss of about 1/8 of an inch in my hips, but that is really too close to call. I have however lost 3 pounds! Also, I feel like I have been in a better mood and have been much calmer during the day. That means more patience with my little ones which has helped us all have a better week! I do believe I am a full one meditation and yoga addict! I have also started having a wonderful green smoothie for breakfast and cut out coffee. I am loving this challenge and I am feeling great!!
  7. Yoga and meditation have been helping me tremendously! I have bee much more relaxed during the day and my mood has improved in the evening. I tend to get grumpy because I am tired at the end of the day. I have still been tired (that is unavoidable with breast feeding and starting my day around 4 a.m.) but I have dealt with it much better. I have enjoyed my meditation so much I actually meditated for nearly 10 minutes this morning! I feel like I am not doing as well with mindful eating but I am improving. Stopping when I am full is difficult for me not matter what I am eating- whether it is broccoli or chocolate. However, I have been eating much less and not binging in the evening. So far so good! I am not striving for perfection, just improvement!
  8. Thank you for the advice- I know I am still recovering. It is just difficult at times to be patient because I am so self conscious! But that is why I started this challenge. I am hoping to gain a better awareness and a more positive view of my body, not just for me, but for my daughter as well. I know that no matter how hard I try to hide it, those insecurities can rub off on someone so impressionable!
  9. I started this challenge officially on Sunday, which went well. I meditated and did 30 minutes of yoga- both of which flew by! I felt great and did an excellent job of listening to my body. I ate when I was hungry and did so slowly, really focusing on my food. Of course, things are always much easier when my husband is home to watch the kids long enough for me to take some time out. Yesterday I was not home all morning then my daughter came home from school early as these are the last two days of the school year. (She just graduated Pre-K! I am super proud!!) I am excited to have her home more, but it will take a re-adjustment of my daily routine. I tried doing yoga and meditating in the evening yesterday and it really did feel so good because there is too much going on then. I finally decided that I have to get this done in the morning before the kids are awake, or if I am lucky enough for them to nap at the same time. Yesterday was also rough in the eating department. I knew it would be because I had promised to bring a dessert for my daughter's last day of school party. I made these treat that are like rice crispy treats but are Smore's style. Delicious. I did really well by only eating half of one. I was satisfied and knew my body had enough. Then the evening came and I knew they were there and eventually broke down and ate another even though it did not make m body feel good. The evening has always been difficult for me. I think I get tired and just have an urge to pig out even if I am already completely stuffed! I don't expect to make any more treats like that during this challenge. If I do have a treat, I think I will have something away from home so there are no left overs to tempt me. I am not going to dwell on my mistakes because this type of thing requires practice and I am sure I will get better at eating intuitively! Anyway, today has started out great! I actually did about 8 minutes of a free guided mediation I found here: http://www.soundstrue.com/guide/meditation/#!state_list_page So I am starting this day feeling great and I think I am going to do a short ten minutes of yoga because I have a few extra minutes.
  10. I'm in Texas so I get your struggle with the heat. We try to get out early in the morning and late in the evening! Good luck with this challenge!
  11. I like goal #4 too! I tend to get stuck in the house with school and house work but now that summer is here I am going to be out in the garden! Good luck with this challenge!
  12. Congrats on finishing your student teaching! Music at the primary level sounds like a lot of fun! I know my student teaching will be challenging but I am eager for that experience in a classroom. I have only seen bits and pieces, short group lessons mostly, because I have completed the majority of my courses online to stay at home with my children. That's the biggest challenge- my youngest will only be 5 months old when I start my student teaching! But I know it will be worth it!
  13. Thanks for the tip! A mantra sounds like a good thing to use if I am having a rough day! I did my second meditation yesterday and I actually don't find it all that difficult! I was surprised! I read something that said to acknowledge your thoughts without judgment then trap them in a bubble and let them float away. I think it helps. But mostly I just visualize my breathe. I guess I have a pretty great imagination and I can kind of 'see' my breathe as swirling colors and shapes! I also feel so good afterward I am planning on trying 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening today!
  14. I feel the same way!! I have to fight with myself a little and remind myself I can eat more later when I am hungry! I think I actually end up eating about half or, more often, less than half of what I usually eat! It's amazing. I am hoping mindful eating is one of those things than gets easier as I practice it. Thanks for replying, it is always good to know you are not alone in whatever challenges you face, even if it is just not over eating!
  15. I start in the fall. I am very nervous but very excited!!
  16. Thanks Harness! I'll take a look and let you know if it helps!
  17. I struggled with smoking for years and so did my husband but we have both been smoke free for 5 years now. It was hard, but the longer you go without it, the easier it gets. I promise it does get easier! Good luck with this challenge!!
  18. Hey if you want someone to read your chapter, I would be up to it! I'm no professional, just an avid reader! What grade do you teach? I am starting student teaching next semester and am focusing on the younger grades. Well, good luck with this challenge and I hope you heal quickly!
  19. Bored sugar eater here too! I might take that on during another challenge because to me, that would be the ultimate challenge! I am starting meditation during this challenge and I am completely new to it. I would appreciate any suggestions! Good luck with this challenge!
  20. Can someone explain the points and levels to me? Like what are the points and how do I get them? I see this type of thing ( STR: 11 | DEX: 12 | STA: 13 | CON: 17 | WIS: 17 | CHA: 16) in everyone's posts but I don't know what exactly it means!
  21. During this six weeks I guess my focus is going to basically be mindfulness. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy three months ago and I am unhappy with the progress of my weight-loss; it dropped much more quickly after my first. I have lost quite a few pounds but still need to lose 15-20 more. I am not focused on a particular number I just want to find my 'happy' weight: the weight at which my body stays comfortably and I feel confident in my body. I have tried many diets from Paleo to veganism in the past, but I have never been able to really feel satisfied. I think about food too much and over-eat. This bad relationship with food distracts from more important things such as my children. So, for the next 6 weeks I will work toward the following goals: 1. Mindful Eating: I will practice only eating when I am truly hungry. It will be hard for me, but I know it will get easier as I learn to identify what 'true hunger' feels like and learn to work past cravings. When I do eat, I will focus on eating slowly and listening to my body. I will try to stop eating at around 80% fullness so that I do not over eat. I also want to keep my diet based on 80% REAL food and the other 20% can be filled with whatever I have been craving. 2. Meditation: I will meditate for 5 minutes a day and add a minute a week until I work up to ten minutes a day. I am hoping this will help me in eating mindfully and also being more mindful throughout the day. 3. Yoga: I already do some form of exercise at least five days a week but I want to include more yoga on a regular basis. I have bee very sore and stiff and I think this will help me feel much better! I will do yoga for thirty minutes at least three days a week while keeping my body weight work-outs only two days a week. Hopefully at the end of this challenge I have lost weight and changed my relationship with food for the better. Hopefully I will be able to notice these changes through less stress related to food, a better mood (which is usually negative by the end of the day) and physically through measurements as well as the way my clothes fit. I will retake my measurements every Friday. (I will also take photos, but I will not be posting those! My current measurements: Weight: 154.5 Waist: 34 3/4 inches Hips: 40 1/4 inches Dominant Thigh: 23 1/2
  22. Hello Everyone! This is my second challenge but I have been away for a long time. Things have changed tremendously! (Like having these guilds, they weren't here when I did my first challenge.) I have had a baby since then too! He is now almost 3 months! Anyway, I am struggling with a little bit of weight, I have lost some but still need to lose at least 10 lbs, but would love to lose 20lbs. But overall I just want to reach my 'happy' weight- the weight at which I feel comfortable but I don't have to 'fight' to keep. I want to just be comfortable, happy and healthy!
  23. 1. Stick to the Paleo based diet. I am allowing peanut butter because I have a giant jar to finish, but no more than a tablespoon a day.: C -I did excellent the first 3 weeks but the last three weeks were tough because of the Holiday fare that surrounded me. I did well at meals but the snacks and get-together's killed me. However, I have discovered that I do love being Primal and read Mark's Daily Apple, well daily. 2. Strength train 3 times a week and run or jump rope for at least 20 minutes a week.: A- I did stick to my workouts though it changed a bit to fit in with a more primal approach, but I never quit working out and only substitute working out for low level activity when my body tells me to. 3. Work to complete a full pull-up and hopefully more- A+- I can do 2 full pull ups now! I had changed my goal midway to 5 pull ups and failed, but I am continuing on and love feeling so strong! 4. I am hoping that I will indirectly reach the goal of losing inches around my waist and achieving a flatter stomach.- I did lose a little around my waist, I think about 1/2 an inch. This will definitley be a goal for the next challenge. Life Goals: 1. Reduce stress and relax more with my family.- A- We had plenty of fun during this challenge. We started comping and even bought a canoe. Relation and fun are a big part of our family now. Well, it may be more challenging now that it is cold and dark when we get home. 2. Pick at least on fun active activity to do with my daughter every day and read with her for at least 15 minutes a day-A- we played everyday and she has plenty of books memorized now! 3. Do something every day to let my husband know how much I love and appreciate him.-A- I think we actually improved our relationship and communication during this challenge. 4. Get the puppy potty trained!-B+- Well, we have had two days with no accidents and she has been coming to me or the door to let me know she needs out!
  24. Well I made it to the end of the challenge. I didn't do perfectly, especially for the diet portion, but I did do much better than I had expected. I have completely changed the way I exercise and I am enjoying it much more than I ever did before. My family and I are much closer now than we were when I started. I think it had a lot to do with me taking more time each day to focus on the one's I love. We even bought a canoe and are planning next year's camping spots near rivers. The dog is still struggling to poop outside, though she did scratch at the door yesterday and is having far fewer accidents than she was. I only made it to two pull ups (way to fail! I do think that I am ready for the next challenge because I have learned to be a little more patient with my results, mainly the physical benefits of a healthy lifestyle. (hey, I can't help that I would love to have flat or even six pack abs!) I am having some resizing issues so, if I can figure those out, I will post a final pic, but there isn't much change from the last one.
  25. Congrats! a new whole in the belt feels awesome doesn't it! And sticking to the diet is the hardest part in my opinion, so way to go!
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