It's been awhile since we've shared some of our travels. I wanted to catch up on our posts over the next couple weeks. For now, here is our New York and New Jersey adventures.
We stayed at an RV Park about 2 hours south of NYC but there wasn't really wasn't anything much closer unless you wanted to pay a premium. So we took 2 hours away and camped for free! This was our first 2 week stay with our Thousand Trail membership and it was so nice to slow down a bit and setup shop for longer than 4-5 days.
Both times we came into the city we opted to park on the Jersey side of the river and take the ferry across. If we wouldn't have run into road construction on our second day coming into the city this would have been super slick both days. One day we parked close to the Hoboken ferry terminal and the second day (on the weekend) we parked by the Jersey City ferry terminal. We figured this was the cheaper and more convenient route to explore the city versus driving downtown and paying tolls and parking over there.
We did pretty much everything you would want to do in NYC. We spent some time down around the water watching some of our friends play in the professional volleyball event that was in town and found a couple parks that Eli could play at with some other kiddos.
After some volleyball watching and park playing we headed towards the 9/11 memorial and were blown away. We didn't do the museum but just being on the grounds where it all happened was pretty powerful. From there we walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge and made it half way across before we turned back, LOL!!! We then hit up a NYC pizza place in Little Italy that made gluten free crusts. Pretty tasty but given the price tag, I may have to pass next time. Then we were back to watch more volleyball! Yeah that was all in Day 1, it was a lot of walking!
Day 2 we did a little more volleyball watching then made our way to Bluestone Lane for brunch and lattes! This might have been the highlight of our NYC trip, especially the avocado toast that I got on GF toast!
After brunch, we hopped on the Subway or as Eli calls it, choo-choo, and headed to Central Park. It was a hot day and we were starting to get tired from all of our walking so we didn't get into the park too far but explored the south side and just sat for awhile and let Eli run around.
After sitting a bit we started walking towards Time Square. We hit up a little detour on the way and stopped at Momofuku Milk Bar where Laura got a little treat. Unfortunately they didn't have anything that was gluten free so I was forced to watch Laura and Eli enjoy their ice cream. Which apparently when you get to the bottom it tastes just like the milk in the bottom of a bowl of cereal. We continued on and swung past Rockafeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.
We cruised through/past Time Square...but because it was absolutely nuts and we were starting to get tired frustrated with the crowds...it was literally a "oh hey, there it is" and kept walking. We continued on to the Subway Station which we found out after buying our ticket that we went in on the wrong side of the street and were heading uptown and not downtown. So, we bought ANOTHER ticket, crossed the street and started heading home!
We hit up the salad/hot food bar at Whole Foods and made our way back to our ferry. After watching the sunset from the NYC side of the Hudson River we hopped on the ferry and started heading home after a couple long days in NYC. So fun!
We had a couple whirlwind days in New York but part of our adventures were just hanging out at our RV Park too. It was a great park with a huge playground for Eli and a nice new pool. On top of that Eli (and us) made some new friends. Eli loved playing with Chloe and Carson. They were so nice with him and were really like nice older siblings, not the mean kind that pick on you. Oh and like I said we made new friends too with their parents. We had so much in common and loved chatting while the kids played. Can't wait to meet up with them again in California!
We also explored the Jersey area closer to where we were staying. That included Atlantic City which was about 20 minutes away. We were very underwhelmed with the city. We walked up and down the board walk and explored the beach a little. You could tell that it was hit hard by the economic downturn. So unless you like casinos...it really isn't that great. We did find this statue that recognized that AC was/is the home of Miss America Pageant.
We also took a trip down to Cape May which was a a lot more our style, laid back beach town. We met up with some friends, Laurie and Trey, that actually took a ferry over from Maryland. Trey was racing in a triathlon in the area the next day which sounded like a lot of fun. The beach area was fantastic down there. We also heard, but never went, about a zoo that was down in Cape May that was supposed to be fantastic. By the time we knew about it, we were already too busy to make it down there.
All in all, we really enjoyed our time in this area! Jersey was a good change of pace and was nice to slow down. NYC was fantastic and fun to see all the sights!!
I think I first heard of Danielle Walker on one the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. She has a pretty incredible story of beating an auto immune disease, ulcerative colitis, through dietary changes she made. It's a great story that really shows the power of food. I would encourage to check out her blog or book Against All Grain.
Danielle has a recipe for this same dish that was my inspiration for making this. It was super simple and even Eli ate it. You can pretty easily scale the spice up or down depending on if you are feeding kids or you just don't like spicy food. Eating healthy food doesn't have to be flavorless which I think a lot of people fear. You just need a well equipped spice cabinet. You could easily sub out the ground beef in this recipe for ground turkey, shredded chicken or beef if you happen to have those on hand instead.
Today we're sharing our favorite guacamole recipe with you :) No time for small talk...because we know all you really wanted was the recipe...so here you go!!!
3 ripe avocados (mashed)
Juice of two limes
3 jalapeños with seeds cut out and chopped finely
1 med red onion
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp garlic powder
Tbsp of olive oil
Tbsp of Apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp of cayenne (optional)
Throw it all into a bowl. Mash avocados first and then stir all the other ingredients in. You could also use a food processor if you like it nice and creamy and not chunky.
I wrote up another blog post not long long ago about the concept of ambivalence. The idea that you can hold contradictory desires in your head at the same time. If you are overweight, I'm guessing this is the conversation in your head. It would be nice to lose some weight and fit into some old clothes but... I just don't have the time or energy to tackle something new right now. My job is busy, the kids are crazy with activities and life, and I just love french fries way too much. Plus I'm not that out shape.
You've maybe tried a diet or exercise program or gym membership but as soon as you start going with that, you look in the rearview mirror and you think how comfortable you were before, and how hard this is now. The change doesn't seem as sexy anymore and you revert back. Then things get bad enough again where changing some things seems like a good idea... and....
Am I close???
That was my thinking at the time of my before picture. I had those voices inside my head. I didn't think I was that out of shape, and to be honest, compared to some I wasn't. I thought I was doing a decent job of working out eating. I didn't wake up one morning and all of a sudden I weighed 25 lbs more than I should. NO... those pounds crept on slowly through all of those little decisions I was making or not making. I had already set the cruise control on the way to Diabetesville in the land of Obesedom.
Does any of that sound like where you are at with your health journey? Do you struggle with those same doubts and hesitations? It's ok, those are natural. Here's the awesome thing, you can change!
For me I finally said enough was enough I surrendered myself to a process to get healthier and fit. It was hard! I didn't like it! That process pushed me to get uncomfortable. It taught me to relearn a lot of things when it came to diet and exercise.
It's been a 3 year journey since that before photo! I'm proud to say I haven't put the weight back on like so many statistics say should have happened. The only thing I can give credit to for that is being held accountable for my decisions. Yeah I not only coach people how to make changes, I'm doing the work too. I'm constantly learning and growing in this journey. That's what makes it fun for me.
3 Tips to Get Control of the Voices in Your Head
With that I would love to extend a couple invitations to you if you want to start moving through these steps. First off, if you are ready to surrender your current lifestyle and habits and start rebuilding some new ones, Laura and I have an online accountability group that starts on Monday, November 30th. Being a part of one of these groups was the process that started my transformation. This will be a 5 week group on Facebook where you will get nutritional advice, daily motivation, a community that will support you, and a chance to win some prizes. Serious what do you have to lose? Why not hit the New Year running?
Secondly, if you know that you won't stay committed by just wading into this fitness and health thing. Or maybe you've done a couple groups with us but just haven't quite felt that real motivation to change. If you know it will take the pressure of people looking up to you to truly commit. Why not jump in the deep end and give this coaching thing a try? Oh and don't worry the deep end isn't that deep. We make sure to help you get started right so that you can be successful with your weight loss and your business. That's the best of both worlds right, get healthy and make some money! If you would like to know more about coaching, shoot us an email, we would love to chat.
If you are like me and you grew up with the Food Pyramid as your reference to what a healthy diet should look like, then I'm sure you will follow my logic in this post. That pyramid told us to eat a certain number of grains, pastas and cereals. It also mentioned meat and protein, listed dairy as a food group and told you to limit fats. Although if you look closely at the pyramid, fruits and vegetables are separate, but the advice you hear all the time is, "Eat your fruits and veggies." If you follow anyone in the health world, I'm sure you've heard that statement before. If you do a quick google search on the subject you will get results like these:
Experts Recommend 5-9 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Per Day
Then if you click into some other links from what I would consider well educated institutions like WebMD or Harvard School of Public Health you find that they have articles that lump the two groups together as if they are interchangeable.
So why is this bad advice?
Instead of the saying, "Eat your fruits and veggies" it should actually be "Eat your fruits" and "Eat your veggies." The problem comes when you combine the two. Especially when that advice is what we teach our children. If these two food groups are lumped together - like they almost always are - and you have the option to eat sweet fruit versus slightly bitter greens like kale or arugala, which are you going to choose? Which are your children going to choose?
The difference between eating 9 bananas in a day versus 9 cups of broccoli is pretty significant.
By comparing these two, the intent isn't to say that fruit is bad or even worse than vegetables, they're just different. It is easy to see though that if a person were to consistently eat a lot of fruit that they would be consuming a lot more calories and a lot more sugar. It is a "natural" sugar but it is still sugar that your body will either use as energy or store as fat if it isn't needed.
My advice would be that you aim for a minimum of 5 servings of vegetables per day...and preferably non-starchy varieties. So that means things like broccoli, cauliflower, various greens (kale, spinach, chard, romaine), carrots, sprouts, jicama, celery, onion, garlic and so on. I know things like avocado, tomatoes, peppers, and squash are technically fruit but for the sake of getting nutrient dense, low calorie foods we will call them fair game for your 5 servings per day.
As far as the popular advice out there that says you should eat 9 servings of "fruits and vegetables" per day...that total number is fine in my opinion. If you want to eat more that - even better. I would always strive though to keep your veggie to fruit ratio to be 2:1. So take the 5 servings of non-starchy veggies, add in maybe a sweet potato or regular potato and that gives you 6 servings of veggies. Go ahead and eat three servings of fruit to get that that 9 number! Some advice on fruit selection: if your goal is weight loss try to keep 2 of those 3 fruits lower in sugar content, so things like melons, berries, citrus fruit. Your higher sugar fruits would include things like bananas, apples, grapes, dates, figs, and mangoes. Once again if you don't use that sugar you will store that sugar for energy later in the form of fat.
Continue to eat your fruit and continue to eat your veggies but stop lumping them together as one!
I honestly have no idea where I first heard about baby-led weaning...maybe it was one of the natural mom's groups I'm in on facebook...but wherever it was, I'm SO thankful! Baby-led weaning is basically skipping the stage where you spoon feed your baby purées. It's a way to introduce solid foods that allows them to feed themselves. They sit with the family and eat whatever they're having (within reason of course) but the pieces are just cut into easy to grab chunks.
You start baby-led weaning at 6 months of age or whenever your baby is able to sit upright, pick up pieces of food and take them to their mouth and "chew" them. I put chew in quotations because I know there are some babies that don't get teeth until later on but they can still gum things...you would probably just want to give them softer things like steamed veggies, potatoes etc...although their gums are really hard so you can even give them apples and other hard things too.
A few benefits of baby-led weaning from some of the research I did and from asking the opinions of other mama's:
* allows babies to explore taste, texture, color and smell
* encourages independence and confidence
* helps to develop their hand-eye coordination and chewing skills
* makes picky eating and mealtime battles less likely
It actually makes a lot of sense because as their teeth come in, it produces saliva which contains digestive enzymes and this generally happens along the same time line as digestion and intestinal development of necessary enzymes. Eli is exclusively breastfed and gets all the nutrients he needs from that for right now so eating food is really just for fun and learning! "Food before 1 is just for fun" is a quote I heard somewhere and it's stuck with me for some reason. It helps me to remember that I really don't need to be super concerned with making sure he's eating a lot at every single meal.
If you eat mostly whole foods, this should be pretty easy for you. If you don't...maybe it's a good time to make the switch!! You'll get healthy and feel so much better while making sure your baby does too.
I know what you're thinking...won't he choke?? There are definitely things you need to be aware of and safety precautions to take, but nope...we've never actually had a moment where we thought he was going to choke or be in any danger! The video below was as close as we came to "choking" but in everything I read, they said to just sit on your hands and let them figure it out!
Obviously if he's actually choking and not gagging, or blue in the face then YES, you will step in and help...but if it's a little gag or cough, just chill out. They will actually LEARN how to take smaller bites, spit out things they can't swallow and maneuver foods inside their mouths...it's pretty amazing watching Eli do this...so all we have to do is sit back and help as little as needed.
We started him with sweet potatoes, apples (he had about 4 teeth when we started), avocado, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, bananas, red peppers, cauliflower, cucumber, watermelon, celery....and have gradually added in eggs and a few pieces of meat lately. We also did puffs on a flight to Cancun...because HELLO...3 1/2 hours on a plane with an 8 month old is just scary. They kept him super occupied and he did great! We also have been giving him veggie straws for little snacks in the car.
You should stay away from things with lots of salt, sugar, fast food, honey, shellfish, shark, marlin and under-cooked eggs...but that's about it!
This kid LOVES food which makes this mama (and his dad too of course) SO HAPPY. I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend baby-led weaning if you have a little one that's about to start eating real food. Seriously. If you've never heard of it, check out this book: Baby Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods. Or google it obviously, there are loads of resources out there. I'm also part of a baby led weaning group on facebook that really helped me get over my fears of him choking and to just GO FOR IT.
I'm happy to answer any questions if you have any...just shoot me a message or leave us a comment!
If you are a man's man and the only way you would ever eat salad is if it was grilled and has red meat, this is the salad for you. No man would or should ever be ashamed of eating a salad like this.
The idea for this salad totally belongs to a former coworker of mine, Eric Simpson. He is the executive chef and at the golf club I used to work at and was always coming up with super tasty food. Recently I was back out there with some family and someone ordered his version of this salad and it just looked tasty. I actually never tasted it but just got a look at it so I'm not sure if the flavors are similar but the main ingredients are close, I think.
This salad would totally be an awesome everyday dinner salad throughout the summer. The smokey char from the romaine pairs perfectly with freshness of the avocado and tomato. The blue cheese rounds it and will help it earn it's spot in your weekly meal rotation. Hope you enjoy this salad.
This meal is brought to you by the Suedbeck pantry!!! One thing that has changed around our house is having quality ingredients around so that we can throw together healthy meals from things we have laying around. Yeah it might take a little more creativity but that's fun right. This recipe was actually inspired by a recipe we have on our 5 Day Clean Eating Guide that we use with our Clean Eating Groups. If you want more information about those feel free to click CONNECT and reach out to us whichever way you feel the most comfortable.
Growing up my mom used to always make enchiladas and it was one of our favorite meals. No offense to my mom but her recipe hardly resembled a traditional enchilada. They were delicious probably due to the cream of mushroom soup that she put in them, along with the hormel chili and white flour tortillas. To my mom's defense, she really didn't know how to use the internet to find a traditional recipe or a healthier option for making her recipe. She also didn't have much of a Mexican influence when it came to food. The closest thing we got to Mexican food was Taco Johns... :)
So I decided to take this favorite childhood dish, and eliminate the processed foods and add a couple more components. I really hope you all enjoy this because we certainly did. You could smear this black bean sauce on a car tire and it would be delicious.
Black Bean Sauce
This salad and salad dressing is a staple in our house. Both are super delicious, full of good fats and so satisfying. We make this salad dressing in batches and just keep it in the fridge to use whenever. I highly recommend you get into making your salad dressings so you can control what goes in it. If you read the ingredient lists on a lot of the store bought salad dressings you are going to find a lot of added sugar and preservatives. You won't need preservatives with this dressing because you are going to want to eat all right away.
With this particular salad, I dressed the greens, topped it with the tuna salad, added some chopped yellow bell peppers, and then finished with a sprinkle of paprika. Feel free to add any of your favorite veggies to it.
Avocado Tuna Salad
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.