Monday, April 30, 2012

Introducing - The Cat Food Challenge!

My friend Shannon talked me into joining a diet challenge hosted by one of the trainers at Montgomery Multisport. Shannon is a triathlete, and she's really great at motivating me (and others)... and now she's introducing me to even more amazing people! Last Thursday was the introduction meeting to this challenge. My body was in shock just hearing the things I was going to put it through... had to swing through McDonald's on the way home for a coke! Anyone who's ever told you that "free" is always a good thing LIED to you - read the following and you'll understand why. This diet is:

sugar free
gluten free
dairy free
alcohol free
soy free

No processed foods. No legumes (that means no peanuts/peanut butter). No sweeteners or sugar substitutes. No gum. No mints. No cokes. No alcohol. No cheat days!

Yes: fruits. vegetables. lean proteins (to include eggs). "good" fats (olive oil, coconut/almond products, clarified butter). water. black coffee. unsweet tea.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to be CRAZY. The good news is it is temporary. The challenge starts tomorrow, May 1st, and will end on May 31st. There is no cheating. If you cheat, you defeated the purpose of breaking the addictions. We're told the first week is tough. We're also told we'll survive and be better for it. This diet is all about breaking food addictions, stomping cravings, and giving out bodies real food for fuel. Some side effects are weight/body fat loss, lowered heart rate during cardio activities, and more regulated insulin levels. We're entering into the last 6 weeks of our biggest loser challenge at work, so this is just the kick in the rear I need to keep losing - I'm in 3rd place right now. I'll continue my running and exercising, and hopefully I won't lose to many friends when I'm grumpy because I haven't had a chocolate/carb fix. I spent the weekend getting in anything I wanted that I can't have for the 31 days. Tonight I had doritos and brownies for dinner. It's going to be a looooong May - wish me luck!  ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Egg Muffins

Alot of people wanted this recipe - so I figure this is the best avenue for mass distribution :)

I don't really have a recipe, and can't take all the credit - my friend, Briana, turned me on to the general idea. Here goes nothing!

This recipe makes 36 egg muffins... that's alot. I froze 1/3 of the filling the first time I made it, just keep that in mind when you're planning.

Eggs. figure for about 1 egg per muffin.
1 pkg Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning Mix
Salt and pepper
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin well with the non-stick spray.
Brown your sausage in a skillet, add in the Southwestern seasoning mix and salt and pepper while cooking. I usually use about 2 tbsp of the seasoning, and just salt and pepper to taste. After your meat is done, drain it and set it aside. You can use the same skillet with the remaining grease to saute your veggies. You may need a little extra butter or oil depending on how much grease your sausage left behind. Throw in your onion and peppers and cook until soft. Mix them in with your meat. This is your filling!

Note: the first time I made these, I saved the cheese for last and sprinkled it on top of each muffin before throwing them in the oven... this can make it kinda gooey... I would suggest mixing the cheese in with your meat mixture! Probably about a cup of shredded cheese.

Alright, scoop a nice portion (about 2-3 tbsp) of your filling into the muffin tins. Next, put your eggs in a bowl and give them a good beating. Pour egg into each of your muffin tins - not too full! They'll fluff up a little bit while cooking.

Cook them for approximately 20-30 minutes. You'll be able to tell if they're still runny. These keep for almost a week in the fridge, and are an easy breakfast - just pop a couple in the microwave for 30 seconds and you're good to go!

I've also made this recipe with a different filling - bacon, sauteed baby spinach, tomato, and feta. The feta is absolutely WONDERFUL because it has that salty, dense, cheese flavor. You can use any flavor of sausage, any seasoning, and any veggie! With or without cheese. With or without veggies. Add in jalapeno for a real kick! Figure out your own favorite concoction for egg muffins! ...and then share it with me :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

here we go again...

Sunday night... *sigh* ...the night before Monday. Monday's eve. Ohh the horror. Just kidding :) I can't wait to start another week. Last week finished up wonderfully. The bake auction went well, the golf tournament - even better. I had a blast playing with my dad, Chris, and Jeff. Saturday morning Carter and I did Walk of Life with Mrs Terri and Nichole. The rest of the day we hung out with Meemer.. did a little running around to Hobby Lobby and Walmart. Carter and I took a massive nap from 4-7pm. Then we ate dinner, did a bag change, and headed home for more sleep. This morning Josh got home and cut the grass, then we went to Montgomery to Salsaritas, the Vitamin Shoppe, and Academy. Got myself some motivational items: a new hat to run in, new socks since mine were causing blisters, weighted gloves for my kickboxing class, a new sports bra, and some body glide. This afternoon when we got to mom's I did a 2 mile loop around Richfield - it was beautiful and breezy. My goal for this week is to log at least 10 miles. Josh registered for his first Crossfit event - #4#, and I registered for the Color Run 5K in Birmingham. He sure hates me spending money, but is trying hard not to discourage me from my fitness efforts ;) This week will be much more low-key, thank goodness. I think the most exciting thing is teacher appreciation week! This is why I'm up so late... I've been baking cupcakes.

Devil's food, fluffy white icing, and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

...And Josh some Southwestern Egg Muffins...

Now it's time to get to bed... the guest bed... he's already snoring like a freight train. Glad he doesn't read my blogs ;) Y'all make it a great Monday! Thank the good Lord for waking you up another morning, even if it happens to be a Monday morning!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kickin' it into High Gear

THIS GIRL IS SO BUSY!!! Run down of the week so far...

Monday. Work. Running around for Booster Club ALL afternoon. Work. Headed home around 3:30. Got in a short mile. Shower. Cooked fish tacos for dinner. Helped get Carter squared away for bed. Then we made a run to Academy for golf tees, Tropical Smoothie Cafe for a snack, and Walgreen's for Josh some sinus medicine. Then we actually went home and got Carter IN bed. And we all slept.

Tuesday. Weighed in for Biggest Loser - down half a pound - YES! Teambuilding class for work. Lunch with Shannon was AWESOME. Apparently I'm on a smoothie kick. We had Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Back to class. Then headed to Prattville to pick up sponsorship signs for the golf tournament. Picked up the kid brother from after school care since dad had a work dinner, and mom's still in Europe. Josh cooked poppyseed chicken for supper while I put together 60 goody bags for the golf tournament. Then we made cookies for dessert. Eventually dad came and got Grey, and then we went to bed.

Wednesday. Dropped C off at daycare. Straight to teambuilding. Went to work and checked email and forgot that I needed to eat. Ended up with string cheese, applesauce, and almonds - I was starving by 1. Finished teambuilding class around 3:30. Picked up C and swung by the parent's house to clean out the litter box since the men can't handle it without gagging. As soon as we got home at 5, I started baking. One ooey gooey butter cake, and 32 simply delcious strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese icing. I somehow managed to bake these, and ice the cupcakes, change C's bag, feed him, and whip up a strawberry banana smoothie with my left over puree by 8o'clock. He finished eating and went to bed around 8:15, and I cleaned the kitchen up, made formula, and got a shower.

Which brings us to now.....

I. are. tired. alot.

Tomorrow is back to "regular" work, and the bake auction (which is what all my baked goodies are for). I also have to make sure everything is squared away for the golf tournament Friday... it's gonna be amazing! AND I get to drive to Atlanta tomorrow afternoon to get mom from the airport! I'm so excited to hear all about her trip. I hope she sleeps on the plane, because I'm making her talk the whole way home! Friday I'll get to relax some after registration for the golf tournament. Hopefully my golf game will be decent and the weather will cooperate. Then Saturday is Walk of Life!

I hope everyone's having a great week - we've made it to the hump! Remember to keep a positive attitude! Love y'all!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend Top 10

You know how sometimes you just have awesome weekends even if there's nothing really that spectacular going on? This was one of them!

1. Josh worked all weekend! Just kidding :) But it is nice for me to have Carter all to myself every now and then. We had a good weekend together - he's the sweetest kid.

2. I did a 3 mile run on a Saturday morning - SAY WHAT?!

3. We went to Greyson's ball game, and even though they lost, we had a really great time! Danielle and Nichole came out to watch, too!

4. We took alot of naps. I'm so glad Carter still takes two naps a day.

5. I finally went through our "big" closet and sorted through all the stuff that just got shoved in there when we moved in. Amazing, the things you find.

6. Carter and I had some allergy issues this morning due to all of our weekend outdoor activities, so we skipped church. During his morning nap, which was extra long due to the crud - I had a date with Pinterest. I planned out my strategy for teacher appreciation week, and also found my recipes for this weeks bake auction at work.

7. We took a trip to Michael's and Walmart for bake auction supplies and random household necessities. I'm so glad Carter loves to go as much as I do! Kid loves a ride in a buggy!

8. I made (translation: applied an iron-on decal to) a shirt for C to wear for Walk of Life this coming weekend.

9. Apparently I was in an organizing mood today, because I went through my jewelry box and scrapped a ton of stuff, too. It's so bare looking. I love it!

10. Laundry is done. Kitchen is clean. Bags are packed for tomorrow morning. Child is asleep. And I still have energy. Which means I get to do one of my favorite things that doesn't happen often anymore - read a book! Currently my kindle is sporting "Kill Alex Cross" by James Patterson (my all-time favorite author).

Tomorrow is Monday - make it GREAT! After a weekend full of accomplishments (no matter how trivial) I'm deciding now that the coming week is going to be full of success and happiness. It's going to be a busy one, so I hope you can keep up ;)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lent... not to be mistaken for "lint"

As we all know, Easter was last weekend. And in the hustle and bustle of activities... plus the fact that I hadn't started this blog until just days ago... I have not had a chance to blog about how my first stab at Lent went. First, let me share the inspiration for participating in Lent this year. Enter Kathryn Whitaker. She's a Texas livin', Aggie lovin', Catholic momma of 5 beautiful children, a loving wife, a business woman, and a prior NICU momma of a child who also has some special medical needs. She. Is. Awesome. Now, as I've mentioned before - I'm Baptist. However, I have always been intrigued by the structure and beauty of Catholicism. Reading this woman's blog has given me wonderful inspiration to delve deeper into my relationship with God. And this brings us to her post about celebrating Lent as a family. I LOVED this concept of getting children completely involved in this holiday that is so important to the Christian faith. Plus, it's teaching them wonderful things like prayer, and having a spirit of giving. She breaks down the three aspects of Lent. Most people are aware of the fasting aspect, and not the other two:

Alms giving

I thought long and hard about what I could do to deepen my prayer life, what I could give up that I could actually adhere to that would be a true sacrifice and bring me closer to God, what I could do to give back and show thanks for what God has done for me and my family. And here's what I came up with....

Prayer/Fasting - I decided that my prayer and fasting could be best done in a complementary way. I gave up listening to the radio in my car. It seems silly when you think about it.... but try driving around with it off... some people can't handle the quiet (my husband is one of those people, so my fast was broken if we were riding together somewhere). This gave me time to reflect on everything about my day.... things I could've done differently. It gave me time to pray. Every morning Carter and I prayed on the way to school for his friends around the globe with OEIS, our family, his teachers, for him to EAT! We sang songs and "talked".... and sometimes it was just quiet. It was the best thing I've ever done for 40 days... and even now that Lent is over, we still are doing it some mornings :)

Alms giving - I stole this idea from Kathryn. 40 notes of thanksgving. Over the last year and a half I have been through so many life-changing events, and have had so many people by my side to support and encourage me. These people deserved a thank you from me, so I decided this was the perfect opportunity. I will be honest... even now, I have only mailed out half. I didn't want to rush my thoughts onto the notes and have them coming out sounding insincere. I will eventually get all 40 of them out, and every one of them will be heart-felt.

So this was my first Lenten experience, and I can't wait for next year! You have a whole year to decide if you want to participate in Lent, and come up with the perfect concoction of PFA. I can't wait for Carter to be old enough to participate actively with me!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Running from Hitler

In case you didn't know - I'm on a weight loss/fitness adventure as well as many other amazing life adventures. I have an uber high metabolism and age on my side, which helped me lose 55 of the 95 pounds I gained during pregnancy. I plateaued somewhere around 180, and currently I have at least 20 more to go - 30 is my stretch goal. I've been using myfitnesspal to log my calories and exercise for almost a year now... and it's definitely helpful to see how many invisible fat producing grenades we shove in our mouths. I know I've had a good family night at Applebees with Josh and Stephanie if I complete my food diary entry and it tells me "if every day were like today, you'd weigh 6 lbs MORE than you do now." Thanks MFP! I'm gonna go barf my Bruster's up now! J/K! By the way - this happened tonight.. not the barfing part.

ANYWAY, another thing I'm doing to lose it is by being in a biggest loser competition at work. Money is motivation, but so is a friendly competition with the co-workers I'm closest/most competitive with :)  I dropped alot the first week, and weeks 2-4 have been NO CHANGE. Frustrating. Did I mention I joined the Y again (apparently I'm too old and married to use my parent's family plan)? I've been going to body sculpting class.... ab class.... kickboxing.... zumba... you name it! And since I started exercising I've lost no weight. People keep blabbing about this muscle mass stuff... I guess that could be it. SO, this week I started cardio. AKA running. from. Hitler. It's how I motivate myself to run. I've always said "the only way I'm running is if the Nazis are after me!" So sometimes when I really wanna quit.. I have to picture a mustached German on my heels. I'm crazy. I know this. BUT, I've logged 7 miles walking/running on dailymile. That site is super cool. It helps you visualize goals, log training, and motivate others! Josh and I took Carter running today in the jogging stroller... but we had to walk alot because of the dogs that kept "attacking us" (Josh isn't a fan of other people's dogs). We ran 2, walked 1 mile overall, if I had to guess (I can't wait to get my Garmin when I hit my next goal!!)

When all's said and done, I'll be back down to my fighting weight, and then Josh won't stand a chance against me. I may even run a 5K or two. Or a half. And get me one of those stickers for my car that says 13.1.. which I just found out today is what people that run half-marathons do. Did I mention I'ma be a sexy beast? Yeah... you won't be able to handle it.

I've had a really great Friday the 13th, and I hope you have, too! PS - if you didn't catch the Talladega Nights/Ricky Bobby reference in here, Josh would be extremely disappointed in you. Make it a great weekend! Josh is working the whole time (bummer). We're going to run again tomorrow. Hang out at the ball field. Hopefully Skype my mom in Germanyyyy!! Go to church. And some other super-cool-blow-your-mind-amazing things that I haven't thought of yet.... probably along the lines of going to Target.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In a Nutshell

I've thought about this blog for a REALLY long time. There are alot of things on my mind/heart that don't necessarily deal directly with Carter's journey, that I wouldn't want to clutter his blog with. So here we are! A brand spankin' new, Piatt-full, layin' it all out there blog - just for me! For this first post, I'm going to make some points that describe my life as Devan Piatt in a nutshell.

- I am trying to find my balance as a wife/mother/employee/child-of-God/my-own-person at the green age of 22.

- I am married to an amazing man and father - Josh Piatt. We're coming up on our 1 year anniversary - May 28th. He's a firefighter in Montgomery, a fitness fanatic, and an amazing father.

- I am the proud mother of the sweetest, most handsome little boy on the planet - Carter Bryant Piatt. He's 15 months old now - his birthday is January 11th (1/11/11!!). Carter was born with a rare set of birth defects known as OEIS... thankfully his is a fairly mild case. To read more about Carter's medical journeys click here. He is SO full of joy and happiness, and Josh and I are SO beyond blessed to be his parents.

- I work in IT... which is also what my bachelor's degree is in. I graduated with that bad-boy May 14th of last year. However, I'm not sure college has seen the last of me... and I ain't talking about grad school! I'm still praying about where I need to be career-wise.

- I was born and raised in a Baptist family. I was raised in church, went to private Christian schools my whole life, have backslidden my fair share, and am now trying to get our family where we need to be spiritually. God has shown us so much through our trials with Carter, and we are no stranger to His miracles. We've recently begun attending a church down the road, and we love it - plus, they're great with Carter!

- Completely raw, unedited, uncensored Devan is a passionate and emotional individual. I'm a good listener. I have very few close friends, because I'm particular. I am completely brainless sometimes (I blame pregnancy for killing my brain cells). I love to cook and do laundry. I am a Triple C addict (carbs/caffeine/chocolate). I am re-discovering my love for physical fitness. I am super close to both of my parents and my 8 year old brother. I'm an animal lover. My favorite color is red. I love-love-love Christmas more than any other holiday. I love charities of all shapes, sizes, and causes. I joined a sorority my junior year of college - I call DZ's "sisters". I absolutely am horrific at math, but I'm a wonderful spell-checker/document editor. I love to read. I never know what's going on because I don't watch much TV. Bad weather makes me feel crummy, and good weather makes me giddy. I have a need for speed and a driving record a mile long. My birthday is August 20th. And that brainless thing is coming into effect because I can't think of any more random facts about myself......

I'm excited to share funny family stories and pictures, good recipes and books, and my sometimes rambling and deep thoughts. I hope you'll enjoy this new blogging adventure!