The Family Practice

family life is a practice in balance and flow

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A New Class

If you’re following along on Instagram, then you might already have an inkling about how my day is going.

But let’s talk about yesterday for a minute, shall we?

I took an extra long lunch during my work day so I could try out “Body Flow” at the new gym. I’m in week five of marathon training and the long runs are, well, long. My hips are tight and it feels like my calf muscles might snap if I try to touch my toes one more time. I went to yoga on Sunday but I still felt way too tight Monday morning and the description for Body Flow lured me in like an oasis in the desert.

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“Les Mills Body Flow is a yoga, Tai Chi and pilates inspired workout leaving you long, strong, calm and centered. Simple yet challenging exercises followed by meditation and relaxation.”

I had never been before and was a little worried about what I should wear or might need to bring along. Yoga clothes, bring nothing – in case you have the same concerns.

I loved the class and am hoping to make that a part of my weekly routine. It was exactly as described, the moves were simple and easy to jump into as a newbie but I did feel challenged and I felt a huge difference in my stretchiness afterwards :) If you’re training for the Ogden Marathon or a race in some other area, I really recommend finding a Body Flow class. My little runner legs and hips are so much happier because of it.

I told you I took a long lunch, and that workout was just the beginning. I also stopped at home and whipped up a fresh batch of Tortilla Soup which we had for dinner a couple nights ago, gobbled up and I’ve been craving ever since. I made a new batch and thought I should probably share the recipe since it’s so dang simple and it’s one of my favorite foods.

Easy Creamy Tortilla Soup – no measurements, just go for it

First thing is to get out your leftover chips (those busted up ones at the bottom of the bag – or bust some up if you don’t have any dregs), put them on a baking sheet and pop in the oven at 350*  You can leave them in there while you prep the rest but you won’t want them more than 15 minutes, or too brown.

In a large stock pot, simmer some green onions with a quick splash of olive oil

Add: chicken broth, frozen corn, rinsed black beans, shredded chicken, sliced carrots, a can of diced tomatoes and a dash of cayenne pepper. Let that simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

I serve mine by putting the baked chips in first, topping with soup and then adding some diced jalapenos (because I like that kick of spice) and a dollop of chipotle yogurt – I learned that trick from my mother in law!

I make my chipotle yogurt by adding either 2 tbsp of chipotle lime marinade, or taco seasoning, whichever I have on hand, to about a half cup of plain Greek yogurt.

For this particular batch I used up some leftover roasted chicken, potatoes and carrots so mine was a bit more thick than usual and also cooked up a lot faster. I was also starving and didn’t snap a pic :(

Scared to try it? Start here instead.

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I did manage to return to the working world and get some work in before it was time to pick up the kiddos.

Nick flew out super early in the morning (and gets back before dinner tonight, crazy right?) and that meant I had the boys to myself for the evening. Translation: date night with mommy. I had also seen that it was National Pizza Day so…

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Lucky Slice :)

PS they both posed for that photo. They wanted to make those faces. I know, right?

I’m off to get some work done for the day and the boys are hoping to go on a swimming date after school so I better get to crackin. See ya manana!

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The Tech World of Fitness

I’m just popping in quick to say how great technology is. I love that we have gadgets that tell us how far we’ve run, or how active we’ve been. I love that there are social apps, like EveryMove, that allow us to track our activities, connect with fit friends, and earn rewards.

I have worn a Garmin on my runs for the past three years now and I love it. I love that I can set goals/pacing, I love that I can see my average pace in real time, I love that it keeps track of my activities and builds a nice little report for me – all of it. But one thing that has frustrated me is that if I do something other than running/hiking/biking – outdoor activities – I have to manually enter what I did after the fact.

I also can’t wear it in the pool to measure my swimming distance, count laps, etc. Although, I have heard of people wrapping their Garmin in a ziplock and then strapping it into their wetsuits but that seems a bit precarious…

My sister has worn a FitBit since I think the beginning – the little one that you clip onto your clothes or shoe, whatever. She has loved it and talked about it quite a bit.

I want one but I couldn’t really justify the price since my Garmin is still perfectly functioning and this new gadget is not something I need.

Until Nick got one of the new band ones for Christmas. He can track everything including how well he sleeps each night which is something I would love to study/explore for myself. So I’ve been lusting after the FitBit since Christmas Day….

Until a week ago. A little thing called the Misfit came on my radar thanks to a health insurance company that is giving them away as motivation for their members to stay healthy. I hadn’t heard of the Misfit Flash so I looked it up and it’s pretty rad.

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But, back to that health insurance company for a minute. Oscar Insurance recently launched a new campaign urging their members to get active and stay healthy. All members of Oscar healthcare receive a free Misfit Flash which is similar to the FitBit and tracks your activity, links up to an app on your phone, etc. The program was recently featured in Wired Magazine.

You set your own goals and as you meet them, you earn a dollar each day. Get up to $20 and you can cash it in for an Amazon gift card.

Pros over the FitBit:

  1. You don’t have to charge it, it has a replaceable battery.
  2. It can go in the water up to 30 meters, which means I can wear it swimming or to water aerobics.
  3. It is half the price and can be worn in many different ways – watch, necklace, clip, on your keys, etc.
  4. It looks like they are making the app available for Windows Phone, which I have.

Cons, compared to FitBit:

  1. I can’t say. I ordered one and once I have actually used this bad boy and sit down to compare it with what Nick’s gadget does, we’ll have a better idea of what we’re dealing with. I’ll keep you posted!

Want one? The Misfit Flash runs for $49.99 on their own website but is available on Amazon (where I have a Prime account, aka free shipping) for only $36.24. I ordered mine from Amazon, obviously :)

*PS, this is not a sponsored post, though it does contain affiliate links. Oscar Insurance did reach out to me to make me aware of the program and the work they are doing in New York and New Jersey. Learn more about their company.

Question of the day: Do you use technology in your fitness routine? How and what?

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Weekend Update Superbowl Edition

Well since the word Superbowl is in the title of this post I may as well come out and say it – that sucked. It was a great game and way more fun to watch than last year’s Superbowl which was a complete joke but it was hard to believe that last play and it was just…over.

We still love our Hawks but man, ouch.

Backing up a bit though, let’s start with Friday night. Our friends at the Lucky Slice are opening a new location a few miles down the freeway and we were lucky enough to attend their soft opening. Twice.

Friday night, Nick and I went just the two of us as a mini date before picking up the kiddos.

And on Saturday we went again after exploring on Antelope Island for a decent chunk of the day.

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Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake and features a beach with swimming area (not that I recommend it), a historic ranch and exhibit area, and free range bison – a couple hundred of them.

We’ve been on the island plenty of times but we have never really hiked out there. Spencer is just getting to the point where I feel comfortable letting him venture around and we aren’t taking turns on who is carrying him when his legs get tired. He loved climbing on the rocks, jumping off, running the trail and finding new rocks to jump from.

Mack was more introspective throughout the day, taking photos on his tablet, making notes and studying the trail map. I have a feeling that he’s taking after his grandpas who do very similar practices on their hikes. :)

And what post about Superbowl Sunday would be complete without a look at the food?! The party we went to had an appetizer challenge: bring an appetizer, put a numbered stick in it, everyone tries everything and then you get to vote for your top two picks.

I very quickly made my cranberry chicken skewers from my Superbowl Cookbook. I was in a hurry and Nick was eager to get to the game and the kids were running wild and…. well, Nick did some parts, I did some parts, and the communication wasn’t quite there so we wound up with something like the cranberry BBQ skewers, but not quite. Oh well.

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The appetizer competition was super fun and I loved seeing everyone’s creations – and eating all of them :)

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No.7 there in the back, that was the overall winner. Any guesses on what it is? Spoiler alert: apple crumble. The secret? See that bowl to the left? Chocolate covered bacon to garnish, as well as homemade ice cream and a chocolate stout beer to drizzle over the top. OVER THE TOP indeed. Superb!

And these deserve a mention for creativity for sure. Do you get the joke??

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And these…

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Silly, silly.

It was a great weekend despite the Seahawks loss and I am so, so happy we got out for an adventure on Saturday!

PS. Remember how it’s Spring now? Spring in February!

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Malan’s Accomplished

If you’re following along on Instagram you already know that I took the morning off yesterday to go on a hike and clear my mind a bit. What you don’t know is that Malan’s is sort of this black mark in my hiking record. I’ve attempted to hike it three times and though I am generally healthy and decently athletic, I’ve never made it to the top. I had a problem with my iron levels the first time I tried Malan’s and cried when I realized I couldn’t do it. Not just this, but something. Realizing you can’t do something you are right in the middle of is incredibly frustrating. The most recent time I tried we got messed up because we had a late start and we weren’t going to have time to make it to the top and back down in time to get our kiddos from their date. So it’s this…gah…I just want to finish Malan’s ya know? But I don’t want to fail at it once again.

I’m really healthy now, eating well – lots of protein and lots of greens alongside a daily iron supplement – and I’ve been on track with my fitness goals. With that in mind I was ready to kick this mountain’s booty. PS – it’s not that hard of a hike, it’s just happened to be the one I haven’t been able to accomplish.

It’s pretty much a thick icy uphill climb at this point and even though I have my StableIcers I was worried I would once again not make it to the top, this time ice being the culprit. But I set out with a positive attitude and enjoyed the company of the Hiking Divas (a group that goes up Malan’s weekly).

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We made it! We made it to the top in about an hour and were back at the base at just over 2 hours and fifteen minutes round trip.

It was such a great way to clear my head of all the nonsense and flyaway thoughts that have been circulating like a pack of wild vulchers in my brain lately. I stopped in for a hot latte on my way home, showered up and hit my work day hard. You know what’s funny? I’ve had all these things on my to-do list which require patience – checking in, prodding folks along, etc – and I think that’s one of the big reasons my brain has been itching so bad. I came back from that hike and had answers to several of the questions I’ve been waiting on, a new project offer and a few emails I was hoping to receive. Who knew taking the morning off could be so productive!

I spent the rest of my day efficiently working through my task list, touring the event space for the Ogden Area Influencers Summit I’m putting together, and before I knew it, it was time to pick up Mack for his guitar lessons. If there’s one thing I’m hoping to be better at as a parent, it’s making sure he puts in his practice time. The time between lessons seems to slip away like nothing and then bam it’s Wednesday and I’m almost embarrassed to take him in and be found out for the very little practice we’ve put in. He’s doing pretty well though and that’s totally on me, more than Mack…things I’m promising I’ll improve on.

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This morning I started out with a hot bowl of buckwheat groats topped with cold milk, a little stevia and some nutmeg. I’m hoping that protein boost powers me through the morning. I have a meeting late morning to discuss a potential cooking class for low/lower-income families in the community and then it’s time for JL board meeting. I have quite a bit I’d like to accomplish before those meetings fill my brain with new things to ponder. Wish me luck!

Question of the day: Have you ever taken a break and felt a little guilty for it only to realize it was probably more productive than trying to work straight through? Vacations, yes?

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Adventure > Gym

I really loved this list of healthy food infographics that Peanut Butter Fingers shared in her most recent “Things I’m Loving Friday” post. I made the Chicken Orzo soup from the list of “10 Easy Homemade Soups” – easy being key.

I made the grilled chicken in the crock pot beforehand and I steamed up the orzo while the rest of the soup was simmering. I was able to get the kitchen cleaned up, help Mack with his homework and then ta-da dinner is served :)

I love the visual element of the infographics and I think it’d be fun to get them printed cute for pantry decor or something. I’m thinking about that…

And if you’re wondering if we made it to the gym for our fit date…? We did not. It was way too nice out to hit the gym! We opted for an icy hike up Waterfall Canyon instead.

We have new little spike-y ice grippers to pop over our shoes when the ice gets thick and we wanted to try them out. We made it up the ice no problemo! And then we made it down the ice no problem, packed up the spikes, trekked through a little mud AND THEN I fell on some slush and hurt myself. Pretty cool huh? Way to go Lady Bowsher!

I’ve been a busy bee and a little bit ADD today so I am really looking forward to a gym date (treadmill) tonight to bust through some of these thought bubbles. Here’s hoping my ankle doesn’t cause me too much – or any- issues.