Tuesday, January 12, 2016
It has been a while since I posted a blog but let me tell you, my life has been crazy!! But in a good way. So last quarter closed out my first year back in college and now I am on my second year. This quarter I am taking Nutrition, Biology and Math. I don’t see math disappearing any time, as a matter of fact not at all. I have so many more math classes I have to take to complete my major that I might as well be prepared to be scatter brained for the next few years. My daughter just began her second semester as a college freshman and I am so very proud of her. It has been a blessing for both of us to be in school together even though she is 1500 miles away. She is also 2nd in the nation right now for wrestling and headed to nationals. If we are lucky she will get to try out for the Olympics. My son is in his 5th-grade year and will be a middle school student next year “yikes”. He joins me on my runs from time-to-time however, he rather ride his bike while I do all the running.
Since I started back to school last year my eating habits have been total crap as well as my workout schedule. However, last summer I made it a point to start running in the mornings; that has been my savior. Once the first of the year rolled around and all of the holiday lunches, dinners and treats faded away I decided I would cleanse my system and get myself back on track and now I have more energy than ever. For four days I started my morning with a protein vegetable and fruit smoothie for breakfast, green juice all day until dinner and tomato soup for dinner. Currently, upon waking I have my “tonic” 2 tablespoons ACV, fresh Lemon Juice from ½ Lemon, Turmeric, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Cayenne Pepper, ½ cup warm Water, then I go for my run. After my run I have a simple smoothie with Power Greens (spinach, Chard, Kale), 1 Frozen Banana, 1 scoop of Protein and 1 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Almond Milk, which I drink during my two, morning classes (3rd class, Biology is online). The rest of the day looks like this: One cup of Tomato soup for snack, Lentils, Chicken Patty for lunch, protein and Vegetables for dinner; this is just an example. If I want anything to snack on after dinner, I will eat some seaweed, dried veggies or dried fruit. I end my evening with my “tonic” right before bed. If you want to know if I lost any weight since I cleansed my system the answer is yes, seven pounds (about 1 lb a day).
Well, folks, that’s all for now. I will make it a point to be more diligent on my blog, with all of the essays I have to type, sometimes it’s hard to even think about typing up a blog post.
And…It Is What It Is!
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
www.gethfm.com once it is completed, and one of the topics I cover is motivation. Not just motivation in general but finding it, keeping it, and reactivating it if you lose it.
This morning I was driving to work and thinking about my morning run video I posted on Instagram; I reminded my followers to Get Healthy Get Fit Get Motivated. This morning I had to scroll through my Instagram feed and find my motivation to get out of bed and complete my run. My best friend had already arrived at my house; I opened the door then went back upstairs and climbed right back in my bed. I knew I had to get up but I needed the mental energy and motivation in order to have a great run.
I have touched on my struggles with staying motivated over the past 8 months or so since I started school. Well, school was only part of what was going on in my life. I will not get into detail but I will say that I fell off from my fitness lifestyle, I fell way off. I got it back during a challenge I hosted back in March but then I fell off again; over that time I gained a whopping 30 pounds. I became angry and I was disappointed with myself. I have always tried to maintain a positive outlook on life and I was grinding in school something serious but there was something missing from my life. Fitness has been a part of my life for almost four years and it has become a part of me; so I felt like a part of me was gone, missing; I did not feel complete. But what I did not know is the impact I had on others, how much others depended on my posts and looked forward to seeing them. I have had people contact me and commend me, ask me questions and seek guidance but when others who had not reached out, had not liked any posts, or commented on anything began to reach out to me, it truly sank in the impact my journey had on others. I had people inboxing me, calling me, walking up to me and asking me why I had not posted any workout videos and telling me they missed my videos and posts. I was amazed; I am always honored when people support my journey, I am even more honored when they tell me how much I motivate them and help them keep it going or get started.
I am the type of person who cannot afford to take time off; my body type has to stay on point in order to keep my weight intact. I can take a month off and after that, I begin to gain my weight back. So needless to say, I had to get back to me. Since I had begun my fitness journey this had been the longest I had fallen off and I knew I had to get back on track. I decided that July 5th would be the date I would get back on track. One of the things I also decided is that I would deactivate my Facebook page; Facebook had nothing to do with my fitness journey I just wanted to take a break from it and I figured the 5th of July would be a perfect time. So before I went to bed on July 5th I deactivated my Facebook and at this point I have not reactivated nor have I missed it. Another thing I did was braid my hair, braids give me the freedom to sweat like a pig and not be concerned about my hair. I made a pact with myself to keep the braids in until I reach a certain benchmark; but I sure do miss my weave…lol.
I made the decision to get back on track months before I actually did so, I knew that the day after the 4th of July would be a good day for me since I had no idea what naughty treats I would indulge in over the holiday; plus my birthday was June 15th and I had a BBQ planned so all of those factors would derail my goals so I wanted to make sure that I started my journey during a time where I would have less temptation.
When it comes to making major changes I am a planner, I like to create a plan to ensure success. Life happens and it throws you curve balls all the time so even when you plan you may be thrown off a bit but when you have a plan you can go back to it makes it easier to do so. I have created challenges using my plans and they have been proven to work. I create plans for people who struggle just like I do, because life is not easy but if a busy mom like me can find her way back so can anyone else.
I always say, look at it as a lifestyle with no set destination because if you set a specific destination, once you get to that destination you may find yourself giving up and eventually right back where you started.
For me being a mom is perfect because I am teaching my children habits that will benefit them when they get older.
When you are ready to start your journey, sit down and come up with a realistic plan. If you need help getting started feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help you. You are welcome to follow me and my journey on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Periscope; just search for ShaniNicole or IamShaniNicole
And…It Is What it Is!
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Growing up my favorite part of the chicken was always the drumstick. As I got older my favorite became the thigh. However, I have never really liked white meat but over the years I have been eating it more often. I still enjoy chicken things, wing and drumsticks but I try to eat more breast meat in my meal prep. In order to do so, the meat has to be tender so I like to cut my pieces in half so it isn’t as thick. I then create a tasty marinade and allow me breast meat to marinate for a couple of hours before cooking. I also prefer grilling, broiling or pan searing my chicken breasts over baking; to me, baking tends to dry it out.
So for this week’s meal prep I made a marinade consisting of sriracha, honey, lemon, garlic paste, and cilantro. Check out the recipe below.
Shani’s Sriracha Honey Chicken
1 lb of Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Sriracha
1/4 cup of Honey
1 Lemon, juiced
1 tblspn Garlic Paste
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
Lay chicken breasts flat, place one palm on top of the chicken breasts and slide your knife from the front to the back down the center of the breast. Now you should have two thinner pieces of chicken breasts, continue until all thick slices are thin; set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk until everything has been blended.
Add chicken to a large Ziploc bag and pour in contents from bowl. Seal and cover all chicken with marinade. Reopen bag and let out as much air as possible. Lay bag flat in the refrigerator for two hours.
Warm up grill and allow it to get hot. Place chicken breasts flat on grill. Cook each side for 10 minutes.
*Tip I like to use this recipe for hot wings as well; minus the cilantro. *Recipe Here
And...It Is What It Is!
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Shani’s Healthy Hot Wings
1 bag of Drummettes or wing sections
1 cup Sriracha or Hot sauce
1/4 cup of Honey *optional
1 tblspn Garlic Paste *optional
Make healthy hot wings by baking them on 500 degrees for 20 minutes or until crispy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk until everything has been blended.
Toss chicken in the sauce and cover completely.
*If you insist on having dipping sauce use Greek yogurt instead of ranch.
And...It Is What It Is!
Monday, June 8, 2015
Memorial Day weekend post, we built a pallet couch for our upcoming BBQ. I wanted to share with you how we made our pallet couch. I am sharing the slightly simpler version. It was not hard to make, the only difference is we created an extra space in the middle which gave it an odd size. Therefore, we had to create an extra frame for the middle, for this tutorial the base will consist solely of pallets. I plan on adding pillows, I just haven't decided if we are going to make them or buy them.
3 Tier L-Shaped Pallet Couch w/Table
9-12 4x4 Pallets
1 Pallet (larger size or same of others)
2 2x8 Lattices
6 1x3x8 Furring Strips
2 4x8 sheets of plywood (or anything cheaper like OSB) (we had it cut at the store for free)
1 sheet of Plexiglas (thicker the better)
Foam (qty based on size of pallets)
1 bx of Wood Screws
Outdoor Fabric (qty based on size of pallets (a few inches longer/wider than couch))
1 gallon of Outdoor Paint
Stack your pallets in 3s. Form an L shape (two sets on one side and one set on the other) if you want more seating room add another stack of pallets to the other side (two sets on one side and two sets on the other). Make sure the front of all the pallets are lined up.
Using a nail gun, nail each stack together 1st in the front and the back. After you nail the stacks together connect all of the stacks to one another.* If they seem impossible to nail together, use 3 inch long furring strips and place them between each stack of pallets, but inside the pallets so that they are unseen and nail them through the front of the pallets. *you may want to use a piece of wood to reinforce the furring strip in place while nailing.
Now you have your base.
Place your lattice on top of your pallet base and measure the length from the ground to the top of the lattice.
Cut your furring strips to that length. You will need 3 per stack. (9-12). Using your nail gun nail the furring strips to the back of the pallet base (1 on each end and 1 in the middle).
Place the lattice in front of the furring strips and staple to the furring strips (you can also use brad nails).
Use drop cloth to protect area. Using a paint gun (paint entire couch), use brush to fill in any gaps.
Place your foam on top of the plywood, cut as needed using a box cutter. Once your foam is to size, using a caulking gun, cover plywood with construction glue. Place foam on top and allow it to dry.
Cut fabric leaving six inches around the sides, lay fabric flat, pattern-side down. Lay foam covered plywood on top of fabric, foam-side down (make sure it is even on all sides). Pull fabric sung and staple around the entire piece of plywood until all side has been stapled down.
Cut pallet in half. Stack the two halves and nail together using the nail gun. Cut a piece of lattice the same size of your table and place on top. Using a nail gun or brad nails nail down the lattice to the top of your table. Using a paint gun (paint entire couch), use brush to fill in any gaps. Allow to dry; once the table has dried, place Plexiglas on top of table. Place painters tape in each corner of the table and pre-drill holes on each corner (tape prevents Plexiglas from cracking, drill wood screws into each pre-drilled hole. Remove tape.
Place table upside down (place on grass of under something to prevent Plexiglas from scratching) place caster in each corner and using a pencil, mark the holes. Pre-drill each hole (you can do 2-4 per caster) (I did 2 per caster diagonally). Drill wood screws into each pre-drilled hole.
*Keep in mind that of you want to use pallets for the back you can do that too, you will need about three, just remove the bottoms of them and nail them to the back of your base. Also, the hardware will cut all of your wood if you want them to.
*You can add throw pillows or make your own.
*Consider adding battery operated tea lights under the Plexiglas to illuminate it in the evening.
And…It Is What It Is!
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend, I surely did! Aside from spending my Friday & Saturday doing homework, I was able to get together with the family and work on the back yard. Even though we bicker and disagree about how to do this or that, we all find a way to work together and make it happen. It is those moments that I cherish the most, I enjoy my family and I would not trade them for the world. I have two awesome kids who work my every last nerve, but I just do not know what life would be without them. Plus everyone gets to release their frustrations with a few lawn and power tools.
In a few weeks we will be having a celebration at our home; celebrating two birthdays and two graduations. My daughter and cousin are both graduating from high school and I could not be more proud. However, their friends are a lot younger than me and mines, therefore, the girls and their friends will have the entire back of the house, while our friends have the front. We are having a Luau theme in the front of the house and a graduation theme in the back. It will look like two completely different places which is the intention.
There is something about working on home projects that just makes me happy. I have never been one afraid to roll up my sleeves and dive into building or fixing something around the house. However, my schedule has prevented me from being able to, but having the family there to assist me has been great.
The four of us got dirty digging up dirt and rocks and building a pallet couch (details and photos soon). We started on the yard a week ago, during the weekend, then came back to it this past Sunday and Monday. Every inch of my yard, including the concrete patio looked like a jungle. It had been over taken by blackberry bushes, vines, moss and grass as high my waist. Now that it is all cleared up, we just have to do some clean-up of the dirt and debris we left behind. Once it is completed I am sure it will be awesome!
And…It Is What it Is!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
With my full-time school schedule and full-time work schedule, I try to find ways to continue to feed my family home cooked meals. A crockpot is a great way to do so. I will start my Crock Pot Chronicles and share them with you. I do not do a lot of crockpot cooking but when I do I will share.
Shani’s Red Beans & Rice
1 bag of red beans, soaked
1 large turkey leg or 2 medium
4 cups of chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 whole red bell pepper, chopped
1 whole green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon of Shani’s Cajun Seasoning
1 teaspoon of pepper
The night before:
Soak complete bag of red beans overnight
Chop all vegetables and put in a container in the fridge
Mix all seasonings in a bag and set aside
The next morning:
Rinse beans and dump into crock pot, add veggies, chicken broth and seasonings. Place top on crockpot and plug it in, turn temp to low.
Allow it to cook while you are at work, when you get home it will be ready for dinner.
Cook rice per the instructions and enjoy
And…it is what it is!