Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Pancakes

I go back and forth with low carb. It does seem like I feel better when I eat lower carb and I definitely have good progress with weight loss when I eat that way, but it can be a challenge to stick with. Well, I'm back to low carb this fall and finding new ways to stick with it!

Ways such as low carb pancakes. Say what what? Yes. Low carb pumpkin pancakes no less. And? They're pretty darned yummy...

Whether you're seriously bored on your egg fast or just a low carb or keto style eater these Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Pancakes are for you! With only 5 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE they'll fit nicely in your plan. They're a quick and super easy breakfast option. Plus, yes, they're delicious! And oh so appropriate for pumpkin spice season. Oh, who am I kidding, I eat them year-round.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 345 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double the batch if hubby wants some too (or if I'm just really freaking hungry, sorry not sorry). It easily doubles or triples or feed however many you'd like.

For this recipe you'll need:

A mixing bowl (I like to use a large glass measuring cupto easily pour the batter in the skillet), a hand mixer, measuring spoons, and a small non-stick skillet (I love my Non-Stick Ceramic Skillet).

2 eggs
2 oz cream cheese
2 tsp Farmer's Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin
1 Packet stevia or other low carb sweetener (I used Truvia)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
ghee for the skillet

Add all of the ingredients to your mixing bowl and blend well with your hand mixer on medium. The batter should be smooth with no bits of cream cheese visible (though I've been impatient and made them this way and it was fine, just with bits of cream cheese in the finished pancakes obviously). Preheat your non-stick skillet to medium-low (3 on my stove top) and add a little ghee. Pour just enough batter into your skillet to cover the bottom. Wait until bubbles appear and pancake appears set. Flip. Cook until done, about 30-60 seconds.

And, yum!

The cream cheese will blend better if it is softened. You can either just let it sit on the counter for a bit or soften it in the microwave for 30ish seconds. Also, the batter will be very runny. 

These low carb pancakes are delicious. In describing them I'd say maybe a tad bit crepe-like in consistency. Definitely not the consistency of a traditional wheat flour pancake, but an amazing treat when you're egg-fasting, low carb, or keto!

Let me know if you try them!

Monday, May 23, 2016

#WIDN Weight-Loss Edition

Hey guys! Long time no check-in. Quite honestly, I wasn't having much progress with my weight loss efforts and didn't have anything to say.

However, 5 weeks back I took a hard look at what I was doing (not just what I thought I was doing; it's not always the same). What was working. What wasn't. What had worked in the past. And, formulated a new plan.

Happily, I can say I've lost 7 pounds in that 5 weeks!

In the past I would have been pissed at that number for not being 'enough', but I'm pretty happy with ANY progress right now (did I mention Baby O will be 3 next month?!). Crazy enough, it was 4 pounds the first week and then 3 pounds another week. With nothing in the other weeks. Strange, but hey, I'll take it.

So, what have I found that is working for me right now?

Well, first I am back to food prepping pretty much everything I eat. Instead of just prepping ingredients and things for the family as a whole like I discuss in this post, I am prepping my entire meals. On the weekend I prepare 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners. I also prep boiled eggs for a snack and make a smoothie fresh each day. I weigh and measure the whole deal and track it all in My Fitness Pal. I'm working on a post with that exact meal plan, so stay tuned. 

In that meal plan I am shooting for about 1500 calories, around 50 grams of carbs, and a 120ish grams of protein. Now, that is just what works for me. Everyone is different, but I've had a lot of people ask for the specific numbers lately, so there ya go.

Generally, I don't prep every single thing I eat, but I'm super busy right now and food prep keeps me on track. Otherwise I wind up staring at the fridge and grabbing whatever is quick. No bueno.

The second thing I'm doing is, as I've mentioned before, trying to up my overall daily movement. Thankfully with all the garden work to do right now that's not very hard. One day I had 18000+ steps! That's quite an increase for me. I'm still struggling on rainy, bad weather days, but overall doing much better.

And that's actually it for the last 5 weeks...

Honestly, my workouts have been practically non-existent with all the other (physical) work going on in the garden. I've been hauling wheelbarrows of dirt, digging holes in super rocky soil, and basically working my tail off!

However, now that I feel I have a handle on my eating and overall activity I want to add back in structured workouts. I'm working on a new (Jillian-filled, you knew that was coming right?) workout calendar and I'll share that soon.

Oh yes, and supplements. People always ask and I forget to mention. Really, I'm not doing a lot of supplements right now. In my daily smoothie I add SFH Pure Whey Protein Powder (mad-love the vanilla). I added back in this cold pressed fish oil and this collagen. That's pretty much it for supps right now.

So, that's what is working for me. I'll keep you posted on how adding consistent workouts back goes!

What's working (or not working) for you right now?!

Dear Readers, 
I have decided to close comments on this post and future posts here on FitViews. I find that people prefer to connect/chat with me on Instagram, Twitter, etc (all my social links are in the sidebar!) and that works best for me too. See you there!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Succeeding With Paleo: Weekly Food Prep

This post is sponsored by Puritan's Pride.

Eating paleo can definitely present some challenges. The main one being time. As a whole food, real food, non-processed way of eating it can require more cooking and food preparation. It’s not as easy to run through a drive-thru, throw a frozen dinner in the microwave, or grab a pastry on the way to work. We’re all busy, but whether it’s one person or the entire family this can all be solved with just a bit of extra prep and planning.

An hour or two on Sunday afternoon devoted to food prep can be priceless in succeeding with paleo. Taking time for weekly food prep will set you up for success and help you avoid reaching for junk food just because it’s quick and easy. Instead, you’ll have a variety of paleo options at the ready!

Some people prep entire meals for the week and place them in containers ready to grab and go. If you’re on the go a lot, or the only member in your family that is paleo, this is a great idea. Others may prep ingredients to have ready for use throughout the week. For example: chopping veggies, baking chicken breasts, and boiling eggs. I do a combination of the two. I prep ingredients and also make some complete dishes, especially breakfasts. There are many ways to handle your weekly food prep, try them out and see what works best for you!

If you have kids I highly recommend getting them involved on your food prep days. Food prep days can be fun! There are lots of ways they can help out. Have them measure out ingredients, stir or mix, and even place things in containers or baggies for storage. My kids love to the crack eggs for me (and I only occasionally have to fish out a little shell). I have found that kids are more likely to eat healthy foods if they help prepare them.

Foods to prepare on your weekly food prep day:

Snacks. Paleo snacking is a breeze when you prep in advance! Boil eggs, make trail mix, pre-portion nuts, chop fresh veggies and fruits, or make Paleo energy balls. Also, be sure to check out Puritan Pride’s Paleo section. They have a ton of great Paleo-friendly snack options.

Smoothie Ingredients. Wash and chop (and freeze as I do or refrigerate) fruit and wash fresh greens for quick and easy smoothies throughout the week. 

Breakfast. Breakfast can be the toughest meal of the day as we’re rushing around in the mornings. Try making a breakfast quiche, Paleo bread, or paleo muffins to make your mornings less stressful. If I know it's going to be a really busy week I sometimes make a double or triple batch of my paleo waffles to reheat. The kids love them.

Chicken Breast. Bake, broil, or grill chicken breasts for a quick and easy protein source throughout the week. Use them in chicken salad, with a side of steamed vegetables, or to top a green salad. They can even make a great breakfast in a pinch!

 Paleo Mayo. The majority of mayo you buy at the market is not Paleo-friendly. Try whipping up a batch of your own. Don’t be intimidated, it really is quick and easy.

Focus on things you use most during the week and that will save you time. The possibilities are endless! My best advice for succeeding with paleo is meal plan and food prep. Always. You'll be amazed how just a little planning and prep can make living paleo a breeze.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Easy Turkey Taco Salad

This recipe post is sponsored by Puritan's Pride.

My family has always loved taco salad. Personally, I'm a big fan because it’s super easy to throw together. It's a go-to weeknight meal for me. My kids love it because it’s just plain good! Win-win.

Traditional taco salads however include a lot of ingredients that aren’t exactly on my nice list. Gone are the days of busting out a bag of chips and cheesy salsa dip to go with a taco salad! Let's be honest, it was barely salad. 

This lightened-up, paleo-friendly version has become a weekly staple on my menu plan. 

Easy Paleo Turkey Taco Salad

2 lbs ground turkey
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 bunch green butter lettuce, chopped
1 small bunch red leaf lettuce, chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 10 oz container of grape tomatoes, sliced
2 avocados, diced
Chunky salsa to serve

Preheat your skillet to just above medium heat. Add the ground turkey and brown until cooked through. Add in the seasonings and stir well.

In a large salad bowl layer the butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, ground turkey, and grape tomatoes.

Serve with salsa and diced avocado.

Try serving this topped with sliced black olives (my kids love it that way) or, if you do dairy, try a sprinkle of your favorite shredded cheese.

Try it! It’s so good; I promise you won’t miss the chips.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Journey Back to Running

The only part I loved about living in a city.
So many great places to run in Idaho Falls!
Oh, where to start... at the beginning I suppose.

I remember loving to run when I was a child. Running for the sheer joy of it. Running fast, running hard. Giggling, lungs burning, legs and arms flying. Just running to run.

Along came high school. I was on the track team, but I did shot and disc. I didn't think I was the "runner type". Oh high school, the nonsense you teach us.

Fast forward many years of not running to 30. 30 scared the crap out of me. I wasn't where I wanted to be in life. At. All. I started running because I wanted to lose weight. Running burned calories, period.

But then, a funny thing happened: running taught me things about myself. Slowly, steadily, running became more to me than calories burned. Running was my me time, my therapy, my time to burn off all the nonsense. 

I signed up and ran my first 5k. My only goal was to run the entire thing. I did it! As I crossed that finish line I learned something about myself that I'd never known before. I vividly remember having this epiphany: I CAN! 

Running taught me that I could do things, I was capable, I was well able. Who knew? Sadly, not me my whole life.

From that point I was unstoppable in testing out this new found I CAN.

In my running I went straight from a couple of 5k's to signing up for a marathon. Seriously, don't try this at home. It was kind of a fiasco. I had no clue what I was doing, overtrained, ran on an injury, and had a terrible time. BUT I did it. I finished. It did a world of good for me. It changed me. In all areas of my life.

I was hooked. I loved running. I loved who I'd become in no small part due to running.

From there I nursed my hurt hip, got back to running 5ks, and was aiming at a sub-30 minute 5k, but...then I got pregnant with baby #4.

No worries, I kept running through the pregnancy. My last pregnant run was 36 weeks. I was showing signs of pre-term labor and didn't run after that point. Then, the 6 week postpartum rest period...

I haven't gotten my groove back since. Lots of starts and stops. Started training for a 9k, but life got in the way of running it. Started training for a turkey trot, and again I let life get in the way of training. Lots of excuses. Not much progress.

Gorgeous path along the river where I was turkey trot training.
The end of 2015 I drew a line in the sand and decided enough was enough. I was not only missing running, but who I am when I'm running consistently. I miss that I CAN spirit. Somehow since Baby O I've wandered off and lost myself a bit. I think many moms can understand this. It's easy to get lost in taking care of everyone else. In life's busyness. It shows up most glaringly in my weight struggles, but it's deeper than that. Weight is just the outward evidence.

But, like I said, enough is enough.

2016 is my year to not only find my way back to running, but my way back to me. 

I need this. More than I could ever put words to.

My husband is on board to support me however I need and with little kids and our crazy busy life that's a necessity (especially here in Idaho where I have no other family support). And most importantly I'm on board to make my running a priority again.

I'll be sharing my journey back to running here on FitViews (and of course my IG and Twitter). 

Wish me luck! Wait, no, wish me consistent running. ;) ...and possibly for me to find my Garmin charger. Running sans Garmin is totally driving me crazy! Moving problems.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Banana Cinnamon Paleo Waffles

This paleo recipe post is sponsored by Puritan's Pride.

Breakfast boredom can set in pretty quickly when you’re paleo. It did for me at least. I made scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and fruit. I made veggie omelets. I made veggie scrambles. I made crust-less quiches. I made mini crust-less quiches. And then? I pretty much didn’t want to see another egg for a while.

I wanted breakfast breads. I wanted pancakes. I wanted waffles! It was definitely time to get creative. So, I got my waffle maker out and began playing with paleo-friendly ingredients. It took quite a few trials (and quite a few non-waffley messes), but I can now make about 10 different versions of a paleo waffle. Well worth the time spent!

My kids love these paleo Banana Cinnamon Waffles. They are delicious and super simple to make.

4 eggs
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup Organic Raw Cashew Butter
1 medium banana sliced (I find it will blend better if you slice it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon GroundCinnamon
1 Teaspoon VanillaExtract

Beat the eggs with a hand mixer. Add in remaining ingredients and mix until the entire batter is smooth and there are no big chunks of banana remaining.
Pour the batter into your preheated waffle iron.
Cook according to recommended time for your waffle maker. Waffles should be golden brown and come out of waffle maker easily.
Makes about 6 waffles (depending on the size of your waffle iron).

You can of course top these with the traditional butter and maple syrup, but we love them without it. Try them topped with some sliced bananas and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Add some chopped nuts for some crunch if you’d like. 

YUM! You’ll never be breakfast-bored again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A New #FitViews21 - 21 Days to Fit Challenge Starts Monday!

A friend on Facebook asked me if I was going to do another #FitViews21. I had intended to do another challenge in January, but time slipped by. NOW seems like a great time!

I don't know about you, but I could use the support and accountability in my workouts.

If you're not familiar with #FitViews21:

They say it takes 21 days to build a habit. Let's build that workout HABIT!!

  • Choose a time of day that works best for you (first thing in the morning is my choice) and workout every day at that same time for 21 daysOf course rest days are important, but in the spirit of building the workout habit still do something at your appointed workout time. Maybe just a walk, a mile with a Leslie Sansone DVD, some gentle yoga, easy stretching... just something. This isn't about perfect workouts; this is about building a habit.
  • Then, share a pic post-workout every day on Instagram! Mention me @KerriOlkjer in the description so I can be sure to see it and use the hashtag #FitViews21. (Pics can be anything workout related. You, your gym, your workout DVD, your running shoes, your HR monitor...)
  • Be sure to comment, support, and encourage others using the hashtag!
There's also a private Facebook group for added support, encouragement, and accountability (or if you just prefer posting your workouts in the group instead of on IG). Friend me and ask to be added to the group (I'm horrible about checking private messages. I don't have the app. Please just post on my wall to be added.) The group is there for whatever you need. Share your workout plan for the day (or the week) and check back in with the group on how well you met your plan. Ask questions. Reach out for support or encouragement. Truly, it's a great group.

This time around I'm going to add something extra: a daily steps goal. If you have a step tracker (or can get one) I encourage you to set a new daily steps goal each week. Share your goal and your actual daily steps on IG or in the FB group. I've come to know that overall activity is SUPER important!

Also, just a note, no selling allowed in the group. I'm not selling anything here (I don't do MLM's) and I want people to feel comfortable in the group. So, please, no selling to group members. At. All.

I know first-hand (and have seen in others) how a little support, encouragement, and accountability can work wonders. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, this challenge is for you. We start Monday, January 25th. Will you join us??

21 Days. 21 Workouts. Let's do this!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Quitting FitViews?

I have a minor confession. My plan was to quit FitViews in 2016. I was just done and ready to move on to a new blog. A new blog with a different focus. Somehow I'd lost my passion for FitViews. I even turned down some work at the end of 2015 and considered selling the url because that was my plan.

But then... I didn't quit. 

Somehow I find myself over here wanting to blog again. Renewed, refreshed, refocused. Miz Carla shared something similar on her Facebook the other day and it dawned on me: I'm enjoying blogging on FitViews again. I want to write here again. I want to create recipes. I want to share my fitness and weight struggles and be part of this amazing healthy living blogging community. I just want to.

Lately I've done a lot of thinking and made a few decisions. You may see a few changes around here. The first being a business decision. I have decided only to work with soulmate companies. I define that as companies that I'm head over heels, madly in love with. Not just companies I sort of like-like, companies I want to marry. ;) I even sat down and made a list of who those companies would be. The list is scarily short, but that just feels right to me right now at this stage of my life and blogging. Also, there may be a few more posts on my life and my weight loss, back to running, back to fit journey. And last, I'm hoping to learn WordPress and finally leave blogger. GASP!

I probably will still start that other blog, but it's not highest priority right now. FitViews and I have been through a lot in the last 6 years. From trying to be anonymous online to professional blogger and a lot of ups and downs along the way. Somehow, this feels like coming home again. :)

So, dear readers, I apologize if I've wandered off this last year, but I'm back and I've missed you!

I'd love to connect, tweet me, IG me, or Facebook me!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

10 Tips for Succeeding on The Paleo Diet

This post is sponsored by Puritan's Pride.
I've been Paleo for almost 5 years now and I know first-hand that going Paleo can seem pretty daunting in the beginning. With a strong focus on real, whole foods Paleo does require a bit more planning and preparation than other ways of eating. However, with just a few simple tweaks and additions to your weekly routine it can be a breeze.

Whether you’re making a permanent Paleo lifestyle change or gearing up for a 30 day Paleo challenge, set yourself up for success with these tips:
  1. Get good information. First things first, I always recommend people get good info on Paleo before starting. As Paleo gets more popular I'm seeing a lot more conflicting, wishy-washy, confusing stuff out there. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting good information from the start. I recommend reading: The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf or Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo (and of course their corresponding websites). For a quick Paleo Cheat Sheet check out my post: What is Paleo?
  2. Commit. Commitment is key. Past experience and conversations with readers, friends, and family have taught me that going “a little bit Paleo” doesn’t work well. Especially not in the beginning. Commit to going all out and jumping in for a full 30 days of strict Paleo to start. Then, you can tweak from there and find what works best for you.
  3. Gather recipes. Boredom is the enemy of any healthy eating plan. If Paleo is new to you definitely take the time to gather plenty of Paleo-friendly recipes. Peruse Pinterest, blogs, and Paleo cookbooks for ideas. Be sure to find a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes to suit your tastes. Don’t forget snacks too!
  4. Meal plan. Many of us rely a lot on quick-fix frozen, boxed or packaged meals (or take-out), especially on busy weeknights. With Paleo this isn’t really an option. The best way I’ve found to keep my weeknights running smoothly is: meal planning. It is a complete lifesaver for my family and I believe a must for succeeding with Paleo. Check out my post on Paleo Meal Planning for a complete how-to.
  5. Make a complete shopping list. Don’t set off for the grocery store unprepared! Take your weekly meal plan, check what you have on hand, and then make a complete shopping list. A little time spent planning ahead will save you time and money at the store.
  6. Stock up. As I said, boredom is the enemy. Make sure to stock up on a variety of Paleo foods. Especially spices and Paleo-friendly snacks; these are easy to forget, but hugely important in succeeding on a Paleo eating plan. Nothing is worse than going to the cupboards and finding nothing Paleo-friendly to eat!
  7. Take time for weekly food prep. Weekly food prep is another must for me. A little time on Sunday afternoon is priceless in streamlining your week and setting yourself up for successful food choices all week long!
  8. Cook too much and plan to eat leftovers. Many will find that cooking becomes a bit more time consuming on Paleo. Get the most bang for your cooking time buck by cooking too much when you do cook. Double or even triple recipes and plan to eat leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Leftovers are a complete lifesaver for me and I work them into my meal-planning.
  9. Carry snacks with you! When you’re out and about it isn’t always easy to find Paleo-friendly fare. Plan ahead and keep Paleo-friendly snacks at your fingertips at all times. Make your own trail mix and carry it in your purse, diaper bag, or glove box. Take nuts and seeds with you. Some people even go so far as to carry a mini cooler stocked with things like chopped veggies and boiled eggs. Whatever works best for you, just be sure to never find yourself needing to reach for a candy bar in the checkout line!
  10. Find support. Support is so important for succeeding with any life changes. Let your friends, family, and co-workers know you’re trying out Paleo and ask for their support. Reach out to any Paleo friends or family you may have. Find support online. Join a Paleo Challenge group. There are tons of groups going on all the time online or at certain gyms. Also, try searching the #Paleo hashtag on Twitter or Instagram to find accounts to follow. 

What did I miss? What would you add to the list?

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016, The Year of MORE!

I got on the scale the other day. It pretty much scared the crap out of me...

Since then I've been thinking, praying, wondering, pondering, and meditating on what real, lasting change looks like. Pre-baby #4 I really felt I was there. Or maybe I just liked what my scale said.

This post isn't about answers to my pondering though, for I have none as of yet. This post is more about seeking those answers in this shiny New Year.

One thing I know for sure is this: I need to change my focus.

I've read a lot lately on change and focus and life. Something I read the other day jumped off the page at me. It's nothing new, but it clicked into place for me in relation to my health and fitness journey. It said that what we focus on magnifies. Hmmm.

I've decided to change my focus this year. Instead of focusing on what I can't have or can't do, instead of focusing on what I need less of or what I need to take away, I'm going to focus on more.

What I want more of, what I need more of, what I will do more of. More.

This post needs a list, right? My MORE's for 2016:

  • MORE RUNNING. Oh that I could make that a bolder bold. I need more running. I want more running. More running it shall be! Two things I've done: 1. I bought a 26.2 sticker for the back of my car. Silly maybe, but I've always wanted one and I just needed to remind myself of who I am. 2. I signed up for a 1,000 km in 2016 challenge <<
  • MORE VEGGIES. Lots more. Especially salads and green vegetables. They were a very central part of my diet, but have slid to a lesser place since moving. Vegetables. Yum.
  • MORE STEPS. As I said in an earlier post, my steps were horribly low back in the rental. I want to keep increasing my activity. Gradually throughout the year. And keep it up. Right now I'm going for 12,000 steps a day. More steps, yes please.
  • MORE VARIETY. In so many ways. I got in such a rut in our little rental house. A rut with workouts, a rut with the same meals, same meals, same meals. More workout variety. More meal planning. More new Paleo recipe trying. Variety.
  • MORE GRATITUDE. My mother in law gave me a gratitude journal and I want to use it. More. Consistently. I used to do this and have slid away. More gratitude. More thankfulness. More appreciation.
  • MORE OUTSIDE FAMILY ACTIVITY TIME. Again, something that had slid a bit back in the rental place. Now that we're here on 8 acres (and in Idaho with so much opportunity for outside shenanigans!), more outside, more activity as a family, more play.
  • MORE INSTAGRAM. Um, what? How is this remotely related? Well, let me explain. I love Instagram. I have some amazingly motivational friends over there. I love scrolling through their post-race selfies on the weekends. Their NSV's during the week. Their post-workout sweaty faces... Also, I just love Instagram for connecting and sharing and staying accountable. For 2016 I may blog slightly less, and IG much more. It just fits me. MORE IG. Who knew?

How about you? What do you want more of in 2016?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Outsmarting a Sedentary Lifestyle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Garmin through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about vívofit 2, all opinions are my own.

You’ve been seeing a whole lot of pictures like these from me lately. I have a confession: I’ve been backsliding, gaining weight back since we started back to homeschool this fall. This has been beyond frustrating. OK, let me back up for those who don’t know the whole story…

I’ve struggled with getting back into shape since baby #4. At around the 2 year point post-baby I thought I was getting into a good groove, but then we moved to Idaho from Colorado. We went from a bigger house with acreage to a tiny house with a teeny tiny backyard; from animals, chores, hikes… to having to make an effort to be active.

As a family we did better during the summer months; we made a point to get to the park more and walked the river several times a week. We explored our new area, went to Craters of the Moon, the zoo, and Yellowstone. However, since our homeschool year has started and the cold weather set in I just haven’t been as active.

It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that I was gaining weight. I’ve become much more sedentary. Thing is, I was grooving along, doing my morning workouts, tracking my food, thinking things were great. I didn’t even realize how sedentary I’d become.

Then, the scale started going back up and I couldn’t figure out why. Frustration! I changed my workouts, cleaned up my diet a little (whined to my husband about how hard I was working a little). Nothing. It wasn’t until I started wearing an activity tracker consistently that I figured out what was going on. Before the move, back in Colorado, I used to average 12,000 steps a day. Post-Move…

Oh. No. These were mid-day. I was averaging 4 to 6k steps a day! That’s a big change for me.

I’ve always believed that as long as I was doing my morning workout and watching my diet I was golden. Not so much. I realized that I have to look at the bigger picture. Note to self…

Looking at the big picture of my overall fitness and activity was something I never really thought about until my vívofit 2. Now, I’m currently quite obsessed with data from my activity tracker (OK, I’ve always loved numbers). I love looking at my steps, sleep, and miles. It’s been quite an eye-opener. 

Not only was I not getting in the activity I was used to, but I was also greatly overestimating my caloric needs. Whenever I’d use one of those online calculators to estimate my daily calorie needs I always just estimated that I was moderately active (or very active, oops). But that wasn’t true! I should have been putting myself in the sedentary category. A category I don’t want to be in, I might add.

Since discovering this I’ve been working hard to outsmart a sedentary lifestyle. I’ve used the info from my vívofit 2 to make some simple adjustments. I’ve tweaked my daily calorie intake and I’ve upped my efforts to get in steps wherever I can. I march in place while I’m making dinner. I pace around if I’m on the phone or social media. I work in walks with the kids whenever weather permits and walk DVDs have become a lifesaver on days the weather is terrible.

I’m happy to say I’m now firmly back on track with my body after baby efforts.

Phew! I’m so glad to figure that out. My goal now is to keep improving. Every day I want to beat yesterday! I’d like to get back to that sweet spot of 12 to 15k daily steps. That’s where I was feeling best about my fitness and having the best results.

I’ve become quite smitten with my vívofit 2 in the process. We’re never apart.

What I love about the vívofit 2 vs other trackers I’ve tried:

  • No being tethered to my desktop! I love this. Madly. It has a regular watch battery that lasts a year+. No need for constant charging. It also syncs directly with the app on my phone. No need to plug it in to see my stats (though it has this option if you prefer that). Heaven for this busy mama. Seriously.
  • Fun colors. I’m so over boring black trackers. I love the variety of colors the vívofit 2 comes in. I have the pink and also the JonathanAdler + Garmin The Newport Trio. Love them. Add to that the fun accessory bands you can order… I’m having a blast.
  • Options. I love how customizable this tracker is. Not only can you swap the bands (which is very easy to do), but you can also adjust the device settings easily using the app. From there you can change which screens it will scroll through, what the home screen is, set it for alert tones or silent, and more. I love being able to set this tracker up exactly as I find most useful.

Like I said, I’m smitten. My vívofit 2 and I have become inseparable. I have eyes for no other tracker. But, I do have eyes for more bands! What do you think? Which set should I ask Santa for??

How about you? Have you found your daily steps sweet spot?