21 Day Fix, Arthritis, Clean Eating, Health, Healthy, Movtivation, New Year, PiYo, Resolutions, Rhuematoid, Workout

My New Years Resolution: Get Healthy, For Real

It’s that time of the year again when we start making those new years resolutions we never keep. We all do it. We start out on January 1st wanting to be healthier, start saving for retirement or a new car, or read through the Bible, but do any of our resolutions make it to March? How about August? This year, for me, is different.

Part of my resolution is to be held accountable for things I start. I want to have more patience and actually stick with things I start, starting with my new investment into being healthy.

Just recently, I purchased PiYo Kickstart and the 21 Day Fix plans from BeachBody.com. I have been calling it an investment (because it was expensive enough to call it that), and it is truly an investment of my health. I need to loose some of the pounds I have gained from college, living on my own (AKA: the cereal diet), and being married. I’d also like to get in the best shape I possibly can. I’ll be 24 this year, and I feel like my 20’s are slipping away, and fast. Especially since I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in October. I want to be healthy for me this time.

I have heard and seen very good results from all the BeachBody programs, like P90x, Insanity, ect… So I thought I would give it a try myself. I knew that I had to have something gentler, but still effective. Gentler because before we left on our trip to the Bahamas, I did some Jillian Michaels DVD’s and with my RA, they were getting harder and harder to do. My knees and elbows would be so sore and stiff the next day(s), so much so that I couldn’t workout for days after. Last year, I did well at the beginning of the year, I worked out hard for about a month and a half. I got results, I got bored and gave it up. Then, I got into trail running over the summer, and I loved it. However, in North Dakota, on the farm, during the winter, you can’t run outside. That is where PiYo comes in.

PiYo is a combination of pilates and yoga while using your own body weight to effectively burn fat and calories. It is a seven day a week, for 2 months program. The 21 Day Fix program is basically the eating program (it also comes with more intense workout DVD’s). There is no calorie counting, points, or off limits foods. If it fits into the container, you can eat it. Basically portion control and clean eating is involved.  With this, there is also Shakeology, which is all the nutrients and vitamins in a simple meal replacement shake. Shakeology also cuts the cravings, but at the same time, you still can have your chocolate shake (or vanilla, or strawberry). Great for me, because most mornings, I eat breakfast on the go or at work. I am also doing the Kickstart program, which is a mini, kind of, 3-day cleanse. Which basically helps you get rid of cravings and an overall “kick-start”.

I can’t wait for my new journey to begin! With my new rubbery yoga mat, new workout clothes to keep me motivated, and my PiYo on it’s way, I am nervous and excited. With working 40+ hours a week, cooking, cleaning, there isn’t much time left in a day, but for less than an hour every day, I want to improve my health and my life. It is more important than ever right now. I want to feel good about myself. When I start seeing results, I won’t stop. This is more than just abs and a nice booty. It’s my health.

My hubby is also on board, because for Christmas, I got an elliptical and exercise bike, 2-in-1 machine. At first, I didn’t know if I wanted it due to the fact, it would have to go in our spare bedroom, our only spare bedroom. But, it works. I wasn’t going to let my idea of “interior design” get in the way of my new body and health. So here’s to a new year, and most of all a new me!!

Happy New Year, loves! xo

Airport, Bahamas, Flying, International, Island, Tips, Travel

Review of The Bahamas Part II

We just got back from our eight night stay in Nassau, Bahamas. It was a late honeymoon/vacation for us. You read Part I of my review, and today is the final part of the review. See the link to Part I below.

https://thelifeofthefitfarmerswife.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/review-of-the-bahamas-part-i/

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1. Don’t Panic. We did have a couple of bad experiences when getting to the Bahamas. We missed our connecting flight at Atlanta, (which is the hugest, biggest, gigantic-est airport, ever) because of some guy overdosed on pills and was throwing up and having a seizure in the back of the plane, which delayed us by two hours. When we got to Atlanta, we sprinted, and I mean sprinted across Terminal B to Terminal E. I ran so hard, my arthritic knees were killing me for the first few days of our trip, and I am a summer runner! It was tough, but we missed the plane by five whole minutes. I cried. We didn’t know if we would even make it out on the last flight from Atlanta to Nassau later that afternoon. And the next flight didn’t leave until noon the next day. Turns out, we just barely made the 5:00 PM flight into Nassau with exit row seating. It was a fully booked flight. Then, once we arrived, we were getting our bags from baggage claim, we had one bag left, the bag with our shoes, my make-up, soaps, hair brush, etc… And it never came. It never left Atlanta with us. It was hard to stay calm, especially with everything that happened and since my husband doesn’t like to travel (mainly fly), I figured he’d never want to go on vacation again. But you have to stay calm and try to enjoy your vacation as much as possible. Finally, after a day and a half without a shower or beach shoes, after two concierges flat out lied to us about checking into our bag, we took matters into our own hands and went to the airport. Turns out, the bag was delivered while we were at the airport! My hubby was so wonderful, he did everything he could to help make me less crabby and tried to get our bag back ASAP. In the end, we learned patience and to stay calm. And how much we appreciate a good shower and make-up!

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2. Splurge on a Big Meal. I know, I know. This whole time I have been preaching about saving and value of eating. At least once during your vacation eat at the expensive restaurant. Splurge for one night. One night, we ate at our restaurant in our hotel, The British Colonial Hilton’s Aqua. I ordered rack of lamb with a guava reduction sauce and Taylor had mahi-mahi and we both had a glass of wine. For two of us it was over $100, but it was worth it. Most expensive date night ever, but worth it! It is vacation after all!

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3. Dolphin Encounters. We were beyond blessed to go swimming with dolphins during our trip! It was amazing! I had never done this before, even though I have been to Hawaii many times. Let me tell you, it was worth every penny! Dolphins are so amazing and smart! The trainers never make the dolphins do anything they don’t want to do, so sometimes, the dolphin would just leave and come back in a few minutes when she was ready to work again. And then there were the baby dolphins!! There were three babies about one and two months old. They were so precious and little divas showing off all the time! We got to kiss, hug, dance, and get pushed by the dolphins. By the way, Ladies, dolphins love toenail polish!

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4. Do As The Locals Do! You are in the Bahamas! Try a Pina Colada or a Bahama Mamma! If you don’t drink, there are plenty of virgin drinks too! Try the local fish and eat LOTS of it! This is probably the freshest fish you will ever have, and it is wonderful! We didn’t have time, but I would have loved to attended a church service there! The picture above is a church from the late 1600’s!

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5. Don’t Rent A Car. You have been warned! Bahamians drive crazy! Everything is European there! They drive on the opposite side of the road and have round-a-bouts, and drive like mad men! We learned quick that no one stops for pedestrians, the pedestrian must step out on crosswalks in order to cross the street. It’s scary and dangerous, but it is the only way. It feels like cab drivers want to kill you. We have some really great ones too, but our first night going to our hotel was pretty scary. It normally takes 25-30 minutes to get from the airport to downtown (where our hotel was), but it took about 15 minutes. At one point, Taylor and I looked at each other and just thought, “this is it”. We made it though! Just be prepared for crazy drivers.

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6. R&R! Finally you are on vacation! Relax and enjoy as much as possible. We basically did everything we could with the time we had. It was a great time, but it goes so fast. See everything, do everything that you can while you are there! You’ll have lots of stories to tell when you get home!

Advice, Bahamas, Blue Lagoon Island, Dolphin Encounters, Flying, Hilton, Honeymoon, International, Island, Nassau, New Providence Island, Ocean, Paradise Island, Snorkeling, Tips, Tourist, Travel, Vacation

Review of The Bahamas Part I

We just got back from our late honeymoon/vacation to the beautiful Bahamas! We got to visit three islands, New Providence (capital city of Nassau), Paradise Island (better known as the location of Atlantis resort), and Blue Lagoon Island. It was absolutely wonderful and we had a great time! However, just like everything, there were pros and cons, so here is my review of our trip!

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1. Resort vs. Hotel. We decided not to do a resort. We checked into Atlantis, Beaches, Sandals, etc before we realized we could save way more money by eating cheaper, still good, but cheaper. That way we could still do more activities. Just for the mid-range meal plan at the Atlantis resort, they charge $1,500. Our hotel for eight nights was less than that and we stayed at the Hilton. We probably did spend about $1000 or less on food, snacks and drinks during our entire stay. (See my other post about the two meal a day plan – https://thelifeofthefitfarmerswife.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/how-to-plan-a-vacation/) Another reason we chose to stay at a hotel, was because all the resorts were pretty far way from the downtown Nassau area, which is were a lot of historical sights are, such as the Queen’s Staircase and Ft. Fincastle. We were able to walk to all of these places and more! However, if you have kids or are looking to be catered vs. sight-see to when you vacation, then a resort is probably your best option. If you do stay at a hotel, look for credit cards that you can get to obtain free nights with points. I signed up for a Hilton Rewards card before we left, and we got to stay on the honors floor and upgrade our room to an ocean view suite for only $190 for our entire stay! It was worth it! (See #6)

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2. Dinning Out. When you go to the Bahamas, expect to pay an included in your bill, 15% gratuity for every meal, even drinks! Our hotel was right by the harbor so, we got to eat a lot of fish (Fish Fry, Fat Tuesdays, etc…) for pretty cheaply. At the Fish Fry, we had an excellent meal of any kind of fresh fish you can imagine plus you got to chose three huge helpings of sides like mac-n-cheese or peas and rice (a Bahamian favorite!), for about $26 per plate, which was really good. Plus the 15% gratuity. Only once, we ate at Aqua, our hotel restaurant. It was good and expensive, but sometimes a splurge is needed!

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3. Do Sight-See. We were in Nassau for eight days, and during those eight days, we saw pretty much everything we could. We took in a rum distillery, a local chocolate factory tour, swimming with dolphins, a day at Atlantis resort/Aquadventure, Ft.Fincastle, Queen’s Staircase, Government House, Parlament Square, Straw Market, and much more! We walked around and explored in the morning and relaxed by the beach in the afternoons. When I travel, I love to see what the place is all about. Don’t just stay confined to your hotel or resort! In my opinion, that isn’t traveling. Traveling means to explore, including all the adventures (big and little) that go along with it! And most of these places there was no to little fee! Atlantis however, is my next stop!

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4. When in the Bahamas, go to Atlantis!! Atlantis is one of a kind, only a few other sister hotels in China and Dubai. Go see it, explore it! We got day passes for $125 per person, with full access to Aquadventure, The Dig (the aquarium), and resort for one full day. My only complaint; it wasn’t long enough! Atlantis is HUGE! Even bigger than advertised and it takes at least a day to know where you are going (Yes, we got lost a few times!). It is also amazing! The architecture and up-keep of the entire resort is just fabulous and mind-boggling! Atlantis is also expensive, so save up! Just bottled water there is $8 (I have a trick for this too! Save old water bottles from your trip and fill up and take with you)! With T-shirts, passes, two meals, and one snack, this is were a lot of our money went to, but it was well worth it! Atlantis is also a NO cash resort! So you have to either get a gift card from the gift sore or bring your credit card and ID with (they check both!)!

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5. Stuart’s Cove Snorkel and Dive Shop. This place was amazing! I have been snorkeling a lot, but this was by far the best snorkeling I have ever experienced! For $75 per person, you get to go to three different locations. The first is a classic reef with lots of colorful fish and those Bahama Blue waters! The second, is loaded with 20 foot statues in the water and a plane wreck for a movie (Jaws). The third is literally a Jaws experience! You get to snorkel with 4-6 foot reef sharks, while they feed them about 20 feet away from you! This is a half day trip, either in the morning or afternoon. We chose the afternoon, when the water is a little warmer in the winter time. The bus will pick you up at your hotel or resort, and Stuart’s Cove is on the other side of the island, so you get to see a lot of different scenery as well!

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6. Upgrade When Possible. Like I said in #1, if you can upgrade your room for under $200, do it! It was awesome to be able to look out into the ocean/Nassau Harbor and see huge cruise ships coming in everyday! Plus one night we got to see a parade of holiday boats all decked out and fireworks to follow. And the best part, we got to watch it from our room while we snarfed down Dominoes pizza! (P.S. Their pizza is not greasy like American pizza! No greasy hands at all! It is so yummy!)

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Well, there are  my six tips from my part I review of the Bahamas! Stay tuned to hear more of our trip and tips for your next vacation! Happy Tuesday! xo

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farm, Farming, Lessons, Life, North Dakota, The Farmer's Daughter, The Farmer's Wife, Working

What I Learned Growing Up As The Farmer’s Daughter

If you were privileged enough to have grown up in the country on a farm, you know exactly what this post is about. However, if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you missed out on a lot of good life lessons. Growing up on a farm is something that is probably taken for granted as a child, but when you are older, and look back, there are so many great things that you learned along the way. Whether is was watching grandpa in the combine, harvesting wheat, or the prayers and patience of waiting for a summer rain, that comes too late. There are some things in life that are un-teachable; some things you just have to experience for yourself to know how truly important they are. And one of those things is growing up on a farm.

1. Have Faith Even in the Driest Drought. Every year, farming is like gambling with God. Some years, you are really blessed, and have your head above the sea of debt you are currently swimming in. Other years, you pray, and pray, and pray for that summer rain that never comes. Other years, right before harvest with the best crop you’ve ever had, a large hail storm wipes out everything you have. Seasons in life can be just as devastating. Have faith and don’t be too proud to fall on your knees.

2. Hard Work is Not an Option. Being the farmer’s daughter and now the farmer’s wife, I have seen generations of hard working men (and women) in my life. Now and days, it seems working or getting a job is a persons’ choice. In farming, that is not the case. Now, as a wife, there are nights and weeks, when I don’t see my husband at all. He is merely the man that comes to sleep with me in our bed at 3 am and is up at 5 am. With cattle it is even worse. There is a rain coming tomorrow, and the harvest is almost done, an all nighter is the only option. From this, even though I help support our families needs with a full time job in the city, working is not an option. It is something you must do, and it’s a steady income if there isn’t an income on the farm that year.

3. Nothing in Life is Handed to You. With the exceptions of hand-me-downs, and your neighbor bringing a fresh apple pie over during harvest. Everything in life is not free. It is either worked for or worked very hard for. Even in my city job, my supervisor recognizes that I am not afraid to give the toilets a good scrubbing when things slow down. (I credit this to the hard work that goes down on the farm). Nothing in life is ever handed to you, you are only given chances to prove yourself and with a little (okay, maybe a lot) hard work, you will succeed in anything.

4. Be Thankful. In every season, whether your crop got rained out this spring, or 20 cows died from the horrible winter, be thankful for what you have. Even if you are living on a month to month pay check or less, you have a roof over your head and clothes on your back. Always say thank you and don’t be afraid to thank the good Lord for what you have. And don’t take anything for granted.

5. Take the Time. Everyone in these days is running and probably hanging on by a cow’s tail, but take time to spend with your family. My grandpa, one of the hardest working men I know (followed by my dad and husband), always took the time in the warm summer evenings, to swing with me when I was growing up. Sometimes, it was only a couple of minutes on my swingset, others it was an hour. This meant the world to me and still does. Even now, on the weekends, my husband will try to come in early so we can spend time together, even if early means at 10:00 pm. I will still have a nice supper waiting (or Tastee Freeze in the summer) and just spend the evening together. Bottom line, make time for you family.

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This sums up farm life pretty well. Of course there are so many things that I have learned or gained from growing up on a farm, but now appreciate them even more that I am married to a farmer. The lessons you learn while growing up affect you more than you know when you are old.

I will be taking a short hiatius from blogging, but I’ll be back and at ’em in a couple of weeks! XoXo

Bacon, Chicken, cooking, Dressing, Garden, Garlic Toast, Kitchen, Left Overs, Meal, Meals, Potatoes, Ranch, recipe, Sunday, Sunday Dinner, Turkey Bacon

Sunday Dinner: Ranch Bacon Chicken Meal with Paleo Options

Yesterday was Sunday, which means a big Sunday dinner meal for my husband. I don’t usually cook a lot during the week nights due to lack of time, energy, and scheduling. Most of the year, my hubby is out harvesting, planting, making hay, stacking bales, or working cows so he usually packs a cooler for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the winter months however, I try to cook larger meals on the weekends, so Taylor has plenty of left overs during the week. It works really well for us, and myself. Once in awhile I’ll come home mid-week, to Taylor cooking a meal for us, I know, I have the best husband ever! And sometimes, I will cook a mid-week meal.

Our meal yesterday, was one of our favorites and oh so easy to make for a Sunday dinner or during the week as a mid-week meal. Here is my own recipe for Ranch Bacon Chicken:

You’ll need:

1 package of Tyson raw Chicken Breasts

1 small dressing bottle of Ranch Dressing

12 strips of Jennie-O Turkey Bacon (or any type of bacon, we love the lean and low calories of turkey bacon, and it goes with everything!)

With my meal, I served garden potatoes, fresh from my garden this summer! If you don’t have fresh garden potatoes, grocery store ones work the same! And garlic toast (I needed to use up some bread). I usually make my garlic toast with French loaf or the thick Texas Toast bread, but this time I had regular on hand, which works the same. Just remember to generously butter each side and use garlic powder to avoid extra salt.

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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees for the chicken. (You can also put in your garlic toast at this temp on the top rack, it will take longer, but be even and nicely toasted on both sides).

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While your oven is preheating, it is time to prepare and assemble your chicken. First, dump the small bottle of Ranch Dressing into a gallon bag. If you are using a large bottle, squeeze in a generous amount or it, or enough to coat 3 large chicken breasts. Then, insert your chicken into the bag, one at a time.

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After, layout four pieces of bacon flat and horizontally on a flat surface. Lay your chicken on top of the bacon, then wrap the bacon around the chicken so it closes in the back. Flip and place on to the baking dish. (I love my baking dishes by Rachel Ray! My uncle and aunt gave them to us for our wedding gift, and I use them just about every weekend! If your don’t have a set, get them! They work wonders and food never sticks!)

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Repeat this process until all chicken is covered. Place in the oven and tend to your potatoes.

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Boil the potatoes until soft, then turn on low and simmer until chicken is done. I usually turn my chicken up to 500 degrees at this point,  if waiting on the chicken only. It adds a little crispy-ness to the bacon. When the chicken looks cooked and bacon is slightly browned and crispy, take out and assemble your plate! For my garden potatoes, I usually butter them with salt, pepper, and parsley flakes. They are very yummy!

This recipe can also be a great paleo option as well. If you are paleo, do not dip your chicken in the Ranch and just wrap bacon around and cook, serving with lots of fresh veggies, instead of the garden potatoes and garlic toast! This recipe is not only easy, it’s great for left overs, if you have any! Enjoy!

Have a Happy Monday! xo