Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Category: fitness

“Asian” Summer Salad

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One of my favorite parts of summer time is how easy the cooking gets. Lots of veggies, a little meat–we can make a whole meal out of tomatoes, cheese, basil, and some crusty bread. I try to keep things a little creative AND we are on a food budget, so if I can stretch it and the ingredients don’t cost much, then that’s even better. Our little porch garden is growing rapidly and we will have lots of fresh produce soon– we are already plucking lettuce and herbs to throw into salads and sandwiches.

My dad and stepmom have been visiting us from Thailand, so I’ve been making lots of tasty, healthy meals for us, and this salad was a hit this past week. My dad has a friend who sells maple syrup in New Hampshire, so he regularly buys a half gallon to send to us. I use it in EVERYTHING, including this salad. It gives it the perfect amount of sweetness to cut the acidity.

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The whole thing took about twenty minutes to throw together (I had shredded chicken in thefreezer) and I made it before leaving the house for the day. It tasted fantastic that evening and I LOVE coming home from a long afternoon knowing that dinner is already prepared. Just be sure to add the Mama noodles right before you serve it so they stay crunchy. I grew up on these noodle packets in Thailand and they are about one million times better than the U.S. alternative…img_5158

Asian Summer Salad

4 cups shredded green cabbage

2 cups shredded romaine

1 large cucumber, chopped

1/2 onion, diced

1 tbs green onion, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

2 cups shredded chicken

(to be added before serving)

2 packages mama noodles

1/2 cup peanuts

Dressing

3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

3 tbs sesame oil

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbs maple syrup

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs siracha

Add the shredded vegetables to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk. Toss the salad in the dressing and refrigerate for at least an hour. Before serving, add the crushed noodles and the peanuts. Enjoy!img_5157

 

My dad buys the maple syrup from This shop. It’s always an incredible deal, and supports a local small business, so if you’re in the market for some, check it out!

 

Keeping things Tame

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This past Saturday we got a beach day. Like that elusive, perfect New England beach day that only comes a few times a year. Where its warm enough to spend hours on the sand, but not so hot that you feel like you’re roasting. Where there isn’t any chilly breeze coming off the ocean, and there aren’t any pesky sand flies. When the tourists haven’t flocked in quite yet, and there is plenty of space all around you. That kind of a beach day. Granted, I only touched a toe in the ocean because Maine water is like melted ice, but still.img_4857

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I wore this fantastic tankini from Rad Swim…and even though I though I wasn’t a tankini girl…I am completely obsessed. Because here is the thing. It’s super flattering. It’s fitted, the bottoms are adorable, and the pattern is so unique. On top of that, I was the only person on the beach wearing anything like it and I got A TON of compliments. And because I like attention (hello theater majors) I was thrilled about that. But…most importantly…I had no fear of flashing. Which brings me to the point of this post. I have always been…well endowed. Breastfeeding has made the girls even bigger, and I am eagerly anticipating the minimizing that will (should) occur after Redmond is finished nursing. But, even so, I have been a D+ cup for most of my adult life. This makes buying bathing suits really hard. I need support, and I need space for them. Half the time I end up with a small bottom and a large top that I have to tie in the back because I’m a slim human being…but I need coverage for the boobs. I have spent big bucks and gotten bikinis made specifically for small, busty woman– but I like to have lots of options, and I only drop that kind of dough once every few years. I’ll link a few of my favorite pricey options at the bottom though in case you’re in the market for one.img_4855

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(I know Redmond looks PISSED in some of these shots. I promise he wasn’t. I just had brushed his face off since he was covered in sand and he was feeling all the feels.)

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Enter the high necked bathing suit. WHY HAVE I NEVER TRIED THIS? WHERE HAS THIS STYLE BEEN? Maybe it’s just my lucky day, but I am finding high necked one pieces, tankinis, and bikinis (yes! Really!) everywhere and at a whole range of prices. My fear of boob spillage is erased. My fear of side boob, negated. My fear of Looking Like a Street Walker When Bending Over to Pick up My Baby, GONE! I was able to run around after his soccer ball without being nervous that one of my knockers would slam me in the face. I’m kidding. I mean, that has never happened. But you know? It’s the irrational fears that control us. IF the water wasn’t two million degrees below zero, I could have JUMPED RIGHT ON IN. And my top would not have been dangling around my mid drift when I popped back up out of the icy deluge. Are you hearing me? This is a game changer. I have already bought a two piece that is high necked and it looks adorable. Will I have some freaky as F tan lines? Sure. But hopefully that’ll remind me to bathe in sunscreen and lounge in the beach tent with Redmond. Also, I just slipped one out the side of my suit to nurse Redmond when it was his nap time. Like you do. img_4853img_4852img_4851

Also, Redmond is looking so grown up in these photos that it is killing me and I think I need another baby right now. He is well on his way to becoming a beach bum baby. He was eating sand like it was a delicacy…I kept saying, “he’ll realize that he doesn’t like it and he will stop eating it.” Which…he didn’t realize. Quite the opposite. A salty, crunchy snack? Um, yes please! It’s like sitting in a sea of potato chips! I don’t actually feed my infant potato chips, but after his display of sand consumption I’m betting he’d be a fan…

my suit c/o/sunglasses

Redmonds suit: bottoms,top

Loving these high necked suits:

This one is Baywatch fabulous

this one is so surfer cool and only 18$

This one comes in DD+ and I want it

Dream Bikini. The print! Highwaisted! So vintage!

 

5 minute Acai Bowl


I am really into breakfast. I work out every morning, and I HAVE to eat before I exercise. Never anything too heavy, always something delicious. I make a batch of granola about once a week and it serves as breakfast and dessert (over a little yogurt) during the week when I steer away from baked goods and ice cream. While I was pregnant, I had massive cravings for smoothie bowls. I spent waaaaayyyy too much money at Fresh Press in Portsmouth getting their Acai bowls. But finally (finally!!) our grocery store carries Acai smoothie packs and I can have my favorite breakfast/lunch without throwing down ten dollars. So. A super quick little post today. I hesitate to even call it a recipe…but a few people asked me how I make mine so I figured I’d let you all know. Obviously I staged that photo (I don’t eat breakfast surrounded by flowers very often…) but it is a pretty, healthy, and delicious breakfast and it takes less time to make than my usual oatmeal does. I use Frozen acai packs which are stocked at our local market basket. They’re getting easier and easier to find, so check the frozen fruit aisle of your grocery store. If not, then you can order acai powder on Amazon–but I’ve never tried it. Anyway. I top mine generally with bananas, pineapple, strawberries, raisins, and my homemade granola (I’ll get that up ASAP) . Then I drizzle Krema natural peanut butter on top. It’s my current favorite because it’s super soft (almost soup-y) and pours easily. Not great for sandwiches, but I always use my pb for a topping, not a pb&j.
So anyway. 

5 minute Acai bowl

1 packet frozen Acai

1/4 cup mixed frozen fruit

1 tbs plain Greek yogurt

1/4 banana

Toppings: banana, pineapple, strawberries, granola, peanut butter. Or anything you desire.

Soften the frozen pack by running it under hot water and then blend everything (minus the toppings) in a blender or magic bullet. Pour into a bowl, top it up, and dig IN! 

I eat these for any and every meal during the summer. And my husband loves them too. 

Enjoy! 

Wonderfully Messy

The beautiful Erica of  Honeybee Boutique sent me this tank top from her adorable line of tshirts. And let me be honest… This week it has felt extra appropriate. I can’t put my finger on it, but I have felt extra messy lately. Like our home needs to be purged of stuff. Like I can never get on top of housework, like I’m failing on all social media fronts (more on that another time) like I’m not doing all the things I should be doing as a mom… 

It could be the change of seasons–in spring, I want to lighten my life, and spring cleaning goes with that. It could be my husbands coaching schedule which has him home later at night. It could be that I just haven’t been feeling 100% physically…I’m run down and tired despite Redmonds good sleeping schedule and my own early bedtime. I don’t know what it is. I yearn for heat and sun and feeling humidity on my skin, and being outside all day. This happens to me most years– by April I am finished. In Thailand, where I grew up, April was the zenith of the hot season. We celebrated it with Song Kran, a Buddhist holiday that has morphed (at least in Chiangmai) into a gigantic city wide water fight. I think my bones yearn for that warmth, even after having lived in America for sixteen years.

  I have a tendency to put a lot of pressure on myself– I’m sure you can relate. I have always kept myself busy, and as a mom, it is even more intense. I find myself thinking, “Oh my gosh, should I be teaching Redmond his colors? Should I be singing about his head, shoulders, knees, and toes? Should he be eating more or differently? Am I failing? Am I failing? AM I A FAILURE?” You feel me? Even if I know that I am a good mother, intellectually, it is so easy to spiral down that rabbit hole of self doubt and self loathing, and end up where? At the bottom. In a mess.
 It is an exercise in self control to remind myself that I am enough. I could always be doing more. I could have a cleaner house, I could make more baked goods, fancier meals, have a better blog, start teaching Redmond his alphabet (I kid) and on and on and on–but I am, right now, enough. My son is beloved. By myself and my husband. To Redmond, I am a perfect mommy. He loves me purely and without question. And this life of mine? It is wonderful. A wonderful mess.

details: honeybee boutique, co/similar flannel/sneakers

Also, thanks to mom.me for featuring me in their top 25 fit Instagram moms! Such an honor. See the article here.

Well-Earned Granola Bars


If you follow me on snapchat (simply_hj) you’ll see a good amount of food content. I love cooking. I love inventing. I love eating good, whole food. I DON’T love counting calories. For me, that is a slippery slope and one that I need to stay well off of. Especially with breast feeding, I try to get plenty of tasty, real food into my body every day. Because I love cardio workouts, I need a little extra which is why I’ve titled these the Well-Earned bar. I have one after my morning sweat session, and it hits the spot. I have no idea how many calories are in them, but they are full of good fats and keep me satisfied.

 I am perfecting a recipe for a soft, chewy bar. These ones are soft but a little crumbly. Which makes them perfect for eating on their own or putting on top of some fruit and yogurt for a little treat.

 You could also add in more nuts or dried fruit–I made them on the cheap (I talk a lot about budgets…and our grocery budget is one that is challenging in a fun way for me) so I kept it pretty simple. I really love granola bars but I HATE the cheap ones that are filled with fake ingredients and never satisfy me. And I love buying small batch homemade ones from local sources, but they get seriously expensive. At my gym they are 2.50 PER BAR. I can’t afford that. These are the perfect alternative.

Well Earned Bar

3 cups quick oats (this keeps them from getting too crunchy. The old fashioned oats don’t quite do it.)

2/3 cup unsweetened shredder coconut

3/4 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter(smooth is best)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup molasses and maple syrup (or just maple syrup. I like the flavor of molasses though)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs chia seeds

Combine all ingredients until everything is blended. Press into a 9×9 pan and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut into pieces and enjoy!


If you want more snack and meal ideas, follow me on snap chat and let me know what you’d like me to post recipes to!

Post Partum with Teami

  

First off–these are not my most professional photos. They were taken in my living room after a workout, with zero make up and wet hair (fact: sometimes I shower before I work out cause If Redmond is napping…well…it’s shower time.)and I used my tripod–but they are very real and raw so I’m ok with it.

So here we are. Seven months post Partum. It’s simultaneously insane that it’s been seven months and insane that it hasn’t been longer. Being pregnant is taking on more and more of a rosy, distant glow. Like it was another lifetime, which of course, it was.   

I gained a solid 35+ pounds while pregnant. I was generally ok with the weight gain, and I felt happy with my body immediately after giving birth. Honestly, just not having a ten pound baby inside me was great. I mentally decided that I would give myself until nine months post-Partum to get back to my normal size. Nine months to gain it, nine months to lose it. When I started the Teami detox, I had about three pounds to go. 

I exercise five to six days a week, and for the month of February I didn’t eat desserts during the week. Mostly. Obviously weekends were a free for all. And the occasional day when ice cream was just needed. BUT. Between the tea, and my normal life, I am officially back to just under my pre-baby weight. 

   
That being said, things have shifted. I will never have the same body I had. Which is fine by me. My hips are a little wider. My boobs bigger (I imagine that will change when I wean Redmond.) I have more of a booty (hurrah! At last!). My stomach doesn’t have quite as much tone to it. But I am happy. I feel healthy, fit, and womanly. I’m happy to be back to the weight I was, but it’s just a number.

It seems appropriate to write this up and post these very scary/vulnerable pictures the day after Womans Day, which I didn’t realize was a thing until Instagram told me so. But, it is a reminder to love each other and love ourselves as the amazing females that we are. It’s so easy to spiral into negativity (which is usually propelled by insecurity, right?) towards each other and so intensely towards ourselves. But you know what I think? I think women have had it hard enough through history. Let’s give each other a freaking break. 

Circling back to the tea, I will say that if you want to amp up your metabolism in addition to a healthy diet and exercise to drop those last few pounds, it really does seems to work. And I didn’t even use the colon cleanse tea because of breastfeeding. If you want to give it a go, you can get a discount on your order with the code HJOY10. Just keep in mind–our happiness shouldn’t revolve around a number on the scale. We should aim to be fit, strong, healthy–and that looks different for everyone. And has nothing to do with the stupid scale. 

Oh, speaking of healthy– I’ve gotten real into making homemade granola bars and quick+affordable granola. So if I get some photos today I will post those recipes on Friday! Or maybe even tomorrow if I’m feeling craaaaaazy. 

Also, more posts about my postpartum fitness and health are Here and Here if you’re interested.

Thank you to Teami for providing me with this tea. All thoughts, opinions, and experiences are my own.