Monday, December 31

Lean, Green & Clean in 2013!


Early this year I went on Medifast to try and drop the very very stubborn pregnancy weight that wouldn't seem to go away - and I did, I dropped almost 30lbs. in just 2-3 months.  Sure I was losing weight, but I also knew that what I was putting into my body was not whole food.  It was powder mixed with water.  Highly processed, full of minerals and vitamins produced by a pharmaceutical company.

I learned a bit about myself during that time, and what it did was help me to believe that I could be disciplined and commit to eating differently.  But what I really longed for, more than to look good in skinny jeans, was to find a way of eating that was healthy, wholesome and improved my overall health.    I also wanted to figure a way to get the husband and daughter on board, and hopefully help heal my husband's GI issues.  Then a couple of months ago I was at BlogHer and met Gina from Running to the Kitchen, and heard a little teeny tiny bit about Paleo & Crossfit.  I came back, googled a few things (when I had time) and decided to present it to my husband.

With the hubs finally on board, and a toddler that didn't really have a choice, we purchased our first paleo book, "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf.  While the book is an easy and even entertaining read, there was a ton of science and we were growing impatient to dig into the actual changes.  We got the main point about gluten being an enemy to the body, and so our first major goal was to begin eliminating it from our diet.  We took a 14-Day Gluten-Free Challenge and were amazed at how much better we felt without Gluten in our diets.  We started Robb's 30-day-plan shortly after, but felt like we were missing a bit without having fully read the whole book.  We made it a few weeks in but felt overwhelmed and a little out of sorts without a better way of planning.

Then I ordered a copy of "Practical Paleo" by Diane Sanfilipo and that book has been our go-to source for entering the Paleo world.  We haven't been 100% on plan - its extremely hard to be this time of year, but we are striving to get there.  We decided to start November with the Autoimmune Condition eating plan included in the book - and we've been loving our new way of eating.  Food is flavorful, our energy levels are more stable and we find ourselves satiated between meals.  We are no longer snacking which by its very nature has reduced our overall caloric intake.  While ultimately our goal is to shed fat, and get lean, we also realize we would be kidding ourselves to think with all of our travel and holiday plans this year that we'll be able to stick to it 100%.  Probably closer to 75% really.

 And now I've finally arrived at the point of my post today!  I would like to formally announce our 2013 resolution, "Lean, Green & Clean in 2013!"  I've been working on this plan most of this year, and I couldn't be happier sharing it here with you first!  Let me give you a quick run down of what you can expect with LGC2013!

LEAN - I will be focusing on functional fitness, specifically oriented toward the busy mom - I'm qualified for this because I am a ridiculously busy mom, so if I can figure out how to make fitness happen within the course of a busy day at home, any one can do it.  The goal of "Lean" is not to be skinny - its to be strong.  We're talking strong enough to do a few pull-ups, strong enough to carry my toddler and my purse, stroller and other things all at once up and down the subway station stairs (a very important skill when you live in NYC).  I will be learning as much as I can about doing Crossfit at home, and it would be awesome to figure out a way to start a Crossfit moms group here in NYC.

GREEN - If you haven't heard, green is the new black!  And what I mean is that even if you live under a rock, you've probably heard that we all need to do our part to heal our environment, invest in more sustainable products that don't leave a biproduct of pollution and toxicity in our world, and watch the chemicals we expose our bodies to.  I will be tackling everything from energy conservation to making natural products at home.  I believe we each have a responsibility to be a good steward of the world we live in to ensure our kids have a healthy future here!!

CLEAN - And finally, we will continue to detoxify our bodies from decades of eating SAD (Standard American Diet), kicking off in January with a Sugar & Caffeine detox.  Two things that will be the hardest challenges for me - I'm a chocolate/sweet lover and an obsessive coffee drinker!!  We will be continuing to try different eating plans from the Practical Paleo book starting with the Digestive Health eating plan in January.  After I go off caffeine for 30 days I will be limiting my coffee to 1-2x per week!!  Now when it comes to chocolate and sweets, I'm convinced that I'll be able to find a way to make my favorite recipes and enjoy them in moderation using Paleo ingredients - I'll be sharing recipes as I create them!  I've also been very interested in learning more about supplements so I'll be doing a bit of research and trying to take out the complexity of figuring out which ones to take.

I am jazzed for this new journey our family will be taking next year, and I'd love to have you join along!!



I'm Courtney, a Christ-following wife, mama and lifestyle blogger. 

My blog Baxtron{Life} is a place where I share everything that I love, lots of pictures of life in NYC with our little family of three, daily musings, fun link-ups and some of the real struggles of my life.  

I would love to connect with you via: TwitterInstagram or Pinterest! Come say hello!

Friday, December 28

Oh.My.Yum.

 

Baskin Robbins Holiday Cakes & Treats!


Ice cream is my favorite dessert, and when it comes to celebrating, nothing is better than an ice cream cake!  This holiday season, I got to sample one of Baskin Robbins Holiday Ice Cream Cakes - and share the yum with my family.  The cakes come in three different designs: Snowman, Santa and Elf.

Knowing my husband shares my love for peanut butter and chocolate, we ordered a custom Snowman cake made with chocolate cake and Baskin Robbins delicious peanut butter chocolate ice cream.  After one night we still have about half the cake left, the cakes typically feed from 8-12 people (depending on the slice!)

 
Of course, Zion has received the ice cream gene as well, so we chose two different Snowman confections - individual treats, customized by choice of ice cream.
 
For our individual treats we tried the special holiday flavors, Peppermint and Winter White.  Both were totally delicious and big hits with those who shared bites.  I was surprised by the low price of $2.49 per individual treat...a great deal for the kiddos, and the perfect size too.

   

I always say that I have an ice cream shaped hole in my heart, and these holiday treats definitely fill it nice and full!

What is your favorite Baskin Robbins flavor?  Do you love ice cream cake?
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Baskin-Robbins. I received a gift card to facilitate my shopping experience and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

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Thursday, December 6

Holiday Entertaining Inspiration

 

@Momtrends #LuxHoliday

 
I had an incredible time at this year's MomTrends Holiday Entertaining Event, featuring dazzling party inspirations by the two lovelies behind Party Blu Print Blog.  While we mingled, delighted ourselves in festive party foods and a drink or two, these ladies gave us a few tips for planning our holiday decor.  My biggest take home tip was to always start with a holiday inspiration board with imagery and color swatches and things that inspire the look and feel you are going for.  So, here it is...my holiday inspiration board for this year...
via BaxtronLife on Polyvore
I originally was inspired by silver and winter white, from the first table setting that was modeled at the party, but opted to go for gold and white at home instead.  I loved decorating my home this year, especially since I will be out of town for the next three weeks and had no reason to do it.  And that may have been one of my secret motivations for throwing my first annual Ladies Christmas Social at my apartment.


A few other amazing brands were showcased at the MomTrends event, and I can't wait to tell you more about them in the coming months.  You can check out a few below!  I also had the honor of meeting the lovely Courtney of The Chirping Moms and Divina of The Dancing Hotdogs.
       

Thank you to MomTrends for the invitation!  And to the many lovely sponsors of the event!

There was no requirement of me to post about this event, I received some great swag while attending, learned great holiday entertaining tips and mingled with both brands and peers.  Truly enjoyed this event!

Wednesday, December 5

Warming up with Panera Bread Soups


Every time my husband and I drive back toward Ohio we hope that we'll find a Panera Bread along the drive to stop in and visit!  Panera Bread is this amazing Cafeteria-Bakery that offers an assortment of gourmet baked goods, yumtastic sandwiches and salads - and delicious homestyle soups!

For the past couple of visits we didn't know where to look for Panera Bread close to the trip route - but this time around we actually planned our stops around where Panera Bread was located.  And even more exciting was the discovery that Panera has several locations now in NYC...and I didn't even know it!!  But even more exciting is the fact that Panera even has locations in Washington state, where I'm headed this week!!  You could say I have an infatuation with Panera Bread!

I'm a sucker for a good soup and sandwich, and Panera Bread definitely knows how to do it right.  I've been there three times in the last month sampling a variety of different soups and sandwiches and I'm going to share a bit about my latest experience and what menu items I recommend you try!

Sierra Turkey Sandwich & French Onion Soup
I most recently visited a Panera Bread in Norwalk, CT this week and chose the French Onion soup and Sierra Turkey Sandwich.  The French Onion soup comes topped with savory croutons and asiago-parmesan cheese shavings.  It is rich in sweet onion flavor with just the right amount of herbs and seasonings to appeal to both the sweet and savory crowd!  I loved it.

Panera Bread French Onion Soup
I paired the soup with the Sierra Turkey sandwich which comes on fresh-baked asiago cheese focaccia!    I love the flavors of the red onion, smoked turkey and chipotle mayo as they come together on this bread.

Panera Bread Sierra Turkey Sandwich
Like I said, this was my third trip to Panera Bread this month!  During my previous visits I tried the Baked Potato Soup and the Cheddar Broccoli soup - both very satisfying on a cold Fall day!  Funny enough, I still haven't visited a Panera in NYC!  But I'm delighted that I will be able to any time I want to now!  And I was just searching to find out where the closest cafe is for my month hiatus home to Seattle...and there is one just a couple of miles from where I'll be staying!  I am sitting here practically drooling as I think about sampling their New England Clam Chowder (next on my list!)

While I was visiting the website to see what day they make their Clam Chowder...I found out they have a great partnership with Feeding America.  While you are dining at one of their lovely cafe's you can give back to the community by dropping a donation in one of the Panera Cares Community Breadboxes which will go toward ending hunger in America!

Have you been to Panera Bread?  What is your favorite soup??  Or which one of these delicious soups do you want to try!?



I received compensation for my food and time for this review through DailyBuzz Food, however; the opinions and views expressed are unsolicited and authentically mine.

Tuesday, December 4

Come Visit Me Elsewhere!


For a look at my inspiration behind LGC2013 featured on Big Apple Mami!  You'll hear what this is all about, and what to look forward to next month on BaxtronLife!

Then...learn a bit about what a day in my life looks like at Living Like the Kings!

And then finally...save the date...for a huge follow-fest for New Year's eve...


Your chance to share what your 2013 goals are plus meet other bloggers who share similar goals!  It is going to be AWESOME!  I can't wait to tell you more about it, but I'm still finalizing a few details!

Hope you are having a great start to your week!



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