March Madness

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Hi everybody! I know I haven’t been around much lately, and for that, I apologize. At the beginning of the year, my work got pretty busy and a few other things in my personal life have kept me from blogging. I haven’t been as dedicated to eating healthy and exercising as I have been, and I’m pretty sure I’ve gained a few pounds. I am disappointed in myself, but I thought I’d be honest since this is real life. I will fail and fall many times before I actually reach my goal. I did food prep today, and I have my exercise planned out for the week– which is good!

So, even though I fell off the horse a little, I’m going to jump right back on. Enjoy the photos of the past few months!

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Jerm’s Herbed Baked Chicken with a Side of Heaven

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Jerm’s Herbed Baked Chicken with Honey & Chili Flaked Carrots and Couscous Stuffed Romas

Jeremy sent over these pictures today, and I just had to post them! He doesn’t really cook recipes, but he put together the instructions below.

Chicken

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast.
  • Seasoned both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs (I have a grinder that has a French style).
  • Preheat oven to 425. I use a non-stick oven pan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and set timer for 30 mins (These were fairly thick breasts).

Tomatoes

  • Cut in half 3 roma tomatoes and scooped out the insides with a spoon. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper inside.
  • The filling was boxed garlic and herb small couscous, but you can sub quinoa if you like. To that I added finely copped green onion, and mixed in low fat wedge cheese (come in a little wheel with a cow on it and is individually packaged).
  • Slice a little sliver off the bottom of each tomato to make it sit level on the non-stick oven tray. Fill each “cup” with the filling mixture.
  • Sprinkle with some herbed bread crumbs and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil (evoo).
  • Cook them with the chicken on 425 for 17 minutes or until brown on top.

Carrots 

  • Peel some whole carrots (not very large) and cut them in half lengthwise.
  • Rub with salt, pepper, red chili flake, and evoo.
  • Cook on medium high heat in a pan until almost tender.
  • Pour it honey and let caramelize on the outside prior to finishing.

And done!

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Will you cook Jeremy’s dinner? Guys, impress your lady with this dinner– it’s sure to impress!

Jeremy’s One Pan Meal (Breakfast!)

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jermmealMy friend Jeremy is one of the best cooks I know, and he cooks amazing Southern food. Lately, he’s been getting into shape. I follow, and long for (seriously!), his food on IG and Facebook. He knows I love his food, and he sent me this message of Facebook, “I made this little gem this morning. Turkey bacon, 2 eggs scrambled with fat free cream cheese peppers, onions, and sharp cheddar.”He continued, “And yes. I have decided that you don’t need 2 pieces of bacon or even 3. What I do it take one piece and I chop it up and then I scramble it in with my eggs so you get all the flavor and happiness of the smokey bacon but at much less cost.” It’s a simple one pan meal! I can’t wait to try it this weekend!

For exercise, he plays a lot of golf. It’s important to remember exercise can be about staying active with activities you love. You don’t have to go to a gym and spend hours on a treadmill. Personally, I cannot wait to hiking in North Georgia this summer. I love how Jeremy is getting in shape by cooking simple, yet delicious, meals and keeping exercise simple. He’s going to look great by summer!

Food Preppin’

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foodprepfoodprep1I am finding success in losing weight, because I am food prepping. Food prep makes eating right with a busy schedule easier. I no longer have to worry about cooking everyday, and I don’t feel the need to race by a fast food joint on the way home from work anymore, either. Plus, I know my body is getting a bunch of nutrients everyday.

I food prep on Sundays, and put my Sunday to Wednesday food containers in the fridge. I put Thursday and Friday in the freezer to stay fresh. Other food preppers keep Thursday and Friday in the fridge and do not freeze any of their meals. As long as you don’t put fish or seafood into those meals, it should last and not make you sick. It doesn’t taste as fresh, though. I’d rather freeze and defrost than eat weird tasting food. Others do two mini food preps throughout the week, and this allows them to food prep for their weekends, as well. Do what works for you!

I use cheap containers from my local grocery store that have built in dividers for snacks. I’ve also used mason jars. A friend of mine just bought fancy containers from the Container Store. I’d really think about what kind of food you’ll be making, and if you’ll truly use the containers you buy for those foods. If you know you’ll be cooking stew in a crock pot, than make sure your containers will hold stew and are leak proof.

A lot of my “recipes” are not really recipes. I try to keep it simple with protein, carbs (which include fruits/veggies), and good fats at every meal. Many of my meals consist of a similar blueprint: a bed of fresh baby spinach or cooked spinach, a little quinoa or brown rice, with a protein on top. For sides, I’ll add on an extra veggie or fat (like mashed squash and olives or broccoli and hummus), and very rarely, I’ll have berries for fruit. For snacks during the day, I’ll have a banana, an apple with almond butter, or an avocado. So, a meal I commonly have is a bed of fresh spinach, a little quinoa, and half a piece of chicken breast with mashed squash and hummus on the side. Another meal idea is to have the exact same meal but with a meatloaf muffin as the main protein. If I am really low on time, I’ll buy a cooked chicken and cut it into pieces and throw it in with some mixed rice or quinoa. Or I’ll mix a cooked chicken, cooked spinach, and sun dried tomatoes with a couple sides. I throw some seasoning on it, and I have a meal. Simple! I usually cook one or two actual recipes a week to throw in some yummy food. I do give myself different side options and a few different protein options to keep it from getting it so boring every week.

The hardest part is cooking everything at once (which is why simple recipes are key!). I typically bake first. While everything is baking, I have every burner going and I cook everything really fast. Sometimes I’ll use the microwave for veggies, and I’ll cook soup in the crock pot. You’re going to literally be cooking a bunch of stuff at once. It’s stressful. It ain’t pretty– your kitchen is going to look like hell when you’re done. But you’ll get better at it, and after a few weeks you’ll be a pro.

One other thing I do is read a lot of about food prep and healthy recipes. If I am not working or exercising, or writing in this blog, I’m probably reading up on something health/fitness related. Here are a couple articles on food prepping. I learned a lot from them! The Lean Green Bean and Ripped Recipes.

And here’s me after working out with my trainer this weekend (in the cold!!).

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“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin (Food prep every week!)

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My weight loss habits are starting to truly become habits. Working out and eating healthy have become normal parts of my life. I went to my Blast 900 class three times last week, and I worked out once with my trainer, Cecilia. That’s a lot of weight training and cardio! After my circuit training class at Blast 900 on Saturday, I was so worn out! It was a good worn out, though. I am consistently eating better and keeping up with food prep, as well. I feel like I’ve gotten the basics down, and I am starting to learn about how the body burns fat. I am starting to learn what food actually does to your body when it breaks down in the digestive process. I am starting to form my own opinions on what is healthy and what is not healthy, instead of simply mimicking my peers.

Also, everyday things that were difficult before are becoming easier. For example, before I started working out, if I tried to put on a sock or shoe by balancing on one foot, I’d wobble all over the place. If I carried in a ton of groceries all at once, they’d be super heavy. I don’t notice these things anymore. I am started to get stronger, and I am starting to become a little coordinated.

Progress, folks. I’m seeing progress.

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Put the Lime in the Coconut

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“Coconut oil provides additional benefits. It strengthens the immune system and promotes optimal development of the brain and nervous system. It protects against cancer and heart disease, and promotes healthy bones. Finally, coconut oil seems to be the best fat for ensuring the proper uptake of omega-3 fatty acids into the tissues.”

– Weston A Price Foundation

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When I arrived home tonight from my Blast class, Liz sent me a Facebook message telling me about oil pulling. She’s been oil pulling, and she’s barely been sick this year (which is a big thing for her since she’s sick a lot). This was music to my ears, because  I went to my first Blast class since being sick tonight. My legs were still sore from my trainer on Saturday, but I couldn’t run at the speeds I could a few weeks ago from my endurance going back down from being sick. I also could barely lift the 5 pound weights when I could do the 10 and 12 pound weights before. I’m going to have to build my endurance back up… Again. Again!!! I really don’t want to keep getting sick once a month. I quickly read up on oil pulling, and I ran across the street to get some organic coconut oil. I didn’t even think twice about it! I’d do pretty much anything at this point to keep from getting sick. Yes… Even that!

I’m curious to know what you thought that is… Moving on.

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In a nut shell, oil pulling is swooshing a little bit of coconut oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes everyday. It helps with your dental hygiene and helps remove toxins from your body. Oil pulling helps asthma, diabetes, arthritis, eczema, migraine headaches, and many other chronic illnesses (and I have asthma and eczema). It also prevents common colds, and it’s super easy to do! I will admit it was odd at first, but I did my swooshing while I did my extra stretches after Blast class. I am going to try to do this everyday in the shower. With my neti pot routine and this new oil pulling routine, I hope, hope, hope, pray, pray, pray, and beggggggg, I don’t get sick anytime soon.

I also food prepped yesterday. The turkey meat balls were fantastic today!!

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Winter Wonderland

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The morning after the Thanksgiving race, I woke up incredibly ill. I had a fever for days and a bad sore throat. I am just now starting to feel better, but I’m still a little congested. I decided not to work out while sick in order to let my body rest and heal. I was really upset about it, though. I had just started rebuilding my endurance back from my cold last month. However, I did do daily yoga and a little Zumba to try to keep up some of my endurance this time. I do think it helped, because I worked out with my trainer today. I did get out of breath from being congested, and from the cold, but I don’t think I totally lost all my endurance this time around (hooray!).

Cecilia and I met up at the park. It was 43 degrees and wet out from the rain. Yes, I totally fell at one point! We did drills and ran a bit. I’m glad I met with her, because I wouldn’t have pushed myself nearly as hard with still being a little sick. Plus, we work on my coordination, which I really love. I am the most uncoordinated person ever. No joke. No really… It’s bad! She noticed I am becoming more coordinated. It’s been a slow process, but it’s excited to really see progress. If you’re naturally athletic, you’re super lucky! I’m just going to fake it until I make it, though. 🙂

In other news, my friend Tricia and I signed up for a 5k in January. We’re going to start running again! This time, though, we’re going to slowly increase our milage in order to prevent injuries. Maybe I’ll be a runner one day after all!

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Food-wise, since I couldn’t work out, I made sure to food prep. I finally tried meat loaf muffins. They’re totally yummy and easy to transport to work. Totally making them again!

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Cleansing the Soul

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Over the weekend, I started taking the Vitamin Code Raw One for Women daily vitamin created by Dr. Jordan Rubin. Vitamin Code Raw One For Women is uncooked, untreated and unadulterated. It is RAW, gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no binders and no fillers. It’s a little spendy (buy it online!), but it’s the only daily vitamin I’ve tried that doesn’t hurt my stomach. Vitamins are so important! Even if you eat right, most health professionals recommend extra vitamins. I am partial to gummy vitamins (what?!? they’re almost like candy!), but I’m making an exception for superior quality.

I’m also checking out their Perfect Cleanse. Now cleanses kinda, sorta, really scare me. I tried one from Whole Foods one time, and it made me so sick. My stomach hurt for days! I haven’t had any issues with the perfect cleanse. I’m on day 5 of the 10 days cleanse, and it seems to be doing it’s job well without any pain or discomfort. It really is a new way to cleanse! I must admit, though, one of the steps is a powder. They give you the option of drinking it with water or juice. I highly recommend drinking it with juice or almond milk. It tastes absolutely disgusting in water! Don’t do it!! Anyhow, I am excited to remove toxins from my body and give it a fresh start. Here’s to a happy colon!

On a good note, I am still Blasting away, and I’ve been meeting with my trainer, too. My coworkers and friends are starting to really notice my weight loss (how cool is that?!). I’m definitely noticing my muscles! It’s weird having muscles when I’ve never, ever had any definition anywhere before. Anddd I officially have 202 blog followers! I was so surprised to see that today. Howdy, all 202 0f you!!

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“Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

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The past couple of weeks have been a wirlwind! We had Halloween, my birthday (had a great friend breakfast and went to the World of Coke), a trip to Houston, and work has been crazy! I’ve been on IG a lot, because it’s faster, but I’ve missed posting here. I did crossfit in Houston with my friend, Barbara. I had a great time, and I really enjoyed the group aspect of the work out. I’ve also been working out with my trainer, and we went hiking at Kennesaw Mountain today. I had a blast, and it was a total workout! I’ve been working on my diet (trying to cut out sugar, especially).

I need to start working on my cardio routine again, though. I need to find a routine that works for me, but it’s all a work in progress. I’m trying to decide if I want to try crossfit or do this Blast 900 class which combines cardio and weights with interval training. Or I keep going to the gym on my own. I’m hoping I pick one soon!

I am trying to say no to all the extra holiday treats. This is a tough time of year to try to be healthy! I’m going to keep trying, though. It’s tough to say no to all the wonderful cookies the venders keep sending. Not going to lie. 😉

Here’s a ton of pictures of my workouts, hikes, food prep, and a few fun ones!

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New Way of Eating: Dr. Jonny Bowden Style

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Well, to start off with, I let my legs rest up a bit and then I got sick. So, I haven’t worked out a ton. During this time, I discovered I go back to emotionally eating when I don’t work out. Working out has actually become therapeutic for me.  Now I need to keep exercising to stay balanced. I never would have that I would really enjoy working out, but I do crave it now. When I’m having a bad day at work, I think about pushing through it at the gym. I’m also finding when I have a slip out, or a flat out bad eating week, I don’t let it derail my entire progress. I just get back on the wagon and try again. That’s a good thing. In the past, I would eat a bad meal and stop “dieting” entirely. I’m not giving up so easily this time. I did better today with food prep and a walk in the park with Sophie (pics for proof!).

I’m also trying to focus more on what I am eating and not just how much I’m exercising. I know I need to cut sugar and foods that break down into sugar out of my diet. I stumbled upon Dr. Jonny Bowden tonight (Unleash Your Thin). He’s all about avoiding sugar and any foods that cause your insulin levels to spike. His style of eating reminds me of my friend Barbara’s views on eating. She just created a food prep business in Houston, TX called Elite F’ing Meals. Check it out! Barbara’s food is amazing and super healthy! Anyway, back to Dr. Jonny Bowden, I bought his program, and he has a lot of simple recipes even I can make! It’s an easy to follow plan, and he teaches you the why and the science behind the program. I really think knowing why you’re eating a certain way is important. It’s easier to keep up with and substitute at a restaurant or in a bind when you know you’re eating a certain way. Here’s a snippet from his e-book Fat Burning Blueprint:

“But let’s never lose sight of why we’re limiting our food this week, and exactly what we’re limiting it to. To review: 

What makes you fat is the “fat-storage” hormone, insulin

What raises insulin is high blood sugar. 

What raises blood sugar is high-glycemic carbohydrates. 

Therefore, to become a fat-burning machine, we need to control our insulin levels, which is done by controlling blood sugar, which is done by controlling our intake of high-glycemic carbs.”

 While you’re in the main part of his program, you’ll avoid 9 foods:

Potatoes 

Rice, wheat or other grains and starches 

Pasta 

Cereal 

Bread 

Sugar 

Alcohol

Dairy 

Fruit if you have more than 15 pounds to lose

(Exception: Everyone should eat 1 apple per day! If you need some variety or don’t like apples, you can have ½ cup of berries or a ½ grapefruit instead.)

I’m excited to learn more about his program and try more of his recipes. I’m also feeling mostly better, so I’ll pick up my work outs this week. I hope everyone has a good week!

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