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!

Running Start

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RUNNERS

Today Jessica and I (finally!!) took the Good Form Running class at Big Peach Running Co. I mentioned wanting to go before I started training for my half marathon, and I really wish I had taken the class before I started running to prevent the shin splints I had at the end of 2013. The class was super informative, and we both learned what we need to work on to be better runners. I learned I was running with a heel strike, and I need to stretch more to loosen up my calf muscles. I also surprised myself that I have more muscle than I think I do and having a weak core is not my issue anymore. By the end of the class, the instructor said I was running with a mid-foot strike. Success!

We went over the four basic principles of proper running form, which are posture, the mid-foot strike, cadence, and lean. I’ve watched video after video after video trying to achieve this running form, but I couldn’t put the skills into practice on my own. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get my body to run in with the mid-foot strike. In class, our instructor had us practice marching in place so we could feel how our feet should be hitting the ground. Then we starting running from marching, and we instantly had better running form. He instructed us to practice this move outside of class. A good trick is to march while waiting at a stop light to keep yourself moving and to remind yourself of the proper foot strike. For more information on proper running form, check out the Good Form Running website– I have it book marked!!

Jessica and I go back in two weeks for the second portion of the class. In the second class, we’ll go over proper stretching and core building exercises (which include one legged squats!). I am excited for the second class and to try out my form next weekend at my 5k. The timing on my classes couldn’t have been better.

Here’s to my running start on 2014!

… And my fantastic lunch today!

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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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“The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.” – Stephen Smith

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It’s winter. It’s cold. Do not let the bad weather stop you. Pick a race, set a goal, and go for it. Setting goals turns dreams into reality. One of my favorite quotes is, “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.” Setting goals is the second part of this quote. By setting goals, you’re living like you may not get another chance to make your dreams come true. I’m taking my own advice. On January 18th, I am running a 5k with my friend Tricia. I am finally getting back to running outside. I’ve been working out a ton, but running outside still gives me anxiety (and I’ve been avoiding it). I’ve set a goal, though, and I am going to kill the 5k! I’ve always dreamed of being a runner, and I don’t care if it takes me a million tries, I am going to be a runner. So, I ran outside at the park today with Sophie, and I did surprisingly well. It’s all mental, people!

Along these same lines, I’ve wanted to write a blog for the past couple weeks about the anxiety and shame overweight people have when they first start working out. I said to myself too many times to count that I’d join a gym once I lost enough weight to not be the fat lady at the gym. I know I am not alone on this, either. I also always wanted to grab some shoes and run on the sidewalk, but I didn’t want others to see my belly bounce or see my terrible form. Worst yet, I didn’t want them to look at me a think, “look at her trying to be thin, she’ll never lose weight” and laugh out-loud at me. I didn’t want people to know if I failed. I’m telling you, I had these thoughts daily as I ate Taco Bell secretly in my car at night. I’d think this would be my last fast food meal, and I’d start working out soon. Then all the anxieties and images of super fit and “perfect” people at the gym pointing and staring and actually coming up to me and saying I’m too fat to be at the gym. My fears were really, really detailed! Sometimes I’d cry and sometimes the Taco Bell was comforting. I’d go back home and go back to Taco Bell the very next day.

I remember when I first started running with Jessica (who is very slim but works out a ton) at LA Fitness. I was done with my run, and she was going to run a little longer. She told me to stretch. There was another row of treadmills behind us packed with people (all really in shape people). She kept looking back and telling me to stretch. I just stood there paralyzed. I didn’t want the people to see me try to touch my toes and stretch, and I didn’t want to admit to her I was too embarrassed to stretch in front of others. Finally, she finished up and we stretched off to the side.

I was surprised when I read Fit to Fat to Fit, because it’s about a male trainer who purposely gained weight to understand his clients better and to show them weight loss is possible. He went from super confident to experiencing some of the same fears of judgement and social anxiety I’ve experienced since gaining weight. He stood in front of his closet trying on clothes over and over to find something that made him look less fat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late to hang out with friends, because I’ve tried on twenty shirts to find out that hides my back fat roll (which I no longer have!!) and my stomach bulge. I’ve actually canceled many, many times with friends at the last minute, because I couldn’t bare the thought of being the fat chick at a bar or swanky restaurant. To all my friends, I apologize. I’m surprised ya’ll stuck around with how many times I’ve shown up late or not at all.

Being heavy consumed me. It took over my life. I couldn’t get up from my desk at work without thinking about looking fat in front of my coworkers. I could go on and on and on. I never changed, though, because I had irrational fears of active people rejecting me. The funny this is, now that I work out at the gym and in a challenging group exercise class, I know my fears couldn’t be further from the truth. At my group workout class, Blast 900, so many of my classmates have come up to me after class to tell me good job. They’ll comment and say it’s great I’ve made it to so many classes. If my form is bad, they’ll stop to show me lift the weights the right way. In the gym, no one has ever looked at me weird or said anything mean. My fears were all in my head. Furthermore, I now know a lot of active people are really positive people. They’re excited you’re getting healthy, because they’re passionate about health. They want everyone to be healthy! They’re proud of you for trying to get into shape.

And you know what, if I ever do run into the one negative person who does say something about my weight, I don’t care what they have to say about me or my form or my fat rolls or anything else for that matter. I’m out there trying. I’m out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. You’re out there trying. You’re out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. Please don’t allow yourself to be trapped in the same cycle I was stuck in for years. It’s such a debilitating state to live in– just step into a gym or go for a run outside– you’ll be glad you did.

It’s all mental, people!

P.S. Check out this kickass kickboxing class you can do with dumballs or just your arms at home. I loved it!

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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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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Who’s that lady?

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This week I fit into size medium work out pants. I was super excited, because I was in a size extra large just a few months ago. I was pretty stoked when they fit (and looked good!). I’ve found with my weight loss it’s the little surprises that keep me going. It was easier to push myself the next day through my group run knowing I’m actually getting smaller. I am truly seeing if I stick with this, and keep on trucking, I will see results. Seeing results is awesome, because if I wasn’t seeing results, it’d be hard to stick with the routine (just being honest!).

I stuck with my work outs this week. I ran and did my homework for my training class, and we ran 8 miles on Saturday.  Let me repeat that, we ran 8 miles on Saturday!! That’s a lot!! This was the first week I did my training runs completely outside and not on the treadmill. Running outside is so much more difficult, and so much worse on my legs, than running on a treadmill. Once Saturday came, though, my legs were still sore from the week. I struggled to keep up, because my legs were so tight and sore. One of the coaches walked with me for a bit. We stretched once we were warmed up, and then we continued our interval running/walking until the finished. I was glad for the extra encouragement, and I learned I need to listen to my body. I can only push it so far before I push it too far, and I don’t want to cause any injuries (or permanent damage). I’ve become friends with my after run routine: stretch, foam roll, ice, and bengay. This routine is my life saver, and it really helps my legs! This week in personal training, my trainer had me do weights for my upper body. I loved it! It was difficult, but it was more enjoyable than cardio. I am looking forward to getting stronger, too!

My diet has been pretty good, and I’ve been on the hunt for new recipes. I think I need to mix it up a bit. I’m going to start tracking my food to really see if I’m getting all the nutrients I need.

Also, I’m getting addicted to IG. Check me out there @kimtoslim! I post a few times a day. 🙂

Here’s some pics from this week!

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I’m Not Thatttt Big

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For years, I’ve avoided photos of myself. When I look at a photo of myself, I see how big I truly am. I don’t really see how big I am when I look in the mirror, though. I’ve gone as far as hiding photos other people take from me or deleting them altogether from their phones or cameras. I do feel like my shoulders and a few other parts of my body are slimming down, but I feel like lately I am noticing how large my stomach is more and more. I get a little mad at myself for letting myself get this big without really caring about it. Has my stomach always been this large? I look pregnant! Look!

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Realizing how large I truly am helped me push me through my work out tonight. I spent a good few hours at the gym doing cardio, the weight machines, and some of Mike’s ab exercises. It felt good. I even took an after work out thumps up pic (add me on Instagram!).

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I have to remind myself that this isn’t a get fixed quick kind of thing… This is a journey. I need to accept who I am now so I can create who I wan to be in the future. 

Instant Inspiration

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My super in shape co-worker showed me a trick. She keeps a photo off an attractive woman on her phone. The photo serves as an instant inspiration and reminder to not eat junk food throughout the day. I tried it out this week, and it works! I’ve also created a folder for my weight loss and running apps. See? I’m making it a lifestyle!

Also, I don’t know who the woman in the picture is, but I’d like to publicly thank her for keeping me from stuffing my face with Oreos.

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