Thursday, January 30, 2014

Anxiety Binge

It's been a while since I've felt the urge to binge. Last night, however, I felt the urge and gave in to it.

Wednesday, January 29th

Breakfast: 1 package quaker brown sugar maple instant oatmeal, 1 banana
Lunch: Mindy's Turkey Chili
Snack: 1 peanut butter cookie, 2 pieces sponge candy, 2 oz. lays original chips
Dinner: 1/4 cup bertolli alfredo sauce, 1 oz. fettuccine, 3 oz. baby shrimp
Snack: 4 hershey kisses, 1/4 cup wegmans beach mix, 2 servings old wisconsin turkey snack bites, 5 homemade coconut shrimp (from mother-in-law)

Workout: 15 min. strength training

Calories in: 2,142 calories
Calories out: 50 (totally guessing)

I went a little crazy with the after-dinner snacking. One of the things that made me stop with my binge was the reminder that I would have to write everything out that I ate for the day, on my blog today. The damage could have been much worse, otherwise!

I felt myself getting anxious because I felt like I was getting sick. My husband currently has bronchitis and is taking antibiotics. I got really nervous when my throat began to feel irritated last night. I could feel my ears and nose draining down my throat. I am leaving for my cruise in 8 days, and I do not want to be sick for my vacation! The anxiety got the best of me, and I began to eat my feelings.

Since I wasn't feeling well, I decided to lay down at 7 p.m. and didn't wake up again until my husband came home from his night class. I went straight up to bed after that, and slept until my alarm went off. 11 hours of sleep, and I was still feeling tired. However, my throat did not hurt. Praise God, I am not sick! Only 8 more days of staying healthy around all the sick people at work (and around my sick husband). If I can make it to my cruise without getting sick, it will be a miracle!

Last night's dinner was a bowl of comfort food.



Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp.

Have you ever suffered from emotional eating/binge eating? What tactics help you stop?
My intense accountability has been helping, a lot!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

E-Course and Phase Cooking

Throughout January, I have been taking the Healthy Habits e-course by Katherine Allen. I successfully finished the course yesterday, and have three awesome health habits under my belt thanks to this awesome e-course. 

Another round of the healthy habits e-course is kicking off on February 1st. Check out Katherine's video for more information and some feedback on the course. (My testimonial is the first one she mentions!)




Out of everything, I am really thankful that the healthy habits e-course got me back on track with my water intake. I have been drinking more than double the amount of water than ever before! This increase has definitely made an impact of my energy and overall well-being. AND, it was an easy change to make.

The Healthy Habits e-course isn't the only thing keeping me on track, lately. I have also been keeping up with my intense accountability! Yesterday's results are below:

Tuesday, January 28th

Breakfast: 1 package quaker brown sugar maple instant oatmeal
Lunch: Mindy's Turkey Chili
Snack: 6 strawberries, 1 colby jack cheese stick, 1/4 cup wegmans beach mix, 2 chocolate covered pretzels
Dinner: 2 al fresco all natural sweet italian chicken sausage links, 1/2 cup kraft minute rice, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 medium onion
Snack: 9 hershey kisses, 2.5 servings tostitos bite size tortilla chips, 4 tbsp salsa

Workout: 30 minutes walk with inclines

Calories in: 1698
Calories out: 200

Last night, we had an old favorite for dinner.


Chicken sausage with onions and peppers over rice. Very flavorful, very healthy and very delicious!

Do you go through phases with cooking a certain meal?
Last year, I swear we made chicken sausage at least once a week, maybe even twice!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cardio Sessions and Turkey Burgers

Let me start off with a recap of yesterday:

Monday, January 27th

Breakfast: 1 cup spinach, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 banana
Lunch: Mindy's Turkey Chili
Dinner: 1 italian tomato, 1 cup lettuce, 1.5 cup yellow summer squash, 2 turkey burgers
Snacks: 1 colby jack cheese stick, 10 strawberries, 2 homemade egg rolls, 1.5 servings bacon, 1/4 cup wegmans beach mix, 5 hershey kisses

Workout: 15 minutes strength training

Calories in: 1674
Calories out: 50 (totally guessing)

I'm forgetting exactly what day I'm on, but I believe it has been five days of nutrition tracking and sticking to my intense accountability goals. I'm feeling really good about it!

I must confess something to you. Running on the treadmill has been at the bottom of my want-to-do list. However, I am scheduled to do a lot of 30 minute cardio sessions this week. I made sure to mark them as "cardio sessions" because I knew from the start that I wasn't feeling like running this week. I have been walking with some serious inclines, instead. Tonight was another walking session while I watched an episode of Parenthood. Is anybody else addicted to that show?

Last night's dinner was pretty awesome.


We tried turkey burgers for the first time. The texture is definitely different, but I really enjoyed the taste! I had mine on a bed of lettuce. Due to the texture, I think that's the best way to have it!

Have you tried turkey burgers?
How do you like to eat your turkey burgers?
How many calories do you typically burn during strength training workouts?

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 2014 Challenge | Week 4

It's the last week of my January Challenge and I am going to make it a great one!

Monthly Challenge for January
  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability
Exercise Plan for the week:

Sunday: 30 minutes Cardio (DONE!)
Monday: Strength Training
Tuesday: 30 minutes Cardio
Wednesday: Strength Training
Thursday: 30 minutes Cardio
Friday: Strength Training
Saturday: Rest


Dinner Plan for the week:

Sunday: Mindy's Turkey Chili (DONE!)
Monday: Turkey burgers on bed of lettuce with side of squash 
Tuesday: Chicken sausage with onions, peppers and rice
Wednesday: Fettuccine alfredo with shrimp and peas
Thursday: Shrimp with butter garlic parmesan noddles and peas
Friday: Steak salad with homemade ranch
Saturday: Date night

Weekly weigh-in photo:





If you've been reading my blog lately, you may know that I'm also holding myself to some intense accountability until I leave for my cruise on February 7th.

Intense Accountability Goals
  1. Track nutrition daily
  2. Share calories in and calories out daily
  3. List everything consumed daily
So far, I have been killing these goals! Day four of nutrition tracking went really well.

Sunday, January 26th:

Breakfast: 2 slices light white bread, 3 ounces turkey, 1 slice deluxe american cheese
Lunch: 1 package wegmans spicy coconut shrimp roll
Snack: 1 coconut shrimp, 2 homemade egg rolls (from my mother-in-law!)
Dinner: 1 serving Mindy's Turkey Chili
Snack: 1 glass red wine, 4 hershey kisses, 2 servings turkey snack bites, 1/2 cup wegmans beach mix

Workout: 30 min. walk on treadmill

Calories in: 1695
Calories out: 187

I'm really pleased with my progress, and determination to stick with my goals throughout January!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mindy's Turkey Chili

I'm not going to lie, I don't usually like chili. However, when my friend gave me leftovers of the chili she made last weekend, I became a fan of the stuff!


She's so awesome, she not only gave me leftovers, but she even shared her recipe with me and with you!

Mindy's Turkey Chili

Serves: 8
Nutrition per serving: 246 calories, 5.25 fat, 32 carbs, 20 protein

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 can bush's chili beans
1 can light kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 small can v8 original juice
1 can corn
1 red pepper (diced)
1 packet chili mix



Directions:

Brown ground turkey in skillet until cooked thoroughly. Drain grease. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Add to large soup pot.

Add tomato sauce, 1/2 can of water, chili beans, drained and rinsed kidney beans, v8 juice, sweet corn, diced red peppers and chili seasoning to soup pot. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.



I made this chili for dinner tonight, and it was a huge hit with my husband! If you decide to try it, let me know how you like it!

As for day three of intense accountability, it went okay. I went over in calories, but not too bad. I mostly went over because my husband and I stayed up late watching Breaking Bad. We both decided it would be a good idea to have an ice cream sandwich per episode. Definitely not a good idea for my calorie tracking. However, we had a nice relaxing lounge night together, and for that I'm thankful!

Saturday, January 25th:

Breakfast: 1 cup spinach, 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, crushed ice and water
Snack: 1 colby jack cheese stick, 1 oz. spice sweet chili doritos
Lunch: 4 pieces bacon, 2 scrambled eggs, 1 flour tortilla, 1/4 cup shredded taco cheese
Dinner: 1 large combination sub with lettuce, tomatoes, creamy italian dressing and mayonnaise
Snack: 2 ice cream sandwiches

Workout: none

Calories in: 1922
Calories out: 0

As part of my January challenge, I'll post my plans for the week and my weekly weigh-in photo tomorrow. I'll keep up with my intense accountability and post everything I ate today in tomorrow's blog, as well.

Stay tuned, readers!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pasta Based Meals

Day two of intense accountability went well!

Since I know that I have to write out everything that I have consumed in a day, I have been more aware of what I'm eating. It makes me want to eat better things and stay within my calorie range (1200-1550). Mind you, I haven't given up my treats (see snacks sections, below); I've just managed to fit them in my calorie range for the day.

I'm a big fan of moderation, not deprivation. A life without treats just wouldn't be right.


Friday, January 24th:

Breakfast: 1 cup spinach, 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter
Lunch: 2 slices light white bread, 2 oz. turkey, 1 tbsp. homemade honey mustard, two pickles
Snack: 1 oz. spicy sweet chili doritos, 1 clementine, 1 colby jack cheese stick
Dinner: 1 cup lettuce, 1 tbsp. homemade ranch, 2 oz. fettuccine, 1/4 cup bertolli alfredo sauce, 1/4 cup spinach, 1 serving steamfresh peas, 4 oz. chicken
Snack: 4 double stuffed keebler cookies

Workout: none

Calories in: 1,504
Calories out: 0

We had a special dinner last night. What made it special was that I don't typically make pasta based meals, but lately I have been craving fettuccine alfredo.



I added chicken, peas and spinach to the mix. It turned out well, and it was nice to have the extra serving of vegetables thrown in there.





What's your favorite pasta based meal? 
How often to you eat pasta based meals?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Locked in to Working Out

If you read my blog post from yesterday, then you already know about my intense accountability for the next 15 days.

If you didn't read my blog post from yesterday, I'll give you a quick run down:

On top of sticking to my weekly dinner and exercise plans (see awesome steak salad from last night's dinner below), I have started keeping track of every single thing that goes into my mouth. Tracking nutrition is something I do most of the time, but not all of the time. That's going to change during these next 15 days! Why 15 days? Well, I am leaving for my cruise on February 7th and I want to lose about 7 lbs. before then.




These next 15 days, I am also going to update you with the total number of calories I am eating and working off through exercise per day. I am going to share exactly what I ate, and exactly what I did for my workout each day.

To lay it out in list form, my goals for the next 15 days look like this:
  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability
  5. Track nutrition daily
  6. Share calories in and calories out daily
  7. List everything consumed daily
Numbers 1-4 have been in effect since the new year as my January Challenge. Numbers 5-7 are my new goals. Day number one of tracking nutrition, keeping track of my calories in and out, as well as keeping track of everything consumed, went well.

Thursday, January 23rd:

Breakfast: maple and brown sugar weight control oatmeal
Lunch: 2 slices light white bread, 2 oz. turkey, 1 tbsp. homemade honey mustard, one pickle
Snack: 1 oz. spicy sweet chili doritos, 1 clementine, 1 colby jack cheese stick
Dinner: 4 oz. steak, 3 cups lettuce, 2 tbsp. homemade ranch, 1/4 cup shredded taco cheese, 1 italian tomato
Snack: 2 double stuffed keebler cookies, 1 oz. tortilla chips, 2 tbsp. homemade corn and black bean salsa, 1 tbsp. sour cream, 1/8 cup shredded taco cheese

Workout: 2 miles/35 minute cardio on treadmill (walk for warm-up, 12:00 min. mile run, walk for cool down)

Calories in: 1,544
Calories out: 200

My workout was really fun last night! Reason being: a certain friend of mine joined me. Readers, meet Karlie. We have been friends since high school! She's one of my closest friends, and I'm so glad we have opportunities like this to get together.



It was SO great to have a friend on the treadmill beside me. We went to the high school gym, where it's free to use their equipment. Once we made plans to meet last night, I was locked in to working out. It's so much easier to bail on yourself, but there was no way I was going to bail on my friend! Gym buddies are the best for accountability. And, let's face it, hanging out with friends is a total mood booster. Combine that with the mood boost you get from exercise and it was a super great night!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Intense Accountability

The first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem, right? Well, I have a problem. I am losing my "new year motivation".

It's okay, though. Thankfully, I have some new motivation. I am going on a cruise in 15 days. I am going out on a limb and going to say that I want to lose 7 pounds in 15 days. That's 3.5 lbs. a week. It's a very aggressive goal (especially since I am back up to my new year weight of 234 lbs.) but I am going to hold myself to intense accountability these next 15 days.

Source

It's going to be a lot of work to keep up with what I have in mind, but it's only 15 days. I can do it for 15 days!

So, here's what I have in mind:

On top of sticking to my weekly dinner and exercise plans, I want to also keep track of every single thing that goes into my mouth. Tracking nutrition is something I do most of the time, but not all of the time. That's going to change these next 15 days!

These next 15 days, I am also going to update you with the total number of calories I am eating and working off through exercise per day. I am also going to tell you exactly what I ate, and exactly what I did for my workout each day.

To lay it out in list form, here's what my goals for the next 15 days look like alongside my goals for January:
  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability
  5. Track nutrition daily
  6. Share calories in and calories out daily
  7. List everything consumed daily
I know the short list (numbers 1-4) was already quite a challenge for me, so you may be wondering if adding more to the list is really going to help. I'm not sure myself, but I am going to give it a try. If I think of this as an "intense" challenge, and understand that it's only for 15 days, I may better my odds of success here. We'll soon find out!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Soup Warms the Soul

I am convinced. Grilled cheese and tomato soup warms the soul.


Day number two of sticking with my meal plan. Alright!


Serious question: Do you dunk your grilled cheese in tomato soup or eat it separate? My answer is obvious.

I managed to fit in my strength training as scheduled last night, but skipped my 30 minutes of cardio on Monday. This was kind of okay in my mind, because I knew that I could make up for missing those 30 minutes tonight. Now that I'm thinking about it, I wish I would have done my 30 minutes on Monday. An hour of cardio doesn't sound fun right now, but I will make it fun, regardless!

I'm thinking of doing some yoga and zumba. Right after this grilled cheese and tomato soup gets digested, of course.

What was for dinner tonight?
Favorite kind of soup?
Are you a tomato soup dunker?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

iPhone is Taking Over

Today was a good day.

I was reminded about the 90/10 rule during my Healthy Habits e-course today. It's the idea of eating healthy and doing your best 90% of the time, and letting yourself have a treat, or go all out 10% of the time. I'm a big fan of the 90/10 rule because anything that includes 100% (aka deprivation of something) is bound to make me resentful and want to binge on what I'm missing out on.

Today, I didn't miss out on anything, and I still stayed within my calorie range!


(Shout out to the Sparkpeople app. Love it!)

I have to get better at taking pictures with my camera, but the convenience of the iPhone is taking over.


My dinner was steak fajitas, as planned. I made the steak with slices onions and red peppers. I also made my own corn and black bean salsa. I used a half jar of salsa, one can of corn (drained) and one can of black beans (rinsed). The mixture was really good! We even have leftovers to use as a dip for tortilla chips!

It's pretty late, but I am determined to get in my strength training as scheduled. So, I'm off to do that now!

How was your day?
What are your plans for the week?

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 2014 Challenge | Week 3

It's been a few days since you've heard from me. 

Sometimes picking yourself up doesn't happen all at once. Imagine it as if you just fell on ice. Sometimes, as you try to get back up, you slip and fall again. That is probably the best way I can describe these past few days.

Source


I went out to eat, I went out to have drinks with friends and I went out to eat some more. Needless to say, I am back up in weight. 

Frustrating, yes. Impossible to overcome, no way!

One of the best ways to get "back on track" for me, is to make a plan. Last week, I barely followed my plan. It is going to be a serious goal for me to stick with my plans for the week, and keep myself accountable for sticking to these plans by posting some updates throughout the week.

Exercise Plan for the week:

Monday: 30 minutes Cardio
Tuesday: Strength Training
Wednesday: 30 minutes Cardio
Thursday: Strength Training
Friday: 30 minutes Cardio
Saturday: Strength Training


Dinner Plan for the week:

Monday: Lemon Butter Shrimp with Peas and Pasta
Tuesday: Grilled Steak Fajitas
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup
Thursday: Steak Salad
Friday: Chicken Alfredo with Peas and Pasta
Saturday: Pizza Hut

There is only one more week in my January challenge. Although I'm not exactly where I expected to be weight-wise, I have been having a really great month otherwise. I have been taking some time to appreciate what I have, who I am, and where I'm going. I am really excited to be going on a cruise in a few weeks and I am going to work hard between now and then!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I am a Juggler

After about 16 days of craziness, I finally have my car back.




I said goodbye to my beautiful loaner car last night. It was bitter-sweet, but mostly sweet because I am happy to have my car back. Driving a car that isn't yours is a little nerve wrecking. It's nice to be back to normal. The craziness that has been my life lately, should be calming down now. 

Just in case you didn't know. I have to tell you. I am a juggler.

I juggle many things: time and attention for myself, Husband, Family, Friends, Dogs, Work, Exercise, Eating Healthy, etc. etc.

Life is a big juggling act. When things get crazy, some of those balls drop. This week, exercise and eating as I planned has been dropping left and right. Now that things should be calming down, I can pick those balls right back up and continue juggling.

The best thing to do in this circumstance (according to my loads of experience from picking myself back up) is to focus on the positive things.

This week, I ran an awesome mile, outside. I made a new recipe for dinner (I'll share it with you soon). I got my car back! I spent a few wonderful evenings with my husband and dogs. I have a fun night planned with a friend tonight! I spent some time with friends this past weekend. I spent some time with my awesome family this week. I am doing a good job at work. I am happy, every day.

All positive things.

What positive things can you think of for yourself this week?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Family is Awesome

Just in case you didn't know, I must say, my family is pretty awesome. Especially my cousin, Nathan.

Nate has won the National PP&K competition for his age group. In case you are like me, and don't know much about football, this is kind of a big deal. He beat thousands of contestants and was interviewed during the NFL game this weekend!


We've always known Nate is awesome, but it's great that it's being broadcasted for those who might not have already known.

Last night, my husband and I rushed to the airport to be there for when he arrived back from Denver. There was a hero's welcome for him at the airport, followed by a firetruck escort (which I got to ride in with my sister) and another hero's welcome at the high school.

Family group picture
It was a great night. Our family is so proud of Nate, and I couldn't be happier for him!

Since I forgot to account for this welcome-home party in my meal and exercise plans, they are going to have to change, yet again.

Dinner Plan for the week:

Sunday - Subway Salad
Monday - Garlic Chicken with Quinoa Sub and salad
Tuesday - Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa Garlic Chicken with Quinoa
Wednesday - Chicken Salad with Ranch Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa
Thursday - Lemon Baked Salmon with Rice and Green Beans Chicken Salad with Ranch
Friday - Chicken Salad with Ranch
Saturday - Olive Garden - date night

Exercise Plan for the week:

Sunday - Strength Training Run 1 mile
Monday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile Strength Training REST
Tuesday - REST Strength Training
Wednesday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile
Thursday - Strength Training
Friday - REST
Saturday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile | Strength Training

This should be the final change, but I'm not making any promises. Life happens, afterall!

Do you watch football?
Who is your favorite team?
Did you see Nate on the NFL game this weekend?

Monday, January 13, 2014

I Had to Run Outside

It's Monday, and I already have some amendments to make on my dinner and exercise plans for the week. They are all positive changes, though!

First change is that I had leftover salad instead of subway for dinner last night. My mom ordered a gigantic salad for my little brother's birthday party, and she sent us home with some leftovers. (thanks, mom!)



My little brother turns four tomorrow. My family and I had a fun time celebrating his birthday yesterday. He got a new tent (which my sister, brother and I squeezed ourselves into at one point) a scooter and a bunch of other fun gifts.







I had a little piece of cake, a lot of yummy salad and a small meatball sandwich at the party. I was full, but not too full. I was happy with myself for eating so well.

As for my workout for yesterday, I didn't strength train as originally planned. Instead, I went for a run outside.



Not only was this my first run for the year, it was also my first run outside since beginning of fall.



When I let the dogs outside in the afternoon, the sun was shining and I just couldn't help myself. I needed to go for a run, and it needed to be outside. I'm so glad that I braved the cold (35 degrees) to run. It was so worth it! Nothing beats a run outside. Nothing!

Since I went rouge on my dinner and exercise plans yesterday, here's the new plan for the week:

Dinner Plan for the week:

Sunday - Subway Salad
Monday - Garlic Chicken with Quinoa
Tuesday - Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa
Wednesday - Chicken Salad with Ranch
Thursday - Lemon Baked Salmon with Rice and Green Beans
Friday - Chicken Salad with Ranch
Saturday - Olive Garden - date night

Exercise Plan for the week:

Sunday - Strength Training Run 1 mile
Monday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile Strength Training
Tuesday - REST
Wednesday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile
Thursday - Strength Training
Friday - REST
Saturday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile | Strength Training

When was the last time you ran outside?
Would you rather run outside or inside?
What did you have for dinner last night?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 2014 Challenge | Week 2

Happy Sunday, boys and girls! I started my day off right with a peanut butter, vanilla whey and spinach smoothie. Yum, yum!




I don't know about you, but I am ready for another week! Last week, I did really well in some aspects, and others; not so much. I drank a LOT of water last week and it made me feel really good. I did a good amount of strength training, and I followed some of my dinner plans for the week.

In case you're new to my blog (or just in case you have forgotten) I've got a few goals for the month of January. So far, I am doing really great at reaching them!

Monthly Challenge for January
  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability
Vitamins:

I'm currently taking a Prenatal Vitamin and Folic Acid (to prepare my body for the future), Vitamin D (to help keep my MS under control) and Vitamin C (to keep myself from getting sick).

Healthy Habits e-course:

I have really been enjoying the Healthy Habits e-course. Most of the material is taking be "back to the basics", but I'm thinking this is exactly what I needed! So far, the course has gotten me to focused more on water, and how much I am actually suppose to be drinking. I have been drinking nearly double the amount of water that I have ever drank daily, before. The results (aka the way I feel) have been incredible!

Here are a few more things I've retained from the course:

"While junk food may be 4 times cheaper than vegetables, there's 20 times less nutrition." - Michael Greger, MD

"Improve {yourself} by just 1% a day, and in 70 days, you're twice as good." - Alan Weiss

Perfection isn't the goal, progress is!


Dinner Plan for the week:

Sunday - Subway
Monday - Garlic Chicken with Quinoa
Tuesday - Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa
Wednesday - Chicken Salad with Ranch
Thursday - Lemon Baked Salmon with Rice and Green Beans
Friday - Chicken Salad with Ranch
Saturday - Olive Garden - date night

Exercise Plan for the week:

Sunday - Strength Training
Monday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile
Tuesday - REST
Wednesday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile
Thursday - Strength Training
Friday - REST
Saturday - Run 1 mile | Walk 1 mile | Strength Training

Weekly Photo Weigh-In:


Down a total of 3 lbs. in 12 days. Not too bad!

What goals do you have for this week?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Check-Up

My husband and I are going on a cruise in less than 30 days!




Nick and I have been married for five years and this will be our fifth cruise together. We are so excited for this cruise, and it couldn't be happening at a better time for us. We are getting really tired of winter. We want some sun!

This week, I didn't do so great at following my exercise plan.

Sunday - Walk 3 miles | Strength training (DONE)
Monday - Zumba
Tuesday - Strength training - DONE
Wednesday - Run 1 mile | Walk 2 miles
Thursday - Strength training - DONE
Friday - Rest - DONE :)
Saturday - Run 1 mile| Walk 2 miles

I completed 50% of my planned workouts. That's okay for my first week.

As for my meal plans, I completed 50% of those as well.

Tuesday - Chicken Salad (subs instead)
Thursday - Lemon Baked Salmon with Salad (leftovers instead)
Friday - Mushroom and Cheese Calzone (went out to dinner with friends)
Saturday - Birthday Party (cancelled - calzones instead)

A new workout and dinner plan comes out tomorrow for the week ahead. I have room from improvement and can only do better from here on out!

We've got some serious motivation to lose weight this month. Our cruise is quickly approaching and we want to feel good for our vacation!

How was your week? Did you make any plans for yourself?

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Beginning of Strength Training

As you may know, I've recently started incorporating strength training into my workout routine.


I've lost about 40 pounds in the course of 3 years and I did that by tracking my nutrition, running, and generally living a healthier life (drinking water, getting enough sleep, etc.) I didn't make any changes that I wasn't okay with sticking to forever. The weight is coming off slowly, but it's coming off and staying off. That makes me a happy girl!

I didn't begin strength training until the first of this year. Right now, this is my routine:

Lateral Raises: 5 lb. weight 2 sets of 12
Alternating Front Lateral Raises: 5 lb. weigh 2 sets of 12
Standing Bicep Curls: 5 lb. weight 3 sets of 12
Tricep Kickbacks: 5 lb. weight 2 sets of 12 (these are killer!)

I've incorporated a few other moves, but I'm not quite sure what to call them. The extra moves focus on my shoulders, arms and chest. I'll try to give you a video demonstration, soon. Maybe you could help identify the proper names for what I'm doing. Right now, my husband and I are just kind of making them up as we go.

After 3 rounds of strength training this week, I decided to take a couple pictures of my arms. I'll use these pictures as my "before" shots.


I hope to see some improvement in a few months!

Do you strength train? How long did it take you to see improvements?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Success Found in Daily Routine

Since the new year, I've been participating in the 28 day Healthy Habits e-course, hosted by my blog-friend, Katherine. Yesterday's lesson included a quote that has stuck with me:

"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." -John Maxwell

Are you trying to make a change in your life? What are you doing differently today to accomplish your goals? Those are the questions I need to continually ask myself. This past week, my answer would be that I have been drinking more water. Half my body weight in ounces, to be exact! I feel better, already.

Last night, I made sesame chicken over rice with a side of broccoli for dinner.


I had leftovers for dinner tonight. 


The recipe I used can be found here.

What are you changing in your daily life to reach your goals?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lemon Butter Shrimp and Noodles

Since all I can think about is food right now (shocker), this post is going to be about last night's dinner. It was a-maz-ing!


 I had an idea in my mind about how I wanted this dish to taste, and I nailed it.

Lemon Butter Shrimp and Noodles

Ingredients:

1 lemon
lemon pepper seasoning
spray butter
2 oz. pasta
1 bag frozen baby shrimp
sprinkle of garlic salt
sprinkle of parsley (optional)




Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta as directed. Drain.

Spread frozen shrimp across baking sheet. Slice lemon, top shrimp with lemon slices. Sprinkle with parsley and garlic salt. Bake for 20/30 minutes.

In a medium size bowl, combine shrimp and pasta. Squeeze lemon slices into bowl and add 10 sprays of butter. Sprinkle a liberal amount of lemon pepper seasoning. Toss until pasta is fully coated.

Quick and simple. My favorite kind of recipe!

Tonight, I am making sesame chicken over rice.

What's on your plate tonight?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Adapt to Change

Yesterday didn't go as planned.

A day like yesterday was bound to happen. I didn't feel like working out, or cooking dinner. So I didn't. 

I let myself relax. My husband ordered subs for dinner, and we began watching the last season of Dexter. It was an easy, wonderful night. 

Since I didn't follow my plan to workout and make dinner last night, I had more reason to get back on track today.



I made sure to do my strength training early. I got my workout done for the day, I drank nearly 120 ounces of water and I am making yesterday's planned dinner, tonight. Days like yesterday will happen again. Those days don't define my journey. It's the actions I take after days like yesterday that matter.

The ability to adapt to change has been crucial in my weight-loss journey. I make plans and I try to follow them. When plans change (either because of my own doing, or something beyond my control), I need not give up. I need to adapt. This has been an ongoing lesson for me. One that is very important. One that will make me successful in reaching my long term goals.

Just because I gave in to a night on the couch, doesn't mean that I am any less motivated or any less deserving. I will continue on. I am continuing on. 

If there is one thing you can count on, it is that I will never give up.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Call Me Betty Crocker

I made a new soup this weekend. You can call me Betty Crocker.




Actually, it was a Betty Crocker recipe that I followed. Of course, I made some modifications to the recipe (because I'm a rebel like that). It was quite simple to make, and tasted oh-so-good!

Bonus: I have plenty of leftovers for lunch this week.




Slow Cooker Chicken and Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

Serves: 6
Nutrition per serving: 210 calories; 3 fat; 28 carbs; 17 protein

Ingredients:

8 oz. Chicken Breast
1 bag Steamfresh mixed vegetables - thawed
1 bag Steamfresh broccoli florets - thawed
1 medium onion - chopped
1/2 cup wild rice - uncooked
64 oz. chicken broth
pepper to taste

Directions: 

Boil chicken in water on stove top for 10 minutes. Cube chicken and add to slow cooker with chopped onion, wild rice and chicken broth. Cook in slow cooker for 3 hours on high.

Add thawed vegetables to slow cooker. Continue to cook on high for 1 hour. Add pepper to taste. Serve while hot.

Easy and delicious. The soup tastes fresh, light and healthy (in a good way)!

Along with following my dinner plan for yesterday (full details here), I also stuck to my exercise plan. I walked for 3 miles and did some strength training with the new free weights that I got for Christmas. 

Strength training is very new to me, so I started with a simple routine.

Lateral Raises: 5 lb. weight 2 sets of 12
Alternating Front Lateral Raises: 5 lb. weigh 2 sets of 12
Standing Bicep Curls: 5 lb. weight 3 sets of 12
Tricep Kickbacks: 5 lb. weight 2 sets of 12 (these are killer!)

I intend on following the same strength training routine for tomorrow. As for tonight, I am going to have fun with some Zumba!

What's on your plate tonight?
What kind of strength training do you do?
Favorite kind of exercise?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 2014 Challenge | Week 1

Since we rang in the new year on a Wednesday, the first "week" of January was a short one.

I began my monthly challenge for January on Wednesday. Below are the details of my challenge, the goals for the coming week, and my weigh-in from this morning.

Monthly Challenge for January
  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability
Vitamins:
I'm currently taking a Prenatal Vitamin and Folic Acid (to prepare my body for the future), Vitamin D (to help keep my MS under control) and Vitamin C (to keep myself from getting sick).

Healthy Habits e-course:
I am participating in the Healthy Habits e-course this month. This past week focused on water, and how much we should be drinking. Did you know that we should be drinking half our body weight in ounces? For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, it would be good to aim for a total of 100 ounces of water a day. Until this past week, I was drinking way less water than I should have been.

Dinner Plan for the week:

Sunday - Slow Cooker Vegetable and Wild Rice Soup
Monday - Lemon Butter Shrimp over Pasta with Salad
Tuesday - Chicken Salad
Thursday - Lemon Baked Salmon with Salad
Friday - Mushroom and Cheese Calzone
Saturday - Birthday Party


Max helped me search through cookbooks and meal plan this morning.

Exercise Plan for the week:

Sunday - Walk 3 miles | Strength training
Monday - Zumba
Tuesday - Strength training
Wednesday - Run 1 mile | Walk 2 miles
Thursday - Strength training
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Run 1 mile| Walk 2 miles

(Trying to mix it up each day!)

Weekly Photo Weigh-In:

1/5/14
Down 2.2 lbs. since January 1, 2014.

Today, I am going to get some house work done and go grocery shopping. It may be time for us to take down the Christmas tree, too.

What are your Sunday plans?
What are your goals for the week?
How was your first week of January, 2014?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Retrain Your Brain for Happiness

It's Saturday. The sun is out. Life is good.

Sometimes it's necessary to relish the little moments and little things that make us happy. I truly believe that each one of us has a reason to be happy. Even if it is just because the sun is out. More often than not, it seems to be easier to focus on the stuff that doesn't make us happy. But it doesn't always have to be that way. No, sir.

Years ago, I use to be the biggest pessimist. It took a while to retrain my brain, but it eventually happened. When people come to me with problems, my first reaction isn't to wallow with them; my first reaction is to look for the silver lining, the stuff that will bring up their spirits. The stuff that will allow them to think, "this isn't so bad, after all". As a friend, sister, wife, daughter, etc., I want to help the people I love feel good, not worse. I'm sure you feel the same. The question is, do you give yourself that same treatment?

When you stumble, do you focus on thoughts that will bring you up, or hold you down?

If you're a new reader, you may wonder the relevance of all this. After all, this is a blog created to follow my weight-loss journey. But that's just it! Being happy and positive is one of the biggest, if not the biggest reason why I have lost nearly 40 lbs. If you aren't happy, if you don't support yourself in a positive way, then your chances of sticking to your weight-loss journey go down. Simple as that.

If you struggle with negative thoughts, but want to change, I've found this article which may help you: 

I was in an accident on New Years Eve. A co-worker who was plowing the parking lot at the place I work, did not see me behind him, and began backing up with increasingly fast speed. He backed up onto the hood of my car, his tire almost reached the windshield. It would have been much worse if that happened. 




My reaction to this accident was so much different than those around me. I felt a few different things during this experience. I felt shock, fear and sadness. I mostly felt sad for the person who drove over my hood. It was a mistake; he didn't see me. I felt bad this happened to him, and that he had to deal with the regret. Never have I felt mad. However, so many of the people I tell this incident to get mad at the person who did this.

The reason I am telling you this is because I got through this event, and continue to get through the aftermath of it all, thanks to the power of positive thinking.

It would be easy to think like this:

My car is in the shop. It was our only vehicle. They gave us a loaner car but the tires are horrible. Of course it snowed a foot and I can't drive my loaner car anywhere because it's not safe. This is such an inconvenience.

It takes a positive mind to think like this:

My car is in the shop. The process for fixing the vehicle is underway. If I need a ride anywhere, I have the support of family and friends. This experience has been a humble reminder of how blessed I am to have such supportive and loving people in my life.

How we react to situations and how we deal with situations all comes from how we think. If you think more positively, you'll be happier. I know I am.

Positive thinkers: were you always a positive thinker, or is this something you had to work on?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Reminders to Stay on Track

Last year (aka Monday of this week) I made a meal plan for myself.

Here's what it looked like:

Dinner Plans for the Week:

Sunday - Chicken and Black Beans over Rice (done)
Monday - Nick's Birthday Dinner (Steak Salad - done)
Tuesday - New Years Eve Party (Lots of goodies - done)
Wednesday - Pork Kielbasa and Sauerkraut with Potatoes (done)
Thursday - Lemon Baked Salmon with Salad (done)
Friday - Flatbread (onion and pepper) Pizzas with Salad
Saturday - Slow Cooker Vegetable and Wild Rice Soup

Last night, I made Lemon Baked Salmon with Salad. I ate it so fast I didn't even take a picture for you. To give you an idea of how it turned out, I'll tell you how I made it. I sliced a fresh lemon and layed the slices on top of the salmon. I sprinkled some parsley on the salmon and baked it at 350 for about 15 minutes. It was amazing. So flavorful! I will definitely be making it this way, again.

We're three days into January, and I am still feeling the extra motivation that I get from the start of a new year. I know this extra boost of motivation will eventually fade, so it's important to take full advantage of the motivation while I've got it!

Yesterday, I ended the day within goal for my nutrition (about 1500 calories), and I got 30 minutes of exercise in through "Just Dance 3". That was a super fun workout!

I'm really looking forward to meeting all of my goals for January:
  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability
I've been keeping up with taking vitamins daily and logging into the Healthy Habits e-course, all thanks to keeping a picture of my list of goals on the home screen of my phone.



It's an easy, quick reminder for myself, and it's been keeping me on track!

How do you keep yourself on track with your goals?
Fellow New Year Resolution lovers and makers: check out mine, here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Starting 2014 on the Right Track

Just in case you missed it, I posted my resolutions for 2014 here.

As part of my New Years Resolutions, I am going to do monthly challenges this year. Each month I will give myself certain goals to accomplish. January's goals are as follows:
  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability
The first day of the new year was wonderful for my husband and I. We both had that "spark of hope" that seems to come with each new year. We weighed in, first thing; high-fived and said, "we can do this"! Lots of positive energy yesterday. It was great!

It definitely helped that we were prepared and had plenty of healthy food to choose from as we spent our day off from work together. I'm a firm believe that when you start your day on the right track, you'll be more apt to continue and finish your day the same.

I started my day off with one of my favorite green smoothies



If you have a magic bullet, it's easy to make! I start off with 1/2 cup crushed ice, 1/2 cup water. I pulse the ice and water a few times to blend it. Then I add 1 tbsp. peanut butter, 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder (super advanced), and as much spinach as I can fit in the cup. I top it off with a little more water, to help promote a smooth blend, then let it rip!



It tastes amazing and is great for you! Let me know if you give it a try.

As for lunch, my husband and I had salads. Not just any salads, though. We hosted a New Years Eve party and ordered a large catered salad (for only $25... talk about a steal). 


We had a ton of leftovers and will be happily working on finishing it off.

I'm not sure about you, but it has always been tradition to have pork and sauerkraut for dinner on the first day of the year. I'm not sure if it's because it brings you luck, or because sauerkraut is wonderful for cleansing the digestive track. Either way, in Pennsylvania, it seems like the thing to do.

We changed things up a bit and had our traditional sauerkraut with (gasp) kielbasa. I attempted to make mashed potatoes for a side, but it wasn't pretty. It was a paste textured glob of goodness. Not very photogenic, but tasty nonetheless.

How was your first day of 2014?
What are your plans for today?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Resolutions 2014

I don't know about you, but I think New Year Resolutions are fun!

While it's true that every day is a fresh start, and a chance to make new goals for yourself; it feels good for me to know that on January 1st, I am waking up to an entirely new year. A new year of endless possibilities. The new year is refreshing to me.

I am going to hold on to that pinch of motivation that comes with a new year, and take full advantage of the boost it gives me. That includes making a couple resolutions to carry with me for the new year.

 New Year Resolutions 2014

1. Create and Participate in Monthly Challenges
2. Reach "Onderland" (under 200 lbs.)

I am very excited for what this year will bring. My husband and I are both in agreement that we are going to slow down, and enjoy this year as much as possible. This is our year. We are going to have fun with it!

As for my monthly challenge for January, I have four goals in mind:

Monthly Challenge for January

  1. Take vitamins daily
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (http://www.myknowledgegenie.com/HealthyHabits2014)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability

The first weigh-in for January, 2014 is below:




Higher than I wanted it to be, but lower than I was this time last year! Yeah!

New Year Resolutions: what are yours?
Not a fan of "resolutions"? Then what are your goals?

Happy New Year, readers! Wishing you the best of 2014.