Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bare with Me

Hi, world! I do still exist. It's pretty amazing that you've stuck with me during my dry spell of updating. You guys are just awesome!

Let me start by saying that these past two weeks have been crazy, exhausting, blessed and simply amazing. It is definitely my intention to fill you in on all of the great things you have missed, however; you'll have to wait a little while for all that.

Some good news that I can share with you right now is that my "intuitive eating" has been going super well. I have lost 5 pounds these past two weeks, weighing in at 228 lbs. Steering away from counting every calorie has been a really freeing experience. Losing weight in the process is just an added bonus!

As for exercise lately, I've just mostly been walking. Walks with my dogs and amazing husband has been the best kind of exercise for me right now. To be honest, after the work I have been doing these past two weeks, I'm completely exhausted by the time that I get home. I'm usually couch bound until bed; even going to bed as early at 7:30 some nights. I've noticed, however, that if I eat many small meals throughout the day, instead of just three meals, that my energy level stays a little more consistent. That is, when my stomach isn't upset. Like I said, it's been an exhausting week. I'm going to work on doing more small meals throughout the day, this week.

As for my running, I haven't been doing much of that. Actually, I haven't gone for a run in a couple weeks now and, I probably won't be running for a while, either. The plantar fasciitis in my left foot has healed a little but it's by no means cured. I would like to lose more weight before running again. The extra weight I am carrying around definitely doesn't help my foot heal. I'm just thinking, the less impact I add to the injury, the better.

So, that's what's going on with me; at least, as much as I can share with you for now. I'll be sharing everything with you soon. Just bare with me these next few weeks! I'm hoping to have some good recipes to share with you for the week ahead and I promise to be more present for you all, too.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend 2014

Happy Memorial Day, readers, and thank you to our veteran's, the fallen, and all those who continue to serve today!

My husband and I had a wonderful time this weekend. I took so much time this weekend to just stop, look around, and savor the moments we had.

Friday, I fell asleep at 6:30 p.m. I woke up only to go from the couch up to bed, then fell back asleep. It was a long week and I apparently needed the rest.

Saturday, we took the dogs for a walk at the park. We found a new spot where we could actually let the dogs loose and they really enjoyed that! After a nap, my husband and I went to our friends house to roast hot dogs and s'mores. It was a really good night!

Sunday, we went out to breakfast with my in-laws then took the dogs back to their special place at the park to go for another walk. We had a picnic at my grandma's and relaxed under their big shaded tree for quite a while. My mom and I went shopping, taking advantage of some memorial day sales. Then, later on, my husband and I went for a nice ride in the country. We weren't quite sure where we were going. When we would get to an intersection, he would make me pick a number 1 through 3. He numbered each road in his head, and whichever number I picked, that's the way we would go. It was a beautiful night for a ride, with the windows down. It was relaxing and fun to spend that time together. We ended up going to the lake that night. All thanks to the random number game!

Today, we went out for breakfast again, only this time with my parents and grandparents. After that, my husband and I got some yard work done. And, when I say we, I mean my husband did some yard work while I layed on a lounge chair in the shade and read a book. We gave the dogs their first outdoor bath, and they seemed to like that a little more than the usual.







Later on, my husband got a space ready for our vegetable garden, and I made some hanging baskets from a mixture of flowers we bought.




Today, and this entire weekend, was very relaxing. I am definitely ready for the work week, ahead.

I have my lunch and snacks ready to go for the week. I packed four containers of salad with black olives, cucumbers and tomatoes. I have a cup of fruit salad for the side and a yogurt for each day. I'm going to be having oatmeal for breakfast, as well. Dinners are up in the air for this week. I've got steak, hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken all in the freezer, so I'm sure there will be a lot of grilling out!

As for exercise, I'm hoping to do a lot more walks with my husband and our dogs. I'm going to squeeze some more naps in there this week, too. God is good and we are so blessed! This weekend was such a great reminder of that.

How was your weekend?
What's meal plans are you looking forward to this week?
Do you have a favorite place to walk?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Change of Mind and Heart

I've had a change in mind-frame lately and possibly even a change of heart. I am taking a break from "calorie counting" and leaning more toward healthy-living as a whole. I am going to try intuitive eating for a while.

Now, don't get me wrong, counting calories is great! I lost 40 pounds with the help of counting calories, exercising often, getting enough water in daily and enough sleep, as well. It really works! However, right now I am not wanting to lose weight.

Wait a minute, did you read that right? Yes, you did. My goal right now is not to lose weight. It really is to just be healthier and feel good about making healthier choices.

However, trust me when I say, I still have weight that I want to lose. I just don't want it to be my main focus right now. Right now, I want to spend some time working on what is going into my body with intuitive eating. I want to spend some time building up new good-for-me habits. Habits such as, picking up fruit instead of chocolate. Habits such as, picking natural, fresh ingredients for my meals instead of what is quickest. I am going to spend some time working on these things because it just feels right, right now.

If you've been reading for a while now, then you already know that I'm a big fan of planning ahead. Particularly, I enjoy planning my meal and exercises weekly. Well, this week, I bought a ton of fresh produce without a plan. I must admit, it feels really good to make up meals according to whatever fresh produce we have on the counter. It saved us money this week, and got us eating a lot of fresh produce that we normally wouldn't have eaten.

Monday night: chicken taco with vegetables, cheese and sour cream.
What about you? Do you count calories or eat intuitively? What works best for you?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wonderful Week Ahead

Happy Monday! This week is going to be absolutely wonderful. I just know it!

Yesterday, my husband and I went to church. After church, we went grocery shopping. We bought a lot of healthy foods for the week ahead.

Watermelon
Peaches
Oatmeal
Zucchini
Squash
Green Peppers
Yogurt
Cottage Cheese
String Cheese
Chicken
Pork

Just to name a few.




This week, I am packing salads for lunch. The salads for this week include tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados. Tomorrow, is the only exception. I'm ordering a sub while out of town for a business trip. 

I am planning on getting some walks in with my dogs this week. I am trying to drink at least 100 oz. of water each day and, I plan to be in bed by 9 p.m. this week.

What are your goals for the week?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Life-Changingly Amazing

I apologize for my absence. These past couple days have been life-changingly amazing! More on that, soon.


A view from our porch.

As I write to you from my covered porch this morning, I've decided to put a hold on the May Challenge, or rather; I'll make an amendment to it. My Challenge for May is to just eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, go for walks with my dogs and rest, a lot. That sounds like the best way to finish out the month of May, to me.

Now, when I say eat healthier, I mean more meaningful foods. I want to make every bite count. I want the food that I'm eating to nourish my body. I'm going to be working on being completely conscious of what types of food I'm eating. I also want a well-balanced diet.

When I say well-balanced, I mean:

6 servings of whole grains and legumes: brown rice, whole-grain bread, whole-wheat pasta, pitas, tortillas, beans, lentils, etc.

4 servings of calcium: milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.

5 servings of fruits and vegetables

3 servings of protein: poultry, beef, seafood

3 servings of iron: beef, beans, oat bran.

4 servings of fats: peanut butter, avocados, cream cheese, etc.

A lot of water

Following that well-balanced diet will be a fun challenge in itself. I want to work on sticking to that list as best as I can. For breakfast, I've been eating cottage cheese a lot lately. It's my new favorite "thing". For breakfast this morning, I had turkey sausage on a bagel with cream cheese with a side of cottage cheese. That was amazing!

As for the rest of this morning, my husband and I are going to go shopping for a couple books, then we have a birthday party for my friends child and then we hope to see some of our other friends after that. It should be an amazing day!

What are your plans for today? 
Do you try to eat so many servings of vegetables, protein, etc. a day?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Need Motivation

I must admit, I was way more motivated last week than I am this week.

Even so, I decided to go for a walk with my dogs before the storms came in. I only got to 14 minutes before I decided to wrap it up. The clouds were not looking good and I didn't want to get stuck in the rain.




After my walk, I went over to have dinner at my moms house. They ordered pizza and a sub for me. I ate a little over half the sub and had a couple slices of thin crust pizza. It was a total treat. As part of my May Challenge, my goal is to eat out no more than once per week. Last night was my "once for the week" and it was worth it!

This week isn't over yet, so I still have time to motivate myself to burn more calories. Last night's total calories was not very good. I'll do better today!

Calories in: 2,023 - Calories out: 97 = 1,926 total calories for Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Backyard Vacation

Sometimes, you just need to forget about your responsibilities and take a backyard vacation.




Last night was beautiful! I came home to 88 degree, sunny weather. It felt like vacation weather, so I went with that feeling. My husband and I moved some lawn chairs into the middle of our backyard, we turned on island music and layed out in the sun for a couple hours. It was so relaxing!

Best thing about backyard vacations? The dogs can come too!






After laying out in the sun, we decided that we wanted to enjoy an island-style dinner. We went to the store and picked up some pineapple. We grilled chicken, shrimp and pineapple kabobs with cayenne pepper and an orange marmalade. We had a side of summer squash, too. Summer on plate, I tell you; it was amazing! (Picture on instagram).

After dinner, we went out for ice cream. My calories for the day didn't even really suffer from this extra treat. And, just when I thought the night couldn't get any better, a rainbow shows up. It was really the perfect night.

Calories in: 1,521 - Calories out: 0 = 1,521 total calories for Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Appreciate Him

Sorry for the lack of posts, these past couple of days have been a little unusual.

My husband got sick with the flu. This man is never sick, so it was a big eye opener for me on how much he really does around the house. He got sick in the middle of yard work. Piles of wood in the middle of the yard had to be moved by yours truly. Usually, he is the brute and does all of the hard labor. I really appreciate him for that.

I got my covered porch back, my lovely, lovely porch. We had a lot of equipment stored under the covered porch this winter, but now it's all moved and my peaceful retreat is back. I wasn't able to enjoy the peaceful retreat as much, however; because my husband was too sick to come outside and enjoy it with me. The porch is less enjoyable without him there. I even need him for quiet moments, he is the one who makes it peaceful and relaxing. I appreciate him for that.

Two days of him not being his usual self and I realize not only how much he does around the house, but how much he does to make me happy. I take for granted how often he makes me laugh and makes me smile. When he is feeling well, I don't have to go a day without a smile or a laugh. I appreciate him for that.

Things are starting to get back to normal now that he is feeling a little better. It's amazing how something such as my husband getting sick can throw everything off for me. He really does so much. I will be back with my regular updates, now. Things are getting back to normal.

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

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Biggest Mistake of Friday

Remember yesterday, when I said that I felt deserving of a good weight loss this week? Well, I guess that I felt a little too deserving, because I ended up going out to eat for dinner for the second time this week. I am only suppose to be eating out once per week according to my May Challenge. Oops!

My husband and I went out to dinner with my step-father and mother for Mother's Day. We took them to our new favorite local restaurant, Public House, and I think they really enjoyed it! 

I ordered a BBQ Chicken Pizza, but only ate 3 pieces of it. I shared 3 other pieces with my family, then left two pieces in a to-go box at the table. I really hate when I forget the to-go box; hands-down the biggest mistake of my Friday. This pizza was amazing.




I will do better with only eating out once per week, next week. Oh, and that self-deserving feeling? It is under control now. Time to make this last day before weigh-in really count!

What's your favorite local restaurant?
Favorite kind of pizza?
Plans for the weekend?

Friday, May 9, 2014

I Took a Rest

Yesterday, I took a rest.

I have been either walking or running each night after work, but last night I just felt like I needed a break. I relaxed on my patio. By relaxing I mean that I got my hand dirty with soil and started some seeds for tomatoes, pickles, jalapeno's and zucchini. I know, I'm a little late with the tomatoes and jalapenos, and maybe the pickles too. I'm not quite sure.

This is my first time trying to grow pickles and jalapenos by seed. And it's been a couple years since I've gone through with planting tomatoes, too. This should be an adventure! I have decided that if it doesn't work, I will just buy plants that are mostly started and will go from there. My pale-green thumb will get more green, eventually. I have faith.

After planting, I made myself a delicious stuffed chicken breast with ham and gouda cheese. I baked it at 350 for 35 minutes. It was no chicken cordon bleu, but it sure was amazing!




The stuffed chicken breast included 2 oz. gouda cheese, 2 oz. virginia ham and a few pinches of italian seasoning. It was 438 calories and worth every single one of them!

Speaking of calories, I have noticed that I have been slowly creeping up with my calorie totals this week. Check this out:

Calories in: 1,666 - Calories out: 400 = 1266 total calories for Monday.
Calories in: 2,012 - Calories out: 488 = 1,524 total calories for Tuesday.
Calories in: 2,035 - Calories out: 425 = 1,610 total calories for Wednesday.
Calories in: 1,948 - Calories out: 0 = 1,948 total calories for Thursday.

See what I mean? I am going to have to work on keeping my calorie intake lower this weekend. Either that or I'm going to need to move more so that I will burn more calories! I'm hoping for a good weigh-in this Sunday. After the work I put in this week, I feel deserving!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Going to be Successful in May

So far, this has been a great week for me!

I made it a goal for May to do three things:

Weekly Photo Weigh-ins
Post Calories in/Calories out 5/7 days a week
Eat out no more than Once per week

Last night was my first (and will be my only) time eating out this week. I have been tracking my calories since Monday, and I started off on Sunday with my first photo weigh-in. My May Challenge is going to be super successful!


Spotted these beauties during my walk last night.


Last night, I went for a quick walk with my dogs. It was only about 10 minutes long, and then I took them back home. I wanted to run a bit and since it's so hard to run with both of them, I decided to run alone.

After dropping my dogs off at home, I went for a run/walk. I ran for about a half mile, then walked the rest of the way. I ended up walking to my moms house. It was such a beautiful day, I just couldn't resist the walk. I didn't have any music with me, just the music of nature. I snapped a picture of my Garmin once I arrived at my moms house, then went inside for our Wednesday Bible Study.




This is the third week in a row that I have done Bible Study with my mom and step-father. I have really enjoyed it. Before attending Bible Study with my parents, I felt like something was missing in my life. I'm positive that I found what I've been missing. It really helps bring life back into perspective for me.

Since I didn't get home until about 8:00 p.m. and by then I was starving for something to eat for dinner, I ordered out. I ordered a sub, it was done within 10 minutes and gone in even less time. I calculated the calories as best as I could and came up with the following total for the day.

Calories in: 2,035 - Calories out: 425 = 1,610 total calories for Wednesday.

Do you count calories? Does it seem to work for you? If not, what does work for you?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Good Habits Breed More Good Habits

One of my favorite times to work out is directly after a long day of work.




It can be hard to motivate myself to work out after a long day in the office, but I never regret when I do it. Working out as soon as I get home from work gives me a second wind for the rest of the night. It also makes me feel like I deserve to relax, which makes relaxing more enjoyable later on in the evening.

Last night's workout was interval running and walking for a total of 1 mile ran and 1 mile walked. My husband joined me on the track. I always love it when he works out with me!

After our workout, I was craving a salad. Good habits breed more good habits. So, instead of making chicken alfredo, we made grilled chicken salads. (And when I say "we" made dinner, I really mean my husband made dinner. He is the grill master, after all!)




Calories in: 2,012 - Calories out: 488 = 1,524 total calories for Tuesday

When is your favorite time to work out?
What have you been craving lately?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Grill Master and a Streak

My husband is hands down, the grill master.




Yesterday, we had our first grilled meal of the year. Grilled shrimp and baby red potatoes with loads and loads of flavor. I'm talking, cayenne pepper, honey, garlic salt and italian seasoning kind of flavor. Wow. My taste buds are still in shock.




While my husband made the masterpiece that was dinner, I went for a run/walk with my dogs. Poor, poor Max. He goes so slow, I had to stop a few times so he could catch up. When I go running with my two dogs, I literally get pulled by Topher to hurry up and get pulled back by Max to slow down. These two pups couldn't be more opposite when it comes to running. Funny thing, I feel like I can relate to them both.

Since I ran after work and danced in the morning (super fun way to work out, by the way!), I was able to bring my calorie total down to the 1200 range for the day. I won't be able to commit to numbers like that every day but, it's nice when that happens!

Calories in: 1,666 - Calories out: 400 = 1266 total calories for Monday

Monday was wonderful, Tuesday is turning out great. I feel a streak coming on!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Recipe for Success and Pizza

My recipe for a successful week includes lots of sleep, lots of water, lots of healthy food and lots of exercise.

For lunch this week, I am having a chef salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Healthy food, check!




Last night, I went to bed at 8 p.m. and slept until 6 p.m. Lots of sleep, check!

This morning, I did 30 minutes of Just Dance 3 for the Wii. I burned almost 300 calories just from dancing. What a fun workout. Exercise, check!

And today, I'm drinking so much water. I'm basically floating over here. Lots of water, check!

My recipe for success is in full gear! My recipe for a killer pizza is below.




My husband and I tried a new kind of pizza recipe last night. We forgot to add an ingredient (bacon, who forgets to add bacon?) but it turned out great, anyway!




It involved gouda cheese, grapes, onions and alfredo sauce. If you're like me, then you may be turning your nose up to those ingredients combined like that. But trust me, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's a rich flavor that makes you crave that next piece!



Very Gouda Grape and Onion Pizza

Serves: 2
Nutrition per serving (half of pizza): 561 calories; 51 carbs; 31 fat; 21 protein

Ingredients

1/4 recipe of homemade pizza dough
1/2 cup alfredo sauce
4 ounces gouda cheese
20 grapes, halved
1 small onion, caramelized
Splash of balsamic vinaigrette or red wine vinaigrette
bacon (optional - will increase nutrition count)




Directions

Roll out pre-made homemade dough, cover with alfredo sauce, add gouda, grapes, and onions. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Splash with vinaigrette. Slice and serve.

It's perfection.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May Challenge: First Weigh In

The day has arrived. The first weigh-in day of my May Challenge

May's Challenge

Weekly Photo Weigh-In's
Post Calories in/Calories out 5/7 days Per Week
Eat Out no more than Once Per Week

I am seriously regretting my choice of making photo weigh-in's a weekly goal of mine, but I know why I did it and it's only going to help me in the long run.


Photo from my instagram account.

Ouch. That number hurts. That's the same number I saw when I started my April challenge. It's okay though, because I'm not going to see that number for much longer.

I'm up in weight because I went out to eat on Friday and Saturday. Which, is part of the reason for why I wanted to start my May challenge today. That, and because by starting today, I have four full weeks to work on this challenge. That kind of structure makes me happy.

So, today I am very motivated! I am excited for the challenge ahead of me, and I know that I am going to shed some serious weight this month. I can do it!

Dinner Meal Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Very Gouda Grape and Bacon Pizza
Monday: Shrimp Skewers with Roasted Red Potatoes and Vegetables
Wednesday: Chicken Salad
Thursday: Chef Salad
Friday: Dinner with Friends
Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Cardio
Monday: Strength Training
Tuesday: Cardio
Wednesday: Strength Training
Thursday: Cardio
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Strength Training


Photo from my instagram account.

For breakfast, I had a fruit smoothie with vanilla whey protein powder {210 calories}. For lunch I am planning on having a tuna melt and for dinner we will be trying a new recipe. The new recipe is inspired by a pizza we had while dining out yesterday. I hope to share the details on how it turns out, tomorrow!

What's on your plate this week?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Challenge Warm Up

Since the month of May started on a Thursday, I'm using yesterday, today and tomorrow to "warm up" for my May Challenge. When I say warm-up, I'm talking about easing myself into the challenge. My first weigh-in will be this Sunday and I will post photos of my weigh-ins throughout the remainder of the month.

Yesterday, as part of my warm-up, I tracked my calories in and calories out.

Calories in: 1772 cals. - Calories out: 228 cals. = 1544 total calories

I played "Just Dance 4" on the Wii for about 30 minutes. The game has an option called "Just Sweat" which plays song, after song. It's a fun way to get a workout in!

For those who may have missed yesterday's post, my May Challenge includes the following goals:

May's Challenge

Weekly Photo Weigh-In's
Post Calories in/Calories out 5/7 days Per Week
Eat Out no more than Once Per Week

I didn't make myself a weight-loss goal this month, as I have done so before. My weight-loss goal is to just lose weight. I think that will happen automatically should I reach the three goals I have outlined for May.

Goals are so important because without them, I feel like I am just "hoping" I will lose weight.

Aside from my goal for the month of May, I want to share something special with you all today. I have to admit, my husband is a natural cook and baker. When we first started dating (we were 15, over 10 years ago, yikes!) he told me that he either wanted to be a mechanic or a chef. I had no idea how lucky I was to have those two qualities in a man, but trust me, I am well aware now.

These past 6 years, my husband has taught me so much in the kitchen! And, even though he loves to cook, he lets me do most it. These past couple weeks, though, he was able to sneak in a couple recipes, himself. I just have to share what he has made.




First up, he made Pureed White Bean Soup with Bacon and Roasted Tomatoes. He followed this recipe and it proved to be a great soup to have right after his oral surgery. Big on taste and perfect for his soft food diet.




For Easter, my husband made cinnamon pull apart bread. He followed this recipe and it turned out great. A little time consuming, but totally worth the wait. It was super delicious!

If you try either of these recipes, let us know! You won't be disappointed.

Do you have any current goals you're working toward?
Would you rather be cooking or baking?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 2014 Challenge

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? Some years I do, some years I don't. This year I made it a goal to create and participate in monthly challenges. So far, I have participated in a challenge each month. This month will be no different.




May's Challenge

Weekly Photo Weigh-In's
Post Calories in/Calories out 5/7 days Per Week
Eat Out no more than Once Per Week

I chose to do weekly photo weigh-in's for the month of May because I feel like it has a bigger impact than just writing the number out and moving on in the sentence. Accountability is my friend.

By posting calories in/calories out 5 out of 7 days per week, I keep myself accountable while maintaining realistic expectations. It would be unrealistic to think that I could stay on top of that every day of every week for a month. Life just sometimes happens. It has a funny way of doing that. So, I lowered my expectation to 5 days a week, and I'll see how that goes.

Last month, I made it a goal to eat out no more than once per week, and I did fairly well at sticking to that goal. It's a goal that I'd like to continue working toward this month. Warmer weather = more excuses to be out and about. When we're out and about we tend to want to eat out. I'm hoping this goal will help me stay on track.

What are your goals for May?