Waking Up Early: Day 1

I bought this cute pair of mint capris from Scheels in March, and I did something you’re told never to do: buy them small. I figured it would be motivation. When I tried them on, I could barely get them over my thighs, and I couldn’t get them buttoned. The scale and tape measure have not been very nice to me since starting my clean eating journey in February, but I decided to bust out the capris on Saturday just to see what would happen. I’ve been eating well and lifting, so I figured why not? And they fit! Not very comfortably yet, but the point is I didn’t struggle to get them over my thighs, and I could get them buttoned. I just felt like a sausage in casing, so I have a little work to do.

I’ve been eating a small breakfast within an hour of waking, so I decided I’d start doing a 10-20 minute ab exercise in the morning too. I knew this would require waking up early, which I don’t care for. My hope is that by adding in the small exercise (on top of my normal after-work exercise at the gym) I can shed some belly fat so I can fit into those capris by June.

I had some wins and losses. My win was I did wake up at 6:30, 20 minutes before I normally do. The loss was I didn’t exercise. I ate breakfast and also realized that I’d need to wake up earlier if I expected to exercise and fit breakfast in before 7. So tomorrow I’m going to shoot for 6:15 and see if I can’t feel a bit more motivated to work out.

Recipe Time

So my breakfast was amazing, so amazing I want to share it with you. I didn’t look at the calories before I made it because I didn’t care, but once I plugged them into My Fitness Pal, I cared quite a bit more, haha. It came out to 700 calories, but I think that can easily be modified. I got it from this website.

2 bananas, coined
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
Cinnamon

Mix together and either warm on the stove or microwave. First, two bananas is too much for one person. Second, it wasn’t clear if coconut milk was supposed to be from a can or carton, and I did a can. You could use from a carton, and it would taste less rich, which is probably what I would do next time. I’d also omit the shredded coconut just because I don’t think it added anything other than texture. It was very good though, and I’ll definitely be making it again. I ended up taking some leftovers for my mid-morning snack because it was just too much and too rick for that time in the morning.

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Progress!

I think we all know that one person throughout our journey that truly just wants to see us fail, or perhaps they are just so unhappy with themselves that they want to see us in the same boat. Misery likes company, right? I wouldn’t necessarily say my mother in law wants me to fail, but during Easter she said something that bothered me a bit longer than it should have.

Throughout this weight-loss journey, I am also working on and patience and letting go. I’m learning to not take things so personally and brush them off. This one took me a bit longer, but I have been able to brush it off since, and I find it has strengthened me. At Easter my family gave me Kind bars because they know the hard work I have dedicated to trying to change my eating habits. At my son’s birthday, which we had on the 2nd, my mother in law brought a tote (yes, a tote–a small tote, but a tote nonetheless) of candy for my husband and I. Reeses, Werthers, gummies, you name it. I was kind of being pushed to eat it, and I said, “We’re trying really hard to eat clean and healthy.” She said, “Well you’re in the wrong family then!” And she managed to add a snarky laugh afterwards as well for good measure.

I let it bother me longer than it should have, as I said. I stewed. How dare she say that to me? I work my a double s off, and we are trying to be healthy. What is wrong with that? We are taking care of ourselves! Who is she to say otherwise and make such a naive comment?

Deep breaths. Get your mind centered.

I’m glad she said it. I’m glad she put that out there in front my my whole family and her own. Because in that moment I wasn’t the one that looked weak (and I won’t be the weak one going forward either). I have a choice–I can either let that comment chip away at my happiness, or I can use it to fuel myself to work harder and prove that our journey is making a healthier difference in our lives.

So after the party ended, I boxed up all the candy. My husband took half to work with him, and I took half to work with me to share with our coworkers. In the last month of our clean eating journey I have lost nearly 8 pounds, and I have started lifting. I am in beast mode. I am proud of myself. I am strong. For the first time in my LIFE I love myself. I don’t wake up, pinch my fat in front of the mirror and sigh. I don’t talk down to myself. I’ve embraced that if this is the body I live in for the rest of my life, I’m ok with that, but I am always going to strive to be healthier and not give up, no matter what anyone might say.

Recipe Time

What’s a post without some food? Haha. I don’t know if I can truly call this a recipe because I didn’t really go by one. However, there are probably a billion different recipes out there.

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

1lb ground turkey
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 for each bell pepper, so 1 cup of cheese total)
Black beans
Corn
Onion
Garlic
Whatever other vegetables you’d like! Be crazy and add rice or quinoa!

I cut the tops off the peppers, pulled out all the guts, and placed them in a 9×13 pan, or whatever pan they fit into. My peppers were pretty big. I put the ground turkey, onions, and garlic in a pan and browned it and then added corn and black beans near the end. I filled each of the green peppers with the mixture. After the bell peppers are filled, add the cheese to the top. Broil them until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown (I would add some cheese throughout the mixture next time). My oven broils at 500 degrees.

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In the words of Johnny Bravo: “Whhooaaaa mmaaamaaa!”

The Breakfast Blues

I eat breakfast every single morning and a healthy one at that, which is far cry from when I was younger. I came from a family who didn’t eat breakfast (and still doesn’t),except for Sunday mornings, but my brother and I would grab our big mixing bowl, fill it up with cereal, and watch Saturday morning cartoons. I’m glad I don’t have those same habits as an adult, although they taught me a few things about my diet and how those habits were hard to break.

I did some research about when the best time to eat breakfast is, and I guess I eat more of a brunch. They say to eat breakfast within an hour of waking so it kick-starts your metabolism. My breakfast falls somewhere between 2 hours before lunch and 3 hours after waking up. It has worked for me, but perhaps my body needs a shock. So this morning I woke myself up a half an hour early, made two egg whites and had a piece of cheese. I tell you what–it took a lot to choke down that egg white. I am unsure why I hate food that early, but it is a change I’m willing to stick with to see what happens.

My day was made better when my son (T) gave me a kiss though. He’s a very independent toddler, and typically when I ask for a kiss he struggles to break free and runs screaming. It’s like high school all over again, haha! Perhaps T sensed I needed a mood boost because while I was holding him and talking to my husband, he planted a kiss right on my cheek. As I started to tell him just how much I loved him, he puckered up and laid one right on my lips. *Sigh*

Recipe Time

Over the weekend I bought some chicken legs because I found a recipe for the Best Chicken Drumstick Recipe EVER. I was skeptical, but it seriously is the best chicken recipe I’ve had. It calls for the simplest ingredients:

-Raw Chicken Drumsticks
-Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (I forgot this step, oops)
-Salt
-Black pepper
-Garlic Powder
-Paprika
-Cinnamon (she says not to skip this, and I agree. This MADE the recipe)
-Cayenne (I didn’t use this because of T, but I bet it would really amp up the chicken)

You literally just rub the drumsticks with the oil, put the salt on, and then sprinkle the remaining ingredients. Put in the oven on 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flip the drumsticks, and bake another 30 minutes. She uses parchment paper, but I used our Yoshi Mat. If you don’t have one, make your life easier and go buy one. They are worth it.

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My mouth waters thinking of these drumsticks. I also made two potatoes with dill weed, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper in a pan on the stove. Took me about 30 minutes on low heat, constantly tossing, so they wouldn’t burn. They were delicious. Don’t be scared to put on as much or as little seasonings as you want with either the chicken or potatoes. Recipes without exact measurements used to turn me off, but I experiment, and I actually end up loving the recipes a lot more when I put my own twist.

Hope you have a terrific day, and thanks for reading!

Happy Friday!

It is supposed to get to the upper 60s/lower 70s today, setting a record for March. Say what?! Even yesterday was beautiful, so beautiful that I packed my little guy up, and we took a quick 30 minute walk before dinner.

Ah, dinner. It was so delicious. My husband was gone last night, and typically when he is gone I break out a box of mac and cheese for dinner (and in turn I am hungry an hour later). Yesterday I was proactive and took out a pound of ground turkey and decided to also use the zucchini in the fridge. I found a recipe for Clean Eating Garlic Parmesan Turkey Meatballs. No, that is not a typo in the recipe. It does indeed call for 10 cloves of garlic, and yes, you should use 10 because that is what made these meatballs delicious. My toddler son, who won’t eat anything but ham, oatmeal, green beans, and fruit, gobbled up a whole meatball himself and then wanted more of mine.

To go with the meatballs I kind of formed my own recipe with the zucchini:

1 Tbsp oil (I used Wild Tree Organic garlic dipping oil)
1 medium zucchini
3/4 cup of southwest style hasbrowns
Onion powder, garlic powder, dill weed, Italian seasoning and pepper to taste

You can leave the outside on the zucchini, but I took mine off for my son. I put the oil in the pan with the potatoes and zucchini and then just eyeballed my spices. I like a lot of flavor, so I used quite a bit. Cook for 10 minutes, and you have a quick, easy side dish that is healthy too!

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I was actually full after it as well. I’ve been “tricking” myself with the smaller plates though too, so maybe that is helping as well.

Tonight I am headed to the gym after work to do some of those chin-ups and work on strength. The rest of the weekend will be spent going out to eat unfortunately, but I’m hoping we go somewhere that will allow me to make good choices. On the plus side we will be moving my brother, so I will be lifting heavy boxes and walking a lot!

Have a fantastic Friday! xx

Going Strong

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. Things have been slowing down here, which is nice because I always feel busy, as everyone is I’m sure. It is something that I’ve been trying to improve in my life. A couple Christmases ago my husband and I were so exhausted we got sick a lot. Even last fall/winter was busy, so I made a commitment for 2016 to cut down on that busyness. Cutting down on the commitments we make to others has helped us reconnect and rest up on the weekends and get our own work done at home.There is nothing like napping with a toddler ❤

I learned something new at the gym last night! Our instructor asked if I wanted to do some pull-ups. I honestly haven’t done any of those since I was a kid screwing around on the monkey bars. The gym has these resistance bands that you put the arch of your feet in, and it helps you do the pull-up, so I managed four of them. It was fun to learn some new equipment because I feel when I work out by myself at the end of the week I am always on the bike because that is where my comfort zone is, and I need to break away from that, especially if I want to build up strength and muscle.

I even made the effort to pull out something for dinner tonight. Typically when my husband is gone it’s mac and cheese night because it is quick and easy. I reminded myself to take out some ground turkey so I can make some meat balls tonight and stick with my clean eating.

Recipe Time

Speaking of clean eating, recipe time! The other night we made Thai Chicken Bites, and it was the best clean meal we have made to date. You can find the recipe at iFoodreal by clicking here. It required a little effort, but it was so worth it in the end. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Have a fantastic day and stay positive! You’re doing the best you can.

Spring Has Sprung

Perhaps I am putting the cart before the horse by saying that spring is here, especially since our last snow storm of the year usually hits us in May, but after seeing some fresh baby calves, it is hard to argue that spring hasn’t sprung at least a little bit.

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Baby moo moos are so cute, aren’t they? I could have spent all day smelling manure and petting babies, and I’m about as city slicker as it gets.

I have already been plotting my spring/summer marathons. My bestie and I already signed up for a 5K at the beginning of May, and my husband and I are going to tackle the Insane Inflatable 5K at the beginning of June.

That, paired with all the wonderful weather really got me in the mood to take a run yesterday evening. It’s not every day we see 70 degree weather in March.

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Not too shabby for my first run since last fall! I was surprised I went as long and as far as I did (and we have a killer hill before you get to our house, so when you already want to quit and die just a block from the house, that hill just mocks you). And now with all those marathons scheduled, I have motivation to continue to work hard on those nice days. My goal is to run a half marathon this fall, so I am on my way.

Recipe Time

I love oranges, but unfortunately the last bag I bought were terrible. They were sweet enough, but I like my oranges pretty supple, and these were just a bit too soft for my taste. Rather than lament over a bag of oranges I spent a bunch of money on, I decided instead to be proactive and figure out a way to make these oranges work. I came up with my own smoothie recipe yesterday morning, and it was so good that my husband, who NEVER makes smoothies (or eats breakfast), whipped one up for himself this morning for work.

1 whole orange, peeled and parted into sections
1 cup milk (I used Silk original soy milk)
A handful of frozen fruit–any frozen fruit will do. You could probably just use ice cubes too, but I liked the added fruity flavor

Throw everything in the blender and mix it up!

I’m very spoiled and have a Ninja, and it is SO easy to shove everything in the cup, slap on the blade, and blend right into the cup. I blend until the consistency is what I want. If it is too thick, add a bit of water. If it isn’t thick enough, add two ice cubes at a time until you’re happy with the thickness.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and wherever you are, if you have a bit of sunshine today, get out there and enjoy it! It’s a beautiful, brand new day to start again.

Temptations

Temptations are everywhere, and they’re going to be everywhere no matter what you do. It isn’t feasible to avoid all situations that have temptations, so you just have to make the best of it.

Work is one of those places with temptations. I can pack my own lunch, but I need to have the will power to resist chocolate covered donuts, which is EXACTLY what I did this morning. I instead opted for a cup of fruit (it paired nicely with a delicious, clean waffle I made this morning– click here to get it, courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny).

Work isn’t even the worst place for temptations for me though. Enter: my parent’s house. I have terrific parents who care for and love us a lot, but I never grew up eating healthy. My mom always said, “If it doesn’t come from a box, I don’t make it.” And that is seriously how I grew up. Rice-a-roni, Schwans, and Hamburger Helper, just to name a few. My brother and I always tease our mom about the time we finally got cable TV, and my mom watched Food Network all day. After that she made one week of healthy meals and then it was over. My brother and I were back to eating cereal for dinner (my husband is flabbergasted we were allowed to do that). And when I say we ate cereal, I don’t mean we had bran flakes in a small bowl. We had Fruity Pebbles or Cookie Crisp in huge bowls, kind of like in the beginning of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” when Peter is eating cereal out of the mixing bowl on the couch. Pretty much us growing up:

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While I think this did/does contribute to my expanding waistline, I can’t blame it all on how I grew up. When I lived by myself I had the choice to make a salad or turkey burger but instead chose the lazy route of take out and pizza, and I didn’t exercise.

Tonight is the first true test on resisting temptations as we are heading over to my parent’s to watch a hockey game. Mom asked if we’d be interested in Subway, and honestly I am VERY interested in Subway. I chose to go with a healthier sandwich loaded with veggies and no sauce so I can still have a treat, but not completely compromise my mission. I am also bringing my own snack of apples and dip, reducing the likelihood that I will go there and eat chocolate everything.

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A much healthier choice than chocolate everything and still super delicious.

2oz plain non-fat yogurt (I chose Chobani Greek yogurt)
1 tbsp pure honey
1 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter (I’d be curious to try this with PB2)
Cinnamon to taste

I’m not saying I’ll never enjoy a chocolate covered donut again, and when I do, I am not going to beat myself up over it, but I am, however, convincing my body that it can be perfectly content with something that fuels me and keeps me on track. It’s a satisfying thought, and I am happy with my choices.

Enjoy this beautiful day wherever you are!