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.

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

Mmmmushroom Stroganoff

It’s hard to believe that on Saturday it was near 70 degrees and yesterday it was 11. With the snow last night I decided to hunker down at home in lieu of going to the gym because I didn’t know how the roads were going to be after dark. Better safe than sorry!

I stayed in to make a real comfort food: mushroom stroganoff. I was able to find a clean version at iFoodreal and was very impressed at how easy it seemed. After work I’m so tired that the thought of pumping hours into a meal just isn’t appealing. Plus I have a toddler in the terrible-twos who remains independent and uninterested until you try to do something…then he wants scream and latch onto your leg to see how high he can climb.

Back to the stroganoff. Easy, clean, and delicious. All the things I am looking for in a meal now. While I loved it in its original form, I would tweak a couple of things to suit us:

  1. Use beef broth instead of chicken broth
  2. Use mushrooms like the recipe calls for or cut the mushrooms smaller
  3. Add a little more salt and perhaps some garlic

Other than that my husband and I really enjoyed it. I took a smaller plate and loaded it up with a serving, and I was so full after I got done that I didn’t even have a snack last night, which is my biggest weakness in my lifestyle change journey. I’m unsure if it was because the dish was so filling or I tricked my brain with the smaller plate (maybe a combination of both), but either way it worked. I am looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today!

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