Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Motivation is Essential!

Motivational factors are huuuuuuuuuuge for me. If I'm not motivated, I wouldn't try to eat healthy, cook, or go the gym. You know those people who say they can't relax? I just don't understand that. I am the ultimate-relaxer. I seriously love being lazy, eating ice cream, sleeping in, reading, and watching films. All those things are important, but should be enjoyed in moderation. I have to remember what my health goals are and why I'm doing what I'm doing.Therefore, here are some of the things that keep me motivated and help me stay on track. I decided to write them out because I feel like I've been in a rut the last few days.

  • I never regret GOING to the gym, but I do regret NOT going. 
  • Workout buds are essential. If it weren't for Ashley, Kathy, Julie and Aindrea, I would have missed so many classes, slept through so many walks. I force myself to commit to going to the gym with them or schedule walks ahead of time. That creates accountability! 
  • I remind myself how good I feel after eating healthy for a week straight or how strong I feel after completing a hard workout class. 
  • Goals - I need goals! I am going to Argentina this fall- leaving October 21. It won't be bathing suit city necessarily, but I'm going to set it as a goal date for me to 10 pounds (of fat, not muscle). That is one pound per week. I can totally do that, and just think about how great I'll feel if I can achieve that?? 
What works for you? 

Friday, August 14, 2015

To Chipotle or Not to Chipotle?

MMM Chipotle...
I have only met two people in my life who do not LOVE Chipotle. That is my sister and my boss. They are obviously not the norm, and must be crazy. I had a delicious chicken burrito bowl yesterday for lunch, and have always assumed it was healthier than other fast foods and I don't HAVE to count it as a "cheat meal". So is that true? I took a few minutes to investigate. I do not believe in feeling guilty for eating foods- I don't think we should demonize any food (except sugary sodas, which aren't a food anyways), but I want to know what I am eating and how often I can and should eat it.

Here is what I had in my bowl:
  • Chicken
  • Brown Rice
  • Black Beans
  • Fajita Vegetables
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa 
  • Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
  • Cheese
  • Romaine Lettuce

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Breakfast Preppin' - Egg Muffins and Sweet Potatoes

Egg Muffins with spinach, asparagus & bell peppers
I am anything but a morning person. I struggle every freakin' day to wake up and get to work on time. I live for the weekends and sleeping in. So you can imagine that waking up on time and making a healthy breakfast does not usually happen for me. This is why I am so thankful for these two recipes that have gotten me through a couple weeks.

These egg muffins and sweet potatoes are easily stored in tupperware in your fridge, and can be heated up in microwave, toaster oven, or over the stove (for the sweet potatoes) in the morning.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Willpower Wednesdays

Why not applaud myself for displaying self control? Self control when it comes to delicious food and being lazy is hard. I'll try to post something I've done that displays willpower while on this road to better health!

Today our HR lady came around with FREE ICE CREAM. My food plan says 3 desserts a week and I've had like 1.5 desserts already. Plus I am still full from lunch (quinoa black bean burgers with avocado lime dressing, roasted cauliflower, and a berry smoothie). Ice cream is so my weakness (so are french fries and fried chicken), but I resisted. Hooray for willpower.

Greek Chicken Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce / Summertime Grilling

Staring at these photos without having the food in front of me is torturous- these Greek Chicken Kebabs are easily one of my favorite meals. I LOVE Greek/Mediterranean food and this healthy recipe is so delicious. I've also learned a new skill - how to use a charcoal grill! My experience grilling in the past has been watching other people grill delicious things, heating up a hot dog, and well that is about it. Thankfully my  roommate got this grill and taught me how to use it. 

This recipe makes 9-11 kabobs for me. It lasts for a few meals, and I need leftovers to survive a busy week. It is also so delicious, and fairly easy to prepare. It's very healthy too, even the tzasiki sauce is made from greek yogurt (and sooo yummy). You should note that this recipe is a bit time consuming. I wouldn't recommend waiting to cook until you're hungry or have limited time. You could cut the veggies, herbs, chicken, etc. ahead of time and marinate/assemble/grill later. Or have kitchen helpers ( always a plus).

Simple Rules for Eating Healthy: LINK

I love everything this article says - eat unprocessed foods, cook often, do not demonize food, and eat with others are some of the main points. Check it out here.

These are many of the rules I follow with my new Balance and Moderation plan :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Food & Exercise Plan

(Credit goes to Julie Lanford, Cancer Dietician/Nutritionist Extraordinaire)

Now here is my ideal food plan. It gives me an idea of what I should be eating daily and with each meal.

4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables combined each day.
60-80g of protein each day, spread out, not more than 30g at a time.
Anywhere from 30-60g of carbs per meal is fine, as long as they are complex, nutritious carbs.

1 cup fruit
1/2 cup veggie
1-2 servings starchy food (1-2 pieces of bread or 1/2 cup of cereal/granola)
10-20g protein (from egg, milk, yogurt - get plain and sweeten yourself if needed, nuts, etc.)

1-2 servings starchy food (1-2 standard size pieces of bread, or 1 cup rice/pasta)
1 cup veggie
20g protein (bonus points if protein comes from plants like beans, nuts, seeds or soy)
1 piece of fruit (or 1 cup, if cut fruit)

1-2 servings starchy food (1-2 standard size pieces of bread, or 1 cup rice/pasta)
1 cup veggie
20g protein (bonus points if protein comes from plants like beans, nuts, seeds or soy)
1 piece of fruit (or 1 cup, if cut fruit)

Dessert: 3 desserts allowed each week, as long as they are within the serving size. These should fit in after dinner...not as snacks.

Snacks - Eat when hungry or if it's going to be more than 4 hours from the end of one meal to the start of another meal. Likely you will need 1-2 snacks a day. Snack should include some carbohydrate, some protein and a fruit or veggie. Fruit can provide carbohydrate.

KEEP A LOG to see how meals are shaping up. Sometimes it's best to just focus on one meal at a time to make adjustments, then when that meal becomes a good habit, move to the next one.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Balance and Moderation

Discipline is not one of my strengths. At all. Especially when it comes to food and exercise. It sounds cliche, but I have tried a few different diets, including Paleo, calorie counting, and a VERY strict diet made for people who basically want to train to be in bikini/fitness shows...no, I did not want to be in a bikini show, but an old friend who helped me did...However, I was never disciplined enough to see it through for longer than 30 days to a few months. I lost weight but gained it back when I returned to what I normally ate. I also hated how stressed out it made me feel, and confused as to why I was cutting out certain foods that seemed perfectly okay and natural to me. Some of these strict plans and various diets, such as Paleo, work really well for some people and I have nothing against that. It just did not work for me, and since it didn't, I needed to figure out what did.

I decided that I was not going to just accept the fact that I am not good at discipline. It is something I need to work on, but I can take control of my habits and lifestyle, especially when it comes to taking care of my body. Hence my new plan - all about balance and moderation.

Why do I want to lose weight? I'm not obese, diabetic, or have terrible cholesterol. I am rather healthy and have never had major medical issues (thank God). However, I have never felt extremely fit or like I could comfortably parade around in a 2-piece bathing suit..my family genes are also somewhat against me. Both sides of my family have diabetes and one side struggles with obesity. I also have gained weight over the past couple years due to being in my late-twenties, a lower back injury, and adjusting (still) to working full time and trying to figure out when to exercise and how to cook for most of my meals. 

What are my goals? I want to have a healthy BMI and body fat percentage, feel energetic and healthy, and take care of my body. I don't want to feed it junk and suffer the consequences later. Slowly but surely, a lot of packaged, heavily-produced (?) food grosses me out and does not feel like real food. I also feel like crap after eating it. I also want to feel and look fit. I don't need a perfect body, I don't care about looking like a model or having a six-pack. I want to feel good in my clothes, be strong, and not worry about feeling conscious about my mid-section (my problem area).