Monday, May 19, 2014

Ultimate Realization!

I'm rounding out the first week of this clean eating plan and i remember why I started it...

I was feeling groggy and down every day.  Since eating clean I have to say, it's a revelation.  I don't think I will follow this plan to a tee the entire 2 weeks, but it has already changed the way I look at eating.  I feel lighter but still more satisfied, happier and settled with the fact that I have more energy and more motivation.  I guess I knew how to eat before but this has definitely rejuvenated my knowledge in meal planning.

Couple of things about this BuzzFeed plan:

I will definitely use some of these recipes, but switch them up to my liking.

I will change and set the portion sizes to fit my liking.  Most of the recipes are just too much food for me.

It has made me eat things I wouldn't normally eat and use them in a very unique way.

I have now gone back to being a snacker, and I love it.  Eating more often makes me happier overall.

I'll never give up things I love to eat, I'll just have them A LOT less often.  Screw a cheat day!  I figure that there's a lot of temptation out there.  It's better for me to eat as well as I can all the time. Then if there is a social temptation, to indulge.

These are just some of the rules that I'm starting with.  I don't know if they are rules so much as lessons.  This has also inspired me to keep up blogging.  When I started this I felt like I had to blog everyday, and it was overwhelming.  So, I went almost 6 weeks feeling as if I had nothing left to say. After designing my own website for my small side business I found a format I'm more comfortable with and am having a meeting today to see if I can get the mass of my blog switched to something that's easier for me.

As far as my lifestyle is concerned I am learning to take things slower and have more patience instead of just jumping in and exhausting myself with details.  I'm continuing on with the healthy eating, I'll be coming up with some new recipes and making it to the gym "when I feel like it!"

That's my start, and I hope you'll continue along this slow but enlightening journey with me.

Just remember...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Clean Eating: Day 2 & a Day 1 Recap!

My boyfriend says last night, "I'm so glad I decided to do this with you."  "Me too", I say.

I have to say the meals are delicious but there is quite a lot of prep and work that goes into these particular recipes.  Last night I had the

For this dinner, you’re going to make big batches of everything but save most of it for leftovers.

1/2 cup Big Batch Cooked Quinoa (recipe below) with 1 tablespoon Big Batch Orange Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 bunch Big Batch Steamed Kale (recipe below)
4 ounces Big Batch Roast Chicken Breasts for women; 6 ounces for men (recipe below)
379 calories, 10.6 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 38.6 g carbohydrate (5 g fiber, 1.4 g sugars), 34.8 g protein, 677 mg sodium, 70 mg cholesterol
Find all the recipes for each ingredient HERE
The way this plan has you "cooking" almost every meal is pretty tedious.  With lunches I usually like stuff I can throw together.  But yesterday there was sautéed asparagus and today quinoa.  Don't get me wrong, as usual with these types of regimes, this is teaching me new ingredients, new combinations and new recipes, which is invaluable and overall the reason you do this.  But, after the 14 days I will definitely find some easier lunches.  Another thing this is absolutely teaching me is how to better prep and plan.  Because it is so planning heavy, unlike other things I've tried, I know it will teach me better how to organize snacks and meals to go, which oddly enough is where I slack.  Moral: everything happens for a reason!
My breakfast this morning was
Makes 1 serving
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup blueberries
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
350 calories, 9.3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 53.4 g carbohydrate (11.5 g fiber, 18.3 g sugars), 20.5 g protein, 151.9 mg sodium, 5 mg cholesterol
This is, by far, my fave breakfast ever.  There are so many combos, and, keep in mind, that as long as you use equal parts oats, milk (of your choice) and yogurt, you can add any flavors, fruits or toppings to make it your own.  As much as I love this breakfast I did not prefer the blueberries.  I always try to like fresh blueberries, but I just don't.  I ate it anyways, but next time I would substitute this with another fruit of my liking.
Today's snack was delightful.  Theres nothing better sometimes than a fresh Caprese, especially one with a Mediterranean twist.
Makes 1 serving

Pack this in the morning (it’s OK to drizzle the balsamic on ahead of time) and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
Cut 1 large beefsteak tomato into thick slices or wedges, and serve with 1 ounce thinly shaved feta, and 4 thinly sliced basil leaves. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.
If you’re packing your snack to go: Toss everything together in the morning then pack it in a small container and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
129 calories, 6.1 g fat (4.2 g saturated fat), 12 g carbohydrate (2.2 g fiber, 6 g sugars), 6.2 g protein, 358 mg sodium, 25.2 mg cholesterol
I will take a photo of my lunch and post tomorrow, but it looks "Delish", and I am a huge fan of fennel, so I am very excited.
Just remember if you are taking this challenge on, to read the next day's menu and preparations so as to be prepared for what's to come.  For instance, my mango was so ripe I didn't get as much out of one fruit as I should have, so I used it all for the freezer bag smoothies.  Tomorrow's lunch calls for mango but if I hadn't read ahead I wouldn't have known I need to go pick another up.
Hope this helps... Keep U Posted!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Clean Eating Detox DAY 1... Off to the Races!

As soon as I showed my boyfriend the list he staggered a little.  The grocery shopping list that is.  But, as soon as the trip was over he said "It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be."

And so we're off...

It did take up quite a lot of room in our fridge though.  Just like the P90X diet (which I highly recommend, and so do most trainers) this eating plan is 80% veggies, which it should be right?  Any good diet should be made up of mostly dense greens, and this one is no exception.

We spent approximately $200 on groceries, but if you consider that we won't be eating out at all, that's not half bad.  Plus I love cooking, so this  is quite the treat for me.  There a couple of things that I'm not fond of, on the list, but I can abide.

I always wonder about the green smoothie??? Because I used to be an avid juicer I don't mind the flavors but I see all of these green smoothie recipes on Pinterest and always wonder how someone that's never had leaves in their drink is going to react.  Well, this first morning took me back.  I'm more of a fruit person in my smoothie, so I would probably change this up a bit.  But, for now I'm following closely.

Makes 1 serving
If you made smoothie packs in advance, the kale and banana should be in a ziploc bag in the freezer, labeled Sunday, Week 1, Breakfast.
kale leaves from 1/2 bunch (about 3 cups), center ribs removed
1 large ripe banana, peeled then frozen
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cut the banana into 1-inch chunks, then add all ingredients to a high speed blender and puree until smooth (about 1 minute).
295 calories, 13.2 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate (9.5 g dietary fiber, 17.9 g sugars), 10 g protein, 226 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol
Oh, BTDubs, I started this on a Wednesday, obvi, and it calls for starting on Sunday.  Those of us with busy schedules, and previous plans, can understand that those last minute decisions don't always fit into what we have goin' on.  So, I thought that as long as I'm on track... no matter.  I did however label my bags wrong to begin with and had to go back and make the change.  No biggie!

The above recipe mostly tastes like almond butter when all is said and done.  With most of my smoothies with banana that comes out to be the majority of the flavor, which I prefer.  Next time with this I think I will omit the almond butter and maybe add another fruit or yogurt.  A lot of people like the almond butter flavor, like a peanut butter cup, but me, I'm a fruit person.
I'm also taking a multi-vitamin pack 3 times a day.  This morning I took 3 of the 6 pills, and then I will take 2 more with my lunch and the fish oil with dinner.  For some reason when I take fish oil the residual does not agree with me. So, I take it and sleep on it, so that it is gone by morning.  Once this batch of vitamins is gone I'm going to try an oil with no fishiness.
I'm going to have to go home for lunch because it needs to be cooked and the only tool I do not have in my kitchen is a vegetable peeler...
SIDE NOTE:  Imagine that; I have a strawberry pitter and no vegetable peeler... the horror... aaaagh!
No, so it broke months ago and I just haven't gotten around to it.  A knife or mandolin usually works great.  But to ribbon this asparagus I'm gonna need it.
After today, I'm preparing to bring lunches to work.  I have to say, that is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to try this particular system.  It lays a lot out for you and plans your prepping and planning.  I'm the BIGGEST planner ever.  I know myself and if I try this willy-nilly I will stick to it for a couple of days and then go off the map.
I usually need a kickstart, and this is it.  This is good for a lifestyle change, this is certainly not a diet plan, which I've never gravitated to.
I have my carrots and hummus snack in a bit, lunch after that... remember eating every 3-4 hours.  I'm excited.  I'll be updating every day with the day's before and whatever's current.
Hope you guy's enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2014

IIIII'm Back... & I'm Detoxing!

I've decided to take the BuzzFeed 2 week detox challenge!!

This should be uber exciting and hoping that it will get me jumpstarted on eating healthy.  Something I've learned along this journey, falling off this journey, getting back on, and then falling off again, is that it's not easy; especially when you're busy, or huge changes happen, or the people in your life are not adaptive to the same lifestyle.  But, through it all these are just excuses.

The truth is: I LOVE FOOD!

It's so hard.  I love french fries, I love cupcakes, I love tortilla chips.  How do people survive without indulgences.  When I was very strict on my diet I had a cheat day, and it sufficed, but it wasn't enough.

So, on to my next hurdle.  I figure this is 2 WEEKS,  Not 3 months, not 1 month.  This i can do... No alcohol for 2 weeks, and I do love my wine.  You just reach a certain age where you've made up your mind and I need to try to unmake it.

The funny thing is, is that, when I was on my most strict diet for 1 month, I was making things I enjoyed, just tweaking them.  Maybe if I follow this for 2 weeks it will force me to remember all the things I made that I could make healthy again.  I'll never forget after round 1 of P90X, so many years ago, it really changed the way I looked at making healthy meals.  I hope this does the same.  IT WILL OR I WILL!

Anyways, I hope you will follow along with me on this journey for the next 2 weeks.  Like me, I have faith that I can keep you guys interested enough for this short span.

I'm following it pretty closely so I'll shop on Saturday (tomorrow) and begin on Sunday...

Happy Detoxing...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hitching Back onto the Wagon

So, needless to say, I have been off of my "Fitness Journey" now for about as long as I was on it.  I can't say I'm disappointed because it's been lotsa fun and I'm not really a regretter.  However, I probably put back on as much as I lost if not more.  Lesson to everyone out there (and me): that's what happens when you're active and then all of a sudden, you're not.

I digress; so I got back in the game on Monday.

To be completely hones, a lot of my digression had to do with my gym.  I had a problem with them and cancelled my membership and I let it get to me.  As of Monday, I have got a membership at a NEW gym for a lot less a month and have been rejuvenated.  YAY!!

This gym is much larger with a lot more going on, so I am taking it slow and learning everything it has to offer.  Just like at the beginning of the year, I am looking for a lifestyle, not a diet.  I started Monday with 30 minutes of cardio (15 treadmill & 15 elliptical) and yesterday took a BodyFlow class.  This week is all about making it there.

I'm doing some research and am looking to get into a routine next week.  If any of you can suggest a workout regime that you really stick to and love, hit me up.  I'm always looking for something challenging and substantial.

New recipes and workouts coming soon!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thirsty Thursday!

I know everyone does a post on this subject, but I truly love the art of the cocktail!!!  I've bought books, my boyfriend is a mixologist (LOL), I'm currently styling my bar cart, and to top it all off I did tend bar for several years in college.  So, I definitely HEART making drinks...

Since I started my health kick I'm mostly riding the wine bus, which is nice for me, because for some reason it does not create quite the hangover that beer does, but, that's just me.  Also I drink about once a week due to my workout schedule, and try to stick to one or two glasses, which can be harder when in social situations.

Once a week I head to my bestie's house to cook for her.  Since her husband travels for business and my honey works nights, it's nice to have one night a week to ourselves.  I LUV wine!!  There is rarely anything else I would rather drink, but I dabble.  Since my bestie is allergic, lately, when we have our dinners, she has a cocktail of leftover Stoli and 7UP.... EW!!!

So in her spirit and best interest, on last week's date night I decided to brew her up some nice concoctions...

Thyme Muddled Dark & Stormy

I went all the way authentic on this... Bermuda style!

muddled two slices of lime with thyme
filled glass with ice
goslings black seal rum
barritt's ginger beer

While I was at the shop getting all the ingredients I noticed they had just gotten in my FAVE seasonal beer...

Sierra Nevada Ovila

This is a belgian style beer that, in the past, has been released three times a year, seasonally.  This is a delicious Abbey style Quadruple plum.  So good!  They have also released a Saison for Spring & Summer, and in the past a Dubbel for Fall.  I'm obsessed with the caramel tones of Belgians and always pick these up when released, since they are limited.

We also made our ol' fave, for ol' times sake... Mandarin Tonics...

absolute mandarin & tonic over ice with fresh squeezed mandarin oranges

We had a little tasting of each.  While we are on the subject, I'll share some of my all time faves...

Margaritas (traditional), have to be up there.  I always like to make my own fresh sweet&sour with lemons and limes, sometimes with a little orange thrown in.  Depends on my mood.  I got the idea of making a sweet and sour from a $16 margarita I had at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Goleta, California.  Which, by the way, was the hands down best marg EVER!!  They make their S&S from organic fruit they grow on their property.  AMAZING!  I know a lot of people just use limes and that that's the ultimate in traditional, but try it this way and you will never go back.

mix equal parts freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice (sometimes a little orange)
a little agave nectar
tequila (I like Don Julio Reposado)
orange liqueur (I like Patron Citronge)
to kick it up sometimes I'll muddle jalapeños and/or thyme

Last but not least, my all time fave beer...  Kona Brewing Co. Koko Brown!

The caramel & the coconut, perfect blend.  I am a fan of dark beers and this one is very drinkable.  Also a seasonal, comes out in the Spring, and I can hardly wait every year.  Try it if you get a chance.

I'm not even touching on wines, cuz there's so many I love.  I'll leave that for another post.  Maybe "Wine Wednesdays".  But, I hope you mix or pick some of these few and enjoy.

Happy Tastebuds!