Friday, November 11, 2011

3 Ingredient Breakfast in 7 minutes (including cleanup)

No one seems to have time to cook in the morning. The food industry is well aware of this issue and the market is full of quick breakfast items (bars, cereal, yogurt etc) but the thing is- I don’t love them.  I like warm, filling, substantial food to start my day. Oh and I want it to be healthy. Did I mention I don’t have time to cook, or shop for multiple ingredients?
This has led to new obsession- making an EGG BAGEL for breakfast.  3 ingredients- and can be made in 7 minutes INCLUDING clean up. Einstein has one- but you’re looking at 490 calories… read on to learn how to have your bagel & eat it too  for only 210 calories! 
Three ingredients:
Bagel: Ok fine- it’s a bagel thin :). Let me just start by saying- I’d pretty accepted that bagels and I didn't have much of a future (unless it involved shopping in the plus size section).  They’ve forever been one of my favorite foods, but I just “ couldn't go there” except for rare special occasions –I totally ate one the morning of my wedding. At that point the dress was either going to fit, or it wasn't!  Anyway- bagels had been a no no, until the introduction of my new morning staple- bagel thins! Weighing in at 110 calories, only 19 grams of carbs- they give me that bagel taste I love without the guilt. My recommendation- choose the “everything” version even though the wheat one is probably better for you. Totally worth it.
Egg:  The classic egg, not popular in the low fat days of the 90’s, but making a comeback. With 70 calories and packed full of protein, I've found that eating a full egg, rather than just whites keeps me full longer.
Cheese: Laughing cow light spreadable cheese wedge is my go-to.  35 calories, tons of new flavors (queso is a favorite!) Like spice? Add tapatio or other hot sauce to the cheese for an added kick. 
7 Minutes: So here’s the recipe- pop the bagel in the toaster (tip- turn down the toaster! Bagel thins toast/burn quicker than their thicker counterparts), while it’s toasting fry the egg (I like to break the yolk- personal preference) and then spread the Laughing Cow cheese on the bagel, pop the egg on top, cut in half and enjoy an egg bagel sandwich. Easy peasy. And, only 210 calories and it keeps me full till lunch!
Happy Breakfasting!
PS: Key to quick clean up? Put soap and water in the pan right after taking it off the stove- it’ll sizzle and steam, scrub it around a bit, rinse and then you’re done. 
PPS: Interested in cleansing? Starting next Friday, I'm try a 3 day juice cleanse to jumpstart me back to healthy eating. This is my first one- so I'm excited to blog and share how it goes!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And I'm back! And married!

So, confession- I’ve forgotten how to eat well. I was talking to Brooke on the phone the other night, and told her I had gone to the grocery store and struggled, wandering the aisles attempting to find something healthy, tasty, and easy to make for dinner.  Her response? “umm why don’t you print one of your old blog posts and read it?” So I’m coming back to the blog to try and put the pieces together again.
Brief recap of my eating over the past 10 months I’ve gone without blogging! I’m sure you were all dying of suspense over whether or not the food-stressed bride got it together and lost 20 lbs  OR if the pressure had pushed me in the opposite direction and I ended up gaining weight before the wedding?
And the final answer is…  I felt good on my wedding day.  I wasn’t the skinniest I’ve ever been, and I never lost that magical 5 lbs everyone said would drop off the week of the wedding. But I managed to take off somewhere around 10 pounds and it was enough to let me feel pretty, but still look like myself. Ok fine, if you insist… I’ll share some pics :)

So, to get back to the reason I am so food ignorant lately- since I last blogged I’ve gone on a cooking hiatus.  First I joined Jenny Craig (don’t judge, it was desperate times).  It worked, however I didn’t feel good about the food I was eating. It may have been low-cal, but I wouldn’t call it “healthy”.  Following Jenny, Chris and I both did The Fresh Diet, which delivers fresh meals to your door daily.  Now THIS is a miracle worker.  The food is great, very healthy, and when I followed it strictly, I lost weight (meaning not drinking wine with it). Chris lost over 20lbs on the diet, which is amazing!
So, all of this leads me up to the wedding, October 8th, a magical magical day, followed by an even more amazing honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands during which I ate, drank and relaxed to my hearts content.
Paradise in the BVI with my husband! :)
And now here I am, feeling like a beginner all over again, helplessly wandering the isles of grocery stores.   Now that the weddings over, it’s back to reality, time to just get back to living what I like to call “healthy” normal.  It’s enjoying life and food- but minding portions, planning ahead, and making good choices.  First step, re-reading old blogs!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Keeping The Faith

Wouldn't you think there's nothing more motivating than an upcoming wedding to help get focused on eating right and working out? You'd be right. Kind of. It definitely makes you think about it a lot more. In fact I have been obsessively thinking about not much else lately.  But it's not motivating or helping- it's hurting.
I have been struggling.  I mentioned in my last blog post that I joined Weight Watchers- well I gained 2.5 lbs my first week.  Not something I'm proud of.  Not a fluke though either- it wasn't the program that was broken. 
The pressure of knowing that this big day is coming is getting to me.  Food in general is stressing me out.  I am constantly battling negative thoughts about being a "fat bride". When this mindset sets in it's easy to forget how much I know.  I know how to follow a diet. I know how to eat right.  I know how to plan meals and workouts ahead for success. I have the tools, but when I'm overwhelmed I lose this confidence in myself and feel helpless and out of control.
It's hard for me to even write this blog- but in a way it's part of me battling my demons.  I am GOING to to do this. And I'm going to do it without hating myself along the way.  The point a  wedding is not to be skinny, or beautiful. It's to publicly commit to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with in front of your friends and family- a wonderful once in a lifetime occasion.  And on that day- the most important thing is that I'm happy inside. And I won't be if I torture myself for the next 9 months.  Does this mean I'm giving up my weight loss goal? Heck no.  It just means I'm going to work on calming down and focusing on doing what I know, not on instant results. I'm going to give Weight Watchers a shot, really working the program and stick with it for a few months before deciding if it works for me. I'm going to make working out a priority and I'm going to keep my kitchen stocked with healthy options.  Most importantly, I'm going to trust in myself and my own ability to make this happen. 
My Points Calculator!
So- actions speak louder than words. I started last night with a healthy grocery trip and then this morning labeled EVERYTHING in my fridge with Weight Watchers points.  That way when I pick something up-even if I'm grabbing on the go, there's no mystery in what I'm eating. For breakfast I had peach Greek yogurt with a half cup Go Lean and sliced bananas mixed in.  It was delicious, filling and only 5 points. (I get 30 per day). Midmorining snack will be a TJ's mini fiber muffin (2pts) Lunch will be a sandwich thin with turkey, cheese, lettuce and mustard (7pts) afternoon snack of either one of my think thin mini bars (3 pts) or an apple and laughing cow cheese wedge (1pt).  Dinner tonight will be a chicken salad (6), because I've got book club and I want to save room for a glass of wine (4pts) and a few appetizers(3-5)pts.
So there it is. Not crazy, just smart balanced eating. Managing my mindset.  I know I can do this.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Big News! (and Operation Beautiful Bride...)

I'm ENGAGED!! I am so incredibly happy to share that Chris proposed on New Years and I said YES!  If you've read the blog for a while, you'll see mentions of Chris pop up quite a bit. There has never been a day he didn't support me, tolerate me, or motivate me along my healthy living journey and I am so lucky and excited to share the rest of my life with him.
SHORT version engagement story (for the girls): We were flying to Denver for a fun New Years Eve weekend, and final Chargers game of the season. Chris had previously planned an outdoor proposal but it was 7 DEGREES out so plans changed into him booking me a pedicure in the beautiful spa in The Brown Palace Hotel where we were staying.  I still had my toes drying on the tub when he came in with roses, champagne and the most beautiful, perfect ring I've ever seen in my entire life. (Thank you !!! )  It was an incredible proposal and I couldn't say yes fast enough. The rest of the weekend was a blur of fun, excitement, and romance in beautiful snowy Denver. A magical, happy, happy trip that I will never forget.
So... that being said, and this STILL being a health blog (I will try not to bore you with endless wedding planning details) I am obviously on to the next step- Plan Bride. 
I don't want to just look good on my big day, I want to look ridiculously amazing.  I want to look better than I ever have in my entire life. What does that mean? Getting to my goal weight, having buff bridal arms, and definitely a full blown hair and makeup team (you can't do it all yourself!).
Our wedding date is still being worked out, but the soonest would be this fall, which gives me at least 9 months to get my butt in gear which is PLENTY of time to make a big difference in a healthy way. 
So how am I going to tackle this challenge? I'm joining Weight Watchers! They have recently revamped their program to put more of an emphasis on healthy or whole food eating, while still using a Points system.  I've seen many friends on their previous points system lose weight, keep it off, and use the skills and tools learned in WW to maintain healthy eating. My main reason for joining is the accountability and progress tracking- a weekly weigh in is huge motivation for me. My first meeting is this Saturday- I'll let you know how it goes!
As for working out- I'm continuing Bar Method.  I'm trying to get there 4x week- and I am already SO much stronger than when I started.  I also signed up for the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in June.  This is a 10k course full of mud, obstacles, and screaming army Sargents.  I'm terrified but excited and know having this goal will motivate me to get back into running.
So that's what's new with me! Once the crazy engagement celebration weekend was over, these last few week's I've been focusing on getting back to healthy eating, food journaling and counting calories. The thing that's most amazing to me (that I had somehow forgotten) is what great food you can eat while still counting calories! This morning for breakfast, I had topped a piece of Ezekial toast with a fried egg and cut up chicken sausage and Laughing Cow light cheese- for a delicious and filling breakfast that was only 235 calories! And for lunch I had a frozen Amy's brand organic cheese enchilada with beans and corn that was SO cheesy and delicious for only 370. Get ready for lots of upcoming blogs with meal ideas, recipes and product recommendations! It can be fun to eat right. :)
PS. Sad news on my NYE little black dress.  It was still too tight so I wore a different outfit instead (which must not have been too bad, Chris proposed after all :) Maybe I'll save the dress for my rehearsal dinner- by then it should be falling off!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surviving the Holidays: 5 Strategies for Success

10 Days Till Christmas! Can you believe that? I'm back from New York- after a wonderful weekend of big fun, birthday celebrations, wonderful people, excessive SHOPPING, and more. Amazingly - I managed to eat decently and walked what felt like 10 miles a day!  Brooke was a wonderful & healthy hostess- she had pre-stocked her fridge with my favorite TJ's options, including a homemade mushroom pizza waiting for me upon my late night arrival! Such a great trip, I can't wait to go back!
I arrived home in the thick of the holiday season... and temptations are everywhere.  Cookies at work, chocolate at home (Chris!!) and social occasions what seems like every night of the week!
Here are my 5 tips to holiday food trap survival:
1. Make a Statement. Tell people you're trying to eat well.  That way it's more embarrassing and you're less likely to grab another cookie at the office or re-load your plate at the party buffet. 
2. Drink Smart. Although there are tons of fun holiday specialty drinks- most are loaded with unnecessary calories.  Stick to your usual, a glass of wine or a vodka soda is going to have a lot less empty calories than egg nog. Drink too much? Try my favorite new miracle cure for hangovers- coconut water. You can find it at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and even some convenience stores. It provides extreme hydration which will leave you hurting less the next day- and hopefully lessen that craving for greasy hangover food! 
3. Stay Positive.  So you indulge and eat too much at a Christmas party. So what? It's not the end of the world.  Holidays have a tendency to derail dieters to the point where they just "give up" and figure they'll mend their ways after the New Year.  Don't give in to that- you are just as able to get right back on track the next day after a slip up and you'll have much less damage to undo with your New Years Resolution.
 4. Cook Smart.  If you're the one hosting the party- or Christmas dinner, you're in control.  There are lots of healthy substitutions you can make to even the most classic of holiday dishes that your friends and family won't even notice. Cooking Light is a great resource. Check out their holiday menus here:
 Cooking Light Apps
 Cooking Light Holiday Dinner Menus
5. Fit it In. Want to workout- but have no time to get to the gym? Try a Workout on the Go- which you can download to your Ipod for free from Women's Health Magazine! Workout Downloads.  Or make do with what you've got.  Fit in a power walk around the neighborhood to look at lights, or do some push ups when you get out of bed in the morning.  It all counts!
Most importantly, take time to enjoy your holidays.  They're not about cookies, candy,or even gifts, the holidays are about spending time with the people you love the most.  Make quality time with your friends and family your priority and thoughts of "sugarplums"will quickly fade to the background. 
PS- keeping this quote in mind won't hurt either :) If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ready or Not- Here I Come!

To NYC that is! Tomorrow morning I take off for a long weekend of fun, festivities and some quality time with my BFF Brooke.  We've got all kinds of Christmasy plans including a visit to Rockefeller Center and of course some sightseeing (code word for shopping! Don't tell Chris :)
I've been working out really hard this week in preparation for the trip and seriously, after only 5 Bar Method workouts- it's starting to come back to me and it feels AMAZING. I can literally feel myself getting stronger. I'm taking a class tomorrow morning before I leave so my muscles will be all nice and tired for my 6 hour flight.
Brooke and I skyped last night to plan our weekend and surprise, surprise, it involves a lot of drinking and eating! I'll be honest with you- I'm looking forward to all of it! I think what I'm going to do is make my goal enjoyment as opposed to bingeing. Basically I'll try to appreciating every delicious thing I eat and drink in reasonable portions but not eat as much crap as I can fit in my mouth just because I'm "on vacay!" (been there done that- came home to tight pants- I have a LBD to fit into!). 
Brooke- I like these ones!
I'm also bringing a pair of running shoes- Brooke has been into running lately (her BF promised her a pair of Louboutins if she runs a 5k- I'd be running too!) Hopefully we can squeeze a run in at some point- she laughed at me when I asked if we'd be running outside- apparently it's pretty cold there!  I'm already signed up for a Bar class the day I get back to help me get back on the working out/eating well path.  
I hope everyone has a fun filled, healthy weekend!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekends- Friend or Foe?

Friday is typically my favorite day of the week, but it's also a dangerous day when I'm being healthy. Looking back through my food journals there is a clear pattern of a work week full of writing down everything I ate- but come Friday afternoon it would suddenly be blank till Monday morning.  And don't think that's because I wasn't eating!
I do believe it's good to have a little flexibility with what you eat on the weekend, but there's a big difference between a little indulgence and complete abandonment of healthy eating. You don't want to undo all the hard work you put in during the week for two days of fun. Here's the plan:

Get a Healthy Start- If I start my day off with a big brunch, (which I LOVE to do, usually including mimosas) it generally doesn't end well.  So, I've signed myself up for Bar Method on both Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am.  That way I get to sleep in a little, get a great workout, and be home and ready for the day by 10.
Avoid Known Food Traps- It's a Sunday home game this weekend, so I'll be cheering on the Chargers.  I've been to enough games at this point to know that healthy options at the stadium are basically zero. So- although I will miss my favorite nachos, I'll eat  lunch before heading to the stadium and pack a few snacks in my bag as well.
Plan Indulgences- Chris and I have a date night tonight, and I'm so ready for a Friday night glass of wine (or three) I'm actually hoping the wine will help with my intense soreness from Bar Method this week. By planning in advance- I don't have to feel guilty about some enjoyment time.
Speaking of Bar- as I was driving there Tuesday for my first workout back I was thinking "this is so great, I can't wait to do this and feel good again" like it was some kind of relaxing yoga. Um I forgot how FREAKING HARD it is.  Yes I do feel good- AFTER the workout, but during it I'm sweating with every muscle in my body literally shaking thinking- why did I do this again?? It's amazing/depressing how far I've regressed in 6 months without it.  I can't wait till it starts to feel good again. I just need to focus on the benefits (detailed on right)... I can't wait! :)
Have a great weekend!
PS. Congratulations favorite new parents, Amy & Doug!