Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolution Time...

Happy New Years Eve!! Today is the day where people make resolutions that last until around the 3rd of January. And I'm guilty of this as well- I can't remember any resolution I've set that has even lasted a month. But I'm willing to try again. I decided to seek some guidance on the best way to set a successful resolution. Guidance=Google obviously: "How to set a New Years resolution I can stick to".  Google provided me multiple opinions regarding setting New Years resolutions. After a little research I came up with the 5 steps below which I believe will help us set achievable goals that we can be proud of accomplishing a year from today.

1. Be realistic by setting achievable goals. Very important in preventing early give-up syndrome. For example becoming a Victoria's Secret model is probably not an achieveable goal unless you currently look like Gisele. What is achievable? Losing weight, fitting into your skinny jeans, cutting out sugar, etc.
2. Describe your resolutions in specific terms. For example- instead of saying "To lose 20 pounds" incorporate the ACTION that it will take to reach that end goal. For example- "I will lose 20 pounds by working out 3x a week and eliminating fried foods from my diet".
3. Break down larger goals into smaller ones. Big life changes don't happen overnight. To prevent yourself from getting frustrated- try breaking things down. Say your end goal is to run a marathon this year- start with weekly running goals that are part of a plan to get you to your end goal eventually. Celebrate each week, month or even DAY that you are on track to achieving your resolution.
4. Find alternatives to the behavior you want to change and include that as part of your resolution. Important. If your resolution is to stop binge eating- but right now that's a stress reliever for you- what are you going to do to replace it? For example "Every time I feel stressed and want to eat- I will __________(go for a walk, read a book, call a friend etc). Having a plan will help prevent reverting to old behaviors out of habit.
5. Aim for things that are truly important to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you. This is my favorite and I think the most critical guideline. If I know anything about losing weight or being healthy- it's that it's not going to happen because someone else wants it- it has to be 100% about you.
When I went to write my own resolutions I realized they were all weight or fitness based. While that's not a bad thing- I think we all need to remember that being a healthy person isn't all about weight, pants size, or your mile time- true health incorporates all aspects of your life: relationships, career, self esteem, general pleasure out of life. Still stuck? See if one of these topics/questions can inspire a resolution for you.
Learn Something New-what don't you know that you wish you did?
Enjoy Life More- what makes you the happiest & how can you do it more often?
Simplify Your Life- what things/people/or tasks do you need to let go of?
Be Healthy- what steps do you need to take to get healthy?
Help Others- what can you do to make a difference in another person's life?

Find what you need to work on to make you happy & go for it! It's a New Year (and decade!) and anything is possible.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On the Go Food Options

Being busy- or not home much should not ever be a reason to eat poorly. Every day more and more large chain restaurants are realizing the necessity of adding healthier selections to their menu. Below are a few of my current favorites- that help me make good decisions when I don't have time to pre-plan.
I'm going to admit something big. I KIND OF like Subway. I have always been a major Subway hater. I have called their sandwiches many names over the years- including gross, fake, and just plain nasty. And while I'm not ready to give them a gold star in sandwich making- I have decided to accept them as an occasional low cal lunch option.
Today I had a 6 inch Turkey on wheat bread, with lots of veggies- spinach, pickles, olives, bell peppers, cucumbers, AND I got cheese (40 additional cals), lite mayo (60 additional cals) and mustard. Total calories in sandwich= 370. It was filling, tasted decent, and for only $4.35- seemed like a pretty good deal.
Rubios is my all time favorite for a quick & healthy lunch. Street Tacos! Chicken or Carnitas on a corn tortilla with guacamole & chopped onions & cilantro for only 100 calories each! The Carne Asada option comes in at 120. I usually have two with a side of their great pinto beans (no lard added) for 110. Total= 310 for a great protein filled lunch. They also have a Health Mex menu including burritos & tacos for other options.
Jamba Juice has recently added some great menu items, including some California Flatbreads that fall in the 300 calorie range. They are fairly small, but good- kind of like a personal pizza. I tried the Smokehouse Chicken which was great for only 300 cals. I also really recommend their Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal for breakfast- the Blueberry & Blackberry topped version is my favorite with 290 calories.
Starbucks are pretty much on every corner. My favorite option there (food wise) is the Protein Plate. It's in the pre-package deli section and consists of: A hard boiled egg (with packets of salt & pepper) grapes, sliced apples, two slices of cheese, a mini bagel & a packet of peanut butter. I buy this one and use it as my snacks for the day and it definitely keeps me going. Total cals 380- but if you skip the peanut butter it goes under 300.
Even though it's great to see chain restaurants taking the hint and creating some healthier options- it's still always best (and lowest cal) to make your food at home. For example- my breakfast this morning. I made an egg white omelet with reduced fat cheddar cheese & chives and had it with a side of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast. With it I had 6 oz of Greens Juice that I talked about yesterday. Filling and delicious & a total of 185 calories! You could have ALL that or about 1/3 of a scone from Starbucks. And honestly it took me probably 5 minutes top to make. I'm now trying to remember if that 5 minutes included washing the pan or if I left that in the sink... now I will try and beat Chris home today :)
Ps- Good news for yesterday- I stuck to the exact menu I blogged about & finished the day at only 1190 calories- with a big salad & stuffed pork chop for dinner! And Chris & I ran a 5k after work- we are signed up for a 10k in March so the training begins now!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After all... we ARE Professionals!

And professionals need their tools! You are looking at a picture of my FAVORITE Christmas present.  Chris had "But WHEN Do You Put The Meat In?" aprons made for me and my closest girlfriends (all loyal blog readers of course!)  They were a HUGE hit and so thoughtful. I am sure many great meals will be cooked in them!
I already tested mine out with a delicious Prime Rib dinner on Sunday night.... (pre-healthy eating obviously!) So fun!

Eating Well & Working Out...

And it feels GREAT! I went to Bootcamp last night and we ran HILLS. Which basically means we run about a mile out to a nearby neighborhood where there is a MONSTER hill (which is really more of a mountain) and then do various sprints, lunges & races up and down. It is killer. And then just when you've hit a wall and your legs are literally shaking- you get the run the mile back to camp & finish off with some nice ab exercises! I was SO exhausted afterward I could barely move but I managed to make it to Trader Joes for some major grocery shopping. For me a huge part of eating well is based on always having healthy food on hand- and our fridge was looking pretty sad & empty.
Here's what I'm eating today: (PS- preplanning REALLY helps me stay on track)
7:45am: 8 oz Essential Greens Veggie Juice. 30 calories. This magic drink manages to pack 2lbs of veggies into a 16oz drink. Warning- it tastes pretty bad- to keep the calories low they don't add apple juice or any other fruit unlike some of the other Greens juices.
8:15am: 1 Trader Joes Blueberry Frozen Waffle. 110 calories. These are so good to me- I don't need to put butter or any topping on them. If I would have had more time this morning- a really good way to eat these is by topping them with hot berries. TJs also sells a frozen berry mix that is great if you throw it in the microwave for a few minutes- it creates it's own "syrup". (The berries are also a great topping for frozen yogurt or ice cream)
9:00am: COFFEE and creamer. 30 calories. I just haven't been able to give up my creamer.. tried a few times but it's just not happening!
10:30ish: Apple Cranberry Mini Fiber Cake. 80 calories. This little muffin has only 1.5 grams of fat and 13 grams of FIBER! That's half of your daily needed intake & the great thing about fiber is it keeps you full.
1pm: Wasabi Shrimp & Avocado Sushi Rolls. 360 calories. These were sold in the pre-made section at TJs and sounded really good to me. It's fun to try something new for lunch.
3pm: Organic Apple. 80 calories. Lite String Cheese. 60 calories. For me, having a decent sized afternoon snack really helps prevent overeating or grazing the fridge/pantry as soon as I get home.
Dinner is still TBD. Total calories pre-dinner will be 750. My goal for today is 1250- so that leaves me 500 for the rest of the evening. I bought my FAVORITE Apple Almond stuffed pork chops which are somehow only 190 calories each and are amazing with a side salad. I also got a pre-chopped stir fry veggie pack which we could make with some chicken, or a Low Fat Chicken Chow Mein which is a great "comfort" meal with only 220 calories per serving. I tried really hard when I was shopping last night to not just buy random things that looked good, but to try and shop for meals (especially with dinner stuff). I think that helps prevent having a fridge full of food but "nothing to eat!".
So yes- good to be on track. I saw pictures of myself from over the break and honestly I was a little unhappy with how I looked. I feel like I have been slowly backtracking- and now I need to get back to work. Also- my sister gave me an AMAZING dress for Christmas that I am SO excited to wear in Vegas in a few weeks, but it's one of those "bandage" style dresses (and super sparkily!) so I need to get my butt in gear to make it look good!
PS. Checkout if you get the chance. My friend Jessica read about it in Shape magazine and I checked it out- it's AWESOME for product recommendations and substitution ideas!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why Wait Till January?

Reasons to start your diet today:
1. It's a Monday- the most common and popular day to start a diet.
2. Christmas (and all of its cookies) have come and gone. House still full of sugar? Toss it.
3. When people tell you how great you look in mid Jan & ask if it was a New Years resolution to lose weight (and expect that you will fall off that wagon eventually) you can look them in the eye and tell them you've been eating healthy since December- totally more credible!
Convinced? If you need more reason than that- I dare you to try on your "skinny jeans" which you may have been avoiding since the holidays... and see how they are fitting. Mine are tight :( Back to work!
Let's see... for a quick recap of my holidays.
High School pseudo reunion was a BLAST! Caught up with people I hadn't seen in a LONG time. And most importantly I was able to fully enjoy myself becuase I felt comfortable in my skin. (Ok fine... that's my Oprah-esque way of saying I looked pretty good and I knew it :)
Eating wise I did OK. I'll confess to a few MAJOR indulgences: Hoovers Beef Palace for Breakfast one morning where I had the Western Sandwich and quite possibly a SIDE of bacon. A few pieces of Sees Candy, more than a few Russian Tea Cake Cookies, and lots of wine. But there were a few wins too... I ate 3 semi healthy meals a day like I had planned which I think prevented excessive snacking, I turned down a late night 4th meal at In N Out and overall I think I did better than in past years.
But now- all the holiday eating, the good, the bad & the ugly is in the past & I'm leaving it behind me. Healthy eating & working out again begins today & I'm planning on starting off 2010 with some major goals... I'm still defining them 100% and I'll share them on the 1st... but I'm thinking some big personal challenges for the year. Not all necessarily weight based but definitely designed to help me be a healthier, happier person in 2010.
PS. OMG. Finally saw Julie & Julia yesterday... that may be my new FAVORITE movie! I so want to be her :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Sugar Blues

Sorry for the lack of blogging, I know you are all deprived! :) My excuse? Well... I have been in a SLUMP. A slightly expected one with the holidays, and parties and all, but STILL. It's more a case of "if you don't have anything good (or positive or motivating) to say you shouldn't say anything at all".
Even as I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the box of chocolates that's sitting in the office kitchen. Here's the thing. It's not even good chocolate (I'm kind of a snob) but seriously this little box of crappy Rite Aid chocolate is calling my name so loudly I want to run in there and eat the entire box. I'm resisting for the moment...
And as I write this, my sister just called to tell me she made my favorite Christmas cookies (Russian tea cakes- those white little powder balls of deliciousness). What is a girl on a diet to do?? Hibernate till it's all over and miss all the fun??? Or eat and then feel really fat & guilty??
See... I warned you I'm not that motivating right now :)
Ok. Time to make a plan. And just maybe, if I write it down and tell you all I will actually stick to it.
-Bring Workout Clothes home with me. Yes I will obviously be eating and drinking while I'm home, but there will definitely be plenty of time for me to get in a workout or two. We've got a beautiful beach less than a mile from the house that I can run on... no excuses!
-Eat balanced meals. You know that feeling when you skip meals, but are constantly snacking on junk food throughout the day? Like salty, sweet, salty, sweet, etc and you end up with a stomach ache? (Please don't tell me I'm the only who does that...) Anyway- I think that by eating 3 normal "healthy" meals a day, I'll be less likely to snack out of control.
-Try to Remember Cabo is less than 2 months away! I was at Target at lunch today and tried on a few bathing suits. I was NOT happy with what I saw... and realized I have a WAYS to go before I'm ready for that trip... so when I'm tempted to eat a box of chocolate, a pile of cookies, a tray of brie & cheese... I will picture that bathing suit body and TRY to stop myself.

I'm feeling a little better. It's good to talk about it and to "fess up" to the little rut I've gotten into. If I don't blog again before the big day MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Don't let food take over the holiday. Remember, it's all about the presents! Kidding, kidding!
PS. HAPPY Early Birthday to Brooke & Jules. Live & Laugh. We have a very FUN few days ahead!!!
PPS. I still have not eaten the chocolate in the kitchen. Woohooo!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Basically Have a High School Reunion in 8 Days...

Last I checked, I was still 2 YEARS away from my 10 year reunion- which is just about the right amount of time to start getting ready :) BUT- Brooke's bday is the 23rd of December and since we're all heading home for Christmas- a party was obviously in order! Thanks to the magic of Facebook she was able to invite pretty much our entire graduating class plus some to come celebrate with us! Should be interesting...
It's funny becuase a few years ago I probably would have rushed out and bought a new outfit, got my nails done, stopped eating immediately and basically been in panic mode. I don't know if its the wisdom of my years (and the 4 major wrinkles I've recently gained- more on that another time) but I'm really more excited about catching up with old friends and hearing about their lives than panicking over being judged.
It could be becuase I'm pretty content with the way things are right now. Life is good, work is work (but I'm grateful to have a job!) and although I may struggle sometimes because I'm not at my goal weight- I'm still a heck of a lot closer than I was 6 months ago. I think being good with myself makes me a less bitchy, judgy person and more able to appreciate others. Hmm... well there's an underrated reason to get in shape-it just might make you a better person!

On another note- yesterday I did not go to bootcamp (BAD) becuase it was dark, cold, Chris had just gotten home, etc etc many more crappy excuses. But I did stay in my calories and skipped all sugar and wine (GOOD) so at least that's something. Tonight I've got a holiday party so I'm starting the day well- Go Lean Crunch for Breakfast, leftover spaghetti squash for lunch and hopefully I'll be able to fit in a walk with Ry before I head out tonight.

I had the BEST breakfast this weekend and I just keep thinking about it- so I thought I'd share.
Egg White Omelet with Garlic, Spinach & Pepperjack cheese. I actually had this at Naked Cafe- but figured it would be easy to replicate. (The mix of flavors may sound random, but I promise it's good and it gets you a serving of veggies for breakfast!)
6 tbs egg whites
1 clove finely diced garlic
1/2 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
Directions: Spray the pan with non stick cooking spray. Sautee the garlic and spinach for about 2 min over medium heat, until the garlic starts to lightly turn brown. Add in the egg whites and allow to cook for another minute while the egg firms up. Then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and fold half of the omlet in half with your spatula. Cook about 1 min on each side until cheese is melted and egg is cooked through.
Enjoy!! One omelet has 170 calories.
PS. I can't believe Christmas is only 10 Days away!!! Let the countdown begin!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh Monday...

Another rough start to the week... this seems to be a common theme lately! Started with a power struggle with Prince Ry this morning- it's totally my fault, but when Chris is gone I let him sleep in bed with me. Could you say no to that face?? BUT then he gets confused and thinks he owns the bed. So when I found him burrowed back in bed by himself this morning after we'd already gotten up I told him (in my most authoritative voice) that he needed to get out and get back in his own bed because "Dad (packleader) is coming home today". Ry did not like that idea and started barking at me and running around the bed like it was some kind of crazy game. After I FINALLY got both of us out the door & got to work, I parked in the middle of a giant puddle and while trying to leap out of my car onto the sidewalk (with Ry in my arms) ended up falling against my car, bruising my arm and putting my foot right in the middle of the puddle. And now my wet foot and I are FREEZING in my office.

What's sad is that I'm considering the fact that I lost .2 pounds this week good news. But I can't forget that I've gained about 4 in the past 3 weeks, so REALLY I'm just barely hanging in. UGH.

My ONLY goal for this week is to be extra good in all normal situations. This week is a little crazy schedule wise- Christmas parties Tuesday & Friday nights & then the Pub Crawl Saturday and Chargers Game Sunday. SO- that leaves today, Wednesday and Thursday to have GREAT eating days. I'm planning to go to bootcamp tonight and Wednesday (Jen is coming with to try it out- so that should help guarantee that I go :) and skip all alcohol & sugar on those three days.

Sorry if I'm being a Holiday downer!! I really am so excited about all things Christmas- it's just much much harder than I thought to stay healthy & on track. But at least I'm still trying! Every workout, every cookie I put down, it ALL helps. Chris said something interesting- along the lines of "Every action is either getting you closer to your goal or further away". I try to keep that saying in my head every time I put something in my mouth or decide to workout or not. Will eating this grilled cheese make me happy or sad a week from now when I step on the scale? I don't want to be sad anymore! :)
Here's to getting through the day!

PS- I told my mom no candy or chocolate in my stocking. I simply don't have the self control - so I'd rather not have it in my face.
PPS- This was in my weekly bootcamp newsletter and I thought it was VERY true. "To weaken the intensity and reduce the frequency of cravings, you have to stop giving in to them." Food for thought. Get it? :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cleanse Update & Bar Method (no that doesn't refer to a pub crawl :)

Thought I'd give an update since I was supposed to be cleansing... I'm not! A few friends had mentioned that they didn't think cleansing was healthy etc, etc, so I was going to write a blog on the benefits of a liver cleanse. So- I googled it to find out and what I learned scared me! Nothing too terrible- but things like if you didn't space the timing right or get all the gallstones out (and the pictures of some of the things coming out were scary!) it could actually be really bad for your health. So- if I do decide to do a cleanse I will probably do one more like the 7 day cleanse which my trainer recommended, that I blogged about a few days ago.

But I did try something new today- a Bar Method class which my sister raves about. What is it? According to their website: The Bar Method™workout creates a uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body by combining the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy and the intense pace of interval training into a powerful exercise format that quickly and safely reshapes and elongates muscles.

I want a uniquely lean sculped body! My sister is a former dancer, so I was a little nervous to try the class with no dance background, but it was great! It was VERY different than my bootcamp- because there is no cardio- it's mostly strenght training and different poses. It was crazy hard, but in a good way. You do use a ballet "bar" which is where it gets its name. My body was SHAKING as the teacher led us through some of the exercises. Like literally uncontrollably shaking. But the nice part was that afterwords I felt great and energized, whereas after bootcamp I usually feel accomplished but exhausted. I think combined with a few days a week of running or some cardio this would be a GREAT way to get fit. I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow. The teacher's arms were AMAZING. :)

Now I am sitting on the couch watching the Chargers game (hopefully a WIN) drinking a glass of wine and pop chips (100 calories a good sized serving- best flavor is BBQ) and enjoying my Sunday!

PS. Best dessert ever. My friend Jen came over Friday night and made this perfect holiday dessert which I just have to share! No Pudge Brownies (a box mix sold at Trader Joes, Vons, etc you just add yogurt instead of eggs/oil) with low fat Peppermint ice cream on top! I think we figured out each desert was about 250 calories which is great, & they taste AMAZING. Yum. Thanks Jen!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What Are You Doing Saturday Night?

I've got a date with my toilet. I can't believe I just wrote that. BUT- what is the point of this blog if it's not 100% honest? Although I suppose this post could probably fall into the category of oversharing... Oh well- that's your warning!
Chris ended up having to go out of town for work this weekend which cancelled our camping trip; honestly it's about 50 degrees outside and drizzling... I'm ok with it. Last night I realized I really had no commitments whatsoever for the weekend and decided it would be a perfect opportunity to do a cleanse! Not the week long one I blogged about a few days ago, but a Liver Cleanse that a co-worker had been "prescribed"by her acupuncturist. It's a day & a half long, & the only warning I was given was to stay by a toilet at all times. Bring on the cleansing!
Check it out:
2 days prior to the cleanse take (2) 800 mg tablets of malic acid in the morning and evening.
1. Mix 24oz of water (3 cups) with 4 tbs Epsom Salts until dissolved.
2. Saturday afternoon stop eating at 2pm. (they actually reccomend starting this on a Friday- but I'm having people over for dinner tonight- and I'd probably be kind of a downer drinking my salt water and running to the bathroom- so I start tomorrow)
3. At 6pm drink 3/4 cup epsom salt mixture
4. At 8pm drink 3/4 cup epsom salt mixture
5. At 10pm mix 3/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and combine with 1/2 cup olive oil. (ewwww). Shake until solution is watery & then drink and lay down, on your back or on your right side with your head elevated for at least 20 min. Try to sleep. (It scares me that it says "try" to sleep)
6. Sunday at 6am drink 3/4 cup epsom salt mixture
7. 8am drink last 3/4 cup epsom salt mixture
8. 10am have a little grapefruit juice
9. 10:30am eat some fruit
10. 11:30- noon- eat a light meal, toast, sandwich
11. Begin eating as soon as you feel like it.
So- I'll be done cleansing by noon on Sunday and should probably be a normal person by the time Chris gets home on Monday. I can't wait to tell you all about it on Monday! Wish me luck!
PS. For all San Diegans- I have been dying to share the best thing ever- Roadrunner sports in Mira Mesa area is AMAZING. Chris and I went about a week ago to get new running shoes. I ended up getting a really good pair- about $125. They help you select the perfect shoe for you- they even video tape you while you run on a treadmill. They also have a great return policy where if you run in the shoes, even multiple times and don't like them you can bring them back. But even better than that- next to the regular store is their OUTLET (you know I love deals). After we both found shoes at the regular store we went over to the outlet just to check it out. And I found my EXACT shoes I had just bought in the twice worn section (a customer had returned them) and they were marked down to $30!! So needless to say I returned the first pair and purchased those. You can't return them when you buy them from the outlet- but what a great deal! Chris & I also got a TON of running and workout clothes for practically nothing! I got a pair of pants I had seen for $70- marked down to $27 then $20 additional off as part of some deal (we may have just had a very kind cashier). Anyway- favorite place ever- check it out!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Biggest Loser & Learning to Love Yourself :)

Did anyone watch the finale last night of The Biggest Loser? Check out the picture of the winner on the right! I don't watch the show on a regular basis, but was flipping channels and got hooked. Talk about inspiring. It's almost mind blowing the amount of weight these people loose- by the end they are literally half of their former selves. Because it was a finale they show a recap of each contestant's journey, and they were consistently loosing 8-15 pounds PER WEEK. I can't even imagine that. It's amazing to watch the contestants push themselves and makes me grateful I never had to start from such a challenging weight, one girl weighed in at 400+. I thought it was pretty fascinating although I almost wanted to laugh a little as I saw Jillian (the hard core trainer who I WISH lived at my house!) screaming at these people as they are visibly struggling and crying on a treadmill yelling "It doesn't matter that your mother never loved you. Do this for you!" She is serious! It was almost like intensive therapy. What I thought was interesting (and it could be part of the screening process to even be considered for the show) but how many of these seriously overweight people had experienced some sort of major trauma in their life, like the death of a loved one or family member that was the "trigger" for the weight gain. It seemed like in those cases- it was critical for the person to get past that in order to "love themselves" enough to put their health first and start loosing weight.

Although I don't have any major issues to get past- I was thinking about how an average person could apply the same philosophy to their own weight loss. And I was trying to think if there was anything that mentally "clicked" for me when I started this weight loss journey. I think a lot of people struggle with committing time and spending money on their health. But in order to lose weight, or get fit, you HAVE to put yourself first and make taking care of your body a top priority in your life.

If you are not quite there yet- feeling like you're ready to make a life change, but not quite sure how or not convinced that "this time" will be any different than any other- I'm going to make some recommendations. Please do not think I am getting preachy- obviously I'm still a work in progress, but these are a few things I feel like really worked for me.
-Make A Drastic Change. Mine was signing up for boot camp. The financial commitment was enough to make me not want to "waste" it. And the boot camp itself wasn't easy either- it was a DRASTIC lifestyle change for me to be doing hard core workouts 3 days a week.
-Make a Commitment to someone other than yourself. This is huge. For me- my accountability partners were Chris & Julia. Chris and I had a deal that he would pay for half of my bootcamp if I made it to 3 classes a week for the entire 12 weeks. And I did it! It was such a strong motivator for me to go even on the days I dreaded it and we celebrated when I met my goal! Julia was my weekly weigh-in buddy and we would (and still do) text each other our results after our weigh-ins. Speaking of- Jules lost 3 POUNDS this week!! Congrats!
-Give Yourself the Tools You Need to be successful. Here's where the spending $$ comes in to play. Invest in yourself. Whether it's a gym membership, personal trainer, healthy wholesome food, new running shoes- if getting fit is really your #1 priority- and these tools get you working out or eating better- it's so worth it.
-Get To Know Yourself. This one may sound weird- but I think it's key. Spend some time hanging out with yourself. For me- my favorite (and I don't do enough of this) is taking a walk with Ry somewhere beautiful. No blackberry and just my thoughts to keep me company is a really good way to figure yourself out a little. Sometimes I crack myself up. Sometimes I cry. (People may stare. Let them. :) Mostly I just learn to be comfortable with myself, which I think leads to being comfortable with my body- and accepting it as it is.
-Learn To Love Yourself. You knew it was coming :) But seriously. That guy in the picture up top had to get on a scale on Day 1 in front of a TV camera. It takes dedication, hard work, and COMMITMENT to keep going day after day. If he didn't love and value himself he would have given up and would never look the way he does today. And for the rest of us- we have so much less work to do! It's not only doable- we deserve it because we are WORTH it.
Wow- we are getting DEEP today :) and what's really funny is I originally started writing about Taco Bell (or Tbell as it is known to close friends) and somehow that turned into a Biggest Loser/Motivational love yourself thing! Can we talk about how impressed you all are that I can add pictures these days? I wanted to post a photo of my egg/spinach/bell pepper scramble this morning but my camera was dead. :) All in time. Have a great rest of the week- we're half way there!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Motivation Returns...

In the form of a February bathing suit. Yes- on February 12th, right in the MIDDLE of winter Chris and I and two other couples are heading to Cabo for a long weekend! I'm really excited about the trip- it's a great group of people and I'm sure we'll have a blast. BUT the idea of wearing a bikini in public & in February is a huge incentive for me to step up my diet & working out. Every time I'd rather sit on the couch with a glass of wine I'm going to think about the trip and find the strength to get off my butt and get to bootcamp.
Last night I had a minor slip up- As I was driving home it was POURING rain and I really wanted hot chocolate (especially since I'd blogged about it earlier that day) so I stopped at Vons to grab some. I did find the hot chocolate and a few other needed items and then... as I was at the self checkout- something bad happened. I grabbed one of those giant Reeses peanut butter cups and put it in my cart! I don't really have any idea WHY I did that- luckily Chris came home shortly after I did and I confessed to him of having bought it in a moment of impulse. We decided throwing it away was probably the best decision :) I have lots of weaknesses when it comes to eating well but checkstand candy is not usually one of them!
Not that I'm saying that one Reeses cup is the downfall of a diet, BUT it was 200 calories of sugar & fat that I didn't need. Or even want that much- once I got it home. It just shows me even when I'm "being good" or feeling like I'm on track I still need to keep my guard up even if only to protect myself from my own impulses.
The rest of the night went pretty well, Chris & I had a great dinner last night of Mexican burritos, which were warm & filling. I took ground turkey & mixed it with chopped bell pepper & mexican seasonings (I would have added onion, but we were out). We heated up some fat free refried beans, grabbed some lettuce, salsa, shredded low fat cheese & greek yogurt (instead of sour cream). We combined all of that into great 100 calorie tortillas for a low fat, healthy dinner. Yum. I did have 2 cups of hot chocolate- but at 80 calories each they were well worth it. We also watched Food Inc- which I will blog about later this week, I'm still digesting it... Overall impression, not as bad as I had feared in terms of the gross-out factor, but definitely some disturbing stuff.
Back to bootcamp tonight!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cold Weather Favorites & Great Party Swaps

I'm having a rough Monday. Maybe it's the crazy rain, or the fact that I gained 2 POUNDS since my weigh in last Thursday even though I felt like I did fairly well this weekend. Probably a combo of both. With the holiday season, every weekend is packed with fun events- I just want to fast forward through normal 5 day work weeks!
To deal with the fun weekend events, I found some good holiday "swaps" to help me make good decisions while still being able to enjoy seasonal favorites.
Warm Drink: Hot Chocolate (120 cal) instead of Egg Nogg (350 cal)
Appetizer: Shrimp Cocktail (165 cal ) instead of Crab Cakes (400 cal)
Cocktail: Champers! (love this one- 100 cal) instead of Gin and Tonic (220 cal)
Entree: Beef Tenderloin (165 cal) instead of Prime Rib (750 cal)
Dessert: Chocolate Fondue (340 cal) instead of Pecan Pie (810 cal)
I like the hot chocolate recommendation a lot- I know that the low cal ones can be full of "fake" sugars- but they are really a great way to satisfy a dessert or chocolate craving, especially in bad weather. And- with a dash of whip cream on top=perfection!
Soup is another great low-cal option. I used to think soup was kind of a "wimpy" meal but if you find a good soup it can be so satisfying! Pair it with a salad or a low fat corn bread.
Jessica sent out an recipe for a great FAT BURNING soup. (Don't ask me how that works- I'm not sure :) I'm going to test this out in the crock pot this week. I may add some chicken..
-6 Large Green Onions, diced
-2 Green Peppers Diced
-1 Bunch Celery, Chopped
-2 28oz cans whole tomatoes
-1 small head of cabbage, shredded
-1 Medium white onion, minced
- 32 oz vegetable stock
-2 cups water
-4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp crushed celery seed, sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
-Curry powder or parsley to taste (optional)
Direction is to combine all ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender.
This recipe makes 16 cups and only has 46 calories per cup! A great one to have in your fridge during a stormy week.
This weekend, despite the crazy weather, Chris & I are heading out camping to Agua Caliente Campgrounds, out East by Julian. It's going to be SO COLD. It might even snow! But I think it will be fun to have a mini vacation together and get to see a new place. I will definitely be sampling some Julian Apple Pie- it is world famous after all! Chris & I can share a piece. (That's a good way to cut your calories in half :)
I'm continuing to try and be extra conscious of what I'm eating during the week, which will help me stay on track even with weekend "exceptions". (I went to a Tater Tot themed party yesterday- not a joke). My personal favorite were the meatballs with tots inside! OMG. Can't believe I just admitted that. I think you've all figured out why I gained 2 pounds in 3 days :).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And the Results Are In...

So- I had my big weigh in this morning! I'm pleased to say that the damage was not as bad as I had imagined. I have gained 2 pounds since my last weigh in 7 weeks ago at the end of my first bootcamp. The BAD part is- I was supposed to have dropped 7 pounds in that time period, so technically I'm 9 pounds from where I should be. Make sense? Relief that I hadn't gained 20 pounds was probably my biggest emotion but I also felt a sense of disapointment that I'm not where I had hoped to be.
BUT I'm going to use this check in as a "reality check". Now I know where I'm at weight wise and I know what I need to do to reach my goals. I feel like I have all the knowledge & tools to loose weight- I just need to put them to work.
My trainer Jessica and I discussed some of my struggles- and I think the number one thing for me is going back to food journaling. I had gotten really lax about this, I would usually journal Monday thru Wednesday and then once Thursday hit, I knew I was being bad with eating and drinking so I'd stop writing it down. Or I'd write down my food till lunch and then leave my journal at work & never finish the day. So- I'm going back to being really good about the journal, including EVERYTHING I eat (even just a bite), keeping it with me all the time, setting daily calorie goals and overall just being accountable for all the food I'm putting in my body.
I also talked to Jessica about doing a cleanse to jumpstart my body back to healthy eating. She warned me away from anything intense like the Master Cleanse (for any of you who remember when I did that a few years ago- I lasted 5 days & was an EMOTIONAL wreck- people need food!). But she did reccomend the following week long cleanse:
Day 1: Cut out all Sugar, Dairy & Caffeine. A little bit of whole grains is good but eat mostly veggies, fruit and some lean protein (either wild salmon or organic free range chicken). Eat NOTHING processed or fake. Drink lots of water & herbal or green tea.
Day 2: Today cut the meat. Eat veggies, fruit & whole grain. Continue with water & tea.
Day 3. JUICE DAY! Eat, or rather drink, all of your calories today. If you have a juicer, make your own juice from veggies including beets, carrots, collard greens, kale & apples. You can also purchase freshly squeezed veggie juices from a juice shop, just make sure they don't have anything added to them. Farmers Market in San Diego has a guy that sells a "Greens" juice which would be perfect for this.
Day 4: Continue with the juice & add in fruit. NO other food groups.
Day 5: Continue with the juice & fruit & add in veggies. Steam them or eat raw- you don't want to put oils or fats into your system.
Day 6: Bring back whole grains. Have a piece or two of a sprouted grain bread (like Ezekial brand) or some sweet potatoes.
Day 7: Add back small portions of meat or protein.
That completes the cleanse- and of course after that you should continue to eat well to maintain your results & good health.
I really want to try it, just trying to find a spot on the calendar when I have a week free of "eating commitments". Jessica recommended scheduling the juice day on a "rest" day from working out- otherwise you can feel free to continue exercise.
And the one bright spot in my appointment this morning is that I have lost more body fat- I'm down from 21.9% to 20% which makes me happy- I think I'm almost to the ATHLETE range. Wow, never thought I'd say that. It was funny actually, last night a girl came up to me at bootcamp and said "Have you always been a runner? You're really good." I wished my high school P.E. Teacher Ms Reynolds could have been there- I was always the one at the back of the pack WALKING the last lap of the mile :) Believe me, if I can be a "runner" I'm pretty sure anyone can!
PS. Happy almost Friday. Looking forward to Julia's annual Christmas festivites tonight!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coming Clean (and staying that way!)

So much to catch up on! First let me start with complete honesty- which means confessing I haven't weighed myself in 2 weeks. I'm too scared. I personally respond better to positive incentives than negative ones. For example, if I get on the scale and lost a pound I'm more motivated to keep going than if I gained one (which makes me feel like giving up!) So I've been avoiding the scale because I know I've been eating poorly and was trying to prevent becoming discouraged. But the day of reckoning is quickly approaching. I have the six week "check in" for my Bootcamp on Thursday morning. I will be weighed, meaured and pinched for body fat. I'm really nervous and pretty sure I won't be meeting my goals this time (was supposed to be down 5lbs- i'm just hoping to not have gained weight!) but the focus is ON for this week. I started the week well yesterday with 1,215 calories & a trip to bootcamp :)
Today began with a breakfast of cheesy eggs with bacon and toast. Does that surprise you? What if I told you I had that breakfast, in a good sized portion for only 235 calories. Would you believe me?
Let's add it up. Egg Whites 6tbs (equivalent of 2 eggs) 50 calories. BACON 2 pieces. (New product from Trader Joes- it comes pre-cooked and nitrate free) 65 calories. Cheese (1/2 of a light string cheese- I was out of normal stuff :) 40 calories. And finally a piece of Ezekial Cinnamon Rasin toast (no butter) 80 calories. Total=235 calories full of protein & GOOD taste!
Once again- I think this helps prove that it's modification, not deprivation of our favorites that helps a "diet" become a lifestyle.
Quick recap of turkey day. Everything came out amazing! Turkey was perfectly done, blue cheese potatoes were my personal favorite and I probably ate a little more than I had planned, but nothing terrible. Over the holiday weekend I'd have to say my downfall was probably desserts! I am not a huge sweets person, which means I generally don't seek them out. But maybe that's because I've forgotten how good they are?? When they are in front of me, it's a different story! So- steering clear of sugar this week.
Hang in with me! Let's all make this a week of clean eating. Pretty much this week and next are the final two before Christmas fever hits, complete with holiday parties, cookie platters at work and much more! I'm going to start searching now for the BEST low-cal/sugar holiday recipes. I'll keep you posted!
Oh and PS. Best cold winter dinner EVER last night. Chris made a spaghetti squash by steaming a squash in the microwave & then scooping out the insides and covering it with a great Balsamic marinara sauce (he even added a few slices of that Trader Joes bacon to the sauce for flavor!) It was hot, delicious & filling. AND- 1 cup of squash has 42 calories!! And sauce comes in at about 60 calories a serving, so if you are craving a big portion- this one's ok to double up on!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks for Losing Weight

Do you like that title? I'm still working on figuring out how to do it- but when I do I promise to be VERY THANKFUL! I thought I'd share my Thanksgiving Menu. We are having dinner at my sister's house this year & for the FIRST time ever, Kurd & I are in charge of the menu! Scary. So- we sat down with about 6 Cooking Light magazines & came up with the following:
Starter: Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque (140 calories)
Sides: Sauteed Carrots with Sage (75 calories), Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole (250 calories), Potato Gratin with Blue Cheese & Sage (186 calories), Spinach Salad with walnuts & cranberries (calories TBD) and a Fresh Cranberry Relish (my mom makes it so it is probably healthy).
Main: Turkey. Duh. Was actually thinking of doing a really good looking slow cook Garlic & Rosemary recipe- but it was for a 12 lb bird and I ended up walking out of Trader Joes with a 27 pound GIANT yesterday... and at a slow cook pace that would probably take about a week! So I found one today for a Rosemary Roasted Turkey that sounds delicious!
Dessert: YUM YUM. Kurd and I are thinking of doing 1 pumpkin recipe & 1 berry. Right now the Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Pie is winning out (274 calories) and berry is still TBD. I may also do a repeat of the white chocolate key lime pie I made a few weeks ago because it's SO easy and tastes delicious.
If anyone wants recipes for any of the above- let me know and I will post them on the Google Group. Not a member? Sign up in the top left hand corner of the blog to get notifications when I update the blog & fun extras like recipes.
Oh and did I mention that my ENTIRE family is on some sort of weird diet? And I wonder where I got my food issues :) Let's see... Kurd's not eating wheat, my dad is doing some caveman diet- officially called the "Paleolithic Diet" where you eat lots of meat, eggs, fruit, veggies & root vegtables. And my mom is not eating sugar. They make me look normal- which is disturbing.
But I plan to enjoy myself on Thanksgiving- not a free for all, but definitely sampling all the fun dishes.
Jessica my trainer sent out an email yesterday that had some healthy tips to handle the holiday. I thought a lot of it was pretty useful- so I condensed it down and added a little of my own commentary :)
1. Thanksgiving is only one day. Don't let the entire week turn into an excuse for bad eating.
2. Make a concious choice to limit high fat items. Work the substitution angle if you are the one cooking- if not, just try and avoid fried & creamy dishes. You know the BAD ones- just steer clear.
3. Work out especially hard this week. I think we all get that. Doing it is the challenge.
4. Don't go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungy. Eat a wholesome breakfast & lunch and a light snack before dinner to prevent overeating.
5. Drink lots of water! Alcohol & coffee dehydrate you- so drink water in between. It will also help you not confuse thirst with hunger.
6. Thanksgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet. She reccomends filling your plate 1/2 with vegetables, 1/4 with lean meat & 1/4 with starch. But WHERE do you put the sweets?? (oh right that's a separate plate :)
7. Save your appetite for side dishes & desserts. The key here is portion size- sample all the foods but use moderation. Jessica reccomends eating dessert within 30 min of finishing dinner so it doesn't spike your blood sugar.
8. The average Thanksgiving Dinner is 2,00-3,000 calories. Just FYI. Keep that in mind and keep yourself in check.
9. Be Thankful. Let's not forget the point of this holiday isn't actually food. Or even the pilgrims and Indians. It's remembering to be thankful for everything we have- food on the table, a roof over our heads and best of all- friends & family to share the holiday with!
Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Starting Fresh (again)

All the coffee in the world doesn't make up for the fact that: 1. It's Monday again. 2. I did NOT get enough sleep last night (Chris & I went to a Black Crowes concert last night- really fun, but why a Sunday??) & 3. I have a weekend food hangover. Ugh. That's right- another weekend struggle... full of eating & drinking. Literally topped off with a tall can of bud light (they only sell the big ones- at least it wasn't PBR!) and fried crawfish bites at House of Blues last night... But today is the start of a new week and there are a few things I need to do if I want to be successful this week.
#1 Go GROCERY shopping. My fridge is EMPTY. At least the kind of empty that lead me to eat a plain "fake chicken" Morningstar Farms patty yesterday for lunch with no bun or toppings... and had Kurd and I making bisquick strawberry shortcakes (without strawberries!) last night when we wanted something sweet. Did I mention popcorn? When I'm starting to consider it a food group it's generally time to head to Trader Joes....
So- I thought I'd share my gocery list:
Baby Spinach Bag Lettuce
Head of Romane Lettuce (I've been buying it this way lately- rather than bagged- you get more for your money & you can use it on sandwiches)
Veggies:Baby carrots, Bell peppers, mini tomatoes (all salad toppings)
Chives & Cliantro
Sweet potato pre-cut "french fries"
Chicken Breast (bone in w/Skin) I think you get better flavor cooking with the skin & bone in & then removing before eating. Just a personal preference.
Stuffed Peppers (in the pre-made section. Roasted Bell peppers stuffed with lean ground turkey & rice. Such a good comfort food & only 290 calories- a quick & easy dinner)
Light String Cheese (60 calories- sticks with you)
Laughing Cow Lite Swiss Cheese- these are the individual ones, they come in a round container. 35 calories each & they are spreadable so you can put them on crackers, veggies, substitute in a sandwich for mayo/cheese- LOVE this.
Blueberry whole wheat toaster waffles
Go Lean Crunch Cereal
Lowfat Milk
Egg Whites (they come in a carton, pre-separated)
Greek Yogurt (non-fat, plain & flavored)
Lara Bars- I keep these in my purse at all times for food emergencies. They are made out of only fruit & nuts- no preservatives or anything. They run about 200 cal- so you can't eat them 24/7- but a good thing to have on hand.
Mini Cranberry Apple Bran Muffins- these have 80 calories each & HALF of your reccommend daily fiber. A great mid-morning snack with coffee.
Canadian Bacon. This stuff is great added on sandwiches for flavor or on an egg white english muffin- and with only 60 calories in 3 slices you don't have to feel bad about it!
Turkey- I love Trader Joe's pre-sliced sandwich turkey. It's not cheap, but so great in a pita or even by itself as a snack.
Whole Wheat Pita. 160 calories for the whole thing- but they are big so I generally cut them in half and stuff them with deliciousness.
Sparkling Water. A great zero cal drink option. I really enjoy it in place of soda.
Strawberries or blueberrys. Whatever looks fresh- love it on my cereal in the morning.
Stock up the Freezer:
Morningstar Farms Veggie burger or chicken patty. Their breakfast links are pretty good too.
Frozen salmon or mahi- the chimi churry marinated ones are delicious.
Veggie Medly. This comes in a delicious sauce- it's not great for you but not bad either and a good way to get your veggies if you struggle with that.
Chicken Fajitas frozen (super low cal & delicious)
Asian Stir Fry Frozen
Those are some of my favorites. Once I go shopping tonight- I'll report back with any new finds :)
#2. Plan Thanksgiving. This is actually a fun one- my sister and I sat down with a few Cooking Light Magazines and came up with a healthy-ish Thanksgiving meal that I'm actually really excited about. My parents are coming down this year- and although they will be cooking- we are in charge of planning the menu & doing the grocery shopping. I'll share our menu tomorrow.
#3. Workout! Workout! I'm going to bootcamp tonight and I'm going to confess to my trainer that I have been BAD about working out lately. Bootcamp isn't cheap- I consider it an investment in myself... but at the moment it seems like a bad investment because I'm slacking and skipping classes. Back to work this week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Should I Develop Restaurantaphobia?

Am I the only one who gets daily emails from the "Eat This Not That" people? Because although I LOVE the concept... it's freaking me out! I'm terrified of going to a restaurant!
Today's email was a list of the Top 20 Worst Restaurant Meals in America. I feel like I'm pretty good at evaluating menu selections, but the calorie count on some of these was insane!
For example, you'd be better off getting In N Out Cheeseburger & Fries (total of 880) then eating something that sounds harmless like the TGI Friday BBQ Chicken Wrap (with NO fries or sides) for 1,720 calories! Or one piece of Sbarro Stuffed Pizza for 960 cals! The one that killed me though was from California Pizza Kitchen becuase it's TOTALLY something I would order, the Thai Crunch Salad with Fresh Avocado. It has 2,238! OMG. They make McDonalds look like diet food. Nowhere is safe!!
Since permanently avoiding all restaurants is pretty much out of the question- I guess the best thing to do is either: Buy the "Eat This Not That" book and bring it with me everywhere I go- slightly embarrassing and definitely bulky OR learn my substitutions. By knowing WHERE the calories come from and looking out for key words like: bread, sauce, cheese, spread, cream-based, dressing, fried, and even healthy things like nuts & avocado. Then I can pick and choose what's important to me. Personally I'd rather keep the avocado on my salad- but get the dressing on the side and no croutons. And I'd rather take half the bun off of a burger and replace it with lettuce but keep the cheese. It's not an exact science- but I think most foods can be fairly easily modified with just a little knowledge.
Today's blog was originally going to be about fasting & cleanses... I'm considering doing a 2 day "Liver Cleanse" to jumpstart me back to healthier eating (and c'mon whose liver couldn't use a cleanse??) BUT this scary restaurant email freaked me out and I felt the need to put out a warning immediately before another fake "healthy" restaurant meal was consumed! Diners beware! Have a wonderful weekend!
PS- There is a new law in CA that if a restaurant has over 10 locations they HAVE to publish the calorie counts on all menu items. They don't have to be printed on the menu- but available on request. Don't be embarrassed to ask for it! (unless it's a first date- probably keep it on the DL, you can always google calorie counts on your phone in the bathroom if you are really desperate! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tis The Season to gain 1.5 pounds!

Thanksgiving is 1 week from Today. And anyone who's read this blog even once is aware of my year round struggle with "Exception" Eating. (Defined as eating crappy food because it's a "special occasion" which can ranges from a birthday to a Tuesday night happy hour). Considering I have not gotten a handle on this- I'm a little terrified of the next six weeks.
Thanksgiving is the official kickoff of Holiday Eating Season 2009- which extends until January 1st (Resolution Day) I'm trying to figure out a way to get through this season of while still fitting in my current clothing. (I bought the CUTEST pair of Hudson jeans yesterday- on sale & 2 sizes smaller than I was 4 months ago!!) Is that too much to ask for??
In hope of finding a solution I have been on a mission to learn as much as possible about this fat trap they call the Holidays. Today I came across "Holiday Weight Gain Myths" which helped me face a little reality on food & fun vs. the scale...
Myth #1: "Everyone Gains 5 Pounds During the Holidays So I might as well accept it."
Shocker- apparently that's NOT true! The average American gains only 1 to 2 pounds during the Holidays- but the bad part is that it NEVER comes off the rest of the year. So according to this theory- if I do "average" during this holiday season and the next few, buy 2019 I will have put on 15-20 pounds in Holiday eating alone. (Chris- don't read this- of course that would never happen :)
So what am I going to do about that? I think I'm going to "Just Say No" to gaining weight. I was already kind of rationalizing that it wouldn't be the end of the world if I gained "a pound or two" this year during the holidays- BUT not if they are going to stay with me forever! So- no mentally preparing myself for ANY weight gain. In fact- according to my boot camp & food plan I should actually be loosing 1lb per week. I know mental outlook is a HUGE part of weight loss- so if I go into each week of the season just as I do the rest of the year- expecting myself to be sticking on the plan rather than giving myself a permission slip to fail- my pants should continue to fit. :) Sound good? I also came across a few ways to lighten up a Turkey Day meal.
-Stick to White Meat. I know the dark stuff is good- but it adds 60 calories & 8 grams of fat per serving. Not worth it.
-Choose cranberry sauce (especially the fresh stuff) instead of gravy. **Honesty alert: I will not be doing that- I'm totally a gravy person BUT I promise to cut my serving of it in half. But if you can do it, good for you!
-Choose the Veggie Sides. Try and fill 3/4 of your plate with green stuff- salad, green beans, etc. Then you won't even have room for that 3rd piece of bread!
-Try weird substitutions. Girls in my boot camp were talking about blending steamed cauliflower with fat free sour cream (or even plain greek yogurt) with salt & pepper in place of mashed potatoes. There are lots of healthy recipes out there- try one fun one!
Maybe tomorrow I'll tackle myth #2: "I can take a "vacation" from my diet, because come January, I'll go right back on it."
Wait- that's not true??... I was really banking on that as my backup plan :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today is Not My Day...

Recap of weekend: BAD BAD Eating and Drinking. I'm not going to get specific but let's just say it wasn't good... well it did taste pretty good, but you see where I'm going with this.
I hesitantly weighed myself this morning- preparing for the worst- and it was! I gained 2.5 pounds this week! Thats the biggest gain I've had in all 16 weeks since I've been in bootcamp. So frusturating especially since I'm only on schedule to loose 1 lb a week now- it's like I set myself back 2.5 weeks!
You'd think that would inspire me to be extra good today- but so far it hasn't! I mean I'm not out eating Big Macs or anything but I did have an amazing Submarina sandwich for lunch- and the reason I know I'm not "on track" is because I got cheese on it, and light mayo! Ok to be come 100% clean- I got white bread instead of wheat!!?? Who am I and what has happened to my motivation?
Definitely going to bootcamp tonight (even though I'm still sore from last night- we ran hills!) and then having a healthy dinner of mexican ground turkey pitas & salad. Going to try and avoid the remains of a DELICIOUS white chocolate key lime pie I made this weekend. (In NO way low cal- but oh so good).
I'm reminding myself of things I'm always telling others- two pounds is not the end of the world- I can take it off easily, and it's ok to mess up, you just need to move on. UGH. But I'm having a hard day. Being good starting... Now!
PS On a totally random note- does anyone shop at Kohls? I happened upon one during lunch today and it was kind of amazing! Really good deals and pretty much everything in the store was on sale! I got a cute jacket marked down from $90 to $60 and then on the clearance rack for $18! (I'll probably never wear it- but even once will be worth that price!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friends & Fat

I was reading an interesting article on MSN this moring- which cited a long term study on weight that found your chances of becoming obese increase by 40% if a spouse or sibling became obese- which made sense to me. The statistic that surprised me was that your likeliness of obesity jumped as high as 170% if a close friend was obese.
So- we aren't what we eat? We are who we hang out with? Interesting... but it does make sense. However- I think it's more about the TYPE of friends you have- rather than how much they weigh. On my current "diet" (I hate calling it that- more like healthy lifestyle change?) when I started out it was SO helpful to have close friends doing the bootcamp with me. We made healthy dinners at each others houses and spent time together figuring out calorie counts. There is NO WAY I would have made it to nearly as many 5:15am workouts without knowing they were counting on me to be there. Even as eating well has become more routine it still helps to my have my Diet Buddy- Jules, to reach out to in a moment of weakness.
For example- a text conversation from yesterday:
12:35pm: Jules: "This is not a good diet day"
12:36pm: Chel: "You can do it. Stay strong!! Just be good starting now."
12:37pm: Jules: "Anything healthy I can have at Carls Jr?"
12:39pm: Chel: (me googling while at work) "Yes- get the charbroiled chicken bbq sandwich- only eat half the bun. Even if you eat the whole thing it's only 380 calories"
12:40pm: Jules: "Ordered! Thanks!"
And in the span of 5 minutes- a diet slip up was averted simply because of support.
SO- choose the people around you wisely- not for their size (hanging out with skinny people has not been proven to make you skinny :) but for their influence on you and their support of your healthy living goals.
Ps- Brooke just emailed me and said "Can you please include something about what to do when you eat a 4th meal of patty melts and fries at 2am? Thx" Here you go: Get right back on the eating well wagon- what's done is done and today is a new day! Oh and even though you crave bad food when you're hungover- it NEVER actually makes you feel better- so what's the point in eating it? Aside from all that- I want to hear the story that ended in 4th meal :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Cost of Eating Well

I want to go see the movie Food Inc. I've heard it's going to make me never want to eat again which might be tough (but will sure help with the diet :). I watched a preview for it last night, and I think the basic concept is how the Food Industry has become really powerful and is dangerously unregulated, that the American public is eating things that could be harming our health over time. Overuse of hormones, inhumane treatment of animals, overprocessing- all of which has led to food that has less nutrients than it should and our bodies are not getting what they need. The "solution" seemed to be to "fight back" against the food industry by supporting local farmers and shopping at Farmers Markets rather than the large grocery chains.
It's an interesting concept & I definitely want to see the movie. I'm all for supporting local foods- but to be honest, price, selection & convenience also are a factor in where I shop. I'll keep you posted if I change my tune once I see the movie!
Speaking of price- this morning as I was eating breakfast I was thinking about how one of the common arguments against eating healthy is that it's "too expensive". And I agree- it can be. But there are definitely ways around that. For example- my breakfast this morning was an Egg White McMuffin with cheese & scallions. At McDonalds- the same Egg McMuffin would cost between $3-4 and have 300 calories (still not bad- I actually reccomend this if you're going to have a fast food breakfast). I calculated the cost on mine and it went like this:
Light Thomas Brand English Muffins (8) $3.49 +Carton Egg Whites 15 servings $2.99 +Bag pre-shredded lucerne reduced fat cheddar cheese (8 servings but I only used half a serving) $3.99+
Scallions 99cents (used about 1/6 of stock) =
Total cost for my Egg White McMuffin was $1.23 and only 185 calories. Oh and did I mention it was delicious and filling? Serve with a side of fruit and you've got a great start to the day.
Even my usual breakfast- a bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch comes in at 200 calories- 240 with milk and at $4.29 a box(and that's not even a sale price) divided by 16 servings comes out to 27 cents a day! Wow- I tend to be a little obsessive about deals when it comes to shopping for clothes- I don't want to get too hooked on this food thing... Next thing you know I'll be updating Chris daily on how much $$ I saved by eating healthy that day! He got an email yesterday detailing how much money I'd saved at Old Navy (is everyone aware of their 50% off all outerware sale??) Ok- Stopping calculations now :) but seriously- no more cost excuses for not eating healthy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekends Are Killing My Healthy Eating!

It's no secret how much I LOVE weekends. I count down for them all week and usually have fun events or activities planned to look forward to. BUT lately I'm basically counterbalancing all my healthy eating and hard workouts from the week by completely abandoning my diet on the weekends. And I'll be honest- I don't mean I'm having dessert instead of opting out- we're talking more full time "blowing it" with wine, snacks, large dinners- all my old bad habits coming right back. I've even changed my weekly weigh in from Monday mornings to Tuesday- because I'm afraid to get on the scale on a Monday!
I've talked about before how I struggle with what I consider "special occasions" that tend to usually be food or drink based. And I guess I'm still struggling. But I just had to set up my 6 week check in appointment for Boot Camp and I am not meeting my goals. I haven't gained weight but I haven't lost any either. SO... I need to get out of this weekend rut. This weekend, I have a major "special occasion" coming up- Brooke's coming into town from NY and we're going out downtown one night, I've promised to cook a crock pot meal another and finally the Chargers game on Sunday. SO... how to get through this one without A. totally loosing it and giving up the diet and B. being totally annoying and food obsessive?
3 Strategies:
1. Be AMAZING this week. What does that mean? 4 bootcamps instead of 3, no drinking on weeknights, pre-planning my meals, packing lunches and lots of chicken and salad dinners!
2. Make a Plan for the weekend. On Friday- limit myself to drinking vodka soda and having no more than 4 through the course of the night. I'm making the crock pot dinner on Saturday- so it's up to me what goes in that pot- I'll pick a healthy recipe and serve veggie sides rather than bread & potatoes. And for the game, I can offer to be the Designated Driver and skip the massive beer consumption of empty calories.
3. Enjoy myself (without thinking about food!). Basically just enjoy my spending time with my best friends which is always a blast no matter WHAT i'm eating (or not eating).
Ok- so that's the plan! I'lll try and give updates on how it goes... if anyone has any reccomendations that might help, leave me a comment!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Because We're Catching Up- I'm Being Random

And again- almost another week gone by! So this week I'm talking a little bit of everything! Lets start with Halloween, what a fun candy filled holiday... I've always thought I was being "good" by eating the fun size candy bars~ turns out they are not quite so "good"... if you eat 9 (which can add up quickly) you gain a 1/4 pound of fat! Seriously, it's a mathmatical equation. So- I'm going to skip the candy and save my calories this weekend for the number of drinks it will take me to feel comfortable in my costume :) ha. kidding. Kind of.
Boot camp is going well- hard to be as motivated the second time around, I'm less conscious about writing everything down- but it feels great to be working out again. I went for a run yesterday at Lake Murray which was one of my FAVORITE running/walking/thinking spots in college and ran about 4 miles at a decent pace and actually finished feeling ok- like not ready to pass out and die :) It was fun to go to an old place becuase it made me see how far I've come from the days there when 2 miles used to kick my butt.
I have cooked two meals in the crock pot this week, a turkey breast recipe and last night beef short ribs (that one was probably not the healthiest.. but kind of amazing). With the cold fall weather I just think it can't be beat as a way of cooking. With the crock pot I'm even starting to enjoy the process of cooking- finding all the ingredients, reading recipes, putting it all in the pot and letting the magic happen! It's kind of like making potions as a kid. (am I the only wierdo who did that?) However- so far all my experiments have been much better tasting than any of my youth creations :)
Ok and finally to top off this randomness of a post- I will share my recipe for a festive holiday champers drink that was a HUGE hit this past weekend.
1 tbs Sugar
1/2 cup water
1 bottle of champaign (or maybe two in case you want seconds :))
fresh rosemary (available at grocery store)
pomegranet juice
Directions: Heat the sugar and water in a pan until the sugar disolves. Turn off heat and add a few leaves of Rosemary (recipe says 2 tbs) and let it sit for 30 min. Then strain it (to get the rosemary out) and place aside.
In a chilled martini glass pour: 1tbs Rosemary blend, 2 tbs pomegranet juice, and a half cup champaign. Top with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
This delicious drink is not only tasty and beautiful -it's got only 115 calories (I got the recipe in my latest obsession, Cooking Light Magazine).
And on the note of festivites & great drinks- HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATTY! I can't wait to see you next week and celebrate in person!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Is there anything better than a Friday?

Omg I'm going to cry. I literally had the best post ever and my computer somehow deleted it. Ugh.. if I get motivated and find the time I may repost later. If not- have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bootcamp #2 Here I Come...

After a wonderful week off of bootcamp, and a weekend enjoying the midwestern indulgences of Bloomington, Indiana (fried mushrooms OMG) I'm back to reality. Session 2 of bootcamp started this week, and with that comes a brand new food journal which I am considering my jump start to healthy eating. In the last few weeks of my prior bootcamp I had gotten really lax about writing down everything I ate & the calorie content. It's time consuming and challenging to stay in your daily range. BUT it's necessary. Our trainer says- what you write in the book and put in your mouth is 80% of your results no matter how hard you work out.
I found out you can purchase the official food journal of our class (without actually being in class) online at the website in the search type "fit to wed" and it should show up. It's $20 and a great investment that has you record the time you eat, food, calories, water, vegtetables, etc. It also has some great motivational quotes and is just a more structured format than just jotting everything down. It makes it easy to spot negative patterns in your eating which is the first step in helping you change your behavior.
For me- the biggest things I need to work on are weekend and after work eating. When I get home from work I just automatically head for the fridge or pantry and want to graze. So- the strategy I'm going to work on is eating a healthy late afternoon snack while I'm still at work (in a safe controlled environment :)) around 4pm so when I get home I'm full enough to last till dinner without snacking. A greek yogurt would be ideal for this, as it has lots of protein that will stick with you.
As for weekends... well I'm still figuring that one out. I've been out of town for the past few- so being home should help, we can do more cooking and less eating out. Chris is out of town this weekend for work- so I will try not to be bad because I'm home alone! I'll let you know how that goes... :)
Oh and PS- bought these sweet potatoes from TJs that were pre-skinned and cut kind of like thick fries. Put a little olive oil on them, with salt and pepper & baked them at 400 for about 25 min. DELICIOUS!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reasons I'm Enjoying Monday

I am usually SUCH a Monday hater- it's not even funny. I strongly believe we should have 3 day work weeks and 4 days weekends. But I'm actually in a decent mood today so I thought I'd figure out/share why...
-I had a great weekend! Chris's parents were in town and we really had a nice time & got to do some fun things- I actually felt like I was on vacation too! Dinner at Tractor Room was a highlight (plank roasted salmon- YUM) as well as a beautiful hike at Torrey Pines. Finished off the weekend by an evening of reading a great book (Memory Keeper's Daughter) with a blanket by our outdoor fire place with a glass of wine and Ry on my lap. I don't think it gets better than that.
-I have a week off of Boot Camp! There is a one week gap in between the 12 week sessions and I am planning on enjoying it! Brianna my trainer reccomended doing "fun" workouts or things I wouldn't normally do, but nothing too strenous & give my body a chance to recover. Umm you don't have to tell me twice!
-I have as short work week & a vacation! Chris and I are heading to Bloomington, Indiana on Wednesday for a fun weekend in his college town. I'm a little nervous because as we've been making plans pretty much all of them involve some sort of eating or drinking :) But I'll do my best to eat really well this week before we leave & practice some sort of moderation while we're there. (Only one hot dog instead of two at the tailgate?? :))
-And I'm down another pound this week! Even with having company in town & fun dinners last week. To be honest I'm not quite sure how this happened, but I'll take it! Only 8 more to go until my goal weight which is so exciting!
Food wise- I'll share something that's been working for me lately when I'm eating out. Order food a la carte or an appetizer for your main course. It's not only less expensive, it's the correct portion size. I always tell myself if I finish it and still want more, I can order something else- but 95% of the time once I'm done, I'm satisfied. A la carte is good too, because side orders can sometimes contain nearly as many calories as an entree. Or if you decide to order the "meal" ask to see if you can swap the sides for a side salad or fresh fruit. It's not brain science obviously, but it is planning ahead and coming into a restaurant feeling like you have a strategy- rather than just picking what sounds good.
I hope everyone can find a reason to enjoy their Monday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Festivites & Week 12 Update

The "Fall" crock pot dinner was a success last night! We had a delicious beef Brisket with a tomatillo sauce. After roasting 12 hours in the crock pot, the meat was pratically falling apart. We served it on top of either a toasted onion roll or cornbred (wheat free for my sister) with a great spicy sauce to pour over top. So good.
Keeping with the fall theme I served a pre-dinner "festive fall cocktail" a cranberry mojito! (warning this is not low calorie- but it's kind of amazing)
1 Bunch mint leaves
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup lime juice (buy this don't try to squeeze that many limes!)
3/4 cup cranberry juice concentrate thawed
1/1/4 cup light rum
20 oz sparkling water
Basically you muddle (mash with a wooden spoon in bottom of pitcher) the sugar & mint together and then pour in the rest of the ingredients. It's tart & refreshingly delicious.
For dessert I had two options, but everyone ended up trying a small portion of each.
One was a berry lemon bar- that was actually low fat & calorie. Recipe at which is a new website I stumbled across & where the cranberry mojito came from too. It's not exclusively healthy foods- but some simple & good recipes. Check out their weight watchers section, she has a TON of dinner ideas.
The other dessert was a scoop of Dryer's slow churned Pumpkin Ice Cream with Lite whipped cream on top. It is heavenly! Tastes like pumkin pie without all the calories & fat of the crust.
And I almost forgot the most important part! Other than celebrating fall (everyone wore sweaters & we listened to Frank Sinatra) we were also celebrating mine & Julia's completion of our 12 week bootcamp! I had my final weigh in yesterday and am SO excited to say that I've lost 15.8 pounds, 13.5 inches & 7.6% body fat! Julia has lost 20 pounds & looks AMAZING. It feels so good to see our hard work paying off! Almost even more exciting than that, I tried on my "skinny skinny" jeans this morning (not to be confused with my "skinny" jeans which I fit into about a month ago) and I could zip them! Still too tight to wear in public but I didn't used to be able to pull them past my thighs. So much fun! Happy Thursday... it's almost the weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall is in the Air

I think Fall may be my favorite season. Keep in mind my idea of Fall is a wimpy California-ized version where only half the trees change color & there's barely enough of a chill in the air to wear a sweater. But it means you can actually sleep with a blanket on the bed, and it's cold when you get out of the shower. I love everything about fall, BUT I think it's a dangerous time for weight gain.
Why? Well lets see.. now that it's getting dark early (and once the time changes, we're really in trouble) all I want to do is go home, change into pajamas and cuddle up on the couch eating warm comfort food (mashed potatoes?) and drinking hot chocolate.
Not helping anything- Fall clothes which I love (sweaters, boots, etc) are a little more forgiving than the bathing suits & tank tops of summer.
So... how to enjoy & embrace the fall season without putting on pounds? Here's my plan:
-Keep working out. I've signed up for another 12 week session of bootcamp and am committed to going 3x a week per my deal with Chris. I know I'm going to HATE coming home & going to workout in the dark, but it will keep me on track.
-Eat my fall favorites ONCE. And make sure they're good. For example, i'm not going to eat average pumpkin pie anwhere, but if we are at a great restaurant and that's their specialty then I may go for it. BUT next time I'm tempted to order it, just remember I've already gotten that "treat" for the season & crossed it off my list.
- Make my Fall Favorites healthy. Lots of meals that appear to be comfort foods can actually be revised with healthier options. When baking- you can subsitute half of the oil in a recipe for an equal amount of applesauce. Choose plain non-fat greek yogurt instead of sour cream on a baked potato. Cut the amount of butter in a recipe in half, or use Pam spray instead of oil in a pan. Lots of ways to cut calories & fat.
-Crock Pot. This is a big part of my fall plan :) Last night Chris and I (feeling the fall spirit) decided to make a delicious Crock Pot dinner for tonight so we went & found a great cookbook with all kinds of ideas! And what was exciting was- they were all fairly healthy and "whole food" type ingredients. But when you eat something out of a crock pot, becuase of the slow cook method, it tastes rich & indulgent like a treat! So I'm excited about this technique & I will let you know how our first recipe turns out tonight!
-Eat Fun Food. Two nights ago, for a side I bought pre cubed squash (think it was spaghetti squash) from TJs. I put a touch of olive oil, salt & pepper & baked it in the oven for 30 min. It was SO good and a great side that was way lower in calories than rice or potatoes. I also bought some sliced sweet potatoes to make "fries" with later this week. Yum- fun fall food!
-Stay Accountable. Through the fall I will continue to weigh myself once a week. That way if I see myself starting to slip & gain weight I can scale back and fix it before a 2 pound gain turns into 5.
Ok- Think that's it... I know it's been a while. I was really sick for nearly a week and didn't eat barely anything other than gatorade & crackers (don't think anyone wanted to hear me blog about that) and then this past weekend Chris and I were in Napa having a very "foodie" trip, which was AMAZING.
But now I'm back & being healthy :) Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Diet" Foods I Cannot Live Without

These are the few items that send me sprinting to the grocery store as soon as I run out, because I find diet survival very difficult without them!
English Muffins- My current favorite are the whole wheat "light" ones from Thomas Brand. Only 100 calories & 8 grams of fiber!
Egg Whites- Available in the carton (just whites, no messy separating)
Laughing Cow Lite Cheese- SO GOOD. This is the spreadable stuff. It's great to use instead of mayo or regular cheese on a sandwich, with crackers or veggies. Also they come packaged in individual wedges of 35 calories each so you never have to guess how much you are eating. (I'm a chronic underestimater :)
Greek Yogurt- I cannot say enough good stuff about greek yogurt. I'm actually eating a vanilla one for an afternoon snack as I type this. I'll let the label speak for itself. 110 calories, 15 grams protein, 0 grams fat & only 11 grams of sugar. I love to eat these for breakfast (mixed with Kashi Go Lean & berries) or as a pre-workout snack. AND they're full of probiotics which promote a healthy digestive system.
Blueberrys/Strawberrys- Blueberries are apparently some type of super food these days- I think even Oprah is talking about them! I eat them because they taste good, add color & flavor to yogurt or salads (yes salads too!) and are low calorie, 70 cals in an entire cup. Strawberrys have 45 calories in 8 medium berries. If you slice them up, that's a ton! I usually have about 4 in my cereal or yogurt.
Chicken- I eat a lot of chicken. I happen to live with a BBQ master who has taught me that chicken does not have to be dry and boring, but can be delicious! I'm no expert on this but Chris likes to start with the bone-in chicken and then BBQ it over a pan with chicken broth & seasonings in it? Ok now you can tell how much attention I'm paying when he cooks... I'll have to have him guest write and explain his perfect technique! But overall chicken is a great lean protein to incorporate into your diet.
Salads- I always try to have the following on hand, enough for a basic salad. Lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatores & a good dressing. Anything else is bonus (and I believe in putting all kinds of crazy things in salad) but you can make a decent salad out of those simple ingredients.
Low Cal Dessert- I'm not a huge sweets person but it's nice when I can enjoy something tasty after a long day of eating well and still get to feel good about it. My current favorite are Weight Watchers Toffee Ice Cream Bars. They are vanilla ice cream on a stick dipped in chocolate & toffee for ONLY 100 CALORIES. Ok I'm not going to lie- they're small. But still! Yum.
I'm having an unmotivated week for some reason. Both work & food wise. It's interesting how they kind of go together. What WAS exciting was that I did a little shopping yesterday and was down a pants size at Banana! That great feeling is what I need to focus on when I'm dreading a workout or craving junk food. I'm eating really well today & heading to bootcamp tonight becuase tomorrow Chris and I are having dinner at Nobu which I'm SO excited to try! Luckily I think I should be able to keep it pretty healthy. Now I just need to find a cute outfit to wear... :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And I'm Back

This blog is only happening today because of Julia's text this morning asking me why I was such a blogging slacker & then Nat wrote on my Facebook wall that she needs her fix! So- this one is dedicated to you ladies for keeping me on track!
Let's see- lots of catch up... Last week despite a crazy work schedule I fit in 3 bootcamp workouts & managed to eat well Monday-Friday. I've decided to stop journaling on the weekends, just because it's hard to take it with me everywhere I go and since my meals are less preplanned, it's hard to know the calorie count. BUT that doesn't mean throwing good eating to the wind- I still try to focus on small portions and frequent "healthy" snacking. I've also decided in order to have the privilege of going journal free on the weekend I have to stay in my calorie range all week long. So far it seems to be working, I lost 2.5 lbs last week!
This week I was off to a rough start, I really struggle for some reason when Chris is out of town. I guess it's just the mentality of not wanting to prepare a great healthy meal if you're the only one eating it? But I need to work on that because dinner consisting of rice crackers, popcorn and wine is probably not the healthiest...
But I bounced back strong yesterday with good eating and a REALLY hard bootcamp that left me feeling strong and inspired. We ran to the track at Mission Bay high school & ran sprints. Even being at the track was giving me horrible high school flashbacks (I would usually stay home on the days we ran the mile :). But as hard as it was- I felt accomplished because even after TONS of sprints I was definitely exhausted- but still alive! Feel good endorphins from exercise are definitely not a myth.
For dinner last night I needed something low calorie- so Chris and I had a great salad & chicken tortilla soup from Vons. This is the stuff that they sell in their deli area and it's really good and amazingly low cal. 1 cup only has 90 calories! I added a little pepper and some low fat cheddar cheese sprinkled on top & it was delicious & satsfying. Then I went to bed early so I wouldn't get hungry! :)
I also did a small Trader Joes run last night, but really just picked up the basics. I did try one new thing, cinamon rasin Ezekiel bread- my trainer really reccomends Ezekiel brand of everything, tortillas, bread etc. So I'm going to have a slice toasted for my afternoon snack. Only 80 calories & is gluten free and all that healthy stuff :)
Ok- we are now caught up & I promise to be more consistant with the blogging. Please continue to call me out if I dont!
Oh & PS I finally bought some of the supplements I talked about a while back. Started on the Probiotics & Fish Oil yesterday... I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You Will Have to Forgive Me...

I'm being a blogging slacker right now. I promise to get back to it soon. Work is CRAZY and I have 3 days of all day meetings this week including dinners each night- so my blogging time is taking a hit :) Until I can support myself on my blogging empire (thank you- my 3 followers!) I must continue to work.
Good news is- so far I'm being healthy & have plans to avoid eating junk food while dining out... I'll fill you all in soon & let you know if it works!
Have a great week!
Oh and PS- for last week, I did kind of meet the goals I set for myself. I did go to 4 DAYS of bootcamp (crazy!!) and I kept my eating under 1400 calories every day except Saturday & Sunday. Those days continue to be a struggle for me... But it paid off! I had a good weigh in Monday morning :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Friday!!

I have been waiting for this day since... well, Monday! I'm looking forward to a fun labor day weekend with NO major plans which is kind of exciting! Chargers game tonight, then bootcamp tomorrow a.m. but those are the only plans for the entire weekend! Considering I can tell you what I'm doing for the next 6 weekends in a row- this is kind of a treat :)
With the heat- cooking seems like the last thing I really want to do- but I'll share some of easy dinner ideas below. Most of these are little or NO prep.
Trader Joes Apple Almond Stuffed Pork Chops. How much does that not sound like diet food?? Well it is and it was an amazing discovery that I now eat about once a week. This week I made it for Jules & she was a huge fan as well. This delicious "comfort food" is only 190 calories each!!!! And they are SO good. Pair it with a side salad & you're set. This is another one that's pretty impressive looking- so no need to tell anyone you didn't make it yourself. Oh, and they're only $6.95 for two. What a deal :)

Trader Joes Stuffed Bell Peppers. Have you noticed I like TJ's? And Stuffed foods?? These are one of my favorites on the days that you would rather die than eat another chicken salad :) These are found in the prepared food section of Trader Joes, they are pre-cooked and just need to be reheated. It's basically lean turkey and rice stuffed into a giant roasted red bell pepper. Great comfort food. 290 calories each. Also a good one to put with a side salad or some steamed veggies, they look a little lonely on a plate by themselves.

Scallop & Spinach Salad. More creative than chicken- scallops add a good flavor and go really well with other toppings/dressings. I like to pan grill scallops (and they are best when served right out of the pan- so I usually prep the salad first and add them at the end). Spinach is SO good for you and really low calorie- it also helps fight bloating. So start with a few cups of spinach and I like to add almond slivers and sliced strawberrys. Keep the dressing fairly simple with a homemade balsamic (1 part olive oil, 2 parts balsamic vinager). And finally top with the grilled scallops. This one looks fancy enough to be served at a restaurant and tastes that good too!

Asian Chicken Salad. I think the key with salads is finding fun ingredients to keep them from getting boring. In this one- you start with your basic romain chopped lettuce & then add the following:
-Coleslaw lettuce. (this is not coleslaw, it's the broccli or cabbage slaw that comes in bags pre chopped but not yet prepared with mayo)
-Edamame. Did you know that you can buy pre-shelled edamame beans? And they are great! I actually bought a frozen bag at Trader Joes and then you boil them and they'll keep in the fridge for a while so I ate them both as a snack & in salad.
-Grated Carrots. Maybe self explanitory, but you take a carrot and use a cheese grader to shave off little pieces. Good for color variety & added flavor.
-Chopped bell pepper. Because I think bell pepper is a good addition to every salad for added crunch factor.
-Sliced cucumber.
-Trader Joe's Snap Pea Crips. I LOVE THESE. In fact I love them so much I am not currently allowing myself to buy them becuase I will eat them by the handful as I cook, or after work, or on the couch... they're dangerous! But a great addition to this salad so I had to include them for the rest of you who have yet to develop this problem :)
-Black Sesame Seeds & sliced Green Onions for garnish. Don't skip the garnish. These make the salad look professional.
And for dressing Trader Joes makes a great Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinagrette. It's not super low cal, 75 calories in 2 tbs so use sparingly but it's worth it. I love the great peanut flavor. To avoid the spice and calories you could swap for their Sesame Soy Vinagerette which I have not tried, but I bet would be good on this salad and is only 35 calories for the same serving amount.
Oh and I forgot the chicken part! Ok... Add chicken to the above salad to make it an Asain Chicken salad. There you go :)

And for dessert- especially during a heat wave like this I'm always craving ice cream & frozen yogurt. Chris and I had lunch today at Togos (which just so happens to be a Togos/Baskin Robins COMBO) and thank god he was there, because left on my own I may havebeen tempted to substitue ice cream for my turkey wrap! Speaking of- Togos has new wrap options with low carb tortillas that come in under 400 calories! And they come with a side of cucumber "chips" which is fun. But if you just have to have some frozen goodness, stick to frozen yogurt or moderaton, Jules just told me that a McDonalds vanilla ice cream cone is only 150 calories! Yummm....
Happy Labor Day!


I struggle with lunch- probably more than other meals. Prior to bootcamp I was a Lean Cuisine type of girl- I would eat one every day and feel pretty darn good about it. SINCE bootcamp, I have now learned that #1 They are made of processed, unhealthy ingredients & full of sodium (makes you bloated) and #2 They're not even all that low-cal! So- where to go from there...
I'm still figuring it out, but below are a few that I've found I like. The key to this for me is thinking ahead and taking the time in the morning to actually pack a lunch. Again- trying to keep the lunchtime meal around 300-350 calories.
Egg White Salad Pitas. Ok by now you must think I am sponsored by Egg Whites or something... I realize I talk about them a lot! BUT- Trader Joes has these AMAZING egg white salads that are so low-cal I literally always read the label twice. The spicy mexican one is my FAVORITE and if you can see past the neon green color, the Chive one is pretty good too. Each has only 50 CALORIES in a half of a container. So- to make this simple lunch meal I:
-Cut a Whole wheat pita in half and toast both sides. (160)
-Once it's toasted, spread half of a Laughing Cow lite Cheese on the inside of each half. (35)
-Stuff it with half a container of the TJ's Egg Salad flavor of your choice. (50)
-Stuff it with lettuce. (10)
For this entire thing which is a filling meal it's only 255 Calories! Or eat half for a snack. I really feel like I'm getting a deal on this one :). You can also add onion or tomato or any other veggie.
Another thing I like to put in a pita is a Morning Star Farms tomato & basil pizza burger. These are found in the frozen section at TJs (and I think some mainstream grocery stores). Each patty has 120 calories and they are very filling. I add lettuce, onion, ketchup (my spelling is improving!) and they are really good.
Turkey & Cheese sandwich. Find some whole wheat bread, lean turkey and light cheese and you can still enjoy this classic sandwich. Make sure to skip the mayo, but feel free to add mustard and veggie toppings. The key to keeping this meal low cal is by finding a lower calorie bread, or making it an open face sandwich, with one slice of bread on the bottom and lettuce on top.
Leftovers are another great lunch food. If you make a chicken salad for dinner the night before- make a little extra and only put dressing on the portion you plan to eat. By making just a little bit more the night before you can stretch one meal into two, saving both money and time.
And if you really struggle with planning ahead and frozen meals seem like the only option for you- stick to healthier brands like Kashi, Amys or other ones found at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Just be sure to check the calorie count.
For Fast Food Options check out my post from 8/13 called Fast Food Doesn't Have to Be Evil... with a little creativity & knowledge you can actually eat a decent meal from a drive through.
Have a great (& healthy) lunch!
Oh and PS- got an amazing massage yesterday! It's a great fix for sore muscles, I'm feeling totally relaxed and ready for bootcamp this afternoon.