Fitness · Food

A Full Day of Eating

This is generally what I eat in a day. I pick foods that fit into my meal plan, are easy to prepare, and I think are tasty. I weigh everything to fit my nutritional needs.

Breakfast

Egg beaters, organic blueberry flax cinnamon oatmeal packet, and hot black tea.

Meal 2

Cottage cheese and 2 plain rice cakes

Lunch

Ground 93% lean turkey, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. I season with spices to keep it from being bland.

Meal 4

(This was from a picture in my diet accountability messenger group) I like Dannon Lite & Fit Vanilla Greek yogurt.

Dinner

Protein pizza made with a Flat Out lite wrap, pizza sauce, ground turkey, spices, and Italian cheese. I add a serving of green veggies (last night was broccoli) to add more volume to the meal.

Snack

I had one serving of this deliciousness.

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Fitness · Food

Meal Prep in a Hurry

Sticking to my meal plan is a breeze if I have everything prepped and ready. If I can prep it quickly that’s even better as I’m busy with work and being a mom. Below are a few items and tips I use to make sure my diet stays consistent.

1. Crockpot Chicken

The night before you need it , throw several chicken breasts and a little water in your crockpot. (This is Sunday night for me). I usually add 3-4 and then cover them with water and cook on high all night long. (About 11pm -7am) In the morning I measure out my lunch and then throw the rest in a container in the fridge to be used all week long.

2. Frozen Veggies

Jumbo bags of Birdseye broccoli were my best friends during competition prep and beyond. Nowadays I buy the steamable bags of broccoli or bags of frozen green beans. In the morning I steam the broccoli, and measure into my lunch dish with my chicken. If I am eating green beans I dump them into my dish frozen. Takes no time at all!

3. 90 Second Rice Packets

Uncle Ben has my back when I’m in a hurry. I can get several meals out of one bag of the instant microwaveable rice. I heat it up as I am packing my lunch in the morning and then measure into my dish. Then the bag goes into the fridge to use the next day or with dinner.

4. Oatmeal Packets

All oatmeal packets are NOT created equal. Steer clear of sugar filled options! I use Nature’s Path Organic Blueberry Cinnamon Flax currently. Plain oatmeal packets are good too. You can also pre-measure plain oats from a canister into a snack bag to make your own “packet”.

5. Protein Bars

These are a great mini meal between your main meals. I look for a bar with at least 15g protein , low in sugar, and as low as I can in carbs. I like No Cow bars, Quest Bars, and if I shop at Walmart I get the Zone Perfect cinnamon roll bars.

Other items I have used are tuna packets, rice cakes, and a scoop of protein in a shaker all ready to go. How to do meal prep in a hurry?

Fitness · Uncategorized

Postpartum Fitness Update 10/2017-12/2017

I’ve definitely made some progress! Weight came off quicker than I expected too so that’s always extra exciting! I weighed about 170 when I started the 1st Phorm Transphormation Challenge in the beginning of October and was down 10 pounds by December 20th. I haven’t weighed since then. I will probably weigh myself once they start up their 2018 challenge. Only 5-10 pounds until pre-pregnancy weight! (I was either 150 or 155 or somewhere in between there, haha.)

I eat about the same food daily. Egg beaters and a packet of blueberry flax organic oatmeal for breakfast. A few hours later I have Greek yogurt and a couple rice cakes for my second meal. Lunch has been chicken breast, either rice or sweet potato for my carb, and then either green beans or broccoli for my veg. My third meal is cottage cheese and an apple. My dinner is a toss up : could be meat/carb/veg, could be meat and pasta, could be protein flatbread pizza and a vegetable. I like to leave a little flexibility.

I do allow myself to move my macros around. If I am freezing and head to Dunkin for a hot chocolate , that then replaces my carbs for one of my snacks. If I know I’ll have a carb heavy dinner, I’ll nix the carbs from my snacks and basically add those two servings into my dinner portion. This way, I’m still enjoying what I want and am able to have meals with others. This is something I picked up from reading Lauren Gleisberg’s Eat Your Way Lean.

I haven’t always been able to hit the gym every day, but by keeping my eating in line I’ve seen great success. I really believe that your nutrition is #1 when it comes to losing weight and getting fit.

I’ll be updating more when I have more progress!

Life

4 Little Ways to Feel Accomplished

The beginning of a new year always lights a little fire in me to start off productive.

If you want to start off the year with visible progress, or if down the road that fire starts to dwindle, here are five tips to see measurable accomplishment.

1. Make Lists

Make a to-do list. My desk is scattered with post-it’s detailing everything that needs done. Each day I usually grab a fresh sticky note and jot down my most important tasks. Don’t add anything that you won’t be capable of accomplishing in a day- you want to be able to cross each item off the list when completed. That’s the satisfaction of making the list! I even write down things I know I’ll complete, just to have the joy of scribbling over the task when it is done.

2. Make tasks manageable

This ties in with the first step, and can be applied in other areas. If you are one to make New Year’s resolutions, make them able to be kept. Instead of saying you’ll never eat takeout this month, allow yourself to instead have 3 times a month to enjoy takeout. If you want to go to the gym every day, try to commit to 5 out of 7 days a week as a start. If you need to organize your office, start on one drawer of your desk at a time. You won’t feel as upset when you don’t keep that resolution or don’t finish a task.

3. Set a timer

A way to get a lot done and even make it fun is to set a timer and work as hard as you can on your given task in the allotted amount of time. I use this all the time. 30 minutes on the clock and then go hard on that pile of dirty holiday dishes! Take a break after your 30, then start it again. I like this for weekends when I have time to clean a little in every room: 30 minutes in the kitchen, 30 in the living room, 30 in the bedroom, etc. (This was before baby Gwen, I am lucky to do the bare minimum now!)

4. Reward Yourself

You can implement this with the above step and give yourself a small reward at the end of your 30 minutes of hard work. For me, that sometimes meant a little break to check social media, or a short episode on Netflix. Even if the reward is something insignificant, it’s exciting to get done with your duty and enjoy it.

On a bigger scale, if you finish your Saturday task of reorganizing a room, take yourself out for a glass of wine that evening. I promised myself to give myself $5 for every pound I lost starting in October, and save that money for a new wardrobe or something to enjoy after getting to a better state of fitness. (I ordered an Eco Tan tanning kit to use this summer – as a reward and as further motivation to keep up the good work so I can feel better showing more skin 😉 )

It’s good to get to the end of a day and feel like you’ve got stuff done.

Uncategorized

“Rocking Christmas”

What does “Rock this Christmas” mean to you?

Every time I go to Walmart I see their posters bearing that phrase. It made me think.

Is Christmas an event that we need to rock? To me, it makes Christmas sound like a big show. In order to rock Christmas I need the latest and greatest gifts, the biggest and brightest holiday decor and perfectly put together outfits for my family. I need to have a stunning Christmas dinner. Since Christmas is now a show, I need to go bigger and better year after year.

I love buying gifts, and I like receiving presents as much as the next person. I like taking time to plan out personal and touching gifts, and I aspire to wrap them beautifully. There is nothing wrong with this. As time goes on, I feel like “less is more” with both presents and decor. I found a guide once for gift giving, that I would like to incorporate when Gwen is older and she makes a Christmas list. “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.” I don’t want it to be all about receiving this time of year. I think we could all learn to give a little more than we do now.

Instead of making Christmas a big production, take time to remember what is important. Years from now, will you be reminiscing on those ornaments you had to have, or on the traditions you made with your loved ones.

Cultivate traditions. Every Christmas morning, since I was a child, we’d wake up, eat muffins and drink eggnog , and then my dad would read the Christmas story from the Bible as we sat around the Christmas tree. After a prayer we’d start opening our gifts. This is something we still do to this day. My husband’s family has a gift exchange and bingo/trivia on Christmas Eve. We go my grandparent’s house for Christmas lunch and in the past, Christmas night dinner was at my great grandma’s and we had the same menu every year. (Mom’s cheesy vegetable soup , mmmm) I look forward to these gatherings and visiting my relatives. Sharing food , laughter, and meaningful traditions- this is what “Rocking Christmas ” is to me.

Bless you if you read all the way to the end of this ramble. 😙

Food · Uncategorized

Modernized Fruitcake

Dried fruits and plenty of spices make a fresh update on a traditional Christmas food. No bright green and red candied cherries here!

I saved a recipe from this website Pastry Chef Online that I found on Pinterest a while back and decided to make it this December to share.

I had forgotten to check over the ingredient list a second time before making, so my recipe is an adaptation from the one linked above. Let me know if you make it and any changes you add to make the recipe your own!

Modernized Fruitcake

Ingredients:

1 C golden raisins

3/4 C each dried cranberries, cherries, and dried chopped apricots

Zest of two lemons and one small lime

1 C golden rum

1 C white sugar

1 1/4 sticks butter

1 C orange juice

1/4 tsp each allspice, cloves, and mace

Few twists of black pepper

2 tsp each cinnamon, ginger, and salt

1 3/4 c all purpose flour

1 tsp each baking soda and baking powder

2 large eggs

To Make:

At least one day before, place all dried fruits and zest’s in a ziplock bag and cover with rum. Shake the bag occasionally.

{The original recipe calls for dried blueberries and currants in addition to the other fruit, but I did not want to head back to the store. It also calls for zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon, but again, I just used what I had. }

Preheat oven to 325•. Empty contents of ziplock bag into a medium sized sauce pan. Add butter, orange juice, and all spices to pan and stir .Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool about 45 minutes. Quickly mix flour, baking powder and baking soda with the cooled fruit an then add in eggs, one at a time, mixing after each.

Pour batter into greased pan/pans. I used a 4 mini loaf pan. Bake until inserted toothpick comes out clean – roughly an hour.

Once cooled, remove Fruitcake from pan and brush with rum or brandy (original calls for brandy, I had rum. Make do with what you have 😉 ) Store in an airtight container and brush with chosen alcohol every few days , for at least 2 weeks. Enjoy! I found my Fruitcake to be moist and very crumbly , perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea!

Food

3 Ingredient Cookies

This is one of the most simple recipes ever! With only 3 ingredients, one of which most people always have on hand, this is an incredibly cheap recipe too.

I made these the night before a work potluck. With little time and a baby to entertain, these were a quick option – 1 bowl, no measuring cups, easy easy easy!

Ingredients:

1 box of cake mix

(You can choose whatever flavor you wish! My husband picked out strawberry.) You could try this with a gluten free boxed mix as well.

1 egg

( I used 1/4C egg beaters)

1 tub of Cool Whip

To Make:

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. You’ll want the cool whip to be slightly thawed so it is easier to stir.

Once mixed, scoop into balls and place on parchment or well sprayed cookie sheet. If you have powdered sugar, you can roll the balls in it for a crinkle cookie effect.

Bake at 375• until the edges are just lightly browned or until cookies look set. It took mine about 12 minutes. Immediately remove cookies from sheet and place on cooling rack. Enjoy!