Friday, April 24, 2015

Lots of rambles...

Thursday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & legs with 8 pounds
I know you're probably sick of seeing me say this one over & over everyday, but it's the easiest exercise I can bang out first thing in the morning and then feel like I at least got SOMETHING in for the dayJ  Most days lately I just don't feel overly motivated to do too much else...esp. after chasing Katie around all dayJ  Power yoga on Wednesday & Friday mornings at least throw a little extra into the mix.  I'm hopin to get back to my Monday night class next week too since I MISS IT!

Breakfast:  3 Berry Bliss Bars
The final three of these citrus & vanilla infused bars...I already can't wait to make em again.  JUST SO GOOD!

Snack:  6 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt + vanilla protein powder + cinnamon + 1/3 cup diced dried pineapple + 1 tablespoon chia seeds 

Lunch:  Grilled chicken quesadilla from Zona Fresca at the mall
And after a couple errands and a visit to Daddy at work during lunch hour yesterday, by the time we were headed home, the ONLY thing I wanted was these cheesy quesadillas.  And since the mall was on our way home (and knew Katie would enjoy a trip to the mall playground on a chilly, overcast day), I took it as a sign and totally 'splurged' on my cravings. 
But by splurge, I meant I still was able to keep it together!  Another bonus of the Bikini Series is that its given us subconsious, 5x's-a-day reminders of feeling "just barely full," (something both of us struggle with FOR SURE!), knowing full well a filling snack is never far away so you DON'T have to stuff yourself.  So paying attention to those cues, I ate exactly half of that plate and then packed up the rest to save for lunch for Katie.  It was so nice to have something I REALLLLLLLLY wanted, but managed to enjoy it without feeling stuffed and gross.  Total win, for sure!  
...that, plus I held off from eating even one of the chips that were served alongside, since I KNEW one would lead to all of them, so I just reeled it in and enjoyed the metly, yummy cheese that I really, really, REALLY wanted for the dayJ

Good thing we REALLY loved these things, since they popped up twice on this week's menu and I think a few times next weekJ  Again, can't beat the less-than 5 minute cooking time (made with pre-cooked quinoa), even if you're exhausted from a day of errandsJ.

And in 'bragging news,' I gotta share that Scott's lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks!  I was so proudJ  (I've natraully lost weight also, but sorta feel awkward talking too much about it since just feeling HEALTHY is the main goal for me at the moment)   He actually texted me this morning to say he wants to change the 8-week series into a 52 week oneJ  Like I said, it's not much off from our 'normal' life, its just made us more conscious of making healthier choices.  Not to mention we both just FEEL good.  As much 'work' as it is to really pay attention to what/how much you're eating, the pay-off it tenfold.  It beats feeling gross, sluggish, lazy and all-around lousy...even if sometimes it's REALLLLLLLLLY hard to stop at half of that burger or order the mini Blizzard when your head is telling you you want MORE.  Trust, I know.  So pardon my ramble, but I write it all here as just as much as a reminder to myself as it is to share with all of youJ

Anyway...that's enough from me for the week.  Hope you guys have a GREAT WEEKEND!  I'm sooooooooooo excited it's here!J

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gotta still live & love...

Wednesday Recap:

Breakfast:  Flax/Almond Meal pancake with peanut butter & syrup + 1 cup of strawberries

Snack:  1 Berry Bliss Bar

Workout:  Power Yoga Class
Felt wonderful after my 2-day yoga hiatus.  It's funny what I still can & can not do in yoga at this point.  I can't lift my leg straight back for a one-leg downward dog, but can still bang out a side plank with no problems.  Cracks me up when the 'simple things' are tough, but the harder muscles moves for the arms and legs are fine and I have no excuses for skipping themJ  As I tell all my yoga classmates: "I'll keep doin what I can till I can't"J

Lunch:  Chicken Stir-Fry + 1 orange 
Scott & I both agreed that the leftover stir-fry was even BETTER than the first time 'round.  We have one more serving saved in the fridge for dinner Friday night and by then, it should be epically delicious.  Not to mention I think that orange was the best one I ever had in my whole life.  Sooooooo sweet & juicy.

Snack:  Hummus + carrots

Dinner:  Bean Salad + 1/2 avocado 
I had made this quick 3 bean + tomato + red onion + white balsamic salad for dinner on Saturday night and just doubled up the recipe so we could reap the NO COOK benefits mid-week.  Again:  if it's THAT quick & easy mid-week, I think me & Scott will eat anythingJ  Not to mention, a 1/2 an avocado is nothing to sneeze about in the filling/satisfying department and really helped make BEAN SALAD feel like a complete meal.

And I think I made an executive decision in our house last night:  Since Wednesday is our most-looked-forward-to TV night, with our "Survivor" countdown starting as soon as Scott walks in the door on Wednesdays, so I think a mid-week sweet treat in it's honor is a good idea.  We've been trying to hold off desserts during the rest of the week (with maybe a treat or 2 over the weekend...I DO NOT denying myself the great joy of going out for ice cream in the summer!), but I think one reasonable mid-week treat is a good idea to get through the week AND hold off any cravings so you don't binge and go crazy once you finally 'allow yourself' sugar over the weekends.  I might try out some TIU recipes (like these fudge pops) or 'healthier' sweet treat recipes for the night, but last night's kick-off definitely demanded one of these little guys...esp. since I had been thinking about it since Friday nightJ  Salted caramel truffles + health bar pieces = probably my FAVORITE Blizzard of all time...and I'd say that's a pretty heavy statementJ  You MUST try it before it disappears off the month-long menu!  I seriously savored & loved every bite.  And even though the mini stats are STILL pretty scary, one in the smallest serving size in the middle of an otherwise healthy week is more than fine.  Gotta still live & love, ya know what I mean??

Anyone else REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY looking forward to the weekend?  My brain is like a pinball machine of all the things I want to do with Scott & Katie, probably emphasized since I felt like I barely saw them while I was with my yogis last weekendJ  My heart really wants to go down the shore for a beach night, but those April-low 60's temps don't seem to be weighing in my favorJ  We'll see what happens.  All I know is:  I'm GIDDY FOR FRIDAY AT 3:30 (when Scott gets homeJ)

Have a good Thursday!  (ALMOST THERE!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Know thyself...

Tuesday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & legs with 8 pound weights

Breakfast:  1 cup cooked Steel cut oats + flax + 1/4 walnuts + 2 tablespoons craisins + cinnamon, vanilla and a little maple syrup
OK, this bowl of oatmeal was seriously HUGE.  So huge that I couldn't even finish it.  The only problem with that was I spent the rest of the day a litttttttle hungry, but never really feeling the desire to go back and finish the oatmeal for some reason.  
I'm realizing more and more that a big breakfast is key for me.  If I have one, I don't really feel too hungry at any point for the rest of the day.  But if I don't have enough?  The rest of the day tends to be a bit cravey and 'looking for the next thing.'  Recognizing and acknowledging your 'food triggers' is SUCH an important part of the weight loss/getting healthy process, and I'm definitly noticing a pattern with this one.  (the exception here is when you are TRULY NOT hungry for breakfast for some if you overindulged the night before.  Then I don't believe in shoving food down your throat 'just because.'  There is definitly a difference!  Know thyselfJ)

Snack:  1 Berry Bliss Bar
Adding to the 'not enough food in the morning' was, coupled with the smaller oatmeal serving, this snack was the paltriest one of the bunch so far on the Bikini Series.  Again, had I finished the oatmeal (or went back and finished it later) it would have been enough...but the 2 being sorta unsatisfying made for a bit of a 'looking for the next thing' kinda day.

I DID manage to keep it together, however....

Lunch:  Salmon with scallions & dill over spinach + 1 cup of watermelon 

Snack:  1 cup of watermelon + 1/4 cup of cashews 
I also had a couple carrots dipped in hummus in the afternoon.  This was the toughest part of the day to get through, without reaching for more & more snacks to help satisfy me.  I held off, but it was definitely a struggle yesterday.

Dinner:  Tone it Up Chicken Stir-Fry
Thankfully, dinner was super satisfying.  I keep waiting for teeny-tiny dinner servings on this Bikini Series/TIU Nutrition program, but there really haven't been any as of yet.  Most meals aren't really far off from how we normally cook, but following the plan, we've just been more conscious of oils/fats, no heavy carbs with dinner and an over abundance of vegetables to fill in all the gaps (ps-we were making enough for 6 servings, that you'll see later throughout this week, hence the MOUNDS of chicken & veggies!). 

Along with a 'cleaner' stir-fry sauce made with garlic, tamari, ginger. sesame oil & rice vinegar.  Don't get me wrong, Scott & I still love our Garlic/Green Onion stir-fry sauce varieties, but switching it up and making it this way (with LESS sugar/processing/ingredients) isn't a bad way to alternate your meals to being a littttttle bit healthier than normal.
And on the no carbs (past 3pm) thing, not that 1/2 cup of rice (white or brown) with dinner is going to be the difference between healthy and unhealthy, but I honestly didn't even miss it here AT ALL.  So why not give it a try skipping it one time?  You can always have it the next time, but ya might just realize you don't really NEED it, ya know?

And in 'funny Katie food pictures' of the week:  not only did she take it upon herself to take out an entire 1/4 watermelon, unwrap it and have it as breakfast yesterday morning...

...but I used my 'trick' of letting her sneak veggies off the cutting board, where she proceeded to carry around and knawl on this broccoli stem like an ice cream cone for at least a half hour.  Hey, whatever it takes! J

Alright...and after all that:  I'm off to start today with a FILLING breakfastJ  No messin around with 1/2 portions todayJ

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I know you may not believe me...

Monday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets of arms & legs with 8 pound weights

Breakfast:  3 Berry Bliss Bars
Much like the Mango Coconut & Key Lime Pie Bites, these little numbers are a mix of ground almonds, protein powder & dried fruit.  What made them EXTRA delicious was the addition of orange zest, fresh orange juice and vanilla....swoooooooooon!  FABULOUS!

Snack:  2/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt + cinnamon + chia seeds + dried pineapple + protein powder 
OK, so Scott & I both agreed the first bite of this was ROUGH.  I'm still TRYING to get used to that SUPER TANGY plain Greek yogurt flavor that everyone tells you to add your own fruit/flavoring to make it healthier, but I must admit it's still a tough sell...and that was even after I added a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder in here just to give it a flavor boost.  BUT, once you swirled in all of the pineapple and got a little bit with each bite, I must admit that it was 100000% better.  Getting there...J

Lunch:  Pasta Salad 
The healthy swap here was the pasta was actually quinoa & brown rice pasta (from Trader Joe's), which you honestly couldn't tell the difference (well, maybe a little, but nothing earth shattering)  The rest of the salad was a mix of veggies & balsamic, olive oil and lemon juice for dressing.  Scott & I both decided the diced artichoke hearts were our favs, since they added a bit of a briny KICK to the whole thing.

Snack:  Slice of dried mango + 1/4 cup cashews + 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes 
I REALLY thought that pasta salad was going to hold me over till dinner, but I knew my sweet tooth was pingin at 3:30 and I was ready for a snack.  TIU recommended 1 tablespoon of dried mango, but how the hell are ya supposed to do that??  The Trader Joe's dried mango contained no extra sugar, so I just stuck to a slice.  I wasn't about to obsess over the serving size of a single piece of dried fruitJ

 Dinner:  Pesto Quinoa Bowls
OK...I know you may not believe me from the picture, but I seriously think this is my VERYFAVORITE way I've eaten quinoa EVER!  It was that or the fact that I had already prepped a whole bunch of quinoa in my fridge for the week, so when I went to make this meal:  it took under 5 minutes & made in ONE POT!  Scott & I both agreed we think we'd eat anything if it was THAT simple (and delicious) on a busy weeknightJ

All I had to do was add 1 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa (2/3 cups for each) to the pot, add in pesto (about 2 tablespoons for each of us) and then about 6 handfuls of torn spinach and toss it around until the spinach wilted a bit... 
I think pesto may be quinoa's BFF because the 2 just pair SO WELL.  We REALLLLLLLLLLLY liked this dinner and could easily see us making it often, especially with fresh basil this summer.  Again...can't beat that cooking & clean up time, plus it felt FABULOUS for the ole bod.  Just trust me hereJ

I WILL admit it was a bit tough to stick to no dessert last night, but I hung in.  But if desperate times called for desperate measure, I think 1/2 of a KIND bar would have done the trick.  Not to mention, after a FULL weekend, I just could NOT get off the couch for more yoga last night.  My head & heart were in it, but my body just wasn't feelin it.  Hopin to head back to a gentle class tonight just to ease myself back into the week. anyone else sweating??  It's super humid in the house this morning, but I hear it's gonna be a gorgeous one, so we'll have to get out and about today.  Not that I'll have much of a choice since Katie had not one, but THREE meltdowns yesterday over the fact that it was raining and she couldn't go out in her backyard.  Thankfully she did get in some puddle splashing once the rain passed in the late afternoon, thanks to NonaJ  She already asked me before 7:03am this morning if she could go outside.  None too subtle hint takenJ

Have a great Tuesday!
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