End of Jan!

So…here we are 1 month in!

I went to the gym 15 times this month!  This is the most I’ve ever been in a month so I feel pretty proud of that…especially since I actually worked out every one of those days.  Boo Yah!

Today I had a delicious Harvest Salad that included chicken, couscous, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, currants, sunflower seeds, and creamy basil dressing.  Really good!  I like that I’ve become more willing to try new things.  Which brings me to another thing…

I’m getting ready to train for a 5K as we all discussed earlier this month!  March seems a little close for me but I feel that I can be ready for May.  So I asked the best runner I know- my sister Danielle 🙂  She is going to help me put together a training calendar.  She recommended looking up “Couch to 5K” as a good way to get started training.  I’m going to have to take a look…

I had a great talk with her last night and its pretty cool because she is into a lot of the stuff I’ve been getting into.  She has been using myfitnesspal and says she is concerned with how much sugar she gets in a day too.  So she sent me an ebook called “I Quit Sugar and got clean, got well, lost weight, and became a much nicer person” by Sarah Wilson.  The book explains what to do week by week to cut out sugar.  I think I’ll give it a try!

One other thing I have been thinking about is doing the gym’s “90 Day Challenge” it is mostly used for weight loss but it can also be used to set other goals.  Basically you meet with a trainer in the beginning and they detail a plan for you over the 90 days.  I will get workouts to do and will meet with the trainer in a group every once in a while during those 90 days.  Its all about accountability and guidance and I think both of those would really help.  I’m not sure though…what do you guys think, should I try it?

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Avocados- My Newest Favorite Food

I have been eating avocados at least 2 days a week for the last 3 or so months and I love them!  The biggest downside is that they never seem to last very long and it seems nearly impossible to not have a ton of brown in them when I slice them open.

But…discovered through pinterest was a wonderful website that has a bunch of tips, tricks, and recipes for avocados! Go ahead and check out How to Slice, Store & Eat an Avocado from thekitchn  I am a little skeptical about the desserts but I may give some of them a try one day!

Aguacate / Avocado

Wish mine looked like this!

I went grocery shopping alone today (and picked up some avocados) and I’m pretty proud of everything I got.  Lots o’ fruit and veggies (um can I tell you how much I love Blackberries?  I love them A LOT).  I even bought ingredients for a recipe that I intend to try without Andrew as he is always busy at night.  It is a recipe from a vegetarian cookbook I got awhile ago from a neighbor so I’m very excited to try some of the stuff in there.

I’ll keep you updated on how my meal turns out in the next couple of days…

Plan for Tomorrow

I am going to bed within the hour.

Tomorrow I will get up at 5:30 and be to the gym by 6.

I will do a quick half hour cardio session then be back home before 7 (I know its weird…but tomorrow is not a hair washing day so I go home to shower and fix up my hair…sweat is just water folks, my hair isn’t thaaat dirty!)

7-7:20 I will eat breakfast and have coffee.

7:40- Leave for work.

I decided that if I post what I plan to do, I will be more likely to do it.  Mornings are always sooo hard for me but I can’t work out in the afternoon because of my piano lesson (yay!).

Today was good- did the Kickboxing Jam class again and managed to convince a friend from work to join me!  I noticed that after 4 sessions I am able to keep up much better with the instructor.  By the end I was drenched in sweat and felt like I had a great workout.  I feel like I’m finally getting to a point where I feel encouraged about working out and feel really great after each session (even if i’m sweating).

On a random note…I’ve noticed a change in my legs.  Now, I don’t look closely at my legs too often so I don’t know how long ago the change started happening but I think all the squats and lunges of however many months are really paying off!  I see some definition and a part I used to hate by my knees is almost completely gone.  I legitimately can’t believe it but it makes me feel really good to notice that sort of thing and to be able to feel that its mostly muscle now.

Other positives- feeling great about the piano and art lessons I’ve been taking.  Andrew’s mom talked me through painting a bird (Put a bird on it!) and it turned out soooo much better than I thought it would.  I also feel like I’m really taking to piano which I never thought would happen…but I’m really really enjoying it.  I’ve even been feeling really good about work and I have started going out for lunch with co-workers instead of going home all the time.

Basically- I’m on a super positive kick these last few weeks and I really hope it keeps up for many many more 🙂

When TOM comes to visit

The week leading up to TOM’s visit is killer. I have a ravenous appetite, bloated, and sleepy. I hadn’t eaten much sweets the week before, but this weekend was bad. I needed lots of chocolate otherwise I would’ve gone crazy. I mean, if crying on a treadmill at the gym in public doesn’t wave a flag for some comfort food, I don’t know what does. So, basically I worked out like a mad woman this week, but I couldn’t stop eating because I was famished every 2 hours (even after I drank lots of water). But, of course, when TOM arrives, I lose my appetite. Which is exactly what’s been going on these past couple of days. Being a girl is so annoying sometimes.

I had PT today. I wish I make about twice what I make now; I’d have a PT session weekly. Now I understand why people dish out all that money to have someone make work out like crazy for an hour. Sadly, I only have two more sessions left and I’ll be done. Perhaps in the summer I’ll purchase just a few to tune up. Or hopefully the district will pay me more next year? Here’s hoping. This week’s was slightly less intense compared to last week’s. Or maybe it’s because I’ve gotten stronger? I don’t know, my trainer is pretty disappointed by the fact push ups are absolutely the death of me and they need to be modified so much. Anyhoo, during today’s session, he took out the boxing gloves. I got to hit him and a bag which was awesome! It made me miss Cardio Kickboxing at Lifetime like crazy! I absolutely loved doing the boxing stuff. My trainer said he was completely impressed by my form and was honestly expecting me to wimp out. Thankssssssss. . . I requested that we do more boxing because I loved it so much. 🙂

My trainer had warned me last week that we would weigh in this week. I wasn’t anticipating any major changes especially after this past weekend of eating. To be honest, I was hoping he’d forgotten because I knew I’d be disappointed. Well, as anticipated, my weight hasn’t changed at all, BUT my body fat percentage went down about 5% in two weeks! According to this chart, I’m in the Athletic/Lean category for women which made me really happy. Going to the gym almost daily is paying off. Now, if only I can get my appetite and my stop-eating-because-you’re-full trigger in my brain under control, I’ll actually drop some pounds. Whatever, I’m going to fixate on the body fat percentage because that’s telling me that things are looking good on the inside.

Other than the sweet/chocolate cravings, my diet has been very good. Although, I’ll need a real burger soon. Mmmm. Yummy.

I’m Back First!

We are losing steam with our blog!  Oh no!

However…I don’t feel that I’m losing steam with my goals.  In fact, today I was very proud of myself… I had almost talked myself out of going to kickboxing today but I talked myself back into it!  That has been happening a lot more lately which I think is a great sign!

I even tried out another new class yesterday- Barefoot Definitions.  I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did because its all about toning your core through ballet-like moves.  There is a lot of toe pointing and balancing but I enjoyed it because it didn’t take that much coordination.  The only downside was that I didn’t feel like I got an amazing workout after…I was just a little sweaty.  Also, it did get slightly repetitive.  I will for sure try it again next week though!

Tomorrow I’ve got either Cardio Jam or I may try Zumba… we’ll see.

As I sit here drinking Andrew’s Portillo’s Milkshake…I’ll share food progress.  We haven’t made any food lately but part of that is because Andrew is so busy and I don’t wanna make food alone because I am not a very good cook…

I’m sill doing ok food-wise.  Today I tried a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich and it was very yummy.  Also I got a few people at work hooked on the Myfitnesspal app since I’m still using it almost everyday!  Pretty cool 🙂

Actually almost excited to keep working out for the rest of the week!

Real Life Update

Instead of posting pictures of food, I GUESS I’ll do a real update. If you insist.

Sleep is getting a little better. I’ve started taking melatonin, which is fantastic for making me feel rested and not waking up in the middle of the night. One night I guess Bruce started barking and Ryan couldn’t sleep and I didn’t notice it. Oops. I also am waking up feeling refreshed, which is good. I’m trying to limit myself to coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, but at this point caffeine just makes me able to function, so it doesn’t affect my sleep schedule much. Yay addiction!

Foodwise- after I finished my sister’s birthday cake, I’ve pretty much kept on track. Ryan and I cooked a shit ton of food, so there was always something fresh and healthy to grab as I ran out the door every morning.

I also made limoncello this week, which I am super proud of! It’ll be ready for drinking today! We still have a bottle of the good stuff from Italy, so I’ll have to compare and tweak my recipe. I’m thinking next time making it with limes instead. Or maybe oranges. It’s super easy and I got these cute vintage looking bottles from TJ Maxx for $2!

On a side note: do you notice that the days you unintentionally look super cute and your hair actually cooperates with you are the days you don’t see people? Stupid snow yesterday.

That’s it. Almost weekend time!

Brownie Batter Pancakes

Brownie Batter Pancakes
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 1 • Size: 6-8 silver-dollar pancakes • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 172 • Fat: 2.4 g • Carb: 32 g • Fiber: 6.7 g • Protein: 5.3 g • Sugar: 4.7
Sodium: 241.7 (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Bob’s spelt flour (or all-purpose or for gluten free use Bob’s gluten-free ap flour)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder (or dutch cocoa)
  • 1 1/2 packets nunaturals stevia or 1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar (you can use less if you’re planning to top with syrup and don’t want the actual pancakes to taste sweet)
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 tbsp nondairy milk of your choice

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients very well, then add wet. Make pancakes! There are only 130 calories in this entire recipe. If you want a more substantial breakfast, feel free to make a bigger serving and/or go crazy with the toppings!! And if you’re feeling really crazy:

Try topping these with: Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Dip.
Cookie dough brownie batter pancakes… who knew such decadence could be healthy?!

GAH I MUST TRY THESE NOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!

From Here

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

FOR THE PESTO:

  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard, Cut Into Chunks
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeds Removed Then Roughly Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Green Hot Sauce (Tabasco Brand)
  • ¼ cups Toasted Pepitas
  • 1 pinch Coarse Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper
  • ½ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

FOR THE TACOS:

  • 1 whole Sweet Potato, Cut Into A Medium Dice
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder, Divided
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin, Divided
  • 2 pinches Coarse Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1 can 14.5 Oz. Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed.
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • 8 whole White Corn Tortillas
  • ¼ cups Crumbled Queso Fresco
  • 1 whole Avocado, Peeled, Pitted, And Diced
  • 1 whole Lime (for The Juice)
  • ¼ cups Fresh Chopped Cilantro, For Garnish

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

On a rimmed baking sheet toss the diced sweet potato with the oil, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, a pinch of coarse salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, toss the Swiss chard, jalapeno, garlic, hot sauce and pepitas into a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse to combine and blend. With the motor running, pour the oil into the processor in a thin stream, until you reach your desired consistency for pesto. Taste. Yes. Yes.

Toss the black beans into a small sauce pan over medium heat. Season with the remaining cumin, chili powder and garlic salt. Heat the beans for about 5 minutes.

On a small grill or skillet over medium heat, toast the tortillas until you get browning or charred marks on each side.

Layer 2 tortillas onto each serving plate. Then spoon on some beans, followed by some sweet potatoes. Dollop with a good 2 tablespoons of Swiss chard pesto. Sprinkle on some queso fresco, the diced avocado, a good spritz of lime and a few cilantro leaves.

From tastykitchen.com

How To Lose Weight All Day Long

How To Lose Weight All Day Long — Of course another Yahoo Health Article 🙂

This article just has a bunch of good tips for how to schedule your day- fitness and food-wise.  I won’t post the whole thing here but I will post what I would like to try- if only for a day!

6 am– 20 minutes of cardio before breakfast.  I would be able to manage this before work if I get there at 6 and leave before 7

7:30 am– Breakfast.  ALWAYS eat breakfast!  The article says “The alarm clock also wakes up ghrelin, the “feed me” hormone made in your stomach. Ignore ghrelin and your body will produce even more, eventually making you ravenous.”

10 am– snack time!  I usually eat Greek yogurt or almonds.

12 pm– Eat lunch.  Article says “Galanin, another hunger hormone that makes you crave fat, rises around lunchtime. However, dietary fat causes you to produce more galanin, which then tells you to eat more fat. ”

3:30 pm– Last chance for coffee!  Drinking coffee after 4 messes up your sleep.

5-6 pm– Strength training and any additional cardio.  This is nice because this how my schedule has been going anyway

7 pm– Dinner time.

9 pm– Have a snack.  Article says “Enjoy a carb-based bedtime snack, such as a serving of low-fat frozen yogurt. Nighttime carbs create tryptophan, which helps your brain produce serotonin. This feel-good chemical triggers your body to make melatonin, the sleep hormone. ”

9:30 pm–  “Power down” turn off the tv and computer (so i’m failing right now…) so your brain will start to relax before bed.

10:30 pm- Go to sleep.  This is usually my goal…but rarely happens.

Pretty good schedule!  Not trying it tomorrow because I have my Kickboxing Jam class in the afternoon but may try it out on Thursday!

————

Quick update on progress- had a great workout on Sunday and a great Kickboxing session today.  It occurred to me that I have improved in Kickboxing over this time because I don’t get nearly as tired or as red as I did when I first started taking the class!

Food-wise I’m doing okish.  Today we were out of food so I went and bought one  of those microwave three cheese rot inis from walgreens…um it was delicious but super bad for me.  It really reminds me of college though (tells you how my eating habits were then…). The rest of today was good just because Andrew made hard-boiled eggs (he kind of failed and they turned out to be soft-boiled…) and for dinner he made a garlic chicken breast that was pretty yummy.  What would I do without him???

 

MLK

I have to say the best part of working in a school is having these random days off. Except I went into work today to catch up on stuff and redo my lesson plans for the week because I was an idiot and forgot there was no school today when I did my planning last week. We’ll see how this week goes because I’ve essentially lost a day and the semester ends on Friday. Wah.

The last couple of days have been much better! I’m back on track. My sleeping is still not great, but hopefully that’ll improve. Basically, I’m having a really hard time falling asleep, and when I do finally fall asleep, I’m unable to stay asleep for more than 3-4 consecutive hours. Why?! I did some catching up on my sleep this weekend, but I’m hoping this week won’t be a repeat of last week. Must. Get. To. Bed. Earlier. And. Stay. Asleep. Once I get my sleep schedule regulated, my eating and portion control should fix itself since I won’t be grazing and bingeing to make up for lack of energy.

I did some major grocery shopping this weekend; I think I have enough food to last me through the first week of February!

I had two fantastic workouts yesterday and today. I went in the morning both days and worked my face off. I prefer working out around 10 AM because I can actually stay focused and be super productive because I’m well rested and awake. Stupid adult life getting in the way of that.

My dinners have been pretty fancy these past couple of days with very simple breakfasts and lunches. I’ll talk about my dinners since they were more exciting.

Yesterday: mustard/maple syrup (aka generic pancake syrup) glazed pork chops with sautéed veggies and barley. Delicious.

Tonight: homemade sweet potato gnocchi cooked with dark green veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, turkey bacon in a totally improvised sauce made from chicken stock and a little butter; side salad with Italian dressing

Tonight’s dinner was such a success. Actually, turns out making gnocchi is really fun. It was an impromptu decision last night to try some because I was bored and couldn’t fall asleep. I’ve got a few batches sitting in the freezer. From now on, I may be making all kinds of gnocchi as a stress reliever instead of baking.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to cook batches of stuff for the week on Sundays because that’s when I generally get my big cooking kick. It’s been getting harder and harder to cook decent meals for just myself each week. Which is why my meals sound much cooler on the weekends. I really love living by myself now, but I miss cooking for and eating with roommates. :-/ Oh, nostalgia.