It’s been awhile!

29 Sep

Hi All,

I know it’s been awhile but between work, school, and trying to maintain any semblance of life I have had very little time to blog as of late, so my apologies!

Firstly, you may remember last time that I told y’all that I was going to continue to restrict my carbohydrate intake.  I’ve been able to drop a couple more pounds (hooray!) and while I don’t take any measurements, my clothes are fitting even better and I’m much more of a true size 10 than 12 as I was before.  I still have an occasional treat from time to time but let me tell you: after reducing my carb intake I’ve noticed that my appetite has gone down.  I’m not sure if this is because I’m eating full-fat food that’s really satisfying, or what.  But it’s been nice that some of the hard work (cravings!) seems to be built in to this way of eating.  No worries though, I’m still eating right around 1650 calories a day without exercise.  Yesterday Wally and I went for a run and I burned almost 600 cals, so I ate a LOT more!

So one of the things I just can’t do without is chocolate.  I found this at Trader Joe’s while shopping last week and it’s my fav new thing.  I only eat a couple of squares and it’s oddly very satisfying (coming from some who, previously, could eat an entire bar).  I like the dark chocolate with almonds flavor:

You can find out where to by at http://www.simplylitefoods.com

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Another thing I’ve been trying to eat more of lately is beef.  I’ve been able to find 85% lean grass fed ground beef and I’ve been making bunless burgers.  My favorite recipe currently is as follows:

Cheesy Burgers:

-1/4 yellow onion, chopped finely

-1 lb. ground beef

-1 egg

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp onion powder

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-2oz cream cheese

-2 slices cheddar cheese, divided

-1/4 c salsa, or to taste

-4 c. baby spinach

Mix up your ground beef, spices, egg, and onion.  Form into patties and cook on med-high heat until they’re cooked to your preference.  My husband and I prefer med-rare.  Once they’re almost done, plop the cream cheese and then the cheese on the top, turn the heat on to low, and cover until the cheese is melted.  Remove from heat and serve on a bed of baby spinach.  Top with salsa.

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I’m so creative…I’m like Bob….

Take care and thanks for reading!

-C

Umm…does sweating out a cold really work?

15 Sep

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend.  Mine was- I enjoyed a run with my friend Lindsey yesterday morning and today I cleaned up around the house, did some laundry, made my breakfasts and lunches for the coming week, and I even took a nap today.  I always feel like my weekends are so busy.

Anyway, I wanted to post today about working out when sick.  I’ve been dealing with a cold since Thursday and have tried to power through my workouts.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not all too sure when to work out and when to hold off when I’m sick. I think– please remember everyone that I’m NOT a doctor or anything- that if it’s a head cold you can work out safely, but anything below the neck is a no-go.  That said, if you feel like “death warmed up” then you probably shouldn’t be working out at all (credit for that saying goes to Sara with a D if she’s reading…).

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I went for a short 3-mile run with Lindsey yesterday but did lots of walking around all day.  I came home last night feeling awful, fell asleep on the couch for a bit, woke up and ate a metric ton of ranch dip and fresh cut veggies, then went to bed.  Today I woke up a bit short-of-breath so I decided to give it a rest today.  I’m going to try again tomorrow morning though- I’ll set my alarm for bright n’ early!  What about you? What do you do when you don’t feel well?  Sometimes I really don’t feel like working out but feel better after I do. That’s how I felt when I ran yesterday, but I think I may have overdone it with all of the walking around and general non-stop action of my day yesterday.

SPEAKING OF, I made more home made ranch dip yesterday.  It’s SO much better than anything you can buy at the store and it’s really filling (granted, I use the full-fat stuff) and this recipe is NOT paleo, but it’s still good if you’re not hardcore paleo or if you’re choosing to follow a more primal diet.  OR if you just love ranch dressing.  Anyway, without further adieu…

Ranch Dip

  • 1 C mayo (I like either making my own or using the full-fat kind made with Olive oil)
  • 1/2 C sour cream (I use the full fat kind for this too)
  • 2 T of fresh chives (or you can use 1 T of dried)
  • 1/2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

  • Throw all of the ingredients in a  bowl
  • Stir it up
  • Taste it! But taste it with like a tomato or a piece of lettuce or something you’d eat it with. I usually add a dash more of onion powder, because I really love onion powder. But there may be other spices you’d like to add, perhaps you love dill. Throw some more in there!
  • Proceed to eat with your carrots, red pepers, broccoli, a spoon, whatevs.
  • Note: I think this ranch tastes better after it’s been sitting in the fridge for a little while

Now you won’t have to go to the store to get the processed sugary crap we know as ranch dressing! It tastes so much better than what I’ve purchased at the store.

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Have a great week and thanks for reading!

-C

What’s new and finding inspiration

13 Sep

Hey y’all!

I hope everyone had a productive week.  As mentioned in my last post, I’ve changed up my diet slightly to see if that will change the scale at all. I’ve maintained my loss of 15 lbs, but I can’t get the scale to budge.  There could be several causes for this:

  • Adding heavier weights to workouts
  • My body is hanging on to every last ounce of water it can
  • The gluten free cupcakes- yes, that’s plural- that I had for my birthday this week

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And eat all most ok, all the cupcakes is exactly what I done did.  They were delicious and I regret nothing!

Anyway, so I decided this week that I am going to go a little bit more low carb in my diet, to see how it would make me feel and to see if I could sustain more weight loss on that plan.  When I started paleo, I had been eating around 100-150-ish carbs a day, which is still significantly lower than an average american diet (actually it’s called a SAD- Standard American Diet, but let’s not get down on ‘murica today), but I think if I eat more fat I will feel more satisfied and fuller for longer.  So this week- you know- apart from the cupcakes- is what I did.  I hovered around 30-40 carbohydrates per day, max.  I will report back next Friday with either a loss or a gain. I will say for the days I did eat low carb this week (well, lower than I was), I felt awesome. I had more energy than I did when I do eat more sugar/carbohydrates, so we’ll see how this goes.  I was surprised I didn’t feel sluggish at all. On the day where I had cupcakes…oh boy, I ate and went to bed, when I should’ve been doing homework. Womp womp.

In the last post, I had mentioned something about inspiration. What I meant by this is that you can pull inspiration from everywhere, for pretty much everything.  I’m sure y’all have heard of Pinterest- I have spent so much time on there pulling inspiration for outfits, home decor ideas, and recipes.  Today I’m more specifically talking about recipes and eating well.  But I f’n love Pinterest!

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Ryan Gosling + a Pinterest reference? Perf.

Last week, a friend of mine posted her breakfast on Facebook (she is also doing a low carb/paleo diet and rocking it), I saw the picture and thought “maybe I should make that for lunches next week!”  And with that, I had a week’s worth of lunches planned and sitting in the refrigerator for the upcoming week.  Having my breakfasts and lunches all prepared made this week so much easier for me because it took the guesswork out of what I was going to eat or how I was going to have enough time to make everything (seriously, working so far from home, trying to workout everyday, and going to grad school has eaten up every last second of my time).  I just threw lunch in my BAB (big ass backpack) and ran out the door.

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I’m just like Dora.

For me, it is especially helpful to have lunches made and in the refrigerator, mostly because I always have grand plans for myself during the week- as in, “I WILL WAKE UP AT 4 AM AND WORKOUT AND I’LL MAKE MY LUNCH THEN!” And then I wake up late in a sweaty mess trying to get my shit together to get to work at a reasonable time.  Yay adulthood!

Anyway, I also wanted to post a picture of myself for progress as well- while the scale hasn’t changed at all in a couple of weeks, I think my measurements are getting smaller- I can only tell this because my jeans and other clothes are bigger. Maybe I should start tracking my measurements as well–something to ponder for next post, I suppose.

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I love that bright ass orange shirt btw. I like to wear it for running so drivers won’t run me over.

 

Thanks for reading!

-C

The little things

8 Sep

When I first began losing weight (feels like a really long time ago), I started with the little things.

Before I removed anything from my diet, I just started adding healthy things in. I remember the day that I had decided to do something about my weight- and more importantly- my health. I had eggs for breakfast, which still retain the number one spot on my healthy and satisfying breakfast list. I remember looking in the pantry and seeing chocolate (my fave- and still retains the number one spot on my “This tastes so damn delicious” list). Instead of grabbing the entire bag of mini kisses, I grabbed one and grabbed a tangerine out of the fridge.

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I did this more and more, until the healthier foods started to replace the bad ones in my diet. It was as low process, and I had to start with baby steps for a few reasons:

  1. I felt really, really bad about myself and I needed as many small victories as I could get.
  2. Beating yourself up when you’re already down makes things worse. It’s a much more positive perspective to say, “I didn’t eat the whole bag of chocolate! Instead, I had one piece and a piece of fruit” than to say, “I completely messed up my entire diet- might as well say ‘eff it’ and just eat the whole bag.” See the difference there? Losing weight is not just about what you’re doing physically but how you are mentally as well. Positive self talk (as much as the pragmatic voice inside me wants to say “that shit doesn’t work”) works. It’s the best tool you have.
  3. Baby steps are better than bigger milestones (for me). If you’re like me, I need goals that are actually attainable to keep going. I’m a perfectionist in every sense of the word. If I feel like I’m not being “perfect” at what I’m doing, I give up. I’m an all or nothing person, and while that has changed over the course of time- you know, I’m older, wiser, and more awesome now- perfectionists can be their own worst enemies.

Even now, I thing the small things add up to one, giant, big thing. Last week I posted my workout schedule, and I’m happy to say that I stuck to every workout except for one. That’s a small thing but if you step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s awesome! Particularly since I had only worked out twice the week before.

Also, let’s talk small amounts of calories burned. They still add up! Last week I took a quick picture of my heart rate monitor after I completed Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30- week 4.

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You may say, “BFD Colleen! 362 calories is nothing!” And you’re right, it’s not many. But when you’re already eating enough food that you feel satiated, but at a calorie deficit, that adds up. Therefore, I’ve got a weight loss trend on my hands for this coming week. Also, keep in mind that Ripped in 30 is a 30 minute workout, with about 10 minutes warmup/cooldown. So I will take a quick 362 calories any day of the week.

Also speaking of little things, I’ve mentioned I’m doing Chalean Extreme. Phase 2 of the program has me lifting heavy weights. Heavy weights have a cardiovascular effect. So BOOM even though I’m doing Chalean Extreme to drive down my body fat percentage through weight training, I’m burning quite a few calories as well.

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Yep, this is my calories burned after doing Chalean Extreme Phase 2 workout 3 and Extreme abs today. Again, for only 45 minutes, that’s a pretty decent burn for weight lifting.

What have been your small steps toward your goals? Have you set your goals this way? Or do you prefer to have bigger milestones?

Thanks for reading! Check back again later this week when I talk about inspiration and what’s new in my paleo diet for this week. I’ll also provide an update on total weight lost so far.   Also, I think it may be beneficial to start tracking my body fat as well, particularly because that’s really my goal- I’m much more concerned with my body fat percentage than my weight.

Have a good week, all!

-C

Another food post!

4 Sep

…because I love food.

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Okay y’all, you may be wondering, “How do I eat at a restaurant or social gatherings on paleo?”

Your answer is: You don’t!

Ok, ok, I kid…

But there are some tips you can follow to still be (mostly) compliant with your newfound diet:

  • Try to go somewhere that serves organic/grassfed meat and poultry
  • When you order, you can have something like extra steamed vegetables on the side.
  • If you’re at a burger place, order it sans bun
  • If you order a salad, ask for avocado or extra hard boiled eggs. You can also ask for additional chicken, beef, etc.
  • Ask your server about items on the menu and if they can be changed. Just don’t be rude about it and they’ll probably oblige
  • Or, (a lot of people won’t agree with me on this one) you can just avoid your diet entirely for the night…

That’s right, you can make a concession to your paleo (or primal, or weight watchers, or vegan…whatever your bag is, baby) diet for a night- for me, sometimes I just want something that isn’t on my diet. But that is something you need to weigh for yourself.  Will it really kill me to have a slice of pizza? Probably not. But will I feel really shitty the next day? Probably. Most likely. Yes. So I just need to weigh the outcome and see if it’s worth it to me to cave in. I don’t think it’s necessary to fit into a certain category with my diet. I will eat what I want but most of the time it will be good things.

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One thing I like to remember about dining out is how food makes me feel. Sure, that chili con queso looks delicioso- Uncle Julio’s I’m lookin’ at you- but really, how are you going to feel after you eat it? To me, that’s what this whole paleo/primal thing is all about. Feeling the best you can feel by giving your body what it needs. If you happen to lose some weight along the way, then even better!

By the way, remember how I told you I made those prosciutto egg cups earlier this week? This morning I also whipped up some sweet potato hash browns to go along with it. Delicious breakfast and I probably won’t be hungry again until 3 (even with a workout!).

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Yes, I drink coffee. I will never give it up. NEVER!

Until next time!

-C

What’s a foodie to do?

3 Sep

A common complaint I hear among dieters- or those who are just starting to eat healthy- is that they find their meals “boring” or stale.  There are a few ways to combat this, which I’ll outline here.  There’s no way I could get by on any diet without delicious, delicious, food.

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I hear you, JL.

  • Plan! A huge component of this diet, or any other diet, for that matter, is proper planning. Do you really want to be eating a frozen crap dinner that you heat up in the microwave again? They’re totally unsatisfying and gross! Real food is more satisfying, but it requires planning. My husband and I tend to plan out our meals in advance, we make our meals ahead of time (like lunches, for example).
  • Shop for the right items: Another thing I do (because we plan!) is shop ahead of time. I will buy organic chicken and freeze it- same goes for fish, depending on the kind. It allows you to whip up quick meals like this one:

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I made chicken kabobs one night out of chicken marinated in coconut milk and spices, as well as peppers. Heated them up on the grill pan- it was a quick dinner that came together quickly.

  • If you’re planning to buy the right things, you have to go to the store with a list in mind. This will also make it easier to avoid the junk you don’t really want to buy. Go into the store armed with a list and it’s easier to resist the temptation.
  • Look at blogs (like mine!) and others- for examples. I know I’ve mentioned her before but nom nom paleo (www.nomnompaleo.com) has wonderful recipes that come together with easy to find ingredients.
  • Don’t make the same thing over and over again. This is something my husband and I joke about- he can eat the same thing every day without it bothering him. I can eat it three times- max- before I’m sick of it. Do what works for you!
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Now, this one will come with time, but if you find a recipe and you don’t have all the ingredients to make it, make it anyway- you can sub some of the ingredients. For example, I made these scones from the nom nom paleo site today: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/38369819679/grain-free-dark-chocolate-cherry-scones. I didn’t have the cherries and added in some chopped macadamias and shredded unsweetned coconut. They are so good and really satisfy a sweet tooth.

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Experimenting with cooking is fun and it gets easier over time.  Have fun!

Oh- one last comment: DO NOT go to the grocery store hungry.  When my husband and I do this, our cart is overflowing with all the junk ever.

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Until next time!

-C

More on that whole working out thang

2 Sep

So, as I mentioned yesterday, if you’re going to choose one (diet or exercise), choose diet first, exercise second.

That said, exercise is still really important. For me, it works as a stress reliever but also tones and firms me up! This is especially true for lifting weights.  Many women when they want to tone or drop a lot of weight turn to cardio.  Don’t get me wrong- I love me some cardio (I’m a runner), but weights are AWESOME. Sure, cardio will burn more calories in the short-term, but lifting weights will burn more calories over time.  Women are often afraid that lifting weights will bulk them up.  Um, that’s wrong.  You can read more here, here, and here. Also, please look at any female fitness trainer ever.  Homegirls are tiny but SUPER STRONG!

With that, my friends, I’m going to let you in on a workout I’m currently doing (for now). I like to change things up, otherwise I get bored very quickly.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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I actually took this today, post workout. My arms are still shaking.

Okay, so I’m a huge fan of NOT going to the gym.  Generally, I think that fitness can be earned at home, if you have some light to heavy (ish) free weights and some key dvds.  Also, a pair of running shoes doesn’t hurt- I much prefer running outside when I just need to get some cardio in for a day. Though sometimes I turn to the dreadmill for a quick run, particularly if I’m injured or it’s really dark outside.

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Currently I’m using two dvd workout “systems” for my own fitness.  Chalean extreme (brought to you by Beachbody, you know, the same group that does Insanity, P90x, etc.) and Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30.  Both are good programs that you can do in a relatively short amount of time. You know, for those of you who are like me and you have very little time on your hands for working out. It’s like stuffing 10 lbs of crap in a 5 lb bag….

These programs are a godsend, really.  You can all on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Beachbody-ChaLEAN-Extreme-DVD-Workout/dp/B001O2MWGI

http://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Michaels-Ripped-30/dp/B004CRR9IS

I’m also using cardio abs from the Insanity set…

http://www.amazon.com/Beachbody-SANDVD2151-INSANITY-DVD-Workout/dp/B002QZ1RS6/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1378142502&sr=1-1&keywords=insanity

I’m not following the programs as recommended in the books they come with, but let’s use the current week’s plan as an example:

Sunday 9/1: Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 week 1, Cardio Abs

Monday 9/2: Chalean Extreme Push Circuit 1

Tuesday 9/3: JM Ripped in 30 week 2

Wednesday 9/4: Chalean Extreme Push Circuit 2, Cardio Abs

Thursday 9/5: JM Ripped in 30 week 3

Friday 9/6: Chalean Extreme Push Circuit 3

Saturday 9/7: Long-ish run (if I feel up to it)

If I’m able to get a short run in during any of those days this week, that’d be rad.  Rad? Yes. That said, sometimes shit comes up during the week and we can’t always get to our workouts.  It happens to me all the time.

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But the important part is that I just keep going with my schedule.  I love to make my workouts work for me. I do not have time for 2, 3 hour workouts. That just ain’t gonna happen, my friends.

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BTW, I burned 313 calories after my Chalean extreme workout this morning. After a short 30-minute heavy lifting circuit? I’ll take it!

So what are you planning for the upcoming week? Are you going to try to incorporate lifting into your routine or are you a live and die by cardio type? Do you feel bored by your workout? Maybe it’s time to switch it up!

Until next time!

-C