Meal Prep Monday

After a less-than-productive Sunday, I decided to skip a concert (read: waste money) and do some meal prep this evening.

Thanks to Pinterest and experimentation, I pulled together four recipes for meals this week. I apologize that the picture doesn’t do the food justice, but I am very pleased with how everything turned out. Mostly I am pleased that my fridge is now full of good food that I can take for lunches this week.

IMG_6576I started with my favorite brussels sprout salad recipe. Personally, I am okay with eating this cold. Today I didn’t have any onions, so I just used a little onion powder instead. This recipe makes 10 servings, but at 78 calories each – I’ll probably have two servings as a solid side dish.

The next recipe I tried was a new Pinterest experiment – Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp. I opted to grill the shrimp instead of baking. I also used Siggi’s plain yogurt instead of greek, because it’s what I had in my refrigerator. I skipped the green onions, as mine had wilted overnight. Even with my deviation from the original recipe, I think it all turned out pretty good. We shall see how it reheats! Four servings at 141 calories each.

I still had the kale from my CSA share, so I took the advice of my sorority sister and used this Bobby Flay Sauteed Kale recipe. When I discovered my red wine vinegar expired in 2012, I opted for balsamic instead – and I think that was a fine sub. Again, four servings and 143 calories each. I’ll probably pair this with the shrimp for a meal.

Finally, I had picked up a container of already chopped multicolored bell peppers and red onions – so I grilled those with a little olive oil. Then I browned a pound of 99 percent lean ground turkey and threw that together for a fajita dish of sorts. That made four servings at 150 calories.

I am realizing now that I had also intended to cook the bunch of asparagus I have in the drawer, but that’s going to have to wait for another day.

I’m hoping these things will be satisfying and a nice change from the usual things on my menu. It was time for a reset! I go back to the trainer on Wednesday morning which is certainly much needed.

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Greens and Things

If you know me, you know that I love farmers. Growing up on a farm with grandparents who kept a pretty elaborate garden, I was pretty spoiled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. In college, one of the houses I lived in also featured a pretty great garden; we also had one of the best farmers markets in the country! Anyway, being so far from California I have really missed farm fresh produce! I try to make it to the farmers market when I can, but much of the time it just doesn’t happen.

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) has been a growing trend in the industry, and a great way for family farmers to do very well. I have toyed with the idea of buying a share for the past few years, but have always been a little hesitant because it always seemed like it would be entirely too much each week for one person to realistically consume. However, this year I stumbled upon a cooperative out of Pennsylvania that had a small share that promised three to four items per week. I decided to give it a try! At the same time, I decided to buy a fruit share as well. So, for 26 weeks – now through late October – I will be receiving a small share of vegetables, and starting in another five weeks I will receive fruit too.CSA week 1

Tonight I picked up my first share! The box contained one head of green oak leaf lettuce, radishes, rhubarb and a bunch of kale. I am looking forward to trying out new recipes, new foods and eating healthy and local!

No recipes to report tonight, but I put some of the lettuce to use – having taco lettuce wraps with some Cinco de Mayo leftover seasoned turkey meat! The lettuce was crisp, sweet and the perfect alternative to a high-calorie tortilla!

With my new job and morning workout “routine” (I am using routine as a loose term at this very moment), I have found that i have a lot more time on my hands in the evening. I think that means there will be more time for trying plenty of experiments in the kitchen and sitting down to write a little bit more as well.

On another note, No Weigh May is going strong. The first few days it was very bizarre to not see the scale in the bathroom and step on! I am very anxious about my progress – this week is the week between training sessions. While I have been really good at working out on my own (including a five-mile PR yesterday), I think I have let my treats (read: Girl Scout cookies) get a little out of hand. Back to the trainer on Monday, thankfully!

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No Weigh May

Over the past year, I’ve worked hard to keep my running miles up, going to the gym regularly (sort of), and watching what I am eating. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I have been vigilant enough. The scale has not moved. My clothing isn’t fitting any differently, and it certainly hasn’t gone down in size.

Six weeks ago, I started a new job – hopeful that the decreased travel and more regular schedule would lead to more of a routine to life. At the same time, I enrolled in a six-week group training weight loss challenge at the gym. First of all, the name is misleading, as there was no competition to the group, just a challenge within your own mind/body, I guess. Two times a week the four of us got together with the trainer for 45-minute workouts. Yesterday was the final day, and I still await the official results. However, I did not lose the pounds as I expected.

I know, I know, it’s not that pounds that always matter. I talk about that with others all the time. I tell myself the same thing. However, it has still been weighing on me pretty heavily – pun not intended, but I am totally leaving it in.

WallIf you know anything about me, you know that I do a lot of reading and research. I have read more articles and stories about weight loss, running, diet and nutrition plans, and everything else than any one person should. That said, I am falling victim to the scale – just like I have read about so many times.

I got a FitBit almost a year ago. Shortly thereafter, I bought the Aria scale so that I could sync my weight to the app and have everything all in one place. Now that my scale syncs wirelessly, I step on it every morning before I get the day started. On one hand, it is beneficial to see the natural fluctuations in the body, but on the other hand, sometimes that three-digit number can totally throw off my day. I have been really negative about that stupid little number recently.

So, that’s when a friend and I decided that we would do something about it! “No Weigh May” has been declared. She and I are putting the scale away for the month! I am hoping that I will instead be more motivated to work harder, because I am not seeing the number every day – which sometimes leads to complacency or settling with what is there and subsequent diversion from healthy foods and habits.

Will this change my mind on using a particular weight as a goal? I’m not sure. I still have a goal weight in mind. Of course, I also have a jeans size in mind too – we’ll see which one I can attain first. Everyone holds their weight differently, as I am WELL aware – so I just have to see how my body changes over time.

I have signed up for six more weeks with the trainer. I have also decided to work on giving up diet coke (again). I was successful once before, I can do it again. I have also vowed to really get the morning workout routine in place for the mornings I do not see the trainer. As Memorial Day (read: bikini season) approaches rather rapidly, it’s time to kick things up a notch and reach some goals. Here goes nothing!

Note: I had never seen anything on “No Weigh May” before today. Out of curiosity, I Googled it before posting this, and apparently it’s a real thing!

A Little Behind

Well, it’s clearly been a while since I have posted. Marathon training is in full swing, though I haven’t been training as hard as I would like. I look at my training log and I am proud of how far I have come, but I think that I have been slacking a little bit. This weekend I missed my long run – 16 miles. I am a little stressed about it, but I have to just keep looking forward.

Today marks five weeks until the marathon. If I follow the plan as it stands, I have 19 runs left. That’s 136 miles. That leaves me with a three-week taper ahead of the race itself. I am wrestling with what to do for the remaining long runs. The plan says 18-20-12-8. I am trying to decide if I should shift to 16-18-20-10, or something like that. I am going to do some thinking this week and make a decision before I head out for the run on Saturday morning.

I have vowed not to miss a single mile the rest of the plan. I have been doing very well with making progress on the weight loss again, so I need to keep it up. Of course, I say that following three days in Atlanta where I gained around five pounds. Hopefully that will come off this week easily. I am headed to the Northwest this week for work – so it’s going to be a big challenge to keep on track with the diet and exercise plan, but I can do it!

I lost my FitBit on the way to the airport on Thursday morning, so that was a little disappointing. I really miss it! I definitely can tell how much that little thing motivated me to do some extra activity. Luckily for me, their customer service is so incredible they’re replacing my lost one for free! I am very impressed and can hardly wait to receive it! I can definitely say that I am no longer feeling any remorse for spending so much money on getting the Aria scale too — their customer service has won me over!

And with that, I had better get to bed ahead of an early flight tomorrow. The next five weeks are going to be intense!

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Upping the Ante

Well, I don’t have a lot to really report at this moment. I’m on a plane for a business trip to Minnesota – trying to remain focused and make good eating choices this week will prove to be a challenge I am sure. I also intend to work out at the hotels – but we will see what I can squeeze in. Breakfast and banquets make it a little difficult to do so sometimes.

I have, however, decided to up the step ante and set my new target at 12,500 per day. Hopefully that will keep this momentum I’ve gained rolling in the right direction.

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Spin, Spin Sugar!

It’s been a while, but I didn’t have much new to report. For the past week I have been making a serious effort to get things back in order in both diet and exercise. Memorial Day weekend was a time of over-indulgence … so I pulled it together this short week. I did Zumba Tuesday, cardio and a lifting class Wednesday, and tried a cycling class yesterday. This morning – weight loss officially recorded! So happy to be back on track and getting closer to that ultimate goal. I am on the road next week, so it is going to be a challenge to stay on track, but I don’t want to lose this momentum. Only three weeks until Mexico!

Trying the spin class yesterday was a HUGE accomplishment in my book. It was certainly a hurdle I wasn’t sure I was ready to tackle … not to mention I decided to do it sort of on a whim. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising. I do many things on a whim! Anyway, I have always been VERY intimidated by cycling classes. I never felt fit enough to try it. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in that dark room, but I definitely couldn’t see myself trying to stand up and sit down on that bike in a tiny room full of very fit people. I have avoided trying the class for years because I just didn’t think I would be able to do it and keep up.

Thankfully, yesterday the instructor was fantastic. I went in early and she helped me set up my bike. She was very encouraging, mentioning that she’s had a lot of new people in the last week. Only five other people joined the class, so it wasn’t packed – not sure if that was a plus or not, but I didn’t mind it. At the outset she said that cycling classes are great because you can totally modify things to go at your own pace and resistance. She also said that she would be surprised if I could keep up … and that I should not worry. So, off we went. And, I am really proud of the fact that I DID keep up throughout the class. The hardest track was the jumps toward the end of the class. I didn’t love the sitting and standing repeatedly so rapidly. Otherwise, I think I did really well. The instructor mentioned that she thought so too at the end!

So, fear = tackled. I am just so happy that I finally feel fit enough to try just about anything!

OH! And FitBit update: I am obsessed with that thing! I have reached 10,000 every single day! Soon I will up my goal to 12,500. Maybe that will be June’s challenge. I am on the road a lot, so we shall see!

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Making Time … Creating Habit

So far I have made 10,000+ steps every day without wearing the FitBIt while I am in the gym. I intend to keep that as the rule. I have been focusing a lot on cardio at the gym, mostly because Zumba fits best in my schedule. Today, however, I was able to catch an Rx class — Vida’s version of Group Power. Of course, I had walked over from work and had time to kill, so I got my 30 minutes of light cardio in before the class. I was careful not to push it too hard, since I hadn’t been in a while, but I definitely didn’t slack either. My arms and legs will all be sore tomorrow!

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The past two nights I have come home from the gym and then gone out for a walk through the neighborhood to reach my step goal for the day. The one thing I can say is that this extra activity is encouraging me to get out in the neighborhood a lot more. I am really appreciating that City Center is finally open – and the outdoor space is really cool. Last night there was even a duck in the fountain. The weather has been perfect to be outdoors. This FitBit experiment is not only benefiting me physically (at least I hope), but also mentally. These evening walks are a nice way to clear my head – just wandering around with nothing on my mind (but my step count)

Over the upcoming long weekend I plan to work on the next phase of this plan – meal planning. I have been counting calories religiously, but now it is time to step it up and do some planning and rely less on making healthy restaurant choices for lunch and more on things that I can prepare myself. I am not sure what that will look like. I won’t go paleo. I will definitely push more toward eating as clean as possible. We’ll see what else I work out.

In the meantime, I am exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open! Tomorrow is another day … 10,000 steps closer to reaching my ultimate weight goal.

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Very Active Weekend

Well, I did it! I hit 15,000 steps on Friday, as I had planned. While I didn’t actually get to the gym – I did walk to Logan Circle to pick up my race bib and then up to check out the new Trader Joe’s … and I had walked home from work. So, I definitely got the steps, miles and cardio in! Image

Saturday wasn’t as active as I had hoped – though I reached 10,000. I didn’t go to the gym. My day really got ahead of me and then I decided I didn’t want to wear myself out before the race on Sunday morning.

Sunday, however I overdid it! I ran the race – at an excellent pace for 10k! I was very pleased with that. I walked home from the race (another 1.5 miles) and took a quick shower. I didn’t have the FitBit on until I left the house again for my next adventure. I volunteered at a local urban/school farm! I spent 3 hours digging trenches, pulling weeds, creating beds and planting at the farm! Talk about a ton of physical labor! And a lot of fun! Then, I walked home! I reached my steps by 2:30 in the afternoon — and was lazy the rest of the day! My body needed a rest!

I am not 100 percent sure what my starting weight was last week, seems I wrote down two different things – but I did lose something last week! So, I am just going to be happy that there was a little move in the scale and will see what this week brings!

Success isn’t Achieved Overnight

I continue to remind myself every day that I won’t wake up tomorrow and be magically at my goal, but everything I do today gets me one step closer. While the scale may not be moving, I have to persist.

Having this FitBIt has rejuvenated my outlook. I am drinking at least 80 ounces of water every day, which means more steps taken just back and forth to the bathroom! I’ve been taking the stairs in the office – something I haven’t done in the 4 years we have been in that building. I walk a little extra when I go to lunch. I have been walking all the way home from work instead of taking the bus. When I haven’t reached my steps, I keep walking. I even walked the long way home from the gym.

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I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday but I reached my step goal – which means I was still more active than previous non-gym days. I feel very good about that. I didn’t go to the gym today either – there’s a nasty rain storm that is supposed to blow through and I didn’t want to get caught in it. I realize that’s just an excuse, but I did walk down to the grocery store just to reach my steps for the day. In fact, today I have already gone over 11,000. I am setting a goal to reach 15,000 tomorrow. It’s Friday and I have a lot of meetings at the office, so it may be difficult, but I think I will push myself to go a little further each Friday.

I am keeping to the goal of reaching the 10k without counting any work at the gym. I love that I can get bonus calories via LoseIt just for going above and beyond on steps. That’s a bonus on top of the workout calories I “gain” back. I am hoping that I can keep up this momentum. Just 36 days until we go to Mexico!

I know it isn’t a healthy habit, but I weigh myself every day. While I only record Friday morning weights, I like checking in each day and am not too hard on myself with the daily fluctuations. I am sure that I will get the Aria scale to go with my FitBit soon too. While the scale hasn’t really moved this week, I am hoping that there’s a little progress in tomorrow’s weight. I can say that I feel like my tummy has gotten a little smaller. I may just be imagining or willing myself to think that there’s been a change in the tummy, but I am pleased with just feeling a little better about it. I haven’t taken measurements in a while. I plan to do that around the end of the month. I am hoping there’s some progress.

Well, off to wander around my apartment a little bit more to add a few more steps for the day!

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FitBit: Day One

Well, I got my new toy! My new FitBit Flex is my latest scheme to help in knocking out the pounds I want to lose this year. Day one was a huge success. My initial goal is to reach the 10,000 step goal each day without counting the work I do in the gym. 

I found that the simplicity of the app and online dashboard are really easy for me to track my water intake – yesterday I made it to 100 ounces! With summer heat and humidity rapidly approaching, this will be very important! I also love that using the LoseIt app (premium upgrade version) works so well with the FitBit site. It adjusts my caloric allowances based on the actual calories I’m burning as tracked. Anything that is improving accuracy is a welcome bonus to this little experiment.

Yesterday I was so dedicated to reaching that 10,000 mark I walked five blocks out of my way home from the gym — and then paced my bedroom for the last 500 steps! The vibration of the FitBit scared me at first, but was a neat way to celebrate that I reached the goal. Day two is upon us and I am hoping I can reach the goal again! 

I am hoping the added activity will kick this booty into gear and drop more weight than what’s been happening at the status quo. The added awareness of activity during the day (or lack thereof) is worth the $100 I paid for this little gadget. I found myself getting up a little bit more throughout the day to add steps (and to pee from all the water I was drinking). Fingers crossed this is going to ramp up the progress as swimsuit season rapidly approaches. 37 days till Mexico!

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