Almond Butter & Jelly Smoothie

This morning, I made a delicious green smoothie (one of the things I’m trying to make more of since… hello, veggies!) and I wanted to share what was in it. A) to remember. B) So others can try it!

  • Big handful of spinach
  • 4-5 strawberries
  • .25 C blueberries
  • Handful of ground almonds (ish)
  • Almond milk

I think I shall call it the Almond Butter & Jelly Smoothie, like a PBJ version of a smoothie but with almonds. It was delightful! The combination of the blueberries and strawberries had a nice tang.

What’s the most delicious green smoothie you’ve had lately?

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Operation: Fit & Fierce

The name came to me on a whim of inspiration… but I’ve been brainstorming for this Operation for about a week.

After 6 months of non-stop work, not very much time to work out and totally slacking on my eating… I’m getting back on track.

The extra two inches of extra meat on my hips–that will disappear.

The extra seven pounds I’ve gained since January–that will be gone.

My horrendous eating of all the things–that will be mended.

How you may ask?

I’m gonna pack on the muscle to burn that blasted fat off. Like a tiger. Like an effing fierce tiger! Thus, the Fit & Fierce. I think a fierce logo is needed now…

On MyFitnessPal, I’ve programmed my daily nutrition goals to consume more protein than usual to help with that. Thanks to some research on what body builders eat to help gain muscle and some inspiration from my Pole Fitness instructor, I think I can manage that part. For carbs, I will be focusing primarily on whole grains, fruits and veggies.

However, I will NOT be depriving myself of anything that I truly want. That’s not a way to make any lifestyle liveable. It’s called limiting the treats, not avoiding them.

For the fitness part, I will be doing Zumba and Pole Fitness each at least twice a week. Yoga will also be included to help keep my body pliable. Plus, I miss yoga a lot. Hell … I miss my workouts in general a LOT. Bring it on!

I’ve heard it’s good to have a deadline for goals. However, instead of an overall deadline, I’m just going to go for mini-goals every month or two.

First goal: Lose 1 inch off my hips and thighs by July 24.

I welcome more people to challenge themselves to be healthy!

So does anyone want to join in with Operation: Fit & Fierce? Or do you want to create your own Operation?

Link your blog or your MyFitnessPal account below and we can support each other.

Make it stop!

A nagging lower back pain has been plaguing me for the past couple weeks. It’s now gotten to the point where I don’t want to do any activity out of fear of aggravating the pain… and to the point where I just want to eat all the things because it’s driving me crazy.

Yes, that’s a Twix bar wrapper right there. In my defense, my vending machine that I was counting on for a caffeine fix was out of order at work so I got this as a sugar substitute. I’m still tired. Go figure…

I know I shouldn’t emotionally eat, especially after the photos that emerged from last weekend.

Vegas was my stop. Buffets were already paid for. Damage. I came home with an extra pound-and-a-half on my person. Not bad, but since I danced so much it’s still a little disappointing.

Here’s my trick for buffets: stock up on veggies and fruits first while grabbing SMALL portions of things that look good to try. This way I fill up on good things for me and I eat less of the junk. Seriously, try that the next time your at a buffet. It really saved me during this trip.

Digressing now. My happy weight is still below what I am currently… and now I have the photo that could scare me into hitting the healthy circuit really hard.

Suffice it to say that me no likey the love handles. And me no likey my pants feeling snug. Both have got to go. I don’t want this to be all about vanity, but at this point, it kind of is. I don’t compare myself to others–I do know how trim my body has been in the past and I want that back.

Now if only my lower back wasn’t being such a pain in me booty then this would be a lot easier to get a handle on and get’r done!

Any one have pointers for lower back pain (not muscle, but the actual spine)?

Today will be a Gold Star Day!

Let’s face it … yesterday was not a Gold Star Day for me.

I tried to mentally talk myself into having a good OP day. That all went to to h-e-double-hockey-sticks  when I found out my business lunch was going to be at Cheesecake Factory and my boss wouldn’t take no for an answer on me eating some cheesecake.

When I wanted my second step to be knowing my Points+ values before eating, Cheesecake Factory is a horrible choice regardless. The lack of nutritional information for this restaurant is so daunting–you can’t get an accurate Points+ calculation at all. They even have a new Skinnylicious menu, so that’s what I stuck with. I tried their Skinnylicious Veggie Burger which came with mixed greens and their balsamic vinaigrette that I love. It wasn’t bad at all! I rather enjoyed it. Luckily when the time came for cheesecake, another one of my co-workers said she’d rather split one. Bonus. We split a Key Lime Cheesecake.

I know that lunch doesn’t seem like a bad thing all around–I made the best of what I could. But because I couldn’t control the situation and it was unexpected, that bothered me and put me in a funk that made me overindulge the rest of the day on crackers. Shame on me.

So today, I decided that it would be a good day–no matter what. I’m not the best at preparing or planning for meals. When I got home from work last night (at 11:15 p.m. mind you), I turned on one of my TV shows that I missed this week and prepared my menu for today.

  • Apple and Quaker instant oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Turkey and havarti cheese orowheat sandwich for lunch.
  • Romaine salad with olive oil, balsamic and chicken breast for dinner.
  • 2 mini light babybels, string cheese, edamame and grapefruit cups for snacks.

After I tracked it all last night too, and realized I had knocked out all my GHG’s and even had room to spare so I made a mental note to hit Starbucks for my favorite Skinny Peppermint Mocha to fill that spot this morning. My own little indulgence early in the day. And I still have a couple points leeway just in case my planned meals/snacks don’t keep me satisfied.

And this morning, I woke up refreshed and ready for a fantastic day. When I arrived at work, someone asked me how much coffee I’d really had since I was so amped.

It’s amazing what a little willpower and a positive attitude can do!

Now let’s see if I can manage a little activity somewhere in my 9 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. workday …

Hope you have a Gold Star Day! Rock it, okay? :)

What do you consider a Gold Star day?

Second step … Know my P+ values

Due to events last night and this morning, I realized that I need to check points before I eat something because … yeah. I’m a little terrified at what my choices have been over the past couple days. My weekly points are more than halfway gone in less than 36 hours.

Not so good.

Last night, we went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. Got the salad bar, proceeded to choke on a piece of potato for 20 minutes (that was so fun… not) and ordered the Chicken and Broccoli Pasta. I definitely should have checked before ordering that. The entire thing is a whopping 39 points! At this point, I’m glad I didn’t finish it all and saved half for today’s lunch. The only caveat is that I neglected to check the Points+ values until after I ate my lunch. #facepalm

Then this morning, I went to Starbucks for my latte and saw a Reduced Fat Very Berry Coffee Cake on their sign. I know coffee cake is generally not a great choice, but it just looked so yummy on that I had to try it. That was 9 Points+ values. It was extremely delicious, but worth that kind of debt in my daily point allotment? Not really…

Consider this lesson SO learned. CHECK FOODS BEFORE MAKING A CHOICE!

Looks like it’s going to be veggies and grapefruit for the rest of the day for me. And perhaps a couple hours of Zumba because… now I certainly feel like a pig. I do NOT need to be eating that many Points+ values in a day.

I may have been down yesterday for my WI but I need to be better prepared when it comes to making my food choices. It’s time that I start checking Points+ values and not going by how good something looks in a picture. I just realized that’s what governed these poor choices the past couple days.

First step was tracking and now it’s actually knowing those values before sticking anything in my mouth.

Do you find it helpful to plan ahead when you eat out and know the Points+ values before you order?

Get Body Back to Normal!

So these past few days have been the epitome of what a holiday should be… Lots of sleep, lots of watching Christmas movies with my family, lots of playing together, plenty of reading and video games, and of course, lots and lots and lots of food.

And that’s no exaggeration. I feel like my stomach lining has extended twice over to help accommodate the pounds of food I have ingested since Thursday (the day that I coincidentally hit my happy weight again).

When food is that delicious, it is super hard to put down the fork. Am I right or am I right? Nearly everything I ate was delicious (especially the candied yams), that is, except the blander than parchment alfredo I ordered at Applebee’s (it needs a warning label it’s that bad–blech!).

But since the most dangerous part of the holidays are over, it’s time to GBB2N! Or in lamens terms: Get Body Back To Normal. I know it’s ridiculously long, but I feel like being ridiculous in my self-motivation to return my stomach lining to its original size, return to my fitness routine, and last but certainly not least, return to my happy weight that I just hit last week! I want it back!! ;)

In a way, I’m doing a cleanse just for this week to degunkify the innards. Stick to fruits, veggies, lean protein and stay away from processed and artificial stuff. Still debating if I should avoid coffee though… that’s a tough call to make at the moment. Thoughts? Green and white tea for me for now!

It helps that I have loads of activity planned for this week too and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

  • Wednesday (today) – Zumba
  • Thursday – Dance Trance (first time try!)
  • Friday – Hopefully Zumba
  • Saturday – Pole Fitness and Zumba
  • Sunday – 2 hrs of Zumba
  • Monday – Zumba

No waiting until after the New Year to get back with the program… so who’s with me? :)

Have a BIG Breakfast!

After my enlightening moment about my breakfasts yesterday, I decided to take a look around see some stats about this… Here is what I found on Men’s Health (I’m not a man, but still… I think the idea is pretty universal):

After following 6,764 healthy people for almost 4 years, researchers found that those who ate just 300 calories for breakfast gained almost twice as much weight as those who ate 500 calories or more for breakfast. The reason: Eating a big breakfast makes for smaller rises in blood sugar and insulin throughout the day, meaning fewer sudden food cravings. Read more...

Voila. That’s my share of interesting info today…

My breakfast was my usual apple and yogurt, so about 200-ish cals. Not what they recommend. I think I need to have Oops! All Berries again tomorrow morning now… ;)

So what did you have for breakfast?

Running on Low

My ideas on what to write about are on a low.  NaNoWriMo is stealing all my creative juices… and I’m even behind in that!

The only thing I can think about is the fact that my appetite over the past week has been minimal.  I have no idea why this has been the case.  Maybe I’m eating more satisfying foods or something, but it doesn’t feel like I’m even doing that.  Note the Skittles and PB M&M’s I ate following an intense discussion with My Man.  But I even spread those out over a couple days!

While in Vegas and California, I thought I would be tempted at every corner.  Nope, that didn’t happen so much.  In fact, there was probably one meal a day that I didn’t finish.  I wanted to try a burrito place by USC that I’d heard was good.  Got their smallest burrito and I could barely make it 3/4 of the way through it.

Now that I’ve stopped to think about it… I’ve had a substantial breakfast every day for the past week or so.  Maybe that is having something to do with my lack of appetite.  They haven’t been the most healthy breakfasts either. Cap’n Crunch Oops! All Berries are back in stores… I started my second box this morning–favorite!  But you know how they always say that breakfast is key to weight loss and also to curb cravings later in the day… perhaps that’s been my trick over the past little bit.

So remember folks… breakfast can make a difference! It gives your body a jump-start for the day and can help you eat less later on.  This reminds me of a saying I heard a while back:

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

Does it hold any truth?  No idea… not a bad thing to consider though.

REMEMBER TO TRACK! It seriously helps.

Happy Monday everyone!

PS:  Wendie Plan is pretty awesome… down 3 pounds in 2 weeks.  Woot woot!

Brrr!

Ever since I started dropping weight way back in 2009, I’ve had this particular problem and I wonder if you have some version of it too…

I have always hated winter and I don’t like cold weather very much. That much is still the same. However, my tolerance of cold temps has gone down the tubes. This is literally the conversation that happened yesterday when I went downstairs.

Mom: Why are you wearing a sweater?
Me: I’m freezing!
Mom: But it’s 72 degrees in here!
Me: And that’s too cold!
Mom: Seriously? I’m burning up…
Me: Well, lucky you. I’m freezing so it’s obviously cold in here.
Mom: You’re nuts.

No joke. With my new residence in the mountains, I need the minimum of 4 blankets covering my bed at night so I don’t freeze my toots off. And then at work, I have to have a space heater because God forbid I drink the delicious hot cocoa to warm up. A lot of the time, I attribute it to my consumption of lots of ice cold water–but when I’m not doing that, then I have nothing to pin my sensitivity on.

My mom’s argument as to why my body is so sensitive? “You’re too skinny.”

Thanks, Mom. I wouldn’t say that at all. In fact, I’m still trying to trim down the mess of my senior year of college (+10 pounds… ugh). How much of that is muscle? No idea. But I know I have more muscle than before. You think that muscle would help keep you warm, but noooo! I really wish my body wasn’t this sensitive to cold. It’s such a pain.

Another thing is when I feel really cold, I like to turn to food as a source of heat. Sometimes I’ll do push-ups because those are a quick fix but it depends on where I am (no way am I doing those in the middle of the office). It’s not a huge problem right now, but I’m deathly afraid of winter coming because hot cocoa is definitely a favorite of mine. And it’s bound to get FREEZING!

Does anybody else have temperature issues? What do you do to combat them?

Challenge: Slow Down!

How fast do you eat your food? Do you have a sip of water or set down your fork between bites? Do you chew each bite 20 times before you swallow? Or do you simply wolf down your plate before anyone else can get halfway through their own?

I’m not saying either way is wrong or right, but there are benefits when it comes to eating slowly.

The new guy I’m seeing (technically not-so-new since we’ve been into each other for two years) is a wolfer. However, he does have an extremely busy lifestyle (taking 21 credit hours this semester on top of a host of other things) so I can see why being an “efficient eater” would be necessary for him. He loves to eat but I often wonder how much he enjoys food since his fork is only empty for a half a second between bites before he’s shoveling more food onto it. (I must say that he has excellent taste in steak though… )

Over the past few years where I’ve been interested in health, I’ve read about studies on fast eaters several times… and they are three-times more likely to be overweight than slower eaters. The problem is that when you eat a lot of food super fast, your body isn’t given time to assess when it is full so you’re more likely to go overboard. Whereas, if you eat slower, you are more likely to stop when your body has had it’s fill of food even if you don’t finish your meal.

Another benefit to slower eating is better enjoyment of your food–and who wouldn’t love that? Food, while also crucial to survive, should be enjoyed!

So how about this for a challenge this week: Take the time to eat and enjoy your food for at least one meal a day. Turn off the TV, computer, or whatever and focus on what you’re eating instead (since those can distract body from recognizing full signals and also lead to mindless eating). Go slow and don’t eat while driving (dangerous!). See how your body feels and how much food you actually end up eating once you slow down.

I’m curious to see what you find out about their eating habits with this. If this is something you have already worked out, I welcome comments on your discoveries!
Good luck! =)