Monday, October 27, 2014

That's A Wrap

Hey y'all.  Well, the results came are in from the scale and I wasn't happy.  I worked my butt off all month and I was up two ounces.  I know that isn't much of a gain but I was hoping for at least a 3 or 4 pound loss.  I didn't take this well.  I actually cried a little.  I have been working hard for several years.  I know that I'm not always perfect but to say it's discouraging when you are almost too sore to walk from working out so hard and when you feel like you're starving most of the time, is a pretty big understatement.  I ran about 5 miles after I weighed to prove to myself that I wasn't going to give up. I'm no hero though because I let the discouragement get to me and ate way too much on Sunday.  I don't know if I'll ever reach my goal and I'm pretty tired, honestly.  My body reacts poorly to anything less than perfection and am not sure I have it in me to be perfect anymore.  I will do my best.  Halloween is this weekend so I am giving myself a little wiggle room since it's my favorite holiday but I am coming up with an action plan to not over indulge too much.  Other than this weekend though, I'm going to do everything I can to be good and then I'll weigh again Thanksgiving morning.

My roommate has been using wheat wraps for years for quesadillas and chicken wraps and I bought some after I was inspired by some Pinterest ideas and I've tried all kinds of things with them.  I haven't come up with anything revolutionary or anything but I will say, there are few limitations to the amount of things you can do with a wrap.  In addition to plain old ham and cheese wraps, I also started the week off with a breakfast burrito.  All I did was heat up some egg whites and add ham, cheese, hot sauce, salt and pepper and had a nice, filling breakfast.  It's different than the typical frozen sandwich I eat and it takes almost no time to make it.  It was good before my run because it had carbs and protein.

This is the one I saw on Pinterest that sent me into a wrap spiral all week.  You can buy a cheese, rice and broccoli mix in the freezer section.  Steam the ingredients in the bag in the microwave and then put half in a tupperware for later and use the other half on your wrap.  I added some chicken.  So, this is my cheesy, chicken, broccoli wrap.  I loved that I could divide the bag into two parts and make two wraps.  It was filling and tasty and stupid easy.

I am a fan of Moe's and I still eat there from time to time but I don't go often because what I really want isn't diet friendly.  Not only do places like Moe's and Chipotle over serve you, it's hard to say no to sour cream, cheese and guacamole.  So, I bought a fiesta inspired Lean Cuisine, heated it up, split it in two (saved the rest for another wrap later), added French Onion Dip made from Greek Yogurt to replace the sour cream, low fat cheese and salsa.  I will admit it's not as good as Moe's but I loved it! I know that Lean Cuisine's aren't the favorite of people who encourage you not to eat processed food but I also know people need to eat in a hurry and this meal already had chicken, rice, black beans and peppers so you didn't have to do anything else.  You could certainly leave out the cheese or add guacamole to make it yours.  Just remember to keep track of what you're adding and subtracting in terms of calories.

The last one is my absolute favorite.  We have a place in town called Tacogi.  It's a fusion place that essentially takes everything you love about a Japanese stir fry and stuffs it into a burrito.  This place is a guilty pleasure of mine and when I'm being bad, it's always on the list of potential cheat meals.  I bought a stir-fry Lean Cuisine (by the way, you can use whatever brands you like, I just chose the meals with the least calories), add low fat cheese, a little soy sauce and a serving of store bought shrimp sauce (make sure you're careful and measure the shrimp sauce.  I love the stuff but it's terrible for you.).  Y'all, this is delicious.  It's half the size of the giant burrito you're served at Tacogi but it's packed with the same flavors and you save a ton in calories and in price.  I will most definitely be making this again.  Also, I split this Lean Cuisine in two parts as well to make two burritos.  Half meal per burrito is plenty when you have the other ingredients and the wrap.  Yum, I want one of those again, right now.

I made a cake from scratch this week for my cheat dessert (to clarify, I only had one piece).  It was a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting that I spiked with crumbled peanut butter cups.  It tasted delicious but the cake was a little on the dry side.  Is there a secret to moist cakes that you make from scratch because box cakes are so moist, it's almost not worth the effort.

Ian and I watched the first half of the Tennessee game at my parent's house this Saturday and we were both dressed up so I made my mom take pictures.  I thought this was a cute one.

Alabama is off Saturday.  Halloween is this Friday and it is by far my most favorite time of the year.

I'm also going to a Bacon and Beer Festival on Saturday.  I know I won't be doing myself any diet favors this weekend but sometimes you got to let loose.  I'll just try not to be crazy.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Pretty Smooth

Hey y'all! I have been almost a month without getting on a scale.  I faltered some this weekend but other than that, I've been pretty good the past few weeks.  Bama had a football game in town this weekend and I had one of my cheat meals in the middle of the week.  Both of these factors put me at a high risk for misbehaving on Saturday and Sunday.  I have been much worse in the past but I'm not proud of a couple of moments I had, especially on Saturday.  I wish that my mini-binge didn't happen a week before my weigh in but it is what it is.  I'm back on today and I'm hoping to be at least a few pounds down.  I've been working out like crazy so I'm praying it's paying off.

Since I've joined the gym, I've gotten in the habit of liking smoothies.  The problem is they are $4 a piece which tends to add up if you're going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week.  So, I bought Cassandra and I smoothie makers to save money and make delicious smoothies at home.  I made two recipes.  The first included a cup of frozen pineapple chunks, 1 packet of splenda, one container of coconut vanilla yogurt, 1/8 cup skim milk and 1/8 cup water.  It was tasty and loaded with protein and nutrients.  It tasted kind of like a pina colada. The best part is that it was under 200 calories.  The second was a bit higher in calories but still under 300.  I used chocolate covered strawberry yogurt, a cup of frozen strawberries and the rest of the ingredients were the same.  Both of them were delicious and filling.  It's was easy to throw the ingredients in and just go.  I plan on trying some more recipes, I just grabbed stuff at the store and threw it in there.  I'm sure there are many recipes that have different benefits.  There are probably better-working, more expensive drink blenders out there but I think it works pretty well for the price.

My mom and I drove to Kentucky last year for an Alabama game and stopped at an Amish grocery store on the way.  While we were there, I bought some pesto flavored noodles and I'm just now getting around to using them.  They are about 200 calories per serving. I fixed them up two different ways (both times using the light alfredo sauce you can pick up  at any major grocery store).  The first time I just mixed the sauce and pasta with chicken and olives.  The second time I mixed it with a can of green beans and Morning Star Crumbles.  Both times I added garlic, salt and pepper.  It was nice to eat a bowl of pasta without feeling too guilty about it.  

 I made a special request to my mother for a fiesta night for our Sunday night dinners.   We made homemade crunch wrap supremes.  The version we made wasn't healthy but I think I may try to make a healthy version in the future.  I also made something called sopapilla cheesecake bars.  I actually did lighten this recipe up a bit by using light cream cheese, light butter and reduced fat crescent rolls.  It was delicious but a serving of the dessert was still around 350 calories.  I did want to share the drink I made though.  It's a grilled pineapple margarita.  My brother grilled the pineapple for me.  It's silver tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, water, sugar and two slivers of the grilled pineapple blended together.  Pour it over ice and it's quite tasty.  It's around 270 calories so it's not great for you but you could use sweetener instead to cut some calories.  Overall, fiesta night was a success.  I have a straight up addiction to Mexican food which is pretty terrible as someone trying to be health conscious.  There's no game in Tuscaloosa this weekend. We are playing Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday.  Maybe that will make it more feasible for me to have a perfect weekend.  Roll Tide as always, y'all!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Take A Spin

Hey y’all.  I’m going to be a bit lazy this week.  I’ve only got a couple things.  I had a great week last week.  If I gave myself a B- for the first week of October then I want to give myself a solid A- for last week.  Sorry, I’ve been grading until my eyes bleed so that’s the only parameters in which my mind works right now.  Midterms are due which is why I don’t have much.  I still haven’t weighed and I think it’s helping.  I’m motivated and doing well.  Also, with the exception of a little cheat meal binge, I’ve been eating so much less on the weekends.  I can’t wait to see what the scale shows on October 24th.

I have a confession to make, y’all.  I like canned chicken.  I know that people sneer their nose at it but if you’re an avid reader of this blog you know I eat it all the time.  I don’t really care if you like it or not.  It’s cheap, low in calories and the best thing is, it’s already cooked so I use it frequently.  If you hate it, feel free to cook chicken and use that.  Another tip that I learned from my mom is that you can use the pre-made rotisserie chickens you can get at the grocery store for recipes like chicken salad and it’s delicious! All I did this week was make a lean buffalo chicken grilled cheese.  I mixed a whole can of the chicken, a tablespoon of ranch, hot sauce and garlic powder and added it in between two pieces of bread.  I put a piece of 45 calorie thin-sliced cheese on each side for extra cheesiness.  I always use non-stick spray for my grilled sandwiches to save on a ton of calories that you would consume from butter or oil.  This filling little treat takes less than five minutes to make and if you add enough hot sauce it packs quite a punch.  This is a quick and easy lunch that I highly recommend.

Warning: this post is likely to contain way more information than you need or want.  As I’ve stated, I joined a gym and I’ve been attending different classes in addition to my weekly run.  When I was in college, I did a spin class.  I swore that I would never, ever, under any circumstances take another spin class.  The reason is that when I sit on the seat it feels like I’m straddling a cinder block spiked with thumb tacks.  I couldn’t walk right for two weeks.  Random people asked if I went horseback riding.  I was a bit heftier then and I’m in pretty decent shape now so I reluctantly decided to give it another shot this morning.  Y’all.  I sat down earlier this afternoon and let out a small whimper derived from the immense pain I felt in all private regions below.  While I was doing the spin class this morning I kept re-adjusting, trying to find a comfortable spot but it never happened.  My squirming only made it worse because everything from my tailbone to the bottom of my belly hurts.  I imagine I looked pretty ridiculous sticking my butt up high to try to find a position that didn’t feel like I was in a terrorist interrogation situation.  What really sucks is that the workout I got in spin class was amazing.  Your heart rate gets up there and you work pretty much every muscle.  I don’t see how I can do it again without at least five sanitary napkins, one of those donut pillows you get after having a hemorrhoid removed and some sort of tissue to wipe my tears.  If there’s anyone out there with tips on how your hoo-ha can survive a spin class, I’m open to suggestions.  I really liked the actual workout I just can’t focus and I definitely can’t handle the pain during or after.

I went to a pumpkin carving party yesterday afternoon and Ian and I produced a pumpkin spiderman that we are pretty proud was a team effort. I can't describe how happy I am it is Halloween season y'all.  This is by far my favorite time of the year.  Alabama squeaked by this week and they have another tough one at home on Saturday.  Roll Tide as always, y'all! Until next week...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pump Up The Jam

Hey y'all! Happy Monday! As I type that cheerful greeting I realize that it is in fact Monday and I shouldn't be too cheerful because some of you may find that annoying this early in the week.  I don't have a weight to report because I'm attempting to only weigh once a month.  It was weird not to check out the scale.  I'm going to weigh around the end of the month and see what my progress is like when I have a longer span of time.  I set some new rules for myself to stop over indulging so much.  If I allow myself some loopholes from the past weekend I could technically say I had a perfect weekend.  However, I know there were one or two places I could have done better.  Having said that, I was pretty darn satisfied with my performance over the week.  I didn't over indulge with food to the point of nausea and discomfort.  I even split up a couple meals so I didn't eat too much at one time.  I'm feeling good about the adjustments I made and I'm hoping to have an even better week coming up.  One day at a time, right?

In addition to eating better, I also joined a gym a couple weeks ago.  I had a gym at my previous job so when I left I needed something to motivate me.  I've been running and walking but I wanted the availability of classes and machines to work my entire body.  I needed something to kick my butt.  I joined with my friends Cassandra and Rachel and we've been going to something called a Total Body Conditioning class which reminds me a lot of Insanity.  I love it.  It's tough but I can already see a difference in my body and my running abilities from working out different muscles.  We tried a class called Power Pump this morning that used weights and it nearly killed me.  I worked out 6 days last week and went grocery shopping on the seventh day so I'm active and motivated right now in terms off fitness.  I am even considering running the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon again in March and ran 5 miles on Friday.  I'm trying not to overdo it like I've done in the past but still pushing myself to see change.

I wanted to share a new snack. I showed you the protein packs a few weeks ago and I'm still loving those.  These are just packs of all white chicken with either a teriyaki or honey mustard dipping sauce from Hillshire.  They are nice big hunks of white chicken and the pack runs from 130-140 calories.  It's a nice protein pick me up for the afternoon or mid-morning.

I am still pushing through my wontons and I think this recipe is the best one I've made yet.  I made a Pinterest inspired mini-Shepherd's Pie recipe.  This is easy and super filling.  I know many people that detest meat substitutes so naturally, you can make this with lean beef or ground chicken or turkey but I used Morning Star Crumbles.  They are a lean and filling meat substitute that you can use in soups, casseroles or any recipe that calls for ground meat.  They have a similar consistency to ground beef and they take on whatever taste you give them.  I also used a single serving of Betty Crocker mashed potatoes.  I used one piece of cheese that I split up four ways and the thin sliced Provolone melted really nicely.  All I did was toast the cups, added the crumbles that I seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and Tobasco as the bottom layer, stuck a piece of cheese on top of that and then added the already prepared mashed potatoes to the top.  I added some pepper and chili powder to the top of the potatoes to add a little kick.  I popped them in the oven for a few minutes which gave me time to eat the extra mashed potatoes and crumbles and then they were ready to eat!  They were so yummy and made me full which is the most important thing! I highly recommend this as something super simple that you can do.

Alabama lost to Ole Miss on Saturday and I am trying to deal with it by looking to the future.  We play Arkansas on Saturday and it's another tough road game so I'm hoping they bounce back,

It's a busy week for me since it's midterms time but I'm pushing through.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!