healthy eating

The Bees Knees

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Clumsy is my middle name. I had hoped to clean up our training room at home so that I could start working out again with Daily Burn. Sometimes the best plans don’t work out. Last week I was at work and went downstairs to pick up some food I had ordered and decided in my infinite wisdom to cut underneath the stair case to meet the delivery guy. The flooring under there is the color of marble and there is a planters ledge, without plants, surrounding the stair case that’s the same color. When looking at the floor, the colors all blended, not giving a sense that it wasn’t all flat. I didn’t see the ledge and ran right into it, sending me flying in slow mo, across the floor and landing directly on my knees. The pain was insane. A few people witnessed it, including the delivery guy. I quickly exchanged a tip for my food and went back upstairs to deal with the pain.

I hadn’t felt pain like this since breaking my toe years back. Worse than the pain was the embarrassment that I felt. People asking me if I was ok and my work mates seeing me like that was hard. The thought that maybe this fall wouldn’t hurt as much if I weighed less started plaguing my mind and still does as I write this. I don’t want to be in a situation, at my age (47), where I fall and can’t get up because of my weight. That just isn’t acceptable.

The doctor checked me out and I should be ok to work out in a week. Right now I can’t kneel down or put pressure on my knees. My work needed volunteers to help move computers this weekend and I wasn’t able to help out. This situation is not the bees knees. I haven’t had much good luck this year so far but I have to keep going. I think I can get the training room ready this week while I continue to heal so that I’m ready to get going again with working out soon. I’ve been thinking about training for a bike ride in May. A goal is always a good thing for motivation.  I need to see how working out goes before I commit.

Wish me luck on getting the room ready and for my knees to heal quickly.

See you soon! Eat well and prosper!

 

What’s your Motivator

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I hope everyone had a great couple of weeks! I missed my post last week, partly due being really busy, but deep down I know it was because I was feeling guilty. Food was not my friend and I ended up gaining three pounds and felt so defeated. This week I’m back on track and was able to lose two of those, which got me thinking. Are my motivators just not strong enough? What drives a person to be strong enough to turn down that friendly offer of a hostess chocolate cup cake? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate them.

Originally my motivators were being able to live a healthy life, lose weight, gain strength, and to be able to have fun in the outdoors like hiking, camping, getting better at kayaking and jumping back into cycling. Those are a lot of motivators so what’s wrong with them because they don’t seem to be keeping me from eating that cupcake?

In my effort to try to get a better understanding I decided to ask a few people what motivates them. My first target was one of my co-workers who has decided to get back into kick boxing. His classes ranged between 30 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes and he IS able to turn down the cupcakes. We also have some peer pressure from another co-worker who likes to say, “You have to treat yourself sometimes”, as he hands over that cupcake that he wants to share. And still my kick boxer says no thanks. His motivators are to look good for his fiance and to be able to protect her. Those were such strong motivators and to the point.

Another co-worker said his motivation was to be healthy, but he has been having a hard time getting to the gym. I plan to talk to others, but I think this gave me a good start to figuring this out. My kick boxer included just two things and to were to the point. As I’m looking back at mine I have quite a list, and just now realized as I’m writing this, that the second part of my sentence after the word strength are things that I have not been doing. Why am I waiting to have fun? Those things will help me achieve losing weight, being healthy and gaining strength.

After some contemplation I’ve decided that my motivators are strong enough, I just need to get busy doing the fun things and realize that they are just like the kick boxing. They enable me to achieve my goals and are even rewards for doing a great job.

I’ll be back next week, and until then, Eat well and prosper!

It’s Been too Long

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January begins a new year, and like many people, I’m starting fresh for 2018. It’s been too long since I’ve posted. I hit several road blocks that discouraged me and limited what I could do exercise wise. The flood waters of Hurricane Harvey caused a lot of deconstruction, I suffered another relapse of BPPV, and then right after I was beginning to get better I got the flu shot and had the mini flu. I know, the flu, doesn’t give you the flu, its not live, but the effects of my body building anti-bodies because of it felt very flu like. By the time I felt better the habit of working out was gone. Then I lost my damn mind during the holidays. Sheesh. But this is a new year and I have plans. I have a new job that has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and feel very optimistic.

For Christmas my husband bought me a Fitbit Charge 2. I’m not into the community aspect of it, maybe one day, but I’m really enjoying the goals that I can set and achieving them. I’m starting with goals that I know I can achieve and then setting them higher. My workplace is very healthy minded, they even have their own community site that support the fitbit, and you commonly see people out walking. It’s really refreshing to work there.

Blogging is going to also be a regular thing for me. Hopefully I haven’t lost too many of you due to my disappearance.  My goal is to blog every Sunday at the very least so that my blogs are regular. I know that this is important and it’s my sincerest hope that my journey will bring hope, encouragement and the feeling that you are not alone.

My husband, daughter and I also have plans to get out and have more fun this year. Last year felt like a constant series of chores and very little fun. We hope to get our dogs to where they don’t pull on the leash when walking so that we can explore trails. I recently found out that there are some trails very near our neighborhood. Natural Bridge Caverns is on our list too as well as a trip to Corpus to see the aquarium and the beach, and a deep sea fishing trip as well. I’ll be blogging about those trips as well. I believe that getting outside and being active will help with our attitudes about living a healthy life.

I’m no longer doing the Hello Fresh plan. I did save some of the recipe cards of the meals that we loved, and I highly recommend it to those who want a boost of eating well. Instead we are shopping online with HEB and doing the curbside grocery pickup. We’ve done the delivery too but this is where it gets costly. I’ve noticed the few times we’ve done it that it not only saves us time, but it also keeps us from seeing the unhealthy items in the aisles and keeps us on track. I’m really liking it!

I fully believe that 2018 is going to be a great year and I look forward to sharing this year’s journey with you.

Eat Well and Prosper!

 

 

EatingWell

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There are mornings where I don’t have time to assemble my lunch. Normally lunch consists of chicken that we grilled on the weekend, veggies and quinoa. Here lately though, we haven’t even had time to even grill the chicken. When this happens I need something quick to grab out of the fridge or freezer to stuff into my lunch bag.  I’ve eaten Lean Cuisine’s before in desperate times, but usually end up hungry in an hour. The sodium in these are also sky high. I’ve even tried the Perfect Fit meals that are refrigerated and vacuum sealed. They were just ok and many times the chicken was so dry I could barely get it down.

I had all but given up on finding something healthy, and already prepared, until one day I walked down the frozen aisle looking for something else and found a bunch of meals from a company called EatingWell. They are also vacuum sealed and have a cut out in the box so you can see the ingredients, which looked really fresh and yummy. Intrigued, I took one out of the freezer and turned it over to see what the calories were and was pleasantly surprised to find it was just 300 calories. I blinked a couple of times to make sure I was seeing it right -I’ve had some trouble with my contacts lately- and read the same 300 calories. The sodium was also half of what the Lean Cuisine meals were. Convinced this was just luck of the draw I checked out three more and the highest calorie count was 350. This was perfect for my calorie limit for lunch so I grabbed two different ones.

Now, yes they checked out on nutrition and calories, and they looked great in the box, but what would they actually taste like? The first one I tried was Korean Inspired Beef and it was fantastic. I hesitated on writing a blog post because again this could be luck of the draw. Excitedly I pulled out the Creamy Pesto Chicken meal from my freezer, stuffed it into my amazing lunch kit, and ran off to work. I have to say this meal was just as good as the first one I ate. Lunch was a blissful 310 calories, 22 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar and 450 mg of sodium. The freshness of the food that shows through the little window of the box even remains fresh looking after heating up and tastes so fresh when eating it. Below are some pictures of what the meal looks in the box, out of the box before microwaving, and lastly after heating. I’m so excited to have found these. I encourage you to try them out.

Schlotsky’s Hack

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Back in the day, when I ate freely without a care in the world, I liked going to Schlotzsky’s and getting The Original sandwich. Oh how yummy that was. And the bread? To die for. You can imagine the shock that surely registered on my face when I checked the calories on MyfitnessPal and learned that The Original was 780 calories! For me that would count towards my breakfast, morning snack and lunch. I was devastated. Would I never get to eat Schlotzsky’s again?

After I was able to settle down from the shock and despair- ok that’s a bit dramatic, but the idea of not getting to eat it again was sad- I decided to check on the calories for the small. The small Original still comes out pretty high at 540 calories. This is still quite a bit. I guess I could forgo my afternoon snack to make up for it, but I usually get hungry around 3pm, so this still didn’t work.

I’ve been on a quest to find a way to eat the things I love, but to do it in moderation, so I started devising a way to make this happen. As it turns out, the majority of the calories are in the bread. No surprise there really. If it’s scrumptious,then it’s usually the culprit. Once I realized the bread was somewhere around 200 calories by itself, I decided to alter it by taking the meat from one side and adding it to the other side, making the now half sandwich feel like a deluxe original. I just didn’t eat the other half of the bread.

I didn’t feel cheated by doing this and actually felt full when I was done. I even did this in front of co-workers, conquering my peer pressure eating, even after answering the question, “What the heck are you doing do that sandwich??”

 

Where to Breakfast?

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Over the past couple of months I really haven’t been eating out in order to watch what I’m eating and to keep the calories down, and it has paid off. With Ten pounds gone and more to go, one of my next steps is to go out and eat responsibly.  Now that I have my mission, where does one go to breakfast? Armed with my daughter in tow we were determined to make this happen.

Years back restaraunts started posting the calories in their food and posting them online, which helps a lot in making good decisions BEFORE you even get there. Of course you have to pay attention to the number of servings the posted calories are for. I’ve caught this a few times where I was excited that the meal would be just 300 calories but when I checked the servings it was for two. Not cool. To make our challenge even more challenging, my daughter eats gluten free.

We both set out the night before, checking restaurant near by that had the calories posted, and also had gluten free options. Lucky for us we live near an area called The Woodlands and there are a bunch of healthy options in that area. After about thirty minutes we decided on a restaurant called Another Broken Egg Cafe. They have a section called Sensible Selections. The first column is calories and the second one is fat calories. They had several other columns for nutrition as well.

The Skinny Omelette was a contestant, but I could’t get over the idea of having asparagus in my omelette so I chose the Monterey Omelette. This was pretty high on the calorie count. Breakfast is 300 calories for me, and morning snack is 200, so I could combine those two to get 500 calories, but I had to alter this breakfast to get there. This omelette, as posted on their website, comes with the following:

MONTEREY OMELETTE

Egg white omelette filled with baked chicken, avocados, onions, green chilies and tomatoes. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese and green onions. Served with an English muffin, fresh fruit and salsa.

Putting my thinking cap on I requested that they omit the chicken (probably saved me 100 calories) and decided not to eat the english muffin (another 100 calories)and eat just some of the fruit. The waitress was more than happy to accommodate and even swapped out the english muffin for fruit for my daughter’s decadent Cajun Louisiana Crawfish Skillet meal. She was on a gluten free quest, not for calories. It was her free meal of the week.

The meal and service were amazing and we decided that this will be our breakfast place to go once a month where we can both enjoy meals that will be on our new eating plan. As it turns out I was only able to finish half of the omelet, didn’t eat the muffin and ate just a few pieces of fruit.

There were several wins here. I had a nice breakfast and was able to stop myself when I was full. From a very early age I had been programmed to eat everything on my plate otherwise I’d be wasting food. As an adult I hated wasting money on food not eaten and would eat it all for money sake. Peer pressure eating has always been an issue for me too. If my eating mate decides on a stack of pancakes with bacon and hash browns then dangit I wanted it too. I did not do this here either, and believe me when I say my daughter’s meal was decadent. I was also able to hit my calorie goal, focus more on the atmosphere and enjoy the company of my wonderful daughter.

Another Broken Egg  Café is definitely a winner and will be repeated often. Great healthy-minded restaurants. who are willing to accommodate different people’s diet needs are out there, and if you live in The Woodland’s Texas, then you are really lucky!

Eat Well and Prosper!

Hello Fresh Country Gravy Pork Chops

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Last night I prepared the Country Gravy Pork Chops meal from Hello Fresh. This is my second attempt at preparing the meal plans from Hello Fresh, and I’m happy to say that this time the food tasted really good. I halfway wish I had chosen this one to start out with.

My previous post Hello Fresh Lemony Shrimp  reviewed the packaging and delivery so I’m going to jump right in on the food portion since the packaging is the same.

Directions–  This time the directions felt a bit more intuitive and flowed together pretty nicely. I did skip around to try to save some time, but wound up finishing in 30 minutes as the directions stated. I’d give this set of directions 4 stars. It was easy to follow, and I liked that the meal was cooked in one pan, keeping the dirty dish count low. Below is a picture of their plating of the meal, along with the direction sheet.

 

Flavor– I was impressed with the flavor and texture of this meal and I’m going to go ahead and give this portion of the review 5 stars. The flavor packet that you mix in with the flour for frying (in olive oil) really gave the meat a nice flavor, and the crust was so crunchy, and didn’t slip off the meat like some breading does on fried foods. The taste of the collard greens tasted really good mixed in with the potatoes and it was easy to try to mimic the plating to make the meal look fancy.

Nutrition– Again I had to change some things up to make the portion a reasonable size for someone trying to eat right and keep the calories low. 660 calories is really high for me, trying to stay in the 400 to 500 calories range for dinner. For fairness sake, the name of the meal does say Country Gravy Pork Chops, which screams, “I’m not healthy! Stay away!” But a girl can do her best to alter things and still eat yummy food. Who wants to eat salad all the time? So to keep the calorie count low this is what i did:

Each pork chop weighed in at 6 ounces (according to healthy sites and my nutritionist a healthy portion is 4 ounces or the size of a deck of cards) so I cut off some of it.

I only used half of the potatoes. I saved the other half to use with eggs for breakfast so that wasn’t wasted.

I just drizzled on some of gravy to get a taste of it and wound up using just 1/4 of the gravy per serving.

This meal had you frying and covering everything in olive oil. Sure, olive oil is still better for you than many of the other oils, but the amount in this one was excessive. I limited my use of it.

Knowing what I already knew about the lack of flavor from the previous meal I did add more salt to this one. Bad I know, but I did it anyway.

For the nutrition portion of the review, out of the box without my meddling with it, I’d give this one 3 stars. It does have some healthy veggies in there.

My overall experience with this meal was very positive. If I get the chance to order it again, I will. Below is a picture of their plating and mine. This one looks better than the first one I tried.

Eat well and prosper!