Back into School and Menu Planning!

Greetings Readers and Happy Weekend!  It’s been such a busy week in our household.  Lady S started preschool and she is loving it quite a bit!  Mister S is now a full-time college student and I am very proud of him.  He’s working quite diligently towards his ultimate goal.  I am back to school full-time and students report on Monday.  I am praying and hoping and wishing for a great year and I think I just might get it.  Only time will tell!

In the foodie sins world, I ate out A LOT this week!  It was the first week back with my coworkers and some best friends and that meant lunch out and lots of girl chitterchat time!  I needed it that is for sure!  I did fairly well making sensible choices out except for that one day….the chicken philly and house chips were entirely too good to pass up so I indulged!  I most surely did and I do not feel bad about it all!

The hardest parts of returning to work full-time are making good, yet quick and healthy dinners, and finding time to workout among all of the other crazy things that I have to do on a daily basis.   The workout part I have handled!  I’ve been a member of Planet Fitness for over a year now but I haven’t been in over 2 weeks.  Quite honestly I have just been burned out from the gym and bored with it.  As a matter of fact I cancelled my membership *gasp*.   I can’t justify the cost when I barely go.  I am still rocking out pretty hard doing Melissa Bender workouts 4 to 5 days per week.  Apparently they are working really well because in 5 weeks I’ve blasted an inch off my waist and my hips!  Yay me!

Now on to eating!  I will be very honest in saying there are days I come home from work and could really care less about cooking.  In the old days I would have just stopped by Showmars and picked up some food and kept it moving.  To avoid these types of pitfalls, I menu plan.  I know what you’re thinking….”Is she cooking for 8 hours on the weekend and freezing all these meals?”  Well NO I am not!  I don’t have the stamina or desire to do that.  I’ve tried it in the past and Mister S was adamant he was done with crock pot meals!

On Saturdays I sit down, sometimes with Mister S, and we decide what we want to eat for the entire week.  We leave off Fridays because that is our guaranteed, designated eat out meal for the week.  I still use the crock pot, especially during the winter or when the recipe allows it, but overall either I cook or Mister S cooks.  To give you an idea of what this looks like, our menu for the next two weeks is below.

Breakfast –>  We alternate between yogurt and granola, CLIF or Luna Bars, turkey bacon and eggs, or breakfast sandwiches

Lunch –>  We eat leftovers from the previous night’s dinner so this is pretty easy to navigate.

Dinner –>  

Week of 8/25

  • Sunday – BBQ Ribs with Mac N Cheese and Corn (Not all that healthy BUT really good)
  • Monday – Beef Stir Fry with Jasmine Rice
  • Tuesday – Tilapia with homemade hushpuppies and fries
  • Wednesday – Spaghetti with Salad and Garlic Toast
  • Thursday – Cuban Steak sandwiches
  • Friday – EAT OUT
  • Saturday – Homemade Pizza with Breadsticks

Week of 9/1

  • Sunday – Chicken wings with broccoli and cheese and couscous
  • Monday – Homemade burgers with fries and baked beans
  • Tuesday – Grilled Chicken with Tomato Alfredo
  • Wednesday – Pork Tenderloin with broc/cheese orzo
  • Thursday – Cheeseburger Casserole
  • Friday – EAT OUT
  • Saturday – Baked Potato Bar

I got hungry just typing all of that for the next two weeks!  I told you at heart I am a foodie girl!  You’ll also notice that we don’t eat salads every single day and we don’t bake everything either.  We pretty much eat many of the same foods we ate before, we just eat WAY less of it.

Speaking of good eating, Mister S is in the kitchen making homemade chicken nuggets so I am off for a wonderful Saturday night dinner!

Toodles!

Ro

Advertisements

Skinny Bitches?!?!

What a ridiculous title for this post right?! It gave me a chuckle when I was typing it. I try to keep my blog fairly PC but I couldn’t think of another way to title this one.

It’s the end of summer and I am SO freaking sad! It makes me want to fall down into fits of madness and cry. Sort of like this….

The positive side of going back to work is that I will be back on my regularly scheduled eating…breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and then working out! I wish that I had the dedication to workout first thing in the morning like some people but I just can’t do it. No way and no how! If being a parent has taught me only one thing it is that sleep is probably the most important thing in the world! It’s my time to put the cares of the world aside and for my body to repair itself after a long workday.

So on to the guts of the posts! Over the course of the last year I have heard so many things regarding my health journey. The majority of it positive and some of it tinged with haterade (google it!). As my weight loss becomes more noticeable, I get a lot of comments and a ton of questions from people who want to start their own journey, people who have already started, and people who will never start. The word SKINNY is something I hear often and every time I hear it I get a little bit more confused about what skinny actually is. Does that imply that I was a fat OR phat before (cause I definitely was)? Does that mean that since I don’t have a pudgy face anymore that I look better? I really am not sure. One thing that I know is that I simply can’t get used to hearing people say it.

The word skinny, to me at least, carries neither positive or negative connotations. Words like skinny, fat, thick, chunky, bony….they all can empower people and destroy them at the same time. Calling someone fat could be just as harmful as calling a naturally thin person bony.

If I’ve learned nothing else along the way it is that words can empower or harm people and that everyone is fighting their own health battles whether they’re underweight, “ideal” weight, or overweight. Personally I think everyone who compliments me is beautiful. It will take awhile to get used to all the positivity but I’m bracing it! One day at a time!

Happy Sunday all!
Ro

Cardio Blast?! Is it true?

I often get asked how accurate the calorie count is on the machines at the gym. And I often have to give people an epic side eye like the FLOTUS does so well to this question because it really is a no brainer. They typically will give you a count way too high or way too low. Depends on the machine you use.

The cardio machines at the gym typically ask a few questions…. 1. Weight, 2. Age and 3. What program you want to do on the machine. Notice that it does not ask for your height at all. The problem with not having all the components is that it inaccurately calculates the number of calories you burn. For example as a 32 year old female who is around 205 lbs and 5’7, my calorie burn is going to be drastically different from a 22 year old male who is 175 lbs and 6’1. The math simply won’t add up correctly and you will get a false reading on the machines.

In the beginning of my journey I went solely on the machine count for calories since I didn’t own a heart rate monitor (HRM). As I hit plateau after plateau, I figured something was off. I had started to use the ARC trainer during my workouts and after some googling I found that those machines grossly exaggerate the number of calories that you burn. For 30 minutes on the Arc Trainer, the machine would say I burned about 450 calories! Woohoo right? WRONG. After getting my Polar HRM , I realized that I was only burning 320-340 calories in 30 minutes. HUGE difference. So what’s the problem? Well if you are going by the machine only, then think you are burning way more than you are, it will throw your caloric burn way off and can lead to to stalling in your journey. Which is exactly what happened to me.

My advice is save a little bit and buy you an HRM. From all the reviews I have read, Polar makes the most accurate of the ones out there. I purchased mine from Amazon for about $55 a few months ago. Solid and sound investment.

Now off to put mine to use…..Melissa Bender is calling my name 🙂

Ro

Cooking? Who does that?

Howdy readers and Happy Tuesday!  It’s a new week and one step closer to the end of summer for me.  Boo!!!  I am SO not in the mood to go back to work but then again what teacher is ready to go back to work after a summer of laziness and lounging?!  Absolutely zero.  I am looking forward to being back into our regular routine…Lady S had an amazing first day of preschool so that puts my mind at ease for the upcoming school year.

With that routine comes menu planning for our family.  This is one of the main things that kept our family on track diet wise during the first year.  I know that the last thing I want to do after working all day is come home and cook a meal, but it was so necessary.  For many years our dinner was whatever it was we decided to stop at or wherever we decided we wanted to eat for that day.  Besides the fact that it was totally unhealthy, it put a major whole in our wallets.  The difference between a year ago and now is that we barely eat out during the week.  Cooking at home has done so many things for our family.  We actually sit down together and talk about our day.  We have fun coming up with ways to tweak recipes that we find.  Lady S does her best to try and spill stir ingredients together.   It’s often said the kitchen is the heart of the home and for us it is!

So how do you cook healthy, quick, and tasty foods after working all day?  Well you get in the kitchen and just do it!  It really is as simple as that!  A major part of cooking meals at home is to menu plan.   On Saturdays I typically make a menu for Sunday to the next Saturday and make a list of ingredients that we need that we don’t have at that time.   Saturdays are also a good time to visit your local Farmers Market in order to score good, organic produce for the next week as well.  For those of you who may be challenged in the kitchen, Pinterest is your best friend!  I’ve found so many good and healthy recipes just from a simple search.  There is no need to try to become Rachel Ray in the kitchen but you have to at least try.  Another great tool to use in the kitchen to shorten your cooking time is a crock pot.  We have three in our house!  I would highly suggest getting one that has a timer and an automatic adjustment so that it will go to warm all by itself.  A simple google search can lead you to an array of recipes that you can throw in there and bam!  By the time you get home your house smells divine and dinner is already done for the day!

Lastly, lunch is one place where a lot of people fall down.  The temptation to join the office and order out everyday or go out to eat lunch is something that people do.  Some days you just don’t feel like packing lunch.  My advice here is to get over it!  When you are plating dinner, get a container for your lunch and put you some of dinner aside.  Lunch packing is complete!  Kill two birds with one stone and then that way you have ZERO excuses for not packing your lunch.  This will not only save you time and money, but a ton of calories!  Pack your water when you pack your lunch as well so that way there are zero reasons to go to the drink machine as well.

A little bit of planning goes a long way folks!  Your body and wallet will thank you later!

Til Next Time!

Ro

 

The Progress Dress

Well howdy readers! It’s been a busy week of spending time with Lady S since she starting preschool on Monday. That of course is extremely bittersweet. She’s growing up!

It’s also been a couple of sweaty weeks around here. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been working out more at home focusing on toning and conditioning as opposed to cardio. In short I’ve been avoiding the gym! Not because I’m lazy but I need a break. And I’m taking it. However that DOES NOT mean that I’m abandoning my workouts. On the contrary I am averaging 5-6 workouts per week primarily doing a few favorites from Melissa Bender. I’ve worked on my core, legs and butt, throwing in some high impact interval training, and some tabata workouts. I’m almost more exhausted from my workouts at home than I am from the gym. Maybe it’s because Lady S is always trying to workout get in my waywith me.

Melissa Bender’s workouts are seriously kicking my rear. Literally. None of the workouts I am doing involve equipment. All you need is your own body and maybe a wall to do some serious squats. Speaking of squatting….Ladies if you haven’t incorporated these into your workouts you’re missing out. Many years ago I was blessed by the booty Gods a little too much and with my weight loss I have been working to tone it up! Squats are the answer. They are hard! No doubt about it but they work. I’ve seen a marked slimdown of my thighs and a tightening and heightening of my behind!

Lastly, I haven’t weighed in a few weeks. Quite frankly I’m over looking at it too! I’m gauging my journey by how my clothes fit, my cardio endurance….That brings me to THE dress….the progress dress that all women should have. Men, get yourselves a progress outfit too. The purpose here is to see the changes your body is taking on without looking at the scale. This will be a good way for you to SEE your changes when the scale refuses to move.

So without further adieu….My progress dress….the time difference is 4 months I think…

20130810-212006.jpg

Now I off to celebrate the fact it’s Saturday!
Til the next time!
Ro

Things I’ve learned along the way…

Well I am one year older which makes me 25!  🙂  I kid…I kid….Actually I am the ripe ole age of 32 and I am damn proud of it!  Being blessed with another year reminds me of all the beautiful people who didn’t make it to 32 and the amazing people who aren’t with us anymore.   I am reminded of someone who I think about daily…that is my grandmother who went home to heaven in May.  I remember she always used to tell me I had big ole hips and that Mister S and I should have at least 4 children.  *insert faint here*.  Well she was right on the first part and so very wrong on the last part unless someone knows something I don’t!   So the last year has been a world wind of emotions and changes physically, mentally, and spiritually.  For this post I thought I would make a list of the most important things I have learned along the way….so without further adieu…..

  • The Struggle is real – If I have learned nothing else during this journey, it’s that the struggle is real.  The struggle to change a lifestyle that I had always known. The struggle to let go of unhealthy habits that would have surely lead to some major health issues in the future.  In the beginning everyday was a struggle but as always we are given a choice.
  • Weight is nothing but a number – In essence it really is nothing but a number.  A number on a scale that controls and consumes many peoples thoughts.  A number that either encourages a woman or breaks her spirit.  A number that is often times off so far that it rarely tells the truth.  The truth is the number on the scale can give a person insight into how they are doing in regards to their health as excessive weight can cause health problems.  It should not however be used to define you.
  • Haters are gonna Hate – Believe me when I tell you this….there will be people who will sabotage your journey, mock you for doing good things for your health, and downright hate in your face.  I determined months ago that haters exist everywhere even in places you would never imagine.  A good friend told me that people who do this are tapping into their own dislike about themselves…could be true.   In the words of a great friend “Haters gon’ hate and Potatoes gon’ potate!”  Haha!
  • Spanx – Spanx is important especially when you wear some super cute outfit and you need some extra support to smooth it all out and keep it all on track.  Having a good human support system is just as important during your journey.  Envision it this way….without proper support things tend to sway and fall where they may.  There is nothing holding it together…nothing holding it up and supporting it.  It’s the same with your health journey.  It is important to have some people in your corner cheering you along in every victory and success you have.  Without support it’s difficult to hold it all together alone.
  • Swag Sucks? – ok well not really.  Swag is actually abundant in my neck of the woods however, having lost as much as I have, dressing this swag is a different story.  As you lose fat and gain confidence you will no doubt want to dress your new body in new fashions.  I’ll admit I am struggling since it’s been so long since I had a body to show off.  I’ll get there Pinterest boards be damned!
  • Married Folks – Mister S and I have been married 7 years.  He’s quite hot these days.  He says I am quite hot as well.  Losing weight = increased sex appeal and flexibility. and I’ll leave it right there…
  • One Life – As I get older I realize what people meant when they said you have one body, one life, and one chance to do it right.  Time is fleeting…there really is no point in putting of for tomorrow what you can do today or yesterday.

So that was a more introspective post than usual but I necessary one I thought.

Until next time!

Ro