A Lesson on Balance & Comfort – Brought to you by my crockpot.

For a while now I’ve been using my crockpot as storage. The most action it’s gotten in the past few months have been the bottom of miscellaneous stacked bowls. This also goes for my gym membership. For awhile, my $39.99 membership mine as well had been cash I dropped on the ground. I wasn’t going. I couldn’t get myself up to go before work, and couldn’t get myself to go after. I had been a morning person before, so I knew, eventually, I’d be back at it. But it took time. I am four months into my first big girl job and I have finally nailed down my schedule and daily routines. As I continue to get used to my new schedule, I’m slowly learning how to balance my time in order to keep a balanced diet and a balanced social life. I wasn’t really sure what clicked. It could have been seeing the dust on my crock pot, realizing that I don’t cook anymore. It could have been that I work for a denim company, and that denim was getting a little tighter as the holidays drew closer. It also could have been my swollen face from taking in way too much sodium, which made me realize I didn’t have to participate in every happy hour special, no matter how good $5 beers and half off nachos tasted. I realized I was missing this little thing called moderation, self discipline and general comfort in my clothing. In the past few years, I’ve gradually graduated from the phase of wanting to be a size 4, to focusing on comfort and overall health and happiness.

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So – I’ve laced up my shoes, given in to my alarm clocks, and made a few moderate changes that have gone a long way. My energy has already improved a long with my attitude. Results take time, but I feel them coming (I know, just in time for me to have four helpings of eggplant parmesan on Christmas). Sundays, for me, are crucial. As are my weekends. I have started to make the best out of my Sundays. I make sure to make a trip to the gym, whether it’s a good or bad workout, it’s a workout, and I always feel great after it. I make sure to not binge on fried food and carbs, and allow myself to eat something I love, in moderation, like the sushi roll and gluten free cookie I had yesterday. I grocery shop, make sure I’m outside even if it’s just a walk to the gym or store, and cook up some food for the week. The only thing I let myself binge on is Netflix. It is Sunday, after all.

I have been using my crock pot a lot recently. Meal prepping for the week has me in the kitchen like a spazz and using the crockpot has really calmed down the process. I throw a few different ingredients into my crockpot – leave it for a few hours – and there I have it. Dinner or lunch for every day of the week.

Chicken Chili Soup

Don’t worry – it tastes better than it looks. Confession – this wasn’t supposed to be a soup. I decided to wing it and threw the below ingredients into my crock pot. Though I was hoping for a chili, it turned out a bit soupy. (Is soupy a word?) It could have easily thickened over night / throughout the course of the day but for now – I’ll call it a soup. Update: It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. 

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1 lb. Chicken Breast
1 cup Chicken Broth (low sodium)
1 can Refried Black Beans
1/2 bag mixed veggies (carrots, peas, corn)

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Makes about 4 servings.

1 serving:
326 calories
6 g Fat
28 g Carbohydrates
38 g Protein
(6 g Fiber , 5 g Sugar)

Chicken & Vegetable Soup (with or without Rice)

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3/4 lb Chicken Breast
2 Cup Chicken Broth (low sodium)
1 bag mixed vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, corn)

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Makes 3-4 servings.

1 Serving:
254 Calories
3 g Fat
10 g Carb
35 g Protein

Optional: Make your soup into 4 servings and add rice. I cooked quinoa and brown rice and mixed it together – switching it up every now and then is important! (Recommended serving size – 1/2 cup cooked rice)

3 Day Detox, Progress + Social Media Fun!

20140130-113837.jpgResults DRIVE motivation. I am 8 pounds down since I left for school. I am keeping in mind that a lot of it is water weight (hello holidays) but it get’s me closer to this “BOD” on the right which was after I lost 96 pounds. I’m allowing the scale to motivate me until I am at a healthy weight, and then it’s back to heavy lifting and hopefully never looking at the scale again 🙂 For workouts, I’m cross fitting 3x a week. My crossfit trainer incorporates a lot of cardio style workouts into her programming, so that is also helping me. I will complain during a wod with running, but I love the feeling after. (So keep it coming, Jolene 🙂 ) I also just about always finish last during running wods, but tend to catch up during the movements. I’ve never been a fast runner and I’m working on that. I try to run twice a week, and lately have been incorporating more cardio to lose this extra weight! I love tabata sprints on the treadmill, but Maddie told me to try thirty seconds jog, thirty seconds sprint. I did that yesterday. I was running for a total of 40 minutes. For the first 2.5 minutes I walked fast at an incline to warm up. The next ten minutes, I went from 30 seconds at a slow jog, to 30 seconds at a sprint, then a run, and then back to a slow jog. For the next ten minutes I ran at a moderate pace, a pace where you’d be able to hold a conversation if necessary. For the next five minutes I went back to my 30 second intervals.  Then I ran five minutes at a fast pace, where it would be harder to hold a conversation. This was tough, but I was warmed up and it was easier to hold the fast pace. The next five minutes I was at a jog, as I ran slower and slower until I hit 40 minutes. I LOVED IT! I felt so good after it. I’m starting to try yoga and I’ve also been doing the Pure Cardio + Cardio Abs insanity videos at least once a week. Those videos are great for if you’re stuck in the house during a snow storm! They are also great to do on the weekends!

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So as some of you may know by viewing my instagram account (Yours_Truly_Stef), I did a cleanse about two weeks ago. It was the first week of classes, so my schedule was a little off. After writing it all down, I of course was not eating nearly ENOUGH, but I was eating healthily and light to cleanse my body of all the crap I put in it those last two months of the holidays. As you can see from the first day, I was not that hungry. Mainly because my appetite was downhill from eating like crap. I also drank MASSIVE amounts of water. To help detox, I added a lemon and half of a cucumber to my water and chug-a-lug-a-lugged. This really cleansed my system, I kid you not. My stomach felt flatter, my insides worked normally and FELT amazing, and my skin started to clear. I looked healthier, and I was ready and inspired to truly dive in and start my diet! This is no dietetic write up, but here is what I ate for those three days that finally made me feel cleansed again:

Day One:

Before Class/Workout: Banana

30 Minutes Cardio

Lunch: 1 cup Brown Rice, 2 cups mixed vegetables, 4 oz chicken

Dinner: 9 oz Tilapia, 10 Asparagus spears
with Salad: 2 cups romaine lettuce, 8 baby tomatoes, 1/4 cup cucumbers
Dressing: Lemon Juice & Red Wine Vinaigrette dressing + sprinkle of Mrs Dash Italian Blend

Snack: 4 oz Chicken, Banana with Cinnamon 

Day Two:

Breakfast: 4 oz Apple, 3/4 Cup Egg Whites, Glutenfreeda Oatmeal Packet with cinnamon, 10 cranberries, stevia 

Lunch: 6 oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup Brown/Wild Rice, 1/3 cup homemade tomato sauce (Tomatoes, basil, garlic -> frying pan until it turns to sauce) 1 cup mushrooms + peppers

Snack: 3 oz Banana, 1/2 Red Pepper

Dinner: 7 oz Tilapia, 4 oz Shrimp, 10 Asparagus spears, 1/2 Red Pepper, 1 cup mushrooms

Day Three:

Breakfast: 1/2 cup Egg White, 2 Rice Cakes with 1/2 cup Rasberries, .5 cup blueberries, 4 medium strawberries crushed as Jelly, 10 baby carrots

Lunch:4 oz Pork chop, 1 cup Brown/Wild rice, 1 cup mushrooms, 3/4 cup red peppers, 1/4 cup onions

Snack: 4 oz Chicken Breast, 1 Medium Apple, 10 Baby Carrots

Dinner: 5 oz Tilapia, 3 oz Shrimp, 1/2 cup red peppers, 1/3 cup mushrooms, 1/4 cup onions, 1 cup broccoli, 1 3/4 cup green beans, 3 oz Homemade Marinara sauce

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Above are a few social media finds that I’ve screen shotted because I loved them. Remember, YOU are the only one in the way of your goals. Success is a choice. Your priorities are your choice. Make your goals your priorities and they WILL happen. That second picture is Valerie Calhoun, an 18 year old beast and a half. I highly recommend following her on instagram. Not only does she have a body that I look up to, but her lifts are HEAVY and impressive for such a young athlete. I love some of the bible verses Rich Froning posts, but this one really caught my eye. I have had a tattoo in mind since senior year of High School, but he may have just changed my mind. Love.

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Pictured above is my beloved meal prep. Green beans, asparagus, broccoli, brown rice, tilapia, chicken, ground turkey, tuna, oatmeal, egg whites… and a crap ton of mustard! Trying this low fat thing. It worked for me in the past and this may be what I need to get to where I want to be. I love paleo, and I love my healthy fats, but certain things work for certain people, I’m giving this a go again! Tilapia is starting to get disgusting to me, so I’m giving it a breather for a couple days so I can stay strong. I incorporated ground turkey into my diet this week to switch it up, and have been LOVING tuna (with mustard 🙂 ). I’ve been drinking a gallon of water a day this week. Holy cow that makes a HUGE difference. I love it. I just said holy cow so I think it’s time to go…

Yours Truly,

Stef

My Relationship with Breakfast Part 3

Ah yes, it’s breakfast time. If you go to bed brainstorming what you’re gonna have for breakfast the next morning… we should be friends. That way we can at least talk about it together, right? I love breakfast. I wake up every morning like:
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So ready to take on some eggs and bacon. When it comes to breakfast and I, I photograph. (And yes, I’m talking about breakfast as if it is a person. I just have a lot of respect for breakfast, ok?) I ate a lot of breakfast food over break. Any time someone wanted to go out to eat, I suggested Eggspectations, a ridiculous place to get any breakfast food you can think of. Maddie and I had just finished a killer WOD at Crossfit Syndicate. I say finish but Maddie, she crushed it. Not only did she PR on her front squat, but she RXed a tough clean and jerk workout. The second she finished the first thing she wanted was some PANCAKES. Who could blame her? She got her pancakes.
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Very well deserved. I’m a pansy and got eggs. This is a great example of treating yourself vs. cheating yourself. Maddie is 100% on her diet, kills it in the gym, and deserved every bite of her not-so-paleo breakfast. With the way I ate (and drank) over winter break, I didn’t deserve a pile of pancakes. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have even been able to eat them. Hash tag gluten intolerant problems. Don’t worry, pancakes happened for me over break. (I know all of you were concerned)
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Pictured above are my Paleo Pancakes I made and posted a few months ago. They were delicious! If you’re looking for a real treat, gluten free pancake mix is not to be underestimated! These pancakes (pictured below) were the melt in your mouth, fluffy, pancakes that everyone loves! Yum!
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Writing this post is actually making me drool a bit. I started being strict on my diet about one week ago. I am doing really well and already notice (through pictures) a motivating difference! I did a bit of a cleanse last week, which I will post about soon! Stay tuned because… it’s working! 🙂 Results will be slow, but I am ready to work for them! For the rest of this post I will share with you some of my healthy and delicious breakfasts! Some aren’t ideal, nor are they paleo, but they won’t kill ya!
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This Lox Tower was absolutely amazing! I used about 1 cup of Egg Whites and cooked them like tortillas. I piled the egg whites with Lox and Guacamole! This meal was about 300 calories maximum. You can’t go wrong with this meal, it’s packed with healthy fats & protein. I was inspired by my leaning tower of ham and eggs in my previous post.
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1 Gluten Free Waffle, 1.5 tbsp of favored nut butter, and fruit toppings! This is a treat!
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Try it with a rice cake to make it a lighter option!
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Gluten Free toast with poached eggs!
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Gluten Free Egg & Bacon sandwich. I had two eggs on this sandwich… that’s my idea of “yolo”.
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And last, the most delicious, most typical paleo meal. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado. I’ve probably posted pictures of a meal like this multiple times but it just doesn’t get old to me! Food in general doesn’t get old to me, there are so many ways to switch it up!

Update: I have edited my blog and changed my name! How do you like it? I know I keep throwing all these updates around, but soon enough my blog will come together and you will hopefully become hooked 🙂 Thank you to everyone who has been reading and supporting my blog! It means more to me than you know! Keep on keeping on.
Yours Truly,
Stef