Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year, New.... Moon!

Hello friends!

It's been awhile since I've posted. I've been very bad. But here's to a New Year!

I'm very excited for 2014. It's a big year for me! I'm moving to California in April! Eep!

I was thinking about New Year's resolutions. I was planning out a nice long list of 2014 goals, and I realized that hardly anyone, myself included, ever keeps their New Year's resolutions. Why is that? I think it's because year-long goals are just too much. They're too long-standing, too far-reaching. Start with the small goals, which will work towards your larger goals.

So I've decided to do weekly and monthly goals instead, which will hopefully lead to my ultimate goals for the year! Here it goes...

With small, easy-to-manage goals, I hope to make 2014 the best year yet! What about any readers out there? What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Friday, August 9, 2013

An Update On Me

Hey everyone!  Sorry I kind of lost touch with this blog.  I'm back and I'm here to give you an update.  When Lindsey and I first started this blog, I was sitting at 300 pounds, and my goal was to lose weight and be a fitter, healthier me.  That's still my goal, and it's going to continue being my goal, probably for the rest of my life.  But today, I have some good news.  Some really good news in fact.  In the last few months I have managed to drop my weight to 266 pounds (268 on my official weigh in last Sunday)!

I owe a large part of all the success I've had to My Fitness Pal.  More and more I'm starting to believe it really is all about the calories.  Sure, you should have certain nutrients in your diet, but really if you're watching your calories, a lot of that other stuff seems to fall into place.  The best part about focusing on the calories rather than on the multitude of nutrients that I may or may not need is that I have flexibility.  I can eat whatever I want, as long as I'm willing to give something up in order to eat something that's less calorie friendly.

As of late, I've been eating a lot of salads.  I've been doing that for about two weeks now, and I feel it has really sped up my progress.  Now, mind you, these aren't Lindsey's pretty little salads that have a serving size of my 2 tablespoons.  These are man salads.  That's right, man salads.  I start with a head of romaine lettuce.  I don't really know if they're called heads since they're not round.  Maybe they're called a tube of romaine lettuce.  Anyways, I start with romaine lettuce and then I start adding stuff on.  Some common ingredients that I've added include hardboiled eggs, grated parmigiano cheese, tomatoes, watermelon bits, banana slices, craisins, bacon bits, rotisserie chicken, and even left over steak from the night before.  Rarely does the salad include all of that, but all of that makes an appearance once in a while depending on my mood, and on average totals to somewhere between 600 and 700 calories.

Don't take my words as some sort of health guide or anything, because I'm still nowhere near my goal weight, and I really have no idea how healthy or unhealthy that all really is.  All I know is that for my goal of losing weight, this has been working, and it has been working really well.

Monday, July 15, 2013

And I'm Back!

Hello again lovelies --

Sorry to have been so absent for the last... month. Wow, it's been that long? Time flies. I've been pretty busy with work and school, and really I've had nothing to say.

But I'm back! Hopefully  no more disappearing acts because I know how all 2 of my readers would die without this blog. :)

Enough of that, on to more important matters. Firstly, I've started a 30 day squat challenge that involves challenging yourself to work up to doing 200 squats a day.

200 squats. In one day. And no, if you're like my dear boyfriend Michael and wondering if you can spread those out to 15/hour -- you can't. 200 in one sitting. That's a lot of squats. Today was day 1; I did 30 squats and thought my legs were going to fall off.

Oh this will be fun.

If anyone is interested in the plan, click here.

Other important news: I have a delicious recipe for you! Mango salad! This was inspired by something I had at my work's cafeteria, which was also called.. Mango salad... No one said I was gifted at naming recipes, don't judge!

The thing I love about this dish is that it's so versatile (and delicious, of course). You can eat it on its own, on top of cottage cheese, on top of chicken, with spinach and cottage cheese, with spinach and chicken.. versatility, I love it.

Mango Salad

[makes about 6 cups]

2.5 mangoes, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 heaping cup black beans, cooked or soaked
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix it all up and let it set in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walking the Walk

For the last week and a half or so I've been consistently walking for an hour and a half each day, and for a few of those days I also attempted jogging.  What did I find out about myself?  I am horrendously out of shape.  Okay, that's not really news to anyone.  I found out that I can only jog for about 5 minutes at a time, which made me feel pathetic.  Really really really pathetic.

For the last few days I've been slowly trying to up my jogging as long as I can, then walking, then jogging again once I feel up to it.  Yesterday I jogged for 5 minutes, walked for 5, then jogged another 5, and by then I was winded.  I tried one more set of 5 minutes of jogging and only lasted about 2 minutes, for a grand total of 12 minutes of jogging.  I felt even more pathetic.

More bad news: Sunday was my official weekly weigh in, and I was at 290 pounds.  I had actually gained 1.5 pounds.  I was both angry and depressed.  I had been eating within my limits and exercising every day, and yet somehow I managed to actually gain weight.  What gives?!?  Linz told me it might just be water weight that I gained because of my high sodium diet and not drinking enough water.  More water weight because I wasn't drinking water?  Yea, someone will have to explain that one to me again.  However, I've started drinking more water.  MyFitnessPal recommends at least 8 cups of water a day, but I've been averaging about 12-16 cups a day.

I really feel like this past week has been a bit of a road block in my journey to a healthier me, but I'm determined to keep walking the walk.  Today I'll be adding some more exercises to my routine of walking and pathetic jogging, so stay tuned!

Oh, and since Linz always puts up awesome pictures when she posts, here is a picture of me with Fat Dragon.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

101 Pounds, 1 Year, 1 Race

I love a good challenge.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm always challenging myself (or others). So when it comes to weight loss, I can't just be satisfied with losing weight and getting fit. No, I need to up the stakes. How am I gonna do that?

That's right. A marathon. I have it all planned out, literally.

I invite any and all of my readers to participate in my marathon pre-training and marathon training! I spent a good several hours researching the best ways to prepare and this is what I've come up with:

  1. Pre-train first. You have to be running (or be able to run) a good 20-30 miles per week before you start legitimately training for a full marathon. So I've developed a plan that starts with prepping me for a 5k, then a couple 10k's, and finally a half marathon. There ends my pre-training.
  2. Training. My official full marathon training starts in February. It's about 15 weeks long, which is on the short end of marathon training schedules. From what I've seen, they can be as long as 26 weeks. It's pretty adjustable. The basic idea is that you increase the total number of miles per week and taper off the last week or two before the big race so that you aren't too exhausted.
  3. Cross training. Through the pre-training and training schedules, you should do 1-2 days a week of cross training exercises, which means swimming or biking or something like that. 
  4. Nutrition. Once you've built up running endurance and are running several miles per week, you should begin consuming a runner's diet. Basically, eat lots of carbs. The ratio that was suggested is 60% of the calories coming from carbs, 25% from protein, and 15% from fat, give or take 5% for each of those. For now, I'm sticking to me regular diet, which is about 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. As I run more, I will slowly change towards a runner's diet.
That's the gist of my plan. Wish me luck everyone, and once again I invite all of you to try this with me!! If I can do this, everyone can!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Meal Planning 101

Hello my lovelies!

I hope everyone's weekend was wonderful. Mine was filled with working (as always) and lots of planning. I have a lot on my plate at the moment (hehehe no pun intended)! Thankfully, one thing I have mastered the art of... is planning.

I've found that when it comes to calorie counting, if you are like me and prepare pretty much everything you eat from scratch, it's very tedious to count the calories and other nutrients as you go along. First you have to look up all the info for each ingredient, then calculate for each serving.. blah blah blah. To alleviate some of the tediousness and pain-in-the-buttness of that, I've decided to do what I did before when I lost a bunch of weight: meal planning.

Here's how it works:
  1. Either the day of your grocery day or the day before, plan what meals you're going to eat for the week. I eat the same meals each day for that week.
  2. Write/type out the nutrition info for all the meals you'll be eating that week to ensure you'll get all the nutrition you'll need.
That's basically it! This is a sample of my meal plan for this week.

Super organized, and it saves a ton of time throughout the week. If you're a very busy person like me, I find this to be the most efficient way to ensure you're getting all the proper nutrients. If you'd like to have more variety throughout the week, you can always do this spreadsheet with different meals and whatnot. In other words, make more than one spreadsheet per week. I find that one week isn't long enough for me to get bored with the meals, especially if they're super delicious, so I don't do that. Plus, that's more effort than I'm willing to put in. ;)

I also find that doing it this way helps when you're actually trying to figure out what to eat. You can keep track as you're going along to figure out where you're lacking and where you're overdoing it with various nutrients, and adjust as needed.

You can use regular Excel (or similar software) on your computer to make these spreadsheets, but I like to use Google Drive. It's convenient because you can access it from anywhere you have internet (or through your smartphone). Therefore, if your computer hard drive dies (like mine just did a few days ago), there are no worries of losing it! Not that it's really THAT important, but who wants to go through the hassle of redoing such things? Another nice feature of using Google Drive is that you can share it with other people. That way, you can kind of create a little community where you and your friends can put their meal plans and help each other out and/or support one another, etc. Pretty nifty, if you ask me!

Now that you have the tools to meal plan, there's the trouble of figuring out what to eat and where to start. What I like to do is start with the idea that each meal should have a source of protein (meat, fish, dairy, etc) and lots of fruits and veggies. Then kind of just add whatever sounds good. With my meal plan above, I started with the smoothie/juice recipe because a smoothie just sounded good. It doesn't have a LOT of protein, but the protein it does have is very good quality protein. (I do believe avocados contain a complete protein.) With the next meals, I started with the fish because I knew I needed more protein. I also have to make sure to leave enough room at the end of the day for a chocolate treat! I need my chocolate. <3 Just take it meal by meal! Remember: you can always adjust later, especially since you're doing this before you even get the groceries, and trust me, it gets a LOT easier the more you do it. Eventually, you kind of just know which foods will fill in the gaps, and you can whip up a meal plan in 15 minutes.

Another nice tool for finding foods to fill those nutrient gaps is http://nutritiondata.self.com/. If you make a free account with them, you can search their database for foods based on nutrient information. For example, if you're looking for foods high in.. potassium, you simply search for foods highest in potassium! It's a wonderful tool, and I use this site everytime I make a meal plan. I highly highly highly recommend it.

If you give meal planning a try, let me know how it works for you! Also, if you have any questions on how to make the spreadsheet or anything else about meal planning, don't hesistate to ask! :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Leafless Salad!

Ahh, fresh sprouts. They really are delicious. But a problem starts to arise when you realize you have 3 cups of sprouts, and they supposedly only last a few days. How do I use up all these delicious sprouts!? I decided to attempt "preserving" them a bit longer by marinating them in a Lemon-Balsamic Vinegar dressing. I figure, both of these ingredients are natural preservatives so that's gotta work, right!? Here's the dressing recipe I used:

Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together and let it set in the fridge for a good couple hours before use.

Now for those marinated sprouts, I added 1/4 cup of that dressing to my sprouts in a jar, shook it up a bit, and let it set in the fridge for awhile.

One thing I've noticed with the whole eating healthier thing is that I don't really like leaf veggie salads. Don't get me wrong, I love leafy greens.. just not as a salad. What do I use my leafy greens for? Well, I used collard leaves for collard wraps, kale for kale chips, spinach for sandwiches or wraps, etc. There are plenty of uses for leafy greens besides salads. 

I decided, with all these sprouts on hand, to make a sprout salad instead! Let me tell you, this is DELICIOUS. The flavors of the veggies compliment each other quite nicely, and the calorie count turns out quite low, all things considered. 

Marinated Sprout Salad

1 cup bean sprouts of choice (I used mung bean), marinated with above dressing
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
2 T scallions, chopped
1/4 small avocado
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

What I did was kind of mash the avocado into the salad and it added a creaminess to it that made it unnecessary to add additional dressing.


I've decided to start something new with this blog post. From now on, with each of my own recipes that I post, I shall have the nutrition info posted at the bottom. As a calorie and nutrient counter myself, I always find it annoying when people don't post the nutrition info and I have to hunt it down myself. So here you guys go (and thanks Mikey-poopoo for making them)! And as a FYI, my usual source of nutrition information is http://nutritiondata.self.com  I love that website. It has a lot of nifty features on it.