On Health and Fitness

I know I usually post about food, but today I’m going to post about health and fitness and the like.

Don’t worry, I’m still killing it on the food front (see my Insta feed), but I haven’t given much dedication on this page to all the non-food aspects of this journey to better health.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday with a new doctor (I’ll admit I haven’t had a primary doctor since I moved to Atlanta… er… since my pediatrician.. ok that makes it seem so much worse), and I was chatting to her about this and that. 

It’s probably a surprise to nobody who knows me that I’m not perfect, and my vitals are no exception. This is partially genetic, but much moreso fixable by making better choices. I told my doctor I was doing Whole 30, and she said, “Keep it up!”

And that was a whole different motivator… doctor’s orders!

So today I went to the gym. I’m pretty sure I’ve never gone to the gym on a Saturday. But hubs was doing yard work, and a Zumba class started at noon, so I headed on over.

Oh. My. God. So, it wasn’t my first Zumba class. But it was my hardest. I’ve been to classes where Zumba instructors alternated fast and slow songs. This was not that type of instructor! It was one full hour of high-intensity arm-flapping, booty-shaking cardio. 

After 15 minutes, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to do this.” I looked around the room and all the tiny fit women who were probably never half the size I am, and I hated it. I hated being the largest person in the room, and I’m not quite in top-shape. I was already the color of a strawberry, and half my water was gone. 

So there were plenty of things inticing me to leave.

I don’t know if anyone else has this issue, but my shoulder angels bicker like nobody’s business! My shoulder devil had been telling me all these things, but my shoulder angel was telling her to shove it, and to at least hold it out for 30 minutes.

So I kept going. And when 12:30 came around, I planned how I’d make a stealthy exit, but my angel told me I’d made it this far… why not wait another 15 minutes? And then another 15 minutes.

Needless to say, I survived the whole Zumba class, and I stuck it out till the very end. Was it perfect? Nope. Was I graceful? Heck no! Was I at least coordinated with the rest of the class? Hahahahaha…!

But I left the gym today confident that things will only get better. And hopefully easier. And that’s a great feeling.

(Since I need a picture, how about this one of my cat on the banister?)

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Where have you been all my life?

Sometimes, something so wonderful comes along, and you think to yourself, “How have I lived for over 30 years and never experienced this before?” 

For me, that thing was tonight’s dinner.

I’d planned tacos for tonight (taco salad for me) but hubs had dental work today and said all he wanted for dinner was canned soup and grilled cheese. I took this as an opportunity to try something that I knew he wouldn’t like: sliders with sweet potato buns. 

Y’all. I had no idea what bliss awaited me at the end of my 30 minutes of cooking. I’m just gonna show you first… 


To make the buns, I cut a sweet potato into 1/2 inch slices (I used the first slice I cut to kind of gauge the others) and laid them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Then I used my Misto olive oil mister to spritz both sides of the slices, and sprinkled a little cinnamon and garlic salt on them (I know– weird combo, but it was actually very tasty!). I popped those into my new convection oven at 400 degrees and baked for 30 minutes, flipping the “buns” at the 15-minute mark.

In the meantime, I grilled up some chicken pieces using my grill pan. When all was done, I added some lettuce, mustard, bacon, and a pickle, and omg. It was heaven!!!

I think next time I’ll try it with pulled pork. Which might be sooner rather than later!!

Thinking about the Future

Today is Day 24!  Which means days remaining are in the single digits.  I guess they have been for a while, but I haven’t posted in a few days.  The thing is that I realized that it’s quite boring to just write a post when all I have to say is what I ate that day (and it must be double as boring to read about it).  So instead, I’ve been posting on days when I actually have something to say.  So here goes—

Just like during my last Whole 30 right around this time, I start freaking out a little about what to do after Day 30.  I’ve done so well; I don’t want to undo the good progress I’ve made thus far.  Last time I did really well, too… and then I got married and let myself go, and gained ALL the weight back.  I think I would have done better if I would have planned for it better.  So this time, I’m planning early.  Here are the different options I’ve thought of:

  1. Continue on and make my Whole 30 a Whole 45 or Whole 60
  2. Transition my Whole 30 habits into a Paleo lifestyle
  3. Find a sustainable diet like:

a. Weight Watchers
b. South Beach Diet
c. Something Else

I’ll go ahead and tell you I haven’t made a decision yet. I’ve still got some research to do.  I think I could do #1 pretty easily, except that Mardi Gras is coming up, and tradition states that I have just one piece of king cake.  And that’s probably all I’ll have: one piece.  And since the Whole diet dictates no cheating, I don’t think that’ll work for February.

A paleo diet would be easy to transition into, and I could add things back to my diet like honey (and actually try those pancakes that are made with just bananas and eggs!).  It still doesn’t alleviate my king cake issue really, but the difference is that transitioning to a paleo diet would be more like a new lifestyle instead of another weight loss regimen, and I’m not sure I’m ready to stop focusing on weight loss.  So while paleo is definitely an option for the long-run, now is probably not the time.

I have a confession to make:  I’ve actually been a paying Weight Watchers subscriber since January 2016!  I know, I know.  Quitting Weight Watchers for me is like quitting the gym.  I think something in my psyche makes me think that quitting a gym or diet plan is equivalent to giving up.  I’d tell myself that’s absurd, but obviously I don’t listen to myself, considering I’ve been paying for Weight Watchers for over a year!

I think if I did Weight Watchers, it would help me start to focus on portion control.  Not that I haven’t picked that up to an extent– it helps when the Whole 30 eliminates cravings– but there are no limits to Whole 30 portion sizes, only the things you eat.  The exact opposite is true for Weight Watchers.  There’s no limit to the things you eat, just the portion sizes.

But I’ve gotta say, the thing I’m leaning toward most is the South Beach diet.  I’ve done Phase I before, lost a good bit of weight in a week (like 7 lbs maybe?), and then I got bored and stopped.  That was before I gained self-control.

I think I’d just go straight into Phase 2 if I did South Beach Diet.  The diet focuses on lean meats and low carbs (so probably a lot less bacon and potatoes than I’ve been eating now!), but would introduce heart-healthy carbs back into my diet (like whole wheat grains, rices, and pastas) in moderation.  I could also drink wine again and eat dairy!  Still doesn’t solve the king cake conundrum, but I think I’d feel better about eating that one piece while on South Beach than if I was, say, on something as strict as another Whole 30.

Anyway, the jury is still out, but that’s what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

In other news, I have myself in a pretty good workout routine!  I’m starting simple: 2-3 times a week.  Even when I don’t make it to the gym (like last night), I still get in some exercise. I’ve been doing Yoga with Adrienne (YouTube channel).. which is actually pretty great for stretching and meditating.  Last night hubs and I also walked around the neighborhood. Last week I did arm machines and my arms were KILLING me this weekend, which I kinda loved.  Suffice it to say, all is going well.

So last but not least, I’ll say this about dinners– I’m staring to find some Whole 30 meals that I really love.  The chili recipe I’ve been using is soo tasty!  I used to make chili and eat it once, then never feel like eating the leftovers, but this one I’ve made twice this month and actually got a little mad when hubs ate the last bowl of leftovers!  And then bacon wrapped chicken…. OMG.  Can’t say enough words about that one.  Where had it been all my life?

Tonight I made the bacon wrapped chicken, and I also put some cherry tomatoes in my new toaster oven on the “roast” setting.  Amazing.  Clean food was never so delicious!

bacon-wraped-chicken-and-tomatoes

 

 

Another Day Down!

Y’all, can I brag for just a minute about the hash I just made?

This morning I was planning my week and groaning at the fact that I probably needed to prep my breakfasts for the week again.  Last week, with the Monday holiday and my work-from-home Fridays, I did not prep anything and just went to the cafeteria.  But I get kind of bored of the cafeteria, and besides the eggs, I can’t really tell if my breakfast is 100% compliant.  Anyway, the major reason for my groaning was that it’s very hard to get excited for reheated egg frittata.  And that’s pretty much what I’ve been prepping because it’s easy and portable.

This week I decided to make eggs in a basket, using ham to line muffin tins and eggs in the middle.  I went to find a recipe on Pinterest (so, I’m pretty sure I know how to make it, but sometimes I like to read the recipes so I can get tips on how to make sure it’s not a major flop), and instead I found this recipe for a sweet potato and apple hash with ham and eggs.  And I was sold!

scramble-hash

I made the mistake of only taking a picture on Instagram stories, so it’s not the best picture.  But OMG the complexity of flavor was unbelievable!  I doubled the recipe, and it made 4 servings, plus 1/2 serving, which I had for lunch.  The next time I make this (because there will be a next time), I will cut the potatoes up a bit smaller and wait a little longer before adding the apples.  The sweet potatoes took a good bit longer than expected to soften, and the apples consequently turned mushy before the dish was done.  It doesn’t made the dish any less delicious, but I think I’d like to see and taste some more prominent apple next time.

Two small complaints about this recipe, in case any of you want to make this: 1.  It takes a solid hour to make, starting from the time you start peeling the sweet potatoes to the time it’s all done.  It doesn’t seem like it would take this long, but it does.

And 2. It takes a lot of dishes.  In prepping, once I chopped the potatoes, ham, onion, and apples, I put them each in a separate bowl so I had room on my cutting board.  Then there’s another small bowl to mix the seasonings, and another one to scramble the eggs.  Then before cooking the eggs, the recipe says to remove the hash, scramble the eggs in the skillet, and then put everything back in.  So that’s another large bowl.

But the time and dishes were totally worth it!

Days 19 and 20

Whelp, I made it 66.66666 percent of the way! One third more to go! I didn’t post yesterday, but it was basically because I didn’t take any food pictures! Still, it was another successful day! I just had a Larabar for breakfast, leftover roast and carrots for lunch, and for dinner we went to a BBQ joint where I ordered grilled chicken breast with green beans. Nothing special, but it was good!

Today I made sugar-free bacon for breakfast and fried a few eggs to go with it. And some blueberries.

For lunch, I finally mustered the courage to try chicken salad. I’ve had chicken salad before– I think I was 5 years old, and I was expecting chicken on salad and not mushed up chicken meat in mayonnaise. So I guess in the 26 years since then I made up my mind that I didn’t like chicken salad. But I had a lot of Whole 30 mayo left, and so I thought I’d give it a try. Here’s the recipe I used, except with dill pickles instead of sweet relish. And no bread, of course!


Hubs approved, and so did I! Not bad at all! 

For dinner I made one of hubs’ favorites: potato soup. I tried to make him potato soup several times before, but his mom makes it a certain way that doesn’t include any flour or dairy, and I never could figure it out.

Tonight I gave it another try, and this time it came out great! 


Not the most appetizing appearance, but very nice taste! I couldn’t find a recipe online, so I wrote this one down:

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Alright, I missed a day of posting, but I was just so tired last night when I got home that I went straight to bed.  Yesterday was a little rough. When I got off work I knew that I hadn’t eaten enough for lunch. I only had some leftover chicken fajitas on lettuce with some salsa. Sounds sufficient, but it was only about 1/2 serving because that’s all that was left.

I knew I needed to start going to the gym, but I had a headache, so I stopped at a Starbucks on the way and ordered an iced coffee with coconut milk from the drive thru. As I got back on the road, I took a sip and then almost spat it out! They put sugar in it! I didn’t ask for sugar, but sugar is what I got. So I went to the gym with a headache. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. I did cardio for about 15 minutes on an elliptical (1.2 miles and 150 calories).  That’s about all I could do with the headache I had.

For dinner, I met some friends at Grub Burger Bar and got a bunless burger– add bacon and add a fried egg. And omg that was the best decision I made all day…


I know I posted this on Instagram yesterday, but it was just perfection! Yum!

So, I have to admit, I screwed up yesterday. And it totally wasn’t my fault! I was duped!! I went to Target and found an entire section of Bare snacks! I love the cinnamon apple chips and they’re totally Whole 30 approps. Just dried apples and cinnamon. They didn’t have cinnamon apple chips, but something else caught my eye– coconut chips! I excitedly turned the bag over and searched for the ingredients. I saw a small line of text that said “contains tree nuts (coconut). That was all that it said under the nutrition label! So I bought it.

After choir rehearsal last night I popped open the bag and ate a few coconut chips. Omg! It was so good. I was surprised how sweet dried coconut could be! Almost too sweet…

At a stop light I flipped over the bag again and read in big italics on the other side of the nutrition facts table “coconut, cane sugar…” 

NOOOOO!!! How can you call yourself Bare and then put added sugar in your food?!?! 

So I ate a little sugar. Not a lot, but not a little either. Moral of he story- read the whole bag, not just what you think might be the list of ingredients!

Tonight I made squoodles with peppers and tomatoes, turkey Italian sausage, and salad. Wasn’t my favorite, but hubs thought it was good, so I’m happy!


Also… I went to the gym today and it was much better! I actually did a lot of arm exercises that felt really really good but I know I’ll be really really sore tomorrow.

Just like I like it!

Where is Everybody?

Ok not that I’m striving to win a popularity contest or anything, but yesterday’s viewership hit an all-time low, 2 views. I’m changing my life over here, but I guess to the outside eye it must be pretty boring.  I’m guessing people don’t care to read a blog about what someone ate every single day.  It’s so 2010!  I get it.

The thing is, I need people to feel excited, because I have zero support system at home.  Zero.  I made dinner tonight, and hubs said, “No rice?”

So it’s hard.  You guys lift me up and make me feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile.  It would be like if a marathon runner was just running through a deserted path with nobody to cheer her on.  And this is a marathon.  I’m on the 14th mile, and I have 2 cheerleaders.  And I love you guys.

Anyway…

I was all the way to work today before I realized I’d left my gym bag at home.  Womp womp.  Needless to say, it’s in my car right now so I don’t forget it again.  When I came home today, I thought about doing yoga, but instead I took a nap.  Disappointing.  I’m going to go do something after this post so today isn’t a total waste.

You know, ever since I started cooking for two (probably about 2 years now), I’ve planned our meals at least weekly, and as a result I always know what’s for dinner.  Sometimes I look forward to dinner all day long, and sometimes when I think about what’s for dinner, I say meh… Today was a meh day.  Chicken fajitas.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made chicken fajitas in my entire life.  Don’t get me wrong; fajitas are a go-to order when we go to a Mexican restaurant, but I don’t often cook it at home.  Seems kinda drab, and chicken breast isn’t hubs’s favorite.

But tonight?  Once I started making the fajitas, oh my goodness.  I knew it was going to be delicious.  I used this recipe as the base for my seasonings.  I also used my cast iron pan, added some ghee, and got sizzling!  By the time it was done, it looked like something they’d serve me at my favorite Tex-Mex place!

chicken-fajitas

I took it off the stove, and it sizzled for at least two more minutes!  Perfect.  I was so proud of myself!  In my head, I kept hearing Ross from Friends yell “My fajitas!”  Classic.

Anyway, I served them on a bed of lettuce with some salsa (Newman’s Own mild salsa is Whole 30 approved! Medium and hot have added sugar though.  Go figure.), jalapeños, and avocado slices.  And I gobbled it up before I could take another picture!

Now I’m trying to figure out when I can make them again.  Super delicious recipe that I have a feeling will be a staple for many years to come.

And for today, that’s all she wrote!