Fave & Easy Recipes: Losing Weight

These are a few of my favorite recipes that my husband and I have been making since I embarked on my weight loss journey (which you can read about by clicking the link) in January! These are just things that we make–I also eat a ton of fresh vegetables, yogurt, cheesesticks, and Grazebox snacks to keep me full throughout the day!

favorite recipes

{I know that I am not a food photographer, so I won’t even try!}

Breakfast:

Taste of Home Breakfast Casserole: My husband loves this one. I started out my journey by having this for breakfast. It’s one of my favorite things, and I still eat it as a treat. If you’re starting out and have a higher calorie allotment, try using full fat sausage to get used to this creation, instead of whatever you were eating before. Trust me, it’s better than fast food. Now my husband has reduced the milk to 1.5 cups and adds half a bag of spinach (chopped) to the recipe. This one freezes particularly well, if you pre-slice the servings.

Egg whites & Veggies: No recipe. Most mornings, it’s just pouring some egg whites in a bowl, adding frozen vegetables, and microwaving!

Entrees:

Mexican Quinoa: We tried a bunch of variations, but this one has been our favorite. It’s the most flavorful!

Mushroom Kale Lasagna Rolls: Especially if you plan on freezing this, don’t overfill the rolls. We do a thin spread to cut down on calories and make it easier to freeze. Also, the original recipe is a little bland, so throw in your favorite Italian spices! I have something called “Italian Spice Mix.”

Rosemary and Mustard Baked Chicken: This one is simple to make! If you haven’t had time to prepare the day before, you can easily make this and serve it within the hour.

Slow Cooker:

Turkey, Sweet Potato, and White Bean Chili: When you click this link, you’ll notice that it’s actually called “No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili,” but that just wasn’t good enough for me. I was highly disappointed the first time that we made it because it called for 20 oz of ground turkey, but only made about 4 decent sized servings. Instead, I double all of the vegetables and spices, plus add 2 cans of Navy Beans and cinnamon. The key here is cinnamon! You all won’t regret it!

Slow Cooker Garlic Sweet Potato Mash: I won’t lie. I eat this one as a snack. It’s so good!

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast: We serve this on good bread–aka the kind from the deli. In the words of my husband, “I would pay for this.” So, I guess he means at a restaurant.

Snacks:

Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones: I love this, but because I love it too much, it is on limited rotation.

Black Eyed Pea Dip: I have never taken this to a party where people did not absolutely love it. I can’t stress how good it is. Watch your portions!

tealdivider

I would love to make more of my own snacks, instead of relying on “diet” snacks and protein bars, but when I weigh the cost and time vs the convenience, the store bought stuff wins–for now. I definitely try to watch the sugar in each serving and make sure that there is protein. If anyone has great snacks that they make, please send them my way!

 What are your favorite “lite” recipes? Snack recipes?

Categories: Food, Health, Recipe, Recipes, Tips, Weight Loss
Practice Makes Close to Perfect, I Suppose

This is one of the first posts that I ever published. I wanted to republish it because I needed the reminder, again!

I’m not one to go to the gym and lift weights, although I know that I should! Instead, I like classes like Pilates that use my body weight for strength training. I am motivated by a peppy instructor in the front of the room, what can I say? I do DVDs at home, but there is nothing like going to a gym class. Seriously. There is no where else that you put on skimpy clothes, get in front of wall to wall mirrors, and sweat a lot. It makes me a little self conscious.

009 styled

Last summer I started taking “ballet barre” classes at a gym in Uptown Charlotte. I found the classes to be extremely effective as far as weight loss and inches lost. I could tell that I was getting stronger and healthier! It was hard to commit to an entire hour after a day at work or first thing on a weekend morning, but I was dedicated.

My neck started hurting again last fall, so I decided to pause my membership while my neck got better and I prepared for my wedding and the holidays.

When I went back to classes in January, I immediately felt discouraged. I had gained weight and lost strength. I looked around at the other girls in the class and saw how easily they did the advanced versions of the exercises while I struggled with the modified versions. I saw how skinny the other girls’ legs were. I thought about how nice it must be to be them.

Then, the famous quotation by Theodore Roosevelt came to mind. As long as I was concentrating on the other girls, not only was I not fully engaging in my own workout, I was missing out on the joy of taking care of myself. I was missing the joy of spending time on my health when I looked into those wonderfully large wall to wall mirrors and compared myself to the other girls. In time, I might have skinny thighs–or I might not.

I never thought of myself as a person who compared myself to others before I went back to that class. But, as that situation revealed, I do let my joy become compromised when I compare myself to others. And that I do compare myself. Of course, now that I look for that pattern of thinking, I see it more and more. I am still working to curb, it though!

Now, I have been out of going to the classes for about a month again, but my membership doesn’t run out till September. I hope to go back soon (22 pounds lighter) and keep trying to achieve my health goals. I know that it’ll be hard, but I want to concentrate on myself, not other people. Because, I am pretty confident that they aren’t looking at me.

Categories: life thoughts, Weight Loss Tags: , ,
Five on Friday!

1. Botox shots.

These suckers hurt, but they are the best non-surgical option for cervical dystonia.

2014-05-05 16.20.48

2. Broccoli.

This is a love/hate relationship. I lose weight when I eat broccoli everyday (as part of my overall healthy diet), which I love. I hate eating it. I have 12 more days to lose a little under 1.5 pound for my DietBet, so it’s time to chow down.

broccoli 2

3. Boredom.

Seriously guys, I’m getting cabin fever. I am fighting eating from being bored. I am fighting so much boredom!

bored

 

I don’t know why, but selfies just say “bored” to me. Unless I look excited. Then they say “There’s no one else here to take my picture and capture this wonderful moment.”

4. Books.

I’m finished book 3 of Philippa Gregory’s Cousin’s War series. The first book is The White Queen, which Starz has made into a series. I also quickly read The Sense of an Ending, which was fantastic and I kick myself for waiting so long to read it. Now I’m torn between reading Crime and Punishment, which I started years ago and want to finish or reading the 4th of the Cousin’s War series. Oh, and I’m still working on the American Psychosis book, plus almost finished with “7” by Jen Hatmaker. I’m listening to the fiction via Audible and reading the non-fiction on Kindle. I need more time!

the sense of an ending

5. Babies.

And by babies, I mean my dogs again. Little Rylie is getting fixed today. We pick her up tonight and I’m terribly worried. I know there is no reason to be, but I love that little face.

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Categories: Uncategorized, Weight Loss
101 in 1001

day zero project

Start Date: March 1, 2014
End Date: November 26, 2016
The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
 
The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).
 
Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.
Why
When Brian and I were visiting Nashville, I realized how much fun we were having during an art crawl. The thing is, though, that there are art crawls in our own city every month! I started thinking about how I wanted to be intentional in creating memories, making myself healthier, and using my time wisely.
expectations
I don’t think that I will necessarily finish all 101 items, but I am going to try! Some of the goals work together–mostly health goals. I didn’t want to pick arbitrary goals that didn’t mean anything to me. Instead, I threw in experiences that I wanted to have, personal achievements, and things that will enhance my quality of life. Ever since I got sick, there has been a sense of loss of control over my life. I don’t want to float through life! Most of these goals seem selfish because they needed to be quantifiable goals (Did I read that many books? Did I run that many races?). Be assured that my life has other–greater–goals.
I had a ton of fun researching my goals. I browsed through many other blogs and lists to see what other people were doing. I was happy to see goals that I’ve already accomplished or things that I had never thought about. I even learned about a few new things that I would like to do!
{Note: I will cross things out as I do them and put them in italics is they are in progress.}

Travel

Visit the Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta

See a Braves Game

Visit Nashville

Visit Savannah

Take an Audio Tour of the Biltmore House

Visit Charleston Again

Visit Cincinnati

Health

Join a CSA for one season

Weight 140 Pounds

Run 10 5ks (1. GoJenGo March 1, 2014)

Go Hiking at Crowder’s Mountain

Walk 10,000 Steps 10 Days in a Row

Change my Daily Goal to 12,000 Steps

Finish a half marathon

Exercise in the Mornings for three months

Complete a 30 Day Plank Challenge

Do 10 real push ups

Run the Cooper River Bridge Run

Organize Daily Vitamins (Take them for 2 months straight)

Try a Pilates Reformer Class

Try Meatless Mondays for 2 Months

Maintain Goal Weight

Take a Hot Yoga Class

Strength Train Twice A Week for Two Months

Complete a minimum of 4 gympact exercises a week for 6 months

Organize/House

Donate 101 Things that I Don’t Need

Set up my own office

Create a Weekly Cleaning Schedule and use it for a month (or longer!)

Use my Sewing Machine

Plant Flowers

Organize the Bathroom/Purge Unused Items

Help Brian Build a Cabinet for the Kitchen

Use our Kitchen-Aid Mixer

Paint my Office

Experiences

Have Dessert at Nona’s in Columbia with Brian

Attend the NODA Art Crawl

Zipline at the Whitewater Center

See a Shakespeare Play

Ceramics Painting

Painting Class

Go to a Drive-In Movie

See the Charlotte Symphony

Go to a Jazz Concert

Go to a Dueling Piano Bar

Take Brian Wine Tasting

Go to a University of South Carolina Football Game

Visit Brattonsville (South Carolina)

Go to the Carolina Shag Club

Spend a day taking photos in the country with Brian

Go to the Farmer’s Market

Go to PC Christmas Musical

Go to 5 Year College Reunion

Go on a Picnic

Host a Christmas Party

Throw a Murder Mystery Party

See a Non-Shakespeare Play

Take a Trip With a Friend

Go Apple Picking

See the Nutcracker

Take Boat Cruise (Charleston, White Water Center, etc.)

Go Kayaking

Go Tubing Down a River

Ride in a Limo

Ride a Horse

Go Ice Skating

Build and Fly a Kite with Brian

Host a game night

Go on three double dates

Go to Carowinds

Visit Discovery Place

Try Rock Climbing

Go to the Mint Museum

Other

Find a regular place to volunteer with my life group

Establish a Family Tradition

Send Christmas Cards

Find the Perfect Red Lipstick

Find the Perfect Black Dress

Take Anniversary Pictures at PC

Take a Picture of Each Goal (if possible)

Create 5 New Works of Art for the House

Plan Something Special for Brian

Make Breakfast in Bed for Brian

Give Our Dogs a Successful Haircut (This was NOT it).

Organize a Dog Playdate for All of My Friends with Dogs

Keep Nails Painted for a Month

Don’t Sit At My Desk For Lunch for One Month

Knit something

Find a Place to Play the Flute

Make Christmas Cookies

Plan an Original Girls’ Night

Reading/Writing

Read 10 More Books from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list

Read Through the Bible in a Year

Write a letter to myself to be opened when the 1001 days is over (March 6, 2014)

Stick with blogging for 1001 Days

Start a Personal Journaling Habit

Take a Class (Anything)

Participate in NaNoWriMo

Read 20 books each year (2014-2016)

Read 5 Non-Fiction Books

Finish All Unread Books on My Shelf

Show Cervical Dystonia Who Is In Charge

Categories: Uncategorized, Weight Loss
The Big Two-Six

Well, folks, my 26th birthday is TOMORROW. That is a game changer. Moving from the solid Mid-Twenties and a step closer to 30.

20 before 30

Ok, that might have been a little dramatic. But I’m totally serious about the following declaration that I am making to all of bloglandia, my friends, and my family: I will run 20 5ks before I am 30.

You are probably wondering why I would do such a thing. It’s kinda crazy. Maybe. Some people are super fit and a 5k is nothing. My last 5k gave me an asthma attack as I went up the first hill, even though I had been preparing. Before I was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia in 2011, I could walk, run, and generally do whatever I damn well pleased. Now I can’t. Well, I couldn’t. But I want to change that. I can’t predict the future–I don’t know if my neck will get agitated again, like it did after my first 3 5ks in 2012. But, I want to set a goal to run 14 more 5ks before I am 30. From the time of my actually life changing diagnosis to the time I am 30, I want to prove to myself that I can be normal. I won’t ever be the fastest, but I will sure be trying.

The thought process behind 20 before 30 is that if I have to average 4 different 5ks a year for 4 years, I will always be training. I will always be getting stronger. I have read a lot about how weight lifting is important, so I do cross train. However, my cardiovascular endurance has suffered since my pace of life has slowed down. I want to be healthy! I want to be able to keep up with life.

running

Here is where I want to give a quick shoutout to my wonderful husband. As we parked and walked to the starting line of the GoJenGo race a few weeks ago, I was all pumped up in my running gear, while Brian was bundled up with his coffee. He was there to cheer me on in the cold, which was far more than I would have asked him to do. But, as we were walking, Brian told me that he wants to run with me. Definitely not all of them, but he wants to be part of that part of my life. Brian hates to exercise. He’s slender and happy. He could probably just go run a 5k, nbd. His interest in going to the park to train with me means more to me than any tangible thing he could give me. He wants me to be healthy, so his investment of time in that endeavor is priceless!

Categories: Uncategorized, Weight Loss
Taking My Joy Back

I’m not one to go to the gym and lift weights, although I know that I should! Instead, I like classes like Pilates that use my body weight for strength training. I am motivated by a peppy instructor in the front of the room, what can I say? I do DVDs at home, but there is nothing like going to a gym class. Seriously. There is no where else that you put on skimpy clothes, get in front of wall to wall mirrors, and sweat a lot. It makes me a little self conscious.

009 styledLast summer I started taking “ballet barre” classes at a gym in Uptown Charlotte. I found the classes to be extremely effective as far as weight loss and inches lost. I could tell that I was getting stronger and healthier! It was hard to commit to an entire hour after a day at work or first thing on a weekend morning, but I was dedicated.

My neck started hurting again last fall, so I decided to pause my membership while my neck got better and I prepared for my wedding and the holidays.

When I went back to classes a month ago, I immediately felt discouraged. I had gained weight and lost strength. I looked around at the other girls in the class and saw how easily they did the advanced versions of the exercises while I struggled with the modified versions. I saw how skinny the other girls’ legs were. I thought about how nice it must be to be them.

Then, the famous quotation by Theodore Roosevelt came to mind. As long as I was concentrating on the other girls, not only was I not fully engaging in my own workout, I was missing out on the joy of taking care of myself. I was missing the joy of spending time on my health when I looked into those wonderfully large wall to wall mirrors and compared myself to the other girls. In time, I might have skinny thighs–or I might not.

I never thought of myself as a person who compared myself to others before I went to that class last month. But, as that situation revealed, I do let my joy become compromised when I compare myself to others. And that I do compare myself. Of course, now that I look for that pattern of thinking, I see it more and more. I am still working to curb, it though!

Categories: Uncategorized, Weight Loss
MyFitnessPal

I’ll be honest. I got super thin during college. I loved it. But, all my meals were ready in the dining hall and social activities hardly ever involved food.

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I put on a few pounds after college, thanks to my microwaved meals, happy hours, and general exhaustion from living on my own for the first time. A year after graduating college, I decided it was time to get back to the gym. It was there that I realized that I am experiencing fatigue and pain that were not normal. After more trips to the doctor than I can count, blood tests, and x-rays, the final diagnoses came down. I had Spasmodic Torticollis, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The good news was that the Spasmodic Torticollis, also known as Cervical Dystonia (a neurological condition), could be controlled through regular shots of botox to my neck. The bad news was that no one was quite sure what to do with the Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue.

Long story–short–I packed on a few more pounds while I was sick. I got married and put on even more.

divider 1

 

Now that my neck and Fibromyalgia are under control, I’ve decided to take charge of my weight. My emotional eating is no longer an excuse. I want to be healthy and feel my best. Right now that means watching what I eat very carefully and adding more activity to my daily routine.

I plan on using this blog to share the things that are working for me, as well as the things that aren’t working!

Currently, I am tracking my food with MyFitnessPal and using a Jawbone Up24 to monitor my food and activity.

myfitnesspal myfitnesspal myfitnesspal

I am certainly not perfect in my execution of my plans, but it’s been a little over a month and I have seen a lot of progress. The scale reads a lower number, my clothes fit better, and my endurance has increased.

A small victory, but a victory nevertheless, was last week at work. There was a rush on the only working elevator after a conference on the first floor. My office on the fourth floor, was a lot of stairs away. I could have waited around on the first floor, but instead, I joined the mass of people taking the stairs. I reached the fourth floor barely out of breath! I attribute that to my commitment to take the stairs up and down at least twice a day everyday. I started by having to stop every floor, but my persistence has paid off!

 

 

Chantillysongs Blog hop

Categories: Cervical Dystonia, Fitness, Weight Loss Tags: , , , ,