Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This and That

So this month has been super busy, more so than usual. Along with work and all the normal day to day stuff, there has been a bachelorette party, St. Patty's Day, and birthday parties, including my little one's fourth birthday. We had a Brave movie theme party. It was epic. And yes, I ate cake, with lots of sugar and fat in it.

And the month will just continue to be busy, with Easter, and you guessed it: another birthday party. The weekend after that I have a wedding to attend, then my mom's birthday, and on and on. So I really haven't had much time to devote to blogging, but while I have a small window of free time, I thought I would share with you some things I have been eating and a few other tidbits from the last few weeks.

Meet my new favorite breakfast:

Chia seed breakfast bowl with raisins and walnuts
Okay, if you've never had chia seeds, the way this stuff looks may seem odd, but it tastes amazing. And it's really good for you. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, help reduce sugar cravings, and have even been linked to helping with mood disorders and brain function. The consistency of this breakfast is sort of like tapioca, so I realize it's not for everyone. But I promise, it's delicious, and you can feel really good about eating it. It's an awesome way to start your day! Oh, and did I mention, it's a make ahead recipe? Bonus! I love make ahead recipes for breakfast. I am not a morning person. I'm pretty much a zombie from the time I wake up until around 10 (ish). This is a breakfast you can just pull out of the fridge in the morning and eat. Perfect.
The recipe can be found here on one of my favorite websites for recipes: oh she glows. Angela makes her recipe for two, but I usually cut it in half and just make it for myself (the rest of my household eats eggs or cereal for breakfast, and nothing else). For toppings I usually use walnuts and raisins. You can basically treat the chia seed "pudding" like oatmeal, and add things to it. I like to add crunchy stuff for texture. With 1/8 cup walnuts and 1/8 cup raisins, my version clocks in at about 350 calories.

Another favorite breakfast as of late:

Egg white scramble with ham, green onion, spinach and avocado
As I mentioned, my other household members will only eat cereal or eggs for breakfast. My teenage daughter has also started eating omelets for dinner about two to three nights per week. Between all of us, the 18-pack of eggs I usually buy every week just isn't cutting it. On mornings where I'm not in a rush, I like to make an egg white scramble for breakfast. Lately I've been sautéing some green onion and spinach in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil, then adding three to four egg whites beaten with one whole egg, and scrambling it all up. I top it with half an avocado and some hot sauce. The day I took the picture above, I added a few slices of ham to the whole mess. It was sooooo good. I love breakfasts that are packed with protein to help keep me feeling full and energized throughout the day. A scramble made with three egg whites, one whole egg, 1 cup spinach, 2 green onions, and topped with half of an avocado clocks in at 250 calories. Hot sauce like Cholula or Frank's Red Hot adds zero calories. Score.

So along with breakfast, I've also been eating cookies:

True story.
But seriously, I made these trail mix cookies from a paleo recipe website, cavegirl cuisine, and they are fantastic. As I've mentioned, I don't adhere to a paleo eating style, I just like to steal borrow their ideas. Not only are these cookies super yummy, they are packed with stuff that's good for you (walnuts, coconut flake, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, dried fruit), and they are really easy to make. Observe:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, make into balls, bake.
The only change I made to cavegirl's recipe is I used craisins instead of dried cherries. That's just what I had on hand. Oh, and I didn't have any raw honey left, so I used standard clover honey. But that's it. Here's what they look like:

See, they even look like they came from the paleolithic era, all scraggly and primitive. The cookies actually take a few days to fully firm up (although they will still be pretty soft and chewy), but they are damn good no matter when you eat them. When I made them I ended up with 18 cookies, each one clocking in at 135 calories, 10 grams carbs, 10 grams fat (4 saturated), and 2 grams protein. These make an awesome dessert or snack, and during this busy month, they were an easy go-to when I was hungry.

Last but not least, this month I participated in an online 30 day squat challenge through my fitness pal. Yes, I know, there are 31 days in March. I didn't quite get it either. Anyhoo, the challenge consisted of an increasing number of squats per day, in varying types (curtsy, prisoner squats, one legged, etc), with rest days every four days. The first day started with 50 squats, and by March 30th, I was supposed to do 250 squats. Confession: I made it to Day 13. And I'm really bummed (get it?). However, I fully intend to complete 230, squats tomorrow, 240 on Friday, rest Saturday, and 250 squats on Easter. Hey, completing half of a challenge is better than nothing right?  And with bikini season right around the corner, I am all about toning and firming my abs and glutes right now. If you're interested, here is a copy of the challenge. After all, who says you can't do it in April?

Day 1-50 squats
Day 2-55 squats
Day 3-60 squats (prisoner squats)
Day 4-Rest
Day 5-70 squats (curtsy squat)
Day 6-75 squats
Day 7-80 squats (Curtsy Squat Rear Leg Lift )
Day 8-Rest
Day 9-100 squats (freehand jump squats)
Day 10-105 squats
Day 11-110 squats (split squat jump)
Day 12-Rest
Day 13-130 squats (bench pistol squat)
Day 14-135 squats
Day 15- 140 squats (prisoner siff squat)
Day 16-Rest
Day 17-150 squats (sissy squat)
Day 18- 155 squats
Day 19- 160 squats (skater squat)
Day 20-Rest
Day 21- 180 squats (one legged squats)
Day 22- 185 squats
Day 23- 190 squats (side squats)
Day 24-Rest
Day 25- 220 squats (Hindu squats )
Day 26- 225 squats (Pop Squats)
Day 27- 230 squats (frog squat)
Day 28-Rest
Day 29- 240 squats (plie squat)
Day 30- 250 squats (16 of each squat done during the challenge)

(I had to look up most of the variations of squats online, there are plenty of pictures and videos for demonstrations)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Meal Plan (March 4, 2013)

Look at me! Completing a Monday Meal Plan on a Monday! Let's get right to it, shall we?

The first thing I ate today was a cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch with a cup of almond milk and some sliced strawberries. That's the only thing I don't have a picture of, I swear. I don't really wake up and begin to fully function until about 10 (ish), so pictures weren't really in the cards at 8 a.m.

Anywho, after I woke up a little more, I ate some of these little beauties:

The baker at my husband's restaurant brought in some eggs from her chickens. They were so pretty! And tasted awesome. Normally I would have eaten some egg whites scrambled with one whole egg but since these eggs were special, I didn't want to waste any of them. So I had two whole eggs scrambled with a little shredded cheddar and about a quarter cup black beans (rinsed and drained).

For lunch today, I made a hot open faced sandwich on a slice of toasted Ezekiel Bread, with ham, a slice of swiss, spicy brown mustard and a slice of pineapple:

I put the sandwich under the broiler for about three minutes to melt the cheese. Much healthier than making a buttery grilled cheese sandwich in a pan and still tasty.
Late afternoon/evening, I went to the gym. I'm doing a 30 day squat challenge for the month of March, and today was 60 squats. I also ran a mile on the treadmill, did 50 sit ups (incline and roman chair), and did two sets on each of the leg machines in the circuit. Before I went to the gym, I had a Larabar:

After the gym, I had a green smoothie, which I made with 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/3 of a frozen banana, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and 1 cup home brewed green tea. The idea for this smoothie came from a recipe I found on Pinterest, but I added spinach and chia seeds to it. I have this idea in my head that I can add greens and chia seeds to any smoothie recipe I find and it will be even better for me and still taste great. Sometimes  it works out, sometimes it doesn't. I'll be honest, this smoothie wasn't out of this world. But it was a nice recovery drink after my workout none the less.

Ignore my smudgy microwave and ancient coffee pot.

This is what the smoothie looked like before I added the green tea and blended it all up. If you decide to make this smoothie, be warned, it will turn out more of a purple-gray color than green.

For dinner, I had about six ounces of oven roasted lean pork, and made another recipe I found on Pinterest: twice baked sweet potatoes with lime. The original recipe is from the blog Carrie's Experimental Kitchen, and can be found here. The combination of sweet potato and lime sounded a little strange but I like that sort of thing. The only change I made to the recipe was using regular shredded cheddar cheese because I didn't have any reduced fat cheese. I used one tablespoon of shredded cheddar for a whole potato. The flavors of the sweet potato and lime juice/zest were so strong I didn't taste any of the cheese, so next time I will probably just omit it. Here is what dinner looked like:

Not a very interesting plate, I know. The hubs drizzled honey over his pork, which really brought the flavors of the sweet potato and pork together. Have I mentioned he's a chef?
This day clocked in at 1,555 calories, 180 grams carbs, 56 grams fat, and 99 grams protein. If you are aiming for a lower calorie day, you could omit the cheese from the eggs and the potato. Or skip the Larabar. I ate one mainly as a little carb boost for my gym visit. And also because Larabars are freaking delicious.

Hope everyone has an amazing week. I'm off to unpack a few more boxes...


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quick and Easy Ham and Eggs

Not much time to devote to a blog post this evening so I am just going to share with you what I made for dinner. Last night's dinner was all about bacon, tonight's was all about eggs. Apparently I am craving breakfast.

I found this super easy, healthy, five ingredients or less recipe for Spicy Eggs in Ham Baskets on Pinterest and modified it just a little. The good news is this recipe is so simple it leaves tons of room for modifications and additions.  The original recipe can be found here. Here is how I made it:

12 large eggs
12 slices deli ham
Frank's Red Hot Sauce to taste
Fresh chopped basil to taste
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with non stick spray and lay a piece of ham over each muffin opening. Place the muffin pan in the oven for five minutes. The ham will crisp up and turn into a little "basket". Crack one egg into each basket. For our family I used 9 whole eggs and three egg whites so that I could have four of these (3 whites, one whole), and the rest of the family could have theirs made with whole eggs.

After you crack the eggs into the baskets, pop the muffin tray back in the oven for another five minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees, and bake another five minutes. The original recipe states when you cook them this way, your eggs will still be a little runny, but mine came out about over medium, which I was fine with. Scoop the egg baskets out of the pan using a rubber spatula. They should come out easily. I garnished mine with salt, pepper, a few drops of Frank's Red Hot Sauce and some fresh chopped basil. They make a cute presentation and they are super tasty. You could also add a little cheese to these or some other herbs or some sliced jalapeños (which is what the original recipe calls for but I didn't have any).

I served these with a green salad and some fresh fruit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Paleo Bacon Madness

As I've mentioned before, I don't subscribe to any specific diet or style of eating, but I do like to steal borrow recipes and ideas from them as part of my own personal eating style. I figure certain eating styles must work well for people, otherwise they wouldn't be so popular. And although I won't commit wholy to any one "diet" or "lifestyle" (I refuse to completely cut out an entire group of food or carbs, etc.), I often find myself searching and making recipes by those who do. This usually includes the vegan lifestyle (some days I eat an entire vegan menu without even meaning to) and the Paleo diet/lifestyle. Today, I ended up making two Paleo recipes that both included BACON for dinner and dessert. And since I was too busy to post a Monday Meal Plan (shocking), I decided to share some of what I ate today with you, and I actually took pictures!

A friend of mine who is currently eating Paleo sent me a recipe a while back that sounded fantastic, and this week I finally remembered to buy all of the ingredients I needed to make it. The recipe comes from the PaleOMG blog and the original can be found here. I modified it a little, like I usually do. My friend made her version with turkey bacon, but I knew the hubs would never go for that. So I chose to use real bacon. Now, unlike my husband and most of America, I'm not a huge fan of bacon. I mean, it's okay, and I eat it on occasion. But I could really take it or leave it. I have to tell you though, the recipes I made tonight were so good, they might just have put bacon on the map for me.

So here are the details on dinner:

See that? It's roasted spaghetti squash. And it's delicious! I love using spaghetti squash in recipes that call for pasta. Although I usually replace about half of the pasta with squash, since this recipe is Paleo, that meant NO PASTA. But in this recipe, I didn't really miss it. Okay, so the first thing I did was cut the spaghetti squash in half and roast it, cut sides down on a cookie sheet, in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. The original recipe said to roast for 20-25 minutes for a medium spaghetti squash, but my guy was pretty big. While the squash was roasting, I prepared the rest of the recipe:

That pretty package of bacon pictured at the top of this post got cut up into 1/2 inch pieces. The original recipe calls for a full pound of bacon, but I reserved three slices from the package for my dessert recipe. The original recipe also calls for uncured bacon, but I had regular bacon and used that. (Not sure if that makes my version of the recipe non-Paleo). I cooked the sliced bacon in a pan over medium heat. This recipe makes a crap ton of food, so you will want to use a large pan. I used a wok.

Once the bacon was cooked crispy, I removed it from the pan using a slotted spoon, and set it aside in a bowl. The original recipe states to then remove half of the bacon grease, and leave the rest in the pan. I dumped out about two-thirds of the bacon fat.

I threw three cloves garlic minced, and half of a yellow onion diced into the pan with the bacon fat, and cooked those until the onion turned translucent. (If you have any doubts about this recipe, the smell of garlic and onion cooking in bacon fat will clear those right up for you). Then I added a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained. The original recipe says to cut the artichokes into halves or quarters, but I cut them into thirds because I'm a rebel like that. I then added half a pound of chicken, diced (no picture on the chicken, sorry). The original recipe calls for a half pound of chicken tenders cooked into the recipe. I used about six ounces of the precooked stuff. I know, I know, GASP! Look, I don't always have a ton of time, and precooked chicken is okay in my book. If you buy it from a store like Trader Joe's or Sprouts, you end up with a little more sodium than if you cooked it yourself, and that's about it. Moving on...

Spaghetti squash was done and had cooled enough for me to handle. I scooped out the flesh of one half of the squash and threw that in the pan. This came out to about four cups of squash. Since my squash was so large, I decided to reserve the other half for lunch tomorrow. Then I added the cooked bacon back in and mixed it all up. Last, I turned the heat down to low, added about five cups of spinach, and cooked that until it started to wilt. This is the end result:

Nom, nom, nom, nom!!!
Not sure that the picture does this recipe justice, but like I said, it made a crap ton of food! FYI: I'm pretty sure I coined the term crap ton, just sayin'. Also, you can see a glimpse of my awesome new kitchen in the picture above. Swoon.

If you divide this recipe into six servings, each serving clocks in at 305 calories, 14 grams fat (4 saturated), 14 grams carbs, and 32 grams protein. I really liked this recipe. I added just a tiny bit of Spike seasoning and black pepper to my portion. The hubs liked it too, but thought it might be even better with some acidity, like some lemon juice or a tomato sauce. So I have some good ideas for next time...

Now let's get to the good stuff: dessert. I stumbled upon this recipe while bouncing around on some recipe blogs and it was so simple, I just had to make it. Four ingredients, all of which I already had? Sold.  The recipe comes from another Paleo recipe blog,, and can be found here. I only made slight changes to this one because it was so simple. Here are the ingredients and measurements I used:

3 medium bananas
3 slices bacon cooked crispy (the original recipe calls for 4 slices)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 tablespoons almond butter (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup)

The recipe also calls for a specific brand of chocolate chips, Enjoy Life. They are gluten free, grain free, soy free, nut free, dairy free, etc. They sound awesome, but I didn't have 'em. So I used regular old store brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Pretty sure this time that this definitely disqualifies my version of the recipe as Paleo). Anyway...

Slice the bacon into thirds (I did this before I cooked them). Slice the bananas into thirds, then slice the thirds in half. Spread each banana half with almond butter (about 1/2 tbsp for each pair), and place a slice of bacon in the middle. You should now have nine little banana almond butter bacon sandwiches. Place them on parchment paper and stick them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips over low heat. You can do this in a double broiler, but I did it in a small sauce pan. Just watch it, stir it, and remove it from the burner when the mixture is slightly lumpy. The remaining lumps will melt, but if you leave it on the burner until they do, the mixture will burn. Dip each frozen banana sandwich into the melted chocolate, and place them back on the parchment paper like so:

The bacon kind of looks like little tongues sticking out. Martha Stewart I am not.
The amount of chocolate is just enough to cover about half of each sandwich. Which was fine with me, because they are a little less messy to hold on the non-chocolate end. After you dip them, freeze them again until you are ready to eat, which for me was about five minutes. Here they are again:

And look, you can see apples and pears behind them. See, it's not all bacon at my house. These little babies clock in at 183 calories, 11 grams of fat (4 saturated), 23 grams carbs, and 3 grams protein per sandwich. And they are fantastic. The combination of textures and flavors in these is amazing. They are so good,  I didn't even mind eating a frozen treat while it's still so damn cold out.

So there you go, bacon and Paleo (sort of) dinner and dessert. And I still ate slightly less than my calorie goal today. And we have leftovers for tomorrow. Score!

What's your favorite bacon recipe?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cleaning out the Closets (A Week in Review)
So we are finally finished moving into our new home. Sort of. Mostly.

I still have to go back to the old house and yardsale all the stuff we left behind. And speaking of stuff we left behind: that's mostly what this post is about. I'm going to try to keep it short, mostly because I still have so much left to do with the unpacking and the sorting, and the picking up/dropping off children, and the grocery shopping, and on and on....

We chose to move for several reasons. And it was stressful. Really, really stressful. I posted about this a while back before we even started the official move, and as that day got closer, my anxiety and irritability, and awful eating habits just kept getting worse and worse. And I knew it, but I couldn't stop it.

And then something amazing happened. Last Sunday, when it was all said and done, my husband and I were standing around in our new living room, and we both realized (almost simultaneously) how relieved we were, on so many levels. And not relieved that the actual moving part was done (although we were), but relieved that we were in a new place, with new beginnings for our family. I had no clue the power of healing that could be found with a simple change in location and scenery. But it wasn't just that. It was what we left behind at the old place. I won't go into all the gory details, but so much of what our old home held was broken, both literally and figuratively. And that "busy" word I use so much, was mostly just a euphemism for stressed the hell out. But I don't think my husband or I quite realized the full extent of it until we finally moved on, literally and figuratively. And now I feel hope again, and I feel like I can relax (a little), and just enjoy my home and my family. Now we can begin to resemble a "real" or "normal" family again, without all the stress and heaviness we used to feel. We are healing, and I will never, ever, let myself or us go back to what we were. Like the picture above says, I am choosing to live a life I love, from now .

Now on to a few other tidbits from the week. I didn't get to post a Meal Plan Monday due to the move. Plus I was so off track with eating, it would have been inappropriate to list almost anything I ate on this, my "healthy" blog. But I am back on track now.  Back to the GYM (so happy!).

I'm on the left. Check out my girl Rosemary's guns!
And I am back to logging on my fitness pal, back to cooking and eating meals at home, and back to posting here. All very, very good things. And since Meal Plan Monday was a bust this week, here are just a few good things I ate (sorry, no pretty pictures):

Breakfast: Two multigrain waffles topped with 1/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese and sliced strawberries

Recovery Green Smoothie (after the gym):  1 cup almond milk, 1/2 of a gala apple chopped, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 medium banana, 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt, 1/2 cup orange juice with calcium, 1 cup kale

Lunch: Lunch has been mainly sandwiches this week, roast beef or ham on cracked wheat sourdough bread with asiago cheese and mustard. (Unfortunately, all of these items register high on the sodium meter, so I know I will have to make some changes there). I usually have my sandwiches with grape tomatoes or other crunchy veggies on the side for some texture and to circumvent my chip craving that comes with sandwich consumption :)

Dinner: We have taco night once a week at our house. It's tradition. Tacos in our house are not fancy. They are made with ground beef (93% lean), and premade taco shells. Deal with it. But most of the time, I also make pumpkin black bean poblano tacos for myself (the kids and hubby don't care for them and that's okay). This week I also made guacamole using my bestie's recipe which clocks in at about 90 calories per serving, and had that with some Garden of Eatin' gluten free organic blue corn chips. Delish.

Well, I am off to make a snack and then organize my new closet. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Since my last post was a bit of a downer, I decided to share with you a good day for me from last week. I am hoping to do this every Monday as a series: pick my favorite day of the week eatingwise and share it with you. I say hoping because, well, you know, I'm busy. So here is what my best day looked like last week:

Breakfast: This my friends, is what I refer to as a "bowl of goodness". I stole that name from a website I can't recall at this very moment, and probably could google to figure it out and give them credit, but I need to finish this post so I can get to bed. Anywho, a bowl of goodness for me always starts with oatmeal. Then I just throw in a bunch of yummy, healthy, reasonably sized portions of good stuff and mix it all up into a hot mess. (The picture above was taken pre-hot mess). This particular bowl consisted of a half cup of rolled oats cooked in half of a cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, half a cup water, and a teaspoon of homemade Indonesian vanilla extract we got from my mother-in-law for Christmas. Then I added two teaspoons of Better N' Peanut Butter (lower sodium and fat than regular peanut butter and still tastes great), a heaping tablespoon of nonfat vanilla greek yogurt, half a tablespoon of chia seeds (great source of fiber), 1/8 cup raisins, 1/4 cup blackberries, and half of a tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder. It was the bomb. I also had a cup of black coffee.

I normally have a snack mid-morning, but I was still really full from my bowl of goodness, so I ended up foregoing the snack. Then came lunch:

Lunch consisted of a curry chicken salad sandwich on toasted Ezekiel sprouted grain bread (a low glycemic product I love, but to me it only tastes good toasted). The chicken salad recipe I used was a hybrid made from two sources: the cookbook Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, and a "super foods" diet plan published in Self Magazine. I combined the two to make up my own recipe mainly because Skinny Bitch's recipe (like all of their recipes) is vegan (as in vegan mayonnaise and fake chicken).  I have no problem with vegan mayo on principle, but it's not for me. And Self Magazine's recipe wasn't very complex (i.e. not that flavorful). So here is my adapted/hybrid chicken salad recipe:

Chunky Curry Chicken Salad

2/3 cup chicken breast, cooked and chopped (if you are pressed for time, use the precooked stuff)
1 tbsp canola mayonnaise (I used Best Foods brand)
1 tbsp plain nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 tsp curry powder
Dash of ground black pepper to taste
1 to 2 tsp raw lemon juice to taste
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved or quarted depending on size

Combine the mayo, yogurt, spices, and lemon juice in a bowl. Fold in the chicken, grapes, and celery. In case you were wondering, according to Self Magazine, the curry and grapes are what qualifies this recipe as "super".  I also had a fuji apple and home brewed green tea with lemon juice with my sandwich. And yes, the sandwich is on a skull and crossbones plate. We have a full set.

Mid-Afternoon: I had a green smoothie which I made using my go to recipe, minus chia seeds since I had already had some with breakfast: 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter, half of a frozen banana, 1 cup spinach, and 1 scoop protein powder (I used Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein). I added the protein powder because I was going to my daughter's basketball game and knew I was going to end up eating a late dinner. The added protein helped me feel full until then. Sorry, no picture for the smoothie. BUT, I also had this:

Two squares of dark chocolate. I actually had this before the smoothie, around 2:30, when I got a hankering for something sweet. I had the smoothie around 4:00, right before I left for the basketball game.

Dinner: Again, no picture for this meal but that was mainly due to the fact that it was kind of late by the time I cooked it (about 7:00), and I didn't feel like waiting any longer to eat. I had "brinner" (breakfast for dinner). I scrambled three egg whites and one whole egg with a quarter cup of black beans (drained and rinsed) in a pan with Emeril's brand nonstick canola oil spray, and topped that with a third of an avocado chopped, and some Cholula hot sauce. Delicious! I finished the night with some chai tea. Black tea is warming, and I needed it. It's been so damn cold this winter!

The whole day clocked in at 1409 calories, 169 grams of carbs (my exact allowance for carbs), 47 grams of fat, 95 grams of protein (one gram over my daily goal), and 40 grams of fiber (23 grams over my daily goal!) Like I've mentioned, I just love it when my numbers add up. And extra protein and fiber is always a good thing in my world.

I didn't work out on this day, but if I had, I would have added in some more calories. I usually aim to eat back about half of the calories I burn when I work out. I got this idea from an article in an athletic magazine that reported most online calculators overestimate the number of calories burned through various activities. The article stated unless you wear a heart monitor, your total calories burned through may be a lot lower than you think. Since I don't have a heart monitor (yet-fingers crossed for my birthday), I use the "half formula", rather than eating back all of the calories I think I burned. Just the way I do it.

So there it is: my first addition of Meal Plan Monday. Hope you enjoyed it. What did you eat on your best day this week?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The "B" in Busy

This is me right now. In squirrel form.
We're moving. And I couldn't be more excited about that fact. Moving means I will no longer have to drive my daughter an hour each way to school. Moving means my best friend's house will be about eight minutes away. Moving means I get to decorate a whole new place. And go to Costco and stock up on a bunch of stuff for my pantry. I have never had this much cabinet space in my life! So by all rights, I should be in a pretty decent mood right?

But I'm not.

I'm irritable. I'm incredibly short with my kids, the dog, cashiers, strangers... In short, cover your virgin ears (or eyes?): I'm a real bitch right now.

And I'm overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks. The thought of having to forward my mail feels like someone expecting me to rebuild a car engine. Nearly every time I start to pack a box, my three year old runs into the room and promptly begins unpacking it. And this might sound like a cute little anecdote, but it literally makes me sit down on the floor and well up with tears, as if my three year old and I are in fact, the same age. 

See, my husband, like me, is also busy. His restaurant (shameless plug) is doing really well, which means he's working a lot. And being married to a chef, that comes with the territory. I know that. I've always known that. And he is helping as much as he can with the move. But I still feel so helpless. Like a helpless little child who can barely tie her own shoes. Which is so not me. And that's making me irritable. And short with the kids, the dog, cashiers, strangers....

And to add a little fun to the mix, I've started eating my feelings. I stole that term from the movie Mean Girls, but it's absolutely true. For months now, I've been on track, eating well and feeling good. Then the whole moving thing started, and this happened:

Yup, it's another squirrel picture. Deal with it.
It all started at Trader Joe's. (I heart TJs so hard). I went in for milk, almond and cow. That's all I needed. But then I thought, I should grab some more spinach for my green smoothies. (I haven't made a single one since I bought the spinach). And then I grabbed some strawberries, mini heirloom tomatoes, Larabars (do yourself a favor: go out right after you read this and buy a Cherry Pie Larabar), and some spicy california rolls. And then the three year old noticed the special bakery table set up for Valentine's Day. There were heart shaped cookies, and whoopie pies, and gluten free flourless cakes (which is what I normally would have purchased, if anything). But then the three year old found them: Triple. Chocolate. Bundt Cakes. A pack of four of them. And she insisted, in her typically calm, rational manner, that I buy them. Remember how I mentioned I'm easily overwhelmed right now? I bought them. And we got them home and I looked at the nutrition information on the bottom of the package. And then I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. A half of one of those chocolate glazed, chocolate cakes rolled in chocolate chips, is 340 calories. And a ridiculous number of grams of fat and carbs that I'm not even going to bother to list.

Now, under normal circumstances, I can resist the urge to eat a triple chocolate bundt cake. In fact, lately, after my no sugar challenge, I don't even have the urge to eat things like triple chocolate bundt cake. But right now I'm all like:

Last one, I promise.
After a little counseling/assurance from my bestie that it would all be okay, I ate half of a triple chocolate bundt cake. And it was damn good. And I didn't feel that bad about it. And then the next day at lunch, I had some french fries and a sugary delicious Eegee's frozen slushy drink. And I still didn't feel all that bad, because I was celebrating my move. So it was okay. But later that day, I had both kids with me, and we had spent the day driving across town, moving boxes. And my mom came to see the new place and I was celebrating again. And the kids needed to eat. So we went out for pizza. And spinach artichoke dip. And hot wings. Damnit.

Today, I woke up with a renewed spirit. I had a cup of multi grain peanut butter cheerios with almond milk, coffee, and four ounces of orange juice for breakfast. And I felt good. And then I started packing boxes. And my three year old began unpacking them. And my teenager, who was supposed to be distracting the three year old, spent most of the morning complaining because I would not allow her to go to her friend's house. And then I discovered that at some point, the dog had urinated all over the three year old's toys. The same toys I was attempting to pack into boxes. And then the three year old started to sob, loudly, and inconsolably, because she couldn't put a puzzle together, and eventually I just decided I hate today. So we went to a fast food restaurant where my three year old could run around and burn off some energy (I know I'm in Arizona, but it's too damn cold right now to go to a park), and I ate a cheeseburger and fries.

Oh, and have I mentioned in the midst of all this, that I haven't had any time or desire to exercise? Yes, I know, moving is a physical activity. Believe me, I'm logging it as such on my fitness pal. But I haven't had the time or energy to go to my beloved boot camp class at the gym, or yoga, or even just go for a run, which are all a part of my normal week. And it's making me irritable. And short with the kids, the dog, cashiers, strangers....

So here is what I've decided: this stops now. I am going to get back on track, now. And I am going to be nicer to my kids, the dog, cashiers, strangers, and possibly my husband. Just kidding honey. But I am resolved to put an end to the season of the bitch. And to start eating like I know I should, and to make time to get my workouts in. Because it's all a cycle, I know that all too well. I know that if I eat right and exercise, I won't be so stressed, and overwhelmed. And then I can focus on all the positives of moving. Which is what I should be doing, and what I want to be doing. And those three chocolate bundt cakes on my kitchen counter? They'll be joining all the other stuff in the old house I secretly got rid of when the three year old wasn't paying attention.