Oreo’s (oh no!!!) and James Wilson’s Program

This weekend was so summery and fun!  Our first hot weekend.  And I indulged.  A lot.  My diet consisted of processed foods like chips and Oreo cookies and alcoholic beverages full of refined sugar.  Oh the horror of it!  It was fun and I felt like it was a summer celebration and now I won’t feel the need to fall off the wagon again for quite a while – perhaps I can hold out until my stagette?!?!  I’m back to craving whole foods and clean eats and would say all those naughty choices are merely a memory, but my bloated stomach says otherwise.

As I was saying in a previous post, I have been searching and searching for a workout program that I feel is a good fit for me.  I think the key here is just committing to something for a length of time.  The main programs I looked at (and I absolutely think they are all great) were:  Tone It Up, Jillian Michaels, the dvd’s from my Rip:60, and James Wilson’s program.  Aaaaand…. I’ve decided to go with James Wilson’s program!!  The awesome thing is that right when I was looking at his Facebook page a post popped up announcing a Summer Sizzle contest!!  You can find the details here.  It’s the exact motivation I need at the exact time I need it.  I am going to follow his at home program and basically have everything he says is required for equipment (very minimal).  Once you pay for his program you are invited into a private Facebook group with others who are doing the program as well, and it is an incredibly interactive and friendly group!  They are so helpful and kind and I don’t feel intimidated at all to ask a question which is so nice.  He has templates for caloric intake, what to eat in a day, and just so much info! 

I have a plan for a big poster to put in my workout room that I can keep track of everything on and will post a pic if when I finish it… maybe this evening?

Loving the feeling of looking forward to a workout.  The contest starts on Monday, May 13 so for the rest of this week I will be doing my own thing and possibly trying to get some Couch to 5 k in?

ENJOY THE SUN!!!

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Support Systems For Health & Wellness

I wanted to write a note about finding support in your journey through health and wellness.  I am extremely lucky to have an excellent support system when it comes to my choices of food.  I have Cody, my Mom, and a handful of friends; some of who are making their own eat clean and whole food dietary choices and others who may not choose to eat this way, but who are more than willing to make “Michelle friendly” choices.  These people are so inspiring to be around and I can’t express my appreciation enough!

I am so excited to watch Cody learn about eating clean.  He comes from a restaurant background and while he has always made absolutely excellent and creative meals, over the past two years he has adapted his habits when it comes to making meals so that I can enjoy his creations guilt-free.  He has a way with sauces, coming up with creative marinades, and different food combinations.  I’ve never seen him have a “flop” meal.  He has dropped old habits like sautéing in butter or really using dairy at all, and has opened his mind to alternative and gluten free flours and whole foods.  It’s great because when he’s home we can take turns cooking dinner or preferably make dinner together and I can be confident it’s going to be a healthy choice.  In the same breath, after our delicious and healthy dinner that he spearheaded last night he tried to buy a box of Oreos at the store… sigh.  So tempting!!!

My mom is by far my biggest inspiration when it comes to eating clean whole foods.  She was making these choices long before it was a somewhat “mainstream” way to live and when there weren’t so many resources.  I remember being confused as to how she figured out how to use chia seeds, and admittedly how she found them appetizing (now a staple in my kitchen).  The fact that I can stop by my parents’ house for lunch or a snack and know that it’s 100 times cleaner than I could possibly make it is so amazing and helpful!  She is a wealth of knowledge and has trialed and errored so many recipe creations that she’s probably saved me cups of ingredients / hundreds of dollars.  She is the kind of person that always takes the time to make and bring healthy snacks with her on outings (something I’m trying to work on) and she is really good a whipping up a healthy meal on the fly because she keeps so many eat clean staples on hand.  She makes it seem easy to bring a healthy alternative along to a group gathering (which actually takes a lot of coordinating and planning ahead) and makes it appealing enough that everyone wants to try it.  She’s the person I call with a question or for some advice, for pretty much anything in life, but for the purpose of this blog to do with all things food.

My friends are yet another source of support.  I can go to Danielle’s house and know that I won’t go home feeling bloated or sick, and will probably be bringing her recipe with me.  She and I can trade ideas on alternative ingredients and the different methods and views on what healthy eating is.  She does interesting challenges like no refined sugar week or 100% paleo week to keep on track and I like to try and follow as well.  Not only this but she gets me up and out of the house for some activity and exercise even when I don’t feel like going, and she somehow makes it fun!  My friend Nancy doesn’t live nearby by we converse regularly about health and wellness and I always hang up the phone ready to bake something new!!  We do things like plan ways to make better food choices and get more exercise and it is a huge help to check in with her so often. These friends, and other friends who I haven’t taken the time to name, are so wonderful; choosing to cook without dairy if I’m coming over, or at least giving me forewarning so I can bring my own alternative.  The fact that they check in with me on what I can have and can’t, and are so willing to work around it or are okay with me contributing something I can eat really warms my heart and make me feel so fortunate.

These are the kinds of people that everyone needs in their life.  For some these connections don’t happen overnight and aren’t readily available, and it means going to a friend’s house with an offering of an alternative choice because there won’t be any other ones.  Over time people will adapt and even come to support your choices, and that is a great feeling.  Persevere and do what is right for you, it’s your health and your body and anyone encompassed in your social life should support that even if they don’t choose to live the same way.  Alternatively, draw your inspiration and support from blogs on the internet!  There are so many fantastic resources and motivational people out there and I will list some of my favorites below.

I really do hope that over time, I can be this kind of person for others.  I have a whole new plan of action for my own health and wellness in the works and can’t wait to share it!

Links to just a few of my fave pages to visit:

Healthful Pursuit

Little B’s Healthy Habits

Fit Foodies Healthy Life

Gracious Pantry

Fit Life Happy Wife

The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

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A Busy Sunday and Workout Programs

I keep thinking that I’m not sure why I started a blog, and that I should just quit.  Then I remember I would probably be writing these same things to my friends, all in separate messages and texts, just with no titles and more swears.

This weekend was pretty darn awesome.

I got to spend lots of quality time with my girl friends which is always nice, and the weather was amazing.  Sunday was a bit of a non-stop day including a 20 km bike ride on the local rails to trails, my brothers baptism, Cody coming home, and dinner at Peddle and Tap with friends.

The bike ride rocked and it totally inspired me to get more exercise, always a good thing!  Unfortunately by the time I got home and tried to make myself presentable for my bro’s baptism, there wasn’t much time to eat – note to self:  Always make time to eat.  According to my heart rate monitor I burned around 650 calories, which according to my research means I should have ate back around that same amount.  Not eating any of it back made for a hungry, lightheaded, slightly dopey Michelle.

A side note on my brother’s baptism:  It was very cool and outdoorsy and suited him to a T!  It was done at/in a lake, and followed by a hot dog roast!  It was meaningful in a special and personalized way without any pretensions.

The hotdogs were tempting given my state of hunger, but I persevered and ate the quinoa salad and a few gluten free cookies that my ma brought along before rushing home for a few quiet minutes before going to the airport to pick up my guy!!

Dinner at Peddle and Tap was so great as per usual, and I never feel bad indulging there; something about the atmosphere makes it seem totally acceptable!  I enjoyed a couple of delicious caesers and a steak sandwich of sorts.  The waitress commented on how funny our group was for ooohing and aaahing over each others choices, it must have been our inner “foodies” making an appearance.

My meal plan is posted on the fridge and I have high hopes of following it.  My Monday was off to a shaky start as my weekend didn’t allow for much prep time.  Luckily Cody is a fast and professional chopper and has kindly offered to help me out.  Tomorrow I should have containers full of delightful snacks.  Luckily between my fridge, pantry, and my mom’s house (for lunch) I was able to make clean choices and am very pleased with that.

This week I am feeling quite motivated to follow my scheduled meal and workout plan thanks in large part to my girl friends and their great compliments!!  My friend Danielle commented that my legs were looking nice and slender and then my other friend Ali said I was looking “svelte”, which is my favorite word and basically describes the way I want to look (she must be a mind reader).  Isn’t it amazing that a kind comment like those can inspire me to push myself to workout all week!?!?  Gosh, thanks girls *blush*.  It makes me remember to pay close attention to other peoples transformations and comment when I see changes that they may have forgotten to notice about themselves.

Something else I want to get done this week is looking into some more workout outlines and figuring out something a little more “concrete” for wedding body prep.  The internet offers so many different programs and I would love to find something structured that works for me that I can also change up when need be.  I’ve been looking at the Tone It Up program recently, but am going to do more research.

Any workout programs you want to recommend would be appreciated!!!  Enjoy your Monday, the workday is almost over!!! 🙂 

 

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A Daily Dose of Lemon Water

The first I heard of drinking lemon water to start the day was probably about a year ago.  It was closer to the beginning of my weight loss journey and I heard that lemon water helped to promote weight loss.  I wasn’t very focused on diligently doing this every morning, and simply found it refreshing on days when I remembered to add lemon to my water bottle.

The idea of it always stuck in my head, and upon moving into my new house I thought it would be a good time to implement this as part of my morning routine.  I am on day 15 of drinking 1 tbsp. of lemon juice in a glass of water in the morning and although I’m not having crazy results I’m going to stick with it because I like the routine of it, as I said above it’s refreshing in the morning, and I think it’ll probably take a little bit longer to notice any changes that are happening so I want to keep it up.

Although most of the sources I have listed at the bottom of this post recommend using warm/hot water, I am using room temperature water.  I don’t enjoy warm drinks in the morning, actually hardly ever, and especially not now that summer is just around the corner; so I believe I’m still reaping the benefits since I feel the best about drinking it at room temp.  My one worry is that lemon juice is reported to be harmful to the enamel on your teeth, and the dentist warned me years ago that for whatever reason I am already losing some of the enamel on my teeth.  I have been rinsing my mouth out with water immediately following my lemon water in hopes that it’ll help, and some people recommend drinking though a straw so if this continues to weigh on my mind I may start doing that.

My main reasons for drinking lemon water are:

  • Prevention / relief of stomach upsets
  • Helps to keep skin clear
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Boosts immune system

This is according the information I read on the internet.  There are tons of other benefits to drinking it, but these were the ones that attracted me.

If you do daily lemon water what results have you had and how much do you take per day?

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4769/Why-You-Should-Drink-Warm-Water-Lemon.html

http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com/benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water.html

http://lajollamom.com/2011/01/drink-warm-lemon-water-in-the-morning/

 

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Goal Setting

I really love lists. They are all over my life; in random notebooks all over the house, on the fridge, in my purse… I keep them in my day planner, the notebook for food/life tracking, this blog, my phone, my laptop…. Lists are my sanity. There is something crazy satisfying about writing things down and then getting to cross them off as they are accomplished. I think that is why I like setting goals so much!

Exactly two weeks ago I started my food/life tracking notebook, and I started off with a few goals to check in on:

– Drink lemon water in the morning for 2 weeks straight
– Fit into my green Victoria’s Secret bathing suit bottoms
– Be a size 8 in Lulu Lemon bottoms
– Be 155 lbs
– 7 days of 100% clean eating
– 7 days of 100% paleo eating
– Fit into my new (last year) American Eagle shorts with no “spill over”
– Get past Week 1 of Couch to 5 K

Today I get to cross one off the list!

-Drink lemon water in the morning for 2 weeks straight

Stay tuned for a post on the benefits of starting your day with lemon water and if I’ve seen results or not.

Since I got to cross a goal off my list, I’m going to add another!

– Drink 1 1/2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before dinner for 3 weeks straight

I started doing this 2 nights ago, and from what I’ve read it takes about 2 weeks to start reaping the benefits.

I think that goals give us a purpose, something to strive for, and a reason to push ourselves just a little bit.

What are some goals you are working on attaining right now?

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A Welcome Home Day

It was a perfect Monday for Cody to come home. The kootenays welcomed him back with sunny skies and warm weather.

I surprised him by taking the rest of the day off after picking him up at the airport. We took advantage of our free time together by taking a nice walk through our neighborhood, traipsing through the yard planning a fire pit area, and lazing on the couch (I had to get some reading time in on my newest Nora Roberts book!).

We sat down to an early dinner and it was a success!! Except with all the excitement of Cody being home and the ribs smelling so yummy I forgot to roast the veggies! Celebration welcome home dinners don’t require all the food groups, right!?… In any case, I added some red peppers to my plate and decided to call it good. I was really happy with the Amazing Dad’s BBQ Sauce! I’m not sure it would be full on “eat clean” but I definitely felt it was a better choice and will be stocking up and trying other flavors in the future until I have time to try experimenting and making my own. Also the sweet potato biscuits are a must try!!! We both thought they were really tasty. Paleomg.com has tons of great recipes and you must check it out!

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My workday is almost done and I am looking forward to Cody preparing dinner! Later this evening we are going to meet with our guitar player and determine some songs for our wedding ceremony!!!

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Meal Planning For The Week Ahead

My fiancé Cody will be home from work tomorrow and I’m soooo excited to see him! This also means I have to be extra diligent in my meal planning though, as while he is super supportive of the eat clean-ness that takes place in our house he tends to add delicious and not-clean items to his plate that I try to resist 🙂

Click on this link if you are interested in seeing my meal plan:

Meal Plan April 22-28

 1 = Breakfast
 2 = Mid-Morning Snack
 3 = Lunch
 4 = Mid-Afternoon Snack
 5 = Dinner
 6 = Evening/Bedtime Snack

Note that although some of the snacks listed sound like treats (and are ! ) they are all made to eat clean. For me this means using coconut palm sugar, dates, or unpasteurized honey for a sweetener to replace white or brown sugar, alternative flours such as brown rice, chickpea, almond, oat, etc., and absolutely no use of dairy products. Obviously eating clean is more extensive than that but this is a quick overview of the principles that apply to me.

For the ribs I purchased a BBQ sauce that I’ve been eyeing up for a while and am super excited to try! It is called Amazing Dad’s BBQ Sauce. It’s organic and has a short list of ingredients (always a good thing!) and I’m hoping it’s delicious!!!

For pre and post workout I have been using the Vega Sport Performance product line, in particular the Pre Workout Energizer in Lemon-Lime and the Post Workout Recovery Accelerator drink in Tropical. I find them really delicious and almost juice-like.

To prep for my weekly meals, I do the following:

• I start by printing out a chart so I can write in what I’ll be eating for the week and make sure it all meshes and flows well from one day to the next. I set it up with the 7 days of the week and 6 meals per day, although mostly I don’t note anything down for #6 (bedtime snack) as I either use something simple from the fridge or pantry and more commonly am not hungry.
• Next, I peruse my recipe books and the internet for recipes that I want to try or that use some things we have in the fridge, freezer, or pantry. I fill in the boxes on my chart as I go and move and adjust the meals around until it seems like a well-rounded meal plan. (I admittedly sometimes do this on Friday afternoon at work… sorry boss-man!!)
• Once the chart is filled in completely, I grab a pad of paper and go back through the chosen recipes and make a list of everything I need to buy.
• Saturday is usually designated as grocery shopping day, so I get all of the groceries bought and put away, ready to roll for Sunday.
• Ok, now we’re at Sunday. I spread my meal plan chart, laptop, and recipes out on the kitchen island and get to work! The kitchen becomes a huge mess, but it’s worth it to have food ready to go all week. I opt to not prep every meal for the week, as I enjoy getting home and throwing something simple into the oven, but the key idea for me is to have food readily available for a busy day and to make sure I don’t get hungry and stop at the bakery for a goodie.

Sometimes my plans change, so I adjust my chart as needed throughout the week. I’m trying to follow my plan better on the weekends, as things tend to get crazy in our kitchen (aka: eat everything in sight at all random hours) when I don’t have to go to work!! I’ll keep track of what actually gets eaten this week and let you know how closely I was able to follow the plan.

Please let me know if you want links to any of the recipes I am using in my meal plan. I did note down the name of the website for any recipes I’m using if you’re interested in just searching around on their pages!!

Enjoy what’s left of the weekend!!

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