Tag Archives: weight loss

A Little Bit of Prep…

26 Mar

…goes a long way!

I really wish I could be one of those people who plans out their entire week’s meals in advance. I might need to add this to one of my lists, but for now I know it just isn’t realistic for my lifestyle. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t plan ahead sometimes and make my week a little easier with a little bit of prep!

mealprep

I ran home from work today and it was gloriously light out the whole way. I decided to swing by the supermarket before heading home to pick up a few random things and I was back at my apartment by 7:45. I started pre-heating the oven immediately and then did some quick slicing, measuring and heating. In no time at all – and with minimal effort – I had a bunch of things cooking and I saved myself a lot of time the rest of the week. Not the greatest picture, I know, but I was able to roast eggplant, bake a sweet potato and make hard boiled eggs and quinoa.

These may not be full meals that I was able to plan ahead for the week, but they are all still great additions to what I will eat over the next few days and I have so many options to keep me focused and eating well.

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Make the Right Decisions for Yourself

24 Mar

Call me crazy, but sometimes the hardest person to be is yourself. I recently received an email from someone who had read this post and they wanted to share their personal Golden Rule: “never eat something to make someone else happy.” This is so important, and really could be taken even further. When it comes to health, fitness and maintaining a balanced lifestyle, you need to make the right decisions for yourself.

Don’t eat something you don’t want to just because it takes more effort to explain why you’re turning it down, you will regret it. Don’t skip a workout just because your friends make you feel guilty, its not worth it. Resolve to do what you need to do. You will be empowered by your own commitment and this will make these moments easier. Overtime people will roll their eyes less and stop hassling you. You will be happier and stronger, and they will support you more.

Like Cold Stone … Sort Of!

20 Mar

It used to be a real struggle for me to eat vegetables – I used to flat out refuse anything green. I slowly worked to incorporate a little here and there into my meals and one of my favorite ‘sneaks’ was turkey burgers. I used to chop up some onions, mushrooms and a little spinach and mix it right into the patties before cooking them up. These days I eat vegetables willingly and happily, but I still like the old standby recipes (if for nothing other than convenience)! So I was excited when I saw this recipe for Turkey Basil Artichoke Meatballs from PaleOMG – they looked delicious, and it was a bunch of new ingredients and flavors I hadn’t thought of adding into a ground turkey mixture before.

Turkey Basil Artichoke Meatballs 
(Makes 20 Meatballs – 4 Meatballs/4 PointsPlus)

meatball1

Ingredients:
1 pound, ground turkey (93-97% fat free)
1 (14 ounce) can, artichoke hearts, diced
1/4 onion, diced
4-5 tablespoons, fresh basil

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place skillet over medium heat, add diced onions and artichoke hearts. Once onions are translucent, remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.
3. In a large bowl mix together ground turkey, artichoke hearts, onions and basil.
4. Scoop the mixture out with a spoon, and form 20 meatballs with your hands. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

This recipe is really great and easy to make. I really liked using artichokes in the mixture since it was a new idea for me, but it also shows the endless possibilities for ingredients to add right in – just like Cold Stone … sort of! Once the meatballs are baked you can eat these plain, wrapped up like a hero, or with pasta. I served mine with spaghetti squash (my favorite, ever) and a little parmesan cheese!

meatball2

Recipe adapted from PaleOMG

The Little Things

19 Mar

Sometimes it’s just the little things that make such a difference. I saw this on the sidewalk on my way to work in the morning and it had an affect on me. Something small and insignificant, something that other people probably just walked right over – I noticed it, I appreciated it, and it meant something to me. photo (28)

I have learned so many things in the last four years: about being healthy, about sacrifice, about self-respect and also about my relationships with other people and my surroundings. It isn’t always easy but the little things can really help.

My Golden Rule

6 Mar

I’m not really one for the all or nothing mentality. Sure, I have been successful by setting some limits but I have always tried not to completely restrict anything. This always backfires. However, there is one exception and I want to share it because it has proved surprisingly helpful. My golden rule: no food in bed.

This actually came about as a New Years resolution for 2011, and is probably the first and only one I have ever kept. I used to wake up on weekend mornings, scurry around to make breakfast, and then jump right back into bed to eat and catch up on TV shows. I was eating mindlessly, and recklessly.

It wasn’t just that I didn’t pay attention to what I ate since I was distracted, but I associated my bed with food. I woke up every morning starving and went to bed each night thinking about food. It led to a lot of bad eating habits.

Breaking this mentality made a huge difference for me; it is the only rule I have willingly kept up with and really benefitted from. And on those nights when I’m stressed or just mindlessly late night munching, I hop into bed and the urge to snack just goes away since the association has been broken!

Creativity is Key

3 Mar

I was always a stubborn and picky eater; I ate mostly chicken fingers, french fries and pasta. There was the occasional piece of fruit but no vegetables. I was adamantly against anything green and leafy.

After joining Weight Watchers one of my biggest challenges was learning to incorporate more nutritious options into my diet. The trick was to smart small. At first it was a single piece of lettuce in a turkey sandwich, later upgraded to a slice of tomato too; sometimes I added chopped mushrooms into tomato sauce, and spinach used to get mixed right into homemade turkey burgers. For the first few months I really had to work to sneak vegetables into meals. It wasn’t easy, but it turned into a game for me.

Each week I scanned through recipes on the Weight Watchers website for ideas. I was completely caught up in trying new foods, mixing different flavors and learning tricks in the kitchen. I was having fun and this made following plan so much easier. Each week I planned my meals ahead of time so I could get everything I needed at the supermarket, and I started cooking for my roommate and I every night. We taste tested, critiqued and experimented and I learned so much.

When I became a Weight Watchers lifetime member my leader asked me, “What is your secret? How did you do it?” I am definitely not an expert, and I have had a lot of ups and downs, but here is my best answer: I was creative. I had fun. I took the basics of the plan and made the most of it. I made it work for my lifestyle. I was a college student in the second semester of my senior year, and I accepted my own limitations. I strove to enjoy those last few months at school with everyone else, while also trying to achieve something for myself. I pushed as much as I could and had a blast while doing it!

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