Monday, February 16, 2015

2015 Aspirations

January rolled around and I needed to change my life. I've worked hard for years and I felt like I was just spinning my wheels.  I was horribly depressed, I was gaining weight like crazy, I was doing subpar work at my job, and I was super lonely.

So, I changed it all.  I am no where near where I want to be in my life, but now I have a plan.  I am striving for progress everyday, instead of expecting instant results.

First and foremost, I was unhappy with my weight.  Since I quit smoking in 2013, I have gained 45 pounds and I am just not happy with it.  Quite frankly it was really starting to affect my husband's and my intimate relationship and that did not sit well with me.  Not only is that a problem, but the general unhealthiness that I was living was awful.  I constantly obsessed about food.  I could put away half a large pizza and then half a tub of ice cream.  I didn't really do more than go to class, go to work, and go to sleep.  Even though I now had weekends off, I just stayed home in bed binge watching TV series all evening and all weekend. Since homelife really was just blarg, I wasn't into my work as usual.  Most people did notice that I quit designing and creating things for about a year there.  Even in my day job I was just there to collect a paycheck.  I didn't truly so my job - I did not feel the need of desire to make Starbucks Corporation happy with my quality of work, and that is defenetly not me.  I am generally a workaholic.

So onto the changes I implemented into my life!

First Change - Quit my day job.  And since I have adequate savings, a month later, still okay and not freaking out and getting another job yet.  And at the same time, I reopened my Etsy shop with my husband.  We now make things together.  This has added to our relationship.

Next change- Quit eating crap!  My husband and I have really gotten into meal prepping. We fix breakfast, lunch, and snacks a week in advance. This appeals to our ultimately lazy side but also allows us to eat healthy yummy food such as grilled zucchini, roasted eggplant, grilled chicken, homemade fruit snacks, etc.   We both count our calories everyday.  I literally takes 5 minutes before bed to log them in.  We use the MyFitnessPal app and we find it fairly accurate and very handy.

Next Change - Move my butt!  I started working out six days a week.  Since membership to my college's fitness center is billed into my tuition if I use it or not, I use it as much as I can.  It's a great facility and those in the Huntington Area can also join too.  It has 3 floors of exercise equipment, 4 full size basketball courts, 3 swimming lanes, a swimming pool, hot tub, 3 raquetball courts, an indoor climbing wall, an indoor track, and not to mention private studios, and classes. It's really great place and I feel really motivated when I am there.  My workout plan is 3 alternating days of cardio (usually elliptical) and three days of weightlifting.  I use an app called JeFit like it's my personal trainer.

One month in and everything is going as plan.  I am seeing progress every week. I plan to do more detailed posts as I have time, and with progress pics and meal prep plans, maybe some exercise routines I am using.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

21 Days and I Feel Fine!

I am three weeks into my new lifestyle and I'd like to share my adventure in meal prepping this past Sunday.  I have been pre-making breakfast, lunch, andd my snacks for three weeks now.  It's kind of addicting.   This week I am having red potatoes, grilled chicken, blanched green beans, and some long grain wild rice.


One of my favorite parts of meal prepping is all the cutting, dicing, and cleaning.  And the colors.  I love how colorful all of the veggies and fruits are.
This week, I chopped 3 pounds of red potatoes, and roasted them on 400 for an hour.  I seasoned them with some lemon pepper.  The ones on the bottom became nice and crunchy and the top ones are really silky.  I also cooked 2.5 pounds of green beans.  I cleaned them and trimmed the tips.  I didn't go all out on the green beans this week.  I blanched them in boiling water for 10 minutes.  They are still firm and a really bright green.  I learned my lesson last week with soggy green beans. Ick.  The green beans will fully cook and become tender after reheating for lunch time.  The blanching really brought out a bit of sweetness in the beans.

While my beans and potatoes are cooking, I mixed up my fruit snacks, started the wild rice, and set my husband to grilling the chicken.  This week, grapes and raspberries were on sale, so I added them to my fruit cups.  One note though, I did find out that the raspberries don't hold up too well being mixed and then frozen and then unthawed.  They go mushy.  On the other hand, frozen grapes are a treat all unto themselves. The rice is a rice-a-roni long grain and wild rice mix.  It's 190 calories per serving of 1 cup.  I cut it in half, using only a half cup for my meals.  My husband seasoned the chicken with smokey mesquite.  He grilled 16lbs of chicken at once. It was on sale at for $1.99 a pound, so we stocked  up on some extra for his protein snacks.

We're getting close to the end.  I bagged all my fruits into 4oz snack bags, and chopped the chicken up to be weighed into 4 oz sections.  And my potatoes are yummy!  Finally I set out all of my containers.  I use the small 2 cup rubbermaid and ziploc containers.  The rubbermaid ones are my favorite and they seals hold better and they also microwave easier.  I found the ziploc ones flimsy, but hey they were on sale too.  I first laid out my  4oz carbs into each container.  Seven got potatoes, and seven got rice.  Then I just divided the green beans evenly into each container.  It worked out to be about 3 oz per container.  Green beans are healthy all the way around, so you really can't have too many.  Then on top, is 4 ounces of grilled delicious chicken. 

Very delicious!  I let them cool with the lids off on the counter before I put the lids on the and froze them.  I found that if we freeze hot rice, it crystallizes the whole bowl and isn't very tasty after it's reheated.  

So, if you guys are really interested for the cost of these, here's the breakdown:

3.5 pounds of chicken @ $1.99 pound = $6.97
2 boxes of Rice-a-Roni @ $1 box = $2
3 pounds of green beans @ $1.29 a pound = $3.87
1.75 pounds of red potatoes @ $1.99 a pound = $3.48
4 pounds of grapes @ $0.99 a pound = $3.97
1 quart of strawberries @ $2.98 per quart = $2.98
1 pint of raspberries @ $2.29 per pint = $2.99

Total cost of shopping trip = $26.26
Cost per lunch = $1.17
Cost per fruit snack = $ 0.83 (I got 12 snacks out of the mix.)

This week, I price shopped around, and had a list of  sale prices from different places with me when I went shopping at Wal-mart.  I love their price-matching.  All you have to do is tell the cashier that so and so has what ever you are buying on sale for a specific price and they'll match it.  They don't match percentage based sales, BOGOs, or 10 for , but if grapes are on sale at Target for 99 cents a pound and they have them for 2.48 a pound, they will change the price for you.  I love saving money.

Diet is only part of the equation for effective weight loss and my change of lifestyle. Next time, I will introduce you guys to my six days a week workout.  It's working well; I am down six pounds! 

Just a Little Help

Here's where I am in life right now. Job accepted at a bigger park. 1.5 hour communte, like 60 miles away. $10 an hour. I did the math,...