All the way

I really thought this weekend was going to test my resolve with Whole30. Between the pizza run on Saturday and a big dinner with family on Sunday (including cookies, cupcakes and ice cream for desert) I was kind of expecting to go off plan – but I made it through the dinner without so much as a lick or taste of sugar, dairy, grains…and maybe the hardest… wine. Total success.

Here’s what I have been eating, in weekly What I ate Wednesday tradition:

Breakfast: Sweet potato & turkey bake. Breakfast is always where I struggle most with the paleo diet. I like sweet things in the morning. Um, sweet potatoes, duh!

The first layer of this casserole is two grated sweet potatoes sprinkled with rosemary. On top I put about a pound of ground turkey and then poured 5 scrambled eggs over the dish before baking it. Delicious and quick to reheat in the morning.

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The all important coffee, enjoyed in bed.

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Lunch: It’s been rainy and cold so I cooked up a big pot of comfort food to dish out for lunch this week.

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In the pot is onion, carrots, mushrooms, chicken thighs, beef broth and a whole bunch of kale.

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For easy grab & go access I dished it out into containers for the week.

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With all this wind and rain it’s nice to have something hot and hearty in the afternoon to look forward to.

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Dinner: Fall means squash right?? I always underestimate how much “meat” a spaghetti squash yields, but hopefully I can finish it all.

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I smothered a heaping serving with creamy avocado sauce from Oh She Glows (avocado, EVOO, basil, lemon, garlic, salt & pepper). Leftover pork loin on the side.

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I’m really still enjoying Whole30. There’s been a lot of additional stress in my life as of late but I really credit this strict eating plan with my ability to take it all in stride. Normally I would be using any excuse to dig into a cup of frozen yogurt or have a glass (or two, or three) of wine – but it’s nice to know that I don’t need those things after a long day to unwind. Sugar, while it makes me happy in the moment, generally leaves me feeling grumpy and I definitely don’t need the effects of a sugar crash right now.

With each week I’m also feeling more and more empowered in the kitchen. I enjoy the challenge of cooking healthy, delicious food to meet specific nutritional goals. I thought that I wasn’t going to maintain a paleo diet after the challenge was over, but with under two weeks to go I’m not so sure.

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In other news…I finally completed a three-mile run! It sucks that it was on the treadmill (boo, rain!) but the time actually passed quickly.

It feels like it took forever to build back my mileage but I finally made it. I ran at an even 12 min/mile pace for the first 2 miles and at an 11:30 min/mile pace for the third. I felt really good throughout and didn’t feel like I was struggling at all.

Also – Can we talk about how my NYC Pizza Run shirt is an EXACT match to Retro Fitness?! The guy behind me is not amused.

Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 162.5

This week: 163.5

Change: +1

Total loss: 79.5

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Food with a view

I’m eating so well this week that it’s hard to believe I’m following a “strict” food plan.

Seriously. I have a total crush on Whole30 right now. So…here’s what I’m eating this week! (Also…if you love food gawking..check a bunch more of What I Ate Wednesdays on Peas and Crayons)

Breakfast: Two eggs scrambled with about 3 oz of Trader Joes canned salmon and a few handfuls of spinach. The whole combo is heated up in a pan with coconut oil and ginger and then doused in hot sauce. And of course, life wouldn’t be complete without the  giant mug o’ coffee.

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Lunch: Pineapple Mojito Salad!! and sliced pork loin. My lunch was inspired from a salad I saw at Whole Foods over the weekend that was too easy and delicious not to recreate.

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My version included a whole pineapple, six mini cucumbers, and a jicama dressed with lime juice, coconut shreds and fresh mint and topped with raw pepitas. You have to make it. The mix of the crunchy jicama, with the sweet pineapple and tangy lime juice is super refreshing.

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Dinner:  I was craving fish when I went food shopping this weekend so I bought a huge bag of frozen tilapia to slowly work through. On Monday, I baked four of the filets in the oven with and have been eating them every night paired with chopped veggies nuked in the microwave and Kalamata olives or avocado for a super quick and healthy meal.

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This week I’ve also been using my lunch breaks to wander around the financial district and appreciate how close I am to some great views of the city.

Like the South Street Seaport.

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And Brooklyn’s right across the water.

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There’s also some really pretty architecture among all the skyscrapers.

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Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 163.5

This week: 162.5

Change: -1

Total loss:80.5

Color me full

This week, I couldn’t bear to show only one day of food.

There were too many colorful meals from which to choose.

Many times where berries stole the show.

July 4 breakfast: Greek yogurt, blueberries, watermelon, strawberries and a few almonds

Even blended, they were determined to be noticed.

Smoothie: blueberries, banana, chocolate protein powder, and avocado

In oatmeal, they popped out and demanded attention.

Protein-packed oatmeal: Oats, blueberries, flaxseed meal and egg whites

Protein-packed oatmeal: Oats, blueberries, flaxseed meal and egg whites

But then the greens marched in.

Vibrant, fresh, crunchy, and refreshing.

Green monster: banana, chocolate protein powder, frozen spinach

I lunched with layers and layers of fresh baby spinach, raw broccoli (my favorite) and avocado piled on top.

Lunch this week: Spinach, broccoli, strawberries, almonds, and (unpictured) avocado and a spinach and feta chicken sausage

A zucchini sliced thin made for a fun twist on a personal pizza over the weekend.

Whole wheat pocketless pita with marinara sauce, zucchini and shredded sharp cheddar.

And when heated, the asparagus shone an even brighter green and were perfect for dipping in bright yellow yolks.

Spicy asparagus and zucchini with two eggs sunny-side up

Spicy sautéed asparagus and zucchini with two eggs sunny-side up

Produce was a priority this week.

Summer only lasts so long.

Bring on the heat if it also means berries, peaches, cherries, summer squash, asparagus and watermelon.

And just in time for the fitness part of this month’s WIAW, I got my first taste of the kettlebell.

My trainer, sensing his limited time left, practically killed me yesterday.

Squats with a kettlebell.

Tricep kickbacks with a kettlebell.

Kettlebell deadlifts.

Lucky for you, my fingers are about the only thing not sore right now.

It was one of my favorite workouts ever. Me and the kettlebell – friends for life.

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 164.5

This week: 164.5

Change: 0

Total loss: 78.5

Red, White, and….Food!

Happy July 4th!

Are you sick of fireworks yet? My favorite fireworks experience has to be a few years ago when I was on a ferry from Delaware to New Jersey. I had no idea they were going to be set off, but right in the middle of the hour-long boat ride the sky lit up with explosions. It was a fun surprise and made the trip go a little bit faster.

This month Jenn at Peas and Crayons has asked everyone participating in “What I ate Wednesday” to include some fitness along with the daily eats, so I thought I would talk about some of my fitness goals…or I guess lack of fitness goals. Because I honestly don’t have any right now.

I’ve been slacking on any kind of disciplined workouts besides taking long walks (3+ miles) every day. If I was a criminal, walking would be my M.O. It’s my preferred exercise and really the only consistent exercise I’ve done throughout my weight loss.

That being said, I was on the ball with strength training for a while with twice-weekly iron pumping sessions at the gym and have kind of let that fall by the wayside. Weight training made a huge difference in how I felt about my body and I think it also sped up my metabolism, so I’m ready to kick that into high gear again.

For me, exercise is more about keeping my stress levels down and less about the effect it has on weight loss, so as long as I’m doing something to sweat on the regular, I don’t really worry about what or how intense it is.

Ya dig? 😉

Onto the eats!

Breakfast: More oatmeal. I’m not sure what’s going on. Usually when the temperature rises I stop craving oatmeal and start craving smoothies, but my taste buds apparently still think it’s winter, so oats it is! In the pot went 1 banana, 1/2 cup of oats, 12 g of flaxseed meal and a few shakes of cinnamon. I like my oats really soupy, so I added 1.5 cups of water and stirred until they were done.

I also put my coffee ice cubes to work this week with my lazy version of iced coffee. Here’s the secret: I make a giant pot of coffee at night. Half goes in the ice cube try and half goes in a mug. The ice cube tray goes in the freezer and the mug goes in the fridge and in the morning they all combine for iced coffee bliss. So easy and so cheap!

Lunch: I had the same salad I raved about last week, except I topped it with Trader Joe’s Hummus Dressing this week. Butter lettuce, baby carrots, almonds, avocado, and a 4 oz chicken breast. Perfection.

Snack: A few handfuls of (un-pictured) granola taken from a coworker’s snack stash. Thanks Kipp, you do read my blog…right??? 🙂

Dinner: Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna from the vegan food/family/wonderful blog Peas and Thank You. In true Jodster fashion, I used the recipe as more of a guide rather than exact road map, but it all came together in a delicious casserole. Despite the dish not actually having any noodles or mozzarella cheese or typical lasagna ingredients, the quinoa really soaked up all the flavors of a traditional lasagna. I would totally make this again and stick it under the category of comfort food.

It was easy to assemble and did not come out watery, which has been my biggest challenge when making no-noodle lasagnas. As I’m not vegan, I decided to go with sharp cheddar cheese instead of a vegan cheese and added much more than the 1/2 cup that Mama Pea suggests for extra gooey goodness.

After it came out of the oven, I divided the lasagna into six servings for a week of dinners. Healthy meal planning at its best.

Dessert: Watermelon and a homemade coconut oil chocolate bar. The three-ingredient chocolate bars from Chocolate-Covered Katie turned out better than I could have ever imagined. It’s coconut-y. It’s chocolate-y. It’s amazing and makes for the perfect dessert.

After my evening walk I also snacked on a few almonds before hitting the pillow.

Fun fact: I keep my almonds in a pickle jar in the fridge. The pickle jar is just because it was the only jar I had lying around, but keeping the nuts cold really helps them stay crisp and crunchy. Stale nuts are good for no one. You’re welcome.

 

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 164.5

Change: -2

Total loss: 78.5

Have you met….WIAW?

I had so much fun posting What I Ate Wednesday last week – and I’m glad you guys seemed to enjoy it, too!

So here we are, back for another go. These are Monday’s eats, but like I said last week, my meals don’t change much day to day, so you can safely assume I’ve eaten versions of the dishes below every day.

 

Breakfast: Overnight oats! What’s that you say? You’ve never made overnight oats? It is the easiest no-fuss breakfast for hot days or early starts. You just mix all the ingredients together at night, stick the bowl in fridge and enjoy in the morning!

In my bowl went:

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) of raw oats
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp (12 g) of chia seeds

The possibilities with mix-ins are endless. Sometimes I top it with almond butter or add in some pumpkin and yogurt. I also had the obligatory cup of coffee (and a second large iced coffee mid morning. Addicted!)

Lunch: A big container of butter lettuce topped with baby carrots, 1/2 oz of almonds, 2 tbsp of Trader Joe’s spicy peanut vinaigrette, 50 g of avocado and one of Trader Joe’s fully-cooked, all-natural chicken breasts. I finished it off with an apple. This lunch kept me satisfied until dinner. Usually I need a snack around 3-4 p.m., but not after this meal. I think it must have the right mix of fat/carbs/protein to keep me satisfied. I will definitely be repeating this lunch often!

Dinner: I roasted up a big tray of veggies including 1/2 a sweet potato, half a crown of broccoli and 10 asparagus. To round out the meal I made an omelette with two eggs and a stick of Sargento cheddar.

Dessert: My latest obsession – PB2!! Have you tried it? I tracked down a jar at GNC, but you can also buy it online. It’s basically powdered peanut butter with a lot less fat and calories than you would normally find in peanut butter. The ingredients are just roasted peanuts, sugar, salt, and since I bought the chocolate version, cocoa powder.

Nutritionally, it’s not the same as regular peanut butter at all – but I love peanut butter so this is great for satisfying my craving while still sticking to my calorie limits. To make, you mix 2 tbsp of the powder with 1 tbsp of water. The result is a thick, peanut-chocolatey paste. I topped it with 1/2 cup (4 oz) of fat free plain Greek yogurt. I also had a dark chocolate Adora disk – it’s a calcium supplement. I always see other bloggers eat them, so when my sister and I found a bag at Whole Foods last weekend we decided to try them. I’m not sure that I really need a calcium supplement, but they taste just like regular dark chocolate and come in at 30 calories. Yum!

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 167

This week: 166.5

Change: -.5

Total loss: 76.5

All in a day’s eats – WIAW

Hi there!

Let’s talk food 🙂

I have a confession to make, I get stuck on certain foods and just want to eat them over and over and over again.

Oatmeal? Every day.

Zucchini? Three a week.

Bananas? Can’t imagine a world without them.

My penchant for wanting the same foods over and over has solved a few common challenges that people run into when starting to eat healthier – mainly price and time.

There’s a myth that choosing healthy foods costs more money and that cooking (especially for one) takes a lot of time, but this could not be further from the truth.

I change up what I eat from week to week, but within the week I eat the same meal for lunch every day and the same meal for dinner every day. I’m on strict budget with grocery shopping and have a crazy work schedule, but this method of meal planning has been a savior for time, money and my weight. Here’s why:

1. Meal planning saves money. Every Sunday I browse Pinterest and some other recipe sites for meal ideas. I make my shopping list on my iPhone and then go into the supermarket knowing exactly what I need. I always want to try new foods, and if let loose I would buy up the entire fruit and produce section, so having a plan helps me stick to my budget. Before I started cooking I used to waste so much food because it would go bad before I could eat it, but that never happens anymore.

2. Meal planning saves time. With my plan set, I can prep all my lunches and dinners on the weekend so they are grab-and-go ready for during the week. This has helped me break any dependency on frozen meals, convenience foods and it ensures that I’m never tempted to eat out. Sometimes I’ll make one big dish (like soup or chili or a casserole) and portion it out to easily reheat during the week but other times I’ll have a set protein (like a turkey burger, chicken sausages or shrimp) and a few different veggies that I know I can quickly throw together for quick and simple dinners.

Why am I talking about all of this? Because I’ve decided to participate in the blogging phenomenon What I ate Wednesday. Below is every single thing I ate on Tuesday. I get questions all the time about what a typical day of food looks like for me – so here it is!

Breakfast: Stove-top oatmeal (1/2 cup oats; 2 tbsp flax meal; 1 banana; 1-1/2 cups water; tons of cinnamon). A giant cup of coffee with a generous pour of unsweetened almond milk. I also had another coffee with soy milk mid-morning.

Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs; a container filled with broccoli, carrots and cucumbers; 1/4 cup hummus (homemade – so much cheaper!); 1 cheese stick; 1/2 oz raw almonds

Snack: 100 g of grapes; 30 g of avocado (Yes, I really do weigh everything. I would cry if my food scale broke)

Dinner: 2 chicken sausages; 1/2 zucchini; 10 asparagus

Dessert: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt; 1oo g blueberries

It’s also…weigh-in Wednesday…so here we go:

The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 167

Change: +.5

Total loss: 76