Monday, June 19, 2017

Summary of my ShaunT week

I was *super* excited for June. Shaun T was back with all new workouts!! I've completed Insanity and T25. I didn't care for Cize because I do not dance. I just can't coordinate. I move around, I shake things, I step this way, that way... and have no clue what I'm doing.

When Beachbody announced a week of all new Shaun T workouts, I was really excited to change it up! Also, just as I thought, I was getting bored with my current workout. I really do struggle to finish programs. And as excited as I was when I started the Core de Force and Master Hammer and Chisel hybrid program, I was over it. I needed change. 

The seven new workouts are as follows: 
Monday Day 1: Insane Basics (33 mins)
Those new or old to Shaun T's workouts will love the all-out hustle of these INSANITY-inspired moves.
Tuesday Day 2: Pure Cardio 2 - 29 mins
Stay hydrated, because the nonstop movement will leave your body drenched.
Wednesday Day 3: Insane Weights 33 mins
You thought INSANITY was hard...now try it with weights.
Thursday Day 4: 25 Abs 28 mins
Focus your mind on your core and the results will come.
Friday Day 5: Ripsanity - 43 mins (Great, the Friday workout is 43 minutes!)
More weights and feeling ripped as Shaun T keeps you focused through these insane moves.
Saturday Day 6: Speed 4.0 - 31 mins
Crazy awesome music and moves using only your body weight will give you a fast-paced push to results.
Sunday Day 7: Dig Deep - 27 mins
You’ve heard it. Now do it. Shaun will help you push yourself harder than you ever thought possible with an array of strength, agility, and cardio training moves.

In summary, I loved Monday and Tuesday's workouts. I wasn't crazy about mixing weights and Shaun T's cardio workout. I don't like jumping and trying to get back into weight form. I thought that workout would be great in a program where you have time to repeat it and master the moves, but it was a little difficult for a one-week game changer. I wasn't feeling Thursday. I was also exhausted, both physically and mentally and really struggled to make myself finish. Although I didn't give it 100% (and not even 90%), I finished Thursday. I promised myself Friday I would give it 110%. And I did. Ripsanity was HARD. I couldn't lift my arms for some of the moves he had us do on Saturday! I powered through Saturday and Sunday and felt amazing I had finished all 7 days! I hadn't done 7 days in a row in a couple weeks. 





What I loved most though? That I DID IT. 
7 Workouts in a Row - Burned almost 3,000 calories!! 

So now what? 

Well, ShaunT week became ShaunT month!! There's two hybrid calendars available. One is available on Beachbody On Demand and the other on ShaunT's website. If you still want to do just a ShaunT week -- all seven of those workouts are still available and you can check it. (Need access to Beachbody On Demand? Contact me for details!) 

I'm not diving right into ShaunT month though. I already had planned to complete a 3 Day Refresh. My nutrition has still been a little unstructured, especially on the weekends. I am two weeks away from a Florida vacation where my nutrition will be the last thing on my mind. So Jason and I are cleansing our bodies, in a healthy way, and will make the most of these last two weeks before vacation. 

While I don't plan to overly splurge on vacation, there will be ice cream. There will be alcohol. There will be carbs and more carbs. But it's only 1 week. I'll still drink Shakeology. I plan to work out at least 3 times. I'll eat a couple fruits and some veggies too. 

After vacation? Shift Shop. And I will be focusing 110% on my own Shift during that time. Until then I'm going to relax a little, eat right, keep exercising, and enjoy my vacation. 


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Workout Summary

Below is a copy of screenshots from the Polar App I use for working out. I have really worked my butt off.... we finished up the 21 Day Ultimate Reset on April 16. I started doing the 21 Day Fix and knocked out my three weeks of workouts. 

Then I moved on to the Master Hammer & Chisel and Core de Force mashup. And then... I puttered out. At the start of week 5. Which confirms what I've known most of this year - I cannot commit to a workout program for more than 3-4 weeks. I lose my motivation to keep following the plan. 

So as I start to get run down, and tired, I look back at everything I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. 
Look at all these workouts over 6 weeks!! I kicked butt, I worked hard. 


So while this week I have faltered at both workouts (just not putting the effort into it) and nutrition (it was another stressful week and I'm struggling so I emotionally eat crap). And now, while I hate being the example that you can't out exercise a bad diet, NOW is the time I make changes and start focusing on the nutrition. 

This coming week, starting Monday June 12th, is ShaunT week. What's that mean? Shaun T. is the creator of Insanity, T25 Focus, Hip Hop Abs, and Cize. He's a great motivator when working out! He tells you how it is - it SUCKS. But you can do it! And when you think you can't do it? Do one more burpee! So there are 7 new workouts coming to Beachbody on Demand (BOD). BOD is the way you stream programs, either to a smartphone or we use a Roku stick in the basement. (And sometimes the app on the iPad at the same time!) And it's FREE!!! You can fill out the form below to get more information on how to join me. 



So now we're planning for this week. I follow the 21 Day Fix Portion Control Meal plan, I get 4 veggies, 3 fruits, 4 proteins, 3 carbs, 1 fat, 1 dressing, and 4 teaspoons. The Portions I get are based on my weight, activity level, and program I'm doing. I'll also be able to use the Beachbody Performance Line and the extras I'll drink won't count. Jason is following the Body Beast Portion Control Plan and has to eat 10 carbs! It's a little insane - a lot of rice and beans for him this week. 

my plan this week
Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks are easy. I'll be doing burrito bowls for lunch. 
Monday & Wednesday Dinner: 2 Cups of Stir Fry veggies w/ baked salmon, and brown rice. I have an asian dressing I'll use on the veggies, and cook them in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. 
Tuesday & Friday Dinner: Crockpot Chicken, Brocolli, Asparagus, and probably Peas. 
Wednesday Dinner: 2 Cups of Veggies/Asparagus, Grilled Steak, Sweet Potato

Mostly for my use, but here's the ingredients needed for a couple things. 

Crockpot Garlic Chicken: 
  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 2 cups Chicken broth or chicken stock - just enough to halfway cover chicken, unsalted
  • 3 Coves of garlic
Stir Fry Veggies: 
  • 1½ tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ½ medium carrot, cut into thin diagonal slices
  • ¼ cup broccoli florets
  • ¼ medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • ¼ medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced
  • 1½ tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
Ginger Sesame Miso Dressing 
  • 2 Tbsp. miso paste
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  • ¼ cup water

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Meal Planning Sucks


I'll just put it out there - meal planning sucks. It's hard work, for one person. Try having two people in doing two different programs and in two different calorie brackets.

I'm in the 1,500-1,800 calorie bracket since I'm trying to lose weight. Jason is trying to bulk up and he's in the 2,600 to 2,800 calorie bracket.

That means I get: 
  • 4 Greens (Veggies)
  • 3 Purples (Fruits)
  • 4 Reds (Proteins)
  • 3 Yellows (Carbs)
  • 1 Blue (Cheese/Avocado)
  • 1 Orange (Dressing)
  • 4 tsps (Nut Butters/oil)

Jason is supposed to have:
  • 5 Greens (Veggies)
  • 7 Purples (Fruits)
  • 5 Reds (Proteins)
  • 10 Yellows (Carbs)
  • 1 Blue (Cheese/Avocado)
  • 1 Orange (Dressing)
  • 5 tsps (Nut Butters/oil)
I struggle to just get in 4 veggies and 3 fruits throughout the day. Look at all the food Jason is supposed to be eating! Looks like he needs to eat rice and beans for breakfast!

Beachbody offers a LOT of example meal plans to choose from. They try to cover all the various calorie levels, meal plans for vegetarians, no-cook, little cook, easy prep... they have a huge variety! And you don't have to be a card carrying member to look them. I chose this meal plan for the week. 

Since it  was a 4-day work week and I can't eat yogurt, I made some modifications.

I also switched the breakfast and snack because I rely on my blender to make my shake, and I wasn't going to hand mix the spinach, or frozen peaches. I wound up doing the same meals for two days -- and it was simple and easy to follow.
Day 1 I had:
  • Chocolate Shakeology with blueberries & spinach
  • Chia Seed "Pudding" with Peaches
  • White Bean & Tuna Fish Salad
  • Apple w/ Almond Butter, 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Peppers, Tomatoes, Rice & Beans with Rotisserie Chicken - I heated this in the skillet even though it was supposed to be cold. It was good and I'll do it again. 
Day 1 I also had a mini Jilly's cupcake - leftover from the weekend, and some bites of Halo Top ice cream. I didn't work out either. I went to bed by 8pm because I've been exhausted. Benjamin wasn't sleeping well and it was starting to catch up with me. 

I repeated this for Day 3 except I chose not to have the chia seed pudding and instead had a piece of whole grain toast. I missed it and it seemed more filling and more enjoyable. Food might be fuel, but I want to enjoy the fuel. I also didn't like that my Salad Dressing was only supposed to be lemon juice or oil. I made my own homemade salad dressing and was able to use that as my "orange" instead of chia seeds.

Days 2 and 4 I had:
  • Vanilla Shakeology with peaches & almond butter
  • Piece of toast (didn't have any more fruit)
  • Caesar Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
  • Apple, 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl 
I really liked the Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl and plan to make that again in the future. Since I didn't do the cottage cheese, I made sure to double up on protein at dinner. 

Take Aways:
  • When modifying, you still have to double check it all. I wound up over doing my "Orange" because of the chia seeds and homemade dressing I did. 
  • It's ok to try new things - I turned my nose up at the Chocolate Shakeology, Blueberry, and Spinach morning shake, but it was actually ok! Day 3 I did Vanilla instead of Chocolate and it was much better. 
  • I'm a cheater! As long as I don't expect to actually lose weight, sure, eat whatever I want! 
  • You cannot work off a bad diet. 
  • Eating real food (and not crap) made me feel great! I've been pretty good at avoiding processed food, and while it was only four days, I felt a lot better about the food I did eat. 

I'm getting ready for Shaun T week June 12 - 18. Jason plans to double his workouts (he's still working on BodyBeast). I expect some major sweat sessions and will be preparing a strict meal plan for it. Originally we were going to do a 3 Day Refresh June 9 through the 11, but we have a personal obligation the 9th and will need to be more focused on something else that day. We will be doing the 3 Day Refresh the 19th, 20th, and 21st instead. 

If you don't have Beachbody on Demand, now is the time to sign up! Shaun Week June 12th and only one month later a brand new program is being released - Shift Shop. New trainer Chris Downing has put together a 3-week program with meal plan that will transform your body. I've been watching my friends in the test group have amazing results and am *super* jealous that they got access to the program 9 weeks before the rest of us! Jason and I will be taking part, and it'll be the perfect July program for us after our Florida vacation. 


Monday, May 29, 2017

How to Stay Motivated


It's been a couple of rough weekends!!! I manage to keep my nutrition on point during the week and I kill my 7 workouts, and then the weekend comes around and I undo all my hard work.

So what changes have I made to stay committed and focused? Mostly by writing it all down. Everywhere. My workout schedule is posted in my bedroom, on the fridge, in the workout area, and at work. I mark off each day with an X, and it's my countdown to my vacation! I'm working my butt off to get to vacation.

How do you stay motivated? Here's some tips to keep on track, keep focused, and keep going! 

*After figuring out WHAT you want to accomplish, you’ve got to find your WHY’s.
  • Set weekly goals and visualize the outcome.
  • Don’t beat yourself up for a missed goal—it happens.
  • Take breaks when you’re feeling burned out.

While I want to be a skinny mini (what girl doesn't?), I don't actually see that as a realistic goal. However, what I do plan is to be a good example to my sons. I want them to see us working out and know that's it's normal. I want to lower my cholesterol and keep it out of medication range. And most importantly, I want to eliminate my risk of Type II Diabetes. I might not ever be able to do that, I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies, both my parents have it, I am considered "obese". I'm kinda screwed. BUT, if I can eat right and exercise, I will keep my blood sugars at a decent level and not be diagnosed and require medication. 

My short term goals are to keep working out and feel good. My workouts, while having a physical benefit, are mostly a mental benefit. Working out actually helps my anxiety and depression the most. It's the endorphins. They make me happy. :)  

I had some short term goals about being below 200 pounds by May 1st (didn't happen) and fitting in a certain dress by June 3 (not going to happen.) But I am NOT beating myself up. I could have been there had my nutrition been on track, and it wasn't. But I have been happy and content. And the dress, eh, I might not ever fit in that dress, it was pre-babies and my body has changed. 

I'm on a strict 8-week workout, but I listen to my body and have taken a Rest Day once a week. My knees are really hurting and I might have to switch a workout (Hammer Power) if it shows up again in the next few weeks. 


*Post Your Goals - Tell everyone about your Goals 
Posting your short-term daily goals in a place where you automatically see them each day will help you to stay focused, motivated, and committed to staying on task. You can post them on your bathroom mirror, or like me, I keep my workout calendar with vacation countdown in multiple places. I also keep my goals on a huge whiteboard in my bedroom.

Share your goals with your friends and family. Let your spouse know what your goal is -- they can help you stay committed. Talk about them on Facebook so your friends can encourage you and then you are accountable!

Join a Challenge Group! It's daily motivation seeing other women working out and eating right and helps me stay motivated to keep up with them. :)

* Prepare Daily for “What-Ifs”
Before your day begins, ask yourself if there are any challenges that may interfere with your daily goals. For example, what if you get invited to a last-minute lunch meeting? What if your child asks you to read one more book at bedtime but you need to go work out? What if you’re going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday? For each what-if, make a plan to cope with the challenge while still staying committed to your fitness and nutrition. Of course, there are plenty of uncontrollable distractions, but strategizing on how to cope with your most common challenges will set you up to deal with anything that happens during you day.

Right now both Jason and I work out in the evenings, and on Friday nights we discuss when we'll get in our weekend workouts. Whether it's going to be in the morning, afternoon, or evening depending on our plans.

Some things can be planned and saved as your cheat meal. We have a wedding this weekend and I know it'll be my cheat. While I was doing the Ultimate Reset, in order to stay 100% true to my commitment, I turned down a couple free lunch opportunities. And this girl doesn't turn down free lunch. Meal planning and knowing you schedule (and friend's birthdays) is important to staying on track. And if you're invited out to lunch, do your best! 

Journal Your Effort
There is no doubt that tracking your nutrition and fitness improves your chances of achieving your goals. But I also recommend keeping a diary in which you answer the following question each day: Did I exert every ounce of effort to achieving my goals today? If your answer is yes, great! If your answer is no, write down one thing you can do tomorrow to be better than you were today.

I've been journaling for over a year. Sometimes I write down my emotions, sometimes I write about my exercising or nutrition. I found the best accountability I had recently was when I did a photo log of everything I ate. I felt a lot more accountable since I was posting my food.

Writing my blog is therapy for me too - I don't really do it for my readers, I do it so I can see how far I have come! It's also why we do before and after pictures, taking measurements - it's the best way to see how your effort is paying off!

So write it down. For yourself or for others. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

21 Day Fix Extreme Summary

After coming off the Ultimate Refresh, I wanted to focus on getting my butt to the basement to work out. I didn't want to gain weight after all the hard work I put into completing the UR.

I'm really proud of myself - I managed to accomplish 19 workouts in 21 days! 
My nutrition was 80/20, and I had good and bad days.

And I lost 1.4 pounds. And NO inches (in total). 

Wow. What a reward for all my hard work. 

Can you feel my eye roll? My sarcasm? Because WHAT THE HELL???? I just... I can't... I blogged my past three weeks, I discussed my "bad" days, nothing was out of control wild, and I really did burn my butt off. So yea, I'm angry!!!! But I'm NOT going to let this affect my future plan. We all have setbacks during our fitness journeys. This one is mine. I did lose another pound, and my clothes are looser and I've moved into smaller pants. So I'm really serious when I say this won't affect me. It actually motivates me to work a little harder! To really focus on the meal aspect since I obviously have the workout part down!

I wanted to mix up the workouts while sticking with the overall theme of each day (Cardio or Arm or Legs). I tried all the extra workouts that are available on Beachbody On Demand. I really liked the ABC Extreme. The Dirty Dozen was a sweat fest, and if you want a death defying workout, try the Fix Challenge. I had to keep pausing it and letting my heart rate come back down. 

During the second week my right knee started to give me trouble so I had to do a little more modifying and go easy on it during lunges. Even though I'm not seeing the numbers change much, I'm still happy with what I accomplished. 

Moving forward, my goals are to have enjoy a cheat meal once a week, and something I really want, like an Gryo or Sushi. I have 55 days until vacation. I want to make sure I get in my 55 days of workouts and eat well.

I started an 8 week program on Sunday. A mix of Core De Force and Master's Hammer and Chisel. It's my countdown to vacation, and the mix will keep me motivated to stick with the workouts.

One of the goals I didn't meet (yet) is to be under 200 pounds by May 1. I'm very very close. I also have a wedding to attend on June 3 and I have this amazing dress hanging in my closest that I want to wear. If the dress doesn't fit I'll be ok, I have other dresses, but I'd like to fit back into *this* dress.

My goals for the coming weeks:
  • 6 workouts in 7 days. (I might need a rest day and will play it by ear)
  • Burn 300+ calories per workout
  • Lay off the tortillas (I'm currently having some issues.)
  • Write down my meal plan. On paper!! (I've been winging it...) 



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Setting Weekly Goals - Sticking to Weekly Goals

My 5 goals this week. I thought I'd keep it simple. If I can stick with these on a daily basis, I will get results where I really really really want them (the scale.) 
  • 7 Workouts (Monday through Sunday)
  • Burn 400+ calories for at least 5 of those workouts
  • Stay within my "Yellows". (I overdid it a few days last week.) 
  • One cheat meal - Saturday night. 
  • No cheese this week. None. Zero, Zilch. 
Day Count: 
X/21 - Day X of the 21 Day Fix
X/42 - Day X since starting the Ultimate Reset. 

I will start my day count over on Sunday May 6th as I begin my 8 week program AND it happens to be my countdown to vacation! 

On Sunday I made 5 burrito bowls for my lunches: 1 Red of Chicken, 2 Yellows of Brown Rice/Black Beans, 1.5 Greens of Peppers & Onions.

Monday May 1 (Day 15/21; 36/42) After making some not so wise decisions over the weekend (yet again!), the scale showed me some redemption this morning. So that motivated to really stick with it. Even after a really horrible night's sleep, I stuck with my meal plan today. And I got in my calorie burning workout. And then I ate a little Halo Top ice cream. The peanut butter one is amazing!!! AND at only 80 calories a serving, with 5 grams of protein, it's like eating an egg... with a sprinkle of stevia. 

Tuesday May 2 (Day 16/21; 37/42) - One of the reasons I wanted to complete the Ultimate Reset was to get back to basics. Get away from junk food and bad eating habits. While some things I would probably still devour if placed in from me (M&Ms), I don't crave them. And I know those things are bad for me. But the lack of cravings is still with me. And it's all mental - it's not a true craving of needing to eat. I notice it mostly at work. I'm not wondering aimlessly looking for processed crap. The Halo Top ice cream really did satisfy me.

Today was another great day - meal plan on point! Workout was Upper Fix and before starting I did Day 2 of the Monthly Motivator. Afterwards, I hit the treadmill and then completed some more mountain climbers to reach my 400 calorie goal. 

Wednesday May 3 (Day 17/21; 38/42) - Woke up with big plans. And Benjamin had a fever. Nooooo!! Mostly because of work. I have a lot of reports due this week, and everything was in final edits. I stayed home with Benjamin until 10 so Jason could have his 8am meeting, then I headed into work. I was starving and even took two lunches. I ate first lunch at 10:30am. I never ate my second lunch - I ate it for dinner around 5:30pm. I took a rest day, mostly because as soon as the boys got to bed I cracked the laptop open again to get some more work done. Usually I would feel guilty, but I've been working really hard with staying on point with food and fitness, focusing at work, and everything going on at home; so I actually don't have time to waste feeling guilty for missing a workout. This is part of New Me too, not beating myself up over missing a workout. I'm juggling a lot and getting done what I can get done. 

Thursday May 4 (Day 18/21; 39/42) - Fever free this morning! I got into work and stayed 100% focused. I was secretly sad my coworker didn't bring the donuts he mentioned. But also really happy because I would have eaten one (or two). This is one of the weeks it would be really hard to resist. I've been struggling to avoid stopping at Starbucks since my sleep has been lacking.

My food was on point today and I got in a 400 calorie workout - 21 Day Fix Lower Fix. My right knee has been aching during leg day, so I toned it down to the less strenuous leg workout today.  

Friday May 5 (Day 19/21; 40/42) - I was woken at 3am today. Benjamin was coughing a lot and had a fever. I stayed home with him. He slept from 5am to 8:30am and I got in my workout (Cardio Core Extreme!) and got some work completed. I still wanted to do one more read thru of the big reports that were going out today. And I'm glad I did because there were some little errors. I then ran into work. AND THERE WERE DONUTS. And I had no willpower. I was hungry when I got there, and two donuts later... well... yea... 

Then for an afternoon "snack" I had some leftover pizza that was hanging out in our fridge. Being home is the hardest way for me to maintain my diet. We don't usually have temptations even... just was a bad day overall. But I didn't let that kill my evening. After a healthy dinner (steak and asparagus), I walked on the treadmill for an hour to keep myself moving. 

Saturday May 6 (Day 20/21; 41/42) - Another weekend. I will not mess this up. I will not mess this up. I will not mess this up. I need to write on my arm in sharpee "DON'T MESS UP!!" Important realization -- you can't blow your diet in your sleep. So take a nap! 

My cheat meal
I completed the 21 Day Fix Extreme "Fix Challenge" workout during the afternoon. (Another good reason to workout later in the afternoon? Don't want to eat junk before it!) It was a challenge and blew my mind how hard it was! 

The weekends are the hardest and I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired from eating crap during them. I did super well on Saturday - Shakeology, Panera Lunch, dinner at home. My cheat was Time For Dinner enchiladas with rice, and broccoli. The enchiladas had cheese. I added the broccoli to get some green in me. And my true cheat -- a dollop of Daisy (sour cream.) I haven't had sour cream in a long long time. Overall I felt really good about my Saturday.

Sunday May 7 (Day 21/21; 42/42), Day 1/55 - Today I am making more changes. I completed the 21 Day Fix/Extreme (will post my results later this week) and plan to push myself and challenge myself these next 8 weeks. I am fed up. I've constantly yo-yo-ed with my workouts and nutrition. So I'm done with that. The Ultimate Reset was my jump start. Then 3 weeks of the 21 Day Fix (and I accomplished 19 workouts!). Now I'm going to really really challenge myself with 55 straight days of working out and following nutrition. It's time to make this a permanent lifestyle change. 

Overall - how did I do sticking to my five goals? 

  • 7 Workouts (Monday through Sunday) - I completed 7 workouts in 7 days, since I did the double on Friday after skipping Wednesday. 
  • Burn 400+ calories for at least 5 of those workouts - Check!! And this makes me feel really good. It wasn't a huge goal to meet, but I did succeed and 6 of my workouts were actually 400 calorie burners. 
  • Stay within my "Yellows". (I overdid it a few days last week.) -- Except from the donut fail, I did very really with sticking with my allocated yellows.
  • One cheat meal - Saturday night. I enjoyed the enchilada meal. It felt indulgent and was a healthier choice than going out to eat. 
  • No cheese this week. None. Zero, Zilch. This was a lot harder for me to handle. I used to add cheese to my lunch Burrito Bowls (no longer do), or enjoy a sprinkle of cheese on a few things. There was cheese in the Pasta Primavera I ate for lunch on Wednesday. And I sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on my dinner one night too. The cheese on the pizza, and then the enchiladas on Saturday night. However, I used to eat a LOT of cheese. I would be making Liam a mini pizza or quesadilla and I would eat a handful of cheese. Or two. So I have gotten away from that habit. It's about the little baby steps to help me lead a healthier lifestyle. I don't think I could ever go 100% cheese free, but I am working on making small changes so cheese isn't a "food group" in my daily meal plan. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Skillet Pasta Primavera


WOW. I love this dish. So much that I have decided before eating it that I would be making it again. 

And it's only a two pot dish. Super quick and easy. I recommend having everything diced and prepped before turning the heat on the skillet (get your water boiling while chopping veggies.)

I chose to use Red Lentil Spiral pasta. I really liked it. You could make this dish vegetarian/vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I chose chicken broth because I had it available. 

 Skillet Pasta Primavera
4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into ½” half moons
  • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 (8oz) pasta of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan, optional
Directions:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the zucchini and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the colander. Add the pasta and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add flour and stir until onions are coated. Add broth and stir until thickened. Add peas, tomatoes, cooked zucchini and asparagus, pasta, and Parmesan. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
I added chicken sausage to mine. I diced it up and threw it in the pot to cook. I would recommend grilling some sausages to go with this dish. I *love* the Sam's Club chicken sausages. My favorite is the Mozzarella & Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2 Weeks Post Ultimate Reset - Days 29-35

My plan is track my progress for three full weeks following the reset. I am also working out and will complete the 21 Day Fix Extreme. Week 1 went extremely well, workout wise. As previously mentioned I started slipping food wise at the end of the week.

I'm concentrating this week on staying on track. Which seems impossible after the busy weekend I had! I wasn't able to prep the way I needed too. Luckily I have some backup frozen items that help!

Day 29 - Monday. My lack of sleep (thanks to a 6-month old kiddo) can really affect my eating habits. On the way to work I wanted to hit every drive thru I could. Get caffeine and breakfast sandwiches. But I didn't. I drank my Shakeology. I had avocado toast as a snack, which was delicious but still too many blues. So then I started getting down on myself for eating more than a blue container worth of avocado. And if you don't know the Portion Control Container system, me talking about colors means nothing. I was tired all day. An afternoon apple perked me up!! It probably didn't help that I had pasta with my lunch. Dinner was a salad from Crushed Red. Husband and I met up with an old friend from college.

After we got home, it took forever to get Benjamin to bed. It was 8:30 when he was finally out. I did *not* want to work out. BUT, I looked at my Challenge Group and saw all these amazing women that pressed play today. I knew if they found time in their busy lives, I can take 30 minutes and still be in bed before 9:30. So I knocked out my workout and got to bed. Benjamin woke at 1am. Not cool. Was only up about 20 minutes. He hasn't been sleeping through the night lately. Growth spurt, some teeth are coming in. I am trying very hard to not fall into old habits like eating to stay awake. And I'm trying to avoid coffee as a pick me up (so far I've been without for over a month.)

Day 30 - Tuesday. I'm still trying to find time to meal prep and figure out how I'm going to get Benjamin to bed by 6pm. I had grand plans for this weeks meals -- Stuffed Peppers, Pasta Primavera, and Chicken Parmesan, I don't know what the hell I was thinking!!

I pulled out some 21 Day Fix Chili for lunch and that was perfect. We had veggie tacos for dinner. Benjamin is still struggling with bedtime, but he managed to be asleep by 7pm. While cleaning up dinner I made stuffed peppers for Wednesday's dinner. I got in my Upper Fix Extreme workout, burned over 300 calories. Finished cleaning up the kitchen, washed all the baby bottles, and got to bed.

Day 31 - Wednesday.  Today is the work potluck!! I made veggie tacos using the Southwest Veggie Taco recipe from the Ultimate Reset and some grilled veggies. We had an early Cinco de Mayo celebration, since most everyone went with a mexican theme. We also had fruit and veggies. And not too many sweets, which was perfect. I enjoyed my mexican meal, and stuffed peppers for dinner later. I am starting to enjoy most of the Pilates workout. I call it "fancy stretching" and it's a great recovery. It's not a calorie burner, so I walked on the treadmill to get to 300 calories. 

Day 32 - Thursday. To sum it up, I made good choices. I worked out. I'm tired though. Tired of writing. Tired of doing photo collages. I did make an amazing dinner. Pasta Primavera. I loved it and can't wait to make it again!  

I am NOT tired of working out. Or eating right. Or thinking ahead and meal planning. 

I know every choice I make today will affect my physical health later. And that keeps me motivated to keep going. 
  
Day 33 - Friday. YEA FRIDAY!!! I SURVIVED THE WEEK!!! And my reward? A very rainy weekend. Grrrrrr... However, I have no plans, except to stay on track this weekend. I have two new recipes to try - Asian Meatballs and a Clean Chicken Parmesan. I'll grab 1 or 2 freezer meals to get us through this week, add in some veggies, and the meal plan is done! Lots of fresh fruits and veggies too.

Today was a great day. I got in shakeology, a fruit/toast snack, stuffed pepper for lunch, skipped an afternoon snack but did drink some tea, and had more pasta primavera for dinner. Then I knocked out Cardio Core Remix and burned 500 calories.

Day 34 - Saturday. It won't stop raining. I had a really good day though. Jason and Liam helped with grocery shopping and I got the Asian Meatballs prepped. I was planning on working out while the neighbors were over for a play date, and then prepping a new Chicken Parmesan recipe, but we lost power from 3pm-5pm. Totally killed my plans! Not to self - when it's supposed to rain all day, get the workout done early!

We wound up eating at Pasta House. I did well.... Oh, except I have no control when they put warm little loaves of bread in front of me. Those four loaves had no chance! I ate a small salad and small cannelloni. Delicious! I wasn't stuffed and didn't order dessert to go (like Old Me would).

I planned to work out when I got home but with getting the boys to bed, and overall exhaustion, I didn't. I headed to bed at 9pm.

Day 35 - Sunday. STOP RAINING. We've gotten over 5 inches these past few days. Made more plans with the neighbor kids. Seriously, they saved our weekend, and I'm pretty sure we saved theirs! After we knocked out early morning sweat sessions, we finished grocery shopping and had them over for a movie. We had pizza for lunch (not the best choice...) and I prepped my burrito bowls and a healthy Chicken Parmesan for dinner. 

I had a goal to be at 200 pounds by May 1st. Since completing the Ultimate Refresh, I've gained 1-2 pounds back. (Depends on the day/time I weigh myself.) And it kinda sucks, but I'm ok. I know that it's not supposed to be about the number on the scale. I tell myself that all the time, BUT I want to see that number go down. Especially when I work so hard. I do see a lot of changes in my body, so I will keep doing what I'm doing and the scale will eventually change.

And then I discovered HALO TOP ice cream. So I will probably never ever lose another pound again. Look it up, find it, buy it (the peanut butter is amazing), and you'll thank me. Or hate me. I hate myself just a weeeee bit right now. :)

My goals this week:

  • 7 Workouts (Monday through Sunday)
  • Burn 400+ calories for at least 5 of those workouts
  • Stay within my "Yellows". (I overdid it a few days this past week.) 
  • One cheat meal - Saturday night. 
  • No cheese this week. None. Zero, Zilch. 



Friday, April 28, 2017

May Motivator - Monthly Workout Calendar

My company puts out monthly calendar called a Motivator that are related to health and fitness. I actually help make them and thought I would share this one with everyone. I plan to do this in additional to my workout! Contact me if you want a copy of it! (It's a little hard to read and I'll be happy to share the PDF version with you)

It's three simple exercises that require NO equipment. You repeat the three exercises a couple times, and start increasing the number of times you do each exercise. If this is all you do you'll have some incredible arms and shoulders by the end of May!!
I'm finishing up my third week of 21 Day Fix Extreme May 1 through 7. And I'm going to overlap on May 7 and start a new 8 week workout, a mash up of two programs available on Beachbody On Demand, Core de Force and Master's Hammer & Chisel. I have completed MHC before but have no idea what CDF entails. I'm excited for the mix of something I know and something new. A fellow coach came up with this schedule. 

I'm excited for the mashup and very excited because the 8 weeks is my countdown to vacation! I normally would start a program on a Monday, but I didn't want to be worried about getting in that one last workout before packing up two kiddos and flying to Florida. I'm already taking the extra vacation day to pack! And truthfully I'll start packing the weekend before, making sure we have everything we need! 


Monday, April 24, 2017

Post Ultimate Reset - Week 1, Days 22- 28

I plan to keep track the next three weeks while I work hard to eat right and exercise. I don't want to lose the momentum I built up after completing the Ultimate Refresh. 

Monday Day 22 - First day post reset! Everyone says to pick the *one* thing you have missed the most and eat that. And then get back on the wagon of eating right. Some people have steak and wine, or one guy in our group was all about Chicken Parmesan. (Which sounded and looked delicious!) Me, I had the cookie that had been in my pantry for two weeks and calling my name. And it tasted amazing. We planned easy meals for the week. 
  • Breakfast is eggs with spinach, and toast. 
  • Snack is 1 cup of fruit
  • Lunch is a homemade burrito bowl consisting of chicken, cooked peppers/onions, quinoa, shredded lettuce, and avocado. (All measured to fit in the portion control plan.) 
  • Afternoon snack is Vegan Chocolate Shakeology mixed only with water. 
  • Dinner is a salad with deviled eggs and sweet potato. 
  • I also have 1-2 cups of tea during the day. 
  • Still no caffeine. 
I'm working out in the evenings, doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme these next three weeks. I want to earn the free t-shirt! :) Tonight was Power Strength. Holy moly guys! After not working out for a month I was done in after 5 minutes. But I continued on! And burned almost 400 calories.

Tuesday Day 23 - I'm a little tired. Benjamin has been waking at 3am to feed. He's been asleep by 6pm, so it's kinda ok. But I wish he would make it until 4am. He "sleep eats" and I wind up sleeping while feeding him. And when done I got back to bed until 5:30am. I'm also not going to bed early like I should be. Tonight I will change that. 

Today I was VERY VERY hungry. At lunch a coworker shared with me their leftover potatoes. Delicious. And fits in the plan better then the Wendy's Frosty I was thinking about. (Kidding, but now I'm thinking about it.) Actually my back up plan was avocado toast. I didn't eat enough yesterday and then had that 400-calorie workout. I need to fuel my body well in order to make sure I can sustain my workouts.

Instead of eating the planned salad and sweet potato for dinner I baked parmesan encrusted tilapia, cooked some broccoli, and still added devil eggs. I killed my upper body workout with another 400 calories.

Wednesday Day 24 - In order to try and get ahead of that hunger issue, I switched things up today. I had Shakeology for breakfast with 4 ounces of almond milk, cinnamon, and 2 tsps of peanut butter. I saved my fruit for a snack and was not starving for lunch. Whew! Crisis diverted today. For lunch I added black beans to my burrito bowl and that seemed to help. I wasn't hungry until around 4 and drank another Shakeology (with just water). Dinner was a salad (and I'm totally over salad now), broccoli, and tilapia. I worked out!! I usually skip the Pilates but am glad I completed it. I refer to it as "fancy stretching" and it felt good on my sore muscles.

I tested out the new Beachbody program, YOUv2, the new dance program coming to Beachbody On Demand in May. A sneak peak was available Wednesday for everyone who has the All Access pass. I CANNOT dance. At all. No coordination, can't figure out left from right and double toe taps or what I'm doing with my arms. However, for the 15 minutes I did it, it was fun. It reminded me a calmed down version of Cize.

For those that do love dancing, the moves are basic and easy to follow. The gradual building of moves wasn't overwhelming. It was fun and full of good energy. The women in the video looked like me, not super thin or super fit. I can relate to those women.

Thursday Day 25 - Another day!! I enjoyed my Shakeology in the morning. I have perfected my recipe:

  • 4 ounces Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1 scoop Vegan Chocolate
  • Shake of Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Honey Roasted Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 Shaker Cup of Ice
  • Blend until smooth
I think the added peanut butter helps me stay full. Makes it a little smoother too. I used to add a banana, but halfway through my last pregnancy I couldn't tolerate bananas anymore. Except in banana bread. :)

I had fruit and toast as a morning snack, burrito bowl for lunch, an apple for snack (I really do not eat enough fruit!), and for dinner had a stuffed chicken with plain pasta and broccoli. The pizza in the picture is Liam's. I got some Flat Out Pizza Crust, add a little marinara, and sprinkle of mozzarella. Liam loves them and I know it's healthy. I enjoyed once small piece and felt satisfied. And I didn't eat a handful of cheese while making it. That's a win!

Friday Day 26 - Today was a cheat meal. And a donut. For breakfast I had three eggs, to get ready for a donut. :) I worked from home which is great for my work productivity but horrible for my diet. I always try to find something to eat. And we don't even have JUNK food in this house. My choices include fruit or more fruit. Jason and I had planned to go out to lunch (he took the day off and did a bunch of organizing). I chose MOD Pizza, hoping it would satisfy his pizza craving. I got a mini pizza and side salad. It was good.

Benjamin had his 6-month check up and his weight in back in line (he's in the 10-11%) and he slept after getting his shots.

For dinner we had leftover burrito bowls. I added two tortillas. I overdid it on carbs/yellows for the day. I had NO desire to work out Friday night. None, and it was late when I finally started my workout. But as much as I didn't want to work out, I didn't want to *not* workout more. I have goals, big ones, and I can't meet them by skipping workouts. So I pressed play. And then got to bed.

Saturday Day 27 - Today... eek!! I tried my best today, and could have done better. And the New Me did a LOT better than Old Me would have.

My best friend is having a baby!!! My mom and I traveled to Overland Park, Kansas (there and back) for her baby shower. I drank my ShakeO in the morning, and we took sandwiches to eat on the way there. They did have snacks at the shower and I had two little chicken salad sandwiches and a cupcake. Old Me would have have had 2 cupcakes. And more sandwiches.

On the way back we had Chic Fil A. Which is fast food (but the only fast food place I'll eat at). I even got a soda! I haven't had a soda since March 10. I made it 43 days. And I don't have a desire to drink more soda. It tasted sweet (even though it was diet.) Mom offered me the rest of her fries. I did not partake. I told her Old Me would have supersized my meal and gotten a milkshake. New Me ate a chicken sandwich, regular size fries, and drank half her diet soda.
Today wasn't a loss, but it wasn't a complete win either.

Sunday Day 28 -  I stepped on the scale today. I know it's not possible to gain 3 pounds in 2 days unless I would have eaten an extra 7,000 calories. The soda, some of the carbs, probably just holding onto some extra water weight. Or so I'll tell myself. Today is a new day. I started with Shakeology. I had *another* Shakeology on the way to Red Bud to celebrate my dad's birthday.

And then I ate *everything* I saw. Oh, look, Old Me is back. I found her, hanging out at my parent's house. Awesome. I didn't eat cake though. But I don't like chocolate cake, so that was easy. I did have chips & gauc, bagna cauda, a cheeseburger, potato salad, mac 'n cheese, baked beans, and two deviled eggs. So in summary, a million yellows, a dozen blues, way too many teaspoons, and like 2 reds. I'm not sure I ate any vegetables on Sunday. Like at all. Or fruit. And this is the *exact* reason you should always make sure you have a plan on the weekends!!

So this week's plan? Don't f- it up. :)

  • 6 workouts
  • No cheats except for the Wednesday Work Potluck (allow myself one dessert too)
  • Drink Shakeology twice a day if I have to curb cravings, or make sure to drink Chocolate Recover after working out.
  • Track track and track!! 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Ultimate Reset Tips & Tricks

I wanted to summarize what I've learned these past few weeks while doing the Ultimate Reset.

{}Make sure to sign up for the daily emails at the Ultimate Reset Participant Portal. You can't choose a past date, so plan to sign up for those emails 2-3 days in advance of your start date.

{}The portal also has all the information you need included the day by day plan, recipes, and shopping lists. You use your Beachbody account to log in. 

{}There are five facebook groups. Join them all! You have to be approved, so don't wait until the last minute to join them. I asked to join them all at once, and then "unfollowed" the ones I didn't need at the time. People post about their effort, their meals, their days, and ask lots of questions. You can also find a buddy to complete the Reset with if you need extra accountability.

{}Whether you wait for your kit to arrive or go online, really really *really* put in the effort to plan your meals. Go through the book, decided if you're going to follow it to a T or choose the Reset in a Crunch or assign certain meals per day. The Reset in a Crunch was great because it made shopping a lot easier. 

{}Make your grocery list. Lists are provided in the book, but they are for following the plan to a T. We didn't. So I had to make my own. And after joining the facebook group I saw that some things were more difficult to find than others. And I didn't want to run all over town to specialty stores looking for Miso paste a few other items, so I ordered it off Amazon.

{}Do not buy your toddler delicious looking cookies. It's all you'll be able to think about some days. Also, stop looking at facebook. All those "Tasty" recipes being shared. When I was in Week 2 I even started to get jealous of Week 1 people who were posting pictures of their Veggie Tacos and Eggs & Toast breakfast.

{}Decaffeinate yourself a week before the Reset. And start cutting back sugar. A lot of people complained about headaches which occur from no caffeine and no sugar. I had a small headache on Day 2, but it wasn't that bad. Jason wasn't as lucky. He drank soda all weekend before we started and he had a headache.

{}Bulk cooking. If you know you'll be eating Miso Soup with every meal, make a gallon of it. By week 3 I was really burnt out of cooking and prepping. So on Sunday I cooked all our food for the week. It was a hard day but made for easier evenings. Just reheating. And had my husband not helped, we would have been running late to work and eating late dinners every day of Week 3.

{}Stick with it!! It's *only* 21 Days. My own coach gave me the best advice when I was talking about a lunch invite to a Mexican restaurant -- "think of how many times you've had Mexican before and how many times you'll have it in the future! Missing it once for the ultimate reset is no biggie in the long run."  And that resonated with me this entire 3 week period. I didn't have one cheat, that wasn't on the meal plan. I posted about my "cheats" in my Final Results post, but my cheats were full scoop of Shakeology or a little more potato or grain. I didn't eat Easter Candy. Or cookies, or cake, or jelly beans. 

GOOD LUCK!!! 



Ultimate Reset - Final Results

Wow!! I did it. No, WE DID IT!!!! 
I was very nervous leading up to starting, and had a couple days during the 21 days were I was unsure if I would make it without cheating. Some days I wanted to eat the cookies in the pantry. No real reason why, I didn't need it, I knew it would upset my tummy, but it was the reward for working hard. We shouldn't reward ourselves with food. We're the only species that eats food for enjoyment and as a reward. Food is Fuel. Successful weight loss is not about starving or over indulgence. It's about giving your body the healthy, low calorie food it needs in order to run it's best.

I wanted to challenge myself and complete the Ultimate Reset in order to jump start my weight loss and eliminate the cravings and bad habits I had. I kept that in mind during the entire Reset, that it truly wasn't about the number on the scale but the way I was treating my body. 

Did I cheat during the 21 days? Officially, yes, I did. 
  • I mixed my Power Greens with Shakeology almost every day. Because the power greens are nasty! I also needed the extra calories (170) that Shakeology offers to keep my body fueled for breastfeeding. 
  • I drank full scoops of Shakeology (instead of the recommended 1/2 scoop)
  • During Week 3 I had avocado with my Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque (not an official option)
  • I ate two pieces of bread with my eggs during Week 1. 
  • I ate a full cup of quinoa during Week 2 instead of the recommend 2/3 cup.
  • I snuck a handful of cashews, during a couple weekend afternoons.  
The "cheats" I had were to fuel my body. I still made sure I eliminated meat after Day 3. I eliminated grains during Week 3. Did I follow the Reset to a T? No. But I am very happy with how I handled it. 

What did I lose? 
  • Cravings. For junk food and soda. Which is why I really wanted to do this. I wanted to give up soda. (My last soda was March 10.)
  • Cheese indulgence. Which is the other main reason I wanted to do this. I was eating about a cup of cheese a day. Which was adding a lot of extra calories to my diet. 
  • "Tastings" of Liam's food. I used to always take a bite of his mac n cheese or maybe even sneak a nugget. Those are really the only two "bad" things Liam eats. He'll eat salad and veggies, but not sneaking bites of mac 'n cheese was a huge win during these 3 weeks! This plan is even harder when you have a toddler -- we're making him different meals, that smell and look delicious. I even made him an entire loaf of French Toast and it smelled amazing, but I stayed strong and didn't eat any of it. 
What did I gain? 
  • Mental Clarity. While sometimes I was hungry, I wasn't always thinking about my next meal or what kind of sweet I was going to have. Because I wasn't eating "bad" foods, I also wasn't in a food coma. 
  • Mindfulness. I concentrated on how I was feeling. Yes, sometimes I was actually hungry, but for the most part I didn't think about food, And especially at work I wasn't consumed with thinking about food. I was about to be more present at work, more focused, and more efficient. 
  • Understanding of my cravings, what drives them (bored eating), and the realization that I don't need the junk. 
So our final results? 
Jason lost 17.6 pounds and 10.75 inches!
Meghan lost 15.6 pounds and 12.5 inches! 


I'm going to put myself out there and post my picture. I'm still embarrassed of my body. But at this moment, it is what it is. And while I can't see all the changes, I can feel the changes. I've gone down a size in jeans, my t-shirts fit better, I can tell my body has changed.

For those wondering (because I always wonder when I see photos or ladies), I am 5'4" and my weight in this photo is 201 pounds. I wear size 16. But don't compare yourself to me. We are all on our own journey. I'm just at the start of mine. You might be in the middle of yours.

I have a long way to go. And while I'm supposed to say that the scale doesn't matter. It does. The magic BMI chart says I need to lose another 55 pounds to have a "healthy BMI". I'd like to start with a small goal - lose 2 pounds and be below 200. Then from there try to get down to 190. It's all about the decades, 10 pounds at a time. I won't make it to 145, I'm a realist, But I'd like to change my body shape and be healthier. Some of that will come from weight loss. Some will come from eating better.

I worked out tonight. I felt out of shape. But I know it'll get easier because I'll get better. I'm doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme these next couple weeks, and then mixing up Core de Force and Master Hammer and Chisel for 8 weeks. 

I didn't even realize that Jason had 18 pounds to lose.  I can see it in his pictures though. He lost his stomach!! I'm very lucky to have a supportive husband who would do this program with me. He also did want to make changes, and he felt he had some weight to lose. He's starting Body Beast (tonight!). I can't wait to see his after pictures from completing Body Beast.