Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Stop Believin'!

I think I give up too easily.  Not always, and not on everything.  Mostly just on eating right.
21 day cleanse?
After about 5 days, I realized that H and I can't afford to eat Paleo right now because it's just too expensive to keep lots of meat and veggies in a house where 2 people eat 5-6 times a day.  Our budget was crying when I tried to figure out how to afford good groceries.
Walls like this really bum me out.

So it's now almost 2 weeks before the "big day" and I'm not at my goal weight/body type.  I'm not even close.  I wish I could blame it all on not having money for groceries (Um, have you noticed how processed foods are a million times cheaper than healthy foods? What's up with that?!) but I have to admit that I've been unmotivated for getting my butt to the gym lately.  With H's new night-shift work schedule, I have a hard time sleeping alone in the house, which means I'm exhausted by the time 7am rolls around and end up sleeping in for a couple extra hours instead of putting on my running shoes.  Yes, I'm lazy.  I suck.  Moving on.

Thankfully, even if we can't eat strict Paleo, we can eat following The Abs Diet.  Pre-Paleo, we were eating following TAD and it worked very well for us.  In fact, the only reason we switched to Paleo is because H wanted to eat even cleaner than we already were.  TAD is very similar to Paleo, except it allows for low-fat dairy, whole grains, and other healthy carbs in moderation.  So for the past couple weeks, we've been following TAD more than Paleo.  H first turned me on TAD when we first got together about 4 years ago, and he had already been following TAD for about a year.  He had the books about it, which I read, and it makes sense.
If you want a healthy and in-shape body, you have to put good and healthy things into it.  Bad things = bad body.  Duh.  Seems simple.  I'm not going to lie--it's nice to have whole grains and low-fat dairy again.  Don't get me wrong; we aren't going crazy with it and having oatmeal, bread, potatoes, and cheese at every meal.  But we're not afraid to have a little cheese on our salads, brown rice with our stirfry, or a small bowl of oatmeal in the morning. 

I've also started keeping track of everything I eat.  This is something I haven't done in about 5 years, when I lost a bunch of weight back then.  It really keeps me focused when I see exactly how much I've eaten throughout the day and it makes me second guess eating that handful of pretzels or ordering dinner in instead of making it myself.  Today, I planned out all of my meals and stuck to them.  I almost gave in and hit up a drive through because I've got a bad cold and didn't feel like making anything to eat, but instead I went home and stuck to the plan.  And now, after having stuck to my eating/meal plans all day, I feel so good!!  I"m so proud of myself for not giving up and for staying strong. 

I believe that I can do this.
I believe that by the time I move back to my parents' house in June (after H leaves for OSUT) I will be down to my goal weight.
I believe that once I'm at my parents' house, I won't start eating unhealthy and I won't stop working out.
I believe in myself.
I believe in my goals.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

21 Day Cleanse

They say it takes 21 days to turn something you do constantly into a habit.
21 days of going to the gym.
21 days of clean eating.
I am 21 days away from being back to the lifestyle that I so desperately want.
It took 21 days of not eating Paleo (and definitely less than 21 days of not going to the gym) to get away from it.

I am on a 21 day cleanse.
As much as I possibly can be with Homecoming this weekend.  I'm not trying to make excuses, but I'm trying to be realistic.  With JP coming to town and all the tailgating, I know that it will be extremely difficult to eat clean on Saturday and Sunday.  But other than those 2 days, I'm going clean for 21 days.

I desperately need this to refocus myself and get back on track.
I will not give up.
I will not feel defeated.

I've found a TON of inspiration on Pinterest, and it's really gotten me remotivated.  I went on a pantry raid this afternoon and got rid of all the non-Paleo foods in the house.  I also took a lot of the motivational sayings I found on Pinterest's Fitness Board and make signs to hang around the house to keep myself going.  It's so easy to give up after a few days, and I need to remember why I'm doing this. 

This is it.
This is the time to change.
It's simple:  You either do it or you don't.  Time to choose.

xoxo, M

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Balsamic Porkchops

I love pigs.  Not just because they are cute little animals (especially the teacup ones), but because they are delicious.  I can't think of one pork product that I don't like.  Bacon.  Ham.  Porkchops.  Pork ribs.  Mmmm...nope not one pork product that I don't like!

Last night I thawed out some porkchops, but I wasn't totally sure what I was going to do with them.  I thought about maybe a pork stirfry, or just simply grilling them with some season salt, but I wanted something a little more glamorous.  Yes, Paleo can be glamorous!

I found a recipe for lamb chops and then tweaked it a little.  Here's the result:

Balsamic Porkchops
4 pork chops (bone out, thick cut)
3/4 tsp ground rosemary
1/2 tsp ground thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbls EVOO
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
3/4 c beef broth
1 tsp garlic
1 Tbls butter (optional--depends how strict Paleo you are)

Mix rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on both sides of each chop.
 In a pan, heat up oil on med-high heat until the oil starts to smoke--if you want a good sear, it MUST be super hot/smoking oil or else the chops will absorb the oil instead of cook.  For the thickness of my chops, I seared each side for 5 minutes, which left the middle a very very light pink.  If you don't want pink, I suggest going 6-7 minutes on each side.
 When the chops are done, take them out and keep them warm in a preheated oven or in the microwave.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a couple minutes, then add your vinegar and broth.  Stir often and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half--it should thicken and be a little sticky.
 At this point, you can add the butter if you choose.  It's good either way, so don't feel like you have to if you're trying to be strict Paleo here.
I served with steamed cauli and it was delish!  H said that the glaze wasn't as flavorful as he'd expected and would prefer A1 but he's a boy, what does he know about glamorous food?!  :)  I thought it was a great flavor--a little sweet because of the vinegar, but a perfect compliment to the savory!  The chops by themselves without the glaze are still really tasty, too.  Enjoy!

xoxo, M

Taco Casserole

H and I love Mexican food.  In fact, "love" may not even be a strong enough word to describe it.  We have an amazing local Mexican restaurant in town that we go to, usually where we split the fajitas for two (shrimp, chicken, steak, and chorrizo) sans rice and tortillas.  But going out to eat can get pricey, so I was super excited to find this recipe and tweak it to fit our needs.

Warning: This isn't strict Paleo.  We used some dairy, but you can take that out or cater it to your Paleo needs.  The original recipe also has layers of flour tortillas alternated with the casserole, but I omitted that to make it more Paleo-friendly.

Taco Casserole

1-1/2 to 2 lbs lean ground beef (I used 96/04)
Taco Seasoning (1 packet, or your favorite loose seasoning from your local farmers market)
1/8 c diced red onion
2 jalapenos, diced
1 c shredded cheese
2/3 c chunky salsa
Shredded lettuce and sour cream, as needed

 In a little bit of olive oil, saute the diced onions, then add the ground beef.  Make sure to break up the ground beef while it's cooking.  As the beef starts to brown, add your taco seasoning; if you're using the packet kind, follow directions.  If you're using the loose kind (like we have), make sure to add about 1/4 c water to 3 Tbls seasoning.  .
 Simmer the beef over med-high heat until all the beef is cooked and the water has cooked down
 Once the beef is cooked, add to your casserole dish with 2/3 cup of the cheese and the jalapenos.  Mix well.
 Pour the salsa on top of the casserole, then sprinkle the remaining 1/3c cheese on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes--enough to heat everything through and melt the cheese.
I served it with shredded lettuce and sour cream, with a few more jalapenos on top (we like it spicy!)

Go ahead and enjoy!!
xoxo, M

Monday, September 5, 2011


I have a few confessions to make...  ::deep breath::  Okay here goes (and no judging, please)

H and I have fallen off the Paleo/Crossfit wagon.
I have gained 5 pounds back.

There.  I said it.  It's been awful keeping this inside, and it feels so good to finally say it.  Guh.  It has been such a hard month (Yes, a month.  I know...remember, I said NO judging!).  We have had people here constantly.  No, seriously.  I'm not using hyperbole (Don't know what that means?  Hmmm sounds like someone didn't pay attention in English class.  Go get the dictionary.  I'll wait.  No I promise, I'll wait right here.


Figured out that it means "extreme exaggeration"?  Good.  Let's continue.) Between our best friends coming up from home to spend the weekend, my sister and her boyfriend coming up for a weekend, our friends moving back into town for the school year to start, me starting a new job, H helping his fraternity during recruitment (which was 2 solid weeks) and me helping my sorority during recruitment (which was over 1 solid week), plus having our best friend come to town and then going home for a wedding, we have had so many days with non-Paleo people around and having to grab food on the run that Paleo went out the window.  Ugh. 

I hate it.  I hate not feeling skinny.  I hate not eating healthy and feeling guilty after the bad meals.  I hate feeling sluggish because I'm putting crap into my body instead of healthy fuel.  No bueno.

Today, H and I finally had a day of nothing.  I mean literally we had nothing to do.  No where to go.  No one visiting or coming over.  No errands to run or chores to do.  We legitimately sat and watched season 5 of Dexter (Go. Rent it. Now.) and had the chance to eat Paleo ALL DAY.  No one coming over to offer getting pizza or fast food, or having special food needs that don't involve steamed broccoli and grilled chicken.  We had eggs and bacon for breakfast, slow roasted turkey and broccoli for lunch, and seasoned chicken and salad for dinner. 

I feel so good! It's been so long since we've had a full day of Paleo, and I forgot how good it feels at the end of the night.  I'm so thankful that we can finally get back on track and I can drop these 5lbs!  I have a wedding dress fitting in 3 weeks, and I'd like to have at least those 5lbs off (preferably more like 10lbs...)

Tomorrow we head back into the gym and I couldn't be more excited!
So yes, I confess that we've been off the wagon and haven't been eating/Crossfitting like we should.  But ya know what?  We're not letting this side-tracked month discourage us or make us give up.  Instead, we're letting it be a reminder of how easily we can get distracted from our goals and give us more reason to stay focused on what we want.  Woot woot being back on track!

xoxo, M

Friday, August 19, 2011

Maggie Goes On A Diet...

A self-publishing author out of Hawaii has published a book about a pre-teenage girl who thinks she is overweight, so she goes on a diet and transforms into the healthier, soccer-star teenager she wants to be.  Great idea of a book if:

A) the focus was on being healthy, eating right, and staying active and in-shape
B) it wasn't a picture book intended for 6- to 12-year-olds

Check out the editorial article about the book here

I agree with the editorial's author in that young girls should not be focused on whether or not they are "fat" and that "skinny" is the only way to be happy, but I disagree with the statement of "let little [kids] be little [kids]" for 2 reasons.  First of all, little kids, without the proper guidance about what's healthy and what's good for them, will eat whatever they can--including massive amounts of sugary foods that aren't going to do anything for their health, their physical development, or their self-esteem.  Second, if we wait until kids are teenagers to start teaching them and encouraging them to make healthy choices, instead of raising them so that healthy choices are natural and what they have grown up with, then we've waited too long.  So while this book's author went about this is probably a way that is going to turn more people against his book, the basic idea behind the book (aka: help your kid make healthy choices) is a good one.

H and I have talked about this topic for a long time, and have a plan.  We don't want our kids to focus on body image--there will be absolutely no pinching body fat, sly "need to lose" weight comments, or anything like that in our house.  It's inappropriate and all it does is tear apart body image and break down self-confidence.  Instead, we want our kids to grow up in a house where they are taught to make healthy lifestyle choices from a very young age and understand why we make those choices.  We want them to understand what's good for them and how to keep that in their life through being active, and to build their self-confidence and body image through that.  This is extremely important to us, and something that we want our kids to know from the moment they are old enough to understand it.

Will our kids read this book.
Heck no!
Will our kids know that being active, staying in shape, and making healthy food choices is expected of them and important to our family and their well-being.

xoxo, M

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dirty Thirty...Again!

Last night at the Rec, H and I did the Dirty Thirty again, and I cut my time by like 2 minutes!  The first time we did it my time was 13:20, mainly because I had to take longer breaks in between rounds, especially towards the end.  This time, not only did I rest a little less between rounds, but I upped my weight in both the dumbell squat-clean-presses and the overhead ball toss!  I feel so accomplished!  11:36 was my time last night - go me!  I really really wanted to cheat on the burpees---burpees are legit the bane of my existence.  Not kidding.  I hate them.  I hate them like cats hate water.  Like Popsicles hate a hot day.  Like Ke$ha hates dignity.

Doing them at the Rec always makes me feel silly, because I feel like all the guys are staring at me and judging.  "Ew, who's that girl who is actually doing a real workout and not just jogging on the elliptical?  Gross."  Although, just a side note, I feel like a girl who actually does a legit workout and not just jog for 2 hours should be sexier...just my opinion (I know H would agree--he always tells me that I'm sexier when I'm doing CrossFit than when I'm just running).  But I did them, and while I hated every minute of it, I felt good for doing them. 

Today, I had a million errands to run, especially for the new job so we haven't hit the gym yet--but when we do, it's going to be a kick-butt AMRAP and I"m pretty pumped!  I've been looking forward to it all day.  Tonight, we are making the yummiest Paleo dinner:  bacon burgers with veggies, corn on the cob, and fresh salad.  I don't know what I'm more excited about...the AMRAP or dinner!  :)  I always feel so much better after a quality day of Paleo and CrossFit!

xoxo, M
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