Tag Archives: Nutrition

Recipe: Simple Egg Scramble

4 Sep

So guys, I have a confession… I’ve been cooking.  Gasp!  I know, it’s pretty amazing.  Now let’s get this straight – I haven’t been doing anything fancy.  But there’s still something yummy about some warm, home-cooked food.  At least my Mom is impressed.

Cooking is not my forte.  I repeat, cooking is not my forte.  But, I do understand and value home-cooked quality meals.  Over the past few months I’ve worked to slowly add simple, quick recipes to my repertoire.  My simple asparagus and simple arugula are still some of my favorites that I rotate in pretty often.  Lately I’ve been switching up my routine a bit from my normal shake (shakeology and protein) in the morning.  I have been cooking in the morning, with a shake for dinner.  I find that sometimes when I come home from work I really crave something sweet and often don’t have the patience for a meal.  Living alone, this swap has worked pretty well.  I don’t do it everyday, but I’ll throw it in for some variety.  And who doesn’t love variety?

This egg scramble is super simple and is a great way to get in lots of veggies!  It is one way that I ‘trick’ myself into eating more vegetables!  Additionally I’ve used the same principles to make many spin off dishes, like breakfast burritos or sautéed veggies and pasta.  Now I’m really getting fancy.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs or Egg Beaters (when I use whole eggs I do three egg whites plus one whole egg, lately I’ve been using egg beaters and do 1/2 or 2/3 of a cup).
  • Morningstar sausage patties (made of soy, but you could substitute for any other protein source).
  • Pepper (I throw a whole one in!)
  • Spinach (a handful works well)
  • Zucchini (I’ve been using half of a small one, cut into small pieces)
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Nonstick spray

Directions:

  1. Heat a large frying/sauté pan (see I don’t even know what cooking things are called!). Normally I put mine at about a 4 on my stove.
  2. Once the pan is hot, spray with the nonstick spray, and throw in the cut up veggies.
  3. Let the veggies cook for around 10 minutes, flipping them occasionally.  Often I’ll turn down my stove and let them cook a bit longer if I’m getting ready for the day as well.  Multi-tasking at its finest.
  4. Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, throw in the 2/3 cup egg beaters and cooked morningstar sausage (I normally heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds).
  5. Stir everything about and scramble it!
  6. Let all ingredients cook until they are to your liking.  I tend to like them a bit on the browner side – I know, I’m weird. Often I will turn down the stove once everything looks dandy just to keep it warm.  Right before I walk out the door I’ll throw it into a tupperware for a delicious hot breakfast at work.
photo (3)

Cook the cut veggies on their own first.

photo (7)

Next, add in the eggs and sausage.

photo (4)

Ta da! Hot food on a plate. Amazing.

It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s an awesome way to get in those veggies!  I have experimented with all sorts of different chopped veggies.  Instead of eating a salad, I’ll eat my egg scramble full of veggies.  Much yummier.

photo (1)

The breakfast burrito variety – just add a wheat tortilla!

photo (5)

Look at these fancy veggies!

photo (6)

Look! Veggies with pasta!! Yum.

When I showed my breakfast to my co-worker he responded, “Oh so I can see that you’ve learned you can put anything in egg beaters and it’s delicious.”  Apparently it’s a thing.  :)

Enjoy and happy eating!

-Kelly

What have you thrown into eggs?  Are you a lazy chef?

ChaLean Week 1 Complete!

5 Aug

Happy Monday!  I’m excited to start my second week of ChaLean Extreme.  And when I say excited, no sarcasm here.  I am truly excited to keep at it.  Perhaps I’m still in the honeymoon stage, but I am seriously loving ChaLean (and Chalene :)).  Since I already gave you all the reasons I like it so far, I thought I’d share a bit of the schedule and type of workouts I completed this first week.

The first 30 days (of 90) is the Burn phase.  Each phase is 30 days and has a different focus (Burn, Push, Lean). I’m only assuming that each of the workouts reflect this focus.  I’ve definitely been feeling the burn with this first week!  There has been a big focus on lifting (heavy weight) and combination strength training.  Another nice thing about this program: 2 rest days a week!  This is perfect if you’re like me and enjoy variety.  I plan to do stretching or yoga on my days off to mix it up.

ChaLean Extreme Schedule:

Monday: Burn Circuit 1

  • This workout is about 35 minutes long (awesome!) and starts off with a nice warm-up.  I used 5, 8, 10, and 15 lbs. throughout the video doing squats, curls, and presses.  I probably could’ve gotten by with less variety in weight, but I have them so might as well use them! I was sweating by the end of it and really liked each of the exercises.  Throughout the video there was always a low-impact option (which I always took).

Tuesday: Rest Day!

Wednesday: Burn Circuit 2

  • Similar to Burn Circuit 1, this one is about 35 minutes long and focuses on lifting.  Many exercises had similar moves to circuit 1 and a similar lay-out – but it didn’t feel repetitive to me.  Again – another thoroughly enjoyable workout!

Thursday: Burn Intervals and Ab Burner

  • What a fun little change!  The heavy weights were gone in this workout, instead focusing on reps.  I used much lighter weights (I don’t think I went over 5lbs), but we did about a billion reps.  I sweat a lot and loved the upbeat feel of this one.  This day is a bit longer with Ab Burner (10 minutes).  I think I was working out for about 50 minutes total?

Friday: Burn Circuit 3

  • Back to heavy weights for this one!  More squats, push-ups, and curls.  A similar style to circuit 1 and 2, but again a nice new variety.  Loved it.  Around 30 minutes?  (Clearly I should’ve paid more attention!)

Saturday: Burn it Off and Recharge!

  • Made up of two different segments, this workout was more about cardio.  We did some classic plyo moves and a few with some light weights.  Again, there was always an option for low-impact with I always took.  Fun and energetic, I enjoyed the variety.  The recharge element consisted of yoga-like stretching.  This was the longest day or tied with Intervals, at maybe 45-50 minutes.

Sunday: Rest Day

Progress So Far:

Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m already getting results!  Yes, they are very minor…but I am feeling stronger and healthier.  I’m watching my diet more closely and even attempting to cook!  It’s amazing what really clean eating can do.  I feel more toned and can’t wait to see actual results.  I think my results of this week are more a mental thing – I’m just feeling great!

photo(63)

This is real life. I actually made this. BY MYSELF! Egg whites, peppers, soy sausage on a whole wheat tortilla. I’m fancy.

photo(64)

This week I’m taking it to the next level with pre-chopped bags of veggies to add to my egg whites. Extreme fancy.

After upping my calories to around 1500-1600 calories I’m in a much happier place.  It seems to be a more doable amount of calories for my size and activity level.  I’m not quite as angry :)  I’ve decided to continue to use the MFP app to track my food during the week.  With this program I’m giving myself the weekends off – at least from strict tracking.  Honestly tracking your food is hard work, and allowing myself a bit of a break will hopefully allow me to return each Monday refreshed to track again.  I’m still planning to eat well on the weekends, just not quite as intensely! This weekend I attended a bridal shower and enjoyed some of the tasty yumminess as a treat. :)  During P90X I allowed myself treats around once a week and this strategy seemed to work well.  Everything in moderation!

photo(62)

Working on drinking more water. I even added these fancy cut limes to the water. Are you noticing a fancy trend?

I feel like I’m just gushing about this program, sorry for the annoying enthusiasm about it – but I have just been so happy with it.  It could also be a rainbow of happiness just to have a program I can follow again that I enjoy, and that my knees will allow!  My heart is just happy to be working out again!

Kelly

Guest Post: P90X from a Guy’s Perspective

20 Jun

After an awesome guest post from Lyndsay, engagement pictures, and vacation – could this week get any more exciting??  The good news – it sure can.  The second and final guest blogger of the week: Adam!  Yep Lucy, you were right!  He’s going to share a couple thoughts on completing P90X as a guy – adding a little different perspective!  Enjoy :)

View More: http://emilyweisphotography.pass.us/kellyandadam

Adam’s the guy on the right – okay you saw through me, this was just an excuse to post another engagement picture.

Hello races, reps, and ramblers, and happy almost Friday!  Kelly and I are still on vacation with my family, but before we head back to the real world, I’m making my first foray into my fiancée’s blog.  Since we just finished P90X about a month ago, I’ve decided to give you some thoughts on the program from the perspective of a guy trying to gain weight.  I’ll do a quick recap of my results before discussing a couple points I feel are important to guys trying to pick or progress through a training program: P90X vs. the gym, and how to handle a nutrition plan (especially if you’re looking to gain weight).  I ask only two things of you as readers: 1) if you love this post, make some comments about how awesome of a guest I am; 2) if you hate this post, make some comments about how awesome of a guest I am.  Should work out well.

Results Recap

Overall, I was very pleased with my results from P90X.  I gained a ton of strength (increased the number of pull-ups I could do by about a billion percent), and I saw a lot of physical change as well.  By the numbers, I gained some inches in my chest and lost some in my waist (always nice), but I didn’t gain any inches in my arms.  I also lost weight throughout the program, which was not intentional (I’m a pretty slim dude to begin with).  You can check out this post for full results.

Adam Back Oct-May

The Battle Royale: P90X vs. the gym

Round 1: The Time

Performing an intense workout regimen takes a ton of time and dedication, whether that’s at home or at the gym.  While P90X is rather lengthy for a DVD based workout (averages >1hr/day for 6 days a week), it carries a lot of benefits over traditional gym-going. (Random side-note: who decided that Yoga X needed to be an hour and a half?!  Someone needs to have a talk Beachbody.)  With P90X, your workout time is not constrained by the hours of the gym, you eliminate travel time to and from the gym, and perhaps best of all, you don’t have to plan workout/work clothes and materials in advance (I find this last one to be a huge time saver).  P90X takes Round 1!

Round 2: The Iron

Working out at a gym has long been the standard for weightlifting and building mass for the average guy.  P90X claims to be able to get you nice and jacked from the comfort of your own living room, without all those big machines and huge weight racks.  Well… can it?!  Yes and no.  P90X can definitely be as effective as lifting at a gym; however, you need a broad range of dumbbell weights to do so.  With most dumbbells costing about $1/pound, it can get very expensive to accumulate the appropriate weights.  One option to get around this would be buying adjustable dumbbells.  I don’t particularly like them (they can be awkward to lift with and usually only go up to about 50 lbs anyway).  Also, you could use the bands that they suggest in the videos to avoid buying dumbbells.  I’ve tried the bands, however, and while convenient for traveling, I don’t think they’re intended for maximum bulk gain.  In the end, if you’re planning on slowly building your way to a home gym (as I am), investing in the weights for P90X makes sense.  If you don’t see that in your future, then you might be happier spending your money on gym fees.  Tough call, but I’ve gotta give Round 2 to the gym.

Round 3: The Accountability

One of the best ways to succeed in a workout program is by doing it with a partner.  The added accountability does wonders for your workout motivation wherever you may be training.  So what does P90X have over the gym in this regard?  Well, most of the moves in P90X can be done simultaneously with your partner.  Whether it’s camaraderie or competition you’re looking for, it’s just a little more fun if your partner is doing the same move at the same time.  It’s easier to shout at your wimpy roommate for not doing enough pushups if you’re in the privacy of your own home, too.  In the gym, however, a partner can still motivate effectively and provide accountability.  Also, if you’re not significant others, roommates, or neighbors, a gym can often be a convenient place to meet up with a partner for a workout.  Round 3 ends in a draw.

The Skinny Guy’s Nutrition Plan

I have always been on the thinner side, so you might imagine the horror when I realized I was losing weight (10 pounds off at first weigh in) during P90X.  I was following the nutrition plan to a T, and I couldn’t figure out why I was losing so much weight.  I did end up gaining a pound of that back before finishing, but I was still disappointed that I wasn’t able to gain weight during the program.  A few weeks later, we read through the Insanity program to get Kelly started on it, and it suggested eating an extra 300 calories per day if weight gain was the goal.  Whether this was omitted form the P90X nutrition guide or I just missed it I can’t say.  But I can tell you I wasn’t eating an extra 300 calories per day.  That would have added up to 2100 calories per week, and maybe then I would have been gaining weight!  In the end, I learned that as a skinny guy with a high metabolism, I probably need to be eating even more than the guide’s suggest to actually gain weight.

To clarify, this doesn’t mean I can have an extra Snicker’s bar or two.  You still need to eat healthy foods that are within the realm of whatever plan you’re on, but you just need to eat a lot more :)  For some guys, even sticking to a specific nutrition plan can be tough.  When eating out with friends, it can be socially embarasssing to order a salad, or perhaps veggies instead of fries.  If anyone gives you crap about it, I say forget ‘em; just say, “I’m trying to be a little healthier, and every bit counts.”  And if the still give you crap, just take solace in the fact that your six-pack will be laughing at their beer gut in about 3 months.

Final Thoughts

So in conclusion, I think P90X is an excellent at home workout plan for guys, especially if you are thinking of working towards a home gym in the future anyway.  It gives you an excuse to start building your army of dumbbells!  With that said, the variety of weights and machines available at a gym may still be more attractive to the most hardcore of lifters.  Secondly, if you’re looking to gain weight, it may be a good idea to eat an extra 300-500 calories per day above your nutrition plan (depending on your metabolism).

Before I sign off, I just want to take a minute to thank my amazing fiancée.  I’m so proud of her for achieving a dream of hers in starting this blog and putting her ideas out there to help others in a similar situation.  Thank you so much for being a part of her readership and helping me support her in her goals.  It means the world!  Have a good weekend, everyone!

-Adam

Guest Post: Lyndsay’s Top 6 Tricks to Jump Start a Better You!

18 Jun

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!  Especially happy for me off in vacation-land :)  I’m having an awesome time with Adam and his family, lounging, tanning (with sunscreen), and surprisingly getting a little fitness in too (think group fitness videos – it has been hilarious)!  I’ll be back to the real world soon enough, but until then I wanted to share an inspiring guest post from my real-life friend Lyndsay!  I stumbled upon her blog a few weeks ago (I didn’t even know she was a blogger!) and fell in love with it.  Check her out at alltheshinythingsblog. Enjoy her healthy-living tips and inspiring journey to a healthier state 0f being!

IMG_4824

Say hi to Lyndsay! Man alive – even her pictures are fabulous!

hello readers of races, reps, & ramblings! i write to you today over from my little world at alltheshinythingsblog!

kelly was kind enough to share her space for a day so i could share with you a little about my own weight loss journey over the last year, which has really ramped up over the last 6 months or so. i hit my first major milestone a couple weeks ago, 50 lbs down! my weight loss journey has been mainly motivated by a desire to ramp up my health & avoid the long term consequences of obesity {a word i don’t like to throw around lightly. but i was, by definition, obese. that still hurts to admit}. i was first inspired to share my journey by my own readers, who have been so overwhelmingly supportive of this journey. and i received such a positive response to my tips & tricks for my own weight loss, kelly thought it might be something her audience would like as well!

so here they are…

my top 6 tips&tricks to jump start a better you!

1. start slowly, but strictly. i downloaded the my fitness pal app, and it was a lifesaver. i didn’t know what i was doing when i started–things i thought were lowfat/lowcal still ended up being 600+ calorie meals. i set my goals, pretty aggressively, and limited myself to 1200 calories a day. the app is great because you can add in various workouts, which alter your calorie limits to include them. and it has a really useful database with most foods, or you can add your own. it also lets you track your progress, and i still enter my weight in there, to keep me honest and on a steady downward trend. i think this helped me lose my first 10 lbs or so, and quickly. its a great place to start.

2. cut down your portion size substantially. i wasted some food when i first started, and it was a price worth paying. i know people say “with all the hunger in the world, how can you WASTE FOOD??” actually, the question should be–“how is you eating more of whats on your plate going to solve any of the world hunger problems?” answer: its not. so stop kidding yourself. for me, if i ordered a sandwich or a salad or whatever when i was out and there was no one to share with, i ate half and took half home. immediately. asked for the box before i even started eating. and if it wasn’t reasonable to take home? i threw half away. cue the gasps. but let me ask you this: is your future diabetes/cardiac problems/high blood pressure/etc worth the maybe $5 you threw away? absolutely not. its a very small price to pay for health. for me it was worth it. {note: i’ve gotten much better as i’ve gone along about learning how to get smaller portions, so i now rarely waste food. but if that’s what it takes when you’re starting, do it!}

3. take your own food with you. after i started tracking calorie counts in my fitness pal, i was amazed that there really aren’t any healthy takeout options—i know kelly&adam noticed this when they were on the p90x meal plans. maybe there are a few low-cal {and high sodium} soups at various places, but in general, all meals are 600+ calories. and it sucks, right? so i started making my lunches at home and was able to keep my meals closer to 300 for a meal plus a couple 100 cal snacks throughout the day. in the end i consumed the same, but i ended up saving money and strung them out over the day so i was never hungry. i still do this all the time, and i always always always have a luna bar or a banana in my bag in case there is nothing healthy around.

4. later in this process, i started having some stomach issues and discovered i was lactose insensitive/intolerant {not allergic}. so i cut out dairy to feel better. and let me tell you–the weight FELL. OFF. i was amazed at how much of my diet had consisted of dairy–cheese was a staple for me. cubes, sticks, slices were my favorite snack. i added to every salad, sandwich, eggs, you name it. i ate tons of things with butter in them. my only redeeming grace was that i consumed skim milk {drop in the bucket, no pun intended.} so when i cut it out, the first 3-4 weeks were really hard. my food tasted so bland, and i felt like there was nothing in my house i could eat. but then, my taste buds readjusted. my pantry became filled with things that were friendly to my stomach and my waist line. and i honestly–HONESTLY–do not miss it. i thought i would never enjoy eating again. i was wrong. so if you’re desperate for a quick trick: cut out dairy for a while. it will help you. {ps. make sure you’re still getting appropriate nutrients. i felt very comfortable calculating my own and replaced things with soy/almond milk and tofu as appropriate. if not, make sure you see a dietitian/physician before making any drastic changes.}

5. don’t eat late. along with my lactose issues, i was having problems if i ate much food in the evening. i couldn’t sleep and i felt awful. so now i pretty much stop eating sometime between 4-6pm. if i get hungry after that i allow myself to still drink anything i like–i find dark chocolate almond milk is usually my go to choice, since it has enough substance to quench hunger, but doesn’t hang around long enough to hurt me. many of us consume 1/3-1/2 of our calories after 5pm–we go out to dinner, have a drink, have a bedtime snack, etc. they add up really quickly. if i removed those hazards as an option, i found i stuck to my diet so much better. also, knowing that i would stop eating early in the day made my early day choices better–i made sure i ate a well balanced breakfast and a nutritious lunch, because they were my primary meals of sustenance. it worked for me.

6. most importantly: don’t freak out when you have a bad day. in the beginning, i would get so discouraged when my weight would creep back up a pound or two or even five sometimes. but that’s the way it goes. no one is perfect. {well, some super fitness people are, and kudos to them. i’m not one. i’m super normal.} but then the next day i would get back at it, and not try to balance my bad day by starving myself, although sometimes i would eat a little less the days following until i was back on track. now i have a pretty good cadence going where about 4-5 days of the week i’m pretty good, and i always have a few days of the weeks where i eat something bad. the last two days i haven’t been able to get enough chocolate. but today i’m okay. and i guess i’ve learned to give in when i need to for the sake of the long game.

you’ll notice i don’t have any points in here about working out. why? well, to be honest, i didn’t change my fitness regimen much at first. now i run a little more, i do some fitness dvds now and then. to this point, i was enough above a healthy weight that diet changes were enough to get me here. but i’ve noticed its slowed a lot the last month, and i know whats coming: the last 25 are going to be pure sweat. i’ve been reading a lot about kelly’s experiences with p90x and getting the bug to maybe sign up for another 10k {i ran one with my dad a couple thanksgivings ago & it was SO FUN}.

i hope some of these tips help you if you’re struggling or just looking for a way to be a little healthier. i used to read all these blog posts about successful weight loss stories and wonder if i’d ever get there—and i did. and you will too!

IMG_0003_2

Lyndsay before beginning her healthy-living journey.

IMG_4637

Here you can see her progression.

IMG_4556

BOOM! Here she is now. Pretty fabulous I’d say.

Hope you enjoyed Lyndsay’s story – it was pretty amazing to get to see it happen in real life!  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

-Kelly

Friday Favs!

14 Jun

Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY!  We did it!  We made it!  And… I only did my whole half-a-block of cheese thing for dinner one night this week.  And only skipped my workouts twice.  And watched only 5 episodes in a row of Season 1 Grey’s Anatomy last night while sobbing hysterically over the story lines.  Okay – clearly things aren’t going quite as I had planned.  But before you panic that I’m going to go off deep end – I’m heading off to vacation to recharge soon and honestly the situation sounds worse than it is!

On Wednesday my Uncle was admitted to the hospital while on vacation in Alaska – very scary.  Because Alaska is 4 hours behind me time-wise, it made for a very, very long night.  Thankfully Uncle E is doing well and was discharged yesterday.  They still aren’t quite sure what happened, but possibly an infection.  This was the first time I was super thankful that Adam is a doctor.  He made my family so at ease, and while he didn’t know exactly what was going on (as he wasn’t there and didn’t have my Uncle’s chart), he could translate some of the procedures and tests so everyone felt more comfortable.  Talk about rocking the routine a bit.  Not your usual Wednesday.

And after that… I sort of let myself fall off my routine wagon.  For one major priority: sleep.  After a couple late nights I am just dragging.  This week has been a good lesson in planning ahead, and when I come back from vacation it’s time to turn back to my habits I’ve formed (chopping parties being the main one).  The good news – with my new workout program even if I skip one workout, I’ll probably have running or something else on the schedule.  I’m still meeting the standards for a healthy active adult.  And really – isn’t that what it’s all about?  All said and done, I’m relieved my Uncle is doing well – nothing like an experience like that to put things into perspective.

Fitness Updates

In other news…so far I am loving the Jillian Michael’s workout DVD.  Who knew that 30 minutes of exercise could be so taxing??  After the hour+ of P90X, this has been a welcome change.  I’m looking forward to continuing to use it – it’s been awesome!  My runs this week have been 2 miles each and I’ve successfully completed 2 of them.  Unfortunately, I’m still having knee pain…but hoping it will dissipate as I get stronger with my exercises.  Fingers crossed.  I guess this is just more validation that Insanity wasn’t the right call right now!

Vacation, Beach, and Guest Posts, Oh My!

Tonight I’m off to vacation with Adam and his family to the beach – I cannot wait!  Because I won’t be in full-on blogger mode next week I’ve arranged for a couple of guest posts to shake things up!  Man alive, doesn’t that sound exciting??  I think you’re supposed to be a legitimate blogger before you can really pull off the whole guest post thing.  But here’s the deal folks – I’ve been wanting to share this content anyway, and this vacation is a great excuse.  And somehow doing a guest post makes me feel totally legit, right??  Well anyways, I can’t wait.  One of them is a friend from real life who I didn’t know was a blogger.  Her story to a healthier state of being is pretty awesome.  I really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too!  My other guest is a secret mystery person that you may even feel like you already know! ;)

And just because it’s Friday, I’m going on vacation, and I’m in a remarkably excellent mood – I wanted to share some Friday favs!  Enjoy!

 Friday Favs

Favorite Protein Bar

After trying several different bars Adam and I finally settled on Balance bars as our absolute favorites.  They have a good amount of protein, pretty good stats, and taste amazing!!  They don’t leave you with a terrible taste, and honestly I look forward to eating one every day.  My favorite flavors are S’mores, Lemon Meringue, and Chocolate Mint Crunch.  Delightful!

My current fav flavor!

Favorite Running Shoe

In a running world full of Mizuno, Brooks, and Asics… I stand by my forever trusty (and not quite as popular) Adidas running shoes!  Since starting to run long distances with my very first full-marathon I’ve used Adidas shoes.  At this point I’ve tried 3 of their styles and I have loved them all.  Currently I use the Adidas Boston and it has been great.  Why am I so loyal to Adidas?  Well it may not sound exciting or spirited, but they are the only running shoes that don’t make my feet fall asleep when I run!  I’ve tried almost all of the other brands, but continue to find success with Adidas.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

photo(23)

Maybe not my favorite color scheme, but keeps my feet awake!

Favorite Healthy Treat

Froyo has got to be my absolute favorite thing.  It is divinely delicious, and if you prepare it correctly it can be healthy for you too!  The big trick: knowing how to make it.  While doing P90X, Froyo was on the meal guide, however it was only 4 oz.   Which translates to something like  .25 lbs.  Yeah – shocker… most froyo places measure in lbs (in the US).  So it wasn’t .4 lbs it was .25 lbs.  Talk about portion reevaluation!  This realization has helped me stick to a healthier treat when I do indulge.  Additionally while doing P90X I got used to plain original froyo.  Yep – just the boring white flavor.  But the amazing thing: now that I’m used to it, I actually prefer it (I used to hate it)!!  Now my go-to froyo is a bit of original flavor loaded with healthy fruit.  It makes for a great treat without causing too much damage!  It takes time to become accustomed to no more cake batter or chocolate, but now that I have made the switch, I don’t feel any guilt!

Score.

OH so delightful.

Happy Friday to all and to all a Happy Friday! (yeah…can you tell I’m excited?)

Kelly

What’s your favorite froyo flavor?  Do you have an awesome protein bar you love?

Shakeology Review

30 Apr

Note: I am not affiliated with Beachbody in any way.  I am not a coach, nor do I have family or friends that are coaches.  I receive no financial gain from any of my personal thoughts below.  My sample was from a Beachbody coach that is not a family member or friend.  All thoughts are mine alone (well and Adam’s).

Upon returning back to my apartment from vacation I excitedly went to my mailbox hoping to find…a Shakeology sample!  And sure enough once the bags were in from the trunk and I got to my box, I found what I was looking for – my sample had arrived!  Terry G (you can check out his blog here) is a Beachbody coach and recently made a couple posts raving about this Beachbody product.  I had been hearing the buzz for quite some time, and his offer for a free sample was just too good to pass up.  Thanks Terry for providing this sample!

IMG_4103

So, what is Shakeology?

From Beachbody:

Shakeology® is the most delicious, nutrient-dense, superfood-packed protein shake on the planet.

Essentially it is a meal-replacement shake full of tons of super foods and protein.  Instead of a shake that is only Whey protein, it is a shake packed full of nutrients.  This is obvious from the back of the sample – the list of ingredients went on and on!  It touts things like antioxidants, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients, folic acid, biotin, and a whole lot more.  Shakeology is sold as another product of Beachbody – similar to P90X or Insanity.  The tagline for it is: The Healthiest Meal of the Day.

My bias going into it

I’ll be honest:  I’m not a fan of shake meals.  They never satisfy and normally I end up feeling so hungry I make reckless decisions (why yes I think I need to eat this whole box of white cheddar cheez-its).  Back in the young, foolish days when I just wanted to be skinny and health wasn’t really important to me, I did the whole shake meal bit.  But truthfully, I hated every second of it.  Deprivation is a no-go for me.  This theme has stuck with me, and I won’t follow eating plans that make me feel like I’m hurting myself by not eating enough.  So meal shakes don’t have the strongest history with me.  Protein shakes and smoothies however, I do like!  Because Shakeology has the “meal” aspect to it, I was leery to give it a try.  Even if it tastes amazing and is healthy, if it doesn’t fill me up, it’s not going to work for me.

How I liked it

Armed with the sample I headed to the kitchen to mix it up.  I was looking forward to trying the shake and saved it until after a workout.  I wanted to try it two ways.  The first was the powder mixed with water.  I wanted to see what it tasted like on its own without any flavors impacting it. Pure Shakeology, if you will.  Second I wanted to try it following a simple recipe of adding a scoop of protein powder, ice cubes, and peanut butter.

First up… Shakeology alone

IMG_4105I mixed the sample packet with water and blended it in my handy travel blender (an awesome gift from my sister – thanks Jules!).  The powder looked pretty similar to protein powder and dissolved into the water quickly and easily.

IMG_4106

Then I gave it a sip…

IMG_4107

I can’t make this stuff up.  Seriously Adam took this picture of me.  It makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.  Naturally I thought you all might enjoy it.

IMG_4109

It. Was. DELICIOUS.  I mean knock your socks off good.  (Hence the cracked out face above).  I recovered from my shock in order to get this posed approval shot.  But seriously – I was stunned.  It was divine.  Smooth, chocolatey, and legitimately yummy!  Wasn’t this supposed to be health food??

Next up: Shakeology recipe.

After we both tried Shakeology with just water, we mixed up our recipe.  It called for a scoop of chocolate whey protein, ice cubes, and a spoonful of peanut butter.  This puts the shake at about 500 calories – more in the ‘meal replacement’ category.  I could see something like this for breakfast post work-out.  With all the ingredients added (super simple – just the way I like it!), Adam mixed it all up.

IMG_4114

Look at those mad mixing skills.  Such expertise.

IMG_4115

And there’s the sip…wait for it, wait for it…

IMG_4116

BAM!  He loved it.  His reaction was a little over the top I thought.  Someone is feeling a little dramatic.

But then I gave it a try.  Oh Mylanta.  Seriously it was a milkshake.  I wish I could say I was exaggerating.  It was like a chocolate peanut butter milkshake.  I kept sipping it again trying to see if the taste would change or if there would be an after taste.  Or maybe I was just imagining the flavor?  But no – every single sip was a delightful treat.  I ended up drinking the whole thing…not the best idea after a nighttime workout (yeah, I had some difficulty getting up for day 1 post-vacation).  But it was absolutely, fantastically delicious.  A total shock.  Adam even said immediately after trying it…”so I think we should get this.”  Mr. “I don’t really have any interest in Shakeology” himself!

Okay it tastes great, what more?

After drinking the shake I knew two things:

  1. It’s healthy for you.  The stats are really terrific.
  2. It tastes amazing.

An hour or two after drinking the shake I noticed my 3rd revelation: it’s filling.  I went to bed maybe 1 -2 hours after drinking the shake and I actually had difficulty falling asleep because I was so full.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I don’t think I’ve experienced that “full” feeling at any point during P90X (except maybe this past week on vacation ;)).  Eventually I fell asleep, but when I woke up I was still full!  And even this morning I wasn’t starving for my mid-morning snack.  Now before I start praising it as a miracle, I’ll temper that with saying I did eat the shake at night – kind of a weird time to drink a meal shake.  I’m not used to eating at night and it’s totally possible that sort of messed me up.  I would need to try it a few more times to really confirm how long the fullness lasts if I have it for breakfast.  But even with all those stipulations, I feel it is filling enough that I wouldn’t have any qualms using it as a meal.

Now what’s the catch?

Well… you know it can’t be too good to be true.  There is a catch.  It is crazy expensive.  But I suppose you get what you pay for, right??  For a one month supply it comes in around 140 a month (one shake per day).  Probably around a 6 dollar breakfast (if you include the protein and peanut butter).  Put that way, it may not seem so crazy expensive. The argument is “that’s cheaper than a bagel and coffee at Starbucks” or any other on-the-go breakfast.  But for me that argument doesn’t really work – I never eat breakfast out and don’t have a regular Starbucks habit.  So this would be a big change financially for me.  At the end of the day, I just need to decide if it’s worth the investment.  Really that’s what Shakeology is: an investment.

Right after our first sips Adam and I flew to our computers to crunch some numbers and look at the budget.  For two people it would be around 300 bucks a month for this breakfast (our mixed up shake).  Yikes.  I felt all my excitement go out the window.  But then we started brainstorming. What if we only had it every other day or a few times a week?  Surely we’d still see health benefits and could stretch our dollars a bit more.  Or – what if we just try it for a month and see how we really like it on a daily basis?  Or what if we cut costs throughout the month in other ways?  The ideas were flying around, and in the end I think we decided this is something definitely worth trying to fit into our lives and budgets…specifically what that looks like remains to be seen.  I don’t think we’re ready to take the plunge quite yet financially (See Costa Rican vacation post below ;)).  But I’m thinking of beginning to use it when Adam moves to Nashville.  Although we have separate apartments, we share our grocery bills.  When we started P90X, we figured it would be easier to just do all of our meals and food together.  Once he moves I’ll be back to paying for my own groceries, and I tend to eat a little less – so maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to find a way to have Shakeology.

To sum it up

Shakeology is a tasty, healthy, and filling meal replacement (or protein shake enhancer).  It’s delicious and has plenty of truly nutritious ingredients.  However, it’s expensive and an investment to consider before making the commitment.  Would I recommend it?  At this point I’d say at the very least try it and make your own decision.  Once I buy the month supply, I’ll be sure to share my thoughts after more regular use.

-Kelly

 

Edit: Check out my updated thoughts on using Shakeology!

 

Have you used Shakeology?  Have you heard the hype?

P90X: Overcoming Nutritional Speed Bumps

15 Apr

Note: This post was written earlier today before the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.  I’m deeply and incredibly saddened by the event – it’s unbelievable.  I decided to post this anyways to show the incredible importance of  this race to Marathoners – it is any (and every?) marathoners’ goal to one day race Boston.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and all the families affected.  

Happy Monday!  And most importantly – Happy Boston Marathon!  Though I sadly didn’t run it this morning, I did spectate for a bit (via my computer).  Mark my words: someday I will be there!  Yes, I do realize my Marathon PR is 4:11:59 (I need a 3:35:00 – for you non-marathoners, that’s a pretty insane difference).  Yes, I realize I haven’t run a marathon since returning to running from my ankle cast (in 2009).  Yes, I realize I need to have my average pace somewhere in the 7:45-8 min/mile for 26 miles (right now I’m about 9 min/mile).  But – someday it will happen!  I might have to wait until I’m 50 or 60, but I’m very patient :) The time will pass anyways so I might as well have a goal.

Instead of spending my weekend in Boston, I had a great trip to Atlanta for bridesmaid dress shopping.  It was a wonderful time, and we successfully found a dress!  I also had a fantastic little foray into non-P90X eating.  Yep, it happened.  I really did a poor job of following the nutrition guide this weekend.   I have experienced little cheats while on P90X, but this weekend wasn’t the greatest.  I enjoyed a delicious pizza feast at Fellini’s (if you’re ever in ATL – it’s divine!) and just had to help out with cupcake testing for my brother’s upcoming nuptials.  I also let myself enjoy some Easter candy (when I say some – I mean quite a bit more than I should’ve… candy is my Achilles heel).  Instead of just having a little bit of these treats,  I went overboard and had a ‘sugar hangover’ yesterday and a little bit this morning.  It’s incredible how much my eating affects me now that I’m on a stricter nutrition plan.

image(5)

We said yes to the dress…at a different store.

image(3)

Talk about legitimate thin-crust Italian pizza!

image(4)

Post-dress hunting celebration.

image(2)

Sampling wedding cake cupcakes!

Yesterday as I traveled back home I was pretty disappointed in myself.  I really worked on encouraging positive thoughts about the weekend and my eating.  As a type A (and I guess just a woman) – I tend to beat myself up.  I think it’s pretty common, but I’ve also found that when I really beat myself up, I’m more likely to continue the behavior that I beat myself up about in the first place!  It’s a vicious cycle.  On the way home I instead tried to focus on the upcoming week and how I would get back on track.  I also thought a lot about where I started and how far I have come – and that it’s okay to splurge a little sometimes.  What I did wasn’t bad or terrible. It’s not something I want to do often, but beating myself up about this weekend would not bring about anything positive.   When I started P90X I did it for two main reasons:

  1. Ego: I wanted to lose weight.  I had gained a couple extra pounds and hey, it would be nice to be on the skinnier side!
  2. Health: I truly wanted to start living and breathing a healthy lifestyle.  Not just a fad diet or short program.

I focused on reason number 2 to encourage myself about my ‘failure’ of a weekend. The reality is that healthy eating is now a part of my life – it’s a habit.  And it’s a habit I want to continue for the rest of my life.  When you start throwing around phrases like “rest of your life,” it takes on a different meaning than just 90 days of a “diet.” Just like everything else in my life, I should expect to make mistakes or have road bumps.  It’s what you do after the mistake or road bump that makes all the difference.  I want to get up, dust myself off, and continue eating healthily and get right back on my healthy-living bike.  Right away- there’s no point in waiting!  When I was younger and the focus was “I want to be skinny,” I’d try diets. If I ate something unhealthy in the morning, I’d throw my whole day away and start the next morning.  It’s this type of behavior I want to get away from.  It’s great to have treats and enjoy food (and life!), I just need to move on quickly from my mistake and not let it drag everything down.  I’ve chosen to view this weekend as simply a small speed bump on my road to healthy eating.  It’s not something that is going to derail me.  It’s not something that will stop me.  And it’s certainly not something worth any energy fretting or worrying about.

These are my top tips for moving past nutritional speed bumps:

  • Think about why you started your journey.  Often this reenergizes me and renews my focus.  Today I felt very empowered while packing my breakfast and lunch knowing that I wanted to continue to fuel my body with nutrients and  the right stuff.
  • Remember how far you’ve come!  I thought about my inches and pounds lost – but more important how fit and healthy I feel now!  I want to continue to feel this way and eating is a huge component.  All the strides I’ve made encourage me to feel proud overall, even if I didn’t have the proudest moments this weekend.
  • Fall back on your habits.  This morning it was very easy to fall right back into eating well because of the habits I have formed.  Thanks to our chopping parties and healthy food in the fridge I could jump back on the healthy bus without a lot of stress or effort.  It was second-nature.
  • Drink lots of water and put a strong focus on getting back on track.  Today I have more water than usual allotted on my post-it note.  Additionally I’m choosing very nutrient dense choices.  For example both whole-wheat bagels and sweet potatoes are on the P90X guide, but sweet potatoes aren’t processed and will end up making me feel better.  I’ll likely keep this intense focus up for 2 or 3 days just so I feel back on track.
  • Remember that one bad meal or one bad weekend of eating doesn’t ruin your plans for a healthy life.  This is but a blip on the radar.  Putting it in that perspective was helpful.  My goal after P90X is the 90% rule.  90% of the time I want to eat very healthfully – but life happens and I want to feel free to enjoy treats on special occasions.  This weekend was my 10%!
  • Get motivated!  Instead of focusing on what a bad job I did – I focused on how great I could become.  I thought a lot about my upcoming goals nutritionally and from a fitness perspective and I felt a lot better about my choices this weekend.
  • Be positive.  Letting me beat myself up would’ve probably led to more stress-induced bad eating-choices.  Instead I accepted my choices and felt good and positive about the future.  Filling my head with positive thoughts went a long way!

Today I’m feeling much better and reenergized about my healthy lifestyle.  All this positive self-talk worked itself into a great 3 mile run at lunch today with an 8:14 pace (or it could’ve been thoughts of Boston)!  I’m back on track and feeling good. I found these two graphics on Pinterest and they sum up my attitude today!  Except maybe replace fat/skinny with unhealthy/healthy.  I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other on my quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Happy Monday!

-Kelly

imageimage(1)

How do you overcome speed bumps nutritionally?  What do you do to get motivated again after falling off the healthy bus?

Recipe: Simple Arugula Salad!

28 Mar

IMG_3528

Another super simple recipe.  This is one that I don’t even need Adam’s help for :)  I am obsessed with this salad.  It’s easy, fast, delicious, and healthy!  What’s not to love? (really there is nothing not lovable about this addicting salad)

What is Arugula?

The major ingredient in this salad is arugula.  This is the only leafy green in it.  For those of you that don’t know about arugula, I have to say you must try it! I’m not a huge salad girl – normally I eat them out of health and not really for taste (though sometimes I have been surprised).  Arugula is different.  There is something about it I find so tasty.

For those folks that aren’t foodies and may not have heard of it before, arugula is, per wikipedia’s guide, a form of cabbage  that is also known as salad rocket (fabulous name right?).  It is most often eaten raw or cooked as a leafy green veggie.  It’s got great stats too as it is rich in potassium (great for runners) and vitamin C.  It’s known for its rich, peppery flavor and an exceptionally pungent flavor for a leafy green.  That description is so apt – arugula has a fantastic flavor.

Enough about the green itself, onto the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Arugula (enough to fill a salad bowl)
  • Olive oil (I usually use about 1/2 tsp.)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Freshly grated parmesan

IMG_3529

Directions

  1. Combine arugula and olive oil in a medium bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.  A couple shakes will do.
  3. Squeeze half a lemon over the greens.
  4. Grate a few swipes of parmesan.  Just a pinch.
  5. Use a fork to thoroughly mix everything together.
  6. Eat it like it’s candy!

Okay that last one might be a stretch, but lately it’s been such a treat.  This simple salad is almost nothing on the P90X nutrition plan and delicious to boot.  I normally count it as 1/2 veggie, 1/4 fat, and 1/4 dairy with my portions.  A little goes a long way with the olive oil and cheese – you really don’t need much.

Enjoy!

-Kelly

Do you have any great arugula recipes to share?

Phase 2 Hunger Pains

26 Mar

For all my control and food satisfaction in Phase 1…Phase 2 is a different story.  I’m hungry.  Like grumpy hungry.  The change I feel from one phase to another with just slight modifications is very interesting.  The biggest difference in the plan was a drop of a protein and a gain of a carb.  I’m not sure if it is my increased workouts or the introduction of carbs like bagels (whole grain) and English muffins (whole grain).  Either way – I’m in great anticipation of the next phase.  I’m really hoping that my hunger pains will disappear.  I am quite concerned though about dropping to just 2 protein and 1 dairy.  Phase 3 will bring a big switch.  The variety in food will be a nice thing though, as it is quite easy to get in a rut.  It’s funny, as I progress through the phases I find myself thinking ‘Can I just add more portions and not take any away??’  I get quite sad to see my portions go.  The trade-off for an extra carb and fruit will be a great one and probably more similar to what I would normally consider ‘healthy-eating’ pre-P90X.  I’ll be curious to report back.

Overall feelings about Phase 2 meals:

I really wish that I had either an extra snack or fruit in this phase.  Some days I just end up taking it because I’m so hungry.  I have found it’s better to take the extra fruit than get home and be in starvation mode.  Adam and I still have some unhealthy snacks left over from preP90X in the pantry and in Phase 1 I didn’t dream of touching them.  They are in their own place, out of sight out of mind.  Well now in Phase 2 I have “cheated” on Adam, sneaking a couple gummy bears here and there and sometimes a little chocolate.  Oh my!  I actually had to have him take a few things out and hide them in his car.  In Phase 1 I wasn’t even close to this!  Part of me thinks it could be the introduction of different carbs.   Without them (bagels, grainy breads) I didn’t crave them much, and now that I can have more I’ve turned into a carb monster.  The other idea is that my mileage has increased and I’m working out more – so naturally I’m hungrier.  I’m not quite certain which is the culprit, perhaps a little of both.

Is this the problem?

Or is it my extra running?

I have tried to keep my cheats only to special occasions: Adam’s birthday, Match day, family visiting, etc.  And even then keep it to something small.  But this week we had a cast party after the close of our musical and man alive – it’s like I never saw food before (I did run 9 miles in the morning)!  I had no control and ended up eating waaayyyy too many m+m’s and popcorn and wound up feeling pretty terrible.  I felt like I had a food hangover.  This experience got me thinking a lot about sustainability of the portions of this phase and supplementing with healthy alternatives to not enter into the dangers of unhealthy eating that come along with hunger.  Phase 1 of P90X never really felt like dieting; it felt like making better choices.  Phase 2 has brought back memories of days when I dieted and the grumpy feelings that go along with it.  Hopefully Phase 3 will bring a return of both energy and self-control.

Some ideas to help control my hunger

  • Plan more fake cheats (see below)
  • Introduce grainier carbs – oatmeal everyday instead of a few times a week.  Less bread based carbs.
  • On long run days, make sure I make up at least half the calories I’ve burned.
  • Spread my food out more throughout the day.  I’m already doing this, but perhaps a different mix-up might be helpful
  • Introduce more variety so I don’t feel stagnant.

Fake Cheats

Adam and I have also started doing “fake cheats” – or rather healthy cheats.  We pick food that we otherwise wouldn’t eat on a daily basis and turn it into a cheat.  This has been a helpful mental technique to stay away from feeling like we’re restricted.

Favorite fake cheats:
  • sushi
  • frozen yogurt (this one is on the nutrition guide – huge smile)
  • extra fruit
  • cake batter protein shake (I’ll share the recipe in a future post – it’s amazing!)

 Here’s to hoping Phase 3 brings positive changes in the hunger department!

-Kelly

What ideas do you have for controlling hunger pains?  Did you experience more hunger in Phase 2?

22 Mar

Wow what a great list! Thanks Iron Cheftress for the ideas. This is great news for you dessert lovers like me! :)