Sunday Nutrition: Challenge Week 2

Ok first off, I know today is Monday. Sunday went by way too quick for me. However, since today is the holiday to celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and I actually did not have to go to work, I spent the extra day to meal prep. I was so glad to have a 3 day weekend. We need more of these.

Surprisingly, the first week of my nutrition challenge went well. I wasn’t starving, and I did not have tortuous sugar cravings. I only had minor cravings for cupcakes but I was able to get over it. I stuck to meal plan and actually ate the food I prepared, and I liked it. I’m not new to clean eating, so that helps. I really like just have fresh, real food available. It makes me feel so much better.

My postpartum workouts are also going pretty good. I still feel like crap, but the good kind. I am slowly working to rebuild strength and endurance, and the good part is that I actually feel coming along. I am continuing to trust the process. My big challenge will be will I actually decide to go for my first run. It will come soon, I promise.

So I am kicking off week 2 of the challenge by meal planning, and setting a goal to get to yoga at least 2 days this week. I really need to work on mobility.

The good part, my scale says I am down 4 pounds since last week, so something is working! Just keep swimming.

So what’s on deck for this week:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with half a banana, and 1 tbsp of peanut butter, egg muffins

Lunch: Spaghetti squash with veggies, chicken meatballs, tomato basil sauce or Spinach mushroom turkey burger with brown rice, and sauteed veggies

Dinner: Grilled chicken or salmon, or mahi mahi, with quinoa and sauteed veggies.

Snacks: Greek Yogurt, blueberries, rice cakes with peanut butter, turkey with avocado, or carrots and hummus

Today was a very good day, lets keep it going!

Sunday Nutrition: Challenge Week 1

This was absolutely the fastest weekend ever. Sunday night always seems to come so quickly and I am no where even prepared to return to work tomorrow. It looks like it is going to be another long week.

On Sundays we meal prep so I spent the day menu planning and cooking our meals for the week. I was actually excited about it. It’s pretty fun to cook when I actually have a plan about what I am cooking.

This week I am starting a 4 week nutrition challenge with the crew at my crossfit gym. I need to start making some serious progress toward trimming this baby weight. It’s starting to annoy me. I figured a challenge with coaching, and a support team would be a great way to restart healthy eating. Since I cook the food for the hubby and I, he also gets to do the challenge by default. He swears that I am starving him, trust me, he is not starving.

I love when my nutrition is under control. I have been saying it for years, when my nutrition is on point, and I workout daily, I feel at my best. I used to suffer from chronic migraines, once I figured out the changes I needed to make in my diet by cutting down on sugars, and excess fats, in addition to a consistent sleep pattern, the migraines stopped. I know when my body feels healthy and I love that feeling. When I am able to balance out food, exercise, sleep, water intake, and decrease stress, life is great. I am on a mission to make everyday a great one. It won’t be easy but I am determined to make it happen.

So what am I doing for this nutrition challenge? Well the goal is to keep a balanced diet of 40 percent carbs, 30 percent fats, and 30 percent protein every meal, Drink tons of water, and get a good balance of sleep every night. I am tracking my meals using the My fitness pal app. I am really bad at food tracking, logging in every meal takes forever. I had started this challenge last year, then I became pregnant toward the end of the challenge. Food aversions threw everything out the widow. I am really excited to start again without being pregnant!

The key to success for me is not getting hungry. When all my food is planned out for the day I do great. I don’t crave extra food. When I am hungry…well that is when everything goes right down the drain. So my goal for the next 4 week is just not to be hungry and sleep when I can.

Postpartum weight loss is a marathon not a sprint.

The goal is to lose weight, build muscle, and rebuild endurance.

So what meals are on deck this week?

Breakfast: Oatmeal and egg muffins

Lunches: Beef fried cauliflower rice with a sweet potato side or Paleo BBQ shredded chick over brown rice with a veggie side

Dinner: Ground Turkey burger with a veggie or sweet potato side or Chicken breast and veggies.

Various snacks for the week: Greek yogurt with blueberries, cinnamon, and a touch of honey, almond and cashew nuts, turkey and avocado slices, carrots, apple and peanut butter

Let’s get started with week 1! Cheers to positive lifestyle changes.

On Sundays We Meal Prep

And once again it’s Sunday. Tomorrow starts my first full week back to work, and I need my life organized ASAP. Another goal that I have for 2020 is to increase organization and efficiency. Do you know how many mornings I have made a cup of coffee and completely forget to drink it? More than should ever be possible. I feel crazy. Am I losing my mind?

I remember a time when I only had to plan for me. Wow, I didn’t realize how simple that was until now. I only had to worry about my own schedule, feeding only myself, and deciding what I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. The best part, I could nap whenever I wanted! I feel like I did not take full advantage of those opportunities. Silly me.

Then I got married, I had to plan for the hubby and myself. Ok, yes it was little bit more challenging but I made it work. I was working to get us in sync, decrease chaos, and organize our home. Then I get pregnant. Everything went out the window. I feel like I am starting from scratch and really need a road map to stability.

I question, how do we take care of a newborn, take care of ourselves, take care of our marriage, go to work, increase self care, date each other, organize our home, and keep a level of sanity in the process? Good question, I have no idea. In true Jennifer form, as with everything else in my life, dive in head first and just make sure you learn how to swim. I am treading water at the moment.

Prior to my year long pregnancy we were on a healthy living kick. Clean living, and training hard so we both could live healthy lives. I was weight lifting and training for races, the hubs was kayaking and doing century rides on his bike.

100 mile bike ride, go baby go!
Train hard, Love harder

We were going pretty strong. However, pregnancy hit and through us both threw a loop. My pregnancy cravings were grilled cheese, and pizza, or basically anything with cheese and bread. Lots of bread, and lots of cheese. Oh, and don’t forget the strawberry milkshakes. I have a slight lactose intolerance, so PP (pre pregnancy) I was never a big dairy fan, and would only indulge when I felt like giving myself a stomach ache. Yet, baby loved dairy. I could have all the dairy I wanted and it was no problem. So bring on all the strawberry milkshakes and all the cheese! I remember one time googling where I can find the best strawberry milkshake in Maryland. Then I drove around looking for it. Yeah, I was pregnant.

Now that baby is here, the holiday baking season is over, and I am back I work, I can once again find a sense of balance. So we are starting with clean eating again. If you remember a few years ago we did a plant based diet. When I pregnant we went back to eating meat because I just could never seem to get enough food, and my iron levels were off. So for now we will continue to eat meat, but probably not too much of it.

Today is meal prep Sunday. If I can pull this off, my week will be awesome. The plan is to prep breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us. If we can have food ready, then we can really get on a schedule and not be two hangry people!

I have started ordering my groceries and having them delivered, full disclosure…I was doing this way before the thought of a baby because I hate going to the grocery store. Groceries were delivered this morning, and now I get to cook for the week. I made a menu before hand so I know what groceries to buy, and limit waste. I am tired of throwing away food. As an effort to save money and time in 2020 I will attempt to stay dedicated to meal prepping.

If all goes well with having my weekly meals prepared, maybe I will actually remember to drink my coffee in the morning.

Time to start training for our next race!

What’s on deck this week:

Egg muffin cups and Greek yogurt for breakfast

Turkey and quinoa stuffed peppers, and chicken fried cauliflower rice with a sweet potato side for lunch.

Salmon and sauteed veggies for dinner.

Wish me the best of luck!

Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 17

17 days into the healthy eating life, and I am still going pretty good. Last Friday we had a veggie pizza from Ledo’s for dinner, I immediately began to feel sick afterward. Not sure if it was the grease or the cheese. I guess that’s the cost of eating healthy for over 10 days.

A few days last week I began to feel really sick even though I was just eating fruits and vegetables. I felt tired, like I wanted to nap but worse. It was not a good feeling. I felt like my body was missing something. It wasn’t something like sugar or steak, it felt different, like nutrients were missing. Since I have decided that a full on vegan life is not for me, I returned to eating egg whites. My body felt like it was craving protein and I don’t think I was doing a good job getting it from just vegetables. I am still meat free. And I actually don’t think that there is harm in eating eggs. So I have been boiling eggs and eating hard boiled egg whites either for breakfast or before I work out. I feel normal again.  And I feel awake.

So the after the first 10 days I was down 7 pounds. Since then I haven’t lost anymore weight, but I guess that’s normal. I am proud of myself for staying away from candy and cookies. That is a huge accomplishment.

After reading up on the plant based lifestyle, I have realized that veganism is truly a serious thing. I am proud of anyone who is a strict vegan. It is hard! There are animal products in stuff that you would never guess have animal products, like vitamins. You really have to do a lot of research if you want to be a true vegan, and a ton of meal planning to make sure you are getting healthy nutrients. Since I have decided to lean more towards vegetarianism I will continue to eat eggs, and I will add cheese in sporadically.

It feels good to be healthy. The best part about this is that Stephen doesn’t complain about our lifestyle change, and he is open to eating whatever I cook. It’s super helpful to have a partner on this journey, I would fall off the wagon alone. Really, I have no will power. You need a partner, trust me! I am now less hungry at night, and my ability to be alert and awake is getting better each day. Today was a good day.

Workout:

Rest day

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Spinach, strawberry, pineapple smoothie

Muti-grain bread with almond butter

Snack: Watermelon slices and strawberries

Lunch: Spring and spinach salad with homemade coleslaw, quinoa and kidney beans

Snack: Raw almonds

Dinner: vegetable wrap with quinoa and kidney beans, roasted corn, homemade guacamole, peppers, onions, lettuce and tomato

Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 9

Did you know that oreos were vegan? Hmmm….No I did not eat oreos today. But I did do a google search for vegan junk food, and oreos just happened to top the list. I’ll just keep that bit of info in my back pocket for now.

Day 9 was not bad. I don’t feel the excess sugar cravings anymore which is wonderful. I like to chew gum. I am a chain gum chewer. Unfortunately gum is filled with a lot of artificial sugar that is in no way good for you. So I have severely cut back on chewing gum. Today I did not even chew one piece. Which is huge. I used to chew about two packs a day. Today I had none. My teeth thank me.

I am feeling satisfied with my meals, and I am not hungry during the day. I have kept my calories down, and I still attempt to drink as much water as possible. I had a day of vegan eating today, so it was a good day.

A lot of people have been watching What The Health which is great. However I am reading a stories about the dairy and meat industry publishing videos to debunk some of the facts in the documentary. I am wondering what is the point of wasting time to debunk facts of a vegan documentary? There is no way in the world that enough people are going to become vegan, that the meat and dairy industry will lose money. Like that will NEVER EVER happen. People will always eat meat and drink milk. Steak dinners will still be considered a luxury, and ice cream will never go out of style. So for the meat and dairy industry to fear that money will be lost due to a documentary on Netflix that just happens to be the talk of today is ridiculous. A meat free lifestyle works for some people, but I happen to think that the majority of people will continue to eat meat.

I am excited to try out more vegan recipes. Yesterday I ate a chickpea and mushroom burger from Wegmans, let’s just say that it was not very yummy. I won’t be trying that again. Hey some meals will be tasty, some not so tasty. For now I will keep trying and keep eating clean. My body actually likes this clean eating thing, guess I’ll keep it going.

What I ate today: 

Breakfast: Spinach, blueberries strawberries pineapple, flax seed smoothie

Multigrain toast with almond butter

Snack: Oatmeal with apple

Late lunch: Quinoa with stir fry vegetables

Snack: Cherries and blueberries

Pre workout snack: apple, handful of almonds

Dinner (light): Multigrain toast with almond butter

Workout: Crossfit

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
“The Dallas 5”
5 minutes of:
Burpees
Then, 5 minutes of:
7 deadlifts, 105 lb.
7 box jumps, 24-in. box
Then, 5 minutes of:
Turkish get-ups, 25-lb. dumbbell
Then, 5 minutes of:
7 snatches, 55 lb.
7 push-ups
Then, 5 minutes of:
Rowing (calories)Complete as many reps as possible at each 5-minute station. Rest 1 minute between stations.

 

Healthy eating/healthy living Day 8

I went to paint nite  DC this weekend. I am really bad at painting. But I wanted to go. So me and Stephen (who is my boyfriend by the way), went on a date to paint nite in DC. It was at the Blackfinn Ameripub in Washington DC, it was our first time there, but I think we will definitely return for happy hour. The food was good. I was able to stay to a vegetarian diet eating a kale and quinoa salad, and having a vegetable flatbread. The flat bread had goat cheese sprinkled on it, so I may have ate a few bites of goat cheese. Stephen is on this healthy living kick too, well he actually has no choice since I do the grocery shopping, but he will be more of a “sometimes I eat fish” eater. Since he likes to go fishing, I guess he can eat the fish. He had the fish tacos which he enjoyed.

Paint nite turned out to be fun. No I didn’t drink, but even without alcohol it was a fun date night. I highly recommend if you are looking for a date activity.

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The acting like I know what I’m doing look

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This is actually pretty fun!

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The finished project….ummm

 

Today is day 8 of no meat, or eggs either. I am feeling healthy! Really I am. I am logging my food into my fitness pal to keep track of calories. My energy levels continue to increase, I didn’t feel like I needed much nap time today. I woke up with energy, and I am still up with energy. That is a huge improvement. The cravings for snacks have even decreased. Now I read that this would happen, but of course I didn’t believe it.
Now don’t get me wrong. Even though I have been clean eating for 8 days doesn’t mean that it is not a challenge. Sometimes I want a burger, or a layer of cheese just for the sake of eating tons of cheese. I keep my goals in mind, and I push through. When I am hungry, I go for almonds, or veggies. I only keep healthy snacks in the house, and stay away from buying packaged, and processed foods. I am taking it one day at a time.

I know I missed writing on days 6 and 7, forgive me, it was the weekend. But I will keep you updated on my workouts.

Workout:

Saturday: Crossfit

Partner WOD: Barbara

Five Rounds for time:
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats

Sunday: Cardio

12 mile bike ride, 1 mile run

Monday: Crossfit

Bench Press (4 -4-4-4  @77%-80%)- 85 lbs
 
Metcon (Time): Since I can’t do a muscle up at all, substitute muscle-ups for ring rows and dips.
For time:
5 muscle-ups
50 double-unders
4 muscle-ups
40 double-unders
3 muscle-ups
30 double-unders
2 muscle-ups
20 double-unders
1 muscle-up
10 double-unders
What I ate today:
Breakfast: Spinach, blueberry, strawberry, banana smoothie
Multi grain toast with almond butter
Snack: almonds, 1 cup of cherries
Lunch: Tri-color quinoa and stir fry vegetables
Snack: apple with almond butter, 1/4 cup of pineapple and blueberries
Dinner: Zucchini noodles with basil pesto, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes