Apologies & Food Prep

It seems that all of my posts have started with “Sorry” lately.  I’d like to be able to post every day or couple days, but it’s just hard to get online and jot something down!  All I’ve done this week is unpack and work (eat and workout, of course), and I’m finally settled in!  After a long night of desk and desk chair assembling, I’m pretty sure that I’m a home improvement expert;)  Now, I’m heading back home to the valley for a quick trip…more traveling!  Luckily, I prepared a TON of food on Wednesday so I was ready for a 7 hour trip home.  It felt so good to be back in the kitchen prepping my food for the week.  I cooked all summer, but there is something comforting about having all of your meals prepared ahead of time that makes it so much easier to stick to clean eating!  It took away the anxiety of having to figure out what I was going to eat.

After hours of prep, I ended up with:

Little B’s Buffalo Chicken (SO GOOD)

Little B’s Tomato Basil Rice

Little B’s Blueberry Protein Muffins (It was a Little B week for me)

-Steamed veggies

-Red bell pepper strips

-Sliced cucumbers

-Hardboiled eggs

It may not seem like a lot, but that’s because that’s not counting breakfast, dinner, pre and post-workouts, or an evening meal!:)

It takes a lot of planning to stay clean for every meal, every single day while ensuring you actually get enough meals.  I wouldn’t be able to just stroll in to the grocery store and pick up whatever I think I need, because eating healthy obviously requires a lot of food.  Which is what makes it so awesome right?  I personally LOVE to go grocery shopping (even if I’m just grabbing something, it takes forever because I like to browse!), and you’ll rarely find me buying something that’s not on sale.  So, yes, I am the annoying person in the aisles doing price comparisons and matching up coupons.  Even though eating clean can be less expensive, it’s still not as cheap as the diet of apples and pretzels that I use to live on.

Sunday has been my chosen prep day, and I like to go through some of my favorite blogs and websites to find recipes that are:

Appetizing

-You want to enjoy the food that you eat! Yes, many people in the fitness industry do eat boiled chicken, potatoes, and steamed broccoli.  That doesn’t mean you have to!  This is a lifestyle and you need to actually like it:)

Balanced (fits with my macros)

-Macros (macronutrients) are the three main compounds that you need which provide energy: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Everyone has a different balance of macros that works for them.  I’m still looking for mine, but right now it seems that I work better with 40% protein 40% carbs 20% fat.

Clean

-duh:)

So when you’re meal planning, don’t forget those ABC’s of a recipe!  Here are some of my favorite sites:

Powercakes

Clean Eating Mag

Little B’s Healthy Habits

Busy But Healthy

Once I decide what I’ll be eating for each of my 7 meals per day, I make a list of everything that I’ll need.  I’m a bit of an organization freak so I section things off by produce, protein, and dry goods.  This ensures that I won’t need to linger in aisles that tempt me with Oreos or candy or ice cream!  I can just go straight to what I need and bypass temptation:)

Then I get home and dive in to prep!  Remember, you’re making a week’s worth of food so allow yourself some time to make everything and try not to taste test too many dishes:)

When you’re done, you’ll end up with nutritious and delicious meals like these:)

Egg whites and spinach topped with organic ketchup, nutritional yeast, and ground flaxseed with ezekial toast and homemade orange-lime chia jam!

Buffalo chicken wrap with spinach, red bell pepper, cucumbers, lime greek yogurt spread, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed

Steamed veggie and spinach salad topped with a turkey burger (I’ve been lazy with dinner), chia, nutritional yeast, and a lemon greek yogurt dressing

Peanut butter chai protein shake!

And then when you’re done with the meals, you’ll end up with abs like these:

Maybe not exactly like the lovely Rita Catolino, but hey a girl can dream right?:)

Check back tomorrow for another recipe link up with Powercakes!

July Foodie Pen Pal

WOW.  I cannot believe that July is already over.  At the beginning of the month, I saw a picture that said, “Make July your b*tch.”  Though I haven’t been the cleanest or strictest with my diet, I do feel that July was mine.  I enjoyed every last bit of my summer in DC, right down to the last bite of burger or delicious homemade oatmeal cookie, and I don’t regret a second of it! It’s great not feeling the guilt that I used to associate with eating something that may not be the healthiest.  I don’t feel anxiety when I can’t get to the gym and I don’t think the world is going to end if I eat a piece of cake.  I really think it’s important to indulge and have those off-meals because nobody is perfect.  I know that it’s hindering my progress, but I’m also really happy with the progress I’ve made and where I’m at right now.  I’m so ready to keep pushing myself harder once I get back in to my routine though! Just because I’m not at the gym doesn’t mean I don’t miss it!

It’s important to decide whether or not your goals allow for little cheats like I’ve taken.  I know that once I get back to my diet and exercise plan that I’ll be on my way to reaching my goals.  I’m not afraid of falling completely off the wagon; I’m just stopping it for a little bit!  If you’re the kind of person who can’t limit yourself to just a one cookie, then you should definitely assess your own choices when it comes to off-meals.

The end of the month also means that it’s Foodie Pen Pal time!  My June Foodie Pen Pals were Jocelyn and Judy.  Check out what I sent at Jocelyn at her blog: Peace Love Nutrition.  Judy sent me some unique items, from her hometown in Oklahoma, that are also clean!  I was so excited to see local brands in the box, and Judy actually knew some of the owners.

-Taboli Salad Mix: This bag of dehydrated bulgar, parsley, and onions doesn’t look like much, but it seems to be one of the best kept Oklahoma secrets to me!  A restaurant in Bristow, OK sells these bags of their taboli salad to mix with fresh vegetables.  Tabbouleh is one of my favorite Mediterranean dishes and I’m so excited to try this super healthy carb!

-Nature’s Bakery Whole Wheat Peach Apricot Fig Bar: I am a super fan of Fig Newton’s so this was a perfect on-the-go snack for me:)  The short list of natural ingredients was very exciting because it’s hard to find bars that actually taste good and are clean without making them yourself.

-Whole Foods Parmesan Crisps:  Okay, I may have had a small bingefest with these on my last night in Virginia, but at least they are clean!  I’ve made Parmesan crisps at home before (it’s SO easy and they look so fancy to me!), but mine are never this thick and crispy.  We were sure that there had to be some bread crumbs or something involved in these, but after checking the ingredients we were surprised to just see good ol’ cheese on there!  Whole Foods never failsJ

-Eden Organic Wild Berry Mix: I have to admit that I was kind of worried about this.  Only because I am a HUGE lover of trail mix and can tend to go a bit overboard at times.  I’m also trying to cut down on sugar, and dried fruit packs a lot of sugar in a little tiny piece.  However, not only has my will power increased, but this stuff is awesome!  It’s not too sweet and just a palm full gives me that little boost of energy I need on my way home from work.

-The Prairie Gypsies Blackberry Sage Jelly:  Haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but anything with fruit and herbs sounds good to meJ

I hope you all made July your b*tch and are ready for August!

Six-Pack Sunday/Tuesday

(I realize that it’s Tuesday, but I had some problems with posting! Kept losing drafts 😦 )
 
Well it’s been an eye-opening week for me!  I had a minor (read: major) freak out because I haven’t really been seeing progress the way I’d expected.  I’ve been getting way stronger, but was worried that maybe my diet was off.  I found out that the progress that I’d seen from JE’s was because of the unmanageable carb-cycling and that I’m just gaining muscle right now, not losing fat.  It just goes to show that you can do everything you’re supposed to and be where you want to be, but you still have to work your a$$ off to maintain it!
 
Though to be honest, I haven’t been the best at limiting my off meals 😦
 Hey, I’m on vacation! Kinda….sorta…ish?
 
I also want to say good luck and keep on keeping on to those who have decided to start JE’s program or to just start living healthier!  If you have any questions, feel free to comment, email me at bbbfitandhealthy@gmail.com, or ask on facebook!
 
Now for Six-Pack Sunday:)
 
  1. A reason to be motivated
  2. A fitness myth
  3. A new recipe
  4. A fitness trend
  5. A website
  6. A product review

1. A reason to be motivated

STRENGTH

“Strong is the new sk*nny.”

Hell yeah! Lifting weights and eating right won’t make you shed fat immediately.  You’ll gain muscle so that when you do begin to lose fat, you’ll actually have some definition underneath!  You’ll come out of this with more muscle and a strength that is unbelievably empowering.  I’ve always been called fragile (not even delicate, just fragile ugh), and to me that always implied weakness.  Now, I can lift a case of sodas at work like it’s nothing and impress my coworkers with my man-like strength;)  Having the ability to carry something heavy or lift yourself out of the pool with grace and ease is an amazing feeling.  Mundane tasks become small little accomplishments because you couldn’t have done them before.  It makes you feel even more independent and able to do absolutely anything:)

2. A Fitness Myth

“If I lift heavier weights then I’ll bulk up, so I’ll just do more reps with lower weights.”

WRONG.  As usual, your body is largely reliant on your diet.  If you stay with lower weights and never increase the weights that you use, you will just stay stagnant (ladies that means no more 3lb. weights!) While doing more reps in a circuit can increase you heart rate and keep you in a fat burning zone during strength training, if you continue with lower reps and languidly move from exercises you won’t hit that mark.  Leaning out can occur from increasing cardio, decreasing your carb intake, and many other methods, but doing any or all of these in excess will only hurt you.  The way to a tight and toned body is through lifting weights and improving upon your performance every day.

A JOKE.

3.  Recipe

Tomatillo Steak and Eggs

2 oz. flank steak (I used leftovers so it’s already cooked)

2 egg whites

1 whole egg

1/4 cup homemade tomatillo salsa (grilled tomatillos, grilled poblano pepper, roasted garlic, chopped onion-blended)

1 tbs. flaxseed

1 cup of raw spinach

  1. Cut the steak in to small, bite-size pieces and toss in a pan just to heat up for a minute or so.
  2. Whisk the egg whites, whole egg, and tomatillo salsa together.
  3.  Add the salsa-egg mixture to the pan with the steak.
  4. Cook until done, about 4 minutes-ish.
  5. Serve on a bed of spinach with a piece of whole-grain or ezekial toast, and top with flaxseeds!

SO EASY.

Calories: 259

Protein: 32g

Carbs: 4g

4. A Fitness Trend

Crossfit

Crossfit is a strength program that has been around for awhile, but seems to be becoming more popular among housewives lately.  This means that it’s popping up on every stay-at-home mom fitness/cooking/craft blog usually in the form of boot camps.  That’s how it should be!  While some think that the Crossfit lifestyle may be a bit cultlike, it’s an awesome way to stay fit.  The workouts are similar to those of the military and police academies (think pushing heavy objects and running until you fall over), but are easily adaptable to anyone by adjusting the weight or intensity.  There are a lot of my favorite exercises involved like squats, clean and press, and of course a lot of RUNNING!  The difference is often the equipment.  Since you aren’t slowly moving from machine to machine, equipment such as sandbags, kettleballs, plyoboxes (for box jumps, so terrifying!), sandbags, tires, etc.

If you hate the gym, then a crossfit program might be the perfect thing for you!

The Crossfit Games just ended, check out this video to see how freaking cool you can look doing it.

5.  Bodybuilding.com

I’ve spent hours on this website! When I was first looking in to weightlifting, I was pretty much going off of nothing.  I think I actually googled “women’s bodybuilding” 🙂  I found this incredible resource and used the Find A Plan app, which lead me to JE’s LiveFit Program.  Since then I’ve used it not only for the program, but for recipes, support, supplement reviews and purchases, exercise references, and so many things! It has about a million different resources from articles and interviews to online community called Bodyspace to connect with others who have similar goals.  I highly recommend you utilize this website and all of the free tools that they have to offer!

6. A Product Review

Nature’s Best Isopure Zero Carb Protein: Cookies & Cream

It is with great regret that I write this as I am no longer a user of this product.  The regret comes from the fact that I absolutely LOVED it!  It has zero carbs and high protein, which is great for leaning out, but i’ve realized I’m not quite ready to stop building muscle yet so I need those carbs:)  I also am trying something a little more clean (yes protein powder can be clean!), MRM.  I’d give the taste of Isopure a 9, it mixes really well with anything and is more cream than cookie which is perfect to me.  There were no side effects and the only problem was that I ran through it wayyy too quickly. 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!  The highlight of mine so far as been the smoked salmon in the cafeteria, whoop dee doo!

Six-Pack Sunday

Happy Six-Pack Sunday!

Sorry, not that kind of six-pack.  We’re going more for the ripped/shredded/toned version:)  I always seem to be acquiring random information about health and fitness.  So to consolidate all of these facts, every Sunday I’m going to post:

  1. A reason to be motivated
  2. A fitness myth
  3. A new recipe
  4. A fitness trend
  5. A website
  6. A product review

There are so many resources out there that it can be intimidating trying to find what works for you.  I hope to introduce you to six things that you may not have been familiar with which could possibly help you!

1. A reason to be motivated:

YOU.

While it’s very important to have the support of your family and friends, your biggest motivation should be yourself.  It does take a lot of effort to eat healthy, exercise, lose/maintain your weight, gain muscle, and lose fat; but if you want your ideal body, one that functions properly and fights off illness and disease, then you need to get over yourself and make an effort.  You are your biggest enemy.

If I came up to you and offered you cocaine, you would (I’m hoping) refuse. 

If I came up to you and offered you a Diet Coke, would you say no as readily?

Being aware of what you put in your body is just as important, if not more, as knowing how much you can squat or how far you can run.  Do it for you, not because you want a boyfriend or because you want to fit in your “sk*nny” jeans (I HATE THAT WORD).

2. A fitness myth

“Doing crunches will get me a six-pack”

NONONONONONONONONONO.

I used to do 500 crunches a day because someone with a great body told me that’s what they did while doing in sports in high school.  I was such an idiot.  Abs really are made in the kitchen.  I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but until you start actually eating clean and enough for your body, you’ll never believe it.  Crunches, v-ups, planks, bicycle crunches, etc. are all still really great exercises.  However, you are actually getting a better core workout when you do compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and shoulder presses.  This means that they work multiple muscles at the same time, and I’m sure you’re always engaging your core right??;) Basically, a six-pack is attainable without doing one, single crunch. YAY!

3. Citrus Cucumber Tomato Salad

1/2 cucumber

10 cherry tomatoes 

4 clementines

for the dressing: 

1 tablespoon non-fat greek yogurt

juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

dash of pepper and salt

1.  Chop cucumber into quarters, tomatoes in half, clementines in to segments

2. In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (I used TJ’s flower pepper)

2. Stir in parsley and toss the salad with the dressing

4. A fitness trend

-TRX Suspension Training is a method that uses specific TRX training structures and tools to focus on bodyweight resistance.  They have a TRX system at my gym and it looks pretty intimidating, I’ll admit.  I’d love to learn more about the exercises that I could do on it!

http://www.trxtraining.com/

5. A website

My absolute favorite, most helpful website is MyFitnessPal.  It’s an incredible tool that helps you keep track of how many calories, protein, fat, carbs, sodium, ANYTHING that you’re eating every day.  You just search the food that you ate, “apple”, and it will give you 50 different options for apples (skin, no skin, raw, baked, etc.), and it just plugs in the information.  You can enter a goal calorie count and it lets you know how many more you need to eat for that day.  It can get a little addicting and it’s important to realize that nothing is set in stone, if you feel hungry, then eat.  MyFitnessPal is not the boss of you:)

This is only meals 1-4, so I’m missing 2 meals, my pre-workout, and post-workout:)

6. A product review

Bodybuilding.com Ladies Lifting Gloves

If you’re just now getting serious about weightlifting, then you might not think about every little way that your body will be affected.  Obviously, you’ll be sore and tired and feel like a freaking boss all the time.  However, the one thing I didn’t really expect was to offend the manicurist doing my nails by my calloused hands.  She just could not understand that to me, they are signs of being a bada$$ instead of rough and ugly.  After awhile though, I could tell that it was affecting my weightlifting performance because my hands would hurt before my muscles! I got some standard (okay pink) gloves from the bodybuilding.com brand, and they kind of suck.  I don’t think I have massive hands, but the seam along my thumb totally busted after my first gym trip!  If you wanted to go a cheaper route, then I’d recommend going up a size in their brand:)

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first issue of Six-Pack Sunday, and your weekend!:)

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at bbbfitandhealthy@gmail.com