Well, I’m still going strong with my “Healthy Challenge!” I’m not suffering, not complaining, not feeling deprived, not counting down the days….on the contrary; I’m loving it, feel so strong, am finally seeing some results, have no plans to quit and could actually see myself sticking with it indefinitely (with the addition of the occasional treat, of course!)
One of the many, many, many reasons I love challenging myself like this is that I develop new habits, cut out a bunch of bad habits, develop willpower I didn’t know I had and see great results! I’ve been feeling really good, have more energy, my skin looks better than it has in a very long time, I’ve been sleeping better and all of my clothes fit me better! Woot!
Ya know, the first 2-3 weeks of my challenge, I didn’t see or feel a dang bit of difference! It was very frustrating because I was working so hard. However, I kept reminding myself that I WAS making a lot of good changes; I was working out very hard and I was eating a very clean diet. I knew I just needed to stick with it, be patient, be consistent and have faith in the process!
So that’s just what I did.
I still haven’t lost a lot of weight on the scale; maybe 2-3 pounds, but changes are definitely happening! It’s been weird because ALL of my clothes fit me so much better. Jeans that were tight on me, now fit me perfectly. I had a couple of sports bras that I couldn’t even wear and now they fit me just fine. I bought a workout tank top a couple months ago that I loved, but it was too tight on me. However, I KNEW I was going to lose weight, so I bought it anyway. I’m so glad I bought it because now I love it and it’s actually a little loose on me. Super weird. I’ve even noticed some of my spandex workout capris fitting me better!
It’s awesome and very rewarding!
I also got my body fat tested once again! I was nervous, but hopeful I’d see some changes…AND I DID!! Woot! Just for reference, I had my body fat tested the end of July. My body fat then was 22.9%. I struggled in August though; I exercised regularly, but my diet was terrible. I actually felt chubbier in August!
Anyway, when I got my body fat tested this time I was happy to see that I’d lost TWO PERCENT body fat! I was down to 20.9%! Woot! I’d essentially lost three pounds of fat, and also gained THREE pounds of muscle. I was very happy about that. Strangely, my weight was up a pound since I was tested in July, but it also told me that I had three extra pounds of water weight on me. I was actually happy to see that since I’ve been feeling so bloated and I could tell I was retaining water all month long. It was nice to see that it wasn’t just in my head!
That’s what I love about getting this body fat analysis done is that it shows the WHOLE picture! If I was just looking for results on the scale, I would’ve been frustrated because I’d GAINED a pound. I would never have known that my body was actually making a whole lotta great changes!
Well, I thought I’d talk a little bit about all of the good food I’ve been eating these past 6 weeks. First off, I want to say that I LOVE macro counting! I really think that everyone should do it for at least a few months. I’ve been a label reader for years and years. I’ve known for a long time what foods are high/low in protein, high/low in carbs and high/low in fats, however, it wasn’t until I started counting and tracking macros that I saw the whole picture. I thought I was eating a fairly balanced diet, but found out that I wasn’t eating nearly enough protein and was eating way too many carbs and too much fat. I also saw in black and white how much damage burgers, pizza, cookies, etc. cause! It was very eye opening and very educational to me!
With that being said, I’m not “officially” counting macros right now. Ha ha! I’m just not in the mood to be tied to My Fitness Pal and to track every stinkin’ thing I eat. I may do it again, but for now I’m just burned out from doing that! Soooo, right now I’m just intuitively eating based on what I’ve learned from macro counting. I’ve been basing all of my meals around my protein. I decide what my protein will be, make sure to eat enough of it and then choose healthy carbs and fats to go with it! I’m not counting calories, I’m just listening to my body. I make sure to eat enough food to sustain my body and give me energy, but I haven’t been overeating…like at all. My goal has been to eat until I feel satisfied, but never full. I like to finish my meals feeling like I could eat more, but I don’t. Make sense?
Here are some of the things I’ve been eating….
I pretty much have some form of eggs every single day.
I usually just scramble some egg whites (I love the egg white cartons from Costco!) I sometimes include sauteed onions and peppers, sometimes add a little cheese and sometimes add chicken. Sometimes I make them into an egg white wrap too. Some of my sweet friends gave me some tomatoes from their garden, so for a while there I LOVED to top my eggs with tomatoes! Sadly, they’re all gone now. Sniff, sniff.
Once in a while I’ll have an English Muffin on the side. Yum! I usually top them with a little jam (Costco’s all natural, organic, amazing jam!) and it tastes just like a treat to me! I’ve been getting Thomas’ Lite Multi-Grain English Muffins and they are great. I wouldn’t consider them to be a “healthy food,” but they’re only 100 calories and have some fiber and protein in them. I really don’t eat a lot of bread anymore (I haven’t for years), but I do like to have it occasionally. It keeps things balanced for me!
I also love it when I have leftover taco meat or other meat leftover from dinner because I love to put them in my egg white wraps. Sooooo good!
I added a bunch of cheese to that one (I usually don’t do that!), but man did it taste good! It was kind of like an egg taco!
I’ve also made zucchini noodles a couple times recently because my same sweet friends gave me some zucchini from their garden too!
I made regular spaghetti for the kidlets, but Kev and I enjoyed the zucchini. I served broccoli on the side and also cooked up some seasoned ground turkey with onions to up the protein! I used up the leftover ground turkey in my eggs for a few days afterward too. Yum!
I’ve been on an oatmeal kick lately and have been really enjoying it! It seems like I’ll go through stages where I love oatmeal and have it all the time and then I get so dang sick of it. Well, I’m loving it right now!
I made oats in a jar the other day. I’m always happy when I have an empty jar of peanut butter!
I just cooked up my oats in the microwave (1/3 cup covered with water and cooked for 1 minute 45 seconds.) I then added half of scoop of chocolate protein powder, a spoonful of cocoa, a dash of stevia and a spoonful of ground flax seed. I mix it all up and then pour it (still very hot!) into the empty jar of peanut butter. The hot oatmeal melts the peanut butter and it turns into a yummy mix of chocolate peanut butter goodness. YUMMY!
One of the many things I love about oatmeal is that it fills me up FOREVER! It’s so satisfying.
I’ve also been loving my chocolate protein pudding lately.
I used to add protein powder and peanut butter, but I don’t anymore. I basically just mix plain fat-free Greek yogurt with cocoa, stevia and a little unsweetened cashew milk and then add some fun toppings (this time I added chia seeds and unsweetened toasted coconut.) SO dang good! It’s the perfect little healthy treat.
I made homemade “Taco Bell” quesadillas for dinner the other night (the kids had been asking me to make them for weeks!) It’s such an easy dinner and all the kiddos love them!
I decided to make mine in a Flatout instead of a regular tortilla and then I topped it with salsa, lite sour cream and a bunch of lettuce (you can barely see it peaking out underneath all that lettuce!) It was awesome and actually tasted indulgent.
I made some potstickers (Costco sells some good ones) with brown rice and roasted veggies for dinner a couple nights ago. Ya know, the kids are usually not thrilled with brown rice and veggies, BUT if I serve them with potstickers, they don’t complain! It’s a very simple and easy dinner too!
I only had a couple potstickers and then I pulled out some rotisserie chicken from the fridge and added it to my plate. It was perfect and added plenty of protein!
Ya know, I don’t usually do “official” meal prep, I just always make plenty of food for dinner and enjoy the leftovers. It really helps to simplify things!
This is my typical fridge…full of tons of leftovers (and a couple boutineers from my son’s Homecoming dance, ha ha.)
I always, always, always have eggs, egg whites, cooked chicken, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt and veggies in my fridge. I think I also had some leftover pulled pork and tunafish in there too. It really simplifies my healthy eating when I can just open my fridge and have a bunch of easy options to work with.
I’ve also been having this a ton lately too!!!
I pretty much have it every weekday for either lunch or an afternoon snack. It’s just a GIANT green smoothie with some rotisserie chicken on the side (topped with Wholly Guacamole avocado verde!) To me, this is just a simple, easy, no brainer, use up all the dying fruits and veggies meal that I love!
I’ve been making different variations of my detox green smoothie that I posted a couple months ago. I only like to put in one type of fruit in my smoothie and I just change it up depending on what needs to be used up or what’s in my freezer! Lately I’ve been using either pineapple, blueberries, strawberries or peaches. I then add some cut up cucumber, a half of a lemon OR a whole lime, some chia seeds, sometimes some avocado chunks (I guess that’s a fruit too!), a couple handfuls of my power greens (chard, spinach and kale) and some of my Green Superfood. Oh, I also add a sprinkle of Crystal Light too. It makes it taste so good! I add a couple cups of water and some ice too. It’s so refreshing!
I really don’t enjoy making salads at home much anymore. I don’t know why. I love building a salad from a salad bar or ordering one from a restaurant, but I’m just not loving my own! I consider my green smoothie to be my easy way to make a salad! I get WAY more veggies and greens than I ever would get from a salad and I don’t use salad dressing!
I’ve also been loving to freeze everything lately to further simplify the process!
My same sweet friends that I talked about earlier also gave me some cucumbers from their garden. I’d also just bought a three pack of English cucumbers from Costco just before they gave them to me. I didn’t want the cucumbers to go bad (they always die so fast!), so I decided to cut them up into chunks and freeze them for my smoothies. It’s worked out great!!!
I love my freezer and have become a little bit obsessed with freezing everything!!! I love it.
Oh, and here’s a pic of my grilling the other day too!
That chicken turned out so good folks! I just marinated it in my favorite marinade and grilled it up! It was so moist, flavorful and juicy! I also threw a few dogs on there for the kids. I actually kind of like hot dogs too!
Oh, one other strange food concoction that I have to share is this…
I posted something similar a couple months ago, but these are my version of nachos! OH, they are SO good! I just put some Food Should Taste Good chips on a plate and topped them with a little cheese and some leftover pulled pork. I heated it in the microwave and then topped it all with lettuce, tomatoes, Wholly Guacamole avocado verde and a little lite sour cream. SO DANG GOOD!
Ya know, when I first got into healthy eating (about 8-9 years ago), I felt like the goal was to always eat clean…to read every ingredient label and make sure everything on it was “clean.” Although, I still think that’d be an amazing goal, I’ve since learned that it’s just not practical and I don’t want to be that anal!!
I’ve actually found that I eat healthier as a whole and it becomes a long-term lifestyle when I combine mostly clean foods with a little bit of “not perfectly healthy, but not terrible foods” too. It works for me and has now become my lifestyle. I love it! Those nachos are a perfect example of that.
Well, I think that’s all the food pics I have today! I do want to mention that the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few very minor “sweets snitches” here and there and it’s actually been great for me! I’ve mentioned on this blog many times that I feel addicted to sugar and treats. I’ve kind of been an “all or nothing” kind of person and I don’t want to be like that anymore! Sooooo, my little snitches have been very, very minor, but the fact that I’ve been able to do that AND stay motivated AND get right back to 100% healthy living is actually quite monumental to me!
Just to give you an idea about my “snitches,” here are some of the things I’ve done…
- I ate about 4-5 M&Ms.
- I ate a marshmallow. Ha ha. A big one though.
- We had candy corns in our house the other day. I don’t even like candy corns, but I wanted to have a few since I hadn’t had them in a long time…so I did!
- I’ve snitched a few small handfuls of trail mix (which includes M&Ms)
- I sprinkled a few mini chocolate chips on my oatmeal the other day (and I may do it again!)
That’s about all the damage I’ve done. I’ve made very sure to keep it extremely minor because I want to stick to my goals, but it’s been a very good thing for me mentally. It’s actually been perfect and I haven’t regretted a single thing. I’d like to hope that long-term I could occasionally have a legit treat (a couple cookies, a cupcake, a donut, etc.) and then get right back on track. I’d also like to be able to go on vacation sometimes and just enjoy myself (eating wise) and then get right back on track when I get home!
I love healthy eating and I do strive to eat well most of the time, but I just hate it when a sugar pig-out session or a vacation gets me waaaaay off track and then it takes me weeks or even a month to get back on track again! I’m really just trying to get inside my head and train my brain to indulge here and there and not let it take over my life!
That’s another reason why I love challenging myself and setting goals for myself because it teaches me how to balance my life….to enjoy life, but also reach and maintain my goals at the same time!
I also want to say that I’m really not that obsessive about the way I eat. I’m a very optimistic, happy person who loves to live life to the fullest! I do not spend much time worrying about my food choices and analyzing everything I eat. Ha. I just love setting goals, working on self improvement and figuring out how to overcome addictions or things that hold me back!
I need to go to bed, but I just want to share a fun picture from last weekend…
Kev and I went to a Maroon 5 concert and it was so much fun! It was so nice to get away for the evening (we hadn’t gone on a “real” date just the two of us in a very long time!) We went to dinner at Spitz, a freaking awesome Mediterranean restaurant in downtown SLC. I didn’t take any pics of our food, but HOLY COW it was so good! Kev and I shared a huge salad and some “street fries,” regular fries and sweet potato fries topped with chicken and yummy Mediterranean fare (olives, peppers, onions, feta, etc.) Oh, so good!
Then we headed to the concert. We had cruddy seats, but loved the concert! We bought our tickets a very long time ago (I don’t even remember when), but I vaguely remember thinking we didn’t have a lot of extra play $$ at the time, so I thought we should just get cheap tickets. I think our tickets were about $90 each. Anyway, when we got there, Kev told me, “next time let’s just spend the extra money and get decent seats!” Ha ha. Kev’s not a big spender at all, but he doesn’t mind spending $$ on things like that. I can be kind of a cheapskate at times, but other times I’m not! It just depends.
Anyway, here are some short video clips I took at the concert. Again, our seats were crappy so this footage is not the best, but it was so much fun to be there! Enjoy!
I hope y’all enjoy the rest of your weekend! xoxo