New Outlook

Alright, time to get back into this thing! I’m pretty excited because now that I posted My Confessions, I’ve actually been doing a lot better about exercising and eating healthier! (Minus some pizza I had Friday night and some Burger King I had last night….)

Here’s what I’ve been doing lately:

I’ve been trying to exercise every day by either doing a Jillian Michaels video or cardio. She’s hardcore! I’ve been alternating between her 30 Day Shred Level 1 video and her Six Weeks Six Pack video. They are great! I’ve also been trying to get in some running. Usually it’s just been a couple miles a week–one mile a day just to get me back in to it. I don’t want to cause any injuries by having too many miles too soon. I did go 2.5 miles yesterday and it felt great! I think I’ll do a couple miles for another week and then up it to three and so on.

For food I’ve decided to take a new approach. I liked documenting everything I ate from each day but finding the calories and posting it was a lot of effort–especially if it was something obscure that MyFitnessPal didn’t have in their database or if it was a strange portion size. So I will continue to post everything I eat but I will not be adding the calorie content. To lose weight it’s all about calories In VS. calories OUT. But I think as long as I’m eating a relatively “clean” diet and exercising regularly, I should be able to reach my goals without calorie counting. By “clean” I mean lots of fruits and vegetables to fill out my diet with limited process foods.

I’m going to miss string cheese so much–and dairy in general, but there are so many sources of calcium elsewhere so I’m sure I’ll reach the recommended daily intake of 1000 mg. Here are a couple articles I found on plant-based sources: Non-Dairy Foods With Calcium and 18 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium. So many possibilities! I think I will still have the occasional greek yogurt, but I’ve pretty much eliminated them from my smoothie making regime. Lately, I’ve been digging the Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie over fruit smoothies. I mean, helloooo chocolate! I’ll have the occasional shredded cheese on a taco and feta on my salad, but I won’t be including it into my every day diet. Whole foods in, processed foods out!

Now, what am I going to do about that sweet tooth of mine? I think I’m going to stock up on some dark chocolate Toblerone again and allow myself to have a piece or two a day. That used to be enough for me, and really helped me stay on track by keeping my cravings in check. I don’t want to end up binge eating later on sweets by restricting myself when I have a little craving. It’s all about moderation.

So here’s my day in review of yesterday:

Made some iced green tea with some vanilla coconut milk mixed in. It was yummy!

Worked out by doing TWO 7-minute workouts I found on YouTube. My friend Ashley told me about an app you can download for the 7-minute workout but instead I found several that demonstrate it online. I did both on them back-to-back with a short rest in between. They are very similar but I like the second one better because it’s an actual person going through the motions with you.

Then I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie linked above. I didn’t feel like that was enough for breakfast so I cooked up two eggs with some dried parsley, garlic powder, and paprika sprinkled on them.

Later, I was over at my mom’s catching up with her and we each drank a bottled Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino. I had forgotten how delicious those are.

For a snack, I ate a few grapes and some carrots and cauliflower with some hummus.

Then Daniel and I went for a 2.5 mile run. It was so nice out I even wore shorts and a tank top. Spring has arrived! I made sure to stretch well afterwards.

For dinner, Daniel and I made this tasty looking dish—>

Cheese-Free Alfredo Alternative Spaghetti SquashIt is spaghetti squash with a cashew-based “Alfredo” sauce and sautéed veggies. It was delicious! The sauce recipe is a mashup of several I found online. It has white beans, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, white wine, and water in it. It didn’t really taste like Alfredo but it was a nice creamy sauce! It made quite a bit so I have extra to make with pasta today.

Then Daniel and I had some friends over and I drank these:

mang-o-ritasExcuse the poor picture quality and my chipped nail polish. I really like this flavor! And of course I had to use my fancy margarita glass. Those are reusable ice cubes in the glass in case you were confused. I found them at Bed Bath & Beyond. No water-downed drinks for me!

I had a few of them…. So I’ll be cutting back on alcohol for sure. Unnecessary calories! I only want to put food in me that will fuel my body.

So then drunk munchies lead to Burger King chicken tenders and fries. Oops.

I hope you had a fun, albeit more healthier Saturday too!

Day Seven ~ Vegan Challenge

Sorry about the delay on day 7! And to think I had just mentioned I’d be better at posting. Whoops!

Day 7

Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Quinoa Pesto and Vegetables and Sweet Potato Veggie Burger (if you have any left) or some fresh veggies and 2 Tbsp hummus as a side 8 oz of water
Afternoon A handful of almonds and an apple OR Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (recipe to come) 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Black Bean Veggie Burgers from my Whole Food Life (noticing a trend? I love her recipes!) 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had 2 slices of whole wheat toast with almond butter and banana slices. Seriously, can’t get enough of it. It’s like dessert to me now. My, how times have changed. Have I said this before? Déjà vu!

For lunch I had some of the leftover Quinoa Pesto with Vegetables. Pretty good the next day! I was still a little hungry afterwards so I ate a leftover Sweet Potato Veggie Burger as well with a little ketchup. I’m a fan.

pesto pasta and vegetables

Dinner turned out tasty! I actually cut the recipe in half just because the extra black beans I had cooked back when I made the Black Beans and Rice only measured out to be roughly one can instead of two (I’ve started buying dried beans because they’re cheaper and easy to make, just time consuming because of the over night soaking). But I was still able to make 8 patties! They seemed pretty mushy as a mix (maybe I should have added less milk) but an hour in the oven firmed them up. They were still pretty soft though. I ate mine with ketchup and mustard and a roll. Crumbling them up over a salad with some salsa would be really good! Ooohhh total lunch idea!

Black Bean veggie burger

It doesn’t look the prettiest  but it tasted so good!

black bean veggie burger

Today was a rest day for exercise. Just do some stretching and maybe go for a walk! I went walking around campus for classes, does that count?

Who’s seen some weight loss or changes yet? This completes the first week now. I’ve lost 1.5 lbs! I’m feeling pretty good. I love all of the tasty recipes but I could be doing better on exercise. I need some more cardio I think. I’ll try to incorporate that more into this next week.

Day Six ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 6
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Spinach salad (what you had for dinner last night); or left over Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers if you have any; or Mock Tuna Salad 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have an apple or celery with 2 Tbsp of nut butter or a Larabar 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Quinoa Pesto with Vegetables from My Whole Food Life. Feel free to just use quinoa instead of quinoa pasta or whole grain pasta 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had oatmeal with cinnamon, banana slices and pecans. Yummy!

For lunch I went with both a small spinach salad, and a veggie burger. It was a delicious combination.

The pesto and vegetables turned out pretty good for dinner. I ended up heating the tomatoes too with the broccoli and spinach. If you’re a non-vegan, a little parmesan would probably be tasty with it.

pesto pasta and vegetables

For my exercise I did the final fifth day of the Five Day Workout Plan. Now after the fifth day, take a rest day or two and then start all over again.

Day 5 Five Day Workout Plan

This one will give you abs of steel. But first it will make your abs sore! I need a nice ab stretch sesh afterwards. Feel free to add some cardio as well!

So classes have resumed today for the semester. I can’t believe I’m onto my second semester of grad school already! But don’t worry, I’m making an effort to time manage so I don’t fall short blogging again. Hopefully!

Day Five ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 5
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with an avocado or ketchup and a side of fresh veggies with 2 TBsp hummus 8 oz of water
Afternoon For a snack make a fruit smoothie 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Spinach Salad with slices of cucumber; yellow squash; diced Roma tomatoes; black olives and balsamic vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

I chose oatmeal for my breakfast and topped it with cinnamon, strawberries, and pecans. Oatmeal never gets old for me. And it’s so filling!

I had another sweet potato veggie burger for lunch today. This time with 1/2 Tbsp ketchup. I actually liked that more than the avocado. Must be the corn syrup 😛

For dinner I went with a simple classic: salad. Admittedly, having no feta just seemed wrong, but it was still full of flavor. Plus, I needed an easy way to use up more of my tomatoes.

I continued my workout trend with the next segment of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Day Four Five Day Workout Plan

I used those 10 lb weights again except for the Reverse Fly. The link above has descriptions for some of the exercises. I didn’t do the reverse pushup because I was too lazy to get under the table to do it, which is really the only place in my apartment that it will work. If you’re at the gym, the bar that goes over benches is the easiest for reverse pushups, or just simply do pull-ups (if you can!).

After my workout, I indulged in a smoothie for my snack. I blended up a banana, 5 strawberries, a handful of fresh spinach, half a cup of almond milk and half a cup of orange juice.

fruit smoothie