diet

Sunday Summary: The Green Smoothies continue…

Hello peeps! Short and sweet this week.

So I finished the 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse last wednesday and dropped 10 lbs. in 10 days. Pretty sweet. I am following it up with 1-2 smoothies a day and low carb meals, and I am allowing myself three cheats per week.

Yesterday I went to the movies to watch Tomorrowland (fantastic by the way) and had a small popcorn and a diet coke (cheat #1). Today I had breakfast at my favorite breakfast joint (Le Peep) and had pancakes (cheat #2). YUM! But my other meals have been green smoothies and salads.

Today’s Awesome Smoothie¬†was very yummy and included

  • 1 1/2 cups Spinach
  • 2/3 cup purified water
  • 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup mango
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds

I can’t recommend this book enough. I love that JJ Smith keeps it real and I’ve discovered a world of smoothie options that I didn’t know existed. I already made two converts. ūüėÄ This is the perfect time of the year (in the northern hemisphere) to do this. If you’ve been looking for a plan to jumpstart your weightloss journey or get back on it, I sincerely recommend you give this a shot.

Weekly Words of Wisdom

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Sunday Summary: Day 7

Hello peeps!

I hope you’ve been having a fantastic week. I’ve been busy… but I can’t tell you why. Hopefully I’ll be on a sharing mood soon. :mrgreen:

Today I just wanted to let you know (and keep it on¬†the record) that I’ve made it to Day 7 of JJ Smith’s 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. WOOHOO!

10dayI got to be honest. It’s been a little trying but only a little. I am actually pretty happy with how well I have been doing. For those of you not familiar with this program, it’s a 10-day plan in which every day you have the same smoothie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (there are 10 different smoothies). The smoothies are mainly made of 2-3 cups of dark leafy greens (spinach, spring mix, kale), and fruit. In the morning you start with a cup of detox tea (I use Yogi) and lots of water (or herbal tea) throughout the day. You are also allowed to eat crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots; and nuts and peanuts as long as they are raw and natural; and hard-boiled eggs (random?). I’ve calculated my daily calorie intake at around 1200 (the smoothies take about half of that). It also says that you should have up to three bowel movements a day and to help yourself with Salt Water Flush or MagO7, but I’m not doing this, I’m letting nature do it’s thing.

So, Day 7… I’m down 7.6 lbs. which is great but I had gained about 15 lbs. since my lowest point and although I am super happy I am aware that there is much work yet to be done. But I’m liking this. I can see continuing with 1-2 smoothies a day and yummy salads with protein.

I am usually very skeptical about these programs but this one is pretty doable; mostly, because you do get to eat something in between. I admit that I don’t follow it completely and have “cheated” with avocado and oranges which are not on the list but I don’t think they’ve done much harm. JJ Smith also manages a super encouraging Facebook group that I recommend you check out if you are wondering how other people do on this.

That’s it for now…
Weekly Words of Wisdom

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good advice ūüėČ
and thanks for stopping by.

Monday: Here we go again…

Hello peeps! How’s your Monday going? Hopefully well. Me? Well… I’m trying not to be disappointed with the scale and focus on the non-scale victories instead (it is so hard). Tomorrow is my official weigh-in day for Dietbet and I’m going to lose the round… AGAIN! ūüė• Fortunately, I have lost enough to qualify for the last round so here we go.

Today I start a 15-day¬†Healthy Holiday Challenge on Facebook that is organized for free by my virtual coach Lucia Targett¬†and it’s a fun way to stay accountable during these tempting times. The rules are pretty simple (click on the image to join):

hhc

DAILY POSTS: I love that I have a place to check in everyday without flooding my own page.

THE WORKOUT PLAN:¬†I’m keeping it simple and trying to meet my regular weekly target of 6-10 hours of exercise. This usually means going to the gym at least five days.

EAT CLEAN:¬†I’m pretty good as long as I prepare my meals and avoid eating out. I have a dinner with friends tomorrow and will probably eat out over the weekend but I’ll stick to healthy choices and minimize the outings these next 15 days. I am also lowering my sodium intake. I hope¬†that does the trick.

And of course the most fun: BEING ENCOURAGED AND ENCOURAGING.

Alright! So this is the plan… now let’s make it work. Today I started out with a fruity/nutty breakfast; lunch was black beans, with ground turkey and veggies, half an avocado, and a tablespoon of grated parmesan; and my snack was a handful of almonds with dark chocolate. I’m now heading to the gym for an hour of zumba followed by an hour of barre… my regular Monday workout. Dinner will be protein granola with almond milk and a cup of green tea before bed. That should do it. ūüėÄ

Come back tomorrow for a new Dietbet Update (Round 5).
It’s not going to be pretty but it should be fun.

WIAW on Tuesday (eating out)

As a general rule I don’t like to compromise too much when I eat out. Yesterday, my book club gals and I held a White Elephant party at a local Italian restaurant. Since this was an extra special occasion I gave myself permission to eat freely. Here’s how I¬†prepare ahead of time anytime¬†I eat out:

  1. Get some tips on what to try and what to avoid: I took a look at the American Heart Association website and found these tips for eating Italian food.
  2. Check the menu online beforehand and make a plan. I decided I would have chicken scallopine (with Artichoke hearts, mushrooms, smoked pancetta, and lemon butter), skip the alcohol, and that I would probably have the tiramisu.

I pretty much stuck to the plan but the waitress made a mistake and split my tiramisu in half so I gave it to a friend in exchange for half of her chocolate cake. #sorrynotsorry (although I was a little sorry later)

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So… OK… I really didn’t follow much of the AHA’s recommendations and unfortunately I paid the price. The food was amazing but it didn’t go down so well. I woke up around 4 am with what felt like a mild gallbladder attack and by 7 am decided to go ahead and take a shot of apple cider vinegar diluted in water followed by a fruity breakfast. Thankfully I was feeling better within the hour but I’ve had to spend the day eating fruits and nuts and drinking green tea and lots of water. As I am writing this I am still feeling a little uncomfortable and I hope that the gym will help tonight.

Lesson learned! Next time I will go with the piccata instead and only have half a dessert (if that) – The AHA recommends skipping the creamy desserts and choosing italian ice instead but this restaurant didn’t have that option. I will be much more careful next time. I have also noticed that fatty dinners are much more troublesome than fatty lunches so I will need to keep this in mind in the future.

Nonetheless I had a great time with my book club friends and got a lot of compliments on my outfit which is always nice. On the note, I just have to share that the blouse I wore had been in the closet for over two years. I finally like how it looks on me. The pants are size 10. And most surprising of all, the blazer is my mother’s, size small (petite). I really loved how I looked. ūüėÄ

Here are a few pictures (click to enhance) before heading out, enjoying the festivities, and finally with the gift I brought home.

whiteelephant

So all in all… I can’t complain ūüôā

Do you prepare before eating out?
If so, share your tips in the comments.

Meatless Monday: Detox Menu

Sorry for the late post peeps but I really wanted to leave proof of today’s progress.

OK… so last weekend (starting Thursday) was really bad… like… really really bad. I woke up today and weighed-in at 167.8 lbs. I need to weight 163 to win this month’s dietbet (weigh-in on Thursday). I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed but I’m gonna try to swim out to it and who knows, maybe I’ll make it. Could happen, right?

Inspired by¬†POPSUGAR’s Fall Detox Menu, today¬†went like this:IMG_1981

  • Green tea and lemon
  • Protein Granola, Almond Milk, Banana
  • Vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwich
  • Apple and Almond Butter
  • Green tea

I did an hour of zumba and an hour of barre and kept somewhat active all day. I’m pretty happy with today. Let’s rinse and repeat. Hope you enjoyed this Meatless Monday and Columbus Day (for those of you in the world that celebrate it). Actually, I am not sure we should celebrate but I always like to think about the road not taken and as much as the Spanish intervention brought perhaps more bad than good to the region, I can’t help but wonder where we would be if Columbus had never made it here. It could certainly be worst (I’m an eternal optimist). Anyhow… something to think about.

What I ate Wednesday

My grocery shopping pattern goes like this: right after payday I buy everything and a week after I do a small purchase to replenish fruits and veggies. Being on a tight budget is rough so you can expect that the few days before payday I’m short on a few things, mainly my favorite items,¬†and have to get creative.¬†Don’t take me wrong, it’s not that I don’t have food, I’m just usually out of my most used or favorite ones.

IMG_1711IMG_1712This morning, I made a pretty weak smoothie for breakfast with the last bit of frozen fruit and a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Of course that was not enough so later on I also had a handful of walnuts (I’m all out of almonds) and raisins, and a piece of milk¬†chocolate that I picked up at a meeting last night.

For lunch I had my super awesomely made ground turkey which I normally eat as part of a taco-less salad but I’m out of lettuce and avocado so instead I paired it with a cabbage salad, and¬†arepa which is basically Venezuelan bread, a biscuit-type thing made of precooked-corn flour.

IMG_1713I don’t really have a formal recipe for my ground turkey but this is how I make it: For a typical package of ground turkey (a little over a pound), I stirfry 2 carrots cut in tiny pieces, 1/2 onion chopped, 3 garlic cloves minced, 1/3 pepper (any color) chopped in 1-2 tbsp of EVOO. Once it’s fragrant (about 5 minutes) I add the turkey, and spices (I used cumin) and let it cook. Once I see that all the turkey is cooked I add an 8 oz. can of no-salt-added tomato sauce, let it simmer for 20 minutes or until it’s drying but not too much. This whole thing yields 4-6 portions and it’s really low on sodium.¬†If you end up trying this,¬†adjust to your taste.

IMG_1714It was a good lunch that required no afternoon snack. After a 2-hour session at the gym and a shower, I had a cup of cheerios which I was happy were not stale. I bought them a while back but have since been eating high-protein granola instead, but I’m out or granola so cheerios it is. 2/3 cup of cheerios, 1 tbsp of dried cranberries, and¬†1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk.

As I finish this post I’m sipping on a nice cup of green tea and about to pick up my next book on my reading list: Plato and a Platypus walk into a bar. I hope it’s a good one.

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What did you have today? ūüėÄ

Foodie Friday: My Grocery List & Meal Plan Ideas

Hello peeps! (scroll down for the links)

People often ask me what I eat so for those who wonder I’ve decided to share my grocery list and a sample 3-day meal plan. Please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist or dietician. This is what I have learned works for me. Most of the food decisions I make are based on books, magazine articles, and blogs I have read; info forms given by my doctors; and soundbites of advice I have heard from other people on a similar journey, and TV and radio shows.¬†This is NOT meant as a guide for anyone but my hope is that you’ll find something here that can help or inspire you.¬†

When I started this journey I thought I knew what to eat and I wasn’t completely off but there was (and still is) plenty of room for improvement. I started with a pretty typical diet menu: low-fat cheese and turkey ham sandwich for breakfast, a piece of fruit for a snack, some form of protein, salad, and small portion of starch for lunch, maybe another piece of fruit mid-afternoon, cereal and low-fat milk for dinner, and a cup of tea before bed. That was the routine and it got old pretty fast.

Little by little I started to discover new foods and new recipes. My injury in March made me increase my berries and nuts consumption as these are foods that enable muscle recovery. I gave up dairy shortly after for a variety of reasons. It was an experiment at first and while I now consume some dairy every now and then, I mostly avoid it. That changed my eating a lot. Currently, a typical day looks like this: Smoothie and nuts, or eggs, avocado, and salsa for breakfast; fish, chicken, or beans for lunch with something green; granola, almond milk, apple, nut butter, and dark chocolate for dinner; snacks as needed.

The biggest lesson I have learned is that not all calories are created equal, as not all fats, carbs, and protein are created equal either. I consume a lot of fat mainly from olive oil, avocado, and nuts. I consume a good amount of carbs from fruits and some from starchy vegetables like sweet potato, potato, corn, cassava, and plantain, and try to limit my consumption of rice, pasta, and bread. I eat a lot of white and fatty fish such as tilapia, salmon, and tuna; I also have turkey, usually ground, and chicken but much less so than fish. I have learned to like a wider selection of vegetables and learned to reduce my salt intake by taking advantage of fresh and dry herbs and spices (Mrs. Dash is amazing). This is what I have learned little by little over the last year of change and there is still much to learn, I know that.

We must think of our bodies as what they are, a complex arrangement of cells that need food to function. Unfortunately for those of us in the US we’ve been duped by the Standard American Diet, appropriately abbreviated S.A.D. ūüė¶ , which tends to be unbalanced, too high on saturated fats and sugar.

bon_appetit_in_many_different_languages_typography_sticker-r8a48e2d356c14e19a98c55af47968083_v9waf_8byvr_512Many people usually say “I just enjoy (fill in with sinful food choice) too much and cannot give it up.” Don’t! I love pizza and I love chinese food. I have them each once a month or less. My absolute worst food choice is chicken wings so I have those only a handful of times a year. I also enjoy everything I eat every day. I love my smoothies, baked falafel, spinach pesto, fish dishes, nighttime granola, etc. If you are not enjoying what you’re eating, you’re doing it wrong.

Alright, here it is:

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll get a glimpse of my meals and click here for all my previous posts with recipes or links to recipes.¬†Bon appetit.