Breakfast Routine

A while ago, I wrote about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I still strongly believe that. If I don’t eat breakfast, I’m done. Nothing gets done. I can’t function. So, this week, I’m re-evaluating my relationship with food and I’m making some changes, including meal planning, eating more protein heavy foods and committing to staying within a specific range of calories. It’s been a rough few weeks and I feel myself falling apart as a result. Hence the reevaluation.

Anyway, to my point – I’m trying a different breakfast routine this week. Because of my work schedule, it’s not feasible to cook a full blown breakfast before my commute to work so I have to find convenient alternatives that can either be eaten at my desk at work or on the drive in the work. So, for the last couple weeks, I’ve been eating a banana and enjoying a nutlabel-2238574Special K Red Berries ProKelloggsSpecialKProteinBreakfastShakeRedBerries_1135315tein Shake. I was apprehensive about the shake at first, but have you ever had Nestle Strawberry milk? It tastes EXACTLY like that. YUM! With 180 calories and 10g of protein, I don’t think you can really go wrong here. The problem, however, was that it didn’t fill me and left me hungry again within 30 minutes or so.  So, I started pairing it with two bananas. That actually made a big difference in my level of hunger.but from a calorie perspective it was crazy high in calories and sugar. Plus, bananas get so smushy and bruised so easily that they weren’t too fun to eat sometimes.

So, fast forward to today. I’ve seen these Emerald Breakfast On The Go Yogurt Bites at the grocery store before but never tried them because I couldn’t comprehend how one little package of granola covered in yogurt could be considered breakfast. Maybe it’s my southern living. Breakfast is biscuits, eggs, bacon and hash browns, not yogurt dipped granola.

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But I gave in and tried it. And they were actually really good! They were sweet and crunchy and the bites of dried fruit made it that much better. They reminded me of a version of Jordan Almonds (and I love Jordan Almonds). I also thought they would be pretty small but I was pleasantly surprised by the size of them! The sugar count is still pretty high but I feel a lot more satisfied (from a hunger perspective) with these combined with the Special K shake and one banana.

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Overall, I’m making changes and finding what works for me. Remember, what works for me may not necessarily work for you so be sure to find your fit.

Next time, I’ll tell you about lunch. That can be a pretty big pain point for me.

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Screwed Up Routines

I hate when my routines get changed. It freaking throws everything off. I had a super busy week at work and at home. I ran out of protein powder and didn’t have time or energy to cook proper meals. I had pizza TWICE and way too many carbs/sweets in general. I feel completely discouraged because the week was so bad.

I have to work this weekend as well and have yet another busy few days ahead of me. Then…vacation. Seven glorious days away from home, without work and far fewer responsibilities. But it also means seven days of eating out, resisting temptations and lots of laziness.

I need to pick myself up out of this rut, get my butt back on the wagon and keep on trucking. I will not let this week of poor focus get me down! It’s time to Refocus, Refresh, Recharge and Restart!

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

Ever since I was a kid, as long as I can remember, I refuse to go a day without breakfast. Whether it’s a bowl of cereal, some eggs or a fruit smoothie, I consume some sort of breakfast every day.

Studies have shown that this isn’t just something our mothers would tell us to get us to clean our plates. Breakfast is actually important. According to WebMd, “Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal, or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger.” When I don’t have breakfast, I get hangry…fast. Without breakfast, I eat a lot more for lunch and dinner, graze more on unhealthy snacks and am overall not a pleasant person to be around.

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In the last month, since my focus has been weight loss, it’s important that my breakfast is healthy while at the same time, filling so that I don’t binge eat later in the day. The problem is that most days I have to be at work at 6 am. Who wants to eat a heavy breakfast that early in the morning? I know I don’t. The solution that I found that works best for me is a protein shake breakfast.

Now, before you make faces and stick out your tongue because you think it’s gross, it’s really not all that bad. It took a lot of trial and error to finally find one that had great taste combined with a high protein/low carbohydrate content. My protein of choice is Dymatize Nutrition Elite Gourmet in Vanilla Creme.

proteinI love the diversity of the vanilla flavor. Anything can be added to it to give it a different taste depending on your mood. Generally, I use the same blend daily with slight variations in ingredient amounts:

– 1 cup Silk unsweetened plain Almond Milk (30 calories);

– 1 cup frozen mixed fruit (60 calories per 3/4 cup);

– 1 scoop protein powder (125 calories);

– 1 tablespoon of Nutella (100 calories).

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 12.49.39 PMBlend until smooth. The yield is about 12 ounces or so of smoothie and I may add an ounce or so more of milk if the results are too thick. This can happen if I get more of the larger pieces of fruit.

Surprisingly, the shake keeps me pretty full for about 4 or 5 hours which means a smaller lunch and an afternoon snack before I head home from work.

There’s a basic formula to making a smoothie – fruit, a liquid and a flavor. I’ve never considered doing more than that in my shakes but I came across a pretty helpful graphic on Pinterest that may open up what I do with my shakes.The basic formula is there but with a couple others added – Fruit, base (e.g. almond milk), thicken (my husband’s choice is peanut butter), flavor (herbs or spices), power boost (protein, vitamins etc.).

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I love cinnamon and nutmeg and I’ve never considered adding them to my smoothies. Looks like there will be some experimentation in my future 🙂

When I’m not in a rush, my go to breakfast is a couple large eggs scrambled with an entire green bell pepper with salt and pepper to taste. If I have it, sometimes I’ll add a little Canadian bacon (surprisingly low calorie) to the mix. Something else that I’ve tried is a bacon frittata in the slow cooker. It wasn’t the healthiest because I literally put an ENTIRE pack of bacon in it, but dang it, it was tasty!

So, tell me. What’s your breakfast of choice?

Another day, another effort.

I’ve been gradually working on managing my food intake, especially how many carbs I’m consuming. I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job. My day usually consists of a protein shake with frozen fruit for breakfast, a sweet potato for lunch and something quick and carb free (if possible) for dinner. Tonight I had scrambled eggs with bell peppers and shrimp. Oh, and a banana as a pre-workout snack.

I went for a walk this afternoon as well. 1.83 miles, pushing the stroller, in 40 minutes. I averaged about 21 minutes a mile which is about 3 minutes slower than my regular pace but I had a headache and had just gotten home from work. I’m glad I went for the walk though. I felt pretty relaxed afterward, despite the persistent headache.

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Lost Memories Trying to be Found

I spent a good portion of time this morning going through my Aperture photo library and adding keywords to pictures. One of the keywords I used most often was “Progress”. You can probably deduce that this keyword was being applied to past (and current) weight loss progress photos.

As I looked back on the photos, I realized how much had changed. In 2008, my weight ballooned and that’s when I initially did something about it. For me, that “something” was getting a prescription for Phentermine and using the energy from the medication to fuel ridiculous workouts while suppressing my appetite. Of course, I lost in the vicinity of 50 pounds in about 4 months or so. It was amazing. But, then my back gave out and the 50 pounds was back with a vengeance. And it brought friends.

When my back gave out, I was pretty much incapacitated for over a year, and that resulted in weight gain. I finally had surgery in June 2010 and once I was able to walk and move freely again, the weight fell off. I went from about 215 lbs to about 185, give or take 5 pounds thanks to regular walking and Weight Watchers.

It works! It just costs money :-/

Again, I was ecstatic. But, I got lazy. No real excuse this time, and I gained all the

weight back. I also had to cancel my WW membership due to a lack of funds.

Now, it’s 2012. At my worst, I was 235 pounds. I’ve been trying to work on this since the beginning of the year and I’ve lost a whopping 20 lbs. (Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?) Now, granted, I did complete my first 5K and I’ve been working diligently on getting into some measure of shape with the C25K program, but I can’t help but be somewhat frustrated with myself when I look back on pictures from 2008 or 2010 because I made so much progress and I can’t seem to recreate it and hold on to it.

I wanna look AWESOME naked!

But everyday is a new beginning. I’m slowly getting the hang of this and soon I’ll have the results I’ve had before and I’ll hold on to them this time.

A Little Disappointed/Ode to Daft Punk

Almost 8 weeks ago, I became a runner. Now, you’re probably thinking “One does not simply become a runner. One must endure vigorous training before one can truly be a runner”. Uh, no. Seven and a half weeks ago, I started the C25K program using the app on my iPhone. This was my second attempt at the program. My first attempt was on the treadmill and was a fail but I can’t remember why now. The reason will come back to me soon. Anyway, I registered for The Color Run, launched the app and got to running. Outside. On the pavement. Completely different experience from running on the treadmill.

Anyway, week by week I got better.

Faster.

Stronger.

Ok, maybe not faster or stronger, but I got better. I was eventually able to run 25 minutes straight on November 1st. Big achievement for me! Then I ran 28 minutes (with a 1 minute and 47 second break) yesterday. Today, I donned my sneakers, hoodie and tights and ventured out into the damp 42˚ morning to run before work.

And I ran…for 10 minutes.

Yeah, from 28 minutes yesterday to 10 minutes today.

My leg muscles cussed me out and my shins began to ache.

I started walking.

Needless to say, I’m a little disappointed in myself. I have another 5K in 12 days and I need to be sure that I can run the entire thing, for my own satisfaction. And that means training vigorously until the big day. On the other hand, I need to know my limits because if I hurt myself, I won’t be running AT ALL. But still, I’m disappointed because I’ve come so far in the running journey and I’ve felt super proud of myself up ’til this point, only to have a bit of a setback. But it’s not going to stop me. Tomorrow, I go to work early so when I get home from work, I’ll probably take a walk and then on Thursday, I’ll attempt W8, D2 again.

QOTD

Days off aren’t really days off…C25K, chores and more…

Today has been the busiest day off ever. Thanks to DST, I’m super rested, having gotten an extra hour of sleep so I was up a lot earlier than I usually am on a day like today. Started the day with Week 8, Day 1 of C25K (the best running program out there), worked up a nice sweat and then got home to clean house, do laundry, cook dinner, tend to the pets amongst other things…the list goes on and on, trust me.

Why can’t a day off just be a day where I can sit on my couch, relax, watch some TV or chill with a good book? It never happens. But, at the same time, if I had a day off where I had nothing at all to do, I probably would still be in bed and would never have gone for my run.

Speaking of runs, week 8, day 1 consists of a 5 minute warm up walk followed by 28 minutes of running and a 5 minute cool down walk. I actually walked a couple minutes extra at the end so in 41 minutes and 28 seconds I completed 2.43 miles at an average pace of 17 minutes and 4 seconds per mile and an average speed of 3.5 mph. According to the Runtastic app, I burned 554 calories but the Nike+ Running app said I burned 309. I don’t know which one to believe. I paused twice for a total of 1 minute and 43 seconds.

I guess I’m secretly thankful for busy days off.

Back to the chores I go. Next on the list? Folding laundry. Worst chore ever.