Wanna be a Superhero??? Try a Superhero workout.

I love superheroes – Superman, Wonderwoman, Thor (heeeeeey Thor!). Batman and Ironman are ok. Being rich enough to buy your superherodom is not the same as being a legit superhero. Anyway, point is, I love superheroes and I think at some point in our lives, we all wanted to be a superhero. Or maybe you’re like me and you want to be a superhero NOW.

At 33.

Post baby.

Ain’t no shame in my game.

Well, what if I told you there was a way to achieve that? And we have Neila Rey to thank for that.

Thanks to the interwebs, I stumbled across the Batman workout a while ago and was intrigued by it. batman-workoutBut, I never did it. Why? Because I was lazy and didn’t think I could. But every now and again, it would pop back up and I’d bookmark a page or I’d pin it on a board in Pinterest, never to be seen again. Well, that is no more. I have started my journey.

I was looking for different home workouts that I could complete and again came across the Neila Ray name. So, I checked out the site and was overwhelmed with how many workouts were available. Batman, Thor, Wonder Woman, a guide to push ups, and, my ultimate choice – The Hero’s Journey. A 60 day plan. The description of the workout itself is motivating. It’s inspired by the “transformation from minion to master” and “totally transformative..When you have really traveled the hero’s path and have gone through your quest, you will have shed uncertainty, fear and doubt along with excess body weight. You will have forged a new character out of yourself, build strength and endurance and developed power.” I don’t know about you, but I want that in my life.

It’s been a week, and I feel great! My muscles are sore, but in a good . way. I’m losing weight and I’ve got more energy than I’ve had in a very long time. The exercises are all body weight exercises, requiring no equipment or gym, which is good because I’m too broke for the gym and I don’t have the time to fit the gym in. With this workout, I can fit sets in while the kiddo is eating dinner or zoned out Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I’m on a mission. I’ve got about 45 more pounds to lose and I hope to have it all gone by the end of summer. This workout and the corresponding diet/meal plan are going to help me achieve that. I recommend this to any and everyone who wants to make changes and maybe has limited time and money. This was FREE and super effective. At the end of the 60 days, I know there will be changes and I can’t wait.

I’ve finally found what works for me. Thank you Neila Rey.

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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.

Food Tracking: Tedious or Necessary?

Lately, I’ve been having the hardest time tracking my calories. December 9th was the last time I tracked my caloric intake in its entirety. I can’t seem to figure out why, though. One day, I just…stopped. Since lapsing in my tracking, I’ve tried to continue to practice good habits but I’ve found that I care less about what and how much I eat. I’ve not gone overboard or anything, but the lack of care is there. I don;t know why I’m having this issue. Maybe tracking is just tiresome now, especially when I eat pretty much the same darn thing every day.

Studies have shown that food tracking helps you lose weight because it helps keep you accountable and aware of everything you’re putting into your mouth. Over the course of 6 months, people who tracked their calories lost, on average, 13 pounds. I know that when I track my calories, I’m a whole lot more aware of how many calories I’m taking in (who knew that Venti Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks had 310 calories and 56g of sugar?!) and tend to make better decisions in the future, like ordering items with sugar free sweeteners, ordering vegetables instead of french fries and having water with lemon with my meals as opposed to soda.

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I’ve tried to follow the general tips for tracking – tracking as I go, measuring all the food I track, trying different methods until I found the tracking method that works for me (I tried books, different apps etc. until I settled on LoseIt), keeping track of all my days, even the cheat days and, cooking at home rather than eating out, since we all know that eating out costs more calories (and money) than cooking at home does – but I still have trouble. I’m thinking if I add more variety to my meals that tracking will become interesting again. Maybe it’s the interest in finding out how many calories are in different foods. Maybe it’s finding out that food that I thought was good for me was actually bad and vice versa. Who knows.

Starting January 1st, I’ll pick back up on my tracking, but I still need to figure out what I need to do to make this less tedious.

Any tips?

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?