The “Cheat Meal”

Another week, another 2 pounds down. Feeling strong!

One thing to keep in mind about Weight Watchers or healthy eating in general, is that it’s not so much a temporary fix. I know people like quick fixes to lose weight fast, but sustainable weight loss requires a lifetime of choices.

This weekend, I went to the beach with family and had an indulgent meal followed by an ice cream. I don’t eat that way every day, but once a week makes a big difference in my perspective.

Eating real food with few fake or shady ingredients is important, but if you enjoy something, it should never be off limits. You just have to learn how to eat them in moderation. Easier said then done, but do something long enough, it does become habit.

Just like I need a rest day once a week, I also need a meal or two where I’m not counting calories or points, or wondering the ratio between carbs, proteins, and fats. Sometimes that meal turns into a week of meals, but know it’s never too late to return to healthier ways. Being super restrictive leads to resentment, which blocks success.

I don’t know if we should label anything the “cheat meal” because ice cream for me is just as important to my diet as baby spinach. I eat a lot more baby spinach per week, but it keeps me determined and successful. Referring to something as cheating provides further negative connotation to food, which our society does not need. We need to stop shaming people based on their habits, but try to promote better habits. Eating, for me at least, is an enjoyable part of life, whether it’s breakfast in the middle of a hectic morning or Thanksgiving dinner. I enjoy it now more than I did when I was obese and eating a lot more. Part of that is I’ve come to like cooking, but another part of it is coming to accept the fact that we need food to live.

I’m not a proponent of many diets, fasts, or cleanses (although different things work for different people). Learning to eat real food most of the time just has better lasting effects and makes you feel better inside, which is most important.

Keep being you!

meal prep for early mornings

When you wake up to work at 5am (not every day, luckily), it’s pertinent to be organized. I’m a girl who has to eat almost right away in the morning and I try never to miss breakfast because it’s my favorite meal of the day, but also, it’s good for you.

There are few things in the world I enjoy more than a warm, filling breakfast in the morning, but sometimes, you need to prepare a meal on the go.

I pulled out this old bento box and made it work. I need enough food to fuel me through the morning and then a workout.

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On one side, I snagged two zucchini egg-muffins, a cheesestick, and berries.

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The other included one pumpkin muffin, yogurt, almonds, and grapes.

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All filling and satisfying.

While working, it’s important that I have enough food, that it’s healthy food, but also that the food is transportable and fine to eat in-between moments of work and free-time.

New Hair Debut

So apparently I’ve been dyeing my hair ALL wrong for months now. Coolio. Once you find the color you like, the hair stays that color and you only have to re-apply to the roots. How did I not know this? People probably know this, but not me. I’ve been fraying my hair, but it’s all good because I went to the hairdresser this morning and it looks much fresher. Phew!

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We are giving it a few weeks and then we are going to dye it blonde-blonde, no more red! I’m tired of people telling me I have strawberry blonde hair. It’s not what I want. The color actually looks better since cutting it too!

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Yesterday I had my uber long day and didn’t have time to post, but it was overall successful. I had a great workout on Monday working the triceps and chest, which are still sore, followed up by a much needed rest day on Tuesday. I’m gearing up for a leg-back day later on, which will be killer. The pyramid training is H-A-R-D, but fast-paced and I’m loving it!

I’m adding the challenge of leaving my hair down because it’s super cute right now, but I still need to workout. I think it’s short enough to not be a problem! Time will tell.

Foodwise, I’ve been good! Since noticing the changes already, I’ve found it easier to remain good. I no longer have the urge to reach into the candy bowl or indulge as much, which just goes to show how addictive sugar is and how strong our habits are. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it means habits can always be changed!

This, along with my new fab haircut, adds to my confidence and hope to only keep getting better! My kinda silly but kinda not goal is to wear a bikini for the first time since basically childbirth by the end of the summer. We’ll see!

I also got a bitmoji because I’m hip like that. I don’t know if it will work on here…

 

It doesn’t.

The Power of Tea (And Other Healthy Habits)

Brace yourselves, friends, because I’m fairly certain I’m jinxing myself with this post. Alas, I’m all about (or trying to be) sending positive thoughts into the universe, so we won’t even think of it in that way. Somehow we’ve made it to March, with all the weather ups and downs, without me getting sick.

I’ve had the sniffles for a day or two throughout the season, but I drank tea with lemon and honey and it never came into fruition!

Unfortunately, this post was inspired by my mom feeling under the weather with what she termed, ‘the man cold’, because she was up only long enough to walk the dog (good on her!) and enjoy this breakfast I made:

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To go along with the meal, I accompanied it with a warm mug of green tea with the secret ingredients to a healthy life. I’m not kidding, if there is one elixir for a healthy life (except for say, WATER), green tea would be it. Swirl a dash of honey and a spritz of lemon in there and you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned remedy.

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I know my good health fortune owes thanks to a few factors, steady and consistent exercise and a (for the most part) healthy diet included. But I cannot say enough about the health benefits of green tea. Partly this is thanks to the fact that I don’t have the patience to seep (HA!) through the science of it all, but there is science involved. It also helps that the only liquids I drink are water (drink more water!), tea (green tea, black tea, all the tea!), coffee (also proven to be healthy), and the occasional alcoholic beverage (red wine has antioxidants and tequila just loosens up everything!). Let’s try to focus more on the water, coffee, tea thing my friends.

It was during the Lenten season four years ago that I said goodbye to soda and I don’t even miss it anymore. I know that no one wants to hear it, and I kinda hate to say it, but soda is so so bad for you. Seltzer is only a sort of option because it has the fizz but it’s an acquired taste and won’t taste as satisfying as soda, at first! So, sorry, but cut it back, then cut it out and move on. Your tastebuds and your hot bod will thank you for it!

I will be the first to admit that my diet could use some tidying up (too much sugar!) and I’m working on that, but overall, I eat well. This means I eat a ton ton ton of fruits and veggies with every meal. Leafy greens in particular- give me all the spinach! Once again, we’re hit with all the science behind how important it is to eat those fruits and veggies, but rather than rant on and on about what I only know at a glance, I’ll say this: there are fun ways to eat those fruits and veggies and it can be fun to explore! However, if you don’t have the time, patience, or the care to do that exploring, then just eat the veggies plain, grilled, or roasted, but you still gotta eat them! Also, the more you eat them and move away from processed foods, the better they taste. Promise!

Moving onto exercise….I know I like and do exercise more than the average person and I’m not ashamed to say I’m proud of that. I didn’t wake up one day and decide it, I worked for that! Thing is, it’s a habit, just like so much else what we do in life and my day isn’t complete without it. Each day doesn’t have to be perfect, well-choreographed, and butt-kicking, but it should be done. Your body is stronger than you can even imagine and it yearns to be challenged, just as much as that mind. So work it! Exercise leads to healthy and healthy leads to happy. It’s one of those things you’ll look back later in life and think If I’d only done more….or If I only started then…or, I think you get the picture.

Unfortunate thing is, none of these alone or together are a cure all for anything. I’m just talking about staving off the cold or the flu and even if I follow all of these rules, those icky germs can still work their way into my system. But overall, doing these things will help a ton when it comes to recovery, emotional wellness, and physical health. And you will feel a heck of a lot better when you are healthy.

Just something to think about!

Have a great weekend everybody and-

Ugh….I just sneezed, but I don’t think it’s a thing…

 

Food Pics and Sweet Teeth Goodness

Poking my head in between work to share- I’ve got pictures of food! Starting with yesterday’s lunch of pulled pork made in the crockpot, a crab rangoon, mashed potatoes, zucchini, and spinach!

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Next came last night’s dinner eaten between training sessions. It was a Greek yogurt and granola parfait mixed with lots of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries!

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Moving on to this morning’s breakfast. It’s National Pancake Day and International Women’s Day, so you better believe I woke up celebrating!

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I am actively in the process of now trying to lose weight, which pretty much means I’m paying a lot more attention to what I’m eating. I have a raging sweet tooth, which is nobody’s friend, so I’ve had to be conscious of everything I put into my mouth. I’ve also given up alcohol for a bit- starting yesterday- because that’s an easy sacrifice for me to make. I don’t drink a ton, but I’ve been going out more recently.

When it comes to sweets, I don’t like to deprive myself, so I’ve been trying to think of the best way to incorporate them into my healthy diet. On Sunday, I read an article on Buzzfeed about some long-term weight loss tips and one of them was to manage sweets as though they were another meal. This doesn’t mean to eat that many calories in a meal, but I like the idea of knowing I can have something every day, while being conscious of when and what that treat is.

For example, last night, I packed a few Hershey Miniatures into my dinner bag to enjoy at some point during work. As it turns out, I didn’t end up eating them because I didn’t feel like it- AN ODDITY, trust me!- but just knowing I could eat them, guilt free, was satisfying. For sure, the biggest thing for me is to stop picking at sweet things throughout the day, a bad habit I got into over the past few months. I don’t eat my breakfast, lunch, or dinner that way- unless I’m working and have to spread things out, but then I have it all planned out carefully- so I decided to make my treats that way too.

Overall, my eating habits are fairly healthy, so I know what I have to cut back on and change and I think this will set me up for success. Sugar is addictive and delicious, but it’s not the end all be all!

If I Showed You My Flaws, If I Couldn’t Be Strong…

Last night, I had to run on the treadmill. I suppose I could have waited until the sun went down, but there was a Yoga class I wanted to attend and I love Yoga best after a strong run. The treadmill actually wasn’t all that bad and I kept a steady pace for 15 minutes, walked for 5 minutes on a high incline, ran for another 15 minutes at a slightly faster clip, walked for 5 minutes on a high incline, then ran for 10 minutes at an even faster pace. This kept things from growing boring along with a fun playlist. Currently, I am obsessed with R. City’s song with Adam Levine, Locked Away. I cooled down for a two minute walk before hopping off and heading down to Yoga.

I got home to find my brother and his girlfriend had made dinner. I guess Jimmy and Cait had tried coconut shrimp out at a restaurant and they wanted to recreate the meal. I was a little suspicious when they kept asking me about how to cook the shrimp, and I was working out during the preparation stages, but the end product was delicious. Anything with coconut is delicious. I paired my shrimp with a cup of pasta that looks overflowing on my plate and broccoli and peppers.

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I woke up this morning with a hankering for some pancakes. They were thick and fluffy and delicious with some peanut butter and jelly on top! There’s also nothing quite like summer fruit, especially of the berry variety.

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As I’m reflecting back past my California vacation (I miss it!), I’m realizing that my meals haven’t been as healthy as usual and I’m not feeling my regular strong and happy self. I know this tends to happen to me when I lose a sense of regular routine, which is already a product of summer. It’s been an odd summer with leaving my job and starting a new one that doesn’t have a 9-5 schedule (and believe me, I’m not complaining- to say that I made the right choice is an understatement), heading out for vacation, and trying to form a new schedule. Plus, the need for ice cream all the time is real 24/7.

It doesn’t help that my brain tends to want to write late at night when I know I should be in bed, but I also don’t want to break my flow. I think I just need to learn to live with a bit more flexibility and gain control not through relying on structure and routine, but on myself to be able to adapt to changes better. There are so many factors I will never be able to control, but the way I eat and take care of my body is definitely my own prerogative. Let’s take it one meal at a time, listen to my body’s signals, and how I feel after I eat.

About 90% of the time, I love exercising. I know I’m a bit of a freak in that regard, but when I’m at the gym, I feel my most powerful, I get in my zone, and it heals me. It’s a hassle that when it comes to losing weight and living healthy, about 70% of it is all about what you eat. I love to eat and for the most part, I eat really well, but when I don’t, I can’t just fix it with exercise (at least not like when I first started to lose weight). This all goes to show that I really do need to get back into the kitchen and spend the time I need to create healthy, nutritious, filling meals.

Fall’s the perfect time for that! But don’t worry, there’s no need to wait.

Habits and the Power of Mindfulness

Hello, my name is Caitlin and it has been four days since I last dipped into the candy bowl. It’s become more of a habit than anything else. I get that it’s a delightful treat once in awhile, but I was starting to eat candy I don’t even like- ie, not chocolate! I’m being better about remaining more mindful and maintaining a positive attitude. This has helped keep me more consistent in my writing as well. The power of habit is all the same, we just have to tap into it.

There’s something about a walk on a warm, breezy day that is just good for the soul. This is especially true after a long, trafficky ride home from work. I racked up to extra miles for my day’s exercise as well. I suppose just the fact that the sun is shining down is enough.

My morning workout began with a body strength workout. I went through a circuit of squats, lunges, kickbacks, tricep dips, step ups, mountain climbers, push ups, mermaid raises, Russian twists, hip lifts, bicycle crunches, and v ups. I ran through it four times and was nice and sweaty by the time I was heading for the pool. I swam a mile in about 43 minutes and it took a few minutes to adjust to being out of the water when I finished. I can’t get over how much I adore swimming, but I also can’t write this post without mentioning this man who took up an entire lane and didn’t swim one lap. He just chilled there. It was lap time!

Breakfast was a chilled overnight oatmeal that hit the spot. For an guitar fruity kick, I ate some blueberries and raspberries on the side. The cinnamon, raisin, walnut combination never fails me. Hint, it all has to do with the complementary flavors of the chopped dates and mashed banana. So refreshing!

  
I was very proud of my lunch, which were leftovers of the meal I made on Sunday. My Parmesan crusted tilapia and shaved Brussels sprout salad held up well for a couple of days in the fridge. So bright, tasty, and nutritious! I’m not sure my pictures can quite convey the yumminess.

  

For a mid-day snack, I had prepared a bowl of cherry kefir and some freshly chopped strawberries. Although I was dubious before trying, the combination turned out to be excellent. I’m trying to be more creative with my snack combinations so I don’t grow bored and turn back to that candy jar.

Another colorful, flavorful, veggie-filled meal included steak, corn, a great big salad, and a side of nachos. I love food cooked on the grill because it can be so healthy and maybe a little because it is the epitome of summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hotdog or cheeseburger, but a good chicken, the am, or shrimp kebab with a side of grilled veggies doesn’t suck either.

  
We’ve reached mid-week, friends! I think it’s time we can start looking forward to the weekend! Any good plans?