26 March 2014

< Obtaining A Healthy Lifestyle >

What//Remember THIS? Last year when I was living in Switzerland I made the decision that I wanted better life habits, I had fine life habits, but I wanted to be better. I wanted a healthy lifestyle. I wanted healthy eating and to have 'being active' a normal part of our life. I want it for myself, for us as a couple and so we can raise active healthy children. So I did just that, we increased our going on walks, walking to the grocery store, going to the track and figured out ways to eat smarter.

For months in Switzerland I kept up those goals...and then we moved to the States. We still kept many of those goals, but the amount of workouts I was doing was lessoned and the eating out increased. (American food!) I gained weight in Switzerland after an ankle injury in London our first Summer there and the habit of not working on my body remained after I was healed, so I gained an unnecessary amount. Sometimes, we forget how really important it is to stay healthy and active...and how fast pounds can be put on without even noticing it. Yikes! Never doing that again. So that's when I finally rebooted myself  last year to start taking charge of myself, as I said HERE. However, it wasn't until these last couple months that I REALLLLY figured out the key to successful weight loss and overall healthy life.

Usually when I have a weight loss goal, it's pretty simple..."i just want to be able to fit back into those jeans again". That's how it was again up until February this year when I watched the current Biggest Loser finale, I didn't watch the season, but I needed something to watch one morning on the treadmill. When watching those success stories, it finally clicked, "Why can't that be me!". I didn't mind being chubby, but why couldn't I work harder and be skinny? THEN not too many days later I came across Diana's story, which was truly my AH HA! moment. Made me see it really was possible. That if I work hard enough on a daily basis, duh! I CAN have the same successes. Seeing and reading about her journey led me to more Instagram users who have similar success stories. I had no idea there were so many great healthy food and work out Instagram users out there. Diana's instagram opened up the concept of gleaning tips on a daily basis from people who are willing to give them and know what they are talking about. The exact day I found her Instagram and started looking into others, I was so excited and overwhelmed with excitement that I went on a walk--when I get overwhelmed with excitement I have to back off and cool it or I will burst! On my walk I had a quick thought that I should text a friend and said "Here's the deal, you and I are getting skinny this year and then we're going on a trip together". She was in! It's always easier and real when someone is working on an important goal with you. A few days later we met and talked about our goals and since then (it's been a couple weeks) we have swapped recipes, work out ideas and more. I also shared with her Diana's instagram and just like for me, seeing someone's goals and progress was very motivating to her. Anyway, my point is following people who have the same goals as you on Instagram has been key to completing and keeping the AH HA! moment I had.

Since then I started following users who have taught me what it means to REALLY eat healthy. I have always been a good eater. I thought I knew how to eat healthy, but my eyes were opened to a. what my body really needs both to be healthy and to lose weight and b. that many of the meals and things we were eating were junk and slowing my process. Once that clicked in my brain, DUH, we have been eating so so much healthier. I don't believe in 100% depravation or being to extreme in something, so moderation and an occasional not healthy meal or item is allowed.

Why//I not only want to lose weight, but I just want a healthy happy life. I have been pretty hardcore about working out and eating right for a few weeks now and I am 100% happy with it...and weight is totally dropping. I want to start having good habits now so that when I have children I can teach them how to be healthy and active. I don't think it's ever to early to teach children about physical health and what food is great and what food is in moderation. Like I said above, I want a healthy lifestyle. I want going on hikes, walking to the store, walking to the mailbox, playing outside etc etc to be what we do.

How//So much about the "how" is floating around in rapid speeds in my brain. Where do I even begin! Let's break it down to working out and eating...

Working out
I still follow all of my original goals, from HERE. But what has really upped my game is the Polar FT4 watch that Diana and several other avid health instagramers use. It has been a game changer. I now can keep track of my progress while working out and see how many calories I have lost during and after each workout. I have a set goal of at least 500 calories lost a day, besides Sundays(sundays are a day of rest and church :)), and most days I push it and work at least 1,100 lost. Seeing the calorie loss motivates me to lose more! The watch gives you a range, of where your heart rate needs to be, to be in an ultimate fat burning zone. So I can see as I go where I need to be in the range to lose the most calories without going out of the zone and just building muscle. WhaWHAT! So cool.

I usually do an hour in the morning of either the treadmill or an aerobic/weights home workout THEN an hour long walk in the afternoon THEN I walk to get my husband from the bus stop and/or go on a walk with him after dinner. That usually gets me from 1,100-1,450 calories lost depending on how much I can do that day. I am pretty serious about my goal of this being the year where I "get skinny".

But, on days I can't do all that, I have to at least burn 500. Which is only an hour of intense workout. A real work out is at least 45 min. Anything you can do is better than nothing, but real and fast results is 45 min and longer.

Weights. I have seen all over that lifting weights results in major weight loss. I don't go to a "gym" just have the gym at our apartment complex that has a few machines and then I do weights at home. I am hoping by Fall I can go to an actual gym and start really using weights. It's a scary thought, but if I am for real and honest with myself, I need to do it.

One of the most motivating aspects to working out, even more so then the losing weight part, is how happy I feel about my day and about myself when I do it and when I set goals and accomplish them. It's fabulous. Actually right now as I am typing this blogpost I am kinda dying inside that I am not out on a walk right now. I just love it that much.

Another key I have learned about working out, is not letting yourself not do your goal. Meaning, once you let yourself not workout that day(sometimes there are days when you just do not have time, but i mean days when you "don't feel like") your brain, at least my brain, starts to think it's okay to give up again. So to trick your brain, just always say yes. Some mornings I wake up crazy tired, (didn't I just sleep 7 hours, what the heck!) so I go back to sleep after taking Jachen to the bus instead of going straight to working out, but I don't let that stop me. I am allowed to go back to bed, BUT then I have to work hard once I am awake again. It's amazing what you can do with the will.

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^walking to get Jachen from the bus, and back

Eating. This is a big one. Like I said, I thought I was doing fine, but there are just literally better things to aid in weight loss as well as overall health. I will list the top things always in our house and how I use it.

1. proteins (grilled chicken, salmon patties, turkey patties, eggs, ground turkey)
2. greek yogurt, plain (so healthy and crazy versatile)
3. steel cut oats (the most healthy oats)
4. quinoa (as itself, in with my oats, in salad)
5. veggies (broccoli, asparagus, red peppers, pickles, beets, carrots, cauliflower, pees, green beans)
6. avocados (use with greek yogurt as guac, or in salad, on meat, in quinoa, in smoothies etc)
7. spinach leaves and kale (I only use spinach leaves with some kale in my salads)
8. sweet potatoes (as itself, chopped and sauteed, w/quinoa etc)
9. almond butter (so good for you, as energy booster, on bread, in yogurt, in smoothie etc etc)
10. fig butter (it's tasty and low calorie flavor booster)
11. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond shavings
12. frozen fruit and spinach for smoothies
13. coconut oil (a MUST, in smoothies, as butter on pan, i melt it and eat with oats)
14. unsweetened coconut (as flavor booster)
15. unsalted brown rice crackers
16. la croix sparkling water (SUCH a good replacement to soda)
17. strawberries (we eat a butt load of them)
18. bananas (mushed up in my oats, w/almond butter)
19. lowfat bars (we get bars from Trader Joe's)
20. bolthouse ranch (recently started using this, low calorie ranch thats good)
21. brown rice (mixed with quinoa is good)
22. Dave's Killer Bread (the green package. the only bread I buy)
23. spaghetti squash (just started eating this)
24. veggie pasta or 100% whole wheat pasta (in moderation)
25. mukimame (as is, in salad)
26. almond milk (in cereal, in oats, in smoothies)
27. coconut milk (in oats, in smoothies)
28. chocolate protein drink (from costco, as meal or as snack, or sometimes I drink half before a workout)
29. chia seeds (on and in everrrything, no flavor they expand helping you feel full and loaded with good stuff for you)
30. flaxseed (i get ground flaxseed from costco, in just about anything too)
31. Chobani greek yogurt, they just make really good flavors, often i only eat half at a time
32. coconut flour
33. black beans
34. peanut butter powder (the flavor and nutrients of pb w/out the calories, lots of uses)
35. popcorn (no butter)

We buy little else then the above. Luckily Jachen is on board with eating healthy and thinks I have been making great meals. Below are some of my recent meals/snacks/desserts.

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^dessert--We were at the store and decided to get a treat, I chose the above as a healthier alternative.

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^breakfast--corn tortilla, black beans, fried egg, avocado, chia seeds & strawberries

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^i think this was a breakfast--corn tortilla, egg, black beans, spinach leaves, salsa 

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^lunch--salad with all the goods, delicious yogurt

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^snack--fig butter on Dave's Killer Bread

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^dinner--veggie pasta, low cal alfredo sauce, pees, chicken, green beans, chia seeds, avocado

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^lunch--veggies with humus, strawberries and yogurt, got this at the grocery store instead of fast food

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^dinner--roasted chicken, asparagus, butternut squash

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^breakfast--toast w/fig butter & pb powder, banana and eggs with sauteed veggies, black beans & salsa

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^breakfast--half protein drink, chicken, eggs w/veggies & salsa

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^spinach, kale & tomatoes for jachen

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^vanilla hemp protein powder, steel cut oats

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^oatmeal i have often using various ingriediants of quinoa, steel cut oats, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut shavings, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, chia seeds, banana, strawberries, nuts. you can put it together the night before and heat it up in a bowl the next morning. just put in whatever you feel like having in your oats that morning

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^dinner--sweet potato, quinoa w/black beans, pico de gallo, steamed cabbage, fresh avocado(heated up) & salmon burger

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^lunch--salmon burger w/avocado, fried rice w/brown rice, quinoa, pees, broc, egg, chia seeds w/soyaki sauce & a grapefruit la croix

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^breakfast--strawberries, banana, almond milk, water, chia seeds, spinach, kale, butternut squash, avocado, hemp protein powder, blueberries, almond butter, flaxseed, cooked steel oats

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^dinner--organic spinach ravioli w/out sauce, sweet potato w/pumpkin seeds & chia seeds, beets, spinach, cauliflower chopped up with chia seeds

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^dessert--banana, coconut shavings, fresh ground almond butter

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^lunch--salad, all the goods inside

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^dinner--salmon burger "grilled" w/honey, broc, quinoa w/sauteed sweet potato and honey

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^breakfast--another oatmeal, strawberry based, steel oats, quinoa, almond butter, coconut oil, almond milk heated up then more strawberries on top w/pecans & coconut shavings

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^lunch--half sandwich(for the last few weeks we haven't been eating fake lunch meat, i cook chicken tenderloins every couple days for sandwiches and salads), veggies w/bolthouse ranch dip, half container of apple cinnamon chobani yogurt, lime la choix

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^breakfast--bartlette pear, strawberries, baked egg, fruit dip of greek yogurt, almond butter, melted coconut oil, coconut shavings and chia seeds.

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^dinner--spaghetti squash w/low calorie alfredo sauce, asparagus and chicken

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^dinner--turkey burger(we only had one left in the freezer so we shared), spaghetti squash mixed with veggie pasta, low cal alfredo sauce, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds & broc & berry la croix

So, those are SOME of what we have been eating around here. Eating healthy can be easy and delicious. Just in whatever you eat, find the healthier option. For example I like a sweet treat after dinner/before bed. Instead of getting ice cream...I have either banana w/ almond butter, and coconut shavings or strawberries and banana, or yogurt, and lately I have been having one of those squares of Lindt dark chocolate w/sea salt. SO delicious. I don't believe in depriving, food should still be exciting, delicious but also smart and portioned.

And the best part, all of the above is healthy and totally filling. 

I am so thankful for being a goal setter and goal keeper. I am thankful for a husband who is proud of me and joins in on being healthy even though his weight is fine. (i let him have treats that i dont eat). I have no desire to go back to life before eating this healthy. I know when I get pregnant and have kids I will have to adjust how much I can do, but that doesn't mean I will allow myself to not to all I can do. Feeling good and being happy are so important to me. I feel blessed that when I want something, I take charge and get it done, I don't let myself get stuck in a rut. This all takes work, but I am happy to do it and my life is blessed because of it. 

Now, I am off to go on that walk I was craving!


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