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Meal Plan + Fitness for the Week (09/09/13)

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food, Uncategorized, Workout | Leave a comment

Friends, I’m about to seriously change my (currently barely existent) exercise routine. I’ve gained a few too many lbs. over the past few months and it’s time to stop blaming it on the move to a different country, paperwork to do, etc. It’s time to make it a priority again.

Yeah, my legs don’t look nearly as slim as they did a year ago. Ironically, I was in a much better shape the first 12 months after giving birth to our son. I was not as toned as pre-pregnancy, but my weight was at it’s lowest, since I was a teenager.

Living car-less in Vancouver, we had to walk everywhere, so I naturally was a lot more active than I am here in Southern California. You might think: “But what about surfing/going running on the beach/hiking?” Umm, I have a two year old to take with me. ;)

Plus, walking in a million degrees feels like death to me and I have sweat running down my face from a short 20 minute walk in the blazing sun.

But then I remembered the pool!

My gym has a huge lap pool. With the little guy being taken care of in the child care area, this was the perfect workout for me this morning and I cannot believe I “forgot” about the awesomeness of swimming. Assuming the pool is 25m, I swam 1 km (40 laps) in about 30 minutes. My arms are a sore mess this afternoon, but I’m definitely adding this back into my life!

I’m hoping to get rid of about 15 lbs over the next few motnhs, and here’s my tentative workout schedule for this current week:

This might not seem like a crazy workout schedule for you, but let me tell you, I’ve been lazy those past few months, and it WILL make a huge difference in my calories-burned account.

On to the food. Meal planning is one of my favorite ways to make sure we’re not a) going over-budget and b) keep eats clean(ish) and healthy.

Some dinners for the week: 

  • Monday: Baked Butternut Squash Pasta – we had a butternut kicking around in our kitchen for the longest time, and I decided it would make the perfect base for today’s Meatless Monday!
  • Tuesday: Chili + baked sweet potatoes
  • Wednesday: leftovers
  • Thursday: Swedish Pea Soup and Pancake night
  • Friday: Braised Chicken Taco Salad

Do you have any fun workouts planned for the week? What about your meal planning – do you plan ahead or go with the flow?

What I Ate Wednesday + Sugar-Free Week Recap

Posted on by Susan Posted in Challenge, Eats | 2 Comments

Well, I survived #SugarFreeWeek!

Now that it’s over, I have to admit that it was easier than I originally thought it would be. I was tracking my eats and read the labels of everything processed (crackers, yogurt, etc.). If it contained sugar it was a no. If it was sweetened naturally, I ate a little bit of it. And by eating this way for a week, it reminded me that this was my actual diet! This is how I normally eat. It was no problem at all, to ditch the junk and eat fresh food, made from scratch, mostly veggies, fruit, grain and lean protein. I just needed a little kick in the you-know-what to snap out of my sweet treats habit, that I slowly developed over a few weeks.

For example, I made myself this super filling breakfast smoothie this morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked rolled oats (leftover)
  • 1 oz chilled coffee
  • a tsp of peanut butter (Whole Foods 365 brand only has one ingredient: organic dry roasted peanuts)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon
  • a few vegan chocolate chips

Give it a quick blend and you’re good to go.

The chocolate chips were sweetened with organic cane juice, so I was OK with it especially since I only added 7 or 8 chips in total.

This was an amazing combo that I will keep in in my breakfast rotation, especially since I’m extreeeeeeemely slow in the mornings lately. Prep the night before, add milk and the frozen ‘nana in the morn and you’re good to go!

Other breakfasts included eggs, toast & fruit, or yogurt, kamut puffs and banana.

Lunch is always a tricky one for me, because the little guy is usually snacking pretty frequently, so I end up filling up on his snacks as well, such as grapes, bell peppers, cucumbers, crackers, hummus, cheese, raisins or Lärabars. So when lunchtime rolls around, I’m either starving, because my son wouldnt share, or I’d be full, because he didn’t eat his snacks.

I still make it a point to make our lunch (for habit purposes), and that could be anything from a PB&J, to grilled cheese, or more hummus and veg. When we’re out and about, we might pick up something from a salad bar, or yesterday little dude and I shared a Chipotle burrito bowl (see above).

Treats:

We got Starbucks on the weekend and my mind went blank about the whole no sugar thing.  The other sweet treat was whole wheat crepes, with a bit of whipped cream, fresh strawberries and homemade blueberry sauce.

Dinners are always simple.

Yesterday, for example, I was so happy to see chicken enchiladas in the freezer, after spending 3 hours chasing the little guy around the park and playground. I had no desire to spend time in the kitchen, and since I had done my prep work the week before, this worked out perfectly!

What did I think of going sugar-free for a week?

My diet is by no means perfect, and it might not ever be in someone else’s eyes. For others, my foods may look super healthy, I don’t know. Remember, my goal was not to cut out all sweets or treats. My goal was to eat more at home, from-scratch meals, made with real food. Yes, we did eat out a couple of times, but I stuck mostly to fish tacos and salad. Oh, and then there was Umami Burger in Costa Mesa on the weekend… Oh well.

I just needed to give my body a little space and time to wean myself off the added sweeteners and processed junk, to get back to my normal eating habits and I’m happy to report it worked!

Jenn over at Peas and Crayons is hosting What I Ate Wednesday, so make sure to check out some other fabulous bloggers’ eats.

Did you ever ditch sugar for an extended period of time? How did it affect you?

What are your fun eats of the week?

 

What I Ate Yesterday

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats, Food | 2 Comments

Umm, so I had a true moment of mommy brain yesterday, when I thought I wouldn’t be able to participate in Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday link-up. Luckily I realized it was only Tuesday and I still had time to write this post. Don’t blame me, I have a 23 month-old, who doesn’t like to nap anymore.

Lot’s of things have happened in the last few days, including getting a Costco membership, which is obviously reflected in my eats. I’m pretty excited about huge containers of organic lettuce and strawberries for cheap, but I also have to admit that I’m a victim of the 15-pack of Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars…

Alright, enough talk, let’s get straight to the food. Here are Tuesday’s eats:

Breakfast #1 (unpictured) – around 8:45am: Small bowl of Puffins with (organic) 1% milk + coffee

Breakfast #2 – 11am:  These amazing 3-ingredient Oat Crepes - seriously, this is the third time in a week I’ve made them – with homemade blueberry sauce

Lunch – 1pm: Whole wheat english muffin with Cambozola cheese, apple slices and spinach

+ blueberry smoothie

PM snack/treat (unpictured): Ice Cream from our Costco Stash + another coffee (BTW: I cut wayyyyy down on my caffeine intake and now brew 8 oz cups with the Keurig, so I usually don’t drink more than 16 oz a day)

Dinner: Everything but the kitchen sink veggie plate with hummus, sharp cheddar, toast and a fried egg.

It was a day full of easy meals with what we had in the fridge.

Peas and Crayons

Don’t forget to go and check out some more fun eats over at Peas & Crayons, there are always tons of amazing bloggers linking up!

Are you a Costco member? Do you overbuy? How do you prevent it? And do you have any new foodie finds lately? Please share, I’m always up for trying something new! 

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