Why I joined Weight Watchers

I joined weight watchers! And honestly, I cried about it. After talking to my mom and sister, actually after trying on my wedding dress THEN talking to my mom and sister… I decided I would join weight watchers. I would like to lose 20lbs. before my wedding in Sept. of 2014, and I for saw it being difficult.

I am sooooooo lucky to be marrying a man who tells me multiple times a day that I am beautiful and perfect and other sweet, kind and loving things. But it turns out, hearing all of those things as well as him tell me I don’t need to change makes it hard to lose weight. And I really really don’t want to be crash dieting 2 months before my wedding. So I though weight watchers would be my best option. This way, I can enjoy life but still have the accountability as well as a good plan to lose 1-2 pounds a week so that a year from now I’m not rushing to do much of other than say yes to the man of my dreams.

But guess what, when it came down to it… this decision of mine hurt my pride. I sat in Cooper’s arms and got teary eyed. I felt like I really failed. How could a dietitian student need to pay someone to tell her how to do what she tells other people to do? How could this science nerd of a girl not figure out the science???

After Cooper re-assured me that I’m not a failure, I went to my first meeting. And guess what!!!! The meeting leader said something that stuck me deep into my heart. She said “Knowledge is useless if not applied”. That was it! That is what I needed to hear. I needed the encouragement that as this year goes on and time flies by, as money gets dished out and arrangements get made, I just have to apply what I know. And after my second meeting, well I fell in love. I felt like I had friends who were going through what I’m going through in one way or another and it felt good to know that every week, we are going to show up with each other and keep chugging along in a healthy way to reach our goals.

What ever it is that you are doing to reach your goals, how ever you are doing it… keep going! It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look the way you thought it would or if the people around you are on board with the way you are executing your plan. Today will be the past tomorrow and the decisions we make today, will be tomorrows history! So make tomorrows history something you will be proud of!

*** Edit, after attending my second meeting this morning I am down 2.2lbs this week for a total of 4.7lbs.***

My Beef With Beef

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I’m a meat eater. I always have been and would put my money on me always being one in the future. I crave it. Red meat especially. And I think that probably has to due with my difficulty to store iron. But lately, I have been VERY disappointing in beef. It seems so fake.

My fiance and I are very passionate about food and it being real. The less antibiotics, chemicals and other harmful substances used on it, the more we like it. In the summer we try to shop at farmers markets and buy local produce as much as possible. And we are very blessed to be able to more expenses around so that this doesn’t break us financially.

But lately, even the good beef just seems to blah!

This is why we have decided to find, meet, talk to and buy from a local farmer who we feel we can build a trusting relationship with. In the future, we will be moving out of state and our intention is to do the same thing there (wherever that may be) as well.

Al (my fiance) and I came to this conclusion after reading many articles about this topic, so I thought I would pass this information along to you. And quite frankly, this information only confirmed what our taste buds were telling us, which was simply that we had some serious beef with beef.

4 reasons to eat organic beef

The new beef

Kind-er beef

How about you… have you noticed any differences in the quality of food where you live?

Where do you generally do your shopping at?

Is there anything – in terms of information – that you have come across lately that has made you think twice about what you and your loved ones are eating?

 

Also, if you are interested in making the above dinner for yourself, here it is!

BBQ’d steak with peach salsa

The peach salsa was as follows, 3 roma tomatoes chopped with 1 green onion chopped and 1 very ripe peach chooped. Drizzled with lime, lemon and a dash of salt and pepper.

Steamed broccoli in a garlic and olive oil

Roasted red and sweet potatoes with garlic and sea salt.

Busy Lady Workout Plan

I don’t know about you, but I live a busy life. I live with and help care for my 87 year old grandmother, take care of a beautiful little 5 year old girl Mon – Fri, have a large family that can be demanding of my time (in a good way), am planning a wedding, and am in school full time. With all of that filling up my planner, it’s easy to not fit in a workout. Now that I’m engaged – and have a wedding dress hanging in my laundry room, working out is a bit more of a priority. So I made 2 little crafts to make things easier on myself. Enter workout sticks and my latest vision board.

I decided that I needed a bit of inspiration, so I grabbed some old magazines and pasted away on construction paper a few images that I found encouraging. And if you look at my “masterpiece” it really has a few different messages to it. Not only is working out a part of it, but also healthy foods that look wonderful, the message to make sleep a priority, a yummy cupcake because after all treats do in fact offer the balance of the enjoyment of life, and a few blog ideas.

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I purposely displayed my board so that it would be in a place that would be most effective, which for me is over my desk. And so far, it is working!!! On the days in which I’m not feeling very inspired or motivated, I just go on over to my vision bored and really focus on the messages which my vision board portrays. Within 3 minutes, my shoes are tied and I’m ready to go!

Now that I’m so inspired, what do I do every day? I can be compulsive about planning, especial in terms of nutrition and fitness. And so that it doesn’t become an issue for me, I try not to get to carried away. In the past I have done specific plans such as P90X or a running plan, but I realized that with my busy schedule that probably wouldn’t work so well for me. So I decided that 3 days a week of cardio and 3 days a week of toning would be just fine for the rest of the summer.

That means, on Mon, Wed, & Fri I go for a 30 minute run/jogg with  5 minute spurts of cardio based calisthenics thrown in. How this works is that I simply run around my block which is .43 miles and then I do 6 exercises such as push ups, crunches, lunges, etc. Then I repeat the running and 6 exercises 2 more times.

So how about the other 3 days? Well friends, his is where my workout sticks come in hand. Now a days, exercise classes can be done SO easily in our own home. Whether workout video’s or youtube video’s 30 minutes of working out can be really fun and effective. So I made these…

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Sorry for the blur – bat that says “30 Day Shred”. I went to the dollar store and bought some craft sticks, then I got out all of my workout videos as well as a list of videos I know of from places like you tube and started writing them down on these sticks. Before I knew it, I had over 40 sticks in a little cute bucket that I also bought from the dollar store. And now on Tues, Thur & Sat, all I have to do is pick a stick out and then do that workout for 30 minutes. And for me, this effortless way or choosing an activity that works my muscles is exactly hat I need to stay on track this summer all the while be productive in other areas of my life.

Meal Plan #1

I love and appreciate anyone and everyone who stops by this space and takes the time to read my thoughts, opinions, and exciting adventures. So I thought as a gift to you, today I would attach a few documents. Today for you, I have a one week meal plan, the recipes for the dishes in it, and a shopping list to go with it.

The meal plan is based on a weight watchers/diabetic living rubric and includes 5 small meals, lots of fresh produce, whole grains that digest slowly and lots of protein. I hope you enjoy this and can find it useful whether you follow it exactly or just find a few ideas from it.

Happy Eating and happy Monday!

Meal Plan Week 1

This Weeks Grocery List

Recipes – some of these recipes aren’t on the menu but will come in handy in the future for another post!

*This post is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. These menu’s and recipes are simple for anyone who is looking for an easy week in terms of cooking and planning*

 

Consistency

Consistancy

 

Consistency, it isn’t my strength. But that is going to change, and I need your help. I am learning that I need accountability in life and I’m very thankful to have gracious people in my life to help me along with it. So today… I commit to 5 posts a week. In fact, I just drafted those posts and I intend to do just that every weekend. This way, I can grow this you in a consistent way every week.

Like I said, I need more consistency in all areas of my life and these last 2 weeks, I’ve been working on exactly that. I’ve very excited to tell you all about some really exciting things happening.  So please forgive me for my absence, and stay tuned for some great things this week. AND… if there is anything you have been putting off changing in your life, consider giving this week a shot with me.

A Story

When I read blogs, I like to know the person who is writing to me daily-ish. So today, I want to tell you a story.

About 6 months before I turned 16, I went to the doctors for an annual check up. My dad was with me and was standing behind me when I got on the scale. It read 178 lbs. When you take into consideration that I am 5 foot 1 and a half on a good day, well according to the BMI chart… I was obese. It scared the sh*t out of me. All of my aunt’s and uncle’s struggle with their weight, both on my mom AND dad’s side.

The next morning, I made it my mission to drink 6 bottles of water that day. Trading in lunch as subway for a cheaper lunch of salad at school and all the extra quarters went to water bottles. A few weeks later, I started walking up a half hour yearly 3 days a week to do a Pilates dvd. As well as cut my dinner portions in half. By late February, I started walking 3 miles everyday. I would get home from school, do my homework, watch a little tv – and play with some 3lb dumbbells, eat dinner then go walk. It became a habit and my quiet time. And if I’m honest with myself… I still to this day prefer walking or running.

By late March, I had lost around 40 pounds, give or take a few. And I felt amazing. Everyone around me noticed, and it made me respect myself more. I would be happy to get up a little bit earlier in the mornings to get ready for school, I was more involved in school activities and just happy all around.

And because what I changed was a lifestyle and not just some diet, for the next 2 years I not only kept off the weight but lost another 20 pounds.

Now please don’t miss-understand me… I have been tainted since. In the last 6 years I have put some weight back on and tried every diet in the book. It has caused a bit of a yo-yo affect and now that there is a sparkly ring on my finger and a move in the future (more on that next week), lifestyle is my focus. I’m actually reading a great book right now that is somewhat cheesy but all about adapting the lifestyle attributes of other cultures that have woman healthy, beautiful and healthy well into the 80s.

Anyways, this journey of mine, this space on the internet… it doesn’t come easy to me. It is an ongoing struggle. Mainly because I LOVE food, ask my fiance! Other than black licorice, we have yet to figure out what food I dislike. But that’s ok – the struggle part, not the black licorice. Our struggles are good as long as we don’t give up on them.

A number on the scale doesn’t determine who you are in life. Being skinny doesn’t guarantee you health. Wearing a certain size pants doesn’t make you weak or strong. What makes you healthy, beautiful and strong is your ability to keep up with your struggles and overcome them mentally, emotionally and spiritually, then… you can overcome your physical struggles and reap all of the benefits.

Since that doctors appointment I told you about, my dad has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, my mom has had gastric bypass surgery, so has my brother AND uncle. I can count 5 people in my family who are currently on diets, and my 87 year old grandmother just said yesterday that she wants to lose 7 pounds.

This doesn’t come easy to me, I work at it everyday. And that’s a good thing. In fact, I’d rather be someone who figured it out now, rather than someone who is struggling with it at 45 because “ever since menopause, well I just can’t keep weight off”.

I hope that helps you understand me and this space a little bit better.

And for the sake of accountability, this week I’m focusing on have a beautiful 5 small meal a day diet filled with fruit,veggies and protein so that at the end of the day, I can reward myself with something small. A long walk while the sun is setting, 3 ounces of wine, an hour to sip iced tea while sitting on the porch… taking the time to paint my nails or give myself a facial. I guess I’m learning that you don’t have to indulge if you enjoy small things daily.

Burger

I love me a good burger, but the regular “healthy” burger gets old. At least in my opinion. And that can become an issue during the summer. So rather than just place my burger on a bun and load it up with not so healthy items such as cheese, mayo and BBQ sauce, I had a little fun in my kitchen to make something a bit more yummy all the while NOT breaking my calorie bank.

This burger has a bit of a kick and when paired with cool crisp lettuce as your bun, along with sweet relish and the tangy-ness of light southwestern ranch dressing, well let’s just say it’s quite the crowd pleas-er. It most definitely does not undo my workout and actually has quite the macro-nutrient punch as well. SO here is my new summer burger recipe!

Combine 1/2 pound of turkey with either 1/2 pound venison or lean beef.

Add to the above meat, 1 egg white, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp garlic powder and 1 tsp of pepper flakes and combine.

Form meat into small-medium size patties. When I do this, I get 6 burgers.

Place on a hot grill and let cook on medium for about 6 minutes on each side.

Drizzle over the burgers WHILE cooking about 1/4 cup of pineapple juice. Preferably fresh squeezed.

After taking off of the grill, place on a large lettuce leaf and top with a tomato slice, 1 tsp of lite southwestern ranch dressing, a squeeze of mustard and 1 tsp of sweet relish.

The beauty of this burger is that for one, including all of the toppings, it comes in at 160 calories, 6 grams carbs, 5 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein and 200mg of sodium! Not bad for your next summer BBQ, and when the main dish is this lite, an adult drink or a small piece of dessert is much more realistic.

And if your dessert happens to be this, you definitely aren’t going to want to pass it up!

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My uncle has a catering company and came up with this amazing cupcake idea. It’s Chocolate and Yellow Cake  arranged to look like a hamburger, with frosting to look like mustard, relish and ketchup. The “fries” are cinnamin sticks with a sweet laze on the side for dipping (like ketchup).

I know I may be biased, but my uncle is genius! And if you live in the area (Metro-Detroit) then you should definitely look him up for your next event. His link is below.

Don’t let summer get the best of you, enjoy it with loved ones and definitely enjoy the food here and there without completely splurging. Happy BBQ-ing!

 

nicosiacatering.facebook.com

Some MORE home-made health

When I was about 18, I started developing terrible migraines. I remember one night in which I vomited over 20 times because the pain was so bad. The next day, I woke with the feeling that I did an intense core workout the day before and new something had to change. First visit was to my doctor, who sent me to an eye doctor who sent me to a neurologist. I left his office with 2 scripts and best wishes.

Two months into taking these scripts (one was everyday to prevent and the other was for the on sight of a migraine) and I was experiencing a milk to medium headache everyday. And I hated taking these pills, so I new something needed to be done. That is when I turned to a chiropractor. And my goodness did it help. It was also unbelievably expensive too but it worked.

Looking back, now that I’ve had a little holistic medicine training, I wonder if my magnesium stores were not totally and completely depleted. Because at the time, I ate at the most 2 meals a day and ran for 18 per day. And the reason for this hunch is due to the fact that I only get headaches NOW if forget to get my magnesium fill for more than a week at a time.

I know a lot of people in our society take supplement in pill form but I struggle with that. Especially because I have food sensitivity, my intestines are not always in their best shape to break down and absorbed large doses of minerals and vitamins in pill form. So I often opt for a different form of supplementation.

Enter Magnesium Coconut Lotion. It’s amazing and I am a big believer that it has changed my life. I got the original recipe from a follow blogger named wellnessmama and make double batched of it once a month! This magnesium source get’s easily absorbed into the bloodstream when slathered on to your lower legs and feet. It you have little kids, you can easily use this on them right before bed so that you know it will have time to soak in before baths, playing in dirt or all the other things kids get into during the day. Also, did you know one of the main reason’s for morning sickness in pregnant women is magnesium deficiency?

So here it is.

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So this is what you will need… a large pot, coconut oil, liquid magnesium OR powdered like I used, Shea butter, a mason jar, about 1 Cup boiling water and a large bowl. Oh, and a spoon.

First, we mix up the magnesium powder to liquid. And ll you do for that is measure out one 1/2 cup of magnesium powder and SLOWLY mix in 3-4 tbsp of boiling water.

Magnesium Powder/Flakes

Magnesium Powder/Flakes

 

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There will be some slight bubbling at first but the it relaxes.

However, if you leave it to cool for long someplace that you aren’t paying very close attention to, you will look over 10 minutes later to find this.

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So definitely use a large bowl because this stuck pretty well to my table and took some elbow grease to get it off.

<I apologize as this is where the pictures stop>

As you wait for the above to happen, take your pan and place it on the stove with about 2 inches of the pan’s bottom covered in water. Add 1.4 Cup coconut oil and 6 tbsp of Shea Butter to your mason jar. Place the jar in the pot of water and let the contents melts down. Mix everything together and then add to the magnesium liquid that was earlier made.

Allow this to cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes then take out and mix with a hand mixer.

Do this 2 more times.

Store in a container either in a bathroom/medicine cabinet OR keep in the refrigerator. Because coconut oil is a natural spf, this is wonderful as a cooling sun balm in the summer or as a sun burn relief application.

I love this lotion recipe and right after you first put it on it leaves your skin feeling like silk. That goes away as there is natural salts in the magnesium that can’t be absorbed into the body but that’s ok.

Try this recipe out if you are having a rainy Monday like me and let me know what you think!

Hairy Bananas

I’m not really a fan of bananas. It’s just my own personal opinion, but I think they are over rated. To me, they are to sweet, to mushy and to ripe about 90% of the time. But guess what… I have found a love for bananas. And I am one happy camper about it.

Getting back on track to our home-made health series, today I have 2 recommendations for your flowing locks and it involves getting in the kitchen and getting a bit dirty.

First off, I have to tell you that I come from a line of beauticians and have dabbled it in myself. So I’m a bit of a tough critic when it comes to hair products. But in the last year, I have ditched store bought conditioners of any kind and slathered on the coconut oil daily. Every time I wash my hair, I follow it up with conditioning with coconut oil and I wouldn’t go back for all the $ in the world. Actually, I probably would but that’s only because weddings cost so much money.

The other thing I have done is in thanks to pinterest and that is making a banana milkshake for my hair. Now like me tell you that I have long hair, like down half my back long. I only wash it every 2-3 days and try to where it naturally curling 2x a week to give it a break on the heated tools. So to help my hair stay moisturized I slather on a banana milkshake every other week-ish.

It’s actually pretty simple and you only need three ingredients! A masked ripe banana, 1 tbsp of honey and 1 cup of coconut milk. Mix those bad boys together and slather up! Leave on for about 25 minutes then wash hair and condition with coconut oil.

I’ve said it before and I will a million more times – I LOVE COCONUT OIL!!!!!!!!!

Give these few combinations a try and said goodbye to chemicals, expensive treatments and dry hair.

Perfectly Imperfect

Much of wellness and health is mental. So much of our culture says that healthy is a size 4 jean and ageless beauty at 55. I disagree.

I have a scar right in the smack-dap middle of my forehead  chickenpox.

I have a crooked smile and a snaggle tooth on that side.

My shoulders are wider than my hips.

Most 12 year old children are taller than me.

My voice is high pitched, like VERY high pitched.

I carry about 80% of my weight in my mid section.

But guess what, those “flaws” don’t define me or my ability to have a purpose in this world.

Maybe it’s just me but I feel the pressure society puts on us, and its hard to shake that off. But today, remember that you have a purpose and the ability to make that purpose your reality. Ten pounds can’t stop you. Neither can a physical “flaw” you may have. You know what can though… Insecurity.

The most amazing thing to me about insecurity is that we all as individuals have the power to rid our lives of insecurity. In fact, no one can put us down or make us feel less than unless we allow it.

Health and fitness are wonderful things and can make our lives more enjoyable. But health isn’t only physical. Health is emotional, mental, spiritual and physical.

Today, as you go about life making decisions to be healthy, don’t forget about the other kinds of health. if we can take care of ourselves in all areas, well we’ll do we’ll and be happy in all areas of life.