Meal Planning

One of the major factors that everyone talks about when losing weight is nutrition. Before now I knew it was important, but never took it as serious. Until now!

This year I decided to start meal planning and meal prepping. In addition to that I went a step above and made a calender of what we ate each week. I won’t bore you with all the ends and outs, but I will give you details of some of the thing I’m doing.


Counting calories

I get it, something as simple as writing  down or using an app to monitor calories seems time consuming. Honestly, it is! BUT it helps me, at least, be honest with what I’m eating and how it effects my macros (carb, proteins, fats and fiber). Right now I write things down because it forces me to keep track of what, when and how much I eat. I’ve also used the mobile app My Fitness Pal which is a cool app too.


Breakfast

Typically I’m up before everyone to make sure the kids get up and out the door for school, so I try to keep it simple. Most days I’ll drink a green smoothie or just plain protein smoothie with carbs.

Here’s the recipe for the green smoothie (thanks to my brother) – makes two 20 oz. servings

Green Smoothie

1 handful of kale
1 handful of spinach
1.5 oz of water
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 carrot
1 banana
1 handful of frozen strawberries
1 handful of frozen pineapple
agave nectar

On weekends we may make breakfast. Last weekend for my fiance’s birthday we had whole wheat pancakes, eggs, turkey bacon, maple syrup and pulp free OJ. The pancakes were amazing and easy to make!


Meal prep lunches

Every Saturday I get up and head to the grocery store(s), yes it maybe more then one depending on the sales. My favorite stores include Aldis, Schnucks, Dierbergs and local farmers markets (in warmer weather). Lately for lunch I’ve worked to include a carbs, veggies and lean protein.

**Included with each meal are links to recipes that I’ve used from other bloggers. Please take a moment to visit them to learn more.**

This week here’s what I ate:
4 meals included: 1 grilled chicken breast (varied seasoning), agave cinnamon sweet potatoes (they’re too die for), and a mixed green salad with almonds and mandarin oranges (alternated with

Meal Prep
2 meals include: 1 grilled tilapia (varied seasoning with olive oil), 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1 cup of sauteed garlic snap peas.


Dinner prep

We have two kids, ages 10 and 13, so eating healthy and clean can take a bit of planning. My son loves hamburgers and french fries and my daughter loves chocolate (completely agree with her). To avoid beating my head on the wall I turn to my favorite site Pinterest. Some recipes I try as is, while others I alter a bit depending on what we all will eat.

This week we ate:
Cauliflower crust pizza with turkey pepperoni, steak, green peppers, mozzarella cheese, onions and Prago pizza sauce (lowest sugar)
Results: Not bad, but still working to perfect a firmer crust.

cauliflower crust pizza

cauliflower crust pizza

Sesame-soy meatballs with spinach and carrots

Turkey burgers with fries (yes we do eat some not so healthy things to keep the kids happy) and broccoli

Taco salad with lettuce, ground beef, taco seasoning, black beans, corn and salsa

Chicken Stirfry

Chicken Stirfry

Turkey Chili

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Cleaning Eating – The Beginning

Everyone that talks about fitness will tell you that the gym isn’t what makes your abs….it’s the food you eat! I personally agree with this 100%. Not only do I feel better now that I’m trying to clean up the way I eat, but processed foods don’t even taste right anymore.

Don’t get me wrong I also have a cheat meal weekly, and I love (yes love) ice cream! That being said we’re all human and sometimes eating perfect won’t happen. My previous triathlon coach once told me to try to stick to a 95/5 rule of eating. Meaning 95% of the time try hard eat nutrition foods and within moderation, and the other 5% of the time enjoy yourself (again in moderation).

Clean eating a new topic that I’ve just started incorporating into my life, and I enjoy it! However, it takes a bit of time management, good planning and creativity to make it successful. And don’t worry if you have other people in your home to feed…I’ve got 1 teenager and a 10 year old at home. Before you ask, no I don’t make separate dinner meals for them. They eat what we eat, but may have a carb at dinner if we’re doing mostly veggies. That being said all the means on here are kid approved and are in our arsenal of dinner options.

I’m not a great cook nor do I claim to be. Honestly, Pinterest, Google and my friends and family help with the recipes. As I post things that we eat during the week I’m be sure to link back to the awesome bloggers and folks that helped with these great meals.

Anyone that’s following me feel free to provide suggestions too! Please include macros (calories, carbs, protein, fats etc if possible).

Current Stats

Everyone starts somewhere, so if we’re going to do this together here’s where I’m at. I typically check my stats every 2-4 weeks, but I normally left my cloths also be a good indicator of how I’m doing.

2 month check-in

Friday, February 27, 2015 5:15AM CST

Body Weight: 190 lbs. (down 6.5lbs)

Body Fat Percentage: 21.4% (down 1.8%)

Neck: 16 in. (down 0.5 in)

Chest: 41.5 in. (increased 1.5 inches)

Shoulders: 48 in. (down 1 inch)

Arm:

Right  Upper Arm: 13.75 in. (down 1.25 in)

Right Forearm: 11.5 in. (no change)

Left Upper Arm: 13.75 in. (down .75 inch)

Left Forearm: 11 in (down o.25 inch)

Waist: 37 in. (down 1.5 inch)

Hips: 43 in. (up 1 inch)

Legs:

Right Thigh: 26.75 in. (up 0.75 inch)

Right Calf: 17.5 in. (down 0.5)

Left Thigh: 25.5 in. (down .5 inch)

Left Calf: 16.75 in. (down 1.25)

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Introduction

Here is goes folks! At the end of 2014 I wasn’t happy with my physical appearance or state of health. Towards the end of December I made my New Years resolution. Here’s what I promised myself for 2015:

1. Work  to do something active everyday

2. Work to eat healthy at least 90% of the time (gotta be realistic about this)

3. Do something for myself

4. Take time to enjoy the world around me and take pictures

5. Have a digital disconnect at least every 2-3 month

6. Learn something new (I’ve left it vague to leave it open for options)

To keep myself honest I’ve been posting to Facebook and Instagram photos of my journey. I’ve used both mediums to keep myself honest, and also for my friends and family to to the soon (extra motivation is always great)!

Along the way I’ve been told how my posts are motivating to my friends and family. This was just awesome to hear, so I’ve decided to start a blog that will provide details of my journey. Here we go folks….keep checking back for updates on my year to fitness!

If you’re new, welcome I hope you enjoy reading about the recipes I try and the success/trials I have throughout this experience.  Come by often as I’ll try to update here as often as my pictures go up on Instagram and Facebook. Also, feel free to friend me on either site too!

**Notes: I do not write this saying that it will work for everyone, but these are the steps I’ve taken to better myself. Also, I do not have a degree in nutrition or fitness, so everything I’ve learned was from previous personal trainers, reading or trying myself.**