currently.

happy friday! anyone have an big plans for the long weekend? not me; just hanging out or working out.  before this whole thing, i would have never included working out into a holiday weekend.  pushing through until wednesday to finish this challenge strong!!

i wanted to keep today’s post light, so i thought i would share some of the things i’m currently doing or currently loving!

listening:

girl talk radio on Pandora.

girltalkradio

it’s usually either that or Fun. radio.  i love both and they always play songs i love.

lunches:

lunch

wasa thin and crispy crackers + hot peppered horseradish + banana peppers + no salt added turkey breast and a side of asparagus  (all eaten at my very glamorous desk at work).  omg. if i could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 3 snacks a day i would.  if you like stuff with a kick, try out this combo. you can thank me later!

snacks:

from this –

snack1

to this –

snack2

wednesday and thursday after my morning snack, 1/4 cup of almonds, i started to have really bad stomach cramps.  i became nauseous and felt terrible.  the only thing i could pin point it on was i ate raw almonds right before both episodes started.  i’m not sure if it’s because they’re raw or what, but i only use almond milk and have never had a reaction to that, plus I’ve been eating almonds for snacks most of this challenge.  i guess its possible to form an intolerance?  maybe I’ve eaten too many almonds?  for now, i replaced my almonds with a small gala apple.  i can’t wait for honeycrisp season to start!

protein powder:

beverly international UMP in cookies and cream. this stuff is amazing. i’ve always read that whey is better immediately after a workout and casein is good before bed, since it’s slow released protein that feeds your muscles all night.  i’m not sure if that is true, but, i do know this protein has me fooled that i’m not drinking an actual cookies and cream milkshake for dessert every night.  i wish i could say i’m exaggerating, because most of the time i think people are crazy or have been eating clean for way too long when they say ‘this tastes just like the real thing!!’, but i’ve had this since the beginning of week 2 and even then i thought it tasted amazing then.

the company also sells a rocky road; i wish i could try a sample, because it seems like it might be a really rich flavor and not something i would enjoy every night like i am right now with the cookies and cream.  i’ll let you know if i venture out.

reading:

nothing.  sad face.  i have quite a few books on my kindle ready to read and i just haven’t been feeling it lately.  i can’t remember that last time i read a full book!

tv shows:

oitnb orange is the new black.  i heard a lot about this series from quite a few friends so i gave it shot.  i wouldn’t say i’m completely enthralled, but i enjoy watching it.  it’s a Netflix series, so the whole first season is available right now.

wd

i found walking dead season 1 and 2 on Netflix awhile back and season 3 finally became available on dvd this past week.  so i’m watching these episodes as fast as Netflix sends them!  i was so set that i ‘wasn’t a zombie’ person and i fell in love with this show.  i also really enjoyed world war z.  so i guess, maybe i am a zombie person? who knows.

stressing:

debt.  between buying a house last year, getting new credit cards, and other high item purchases recently, i’ve racked up quite a bit of debt.  i’m on a mission to cut down my spending budget and pay off this stuff as fast as i can (except the house obviously, i’ve got years and years to pay on that).  i hate the thought of  debt looming over my head!

excited:

i know this sounds forever away, but two of my best friends are having a destination wedding in puerto vallarta next november and i’ve officially booked my room! it’s on the west coast of mexico.

cande savethedate

thinking about it makes me miss costa rica, though.  i traveled to puerto viejo back in february and i miss it like crazy.  i wish i could live there for awhile and just soak up as much culture as possible.  if you ever have a chance to travel to costa rica, do it; it will be the best decision you ever made!

workout:

i really love working out my back these days.  some of my favorite exercises include hyperextensions and dead lifts.  i still dread cardio every day.  i hope that changes soon, because it wont be going away.

weight loss:

12 pounds.  the number hasn’t moved in the last few days. i’m not sure why, but i’m still pretty happy with it.  i just hope it goes down a little more before the challenge is over.

well, that’s all i have for you today, folks.  sorry if i bored you.  not much going on in my life other than eating clean, working out, and trying to relax when i’m not prepping meals or cleaning the house.  i wish i could train my dogs to clean the house when i’m away at work.  i always tell scout to vacuum up some of his hair (he sheds A LOT) while i’m out, but he never listens. oh well.

scout

Q: what’s one of your currentlys’?

listening to my body

one of the hardest things i’ve had to deal with in the past in listening to my body.  all the diets and exercise plans i’ve ever tried, i wasn’t listening to myself, i was listening to what the plan was telling me to do.  i believe this had a lot to do with my constant failing.  my body was asking for something and i was ignoring it, to the point where i couldn’t keep going.  learning to listen to my body and realizing what it’s asking for will be a long journey, but i know if i want to be successful at this, i’m going to have to start somewhere.

yesterday i had a bad day, all around.  i had a bad workout, didn’t feel well, and if there had been the least bit of temptation at work, i probably would have ‘cheated’.  when i got home, i made the decision that i would take today off from the gym.  my body was telling me all day that it was exhausted and needed to recover, so i listened. i upped my carb intake at dinner a little and  by 8:30 p.m., i had already taken my sleepworks and nighttime recovery and was headed off to dreamland.

listentoyourbody(source.)

i woke up this morning feeling really good.  i didn’t down myself for skipping the gym. i got ready, put some effort into my looks, and headed off to work. on my way into work, i just felt better. i felt 20x better than i did the day before.  i wasn’t making an excuse to skip out on the gym, because i actually enjoy lifting; my body was telling me something and i listened to it. skipping the gym this morning doesn’t mean i’m allowed to binge all day. this whole situation may not seem like a lot to someone else, but it is a real accomplishment to me.

i want my body, not my mind, to control how i live my life.  if i’m hungry, i want to make sure it’s because i’m actually hungry, not just bored.  if i’m bored, i need to find something for my brain to do.  if i’m actually hungry, i’ll eat.  if i’m craving something, figure out what my body is actually craving.  instead of eating a pint of ben and jerry’s, i want to grab a handful of grapes and be satisfied.  if i’m exhausted, i want to figure out if i’ve just had a long day or if my body needs a break.  like i already said, this will take time, but i think i’m currently on the right track.

tomorrow i will be back in the gym bright and early to take on my final few days of the 24 day challenge.  i’m ready to finish this thing strong!

 

Q: do you find it hard to listen to your body or are you a pro?  did it take you awhile before you figured out what it was actually asking for?

advocare 24 day challenge update

hey there!  after a four day weekend away from just about everything other than the gym, i’m feeling.. awful. i know part of the reason for my feeling like this is cramps + bloating; but, there’s nothing i can do to control that so i’m not going to let it get in my way.

this morning, i fell got out of bed,  got all my things together, then headed down the road to my gym.  (sidenote: my gym is 30 minutes away, along with most civilization, but it’s only 5 minutes from my work; so, i shower at the gym and the distance doesn’t phase me, since i would be driving that far to work a couple hours later anyway).  15 minutes down the road, i realize something: i forgot my work clothes. ugh. i drive home, scoop them up, then head back to the gym.  i started out a little early this morning, so my mishap made me on-time to the gym around 5:15ish a.m.

once i got to the gym, i jumped right into squats and kettlebell swings for leg day, but something just felt off.  my legs felt exhausted and my right quad/hamstring kept feeling like it was about to pull.  so, i backed off and did as much as i could and followed-up with 15 minutes in the sauna.  i’ve been going into the sauna for about 5-10 minutes after every workout and i haven’t felt that sore compared to how i think i should feel.  i’m really pushing myself in the gym and the sauna seems to help keep the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) away.

here’s the thing, i’m not happy with my day in the gym this morning, but i’m also not upset.  i could have easily pushed sleep on my alarm clock and slept for two more hours, but i didn’t.  i’m not saying i’m new and improved and will never skip a workout, but, after 3 weeks of this, i can feel a change in my attitude.  something i’ve never felt before.  i want this change to stick and become permanent.

i know it wont be easy and i know its going to be a long road, but i know it will be worth it if i just keep sticking to what i’m doing.

Capture2(source.)

i’m currently down 12 pounds since the start of my Advocare 24 day challenge, and before i became a bloated mess, i seriously just felt ‘slimmer’.  i wont say these are magic pills that are going to make you skinny overnight, but i do think this challenge gives you the right tools to get on track with a healthy push along the way.

can’t wait to complete my final weigh-in next wednesday and share the results with you all! sorry for being whiney this afternoon.

have a great day!

quinoa tuna & avocado rolls

hey guys! i’m back with another recipe, requested by my basset hound loving, triathlon dominator, friend Sara!

a few days ago, i was thumbing through pinterest, when i spotted this recipe.  i knew as soon as i pinned it, i need to go get supplies to make it, because i wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it!

i didn’t really take exact measurements (since i wasn’t planning on posting this recipe) but i’ll give you my guestimate.  and if you like a structured recipe, you can find what the original creator used.

sushi

quinoa tuna & avocado rolls

(serves 2) *this is all guessing, i didn’t measure anything!*

ingredients:

  • 4 oz. sushi grade tuna steak
  • 6 pieces of nori paper
  • 1 cup of quinoa (you wont use a whole batch of cooked quinoa)
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth (or water)
  • optional: braggs liquid aminos and wasabi for dipping
  • other add-ins: crabstick, cream cheese, carrots, etc.

directions:

add quinoa to pot and toast over high heat for about 1 minute. add low sodium chicken broth to quinoa and let it come to boil.  once boiling, turn to simmer and cover with lid.  let simmer for 10 minutes. DO NOT open the lid during these 10 minutes.

while quinoa is cooking, prep the rest of the items.  cut up tuna, avocado, and cucumber in thin slices so they can easily be assemble onto the sushi rolls.

once quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes on low heat, remove from hot burner and let sit for 5 more minutes.  DO NOT open the lid yet!!  i believe this is what gave me a stickier quinoa that was very easy to stuff in the rolls.

after the quinoa is done cooking and sitting, prepare nori sheets as noted on package (i had to heat mine over a stove top burner).  add about 2 tablespoons of quinoa to each sheet, then layer toppings of choice;  some i added avocado + cucumber and others tuna + avocado, this part really is your own preference.

once you have all your fillings complete, roll the sheets of nori to wrap everything up.  to seal the rolls, i just run my finger, dipped in water, along both edges of nori and that usually does the trick.  it will also help to place them seam-side-down, so that the heat from the quinoa will also seal them (this is where a bamboo mat would come in handy, but i don’t have one).  once rolled, slice (carefully), and enjoy!

nutritional stats (for 3 rolls – guessing how much quinoa is used): 283 cals, 23 g carbs, 14 g fat, 21 g protein, 175 g sodium

this is only my second time actually making sushi rolls, but it was a lot easier than my first time around, which was in college.  i believe the key to making a good sushi roll is practice.  not everyone can make sushi art like this girl!  the possibilities really are endless when it comes to your add-ins.  i would have loved to make some with crabstick and cream cheese, but because of the 24 day challenge, i tried to stay about from the processed crab and the dairy of the cream cheese!

if you try these out, please let me know what you thought about the process and how you liked them!

bacon turkey sliders & green bean ‘fries’

the main complaint i hear about clean eating is that it’s boring or bland.  here’s the thing: it’s only boring and bland if you make it boring and bland!

i am constantly searching for clean recipes and adapting them to my taste/preference.  one thing I’ve become obsessed with is roasted vegetables.  i’ll roast any vegetable there is, even if i don’t love it, because chances are i’ll like it roasted (broccoli) !  i use the same method for all my vegetables and they usually always turn out amazing.  i like mine on the crispier side, so times may very, but as long as you keep an eye on them, you should be fine.

greenbeanfries

thursday night, i made bacon turkey sliders with green bean ‘fries’ and it was probably the best meal I’ve made this entire challenge (i had two slices of low-sodium, nitrate free bacon, which i added to the sliders, and that was probably the best decisions I’ve ever made).  this meal was packed with flavor and it made enough for two dinners and two lunches for the next day.

greenbeanfries2

bacon turkey sliders with green bean ‘fries’

(serves 4)

ingredients:

  • 20 oz. lean ground turkey (i used 97%)
  • 2 pieces of low sodium, nitrate free bacon
  • ~2 cups of green beans (i usually just go by the handful, i used 4)
  • seasoning of choice (i used tj’s 21 seasoning salute)
  • extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice) for drizzling
  • toppings of choice (avocado, onion, tomato, cheese. you can even put them on a bun!)

directions:

for green bean fries: preheat oven to 400*. place green beans on a foil lined baking sheet. drizzle with oil of choice.  sprinkle with seasoning. place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes.  i usually bake mine for a little bit longer (45+) because i like them very crispy!  keep an eye on them around the 30 minute mark to make sure they aren’t overcooked for your taste.  remove from oven when happy with ‘roastedness’. enjoy!

for bacon turkey sliders: preheat oven to 350* degrees. cut up bacon into small bits. add seasoning and bacon to ground turkey and mix. divide turkey into equal portion sliders (i divided it into 4 chunks, then divided those into 3 sliders).  place sliders onto a wire rack** and place wire rack onto baking sheet.  place in oven and bake for ~30 minutes or when internal temperature is 165*. remove from oven when internal temperate is 165*.  top with add-ons of choice. enjoy!

**i placed the sliders on the wire rack so that the sliders wouldn’t sit in the grease from the bacon.  if you don’t care about that, these can go directly onto a baking sheet.  even without all that extra bacon grease, these tasted amazing!

nutritional stats (for 3 sliders and a generous portion of beans): 205 cals, 6 g carbs, 4 g fat, 34 g protein, 144 g sodium

wanna hear my one complaint about the 24 day challenge?  they don’t recommend you eat dairy for the whole 24 days.  if you do, it should be small amounts of plain greek yogurt.  I HAVEN’T HAD CHEESE IN OVER 11 DAYS!  that has to be a record for me. and i miss it. i miss it, terribly.

i’ll be interested to see if dairy bugs my stomach once i try adding it back into my diet.  I’ve never had severe stomach problems, but do deal with some serious heartburn and the occasional bloat here and there.  i can live without yogurt and cows milk. but i miss my cheese.  we’ll see. i’ll keep you updated.

have a great weekend!

Q: what’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables? raw, roasted, boiled, sautéed? roasted. all. the. way.  except carrots and cucumbers.

happy friday!

hey guys! happy friday! my sister is coming into town to stay with me for the weekend and i have monday and tuesday off! (i didn’t take any time off work this summer, since its our busy season, so i figured i would try to catch a few days just to relax and enjoy the last few rays of summer!)  i’m planning on dragging my sister into the gym with me to see how sore i can make her.

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i’ll be reporting back with how i like the max phase in a few days.  i’m only on day 2, but its going great; i still have a ton of energy and eating is going well!  i’m really pushing myself in the gym and my muscles are definitely ready for a rest day on sunday.

Capture66(source.)

Q: any plans for the weekend?

advocare cleanse recap

sooooo.. the cleanse is officially over! now it’s time for the max phase of the challenge! i can’t tell you enough how excited i am to complete this challenge.  most ‘challenges’ i have tried in the past usually wind up with me getting bored before i actually finish.  that’s what makes this challenge so different.  24 days will pass you by before you even know it!

grab some snacks, this could get long.

so, what’s the cleanse been like? i never really felt like i was actually doing a ‘cleanse’ because i was still eating great food and enjoying normal activities.  the company suggests you cut out processed food, white flour, sugar, high-cal dressings, soda, and alcohol, replacing them with lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbs (beans, oatmeal, quinoa, whole grains). drinking plenty of water (they suggested half your body weight in ounces). and, they also suggest exercising regularly, which i ended up doing 1.5 – 2 hrs of lifting + cardio every morning.  i cut out the cardio after work, because i quickly felt burnt out, and i wanted to complete this challenge strong.

advocare(two 24 day challenge, only one is mine)

here’s a rundown of what my days looked like on average:

day 1-3:

  • 4:14 a.m. – roll out of bed, moaning and groaning
  • 4:30 a.m. – spark + catalyst pre-workout
  • 6:30 a.m. – fiber drink + protein shake post-workout
  • 10:00 a.m. – snack (almonds + hardboiled egg OR rice cake + almond butter)
  • 1:00 p.m. – catalyst
  • 1:30 p.m. – lunch (leftovers from night before, usually chicken/fish + veggies + quinoa/brown rice)
  • ~3:30 p.m. – snack (almonds + hardboiled egg OR rice cake + avocado)
  • 7:00 p.m. – omegaplex + dinner (chicken/fish/bison + veggie and sometimes complex carbs if feeling completely depleted, which only happened one day.)
  • 9:30 p.m. – herbal cleanse caplets + catalyst + protein shake
  • 10:00 p.m. – in bed

day 4-7:

day 8-10:

  • same as day 1-3, except take both probiotic restore and fiber drink, leave out herbal cleanse caplets at night.

it seemed a little intimidating, at first, and i carried my calendar around with what-to-take-and-when, but after the second day, i got the hang of it.  i would double check just to make sure i was taking the right thing in the morning and at night, since those are the only things that change through the cleanse.

i, also, never felt any harsh ‘cleanse’ effects happening during the 10 days either.  yes, it did make me regular, but i never felt like i was running to the bathroom, unless you count the bathroom breaks from drinking so much water.

the ONLY part of the cleanse i didn’t particularly enjoy was the fiber drink. i read plenty of reviews, beforehand, so i knew that it was just something i needed to mix, chug, and get it over with.  it wasn’t the taste that was bad, either.  it had a very gritty thick texture that wasn’t very appealing.  i was happy it wasn’t on days 4 through 7, and i’m very happy it’s over with for good, now. as much as i didn’t enjoy the fiber drink, it wouldn’t be enough to make me not want to try this cleanse again down the road.  advocare actually suggests doing this every 3 months.

so, how did i feel during the cleanse? i felt awesome.  i cannot stress that enough.  i want to be clear that i wasn’t eating terrible before i started this thing.  no, i wasn’t working out, but i kept most of my meals clean, especially during the week.  my downfall was late night ice cream, weekend eating out, and watching my portions.  just because the meal is ‘clean’ doesn’t mean you can have 2 large servings.  i was constantly tired. i felt groggy all the time. even if i wanted to workout, i felt so tired all the time i couldn’t seem to drag myself to the gym.

soooo, how were my results??? YOU GUYS, when i saw the numbers i was SHOCKED!  i know i feel 10x better, but the numbers are making me glow with confidence!  i knew my weight was consistently going down, because of that problem i have (which i’m working on). but, when i took my measurements and started comparing them with 10 days before, I WAS ESTATIC! so, here they are:

weightincheslostTHAT’S TWELVE AND A HALF INCHES, IN TEN DAYS. 

so, am i happy with the results so far?  ummm, do ya think???!?!  i’m really excited to finish this challenge strong.  these results are proof of my hard work and dedication and i can’t wait to see what kind of results i can pull off after 14 more days!!

*i am not an Advocare distributor, but my fiancé is.  all of my opinions on Advocare would be the same regardless of this.*