life update

GUYS! its been too long!

life has been chugging along, some good, some bad, but i’m still focusing on me to make sure i don’t let all of this hard work slip down the drain.

LIFE:

my last post was in NOVEMBER?!  man, the holidays got the best of me.  barbara and i got married, went to mexico, and are now in the process of trying to start our family.  we’ve had some hiccups happen, but its nothing that is going to stop us from bringing a child into this world.

i’m still incredibly terrified of small, ‘fresh’, babies but i know that will change once it is my own child in my hands.

in january, i finally transitioned to my new role as budget accountant.  this transition has been the main reason i’ve been so distant from my blog.  instagramming little bits and pieces of my day is easy, but sitting down and writing a post takes a little more time and effort.  this position definitely has its peaks and valleys as far as work load go, but i love the new work.  i was SO BORED in my other position with all the repetitiveness, and this position switches it up perfectly.

i’m going to chicago next week! its for business (boo), but it’ll be nice to get out and travel some.  hopefully i don’t freeze to death up there!  i think virginia weather has been cold enough it wont be too much of a shock to my system.

LAPBAND:

my lapband is still doing its job!  while i haven’t lost much since november, pounds-wise, my clothes have become a little looser, which is all that matters, right?  i’ve never NOT gained during the holidays, so to maintain was a huge accomplishment in my book, because i will admit: i definitely indulged.

between work stress/working long hours/super emotional personal struggle my band got SO TIGHT 2-3 weeks ago that i had to cut it back to liquids for a few days so my band could take a break.  i was on full liquids (cream soups, yogurts, pudding, broths, etc) for 5 or 6 days, then slowly transitioned back into soft foods, then normal solids.  while it wasn’t the most pleasant situation, it was much needed and i feel a lot better now.

i was suppose to have a fill this monday, but i cancelled the appointment since i’ll be busy at work getting ready for chicago.  i’m not sure if my doctor will give me another fill since my episode, but i guess i’ll see when i go back march 17th.  i haven’t had a fill since august, so too much liquid in my band shouldn’t be the case and most of the time, i don’t feel restriction like i think i need, i just think all of life’s stresses caught up to me and it made for a not so fun band experience.

i’ll keep you all updated on that one!

FOOD:

i’m still low carbing it as of right now, but my body is craving changed. i’ve taken some serious thought into how to make this a smooth transition without my triggers coming back full force. i’ve been considering going back to body-for-life eating (i documented it before) which is basically balanced intake: 40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% healthy fats.  i also want to keep the foods i eat as non-processed as possible, sticking to carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, berries, and things like that. breads and other processed carbs are hard on my digestion.

i know its possible to lose weight while eating carbs, they just scare me.  i don’t even mean that in a joking manner.. i’ve never known how to limit myself on carbs/sugars, which is why low carb usually works for me.  i completely restrict them so im not even tempted to eat them.. but then i get bored.. and eat some dessert.. and you know the drill. i can feel little ‘cheats’ creeping in a little too much which is why i know i need a change.

i’m currently doing an advocare cleanse to give my body a little boost, so i’m going to try to make this transition while cleansing/after the cleanse.  again, i’ll keep you updated!

WORKING OUT:

eh. not much to report on here.. i’ve been attempting but getting 2 days, AT BEST, a week.  i definitely want to get back into the gym more because my body is starting to feel soft, which i hate.  i have a great plan to follow so i just need to get on it!  i didn’t lose 75 lbs to stop at this.  i still have my dream body to sculpt here!

PROGRESS PICTURES:

here’s what about 75lbs down looks like:

photo 1 photo 2

 

i’m feeling better about myself every day and want to continue to do so.  this is the longest i’ve stuck with a weight loss journey and i want to make it work.  i’ve had a lot of curve balls thrown my way recently and i haven’t fallen off track like i normally would, so i’m taking that as a good sign.. and honestly, if i stayed at this weight (230 pounds) for the rest of my life, i wouldn’t be mad.  i love my body right now, i just want it to be a little tighter.  i don’t want abs or a thigh gap or whatever, but i want to be able to lift heavy weights and see some muscle definition in my arms and legs.

 

soooo.. that’s all i have for you today, folks!  hope you enjoyed my update and i hope i wont take so long to post next time!

Advertisements

easy mashed cauliflower recipe

hey guys!  hope everything is going well! i wanted to pop in today with a quick recipe since, when i post pictures of my food, especially my mashed cauliflower, on my IG page (thesweatybetty) i get tons of questions of how i make it and what i top it with.

i may start doing this more often, since i can answer a lot of questions all at once, and its easier than being confined to an iphone screen!  so!  if you have any other recipes you would like me to share, let me know, and i’d be more than happy share!

mashed cauli23

ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • milk of choice (almond/skim/heavy cream)
  • laughing cow cheese OR butter OR both! (optional)
  • toppings of choice (more butter, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon bits..)
  • salt & pepper to taste

directions:

  1. steam the whole head of cauliflower however you choose to steam it.  i have a pampered chef microwave steamer that works great for this purpose.
  2. while cauliflower is steaming, get out your blender, i use my vitamix, and add 2-3T of your milk and 1-2T of butter OR 1-2 wedges of laughing cow.  (i never add the same amount of anything, and i actually never measure my milk, i just know that a little goes a long way, since cauliflower has so much moisture)
  3. when cauliflower is done steaming and fork tender, add to the blender and blend away!  this is where i’ve realized a little liquid goes a long way.  many times, i’ve ended up with cauliflower soup, because i added too much liquid.  i recommend starting with a little bit, and working your way up, versus too much in the beginning!
  4. keep blending until desired consistency.  (i blended longer than i thought i should have a few times back, and ended up with the creamy, velvety cauliflower puree i cannot get enough of!)

the length of my blending depends, somewhat, on what i’m making with my cauliflower.  if i’m making my imitation ‘shrimp & grits’ i leave it a little less blended with less or no liquid, for a texture that closely resembles grits.  when i make it as a side to lamb chops (pictured below) or steak, i blend a little longer for a creamy texture that closely resembles creamy/mashed potatoes.

mashed cauli

the toppings are also endless!  i LOVE mine with blue cheese, or maybe i just love blue cheese? who cares. i love them with blue cheese.  you could also sprinkle some cheddar cheese if you’re not a blue cheese fan.  you could add a little extra butter if you want to.  bacon goes well with just about anything, so why not add it to this mash?  or add butter, sour cream, cheese, AND bacon for a load mashed potato which has a little less guilt, since you’re not eating the potatoes, or if you are following a ketogenic diet like me!

my main suggestion is to just play with it!  like i’ve said, i played with my measurements until i found a mixture that i loved.  it took quit a few cauliflower soups before i found out the ratios that i liked. start out less (milk/butter) and add more if you think it needs it, if it still seams chunky and dry, add a little more at a time, and blend longer than you think it needs!

if you have any of questions, let me know!  hopefully this helps some people!

remember me?

so, i realize, i’m just not the best blogger ever.  even when i’m on track with eating and exercising,  i just don’t always find it ‘fun’ to update the blog.  hopefully you guys understand that! i see that some people are still hanging around!

last time i left you, i wasn’t doing too much, just living life.  i did go to new york, which is CRAZY at christmas time.  maybe a little too crazy for me, but i had fun regardless!

1504993_637863745015_1586114161_n

other than that, i’ve been trying to eat fairly clean, with the occasional treats thrown in on the weekends.  i’ve been loving a avocado chicken burger recipe i found on pinterest awhile back.  these things are SO GOOD that they don’t even need a bun, which is saying a LOT coming from me!

1450695_642696659815_211715271_n

i also made some amazing filet and scallops for valentine’s day!  i don’t love getting all into valentine’s day, because i think if you love someone, you should show them you love them all year long, but those are my thoughts, and i wont go any further into it!

1654213_645797545615_1490750294_n

it’s been a CRAZY winter in richmond!  i had all but given up hope that i’d ever see a decent snow fall again, but last week we got 10 inches at my house.  plus, the temperature has been averaging around 10-15*, which is unheard of in these parts, so i’m dreaming of spring weather, and hope that it makes it here soon!

     1620647_645551498695_663541332_n

and, i couldn’t not mention that someone turned 3 yesterday!  yep, i can’t believe i got this guy a little less than three years ago!  he has pushed my limits more times than i can count, but i wouldn’t trade this guy for anything in the world.  i didn’t make him a pupcake this year, but he did get a few spoons of pb and almond butter! happy birthday, scout!

1962793_646211116815_1749301257_n

as far as weight loss goes, i haven’t been restricting my diet and i’ve been at the same weight since the 24 day challenge.  i know to some people, that may not sound great, but for me to actually maintain my weight, is something i’ve never been able to do.  i’m either gaining or losing, so it feels nice to be in control, a little.

i’ve also been going to the gym 3-5 times a week.  i’ve been drinking this pre-workout and its helped me get motivated after a long day of work.  its so easy to just go home, lay on the couch, and binge watch the following (SO GOOD), but if i drink the pre-workout before i leave work, there’s no way i’m going to waste the product/$$, so i end up in the gym and feel SO much better afterwards! plus, if i go home after the gym and mold into the couch, i don’t feel as bad!

lap-band surgery update:  i successfully completed my 12 month coaching program required by insurance yesterday!  i completed the other required appointments, as well, which included:

  • meeting with a psychiatrist
  • meeting with a nutritionist
  • receiving clearance from my PCP
  • H PYLORI testing

i got a phone call from my surgeons office yesterday morning and i’m scheduled for an appointment feb 28.  i’m not exactly sure what will happen in this appointment, but surgery is not set in stone yet, because i still need to receive insurance approval.  so, lets hope all goes well and i get approved quick!

its been a longgg road, but i still know that in my heart, this is what i want for me and my body.  i remember going on my first diet when i was 6 years old, so i’ve been struggling with this issue for 20 years.  20 YEARS. it’s so hard trying to convince someone this is the right thing for me.  i’ve received many snide remarks from co-workers/others, like “i’d rather be fat” or “can’t you just eat less and not get the surgery?”  not that these have ANY impact on my decision, BUT, its one of the main reasons i’ve kept my surgery to myself and the whole internet.  again, i’ve asked before, but if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, because i really don’t want any more negativity on this issue.

so, i think that’s enough updating for you guys today!  if you stuck around, thanks! and i promise i wont wait so long to post next time.  i want to keep this thing going, i really do.  i haven’t found a ton of blogs with the same issues as mine, so i’m hoping this can help other people.

xoxo

Advocare 24 Day Challenge Results!

you guys! happy thursday! wouldn’t it be great if it were just friday, already?  well it’s not, but i’m having a great day anyways!!

GUESS WHAT? the 24 day challenge is over!  i’m not happy its over, because i enjoyed (and will continue with) the structure of the program, and something about 24 days just made all the goals SO ATTAINABLE.  but, i’m also happy that i get to enjoy my upcoming weekend without the fear of failing at this thing.

Capture

i had AMAZING results with the cleanse. i was actually a little hesitant the second part of the challenge, because i was afraid to set myself up, too much, in fear that i wouldn’t do well and disappoint myself.

i will continue to say that this is not a miracle pill/program.  i ate clean and worked my ass off in the gym. with all the temptation i was faced with, i had zero cheats.  i was in the gym from 5:15-6:45 a.m. every week day and at some point on saturdays.  i did not slack off and i think my progress shows that.  but, the products helped push me through it.  i had the most energy i’ve had in a LONG time.  my workout motivation came from my favorite morning cocktail of spark + arginine extreme. the cleanse helped kick my bad habits, including my relentless sweet tooth.  and i think the MNS C helped curb any other cravings i had.

so, how did i do?  well.. here you go:photo 124daychallengeresults

and here are Barbara’s results:

photo 2

pretty amazing if you ask me.  we both feel great and can’t wait to see where the future will take us.  i’m promising myself that this challenge wont be the end and i can revert back to old ways; i feel too good to do that.  this is a lifestyle change, for sure.  and i’ll make sure to keep you updated along my journey!

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.