Fitness, food, weight loss, Weight Watchers

Limitations vs. Excuses

Can we talk excuses?

I’ve been full of them for the past couple months.

Trophy Husband got an amazing job opportunity that has required us to move to a different state.  We are living in a 2 bedroom apartment when we are used to a much larger house as a family.

I’ve used the apartment as an excuse to not keep up with my healthy eating and fitness goals.  The kitchen SUCKS.  It’s a tiny galley style with almost no counter space and it’s an old school electric coil stove, which I hate!  (people who buy electric stoves by choice- please tell me why in the comments! I need fire!)

apartment kitchen
Seriously… so. small.

I avoided cooking in this kitchen for weeks.  I hate the stove, I don’t have most of my pots and pans or knives and utensils.

Because of this, we ordered take out a lot! Uber Eats was a blessing and a curse.  (if you want to try it and haven’t already- use my code eats-paulad67 and we will both get $5 off!)

I gained 7 pounds in the month of January, due to my hatred of the apartment kitchen and pure laziness when my son and I would travel back home to Michigan while my husband stayed behind for work.  Even when I had my beautiful big kitchen and gas stove at my disposal, I still found myself ordering takeout or hitting up the drive thru.  My poor kid has consumed to much pizza and tacos that past couple months.  (not that he’s complaining!)

Two weeks ago, I decided to stop the madness and get my life together.  I actually went grocery shopping for actual ingredients and cooked most of our dinners at the apartment.  It helps that on my last trip to our old house I brought back more of my kitchen gear that I was missing.

Since I started cooking again, I’ve lost 6.5 of the 7 pounds that I gained.  Funny how not eating like a complete idiot will do that for ya.

Another excuse that I’ve had is that this apartment is too small to work out.  I’m used to having my little workout room in my basement with a treadmill, a big TV, and plenty of room to do my Beach Body workouts.

Now I have this:

apartment gym
Be jealous of my super fancy “gym”!

I finally got off my butt and started 80 Day Obsession.  I’m on Day 12 and I’m LOVING it!  It’s hard, but I feel great- stronger than I ever have.

And you know what- I need about 20 square feet of space to do these workouts.  My downstairs neighbors may be a little pissed at me during the jumping jacks… but I try to land as softly as I can.

Speaking of 80 Day Obsession- something that Autumn Calabrese said a few workouts ago stuck with me and inspired me to write this post.  I’m paraphrasing, but she basically said “Limitations are things that are beyond your control that you can overcome; Excuses are reasons that people use when they want to quit.”

This small apartment and less than ideal kitchen are limitations, but I was using them as excuses to not do what I needed to do.  I made the decision to adapt to my surroundings and figure out how to make them work for me.

This living situation isn’t ideal, but it is temporary and I’m so thankful for this opportunity that my family has in this new city.  And now that I’ve reframed my thinking about the apartment, I’m ready to move forward with my Weight Watchers program and fitness routine and finally reach my goals!

What limitations do you have that you are using as excuses?  How can you overcome them?  Tell me in the comments!

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Fitness, food, weight loss, Weight Watchers

A Disappointing Weigh in

You ever feel like you’ve done everything right and things just don’t go your way on the scale?

I’m sure having one of those days!

I worked my program this week the way you are meant to.  I tracked everything.  I had blue dots 5 out of 7 days and I didn’t even go near using all of my weeklies.  I also had 49 fit points that I didn’t eat.

I was SO excited to get under the next “decade” of pounds today. (I was only 0.6 lbs away!)

But then…

I stepped on the scale at my Weight Watchers meeting, and it said I GAINED .4 pounds!

Excuse-Me-Come-Again
My face when I saw the scale

I was SO ANNOYED.  How could this happen?  I was a model weight watcher this week!  Looking back at my week, there is nothing that I would go back and do over.  I even ordered naked tenders and a side salad at Buffalo Wild Wings, FFS!

My leader came over and chatted with me because she could see that I had an attitude.  I told her what happened and talking to her really helped me to reframe my disappointment.

She told me to get my app out and look at my last few weeks.  And then to look at my graph from the beginning.  I was able to see a steady downtrend of the 11 pounds that I’ve lost since recommitting to Weight Watchers in October.  I’ve had some gains over the holidays and with the stress and lack of routine in moving my family to a new state this month, I had a set back and gained seven pounds thanks to the convenience of Uber Eats.

Sidebar: if you haven’t tried Uber Eats yet and want to, use code eats-paulad67 and you and I will both get $5 off. I don’t recommend ordering from there almost every day for two weeks like I did, though….

Anyway!

The point that I’m trying to make here is that one week doesn’t define my success.  I know that I’m doing the right things to lose weight and improve myself and sometimes the scale is not going to reflect that.

Perhaps I had too much sodium yesterday.  I’ve been doing 80 Day Obsession workouts and my muscles are SORE.  They are probably holding on to a bit of extra water.  Heck, maybe I just needed to go to the bathroom!

I’ve come a long way on this weight loss journey (gawd I hate when people call it their journey… but I don’t know a better word to describe it!).

The photo on the right came across my Facebook memories feed yesterday from two years ago, so I did a side by side.  I’ve lost 33 pounds since then!  Do I have more to go?  Yup.  But am I PROUD of what I’ve accomplished thus far?  You’re damn right!

side by side
Down 33 pounds and one upper lip

If you’re feeling discouraged and not seeing the results you want, please don’t quit!  I know that I’m doing the right things for my body and if I continue to do these things, I WILL get to my goal.  And you will, too! 🙂

 

Fitness, food

How to Stay Healthy during the Holiday Season

Hello readers!  The following is another guest post from my buddy Kaitlin.  She’s got some great tips on how to enjoy the holidays without derailing your fitness goals!

Christmas cookies

This can be a tough time of year to keep up your healthy lifestyle. Life gets busy and you skip a workout, then you overeat at family gatherings. It happens to us all! Here are some ways to make it through without throwing your goals out the window.

1. Sweat

Getting in your workout everyday not only helps you maintain your weight, but it also relieves stress. The holidays can bring added stress to all of us. There are parties to attend, dishes to make, and gifts to buy. Give yourself a gift by working out daily and sweating away the stress.

2. Have a plan

Know before you go to a party how you will stick to your plan and not fall completely off the wagon. Can you have a healthy snack before so you won’t be starving when you get there? Can you drink more water and less soda or beer? It’s not about completely eliminating all the comfort foods or your favorite dish that your Grandma only makes during the holidays, its about having it all in moderation. Grab a little bit of your comfort foods and balance that out with lots of lean proteins and veggies. Know before you go what you will do to stick to your goals!

3. Stock healthy meals

Have healthy meals ready to go in your fridge or freezer. Save the comfort foods for family get-togethers. When you are home, you can control the food. Make sure to have plenty of leafy greens, lean proteins, and fruit in your fridge so that you can have everything ready for a healthy lunch or dinner.

4. Start a new tradition

Instead of baking cookies all day, could you start a new tradition of going for a family hike or playing outside in the snow? If you already have a great tradition around baking with your family, then maybe you could add another one that gets you moving!

I hope these tips will help you fight the extra holiday pounds this season and still allow you and your family to enjoy the season! Have some tips of your own? I would love to hear them! Feel free to send me a message!

About Kaitlin:

Kaitlin Zucco is an online health & fitness coach in West Michigan. When she’s not working out at home with her husband and 2 year old daughter, Emma, she enjoys traveling and soaking up as much beach time as possible in Holland.

You can find her through her Fit and Fiesty Facebook page.

Kaitlin

food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Marinated Flank Steak Wraps

Trophy Husband and I tag teamed on a delicious dinner the other day. (I previewed it on my Instagram story on Sunday)

We are big meat eaters, but find it hard to always stick to healthy meals when we do anything other than chicken breast.  These steak wraps definitely hit the mark with flavor and health!

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

about 1/2 c olive oil

about 1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Worcestershire sauce- a couple splashes

Pepper to taste

For the rest:

Flank Steak

salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

1 green pepper

1 large onion

Low carb Tortillas

Cheese (optional)

Mayo or sour cream (optional)

Step 1:

Marinate the steak in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire and pepper for at least 4 hours.

Step 2:

After the steak has marinated for the desired amount of time, broil for about 5-6 min on each side. You can probably just cook for 10-12 min without turning, but I like to cook mine on a grated tray so you kind of get grill marks.

Note that you may want to cook longer if you want your steak to be more well done.  We like ours a little pink, so this is the time that works for us.

You could also grill outside, or cook on your stove if you prefer.  The broil option just works best for us in terms of clean up.

Step 3:

While your steak is cooking, chop up your onion and bell pepper and sautee in some olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4:

Slice your steak in thin strips.

cutting steak
I promised you crappy iPhone photography, and I’m definitely delivering with this shot!

 

Step 5:

Assemble wraps with desired toppings!

I did veggies, cheese, and mayo for more of a true philly steak feel.  Trophy Husband used sour cream instead of the mayo for more of a fajita feel.

 

Enjoy!

 

food, Recipes

Crockpot Turkey Chili

It sure doesn’t feel like fall in Grand Rapids with these temps approaching 90 degrees this week, but that hasn’t stopped me from busting out my Crockpot!

Now that I’m working in an office and not from home, I really need to be on top of meal planning so we don’t fall into a habit of getting takeout all the time.  The Crockpot gives me a guarantee that my family will have a healthy dinner ready when we get home in the evening.

Turkey chili is one of my favorite easy Crockpot recipes to throw together.  Here’s how I make mine!

turkeychiliingredients
Lots of seasonings- season your food, y’all!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

1 can diced tomatoes (I like Ro-Tel because they are spicier with the green chilis added)

Chili powder

Onion powder

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Cumin

Aleppo Pepper (optional if you like more spice)

Cinnamon- Trust me!

 

Step 1:

groundturkeycook

Cook the ground turkey over medium high heat with a little non stick spray or olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and Aleppo Pepper.

Step 2:

turkeychilicrockpot_2

Dump all of your ingredients into the crock pot, including your remaining seasonings. (Chili powder, Cumin, and Cinnamon)

If you’ve never used Cinnamon in your chili, you need to try it.  It’s a game changer.  Trophy Husband introduced me to this a while back and I’ve never looked back.  (sidebar: he’s the real chef in this relationship.  I just pretend that I know what I’m doing!) I’d suggest starting with about a tablespoon of cinnamon, and taste after the chili has been simmering for a while to see if you want to add more.  You don’t need a ton, but it really adds to the flavors.

Once you’ve dumped your ingredients, just let it cook on low for 8-10 hours and you’ll have a healthy and filling meal ready for you at the end of the day.

Enjoy!

 

food, Recipes

Crockpot Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

September is here, which means fall weather is coming and my Crockpot goes into heavy rotation.  It is so nice to throw something in before starting my day and know that I don’t have to worry about getting dinner on the table after a long day of Trophy Wifing.

I LOVE meatballs and would normally use ground beef, veal, and pork sausage for this recipe, but I’m making it a mission to serve my family healthier meals, so I created a lightened up version of my fave recipe using ground turkey and turkey Italian sausage.

These meatballs are SO delicious to use with pasta, zoodles (zuchinni “noodles” made in a spiraler), or on sandwiches and using turkey makes them feel guilt-free.

Here’s the recipe!

turkeymeatballingredients

Ingredients:

1 lb Ground Turkey

Turkey Sausage Links (4-5)

1 Egg

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

1 Cup Bread Crumbs

Salt

Pepper

Onion powder

Granulated garlic

Italian seasoning

1 Jar Marinara sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce)

**Note on seasonings- I don’t measure them, which is why I don’t typically include the measurements in my recipe.  Use the amount that suits your taste, and omit anything you don’t like, but PLEASE season your food, y’all!**

Step 1:  In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, turkey sausage (casings removed), egg, bread crumbs, seasonings, and egg.  Get in there and use your hands to combine.

turkeymeatballeggandbreadcrumbs

 

Step 2: Divide into 12 equal portions- lay them out on a cutting board so they look a bit like sliders and stuff them with cheese.

turkeymeatballstuff

If you’re a normal person, you’ll do this two handed and make nice neat balls.  If you’re a beginner mommy blogger who has to use one hand to take her own crappy iPhone photos, you’ll do this one handed.

Trophy Wife Tip:  These little prepackaged mozzarella cheese balls are perfect for this recipe!  I get them at Costco.  Each little package has three small balls for a 70 calorie snack, or each ball is the perfect size to stuff these meatballs!

mozzcheese

 

Step 3:

Heat up olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or whatever type of skillet you own) and sear the meatballs on all sides.  Don’t worry about cooking all the way through- you just want them a little brown on each side.

turkeymeatballsear

Step 4:  Transfer meatballs to Crockpot and cover in sauce.  I like this Trader Joe’s Marinara because it is low in sugar compared to any other brand I’ve seen. (only 3g of sugar per serving vs. 9g or more in most other brands)

turkeymeatballsauce

Step 5: cook on low for 8-10 hours.

turkeymeatballcrockpot

 

Enjoy!

food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

When times are tough- us moms have to stick together, right?

A former coworker just gave birth to twins a couple weeks ago.  She also has an adorable 20 month old girl that was in my son’s daycare class before we transferred locations.

Twins + Toddler = no time to cook (or sleep, or shower, or anything else)

A group of us moms have gotten together to make some freezer meals for this sweet family and my contribution is breakfast burritos.

I’m making two different kinds- one with turkey sausage, cheese, and potatoes, and one with black beans, cheese, and potatoes.  These are super easy to make and so convenient to have in the freezer for a quick morning meal.

Ingredients: (for 16 burritos- 8 sausage, 8 bean)

12 eggs

Milk (just a splash)

Sour cream (about 3 tablespoons- optional)

1 pound turkey sausage

1 can of black beans

1/2 bag of shredded cheese

1/2 bag of frozen hash browns

Butter or Ghee (about 2 tablespoons for cooking the eggs)

Salt

Pepper

Onion Powder

 

Directions:

Brown sausage in a bit of olive oil or non-stick spray.  Set aside.

 

turkey sausage

Brown potatoes in olive oil or non-stick spray.  Add salt and pepper. (sidebar- season your food, y’all! salt and pepper goes so far!)

hashbrowns

Combine eggs, milk, sour cream, and seasonings and whisk until blended.

eggs

Now, let’s talk scrambled eggs.  Please, please, please do not cook your eggs too hot too fast!  They come out sooooo much better when you cook them low and slow.  Seriously.  no more than 50% heat on your stove, and only stir them occasionally.  My husband, who is a much better cook than I am, taught me this technique and I’ve never looked back.  I have enjoyed my eggs so much more over the past 9 years since I met that man.

Again, turn on the stove to no more than 50% heat and add your butter or ghee.  (highly recommend ghee)

ghee

Then add your eggs.  Cook them sloooooooooooooow.  If there’s any brown on them, they are overcooked!

Halfway there!

scrambled eggs 1

And Done!

scrambled eggs 2

Now it’s time to build your burritos.  Add your ingredients, roll your burritos tight, and wrap in plastic.

build bean burritos

 

Now, let’s talk plastic.  I know it’s not exactly popular these days to use plastic wrap due to sustainability and health.  I don’t normally like to use plastic wrap, but I have not had success freezing these in foil.  I’d love to hear some suggestions on how my readers have made foil work for freezing and/or if you have other non-plastic tricks.

Once you have these wrapped, just throw in the freezer until you are ready to eat!

To warm up, the best technique in my experience is to leave in the plastic and warm up in the microwave for about 90 seconds.  This keeps the tortilla from drying out.  If you’re iffy about the plastic in the microwave, I’d suggest wrapping in a damp paper towel and placing on a microwave safe dish for 90 seconds.  The paper towel will help the tortilla retain it’s moisture.

I hope you enjoy these breakfast burritos!  If you make them, let me know how you like them!

I especially hope my friend and her family enjoy these and that it helps take a little bit of stress away from them as they care for their sweet family!

food, Recipes

Make Ahead Egg Cups

I’ve been very focused on meal prepping, as my husband and I are both trying to watch our waistlines.  I try to pack breakfast and lunch for him to take to work, and even though I work from home most days, I find it easier to stay on track if I “pack” my food as well.  When I’m ready for a break, I can just grab one of my containers from the fridge and have a no-brainer healthy meal.

One of our staple breakfasts are egg muffins, or egg cups.  These are a great low carb option packed with protein to keep you full.  You can play with the ingredients to suit your tastes.  Today’s recipe includes sausage, cheese, and spinach, but you can put together any combination that you like to have in your omelettes.

Here’s the recipe!

To make 12 muffins, use the following ingredients:

4 Large Eggs

1 cup liquid egg whites (you can change ratio of eggs to egg whites- you want the equivalent of about 10 eggs)

1 cup spinach, chopped

1/2 tube of breakfast sausage (I used pork because it was lower in sugar, turkey sausage is a lower calorie and fat option)

1/2 cup shredded cheese (or more to taste)

1/4 cup sour cream

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Onion powder to taste

 

Preheat oven to 325 if you plan to make ahead and warm up later.  If you are planning to eat immediately, preheat to 350.

Crumble and brown sausage in a skillet.  Set aside on a paper towel to eliminate some of the grease.

Combine eggs, egg whites, sour cream, and seasonings in a large bowl and scramble.

Add cooked sausage, spinach, and cheese and stir together.

Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to distribute mixture into even servings.

IMG_2935[1]

If making ahead to warm up in the future, bake at 325 for 25 minutes.  You want them to be a little “under” baked so that they don’t dry out when you microwave them.

If you just can’t wait to eat them and want to have them right away, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!