Trust Your Gut is Starting Fresh this week! As you might know, if you read my Blog post yesterday, I had a bit of bad news, and I was struggling to deal with it. I was upset and had my moments to deal with it, and like I wrote yesterday, I focused on the good things in my life, rather than dwelling on the bad news. I am happy to say that it worked. Did it ever!
The old me would have dwelled in the negativity. The old me would have scrounged the house for junk food or anything that remotely resembled junk food. The old me would have wallowed in a pity party for one, and she might not have even let a new day snap her out of it.
With that one story yesterday, I changed my attitude. I had 4 pounds of ground beef in the fridge, and a whole chicken, all ready to cook. When I am trying to do better, I plan to cook, and sometimes the food spoils before I get to it. I decided yesterday was going to be a cooking day.
Roy, my husband, does not always like to eat on plan with me when I am making healthy food. It is challenging, as sometimes I have to cook different things. Sometimes we compromise, like when I make spaghetti sauce, he has regular pasta, and I now prefer spaghetti squash. I really do, because I do not get sleepy like I do after eating regular pasta. I like eating food that is healthy and tastes good. Trim Healthy Mama, or THM, is a plan that has an abundance of recipes for making healthy food that tastes good.
I am still drinking the Shrinker 5 days a week. I need to make some GGMS for the weekend. I need to have something other than pop to drink. I like the Shrinker. The last batch I made did not get consumed quickly enough. I have a glass pitcher with a spout to make it in. That is another plan for the weekend. If it is easily accessible, I am more likely to drink it. I have shared the recipes before, and the originals can be found at the THM website, under the recipes tab. There are also quite a few food Bloggers for THM, and Pinterest is loaded with THM recipes.
I cooked all of that meat last night. I took my disappointment, frustration, and discouragement, and turned into something productive. I cooked 1 pound of the beef and made Hamburger Helper for Roy. He had that last night for supper and today for lunch. I cooked the other 3 pounds together. I cooked it with a package of onion soup mix. (So good!) I scooped about a pound and set it aside for Big Mac Salad. I took the remaining 2 pounds and made Cheeseburger Pie. Before I started this, I used my favourite rub to get the chicken in the slow cooker. You can find it here. Tonight, we will be eating chicken for supper. It is ready to go! Roy will probably make a chicken sandwich for work tomorrow.
I have leftovers to heat and eat, for the next few days. I am proud that I did something productive last night. I needed to distract myself, and I did just that. Most of what I made is on plan too, with a few compromises for Roy to have something to eat as well. All in all, I think I am on my way to snapping out of the winter blues as a result of it. It is lighter in the morning and the evening, and it is making a difference in how I feel. Bring on Spring! This is why I called this week’s story a Fresh Start! I am ready to get things going in the right direction again!
A part of my New Healthy Lifestyle that I have been working towards for more than two years now has been adding physical activity into my routine. At my current job, there was a team for the local Relay for Life Charity event, and I joined. I have gone to a few Relay Events in the last five years, and that is where I found the Zumba Crew. The group size ranges from year to year, and class to class. The core group has remained, for the most part, the same. It is a private group, not that we don’t accept new members, but that it is not based out of a gym. We meet twice a week, and I have been working at it and getting better all the time.
The featured picture above was from Relay For Life 2016. This is just a few of us. The photo bomber Storm Troopers in the background looking like they want to be a part of the Zumba Crew really were there. They were in another group for Relay, and they gathered a lot of attention. But if you look past the Zumba Crew, you can see it. They want to join in. That happens around our Zumba Crew. We have a lot of fun!
As you can see, one of the Storm Troopers joined in for Zumba at Relay 2016. It was really fun! I have come a long way in my healthier lifestyle goals. I have always finished class. Not always doing the same thing as everyone else, or keeping the same pace, but I am there until the end. The first time I did Zumba at Relay, I had two; not one but TWO charlie horses in my calves. I wanted to quit. But I thought about where I was, and what I was participating in. Thought about how it was to raise money to cure cancer, and if you have cancer, and need to go through treatments, you can’t just quit in the middle if you want to beat it. So I toughed it out.
Since then, I have never had an experience quite like it. I am grateful for that. I have had health issues in the past year that forced me to take a break from Zumba. I am happy to report that I am back, and getting stronger again. I am keeping pace better, and trying harder at doing the same moves as everyone else. I have to do my own thing, sometimes, because I still have a long journey ahead of me to becoming a healthier version of myself. Something I want people to take away from reading this is that it doesn’t have to be Zumba, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. But if you pick something you enjoy doing and work at it on a regular basis, you will improve, and you will be a better person for it.
So go out there and try something new. Or get involved in something you used to like doing. Make friends. Have fun. It might be the best thing you can do for yourself! Trust me, the best part of my Mondays and Wednesdays is rushing out of work to go join my friends at Zumba Class. Find your Zumba, and start becoming the best version of you that you can be!
That is a picture of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole. It is one of my favourite Trim Healthy Mama recipes. Last year I stumbled across this plan, and thought I’d give it a whirl. I can say it works, as long as you work at it. I have been bouncing between fifteen and twenty pounds lost in the last year. From playing with it. I am never 100% on plan. But I have made some changes, and feel better when I try hard. So this is one of the reasons I am working harder at it this year.
I need to plan ahead for grocery shopping and cooking meals to stay on track. I have started prep cooking on weekends. Prep cooking for two doesn’t have to be complicated, unless the other person doesn’t want to eat what you have made. At first, I was disappointed with my husband for not wanting to do this with me. I had to take a step back, and think about how to progress with it, and keep us both happy.
There was a point when I realized that I was merely existing and not really living my life to its fullest potential. I came to that conclusion for myself, about myself. Not for him. So he will have to deal with his choices, like I am dealing with mine. I am choosing to try harder. Which means sometimes I cook his and hers lasagna. Other times we make spaghetti sauce and he makes pasta, while I have spaghetti squash with mine. Sometimes we eat the same thing. Sometimes I eat things that are not on plan, with him. Other times I make what I want and he has to feed himself. We manage.
Adapting the grocery list and budget for this was challenging. We use coupons when we have them. We circle what we want in the flyers before making our grocery list. And when I am on top of things, I pick a couple of recipes and add missing ingredients to my grocery list. That is work too. Not hard work, but it is time consuming. So it helps to have a time set aside for this. We like to go get the groceries together. One reason is that we are on a budget, and if I go alone, a sale could cause me to “forget” the budget. He keeps me within the guidelines of the budget. Also, it is good to have help getting it all in the house and put away.
Storage is another issue we have. Living in a mini home, we have to maximize the space we have. That is an ongoing struggle. It is part of the reason I am involved with the cleaning and organizational challenges. There would be more prep cooking done if I had the space and money for more storage containers. Also time. I would love to cook all weekend, but then, there is the cleanup. So that slows me down sometimes.
I have learned that one or two casseroles a week gives me enough food for lunches all week, and for some suppers. Which is reasonable. Until he doesn’t want anything I made. Which on the wrong day makes me angry. But I am learning to let that go, it’s not me he doesn’t want, it’s the food I made. Which by the way, is really tasty, the recipes rock! He just misses potatoes and veggies and meat. Together. I do eat sweet potatoes more than white potatoes, now. Sometimes we bake some of each. He turns his nose up at spinach. That’s why I make his and hers lasagna. He eats traditional, and I eat Lazy Lasagna, which does have spinach and no noodles. I have been teaching him to cook some things, so if he decides he wants something different, he has choices.
Ideally, there would be a way to cook enough for a whole month at a time, have containers to keep it in the freezer, and have him join me on this journey. Reality is that he doesn’t like spinach. So, in this like other aspects of our marriage, we choose to compromise. Sometimes that is the only answer, until he realizes I am right. Which he will, eventually, I have no doubt. Seeing is believing, and we will be seeing results this year. I plan on working hard at all of my goals for 2017.
Coffee in a pretty yellow cup and saucer.
I have been taking care of a friend’s coffee mug for about three years now. She has moved out of the country for work. So I have a few of her things in storage, some of them I have promised to use carefully, and one of them is an extra large coffee mug. It holds more than 20 oz of coffee. When I enjoy my coffee out of this mug, I tell people I am having a bucket of coffee. It really is that big, much bigger than the pretty yellow one in the picture.
I am not the type of person that has to have the coffee piping hot to enjoy a cup. I like it warm, not too hot, but with some heat left in it is optimal. So when it gets cold, I have two choices. Reheat it in the microwave and wait for it to be at that perfect temperature again, or go get a straw. Today, I choose the straw.
I know, some people that read this will shudder, and think that cold coffee is disgusting. When I drink coffee, I don’t put anything in it, I drink it black. I used to dress it up, but I decided to go cold turkey a few years ago, and I convinced myself I would learn to like it. I now enjoy it this way.
I have tried bulletproof coffee. Who comes up with this stuff? Maybe I just don’t know how to make it right, but I did not enjoy my only attempt at this creation. I will stick to taking my coffee black and sometimes flavoured. Some of the flavoured coffees work for me, and some don’t. I like a good variety, and when I decide to splurge on K-cups, I try new flavours whenever I can.
I was talking to someone the other day, and he said I should drink Ethiopian coffee. He said it will keep me up for nine days; and that I will save money because I won’t be running to Timmy’s all the time. I live in Canada, Timmy’s is a reference to Tim Hortons Coffee and Donut restaurants. When I was a child, I thought it was Important Donuts. They are the main Canadian preference for coffee shops, and a place a lot of people like to spend time, cafe style. If you ask your friends if they want a Timmy’s, you usually get replies that include a double-double in them somewhere. Now, I’m all for a good cup of coffee, but to me, being awake for 9 days sounds a little extreme.
Why the bendy straw? Well, the bucket is fairly tall. I like options, and bendy straws are more fun. Why not? I am sitting here getting ready for New Year’s Eve in my mind. I have a lot on my to-do list for today. I am invited to a house party, and it is a potluck. My husband and I have gone to this party for several years now when the weather cooperated. The forecast is good for tonight, so we plan to attend. He will be working until I pick him up on my way to the party. With a big list of things to do and only me here to do them, as much as I would have liked to drink a cup of coffee at that perfect temperature, it wasn’t in the cards today. So a bendy straw it is.
I am feeling a little nostalgic today. 2016 was a difficult year in many ways. A lot has happened. I lost some weight, so that is something I would like to continue in 2017. Living a healthier lifestyle is one of my resolutions this year. It will be something I blog about, because it is important to me, and I want to share my successes. Maybe it will help another person in their struggle, and it will do some good. I started this blogging adventure in November and decided that I need to write those books I have wanted to write my whole life. So that is going to happen. Writing the Fantasy Trilogy is another resolution. I hope that the music world stops in to read my lyrics. I dream of a collaboration with musicians to make my songs audible for the world, not just to be poetry in a blog. I have had the pleasure of making new friends online through this project, and I am grateful for those who took the time to help me get this blog from an idea to a reality. I thought I was only going to make the two resolutions for 2017, but something joined the ranks in the last 24 hours. I have attempted to complete home cleaning and organization challenges for the last 2 years. Last night I signed up again, and I am not committing to finishing it in 16 weeks, but I am committing to finishing it this year. I joined two last year, as one is more for in-depth cleaning (16 weeks) and the other one is for quick organizing (31 days) so I will be working on both challenges in 2017. My final resolution is to finish them within the year.
Well, I am now making that annoying noise through the bendy straw. I have finished my coffee. Time to walk away from the desk for a while, crank the tunes, and tackle my to do list. However you ring in 2017, I wish you well and hope you accomplish what you need to do in 2017. Happy New Year!