This week, I am reminding myself that minor setbacks are minor. I gained a couple of pounds after losing for a few weeks in a row. It is going to happen, and that is a fact of life. Fluids are going to be retained, no matter what plan you are on.
I am writing today to let you all know that I am still on the right path, even if I slipped a little. Some junk food made it into the house, and I am certain it is what caused this minor setback. It is okay, as long as I make a recovery plan.
It is summer. Ice cream.
I am human, and I will sometimes go for the ice cream. The trick is to make it a treat, and not an everyday event. I got bagels and cream cheese. I do like bagels and cream cheese and want them from time to time. It is better for the budget to buy them at the grocery store than at a cafe. I will do this from time to time. It is okay.
What isn’t okay is throwing my hands up into the air in a sign of defeat.
We all have those moments. The days when everything is going wrong and all you want to do is go get some fast food to make one thing easier on ourselves. Guess what? It isn’t true. If you give in, you are giving up on yourself when it becomes a pattern. If you get fast food every time things are not going well, it is going to become a bad habit, with some nasty side effects.
You will feel bloated, and you will retain fluid. Then you will get on the scale, and see it went up. What a nasty cycle of negativity.
One reason why I do not weigh myself every day is that I would become obsessed with my weight. It is not a healthy obsession, for me. It can cause a spiral of events that would have terrible side effects. Always wearing black clothes, and avoiding social events. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you want to hide. In case you haven’t learned this about me yet, hiding is not something I want to excel at.
While it is okay to have that treat once in a while, it is not okay to have treats every day, or more than once a day. Unless that treat is a salad. Fill up on healthy foods, and more than once a day is acceptable for healthy food choices.
What is working
I have been drinking a lot less pop, or for the south of the border readers, soda. I still have one every so often, but I am getting it less frequently than ever before. We are drinking more water, and of course, I am drinking coffee. I sometimes have a cold-brewed coffee or an iced coffee, and these beverages can be sugar-free. If I choose iced tea, it may or may not have sugar, depending on which one I choose.
I have cooked a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breasts today.
When I bake them in the oven, with greek and feta salad dressing, there are a variety of ways to make meals with chicken. I can then add it to a garden or pasta salad, casseroles( my favourite recipe is here) or make my own version of Buffalo chicken nachos. Not being a fan of anything super spicy, I add a smoky or hickory BBQ sauce and blue cheese dressing in place of the salsa and sour cream. Of course, I add chicken, tomato and green onion, but you can adapt nachos to include whatever options you prefer. It makes a nice change from ordinary nachos, and I haven’t made them often lately, but I do love my nachos. As long as they are mild.
When it comes to making casseroles, I stick to the Trim Healthy Mama recipes. They are found on their website, but if you search for them, many bloggers make their own THM recipes, and they are really great. I do need to focus more on cooking at home, and I have started.
What can you do?
It all goes back to doing what works for you. If you don’t know what that is yet, it might be time to try something new. I recommend checking with your doctor before making any serious dietary changes, to be on the safe side. Keto is really popular right now, but as a type 2 diabetic, I cannot eliminate carbs. That is exactly why THM is working for me, it is low carb, not no carb. I do not buy their products, except for the first book, I bought a while ago. I would buy all of their cookbooks before ordering their products. They do sell high-quality products, and I have no qualms about them. My reasons are that if I can find similar products locally, I will try to go that route first.
If you can make your meals at home, from scratch, it will make a difference in your health. I do enjoy cooking. The cleanup, not so much. Certain foods are optimal to batch cook to have leftovers, such as the chicken I cooked today. It will help me make better meal choices because it is ready to use. If I prepare food and have it ready to grab when I need it, I make healthier choices, and I do see results. If you aren’t a fan of buying chicken breasts in bulk, you can buy a whole chicken, and roast it in your oven or slow cooker with this recipe.
Start with one meal a day.
With THM, they recommend you start with breakfast. I am currently eating a smoothie bowl breakfast almost every day. A small container of yogurt, a small container of unsweetened applesauce and a raisin, nuts and seeds mix all together. I have been adding 20 almonds as well since we had bought some on sale and I want to use them up. There are plenty of other options out there, I also like eggs and avocado for breakfast. When I have too many meals in a row without carbs, I do notice a difference. So, I mix them up, to make things balance better for me. I choose to eat Silver Hills sprouted wheat bread. It is not on the plan, but I still use it. I like it, and that is important, too.
What changes can you implement to start your path or add variety to your journey to become a healthier version of yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I am curious, and always looking for new ideas.
It has been a while since I felt up to writing a regular Blog story. I am sorry if you were missing me and my writing, I needed a break. I was on a really good streak there, for over a year. Some people write their Blog stories ahead of time. I usually sit down and pound it out on the keyboard right before I publish. It could be an hour more or less, and I usually come up with a title, topic, and story. This week I am going to share something a little different in Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story. Part 57 Prep Cooking Tips is going to be a top 5 list of my own Prep Cooking Tips!
I have written about the importance of prep cooking in my own journey to become a healthier version of myself. I have found that I am less likely to eat unhealthy if I take the time to prepare healthy choices for my lunches, and sometimes even breakfasts and suppers. Everyone deserves a treat now and then, as long as it is within reason. I tend to give an inch and take a mile or ten. So, I know that prep cooking works, and I must get back into the habit of it.
I had plans last weekend but I got sideswiped by an unexpected injury. I was walking, which is supposed to be something that is good for me. I somehow managed to pull some muscles in my foot. I was in a lot of pain for 3 or 4 days. I am taking fewer painkillers now, and hoping that the weekend is nice. I am going to plan a short walk. I have to build up my tolerance a little more slowly, as it has been some time since I walked for longer than it takes to go get groceries. Now that I am on the mend, it is time to start walking a little more each day. It is a plan.
These tips may seem like common sense to more experienced home cooks. I think that if you plan ahead the prep cooking will go more smoothly than if you don’t.
1. Determine what type of meal you want to cook. Go through recipe books, Pinterest, and websites. Most of your family favourites can be made in bulk and frozen, to reheat or cook when you are ready to eat them. Write down the recipes in a planner for when you are going to eat them if you want to be really organized. People plan meals by the week and month. There are lots of guides for this online, depending on what suits your fancy. Since I am a fan of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, when I get serious, I will be planning according to their guidelines. You can make this as simple or as complicated as you like. The more effort you put into this, the better results you will get. It is up to you.
2. Now that you have recipes selected, write down your ingredients list. Include everything for each recipe. Then check your cupboards and pantry for the ingredients that you have on hand, and cross them off the list. The remaining items will become the start of your grocery list. If you are feeling like you have extra time, go through the fridge and cupboards and toss the expired items. It will be better to replace them before starting the cooking step, and finding that you need to get more of something that is mouldy or gone bad.
3. Next, you will need to think about utensils, pots, pans and storage. Do you have what you need to prepare and store what you will be cooking? This limits me a bit. We are a household of 2 adults. We live in a mini home. There is not a lot of storage in my kitchen. I have had to become creative with storage methods. I have 2 shelving units and a bookcase in my kitchen. They work for now. I also prefer glass containers for anything that needs reheating later on. So the plastic storage is available, but not used for prep cooking storage, unless it is something that will not be going into a microwave. I also use more Mason jars than I have room to keep organized. They are another way to store soups, salad in a jar, and pantry items.
4. Go to the grocery store to get what you need. This can be pricey the first few times if you are starting from scratch. If you are on a budget, use coupons and flyers. Get as many deals as you can. If you have like-minded friends, TEAM UP! If you have 3 friends to join in, and you all buy enough for 4 batches of a different recipe, then you have 4 meals prepped, and you will have CHOICES! Working together with friends to make homemade healthy meals is a great way to have a productive social gathering! Take turns hosting once or twice a month. Make it a THING, and make it FUN! Have snacks. Get more done faster, including clean up! (This can also be teenagers if they are a part of your family. They won’t be able to help with the budget, but they would be happy to help if it means they get some cookies or a movie night aw a thank you!
5. Don’t Give Up! Start with one recipe, doubled up. Then make something different the next time. Keep building recipes until you have a good variety, and you don’t have to cook for the whole month in one day. Spread out the work over time, and you will have a freezer full of healthy food in a few weeks. When you feel like cooking, make something. When you don’t you have a plan. As long as you keep rotating what you make, it will pay off!
Tonight I made Cheeseburger Pie for supper. It is in a 9 x 13 pan. It serves 6 to 8 people. There are 2 of us. When I have it for supper, I have 2 pieces. When I have it for lunch, I have 1 piece. I will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I plan to freeze one or two portions, for whenever I am craving a burger. Sometimes you just want that burger so bad…that it is good to plan ahead and have a cheeseburger pie portion in the freezer ready to heat and eat. When I want a BigMac or a Mozza Burger, I make Big Mac Salad. With cheddar, it is a BigMac SALAD, and with Mozza, it is an amazing Mozza Burger SALAD. No buns makes it a salad! I even put the sesame seeds on top!
BigMac Salad for Lunch
In case you aren’t on my Facebook, and you want to know what Cheeseburger Pie is, I am going to share a link to the recipe. It can be found with other recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama website, and if you check out the recipe, you can also take a look at the THM plan and other recipes. They even have products for sale there. I am not affiliated, so I leave things up to you. I love the recipes, and I also am happy that I know it is a plan that does work for me WHEN I WORK THE PLAN!
Another weekend is coming to a close. It was a busy one! Weekend Warrior started on Friday at about 4 pm. A friend needed to take me up on an offer to visit earlier in the week. She is recovering from surgery, and wanted to see some friends. So I rushed home, got the hubby to help me cut my large spaghetti squash, and I got my things together while it cooked. Picked up our other friend, a few things to complete supper, and off we went.
We made spaghetti squash mixed with tomato and veggie sauce, with multigrain garlic bread and played a game. We tried to watch a movie. It didn’t work out. The game was fun. It was a good way to wind down after the work week.
Saturday was slow to start. We went to see Ready Player One. It was great, but I don’t think the 3-D was necessary. We saw it in 3-D, and in my opinion, it wasn’t as good as I expected, but only in that way. The story was good, the pace was great, and all the Easter Eggs in the movie were on point, it is probably too hard to get them all the first time through. The other disappointment was that there was NO EASTER EGG at the end! With a movie that was full of them, start to finish, there should have been an extra scene at the end. It just felt wrong, and another young fan was feeling the same way. My husband was shaking his head as I was commenting about this, and then I found a kindred spirit that felt the same way. It was kind of hilarious.
I am reading a book to review. I am reading it before it is published. I spent most of the last week doing just that, and I am going to review it on my Blog on the Treasure Seeker Tuesday this week. I will share more about it then.
I also have a small issue with amazon.ca. I am trying to support my peers by downloading and reviewing their books after reading them. However, because I haven’t purchased anything from amazon.ca, I am not allowed to review the books I read there. I am not amused. I have found another way to help, but it isn’t the way that the authors would like.
Sunday I spent a bit of time working on my website. I cooked Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole. I have 4 meals ready to eat now. I like prep cooking. It helps me to get out the door faster in the mornings. I highly recommend it.
I totally won this weekend. What did you do? Comments are welcome below.
Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Me and my Chin. My chin is something that I am focusing on a lot these days. It is puffy. I almost wish I could blame it on having the mumps, but nobody wants to have the mumps. Although as I am sitting here, I am noticing that my glands may be a little swollen…lol. Nope, not the mumps. Fluid retention is much more likely what I am dealing with. I don’t know anymore if it is a 12-pound chin anymore. I do know that it is not a chocolate chin. I am not indulging like I was before. That being said, things do sneak in, and I have less willpower when it comes to certain sweets. I am working on that. I am going to have to ask someone to stop bringing so many home. If they aren’t here, I won’t be into them.
It has dissipated, some. It is not affecting the shape of my face as much. I know that what I am doing is working. I did some prep cooking last week, and I ate my healthy lunches for most of the week. I slipped today, but have lunch planned for tomorrow to get back on track. It is OK to be human, and go off the plan on occasion. It is not good to do it all the time. That is how someone like me gets into trouble.
I had a change come over me last week, and it was for the better. I was trying again. There was a week or two where I just wasn’t trying, and now I have this chin problem. I am very aware of it, and it is something I want to disappear. I want it to not be puffy. I need to refocus again this week and think of my chocolate rewards. Chocolate diamonds.
I think I will weigh in before next week, to see where I am at. I either weigh a lot or avoid the scale. I have been avoiding it of late, so I think it is time to see what is happening. I have made my fresh start, and there is nowhere to go but…down. I refuse to go any higher on the scale. I hope it is nice when I take the step onto it. If not, well, that really won’t be too much of a surprise.
I haven’t been to Zumba as regularly as I have wanted to be lately. Transportation issues are the main reason, sometimes if I have the car there is a storm. I don’t like asking for rides when the weather is so iffy. I will be asking more in the spring. I am really hoping that we can swing another car soon.
I wouldn’t be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited about a discussion I had with my husband earlier in the week. He is finally ready to consider getting a dog after our vacation. I really hope that it works out because I need a reason to become more active. Sadly, I am not motivated to do it if it is just for me, I need a reason. A dog would be that reason. I would have to go for more than one walk a day. That would help me to become healthier. It would fill my heart. Finally, it would make me happy to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. Have my own dog. Even though I am certain that it will like Roy more than me. He has a way with animals. I just love them like my family.
I will let you know if the scale was good, bad, or ugly next week.
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!