National Coffee Day!

IMG_0341.JPG

Happy National Coffee Day! I definitely feel Coffee is deserving of a day of honor, and I took extra special care in crafting my coffee today. Pictured above is a small iced “mocha” made with almond milk, as well as a touch of raw, organic cocoa powder.

It has definitely been a challenge to learn to NOT drink my calories. I love a mocha or latte (or, let’s face it, an Annihilator from Dutch Bros.) as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and although I don’t like my coffee sickly sweet, I do enjoy a touch of sweet, and getting used to unsweetened coffee drinks has definitely been a challenge. Each day I am allotted either 1 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk, or 1/2 cup of our raw goat’s milk, although I have been recently advised to stick to almond or coconut milk as I go into a ketosis phase. So sad, but I am willing to make the sacrifice for awhile.

With my double shot of espresso, I enjoy a little bit of cocoa powder as pictured above, or cinnamon depending on my mood. I look forward to trying unsweetened coconut milk when my almond milk runs out.

This is not what I was going to write about originally. There were two different topics I was weighing; both of which I will post at some point, but I figured it was fitting to write about coffee on such a momentous day! But that’s not all I’d like to talk about today. This morning as we were busily painting and doing worksheets with the preschoolers, my boss and I had some wonderful conversations about buying houses, budgeting, and just life in general. Something she said in particular really encouraged and inspired me. That everything happens for a reason. We just need to let go, go with the flow, and live life. And live it well!

There’s not much I can add to that, except to encourage you to relax and be open to living your life without expectation. I know this year has not gone as I planned, but I am so thankful for that, because even amidst the not-so-great, it has been marvelous.

Have a happy Thursday!

Tuesday Luncheon. And other things.

IMG_0338.JPGWow! I am so honored by the overwhelming amount of visits to this blog, as well as all of the private messages I’ve received! We truly are all in the same boat.

Today I want to talk about a couple tools that have helped me to be successful in getting healthy. Two words. Plan and Prep. I know, easier said than done, but not impossible! Because of my incredibly long work days (they range between eight and fifteen and a half hours), I have had to come up with some tricks to making sure that I have easily accessible, healthy meals ready to go. And if you know me, you know I enjoy gourmet, slow-cooked food. So steamed broccoli and chicken breast don’t always do it for me!

Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned to make sure that I can tackle an extremely long work day successfully:

~ I love my weekly grocery shopping trip! Some things you’ll see in my cart are mushrooms, zucchini, red bell peppers, arugula, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, wild sockeye salmon, wild shrimp, organic chicken breast, and if I’m feeling especially indulgent, lamb or steak.

~I spend one evening a week cutting up vegetables and packing them away in gallon ziplock bags so that I can easily scoop out my portions. I also freeze my protein in servings so I can easily pull out a chicken breast or a steak.

~I enjoy taking a Sunday to make a Zucchini Lasagna which gives me a few quick lunches, and it’s a favorite with my whole family!

~I have found it very helpful to have some homemade condiments handy! Homemade seasonings, cilantro pesto, sun-dried tomato aioli, you get the picture. The refrigerator is full of unmarked mason jars full of this and that. I just have to always be sure to use them sparingly.

All that being said, I’ll share with you a meal from today! For Lunch, here is what I ate:

1 Organic Chicken breast, lightly seasoned and oven baked in a cast iron pan  (I baked it up last night), sautéed with 1/2 cup each of red bell peppers and bella mushrooms in 1 teaspoon of a cilantro pesto I made about a week ago, as well as a little salt and pepper. All of this on a bed of 1 cup of arugula with a light dash of balsamic vinegar. It was delicious, and quick! For a breakfast version: prepare the mushrooms, bell peppers, and arugula, but top it all with poached eggs and salt and pepper 🙂

 

A Case of the Mondays…?

Here goes my first post…..

I’m about to get real with all of you, so consider yourselves warned!

This blog has been on my mind for quite some time now, but the name didn’t come to me till this morning. And this morning has really not been the greatest.

As some of you know, I have been on a journey towards a healthier me. I started out my fat loss journey on Tuesday April 12th at a whopping 176.4 lbs. I know. I was shocked to see that number on the scale, because scales have always been taboo in our house. We didn’t even own one, except the little one in the kitchen, so it’s safe to say I had no idea how much I weighed….I knew I was overweight….it was one steady gain through college and after, but I had no idea how to lose it. I tried all sorts of things, from The Fat Flush Plan (don’t do it. Just don’t.), to just trying to restrict sweets to once a week, limiting carbs, and exercising more, but nothing seemed to work. And I don’t know if you know this, but exercising when you’re overweight is A LOT harder than when you’re not.

So on April 12, I grabbed hold of the opportunity to make my life better, and I haven’t let go. It’s been a grand old 5+ months of learning how to control my portions, but mostly making sacrifices for a better future. I definitely have said no to cake more times than I can count, and if you know me at all, you know that’s not an easy feat for me!

Today as I write to you (while walking up and down a hill), I am proud of the 31 lbs of  FREEDOM I’ve gained, but I’m also here to be grotesquely honest with you in sharing my struggle.

Today was hard. It was hard to see that the scale has not budged in 4 weeks, despite sticking to my plan as religiously as possible. It was hard to own up to the fact that I need to move my butt more (not just my butt). And it’s hard to yet again come to the realization that there are battles we all have to fight. This is one of my battles, and I’ll admit that I’m tired. And probably pmsing.

But I also write to you today because I am hopeful, and because I am a conqueror. And because you are a conqueror, too. I hope to use this place in cyberspace as a source of accountability for me, as well as a source of encouragement to you, in whatever war you are waging.

Ok, that’s it 🙂