Be Basic

Be Basic

Some things…

I’ve gained back ALL of the weight I’d lost. All. Of. It. I’m sitting surprisingly content at 216.8 lbs. I’m 5’6 (I get that question a lot for some reason) but on the decline as I was hovering at 218.6 to the ounce for a month or so.

***I was briefly on antidepressants for 3 months before realizing that I had gained 20 lbs.  don’t need them and really needed to make some solid commitments in my life instead. Not at all saying SSRIs are bad, but not the change I needed. I needed to better manage my life and reaffirm my priorities, where I was ready or not. I did – and it’s been the BEST decision I’ve made all my own in a long time. Proud of ME!

***

Back to the weight gain: I am a living, breathing illustration of what heavy lifting can do because today (or 2 weeks ago per picture) I look EXCEPTIONALLY stronger and healthier than I did at this weight 8 years ago.

I have been lifting here and there, with most consistency being May and June. As for cardio (my true love) it’s hit or miss – being indoor cycling a couple times a week. But geez, the eating has been in, out and every damn where! I succumbed to the snacking that comes with studying and assignment deadlines. The big meals that come with nights out celebrating friends. And the inactivity that precedes spending more time watching movies with the family and enjoying summer nights looking at the stars… I have few regrets. But, I like the idea of getting healthier. I am not afraid to say I need to lose 15 lbs and I’m ready to limit celebrating food All. The. Time for some good ol’ discipline, hydration, and better choices.

         ***

I’ve been making much healthier choices since summer. Lavash BLT wraps and protein bowls of brown rice, black beans, chicken and veggies have been my main squeeze. I’ve been limiting the cheese and the heavy fats, like sausage and ground beef, even if they are coupled with veggies and seem harmless. Cooking spray vice olive oil, and so on and so on. Not restricting any food groups whatsoever, just eating a little less, and watching my portions and drinking more tea in-between meals to bypass boredom snacking.

Good Life news, I am 7 classes from my Bachelors! Y’all, this is the home stretch for me. Just finished a 4 credit hour science lab & lecture at the community college, and praise Jesus that is over! I am also taking Medical Terminology and Environemental Health at TDub this summer, so it’s been anything BUT a break. I’ll be returning to work for the 17/18 year in a few weeks so I’m really trying to organically get in a rhythm I can keep up that includes heavy weight lifting, a couple runs and a couple yoga sessions through the week with at least one complete rest day and one active one.


Simple. Not adding a new regimen to my already Uber productive life, but cutting back and getting back to basics because…

via Twitter

Word.

Til next time, Hip Huggers!

Easy Peasy Taco Sque… Salad.

Easy Peasy Taco Sque… Salad.

Hello Hip Huggers and Happy Friday!

Taco salads have become a staple over these last few months of getting back to a healthy balanced lifestyle. I wanted to share the recipe and pictures form the fabulous one I made today. With all the fixings. Consider yourselves loves, blog readers – my IG’ers only got the naked version.

****

You will need:

2 whole chicken breast

1/2 pack taco seasoning

One 16 oz. jar medium salsa

1 bag romaine (Italian) salad

1/4 cup pico de gallo

6-8 blue corn tortilla chips, optional but highly suggested

1/2 avocado, sliced, optional but read above about the chips

Ok, here we go:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take breasts and after rinsing and patting dry, place in 9×9 casserole dish. Season both sides of chicken with taco seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour 3/4 of jar of salsa all over chicken. This is the one I always see to have on hand, thick and chunky and organic.

img_6884

Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes. Once finished cooking, take 2 forks and begin shredding chicken until it’s of a stringy consistency, the pulled chicken effect.

img_1646

From here, you’re either going to prep you meals by simply dividing chicken evenly into however many dishes or portions you choose (to put salad together later) or pull about 1 cup of chicken mixture out for preparing now and store the rest.

In a bowl, grab about a handful of romaine salad. I use Italian salad because it has so much big chunky chopped romaine, and a bagged salad will surely get eaten. The remainder won’t turn into a science experiment from being forgotten about in the crisper, which I am notorious for doing. So are you.

img_4382

Next, I add the scooped chicken on top of the lettuce. It shouldn’t drown the lettuce, as it is a salad, but it should be hearty. I think 1 cup is the perfect amount but you decide. I then top that with already chopped or homemade pico de gallo, whichever is on hand. I’m not fancy. I also don’t have a picture, because I didn’t plan on posting but you get the idea, right. Just think moderation. Here is the pico I use when I haven’t made it to La Azteca for their pico or haven’t made in of my own. Aldi finds….

img_7733

Then, to finish it off – a tablespoon of sour cream, slice 1/2 of an avocado and crush up the tortilla chips for crunch and the taco salad vibe. If you want a more clean version, sans the extras – trust me you’ll enjoy it either way. The finished product should look as yummy as this, in natural lighting that is…

Naked Version…

img_0409

All Dressed Up and Ready for a Good Time Version…

img_1684

I am at a stage with my kiddos where I am teaching them a lot about cooking. Which is super beneficial to me, as I am learning easier ways of making quick healthy meals, that are delicious, right along with them. They could do this, easy peasy. And I have the confidence they’re eating well and my house isn’t being burned down in the process.

Win, win!

img_9416

Eat, eat!

Did this recipe inspire a taco salad for dinner? Let me know!

Old Programs, New Potatoes

Old Programs, New Potatoes

Hello Huggers, hope your Thursday is going swell.

It’s nearing the end of winter break (for work at least) and am already bracing for the staff development day Monday – yeah, the day AFTER New Year’s Day. This year will be a very conservative celebration for NYE, to say the least. Maybe even a 12pm turndown because I’d rather wake up for a run than an aspirin before returning back to school to finish out the next half of the school year. Yay!

****

The food program has been great as of late. Mike turned me onto potatoes o’brien (sic) this week and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since. Literally have eaten them everyday. I’m a hash brown kinda gal so, this is a big deal! I made them myself this morning with some oven fried bacon (turkey for Mike) and a fried egg. I am by the way, very proud of the portion control! One egg, 2 strips of bacon, and just about a cup of potatoes. I did fry the in grape seed oil, but I am a noob and didn’t want to ruin them.

img_3019

The workout program was fantastic today! I went on my first sorta long run in a really long time. I remember when I would gear up to run a 10k, 6.2 very real miles. I would never make myself run a 10k. In fact, most of my successful 10ks actually began as planned 5 milers that morphed into a mental mind game of running half of the most intimidating mileage I feared to go, the great 13.1. So, in a sense this one was no different. I planned just a 3 mile run, my old usual run.

img_8328

Before I knew it, I was 3 miles OUT instead of AROUND. I got caught up in my music and bargained with myself that I would just walk back. I kinda wanted to see if anything on my familiar route from once upon a time had changed. Nope, all still there. Including the muddy ditches I was reminded – because apparently I have forgotten the lost art of jumping over one and instead ran right thru it.

img_7104

I’ll probably never run again in these shoes anyway. I seem to have also forgot how vital having a well fitted running shoe is. I need to try and find a good pair on sale this weekend. Speaking of sales, Tom Thumb has a huge sale on their Organics line on teas and coffee, so I have stocked up as I am getting back to my daily intake of green tea.

img_4357

 

Hip Huggers, I really am focusing on being mindful of my meals, in the coming year. I bombed it so bad in 2016, y’all. But I know I need to get back my old program in weight loss: consistent tracking, calories, macros, whatever. So, I’m off to research a what my favorite weight loss peeps are using. See you in the last post before the New Year!

Question: Loose leaf or bagged teas? 

Talk About It Tuesday

Talk About It Tuesday

Hello Hip Huggers,

Here is an interesting Transform(ATE)tion Tuesday to end the year….

img_7008
Jan. ’15 (left) Dec ’16 (right) – 2 year and 20 lb. difference. And yes, ate a sista did in 2016!

The picture on the left is from January ’15 and the other is today, December ’16. Almost 2 years apart and although I can clearly see where I’ve GAINED weight and hair in the new picture. There is about a 20 lb difference between the 2 pictures and you guys, I don’t feel bad about that at all! In fact, I think I look surprisingly great for having an anything but active year, complete collapse on eating in moderation and mindfully, and really allowing stress and self loathing to rue the day all this year. But anyway…

Lets talk about: Goals.

tumblr_mevmtsbxjy1rnvwt1

Really, I did!

My fitness goals for 2017 are pretty simple: 15 miles of running/walking a week, 3 liters of water a day, and a loss of 20 18 lbs. by June 2017. I really want to get my portions back under control, cut out bread & cheese a bit (y’all, I’ve been doing really good with the cheese) and train of a race – all secondary achievements I plan on acquiring this by summer as well.

This is not, in any, saying I won’t involve myself in a plethora of other fitness activities. I’d like to run the Hot Chocolate 15k in Feb, which will require much more than 15 miles a week. I also can’t neglect how vital lifting weights and cross training are running, and I enjoy all of the above. But, to get myself motivated, I want to go back to what I know can easily be a part of my everyday with working, being in school, and having a huge family to take care of. Putting things into perspective: Just run the world day, Pam.

******

Speaking of, today’s run ( first since June) was balmy and nice. The weather is so fall like here its crazy. We actually didn’t even get out for a run until well after 12, a sure no-no any other time of the year here in Texas pretty much. We just lapped it around the park here until we got 30 minutes so I have no idea the distance. That, thanks in part to an upgrade in FitBit. I got a FitBit Alta for Christmas. Lovely, however it doesn’t allow for you to manually start a workout on the watch – there s no button. I’m I missing something? Besides my old Charge HR….

img_4117-2
Merry Christmas to me. FitBit Alta, swapped out the black for the purple band, because like Nas, ‘my state of mind is purple’ in 2017.

I’m kinda bummed because I did want a FitBit that was a little more stylish, and more comfortable to wear around the clock so I can get accurate data of my sleeping. But I didn’t want to give up so many of the little things I wanted I a fitness watch. I can always return this and buy another, I just wish I’d done a little more research before adding this particular one to the Christmas wish list. I definitely didn’t trade up, but I’ll give in a little longer before I revert back to old faithful, like I’ve done with most meals…

img_7306
Fried chicken breast in grapeseed oil (was on sale), and lightly sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese while piping hot! Then, paired with plain jasmine rice and roasted skinny string beans.

Note: when making really flavorful (read: fried) protein, I always stick to plain rice, preferably jasmine. The chicken has plenty o’ seasoning and the plain rice balances it all out so the meal is sans unnecessary salt and oil (I sometimes stir fry my rice if just making chicken breast to add a little moisture to the meal,  but its really not necessary. I myself am cooking for 7 and they don’t all, or should not all, have to eat like me every night. Food is fun, don’t forget that! Meal down the hatch, and am currently trying to get down these last 20 oz. of water! Good night, Hip Huggers!

What are your 2017 resolutions and/or goals? We can encourage each other! Comment below!

Marathon Monday Movement

Marathon Monday Movement

Hey Hip Huggers, and Happy Marathon Monday for all those who’ve worked really hard and have earned that coveted bib to run on such an incredible stage. In lieu of running, I’ve been kicking major tail with Jillian Michaels and 30 Day Shred.

I’ve also finished up my last few workouts with 30 minutes of intervals or incline hiking walking to help meet my step goals and get a good burn in while my heart rate is relatively up and I’m motivated to move…


Working hard yes, but truth is, I wouldn’t pass what I would consider my OWN fitness test right about now. I’m using 5 and 3 lb weights vice the 8 and 5 lb weights I’d become accustomed to. I cannot finish Level 3 mountain climbers in 30 DS, so modify with static ones and even THAT is tough to do. I opt out of side ab raises at the end for lying leg raises. Even running is about 30% harder than it has been due to the extra weight I am carrying, of which IS more muscle, thankfully. All and all, you know what? I smile through ALL OF IT! Because it’s about the journey – and God, I wish I would’ve got that the first time around – too busy focusing on small minded, ridiculous goals.

3lbs

***

Eating has been much more methodical and  calculated as well. I’m still trying to find my sweet spot here. I can’t commit to LCHF, or rather don’t want to. I’m over denying my body carbs and drowning in restriction. However, diabetes runs rampant in my bloodline and every time I have my annual physical – it’s like holding my breath under water. I have very good labs and am not even borderline diabetic so I am incredibly happy that my body is still fighting the good fight of health and that I still have the chance to even further improve my health and stave off that blood disorder, hopefully with hard work, forever!

Another cool thing I am trying to focus on is moving around every hour. Fitbit has updated their app and now, or rather always has been and now we see, how often we take 250 steps or more per hour collectively within about a 10 hour period or so. I have mine set to 12 hours because I want to stay motivated to move every hour as much as possible.

Couple things I noticed. I am the most sedentary in the morning between about 7:30 and 9am. That is the time I watch the Today show and have my coffee while checking out things on social media. I never would have thought I don’t get up at ALL throughout that period though, that was a bit surprising. Also, I do a pretty good job of getting up most of the time naturally and moving. Maybe not 10 of 11 most days but at least 8 and that’s okay for right now. Life ebbs and flows and being at home and trying to find things to get me moving is a challenge most days. Working I had 5k steps by lunch! All the stairs and mandatory walk breaks and bathroom breaks – but I am moving and working out and eating well, and I have to give myself credit for that. Just creating a life of movement in this season, hopefully to be full fledged by summer….

fingerscrossed

What are you doing to add movement into your daily life?

Zucchini Tuna Patties

Zucchini Tuna Patties

Hey Hip Huggers! Aren’t you glad it’s the weekend?

Saturdays are for coffee and PBS Pinterest. Or rather, food on Pinterest. Or rather re-pinning food that you pinned and said you’d try 2 years ago. Guilty.

I’ve been equally guilty as of late of buying veggies on sale to only end up tossing them after a few days because they’ve gone bad – too lazy to slice and freeze them to salvage the find. Especially bananas, I am the worst with those.

So this morning, I found myself with 2 zucchini, on the brink. I literally stood in the fridge and devoured one, so one less to worry about. But, rather then force down the other, I figured maybe there was some crazy easy recipe online that I could whip up quickly and give said zucchini the true end (see that, Trubies) it deserved.

So, I’m Scrolling around on Pinterest and I find this great recipe via chocolatesalad.com. Read the deets…. low carb, protein packed and I had all the fixins’? I was in. Here it is:

Zucchini Tuna Patties

3/4 raw zucchini, shredded and strained.
**Note: shredding them into a few, folded paper towels, twisting closed and squeezing gets a good enough amount of water out of them.

1 can of tuna, drained well

2 Tbsp rolled oats

2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese

1 egg

Season with a little garlic powder, salt, pepper.

 

Meal prep, for real

 

Mix ingredients and divide mixture in half. Form 2 round patties to your liking.

Now, the recipe called for cooking spray presumably in a nonstick pan, but I’m a die hard cast iron cook so I used about a tbsp. of olive oil in my 8 inch chefs pan.

Pause: Nothing wrong with the low fat method, but it’s much easier cooking/crisping with a little oil and I wanted this to be tasty, especially since if it didn’t stay together well or cook fully I would’ve scraped the recipe all together. I know me. So, I opted for oil. It’s not a big deal.

Play: Cook patties on each side for about 6 minutes at least. I cooked them on a med low temp, between 5 and 6 the first side and reduced to 4 and covered for full cooking on the other. The cast iron helps a great deal in giving the patties that nice color and crust.

Plate and enjoy. I paired mine with a little avocado ranch packet that was left over from a Cool Wrap from Chik-Fil-A last week. Those things are clutch, and now so is this recipe. Pinterest for the Win

Simple and healthy. Try it, Hip Huggers and tell me what you think…

Later!

Swinging By, Stress Free

Swinging By, Stress Free

Hello Hip Huggers and Happy Friday!

Just swinging in to share with you all my week on this lovely Friday afternoon. Since reading Eat, Pray, Love –  my enthusiasm for things feels anew, to say the least. The stress of getting it all done, has gone. I’ve adopted a ‘will do my best’ approach for living, just like that. Everyday, I have gotten out of bed, with an attitude of DO! My husband has been working long hours these last few weeks so I have had to step it up even around here and I have done so… willingly(?) Albeit, I am very proud that I have gotten up and out of bed everyday with purpose and have hit the floor running, figuratively at least.

 

IMG_2648 [22488]
 Unready for a run, but ready for the day!

These last few weeks, I have tracked my eating and water intake about 80% of the time.  Mindful of fiber and side eyeing simple carbs. I have started journaling again and its been absolute therapy in dealing with falling back, and stepping forward in fitness. I have made it to Zumba twice a week and have ran at least 2 miles most days. All without feeling like I am overhauling my life or depriving myself. Getting it in where it fits in and focusing on the small things I can do to reach my goals, without overthinking it. Some days salmon, some days salad. All day delish.

IMG_2318 [22487]
Kale salad with chicken, cheese, salad topping and tahini dressing, yum!

One big delish thing on my ‘To Do list of late is to attend at least 2 classes at my gym. I have been LOVING going to Zumba with my friend B, but the classes are in a different city 20 minutes away, and they start at 7:30 pm. The classes at my home gym vary, but evening ones start at 7pm, a little earlier like I like, and only 5 minutes down the road from home and across from Starbucks. Again, it’s at MY own gym – a place where I need to be swinging by regularly to better familiarizing myself with anyway.

 

IMG_3087 [25990]
Going to check out the cycling, yoga, and Zumba classes these next couple weeks!

But, I reeally, reeeeally want to get back in full swing with running 20 miles a week again before the REAL Spring heat up and the scorching heat of an impending summer get the best of me.In the past, jumping in a 5k has always sparked a little something in the running spirit. I have been browsing a few races and have all but hit enter on one in particular, the 2016 5k for Human Rights in Dallas in May. But, I’m not 100% in it heart and soul. Even though I am certain I can manage a 5k on little training, I do NOT want to get out there, ill prepared and end up shelving running for year, again. I have to be smart and focused on the long term: weekly running, for fun and fitness. STRESS FREE!

tumblr_lz2fn204wH1r3ty02o1_500.gif
Forward me my mail, B… I’m outta there!

 

What are some goals you’d like to get checked off before summer? I’d like to hear ’em below!