Sunday, Funday Food Prep

Today is the day of the week that either makes me or breaks me health-wise, Food Prep Day.

If I actually take the time to plan and prep, I eat like a champion for a week.
If I don't, there is a 100% chance that Hot Head Burrito or Pizza will enter my mouth.

First off, let me say- the trainer/ nutrition coach team I am working with at Exertion Training in Columbus are incredible. They get mad props for helping me learn to prep and create my meal plans!

So today I spent 4 hours working my tail off in the kitchen. My lunches are packed or ready to be packed. My breakfast tomorrow is made. The hardest part of dinners this week are cooked. Most importantly, there are healthy snacks prepared and ready for my kids to grab so they don't eat junk!

My Meal Plan for the beginning of this week
Monday- Overnight Oats for breakfast, Turkey Sausage with Brown Rice and Roasted Asparagus for lunch, shrimp, sweet potato and salad for dinner.
Tuesday- Eggs with Salsa for breakfast, Same lunch as Monday, Ahi Tuna and Roasted Cauliflower for dinner
Wednesday- Overnight Oats for breakfast, Grilled Chicken salad for lunch and smashed sweet potato, Spaghetti squash with marinara for dinner
Snacks- Fruits, Nuts, Veggies with hummus

Shopping List and Prep

Cantaloupe- Clean and Cut into chunks and refrigerate.
Grapes- Wash and take of vine and pack up in small servings. Refrigerate.
Strawberries- Wash, cut off tops and cut in half if desired. Refrigerate.
Bananas- Don't refrigerate :) 
I had a lot of help cleaning the fruit!

Turkey Sausage (get what ever flavor you like- I love italian)- Saute in pan until internal temp reaches 165 degrees
Chicken Breast- 350 degree oven- Place in a foil packet  and dust with salt, garlic, parsley, and Mrs. Dash. Cook until no longer pink in middle
Ahi Tuna Steaks- No prep needed

Carrots- Wash and bag up for quick snacks
Celery- Clean, cut stalks to easy eating length. Place in a water in fridge.
Cauliflower- Wash, break into florets, spray with atomized olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you like ( I used Mrs Dash Onion and Herb flavor) Roast at 425 degrees for around 20 minutes. 
Cauliflower ready for roasting

Asparagus- Wash, Trim hard ends, Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary- Roast at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes
Sweet Potatoes- Wash skins well. Prick skin several times with a fork. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the potato)

My oven got a major work out today

Lastly- My favorite breakfast ever was prepped. 

Overnight Oats. I use 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 TBS PB2, and 1 Tbs Organic Chia seeds. Put in a mason jar, and stick in fridge over night.

It is an amazing feeling climbing in bed right now, knowing I am 100% set up for success right now!

OOOOH- And let me tell you, I am obsessed with my new pans!! They are amazing, non stick (no matter how bad you burn what your are cooking). Invest in good pans. It makes clean up so much easier. These re the ones I am using right now.

Happy Prepping!!

Feel Free to leave comments or questions, I check them daily!!


Running Running

I feel like it has been forever since I posted. Between a sick toddler who wasn't sleeping and a sick me who couldn't breathe well enough to work out, it's been a rough go. But I'm finally feeling OK, so let's go!

So yesterday was the official kick off of 5k season for me, and I thought I was completely unprepared. Unprepared because I missed 2 weeks of training because of a cold, and because I just didn't think I could do it.

I am proud to say, I was completely wrong. My body was ready, my brain was my roadblock.

The race was the Lady TuTu 5k at Easton. I love any reason to wear a TuTu, and I was doing it with one of my best friends and a huge inspiration to me, Shelly.

The weather was terrible. 40 degrees, cloudy, and threatening rain. I am not gonna lie, I was dreading it... TuTu or not. I made myself a promise. If I made it to Nordstroms (the 1 mile mark) I would allow myself to walk.

I focused on Nordstrom. As I was within steps of the store, I had a moment of Divine intervention and one of my absolute favorite songs to run to (Edge of Glory- Lady Gaga) came on. I decided, I was gonna run until the end of the song, then I would walk. As the song was ending, I realized how close to my good friend John's store I was, so I decided to run till I passed it. After rounding that corner, I saw PF Changs and decided that could be my walking point. As I rounded in front of PF Changs I saw this sign.

I realized I was ready to run a 5k. My body felt great. It wasn't raining. As I snapped that pic,  my GPS gave me the 2 mile split. I was running 11:47 miles. I was actually going faster than I hoped.

 No way in hell was I going to walk.

Even as I was blowing my nose at the 2.5mile mark... I was still jogging. As I hit 2.75 miles and turned towards the finish, "I can transform ya" came on my iPod. Another moment of Divine intervention. That song, has been my anthem as I get healthy. I'm sure that's not at all what Chris Brown intended, but it is my reminder that I can transform myself... and I am transforming myself.

When my cousin Jodi (another huge inspiration and cheerleader in my life) saw the 2 mile picture, she wrote "Breaking the mental barrier is the hardest part", "Time doesn't matter. The effort matters", and she told me she was proud of me. She was completely right (as she generally is). Once I stopped telling myself I couldn't do it, I did. My time didn't matter, because I tried hard all 3.1 miles. I had done something to be proud of.

My final time was 37:47. 12:27 splits.

 I consider that a starting point.

 By June, I intend to have splits of 11 minutes or quicker. By the end of 5k season (which for me is October- I don't do cold runs), I plan on being below 10 minute splits.

If you take one thing from this story, let it be Jodi's words "The effort matters".  Don't sell yourself short or allow yourself to make excuses. Be as slow as you need to be, but finish what you started.

Before I sign off... I want to tell you all my personal distaste for the majority of "Best Running Playlists for this" or "Best Songs to Run to when that" lists that you find on the internet. They never make sense to me... who cares about BPM if the song isn't motivating. I want my playlists to have music that inspires me.

Here are my 2 favorite 5k playlists right now. I love them. The 1st is the one I used for the Lady TuTu 5k. The 2nd is the one I am using next weekend for the Spring Dash 5k.

Please leave a comment with your favorite playlist or song! I want to compile them and share.

Transform Playlist (45 minutes)
Can't Stop- Red Hot Chili Peppers
So Fresh and So Clean- Outkast
Boom Boom Pow- Black Eyed Peas
Crazy Beautiful Life- Kesha
Can't Hold Us- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Edge of Glory- Lady Gaga
Sexy and I Know It- LMFAO
All I Do is Win- Dj Khaled
Number 1- Nelly
Work It- Missy Elliot
I Can Transform Ya- Chris Brown

Girl Power Playlist (43 Minutes)
Pretty Girl Rock- Keri Hilson
Bass Down Low- Dev
Born This Way- Lady Gaga
Bottle Pop- Pussycat Dolls
Got Me Good- Ciara
Grow a Pear- Kesha
Fergalicious- Fergie
Louboutins- J Lo
Single Ladies- Beyoncé
Use Ur Love- Katy Perry
VaVaVoom- Nicki Minaj


The Binge

Wanna know the quickest way to stop yourself from binge eating?

Run into someone you know when you are in sweatpants about to eat an entire plate of French Fries, aka my Sunday night.

I am a full on supporter of having 1 cheat meal a week. I think this keeps you sane. It gives you something to look forward to when you really don't want to eat another plate of grilled chicken and broccoli. 1 meal a week, I eat whatever I want (in a reasonable portion) and I feel totally fine about myself after.  I also fully support the fact that if you are craving something that bad, eat it, cause if you don't it, you are going to binge eat whatever it was plus probably 3 other things. Sunday was neither a craving or a cheat meal.

My cheat meal this week was on Saturday night at my 9 year olds Cub Scout Banquet. We had lasagna, salad, and cake. It was delicious... but any one who reads this that knows me personally is thinking "I thought you don't eat gluten". You're right. I haven't been eating gluten for several weeks. So this was a cheat to the max. I woke up Sunday ill. I was miserable, I was completely lethargic, I just couldn't get myself woke up. I ate a green smoothie for breakfast, trying to perk myself up. I took a 2 hour nap, it did nothing. By dinner time I was over it. I wanted French Fries, I wanted BBQ, I wanted ice cream... and no one was going to tell me no.

Within 2 minutes of getting my food at City BBQ, I ran into someone I used to work with. It was like instant snap back to reality. I barely ate anything after that. It was like insta-shame. I knew all along I shouldn't be eating the garbage I was eating. Seeing someone who knows real Amanda was exactly what I needed.

I wanted to share this because I think it's really important to know its okay when you fall on your face, as long as you get back up.

I think this picture sums it up

I forgave myself for the gluten and the fries, and life was back to normal today.

My meal plan today

Greek Yogurt, Coffee, Banana
Amazing, Healthy Chili My mom made for me. I will post the recipe soon! It was so good!
BBQ Habenero Almonds
Grilled Chicken, Peppers, Onions on a bed of lettuce with salsa, black beans, and organic guacamole

I also managed to get a 3 mile walk/ run around my neighborhood in.

It was a damn good day.

Have a great week!!

OOOOOO... One more thing. I get to test my resolve tomorrow... In a moment of utter brilliance on my part I scheduled a lunch meeting at Der Dutchman.... I love noodles and fried chicken... this should be interesting.


50 ways to die on a treadmill

I have a love/hate relationship with running.
I love burning calories. 
I literally hate everything else involved with running.

4 years ago, I trained for a 5k. At that point in time I was running 3 miles, 3 times a week. I did it because it felt like what I should do, I lost a ton of weight, and I will admit I felt much better. But, I don't even remember liking it then. 

So fast forward to now, because of the pregnancy and birth of the Toddler Tornado, and a whole lot of stress eating, I've got weight to lose again. I also have a super peppy- health coach friend who is a runner and keeps finding all these fun races for us to do. And if there is one thing I love, it's a reason to wear a tutu. Running it is.

First, I decided that I used to be able to run 3 miles easy... I would just pick up where I left off. That was a hilarious experience. Barely made it a mile, and discovered quickly exactly what plantar faciitis is.

I decided to use a C25K training app like I did last time. The only difference was, instead of running outside, I was going to do it on a treadmill. This Ohio winter was miserable, I don't do cold.

Today, I began 5 minute runs with 2 and a half minute walks in between. If I was outside, I probably would have jogged the 5 minutes at like an 11:30 pace... but being on a treadmill, I cranked it to 10 minute pace and forced myself to keep up.

It went really well for the first 90 seconds... It was down hill from there.

I started doing anything I could to keep my mind from allowing me to quit. The last two minutes of the first half mile run, I counted backwards from 120. It distracted me a little, but I was pissed to be running.

The second half mile began with the genius idea to block anything that showed time so I wouldn't be so fixated on how much longer I would be doing this. That lasted about 45 seconds. I couldn't take it. I went back to my counting.

The last half mile, I was desperate. I cannot be alone with my brain, and that's where I was. Alone with my brain and doing something I hate.

At this point, I thought "this run was going to kill me", and with that thought, my sick twisted brain had found something to think about to make it through. Could a treadmill kill someone? I mean not from them having a heart attack or something... but from the actual treadmill. And that's what I thought about, for the rest of the run. Funniest scenario involves the guy who wears jorts to the gym (there are a couple, I promise) having a string unravel from his ridiculous work out gear, wrapping around the motor of the treadmill and the treadmill bursting in flames.

The point of this rambling is- it was hard, I hated it, but I finished. The human mind is an amazing thing, but your brain can give out on you far before your body does in a workout. Your body is capable of things your brain "knows" you can't do. Feats of "Superhuman strength" when people lift 3000 lb cars off of children occur because people stop thinking and act.

You are capable of far more than you can imagine. Just do it, even if you have to distract yourself by making up death scenarios at the gym. Don't let your brain hold you back.

You are amazing.



I'm mildly addicted to green smoothies

Who knew you could throw spinach or kale in your protein shakes and it would be healthier and not taste funny? 

Apparently half of the world, but I was late to the party so sue me!

I am obsessed with all things green right now! Kale, Spinach, doesn't matter to me... I am in.

Here are my 3 favorite green protein smoothies right now and their nutritional breakdown. Please keep in mind, these are not low in calories, I drink them as a meal replacement or after a long work out. Also any where you see vanilla protein powder, I was using a single scoop of Muscle Milk Vanilla.

Pineapple Cherry Green Smoothie
1 cup frozen cherries ( I buy them in bulk during the summer and freeze them for winter when produce sucks)
6 chunks frozen pineapple
1-2 cups spinach
Vanilla protein powder
Water to blend

The Healthy Piña Colada

Calories got cut out of photo- it's 242 cal

6 chunks frozen pineapple
1 cup frozen mango
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup spinach or kale
2 tbs sugar free coconut syrup ( I got this brand at World Market)
Water to blend

The Very Berry Smoothie

This one is 300 calories- again meal replacement- not a snack

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen cherries
1 cup spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Water to blend

**** note on the blender.
If you are going to make smoothies often, invest in a good blender, it makes life so much easier!

I use a Ninja Blender. I got it at Walmart for $99 and it came with individual travel cups to blend your smoothie in and take it with you on the go. I cannot sing the Ninja's praises enough.
Here is a link to the exact blender I have. Of course I would find it 30% cheaper after I already own it.


Happy Blending!!!



So life happens and you have to restart

Last year was a great year. I lost 25 pounds relatively easy, kept it off for 4 months. Then life happened. In November, my boss began the interview process for our "territory" to double in size (or to lose our jobs). In December, we doubled. I took a new job in our organization that involved road travel. The holidays were here. I gained 10lbs in 2 months. 

Wait, What!?!? I couldn't have gained more than a pound a week. That's crazy.

But I did. 

Why? Because I stopped weighing myself weekly. I had no plan for eating when I was traveling. I let old habits of stress eating and convenience food come back into my world.

So here I am, needing to lose 50 more pounds, not 40. 

But I'm not down...  I'm Rededicated.

I look forward to sharing the restart of my journey... And the rest of it with you all.


My new obsession PB2 and PS I woke up Famous... Thanks Jillian Michaels

Have you all discovered the joy that is PB2 yet???

A friend of mine who is on an incredible inspiring weight loss journey turned me on to it a few days ago. I am beyond obsessed.

For those of you who don't know, PB2 is powdered peanut butter. How is powdered better than regular peanut butter... it only has 45 calories and 1.5 grams of fat!!!! What!!!! I love peanut butter, but have a hard time justifying that 200 of my 1300 calories are going away in two tablespoons. So  I bought both versions they make ( regular and chocolate) and began experimenting.

4 TBS Fat free cool whip+ 1TBS PB2= peanut butter mousse fruit dip!! Holy cow so delicious and only 60 calories.

I have also tried a banana, chocolate PB2, and almond milk smoothie!!! So good!

My last experiment this week was actually following the directions on the container of PB2 and mixing 2TBS of PB2 with 1TBS of water to make "peanut butter". It actually made peanut butter! Same consistancy, same flavor, not as rich! I am sold! 

On to other news. While I was sleeping last night I became mildly famous... And by mildly famous I mean Celebrity Trainer Jillian Michaels Retweeted my tweet about my weight loss and loving her book to her 930,000 followers on twitter. I woke up to tweets from all over the country congratulating me and telling me to keep it up!! Really, little old me!! That has to be one of the best ways to wake up!!

Having new twitter, Instagram, and blog followers is such a motivator for me to keep on my path, and keep posting healthy ideas to you all!

Have an amazing night! You can do this! I can do this! We can do this!