thesmilinlife

Thoughts of a 20-something


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Lobster mac and cheese

Lobster is on sale and has been for weeks. Our local store has it for 5.99/pound….so we stock up. We had about 2.5 lbs of frozen lobster meat (often, the store will cook the lobsters for you. Then you just need to shell them! That’s what we did.). My mom and I were trying to figure out what to do with it and were thinking lobster mac and cheese would be phenomenal. We started doing research but couldn’t find a lightened up version of mac and cheese. We ended up making up our own. And it was amazing! Not only will we be making this again, but we will be making it again asap!!!

(I want to add that I don’t really consider this healthy- is mac and cheese ever truly healthy? You’re combining a huge amount of processed carbs with a huge amount of cheese – high calorie and definitely not a daily thing. But this is my lightened up version which will be a rare treat. I hope you enjoy!)

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Recipe

Ingredients
(all measurements are approximations. My mom and I rarely measure. Oops)
2 cups fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded cheddar
6oz fontina (swiss would work)
2.5 lbs lobster
1/2 cup milk of choice (we did almond milk because it’s what we had.) (Optional)
Dash nutmeg
Dash chili powder
Salt and pepper
16oz whole grain pasta
1 cup Panko  bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesian cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Boil pasta to package directions. Combine cheeses (minus parmesian), milk, nutmeg and chili powder and heat over medium low. You just want everything to melt together.

Taste cheese and add liquid, salt and pepper to suit  (we did 2 spoonfuls of pasta water).

Mic breadcrumbs and parmesian cheese.

In a lightly greased 9×13 pan, combine lobster meat and pasta. Pour cheese mixture over and stir until well mixed. Top with breadcrumb mixture and bake approximately 20 minutes, until top is brown and crispy.

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Oh my god. This was so good. And honestly not terribly unhealthy haha. My dad doesn’t like Greek yogurt but loved this-went back for seconds. My mom and I each had seconds. We served this with roasted baby squash. SO GOOD!

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(I’m doing the 21 day fix and, no, this is probably not on plan. But if I’m guessing, a 1 cup serving would be 1.5 yellows, 1 red and 1 blue. At least that’s what I count it as. And I won’t have a blue tomorrow…. and won’t feel guilty!!)

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On track

I’m back on track again starting today. I had a very rough past week with a death in the family and the end of the school year. I’m now back to focusing on my self though and my journey.

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I made some healthy lasagna rolls for my husband for the nights that I’m not at home (I go to my sister’s on Wednesdays) and wow!!! They look amazing. I roughly followed this recipe: http://juliajacksonfitness.com/lasagna-roll-ups/ with a few changes. I used Spicy Italian Sausage for meat, an entire box of baby spinach that I lightly steamed and squeezed the liquid out of. I also added some of the meat into the sauce that I put on top of the rolls… I’m going to pre-package 2 of them per container and pop in the freezer to be heated up quickly. It definitely beats stopping to get McDonalds on his way home!!! Being prepared is definitely the name of the game!

This week, I’m planning on making these stuffed sweet potatoes! My sister made them before and they came out killer. I love chicken thighs, so this will be perfect!! Very looking forward to it.

http://barerootgirl.com/nourish/2013/7/19/paleo-chipotle-chicken-sweet-potatoes-and-whole30?rq=sweet%20potato

Well, short and sweet! Staying on top of being prepared and taking care of myself and hubby.


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21 day fix

I do NOT sell beachbody products. I also do not use Shakeology or any of the other supplements that are sold by beachbody. That said, I received a copy of the 21 day fix from a friend and wanted to provide my own review of it. I know there’s tons out there, but having done two Whole 30s, I am constantly comparing what I’m eating and doing on the 21 day fix to my experiences with the whole 30.

Since I’ve started my weight loss journey, I fairly easily lost about 15 pounds but then have been stuck at a little plateau. I joined a gym nearby, but it still wasn’t doing much. Through my two Whole 30s, I lost some weight and was feeling great about myself but had a hard time entirely cutting out things like alcohol and dairy. Not because I couldn’t- I did for 30 days on two different occasions- but because I LIKE those things. If I want to order pizza with my husband on a weeknight instead of cooking, then I want to be able to enjoy myself not eat a salad and watch hubby go to town.

Food

So when I got the 21 day fix and looked in to that program, I thought it would be much more sustainable. The eating plan that goes along with the program is a calorie deficit, but they encourage 6 meals a day. The amount of food that I got to have was way more than I was used to on the Whole 30, and I was able to have my favorites like some crumbled cheese on my salad or dressing or a tiny bit of sugar here and there. I don’t eat a lot of these things as I’m staying on the calorie deficit, but the fact that I can have some at all is huge to me. More often than not, I choose not to, but it’s being able to have that choice that matters to me.

I’ve had some freaking awesome meals. Cooking with Whole 30 helped really prepare me for this. Again, it’s all about meal prep. I’m the kind of person that can happily eat the same thing daily for breakfast and lunch, and the same thing for dinner a couple times a week, but it has to be something that I like. For the three weeks, I would have a breakfast protein shake (not Shakeology – I don’t find that sustainable. I use the Garden of Life Raw protein powder with a cup(ish) of fruit and a splash of almond milk, the rest water), lunch would be a giant salad with grilled chicken and dinner would depend on what I was feeling for the week and what was on sale.

I would have two snacks a day, making my total meals 5… but I was never hungry! It was great. My mid morning snack would be a serving of fruit and then in the afternoon I’d have some celery sticks, a plain greek yogurt with a spoon of almond butter stirred in. I would look forward to this every day. Seriously, so good.

Overall, I found that I was not hungry until it was time to eat again. The food was delicious and there was so much of it! I actually had trouble eating it all. I frequently would have leftover orange or yellow containers. I highly recommend this diet for a calorie deficit without calorie counting.

Workouts

The workouts that go along with the 21 day fix are pretty intense. They’re fast paced, half hour a day workouts that leave you sweaty and feeling like you just got a great workout in. The moves are basic but definitely effective. Autumn is energetic and motivating.

Each day you do a different workout, but the cycle repeats each week. The yoga was my least favorite day of the week. There was a lot of downward dog and upward dog, not very much else. I found that each week I was getting in better shape and quickly needed heavier weights. I rushed out to buy 8lb weights and use them for a lot of the workouts. I treat it kind of like a drop set, where I start out heavy and go light if I have to. I find this has been working out, and I’ve gotten much stronger.

Another thing to note, I love these workouts so much that I can convince myself to get out of bed at 4:45 AM to workout before work. I don’t dread it. Aside from the initial “Omg it’s early, I love my bed”, I don’t fight getting up and genuinely enjoy my mornings. I have a rice cake before my workouts (otherwise I get light headed) and then my shake immediately after.

Results

In the first 21 days, I lost 9 pounds and 9 inches. I’m so glad I measured, because those inches are so totally visible. I’m tighter all over, my clothes are fitting better, and I FEEL better. I’ve been eating so healthily and am truly happy with everything. I have continued with the workouts and eating plan past the 21 days and have lost about 5 more pounds and more inches, although I haven’t measured again yet. I got a copy of the 21 day fix extreme and am going to start that soon. i had to get resistance bands for this, which I had to get since I’d never used before, but I’m looking forward to those workouts and keeping with the eating plan.

Overall, I found that the 21 day fix is sustainable for me. I can’t afford the Shakeology, and I’m not a huge fan of artificial sugar which I’m pretty sure is in there. The protein powder that I use is sufficient and way more cost friendly. The workouts are effective and leave me feeling great at the end of them. I’m looking forward to the future results!!!

 

As a side note, my hubby has been eating healthier by proxy and has lost like 10 pounds. He’s such a turd, I’m working my butt off to drop a few pounds and he has a couple salads a week and loses all of it. His pants that I just bought him are about to fall of. MEN!!!


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How did this happen?!

Have you ever looked at something and asked yourself “how did this happen?!” This was my exact thought about a year ago, when my scale read at nearly 200 pounds. How did this happen?

I made excuses. I have hashimoto’s, and have always had to work hard at staying in shape…. in high school I was borderline anorexic. When I got to college and my stress levels skyrocketed, I turned to food and alcohol to cope. Years passed, and I hadn’t retaken control of my health and fitness. Sure, I’d go through phases but they’d flicker and go out like a match. I was more active in college, riding horses regularly and took a workout class…. then finals would come and it’d all go to hell.

So that’s how I found myself standing in the bathroom on a scale, wanting desperately to not believe the number showing. 196?! Wtf! Maybe my scale has dyslexia and it’s really 169? I looked at recent pictures and realized that it wasn’t a lie… I was obese.

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Me the night I got engaged. Ugh!

At this point in my life, I was a full time graduate student, full time teacher (teaching a new course so killing myself making everything) and planning a wedding. To say that I didn’t have time to think about losing weight is an understatement. I tried… I did a whole 30 and really liked it. But didn’t find it sustainable, financially or realistically. I LIKE all those foods I couldn’t have. Isn’t there an option that let’s me enjoy life but still lose weight?

Fast forward to now. A year after this realization. Two whole 30s done. 1 round of 21 day fix done. Healthier, more active, more than 20 pounds lighter.

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Gala with my husband

I’m still a long way from my goal. But my bmi no longer considers me obese. I’m happier. I’m definitely healthier. And I know that I can do this. No more looking at my scale or in the mirror and saying “what the hell!?” I got this.

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