Fit Friday: Go-to Snacks

Well, my computer is working… kinda… kinda not. I have a new battery and charger, but it still shuts down on me randomly. Frustrating, but currently it’s on, so I’m going with it.

I wanted to share with you my top 5 go-to snack foods. These are items I always have ready to go in my house for all those times when I just need something… like RIGHT NOW.

So here ya go, my 5 foods you should have in your kitchen always.

1) Hard-boiled eggs

Eggs are fabulous. Eggs fill you up. They are high in protein to keep you full for a while but they can also be a pain to cook if you should have been out the door 5 minutes ago. I usually get 2 dozen eggs when I go grocery shopping; 1 to cook with and 1 for hard-boiling. That way I have all set a super easy breakfast, or snack, or lunch. Have a few minutes? Chop them up, mix in an avocado, add some lemon juice, salt and pepper and you have a delicious egg salad. Or try on top of a salad. Either way, hard-boiled eggs are indispensable in my house.

slashfood.com

slashfood.com

2) Trail-mix

Trail mix is one of those foods I’ve always adored, since I was a kid…. then again, when I was a kid I usually just ate all the  M&M’s, but still, I love it. And it’s super easy and extremely versatile. Plus, it’s almost always paleo. I like to keep a large container all ready to go in my pantry. As it starts to empty, I can add new ingredients so it’s ever changing. I start with nuts of any type (just not peanuts), add dried fruit (no added sugar), unsweetened coconut, dark chocolate chips; the possibilities are endless. Toss a handful in a ziploc and put in your purse for anytime that you feel your blood sugar dropping; or munch on some after a tough workout- your body will thank you for it.

guiltykitchen.com

guiltykitchen.com

3) Veggies veggies and more veggies

I like to keep a good sized gladware container full of ready to go chopped up veggies in my fridge at all times. It makes everything from snack time to dinner prep easier. I try to keep the veggies organic and seasonal, but usually there are carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, etc. It’s easy to grab a handful with some dressing to add to my lunch. A little dicing and they are set for my morning omelette, or a quick saute and they can be added to dinner. I prep a bunch on the weekend so I’m all ready to go throughout the week.

bilo-supermarket.com

bilo-supermarket.com

4) Plain cooked chicken

Chicken is one of those foods that can be used for just about any meal at any time of day. It makes the week run a whole lot smoother if I have several chicken breasts precooked from the weekend ready for whatever and whenever. I can shred it, add some salsa, and wrap it in a lettuce cup for lunch. I can add it on top of a salad. I can toss it in a stir fry. Really, it can go just about anywhere. And since Paleo doesn’t bode well with “fast food” or those frozen meals from the grocery store; it’s nice to have something that can be just as quick.

myrecipes.com

myrecipes.com

5) Fruit

Uh… I don’t think this one needs much explanation, but don’t think it’s not just as important. I can’t tell you how many times I’m about to run out the door when my stomach growls and I stare at the kitchen looking for inspiration. My savior? A peach, or banana, or apple, or pear…. Anything that’s easy to grab and go, I’m all for. For fruits that aren’t so easy, just make sure to have some prepped before hand. When it’s berry season, I like to have a huge bowl of strawberries, tops cut off, to add to smoothies, top a salad, for on the road, etc. Same with pineapple, oranges, or any other fruit that needs some preparation.

fanpop.com

fanpop.com

If you’ve noticed, each snack tends to take a bit of preparation. But I’m always so thankful that I’ve put in the time to have these healthy snacks ready when I need something quick. Just find a day when you have 30-60 minutes, and get your kitchen all set for the rest of the week. You’ll be just as glad as I am when you end up reaching for a cup of strawberries and a hardboiled egg instead of some nasty chemical concoction.

By the way, most of you know that I’ve been Paleo for a few months now and that I’m working to lose weight for my wedding… well I’ve hit a bit of a plateau (lost 13lbs so far!) and I decided that the biggest push I’m going to get is from sharing even more, so…. now on Fridays I will not only be sharing tips and tricks that I’ve discovered, but … I will also share my weight…………..

OH MY GOSH!… what have I done…. lol.

and maybe a picture… that one still really scares.

So … here goes.

I started at 170lbs. I am now at 157. My goal is between 130-140.

Phew, ok. Not so bad. 😛

Do you have a weight loss goal? Do you have any tips  and tricks? I would love to hear about your journey!

Love!

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The day after Christmas

Today is the day after Christmas. If you’re like me, you are recovering from your overindulgence, your lack of sleep, and your over enthusiasm. If you’re like me, all you want to do is take a nap. But I digress.

 

I always feel like the week after Christmas and before New Years is the time to prepare my heart and mind for what the next year will bring.

My next year will bring the greatest moment of my life up until now, my wedding. I am so excited; and so stressed all at the same time. I never realized there was so much to plan for, and we aren’t even hosting 100 people. It will be small and intimate, but still there is a lot to do.

This year also continues my journey with Paleo. My goal is to be in the greatest shape of my life by the time my wedding comes. And that means work. And work is hard (duh!). That means getting up early, and avoiding the foods that I love, but you know; I think I’m finally ready. I think I’m finally ready to make that commitment to myself and my body. I deserve it. I deserve to be comfortable in my own skin. And yes it takes dedication, but I’m ready for the fight.

This year also brings a change for my finances. I will be joining Mr. Right’s bank after our wedding, and I want to have my finances in order by then. It’s not that they are totally out of whack, but I do want to pay off all my debt so that I can start my marriage on a clean slate. So that’s another discipline to take care of.

And you know, there are other things that I would love to accomplish this next year- say writing a children’s book, going back to school, moving into a house; but I know that I can’t do everything in one year; so this is what I propose.

Each week, starting the first week of January, I will be sharing a “small change” that I will be conquering for the next year. It could be anything from walking 30 minutes a day, to flossing, to taking time to do nothing. Through all these small changes, I’m hoping to make a large difference in my health, my mind, and my general well being by this time next year. I invite you to join me on this journey. The small changes won’t be anything too difficult, but if we keep it up all year, we may be one step closer to becoming the person we know we were meant to be.

Will you join me?

With Love,

Amy

Be at War with your Vices, at Peace with your Neighbours, and let every New-Year find you a better Man.  ~Quoted in Benjamin Franklin’s 1755 Poor Richard’s Almanac

 

from google images

from google images

Paleo

Ah weddings… they bring out the crazy in all of us. About two months back I went in to meet the woman that is making my dress. In that, it came to my attention that I had grown slightly larger then I used to be.  Oops. I mean ok, so I haven’t gone for a run in like 9 months, and I may have become too close and personal to a pint of ice cream, but I’m not that big am I?

I was in denial for a while. It happens to the best of us. I had gone up a pant size, and was about to need to go up another when I decided enough is enough. I stepped on the scale. It had been months since I’ve done that. I had gone up 25 lbs in 6 months… big Oops.

So ok, I needed to workout more and eat less. I get that. I tried that. But nothing seemed to be happening. I’m not willing to starve myself. I like food (ie check out my very first post). And I was working out for an hour several times a week. That’s gotta do something right? But, nothing. Nada. Zip. That equaled to a very annoyed, very stressed Amy. I do not like to be annoyed, stressed Amy. Neither does Mr. Right. 🙂

And while all this was going on, I also had my face to worry about. Let’s side step a little bit and talk about acne. I have had acne since I was 9 years old. I started getting the occasional zit (I mean the big ones) in elementary school, and by middle school my face was covered. I had tried everything. I tried the hardcore stuff, the natural stuff, the dermatologist, and everything in between. The only thing that ever worked for me was antibiotics, but I’m obviously not going to stay on those forever.

I am now 23 and my face looks just like it did when I was 16. It still flares up terribly around my cycle, and only starts to calm down a few days before my next one… and that’s while I’m on birth control. Let’s not talk about the 3 months that I tried to go off the pill. It was a nightmare! My face ached it was so broken out. Add on the fact that I’ve been trying to workout more, and it seems like when I workout really hard my face breaks out even more!

So, here I am, at my wits end. I do not want to be fat and acne-ridden on my wedding day. I refuse. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! So I started doing research. It couldn’t just be from what goes on my face. It has to be hormonal, and it has to be affected by what goes on inside me.

That’s when I discovered the link between inflammation and acne. I had read The Clear Skin Prescription by Nicholas Perricone about 2 years ago, where he stated that acne was an inflammatory disease. But for some reason it didn’t click until now. While I was recently looking up information on how to control acne with diet, I stumbled up on the Paleo Diet; otherwise called the caveman diet. It’s centered around eating as our ancestors did. The main staples are meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries. You completely cut out all grains, legumes, and sugar. Dairy is allowed only in small amounts, and only if it is organic, grass-fed, and full-fat. In all the research I was doing on acne, this kept coming back as the bases of an anti-inflammatory diet. It stabilizes your blood sugar, which lowers your inflammation, and BONUS, keeps you full longer. Who knew that what I did originally for my face, could actually help me lose weight? And guess, what? I’ve been at it a week, and have lost 3lbs! No crazy exercising, a few runs, some yoga, and walking my dog. I feel great, full of energy, and NOT HUNGRY! My cravings for sugar are almost all gone, and each day it’s becoming easier.

I found a great book (at Costco of all places) called Practical Paleo. It’s full of research, ideas, and recipes. It’s full of big pictures, and easy to understand text. It helped answer a lot of my questions.

Oh, and my acne? Doing a lot better. It’s obviously not going to clear up in a week, but I have no new cystic flareups, and my face isn’t tender at all. (What am I using on my face? Remind me to tell you all about my love affair with Lush. 🙂 )

Granted, it is pretty hard to eat out- but it’s completely doable. Just make sure to ask the server all you can about the food and tell them that you can’t have any dairy or wheat (that usually does the trick). Look for meats, fish, and lots of veggies. Salads are pretty easy to work with.

This is all pretty new to me, so I will make sure to let y’all know of any good recipes I’ve found, tips I have, and how my results are going.

 

Love!

xoxo

 

Just between us girls..

Growing up I was a bit… well not fat, more heavy; thick. I was always the biggest of my friends and I knew it to. I mean how sick is it for a ten year old to compare herself to her friends and think that there must be something wrong with her? But thats where I was and thats what I thought.

Enter puberty, for the most part I thinned out. I grew taller, got boobs, and went from being one of the biggest to being, average. But for some reason I could never get it out my head that I was too big, too soft, that I needed fixing. And that was hard… is still hard.

And I tried, really hard, to fix myself. I counted every morsel entering my mouth. I worked out, alot. But you know what? No matter how much weight I lost I never felt ok.

Its a scary thing to hate yourself.

I feel though that my saving grace, was food. As Ive said before (in an earlier post), I love food. I never really could give up the joy that cooking, baking, and melted butter really bring. Man I love butter.

And then I read a book, Food Rules by Michael Pollan. It’s a list on how to approach food and eating. And it really hit me- eat real food. I mean REAL food. No diet food. No fake food. No processed, sitting on a shelf for 2 years food. And I really had one of those “duh!” moments. Of course, real food because thats what my body knows how to process. Thats what my body knows what to do with. If I just pay attention to my body it will get to the place where it is supposed to be. No guilt, no pressure, no straining my body to be what it can’t be and shouldn’t be. Eat when I’m hungry, eat only real food, and move as often as possible. It really should’nt be rocket science should it?

from mairakalman.com

So thats my goal. Eat real food. Eat when Im hungry. And move. Thats it.

And you know, for once, I love my body. Honestly and truly. And I love that.

Life is amazing isn’t it?