Sweet Silver Lining

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Healthy Meals September 28, 2011

Filed under: food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 7:41 pm
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Do you ever go into the kitchen after a long day at work, want something delicious and nutritious to eat, but instead grab something you know is not good for you more out of frustration that you just don’t know what to cook than anything else?  Or maybe you are in such a hurry in the morning that you don’t think you have anything quick to eat, so you just leave for work hungry? This is when a list comes in handy. If you have something to look at to give you ideas, even if you’re tired or short on time, you’ll probably still find something that you can fix fairly quickly that is nutritious. These are some of my favorite foods. I obviously left off some of the things I cook occasionally that aren’t necessarily that good for you (chicken taco soup, lasagna, deep dish homemade pizza, really really sweet desserts!). Some of these are my own recipes, so just ask for it if you are curious about trying something new. I’ll be happy to share a recipe with ya!  Try to come up with your own list to go to when you’re starving and staring at your kitchen cabinets or fridge shelves.

Breakfasts:
2 eggo waffles with peanut butter
2 cinnamon raisin bread slices and 1 egg
2 eggs and 1 slice toast with sugar free jam
1 cup cereal and 1 cup almond milk
Oatmeal, old-fashioned oats (sometimes with a banana mashed into it or blueberries or PB2)
Hot cinnamon rice cereal
Mini bagel (plain) with sugar free jam and/or peanut butter
Mini bagel (everything) with laughing cow cheese triangle and piece of fruit
Shakeology with almond milk
Grits with stick Colby jack cheese
Cinnamon and cloves french toast with honey

Snacks:
1 tbsp. peanut butter on apple or banana
100 cal pack buttered popcorn
Stick Colby jack cheese
Protein bar
Wheat thins and laughing cow cheese triangle
Fruit: grapes, navel orange, pear, strawberries, banana, apple, kiwi, plum, plantain, watermelon, cantaloupe
Canned fruit and cottage cheese
Nuts/trail mix (mixed nuts, coconut flakes, dried cranberries or raisins, and mini chocolate chips)
Dry cereal (Cheerios, Oatmeal Squares, Chex)
Crunchy granola bars (Dark Chocolate, Pecan, or Peanut Butter)
Tortilla chips and salsa

Lunches:
Shakeology with almond milk and piece of fruit
Grilled chicken salad and piece of fruit
Frozen dinner (220-350 calories) and yogurt
Ham and provolone sandwich and sugar free pudding cup or wheat thin crackers
Ham, pickle and mustard sandwich and cheese stick or sun chips
Black bean veggie burger, salad greens, salsa, green onion, and 100 cal pack guacamole and tortilla chips
Small portions of leftover dinner below

Suppers:
Turkey meatloaf and boiled okra
Spaghetti and green beans or salad
Tuna melt
Tuna salad on lettuce
Soup (sausage and bean or turkey and veggie)
Turkey chili with toast
Grilled cheese (reduced fat provolone usually) and pickles
Smoked cabbage and corn
Crab pasta
Chicken Salad with fruit and pecans on lettuce/wrap/wheat bread
Hot ham and cheese pressed sandwich with pickles
Egg sandwich
Red beans and rice
Pasta with Crockpot chicken spaghetti sauce
Pot Roast and veggies (usually zucchini, carrots, celery, onion – if I use potatoes, I use them sparingly)
Chicken stir fry

***Eat a small salad before supper to lower serving sizes and calories

Desserts:
Chocolate supreme protein shake (after weight training)
Peanut butter and mini marshmallows on wheat thins
Peanut butter on graham crackers
½ cup chocolate frozen yogurt with 1 tbsp. peanut butter
Sugar free jello
Sugar free pudding with sugar free cool whip
Canned fruit and fat free cottage cheese
Fruit salad with honey
Baked pineapple with brown sugar and nuts
Two slices cinnamon raisin bread
Pear halves with small amount of cholesterol-free mayo and shredded cheddar
Slice of bread with 1 tbsp Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter

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So Tired

Filed under: raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 6:06 am

I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. At least it’s a short day for me today. Out before 7 a.m. but back home before 6 p.m. I teach Zumba today after work. At least I can look forward to that. Zumba days are fun. I have not been getting enough sleep this week. I haven’t gone to bed before 11 any night so far. I have got to limit my computer time. I can’t keep working three jobs AND running on only 5 hours of sleep each night. This girls needs her ZZZZZ’s! Wouldn’t it be awesome to be one of those people that can sleep 3-4 hours each night and wake up rested? I could get much more done in my day. I wish teaching was a night job. I am just more vibrant at night. I hate hearing my alarm go off at 5 a.m. Well, better run and pack my gym bag for Zumba and get dressed for work. Happy hump day!

 

We Invest in What We Value September 24, 2011

Filed under: food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 11:31 am
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The above is a video made by another Beachbody Coach (Christine Dwyer) about Shakeology, and she made some really good points that I thought were worth sharing. We really do invest in what we value, whether it be a certain brand of jeans, a certain brand of cereal, or a certain brand of makeup. We will pay more for what we feel is worth more. I know almost NO ONE who buys generic mayo. Why? Because it’s not the best. We want what we know tastes good. Yes, Shakeology is pricey, but you have to ask yourself is trying it worth the money? No, scratch that.  What you have to ask yourself is if you try it, is it worth the money each month you’ll spend to keep it going because you’ll love the results and how you feel. See, Beachbody offers an “empty bag” guarantee, meaning that you can take a full month’s supply at their expense if you don’t love it by the end of your first month. That’s a pretty great guarantee. I sure don’t know any diet pills/drinks or even “health food” frozen dinners and such that would match that same guarantee. So there is no monetary risk in *trying* it. Getting hooked on it because it’s a good product is another story! :o) So you replace your latte and cinnamon roll or bagel with it each morning (for the same amount of money and way fewer calories) or your high-calorie and high-fat lunch or tasteless, high-sodium frozen dinner and whatever you snack on immediately after lunch because you’re still hungry (for the same amount of money and probably fewer calories) with a filling Shakeology shake that gives you energy, helps you lose weight, puts back vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and probiotics into your system, and makes you so much healthier. Then, the money you pay for Shakeology doesn’t seem so frivolous. I was easily spending $100 a month on Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, cafeteria salads, salad dressing, little yogurts and puddings, and whatever else I was eating along side those frozen dinners or salads that didn’t fill me up alone.

I am loving the results I am getting with Shakeology, and in fact, I just emailed Beachbody yesterday about changing my monthly supply to the Chocolate Shakeology, because I like the taste of it so much and because it fills me up so well. I am excited about trying it for another month. I’m not under an obligation to try it for any certain amount of time, so I’ll cancel it if I’m not totally satisfied. But as of right now, I am satisfied with what it’s doing for me. If you’d like to give it a try, send me a message by going to the Team Beachbody tab at the top, or you can leave your email in a message on this post, and I’ll get back to you about it. I plan on going into the holidays feeling good about my weight and being healthy. There will be no guilt about casseroles and ham and pie at get-togethers for me this year!

 

Zumba and Gyms September 23, 2011

Filed under: fitness,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 7:32 pm
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I am working this weekend on a couple of Zumba songs to add to my class. One is an abs workout and the other is mostly cardio. I set up my playlist to have an extended stretching session at the end to help newcomers gain back some flexibility, but the whole routine is still a tad short. Classes are going pretty well, other than the occasional slip up from allowing my mind to wander and forgetting where we are in the song, but I cover myself pretty well. Teaching Zumba is surprisingly easy once you get the basic latin rhythms down and learn the choreography for the songs you want to do. I heard this morning that someone is teaching it in a neighboring town, but they aren’t Zumba licensed. It really annoys me, because I put in the hard work and hard-earned money to get my license to teach Zumba, and here is someone making money off of people and probably isn’t even teaching latin moves. I think it mostly irritates me because if these people take her class and it’s just some hip hop aerobics with the Zumba name attached to it, all these people go out thinking that this is what Zumba is like. So what if they’re turned off by her lack of inexperience and never try Zumba again? I can’t help being irritated. I want to keep the integrity of the fitness program in tact, because when I become a part of something, I truly care about it. But I knew I’d come across this. Anyway, if you are wondering if your Zumba instructor is legit or not (and therefore is worth all that money you’re paying her or him each month), go to the Zumba website and click ‘Find an Instructor,’ where you can type in their name. Also, if you’d like to try out a Zumba class, go there and click on ‘Find a Class,’ to find classes in your area. If you are interested in becoming a licensed Zumba instructor, click on the ‘Instructor Training’ link.

Part of the reason I love doing Zumba is that I really love being in the gym atmosphere. I love being surrounded by people who want to live healthier lives.  There is something so positive and hopeful about that. It’s so motivating. I love seeing people push themselves where they know deep down that their bodies can go. I love seeing people smile as they work out. I even love seeing the frowns that come from intense concentration and hard work, because when they’re done, the grins of accomplishment come out. I still love my at-home workouts, but since I’d finished school and no longer get to go to my college gym anymore, I have really missed those things. Now, if the little gym I worked at just had an indoor heated pool, I’d be in fitness Heaven! :)

 

Shakeology Week 2 September 18, 2011

Filed under: fitness,food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 4:33 pm
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Shakeology Week 2
Monday – got almost no sleep (less than 5 hours), pretty alert all day. Very small amounts of food satisfied me, and I didn’t think about food constantly like I usually do throughout the day. Came home to take a 30-40 min nap before bunko, slept about 10-15 mins and then was wide awake but pretty tired feeling by the end of bunko. Went to bed early. Had chocolate shakeology for lunch instead of breakfast today. I think it worked out better.

Thursday – I’ve been doing Shakeology for lunch instead of breakfast all week except today, and it’s worked out well. It keeps me pretty satisfied, not hungry like I thought I’d be by drinking a shake for lunch. I usually have a piece of fruit with it, too. Today, I decided to eat a grilled chicken salad  for lunch, so I made my Greenberry shakeology for breakfast. I mixed it with a cup of pineapple juice and a little almond milk, and it was so sweet and delicious!  I actually got enough sleep last night and wasn’t ridiculously tired at work today like I have been most of this week. This has been a doozy with starting up my Zumba class (finally!) and having football duty tomorrow night :o/ It’s the Homecoming game, too, so there will be massive amounts of Lions fans there. It will be a very busy night. Anyway, I am looking forward to some downtime this weekend. With all the grading I have to do, I might even enjoy some of it.

I went grocery shopping Tuesday night after my night class, and I was thrilled to spend only about $60 on food. I would have easily spent $150 before, so I’m already ahead for the month by buying Shakeology! The price was one of my biggest reservations, so I am so happy about that. Despite being very tired from all the working and other engagements I had this week, I was still able to go most days without a nap, which is a definite improvement in energy levels. It’s not miraculous, but it’s improvement. As for curbing my appetite, Shakeology has definitely done that. It doesn’t curb my appetite so much that I don’t eat anything (unlike some diet pills that have too many stimulants to be safe). I just didn’t want to overeat, which was good. That’s a definite problem of mine. But I still ate throughout the day. So over the past two weeks, I am down 4 lbs, minus 2.5 inches in my waist/hips areas, and had a decrease of about 1% body fat. 1% may not sound like a lot, but since I’m already in my ideal weight range, it’s a pretty big difference. Not shabby for two weeks and not a ton of exercise. Because of Bunko Monday night and Homecoming football duty Friday night coupled with teaching until pretty late on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I definitely didn’t have as many opportunities as I usually have to get in quality workouts this week. Planning on making next week much better for exercise.

 

Patriot Day: September 11, Ten Years Later September 11, 2011


In memory of 9-11-01, I thought I’d blog about that day today. I thankfully live very far away from New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, but all Americans were affected by the terror from a decade ago. For days, people have been asking what everyone was doing that morning when they heard the news, and everyone remembers. I had gone to an early Physical Science lab at MSU that morning. As we were working in groups on some experiment or another, students began talking about hearing the crash of the World Trade Center. Being ignorant of what that was, my friend Nicki and I assumed that the stock market had crashed. It was terrible, but we really didn’t understand why students were getting so upset about it. At 20, did they already have 401K’s? We were Americans. We survived one stock market crash, so we could make it through another. When I went back to my car to leave campus and turned the radio on, I hear the reports coming in, and the truth hit me, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. My fiance, who was in the military, was in Arkansas at a military training school. I remember being so frightened that they might send him to New York and that our country was about to go to war on our own soil. The thought of that terrified me. I went home in a daze and don’t think I even went back to school that week. I just remember watching days and days of news coverage with sadness, helplessness, and anger welling up inside me.

America came together and has held her own, retaliating as needed and seeking out justice in foreign lands. We have brought down major leaders of terror and brought hope to nations that previously had none. People are holding elections where tyrants once ruled and forming village-level governance; school enrollment has increased and little girls are going to school where once it was prohibited. There were positive changes here, as well. Americans became fiercely patriotic where once many were lukewarm, we created Homeland Security to further protect our country, and goodness and compassion flowed forth from what seemed like a pretty selfish society. Those things we can be thankful for and appreciate as positive things that came out of 9-11.

My heart goes out to those who were affected that day from losing loved ones and for those who have lost loved ones since that day as the American military pursues its missions overseas. I pray that God shields our soldiers, seamen, and airmen with His protective hand so they may do His good work. I appreciate the sacrifice of all who served, including all the paramedics, firefighters, national guard, police officers, and good Samaritans who tried getting people out of buildings or who acted so courageously on those planes that day. The terror attacks on 9-11-01 are wounds that are beginning to heal but still ache from time to time. And that’s okay, because it helps us remember those who perished and helps us appreciate our loved ones and those who have servants’ hearts.

 

Shakeology Week 1 September 9, 2011

Filed under: food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 7:04 pm
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Shakeology Day 5

Well, apparently the 7:30 cup of coffee last night was not a good idea. It was my fault that I didn’t lay down until 11, but I tossed and turned until sometime after 11:30. I had chocolate Shakeology this morning. I was really tired throughout the day. I even came home and took a 30 minute nap before going to teach my night class. I never felt really hungry past lunch and actually find myself having a hard time finishing whatever I’ve made. For instance, I made a pb&j sandwich before I headed out to my class, and half way through eating it, I just didn’t want the rest. And I love pb&j!

Shakeology Day 6

Still didn’t get into bed until 11. Arghhh! Maybe it’s not possible for me. Anyway, after hitting snooze twice, I got up and weighed myself this morning just to see, and the scale says I’ve lost 3 lbs. That’s definitely a positive, because it hasn’t been budging at all in the past month (well, other than a strange loss of 8 lbs that came right back in a few days – i’m tellin’ ya, scales are wacko!), and I know it’s due to my nutrition (or lack there of lately!), because I get in quite a bit of exercise each week. Truthfully, I don’t think scales are very reliable at times, so we’ll see if any change in measurements takes place over the next few weeks, as well, and I’ll keep tracking my weight to see if the 3 lb loss was a fluke or is actually sticking. I could tell a definite change in appetite today. My Greenberry Shakeology filled me up (and it helped that I added another half cup of unsweetened milk to the 1 ½ cups I was using, and it only added 17 calories!), and although I ate all of my salad at lunch, I wasn’t wolfing it down like I usually am. I also wasn’t hungry at break time (1:45), so I saved those calories for a snack when I got home.

Now that I’m coming up on the end of my first week of my Shakeology experiment, I am going to start blogging about it only weekly to update everyone on how it’s going. I am feeling a little more positive about using it. Actually seeing benefits a week in really helps, but I also know that it’s just a wonderfully nutritious drink. Sure beats some of the food I would have been digesting instead.

If you want to give Shakeology a try yourself, send me your contact info/questions by clicking on the ‘Team Beachbody’ tab above right, and I’ll send you my Shakeology website link or answer any questions you have. WordPress won’t allow me to put any business-type links on my blog.