Today, despite being a Monday, was my Sunday. Sunday is my meal prep day!
It's one of my favorite days of the week. I think my Sundays would be a hell on Earth for those that don't enjoy cooking, cleaning and organizing but I happen to LOVE being in the kitchen.
This week is especially busy between social activities, board meetings, Lacrosse Booster Club meetings, fundraising events, working out, and the time I usually spend staring off into space.
These are the weeks where planning and organizing my meals is especially important as I won't be home enough to plan out and execute healthy meals. I need things that are easy and I can grab and go.
This will give me breakfast, lunch, and healthy snacks until Friday.
With everything being Vegan, there really isn't anything that will go bad so the longevity of the meals is fairly extensive in comparison.
When I cooked with meat - I had a 1-2 day window (at most) where I'd be willing to eat leftovers or transform left overs into a new meal. It was a 1 day window if I had made something with seafood so me not eating meat / seafood / dairy is an amazing thing from a cost savings perspective.
Breakfast Congee: For those of you that aren't familiar with the greatest most versatile meal on Earth - let me introduce you to congee.
Congee is essentially a rice porridge made by boiling rice in a shit ton of water. Like more water than you'd think appropriate. Get to that point and then add more.
It beaks down the rice into a pudding-like consistency.
Serve it sweet or savory. It's a blank canvas for really anything. This is a breakfast congee so I added sweeter elements to mine.
Congee is often used to promote good health and strong digestion. According to TCM, because congee is so easily digested and assimilated, it harmonizes digestion, and also supplements blood & qi (life energy). Congee can relieve inflammation and nourish the immune system. I actually didn't think of stringing those words together - Scott told me all this like a year ago and it has been widely published in many journals of Cancer & Nutrition, etc.
For me, It's just really yummy ... all the other stuff is added benefit.
For meal prep- I portion out 4oz which comes to about 270 calories - you'd think with everything I put into it it would be massively high in calories but it's not - I throw in enough to give it great taste and texture but I'm not eating a bucket full of this. Very careful with the portion size.
LUNCHES & DINNER
Quinoa & White Bean Burgers
This is another recipe that really encourages you to do whatever you want. Look in your pantry - don't have cannellini beans - so what, use black beans and make it a Mexican spiced burger.
I had a jar of pesto on hand so that was the primary flavor profile in this week's burger.
Note: If I hadn't used pesto which has a high oil concentration I would have added a few tablespoons of Olive Oil to help bind the mixture together.
Hot pan and a bit of oil - Sear them on both sides which will actually crisp up the Quinoa - they have the most amazing texture.
I do a few things with the cooked patties:
1. Burger obviously - I may use a bun or most likely a lettuce cup
2. I add them to salads like a deconstructed burger (sans Bun)
The salad is my lunch tomorrow (estimated calories = 260 calories)
The burger was my dinner tonight ... when I thew everything into MyFitnessPal - dinner came in around 434 Calories because I added avocado, the greens were dressed in olive oil and lemon, and I used a potato bun (130 calories), etc.
The actual burger is 130 calories.
This week I'm having tomato salad and roasted delicata squash as my between meal snacks ... Both insanely simple and fairly calorie net neutral.
Roasted Delicata Squash
Greatest thing ever: One evening, I went next door to my amazing neighbor's house and saw that she doesn't remove the seeds when she cooks her squash.
I would have never thought to do this which is so strange as I love eating roasted pumpkin seeds so why not leave them?
It really makes these so much better and texturally interesting as the roasted seeds compliment the buttery softness of the squash. I love squash and somehow this little trick makes me love them even more, which I never knew was possible.
Sliced relatively thin, seeds and all - I tossed these in olive oil and sprinkled them with:
Roast in 370 degree oven for 35 mins - flipping at half way point.
I'm almost certain that you can't easily find delicata squash this time of year - buy Acorn - it's the exact same process just a slightly different shape.
How do I have so many you ask? Because my neighbor bought several cases of them when they were in season. They will last months and months.
I actually bought a case but had eaten all mine. I feel that I should ration them out so I can make them last a bit longer but it's one of my favorite things to eat.
I don't have a great deal of self control in general so we'll see how long they last.
As a final step after cooking is to portion everything out into individual serving sizes. I weigh everything. I tend to stick to 4oz portion sizes unless it's raw vegetables, then I will eat usually as much as I want.
I'm not stressing over the difference between 2 cups lettuce versus 3 cups but I do watch what I put onto my raw vegetables. I don't avoid fat as it's an essential part of maintaining a healthy body & brain.
In my current approach to eating, I'm entirely plant based, eat no sugar and try to limit my refined carbs. I am comfortable with small portions of whole grains such as quinoa, millet, etc. But I'm not going to freak out over eating a potato bun with my veggie burger.
Combined with what I eat is WHEN I eat - I eat between 10 am and 6 pm. That also explains why I need to be in bed by 9:00 pm and watch television in my bedroom. Otherwise I get very snacky and make my way into the pantry.
I'm up late tonight and am starving. Will have a cup of warm water with lemon and call it a day.
Enjoy your week!!
This is my amazingly fit neighbor and I heading to Hot Yoga ... at 6:00 am on a Saturday.
Let that sink in ... it's the weekend and we are willingly up at 6:00 am to roast our asses off in the most inhospitable environment imaginable. For someone who hates hot & humid - it's a hellscape.
As much as I hate hot & humid, I have realized I LOVE it and I can't wait to get to class. I have started to plan my day around my favorite classes.
Not many things get me out of bed that early on the weekends. I may want to stay in bed but my brain and body are cheering wildly!
So this is my new thing! I feel like an incredibly well adjusted adult with a reasonable bedtime and places to be at 6:00 am.
I'll soon be the type that grows wheatgrass in a window sill and irons my cloth napkins. I'm that much of an adult now.
Beyond our Saturday morning Yoga Sculpt class, I added several classes during the week to my schedule.
If I get there early enough, I can usually grab the same spot every time which I really like because I can sort of make this little space mine for the next 60-75 minutes.
I have been working from home this week which has been amazing.
Instead of spending the first hour of my day sitting in gridlock, I have been spending that that time in Yoga class.
Such a better use of time! The thought of spending 2 hours a day in traffic is really hard to handle some days.
Actually, thanks to Audible I'm (re)learning German. I took 4 years of German in school, it's one of my favorite languages which makes for a fun way to pass the time. Now I can complain about my commute in both English & German. As exciting as that is, I'd much rather be in yoga.
That said, it has been a humbling return.
I have always been strong with great balance but I'm really struggling with my balance of all things. Every single movement that places me on one leg, save for 3-legged dog, I find myself unable to hold the posture.
I notice when I fall out, it doesn't take long for the people next to me to fall out. It's like a shared consciousness of sorts. If you hold it, people hold it and then we're all holding it like little posture holding badasses.
When I'm swaying around and dropping the posture and mumbling "please God - let this end" - the people around me tend to pop out of the posture too.
Because I'm already in the back row in the far right corner when someone looks at me I can't even look behind me like "what is going on around here? who IS doing that?"
Which is exactly what I would do. People like me need to be in a middle row so when expert level know-it-alls turn around then I can give them that "yeah I know" look as I slowly turn my head to look behind me.
I can't do that - it's me ... It's literally just me. Me in my little corner goofing off while slipping on my own sweat.
Speaking of - in yesterday's class I tore ligaments in my Toe / Foot and can barely walk so I won't even be able to fully participate until I'm healed. I have it taped up and stabilized - looking at 3-4 weeks of recovery. So incredibly frustrating to me.
I'm still planning on going to class but will have to modify most of the postures. I just don't want to run the risk of getting out of the habit of going.
It's hard for me to circle back when I have moved away from something, regardless of reason.
This is really important to me - I'm sticking with it!
So, I'm going to rest and recover, working around my injured foot.
I'll wear my favorite beanie after class to hide my sweaty hair and continue to show up and be wobbly and tucked away into the far back corner of the room.
Maybe I'll find a job closer to home at some point or make working from home a regular thing so I can have a bit more balance in the day.
Ich wohne zu weit von meinem Büro entfernt
Day 1 ... Me (as of 2:47 pm)
30 lbs heavier than I'd like to be ... have been eating garbage since July after being so good for so so long.
4 gallons of water = 30 lbs. Having to carry an extra 4 gallons of water around with me at all times is absolutely bonkers.
I also can't fit into my favorite clothes. I'm currently wearing a size 12 ... Most of my clothes are 6-8.
You certainly don't have to be a rocket doctor to know that you can't squeeze a size 12 booty into a size 6 skirt without causing damage to your internal organs.
I was on such a great run with working out - then I stopped as I got incredibly sick. Never got back to it.
I was on such a great run with my eating and portion control - then I stopped as I felt like it, apparently. Never got back to it.
I have a Renewed Focus to hit 47 (this July) looking and feeling great again. I actually feel pretty good but I know I could feel even better if I'd just get my shit together.
90 days of eating well, maintaining proper portion control and by adopting a plant based diet.
I have always gone back and forth between eating meat and being plant based so this is a welcome transition back to something familiar to me.
I came across the Thug Kitchen cookbook series after deciding to go plant based again and immediately felt inspired. I think I found my people.
I also watched "The Game Changers" on Netflix which was amazing. Highly recommended.
Just a few days in, I feel less bloated which is great as nothing makes you feel sexier than being insanely bloated. I'm also sleeping like a little baby which I love as getting into bed at the end of the day is one of my favorite things. It's like rebooting a computer - a fresh start is on the horizon.
This challenge goes beyond just my eating habits - I need to really get back to my daily pilates routine & long walks.
When I don't do pilates my body becomes incredibly stiff and sore. Just 45-60 minutes of barre or pilates 4-5 time a week my body remains completely pain free.
Not to mention Pilates & Barre keeps me be long and lean versus my current state of short and sphere-like.
I also happened to buy the cutest walking shoes on the face of planet.
More importantly, getting back to being Pain Free - if there's something you can do that allows you to move and be pain free or at the very least experience a significant decrease in pain & discomfort you'd have to be out of your mind not to do it.
I have a pilates studio in my basement. As in one floor below where I am now - there is a pilates studio - top of the line Cadillac, Pilates chair / ballet barre / mats for floor work, etc.
Every single thing I need is one flight of stairs away from me.
To not move ... To not take 45 minutes to completely change my body and level of (dis)comfort is incredibly batshit bonkers.
I feel like this 90- day challenge is really an opportunity for me to make myself a priority.
I plan on taking daily photos - I have taken my "Before" photos and let me just say, "yikes". After my 90 days - I'll assess my progress and see how on track I am to hit my goal.
Most importantly - I'm excited to introduce meaningful change into my day to day.
There's a reward (outside of looking & feeling better)
IF I meet my goal by May / June - I am going to treat myself to a week in Costa Rica for my 47th BIRTHDAY!
I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica. It's surprisingly affordable and something that has been on my bucket list for years and years.
I'm obsessed with a little treehouse 100 yards from the beach that looks to be the most perfect spot to spend the week.
I can't even imagine how amazing it would be to just swing in a hammock, lay on the beach, swim in the ocean, get a bit of sun on God's palest skin (otherwise known as my legs), and just completely bliss out in a tropical paradise.
89.5 days to go!
I'm starving ... already.