Workout Wednesday – Down 3 lbs!

Did you laugh when you saw that title? Yes, I’m excited for these three pounds. After a week of trying some of the recipes from 8fit and some of the exercises. Plus, stepping up my walking. I know these three pounds are gone for good. 

I’ve been playing around with my meal plan and my favorite thing about it is I never feel hungry! It is nice not to constantly focus on food. And the recipes are so good, I can make them for family and friends that are not on a diet and they are none-the-wiser because they are delicious, well rounded, recipes. 

So, this week has been a killer for me. Lots of changes will be happening for my family in the next month. We will possibly be moving and that is always stressful. My main focus this week is to get up to 10,000 steps a day, do 1 workout a day (remember, that’s only a 9 minute commitment), and try three new recipes from the food plan.

This week I’m really looking forward to trying some of the smoothie recipes! It’s summer in Illinois so hot and muggy days are often here and a smoothie is a great way to beat the heat!

Workout Wednesday with 8fit

http://go.8fit.com/MyFoodTripFun

I am following the 8fit app as a free pro user. I am not getting any affiliate payment or payment of any kind to promote this app– I just really like it! Because 8fit gave me free pro status on the app, my links to the app have a special link for 8fit to monitor traffic from my site. 

Today is the day I start my 8fit workout routine! The first thing I did was to set up my exercise plan so it fit my current abilities. Not surprising I got a 1 out of 8 with their fitness evaluation. I am beginning level… it’s a little laughable to be honest. If they could assign a 0, that would be me! That’s OK because that is why I am doing this!

8fit also goes over your fitness goals. There are several options but my main goal is to lose weight initially and then I will change it to another goal. Moving through 8fit is so simple for me– I’ve tried other apps and I lose interest quickly because they are labor intensive with adding data daily. One of my favorite parts of this app is that I can log my meals by simply taking a picture of it! Yes, that’s my type of effort!

Alright, so now to the nitty gritty. If you are following my progress, you will need to see my before and after pics and my measurements. I hate sharing this stuff but I’ll do it because I have to embrace who I am today and be OK with that, knowing I’m working to improve my health.

weight loss, before picture, 8fit, workout, weight loss story
This is my before picture. No makeup, no tricks– I didn’t even adjust lighting. This is all me.

My Starting Stats

Height: 5’5″

Weight: 222lbs.

Waist: 40.5″

Hips: 51″

Chest: 43.5″

Upper right arm: 16″

Upper left arm: 15″

Right thigh: 29″

Left thigh: 29″

Right calf: 16.5″

Left calf: 17.5″

As you can see by the measurements, I’ve got a challenge on my hands!

Now that I have my app set up with my workout routines– each routine is 9 minutes long and I don’t need any equipment (which is great). I headed over to the food section to set up my meal plan. This is such a great feature on the pro version of 8fit because it allows you to customize your menus and then creates a shopping list that you can bring to the store and check off the items on the list as you get them. I’m all for grocery lists! They keep me from impulse buying chocolately items 😉

Here are my day’s meals for today:

Breakfast: Protein Packed Oatmeal— this was SO filling! (see picture above).

Lunch: Baked Chicken and Apricot Couscous (I don’t have apricots on hand so I’m switching them out for cranberries because I have this bag of cranberries that I swear is multiplying on its own– I can’t seem to get rid of them!).

Dinner: Salmon with Spinach and Rice (I am really looking forward to this!)

Snack: Berry Protein Smoothie. I’m using this as my dessert because I’m still hung up on the dessert thing.

As you can see, I’m not going to be hungry or feel deprived. I could even set up my meal plan to have two snacks but the app suggests just one snack, so that is what I will do.

I’m going to be showcasing one of the dishes each week here on my blog. Although, I can’t share the actual recipe with you– I can share the ingredients and my tweaks on the recipes. So, stay tuned! Be sure to follow my instagram and pinterest feeds to see daily images of what I’m eating.

8fit app

I Have a Confession

I have a confession… I love food. Not a big stretch, right? But when I say I love food, I mean I love the tastes, textures, colors, smells, history, and cultural importance of food. It is an art form for me. And yet, I struggle with cooking. As a result of my love for food, I’ve packed on the pounds–a lot of pounds. I’m 222 lbs. as of today. I didn’t care much because I was blissfully enjoying my relationship with food. And it was a relationship– it was there when I was happy, sad, stressed, and lonely. I am an emotional eater.

8fitapp
8fit app

Unfortunately, my lack of boundaries around food has caused some serious health concerns. Stroke, heart disease, and cancer run in my family. It’s time for me to get my act together and start getting healthy. I was sad about it for awhile, I envisioned bland and boring foods and endless treadmill walks. Then, I stumbled across a fitness app one day while watching YouTube. The woman explained that the app gave a free trial period and provided food suggestions and exercises that you can do in short spurts without equipment. I thought, “Hey, that’s up my alley– short exercise…” LOL! So, I installed the app on my phone. The app is 8fit.

I followed the set up prompts and created my exercise plan. I was pretty excited about this section because my plan gives me 9 minute stints of exercise I can do without the need of any equipment. That is perfect for me! It’s usually the exercise part that I fail at miserably but I can do 9 minutes!

Screenshot_20170629-121702I took a look at the meal section and was very happy to see you can customize the meal plan to your dietary needs (for example, I’m lactose intolerant and I can remove any recipes with milk and cheese).  Plus, the meals look good! I can work with these recipes and make delicious and interesting food. There is also a section for habits. This sections keeps track of your sessions. It also has a Yoga addition and offers a way to connect with other apps to integrate step tracking. I connected my Google Fit app and it works great.

I was so excited about this app! I got everything set up in the Pro Version which is fee based but so reasonable at $5/month I thought it was worth it. $60/year to lose weight I’ve been struggling with for literally decades was a no brainer for me. I got my husband signed up, too! So, now we are going to do this together AND I’m going to blog about it– every Wednesday. I’ll share my weight loss, experience, how I tweaked the food recipes, and the cool stuff this app offers, because I haven’t even told you half of what it can do and what it offers. So, follow me– share your recipe suggestions, try the free version if you like, and friend me on the app and we can motivate each other to keep going!

Take a look at one of the meal options I made for Tim and I for lunch today.

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I converted the black bean tacos into a burrito (same calories just a different construction). I made a few adjustments to the recipe by adding a minced garlic clove, cilantro, a hot pepper from my garden, and some lime juice. I didn’t have black beans, so I used pinto beans. I also removed the cheese. In the end, it was delicious!

If you decide to sign up for the app, please consider using this link— 8fit has allowed me to use their Pro version during my weight loss journey and it helps 8fit track where people are coming from. I am not an affiliate, I just love this app!

Stay tuned for my progress and recipes and let’s have some fun getting healthy!

Carrots! Now What…

Today we harvested our first batch of homegrown carrots. It was really so exciting pulling them out of the ground. We pulled them early because they were popping out of the ground. You’ll notice our carrots are curly Q. We didn’t realize this but we apparently planted the seeds too close together and we didn’t add sand to our dirt. As a result, we have curly cartots (and that’s ok). Now we are thinking about what to add them to– please share your ideas in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think we should do with them. Right now we are just munching on them in their beautiful raw state.

Making a Bran Muffin Delicious – Part 2

Tropical Version for Those with a Sweet Tooth

The second run at the bran muffin recipe will be:

  • 3 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews (or other nuts you like)
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup butter (or butter substitute to make it vegan)
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda (make sure it’s fresh or it will affect the rise)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten (or egg substitute to make it vegan)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk– I just ran out)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

I added 1 cup of bran and the coconut to the hot water, mixed and let it sit until the bran absorbed the water. In a separate bowl, I blended the sugar, honey, pineapple, and butter together using a fork. I added the flour, baking soda, cashews, and salt to the bowl. Then, I went back to my bran bowl and added the eggs, the remaining 2 cups of bran, almond milk. Then I added the flour mixture to this and stirred until well blended.

I poured my muffin batter into 12 extra large silicone muffin cups. I like using these because I don’t have to buy paper muffin cups and with these silicone cups, I can place them on a cookie sheet and make as many or as few as I like and they will all cook evenly. Once the batter was poured, I sprinkled coconut on top with a cashew on each one just to make them look a little prettier.

I preheated my oven to 400º F. I baked until done (because of the extra large muffin cups and the batter was pretty moist, it took 35 minutes). I used a toothpick to test doneness.

This is how they turned out:

 

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Making a Bran Muffin Delicious – Part 1

I’m in a routine where I grab something out of my pantry and create recipes around that item. It can be creative and fun. Today, I pulled out a box of “All Natural Unprocessed Wheat Bran.” The first thing that popped into my mind was, “bran muffin.” The second thing was, “snooze fest.” And that’s the challenge! How to make a bran muffin enticing, intriguing, and delicious? Well, let’s try!

I decided to work from the recipe on the back of my box of bran with a few many alterations… I decided that I am going to try two bran concoctions and see which Tim and I like best. Tim can be brutal when rating food, so if he likes it– it’s a winner.

I rummaged through my cabinets again to see what I might have on hand. I found cherry flavored dried cranberries, bananas, edible orange oil, coconut, crushed pineapple, a variety of nuts, coconut milk, molasses, honey, chocolate chips… I could go on but I think I can use some of this stuff.

The first run at the bran muffin recipe will be:

  • 3 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit you like)
  • 1 ripe mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup butter (or butter substitute to make it vegan)
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda (make sure it’s fresh or it will affect the rise)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten (or egg substitute to make it vegan)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (or nut milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

I added 1 cup of bran and the cranberries to the hot water, mixed and let it sit until the bran absorbed the water. In a separate bowl, I blended the sugar, molasses, banana, and butter together using a fork because I didn’t want to pull out my mixer. I added the flour, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Then, I went back to my bran bowl and added the eggs, the remaining 2 cups of bran, coconut milk and vinegar. Then I added the flour mixture to this and stirred until well blended.

I poured my muffin batter into 12 extra large silicone muffin cups. I like using these because I don’t have to buy paper muffin cups and with these silicone cups, I can place them on a cookie sheet and make as many or as few as I like and they will all cook evenly. Once the batter was poured, I sprinkled a few oats on top just to make them look a little prettier.

I preheated my oven to 400º F. I baked until done (because of the extra large muffin cups it took 20 minutes). I used a toothpick to test doneness.

This is how they turned out:

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They were moist and delicious! Tim gave them a 7 out of 10 in the realm of bran muffins. I give them a 10… because it’s my recipe 😉

Tomorrow I will do the recipe again but this time, I will make them tropical… stay tuned!

 

 

 

Nutty Granola

I have a love-hate relationship with granola. I go in phases. I needed to make something for us to eat for breakfast this week and I didn’t want to go to the store, so I rummaged through my cabinets and decided to make some granola. I was a little ho-hum about it but forged ahead.

So, I had in my cabinets:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds (yes, more almonds)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/8-1/4 cup cherry flavored craisins – chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt to boost flavor
  • 4 oz. honey
  • 1 Tablespoon veggie oil (I would suggest coconut oil if you have it– I didn’t)

I Mixed everything together in a bowl until it was well coated.

Placed a piece of parchment paper on a tray and sprayed it with buttered flavored pam (use whatever you like ;-)) and spread the granola evenly across so it browned nicely.
Then I popped it in a preheated oven at 375 F and watched it diligently!! Checking it every couple of minutes, stirring to allow for even browning. It burns in seconds, so be careful. My batch took a total of 8 minutes.

When I was done, I let it cool on the pan completely before transferring it into a sealable container.

I have to say– this stuff is delicious! I cut up a banana and added some almond milk and it was SO good! 

So, my ho-hum attitude turned into happiness– especially, when I woke up the next morning and realized what I was having for breakfast 🙂