Monday, July 13, 2015

Ready For a Little Healthy Competition?

So things have been super crazy lately!  I feel like I say that a lot...and as soon as summer is over and the oldest little one in back in preschool, I promise to set aside a day to blog and get back in the swing of things...promise!!

I've started to find that with my little peanut, the baby weight isn't falling off of me like it did before.  I know with my oldest, I didn't really do anything any differently and the weight was pretty much gone by the time she was 2 months old.  This time around...not so much.  My little peanut is quickly approaching the 5 month mark (how is THAT even possible?!?) and my weight isn't much lower than it was when I brought her home from the hospital.  Sigh.  It was time for something to change. 

Enter the hubs.

He suggested the only way either one of us was going to do anything about our weight and getting healthier was to have a contest.  If you know me or my husband, you know how competitive we can be.  If you've never met us before, let me make perfectly clear that neither one of us like to anything...ever.  His plan was to set a start and end date, each of us track our own nutrition and workout plan, and when the time was up, whoever lost the biggest percent of their starting body weight wins.  This all sounded way to familiar...and I was pretty skeptical that any of this would's why.

Years back when I was still teaching, the staff did a "Biggest Loser" style challenge.  Each participant threw money into a pot, set their own personal weight loss goal and those who met their goal at the end of the challenge split the pot.  The hubs decided that he wanted to get in on the action too.  His "prize", he decided would be a new flat screen for the living room.  A few weeks before the challenge was over, Best Buy had a huge sale on TVs.  Assuring me that he was "so close" that he would definitely meet his goal and tempting me with the idea of saving a good chunk of change, I agreed to him buying the TV that he hadn't "officially" earned yet.  Want to guess what happened next?  Yep, he stopped keeping up with his plan and never met the target he had set for himself.  No worries for him though.  He was now enjoying watching football on his new TV.  Cheater.

To say the least, the thought of entering into another weight competition with him wasn't very appealing.  He had decided that the prize this time would be $150 (the exact price of the new tennis racket that has been stuck on his Amazon wish list for months).  Promising me that this time there would be no cheating or early prize receiving involved, I agreed.  This time the hubs is going down!

In order to insure success, I needed to find a way to have ultimate accountability.  First enter My Fitness Pal.  If you have never tried out this website/app before, you need to.  It is AMAZING when you use it right.  All in one place you can keep track of your food intake and exercises for the day.  There is even an option to upload recipes from the web or scan barcodes to enter your food.  And they have everything.  I mean EVERYTHING!  You take a few moments to enter your food, and it calculates your calories for you.  And I will tell you one thing.  When you look up how many calories are in that double cheeseburger you've been craving, you will think twice about eating it!

Next, I needed a plan for food.  I've always been a pretty healthy eater, but with a baby and a toddler in the house, I've been falling short on staying as healthy as I want, sometimes skipping meals completely.  I wanted something that didn't have a lot of "don't eat this" guidelines since those programs will help you loose weight only as long as you stay on them.  When you're done with the "plan" the weight tends to come back. 

I started by doing some research into the 21 Day Fix.  I've known several people who have had success with this program which seems so easy on the surface.  There is a simple equation to calculate how many calories you need a day and from there, there's a chart to show you how many of each colored (food group) containers you need.  If you buy the program, it comes with one set of containers and workouts to go along with your 21 days.  I didn't see the need to buy it myself since I have TONS of Tupperware and two other Beachbody workout products I need to dust off, so I set forth seeing if this was the program for me.

Although I LOVE the ideas of the containers so there really is no thought into how much is a serving, they get tricky to use when you are trying to work through a recipe.  Trying to work in all the servings of each container was also tricky, not going over or under.  So I kept looking.

Since the My Fitness Pal app was going to make inputting my food so easy, I decided that I would go for a diet based on clean eating...or as close to it as possible.  After all, if I'm going to make it through this challenge without wanting to kill someone, I can't completely give up a nice glass of wine at the end of a long day.  That seemed to be the best bet for my success.

So in the spirit of accountability, my starting weight is 141.4 pounds with a body fat percentage of 26.3 %.  Using the 21 Day Fix formula, I should be trying to stick close to 1200 calories.  Since I'm still breastfeeding, I had to add an extra 300 calories to that to keep my milk up which make my target 1500.  My goal is to be down 20 pounds in the 3 months that we have se for ourselves.  It's a pretty ambitious goal.  But, go big or go home, right?

So far, I've been doing pretty good.  Like I've said before, knowing that anything I put in my mouth I have to put down in the app really discourages snacking and poor food choices.  Here's been my favorite dinner from the past week. 

Triggerfish with Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Quinoa (Quinoa adapted from Damn Delicious)
Serves 3

For the Fish:
3 pieces of trigger fish (I got this beautiful fish at Island Seafood in Ocean Isle.  If you are ever in Ocean Isle, get your fish from them.  You will NOT be disappointed.)
1 stick unsalted butter
dried minced garlic
dried dill
sea salt
black pepper

1 - Season both sides of fish with garlic, dill, salt and pepper.  In a saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Once the butter is completely melted and bubbly, add your fish.  Cook for 3-4 mins per side, basting fish with butter occasionally.
     *Alternatively, you could saute the fish in 2 T olive oil and reduce the calories and fat that you take on during this cooking process.  We happened to need the extra calories and fat today, so I buttered it up!

For the asparagus:
1 bunch asparagus; ends trimmed
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper

1 - Lay asparagus out in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Pour olive oil over, season with salt and pepper and toss the asparagus to coat.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

For the quinoa:
1/2 c quinoa
1 T olive oil
8 oz cremini mushrooms; sliced
1 T Italian seasoning
2 T chicken broth
salt and pepper

1 - Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Make sure to rinse your quinoa well before cooking.  Once cooked, drain and reserve.
2 - Heat olive oil over medium heat.  When hot, add mushrooms and saute until slightly softened.
3 - Stir in cooked quinoa, Italian seasoning and chicken broth.  Cook, stirring often, until all liquid is absorbed.

Altogether this meal had 691 calories a serving and was loved by all members of the family.  Not bad for a quick 30 minute meal!