Belly

Recipes and nutrition.

Monday Meal Plan 7/14

Can you believe it’s already the middle of July?? This summer is flying by! I sat my butt (which is getting more and more toned every day, hooray!) on the couch most of the weekend and happily wasted it… At least it was raining and cloudy all day Saturday. I got a few good naps in too, and planned out all of our meals for the week. Here’s what’s on the menu:

Breakfasts:

Avocado, Chopped Hardboiled Egg and Mozzerella on Toast, with a Banana

On Rest Days – Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

(Sorry, I don’t have recipes for either of these, I’m kinda just throwing some things together and hoping for the best. I’ll add recipes later this week if they turn out well and I remember!)

 

Lunches:

Dinner leftovers and…

Avocado and Apple Chicken Salad over Spring Mix Greens (I never made this last week…)

 

Dinners:

Polenta with Roasted Red Peppers and Fontina (and I’m adding crumbled Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage to the skillet mix)

 

Biggest Loser’s Sexy Joe’s on a Whole Wheat Bun with Cauli-Tots (I’m making 6 servings out of the Sexy Joe Filling)

Avocado Chicken Parmigiana with Steamed Green Beans and Carrots

 

All of these meals are about 330 calories each. 3 meals a day at 330 calories each = 990 calories, plus a 240 calorie afternoon snack, and a 200 calorie dessert each day, brings me my goal total of 1430 calories per day. Just like last week, I also planned my carbs around my runs. I’m excited to give this diet plan a real chance this week since it’s a more “normal” week for me.

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Monday Meal Plan

Mondays are my easy run days. I think the longest run I have on a Monday during my marathon training is just 5 miles. Just 5 miles. Who would’ve ever thought I’d be saying 5 miles was just 5 miles!? Anyways, I digress. I figured since I had easy runs on Mondays, and a pretty predictable day of watching my niece and maybe going to yoga at night, I’d dedicate my Monday posts to my weekly meal plans. I’m always looking for new good recipes, maybe some of you are too? If I’m going through this much work to put together my recipes for the week, I may as well share! So….

Breakfasts:

Ham and egg English muffins (homemade – cross your fingers!), with fresh pineapple

Whole Wheat English Muffins

On rest days – hardboiled eggs with fruit (banana, strawberries, cherries)

Lunch :

Dinner leftovers and…

Avocado and Apple Chicken Salad

Avocado and Apple Chicken Salad

Dinners:

Baja Style Turkey Tacos on homemade Corn Tortillas

Baja Turkey Tacos

Homemade Corn Tortillas

 

Thai Chicken Curry with steamed broccoli and brown rice/or steamed carrots and cauliflower for lunch leftovers

Thai Chicken Curry

 

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato and green beans

BBQ Bacon Burger

Meat stir fry with veggies – This is my “just it case” meal and will be whatever’s left in the fridge at the end of the week!

 

There are also snacks and desserts in there too. We have standard inexpensive snacks that we keep in the house and a Kitchen Safe full of fun sized chocolates for desserts. But that’s all another story for another day. What’s on your menu this week?

The Dreaded “Diet”

As I’m sitting here this morning meal planning for my week, I thinking how I could still make it to yoga even though I don’t think the class is challenging enough I’ve strayed so far from the diet that originally got me the results I wanted/needed. It’s so easy to slip back into old habits. Even habits as bad as having chips and dip for dinner and candy for breakfast. Sneaking food past your husband because he’ll be mad if you eat all the chocolate chips. I read a post by another blogger last night, Katie from Runs For Cookies, that described her struggle with the exact same thing. The one thing she pointed out that I’d never realized was that my healthy foods, the ones I make all the time – my fall back recipes, just didn’t taste as good as when I first started eating healthy. And I think it’s because I’ve welcomed processed foods and eating out back into my diet. Now the healthy stuff doesn’t taste as good and I crave the junk. I felt pretty convicted after reading Katie’s post and it reinforced that it’s time for me to buckle down and really get this under control. I am capable of fulfilling my nutritional needs. And especially while training for a marathon. Why would I think I could be a diet slacker while running 20-40 miles a week??

Getting back to the basics. When I first lost weight, what actually worked for me was The Biggest Loser diet. 4 servings of fruit and veggies, 3 servings of lean protein, 2 servings whole grain, and 1 “extra” (200 calories). 1200 calories per day and exercise. When I meal plan, I’m not too far off from that plan. I just have something like 5-10 servings of “extras” instead of one. I realized this weekend, though, that I’m not eating enough around my workouts so I’m starving by the afternoon. Which means I’m more likely to eat junk instead of my planned out meals. My new daily plan needs to look something like this:

(Please keep in mind that I’m not a nutritionist, this is just a tweak on what’s worked for me and what I think will work for me in the future. Please see a professional dietitian or doctor before jumping on any diet bandwagon!)

Diet Plan

My Running Diet Plan

That’s right. I got all fancy on ya. I bet you didn’t expect that! Anyway, I’m basically sticking to The Biggest Loser diet standards, just putting my carbs right before and after I run. Here are a few more adjustments I’m making to the diet:

  • Dividing my “extra” calories between dessert (gotta have a little chocolate before bed!) and my afternoon snack. The afternoon snack one may move to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on what I’m making.
  • Eating more than 1200 calories. There’s just no way to eat that little when I’m running so much. But I am going to try for 330 calorie meals, and 200 calorie snacks and desserts. That’s a little under 1400 calories. On days that I have long runs, I’ll probably add in an extra 200 calorie morning snack.
  • Eating more than 1 serving of fruits an veggies at meals. According to the USDA, one serving of a fruit or veggie is just a half cup. There’s no way I’m going to have just 4 oz (one serving) of lean protein and a half cup of veggies for a meal. It’s not enough food. So I may have 2 servings. Or even 3! Veggies especially have so little calories that I have some wiggle room to eat more of those.

Did you notice that dairy isn’t included anywhere in the plan? It’s a little hidden. Yogurt, eggs can count as a lean protein and milk and cheese would be considered “extras”. Butter and oil are obviously “extras” too. I usually use an olive oil mister when cooking. The calories are so minimal, maybe just 10-20 to coat a pan, that I don’t typically count it toward any category. I do count the calories though!

So now I’m off to make my meal plan according to this new/old plan. Wish me luck!

Been a while…

It’s been a while… I’ve missed writing. Work got crazy, eating got outta control, running was miserable, exhaustion set in, then we built a fence and had a big ol’ 30th (birthday party. I still have “extra” projects I’m working on and I can’t quite seem to get into the groove of a new schedule. So that’s why I haven’t written. Why on earth would anyone want to hear my whining and groaning about life circumstances? Well no one would. So I kept my mouth shut. You’re welcome.

Somewhere between my discovery of a medicinal concoction that solves my can’t-breathe-when-I-run-faster-than-10-and-a-half-minutes-per-mile dilemma, the acceptance that working will always suck no matter where I do it, my husband’s new commitment to try to stress less at work, and a random surge of new “fighter” attitude, I’ve become my normal self again. Maybe I was just subconsciously freaking out about turning 30 too? I wasn’t, but everyone acts like you should, so maybe deep down I did? Who knows.

Anyway, my marathon training has been going so, so well. I’ve really set my mind on just what I need to do each day in training and taking one decision at a time. I know next week I have to run 3, 5, 3, and 10 miles on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but I’m not thinking about that yet. I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat for dinner tonight and when I need to wake up for yoga in the morning. If I start dreading my 5 mile run Tuesday morning, I’ll get overwhelmed. I’ll think about that Monday and simply do it. Just do it. Nike knows what’s up.

My actual runs having been challenging but good. I’ve found that if I take 5mg generic Zyrtec before I go to bed at night (I cut a 10mg pill in half) and have two puffs from my inhaler about 15 minutes before I run, my lungs are happy and I can enjoy my run. I tried the whole 10mg of Zyrtec at first, but I was too groggy the next day. All day. I could hardly stay awake at work. 5mg is just enough. I also have a sinus irrigator that I’ll sometimes use in the afternoon if I’m starting to get a sinus headache later in the day. Within 30 minutes, head aches is essentially gone and I’m not taking ibuprofin non stop.

Today I ran 8 miles at the butt crack of dawn. Literally. Okay, not exactly literally – dawn doesn’t have a butt crack. But you get what I mean. It was insanely early. I had to work at 8 so I woke up at 4:30am and left the house a little before 5 to run my normal Saturday trail at 5:15. Honestly, I loved it. I love waking up early in the summer. “The sky’s awake. So I’m awake!”

The first few miles were rough. They always are. By the time I got to about 3 1/2 miles, I started to feel pretty good. I got stuck by a train for 4-5 minutes at mile 5, but I got right back into my groove when I started back up again. I finished in 1 hour, 16 minutes to the cheering and applause of my 40-person running group that was just huddling up to begin their run. Embarrassing and fun. My splits were fantastic and I finished a lot stronger than I thought I would. It probably helped that I stopped for a few minutes. And that the weather was perfect. 60 and sunny! Still, I feel way more confident coming off a good longer run.

 

Lovely negative splits.

Lovely negative splits.

 

In addition to running, I’ve also been doing yoga once a week and weights once a week. The strength, balance, and core strengthening has really helped my running too! Someday, I’ll have to post on just my cross training. I actually bought my husband and myself tennis rackets. Hopefully my cross training will include tennis pretty soon too! Currently, I’m trying to figure out when I can fit in one more day of weight training into my week. I have a few clothes that don’t fit right now because I’m not as lean as I was this winter. I know I can get there, I just have to do it!

Eating… I go through phases. I’ll be good for a couple days, then eat a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips. Better than my ultimate vice, Jr Mints, but still not great. I’m learning that since I run/workout in the morning, I really need to have more protein in my breakfast (cereal is not an option!), a morning snack on days I run more than 5 miles, and a large lunch with lots of veggies. My afternoon snack just needs to hold me over til my early (5 – 5:30) dinner, which is the best meal to have carbs for my workout the next morning, and then if I need to nibble at night, I should have a little chocolate, and a lot of fruit. I know these things, but do I implement them? Course not. But each decision, every day, every week, I get closer.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m going to try and stay more on top of writing throughout the rest of my marathon training at least. I know that several people have commented on how motivating my blog is. That is such a massive compliment. I really never thought of myself as an encourager or motivator. I’m very flattered. And I’m trying. Thanks for sticking around.

Happy First Day of Marathon Training!

My stomach is in knots today. I’m terrified, nervous, excited, and anxious. It might have something to do with my afternoon chocolate binge, but I suspect it’s because I’m officially in training for my first marathon! As the out-of-shape big kid growing up, I never thought in a million years that I’d be running a marathon. Let alone be excited about it! I’ve come a long way. From young and overweight and hating to run, to “trying” to lose weight as a teen, to over exercising and under eating as a young adult, to actually losing over 40 lbs and becoming a legitimate runner in the last few years. So many emotions. (I may be PMS-ing, sorry if that’s TMI) I also have a long way to go. I’m  still about 10 lbs overweight for my height and frame and need to get that off for the sake of my joints, heart, and lungs. I have 431.4 miles left to run in the next 18 weeks – one week is 40 miles alone! And I need to fund raise – my goal is $1,310 – over $50 for each mile of the marathon (which is 26.2 miles). I anticipate this being a summer of hard work and character change. (Or if could just be a really fun challenge!)

This morning was just a 3 mile easy run. Rewinding a bit back to Saturday, I ran a 5k test run. A test run tells you what you can expect your marathon finishing time to be and what pace to train at. There’s a whole chart, you could probably Google it if you wanted to check in out for yourself. I found out that I’m on track to finish between 4 hours, 30 minutes and 4 hours 45 minutes, or a 10 minute, 45 second pace per mile. That’s great news is it’s right where I’d hoped to be. Even though my finishing time Saturday was on target, I had a horrible run. When I went back and checked my splits, they were opposite of what they should of been. Typically, you want to start slow and get faster as you go. It’s called a negative split and it’s essential to finishing strong. As you can see below and had consistently positive splits. (Is that even a term?)

 

Those numbers are going the wrong way!

Those numbers are going the wrong way!

This morning I decided to flip that around. I started off pretty slow and gradually built up speed. By the end I was feeling pretty good! When I checked my splits this time, they were perfectly negative! Much better! Going on from here, I’m going to try and stick with a 9:30 pace for my weekday “easy” runs with nice negative splits. That’s the goal at least.

Great negative splits!

Great negative splits!

I should touch on my little binge for a second. I failed miserably this afternoon. I got too hungry because I had to run a bunch of errands during my normal lunch time so I was starving when I got home. I have two smallish chocolate bars and a fun sized York Peppermint Patty before I stopped myself. It could’ve been worse, but I felt gross, bloated, and groggy afterward. I’m going to try and remember that next time I want to binge. I feel so much better when I eat well!

I briefly mentioned fund raising earlier. I’m raising money for World Vision to build wells in Africa. $50 is enough for one person to have clean water for a lifetime. That’s the short version. Pretty soon I’ll try and get all of my thoughts together about my commitment to World Vision and their cause. In the meantime, if you’re feeling like you want to support me in my training regardless of my deeper thoughts, opinions, and emotions tied to this cause, you can visit my fund raising page and donate online. Anything you could give would really be an encouragement for me! Thanks!

Make a Donation!

 

An Update One Week In.

Has it been a whole week already? Time flies when you’re having fun really freakin’ busy. First things first. Sunday is my weigh in day and since that’s today I have a weight update! This past week, by eating healthy (in moderation, no strict dieting!) and working out (again, moderately) I lost 3 lbs! My clothes fit better, I feel a lot better, and my stomach is nearly flat again (not that it’s been totally flat since I was 15…). I’m pretty happy about it and proud of myself that I stuck it out a whole week. It means I went 7 days…

-without binging

-eating a diet heavy in fruits and veggies

-consuming no more than 100 calories of candy/chocolate/sugar

-making exercise a priority

How did my husband do you ask? Well, he was really on track for the first 3 days. And then we went out of town for 2 days. He ate what was given to him at his work conference (including a large piece of chocolate mousse cake), and had a pretty big (free at least) breakfast with pancakes. We both had pizza for dinner last night. Totally a fail. But I was still only 500 calories over my daily goal. I’m sure he was way over that. Tonight he’s at a graduation party so I’m sure he’s enjoying the spread. I know he’ll get back on track tomorrow.

I do have quite a bit to share tonight, but I think I’m going to save it for another time. For now I’ll leave you with our meal plan for the week:

Megan Breakfast: Breakfast Hash with Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage (from Cook This Not That!) or Banana-Berry Green Smoothies (1 frozen banana, 1/2 C Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness juice, 1/2 C frozen strawberries, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder)

Husband Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Nut Crunch with Cream Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles (a few leftover from last week) or Special K (The Aldi version) with Almond Milk and a banana

Megan Lunch: Dinner leftovers or Breakfast Hash

Husband Lunch: Sandwiches on whole wheat bread with fresh fruit and sweet potato chips

Dinner #1: Greek Marinated Chicken with Grilled Balsamic Marinated Veggies (chicken from Budget Bytes, veggies my own concoction – recipe soon to come!)

Greek Marinated Chicken from Budget Bytes

Dinner #2: Spicy Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Lime Crema with Best Black Beans (tacos from Foodess, black beans from All Recipes)

Spicy Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Lime Crema from Foodess

Dinner#3: Chicken, Cashew, and Red Pepper Stir Fry with brown rice (stir fry from Cooking Light)

Chicken, Cashew, and Red Pepper Stir Fry from Cooking Light

Snacks will essentially be the same as last week. Speaking of – everything we ate last week tasted sooo good! I didn’t have high expectations for the Asian Turkeey Meatballs with zoodles, but it was super quick and easy to make and tasted delicious. I actually added matchstick carrots to the zoodles for some color and they added some nice sweet flavor. The Chocolate Chilli wasn’t really chocolately at all, but it tasted a lot like mole. Kinda Tex-mex with the polenta fries. Will definitely make it again! And the Zesty Chicken bites. Hands down the best chicken nuggets I’ve ever made. Ever. The seasoning was so perfect! (Although the salt zoomed out of the canister faster than I thought so they were a little saltier than they should’ve been!) I would make then again tonight if I had the patience to dip them in egg, then seasoning, then turn them while baking. I hate making chicken nuggets, but these are worth the effort without a doubt!

What about you? What are you eating this week?

Together.

This afternoon’s conversation:

Husband: What are we doin for dinner tonight?

Me: I don’t know.

Husband: You know, if we’re gonna start eating healthy again tomorrow, we should eat one last bad meal.

Me: I know. I think so too. So what should we have?

Husband: I don’t know maybe a pizza from the store?

Me: I don’t wanna cook. I’ll have to cook all week. Let’s pick something up.

Husband: Pizza?

Me: Panera?

Husband: I don’t know. What else is there?

Me: We could do Chili’s To-Go. Or maybe just make some appetizers?

Husband: You didn’t want to cook.

Me: That’s right. I forgot. We could get a 10 pack of tacos from Taco Bell.

Husband: Nah. How about Domino’s?

Me: Alright.

The moral of the story is – You know you’ve eaten too bad too long when you nothing bad sounds good.

We’ve both been complaining for a couple weeks now about how we haven’t been eating well and how we’ve gained some weight. My main problems are laziness and a certain minty candy that I am hopelessly addicted to. My husband’s problem is lack of a plan. He’ll actually eat really well if a healthy lunch, dinner, and snack are prepacked for him. But when I get lazy and don’t cook in a timely manner, he ends up snacking on junk food at work and then eating dinner late at night when he gets home. So we decided we’re both going to buckle down on our eating habits together.

I’ve got 3 dinners planned, then a breakfast for myself and a breakfast for my husband. I have a decent variety of snack foods, and I bought some fun sized candies for dessert. Even with having preplanned recipes, I still managed to stay on budget for groceries for the week. ($60, in case you were wondering.) I just tried to pick things that were simple – didn’t take long to make, used basic ingredients, and I’ll be swapping some “fancy” ingredients for some simpler ones (like olive oil in place of sesame oil). Here’s the plan:

Megan Breakfast: BLTE’s (from the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook) or Banana-Berry Smoothies (frozen banana, 1/2 cup Naked Berry Blast juice, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder)

Husband Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Nut Crunch with Cream Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles (from Our Best Bites)

Megan Lunches: Dinner leftovers or BLTE’s

Husband Lunch: Sandwiches on whole wheat bread with fresh fruit and sweet potato chips (from Aldi!)

Dinner #1: Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce over Zoodles (from Skinnytaste)

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce via Skinnytaste

Dinner #2: Chocolate Chili with Polenta Fries (Chili recipe from The Clothes Make The Girl and Polenta Fries from Oh My Veggies)

Chocolate Chili via The Clothes Make the Girl

Polenta Fries via Oh My Veggies

Dinner #3: Zesty Chicken Bites with Lighter Loaded Potatoes and Green Beans (Chicken bites from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and Loaded Potatoes from Undressed Skeleton)

Zesty Chicken Bites via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Lighter Loaded Potatoes via Undressed Skeleton

For snacks, we’ve got hummus with red peppers, carrots and pita chips (which I baked from pita bread today, just added a little olive oil and salt and left in the oven on 400 while I did the dishes – so 8-10 minutes?), string cheese, protein bars and Larabars, cherries, strawberries, apples, apple sauce, fruit leather strips, almonds and other nuts, popcorn, sweet potato chips, and tortilla chips with salsa.

We’re gonna prep our breakfasts tonight, and always make our lunches and pack our snacks the night before. I’m going to make two of our dinners tomorrow, and the third on Wednesday. So we should have plenty of healthy meals in the fridge.

As far as out diet “rules” go, we are (I am?) just watching calories. Each meal is about 340 calories per serving. My husband will eat a serving and a half of each plus a 300 calorie snack and a 200 calorie dessert – a little over 2,000 calories per day. I’m having a single serving of each meal, a 200 calorie snack, and a 200 calorie dessert – a little over 1,400 calories per day. We should each be losing about a pound a week. Really, this is how we should be eating all the time. (Hopefully, eventually, we’ll get there!)

But for tonight, pizza. And Jr. Mints. (And gummy bears for the husband) Last time for a while! Cheers!