healthy eating

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?

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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!

Wolf Lake

I officially have a new favorite running trail. This morning, I decided I was sick of my normal neighborhood running route, and since I only work afternoons on Tuesdays, I went to Wolf Lake in North Hammond to run the trail around the lake. I couldn’t find much info online about the length of the trail (it’s either a 3, 5.4, or 7 mile loop?) or even a map of it. And, unfortunately, I only had a 3 mile easy run to complete today so I didn’t get to explore too much. The portion that I ran (and almost ran) was gorgeous though! It truly captured the Northwest Indiana vibe. Vintage industrial meets Wetlands and Wildlife.

Wolf Lake Hammond Indiana Trail

Wolf Lake Hammond Indiana Trail

Wolf Lake Hammond Indiana Trail

Wolf Lake Hammond Indiana Trail

My pace was all over the place because I had to stop to walk through a very large gaggle of geese. Twice. I still got my 3 miles in and I found a new favorite running place so no harm done. Oh, I also saw a swan and a giant turtle out on my run today. So cool!

I promised the other day that I’d post my balsamic marinated grilled summer veggies recipe. Well, it didn’t turn out as good as I’d hoped. A little too vinegary and sweet. I might add a little molasses and/or cinnamon next time to cut the vinegar. Also, I know I let it sit too long. Next time, just 15 minutes in the fridge! Here’s the recipe if you feel like testing it out with the tweaks. (Let me know how it goes!):

Balsamic Veggie Ingredients

Balsamic Veggie Ingredients

Balsamic Marinated Summer Veggies

You’ll need:

2 Zucchini

2 Yellow Squash

1 Red Pepper

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TBSP Low Sodium Soy Sauce

2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp Basil

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1. Thinly slice the veggies and place in a large bowl.

2. In a smaller bowl combine the olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, basil (and here’s where I’d add 1 TBSP molasses and 1 tsp cinnamon)

3. Pour the marinade over the veggies and mix to coat. I used my hands.

4. If grilling, place in a tin foil packet and put on the second shelf, or out of direct flame. Leave on the grill for 15-20 minutes with the lid down. If baking, place in a shallow baking dish and back at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until some edges begin to brown.

Grilled Dinner Du Jour!

Grilled Dinner Du Jour!

 

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!

 

Detox Day 4

It’s a good thing that my blogging voice has nothing to with my actual voice. Because I hardly have one. It has been a long few weeks of sickness. And to top that off, I know have a complication with a 3 year old root canal. There’s an infection in my gum line because either my root canal is fractured or there’s decaying roots in my gums. I’m an utter mess from my top lip to my collar bone. Fortunately, all of these weird issues have made it pretty easy to stick with my detox diet. The first three days were easy, I ate lots of smoothies, salads, Larabars, and potatoes with beans (It was the easiest thing to make that felt good on my throat). I even came up with a healthy and filling baked apple dessert. Today, however, has been more of a struggle. I had another pb&j smoothie for breakfast, a Larabar as a snack, and then a simple veggie chili for an early dinner/late lunch.

Simple Veggie Chili with Avocado

Simple Veggie Chili with Avocado

It was pretty good for being so simple. (Sorry for another terrible pic, it bubbled up in the microwave and I didn’t feel like dirtying an extra bowl just to get a better looking picture.) I mixed salsa, veggie broth, and great northern beans with some cumin, paprika, and chili powder. After a couple minutes in the microwave, I topped it with about 1/3 or an avocado, sliced. Sadly, it just didn’t hit the spot. Now here I am, sitting on the couch snacking on potato chips (just potatoes and oil!). I know it’s time to add in some more nutrients. I need some meat. And I need my carbs back! Surprisingly, I don’t miss dairy too much.  I’m going to add back in a little bit of dairy. I’m going to finish out today strong, and then tomorrow I’m going to add a few servings of meat, dairy, and grain back each day.

I feel a little bad that I couldn’t keep this up for a full 7 days, but I was only planning on 3 and I’ve done 4! My cravings for sugar have pretty much gone away, my skinny jeans fit again, and I’ve lost almost 5 pounds! I’d call that a success. Just 3 more days of really healthy, balanced eating, and I think I’ll be totally back on track!

Detox Day 2 + Dessert!

Things are getting interesting. I’m feeling a lot better than I was yesterday, so that’s a plus. I got about 10 hours of sleep last night which helps! I’m still not feeling quite well enough to workout though. I’m hoping tomorrow evening I’ll be up for a run. Unfortunately, I am fiercely craving chocolate today and I’m well enough to get off the couch and get it. I won’t, but feeling better makes it easier to think about. This detox diet I’m sticking to has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. Beside the chocolate cravings, I’ve felt very satisfied and enjoyed what I’ve eaten. Today, I had almost the same foods that I had yesterday:

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Wow, weird lighting thing going on… Sorry about that. You get the gist.

Salad, peppers and hummus, a Larabar, and almonds to bring to work. And I made another smoothie this morning. This one was a green peach smoothie with ground up cashews, Bolthouse Farms’ Green Goodness juice, a frozen banana, and frozen peaches. I ended up putting in too many peaches and had to add more juice so it was a 20 oz smoothie instead of a 16oz. I ended up being so full from my late breakfast that I never ate the pepper and hummus, almonds, or Larabar I packed! Dinner was another baked red potato with refried beans, cumin, and guac. It was so good last night  I had to have it again!

Since I skipped my snacks and had an early dinner, I made myself a good, filling dessert. Yes, I had dessert during my detox! I found this recipe online and modified it to work within my diet. Here’s my modified recipe:

Baked Apple Detox Dessert

Ingredients:
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 small apples, sliced (I used Fuji)
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
1 tbsp real vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used a combination of peanuts, walnuts, and cashews)

20140429_193039

1. Melt coconut oil in medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Add apples and stir to coat apples in oil.
2. Add apple sauce, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix together. 
3. Simmer, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until apples are soft.
4. Remove from heat and mix in nuts. 

20140429_193238

This made 2 servings (275 calories each in case you’re counting). I had initially thought I’d want to eat the whole pot when I saw how small my serving would be, but I was stuffed after eating just half of this recipe. I’m learning that I eat a whole lot less when I’m not consuming empty calories!

20140429_194741

Like I said before, this detox thing really isn’t so bad. I’ve had to be a little creative, but everything I’m eating tastes so good. There are a lot of things I was planning to make and still haven’t (like veggie chilli and southwest stir fry). I might actually keep this going all week! We’ll see how tomorrow goes.