Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lessons Learned

I've said it before and I'll say it again right now. More likely than not, I will probably have to say it again in the future. I am not perfect. This is a journey and my journey will never be over. For me it started 28 months ago. I have learned a lot, made a lot of changes to my life, but by no means am I perfect. I stumble. A LOT. Old (bad) habits die HARD. In fact, I'm starting to believe maybe they never die.

There has been A LOT of stress in my life lately. The healthiest way I deal with stress is getting it out at the gym. Fantastic! Have you ever slammed those medicine balls down on the ground as hard as you can 30 times in a row??? That's my favorite way to get rid of stress! With that being said, sometimes (though I really hate to admit it) I deal with stress by eating. And eating. And eating. I imagine that's how I got to where I used to be.*

*Where I used to be. Found this picture of me from my college years. Woah.

When I really focus on counting calories (both burned and consumed) I do really well and I can even budget for the things that I "shouldn't" be eating, but crave sometimes (chocolate. my biggest weakness. in life).

But when I don't count.... oh boy. I really DON'T count. When I was training, there would be times that I would quit logging my consumed because it is time consuming and a PAIN! And my trainer would say "Jessica, why aren't you logging your food?" How does she know this stuff?! Another reason I called her diablo.... But I digress.

Pesky stress. A few weeks ago I was so stressed and I'd been craving ice cream for WEEKS. WEEKS! So I finally gave in and bought a pint of Ben & Jerry's Fro-Yo Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Wanna hear the funniest part? I don't even like ice cream!!! I mean, it's VERY rare that I ever eat it. Maybe once or twice in the summer. Now, I still have some of that pint in my freezer so at least I didn't eat it all in one sitting (small success, my friends). But I bought it. Funny story- I just read that the Fro-Yo is sometimes WORSE for you than the ice cream. Fantastic.

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Lucky for me, I'm pretty good at planning my meals. And sometimes even that doesn't help me. Friday I'd brought my lunch to work with me. My healthy, low-calorie lunch. It was in the fridge in the staff lounge. My schedule changed for the day and my lunch break wasn't until 1:00. Lunch for the kiddos is at 11:30. By the time lunch rolled around I was starving. STARVING. I know what you're thinking. Jessica, the solution is simple. Call someone to step in the classroom for you while you go heat up your healthy lunch. Easy. Yes, I know this. But "don't wanna inconvenience anyone else" Jessica got the best of me. So I thought, oh I'll just have some corn with the kids to hold me over. Which morphed into, okay maybe corn and a chicken taco/burrito (whatever it is, I'm never really sure haha). Which morphed into 1.5 of those suckers. Which leads me to my next revelation story.
I was watching The Biggest Loser last week when the contestants go back home and are faced with the challenges of home. The part that really resonated with me was when Jeff and his friends all went out. All his friends were getting super unhealthy foods while Jeff sat there eating a salad. I was really mad at his friends- it struck me that they weren't being supportive and like they were flaunting it all in Jeff's face. And just like Jeff was in my head, he said he wasn't mad at them- they don't have to watch what they eat. They don't face the same problems he does. They don't have a food addiction. A food addiction. 
This stuck with me. Do I have a food addiction? Possibly. It could explain why I feel tons of anxiety when I'm in the classroom during lunch time. (Usually my break is during lunch- thank goodness). I have to physically keep myself busy to avoid eating. It probably doesn't help that a lot of the time the foods being served are those comfort foods that remind me of my childhood (sloppy joes, spaghetti, mac & cheese, etc.). So after I ate school lunch on Friday I was super disappointed in myself. I did go to the gym (for the 6th day in a row I may add), but left my dang headphones in my car but still did my best. And didn't feel better. :(

There was supposed to be THE STORM OF THE CENTURY on Saturday so I had planned on going grocery shopping Friday night so I could do food prep on Saturday. Yea, that didn't happen since I was so exhausted. And good thing, because this is what accumulated from that huge snow storm they predicted.

Most pathetic blizzard ever predicted.
Unfortunately when I woke up on Saturday I was not feeling great. And I wasn't even all that surprised. I'd been waking up with a sore throat for the past week, but it had been going away within a few hours and I tried not to think too much of it. Still in the back of my mind, I kind of knew that a sickness was on the horizon. Saturday was supposed to be my day of rest, but I'd found some workouts on Pinterest I wanted to try and I had a feeling I'd try them out on this "day of rest". Except I felt awful. My stomach hurt. My head hurt. My throat hurt. I was EXHAUSTED. So I spent most of the day in bed catching up on shows on my laptop since my tv is broken. And then I took a 2 hour nap. I am not good at slowing down. I'm even worse at resting for an entire day. I NEED TO BE PRODUCTIVE. Obviously that didn't happen. 

So that meant I had to do grocery shopping, food prep, and laundry all today. And guess who didn't make it to the gym either? I also woke up feeling worse. It's pretty much a full blown cold at this point. I'm nice and light headed, and quite irritable as I thought I was going to punch everyone I encountered at the grocery store today. Oops. So I'm not sure what that means for my working out plan for the week. I guess I'll take it day by day. And I have conferences on Tuesday so maybe after that I'll be able to relax and not be stressed out. :) 

I spent about 4 hours in my kitchen today and as promised here are the recipes!

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP  <~~~~ That'll help me get better right?! 
2 C water
1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C prechopped onion
1/2 C prechopped celery
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium carrot, chopped
6 ounces fusilli pasta (you can use any pasta- I used whole wheat egg noodles)
2 1/2 C shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (I just put a chicken breast in the crockpot on high for a while and then shredded it)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine 2 cups water and chicken broth in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave at HIGH for 5 minutes. 

While broth mixture heats, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; saute 3 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add hot broth mixture and pasta; bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup).

Calories 237   Fat 4.8g (sat 1g, mono 2.4g, poly 0.9g)   Protein 22.9g  Carb 23.9g   Fiber 1.7 g Chol 50mg   Iron 1.8mg   Sodium 589 mg   Calc 28mg
Source: Cooking Light Desk Calendar

1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
8 oz fat free cream cheese
1 package frozen broccoli
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1/2 C water
1 package italian dressing mix

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker.

Mix dressing mix and water together, and then pour over your chicken in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Leave liquid stock in slow cooker. Mix together soup and cream cheese. Pour cream cheese mixture into slow cooker and mix with chicken stock. Stir broccoli into slow cooker mixture. Add chicken back to slow cooker and mix well. 
Turn to high and cook until heated- about 30 minutes

Source: Skinny Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken- Skinny Mom (This website has changed my life. So many great recipes!)

In addition to those, I prepped my fruits and veggies and baked a bit for a package that is going out this week. I made banana bread and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. These are 2 of my favorite things to bake. I love em. Other people love em. SO GOOD! 

BANANA BREAD (Grandma's recipe, but no one makes it as good as she does)
Prepare a 9x5x3/4 inch bread by oiling and lightly flouring

In a small bowl measure and mix well:
2 C flour (1/2 whole-wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Set aside

In a larger bowl, measure and mix well:
1/2 C salad oil
3/4 C sugar
3 Tbsp milk
1/2 C egg substitution
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla

Add the flour mixture to the larger bowl and mix together well, but do not overbeat. Pour into prepared bread pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on rack, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place bread on rack to continue cooling. 

*This is the healthy version. If you'd like the "unhealthy" version (though I'm not sure why you would), increase the sugar to 1 cup, use 2 eggs, and use whatever flour you want. 

This made 3 loaves of bread. 

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 C. sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 C egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C canola oil
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients. 

In another bowl, combine egg, egg substitute, pumpkin, applesauce, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. 

Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 400 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. 

Source: My dear friend Melissa. She's fantastic. 

**I made mini-muffins. And it made 62 of those. That's a lot.**

I feel like I got super side-tracked. But here's the point. I am not perfect. And probably never will be. Sometimes I eat food that isn't healthy for me. Sometimes I eat chocolate. Sometimes I don't work out. Sometimes I give in to temptation. But this is a journey and we all fall down. The point is that we have to get back up. 
"Every day matters. Every day. You have a bad day, get up the next day and do it again. Make every day count." 
Which means you bet tomorrow I'll hit this with my all again. And you should too! 

Did you food prep today? What's your favorite thing to make? What lessons have you learned recently? Make it a great one y'all!

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