fitness and nutrition

3 am Nachos

I sure do love nachos. Well they are not my favorite food but if I have a craving for nachos I definitely want to devour them.

I prefer nachos piled high. Lots of gooey cheese. Some onions. Maybe some peppers. For meat I favor fajita chicken but I wouldn’t say no to beef as in taco meat or some nice fresh shrimp. Diced tomatoes sprinkled on top. A sprinkle of shredded lettuce. Topped with avocado for a bonus. Black beans are a bonus too. I can tolerate a small amount of jalapeños but I would probably just go without. I’m sure I’m missing some topping but if I write any more of a description here it might just make me crazy.

I think I just described a mountain high pile of my dream nachos that should have my name on it. You see I was going to eat those nachos as a celebratory meal after my 5 kickass weeks in the CrossFit OPEN.

As fate would have it, the Mexican restaurant I went to was full. No bueno for me. No nachos. No oooey gooey cheese. Talk about a major let down. I moved on for sure, I lived another day or so.

Then Monday hit and I realized I’m back on my macro counting food plan. The macros that are limited to keep me on track with my health and fitness goals. So you wonder what that has to do with nachos, right? EVERYTHING!

Nachos are not your friend. Chips are not your friend. Beans are full of carbs. Cheese is okay but the oooey, goooey kind and quantity I refer to is just off limits. Nachos do not fit in my macros and I can’t have a cheat day on the first day of macro counting. Grrrrrr……

3am hits and I awake from a damn dream. A nacho dream. That’s it folks a dream about nachos and how I missed my chance at nachos last Friday. Then the dream became a nightmare when I realized I have some plans coming up that entail visits to my local Mexican eateries. Ugh, this is a real world issue.

Does anyone else have a nacho issue? I guess I am going to have to find a healthier version of nachos to fuel my desires for now and exercise my restraint and discipline. I will be digging deep to my core on this one.

Can you believe I woke at 3am because of nachos and actually wrote a blog about it? I sure did because it helped me defer and deflect my desire to eat those nachos. It may be a temporary win but it’s a win nonetheless.

Nachos are not a friend of this Chick. And I’m pretty sure my nachos are my counterpart’s tacos. Hehehehe, maybe she will write about her taco dreams one day. And for this girl, it will be a protein shake for breakfast possibly. No pancakes. No nachos. No surprise here.

I hope that I made you hungry for some yummy Mexican food. Remember there are some options that can be macro friendly when you eat out at Mexican but tacos, nachos, chips and margaritas are probably not on the list. And of course all of those are on my list of faves.

I am going to go back to bed now and hope for a dream of rainbows and unicorns or anything non-food related so I don’t wake up again hangry. Or I can celebrate my shoe addiction and the fact that I’ll be lacing up my brand new shiny pink, white and black Nike Metcon 4xds in a just a few short hours. Defer, defer, deflect those nachos. Moving on to my shoe addiction which I will have to save for another post.

I bet you never thought or expected my post-OPEN post to be about nachos. Since I am not your typical chick, nachos it is. My content is real. My content relates to my experiences, my relationships, my opinions, my adventures and of course my challenges and celebrations.

Enjoy my ride. Some days will be full of sunshine while others may be darker in nature. That’s why it’s called life. And what is life without temptation. Today’s temptation came in the form of nachos. I overcame this temptation and a few other speed bumps in the past 24 hours. 

Nighty, night or rise and grind peeps. Its technically Taco Tuesday and I may have just inadvertently annoyed my writing partner with this food post or maybe even you. Be sure to tag a friend today in honor of Temptation Tuesday. Instead of spreading joy today, I’m spreading nacho/taco dreams!

What could be a better way to start your Tuesday?

fitness and nutrition

The Difference Between Simple and Easy

I hit another milestone number on the scale today.

Today I weigh the same as I did when I got married.  Just shy of seventeen years later.  I am sure my weight went straight up just after the wedding, and I haven’t seen this number since.

Is my body the same?  No. Pregnancy and many other things have happened since then, not to mention just a lot of time being very overweight which leaves its mark.  But I’m working on shaping this body into the best it can be right now.

This was also the weight I randomly put into myfitnesspal when I started tracking last year.  I had to choose something, and 185 seemed good enough.  I don’t really know if I ever thought I would get there. Goals are not my strong point.

This week I’ll think about a new number and other goals.  I’ll try to be more mindful about it. But in the mean time…a quick reflection on one thing I have noticed lately.

As I’ve gotten further into tracking, my eating has gotten simpler and simpler.  My shopping list has gotten shorter and shorter.

Basically, most weeks look like this:

-Chicken (lots – ground / boneless skinless breast / tenderloins / rotisserie)

-Lean ground beef

-Vegetables for roasting (butternut squash, brussels sprouts, broccoli, onion, etc.)

-Yogurt – low to no fat, high protein

-Creamer

-Lowfat Cheese

-Sparkling water

-Then, if I need to replenish: extra thin corn tortillas, garlic & seasoning, carbs like PopCorners or Captain Crunch (yes, you read that right!), Fairlife milk,  protein shakes Yasso bars, etc. These are more accessories than essentials.

Sunday morning meal prep starts with roasting a huge pan of vegetables (see above).  I make my Mike Nuggets for my whole week’s lunches. Then I make one or two other varieties of chicken – crock pot fajitas, Mason’s Naked Tenders (great for the girl who chronically overcooks chicken), etc.  I also cook some ground beef to season as needed.

Most dinners during the week are just measuring and assembling these building blocks.  Veggies, meat, maybe some cheese if it works with my numbers (although my numbers are pretty much the same each day when I get to dinner, unless I am super hungry in the afternoon and have half an ace bar.) Nothing too fancy.  If I go out I have Chick-fil-a or Zoe’s Kitchen or an omelet with veggies and wheat toast, butter on the side.  End of story, most of the time.

Is it simple?  Yes.

Is it easy? No.

Simple and easy are very different things, I’m realizing.  I used to think they were synonymous.

Simple is keeping the moving parts minimal.  Staying in a routine.  Welcoming boredom, even.  Leaving little room to think about it. Deciding to stick with the plan.

Easy is more about effort and choice, I think.  I still pack my same breakfasts and lunches every. single. day.  Simple.  But, it would be easy to hit the drive-thru on the way to work. It would be easy to indulge in the staggering amount of food – mostly fat and carbs – I am offered working at my school in a given week, and have to resist.  (Someday I will blog about that.)  It would be easy to take it slow on Sunday mornings instead of cranking up the oven and meal-prepping like mad. It would be easy to drive-thru (again) in one of the hundred restaurants I pass when I am hungry on my way home. It would be easy to grab a beer when I am stressed or frustrated or anxious. It would be easy to sleep in or skip the gym when I have it scheduled but I’m tired.

All these things are easy but, ultimately, they make life more complicated. They distract me from my goals.

Will doing what’s simple most of the time ever come easy?  I have to think so. I am getting closer to seeing food as fuel and not entertainment or comfort. The gym is hard for me to resist unless I simply cannot make it.  Still, I am not always successful at resisting what is easy.  Sometimes I give in and just do what’s right in front of me, even if it goes against what I am trying to accomplish in the long run.  But I am working on it. Until then, I’ll simply choose the harder path as often as I can.  And set a new goal to shoot for, so I can earn my confetti again.

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fitness and nutrition

Another digit down

A while ago, I posted about a personal milestone…one that probably no one else has and, until that post, no one else knew about.  (Aren’t you all lucky?!)

This week I reached another milestone, one that is more widely shared among those who are watching their weight…this week I reached “one-derland.”  I dipped below 200 pounds for the first time in about 15 years.  I was newly married the last time there was a 1 at the beginning of my weight. Wow.

This is just another leg of a long long journey.  I’m still trying to figure out my health, my body, and how to get everything working at optimal levels.

Some would say that health is an everyday decision.  Ironically, one thing that has worked for me is trying to minimize the number of daily decisions I have to make.  How does that work, you ask?

Life can get complicated. Sometimes the level of decisions can be dizzying.  That’s why I make the same thing for all of my lunches and all of my breakfasts (see the pic for this week’s example). I make it all on Sunday, bring it to work Monday, and it’s done. Boring?  Maybe for some. But it just keeps it simple.  For me, these days, sometimes it is helpful not to have to think about every little decision. (And, then there’s fewer opportunities for me to make bad decisions, too!)

Should I go to the gym or not? Those decisions are also made on Sunday, when I map out my week.  If the answer can be yes, it will always be yes.  This one isn’t quite as easy to carry out anymore, though. My old routine of every day at 5:30 am was shifted this year.  It is a struggle to get to the gym in the afternoons after work.  There is interruption after change after unexpected wrinkle.  It is a fight.  I have to make it a priority, which means saying no to other things. But, I get there at least 5 days a week, if not six.  If I can possibly go,  I go. Even if I hate the workout.  Even if I don’t know if anyone else will be there.  I go.

Even with many of my decisions made, there are a lot of things that can still come up. I’ve had to learn how to deal with weekends, and how to try to plan for the unexpected.  I’ve had mixed success.  Bowls of tortilla chips are hard for me to resist.  So, I try to avoid Mexican restaurants completely if possible (sadly, since tacos are my favorite).  But, this past weekend I didn’t see the deliciously fresh fried pickles coming and let’s just say I didn’t deal with that decision well.  I am still learning.

So, I’ll celebrate this milestone then keep moving on to the next. I’ll keep figuring out how to make all this work, and try to make the most of the decisions I make, both in advance and in the moment.  Every good decision gets me closer to my goals.

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 11: Protein Power

Yes, I get it. OMG I really do get it!

Protein is power. Protein helps rebuild your muscles after a hard workout and protein is needed to lose weight. Duh! My coach has been telling me this all along with the protein factor she has put in my weekly numbers.  But, for whatever reason, I found some excuse not to hit my protein numbers time and time again. It only took me like six months to register this. This doesn’t actually surprise me since it took me almost nine months to buy in to macro counting after a friend shared her successes.

It seems so simple but yet it is really a hard task to consume a mountain of protein when you really want everything carb-related. What an irony, but your body actually feels better and not so sluggish when you have the right balance. I guess this is why I have a nutrition coach. Her job is to remind me what I already know and motivate me when I find a reason to not follow directions. In reflection, it’s the same reason I go to CrossFit to have a coach. One who pushes me outside my comfort zone. I think some forget those benefits when they face healthy living alone.

This week’s post is dedicated to protein and its power to fuel and rebuild my my body and muscles.

Chicken: eat more chicken! Chick-fil-A got it right and guess what? Their chicken nuggets fit nicely in my macros so I am a huge fan of chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A. I even get the fried ones since that fat evens out my numbers on the protein side. This chicken is just as much of a treat as a candy bar to me.

Shrimp: I like mine spicy. Not too spicy, just spicy enough and I can’t have it too much during the week or I will burn out so balance is key.

Tuna: I’m a pouch kind of tuna girl. Albacore white in water. But yeah, nothing great to say about this. It’s TUNA. And if you can stand the smell (or your breath after you eat it) then it’s helpful to your macros, but once every other week is enough for this chick.

Chicken: I’m back to chicken because you can eat it a million different ways and it’s different each time. But for this week I’ll talk about kabobs. Peppers, onions, zucchini and lots of chicken marinated in Italian dressing. Big yummo to me!

Hello, chicken again: rotisserie chicken flavored Boar’s Head deli meat. Yup, I said it. Sandwich meat. Not the processed nasty stuff that comes prepackaged. I’m talking about the freshly sliced deli meat, sliced thin so you can feel like you are eating more. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a good protein to eat. See my scale pic for this yummo. And I can add this to the end a day to top off my protein numbers.

Cheese: I eat a cheese stick almost daily. It hits my fat and my protein so it’s a double whammy. Warning: don’t eat too much cheese or you can get backed up. Yes backed up on the backend. Hope that gives you a giggle.

Yogurt has plenty of options and the Greek varieties are essential in planning a good day. Protein and a small amount of carbs and little or no fat. I stretched this week and bought some yogurt drinks in case I’m on the road again.

New week, same numbers. If it’s not broke don’t fix it! just need to keep nailing my protein digits. Scale is moving on down!

This week’s crisis came when MyFitnessPal crashed at dinner time. I had to take out pen and paper and do math to calculate my macros before my meal time. This is when preplanning your day comes in handy but for me I always wiggle some until the end of the day. This day was one of those days so yeah, I had a mild panic attack as did many others who couldn’t access their app. Epic tech fail Under Armour! I guess my premium service doesn’t get 100% uptime.

I rolled out of crisis mode one day and moved onto a big scale victory the next day. A milestone of some sort. No need to advertise the magic # but a mini celebration was had internally. Now it’s time to reset and realign. New goals to aim for as original goals are nearing and the bar must rise to stay chasing the the finish line.

In closing, I should not forget to post about this fun Friday fact: I opted to indulge in the Red Cup Friday offer at Starbucks this year. I got a holiday drink but not just any holiday drink. I got the Grande Carmel Brûlée Latte. All 400-plus calories loaded with about 70 carbs, 13 fat and 11 protein. What was the justification? The free red cup that I can use the rest of the season and put another skinny coffee in and imagine I am drinking the calorie and carb-loaded caramel brûlée. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. But, I suffered the rest of the day to stay within my macros so in the end it wasn’t worth it because I can have a skinny option of another drink to fuel my Starbucks addiction. This drink was to me what ice cream is to others. We all have moments of weakness we just need to find a healthy balance. For me this time around I opted for this holiday treat to reward myself for nothing particular. I sometimes do that to myself. But in reality thank goodness for Alex the macro barista who posts all the healthy ways to order your Starbucks coffee. He is a gem if you don’t follow him.

I guess self-pampering is a thing and as I reflect I think I am pretty good at it. #retailtherapy #hairandnails #shoesfordays #girlproblems #massages #girlstrips

Oh how I laugh out loud typing this! I commit to myself. I am accountable for myself and my progress or my demise. Just me! Don’t wait for someone to push you over the finish line. You have to do it for YOU.

I also did not touch, smell, unwrap or eat even one piece of Halloween candy this year so I won that holiday battle just a few days earlier. This blog captures the ups, the downs and everything in between on my journey to fab at fifty. Hope you embrace the knowledge, laugh at the hidden humor and celebrate with me virtually.

Until next time Turkeys! Happy November to my online peeps.