Food and Fitness: What Works for Me

I know diet and weight loss is not something I talk about on this blog, pretty much ever, but it is a largely a lifestyle blog, so I'm gonna go ahead and go for it. Last week I mentioned in my High Five that I've lost some weight over the past few months. What I didn't mention is that before that, I was at my lowest weight since probably middle school before our wedding, and I consistently gained weight after. I came back from our honeymoon at least 5 pounds heavier. Maybe closer to 10... I don't really know. All I know is we ate our way down the coast of California, I no longer had to fit into my wedding dress, and I enjoyed every last glorious calorie.

So after the honeymoon I stopped weighing myself for a while, and stopped working out pretty much all together, for at least 6 months. I was in grad school and working full time... I had other priorities. I believe they call that "love weight" on that kind of post-marriage timeline.

Several unsuccessful workout attempts, zero weight lost, and months later, I finally decided that I must be consuming too much. Not exactly the wrong stuff- Sean and I have eaten a fairly healthy diet since '09 when we swore off fast food together (we've only broken this two dozen times tops since '09) and started actually cooking most of our meals. Just too much. Except the nightly bowl of ice cream. That's a habit that had to go. And I've always been a carb lover. What can I say, I love food!

So in brief, here's what I've done:
Couch to 5k training. I spread the 8 week program out over 10 weeks to prep for the Undy 5000 (which if you remember, I ran faster than I ever have before) and on days I wasn't running, I was walking for at least a half hour to total 5-6 days/week of cardio.
The Whole 30 Program. BUT. They'll kill me for saying this... I did it 85/15, meaning I didn't adhere to the rules 100% of the time. The whole idea behind the Whole 30 is to NOT cheat, so technically they'd say I wasn't following their program, but that is where I got the idea. Mostly veggies, variety in meat, lots of eggs, some nuts, some fruits, no dairy, no carbs was the basic formula I followed for that first month. A detox of sorts.

Here's what I'm doing now:
• Continue to maintain a paleo based diet 75/25. Easter brunch was part of the 25%. So was the Chinese food we ordered the night Lily died and neither of us wanted to cook. I don't think it's a bad thing to eat some greek yogurt a few days per week, or a bowl of cereal if I'm in a rush. And yes, I definitely still enjoy dessert- even the full sugar kind. Just not all the time.
• Continue to walk/run. I've never been a huge fan of running (I'd much rather be swimming) but it's free and fast. I've yet to find a pool in my area that can beat that. Most days I walk, but two days per week or so I just choose a random Couch to 5k workout to guide me.

So right now I'm still sitting at +5 from the week before our wedding. Here you don't have to do the math... that's +18 lbs in less than 18 months. Whoops. Love weight indeed. I definitely feel much healthier at this weight. When you're close to 5'10", however, (or at least for me) it takes at least 10 lbs to really notice a difference when it comes to clothing either direction. And if you don't open the scale you got as a wedding gift for 8+ months after you get married, well, out of sight, out of mind I suppose! I'm just now at the point where I might be close to going down a jean size, though I've pretty much worn the same size since high school (but maybe I shouldn't have in college... that was more like the freshman 25 for me. Story for another day!)

Hands down, working from home has been the best thing for eating well as I don't have to transport anything and have full access to my own kitchen. If you check out my "Tasties" board on Pinterest you'll find a ton of the recipes I've been enjoying lately.

My regulars:
• Sweet potato hash. Cut a sweet potato into chunks and use the shredding blade on a food processor. I do 2-3 sweet potatoes at once and save them in the fridge to saute throughout the week for breakfast.
• Blueberry turkey sausage. 1lb ground turkey, 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries, 1/4 tsp each of crushed red pepper, paprika, dried thyme, coriander, nutmeg, and pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix and roll into 10 balls and cook in a lightly oiled skillet. Leftovers can be frozen or refrigerated and microwaved.
• Eggs. Scrambled, fried, frittata, muffins, or with avocado and bacon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. You name it. They're easy and I eat a lot of 'em.
• Cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sometimes with other veggies too.
• Cauliflower. Can be used in place of (regular) potatoes for many, many recipes, but it's a veggie instead of a starch so win-win.
• Taco wraps. Beef or turkey, homemade taco seasoning, salsa, red and yellow peppers, onion, wrapped in lettuce leaves.
• Tea. Mostly decaf varieties. I love a good English breakfast (decaf or not), chamomile, green, and an awesome one I found at Whole Foods that is coconut almond macaroon flavored. Satisfying the sweet tooth right there.

What are your go to meals and/or workout routines to stay healthy?

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