Meal Planning

Well it’s been less than a month since my last post, so that’s an improvement, right? 😉

I was reading a post by one of my favorite bloggers earlier last week, and it gave me the meal planning bug. A little back story is that the previous week I saw an all-time low on the scale, then decided to go in to an insane eating fit over that weekend. Nothing stress-triggered, just hanging out with friends and going out to eat, etc.

Needless to say the scale sucker-punched me as a result. I know better than to do such silly things, but right now my battle is extremely mental and food related. I don’t seem to have issues with working – sometimes twice a day.

I mean, who WOULDN'T want to hang out with this lovely man each night?

I mean, who WOULDN’T want to hang out with this lovely man each night?

 

But I guess my brain right now is going “hey, I’ve lost 80 pounds! I should be able to eat more now!”

No Brain…not yet!

So when I read Katie’s post the other day (if you have never read Katie’s blog, you NEED to. She is a constant source of inspiration, and is MUCH better at posting than me, lol!), it really gave me that push I needed to start concentrating on food. I had a bunch of fruit and vegetables at the house that really needed to be cooked up, so I found some good recipes and went on a bit of a cooking spree. I was concentrating on meals that I could save and take to work for breakfast and lunch as well.

On Tuesday night, I made these two recipes:

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

These are “Renee’s Oatmeal Breakfast Bars” and I totally just copied Katie’s idea on that one. The other was a repeat of a recipe I had made the previous weekend:

Seriously, it tastes 10x better than it looks!

Seriously, it tastes 10x better than it looks!

This is a Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole, and it is SO good! It has about a cup of greek yogurt in there as a binder, and I’m guessing that’s what burned on the sides of the dish. I was lazy and just mixed my recipe in the casserole dish, rather than in a mixing bowl and transferring. Looks like I’ll definitely be paying for that when it comes time to wash dishes…

Both of these have been great so far, I’ve just cut them up and have been taking portions for breakfast and lunch.

I also made of of my favorite dishes last Wednesday:

Love these, an entire meal in it's own little container. :)

Love these, an entire meal in it’s own little container. 🙂

These are supposed to be Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash, but not having any quinoa on hand, I opted for couscous. I hope that with any of these recipes you’ll head over to the actual posts they come from…please don’t let my horrible food photo taking abilities deter you. There is a reason I’m not a food blog! Cooking all these meals while chasing a 2 year old leads to lots of short cuts and sloppy looking food…but I promise it tastes wonderful! 🙂

Smoothie's were not neglected, and still made there way in to several days!

Smoothie’s were not neglected, and still made there way in to several days!

So, meal planning? Yeah, it definitely paid off. Despite the fact that I got sick last Friday (yay for things my daughter brings home from day care…), and not being able to work out for the last 4 days, I saw an all-time low on the scale this morning. I am SO PUMPED!

So yeah, I’d say that this week is off to an awesome start!

How about you? What’s been your key to getting yourself back on track?

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Noodles

This week has been a bit crazy, as I’ve felt like I’ve been hungrier than usual! It’s been kind of confusing and annoying…and the scale has been stagnant.

I kind of expected it would…I had a good loss a couple of weeks ago, and my body seems to lose on a 2 week cycle of lose, maintain, lose, maintain…so I’m trying to not focus on the numbers too much. I have started a habit of having a serving of this delicious sinful delight nearly every night…so I’m wondering if I need to cut that out a bit…but it’s so good!

But otherwise, this week has been a bit about noodles! First I had an avocado I needed to eat up, and after looking at a bajillion recipes on pinterest, I found one that I wanted to try. It called for spiral noodles…and I would have made it with zucchini noodles, but I didn’t have any zucchini in the house…but I had some egg noodles, so that’s what I ended up using. It was really tasty, and I ended up eating the leftovers for lunch today.

Avocado and Egg Noodles

Avocado and Egg Noodles

Avocado creamy goodness

Avocado creamy goodness

And then following the noodle theme, last night I made a recipe called Pumpkin Alfredo with Sweet Potato Noodles. I had been looking forward to this one, and I wasn’t dissapointed! The hardest part was figuring out how to cook the sweet potato noodles (the recipe calls for all raw and cold, and I’m not that far in to any kind of “raw” journey yet, lol!). I finally found a website that tells you to steam them, so if you try the recipe and don’t want raw crunchy noodles, just put the noodles over boiling water in one of those steamer thingies for about 10 minutes and they’ll be soft and tasty!

Disclaimer: 2 Sweet Potatoes makes a TON of noodles.

Disclaimer: 2 Sweet Potatoes makes a TON of noodles.

I was a little hesitant if this would be good or not...but it was SO tasty!

I was a little hesitant if this would be good or not…but it was SO tasty!

Finished product! It looks a little less "noodly" after the sweet potato cooks, but to me the texture change was worth it!

Finished product! It looks a little less “noodly” after the sweet potato cooks, but to me the texture change was worth it!

Like I mentioned in the photo, there were a TON of noodles created with this, and with the leftover sauce, I think I’ll be able to eat on this 2 more times at least. I only steamed noodles to eat last night, and I stored the rest in their raw state, that way they don’t get all mushy and weird.

I made it to the gym twice this week, and did a Zumba DVD on Tuesday evening, so I made my 3x during the week goal. My daughter is going to her dad’s apartment (for the first time overnight…I am nervous and conflicted and confused, but that’s another post!) this weekend, so I know I’ll get workouts in on both days. I feel like I’m doing pretty well this week!

Workouts are still with a goal of a lower HR, so elliptical again...this is as interesting a photo of workout results as I could think of, lol!

Workouts are still with a goal of a lower HR, so elliptical again…this is as interesting a photo of workout results as I could think of, lol!

So that is my weekly roundup! Anyone with toddlers…do you have any good meal suggestions for keeping their food as healthy as possible? My dear darling one turned her nose up at both of my noodle creations this week…so I did end up with frozen french fries and chicken nuggets as a meal for her a few times this week. I don’t mind it every once and awhile…but I need more ideas!

She doesn't look picky at all, right!? :)

She doesn’t look picky at all, right!? 🙂

So tomorrow starts the weekend…and dropping my darling off with the estranged husband thing…wish me luck!

Like a Boss

This weekend was quick and uneventful – a nice combination when I had both planned no events and was single-momming my 22 month old. I started off on Friday night with a new recipe. I decided to try Mushroom Kale Lasagna Rolls, and used this recipe from SkinnyTaste. I won’t bore you with step by step details, as I’m not a cooking blog, but needless to say it ended up being not too hard to make (though it dirtied more dishes than I expected!), and delicious! The recipe makes 10 rolls, and so I’ve got leftovers to last during the week!

It is so green, but so good!

It is so green, but so good!

Saturday I Zumba’d at a class at my college Alma Matter, taught by a wonderful friend, Ruthie, who has an inspiring story of her own! I have been so surprised by Zumba. I am able to follow the moves fairly easily, and I am constantly surprised by how much easier it is to keep up and move my body now that there’s 70 pounds gone from it. I talked to Ruthie after and told her that though I took ballet for 10 years growing up (hence the ease of following the moves), I don’t think I ever truly enjoyed it. I was always the biggest girl in the class, and constantly spent my time looking in those damn mirrors comparing myself to the other girls. For anyone who’s never taken ballet or other dance class…one half of the entire room is made of mirrors…so you can constantly check your body positions, etc. For me, it was a constant and consistent reminder of how big I was – and of course now I look back and can say I wasn’t even that big!

But now. Now that I’m older and (ha!) wiser and have lived…and have developed a lot of self esteem, I could care less what I look like while dancing at Zumba…and I’m having so much FUN! I can keep up with the instructor, I can think about the music and the movement and just enjoy it! And I do.

Sunday started off a little rough. I had woken up at around 5:50am on Saturday, and cursed as I desperately tried to fall back asleep, wasting all those precious minutes as Reagan kept sleeping until nearly 7:30am! On Sunday, I was in a dead tired sleep…and of course she then decides to wake up at 5:50am.

And she woke up with plenty of energy.

And she woke up with plenty of energy.

After a fun-filled morning of me trying to wake up while she destroyed the living room, we both took naps (thank goodness!), and then afterwards I took her on a walk to the park. The park is right next to our apartment, so we were able to walk straight from our front door, which was nice. It was really windy, but we had a lot of fun!

Finding bottle caps

Finding bottle caps

Feeding these...bird things

Feeding these…bird things

Blowing bubbles...or attempting to.

Blowing bubbles…or attempting to.

Happy Face!

Happy Face!

Discovering that bridges cover water.

Discovering that bridges cover water.

Drinking juice - like a Boss!

Drinking juice – like a Boss!

I love taking these walks with her and re-discovering the world through her eyes. Even though it’s annoying to keep her away from the water the whole time, and even though she stood on that silly bridge for 20 minutes longer than I would have liked and kept telling me there was water underneath us…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Oh and my daughter’s hair is crazy, in case you can’t tell. I think it might turn out to be curly…and I have no experience in that arena…add to that the fact that she hates having her hair or face messed with, and it is a constant battle in which she is the victor 99% of the time.

Besides…I say the longer you can go without fussing with hair or wearing shoes…go for it!

So today was back to the grind, but I did make it to the gym for a lunchtime workout!

Proof of my elliptical exploits!

Proof of my elliptical exploits!

So there is my weekend/Monday recap. How was your weekend? What workouts have you discovered that you actually ENJOY, rather than endure?