Meal Plan

Meal plan for week 8: Comfort food!

Who’s hungry!?!? The meal plan for this week is loaded with comfort food. But like, 5 star restaurant comfort food without any guilt, whatsoever. Don’t be scared off by this next sentence: A few of the recipes will require a bit more time to prep. But, I promise, you’ll be so happy that you put in the time and effort to get these dishes prepared. Once they’re ready, you won’t have to think about what you’ll be eating for the next 6 days! The macronutrients are all lined up to provide you with a high protein, low carb approach.

Do you remember, last week, when I brought you and Lillie Biesinger together? Well, we’re hanging out with Lillie, again, this week. We’re making an adaptation of her zucchini lasagna (you won’t even miss the pasta!), and her Weeknight Bolognese (this is the recipe that takes the longest).

But seriously, take advantage of this free meal plan, that is sure to make your waistline shrink while still catering to your tastebuds!

Week 8 meal plan:

Click here to download this weeks meal plan

Serving sizes for this week:

This meal plan and grocery list is intended to feed one person through the whole week. The Weeknight Bolognese and Lasagna are the only recipes that provide a little bit extra to share (the lasagna only provides two extra servings, but the Bolognese might feed the whole fam one night and just you the rest of the week). So if you have extra mouths you are feeding with these same foods, plan accordingly.

Grocery items that might be easier to find online:

Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener

Bone Broth Powder (There are a bunch of products out there. I find that this one tastes best. Plus, it’s low sodium, which is hard to come by in bone broth!)

4 oz storage containers and 8 oz storage containers.

Meal prep storage containers

Nutritional info for this week’s meal plan:

That’s it for today! Happy feasting!


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Meal Plan

Meal Plan – Week 6: Meet Lillie!

You know when you’ve got this new thing you’ve been doing, and you’re dying to tell your girlfriends all about it? Well, I’ve got one of those things that I’m dying to tell you all about! I’ve been spying, pretty closely, on this food blogger named Lillie Eats and Tells.

This gal, Lillie, has figured out exactly how to eat all the good food while counting macronutrients to lose weight. She has compiled three different cook books, all which divulge the macronutrient content of each of her recipes. She’s got a bunch of free recipes, online. But some of her other amazing goodness only comes in her cookbooks (which you can buy here).

Aside from following her on Instagram, and stalking her blog, I have never communicated with her. She isn’t paying me a dime to promote her products. But, as one of your besties, I feel it is my duty to make sure that you know about her. (Maybe one day she and I will be BFF’s and she’ll repay the shout out. Fingers crossed!)

Go ahead and open her story in a new tab so that you, too, can go and stalk her work after you finish reading this post! She is also on Facebook and Instagram.

I have already dabbled in some of her recipes, but this week, I’m going to work in some of these recipes from her website and cook book into my meal plan. These are three of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy them too.

New Additions

  • Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad
  • Zucchini Lasagna (I’m most excited about this one!)

Meal Plan – Week 6

Download this weeks meal plan by following this link

Grocery items that might be easier to find online:

Nutritional info for this week’s meal plan:

That’s all for today! Happy feasting!


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Meal Plan – Week 6

super bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Snacks or My Nutrition Goals? What Does a Girl Do?!

Football. Ugggghhhh. My hubby spent the first handful of our fifteen years of marriage attempting to teach me about football. The poor guy. One of his biggest passions is like a foreign language that I’ll never grasp. I’m just not wired to have any appreciation for the sport whatsoever. I think he’s made peace with it (I even fell asleep attending a Bronco’s game in person, once.) Even when our kids have played flag football, I can only pay attention when they’re in the game. And I’m sitting there praying they don’t get hurt, the whole time. It is what it is.

super bowl Sunday
Can you tell I really love football?

So it’s Super Bowl Sunday in a couple days. And while I may not give a flying lick (what a funny phrase!) about watching the game, I always appreciate the commercials. The best part of the Super Bowl is, hands down, the food! My plan is to do an intermittent fast on Sunday, and then have my weekly indulgence meal during the game. I’m pretty excited about that!

If you’re not due for your weekly indulgence meal, you can still maintain your weight loss nutrition strategy while enjoying some of the Super Bowl food. Here are some tips:

  • Respect serving sizes.
  • Keep a food journal of everything you are eating. (I like the myfitnesspal app)
  • Fill 1/2 of your plate with veggies, 1/4 with protein, and the other 1/4 with side dishes.
  • Stop eating when your stomach is content, not stuffed.
  • Don’t continue to snack through the whole game.
  • When the food is finished, focus on enjoying the game and the company (Or the book you’re reading while everyone else enjoys the game)

I’ve compiled the following list of high protein/low carb foods that you can enjoy free of guilt:

chicken wings
tortilla chips, guacamole
deviled eggs

I hope you enjoy the game, and I hope that your favorite team wins! Enjoy the food, and savor the opportunity to apply self-control! You’ve got this!

Talk to you soon!


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super bowl Sunday

Chronicles of the two voices inside my head, installment #2 – Before the Cheat meal

Client Amy:

Today, this feels hard!

Trainer Amy:

Okay we’re going to need to get a bit more specific than that! What feels hard?

Client Amy:

I am in food prison! I just want to eat and not think or care about the nutritional value of what is going into my mouth! In fact, this is feeling daunting enough that I even took a bite of my kid’s pizza and had like eight spoonfulls of homemade Mac and cheese, yesterday!

Trainer Amy:

Okay, it’s not the end of the world. You’ve been very diligent in your nutritional approach for over two weeks now. That’s huge! That is a long time to stick with a strict regime when before that you were eating whatever your taste buds desired.

Remember that in order to meet specific goals, we need to follow specific rules to get to that point. You’re following a specific nutrition strategy which, you have seen, is actually working to change your body composition for the better.

Let’s pause and look at the bigger picture for a minute. Tell me, what do you feel you are doing well within this process?

Client Amy:

Okay… well… I’ve planned, food prepped, and stuck with a meal plan for two whole weeks. Even though it has felt like a lot of work, I do see the value in those efforts as they’ve helped me stay the course. I’ve also diligently logged my food intake each day. I usually hate food journaling, but doing so is helping to keep me on track. Also, I’ve exercised about 5 times each week, and a few of those days I’ve done two workouts!

Trainer Amy:

That’s awesome! Those are all habits which will lead you to success. Now, tell me what areas you feel like you can improve in your weight loss process?

Client Amy:

Well… For starters, I had those unplanned bites of “non-strategic” foods yesterday…

Trainer Amy:

OK, let’s talk about that. Was that your first unplanned food indulgence? Where did you end up in your calorie and macronutrient targets for the day?

Client Amy:

Yes, that was my first time eating something that wasn’t in my plans. I really tried not to be obsessive about it once I had a little taste. Ya know, “let it go”, “brush it off”, “quickly stay the course on my food plan”, and all. But I did manage to stay under 1700 calories. The only hiccup with my macronutrients were that my carbohydrates landed around 40 grams higher than I intended (Stupid Pasta!).

Trainer Amy:

Let’s celebrate this! Yes, you took a few unplanned bites of food, but you didn’t turn that into a binge-fest, and you stayed under your calorie goal! You should totally feel good about those things! Did you enjoy those tastes of pizza and homemade Mac and cheese?

Client Amy:

Yes! It was just enough to be able to enjoy the flavor without eating too much to carry frustration and guilt! Thanks for pointing that out!

Trainer Amy:

You’re welcome! Are there any other areas that you feel like you can do a little better in to take your efforts to the next step?

Client Amy:

Perhaps adding more foods to my weekly meal plan that will help me get enough potassium and iron so that I don’t worry about supplementing. Also, not beating myself up when I do happen to miss a day of working out.

Trainer Amy:

We can work on that the potassium and iron foods, no problem. But yes, be kind to yourself! If you are unkind to yourself you will lose your focus on why you’re taking on this journey. You’ll have negative feelings toward the process, and lose your desire to continue to push through. This is a journey of self love, where you are learning to instill habits which will help you feel your best both physically and mentally. You’re human. There’s room in life for “oopses”. Just as you did with the pizza and Mac and cheese, you pick yourself up immediately and keep placing one foot in front of the other. And you’re doing that! Have you seen how your body has changed over that last two weeks? Between following your nutrition strategy and doing your five days a week of exercise you are making progress!

You say that you feel like you’re in food prison. Let’s remember that you have a planned indulgence meal in three days. You’ve already made it through 19 days sticking to your eating strategy. Let’s talk about the indulgence meal, and review what the rules around that are.

Client Amy:

Uggggggh…. More rules!

Trainer Amy:

I know, I know, but rules are the safety nets which help us meet our ultimate goals! Rules are our friend. We become our best self when we adhere to rules!

First, we don’t call this a cheat meal because cheating has a negative connotation. Cheating is being dishonest and disloyal. When it is planned out, you aren’t being disloyal to your plan, it’s literally built in! There is a plan in place which invites you to have a meal which helps you feel a little bit more free. You can eat anything that you want, all within your set hour. Itching for those Crumbl cookies? Go for it! More Mac N Cheese? Down it! Really! Whatever you want, eat it! No measuring! No Tracking! In fact, I discourage you from journaling because we are working on being balanced and not obsessive about the numbers.

Doing this also acts as a psychological break. Listen to your body through this meal. Be super mindful, slow down, and stop when you feel like you’ve had enough food. But don’t make yourself sick! Remember that this will not be the last time you get to have these foods! Beginning this next week, you get to have an indulgence meal every week, if you want! Once your indulgence hour is over, you’re right back to your weight loss nutrition plan for the next seven days.

With all this in mind, will you commit to three more days without any food indulgences?

Client Amy:

Yes, I know I can do that. And I can commit to giving the indulgence meal the respect it deserves.

Trainer Amy:

Awesome! Let’s review your “why’s?”. Tell me the reasons that you’re working on losing weight.

Client Amy:

  1. I want to be my healthiest, eliminate gross tummy aches, feel my best.
  2. I want to eliminate risk of developing cancer and heart conditions that run in my family.
  3. I want to have energy to play with my very active boys.
  4. I want to feel my best in my own skin, and like the way that my clothes fit on me.
  5. I want to teach the world that this process works, and is totally doable (even for those with binge eating tendencies).
  6. I want to inspire others to make their own healthy lifestyle changes.

Trainer Amy:

Is this enough to help you focus on three more days of intentional food intake before your planned indulgence meal.

Client Amy:

Yes. My head is in the right place. I’m excited for the additional progress I’ll see on weigh in/measurement day on Thursday morning. I’m also excited to show myself that I can last all the way until Friday evening before eating my indulgence meal.

Trainer Amy:

You’ve got this! I can’t wait to hear all about that indulgence meal! Talk to you soon!


Want more info on indulgence meals? Check out this link from the University of Colorado.

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Meal Plan

Week 3: Meal Plan & shopping list

Are you familiar with the epic cookie and “dirty soda” shop scene that is going on in the state of Utah? That is where my little family is from, and where our parents and siblings still reside. We moved away from there in 2013, not long before these cookie/soda shops started popping up everywhere. Now, every time we go back for a visit to see family, we tend to make a stop or two at these shops. The soda doesn’t do much of anything for me (they call them dirty sodas, because they take your regular Coke, Sprite, etc. and add different flavored syrups into it). But if you dangle these cookies in front of me, I turn all shark feeding frenzy mode on them! And that Dirt Ball cookie from Swig?! Holy smokes (It’s a chocolate on chocolate cookie and I’m drooling just thinking about it!)!

One of these shops, Crumbl, has made it’s way out here to Colorado. Just yesterday, they opened up a brand new location only 10 minutes from my house. I swear, in the last few days, I haven’t been able to escape having Crumbl and their Twix flavored cookie at the forefront of my mind (insert salivating emoji here!). I walked into work yesterday morning and there was a giant box of them on the supervisor’s desk. Our neighbor was given some at a work meeting, and she brought one over for my boys to split (they’re giant cookies!). I am proud to say I was able to successfully avoid masochism by refraining from taking my boys to their grand opening free cookie day! But you guys, the temptation is real! And it is heavy!

But don’t you worry, I know what I want in the long run, and it is not to be weak in the face of the baked goods! I want to continue to nurture this side of me which stays focused on the efforts required to meet goals; to practice what I preach; to show myself that I can do this. And if we’re being really honest, I want to find some ab muscles which I believe are down there somewhere. The cookies that are now 10 minutes away from me can have their place as a “once in a great while” indulgence, and that will be enough. I just need to decide if I want to include that as part of my first indulgence meal which is coming up next Friday… We’ll see.

Since we’re in the business of doing the work required for losing weight, let’s shift focus to what is really important. I’ve created another meal plan which promises placing the body in an environment conducive to weight loss. In a perfect world, I’ll be posting these meal plans every Friday. That’s what I’m shooting for so that you can do your shopping and meal prep on the weekend.

I had a few particular objectives with this next week’s meal plan.

  • First was to keep things simple. Since these meals happen 6 times a day, I wanted very little time to be required prepping in the kitchen. There are way too many other ways I want and need to spend my time than slaving away at the stove. These meals will require a dedicated few hours on one day, but the rest of the week, you’ll be able to grab and go.
  • Second objective was to decrease the calorie content to just below 1700 calories per day. If you aren’t currently very active, you’ll want to eliminate an additional 100 calories, give or take, in order to be in a weight loss calorie range. If you are really active, 6 days a week for more than an hour, you might need to increase your caloric intake.
  • Third objective was to decrease the carbohydrate ratio down closer to 100 grams per day. I’m slowly inching my way into a carb range of 50-100 grams of carbs each day. This meal plan lands at about 108 grams of carbs each day. (Next week, I’ll begin decreasing protein quantity just a bit, and increasing fat intake.)
  • Fourth objective was to include almost no dairy. I’m still getting headaches and vertigo, like crazy, from my concussion in October. I love my cottage cheese, but since dairy can cause inflammation in the body, I’m ready to see if I might be able to decrease headaches by decreasing the amount of dairy that I consume. This will also help to keep saturated fat intake a little lower, as animal fat is a source of saturated fat. Do you have aches and pains, or chronic conditions? You might notice this to help you feel a bit better, as well.

The meals in the plan, list the quantities that you’ll consume in a single meal. As you’re prepping, multiply the recipe by six in order to make food for the rest of the week. The grocery list includes enough groceries to make meals for six days. Food doesn’t always stay as fresh as we want if we try to extend it beyond that time, so be sure to use the seventh day to eat what ever leftover protein and veggies you might still have from the previous week.

Day Seven can be a “wing it” day, as long as you stay within a similar calorie and macro range as the previous meal plan. This will ensure you continue to be successful in your weight loss efforts. Also, whatever you do, don’t make that seventh day a “cheat DAY“. Remember, a pre-planned Indulgence meal is perfectly acceptable! But we don’t do ourselves any favors turning the entire day into a free for all!

Week 3 Meal Plan

Grocery List

Here are some unique products from this weeks grocery list. To make it easier on you, you can snag them on Amazon via the links below:

I have and use collagen protein powder regularly, it’s flavorless and provides fantastic nutrition. That said, I want to try this collagen protein powder (because chocolate!).

Here is a “cleaner” whey protein powder. As you may already know, there are so many whey protein powders out there! Many of these are filled with ingredients that we really don’t benefit from putting into our bodies. It can feel overwhelming to know which powder to choose. I’m still researching “the best” protein powder that I am excited to fully promote (I’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve found it!). If you have a favorite whey protein powder, let us know in the comments!

And finally, pumpkin seeds. I love these little things, like mad!

That’s it for today! For the entire food Journal for this meal plan, and nutrition information (see below). Happy meal prepping, and eating from a nutrition plan that our body can thrive on!

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Why is losing weight so hard?! Or is it…?

I get it. Losing weight can seem like you’re climbing a 14,000 foot high mountain. As you stand at the base of the towering rock, you wonder how in the world will you ever survive making it to the top. Now, I will be the first to tell you that your own weight loss journey will most likely not be easy, but it will be extremely rewarding. New habits will be created while old habits are purged. You will have to face sacrificing the “old” way you did things in favor of creating a “new” you. Through all of this, thinking about the length of time you’re required to commit to the process can seem daunting, overwhelming and even so heavy, you simply won’t start! And believe me, there have been many times where I have done just that! I gave up. I gave in. I felt so hopeless it was depressing. But, as you get your mindset adjusted, just like climbing that 14,000 foot mountain (we call them 14’ers here in Colorado), it begins with your first step.

Here are a few of the weight loss processes that I’ve felt discomfort from in the last twelve days of this project:

  • Creating the habit of a daily food journal
  • Saying “No!” to the chocolate chips that are in the cupboard, or the stock pile of soda in the fridge, or sugar cereal in the pantry.
  • The slow pace
    • Only being twelve days into this project (That’s it!?!? I swear it seems like it’s been months already).
    • Not seeing a distinct visible change…yet (It can often take a week or two for you to notice your own change, and up to a month before other people start to see it as well).
    • Acknowledging that I still have months of work ahead of me
  • Knowing that I still need to go a little longer before I allow myself my first indulgence meal.
    • Thinking ahead to my indulgence meal, fearing that I’ll allow it to be a binge session rather than a reasonable reset meal.
  • Meal planning
  • Meal prepping (It makes me grumpy how long it takes!)
  • Eating the same thing multiple days in a row
  • The changes to my body as it is adapting, such as detox headaches, lack of energy, acne break outs on my face, needing to pee ALL. THE. TIME. (TMI?)

I could sit here and give an explanation for why we have to go through each of these things (and more), but that’s not what this post is all about. This post is intended to show you that you CAN push through the discomforts of the weight loss process.

Let’s talk about mindset. What does that even mean? Trusty old Miriam-Webster defines mindset as a mental attitude or inclination or a fixed state of mind. This being the case, we need to first dig deep and hear what our thoughts have previously been telling us about how we feel about the weight loss process. If those thoughts are what have kept you away from embracing the work to lose weight, then acknowledge that. This might require you to call yourself out on the fact that you had a previously fixed state of mind which was against doing the work required. Have you heard of the six stages of behavior change? These stages are:

  • The first stage of change is known as the Pre-contemplation stage. In this stage, you might not even realize, or you straight out deny that there is anything that needs changed about your current behavior. This is where you might be unaware (blissfully or otherwise), that you have habits or behaviors that aren’t doing you any favors.
  • The second stage of change is the Contemplation stage. In this stage, you have become aware that there are benefits to making a change. But you are also aware that these changes will come at some sort of a cost. You might be hindered by your awareness of the sacrifices you’ll have to make in order to make the change. You might “hang out” in the contemplation stage for quite a while as you work to wrap your head around the work required towards self-improvement. You’ll weigh out the pros and cons, and at the end of this stage, you’ll finally make the commitment towards the change, which you believe will help you improve.
  • The third stage of change is known as the Preparation stage. Here, you begin the process for change. Since our focus is weight loss, you might take steps like joining a gym, hiring an online personal trainer, throwing out the non-strategic foods from your pantry, adding a few extra veggies to your shopping list, write goals or motivational quotes on your mirror in dry-erase marker, and join support groups, etc. You might work to learn new ways to alter your behavior in this stage (Perhaps since you’re hanging out with me here in “self-improvement blog land”, you’re finding this is the exact stage you’re in?).
  • The fourth stage of change is the Action stage. This is the point that you’re all in with your efforts. You understand the processes required of you, and you are working hard to make consistent efforts (Notice that I don’t say that you’re working for perfection, just consistency). It’s important to point out that many people find themselves retreating to their old ways after only a few weeks in the action stage. (This is why all of the regular gym goers love the last week of January. At this point of the year, all of the “New Years Resolutioners” have cleared out by then, and it’s less crowded on the gym floor). This can be avoided by making sure that you mentally work through each of the previous steps before “going all in” on a new goal. Make sure that you are also rewarding yourself for the efforts you are taking. I had a grand idea recently, that for every day I comply with my nutrition and exercise strategy, I would put $2 into a jar. Then either monthly, or when my goal is met, I can go and buy myself something fun. I have yet to act on this, though. I guess it’s still sitting in the contemplation stage until I’ve processed it enough to move the idea up to the preparation stage.
  • The fifth stage of change is the Maintenance phase. Here, you are in the habit of continually avoiding former behaviors and consistently acting on new behaviors. You have systems in place which help you to avoid the temptations of breaking your goals. You are replacing old habits with more productive and positive ones. Once again, rewarding yourself is a useful tool to help you continue to maintain your efforts. If (or dare I say when) you have set backs, you’re kind to yourself. You quickly get up, brush yourself off, and are back to work. You understand that your efforts are not sabotaged by one slip up, allowing yourself to continue recognizing the positive behaviors that you’ve been exhibiting. This stage is really empowering as you’re able to recognize that you have changed yourself from your old ways, and you are able to continue making progress in your efforts.
  • The sixth stage of change is Relapse. That’s not what you want to hear when you feel like you’ve made it to the top with maintenance, is it? Since you’re human, this is part of the process. In any behavior that we are working to change, it can be a common eventuality that one experiences a relapse. When this happens, you might find yourself frustrated, disappointed, wanting to quit altogether. But don’t! You can’t allow these hiccups to undermine your self-confidence. If a relapse happens, call a time out, and dig deep to understand why it happened. What was the trigger? How did you entertain the trigger to hang around with you? How can you avoid such trigger as you continue on your journey? The best thing you can do for yourself is to keep going in your efforts in the preparation, action and maintenance stages of change.

Where do you find yourself on this list? What do you need to do to move yourself up to the next stage of change? What are you going to commit to in moving yourself forward with your weight loss efforts?

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