Friday, March 7, 2014

March Challenge: Food Matters

Since my focus has shifted back to getting healthy and losing weight (and let's not forget, looking sexy for Hawaii!) I decided that during March I need to work on the food I consume and where it comes from.

I believe that above all else when it comes to health, food is the most important thing. It took me a long time to actually realize that just like a car, my body needs fuel. While I'm not a mechanic and I have never seen a noticeable difference between choosing fuel from a mom-and-pop gas station and Chevron, I hear that the more expensive stuff is easier on your engine and lasts longer. I've even heard that some off-brand fuel places have watered down gas.

I cannot speak to the truth of that so don't hold me to it. You can hold me to this though: eating junk and fast food all the time is giving your body watered-down fuel. Plain and simple. Your body needs a balance of carbs, proteins, dairy, veggies, water, etc to run efficiently.

The one thing I noticed when I was losing weight in 2012 was that my body felt and behaved differently. I had more energy. I slept better. I was happier. I had less depression and less anxiety. My body creaked less. My skin looked more radiant. My body was thriving on the better fuel it was receiving.

Every time I'm about to eat I look at my plate and I quickly identify what is nutritional before I eat it. It doesn't matter if I'm eating at McDonald's or at home, I take a moment to really see what I'm putting into my body. If I don't see much on my plate that is of nutritional value, I know that the next meal must be different. Even when choosing a meal from a menu I'm looking for ingredients that are healthy and that will properly fuel my body.

Chances are I won't pick a pasta or a high calorie/fat food because I know it's not what my body needs. Sure, there are times where I splurge. What's life without a little pasta? Last week we had take out from an Italian joint who makes the best Scarface on the planet. I grabbed a small plate, portioned a little out and had a salad with it. It was a balanced meal even though it was a bit naughty because of the alfredo sauce.

This morning I had a fancy coffee which meets my caffeine allowance for the day and one of my dairy equivalents but then I had half of a muffin. It's a almond poppy-seed muffin so there is a small amount of nutritional value. That was not a great meal. My body is probably not super happy with it. However, I haven't had a muffin in a while, so it's a small splurge for me and means I'll have to have a really healthy lunch and dinner. It's all about balance. I may not eat perfect meals all the time but I eat them most of the time, which makes a huge difference!

A huge stumbling block in my quest for health and cheekbones is that I don't cook enough. Bryan and I like to go out and often times we will go out to eat as a way of getting out of the house. Which is fine when it's once or twice a week.Last week we cooked at home once. ONCE. This is just so wrong on so many levels and I knew we needed a big change.

On Friday night while Bryan was at his gig, I planned our meals based around sales and got my list all ready. Saturday morning I hit two grocery stores ready to stock up on veggies and meat. I tried really hard to stay out of the middle of the store. Ground beef and drumsticks were on sale so I stocked up. When I got home, I made two and a half lasagnas, six regular hamburger patties and five stuffed hamburger patties (with onions, monterey jack cheese and blue cheese crumbles, divine!). I froze all of that except for the half pan of lasagna.

On Sunday we had the lasagna and the leftovers were eaten on Monday with a salad.

Tuesday I wasn't feeling well and we got a late start so Bryan grabbed us Carl's Jr. (I ate less than half of my burger and only two criss-cut fries and I was stuffed.) I made three and a half pounds of taco meat, froze two portions, made five salads with three packed in mason jars (with some taco meat) for my lunch for the rest of the week and made a corn salsa to drive home the southwest salad vibe.

Wednesday Bryan took a pan of lasagna and a loaded salad to a friend who just had a baby and we had tacos for dinner. I grilled twelve drumsticks and froze eight of them for future meals. Yesterday we had the drumsticks for dinner along with (you guessed it!) a salad!

In the freezer we have one pan of lasagna, two bags of taco meat, eight drumsticks, one bag of taco soup and one of chicken soup, shredded/sliced chicken for fajitas/salads/sandwiches and a few other things I can't think of at the moment.

In future weeks, I'll incorporate one or two frozen meals into our rotation (depending on if there is enough leftovers with that particular frozen item) and keep adding new foods to freeze.

This will not only save us a ton of money, but we will be eating healthier foods. It takes twenty-eight days to change a habit. March is the perfect month to start getting my cook on at home!

Looking for meal inspiration? Try these recipes:

Embrace the Crazy's recipes:

Pinterest Recipes:

Mini Meatloaf (oven)
Make a huge batch, cook then freeze for easy meals later!

mini german pancakes (oven)
These aren't quite healthy for you but they are SO DELICIOUS and reheat well in a toaster oven. Not sure they would be good frozen cause I've never tried it. 

Southwest Chicken Packets (grill)
We love doing foil packets with chicken or fish with lemon, garlic and butter. These is a great way to spice it up a bit! I bet this chicken would be delicious on a southwest salad! I'm gonna have to try it.

Lemon Garlic (whole) Chicken (crockpot)
I've done this. It's amazing. I cut slices from the breast and used the thighs/legs as meals, then I pick all the extra chicken off and use for salads. So yummy!


Post a Comment

Thanks for posting at Embrace the Crazy!

We love making new friends and we love comments.

However, this is a drama-free zone. As much as we love crazy, we don't love THAT kind of crazy.

We reserve the right to zap any mean, hurtful, or snarky comments right off the internet never to be seen again! (Bwa-ha-ha.) But, we sure do love constructive criticism and some helpful ideas and opinions! Can't wait to hear yours! :)