Friday, February 19, 2016

I Survived....

Paramedic Refresher is complete, I made it though ha-ha!  It isn't anything rigorous, just a lot of information coming in.  Much of which is in the lecture format.  We had some phenomenal speakers this year, I can't boast enough about how awesome the training center is with variety of speakers and content offered.

My favorite part of the two weeks was a hand to hand/self defense tactics session.  It was super fun and informative.  We were taught different ways to not only defend ourselves, but how to gain the upper hand of the situation to put ourselves out of harm and in control.  I was paired with some tough guys, and was able to break free and gain control.  It's amazing what a little pressure in the right place can do.  The hour session was presented by my medical director, it was memorable and exciting.

In other news, I put on 2 pounds during these 2 weeks.  I'm not freaking out about this.  I have been working a ton and with refresher going on, I haven't been working out as much. Yes, you have to workout to lose weight.  I have also had some increase stress but it will all even out.  Some extra workouts this weekend and some "Me Time" is what I need!  I'll do my best to get back here on Sunday to display some of the meals I'm making and what my weekly meal prepping looks like.  My kitchen is usually a disaster during this time with containers everywhere, but once you do it a few times, its really not that bad.  Until next time, keep it Healthy readers!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tomato Tuesday

Hey all, so some of you may have heard of 'Meatless Mondays' I've stated previously that meat is not bad, I love it, but don't need to eat it at every meal!  Well I decided how about a Tomato Tuesday!  My lunch showcased tomatoes in a simple caprese salad I did myself, its super easy, sliced tomatoes, mozzarella (the good stuff), some fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  It was light, but filling and the tomato was a star on the plate.

For dinner I decided to do the same.....showcase the tomato.  In a recipe I snagged from, and a minor swap in the bread, I got a bright, beautiful plate packed with tons of flavor.  The ingredients list is pretty short, and is as follows:

  • 6-8 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced         
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil            
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese        
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  (I used one big one)    
  • 1 tablespoon reduced balsamic vinegar       
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf French bread, toasted and sliced
I tossed everything in a bowl; tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. I placed about 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a pan and reduced it down, put it to the side to cool.  Drizzle olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper, toss. Serve on toasted bread slices, and top with the now cooled sticky syrupy goodness that is reduces balsamic vinegar.

Not the prettiest plating, but you get the idea.  Is yummy, colorful, a punch of flavor....What's not to love?!  Now I told you I made some minor changes.  I bought some garlicky toasts from my local supermarket, and I reduced the balsamic to be a sauce and less of a dressing.  The original recipe is HERE
You can also find it on the Recipe page of this blog in the Appetizers section.  Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Training like a Boss

Last night I participated in a mandatory live fire training.  We are implementing an new offensive strategy for fighting fire with a safe, but direct approach.  I was stoked with the group I was in, and felt our strengths complimented each other well.  The training is very physical, we were pulling and packing hose lines all night and being in gear and packed up adds about 60-70 lbs. My tool of choice was the axe, I didn't have to worry about breeching doors.  I like the axe, there is the work end to chop and break things, but the handle is a less abrasive tool when doing search and rescue.  It also fits nicely in my belt for ease of carrying, frees up my hands to pull hose.  After 2.5 hours I was done and had to cut out of training a little early, circled back to drop my gear before heading home. 

Today I'm sore, not horrible, but that achy feeling you get when you know you put in work. Yea I got that! It's how I know I trained like a boss! Depending on the weather conditions I might do the training again on Wednesday, though it's not mandatory, I think its great to keep skill levels up. 

Needless to say, I have one of the best jobs in the world!  I also work with some of the finest men and women, who I'm quite proud to call my brothers and sisters.  This is another reason for why I'm so motivated to succeed in my weight loss.  These men and women are counting on me too.  I need to be strong and healthy so that I can have their back, just as much as they have mine. It's a goal of mine not only to lose this excessive amount of fat, but also to build muscle and strength so that I can be the best I can, for me and my family!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Catch up!

Good morning my weight loss buddies!  A busy weekend was had, and I'm just now getting some down time to record and share some of my activities.  Friday night was low key, I went to my sister's house, she made a delicious, bean full chili that I almost requested seconds of!  But I knew I didn't need seconds.  We did some DIY decorations for my niece's birthday, which is this weekend.

Saturday was packed with fun.  I started the walk/jog group I mentioned a few weeks ago.  We did 2 minute/15second intervals of walk/jog.  It was comfortable until my foot started acting up :sad face: my left foot went numb just after the mile mark.  This was frustrating, but I finished strong and proceeded to have my gait analyzed as well as my have my feet mapped.  Jack, the gentleman at the Endurance House was VERY knowledgeable and I'm well on my way to trying to rectify the issue with orthotics and some exercises to try to get an arch back into my feet.  I'm severely flat foot.  Link for Endurance House:  Seriously, check out the website!  They have jog/run groups for all levels, and it really helps having a team, even though I'm the slowest on the team, I'm ok with that, they are still cheering me on, and me them!
Saturday night was my friend Courtney's birthday party.  Though I'm not much of a bar person anymore, I went to help him celebrate his day.  Good Lord I danced and danced and danced!  I only had 2 wimpy shots, the rest of the night I was pounding down water.  I need too, I worked out that morning, and I was working up a sweat dancing.  It was an awesome night, and it makes me want to go out again, not often, but maybe once a month :) lol

Sunday I did a lot of relaxing.  My calf muscles were super tight and sore so I did some light stretching.  After I felt better I went outside in the balmy 32 degree weather and shoveled after Ramsey, I use a short shovel so I have to squat a lot, hey why not utilize the time to get some muscles flexed and stretched!  That was pretty much it, besides some meal prep. :)

Monday I decided why not make dinner meatless, trending! haha. My meatless Monday dinner was fabulous, I should have snapped a photo, wasn't thinking about it, my apologies!  It was a lovely whole wheat wrap, I stuffed it full with spinach, 1/2 of an avocado, 1 roma tomato, a scallion, and dressed it with a little sea salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.  Oh Em Gee is was fresh and delicious and that balsamic....perfect.  Now, there is nothing wrong with meat, let me just say that, but we also don't have to have it at every meal.  It's ok to try new things, to change up what you think dinner is supposed to be.  Have fun with your food, keep it bright and fresh, you won't be sorry!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Food Logging, a Tool for Success!

One of the key tools in weight loss, in my opinion, is logging and tracking food.  How am I going to know if I'm burning off calories needed to lose weight, if I don't know how many are going in?!  I have tried a couple different apps and ways to log consumption. Ladies and Gentlemen, my first review!

As you know there are many, many different ways to log food these days, for the most part these are free or very inexpensive.  I thought that was a key factor in a good logging tool, as well as clear breakdown for meals/times of the day so I know when I'm eating what, and the approximate calories for what I'm eating.  I broke it down to my top three, in order from BEST to not great but still works here they are.

MyFitnessPal - This is the app I currently use, and the best tool in my opinion, here's why
  • It's FREE, and can be accessed from my computer or phone.
  • Easily accessible, the app is right on my phone so it's everywhere with me.
  • Calories managed for me, the huge database adds calories for me as well as a product barcode scanner.  So if I am in a hurry I can just quick scan the barcode with my phone and it logs it.
  • Recipe builder/importer.  This is one of the coolest features, if you are making a recipe from online, you can import the ingredient and measures and match it with items from their database, you can also enter substitutions while cooking so the calories are more accurate!
  • Reports, this tracks your weight as you enter it and you can look at graphs to see the changes in weight, calorie intake, and a couple other measures as well.
  • Forums, a huge support system with lots of FAQs and tips for making lifestyle changes.  I've made some great online friends who help keep me on track and motivate me.
  • Exercise Log - You can also log your exercise and sync devices like Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Garmin, Nike+ and more!

Lose It! - This was a close second to MyFitnessPal, it has everything above and few more things, however, some of the features/functions you need to be a premium member for. It's not necessary for the basic use as a food log so its still a great free app.
  • Badges - virtual badges are awarded for milestones along your journey.  These can be good motivators along the way.  There are some "Premium Members Only" badges though, but again there are plenty of free badges to push you on your journey as well.
  • Challenges - these are awesome, other users can make challenges and you can join in. "Workout 5 days a week for 12 weeks" every time you log a workout it logs it in your challenges too.  Kind of a fun way to push yourself and set short term goals for long term gains.

Logging Journal/Paper and Pen - Not tech savvy?  This is an option for you.  Toting around a pen and paper, or a food log journal is an option.  There are plenty of small sizes and they are very inexpensive for a basic notebook.  There are quite a few drawbacks though...
  • No food database so you'll have to look up calories for items like a banana.
  • No quick scanning of a barcode, both of the apps above track more nutrients that just calories.
  • No network/community to help push you to stay on track.
  • No recipe builder or meal saves for ease of logging
I hope this helps you choose a method to log your food intake.  Even if it's different from the ones above, do what you need to stay on track.  Why am I putting so much emphasis on logging?  It's accountability!  If you have to write down what you are putting in your mouth, it makes it real.  You won't want to log that double chocolate cake, so don't eat it!  Yesterday I did have a small piece, and I logged it, and it was like wow I just maxed my sugar consumption for the day and have less calories for later.  With that said, it's ok to eat the cake, you just have to adjust either what you eat the rest of the day or you'll have to work off the extra calories you just ate.  Again, the reason for logging is to know calories in so you know how many calories to burn to make that deficit to lose weight.  Slow and sustainable, marathon not a sprint, lifestyle not a diet.  I hope you found this helpful and find a way to food log and stay accountable.

Monday, January 18, 2016

What a Fabulous Birthday Weekend!

Well I'm 34 years old now, and I'm ok with that...this time next year maybe a different story HA! I know this year is going to bring me great things, because I'm going to make them happen.  Friday night was a BLAST!  My best friend got together with my mom, rented a bus and we did a "4 wheel" poker run.  We went to 5 bars, pulled cards and the winner won the pot ($5 buy in).  I'm proud to announce that I won the worst hand! LOL but I'm ok with that, we all had a fun and danced off at least a portion of the calories I drank. 

I was super nervous to weigh in this morning, but I'm down another 1.4 lbs this week.  That brings my total to 8 lbs since January 1st.  I didn't think I was going to lose anything this week. Friday night's dinner consisted of loaded tater tots and beer battered, deep fried fish.  However, I only ate 2 small pieces of fish, and only a handful of tots.  Portion control was key, I also stuck to just vegetables for snacks and lunch so I would have extra "drinking" calories. Each king can of Ale was 330 calories....I had at least 4 or those, and about 4-5 shots of whiskey...Yes, I know terrible.  Saturday I recovered quick and was not hung over at all.  A big glass of water before bed, and a bunch of water all day Saturday was just what my body needed.  Along with some light cardio before going out for the Packer game.  I didn't drink any alcohol during the game, and limited myself to just one taco and a few nachos for game time snacks.  I'm super bummed that the Packers lost, but they made it to the playoffs again, and I'm proud they are my team for life!

It's back to the grind of work now, with the actual temperature at -9 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -37. I'm envious of my dog Ramsey who is curled up on the couch ready to take his early morning nap. Hope you all have a good Monday, make it great!

Look at that face, he's like go to work already so I can nap! Love him!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016's what's for dinner!

This is not a food blog, I assure you, but I will be sharing some of the things I'm eating, new flavors I'm trying, and what is working.

Tilapia: A fresh water white fish that is flaky in texture with a mild flavor.
I didn't think I liked fish unless it was beer battered and deep fried. This fish is so mild, it's delicious and takes on the flavor of the spices and/or sauce you put on it. Last night I decided to try it, and found a beautiful mango salsa recipe to go on it. It's simple, fresh and I love it!

Using my Pampered Chef grill pan, I lightly sprayed it with Pam Olive Oil just to keep the fish from sticking.  The fillets literally took 3 minutes a side to cook.  How fast is that?!  So make the salsa first, it will take longer to cut up the mango that it does to cook the fish.
For the salsa I followed this recipe:
Fresh Mango Salsa Recipe
It's a few simple ingredients, nothing fancy with a dozen spices.  It's mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, the juice of a lime, pepper and sea salt to taste.  That's it! No oil, no vinegar, no special spices, just fresh and simple. Because I only made 2 fillets I cut the recipe in half, and I still had some leftover.  No complaints about that, I can use it on a turkey burger next!

I did make a side to the fish as well, I mixed cooking styles on this plate, and that's fine!  It's my plate, make yours....yours ha!  A 1/2 cup of brown rice was my grain.  I topped that with some fresh green beans and crimini mushrooms.  Both the beans and the mushrooms were sautéed in lite soy sauce that I grated some fresh ginger root into.  Seriously, dynamite flavor!  It went well on the side, almost the saltiness I needed because the mango was the sweet on my plate.  All around winning dish in my book, and I'm happy to share it with all of you!

Make your plate beautiful, try new things, eat with your eyes, it's a fun adventure every time!

If you do make this let me know what you think!  Have other tilapia recipes? Let me know in the comments.  I love trying new flavors in the kitchen!