As it is January – no shit, I know – almost everyone I know or see on social media is trying to diet or just focusing on eating healthier foods. We (the boyfriend and I) started our diet on the 3rd of January. I’ve lost a few pounds in the first week but then my scale broke. No, not because I stepped on it too hard – thank you. But it kept saying low battery no matter how many times I put new ones in so I had to buy a new scale. Therefore, I have no idea where my weight stands at the current moment. I am also trying to get back into the habit of food prep and making my workouts priority over laying on the couch.
Since I know almost everyone seems to be in the same boat as me right now, I thought I could do weekly posts and updates with recipes, workouts, and tips to stay on track and keep going. Not only for me and to keep me accountable, but to help any of you who need it. I always find that dieting and staying healthy is a lot easier if the people around you are helping to cheer you on, and/or are on the same journey as you.
To begin this little Wellness series, I am going to summarise the last two weeks as Prep Week 1 (Jan 3rd-7th) and Prep Week 2 (Jan 8th-14th). I’m going to include what I am eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the workouts I did, any tips I have for you, and my little cheats that keep me going. Keep in mind, the workouts I reference are from Kayla Itsines’ SWEAT App, also known as the BBG program. I began Prep Week 1 as BBG Beginner Week 1, and Prep Week 2 as BBG Beginner Week 2. If you need me to further explain the program, or if you have any other questions, please contact me!
Prep Week 1
‘Twas a short week since I started on a Wednesday, and it was just about getting back into the healthy mindset, getting into a rhythm that best suited me, and learning how to best enjoy the ride. This time around, I am focusing more on getting protein with every meal, eating enough healthy grains (as I know my body needs it), lots of fruits and vegetables, and drinking lots of water. I am tracking my calories because I find it informative and it does help me to understand serving sizes. I also learn a lot about what foods are best for me by looking at macros. However, I don’t necessarily want to rule my days by caloric intake and macros. Instead, I want to listen to my body and eat what tastes good, but is also good for my body. So I’m starting off with training wheels, let’s say.
For breakfasts, I prepped smoothies that I would blend and take with me to work. But before I drank the smoothie, I’d have some toast. One thing I have learned about my body is that I have a very sensitive stomach. To be able to drink the smoothie without getting a stomach ache, I need carbs first. Therefore, I have some whole wheat toast with butter then drink my smoothie that’s loaded with spinach and fruits.
For lunch, I made salads. Basically, I chop up romaine lettuce, green (spring) onions, corn, black beans, a pepper (orange, yellow, or green (I can’t eat raw red pepper)), and some tomatoes. Then, I mix up tuna with light mayo and salt and pepper to taste. Before I put it all together, I cut up a fresh and ripe avocado to add to the mix. If you were to add up all the calories in this salad, it would be a lot for veggies (400-500). But if you look at all the ingredients and notice there’s no dressing, you see that it’s all natural foods. That’s why counting calories isn’t always the answer. Just knowing I’m feeding my body with the nutrients it needs is what’s important here.
Before we went back to work, I made Moroccan Chicken with Lentils. If you’re interested in the recipe, let me know. It is amazing. And a serving will fill you up for the rest of the night. It’s actually one of those healthy recipes that doesn’t feel healthy because it tastes so good, you think it has to be bad. I prefer to eat foods like this when dieting. I hate forcing food down that I can’t stand just because it’s “good for me.” Anyway, as the recipe makes a lot of food, that was our dinner for the entire week.
Over the weekend, I only had two meals a day as on Saturday I woke up and immediately walked 4 miles, so when I came home in the afternoon, I was starving. I cooked myself brunch which included a Western omelette (2 eggs, turkey ham, green pepper, onion, tomato, cheddar cheese), two hash browns, and toast. It filled me up all the way to dinner. For dinner, I made myself a burrito bowl (brown rice, chicken with taco seasoning, lettuce, tomato, black beans, cheese, and mashed avocado. On Sunday, I had the same breakfast. And for dinner, it was our cheat meal so I made us homemade quesadillas. Technically the worst thing about the quesadillas was all the cheese I added to them. Otherwise, they were relatively healthy. And they were very tasty. I’ll definitely be making those again.
As far as workouts go, I had been planning on participating in the 12 Week Challenge that starts on 15 January (more of that later). And because I have not been working out regularly, I am very much out of shape. I decided to use the two weeks before the challenge started to get back into shape and used to workouts and pushing myself. I spent the week doing the BBG Beginner Week 1. I did the leg day, arms and abs, and then yoga flow 2. Then I had Saturday as a cardio day where I ended up walking about 5 miles total. Sunday I didn’t officially work out, but I spent the entire day standing up and moving around the flat so that should count for something.
Prep Week 1 Tip
Find inspiration. It doesn’t matter what it is, or where it comes from, but it’s important to stay inspired. And what’s even more important is that you’re on this journey for yourself. You can’t do this for anyone but you.
Prep Week 2
I started this week off much more prepared and ready. I spent all day Sunday making foods for the week. I meal prepped my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to minimise any future food effort during the work week.
For breakfast, I put together a mix of green pepper, onions, and turkey ham. In the morning, I saute the mix for 5-6 minutes, then add in two eggs, a bit of mature cheddar cheese, and then cook for another minute. Add a piece of buttered whole wheat toast and breakfast is done! If I have time, I made my own unsweetened applesauce, which goes great as my first fruit of the day.
For lunch, I put together my own tuna mix. It includes celery, onion, a can of tuna, some light mayo with salt and pepper. Then I bought some Ryvita whole grain crackers that I use to eat with the tuna. They smell and look horrible, but taste really good with the tuna actually – I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed my lunch. I also included a kiwi and some low calorie popcorn (85 cals per serving) to go with the rest of my lunch.
For dinner, I prepped Chipotle Chicken Wraps. I put some cheese, lettuce, and avocado in them as well to complete the meal.
As for workouts, I haven’t been as proactive as usual. I did the Full Body workout for BBG Beginner Week 2, and then I did my own yoga routine on Wednesday night for a bit of stretching and strength training. I completed leg day on Thursday, but lost any motivation on Friday evening when I got home. On Saturday, we ventured out into London so we did a bit of walking around (3.7 miles) so I’m counting that as cardio.
To be completely honest, the weekend was very relaxed in regards to workouts and food intake. As we were expecting to have company for the weekend, I planned to have a bit of a cheat weekend. But the plans changed so our weekend opened up. However, my mindset was still set on having a “cheat weekend.” It wasn’t nearly as horrible as it was around Christmas time, but I definitely wasn’t on the healthy train. And now I know what I need to work on in the future: when plans change, be strong enough to make the right decision to choose healthy foods.
Also, I found out late last week that I was being asked to travel to Turkey on 15 January. Which if you remember from the beginning of this post was supposed to be the first day of the 12 Week Challenge. I had been planning all of this for about a month so I was quite frustrated when I found out they wanted to send me the first week I was planning on taking the fitness thing to a serious level. I still plan to bring my workout gear to the hotel with me, as well as try my best to make healthy food choices. Stay tuned for next week’s post to see how it ended up going.
Prep Week 2 Tip
Try not to feel bad for missed workouts, or workouts that aren’t as hard as usual. I didn’t workout on Monday, and on Wednesday, my yoga routine was not that impressive as I hurt my wrist so I had to stop. I felt a bit guilty on Monday and Wednesday night, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t really do much. But that happens. Sometimes you have days, or even weeks, where you really just don’t want to put in the effort. As long as it doesn’t become the new norm, it’s okay. It’s especially okay when you’re trying to get back into a healthy lifestyle. When I did manage to do legs on Thursday, I killed the workout. It was the same workout as the week previous but I managed to get through it with a much higher endurance level, and wasn’t nearly as sore as I was the week before, which shows me I’m building strength. I didn’t have that successful of a week altogether, but there were some moments I am proud of, so it’s important to recognise that and pat yourself on the back as well as work on the issues next week.
Next week’s post will be really interesting as I am beginning the 12 Week Challenge from Kayla Itsines’ Sweat App, and am being double challenged as I travel to Turkey for work for the first time. Send me happy thoughts please, I will need it!