What A Week

67787Last week was rough! So rough in fact that I ended up taking the week off from the gym. I still ate the way I normally eat, but there were no workouts at all.

It started Monday when I fell and hurt myself. Not wanting to make my injury worse, I skipped Zumba for the first time since I started. I actually really missed it and CANNOT wait to go back tonight. But this started the ball rolling I feel.

The rest of the week was just an emotional mess; from a family pet being put down, to work sucking, to Christmas Concerts, to outragously high blood sugars (damn you diabetes). My nights were filled with tears, reminiscing, happiness, sadness, and cuddles on the couch. I really didnt care about hitting the gym or going for a walk or anything else. It was just a week that needed to be spent with family and not a week spent trying to fit workouts in around everything else that was going on.

Do I feel bad about missing an entire week of workouts? I guess I do a little bit. mainly because I don’t want to reverse the hard work that I have put in. But honestly, it does not bother me all that much. I am happy that I took the time to spend with family and friends. I am happy that I have those memories and that my daughter will look back and remember that mommy was there. Not just physically there, but 100% mentally there as well.

Today, I am looking forward to getting back to Zumba and shaking my ass like we normally do on a Monday night lol Who knows what the rest of this week will bring?

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Meal Prep Monday- November 23rd

This past weekend was crazy! So much to do, so little time to meal prep!

Saturday was spent with my beautiful girl ❤ We spent the afternoon Christmas shopping, went out for dinner just the two of us and spent the snowy evening at the theatre! The Little Mermaid (LIVE!) was quite amazing, and she was beyond ecstatic. Mommy + daughter days are our absolute favourite days ❤
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I got an hour Sunday morning to get some of my Turkey Meat Balls made! Woo Hoo! They are amazing to make and freeze for the days that you don’t have a meal prepared, or your family is eating something awful for dinner, or even just as a high protein snack after the gym.

Sunday afternoon was spent grocery shopping for the week and enjoying my niece’s 7th birthday with the FAM. We did not get home until late (8pm for my daughter is late lol). I really was in no mood to prepare my lunches for the week, but I put her to bed and got down to work.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

This week I stuck to my usual breakfast of toast with avocado. It hasn’t gotten old yet! Plus, I got a great deal on avocados at the grocery store :).

For lunch I made something new, that I haven’t tried before. Baked Sweet Potato and Avocado Hash. I made an extra so that I could try it last night and let me tell you, it is yummy! I will post a recipe for this later on in the week.

For my snacks I have my usual apple, mixed veggies but I also picked up some rice cakes. I haven’t eaten a rice cake in YEARS so I am hoping that with a little peanut butter on top I will still like them lol

Well here it is. My Meal Prep for the week. Keep in mind that this only includes what I eat during the day. It does not include my dinner or if I have a snack after my workout of choice. Those are usually not planned (I need to start doing that) and might consist of a piece of whole grain bread with peanut butter or a Nutrigrain bar or something of that sort.

Breakfast: 330 calories, 40 carbohydrates

  • 2 12-grain toast
  • 1/2 avocado

Lunch:  320 calories, 30 carbohydrates

  • Baked Sweet Potato and Avocado Hash
    • (It is literally 1 sweet potato, 1/2 an avocado, and 1 fried (or poached) egg on top!)

Snacks: I usually have 2. I almost always eat my veggies plus one of the higher calorie snacks.

  • 1/2 Cucumber, 1 stick of celery 12 calories, 0 carbohydrates
  • 1 rice cake with 1 tsp of Kraft Smooth peanut butter 80 calories, 10 carbohydrates
  • Apple 60 calories, 18 carbohydrates

Did you meal prep this week? What are you eating? What is on your menu tonight?

Getting My CRAZY In Check

depression-quotes-goodreadsI am not to much of a beat around the bush type so I am going to come right out and say this..I suffer from depression. I have for the past 13+ years. If that makes me crazy, then so be it. This is a bit of my story of combat against my own demons.

It has been 11 years since I started taking medication to combat my depression, and almost 8 years since I have been on one specific med (the only one that I ever found to work). I haven’t felt depressed in years because of this medication but I was always scared and worried that I could fall back into depression at any time. A depression that does not make you feel sad but actually makes you feel nothing.

I have been there before. The beast that kills all emotions. Never happy, never sad, never proud, never scared, just numb. Always numb.

I used to lay in bed and stare at the wall. What was the point of getting up to do anything? It didn’t make me happy. It didn’t make me FEEL at all. Unless you have felt that black hole of nothing-ness yourself, there is no way to explain it so that someone who hasnt experienced it will understand. I was a zombie, moving about my days copying others expresions, copying their emotional responses imagesHKDVUQVZI remember, on several occasions the feeling of my cheeks aching from smiling with my friends. But I wasn’t smiling because I was having fun, I was smiling because everyone else was smiling and I knew that that was what I needed to do. In reality I was thinking the entire time ‘how much longer can I hold this smile, and fake this laugh, before they notice that I am a fraud”. .

A little over half a year ago I decided (with the advice and help of my doctor) that I would come off of my medications to see if my body still needed them. For me depression was so much more than just sadness and I was so scared to come off of the medication that regulated my emotions for so long.

I was scared but I knew that it was something I needed to try. I knew that if I didn’t I would regret it for the rest of my life. So I did it. I came off my medication and I am doing great. But that doesn’t mean that I am free of depression or its claws forever.

overcoming-depressionI can still feel it trying to get me to slip up every once in a while. Not too often but every now and again. I feel the anxiety, the irrational fears, the restlessness, the EXTREME irritibility, the complete lack of motivation to do anything. Those are my warning signs. The warning signs that tell me that I need to get my butt in gear to keep my head on straight and not fall back into that black hole of nothing-ness. 

Do you know what I do now, when I begin to feel those symptoms creeping up on me? I excersize. I walk, I run (even if for only a few minutes 🙂 ), I go to the gym, I lift weights, and I work my body hard until I dont feel the claws grasping at me anymore.

I know I’ve mentioned it before but for me, the gym isn’t just about GAINS or weight loss. The gym or excersize in general, for me, clears my head. It helps me to think straight and get my ‘CRAZY’ in check lol. When I am finished a good workout, I feel relaxed and fearless. I feel balanced and stable. I feel strong and motivated to keep doing good.

The fact that I actually feel those things though, that is the biggest accomplishment in my books.  Working out is NOT the only thing I do to keep my ‘Crazy’ in check. I have to make sure that I am also doing things for myself, eatting right (for the most part) and making sure that I am honest with myself, doing self-checks to make sure that my ‘Crazy’ is not slipping.

Today, I feel great. Today, even when I have my low moments I rise up. Today, I have my ‘Crazy’ in check.

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I chose this picture because it can be interpretted for so many different things. While it does speak to my personal recovery, I chose this picture because I am thinking about my friend today. He will know its for  him when he sees it.

 

 

 

 

 

Meal Prepping and Recipe Sharing

I always have to write my meal prepping posts after lunch because if I don’t, people around the office ask me why I am salivating so much lol. This week my meal prepping was on the ball! I prepped all of my breakfasts, lunches and snacks on Sunday as usual.

My breakfast was a new take on my usual toast (instead of peanut butter I used avocado). I mashed 2 avocados on Sunday, and separated into air tight containers for each day, in hopes that they would make it through the week without browning too much. I must say that this was pretty much a success. By the 4th day my avocado was beginning to brown a little just on the top so next time I’ll squeeze a bit of lemon juice on the ones that I will eat later in the week.

My lunches were really flavourful and delicious, especially the Mexi Bowl (YUM). I was actually really disappointed that I didn’t make enough of these for each day of the week lol. But the other choice for my lunch was an avocado wrap and soup. This did not disappoint either.

My snacks were the go-to staples that I have been using for a few weeks. Maybe next week I will change it up a bit.

This week my prepared meals consisted of the following:

Breakfast: 224 calories, 30 carbs

  • 2 pieces of multi-grain toast
  • 1/2 of a mashed avocado
  • sprinkle of salt

Lunch: 400 calories each

  • Mexican Bowl

OR

  • 1 avocado wrap
  • 1 cup of Campbell’s Healthy Request chunky chicken noodle soup

Snacks: totalled 90 calories, 25 carbs

  • cucumbers and cauliflower
  • 1 medium apple

Now my favourite part…the recipes. I am going to grace you with BOTH of the recipes that I used for my lunches this week, as each day I could not wait to eat either one. Clearly I was on an avocado kick this week but that’s ok because avocado is so good for you. It is higher in calories but as long as it is eaten in moderation it has way more positive benefits than negative.


I stole the recipe for the Mexi Bowl from The Wanna Be Chef. You can check out her blog here. It is super easy to make (you just dump everything in a bowl and heat up when your ready) and it’s really yummy. This recipe makes 1 serving, I tripled it to get 3 lunches. It was 400 calories and 70 carbs.

Mexi Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I used Uncle Ben’s but you can use whatever kind you like)
  • 3/4 cup black beans, washed and drained (I found 1 can was enough to make my 3 lunches)

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    All mixed up and ready to eat!
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, layer the rice, beans, vegetables, salsa, and cheese.
  2. Store with a tight lid until ready to eat.
  3. When ready, microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir and eat!

As for my avocado wrap it is 300 calories and 30 carbohydrates. You can eat just this wrap without the soup for lunch but I was freezing and soup sounded wonderful :). This makes 1 wrap. I cut up my cucumbers and onions, stored my mayo and 1/2 avocado in separate airtight containers to bring to work. My avocado I slice at my desk before I put it in the wrap.

Avocado Wrap

Ingredients:

  • 1 tortilla
  • 1/2 avocado (sliced)
  • 1-2 rings of red onion diced
  • 1/4 cucumber sliced and then quartered
  • 1/2 tbsp Hellman’s mayonnaise

Directions:

  1. Layer ingredients on top of tortilla
  2. Fold
  3. Eat!

How is everyone’s meal prepping coming along? What are you struggling with? If you’ve tried any of my recipes let me know what you thought!

Pushing Through

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Sweaty selfie after Zumba class 😀

This past week has been full of motivation and pushing through.

If you read my recipe post then you know that my weight is down another 2 pounds, which is crazy in the 2 weeks that I’ve been giving it my all. Then I made the mistake of weighing myself again last night.  I gained back those 2 pounds plus 1. I don’t know why I felt the need to get on the scale. What is our obsession? I know that the 3 pound weight gain is incorrect. I had JUST eaten, I had just finished Zumba an hour before and I am about to start my period (sorry for the over share). This is not the day that I usually weigh myself and I vow not to weigh myself mid-week ever again lol

Getting back on topic though. Zumba is still going great, I am still loving every sweaty second of it! It blows my mind to see how many steps you take and how many calories you actually burn in that hour. It literally accounts for over half my steps on that day and it seems to go by so quickly.

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sweaty selfie at the gym

The gym is going well, but I am still finding it really difficult to get there. Not even to physically get there (I live 2 minutes away), but to mentally prepare myself to work out in the way that you work out at a gym. I find myself standing there, staring at all the machines not knowing which ones to do in what order. I also find that when I go to the gym by myself, I DO NOT push hard enough. Example: I went to the gym with my sister and we killed it. I felt that wonderfully awful pain in my muscles for days- that only a good workout can give you. The next week, I went to the gym by myself and thought I killed it! But during the next few days I waited for that delicious muscle pain and felt NOTHING. Clearly I did not push myself hard enough, even though during my workout I felt like I did.

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sweaty selfie AFTER the gym when I’ve fallen onto the couch and cant get up

On a better note, I did have a personal triumph at the gym (by myself) this week that I was really excited about 🙂 It was Sunday and I really did not want to be at the gym. I could not mentally wrap my head around a workout so, with a great pep talk from my friend, I decided that it was a cardio night. After spending 25 minutes on the bike and getting my stretches in, I decided to spend the rest of my time on the treadmill. 5 minutes in and I was ready to go home but I kept telling myself “1 more minute” or “after this song is done” or “finish this lap”. After 15 minutes I still did not want to be at the gym BUT I did feel like the walking wasnt enough so…I jogged. If you know me, or have read my blog, then you know that I am not necessarily supposed to jog because of the arthritis in my feet. But I felt really good and I felt like I could. I jogged for 3 minutes straight. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot of time to most people but for me, someone who hasn’t even attempted jogging in over 2 years, its huge. It felt amazing and although I could feel my feet hurting it wasnt as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t push myself over the edge because I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day if I did but I’m proud of myself.

So clearly some days I need to really push myself. Wether its to lift more weights, do more squats or just to keep going on my own. I made it a total of 20 minutes on the treadmill Sunday night, 3 of those jogging, before calling it a night. I pushed through that mental road block and am so glad that I didn’t leave after only 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Accomplishments, whether they are big or small, and progress in the right direction should always be celebrated.

Sesame Salmon—Recipe

I am happy to report that I have officially lost 3 pounds since my 2 pound weight gain! And I’ve done it in a matter of 2 short weeks! WOOHOO

Working out and building lean muscle is obviously very important in a weight loss journey but I really think that the most important part of my journey is what I eat. I don’t call it a diet because that is NOT what my journey is about. It is a life change. It is not all about eating salad every day or only veggies or only protein for the rest of your life, I still eat really yummy food and have snacks and treats. I just choose healthier options and smaller portions. I also count calories (limiting my daily intake to a certain amount determined by a discussion with my doctor) and carbohydrates. This helps me to still eat things that I want and not binge when I am craving something. It’s still hard a lot of the time, especially the portion control and not being hungry! But I try my best and I am pretty happy with it so far.

Today I am posting a recipe from this week’s meal prepping session! I love salmon and it fits in really nicely with my healthier lifestyle. Salmon is a lean protein which is a good change from red meat. It also is full of the great Omega-3 fatty acids which are nature’s heart medicines. So my recipe for today is a Sesame Salmon that I made to go with my homemade Sesame Lo-Mien and Grilled zucchini and Carrots. Its yummy!

Sesame Salmon

Ingredients

  • 5 Salmon Filets (1 for each day of the week)
  • toasted sesame seeds (I toast mine myself, explained in first step)

Sesame Sauce

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c soya sauce-low sodium
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili oil
  • 4 tbs canola oil
  • 4 green onions

Directions:

  1. First, if you have raw sesame seeds, you need to toast them. All you have to do it throw them in a pan on medium and stir them constantly until they begin to brown. If your sesame seeds are already toasted, skip this step!
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F
  3. Arrange salmon on a baking sheet that is lined with tin-foil, making a bit of a tin-foil boat. This helps to keep the salmon in the sauce.
  4. Whisk all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl until the oil and the soya sauce combines. Its pretty leaky but that’s ok.
  5. Using a spoon, spread a few table spoons of sauce on each of the salmon filets
  6. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.
  7. Half way through baking, put a few more table spoons of the sauce on each salmon filet
  8. Once the fish is done, plate on top of lo-mien or brown rice. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
  9. You can use any left over sauce to coat your lo-mien noodles or some brown rice.
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Sesame Sauce mixed and ready
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My lunch all packed and ready 🙂

My mouth was watering just typing this today. I have already had this for lunch 2 days in a row and I still cannot get enough of it! If you love fish and a you are a sweet and salty lover like me then try this recipe out! Its my new favourite and a great alternative to red meat.

Do you meal prep? Which meals do you prep and what are your favourites? Let me know 🙂

No Pain No Gain

No pain no gain. That’s what ‘they’ say right? Well I am definitely feeling the pain today.

Last week I went to Zumba and nailed it, but as for getting to the gym I only made it there once. So I felt like, while I ate great and stuck to my meal plan for the week, I was really slacking in the workout department. I didn’t have the motivation to go by myself, I went to bed early most of the nights instead of heading to the gym and was just lazy. But I started this week off much better and I am feeling pumped!

I spent the better part of an hour at the gym last night. This is the very first time I have gone to the gym by myself in years. If you know me, or have read my previous blogs, then you know that this is huge for me. As I stepped out of my car I could feel the familiar tightening in my chest. The dreaded panic attack. It’s so bizarre. I can walk into the gym without feeling like this when I am walking in with a friend or my sister, but the second I try to walk in by myself it shows its ugly head. It took me a few minutes to get out of the car and put my feet in motion but once I got started I didn’t let myself stop until I was on the treadmill to warm up! Once in and working I am ok, no panic. It’s just the getting there that trips me up.

I am happy to report that I killed it at the gym last night, all by myself 😀 . I did cardio for 15 minutes, a deep stretch, upper body workout including weights (Im only comfortable lifting around 5 lbs with free weights but I’ll get up there eventually lol), and then I finished up with 10 more minutes of cardio. I felt like I really worked hard, gave it my all and didn’t slack, which I find happens when you aren’t working out with a partner. This really was a great workout and I definitely feel it in my shoulders biceps today.

Meal prep yesterday went really great as well. I will give you a summary as usual, and later this week I will be posting a recipe because honestly, my lunch today was delicious and I cannot wait to eat it again tomorrow!


Breakfast: 165 calories, 22 carbs

  • 1 toast
  • 1/4cup of cottage cheese
  • 4-5 mini cherry or grape tomatoes
  • COFFEE (this is always included in my breakfast even if I don’t write it lol)

Lunch: 400 calories, 37 carbs

  • 1 Sesame Salmon filet
  • 1 cup Sesame Lo-Mien
  • ½ Grilled zucchini and carrots

Snacks: each around 100 calories, almost 0 carbs

  • 1 cup Mixed fresh veggies (few carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers)
  • 2 tbs Pesto basil hummus

OR

  • 1 tbs Peanut butter (if Im really hungry Ill grab a table spoon of peanut butter to tide me over between meals)

OR

  • 1 Greek yogurt (oikos is my favourite)

Dinner:

We all know that I don’t cook dinner during the week SO hopefully I can control my calorie intake during this meal.


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At the gym with my SEESTOR. Being cool taking selfies ❤

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I am feeling great this week with my meal prep and workouts. I hope everyone else is doing well with their Journeys, whether it be weight loss or life in general! Let me know how you are doing and what steps you are taking towards a better you!