My New Workout Commitment

On December 17, I began my Body Revolution journey. It took me 5 weeks to complete Phase 1 because I decided to repeat a week that I slacked off on. I’d say I’m pleased so far. I’ve lost 14 inches overall and I’m down .4 pounds. I’m thrilled over the inches, but wish the pounds were more. I know my eating was completely off. I fooled myself into thinking I was eating right, not tracking my foods. When I began Phase 2 on Thursday I committed myself into tracking every bite, lick and taste no matter what they add up to. In the past of be good for eating a snickers, not counting it for some random reasoning like I was on the road with the kids or because I was stressed. Travel and stress points count too. I’ll never be satisfied on the scale if I’m not true to myself. 
I’m excited to start Phase 2 (even though my body is screaming no you’re not after the first workout yesterday). 
Here’s my measurement chart so far, I’ve decided to do my measurements every four weeks matching the phase change. I’m looking forward to an amazing transformation and loss to share over this next month. 
Here’s my before pictures. Ugh. 
My Instagram, Twitter and Facebook chronicle my daily food and exercise battle. Follow along if you’d like. 

Heathly Eats

I’d like to begin a weekly series called Healthy Eats, where I post all the recipes I’ve tried during the week and my review of them.  I’ve been doing something new at my house for the past three weeks, where I plan out dinners for the whole week, then go grocery shopping for the ingredients that I need.  This helps me in a few ways.  The most important is that I am making a healthier choice for dinner each night-which not only benefits me, but my family and it also stops me from wasting groceries.  I had a knack for buying a whole bunch of foods with the best intentions, then I was too lazy to make them and we always seemed to deviate from “the plan”.  This hasn’t happened yet.  We’ve swapped around some of the days to make them fit our schedule-but that’s about it!

Below you’ll find the picture, link to recipe and review of what we had at “The Longs” this week (with a few keepers from previous weeks):

Scalloped Portobello & Cauliflower
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/scalloped-portobello—cauliflower/print
Scalloped Portobello & Cauliflower Recipe
Review:  We’ve had this countless times.  It is one of my newly found favorites.  You can pair this with any meal and have it be a crowd pleaser!

Cheeseburger Salad
http://paleoleap.com/hamburger-salad/
Hamburger Salad
Review:  I made a few small changes to this recipe.  I omitted the dill pickle in the salad portion and used relish in the dressing when I made it.  Oh and I added crumbled cheddar cheese to garnish the salad…making it a cheeseburger salad!

Honey-Dijon Salmon with Creamy Cauliflower Mash
http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/honey-dijon-salmon-creamy-cauliflower-mash-182826.aspx
Honey-Dijon Salmon with Creamy Cauliflower Mash Image 1
Review:  The salmon was fairly tasty.  No need for any additional spices or sauces while eating.  The cauliflower was the overall winner for me on this recipe.  I’ll definitely make at least the cauliflower again!

Balsamic Roast Beef
http://paleoleap.com/balsamic-roast-beef/
Balsamic Roast Beef
Review:  This one was not a keeper at our house.  It smelled amazing in the crock pot, but once we served it…it was a disappointment.  It tasted like it was missing something, flavor was one of those things.  I’ll definitely be looking for more crock pot meals for the winter time that are paleo friendly.

Maple Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
http://www.honeygheeandme.com/2012/08/maple-roasted-chicken-sweet-html/

Review:  This one was a keeper.  Very easy and fairly quick to make.  One dish cooking which is always my favorite.  We happened to have company that night for dinner and I warned them I was trying something new.  They were impressed at how flavorful the potatoes were and how juicy the chicken was.  The kids really enjoyed this one as well.  I will definitely be keeping this one in the rotation.

Creamy Dill Salmon (I paired this with broccoli florets & brown rice-seasoned with butter & chives)
http://paleomg.com/5-ingredient-10-minute-creamy-dill-salmon/
IMG_1198
Review: This one was also a keeper.  It was amazing.  Once again all the family enjoyed the meal and it was quick and easy to make.  Ten minutes was not an understatement.  I had my entire meal on the table in less than fifteen!  The Creamy dill sauce was the perfect pairing for the salmon.  We’ll be keeping this one on the rotation too!

Garlic Roasted Shrimp with Zucchini Pasta
http://cookeatpaleo.com/garlic-roasted-shrimp-with-zucchini-pasta/
This quick and easy garlic roasted shrimp with zucchini pasta recipe is a great weeknight paleo dinner — you can have it on the table in 20 minutes. | cookeatpaleo.com
Review: Another quick easy meal that our dinner guests enjoyed.  The prep for this meal took longer than cooking and serving!  Every single ingredient blended together seamlessly.  Another quick weeknight meal for the rotation!

Marinade for Chicken (I used boneless chicken breast and paired this with a German potato salad & corn on the cob)
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/30523/marinade-for-chicken/
Marinade for Chicken
Review: Fantastic!  The chicken was so tender after using this marinade.  The comments on the recipe basically say the longer the better when using this marinade, I did about 6 hours.

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Grilled Acorn Squash Wedges

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

SMOKE SIGNALS SEP 25, 2013

Few foods conjure the fall season like acorn squash. It’s a gourd, for one thing, and we associate gourds with autumn; and its orange-y flesh suggests the season’s signature color. The sweet flavor of the squash is brought to the fore by the simplicity of the preparation.


SERVINGS: 4 – 6
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 small (48 ounces) acorn squash, seeded and cut into 1-to-2-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the grill for indirect heat: If using charcoal, when the coals are ashen, dump them onto one side of the grill. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill with all burners on high. When it reaches a temperature of 500 degrees, adjust for indirect grilling. With a two-burner grill, turn off one of the burners; with three or more burners, turn off the center unit.

You want medium heat. For charcoal, you should be able to hold your hand about five inches above the grate for 5 to 7 seconds. For gas, the temperature should be 400 degrees.

Toss the squash wedges with the oil and season them generously with salt. Working in batches as needed, cook them (uncovered) directly over the fire until deeply charred, 6 to 10 minutes per side.

Move the squash wedges to the cool side of the grill. Close the lid and cook until they are soft, 10 to 20 minutes. Transfer the wedges to a platter for serving.

**Modifications I made…

I lined my top rack of the grill with tin foil and put the squash on it in a single layer. I sprinkled a little sea salt over them and shut the lid. The temperature of the grill was about 350. 

I let them cook for approximately 10 minutes-while I was cooking the boneless marinated chicken breasts on the bottom rack. I left them on the top rack until they began to get tender. 

I then took them from the top rack and made a single layer on the grill surrounding the chicken. I left the top up on the grill during this part. I let them cook for approx 3-5 minutes on each side. By now they were nice and tender-ready to serve. 

I chose this as the alternative to charing them, simply because I don’t care for that taste. 


The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/recipes/grilled-acorn-squash-wedges/13618/

Can Eating MORE Meals Help You Drop Pounds?

iStock/Thinkstock

You may have read in the past that eating mini meals throughout the day is a smart way to lose weight. The thinking there is that by grazing every couple hours, you never get to that point where you’re starving—meaning you’re less likely to wolf down way too many calories in one sitting. But a new multi-university study, published in journal Appetite this month, claims that all of the research thus far on eating small meals throughout the day is inconclusive—and as a result, mini meals should not be touted as a smart weight-loss strategy at this point.

So how’d the researchers come to this conclusion? They analyzed all of the previous studies done about meal frequency and found that the majority of them used self-reported data—which, in the dieting world, is considered pretty unreliable.

So we asked Keri Gans, R.D., author ofThe Small Change Diet, for her take on the results. “Most people don’t understand what a small meal is—so the people in the study may have reported eating one thing when in reality they were eating full meals every couple of hours, not mini meals,” she says. In other words, the danger with this strategy is that you may end up overeating because you take in too many calories at each “mini” meal.

Gans’ suggestion: If you’re trying to slim down, eat a 400-500 calorie meal every three to five hours. Also, have a 200-calorie snack, like a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit, between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. And be sure to get your workout in, too.

Women’s Health Magazine

5 Easy Ways to Start Losing Weight NOW

iStock/Thinkstock

A new Gallup survey found that a full 51 percent of adults are hoping to drop pounds—yet only about half of them say they are truly doing something to downsize. We get it: Embarking on a weight-loss plan feels so daunting. But it doesn’t have to be; all it takes to get started is a few tiny lifestyle tweaks that get you on your way to reaching your goal. Here, five beyond-simple weight-loss strategies to get you started:

Start your day with oatmeal:Research shows it can help keep hunger at bay better than other cereals 

Ditch the guilt: Recent research shows beating yourself up about eating something indulgent can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Instead, look at treating yourself as a celebratory—not shame-inducing—event. 

Ignore the scale: Numbers go up and down and stall in a plateau all the time, which can do a number on your motivation. A better idea: Focus on healthy habits rather than weigh-ins—it’s likely to result in more pounds dropped, according to a recent study

Don’t drink your calories: Around37 percent of the average person’s daily liquid calories come from sugar-sweetened drinks. Stick to water, unsweetened ice tea, or black or skim milk-infused coffee.

Avoid eating later at night: People who usually eat dinner around 10 p.m. consume 248 calories more per day than people who eat earlier, according to a recent study.