Thursday, 26 May 2011

Taking Deep Breaths

It's been a challenging week for me.  I have been over eating.  Now, before you all rush down to comment about "you can do it!", and "get back on track", that's really not the support I need.  Right now, I'm just trying to take everything in stride.

I think that this week has been a combination of TOM, it being REALLY hot, and my upcoming week-long holiday that has me eating more than my share.  I am well aware of it.

Yesterday was great, I was called by the owner of my gym (the other one, not the new work gym) offering me a second job.  Apparently, a lot of her staff are taking time off for the summer and she needed someone else to help cover some shifts.  She says I was the first person she thought to call.  I'm not sure how the hours will work out because she will have to schedule me around my nanny job, but she was desperate and asked if I would come in and start training and work out the logistics later.  I thought that would be the end of my over-eating for the week since I was feeling really proud to be offered a job that was centered around fitness.  319 lbs. See C. would NEVER have set foot in a gym, let alone be cold-called to work in one!

Today started out great- it just didn't last.  It was my last nanny day before vacation, and party day for the kids (early 1st birthday and pre-k graduation.)  Then my husband texts me that he quit his job.  He's worked there for 5 years and hated it for 4.  I have VERY mixed emotions about it.  I'm glad he isn't working there anymore because it really made him angry a lot and he tended to carry that anger around with him into the world and at home.  But, I wish that he would have done the mature thing and gone and found a new job before quitting this one.  Now, of course I'm worried about money.  We had/have a lot of things planned in the coming months that will require significant amounts of money- i.e. a move in August and a trip to our home town in September.  We have a savings, but it will only get us so far unless he can find something quickly to help supplement it.

We were going to take a small two day trip this weekend out of town, but I've gone ahead and cancelled our reservations. :-(  I won't lie...I'm feeling pretty disappointed about it.  I was looking forward to this week off for me to have some "me" time in the gym and around the pool, and get some things done that I'd wanted to do around the house.  Now it will be spent trying to help hubby find a new job, reworking the budget, and feeling guilty for every dollar I spend.  I'm doing my best not to feel angry or bitter over it.  Maybe this is how it was supposed to be.  Plus, I know that as soon as I start letting my energy feed into the negative, the universe will reward me with more negative.  ...But it's difficult right now.  We've been "poor" before, I'm not afraid of cutting back our spending.  But, we've never had so many financial responsibilities before and therefore I am worried about making sure we don't get behind in our bills.  Lucky enough, we only have a very small amount of credit debt, and I very much hope to keep it that way.

Also, today our apartment community advised us that someone would be coming by to do routine maintainence at our house and that we needed to confine the animals.  We did that, but apparently Bean wasn't thrilled about it and ended up tearing up some of the carpet where it looks like she was trying to dig under the door.  So, that will be money out of our pocket to have the carpet that she damaged replaced. :-(

So today, as you can see I'm sure, I'm feeling a lot of stress.  I have that heavy feeling in my chest and I keep having to remind myself to breathe deep.  I know that the universe is listening to me, and so I'm trying my best to keep my thoughts and actions positive.  ...I ate two large gourmet cupcakes today...but to tell you the truth, I don't really feel that badly over it.  On the radar of things to worry about right now- cupcakes ain't one of them.  Though, as I write this now, I realize that the MOST important thing is to take care of myself, my body, and I haven't been doing that this week.  Perhaps this is my karma for it? 

I'm sure I'm going to need some internal dialog with myself in the coming days.  Please be patient with me.  I'll update you as things change.  Thanks for being here for me...

Sunday, 22 May 2011

CRAZY Week Pre-Planning

I'm down 2 more pounds at weigh-in yesterday.  Makes me a happy girl!  I've been moving around how I use my points lately and it really seems to be working.  On Saturday, after I weigh-in, I have a somewhat "free day."  Which basically means I allow myself the freedom to use as many of my brand new weekly points as I feel satisfied by.  I generally use about 3/4th of them on that one day.  Then the rest of the week, I "make up for it" by staying on point daily and accumulating enough activity points to compensate for the weeklies I used.  So, by the time weigh-in comes around again, I've broke even on the "extra" points.

I know I've mentioned it already, but this coming week is going to be CRAZY busy for me.  It is the week before summer break, week before a 10 day long vacation, week of 5-year-olds first ballet recital and graduation from pre-k, and 11-month-old's week-early 1st birthday party, plus today is the WW Walk-it Challenge and I will be walk/jogging with my WW team.  It would be easy for me to say, "Oh just forget it, I'll eat on the go and see where it gets me."  But, I happen to know that the only place it will get me is "gains"ville.  So I have to pre-plan.  I thought some of you might be interested in exactly how I do that.  ...I use a spread sheet in Excel, this is the blank one I keep on file:

I'm not sure how to share the document with those of you interested, but if you are, and you know how, let me know and I would be more than happy to send it out to you.  All I know to do is to show you a screen shot of it. *shrug*  Anyway, so I have this blank document, I copy and paste it into another sheet and fill it out for the week according to what I'm in the mood for and what I have available in my pantry/fridge/freezer.  This takes me about an hour or so to do.  The result for this week is this:

I don't always follow it to the letter.  After all, this is just plan A and we all know that during busy weeks we often get to plan W before Friday rolls around.  But, it does give me a point friendly guideline to follow.  I put it into a clear page-protector and edit it as needed with a dry erase marker as the days go on.  Like, marking out the weekly points I've used, at the end of the day adding up my daily points, and adjusting my activity points.  It also saves me time in the kitchen, as I'm not standing around wondering what to make for dinner or what to pack for lunch and snacks.

It's hard to see in the picture, but I also try to plan for what activity I'm going to get in for the day, though this section is what gets edited the most with how the weather behaves or how the kids are feeling during our time together, or if hubby isn't up to riding his bike home that day (we are a one car family by choice.)  BUT- just because an activity gets changed, does NOT mean it gets cancelled unless there is some REALLY good reason...

So you see, even on busy weeks I'm able to pre-plan and stay on track.  This has most definitely been a vital key to my success.  And, like a said earlier, this is not written in stone, but at least there is a plan

Walk-It Challenge 5K is today for my fellow Weight Watchers!!  Hope everyone loves every step of it! :-)  Have a GREAT week! <3

Friday, 20 May 2011

I'm OVERWEIGHT! YAYY!!!!

Rode my bike 25 minutes to the gym, did 30 minutes of circuit training, and then rode my bike home for 9AP's!  WHoop!!  I can do ANYTHING!:-)

The gym (not the new work gym, the other one...), takes my weight, measurements, BMI, and body fat percentage every month.  Well, they took my measurements today and discovered that my BMI is at 28.8% which is officially OUT OF the obese category and into the "overweight" category.  I honestly could not be more thrilled!

I've been riding my bike everywhere possible this week.  My friend/boss bought a bike trailer for the kids and they have really loved being chauffeured around town in it.  So I've earned quite a few activity points this week.

I'll be spending tomorrow evening with the children.  The childrens' parents don't often go out on the weekends, so 5-year-old is very excited to have a "campout" with Nanny.  I generally bring her a movie from the library and allow her to pull her blankets to the couch to watch it after dinner.  This is a special thing because Nanny (me) does NOT allow television during the week while I'm there.  This week we will be watching a movie about recycling, 5-year-olds' latest passion. 

Wednesday of next week is the last day of school for 5-year-old and the whole family will be leaving early Friday morning to spend 10 days in North Carolina for a vacation with their parents/grandparents.  During that time is 11-month-olds 1st birthday.  So, on Thursday, I will be having a graduation and early birthday party for the children.  I'm very excited. :-)  I've already bought the decorations and ordered 5-year-old's favorite cupcakes. 

Other than that, really don't have much to talk to you about this week.  I always think that as long as you have someone to love, and something to look forward to, you've earned the right to feel content with the world and this week has amplified the notion...

Weigh in is tomorrow...  Can't wait to spend the morning with my mom.

Monday, 16 May 2011

I Ain't Skerd: Green Smoothie

Ever since the Lunchtime Inspiration people have been asking me about breakfast.  Breakfast is tricky because if you're anything like me, you wake up with just enough time to get dressed, put your makeup on, do your hair, brush your teeth, walk your canine companion, empty the dishwasher and Goooooo.  I love cooking and baking and spending time in my kitchen, but I already have a 5:30am wake-up call and just cannot make myself get up any earlier than that to make breakfast for myself. 

For a long time, I would eat a pre-made muffin or re-heated Breakfast Clafoutis that I'd cooked over the weekend, but they would rarely tide me over until lunch and working with kids and I barely can find time to prepare snacks for them let allow making and eating one for myself.  And so entered...See C.'s power breakfast in a blender!!

I was introduced to green smoothies a few years back, Pre-WW when I was rarely eating breakfast at all, and when I did, I would eat things like hot pockets and doughnuts and pizza.  Obviously, for someone eating all those processed, addictive foods, this smoothie really isn't going to seem appealing.  But, for someone who is interested in healthy, nutrient rich, and tasty real foods, this smoothie is where. its. at!  Don't let the spinach or the color intimidate you, I give you my WORD that you will not in any way know the greens are there in your mouth.  You will ONLY taste the fruit.  You ain't skerd, right?

The Recipe
2 cups Spinach
1 heaping cup fruit of your choice (I'm using pineapple this month)
1 whole banana
1 cup light soy milk
1 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)

As listed it is 4 pts.  If you choose not to use the flax or oil, it's only 2 pts, but you'll be missing out on some great nutrients.  Alternatives I've tried for the heaping cup of fruit: peaches, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, mango.  I prefer to use Silk Light Vanilla Soy milk because it tastes like melted milkshake and it's only 2 points for a whole cup. :-)  But, you can use whatever liquid you like.  If you're nervous about the spinach, add it a little at a time and taste in between blendings...  I promise though, the only way you'll know you put spinach in it will be because of the color!  You can pre-plan with this smoothie by packing your blender container up with all the ingredients except the milk the night before (as seen in the first picture).  When you're ready in the morning, add the soy milk and a few pieces of ice and let 'er rip until smooth!

When you break this smoothie down into it's nutritional value, you're getting:
2 servings of greens from the spinach (even though you can't taste it!)
2 servings of fruit from the banana and cuppa whatever fruit you use
1 serving of dairy or calcium from the milk or soy milk
1 serving of healthy fats from the EVOO
1 serving of omega-3's from the ground flax seed

And...if you pair it up like I do with half of a PB&J, you're getting:
1/2 serving of whole grains from the bread
1/2 serving of healthy fats from the peanut butter

Look how many food groups you're hitting all before 8am!  The volume of the smoothie will fill you up before you're finished drinking it and the healthy fats and whole grains will keep you satisfied until lunch.  Don't forget your vitamins and you will be starting your food-day off on the best path possible.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Recommitting my resolve

Hello!  It's been a good week for me, hope it was for you, too!

I'm down 1.8 at my weigh in yesterday (Saturday).  That's from two weeks, since last week I was stuck in the hospital with Granny.  I'm thrilled that I lost, as usual, but I don't seem to be losing at the rate I have been previously.  It seems like I've been in the 180's for a lot longer than it generally takes me to lose ten pounds.  I know that weight loss is NOT a race, but I also know that the reason I haven't been losing as quickly is because of my eating.  I have been indulging more often.  I have lost some of my weight loss resolve and I would like to get it back.

My friend is getting married in September and I bought a dress yesterday at the Good Will Store that is about a size too small.  The cool thing is that it is a size 12, which (in my head) as always been my goal size.  My hope, of course, is that it will fit nicely in four months when I have to wear it.  But, if that is going to happen, I'm going to have to go back to restricting my diet just a bit tighter.  My goal is, as always, to eat and exercise with the idea that I could lose around 2 pounds a week.  Which means I'm going to have to eat a little less fro-yo, bites of pizza, and brownie bits for a little while.  It's not the end of the world!  Here is a "before" picture.  I'll be sure to post the "after!"



The thing is that I'm really starting to feel thin.  I know that I still have 20 pounds to go until I'm technically at a "healthy" weight, and 10 more after that for me to reach my goal.  But, I feel good!  I feel like I look good!  As far as looks go, I've reached my goal, I think.  Obviously I don't know how I'll look in another 30 pounds, I may feel even better about that.  As women, I think we always feel like there is room for improvement, but that will come in gym time and toning for me.  But, as of right now, I'm happy with how I look.  It took me 24 years to reach a 319 lbs body, it might take me awhile to achieve a toned, healthy weight body.  I'm getting compliments right and left!

I'm also noticing quite a few more men looking at me and talking to me and smiling at me.  No blatant flirting or anything like that, but I'm asked a LOT more in the grocery store if I need help finding anything, can they get me a cart, or striking up conversations while they bag my groceries and things like that.  I didn't realize before how little that happened, but now that it does, it kind of takes me off guard for a moment.  Like, is he talking to me?LOL  I'm married of course, but it's a good feeling to know that I'm more attractive in the eyes of the world.

So here is my recommitment to reaching my goal weight.  Not for looks, but for health.  Seems to be, I've already won the battle for looks! :o)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

NSV's and Nanny Day

*Reposted due to Blogger throwing a temper tantrum.

I beat my old running-without-stopping record today at the new "work" gym!!!  Previously I could run for 11 minutes without stopping, but today I went for 13 minutes AND completed a whole mile in that time! :0D

Never ever EVER in my whole life have a run an entire mile without stopping!  I can't believe it!  I had to call my mom up right away (all out of breath) and tell her.  She was so excited for me!  She runs a 12 minute mile and does 5 miles religiously every single morning.  I can't wait for the day when we can run together. :-)

Nanny Day with the kids was awesome.  I was bombarded the second I walked in by 5-year-old demanding I open the gifts she had been working on.  She painted me a picture frame with our picture in it, and she and 11-month-old painted a beautiful canvas bag for me with their feet and hand prints.  She also made me a card that says "Nanny C, your the best nanny ever.  I love you.  Love Me." <3 

We ate frozen yogurt at my favorite place (picture below).  If you haven't noticed already, we are very protective of what we put on the internet for the world to see when it come to the kids.  You won't see any pictures here of them.  And, on the few occasions they are in pictures with me, they will be edited to hide their identity.  You'll just have to trust me, the face that yellow bow sits atop is freakin' adorable in every way imaginable.

We ate our fro-yo inside the yellow bug car and then walked over to Toys-R-Us for the annual buying of the big plastic summer pool.  She had a wonderful time.

On the way home I was able to pick up my wedding ring set that I'd left with the jeweller last week to be sized.  They were a size 8, but about 6 months ago I had to have ring guards put on them because they were falling off my finger.  Then the ring guards weren't helping much any more so I finally decided to bite the bullet and have them sized.  Weight Watcher's is amazing- I've even lost sizes in my fingers!  I went from an 8 to a 5! 
Sorry for the crappy iPhone photo...it's all I got right now.  It's such a relief to have them back!  My finger was so naked without them!  I was always feeling like I was forgetting something and then when I would notice that they were gone I would have this terrible moment of panic and my stomach would drop thinking I'd misplaced them some how.  They fit just a tad bit snugly (I could have gone with a 5 1/2) but with still 30 pounds to lose, I decided to go ahead and go with the 5.  I think they will fit absolutely perfectly then.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!  It's hump day, so you still have time to gain some ground in your journey.  Don't give up!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Sugar Cravings and A New Gym

I'm still battling the sugar cravings.  I'm staying on point, but my calories aren't always quality!  Yesterday I ate frozen yogurt for lunch, then had coffee cake for dessert (more than I really needed.)  Today I had a few bites of the brownie that I stash in the freezer for PMS emergencies.  Doesn't every one do that?  Maybe I'm battling an unusual dose of PMS?  I have an IUD, so my cycles aren't always easy to predict, let alone with all the weight I've lost and the changes that have occurred with my body.  Maybe I'm just not recognizing the signs?  Anyway, TMI probably.  Oh, and I also found out that 5-year-old has declared tomorrow "Nanny Day" (right after Mother's Day) and she is looking forward to treating me to more frozen yogurt at my favorite spot.  So sweet!  (<~~Punny and I didn't even realize it until I proof read this.)  Nanny C. sure does love her some fro-yo!

The good news is that the kids' mom found out that since she and her husband already pay a membership fee for me so that I can take the kids to the community pool, I also have full access to their gym and spa.  They live in one of those all-inclusive resort type areas where rich people who have nannies stay. ;-)  Just one more perk to add to the LOOOOOoooooooong list of reasons as to why I LOVE my job.  So tomorrow I'll be headed over there right after work to get my glisten (because ladies don't sweat) on!

Luckily, I'm still loving getting in my activity points every day.  I've been exercising about 5 days a week now on average (an improvement over 2-3 times a week.)  Some weeks are more, some are less.  I kind of go with the flow.  The days I don't exercise are usually because something came up to derail my plan.  Hopefully all that glistening will over throw the sugar intake at weigh in on Saturday.  After Nanny Day tomorrow I will make a definite effort to reign in the sugar over load and fill those points with some quality calories.

Tweak here, nudge there.  Which is just why I love Weight Watcher's, because it is a life style and not a diet!  Hope you're lovin' life!

Monday, 9 May 2011

What Does It All Mean?

Several new readers!  Hi!!!  So glad you're here and I hope you won't be shy!

Sheri over at Motivation For Health and Fitness posted a great read about what weight loss means to her and it inspired me.

Why am I doing this?  Why am I working so hard to lose the weight?  What am I striving to accomplish?  What does weightloss mean to me?

1.  I will be fit.  That means that my body will not hold me back from anything I want to do.  I will be able move quickly, nimbly, and with grace and stamina.  Running, biking, hiking for long periods.  I will be able to keep up with the children.  I will be able to react immediately in emergency or survival situations.

2.  I will be healthy.  I want my immune system to be strong so that not every bug that goes around stops when it gets to me.  I used to catch every cold the kids brought home.  I want to have my body systems working at full capacity and working smoothly like the well oiled mechine I was created to be.

3.  I will be educated about my body and what goes into it.  Times change quickly and there are new products on the market every day.  I want to know what is good for my body and be able to produce it cleanly on my own.

4.  I will have a strong sense of self control.  Living in the US means I am constantly bombarded with stimulation and greed.  I want to know who I am and what I truly fell I need to live without all the extras and luxuries.  I want to be able to say 'NO' and not feel guilty.

5.  I will know my body for the shape it is without it being coated in layers and layers of fat.  I want to be able to feel my strength and see the definition of my muscles.  I want to know when something is wrong with it or different about it.  I want to be able to wear the clothes I like and not just the ones I can find that fit.

6.  I will be setting a good example for the children.

Inside of these 6 things are hundreds of smaller details of things that being fit and healthy and at an average weight will allow me to do and accomplish.  But in the grand scheme of things, these large catagories are what is most important to me as far as feeling like I have achieved something.

So what are your goals?  Is it all for vanity?  Is it to fit in with your peers?  I want to know!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

What Pizza?

This girl over ate pizza?  ...Noooo...  She looks WAY to good for that... ;-D


Can't be mad at results like this.  ...Even if I occasionally still eat more pizza than I needed to...


This is another reminder to you ALL to take pictures as your journey progresses!  You may think you look fat now, but just consider them your "before" pictures!  You will blow yourself away in a few months when you have something to compare them to.

Beach Meditation

First of all, a great big HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!  I know that parenting can often be a thankless job, but please know that you are so very loved and appreciated by your children.  I hope you all have a very special day!

You are all so good to me, and I love you all very much!  I'm sorry if my exhaustion made my last post sound whiny or worrisome.  I am certainly not beating myself up over my food choices, good or bad, any more!  I consider every interaction with food a learning experience and I face it with enthusiasm and curiosity.

Yesterday, over-eating pizza?  Definitely not the end of my world.  Especially since I DID manage to stick to the menial goals I did set about not eating so much I felt sick, and not eating any of the pizza with meat on them.  And, aside from special occasions like my birthday, it is a rare event that I over-eat now.  I'm happy with that.  I am interested in discovering what about eating more than enough food makes me feel like it can help me de-stress. 

After stressful, emotional times, food makes me feel better.  That isn't a bad thing, many people seem to experience the same feeling.  But, eating more than I need does not make me feel more better.  You know what I mean?  So, I wonder what it is in my brain that makes me KEEP eating after I've already had enough in these situations.  And, is it possible for me to adjust this behavior to make it work for me instead of against me health-wise?

I'm going to meditate on it today...AT THE BEACH, warm in the sun!  Being cooped up in prison the hospital really made me want to be outside, and since the temp is going to be in the upper 80's F today, Hubby and I are headed to the ocean! 

Have a  wonderful day, Ladies.  And thank you so much for your plethora of kind words!

XO
-See. C.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Drained of Emotion & Full of Pizza

Granny went back into the hospital again on Friday morning.  And, of course, my parents were out of town, so I had to deal with the whole thing on my own from start to finish.  SO freakin stressful to be 26 and having to be completely responsible for the life story in medical terms for someone other than yourself.  But, I cannot roll my eyes any further back into my brain without going into a "this is so f*ckin ridiculous" seizure.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure being 85 years old sucks completely, but Granny is TOTALLY over dramatic about EVERYTHING and, she has a knack for making people feel badly about themselves.  Nothing is ever good enough for her and her expectations of the world and the people around her are off the charts retarded. 

Anyway, I didn't mean to make this post about her.  I wanted to tell you about me.  You see, for the past two days I've been stuck in the hospital at the beck and call of the fuhrer herself.  And today, I ended up punishing myself for it by emotionally over-eating.  I did snack on fruit and cereal, but by the time my parents managed to race back into town and relieve me from my post 32 hours later, I was ravenous and hubby drove me immediately to the local pizza joint and I ate twice as much as I would have had I eaten regularly throughout the day and exercised.  I also had to skip my regular weigh-in and WW meeting.  I think maybe I was just feeling bitter over it?  I was angry.  And stressed.  And exhausted beyond belief having slept in a hospital chair for no more than 3 hours. 

I still didn't eat as much pizza as I used to (before I started weight watchers.)  But, I ate more than my body needed for sustenance and satiation.  I skipped my usual pre-pizza salad I usually try and fill up on and went straight to pizza.  I knew I was going to eat more than I needed to when I walked into the restaurant.  I had no resolve to eat healthfully, my only restraint was to stick to vegetarian, and not to eat like I used to by leaving sooo full that I wanted to puke.  So, as far as those goals go, I did stick to my "plan." 

I wish I knew why I did/do this.  I wish I knew what it was that makes me equate eating as a viable solution to relieve my anxiety and stress.  I'm going to post more about this later, but as I mentioned...I am beyond tired right now.  My belly is full, I'm in my pajamas, I'm warm and safe back at home with Hubby and Bean and I can barely see the screen through my lion yawns.

Good night!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

I'm Stylin', too!!

Candy gave me the Stylish Blogger Award!  WHOOT!!  I LOVE awards...



I'm s'posed to tell you 7 things about myself and then pass the award on so here goes nothing.

1.  I have LOTS of awards, but no trophies.  I always wanted a trophy, but for academics (which is where I've earned most of my accolades) they generally give out certificates, medals, and ribbons.

2.  I have the most wonderful job in the whole world.  Not only do I love the children that I work with, but I am loved and well appreciated in return.  I get teary eyed thinking that all Nanny positions come to an end. 

3.  I have always wanted to travel.  It's part of the reason hubby and I decided not to have children of our own.  I think that in about 10 years or so (when I won't be a nanny for this family anymore) we will go out and see the world for what it really is.

4.  I take my vitamins in gummibear form.  The only way I can remember to take them is if there is candy involved.  For years I just took a double dose of the childrens "gummivites" but now it seems like the vitamin companies are catching on and they have started producing adult formulas. 

5.  I have all the patience in the world for kids, but I do not do well with senior citizens.  My grandmothers on both sides are VERY needy and I get angry with them for all the needless stress they put on my parents. 

6.  I love children, all of them.  And, I'm not sure exactly what it is, but they seem to love me too.  I can't seem to go into a store in town without hearing "NANNY C!!!" shouted from down the aisle.  It's probably the thing I love the very most about myself- whatever it is that makes children love me.  I hope I never lose it.

7.  We have two cats.  Anyone want them?  ...I am NOT a cat-person...

Okay, so there you have it!  Now I get to share it!

Maria's Musings and Weight Loss

I think most of the rest of you have been tagged but one another for this award, and if you haven't, then go up there and GET it!!  You deserve it!  We are all stylish bloggers doin' what we do because it feels right in our soul. 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Lunchtime Inspiration Part Duece

I wanted to show you all that I walk the walk and not just talk the talk!  It's easy to say put in the effort to pre-plan, but the doing is where most people falter.  Usually on the last morning of my weekend (which happened to be today) I spend time in the kitchen planning what I'm going to eat for the week.  I don't really enjoy cooking during the week, because I don't like feeling rushed to get home, get to the gym, get my projects ready for the next day (I'm a nanny- planning projects and trips takes a lot of time and research), AND have to cook dinner and pack my lunch and snacks.  So, I generally try to finish as much of the prep as I can on the weekends so that I can just throw a meal together and pack it up!

For this week, I made Ham Been brand Confetti Lentil Soup.  A 1 cup serving is 6 points.  And, it makes a huge pot, so I have plenty for the week PLUS 4 extra servings that I'll stash in the freezer for a week when I've run out of time, or I'm sick, or whatever.  It'll be there waiting to be eaten!


I also made a batch of the infamous Tofu Slaw Salad.  I made enough for about 4 servings throughout the week.


I chopped, diced, and prepped all my fruits and veggies for the week.  Carrots peeled and chopped into "sticks," broccoli crown into florets, red pepper into strips.  Berries all washed and sliced.  That way it is easy to throw them in a bowl and pop on a lid and be out the door!  Here's my lunch and snacks for work tomorrow:

Mixed fresh veggies with a tablespoon of honey mustard, a salad made with mixed greens, broccoli, croutons, tofu, and lentil soup (in the silver container.)  An apple, string cheese, strawberries and blueberries, and a PB&J on a Toufanyan smart bagel.  All together, this adds up to 14 WW propoints.  I get 30 per day now, so when you break it down, I'll have a 4pt smoothie for breakfast, 14 pts in snacks and lunch, which leaves me with 12 left over when I get home for a post workout snack and dinner!

So as you can see, I certainly don't starve!  This is a LOT of food!  I eat every few hours and with the variety, I don't get bored and I'm excited to eat at every small meal!  Very healthy and fresh, in fact, with the exception of the string cheese, this is completely vegan!  With a few hours of effort and some forethought, my lunches and dinners are ready and waiting to be turned into a fabulous meal.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Lunchtime Inspiration

Hey everybody!!  I hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

I got an email from Carla who was looking for inspiration and a bit of guidance in pre-planning and packing for her lunches and snacks at work.  I think a lot of us struggle with that, I certainly do!  I thought that I would post some of my ideas with the hopes that you all might add your own. :-)

I bring my lunch and snacks to work every day, without fail.  Every day I pack a container of pre-washed, pre-cut ready to eat mixed veggies.  I like to bring several different kinds of veggies each day so that I don't get bored too quickly eating just one kind and I can make sure I "eat the rainbow."  My favorites are carrots, broccoli, red pepper (strips or scoops), cauliflower, and fresh green beans or edamame still in their pods.  I wash and prepare these foods as soon as I get home from the grocery store on the weekends so they are ready to pack for work all week long.  Sometimes I will include a small container of a dip like salsa, hummus, low-cal spinach dip, peanut butter, or low cal salad dressing.  I also make sure to bring 3 different fruits.  Generally it is an apple, a banana, and grapes.  If I'm feeling like it's going to be a super busy day, or if I won't be able to keep the fresh foods around me, I'll pack a small bag or pretzels and a string cheese stick or a boiled egg with the shell still on.

As for an actual lunch, an easy way is to simply cook a little extra at dinner the night before.  My go-to is simply a half portion of my dinner left overs from the night before.  Like whole grain spaghetti and tomato sauce with whole grain garlic bread.  Or, an Ole Xtreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb Tortilla Wrap with beans, tomato, onion, romaine, and a bit of fat free sour cream or plain yogurt.  Many times I will turn the left overs from the night before into a large salad just by heating up the leftovers and placing it all on a bed of mixed greens.  (My favorite thing to do that with is left-over Kashi brand roasted vegetable pizza or homemade pita pizza!

It's REALLY easy to make a big pot of soup (link is to split pea) or chili on the weekend and pre-portion several containers for lunches.  Same with things like cold salads.  I do that a lot!  I have posted several recipes for my favorites, like Fiesta Soup and Tofu Slaw Salad on the blog.  Both recipes end up in my lunch box quite often! 

If I'm rushed for time or didn't have enough ingredients to make extras for lunches, I turn to sandwiches like PB+J on a whole grain bagel thin or grilled cheese with a small side item of tomato soup or Green Giant "Just for One" Broccoli and Cheese.  I also keep a few boxes of heat-and-eat Madra's Lentils (Tasty Bite brand) with tortilla "chips" (wheat wrap cut and baked in the oven until crisp). 

The possibilities really are endless.  But, it's up to you to make sure you think ahead!  Please share any ideas that you guys can add!