Working on my Fitness

So somewhere between October of last year and March, maybe April of this year I went from being a couch potato to this crazy person who got up at 4:30am to go workout, then back to couch potato… well maybe not actually a couch potato but something similar… lazy, lump always on her laptop probably sums it up better.

Last year I put on a significant amount of weight I would tell you the number if I knew it but I don’t, so I won’t.

I just know dresses and skirts started to be my everyday attire because the thought of trying to squeeze into my jeans was much too much to even think about let alone do. So sometime maybe the middle of last year my good friend Groupon had a deal for a local bootcamp, I had been really wanting to get back into a workout routine and figured group exercise might be it for me so I bought it. I bought the Groupon for this bootcamp and decided that I would start the next camp session after I came home from Italy; so October.

I loved slash hated it I loved working out and getting my body moving but getting up t 4:30 am sucked and going to bed early sucked even more. I did bootcamp for awhile, then things with my migraines started getting worse and then I hurt my achilles tendon, as if all the physical things weren’t enough I started to get really frustrated with the bootcamp and the ethics and dynamics of it (I won’t even go there). So I stopped going to bootcamp and started going to the gym. Then I stopped going to the gym regularly even, then I just stopped. I got back into my ways of non-movement and bad eating and I gained about 14 pounds.

I am writing this because awhile back I read a blog post (which for reference sake I cannot find right now) about a girl who blogged her weight loss journey and it helped to keep her accountable. I am hoping that writing this will help to keep me in check. I promise to not be that annoying person who only talks about losing weight and eating salads. I don’t feel like what I am doing is any sort of journey,  but maybe somewhere along the line I will help to inspire or someone will help me to be inspired.

I am not yet prepared (mostly mentally) to put a number out there for the world to read and for the internet to keep forever but I can promise you that losing and gaining weight is something that I have struggled with for a good portion of my adult life. I yo-yo like no other; up, down, up down.. it is a vicious cycle. Right now I am up. And right now is the time I feel like I need to do something about it. June is halfway through the year, I tried and failed the first half of the year, why not come back and follow through with the things that I started.

Everyone falls off the wagon, but what you do after that is what matters; will you get back on or stay off?

I am choosing to get back on. I started working out again last week; I also have a workout buddy which makes working out early much easier. I find that working out in a group or with someone else makes the workouts easier to do and it helps to push me when I don’t want to keep going. I invested some money into workout books that help to make muscles and strength make more sense. The one that I just finished reading, is “A Woman’s Guide to Muscle and Strength” by Irene Lewis-McCormick. This book is amazing, she breaks down how strength training works for a female’s body, myths on using weights, using proper form, and there are even several different workout programs that you can follow. Since I have been out of my gym routine for a while I am using the beginner workouts. I followed the program 5 days last week; strength and cardio; it was pretty much amazing, I still feel that great sore feeling after you’ve worked your body. One thing I wish that this book did discuss is nutrition, if it is one place that I fall short it is in nourishing my body.

I can gladly eat the same meals a hundred times over as long as no one around me has anything that might be remotely tempting. I am a huge sucker for crunchy things; chips mostly. I never was a soda drinker until Marlboro Man, which is weird because he always drinks diet and I like the real thing; Coke not Pepsi and NEVER diet. I love ice cream, I am not proud to admit this but I can eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in a single sitting, ice cream is my happy place. I need to find a book that discusses nutrition on a level that I can comprehend and that will teach me the proper way to eat. If you know of a book that does this please let me know, I will be forever grateful.

So I guess that is it for now, I am not sure that I really said much of anything; maybe this was a post for myself? Like I said to keep me accountable for me; at some point I will put that number down which will make me even more accountable.. soon.

 

r

6/9/14

 

 

Plated; neither genius or lazy

IMG_0416Last week I posted about how Marlboro Man and I were going to try out the dinner delivery service Plated, Saturday night when we got home from going to the casino this little box was at the door waiting for us. We left the house for the casino around 1:45-2 pm and didn’t return until around 8:30-9 pm, if you live in Southern California you know last week was hotter than it should be for Winter time. So needless to say I was paranoid when we left the house; the food had not arrived and it was hot all I could imagine coming home to was smelly, spoiled meat and veggies. But thankfully Plated had it under control they shipped the food in a recyclable box that was completely insulated and had two ice packs in the bottom of it.

IMG_0418They claim (which I would imagine to be true since they are in the business of shipping fresh foods) that the items in the box should last about 24 hours, I will totally take their word for it. Our food sat on the porch for probably about 4-5 hours in mid to high 80’s last Saturday and when I opened it up everything was still nice and fresh and cold. It appears that the sun is no match for the packaging job that Plated has prepared.

IMG_0417

 

To be honest I don’t even know where to begin right now, I want to tell you my thoughts on the service and the products, as well as the end results. Let me start with the natural order in which this occurred. I opened the package and laid everything out because of course I needed to take pictures. I was a little surprised at the quantities of  meats, veggies and spices that were packed. I must admit that I have a warped idea of portions, and I know I cannot be the only one even Marlboro Man commented asking how many people it was supposed to feed.. it sure didn’t look like it would feed the both of us.

Everything for one recipe was packaged and labeled individually, each recipe also came with a nice sturdy 8 1/2 x 11 recipe card/paper (a little larger than I would have liked it to be… whatever) Plated states they give you everything except for salt, pepper, oil and water; respectively this seems it should be a staple in every kitchen.

Moroccan Beef ingredients and recipe card

Moroccan Beef ingredients and recipe card

Moroccan Beef ingredients

Moroccan Beef ingredients

 

I guess in my rush to get the raw meats into the fridge I forgot to take a picture of them; they are vacuumed sealed into portioned pouches (which I can dig)

Because it was already Saturday night and we had already eaten I figured that I would cook them both up on Sunday and that could be dinner for Sunday and Monday night. Both recipe cards tell you how many servings, calories and time it would take to prepare the meals. Oh and hashtags so you can share your Plated food… plated. #platedpics

So Sunday night I set out to make the meals, the recipes were simple enough each card said that a meal would take 30 to 40 minutes to prepare. I was a cooking machine and cooked both at the same time in about 40 minutes.

Let me take you on a picture journey of Moroccan Beef Tagine

Flank steak chopped and coated with a  dry marinade of cinnamon, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and other spices that I can't remember (oops)

Flank steak chopped and coated with a dry marinade of cinnamon, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and other spices that I can’t remember (oops)

After marinating for about 3 hours (the recipe calls for 5 minutes room temperature or overnight in the fridge) I diced and added the shallots to the mix

After marinating for about 3 hours (the recipe calls for 5 minutes room temperature or overnight in the fridge) I diced and added the shallots to the mix

Into the pan went some olive oil, next the steak, shallots and a few fresh, minced cloves of garlic. Cooked for about 8-10 minutes

Into the pan went some olive oil, next the steak, shallots and a few fresh, minced cloves of garlic. Cooked for about 8-10 minutes

Next I added the can of diced tomatoes and the fresh pre-diced butternut squash and let simmer for about 15 minutes

Next I added the can of diced tomatoes and the fresh pre-diced butternut squash and let simmer for about 15 minutes

I also forgot to take a picture of the preparation of the couscous, probably because couscous cooks up so quickly; literally in 5 minutes. Once I made the couscous I divided the meal up into two semi-equal portions (Marlboro Man wasn’t digging the couscous; more for me) and of course took a pictures before we tried it out.

Moroccan Beef Tagine with couscous and butternut squash

Moroccan Beef Tagine with couscous, shallots and butternut squash

 

Now onto dish two which was Rosemary-Thyme Chicken over Winter vegetables. I have to admit this one I was most excited about because I have been looking for new ways to add more veggies into our meals also this recipe introduced both of us to parsnips which neither Marlboro Man or myself can recall if we had before.. we would both purchase them and eat them again now.

Rosemary-Thyme Chicken ingredients

Rosemary-Thyme Chicken ingredients

Once again no packaged pictures of the meat but I am sure everyone knows what raw chicken thighs looks like.

This recipe took me a little more effort that the beef dish, because I had to peel, slice and chop everything that came in the ingredient bag… Don’t get me wrong I am totally not complaining just simply stating this one took a bit longer.

Chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic and lemon zest to coat the chicken thighs

Chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic and lemon zest to coat the chicken thighs

chopped carrot, parsnip, golden potatoes and broccoli

chopped carrot, parsnip, golden potatoes and broccoli

 

Chicken thighs coated with the herb mixture ready for the oven.. don't mind the foil pouch in the middle. I don't like to eat meat off the bones so Marlboro Man took the bones out of my portion and I cooked them up for the pup (don't worry we didn't give her the bones just the meat that was left on the bones)

Chicken thighs coated with the herb mixture ready for the oven.. don’t mind the foil pouch in the middle. I don’t like to eat meat off the bones so Marlboro Man took the bones out of my portion and I cooked them up for the pup (don’t worry we didn’t give her the bones just the meat that was left on the bones)

So after the chicken went into the oven to braise at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes I cooked the veggies in a pan on the stove. Simple.. water, chicken base and veggies for about 15 minutes until they were tender, but not too tender.

IMG_0439

Once the chicken was finished cooking, picture time! The herbs on my chicken look a little more done than the ones on the recipe card that Plated sent and I attribute that to having my rack placed to high in the oven. But thankfully there was no burnt taste to the food, it was just as delicious.

IMG_0441

And now the finished product Rosemary-Thyme chicken with Winter vegetables

IMG_0445

 

So the end result of both dishes were delicious, the meat was tender and not fatty, the combination of veggies and spices with each respective meat was the right match. Obviously Plated knows a little bit about what they are doing. They take intermediate recipes and make them simple enough so you can master them at home, I dig. But let me be honest, although I loved trying this experience out for $20 I more than likely would never use this service again, our meals came out to $5 a plate which is ridiculously reasonable for the amount and quality of food we got (by the way the ending result shut us both up about the portions that were supplied there was more than enough food for 2 people), but if I had not had the internet offer we were looking at $12-$15 dollars a plate PLUS $20 shipping and handling fees, so that’s upwards of 80 to 100 bucks for 2 meals for 2 people. I could easily go the grocery store and get food for the whole week at that price. So Plated is not genius nor is it lazy, it is a novelty for people who have extra money and want to learn how to cook. Plated gives you step by step instructions on how to do each and every step of the cooking process. I can see single women/men using this service for convenience or to learn to be a better cook or how to make food combinations but as an every day or every weekend service  I do not see this as a practical solution. Not to say that both Marlboro Man and I didn’t enjoy it, there are just more cost efficient ways to get the same results.

Are you using Plated or another service that you dig? Or do you have another means of obtaining the same results like using a meal planning app or something of that nature.. do tell ?

 

 

r

3/13/14

For the record the internet offer I received for Plated was one of those ads on Facebook, I was not approached by anyone from Plated’s staff to try out and or review the services that they offer.
IMG_0420