Cannonball In!

Welp, my 6 week health challenge is wrapping up!  Reflecting back, I was asking myself why I was finally able to get back in the groove this time around and here is one reason for sure! ...

I jumped back in cannonball style!  I feel like that's what you have to do when it comes to health.  You can't just put your toes in the water...ya just gotta jump in without hesitation.  Let's face it, it's uncomfortable at first.  If you let yourself have the chance to pull back, it's likely that you will.  However, if you've jumped in -- it's a little hard mid-air to change your mind.  haha.  You have no choice but to swim!!

I feel like we let the discomforts of doing something "hard" or "scary" stop us from making progress and accomplishing our goals.  Or we let the fear of failing hold us back.  As the wise people say, anything worth doing isn't going to be easy (or something along those lines. right?)  You have to work for it!  You have to exercise control!  And, some days it is going to be hard.  Some days you will fall...but you get back up!

Don't let the fear hold you back.  
Don't let discomfort hold you back.  
Jump in, feel the discomfort of a cold-at-first pool, and then enjoy it!
Enjoy the feeling of success!

I jumped in and now 6 weeks later, I'm well on my way to my goal.  I've lost 15 lbs, inches that I haven't measured (but can feel), and most importantly 
I FEEL GOOD!  (inside and out)

So, my challenge to you...
cannonball in to whatever you've been holding back on doing!
I promise you'll swim!

Cauliflower Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

I've had my tried and true lean and green meals, but I wanted to try something new.  I combined a couple different recipes and came up with this beauty!  (I'm usually one of those annoying people that add a dash of this and can't remember exactly what I put in it, but I was finally smart enough to write it down as I went :) )

So, without further ado...

1 lb lean Turkey Burger, cooked and drained
1/4 c. bacon crumbles (turkey bacon would obviously be the better choice, buuut I used the real stuff)
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
3 cans chicken broth
2 cups shredded low-fat cheese
1 (2 lb) bag chopped cauliflower (or a large head of cauliflower)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
4 wedges of light laughing cow cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp basil

Combine all ingredients in pot and cook over medium until cheese has melted and the cauliflower is tender.

Aaaaand that's it!  Enjoy the goodness!

Sorry, I was lame and never took a picture to show how delicious it looks...just imagine a fabulous-looking bowl of soup.

Healthy Eating "Hacks"

Okay, so not really hacks... but tricks to make eating healthy that much easier (and probably save yourself some $$ too!)

Story of my life is being hungry and ready to eat dinner, opening my fridge, and staring at the dark abyss that is my fridge.  It's like if I stare long enough some glorious food that I want to eat will appear.  Once I come to the realization that I don't have anything ready to eat, I grab something easy to make or snack on...which most often isn't that amazing or good for me.  Sound familiar?  (aka Little Caesars Pizza. bleh)

Soooo.... as I've gotten back in the groove thang of taking care of this amazing body I've been blessed with, I've come up with a few things that have helped me to stay on track in the healthy eating realm of things.  I am being oh so kind and choosing to share them with you!  (*wink face*)

1 - Plan, Plan, PLAN!

Honestly the biggest thing to make life easier to eat better is to plan ahead.  Once a week figure out a few meals that you are going to make that week, go shopping for the ingredients, and make them throughout the week.

2 - Have a few "go-to" meals
There are those meals that are easy or easy to keep the ingredients on hand.  For me.... taco soup, spaghetti squash spaghetti, BBQ chicken with some mock mashed potatoes and green beans, and cream of cauliflower soup.  There's a few more, but I think you get the idea.  Ideal go-to meals have ingredients that have a pretty good storage life either in the freezer or on the shelf.  So figure out some easy, healthy, go-to meals for yourself.

3 - When you do plan...think ahead for when you do fail to plan!
Sometimes (or all the time) we forget to plan or don't have time this week to go shopping or whatever other "life-ness" that gets in our way.  So, think ahead in those moments where you go shopping.  Get what you need for that week, but also grab a few things that match up to those "go-to" meals that you love.  For me, spaghetti squash, cauliflower, chicken, and turkey burger are those items.  We also have a some food storage of canned items (like beans, stewed/diced tomates, broths, green beans, etc).  Those are a few ingredients that I make it so I can quickly and easily knock out a meal with very little planning.

These three "hacks" help us to eat healthier & save the moola!  It keeps us from just muching on whatever (which ideally you just don't keep in the house) or going and grabbing a crappy pizza or yummy/expensive (insert yummy food place).

P.S.  You'll notice I mainly focused on dinner meals.  You can apply the same rules to breakfast, lunch, and healthy snacks.  I don't really have to worry about those as much since I am currently using my yummy (SUPER EASY) meal replacements -- that's a hack for another day :)


Well...I'll be honest.  I'm not a huuuge football fan persay, BUT I am a fan of having fun with my family cheering and laughing.  AND we all know what comes with all of that --- FOOD!  LOTS AND LOTS OF FOOD!! (if your SuperBowl party is anything like my fam's)

Sooo, Here are a couple things you can do to stay on track with your health goals and not let one day derail all of your hard work:

1) Mental Prep

Honestly, it's all about going with my own expectations set of what you will or will not do/eat.  You could go in saying "all the rules are out the window" and go crazy on all the yummy goodness.  OR, you can say "I'm going to endulge a little and stay in control".  OR, you can say "I'm going to stay perfectly on plan".  Whatever your choice is, make it BEFORE you go!  (the last two are probably the better options.  I find throwing all control out the window never goes well and is hard to get back into the groove of self-discipline.

2) Food Prep

FOOD.  You know there is going to be food there.  Make things easier for yourself by bringing some of your own options that are within your own health goals.  Try some new things out and/or stick with the basics of fruit or veggie trays.  It is fun, though, to try out the new stuff!  And there is some great satisfaction of feeling like you are endulging without feeling any guilt.  haha

Here are just a few that I have tried (and plan to try) for some inspiration :D

Cauliflower Breadsticks

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower

Zucchini Bites

Slice up your Zucchini, and pat the water out, you can grill them first if you want them thick. Spoon a little marinara sauce (homemade—just blend some stewed Italian tomatoes), add a little cheese, and then your choice of toppings (the healthier the toppings, the healthier the bites).  

Then bake at 425 for about 10 minutes, or until done, just keep an eye on it. It will vary on time depending on thickness.

German Cucumber Salad

German Cucumber Salad

Stuffed Cucumbers

(substituted greek yogurt for the mayo and cream cheese)
Stuffed cucumber bites | Super easy. but impressive appetizer recipe. Everyone loves this! |