Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trimming the "fat"? Part 2

So a few months ago I wrote about trimming the fat in my budget and on my body! (Part 1 can be found here). So how it is going?

I have been doing pretty good on my budget except this week I did get Starbucks a few times but this week has required some major caffeine (if it weren't for Starbucks, I may have lost my mind this week!) :-) I have been doing well on grocery bills considering my new diet which leads me to my part 2!

I went to Atlanta Medical Institute and got 2 of my 3 B-12 shots. I have to say, they are great! I noticed later in the day that my mood improved and I felt like I had more "pick up" and was ready to go! It has really helped me over the last couple of weeks get into my groove. So far...down a little over 10 pounds. yay!!!

So what am I doing that is working? Well let's see...I made a lot of changes however for the first time it is something that I can live with. I dont feel the need to get fast food or to go crazy too often. If you don't know me, let me tell you - I have a sweet tooth! And chocolate is my favorite. Let's be real, after a bad day who wouldn't want a piece of chocolate cake! But I have been doing suprisingly well without all the chocolate!

So we are doing no carbs after 3pm. Carbs are also a favorite of mine and Jason's. We love pasta, garlic bread, etc. So getting rid of pasta all together is not an option but how do you adapt - pasta for lunch! Not just any pasta - gluten free pasta! Jason's first response (before trying it) "that sounds gross". To his and my surprise - you can't tell a difference at all. I get the Quinoa brand of pasta that is gluten free. Also we are doing no sugars after 3pm for the most part.

Our diet consists of a lot of protein, water, veggies & fruits. However I have been able to adapt our old dishes to fit the new diet. Make sure to come back to get the recipes that I will be posting over the next month! We are also doing a lot of organic food (I thought the grocery shopping would break the bank for this but I am spending the same that I was before thanks to Harry's & Whole Foods).

Here's a tip I learned from Atlanta Medical Institute - when you are craving sweets (me - it's always after dinner) make a glass of tea, add 1 tsp of pure agave nectar and 1 tbsp of almond milk. The agave nectar is sweet and helps stop your cravings. I make a glass at night of sleepytime tea with the other above items and it works everytime and helps me sleep better!

*Interested in B-12 shots HalfOffDepot has 4 for $35 right now. If you want to trim some fat check out some of their other deals as well - they have monthly boot camp sessions at discounted prices and more!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Misc-y post

Braves Game this past weekend for my Birthday. We were fortunate to get tickets to enjoy the game from the 755 club!

I haven't posted in a while but hopefully I will be on here more frequently. I am thankful for the 3 day weekend this weekend. Today the weather is not good, tornadoes in surrounding cities and the sirens keep going off but thankful that I am at home.

Lately I have been thinking about the things that I want to accomplish this year, I guess being that it was my birthday it got thinking about these things. Over the last year and half I have been focusing on my career which is going great but now I need to work on the balance of my career and continuing to do the things that I want to accomplish on a personal level to keep a healthy balance. So I figure if I document them on here and monitor my goals over the next year then I maybe more likely to accomplish them. So here it goes:

1. Become more healthly - I cook relatively healthy almost always. I always use lean meat such as ground turkey or ground chicken for any pasta dish or even for tacos, we dont eat very much red meat. I dont like to use a lot of oils except when necessary. But our jobs are demanding and we are constantly on the go so sometimes fast food is just so easy. However over the past 3 weeks we have been avoiding fast food and eating out too much. We have been watching what we eat and I have changed the types of food that we are eating and it is working! Now I just need to get the gym into my daily routine. My goal is to get to the gym 4 times a week and then do 2 other activities per week outside of the gym that are active such as hiking Kennesaw Mountain or walking the dog. It is Monday and I have been to the gym once thus far this week so I am off to a good start! The hardest part is getting up. In order to fit the gym in there I have to go at 5:45am to the classes. So getting up at 5am has been very difficult for me.

2. Scrapbooking - I have always enjoyed scrapbooking and making cards. I havent done it in so long. I also have never made a scrapbook for myself, I have always made them for others as gifts. I recently bought myself a scrapbook so I plan to start my own. Also over the weekend I bought some supplies to make my own Christmas Cards which I used to love to do as well. I will post some pictures when I get them done!

3. Blogging - I would like to be on here more blogging and also on my work blog. I am going to try to squeeze it in a few times a week. I enjoy it!

4. Gardening - I think that I would like to start a garden. However I am not sure that our backyard will work well so that may prohibit it. If it wont then I plan to do a small planter with some herbs for cooking. I dont have a green thumb whatsoever so this may be a challenge. Jason always makes me fun of me because I remember just about everything except to water plants and I always kill them.

5. Spending time & effort on myself - I plan to find more ways to enjoy my life and balance work at the same time. I need to make time to do things for myself and do the things that I enjoy so that I am working on. I have started by getting myself laser hair removal because that is something I have always wanted and found a great deal on it. I will let you know how it goes. Over the next year I plan to get out with the girls more for brunch or dinner, take some cooking and baking classes that I have been looking into, go to Six Flags this fall, apple orchard, etc.

6. Organizing the house - although I dont plan to do this all year this is in the near future. I need to get things more organized. We are out of room in the kitchen and I dont have any more room for the gadgets that I want to get! My office is going to have a big garage sale since we are off a main road and we all need to clean out our houses. So the organization must come before October so I can sell the items we dont need anymore! I am going to start with the kitchen and bathroom this upcoming weekend. Then go through the bedrooms and closets! I am also working on organizing my recipes thanks to the birthday present from my friends!

7. Staying on Budget - this proves to be difficult each month but I am going to do it. Now that we are not eating out as much I am saving quite a bit. I also am not drinking a lot of caffeine so Starbucks isnt getting all of my money anymore! I only go about 1 time a week these days rather than 1-2 times a day. I am cutting back in some areas so I can put that money in savings. We will see how it goes.

So those will be the things that I will be working on this year. I will let you know how it goes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trimming the "fat"

I have to say that any way that I can trim the fat in my budget makes me very happy! Who doesn't want to save some money these days! I look forward to receiving all of my discount emails every morning from Groupon, Living Social, Half Off Depot, Rue La La, Loclly, Sweetjack, Scoutmob,, Kudzu and others. I don't like to go out to eat without a pre-purchased deal!

Today, I bought the Groupon Deal to the Atlanta Medical Institute so I can trim the fat literally! In the past I worked in Retail Management and was on the go all the time. I was on my feet for 8-10 hours a day. I didn't have to worry about going to the gym daily but now that I am in an office job that has all changed. My goal is to loose about 30 pounds over the next 6 months or so. I can't seem to find the time to squeeze the gym in there, how hard should that be right? Well, thus far it hasn't worked for me! I have evening appointments a lot so by the time I get home, let out the dog, cook dinner, eat and clean the kitchen its about 9pm and almost time to hit the sack. I need to work it in first thing in the morning which requires more energy on my part.

I am not really into fad dieting or taking pills to loose weight. I just don't think that is the route for me. If I am going to do this, it has to be a life style change. I have to get in a routine to make time for the gym and healthy eating habits. I don't cook unhealthy and I don't keep a lot of snacks in the house. But because mine and Jason's job are on the go all the time we have a tendency to eat out a lot in between appointments so that has to stop! Although I am not into "programs" to help me loose weight I have heard good things about B12 shots and that they help give you the energy to get started. This is why I was very intrigued about the Groupon for Atlanta Medical Institute. I am going to try it out and will let you know how it goes!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lots of cooking today!

For some reason, I really got into a cooking mood today!  I started off making tortellini soup for our lunches this week!  This was the first time I have ever made it.  I actually got the idea from The Frugal Girl's blog but made my own variety with the ingredients that I had on hand.

Tortellini Soup

1. combine: 4 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth; 2 cups water; 1 can diced tomatoes undrained; 1/4 jar tomato sauce (this is what I had left over from another nights dinner - I would recommend using at least 1/2 a jar); 1 zucchini choped; 2 mushrooms chopped into a large pot over medium heat.

2. Add seasonings for flavor: a small amount of hot sauce (we like a little kick), italian seasoning, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano

3. While that simmered I cooked this amazing sausage from Trader Joes.  It was one pound of their chicken and sundried tomato sausage.  Remove the casing and break into small pieces while cooking.  Once done add it to the simmering broth.

4. Cook 16oz of dry tortellini pasta as directed on the bag.  Add to other ingredients and simmer for 5-10 more minutes.  Viola!

Next I decided that I was tired of wasting banana's.  We had a couple bananas left that were getting ready to go bad so I made banana bread. 

Jen's Banana Bread

- 1 1/2 cups whole weat flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup I Can't Believe Its Not Butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs (I used Egg Beaters)
- 5 bananas Mashed
- 2 tablespoons non-fat yogurt
- cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract
- handful of chocolate chips

I started wtih a standard base recipe for banana bread but decided to make it semi healthly and add my own twist. 

1. Combine all flours, baking soda, salt into a small bowl and mix.  Sprinkle in some cinnamon and nutmeg.

2. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl.  Add a little vanilla extract.

3. Peel 5 bananas and put into bowl.  Mash the bananas until mostly smooth.  Add yogurt and eggs and blend together.

4. Mix the banana mixture in with the sugar and butter mixture.  Add in flour mixture.  Mix together carefully.  Overmixing will cause the bread to become very dry. 

5. Sprinkle in chocolate chips and then place into greased bread pan.  Sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top of the mixture and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.