Can't wait for the end of 2016

2016 has been wild and not in a good way. There's some kind of bad energy out there that is just taking all the celebrities! I've been a bit M.I.A. and you can blame 2016 for that, too. My mom had a stroke almost 2 weeks ago. She was seeming to get a bit better (was talking, wasn't paralyzed, just some short-term memory loss), but then she had another stroke and a seizure and it's just not been the same since. She can sometimes open her eyes and sometimes she seems to have awareness of people and even seemed to get jokes and things people were saying to her. But, she also has days where she's just in a sleeping state and doesn't really wake up. It's tough. And it's tough knowing what she wants and what she would want us to do.

Needless to say, my eating habits are a bit shot. My stomach is tied in such knots that I'm finding it hard to eat, but I need energy to get through these hospital visits. I try to go every day and usually stay for 4-5 hours. I've been getting a bagel and cream cheese every day for breakfast and then I eat it at the hospital while chatting with my mom. I call it our coffee talks even though it's really a one-sided convo. Lately, I've been staying a bit longer so I've been grabbing lunch at the cafeteria. Thank god hospital food has changed. When my first mom was in the hospital with leukemia in the 1980s, my dad and I would eat dinner at the cafeteria a lot and it was always burgers and fries! But now they have lots of options. I've been getting a tuna sandwich, chips, and whatever soup looks good. Dinner has been whatever I feel like stomaching that day. Yesterday, I was craving kebabs and rice so I got Moby Dick on the way home - chicken kebab, rice, salad, and naan. Today, I had some chicken noodle soup and then a Smart Made TV dinner. I'm probably going to have one of my smoothies tonight because I feel a bit toxic.

Being in the hospital environment is giving me an even stronger push to get in shape. A bunch of us our doing the Whole Life Challenge in January so I'm looking forward to that. At this point, I'm not sure what the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 will bring, but I'm going to work on living a healthier life no matter what challenges I'm facing! 

Review: Sole Patches

Today, I did a test run of Sole Patches. Sole Patches are a thin cushioned patch that sticks to the heel or ball of the foot. Made of Poron, they are shock-absorbing, antimicrobial, anti-odor, and have moisture-repelling properties - all good things when dealing with feet! I have a pair of silver sparkly boots that I adore, but the heel is high and they are a bit uncomfortable so they were perfect for this test! You stick the petal-shaped pad to either the bottom of your foot or to the inside of your shoes. Sticking it to your foot directly allows you to use it all day, even if you change to a different pair of shoes.

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The good: I can definitely tell it's cushioning the ball of my foot. I love my sparkly boots, but they have no cushioning on the inside and have a higher heel than I usually wear so they tend to be uncomfortable (and that mean they sit in my closet unworn most of the time). The Sole Patches did provide some much needed cushioning. I had the patch on the right side perfectly placed and it did seem to help with the pain! The adhesive is very strong so the patches don't slip around. They also don't get all soggy and fall off, which is good! They are actually a bit hard to peel off, which is a good thing in my book because you don't want them slipping off and traveling around your shoe! 

What could be better: They didn't totally eliminate the pain associated with these shoes. The patch on my left foot wasn't placed quite right so I still felt pressure. Part of this is because the patches are petal-shaped so I wasn't really sure how to best fit them on my feet. It actually took me two tries to get them in the "right" place (a task I succeeded with on the right foot, but not the left). A patch that was more closely aligned with the shape of the ball of the foot might be useful. I think they made them this petal shape so they could be used on either the ball or heel, but the ball of the foot is much wider so I feel like I could have used a larger/longer pad there. 

So, are they worth it? They DO help. If you've got uncomfy shoes, they are worth a try. I would try them out before your "big night" so that you can get the right placement before your event. I feel like now I know where to put them for the most benefit. You get six per pack so you can definitely do a trial run! All in all, I would be likely to wear Sole Patches for a special event where I knew I would be in uncomfortable shoes for a long time. The glitter boots can come out of the closet! 

This was a sponsored post, but the thoughts contained in this post are my own! 

Review: SmartOnes Breakfast Quesadilla

In my never ending quest for healthy, portable breakfasts, today I tried the SmartOnes Breakfast Quesadilla. It comes with a warming sleeve that makes it crispy not soggy. It actually cooked up nicely so the sleeve did its job! It's eggy, cheesy, meaty, and pretty tasty. SmartOnes have been hit or miss on their breakfasts in terms of flavor, but this one is okay. You could dip in some salsa if you need a little more kick!

The only annoying thing is that they are not individually wrapped and there's two in a box so the first day I had this, I had to wrap it in tinfoil to bring it with me (it wouldn't fit in my tupperware LOL).

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 12g

Review: SmartMade Turkey Sausage and Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Bake

First, I have to complement Good Food Made Simple. I had another one of their breakfast bowls this morning (the bacony meaty one) and it kept me full through a 4 hour meeting! 

SmartMade's Turkey Sausage Lasagna is a good option, although not one of my very favorites, but it's not necessarily its fault! You see, frozen meals tend to overdo the pasta options. I guess because pasta reheats well, but if you've ever looked at the frozen meals, there's sooooo many variations of pasta, lasagna, etc. I tend to avoid all the variations because they're all very similar. SmartMade's version was decent. It had good flavor and I liked the whole wheat noodles. All the SmartMade ones have been good.

I'm running out of food again so I got Chipotle for dinner. I love getting the bowl with just chicken, peppers, salsa, cheese, guac, and lettuce! 

Fit Celebs: Harry Styles in Diptyque Store

Instagram/daciolamounier

Instagram/daciolamounier

Harry Styles was looking cozy (if a bit pensive about his candle choices) while being spotted in the Diptyque store in London. He wore a Gucci Wool Sweater with Contrast Trims ($1,030). Sharp-eyed fans noticed he's wearing regular glasses on top of his head!

Review: Daily Harvest Blueberry Hemp Smoothie

Blueberries and I have a rough relationship. Ever since an unfortunate blueberry pancake food poisoning incident, I've always side-eyed blueberries. But, the Daily Harvest Blueberry Chocolate smoothie was so good so I decided to give Blueberry Hemp a try! 

It includes blueberries, spinach, kale, walnuts, golden figs, hemp protein, and ginger. It tastes a bit like blueberry pie or blueberry ice cream! It's not overly berry-like, especially if you make it with a "milk" like hemp milk or almond milk. I'm always amazed how well the spinach and kale fits into these smoothies. You never feel like you're drinking kale juice LOL. I would get this one again to add some variety!

Nutritional Info (for full cup):

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 6g

Review: Amy's Light & Lean Black Bean & Cheese Enchilada

I usually like Amy's products, and not just because we share a name. They are usually pretty tasty. It actually looks like the picture on the box! The Light & Lean Black Bean & Cheese Enchilada is no exception. This was really yummy. The corn especially was good! I was sad to get to the end of the bowl. The portions are a bit small so be prepared to be a bit hungry or maybe add a salad or something to round out the meal. The meal included organic black beans, tofu, brown rice, vegetables and cheese in an organic corn tortilla with a blend of tomatillo and ranchero sauces with organic brown rice, carrots and sweet corn on the side.

Nutritional Info:

  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbs: 44g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 8g

Review: Luvo Orange Mango Chicken

Yes, I had to write my name on my lunch today. My department has its own mini fridge, but the guy who used to defrost it retired so the ice has almost completely built up to make the freezer part unusable and none of us are brave enough or motivated enough to defrost it so into the communal freezer in the kitchen my lunch went! 

I had never tried this brand before, but it came up on a list of "best healthy frozen meals". I got the Orange Mango Chicken. The packaging is interesting. It comes in a brown bag. You microwave it in the bag on a microwave-safe plate and then dump it all out at the end. We had a good laugh about the direction to "gently shimmy" it out of the bag and onto the plate. 

The flavors were interesting and I really liked the chicken. The mango was a bit weird, but I'm not usually a fan of warm mango slices in general! It also contained whole grains, broccoli, and kale. I would definitely try more from this brand. I like the flavors and variety in the meal.

Nutritional Info:

  • 280 calories
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbs: 41g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 17g

Review: Victoria's Secret Sport Cosmic Print Sports Bra and Leggings

My Victoria's Secret Sport Cosmic Print Sports Bra and Leggings arrived today and I put them to the test during my workout today! I was working on learning the choreography to the Fitness Marshall's Telephone routine better so they definitely got a workout! 

The sports bra fits great and looks cute. I was worried because I'm chesty and the top seemed kind of small before i put it on, but once it was on, it fit great. It held everything in place. I love the print and the straps. The pants fit great, too. They were a little tight although I think that's sort of by design. They seem very thick (for stretchy leggings) and a bit warm. I think they'd be too hot for summer wear, but they were nice and they wick moisture away, which is nice, too! Both of these were a size Large.

Overall, I'm super happy with these! 

Fit Celebs: Louis Tomlinson at KFC - How Does He Do It!?!?

Ok, you may be wondering how Louis Tomlinson ended up in our Fit Celebs roundup when he's been spotted at a McDonald's and a KFC recently, but despite frequenting the fast food joints, he's still in shape! No fair! Louis was spotted in Adidas (of course). 

Review: Daily Harvest Chocolate + Blueberry Smoothie - Tastes like a Brownie!

This is one of my new favorites! It tastes a lot like a brownie! It contains blueberry, banana, almond, spinach, kale, date, cacao, vanilla bean, Himalayan sea salt, and maca. I used to make brownie balls out of dates and almonds and cacao that tasted very similar to this. I love this smoothie! And, I managed to eat it - almonds and all! (I had been worried about eating almonds because I got a numb mouth from eating a bunch of almonds awhile back).

It is harder to blend, but I actually didn't mind that. I ate the chunks with a spoon at the end (too lazy to put it back in the blender). I love that it's got sneaky spinach and kale in there! It does have more calories than some of the others - 300 cals for the whole cup, which is more like a meal, but it's worth it because it tastes so good! I will be reordering this one again! 

Use this link to get 2 free cups! https://daily-harvest.com/?ref=19252

Nutrition Facts (for whole cup):

  • 300 cals
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbs: 48g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 8g

Sunday 12/4 Workout: Easy on a Sunday

I have been slacking all day! I've been catching up on Season one of SKAM (since I started at Season 3) so I've been couchbound like all day. I decided I needed to explore some of the Fitness Marshall videos that I haven't done yet so I just picked a bunch I hadn't done but I ended up with 2 cool down videos and 2 kind of easier songs so maybe keep this workout for when you need an easy day! 

This was actually a cool down workout but I used it as a warm up! I'm going to remember this one for when I need a cool down though! 

This was a fun one! It also was easy to follow along with. The choreography wasn't super hard! 

This was another one that wasn't too tough! 

This is another cool down video that I'm going to remember for when I want a cool down! 

Grabby Hands: Torrid's Space Print Sports Bra and Leggings

My fitness gear is so weak that it's become my new obsession! I have been going on a bit of a spending spree (albeit bargain shopping) for sports bras and leggings because the ones I have are from Dark Ages. I'm a new fan of Torrid. I'd never really shopped there although I have one close to me, but when I finally hit the 200s, I bit the bullet and went in because I was desperate for some decent jeans. Well, I became a believer so it was only natural to check out their active wear selection and OMG, the space print sports bra and leggings caught my eye! 

I've been stalking them since last week because I realllllllly need to wait until I get paid on Friday before I go spending, but they're having a sale today (30% off of 50 or 40% off of $125) and they only had one size left in the leggings (coincidentally the size I want!) so I had to. I'm going to be playing credit card roulette this week, but it's worth it because they're super cute and hey, they'll actually fit me! And I think I may have gotten the last pair because now the leggings are showing as out of stock! That was a close one! 

Fit Celebs: Jennifer Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, Maria Menounos at the Sing Premiere

Jennifer Hudson looked amazing at the Sing premiere. Jennifer lost 80 pounds doing Weight Watchers and has maintained her weight for years. She admits she'll throw pancakes across the room if the temptation is too much! She said:

I throw the pancakes across the room! I don’t let the food intimidate me. If it’s too much, I just get rid of it, but I make sure to watch what I put in my body. And I make sure I know what it is. It’s all about portions for the most part. I don’t work out a lot, but I do like to be active.

Also at the event looking great were Reese Witherspoon (who always looks fit) and Maria Menounos, who has spoken about her weight struggles in the past.

My Meal Plan in Pictures!

This is my meal plan in pictures! 

Breakfast: an egg meal of some kind. Eggs are filling and frozen meals are easy for me to take to work so I can make it and eat it when I get there. I have a cup of coffee when I first wake up and grab another on the way into work.

Lunch: usually a salad with chicken or a frozen meal.

Dinner: I eat early so dinner is usually around 4ish. I have a smoothie followed by a cup of coffee.

Night Snacks: After my workout and shower, I have been having some broccoli with Parmesan, butter, and spices. The Parmesan is filling and has protein since the smoothies don't have much. I've been having a tropical or strawberry smoothie at night. It's kind of like a dessert. It's also filling! If I am still hungry or want something to munch on, I have spicy sunflower seeds. The spiciness makes it hard to overeat them! I tend to snack most at night, but I've tried to find some healthy, low cal snacks to eat while I'm watching TV. 

Saturday 12/3 Workout: Some Faves to Keep Me Motivated

I always need an extra push on the weekends to get me moving! So, today's workout is a bunch of my fave Fitness Marshall videos. He's the only one that can get my ass in gear! 

This song is a good warm up - it's not too fast!

Sorry is a good start because it's got some easier moves, but is still challenging!

Telephone always gets me going. I love the song and I love the moves in this one!

S&M is another fave that gets me going! It's fun to do the whip part!

Toxic is a good cool down because it's not super fast!

My new exercise bras cannot get here soon enough. My girls are all over the place! 

Saturday Stock Up: Getting my Healthy Haul for the Week

So, here's some Saturday selfies. Whenever I take these, I realize how boring my errand outfits are! I'll work on that, but I tend to go for comfort over fashion on the weekends!

My new scale is true to its word - super accurate. I used to be able to step on my old scale and take the lowest weight of like 3 tries, but this one is the same every time. Damn it! I added the 2 pound difference to my starting weight so I now realize I have 72 pounds to get to 140. That's like a whole child! I'm not even thinking about my ideal goal weight of 135 - that would be like 77 pounds to lose! 

Today was grocery store stock up day. I was out of everything! I have gotten so addicted to my grocery store's pre-made salads. I had the Southwestern Chicken Salad for lunch. They are around 450 calories per salad, but super big and filling! The Caesar seems to work best for weight loss though, but I need the variety so I don't get bored! 

I'm grabbed a bunch of new frozen meals to review this week. Luvo is a new brand I haven't tried at all, but have heard some good things about. Amy's I'm familiar with (nice name!), but I haven't tried the Light & Lean ones yet, but have heard good things about them as well! Lean Cuisine is the good ole standby. And there's another SmartMade one in there that I haven't had yet! There's so many new options these days!

I also stocked up on breakfasts. I'm curious to try all these new breakfast options from SmartOnes and Good Food Made Simple! 

I also stocked up on smoothie fixings. I've been having these for a snack at night and they seem to fill me up. I loved that tropical smoothie last night so I got more mango and I adore my strawberry pink smoothie with sunflower seed butter so I got more strawberries, too! And more bananas. I don't like frozen bananas that come in a bag. They taste weird to me so I buy fresh and freeze them. I just peel and stick them in a tupperware and put in the freezer. Then I can pull out 1 frozen banana to throw in the blender for my smoothie. 

My girlfriend may be coming to visit next weekend so I'm going to try and stick to my plan this week because I anticipate some bad food in my future, but I'm really going to try and make better choices while she's here! It will be a test! 

Now, I'm off to choose my workout videos for tonight! I'll probably add some repeats because I want to master these moves!

Review: Daily Harvest Carrot Coconut Soup

This was soup #2. This soup has carrots, coconut milk, tomato, spinach, cauliflower, bell pepper, ginger, astragalus, garlic, scallion, ginseng, galangal, and madras curry. They recommended adding coconut milk or water so I chose water (and worried that it might be bland). But, no worries needed. The flavor, even with just water, is really good. The Daily Harvest soups have a really good flavor. They also taste really fresh, which of course is the point! I imagine this soup would be even more luscious with coconut milk!

I'm torn because I do like the soups....I just like the smoothies more! I could see me getting the soups when I'm not feeling well because there is something very nurturing about them and they just seem so healthy! For me, I don't really eat fruit by itself so the smoothies are a way of getting my fruit in. I already eat and like vegetables so the soups are kind of like a bonus, but they aren't really giving me something I'm not getting otherwise. I almost feel more full after the smoothies. 

Nutrition Facts:

  • 120 calories
  • fat: 6g
  • carbs: 14g
  • fiber: 4g
  • protein: 2g 

Don't forget to use this code to get 2 free cups! 

https://daily-harvest.com/?ref=19252

Making Progress

I've forced myself to take some pics of myself at these higher weights so I can SEE it. I think I become sort of blind to what I look like, which is good in a way, as someone who used to obsessed over fat and weight that weren't even there when I was a skinny teen. But, I think my "blindness" to weight gain also is how I got to be this weight! So, I am determined to document it all. In the past, I haven't really started to take pics until I got closer to goal. But, I want to see now. I want to see what my body looks like after 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 50 pounds down. I'm about 8 pounds down from my starting weight as of this morning (I adjusted my starting weight to 212 since I think my old scale was weight lighter than it should have). This week was sort of annoying because I felt like I was losing weight I had already lost, but I'm finally back to 204!  

I have become such a smoothie freak. I actually crave them, which is weird for me because I'm not a huge fruit fan! I ran out of my strawberries so last night I made a tropical mango, pineapple, banana smoothie with hemp milk. I can't say enough about the hemp milk. I love it! I don't really drink it plain by itself so if it's gross with cereal, I'm sorry. It actually seems pretty neutral to me! 

I actually had broccoli as a snack last night. What on earth! I microwaved some frozen broccoli, added butter and parm and some lemon pepper seasoning and it was pretty tasty!!

Today, I need to restock my kitchen because I'm out of everything!