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Cruise Day Countdown – T Minus one day…

Yup, you saw that right.  We leave for our cruise tomorrow, I can hardly believe it’s finally time!  Believe it or not, I haven’t even started packing yet.  I’ve been setting the odd thing aside, but the actual suitcase is still downstairs, guess I should get to that.

It’s also been about a month since we started our exercise program, and it feels like a milestone.  I wish I would have weighed myself at the very beginning, but I didn’t have a scale. So the weight that you see is a little over two weeks old.  I made an exception and weighed myself yesterday so I would know how I do while I’m away.

Weight (two weeks ago) 178lbs – Weight yesterday 170lbs.  That’s 8 pounds in a little over two weeks!

Waist measurement (4 weeks ago) 41” – Today 37”!  That’s 4 inches off my waist alone!

Chest 38″ – 36″

Hips 43″ – 41 1/2″

Butt 44″ – 42″

Thighs 26″ – 25″

Biceps 12 1/2″ – 12″

That’s a total of 11 inches off my body in four weeks…

I’ve got to say that it really hasn’t been easy, but the results are so worth it!  I figure in total I’ve lost in the area of 10-15lbs all together and gained however much muscle.  I’m wearing clothes I haven’t even looked at in years, and now that I’m on a roll I have no intentions of slacking off.  I honestly don’t feel much need to.  I will admit getting into class this week has been tough, but I think that has more to do with where my head is, rather than lack of motivation.  I managed 5 work outs last week, and in 4 days this week I went in twice.  It would have been more but with hair and doctor’s appointments I just didn’t have the time.  Although the real test will be seeing how I do with all that amazing food around me while we’re on the boat.  Our trainer has passed along an ‘at home’ workout that we can do while we’re away but I’m also told there will be classes on the ship.  I will be happy with myself if I can maintain where I am, as there’s really no excuse for us to loose ground.

Multi Testing Mommy asked if I could post a sample menu of what I eat day to day.  This has developed over the last few weeks and seems to be working for me.

Breakfast

– Apple
-2-3 Eggs scrambled with green onion, onion powder, garlic powder, and a touch of salt.  Lately I’ve been adding a tiny sprinkle of light cheese for taste.

Snack

-Real turkey breast from Sunterra on the way to work
-Every morning I take about 15 minutes and cut up a ton of fruit & veg that I snack on throughout the day (strawberries, cantaloupe, whole red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots)

Lunch (After work, about 3 o’clock)

This one is hard because I’m not at home so I usually go up to the food court (yikes) and grab something that is 100% protein.  Bourbon chicken, or souvlaki, something like that, I realize there are hidden carbs in most of this stuff and I should try and bring something from home, but it’s a time issue.  I will work on this when I get home.

Dinner

-Chicken breast/steak/tornado’s etc with sauted broccoli and carrots, or a stir fry of mainly veg and chicken.  I do cook up some carbs (rice, pasta etc) for the rest of the family, and if I do decide to have some I have very little.

For other low carb dinners, check out Cook’n, a recipe program that gives you nutritional values for all of the pre-loaded, as well as recipes you add yourself.  You get a free cookbook with purchase, and I chose their low carb option that has over 1,500 low carb recipes!  If you’d like a copy, enter our Cook’n giveaway!

I did this absolute zero carb thing for about a week, but at the end of it I started getting really tired, really early and wondered if the complete lack of carbs was the culprit.  Sure enough, I made myself some spaghetti with whole wheat noodles that night and the next day I was fine.  So, I’ve started incorporating a very small amount of carbs in my last meal of the day and it seems to have worked itself out.  The cravings are still minimal, and I have tons of energy now.

A couple of years back I lost a bunch of weight on one of those ‘programs.’  It didn’t last, but one thing I learned back then was that to loose weight you need to eat almost constantly.  Sounds kind of like an oxy moron, doesn’t it?  But it’s true.  Small, frequent, and healthy meals are key to ramping up your metabolism.  Another thing I learned is that your weight loss journey begins, and just about ends at the grocery store.  Eat before you go, make a list of healthy foods for the week, and stick with it.  When you’re at home and hungry, those sugary, crappy foods won’t be available to you.

My head is well and truly spinning with the amount of stuff I still have to do.  I have one more work shift to force myself through before I can truly put my mind to nothing but our vacation, but my head is a little ahead of the game.  Yesterdays shift was tough, today is going to be near impossible.  Thankfully we don’t leave until late afternoon tomorrow, so I will have time to get stuff done.

With a typical Calgary spring flourish, it went from spring to winter overnight, and while I am thankful we didn’t get the 25cm of snow that was forecast it still did snow and it looks like it wants to stick around for a while.  It’s cold and very ugly, and I’m glad I won’t be here for it!  Hopefully by the time we get back this last hiccup of winter will be long gone.  Although I have to remember this is Calgary and that is highly unlikely.  Either way though, 2 days from now we’ll be in the sun and loving it!

I have no idea what our internet connection will be like out there, so you might not hear from me for a little while.  I’ll make it up to everyone with lots of pictures though!!!

If you’d like to check in with a couple other bloggers working to get fit, you can visit their weekly posts here:

Lets Get Healthy Together – Multi Testing Mommy
Fit n Firm Friday, week 11 – Pampered Patty

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Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway!

When I first got word that I would be receiving a quart of coconut oil, I thought, now what the heck am I going to do with that?  Weirdly enough, a couple of days later while I was doing a nutritional consult with my trainer he spent ten minutes telling me how great this stuff is.  It was at that point that I mentioned I would be getting some of it to try.  Now I’m not allowed to say that this stuff is amazingly good for you, so I won’t, but I will say that it leaves vegetable oil in the dirt and you should too.  Leave the veggies in the dirt that is, at least as far as oil is concerned.

I decided to try the oil on my most love/hate recipe to see how it would go.  This is going to sound crazy but despite the fact that it’s a super healthy meal, I don’t make stir fry’s often.  I’ve tried using a dozen different packaged sauces, or just plain soy, and I just can’t find a flavour that I like.  Funny enough, a plain stir fry just tastes too ‘earthy’ for me, and the packaged stuff doesn’t do much to cover that unpleasantness.  This however I loved and will make over and over again.  The coconut oil really made the difference.

When I first received the oil it was solidified, it’s pretty cold here in Calgary, even on a good day, so that is normal.  I just followed the directions to bring it back to a liquid, it took no time and very little effort.

Here are some Coconut Oil facts that may interest you:

Learn about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
Tropical Traditions Video
How to use Coconut Oil
What is virgin coconut oil?
Popular coconut oil recipes

And our recipe that you might want to try, it was beyond yummy!

Sweet & Salty Coconut Oil Stir Fry

Makes aprox 4 servings, can be stretched with more rice.

2 boneless skinless chicken breast(optional)
1 ½ cups rice – 3 cups cooked
1 head of broccoli  cut into florets
¼ head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 red pepper cut into bit sized pieces
1 medium sized onion
4 medium sized carrots cut julienne
2 TBLS coconut oil
1-2 TBLS Reduced sodium soy sauce (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:

After the chicken is defrosted, cut into bite sized pieces.  I used about a tablespoon of coconut oil to sauté until fully cooked.  Once chicken is cooked, set aside.  Add the other tablespoon of coconut oil and sauté veggies starting with the harder to cook like cauliflower, and adding the lighter stuff as you go.  Sauté veg until warm but still crisp.  Once veggies are cooked to your liking re-add chicken and then add soy sauce.  I also add a touch of soy sauce to the rice.  Serve stir fry over hot rice.

While I don’t find coconut oil actually tastes of coconut but the oil gives a wonderfully sweet, yet mild, taste to add to the salty flavour of the soy sauce.  It makes a blah stir fry into a fabulous and healthy meal for the family.  My hubby doesn’t like the taste of coconut so I didn’t tell him what was in it, he loved it 😉

TIPS:

I am not an advance planner, which anyone will know if they’ve been paying the least amount of attention to my posts. My dinners each and every night are decided on generally at the very last minute. We do not have a microwave, and even when we did I hated defrosting stuff that way. My solution to this, at least for chicken breast that I need to cut up is to put them in the skillet with a lid and leave them on the minimum heat for about 10-15 minutes. Works like a charm to defrost those babies.

Another thing I do that might help you save time, is instead of spending 15 minutes cutting up carrots into tiny pieces, get yourself a good peeler. Peel the tough outer layer off the carrots then over a bowl ‘peel’ the rest of the carrot in short even strokes. You will end up with pieces not quite as uniform and pretty but they are roughly the same size, and cook just as quick. The middle core that you can’t quite shred gets saved for a snack the next day.

I’ve also been using the coconut oil as a replacement for any margarine I would normally use.  It’s funny how chemistry can alter the flavour of a dish, but it does!  I used it last night to cook some eggs, and with a touch of salt it tasted more buttery than if I’d used actual butter, I’m not kidding!  I also used it in a quick sauté for a side dish of broccoli and carrots, and once again it added flavour to what would normally be pretty blah.  I will say that I’m not a fan of how it smells while you’re actually cooking with it, but thankfully the results are so much tastier than the smell.  I’m not one who’s big on trying new things when it comes to food, but I’m so glad I gave Tropical Traditions Coconut oil a try, because slowly but surely I’m getting hooked on this stuff.

Win it!  Tropical Traditions has been kind enough to offer one of our readers 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!  That is a value of $40!

To enter the giveaway please go to this link on Facebook – Tropical Traditions Rafflecopter Giveaway  In order to provide you with the convenience of rafflecopter entries we must install the widget on facebook, as wordpress free blogs do not have the capabilities.  I would however appreciate if you could bookmark this page to do your daily entries.

If you are interested in ordering from Tropical Traditions please use this link – Tropical Traditions.  I will receive credit for referring you, and you will receive a free cookbook!  They have much more than just coconut oil there, it is all certified organic, and a great place for ingredients if you are going gluten free.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 

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Cruise Day Countdown – Less Carbs = No cravings!

We only have one week to go until we leave, actually it’s 8 days but who’s counting?  I am determined to get as many workouts in as I can this week and the half of next that we’ll be here.  So far I’ve done three days in a row, and plan to attend class again tonight.  The workouts are getting so much easier as I go.  That’s not to say that they’re actually easy, just easier in comparison to that first week.  That first week I felt like I would never be able to get through an entire class, not to mention barely being able to walk the next day.  Now I can pretty much get through the entire thing with very few modifications.  I love the idea that both Chelsea and I are getting stronger and it shows.

I won’t be weighed again until Saturday, as I refuse to watch that scale every day but I have no doubt that I will have lost at least another pound or two.  That doesn’t sound like much until you think of a pound of butter, and then it’s kind of gross.  On top of the amount I’m losing I have to remember that I’m also gaining a ton of muscle, which weighs more than fat.  I did however take my measurements again and was able to say good-bye to another inch around my waist!  That’s more than three inches total in as many weeks.  I’m wearing clothes I haven’t worn in years and it feels fantastic.

Original Current (After 3 weeks)
Body Fat – ??? 42% Last Saturday Body Fat – 40%!!!!
Weight – ???  – 175 Last Saturday Weight – 171.8!!!
Waist – 41” Waist – 38”

*That’s another three pounds this week, and a gigantic 2% of my body fat GONE!  I am thrilled!

Other than the workouts one of the most helpful things our trainer explained to us this week is the process of carbs, insulin, and how they relate to cravings.  People generally eat three meals a day, and during those meals they tend to eat a fair amount of carbs.  Carbs are responsible for increasing the amount of insulin your body produces giving you highs, and pretty big lows throughout the day.  Those lows are what are responsible for your cravings.  During the first couple of weeks I was working out I wasn’t watching my diet as carefully as I should have been.  I thought I was doing well by staying away from takeout and high fat items, but by the end of the day my cravings were so bad I generally caved in.  After the process was explained to me, I got motivated to cut back on carbs and I honestly can’t believe how much of a difference it’s made.  I fill up during the day with veggies, protein, and fruit, and by night time I have absolutely no interest in gorging, usually I’m not even very hungry at all so my night time meals are miniscule.  In comparison to those first couple of weeks, it really has made the world of difference.  Give it a try for a day or two and you will see what I mean!!!

The nerves are really ratcheting up now that we are so close to leaving.  I feel like we’ve been waiting forever, but now that it’s almost time, I feel like I have a million things to do and no time to do them in.  Figures!  How do you get ready for a vacation?  Lists, organize to death, or fly by the seat of your pants?  I’m also still looking for cruising tips for all you more experienced travellers!

Oasis of the Seas, this is the boat we'll be on in one week!

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Health and Beauty

 

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