Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Trying to bust out of my rut with My Fitness Pal

My fitness & nutrition plan has been stuck in a major rut & I'm still ten pounds up from when I stopped breastfeeding Reese about a year & a half ago.  I've been very frustrated & discouraged but this past weekend when I had trouble buttoning my jeans, I decided it was time to crack down & get serious.  I absolutely refuse to buy a larger size & accept this current weight because I do not feel good where I am right now.  It's so important to feel confident when you're getting ready in the morning.  I, on the other hand, feel like a stuffed sausage when I'm getting dressed.  That will not do!

So, to shed those ten pounds, I've started tracking each & every calorie I consume throughout the day using the free app, My Fitness Pal.  It's super user friendly & has an insane amount of foods in their data base.  Every food I've ever scanned has been in their system which makes it easy to stay consistent.  In getting serious, I've vowed to enter every bite I take & don't ignore the creamer in my coffee or the scoop of food I've snagged from the kids' plates as I'm washing up the dishes at dinner.  Using this app helps me plan ahead which reduces the chances that I'll flub up.  When you only have 1200 calories allotted each day like I do, you get a lot more creative in choosing your calories wisely as well as exercising so you can get those calories back.  Normally I don't exercise on Wednesdays since I'm home with the kids, but I got up early today & took a half hour walk before Mike left for work which gave me 150 calories back.  It also helped me reach my goal in getting 10,000 steps/day on my fitbit.


When I initially started My Fitness Pal a few weeks ago, I found myself being drawn to pre-packaged foods since they're so easy to scan in & stay portioned-controlled.  But, that completely jacks up the amount of sodium I should be consuming, so I've gotten back to preparing my own meals.  Yesterday I copied a wilted spinach & citrus quinoa salad that I love from Publix. 

I didn't have a recipe, but I did the best I could & it came out great.

Wilted Spinach & Citrus Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, 1c uncooked
2c water
1 orange, zest & juice
1 Lemon, zest & juice
Baby spinach, heaping handful
Red wine vinegar, 1-2T
Olive oil, 1-2T
Mixed nuts & seeds 
Dried cranberries to your taste
Salt & pepper to taste

Cooking instructions:
Rinse 1 cup quinoa in a mesh strainer until water runs clear.  Bring to a boil with 2 cups of water & reduce to a simmer until water has absorbed, about 20 minutes.  While the quinoa is cooking, mix juice & zest of lemon & orange with olive oil & red wine vinegar; salt & pepper to taste. When water is absorbed from quinoa, mix with fresh, baby spinach until wilted.  Add citrus vinaigrette, dried cranberries, nuts & seeds of choice such as honey roasted peanuts & sunflower or pumpkin seeds & salt & pepper to taste.  Enjoy while hot or chill in refrigerator & enjoy cold.

Approximate nutrition information per 3/4 cup: 171 calories, 9g total fat, 3g protein.

We served the salad along with a Swai fish fillet which was baked with fresh orange & lemon juice, lemon pepper & salt.  The entire meal was under 300 calories; not too shabby!  So far, so good in keeping on track & within my calorie goals, but I have a feeling the weekends will be a bit more of a challenge.  I'm usually not motivated to workout & I'm more inclined to eat less healthfully & have that extra glass (or three!) of wine!!  The other thing is trying to be patient & not expecting the pounds to immediately come off.  I do have to say, it feels great to be actually doing something about getting back on track instead of feeling discouraged & out of control.

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