Weight loss

Meal Prep Keto Style

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So I am on day “ugh I don’t know” on my Keto diet. Just thought I’d pop in, comment on how I’m doing and let y’all in on some secrets/tips helping me out.

So starting this last week I noticed my body finally fighting back to this new diet. All the books and writings tell you to expect this in the 2-3 week so I was prepared a little. But not in the way I reacted. Dieters of getting Keto “sick” as they call it, I got Keto emotional. Seriously. I cried over commercials, got snappy and no, it wasn’t THAT time of the month. And no baby either so don’t go getting ideas ūüėĚ I know my body well enough that “three” is the magic number for my hormones to check themselves into and out of things. 3 months after Austin was born, 3 months when I went off birth control. 3 weeks for Keto. It all fits with my body chemistry which is fun to know.

s–I was meal prepping late last night and thought there are a lot of tips and tricks I use to keep on this. We can not talk about the huevos rancheros I ate Sunday night but at least I stayed busy cooking afterwards and I walked 14k+ steps so hopefully that will help.

Tip #1: plan!

Keto doesn't work without planning. Every time I don't think ahead about what I'm eating…I'm eating boring bland food or something super expensive. Neither of which I like doing. The weeks I did great I planned. It just works better. I lucked out the two books I've been using have 30 day or 4 week challenges to keep you Keto. One with pictures and how to use leftovers. I'll let you know those at the end. This week since I slipped a little, I decided working on writing down everything I knew I needed to factor in. I scanned the books, kept things the way I liked them from last week and wrote out on a sticky note and pasted it to the fridge. Helps Shawn and I are working to eat at home more.

Tip#2 : No Distractions

I know–I'm crazy asking this. But for this momma it's more a safety as well as a separation anxiety issue because my kid is a distraction. But I highly recommend doing this after kiddos go to bed or if no kids, blocking out time so you can focus. The times I do meal prep if I don't have any distractions, I get it done faster. And yes that does mean minor sleepless nights sometimes but hey-it's the only time I've got and in the end it's fine.

Tip#3 : your tools

My meal prep time has been seriously affected by what tools I have. This is why planning Is important. If you plan, you can shop Friday/Saturday or whatever day your goods. Then you plan a prep day. Plan small at first (3-m days or all family dinners for a week) and eventually you can move to two meals or the whole day plus snacks!

Also make sure you have the kitchen hardware. Currently I have a Hamilton beach smoothie " bullet" type blender. I currently love making protein shakes for my morning meals. I even have sugar free s'mores and other syrup flavors making the shake world exciting.

Last night I used my cast iron and I would highly recommend using this if you're cleaning as you go, then going from one recipe to another is a snap. I made my dish of no tortilla breakfast burritos, rinsed and oiled and went right into a pseudo "pasta" dish. It's so simple, easy to clean and quicker than the dishwasher.


Find help!–honestly A quick and easy guide to ketogenic diet cookbook and The Wicked good Ketogenic cookbook. Have made foods easy/quick and simple to understand how it fits the diet.

Here are the links:

Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking: Meal Plans and Time Saving Paleo Recipes to Inspire Health and Shed Weight https://www.amazon.com/dp/1628601000/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_zL9gAbFC1XCBZ

The Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Easy, Whole Food Keto Recipes for Any Budget https://www.amazon.com/dp/162315734X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_bM9gAb8QY6GXY

Physical Therapy

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Today I woke up to go to my 2nd physical therapy appointment…at 7:00am. Honestly, I don’t know why I did it, but on the other side, I which I could work out with a physical therapist. I played softball for 11 years and did marching band for 4 and never had a serious injury or back/knee pain. But something happened and after seeing my doctor a couple weeks ago I got “prescribed” physical therapy for 8 weeks. And just after these two sessions I am weighing out the options of a physical trainer for exercising for a couple weeks or so.

Pros to a Trainer
1) someone is there to walk you through the things you need to do, EVEN if you know what things you need to do.
Exercising at the gym is easy. And setting up a workout plan is easy. Things you can find out on the internet. But know how to work with your body and know if you’re doing the exercising right so it fits you? – this can be hard. I realized this when I started physical therapy. They have the therapist and then the assistance who walk through your stretches. And keep you focused. I was thinking how having someone like this while starting a workout regiment would be helpful.

2) Success rate
I know several people who got trainers when starting a workout program and even though they did not keep up with them after 3 months, the information and details they learn working out with someone trained to know what working out looks like helps them in the long run and makes their working out more productive. Also, I have personally had a trainer for 10 sessions when I got my 24hr fitness membership. It works, trust me. It’s more motivating and I always wanted to hire a trainer afterwards.

3) Accountability
This is one the trainers always mention, but there is an element of truth to it. When you are paying to be somewhere — you show up. You fit it into your schedule. It’s more likely you’ll keep going to the gym afterwards too.

The Negative side
1) Pricetag
getting a trainer can be expensive. And I already have 24hr fitness and I am pretty sure they do not let independent trainers come in and try & coach someone. Company policy I’m sure–its a major chain and highly monitored. Plus its a conflict of interest.

2) Privacy
Somethings working out with someone I feel is an invasion of my
. Doing cardio, working out‚Ķthese things reveal my health concerns and my image to the world. Or if not the world at least the 5-25 people that might be in a gym. And while I am know no one is really paying attention–its still on display. not a positive thought.

3) Strange-ness
When you meet a trainer–most of the time you do not know them beforehand. And for me, that’s a little scary.

So I am going to pray about whether or not this is a good things, to train with a trainer for more exercising. This may be a Nov 30th final decision after I see how physical therapy goes (which is starting now not by choice but will go through until Advent.)

Faith full Circle

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As another years concludes, both liturgically and secularly, my personal health journey is beginning to take a turn. Not for the worse (though my health will if I don’t follow this) but for the better. ¬†Diagnoses have been confirmed and now more than ever (as shawn and I want to look towards kids in the future), I want to start losing weight. ¬†I know, same ol’ story. And if I say its different, ¬†you’ll rolls your eyes. But hold fast grasshoppers!

I am developing a way¬†to better my spiritual discipline along with my physical/emotional/mental discipline, I am going to be starting something new. Well–not new, but something different. It allows me to view my health as a whole and approach life in a better way. Here is the idea: following the church calendar with my weight loss…

Now, i don’t mean following every saint, reading what things they fasted from and then practicing those myself. No–God worked through those men and women for different means. ¬†What i means is taking the basics of the liturgical calendar for some structure and apply it to the disciplines of my life that need work.

Why on earth would you do this?¬†— mostly because I love organization and structure. ¬†Life has taught me 1) that these can be good and 2) don’t let these run your life. ¬†Two VERY important lessons to be applied during this change.

What liturgical elements are you going to include: My method is to use the major church holidays.

Here they are:
Marti Gras
Ash Wednesday/Lent
Holy Week (breaking up throughout the week with palm sunday/maude Thursday/good friday and holy saturday
Resurrection Sunday

the first break between Christmas and lent will have some filling in of Jesus’ life and the break between Pentecost and Advent the next year will be filled with epistle understandings.

Goals? This is actually an important part of my structure.  Thinking holistically means working towards a goal in mind, not just reaching a number. So here are my thoughts:
1) to lose 100lbs (yes, that much) over the next year and to keep it off the following year.
2) to have my cholesterol/pre-diabetes/pcos under control to where it doesn’t affect my lifestyle, my loves or my life.
3) to be exercising to the point where, as a friend of mine put it, you are “addicted to it.”
4) to have read through the entire Bible in Greek/Hebrew with assisting translation…and then go through it again… and again… and again…
5) to create a spiritual disciple of prayer, reading and communication with God

I know their small, but they are huge to me. And while they may be high jumps, I know they take small steps and practices to work through it.

So when does all this begin?¬†I have broken up the starting plan into several ways. ¬†The first time, like preparation for the coming of Christ, is preparation time for the health lifestyle. ¬†I don’t wan tho waste, so my goal will be for the next couple weeks (until October 1st) I will be eating/getting rid of the things I do not need. Unfortunately, that may include my cake-baking supplies, because let’s face it, while I love them, they are not good for me and i frankly have not used them. But good news in this process is I can take the time to pray about it and make a decision.

the Second phase will “begin” on November 30th, at which point all foods will be gone. This is the beginning of advent. I am considering an advent calendar of sorts that will encourage healthy eating with messages about the coming Christ-child.

Third Phase–real life application and devotion. This time is typically devoted to following around Christ in the Bible (since its between his birth and death at Easter). This is the time I plan on still translating and exercising. Practice of discipline, of walking a mile in someone’s shoes, has value and this is about a 2-3 month period anyways‚Ķthen add in Lent after Ash Wednesday which is a glorified of the same thing.

Mardi Gras–this will be a party. One day where I can eat/drink whatever I want. Where i can purposefully let go of translating commitments and spiritual study, despite my longing to always be listening. Truly.

Ash Wednesday & the beginning of Lent: this year I truly want to give up something. Something of value that others deserve more. Both spiritually and physically. Spirit-wise I may share some of my translations with people or double my discipline time. Physically I may give up red meat, or carbs, or something that I should already be sacrificing or something hard to sacrifice yet vitally important.

Holy Week: this gets its own category because every day, from Sunday to Sunday, brings out new meaning to the New Exodus and New Creation about to be formed in the dying of Jesus on the cross. Myabe I will try translating without assistance until I get it or something. Don’t know, but struggle is the key here‚Ķ struggle with God. I am thinking of fasting too, maybe Good Friday. You must prepare for fasten

Resurrection Sunday–celebrate! whatever point I am at, not matter how much weight or verses I’ve translated, I plan on using this time (and other holidays sometimes) as i brief moment to celebrate and thank God to where he has brought me & where i am going. you need these days. They’re important.

Pentecost: the point of this day was that all were living in the Spirit. That’s where I want to be. whatever that looks like. This is more Spirit-guided portion of the year always ūüėČ

Well, there you have it. My new guide & goals. And its not new year’s. Nope-its just 2015. Let the new earth and new heaven and new creation come together ‚Ķ in more ways than one. ūüôā

This also is a good way to follow the Bible–through the Church calendar. I am in search of a liturgical reading of the Bible through 1 year or 2 years that I can follow. I want to start on advent, get prepared over the next 6 weeks as well as complete some items at work that would make room for more efficient study.

If anyone wants to try & follow with me, that would be great! I am willing to consider publishing daily/weekly reminder/tactics for review if enough people think it might be a good idea.

A Shift in Mass

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Sorry–not the religious kind. ¬†The Physical Kind.

So after a few months of working and struggling (more of the later) regarding my weight I have come to one conclusion: I am a food-aholic. ¬†Every time I see something that looks tasty, I eat with my eyes and my stomach wants to follow. ¬†I am addicted to eating almost anything that doesn’t make me sick and realize that I grew up learning to eat everything on my plate.

I have tried dieting (see previous blogs) , watching what I eat, counting food, points, calories and even working out almost 7 days a week to try & shed only a few pounds. ¬†And not only this but my moral has simply crashed. ¬†I have never been more depressed, angry, irritated or annoyed at myself as when I’m eating a delicious donut FULLY KNOWING that it is bad and I already had breakfast. ¬†Similarly to a drug or alcohol (and sometimes almost as life-threatening) — I simply cannot be trusted with food. ¬†Seriously.

However, since I cannot get rid of food like a drug or alcohol–I’ve decided to try the next best thing. ¬†A meal-supplement program. ¬†I have eaten weight watcher meals and lean cuisines for YEARS and (despite actually liking them) I figured that since I cannot be trusted with normal food, that I should have my entire meal plan regulated. ¬†And I know people talk about changing their habits and lifestyles that need changing and their is no excuse. ¬†But the reality is I have made my life work with the lifestyle I have created (and are kind of stuck in it seems like) so I need to take something out of my life and work in what is write. ¬†I tried this with soda on year for Lent and the result has been I prefer NOT drinking soda or at least not cola if I can help it.

And if you’re thinking “No Sara, don’t do it!… “– I have done the research. ¬†Well, I shouldn’t say that other than I know a program that worked for a friend who was in a similar state making LESS money than I was and managed to work it into her budget. ¬†It’s called Medifast. ¬†It’s health research based and one of my best friend’s has lost 40 lbs since March sticking to their 5 to 1 plan.

How it Works: (from what I can read)

You eat 6 portioned meals a day. ¬†3 major and two snacks. And it appears there are some items you can additional snack on if you are still hungry. ¬†The items are all packaged and you’re given a change to eat 1 meal within the guidelines of the “lean and green” option once a day. ¬†Pros: I know what i’m eating. They provide the nutrition for everything and it even has diet options for nursing mothers, gluten-free, vegetarian and diabetes. ¬†And I have tried some of the foods from my friend–they are filling and tasty. ¬†She was able to eat Baked Zucchini parmesan chips and lean cuts of meat … all good things. Only CONS: the regiment of eating foods and no sugar–ABSOLUTELY no sugar, including what is naturally in fruit. ¬†And no carbs. ¬†But as I am gradually realizing that I am committing myself to a program that eliminates the two things that I love for a time–I realize that it is the food aspect that is hurting me. ¬†If I cannot be trusted to only eat a portion or cut out more starchy crude from fast food restaurants, they what makes me think I can be left alone with a bucket of fruit. ¬†I would treat both the same in my mind, only benefiting from the fruit and greens since they are better for me…and not changing my habit when I grab a french fry. ¬†So I have to give them up–until my hands and my stomach understand the different between fried and health…good and bad foods. ¬†If it was something bad–you’d eliminate it completely. ¬†Since it’s food–and you need food to,well, LIVE, i need a better monitoring system than my tastebuds.

So here begins another trial in weight loss. ¬†I hope I can be successful as my friend and that I will learn to eat food better. ¬†And if anyone is interested… be sure to check out the website and add me (2Stucken) as a friend ūüôā

Working on the Physical Side, pt 2

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Ok, I can’t believe I’m “updating” on this topic. ¬†But after this week, I wanted to provide a prospective just for those “trying” to get somewhere with weight loss.

This week i went to the 5 out of 7 days. That’s right. I made it my job. ¬†Mostly because being overweight this week decided to make me pissed off and tired of just thinking. ¬†So when I ate something I should not have, it just fueled my fire to get to the gym and sweet it off. ¬†I will say, this doesn’t happen often, if ever, and will probably die down just like everything… but I’m still in a motivational point so let me be.

I’ve also managed to talk to some other people about the weight loss thing. ¬†Some thoughts to munch on….

1) ¬†When you work out…don’t just push and pull through things. ¬†Your muscles are not meant to do things 15-20-30 times in a row. ¬†Only about 7-10 times in 2-3 cycles. ¬†Even sit-ups. ¬†If they are truly working your abs, you only need to do 10 max. ¬†It should be 1-2 seconds up and 3-6 seconds back down while you’re breathing. ¬†It irritates me when little skinny girls (who I’m like why in the hell are you at the gym anyways) just push back and forth, some of them just texting or playing a game on their phone while “exercising.” ¬†You’re meant to work out your muscles. ¬†Otherwise, just go home–please.

2) Honestly, you need to find a workout plan. ¬†I remember a friend/family member of mine stated she brought a workout sheet and so I did some research only, located some information about what appears best for me (again, God blessed me with the gift of knowledge so I struggle if I have no idea what i’m getting into without doing some research) ¬†and I went for it. ¬†And there are tons of people who loose weight by NOT working out but honestly, its about 15-20% of the process of loosing weight so you might take it seriously. ¬†Yes, do what you can and yes, start small. ¬†But for someone like me who wants to lose a serious amount of weight and wants to keep most if not all of it off, workout is required. ¬†You don’t really need to hire a trainer unless a) you have the money and b) you have the time to commitment but they are helpful for accountability. ¬†But so is your ¬†spouse and honestly, there is not excuse. I got to work out at 10p for an hour and come home, shower and go to bed. Best feeling in the world. ¬†Having the list of the items or reminder of what I need to do and how i’m going to do it is great because its a little victory every time I complete working out a muscle. ¬†Kinda like the Nicaderm quitting smoking commercials, but for working out ūüôā

3) On that note— Unless you are working on becoming a professional weight trainer or working up to a marathon (which is more running on treadmill than weights), you only need to be at the gym for 1-2 hrs MAX. ¬†30mins-1hr cardio and 30-1hr weight trainer. THAT’S IT. ¬†If you work more than that you are straining your muscles and can ruin things. Trust me–have talked with people who have trainers, have read articles about it. ¬†People think the gym takes all this time and they should spend hours in ratio to how much weight they need to lose. ¬†Not true, my friends. ¬†I’m all about maximum efficiency for highest profit.

So anyways–these things have been helpful. ¬†There are ways to do these things at home too, which I encourage. ¬†Right now, the gym is my friend and I bring my iPhone, my water & keys and copy of my license hidden in my phone (case) so I can work out, not worry about buying fast food on the way home & relax when I’m done. ¬†And my husband treats it like brushing my teeth. ¬†He reminds me every day, or asks about it, and hasn’t complained about me going. ¬†SUPPORT IS A MUST! Honestly, working out is not a bad thing, so as long as your support person is flexible with who you are (spouses are great and can come along); you should support this. ¬†Don’t question, don’t judge, don’t argue. ¬†Just support. People trying to loose weight and work out just need encouragement in whatever works best.