Life after Snatched

So as I mentioned before — I am almost two weeks through the Buzzfeed Healthy Eating Challenge. Overall, I’ve REALLY enjoyed doing this. It takes the guesswork out of food and prep. It feels good and healthy. It’s fueling my body with LOTS of veggies and it isn’t that hard to maintain. It does take time to prep 3 meals and 2 snacks every day (for two people, no less) but I feel like I’ve been successful! I also feel like it’s given me more ideas of things to cook and breakfasts to have. I think Randall and I will sit down and talk about which meals we liked best and put them into our rotation. He really liked a black bean chili they had, and I’ve been into all the eggs I’m eating (I love eggs… no seriously… LOVE them).

We also had the Snatched Wrap party which was really fun and I got back my “official” before and after pictures. Even though I didn’t “win” (you can get all your money back if you have the best before/after pics), I feel like the pictures show real progress.

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What I find really interesting is how the shape of my lower half has changed! Also shoulder/deltoid definition is cool! Also — good haircut.

Doing the Buzzfeed challenge has really helped to take food out of the equation for now. I’ve been going to my Mark Fisher classes and training with the personal trainer outside of that. And somehow have dropped a few more pounds in just those few weeks. I am really into my new body and understand that it takes some time and energy to maintain but my head space is good. Saying no is easier (this is the hardest thing for me). And I’ve been playing with rewards such as huge iced unsweetened green teas after workouts. I’ve been only supplementing protein on mornings that I work out because I figure my exertion probably balances out the extra calories and PROTEIN. I know I still have a ways to go but I feel like I’m finally back in a place to focus on it.

I’m going to go back to my greek yogurt/flax seed/blackberry/almond parfait now. Thanks Buzzfeed!

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Snatched AFTER Photos!

So I actually took my “official” after photo today — unfortunately it is RAINING LIKE NO OTHER here so I was rocking the wet dog look. We’ll see how it actually turns out but in looking at my unofficial photos — I feel pretty damn good about where I am at.

I’ve decided to sign up for the 3 month membership at 8 classes a month with Mark Fisher and then keep on 2x/week at Blink. I really feel like this is sustainable though I did have a slight panic moment where I was like — IS THIS THE REST OF MY LIFE? I am not going to answer that per se — and just take it day by day, week by week.

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IMG_4305So not bad! Work paid off. I only lost between 3-4 pounds but I lost around 4 inches off my hips and 3 off my waist so — nothing to complain about. Though one of the guys in our Snatched Facebook group LOST 32LBS!!! And with that I knew I lost the before/after photo contest! But I definitely ran my own race. I’ve been dieting for a lot of my life and so I think my metabolism isn’t what a young man who hasn’t dieted much is.

This weekend was the bell concert and though it was really fun and the concert went super well, it was a long two days, and my hands are tired. Here’s a picture of my wonderful choir:

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In the meantime I’ve been prepping the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge. Today is Day 2 and I’ll check in with you later this week about how it’s going — but so far so good. And Randall is on board which is the best part of it. His review so far: too much kale and barley is good. Today I got a text “This salad is weird.” More to come.

And Now Week 6

Wow this Snatched journey has whizzed past. I am actually really sad for it to be ending. I’ve decided to stick with my plan and do 2 classes/week at Mark Fisher while keeping up 2 days a week at Blink. It’s slightly less than the 5 days I’m doing now but I am fairly certain it’s sustainable.

What I’m more concerned about is how nutrition factors in. We’ve been doing 2 week check-ins with Mark and he hasn’t adjusted any of my macro-nutrients even though I’m experiencing MINIMAL weight loss (I’m losing inches though!). So I’m not sure when it STOPS working what I do… Presumably if I’m still a member at Mark Fisher Fitness I can ask him for advice — he prides himself on being open/available to all his ninjas.

Last class was fun! We bought some ninja masks and all wore black and it was a silly good time. It kind of turned into a 50 Shades of Grey thing but … what doesn’t? This is our class picture and I LOVE them. I will really miss these silly people after next week. ALSO tragically — I am missing our last class due to a handbell festival. So I’m trying to figure out nice ways to say goodbye to these guys on Thursday.

Karen came over and we cooked a bunch this weekend as always. I am hoping to try and keep up some of this recipe planning for the time to come as it’s been infinitely helpful to me.

We made

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Everything was really tasty and I’m glad to have stuff for the week as always. This will be a busy week. I am thinking maybe I should’ve roasted a big bag of vegetable to go with lunch though as I don’t have any greens today. But so goes. Might be able to work that out tonight.

For the two weeks after snatched I was thinking about participating in Buzzfeed’s Clean Eating Challenge. I think I’d beef up the protein portions a little but it looks fun/easy enough to follow. I might see if Randall will do it with me. (Or any of you? Any takers??)

I am a little concerned I’m not going to get my 5th workout in this week because the bell festival is taking up my entire Saturday and Sunday. I may see if I can get an appointment Saturday evening because I think that’s my only shot so far.

Anyway — the end of snatched nears  my anxiety goes up. I think that’s normal. I don’t want to lose the momentum that I’ve worked really hard to maintain! There is a “Life after Snatched” workshop that I will attend so that’s good. And I’m sure Mark will have good tips on continuing to live your best life after snatched.

I’ve also really enjoyed having this blog space so thank you all for your encouragement and listening! I’ve been really moved by my friends who have popped up to say they’re reading and offer their own thoughts and feelings on my journey and theirs! Keep on doing everything in your control to live your best life! You can do it!

MORE COOKING!

Today I finished my last workout of the week. I went to Blink for my training and this time Karen tagged along. It was fun having a workout buddy. Karen also made me walk home from the gym — which is about a mile walk. I usually take the subway. She treated me to a venti (unsweetend, of course) iced green tea for the trek. Then we came back to my apartment and started COOKING. I am a little tired of the egg muffins so we looked for a new recipe and found this Breakfast Sausage and Mushroom Strata. Though when picking the recipe we didn’t realize that it needed to sit overnight! So I still need to bake it. But here it is in all it’s glory!

IMG_4174Look at Karen making sure those bread crumbs are COATED! She takes it seriously.

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Then we made a Lobster Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe I got from one of the trainers at Mark Fisher Fitness. I thought we followed the instructions perfectly but it ended up really watery and not that creamy. I did have it for dinner tonight and it was TASTY but didn’t really feel that mac-and-cheese-y. But I would try it again I think. My guess is something went wrong with the roux and we actually needed more flour. So goes. I will still eat it.

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I made those turkey meatballs again that I had Week 1. Got a picture of them this time!

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We also made these Chocolate Peanut Butter balls. I added 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. They are pretty good but I think may have  been better if they were used with two bananas instead of just one. I was happy to have those little oatmeal cookies this week that I’m glad we added another low calorie dessert for me to not worry about over consuming. They are not beautiful but you get the idea.

IMG_4177This weekend I started directing a workshop of a new play I hope to bring to the NYFringe Festival this summer so this weekend is really booked but I’m glad even with all that activity going on I made the time to go to the gym and cook meals for the week. Tomorrow is another busy day (bells at church, rehearsals in the afternoon, and then my sisters-in-law are coming over for dinner) but at least my body can take a break. I drank all my water and I plan to soak in some Epsom Salts. My new best friend. I need to go to bed early because I need to be at rehearsal at 8:30am. Wah wah.

IMG_4169This is also the first check-in for Mark Fisher Fitness and Snatched and so I’ll be weighing myself/taking measurements for the next three days in a row. I do feel like I have been nailing all the things. The only splurge I had was last night when one of my friend’s mom took me and Randall out to dinner. I made good menu choices (steamed halibut) but then she asked to split a chocolate mousse with me and I made the choice to say yes. I didn’t feel like I over did it and knowing I was going out, I tried to manage my calories and choices earlier in the day. I hope this doesn’t set me back in my check in.

I do owe you some Week 2 pictures. I am planning on having Randall take them Monday morning so stay tuned.

Week 2 check-in!

I am trying to get ahead of the crazy weekend ahead. I am work-shopping a new play for three weekends in a row which will slightly alter my routine. I already have time set aside this weekend to cook (Saturday!!) but I know it will be a less relaxing weekend than I’ve gotten used to. I am also playing handbells at church (like any good Jewish girl) so that crams up my Sunday and made me reschedule Snatched for tomorrow morning. Sigh. And in two weeks it’s Passover! I don’t think my day-to-day cooking will have to change that much besides me using some matzo meal instead of breadcrumbs but we’ll see.

Exercise: Well I’d say that Sunday’s Snatched class really got things started. We had what felt like a real workout complete with sets and reps. This Tuesday I upped the kettle bell I was using to 20kg (~44lbs) and I was pretty successful so I felt good/strong about that. I also had another training at Blink yesterday and am FEELING IT in my armpits today. She had me doing  chest presses and work on this torture exercise machine. (It looks something like this picture but not exactly…)

I didn’t exactly nail my scheduling this week so Tuesday – Saturday are going to be my five work-out days without much rest/recovery in between. It should be okay as Snatched is not terribly intense yet but I’ll let you know how I’m feeling this weekend.

Nutrition: I am still doing well. I had really my first non-home cooked meal yesterday and I went out to Bareburger which is an all-natural, mostly-organic burger joint. I got the Bison (leaner than beef but PROTEIN!!) and had it in a collard green wrap with a bunch of veggies in it. The wrap was okay — a bun would have been better — but it’s just as well. My dad got onion rings for the table (I did not budget for those), but I made the choice to have one and logged it (a shocking 125 calories…). I was actually still within my goals for calorie/fat/carbs so I was glad to have that onion ring! I even passed on beer and had a diet coke for another treat.

I made a batch of this Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime on Monday and still have some leftover for dinner tonight. I altered it slightly and made it with two chicken breasts — I split them long ways so they’d cook faster and baked it at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. This gives me four breasts at about 34 grams of protein per serving. Not bad! And the recipe is delicious too. At some point I’ll try it with dark meat but the white meat was really tasty. No complaints and it was nice to have that around the house for a quick dinner to reheat since Randall’s been in tech this week so not home so much to help me cook!

Sleep: I’ve been making a stronger attempt to go to bed earlier especially since I’m not taking too many days off between workouts. RECOVERY FTW!!!! I had a few days where I was inexplicably waking up at 4:30am but I don’t think that happened last night so … not too worried about it. Could be any number of things — seasons changing, daylight savings, lots of water, exercise, protein. YOU NAME IT.

Water: I had a panic attack (exaggeration) yesterday over whether I had 2 or 3 servings of water (32oz = 1 bottle of my Contigo!). I had been keeping track in my Plant Nanny app (which said I’d finished the second serving) but in my MIND I already had 3. And then I remembered I drank a whole bottle at the gym that morning so it was 3. Isn’t my life the most exciting? But yes, drinking my 96 ounces. It’s getting easier and easier and I no longer feel as water logged as I once did. And, in fact, sometimes I’m still thirsty after 96oz. Who’d have thought? The trick is to stop drinking at like … 8pm otherwise I’ll be PEEING ALL NIGHT! And that’s not great for sleeping…

WHY: I’m realizing I want to develop my WHY a little more. So much of what I’m doing deals with the fact that I was only moderately successful at Snatched last time and want to do better this time. But that is a 6-week why and not something that’s going to carry me through after Snatched ends. I’ve traditionally had motivation issues. I guess I want to be my healthiest/hottest self. In a way, it actually helps that I’m not chugging toward a really stressful goal (I WANT TO BE HOT AT MY WEDDING) and instead just taking the time and space to transform my body for me. But WHY? I am going to mull on it. Do any of you have a good WHY you’re working towards?

COOKING EXTRAVAGANZA Part 2

Well it was a fast and furious Sunday evening but Karen and I accomplished it all! Unfortunately it was SO FAST AND FURIOUS I forgot to take many pictures but so goes! We did mostly stick to the plan and I’m really happy we got so much done!

We tried the spinach/fat free feta breakfast muffins and they are quite tasty. It was a good substitute and I plugged in the new information in myfitnesspal and it actually is fewer calories with the same protein as the broccoli/cheddar so… that’s something! This is one of those I forgot to document last night but here is breakfast today:

IMG_4171We thought about adding an additional breakfast but I really couldn’t think of what to make. Didn’t want the same spinach pie two days in a row and wasn’t sure what else would be super high protein that isn’t very similar to the egg muffins. So we just kept it there for now. Might dabble in overnight oats again. Stay tuned. For lunches we made a pan of Turkey Meatloaf. We actually made two pans of the meatloaf (one for lunches and one for dinner for last night and it was delicious). Check out all that protein:

IMG_4160For dinner we also roasted some Brussels sprouts a spray of Pam and that Lemon Pepper seasoning. So good.

IMG_4167For another lunch option we made Asian Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles and a sesame sauce. I forgot to take a picture of them together but here are the parts:

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I’ll let you know how they ended up. I didn’t use cilantro because I don’t love it (plus it’s a lot of chopping work). We also didn’t cook the zoodles and left them raw because I figured they’d cook better in the microwave when reheating all of this. Also the sesame sauce called for water which I didn’t add because the zoodles will make some water in the dish anyway and I didn’t want it too liquidy. Also a reminder I LOVE my Paderno spiralizer.

After all that cooking we were a little wiped out but felt like a dessert option would be good so we made these Skinnytaste Breakfast Cookies! They are REALLY small (I did manage to get 18 cookies out of it but they are suuuper teeny. Not sure if you can tell from this picture. But two cookies are less than 100 calories and I think just one cookie will satisfy my chocolate craving. They came together in like … 20 minutes start to finish and are quite tasty. Not high in protein but they’re small enough to not worry about it.

IMG_4170For reference this is only half of my baking tray.

So all in all a very productive evening. I’m excited about eating all the food. This week I have a few more evenings out so I’m getting prepared to deal with that (researching Snatched-Friendly restaurants). If you have any suggestions for restaurants — especially those that publish their full nutrition information online — have at me! Happy Monday everyone!

Snatched Week 1, Class 1

Well yesterday I had my first Snatched class. It was mostly learning the techniques and even though it felt like we didn’t do much in the way of working out — I feel sore today. It’s gonna be a FUN 6 weeks! I came home after snatched and whipped together some Skinnytaste Picadillo which was DELICIOUS — I don’t like peppers so I left that out. I also roasted some broccoli which I love. Hoping I don’t get sick of it but I think I’ve always loved broccoli. I know I’m only on my third day here but I am jazzed about nailing my nutrition. I thought I might feel a little wonky being back in that space but I actually felt quite good. My group is male-heavy (there were only 3 ladies in class total!) but everyone was really really nice and I’m hoping we manage to form a good positive community for each other.

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The whole dinner took maybe 30 minutes to come together so it’s a good one to keep in my pocket for post-snatched workouts. Randall has already volunteered to be in charge of dinners on Thursdays after Snatched and again on Friday. I’m excited to show you what he comes up with for us! Tonight I’m going to make some Chicken Tikka Masala which I’ve had before and is delicious. I’m going to serve that with some roasted cauliflower — was thinking about making that Cauliflower Rice all over pinterest but I don’t think I’m motivated enough and don’t LOVE rice so much that I’d want a substitute.

I am really happy with all the prep I did this weekend. It is making it so easy to be successful during the work week. I now know that I should make that a weekly habit. I’ll start figuring out recipes for the weekend tomorrow. I still have a lot of breakfasts in the fridge as well as the poached chicken (which — I’ll be honest — I’m not dying to eat). I’ve been really enjoying the meatballs as lunches and think I will do something along those lines for next week. Perhaps these. Anyway, I feel happy and in control even though I forgot my water bottle again so am back to the lousy 8oz work cups. I also bought a protein blender bottle that I tried out last night on my chocolate peanut butter protein shake (pretty tasty despite the peanut butter protein not being my favorite!).

I have a few earlier mornings this week (including a personal training session at Blink this Friday! Woo!) so I am trying to go to bed earlier to get my 7-9 hours in.

Thanks for your support and if you have any suggestions for my weekend cooking extravaganza — let me know!