Friday, May 30, 2014

Back At It : Paleo Days + Sweaty Workouts

I am back at it and so, so happy!
Since Summer started, I've been working 40 hours/week. I tried finding a routine that worked best for me and have had a really hard time getting myself back into a routine. My afternoons have started to go like this: get off work at 4:30, UREC around 4:50ish, change, get things together and then head inside -- sometimes I don't finish at the UREC until 7PM. Then I usually head over to see Peter and Cabela, and eventually do not make it home until 9 or later. THEN trying to make dinner + lunch for the next day -- that just wasn't cutting it for me.
But, on Tuesday I woke up and realized it had been a week since I worked out last + eating nothing but junk the past few days. I was over it. AND it didn't help that I was going to the beach with some friends for the weekend. That extra push threw me into overdrive mode and I knew I had to make a change.
So what do I do when I'm stressed? I plan. What's my favorite kind of planning? Any kind that deals with food -- duh! On Monday Night, Memorial Day, Peter and I celebrated America by making tacos -- how American of us right? I ended up making a delicious taco salad with the ingredients so I was definitely in the mood for that again.
For me, the best way to  monitor my portions + caloric intake is to plan everything out -- to the very last detail. I start off by thinking of the 3 big meals and go from there.
Here's what my Tuesday looked like:
-1 Fresh Pear (not pictured)
-Iceberg + Arugula
-Ground Taco Meat mixed with bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes
-2 Types of Salsa (for dressing)
-Root Vegetable chips
-Spicy Guacamole
The recipe for the taco salad was super easy! Make tacos like you normally would and use your favorite taco seasoning. In a separate pan sautéed your desired vegetables. When meat is almost cooked through combine the vegetables with the meat. Stir + sauté until meat is cooked through.
For the guac -- Peter made it and his motto is the simpler the better. I, on the other hand, am not like this. The more spices + fixin's the better. So, I added a lot of cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and pepper to mine guac. I promise, you will thank me.
Mid-Afternoon Snack:
-JOJO's Chocolate Bark
After lunch I typically like to wait a little while (to extend the eating process of course) and have a mid morning snack! Today I was so excited to try JOJO'S Chocolate Bark for the first time! This bark is amazing + tastes just as good as it is for you! The bark has 152 Calories, 11g of Fat, 10g of Carbs, and 4g of Protein + is made with all natural ingredients - Dark Chocolate, Raw Almonds, Raw Pistachios, Cranberries and all natural Whey Protein! AND... drumroll please. It's PALEO friendly!
Stayed tuned my friends, there may or may not be a giveaway coming up soon -- hmm, maybe someone could win 10 whole servings of the bark?
Hmm... I don't know -- looks like you just have to stay tuned ; )
I decided that in order to keep myself motivated to go to the gym, I am going to start drinking my pre-workout as soon as I get in the car. I had one of my favorite pre-workout drinks, Raspberry Acai Green Tea, on the way to the gym. For those of you who haven't tried Celsius -- go out and get some. This stuff is amazing! At first I was pretty skeptical about drinking something out of a can before heading to workout, but since this is NOT carbonated I thought I'd give it a chance. The taste is amazing and it tasted like a refreshing cocktail ; )  + It was the perfect thing to keep me focused, ready to workout + energized throughout my workout!
Along with my Celsius I had half of my Strawberry Cheesecake Quest Bar -- so delicious. That was my first time trying that flavor and I absolutely loved it -- definitely kept me fueled for my intense workout for the day.
-My 30 Minute Cardio Circuit
I blogged about this workout a while back here and wanted to pull it from the vault because it is the perfect workout. It's one of those workouts that you immediately feel. It gets me sweating, it gets my heart rate up and can definitely feel that my muscles are working!
Post Workout:
-Other half of Strawberry Cheesecake Quest Bar
-1 Bag of Grapes
After my workout I had my bag of green grapes and the other half of my Quest Strawberry Cheesecake Bar as my recovery snack. I ended up heating the bar in the microwave for about 45 seconds -- this made it nice and doughy. Heaven.
-Garlic Chipotle Sweet Potatoes  
Later that night, I headed home and decided I was in the mood to whip something up that was Paleo, filling and could bring to lunch for the next 2 days. I remembered I had 3 pretty little bell peppers sitting in my fridge and decided to make some concoction out of them. I ended up with spicy stuffed bell peppers with an awesome yogurt sauce.
Check out the recipe here!

Obviously I slept amazing Tuesday and was ready to face whatever Wednesday was going to throw at me! Since I had eaten so well the day before, + was feeling GREAT, I decided to continue the trend! I packed up a whole days worth of food, much like the day before.
Here we goooo:
-1 Pear
-1 Spicy Stuffed Bell Pepper + Yogurt Sauce
-Garlic Chipotle Sweet Potato
-Strawberries on the side
Afternoon Snack:
-Black Pepper Pistachios
Since I loved my JOJO's Chocolate Bark so much on Tuesday I had to pack it for a snack on Wednesday! I also had a pack of Black Pepper Seasoned Pistachios from Graze -- more details to come on that amazing company soon but Graze is a month box that sends you perfectly portioned snacks (in individually wrapped packages) that are based off of your preferences based off your online account. They also give you a friendcode when you sign up to share with your friends -- it gives your friends their 1st and 5th boxes free. It then gives you the option to use the $1, you earn when a friend buys with your code, towards your next box, or you can donate it to the "graze school of farming". Use my friendcode to get your first box free (cancel anytime) : Z23XH5NMP
Today for my workout I tried out a workout from one of my favorite fitness/foodie bloggers - Peanut Butter Fingers!
This workout was truly amazing - I felt great during it but it definitely was a challenge!

Post Workout:
I headed out with Cabela to the dog park and enjoyed the nice afternoon! He loves the dog park -- even when no one's there... he wanders around, then chases birds, then smells the grass and then just sits and stairs. Well, to each his own.
P.S. my workout gear for the day was explodin' with color + rocking my CHAARG power pink tank!

- Spicy Bell Pepper Filling with added Kale + Egg
- Garlic Sweet Potatoes
- Other half of Chocolate Peanut Butter Quest Bar 

For dinner I wanted to use the last of my Bell Pepper filling but wanted to make it go further, so I added about a cup and a half of kale and topped it with a poached egg (except in the picture the egg yolk had already popped). This was the perfect post workout dinner because it was full of protein + carbs to refuel my body! After dinner, I wanted something for dessert but didn't want to blow my good day by eating Oreos. So I decided to eat the other half of my Quest Bar and throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds to make it like brownie batter -- awesome decision.
I forgot how good it felt to be completely Paleo for a few days and my body missed it. I love eating real, whole foods to fuel my body naturally instead of filling it with tons of junk. Don't get my wrong, I love some good old cheese fries and a hot dog, + I may or may not have just eaten both midway through writing this post ; ) If you eat healthy + work hard 90% of the time, you definitely need to treat yo' self!
Well, that's all for now -- heading off to the beach tomorrow so I'll catch up with you guys after that!
Have a fit + fantastic day!

*Disclaimer: The Quest Bars, Celsius, graze, and JOJO's Chocolate Bark products were sent to me as promotional items to blog about and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. And yes, I actually do love the products!

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