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17 Day Diet; Beating the Boredom

Currently, I am on day 15 of Cycle 1, however after a weekend out of town for a wedding… I will be trying out the Transition Smoothie Day; the new addition to the Breakthrough Edition.

Because this isn’t my first time on the 17 day, here are some tried and true favorites of mine to keep you from the boredom of grilled chicken and veggies or boring egg whites because let’s face it.. going without your favorite foods can be hard enough, eating the same monotonous foods can be like hearing the same annoying song on the radio over and over…

 

Breakfast:

  • Egg whites with spinach, broccoli,  low-fat cheese, sriracha hot sauce or salsa
  • Scrambled eggs with hot sauce and sugar free preserves
  • Greek yogurt with red grapes or berries
  • Protein smoothie with greek yogurt or kefir frozen fruit, whey protein powder, spinach
  • Protein pancakes from the 17 Day Diet Girl Blog  http://17ddgal.blogspot.com/2012/02/protein-pancakes-c1.html

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Lunch and Dinner:

salmon

Snacks:

  • Fat-free string cheese, Babybell cheese and red grapes or hard boiled egg
  • Buffalo chicken dip and veggies
  • GF jalapeno poppers with fat free cream cheese and fat free cheese
  • Smoothies

smoothie

More recipes worth trying:

Tips

  • When cooking always double check your condiments to make sure they’re conducive to the 17 day diet.
  • Plan your meals on Sundays, pack your lunches the night before and always have 17 day diet compatible snacks on hand.  (apples, oranges and pears)
  • Use lettuce wraps for tacos or sandwich fillings
  • Be conscious of your portions when it comes to your condiments and snacks.  
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Accountability, Ready, Go.

It’s January and while many other people resort to making resolutions, I’ve given up on making resolutions many, many years ago.  That’s not to say there aren’t things that I could work on to make myself a better, nicer, smarter, fitter and more well-rounded person.

I see myself as a continual work in progress, therefore, I always try to work on myself and I know that if I make a resolution it would be just another thing to give up.

That being said, this last week I decided to revamp my diet and fitness routine once again.  Living in Wisconsin winter weather makes it all too easy to give into comfort food and Netflix binge marathons.

Monday, I began Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet once again.  Yikes.  I hate that word.  If you’re unfamiliar with the 17 Day Diet, I highly recommend it because despite its name, I don’t really view it as a diet but more of a guideline on how we probably should eat any way, less carbs, more green vegetables and only lean sources of protein. It’s a great way to get back on track and it’s feasible none of that two plain egg whites, plain tuna fish, a handful of almonds crap.    picstitch

To stay on track I made cauliflower pizza and some broccoli, carrot, cauliflower soup to take to work this week to keep myself on track.

I also began following the Ashley Conrad 21 Day Clutch-Cut Program.  I dragged  my ass myself to the gym Sunday and Tuesday, Monday I worked out from home.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ashley-conrads-21-day-clutch-cut.html

Because… AIN’T no way I was leaving my apartment when it was that cold.

Today, when I left for the gym wearing a hat, mittens, a bulky winter coat and boots I was very envious of all my favorite super fit fitness bloggers who live down South or out West.  I mean running outside year round and wanting to eat anything but soup during the winter…That might make this easier.

In order to keep myself honest on track, I will be blogging more of my meals plans, recipes and fitness routines.

You’ve been warned.

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Since I’ve Been Gone…

So… I always make these empty promises about blogging more often.  I think the majority of my posts begin with a vow to make this more of a habit.  While I always have the best intentions actually living always gets in the way.  I always wonder how people who are living these large lives via social media do it… or how realistic it always is.

Let’s pretend that it hasn’t been an exorbitant amount of time  and jump right in…

(but first some things you should know that have happened):

1.  Adam and I are now engaged.  WOO HOO.  The first week of school I came home to a trail of my favorite things throughout our apartment with notes attached to them.  It was perfect and just indicative of who we are as a couple…  The idea of a proposal at a restaurant or in a public place kind of freaks me out a little bit, so that being said, it was perfect.  I feel fortunate to find someone who makes life fun, makes me sane and makes the bed each day awesome.

engaged

ringpic

2.  Adam recently began a new job so we have moved back to Green Bay.  I’m loving the shorter commute and being closer to friends, diverse groups of people and the ability to take Spanish classes 10 minutes from our apartment.

A Few Quick Tips (for those of us who are always in a rush)

As hard as I try to arrive to places on time and not stress myself out by being rushed, I somehow end up playing around too much and find myself running out the door like a hot mess tornado.

1.  Hang a hook on the front of your bathroom door with a few outfits on it.  Think of this as taking the whole picking your clothes out the night before just one step further.

door

2.  Utilize Google Calendar or Outlook for Workouts, Meal Planning and grocery list.  If you’re doing the same workout every day of the week for a month you can set up the re-occurrence and also include the contents of the workout on your phone.   I’ll often create an event for meals and include the recipe on the date so that I can quickly look at it on my phone while at the store and use the recipe again when I’m making the meal.

After a day filled with way too many calories and  a lot of conversation I’m ready for a nap and some time to decompress.  Whew.

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Healthy Eating on a Budget.

Okay.  So… I’m by no means a personal trainer or a nutritionist but I workout regularly and healthy cooking/eating  is a topic I’ve researched thoroughly and feel fairly knowledgeable about.  When I’m interested in something (like health and fitness) I learn as much as possible about it.  I’ve had conversations with friends and coworkers throughout the years so… I thought every once in awhile I’d tackle a different challenge when it comes to health and fitness. (okay you may resume reading now)

These posts are by no means meant to be preachy, judgmental or rude.  Instead I’m going to tackle every excuse when it comes to health and fitness with reason, advice and help from personal experience.  (My weight fluctuates often, sometimes I lack motivation, I’ve had my own excuses and I struggle when a deep fried cheese curd is around.) Of course in the end… I’ll probably say “boom, lawyered.” 

Alright.  So when it comes to health and fitness one of the biggest excuses concerns is the fact eating healthy can be costly.  Considering the fact that Adam & I both work for nonprofits it’s safe to say we’re not living life like rap stars.

Bottom line unless you’re on a budget where you’re only eating Ramen noodles, mac & cheese and cutting all your other expenses (cable, clothing, alcohol, going out to dinner, social expenses etc.) and you can afford to eat healthy.

Just a tip:  you should try to spend about 10-15% of your monthly budget on groceries/food.

How-to-eat-healthy-on-a-budget_thumb.jpg

There are a million different tips and tricks to keep in mind when it comes to spending less on groceries.  I’m just going to share one with you.  Because to be honest, extreme couponing gives me anxiety just thinking about it.

Growing up, my parents shopped at ALDI’s to save money.  While my parents weren’t on a tight budget, I grew up learning to save on the things you can, so you have have more on the rest.  When I was in middle school this used to embarrass me but now I have my own ALDI’s stand-bys I purchase before heading to additional stores.  (Truth is.. I shop at multiple stores to save even more money)

Here is my guide to shopping at ALDI’s for those who wish to eat healthy and do some inexpensively…

If you’ve never been to ALDI’s what you should know:  (if you have you can skip right on through this part)

1.  Always have your quarter handy.  If you’re going to use a cart you need to have a quarter to get your cart out of the carousel.  ALDI’s does this as a favor to all of us whose biggest pet peeve is people who don’t put their carts away.

If you check out the Web site, the company’s official Web site answer=

Why do I need a quarter to use a shopping cart at ALDI?

At ALDI, we cut costs every way we can to keep prices low. Our shopping cart deposit system is a good example. You insert a quarter to release a cart. When you return the cart, you get your quarter back. This system cuts down on the labor of collecting carts left in the parking lot, damage to cars, and we pass the savings on to you.

2.  Bring your own bags or grab boxes as you go.  I have a great carryall I received as a gift from Adam’s mom.  It fits about three-four bags worth of groceries and helps me eliminate having to take multiple trips

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3.  Have cash or a debit card.  ALDI’s does not take credit cards.  Be sure to have a debit card or cash handy to make your purchase.

4.  Get a cart to make it easier in the end.  When you go to the register to check out, they put all of your groceries in a cart which is sitting next to the clerk who checks you out.  If you don’t have a cart, then you have to leave the cart there and get all of your groceries out immediately after they check you out.  If you bring a cart, you take the cart they use and give them the cart you have for the next person.  (This always seems to confuse and stress out first time shoppers, so bottom line bring your bags and grab a cart)

What you can buy at ALDI’s:  (what I often buy)

-Jennie-O Ground Turkey or Italian Sausage $3.49, $3.69

-Frozen strawberries for smoothies $1.99

-Guacamole $2.99 (the spicy version is the best), it reminds me of Wholly Guacamole, it’s relatively clean

-Baby carrots .89

-Bag of Spinach $1.79

-Sandwich skinnies (like Sandwich thins) $1.99

-Fit & Active Flatbread (whole grain) $2.29

-Stevia $1.99

-Low calorie Gatorade $0.65 for a 32 oz

-Almond Milk ( it is sweetened though) $2.49

-Red Grapes, peaches, blueberries, sweet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, green salad mix

-Low sodium chicken and beef broth

-Artichoke Salsa

-Plain yogurt for cooking

They also have:

-Low calorie ice cream sandwiches (comparable to skinny cow)

-Spreadable cheese wedges like Laughing Cow

-Sweet potato chips

-Baked chips

-Protein bars

-Fruit leathers

-Nuts

Things I wouldn’t buy from ALDI’S:

-Coffee creamer

-baggies, aluminum foil or many household products—there are certain things you just have to buy brand name

-non brand name meats (frozen chicken breasts, pork tenderloins and the shrimp I heard are okay but I’m particular about my meats)

*Granted there will always be deals at other grocery stores from time to time and we all view the idea of “healthy” foods differently.  I am just reintroducing complex carbs and I eat relatively clean.  If you watch calories but eat some processed foods lower in calories you might eat differently than I do.   However, this is just a quick guide for anyone curious about ALDI’s, getting into eating healthy or getting back on track.

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A Lot Less Hair…

First off, let’s talk about hair.  I have a whole lot less of it.

new haircut

I took the plunge, I used a Groupon and I had my hair colored, deep conditioned and cut into a long(ish) bob.  She styled it with a round brush, flat iron and a little bit of backcombing. P.S. I always really watch how the stylist does my hair rather than sitting there awkwardly…ask questions and see if your stylist sections it when blow drying it, the angles they flat iron it, what types of brushes they use and what types of products they use.  Then you won’t be able to say to your friends “It will never look this good again.”

Prior to my appointment, I woke up that morning, had some coffee and showered.  I always debate whether or not I should do anything to my hair, leave it wet, dry or dirty when I know it’s just going to be washed and cut anyway…?

By the way, I’m not exactly pleasant in the morning…  I’m pretty much useless without my morning coffee.

Grumpy without coffee

Someday, I’ll post the products I use, how I style my hair and extensions I’ve used in the past. I recently heard about a product called Back Comb in a bottle… I think I’ll have to check that out.

TEXAS BIG HAIR

My hair is abnormal in that it’s not typical ethnic Asian hair.  I don’t have that gorgeous thick, jet black hair.  Instead I have a hot mess of wavy, fine hair that needs to be styled or sits like an afro on my head in the summer.  Awesome.

weave gurl

We went for a really hot and long walk this weekend.  Afterwards I was feeling dehydrated.  So I tried the Power Ice I had received from my Bulu Box Living Social Coupon.

Frozen ice pops

It reminded me of the frozen Gatorades I used to drink during the summers of my soccer playing days.  I may try and concoct something of the sort one of these days…

CIAO.

 

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Alternative Names for This Blog…

Since we’ve last caught up I’ve made great efforts to read books for leisure rather than educational purposes.
Growing up, we didn’t always have cable and my parents used to take us to the library a few times a month.  My parents had to put a limit on my Babysitter’s Club or Sweet Valley High books because it got a little out of control.  In the summer, my mom used to pay me $0.25 a book to encourage summer reading.  Looking back, I’m thankful she did that.

Before there was SATC…

I’ve really gotten into reading humor.  Throughout the years I’ve picked up a variety of Chelsea Handler books, I am nearly finished with Bossypants but I truly love Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?  (And Other Concerns).  My favorite chapter in the book is called Alternative Titles for This Book
http://theconcernsofmindykaling.com/the-book
As I’ve began to think about what sort of blog I want this to be and in just what direction I want the subject matter to fall in… I came up with my own list for this blog.
Alternative Names for this Blog

  • Just another Asian girl doing YouTube Tutorials
  • How Coffee Saved my Life
  • Graduate School; Prolonging Adulthood
  • Tricks for Avoiding People in Public Without it Being Awkward
  • Why Running While Eating a Cupcake Doesn’t Work
  • Great Wisconsin Cheeses
  • The Hilarious Names and Things said by Inner City Children
  • Growing up Yellow in Small Town Wisconsin
  • Burpees and Other Fears Examined
  • Where to Find Fashionable Shoes in Size 3
  • One Girl’s Quest to Wear a Sports Bra Under Everything
  • How to Wear Dark Eye Makeup Without Looking like a Hooker
  • I Only Run Sometimes So It’s Not Going to be in the Title

Hope you enjoyed that little preview of what’s to come.  This year I promise to share more of my workouts, recipes, experiences and sass. 

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On Last week’s Episode of My Life…

Considering the last post was almost a year ago it’s safe to say…that life has really gotten away from me.  Instead of going through every agonizing detail, let’s just pretend that you’re watching your favorite TV drama and we’re going to catch you up.

On Last  Year’s Week’s Episode of My Life…

1.  I started a new job at a nonprofit organization, though I only work four days a week it’s safe to say that’s been a contributing factor to my inability to take up a blogging habit.

2.  We went to Florida.  It was Adam’s first time with my family and it was fun showing him around all my favorite spots and for him to see the weird cultural differences that Naples has to offer.  Plus who doesn’t enjoy being surrounded by New Joooisy and Bostaaan accents?

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3.  I received my first speeding ticket and I was involved in a hit and run accident on the highway all in the course of a month.  WHEW.  Wisconsin winter driving is less than awesome.

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4.  Adam and I ran our first run together, though let’s face it we didn’t really run it together…  but I’m proud of him for committing to it and sticking through it.

5.  I finished my first year of graduate school.  I ended the year with a 3.5 GPA, a lot less money, an even more severe caffeine addiction and little to no printer ink. 

Here are some additional photos from the course of the year….  

2013

floridasalmon   Harry Potter World  
  
Stay tuned, this year will only be better, I promise.