Big Girl Biking

Being a big girl, sometimes exercise can be difficult or uncomfortable. For example, when I’m at the gym and I decide to ride the stationary bike, it’s difficult for me because a lot of my extra fat is in my stomach area. So when I pedal, my legs/knees move up into my stomach, making it sorta miserable and uncomfortable.

So when my best friend Megan decided she wanted to go biking on riverside here in Tulsa, I was a little skeptic. I was nervous that it would be hard for me to bike without my knees going into my chub. Also, I feared that I’d be too heavy and the bike would just break into a million pieces. Other than those 2 slightly major fears, I was excited about the biking.

As I think I’ve said before, I am loving getting out on the weekends and doing stuff, fun stuff, exercise stuff! If you know me, you’d know that up until recently, I always said I “hated the great outdoors.” Well, I don’t feel that way anymore. I love being outside and doing fun things now. I just hope (fingers crossed) that when summer comes and its 120 degrees outside, that I’m still enjoying being outside and being active. Fat girls and hot as hell heat don’t mix.

As for yesterday though, the weather was perfect, about 85 degrees, clear skies, and sunny. We rented our bikes on Riverside in Tulsa at a place called Tulsa Townies (http://www.tulsa-townies.com). Basically, you use your credit card to rent the bikes, and if you return the bike within 24 hours, you don’t get charged, so it’s free!

  

You can see the bike rental area behind me. The trail we took started when we crossed the white bridge behind me, and then keeps going all along riverside, a trail that is exactly what it says; along a river. We rode for 2 miles one way, then turned around and came back for a total of 4.13 miles biked. We stopped a few times along the way also. Total it took us 32 minutes.

   

I was pretty exhausted and my legs were worn out. When we started, I think in our minds we thought we’d go farther, but it was a good, tough workout. There were hills along the way, so our legs had to work hard. Either way, it was such a blast! I hope we go again soon and maybe next time, we’ll ride farther.

I wanted to tell you also about my other exercise this week. I worked out 6 times total this week, all doing different things! Here’s what I did this week.

  • Hiking on turkey mountain last Sunday
  • Walked around apartment complex on Tuesday
  • Walked after work on trail near my job
  • Walked on treadmill at the gym Friday night
  • Went bike riding Saturday morning
  • Walked around track at the gym and did arm exercises at the gym Saturday evening

I like variety. It just makes exercise more fun! Here in about an hour, Megan, my friend Demi, and I are going to go back and hike turkey mountain, then go grab lunch.

Yesterday, Megan and I went to Freebirds for lunch after biking. I’m now obsessed with that place. Their website is GREAT if you’re looking to count calories. You just click what you’re adding to your burrito, and it adds up your calories. We’re going back again today for lunch. So easy and so good!

Speaking of food, my eating has been pretty great this week. I had one mess up yesterday where I decided to go get Chinese food, but other than that, I feel like I’ve made great choices. Here’s some of what I ate last week.

   

The first day, I made black bean tacos for lunch but the beans made the tacos soft and fall apart. So the next day, I decided to eat the beans on the side and just have avocado tacos with diced Roma tomato and cotija cheese. Sooo yummy! I served the tacos with either carrots or green beans.

Breakfast was omelets with toast OR cereal and scrambled eggs.  

  

  

I had tuna salad sandwiches for a couple lunches and once for dinner. Tuna is such an easy go to for a quick meal. Tuna even saved me from going to Taco Bueno one night after working out because I was tired, but I knew I could make a really fast tuna sandwich so I didn’t end up getting fast food.

   

For dinners last week, I had pizza toasts with a side salad, PF Chang’s frozen Mongolian beef with fried rice, mini chicken tacos with guacamole and a side salad, and baked fish with mashed potatoes and carrots.

 

     

I wanted to be able to give a weight loss update, but I don’t have one for this week. Even with all this exercise, I’ve actually gained a pound. I’m going to tell myself that it’s muscle so I don’t get discouraged from continuing to exercise and eat healthy.

Even without weight loss, it has been a great week! Now I must go so I can go hike turkey mountain with my friends!

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My Weekly Meal Plan

It seems like I’m always talking about my meals, but I don’t think I’ve fully talked about my meal planning.

So here it is!

A little more about my weekly meal planning:

First, I start my week on Monday, so in my brain Monday is the first day of the week. Towards the end of my week, usually on Thursday night or Friday, I’m brainstorming about what I’d like to eat for the following week.

Once I decide on what to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Friday, I make a grocery list. That way, I don’t forget anything and I don’t end up buying extra, unneeded stuff.

I usually go to the grocery store on Saturday or Sunday, depending on what my schedule is like. On Sunday evenings, I start prepping for the next 5 days.

Here’s a look at what my meal plan is for this week.

Monday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Tuna salad salad with celery, walnuts, apples, and fat free mayo served with a side of my homemade healthy honey mustard dressing and homemade chips and salsa.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, Veggie Krunch, pecan nut butter.

Dinner-BBQ chicken foil packet w/ purple potatoes, red and green bell pepper, squash, and green onion topped w/ a little cheddar cheese and boiled cabbage on the side.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Tuesday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Tuna salad salad with celery, walnuts, apples, and fat free mayo served with a side of my homemade healthy honey mustard dressing and homemade chips and salsa.

Snack-Veggie Krunch, zucchini pizza bites, wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks.

Dinner-Honey mustard chicken foil packet w/ red potatoes, green and red bell pepper, squash, and green onion served with a side of boiled cabbage.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Wednesday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Chicken deli meat sandwich w/ pepper jack cheese, can of low sodium tomato juice, cutie mandarin orange.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and salsa, Veggie Krunch.

Before workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

After workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

Dinner-BBQ chicken foil packet w/ purple potatoes, red and green bell pepper, squash, and green onion topped w/ a little cheddar cheese and boiled cabbage on the side.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Thursday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Chicken deli meat sandwich w/ pepper jack cheese, can of low sodium tomato juice, cutie mandarin orange.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and salsa, zucchini pizza bites.

Before workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

After workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

Dinner-Honey mustard chicken foil packet w/ red potatoes, green and red bell pepper, squash, and green onion served with a side of boiled cabbage.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Friday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Chicken deli meat sandwich w/ pepper jack cheese, can of low sodium tomato juice, cutie mandarin orange.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and salsa, zucchini pizza bites.

Dinner-BBQ chicken foil packet w/ purple potatoes, red and green bell pepper, squash, and green onion topped w/ a little cheddar cheese and boiled cabbage on the side.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

As for Saturday and Sunday, I try to use my leftovers from the week.

Saturday

Breakfast-Toast with either a vegetable egg scramble or maybe breakfast chicken sausage and skim milk.

Lunch-Leftover chicken and vegetables from the week made into something delicious such as a stir fry served with brown rice.

Dinner-Going out to dinner.

Sunday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Leftover chicken sausage from a couple weeks ago that I put in the freezer served with leftover lettuce to make a salad and whatever vegetables I have still left in my fridge.

Dinner-I usually pick up a pre-made meal or salad from the grocery store and eat it for dinner on Sunday night.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Then I just start it all over again!

I have found that meal planning has been extremely beneficial for me. I always know what I’m going to eat so there are no surprises and I don’t have to make last minute, unhealthy decisions.

As always though, things do come up and my meal plan might change slightly. Either way, I make the most of it and still strive for pretty healthy choices if I am put in a situation where I can’t eat my chosen meals.

I’ve also found that I LOVE meal planning. I could do it all day. It’s exciting to me to get everything structured out to make at least the food part of my life easier.

I’ve also found that my meal planning has gotten better over time. I’ve learned what works for me, what doesn’t, what keeps me full, what doesn’t, etc. I’ve learned how to utilize what I’m buying at the grocery store so I don’t waste food. I don’t let vegetables or meats or really anything expire because I have found ways to overlap the same foods for different purposes. It’s become sort of a game to me and like I said, I simply love it. 🙂

What I’ve Been Eating And Drinking Lately

I haven’t really talked too much about the regular foods I’ve been eating lately, so I thought I’d tell you all about them.

My breakfast most days is Cheerios. Not the honey nut or flavored Cheerios, but the plain ones. Since I started following those new Skinny Rules by Bob Harper, I now incorporate 1/2 a cup of sliced strawberries into my cereal every morning.

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Strawberries just make the Cheerios look so much prettier. 🙂

For lunch, I had been eating sandwich wraps for at least the past 2 months. I finally got sick of wraps. Since Bob talked about how you should be eating whole grain or whole wheat foods (instead of processed enriched flour), I started buying the Ezekiel sprouted grain bread and making regular sandwiches for lunch instead of wraps. I of course made my delicious turkey sandwiches with hummus a couple days this week, along with tuna salad sandwiches. With my sandwiches, I always have a side salad with tomatoes and a little cheese with one of my light dressings.

If I need a change (sometimes I just want a warm lunch!) I grab something from a fast food chain. I usually eat out for lunch once every week or two. One place I love to go to is Taco Bueno. They have a steak salad bowl that has steak, mixed lettuce, grilled peppers and onions, cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, and corn salsa.

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Instead of dressing, I use the salsa and it comes in at just under 400 calories with the salsa. I can even add a cup of tortilla soup to my lunch and still be at 520 calories. Perfect!

I must say, I really miss having a job where I can sit down for lunch and have a normal lunch break. Because of my job, most days I eat lunch in my car, sometimes while driving. Also, I never realized how nice it was to have a job where you can use their microwave to heat up your lunch. I don’t have a microwave in my car, obviously (but that’d be cool if I did though!) so my lunches are cold lunches 90% of the time. Cold food is ok, but I prefer a warm meal. I think that’s why I look forward to dinner. Dinners are always warm. 🙂

Dinners last week and dinners this week are a little different. Last week I tried to incorporate more fish into my diet, but I hadn’t eliminated the carbs for dinner yet. Last week I had pumpkin seed encrusted sea bass with asparagus and mashed parsnips and potatoes a couple days for dinner.

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I love sea bass. It’s probably my favorite fish. It’s flaky and firm and rich and delicious! The pumpkin seed crust was great with the sea bass. And parsnips are probably my favorite vegetable on Earth. Mixed with a potato, they bring a unique flavor to plain old mashed potatoes.

This week, I’m eliminating carbs after my afternoon snack. Since I’ve been making low carb foods already, it’s actually been extremely easy to cut out the carbs from dinner.

This week, I made tacos for dinner. Instead of tortillas, I used lettuce wraps. I made cod fish tacos and also ground turkey tacos. The ground turkey tacos are my favorite. They’re super simple too.

I sauté one diced bell pepper and 1/2 of a large yellow onion that’s also diced, then add one pound of ground turkey and cook until done. I add 2 ounces of tomato sauce, a packet of spicy taco seasoning, and 3/4 cup water and cook until it thickens up. That’s it!

I use four whole iceberg lettuce leafs, 2 leafs per taco. I use 2 leafs per taco so that they’ll be sturdier and hold the fillings without falling apart. One pound of ground turkey makes 8 tacos, or 4 servings (2 tacos per serving).

The first picture is fish tacos and the second is ground turkey tacos. Yum!

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I get those 2 big tacos for dinner for 350 calories!

I fill my tacos with shredded cabbage, Greek yogurt, salsa, and just a little bit of cheese. I add a side of steamed broccoli for a 415 calorie dinner. By cutting out carbs for dinner, I’m reducing my calorie intake by 150-200 calories. I like finding ways to reduce my calorie intake. I was struggling the past couple months to be at 1800 calories or less a day. Now I’m easily staying at 1800 or less.

Last but not least, it’s my afternoon snack. My afternoon snack really varies depending on what I’m craving. One thing I had all week though for snack was apple slices. In The Skinny Rules book, Bob says to eat apple and berries every single day. I got the individual packs of sliced apples, and I actually like them. I thought I hated apples, but I think I just hated eating them whole. I guess I prefer them sliced. Or maybe my taste buds are changing? Eh, who cares. I’m eating apples now and that’s all that matters!

With my apples, I’ll have an ounce or an ounce and a half of roasted unsalted almonds, or a bag of skinny pop popcorn, or a large side of green beans from KFC (it’s the warm food craving), or hummus and veggies. Since I usually have 7 hours between lunch and dinner, I increased my afternoon snack calorie total to about 300 calories. It’s almost like eating 4 smaller meals a day. After dinner, I usually have about 200-300 calories leftover, so most every night, I have a bowl of cereal with skim milk for my evening snack. I’m trying to cut out carbs after 4:30, so I really need to come up with a different snack option for my evening snack. I really love cereal and have gotten into a habit of having a bowl every night, so it’s going to be a hard habit to break.

Speaking of habits, I broke my diet pop drinking habit. I haven’t had pop, or diet pop, or any artificially sweetened drinks in 9 days. Woohoo! Really didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but I did! 🙂

The only things I drink now are mainly water and skim milk. I’ll occasionally have a tea and that’s about it.

Well, that’s basically what I’ve been eating and drinking lately. I want to try out a new recipe this weekend for my dinners next week, so I’m sure you’ll get to hear all about it soon.

It’s Friday and I’ve got a three day weekend (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) so I’m excited to hurry up and get today over with! Hope you all have a great weekend!

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