Saturday, April 20, 2013

What's in Your Kitchen?

This is gonna be a long post!  But its full of great info so don't skim through it like I did all through college chemistry. You might miss something that was just the thing you needed to help you become healthier. Matt and I have only just begun our weight loss/muscle building journey. Nevertheless, we have learned so much these past three months and have been asked to share the details by multiple friends.

What we eat is constantly a work in progress. Some things we've tried and failed at miserably. I have not figured out each and every meal yet and wish I had the time to write on a calendar the meals for the entire month. I'm still trying to find dinners that are clean that taste good and are not boring. Like I said before on this blog, I wish I had the time to be more organized but I don't. Full time RN, wife and mother of two. I do what I can. 

What has worked for us the past few months is not some special, new concept. We did not make it up ourselves. Matt and I have done a lot of research. This is what we are doing that has worked for us. There are many ways to loose weight. But this is how we chose to do it and these are OUR opinions on the subject.

We've talked with some of our friends who have maintained a sculpted and toned body since we've known them, we've talked with weight loss doctors (who I work with at the hospital) and we have done a TON of research online. Most of all, we've tried these things ourself; some worked and some didn't!! Not overnight though. 

Our favorite web site with so much great nutrition and body toning advice is Almost all the food and meal ideas we've gotten are from that website. Don't be afraid if you see a few pics of men and women who are body building extremists on the site. I don't personally find that look appealing. Anyone who is attempting to build muscle and tone their body would be considered a body builder right? So I guess I'm a body builder. Weird. I sure don't look like one yet....hahhahahha. I will post more about the site on another blog post cause there is more I want to say. 

The Key
Here's what we found. It wasn't only the hour or more in the gym 4-5 days a week that helped us loose some weight (although that really sped up the process a lot) but instead, it has been the eating clean foods that we have found to be the real key to our weight loss. Since everyone already goes to the grocery store each week anyway, it really just takes making better choices at the grocery store. Making a list ahead of time of the things you know you should be eating is one thing that has helped me choose better food while shopping. (examples below) 

You don't need to purchase any special weight loss programs or a expensive bottles of pills, powders or pre packaged weight loss meals. They all probably help you loose weight quick. But do you really see yourself buying these items for the rest of your life? The second you stop using these products you will naturally gain the weight back cause your body did not loose the weight naturally. You CAN buy clean foods at the grocery store for the rest of your life! All that other stuff is just a way for business owners to make money by exploiting America's battle with obesity. Their is a reason why people in the Pioneer Days were so much more fit and healthy. They worked hard physically, all day long and only ate food they they either killed or grew themselves!

The Anatomy/Chemistry
Eating 6 clean meals a day is what we are doing to help transform our metabolism and keep our blood sugar levels from fluctuating all day long. I know what you're thinking....Who cares about blood sugar?? I'm not a diabetic!!! Well, all of us are affected by blood sugar weather or not you are a diabetic. If any persons blood sugar fluctuates, not only do you get cranky (very cranky!!! just ask my co-workers), but our bodies save and store the fat !! How counter productive is that?????? Anyone want their fat on their hips to stay there? Not me! As I get older, my metabolism has slowed down, so I have to be more careful and work harder to maintain/loose weight. Hence the eating often and eating a lot, but with clean food!!! 

It's really not HOW MUCH you eat, it's WHAT you eat!!! 

Food Prep
The only way you can make sure and eat healthy meals at home is to always have healthy snacks/meals readily available. That means planning ahead and setting aside a few minutes during the weekend to organize your meals for the week and do some preparing.  

Every Saturday we go to Costco and purchase raw Almonds, a sack of Avocados, and a 12 pack of fresh Chicken.  When we get home I take all the chicken out and divide them into  gallon sized freezer bags with a marinade. They sit in the marinade overnight and on Sunday afternoon, we grill all 12 chicken breasts. Actually, some the breasts are pretty big and would be considered multiple servings so I half some of them. So really, we have about 14 pieces of tender juicy chicken, in the fridge, ready to eat at any time during the next week. 

I need details!
Ok so this is a list of what we keep in our fridge, freezer and pantry most of the time on any given week. Didn't used to be that way but as of February....yes.

1. Fresh or Frozen Blueberries/Strawberries
2. Greek Yogurt
3. Whole Eggs 
4. Sugar Free Creamer
5. Turkey Bacon Turkey Sausage
6. Chicken Breast
7. Ground Turkey
8. Strawberries
9. Salad Stuff- Spinach/Romaine, Cherry Tomatos/Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, carrots
10. Almonds
11. Protein Powder
12. Skim Milk
13. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder/Vanilla Extract 
14. MulitVitamin/Fish Oil ( lowers cholesterol and tons of other health benefits)
15. Quaker Oats 
16. Frozen Quick-Steam Veggies
17. Salsa/ Low Na Spices
18. Avocado
19. Whole Wheat Bread/Whole Wheat Pita/Brown Rice
20. Coffee
21. Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
22. Kashi Cereal
23. Olive Oil  
24. Jack Daniels Teriyaki Flavored Marinade or Italian Salad Dressing

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