Author Archives: angillen818

About angillen818

working towards more hippie food and less sweatpants; that's right folks, I am bringing sexy back!

Going Strong

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As I finished up the past two weeks, I am so proud that I am still going strong. I am eating healthy and exercising. I have had a couple cheat meals over the past two weeks and I haven’t worked out every day these past two weeks but I feel amazing.

I am actually starting to crave healthy foods over the junk I used to eat. When I had the cheat meal, I was ridiculously sick and my body was so mad at me for eating the cheese tots and chicken fingers. I immediately got back on track and my tummy tea works so well. I can tell that my stomach is shrinking because I don’t eat as much in one sitting. Also, moderation is easy now; I can eat one or two Doritos and not have the intense desire to eat the whole bag.

Every day brings its challenges but I am so happy that I am able overcome and keep moving forward.

I am amazed by the emotional side of this journey. At the end of the day, this isn’t about the pounds and the inches lost (bonus!), the cheat meal(s), missing some workouts; this is about building yourself up, gaining confidence with each choice you make, with each mile you push yourself to finish. I have not been this happy in a looong time. I don’t let life just throw me around anymore. I don’t let my personal obstacles beat me down anymore. I rise up, above the negativity, and stand confidently; knowing that I am worth it. I am an incredible woman. I am enough.

Food for Thought

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Here is a sampling of favorite meals these past few weeks:

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This is homemade guacamole (two avocados, tomato, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt). I paired the guacamole with chicken tacos (chicken breast, leafy romaine lettuce, salsa) on corn tortillas.

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This is Saj. Only the best Mediterranean food ever! This is vegetarian and packed with all the good healthy fats you need to lower cholesterol or just eat healthy. I get the falafels, green beans, tabouli, and hummus with wheat Saj bread.

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This is a yummy Italian Bean Soup. Another low cholesterol food, packed with fiber. Cannelli beans, tomatoes, veggie broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, basil, oregano. I added smoked turkey sausage too.

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A great snack! Strawberries, kiwi, and a light string cheese.

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Shakeology by Beachbody Vanilla. This is the only way I will eat my blueberries.

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If you need a light lunch packed with protein; quinoa, salsa, black beans.

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I love quinoa and salmon on my leafy greens. I use a heart healthy dressing by Litehouse; Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette.

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Oh my goodness! This Chicken Green Chili soup is amazing! Low calorie, low sodium, super easy to make. I had my Healthy Chicken Empanadas and beans with my soup.

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This is the most delicious dinner. I made salmon served over a bed of sauteed spinach, garlic, and red pepper flakes. On top of the salmon are garbanzo beans, tomato, and capers.

Progress!

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I have been at this low cholesterol nutrition plan and exercise for three weeks now. I have to give myself a huge pat on the back because things are going very well.

I did not think I would be as successful but the Beachbody Challenge Group is such a fantastic and supportive group of women, which greatly helps in my accountability because I do not want to disappoint them. The first week, I had a few headaches and I was a little irritable; however, I survived and things are much easier for me.

I think my stomach is shrinking because I do not eat very much and moderation is becoming more natural. Portion sizes are easier to manage and my body is not craving food like it used to, which  is fantastic.

I did not lose much weight last week but I did have two cheat meals and did not exercise very much. I continue to lose inches and some of my pants are loose on me now. Not only do the numbers look good, I just feel amazing. I am happy, I have higher energy, my libido is coming back, I am at peace, and have more patience. I just feel…so good.

As I go into week four, I am planning on jogging/running on the elliptical 12 miles per week and getting 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into my diet per day. I heard these measures (on top of my low cholesterol nutrition plan) will help blast the belly fat (which I have a lot) so I am excited to make these additions and see what happens at the end of the week.

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A Shocking Trip to the Doctor

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What a difference a day moment makes…

My employer offers discounted rates on our health insurance if we (my husband and I) go in for a thorough annual physical. Two weeks ago I completed my physical. Last week my blood work results came in and I received a phone call from my doctor. Everything looked really good except my cholesterol.

My total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are very high. Combine these results with my family history of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, it does not look good for me at all. It is so bad that my doctor wanted me on multiple cholesterol lowering medications immediately. I requested to change my diet and start exercising more, a chance to lower my cholesterol naturally. I have been given three months to lower my cholesterol. I have until June 30, 2017 to lower my cholesterol or I will be placed on medication. Challenge accepted.

I have joined a Beachbody Challenge Group and the group of women I am virtually working with are amazing and help keep me accountable. It makes this process fun.

I am on a low cholesterol diet and exercising daily. I have to diligently watch my saturated and trans fat levels as well as my sodium and cholesterol intake. Also, I make sure to get the good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3’s) in my diet and take my omega-3 pill.

It is definitely a change. I really miss cheese. and fried foods. and baked goods. and delicious processed foods. But I am staying strong. This isn’t going to be easy but I know I can beat this with hard work and a positive attitude.

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A Day in My (New) Life

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I am a creature of habit.

We have a new puppy. Her name is Lulu. I thought Lulu was going to exacerbate my anxiety and cause problems for me and my little bubble of routine. Wrong! The opposite has occurred. This little girl has become a major soother/anti-anxiety component in my life. She is turning me into a morning person. I am so productive and getting so much done. Also, Lulu has given me time to each day, so I added exercise back into my day-to-day routine. All because of a dog that my husband could not live without.

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  • 0600-0630: I wake up and let Lulu outside.
  • 0630-0700: I make and drink my hot green tea with lemon. I do not like eating breakfast before the sun is up and I do not like having food in my stomach when I work out.
  • 0700-0800: Sometimes I go back to bed, sometimes I exercise, sometimes I clean, sometimes I play with Lulu and Boomer (my little Papillion mix), sometimes I take my older children to school, sometimes I read, sometimes I watch the news.
  • 0800-0900: I get my youngest up and ready for school. I have another cup of hot green tea with lemon. I make sure the dogs are fed and then outside to play.
  • 0900-1000: I make sure I have completed my first exercise (T25) by this time. I eat breakfast after I exercise.
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My Favorite Breakfast

  • 1000-1100: I do laundry or clean house. I make sure to have a snack.
  • 1100-1200: I catch up on my television show (Real Housewives BH/OC) and I do an extra workout routine; typically I go to my local rec center and run on the elliptical.
  • 1200-1300: I eat lunch. My lunches consist of salad and protein (chicken, fish, tuna). I also like to eat fruit and/or yogurt with my lunch.

 

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Spinach Salad (White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing) Blue Cheese Crumbles 

  • 1300-1400: I try to rest and take a quick nap. The dogs determine this hour because sometimes I end up playing with them instead.
  • 1400-1500: I take my shower and make myself presentable. I make sure I have my big snack (Shakeology) during this time because this is when I get the most difficult cravings.
  • 1500-1600: My children start to come home and I spend most of my time herding cats.
  • 1600-1700: I start to prep for and begin making dinner.
  • 1700-1800: We eat dinner. Dinner varies for me. If I worked out twice that day, I will sometimes eat what the family is eating or I will slightly modify my dinner (for example, yesterday I had two intense workouts, so I ate a hamburger with avocado and an egg, no condiments and sweet potato fries instead of regular fries). It just depends on my mood.
  • 1800-2200: I spend time with my family. We tend to relax and unwind by watching our favorite television shows or a movie together. Sometimes we play games. I have a treat, which can range from a couple pieces of chocolate to a small serving of ice cream to a slice of pumpkin pie to a doughnut. I don’t deprive myself but I don’t go crazy either.

* When I am working (I work nights 7:00P to 7:00A twice a week), the only difference is I work out once a day and I do not eat lunch because I am sleeping. I pack a healthy lunch and snacks to take with me to work.

This is life. Of course the schedule varies. But overall, this is my life, my bubble. And I love it.

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One Day at a Time

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It has been such a fun end of the year for me. My family and I went on a cruise the week before Christmas and I did very well with all the walking and activities (thank you physical therapy!). I definitely noticed that my cardio is nowhere near as strong as it used to be and I even got a little winded going up and down stairs (just like at home). My breakfasts (yes, I ate breakfast every day) were healthy high protein and there was no time for unlimited snacking (like I do when I home) because we were so busy with all the activities and fun things to do on the ship. I was surprised that I didn’t gain weight after the holidays and cruise; in fact, I lost three pounds. However, I was so winded from walking and using the stairs that I quickly realized that it is time to add some exercise back into my life, especially cardio.

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This new year I have decided to take a different approach to getting healthy, much different than the past four years.

I am not going to stress about counting calories or what the scale says or fad diet plans or anything at all. I am going to focus on my body; feeding it healthier alternatives, healthy snacks, and lots of water and green teas. I will be using all the information and knowledge I have gained over the past four years and continue to find new healthy recipes to keep the variety.

I am going to start exercising with the lower impact exercises until my leg is fully healed and ready for my normal exercise routines again. I will start with the elliptical and try doing the T25 (following the low impact modification) and/or OrangeTheory to push myself a little bit in order to get back into the swing of things with my exercise routine.

I am not going to beat myself up if I miss a workout or overindulge/eat unhealthy foods on occasion. I’m not looking for fast results. I am looking for a consistent routine that will develop into good habits and hopefully wonderful results.

I will continue to keep you posted on my progress and any new items to post but mainly I am just going to live and enjoy each moment. It is time for me to just…be.

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HOLD: My 17 Day Diet Adventure

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Well ladies and gents, I am going to have to hold off on The 17 Day Diet for a bit. I have been fighting with (what I think is) the stomach bug since late last night and I am absolutely miserable. If you want to continue with the plan by all means go for it and let me know your thoughts and results. I will update you upon my return.