Fitness Journey Friday: Week 1

Hey friends!

I hope the first week of the year has been pleasant so far. I know a lot of you set resolutions and goals for 2017. Although I didn’t set specific resolutions, I’ve decided that in 2017, I’m making it my personal mission to strive to be healthy and happy. It’s as simple as that. With this “mission” comes a new series on my blog: Fitness Journey Fridays.

Health and fitness has been a big part of my life for quite some time, however for the past few years it’s been more of a struggle. I’ve lost my way a bit. It’s not like I don’t know what I should be doing to become healthier each day – I know exactly what I should be doing. My problem is that I lack the motivation and stamina. So to keep me going, even when I’m not feeling motivated or empowered, I’m going to share my journey with you all each week, from fitness to nutrition to attitude changes.

I hope you’ll pop in each week to see what’s going on in my world, and that you feel inspired to start (and share) your journey as well.

**Typically, when I start (…or restart) my fitness journey, I always jump right into a heavy workout schedule and strict, clean eating. I always lose my stamina a few days or weeks into it. This time I’m starting off by slowly re-incorporating things back into my routine so that I don’t get burnt out quickly. I want this lifestyle to last! So because I have a hectic work week, I’ve decided to start with a week of healthier eating before going crazy with workouts again.**

MONDAY

On Monday, I woke up a bit late around 10AM and the very first thing I did was weigh myself and take measurements.

Here are my measurements from January 2nd, 2017:

Bicep: 17 in.  | Bust: 47 in.  | Chest: 38 in.  | Waist: 38 in.  | Hips: 50 in.  | Thigh: 31 in.

I started my morning off with breakfast. I had 1 cup of Siggi’s vanilla yogurt, ⅓ cup of Purely Elizabeth’s granola and 1 tablespoon of Wild Friends’ natural peanut butter. I know.. Adding granola to yogurt is totally normal but peanut butter? Yep. Trust me. It’s amazing.

Around 2PM, I ate lunch. I made 4 oz. of grilled chicken (with a little salt, pepper and turmeric) and chopped up half of a bell pepper and sauteed it. I also mashed up half of an avocado with salt, pepper and garlic powder to go with it. The only thing missing was a dollop of Jack’s salsa (the best salsa ever created).

I got a call from work that they needed me to head out to work a few hours earlier. This threw me through a loop since I hadn’t prepared my dinner but the day turned out alright.

As a support aid for disabled adults, I sometimes work with our consumer’s families. Yesterday was my first day at a new house and this family goes out to eat together quite a bit (and the staff is required to tag along). As they always do, this family went out and brought me along with them. Initially, I panicked a bit as we arrived at a pizza place. It was only the first day of my lifestyle change and I thought I was about to waste it all on pizza. Instead, I ordered chicken parmesan (I know… not much healthier) and ate half (normally I’d eat an entire meal at a restaurant so this was definitely an improvement!). Life is all about moderation, right??

When I got home from my shift, I was craving something super sweet. Thankfully, we were all out of my dad’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. Lately, I’ve been having hot chocolate in the evening, but usually one of the sugar-filled packets. Instead of drinking one of those, I made my own version with REAL ingredients! To make, warm up a cup of your choice of milk until it’s just barely boiling. Add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. Add in a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder and stir until combined. You can stop with the ingredients here, or add a tablespoon of coconut oil. I opted for the coconut oil because I felt like I needed to balance out my daily macro ratio with more fats (and I’m obsessed with coconut oil). Once everything is combined, you can pour in a mug or you can pour it into a blender (I used the Ninja Single Serve for this), give it a whiz and then pour into your mug. I love throwing it in the blender for a few seconds because it makes it really smooth, thick and frothy. YUM!

While the modified version has more calories (because of the coconut oil), it’s still a much better choice. The ingredients are all REAL and you can pronounce them. Although I’m tracking calories (in the past, this has been what’s helped me stay accountable the most), I’m also focusing on consuming real, whole ingredients. The end goal is to not even have to worry about calories and just to focus on whole foods.

Here are my intake and output stats for Monday, January 2nd:

Calories: 1,657 kcal  | Carbohydrates: 200g  | Protein: 114g  | Fat: 66g  | Sugar: 84g

Calories Burned: 2,297 kcal  | Steps: 2,954  | Active Time: 2hr40min | Distance: .85 mi

TUESDAY

On Tuesday, I woke up with just enough time to prep my lunch and dinner for the day.

Because I knew this week was going to be a bit crazy (For whatever reason, I decided it was a good idea to fill up all my free time with work before the semester starts…), I made a jar of “Maple Turmeric Overnight Oats” to grab for breakfast. These are quick to make and super good! I posted the recipe on the blog earlier and the week. You can check it out here. <3

For lunch, I quickly scrambled 3 eggs (seasoned with a little salt and pepper) with half of a bell pepper and a cup of spinach. I also cut up a few slices of low-sodium ham and threw those in too. Between jobs, I snacked on a banana.

My dinner was also pretty easy. I made an extra 4 oz. of chicken on Monday when I made my lunch. I packed my chicken with the other half of the avocado (mashed with garlic powder, salt and pepper) and a cup of cooked brown rice.

When I got home, I had the hot chocolate from Monday again because I’m obsessed. It was SO good!

Here are my intake and output stats for Tuesday, January 3rd:

Calories: 1,751 kcal  | Carbohydrates: 210g  | Protein: 89g  | Fat: 64g  | Sugar: 100g

Calories Burned: 2,595 kcal  | Steps: 5,900  | Active Time: 3hr54min | Distance: 1.90 mi

WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday, I woke up super late. Putting in so many hours at work when you’re not used to working so late every day is exhausting! It also didn’t help that I stayed up to catch up on the 2 hour Bachelor premiere…(I don’t know about you but I’m excited to watch Nick’s journey as the bachelor!)

For breakfast, I threw together a quick smoothie. I used one Acai superfruit pack (Sambazon brand), a banana, a cup of frozen berries, a bit of pineapple, a scoop of protein powder (I love the brand About Time – it’s natural with few ingredients, it has a lot of protein for the little amount of calories and it tastes good!), a tablespoon of coconut oil and some water to blend. Usually I don’t add protein powder to my smoothies if I don’t workout but I needed some protein in my smoothie to balance out my macronutrient ratio and to keep me full. I added the coconut oil for the same reason. I’m OBSESSED with coconut oil, if you couldn’t tell! I’ve done a bit of research on adding coconut oil to your dietary routine and have seen nothing but great benefits.

I didn’t have time to prep lunch or dinner since I woke up late. Now I know to prep the night before at the very latest. You live and you learn, I guess.

Because I had no plan for lunch or dinner, I stopped at Whole Foods on my way to job #2. I picked up Amy’s Organic Light & Lean Pasta & Veggies meal for lunch and Evol Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner. Frozen meals definitely don’t compare to home-cooked meals but these sufficed.

I also picked up Health-Ade’s Pink Lady Apple Kombucha. I’m so obsessed with this stuff. Give me all the probiotics (because gut health, duh)!

Wednesdays are usually where I start to get off track. The mid-week slump hits. And it hits HARD. While I was definitely feeling a bit tired from a crazy work schedule, I was still feeling motivated and empowered. I didn’t have any cravings for any super unhealthy foods and actually looked forward to all of my meals. Let’s hope I can keep this feeling going.

Here are my intake and output stats for Wednesday, January 4th:

Calories: 1,683 kcal  | Carbohydrates: 221g  | Protein: 74g  | Fat: 57g  | Sugar: 97g

Calories Burned: 2,550 kcal  | Steps: 6,026  | Active Time: 4hr24min | Distance: 1.92 mi

THURSDAY

On Thursday, I wasn’t feeling super hungry. I struggled to get in enough calories without feeling overstuffed like Thanksgiving day.

For breakfast, I had some oatmeal with a spotty banana and some maple syrup. As usual, I had work twice on Thursday. During job #1, someone brought in rum cake and it smelled so good that I decided to have a slice. I figured that if I deprived myself, it would come back to get me later.  

For lunch, I had 4 oz. of grilled chicken with a little salt, pepper and turmeric on top of a cup of rice and half of an avocado.

For dinner, I had 3 eggs, a cup of spinach, half of a bell pepper and 4 slices of low-sodium ham.

When I got home from work on Thursday, I quickly prepped for Friday night’s dinner by chopping some sweet potatoes and bell peppers, and browning some ground turkey with spices for a Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili. I can’t wait to share the recipe with you all on Monday!

I also snacked on a That’s It bar. It only had two ingredients – an apple and a mango! So good!

Here are my intake and output stats for Thursday, January 5th:

Calories: 1,276 kcal  | Carbohydrates: 152g  | Protein: 65g  | Fat: 48g  | Sugar: 62g

Calories Burned: 2,599 kcal  | Steps: 6,374  | Active Time: 4hr6min | Distance: 2.13 mi

FRIDAY [TODAY]

Today, I woke up at 6AM to throw my ingredients for the Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili into the crock pot, made my breakfast and headed to work.

For breakfast, I had oatmeal with raisins. This didn’t fill me up completely but I was at work and didn’t have any additional snacks on hand.

Since I had dinner cooking in the crock pot, I only packed my lunch. Like the last few days, I packed 3 eggs with half a bell pepper, a cup of spinach and 4 slices of low sodium ham.

When I got home, I had a bowl of Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili with some cheese and a few crackers. It tasted SO good and is perfect for this freezing weather. The fam seemed to really enjoy it – I’m so pumped to share the recipe with you!

I had a handful of peanut m&m’s while playing Trivial Pursuit with my dad, sister and boyfriend. I didn’t keep track but everything in moderation!

Because I was really missing my hot chocolate, I made the hot chocolate variation that I had made a few times earlier in the week. So rich and creamy!

Here are my intake and output stats for Friday, January 6th:

Calories: 1,596 kcal  | Carbohydrates: 189g  | Protein: 82g  | Fat: 58g  | Sugar: 69g

Calories Burned: 2,5357 kcal  | Steps: 3,996  | Active Time: 3hr37min | Distance: 1.15 mi

•  •  •

Overall, it was a pretty good first week of the year. I would have loved to start working out this week but I knew that my body needed to ease back into things and needed to rest after a crazy work week. I believe that as long as you strive to be a little healthier each day, everything will work out! Although I put in a 75 hour work week, I’m glad I was able to make fuel a priority. I can’t wait to start re-incorporating fitness back into my daily routine next week!

Thanks for bearing with me through this extremely long blog post. See you all back here next week for another Fitness Journey Friday!

Naturally,

Ari

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