Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the “crystal miracle diet”

Although I love the sound of that title, it’s highly inaccurate. This is not a “diet”, it’s a way of eating, long-term. And there’s nothing “miraculous” about good ol’ fashioned healthy eating and exercise. But the day I’m as tiny as Crystal (the person who shared this food wisdom with me) will definitely be a miracle!

Let me start out by saying this food plan can be boring at times, but you should remember that “food is for fuel, not for fun”. After following this plan every single day, you should start to see some changes after about 30 days. In addition to the change in diet, you should also try to work out at least 3 times a week, more if possible.

So, to begin, here are “The Rules”…all 16 of them!

The Rules:

1) DO NOT EAT OUT (No more then once a week at most. Try to keep it to once every couple weeks.)

2) Cook all your lunches and even a couple dinners on the weekend for the following week. Package them all up so when you are running out the door you can just grab it and go. This is one of the most important things to do other than the next tip...

3) When grocery shopping, only shop on the outside ring of the store. This means nothing processed! If it comes packaged, you don't need it. You will need to shop once a week due to the fact that these foods will go bad. Stock up on lean meats when you find them on sale and fill your freezer so you keep your grocery bill down. Buy lots of veggies, fruit, meat, yogurt (greek is the best but make sure it is a lower calorie one).

4) Eat as if you are Gluten Intolerant and eat NO breads or pastas....EVER!

5) Only drink water. Coffee is ok but if you are going to Starbucks make sure whatever you get is non-fat milk and sugar-free flavoring. No soda or juice...EVER!

6) The only salad dressing you should have is balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Try using salsa as a salad dressing...it's amazing and very low calorie.

7) Fruits taste much better then veggies but limit it to one or two pieces a day because they have a ton of sugar in them.

8) Eat every 3 hours but keep them to small meals and snacks.

9) If you eat potatoes, try to have sweet potatoes.

10) Eat at least one salad a day.

11) Limit your cheese intake and try to have more white cheeses like fat free feta or mozzarella.

12) Make sure to eat a healthy fat every day.

13) Eat carbs only in the morning.

14) Sip on hot water all day long.

15) Make sure you eat protein with at least 3 of your meals for the day.

16) Keep your calories under 1,500 a day.

You are allowed one cheat day per week, but you’ll still need to keep your total intake for the day under 3,500 calories. I’ll probably save my cheat days for Saturdays because, let’s face it, I drink a lot of beer.

And now, to see this plan in action, here are two examples of daily food plans:

Example Day 1:

Breakfast: Quaker steel cut oats 1/2 c. dry + 1 cup water. Once cooked, add 1/4 scoop of vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, raisins, and a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Coffee with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

2-3 hours later: Strawberries. Natural granola bar (KIND bars are great. You can find them in the natural section of the grocery store or by the protein bars. Any kind will work as long as they are made with whole nuts, sweetened with honey, etc.).

Lunch: Salad made with baby spinach, tomatoes, cut up snap peas, a pouch of tuna, and fat-free cottage cheese to moisten it and act as a dressing.

2-3 hours later: Bell pepper with hummus.

2 hours later: Greek yogurt.

Dinner: 3-4oz grilled chicken breast and broccoli.

Example Day 2:

Breakfast: 3 egg whites plus one whole egg with sliced mushrooms and baby spinach topped with salsa.

2-3 hours later: carrots and snap peas.

Lunch: 3-4oz chicken breast and some sort of veggie.

2-3 hours later: apple and 2 Tbsp peanut butter (only eat the natural kind or it is awful for you!).

2 hours later: Greek yogurt.

Dinner: Grilled chicken salad (don't forget to only eat balsamic or salsa as dressing).

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? I just started this morning, and although it’s only 11:30am, I think I’ve done pretty well. For breakfast I had four hard-boiled eggs (with only one yolk) on a bed of spinach, topped with salsa. It was pretty good! Then for my morning snack I had a KIND bar. I brought enough veggies, hummus, and Greek yogurt to work to last me for the week. Last night I baked 4 chicken breasts so I can use them in salads or for quick dinners throughout the week. I also boiled 18 eggs so that I can easily eat them in the mornings before I leave for work. (I don’t want to be that person who eats smelly hard-boiled eggs in the office!)

Crystal’s Miracle Diet has left me super inspired, so I just wanted to pass it along to anyone else out there interested in trying something new! Good luck!

Sound like too much work? Here's some motivation for you:

(found on google images)
UPDATE: It's been almost two weeks since I started this new way of eating. The first four days were great! I was packing tons of healthy snacks for work every day, and baking chicken for dinners. I was never starving, and I felt less bloated than usual. Then came 4th of July weekend. This was tough, as I went to multiple barbeques and other activities over those four days. Halfway through the weekend I decided to just throw in the towel and eat whatever I wanted, within reason. After all, it was a holiday! During the week that followed, it was a little tough to get back on track. I definitely wasn't as strict with myself as I was during the first week. Then the weekend came, which meant a 3-day trip with the girls to Leavenworth. Again, I threw in the towel and ate what was in front of me (thanks, Laura!). Today I'm back to square one, and trying to be strict again. It's only been 6 hours, but I've done very well so far! Hopefully I can stick it out long enough to see some results this time! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

trimming the fat.

Lately I've been toying with the idea of cutting out processed foods. All you ever hear about is how bad processed foods are, how they have been linked to cancer and all sorts of health problems. But is it really possible to completely cut them out of your diet? All of my favorite foods are processed! It just seemed way too difficult...until now! Today I stumbled across the most amazing blog called www.100daysofrealfood.com. It’s so inspiring! It gives detailed meal plans, shopping lists, tons of recipes, even a “cheat sheet” on what you can (and can’t) buy at the grocery store. Most of the recipes sound really yummy too. PB&J Smoothie? Yes, please! Whole-wheat pizza? Count me in! Homemade chicken nuggets? Why not!

I just love how detailed the shopping lists and meal plans are, and they actually sound totally do-able. To view the meal plans and food guides, you have to “like” their Facebook page, and then you have access to everything. I probably won’t start the “real foods diet” until after the big move to Gig Harbor, since Tony and I will finally have time to cook meals instead of driving an hour to and from each other’s houses and just eating whatever’s quick and easy.

Tony said he’s in, as long as he “still gets his white bread”. Baby steps…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

shades of gray.

After spending sooo much time on my favorite blog, I started getting ideas on how to decorate our future home. It took me awhile to figure out a color scheme, but once I realized I tend to naturally gravitate towards gray (even with clothes), it all started to come together.

Here are a few things I love, mainly from Ikea. I'm not sure if I've sold Tony on the ceramic deer head yet, but I'm still working on it!

I also want to do some sort of frame-arrangement in the hallway, maybe something like this:

(image found on Google)

I love how the clean line in the middle keeps it from looking too chaotic.

These are just a few things I'm thinking about. Plenty more ideas where those came from!

Monday, June 6, 2011

chloe’s new bedroom: chapter one.

Tony and I have been discussing ideas for decorating Chloe’s new bedroom after the big move. Neither of us are huge fans of “themed” rooms, like a Tinkerbell room or a Hello Kitty room (although I did have a Sesame Street room and a Little Mermaid room as a kid and loved them both!). I just feel like Chloe would outgrow something like that too quickly, plus I prefer the look of colors and patterns that aren’t necessarily part of a set.

Here is an example of what we DON'T want:

Image found on Google.
I asked Chloe once what her dream room would look like, and she said “pink and purple”. That immediately brought an image to mind of a bedroom that a fairy princess had barfed all over. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme. But pink and purple are two of the most girly-girl colors out there, and the thought of combining them both in the same room just made my head hurt. We know Chloe will love whatever we come up with, and won’t be upset if it isn’t “pink and purple”, so we’re not too worried. (Sidenote: This is a girl who wants to be underwear for Halloween. I’m think she’s down for just about anything!)

I was googling kid's bedrooms online the other day to get some inspiration, and came across this adorable color scheme of lavender, white, and celery green on WeeDecor:

The room pictured is obviously a nursery, but I thought maybe I could find similar colors for Chloe’s room. I searched every store I could think of (and even a few I’d never heard of) for this color scheme, to no avail. The only shade of purple I kept coming across was more of a pinky-purple shade, which is the exact opposite of what we want.

I started getting really tired of looking at bedspread after bedspread, and decided maybe I’d start with some fun curtains and work from there. Ever since reading about Sherry’s DIY no-sew curtains here, I was really excited to try it out. So I found a fabric store online (I also tried JoAnne’s but I didn’t love any of the patterns), and started browsing, with no particular color scheme in mind.

That’s when I came across this super-fun-but-not-over-the-top-girly pattern (how’s that for a description?):

I immediately fell in love with the color scheme. Its fun, it has the pink Chloe wanted, plus a punch of bright green that I think keeps things from looking too fairy-princess-barfy. A win-win for everyone, especially Tony, who’s been trying to avoid the curse of too-much-pink since Chloe was born!

Next, instead of jumping back into my quest for comforters, I decided to first look for accent pillows. This was tricky because I knew I wanted a pattern, but I didn’t want anything that looked too crazy next to the curtains. Since we don’t know what the room will look like yet, I’m really hoping the bed is not on the same wall as the window, otherwise I may have to rethink a few things.

The green color in the future-curtains is called chartreuse, so I went to Etsy and typed in “chartreuse throw pillows”. I searched through quite a few, but ultimately decided on these pillows:

I just love the green color and the fun, bold pattern. The fact that Chloe will have patterned curtains and patterned throw pillows pretty much made my mind up that the comforter should be a solid color, most likely pink. I searched all over for solid pink comforters in the right shade. I wanted something that was salmon or coral pink, and not something that was too fuschia. Seemed easy enough, but this was actually a hard task! I finally found a new duvet cover on eBay from Pottery Barn Teens that seems like it could be the color I’m looking for. It's kind of hard to tell from this picture, since it's all packaged up, but here you go:

I also found a pretty fairly priced down comforter on overstock.com to go inside the duvet cover. It doesn’t include pillow shams, which is a bummer. But really, what 5-year-old needs pillow shams? Most of Chloe’s pillows end up on the floor anyways. Plus, there will be accent pillows.

The only thing we haven’t found yet is sheets, but we’re thinking of choosing sheets that match the lighter pink color in curtains. Or if that’s too much pink-on-pink action (hey, get your minds out of the gutter!), we could just get white or off-white sheets.

Eventually we’d also like to make a DIY fabric headboard, as shown here but haven’t decided what color that should be yet. Maybe some more green? I’m really lovin’ green right now, if you can’t tell!

We’ve also been thinking about different wall colors to tie it altogether, but we’re not too worried about that yet since we may not even be able to paint the walls at our first place.

And just to give you a better idea of the whole room, here it is altogether:

I think Chloe’s room will look awesome when it’s finished. Tony says he thinks he’ll like it, so I just have to make sure he’s fully on-board before I order anything.

And of course, I’ll have to make sure it’s Chloe approved!