Thursday, March 3, 2016

Meal Planning with Hammer & Chisel

As I mentioned previously I'm now doing a workout program called The Master's Hammer & Chisel with my husband to help me loose the pregnancy weight I gained. Before starting our new workout program (Hammer & Chisel) we had to take a quiz to see what meal plan we would be following. Depending on gender, starting weight, lifestyle, and goal you got a letter that represented your calorie and container options. I got Plan B with 1,500-1,799 calories. This was less calories than I was used to since I was still sticking with the calories I was eating during my pregnancy. The containers/colors shown in the table above relate to certain types of food as explained below.

After I got this information I went to work researching healthy recipes that could work within these goals. I have to say that it was not easy at all to come up with my Week 1 Meal Plan. I struggled to cut back on my carb/starch and dairy intake. I also struggled finding vegetarian options for most of my meals {I'm about 90% vegetarian since I still eat lunch meat and sometimes seafood}. I typically eat a lot of Mexican food and pasta recipes. However, clearly eating as much spaghetti and enchiladas as I was previously was not working for me in the long run so I came up with my meal plan shown below.

For week 1 I struggled with still feeling hungry and lethargic at times. According to the nutrition book you can add in green and red if you're hungry or purple and blue if you're lacking energy. To prevent myself from being miserable since I didn't plan on starving myself, I added in some veggie snacks to my day when needed. Before I could start my workout after my second snack I ate a second serving of carrots since they have fiber to help me keep me full to power through my workout. I was definitely missing my sugar filled Zone Perfect Protein Bar that I normally eat pre-workout right about now. 

I was loving my usual turkey sandwich (minus the mayo and cheese I usually used). However, the plain greek yogurt was a struggle where I was constantly trying to find mix-ins to improve the taste. For some reason plain greek yogurt tastes like sour cream to me, and it's just not appealing to eat a bowl of it. I threw in some strawberries one day and another day I blended it up with blackberries. Another thing I was struggling with was my new way to drink coffee. Typically I pour in my flavored creamers until my coffee basically looks like milk. Now I'm allowed 1-2 tbsp of Milk plus any extracts or spices I'd like. I blended my coffee with 2 tbsp of Fairlife Fat Free Milk, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp Coconut Oil, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It was okay at first. I think it'll take time for my body to adjust and learn to like the healthier options, but it'll definitely be worth it in the end to feel better about myself and live longer. 


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Soon to be Fit Mom

During my pregnancy even with my attempts at staying active and eating reasonably healthy, I did give in to cravings (a.k.a. Dunkin Donuts Munchkins) and take a lot of naps on the couch (especially towards the end). Due to all this I ended up gaining more weight than I'd have ideally liked. I don't know fully what I gained since during my last 3-4 months I had to stand backwards on the scale since my belly stuck out so far. I know the ideal for my height is 25-35 pounds MAX. I'm pretty sure I gained 35-40 pounds instead. Just thinking that makes me cringe!!

After giving birth and wearing my Belly Bandit I ended up loosing a little over 20 lbs. Sadly that has still left me with 15-20 lbs to loose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm not 100% focused on the scale right now, but I am pretty determined to loose that loose/soft lower stomach feeling I've had since giving birth. I want my stomach to go back to feeling tight. I know it's WAY harder after having a baby, but I'm pretty determined.

I started out by going on walks daily by the time I was 6 weeks postpartum and my doctor gave me the okay to start working out. I would walk the neighborhood with my son in his stroller. I really enjoyed this at first until it started getting cold here in Georgia. I am in no way a fan of the cold, so I switched my workouts up and started doing DVD fitness programs with the hubby. 

We tried going back to our beloved P90X3 program that helped me pre-pregnancy get a toned body. For one thing workouts with A LOT of jumping do not mix well with a newly postpartum breastfeeding Mamma. I had to wear 2-3 sports bras just to avoid insane breast pain while jumping. My other issues I won't go into detail, but let me just say I was not a fan of jumping. Add to that the fact that we had an almost 2-month old baby who was not an amazing sleeper and tended to cry for what seemed like forever as soon as 4:00 pm rolled around (aka our typical workout time). There were many typical 30-minute workouts that took over an hour since we would take breaks to tend to our son. 

Sadly, now almost 6-months postpartum I still have not lost all the weight that I wanted or gotten the body back that I had before. I think a big part of my issue is figuring out nutrition that works with my new body and my new appetite. Breastfeeding makes me feel like I'm STARVING all the time, which leads to incessant snacking. What makes it even harder is the fact that I'm at home so it's easy to just keep eating without realizing how much you've eaten by the end of the day. Due to all this I've officially decided to start a whole new program that incorporates cleaning up your nutrition and learning correct portion sizes. Hopefully our new program The Masters Hammer & Chisel will get me where I'm wanting to go.