WIAW: How I Improved my Metabolism

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What a refreshing long weekend!  I had Monday off for Presidents Day, and want to take you along for a full day of eating!  This weekend was filled with lots of relaxation, a little bit of working out, watching movies, reading, connecting with new people, sitting outside sipping decaf Americanos working on some exciting upcoming projects (and getting sunburnt!), biking, bubble baths (seriously…), and making homemade pizza for Valentine’s Day!!

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We used THIS recipe for the whole wheat dough and it was incredible.

Also, after many emails regarding how I improved my metabolism while living a life of #balance and also staying lean, I thought I would go over my top tips!

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You can see my physical transformation/progress above which doesn’t show ANY of my mental progress!

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Breakfast on Monday was this gorgeous bowl of protein cream of wheat that I posted HERE.  Sometimes I eat really ugly food.  When I decide to make pretty food, I take pictures…

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20+ pictures of the same bowl of cream of wheat.  SO EXCITING HUH?!

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Snacked on an organic brown rice cake and Trader Joe’s salted peanut butter at some point.

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Also had a slice of my cinnamon swirl protein cake!

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PSA: I GOT A BIKE!!!  And have been trying to ride it once a week.  The man and I did a 15 mile ride down to St. Pete, FL and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Hoping you all can keep me accountable to my goal of doing a triathlon?!

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Lunch was a prepped meal which consisted of garlic and herb tilapia (literally tilapia roasted with Mrs. Dash garlic and herb and pink himalayan sea salt), roasted asparagus, and brown rice.

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Grocery essentials.  Those corn and wheat tortillas are AWESOME and super thick and the kale sprouts are my new favorite side!  I also love that Trader Joe’s carries their own raw and fermented sauerkraut!!

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Had a slice of leftover vegan BBQ chicken pizza (made with almond cheese and mock-chicken!).

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And finished the night with a Cookies n Creme protein cake filled with a peanut butter core and a pool of Enjoy Life chocolate chips, plus one of the new Filled Cupcake Oreos (review HERE).

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Finally, I feel I improved my metabolism because of six main reasons:

  1. I worked with a coach and TRUSTED in him.  I didn’t doubt when he increased my carb intake.  I didn’t doubt him when he had me eating massive amounts around my workouts. I didn’t doubt him when he had me consume simple carbs, complex carbs, and ALL foods in moderation.
  2. I cut out cardio and focused solely on strength training.  All of the workout classes I was taking at the gym combined with the running I was doing was hurting my metabolism.  I wasn’t listening to my body!  That doesn’t mean I wasn’t active in general at my job or taking walks but I stopped taking high intensity classes and spending time on cardio machines.  Now, I do a mix of both but still believe weight training is key!!
  3. I focused on eating all foods in moderation instead of cutting OUT foods.  I could eat a full serving of ice cream if I wanted it. Or a half serving if I wanted it.  I could eat 1 Oreo, instead of a whole sleeve. I learned how to control my cravings and fit any foods in at any time instead of going overboard if I did finally consume those ‘off limit’ foods.  My body finally stopped batting me since I was consistently giving it calories instead of the restriction cycle.
  4. I didn’t give up after a week.  Change takes time. A LOT of time.
  5. I ate more throughout the day, instead of subsisting on protein bars and oatmeal until nighttime rolled around.  I never thought I would be the person who recommends eating 5-6 times per day but this WORKS for me.  And it did wonders for my metabolism as I used to be the 2-3 big meals and 1 small snack (with no protein) type of girl.
  6. I started eating more protein.  I know, it sounds so cliche.  And being a pescatarian, its always been difficult getting in protein.  But once I started focusing on this nutrient more, I realized how it truly keeps me fuller for longer.  So many women think protein powder or eating more protein is meant to BULK you up!!!  UM HI, NO. I aim for 10-25 grams of protein at most of my 5-6 meals.

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And I’m pretty happy with the results :)  As always, ALL things take time and dedication. So I honestly suggest you hire a coach to help you on your path to a better metabolism and end your dieting days!

Vanilla Protein Blondie

You will not be disappointed by the texture of this vanilla protein blondie.  I used to attempt “mugcakes” all the time that were dry hockey pucks.  Not ANYMORE!  This protein blondie is mouth-watering BUT the key is that you can’t overcook it!  It will still look undercooked when you remove from the microwave but let it cool (I put it in the freezer to speed the process) and it will be perfectly moist and dense like a full-fat, full-sugar blondie that you can make any night!

This version I actually topped with a chopped up Weight Watchers Salted Caramel ice cream candy bar and vegan Enjoy Life chocolate chips!thumb_IMG_8379_1024

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Vanilla Protein Blondie

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 Tbsp (14 g) coconut flour

2 Tbsp ( 16 g) Cookies n cream casein/whey protein blend

1 egg

2-4 Tbsp unsweetened cashew milk

1 pinch baking powder

Instructions

  1. Spray small square bowl or ramekin with oil.
  2. Add coconut flour, protein powder blend, egg and cashew milk to the bowl and whisk all ingredients until a thick batter forms.
  3. Cook in microwave for 60 seconds, check on it, and then cook for another 10-30 seconds depending on microwave wattage.
  4. Top with ice cream or an ice cream bar and let it melt into the warm blondie.

Stats for the vanilla protein blondie (without toppings): 200 calories, 8 g fat, 5 g carb, 18 g protein

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WIAW: Memories over Macros

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Hi there!! Good afternoon! Quick post today to show you a full day of eating from this past weekend.  If you’re new to the blog, I live in Tampa, FL (I need to update my About Me section really badly….).  Yes, the sunshine state!!!!  And if you have ever been to Tampa, you may have heard of their annual festival, Gasparilla, which is basically a huge parade on land AND in the water (with thousands of boats!) to celebrate a Spanish pirate captain Jose Gaspar.  What does that mean?  Lots of alcohol, lots of beads, lots of people dressed as pirates (lots of people in general), lots of food, and some super fun times.  Yes, I believe in moderation BUT I also believe in LIVING and lots of alcohol was consumed with friends.  No lie.  You can also see my ‘pirate’ costume below.

thumb_IMG_8092_1024I also stepped out of my comfort zone and wore red lipstick.  I mean, who am I?!

I attempted to eat pretty healthy leading up to Friday-Sunday as we had a friend coming into town and I knew it would mean meals out, wine, beer, festival food and lots of unhealthy food in general.  I also took rest days all weekend instead of getting up early to workout.  #BALANCE  This is no way means I cut back to a set number of calories or cut foods out leading up to the weekend but instead of eating cookies and cereal and pizza during the week (um I still ate Oreo’s and Kashi though…), I attempted to eat fruit and veggie-heavy meals until the weekend :)  This full day of eating is from Sunday when I ate out for 2 meals, ordered french fries, and took a rest day from training :)

thumb_IMG_8232_1024Sunday morning, I made a huge greek yogurt pumpkin parfait with plain greek yogurt on the bottom, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and hot cream of wheat with Pumpkin Pie protein powder mixed in on top.  I also topped it off with some Essentially Coconut honey pecan butter as seen here.  If you love super-filling and delicious pumpkin recipes, you will also love THESE.  I love making visitors healthy oatmeal or pancakes or waffles.  I mean, I am pretty much KNOWN for them 😉  Our guy friend thought the oats were too ‘dry’ so he stuck to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich :)

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Lunch was from my favorite local restaurant Fresh Kitchen (I have talked about before).  We took our friend there to check it out and he LOVED it!!  I got the kale slaw as the base, roasted brussels sprouts and roasted mushrooms as my veggies, and their amazing tuna as my protein with a side of Coconut Sriracha.  THIS SAUCE IS TO DIE FOR!!!

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In the afternoon, we drove over to St. Petersburg, FL.  We walked around the marina area and checked out the super gorgeous and quaint downtown area.  I also snacked on a Good2Go bar that I had stashed in my purse!

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Dinner was in another area of Tampa called Ybor.  It is a very cultural part of town with cigar shops, Spanish restaurants, and lots of bars.  We went to the highly recommended Acropolis for Greek food!

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We ordered the appetizer sampler which came with hummus, baba ghanoush, feta dip, tzaziki, and warm pita bread.  As my entree, I ordered the salmon with pesto and roasted red peppers with a side of roasted vegetables and ‘Greek fries’ which was basically steak fries with feta cheese on top.  I also had a glass of wine.  All in all, we gave this place a B.  The atmosphere was so much fun with belly dancers, greek music, and people dancing and smashing plates.  However, some of the food was cold and the hummus wasn’t as flavorful as I had hoped.  thumb_IMG_8067_1024
I have to say, the entire weekend was a such a treat and the memories will not be forgotten soon!!  No room for food anxiety, body shaming, cutting out foods, or counting calories.  I truly enjoyed every second and am so thankful at the place I am in my life, focusing on memories instead of macros.  Because in 20 years, I will remember the feelings and friendships and relationships and moments I lived.  What I probably won’t remember?  My specific body weight or the way my abs looked.

Love you all xoxo