Archive | March, 2011

Just Call Me The Plateau Breaker!

29 Mar

 

Haaaaaaaiiiii yah! Source: weheartit.com

As most of you would know, weight loss has been slow as wet week around here lately.  *queue crickets*  * queue tumbleweeds* *queue awkward coughing*

I mean, I HAVE been losing but it has not been as consistent as what I would like.   Look, I’m not looking for an unhealthy 5kg loss in a week but at this stage 500g – 1kg a week would be desirable rather than the 200g – 300g a week loses I have been experiencing.  1kg a month?  I find you offensive.

In an effort to get the weight loss flowing again I have been playing with my calorie intake.  Firstly, I tried increasing it to about 1600 calories a day but unfortunately that yielded little results.   Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea for people who have been eating too little calories for some time and has worked for me in the past but, sigh, not this time.

Then, after reading Michelle Bridge’s book How to Lose the Last 5kg, I reluctantly decided I would try the old 1200 calorie meal plan.  I am not a huge fan of low-calorie diets but sometimes it’s necessary to shock the body back into weight loss mode.  I definitely would never go below this many calories.  That’s basically starvation and sends your metabolism into shut down mode and it hangs on to fat for dear life.  Do.  Not.  Want.

I haven’t stuck to Michelle’s exact meal plan but I have adopted the following principles:

  • 1200 – 1300 calories per day
  • No grains after lunch
  • Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking
  • 60 – 90 minutes of exercise (a mix of strength and cardio) a day, 6 days a week

For breakfast I have been having my quinoa porridge with banana (but I’m thinking of taking the banana out and having it when I get to work as I am HUN-GRY by the time I get to work after my morning cycle).

Lunches have been soups that I make on a Sunday night.  I make a big pot and then just freeze portions.  This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to worry about lunch every day being within your calorie limit.  Last week’s soup was Chicken, Veg and Barley and this weeks soup is Beef, Veg and Barley (features onion, paprika, celery, cabbage, zucchini, carrot, chilli and chicken stock).  Next weeks soup… who knows?  The anticipation is killing me!

I have two snacks a day and these are things like as small handful of nuts, 30g of cheese, 100g of cottage cheese, handful of steamed chicken, 100g of natural yoghurt or a hard-boiled egg.  I also have a cup of green tea with both of these snacks.  And water!  I have at least 2L a day, but that is nothing new.   I’ve always drank a lot of water… and if anyone needs to find me, I’m usually in the loo.   TMI?

Dinner has been 120g of lean protein (chicken, beef, lamb, pork or fish) and vegetables or salad.  I may also throw in some cheese or sweet potato depending on whether it is within my calorie allowance.

The first couple of days were tough, I ain’t gonna lie.  But I have gotten used to it and now I’m doing fine!  Hungry… but fine!  (But I’m always hungry, let’s face facts here people).

I have even managed to get that 69.9kg that I reported last week down to 69.2kg!  Oh hold me back people puh-lease because I am jumping for joy!

I am resenting not being able to eat more though (grumble) but I know this is only a short-term tactic to get the metabolism fired up again.  In the next week I will start to add more calories each day and get back to a more sustainable 1500 – 1600 calories per day.  I’m just hoping my body will continue to burn as well as it has been in the last week or so.  Time will tell!

I’ve also read a lot about calorie cycling recently and it may be on my “next to try” list should my current plan fail.

Has anyone given calorie cycling a go?  And what are your best tips for breaking a weight loss plateau?

 

 

Creamy Chicken Tenderloin Salad

24 Mar

I love this salad.  If it had lips I’d kiss them and gently thank the salad for being so delicious, filling (oh hai protein!) and kind to my waistline.  It’s perfect for either lunch or dinner and super quick and easy to whip up.   I prefer it for dinner because of its low carb content!

The dressing is inspired by Natalie’s Faux Caesar Salad but slightly tweaked (I omitted the olive oil and added lemon juice).

Ingredients

Two handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves

1 medium tomato (sliced into wedges)

Handful of capsicum strips

3 chicken tenderloins (120g)

15g of shaved parmesan cheese (no more than this!  It is unexpectedly calorific and easy to go overboard on)

Dried or fresh rosemary

Salt & pepper

Olive oil spray

 

 

Dressing

1 tablespoon of natural, low-fat yoghurt

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

 

Sprinkle the chicken with a little rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat a little olive oil in a pan and grill the chicken for about 3 minutes a side or until cooked through.

Combine the salad ingredients and parmesan in a serving bowl.  Shred the chicken and place on top of the salad.

Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the chicken and salad.

Now, if I weren’t watching my calories like a damn hawk at the moment I might also add a boiled egg or some crispy prosciutto.  OR (gasp!) both.  Drool.

Nutritional info: 324 cals, 9.3g  fat, 4.2g sat fat, 47g protein, 8.6g carbs, 7.6g sugar

 

 

The World’s Shortest & Most Exciting Blog Post EVER!

23 Mar

This is all I have to say:

Note:  Apologies for shitty photo.  The zoom on the iPhone is terrible.  But YAY!  Under 70kg!  I haven’t been that in ten years!  My excitement is out of control right now.

 

🙂

I’m SO Not Vain

22 Mar

I’ve been thinking lately.  Unusual, yes I know – I’ve heard that it’s not good for the brain but hey, I’m a rebel.

ANYHOO, I’ve been thinking that I am extremely sick of looking at my former overweight self, swathed in cream silk, all chipmunk-like in the face, gazing down at me from my living room wall every day.

At the time I felt pretty good.  I had lost 5kg before the wedding and I even had to have my dress taken in!  I was definitely a little unhappy that I hadn’t lost more weight but I didn’t let that affect my day.

Even Justin is slimmer now than he was back then but we are both as vain as ever and although we are not vain at all, we’ve been discussing getting new pictures taken.

When I told Chanel about this plan she thought that we were going to dress up in our wedding attire and have the pictures taken as if it were our wedding day all over again!  What a laughable concept! Ha Ha!  “That dress is swimming on me now!”, I exclaimed to her, rolling my eyes (well, I was rolling my eyes but she couldn’t see them as this discussion was over email).  But I can see how when I told her that I wanted to have my wedding photos re-done that she would come to this conclusion.   Let’s be honest, I wasn’t very clear.  So, like all good friends I laughed at her a little more and then explained to her that no, we would just have some nice pictures taken in normal clothes in a nice location.

And that’s if we ARE to go ahead with it.  I’m still thinking about it.  Should I just ignore the fact that I was overweight in those photos on the wall and remember our wedding for what it was, a beautiful day celebrating our love with our family friends?  Or should I replace those photos with new ones that represent us as a couple, who we are now and where we are heading?  Dilemmas, dilemmas!

What are your thoughts on this extremely important, life-altering and not at all vain issue?

 

 

Chicken, Vegetable & Barley Soup

21 Mar

It’s raining, it’s pouring, I feel like SOUP!

And soup I shall I have!  Every damn day this week!  Why?  Because I feel like it!  And because it’s super healthy and easy.  And I made a huge pot so I gotta eat it all now!

This soup is full of goodness.  It’s packed with fibre and protein and is low in calories and fat.  A perfect lunch option!

Ingredients (fills 5 x 600ml containers)

1 leek (sliced)

2 carrots  (diced finely)

2 cloves of garlic (diced finely)

2 organic chicken breasts (diced into small chunks)

2L of salt-reduced chicken stock

1 cup of uncooked pearled barley

2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley (chopped)

1 teaspoon of dried tarragon

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

3 handfuls of spinach, kale, cabbage or silverbeet (chopped)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a large pot saute the carrots, leek and garlic until softened over a medium heat.

Add the chicken and stir until most of the meat has turned white.

Add the chicken stock, barley, chilli, tarragon and parsley and cover.  Simmer gently for 1 hour.

Add the spinach, kale, cabbage or silverbeet and cook until softened.  Add seasoning to taste.

Your soup is now ready to slurp or pack into containers and freeze!

Nutritional info: 321 cals, 6.3g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 31.6g protein, 28.4g carbs, 7.7g of fibre

 

Do you like to cook in bulk?  What’s your favourite thing to make and store?

 

 

Not Another Quinoa Recipe?!

16 Mar

Yes!  Another one!  The Quinoa Queen is back bitches with a delightfully warming and delicious healthy breakfast!

I got this idea from one of the lovely gals on the Vogue Forums.  Shout out to ma voguettes!  Holla!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture.  It was a bit dark at 6.15am this morning.  Or as I like to call it, ‘Ugly O’clock’.

I had some leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge from a couple of nights ago (side note: quinoa, napolitana sauce, Cannellini beans, garlic and baby spinach equals a Charlie Sheen combination – winning!) (another side note: I need to stop referencing that douche bag in my posts) so I was glad to find a delicious new use for it!

coconutandquinoa.wordpress.com's Quinoa Oat Porridge

In a Bowl:

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
A splash of vanilla extract
A dash of ground cinnamon

Combine and heat in microwave for 90 seconds.

Add to it:

A handful of berries (defrosted if frozen)

A tablespoon of LSA
A splash of rice milk (or the milk of your choice)

A teaspoon of agave nectar or honey

Combine and your breakfast is served! Dig in!

Next time Imma use banana instead of berries.  Squee!

 

I know this is going to be my new go-to winter-warmer breakfast.  What’s your favourite healthy hot breakfast?

Measurement Results & New Goals

14 Mar

Right.  I’m not going to bore you with a standard introduction and welcome to this post.  I’m going to get straight to the nitty-gritty.  Here are my measurement results for the last month:

Click to enlarge

 

I had really great results on the hips and thighs (thank you cycling!) but no loss from the middle which is a bit sad.  I usually have my measurements done in the morning though, on an empty stomach, so that might make a difference.

I also only lost 1kg this month which is a bit of a pain in the old ass seeing that I wanted to get to my weight goal of 68kg by April.  I’m working really hard, harder than ever actually, so it’s quite frustrating that I am having so much trouble shifting these last few kilos.

The good thing about goals though is you can reassess them when you need to.  Which is what I have done.

I’m now going for a dress size goal.  I want to be a size 10 by the end of June 2011.

Here’s what the Australian dress size chart looks like:

Looking over the last 4 months I have lost 5cm from my hips, 2.5cm from my waist and 2cm from my bust.  If I lose those amounts again (or more) then I will definitely be a comfortable size 10 or be on the higher end of the size 10 spectrum.

To be honest, I already fit in to most size 10 tops so I don’t think the waist and the bust will be an issue.  It’s those damn thighs that are the issue.    So I’m going to continue to hammer them over the next few months in an effort to get them smaller.  Reduce in size, damn you!  REDUCE! *shakes fist* (Maybe I can threaten them into slimming down?  Anyone ever tried that?  I’ll be the first person to literally scare their thighs into getting smaller.  That would be awesome).

Now, whilst I do have the new goal that doesn’t mean that I am completely writing off the old goal.  There are still 2 weeks until April and by the name of sweet baby cheeses I am going to do everything within my power to lose that pesky 2.7kg.

Watch this space.  Waaaaatch it.  *shakes fist*

(This blog post seemed to get really aggressive towards the end.  It’s my burning passion.  It gets me all fired up.  Sorry about that.)