On The Road!

Just a few reasons I am super excited today:

1. I am going home to see my family and friends I haven’t seen in forever!

2. I discovered a new ice-cream that is super low calorie, high protein, and guess what!? Has less than 3g of sugars and those come from Stevia!

3. I just got a brand new workout tank in the mail (I love new workout tanks!)

4. I get to use my new Isobag for my trip!

BUT . . .

1. I will be gone for 3 weeks and am nervous about finding gyms to workout in, or figuring out what to do when I don’t have access to one (yay body weight workouts) and I am super nervous about staying on my meal plan and meeting my nutritional goals

2. This new ice cream doesn’t exist where I live yet :( But no worries! I know where to find it in California and Utah . . . just to see if this stuff lives up to its hype.

3. I honestly don’t really need a new workout tank . . . but this one is pink, and cute, and I got it from FitAmy . . . check out my Instagram!

4. Using my new Isobag means I am going to be prepping and bringing a lot of foods with me on my trip to help me stay in line with my goals!

 

And number 4 is mostly what this post is about. Today I documented my process for packing and prepping the foods and other things I will need while I am gone for 3 weeks. There are some things I can buy while there, but there are some things (like protein powder) that I DON’T want to be with out. Traveling is crazy, and I will be at the graces of my family and friends and so I want to make this as easy as possible and manageable. The reality is I will not be able to stick to my meal plan 100% of the time, and so I am not going to hold myself accountable to that. Instead, I have a set amount of calories that I can eat each day, as well as macros that I will need to hit in order to make sure all the hard work I’ve put in the last 8 months isn’t for nothing! (My body has an insane ability to gain weight and revert back to its “happy place” if I go off plan for even a week! And my body’s “happy place” is not my happy place, so I can’t let this happen!)

 

Travel PrepSo here are just a few things that I make sure to not leave without!!!

1. Protein powder! I think I made about 25 little bags of measured out protein powder! Hopefully that is enough.

2. Beef jerky – portioned into 2 ounce bags

3. QUEST BARS – These are a great bar for traveling because they have a lot of protein powder

4. Fish Oil supps & Multivitamins – enough for all 21 days

5. Protein Pancake mixes (I made 4) & Protein Bar Mix

6. My Isobag

7. My huge water bottle

8. Stevia packets

9. Crystal Light liquid

10. My shaker bottle!

11. And tomorrow I will prep some fresh food to take with me (like sugar snap peas and some chicken!)

All this stuff fits in my Isobag and is going to help keep me on track! I have a list of things I will buy while I am there . . . but my goal is to have at least 2-3 meals prepped at all times! I am also going to track all my calories on my favorite app: MyNetDiaryPro.

This girl is tired and ready for a good nights sleep before tomorrow!

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New Tank from @FitAmySuzanne #becauseglutes

57 DAYS STRONG!!!

Good Eats!

So, I feel like I have been making more treats than I normally did before I started this 360 days of no sugar thing! Maybe because my husband continues to request a weekly treat . . . is he doing it to test me??? Well I haven’t broken yet and am doing great! I’m really focusing on finding healthy alternatives (like a few recipes I’m going to share below!)

I also feel like I have to talk about and document all these treats I’ve been making and abstaining from. It is empowering. So, I’m sorry if any of these make you crave sweets! But, do not worry, I will share a yummy recipe for some Cinnamon Swirl protein bars that tastes more like a breakfast cake, or bread.

But, before we get into treats, we have to talk about this amazing dish I had at Jaco’s last night! I am not a huge fish person, but I’m working on bringing it into my diet more often because of the health benefits. This was a Mahi Mahi with pureed celery root and grill asparagus. Oh my lanta it was so yummy! If you are ever in Pensacola, go check out Jaco’s on Palafox Pier! Sam and I got to watch the sunset overlooking the ocean and a whole bunch of expensive yachts. Epic.

 

Mahi from Jaco's

And, here are the scones I made Sam tonight. Don’t they just look delish? I’m not giving you the recipe for these. You don’t need it.

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And here are my awesome Cinnamon Swirl Protein Treats! I originally got the recipe from this girl’s blog called Mouthwatering Motivation. So, head on over to her blog to check out the recipe (since she made it, not me). Mine don’t look quite as good as hers because I didn’t put peanut butter on top of mine. But they sure were scrumptious!

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And now for a recipe from me! Because this one I created on my own from a conglomerate of recipes I’ve been trying over the past few months. These are called Delicious Berry Protein Pancakes. And these are hands down the best protein pancakes I have EVER Made! They almost taste like the real deal. They have yet to pass the husband test, but if they do I’ll let you all know!

196Here are the ingredients!

27g oat flour

12g oats

18g Trutein Cinnabun protein powder (this stuff makes all the difference)

2 egg whites

1 egg

110g Chobani Plain Greek yogurt

1t vanilla extract

1t baking pow

dash of salt

stevia to taste

Mix it all up. Fry em up. Eat em up.

I topped mine with 120g of frozen berries that I microwaved and sprinkled with stevia.

Makes 3 large pancakes! Macros: (1/3 of recipe or 1 pancake) Cal: 152, Fat: 3.3g, Carb: 17g, Protein: 14.6g

I ate 3 the other day because I was combining 2 meals. In the future I’ll have to halve it!

But Seriously, oh my gosh I could eat these every day! These may be the best pancakes I’ve ever made!

 

On to a happy note. I PR’d on my pullups last week! So happy with myself. I used to not be able to do even 1 chin-up, then I could do 8 chin-ups, and then I couldn’t do 1 pull-up . . . and now I can do about 4 on a good day! Check out this post about my pullup goals!

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48 days STRONG

360 Days Seems to Be Getting Easier

Maybe I am in a good phase right now . . . but being surrounded by treats hasn’t bothered me much lately. I made brownies for some guests we had over for dinner last Saturday night and it didn’t bother me that I couldn’t touch them. I had a piece of my chocolate, but I was doing great! There are treats everywhere it seems, and I do notice them, but I always tell myself I can’t have them even if I don’t actually feel like eating them. If i’m hungry, I can go find a healthy alternative.

Perhaps it is also because I eat on a meal plan. I count my calories, and I make sure I meet my macros (proteins, carbs, fats) every day. Once I’ve eaten all that yummy food, then I don’t eat any more, and this is all to help me reach my awesome goals!

Something else to help me reach my goals . . .

Isobag

I got my very first Isobag!!! I have been wanting one of these for months and finally got one as an early birthday present from my parents!!! Thing is, I will be traveling for 3 weeks this summer and being away from home makes it so hard to stay on plan!! This baby will help me stick to my plan and keep me from undoing all the hard work I’ve put in over the past few months . . . actually the past 8 months! So happy, so happy!

Going on 44 days strong!

360 Days . . . Bring On the Chocolate

So, for those of you just hopping onto my blog you should read this post so you know what all this 360 stuff is about . . . mostly me turning my life around, but in a specific way. Those of you following along can refer back to that post and this post if you really want to remember what the guidelines were that I set for myself. Because something BIG just happened and it is this:

 

Lily's Chocolate

Do you see that little green NO SUGAR ADDED banner? I CANNOT wait to try this bar (and all the other’s Lily’s offers).

So how did this happen? How did I find this little bar of heaven in all the expanse of the interwebs? It all started with Instagram. I was scrolling down and noticed a recipe one of my fitness gurus posted . . . Her name is @Jazzythings, and you should check her out if you’re even remotely interested in fitness stuff. She had several recipes that she used dark chocolate chips and she mentioned they were sweetened with stevia. I was super excited and ventured my way over to Vitacost.com to see if her claim was legit . . . and it was. But, then I found this scrumptious bar above! And I about died in my seat. How could this exist? I quickly checked the ingredients list to make sure I wasn’t being tricked. And guess what, the stevia is one of the LAST ingredients on the list.

Ok, so for those of you that did go back and read my post about what my guidelines are you would have seen “Chocolate of any kind” on that list. And this is the reason I put chocolate on my no list:

ritteralpine0708    ritteralpinewithsugar

That is 20 grams of sugar in one serving of my favorite chocolate bar! Oh my gosh that is a ton. Even the dark chocolate bars have 14-18 grams of sugar in them. And I knew this when I wrote my post and so I included chocolate on there because I didn’t think chocolate existed without refined sugar. But, I was wrong and am oh so happy! And I do also want to point out that I am not justifying this chocolate, but part of the point of this whole challenge is to find alternatives that are healthier for me. (Though it is very hard to find alternatives for very sugary things, so that usually means going without!) Now, I’m NOT going to binge on my new chocolate bar. I promise. I will savor it as a small treat here and there. Besides, chocolate is actually really good for you! Especially kinds that are dark and have a higher cocoa content. So, I am super stoked to get a little brown box on my doorstep this week containing this deliciousness! (Side note: head over to vitacost and check out all the amazing products they have to offer! Use this code  to get and awesome deal of $10 off your first order!)

This past week was tough, especially with 4th of July apple pie and ice cream I couldn’t partake of. And everyone seemed to be posting pictures of their holiday treats . . . so I have been feeling a lot of cravings lately. But no worries! I stayed strong by working out and eating healthy! Stay tuned for a post on my favorite go to healthy recipes!

35 Days Strong!

360 Days & 3 Temptations Down!

So up until this week things have been pretty easy. There were a few cravings here and there but nothing overwhelmingly driving my desire for sugar . . . that is until last week my husband asked me to stop by Chic-Fil-A. Any of you that know me know how much I LOVE the cookies and cream milkshake from Chic. It is fantasmical. Really. And we pull up to the order microphone and I ask what he wants and he says a large Cookies and Cream shake. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I thought to myself, what the heck!? I don’t get one, I can’t have one, why are you getting one . . . no fair. Lucky for me they were currently out of that Dreamy ice cream.

But then my husband directs me to McDonald’s, and me being the good wife that I am, take him. :( And I get him an Oreo McFlurry and some chicken nuggets. And guess what I got for dinner? A lousy concoction of shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, and peas . . . I wanted to eat his food so bad! BUT, I DIDN’T. I ate mine, sigh.

 

Chick-fil-a-shakes

If you haven’t tried one of these, don’t. You’ll be addicted for life.

Fast forward to the next day, Sunday, and Sam comes out begging me to make a treat. And guess what, i did. He asked for chocolate chip cookies and luckily I had all the ingredients to make them! Fancy that. I have never had to struggle against the natural urge to lick my fingers after making all that cookie dough . . . let alone keep myself from shoveling the stuff in my mouth. It was so creamy and delicious looking, see?

Look at all that sugar!

Look at all that sugar!

Fluffy goodness.

Fluffy goodness.

All the yum I didn't get to eat.

All the yum I didn’t get to eat.

So that was temptation number two. And this is how I combated those cravings (though I secretly really, really wanted cookies. Even now that I’m writing about them I’d like to take a nibble . . . come to think of it, there is some cookie dough in my freezer . . . NO!)

This is one of my go to meals when I need something sweet that has a higher protein content. It is plain greek yogurt (Chobani), with a dash of Sugar Free Fat Free pudding powder, a dash of Stevia, and a splash of Crystal Light zero calorie drink liquid stuff (in whatever flavor i’m craving. I think i have 4 different flavors). And then! I sprinkle exactly however many grams of Grape Nuts and slivered almonds on top to give it a nice pleasant crunch. I think I’ll go have some right now! It truly is yummy and a great alternative to sugary treats. It almost seems a dessert in itself, lucky me.

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Oh, and I also had some apple and peanut butter leftover from one of my meals so I got exactly 16g of peanut butter!

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So, I passed my 3 temptations (the 3rd was from the other night when Sam wanted more ice cream and i went and got it for him and ended up bring my friend and her husband some as well) and it really wasn’t AS hard as I thought it would be. I think I am so determined and my goals are so important to me right now that I am staying strong!

 I month down!!!

360 Days & Blueberry Pie

So we have this AMAZING blueberry patch about 10 miles from my house and let’s just say I’ve been there picking blueberries quite frequently. Well, my friend Nanci and I found this one row that had deliciously sweet blueberries. They were SO sweet and I thought to myself what a great pie those blueberries would make.

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BUT

I can’t have pie because it has sugar in it. I thought to myself . . . what if I made a pie without sugar in it? Surely these blueberries were sweet enough by themselves, this could work, couldn’t it? So, I picked and picked until I had way to many blueberries and hustled home to get some in the freezer (ok, I actually didn’t get them in the freezer for a few days) to patiently await their shining moment to be part of the most amazing sugar-free pie ever!

Well that time came this last Sunday. Nanci invited me over on account of both our husbands being busy with studying. And we decided it was time to make that pie. We didn’t put sugar in the crust or in the pie filling. I’m thinking this pie is looking awesome and couldn’t wait for it to get in the oven. We did decide so mash some very sweet pineapple and added about 1/4 cup of the juice to the pie to help with the sweetness factor.

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Into the oven it went and in the meantime we made some banana oatmeal cookies that turned out to be more like banana oatmeal breakfast bars on account of the limited ingredients (bananas and oatmeal). When the pie FINALLY came out of the oven it smelled SOOOO delicious! The filling oozed out a bit so we let it rest and cool before eating. Then we DOVE into that sugar free blueberry pie. And I just want to say that we did not add ANY sugar at all. No white sugar, or brown sugar, or even zero calorie sweeteners like stevia, or truvia, or splenda. We didn’t add any of that stuff.

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Sure looks scrumptious. But, looks can be deceiving and they were. We bit into our pie expecting this melt-in-your-mouth buttery dessert and it just did not meet that expectation. AT ALL. We decided that it was more like a breakfast pie, but in order to be a dessert in definitely needed sugar. Too bad for us, that sweet tooth was not satiated.

Lesson learned – a pie without sugar is not dessert. And treat without sugar is not dessert.

Nice try I guess.  A girl can dream right? And this is part of my 360 days . . . to experiment with commonly eaten foods and make them healthier! My pie didn’t turn out how my imagination wanted it to be, but hey, at least we tried and now we know! At least the crust turned out all buttery and everything nice like that :)

Keep On Keeping On! 24 days STRONG!

360 Days . . . Counting Up Instead of Down

The other day I had this wonderful idea to put a counter on my blog for how many days left I have in my challenge .  .  .  then I thought to myself that didn’t sound right. I should have a counter tracking how many days I’ve been going strong!

I realized that my mentality about this goal is so important and that I need to have a positively structured mentality not a negative one. If I started counting down the days it would lead me to fantasizing about all the treats I will get to have or to think thoughts like, “When this is finally over . . . ” or ” I can’t wait until next June to  . . . ” or “I’ve gone through __ days I might as well get through __ more.” All of these thoughts are not conducive to my overall goal within this challenge. To help myself live a healthier LASTING lifestyle. The point isn’t to just go 360 days without sugar . . . the point is to get myself to a mentality and way of living in which I can continue after the 360 days are over.

Because what is the point in completing a challenge only to GO BACK to the way you were living before? There needs  to be improvement, and progression.

A few years ago when I was training for my first marathon I hired a personal trainer to help me train and also because I wanted to lose 15-20 pounds. He was the first person to help me realize that my eating habits were keeping me from realizing my goals. For the first month of running 10-20 miles per week my weight didn’t budge at all. Once I hired him I started to drop the weight, and was able to stay strong and have tons of energy for my runs. He created a meal plan, which I stuck to, to the T! Getting to the point .  .  . At the time I also started to date this guy who was/is a food fanatic. A foodie. He could cook like no other, spoke Italian, and prided himself on knowing all the best restaurants in Salt Lake (and surrounding areas). He also loved taking me out to eat. And this was a problem. I love food and eating at amazing restaurants, but I also needed to stick to my plan 100%. So . . . every time we went out to eat, or he’d cook dinner, I was always the pickiest eater and had to limit my portions. I felt bad because I didn’t want to be that type of girl. But I was (and still am). I think that made it hard because he would want to take me to this new restaurant and I would be like . . . I can’t eat that food. The catcher is . . . he would ALWAYS ask me when this phase was going to be over? When was I going to be done with the meal plan training thing? When could I eat whatever I wanted? And my response: after the marathon.

I trained for my marathon for 4 months. I worked with my personal trainer for 3 months. And guess what was my prize dessert for finishing the race? CHEESECAKE (from the best cheesecake maker in the world). Guess what I did as soon as my marathon was over? Go get that cheesecake (pretty sure I got 2 slices). And guess what happened in the weeks following . . . I fell off the wagon. Seriously, I couldn’t stick to my meal plan even though I tried. For those 3 months of training I had the mentality of “When this is over . . .” and that was the WRONG mentality to have and that pretty much messed things up for me.

I still struggle with that mentality. I really do. And that is why I am working so hard to change it. I don’t want to do something amazing and great for a set amount of time and go back to what I was doing before. I want to be a different, better, and stronger me. I combat this by always having something to look forward to. A year is a long time and so I have also set some short term goals for myself to keep me motivated.

And so . . . one of my sub goals is to work on counting up instead of counting down.

And guess what. I’ve been going 19 days strong.

 

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Me at the Finish Line of the Ogden Marathon