Monday, June 30, 2014

Clean Eating Meal Prep

For me meal prep is the number one things for me to succeed! 
Each week on either Sunday or Monday evening I set aside a hour or so and prep my meals for the week. This has been a huge part of me sticking with it. 
I mainly just prep for breakfast and dinner since I am running out the door to work 
in the morning and need something to eat while there.
 Dinners are easier for me to prepare on the spot since I am home at night. 
First,  I start by making a large batch of uncut steel oats. 
In the morning all I have to do is a little almond milk,  raw honey or cinnamon 
and I like to add fruit to it as well.
 I portion this out into wide mouth pint jars so that i can just take it with me and eat it from the jar. 
1/2 Cup Uncut Steel oats cooked and ready to be reheated! 

Then I make a big batch of brown rice. I make enough to portion out for 6 days and have a little left over for home that I will have for dinner as well. I add about a 1/2 a cup  into my lunch container. 

I grill six chicken breast. I portion them out into my lunch and then it 
leaves me with some for at the house as well. 
 The ones I use are large so about half is good for my lunch! 

This is the chicken I use and I buy it frozen from Walmart

Then I steam 2 to 3 different veggies so I don't get burnt out eating the same thing. 

I put the brown rice on the bottom and chicken and veggies on top.

While prepping I also cut up veggies and fruit so that they are easy for me to grab. 
This way when I want a snack or for me to make a smoothie if I am in a hurry.
 I try not to let to long go in between meals and snacks or I start craving things I don't need! 
I also cut up veggies to throw into egg whites or in with the brown rice to make a veggie bowl. 

Cutting up fruits and veggies for the week!

Some of my go to meals are:
 Grilled Salmon with veggies.
Spinach Salad with veggies, fruit and an organic vinaigrette.
Veggie Brown rice bowls and I add chicken sometimes.
Grilled Chicken with veggies.
Veggies on the grill with grilled pineapple.
Rarely, but sometime Grilled Turkey Sausage.
Stuffed Bell peppers with brown rice and ground turkey.

Some Go To Snacks:
Greek Yogurt with fruit and healthy granola.
Apple with natural peanut butter.
Banana with raw honey. 
Smoothie if I am really hungry or to follow up a hard workout.
A cup of fruit with Almonds.

This is just some of what I do and I will be sharing some clean recipes and new things I try as well! 
Try to take the time to prepare your meals before hand. 
It helps me when I am in a hurry as well as with my mindset before the week has even begun. 

Oh and because I am SUPER EXCITED! I have lost 19.5 pounds!! Still a lot more to go, but I am looking forward to it and the Journey ahead of me. 

Shine on Lovelies,
Ashley M.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Getting less squishy!

Today was a good day for me as far as my eating goes. I only ate clean. No temptations or wants of anything else. Getting myself in the mindset to workout tonight took some persuading! I did it. 
I pushed myself hard and I am so glad I did. I am seeing changes, feeling better and loving it! 
Mind you I know I still have a long way to go until I am at my goal. 
This is a start though and I couldn't be prouder of myself. 
If you look really close you can see that I am less squishy than a week ago! =)

I have had a lot of people ask me what I am doing? How am I losing weight? Let me first say A LOT of soul searching. Getting pass the food itself and focusing on why I turn to it. Once I made my mind up I knew I wanted to change my lifestyle, not just do a quick diet and gain it all back in a year or so. For me to do that I knew I had to cut all the crap and crud I was putting in my mouth multiple times a day. So NO sugar, NO fast food, NO soda's, NO processed foods! The things I just listed were pretty much all I ate. Take all of that out and what do you do? Start fresh. Eat CLEAN!  My sister and a few other people I know have been eating clean for awhile. As I began to research it and look into it I knew that it was something I could do with a little work and a lot of preparation. Prep is key with clean eating for me. Having things ready to go, so I can just grab when I get hungry. Or when I am so busy with the kids I don't have time to make something healthy. With my research I found an awesome blog that has some great grocery list that you can just print off. 
Then I started a clean eating board on Pinterest. 
You can find my board here:
Each week on either Sunday or Monday night I prep my food for the whole week. 

For Breakfast:
I make a large batch of steel cut oatmeal and put it into pint size jars so I can grab and warm up and go. I put 1/2 a cup in the jar and I add a little almond milk when I go to warm it up. Also, I put raw honey, cinnamon, and apple or banana in it.  

If I want something different I will portion out fat free vanilla greek yogurt and add healthy granola I got from a local health food store. 

Days I am running behind I will throw frozen fruit, spinach, almond milk and fat free greek yogurt if I have it into the blender. 

I keep carrots cut up, apples with natural peanut, banana with a little raw honey. 

I grill a whole package of the hormone free frozen chicken.
Cook a big batch of brown rice and steam healthy green veggies.
Then I will portion it out into tupperware for the week. I switch up the veggies each day. 
Some days I will just make a spinach salad and add tomato, onion, strawberries, cucumber. 
I do one of the above listed in between lunch and dinner. 

I will do fish or chicken with a veggie most nights. 
Sometimes I will make a burrito type bowl and add brown rice, black beans, chicken, onion, green pepper. 

Or if I am in the mood I will do egg whites and make a veggie omelet. 

So far these have been my go to items and if I cut everything up and get it portioned out each week then it helps a ton!!! Trust me when I say if I can do tho you can. 
First, be ready and have it in your mind that you can do this! Take pictures so you can see the process. It's hard to see yourself, but it does help. Find a friend or someone that can help hold you accountable, so that when you are having a bad day you can message them and they can give you that extra push that you may not have been able to muster. Most importantly believe in yourself! 
Know that you are strong enough and you can do it!!!
If you want more meal pictures or would like to follow my journey more closely you can find me on Instagram as ANMCGOWAN! 

Shine on Lovelies! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

The day I turned down a candy bar...

Hi, my name is Ashley and I am addicted to food. If I have a stressful day and instead of making a drink or finding some other recreational substance to make me feel better I eat a cheeseburger. Or a candy bar. Or maybe even a whole thing of cookie dough. With many struggles mentally and physically I haven't turned to food in almost a month! Yesterday was a tough day for me. Dealing with tons of inward struggles and personal fights. I wanted a candy bar. I had one at home that was bought in a moment of weakness that I didn't eat. Being quickly reminded by a dear friend that eating the candy bar wouldn't help me feel better I put it down and went on to my workout. I worked out harder and pushed myself harder than I have in a long time! It felt great. I didn't eat that candy bar. It is still where it was before I wanted it. Hold on though the story gets better. Last night my hubby brought me one home when he got off work. He thought I may want it and normally I would have ate it in 2 seconds without thinking about it. However, that candy bar joined the other and is now on the shelf awaiting its fate that will come from someone other than me!! I am proud of this milestone and my strength. I know I can bet this and be a healthier me!

After I kicked my own butt during my workout! 

Shine on Lovelies,

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Traveling with Toddlers

Let me start by saying that I have had many great ideas before. Driving 12 hours in a car with 2 under 3 probably wasn't the best idea. First, I decided that on the way down there we would leave at 3:00AM. This way the boys would go back to sleep and we would get more time in without having to stop so much while they rested. Haha... Did they prove me wrong. Both wide awake, bright and bushy tailed. Neither of them had any plans to go back to sleep. Then try telling you 2 year old that your going to see his Mimi and he thinks we will be there in the time it takes us to get to Walmart. Not 12 hours. Less than an hour in and both of them were done and I was ready for a strong dose of something... Don't worry I was driving so I just dealt with it as I was losing my mind and debating on finding a therapist as soon as we arrived in Florida. As the day progressed it got worse. My oldest refused the coloring books and crayons, the books I packed him were used as missiles to throw at his brother as he tried to sleep. The iPad stopped working and no matter how much I insisted Curious George was going to play over and over again. Because, he refused for me to change it. His shoes became cannons to throw at my head. The carefully packed box of snacks organized in the middle of the car seats just like Pinterest showed was also an epic fail. Crushed all over my car and ammo for both boys, I was holding back tears at only half way through. We stopped more often to let the boys out of the car and burn some energy. That just made it worse. They then fought getting back in the car as if the world would end right then if they were strapped back in. I won't lie I felt the same way!!! Ready to be there and be done with all of the craziness we rushed the last stop and in my hurried panic chasing my toddling 14 month old I tripped, hit the curb and fell. Pretty sure there was a roll and bounce in there as well. Now bruised, broken and sore. I pick myself up and we trucked on. 
We finally made it to Florida after being in the car for 12 hours. The trip ended up being great. I love seeing our family and other than the typical tantrums and toddler melt downs it was over all worth the pain of getting there. Thank the Lord the way home wasn't near as disastrous and chaotic! My tip to anyone traveling that far with young ones.... It isn't for the faint of heart. =)


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's been a year

It doesn't seem possible that it has been a year since I last wrote. I needed the break though.
It has been a very FULL last year and really way to much to catch you up on in one post.
I will start with today… 
Today I am focusing on myself. 
I am fighting my own demons and trying to be a stronger person. 
Today I am being Healthy. Today I am on a journey to a better me. 
After baby #2 I had no drive to work out. No will to want to. 
Well, after hitting my all time highest weight while not pregnant…. 
228 pounds. GASP! (It's a really big deal for me that I just shared that) 
I decided it was a time for a change. Not a mild change, a BIG one. 
I began researching clean eating and made up my mind I will do this. No magic potions or pills. Saturday will be a month of NO soda, 
Clean eating with very few cheats, and working out.
 Still struggling to work out as much as I should.
 Then comes the next goal: I will work out every day for the next month. No matter what! 
I am down 16 pounds and my clothes are definitely getting bigger. 
I am starting to feel better and have more energy.
 I am sharing my story, because I hope to inspire someone,
just as I have been inspired by so many other awesome people who with dedication get to their goals. So hang on tight folks its going to be a bumpy ride. 
This is a true struggle and I can't wait to get to my end goal! =) 

Shine on Lovlies,
Ashley M