Vinegar Cucumbers

I am all about changing things up and not eating the same stuff each day, that’s boring to me and it doesn’t fill my tank. If it does yours, that’s great! Me however, I like different on a day to day basis or I feel burnt out and bored with my food. Sunday night when I meal prepped, I made a container of vinegar cucumbers.

I remember being a child and visiting my grandmother, she would always have vinegar cucumbers and I munched on them like they were the greatest thing. Still to this day, she will make them for my youngin’. I attempted to make them myself once before and they were a dud, nothing like grandma’s. However, I found this recipe but tweaked it a little for our batch and they are ah-ma-zing!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1/4 sweet onion
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • pepper (salt if you prefer but I stayed away)

Directions:

  1. Peel the cucumbers and slice to your preferred thickness.
  2. Slice the onion into thin slices (you don’t have to eat the onion but the flavor will be off if you omit them).
  3. Put the sliced cucumbers and onions into your container and pour your vinegar and water over them. 1 cup of each seemed to cover my vegetables just right, you can add more/less depending on the depth of your container. You want the liquid to cover the vegetables.
  4. Season with pepper (and salt if you prefer) just a smidgen.
  5. Cover and refrigerate. Ours was refrigerated for a good 10 hours before we gave them a sampling and they were perfect, just like grandma’s!

We have been munching on them this week and the taste got even better the longer it had been in the refrigerator. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have. This will be a staple during the summer months, a quick and tasty (not to mention healthy) treat!

Hollie

One Pan Dinner

If you took a look at my Monday Matters post, you know I am super excited about my meal prep recipes from last night. The first I wanted to share with you was originally found on Pinterest (shocker!) but the link to the recipe itself can be found here. However, mine was altered a little to make it fit my nutritional focuses, make it work best for you.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Can of green beans
  • 2 Red potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • Italian seasoning

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut your chicken in half and place it in the middle of a 13×9 dish
  • Drain and rinse your green beans and place them on one side of the chicken
  • Cut the potatoes in chunks and place them on the opposite side of the chicken
  • Sprinkle your Italian seasoning over the entire dish (I only used 1/2 packet)
  • Pour your olive oil over the dish evenly
  • Cover with foil and bake for an hour

Be careful removing the foil once you’ve pulled it out of the oven, there will be lots of steam. The chicken is so tender, you won’t even need a knife to cut it. I used two forks to shred it and portion it for the next couple of days. I was able to portion out 6 servings.

I didn’t take photos along the process but the next time we make this dish (because we definitely will!), I will so I can update the post with some visuals.

Hope you enjoy!
Hollie

Monday Matters

So much of the time, once Monday rolls around we get in a slump and aren’t excited about the day. That’s not me today though! I have so much to look forward to. I confided in you about some of my struggles in my previous post but although I struggle, I have hope.

This Monday morning I am excited about the day. For the first time in awhile, we meal prepped last night and I am stoked to share the recipes with you. Also today, a friend of mine and I are beginning our Advocare challenge. Today marks day 1 of the cleanse phase. Then tonight, my second season of Run for God begins. We participated in the program a few years ago but haven’t stuck to running. During the program last time I completed my very first full 5K run. Usually, I had just walked them. I felt like I was on top of the world and to be honest, was probably in the best shape of my life then. I’m ready to get that me back! It’s coming.

Now, for the meal prep last night. I made a delicious one pan dish that included chicken, green beans, and red potatoes. I also made vinegar cucumbers and clean deviled eggs. Just look at how delicious all of this looks! I will be sharing the recipes in separate posts.

Make it a marvelous Monday!
Hollie

Nailed it!

Day 3 of the Advocare ALL•IN 24 day challenge has been my best yet. I finished all 101.4 ounces of water (my daily goal is 98.5 ounces), stuck to my meal plan, got in a good 50 minutes worth of cardio along with some good strength training, and had all of my Advocare products and supplements. Major non scale victory for me!! Just what I needed to gain some confidence during this challenge. Go me!

Boy it feel good to get back in my gym!

ALL•IN

This year I said “Yes!” to Advocare in a way I hadn’t been willing to before. You see, I have a handful of friends who have shared their Advocare journey with me and what they experienced by a 24-day challenge but I still for some reason not fully convinced. Then a friend of mine shared Spark with me. I loved it, it gave me the boost that I had been needing for the long work hours, late night study sessions, and never-ending wonderful but tiring motherhood moments. With the schedule I keep, it’s easy to feel run down. Not with Spark, it’s a great and better for you than energy drink, pick-me-up. (If you haven’t tried Spark before and would like to, I’d love to send you a sample.. just let me know). I attended a Advocare event at her home and was able to try different flavors of Advocare products including shakes and snack bars. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the shakes. It’s the texture thing for me but Kasey however, he loves them. It’s all personal preference.

So what exactly did saying yes mean? It meant that I was going to be a part of the Nationwide Advocare ALL•IN 24 day challenge. This challenge was the perfect way to jump start 2016 and the pre-order bundle didn’t only come with free shipping but free meal prep containers, Advocare bracelet, and Advocare shaker bottle.. heck yes!

 
This gal loves herself some free stuff. The amount of people who are doing this challenge which began yesterday, January 11th is unbelievable. I wanted to share my day one with you and a point that also proved me to be human, my day two lesson.

Let me start with my day two lesson. After such a successful day one it was only fitting as a human that I would fall off the wagon persay as not a mistake but as a lesson. A lesson that would remind me, it’s okay to mess up. I’m not perfect and I can be more than one negative meal choice, as long as I let it be just that and not allow myself to spiral out of control. After all, that’s why I’m here doing this challenge, right? I need accountability, I need growth, I need to learn, I need to have a plan. So how exactly did I fall off tonight? It’s my grandmother’s 80th birthday. Just look at how beautiful this woman is. 

  

We had dinner as a family in celebration at a Japanese restaurant. I had planned to only have grilled chicken and grilled vegetables with no sauces but guess what? I caved. Yep, my willpower wasn’t as strong today as it could’ve been but you know what? I am confident that my willpower on day 24 will be much stronger than it is here on day 2. So, I ate myself a very unhealthy Japanese dinner and leaving all the icky details, paid for it later. But, I’m still here with an opportunity to do better tomorrow. That’s exactly what I’ll do. 

In the midst of this evening’s poor food choice, I have a wonderful day one to reflect on and grow from for day 3. I am going to share my food from day 1 with you now through pictures.

  
As you can see, I ate. I ate a lot. Sometimes I wasn’t even feeling hunger but I knew that my body needed fuel every 2-3 hours in order to be successful. My morning started with a grape Spark, my Fiber packet, and probiotic restore tablets. My body isn’t used to caffeine because I am not much of a soda drinker or coffee drinker on a regular and I could definitely tell I had taken the Spark. My body was on caffeine overload compared to normal. Before dinner I had my OmegaPlex gel caps which are ginormous. The first one went down just fine but the second one gave me some trouble. I didn’t attempt the cleansing tablet before bed. Some additional positives from my day one is that I drank right under 100 ounces of water, super huge accomplishment for me! 

I also got in a short workout I found on Pinterest that seems super easy but it kicked this gal’s booty. I’ll post it below.

  
All in all, I look forward to what I gain from this challenge. My “why” for doing this challenge (other than the obvious reason of not liking my current reflection) is to gain a better understanding of eating clean, being on a nutrition/fitness plan, and celebrating successes off the scale. Yes, I weighed in when I began and I will weigh when I’m finished but I also took my measurements and some before photos. I am not sure if I’ll ever be brave enough to post them but they serve as a reminder of who I don’t want to slip back into.

If you are looking for a community of honest, supportive, and encouraging individuals on the same path to bettering themselves like you are, and want a jump start on your 2016, please let me know. I can get information for you if I don’t know it myself and we’d love for you to be a part of this journey with us. 

Here’s to a better self!

Hollie

Weigh day!

For all of my fellow Tuesday meeting goers, how did your weigh day go? If not good on the scale, what non-scale victory are celebrating? Maybe that pair of pants you’ve had hidden in that bottom drawer are now fitting, maybe that doughnut you gave up when providing them for your daughter’s cheerleading team (I can relate!), or maybe even just the simple victory that despite the week you had, you still decided to show up. That takes guts! No matter where you are in your weight loss journey or how you did this past week, today is a new day! A new opportunity to do better. I applaud you!

  

Enough of me rambling on although I am hopeful someone finds good use of my rambles, I went to my meeting expecting good results. I have stuck to it this week and really focused. Boy was it worth it! I am down 2.4 pounds this week. I am 3 pounds away from another 5 lb star and 8 pounds away from my 10% weight loss charm! That’s something to be proud of and celebrate! 

This week we discussed our “why.” Why did we start, why do we continue the program, and what’s our why for staying motivated? Once I get mine all filled in (which I am a huge fan of the new weight tracker which is now our “success story”) then I will share mine with you. Think about it though.. what is your why?

Until next time friends, xo!

Weight Watchers

This past week I didn’t go to my meeting because I’ve been in training but the meeting before this last one I was up 0.4 which most people would frown about but instead, I celebrated non scale victories. What are non scale victories? Special milestones during your weight loss journey that aren’t measured by a scale such as, getting into that smaller pair of jeans, wearing a medium shirt instead of a large, feeling energized because of the amount of sleep you’ve been getting, and even the time you took fresh hot ‘n now doughnuts to your child’s practice because it was their birthday and you didn’t even have one. Yep, I was celebrating that one for sure! It’s tough to pass up the best doughnut ever, Krispy Kreme. So despite not being able to attend this week’s meeting I have been sticking to my points and look forward to next week’s meeting!

 

Weight Watchers 

Hi friends! I just realized that here I am starting week three and I haven’t updated you on my first two weigh-ins. First of all though, how are you doing and did you decide to embark on this healthier lifestyle journey along with me? I sure hope so, nothing better than holding each other accountable and providing support and motivation!

Week 1 weigh in (last Tuesday): -5.4 lbs.!! Trust me when I say this, I was amazed! I had been at the lake for vacation and although I tracked my food intake, there was still a couple times I helped myself to the local restaurant right along side with my family members. Needless to say though, I ate and when I say I ate, I ate all the time. TONS of zero point fruits! Not only did I have a great weigh in, I also earned a 5 lb. star! It’s the little rewards that keep us going and itching for more, isn’t it? 

 
Week 2 weigh in (today): -1.8 lbs.!! Not as big of a loss as last week but still a celebratory loss. I am really proud of myself because in just two weeks I am already just 2.8 lbs away from my first goal of 5%. That’s huge! 

Some of my favorite things these days are

  • Smart Ones microwaveable meals
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Weight Watchers Mini Vanilla Cones
  • Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate granola bars

 

You guys, it’s doesn’t have to be all WW brand in order for you to be successful either. Guess what I ate last night for dinner? A Pizza Hut Veggie Lovers personal pan pizza! YES, totally serious. It wasn’t only delicious but very filling, too. I just tracked the points on my app and was good to go.

Today for lunch I had a Smart Ones pepperoni pizza and a Walmart brand grilled chicken Caesar salad. 14 points plus value together and just look at this yumminess.

 

Seriously, it’s never too late. No better time than now. Still enjoy the foods you love, just be more accountable and see results. If I can do it then I most definitely know that YOU CAN do it, too!

Would love to hear from you and how your journey is going or what is holding you back from taking that first step. Who’s going to be the brave one to post first? Ready, set, GO!…