I’ll take it!

Well I’m doing it, y’all! Down 10 lbs so far from about 3 weeks ago, and I’ve lost 2.5″! This is exciting news.

The best part about all this is that I’ve been eating more and I know that the food I’m fueling my body and mind with is of good quality and is mostly wholesome. I’m not being super stringent with myself – I did have a brownie Sunday and today, but based on the calories I’ve consumed both days, I could afford it.

I’m learning to track all of my calories using the myfitnesspal app. It’s really making me conscious of the things I’m eating, and how often (or infrequent) I’m eating. Plus at the end of the day or throughout the day, I can check my overall nutrient levels so I can see if I need to go easy on the carbs, or pack on the protein during the last few meals of the day. It’s a pretty cool app that helps you stay accountable for what you’re eating. And really, that’s what I need the most… Accountability.

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Envious Chicken!

Lately, I’ve been noticing that while I like eating fish, I don’t have that fully satisfied feeling after I’m done eating. Plus I’m not quite getting all the protein I’m aiming for each day. So I decided to switch things up a bit and make some chicken. Now, I’m not one of those individuals that can sit down and devour a whole chicken breast – I pretty much have to force myself to eat any more than 4 bites. However, I have discovered that if the chicken is “hidden” amongst other things, such as covered in a sauce, or wrapped in a tortilla, or in a salad, I will eat it.

This weekend I was trying to think of a way I could disguise some chicken in a healthy way and suddenly I had an idea! GREEN CHICKEN! It’s basically shredded chicken cooked in green enchilada sauce. So I went to the store to grab the ingredients and now that I’m more conscious of what I’m feeding my body with, I started looking at the nutrition labels. While I thought the green enchilada sauce would have been a good choice (or at least not a bad choice), I tried reading the ingredient list and was unable to get through the first 2-3 lines without running into some bizarre, unnatural ingredient that I couldn’t pronounce (and I’m pretty good with phonetics). So I started combing the shelves and that’s when I discovered Herdez’ salsa verde. I recognized every single ingredient listed and the calorie & sodium count was more in the appropriate range for my lifestyle.

Turns out the taste is definitely different than the green enchilada sauce I’m used to, but its still got great flavor. Next time I’ll add a few things to doctor up the sauce so its got a little kick to it. Once the chicken is cooked, you can use it in casseroles, enchiladas, tacos, taco salads, etc…

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Green Chicken
Serves 14 (4 oz servings)

3 1/2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast meat, rinsed (goodbye sodium!)
1 large jar Herdez Salsa Verde
1 Onion (yellow or white), sliced, diced, or quartered
1 tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Oregano
Garlic Salt to taste

Put some of the onion in the bottom of a large crockpot, arrange the chicken breasts on top of the onion, then put the remaining onion in. Pour the jar of salsa verde over the ingredients, add the seasonings. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. Chicken will be ready when you can easily shred with a fork. It should just fall apart when pressure is applied.

Once the chicken is done, remove from the juices and shred chicken using 2 forks, or chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to your salad, wrap up in your favorite tortilla, roll up in a corn tortilla and pour some of the sauce over the top to make enchiladas, etc.

One 4 oz serving contains:
124.7 calories
2.2 g fat
21.2 g protein
4.7 g total carbs
1.1 g dietary fiber
2.0 g sugars
344.5 mg sodium

Planning is key

Lately, I’ve been falling down on the job when it comes to meal planning. And unfortunately, that’s the key component to eating healthy. My goal each day is to eat 5-6 small meals, or 3 medium sized meals with 2-3 snacks throughout the day. This keeps my energy up and my metabolism going. Now, in order to eat that many times a day (I swear I feel like I’m eating all freaking day some times!) you have to plan ahead. ESPECIALLY when you have a job like mine where you may get called out to a clients’ site that day and end up spending hours there.

You’ve got to get creative with your meals, and I’m finding that I lack the finesse that I aspire to have in getting all those meals in each day. What I find to be most awkward is when I realize its time to eat and I’m nowhere near a breaking point with my client, so I have to reach into my purse for my trusty little snack bag of raw almonds (15 per baggie) that I won’t be sharing. Momma always taught me to share, so I end up feeling guilty for eating in front of my client and not offering them some of what I’m having. So this is where my dilemma lies… Do I continue eating in front of them? Do I need to bring another snack baggie to offer to them? Am I the only one that feels awkward? Do I need to explain my “diet” to them and why I’m not offering to share? Aaaggghhh!!! Too much to think about!! So then I tell myself: you’re probably just making a mountain out of a mole hill, so just eat the darn almonds, Sara.

The planning is a challenge for me. I never know what is going to sound good to eat the next day, yet I have to make sure I’m prepared for those days I’m away from the office (aka my living room). So the night before I have to plan and prep for the next day. And all that is a little mind boggling for this “fly by the seat of her pants” lady. But I’m working on it! For instance tonight I boiled up a dozen eggs, cooked up some turkey bacon, peeled & separated an orange, made a batch of tuna with veggies, put almonds, fig bars, and a banana in my lunch box, and got all of that in containers & ready to join the snacks in my lunch box before I head out the door in the morning. Now that’s what I call setting myself up for success!!

The Walinski Clan

Yes… I’m a Polski! And I’m a proud Polski to boot!

Quite an interesting bunch, my family. Gma & Gpa had 6 kiddos – a small litter considering my Gma was one of 13 (Yikes, Great Gma K! That woman deserves a medal) – five girls and one boy. The Walinski Clan in order of birth: Carol, Joan, John, Dianne, Kay, Patricia. This is where the fun starts… They each have a “10-year twin” meaning they were born 10 years apart: Carol & Dianne, Joan & Kay, John & Trish.

The next generation is where this gets even more interesting… There’s six of us cousins, five girls and one boy – are you seeing a pattern? In order of birth: Jack, Michelle, Jennifer, Christine, Sara, Morgan. And guess what, the pattern continues! We each have a 10 year twin also; Jack & Christine, Michelle & Sara, Jennifer & Morgan (well, these two throw a wrench in the equation – 9 years apart, BUT on the same day, so we’ll let that one slide). Crazy, right???

The best part about our family is that we’re all so incredibly unique, yet we all get along so well. Each person brings his or her own craziness to the table; from missing fingers to tattoos, we’re a regular circus when we all get together.

Gotta love the fun photo ops when Uncle John and his missing fingers are around!

Gotta love the fun photo ops when Uncle John and his missing fingers are around!

I can hear the circus theme now...

Skyping with Kay in NY… Little did everyone know she’d appear onscreen with a red foam nose like the rest of us! (My mom & Kay are always plotting during reunions)