Thursday, May 16, 2013

Refueling Your Body Post Workout and Welcome New Readers! ...

It's now week 4 of My Fitness Journey #2 and I have to say that I feel great.  Slowly incorporating exercise and clean eating in my life has given me so much more energy as a Mom and I am able to handle postpartum much better than my first pregnancy.  My precious daughter is now 12 weeks old and sleeping right around 6-8 hours a night.  Here is sweet baby girl at 3 months.  Time flies!


We occasionally still have the 3-5 hours sleep cycle where she wakes up Mommy 2-3 times, but now it's mostly 1 feeding in the middle of the night.  I made sure to wait until we established a good sleep routine before I tackled working out in the mornings.  If she wakes me up more than 2 times the night before, my workout would be a stroller walk around our neighborhood.  Still a great workout because my neighborhood has hills and I have baby girl with me the whole time.

Since My Fitness Journey #1, I have made new friends, hence new readers!  A few don't know about My Fitness Journey #1 so here is a link HERE.  I took it so far as to compete in my first fitness competition HERE.  Now it is 2013 and I have another little angel named Genevieve Rose.  Alexander (my 4 year old) still eats majority of the time healthy and indulges in his "treat" meal on the weekends (normally a happy meal and cookie with grandpa).  As a busy Mom, I try to cook a meal for my family during the week and we enjoy a restaurant dinner one night of the weekend.  We also go out as a family for breakfast on Sunday morning at a local diner here where we live.  It's not all roses; there are weeknights where my son may have an activity at his preschool or Daddy/Mommy had to stay late at work and the convenience of a restaurant is just logical.  But those are rare as I plan my grocery list based on meals I plan to cook for the week.  I am a strong advocate that children who are exposed to healthy eating from the get-go will lead a healthier lifestyle as they grow.  I started Alexander on veggies since he was 5 months old.  Hubby and I shared the task of steaming and pureeing his fruits and veggies and then to finger foods.  To this day, he does not fight me when I ask him to eat his veggies.  It's also important that he sees Mommy and Daddy eat the same healthy foods.  I look forward to doing the same with Genevieve in just a couple of months!  Here is a plate of Alexander's fishsticks.  This boy does not like the breading, so each time I have to remove the breading and he just eats the fish.  I really should just cook him tilapia vs fishsticks.  I paired the meal with sautéed squash and zucchini:

 
 
As I get going with my journey #2, I can't stress enough how important it is to view food as a source of FUEL for your body.  After a workout, it does no good to the body when you head home and 1.) not eat (or refuel as I call it) and 2.) eat, but make poor choices!  I have seen trainers at my gym drinking starbucks and cokes and as a client, I ask myself why in the world would I hire you to train me if you don't do the other part of building a healthy and lean body?  It saddens me when I meet people who say they only eat once a day.  Or they skip breakfast and just wait for lunch.  Or send their kids to preschool with a bag of donut holes and fruit snacks and call that breakfast :-/ SMH ... each time I drop off Alexander at preschool, I see cars lined up at the donut shop across the street.  This donut shop was smart.  They put a DRIVE-THRU so you don't even have to get out of the car and bring your kiddos in.  How convenient is that?  Don't mistaken me, my son and I love donuts (who doesn't?), but that shouldn't be a staple breakfast in your child's diet.  I save donut time one weekend a month or for special occasions.  Now, you say well there just isn't time for me to eat!  I get you!  As Moms, we normally put ourselves LAST and our kids (and hubby) first.  I've had many times where I had to skip breakfast because there simply just wasn't any time for me to eat and I didn't want anything unhealthy so heck just skipped altogether.  Well, this is where planning comes in.  To help me not skip meals, I try to cook the clean foods in bulk (i.e. boil brown rice, make a huge bowl of salad sans dressing, baked fish, grilled chicken, steamed sweet potatoes, sautee veggies, cut up fruits - for the WEEK).  Each morning hubby and I have oatmeal so we designated him as the oatmeal chef and I take over getting the kiddos ready for the day.  It's called TEAMWORK.  Hubby and I are still working out the kinks of the routines, but definitely cooking in bulk helps a great deal.
 
I am not a nutritionist by all means and please remember that what I say in my blog are examples or experiences that worked for ME and my family.  The purpose of the blog is to help me answer emails/texts/calls about your questions on clean eating and exercise.  With a full-time job, a 4 year old and now a 3 month old, it's difficult to address everything I receive and that's how this blog came to life.  I love to help you :-) ...
 
I didn't lose my weight on my fitness journey #1 or compete in a competition with just one component.  I had to eat clean AND exercise.  I am not one of those people who can eat pretty much anything I want and still stay lean.  Honestly, can you say those people are really HEALTHY?  Just because a person looks skinny or not overweight, but eats like crap does NOT make them healthy.  Eventually the crap eating will catch up with them.  Would you rather be that person or a person who embraces clean eating and fitness and LIVE it?
 
My point is try to view food as your body's source of fuel or refuel.  After a workout, why would you erase all that hardwork you just put in to complete that workout by making poor food choices?  Since yesterday was a rest day for me, I did a body weights class this morning and followed up with cardio kickboxing right after.  In between, I drank an all natural vanilla whey protein shake (mixed with water) to refuel after the weights workout class and give me energy to complete kickboxing.  When I got home, I made my lunch which was a modified chicken fried rice on a bed of spinach.  First, I sautéed spinach and put on a plate.  I then sautéed onions, grilled chicken and 1/2 cup of brown rice (both already in my fridge), peas and carrots in a pan, seasoned with a little bit of soy sauce and black pepper.  I added a few grape tomatoes on the side because I just love tomatoes ;-) ...
 
 
 
So blog point of the day is to make healthy and clean food choices after your workout.  Don't just take a step forward by completing an awesome workout only to take 3 steps backwards by eating awful right after.  Continue going forward.  That's the only way you'll get results and that's what I mean when I say "you can't out train a BAD diet."

Have a great rest of the week!
 
Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly
 
Check out my friend Julie's fitness page HERE!  She is my bodyworks (weights class), kickboxing instructor and friend :-) - without her, I wouldn't be where I'm at today.  She is starting a bootcamp in June to help us ladies get ready for summer!  Message her if interested or need more information.  Thanks!
 

 


Thursday, May 2, 2013

.... And I am Back :-)

Well, last week I started back up again at the gym.  I won't lie and say it was easy considering I have done a fitness competition before and my body has endured extreme, hardcore training.  No ma'am - it was hard as hell!  Even finding the right clothes to wear to the gym took some time and frustration.  For now, my Lululemons will have to wait a few more months (hopefully) before I can fit in them comfortably again (and I will!!).  I went ahead and purchased new sportsbras (which is a MUST because my old ones didn't fit) - Moving Comfort Juno.  The same one that Mama Laughlin uses (Mama if you're reading this - THANKS!!! the sportsbra is fabulous and keeps the girls in place ;) ... I also purchased much needed shoes (yes, I had to go bright!) - these are super comfortable for the group exercise classes I take as well as doing plyometrics and spin.  My running shoes will probably need to be replaced soon too ...


So the first week, I was a little bummed ... I couldn't even do two "real" push-ups whereas before I popped those babies out like nothing .. but the "bumming" didn't last for long.  I can either stay and feel sorry for myself OR get to WORK.  I chose the latter.  Rewind back to my birth experience, I have to say this second pregnancy was so much easier, where I wasn't a "human dyson" and ate everything in sight.  Ughhh.  Memories of the first pregnancy just popped in my mind.  I gained a total of 45lbs with Genevieve and 65lbs with Alexander.  I still had the cravings with this pregnancy (fried catfish at 7 weeks and thai tea the entire pregnancy and then after, etc), but I tried to balance it with homemade salads, fish and eggs.  I couldn't stomach oatmeal or eggwhites for the life of me so those clean foods went out the window unfortunately.  I carried my water with me 24/7 even when I went to sleep .. and I still do.

My pregnancy with Genevieve overall was wonderful (minus the morning sickness the first 20 weeks) and I exercised up to 24 weeks at the gym.  That's one of the main difference with the pregnancies as well was that I was active the second time around.  After 24 weeks though, I was instructed by my doctor to take it easy and do casual walks due to an issue I had with the pregnancy.  So I froze my membership indefinitely.  That was SOOO hard considering the level of fitness I was so used to.  Aside from family, fitness was my passion, my outlet, my escape for 1-2 hours a day.  Walking bored me honestly unless it was with my family.  To go from the fitness level I was used to to casual walker was difficult, but I knew that it wasn't about me, but about my baby girl.  After a couple of weeks, I got over it and accepted the change.  Actually in retrospect, the hiatus was nice and very much needed.

Natural birth also helped me jumpstart my fitness journey #2 much, much quicker.  From my own experience, you recover so much faster than with a medicated birth.  I am emphasizing "from my own experience" here, there is no right or wrong.  I just chose to go the natural way and hubby and I educated ourselves by hiring a doula/taking classes to achieve that.  It was also a wonderful way for us to bond with each other and the miracle that was growing inside of me.  My first birth didn't go as smoothly and afterwards, I felt more sluggish and didn't have the energy I have now after my second baby.  I have no regrets with the birth plan for my second as it has helped me bounce back slowly, but surely to the journey of getting fit again.  After hibernating with my family for 4 weeks, I started walking again at 5 weeks postpartum (2 miles at the park or our neighborhood) and back at the gym at 10 weeks postpartum.  It's now 11 weeks postpartum and I feel great.  It's also comforting to see familiar faces at the gym and to know that my friends are here to support me in my journey back to good ol' me.  In addition, I've also started back up my clean eating where I eat 5 small meals a day, with protein at each meal.  Genevieve has now started to sleep between 6-8 hours a night so in the mornings I am able to find time to eat breakfast, spend time w/ my son before he heads to preschool and get ready to work-out.  I am thankful to have my Mom so close by to help with Genevieve so I can have 1-2 hours to myself on days I need it.  Being fit helps me become a better Mommy to my children and give me energy to do more activities with them.

So diet.  What do I eat?  Fortunately, oatmeal and eggwhites do not gross me out anymore where it did during pregnancy.  So each morning, I try to eat 2 eggwhites mixed in with 1 egg (with yolk cooked sunny side up) and 1/3 homemade Quakers oatmeal topped with an assortment of berries and 1 tbsp. of ground flaxseed.  On the weekends when I have a bit more time and the help of hubby, I would cook a spinach eggwhite omelette with lots of veggies.  I have grown to love oatmeal again and breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  For AM snack, normally after working out, I drink a natural vanilla whey protein from Whole Foods (Whey Factors) recommended by my friend Deepa.  This whey protein does not contain any artificial sweeteners which is not recommended when breastfeeding. 


I only take this after weight lifting a specific muscle group.  For lunch, I have a 1/2 cup of brown rice, homemade spring mix salad with 1 tbsp. of light balsamic vinaigrette and 1 tbsp of olive oil with a protein (ie. tilapia, chicken breast, lean flank steak, shrimp, etc).  Today I had sautéed zucchini and squash with onions instead of a salad.  The key with clean eating is portion control.  If I have extra time in the morning, I go ahead and bake my fish so it is ready by lunchtime.  I always have brown rice already cooked in the fridge so I just have to heat it up!  Sweet potatoes is great too, but I still can't stomach the texture :-/ ..  Now for dinner, I can still eat what I cook for my family (except pizza!).  Monday evenings is grill night so hubby grills porkchops for my son, steak for him and I and chicken breasts for the week.  I just portion mine to 4oz and save the rest for the week.  Most of my friends know I plan my grocery list for the week based on the meals I cook for the family.  Tuesday night is seafood night and I rotate from tuna melts to baked salmon.  My son loves salmon and brocolli!!  Here is a picture of his cute little plate:
 
 

Now, I do normally eat white rice with this meal, but again in moderation.  It helps I only cook 1 cup so no one overindulges in white rice!  Wednesday evening is pizza night (pizza from Costco) so that meal is only for hubby and Alexander.  I would make normally a grilled chicken salad or eat breakfast for dinner (less the oatmeal because I don't eat carbs after 5pm).  Just depends what I feel.  For PM snack.  If I am at home, I normally would go more for cooked foods vs the Whey Factors protein and opt for 3 eggwhites and 1 tbsp of almond butter (one of my faves) or a serving of Oikos greek yogurt:

Since I am breastfeeding, I try to limit my whey protein (even though it's natural) intake as a PM snack.  Thursday evening is a rotation of requests from my boys:  potroast, spaghetti, Filipino dishes, etc.  I still eat these foods with them, but try to eat more of the clean foods that accompany the meals (ie. spaghetti - eat more of the salad vs pasta and skip the garlic bread; potroast - substitute brown rice vs white rice - the meat is pretty lean already which I try to choose at the supermarket).  Filipino foods I rarely cook (about once a month), but when I do, I consider it as one of my two cheat meals for the week.  And trust me, I look forward to my 2 cheat meals a week! :-) ....

I am still experimenting with clean foods.  I am having to look back at my fitness food albums and journals as well as check out my fitness friends' albums (the amazing Laura Lam Ortiz!!) ... It has only been my second week so I still have a ways to go.  BUT the hardest hurdle of them all has been reached and that is starting back up my workouts, clean eating and again finding that drive/motivation spirit I had before!  That part I have accomplished and I can't even begin to tell you how pumped and motivated I am to DO this! ...  I am so thankful to have family and friends who have supported me in the first journey and who is supporting me with THIS journey the second time around.  I feel awesome and now accumulating energy to enjoy both my sweet and smart 4 year old son and my precious, beautiful baby girl :-) ....  My two babies!


Remember clean eating is a MUST with exercise if you want to see any changes!  You can't out train a bad diet.

The rest of 2013 is going to ROCK!  Stay tuned.

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

the GOAL - 125lbs and muscle tone ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Post Pregnancy Update

3 hours of interrupted sleep, sore breasts from breastfeeding and just pure fatigue, I thought why not blog today?  This will jumpstart my Monday!  LoL!

Hey all, it is now March and from my past post (sorry I didn't get to posting in December like I said), I updated ya'll that hubby and I were expecting baby chilly #2!  Well here she is, our Miss Genevieve! ... Newborn pictures taken when she was only 6 days old ...


 
 
I am thankful to be able to spend each day with her until August when I return to work.  She is almost 4 weeks old.  She is our little angel and I cannot begin to describe the immense feeling of having a little girl in our lives.  Big brother Alexander is Mommy's helper and he is always kissing Genevieve on the forehead, telling her he loves her.  I am blessed to have two wonderful children.
 
I have been receiving several texts and emails inquiring about the pregnancy and well-wishes etc (thank you for all that!).  Day of labor, I had gained a total of 45lbs.  20lbs below what I gained with my first baby.  I knew this was a much better pregnancy because at the end I was still comfortably wearing my wedding rings, my legs were not miserably swollen, I didn't have that belly itching problem (PUPPs they call it?) and I managed to still be able to walk for exercise and have a 90% natural childbirth.  At 24 weeks, I was instructed by my doctor to stop the step aerobics (due to bleeding) and just walk.  This was really hard for me to do because as you all know, I love to exercise!  But this wasn't about me, but baby so I followed what the doctor prescribed and just walked when I could.  My gym membership was frozen that week and to this day I am still contemplating of "unfreezing" it. 
 
Which brings me to my next topic and what most of you want to know.  The texts and emails I've been receiving is mainly, "how do you plan to lose the weight?" ...  Well, just by giving birth alone I lost between 20-25lbs and I am exclusively breastfeeding my daughter which burns about 500-600 calories a day.  Just last week, I started to eat my eggwhites and oatmeal again (my post below I mentioned that I couldn't tolerate either during pregnancy :-/).  I have to keep up my caloric intake (an additional 500 cal or so) while breastfeeding, but I am definitely making better choices.  My lunch would consists of my normal brown rice (3/4 cup vs 1/2 cup), tilapia fillets and steamed brocolli.  I also like to make a grilled chicken sandwich with a bowl of tortilla soup.  Hubby still grills chicken breasts on Monday evenings which helps.  So slowly, I am gearing back to my old eating habits.  I drink plenty of water each day (one of my favorite purchases is my Starbucks water holder).  I like my water extra cold so I probably fill this thing up 6-8 times a day with ice!  I never leave home without it either.  This was a must-have too during my pregnancy. Portion control is also something I have been watching too.  While I am not yet at my 5 meals a day, I try to incorporate small snacks when I can (or when baby schedule lets me eat!) and I have a handful of almonds, mango slices, 1 tbsp of almond butter or an oikos greek yogurt with fruit:
 
Now for exercise.  I guess you can say this is my "draft" version!  The weather in Texas is slowly getting warmer (81 degrees today!) so I see lots of walks in my future.  I am thinking of unfreezing my gym membership or switching gyms after Genevieve is 12 weeks old by slowly taking 2-3 classes a week.  I am starting really SLOW ok?!  I am sure after I leave that first class, I will be sore like a son of a gun.  I also plan to train with my good friend Tracy Payne of Xtreme Fitness.  She was my trainer back when I competed for my first competition back in August of 2011 (link here).  I am saving training with her until I have weaned Genevieve from breastfeeding which will be next year in February.  But then that is my busy season at work so it will most likely be May 2014 when I train hardcore along with competition diet.  12 weeks of that should whip me up in shape!  As for now, almost 4 weeks postpartum, I am enjoying my new baby and getting acclimated with having two kiddos.  It is definitely a transition, but overall very rewarding and just awesome.  I love it! ...
 
I am looking forward to starting up my walks and gradually starting up my classes at the gym after 12 weeks postpartum.  Delivery-wise, this was by far the easier of the two and I feel great.  With my first pregnancy, post-partum I felt sluggish and had less energy which explains why I had the post-partum blues.  With this, after 2 weeks postpartum, hubby had to remind me to slow my @$$ down!  I was ready to start doing what I used to do!!  I am just that type, I can never relax.  I feel like I always have to be doing something :-/ ...
 
Anyway, there you have it.  That is my plan for now which could change.  I feel blessed to have good friends who have supported me back when and who support me now (Crystal, Laura, Leslie, Laquanda, Stefanie just to name a few).  Hey, if you want to do this with me, just let me know! :-) ... Perhaps we can start our own little group and help each other stay accountable.
 
Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly


Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's a GIRL! Another blessing on the way ...

 

 

I know, I know ... you are all wondering where the heck have I been!?! ... A casual fitness and fashion blogger gone total MIA.  Well, as you can see above, hubby and I are expecting baby chilly #2!  And based from what I have read and talked about with other girlfriends who are having a girl, morning sickness is present more when carrying a little princess.  That's where I've been.

I am currently 21 weeks pregnant as of today and still suffer from nausea on and off.  From conception (back in May) to about 14 weeks, it was constant fatigue, vomiting and just pure misery.  With my first child (boy), I had nausea for about a week and it was smooth sailing from then on (minus of course the gaining of 65 freak'n pounds!?!!!!) .... With this little diva, I am prescribed 4mg of zofran, WAS prescribed fenegrin for which I decided to stop.  I only took that medication in the evenings because it made me groggy and rather sleepy.  Oh and this may be TMI, but zofran causes constipation as well so a little help from stool softeners was also needed :-/ ..... Needless to say, any free time I had, I spent resting and sleeping while juggling a full-time job, full-time mommy/wife duties and managing a household.  I had no time (and energy to blog) unfortunately.

I'll touch base on a few things ....

As far as diet goes, carbs were my friend during the first 14 weeks of misery.  As you all knew, my morning breakfast consisted of eggwhites.  That did not go well with what I was feeling and often saw it right back up.  It took a few more weeks to get the oatmeal to settle so pretty much I went for the whole wheat toast or this Filipino bread called "pandesal."  Milk also made my stomach upset; so I took my calcium mainly from cheese.  Absolutely no greek yogurt as it made me sick.  So as you can see, my so-called "clean foods" went out the door.  I had to eat pretty much what would stay down and what I craved (I remember week 7, I just wanted catfish and week 8, ramen noodles!).

Exercise you wonder?  Well, prior to learning I was pregnant, spin classes were my favorites.  As most of you, exercise is a must and your day just isn't complete if you don't do some type of movement.  Surprisingly, I still managed to go twice a week to spin, but after the 9-10 weeks mark, I just couldn't sit on that bike for an hour.  I had to change my routine.  I then switched to step aerobics where it didn't keep me on the bike and sitting for an hour, but rather moving and even listening to the instructor's queues, I felt exercised my brain/listening skills.  Of course, I don't do any of the fancy steps like I used to do, but rather modify some of the moves and still get an awesome cardio workout.  I honestly don't know how I did it; my doctor says it was because I was already active prior to getting pregnant that I was able to exercise pass through the morning sickness.

Midway through I have gained 15lbs with 19 weeks to go.  As most of you know, my first pregnancy I had gained a whopping 65lbs :-/ ... well, I'm not repeating that again!  I am doing step aerobics class 3 times a week and walking after dinner with my hubby and son when the Texas evening weather is nice.  I won't lie to you that the cravings for "bad" things aren't there.  Mainly I miss drinking something other than ice cold water that I would drink 8-10 oz of Dr. Pepper once every two weeks, or get a cup of hot cocoa at Starbucks.  These are rare cravings, but when I do the doctor has instructed that it's alright and I enjoy every last drop.  The mornings I do have time to cook, I make a spinach egg omelet with sprinkle of cheese (for calcium) and one turkey bacon.  Lunch would consist of a sandwich (either turkey or roast beef deli meat heated up 1 minute in the microwave) or a salad.  I cook salmon once a week for the baby as well as for hubby and Alexander (who loves it with his steamed brocolli).  Days I am nauseous, I would cook creamy chicken ramen noodles!!!  It's not the healthiest I know, but I would add at least spinach, nappa cabbage and lime with dash of black pepper so I get some nutrients.  I crack an egg in there once in awhile for protein.  Like I said, carbs help ease my nausea for some reason.

I will post a more recent belly photo soon (the one below is at 13 weeks).  Work is extremely crazy at this time (us accountants have the 10/15 extension deadline coming up).  I have 3 formal parties to attend to in December so finding an outfit will be a challenge, considering I'll be 8 months pregnant!!!  But I'll try to post that too ;).

All I can say though is this pregnancy, although it has been more difficult, I definitely am much healthier and more aware of how much I gain.  Many of you have asked if this is my last pregnancy.  The answer is yes.  Hubby and I decided that 2 is a good number to stop at this time, considering the demands of our professional careers.  I do plan to do another fitness competition in the future just for fun, when my kids are older and I have time to devote to such goal.  The next few years will be devoted to my kids and I look forward to becoming a Mommy all over again!  It truly is the best JOB in the universe.  "The hardest job you'll ever love" I like to say.

Stay tuned though for "My Fitness Journey #2" where I will be working on losing the post-pregnancy pounds and get back to my goal of healthy 125lbs.  I plan to breastfeed for a year so I won't be doing anything too crazy and definitely won't be stressing on losing the weight.  Like I have said before, my weight does not define me.  I am fully commited to not only continuing to take care of myself, but enjoying this pregnancy (especially that it is my last) and this time of my life as it only comes once in a lifetime!  I want to enjoy every minute of my kiddos' youth.  At this time in their little lives, they simply just need their Mommy.

Hope you are all doing well and enjoying the transition of fall (my favorite time of the year!!!)  I am looking forward to the holidays and of course, welcoming our beautiful little girl in February =) ....

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - Next blog should be around the holidays!  Will share the little princess' 3d ultrasound pics!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Healthy Choices for the Office

Almost friday guys!  My day started off of course with Meal 1 breakfast (never skip this meal!):


3 eggwhites with 1 yolk (seasoned with a dash of tony's and parsley)
fresh sliced cucumbers and halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup oatmeal with 1 tsp of ground flaxseed, dash of ground cinnamon and 1 stevia; topped with a sliced large strawberry

It was delicious and fueled me for the morning (until meal 2 that is ;) ...

Here is what I packed for the office:


Meal 2 (bottom left tupperware): 1 tbsp greek yogurt with capers, smoked salmon on top of toasted ezekiel bread (recipe courtesy of the Hot Mom Bod - thanks Leslie!)

Meal 3 (bottom right large tupperware): 1/2 cup ground bison with baby bokchoy, steamed squash, 1/4 cup brown rice and (on top left - tiniest tupperware) 1 tbsp of fresh mango salsa I like to put on top of my brown rice (from Whole Foods)

Meal 4 (top right medium tupperware): celery sticks and 2 hard-boiled eggs sans yolk with 1.5 tbsp of hummus

Meal 5 (dinner with my two boys at home): tuna with sliced carrots, green onions and sliced celery on a bed of spring mix salad, dash of sea salt and pepper, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp of vinagrette, small handful of fresh cranberries

Working from home tomorrow so definitely no excuse to eat bad!  Step class too in the morning with a girlfriend =) ...



Happy friday!
Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - Make sure you reward yourself with a "treat" meal or two this weekend, especially if you stuck to your clean-eating all week!  Yay!  Enjoy, but don't overdo it and start off your weekend with exercise.  You will feel so much better all weekend ;) ....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Your Questions Answered ...

Wrapped up work early this evening (yes 10:45pm is early for me =) ...  so I thought why not blog?  I am sure many have wondered why do people blog?  It is similar to writing in a journal, with the difference that the posts published here are for everyone to read or comment on.  I started "My Fitness Journey" blog back in June 2010 mainly to be able to respond and address the emails, texts and calls I received asking how I lost my 52 lbs.  I genuinely love to help people, but it took me a long time to respond and that's not even getting to everyone.  My husband was actually the one who encouraged me to create a blog so I can address at one time all the correspondences I received regarding my journey.  It has now been almost 2 years and I have incorporated fashion recently within my fitness journey blog.  Who said clothes didn't go hand in hand with fitness?  We have to exercise in able to fit in the clothes we want to right?  I also blog because it is a way for my thoughts to evolve, for my body to relax and for my mind to escape ....

Here are just a few questions I received this week:

1.)  Do you buy premade hummus or do you make it from scratch?
Mrs. Chilly - for those of you who have not tasted hummus (or not know what it is), it is a middle eastern dip made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and garlic.  I have tasted one that was made from scratch, but I will admit I buy pre-made mainly due to time constraints. I purchase the Tribe Hummus which can be found pretty much at every grocery store.  I like to pair the hummus with hard-boiled egg whites or celery sticks as a morning or afternoon snack.

2.)  Where else do you put flaxseed/wheat germ?

Mrs. Chilly - besides 1 tbsp of flaxseed in my 1/4 cup of homecook oatmeal, I like to put 1 tsp of ground flaxseed in my protein shakes.  Like I said on other blog posts, I have a "generic" magic bullet I use to make all of my protein shakes.  Make sure your flaxseed is grounded.  You can also put it in your protein pancake batter (see my Spinach Protein Pancake recipe blog post).  I like to put wheat germ in my oatmeal, as well as my protein pancake batter or clean muffins recipe (here is one I've printed out before).

3.)  Do you ever "fall off the wagon?"

Mrs. Chilly - heck yes!!  I am not perfect (who is?).  I am also 100% filipino and we are known to be meat lovers lol.  What's great about "clean-eating" is that the benefits can be seen in just a matter of days.  So let's say I cheat on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, once I get "back on the wagon" come Monday morning, I instantly feel great and energized on Tuesday morning.  I don't know about you, but I can actually feel fat burning because I am eating every 2.5-3 hours daily which keeps my metabolism revving.  Have you heard of eat more to lose more?  Now if you are preparing for a competition or show, then there are no such things called "cheat meals" until after your show.  But that is another blog post =) (see my post on how I trained for my fitness show) ...

Here is a pic of my breakfast this morning.  The protein shake courtesy of my good friend Crystal Lampe, owner of Beauty from the Earth ...

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 scoop all natural chocolate whey protein powder (I use Whey Factors sold at Whole Foods)
2 ice cubes
1 slice of ezekiel bread with 1 tsp of almond butter spread



Remember that you only get what you put in.  So if you want to get in your jeans, get back to your pre-pregnancy body or just be plain healthy, you have to be willing to change not only your habits (ie. eating out, excessive alcohol, fast foods, not exercising or moving, skipping breakfast or meals etc), but your lifestyle.  Definitely after a nice "cheat meal" (or two) on the weekends, I am ready to get "back on that wagon."  I don't think it's torture or "not living life (heard this so many times)," because I have my "treat" meal to look forward to on the weekends (or whichever day you choose).

Here is me before changing my lifestyle ... 5'1, 170 lbs and sluggish :-/ ....

BEFORE:


AFTER:

5' 1, 130 lbs, energized, happy and motivated!



What are you waiting for? ....
Believe,
Mrs. Chilly

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

**More on packing clean foods and clean eating**

As most of you know, this past weekend was US Memorial Day weekend where we honored our men and women who bravely serve (or have served) this beautiful country.  Most of America either had a 3 day weekend (or 4 days or more), had barbeques/picnics/cookouts planned, or took the boats out to the lake!!!   It was a bit slow this morning in my household after 4 days of abundant family time, exercise, swimming, potty training, good food, date night, movies, etc!  One thing I did look forward to was my clean foods packed for the day as I return back to the office (pic below):

Meal 2 - Oikos nonfat plain greek yogurt, 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, dash of ground cinnamon and fresh strawberries
Meal 3 - 1/2 steamed sweet potato, 1 cup steamed brocolli, 1 tilapia filet seasoned with sea salt and lemon pepper and 1.5 tbsp of fresh mango salsa (from Whole Foods)
Meal 4 - celery sticks with 1.5 tbsp of hummus (I normally do 2 tbsp but I ran out) and 2 hard-boiled eggs sans yolk


I (and my two boys) strive to practice clean-eating during the week and save my "treat meals" mainly on the weekends.  To learn more about clean-eating, Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet is a very good source to begin.  When I was ready to change my lifestyle, I swear I read this book in less than a week; I was that ready!  Brief summary, clean-eating is the habit and lifestyle of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats.  It consists of eating 5-6 small meals a day to keep the metabolism revving (eat more, lose more), staying away from junk foods such as white bread, trans fat, refind sugar, sodas etc.

My clean-eating routine includes never skipping breakfast, cooking healthy meals for me and my two boys, packing healthy meals (such as above) to avoid fast food runs, drinking lots of H20, limiting alcohol intake and eating 5-6 small meals a day with one or two "treat" meals on the weekend.  I am not able to make it in the gym everyday like I used to (and I am fine with that) which makes it even more important to eat as clean as possible during the week (or 80% of the time) so I do not gain unwanted weight.  I am also only 5'1 so not much height there!   For me, it is not even to look like a fitness model because I definitely have to dedicate more time in the gym to achieve that look (or my competition picture - see blog header), but knowing internally that I am "gifting" my body with healthy foods is a benefit that can last a lifetime.  Plus, I like living life feeling good about myself and having the energy needed to balance my career, marriage and raising my little 3-year old.  The little bonus though is if I decide that I want that look again, I know how to get there.  Right now though with the demands of my work and family schedule, I have learned to compromise with my goals, my body and my priorities.  Funny, I am a happier Mrs. Chilly when my life is balanced (and I have a little more body fat than competition mode).  That is what's most important; a happy you.

Okay, I won't lie to you, it does take time and effort to eat clean, but the benefits are endless.  If you don't want to eat well, then just don't expect to fit in that summer halter top or the dreaded shorts.  If it was that easy, then America wouldn't have an obesity problem.  Sounds harsh, but I can totally relate from experience because I have been there!  One tip I do want to share especially if you have a full schedule like me is to try to cook your meals on Sundays (or whatever days work for you).  Oh and invest in good tupperwares!  With the way I pack my foods in the office, I am never hungry knowing I can eat every 2.5-3 hours.  And the next day I feel instantly energized knowing I ate clean the day before (you feel it the moment you wake up promise!).  One thing I tried this week was to cook half of our meals on Monday evening (holiday) and the rest this evening (Tuesday).  I just told hubby that his ground turkey with quinoa won't start until Wednesday vs Monday.  There's many ways to prep your meals; just find the best way (and routine) that works with you and your family.  Our steamed sweet potatoes and brocolli are my hubby's duties so that helps me out a ton.

Normally, grill night is Monday evening for us where hubby grills his and my son's butterfly porkchops and our marinated chicken breasts (dash of garlic salt and paprika) for the week.  Due to the holiday weekend, hubby grilled this evening and also grilled a piece of my almond crusted salmon fillet for me to top my spring mix salad with (pic below):


**Recipe:

spring mix salad (I purchased my tub from Costco at $3.99/tub)
small handful of pine nuts (also from Costco)
small handful of cranberries
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp feta cheese (I buy in bulk at Costco for $6.99/container - it lasts awhile)
4-5 oz salmon filet (I brushed the salmon with egg whites and sprinkled crushed almonds on top, then grilled)
1 tbsp of light vinagrette dressing
dash of sea salt and pepper

It was delicious!  Thanks to my hubby, the master griller =) ....  Tonight, I made a batch also of lean ground bison for my lettuce wraps for the week.  I found I had baby bokchoy in my fridge (also from Costco), one of my favorite asian vegetables and perfect for clean stir-frys, that I decided to toss some in in my ground bison:



    I wish you all a fabulous and "clean" week!  Tomorrow's breakfast consists of 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup of cold water, 1 scoop of natural chocolate whey protein (I like Whole Foods Whey Factor as it does not contain artificial sweetener), 1/2 banana, 1 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder and ice cubes.  I have a "generic'' magic bullet blender that I love and makes my shakes in just a few minutes.  If you have a recipe to share, please send them my way or post on my facebook fanpage!

Cheers!
Mrs. Chilly

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ready, Set, Pack! ...

This next blog post was requested by one of my followers and dear friend.  One day I received a post asking how I pack/store my clean foods for the week?  Great question!

First off, it helps if you have a large refrigerator which I unfortunately do not have (yet).  Next, hubby and I went to walmart and found a set of tupperwares from largest to smallest and purchased two sets.  I mainly put my steamed sweet potatoes, brocolli, almond butter, vertically sliced celery and carrot sticks, measured hummus, etc in these containers.  They look similar to these only in blue:

 

Some of the "hot" foods I cook (i.e. zuchini and squash, ground turkey, brown rice and quinoa) actually go in real bowls and I just tightly seal a saran wrap over the bowl.  If you see my refrigerator on Sundays vs Saturdays (end of the week), you will be amazed at how my family of 3 actually eat what we cook during the week.  That is how I know we did well both in saving money (from dining out) and eating healthy.  The bowls I use are similar to these:


Grocery shopping is a family event for us 3.  I have blogged about this before, but my grocery list has my items listed according to the route we take in the store.  We start in the produce section, work our way up the meat aisle, dairy and egg products, whatever is left found in the middle aisles (i.e. spices, pam spray, taco shells, bread, soup for Alexander, etc).  Our last stop is way on the other side of the store; items such as toothpaste, mouthwash, greeting cards, shampoo, razors, etc.  Hubby pokes fun of my grocery list, but he admits it makes sense and saves us time from "roaming" around the store and picking up foods that do not normally make the list (junk foods!).  I think it is simply just "smart" shopping (with a little hint of my OCD =) ...

Once we reach check-out, my hubby takes our son and they both sit at the bench to wait on Mommy.  Hubby reaches for his phone and shows him pictures to keep him entertained while I check out.  Talk about teamwork!  We do this to avoid Alexander from asking for candy or chips, but once or twice a month he is allowed a bag of M&Ms or skittles.  His cheat meal normally during the week is a chicken nugget happy meal, his fave.  He also likes mexican food where he orders a ground beef taco with shredded cheese.  Yes he has cheats too like his parents!  That is his "treat" for eating his oatmeal, eggwhites, brocolli, sweet potatoes, chicken, fish, fruits for the week as well as drinking his 2% milk and water.  He absolutely loves mangoes (must be the Filipino side of him hehehe). 



I know grocery shopping is mainly mommy's duty, but if hubby can come along, it helps out a lot (at least for me).  Every other week, we also go to Costco to purchase our bulk items (i.e. oatmeal, chicken breasts, ground turkey, almonds, tuna, goldfish, etc).  We love Costco, but beware of the free samples - try to choose the healthy ones =) ....

After grocery shopping, hubby brings the groceries in as well as put them away in the pantry and refrigerator.  Right now, you are probably wondering "really?" ... Well, my hubby is an engineer (mechanical) and he is the BEST in organizing our small fridge and pantry.  He actually volunteered because he has ways to fit everything in and it be organized and neat.  I have offered to do it in the past, but I just don't do as good of a job and I hate it when my blueberries fall and scatter all over the ground (and worse, Alexander accidentally steps on them!! - Moms you know what I am talking about!) ...  While hubby does that, I take Alexander and clean him up because we all know that grocery stores (and any public places) can be a haven for germs!  I help hubby after that, but mainly I put away the toiletries and take out packaging trash to the outside garbage bin.  And voila, our grocery trek is done = total teamwork!! ;) ....


So moving right along .... here is an example of what I bring to the office.  It is meal 2 morning snack, meal 3 lunch and meal 4 afternoon snack with strawberry whey protein powder:



Meal 2 is normally consumed at 10:45am, meal 3 at 1:45pm and meal 4 at 4:15pm.  Meal 4 is a little early because I like to join my husband and son for dinner.  If I eat meal 4 later than 4:30pm, I am not as hungry come dinner time and I just end up watching them eat.  I have a medium lunchbox that I bring this in and while my work laptop is booting up (which is forever), I put the foods in the refrigerator (minus the protein powder).

I hope this helps!  Of course with my job, there are days I eat the meals a little later than planned.  I am not perfect by no means and sometimes I end up skipping a meal because I am in a meeting or just working on an urgent client deliverable/deadline.  But most of the time, I try to eat every 3 hours to keep my metabolism revving.  I am known at work to have several tupperware containers =) ... It's SOO worth it and along with my exercise, I just feel great! ...

Let me know if you have questions!  Remember a little planning makes a difference and it moves you one step closer to your fitness goals.  Try it and avoid those fast food joints for lunch!! ....

Clean-eating rocks!
Mrs. Chilly

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Misery Loves Company

I have had a very interesting and more-than-usual chaotic week this week.  My son was stung by a bee at his pre-school playground Monday late afternoon for which we took him to the doctor on Tuesday after I received a call in the middle of a client meeting.  The past two days has been a mix of team umizoomi, working from home, sleeping for a total of 3-4 hours a night, playing sandbox, reading several board books, making soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (with Mommy adding in brocolli in the mix) and of course, the never-ending trials of potty training.  Hubby and I had initially decided for Alexander to go "cold turkey" this weekend since it is a 4-day weekend for the 3 of us.  I had planned to already be a "mommy-zombie" with the upcoming lack of sleep, but looks like that is me now and it's not even Friday yet.  Needless to say, I am looking forward to the 4-day weekend and I hope to get at least 6 hours of sleep even for just one night! =) .... (pic is Alexander and I at the doctor to get his "boo-boo" checked)

Today was quite an interesting day because I encountered two so-called friends who just seem to live in negative energy ughhh.  I try not to analyze it why one is so negative, but I find myself still trying to find a reason why.  This one "friend" basically said that my fitness blog is bogus/ridiculous and that the world does not revolve around my new clothes, new shoes, how much weightloss I've accomplished or what I had for lunch.  Quite hypocritical as this came from a "friend" who owns a $500 blender, a $3,000 camera, a brand-new 5 bedroom house, the Orbitz stroller (you Moms know that this is one of the most expensive strollers known to "momkind"), boutique clothes for her toddler and buys everything organic at Whole Foods.

My fashion includes items not only from Loft (sale racks included), but includes, Target, Old Navy, Macy's, local consignment stores in my area, even garage sales.  I have no problem saying that I shop at Walmart but also shop for bulk items at Costco.  I go for deals and rarely have to pay full-price.  Nevertheless, this "friend" has no idea of the family and friends whom I have helped live a "cleaner" lifestyle by choosing clean foods over junk; or friends I have supported and coached in his/her own fitness journey.  This person has also never been FAT.  I guess I find it hypocritical that she accused me of "blogging" my clothing etc when she herself has items that many people would love to be able to afford.  I live in a modest 3 bedroom house that needs remodeling and repairs; thank goodness my own husband is a handyman and we are able to do it ourselves. 

Anyway, the main point of this is this person never truly was a "friend."  I work full-time and balance my home with my demanding and often high-stressed career.  Fitness and fashion are my hobbies and I am thankful to be able to balance all that I have chosen to include on my plate.  What's wrong with having a hobby?  One thing I learned through my fitness journey is that when you are healthy physically (i.e. you eat clean for 80% of the time and exercise regularly), then your mind is also healthy.  I remember clearly how I was when I weighed 210 and 170lbs back in the day.  I was irritable, tired, stressed and quick to judge others before evaluating what I am about to say or do without thinking of the consequences.  I do not miss those days and I definitely refuse to go backwards in life.  I learned my lesson there.

After my fitness journey to get to my goal weight, I am doing my best to do everything I choose to do in life in a positive manner.  I look at the glass half full.  I don't freak out about the little things like I use to (ie. being late, instead just thankful I arrived safely; dinner not turning out as good as I wanted, but instead being thankful we have food on the table; not finishing a tax return b/c my child got sick (like this week), but thankful my son has me to take care of him and understand the world will not end b/c the client did not get his/her tax return, etc.).  Don't sweat the small stuff!!!!! ....

To all of my readers, fans, family and friends, thank you for all the continued support.  I love hearing your stories, receiving your texts and emails.  And for those of you who still choose to live in "negative energy," THIS BLOG IS NOT FOR YOU.  I think we all have encountered people in our lives who love to put us down b/c they are unhappy with their own current lifestyle.  Don't become a part of that and remember that "misery loves company."



Have a safe memorial day weekend! ...

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - my blog will be going under construction soon.  Stay tuned for a "My Fitness Journey" makeover =) ....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Date Night

Hey ya'll!  I am in an extremely happy mood today and pretty much all weekend.  Hmm, maybe because I did a spin class Friday and did sprints, plyo circuit and a chest/back workout Saturday morning?  I tell you that exercise releases endorphins and definitely can put you in a fabulous mood.  I am a mother to a very active and talkative little 3-year old and I need all the energy I can get for our family weekends.  I also kept my diet clean up until Saturday evening when hubby and I had a date night (thanks to my wonderful parents and brother for watching our baby).

That night hubby and I had a list of to do's:  buy new phones (we both have had our blackberries for years mainly because of our work emails and it was about time to crossover), buy hubby new dress slacks (Macy's had great selections and he decided on 3 Nautica pairs - hubby has style too ;) and then off we went to Nobu Dallas for my birthday dinner (my birthday was in April but with the close of tax season, hubby's business trip and our son's birthday party, we both decided that May would be a better month to celebrate). 

Here is the outfit I decided on.  This is my second maxi dress for the season.  Most of my family and friends know that I LOVE the color yellow against my skin:


Shoes:  BCBG Maxazria
Belt: (not pictured) because I bought it right before dinner at LOFT. Will feature next time on another outfit!
Necklace: LOFT
Earrings: New York & Co.



The maxi dress is NOT petite because like I said before I find them too short.  This is in regular sizing and a size 2 or XS so the length is perfect with this pair of wedge shoes.  I must say the whole night I felt very comfortable!  Classy, chic and comfy - my 3 C's! ...

After all the shopping, it was now time to enjoy a fabulous dinner at Nobu located in the beautiful Crescent Court hotel in downtown Dallas:


Thank you honey for a beautiful and fun evening. 

Now back to my clean-eating!  Short work week this week so you'll most likely see me at my local gym doing spin and weights (text/email me if you wanna join me =).  Have a fabulous week! ...

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly