Friday, May 31, 2013

Operation Red Bikini-The Final Countdownnnnnn

Did you just sing that last part? If not, do so now. I'll wait.


It's that time ya'll! I crawled out of my hole just in time! Leigh Ann and I are hosting the official ORB link up and will pick a winner on Tuesday. We actually decided to have one grand prize winner and two runners up, because..well, why pick just one?!

There are no rules. All you’ve got to do is share your experience on this weight loss journey. You can go way back to when you put on the weight, or just start from the official start of ORB back in December. Can’t believe it’s already “over”. We’ve had over 2,000 #operationredbikini photos on Instagram in just a few short months. Go check em out and be amazed at all the determined ladies, their meals, their workouts, their sweat and even a few tears. I am so so proud of you all. Make sure to post lots of pictures. I looooove me some befores and afters…Durings too!

Now for the good stuff. Leigh Ann and I will choose one winner, RANDOMLY, to receive a huge Operation Red Bikini Prize pack. So if you didn’t meet your goal just yet, you still count. You’re still amazing. The point is that you tried. BEHOLD Operation Red Bikini swag:

Prize includes: 
Jillian DVD
3 Fitness magazines
Fresh Foods/Meal planning pad
Quest Bars
PB2
Justin's Peanut/Almond/Hazelnut Butters
Shot Bloks
Luna Bars
A Protein Shaker Bottle
Cute summer floppy hat
Beach Towel
Beach Towel clips
Box of Spark
Suntan oil/lotion
Beach mat with pillow
Insulated lunch tote



Link up HERE:








I encourage you to go through each post when you've got some time because I am SO SO proud of my ORB girls and I think the motivation they bring is amazing.

And not gonna lie, wish I was eligible for the prizes! It’s got tons of fitness-related stuff with some fun summer things thrown in. If you don't have a blog, you can still participate by entering in here: a Rafflecopter giveaway Two winners will be chosen to receive a Charly & Company gift card or a Body Love Apparel tank.


Three chances to win! 
And because I am so overwhelmed with everything in life at the moment,  you'll get my ORB "results" post over the weekend or on Monday. I may have crawled out of my hole but I mean don't expect a miracle!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Food is Fuel & Burpee Hell

It's me! I haven't blogged in God knows how long but to be honest, I haven't been able to manage my free time well right now because I literally have zero! It is what it is folks. I get off work, go to the gym, shower, eat dinner, do more work then go to bed. I know I could fit a blog post in there now and then, but when I go to think of what to post, I draw a blank.

I wanted to talk a little about where I'm at, and check in on all my #operationredbikini girls. We're almost there, ladies! How is it going? I've been keeping up with you all on Instagram, so even though I haven't been commenting much here, I'm still watching you! Don't F up! Okay kidding...But seriously, I haven't left the game!

I've talked here before about a million and a half times about how I constantly sabotage myself all weekend long (2+ meals per weekend) where I feel like I can cheat and just be fine. I do perfect all week long, lose weight, then gain it back on the weekends. We've all done this at some point, I just do it all the time. Something had to give, I just had no willpower, so it wasn't givin'.

I contacted Ashley Leahy, who created a custom meal plan for me, based on what macros my body would most optimally lose fat/weight with. I started following my meal plan officially last Monday. Despite a confusing (to the girl who sucks at Math and can barely use a calculator) high carb day, I've lost 3.2 pounds. That's great, but it has taught me something so important. I am finally looking at food as fuel, not pleasure.
 Food is fuel...
I had gotten to a point where I'd eat healthy till I craved something. I always gave in to the cravings. Now, my meals for the day are planned out the night before. I haven't really had any weird cravings since I started with the meal plan. Meals I eat at work are the easiest because I don't even have to figure anything out or log anything because it's all done. I just re-heat and eat.

I also haven't "cheated" since I started because I want to keep seeing these results, I don't want to let Ashley down (or, of course, myself) and because it just isn't worth it. All this hard work would be for what if I ate a cookie and a cheeseburger? Nothin'.

I want to stress...REALLY stress..that this is not a diet. This is not a quick fix. This is not "the new thing that my friend said really works so I'm gonna try it for a few days because I'm going on summer vacation". I finally get that this is a lifestyle. One day I'll get brave and create tons of recipes and figure ALL the macros, not just calories. Just not today. I don't have time right now, which is another reason this works so well. No thinking involved. I feel like Ashley is my cheerleader and her support is priceless to me. Cheeseball.

Plus, she's a Louisiana girl so what's not to love? Contact Ashley HERE and tell her Kassie sent you! 

I've also still been working out with my trainer and I'm feeling so much stronger! Some of the best money I've ever spent. I still stand by the fact that Burpees are the Devil's exercise, though. And they make me feel like an orka or a manatee flapping around on hot sand. It better make me look like a mother effin' mermaid though. A hot one!

(courtesy of my love muffin, Alex)


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#4MChallenge & Secret Giveaway Contents!

Hey girls hey! I know I said I'd post earlier but yeah...that didn't happen. Here I am though. And I've got two things to tell you about. First, if you live under a rock and haven't heard about the #4MChallenge, let me fill you in.

Kara came up with this awesome idea for the last month of Operation Red Bikini, involving the infamous Ms. Michaels. I love me some Jill (yeah, I call her that. We're BFF's). Where do I sign up?! Not only are Kara and I participating but some of my favorite blog girls are too: Leigh Ann, Kate, Kara, Kristie and Meredith are all in on it, and I think you should join in too! All you have to do is pick up a Jillian Michael's work out DVD of your choice and do it daily. Then, when you're done, blog about your experience and results.  Win win. Her DVD's are pretty cheap, and you still have a day to pick one up. Get on it, girl!

Speaking of Operation Red Bikini, remember that one day only secret giveaway I did? Well Kate at Not Your Typical Jersey Girl finally received her package so I can share what was in it. It wasn't anything crazy big, just a little care package of some of my favorite things, with a little summer-inspiration thrown in. It included:



1. A wristlet in one of my favorite summer colors, mustard (which oddly enough  makes me want a corndog..)

2. Neon pink nail polish and lip gloss, because I mean, it's nearly summer and you need some hot pink

3. Watermelon scented lotion. This stuff smells divine. Glad I gave it away because I probably would've eaten it if not. Kidding.  Not really kidding. 

4. A Think Thin bar, one of my favorite protein bars. I keep atleast 2 of these in my purse for emergencies. They cure the hangry.

5. Spark. Another necessity. For those of you who did the Advocare cleanse, you know. For those of you who haven't, you're missing out. Contact Kelly, now!

6. Quest bar, my new favorite protein bar. NO sugar, gluten free and low in calories (for a  protein bar). Heat these babies up for 12 seconds and thank me later. I'll give you a moment.

7. Tan Towel, for in between spray tans or to get you through the seemingly endless winter up north.

8. My favorite mascara, Colossal Lashes by Maybelline. I've said it before and I'll say it 200 more times. Having worked at a makeup counter in the past, I still think this mascara trumps a lot of expensive mascaras out there. I have two at all times. For emergencies, right?

Tune in later this week for a post on how to eat healthy/clean in a house with a hungry man who can eat over 1,000 more calories than you. Nobody said life was fair! But it's possible. Stay tuned.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend at the Beach and Clean Eating Plans

This is my 100th post! Blogging has seriously changed my life--and my weight loss journey, and I have no intentions of stopping now :)

This weekend, as most of you know, S and I spent Thursday night through Sunday at the beach. It was our one year wedding anniversary on Saturday and we spent it in the same town we got engaged. It was a great weekend with alot of laughs and memories, and boy I love that man of mine!

Sidenote: I am a horrible wife and apparently made up a conversation in my head that we decided not to do gifts since we were spending money on a trip. S got me a little something so I quickly scrambled to get him something. My amazing husband did his research and found out year one's anniversary gift is paper. Since it was just something small, he thoughtfully bought me two magazines and Jillian Michael's book to read on the beach! That man knows me well, and he scored major brownie points for that one..

And uhhh..remember that post I did on IG about eating healthy at the beach? Did it happen? Well, about 20%, sure. I ate boiled eggs, grapes (made the Pinterest recipe mixing grapes and jello powder...FAIL) and a protein bar on the beach. What did I eat for dinners though? Lord, you don't even want to know. This happened:
(Photo posted with S's full cooperation..)


And this happened:


And I won't go into details about the rest. It was all bad. I drank a ton of water and swam and did some walking. Am I gonna let it get me down, no. Do I wish I had done better? Of course. I am proud to say, though, that I weigh 30 pounds less than I did last time we visited this beach. I even wore a bikini, and felt mostly comfortable about it. This is a definite first. Big big step.

Thank you Jesus for a new day! We got home around lunchtime today and unpacked before heading out to get groceries for the week. Starting tomorrow AM, S and I are eating clean 100% of the time, with one scheduled cheat meal per week. We have been eating clean some of the time, with way more than one cheat meal mixed in. I researched, planned and prepped, and will follow a strict meal plan throughout the week. I've followed this plan before and it's worked for me TREMENDOUSLY. This is the gist of it:

M1: 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites & 1 serving complex carb

M2: Fruit and 1 tbsp. Natural PB or small serving diced potatoes mixed with egg whites and salsa.

M3: 1 serving protein, 1 small serving complex carb, vegetable

M4: Quest bar or fruit with PB if I don't have it for M2

M5: 1 serving protein, unlimited vegetables

M6: If I am up for 3 hours after my last meal, I'll have eggwhites
       (Normally I'm not lol...)


These are the things I'll alternate:
Proteins-grilled chicken, ground turkey, fish, shrimp, lean beef (on occasion)
Complex carbs- quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, Ezekiel bread, potatoes (in moderation)
Fruit-apples, bananas (in moderation), fresh pineapple
Vegetables-green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc.

I'll be posting a ton more photos of what I eat on Instagram and posting recipes as I try them. This week's cheat meal is already planned, because my brothers are coming into town and they're having a huge crawfish boil. Can't pass up crawfish, but I can pass up drinking and all the carby goodness that comes with the crawfish. 

Operation Red Bikini ends next month...who's ready? Tomorrow, I'll post some info about an ORB Jillian Michael's challenge for next month with a bunch of hot mamas. Stay tuned!

And even though I'm back from paradise and now in the real world, coming home hasn't been all that bad. This arrived:



And our littlest neighbor kind of missed us.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eating Healthy on Vacay & Bikiniiiiis

So I really thought last week's ORB giveaway would be a big fail, considering that no one knew what was in it but me. Apparently though, ya'll like surprises. So many people entered to win, and the fabulous Kate at was the lucky winner! So now that it's in the mail, look for a post on what was in it as soon as it arrives on her doorstep!

Now, I've talked a lot about my beach trip lately because I am supa excited. I love a good beach trip and this one has a special meaning. Saturday will be our 1 year wedding anniversary! Hooray...what a crazy, busy, fun and incredibly fast year it's been. I am so looking forward to spending a long weekend away with my lover boy.

The last time I went to the beach I weighed 204 pounds. We got engaged on that trip. I am excited to go back to the beach, weighing a lot less, even if I'm not exactly where I want to be. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous to gain 4+ pounds from liquor and bad food choices, though. I should say, I am not a big drinker at all. I drink maybe once a month, and it's a glass of wine or two. Beach trips are a little different though. I might drink a bottle of wine a day, (whoa nah!)... I am going to be realistic and say I won't be eating chicken breasts and vegetables for dinner. I'm going to allow myself to live a little and eat something good. This being said, I want my eating to be as healthy as possible all day long, so that my cheats at night don't ruin my hard work thus far and my Operation Red Bikini goal.

I asked ya'll on IG for some healthy beach snack ideas and boy did you deliver. I got so many suggestions! I needed all the help I could get because my past beach snacks have included Lunchables and chips and dip. For real. Here are the great ideas you had:

  • Fruit (cherries, pineapple, watermelon and a ton of you suggested frozen grapes)
  • Fresh salsa
  • Cheese (someone suggested pepperjack with fresh pineapple!...can you say yum!?)
  • Turkey pepperoni chips
  • Nuts
  • Edamame
  • Trail mix
  • Pretzel chips, carrots or celery with hummus
  • Popcorn 
  • String cheese
  • Boiled eggs
  •  
  • Spinach dip made with fat free Greek yogurt, using Knorr brand veggie dip mix


All of these sound so good! We are doing our shopping once we get to our destination so I have an ongoing list of things we'll need. So many of these made that list, thanks to all of you:) 
  
I feel prepared and I'm not gonna sweat it if I eat a cheeseburger and drink some wine. It's vacation! 

I'm getting in another session with my trainer tomorrow, since we're leaving right after work on Thursday. Today we worked legs so I'm pretty sure I won't be able to walk tomorrow. Any takers on pushing me in my wheelchair? 


In other vacation-related news...bathing suits. I am in fact bringing the red bikini but I won't be taking any photos in it. Sorry world (be glad I'm doing you all a favor...) I ordered two other bikinis to wear and decided I'd keep the one I liked the most. Problem is I can't decide! These are the two I have:

 (minimizes bust, which I love, and the print is more my style..will leave a hellish tan line, though; wearing with a solid black bottom)



  
 (not crazy about the print but the top fits really well)

Thoughts? 

You will eventually see me in one of these suits as part of my "before", after I make some more changes.  

Awwwwwww shit.
 

Friday, April 19, 2013

ORB GIVEAWAY: One day only!


What do you think this is, lady? A sidewalk sale?

Today I’m doing things a little differently! I’m doing a quick Operation Red Bikini giveaway. You have till midnight to enter, so enter NOW.


But what do we win, you ask? Um. I can’t tell you.


All week I planned to take photos of all the stuff I was putting in the giveaway then I realized..what’s the fun in that? I much rather a good surprise. It’ll be even greater when it shows up on the winner’s doorstep! You’ll wanna rip that baby open.


So you want us to enter a giveaway for something we are clueless about? Yes. Trust me, it’s good stuff.



Hints:
A cute summer accessory
Some of my favorite beauty products
Some of my favorite weight loss tools/foods..Yes, girrrl, food!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter now! I’ll contact the winner via email tomorrow and  your prize will be mailed Monday AM. This is the last giveaway before the BIG #operationredbikini prize. It’s fast approaching yall. 
Stay tuned to mine and Leigh Ann’s blogs for deets on the contents soon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa



Good afternoon ladies. I posted this photo yesterday on Instagram and tons of you wanted the recipe. It was a definite winner. My husband loved it, even though he will typically eat anything. The recipe called for chicken breasts and all we had (that wasn’t frozen) were boneless skinless chicken thighs so I used that. I’d definitely use breasts next time but this worked. 

I found the recipe on Half Baked Harvest, but adjusted it a little. Her recipe is fantastic, I just did it Kassie-style, and dirtied up my whole kitchen.




 Buffalo Chicken Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for garnish
  • 4 green onions chopped, save half for garnish
  •  
    Dressing
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.

Put 2 cups of water to boil. Once boiling, add 1 cup quinoa. Keep an eye on it and stir frequently. Remove from heat when all water is absorbed. 

While quinoa is going, cook broccoli in saucepan with nonstick spray. Your broccoli won’t be soft, you just want to toast it up a bit. Here’s where I ventured away from the recipe.  I added my carrots and cabbage to the pan and cooked them down a bit so they weren’t raw. They still had a little crunch but it wasn’t as noticeable. I would do it this way next time.

After veggies are cooked to your liking, remove from pan and set aside.  Add more non stick spray and cook chicken till no longer pink. I cut one in half to be sure.   

While chicken is cooking, mix hot sauce and olive oil. I used ¼ cup of olive oil, as opposed to her half cup. I also used garlic powder in the place of her seasoned salt. 

Once chicken is completely cooked, add half of sauce mixture and cook for a few additional minutes till chicken absorbs most of the sauce. Then, add all vegetables, green onions and quinoa. Mix well. Add bleu cheese on top and additional green onions, if you choose. My husband loves bleu cheese so cutting it out was not an option. I also think it helps in cutting the overwhelming hot sauce taste.

I’ve made recipes before with hot sauce/buffalo sauce and they were entirely too overwhelming, and I LOVE buffalo sauce. This recipe was not overwhelming.  It was just as good as it looks. Because buffalo sauce is high in sodium, I wouldn’t make it weekly, but it’s definitely in the rotation! Hope you enjoy.