Friday, June 7, 2013

TGIF (Thank God Imma Foodie)

I am a foodie.  I love talking about food, cooking food, trying new food and I love hearing the oh’s and ah’s when someone is enjoying the food I have made for them. 
I often have people asking me about what type of food I eat,  how I prepare certain things and ask me to pass along some recipes.  It's hard for me to respond to each email, text or Facebook messages asking me these things.  But I do typically snap a picture of my meals or dishes that I find especially yummy.  I post a lot of these photos on Instagram (my 'handle' is ShanMajors).  
WARNING:  if you think pictures of food is annoying then stay away from my Instagram account! 
Today, I thought I'd share just a sampling of some of the things I make and love.   

Chicken Salad
I was given this recipe by one of the best, sweetest and caring cooks I know.  Almost 12 years ago, she offered to help ease my stress of preparing for my 1st child’s 1st birthday party by bringing some sandwiches for everyone.  I figured she was going to bring lunch meats, cheeses and breads – nope, not this gal!  She delivered these wonderful little chicken salad sandwiches and they have been a part of our family meals ever since I begged her to write down the recipe.   Over the years I have made some tweaks to her recipe and eventually ended up this most recent version.

1 can of white chicken breast (something like this)
2 boiled eggs - chopped
1 cup of red grapes (cut in half) or 1 diced apple or BOTH!
1-2 stalks of celery sliced very thin
1 Tablespoon of lite soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of pickle relish
1 Tablespoon of your choice of mustard
Handful of your choice of chopped nuts (I like almonds or walnuts)
a squeeze of 1/2 fresh lemon 
In baked wonton wrappers with ground black pepper and topped with a jalapeno.

In a romaine lettuce leaf...getting ready to scarf it down like a hot dog.
Tuna Cakes
I rarely eat canned tuna, but I could possibly live off of fresh tuna - but my pocketbook begs to differ.  With that being said, I had a couple of cans of tuna sitting in my pantry for what seemed like forever.  I needed to find a way to use the canned tuna, that wasn't gross!  After combing through all my recipes, I found two that seemed decent (at best) – so I combined them into one fantastic tuna cake recipe.  And I had enough insight at the time to snap a few pictures along the way.
Combine in a bowl...
1 can of tuna - drained
1/2 cup or so green onion - sliced
1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs
2 Tablespoon chopped FRESH parsley - fresh makes SUCH a big difference
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon of mustard
1 egg - whisked
a squeeze of 1/2 fresh lemon
OPTIONAL:  Hot sauce to taste
OPTIONAL:  1 Tablespoon chia seeds.



Pat mixture into little cakes and add to 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil on medium heat.  Tip:  don't put the cakes into skillet until it's nice and hot.

Cook until a beautiful golden brown; flip and do the other side.  Drain any excess oil on paper towels.



Tuna cake topped with fresh corn from the cob and a salsa.

Tuna cake with an over-the-top salad.

Raw Kale costarring Broccoli Slaw
I think everyone probably knows I kind of like kale chips.  However, sometimes I have the itch to change up my kale game and whip up some super-fast and healthy raw kale salad.  This stuff is so yummy, holds up in the fridge for several days and is virtually guilt free!


Rinse and dry the kale
Tear kale into bite size pieces - don't use the stems.
Place kale into a bowl and drizzle with a small amount olive oil. 
And now here’s the weird part – massage the olive oil into the kale.  Yep, you read that right MASSAGE the kale.  Each piece needs to be covered (not dripping) in the oil.
Add a heaping Tablespoon of mustard (I like honey mustard, but you can use whatever kind you like)
Drop in a handful of craisins along with some almond slices or chopped walnuts or both!
Finish it off with the juice of 1/2 of a fresh lemon.
I usually make mine in the evening and let it marinate overnight in the fridge. 
The very last thing to do is taste it – if it’s too bitter, add a small amount of honey or sugar.

Broccoli slaw and Kale Salad (I ran out of craisins, so the Kale Salad got the shaft).

As for the broccoli slaw, it’s a piece of cake (man, I love cake)!
Toss 3-4 handfuls of Dole packaged broccoli slaw into a big bowl
Add some sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
Throw in some craisins
If I have cherry tomatoes on hand, I will add some of those too. 
Moisten the mixture with some Asian-y dressing. 
Pop it in the fridge for at least a few hours and then dig in – just like the raw kale salad, I typically make enough to last me a few days. 

So there you have it, folks!  Who says eating healthy has to be a boring salad with dry piece of chicken breast.  
Bon appetite!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

NSV - Just Do It!

Have you heard about NSVs?  No?  Weeeell then let me give you the skinny on it.  NSV means ‘Non-Scale Victory’.  Too many of us are constantly in a love/hate relationship with that damn scale.  We step on the scale and cross our fingers – did it go up today, did it go down today?  UGH, we all have got to stop relying on that damn number to give us permission to feel victorious.
 


Let’s all start thinking about why we are working out, eating better, becoming more active, etc and freaking forget about that damn phrase “To lose weight”.  When I started my journey I had zero confidence that I was actually going to lose any pounds – I simply wanted to stop getting fatter and fatter.  So when those NSVs popped up, I was tickled pink!  Eventually they accumulated and the pounds consequently fell too.  NSVs can be even more exciting than seeing that number decrease.  I remember my 1st major NSV, it was to dash up the 3 flights of stairs at work and carry on a conversation with someone without huffing and puffing.  When I did it; I walked taller, I smiled bigger and I felt fantastic – all without seeing a damn number on a scale.
Still not getting the concept of NSV, yet?  Let me give you a few examples….
  • My wedding ring doesn’t leave a mark on my finger anymore
  • When I wear my favorite jeans the ole booty is lookin’ goooood
  • I made it to the gym 3 times this week
  • I increased my distance by X today during my walk/jog/bike ride/ whatever
  • I did NOT eat a donut today when ever other person in the office did.
  • I have the highly-coveted ‘thigh gap’. 
So I challenge each of you (insert dramatic sound effects) to step away from the scale and celebrate your NSVs.  I think it is imperative to celebrate even the smallest victories when you are trying to become a better you.  Comment below and share it with the world, seriously do it!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Up, Down and All Around

After my last sad and sorry post, I figured I would share what’s been up, down and all around with me in the last month or so.

~What's Been Up~
My spirits are most definitely up.  I have been going to the gym consistently a few days a week and seem to be getting back in the groove.  The responses I got from my last post were pretty darn fantastic!  As I mention in the intro of my last post – I was not fishing for sympathy, but simply expressing myself.  I received direct emails, Facebook messages and even some anonymous comments on the post itself (side note, I LOVE seeing comments on my posts).  Each one touched my heart in their own unique way - some of you shared your very own story with me, some were simple and sweet and some well were just damn funny!  They made me feel… well, good - really good.  

~Breakin' It Down~
I recently switched gyms, I’m now at a more ‘serious’ gym.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the YMCA that used to attend, it was safe and comfy – kind of like being curled up in your grandma’s knitted blankie.  Speaking of grandma, my new gym absolutely does NOT have grandma’s hanging around sipping coffee and making chit chat with no intention of doing anything more strenuous than walking to their car which is located in the nearest handicapped parking lot space – opps, did I say that :-/
Anywhooooo, when I switched gyms I found myself no longer a ‘rock star’ in the Zumba or any of the other classes.  I knew none of the instructors by name, there were no little kiddo's I knew by name and no pals that I could share a laugh or two with when I goofed up in Zumba*.  Have you heard the phrase, Fish out of water?  Yeah, that's sort of how I felt.  It feels pretty shitty! 
I have been knocked down a few pegs that is fo ‘sho!  I am attending the classes and trying to not only keep up but to KILL my work outs…which, has not happened….YET!  During the classes I fumble, I misstep, I’m even a little bashful and intimidated.  I keep reminding myself “It’ll get better” and “Hey, at least I’m HERE”.
I even popped my spin-cherry by attending a 30 minute Spin 101 class (aka Spinning for Dummies) followed by a real Spin class the next week.  Spin was different and a nice change up for me.  The instructor had some great 80’s and 90’s music blaring during class, which I loved, so it made it – dare I say – kind of fun!  I will be definitely attending Spin every once in a while to help with any boredom that my strike with the typical classes I go to.

~All Around~
My weight has not gone down and it hasn’t gone up, so I’ll take that as a win.  My clothes are not necessarily feeling any different.  But my attitude is better and my motivation is ramping up.  I have not yet begun incorporating weights in my workouts.  I still think I am a few weeks away from that – not lifting or really hard core exercising for several months really shoved my stamina down to the ground.  I am still upset with myself for going backwards on this journey of mine - but I am trying every day to stay positive and try not to beat myself up anymore over it.  

I'll end this post with Ghandi's Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World - I have this poster hanging on my cube wall at work.  It speaks to me on SO many levels and I hope it does for you too!  



* Just a few weeks ago, I noticed a familiar face headed towards the Zumba classroom. As she walked closer I realized, I knew her - in fact, I have done Zumba and had light conversation with her at the YMCA MANY times.  I found out she switched gyms too and we agreed to encourage one another and to push each other - YIPPEE, I have a friend at my new gym!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Must Confess...

I started this blog to capture my feelings, successes and failure with my weight loss journey - NOT necessarily to share them with others.  Sharing my 'story' has always been secondary.  So in keeping with my personal objective I have some confessions I need to get off my chest.  I have listed them out NOT to garner any sympathy (for lack of a better word) or attention - but as my outlet to express my thoughts and feelings. 

 * I am back to being a coffee drinker.  I'm up to about 2-3 cups in the morning - complete with loads of sugar and creamer.

 * I have enjoyed a soda pop several times in the last few months - it was heavenly.

 * I haven't been consistent in the gym for about 4 months.

 * I have gained back 10 lbs of the 47 that I had worked so hard to lose.

 * I have had cake, brownies, cookies, candy and pretty much anything sweet that has come my way....knowing full well that if I took 1 single bite I would fall head over heels in love with sweets again.

 * My pants now fit tight and even a few jeans are just too snug to wear anymore.

 * That old familiar feeling of regardless of what clothes I wear, I still feel and look like a fat cow is back with a vengeance.

 * I have been avoiding some social settings, because I am no longer proud of the way I look.

 * I have had a brand new (tags still on them) pair of pants hanging in my closet for about a month now, that I can not fit into - but I refuse to return them.

 * I have signed up for a 10 week wellness challenge sponsored through work and have done minimal to participate and I am a team captain. 

 * I haven't updated my weight in my Lose It! app in a looooong time - I just CAN'T type that number in. .

 * I.     HAVE.     LOST.     MY.     FOCUS.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Three Hundred and Sixty Five Days Ago

It’s unbelievable to think it was 365 days ago (give or take few weeks) when the spark in my brain ignited and I decided to give healthy living a shot.  I have evolved so much over the last 365 days; physically, mentally and emotionally.  I truly feel like a different person.  Along my journey, I have documented my physical changes and promised myself that if I could make it to the 365 mark that I would share them on my blog.  So, here goes nothin’…. 
April 2011
I remember thinking how adorable and FIT my buds looked this night and I basically hated my appearance.
June 29, 2011 - At my heaviest

August 6, 2011 - 7 lbs down

August 30, 2011 - 12 lbs down

September 23, 2011 - 18.5 lbs down

October 11, 2011 - 21 lbs down

December 25, 2011 - 34.5 lbs

January 7, 2012  - 31 lbs down
January 27, 2012 - 37 lbs down

February 4, 2012 - 38.5 lbs down
February 4, 2012 - 38.5 lbs down.
Those shorts were in my closet for at least 3 years; just waiting for me to get my act together.  Once I got enough courage to try them on, I discovered that they were actually baggy.
March 26, 2012 - 43 lbs down

July 3, 2012 - 41.5 lbs down
This is THE only photo I have in a swimsuit;  let alone a bikini! 

Keeping it Real

You can see by the last few pictures that my weight has started to fluctuate.  Unfortunately I did not get a photo of me at my lowest and leanest - 47 lbs down, right around the beginning of August.  I had been laid off and was working out like mad (sometimes even twice a day) to keep my mind off of the worries that go along with being unemployed.

I started working again in mid-September and with that came some travel and longer hours than I was used to.  With that being said, of those 47 lbs I had lost 7 lbs have ended finding me again.  It makes me sad and down right pissed off that I have clothes in my closet now that are just too tight and uncomfortable to fit into.  

It's a struggle for me every single day to focus on my big goal of losing 50 lbs and keeping it off.  I do have confidence that I will get there and stay there but it might take a bit longer than I initially intended but it will happen!

I hope this blog post provides you that little bit of motivation to get you through the holidays - I know just putting together this post has renewed my motivation.  THANK YOU ALL for hangin' with me on this journey of mine; it really means a ton!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hey Suga!

Not too long ago I went on a strike....a sugar strike.  I had acquired a little bit of a pooch when I lost my mojo and to make matters worse I wasn’t working out as much as I had been, so I knew I had to "belly up" (hardy har har!) and make some adjustments. 

I thought long and hard about my eating habits and even started logging what I was eating into my trusty Lose It! app, again.  After a few weeks, I came to the conclusion that all my numbers were pretty good and the only trend I could really see was there was a little too much sugar going down the 'ole hatch.  Noooo I am not talking about sneaking a piece of cake, some candy or a can of soda pop.  Most of the sugar was coming from what I ate at breakfast; which was typically fruit...but...but...but fruit is healthy, right!?!  Yep, but with everything moderation is key!  The fruit that I was eating for breakfast was usually pears, pineapples, apples or peaches.  Those delicious, refreshing fruit that I was SO enjoying every morning were loaded with natural sugars....well, crap!

Sooooo, I decided to do a little experiment and started switching out my typical breakfasts of fruit for mostly vegetables.  By drastically decreasing the sugar I was eating and, at the same time, increasing my veggies my hope was my pooch would gradually goes down.

I flipped through all my fitness magazines, recipe books and lots and lots of websites looking for any and all veggie dishes I could find - surprisingly, I found tons of options. The first week or two was a little strange eating things like cucumber slices, cauliflower salad or even steamed broccoli for breakfast but after the weirdness wore off - it was no big deal at all.  I ate like that for 6 solid weeks and noticed a difference after only about 2 weeks.

The overall results were pretty incredible.  I haven't seen my tummy that tight and flat since I was in high school....that's right, I said flippin' HIGH SCHOOL.  Holla!! 

Disclaimer:  right around my 6th week, I was laid off and my lack of routine threw me a curve ball.  I realize I am making an excuse - but hey, sh*t happens!  My tummy is still smaller than it was before the sugar strike, but not as small as it was during it.  I 'm planning on going on strike again, real soon.  It had such a dramatic result for me, my ending verdict is a 100% thumbs up!
 
You didn't really think that I would do all this talk about my tummy slimming down without posting a picture of the results, did you? 
It's no abs of steel, but I'll take it :-)
I hope this post leaves you happy, healthy and shouting HOLLA! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Operation Reboot



Several months ago I confessed that I had lost the ever important mojo in my journey to become a better me.  I pondered this dilemma for a while and ultimately came up with three key points to get me back on track.

Be Flexible – I’m not talking about touching your toes or doing backbends.   I’m talking about adjusting to situations instead of using them as an excuse.  This summer, I found myself using my daughter’s softball practices and games as a reason to forgo healthy eating.  Once I realized that I was using this situation as nothing more than a convenient excuse I began packing healthy options in my lunch bag and taking it with me to the games.  I packed enough items not only for myself but for the whole family.  And typically everything was gone by the time we made it home.  The old me would have totally went hog wild with the hot dogs, candy bars, chips and soda readily available at all the games. 

Rewind & Remember – When you’re on journey like I am, I think it’s easy to forget where you started because you’re always focused on going forward.  I found it necessary to stop thinking about the next 5 or 10 pounds to lose, but instead remember - find those old hideous overweight pictures of yourself, try on those now huge jeans that are several sizes too big for you.  Remember how you used to feel about exercising and eating right and how much you have learned since you began your journey.  I found it VERY rewarding and uplifting to stop beating myself up about what I was or was not doing ‘right’ and focus awhile on what I have accomplished.  

Below is a picture that my mom took of me and my family dying Easter eggs in 2011.  I never knew she took the picture and she gave it to me, along with a stack of other pictures, almost a year later – right in the middle of me losing my mojo.  Not knowing this little gem was hiding among the stack, I took them home and started flipping through them and this one stopped me dead in my tracks…I felt sick, tears filled my eyes and then I showed the hubby the picture.  It left us both speechless; he gave me a hug and simply said “I’m so proud of you!”.  At that moment it hit me how critical it is for me to concentrate on the positives and not the negatives in my journey. 

This was approx 45 pounds ago
 This picture now sits in my jewelry box, right next to where I put my wedding ring at night – so I see it every morning…and some days it still brings tears to my eyes. 

Affirm – I learned about affirmations from my previous employer.  The organization used to ‘highly encourage’ you to attend a personal development class which had a lot of emphasis on affirmations.  For those of you that are not sure what affirmation are all about, here is what Dictionary.com says about it:
  • The assertion that something exists or is true.
  • A statement or proposition that is declared to be true.
  • Confirmation or ratification of the truth or validity of a prior judgment, decision, etc

I think I was on Pinterest or Instagram when something popped up and reminded me of the concept of affirmations.  I thought about it for a while.  I wondered if I could make it work for me and my then-lost mojo.  I decided “What the hell” and decided to give it a shot.  I came up with about 5 statements that I wrote down and began saying to myself while looking in the mirror, it then evolved and I started saying them to myself during my long commute from work to the gym and sometimes even during my workouts (I’m sure those around me thought I was a nuts, lol).  I discovered in a very short time, IT WAS WORKING - just hearing the encouraging words coming from my very own mouth would be the perfect medicine to help cure my lack of mojo.  


Here are some of my affirmations:
  • I am a work in progress; which means I will get there a little at a time, not all at once.
  • I have it within me.  Right now, to get where I want to be!
  • I am in charge of my future
  • I am a force to be reckoned with! (personal favorite)
  • It does not matter how slow I go.
  • I CAN do this!
  • I am a role model for my family

Go ahead, try it - what's it gonna hurt??

These are my three main concepts that I used to get my mojo back, but there are several mini ones that I used too.  No worries, I'll be sharing those soon.  In the meantime, I hope everyone has their mojo and rocks it hard!
Later Gators!