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.