Surprise…We’re Expecting!

I just couldn’t contain my excitement any longer and had to share the wonderful news with all my loyal, amazing readers…I’m pregnant!! I am 16 weeks along and doing well overall. This is such an exciting and new experience for my husband and I.

While I am absolutely thrilled to be expecting our first child, something I have dreamed about practically my entire life, I noticed that I also have reservations and doubts. I have some worries about my body changing in ways I might not be able to control or want. After all, I have worked SO hard to get to where I am physically, mentally, and emotionally over the past 4 years of first my weight loss and then weight management.

I have watched what I ate everyday for the past 4 years. I have worked out 5 days a week or more tirelessly. You can’t just flip a switch and change how you view food and your body in a few short weeks. I have been having a bit of trouble gaining weight with my pregnancy. That literally has NEVER been an issue for me my entire life. I mean, it is a little thrilling to think I could (and have been told by many) go shove a hamburger, fries, and shake into my mouth. Yet, I refuse. I refuse because that is a slippery slope of food/lifestyle choices and certainly won’t do me or my baby any good in the long run.

I realize many people will read this post and think that I am being selfish or narcissistic. How could I even think of myself when I am going to be a mother to a beautiful baby?! I know what you may be thinking because I think that sometimes as well. But I refuse to pop that cute little buglet out of me and find myself right back at the beginning of where I was 4 years ago. It is a huge fear of mine, yet at the same time has been a huge motivator for me. I choose instead to minimize the excess weight gain the best that I can.

So, here is my game plan: to eat healthy 85% of the time as I did pre-pregnancy, allowing myself treats/craving splurges the other 15% of the time so that I gain the appropriate 25-30 pounds of weight my doctor told me to gain. It has been a huge struggle to continue working out with the limitations of pregnancy and my lack of energy but I will continue to push through and lift light weights 2x a week and go on leisurely walks 3x per week.

What I’m doing seems to be working! I have gained 1.5 pounds in the past week and a 1/2 (yay!) by adding healthy fats (avocado, nuts, etc.) and high quality, unprocessed carbs to my diet.

This picture is of my progress…starting to show!!! ūüôā

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I want to inspire other soon-to-be-mamas out there to remember to take¬† time to care for yourself during your pregnancy. Focus on gaining a ‘healthy’ amount of weight by eating nutrient dense foods and continuing (or start!) to moderately work-out. Not only will this make you mentally more prepared for when baby comes but it will make your pregnancy symptoms less severe, helps to prepare your body for the stamina delivery requires, and helps your body bounce back quicker post-delivery.

I can’t wait to share some new recipes with you all over the course of my pregnancy! I hereby promise to omit any involving pickles, chocolate, potatoes, or hamburgers (my current cravings).

XOXO,

Keri

 

 

Super Bowl 50: Party Menu

I have never before been so excited for a Super Bowl in my life. I was (and still sort of am) the girl who watched the game for the food and half-time show. All that changed when my husband and I started living together a couple of years ago. Football is always on in our house every single Sunday…ALL DAY. I had no choice but to sit and watch his favorite NFL team, the Panthers, every time they played. Slowly I started caring who won and lost and turned over to the dark side (or the black-and-blue side =) ). I am now a full-fledged Panther’s fan!

Photo credit: Cookingchanneltv.com
Photo credit: Cookingchanneltv.com

They have done extremely well this year and I am SO proud of the team they have become under Cam Newton. But seeing as this is a healthy food blog and not a sports blog I’ll just jump straight to what you came here for…the FOOD!

Vegetable herb dip

Super bowl food is better than all other party food in my opinion. It is the ultimate of tailgating food and you get to eat as much as you can stuff your face with for a 4+ hour game while cheering alongside your friends and family.

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That being said, if you are anything like me and stuff your face with the tasty (albeit bad for you) foods, you leave the party feeling bloated and guilty. Luckily, there is a solution to this age-old problem! I came up with a list of my favorite SKINNY recipes for you guys to try. I promise even the macho men at your party won’t notice they are reduced in calories, fat, and sodium! So go on, stuff that pretty little face (within reason of course!).

NOTE: Some of the recipes listed below are what I will be cooking up this Sunday so stay tuned for pictures of my creations here on Monday after the big game!

Even if you haven’t turned into a raving football fan like I have, be sure to cook up some of these delish, simple recipes for your friends and family this Sunday then sit down to enjoy the awesome commercials and half-time show (Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars are set to perform)!!

 

Photo credit: Popsugar.com
Photo credit: Popsugar.com

Super Bowl Menu Ideas:

  1. Skinny 7-Layer Dip and Baked Chips
  2. Spicy Honey-Garlic Boneless Wings (I might grill mine!)
  3. Skinny Buffalo Chicken Wings
  4. Loaded Sweet Potato Skins
  5. Turkey Burger Sliders (sans mayo and use whole wheat buns!)
  6. Guacamole Dip
  7. Skinny Pizza Quesadilla (instead of ordering those large pizzas!)
  8. Baked (not fried) Pickles with light herb ranch dip
  9. Mixed fruit on skewers
  10. Vegetable herb dip with carrots, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, and cucumbers for dipping!
  11. Mozzarella Sticks with marinara dipping sauce
  12. Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
  13. Mamas Roadhouse Chili (serve with low-fat sour cream and low-fat cheddar cheese for topping!)
  14. Team colors dessert Popcorn (better be panthers colors ya’ll! Can be creative with this one and sub healthier add-in’s).
  15. Skinny Brownie Bites

GO PANTHERS!!!!!

7 Day Diet & Exercise Program!

You want to drink wine, eat chocolate, feel satisfied – never hungry – and STILL LOSE WEIGHT?! If you said yes, this program I use is what you should try!!!

I don’t really believe in cleansing or detox programs as a lot of them end up starving you and ruining your metabolism. However, I¬†do think that you can detox your body through healthy eating, more sleep, and regular exercise. I love to stick to the motto “Everything in moderation” but as we all know sometimes things can get a little out of control and you need to reset your metabolism and cravings – fast!

I am sharing my meal and exercise plan with you all in hopes that it helps somebody with a starting point for a healthier lifestyle.This meal plan and exercise program is for¬†7 days. Absolutely stick to it longer than that if you feel so inclined!! You can do it!! I promise you will feel so much more energized and lighter after that week is over with because I sure do! The best part is – you won’t feel starved at all, I promise!

This program is what I ate and the workouts I performed this week. I lost a total of 5 pounds from start to finish!! That type of weight loss may sound unhealthy when out of context but I typically notice my weight changes from Monday-Friday anyways since I eat healthier during the week than on the weekends. I was coming off a bad week of eating/not exercising so I needed to snap back to my healthy ways. It was also probably a lot of water weight and bloat that was lost as well. Typically, your weight will naturally fluctuate throughout the week 1-3 pounds regardless of your diet. 

If you don’t work out¬†regularly this workout plan may be a bit much for you.¬†However,¬†you can always¬†ease into the exercises starting out with lighter weights/less strenuous¬†cardio¬†and gradually increasing as you get stronger.

A couple of things to note if you want to follow exactly how I did it:

  1. The salad dressing mentioned was Simply Dressed low-fat balsamic or Simply Dressed light Italian vinaigrette. These are my favorite go-to dressings that I have found to be lower in sugar, calories, and fat than most other dressings. Plus, it’s so yummy!
  2. The bread used is Ezekiel bread. This is one of the healthiest bread items I have found and use nothing else now. You may opt for whole wheat instead if this isn’t for you.
  3. The peanut butter used is no-salt added organic peanut butter. I didn’t mention the brand on purpose because it truly doesn’t matter as long as you make sure to watch the sodium and sugar content on whatever you buy!
  4. The strawberry preserves I use are organic Trader Joe’s. I love all the flavors they have so feel free to experiment! Make sure to use sparingly though as it does have a lot of sugar — but it’s mostly natural so it is allowed in small amounts.
  5. All of the recipes for the avocado tuna salad, pancakes with berry compote, sweet and spicy salmon, sweet potato stew, chili, eggplant parmesan, are all on this website. For the ones not listed Рlook for them in upcoming posts =). They are all quality tested and approved for tastiness and wholesomeness!

NOTE: I am NOT a doctor. This is simply what works best for me when trying to lose fat and tone up. Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise regimen or “diet” You may substitute almost any of the meals listed for something of equal nutritional value.

7-day-diet

Click the link below for a printable PDF version of the diet and exercise program:

Diet and Exercise Program   

Comment below if you will be following this program along with me! It helps to have support!!

Diet Program

Hi readers! I have been working on my house so much these past couple weeks (it was vacant for about a year so we have TONS to do) that I haven’t had much time to come up with new recipes. It has been crazy hectic with summer vacations and house projects! So, I apologize for the lapse in recipes! It is so hard to find the time when you are busy to come up with new, healthy meals. That’s why having a list of go-to healthy dinner ideas is a MUST for keeping on track when life throws you for a loop!¬† I thought I would share a few of mine with you all ūüôā …

Here is a sneak peek at several of my favorite go-to healthy dinner recipes:

  1. ¬†Zucchini “pasta” with a Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta Sauce
  2. Grilled Chicken with a side of sautéed Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
  3. Copycat Chipotle Burrito Bowls
  4. BBQ Chicken with sweet potato “fries”
  5. Steak with a side of corn on the cob and side salad

These are just a few of my personal favorites. What are yours? Share below!

I have been planning on creating a 14-day meal plan (perhaps exercise too?) and was wondering who would be interested in completing it together?! I would love to be able to simplify the meal-prep process as much as possible for you all so there is one less excuse not to eat healthy, whole foods! Comment below if you would be interested in getting emails for a FREE 14-day healthy eating meal plan!

 

Snack Time!

Happy Thursday readers! I have been extremely busy ever since moving into our new home on Saturday. Seems there is an endless amount of things to do and we had some issues that arose upon moving in to deal with. BUT, we have over come most of those hurdles and things seem to be calming down a bit. Which means more time to cook in my new kitchen!!

I am so excited to use all of my cool gadgets and utensils we received for our wedding gifts that never even saw the light of day in my apartment! Oh, the wonderful things I will cook. At least that’s what I tell myself. I refuse to let long days at work take time away from my one true passion – cooking great, healthy food and sharing it with the world (or my few readers in this case =P ) in hopes to make others aware of how EASY eating healthy can be!

In lieu of a recipe, I decided to share a different kind of post with you today. A list of my top 10 go-to snacks that are easily accessible and will fit into any budget!

Top 10 Healthy Snacks:

  1. Ants on a Log! Take a 2-3 stalks of celery, sliced in thirds + unsweetened, unsalted organic peanut (or almond) butter. Sprinkle on a few raisins and your good to go!
  2. 1 slice Ezekiel bread (I personally love cinnamon raisin!) + 1 Tbsp. unsweetened, unsalted organic peanut butter + 1/2 banana, sliced
  3. 1 medium orange + handful of almonds
  4. 1-2 cups watermelon
  5. 1 scoop protein powder + 1/2 cup skim milk + 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder + ice…blend and enjoy!!
  6. 2 hard-boiled eggs + mustard
  7. 2 Tbsp. hummus + carrots
  8. 1 oz. cheese + serving of whole wheat crackers
  9. 1 apple, sliced + 1 Tbsp. unsweetened, unsalted organic peanut or almond butter
  10. Spicy guacamole + serving of baked tortilla chips

There you have it! Some easy on-the-go snacks ideas to help you stick to your eating plan, whatever it may be, even when you are in a rush!