Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Tag Archives: Zone Diet
4 weeks into this Zone business, and I’m starting to get into the swing of things.
Here is what our meals are looking like:
The Usual is: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 oz string cheese (god I love string cheese, I’m like a child!), 156 grams of sweet potato hash (3 blocks worth!) and some olives.
I make a big batch of sweet potato hash on the weekends while I’m hard boiling eggs and grilling up some meat — usually Sunday night’s dinner, plus miscellaneous other protein. All of my food prep on the weekends takes about 90 minutes, and it is TOTALLY WORTH IT. When the hash/eggs are done I portion it up into containers with the rest of breakfast.
Grab and go!
That is actually a pretty substantial breakfast. I usually don’t snack in the morning after I eat that. It keeps me full until lunch.
Another variation when we don’t have sweet potato hash is to throw in an apple and some roasted seaweed. You guys I am ADDICTED to the roasted seaweed from Costco. It’s amazing. I’ve had wasabi seaweed before and sesame seaweed, and all of it just tasted like fishy, flavored yuckiness to me. The salted roasted seaweed from Costco tastes like POTATO CHIPS! Obviously, I’m in love.
For lunch, I generally cook up a big batch of ground turkey or ground beef with onions and peppers on the weekend during that 90 minute prep. Maybe about 2 lbs worth — and then I portion them into lunch size protein blocks (for me 4, for Garrett 5). Then I use 64 oz tupperware containers to store salads full of lettuce, tomaotes, cucumbers and peppers and stack em up in the fridge. I make them all at once (about 2-3 days worth at a time so they stay crispy) and it’s like a little salad assembly line of convenience throughout the week.
Sometimes, if I have a day with a little more time at lunch I will heat up some of the chicken I have grilled on the weekend and we will eat that with some quick sauteed vegetables, which is a nice alternative if I’m not feeling like a salad. Yep, even though I enjoy salads, some days are just NOT salad days. That’s why I grill up that extra meat on the weekends. A lady needs her options.
Dinner is actually the meal I think about the least, which is funny because prior to Zone I thought about how to get dinner on the table the most!
Generally I have some cooked protein in the fridge, either from the chicken I grilled or the leftover ground meat that I’ve cooked up on the weekend, so for a couple of days we will use that along with various vegetables — sauteed brussels sprouts, roasted broccoli, cauliflower rice — you know, the usual.
Sometimes I will cook up some sausages. Lately I am loving Aidells Chicken Chorizo (that stuff is magic!) or the Rocky the Range Garlic Chicken Sausages. For “processed food”, both are alright by us. We’re staying as Paleo as we can through this process, and while neither of those options are “Strict” Paleo, we’re cool with it.
Last night I cooked shrimp because they were HUGELY on sale at Costco last week (are you noticing a trend in my purchasing? You’re welcome, Costco, for keeping you in business) so we have a lot of them. I anticipate many more shrimp dinners in our future.
I tossed them with a little bit of oil, added some grill seasoning, red pepper flakes, and extra garlic powder and then broiled them on a cookie sheet for about 6 minutes. Delicious. But more important — QUICK! Which are the kind of dinners I like on a weeknight.
As for snacks, I usually make up some 2 Block Snack Packs in the fridge that contain a few ounces of deli sliced turkey or chicken, the correct portion of fruit (lately it’s been kiwi) and either some olives or walnuts or something. It’s plain and boring but it works.
We’ve also toyed with the Zone Snack Bars, just because of the convenience of their proportions, and while those are delicious they are 100% completely un paleo and full of crap I don’t want to make a habit of eating, so we’ll probably ween ourselves off of those pretty quick. But, dude — candy masquerading as “healthy energy bars” in fudge graham flavor, has been kind of delicious. Sorry, I’m not sorry. 🙂 Not part of the long term strategy though.
In case you’re keeping track (HA!) the weight loss has been a little slow going, which is not my favorite. I was down 3 lbs the first week, gained .5 lbs the second week, and stayed completely the same the third week (yep, to the TENTH OF A LB. argh!) So I’m not super thrilled with that, but you know…weight loss is weird. I’m rolling with it. Refining our meals, our strategies, my approach to my workouts, all of it.
There are a lot of moving parts, and I’m committed to giving all of this a good try so I will keep on trucking. Plus, I’m not going to lie, the Cheat Day on the Zone has been enjoyable and I’ve been using that day to eat chips and drink wine, and let’s be real — I could eliminate that if I was really concerned about my weight loss progress. But there needs to be balance — even when you are weighing and measuring your food, which seems to be just about the most unbalanced thing to do ever! So that’s the update, you all!
Any other Zone questions I can answer? I will do so in the comments
I sort of don’t want to say this out loud — or maybe I should say it and then knock on wood — but life, man: it’s been very pleasant lately. My version of a pleasant life doesn’t look particularly glamorous, but man does it feel fantastic.
This weekend went by super quick, but it involved all of my favorite things:
*Sitting on the couch in my pjs drinking wine and eating chips (Zone Cheat Meal, FTW!)
*Sitting on the couch in my pjs drinking coffee
*A rockin’ picnic at a winery (plus many sips at other wineries)
*Cleaning my house
*Organizing my fridge and planning and preparing some Zone-friendly meals
*Catching up on some much needed rest
*Getting to chat with my mom about silly things
*Tinkering around with this blog.
Honestly, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Time, sleep, bad reality television, good coffee, great friends — I mean, this is the life.
Now if I could just do all of that while simultaneously being FILTHY RICH, that would also be cool. I guess I better get to working on that. 🙂
Any exciting adventures for you this weekend? Did the time change throw you for a loop? Did you have a better Friday night dinner than Chips + Wine? Talk to me…
So I’m sure there are a million stupid puns and titles that I can use when blogging about my adventures with The Zone Diet, but I promise you I will try to go easy on those. I just wanted to pop in to let you know how the first full week went.
Well at least okay.
I mean it was cool most of the time.
Ack. There is not an easy phrase that will sum up how we did.
How about this: We survived and we are forging onward! That makes it sound like a grand adventure, yes? Let’s go with that.
Grand Adventure: Week One
I will be honest with you, it was an adjustment. About 3 hours into Day One I shot this video over to Larry (my trainer extraordinaire who is being our cheerleader on this Grand! Adventure!)
But honestly, then I had lunch and I was fine. When I weighed out my first portion of protein on that first day, I was fairly sure I was going to die of starvation. But what do you know — I did not! And I did not feel hungry at all the rest of the week. My fears — unrealized? So that was pretty great. And one of the upsides was that I not only felt satisfied, but light on my feet. That’s a good feeling.
It was not all sunshine and roses though. Weighing your food is a giant pain in the ass, folks! You will not hear me glossing over that. It blows. But everyone said that after the first week you will feel more comfortable doing that, and yesterday I realized if I am going to do something that sucks, instead of doing it 3 times a day I’m going to do it for 2 hours straight while listening to Lil Wayne and shaking my ass. So I did a little food prep WOD with my scale and measuring cup and actually it was kind of a blast. And this morning when I woke up, I was so happy to not even have to think about what I was going to eat.
Now my fridge looks like this and we have many (perfectly portioned) things to eat for breakfast and lunch:
It may not be the prettiest my fridge has ever looked — a food stylist, I am not! — but I don’t have to really THINK about weighing and measuring anything for a while. And that makes my heart go pitter pat.
On the menu this week:
Sweet Potato Hash // Hard Boiled Eggs // String Cheese // Olives
Cottage Cheese with Berries + Canteloupe + Slivered Almonds
Holy Hell we are having a lot of SALAD!
But I love salad, so I’m okay with this. Salad, salad, salad. YUM! It makes me excited about my little tomato seedlings growing strong in my kitchen. I’m ready for the summer garden!
To Be Determined
The reason I am leaving dinners open (well sort of open, they will be comprised of chicken, turkey or ground beef) was that one of the things I struggled with last week was the feeling of having no creativity in the kitchen. And you know I freaking LOVE TO COOK. So that was a bummer.
But I decided since Breakfast and Lunch are basically taken care of all week, I am going to try and get a little more creative with dinner. New spice rubs, some more fun techniques — just be a little more “ME” in the kitchen now that I have my bearings about me. And if I have to measure that a little at night, I’m ok.
Oh, Shall We Talk Results?
Both of us felt notably lighter and better all week. The forced portion control actually worked well in that we didn’t feel hungry but very…I don’t know…more light and efficient.
At the end of the week, I was down almost 3 lbs, which ruled! I did weigh myself mid-week though (I couldn’t resist) and had gained 3 lbs and let me tell you I almost threw in the towel right then and there. But we all know the scale is a stupid stupid stupid metric for something like this. Do you struggle with Scale Addiction too? Please go read this then. I needed to hear it this morning! I may have Garrett hide the scale in April. Who knows? haha
Also I hit some PRs in the gym, so that was fun. This week’s CrossFit Games Open WOD was basically all heavy lifting (which I have not been focusing on for about 2 months) and so it felt nice to perform pretty well. I threw 100 lbs up over my head and HEY-O, I actually caught it a few times. Sweet. I’ll take it.
I feel like it was a great idea to combine trying Zone while the CrossFit Games Open is going on, because it gives me some motivation to stick to it in hopes that it will help me perform my best. My best certainly isn’t going to win any gold medals, but damn if I want to do it all the same! Anyway, there were highs and lows, but I feel even more equipped this week so I am running with it.
What kind of Grand Adventures did you have this week, folks?