Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Little Things

The little things I'm talking about are the little things that work for me.  I'm having a great week on plan.  I've actually had a few good weeks in a row.  Tracking the number of consecutive days I've tracked is helping like crazy!  I'm in the middle of Day 19 right now and I so don't want to have to change that number to "1".  I know at some point it will happen, I just don't want it to be soon.  I don't remember what they say is the number of weeks it takes to form a habit, three or six?

In the past, I've usually fallen off plan because of a mixture of cravings and boredom.  What I've been doing lately is finding substitutions for whatever my craving is.  Most recently, it seemed like everyone was talking about hot dogs.  I love hot dogs.  Haven't had one in ages.  Yesterday I bought a package of Yves Veggie Dogs.  I used half of one of those thin buns as a hot dog bun, light cheese slice, mustard & relish, and chopped onion.  Yum!!!  I also made sweet potato fries.  So good, it felt indulgent and it took care of that hot dog craving.
Haha!  Looks gross but totally hit the spot!

Other substitutes I've been using that while not exact, are close enough that I feel like I've satisfied the craving when it hits:

  • Pop Chips, I love salt & vinegar and barbeque.
  • Mini Rice Cakes in chip flavors but I do prefer the Pop Chips over the rice cakes.
  • Any frozen fruit blended in my Vitamix with a bit of water.  Makes something close to gelati.  I use milk when I want it to be more like an ice cream.  Most recently, I used a frozen banana and 1 tbsp of peanut butter.  So so good!  When I'm using blueberries or strawberries, I sneak spinach in there too.  

Meal planning for me was always a challenge.  Cooking for one sucks.  Mostly because you look at a recipe and it seems like a lot of work to cut it in half because a "whole can" is required, then you've got half a can of whatever leftover.  I decide to just make the whole recipe and then I'm eating the same thing for days.  I find my biggest challenge is getting to food before it goes bad.  I've started making things that are versatile and freeze well.

  • Baked Brown Rice. I got this recipe from daisygirl and it has worked wonders.  I make the casserole dish of rice once every 10 days maybe.  I bought some snack size bags from the dollar store and I freeze it in 1/2 cup portions.  SO EASY!  I use it as a base for a quick stir fry or a side with supper.  I've mixed 1/2 cup with a bit of baked chicken breast and one of those Green Giant Steam broccoli & cheese sauce packages and it's an instant casserole.  
  • Black Beans. I love adding black beans to things like chili, salad, soups, quesadillas.  However, if you're not using the whole can, black beans turn on you quickly and turn your fridge into a "somebody died in there" situation.  I bought a bag of dried black beans ages ago and only recently found what to do with them and it's amazing!!  Slow Cooker!  I used this method/recipe and now I have the equivalent of 3 1/2 cans of black beans in the freezer and the best part is that I can just take some out and use it without wasting the rest of the can.  And it's cheap!
  • Flatout Bread.  I love love love flatout bread.  I use it for pizza, salad wraps, scrambled eggs, and so on.  I even cut them up and bake them for tortilla chips with salsa. Versatile, quick, freezable, and delicious.  
  • Eggs Benedict.  I got this from Natasha and it has become my beloved Saturday morning tradition.  Treadmill, Barbell Blast class, home for Eggs Benedict and coffee.
  • Smoothies.  I pretty much chuck whatever into the blender.  This morning before the gym it was blueberries, 1/2 banana, two big handfuls of spinach, 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, and water.

The other things which aren't really "little things" but are so very helpful and every bit a part of this journey.

  • Friends.  There are now four fantastic women who come with me to Barbell Blast and Boot Camp.  With there being a  few who are regularly coming, I pretty much know I won't be there by myself and I'm not dreading going anymore!!!  That's huge.  I'm loving it.  
  • PVR.  I'm a tv junkie.  I admit it.  I don't care.  I love that while I'm busting my butt at the gym, I know that my trusty PVR will have recorded whatever it is I'm missing and I can watch it sans commercials as soon as I get home!
  • Melatonin.  I'm not a fantastic sleeper.  Not good at all actually.  Someone had suggested melatonin a while back so on the days when I'm feeling restless and not relaxed enough to fall asleep, I take some melatonin and it has worked wonders for me.
  • This blog.  I never imagined there was this whole community out there.  Yay!
I'm sure there are other things that are helping me along but this is what I could come with for now.  I'd love to hear what helps you!

Michelle :)


  1. I just found your blog, and I'm loving it! Those recipes look amazing, and awesome job on staying on track for 18 days. I'm back at day 1 today.

  2. Great tips, thanks for sharing! I love making chips from tortilla (or lavash bread) so I can have chips without really having them.

    Also I've always heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so you're almost there! Tracking helps me so much, otherwise I'd just eat anything and forget about it.

  3. Yay for you! 19 days is such a great streak! Keep going...see how far you can go!!

  4. I have the same exact problem cooking for myself. Most of the time I just don't want to bother. I think I need to try that making things ahead and freezing them. You're the second person to mention that to me. It sounds like it's working for you. I can't wait to hear other tips you find helpful.

  5. you just made me really hungry!! great post

  6. I mentioned you in my current post - here's to tracking! It's done wonders for me.

    Thanks for the recipes. I also love Yves or Smartlife for bacon, sausage, hot dogs. I'm vegetarian so these can be a good source of protein.