Friday, September 27, 2013

REAL Mac & Cheese

A few days ago I was lucky enough to receive the Mama Voxbox from Influenster. Here's what the box included:

Of all of these things, though, the one I want to highlight is the Aged White Cheddar Mac & Cheese.
I was a little leery to try it because I'm not a huge fan of 'boxed' mac & cheese. But I received it for free, so it was my duty to try it and review it.

Y' was so good. I don't generally care for the tiny macaroni noodles, but the sauce was delicious. I'm a sucker for white cheddar popcorn, and this? This is my new vice. I shouldn't even call it a vice because although it's delicious, it's much better for you than other 'boxed' varieties. Plus, one single serve package is only 220 calories!
Here's a snippet straight from Annie's website:

The best part? My daughter LOVES it! Mac & cheese is her favorite, & this did not disappoint. Run [don't walk] to your nearest Target  & pick up some! It's a little pricier than other brands, but honestly, you get what you pay for. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


About 6 weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to try running. It's never been something that I enjoyed doing, but after seeing so many infographics about it, I thought I should give it a shot.

I started by going to the 3 mile track on post and I was just happy to get around the whole thing without passing out. I mostly walked. I jogged a few times, I didn't run. But most importantly, I didn't give up. I kept up with my time, and tried again. And again. I invested in a jogging stroller so that pushing my daughter would be a little easier. Every time I saw a difference in my time, it motivated me to go again. Each time, I've jogged a little more. More recently, I've been switching between going to the 3 mile track and running on the treadmill at the gym. I feel like the treadmill gives me confidence that I don't yet have at the track. I actually run on the treadmill. I jog, too, but I barely walk. I push myself to the limits, and it's helping increase my endurance and stamina. I can now run several minutes [on the treadmill] without stopping. I've gone from doing a 18 minute mile to a 13 minute mile. That's what hard work and dedication can do, y'all. I'm not done, though. My goal is to be able to run 3 miles without slowing below a jog the entire time. As of now, after mile 2 I start to get sluggish. I know this is going to take a lot of work, but I'm all in. I'm ready for the day that I can do a 5k in 36 minutes.

What are some of your fitness goals?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

3 Times A Day Will Keep The Doctor Away...Probably

During my never ending research [to better my health], I came across an article that said drinking green tea 3-5 times a day has several health benefits. Here they are:

Isn't that amazing? What do you have to lose? A box of 40 green tea bags is less than $4. Get a box, some raw honey, and a few lemons, and drink a few cups a day. It's a delicious addiction. Your health is worth it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

For Your Sweet Tooth

If I didn't know any better, I would think that my sweet tooth is the size of Texas. It is probably the biggest reason that I've had so many relapses, but I'm here to share with you some of my favorite sweet treats to fight your cravings.

*Mind over matter! It's okay to indulge as long as the indulgences are within reason. Don't just eat aimlessly. Preportioned snacks are a good idea [especially for beginners] because once the package is done, you move on to a new activity. DON'T be tempted to open another pack! 

What are your favorite healthy [or low cal] sweet treats?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Fitness Pal

Today I'm here to sing the praises of My Fitness Pal. 
 My Fitness Pal is such a valuable resource to those who are looking to lose weight. What initially drew me to it--It's free! On, you can keep up with your caloric intake [separated by each meal!], add your exercises and calories burned, & track your weight loss progress. 

It's more than just a weight loss journal, though. It's a community. You have the ability to add friends and see what they've been up to. This has been a huge motivator for me to be able to connect & interact with my sister & other bloggers who are rocking their weight loss journeys! You can post in forums, print reports, and calculate your BMI. 

Not sure what the calorie count is for a meal you made at home? Easy. Just add all the ingredients to a 'new recipe' and let myfitnesspal calculate the calories for you! What I love about this site is that they also have an app. I have it on my phone and it's so easy to just enter everything I eat as it happens instead of trusting myself to do it later. Don't take my word for it, go see for yourself! And add me as a friend while you're there [username: jakintheb0x] :)

*this post was in no way sponsored by my fitness pal.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Portion Distortion

Until recently, I had no concept of portion control. I'd usually make my meals in a similar way to how I grew up eating. A meat, a veggie, a starch, and some sort of bread. Don't get me wrong, health class taught me the food pyramid and to eat 8 servings of fruits and veggies a day, but that was something that I pushed to the very back of my mind. When I started to care about my health and body, that's when I started caring about how I ate. When I was learning to count calories, I was also learning how to portion my food. Did you know that an 8 oz chicken breast [what I used to eat on a normal basis] is actually more than TWO servings? A 'normal' serving of meat is 3 oz. At first, cutting my meat intake to this amount was a huge struggle. I just wanted to eat a WHOLE pork chop! But that was my big problem. I was constantly eating over sized portions of food, and I wouldn't just feel full afterward, I would feel stuffed. It's not a good thing, y'all. Here are a few images that are eye opening.

Since educating myself on proper portioning and caloric intake, I feel a lot better. I've lost cravings that I once had, and have found healthier alternatives to ones I still have. Even though I have the occasional splurge meal, I'm lucky to say that I no longer suffer from portion distortion. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Green Monster, PB2 style

It's time to revisit the green monster again. 
I recently discovered PB2, all of the peanut butter taste--85% less fat calories. Whhhhhhat! Sign me up. 
I was a little hesitant, but decided to try it anyways. It comes in powdered form [to be mixed as needed] and TWO tablespoons is just 45 calories. Compare that to 190 in most other brands. Plus it comes in chocolate. I digress...

Here's a modified version of my beloved smoothie:
1 sliced banana, frozen 100 cal
2 tbsp PB2 45 cal
1 cup almond milk 80 cal
1/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt 55 cal
1 cup fresh spinach 13 cal
4 ice cubes 0 cal

Throw everything in a blender & blend until smooth. A refreshing, delicious breakfast for just 293 calories!
Find original recipes here & here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Meatless Monday Tacos

Back in April when I really decided I needed to change my lifestyle, not just go on a diet, I decided to start eating less meat. For some people, this isn't an issue. But I was raised with the mentality of eating meat at basically every meal. I decided to try a few 'meatless' options, and I was pleasantly surprised. It tricks my brain into thinking that I'm eating meat. I'm getting the nutrients I need. I'm staying full on a lot less calories. Win, win. I swear by Morningstar, but Gardein is delicious, too. I usually keep a bag or two of the meatless crumbles in my freezer because I use them for just about anything! I came up with this recipe on one of my busy days. I forgot to thaw anything out for supper and I was not about to ruin all of my hard work on fast food. Thank God for the meatless crumbles! Aaron was a little skeptical, but I won him over. He even said he wouldn't mind having them again. Score!

1/2 cup meatless crumbles 80 cal
1/4 cup salsa 20 cal
1/2 cup black beans, strained 70 cal
shredded lettuce 10 cal
2 tbsp cheddar cheese 55 cal 
2 tortillas 240 cal
2 tbsp nonfat greek yogurt 28 cal

Pour crumbles in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add black beans and salsa. Stir to incorporate & cook 5 more minutes. Assemble your tacos using the rest of the ingredients & serve!

Here are mine:
You can barely see all the delicious goodness for the mound of lettuce on top. JUST the way I like them :)
Two hearty tacos for a total of 503 calories. For less calories [383 cal], pile one tortilla high with all of the ingredients and serve open face.

What is your favorite meatless product?