Operation Skinny Jeans

Friday, December 19, 2014

Balance

In yoga, it takes balance and strength to move through the sequences. Concentration and focus help you to clear your mind and move your body.

In strength training, it takes balance to not fall over while lifting heavy things. It takes strength and concentration to maintain form and push your body.

In cardio, it takes balance. Like to not fall off the treadmill, or fall over in a class.

In eating, it takes balance.

I have learned, for me, I need that balance. I need that flexibility. I need to feel like I am in control so I don't binge. I love that "treats" are built into my plan. I love that I can have wine or chocolate or a cheese stick without guilt because I have finally found a plan that lets me do that. I have realized that the key to success in all things is balance.

Whether I am standing on one foot, deadlifting almost 100 lbs, walking backward on a treadmill or eating at a restaurant, balance is key.
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ah, the season of the cookie exchange

Ever done cookie exchange? In case you haven't, they are a delightful holiday tradition in which everyone bakes a shitton of cookies, brings them to one person's house and you each take home a little bit of everyone else's cookies to enjoy. Often while exchanging family gossip and drinking wine. Maybe that's just my family...

Cookie exchanges are fun, but can be a recipe for disaster if your goal is to not binge on cookies this season. Having done a couple of these, I have a few strategies up my sleeve that I like to deploy in moments like this.

1. Bring delicious cookies. Don't be that jerk that brings healthy cookies. Just because you are focusing on your health doesn't mean everyone else is. You don't have to eat your cookies, or keep them at your house, so don't feel like you have to find the sugar free granola cookies that only have 1 gram of carbs. They are not delicious (unless they are, maybe you have a great recipe) and the less people take, the more you are stuck with. Don't be afraid to bring good cookies.

2. Don't take any cookies home. Yes, this is an option. It might seem odd, but just explain that you have lots of cookies at home and don't need anymore. Or if your family is in the know about your healthy life choice, they probably won't even say anything when you don't line up to grab your container of cookies.

3. Eat a couple cookies. This requires some reconnoissance. Scope out which cookies you think will be the BEST. Pick 2, or maybe 3. Then sit down and eat them. If one isn't as delicious as you thought it was going to be, stop eating it. Its okay to throw away a cookie. If you really allow yourself to enjoy a couple cookies, you won't even be upset that you don't get to take home Aunt Alma's rock hard butter cookies. You will know you got the best, and you enjoyed them without guilt.

This can be applied to any holiday event coming up. If there is something you absolutely can't live without, eat it! Not ALL of it, but have a cookie, or a scoop of that casserole you never get. This is about a sustainable lifestyle. We can eat on plan in our own homes with no problem. Being in public, or at a holiday event, its okay to indulge if you do so thoughtfully, mindfully and without guilt or remorse.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The most delicious roasted carrots- a recipe

I don't like carrots. I might even go as far as saying I hate carrots, at least raw carrots. There is no amount of ranch dressing or hummus in this world that can get me to bite into a raw carrot.

But I know carrots are good for you, and versatile and I can handle them cooked most of the time, so when a friend of mine offered up a carrot recipe, I decided to take that leap of faith, with some green beans on stand by for emergency purposes. I am happy to tell you, no green beans were needed, and these carrots were pretty delicious. I mean, they were still carrots, lets not go crazy, but I ate them and enjoyed them and would eat them again.

"What are these mystical delicious carrots?" you ask. Well, I am about to give you the recipe. Get excited.

Magical delicious not-at-all-disgusting carrots

1 bag of rainbow carrots (if you can get less, I only used like 7)
A head of ginger (is that what you call it? Is it a hand? I have no idea. "some ginger" works)
Thyme. Like a few sprigs
Olive Oil (some)
Red Wine Vinegar (some)
I think that's it...

Step 1! Procure ingredients! 

Look for something like this at the store
Step 2! Wash those carrots! Or don't... but please do. (optional- lay them out and take a fancy picture for instagram)


Step 3! Cut them in half length wise. They will roast faster. Trust. 

Step 4! Take off a chunk of ginger, like the size of your 2nd toe (technical measurement) and peel and slice thinly. 


I hadn't learned the fancy spoon method of peeling so I just squared off the sides. You save more if you peel.


Step (whatever number we are on...)! Put carrots on the pan of your choice. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Lay artfully with ginger and thyme. 



Step the next one! Roast them bitches at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until tender. 

Enjoy fancy looking delicious carrots. You're welcome. 


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Inkwell Press Planner Review (and coupon!)

I am a planner person. In school, I always had a planner and basically lived by it. It was the only way I could remember all the homework and stuff I had to do. Even in college it was my bible. But in the adult world, I kinda fell out of need for a planner. My life wasn't THAT complicated, and I could get by with my iPhone calendar.

Then I started blogging. And working with brands. And coaching. And working 2 other jobs on top of that. Things have been a little.... disorganized. So when I started looking back into planners, I knew this could be the thing to get me back on track.

For my birthday, I got an Emily Ley Simplified planner. I LOVED it. The big daily pages, the times, the meal planning part, all of it. I had been lusting over this planner for MONTHS.

But after I got it, things changed. My needs changed. I realized a daily planner was a bit much. I needed to see what I had going on that week in one easy glance. I needed a broader view of my week, with posts and events and work stuff all on one page/spread. So I started shopping around.

First I looked at Erin Condren. Everyone RAVES about EC planners, and while I thought they were cute, the long skinny day set up just didn't feel like the layout I needed. I write big, and I need lines. I looked at Plum Planners, and same thing. I was beginning to wonder if anyone made a wide spread weekly planner when a friend posted a link to the Inkwell Press site. She has a long skinny option, but she also makes the flex, which was exactly what I needed.

Feeling  a little gun shy after my Emily Ley disaster, I decided to really think about it before I bought it. It helped that my husband made me sell my Emily Ley before I even could think about getting a new one. It gave me time to really fall in love and be certain. I watched more youtube unboxing videos of this planner than I care to admit. At one point I misguidedly thought I should make an unboxing video of this planner. Thank god I came to my senses.

But seeing the planner on video, and the pages, it helped me get a really good sense of what I was going to get. And I was so in love. So I took the plunge (with a 20% off code) and got it. And holy crap am I glad I did. I am in romantic love with it.

The planner itself is really high quality. The covers are thick and hard, very sturdy, and the coil is strong and can be flipped over on itself so you can write on just one side. The paper is thick and nice to write on, and it has pockets!

Something Inkwell Press does that I haven't seen elsewhere is send you 6 set up videos once you order your planner. They show you how to organize your life and set up your planner. This is HUGE if you are a planner n00b or if you are just getting back on track with organizing your life. These videos are short, to the point and super helpful.

And also when you order there is a slew of free print-ables that you can add to your planner for maximum personalization and awesomeness. So cool. AND there is a group on Facebook so you learn how other women use the planner, and get advice and ideas from them.

One of my absolute favorite parts is on the side of every day, there is a tracker for meals, home and fitness. I love that I can track my food and fitness every day in my planner. Its the bomb dot com. And I am using the "home" square to track my vitamins! I suck at taking pills so I have to check them off every day!

I think the best part (for me at least) was the turn around time. I ordered it Friday night, and it was in my hands the next Friday morning. Thank GOD because I wanted it to be here soo bad. I was very pleased with how quickly I got it!

Now for some pictures!








There are other cool pages, but I started filling them out. Check out inkwellpress.com  for all the awesome info.

AND to save 20% if you fall in love like I did, you can use this referral code :D

Are you a planner person? Which planner do you have/want? Do you decorate? Lets chat!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Vanilla Peppermint Smoothie!

This is a sponsored post for Puritans Pride, through Sweat Pink. I was given products in exchange for my recipes, but my recipes and opinions are all my own. 

I have had such an awesome time doing these smoothie recipes for Puritan's Pride. I have fallen in love with their protein powders and supplements and I have really expanded my smoothie making repertoire. I was trying to think of a fun festive recipe for today, and I wanted to use the delicious peppermint extract that came in my box, so I decided to make a Vanilla Peppermint Smoothie. 


I wanted to add a little peppermint stick or even circle mint, but I didn't have any and didn't feel like going to the store for decoration. So its less pretty, but you get the point. 

Recipe!

Vanilla Peppermint Smoothie

8 ounces Vanilla Almond milk 
1 scoop Puritans Pride Unflavored Soy Isolate Protein Powder
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp (if that) Peppermint extract
1/4 cup oatmeal (for thickness if you want it. It also fills you up)
3 or so ice cubes

Blend away! Be VERY careful with the peppermint extract. That stuff is STRONG and one slip of the wrist will result in a toothpaste smoothie, which is not delicious. Unless you like that kinda thing... in which case, go for it. 


gratuitous smoothie picture. #sowhite
And of course, another giveaway! Same as last time, pin the picture to win! 

You'll get:

Puritans Pride Unflavored Soy Protein Isolate 
Dynamic Health Pomegranate Juice Concentrate

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Doctor said...

Have you ever had your blood tested?

I wish I would have when I was at my heaviest. I want to know where my blood sugar, cholesterol, thyroid levels, etc were at that time. The first time I had my blood tested was almost 2 years ago, and it was really enlightening. I was pretty good, but my good cholesterol was low, but other than that, generally healthy.

I had a physical a few weeks ago and had my blood tested again, and actually had the follow up appointment this morning. Everything looks great, and my good cholesterol is higher, which is a result of working out more. So woo!

I think it's important to, from time to time, check out the true markers of health. More than a weight loss journey, I have always been on a health journey. Mental and physical health. I feel like, for the most part, my mental health has come leaps and bounds, and my physical health has too. I know I have a lot of weight to lose still, but I am making strides in my health.

Also, since my last appointment on November 17th, I have lost 11 lbs (on the doctor scale). I was pretty stoked about that. I haven't weighed myself in a while, so I wasn't sure where I was at. I feel like that darn doctor scale is always the worst so it felt good to see loss there.

Also, I don't know my exact numbers, she said she didn't have anything she could give me, but that I am healthy and "if everyone had numbers like mine, [she] wouldn't have a job."  I'll take it.

I highly recommend going and having your blood tested. Your blood can tell you so much about your health and can really help you get a better understanding of what's going on. Also I recommend regular physicals. That's all lol

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

That container plan thingy

I had someone ask ok Instagram yesterday how I was doing with the container plan thing. She didn't call it that, but I have decided to. In short, it's going well!

It takes about a week of adjustment, but then you start to get used to it. But I totally understand how it can be intimidating, so I thought I would break it down. When you figure out how many of each color you get a day, it can be overwhelming and hard to look at it in terms of meals rather than containers. So the first thing I did was create a formula for me that I knew would be easier to follow.

B=RGYP
S1=RGPP
L=RGY
S2=RGYP
D=RRGGY

Flex= OBTTTTTT

What? That doesn't make sense? lol I will explain what that means.

For breakfast, I get a red (protein), green (veggie), yellow (carb), and purple (fruit). So a regular breakfast would look like 2 eggs scrambled with spinach, oatmeal and an apple. Or turkey bacon, one slice of toast, tomato and grapes. Or Shakeology with almond milk, spinach and frozen strawberries. Etc.

For my first snack, I get a red, green, and two purples. So my first snack looks like 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced bell peppers (add a blue for hummus), an apple with almond butter (add a teaspoon or 2) and some grapes. Or a deli turkey roll up (turkey and lettuce, plus a little mustard, with is free) and a banana (1 banana is 2 purples). I have even been known to have Shakeology here, so Shakeology with water, 1/2 a banana, spinach and strawberries. Or greek yogurt with raspberries and blueberries and a drizzle of honey (a T) with some celery and pb (T) on the side.

For lunch, I get a red, green and yellow. So I usually have tacos (tortilla, ground beef or turkey, with lettuce and tomato). Or a burrito bowl (brown rice, chicken, lettuce and salsa, and if I have a blue I might add cheese). Spaghetti is an easy lunch to take, so spaghetti noodles, sauce, and ground beef. Technically tomato sauce is a vegetable, but I will add bell peppers (sautéed) to it for flavor and bulk. Or if I am feeling like a salad, a salad with ground turkey, black beans and corn (half of each) with an orange of dressing is pretty delicious. Lots of options there.

Second snack, I replace a purple with a carb. So almost the same as earlier, but adding in bread or a tortilla or corn or beans or potato, or edamame (one of my FAVORITES) in place of that second fruit.

Dinner! Dinner I get two reds, two greens and a yellow. This might look a lot like a normal dinner plate for you too. I certainly ate a lot of dinners like this before measuring out my portions, so I am glad that that part hasn't changed. Since its easier to name normal dinner proteins, veggies and carbs, rather than put them into combos, I will do that. We have a list of each of these on the fridge, and when we meal plan we mix and match.

Dinner Proteins:
Chicken breast
Salmon
Pork Chops
Steak
Ground Beef (like in burger form or loose)

Dinner Veggies:
Peppers
Mushrooms
Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli
Asparagus
Squash
String beans

Dinner Carbs:
Sweet Potatoes
Quinoa
Beans
Brown Rice
Regular potatoes
Pasta
Couscous
Pita Bread

We mix and match those main things for dinner every night. I realize its not as fun as eating casseroles or fancy things like that, but it works for us and it makes meal planning a heck of a lot easier. We buy 7 proteins, 7 veggies and 7 carbs and eat whatever we feel like in whatever combo we are in the mood for. For the record, my favorite chili is RGGY (if you add beans, no Y if you don't) so it is often on the menu for dinner.

Those flex things are Orange (fats/ dressings), Blue (cheese and nuts) and Teaspoons. I don't plan for them to go anywhere, but rather fit them in where I want them. Cheese on my eggs, nuts with a snack, peanut butter with my fruit, etc.

I am in the highest bracket of the container plan, which is why it seems like SO much food. And I found out this cool thing yesterday. I noticed when Beachbody released Insanity Max 30 that they created the meal plan for that based on the container plan. I love that they have adopted this really awesome way of eating into their programs and even came out with a container plan kit you can buy without a workout. They are calling it the Portion Fix.


I think it's pretty cool that they are offering this independent of a workout plan, so if you love working out at the gym but you need a better way of eating, you can still use this. I also love that it costs the same as one month of Weight Watchers. If you want more info, email me (jess@operationskinnyjeans.com) but my point of this post was to share how I am using this for my life, not just in coordination with a workout program.

Also I am going to make a conscious effort in the coming weeks to take more pictures of my food to show you. I usually start eating it too fast and can't get a picture... #fatgirlproblems.


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