Let’s Talk Portion Control

The key for most people to a lot of things like digestion, maintaining or losing weight and fueling your body all depends on portion control. I say most people because before we get into this post, this may not be for you if you have have disordered or restrictive eating in the past. Please consider this before continuing.

Have you ever found yourself eating “healthy” but not losing weight? Did it make you want to give up? Maybe it is your portion sizes. In a land where we get bread before meals, unlimited sodas, bottomless mimosas (a favorite of mine) and huge portions when we eat out, it’s not hard to sometimes understand what a “regular” portion is. We get asked if we want to supersize things when the original portion was probably plenty. We eat chips out of the bag instead of thinking about what the serving size is and figuring out how many services we are actually eating.

The worst things about eating too much is that overfull feeling you get. When I was younger, I used to go to the Pizza Hut all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch and eat until my stomach hurt! It was almost a rule you couldn’t leave until you felt that way (actually, it was a rule, I’m not going to kid myself). I can only imagine the thousand of calories I ingested…then had to go back, sit at my desk and try and have a productive afternoon.

I think I finally got good at portion control when I was packing lunches for my daughter to eat at school. Since she has Type 1 Diabetes, it is essential that she knows how many carbs she is eating so she can give herself the appropriate amount of insulin. Every morning, I pack her lunch and snacks and include a little note with all of the carbs counts for the day.

Packaged foods or single serving items are easy but I have a scale to measure grams or fruits and vegetables. I also use it for chips and other snacks out of a bag (I used to count out 28 veggie sticks or 30 grapes before that scale, so it is a lifesaver!) Almost every type of food has a code you type in so it tells you exactly the nutritional value for that particular serving size. You can get this scale on Amazon. This is great if you are counting your macros as well.

Another way to keep track of your portion sizes and your macros is to use a program like Ultimate Portion Fix. You have several different sized containers representing veggies, carbs, proteins, fruit, healthy fats along with nuts and dressings. Based on a formula, you figure out how many containers or each you can eat each day based on your weight, activity level and goals. This is extremely helpful when preparing your own food at home and something that I have personally used in the past. It also helps to keep eating fruit and veggies in the front of your mind because you have to get your containers in. Alcohol is allowed and counts as one of your carb containers.

The benefits I see from managing my portion sizes really boil down to the fact I feel satisfied but not overly full and bloated when I am balancing my macros with healthy portion sizes. Note the key word satisfied and not hungry. Now obsessively measuring your food when you are NOT eating in a balanced way is not what I am advocating. I am not suggesting you count out 10 almonds to eat for lunch. There is a big difference between restricting your portion sizes and managing your portion sizes. Please take this advice in a healthy and balanced way.

Do you have a problem managing your portion sizes and how does it make you feel? Comment below.

My Favorite Recipe: Fresh Caught Fish

We are so fortunate to live about 40 minutes from the ocean. When the pandemic hit and we were short on activities, my husband and I decided to buy a boat to give us a safe, outdoor and Covid-free activity. We keep our boat at a marina next to where the cruise ships are now returning to. It’s a short boat ride out of the inlet to the ocean or through the loch to the intercoastal for calmer waters.

Now, this could almost be a post about self-care. I can’t tell you the joy having the boat has brought us. There’s something about sunshine and sea air that clears up a lot of what’s ailing you. It’s even made headaches disappear!

With pleasure boating came serious fishing. There are days where my husband wakes up at 3am to hit the marina well before sunrise for some hardcore, deep sea fishing. They go 50-100 miles off-shore, sometimes fishing in 3,000 feet of water. Out there, there is nothing but open water, dolphins and whales and copious amounts of game fish, if they play their cards, or reels, right.

A dolphin fish or Mahi Mahi as it is commonly known

The first big game fish he caught was a Wahoo. This is truly an anglers fish. Since they do not swim in schools, they are not commercially fished so you would be hard pressed to find them on a restaurant menu. When a Wahoo is eaten, it is sushi grade meat that you can eat raw.

Wahoo, prepare with a sesame coating, flash seared and served rare

My favorite is dolphin. Not the porpoise type of dolphin, but a dolphin fish, known to most as Mahi Mahi. It’s just a great tasting fish and is so versatile in it’s preparation.

Blacked dolphin (Mahi) served with a side of pineapple salsa

My air fryer has been a lot of fun to experiment with blackened seasonings or even a nice Panko coating. The salsa changes every time but the one above is just pineapple, tomatoes, green peppers, a little jalapeño, cilantro and scallions. We made it the next day with mango instead of pineapple. The spice of the peppers along with the sweetness of the fruit just makes the flavor pop.

Even if you can’t make it to an ocean, check out the fish section of your local grocery!

Getting Back After Being Sick

You know that kind of sick where you can’t even move? That’s the kind of sick I’ve been for the last few weeks. Luckily, it was not Covid-19 but it really through me off any semblance of a schedule or plan I may have had in every part of my life!

I knew if I wanted to get better, I was going to have to respect what my body was telling me so I didn’t work out and I slept a lot. When I wasn’t sleeping I was resting. I even called in sick to work one day, which I never do! I also took about 2 1/2 weeks off of any kind of exercise. No yoga, no walks, and definitely no lifting!

When I was ready to go back, I took it easy on myself. I did a few days of restorative yoga, then a little bit more energetic yoga, and finally fit in a 20 minute strength workout yesterday. I think by next week, I’ll be back on my normal schedule, which I’m very excited about! You really have to respect what your body tells you when you’re sick or injured, otherwise you’ll end up just making your rest period all the more longer. You aren’t going to gain a bunch of weight and you’re not going to lose a tremendous amount of your fitness level if you allow your body to rest and heal.

While I was resting, I got a new cookbook with lots of macro-balanced recipes and I’ve already started testing them. Stay tuned for the results, including the protein brownies that are in the oven right now!

My Favorite Snack: Iced Lattes

I was never a big coffee shop person. Sure, when I was traveling, I would pop into a Starbucks but it was never part of my daily schedule. I also never drank my coffee over ice. I really was just a traditional, make it at home and hot kind of girl.

When I was in law school in Miami, I was introduce to Cafe con Leche, which is the better, Cuban version of a Latte. I recently discovered the amazing Cuban place we order from routinely (Black Bean Cafe if you are in the area) had an amazing Iced Cafe con Leche. Then, during the pandemic, they came up with bottled Cafe con Leche, which I immediately fell in love with. I loved being able to have this speciality coffee drink at my own home!

A great Iced Cafe con Leche recipe

The only issue I have with a daily Iced Cafe con Leche is the amount of sugar and calories. Generally, it calls for regular sugar and whole milk, which can make this pretty heavy! Of course you can play with the ingredients to reduce the calories and sugar and still keep it a sweet treat. You can even try a caffeine-free version!

Another drink I recently started making at home is Chai Tea Latte. I prefer the Tazo “skinny” version. Pair this with unsweetened almond milk and the drink is around 75 calories and 18 carbs or so. Of course, with the weather getting warmer in Florida, I am drinking this iced but you can make it hot as well. I’ve found this at Publix, my local grocery store.

I hope you enjoy some of these drinks!

Are You Counting Up?

I was in the middle of an Apple Fitness workout the other day (review coming soon) and I realized my focus kept returning to the countdown timer that showed how much longer I had left in the workout and it was really distracting.

That got me thinking. Why was I so focused on how much time I had left instead of celebrating everything I had done? I could say it went deeper than just the workout. I stopped my workout and changed the way you see metrics on Apple Fitness so it now shows the time elapsed, not the time remaining. This little change has allowed me to be more present in my workouts, especially yoga.

It’s true for life too. Do you think as you get older that you are running out of time to accomplish that bucket list while forgetting all the things you’ve already checked off? So let’s start counting up instead of down.

My Favorite Workout: Camp Gladiator

To experience Camp Gladiator yourself, I have 2 referral codes for four weeks free. Email me at healthygirllawyer@gmail.com to get the code!

Initially when I heard about Camp Gladiator from a friend, it was pre-pandemic and they were going to a public park in town and doing what I thought was a boot camp that had you running around like crazy. It wasn’t until I met a trainer, Lauren, who eventually become my trainer, that I really grew to understand and like it!

CG is a four-week fitness program led by Certified Personal Trainers, where every workout is different. Each “Camp” is a 60 minute, full-body workout incorporating both cardio and strength exercises. While they still have outdoor workouts (which are following Covid safety rules), I still prefer the virtual workouts.

The great thing about virtual workouts is that you can literally hope on a workout at any time of day. There are multiple workouts with trainers across the country starting every 15 minutes and they are done via the Zoom platform. I haven’t done an in person workout so I can speak to have but if you like group workouts and the camaraderie that goes along with it, you will probably like Camp Galdiator. You trainer will have set days and times but you aren’t restricted to your personal trainer. The convenience of having a live class when it’s convenient for you is not something I’ve seen in other virtual fitness firms.

What to expect? CG is based on a 4 week camp broken down by weeks: Endurance, Strength & Agility, Interval and Peak Week. It all ends with community week and then begins again. It’s a combination of strength and cardio. Each class is live so that means each workout is different. These workouts will make you sweat. My typical calorie burn for the hour is somewhere between 400-600 calories depending on my input and the workout itself.

Last night’s workout! This was an interval workout.

You have a trainer who learns your fitness goals and helps you plan to meet them. Lauren sends text messages on what to expect and touches base for accountability. Lauren always offered multiple modifications on the exercises as well so it may be a tough workout, but it’s really meant for all levels of fitness.

Part of the fun is earning points for checking that you can use on equipment and other gear or clothes. They also run discounts on gear so I was finally able to get 20 pound weights for a really good price. The cost of the program is very reasonable and they run specials frequently. You can also get a referral code from a current camper or coach for more savings.

Email me at healthygirllawyer@gmail.com if you want a referral code for 4 free weeks!

My New Air Fryer & My Favorite Recipe Website

I am so excited that my new Air Fryer came yesterday after being back ordered for what seemed like forever. I wanted to take my air frying to another level, especially with my husband catching so much fresh fish lately.

My Breville Smart Oven

When I bought my first air fryer (which was the cheapest one with a decent rating on Amazon), I started with frozen fries and tator tots. Once I started to get the hang of it, I graduated to fried fish, pickles and zucchini. Then, I expanded into cookies, sausage and peppers and even burgers!

One source that I will be looking to for my recipes is Brandi’s website at Stay Snatched. She also has a great cookbook that is available through Amazon. Check out her links on her website to order. This is my go-to air fryer recipe site and everything I have made has been delicious. She is basically a magician in the way she turns comfort food and bar favorites into healthy and easy recipes. Check her out!

I’ll post some of the best recipes as I go so stay tuned. Let me know what your favorite air fryer recipe is!

April Goals

Everyone has goals they set for themselves but does everyone have a plan on how to reach those goals or to check in to make sure progress is being made? Do you have obtainable or fun goals as well?

April 1 is the beginning of the second quarter of the year so a great time to set goals but also to check the progress of previous goals. Look not only at the previous monthly and quarterly goals, but your annual goals as well. I do this for work and personal. When I review my annual goals, I will add certain action steps throughout the coming months to help me hit those monthly/quarterly/annual goals.

For monthly goals, I have a fun little add-on from my Happy Planner. I usually pick some fun goals for the month that I then track daily. For example, for March I had exercise, mindfulness and gratitude. For April, I have nutrition, productivity and eat more fruit! It’s a fun, daily challenge to add in positive habits to your busy life.

So go be a goal getter and happy second quarter!

Review of 21 Day Ultimate Reset

Back in January, when I decided to do Dry January, I thought why not couple it with the 21 Day Ultimate Reset. This program is by Beachbody and is touted as a no-starvation cleanse to help (and this is a direct quote) “restore your body to its optima; ‘factory settings.’” You can purchase the kit directly from Beachbody and comes with multiple supplements as well as a meal guide/cookbook to last the 21 days.

A Note: I did the Ultimate Reset last year, back in March and since we all remember how March 2020 went, you can imagine all of the good habits I was working on went straight out the window! I did more of the daily recipes then where I am doing more “Reset in a Crunch” or being repetitive with recipes for ease this time.

The Reset is broken up into three one-week sections: Reclaim, Release and Restore. There are daily recipes and each week comes with different dietary restrictions and enhancements as well as supplements. The first week, you have animal products until Day 4, and then you are vegetarian. By week 2, you are vegan and week 3, you cut out a lot of carbs and protein and are mostly eating fruits and vegetables. Some days your calorie intake is pretty low however this is offset by the lack of major physical activity. For example, if I eat 1000 calories on the Reset but only burn 50 calories doing restorative yoga, it is actually less of a deficit than the days I eat 1500 calories but burn 600 in an hour long circuit training class.

The supplements: You are also told to drink distilled water, adding a supplement called Mineralize to it. The other supplements are Revitalize (helps with digestion), Detox (supports natural detoxification and healthy liver function), Optimize (nutrient absorption) and Soothe (digestive health). Every afternoon you also drink Power Greens (helps support the body’s acid/alkaline balance). A note of caution: none of these claims are FDA approved nor do they have to be, so the descriptions are straight from Beachbody.

It is recommended that you don’t do strenuous exercise during these 3 weeks. Restorative yoga, walking, swimming and tai chi are all that is recommended. This is because your body is working harder on the inside and since exercise technically damages your muscles, you don’t want to ask you body to do too much. I personally did yoga every day of the Reset. This help me rediscover my love for yoga and well as it’s restorative benefits. This is one of the many things I have kept after the Refresh.

For a day by day description, scroll down, but if you want the summary, here it is. My digestion was immensely improved, almost immediately. Gone was the constipation and bloating. I also fall asleep much easier (and without interruptions, I sleep much better). As warned in the materials, I actually was able to process some emotional things as well. It’s amazing how much mental space you free up when you no longer have to think about what you are eating or what exercise you will be doing. I also lost almost 15 pounds. There were days I wanted to quit the restrictive diet and there were a few times I went off program (I blame Epcot) but overall stayed the course.

What am I left with, a few months down the road. I gained about 4 of the pounds I lost back and I was not surprised. I still can fit into all the clothes I could in mid-February. I drink much less alcohol than I did before. My snack cravings are still gone and my stress eating is a thing of the past. My digestion is still very good. I can fall asleep much better. I have a healthier relationship with food and myself! I will more write about that in the near future.

Final Thoughts: Will this Reset be the end all be all? Probably not. On the Facebook groups, people talk about how they do it every year because they ultimately fall back into old habits. Will this help if you are committed to making a major change? Absolutely. Will I do the Reset again? Probably not, although there are a few recipes I continue to use. I would recommend this to anyone that is looking to get some help in making a major dietary change or someone who wants to challenge themselves with dietary discipline. It’s akin do doing Whole 30 or something similar. You are going to change your diet and restrict many things you normally eat for a set period of time.

DAY BY DAY

Day 1 – I ate breakfast according to the plan but I ate a leftover FitLife lunch and instead of salmon according to the menu, I made a piece of salmon I had in the freezer. I also had a protein shake for an afternoon snack. Otherwise, I took all the supplements and water according to the timing required. I forgot that the Power Greens you take in the afternoon are a little gross but I think I added too much water to this blend so there was more to drink! I did 20 minutes of yoga and had a great night sleep without melatonin or any sleep aids.

Day 2 – I ate everything according to plan: oatmeal & blueberries for lunch, salad with chicken & pine nuts for lunch, a shake for a snack and Southwest veggie tacos for dinner. This is almost too much to eat for dinner and I am not able to finish it all. This dinner is one of my favorites and one I will repeat this week. I had a little headache throughout the day and I was so tired. Like laying on the couch not wanting to do anything tired.

Day 3 – Eggs, spinach & toast for breakfast, salad with pine nuts and miso soup for lunch, berries and yogurt with cinnamon for snack and the veggie taco again for dinner. You are allowed to repeat meals within the week you are in so I am definitely taking advantage of that! Tonight, I was able to finish the whole taco! I wasn’t tired today but did have a headache off and on throughout the day. I also did 30 minutes of yoga.

Day 4 – I slept terribly last night and woke up with a headache but it went away quickly once I drank some water in the morning. I repeated breakfast and lunch but missed my snack because of work meetings. I also had a lot of back pain today, like you feel when you are sitting too long. I remember I had this pain last time I did the reset and I think it has something to do with your kidneys working hard. Stirfry, quinoa and a sweet potato for dinner will make up for the missed snack.

Day 5 – I slept a lot better but the back pain was pretty intense. Upon waking and moving around, it felt better but I still utilized a heating pad through the day to help, especially since I had a lot of Zoom meetings today. Other than that, I felt great and the meals were really good. I ate mostly from the Reset in a Crunch list today. I had yogurt, oatmeal and berries for breakfast, a salad and miso soup for lunch, a shake for a snack and stir fry, brown rice and more miso soup for dinner (the actual day 5 dinner). I skipped the Nori Gomasio because I could never find the seaweed needed for the recipe, but that was minor. I ended the day with some yoga. (I am really enjoying the Apple Fitness app and will write a review down the road when I test out some more workouts.)

Day 6 – Still sleeping great but still having a little back pain so the heating pad worked well today. I repeated the oatmeal, berries, yogurt breakfast, had soup and salad for lunch again and repeated the veggie taco for dinner. No yoga today because I just decided to rest.

Day 7 – Last day of Phase 1 and I am feeling a clarity of mind and body I haven’t felt in a while. The back pain is gone and I’m feeling really good. I switched up my breakfast and had a chocolate protein shake (my preferred brand is Shakeology) with strawberries and it really tasted like chocolate covered strawberries. I always just mix my shakes with water. I’ve never been a big fan of milk in the shakes. Not sure why. I repeated yesterdays lunch and dinner for ease and fit that 30 minute yoga session in as well.

Day 8 – Beginning of Phase 2 – Release. Release changes the supplements a bit where it is adding in a Detox drink before each meal. It actually has a pleasant taste and it much easier to drink than the power greens! We also start cutting down on protein a bit. For breakfast, I had a giant plate of fruit. Today, I had pears, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries which surprisingly kept me full until lunch. I kept the same salad and miso soup but dinners are going to be more heavy on the veggies from now on. So today’s dinner was brown rice with pinto beans, steamed zucchini and green beans with lemon. I’ve been skipping the snack for the last several day because the meals are keeping me full and I just wasn’t hungry for an afternoon snack. I’m getting more consistent with the yoga but I actually did it in the morning today to ensure I fit it in. In case you were wondering about weight status, I am down a total of 5 pounds so far.

Day 9 – This plan is really becoming a habit now and it doesn’t feel restrictive at all. My daughter ordered lunch from Panera today and I wasn’t even slightly tempted to add on my favorite cookie! Instead, I had 1/2 serving of the pinto beans and rice from last night and a salad (in addition to my fruit breakfast). The salad recipe today called for toasted pumpkin seeds. I couldn’t find raw pumpkin seeds and the store so I purchased some already toasted. They tasted really good just out of the bag but putting them on the salad was a total fail – it just didn’t taste right. Next time, I will just eat these on the side (because I am definitely repeating the pinto beans again). For dinner, I was supposed to eat this homemade sweet potato bisque. My plan was to buy an organic sweet potato soup but of course the store was out of it. I instead substituted a butternut squash soup that was vegan. This was paired with some asparagus roasted with a small bit of olive oil and salt topped with almonds. This was by far one of my favorite veggies by far and one I will definitely keep around. Yes, I did my yoga but because of my terrible WiFi, the first session froze so I finished with a 10 minutes session so it wasn’t as satisfying as I was hoping for. I plan to make up for it tomorrow!

Day 10 – Almost halfway through. This isn’t feeling like I’m denying myself anything because the food is so good, but it could just be that I was definitely ready for it. In the Facebook groups, people are already dreaming about their Day 22 meals. The program recommends that you to the Refresh in reverse or at the very least to ease back into caffeine, animal proteins and alcohol. My plan is to do a full week of FitLife meals before going back into fully cooking for myself, just to keep on track. Anyway, Day 10 started off with the chocolate and strawberries shake. I had a salad with cucumber and some butternut squash soup. For dinner, I had a favorite: stir fried veggies with liquid aminos and a sweet potato. I also did 30 minutes of yoga.

Days 11, 12 & 13 – Fruit for breakfast, my salad and miso soup for lunch, shake and strawberries for a snack and a repeat of the stir fry for dinner. I miss the brown rice in the stir fry these past few days so I added it instead of the potato on Day 12 and have pinto beans and rice on Day 13 instead. 30 minutes of yoga both days.

Day 14 – Fruit for breakfast, Leftover pinto beans and rice for lunch and stir fry with rice for dinner. I skip the snack but fit in 30 minutes of yoga. End of Phase 2 – DOwn

Day 15 – Beginning of Phase 3, which means mostly fruit and vegetables. Fruit for breakfast and this is a huge plate of fruit! A salad with avocado and sunflower seeds on the side for lunch. No yoga today but the hip pain I’ve been feeling for years from running isn’t there today for the first time that I can remember. We end up staying the night at Disney and I forget my supplements so nothing tonight and tomorrow through dinner. We go to an all you can eat place but I stick with mostly veggies and salmon. I do have a cookie and a glass of wine, which ends up giving me a huge headache the next day.

Day 16 – Breakfast at Disney of pineapple, coffee and a mini Mickey waffle with peanut butter. For lunch, I cave because of my headache and get some Mongolian beef with broccoli and rice and nibble on an egg roll. For a snack, I pick a yogurt parfait with berries. I ended up skipping dinner because of the wine headache! No yoga but we did walk almost 20k steps around Epcot. I did drink the Power Greens when we got home around 6:30 and went straight to bed.

Day 17 – Back on the Refresh fully. Fruit for breakfast, salad with avocado and pumpkin seeds for lunch, 1/2 a shake and strawberries (1/2 shake is recommended in phase 3 to cut down on the protein) and stir fry, sweet potato and miso soup for lunch. I still have a headache from the wine two days ago, although it comes and goes throughout the day. I decide to do 45 minutes of yoga hoping to banish the headache through sweat. It doesn’t work.

Day 18: This is the first day I’m really feeling over it but I think it has more to do with my choice of being repetitive with the meals rather than the Reset itself. Maybe it was eating “regular food” on Saturday or the two-day headache from one glass of wine but I’m really looking forward to being done. I’m already planning some meals from Week 1, especially that veggie taco!

Days 19 & 20: I’m basically eating the same thing every day: Fruit, then salad and miso soup and ending with stir fry. Most days I am fitting in 1/2 a shake for a snack, some with strawberries, some without. Yoga has been a great addition, although I only fit in 10 minutes on Day 20.

Days 21 – Finally! I am so happy to be done that I actually add some shrimp in with my stir fry tonight. I also do the first workout of a new program instead of yoga but do incorporate stretching at night. It was nice to get in a good heavy workout and lift weights again.

Days 22 onward: I went back to Week 1 for my breakfast and lunch recipes, eating eggs and wheat toast for breakfast and making the Southwest taco into a rice bowl for lunch. I met some friends out for dinner so I ate a burger a little quicker than I planned but left out the bun and fries and instead ate brussel sprouts and beet humus. Instead of FitLife Foods, we started ordering from Hungry Root, which I will write more about later. I am more mindful about my fruit and vegetable intake, where I could easily not eat either on any given day. I plan for healthier snacks and overall feel really good!

My Favorite Breakfast: Protein Waffles

This is a new, easy breakfast which is perfect on those busy mornings.

My daughter loves a good Eggo waffle but I used to shy away from them because they weren’t “nutritious.” I was late to the game discovering protein waffles. There are mixes and frozen and if you look online, tons of great recipes filled with protein and fiber.

For this breakfast, I am using Kodiak blueberry frozen waffles. Kodiak is widely available and come in many varieties. I also like Birch Benders frozen waffles, but so far I have only found them at Whole Foods. For 2 waffles, Kodiak has a bit more calories and a gram more of protein but 11 or 12 grams of protein puts protein waffles on the same level as 2 eggs!

To complete the meal, I drizzle a little maple syrup, add fresh berries and then a dollop of whip cream on the top. This meal is around 350 calories. For macros, it’s 51% carbs, 35% fat and 14% protein. For comparison, 2 eggs, 1 slice of Killer Dave’s wheat toast and the same berries would be 304 calories (44% carbs, 33% fat, 23% protein). Adding butter to the toast overtakes the waffles in calories but makes it almost the same macros.

So don’t fear a sweet treat for breakfast and check out some high protein options!