Friday, November 13, 2015

The Start of My Journey and What I'm Drinking Now {recipe}

I love Starbucks' fancy sugary drinks. I'll admit it. I actually prefer to find local coffee shops to get my drinks, but let's face it. I have 3 young boys and a peaceful afternoon, spent relaxing at a local coffee shop just doesn't happen often for me anymore. Enter Starbucks. All of my local Target stores have one. Super convenient. I can get the little ones some cake pops to keep them happy quiet for a minute, then indulge in my favorite Starbucks beverage, along with a cake pop of my own (who am I kidding? They were a favorite of mine as well!). And since I like visiting Target 1-2 times a week at a minimum, my Starbucks consumption was starting to get a bit out of hand. I definitely contribute part of my recent balloon in weight gain to them. That plus a nightly glass of moscato, or riesling, and desserts as I pleased, and I was soon staring at a number on the scale that I had never before seen. Ouch. Enter Beachbody.

I've tried other things in the past for losing weight. It's a constant battle. I haven't been a skinny girl since I was probably 9 years old, despite staying active playing sports in Jr. High and High School, then also in college, too! They're usually fairly successful, but committing to them long term has always been a problem for me. The being preggo 3 times didn't help either though these past 7 years. I'm usually able to lose the baby weight fairly quickly, but after weaning my youngest this spring, and not being preggo for a change, I found my weight climbing regardless. It was time to do something. Looking back at what I'd learned in college/grad school, using the stages of change theory, I was there. I was finally ready to commit to a lifestyle change. I was ready for action. So I contacted my friend, Angela, a Beachbody coach, and told her I was ready to try the 21-day fix. And so began my journey.

I'm currently part of a 90-day challenge to challenge myself to lose weight this holiday season vs putting on another 10-15 lbs of holiday weight, because there was no way my body could take any more weight! I'm getting rid of the #excessbaggage. I'm now a month into my journey (in the middle of my 2nd round of Beachbody's 21-day fix). I've lost 10 lbs and I am so much stronger already than where I started. My measurements are down and I'm feeling good. Some days, it is still rough to wake up and workout at 5:30 am before the kids gets up, but I always feel better if I do. I love that I can workout in the comfort of my own home. Gyms have never really been my thing and with Josh traveling quite a bit, the opportunity for me to conveniently visit one regularly is just not possible. The 21-day fix workouts are challenging, but have the ability to be modified, if needed. It's a range of workouts from total body cardio, to upper body or lower body focuses, pilates, and even yoga. I love it. Well, not always (some mornings I still yell at Autumn), but for the most part I do. ;) For me, I would much rather do the workouts than go out and run a few miles. That's just not my cup of tea. The meal plan is easy to follow, too. You just figure out your target number of calories, which corresponds to the number of containers you get for the day. I still get to eat plenty of food and I never feel like I'm starving. I'm fueling my body with awesome, wholesome foods, which makes a difference in how I feel. I no longer feel lethargic all day, with killer heartburn in the evenings. I feel good. It shows, too. My skin has been looking great as well! The saying "you are what you eat" really is so true.

Before pics on left, after pics on right - these were my results after just 21 days!

I was so happy that as a part of this challenge, I don't have to give up coffee. But, I'm not a huge fan of drinking it black, with just a little sweetener. Enter Shakeology. I am still enjoying my coffee, my much needed source of caffeine (hello, I have 3 little, high-energy boys, remember?!?), and I'm not feeling a bit guilty about it. Why is that? Because by adding it to my shake, which is an amazing nutrient-dense drink, it's like drinking a frappuccino, but without all the extra calories and sugar. And mine includes an amazing amount of nutrients, too. Take a look...

To make my shake, I use 8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop shakeology, 1/2 tsp Pure Via turbinado raw cane sugar/stevia blend, 2 espresso ice cubes, and 4 regular ice cubes. Blend and enjoy!

To make espresso ice cubes, simply take 1 shot of espresso and put it in an ice cube tray and freeze! It's really that simple. I recently had a Starbucks free reward to redeem (you get one after every 12 purchases), so you guessed it - I had them fill a venti-sized cup with straight espresso. That's 20 ounces, or 20 shots, of espresso! What a steal! ;) And that will last me for 10 shakes. :) I love how when you freeze it, it doesn't dilute at all. It's an almost buttery little cube of caffeine when you get it out of the tray. Yum. It keeps the drink nice and strong like an actual frappuccino vs using just brewed coffee.

My Vanilla Espresso Shake has just 171 calories vs the 370 in the Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino (which is one of the lowest in calories of their frozen drinks by using nonfat milk and no whipped cream). It also has just 9 g sugar vs the 86 g in the frappuccino. Yes, you read that correctly 86 GRAMS!! Mine also offers 4 g of fiber and 17 g of protein! That doesn't even touch on the plethora of vitamins and minerals it has as well. It is truly a meal in a glass. And it's what I'm drinking now!

I still have a long, long way to go before I'm at where I want to be. Where I need to be. But at least I'm moving in the right direction now.