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Friday, January 29, 2016

Tired of the same options for lunch?...I have your problem solved!

I know when I am on Phase 1 it's always great to know of some different options to either grab a salad quick for lunch or to go out for dinner with my husband or some friends.  I don't know if some of you are familiar with PepperJax Grill!?! It's one of my favorite places to grab a salad when I am on the go!  It's located at 5200 Fountains Drive Cedar Rapids, IA.

They have so many great options for when you want to spice things up a bit.  They prepare your veggies and protein right in front of you on the grill.  They spray the grill with PAM cooking spray, and you have the option to have them clean off the grill for you so it's fresh when they prepare your protein and veggies.  They also will ask you if you want any seasoning on your veggies or protein. You don't have to get any seasoning if you don't want to, but I looked at the bottle of their seasoning, and it has NO calories, NO fat, NO carbs, and NO sugar...WIN! {The seasoning tasted delicious}

What I love doing for lunch is getting one of their fresh salads, and this time around I did the vegetarian option.  It's a great way to get your veggies in! I always ask for mushrooms, and peppers, and I ask them to double up on the veggies. They also have available jalapenos and onions, but remember we can't have cooked onions while on Phase 1, so I always say NO to onions.   If you're wanting to add protein to your salad you have the option of doing steak, chicken, or shrimp. After they prepare your veggies and/or meat, they then put it over the lettuce {don't be afraid to ask for more lettuce}. 

They have a wonderful selection of raw veggies that you can add to your salad.  I had them add more green peppers to my salad.  Instead of using a dressing I had them put the "mild" salsa over my salad! 

For $6.84, I got a delicious salad full of veggies! To get in my Ideal Protein food, I sprinkled my SW Cheese Curls over the salad to not only give it a kick, but it also adds a great crunch! I am surprised I got a picture of the salad, because I literally inhaled it! I have picked up salads from there for dinner and I have had their chicken and steak, and you can't go wrong.  Let me know if you went and checked this place out, I would love to know what you thought of it!

Looking forward to doing more blog entries and showing you all some yummy options if you're on the go!

Until next time friends,
Steph :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Moving through the phases and starting Farrell's

     It has officially 2 weeks since hitting my goal weight and losing 34 pounds.  My journey this time around on the Ideal Protein plan has been a little different.  In the past I wasn't mentally ready to make a lifestyle change.  I was "doing a diet" and when I got done I would go to some of my favorite things.  My problem has been that I go back to my favorite things and I eat my favorites to much and drink them to much.  It has been hard for me to find that middle point.  I can honestly say I feel the best mentally, physically and emotionally than I have in a long time or ever...
     I have control and I have figured out some of my faults. I'm dealing with them and staying ahead of the game.  It isn't always easy, but it has been so worth it!  I know that the glass of wine or cake ball is not going to help with whatever stressor I have in my life. It's not worth it to me to get off the straight and narrow. When I help clients get to their goal I recommend setting another goal.  I know that I had to set a goal of physical activity.  I love to work out but can't always find the time. My excuse is always I don't have time.  After realizing that the time is there I just need to utilize it properly.  I was given a 10 week session to Farrell's as a gift and the only time that would work for me was 5am.  I'm usually sound asleep and not up until at least 6. My next goal on this journey is to get some definition in my arms and tone my thighs.  I know it can be done. It is a little difficult to roll out of bed at 4am but I know that if I don't get up there are 40 other people in my class wondering where I am.  Maybe not 40 but at least 4 :)
     Right now I'm sticking with P2 of Ideal Protein.  I haven't had any alcohol, cake or chips and I'm fine without them at this point. I love having a plan and knowing what I can and can't eat. Work is extremely busy and eating a bag of veggie steamers and 8oz of chicken is very easy and satisfying. My coffee obsession remains and my daily goal of water is 100oz to flush some of the coffee! 
     As for anyone wanting to make a change and get on track with IP or back on track with the plan it is never to late. We are your biggest supporters and we WANT you to succeed more than you know. We really do care about you and want you to be healthy.  I know this program works and if you work the program you will see amazing results.
     My journey is far from being over and I will continue to blog and give tips and suggestions as to what I'm doing to stay on track and in control. Best of luck to you on your journey to good health!
My partner in crime :) Lindsay

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year! It's 2015

     2014 is behind us and I'm ready for what 2015 has to offer! 2014 was very good to me! It wasn't always a walk in the park, rainbows and butterflies or whatever you want to say but very good...  I did learn a few things! I think that is the most important. To learn from the lessons that life throws at us.  A couple things that I learned were... I need to find another way other than food to comfort myself when my boys get older and move away. My husband is great but it's not the same.  The lesson for me was that I really need to cherish the times together because we don't get that time back.  Kind of sad that it took me 30 some years to figure that out! I also learned that I am the only one that controls what I eat and drink! It's not anyone else's fault if I eat 5 cake balls and drink 3 glasses of wine. After the wine and cake balls are gone the problem is still there, the only thing gained was a few pounds! Finally, in 2014 I have finally figured out that I shouldn't sweat the small things. I spent countless hours on things that really don't matter! My life is very good and I'm beyond blessed with healthy boys, a silly loving husband, a wonderful job that I love and I'm happy!
     As for Ideal Protein and my weightloss journey I am still plugging away :) It is Jan 2, 2015 and we are VERY busy at work! I have heard probably 30 times today that clients got off track over the holidays and it's time to get back on the Ideal Protein plan. That is one of the many things I love about this plan. You have a lifetime membership here and your ALWAYS welcome back. As you know it works! It takes some planning and some time but so worth it! 
     Yesterday I took down the Christmas décor and prepped some food.  I made crockpot spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs, Cauliflower crust veggie pizza and cut up countless veggies.  I felt so accomplished and ready for the weekend.
     Spaghetti Squash and meatballs
1 large spaghetti squash
1 bag of turkey meatballs (1 pound)
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 cans no sugar added Hunts spaghetti sauce
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Clean spaghetti squash, cut in half and scoop out seeds.  Place cut side down in crockpot on low. Add meatballs, veggies, seasoning and sauce.  Cook on low for 5 hours, covered. When done cooking fork out the spaghetti squash and throw the outside away. Yumm! Makes 2 servings.

     Having my food prepped and ready is the best way for me to stay on track.  Otherwise I make quick unhealthy choices. I shop at Aldi's for all my veggies, turkey meatballs, eggs, tuna, fish and chicken breasts. It is very inexpensive and very good quality. Don't forget your grocery bags and quarter for a cart.
     I hope you all are back on track with whatever program works best for you.  My trust is in Ideal Protein 100%! There are lots of other great programs out there but this one works best for me. I see quick results and I need that :)
     Happy 2015! I hope you make this year the healthiest yet!

                                                                   Kissing 2014 goodbye!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Whew... I maintained over Christmas!

     Well, I did it! I am a little amazed that I didn't gain over Christmas! As of Dec 21 I was down 29 pounds and 3.3% bodyfat. I had been on plan for 50 days and I THOUGHT I was in need of a little splurge.  I did a quick phase off so that I could have some of my holiday favorites... I did phase 2 for 2 days, phase 3 for 2 days then was on P4 (maintenance) for 3 days.  I chose not to have any alcohol because I knew that it would lead to some EXTREME cheats. I did have a few Christmas cookies, stuffing, 2 Tom and Jerry's and coconut cake (over the 3 days).  For the first time in many years I didn't feel like I was going to explode after the holiday feast. I tolerated all my wonderful family members just fine without the glasses of wine I drank in the past. I felt good, no guilt or shame due to the food coma I had experienced in the past. All 3 days I took note of the calories in the extra food I ate. It was scary! Each Peanut butter blossom has 150 calories! Stuffing, 200 calories and coconut cake a whopping 450 calories, depending on the size!  It made me keep things in moderation when I was aware of the calories in some of my favorite foods!
     Yesterday was a beautiful day and I wanted to test out my new running shoes santa brought me. My ambition got the best of me, I jogged to Linn Mar which was around 2.5 miles and when I got there I realized that I had to jog home.  My running shoes were great but my thighs were calling for help. After more than an hour I got home and my husband asked if I got lost. He reminded me that it was September the last time I jogged. My response was quick when I told him I was 30 pounds heavier and I'm not THAT out of shape.  I walked to the bathroom with confidence and about collapsed as I shut the door to the bathroom! My joints were sore, my back hurt and my thighs were calling for help! The rest of the day was pretty mellow and low key.  Riley and Noah had a couple of friends stay the night and I needed a little time to myself. Santa had also brought me a new avocado mud mask, hair ties and candles. I put on some relaxing music, lit the candle and filled the tub with warm water. My joints needed some relief so I added some lavender essential oil, baking soda, Epson salt and fresh ginger. After soaking for about 10 minutes Noah was beating on the door needing to use the bathroom, the other one was occupied.  I covered up opened the door. He screamed because of the mask on my face. We both laughed and my peaceful bath had come to a screeching hault. Oh the joy of having kids :)!
     As of today, It is Monday and I'm back at phase 1. The scale was staring at me when I walked into work today and I couldn't avoid it. I weighed myself and was very relieved that it was the same as last week! Thank goodness! As for today I packed a large amount of veggies, water bottle and I'm drinking a cup of Detox total tea as I write. Overall I'm feeling great! I'm still in the proper ideal protein state of mind and wanting to take another 10-15 pounds off. My goal is also to get up 3 days a week and do some sort of physical activity (yoga, stretching, elliptical) & drink 80oz of water everyday. Life is good and I feel good! Good luck to you if you are on track or getting back on track! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a Happy New Year?!? I'm excited for what 2015 has to offer!!!
                  Audi surprised me and came home 2 days early from the Air Force :) So happy to have my family together!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Staying focused! 42 days and going strong!

     Whew, It has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks! We went to Biloxi, Innovative Aesthetics Open House,  Christmas shopping, packing, boys basketball games, practices and we moved. Oh yeah, work :) Lots going on! It hasn't been always easy but I am happy to say that I have stayed on track and not cheated! As those of you that have done the Ideal Protein program in the past you know that your not very hungry on the diet. I have some temptations but I know that If I start to have cheats or BLT's (bites, licks and tastes) It will snowball out of control and I will be eating like past years before I know it! My biggest struggle the past couple of weeks has been remembering to eat. Robert has reminded me on multiple occasions and made me stop and take a breather.  Precut veggies from Hy Vee have saved me on more than one occasion. I have also eaten Subway salads, Jimmy Johns unwich, pickles and rotisserie chicken from Sams, Fresh Market and Hy Vee.  I have not made many recipes mainly because lack of time but I couldn't find my pans for a couple of days. I wouldn't have thought it could've been done, but I have done it!
     In past years the month of December is a free for all! I eat like I have never eaten before and I may never eat again. Kind of like Will Farrell in Elf... I often gain at least 5-10 pounds every December knowing that I will be dieting in January.  I remember one year I ate so many sugar cookies (30) that I actually got sick. I LOVE sugar cookies, my Aunt Gails are AMAZING! I also love pb kiss cookies, chocolate covered pb balls and pb filled ritz crackers covered in chocolate... Oh yeah, &&& wine!   My mouth just literally watered! Anyway, I have had all of my favorites before and I can do without this year. I'm still watching my favorite holiday shows, looking at Christmas lights, listening to Christmas music and looking forward to spending family time together.
I have said this in past posts but I am in the right state of mind. I know I can do this! Not thinking about what I can't have but what I can have, living day to day!
If your doing phase 1 right now or you are waiting until Jan 1, 2015 I understand. All of us here at Innovative Aesthetics are here for you and will be for years to come. I hope regardless of what your doing your enjoying the holiday season, your family and the people you love most! Happy Holidays :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December is here!

     Please accept my apologies as I haven't posted for the past couple of days.  I can't find many more hours in the day! Since getting home from Mississippi I have been running from morning til night! Catching up on work, packing, sorting, painting and driving back and forth from the NW side of CR to Marion. By the time I sit down at night I can't even think of what to write and as I write now, I am thankful for spell check! Robert is out of town for work, which is a good thing. I seem to get more done when he's not distracting me trying to be silly.
     This week I'm very thankful for premade drinks, my camelback and Hy Vee. Each morning I have been drinking a premade chocolate drink along with a stiff cup of coffee. It is extra bold, I warned Sherri our laser specialist that I may have hair on my chest after drinking the bold coffee this week (just kidding) :/ The boldness of the coffee is keeping me on point as I run around like a chicken with my head cut off!
     Thank goodness for precut veggies in the produce section at Hy Vee.  I have been living on fresh cut peppers, broccoli and zucchini.  I even bought pre boiled eggs Monday night, Robert would be so irritated that I didn't boil my own.
     Monday night Noah and I stopped at Los Glorias and had dinner. I took Salt and Vinegar crisps and dipped in fresh pico and salsa. For dinner I chose the shrimp and chicken salad, with no cheese/sour cream/guac.  I could eat this salad daily, its DELISH! After dinner I had to go through countless totes and drawers of clothes that I never wear. I counted 22 pairs of jeans ranging from size 8-14.  I even had a tote of paint clothes that haven't been worn in 5 years. After filling the back of my vehicle with clothes, shoes and boots for Goodwill I was exhausted and ready for bed.  
     Tuesday I had a half day and I was determined to get the new house cleaned and bedroom painted.  I cleaned the upstairs and went to the basement to clean. No one has lived in the house for close to a year.  It wasn't 'dirty', just needed a good scrub. I turned a light on in the basement bedroom and a fairly large spider crawled across the floor. FYI, I HATE spiders! I quickly smashed it with my painting shoes and headed to the closet to sweep.  I noticed a couple more Charlottes! Then I turned around and ran face into a web! I probably would have been on funniest home videos if someone was filming.  I screamed, flung my arms around and ran upstairs. I was done in the basement until the Orkin man could come out Wednesday morning. Off to the bedroom to paint.  Painting is something that I don't mind, but takes time.  After taping and painting the first wall I had enough. There were to many other things on my list to do and painting was taking to much time. I called a local painter and he agreed to come out Thursday for a small fee :( Once again, Robert would not be happy if he knew I had an Orkin man or Painter coming over to take care of the things he would normally do.
     After cleaning, painting and getting the spider web out of my hair I was ready to go home.  It was 8:30 and I was starving. I stopped at Hy Vee and they were out of rotisserie chicken. I was bummed! So I skimmed the warm food at the deli. I would have loved some chicken strips, jello fluff and mashed potatoes but I didn't give into temptation! I went with the shriveled salmon and pencil thin overcooked asparagus, I was starving so I didn't really care. I could've eaten the leather off the bottom of my shoe!
     Today was a busy but good day! Premade chocolate for breakfast and coffee. I had a lunch meeting at Popoli's and chose the Cobb salad with no cheese and oil/vinegar. It was very good but lacked 8oz of protein that I was hoping for.
  When I returned to work Janette made roast beef in the crockpot for sampling Wednesday and I had a couple ounces to complete my protein consumption for the day. Mid afternoon I was craving something sweet. The apple cinnamon oatmeal was a perfect fix! Dinner consisted of a big salad, warm chocolate shake and packing :)
     The past 3 days I haven't prepped the best but that is where you have the option to pay someone else to do it for you :) I'm happy I have that option! Tomorrow is our Winter Open House at Innovative Aesthetics and it is going to be a FULL, BUSY, LONG day! I love the open houses every year! I love seeing existing clients and meeting new! It makes me so proud to be part of an awesome company!
   By now my Christmas décor is usually up and I have watched Polar Express 10 times (at least)but not this year. The only tree I have up is the one plugged into my computer. It is keeping me in the holiday spirit along with Christmas favorites on Pandora. Feeling good that I have stuck to plan and not given into the busy, no planning cravings that I have given into in the past. I will keep plugging away and keeping a smile on my face :)


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Days 28,29,30... Southern living

     Shopping, family time, restaurants, New Orleans and driving... That is what the past 3 days have consisted of. It has been a great trip full of laughs and memories. Sad that I have to leave Audi again but yet so proud of him! 
     I see LOTS of clients throughout the week at work and I'm so impressed with the honesty that is shared with me! So... I have to make one confession, if I don't I would have some major guilt! I stuck to plan 99.9%. I ate 3 non restricted IP's Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Mainly because the boys ate my PB bars but also because we ate out for dinner all 3 days. Not knowing what herbs, spices, butter was added to my dinner I wanted to keep it safe. I stuck with veggies & southern seafood. I tried okra, crawfish & collard greens for the first time. We visited New Orleans an Bourben street & everyone said that we had to try a beignet. This was my first time in New Orleans and I wanted to try a bite just to say I've tried one.  My one little cheat was a bite of a beignet. Whew, I feel better!!! In the past I would've eaten an entire one or maybe two. It was very similar to a funnel cake. 
As you can see in the picture I'm drinking a coffee from the French Quarter and Robert is enjoying a 2$ 'big ass beer' so they called it :) 
     We had a great time & the boys saw a couple firsts on Bourben Street. We walked around for a few hours but left before things got out of control. 
      I'm happy to get home and dive in to a busy week ahead of me! I have to finish painting at the new house, finish packing, Innovative Aesthetics Holiday Open House Thursday & move to Marion! Lots to do! I'm planning for rotisserie chicken & Hy Vee's salad bar this week. 
     Remember that I don't want you to have cheats, BUT, if you do, you can always wipe the slate clean and start fresh! Have a great week! 
Bourbon Street with the family ❤️
Beautiful day in New Orleans