What are whole foods?

I read a lot of blogs and Fitness instagram accounts and one thing that I have come across is that people say: ” I eat whole foods” to a picture of sliced almonds with Greek Yogurt and some fruit.

I tend to think that I eat a healthy diet with lots of whole foods, but I would never call it a whole foods diet. And when I say diet, I mean my daily foods. I am not on a diet. Yes I do count my calories and log my foods, but if I go over one day, it’s not the end. I try to eat very little processed foods. I do eat protein bars that a made from whole foods as I don’t eat Whey or soy products.

But here is my take on “Whole” foods, as the word says the foods should be Whole as in not cut up, unprocessed or as little as possible.
So Yogurt as healthy as it may be is not a whole food in my book, I know others may disagree, it is a healhty food, even thou I now believe that going dairy free is healthier, but to each their own. Greek Yogurt is also processed, as it is made from Milk. So there goes the Whole out the window. You say well then all foods are processed and yes you are right.
So technically there is no such thing as a whole Foods diet.

If you want to eat healthy, try to purchase as much produce as possible, pick lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish. This here is probably one of the few foods that I get processed, and it’s Egg Whites, I don’t want to waste so many egg yolks as I made a casserole every Sunday with 18 whites. So I do buy the carton, I also buy gluten free pasta, brown rice, lettuce in the clam shell, these are all good foods but they are processed.

So when someone says they are eating a Whole Foods diet I kind of giggle.

So make good Choices and eat healthy.

Love,

~Claudia

Toxic People and taking care of yourself…

In 2006 I joined a gym and lost 80lb in one year with the help of my amazing trainer and the great support of my husband and family.
then in 2008 I met this person and she was charming, seemed to be well traveled and was a Geek like me. We hit it off, and became fast friends. We worked togther to raise money for Charity. And I tried to be there for her thru all of her hardships. Hell I even took her 3 sibling in as foster kids for a full year and in the end, all I got from it, was heart ache, an almost destroyed marriage, very few friends and the 80lb. back on my body.
I was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety. And one day in January of 2012 I felt so indifferent that I almost did the unthinkable, but the faces of my two precious kids flashed into my mind and I decided that my story wasn’t over yet.  I tried for 3 more months to see if I was the problem, but come to find out, thanks to my wonderful sister, it wasn’t really me.
Well it sort of was, cause I wanted to please her, and wanted to help her and make everything right, the problem is, you can’t please a narcissist. They manipulate you into thinking that it’s all your fault, that you are the reason for anything that isn’t right. Well my sister and my husband helped me end the Friendship.
It felt like a divorce, as I didn’t even want to fight for the etsy business we had at the time together and just gave it to her. (needless to say, she went out of business after less than two years)
It is now 4.5yrs later, and I sometimes still mourn the good times we had, but then I look at this…

and realize I am no longer that person. It has taken me 4.5 years to find myself again, cause she literally detroyed my identity. She isolated me from friends. And some friends that still know me now, realize that I am actually a totally different person, inside and out. I am no longer this weak person and I will never let anybody do this to me again. 
In this Journey of healing I started to take care of myself again in this past year. I lost 45lb. and I still have ways to go, but I love myself. I love my smiles, I love my creativity, I love life. I still have depression, but it doesn’t run my life, I still get anxiety when a phonecall comes in, but not nearly as bad as it used to be. 
Taking care of yourself is important. Look at these two women, they are so different. And I love them both. Cause they are me. 
My journey is not over yet, but I am working on it every day and this is more about my mental healing and taking care of myself. When the mind is at easy the body will follow. At least for me that is true.
And I know people still tell me, you need to let this go. No I don’t, it is part of my life, even thou it was a very sucky part of my life, it is part of it. I am learning from it, I am letting go, I even feel petty for her. As she still tries her schemes on other people, but that is no longer a concern of mine. She is far away from me. 
I have build my life back up with my husband, my two kids, my family and my friends. I have some of my old friends that have stuck with me thru this and I have made a lot of new friends since then.
So here is to life after the Toxicity of a nasty person…
~Claudia
#alwayskeepfighting

Overnight Steel Cut Oats and Weekday Egg Bake

My husbands work has moved offices, so instead of a 40min commute he now has to leave the house at 5:20 am to sit on a bus for an hour.
So to help with cutting down time preparing breakfast we make these two recipes and that is what we eat for breakfast Monday – Friday. For the Oats you can add different fruits after, or maple syrup. We like to put a bit of diary free yogurt and some berries on it.

Here we go:

Overnight Steel Cut Oats:
1/2 Cup Steel Cut Oats (we use Red Mill’s)
1 Gala Apple grated (leave the core out, but I don’t peel mine)
1tbsp Coconut Sugar
1tsp Cinnamon
1 cup of unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
I have a small one quart crock pot that I used to use for queso, I put all the ingredients in and turn it to low at 10pm and my hubby has yummy oatmeal at 4:30am and then he turns it on warm and i have yummy oats at 6am.
Nutriton:
169 Calories, 32 Carbs, 3gr Fat, 4gr protein, 15 sugar

Weekday Egg Bake:
the reason I call this weekday egg bake, it cause I make it on Sundays and cut up the portions and then my husband and I heat it up in the morning in the micro wave.

1lb. Ground lean Turkey
2 cups of sliced Mushrooms
4 cups of Baby Spinach
1 Bell Pepper diced
one carton liquid eggwhites (20 servings)

Heat your oven to 350F. Brown the turkey in a pan and season to your liking, once browned add the mushrooms and bell pepper, sautee for a few minutes then add the spinach. Cook until the leaves wilt just a little bit. Then put the mixture into a 9×13 glass pan and add the liquid egg whites. Put in the oven for 40mins. Let slightly cool and cut. Put into a tupper ware and store in fridge.
Nutrition:
120 Calories, 2 carbs, 1gr. Fat 24gr Protein, 16gr Sugar

Bon Apetit:

~ Claudia

Can dieting have good food? Absolutely!!!

I have been asked a couple of times “How can you stick to a diet? Isnt’ the food boring? Aren’t you tired of eating the same thing all the time?”
My answer is NO, it doesn’t have to be.  So here is the thing. If I would just eat the same food over and over I would not have come this far. I get bored and I do love a challenge. There are two ways you can look at a change in eating habits. You can just take it as it is and complain about what you can’t eat, or you can do what I do and say ” Bring it on, Challenge accepted” and find a way to make favorites to fit into your plan.
These photos are just some examples, we have our fish taco bowl with no tortillas, a juicy burger on a gluten free bun and BBQ pizza with a sweet potato crust and no cheese. These are all very flavorfull dishes and they are within my dietary guidelines. So it is possible. And all of these take less then 45mins to make.
I am a busy mom and business owner and not always have time to make elaborate meals, so my goal is when I come up with a new recipe to make it easy and quick. Some of my recipes can be found on my blog http://cookingforjp.blogspot.com
I will be  adding more as I am finally back into a rhytm and have time to come up with yummy food.
Good luck and Bon Apetit…

~Claudia

Peanutbutter Banana Protein Pancakes… (dairy free and gluten free)

Every weekend my husband asks me to make Pancakes. Today was no different, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. So here is our delicious breakfast for under 300 Calories, loaded with goodness.

Ingredients:
6 eggwhites (I use all eggwhites)
1 cup of quick oates finely ground
1 scoop protein powder – I used Sun Warrior Blend  it’s Vegan
2 tbsp of PB2
1 medium banana
Makes 3 servings of about 3.5 pancakes

Directions:
Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then mush the banana with a fork and add all the ingredients to the egg whites. Fold everything together, don’t over mix, or the egg whites will loose their fluffyness and you will have a runny bater.
Then cook like regular pancakes.
Instead of syrup, I cook up some berries or Cherries with just a tad of water. And instead of butter, I put about 2 Tbsp of So Delicous Vanilla yogurt.
These pancakes are dairy free and gluten free

Nutrition for pancakes alone:
223 Calories,  30g carbs, 2.5g fat and 18.7g protein.

En Guete!
Claudia

update…

So it has been 2 months since had my surgery.  I had ups and downs, I have been trying to workout for a while now, but to no avail.  I also had quite a bit of stuff happening in my life. I opened a store with my business partner and we make custom apparel and stay tuned there will be some fitness gear with it as well.

I am excited to design some workout tanks for Geeks. 😀

School is also out now, which means I can now get my schedule back on track. As of today, my husband and I did some meal prep. I made a breakfast casserole and I am making overnight apple cinnamon oatmeal and I will post the recipe for both of them later here on this blog.

As of tomorrow I am back at the gym and I have got get going again on this, as I really wanna loose the rest of this weight and put this surgery behind me.

Wish me luck. <3

~Claudia

Day 1 back since surgery

Today has been the first day back at the gym since my surgery on March 24. So almost 2 months later. I went early in the morning and it felt like I had never left. My workout was all upper body and inbetween exercises I walked the length of the gym, just to keep my heart rate up. I didn’t finish the workout as I had only 1hr.
I felt a bit weak, had to go down on some weights, but hey that happens when you have not worked out in over 7weeks.
My foot is doing ok. I wearing a compression sock now as I am opening a store on Saturday and I am standing a lot. I hit my step goal of 7500 steps every day. 😀 which makes me happy. The reason I wearing it is, beginning of last week, I had quiet a bit of swelling in my foot, especailly on the incision site. Which makes walking difficult.
I also noticed that after a day at work, I have to do lots of stretching and flexing and the incision hurts. There is still nerve damage that is healing, I hate the burning tingly sensation, but it is what it is. I am just glad I am able to workout again and life is good.

Happy Lifting

~Claudia

4 weeks post op and the struggle is still real…

as you know 4 weeks ago I had surgery to remove a bones spur on top of my foot, it had been agitating me for 4 years. Well we are 4 weeks in and I haven’t not made it back to the gym as my foot keeps swelling.  As you can see in the picture, that was Friday (sorry for the terrible pedicure, but Ihaven’t been able to go). I am trying to elevate as much as I can, but I have work that has to be done and with a store opening soon, this is really putting a damper on things.

My food is ok, I haven’t been logging which I am changing today and I am trying to be better at my water intake. I have neglected that as well. My weight is fluctuating between 246 and 243, after this weekend (I had a convention, brought most of my food, but made decent choices) I have to get back to it. I hate not being able to do what I want/need to do for work and my body. I am trying to stay positive and but I can slowly feel the depression creeping up and I don’t want that. 
Also Today, 4 years ago I decided to end a 4 yrs friendship with a woman that abused, my good nature and took bits an pieces of me. It has been a very long road to build myself up again. But I am getting there. I have a pretty successful business, I am about to open a store with an amazing business partner and go on a new adventure. 
This weightloss Journey has done wonders for me, my self confidence has become stronger, (work in progress) I actually like some pictures of me, like this one. It was taken at the Renaissance Fair with my husband and I don’t look like a beached whale.
I still have a long ways to go, but Rome wasn’t build in one day and trying to find what was lost is taking a while, but it’s getting better, I have more days that are bright and filled with laughter, then the dark grey ones. And that is the goal. I know I live with the depression and the anxiety (both caused by the stress of aformentioned friendship) but I can manage it and live with it. Also this healthy lifestyle has contributed to the healing and the process. So me not being able to work out and blow off some steam is putting a damper on, but this time I know I can do it. I have an amazing support netwok and cheerleaders in my camp. And that is what counts. 
So please #alwayskeepfighting cause you story is not over yet… 
Much love,
Claudia

3 weeks Post Op and I walked a 5K…

Yeah you read that right…

I had signed up before surgery to do the #RunForIt5K from To Write Love On Her Arms and was able to raise over $500 in the process. That money will go and help people like me, that suffer from depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue.

I ran for Jared Padalecki, cause one year ago he started the conversation, with this #alwayskeepfighting shirt campaign. I now own all the shirts from each campaign and wear them as a daily reminder that my story is not over yet.

My foot held up really well I had to slow down, it took my husband and I almost 90mins to finish it, cause we walked so slow, but who cares we did it.

I feel confident enough now, to actually get back in the gym and keep going on this journey of mine that I started seriously on November 1st 2015. I am down from my heaviest weight in August 2015, which was 288lb to now at 244lb. But My goal is 180lb and see from there.

Keep going and #alwayskeepfighting