Grocery Shop Chronicles-Month Two

Clean Eating

IMG_0710

It’s been a full month since I had to go grocery shopping for everything. However, this time around, I am not shopping for the whole month. Instead, I decided to shop weekly. I tried keeping my $50 budget,but, missed it by $23. (Lean cut meats and other clean eating related items are not cheap). Some of the items pictured above do last me a month or two (so the extra cost is worth it).

Here are a few tips that I followed this time around:

  • Have a meal plan already written out (pictured below)

IMG_0714

  • Look at store ads for deals
  • Stay on track in terms of your grocery list. I did this mostly. However, I brought a dinner salad because I knew that I didn’t want to cook that evening
  • Look for fruits and veggies that are in season. Everything does not need to be organic (make sure that you’re getting a deal with both conventional and organic)

Here are some of the deals that I was able to score:

Earth Fare

Silk Almond Original Milk                                                                                       $2.50

Hass Avocado (2)                                                                                                       $2.00

Organic Bananas ($0.68/lb)                                                                                   $1.12

Organic Sweet Potatoes ($1.59/lb)                                                                        $2.67

Publix

Tasti-Lee Tomatoes (5 in Container)                                                                   $1.99

PB2 Powder                                                                                                               $4.89

Sirloin Steak ($6.69/lb)                                                                                          $6.96

NAM DAE MUN Farmer’s Market

Small Fuji Apples ($0.99/lb)                                                                                $1.33

Cucumbers ($0.39 each)                                                                                       $0.78

Blueberry Pack                                                                                                        $1.99

Kroger

Salmon                                                                                                                    $6.99

Fage Greek Yogurt  (Sale- 2 for $6)                                                                 $3.00

Hummus                                                                                                                $2.99

Red Grapes ($1.68/lb)                                                                                        $3.16

Mango                                                                                                                    $0.99

Mini Peppers Pack                                                                                              $2.99

Assi Farmer’s Market

Strawberries 1lb Pack                                                                                        $2.50

Asparagus ($2.99/lb)                                                                                        $3.02

Celery (Pack)                                                                                                       $0.99

Trader Joe’s

Whole Wheat Wraps                                                                                        $2.99

Salsa                                                                                                                    $1.79

Crumbled Feta Cheese                                                                                    $2.99

Cocoa Powder                                                                                                   $2.49

Spinach (in a bag)                                                                                           $1.99

Organic Carrots  (in a bag)                                                                           $1.69

Southwest Salad-Dinner                                                                               $3.99

Total including tax                                                                                         $72.36

Motivational Friday: You Decide

Clean Eating, Fitness
(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

As the weekend approaches,  all I think about is my splurge (cheat) meal and which workout I’ll do during my two recovery days. Most of us who are on this journey have gotten our workouts in, ate clean, and kept at it regardless of how the week went.

So, the question is, how are you going to treat yourself. ( You should treat yourself one day.) Deprivation is not the way to go. I didn’t have my Splurge day last Saturday. Believe me when I say that I am going all in this weekend. I don’t know exactly what I’ll have but here are some of my options:

  • Fudge Brownie Gelato
  • Gyro (Chicago Style) with Fries
  • Double Cheeseburger from a Maxwell style restaurant
  • Wings
  • Dunkin Donuts Frozen Caramel Latte
  • ColdStone Ice Cream Mix

The list goes on. One thing that I don’t want you to do is to over indulge. I’ll remember to not do so also.

Rules for Splurge Day:

  • Get in your workout (Mines will be 3.1 Miles on the treadmill)
  • Drink the required amount of water your body needs
  • Pick one item/meal before going out and stick with it

Have fun this weekend and have fun splurging!

Weekly Challenge: Eating 5 to 6 Meals Each Day

Clean Eating
Some of my meals and snacks that I absolutely enjoyed making and eating!

Some of my meals and snacks that I absolutely enjoyed making and eating!

Last week, I began the BeachBody’s 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge. This challenge consisted of eating 5 to 6 small meals daily, working out at least 30 minutes each day with two recovery days (I also did 3.1 Miles on the treadmill for 5 days), and just being fully committed (checking in, completing daily tasks).

I absolutely loved being a part of this challenge group. Everyone was (still is) extremely supportive of one another. We shared our setbacks and victories with one another. I love the fact that we became like a little family.

In result of completing this challenge, I lost a total of 8 pounds. I learned the importance of meal planning and eating smaller meals. I actually felt fuller than ever. I learned how to not be hard on myself when something doesn’t go as planned. I ended up not craving my splurge meal as much as I thought I would have.

If you are interested in being in the next 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge, leave a comment on here or on the Love Sparks Strength Facebook page or Facebook Message me. I’ll let my  BeachBody coach know and we will go from there.

Here is the meal plan, shopping list, and circuit workout I completed during the 7 days. (You have to download the Shopping List and Meal Plan to see them)

Group Challenge Workout:
2 min to warm up: jog or march with high knees in place
Jumping jacks – 2×50 reps
Push-ups – 2×5 reps
Planks – 2×20 second hold
Squats – 2×20 reps (use dumbbells to make it harder if you have them)
Crunches – 3×10 reps
Burpees for time – 1 minute
Chair dips – 2×10 reps
Standing calf raises – 2×20 reps
2 min jog or march with high knees in place
2 min cool down: walking/marching slowly in place

7day-clean-eating-meal-plan-2

7-day-shopping-list-2

Stay tuned to my next weekly challenge.

Much Love,

Christina

Furious 7 Splurge

Clean Eating, Fun Adventure Tales

(Photo Credit: GStyle Mag)

Last Saturday, as some of you know I went to see my boy P-Dub (Paul Walker) in his last film, Furious 7. I am a huge fan of the Fast and Furious franchise. I just love the whole FF Family, their bond, and love for each other.

Saturday is my day to indulge. I usually don’t overdo it because I want to stay within my caloric count for the full week. This time around, I enjoyed everything that I had. I started with my 3.1 Miles on the treadmill. I had to burn off the calories that I was putting into my body. Before my mom and I went to Studio Movie Grill (love this theater by the way), I went online and looked at their menu. Surprisingly, it had a good amount of healthier options for me (which I was very happy about). I decided that I was getting cheese fries and the Blackened Chicken Salad.

(Half Size Order of the Cheese Fries, perfect portion-Seasoned Fries, Queso, Green Onions, Bacon, and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing on the side)

(Half Size Order of the Cheese Fries, perfect portion-Seasoned Fries, Queso, Green Onions, Bacon, and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing on the side)

IMG_0584

(Blackened Chicken Salad-Mixed Greens, Blackened Chicken, Roasted Corn, Red Onions, Hickory Bacon, Cherry Tomatoes, Blue Cheese, Cilantro, Tortilla Straws, and Chipotle Ranch Dressing)

After this feast, I headed over to Krispy Kreme to get a Easter-themed donut. I was there earlier in the week but didn’t want to indulge. I also had a small slice of chocolate pie (oh my I can still take the chocolate and whipped cream. It was so good) before making cupcakes with the kiddos at church. (That was a ton of fun. Our kids are talented artists).

Overall, I didn’t indulge too much. I made sure not to feel guilty and also to drink 100 o of water (my daily intake).  My tip for you for this upcoming weekend is to pick your “cheat meal” (I like to call it a splurge) before you even head out. Trust me, it will be so much easier for you to enjoy that meal and not worry about how many calories you are packing on a particular day. Also remember especially if you are on a particular diet/eating plan, don’t deprive yourself of your favorites. If you do, you will crave them a lot more.

Have fun splurging this weekend.

Much Love,

Christina

Weekly Challenge: Meatless Monday

Clean Eating

So Last Monday, I decided to participate in Meatless Monday. It was a bit challenging since I didn’t have many options or ingredients for making certain dishes. However, I succeeded and I look forward to doing another Meatless Monday once I am done with my 7-Day BeachBody Clean Eating Plan (post about that coming soon). Below are items I prepared. I thoroughly enjoyed making the Mexican Stuffed Peppers (recipe at the bottom).  They were very delicious and just enough to fill me up.

Anyone who is interested in incorporating a Meatless Monday into their plan, Pinterest will be your new best friend.

(Breakfast Smoothie with Vanilla Protein Powder, Cup of Coconut Milk (from the can)Kale, Strawberries, and Blueberries)

(Breakfast Smoothie with Vanilla Protein Powder, Cup of Coconut Milk (from the can)Kale, Strawberries, and Blueberries)

IMG_0547

Salad-Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Carrots, which 2 Tablespoons Bleu Cheese Dressing). 32 oz of Water

Mexican Stuffed Peppers. My fave. (Recipe at the bottom)

Mexican Stuffed Peppers. My fave. 

Mexican Stuffed Peppers (Recipe by Emily at One Lovely Life)

Ingredients

4 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
1c quinoa or brown rice, uncooked
½ medium onion, diced
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles (don’t drain)
¼c cilantro, minced
¼tsp salt
¼tsp pepper
olive oil, if desired
½c Monterrey Jack, grated*
½c cheddar cheese, grated*
1 recipe red enchilada sauce (or 1 (28oz) can)*

Instructions

1.Add quinoa/brown rice and onion to a large saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, cover, turn off heat and let steam 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
2. In the meantime, microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften slightly. (Prepared this way, the peppers should come out crisp-tender. If you want them crisper, you can omit this step.)
3. Pour quinoa or brown rice/onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in black beans, tomato, green chiles and their juices, cilantro, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. If the mixture seems to dry, drizzle in a bit of olive oil (I didn’t need any).
4. Pour enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ baking dish. Divide filling among peppers. Nestle stuffed peppers into the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses.
5. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.

I hope that you are enjoying your Monday and as always, thank you for checking out Love Sparks Strength.

Much Love,

Christina

Grocery Shop Chronicles-Month One

Clean Eating

IMG_0499

Last week I started my clean eating process. I vowed to not have any processed foods. (I did learned though that some of the healthier choices are some-what processed). I had a fun time shopping for fresh and colorful foods. I went to a total of 6 stores, some that are health-conscious and some that are just the regular brick-and-mortar stores. One particular store I went into (Whole Foods) had fruit and veggies waiting for me as soon as I step into the entrance. I was happy to stay on the right eating path. Everyone knows that you buy way more then you intended to buy when you don’t eat beforehand.

IMG_0497

(A medley of fruit and easy fried sample of crab cake)

I have included the prices and places I brought the items for my new eating lifestyle.

Earth Fare (fairly new health-concious store Gwinnett County, GA) 

Can of Bush’s Black Beans         $0.88

Organic Braeburn Apples           $1.78/lb

Organic Strawberries                   $3.98/pack

Organic Bananas                           $0.77/lb

Bag of Carrots                                 $0.79

Mangoes                                           $5/4

Bell Pepper (Colors)                       $3/2

Publix

Can of Coconut Milk                        $1.78

Cottage Cheese (L)                            $1.97

Trader’s Joes 

Pure Protein Shake                             $1.99

Fage Greek Yogurt (L)                        $3.59

Thyme Herb                                          $1.69

Rosemary Herb                                     $1.69

Chives Herb                                           $1.69

Dill Herb                                                 $1.69

Whole Wheat Penne                             $1.49

Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells              $2.99

Whole Wheat Spaghetti                       $1.49

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough                 $1.19

Cage-Free Eggs                                     $2.99

Organic Raw Honey                            $5.99

Whole Foods 

Organic Dijon Mustard            $1.99

Organic Tomato Paste               $0.99

Organic Tomato Sauce               $0.99

Diced Green Chiles                      $1.29

Kroger

Frozen Brocoli Cuts                     $1.00

Frozen Corn                                  $1.00

Frozen Mixed Peppers                $1.00

Brown Rice                                    $1.69

Chicken Breast                             $1.99/lb

Salmon (Frozen)                          $6.49

Romaine Lettuce                          $0.99

Asparagus                                      $1.99/lb

Nam Dae Mun Farmer’s Market 

Tomatoes                                       $0.79/lb

Pineapple                                       $2.49

Key Lime 2lb Bag                          $1.99

Red Onions                                     $0.69/lb

Clementines                                    $0.49/lb

Green Onions                                 $1.99/5

Cilantro                                            $0.29

Blueberries                                      $1.99/pack

Minced Garlic Cloves                     $0.99/Jar

Small Sweet Potatoes                     $0.59/lb

Green Jalapeno                                $0.79/lb

Wal-Mart

Frozen Cooked Shrimp                    $6.48/pack

Stevia (100 Pack)                               $5.28

1/2 Pound Haverti Cheese                $2.79

1/2 Pound Oven Roasted Turkey     $2.93

1/2 Honey Maple Turkey                   $3.56

Overall, I spent around $135 including tax. Most of these items will last me a couple of weeks. I would need to buy my fruits, veggies, chicken breast, and deli meats and cheese often because I eat these the quickest.

I understand that starting on a clean-eating plan can be difficult. By buying my favorite fruits, veggies, and ingredients for inspired dishes, it becomes easier to eat better. I am also using this shopping list (shown below) created by Lauren Lives Healthy. I like this list because it’s realistic and you can buy most of these items at any store.

0e7cb88a9cde1990c32e391f0b607a80

Clean Eating is a process just like everything else. Once you get into the swing of it, it will become easier.

Much Love,

Christina