I am Jen, Jen I am

my journey towards happy and healthy healing…inside and out!

Archive for the category “#Back2Basics”

plans, plans, plans

dinners this week:

Sunday: Sirloin, Biz’s Broccoli AuGratin over baked Potatoes

Monday: Taco Salad (with Black Bean Salad Topping)

Tuesday: Chicken Bruschetta Bake and salad.

Wednesday: Leftovers/On-their-own Night (I have a union dinner/meeting)

Thursday: Chili Cornbread Casserole and salad.

Friday: Honey-Ginger Chicken Thighs, rice and green veg.

Saturday: Hamburger Buddy and salad.

Lunches this week:

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

Fancy Salads (not really, just normal stuff)

Workouts this week:

get thy ass to the gym every day and do SOMETHING!


plans, week of 5.6.12

At the Table:
  • Sunday: Lasagna & Salad
  • Monday: Veal Paprika with cous cous topped grilled, garlicky squash
  • Tuesday: Ham & Cheese Chicken Rollups, squash fritters, and something…not exactly sure yet.
  • Wednesday: Dinner out (probably a local seafood restaraunt) to celebrate my 5th anniversary!
  • Thursday: Meatloaf & mashed potatoes (made with laughing cow french onion cheese) and green veg.
  • Friday: Baked Parm & Herb Chicken, salad, and green veg
  • lunches & breakfasts: crustless quiche (my own concoction, sweet potato soup, salads, homemade coleslaw & smoked chicken (my mom just dropped one off)

At the Gym:

  • Monday: NROLFW, S2, WO B#2 + elliptical
  • Tuesday: zumba or elliptical
  • Wednesday: NROLFW, S2, WO A#3 + elliptical
  • Thursday: yoga or elliptical or both
  • Friday: NROLFW, S2, WO B#3
  • Saturday: elliptical
Last week, I only did NROLFW twice instead of 3 times. I didn’t make it to any classes but I did elliptical twice. I call this a WIN! If I hit the gym 4 days this week, I can call it consistency!!

May Goals Update:

  • 4 solid workouts every week:  1/4 weeks – nailed it! 
  • morning stretches: 2/6
  • nightly ankle stretching and icing: 5/6
  • tracking everything, every day: 6/6
  • night-before packing/planning/to-do lists: 5/6

one______at a time

I realize, I am not one of those people who can go all balls-to-the-wall extreme in any area of life, let alone fitness and food changes.  I truly love food, I am learning more and more all the time to love really good quality food, but I love all food. Yes, even some of those gross, should be totally off-limits sort of gross foods. I don’t eat “clean” and I don’t care if I shouldn’t use Splenda, damnit, that is how I like my coffee.  I used to use so much sugar or french vanilla creamer it was ridiculous, now I like Splenda…who know what I will want in my coffee in a year or two.

I am definitely more of a turtle and I am also truly embracing the turtle mode. I have not rushed myself and I have had my ups and downs(and I don’t just mean on the scale), but I am learning so much about myself. I am learning I am capable of really hard work. I was almost going to write that exercise was a priority, but that would be lying. Exercise isn’t the priority, taking care of me is the priority. Exercise is just one of the ways I take care of me! I feel better when I exercise, I sleep better, I eat better and I take care of my family better. I may be slow to figure this all out but I think I am finally figuring it out.

My good friend Jen has a reminder-saying (she even has this on a bracelet), and I have been thinking about her and a picture she posted on her blog (the pic is Jen walking to a race with a cheer sign and Iggy).

“One bite at a time, One decision at a time, One breath at a time”

I am starting to embrace this mentality! It is not an easy concept for me to embrace as I tend to be an all or nothing sorta person.  I am working on it and some days are better than others but I am striving to find my perfect balance…you know that food, fitness, mind, body, soul balance. I am learning to live in the moment and take one moment at a time! One decision at a time.

Let me tell you an example of this…and it happened this week.

The other night I had Chicken Bruschetta Bake planned for dinner. I had the chicken defrosted in the fridge, I had green beans for my side dis, but I didn’t have enough stuffing for the recipe.  I only had half of what I needed – not even enough to fake it. So, my husband in his oh-so-helpful ways, said we should just order dinner.  I didn’t want chinese or pizza. I just wasn’t feeling it.  I went into the kitchen and looked around and decided a late dinner of a big old salad or pasta salad and grilled chicken over a bed of greens.

It was a delicious, filling, slightly later-than-usual, dinner!! The picture I have is not very good – I used my very low-tech cell phone.

But it is not about the picture. It’s a bout that one decision to make a salad, to make something work, and not order out!!


Do you believe in the power of one??

maybe for may…

it is time to set a few goals.

I know, I know, I have sorta been anti-goals, anti-challenges for the last few months.

and leave it to me to decide on goals a day late.

yep, that’s me…always running a but behind the eight-ball!

  • 4 solid workouts every week
  • morning stretches*
  • nightly ankle stretching and icing
  • tracking everything, every day
  • night-before packing/planning (old school, just like my daughter picks her outfit out every night, I will do same and plan/prepare food & workout & errands for the next day)
Not too many goals!
I tend to get overwhelmed and try to DO too many things at once and that usually backfires. I usually wind up with nothing accomplished.  I am always looking for ways to make healthy habits…well, a habits…and to do this, I need to do said healthy habits every day until they are habits. I think my goals are perfect for me and my current stage of my progress.  That is what this is ALL about…progress…right?!?
so, what are you goals to help with your progression?

the plans, week of 4.29

on the menu

Sunday: Beef Stew

Monday: Ginger chicken with snow peas & baby bok choy over rice ( Basically, I am going to combine this recipe with this  one) *

Tuesday:  Smoked Ribs & Bird (husband will be breaking in his new smoker, so we are purposely making extra – chicken will be for lunches & salads rest of the week) with Pasta Salad, Cole Slaw, and a regular salad (lettuce, cukes & tomatoes) **

Wednesday:  Chicken Bruschetta Bake  and a big old salad (and leftover salads)

Thursday: Venison Sausage & Spaghetti and a big old salad

Friday:  Steak, baked potatoes and a salad


applesauce cake, bean & avocado salsa, bacon & green onion potato-crusted quich

*after dinner Monday night, I will make Tuesday’s pasta salad (it definitely tastes better when it sits and flavors all meld for a day)

**after dinner Tuesday night, I will make the Chicken Bruschetta Bake  for Wednesday. I will make it, wrap it in foil and put it in the fridge – whoever gets home first on Wednesday will take it out & bring it to room temp. Mama, has a walking date with a few friends.

at the gym

Monday: NROLFW, S2, WO B1 +15 mins of elliptical intervals

Tuesday: elliptical 45-60 mins (or zumba)

Wednesday: NROLFW, S2, WO A2  – walking date with WW friends.

Thursday: elliptical 45-60 mins (and/or yoga)

Friday: NROLFW, S2, WO B2 + 15 mins of elliptical intervals

Saturday or Sunday: 45-60 mins elliptical

elliptical note: I am working on consistency. I want to workout 5-6 days…not to kill myself, but for the consistency. I am also working on my heart rate training. My heart rate tends to jump HIGH when I lift weights, and my polar training computer is always telling me I train way too much in zone 3 (the high zone) so I need to pay attention and train in zone 2 & 3….enter the elliptical training. Not to be confused with elliptical intervals where I will purposely try to hit zone 3 for 1 minute intervals.

full disclosure: I am a Polar ambassador, Polar has provided me with my heart rate monitor but as always, all thoughts & opinions are mine for free.

just the plans, week of april 1, 2012


Sunday: Paella

Monday: Beefaroni (my own version using homemade meat sauce and green beans) and a salad

Tuesday: Whole Roasted Chicken, stuffing, green veg, salad

Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas, salad

Thursday: Hot Dog Casserole, mac & cheese, green veg

Friday: Steak, baked potatoes & salad



leftover paella

leftover beefaroni & salad

Big Salad with tuna & hardboiled eggs

Quiche (with salad or on sandwich thins)



Monday: WO B6

Tuesday: walking

Wednesday: WO A7, walking

Thursday: Yoga, walking

Friday: WO B7

Saturday, Sunday – housecleaning & active rest


Q starts track this week.

Big Man is going back to work this week.

This weekly plan and prepping the day/night ahead of time is going to be the keys to not losing my ever-loving mind this week.

just the plans

On the dinner menu:

Sunday: Pork Roast with garlic mashed potatoes & salad

Monday: Tacos with zuke-bean-rice skillet

Tuesday: Steak, baked potatoes & green veg

Wednesday: Spicy Orange Pork

Thursday: Spaghetti & meatballs and a salad

Friday: Whole Roasted Chicken, spaghetti squash casserole and a salad


Lunch Options:

salads – of the green and pasta variety





Monday: WO A (#5)

Tuesday: Pilates class

Wednesday: WO B (#5)

Thursday: Yoga Class

Friday: WO A (#6)


menus & plans (3.18.12)

Sunday: Braciole and a Salad

Monday: Burgers

Tuesday: Man-pleasing Chicken with roasted potatoes (and sweets for me)

Wednesday: Beef Stew – gotta use crockpot before its too warm for beef stew.

Thursday:  Bruschetta Chicken Bake and a big old salad

Friday: Tacos (Kid’s Request) with beans & rice (mine will be in salad form)

Saturday:  Van Halen concert – call for pizza ordered!

Sunday: Amazing Pork Tenderloin, smashed potatoes & green veg


Tilapia, zucchini and a salad

soup & salad (I made this last night and there a tons of leftovers – worked out to be 7 WW pointsplus)

leftovers and salad


Monday: NROLFW, S1, WO A(#3)


Tuesday: Pilates Class at gym

Wednesday: NROLFW, S1, WO B (#4)

Thursday: Yoga class at gym

Friday: NROLFW, S1, WO A (#4)

Saturday:  Core Class at gym

Sunday: REST

the plans, week of 3.12.12

On the Menu:

Monday: BBQ Chicken & Cheddar Quesadillas & salad

Tuesday: Chicken Parm Subs, oven fries and salad

Wednesday: Beef LoMein – my own concoction using lots if veggies – cabbage, carrots, peppers, onions, mushroom – mixed with beef and thin spaghetti..and while I’m at it I will chop a lot of all these veggies for Thursday’s soup. 

Thursday:  Barley & Veggies Soup (my own concoction again, crockpot/everything into the pot sort of soup) & sandwiches (maybe grilled cheese)

Friday: Pork Chops in a Spicy Orange Glaze, rice and green veg

In the Gym:

Monday: NROLFW, S1 WO B

Tuesday: elliptical, bike, stretch

Wednesday: NROLFW, S1 WO A

Thursday: BONUS or Rest

Friday: NROLFW, S1 WO B

Saturday: yoga dvd

Sunday: active rest (if weather is cooperative I want to go explore the trails at Bird Refuge)

Misc. Food Prep: kale quiche (like this one), salads for lunch, freeze fruit for smoothies, and hard boil eggs.

Misc. Tasks To-DO this week:

  • Drink 64oz water every day
  • Eat 5 fruits/veggies every day
  • Stretch my calf daily*
  • balance on “bad” leg every day*
  • TRACK food and fitness every day
  • pack gym bag & lunch night before
  • walk 3 times outside (with husband and dog)
  • one yoga dvd workout

Yep, these are same tasks from last week. They are just important enough!!

Making Plans Monday

On the Menu:

Monday: Veggie Omelets, Side of Bacon, Homefries

Tuesday: Mongolian Beef, green beans and rice

Wednesday: Man Pleasing Chicken, Potato & Greens casserole (I am making this recipe minus the pie crust)

Thursday: Beef Stew with Big Old Salad

Friday: Tilapia with Winter Veggie Stew


In the Gym:

Monday: NROLFW, S1 WO B

Tuesday: elliptical, bike, stretch

Wednesday: NROLFW, S1 WO A

Thursday: BONUS or Rest

Friday: NROLFW, S1 WO B

Saturday: yoga dvd

Sunday: active rest (if weather is cooperative we want to take Lucy walking in the wood)


Misc. Tasks To-DO this week:

  • Drink 64oz water every day
  • Eat 5 fruits/veggies every day
  • Stretch my calf daily*
  • balance on “bad” leg every day*
  • TRACK food and fitness every day
  • walk 3 times outside (with husband and dog)
  • one yoga dvd workout
  • make eye appointments for me & husband

*Doug, my PT, says I need to do these every day!

I think that is enough planning, don’t you?!?



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