Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eating Healthy on a Budget: Part 3

Sorry to keep you waiting but fear not, the wait is over! Today, you get to finally read part three of my Eating Healthy on a Budget series. But, before we get down to it, let me say, I am super excited about this post! The guest poster today is my cousin Amy. I am always inspired by her posts on Facebook about her workout routines and marathon training. Amy has always been slender, athletic, and beautiful but being fit and healthy is a passion of hers and it definitely rubs off even if you live thousands of miles apart and haven't seen one another in years! So, thank you Amy for contributing today and inspiring me!

A little about Amy...

My name is Amy Goenner (cousin to Jessica). I am a mother to a soon-to-be 3 year old little boy, an Army wife to a soldier who is NEVER home, and a former teacher turned full-time nursing student.  To say that I am busy is an understatement.  Between being a single parent 8-10 months out of the year and a student, I am also a work-out-aholic and marathoner. Balancing those 2 things is never easy. However, being healthy is not a fad or a short-term commitment for me. It’s a lifestyle. It cannot be found in a pill or a temporary diet, it is something that you live every day; it’s becomes a part of you and without it, you feel lost (or at least moody—that’s what my husband says).

I have been lucky in the sense that I have never had to truly battle with my weight. I was an athlete through high school and good genetics and a sparse workout routine had gotten me by until after having my son. Though I was back to my pre-baby weight within 2 months of giving birth, nothing looked the same and clothes didn’t fit. Soon after we moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado… the running Mecca of the world… I got serious about my working out and running. Here, I dropped 15 lbs and 9% body fat. I went down 2 pant sizes and have never looked back.

I know that this post is about eating healthy on a budget, but I want to give some weight loss/workout advice as well.

Amy's Weight Loss and Workout Tips:

1). EVERYONE needs to do some weight training. Have you become stagnant in your weight loss? You are probably missing strength training. Adding weights to my cardio routine is what changed my body after having my son. Though I was working out 5 days a week (all cardio), I wasn’t seeing results. After adding weights, I dropped 10 lbs in 2 months. If you don’t have a gym membership there are things you can do at home (see below). If you do have a membership, ask for help from the staff! They can point you in the right direction.

At home workout (you can do this after cardio or by itself if you are short on time)
10 pushups                                                                10 burpees
10 triceps dips (using a chair)                                10 squats
10 walking lunges on each leg                               20 crunches
Hold plank for 30 seconds                                     Hold low squat position for 1 minute
Repeat  ALL  4 times

2.) Work in a little workout whenever you can. While cooking dinner, do squats or lunges. When waking up in the morning do pushups. Before bed, do crunches. 

3.) When  you only have 30 minutes or less to workout, go strong and go hard. Do intervals on the treadmill , bike, or stair climber. Something you may not know, ALWAYS workout with your treadmill set at a 1% incline. The treadmill at 0% simulates running downhill.

Example of a 30 minute treadmill workout:
Warm up for 8-10 minutes
Sprint at a self perceived exertion of an 8-9 out of 10 (this will be different for everyone) for 1 minute
Walk or run for 1 minute at your warm-up pace
Repeat intervals 5-8 times
Cool down for 5 minutes

4.) Don’t set your goals at unreachable highs. For example, if you say you will go to the gym for 2 hours a day, 7 days per week – chances are you won’t make it. This sets you up to believe you are a failure and potentially give up altogether. Instead, make a goal to get there just three times a week for 30 minutes and then feel really, really good about yourself when you overachieve. As time goes by and it becomes a habit – add more time. Remember that we ALL have slip ups and bad days. When this happens, reboot and move on in a positive manner.

Amy's Tips For Eating Healthy on a Budget:

1). Only buy what you know you are going to use. For example, buying fresh produce such as broccoli and cauliflower is often cheaper than buying frozen. However, if you buy 5 heads of each and then 3 of them go bad before you used them then you might as well throw money down the drain. Plan your meals and stick to your list for that week.

2.) Buy meat in bulk and then divide it into family portions before freezing. Meat will make up the largest part of a grocery bill. Buying meat in bulk often saves you money because stores often have sales on these sizes. Before freezing them, divide the larger packs up into smaller sizes.

3.) Read the sales add for the week. We have 3 grocery stores in a 5 mile radius of our house.  If one store is having BOGO on chicken breasts and another is having BOGO on frozen veggies, I will go to both stores. Another reason why it is important to plan your meals… this way you know what to look for. 

Amy's HOBO Chicken Packet's (feeds four)

These are super easy and keep the chicken very moist. You can also cook fish this way.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (or tenderloins or fish of choice)
1 head of broccoli (or 4 cups)- chopped into smaller florets.  Can use different veggie or more than one veggie.
4 tablespoons of fat-free or light ranch dressing
1 cup of cheddar cheese
Aluminum foil (4 large pieces)

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken on foil and spread 1 tablespoon of dressing over each chicken breast. Place 1 cup of broccoli over each piece of chicken.  Divide the cheese evenly and sprinkle over broccoli. Fold the foil and completely seal the pocket you just made. Leave plenty of room around and above the chicken. Cook for 30 minutes, or until done. Un-wrap and serve!

You can also putting rice or stuffing underneath each piece of chicken to make a whole meal. For stuffing, take one 6 oz box of stuffing mix, stir in 1 ¼ cup of water and divide evenly among the 4 foils. For rice, cook desired amount (leaving a little extra moisture) and divide among foils. Cook for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Amy after completing the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon in November!

Amy and her twin sister Abby running the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon in November

I hope you enjoyed this post and learned as much as I did! FYI - I had no idea what a burpee was and had to email Amy to find out. She provided me with this link that gives a description of the exercise and an instructional video...enjoy!

Thanks again, Amy!

As always, feel free to leave your own comments, tips, and recipes below.

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


No comments:

Post a Comment