It’s nearly the end of this year’s first quarter and where are you in terms of fulfilling your NY resolution? I reviewed my list and resolution no. 2 is to be healthier. I believe that I’ve been practicing a healthy lifestyle in the past few years. I never smoke; I rarely drink alcohol; I’m into zumba, sh’bam and aqua gym 2-3 times a week and I get at least 8 hours of sleep every day (except during our Quarterly Sales & Marketing Summit). But since I moved in France and got married, I gained 5 kgs and moved between one to two dress-sizes up. I realise that it’s because of our eating habits. Every dinner is a like a feast. Worse, we’ve been binging on too much cakes, chocolates and ice cream throughout the day. Ang sarap naman kasing kumain!
Having a happy marriage is an not excuse to gain more inches around the waist. Ouch. So I’ve decided to document my progress (its never to late to start) and my goal is to lose at least 5 kgs / 11 lbs and one dress-size down in 6 weeks the natural way (it’s basically losing what I’ve gained in the past 12 months).
With my busy schedule, it’s important to prepare quick and easy healthy meals but dedicate at least an hour a day of exercise (that’s me adjusting my alarm clock two hours earlier than usual or shake away those fats in the evening).
I also believe in the holistic approach. My tip is to get support within your home (I commissioned Mark to be my fitness instructor so that we’ll both cooperate, lol. We both agreed that I won’t cook my signature sinigang, adobo, ginataang alimasag, grilled king prawns, pasta dishes and other carbo-loading meals in the next six weeks but I’ll still prepare his daily baon). You may encourage your friends to be your “healthy partners” too and share your meal/workout activities on a daily basis (you can do this via SMS or FB). Believe me, it is hard to do it on your own.
I’ll update this post regularly as I go along (most recent will appear on top; photos taken from my iPhone).
If you also decide to do a weight loss challenge, please leave a comment with your discovery or favourite healthy meal and workout routine.
MOST RECENT ON TOP | Conclusion below the post – please scroll down, down, down :-)
DAY 14 (March 24, 2013)
Breakfast: Had a quick breakfast, Super K cereals, since we were rushing for the church service.
Lunch: After church, the only option we had for lunch were: Mc Do, Quick or KFC. That’s the thing, most places are closed here on Sundays (it sucks, I know). So we went to KFC instead and I had this salad -
Unfortunately, I had no time to work out since we watched a film (Hansel & Grethel in French version!) then ran some home errands afterwards. Good thing I did few stretchings and squats earlier this morning.
Dinner: I was snacking on rambutans so didn’t really feel a heavy dinner. So I prepared a salad with tuna, crab sticks, cheese, egg and mango (dressing: mixture of olive oil, balsamic, mustard, honey and pepper).
DAY 13 (March 23, 2013)
Breakfast: After drinking warm water with lemon, Mark prepared scrambled eggs with spinach (thanks b!). I also had kiwis, blueberries and yogurt after.
Work Out: Good 30 minute cardio.
Lunch/Dinner: My very own Cottage Pie. I used Sweet Potato instead of potatoes for a lower carb meal. Preparation Time: Forever! Haha. It took me almost 2 hours to prepare this. First I had to prepare the base: garlic, onion, tomatoes, tomato puree, red bell pepper, bresh button mushrooms, minced beef, carrot rapé (shredded), tomato sauce, fresh parsley and other herbs (chopping takes forever, lol). Once cooked to perfection (hihihi), I placed it in a bowl and added the mashed sweet potato then cheese (I used Emmental) on top. I popped it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. I think I cooked for 6 six people so we had the leftover for dinner :-)
DAY 12 (March 22, 2013)
Work Out: Morning walk by the promenade (3.6km only) and few stretchings at home
Breafkast: Kiwis, Nectarines and Blood Oranges
Lunch: Homemade Aubergine Mushroom Soup (recipe by one of my fitness partners, Leslie Asilo).
This soup is so good, filling, healthy and easy to make: 1) Sautee chopped red onion, 8 medium-sized button mushrooms and aubergine using olive oil for 3 minutes. Add 1.5-2 cups of water, little bit of salt and pepper (I added onion powder) and bring to boil for 15 mins. Add chopped parsley and boil for another 5 minutes. I don’t have a handy soup blender yet so I popped all the solid ingredients into the blender (leaving the stock in the pan)… Blend… Blend… Blend… As soon as they look like mushy baby food, put everything back in the pan and mix it with the stock. Simmer for 2-3 minutes then voila! Serve hot.
(Work Out, Dinner – to be uploaded later)
DAY 11 (March 21, 2013)
Breakfast: I started drinking warm water with lemon as shared by Ate Annabelle, one of my fitness partners (I used to call them healthy partners). Then I had fruit and fiber cereal an hour later.
Also these past few days, I’ve been eating loads of Blood Oranges (alone or mixed with salads). They are excellent source of Vit C and antioxidants as well as Burberry’s Spring 2013 colour inspiration on the runway. See, fashionably healthy :-)
Lunch: Ravioli with homemade chili garlic tomato sauce and carrot rapé (sorry my lighting wasn’t good but this dish is a winner)
Dinner: Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
DAY 10 (March 20, 2013)
Work Out: I was up before 7am and excited to go cycling but it’s pouring outside :-( So I’ve done few stretchings at home.
Breakfast: I’ve made Spinach Omelet with Parmesan. Here’s the photo and I know I still need to work on how to lift the omelet properly! Please check out the recipe here. (Prep time: 10mins)
I’ve also made Very Berry Smoothie using strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, yogurt and I added banana to balance the tangy taste. (Prep time: 5 mins) This is today’s love -
Lunch: Chili Salmon with Pineapple Mango Salsa as seen on Day 5. My cousin-in-law visited me for lunch and she requested if I can make this for her and she’s impressed :-)
Work Out: 3km run. Yahooooo!
Dinner: I had green salad with tomatoes, crab sticks, feta cheese and egg for dinner made by my mom-in-law.
DAY 9 (March 19, 2013)
Work Out: Hiking to Lou Casteu (90m medieval terrace). I usually see this landmark from Promenade des Anglais and finally, I was able to go this morning with Kuya Ronald. The journey from Old Nice is very interesting and we discovered few spots perfect for cool activities – from fun picnics to glam photoshoots.
I super love the view of Nice from here!
As per Endomondo, we walked 4.88km from Massena to Lou Casteu (excluding the distance I walked from home to Massena).
“The 90 metre-high terrace roof of the <keep> overlooks the sea. On this site used to stand Nice medieval castle. Built at the time of the Earls of Provence., the castle passed on to the Earl of Savoy in 1388. Partially ruined in the 17th century, it disappeared completely in 1706.”
On the way back, we stopped over Old Nice’s market and grabbed some sweet potatoes and locally produced green veggies :-)
Brunch: I had Crepe Miel (honey) and green tea :-)
Work Out: I ran for almost 3 km without stopping – yahooooo! That’s an accomplishment. I shared in one of my earlier posts that running is not really my thing. If I recall doing it on Day 1, I almost lost my breath after 2 mins and I ended up doing brisk walking. But I am more determined than ever and I do my best to improve day after day. After a week, I’m so pleased! Now, my target is to be able to do a 5km run next week, then 10k before May. After running, I did 2 different abs exercises (4 sets, 15 reps); 3 different leg exercises (4 sets, 15 reps), I used the rowing machine (2000m) then walked home. I still feel I have loads of energy!
Dinner: I used the green salad I bought earlier with artichokes, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, parmigiano regianno and smoked salmon (dressing: excess olive oil from the jars of feta cheese and artichokes plus balsamic vinegar).
DAY 8 (March 18, 2013)
Work Out: Squat 60 reps (3 sets x 20 reps)
Breakfast: Fruit and Fibre Cereal
Lunch / Dinner: Baked Durad (not sure if Durad is an English term or French) with tomatoes, red onions and leeks – don’t forget to drizzle it with lemon (preparation time: 30 mins including popping the fish in the oven for 20-25mins). I had the leftover for dinner. The photo didn’t do justice but try it, it’s delish-i-oso! :-)
DAY 7 (March 17, 2013) – One Week Mark :-)
Breakfast: Half papaya
Work Out: Endomondo recorded -
Mark and I jogged for 2.5km within that work out (6.35 km) and Bambi’s cheering us up in Manila :-)
I had skyflakes and green tapenade too after this, hihihi.
Lunch: Oh yes, it’s a Sunday feast! We had a big piece of Rosemary Garlic Steak (don’t worry we shared it) and Sweet Potato puree with maple syrup…. super love the combination!
We also had this Sauce Poivre but we didn’t really use it – the steak and sweet potatoes are already good on their own.
Here’s the Rosemary Garlic Steak recipe, thanks to Divas Can Cook :-)
For the Sweet Potato puree (like baby’s food), please boil 3 medium sized sweet potatoes. Once cooked, blend it with butter and 2 tbsp maple syrup (as desired). Add a little bit of salt and pepper. It’s soooooooooo goood!
Snack: We were snacking on cashew nuts, green apple and oranges in the afternoon.
Dinner: Refreshing Green Smoothie with 2 handfuls spinach, peaches, quarter cup of oats, 1-2 tsbp of honey and ice :-)
DAY 6 (March 16, 2013)
Breakfast: Toasted pita with the leftover hummus and sundried tomatoes
Work Out: 45 mins cardio using the threadmill; 4 set sof 3 different leg/bum exercises
Lunch: We went to Carrefour after the gym so we just grabbed freshly made sushi and prawn dumplings. Yum yum so I kept reminding myself, “polite portion…polite portion…”. I’m glad I did.
I was gonna declare today as a cheat day since I wanted to grill this big chunk of beef that we bought then I saw this IG post by @befitpics…
Dinner: Okay. So not for tonight. I’ll just cook it tomorrow for lunch. Instead, we prepared a healthy tuna salad for dinner.
Also I’ve done a juicy experiment using freshly brewed green tea then I added 2 golden yellowish apple (dunno what it’s called), pomelo slices, a bit of ginger, maple syrup and mint leaves into the blender. Not my favourite but it’s worth a try :-)
DAY 5 (March 15, 2013)
Work Out: 1 hour super early morning walk by the promenade. No sun yet but I love the amazing view, waves and fresh air :-)
Thanks to my Manila-based healthy partner, Bambi, for introducing Endomondo iPhone app - it helps me monitor my workout routines.
Breakfast: Minty Green Vanilla Smoothie made of 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 granny apple chopped, 1 banana chopped, 1 natural yogurt, 1-2 tsp of maple syrup, JuicePlus Shape Vanilla Shake, 4 mint leaves. If you don’t have vanilla shake, use vanilla flavoured yogurt. Preparation time: 3 mins. It’s unbelievably good! :-)
Lunch: Shrimp Mango Salad tossed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I added coriander to give it extra taste of freshness. And yes, I added more shrimps, mangoes and tomatoes after taking this photo. Preparation time: 2 mins but allow few minutes peeling the shrimps ;-)
Work Out: 45 cardio at the gym
Late Dinner: My version of Chili Salmon with Pineapple Mango Salsa (Mark really loves it…. Thanks to Divas Can Cook for the recipe)
DAY 4 (March 14, 2013)
I was about to grab a pain au chocolat for breakfast when one of my healthy partners sent me this (printscreen from FB) -
See I told you it’s not easy to do this alone and you’ll be thankful to have healthy partners as you keep going. Well, I am. I’ve got healthy partners from Nice, Manila, Melbourne, London and of course, at home. So for…
Brunch: 1 Toasted pita bread with homemade hummus and sundried tomatoes – not as colourful as her fruit plate above but it’s tasty and filling (prepartion time: 1 minute) plus 2 slices of pomelo
Snack: I dumped M&Ms and had carrot sticks and hummus whilst working… I was still hungry so I had some prunes…. Then pineapple chunks…
Dinner: Polite portion of Prawn Pasta inspired by Helen Gamboa’s recipe featured at Kris TV last February 21 (preparation time: 30 mins). According to Elle Macpherson’s trainer, James Duigan, polite portions are OK (please click here). It’s soooooooo good and I wanted to have another round but I stopped myself and had 3 slices of pomelo instead followed by a cup of green tea ;-)
If you want to see the recipe, here it is:
DAY 3 (March 13, 2013)
Work Out: 1 hour cycling using Velo Bleu with my cycling partner, Kuya Ronald (I’ve taken Juiceplus Shape Booster Shot 30mins prior to this activity)
Breakfast: Smoothie made of strawberries, green apple, raspberry yogurt, 2 tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsbp of maple syrup and a handful of spinach. I was able to fill 3 glasses so I saved some for later (prepartion time: 5 minutes)
Lunch: Salad with canned tuna, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes followed by a cup of lemon tea (prepartion time: 3 minutes)
Snack: Leftover breakfast smoothie
Dinner: Green salad and green tea
Work Out: 30-min cardio using threadmill; 3 sets each of 3 different leg/bum exercises with my fitness instructor, Mark B :-)
DAY 2 (March 12, 2013)
Work Out: 1 hour combination of jogging and brisk walking by the promenade. My aim is to reach this point where I could take 5-10 min rest before jogging or walking back and of course, to enjoy this breath-taking view (taken from my iPhone) - -
Breakfast: Prunes and Skyflakes (I decided to limit my milk-intake and as of Day 2, I couldn’t think of an alternative yet so I had these)
Lunch: Salad with with fresh tomatoes, sundried tomatos, grana padano, tuna (from the jar), oil from tuna’s jar, boiled eggs and I added extra spinach (prepartion time: 3 minutes)
Snack: Swapping Crepe Nutella with an Exotique Smoothie from a healthy bar in Old Nice. It’s a combination of mango, pineapple, banana, orange and yogurt
Dinner: Roast Chicken with roast peppers and potatotes (prepartion time: 40 minutes including chopping and preheating the oven)
DAY 1 (March 11, 2013)
Breakfast: My usual Kellogs Fruit and Fibre Bran Cereal
Lunch: Skyflakes with Tuna (from the jar)
Snack: I had a “cheat treat” – Frozen Yogurt (finally, lesser calories than Haagen Dazs!)
Work Out (evening): 1 hour cycling at the gym, 15 min jogging from gym to home with Mark
Dinner: Grilled Lamb (prepartion time: 20-25 minutes), followed by a cup of green tea
I don’t really want to say ‘Conclusion’ as I’ve realised that along this challenge, I’m more than inspired to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Here are some of my observations/milestones (written April 21, 2013):
1. I haven’t really lost my target kilos yet, I’ve read that ‘it takes 4 weeks for me to notice, 8 weeks for my friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world’. Okay, that gives me more motivation to continue what I am doing. I may be close to relapsing sometimes, lol, but there’s always a tiny voice at the back of my head reminding me of my target. Yes I still eat sweets but not like I used to. I still miss some days going to the gym but I make sure I move a lot (walk instead of taking the car, squat whilst watching TV, etc). I’m still not there but I’m getting there :)
2. It really pays to have healthy/fitness partners (I’ve got partners all over the world – we keep on exchanging sms, fb posts, instagram likes, etc). I really enjoy talking to people about eating healthily and learning from their practices as well – thanks for all your feedback! I’m also thankful to Instagram users i.e. @befitpics, @fitmotivation, @deliciousgreens for their inspiring posts.
3. I’m so inloved with eating fruits, veggies and fish. I eat less meat (beef and chicken) and totally delete pork in my menu. On top of water, I also drink loads of green tea.
4. I got addicted to juicing. I learned a lot about the benefits of juicing raw produce so on my Week 6, I bought a juicer and began juicing since then. I usually replace one meal by a freshly made juice.
5. I noticed that I gained more energy – I can run/do any cardio longer and I can lift heavier weights compared when I first started. I am also more mentally alert.
6. I appreciate more where I live – I am loving the outdoors more and I feel closer to nature (thank God for His wonderful creation).
7. I also noticed a great effect on my skin – it’s smoother, clearer, looks more hydrated, pinkish and glowing. People often ask me lately about my beauty secret, what product I use, etc. and I’m happy to share my learnings from this challenge. Having a healthy lifestyle will also save you money from buying super chemically-produced cosmetic products. I love being able to go out anytime without wearing any make-up.
8. We are all busy – but it’s not an excuse to be lazy and opt for unhealthy practices. We can always choose to do the right thing :)
I’d love to blog about more progress soon, so please stay tuned.
Cheers to a healthier and sexier us! xoxo