Motivational Monday: Mini Goals and Rewards

Happy Monday!

I have found that a very important part of succeeding in ANYTHING (school, health, whatever) is to set miniature goals and reward yourself accordingly for reaching those goals. When I say accordingly, I mean not to get a whole new outfit for drinking enough water for the week. Lol. Also, plan rewards that fit your budget! Don’t say that if you lose all the weight you will buy yourself a car. Unless you can actually buy yourself a car…

If you have ever tried to lose weight, you know it is super difficult. You’re always surrounded by people who will reach for an extra donut, or people who constantly have a pop in their hands. And if you’ve ever been overweight, these were probably two of your vices (sweets and colas). My overall goal is to lose weight and get healthy and strong. But that is a very broad goal. I have found that it helps to set mini goals along the way. My mini goals include: drink 2 tervis-fulls of water (I have a 32 oz) daily, keep an accurate and specific food journal, do some form of exercise every day, make good food choices every day, and take time to read or journal every day. These are “health” aspect mini goals that are pretty broad, but I have a better idea for what they mean for myself. I won’t reward myself for doing these tasks for just one day, or even just one week. It might take me 4-6 weeks to decide that my new healthy goal has become a habit and therefore deserves to be rewarded.

Here are some rewards that are on my personal list 🙂

I would just like to note that rewarding yourself with food is never a good idea. You don’t want to reward healthy habits with chocolate cake. 🙂 (I would also like to note that I am not saying to never eat bad things. Balance, people!)

 

Natural Hemp Polka Dots Women's Classics

I am in love with these shoes right now. I love Tom’s and I really love polka dots so these are perfect! Buy them here!

Love these leggings from Forever 21! I love working out in black pants with a colorful top. I think it is so flattering. Buy these here!

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE owls! And earrings. Find these here!

Junk Food Indianapolis Colts Ladies Classic Off-The-Shoulder Sweatshirt - White

How cute! Really, any Colts gear is on my rewards wish list, but I had to pick just one! Find this here!

Thanks for visiting! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and this blog! Also, I would be so so grateful if ya’ll could share this blog with your friends and followers!

What are your mini goals? Big goals? Rewards list? Let me know in the comments below!!

Coconut Curry Chicken

Hey guys! I haven’t done a quick dinner post, so I thought I’d go ahead and post what I made for dinner for us tonight!

It’s creamy, super flavorful, and decently healthy! Except we paired it with naan……haha.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

1/2 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp+ curry powder (I used quite a bit, hubs looooves him some curry)

1/2 can diced tomatoes with chili seasoning

1/4 c. light unsweetened coconut milk

Serves 2!

Cube the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Cook chicken in a little olive oil until brown and thoroughly cooked.

IMAG0957 I like my chicken with that nice, golden color. Lots of flavor!

Set chicken aside, and add the onions to the pan. If needed, add in a little more EVOO or a splash of chicken broth. Once onions are translucent, add the garlic into the pan. Sautee about a minute

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Add the tomatoes and curry powder to the the onion-garlic mixture.

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Raise heat to medium and allow to become a little bubbly!

Spoon in the coconut milk. Don’t go too crazy! 1/4 c. is plenty!

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Let the mixture bubble for 5-10 minutes. The longer it cooks, the thicker and yummier it’ll get! Watch it though so it doesn’t stick. If it starts to get dry, add in a splash of water or chicken broth.

Add the cubed cooked chicken back in and allow to reheat, about 5 minutes.

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I served this awesomeness with some naan, but brown rice would be lovely also!!

Let me know if you try it!

What recipes would you like to see on the blog? Any questions? Let me know below! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and on the blog!

Friday Five

Happy Friday! FINALLY. I Hope everyone has had a lovely, healthy week! I’m just going to do this quick post about things I am LOVING right now.

  1. Quinoa. Holy cow this stuff is awesome. I’m totally addicted to this complete protein. I think I ate it at every meal yesterday. It’s super-versatile and good for you! So don’t be surprised when you’re bombarded with a slew of quinoa-centric recipes soon!
  2. Reading mindless novels. I’ve seriously read like 6 books since last week. I’m not kidding. Now I did read The Giver which of course is NOT a mindless novel. But I followed that with several easy to read, over the top romances. Hey, sometimes my brain needs a break from all the crazy.
  3. Not having homework. Um, yay. For the first time in what feels like forever (really it was just one year straight, but in my defense I only had a year off from my bach) I don’t have to think in the evenings. I go to work, come home, and then do whatever I want. Yay no homework!
  4. LaraBars. These are an awesome quick fix. They aren’t the lowest in calories or fat, and certainly not the highest in protein, but they do have the shortest list of ingredients I’ve ever seen. I had the banana bread one the other day and the ingredients were almonds, dates, and bananas. No added sugar, all naturally sweetened. When I don’t have access to fresh fruit or veggies, I’d say that LaraBars are a heckuvalot better than reaching for the terrible-for-you sweets.
  5. WATER. Yeah I know, not too exciting. But I have been trying to drink more water lately and, when I do, I feel so so so much better. I feel like I have more energy, my skin looks better, and I don’t eat nearly as much food.

 

Enjoy your Friday! Please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@lovethekate) and follow me on here!

Homemade House: Cleaning Products

Hello hello! Look at me, posting 2 days in a row.

Today, I’m going to give you my “recipes” for the cleaning products I use to keep my apartment nice and clean! They all use some combination of the following ingredients:

  • White vinegar
  • Corn starch
  • Lemon juice
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Dawn Dish Soap

 

 

 

Tub and Shower Cleaner

I use a little dish scrubber guy (see below). Add a good squeeze or 2 of the dish soap, and fill a quarter of the way with water. Fill the rest of the chamber with white vinegar, leaving some space for suds to form. Shake it gently before each use! Just go to town ‘a scrubbin’ then rinse with water!

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Toilet Bowl Cleaner

I will not be posting a picture of my toilet. That’s weird. I pretty much just add Borax and baking soda directly to the bowl. I use about a cup of each. Mix together with your toilet brush, then add in about a cup or so of white vinegar. Let it sit for about a half hour before you get to scrubbin’. *Please note that I use a bleach solution to disinfect.

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All-Purpose Cleaner, With Bleach

I use this cleaner around the toilet and with my counters if raw meat or any other contaminant has been near my counters. Add maybe about a quarter cup of bleach to a squirt bottle, and fill the rest of the bottle with water. I also add a couple squeezes of lemon juice so the bleach smell isn’t totally overwhelming. 🙂

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All-Purpose Cleaner, Bleach-free

For this guy, I fill the bottle a quarter of the way with white vinegar. I fill the rest with water and add a whole lot of lemon juice, and lemon or orange peel. Shake that sucker up! I use this with kitchen counters, bathroom counters, microwave, stove top, etc. It does have strong vinegar smell, but I PROMISE the scent disappears after like 2o minutes.

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Glass Cleaner

This is probably my favorite discovery. I tried sooo many different combos and none of the stupid glass cleaners were working. I couldn’t even get Windex to work on my cheap-o apartment mirrors. I use equal parts vinegar and water and add a tablespoon of cornstarch. I add lemon juice for scent, and maybe a couple peels. This stuff is amazing.

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We don’t have anything that requires furniture polish in our apartment. For dusting purposes, we are using the Swiffer duster. For mopping (when we actually do it haha) we use the Swiffer WetJet.

Thanks for stopping by! Got a suggestion? Leave it in the comment box below!!! I look forward to hearing from ya’ll!

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

Motivational Monday: Getting On (or back on) the Health Wagon

Happy Monday! I try to start every Monday with a positive thought because, let’s face it, Mondays suck. This is a throwback, but I think I look happy in this picture. I believe I was about to set off on some errands, and I felt beautiful! (The dim lighting never hurts)

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But, I’ve decided to start a new series called “Motivational Monday.” I know it isn’t the most unique title, but I personally need to write this for myself! Today’s topic: getting on, or back on, the health wagon. This is just an overview to remind you of the healthy habits you should start practicing RIGHT NOW! The subsequent Motivational Mondays will focus on each of these, much more in depth.

I had a lovely conversation with hubs this past week about everything I need to start doing to really kick my weight loss and healthy lifestyle into gear. I was listing things like “snacking on veggies” and “regular exercise.” I said I really need to start exercising again. The last two months, I have (shamefully) led a lazy lifestyle. I was a couch potato who did nothing but homework. When I was done with work, I’d turn around and flip on the TV. I told hubs that I was unhappy with that fact, and that I knew I needed to kick up the fitness. You know what he said?

“If you know what you’re supposed to be doing, then do it.”

Simple sentence, humongous impact. And definitely a “duh” moment. Because I KNOW what I need to do to be healthy. And if I have a question, there is this lovely thing called the internet to tell me what to do.

Let’s talk nutrition! If you ate horribly over the weekend, eat healthy today! (And tomorrow, and the next day…) Make every day healthier than your last. Instead of potato chips, reach for some celery with peanut butter. Want that office cookie? Reach for a sweet apple instead. Little swaps like these during your day will feel like little wins (which they are!) and will inspire you to keep that good feeling going. Make it a point today to swap in a veggie or fruit serving for your snacks today! Your body (and mind) will thank you!

^ True dat. The first day back at the gym is total crap. Yesterday, I ventured to the treadmill and decided that, after two months of nothing, I could totally pick up where I left off. WRONG. I had an asthma attack and my heart rate decided to jump to over 160. Whoops.

Two months ago, I was run/jogging ten minutes straight without a problem. This time, my body just fell a part! I pushed myself too hard, and when I go back today, I will definitely be slowing it down a bit. You don’t want to push too hard the first time because you don’t want to be so sore as to discourage yourself from going back. And don’t you dare sit there and use the excuse  I did for two months; because you DO totally have time. If you work, you get a lunch break. If you are a student, I know that you aren’t studying all hours of the day and night. An hour 3-5 times a week or a quick 30 minutes daily is really all you need. Just remember to mix it up so you–and your body–don’t get bored! Next Monday, I will post a little bit more in depth about why exercise is so important.

 

 

 

 

Water. Drink it, not pop. You KNOW pop is terrible for you, yet you drink it anyway. So stop! Use fruit to flavor your water. Drink it all the time. You need it. Your skin, digestive system, and sleep cycle will thank you. Now, I drink coffee every morning without fail. But 9 times out of 10, the rest of the day I’m reaching for water. I carry a tervis around with me so I really don’t have an excuse to not drink water. Stay hydrated, my friends. I will post another post some Monday about why water is so important, as well as some other tips and tricks for actually drinking it.

 

^Seriously, how cute is this guy? Have a great Monday! Remember to make good choices about your health! You know what you need to do, so do it!

Tamale Pie with Spoonbread

Yeah. I said it. Spoonbread. That awesome, creamy, cornmeal-based food sent from above.

But it isn’t just spoonbread–it’s spoonbread ON TOP OF a tasty mixture of meat and veggies. This super simple recipe serves two people and comes in around 360 calories and 10 g of fat (as figured by My Fitness Pal). This recipe was adapted from the cookbook by Frances Price, “Healthy Cooking for Two” (purchase here).

 

Tamale Pie topped with Spoonbread

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of ground turkey

1/2 chopped yellow onion

1/2 chopped red pepper

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/2 c. canned diced tomatoes, with juice

1/2 c. frozen corn

2 1/2 tbsp cornmeal (I used yellow)

1/2 c. low fat milk (I had 2% on hand)

1 egg white

1/4 c. shredded cheddar (I used reduced fat)

Chili powder, salt, and pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown turkey over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Drain well.

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Add onion and pepper to skillet. If you used a lean meat, like I did, you may want to add a little drizzle of olive oil so your veggies don’t stick. Sautee for 3 minutes. Add in tomatoes, garlic, corn, turkey, desired amount of chili powder, and 1/2 tbsp. of cornmeal. Bring to a simmer!

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Transfer this mess to a 1.5 qt casserole dish. I lightly sprayed cooking spray, just for good measure.

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A delicious, necessary cooking companion.

A delicious, necessary cooking companion.

At this point, take a sip of wine. Why? Because wine is awesome and you are SLAVING AWAY in a kitchen with a SUPER COMPLICATED dish.

Ok not really. But I won’t tell if you don’t.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine milk, salt, and cornmeal. Use a fork for this so you don’t get any lumps!

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Microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The cornmeal mixture should up being thick and creamy. Beat the egg white until foamy. Slowly incorporate into the cornmeal.

If you choose to use cheese (and if you don’t, you’re weird), now’s the time to add it to the cornmeal mixture. Watch it melt. Ahhhhhh!

IMAG0925Yuuuummmmmmm. I could eat just this. But I must resist.

Smooth this mixture over top the turkey mixture and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is firm and slightly golden.

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Now, um. I don’t have a “final” pic because hubs and I IMMEDIATELY dug in. I drizzled some Cholula on top because it is awesome!

Let me know how it turns out!

Enjoy!!

~Katie

Friday Five: Healthy Realizations

Happy Friday, ya’ll! FINALLY! This has been a tough week. I am drraainnneeeddd. I’ve decided to start a weekly post called “Friday Five.” This week, my Friday Five deals with realizations I have had since beginning my journey to health.

 

  1. “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” I can’t even begin to stress how important this has been. Whenever I eat, regardless of what I am eating, I think of this. I ask myself two questions: “How will this impact my health?” and “How am I going to feel after?” Yeah, I totally even ask these questions whilst eating the occasional stack of potato chips. Trust me–the answers are much more satisfying when eating sauteed veggies or fresh fruit.
  2. It is totally ok to have bad days. What’s going to make or break the healthy lifestyle is how many. If 5 out of 7 days a week are “bad health” days, you probably should reevaluate. I try to eat healthy most of time: I typically have healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but I am never afraid to have a small piece of chocolate at the end of the day (I eat a small piece every day) or to have fro-yo or something fried over the weekend. The beauty is in the balance.
  3. Exercise is key. I’ve been terrible lately, but I notice that when I exercise regularly, I don’t eat as much heavy food and I tend to lose more weight. (What? How does that even happen??). When I exercise regularly I feel more energetic, I sleep better, and I am in a better mood.
  4. Food prep is super helpful. I’m going to commit to using Sunday evenings as “food prep night.” You don’t have any excuses to eat poorly during the week when all of your meals are already planned out.
  5. Be nice to your body. Love your body. It does amazing things every day. YOU ARE ALIVE. Feed and treat your body like the living thing it is.

 

As always, thanks for reading!