It’s APRIL?! Where the heck did January, February, and March go?! I can’t believe it’s already April. I’m excited that warm weather comes with April. That means more time spent outside with friends and family!
Since it’s the first Wednesday of the Month, it’s time for “Currently…”
The first Wednesday of each month, I participate in a link-up with other blogs and we write about things we are currently doing. Each month has it’s own prompts, and this month’s topics are things I am currently wearing, sipping, wishlisting, writing, and exploring.
Wearing: Yoga Pants
Maybe that’s such a lame and boring answer, but I am seriously loving my yoga pants right now. I have a pair that are straight legged that I wear with some chunky heels and a flannel button up and it looks so awesome. Casual but put together and SO comfortable!
Sipping: La Croix
I’m not sure why, but I am on a La Croix kick. I have been trying to cut down on caffeine and soda, so I picked up some La Croix to take the edge off. It’s sparkling water with natural fruit flavors so it filled that soda void. I ended up buying more flavors and now I’m addicted to it.
Wishlisting: Spa Day
Between the insanity that is advisement and being so busy the past few weekends, I am in desperate need of a spa day. I would love a nice massage and a facial. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, but a girl can dream, right?
Writing: Academic Plans
So maybe it’s not the most inspiring thing, but bloggers don’t live in a land of Pinterest -perfect lives. Many bloggers, myself included, have full time jobs so, right now, I only have time to write Academic Plans and blog posts. Maybe that makes me boring. Sorry. Since it’s academic advisement, 90% of my day is writing out schedules for students and making sure they’re on track for graduation. I think it’s pretty fun, even though it can be exhausting.
I know it’s weird, to explore the city you live in, but it’s been a lot of fun, actually. Historically, Savannah is probably one of the coolest cities in the United States (it is definitely the most haunted). When my in-laws were in town, we took them on a historical trolley ride. It’s one of the most tourist things you can do in Savannah, but it was cool to just sit back and see the city and hear about all the history. A few months ago, my friend Becca came to visit and we went on a Haunted Pub Crawl. Mike and I were the only people from Savannah on both of those tours, but it’s a fun way to explore the city, especially when there’s so much history and a lot to see.
What are you currently wearing, sipping, wishlisting, writing, and exploring?
The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for our family. Between family coming into town and Mike being out of town a couple of weekends, I haven’t really had the most steady routine which makes things hard for me. Couple that with the fact that I haven’t been feeling good and I am just all kinds of a mess.
Without a routine, it is really easy to fall into bad habits. I was able to stay active this weekend, thanks to a 5k I ran.
It wasn’t my fastest 5k ever, but it felt good to get outside and run. I haven’t run in a few weeks and I really missed it! My running buddy, Gen, had a goal for time so she went on without me and she CRUSHED her goal. I was super proud of her!
Once I finished the 5k, my friend and I went to Waffle House for some breakfast and then I went home and went straight to bed. I was exhausted.
While the 5k kept me active this weekend, part of me really wanted to just sleep and eat junk. It’s really easy to use a race or an active weekend as an excuse to eat poorly. “I ran 5 miles, so I can totally eat this burger, large fries, and large shake, right?!” Wrong. Maybe once in awhile, but out of habit? No way. What you CAN do, however, is find a way to make that junk food healthy.
Enter: Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites.
Frozen buffalo chicken bites used to be huge in our house, but not anymore. They are so horrible for you and who knows what percentage of them is actually chicken. We stopped buying them but, lucky for Mike, I made up a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Bites that was healthy and still delicious. All you need is chicken, panko, some flour, some spices, and your favorite hot sauce. It’s super easy and you (or your kids) will love them!
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites
originally posted on A Guiltless Glutton
Amount per serving: 245 calories—18g carbs—2g fat—40g protein
**: nutrition information reflects ½ of the amount of the ingredient listed due to excess shaken off or not used during the process.
- 12 oz chicken breast (it was about 3 chicken breasts for me)
- ¼ cup flour**
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion salt
- ½ cup Franks Red Hot or other buffalo sauce**
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs**
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut up your chicken breast into bite sized pieces.
- Mix together flour, garlic powder, and onion salt into a bowl.
- Pour the Franks Red Hot in another bowl.
- Pour the Panko into another bowl.
- Move each piece of chicken from the flour mixture to the buffalo sauce to the Panko then onto a greased (nonstick spray) baking sheet.
- Lightly spray the top of the bites and bake for 5 minutes. Flip, respray, and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with a dressing of choice and dig in!
March has seriously flown by. Winter is gone (well, it’s supposed to be) and springtime weather is on the way which makes me happy. There were so many amazing things that happened in March! Here are some things you may have missed:
Now, onto my favorites for March! Each month, I reflect and choose my favorite thing, my favorite moment, and my favorite food. It’s a great way to remember the things that happened each month so I don’t forget or take things for granted. When things get tough, it’s nice to be able to remember all the good things!
Favorite Thing| Bentoware from Laptop Lunches
I know I did a sponsored post with Laptop Lunches earlier this month, but this has really been a favorite item. I use this at work nearly every day because it makes packing food for work super easy. Even if it’s not my whole lunch, I have a bunch of snacks I put in it so I can stay full throughout the day. I consistently bring carrots, apples, and blueberries to work and the Bentoware makes it really easy to pack up without taking 100 different tupperwear. I am so glad I was able to try out Bentoware because it’s such a cool product!
Favorite Moment| Sunny Days
So my favorite moment isn’t just one day, but a weeks worth of days we had this month. It was really cold for awhile and then a couple weeks ago we had this week that was just beautiful! 80 degree weather, the perfect amount of breeze, clear skies. It was gorgeous! We spent a lot of time outside and had fun going places we hadn’t gone before. It was just a really nice breath of fresh air (no pun intended). I can’t wait for the spring weather to come back so I can continue to enjoy it!
Favorite Food| Pastelitos from Vicky Bakery, Miami, FL.
Pastelitos are a cuban pastry. They have all kinds of fillings and they are delicious! There is no where to find them in Savannah (or anywhere we go, really) so I always looks forward to having them when we go visit my husband’s dad’s side of the family in Miami. They came up to see us this week and they brought pastelitos with them. I was so excited! Some are filled with just cheese (sort of like cream cheese) and some are filled with guava and cheese. So good! They aren’t good for you in any way, but they are a treat and I enjoyed them.
Overall, I was very happy with the way March panned out. It was crazy busy at work and with family over and plans every weekend, but March went really well and I can’t wait to see what April brings!
What are some of your favorite things from March?
The weather was amazing here last week! It was in the 80’s pretty much the entire week which, after a month of really cold temperatures, was a big breath of fresh air. We took advantage of the great weather by taking the dogs on a walk around a local park . The dogs loved it and it felt great to just get outside and be together as a family with no distractions.
When the weather gets warmer, it gets harder and harder to want to cook. The summers here are brutal so we end up living off salads since they take little to no cooking and they’re a great, fresh meal. Salads can get kind of repetitive after awhile, so I started mixing different combinations to make some pretty awesome salads. Of course there’s your normal lettuce and veggies salad, but I really like to mix them up!
A few months ago, I created one of my favorite salads so far: a Couscous and Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
It’s topped with warm cous cous, grilled chicken (bonus- you can just use rotisserie chicken), and a homemade lemon vinaigrette. You could top it with some goat cheese or feta cheese and some dried cranberries if you’re feeling fancy, but it really doesn’t need anything else!
Couscous and Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
(originally posted on A Guiltless Glutton)
Serving: 1/2 recipe
Amount per serving (with Vinaigrette): 499 calories- 35g carbs- 22g fat- 23g protein
- 1 cup couscous (or quinoa)
- 10 oz. cooked chicken, chopped
- 4 cups kale (or leafy green of your choosing)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp white sugar (you could use a substitute, but, honestly, sugar is just going to taste the best and one teaspoon of it is just fine)
- Cook couscous as directed on package and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients together well.
- In a larger bowl, combine vinaigrette and kale and toss well.
- Serve on plates, top with couscous and chicken.
This is such a simple recipe and it will add happiness and health to your sunny days!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever stayed on track with workouts and nutrition during the week and then spent the weekend eating junk and watching Netflix. *raises hand.*
How miserable is that feeling? Monday morning rolls around and you feel awful because your body is filled with junk and you didn’t move as much as you should have. Those weekends can often roll over into weeks and then months until you wonder what you’re doing with life. Not a fun way to live!
This past week I’ve done so well eating right and exercising. I made some healthy banana chocolate chip muffins to satisfy my sweet tooth, I’ve made healthy choices when going out to eat, and I’ve included healthy meals into this week’s meal plan. I also worked out 4 days this week and I’ll be working out tomorrow too. It has been a very successful week!
All that being said, it’s Friday and, while I would love to just sit and do nothing and relax this weekend, it’s important to stay active! Here are some FUN things you can do to make sure you’re staying active this weekend!
The weather has been amazing here lately so it’s perfect for a good hike or walk on the beach. We don’t have mountains close to us, but we do have a lot of good places to walk like Fort Pulaski and Tybee Island. Going hiking is a great way to get some fresh air, spend time with someone, and get in a good workout.
If it’s not quite warm enough for hiking, try going to a class you haven’t tried yet! While classes at the gym are often fewer during the weekends, gyms usually offer the staples like aerobics, spin, and yoga. Check your gyms class schedule and try one you haven’t done before!
Have some friends and a Frisbee? Find a park and start a game of Ultimate Frisbee! If you can find a basketball court, volleyball net, or soccer field, get some people together and make a day out of being active together. Go to the beach and throw around a football! Some of my favorite summer memories are going to a friend’s house, having dinner and a beer, then walking over to a neighborhood park and playing a pickup game of soccer with some small nets our friend has. It’s a great way to stay active and enjoy the spring and summer weather while it lasts!
This may sound stupid, but shopping is a good way to get off your butt. Yeah, you’re not exerting a ton of energy but if you go to the mall for a couple of hours, that’s a couple of hours you’ve spent walking on your feet and not sitting watching a movie. Imagine how many FitBit steps that would be!
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do something to keep you moving this weekend. Your body will thank you for it!
What is your favorite weekend activity?
When you go through challenging things, you tend to learn a lot about your life. I have had my fair share of challenging times and I have learned so much about myself through each of them that some of them don’t seem so bad. Learning and growing from those experiences is a silver lining to the bad things.
Losing weight is one of the hardest things I have done. Not just 5-pounds-for-spring-break weight loss, but a “I’m a pre-diabetic which high cholesterol at 19 year old” type weight loss. It was medically necessary and it was hard. There were definitely times that I wanted to just give up because it was hard, I was working my ass off, and I wasn’t seeing any results. Spoiler alert: I didn’t give up and I learned a lot along the way.
- Willpower can get you through anything.
There’s a show on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s hilarious and you should watch it, but that’s besides the point. There’s an episode where Kimmy says that you can get through anything for 10 seconds. I think Tina Fey read my mind when writing the script for that show because I lived by that motto throughout my weight loss journey. I would tell myself I could do anything for 15 minutes and then say it again 15 minutes later. It got me through workouts, cravings, anything. I knew I could do what I needed to do for 15 minutes.As long as you can really push yourself and hold yourself accountable, your willpower can get you through anything.
- Fast progress isn’t always the best progress
While it feels amazing to see weight fly off, it’s often not the best thing. At the beginning, my weight came off like crazy. I also had a lot of weight to lose. As I lost weight, it came off slower and slower until I plateaued- which is normal. What I should have done, however, is not attempted such a fast loss in the first place. While websites will tell you you can lose 2 pounds a week safely, it is much safer and more long-term if you stick to half and pound to a pound loss per week. Losing too quickly will throw your body out of whack and lead to faster plateaus. You also may gain back that weight. I did and it was so discouraging. When I regained the weight, it came back differently so I don’t look as heavy as I did when I weighed what I weigh before, but the weight came back and it can be frustrating.Learn from my mistake: slow loss is better!
- Negativity breeds negativity.
When you’re going through a major life change, it’s important to evaluate your surroundings and prioritize what is important to you. On the top of that list should be getting rid of negativity in your life. You will realize that there may be people in your life that cause more stress, drama, or negativity than positivity and it’s important to minimize your interaction with them. Sometimes it can be hard because they may be family or old friends, but it’s important to realize that you deserve to have positive energy around you. You are a person, not an emotional punching bag. If you notice someone is complaining to you about their life more than they are being uplifting, have a conversation with them. You are bettering yourself and you need positivity in your life.Which brings me to my next point…
- A positive mindset can be the difference between success and failure
Staying positive will always give you the push you need to finish a workout or choosing a healthy meal. Removing negative self-talk will help you view yourself in a positive way which will lead to a much more happy and healthy journey.
- How you look on the outside doesn’t reflect who you are on the inside.
Out of all the things I learned, this was the most important. It is so easy to get caught up in wanting to look a certain way, but it’s important to separate looks and self-worth. You are so much more than your weight or your pant size or the number of abs that you have visible. The scale doesn’t show how strong you are or how fast you can run or how kind you are. Don’t let the scale have an impact on those things because it doesn’t indicate anything other than how much force is being exerted on your body due to gravity. You are much more than that.
If you have gone through weight loss, what kinds of things did you learn?
I am definitely the type to plan my meals in advance. We grocery shop once a week and base our grocery items on what we need for dinners every week. I try not to rotate recipes too often because it’s easy to get sick of something if you eat it too often, but one of the recipes we eat on a regular basis is my Enchilada Casserole.
Ya’ll… this casserole is so good. It mixes all of your favorite Tex-Mex flavors, puts them in layers, covers them in cheese, and makes you really, really happy. I have had so many people tell me it’s on their weekly rotation and now I’m going to share it with you!
I originally posted this on A Guiltless Glutton but it deserves a place at Keeping Carrie Fit, too!
Amount per serving: 309 calories– 23g carbs– 16g fat – 35g protein
- 1/2 lb ground turkey (97/3)
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 cup salsa
- 1/2 of a 16 oz container fat-free refried beans
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but it adds a lot of flavor!)
- 2 soft taco sized tortillas (I used La Banderita)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons dried cilantro
- 1/4 cup black olives (optional)
I promise, if you make this, it will end up as a favorite!
This week has been a rollercoaster. I started the week off with a sleepless night due to an emergency room visit and I wasn’t able to catch up on that sleep until yesterday. I swear I was in bed by 8:30 every night this week. I’m looking forward to being all caught up and back to my normal self!
Before I get started with this weeks highs and lows, I wanted to announce the winner of the Laptop Lunches Bentoware giveaway!
And the winner is:
Congratulations, Laura! I’ll be emailing you soon.
Thanks to everyone who entered!
I got my own office at work! Since I started in July, a group of us were in one room in an arrangement kind of like a cubicle. It was totally ok, we had a lot of fun, but we always knew we were going to be moved to offices after some renovations and now we’re moved! It’s really cool to have a door. Another high is that I’m pretty much caught up on sleep. I am still really tired but I’m functioning and I am thankful for that!
We also had some fun visiting the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. I definitely want to go back with my actual camera to get some awesome photos. It was beautiful!
Starting the week in the emergency room wasn’t the most ideal! Sickness is no fun. My exhaustion really took a toll on my workouts because I was so exhausted. I was able to get to the gym Wednesday and this morning. Next week will definitely be better, but my body really needed a break!
This coming up week, I’m going to make it to the gym in the morning 3 times. I used to go daily! I need to just get back into that routine and a week of early workouts should get that kickstarted.
One of the most common excuses for not eating healthy is expense. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen/heard “Eating healthy is expensive!”
Healthy eating is not expensive, but it does take work! You have to prepare it and plan ahead. While fresh fruits and veggies can be pricey sometimes, those aren’t the only things you buy when eating well!
There are so many things you can do to eat well on a budget.
One of the biggest ways we save money is by shopping in bulk. Getting a membership to a wholesale club will save you a lot of money! If you have a student ID, you can get a discounted rate. The club we use is around $35 per year for the membership and we save more than that on gas savings alone. When buying in bulk, you can buy things that keep for awhile like nuts and rice. They also offer healthy snacks, meats, and veggies. We often buy chicken, ground turkey, and broccoli in bulk and freeze them until we need them. One trip can last us up to a month! We may spend $150 at the club and then maybe $40 a week on other items from the grocery store. Total, that’s less than $100 per week on groceries.
Another way you can save money is by shopping for fresh items in season. In the winter, peaches can easily run over $2 per pound. In the summer, you can get them for $1 per pound. If a fruit or veggie is local and/or in season, you will get a much better price!
Saving money also takes preparation. The easiest way to stay on budget is to make a menu, make a grocery list based on that menu, and stick to it! You will know exactly what you need for each meal and you won’t be guessing while at the store. This is especially useful when buying in bulk! You will be able to knock out most of your shopping in one trip if you plan your bulk trip based on what your meals are for the month.
How do you save money when grocery shopping?
I am really excited today! This weekend was amazing. We hung out with friends and spent some time outside at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. We saw some of the most amazing flowers there! There is a green house full of orchids and a lot of them were blooming (spiking, I think, is the correct term for orchids- I’ll have to ask my dad, he’s an orchid expert).
They were gorgeous.
We ate out at restaurants a LOT this weekend, though, and I am so ready to get back into my regular routine.
Part of my routine is making lunch for work and it can be difficult sometimes. Portions can be tricky and too often I say “forget it” and end up going out to lunch when I really shouldn’t. Queue: Laptop Lunches Bentoware.
Laptop Lunches is a company that designs bento style lunch boxes. When they sent me some of their product for review, I was so excited! I’ve had a couple of lunch boxes like this before, but this one was the easiest to use by far.
Each box can hold something different and you can include all, some, or none of the inserts in your laptop lunch, depending on what you want to pack! It is really versatile and it is easy to pack into a purse or a backpack. I was able to fit this into my purse along with all the other stuff I carry without any issues!
Some of the inserts have lids and others don’t. I put carrots and blueberries in the lid-less ones and never had any issues with anything falling out. The bento box is very well designed.
I thought it was really cool that there was a space to write your name. This is especially handy if you have kids and use it for their lunches! No more getting things mixed up between siblings or classmates.
Another bonus: the bento box and the pieces inside are all dishwasher safe! I put all of my pieces in the top rack of the dishwasher.
I found that the days I used my bentobox, I made much healthier choices. I stuck to what I packed in the box and I was satiated with the portions I had available to me. This is definitely a product you should have in your house!
I can make it a lot easier for you to have one in your house too! Laptop Lunches is being gracious enough to give one reader their own set of Bentoware! You will get everything you see pictured here! All you need to do is:
- Head over to Laptop Lunches’ website and browse through their products.
- Comment on this post with the item you’d like to try the most.
You can also visit Laptop Lunches Facebook page for an extra entry. Like it, if you get a chance!
This giveaway is for US residents only. The contest is open until Thursday night, 11:59pm EST and I will randomly select a winner on Friday, March 13!