Weight Loss Challenge: Week One

When a weight loss challenge first came up in our family I knew I was going to do it. I’m always looking for motivation to get into better shape and  I figured a little competition could really light a fire under me. I’m not the most competitive person taking part in this so I’m not doing it to win, more to just better myself, but winning would be nice wouldn’t it? I thought this would be a good opportunity to share what’s working for me as far as food and working out for this weight loss challenge. I’ll post an update every Monday, after the weigh in, for the previous week. So buckle up, this might be a long one.


Today is our first weigh in and I’m extremely motivated. I plan to eat somewhat the same as normal just trying to cut my end of the night sweets and anything fried out of my diet this week. I also intend on working out after work at home which I normally bail out of because I hate it but I’m determined.


For breakfast I had my everyday, delicious, peanut butter and strawberry jam on Trader Joe’s Multigrain bread. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this breakfast and it holds me over until lunch. I did choose to eat a smaller piece than usual just because I am watching a bit more than usual so yea, progress. For lunch I had a small piece of spinach pie that my mom makes for Easter and a honeycrisp apple. Freaking honeycrisp apples are expensive af but 100% worth it because they are beyond all other apples. To finish up my first day of food on the weight loss challenge, I had a salad with sunflower seeds and onion dressing and a mini cheddar beer bread bowl. The recipe for the bread bowl is from the Hot for Food cooking with booze challenge and I made mini versions for my family at Easter.


30 squat jacks, 30 squat pulses, 40 leg lifts on each side, 40 donkey kicks each side, 1 minute plank, 1 minute core challenge, 10 sun salutations- this might not seem like a lot to you but I rarely workout and this was enough for me!



For breakfast PB&J on toast again and also repeated my lunch from yesterday, I’m a creature of habit what can I say. For dinner I had planned on collard veggie wraps but was surprised to not find the veggies I thought I had in my fridge, I improvised nd still had a collard wrap base but made 2 gardein crispy chicken strips and added some leftover cheddar beer dip mash as well. MY GOODNESS was this delicious. I kicked myself for only making two so I snacked a bit on the veggies I was roasting for the next day.


Tone It Up Coachella workout on Youtube, this kicked my ass royally and took the pups for a half mile walk. Ava tends to get super tired on walks so we didn’t go as long as we could have.



Ready for this? PB&J on half a piece of toast but on the other half was avocado! See I can change it up. Spinach pie and 1/2 a banana for lunch, also a change because I ran out of apples. Also, my bananas from AmazonFresh were super weird. The bottom 1/3 of all of them were completely brown and mushy but when I ate the good part it was bitter like they weren’t fully ripe. So strange. For dinner, I had the veggies I roasted yesterday and they were bangin!!! Roasted broccoli with garlic powder and sea salt, cauliflower with hungarian paprika and sea salt, and sweet potatoes with cinnamon and nutmeg with a dash of sea salt. I sprayed all of them with spray coconut oil and put them in the oven at 450. I didn’t really pay attention to how ling they were in there because I just check on them randomly until I see them getting a bit charred. I also had a spoonful of the cheddar beer mash, which I just can’t get enough of as you can tell.


Tone It Up arm workout on YouTube. I used 5lb weights and struggled HARD. I have to build up my arm strength in the worst way.



I was feeling a bit bloated and sluggish this day so I started off with a smoothie for breakfast. It was Trader Joe’s frozen berry mixture, spinach, and celery. I really wanted to throw a banana in there but it was just too gross yesterday. To sum up this smoothie, I hated it. To be honest, I hate all smoothies but they always seem to be effective for me in debloating and weight loss. If I could get over my distaste for smoothies I think I wouldn’t have the need to be in a weight loss challenge. Lunch was a mini bread bowl and an orange. Dinner was sushi with family. I had an avocado hand roll, sweet potato roll, cucumber hand roll, ginger salad, and a clear soup. HEAVEN.


Being exhausted from the previous days and knowing we had dinner plans I did 10 squats every time I went to the bathroom, which thanks to the damn smoothie was 15 times before I even left work.



Breakfast was again my go to PB& J on toast, I’m telling you I look forward to this every morning. For lunch I had a delicious indian samosa wrap from Amy’s, it’s in the freezer aisle and it was really good. I had a little mango coconut sauce from whole foods with that. Dinner was a big salad with some onion dressing.


Took my pups for a glorious walk and called it a night on activity.



For breakfast I made some potatoes with onions and jalapeno in a skillet. I love potatoes so this was perfect. My AmazonFresh order came in so I was overloaded with new food and made that cheddar beer mash I ate all week again. I basically ate a scoop of that lunch and I regret nothing. I also attempted making black bean brownies from a mix that was given to me for my birthday. They were all ok but kinda tasted like burnt cinnamon even though they weren’t burnt and there was no cinnamon in there. Odd. Today was more of a snacking day and the rest of my food consisted of lentil chips with caramelized onion hummus.


Straight up lazy, I considered cleaning my house a workout.



For breakfast I had some toast and fruit. We usually go to breakfast with my dad on Sundays but he wasn’t feeling well so we just ate in. I was feeling pretty full until about 2 and I decided to try my hand at some sushi. I made one with sweet potato and the other with mango, avocado, and cucumber. Really good and really easy however NONE of my knives were sharp enough to cut it properly. Very annoying but I would still call it a successful 1st attempt at making sushi at home. I didn’t feel hungry for most of the day but at around 8 I caved and had some brownie crisp from Trader Joe’s, I’m weak I know.


YOGA! I really don’t prefer practicing yoga at home but I haven’t renewed my month membership yet so I’m settling for at home practice right now.



“Bacon” Off! Taste Test


Coconut Bacon- I’ll start my review of this “bacon” by saying I LOVE COCONUT! I love coconut anyway you give it to me, well besides coconut water, yuck. I will say I’m not sure my coconut was the big chunks that the recipe called for but it had some big chunks. While the marinade did make the coconut have a smoky flavor it still 100% tasted like coconut, which I did not mind at all. It had a consistency of chopped up bacon but still a coconut taste and smell. It was crazy easy to make and I would definitely make it again. I couldn’t get this by the husband though because he absolutely hates coconut.

Overall “Bacon” Score: 7, however taste wise to me it was a 10 but not really a “bacon” flavor.

Tempeh Bacon- I was pretty nervous about this one because I have actually never tried tempeh before. I had bought it one or two times before but it went bad before I figured out what I wanted to do with it. The whole recipe was really easy and it kinda looked like a thick bacon slice. It was a little “seedy” for my liking on its own but I think I could get into if it was in a sandwich or cut up into like tacos, maybe in a different sauce for the taco part.

Overall “Bacon” Score: 5

Portobello Bacon: I have to say I might have cut mine a weeeee bit too thin and I might have burnt most of them. I can’t fully say I got a true taste of how they should be but they definitely pulled off the burnt bacon taste test. If I wouldn’t have messed these up I think they might have had great potential. They got crispy and had a smokey taste, but that could have been the overcooking as well.

Overall “Bacon” Score: 6 for potential


As you can see I loved the coconut bacon. I’ve used it on salads, BLTs, and a dip I made. All delicious. The other two just sat in my fridge until I forced myself to eat some then threw the rest out. I have a few more variations I would like to try for another post at a later time but overall I’m just not sure I really need “bacon” in my life. I can just do without but for those of you that can’t, I’ll have another “Bacon Off” coming at ya soon! Recipes are linked below!


The Recipes

Coconut Bacon: http://www.minimalistbaker.com/easy-coconut-bacon/

Tempeh Bacon: http://www.simpleveganblog.com/tempeh-bacon/

Portobello Bacon: http://www.veganosity.com/portobello-mushroom-bacon-vegan-bacon/


Ava aka Buggy is the product of me nagging JJ to no end for a friend for Opie. Ava is also from a rescue and she is a shepherd/hound mix. She got the nickname Buggy because she is such a love bug. There is no better way to describe her, she has a pure heart of gold. The rescue I got Ava from was not the most thorough and was a totally different experience from my dealings with All 4 Paws, which was just incredible. I won’t be listing their name because in the end they are a rescue doing great things for animals. They didn’t give me too much info about her or even her right breed but I have no regrets. She is the sweetest dog I have ever met, everything she does, she does with love. Opie and Ava get along so well, she just worships him.


Ava can also be found on instagram @asthetailswag !!


Opie stole my heart the first second I laid eyes on him. He was rescued from being euthanized in a shelter from a lovely rescue called All 4 Paws at just four months old. He is a husky/shepherd mix and my furry soulmate. You know those romantic movies where two people’s eyes meet from across the room and they can’t keep their eyes off of each other…yea it was kind of like that. I went to one of All 4 Paws meet and greets to meet another puppy and that little puppy was late, which worked out so well for all parties in the end because she ended up getting adopted with her sister, and I got to meet Opie first. Once the other puppy showed up, I left Opie’s side and was spending time with her but I couldn’t stop looking at Opie! Funny this was, he couldn’t stop looking at me either! I’m telling you the puppy dog eyes that were exchanged were sickening. I knew that I had to leave there with Opie. There was just that connection that I feel like a lot of dog owners can attest to, when you meet the one you’re destined to take home, you just know. A 3 hour car ride home later and Opie was in his forever home with us.

I would like to say that we chose the name Opie after Son’s of Anarchy’s Opie, not Ron Howard’s Opie, even though people say his personality is more fitting to the latter.


You can see more of Opie on instagram @asthetailswag !!


I have had cats my whole life, my house always had at least one cat, usually more, at all times. When I moved out though, I thought those days were over because my boyfriend, now husband, was very allergic and very scared of them. Enter Penny. She found JJ, the above mentioned boyfriend/husband, at his aunt’s house and weasled her way into his heart. Well, she was nice to him and he thought she wasn’t so bad, maybe she hadn’t penetrated his cat fearing heart just yet. Now the journey of how she finally became ours is a long story but basically Penny was abandoned by her “family” when they moved and she became an outside cat. She survived a really bad hurricane and a whole year out on her own before she came into our lives. She was the perfect cat for us, she was snuggly and loving with me, and she kept her distance from JJ, which is what he wanted. She was also very dog like and JJ was able to adjust to her a lot easier because of that. She has been a part of our little family for quite some time now and we couldn’t be happier to spoil this little snow orange kitty for the rest of her life.