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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Delicious Fall Recipe

Baked Chicken Breast With Roasted Apples And GarlicHi, my name is Dani, and I struggle with eating healthy.

There, I said it! It's so true of me, and as we go into the fall and winter I know it will only get harder. This summer I thrived off of food from our garden and the grill, but up here in New England the long winter months are characterized by comfort food and added fats.

I've worked hard to get my body where it is today though, so don't think I'm going to throw in the towel. I just need to work more diligently at finding healthy and delicious recipes.

And, of course, I'll be sharing them with all of you here at Fat Gurl Inside.

Last night for dinner I decided to do a Baked Chicken with Roasted Apples and Garlic. It was super yummy! Here's the recipe:

1 or 2 Chopped and Peeled Macintosh Apples 
1 Dash of Dried Sage
2 Dashes of Cinnamon
1 Dash of Nutmeg
1 Garlic Cloves, Chopped Finely
1 Dash of Salt
1 Dash of Black Pepper
Olive Oil
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Cut in 1-2 Inch Strips


Preheat oven to 475°.

Spray a small pan with olive oil. Combine first 6 ingredients together in pan.

Place chicken pieces on top of the apple mixture. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done and apple is tender. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Partially mash apple mixture with a potato masher, and serve with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

This recipe makes enough for two people with a little left over, but it can be increased to serve a whole family.

Enjoy with roasted cauliflower and carrots, or other vegetables you enjoy.

If you get a chance to try it let me know what you think!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Easy To Do. Easy Not To Do.

Easy to do. Easy not to do.
Recently I've been reading a book called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Throughout the book he makes that statement, "So easy to do. So easy not to do." Those are the things that make a difference in your life.

For me right now that easy thing to do is to workout and eat healthy. But at the same time it's so easy not to do those things! It's easy to stay in bed and keep hitting snooze. It's easy to pick up some fast food or a pre-made meal at the store. It's easy to take the elevator instead of using the stairs. 

I think part of the reason all those "unhealthy" habits are so easy is that it's what I was used to doing for so long. They've become ingrained in me, which makes this whole "trying to change to live a healthier lifestyle" thing really hard! There are times I want to give up and do the old easy thing instead of embracing the new easy thing.

Honestly, it's easy for me to find 30 minutes to complete my workout. It's easy for me to shop for healthier foods. It's easy for me to walk somewhere instead of driving. It just maybe takes a little more planning.

When you have goals though, and you are serious about those goals, you'll probably find that you are willing to put in that little bit of extra work. When you get serious about living healthier, you can find some extra time in your day to prepare a meal plan or fit in that extra workout.

When you are tempted to give up and stop working towards your goals remind yourself that it's easy to keep going. You just have to make the right choice.

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Face In The Mirror: The Story Behind Fatgurlinside

Face in the mirror: The story behind fatgurlinside
Fat Gurl Inside. It's an unusual choice for a blog name, I know, but it has a lot of meaning to me. A lot of it has to do with the fact that, on the inside, I'm a lover of all things sugary sweet and delicious and fattening and... well, things that would make my waistline expand generously.

But it's more than that. It has a lot to do with a part of my life that I have always been afraid to open up about: my struggle with weight and my self-image. In the past I've tried to laugh it off, pretending everything was ok, when it wasn't.

If you opened up my photo book you'd see that throughout my years of high school and early adulthood, my weight yoyoed. I know I may not look like a fat gurl to some people, but we all define being fat differently.

And, honestly, at the end of the day, it didn't matter what people thought I looked like. Fat. Thin. Whatever. What mattered was what I thought, and what I saw in the mirror was not anything I was proud of. I felt physically weak, low on energy, sluggish, which all can be symptoms of being overweight. In high school I struggled with poor eating habits, sometimes starving myself and being obsessed with walking a six mile loop on a regular basis in hopes of shedding those extra 20 pounds I was carrying around, cleverly hidden under baggy clothes.

I didn't like the outward me!

Until I was willing to really do something about it though I wasn't able to openly admit that I wasn't happy with that gurl I saw in the mirror. I couldn't even look at my before photos for the first several weeks after starting my first Challenge Group. I'm so thankful I took them though! Now it is a wonderful reminder of how far I have come, how much my body has changed, strengthened and slimmed down from working out regularly, drinking Shakeology, and trying to eat more healthily.

As a Christian I know that looking good isn't everything. Our society puts far too much emphasis on being sexy and slim and gorgeous. I don't want to compound that in any way. But I also believe there is a godly way of caring for our physical bodies that is good and healthy. And I thank God for the motivation He has given me to pursue a healthier lifestyle. It does feel nice to have more confidence in how I look, and to not stress over what to wear in order to feel comfortable in my own skin. We all have a right to feel good about our looks, to put on that cute dress for a date night and feel awesome in it, to have the strength to enjoy physical activities, to have the endurance to run a marathon.

If you've ever felt like me, you know the feeling of trying on 10 different outfits before you either give up or find something to hide behind. You don't have to live that way though! All you need are some goals, a willingness to work hard, and a group of people that can support you in the process.

I would love to be your support, to encourage you, to push you, to hold you accountable and challenge you to do things you never thought possible! If this is something you are ready to do let me know, and we can figure out a plan that will help you reach you personal goals!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's The Little Choices

Get off the bench and into the game!I love sports, but I have not often had the opportunity to play them. However, thanks to my three younger sisters, I've been able to attend plenty of games—basketball, softball, and soccer.

Soccer is the sport I have the biggest soft spot for, probably because it's the only sport I ever played—once when I was a kid and again in Bible College. My love of soccer is also tied to the pace of the game and even, I think, the time of year.

Sadly, this fall marks the first time in six years that none of my sisters are playing because they have all graduated high school. Furthermore, since recently moving to a new town, I am too far away to make the trip to watch their old high school team play.

However, interestingly, I found out a few weeks ago that one of the coach's who used to coach my sisters is now a coach for the team in my new town. I have memories of his distinct voice thundering across the soccer field.

So this week I was feeling like exploring my new town and decided to head over to the high school and check out the first soccer game of the season. I packed a blanket and brought along a Pumpkin Pie Spice Shakeology.

A few minutes into the game it appeared that the athletic director, who had been running the ball, didn't really want to be running the ball. So, I offered to do it for him, which meant running up and down a 110 yard field for 80 minutes, which is a workout all in itself, but I did it in an attempt practice making healthier choices.

I mean, how many times do I take the elevator to travel three floors when the stairs will work just fine? How often do I look for a closer parking spot when parking a little further away and walking gives me just a little bit more exercise?

Now, not everyone would chose to run the ball for the local high school soccer team, but I like soccer, and running the ball gave me a chance to pay closer attention and get some exercise. So why not?

If we're going to get serious about getting into shape, we need to get serious about all the little decisions we make throughout the day. Take the stairs. Park further away. Walk to the soccer game. Run the ball! It's these little choices that are easy to do, but also easy not to do. It's these little choices that add up over time and can either help you get a lot closer to reaching your goals or drag you much further away from them.

What will you choose to do today to put you one step closer to reaching your goals? I want to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below.

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Struggle Is Real

The Struggle is Real!
The hubby and I recently moved into his Grandmother's house. There were several factors that played into this happening, none of which have anything to do with what I write on this blog. So, you just need to know that I moved.

Ok? Good. Moving on.

So, at Grandma's house, I'm finding that it's going to be harder to eat clean and healthy. At home, I had stopped buying ice cream, candy, cookies, and other treats. Not buying them meant not having them in the house, and not having them in the house made it a whole lot easier not to eat them. Funny how that works, isn't it? Well, that's not the case at Grandma's where there is a whole new world of sugary treats available.

This is how my day goes. I get to the bottom of my bedroom stairs where there are three jars with cookies. I go to the sink to get some water and there is an open bag of peanut butter M&Ms just to my right. I walk to the living room and pass by some candy corn on the dining room table... you get the picture.

And don't get me wrong, this is as it should be. I mean, come on, it's Grandma's house! Having sugary treats for the grandkids is practically in the job description. So it's up to me to practice self-control, willpower, and stick-to-it-ness.

My personal charge to you is that if you live in your own space DON'T BUY THE THINGS YOU KNOW YOU DON'T NEED TO EAT! Remember, it's the little decisions that lead to victory over time. But, if that isn't an option, be honest with those you are accountable to. The struggle is real folks. If you are a bonafide sugarholic, like this gurl, then you need support and help. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for it. Get some accountability and make a plan or you'll never see the results you want.

To help you get started, consider joining a Challenge Group with me. I'd love to commiserate with you, and at the same time help support and encourage you to make healthy meal choices!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Friday, September 5, 2014

Raspberry Vanilla Shakeology Recipe

My delicious recipe for Raspberry Vanilla Shakeology
A few weeks ago while I was out mowing our lawn, I noticed we had raspberries ready to be picked. I love picking raspberries, but, ironically, don't really care for them. So I decided to incorporate them into my Shakeology to see if I could enjoy them any better that way. I popped a cup of them into the freezer and made this delicious drink the next day.

And, yes, it was delish!

Raspberry Vanilla Shakeology

1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 Scoop Vanilla Shakeology

Put all the ingredients in the blender and run until everything is well mixed and raspberries are chopped finely. Then enjoy this refreshing, delicious treat!

My only complaint with this recipe is that it includes the seeds from the raspberries, which are kind of strange to drink, BUT the overall flavor is very yummy!

Raspberry Vanilla Shakeology

Don't mind my hair, just look at the delicious Shakeology

Don't mind the hair in the above picture. Can't you tell that I had just finished doing my PiYo exercise after a 30 minute swim? ;-)

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What I Really Think Of 21 Day Fix

So I've completed the first two days of 21 Day Fix. Not gonna lie, it is kicking my butt! The exercises are very different than what I am used to doing in PiYo, so it's almost like starting all over again.

21 Day Fix, by Autumn Calabrese, is a workout program with a strong emphasis on weight loss and eating right. The program is great because it takes the guesswork out of eating healthy with easy-to-follow portion containers. No counting. No guessing. No wondering. Just eating great and a 30-minute workout every day!

Autumn uses circuit training, which is a form of body conditioning that focuses on doing one series of exercises in a rotation. What I like about that is when I've completed a circuit I know I don't have to do those particular exercises again! Ha!

This is what I wish I looked like during the workout:

21 Day Fix Beachbody

But this is probably closer to what I actually look like:

21 Day Fix Scissor Crunches

One thing I don't like as much about this workout program is that Autumn spends more time going around talking with the other members in her group than she actually spends doing the workout. Whereas in PiYo, for example, trainer Chalene Johnson does about 95% of the workout right along with you, all while talking and genuinely encouraging and communicating tips and helpful info.

The eating plan has been great so far! I feel full, and have yet to really have any cravings. I enjoy my Shakeology as a treat and fruit is always good too!

I'm looking forward to seeing how much my body, stamina and strength change over the next few weeks!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside
21 Day Fix Lunch

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

21 Day Fix Anyone?

Beachbody Challenge Group - 21 Day FixToday I am starting a new workout routine—21 Day Fix, by Beachbody.

After completing PiYo, I decided to follow it up with 21 Day Fix because I still need major help working on my eating habits. (Apparently there really isn't much nutritional value in s'mores and ice cream.)

This workout comes with containers, each an appropriate serving size representing a type of food. This is great because it takes the guesswork out of what and how much to eat. It even comes with some recipes and lots of helpful tips on how to stay on track with the eating plan, as well as some cheat meals you can enjoy too.

Not only does this program come with the containers, but all the workouts are only 30 minutes long, which makes it perfect for any busy girl! There are seven different workouts with a wide variety of exercises that will work your whole body. Do you have a short deadline to get into shape? Maybe a wedding, cruise or special event coming up? Maybe you just like to see results quickly. If you can relate to any of those reasons consider getting the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack and joining my next Challenge Group starting on September 22 via a Facebook group. If you are interested just click on the contact me button at the top of the page.

I've seen friends have some amazing results from following this plan, and I'm hopeful to see some great results myself. I'll definitely keep you updated on my progress as I go, and maybe share a few delicious recipes!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside