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Ranch Baby Carrots- Food and Fitness

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So I am truly making some progress and although I am really scared that it is a fluke, I feel that I need to celebrate! Just not with carbs…

So as of yesterday, I am 171.2 lbs. That means that I am truly on track to get to 170 before our trip to Mexico on April 1st. I haven’t been under 173 in a couple years so this is a pretty big deal for my body and my set point. I am afraid I am going to plateau but I will deal with that when it happens! I am trying to reduce my stress about counting calories lately because with intermittent fasting, eating clean, working out, and limiting starchy carbs, it is really hard to keep up with my own rules. Now a healthy 1lb loss a week would make me pretty happy as I want to keep this up in a manageable, long term way.

Last week, intermittent fasting went a little different for me. I was finding that I was hungry around 10:30am and actually want to eat something. This was REALLY strange for me on Monday and Tuesday and I resisted breaking my fast because I know fasting is working for my weight loss. However, I had a sister-assisted epiphany the other day. My body is changing. I am eating cleaner, craving less, have more energy, working out nearly daily, and gaining muscle. I can do push ups now. On my toes. Good ones!

I just feel like I am finally getting to a point where I can recognize what I actually need! What a freaking concept right?! Before, I couldn’t do intuitive eating because my body was so out of whack. I couldn’t tell physiological hunger from dehydration or eating for routine’s sake. I also wasn’t working out before and was eating grains and dairy because the nutritionist said not to eliminate anything from my diet.

I think what has changed in 30+ days of intermittent fasting, is that I am filling up on the right foods like vegetables and protein during my eating window. I have taken a lot of temptations out of my life by limiting the number of hours I eat. I think I am getting hungry earlier in the day because I am eating a very clean dinner the night before that just naturally ends up being lower in calories which the eight hour eating window also helps me to achieve. I am also taking charge of my sleeping and making sure that Ryan and I are at the very least, in bed by 9pm. I think intermittent fasting did its job and helped me reset my body in a way. I am not going to stop IF because I have felt more “together” in the past month than ever before and this lack of brain fog has been good for my workouts and productivity. However, I am going to break the fast early on days I am legitimately hungry. Also, I am now finding that my Shakeology doesn’t fill me up anymore so I am going to add a snack to my afternoons. Yesterday, I did a banana and almond butter packet around 2pm.

I have also been trying to add more weight training and strength exercise to my routine in the past week. I keep reading that the key to fat loss and toning is using weights. Well, I am still unwilling to join a gym so I feel like I need to get creative. I don’t want to buy a ton of equipment either because even just my kettlebell, yoga mat, athletic shoes, and 3lb weights take up way too much space in my 1,450 square foot house. Also, I love doing cardio at home. I know what everyone says, that sweating doesn’t mean you had a good workout and that you SHOULD be sweating when you do weights. But I just like the way a good high intensity cardio routine makes me feel. When I finish a 20 minute HIIT Turbo Fire workout, I feel like I could rule the free world. Whereas, when I finish this video, I feel like I will never be able to lift my arm above my waist again…

But oh my goodness, this workout KILLS. In a good way. My arms have always been my least favorite part of my body and although I know that overall weight loss will help, I think a little (lot) of extra toning couldn’t hurt. My sisters and I created our own challenge with this 30 minute arm workout. We are going to each do it three times each for at least two months. I am using 3 lb weights and have done this workout five times now. Julie tried it with no weights and still felt major burn. Then SHE decided to get creative too…

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Good lord, I adore her commitment. I always knew that tomato sauce and olive oil were staples in one’s pantry, but she made it her gym.

Christine tried it with 5 lb weights (overachiever…) and said she had to take it a little slower. I seriously had trouble chopping up onions for dinner after this workout the first time. I also LOVE the instructor, Lauren Hefez. She is so freaking perky and encouraging. Clearly, this workout must work because her arms are incredible.

Time to talk food…

Again! Another recipe where the added sugar is unnecessary! It actually kind of cracks me up because I wonder now that I am super observant of recipes that call for sugar, how many things in this world we add sugar to when we don’t actually need to?! I am not even going to post the original recipe because I have altered it so much.

Drives me nuts. Which is kind of ironic considering that only a year ago, I was making this recipe with a bunch of brown sugar and twice the amount of butter!

So I have made this recipe more times that I can count and it is always well-liked by people. It does call for butter but when you eat like I have lately, eliminating all butter is just plain deprivation. I have made this recipe with the sugar and without, and truly I promise you, the sugar is not needed. The caramelized carrots take care of it.

I usually pair this with salmon or chicken breast. But I have made it with steak and pork as well and it really is good with everything. I almost always have a bag of baby carrots in my fridge because we will either eat them raw as a snack, I will throw them in whatever stew I am cooking that week. Last night, I made these carrots with a grilled steak and my cruciferous crunch salad. Super fulfilling and delicious.

What I love about this dish is that I almost always have everything on hand to make it. It is pretty quick if you pop a lid on the pan so the carrots cook through faster. If you don’t want to babysit it, I bet you could melt the butter, throw in the herbs, toss the carrots, spill them out onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

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Ranch Baby Carrots

  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 4 tablespoons butter (last time I made this I subbed in 2 TB of coconut oil and it was awesome!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes (dry or fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in large pan. Add all the herbs and stir.
  2. Add carrots to pan and stir to coat.
  3. Roast in pan for about 15 minutes or until you can stick a fork through a baby carrot.
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