Week 2 of my 90-day transformation program officially started on Monday, with a new meal plan. This week features a lot of turkey and I forgot how expensive turkey is compared to the $2/lb chicken breasts I usually buy. I also realized how rarely I actually buy meat, now that I’m having to buy it to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. It adds up! I requested cheaper protein for next week’s meal plan, like lentils.
Week 1 went pretty well. I actually dropped a couple pounds on the scale, though I fully expect the numbers to fluctuate as I move through this program. I didn’t get to exercise much due to my knee flareup, but I ordered a heart rate monitor* for the first time and had fun seeing how many calories I burned during my lesson and then two practice sessions.
I’ve never tracked my calorie burn or heart rate before, so this HR monitor feels like a new toy and I found the novelty of it makes me want to do more so I can see the numbers change. Whatever works, right!
The most challenging thing for me in Week 1 of the program was actually eating all of the food prescribed to me. This is probably the reason I dropped a couple pounds even though I didn’t exercise much beyond my dancing. The meal plan includes breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. I cut down on the amount of egg whites I made with breakfast as I felt overfull on the first day. I had to split lunch into two phases an hour apart in order to eat everything. So really, I ended up with a breakfast, a dinner, and four snacks. I tracked which meals I ate each day and most days, I skipped at least one of the snacks. It was just so much food! The woman who planned my meals said I’m the first to complain my meal plan has too much food.
It’s really highlighted how much I undereat overall and in particular, protein. It also highlighted how much more fat I’m consuming than I think. I downloaded a meal planning app that calculates your calories and macros to prep a 7th day meal plan (we’re allowed to go off the prescribed plan for one day a week, as long as we stick within our calorie and macro goals). I tried entering stuff I would normally eat. I was under the mark on the total calories, about on point for carbs, under for protein, and over for fat. Interesting. Also, glad I don’t have to do that for every day.
The other big challenge is meal prepping and cleanup. First world problems, right? I’m a one-pot kind of a gal when it comes to dinner (i.e., pasta!). I pop a bagel in the toaster oven for breakfast. I grab whatever leftovers there are from dinner and throw them in my lunch bag. With this program, I’m having to prepare full meals that require more than just the toaster oven or a pot of boiling water. I have a special adversity to washing dishes, and I was starting to sigh heavily over having to wash the same pots or pans every day over and over to cook the different meals.
I think this is where the meal prepping is supposed to come in. You make all your food at the beginning of the week and put it in containers that you just pull out each day. But I can’t cook everything ahead of time. I don’t like the idea of reheating egg whites or turkey bacon on Friday morning that I originally cooked on Sunday. Some stuff, sure. I cooked a few chicken breasts Sunday night for the lunches this week, but I’ll still need to cook at least one more before the week ends. I cooked a whole bunch of brown rice to go with my Week 1 dinner (and still had to cook more later in the week). I went the easy route on the vegetables and bought a bunch of frozen, steam-in-bag packs.
I just don’t have time to prep a entire week of meals completely on a Sunday that involves more than boiling a pot of water or turning on the oven. I can cook a few chicken breasts and a pot of rice while I work on other stuff, but that’s it. This week’s first blog post was published Monday night instead of Sunday because the day was too busy and I wasn’t able to finish it. So forget also cooking a week’s worth of food.
Enough bitching and moaning though. Week 1 was good overall. On the days I didn’t feel overfull or my day’s schedule didn’t allow me to eat at regular intervals, the meal plan flowed nicely. I didn’t include as many egg whites as prescribed for breakfast, but I started to feel peckish around the right time for each subsequent snack/meal. I can’t say if I’ve noticed a change in my energy level, but as I mentioned in the last post, my knees are doing better! Protein is essential for recovery and repair within the body. Coincidence?
Week 2 feels like a ton of food too. I had breakfast late on Day 1 (Monday), and ended up eating my morning snack for lunch instead of the prescribed lunch because that’s all I was hungry for. No afternoon snack and 2-3 hours after I ate dinner, I was still feeling full.
I’m used to eating a bigger dinner, so that one’s not too much of an issue. It’s the bigger breakfast and lunch that make me go “whoa, you want me to eat how much??” Splitting up the lunch helped a lot in Week 1, so I’ll do the same this week. I think I’ve written here before that I eat like a hobbit. Not necessarily the quantity of food, but the frequency (breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, etc). I snack through the day and then usually have a bigger dinner. This meal plan with its meat in every major meal is keeping me fuller longer, so I’m not wanting to eat as often. I don’t think that’s good or bad; it’s just what I’m experiencing.
I’m aiming to get some non-dance workouts in this week. This week’s schedule shifted, so Thursday and Friday evenings are now looking mostly open (knock on wood). Usually the opposite happens. One thing gets thrown off in my very full schedule and it has a severe domino effect until I just have to sacrifice something. Looks like the odds are in my favor though to get my sweat on toward the end of the week. Someone hold me accountable to that!
We’re just getting started in this program, so I still have plenty of time to find my groove in this thing. I can do this!