Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Broken Record

I have not been hitting my savings goals the past several months.  I am saving, but not as much as I normally do or should.  Part of me wants to buckle down and get serious  and the other part wants me to loosen  my budget.  By allocating more funds into the various monthly categories will have me not save as much every month.  I'm pretty hesitant to do that, but that may be the best.  I spend too much during the month and then I end up charging some stuff (not a lot).  Since I pay off the cards in full every month, I'll not put the allocated funds into my savings so I'll be able pay off my cards. It is a vicious cycle; one that I need to seriously get a hold of.

My numbers still look okay, but not as good as I'd like for them to.  We're having the same problem as usual.  We eat out way too much.  We eat in during the week, but lately starting Friday all the way to Sunday, we eat out.  No bueno.

I mentioned this to B the other day and we both agreed to make a conscious decision not to eat out as much anymore.  Instead of the 3-4 times a week, we'll keep it at once a week.  I think that is totally manageable.

In the meantime, of course, this means I won't hit my savings goals again this month.  Unfortunately, I find myself saying that way too often.  If I am unable to hit my savings goals in May, then I will seriously look into modifying my monthly budget.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Still Hanging In There -- $$ Version

I've updated this blog on my diet issue, now it's time to discuss $$.

I'm still saving, just not hitting my savings goals lately.  I do have a bunch of expenses in the upcoming months and I'm okay with that.  I filed my taxes last week and I was able to max out my IRA again this year.  Yay!!  I'll also be receiving a total refund of a little more than $1800.  Not too bad.  I'm going to buy myself something (not sure what yet) for about $100 and will spend another $100 on B.  The remaining refund will sit in my savings collecting basically no interest.

Currently, I have a little more than $13K in my liquid savings (just transferred $5K into my IRA).  My IRA/Money Market Accounts are currently sitting at around $30K.  I expected to have more in liquid savings by this time, but I'm okay with the balance that I do have. 

I really have to buckle down on my spending.  It's not too outlandish, but a little excessive for me.  The fact that B and I eat out only about twice a week will help.  Since I'm not really cooking much dinners anymore and our food basically consists of salads and fruits, our grocery budget should be decreasing  a bit.  That'll help. 

Also, I currently have a few IRA CD accounts, one Money Market Account, and one Brokerage IRA Account.  I have like $2K invested in my brokerage account, but have about $4K more just sitting there not invested in anything.  This year, I'd like to allocate that money to some stocks.  My Money Market account is literally earning pennies.  I'd like to roll that over to something else (Not sure what yet). I'd also like to do something with my IRA CD's.  They are just sitting there and not doing much.  I also have two separate IRA CD's at two separate banks and I'd like to merge those sometime this year.  The thing is I know absolutely nothing about investing and need to learn the basics so my money can work for me in the long run.

Still Hanging In There

B is still sticking to his diet of salads and fruits during the week.  He is eating light during the week and eats whatever he wants in moderation on the weekends.  I've been following suite more or less.  I also have been eating fruit or a shake for breakfast along with a salad for lunch.  Dinner time is where I struggle.  Although I do not over indulge, I do eat more than I should.  I keep my calorie count fairly low throughout the day and then just basically blow it in the evenings.  The good news is that I do not eat after 8 pm. 

This week, I've been eating my apple salad for breakfast and my lunch consists of either Greek or a caprese salad.  I might have one small piece of chocolate sometime in the afternoon.  When I get home, I'll eat maybe two eggs with toast or the other day I seared three scallops and served it with a small portion of pasta and a "cream" sauce (made with skim milk).  Healthy?  Not really, but better than what I was eating.  Tonight I'll have a portabella mushroom pizza (no crust).  Basically I'll top a portabella cap with a little tomato sauce and a bit of cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly.

B has lost almost 20 pounds and I have just seemingly maintained my past weight loss.  I know I'll have to cut my treats and really watch my portions and food intake to match B's accomplishments.  B says he sees my body changing for the better, but the scale is not moving too much.  I might have to give it an extra push.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Diet Check In

I've been kind of successful in my new diet.  I have not adhered solely to the diet of greens, fruits, low fat dairy, and whole grains.  I am totally better about what I put in my mouth, but I am not perfect.  That's okay.

For the past few days, my breakfast has consisted of a shake made from unsweetened almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, and a bunch of frozen berries.  Does it taste like Jamba Juice?  No, but I'm okay with it.  Lunch has been a small portion of something I made earlier in the week.  This week it is a bit of rigatoni and a few turkey meatballs.  Dinner has been more or less grazing.  This is where I struggle.  I come home from work and although not really hungry, I start snacking.  For example, yesterday I had a small frozen pizza, a handful of corn chips, and then a several spoonfuls of ice cream.  I didn't eat anything for the rest of the evening, but what I did put in my mouth was a bit excessive.

B is living on mostly fruits and salads.  Good for him.  We both eat "regular" food on the weekends.  I made a pot of pasta with meatballs on Saturday.  I've been eating the leftovers for lunch.  Just a tiny portion of what I used to eat, but it is still real food.  Last week, I had mostly salads.  I haven't noticed much in weight loss, so I'm obviously not doing something right, but I'll figure it out.

Tonight I think I'll make an open faced egg sandwich on homemade bread.  One egg, one slice of bread.  That should hold me for the rest of the evening.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Apple Salad

I have a new obsession!

Since my cleanse, I've been eating apples like no tomorrow.  Seriously, I cannot get enough of them in any form:  apple chips, dried apple, fresh.  I want apples!

My breakfasts the past couple of weeks has been an apple or two chopped up with a dollop of Greek yogurt sprinkled with a little cinnamon.  Totally delicious.  The other day while I was eating my breakfast, I started craving something else.  I wanted this apple salad, but had no idea what I wanted to put in it.  I went to the store and bought a few things and came home and put it all together.

This is what I came up with:

4 small Gala apples -- cored and chopped
1 small can of crushed pineapple with juice
1/4 C of shredded coconut
1/4 C of orange juice

Dump everything in a bowl and stir.  Refrigerate until cold and eat.  You may have to add a little extra OJ to your serving since the apples or coconut soak it all up.   I made a batch of it and it served me for 4 breakfasts this week.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Diet

I've been off my Master Cleanse for a few weeks now.  I've gained back some of the weight I had lost (not all of it).  This was expected and anticipated. 

The cleanse got me thinking of the food I put in my mouth.  I try to make better choices and even though I may fail from time to time, I do try.

Tomorrow, I'm going to start eating mostly salads, lean protein, low fat dairy, fruits, and whole grains.  Basically food I should have been eating all along.  I will allow myself two cheat days a month.

My breakfasts will consist of either a shake of almond milk and frozen berries, fruit with Greek yogurt, or one egg on one slice of toast (weekends only).  Lunches will be salads and dinner will consist of either salad, soup, or a stir fry with a bit of rice.  I really hope this will boost my eating habits in the right direction.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Master Cleanse -- Final Results

It's been over a week since my Master Cleanse experiment.  I'll be honest, I did not last the full eight days.  I only did 6 days. Under the demands and pressures of work, I caved.  I lost a total of 11 pounds, which as of today I'm still keeping 8 pounds off. 

I am more aware of the food I put in my mouth.  Even though, I do give in to cravings at times, I have started to make better choices in my food.  Sure, I've eaten pizza, ice cream, and burgers since I ended my cleanse.  But I also pay attention to my body and see if I'm really hungry or just greedy.  I"m not perfect and I'll still sometimes feed myself due to greed, I'm at least aware of it. 

My bff is getting married in a few months.  Although, I am not a believer of crash diets for a special occasion, I am going to use her wedding as a deadline to get my ass in gear.  My plan is basically to eat healthy and occasionally allow myself to indulge.

Many many years ago, I lived by the principle that if I ate well from Sunday night to Friday afternoon, I can be less careful Friday evening thru Sunday afternoon.  It worked well for years.  I did not feel deprived because I allowed myself to indulge within reason, but did not splurge the moment the forbidden food entered my mind.  If I remember, by the time I was "allowed" eat it, I didn't even want it anymore.  I have to get myself in that mindset again.