Thursday, September 13th

One Year Ago

Mad Betty quietly turned one without an acknowledgement. No cupcake, no birthday candle, no party. How sad for this blog! I am a bad, bad, neglectful blogger.

Middle Finger

The truth is, the year passed and I hadn’t realized I missed the anniversary mark. One whole year of blogging (and then some) went by very quickly. It’s been a good year and I feel lucky to have documented so much of it here. I’ve done, seen, and eaten a lot of things. I bought a serious camera. I switched from a PC to a Mac. After much soul-searching (and tears) I left a job that made me absolutely miserable. I guess you can say I grew up a lot.

What was happening one year ago on Mad Betty? This post. I loved that Standard Process Cleanse. It changed the way I viewed the food-body connection. Ever since that cleanse, smoothies have become a regular part of my life and I eat tons more veggies than I used to. Now if I ever feel crappy, I know that a couple days of produce will fix anything. My body definitely prefers a vegan diet, although I don’t know that I could sustain it forever. But every vegan meal is a good one and I incorporate them more and more.

One year later I’m doing Tracy Anderson’s 30-Day Method and I’m digging it. Twelve days down so far. I love these timed challenges. I love how quickly you see results and feel stronger from working out. By this time next year, maybe I’ll be thinner, stronger, vegan and working a job I love. Or maybe I’ll still be figuring it all out. Either way, I’m grateful to have a chance at another year. Life is fragile and I’m not taking it for granted. Happy anniversary, readers. Thanks for being here.

Tuesday, July 10th

Mel’s Meals Wrap-Up

I just finished three weeks of Mel’s Meals. I can’t believe it’s over already. Twenty one days can feel long, but then goes by in a flash. They say it takes that long to make something a habit, and I definitely feel that I’ve formed some new ones. I’m used to eating a real breakfast now, something I only did sporadically before. Most of my Mel’s breakfasts were egg-based, but I’ll probably eat Fage and fruit most days. Or smoothies. If I do eggs, I usually save them for the weekend.

So how did I do? I lost six pounds (and five inches), which is the recommended (and safe) two pounds a week. I worked out almost everyday, alternating between Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. I might post the occasional workout DVD review on my blog, too. I love to check out new ones.

I struggled to drink eight glasses of water a day, which is really the minimum a person should drink. I still struggle with that and need to just keep trying. I love the great suggestions from you guys! In addition to those, I’ll be drinking sparking water everyday because I’m fancy like that.

My experience with Mel’s was very positive. It forced me to eat regularly, not starve all day and then eat all night, as I am wont to do. And it simplified my life as far as shopping, planning and cooking. Someone did all the work for me. The calories and ingredients were listed, and everything stacked up nicely in my fridge.

So what are the cons? Well, cost, for one thing. Convenience comes at a cost, after all. I wouldn’t be able to pay that for very long, but that might not be an issue for some people. Another drawback is freshness. Pre-made food is never as fresh as when you make it yourself. It wasn’t always an issue, but I found the raw veggies and especially the fruit didn’t always hold up so well. And the last drawback, for me, was the packaging waste. Each meal was packaged in plastic. Of course I recycled everything, but it’s just something to think about when you eat this way long term.

I am happy to recommend Mel’s to anyone looking for a healthy lifestyle change, or to anyone simply looking for fast, convenient healthy meals. Whether you embark on a weekly program or just stop in to a Mel’s location and pick up lunch, you won’t be sorry.

Mel's Meals

*Full disclosure, Mel’s Meals picked up 60% of the cost of my meals in exchange for my honest blogging about my experience.

Sunday, July 8th

Mel’s Meals Day 19

Were you wondering who “Mel” of Mel’s Meals is? She’s a real person!

Mel

After many years in food service, an industry widely contributing to America’s obesity problem, Mel decided to help Austinites make better choices by providing better options. What started with Mel cooking every meal herself quickly grew. The demand was so much that they opened multiple locations, hired dietitians, and a huge staff to cook, deliver, and maintain the stores. It shows just how much people care about their diets in Austin. In a city with plenty of healthy options, we always want need more.

Turkey Egg Scramble and Blueberry Almond Muffin

Turkey Egg Scramble and Blueberry Almond Muffin

Sloppy Daddy

Sloppy Daddy

Tea-Rubbed Pork

Tea-Rubbed Pork

Stuffed Dates

Stuffed Dates

Cottage Cheese and Tomatoes

Cottage Cheese and Tomatoes

A bona fide foodie, Mel is constantly coming up with new recipes and working with her dietitians to make her offers healthy, tasty, and well-balanced. I’ve really enjoyed the variety of the meals and the inclusion of vegetables into so much everything.

Saturday, July 7th

Mel’s Meals Day 18

Veggie Frittata

Veggie Frittata

Steak Salad

Steak Salad

Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

Hardboiled Egg

Hardboiled Egg

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Friday, July 6th

Mel’s Meals Day 17

Oy! Another late post. Thanks for hanging in there, everybody!

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu Stir Fry

Stuffed Dates

Stuffed Dates

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

 

Thursday, July 5th

Mel’s Meals Day 16

Ah, I attempted a three-week challenge and a holiday fell within that time period. Luckily it was Fourth of July, not Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t have minded a little something something from the grill, but it was not to be. I did, however, find that flourless chocolate cake on the menu and that made me happy.

I had:

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

Stuffed Poblano

Stuffed Poblano

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I also had an almond blueberry muffin for a snack and forgot to photograph it. They are that good! I hope you all had a great Independence Day, filled with chocolate cake and sparklers!

 

Wednesday, July 4th

Mel’s Meals Day 15

Starting my final week of Mel’s Meals. I’m going to spend this week thinking about what I’m going to make next week when I’m back to cooking again. My goal is to always have a plan and to snack better. And to eat a real breakfast.

I only have one more meal pickup, later in the week. My closest location is downtown Austin. Conveniently located right by Whole Foods, it’s a nice place to run errands. But there are two other great locations, too. Northies can check out the Round Rock store, and the most recent location is in Lakeway. Lakeway holds the massive kitchen where all the food is made, as well.

My food for the day:

Egg Melmuffin

Egg Melmuffin

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Chicken Curry Cups

Chicken Curry Cups

Celery and Peanut Butter

Celery and Peanut Butter

Melaffel

Melaffel

Tuesday, July 3rd

Mel’s Meals Day 14

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Sirloin and Veggies

Sirloin and Veggies

Vegan Quinoa Chili

Vegan Quinoa Chili

Protein Bar

Protein Bar

Black Bean Wrap

Black Bean Wrap

Monday, July 2nd

Mel’s Meals Day 13

How much space do Mel’s Meals take up in your fridge? Well, this is what one day’s package looks like:

Meals in bag

On Thursday’s pick-up, you get four days worth, plus what you are still eating that day. So yes, it makes for a full fridge. I open each bag and take out the few things that may not need to be refrigerated like energy bars or Ak Mak. Then I shuffle things around so that my bags are easy to grab in chronological order. I keep a tidy fridge anyway, regularly pulling everything out and scrubbing the whole thing down. So fitting in the meals has been no struggle.

What did I eat on the 13th day?

Tomatillo Egg Whites and Banana Nut Muffin

Tomatillo Egg Whites and Banana Nut Muffin

Chicken and Quinoa

Chicken and Quinoa

Apricot Pork Loin

Apricot Pork Loin

Apple Walnut Salad

Apple Walnut Salad

That chicken and quinoa were delicious. I made my first trade, choosing the apple walnut salad instead of a kale and roasted beet salad. (I just can’t do beets, no matter how hard I try.) You’ll notice there’s one less meal in the photos. That’s because my fruit cup completely went bad. It was probably lovely when it was first made, but it did not last past the first day of pickup so I had to toss it. Some of the meals definitely hold up better than others, so I’ll make some additional trades next time around if need be.

Sunday, July 1st

Mel’s Meals Day 12

I’m so late getting this one posted, so I’ll keep it brief. Here’s what I ate:

Omelette

Omelette

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Eggplant and Curry Chicken

Eggplant and Curry Chicken

Protein Peanut Butter Balls

Protein Peanut Butter Balls

Veggies and Dip

Veggies and Dip