Spoilers! My Favorite Easy ‘Weight Loss’ Recipes (+ Food Bloggers)

Spoilers! My Favorite Easy ‘Weight Loss’ Recipes (+ Food Bloggers)

In case you haven’t checked out my weight loss post or my resolutions for this year, let me tell you that I have been working on myself since April of 2017 with a starting weight of 184 pounds. It’s been a fulfilling and frustrating journey so far. I know many of you are setting out on your own weight loss journey this year too, so I thought I’d link you the recipes (and some bloggers) that I enjoy the most! You can even see some pictures of them in action on my instagram!

I’ll preface this real quick by saying that I count calories. I use My Fitness Pal to calculate how many calories I should be eating a day to lose one pound a week. You can find nutrition tables online for most restaurants. For food you make at home, you’ll find the nutrition information right on the package. Simply add up all the ingredients, divide by servings, and you have your calories per serving!

Budget Bytes

One of my favorite food bloggers is Beth from Budget Bytes. I love these recipes so much that I downloaded the app! Even though there no calorie counts listed, I easily plugged the ingredients into My Fitness Pal and saved them for future use! Here’s some of my favorite recipes with personal adjustments and calories! All pictures used are straight from Budget Bytes!

Black Bean Chili

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Geeky Gal says: Sub the half pound of turkey for half a pound of venison. Substitute one can of kidney beans in place of black beans (or leave out one can of black beans altogether). Calories: 305 calories per cup.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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Geeky Gal says: To save a little on calories, skip the cheese! This chili is plenty spicy without the jalapeño. Add some tortilla chips to on add some calories if you have the room. Calories: 165 calories per cup.

Sesame Chicken

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Geeky Gal says: Substitute chicken breasts in place of chicken thighs if you prefer white meat. You can use whatever rice you prefer for this dish, but I use half a cup of cooked white rice! Calories: 370 calories for 1/4 of the chicken and half a cup of white rice.

Pinch of Yum

I stumbled across Lindsay at Pinch of Yum while looking for healthy breakfast recipes. I stuck around when I saw her 5 ingredient recipes! Not only do her recipes taste amazing, but she lists the calories for you! Can I get a Hallelujah? All pictures used are straight from Pinch of Yum’s site!

5 Ingredient Banana Bread Muffins

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Geeky Gal says: Leave out the dates if you’re not a fan. Definitely add the chocolate chips! These are great to make ahead of time and eat on for the week. Calories: 124 calories per muffin.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Geeky Gal says: I made this for Christmas, and it was a hit! Skip the gravy to save on calories (and by save on calories, I mean eat more potatoes). Calories: 252 calories per serving (makes 12 servings).

Geeky Gal’s Quick Picks

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie – 380 calories for one cup and one biscuit.

Spicy Potato Tacos – 228 calories per taco with potato filling, cheese, lettuce and sauce.

Crock-pot Japanese Onion Soup – 44 calories per cup. Serve this up on the side of homemade sushi!

Do you have any favorite low calorie recipes? Who are your favorite food bloggers? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Spoilers! Blog + Personal Resolutions

Spoilers! Blog + Personal Resolutions

It’s been quite a year on A Geeky Gal blog. I re-branded, gained more AND new traffic, found my writing groove, and even started utilizing social media to meet other bloggers. I’ve had this blog for 4 years, and I have never felt as motivated to continue blogging as I do today.

One of the things I’m most proud of is my new branding. I feel like it’s definitely more “me” and more of the look I wanted. There’s still some changes coming though for the look and feel of the site. I also want to expand to Youtube! I really feel like I can reach more people and more geeks by creating vlogs and Youtube content which brings me to my blog resolutions for this year!

Blog Resolutions for 2018

  • Finish website changes
  • Create a Youtube channel
  • Make pinnable images for ALL blog posts
  • Have 150 WordPress followers (91 currently)
  • Have 100 Facebook likes (68 currently)
  • Have 300 Instagram followers (202 currently)
  • Complete a 30 Day Blog Challenge
  • Guest post for at least 2 bloggers
  • Do a ‘Let’s Play’ for Youtube
  • Host a giveaway

 

I usually don’t make resolutions because I never keep them. This year feels different though. I decided to focus on small goals that I knew I could complete so that hopefully it’ll push me to do even more. I have lost almost 40 pounds and want to reach my fitness goals this year. I also want to add to my portfolio and plan on giving it the attention is deserves. Here’s 10 of my personal resolutions for the New Year.

Personal Resolutions for 2018

  • Reach my goal weight
  • Make my Pinterest closet dreams come true
  • Read one book a month (or 12 in a year)
  • Finish the Library
  • Design 10 branding boards for my portfolio
  • Create 5 game-ready 3D models for my portfolio
  • Pay off debt (not including school loans)
  • Generate a second income
  • Learn HTML/CSS
  • Take a vacation

 

What are your resolutions for this year? What posts are you looking forward to seeing on my blog in 2018? Leave me a comment below!

Spoilers! The Geek Behind the Keyboard (Updated!)

Spoilers! The Geek Behind the Keyboard (Updated!)

Hi there, and welcome to my corner of the internet. This was my little introductory blog post from FOUR YEARS AGO. I thought I’d post it again for the new readers and make the changes necessary for all the things that have happened so far!

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A little about me:

  • My name is Megan. I’m 24 years old.
  • I am from a small town in Alabama. I live in St. Louis, Missouri. I am a 3D modeler and graphic designer. Work likes to call me a hybrid.
  • I have a dog named Padme.
  • I am married to my best friend who is from Ireland. We went through the K1 Visa process together and are working on his green card currently.
  • Hobbies: gaming, reading, writing, drawing, watching Netflix, and pinning my imaginary life on Pinterest (come on, who doesn’t?).

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Random Facts:

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What you can expect from my blog and me:

This is probably what has changed the most. I finally have a brand for my blog. Gone are the weekly rambling posts. Here come the scheduled, organized, and well-thought-out posts! If you would like to get in touch with me about any of these series in regards to guest posting or sponsoring me, see my About Me page.

Blog series are in full swing and are posted weekly or biweekly or monthly with other geeky posts sprinkled in. Convention Life is everything cosplay and convention-related. 5 Fandom Friday is a blog series first started by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick that gets posted every Friday. Link Loves is a new series that I’m using to post my favorite links from blogs or articles or anything else I came across online that week or month. My Current Favorite Things (MCFT) is usually 4 to 5 items I am loving right now. Sprinkled between these series are posts for Geek Fashion & Tech, Reviews: Rants & Raves on the newest things I’ve personally tried, Saturday Suggestions on games, TV shows, anime, manga, and comics, and Spoilers! posts which are about me!

Thank you to readers, new and old. Without you, this blog wouldn’t be possible. I really enjoy writing each of these posts and spend much more time writing them than when I first started. Writing turned into a passion for me but this blog definitely dropped off the map a bit before I dusted it off and tried again. So welcome to the old, but improved A Geeky Gal!

Stay tuned…

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Spoilers! Our Immigration Story So Far

Spoilers! Our Immigration Story So Far

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We always knew that one of us would have to move across the ocean to be with the other. In order to do it legally and permanently, we would have to go through immigration which seemed scary at the time. There were many long discussions and late nights spent talking about which country we would live in and how we would accomplish this but, in the end, I landed a job here in St. Louis that would support both of us. So we started our journey through immigration for Alec to move to the US using a K1 Visa, better known as the Fiance Visa.

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The entire process took 10 months… 296 days to be exact. It was stressful for both of us. I actually started the process before I left for Ireland. I had to collect evidence of our relationship (7 pictures, itineraries,convention badges, email confirmations for travel plans, etc.) , fill out tons of paperwork, had my family write letters of support, and spent a small fortune to have it all processed. Alec proposed on my trip and had to do more paperwork on his end, go back and forth with the records department in his country for medical records because they couldn’t find them (then it took an additional 6 weeks to get them), visit the doctor for vaccinations and a wellness check, pay for more fees, and finally attend his interview to see if we would get approved for the Fiance Visa.

Long story short: we were approved!

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We booked his tickets to the U.S. as soon as we could. A week later, Alec flew into St. Louis Airport where he and I finally could say we would never ever have to part again because of his visitor visa. We went home and, after soaking in the happiness for awhile, started back on the immigration process: Alec’s marriage green card. We filled out the rest of the documents and knew there was one thing left to do… Get married!

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Due to time constraints and money, we decided to have a private ceremony and to celebrate with friends and family within the following year. On October 21st, 2017, we were married in a very intimate ceremony with just two friends (acting as witnesses and photographers) and an officiant. The day was everything I thought it would be. I only wished our families were there to see it.

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The pictures came out so lovely (and were free courtesy of two good friends). We bargain shopped for our clothes for the day. His clothes came from Dillard’s and American Eagle. I got my dress from Torrid and the crown from a renaissance festival. The bouquet came from a grocery store. I did my make up myself. My hair is naturally straight and I left it as is. Our back drop was Forest Park in St. Louis. It was simple, inexpensive, and low stress for the two of us.

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As we start on this new but continuing journey through immigration, I couldn’t ask for a better person by my side. He is my everything, my light, my best friend. After three years together long distance, it felt so right to stand in front of him and become his wife. I look forward to the rest of our lives together and can’t wait to be done with our immigration journey.

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Stay tuned for more immigration posts! Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

Spoilers! Yearly Bucket List for Couples

Spoilers! Yearly Bucket List for Couples

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you already know our fiance visa was approved, and Alec is going to be here on the 13th! That’s THREE days away! I can barely concentrate at work, barely sleep, and barely contain my excitement. We’ve been in a long distance relationship for years, visiting when we can scrape up the money and get the time off from work, and hoping for the day we can close the distance.

We close the distance permanently this Friday! In celebration, we wanted to plan a list of things to do together (but let’s be honest, I’ve had these lists for ages, hoping to do them some day with my future husband). I made this cute yearly list for 4 things to do per month as a couple. What do you guys think? Would you add anything else?

January

  • Kiss at midnight on New Year’s Day
  • Have homemade hot chocolate
  • Dance on a lazy Sunday morning
  • Have a pajama day

February

  • Make a heart-shaped breakfast for Valentine’s Day
  • Visit Sweetology to make candies for each other
  • Build a blanket fort
  • Dress up for a night out on the town

March

  • Go to the STL Zoo
  • Have a Harry Potter marathon
  • Take a walk together
  • Make a meal together

April

  • Spend a weekend in Kansas City, MO
  • Have a dinner for friends
  • Explore STL’s City Museum
  • Bake a dessert we’ll both enjoy

May

  • Visit a Brewery
  • Visit Soulard and their Farmer’s Market
  • Watch each other’s favorite movies
  • Have a “do nothing” weekend

June

  • Stay at a Bed & Breakfast
  • Have a date at the Jewel Box in Forest Park
  • Plan a road trip
  • Make a playlist for each other

July

  • Watch Fireworks together
  • Have a cookout
  • Make ice cream sundaes
  • Have a movie night with popcorn and candy

August

  • Go camping
  • Make smores over a campfire
  • Order Chinese in
  • Go to a Carnival

September

  • Spend a weekend in Branson, MO
  • Have a picnic at home
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Go for a bike ride in the park

October

  • Wear a couple’s costume
  • Have a Halloween party
  • Marathon scary movies
  • Visit a bookstore

November

  • Go for a hike
  • Visit the family for Thanksgiving
  • Make DIY pizzas
  • Camp out in the living room

December

  • Take a funny Christmas card photo
  • Go on a night drive to look at Christmas lights
  • Build a snowman
  • Watch Christmas movies for a weekend

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Spoilers! 5 Ways To Win This Geek’s Heart

Spoilers! 5 Ways To Win This Geek’s Heart

I wanted to do something fun for a Spoilers! post like back when I did the 20 facts about myself. Do you enjoy these little posts about me? I consider them a look “behind the curtain.” It’s a way to add a little more “me” between my geeky posts. So how do you win my geeky little heart?

Watch a Disney movie with me

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Photo by Travis Gergen on Unsplash

 

Bring home Chinese for dinner

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Help me celebrate Halloween

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Hang out with me in pajamas

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Take me to the book store

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What are some ways to win your heart? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

Spoilers: the Geek & Weight-loss

Spoilers: the Geek & Weight-loss

I’ve been pretty quiet about my weight-loss journey here on the blog. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me cataloging meals and talking about my progress a little. I’ve kept my journey under wraps for a lot of reasons… One of them being how embarrassed I am to have let myself get so unhappy and unhealthy.

See, I’ve always been overweight and then in the last 2 years crept up to obese. I was picked on as a kid at school. Boys told me they didn’t like me because I was fat. I even had a family member in my life at the time severely damage my self confidence when I was 13. She wanted me to diet with her on a cottage cheese crash diet, and when I refused, she made fun of me and crushed what little self confidence I had. My self esteem took a beating from strangers and people I knew. I was not in a happy place.

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At my highest weight – 184 pounds –  in February 2017

One thing that did put me in my happy place was food. It was comforting to fill myself to the brim with my favorite things. It was nothing to buy a package of cookies and a big bag of chips and eat until it was all gone. I could watch television and stuff myself to forget about the crappy people around me and how it made me feel inside.

I was an emotional eater. Mad? Just eat 3 bowls of ice cream. Sad? Have a bag of chips. Stressed? Grab two burgers and a large fry and a milkshake on the way home. Anxious? Eat until you can’t feel it anymore.

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At my lowest weight – 155 pounds – in 2015

I climbed off the roller coaster of emotional eating five years ago after I ended an abusive relationship and thought I had kicked the habit. I got down to my lowest weight of 155 pounds. I was eating healthier and had cut out junk food and eating out. I had gotten up to two hours of working out five days a week. I was doing well until the scale stopped moving.

I’m wiser now than I was a two years ago when I had gotten down to my lowest adult weight. I know now the scale stopped because I wasn’t counting calories. I wasn’t weighing my food. I would deprive myself of something for so long until I binged on it later. After binging, I’d workout to try to “make it up.” I stopped losing weight… and then I said fuck it.

I went back to old habits and in two years put back on the weight plus more. I was 184 pounds. On a 5′ 1.5″ frame, it was lot of weight. I was warned by the nurse practitioner that I’d be taken off my birth control if I didn’t get my weight down. I felt ashamed but couldn’t bear to look the truth in the face. I went to Ireland at my highest weight. I met my fiance’s family. I worried the entire time about what everyone thought of my weight.

I knew when the plane landed back in America that I had to change something. In April, I “officially” started my weight loss journey. I only told my fiance and my closest friends about what I was going to do. I kept only them updated on my progress. I let some of that progress filter through to Instagram. I didn’t want anyone else to know what I was up to because I didn’t want their judgement.

When I lost weight the first time, I struggled more. I was berated by people around me about how one doughnut wouldn’t hurt and going out to eat one night wouldn’t kill me. I was a “beautiful girl who had curves and didn’t need to lose weight; I would become a stick.” “Boys don’t like sticks (not true by the way),” but what no one could understand was that all I wanted was to like myself.

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July 2017 – 162 pounds

So I kept this journey to myself… until now.

As I’ve let myself trickle my weight loss into conversations, I’ve had to clear up a few things: No, I’m not losing weight for my wedding; I’m losing it for me. No, I’m not going to be “a stick”; I’m going to be a healthy weight for my age and height. No, I’m not going to deprive myself of pizza and beer with my buddies on a Friday night; I’m going to eat in moderation and enjoy food.

There’s also no secret to weight loss despite the magazines and internet articles. It’s all about CICO: Calories In/Calories Out. I would have been lost without a certain weight loss forum on reddit that educated me and led me to 1200 calories a day. 1200 calories is the LEAST amount of calories a short woman (who does NOT exercise) should be eating. I don’t exercise much. In fact, I’ve only been walking about 30 to 45 minutes per day.

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August 2017 – 157 pounds

Since April, I have surpassed my lowest weight. I am 154.8 pounds today. I have no plans of stopping until I hit a healthy weight for my body. For my height, the highest normal weight for me is about 130 pounds. Right now, 125 is the magical number I’ve chosen for myself, but I’m flexible. This number will not be the end all, be all for my happiness.

I not only am better health-wise, but I FEEL better. I like to get dressed up now, my clothes fit better, I like my body, and I just feel more like myself. My stress about my health and body has dwindled down. I still stress sometimes but not like I used to.

So I’m ripping off this band aid of my secret weight loss journey. I plan to write future posts on my progress and keep everyone updated on my Instagram in a more public way. Here’s to progress and loving myself!

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August 2017 – 157 pounds