Friday, December 30, 2011

I Got Hacked!

It's been since September since I've written. In all honesty, I haven't really felt inspired to write but also I got hacked!

You know, in this day and age your chances of being hacked are so high that it's not really that big of a deal when it happens but when it DOES happen, it feels horrific!

Like I was violated ;)

Mostly, it was just a big pain in my butt to inform everyone who was affected, go check out every account I had online, change passwords, remember passwords and all that jazz. So, the lesson here -- make your passwords crazy. I'm serious. The one that got hacked was pretty difficult but now it's so long and complicated I even have a hard time remembering it.

Now lets play catch up:

Last I wrote I was doing the weight lifting. Crazy things happened with that. I was diligent for a month or so but I really don't think I should have followed that book word for word :) First, the good things: I got some serious muscle. I could actually FEEL the muscles in my back working. It was awesome actually how strong I felt but also kind of scary. I think I was upping my weights too fast and I was looking kind of mannish. Also, I gained weight. I know, I know muscle weighs more than fat but I was also gaining fat along with that strong muscle. I don't know why, but I followed the caloric suggestions in the book EVEN THOUGH I have had my metabolism medically tested and KNOW that it's SLOWER than what it's SUPPOSED to be.

I honestly think I just wanted to eat more food.

Anyway, so I gained my beautiful muscle and some additional fat and the next thing I know I'm up 5 pounds.

I course corrected, holidays occurred, life happened and that brings us up to date.

I did, however, manage to run my Thanksgiving 5k again this year. And though I was approximately 10 pounds heavier this year - I beat my time last year! YEAH!

So anyway, about 3 weeks ago, I seriously had had enough of trying this plan and that plan and so I just got down to the nitty gritty. I started to eat less calories, exercise more, and diligently track my calories.

I'm pleased to say I'm down 4.6 very fluctuating pounds. My body LOVES to hold on to water and other stuff so the numbers on the scale can be very mean but TECHNICALLY I am down 4.6 pounds. I'm not holding that as gospel but I can see a downward trend and that makes me happy.

You know what else makes me happy - that I started this before the proverbial new year. I don't know, it just makes me feel like I've got a leg up on the competition :)

So, here's hoping to another successful 3 weeks.

And in case anyone is wondering my calories on average for the last 3 weeks were around 1500/day and on top of that I averaged a deficit of around 250-300 calories/day from exercise.

Yesterday's Menu:

B: whole wheat tortilla, ham, egg whites, salsa con queso, coffee w/ half/half
L: ham, sweet potato, green beans
D: ham sandwich with hawaiian bread
treat: peppermint patty
Calories: just under 1400
Exercise: 2 mile run

**notice all the ham: last of the Christmas leftovers! Thank goodness.**

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Nap Time Would Be Nice

I wish nap time existed for adults.

How awesome would work be if there was a twenty minute time frame set aside for napping - whether in your office or a nap room? I'd like to think the nap room would be a dimly lit room, slightly on the cooler side, with large, leather recliners that were so soft that you just sank into them. Pillows and blankets would be available and maybe there would even be a TV - set to some movie that would just play in the background on low volume.

Maybe it would be the golf channel. I love watching golf on tv and I love napping to golf on tv.

I'm finding that when I get home from work I am utterly exhausted. Painfully would be a better word for it. Painfully exhausted. It's no mystery why - I'm not sleeping at night. Last night I clocked in a solid 2.5 hours. Yikes. Hopefully tonight will be better.

I know I haven't written since July but I'm just going to pretend like August didn't happen ;)

Lets just say that the beast overcame my best defenses and I had an entire month of unhealthiness. In all honesty, it probably was a good thing. I was a little too focused on what I was eating, and when, and how much, and what were the calories, and what were the macro-nutrients, and when was I exercising and all that jazz.

Lets just say I had a full "30 Days to gaining 5 pounds"

So, at the end of August, I allowed myself to have a clean slate - I took ownership of my weight gain and I buckled down and began again. Just a little more relaxed. I'm focusing on working out regularly (I'm not putting a number on it or minute requirement - just to do it regularly), eating the best food choices I can make, and eating a reasonable amount of food.

I also bought a new book. It's called "The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift like a Man, Look like a Goddess"

Long title huh? I was scouring bodybuilding boards looking for a couple new strength training exercises to alleviate boredom I'd been having when I noticed people kept mentioning "NROLFW". It took some googling to find out what the acronym meant and then I happened upon the book on amazon and quite a few positive reviews. So I checked out the free preview and then got it.

It was an easy read with a lot of good information. Nothing too new and drastic but rather a lot of good info just contained in one place. I particularly like the workouts. It has a whole 6 month plan and the moves are not "girlie" moves and I like that. You know, squats, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups etc. . . and the goal is to get into the heavy weights. I started on August 25th and I can already tell I'm gaining strength which is awesome. My legs needed to gain some muscle for my running and knee health. Also, I feel more capable when I feel stronger.

In any case, I'm following Stage 1 workouts right now - I'm beginning my third week and so far so good. The Stage 1 workouts actually look pretty simple - and mind you, it only takes about 20 - 25 minutes for me to complete them but they're a little rough. I'm definitely sweating when I finish. I also like to push myself so that helps.

On the food frontier I've taken a little break from cooking. The last two weeks I've let myself use Lean Cuisine like foods as my chef for my lunches at work. I think that also has something to do w/ my not sleeping well. I'm strapped for time in the morning because I'm so tired and I'm waking up later and don't have much time to fix my lunch for work.

For example, today's menu:

B: iced coffee w/ whey protein, egg white sandwich
S: cottage cheese and an apple
L: Smart Ones Thai Chicken
S: handful pistachios
D: don't know yet

Since my do-over I've lost about a pound but this time I measure myself and used my calipers so I feel certain that in a week or two I'll see a bigger difference there. In any case, the scale is kind of third on my measurement list and I'm trying to keep it that way.

And that's all that has been going on.

so for right now, I'm aiming for:

"30 days to not be so stressed about my weight"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Letter Experiment

I was reading an article last week about goals. Particularly, how if you write down your specific goal then you will be more likely to attain it.

I won't go into the heady details but basically, when you write something down, the act of using your pen to form the words and have it on paper is more binding than just thinking it.

Interesting.

Then I remembered something. About 10 years ago, I discovered running. I was working at a local news affiliate producing the 5pm, 6pm and 11pm news so I didn't have to be at work until 3pm. Perfect hours for me by the way. Anyway, since I had the mornings to myself I took up running and eventually fell in love with it.

While I was going through this phase of my life, I wrote myself bi-weekly letters. I don't remember why I started but I remember writing them. In fact, I still have them. I would write what I wanted to accomplish in the 2 weeks. It was everything from water intake, to shaving seconds off my pace to how many times I would actually run that week. And it worked. For about a year, I ran 6 days a week. Yes, 6 days a week. I believe I missed one week due to illness but on average I maintained my 6 days. I also lost weight. But that wasn't the goal of my letters at the time. I wasn't concentrating on my food so much as my overall fitness and how I wanted to improve my running.

I have always wondered why, in that particular phase of my life, I had a such an easy time with my health and fitness. I usually attribute it to my age (yes, I was in my early 20s), my hours at the job being conducive to exercise, and basically just it being "one of those things". After I read the article I thought "What if the letters also had a hand?"

Now, I don't think that my letters were the one and only factor but maybe they did help with my motivation and success. I didn't always meet my goals every two weeks, but I always improved in some way. If I wanted to drink 8 glasses of water a day, maybe I got in at least 6. If I wanted to improve my running, maybe I didn't get faster but I was still running TRYING to get faster.

You get the point.

So last week I decided to try my hand at it. I wrote myself TWO letters. The first one was a 6 week letter with 6-week end goals. And the second was a week letter and in my week letter I wrote 3 simple goals:

1. To eat between 1200-1500 daily or on weekly average
2. To do cardio 5-6 times
3. To do strength training 3 times

I added a line or two about some motivational thoughts but all in all it was simple. At the bottom I left a place to right down the results.

Now, the 6 week letter is a little more detailed but not much. It basically states the same calorie, cardio and strength training goals but I added ONE addendum. I go on vacation next week and I added slightly, slightly more lenient calorie/exercise goals that are only to be followed on the exact days that I am out of town. For instance, my calories increased to 1500-1600/day/average for vacation days only (I'm gone 4 days) and I excused myself from cardio and strength on the same 4 days. I wanted to be realistic about my vacation. I'm meeting family up in San Francisco and am aware that getting my gym time in is probably not going to happen seeing as how I have 4 days with these people that I only get to see once a year. I'm also hoping that sight-seeing/walking will keep me active. At the bottom I left a place for physical results as well as motivational and emotional results. Oh yes, and weight results.

I bundled the two letters together to help me keep sight of the big picture and also to remind me that it's a week by week battle.

That was a week ago.

Today I get to open the letter. It's at home right now but when I do I get to write the following in the results column for my week letter:

1. calories: 1475 average
2. cardio: 5 times
3. strength: 3 times

Did I mention that I also get to add that I lost 3.2 pounds this week! Not too bad right? Granted last week's weigh-in came right at that time where I was carrying some water weight but still I think I would have a put up a good number regardless.

So today another letter gets written. It'll say almost exactly what the previous one said except with different motivational words this time because I figure if it ain't broke don't try to fix it.

Here's to another week of success :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dance Dance Revolution

I couldn't muster up the strength to go to the gym yesterday. Opportunity after opportunity passed me by as I lazily chose to sit on my tush. When lunch time hit and my scheduled workout at the gym stared me in the face, I was desperate for a plan of action. I did NOT want to go to the gym. I just didn't have it in me.

So I made alternate plans. I called home and had my boyfriend hook up my old Playstation 2 so that when I got home I could get out my old Dance Dance Revolution games. Yes, I am a thiry-something who used to LOVE to play DDR. Some 5 years ago when I first got it, I used to play that thing for HOURS. Sweating it up in my tiny, studio apartment. Dancing on that flimsy mat til my feet were sore. It used to be so much fun.

I'll admit, I got home, ate some dinner then went into our workout room to have a look at it. I honestly haven't played or looked at in YEARS. The graphics were ancient looking and I laughed at how primitive the whole system is compared to the new PS3. I toggled through the menu then went to go sit on the couch with my boyfriend and let my food settle a little. Honestly, I wasn't feeling it. But I sat there and committed myself to at least 20 minutes. I told myself if at the end of 20 minutes it wasn't doing anything for me, I was free to walk away.

So I put on some "play clothes", strapped on my heart rate monitor and went to work. I was a bit rusty. I used to play on the difficult settings but when I tried it out, I was having a hard time keeping up. Not to mention my heart rate was SOARING! That's a good thing though :) Long story short, I ended up playing for an hour. I had to go back to the beginner settings to unlock songs that I wanted and so I wasn't working out as hard as I wanted but I did burn a little over 300 calories.

Not bad for playing a video game :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Health

So, it has been a fun and exciting week. Just after I wrote that last post I had a visit with my doctor. I know in a previous post I mentioned issues with my gallbladder. Well, I finally went to see a specialist to make sure everything was fine because it runs rampant in my family. Last week I had an ultrasound and my doctor gave me an 80% likelihood that I had gallstones and would probably need to speak to a surgeon.

Well, he called last Friday and he was surprised but I did NOT have any stones and seemed to be ok. We're doing a follow up in a month because like I said, it's very common in my family.

He concluded that my way of eating is what was causing me pain. As weird as it sounds, the ultra clean eating and lower carb diet was wreaking havoc on my digestive system. He hypothesized that my body just couldn't handle it.

So I did some fiddling with my diet and found he was right. As odd as it sounds, following the SBD made me feel sick! It doesn't make sense because I, for one, think that the principles it's based on are very healthy and should, in theory, make you feel healthy. But, for me, it just doesn't work. Actually, some days I find that when I feel super bad, if I eat something higher in fat and carbs I immediately feel better. Strange right? My doctor is as baffled as I am.

And so I begin again. I'll be honest, I'm sick of having a plan. Apparently, plans and I just don't mix. I was looking over my journals from this time last year. It pains me to say that I was eating more overall calories and I weighed about 10 pounds less. Oh yes, and I was probably in the best shape I've been in in about 5 years. AND ... I was on no sort of plan whatsoever. It just ... worked. Like magic.

I've tried to wrap my head around why it worked and why the weight just kept coming off but that's the beauty of the human body. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

So, it's been back to the drawing board for me and my journey. And what have I decided to do?

I'm going to follow the simplest non-plan I can manage.

I'm going to try to eat good, healthy food that doesn't cause me pain that stays within a 1500 to 1600 cal range and I'm going to workout consistently.

And that's it.

Today's menu:

B: coffee w/ creamer, 1egg+1egg white, peppers, onions, laughing cow wedge, salsa, taco sauce all wrapped in a warm low carb tortilla.

S: fresh strawberries and a mini babybel light

L: taco-less tacos at my awesome work desk (ie: seasoned ground turkey, kidney beans, onions, tomatoes and green chilies wrapped in romaine leaves w/ cheese and salsa!)



I have a tentative plan to go spinning after work. Truth be told, today is a substitute rest day for me but a co-worker wanted to go spinning so I said I'd go with him. I desperately don't want to go because not only is today a rest day for me but this particular class that we're going to is beyond brutal. And that is NOT an exaggeration.

Well, in case we do go spinning, I have a Cliff bar packed in my bag to eat beforehand as my pre-workout snack.

And if I make it to spinning, at this point in my eating day I'll be at 1085 calories.

That's plenty of room for a decent dinner!

Now if only I could think of something inspired to make .....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Food Gone Wild

So it looks like I'm winning half of the battle.

On the workout front, I can honestly say I'm kicking serious butt. Since last I wrote, I have completed every workout I have scheduled for myself. Getting back into the swing of things wasn't nearly as hard as I had originally thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, there were some days where it was sheer will that propelled me to finish, but I think I always imagined it to be much, much worse. Or perhaps it's that I can feel my body firming up that allows me to ignore some of the struggle :)

Wed: 35 minute cardio/strength combo
Thur: 60 minute spinning
Fri: rest
Sat: 35 minute strength/40 minute cardio
Sun: 45 minute cardio

On the eating front. How can I say this delicately? Well, lets just say thank goodness I have been working out so much to counteract what I've allowed myself to eat.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad.

Thursday was a great day:
B breakfast casserole
L chicken sandwich on whole wheat w/ lettuce and avocado
S whole wheat toast with peanut butter
D chicken and vegetable soup

Friday:
B tall skinny vanilla latte, pita, chicken, hummus and raw veggies (aka Starbucks breakfast)
S ww toast with Peanut Butter
L sushi: salmon sushi, yellowtail sushi, miso soup, 2 pieces Godzilla roll





**This particular restaurant does not offer brown rice as an option. However, I've found that sushi with brown rice is something that I just don't like. I figure it's a trade off. I choose more of the sushi items and less of the rolls and that helps keep the calories/white rice in check. I ate salmon and yellowtail sushi and just ate 2 pieces of the roll**

D ww pasta with tomato sauce and crab meat

And then we hit the weekend.

Saturday
B ww toast with peanut butter, skim milk
S milk chocolate candy!!
L whey protein, raspberries, skim milk
S 3 triscuits, babybel lite
D 4 slices of pizza (2 w/ bacon and pineapple - 2 w/ tomato and basil - medium)

Sunday
B 2 slices of pizza
L 2 slices of pizza (did I happen to mention we had leftovers!?)
D taco bell (mexican pizza no meat/extra tomatoes, volcano taco, 1/2 crunchwrap supreme)
and finally
a slice of chocolate cake

Whew!
Trust me, it was a lot of food. Needless to say, I got way way off course. And now it's Monday and I'm sitting pretty at work with my lunch bag filled with my good, healthy food and I'm back on track. Cause that's all that matters. Getting back on track.

Monday's plan:
B egg sandwich (1 egg, 1 egg white, sandwich thin, laughing cow wedge)
S chicken and vegetable soup
L roasted chicken breast 3oz, green beans, roasted potatoes/peppers/onions
D i'm supposed to be making a mushroom risotto from Rocco DeSpirito's Now Eat This! cookbook - Hopefully I'll get to it - it's his version of risotto that uses Textured Vegetable Protein instead of the traditional Arborio Rice. It'll be my first time cooking with TVP so I'm curious to see how it turns out.

Hopefully it'll be great. So far I've been extremely pleased with the recipes I've tried from that cookbook!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Working Out Is Fun!

Yesterday's double workout was a smashing success.

Somehow I managed to get up in the morning and do some strength training. Trust me, it was sheer will that got me out of the bed. I am just NOT a morning person. But an added bonus of the double workout: I had good energy throughout the whole day. My lunch break workout completely revived me for the rest of the day.

In other awesome news, I also got up early TODAY to get in my cardio workout. I'm meeting up w/ an old friend after work today and so I wanted to get my workout out of the way, otherwise, I might have used meeting her as an excuse to not do it. In all honesty, it wasn't the greatest workout but I figure something is better than nothing.

This is what I have planned each week for working out:

MON: OFF
TUES: Cardio/Strength Training
WED: Cardio
THUR: Cardio/Strength Training
FRI: Cardio
SAT: Cardio/Strength Training
SUN: Cardio

I do a minimum of 30 minutes continuous cardio and right now I'm doing a full body strength training program that also takes around 30 minutes. As I increase strength I will probably move to a split routine but we'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Today's schedule:

workout: AM/done (250 cal burned)

B: Whey, Rasp, Skim milk smoothie (263 cal)
S: Breakfast Casserole (230 cal)



L: Chicken and Vegetable Soup (165 cal)
D: Dining out

That's all I have planned so far. Oh, I think I might be heading to GNC to pick up some more whey protein. Exciting right?

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Been Awhile ...

I've been off the grid the past 3 weeks. Lots of life events that had to take priority over my wonderful blog.

I got injured, then my boyfriend got injured and then my dog got injured. The dog is still being nursed back to health. She hurt her back last week and we've been treading lightly ever since. I'm hoping that she's getting better but I can't honestly tell. We have a follow up visit to the vet on Friday and I'm hoping for good news.

On the health and wellness front, life still continues on. I was debating trying to make a "catch-up" blog post about the last 3 weeks but decided against it because honestly, nothing has really changed.

On the weighing in front, I am up +.6 lbs from my last post. It's been up and down since I last posted with nothing major in either direction. So basically I have been maintaining.

And since I haven't really seen any gains in my weight loss last week I started incorporating a few things.

First, I'm tracking actual calories again.

I happened across the blog of a woman who was doing South Beach and saw good strides in the beginning (Phase 1) but who did nothing but maintain while following Phase 2 - so she started tracking calories in addition to applying the Phase 2 rules and for her she needed that discipline to get the scale moving. I mean, tracking calories has worked for me in the past very well so I'm going to start trying to keep my calories in the 1400-1500 range.

Second, I've gone back to the gym. Who was I kidding? I have always done extremely well on an exercise heavy program and to leave it out of the equation just doesn't make sense. I'm on a 6 days of cardio/3 days of strength training schedule right now. I know that sounds like a lot but that's pretty much par for the course for me. I'm aware that my body needs a consistent workout schedule in order for change to occur. And more importantly, I feel much better when I am on a moderately heavy workout schedule - I think for me it's a great stress reliever.

Today looks like this

AM: strength training / 30m

B: whey protein, milk, org. raspberry shake with flax seed oil
S: breakfast casserole (eggs, egg whites, red pepper, mushroom, sweet potato, cheese)
L: Roasted chicken, green beans, twice baked sweet potato

PM: cardio / 30m

S: 1.25 c. chicken and vegetable soup (homemade)
D: ??

Also, I'm going to start tracking my body fat %. I bought calipers and am now practicing with them. I find that right now I'm extremely inconsistent with my readings so I'm going to keep practicing until I get the hang of it. No need to track measurements when I'm not very good at it. I've read that it takes quite some time before you start getting consistent readings so that's what I do in the morning. I stand in my bathroom and practice w/ my calipers :)

I'm thinking in another week I should get the hang of it and when I do I'll start tracking that too.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Birthday Dinner

Today is my boyfriend's actual birthday and this evening he wants us to celebrate together tonight by having his favorite dinner. I, of course, will oblige. However, his favorite dinner is not exactly of the healthy variety.

Steak, macaroni and cheese (boxed), and crescent rolls. It's so funny how much he loves this meal. Simple, cheap and extremely easy to make. Of all the restaurants we have to choose from, of all the meals that I can make, this is what he wants.

And since it's his birthday, it's what he's going to get. It's not exactly on par with how I'm eating, so I'm adding some roasted broccoli (maybe with some red/yellow peppers) as my main side dish and eat just a few bites of everything. It should be good.

This week's menu has been pretty good so far. Couple of snags but I've managed.

Monday I ended up eating the tomato bisque for lunch and didn't have time to make "the sauce" so I ended up tossing my pasta with a bunch of tomatoes, seasoning and the ricotta cheese. Admittedly, not the best thing but it was a blah kind of eating day.

Tuesday I ended up at the doctor's office for three hours which really threw a wrench in my day. Just a check-up but I kept getting bumped for emergency appointments. Because it took so long, my eating plan had to be revamped so I went to Subway and got a veggie sub on whole wheat bread and ate that throughout the rest of my work day.

When I got home I made my sauce:

onions, carrots, celery, EVOO



add zucchini, garlic, basil and chicken stock



simmer with tomato sauce



delicious!

I made enough to freeze half the batch. I thought I would mainly use this to toss w/ some whole wheat pasta but I've found that I'm enjoying it for breakfast in omelets with some sauteed spinach, garlic and light cream cheese. It's a good combination and pretty filling. So for the past couple of days I've eaten this.



My snack this week has pretty much been low fat cottage cheese and an apple. And, Wednesday and Thursday lunch was 1/2 a veggie burger on ww bun.

As for weigh-in this week. I am up, again, but I definitely came down from that over 2 pound gain I saw. +1.2 lbs. Working out has been lack luster because of the shuffling of my schedule but I did go to a concert last night and danced around for 4 hours so that must count for something!

And this weekend is Memorial Weekend! The weekend that is traditionally filled with barbecues and parties. I've come up with some fall back ideas in the event that I need to face any terrifying food decisions so I'll let you know how that goes.


P1:
Week 1: -4.4
Week 2: -1

P2:
Week 1: +1
Week 2: +1.4
Week 3: -1
Week 4: +1.2


You know, looking at it this way I'm noticing way too many + signs. I'm really going to do my very best to get a - sign come next weigh-in!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Been One Week ...

since last I posted.

Once again, a week feels like an eternity. However, not much has really happened. I'll recap a few items and some of my food choices.

It was Monday the 16th the last time I wrote and in case you're wondering ...

Monday night, instead of my vegetables, vegetables, vegetables I had Italian food. And not just any Italian food, I had fettuccine alfredo with garlic bread. I found it to be delicious in the moment, but I had some horrific heartburn afterwards.

Tuesday was a day filled with normal eating and then I went to Korean BBQ for a friend's birthday. I found online where on South Beach Korean BBQ is actually encouraged. The meat was very tasty but I found the extreme lack of vegetables to make me feel very unbalanced. Also, I don't think that much meat sat well in my stomach. If I go again, I will order meat as well as vegetarian options to round it out.

Wednesday was weigh in and I was happy to see -1 lb on the scale. Woo Hoo! Also, I got in a nice lunch workout on the stationary bike.

Thursday I ate an entire calzone for dinner. Yup, Italian strikes again. However, I managed to take a nice walk to Universal on my lunch break.

And that brings us to the weekend where I had a mixture of food. Some examples: I had a lovely caprese salad Friday, turkey dogs on whole wheat buns with sweet potato fries (baked) on Saturday, and a pulled pork BBQ sandwich with cole slaw and french fries, and junior mints at the movies on Sunday. The bbq sandwich was from a diner and pretty much straight forward. Afterwards, I wished I had been a little more selective in choosing my meal but I enjoyed it.

I AM pleased to report that I got in two really good workouts on Friday and Saturday but all in all, I do NOT think that I had a successful weekend food wise. In fact, I'm pretty displeased with the entire week.

That brings us full circle again to Monday where, as of this morning, I am up 2.4 lbs from my Wednesday weigh-in. Ideal? no. But I'm pretty positive it is the result of foods I've been eating.

I chose not to cook anything last week. In fact, I didn't even go to the grocery store and kind of just ate what was left in my fridge. It was both a good and bad thing. It was good because I got rid of a lot of produce and other food items that I would have otherwise wasted. It was bad because I really had no plan in place for my meals. I found myself scurrying each morning to try to figure out decent snacks and lunches and then I'd go home for dinner and without a plan in place, ordering food seemed ideal. Hence, the Italian nights.

So for this week, I made sure to plan.

My food for today is pretty normal, eggs for breakfast, vegetable chili for lunch - I also have some tomato bisque that I'm going to try.

And for dinner, tonight I'm going to be making a tomato sauce heavy on vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and a few sweet peppers - and then I'm going to throw it over a half serving of whole wheat pasta with some dollops of fresh ricotta cheese.

I thought it sounded decent enough.

So goals for this week:

I feel pretty good about my menu and if I stick to what I have planned and continue working out, I have no doubt that my weight will ease its way back down. Also, I'm going to try to not let so much time go by before I blog again because writing down the food on here is like a check point for me.

P1:
Week 1: -4.4
Week 2: -1
P2:
Week 1: +1
Week 2: +1.4
Week 3: -1

Monday, May 16, 2011

Great Weekend!

I had a fantastic weekend filled with lots of birthdays and fantastic food.

On Friday night, I went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate the first birthday of the weekend. It was just a quiet dinner with one of my friends and my boyfriend. There was, of course, lots of talking and great food. We started with a celebratory drink in her honor and ordered some sweet potato fries for the table. For my entree I went with a chicken dish that included mashed potatoes and broccoli. I knew dessert was a must so I ate just a bit of everything and actually we were talking so much I took plenty of time in between bites which helped a lot.

We ordered cheesecake to share and left half on the plate. I walked away from the restaurant feeling very satisfied with not only my food choices but my fullness level. It's hard to walk away from the Cheesecake Factory and not be overly full. The portions are GIGANTIC. The next morning though, I did wake up and feel dreadfully dehydrated most likely from the sodium intake.

Other than dinner, Friday's menu was pretty good:

B: 1/2 egg sandwich on ww bread w/ peppers, lettuce, cheese, coffee
S: romaine tossed with broccoli slaw, edamame and dressing
L: vegetable chili w/ shredded cheese

I also got in 2, yes TWO, workouts. I woke up before work and did strength training and then took a 45 minute walk on my lunch break.

The next birthday event was to be at my house but not until Sunday so Saturday was spent cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning.

I also got in a 45 minute working running intervals and ate ..... um ok.

brunch: portobello mushroom cap topped with sauce, tomatoes, and cheese
s: skim milk, handful cadbury mini eggs
dinner: pad thai with pork

Sunday Sunday Sunday!

Started the day with eggs over easy and a small glass of skim milk.

Got in a 30 minute elliptical workout followed by 15 minutes walking on the treadmill.

Ate a slice of muenster cheese.

And then we had our birthday dinner for my boyfriend. He cooked his favorite Thai dishes and we had many, many people come over to help us celebrate.

I enjoyed Jasmine rice with Green Curry and shrimp accompanied by a glass or two of wine. And topped it off with a few bites of pie and ice cream.

We started dinner at 5pm and everyone was still having fun at 10:30pm so we ordered some pizza and I had 3 slices of cheese pizza.

I probably could have done without the pizza at the end of the night if I had eaten better after my workout. All I had after that workout was the slice of cheese because I was in the kitchen cooking and before I knew it guests were everywhere.

No matter, everyone had a lot of fun and it was definitely a successful evening.

I did, however, throw the merriment into Monday morning. My boyfriend drove me to work this morning and we stopped at Carl's JR. and got some greasy breakfast goodness!! Yeah, this party needs to come to an end pretty soon.

Lunch is going to be vegetable lasagna w/ whole grain noodles and then dinner will probably be vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables.

I enjoyed everything I did and ate but I'm ready to get back full time to my better way of eating. I feel a little heavy and sluggish but I'm sure it's just from the foods I ate.

Hopefully Wednesday's weigh-in will be kind to me :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Carb Cravings

Ok, that didn't take too long. This is an excerpt from the boards I read:

"life happens and you will, on occasion, find yourself eating an off-plan meal or a slice of birthday cake. Enjoy! Do not berate yourself, and most importantly, DO NOT GO BACK TO PHASE 1! Get back on track with a healthy P2 diet, continue to exercise, and move FORWARD. P1 should only be revisited if your cravings have returned or you've been off of P2 for a long time."

Ok, that seems like sound advice. With that in mind, I'm going to continue on as I'm supposed to. If I notice that the carb cravings continue, I'll go back to P1 for a few days and hopefully that'll kick it. Also, I had a banana for breakfast yesterday. That's the first time I've had fruit in the morning and maybe that also was a factor.

Unfortunately, I had a banana for breakfast today too. I'll see what happens tonight and then I'll move it tomorrow and figure out if that was a culprit too.

Week 2 ends ...

Yesterday I woke up feeling great. Truly, I had amazing energy and felt like the world was my oyster.

That's all - nothing exciting happened -- I just wanted to share because I LOVE days like those. Where everything just seems to go your way even if it doesn't.

Anyway, I recently divulged my over-indulgences and I stand here now needing to make a correction.

They did have an affect on me. Last night for dinner I ordered Pad Thai. And as I was eating it, I had a revelation:

"SON OF A GUN!!! This is a carb craving"

Didn't even see it coming til I was almost done.

So yes, my little jaunt over the weekend DID have an affect on me. When I got home from work it didn't occur to me that I was overly thinking about eating pad thai or anything. I had had a wonderful day of eating and somehow in a single thought I convinced myself that I would eat it and be ok and blah blah blah. Truly I performed some excellent jedi mind tricks on myself. Very crafty I have become.

Anyway, now that I've indentified it I'm not so sure what to do now. I don't know if I'm supposed to go back to phase 1 or not. Hopefully I'm not because I really don't want to do it again - maybe just a day or two. So today I'm going to peruse my resources and get some advice from people who've "been there done that".

Also, today is Wednesday - so that means it's WI: +1.4 lbs

Yeah, that's a big jump but I was expecting that due to certain choices I made that I am going to forgive myself for and move on ;)

P1: 5.4
P2:
week 1: +1
week 2: +1.4

I'm not too worried about the gain because week 2 for me was *head bowed in shame* not the best for me. No worries though, I will come up with a plan and turn it around.

In food news, I made a dish that I'm very pleased with.

Vegetarian chili:



It's kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, onions, carrots, and red peppers with all sorts of chili seasonings. I just mixed it all together and let it simmer for a couple of hours. Very filling and tasty.

Yesterday's menu:
B: banana w/ PB
L: chili w/ 1T shredded Portuguese cheese
S: yellow pepper strips, plum tomatoes, carrot strips w/ hummus
D: pad thai :(

Today starts week 3 for mean and technically I am to add a grain today (yippee!) but before I officially do that I'm going to go see what I can find out about my carb cravings.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Confession

Guess what I did this weekend??

I cheated and I cheated hard :)

Friday night I had pizza. Saturday, well Saturday, I ate normal. And then came Sunday. Sunday I had candy, doughnuts and nachos!!!

The lesson: If anyone out there is reading this. Don't do it! If you want to cheat, cheat small. Just have a tiny cheat meal or cheat snack. Why? Because I got super sick.

Well to be fair, I think I've been having issues with my stomach ever since I started this diet. The drastic change in my eating has had some sort of affect on me and I'm hoping to get it all figured out in my upcoming annual w/ my doctor in 2 weeks. My mother also recently informed me that gallbladder issues run all sorts of rampant in my family so that may be the problem. Whatever it is, how I am feeling right now is not worth it.

On the bright side, I don't have any sugar cravings. Maybe that's because I have yet to eat any food today. I feel so sick that the thought of eating ANYTHING makes me feel more sick.

I just thought I needed to get that off my chest. You know, full disclosure and all.

As far as my other meals, nothing new or exciting was made. I pretty much stuck to the same foods.

Up ahead:
WI is Wednesday. Before I took my little excursion, I was looking good at having a loss this week. But we'll see what happens.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Phase 2 week 1 results

My first week on Phase 2 was good. I really have no complaints about it. I think I was super worried about starting because I thought that eating just one serving of grain would be enough to make me go back into a stupor because I really like my carbs. However, I found that the one slice of whole wheat toast that I chose as my grain this week really worked well for me. I switched back and forth between peanut butter toast and half a roasted turkey sandwich. I ate them either at lunch or as my post dinner snack.

I started w/ the PB toast as an after dinner snack because honestly, I was afraid that if I moved it up earlier in the day, it would set me up for cravings for the rest of the day. After a couple of days, I moved it to my lunch and that didn't seem to do any damage so I gained more confidence.

So, as far as my results. I know I weigh in on Thursdays but now I'm thinking I just need to move it to Wednesday because that will make it coincide w/ my SB starting date. So, I'm trading my Thursday weigh-ins for Wednesdays. And thus, my results are below:

P1: -5.2 lbs total
P2: +1 lb - week 1

During the first week I went up almost 2 pounds before things started settling. It also dropped lower but that +1 was my final number so I'm sticking w/ that. And other than the tummy troubles early on in the week, I feel good and have recently noticed my clothes seem to be getting bigger which is always nice.

As of right now, I'm on day 3 of my second week. This week I added back fruit and honestly, I'm not doing so well. Wednesday I added some strawberries and yesterday I forgot completely. Today I have an apple so I'm going to try super hard to remember to eat it. I know it could be worse - I COULD be cheating left and right. I have cheated a little but all I've done is go over my 100 calorie limit of SF treats and eat too much Pad Thai one night.

So far so good.

Today's menu:

B: Southwest omelette (seasoned beans, tomato and cheese omelette topped w/ salsa, guacamole and a dollop of sour cream)
S: yellow pepper strips, carrot slices, plum tomatoes w/ hummus
L: half roasted turkey sandwich, garden salad w/ kidney/garbanzo beans and Ital. dressing

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Still here

I've had quite the time since last I posted.

I did finally decide what to buy at the market and what to eat for the week. However, this is the first week where I'm not all that impressed with my selections. Oh well. Maybe I'll come up with something grand for next week.

Many things to discuss so lets talk about food first.

This weekend I had two, yes TWO, different dinner parties to attend. I think I did pretty well :) The first was at a close friends house and they had a plethora of options. I know for a fact that there was sugar in some of the dishes but I think I did pretty good considering. I enjoyed some salad, some peppers and sausage, and a chicken wing. I sat down and talked to the host about how he prepared everything and honestly, it was a little worse than I thought :) But it's all good.

I ate enough to not be starving and then I just sat back and enjoyed my friends company. Once I got home I ate a nice dinner.

The second dinner was with my boyfriend's sister's family. My boyfriend is half Thai and his sister cooks AMAZING Thai food. Now, I LOVE Thai food so I was afraid this one would be just a hair more difficult. Nope! And I have a wonderful boyfriend too. He asked his sister what was in everything and how much sugar. And we both helped cook so I saw first hand. Also, when he saw "bad items" go in, he'd pull me aside and tell me. It was really cute. I had a little bit of everything. And again, just enough to not be starving. When we left, we stopped and got a bite to eat before we drove back home.

So yes, I did well at my first two tries at eating out of the house. It was a lot easier than I thought. The first dinner party I had no idea what they were making so I had a snack before I went to make sure that in the event I had to not eat that I would be ok. The second dinner, I knew beforehand what dishes were being made I just didn't know how they were being prepared. But I feel confident that in the future, I'll be able to maneuver the situation.

Now, if it had been a pizza party that might have been way more difficult ;) Man, I love pizza.

Anyway, Monday was a different story. I got through breakfast and then I was sick to my stomach all day long. I'm not sure if it was something I ate over the weekend or if it was because maybe I had more off limit ingredients (ie: sugar) than usual but I didn't eat anything all day. When I got home from work I was really hungry and my boyfriend wanted Thai. So I ordered Pad Thai. Now, I can have rice noodles but I'm pretty sure restaurant Pad Thai is just off limits in general. Fat, sugar, deliciousness and whatnot. But I ordered it and I ate it. Not the whole thing because I get full really quickly lately. And some interesting things happened.

First, it didn't taste as good as I thought it would. This restaurant has my favorite Pad Thai of ALL TIME so I was a little shocked at this. Maybe it was a bad batch (hey, it happens) or maybe my taste buds have changed (that happens too) - in any case, it just didn't wow me. Second, it KNOCKED ME OUT! Seriously, I ate it and then we sat down to watch a movie but it was no use. By 8:30pm I was gone. It might have been from being sick, being full or eating such a heavy dish when I wasn't used to it. Who knows.

That leads to Tuesday which was ... ugh. So, I'm assuming it was the Pad Thai but I was sick to my stomach all through the morning and afternoon on Tuesday too. I wasn't in as bad a shape as Monday - I still could eat food - but my stomach was gurgling and churning and doing not fun things off and on. Not fun and it will definitely make me think twice about eating such a heavy dish that I'm not really used to.

And that brings me to Yesterday's Menu:

B: omelette w/ onions, mushrooms, cheese, salsa, and sour cream - I didn't prepare myself grocery wise for the apparent mexican breakfast cravings I've been having the last couple of days - so this is my improvisation.



L: Soupe de Pistou (yeah, still eating this and I still like it - but it's gone now) and a half Roasted Turkey Sandwich



I roasted a turkey breast over the weekend. That was a good idea - plus it was on sale!

and dinner .. I tried to come up w/ a new idea for dinner. I'd been wanting barbecue food lately so I tried to come up with some recipes to simulate a SB barbecue

behold:




That's chicken sausage, cole slaw and baked beans. I made a bbq sauce that had no sugar in it - which, mind you, is pretty difficult. I got the recipe off the internet and the ingredients alone made me doubt the whole thing but I made it anyway. The cole slaw was a Bobby Flay recipe but instead of cabbage I used broccoli slaw and instead of sugar I used Splenda. I also was leery of this one.

And guess what? I was right. I wasn't too pleased with either of these. I'm actually going to give them both a second shot today. I brought a little cole slaw for lunch and I might try the baked beans again for dinner. Sometimes food tastes better after its been sitting and the flavors meld. But we'll see.

And now on to my weight.

Today ends my first week of Phase 2. Adding back the carb wasn't all that difficult or mind blowing. In fact, for the first few days I almost forgot to do it. My weight HAS been fluctuating all week. I said I wasn't going to look at the scale but I did anyway. It's just been going back and forth between my P1 ending weight and one pound up. Tomorrow is Thursday and that's my weigh in day so from now on I'm going to use whatever pops up on Thursday as my reference point. So, as of this morning, I weigh the same as I did last Thursday and tomorrow will be the official number for the week.

Also, today is the first day I add back fruit so here's to another week of seeing how my body handles me messing with it :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Indecisive Friday

It's Friday and usually by this time, I have my grocery list and menu ready to go for the upcoming week

Today, however, I'm at a loss. I have no idea what I'm going to eat. None.

Nothing sounds good. I don't want to go haphazardly to the market/grocery store and end up with a bunch of stuff that I won't use. That makes me feel wasteful and every time I have tried it I have, in fact, let most everything go to waste. Besides, this week's food money is a little tight due to some random overspending on my part last weekend.

Also, my boyfriend and I are planning on buying an air conditioner for our workout/art room this weekend so I need to stick to my food budget to compensate for that extra expense.

Last night we ordered out from this Italian restaurant we really like. I got the caprese salad and a little caesar salad. The caprese was so good that's all I can think about. I just want fresh tomatoes, basil, EVOO, and balsamic. I can't get tomatoes out of my head and I can't wait until they are in season at my local farmer's market. Right now the tomatoes at the grocery store are hit and miss. More miss than anything so I don't want to count on them and make a crappy caprese salad.

So what do I do? I guess I'll go scour the internet looking for recipes that use in season veggies. Hopefully I'll find something.

Also - my food so far.

B: 2 egg omelette w/ spinach, onions, garlic, and a little cream cheese

and plan on having

L: vegetable chili w/ side salad
S: turkey swiss roll ups

Also, I would like to report that yesterday I went to the gym and got in a run. My energy level was great and I finished w/ no problems. I am a little sore today because it's the first time I've run in a couple of weeks but nothing I can't handle!

And in full confession, I stepped on the scale this morning. I know, I know I said I wasn't going to but I was SO CURIOUS.

I was up another .8 ish. It was flashing between .8 and 1 pound so I'm going with .8 - I'm not fretting at all yet. But I do feel way more bloated these past 2 days. I'm going to give it another day or two and then I might swap out my whole wheat bread for another grain. I don't really want to because I'm enjoying that toast at the end of the day but I really hate feeling bloated and that's the only thing I can attribute it to since my eating has remained pretty consistent over the last 2 1/2 weeks. I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Phase 2

I made it through all 14 days of Phase 1. In retrospect, it wasn't that bad but I do remember a couple of moments during the first couple of days that were rough.

In any case, I did it and I lost 5.4 pounds during Phase 1.

Yesterday was my first day of Phase 2.

Phase 2 is where I can add back in my good carbs and fruits. So, whole wheat bread and pasta, whole grains and fresh fruit. Good stuff indeed!

I was at a loss actually at what to eat. I had been reading message boards and everyone has their own suggestion as to what to add. I noticed that almost everyone said oatmeal but I just couldn't do oatmeal. I also hadn't decided if I was going to add back my fruit this week or my grain. So, I chose grain and I chose whole wheat bread!

Honestly, I almost forgot to eat it. I'm just so used to my way of eating right now that eating the bread kind of felt like I was going off track.

So as my after dinner treat I had peanut butter toast with a glass of skim milk.



Simple, filling and delicious. I'm pleased that it didn't have a huge affect on me. I'm not overly craving carbs or anything and when I was figuring out my meals for the day I noticed I gravitated toward the usual foods so that's also good.

However, when I weighed in this morning (Thursdays are really my official WI days) I was up a whole pound. I was prepared for this because almost everything I had read said the beginning weeks of Phase 2 will most likely result in a gain. Not the most motivating thing but knowing ahead of time at least helped a little. When I cut out the grains and fruits I was depleted of my glycogen stores thus resulting in a loss (water weight). Adding back my grain means also adding back to my glycogen stores (which is a good thing!) and thus water weight gain. According to others, it should take my body a couple of weeks to adjust and then I should start losing again. Now, the only thing I can do is stay the course and see if it happens. I'm going to definitely stay off the scale until next Thursday morning and then depending on what I see I might wait 2 weeks for my next weigh in. One person commented that for her it took 6-8 weeks until she started losing weekly so I don't want to get discouraged.

In case you're interested yesterday's menu went something like this:

B: SF/NF latte, turkey/swiss, lettuce roll ups (I'm taking a much needed break from eggs)
L: fake tacos (see previous post)
D: Soupe au Pistou (french soup I made Tuesday night for P2 because it has delicious carrots in it)




and a portabello mushroom pizza
D: PB toast, milk

The pizza I made was very, very good. Even my boyfriend said he would eat it on nights he craved pizza. I used a large portabello mushroom cap as my crust then made a meat sauce with turkey sausage and just topped the mushroom as you would a pizza and broiled it.



It looks like a big pile of cheese and sauce but that's because I put too many toppings on it. The one I made the previous night actually looked like a pizza. But it sure was good.

And today, so far the menu looks like this:

B: ham, swiss lettuce roll-ups, coffee
S: carrots with jalapeno/Gouda spread
L: Soupe au Pistou, cottage cheese
D: ?

Whatever I do for dinner it will have plenty of veggies in it. I need to add more veggies to my breakfast but I recently hit a slump when it comes to eggs and I wasn't really prepared for finding alternatives so I made do with what I had. Oh yeah, I forgot about my grain again. I think I might do the PB toast and milk again. It really fit well in my dessert spot.

And one more thing, now that I'm adding in my grains and fruits I'm going to up my exercise. During Phase 1 I did long walks for my exercise a couple of times a week. In the first week they were actually kind of difficult because of the energy thing. But I feel good and I think it's time to up the ante a little. Besides, I really really want to participate in this 5k that's coming up at the end of May. So hopefully you'll start seeing me log my workouts too.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Almost There!

It's been an interesting couple of days since I posted.

I think it was Friday that I had some trouble. I didn't want to quit but I was ready to just start the next phase. I just wanted a slice of bread. Also, I was incredibly cranky. I think it goes back to not eating enough food. I got out of work early for Good Friday and by the time I got home, I had missed my lunch and a snack and I was so tired that I took a nap instead of getting food. By the time I got up I was in rare form. Truly, I was a beast. So, I fixed some food and voila! I was better.

The weekend was ok. I have a hard time with the weekends and this particular program. Not in that I want to go off course but just in that I don't eat all my foods. Not to mention my water intake suffers. And you know what happens when I don't eat enough food...

So what did I eat?

Saturday:

b: eggs and bacon
l: none
s: SF/NF vanilla latte
d: tacos
d: SF fudgesicle and SF syrup

I ended up starving around bedtime so I cooked some more eggs and bacon. I really didn't eat that great. My veggies were limited to my taco dinner which wasn't really all that much. I cooked some kidney beans in some mexican seasoning and then filled romaine leaves w/ the beans, cheese, salsa and sour cream. And honestly, it was very, very good.



Again, very good. I will definitely be putting that back on the menu at some other point in time. In addition to not eating enough healthy foods, I overate on my sugar free foods. I had the latte and then I had the fudgesicle. And not only did I have the fudgesicle, I even took it off the stick and drizzled some SF chocolate syrup over it and ate it like a sundae. Yeah, not the best eating day I've had so far but I still didn't do anything too destructive.

I woke up Sunday determined to at least get all my meals in and more vegetables.

Sunday:

b: eggs, bacon, spinach, tomatoes



s: garden salad w/ ranch
l: panda express beef and vegetable dish
d: tomato, avocado, turkey sausage, cheese omelet w/ salsa

It was a decent day. I went to Panda Express and got some new beef dish. It was just beef and vegetables in some spicy sauce. I'm positive there was sugar in the sauce but I added mixed vegetables to it and basically ate off of them. I ate a few pieces of beef for the protein but what I'm finding lately is that it honestly doesn't take too much to fill me up. For dinner we met friends at a cafe and I ordered the omelet which also came w/ fried potatoes and fresh fruit on the plate. And you know what? It honestly didn't affect me at all. I really think my carb cravings are at a nice controllable level. But, I am super excited to eat fruit again. Super excited!

And now here I am on Day #13 and I am proud to say that I have stayed the course. I had a horrible stomachache last night and into this morning so my food consumption today has been minimal. I'm just taking it easy to make sure everything is ok. Although, I did take the time yesterday to pack myself wonderful food.

If I feel up to eat today I have:
ham roll ups w/ gouda and romaine
deviled eggs
and
fresh veggies w/ spinach and artichoke dip for snack

Dinner tonight is going to be sushi. I hope. I bought the stuff to make salmon handrolls (w/o the rice of course) and it'll be my first attempt at making it.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Phase 1 News!

Today is Day #9 of my phase 1. At weigh-in this morning I am officially down 5 pounds and I'm very excited and very pleased with that!

Yesterday was actually a really hard day for me. I think it was emotional though and nothing to do with my diet. I was a little cranky and annoyed and somehow that turned into anger over not being able to eat whatever I wanted. Was I having carb cravings? No. I believe this was completely just emotional. In the past, carbs, to me, equaled comfort and because they were off limits I got very agitated and somewhat angry. Almost like a child being told they couldn't have something.

It was interesting and I'm glad it happened. It showed me two things: 1) I think my actual carb cravings are getting close to being under control and 2) I need to be more aware of my emotions and find things other than carbs to make me feel better.

The episode passed and I had another successful day eating wise.

Today has also been a really nice day!

I was running late this morning and managed to pack everything but my breakfast. No worries though as we have a Starbucks right beside us. I treated myself to a SF latte and a turkey and swiss sandwich. I just threw away the bread and had turkey, swiss and lettuce roll-ups. They actually were very tasty and very filling. Starbucks actually has roasted turkey and not the deli sliced kind. I always find that to be extra satisfying.

Work has been kind of hectic today so I had to sneak in my first snack really quick. It was just a mini babybel.



Nothing too fancy and actually I should have eaten more but I figured a little something was better than nothing at all.

The next thing I knew it was my lunch break. I had my gym bag sitting by my desk ready to go but it was so beautiful outside. Actually, I had no desire to rush to the gym, get in a workout, do the shower thing, rush back to work. My gym is 3 buildings down from my office so I have the luxury of walking there and getting in a decent gym workout. It does require some rushing to get showered and office ready again and sometimes I just don't have it in me to do it.

So I went on a walk instead. I usually walk over to Universal Studios. It's sort of 4 buildings down from my office and a really nice walk.



Me passing my gym and heading up to City Walk






It was so nice out today



I go up there a couple times a week. It takes about 10 minutes to walk there and then I just walk around the shops and people watch with my ipod on.



I should probably just a buy a ticket into the park because it's "buy a day get a year" - so I'd get a season pass. Then I could spend my lunch breaks in the theme park and ride some rides!

It was a nice walk today. I was gone almost the whole hour. Sometimes I don't spend my whole time up there. If I'm in the mood to just speed walk, I'll book it the whole time to try to get my heart rate up. I still wear my HR monitor when I take my lunch walks. It motivates me to walk a little faster even when I don't feel like it. Either way I get between 5000 and 6000 steps in by going up there. It's a real boost as I try every day to get in my 10,000.

And on the way back to my office



That's the wonderful LA traffic. It's usually not so busy this time of day but Obama is here and that means by the time I get out of work, there will be complete gridlock on at least one freeway.

Anyway, back in the office I had my lunch. I wasn't really hungry so I had just one component. Vegetable Soup. I usually eat this with some protein but today I'm just not feeling it.



I wanted to get in my veggies so I ate it.

And now I'm a little sleepy which probably means that I haven't eaten enough calories today. It's true, eating this way, I find that I'm hungry less often but I have to make sure to get in my calories because my body needs them to function! And when I don't eat enough, I get really, really tired.

UGH. OK, I'm getting really tired, I think I'm going to go have some cottage cheese :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

South Beach Phase 1 continues

So I had a very productive weekend. We did some good shopping at the farmer's market, did a lot of Spring Cleaning, and I got the chance to cook up my first attempts at "SB approved" dishes.

On Saturdays, we head to the farmer's market as soon as it opens, so I grabbed my last Egg Muffin as I ran out the door. We have to get there early because parking is always a hassle. Also, it was an unusually hot weekend and at 8am it was already in the 80s and rising so we didn't want to be out there in the heat.

After we finished all of our grocery shopping, I came home to cook some food because I was starving. This was kind of my first chance to go about preparing something on the spot that was on program.

So I sauteed up some spinach and garlic in some olive oil and then topped it with a tomato sauce that I had leftover in the fridge. The sauce was just crushed tomatoes, cottage cheese, garlic, and parmesan cheese. It doesn't look that appetizing but it's one of my favorite things to eat.



I then cooked two fresh eggs over medium



And then ended up with a very satisfying, very filling breakfast:



I went the easy route with this breakfast. This is actually close to something I make and so I knew I would like it. In any case, score one for me!

After I finished that I started in on one of my recipes. It's a Garden Lasagna (without noodles) and it takes quite a bit of time to prepare.

I started the sauce.

I sauteed lots and lots of onions, celery, garlic, mushrooms, plum tomatoes, and green onion in some olive oil then added ground turkey that I had previously browned.



Then I added a jar of no sugar added marinara sauce and lots of fresh basil. I let it simmer on the stove for about an hour.

So while it was doing that, my pup and I decided to pass the time playing a little Call of Duty



That's my dog Chloe. If I'm sitting on the couch watching tv, playing video games, reading or doing anything at all, she has to be sitting right in the middle of my lap. It gets pretty crowded but it's very cute.

After the hour, I pieced together the lasagna. I forgot to take pics of this part. Basically, instead of noodles I just thinly sliced a couple of zucchini length wise and used those instead. I layered the zucchini with the meat sauce, ricotta cheese, fresh spinach and mozzarella cheese. I did about 3 layers and then topped it with fresh parmesan and baked it for almost 2 hours.



This is absolutely delicious. And the zucchini actually gives you a semi noodle texture. Yes, you can definitely tell there are no noodles but both my boyfriend and I thought this was absolutely wonderful. And the fact that it's full of vegetables is just a bonus.

I even ate it for two of my meals on saturday!

lunch: garden lasagna

snack: broccoli, celery, plum tomatoes with black bean hummus

dinner: garden lasagna, side salad: romaine with kidney beans, parmesan and caesar dressing

dessert: SF fudgesicle

Also I went to the gym Saturday night. I got in 35 minutes or so on the treadmill and had a really good amount of energy. I was worried to push myself too hard. I didn't run but I walked at an incline and kept my heart rate at about 80% of my maximum and it felt good.


Sunday morning I had another pleasant experience cooking breakfast. Since I've started this phase, I've been trying to get beans into at least one meal a day for the fiber. So, I chose breakfast this time.

I sauteed fresh broccoli, garlic, onion, a couple of tablespoons of my wonderful tomato sauce and about a quarter cup of kidney beans.



And then I just topped it with, of course, farm fresh eggs.



This was my favorite of the 2 weekend breakfasts and it kept me full for what felt like forever.


Since I eat breakfast everyday I usually cook something that I can eat on for the whole week. So I cooked a breakfast casserole for me to take to work for the upcoming week. It was something new and I was really pleased with how it turned out.



That's a slice of it on a very fancy paper plate at my work desk.

All it is is tons of vegetables, some smoked ham, cheese and eggs. It came out creamy and delicious.


The rest of my meals for Sunday:

lunch: breakfast casserole

snack: skinny vanilla iced latte

dinner: garden lasagna

snack: broccoli, celery, plum tomatoes, black bean hummus, skim milk


I did have some pretty major energy problems late afternoon on Sunday. It was around the 3pm hour and TJ and I were out running errands and I was just exhausted. Sitting in the car, I couldn't even keep my head upright and my eyes open.

It finally hit me that I hadn't eaten enough food that day. I told you that my breakfast was extremely filling. It was so filling I wasn't hungry til about 2pm and that's when I just ate a slice of the breakfast casserole. So I missed my snack and my lunch was smaller than normal. I remembered reading that you shouldn't miss your snacks even if you're not hungry. So I won't be missing those snacks again. It felt horrible.

So all in all a very good weekend!

Today marks day #6 so I'm almost halfway done with Phase 1. My weigh in will be on Thursday which will be my 9th day on the plan. I'm actually looking forward to it. I can tell something is working. My clothes fit nicely and I feel fantastic so hopefully I'll have a good showing :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Maybe I spoke too soon?

The day is dwindling down slowly. And when I say slowly, I mean S L O W L Y. Nothing too exciting has occurred.

Until now. I went into the kitchen to fix my lunch. Yes, it's late in the day but it's 3 hours since last I ate.

And there in the middle of our kitchen was a giant ice cream cake.

Here's the thing. I don't like ice cream cake. I mean, it's not the worst thing in the world to eat but if I had my choice between regular cake or ice cream cake, I'd choose regular cake every time. And don't even think about putting a scoop of ice cream next to my regular cake either. Gives me the willies just thinking about it. Soggy cake. Yuck.

Anyway, there is cake in the kitchen at my work and I'm thinking about it. Not thinking about eating it, just thinking about it. And I'm finding this extremely entertaining. I was browsing the internet and the next thing I knew I was looking at cake.

Did I google images of cake? No, I actually googled a line from an old tv show that had the words "chocolate cake" in it and the next thing I know BAM! pictures of chocolate cake everywhere.

It was funny.

I just want this day to be over. I want to go home. There's no cake there. It's safer.

:)

South Beach Progess Report

I'm officially on Day 3 of my phase 1. Honestly, it hasn't been that bad. I sneaked a peek at the scale this morning and yes it has gone down.

How much?

A good bit but I'm not going to say how much until the end of the first week. I know I was holding on to major water weight so this is it just finally going away.

They say you are to lose 8-13lbs in the first two weeks. I've cut out sugar before in my diet and I didn't experience those numbers but I did experience the water flush. It's not fat but it feels good. I feel less bloated and that helps especially since we women tend to bloat a lot around certain times. I'm hoping for 6 pounds. Why 6? It's just a number that will get me to a vanity point on my bathroom scale. What do I really want? Just a clean slate. To feel like my body is ready for nutritious foods. To get a hold of my reese cup addiction. Oh how I love those things.

I'm also very excited to get my whole grains and fruit back. When the time comes I will eat them with appreciation.

Now, the pros and cons so far of this phase:

Cons:
- I got headaches. The first day at the end of the day, I had a horrific headache. I took advil and it just ever so slightly eased back the pain. I had read that these were a possibility and the length of time they lasted depended on the person. The second day I had a minor one at breakfast, but eating and some tylenol zapped it quickly. Today, so far so good.

- The proverbial you're going to want what you can't have. My meal choices have been great and my selection has been abundant but I still feel restricted because well, I am. I came up with at least twenty different ideas for supper the first night but none of them seem to fit. Even after I chose and we prepared dinner and it tasted fantastic it felt like something was missing. Was I really missing a dinner roll? Probably not. My stomach was pouting because it couldn't have it.

- Energy falter / weird feeling. Just every now and then I have felt a little "off". I went on a walk last night and I definitely felt my energy zapped. I know this is due to the low carbness of it all but what I found was that making my meals well rounded really helped. For instance, bulking up on kidney beans in my afternoon vegetable soup did wonders. And a glass of milk with dinner helped too.

Pros:
- I'm bulking up my meals with vegetables instead of bread and pasta. I'll be honest, I love bread and pasta and given the choice I would bulk up with those instead of my veggies. Now, I have automatically hit my daily servings for vegetables over the last 2 days and it's been nice. So, I'm going to try to keep this balance when I get my grains back.

- Oddly enough, waking up in the morning has gotten marginally easier each day. This is my third morning and I woke up fairly easily. Please keep in mind waking up in the morning is one of the worst times of day for me so if eating like this will help make that easier I say bring it on!

- My pants are fitting better.


And that's it so far.

Today is Day 3 and here's a rundown of my eating plan:

B: spinach and mushroom egg muffins
S: vegetable soup and cottage cheese
L: chicken salad in lettuce wraps w/ chopped tomato
S: string cheese
D: chunky tomato and seafood cajun stew

But we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Day at the Beach

So after much time spent online and reading books I decided that today I would begin Phase 1 of the South Beach diet.

I went to bed last night with my email inbox full of recipes, snack ideas and tips and my lunch bag filled to the brim with "on program" food.

How am I doing? So far so good.

Breakfast was egg muffins that I had already made which happened to be "on program" (OP). Basically, just fresh vegetables, some low fat cheese, fresh eggs, herbs and seasoning poured into a muffin tin and baked.

For my morning snack, I had some low fat cottage cheese with a small bowl of fresh vegetable soup that my wonderful boyfriend brought me.

Lunch was a chicken caesar salad - no croutons of course and my post lunch snack which I'm eating right now is almonds. 15 precious, little almonds.

Oh yes, I had some green tea w/ my breakfast and water throughout the day.

I had originally thought to begin on Monday - that way I could spend the weekend shopping for groceries and cooking. However, when I went to check out my fridge and pantry, I discovered that I had the necessary foods to start today. Also, I WANTED to start today. My meals are a little simple because these are things I'm throwing together with "OP" food that I have at hand but this weekend I'm digging into my treasure trove of recipes and I'm going to be doing some cooking.

The dinner I have planned in my head for tonight: filet mignon, roasted tomatoes w/ crusted parmesan, green beans and deviled eggs (my boyfriend wanted some so I am obliging).

Dessert = Sugar free something. Probably fudgesicles because I actually love them.

As for cravings, I had a five minute episode where I had a desperate need for toasted bread with butter. Desperate. So I had my almonds and it went away nice and quiet like.

I went on a 50 minute walk during my lunch. Nothing too strenuous but it was amazing outside and work is that much easier to handle when I can get out of the building.

Tomorrow - I really, really want to get up before work and do some circuit training. But it's a fact that me and mornings just do not mix.

1 day sort of down / 13 to go

Monday, April 11, 2011

Teeth, Farmers and the Beach

My tooth has stopped aching and I'm super happy about that. Now if I can just get my jaw to work again normally then all will be right with the world again.

I still can't open my mouth very much because my jaw is still very stiff and sore but it is much, much better than last weekend.

My weigh-in came and went on Thursday. I was up .2 lbs so I'm pleased with my success given my diet.

Speaking of diet. I am having a little difficulty in controlling my food intake right now. My soft carb diet last week opened up a huge door for me. I was eating more processed food and more refined sugar than I have in quite some time. Correction, I still am eating those things and I need to get control quick. Let's face it, those things are incredibly easy to eat. They are things your body will just keep craving if you keep eating them. When I first had my dental work, I was eating those things just out of convenience to avoid pain but I don't need to be eating those things anymore. Honestly, I feel crappy.

Last weekend I went to my local farmer's market for the first time ever and I loved it. I'm fortunate that where I live I have a plethora of markets to choose from and I also have a wide variety of health food grocers surrounding me. And it's about time I started taking advantage of this so I am.

This week, all of my meals are made by yours truly with produce from my local farmers and all natural, organic ingredients from my grocers. It's a good jumping off point but I'm getting ready to take it further.

I've decided to try the South Beach Diet. I bought the book about 7 years ago and I believe I got through one week of Phase 1. I remember receiving quite a few compliments on my appearance but I stopped. There were a few reasons why and one of them was money. 7 years ago I was not in the best place financially and lets be honest, eating fresh produce and good quality protein takes some money.

Fast forward 7 years and after a lot of hard work I finally am in a place where my food budget has a lot more wiggle room. Also, I've reached a place in my life where I'm concerned with the quality of my food and how it affects my overall health. Unfortunately, pesticides, hormones, and chemicals are rampant in most foods these days and I've decided I'm going to try to avoid them to the best of my ability. I'm at an age where I've started to consider my health. I want to have a long, healthy life and opting to buy better, albeit more expensive, food is just an investment in my healthy future.

Also, in full disclosure, my body just can't handle the junk anymore. I can immediately tell the difference as soon as I consume these things. My energy takes a dip and all I want to do is nap. And lets not forget the scale. My body just loves to hold on to every bit of sugar and fat that is ingested.

Seriously, when I eat those things it's like I'm providing my body with the ammo to defeat me in the "battle of the bulge".

I've always been one to avoid diets like South Beach and Atkins - I don't like eating plans that tell me I can't have something. But the more I looked at South Beach the more plausible it seemed. The first 2 weeks (Phase 1) are without breads, pasta, potatoes etc. and fruit. I'm not too keen on the no fruit option but it's only for 2 weeks. This phase is meant to help get rid of/control sugar cravings and then you gradually start adding your fruits and whole grains back in. I would start right at Phase 2 but I have a mean sugar craving right now and it needs to be stopped. Seriously, you'd think Reese cups were my best friends.

So, this week, I'm enjoying my freshly prepared foods and coming up with new ideas for my South Beach diet. I haven't pin pointed the start day. I just came to a solid conclusion today that I'm doing this so I'm going to do some planning over the next 3 days or so and then start with a solid blueprint in place. In all honesty, I desperately just want to start right this minute but I'm a planner. And my best effort is always given when I have a well laid plan in place.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Giant Hole

Friday, April 1st I had my lower left Wisdom Tooth removed.

No, I was not asleep, I was heavily, heavily numbed and I sat there as my dentist, whom I love, had a heck of a time getting it out. I thought my jaw was going to break. No lie. That sucker did NOT want to come out.

I have known for a month now that I was getting this done and yet somehow I had convinced myself that it would be no big deal. Well, I guess I should have planned better. I was and still am in quite a bit of pain. I still can't open my jaw and chewing is a huge problem. Thankfully, I'm 5 days in and it's getting minutely better each day.

The big obstacle for me this past week has been food. I've managed to eat soup, mashed potatoes, pasta and scrambled eggs and now I am DESPERATE for some other varieties of food. I've tried fruits and cooked vegetables and soft breads but those still required me to open my mouth way too much. The problem has been my calories. Usually I eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and whole grains. Yes, your standard healthy diet. And because these are all very filling I am able to keep my calorie count in check. Well, since I've been on a mainly soft carb diet, I find that these foods don't keep me satisfied long and thus my calorie count has been kind of out of whack.

Ah, the perils of healthy teeth.

I have, however, managed to keep my exercise in check. I haven't done anything too vigorous. I found the harder I worked out the harder the pain in my head pounded. So, mainly walks and ballet strength training for me.

Now I sit and wait for this giant hole in my mouth to fill, for my jaw to start working again, and for the ability to chew food on BOTH sides of my mouth.

It's funny. Pure bliss for me right now would to be able to take a huge giant bite of a sandwich, or hamburger or anything that A) had some sort of meat B) had crisp, fresh vegetables on it and C) required me to open my mouth more than half an inch.

You know, it's the simple things.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Clarity

It's been a whole week since I last posted. It's funny how when you have a weekly goal how slowly those weeks go by. I swear I wrote that last post a month ago. I mean, it was just a week ago that I was having that horrendous day and it feels like a lifetime ago.

Thank goodness it didn't last.

I had an interesting week. I think it was more a "tongue-in-cheek" kind of week. I was aware of my goals but kind of let them hang out towards the back of my mind. Granted, I didn't do anything that was reckless or throw caution to the wind. But I made mindful choices weighing my consequences and all in all - it was a good week.

My goals were:

Eat:1450 calories / day - with as much clean food as possible
Exercise: 6 workouts
Rest: 1 - 2 full days


How I did:

Ate: 1688 / day - average -- some clean / some not so clean
Exercise: 6 workouts
Rest: 2 full days

I know last WI was a little dramatic and I was still coming off of some sort of horrendous attitude and my weight showed a gain of 1.2 pounds. Well this week, I lost those 1.2 pounds and that's it. I looked at my last two weeks and I worked out the numbers and it was a perfect maintenance week and I'm pleased with that.

So for the month of March I have lost 1.4 pounds. While I'm pleased with that I am certain I can push it further. For instance, I was going over my calorie intake for the last 2 months. When comparing Feburary to March, I ate about 5,000 less calories and burned twice as many calories in the month of March. And there is still some wiggle room so I'm hoping the month of April will be even better! So hopefully that 1.4 pounds can be ... dare I say doubled?

I'm pretty confident I know what I'm doing now :) I know that it's not an exact science but it's close enough that I'm aware of what I can and can't do.

I have to walk that fine line -

For me - I need to keep it under 1450/day to lose weight. Mind you, if I just did that I would be losing at minimal, minimal, minimal losses per week - I mean to lose a pound a week you have to cut 500 calories PER DAY and eating 950 calories a day is just a little too crazy. So, for me, exercise is a MUST. However, I have to be careful and find that balance. When I exercise too much, I get too hungry. And when I'm hungry, I eat more. See what I mean? I have to find a way to exercise as much as I can without disturbing my calorie intake.

That's why I keep my calories around 1400. My goal is to slowly, slowly lower my weekly goal by 50 calories every month or two but for right now, I need those calories to fuel my workouts. I'm the kind of person who likes to go all out in a workout. I find those kinds of workouts so refreshing. Great stress relievers. And also, my hope is that the more I workout, the more muscle I'll build so maybe my metabolism will get to a point where I will have some more wiggle room with cutting calories.

Yeah, it's all about the wiggle room

For this week:

Eat: 1400 calories / day - with as much clean food as possible
Exercise: 6 workouts
Rest: 1 - 2 full days
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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.