Thursday, January 31, 2013


This week has gone really well eating wise.  I really think it gets easier to "keep it clean" as time goes by.

I remember the first couple of days of changing my eating and I'd see commercials for all sorts of food and treats on the tv.  And I'll admit, I'd look at them and think "yum!".  These days, I look at them and all I can think is "they can't find a way to make the food look more appetizing?".  That's it.  I think McDonald's, in particular, needs to do something to make their television commercials show the food in a more appealing way.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm well aware that the food tastes awesome.  It's just that the mere sight of these foods really doesn't bother me or tempt me anymore.  You know, I've heard people say this before.  In fact, I have a friend who, years ago, changed their way of eating and in the event they HAVE to eat fast food they like to say "I can totally taste all the chemicals.  It doesn't even taste like real food".  Yeah, I don't ever think that I'll be that person.  I may be eating clean but I will be the first to say "YES, it tastes phenomenal".

Yesterday marked my 28th day of ... I don't know what to call it.  My new life?  My way of eating?  My foray into the world of whole foods?  My experiment???  I guess I'll just call it change.

Yesterday marked my 28th day of change (it'll do for now).  That means for 4 weeks solid I have kept to my guns about eating more healthily.  They say it only takes 21 days to make a habit, but I think I'm going to give it another couple of weeks before I test out whether I really do have a habit or not ;)

I will say that for the first time in a long time I feel like I have more control over food and eating.  Over my choices, my appetite, my hunger all those good things.  In fact, I even had a dream last night about it.  I dreamt I was at work and a co-worker came by my desk offering up cupcakes for their birthday.  I took one, said thank you and then discretely threw it away.  However, I do remember another co-worker standing to the side laughing at me because he knows I'm not eating those kinds of things these days.   But that just made the dream even more realistic because that would really happen.  The point is, even in my DREAMS, I'm handling things.  I think that's a good sign.

In other news ...

I went to the orthopedist on Monday.  I didn't get a direct answer (do you ever?) however, I did get a referral to get an MRI.  UGH.  Yup, I have myself an appointment this coming Monday to have an MRI on my cervical spine (neck).  He thinks all of my problems are stemming from my neck.  I don't know about you but that doesn't sound so good to me.  Hopefully everything will be ok.  He didn't say anything about me not working out but honestly, I didn't ask him.  I was trying to process what he was saying.  I figure he would have said something if I'm not supposed to since I DID tell him that I first got the pain FROM working out and that I had CONTINUED to do cardio since that time.

I don't know.  I want to go to the gym but I'm seriously hyper-focused on my neck right now.  Every time it creaks or aches or I move my head around I can't help but think something is wrong and I'm destroying my spine and my head will pop off.  I'm such a hypochondriac. 

Today's Menu:
B:  Blueberries + Pea Rice Protein (vanilla) + Coconut Milk = smoothie
L:  Chunky Tomato Bisque with Shrimp
D:  Cheeseburger + awesome lettuce bun + caramelized onions + fixins + oven fries

PS:  I took half of a muscle relaxer last night before bedtime.  I got them for my neck - they make me pass out AND hallucinate!  I woke up in the middle of the night and looked around my room to see tv web cams everywhere.  And I sat up in bed and thought "aw man, they're all watching me again" and I reached around to make sure my PJs were covering everything.  And then I looked up at the ceiling to see plastic animal-like things scurry along the ceiling.

You'd think these things would terrify me but apparently it was business as usual in my head so I went back to sleep.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 19

It's been kind of a rough week.  It's been raining, my elbow has been hurting, and I haven't liked any of the food I've made.  Not to mention the thought of any and all food (healthy or not) makes me want to be sick, oh yeah, and I have to go to the doctor on Monday.

You see, I get stressed and scared no matter what kind of doctor I go to or why.  Dentist for check up?  Petrified.  General Doctor for random cold or cough?  Uncontrollable fear.  Orthopedist for hurt elbow on Monday?  Sick to stomach, want to cancel every second, will stress about it til it's over.

It's irrational I know.

The one bright point?  The work week seemed to go by FAST.  Like instead of 5 days having gone by it feels like 2.  I think that's a major bright point though.  I should probably focus on that.

Weigh-In:  -0.4 lbs

I'm going to be honest, I'm disappointed in that number.  I ate over my points and I didn't exercise yet I'm still disappointed.

It's irrational I know.


Here's what I did this week:

1.  I earned 0 (yes, ZERO) AP points.  I didn't go on a walk, I didn't do anything.  And the thing is, my elbow is the thing that is hurt.  Not my legs.  I could totally be working out.  And even after yesterday's big scare of being hurt and having crazy motivation, I somehow managed to lose all of my good workout joo joo.  Again, I'm going to try.

2.  I ate 251 points for the week.  And without any APs to offset, I clearly went over my allotment.  This was partly due to bad luck and partly due to letting things slide.  Usually when I plan my menu for the week there might be one tiny little I don't like and might have to make tiny adjustments here and there.  However, this past week was just a bust.  I don't know if it was me or the food but most everything I ate was not appetizing and I had to make major adjustments.  Little tweaks that weren't in the "grand plan" and I went over my points.

3.  Surprisingly enough, I was really good with my water.  SUCCESS!!  I'll take it.

4.  What did I eat?  Oh, well, I still ate the whole foods.  I just didn't feel like I had the best BALANCE of whole foods possible.  What does that mean?  I don't think vegetables played a big enough role.  Like perhaps roasted potatoes took a bigger stage than they should have.  Also, bacon seems to have taken over my thoughts.  No, there's nothing wrong with bacon, maybe you just shouldn't eat it as a whole meal.  Just a thought.

So maybe last week wasn't rainbows and sunshine, I still have this week to try again.

That's the spirit!

Today's menu:
B:  coconut milk + chocolate pea rice protein + coffee
L:  sirloin steak + mushroom sauce + mashed potatoes + green beans
D:  pasta primavera

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Steps to Working Out ...

I not only need to workout.  I now desperately want to workout.

What happened?

Well, while walking into work this morning I had my A-ha! moment.

I was walking thru the parking garage carrying my gym bag and lunch bag in my left hand by my side.  I then started lifting both bags up so that I could carry my gym bag on my shoulder.

But something happened.

I couldn't do it.

At first I thought I just had a weird grip so I tried it again.  Nope.  I literally could not lift them.  I didn't have any pain or anything, I just didn't have the muscle for it.

So I went to my desk and made an appointment with my orthopedist.  If any of you have been following me, you'll surely remember my run with p90x last year.  It was awesome.  I gained muscle.   I lost inches.  I felt great.  However, I also hurt my elbow.  And I've been resting it since I wrote that post back in June 2012.  It still hasn't gotten better.  And I've stayed off of it because any time I've used it too much it starts hurting constantly.  In fact, 3 weeks ago I went to the Urgent Care doctor because I had some crazy, out of the blue swelling around my elbow that was painful.  She gave me some pain medicine and said "please go see your orthopedist".

So, I'm going to see my orthopedist.  I mean, if I can't lift a gym bag then something isn't right.   It was a shocking moment to be honest.  I knew I had lost a lot of my strength but this felt different.  I felt scary weak.  After a couple of hours passed, I picked up my bags again and tried again to put the bag on my shoulder.  Fortunately, I was able to do it.  I don't know why I completely failed when I tried earlier but either way, it shouldn't happen.

My appointment is Monday afternoon.  And whatever he tells me to do, I'm going to do it.

I'm going to get better and then I'm going to happily workout.

I don't like this being weak thing.

I don't like it one bit.

I might even do p90x again.

But first things first.

To the doctor I shall go ...... 

Today's Menu:
B:  coffee + chocolate pea rice protein + coconut milk = makeshift mocha frappuccino!
L:  rice + thai green curry
D:  steak + mushroom sauce + mashed potatoes + green beans

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2 Days til Weigh In and ...

I still haven't worked out!!

What is WRONG w/ me.  I have all of these good intentions to do it but they somehow always go out the window! And it's definitely not for lack of resources.

Let's see.  I have:

1. a gym membership
2. a well stocked home gym (no cardio equipment but EVERYTHING you need for strength training)
3. an awesome location for my job.  I can walk to the gym on my lunch break so time is usually not a problem
4. tons of workout clothing
5. BRAND NEW RUNNING SHOES.  I bought myself brand new, top of the line, running shoes right before Christmas.  They've been walked in a handful of times but THAT'S IT

See?  I have all of those wonderful things.  But the one thing I don't have is any desire.  Usually when I don't workout, I am riddled with guilt and feel just horrible.  That hasn't happened.  UGH.  I tried setting the goals last week for some motivation but even thinking about coming here and telling you find people about how I didn't workout didn't budge me one bit.

I hang my head in shame.

Also as of right now my weight is up this week.  Now you'd think that THAT would be something to get me moving but sadly .... no.

All I can do is try.  I'm going to TRY to start.

Today's Menu:
B:  Vegetable Soup
L:  Lentil Soup
D:  Cajun Chicken Pasta

Lots of soup for me.  I was running late for breakfast so I grabbed what was already made.  I must say it was warm, creamy and very filling.

PS:  I don't want to workout.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 18

I am pleased to say that the temperature is back in the almost 80s.  Finally, I am warm again.

I can't believe it's week 18.  That's 4.5 months I've been on Weight Watchers.  I've learned a lot in that time.  I've had some major losses and I've had even bigger gains.  But for the first time, I feel like I'm on the right track.  I still have some tweaking to do with my personal eating and working out schedule but with a little patience and dedication I think I'll be ok.

Week 18:  -1.2 lbs

Whew!  I really didn't think I was going to have a loss this week.  I had a great week of eating and everything but that scale sure was holding steady EVERY SINGLE DAY!  So I'm crazy happy right now.

Now for what I did ...

Weekly Goals:

1.  I earned 4 AP again.  I went on 2 walks.  It's official, I'm ready to start working out again.  I feel like I'm on a roll with my eating and now it's just a matter of me getting back on the proverbial horse.  My goal this week is going to be specific.  I want to: Strength Train TWO TIMES, do HIIT (high intensity interval training) ONE TIME, and go on my beloved walk at least ONE time.  Not very lofty but I have to start somewhere.  Also, I know I usually do an AP number as my goal but this time I need to focus on actually doing the work.  You know how it is - once you get in a lull working out it really does feel like it will take all the strength in the world just to start again. 

2.  I ate 215 points.  That averages 30.7 per day.  However, this week I had one really high day (60 points) and 2 low days (17 & 19) all of the others were around the 30 point mark. 

3.  And what did I eat?  I stuck to my whole foods mantra.  Nary a processed item in sight.  If God didn't make it then I did or it held only ingredients that were of the whole variety.  My pea rice protein is a little iffy in that area but it's got some crazy good ingredients in it.  However, I did make my own ketchup.  Yup.  The thing is, I found a ketchup that I LOVE at Whole Foods.  It even fit into my little rules for eating --  but it's like 8 bucks for this tiny little bottle so I made some.  And you know what, it tastes just fine and it was cheap and now I have a ton.  I tell you what, eating this way has really expanded my skills in the kitchen.  I'm pretty sure I can cook anything now.

4.  Water.  I need more.  Nuff said.

I had one day where I was craving pizza bad.  I even made my boyfriend call me while I was at work so I could talk about what the perfect pizza would taste like.  It was weird.  And just as quickly as the craving came on, it disappeared.  Not my finest hour.  Other than that, I had a great week.  Enjoyed ALMOST all the food I cooked and even spent some time hanging out with friends.  That's one of the things I have been kind of iffy about.  Social gatherings.  At the last 2 I've been to, there really wasn't anything at all that fit into my eating.  And there was TONS of food.  I usually take food with me but still, it can be difficult.  I know that one day I will be completely fine going out and "making due" but it's not right now.

 My boyfriend and I have discussed this.  We think it's too premature to give ourselves leeway for social functions and dining out.  We want to have 3-6 months (with more emphasis on the 6) of greatness under our belts before we start making exceptions.  I know for me, personally, certain foods can have a strong hold over me.  You know, pizza, pasta, fast food.  And right now, I firmly believe that even one meal of those items might very well be enough to throw me off track.  And I don't want that.  I want to be firmly rooted in how I feel about my food choices before I start to test them. 

And with that, I give you ...

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Smoothie:  pea rice protein + flax seeds + coconut milk + frozen strawberries

Lunch:  Chili Beans:  pinto beans + black beans + kidney beans + onion + diced tomato + a secret chili seasoning mix that I came up with myself + pico de gallo + sour cream (I also made the sour cream.  And it's not really sour cream.  First you make some cashew cream - then you add some lemon juice and vinegar and voila!  Something that tastes amazingly like sour cream)

Snack:  apple + almond butter

Dinner:  Cream of Vegetable Soup

Hhmmm.  I just realized that my whole day of eating is vegan.  This was in no way by design but there is not a single animal product in any of that.  Not even the cream of vegetable soup!  No cream in that.  There's some cashew cream (which pretty much can be substituted for anything dairy and creamy), homemade chicken stock, a little coconut milk, and a TON of vegetables.

I guess if I get hungry I can have a midnight snack of bacon. 

Next week food preview:  Cajun Chicken Pasta, Steak + Mashed Potates + Green Beans, Thai Coconut Rice, or maybe some Lentil Soup


Monday, January 14, 2013

Mid Week Update: The Hunger Pains

I made it through yet another weekend.  I had one minor snafu.  Saturday I was sidelined for almost half a day with what seemed like a sinus/migraine/tension headache.  It was the perfect storm of headaches.

My upper back and neck had tons of knots causing the tension headache.  I had a stuffy nose helping along the sinus headache and I hadn't eaten anything but a sweet potato in 24 hours which just gave me a headache.  And all three together probably equaled a migraine.  I had so much medicine running through my veins trying to alleviate the pain it was incredible.  But nothing helped, just time.  And eating.

Which brings me to something I've realized over the past half week or so.  I don't get hungry.  I mean, I get hungry but it's not a hunger I'm used to.  I used to get the growling stomach/hunger pains then the rush of "Oh my God if I don't eat something like right NOW I'm positive I'm going to DIE" pain that propelled me to grab anything in sight.  Seriously, it was a force to be reckoned with.

But I don't get that anymore and thus I forget to eat sometimes.  Hence, the 24 hours with only a sweet potato under my belt that contributed to my headache.  I've had to learn to look for other signals from my body to eat.  I mean, once I started looking for the hunger I found it, it just doesn't feel like it used to.  It's really, really subtle and thus I only need to eat small amounts to satisfy it.  Weird right?  I don't know how long it took for my hunger to change all I know is I'm glad it has.  There was nothing I hated more than coming home from work ravenous with all sorts of food thoughts running through my mind.  I'd forget about the healthy meal that was waiting for me in the fridge and I'd go order something that was most definitely not good for me.  You know, thai food or gnocchi or pizza.  I haven't had that happen yet.  Knock on wood.

So this week's goal is to listen for my own special hunger cues.    Because if I don't - it's not pretty.

Today's Menu:

B:  SMOOTHIE:  coconut milk + pea rice protein + hemp seed + frozen strawberries
L:  cream of vegetable soup
D:  french ratatouille + baked cod + jasmine rice

I made the soup and fish/rice/ratatouille last night.  I'm pretty sure both recipes are going to be keepers.  Especially the ratatouille.  It's amazing.  I made it because Trader Joe's has this individual frozen meal Cod Provencale with Ratatouille and Rice and I LOVE it.  Like crazy love it.  However, when I read the ingredients there was one, tiny, ingredient that I wasn't sure about and so to be safe, I decided to just make it myself.  Tonight will be my first time having it so hopefully, it's a winner.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 17

It's freezing in Los Angeles today.  My hands are cold and numb.

  I had a great week.  I ate properly every.  single.  day.  Yes, that's correct.  Not one day of improper eating.  And you know what?  It wasn't horrible.  It wasn't even that difficult.  I had a few moments where a commercial would catch my eye and I'd think "wow, that looks good"  but other than that,  nothing.  I think the key to eating healthy is eating well.  What I mean is don't just steam some veggies and grill some chicken.  Make something delicious.  Oh and add some HEALTHY fat because that really helps. 

Weigh In:  -2.6 lbs

Now for the stats:

Weekly Goals:
1.  I earned 4 AP.  Yeah, I only worked out twice last week.  I went on two walks on my lunch break during the week.  I didn't want to overwhelm myself by completely changing my diet AND jump back into full time working out so I chose to concentrate on my diet this week.  I figured if I workout, I workout, if I don't then I don't.  Also, I HATE going to the gym this time of year.  All of the new members who join make things extra crowded and crazy.  And the wait times  ... ugh.  It's usually back to normal by the end of February.  You know, because they all quit.  I'll eventually suck
it up and go but I may start working out at home until it slows down.  I really need to start it up again, I can tell my muscles are leaving me. 

2.  I ate 235 points total for the week.  I didn't have any high point days just pretty much ate around 32 points each day.

3.  My water intake was pretty bad.  I actually got a few headaches because I was dehydrated.  I don't know why I'm doing so bad with my water.  I'm really trying to pick it up so maybe this week will be good.

4.  I ate only whole foods.  If it wasn't a fruit, a vegetable,  protein, some olive/coconut oil, coconut milk, pea rice protein, hemp seeds, brown rice, tree nuts, beans, a spice or herb or a combination of these things, then I didn't eat it.  I made almost everything I ate.  I know it sounds time consuming but really, I usually spend one weekend afternoon cooking and cooking and cooking and then I package everything nice and ready to go for the week.  That way, I grab and go.  Also, I think this one little fact is the reason for my success this week.  I don't have any real scientific proof to back that up ... but ... it makes sense.  In any case, we'll see how this next week goes because I'm doing the same thing.

Also in other great news...
I ran out of clean "big girl" jeans this morning.  You know, the jeans that you have to default to when you gain a few pounds .. big girl jeans.  Anyway, the only jeans I had clean were my "regular girl" jeans and I was rushing for work so I threw them on.  They fit.  Not perfectly, but they fit.

Thank God.

Today's Menu:

B:  smoothie:  coconut milk, blackberries, pea rice protein, hemp seeds **
L:  chicken and vegetable soup + apple + almond butter
D:  roasted chicken lettuce wraps + leftover roasted veggies + sweet potato fries

** i will probably have some coffee or green tea w/ coconut milk mid morning

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weight Watchers Weeks 14, 15 and 16

It's been 3 weeks since last I posted.  Man, those holidays just kind of get away from you don't they?

What's been going on you ask?

Well, I had my House Guests and I stuck to my plan.  Of course I made adjustments here and there for food choices but the plan really held together.  In fact, it almost went down EXACTLY as I had planned so I came out almost completely unscathed.  Almost.  And in case anyone is wondering, we only had TWO Krispy Kreme visits.  Yeah, I got lucky.

I'm telling you people, if you haven't tried it before try it now.  If you have a vacation or party or whatever, just plan out in advance what you're going to do in as much detail as you can.  That way, once you're in the situation you don't have to really think you just act.

Moving on. . . .

You know what I didn't really plan for?  Christmas.  We had a really great holiday this year.  Lots of good friends, good food, and good times.  Did I mention good food ? ;)

Which brings me to the 3 last weeks of Weigh-Ins:

Week 14:  +2.8
Week 15:  +4
Week 16:  -1.6

Want to know what happened during weeks 14 and 15?  I ate a lot of bad, processed food, I did NOT workout and I enjoyed some Christmas candy.

Why so much processed food?  Well, we kind of were having our "last meals" as it were .... 

In this new year that is 2013, I've implemented some changes in my life.  I briefly mentioned it about a month ago at the end of this post here.  I was all vague and mysterious-like because honestly, I hate talking about different ways of eating (ie:  calorie counting, low carb, paleo, gluten free etc) because I find some people can get very ... what's the word I'm looking for ... impassioned perhaps.  But the fact of the matter is that after much discussion with my significant other, we both decided we needed to make some major dietary changes in our lives.  We are very active people.  We love to exercise and eat healthy but we also ate fast food and crazy meals on the weekends like we were still in college.  But alas, we are not in college, we're in our mid 30s and eating that way hasn't been that effective for us.  The weight has been creeping on the both of us and it's not coming off as easy as it used to.  Also, aches and pains have started to become the norm for the pair of us.  We're too young for that!  So after randomly watching a program on PBS and doing a bit of reading/research we decided to make some major changes.  We're just at the point in our lives where we want to be the best versions of ourselves for each other.  Not to mention that now is the time to make those changes and maybe ward off unwanted medical problems as we get much older.

So on January 2 we started. What are we eating?  Whole foods.  Mainly lean proteins, vegetables and fresh fruit.  *GASP*  Shocker right?  As for grains, we've cut out wheat/gluten but are eating rice and quinoa and maybe even amaranth if I ever buy it.  Dairy got the axe which has been an interesting culinary adventure.  And finally, sugar, artificial sweeteners and natural sweeteners all got the boot as well. 

I'm pretty much cooking everything and may I say, I'm crazy proud of what I've come up with in the kitchen.  Some tasty stuff indeed.  We are on day 6 and so far so good.  I feel good and I have a feeling that's only going to get better.  I've also lost a little over 5 pounds since I started.  Please keep in mind the food we ate leading up to this was post holiday bliss food so don't put too much stock in that 5 pounds of what is obviously water weight.

Also, a bonus to changing my diet, my daily points go a LONG ways.  No hungry here.
So that's what I've been doing with my new year.

And here's today's menu:
B:  coconut milk + pea rice protein + blackberries + hemp seeds
L:  chicken vegetable soup + apple + almond butter
D:  roasted chicken salad lettuce wrap + roasted sweet potato fries + fancy sauce (soy free vegenaise with real ketchup)

PS:  I forgot to take my snack to work today.  But it's usually crudites with hummus.  Also, just so you know, I made my own stock for the chicken soup.  I'd never done it before.  Yes, it's time consuming but I can honestly say that's the best freakin' soup I've ever made.  EVER! 

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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.