Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jillian Michaels Challenge: Update

Hello internet world.

I'm still doing my Jillian Michaels challenge.  Man, I'm really starting to like her.  I've always been a fan but I'm really loving her DVDs.

Since I'm doing so many different DVDs, I thought I'd review some of the new ones.

Killer Buns and Thighs:  Level 1

The Facts:
This is a 30 minute workout PLUS warm up and cool-down.  You'll need a set of dumbbells and a mat if you're working on a hard surface.  (Actually, the dumbbells aren't desperately needed in this one.  You could get away without using them say, if you were traveling or something.)  This is a circuit workout.  She runs you through a series of moves that, obviously, targets your lower body, you repeat that circuit and then you move on.  She throws in some cardio moves every now and then but this is mainly a strength/toning video.   But you DEFINITELY will be burning some calories.

I burned 362 calories according to my HRM.

I LOVE this DVD.  Mainly because I LOVE working out my legs.  Always have.  But this is also a great workout.  I love the pace, she changes poses quickly but you will definitely feel the burn in all the right places.  If you do this one regularly enough, there is no way your butt won't look amazing.  And I'm just on level 1!

No More Trouble Zones:

The Facts:
The workout is 40 minutes PLUS WU and CD.  Get out your dumbbells and mat for this one.  This is another circuit style workout.  Each circuit targets something up top and something down below.  You'll do a series of moves targeting said muscle groups, repeat the series and then move on to 2 other muscle groups.  I believe you do this for 5 circuits total but I'll have to double check that.  This DVD also is predominantly strength training.

I still need to wear my HRM while doing this to get a count.  But I'll do that soon.  I promise.

I also LOVE this DVD.  Every since I did p90x last year, I've grown very fond of strength training.  So this DVD is right up my alley.  It's called no more trouble zones because she literally hits every zone in your body.  Even if you're short on time and can only do half of it you'll still hit both upper and lower body and get in a good workout.  The only caveat with this one is that there is just one workout.  I plan on keeping it in my rotation sparingly so I won't get sick of it.

6 Week 6 Pack: Level 1

The Facts:
This is a 30 minute workout PLUS WU and CD.  Like Killer Buns and Thighs you need a set of dumbbells and a mat (if on a hard surface) BUT you can definitely do this without the weights.  It's another fast paced routine that targets the abdominal muscles.  But don't think you'll be on the floor the whole time.  She has you doing moves you wouldn't think target the waist but they do.  In addition to my abs being worked, I also felt like my arms and shoulders got a decent (not great) workout due to moves like the plank.  Just holding your body weight up is enough to give them a workout.

Need to do a HRM reading with this as well. 

I very much like this workout.  I'm not going to use the word love yet, but I feel like I MIGHT fall in love with this one too.  I like that the moves are different.  I was a little apprehensive about doing a workout that focused only on getting a 6 pack, but after doing it and seeing how well rounded the moves were, I was definitely up for keeping it in my rotation.  And yes, I definitely think if you do this workout, your waist will shrink.

And now my disclaimer about all 3 videos.  I firmly believe you will get excellent results with these videos.  But only EXCELLENT results if your diet is clean.  And when I say clean I mean just short of perfect clean.  I didn't realize how much more effective workouts were until I changed my eating.  There is a reason she includes menus with most of her DVDs and talks about eating.  It's more than half the battle.  That being said, I imagine you'll get really good results if your diet is still in progress. 

I believe diet is the most important factor of getting a great body and also the hardest element.  It is TOUGH.  So take it a little at a time.  It took me years of trying to get to a point where I was willing to change things.  I had the info, my soul was willing but my brain wasn't on board.  This year, things have fallen into place.  I've made changes that I sincerely hope are lifelong.  And I also hope I keep seeing results.

Mini Progress Report:

I'm about halfway thru week 3 of my 7 week challenge which is kind of like a halfway point so I took some preliminary measurements last night.  I'm down around 6 inches all over.  I also tried on some previously too tight pants/shorts and they seem to be fitting now.  Week 1 was a great week.  I did 4 workouts.  Week 2 was less than stellar - only did 1 workout.  And now I'm on Week 3 with my 3rd workout happening this evening.  I'm pretty happy with the 6 inches considering I feel like I lost a week with Week 2.  No matter, I will push forward.  I'll give a real update next week with pictures and actual measurement numbers after my Whole30 is over.

Whole30: Days 15 - 21

According to the timeline, the tiger blood feeling is supposed to come at Day 16. 

What is tiger blood?  Well, the best I can figure, it just means you feel like you are awesome.  Like nothing can touch you.

It didn't come at Day 16 for me, but they clearly also tell you that your miles may vary.

I believe I got my tiger blood transfusion Monday (Day 21).  And I waited thru Tuesday to confirm that the transformation was complete.  Seriously, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Well, a ton of good bricks.  I had more energy than I knew what to do with, food thoughts were a thing of the past, and I felt like I could wrestle a bear and win.

And that's really all I have to report about this last week.  What's funny is all of that anger I had, all the pining for conventional food seems like months ago.  My brain now can't seem to grasp why I ever would have those feelings or cravings.

I've said it before and I'll say it again ...

Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't look around once in awhile...

Wait, no.  That's something else. 

What I was meant to say is that the human body and brain are AMAZING.  And what's crazy to me is how much food can affect both of those systems.

Before I started these 30 days, I scoured forums and blogs to find information about this part of the phase.  I wanted to know exactly what I could do to get to this point.  And fast.  Nobody wants to suffer through the ugly to get to the good.  However, everything I found written said kind of the same thing.  It was days and days of the bad or the uncomfortable and then BOOM.  The good.  I was looking for some sort of transition and I couldn't find it.  Now I know why.

There is no transition folks.  It just happens.  And it may happen for you on Day 12, Day 16, Day 21, even Day 30 or later.   So basically, you'll eat these foods, you probably will have some food grumpies, you'll feel like giving up, then BOOM.  The end.  You feel great and it's all worth it.

That's all I have to say about that.



parsnip casserole:  parsnips, sugar free bacon, coconut milk, seasonings

apples and almonds

veggie scramble:  eggs, vegetables of choice


chili:  ground beef, yellow/orange/green peppers, onions, tomatoes, seasonings

baked drumsticks, green beans, cole slaw (broccoli slaw, mayo, vinegar) and deviled eggs

eggs and bacon

sashimi:  salmon, tuna

steak and eggs with tomato slices

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 45

Another week. Another weigh in.

I am -2.8 pounds for the week.

Things I've learned this week:

1.  The human body is amazing.  As is the brain.
2.  The Whole30 is really hard.
3.  My dog sleeps an awful lot.

#1 is a 2-parter.

First the body:

I've been going to physical therapy the past couple of weeks.  Since March, I've had what, at times, feels like a debilitating pain in my hips and pelvic bones.  Well, I know now that is where the pain was coming from but it took 2 specialists, 2 medical guesses, and months of online research from yours truly to find the right person who could point me in the right direction.  Anyway, I went yesterday and she had to put my pelvic bones back into place.  Seriously.  This is why I say the human body is amazing.  I mean, yeah, it can do that whole Wolverine healing thing, but have one tiny little thing out of place and it feels like you're dying.  She had to rotate and pull my hips back into alignment.  Yes, this was as painful as you'd think.  However, the moment she was done, I immediately noticed that pain was gone.  And not just pain in my hips, back pain, and neck pain too.  However, it will take daily exercises and me keeping my hips in place to keep the pain away.

Now the brain:

That sucker is one powerful thing.  It doesn't matter how strong you are physically, the brain is always stronger.

Which leads me to #2.

The brain is why the Whole30 is hard.  As you know, I've been doing my Whole30.  Today is Day #18 and I'm still going strong with keeping to the rules.  But it's not easy.  My brain is rebelling.  I'm starting to think I know what addicts feel like.  And it's sugar.  I'm positive it's the sugar.  My brain is telling me that I want it.  And it's telling me I want it like I've never wanted it before in the form of foods I've never really wanted before.  I feel like a 2 year old.  I've told myself "No, you can't have it" - therefore, that's all I want.  Honestly, it's the most annoying feeling on earth.  It's not painful or anything.  It's just this mind numbing thought that sits there in the forefront of my mind on a daily basis.  And it won't go away.  Or at least it feels like it won't go away.  Now, I'm not trying to deter anybody from trying a Whole30 or from a leading healthier life, I'm just telling you how my week has been.  From what I've read online in forums, this feeling takes some time to go away.  And it's this feeling that makes or breaks someone during these 30 days.  Don't worry, it's not going to break me.  It's just really freaking annoying.

And #3.

My dog.  Seriously, it's like all day every day.

And that's what I've learned this week.  For some positive notes on these things, my physical therapy, while painful, is helping.  More than anything it offered me mental relief to know what was going on with me.  The Whole30, while also painful, is providing some serious results in both myself and my boyfriend.  My body shape is changing in a good way.  I put on a bathing suit last night to see if I could notice anything and I was very pleased with myself.  It looked like I had been crazy working out (hint:  I haven't).  I wasn't all muscular or anything I just looked more toned if that's possible.   I won't even get started on my boyfriend.  It's like every day his body is changing.  Like turning into hot guy on the beach changing.  Yes, I hate him for it.  I hate all males for that ability.  But I'm happy for him because he works really, really hard.  He works out hard, he eats what I make him and he is committed to do this with me because I need the support.  Also, it's motivating.  And finally, my dog.  I don't care if she sleeps.  She's the light of my life.

What I did this week:

1.  I earned about 3 AP.  I made my house sitting plan and I tried to follow it.  I just was not prepared for the lack of sleep that I was getting.  My last night there, I was so determined to workout that I got in my one (and only) workout.  It was a GREAT workout but I was in so much pain the next day at work.  Not muscle pain but pain from the sleep deprivation.  That workout was Wednesday night.  I got home Thursday, went to bed as early as possible and here we are.  I gave myself permission to take today off as well because I feel like I need it.  Seriously, if I agree to house sit for them again someone hit me in my head.  I was miserable the whole time.  Maybe that's why I found my cravings extra hard this week.  Makes sense.

2.  I ate 187 points plus.  Again, off my pace of 200 points for the week but I ate until I was full every time.  I promise.

3.  Water.  Still good here.  The key is to take my "sippy cup" with me everywhere.  I forgot it when I went to house sit and so my first day there I couldn't figure out why I felt so bad.  It was because I hadn't had enough water.  I promptly corrected it.  I never thought I would get to a point where I love my water.  Apparently it's happened.

4.  What I ate:  sticking hard and fast to the Whole30 rules.  I eat meats, vegetables (no white potatoes), no sugar of any kind (or artificial substitute), and fruit.  I made a vegetable quiche like thing for breakfast.  A wonderful vegetable soup with ground beef.  Had some sashimi (I do miss regular sushi).  Eggs and bacon made an appearance and so did some watermelon.  Here's the thing, I might be having a hard time with my brain telling me I want sugar, but the food I'm eating is super good.  And while I'm eating it, I'm enjoying every moment immensely.  It's just in those "quiet times" that it gets tough.

And that's it for this week.

Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Whole30: Days 8 - 14

I am officially halfway thru my Whole30 as today is Day #16.

Well, this past week both my boyfriend (who is doing this with me) and I had some pretty interesting conversations regarding our Whole30s.

We got angry.



The first week I had my cravings for a Milky Way - they weren't super fun but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.

Enter the second week.

According to the Whole30 timeline, days 8-15 are the moments of: "Boundless energy! Now give me a damn Twinkie"

I've read this timeline many times hoping to gain some insight into what I should expect and while I had this info beforehand I still had no idea why I was so angry.

We were angry because we wanted to eat ... whatever.  We wanted anything that we couldn't have.  My boyfriend just kept saying, "I just want to put slices of bread into my mouth".  We kept talking about quitting just so we could have some random food.  We didn't have any dreams about food but rather very serious conversations about food.  Very serious, angry conversations.

Actually if you were a fly on the wall I'm sure these conversations would have been hilarious.  It's like we were fighting with ourselves for agreeing to do this 30 days.

Then I woke up yesterday (Day 15) and everything was a little calmer.  I didn't feel so angry.  I wasn't completely calm, there was still a little wave of something under there.  But it was nice not to start yelling at him about how unfair life was.  We also started to notice body changes.  My boyfriend just commented yesterday about how he "hasn't been this skinny since high school".  Seriously folks, he started out looking pretty good but now he's got muscles starting to ripple everywhere.  Especially the abs.  I'm actually excited to see what he will look like at the 30 day mark.  I'm gonna be one lucky lady.  As for me, I'm definitely changing but I can't really tell where as I started out more fluffy than he did.  Definitely the stomach area - the poof has shrunken.  I guess the waist in general feels smaller.  When I put my hands on my hips yesterday I noticed that it felt different (in a good way).  My face looks slimmer as well.

Then I woke up today.  And, thank God, today is also better.  It's like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it's no big deal getting there.  Like seriously, I don't see any problem whatsoever getting to day 30.  In fact, I'm looking forward to the future now that I have some info about what works for me and what doesn't.  You know what works for me?  This way of eating.  My digestion is phenomenal.  I don't really remember any moment in my adult life when I have ever said that.  Also I'd like to think my energy is up but I really can't tell yet.  I've been house-sitting for a friend since Saturday and I haven't really slept yet.  I don't EVER sleep when I'm there because he has 2 dogs that like to bark constantly.  I mean constantly.  Giant dogs that bark like there is an intruder so every night it just jerks you awake because it's that scary kind of bark like something is wrong.  And when I say all night, I mean all night.  I did not want to house sit for him.  I said no so many times because  I knew this was going to happen.  But he persisted and won.  Sigh.  Anyway, another thing I love about life right now is that I'm never starving.  I'm never desperate for food.  I was also this way eating how I ate pre-Whole30 (gluten free, dairy free, soy free with whole foods).  It's one of my most favorite things about going the whole foods route.  Without the processed stuff, you really just feel satisfied and in control of your food choices.

Now, even with all these wonderful things, do I think it's possible to eat this way every day forever?  No.  Perfection is not possible (no matter what type of diet you have) but eating this way the vast majority of the time?  Absolutely.  But only because I like cooking and I'm creative and pretty good at it.  I only say that because, personally, I get really bored with food.  I need variety in order to stay interested.

What have I been eating?


Paleo breakfast casserole: sausage, onion, eggs, coconut milk (canned), sweet potato


Tomato Bisque Soup:  tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery, homemade chicken broth, coconut milk (canned)

Hamburger Mushroom Stroganoff:  grass-fed hamburger, mushrooms, coconut milk, seasonings served with cauliflower rice

Filet Mignon with mashed sweet potatoes, grilled onions and grilled asparagus

Eggs and Bacon

Spinach Salad with clementine slices, carrots and apple cider dressing

Amongst other things ...

Next time we meet, I'll be done with week 3!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 44

It's that special, precious time again.

It's Friday.

Man I love Friday.

So lets kick off this post with the weigh-in.

Drumroll please ....

Weigh-In: +0.8

Oh fluctuation weight loss how I love thee.  I feel amazing today ladies and gentlemen.  My clothes are hanging just a tad, I woke up pretty easy today, and I feel like I am going to have a kick-ass weekend.

Good times.

What I Did:

1.  I earned about 12 AP.  I did four of my Jillian Michaels workouts (my workout week started Saturday the 13th so I still have one workout to go for "the week")  They were:  30 Day Shred, Ripped in 30, No More Trouble Zones, and 6 week Six Pack.  Tonight will be my fifth workout and it will be Banish Fat Boost Metabolism.  Haven't done this one before so I'm excited!

2.  I ate 199 points plus.  (note:  I never eat my AP or even account for them online.)  I usually shoot for around 205-210 so I was under for the week but I wasn't hungry.  Everything I've been eating has been so filling.  I don't know if this is a good or bad thing yet.

3.  I still am doing well with my water.  In fact, I feel worse when I don't drink enough!  You know what that is?  That's called progress.

4.  What did I eat?  I'm still doing my Whole30 and today is day 11 - so I'm still sticking to proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy oils.  If you check out my Whole30 update you'll see specifically some of the stuff I've been eating.  But so far this week I've made:  tomato soup, hamburger mushroom stroganoff, and a really awesome breakfast casserole.  And I've been indulging in apples, watermelon, baby carrots, almonds and sunflower seeds.  I can say that YES I do have moments where I would like to eat candy or even just a side of rice but all in all, it's not too bad.  The feeling crazy good part is a pretty nice reward to sticking with it.

This weekend is going to be yet another challenging experience.  Starting Saturday, I've agreed to house sit for a friend who lives on the other side of Los Angeles.   It's always hard not to be in my own home w/ my own kitchen and have all my lovely cooking utensils and appliances but I'll manage.  I'll just adjust my menu to not require any super fancy kitchen stuff.  

I also have to account for working out over there since I'll be there for the next 5 days.  Thankfully Jillian doesn't require much in terms of equipment so I'll just grab my yoga mat and some dumbbells and be done with it.  If I have time tonight, I'm going to rip all of my DVDs onto my ipad - that will save me having to lug my laptop around as well.

And the silver lining in this house-sitting debacle, they have a washer and dryer in their home.  I am not fortunate to have one in my apartment, so I will be fully enjoying the luxury whilst I'm there.

And that's it for me.

I hope you all have a fun filled weekend.  I plan on hitting the beach, doing some laundry, cooking up some awesome food, working out, and hopefully some relaxing.

Coming up:
I still haven't posted my starting pics and measurements so that's coming soon.  I think I will do it at the 3 week (or so) mark so I can put up some comparison photos and numbers too.  These days the numbers on the scale don't get me nearly as excited as the numbers on my tape measure going down so here's hoping.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Whole30: Staying the Course AND Serving my Country

I had my first challenging day with my Whole30 yesterday.

I had jury duty.


This is my first time ever being called for jury duty. 

I would not mind doing jury duty at all except my employer does not pay me for doing my civic duty.  And the average trial in Los Angeles is 5 to 7 business days.

Yeah, that would be 5 to 7 days of work that I would just not get magically paid for.  I could use my vacation time for this but 1.  who REALLY wants to use their precious vacation time for something stressful like jury duty and 2.  I have already paid for a vacation that is happening in September which will use up what vacation I have left.  

I don't know about any of you but that's a lot of money to just give away.  And the $15 a day that Los Angeles provides (starting on the second day natch) doesn't really cover much. 

But I digress.  This is NOT a post about the injustice of my employer (or probably most employers) not paying me for jury duty.  Wait, one more complaint.  Government employees give unlimited days of jury duty paid.  UNLIMITED.  They should just be required to cover all jury duty requirements.  End complaint.

This is a post about what to do when life throws you a curveball.

So I had jury duty yesterday.  And since I've never served before, I had no idea how I was going to survive food wise.  So instead of hoping that things would swing my way, I planned on having to provide for myself.

So what did I do?


I pretty much knew I would NOT have access to a kitchen so anything I took had to be good sitting in my purse.  And since I was using public transportation to get to the courthouse, I had to make sure it wasn't too bulky.

I knew I couldn't take full meals but snacks were completely doable.  I figured if all else failed, I would eat my snacks and just wait til I got home to eat a big meal.

And that's what I did.

I packed an apple, 2 larabars, a bag of baby carrots, almonds and a bottle of water.

When I got there, I found a cafe right outside of the jury assembly room.  So, I went in there during one of our breaks and I kid you not, not a single thing in there was compliant.  Actually not a single thing in there was even healthy.  It was bags of candy, bags of chips, sodas, pizza, hotdogs, nachos ... you get the picture.  It was like a little gas station in there. 

I also checked out the menu for the cafeteria in the courthouse and again, nothing.  If I wanted an iceberg lettuce salad with tomato only maybe I could have found that but otherwise, everything was a no go. 

Now, we DID get an hour and a half for lunch, and downtown Los Angeles has great restaurants within walking distance, so in all fairness, I'm sure I COULD have ventured out and found something.  But I'm so glad I packed my snacks.  I ended up only needing the apple and one larabar.

I'll be honest, I was SO STRESSED about getting picked for a panel and losing my pay that I wasn't really that hungry. 

And while it was one the longest, most stressful days I've had in awhile.  I managed to make it thru 9 hours and not get called.

Service done!

Today's Menu:
B:  paleo casserole:  eggs, sausage, onions, sweet potato, coconut milk
L:  tomato soup, almonds, apple
D:  mushroom stroganoff, cauliflower rice

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Whole30: Days 1 - 7

Today is Day #8 for my Whole30.

What can I say? 

So far so good.  I don't want to jump the gun here but it honestly hasn't been that bad.  I have obviously had some cravings.  I'd imagine that everyone who tries this has them.  But it hasn't been anything I haven't been able to handle.  I do tend to text my boyfriend some days - and the text will consist of 2 words.

Milky Way.

My cravings are still for that elusive, mysterious Milky Way. 

But other than that candy bar, I haven't really been dying to eat anything.

The weeks before I began, I took the time to prepare.  I talked to my boyfriend about potential meals, things he would want, things I would want, things that I would need to take the time to learn how to cook.  I had menus scribbled down for moments of inspiration and recipes galore waiting in my email.  I already had the dairy/gluten free cooking thing down so everything else seemed to fall in place.

The day before I began, I did a ton of grocery shopping and cooking.  Actually, it's what I usually do every weekend.  On a typical week, we go shopping around midnight (yes, midnight) on Friday night to get the bulk of our groceries.  That way on Saturday and Sunday it's just running to get the smaller items that are in specialty stores.  And then on Sunday, I cook.  If he can help me he does (he's a whiz at chopping) but usually I just take a few hours out of my day and cook away.  And the best part?  Since I cook, he cleans.  Can't beat that deal.

I then package everything.  We have a his and hers side of the fridge.  That way, come Monday when I'm rushing to get to work, I just go to my side and grab something and I'm good for breakfast and lunch.  And when I get home, dinner is waiting.  When I cook a meal I tend to make sure it'll last for at least 2 meals a piece.  Doing this really helps cut down on cost.  I don't know how some people can afford to cook a new meal every single day. 

Since we don't eat any of our meals together Monday thru Friday (completely opposite work schedules), it works for us.  He can eat whatever he wants, in whatever amounts he wants.  If he wants to supplement food, he goes to the grocery store and buys fruits and veggies to cook on his own. 

And then usually on Wednesday after work, I'll cook an additional meal that usually satisfies both lunch and dinner to pad the food we already have to get us to the weekend.  I really like to limit the amount of time that is spent cooking because lets be real, every meal needs to be prepared in the kitchen to make sure you're following the guidelines.  Again, I've been doing this for the both of us since January of this year so I'd like to think I've got it down pat.

What also helps is that back in May, I started ordering meat from U.S. Wellness.  I wanted us to start eating the majority of our protein from grassfed/finished sources regardless, so that was just kind of a lucky stroke since they also offer Whole30 approved bacon and other sugar free meat options.  To be honest, these items are really, really hard to find in grocery stores.  And after cost comparison shopping for these items at grocery stores, the prices really do stack up well. 

So that's how this whole gambit is running in my household. 

I started my exercise regime last Saturday (the 13th) and haven't had any problems with stamina or anything.  Actually, I didn't even really give it a thought.  I also took my measurements and before pictures on that day.  And as far as weight goes, I'm breaking the rules and weighing myself.  And so far, I have nothing out of the ordinary to report.  I've held steady everyday and am in an increase right now due to my upcoming time of the month.  My clothes also are holding steady. 

But lets talk about how I feel for a second.  Oh, I'd say I feel pretty good.  Like really good.  I'm not ready to go out and fight a bull or anything.  But I think something can be said for when you eat wholesome foods.  It just gives you an all around good feeling. 

Now for what I need to work on:  I need to get more sleep.  I know I'm supposed to be logging the hours while doing this but I'm not quite there yet.  I'm going to do my best this week to set my bedtime earlier and stick with it.  I'm going to try for 11pm.  That will give me 8 hours of shut eye. 

And now for what we ate:

Week #1:


Quiche Muffins:  onion, tomato, mushrooms, sausage

Sweet Potato Hash:  onion, yellow pepper, orange pepper, sausage, sweet potatoes


Creamy Chicken and Artichoke Soup:  chicken, artichoke, red pepper, onion, carrot, celery, onion, coconut milk (canned)

Balsamic Marinated Skirt Steak:  (marinade = balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary) + sauteed zucchini and mushrooms

Pan Fried Salmon and Peach Salsa:  salsa = peach, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, apple cider vinegar, cucumber

Grass Fed Hamburger Patty:  on grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and side salad with balsamic

And that's it so far.  7 Days down, 23 to go.  Next thing you know, I'm going to be halfway there!

Today's Menu:
B:  paleo casserole:  sweet potatoes, eggs, coconut milk, sausage, caramelized onions
L:  beef medallions, portabello mushrooms, peppers, on spinach salad
D:  hamburger mushroom stroganoff, cauliflower rice

Friday, July 12, 2013

Vacation Plan Part 2: My Jillian Michaels Challenge

Now that I have the food component of my vacation plan taken care of, it's now time to turn to the second half of that equation.


So far this year I have had great results using DVDs and working out in my home gym.  I still have my gym membership and I'm usually an everyday participant but for some reason working out at home has been pretty successful.  And if it ain't broke ...

Let's do a quick recap:

I did Beachbody's Slim in 6 from March to late April
results:  -7 inches

And then Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred from April to June
results: -8.25 inches
That's -15.25 inches in just about 3 months.

And from the start of Slim in 6 to the finish of 30 Day Shred (I did them pretty much back to back), I lost 5.2 pounds total.

Both programs were effective but I did enjoy the 30 Day Shred much more.  Probably because the workouts were shorter and just a little more challenging.

After the 30 Day Shred, I started Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 DVD.  I managed to make it to the level 2 DVD when I decided to stop.  It had nothing to do with the workouts or the quality of the workouts.  I was just burnt out on the same workout everyday format.  

Since I enjoyed Jillian Michael's program so much, my next thought was to buy her Body Revolutions program.  It's 3 months long and has 15 DVDs.  It is, however, $100.  I mean, that's not too bad but still, I'd rather not spend that much.  So I had an idea.

I really wanted to do the Ripped in 30 and I already loved my 30 Day Shred workouts so I thought, why not just make up my own Jillian Michaels program.

And so I did.

I went and bought a couple more DVDs and ended up spending about $50 on 6 more DVDs (they were around 8 bucks each).  In total, I now have 8 DVDs and from those DVDs I have 17 different workouts to choose from.

$50 is so much better than $100.

So for the next 7 weeks, I'm going to put all of my eggs in one Jillian Michael's basket.

My goal is to do exactly as I did with the other programs: work out 5-6 days a week, eat as cleanly as possible, and just enjoy the ride.

I've scheduled the first four weeks below.

Weeks 1 and 2 are going to look like this:

Day 1:  Ripped in 30 (RIP30):  Level 1
Day 2:  30 Day Shred (30DS):  Level 1
Day 3:  No More Trouble Zones (NMTZ)
Day 4:  6 Week Six-Pack (6W6P):  Level 1
Day 5:  Banish Fat Boost Metabolism (BFBM)
Day 6:  Killer Buns and Thighs (KBT):  Level 1 (optional day off)
Day 7:  off

Weeks 3 and 4 are going to look like this:

Day 1:  KBT:  Level 2
Day 2:  30DS:  Level 2
Day 3:  6W6P:  Level 2
Day 4:  RIP30:  Level 2
Day 5:  NMTZ
Day 6:  Shred It - with weights (SI):  Level 1 (optional day off)
Day 7:  off

I have only done the 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30 so I know I like those workouts.  I'm a little nervous to see how the other ones pan out!  I'm sure it'll be fine because hey, I kinda only have to do them, what, 7 times max if that.

I'm beginning to think I'm a genius.

Saturday July 13th will be my Day #1 and August 30th will be my last day as I fly out for the east coast on August 31st.

I'll do the usual and post pics, measurements and updates as I try new DVDs.

I'm really excited about this one folks.  And I'm really hoping Jillian's workouts don't let me down!!

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 43

Happy Friday everyone!!

I trust everyone had a fantastic week.  Since I had the day off of work on Monday I had a short work week therefor my week was very awesome.

Now lets get down to business - since I did not weigh in last Friday my report today will be the difference between week 41 and today.

Drum-roll please ....

Weigh In:  -0.6 pounds


The last we met, I had mentioned a sneak peek at my scale revealed a larger than usual gain.  And I believe the number I reported was 7 pounds.  Well look at what I did with some crazy clean eating.  I was able to offset my awesome holiday weekend bloat AND edge in a loss for the week!  

What did I do exactly?

Lets take a look shall we?

1.  I earned 0.5 AP.  :)  I did that one 5 minute workout over the holiday weekend.  Don't worry.  I have a big exercise post coming up either tonight or tomorrow.

2.  I don't know my total points for the week because I did not track Friday thru Monday.  However, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I ate around 26-28 points per day.

3.  My water started slipping just a bit but I picked it up by the end of the week. 

4.  What did I eat?  Well starting July 4th  and thru the weekend, I loosened my reigns and splurged a little.  Or maybe a lot would be a better word for it.  Yes, I'm definitely going with a lot.  I ate out at restaurants, I ate at barbecues, I had plenty of cocktails.  Some of the food was what I usually eat, however, MOST of it was not.   A few examples:  I had doritos, Baskin Robbins ice cream, and candy bars at the movie theater!! I even had fast food for the first time this year during that time frame.  I had a Big Mac and guess what?  While I was eating it I made note to my boyfriend that while it was REALLY good, I didn't think it was THAT much better than the version I created.  I was pretty happy about that discovery.  That being said, McDonald's french fries are awesome and I bow to their greatness.  (Sidenote:  This fast food item was the LAST thing I ate before I took that "sneak peek" at the scale and that's why I was not too shocked to see that 7 pound swing - - hello sodium bloat!).  The bad food pretty much made up my menu Friday - Monday.  Then I started my Whole30 Tuesday.  And then I made:  pan fried salmon with peach salsa, balsamic marinated skirt steak with zucchini and mushrooms, creamy chicken and artichoke soup (this was my version of the one served at the Cheesecake Factory - just a tip:  if you ever go to Cheesecake Factory and the soup of the day is their chicken and artichoke soup, get it.  you won't regret it).  My version is dairy free, sugar free, and grain free to meet my Whole30 requirements - and STILL was so amazing.  The boyfriend even made it his #1 favorite soup that I've made thus far.  :)  What else?  I also made a sweet potato hash with italian sausage and quiche muffins.  All of my dishes complied with my Whole30 rules and were pretty awesome.

 So a pretty good week.

I'm still on my Whole30.  Today is day #4.  I've had a few sugar cravings but nothing I can't handle.  Really the only thing I keep thinking about are Milky Way candy bars.  Which is odd because I don't really eat them.  Ever.

Have a great weekend!!

Today's Menu:
B: sweet potato hash + italian sausage
L: chicken and artichoke soup
D: balsamic steak + zucchini + mushrooms + apple (for dessert)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Vacation Plan Part 1: My Whole30

I haven't done one of these in awhile.


My Vacation Plan.  And this one is so fancy it's a two-parter :)

Now that I'm off of my "time off" and I'm feeling both great and gross (great because I took a break and gross because, well, I took a break), it's time.

It's time to shift things into high gear because I have a vacation looming in 8 short weeks.

This year my boyfriend and I are traveling back east to go on a beach vacation with some members of my family.  And since it's a beach vacation, we want to try to look our best.  Simple enough right?  It's not my MAIN reason for wanting to lose weight it's just what I like to call a kicker.  Just a little something in the not too distant future to give you motivation to gear up for whatever challenge you have in mind.  You know, something to "kick" things into motion.

I like to think there are 2 main components to being healthy, getting in shape, looking good, losing weight - whatever you want to call it.  Eating healthy and exercising.  So today's portion of the vacation plan is going to center around what I believe to be the most important aspect of weight loss.  Well, not just weight loss but in overall health.


I truly believe food is 80% of the equation of weight loss.  Hell, I'd even agree that number could be even higher.

It's no secret that I think eating whole foods is the way to go.  I've spent this whole year trying to eat only whole foods and heal my gut of some food intolerances I've discovered.  I've actually been quite successful on that front.  For instance, gluten no longer has an immediate detrimental effect on me.  When I say immediate, I mean like in 20 minutes after exposure.  Now it's more like 12 hours.  Oh the effect is still detrimental, but still, it's progress and I'm very happy about it.  It actually has opened up my social life quite a bit.  I used to be scared to go to a restaurant with friends due to the fear of something sneaking into my meal.  Now I feel a little more confident.  Dairy also has gotten better.  I can have it on occasion and within reason.  Soy is still weird.  I think it's more of an allergy but only in certain forms.  I haven't narrowed this one down completely.  I'm not sure I ever will unless I get tested.  I'm not too concerned because I don't eat that much soy anyways.  I really try to stay away from all that GMO madness. 

That all being said, this past 4th of July weekend, my diet managed to include ALL of those things.  I was able to eat them but not without side effects which included:  insidious weight gain, bloating, indigestion, brain fog, gastrointestinal effects, and mild depression.

Yes, gluten actually makes me feel really really bad about myself.  Weird right?  Sometimes I don't even believe that it happens but trust me, it does.

THAT is why I think food is so important.  If food can cause all of those crazy side effects imagine what can happen when you nourish yourself with nothing but the BEST of food.

Which brings me to my Vacation Plan Part 1:  My Whole30.

What's a Whole30?  A very, very short explanation is this:  certain foods can make you feel bad and you shouldn't eat them.  So the Whole30 is a 30 day challenge to eliminate those bad foods to see how awesome you can feel.  For the real deal explanation, read this.

What can you eat?  meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and good fat.

So basically if it isn't one of those things, you're not eating it.

Why am I doing this?

Months ago I bought a book called It Starts With Food .  I like to read a lot about food and nutrition and for whatever reason this book resonated with me.  It's written by the folks who created the Whole30.  As I was reading the book, I was already on my elimination diet, but for whatever reason I kept putting off starting my own Whole30.  I don't really have a reason other than I was scared.

I was already not eating so many foods the thought of eliminating more made me nervous.

It wasn't until I connected with some friends via Facebook who were participating in their own Whole30 challenges that I committed.  In fact, I knew 2 months ago that today was going to be the day I started my Whole30.  So this isn't some spur of the moment decision.  I've actually been planning this for quite some time.

So for the next 30 days it's NO:
sugar (real or fake), dairy, legumes, grains (all including corn), alcohol, processed food of ANY kind, white potatoes, carrageenan, sulfites or MSG.

NOTE:  (If this sounds like something you'd be interested in doing please note that there are some exceptions and specific food instructions so read the full explanation in the link above for clarification.)

 There are also some other points to the plan that don't involve food.  You're not supposed to weigh yourself or take your measurements.  Some may disagree with me but I'm not going to follow the weigh-in rule.  I really enjoy my weekly weigh-in blog posts.  I like the weekly feedback so I will continue with my weekly Friday weigh-ins.

As for measurements, I'll post my starting measurements and pictures in part 2 and won't take them again til the end.

I will also continue to log all of my food in Weight Watchers and calculate my points.

After my 30 days are up, I still will have 24 days until I leave for vacation.  While the Whole30 isn't meant to be a forever kind of plan, the literature suggests that it might take you longer than 30 days to see the effects of this new-found nutrition.   What kind of effects?  Well, tiger blood is mentioned in there somewhere.

For real.

Tiger blood just means that you're going to feel awesome:  more energy, more stamina, great workouts, looser clothes, and cravings should be gone.

In fact, there is a written timeline of what you might experience during your 30 days.
So if in 30 days I'm not there yet, it's a definitely possibility that I might extend this challenge.  But I don't want to make any sort of commitment just yet.  I just want to get through the next 30 days.

And yes, in case you're wondering, while I'm very excited, determined and motivated for this particular challenge, I'm still scared.

Today's Menu:
B:  quiche muffin (mushrooms, onion, tomato, sausage)
L:  mushroom soup
D:  broiled salmon + peach salsa


Ripped in 30: Update

Before the holiday and my break, I was on level 2/week 2 of Ripped in 30.

First, let me give you the facts:

Workout 2/Level 2 sticks with the circuit style training:  3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs.  The total run time is about 30 minutes and the only equipment you need is a set of hand weights, a mat (if you're working on a hard surface), and some good old fashioned motivation.  I burned 325 calories according to my HRM.

Man, this one is tough.  So far I can say that Ripped in 30 is definitely harder than 30 Day Shred.  I actually wish I had done this one first and I'll tell you why.

I really feel like if I had done Ripped in 30 first, I would have had even more amazing results.   I dedicated more time to my 30 Day Shred program because, simply put, I was more motivated.  It's hard to do the same workout over and over.  By the time I hit Ripped in 30 I had already done Slim in 6 AND 30 Day Shred.  Now, while both are fine workouts, they do require that you repeat workouts A LOT!  And after 10+ weeks of doing that, it gets monotonous. 

So by the time Ripped in 30 came around, I think I just needed a break.  I made it to Level 2/Workout 2 and then my 4th of July break hit.

And that puts us right here.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I will NOT be finishing Ripped in 30.  At least not right now.  I definitely want to give it a try, but when I'm refreshed and renewed and ready to dedicate 30 days to doing it the right way because I really REALLY believe this one is an ass kicker that will do pretty amazing things to your body.

I'm actually looking forward to the day that I get to retry it.  And a little scared.

No lie.  That workout is hard!

Week 42: Happy 4th of July!!

Hey folks.

I'm coming off of a 5 day holiday break and I feel fantastic.  Also, I have a pretty kick ass tan so bonus for me!

I did NOT log points or weigh-in over my break.  I did, however, get in one five minute workout ;)

You read that right, it was a five minute workout.  I got all set up in my home gym, hit play and then five minutes in, I stopped.

I initially had no intention of taking time off but I found that I did, in fact, need a little break, so I'm happy I took it.

I had a fantastic mini-break - I went to the pool almost every day, went to a couple of bbq's, went out to eat, went to see fireworks and just relaxed.

It was only 5 days but it felt like 2 weeks.

However ..

It's time to get back into the swing of things.  I'll be honest, I've slacked off the last couple of weeks.  Maybe even the last month.  I've been sticking to my goals but not wholeheartedly.  I know I have more to give and I'm just being lazy.

I didn't weigh-in on Friday but I DID take a peak this morning and well, if I'm going to be honest, it was more than a little disappointing.  Like 7 pounds disappointing.

Yes my friends, I said 7 pounds.  No of course it's not real, I'm coming off of a VERY high sodium weekend coupled with other biological female factors that are beyond my control.

But I have a plan in place.  Hopefully a good, strong plan.

I'll tell you about it in another post.

Until then, I hope each and every one of you had an amazing holiday!

Have a great Tuesday :)

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