No ticker tape parade or fireworks display …. I passed the 30 day mile marker on my journey to health and wellness … a few days ago. I’m tardy posting this because a virus seeped into my body (shared by a sneezing 5 year old son I’m sure) and I haven’t had much energy to type. I’ve downed copious amounts of tea and fresh oranges. My husband pulled together the best batch of lentil soup (perfect soup for a sick girl).
Day 30 was reached on a Sunday – the same day as the Superbowl. Newspapers, magazines, FB posts were abuzz with low-fat Superbowl snacks (a good thing). However, it amazes me that Americans think that watching a football game is synonymous with eating nasty, fatty foods. During the Superbowl I watched Doritos commercials with disgust not because I hate them (I actually used to dig into Doritos when I wanted something crispy and salty, but know they do nothing to fuel my body). It is the pure gluttonous played out in the commercial: a goat, a room full of open Doritos bags and then a man hiding in a room shoving the Doritos into his mouth. As I wrote yesterday, I’m seeing things differently now that I have a healthier relationship with food. I don’t crave crappy food any longer!
Since I’m posting this on a Tuesday – 2 days after I reached my 30 day goal and am down 9.5 pounds, I still haven’t had a beer, wine or coffee! No cravings for any of them to be honest (this may be attributed to feeling like doo-doo right now). My work had a luncheon meeting yesterday and I did eat a Panera sandwich with non gluten-free bread and a shortbread cookie. Neither did ANYTHING for me. It’s all in the taste of things for me now; the fresher the food, the better it tastes.
I am continuing my journey to health & wellness and will incorporate more exercise into my daily routine (as soon as I kick this virus). So, to end is to continue … I’m feeling so much better for so many reasons! I’m going to continue to post but will drop the ‘Day #’ and just come up with snazzy posting titles (mostly having to do with awesome songs … just wait until I reflect on my punk phase!)
To quote Bob Marley today, “My feet is my only carriage’ reminds me that in order to continue on this journey to health and wellness I must remember how and why I began and how far I’ve traveled. It’s also pretty cool to focus on the ‘why’ because when I began, my ‘why’ was almost entirely about losing weight. Losing weight would make my body feel better and and end result would be happiness with myself. What I’ve accomplished is having a healthy relationship with food – – it means that I’m not necessarily chained to the scale any longer – – it means that I know what I’m putting into my body is as pure, safe and healthy as possible on a day to day basis – – and it means that I’ve managed to make the choices that make me feel GOOD inside and out! A friend who reads this post was kind enough to share some of her thoughts on what I may have set out to do in tracking my ’30 Days to Feeling Fit’ and pointed out that my mapped out that in writing this blog I’ve found that ‘the journey is the destination’. So true! I’m sitting on a 9.5 pound loss in 29 days and I’ve already said to myself, ‘so if you don’t lose 10 pounds in 30 days it’s not a big deal.’ I know that eventually that 10th pound will fall but it’s not going to change what I’m doing. I am also committed to picking up my exercise and these feet are gonna carry me all over Bon Air and downtown Richmond.
To end with a Bob Marley quote, “None but ourselves can free our minds.” Aint that the truth .
Food: energy fizz drink, 1/2 cup raisins/cranberries and mixed nuts, detox tea, 2 corn tortillas with organic chicken salad with raisins and walnuts, 1/2 apple and 2 Arbonne vegan, gluten free choco chip cookies (I made more)!!! Nap time … I pray my son will cooperate. :), banana for an afternoon snack, amazing lentil soup (made by my hubby) for dinner with some rice crackers and ended the night with another detox tea and the VCU Rams winning big!
Going back to my West Virginia days and have been humming this tune all morning…(could be that I read Ann Rabson from Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women Band died yesterday…oh the memories of the Ice House during Blues Week at Davis & Elkins!). Ann is surely rockin and rollin’ in heaven!
“Some people say a man is made out of mud.
A poor man’s made out of muscle and blood.
Muscle and blood and skin and bones, a mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong.
You load 16 tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt…I owe my soul to the company store…”
You want to hum it too? Snap those fingers now everybody! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joo90ZWrUkU
Now how am I going to weave this into today’s post … here I go (fingers typing frantically now to weave, weave, weave)
After college graduation I remained in the beautiful state of West Virginia and was able to pay my rent (a whole $75 per month – – thanks to sharing the ‘White House’ rent with three others (Amy, Nora and Brijin) and survived financially by picking up odd jobs here and there. To name a few of these very ODD jobs – babysitting for the Benigni kids, raking leaves for a lady (Marilyn) who taught Appalachian Herb classes and was probably the first person to introduce me to eating clean (she collected anything that had to do with turtles), driving a huge dump truck and had to sit on two pillows to see out the windshield (that I borrowed from the landlord) to dispose of someone’s junk, interviewing folks in the hollers around Elkins about the old railroads that carted enough wood out of the WV forest to build ships for WWI, bartending at Canaan lodge and then finally, the drop dead best odd job … teaching Ski Wee at Timberline Ski Resort!
I mention this particular era in my life because I was poor, very poor …. but amazingly RICH in so many other ways. I was in great shape and the ski lift was my office. The vitamin D from the sun fed my body fantastic meals daily (thankfully because I had zero $ for food!). I reflect on those days during the years 1994-1996 as some of the healthiest of my life. Food was not on the forefront of my mind and I somehow managed to eat every day … even though my paycheck barely covered rent. Being surrounded by healthy, happy, active people who lived within their means, people who had canned all summer in order to enjoy the nutrient rich summer harvests in the winter, taught me more than my 4 years in college (sorry D&E).
Dealing with some severe nostalgia these days is a good thing because I’m able to play all these memories over and over again (sometimes using a pencil to rewind the cassette tape of the 1990’s — CD’s didn’t come around until I had moved to VA). I find that the reason I relate again to those days is because right now I am warm and fuzzy with who I am and how I’m treating my body. I’m almost 20 years older but still able to turn this ‘bus’ around and take the right route to being whole, happy & healthy. I don’t owe my soul to the company store and don’t ever plan to – – I’m above getting sucked into the relentless advertising of big, fat, American crap (I do love my iPad, my Honda CRV and Shrinky Dinks – – even though I should probably blame these luxuries on countries other than the ‘ol USA ) and I will shop local as much as possible. it’s super duper freeing to come to the conclusion that it IS insanely important in what I put on my skin or digest into my body. Everyday I learn more and have a long way to go. Stick with me, jump on the bus, it’s going to be a fun road trip!!! Down 9.5 pounds. Over and out!
Food: Yummy shake (same one as yesterday), 1 green teen, 1 energy fizz, 1 banana, 1/2 cup of mixed nuts and dried fruit, 1 boiled eggs, 1 granny smith apple, 3 small pieces of protein bar…
Anyone else out there hear that ‘buzz’? I’ve seriously heard 3 or 4 random people commenting this week on a cleanse program they are following. Of course my ears perk up because I’m always interested in finding out about what others are doing to improve their health. I’ve heard a lot of the ‘do you eat on your program?’ or ‘It’s hard to remember all of the pills’ … to name a few. I’ve also heard of rapid weight loss in the first week with one woman telling me just today that she lost 8 pounds in 4 days!
Now that I can write about a detox program from experience I’m happy to report that ‘YES, you do eat! It is not a liquid detox’ and the program I am following does not require a ton of different supplement bottles to juggle. If you are one of those people who can spend the time searching out the absolute perfect supplements to take and then compounding them, so to speak, go for it. I am not one of those peeps; I do not have the time. It’s really not as hard as everyone makes it out to be either. I have missed my wine and beer in social situations or at dinner every night and I still find myself longing for a strong, hot coffee when the aroma from a nearby coffee pot floats by … but I’m happier, healthier and more energetic! You can’t beat those feelings – – it far surpasses the difficulty of cutting out some of my addictive foods (cheese, bread, alcohol).
Today I pulled on a pair of black ‘skinny’ jeans to find that they button a heck of a lot easier. These are jeans that I wear with a long tunic shirt to cover my butt because the pants have been too tight. The shirt, which is about to fray from being worn far too many times in the last 3 months, is going to be retired soon. I lost a little more weight since yesterday but will report on this tomorrow because I think I will have reached my goal for the 30 days. Then on to the next 30 days and the next 30 days when I can then celebrate a 30 pound weight loss! Toodles!
Food today: Vanilla / Chocolate protein shake with 1 scoop fiber, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, powdered peanut butter and almond milk (lots of ice today to make it thicker), 2 cups of green tea, 1 energy fizz stick, 1 banana, super freakin’ good bowl of cooked cale with black beans, Arbonne vegan, gluten free chocolate chip & walnut cookies (the last of the batch), mixed nuts and cranraisins/raisins, a few sweet potato tortilla chips and for dinner a kick a** brown rice made with lite coconut milk and vegetable broth, chicken baked in lite coconut milk, olive oil, garlic and lime juice
Ok, so this blog is about health/wellness from the inside out. I’ve been writing about what I’m eating and how it’s making me feel but I haven’t touched on some of the more personal changes to my body. Men seem to not like this kind of talk so you may skip this post. I am not bashful about these bodily functions especially when I realize how crappy (pun intended) I felt prior to the changes in my diet/nutrition.
The scoop on a healthy stool …
Did you know that your body should process food 3 x daily? That means you should get rid of each and every meal you eat (breakfast, lunch & dinner) on a daily basis. Honestly, before this program I was disposing of food (nice way to say it huh?) every 2-3 days. Not healthy! Along with this delayed digestion the consistency of what I was disposing of was hard as a rock (and round). My pet rabbit, Romper, from my childhood would have thought we were kin. All kidding aside, it was an unpleasant bodily function and it definitely clued me into the fact that something was wrong in my body – – but I continued to ignore and endured the unpleasantness. Currently I am disposing of my food 2 to 3 times daily and the consistency is healthy (look it up online if you’d like to know how it should look and feel). When my stomach didn’t feel like it was digesting as it should (which is a rare occurrence now that I’m eating so well) I would add a Digestion Plus to my shake or energy fizz. I mentioned this Digestive Plus in an earlier post and why it works! The cool thing about this product is that you can feel it working. My stomach churns a little bit and then usually within an hour I have a bowel movement. The Digestion Plus heals my stomach and assists me in getting rid of what is ‘holding up’ my digestion process. It’s fantastic and it’s not a dairy! Remember, yogurt does not have enough of the powerful digestive enzymes needed to reach your small intestine.
Too much information? You’re in for a bonus paragraph here … there’s more. Last month my period was nuts. At least 2 weeks of out of control bleeding. I’ve had this happen to me in the past and it was actually something that plagued me for 6+ months. I was very close to going through with a surgical procedure to stop this from happening …. and then it miraculously stopped. So for it to begin again (in December) made my decision to jump on the health/wellness train that much easier. It was also interesting to find out from my chiro that some of the areas in my lower back that cause me much pain are also responsible for the health of my reproductive system. My diet, Prolief cream and chiro appts seem to have affected my period positively! I had a regular, normal period this month. Less than a week and only 1 heavy flow day (compared to the 10 heavy flow days I had last month).
Weighed myself this morning and lost another pound – – I had been trying to drop this pound for the last week but of course my water weight did not allow for this – – until now! I’m well on track to reach a 10 pound loss in 30 days. I’ve been home today with my pitiful son who has double ear infections and a sinus infection. A lot of free time on my hands to venture into some junk food but alas … here’s my intake: awesome shake this morning, a green tea from Starbucks, 1 handful of nuts, a green salad with a boiled egg on top, along with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cucumbers and tomatoes and balsamic dressing, 1 energy fizz drink, 3 small gluten free choco chip cookies and a few sweet potato tortilla chips …. a lot of water. Ended up snacking a bit instead of eating a full dinner (bean soup turned out like mop water … ewww….) so I had some rice crackers (pecan ones – – check ’em out, they are really good) and some hummus, a couple of bites of kale that I had cooked earlier in the week and 2 of my favorite choco chip cookies (only 3 left from the batch I made a few days ago). I had some green tea before heading to bed. Another thing I should comment on is that I am not falling into a deep sleep at 9pm as much; I seem to have more energy to stay up until 10pm. This is a HUGE change from a few years ago when I was snoring by 8pm.
I’ve been told I can predict the future and I too believe this! I won’t bore you with all the tales that support this claim (unless you really want to know, we can meet for tea). Well, I predicted a chilly weekend but didn’t count on it being as cold in my house as it was outside (mid 30’s during the day both Saturday and Sunday). Our heat pumped decided it had had enough of the cold and after 3 days of pulling auxiliary heat it kicked the bucket (turned out to be an electrical issue so thankfully we didn’t have to purchase a new heat pump). My family and I decided to ‘pioneer’ it and brave the cold. On Saturday our only escape from the cold was taking a trip to the local gym to swim and then take hot showers). Saturday night we piled into the bed (even Audrey dog) and piled on the blankets and slept snugly warm!
Since our day was chaotic it was tough to remember exactly what I ate. I do know that I had (2) slices of gluten free bread with tofuti cream cheese and honey for breakfast. It was very filling but I craved my protein shake. I remember drinking my energy fizz and two cups of green tea that day. Lunch is a blur (I think I had leftover curry) and a couple handfuls of nuts. Nuts seem to be saving me from hunger …. and I only need a small amount. Now comes the difficult admission – – after huddling outside on our back deck next to the chimenea (small outdoor fireplace thingy) I decided to treat my son to a dinner out. I took him to a diner because breakfast seemed like the most logical thing to eat after ‘camping out’ all day. He chose the french toast and I chose soup of the day (tomato veggie). I then decided to order a small plate of nachos and forgot (I guess) to ask for it without the cheese. Once it arrived it was a crispy and gooey treat sitting there beckoning me. I dug in. Of course after I ate it I felt awful. The cheese seemed so heavy! I used to eat cheese at 2 out of 3 meals a day in the past and realize how FULL it always made me feel. I’m now substituting with raisins/cranberries and nuts or boiled eggs to get the full feeling with added energy, not sluggishness. After my disappointing choice of nachos I decided to turn it into a positive so instead of dwelling on it I silently cheered myself on by telling myself how strong I was to not grab the closest bottle of whiskey to swig out of a flask while I was hanging out in a 30 degree house! See, there’s always a positive!
Sunday was not quite as chaotic but it was equally cold. Anthony and I abandoned Paul in the tundra at 2320 Devenwood and headed to his mom’s house to absorb some heat. I traveled with my protein shake and slugged it before 9:30am. I try to make it last until about 10:30 however I’m sure I burned a lot of calories trying to stay warm on Saturday night so I was starving on Sunday morning. After settling in at Paul’s mom’s house I searched for food that I could eat. This proved difficult. I found a banana and an old green apple (that tasted like refrigerator and that’s about it). Sat through a children’s musical (The Magic Flute) with a grumbling stomach. Decided to go grocery shopping with an empty stomach which isn’t always the best idea. The grocery store had a fabulous health section and I was able to fill up my cart with healthy options. If only that woman hunkered down by the teas would have moved enough for me to purchase some tea myself. I decided to make a quick trek around the store to pick up almond milk and fruit/veggies and then headed back to check out the teas. The lady was still there (30 minutes I swear!). So I ended up grabbing some green tea that I could reach and submitted an order for Arbonne’s detox tea when I returned home.
Met Paul and Anthony back at his mom’s house to cook dinner. I made them a frozen pizza, lima beans and a chopped salad. I resisted the pizza even when my son handed me his crust. What a sweetie!
Returned home to a warm house and an empty bank account. What a weekend!!! I was certainly tested this weekend and overall feel great about my choices. I’ll elaborate on some other health realizations I had over the weekend in Monday’s post.
Hi, all I can think of is eating stew or soup this weekend so I thought I should post some recipes to share. Today has been another strange eating day for me …. when life gets a bit more challenging, my diet gets a bit more ‘up in the air’. Luckily I was able to throw together a blueberry and vanilla smoothie for breakfast and snacked on some protein squares I had in my desk at work. The snow is coming down heavily now and my son’s school is closing early as well as his after-school care … so what’s on my mind is breaking free from work early enough to not get caught in a panic-mode southern driving parade at 4pm. I ran out for some vegan lentil soup for lunch. At the register I realized I had left my wallet on my desk. Super kind vegan guy let me leave with my soup and pay him later. I ran back over there (in the snow … which I love!!!) and paid him but also grabbed the most delicious vegan, gluten free blondie brownie. HOLY heck it was delish. Must find recipe. Dinner will be more organized (I think). And on to the recipes (thank you to my friend Beth Morgan for these!)
Easy, one pot meals: http://m.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/easy-one-pot-postrun-meals
Garlic Shrimp with White Beans and Tomatoes
Shrimp is high in protein and selenium, a mineral that aids in recovery. If you use frozen shrimp, save the liquid from thawing and swap it for some chicken broth.
1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
14.5-oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
2 15-oz cans white beans, drained
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 cup chicken or veggie broth
½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf, broken into pieces
Calories per serving: 436
Carbs: 37 G
Fiber: 9 G
Protein: 35 G
Fat: 17 G
Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Toss shrimp with 1 tablesppon oil and pimento. Add shrimp to skillet; sauté 1 to 2 mnutes; add half the garlic the last few seconds of cooking. Spoon shrimp into a bowl and set aside. Return skillet to heat; add 2 tablespoons oil, pepper flakes, bay leaf, and remaining garlic. Cook till garlic is golden, a few seconds. Add tomatoes; cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook until tomato mixture darkens. Add beans and broth; simmer till it’s a thick stew, about 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and parsley; cook until heated through. Drizzle with remaining oil. Serves 4.
Weighed myself today and was frustrated by no further weight loss. Eight pounds is amazing but I’d to see the reflection of how I feel through the numbers that pop up on the scale. I’ll keep on keeping on though. This morning I had a procedure scheduled at 9:30am so I could not eat or drink after midnight. It was absolutely freezing in Richmond this morning and a cup of tea would have been a fabulous way to start the day. I’m feeling so grown up now that I am a tea fan. What have I been missing? There are yummy teas everywhere. After my procedure of blue dye being pumped through my body I decided to drink some blueberry green tea. It was absolutely delicious.
Arrived home around noon very hungry. The first thing I did was to make myself an Arbonne Detox Tea with added honey. Because of my two teas today I had zero cravings for more caffeine so I skipped the energy fizz drinks. I then ate a sandwich on gluten free bread (always toast the bread because it tastes better), tofuti cream cheese (not too bad) and some more honey. It was very filling. I fell asleep for a few hours (I have no idea if I had been sedated from the procedure but sleep sure did come quickly) and woke up hungry again. Feeling kind of crappy I just grabbed a box of rice crackers. Dinner was a nice fresh salad with organic balsamic salad dressing, brown rice and shrimp with a teriyaki sauce. Didn’t eat too much because I failed to mention that I made a batch of 2 dozen of my Arbonne gluten free, vegan, chocolate chip and walnut cookies this afternoon (I substituted coconut flower for the brown rice flour and they came out very dry. I added more grapeseed oil and agave nectar to add moisture)…and .while perfecting the batch I must have eaten 4 of them. So …. not hungry tonight. It’s been a weird day. A weird day also in that I now absolutely crave tea. I’m a grown up!!!
My post today is all about balancing the body by balancing hormones. My wellness program does not focus on nutrition/diet and exercise alone; I’m focusing on the whole body, including those nasty hormones that I’ve been dying to befriend. This subject is near and dear to my heart (wait a minute, I hate this subject … only because I’m someone who’s dealt with hormonal imbalance since I was 15 years old!). So instead of saying it’s something ‘dear’ to me I’m going to tell you that it is something I’ve needed relief from for 25 years now. It’s about time I learn why I feel the way I do during certain times of the month, the migraines, the irritability, the weight gain, exhaustion…and how the changes I’m making in my life currently are paving the way for RELIEF. The four main causes of Progesterone deficiency are: medical prescriptions, stress, diet and environment (you can read more about this in the web link at the bottom of this post).
I’ve been dabbling in natural balancing creams over the past few weeks and probably have not used long enough to effectively report on my findings. I’ve read that the first month or two a body may produce more estrogen (with noticeable symptoms). This is normal and due to a heightened sensitivity of your body’s estrogen receptors upon the introduction of progesterone. In time, this will subside.
The most desirable way to use bio-identical progesterone is in a transdermal (absorbed through the skin) cream, containing 400-500 mg of progesterone per ounce, supplying 20 mg of progesterone per dose. Arbonne’s creams were formulated to meet these specifications!
If you are interested in learning more about these balancing creams I’ve pasted some information below:
PhytoProlief & Prolief Natural Balancing Creams
Do you suffer with:
* Water retention?
* Sleep disturbances?
* Inability to handle stress?
* Hot flashes?
* Lack of concentration?
* Loss of sex drive?
* Vaginal dryness?
* Unexplained weight gain?
* Dry, thin, wrinkly skin?
* Mood swings?
* Fibrocystic breasts?
* Bone mineral loss?
* Uterine fibroids?
If so, according to current literature on natural alternatives and therapies, the cause may be due to estrogen excess and may be alleviated thru the use of bio-identical progesterone. Throughout the course of a female’s life, the hormones estrogen and progesterone are constantly fluctuating. It is often the imbalance between these two hormones that can cause many of the above symptoms & conditions to manifest in females of all ages and stages of life.
Bio-identical progesterone is recommended to help balance your hormones naturally. It has been used successfully to help reduce the symptoms and discomfort of hormone imbalance issues and can be a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), without side effects. It’s also been used to help with bone mineral loss, or osteoporosis.
PhytoProlief is different than other progesterone creams because it also contains phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens, capable of helping to balance the powerful and sometimes harmful effects of too much or too little estrogen. PhytoProlief has the added herbs: Black Cohosh, Chaste Tree Berries, Dong Quai, Evening Primrose Oil and Red Clover. PhytoProlief is appropriate for use by premenstrual, premenopausal, menopausal & postmenopausal women.)
Prolief is bio-identical progesterone without the added herbs and is appropriate for women trying to get pregnant, lactating, young teenagers, men and anyone who might be sensitive to herbs.
Below is another fascinating article on how we can balance our progesterone without Hormone Replacement Therapy:
On the menu today:
2 cups of green tea, 1 energy fizz, chocolate protein shake w/ powdered peanut butter, 1 banana, coconut almond milk, 1 metabolism booster, 1 scoop fiber, 1/2 cup of mixed nuts and mixed green salad with vinegar and olive oil, apple, banana, (2) pieces protein bar, mixed green salad with black beans and chicken bbq on the side (leftovers). Felt very full after eating. I’m going to try to eat a bit less tomorrow.
Ok, so my slacks (don’t you just love that word) fit better. The scale is still reflecting an 8 pound loss but I do believe I’ve lost inches. My pants are much looser in the thighs. I can pull them out away from my legs and the cold air now seeps into this loose area of my pants until I put my hands in my pockets and push it out. My body does not hurt as much either. I’d say I feel a 70% improvement from my prior body aches and pains. My diet and my visits to the chiro are both responsible for this improvement. I’ve learned a lot about overtaxed adrenal glands over the past three weeks and one of the symptoms of feeling lightheaded when I stand up quickly is a symptom of adrenal overload. Here is a good article on overtaxed adrenal glands: http://experiencelife.com/article/fending-off-adrenal-fatigue/
You can imagine what a relief it is to my adrenal glands to have me eating clean and drinking things such as detox tea! I think I even heard one of my glands scream ‘AMEN’ and another one proclaim, ‘Hallelujah’!
Vanilla, chocolate protein mix, 1 scoop fiber, 1 banana, blueberries and almond milk. Morning snack of mixed nuts and dried cranberries. Black beans with quiona for lunch. Snacked on an apple and (2) protein squares. I’ve had (2) green teas today along with (2) Energy Fizz drinks. The tea was mostly to warm up my body. I’m beginning to LOVE tea. How quaint. Dinner was a few bites of leftovers and a handful of walnuts with vegan, gluten free, dairy free chocolate chips (the lazy girl’s chocolate chip cookie!).