Detox, Day Two

This is such an interesting experiment.  How come, every day, I have to have my popcorn? I ‘can’t live’ without my coffee?’  And 95% of days I make sure I get a little chocolate (to guard against what, I’m not quite sure.)  And yet, I agree to this four day plan, and really, there is no obsession over missing these things.  Well, you might say, its only 4 days.  Yes, but before this, I ‘couldn’t miss these foods for even a day, I thought.  Really, I am a bit mystified by this.

Miz asked ‘how are you feeling today? what are todays eats?’  Well, I almost titled this ‘Bleahhhh.’  That’s how I felt the first half of the day.  I never put that much stock in the caffeine in coffee, but maybe that is why I felt like that.  There’s also the possibility that I would have felt like that no matter what I was eating.  I just have days like that sometimes.  I did notice that when I took the dogs for a walk, I really did not have the energy to go as far as I was planning on.  Vickie had told me that you were only supposed to do very light exercise/stretching on the days of this diet.

After lunch, my mood lightened significantly, and I felt that quiet contented feeling again.  Again, not sure if this is because of the food, or maybe its a little because I have decided I won’t veer from the diet, so there is not all the angst over whether I should or should not eat this or that…or maybe, I could give some credit to the extremely healthy food I am eating.

So here are some of the foods I tried today (oh, BTW, I posted the ‘recipe’ for the veggie stir fry over in the recipes section, because it was even more delicious as leftovers for lunch today.)  For breakfast, there was a recipe for brown rice with a ‘sauce’ made by simmering raisins, cinnamon, apple juice, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  It was quite tasty, a little too heavy on the lemon for me.  Again, I decided not to veer from the recipe for this experiment, because maybe there was something magical and good that I could get from the lemon juice!  I can see tweaking this recipe for future use.  For dinner, the order was 4 oz. turkey, and ‘vegetable stew’ to include sweet potatoes.  Well, as you can tell, this diet is FULL of vegetables, which is fine with me, but I didn’t feel like mixing them up again, so instead I baked a sw. potato, and ate half, and steamed some baby green beans (I happened to pick up a big bag of these at Costco the other day–excellent, and so easy, you don’t have to cut them or anything.)  This was a delicious and very satisfying meal.  My ‘snack’ for tonight is a baked apple with honey, cinnamon, and walnuts–yumm!

Anyways, that’s how its going here.  I’m a tiny bit worried about not having enough energy at work, but I have already planned out my meals to fit into my work schedule, and I think it’ll be fine.

Thanks for listening, and have a great weekend!

Fitcourse, Part 2

Continuing on.  I didn’t tell you that when I met with Vickie (my P.T.)  Tuesday, she handed me a sheet of paper with a 4-day ‘Detox’ or cleansing diet.  Oh, brother, I thought to myself.  I don’t want to do some stringent diet or eat ‘weird’ food.  But as she talked on, I looked over the meals that were outlined.  And all of the food sounded delicious to me!  A little different than the food choices I make now, but all good stuff.  It really intrigued me.  And as she said, its only for four days.  You can do anything for four days.  So today was the start of it.

Two hours into it, I was panicking.  I don’t think I can do this for four days, I thought.  It really put a spotlight on something I already sort of knew–that I rely on food for enjoyment a little too much.  It didn’t help that my EVERY MORNING  routine was rudely interrupted–NO CAFFEINE.  As my friend Jill says, “My coffee-love knows no bounds.”  Plus, a big reason I still love my coffee is that I have never given up half and half in my coffee.  And there is no dairy on this diet either.  Let me tell you, there are quite a few of my DAILY foods not on this diet–cottage cheese, popcorn, wheat, oats, splenda, and CHOCOLATE.  Yikes!

But now, at the end of the day, I am oddly content.  Yes, the food was enjoyable, and yes, I did not really get hungry.  But it was great to have a day where every morsel I put in my mouth was planned, and was completely for the nutrition, and oh yeah, all of it tasted good!  

There were 3 meals and 3 snacks on this plan.  Here are a few of the things I had.  Rice cereal–very boring, but not objectionable at all.  BIG salad (I thought of you, Lynn!) with salmon–yummmm!  Walnuts-a fav of mine.  And for dinner a vegetable stir fry with brown rice.  Also delish, and believe it or not, I was too full to eat it all!  For a snack there was my homemade pear sauce with flaxseed (fantastic,) and she suggested warm almond breeze.  I decided to heat it up and put a Good Earth (cinnamon orange spices) teabag in it.  That was also delicious.

Tomorrow’s food sounds even more tasty, and I am anxious to try it.  And that is all there is to it.  Two days of meal plans alternating  days.  This is going to be a great learning experience for me.

Fitcourse

Okay, here’s what’s happened so far.  I am guardedly very excited about this whole thing.  Very excited because, well, its exciting.  But guarded because I know its easier to get excited about the idea of doing something than the actual long-term incorporating it into your life.

So, last Thursday I went, and my P.T. had done a whole profile on me, after having done a lot of measurements and a fitness test, and she gave me a lot of information about myself, including my body fat percentage (ugh!) and muscle mass.  She calculated out how many calories I could eat and lose 1 pound a week (1480, which is less than I was eating…thus my weight gain lack of weight loss over the past few months.)  1480 is a very doable amount of calories, as long as you eat nutritionally, and don’t add in too many snacks.

Then she did a basic workout plan for me, taking into consideration my back and my knees.  I really like her.  She isn’t like Jillian, and she isn’t 20-something and too perky.  She is nice and encouraging, and normal.  And she is in unbelievable shape, but it is somehow normal too.  I think the best part of what she did was to work on my form.  I have lifted weights, and done heavier weights than she had me doing, but what I did was to alter the form to make it easier, and so I actually didn’t get as much benefit from the exercises  that I did.

Yesterday I went for the first day of the Fitcourse, and I was the only one who signed up!  Which worked out great for me because I really liked the personalized training.  So we worked out a deal that was fair for both of us.  So now I will have a ‘personal trainer’ for the next 4 weeks, and I imagine it will lead into a lot more than that.  One thing I struggle with is the expense–justifying spending that much money on ‘something I can do myself.’  Oh, yeah, as I write that I realize that is the problem.  I can’t do it myself .  And that is how I have been thinking the past few days.  My issues with weight are no different than someone with a chronic disease or disability.  And sometimes it is expensive (in time AND money) to take care of those things.  SO WHAT?  That’s the way it is, and if that is what it takes to have a healthier life, that is what I will do.

Okay, I got a little off track there…at the end of our workout, she showed me something called Tabata interval workouts.  I am linking to an article about it.  But basically, you choose a ‘whole body exercise’ and do it as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, and then repeat for a total of 8 times (4 minutes.)  It is supposed to do the max for you in regards to working out your whole body, and also can help to boost your metabolism.  Very interesting.  And very hard….

 


Fantastic Food Finds

Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I always like a good title…and I am genuinely excited when I find a new food that mimics an old favorite, and actually tastes good.

Food find #1:  I used to buy those tubs of strawberry flavored cream cheese and spread it on celery.  Yumm!!!!  Well, the other day, I finally bought some of that Laughing Cow Cheese Lite (thanks, Miz!)  And then I bought some celery on my next trip to the grocery.  And I came up with the idea of crushing a strawberry or two with a fork, and stirring in a laughing cow cheese wedge. OMGosh!  That was fantastic.  Better than the original.  It would be great on a bagel or an english muffin.  Yum Yum Yummmmmm!!  Okay, but here’s a question for you.  (And I will probably try this today.)  Laughing Cow has 35 calories and 2 grams protein per wedge, which is 3/4 ounce.  Non-fat cream cheese has 30 calories and 4 grams protein per ONE ounce serving.  Seems like a better deal to me.  Probably the LC has a better texture.  But for mixing with the strawberries, I bet it doesn’t make much of a difference.  Oh yeah, for myself, I added  a little splenda.  But for those non-splenda types, you could easily go without, or add a bit of whatever sweetener you prefer.

Food find #2:  Soy crisps.  I know, I’m a little late to the party.  But, after Roni went on and on in her video describing her love for them, I decided I had to try.  And they had BBQ flavor which I hadn’t known about before.  BBQ chips is one of my very occasional treats that I enjoy.  I have no problem counting out/weighing out 100 calories worth, and a small bag can last me 6 months.  ANYWAYS, the soy crisps were great!  The calories were quite a bit lower (110 calories per ounce compared to 150/ounce for the chips I have.)  But here’s the good part:  the soy crisps are a LOT lighter in weight, so you get a bigger volume.  Fun!  And I really liked the ‘Honey BBQ’ flavor (Trader Joe’s)  I can add 30 calories worth to my lunch and be very happy.  Oh, yeah, plus the soy crisps have a decent amount of protein (8 grams/ounce.)  Which leads me to a comment, not a food find.

Yogurt.  I am of the opinion that the whole yogurt field has been abused and misused as a result of its being a popular ‘health food.’  Yoplait, specifically.  I got some recently because it was on sale, and because my brother recommended it.  I got the 100 calorie lite.  Here’s the stats:  the container only had 4 grams protein.  And the SECOND ingredient listed was High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Aaaaargh!  Other yogurts have attempted to jump on the high fiber bandwagon by adding inulin (chicory root extract.)  Now, actually, I think I like inulin, because I notice whenever a food has it added, I seem to really enjoy that food.  I think it is a texture thing rather than a flavor thing.  But really, I think inulin has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever.  Compare all this to greek yogurt (T.J.’s 2%):  for 120 calories you get the same 6 ounces as the yoplait lite, 16 grams of protein, and the ingredients are milk, cream, and yogurt cultures.  This is so rich that I never eat 6 ounces at a time.  Usually 3-4 ounces is plenty.  And if you get the Fage 0% greek yogurt, the stats are even better.

Food find #3:  Do you like crabmeat?  This seems to be a seasonal thing at Trader Joe’s, and it has appeared again.  For $8.99 you can get a one pound can of premium crab meat.  It is delicious, and I love to just have a crab meat cocktail.  90 calories for 4 ounces.  I bring it home and divide it into 4 baggies and freeze it.   A word of warning–even though its canned, you have to keep it refrigerated.  My BF got some and put it in her pantry, and some time later….ewwwww…I”ll let you use your imagination here!

Food find #4:  Filet mignon.  This is what I fixed myself for Easter dinner.  It’s one of the leanest cuts of beef, and delicious, if you get a good one.  Recently at our local discount market, they had a whole filet (kind of like a pork tenderloin) for only $5/pound.  I brought it home and cut it into the size filets I wanted, wrapped each and froze.  They have been absolutely delicious.  

All right, people, enough food talk.  I am trying to make food a less important part of my life, but I just had to get that out there.  Today is the first official day of my Fitcourse and I am excited about it.  I will try to post later today about what I have already learned, and how that part of my life is going!

Good Friday

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And it is a good day.  I feel (good) sore from my workout yesterday, and it looks like the rain is clearing up, so I hope to get in a good walk with the dogs today.  It was too wet to get a good garden picture, so I am including a close-up of a garden quilt that I did.

Probably the main focus of my day will be on practicing a song for tonight’s Good Friday service at our church.  I am including a link to the song on youtube, in case you want to hear it (not me, that’s Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing!)

 

My best wishes for a blessed Easter weekend for all of you.  Enjoy a Peep, or a LITTLE chocolate bunny, or a See’s easter egg (for us west coast gals.)  But mostly enjoy the day. Be thankful and praise your Creator,  and exhult in the glorious spring creation that God has blessed us with!

Hope Springs Eternal

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Well, I was just going to title this ‘Fitcourse’ but ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ sounds much more…well,…hopeful.  And that is how I feel today.

Tuesday I went to meet with a personal trainer (finally.)  Actually, she offered a group class called Fitcourse that I found more affordable, but then the class got delayed for a week, so I decided to meet with her privately this week, and it was so worth it.  Tuesday, she took my measurements, and did a review of my current exercise habits, etc.  And did a fitness test which was VERY tough. It doesn’t sound that tough, but I am sore today from the silly test.  Stepping up 12 inches for 3 minutes was one, and pushups (correct form, Vickie) was another.

Then today I went back, and she gave me an evaluation of where I am, and what I will need to go to get to where I want to go.  A lot of numbers (I’m a numbers gal, like you Lori,) so I really liked that.  I won’t bore you with all the numbers, but I will say that my body fat percentage was horrifying a tad bit high.  She calculated that I could eat 1470 calories a day if I did 4 hours of moderate exercise a week.  Right now that is a lot more than I have been doing.  But it is definitely a realistic goal of mine.  That is obviously less calories than I have been eating lately, but I have gotten in the habit of counting calories (instead of points,) and am enjoying that.  

She also designed a weight lifting program for me, keeping my back in mind, and worked with me on correct form, which I was sorely lacking in.  I really enjoyed it so much, I could envision spending a lot of money this way.  But for now, I’ll see how the course goes.

Just to be honest, the day in between, Wednesday, I did one of my long trips (6 hours in the car) back and forth to the Bay Area to help my dad and his wife.  It was really a very good day, very gratifying that I can do little things that they appreciate so much.  But there is really no ‘me’ time in a day like this, and for a selfish single gal like me, that is hard.  I did good by deciding not to go out to dinner on the way home, but then I ate about a thousand (really) calories in the car on the drive home.

Oh well…

I am including pictures of spring in my garden (that is Rindy, one of the ‘bad little girls, who is keeping up her reputation by getting two bills out of my wallet $1 and $20, and only chewing on the $20.)  And below is my finished ‘rug’ that I designed myself and started last summer at rug hooking camp.  I really like it, and I am so excited that I am going to get to go back to Cambria for camp again this June.

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A Blog about the Blogs

There have been a lot of good blog entries out there lately.  First, I listened to Barbara Berkley on the Dr. Oz radio show, which was an excellent interview about weight maintenance, and the one word that stuck out to me was ‘vigilance.’  Dr. Oz asked Dr. Berkeley what was the one quality that maintainers have that all the other losers and regainers don’t have.   And she said ‘vigilance.’  And that just struck me, that that is exactly what we have to do.  Sometimes we complain about it, sometimes we love it.  Sometimes we can let our guard down, but it always has to go back up.  To maintain we must remain vigilant.  Barbara and Lynn have written a couple of really good posts about this over on their blog, Refuse to Regain.  Barbara wrote about the word ‘maintain’ being an unsatisfactory word.  It sounds boring compared to all the work we do.  Maybe I should have suggested ‘the vigilantes!’

 And then Lynn wrote that maybe a better word was ‘sustain.’  Because sustain has a more rounded definition of what we must do to maintain our weight.  Lynn also wrote about the mysterious factor that causes a few to be able to maintain, and compared it to flipping switches on and off until the reality of the situation hits and you are able to leave certain switches off and certain switches on permanently, BASED ON REALITY.

Vickie had a post about how she was finally content with her body after doing a LOT of physical and mental work to get to that point.  And she had a paragraph in the middle that I found outstanding.  It created a word picture that just fascinated me.  Here is that paragraph:

I literally see myself on a path – I can see all the road behind me – and all the road before me. Does this make me tired? Does this make it seem never ending? No, to me there is no ‘drudge’ in it. The path means I am moving – and have a sense of direction and accomplishment. I very much have a sense of having moved a great distance. I have a sense of getting somewhere – moving forward steadily.

So here was the comment I left on Lynn’s blog entry late last night after having all this stuff rolling around in my head all day.

Maintain or sustain, it is still hard work. But so worthy. And so fun to share with those others who have flipped the switch successfully. Today was one of those great days on the path. I made such good choices. When I had too light of a lunch (challenging myself) I got hungry and I wanted a snack. But I thought about what would fuel me, and I made a much better snack choice. And then, because the snack was such a good choice, I was able to pare dinner down and have a lighter meal. Some of my choices were directly influenced by my friends on the web. It was a different day than yesterday, where I had to talk myself ‘down’ all day from just eating for the sake of eating. But that is the path I am on, and I will keep looking forward down that path to a future as an older woman who is comfortable in her own skin, and who can move freely with a minimum of pain. And maybe even lift a 50-pound feed sack or two.

And maybe I’ll even do some ballroom dancing when I’m 80.  (See Miz’s excellent post on being unapologetically ourselves, and my comment #66.)


Opinion, please

Every spring our church ladies have a ‘spring tea.’  And of course, scones go with tea.  Well, probably starting 7 or 8 years ago, I started making my ‘famous’ scones for the tea.  And of course, that was pre-weight loss, pre-changing-the-way-I-eat, and pre-changing-the-way-I-look-at-food.  So the main ingredients in the scones are white flour, heavy cream, and sugar.  And they still ask me to make them almost every year.  Which I did somewhat reluctantly last year.  But it is a little bit of a struggle for me.  For one thing, they taste good.  And there is no way I am making 100 scones without eating a few of them.  And I am really struggling with my weight and trying to eat right right now.  Then there is the other ‘moral dilemma.’  I really don’t think food like this is healthy for people.  Why should I be making something I think is bad for your health and serving it to other people?  But then I think, well, am I just being ‘holier than thou’ and trying to force my own opinions on other people?  If they don’t get it from me they will just get it elsewhere.

Writing this out, I think I already have my answer.  But I really would be interested in hearing you all’s opinion on this topic.