Eating + Reading

How is it only Wednesday? I’m having one of those weeks where everything feels like it is moving in slow motion. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading – on the train, at home, on the weekend when the power goes out lol – here are some of my favorites:

Some funny:

If you too wonder what goes on in the heads of those gym goers who spend half their time staring at the wall, this one’s for you – 25 More Rules of Conquering the Gym.

Paleo, vegan, whatever. Read this please: The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater.

Some riveting:

Ever wonder how Kraft or Nabisco feel about obesity? Michael Moss spent years finding an answer to this question in an infinitely interesting piece in the New York Times called The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.

Some inspiring:

Mara Glatzel always gets it right about self love. Always. Check out Learning To Love Your Life As It Is.

Leo Babauta also has a unique talent for always striking a chord with me. He recently wrote a post about finding your motivation and passion that is simple and spot on.

As for eats, this week I made some more lentil sloppy joes from Chocolate Covered Katie and am still eating leftovers from this healthy crock pot General Tso’s chicken recipe. Lindsay at Running With Tongs has been posting some great vegetarian and raw recipes that I can’t wait to try.

Also, in case you were interested, the recipes for the granola I overindulged on can be found here:  Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola and Banana Nutella Granola. I thought both came out pretty tasty – the oatmeal raisin was the clear winner, though.

Now…the numbers

Starting weight: 243
Last week:160.5
This week: 157.5
Total lost: 85.5

Click here for every weigh in, ever.

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DIY Blue Print Cleanse

Hi – settle in, I’ve got a long post!

I’m writing this at noon on Saturday because I want to get all my observations down.

I decided to do a modified Blue Print Cleanse this weekend! Here’s the background:

I began researching last week by asking all my friends about cleanses they had done, some mentioned the Master Cleanse, others the GM Diet Cleanse, and then there was the Blue Print Cleanse. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a very popular juice cleanse. So popular that the company even sells the juices in Whole Foods. You can also order 3 days worth for around $300 from the website.

The price tag was something I couldn’t afford, but thanks to my (blog!) friend Julie (she has an awesome video review of the cleanse), I was able to find the recipes and do it myself.

I ran out Friday night and bought a Ninja Professional blender and a cheese cloth to make the juice. So far, so good.

Here’s a few things you should know:

1. I’m following the level 3 excavation Blue Print Cleanse

2. I didn’t do the “ease in” to the cleanse – basically where you back off from all the meat and processed junk you eat. I decided to do the cleanse late Friday night and, well, that’s just how I am. If you read this blog, you already know I eat a clean diet 99% of the time, so I wasn’t too worried about the effects of not easing into the cleanse. That being said, I’m writing this in the first half of my first day…so we’ll see.

3. I’m only juicing for 2 days. Honestly, if by the end of tomorrow I’m loving it and think I can handle another day, I’ll buy the juices at Whole Foods and drink at work, but right now three days of juice just isn’t practical for me.

4. Two things I can’t really talk about: Cost and weight. Cost, because I didn’t buy everything organic, and used a few things I had in the apartment already. Believe me though, making the juices yourself is cheaper. Weight, because I didn’t weigh myself before starting. I had eaten a ton of chocolate (explained below) the night before I started, and there was just no point in weighing myself in the morning. Cleanses are not meant to keep weight off, so I just saw no point in marking down weight loss just from the cleanse. OK? 🙂

What prompted this? I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons. Another list? Yes please.

1. I’ve never done one and everyone and their mother has a “cleanse” tale to tell. Silly reason, but it’s seriously why I wanted to try it.

2. I love, love, love my green smoothies and was looking for an excuse to upgrade from the Magic Bullet to the Ninja. Best $100 ever spent (technically $85 with a 20% coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond!!)

Buying the Ninja

3. I made my friends some very chocolate-y granola last week and ate a lot of said chocolate. I was feeling gross after consuming so much sugar.

Details. The Blue Print Cleanse excavation path is the most “extreme” of their cleanses, in that it includes the most Green juice. You drink six juices a day. Juices 1, 2, 3, and 5 are green juices with Juice 2 including ginger. Juice 4 is a spicy lemonade and Juice 6 is a cashew nut milk.

For two days, that’s 16 green apples, 8 cucumbers, 40 celery ribs, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, 3 bunches of kale, a bunch of parsley, and 2-1/2 cups of raw cashews. 

Vegetables

I followed the recipes as exact as I could. Here are my confessions: I used lemon juice from a bottle and ginger from a jar. I didn’t use organic apples or cucumbers, but everything else was organic. I know you’re only supposed to drink herbal tea and water other than juice, but this girl needs her caffeine so I also sipped on some green tea. That was the best I could do for right now, and we all know, “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

Let me just say, I know I like my green monsters, but I was actually expecting to hate the green juice because I don’t like celery. It was freaking delicious. Like, I’m going to make it all the time off the cleanse. THAT good. Just like a green monster, it made me feel bright and bubbly to be downing so many vegetables and the green apples added the perfect amount of tart sweetness. It was pure perfection.

My energy levels are pretty high, but that could be the effects of consuming a pound of chocolate the night before. I also had a headache from all the sugar when I woke up in the morning but it’s completely gone now. Yay green juice!

I’ll check in again later!

—-

Ugh. I had so much enthusiasm going into Day 2 of the Blue Print Cleanse but my electric company felt differently. I woke up at 3 a.m. realizing my apartment complex had lost power. A transformer blew around midnight and knocked out the power until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Determined to stay the course, I bought my first juice of the day at Whole Foods. It cost $9!! The cashew nut milk cost $11!!! I was planning to buy the juices for Monday to continue the cleanse but I just can’t make it work with those prices.

Whole Foods juice

Anyway, after my first juice I occupied myself by driving around charging my cell phone and going to the library until hunger started to kick in. I decided to eat an apple because buying a another juice was not in my budget. When the power still hadn’t come back on at 2:30 p.m. I also munched on some raw cashews.

It sucks that the power went out and ruined the flow of my juice cleanse, but there was nothing I could have done about it. At 4 p.m. I finally got to make my first juice and just downed another at 5:30 p.m.

The only thing I’ve gotten sick of on the cleanse has been squeezing out the juice from the cheese cloth, but other than that I have no complaints. I didn’t feel any hunger on Day 1 – in fact, I never ended up drinking the spicy lemonade because I was too full – and I’m pretty confident that if all had gone according to plan, Day 2 would have been just as smooth.

While my first cleanse experience was kind of an (unavoidable) bust, I’m PUMPED to do another one soon! They are expensive but totally worth it. I felt great and light all day, no side effects, and the juice taste great. I gave my digestive system a 48 hour break and consumed a sh*t ton of produce in the process. Win-win!

In the blender

This has been long enough already and considering I didn’t really get the true experience, I’ll end the post. But – If you’re thinking of doing a cleanse I definitely recommend checking out Blue Print. The juices are delicious and if you have them delivered it couldn’t be easier to follow.

Have you done a juice or other type of cleanse? What was your experience?

Persistent vs. consistent

Sometimes, a word of truth just knocks you over.

That’s what happened to me on Wednesday.

I was feeling pretty low about my weight loss progress when I ran into my old trainer at the gym. While I don’t pay him to kick my butt anymore, he still checks in on me from time to time.

I was on my way into the locker room, done with my workout, when he asked how I was doing.

I started into my well-rehearsed spiel, “I’m not gaining, but I’m not losing…”

He stopped me right there.

“It’s because you’re not persistent,” he said.

I took a sharp breathe in. He was right.

I wanted to shout back, “but it’s hard!”

Instead, I realized, there’s the rub.

It is hard.

Source: etsy.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

My trainer saw me through a year of steady weight loss and now he’s seen my daily gym visits become sporadic, he’s heard me complain about my commute into the city, my struggles with eating healthy all the time, and he called it as he saw it.

I wasn’t being persistent.

Consistent for sure, but not persistent.

Weight loss is hard. Anyone who tells you it isn’t is flat out lying. Weight loss means not eating out at restaurants, it’s turning down free food at work and passing on sweets during the holidays. It’s drinking water when everyone else is ordering beer, It’s going to the gym instead of sleeping in and it’s re-imagining your entire life around the goal of health.

 

Somewhere, I lost my acceptance that this would be hard. I wanted to lose weight and do all of those things, somehow cheat the system and that’s not how it works.

I thought,”Well, I’m consistently healthy, so what I do once in a while shouldn’t matter.”

Consistent, with a definition of “unchanging in achievement or effect over a period of time” just isn’t good enough.

Persistent, adjective

1. Continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

When I stopped accepting that this was supposed to be hard, I gave up the fight, the persistence and steadfastness in accomplishing my goals.

There is no more pretending that this isn’t a battle. The good part, the upside in this, is that I already know the sacrifice and dedication is worth it.

Source: screenfunk.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

Saying “no” to temptation is saying “yes” to a healthier future. Doing what’s best for me means I can be my best for my friends and family.

There’s a reason the diet industry makes so much money. Losing weight is a struggle.

My advice? Accept the struggle. Know what’s coming will knock you down, get ready to be uncomfortable, to do things you haven’t done before, and be dogged in going after what you want anyway.

“The best way out is always through,” – Robert Frost

 

Gratitude wins

You know the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…”

Well, that’s kind of how I’m feeling.

I’m frustrated beyond belief about this weight-loss plateau.

That’s all I got. Frustration. I’m at a loss for words. I don’t understand what’s happening in my body that making it seemingly impossible for me to have sustainable, steady weight loss.

For now, I’m going to abide by the wise proverb, and keep my trap shut.

Except for some gratitude, there’s never too much of that, so here it goes:

When I really think about my life right now, how my body looks, feels, moves, I’m overcome with emotion. I was, in my own mind, always going to be obese. I know it’s no small feat to change a lifetime of unhealthy habits, and I’m eternally grateful to the Universe for helping me do so – for bringing in my life the right people at the time, for placing me in situations where my declining health was impossible to ignore, and for providing an infinite amount of support every single day while I learned how to become a vibrant, healthy person.

That’s it. That’s the message I want in my head today. Not frustration. Not anger. Love, gratitude, and knowing that I’ve already created for myself a healthy future that was unimaginable a few years ago.

Now…the numbers

Starting weight: 243
Last week:161.5
This week: 160.5
Total lost: 82.5

President’s Day break

Hi!

I have a nice break from work for President’s Day, which means sleeping in, drinking coffee leisurely and spending as much time as I want at the gym.

It also means laundry and cleaning. booooo!

Because I didn’t have to get up so early today, I stayed up late last night messing around with the blog design. If you read the blog through email or your reader be sure to open it to the full version and let me know what you think of the new design. I felt like it was time for a change!

Fun fact: I love messing around on Photoshop and actually thought pretty seriously about pursuing graphic design in college, but the I got a “C” in the course I took and hated studying typography…so that ended that. I still use my knowledge to make some freaky photos of my friends and myself, like this Jodster Apple:

apple

Heh.

This weekend I also got to watching Hungry for Change. If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty similar to Forks Over Knives  or Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Basically, an entertaining look at why eating clean is important.

 

If you’re new to healthy eating, these documentaries can be a great start to a lifestyle change, or just an extra boost of motivation if you’re already far along in your journey.

My biggest takeaway from “Hungry” was toward the end when Dr. Christiane Northrup was talking about changing your mindset as the first step to losing weight – a topic I’m obviously passionate about.

She says if she could tell people to do one thing every day, it would be to repeat this phrase.

“I accept myself unconditionally right now”

I quickly scribbled it down on a post-it and stuck it to my mirror.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Have a great day!

 

Life by Pinterest

Do you follow me on pinterest?

I’ve been super inspired lately and have truly, IMHO, made some genius food decisions this week.

First up – Chicken and winter squash stew (Crock pot)

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you already know I do not follow recipes, so here is what I came up with after pinning a few different squash stews for inspiration.

Serves 5. Inspired by Everyday Paleo and Eat Live Run

Everyday Paleo’s pork loin and butternut squash stew

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 20 oz cubed butternut squash
  • 20 oz cubed acorn squash
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Cinnamon, stevia, salt

Directions:

Rough chop the onion and garlic cloves and layer on the bottom of the crock pot followed by the chicken thighs and chicken broth. On top, spread out all the squash and season with generous shakes of cinnamon and salt and two packets of Stevia.

Turn the crock pot to low and let it go for 7-9 hours. The crockpot I have doesn’t have a timer function, so I turned it on low before I went to bed and turned it off when I woke up. My apartment smelled amazing in the morning.

The flavor of the stew is sweet and savory and the chicken thighs are tender and juicy. This dish completely made me crock pot obsessed!

DIY oatmeal packets

Oatmeal is back!! Honestly, it’s the perfect snack. It’s transportable, cooks in minutes, is super filling and can be flavored an infinite number of ways. And I love it.

So my morning routine has been going like this – wake up at 5:30 a.m., go to the gym, come home and shower and eat breakfast and get on the train. An hour and a half later I’m at work and that’s when I have my coffee and face the vending machines.

Have I not told you about the vending machines?

My office has two – TWO!! – free vending machines. One is stocked with soda and yogurt (super sugary and processed light & fit and dannon…sadly no plain chobani or fage) and the other is cereal, oatmeal, Clif bars, Kind bars, fruit snacks and candy. They are not the evilest of vending machines, but I always find myself wanting a snack when I get into work as everyone else eats their vending machine breakfasts.

This week I decided to have a lower calorie breakfast before I got on the train and then 1/2 cup of oatmeal when I got into work to keep the morning munchies at bay.

 

I pinned this forever ago and have been waiting for a reason to use the idea. I fill a Ziploc back with 40 g (1/2 cup) of oats and cinnamon and stevia and then when I get to work dump it in my mug with some water to heat in the microwave. The super awesome version of this is using cocoa powder instead of cinnamon. Chocolate oats. Mmmmm.

Lastly, Stove-top (and healthy!) hot cocoa

This weekend’s snow brought with it memories from my childhood of playing for hours outside and then coming in and defrosting with a cup of hot chocolate.

Not the good stovetop version with milk and marshmallows, however. My Weight Watchers obsessed mother made hot chocolate with water in the microwave….and didn’t use the whole packet of low fat Swiss Miss. Are you feeling deprived just reading this?

My version is simple and delicious and only 80 calories:

  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 packet of stevia

Put all of the ingredients in a pot and whisk over medium heat until it starts to simmer.

This drink is comforting after a long commute and totally makes up for the years of terrible watery hot chocolate.

Now, the numbers…

Starting weight: 243
Last week: 161.5
This week:
161.5
Total lost: 81.5

Click here for every weigh in, ever.

 

 

 

How big change happens

One pound at a time.

One battle with binge eating at a time.

One workout at a time.

One healthy decision at a time.

One meal at a time.

One bite at a time.

One act of self-care at a time.

One breathe at a time.

One step at a time.

One grateful thought a time.

Weigh-in Wednesday

Weigh-in Wednesday is back! I’m excited to start this tradition up again on the blog to keep me motivated while I get to my goal of losing 100 pounds.

It’s such a a puzzle to me how for 2 years I lost weight steadily and then BOOM one day it just stopped.

Six months later, I’m confused, frustrated, upset. But to move on I have to put all that behind me now and go forward without beating myself up for the last six months of “no progress.”

This is my damn weight loss adventure and I will not be held back by thinking it should have been further along by now.

I still have so much to learn and I’m going to learn it one pound at a time.

Truth be told, I have no idea why I stopped losing weight but I’m done thinking about it. The past is the past.

I will reach my goals. I will be successful.

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. When there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

Now, the numbers…

Starting weight: 243
This week: 161.5
Total lost: 81.5

Click here for every weigh in, ever.

Mix and match moves

Getting up at 5:30 a.m. to go to the gym is not easy.

Ever.

I’m going on my third week of this routine, fueled by the fact that every time I leave the gym I feel absolutely invincible.

Begrudgingly, I’m a morning person. I love being with the morning gym crowd. I love waking up on the treadmill. I love knowing that after work, I can come home and watch as much West Wing as I want without guilt.

I have a pretty simple gym routine that gets me in and out in about 45 minutes feeling accomplished.

For the first 20-30 minutes I warm up with some brisk walking on the treadmill. Sometimes I turn up the incline, sometimes I run for 10-15 minutes, but most days it’s just walking.

I follow this up with a lot of stretching and then weights and abs. I don’t really follow a routine, but I have a few moves that I love that I feel like give me a great workout.

total body workout

Every day I pick a few different moves so I’m not overworking anything, ending each session with a plank and some breathing in child’s pose.

Before I started working with my trainer I thought that every workout had to leave me exhausted, but now I know that just a combination of simple moves can be just as effective for getting and staying in shape.

In college I took a few yoga classes and there was one teacher who would always tell us just to “do whatever feels delicious to your body” and it’s a concept I’ve carried with me.

Even though I’ve been going at this weight loss thing for over two years, working out consistently still sometimes feels new and intimidating and strange so I think back to that yoga teacher whenever I can sense myself getting overwhelmed.

It’s a requirement for me that everything I’m doing to lose weight be sustainable for the long term, and having a core set of moves that both challenges and energizes my body fits right in.

Happy, delicious Monday!

 

100 or bust

Hi friends,

I’ve been terrible at blogging lately.
But today is Feb 1. and all that is about to change.

On July 1 I will be moving out of my apartment. My apartment where I learned to cook. Where I began going to the gym and being active and where I changed my life.

I also am 20 pounds away from my goal of 100 lost and where science says is a healthy weight for my body.

I want to reach that by the time I move out of my apartment.

That’s one pound a week. It’s doable, but considering that over the last six months I’ve gained and lost the same five pounds over and over it seems really difficult.

I need all the support I can get.

Weekly weigh-ins will start again next week.

I’ve been going to the gym regularly again but I know this will come down to food for me.

As of today I will be telling everyone about my goal. There is nothing more important to me than my health and I’m ready to put it first it my life.

Losing so much weight already, I have a feeling of “I know how to do this” but honestly these last pounds to 100 feel more difficult than when I first started losing weight.

This is for me. This is for my future. And this is for living every moment of my present the best way possible.

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