Thursday, September 11, 2014
Yesterday I participated in the Black Panther Pirate Challenge. As usual, the activity was very enlightening. All of the activities were fairly easy for me except the one of planning all of my eating in advance. I did it, but found that the style of planning was not for me. Everyone has different things that work, and I believe there was a time where the activity of pre-planning meals would have been valuable to me, but not at this point. I just found it frustrating. I like to develop my menu sides as I go. Generally I only have a general idea of my main course and work from there. I missed the creativity yesterday.
The planning process took a lot of time that I could be doing other things instead and I ended up eating two snacks (even though very healthy) that I didn't really want to eat at the time. I realized while participating in this challenge that I plan differently. Since I have been on the Dr. Furhman eating style I no longer have to track food anymore. I only eat when I am hungry most of the time. Since I went on the diet I have only gained a pound or two a few times and took it off quickly after. During this process I have been able to lose about 34 pounds now and keep it off. I have enjoyed not having to track food carefully. As long as I eat what is allowed on the eating plan I have no problem as Dr. Furhman says. The only thing I really have to be careful of is nuts. Those have to be limited, along with a smaller serving size of a few vegetables.
At this point I know the diet very well. It is second nature. Recently I have developed what I call a "Chopped" style of menu planning. In the TV show Chopped contestants prepare an appetizer, entree, or dessert featuring what is in a basket. They can use limited other items from a pantry and fridge, but the main ingredients have to be from the basket. There are some really strange combinations. I love watching the show and seeing what people dream up. In the process I have learned a lot and become quite adventuresome in my cooking.
My basket is my pantry, garden, and refrigerator. I let it control my food preparation. I see what is in it that needs to be used up before spoiling and plan an entree around it. Usually I google the ingredient with other items I have and see what recipes come up. I choose one that fits my eating style and make that. It is surprising what strange combinations of ingredients will bring up delicious recipies on google. Lately I find that I often skip the google step and just put things together that I think might be good. For example for lunch today I have a small container of beans and edemame with a little brown rice in the fridge so I put in more beans that I cooked from dried yesterday for the challenge, heated this mixture up, and added a tsp of Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dip that I got at Trader Joe's. It was a delicious and healthy lunch.
I highly recommend this dip. They were tasting it as Trader Joe's last time I was there and I was highly impressed. I love jalapeno. A serving size is 2 tablespoons and has 50 calories, 4.5g total fat, 3g saturated fat, no Transfat, Cholest. 20mg, sodium 120mg, Total Carb. 2g, Fiber 0, Sugar 1g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 4%, and Calcium 2%. Generally I only use a tsp for seasoning in foods I make so we are talking about less than 8.5 calories for something extremely delicious on my food. When I am feeling really bad I eat the entire 2 TB by dipping it with veggies. I'm now thinking of adding a little almond milk to thin it out a little and use it for a salad dressing.
I think I am really going to enjoy being part of the Panther Pride. You have to experience new things to know what does and does not work for you. I want to thank those creating these challenges for doing so. The one day challenge this week was a good idea. If I had to plan meals all week I would not have continued to participate.
Another part of the challenge was to do a plank. I knew I was not very good at it but when I tried it I found it impossible to do for me. When I tried doing it from the recommended lying down position as soon as I started raising I had a terrible stabbing pain in my hips and upper thigh and I could not continue. I looked up the modified plank but found it still had the same result. I was able to substitute another exercise for it for the challenge, but it became a challenge to me to find out WHY I could not do it.
I thought I had done something like it in a yoga class. Serendipitously, today I was watching a yoga class video from grokker.com and the instructor did a plank. I knew immediately the reason I was not able to do the planks on Spark. This plant started in a downward dog position where your feet and hands are on the ground with the butt up in the air. From there she just schooched her legs back a little at a time one by one until she was in plank position. I tried it and it worked. I did not have difficulty holding the position but just getting into the position. I plan to add that plank routine into my fitness regime for the next few weeks and possibly longer. I did not give up.
If you are part of a challenge, or just meeting the challenges of life, don't give up. There is something that works for you and you just have to discover it. Learn from the experience and adapt it to your own lifestyle. For me it has been Dr. Furhman eating style for the nutrition part and I think it is now becoming Black Panther knowledge for the fitness part. In the last couple of weeks I have really progressed quickly in the fitness category. I find myself inventing movements all day long that add to my fitness along with the strength training I do. I can't seem to get enough exercise. This is all since joining the Panthers.
I read in a link in a Panther Pride blog today that panthers are intuitive and artistic. I think that explains why I am enjoying the group so much and why my intuitive nature fits in so well. Go Black Panthers. Let's win this season of Biggest Loser!