Sunday, November 15, 2009
Most people like to rebel against their parents. I've already mentioned not looking like my mother was a motivation for my weight loss. My parents were also big tea drinkers. They think it can cure anything that ails you. I hated tea growing up -- tasted like hot water to me.
When I first found out I had high cholesterol (which does NOT run in my family), I decided to start drinking green tea. It took me a while to find one I liked, but I discovered a love of chai, specifically Stash Green Chai. Eventually I moved on to Republic of Tea's Green Chai. From there I started to drink Rooibus (pronounced Roy-bus, or red tea). It's supposed to be full of antioxidants, too, but I drink it for the taste. I enjoy my rooibus teas with some soymilk, and that's why it often looks like coffee (heaven forbid! Yuck!) in my photos.
Republic of Tea makes a Rooibus Chai, which I enjoy, and as I've mentioned recently, they have a Yerba Mate Latte I also enjoy (chocolatey), a double chocolate mate, and coconut cocoa teas.
I don't like my tea piping hot. I enjoy it just warm enough so that it warms my hands when I wrap them around a mug in the morning (take that you cofffee drinkers -- hey, hot cocoa works for that, too). Which is why I add a little milk (even if that does cut down on the antioxidants power).
But sometimes I don't get it quite right. Sometimes I brew the perfect cup of tea, and it's just indulgent. Sometimes I use too much water and the flavor is watered down. Sometimes I don't use enough water and the end result is a not-warm-enough mug of tea.
Weight loss is like that, too. Some weeks are just perfect. Others don't go so well -- we might get the munchies, or we're too busy to get all our exercise in. But no matter how my week has gone, I think about it, regroup, maybe make some changes, and just keep slogging away at it. Just like I make myself a cup of tea every morning, summer or winter alike.
I started out yesterday with a slice of pumpkin kugel. Seriously, where did the pumpkin go? You just don't taste it. I snacked on roasted chickpeas before heading out to do some shopping, some errands, and my artist's date, which once again was wandering around Target. Next week's artist date is planned to be wandering around the library -- gotta get away from those stores!
I got about 3000 steps wandering around. Normally I might've gotten almost double that amount, but I didn't want to wander around as much between stores because of the rain. My blog yesterday was rather ironic, because it really didn't stop raining until after dog. The dogs missed their walk yesterday.
I decided to take a rest day. Other than my wandering shopping, I did no exercise. I actually was rather active, but definitely didn't make my 10,000 steps. I find it really hard to take a whole rest day. I'm so used to walking the dogs as part of my exercise program. My head knows that missing one day won't kill me, but sometimes we don't listen to our heads.
Anyway, it was a late lunch of another avocado wrap.
DH did cook dinner. This was the honey curry chicken from this month's O magazine (very good). He heated up some of my roasted veggies for me (I try to make it easy on him, but you certainly wouldn't know that from his attitude), and he made one of my potato smashers that we split.
Dessert were a few Lindt chocolates and some obviously unpictured dried papaya chunks. Seriously, I need to find me some tiny plates. Don't those chocolates look a little lonely? I would have used a smaller plate for dinner, too, but DH was plating it.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Today is one of those rare days: raining. Really coming down. Unfortunately, it started about the time I got up, way before I could get the dogs out.
Pre-dogs, I'd probably complain about a day like today. Or just curl up and stay in bed. One thing living with dogs has taught me is it's the rare day there isn't a break in the clouds. We may think it's raining all the time, but the reality is it isn't. Or maybe it's just getting us ready for Seattle!
I don't really mind going out with the dogs in bad weather that much -- unless they just sit there and do nothing. Some dogs (think big black labs) really love the rain. My guys not so much. Lola refused to even set foot out this morning. Chester went, and he did his business, but he made it clear he really didn't want to.
My point, tho, is that we need to concentrate on the positive, not the negative, and there are always positives out there. Didn't lose weight or gained? You learned something. Maybe you really don't need that extra cookie or all that pasta. Or maybe you just need to be patient. No matter what, gaining or maintaining can actually teach you more than losing. Didn't lose as much as you want? Maybe you need to move a little more. Eat more. Eat more of the right stuff. Concentrate on what you can have, not what you can't.
Started my day with oatmeal again. I actually do miss it when I don't have it! If only I could eat oatmeal and still have other stuff with it. Oh well.
Because the avocado I used for my sushi was just so perfect, I didn't want to let it go to waste. So I made a very simple avocado wrap: ezekiel wrap, a few pieces of romaine lettuce, and the avocado. Plus some mozzarella. I tried a new brand this week, and really didn't like it. No flavor and just doesn't melt well. I toasted the ezekiel wrap with the mozzarella in there, and then just added the veggies. Baby carrots on the side. Adora for dessert.
I finally did get around to trying my pink monster. 1 cup soymilk, 1 banana (frozen), 1 scoop Amazing Grass chocolate superfood, 1 1/2 cups kale, and 1 beet. Looks so pretty, doesn't it? It tasted good at first sip, but had a weird aftertaste. I might try it again just to see if that's just the way it tastes -- maybe I'll try to the pre-roasted beets from Melissa (I did have some trouble totally removing the skin, so maybe that's it).
Dinner was the leftover potato chowder; it tasted better the second time around.
I also spent some of the afternoon making up some more home made larabars and some raw chocolate chip cookie dough (recipe: ohsheglows.com/2009/05/03/raw-chocol
ate-chip-cookies/ ). Only I didn't make the chocolate chips, just used real ones.
Not really quite sure how I felt about this (and looking up the recipe, wouldn't you know I came across that microwave apple crisp recipe I was looking for? Got it right, as it turns out). It hit the spot, but didn't really remind my cookie dough.
It was a raw kind of day. Mostly, anyway. I always feel so good when I get in plenty of veggies. Smoothies really help (I know, how odd is that?) -- I'll miss them while I'm out of town.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I have never considered myself to be a depressed person, yet I realize that in many ways, I seemed as though I was asleep until the last year or so. Despite moving somewhere I don't want to live, leaving the house I loved, not being able to continue with some of the activities I loved (like agility) -- for now, I think I'm happier than I've been in a long time.
I would like to say that being thinner isn't the reason, but the truth is it is -- altho the truth is a tricky thing, isn't it? It's not really that simple.
I'm happier because to get thin, I've taken a good, hard look at myself. It's not just about what I eat, altho you are what you eat, and if you're eating crap, you'll feel like crap -- THAT really is that simple.
I realized that to get thin I had to remember to do the stuff I love. It must be easy for me, you'd think, since I don't have kids and I don't at the moment work. I don't work at a job, but my animals are my kids and I spend more time with them than a lot of people do with their kids! I train them, I walk the dogs, I make their food -- they easily take up a few hours a day.
I haven't quite gotten back to all the things I love, but I'm working my way there.
I am happy, most of the time, because -- well, why not? What's the alternative? No one likes to be unhappy. It sure doesn't feel good. I have my stressors, just like the next person -- well, maybe not like the next person, in many ways I do have it good, but that doesn't mean I lead a stress free life.
Sure, I get mad & sad sometimes. And I allow myself to feel these feelings. And then I move on.
Nowadays I like what I see in the mirror, even if the scale keeps playing with the same few pounds and I'd really, really like to stop paying for WW and I really could still stand to lose another 20 lbs (altho I'm only planning on another 10). I dress better -- altho that's also something I have to mindful of. I deserved new clothes, but shopping can be an addiction, too, and while I'm not there, I know I need to watch it.
I still need some more cold weather clothes, tho. Some of my nice acrylic sweaters are too big for me now, and they really aren't all that flattering. I haven't been having much luck with finding new ones at a price I'm willing to pay yet, so I may just have to settle for a while. Shopping is great for getting my steps in, but not so great for my pocketbook.
I've also begun to wear makeup more often. I've always had an on-again, off-again love affair with makeup. But I'm sure it's no coincidence that I want to make the thinner me look as good as possible.
So yes, I really do feel a bit like sleeping beauty. Only I didn't need a prince to wake me.
And because people love to laugh at human moments in others, I thought I'd share this. I have a small basket in my kitchen for my keys, but sometimes they end up somewhere else and it takes a while to find them.
Yesterday I couldn't find my house keys (yes, there are 3) before my meeting. So I went anyway, just left the door between the house and the garage unlocked.
It really bothered me, because it wasn't as if it had been hours since I used them. I knew exactly the last time I'd used them: I walked the dogs, and used them to open the back door to get back in. Then I went upstairs and change, and then I couldn't find them.
I looked in all the places I thought they might be: on top of the plastic stacking container where we keep the leash & harnesses. By my computer. In my pocketbook. On my nightstand. In the pockets of the fleece I was wearing. All the usual suspects.
I couldn't find them, even hours later. Until I went to take the dogs for their afternoon walk. As I opened the drawer where I keep my gloves, I thought maybe they're here . . . and sure enough they were. Apparently I must have dropped them in there when I took off my gloves!
WI day. A breakfast of a vitatop with 1 tbsp almond butter. I took along my homemade larabar for a snack (those are so good, and so filling -- just google larabar recipes and you'll find plenty).
So this is Annie Chun's sushi making kit.
It provides you with the rice (which you microwave), and the nori wrappers presliced for individual pieces of sushi. You provide the filling (avocado and cucumber, as shown here). I even already had this tiny sushi rolling mat (which you supposedly don't need, and I guess I really didn't as it didn't seem to work anyway).
They also don't tell you to soak the nori sheets to soften them, but I did.
And this was the result. Sushi salad. Those things just wouldn't roll, no how, no way. I read a bunch of reviews on the product -- after buying it, of course -- and most people really loved it. The kit cost $3.95. Quite frankly, I could've bought veggie sushi for just about the price (when you factor in the avocado). I should've saved my wasabi from yesterday's sushi, too; that would have helped.
I don't think I'll be trying it again. But I must say I was really stuffed afterwards. I didn't have any protein at all, so I worried I'd be hungry -- but it makes 2 servings and I ate it all. And then had a slice of the chocolate pumpkin pie.
I had every intention of making a pink monster as a snack yesterday, but was never hungry so I didn't obviously.
Dinner was an Amy's Margherita pizza with baby carrots. I know, a big processed food day. It happens once in a while, what can I say?
And speaking of not being able to find things when you want to . . . I read more than one foodie's blog about microwave apple crisp. It involved granola, apples, and almond milk, and that's all I could remember.
So I cut up an apple, drizzled it with some honey, cinnamon, and some almond mile, and microwaved it for 3 minutes. Then crushed up some multigrain flakes instead of the granola to top it.
I'm not a big fan of cooking stuff in the microwave anymore. This took quite a few minutes to cool down before I could eat it without burning something. It was soft and cinnamon-y, but it wasn't really apple crisp. It was just ok. Maybe I missed a step somewhere. I just couldn't find the "recipe" when I wanted to.
I just read that wheat germ is supposed to help you with stress, so I'm gonna put some wheat germ in today's oatmeal . . .
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Unless, of course, you count the tiny bit up. Truly, I felt I had a good week of eating, tending to my spirit, and exercise, despite feeling a bit eh for a few days. It would have been really nice to be rewarded with at least a small loss, but such is life. I know it will come.
My healthy habits challenge is going well. Hit all my goals the first week, and am on my way for the second week. The dogs are getting trained more, I'm getting a bit more knitting done, and I'm eating more fruits and veggies. Those green monsters really come in handy for those fruits and veggies (and today I'll try out the pink monster -- should be interesting).
This week will be hectic. Have some baking to do; must make the traditional corn buns. DH has agreed to cook dinner once a month in exchange for not going out to eat out that week. We used to have a deal that he'd cook one night on the weekends, but that fizzled quickly. I'm hoping he can deal with once a month. And hoping my waistline can deal with whatever concoctions he comes up with -- he hates having to cook healthy (hello, but you like a slender wife? What's up with that?).
Have to start packing again (we leave next Saturday), get all the food prepared for the animals, decide on what food to bring with me. I also need to ponder just how to adapt my healthy habits challenge for the week we'll be away. The knitting will probably be easy, as I've mentioned, the exercising may be a challenge. And of course there will be no dogs to train. I would love to just maintain over this next vacation, but so much of the food prep will be out of my hands -- it's a challenge, to be sure. That's life.
It's also interesting that I was very tired Monday, didn't feel so well on Tuesday, and still wasn't feeling 100% yesterday (am fine today). My niece was getting over a cold this weekend. I wonder if that was just my immune system fighting off whatever bug she brought to the table? If I would have gotten sick if I'd made poor food choices? We'll never know.
Yesterday started with oatmeal. It's so comforting!
After walking the dogs I bagged leaves for about half an hour. It was about 10:30 when I got in, and I knew I'd never make it to lunch without something -- especially considering I actually had to make something for lunch.
I admit it: IDI (I Deserve It) syndrome kicked in a bit and I went for a Luna Bar. I don't eat them so often anymore, and consider they to be more a treat than a protein bar. And I knew I'd be running later that day. Thankfully, because if Tuesday had been my run day, I really didn't feel up to it.
I made the last of my roasted red pepper sandwiches (finished off the jar of peppers). Threw in some asparagus for good measure. And made the beet salad from one of the WW booklets.
The salad was interesting -- but I think maybe the red onions were a little overpowering for it. I loved how the tangerine picked up a pink hue from the beets -- so pretty! A very satisfying lunch, and I always just feel so good when I get lots of veggies in. BTW, I pick out most of hte insides of the bread, so while it looks like a huge amount, it's really not so bad (the better to stuff veggies in there, too).
I finished off the previous day's green monster after my run. I did the 3 minute jog/1 minute walk routine for 3.29 miles in 45 minutes -- which is a PR for me. Sad, I know, but I still feel really good about it. The trainer in DietTribe happened to say last week that a normal person can run a 5k in 25-35 minutes; of course, my husband would be happy to tell you I'm not normal.
I made the potato chowder from the WW week 1 booklet for dinner. It was ok, but quite filling. I know it looks like I spent my life in the kitchen yesterday, but in reality, the prep work for lunch and dinner was about 30 minutes each, and the cooking time was pretty low. Isn't your health worth an hour of cooking a day?
1 square of Lindt Fleur de Sel and a few chunks of dried papaya for dessert. Dried fruit can be so addicitive . . . which reminds me I got more dried figs this week -- gotta dip those bad boys in some chocolate at some point!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Today's blog subject comes straight to you from DH. It's all to easy to both underestimate the amount of food we eat (he has a tendency to eat things straight from the bag without worrying about portion sizes -- can't be bothered) and overestimate the amount of exercise we get.
He tells me all the time that I'd be surprised at how much he really walks around. And he's so proud of himself (and exhausted) when he mows the lawn. He mowed the front and side to mulch up the last straggler leaves (I'm still raking up the back). He finally remembered to wear his pedometer (which he didn't take to Europe, and hasn't been wearing much lately -- nor has he been walking the dogs. At all. Except once in a blue moon. And he wonders why Chester doesn't want to walk with him).
Any guesses on how many steps that was? 4000. I'm sure he thought for sure he was walking miles and miles (we have about half an acre).
I can't convince him that it's about getting more steps into your daily activities, either. I parked in the garage yesterday, but pulled up a bit too close to the freezer (which is on the side). I simply walked around the car to deposit my groceries into the freezer. No biggie.
He ended up moving my car.
A healthy lifestyle isn't about exercising like a maniac at the gym for an hour and then coming home and being a total couch potato. It's about trying to sneak movement into your day wherever you can.
Because I knew I was having spaghetti & meatballs for dinner, I wanted a lighter breakfast. So I had a nice big bowl of the multigrain flakes. I was afraid I'd be hungry, but I wasn't feeling so good and it held me over til my snack.
I had planned to have a homemade larabar as a snack, but since I wasn't feeling well, decided I needed even better nutrition than that and went with a green monster. This one had 2 cups of soymilk, 3 cups of kale, 1 banana, 1 acai packet, some agave nectar, and a couple of scoops of Amazing grass chocolate superfood. I wanted to put in blueberries, but didn't have any -- but then came across my acai packets -- perfect (the frozen ones from Sambazon).
Since that made a huge amount, I'll have some for a snack today, too. I was feeling pretty shaky after walking the dogs, and still had a lot to get done today, and this really helped.
Sushi for lunch. From the grocery store. It's not Whole Foods (they had such awesome sushi), but it's affordable. With seaweed salad. Usually I just have some baby carrots with it, but decided to spring for the seaweed salad this time. I make my own occasionally, too.
I had a late lunch, and was pretty stuffed afterwards. Had whole wheat spaghetti with home made marinara sauce and veggie meatballs. Altho it's been warm the last couple of days, it cooled down as I was bagging leaves, so this really hit the spot.
Dessert was a couple of pieces of dried papaya, a vitabrownie, and some coconut cocoa tea. I think I did pretty well getting healthy food in. Didn't make me feel better, but at least I wasn't feeling worse, aka pretty sure it's not swine flu, for instance.
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