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A healthy relationship with food

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Or why pizza before WIs is a bad idea. Actually, I had a good WI -- lost almost a pound. Still on this plateau, still waiting to move my ticker again. It will happen.

The last few days before going away are always busy, and because this trip comes so close on the heels of the last trip, I feel more behind than usual, altho oddly maybe less stressed about it. I know I will get it all done; I always do. Whether or not I'm stressed on Saturday is anybody's guess (probably).

I have been feeling eh off & on the last couple of weeks. Most of the time I feel perfectly fine -- sometimes with greater energy & a better attitude than normal -- and then I'll have a day or too when I feel like I have a bit of a temp, a scratchy throat -- and then it just all goes away. For which I'm extremely grateful. Few things worse than traveling while sick.

Last night I had dinner planned. Fish. But by the time dinnertime rolled around, I was just too tired, even tho it really didn't require much prep. And so we ordered a pizza. The night before a WI. Again.

And that's where the healthy attitude toward food comes in. It really shouldn't matter (much, anyway) what I eat the night before I weigh in -- or that morning, for that matter. If I'm eating healthy most of the time, which I do, it all balances out. True, a high sodium meal the night before a WI will play havoc with your weight. Other than the cheese, pizza isn't that bad. At least, if you eat veggie pizza (or even white pizzas) like I do. Pepperoni could definitely do nasty things to you.

Yet I still drink just a little less on the mornings of my WIs. I have a lighter breakfast than normal. It's an attitude I'm trying to move away from, but it's hard. Especially when trying to get these last 10 (or 9, or 8, depending on the week) pounds off.

I had the munchies on and off this week, too -- who knew cereal could pose a bigger stumbling block to my healthy eating habits than chocolate? At least the cereal is gone now, and the chocolate I no longer have trouble controlling my portion sizes (wasn't always the case by any means).

And I apologize for no food pictures today. I took them, I just didn't have time to sit down and organize them today, and DH will be home soon and he'll want to be on his computer. We both have our own computer, but this office is just a little bit too small for 2 chairs! It's a pain. My old office could easily accommodate both of us at the same time.

We also did an exercise at our WW meeting this week (we do this every year). You decide how many points you want to spend on Thanksgiving dinner. Then you decide what you're going to have. Then the leader reveals how many points are in common Thanksgiving foods. I was actually right on! Turkey, veggies, some form of sweet potato, and a slice of pumpkin pie. The only problem, of course, is that I have no idea what will be on the menu. Thankfully we leave the next day, very early in the morning (and will stay at a hotel that night so my SIL doesn't have to get up early to drive us to the airport) -- so no dealing with leftovers.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARBIE18 11/20/2009 7:06AM

    I hope you get rid of whatever it is that's been making you feel eh. I know darn well you take good care of yourself, so I'm sure that's not it. Glad to hear you're not too stressed about your trip. As you know, that doesn't help anything. I second the recommendation for rest. Maybe that's what's missing?

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KEAKMAN 11/19/2009 6:18PM

    Are you okay? You have been blah and even sick off and on since you returned from Europe and I worry that you are dealing with some sort of low-grade infection (I know, I worry too much!) But I do hope you are well and not coming down with or fighting some evil disease. Hope you get some rest before you hit the in-laws. Sounds like you won't get a lot of shut-eye and/or true rest while you are there!

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The reluctant runner

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yup, that's me. If by some miracle I could burn the same number of calories & get the same number of steps in the same amount of time by walking rather than running, I'd never run another step again. It is something I have to push myself to do. Again and again and again.

Everytime I read a blog by someone saying how hard it was for them to run, how they kept looking at their watch, I'm happy. To know that I'm not alone. Only most of them go on to really enjoy running. Most days I'm still watching the clock.

I am getting faster (for me) and clocking more miles (altho my weekly miles are still some people's daily run!), but it just never seems to get any easier.

I am not a believer in "no pain, no gain", so why the heck would I keep doing something that isn't fun to me? It's partly for the challenge. To actually see myself get faster, get stronger, be able to run longer and farther. It's partly because I really need something that works me hard and doesn't take up quite so much time. It's partly because I like the way it's changing my body. And it is partly because I do feel good afterwards.

My hat is off to all of you that really enjoy running. Especially the ones that are still carrying around a lot of weight. I really don't know how you do it. I don't think I would have really begun to run consistently if I were still very heavy -- much too difficult, much to uncomfortable.

There is a running group here that seems very active (anyone familiar with the Albany Running Exchange? Is it worthwhile?). I am still reluctant to run outside, much less run in a group. Too afraid of being too slow -- that old last one picked for the team syndrome, I guess. And, of course, it's actually easier to run inside, on my treadmill. Still, I'm thinking of joining up with them in the spring. It makes little sense to do it now when the snow will be flying soon (we have started to put out shovels just about everywhere).

Yesterday, btw, I had to work out in front of my husband. He came home early from work to work a little from home (had to go to a different site, and didn't want to go all the way back to his office afterwards). He'd parked himself in the family room, which ironically is where I exercise because a) it's carpeted and b) it won't disturb him in the mornings.

I really couldn't wait til later, so I sucked it up and did it. Even tho he almost got a kettlebell dropped on his head a time or two because of sarcastic remarks. At dinner, tho, he out of the blue said what I'm doing is working . . . said that I looked good from the back.


Breakfast, naturally was oatmeal. A chocolate coconut home made larabar as a snack. This one needs some adjustments: it was a bit crumbly (not sure why) and needs more cocoa, because it sure wasn't as intensely chocolate as the actual chocolate coconut larabars. I forgot to take a photo, but since I didn't get home from grocery shopping to almost noon, I was sure glad I had it.

We don't have a Trader Joe's, or a Whole Foods, or really anything like that anywhere close (and I miss Whole Foods & Central Market). They're building a Fresh Market close to my home, and I am excited by that.

We do have a co-op where I shop at about once a month. They make these awesome veggie sandwiches. I don't know why it's so much better when someone else makes it, but it just is. They're humongous, too, so I only eat half at a time.

An apple and piece of adora for dessert.

I had planned to make fish for dinner. But it was a chilly, albeit sunny, day, and the fish I bought were frozen, so I chose to make the Cocoa Coconut Chili from Dreena Burton's "Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan".

Of course, I topped it with a dollop of greek yogurt and some grated cheddar cheese, so it became veggie chili, not vegan. But oh so good. My husband was looking for the meat, but he still seemed to enjoy it. It was more soupy than I'd like, tho; not quite sure what to do about that. Less tomatoes? More cooking time? Altho I let it bubble for about an hour after we ate, and it still seemed rather soupy.

I'd planned to have popcorn afterwards, but didn't feel like it in the end and had 1 piece of dark chocolate mousse bar and 1 piece of chocolate hazelnut bar.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/18/2009 8:20PM

    When you talk about your running, I always feel like trying to run - thanks for the inspiration :)

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KEAKMAN 11/18/2009 5:38PM

    Try the running group. The one that I run with nearby has a HUGE variety of runners...some are fast, then there are us slowpokes. But running with others is AMAZING! I didn't think I would like it, but now I realize what I am missing! Give 'em a try!

(sorry I have missed you.....I seem to have "lost" your blogs a little while ago, but I am a faithful subscriber again!)

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SUGIRL06 11/18/2009 7:31AM

    I totally can relate! But I have to say, my love of running skyrocketed when I started running outside. All of the sudden, it clicked. Like "wow this is what runners really feel like." There is a sense of freedom outside. There is no clock to stare at (I don't wear a watch although I could look at the time on my ipod if I really wanted to). You don't know how far you've gone or how much farther you have to go so you just keep going. All the while, you have plenty of distractions. Some nice like birds, animals, people cleaning their yards. Then you are woken out of your trance by the $#@% who just drove by you on a back rode at 60mph, 2 feet from you. Haha! I have to say, I looooath running on a treadmill, but you let me go outside and I'm happy as a clam! Maybe on a non-snowy day, you can try it outside or you will just have to wait until spring! I think you will learn to like running a lot better!!!

PS. The food looks yummy!!!

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HEALTH4LYFE 11/18/2009 6:57AM

    I didn't think I would like running. Used to only run inside on a treadmill, watching TV or listening to music. Now, I can't stand to run on the treadmill (boring), and maybe that's why you don't like it? So much prefer the outside and I am able to do so much longer and further.
Living in Albany would prevent you from running outside because of the weather at times. Do you live near a college where there may be an indoor track? Is that an option for you? This may give you a change of pace while not discouraging you from running because of the snow, cold weather, ice...etc.
And, if you can, before the weather gets too cold, try running a mile and a half or so outside, by yourself and seeing if you like it. The first mile for me is the most laborious, but once I've passed that, I'm usually good to go. You may find you enjoy running when it's on a different surface.
And to heck with what other people think. It's so much more important what YOU think!
Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 11/18/2009 6:29AM

    My cousin runs marathons and she said the first 3 miles are the worst. After mile three you fly. Not sure where about that. 4 is the furthest that I have run.
I am proud of you. You are doing such a great job and the compliment from the husband is the cherry on the cake!!!
:) Jeanne

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SEKSUNSHINE 11/18/2009 6:04AM

    It's sounds like the compliment was worth the "supervised" work out! My hat's off to you for even trying to run. I only run if I don't want to get caught in a down pour and then I better not have to do if for very far!

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Would you eat broccoli?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I have heard, in more than one place, that if you wouldn't sit down and have an apple or some veggies, then you're not really hungry. In other words, if you're truly hungry, you'd be willing to eat healthy food. If all you want is salty or sweet foods, then it isn't true hunger.

If only life were that simple, eh?

Sunday night I was truly hungry. But I sure didn't want a bowl of broccoli, either. Don't get me wrong, I happen to love broccoli (which reminds me I ought to get out of my brussel sprouts rut -- OTOH, I did buy a head of cauliflower to roast).

Would broccoli have filled me up? Absolutely. Would it have satisfied me? No way.

I think the real trick is to learn to really listen to what your body wants, and that's hard. I have come a long way in that department, but sometimes I'm still kind of deaf. Sometimes half a corn bun just magically jump into my mouth. And the only times I feel guilty about that is when I'm eating it furtively. You know, standing up in the kitchen, snatching a little piece here, a little piece there. It still happens, but thankfully not real often.

Not like last night, for instance. When my husband came upstairs after dinner, i told him I was eating my chocolate. In peace (because he always has to have the tv on and it drives me absolutely batty). He got it, and we didn't turn on that tv until I was finished.


A better eating day. Not perfect, but no foods just jumped into my mouth today. Started the day with oatmeal.

What do you do when you only have 1 slice of pizza? Finish off your beet salad first, naturally. Aren't the pink clementine slices pretty?

Sorry if I start you drooling! There are a lot of local pizza joints here, and we've made it our mission to try all the ones that deliver. Maybe 4 or 5 places so far, with more to go. This place has my favorite white pizza.

But I must admit, after that beet salad and 1 slice of white pizza I was still hungry.

Not too long afterwards I had a raw chocolate chip cookie (no, once again, not the real kind with butter & eggs, but raw as in mostly nuts) for a pre-run snack. Maybe I'm onto something there, because I didn't get any stitches this time and the run seemed just a little easier.

I'd meant to have a green monster post-workout, but I guess that will have to wait for another day. I'd also meant to take a photo, but forgot. These things are growing on me.

Dinner was spaghetti & veggie meatballs. Dessert was a really delicious golden delicious apple, plus about a square & a half of Lindt Fleur de Sel (had to finish off the box, you know).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 11/17/2009 8:30PM

    I have a tendency to eat more veggies than protein...in fact that is an ongoing problem for me but you are soooooo right, sometimes satisfaction and hunger are not connected and it is one of those difficult things to learn to listen to what your body is really telling you. I could eat your beet salad right now though and be very satisfied!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/17/2009 7:07AM

    Yum, I love beets. I baffled my SO by eating mostly asparagus for dinner. It's what I WANTED!

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SEKSUNSHINE 11/17/2009 6:59AM

    I don't know how many times I have used that line about being hungry. When one of the family wonders into the kitchen looking for something and I tell them there are apples, pears, bananas, etc. I get, I don't want that with this nasty look on their face, and I reply if you were really hungry you would eat one of those.

The beets are very pretty!

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FITKAT2010 11/17/2009 5:40AM

    Well, I hope you are using the Nutrition Tracker. It's a real eye opener.

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Thanksgiving traditions

Monday, November 16, 2009

That's what our WW meeting was about this week. Not about the food, but what we can do to take the emphasis off the food.

One new tradition I might have embraced if we were here is the Turkey Trot. Especially after our meeting -- because my leader happens to be a runner, and she said how fun it is. And that there's lots and lots of people.

Now, I'm sure there's a Turkey Trot somewhere in Seattle. And my BIL happens to be a runner. But have I mentioned that he's a toothpick? And has been running a long time? I'd frankly be too intimidated to even mention it. Bad me, I know, but there you go.

Not that I would really have gotten the chance if we'd stayed home, either. Because I probably would have stayed with my parents and gone to my cousin's (which is almost a 3 hour drive from us).

We don't really have any Thanksgiving traditions, other than my corn buns (see my food blog below). And that's because we've done many different things over the years. Sometimes we've gone to my parents, because Thanksgiving was my mom's major holiday. But we went less and less as time went by -- to much of a hassle to fly at Thanksgiving.

Once or twice we went to the inlaws. Same problem -- too much of a hassle.

Once we went on vacation over Thanksgiving. It was the year of 9/11. We were actually looking forward to a long-overdue vacation right after 9/11, but for obvious reasons, had to cancel it (It involved flying). So we decided to go somewhere for Thanksgiving instead. It was great! The hotel we stayed at had a deal with a local gym, so I even worked out that morning.

Some years we went to friends. We had friends who always had a big family gathering.

Some years I made Thanksgiving -- sometimes just for the 2 of us, sometimes we had friends over. I've made turkeys a few times, but the truth is neither one of us is real fond of turkey. So I've done duck, tried my hand at a goose one year, and made a rib roast a few times.

And a few times we've actually gone out to a restaurant (oh, the sacrilege!). It's actually quite nice. You're not exhausted and there's no leftovers!

But all our traditions do involve a big meal and eating. Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions that don't involve food? Do you plan to start some new ones?


My Thanksgiving sweet corn buns. I tried this recipe one year, and have been making them ever since. This year I used a bit less butter (actually, Earth Balance buttery bars) and sweetener, and no white flour. Flaxseeds in place of the eggs.

DH said they weren't the same. Well, yeah, they weren't. But they were still good, just a bit heartier. And he had one for dessert that first day, one for breakfast the next, and requested that I keep 2 out of the freezer for him to bring into work for breakfast. I guess they weren't so bad after all.

The last avocado wrap. I threw in a little red onion today (good addition), and had red bell pepper slices on the side since I had to slice some up for dinner. I ran out of Ezekiel wraps, so used a Millet-Flax Lavash. It was tasty, but didn't roll well despite being microwaved briefly to soften it first. Plus it was a little smaller, so I ended up using 2 (altho they are loaded with fiber).

I had a green monster for a snack. Then chocolate covered figs (I did almost 2 packages yesterday) because I was still hungry. That is I dipped almost 2 packages of dried figs in chocolate, not ate 2 packages of chocolate dipped figs! I only ate 4.

Dinner was Spanish Shrimp from the FBD cookbook. I really enjoyed this. I used instant brown rice -- didn't like that, the texture wasn't right -- but as DH said, it reminded him of paella (minus the sausage) and I like paella! He thought there wasn't enough shrimp & they weren't big enough. I reminded him that shrimp are expensive.

And then, unfortunately, I got the munchies. I was still hungry. I had a raw chocolate cookie dough bar (the raw ones from the other night, not real raw dough); they're growing on me -- I also gave one to DH, and he said they were "interesting", but he ate it right down (if he asks for one again, then I know he liked it). I had one dark chocolate Lindt truffle square. And then I ate about half of a corn bun as I was putting them in the freezer.

Except for the corn bun, this was all thought out and eaten mindfully. I was just really hungry. I blame TOM, but I know that I've got to be careful about not indulging too much during TOM. I do get so hungry tho, and it didn't help that I wasn't even expecting it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/16/2009 8:44PM

    We don't really have any Thanksgiving traditions; other than food that is. It sure would be nice to take the focus off the food but I sure have noticed that our 'feasts' have become a LOT smaller and more focused on healthy foods. :)

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Losing weight is like tea

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDYTHALIA 11/17/2009 1:09PM

    Have you tried the organic rooibos chai tea from Trader Joe's? It is delicious and probably a lot cheaper than the Republic of Tea version!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/15/2009 11:58AM

    LOL I'm definitely a coffee lover but I occasionally have a cup of tea - my favourite is lemon zinger. I'd like to try chocolate chai but can't seem to find any. :)

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KARBIE18 11/15/2009 10:01AM

    While I still LOVE my coffee, I like tea as well. I love green tea, and chai, but have never had green chai. I'll have to find some.

Didn't remember you having high cholesterol. How has it been since you've lost the weight?

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/15/2009 8:52AM

    Pumpking kugel? Recipe, please!

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LISANANCY 11/15/2009 8:50AM

    You're right about the plates. I understand size and color can help. Excuse me, I'll think I'll get a cup of tea now. emoticon

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SEKSUNSHINE 11/15/2009 8:34AM

    I like the exercise and the hot tea comparison! I love my hot tea, but I also like my morning coffee. Have a great Sunday!

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