Wednesday, April 14, 2010
That is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The brass ring we all want to hold onto tight and never let go of.
So why is a healthy lifestyle so hard to find?
For me, a healthy lifestyle:
1. Must be sustainable.
D'oh, right? If you can't sustain it, it can't be a lifestyle -- as in the style in which you live the rest of your life.
2. Allows for the occasional treat.
We all know what happens when we aren't satisfied. No reason to beat a dead horse.
3. Doesn't stop me from socializing.
This one can be tough. It's so easy to NOT want to attend events (or even show up for our own lives) simply because we can't control what food will be presented to us.
Isn't this one silly? Really, as if one event made us fat. Now, if you're attending events several times every week, that's probably going to be a problem -- but even so it's a problem that you have to find the solution to.
I fall victim to this one, I admit. It's the day before my WI. I told my husband yesterday I wanted to get a couple of sandwiches and go to the park with the dogs. I sweetened the pot with a trip for some ice cream afterwards.
I've eaten quite well all week. I don't plan to actually get my own ice cream, only to take a few tastes of my husband's. And right now we're trying to decide where to get the sandwiches. Subway, where I have pretty much complete control, or one of the local shops, which has no nutirtional info on their Website (plus I've never eaten there).
Plus we're going to one of my husband's coworkers houses for a dinner on Friday. They are a carnivore/vegan couple, so it should be interesting -- I already know it won't be completely vegan food. And I've even met the couple -- I went touring one day with the wife when we were in Prague.
4. Must actually be healthy.
Anyone could probably eat 1200 calories a day of pop tarts, candy bars, and cookies, but we all know that's not a healthy way to eat -- no matter how much my husband swears up and down that it is.
5. Must be filling.
See #1; this is a corollary. In order to be sustainable, I have to feel full.
A bonus #6: must be balanced. You can't exercise off all your food, and you can't eat all you want without exercise. You can't eat healthy, exercise, and get no sleep and expect to feel nourished.
What do you see as the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle?
What are the cornerstones of YOUR healthy lifestyle?
On cookbook maven today:
Nothing too exciting, but a couple of recipes. One is the banana ice cream I've posted about here (but with a photo that will make you want to whirl up a frozen banana immediately!) and my variation of the Thrive Curry Lentil "Pizza".
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It's been a while since a weight loss analogy occurred to me, but this one is a good one!
One of the things I love about this house is that I get to see the sunrise while eating my breakfast (at certain times of the year), and I get to see the sunset while cleaning up the kitchen, typically.
As I watched the particularly beautiful sunrise this morning, I was struck by how weight loss is like a sunrise.
The sky started out gray and dark. It slowly began to lighten as pale pink strands washed their ways through the grayness.
We are often gray, too, when we're in the throes of gaining weight. We tend to gravitate towards neutral colors, in an attempt to make ourselves invisible. We don't want to call attention to our "fat" selves. It works all too well, most of the time. It's amazing how a fat person can be invisible.
What's worse is that the world around us becomes drab, too. It's dull, like we are.
As we begin to shed those first few pounds, our mood lightens. We feel hopeful (as we often do with a new day).
As I continued to watch the sunrise, the pinks began to stretch out and darken towards purple.
Just as we are drawn to break out of our neutral, drab shells and begin branching out into brighter colors as we continue to lose weight. We no longer want to hide; we want to participate in our lives.
As those pinks turned to purple, an interesting thing happened: the silhouette of the trees stood out more. The whole image just got brighter and more beautiful.
As we continue to lose weight, our outlook on life becomes brighter. We are more beautiful -- not because we are thinner, but because now we are letting out true selves shine through again. Beauty truly comes from within -- ever noticed how a very vivacious person, while not truly attractive, appears beautiful?
But, alas, sunrises don't last. Eventually those beautiful, bright purples faded to gray.
Sometimes our weight loss is like that, too. There are ebbs and flow to weight loss, times when it's our highest priority and times when it isn't. But the nice thing about sunrises? They happen again every single day. Just like we have a chance to make better choices every single day.
I think I need to work on this one some more and post it over on cookbookmavenc.om someday. And over there today:
A new overnight oats recipe that is completely healthy -- and totally satisying.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Well, that's what I'm working on at the moment. I love how the universe seems to send you what you need, when you need it (altho not quite sure how feeling sick works into that -- I suppose it's a sign you need to rest, no matter how hard DH pushes at you).
Anyway, I waited months & months to get my hands on "Thrive", which is a book about nutrtion for vegans. And endurance athletes. Not that I'm either. But it's still a very interesting read.
And as usual, I couldn't wait to try out some recipes. I guarantee you if I'd looked at this book a couple of years ago, the recipes wouldn't in the least appeal to me. Now they do.
I feel that I've been eating pretty healthy for a while, but there's always room for improvement. And now after trying just a few recipes from the book -- with some minor tweaks of my own -- I'm working hard to get even more healthy food into me early in the day.
Because if you eat healthy throughout the first three quarters of your day, even if you do indulge in something not-so-healthy later you've already gotten in good nutrition and it's less likely to effect you negatively.
My husband wouldn't enjoy these recipes, but I do -- with what I've tried so far, which are just some simple energy bars and a healthy bowl of oatmeal. I'm excited to try more recipes, but I have to get to the food store first (which I really don't want to do, still just want to lay on the couch all day).
My biggest quibble is that serving sizes of some of this stuff is miniscule. And while he claims that if you're really following his diet (which I'm not, not completely), you can eat as much as you want anyway. I can't ever eat as much as I want of pretty much everything. Brendan, you're not a 5'1" semi-active perimenopausal woman.
I find myself a little bit hungry at times, but oddly enough not so much that I'm really craving.food.right.NOW. Despite the small portion sizes. And while I didn't think I was really craving sweets all that much lately, I do find I seem to be craving less -- altho sometimes it's a mental battle.
Like last night. I was full. I'd eaten well all day (not real hungry). So I thought why not reward myself with ONE dark Hershey's kiss? And yes, I can stop at just one.
The problem is I really didn't need it. I really didn't want it. And one dark Hershey's kiss every single day, when not planned for or needed, can actually start to pack on the pounds. I am not blessed with a good metabolism.
I won the battle. This time.
Do you find you eat better later in the day if you eat better earlier in the day?
Do you have mental battles with yourself over food?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
. . . but it will keep you from burning out -- and get you faster.
I am a slow runner. I may be a runner now, but I am slow. I have been slowly learning to run over the last couple of years:
-first on my own by simply adding some running intervals
-doing the C25K (but not able to run a 5k at the end -- and certainly not in the amount of time they think you need)
- increasing my running on my treadmill from 2 to 3 x week
-finally by adding running outside 1 - 2 times per week
-and, of course, signing up for my first 5k in a couple of months
So I have continued to plod my slow way through my workouts, always taking care not to up my speed or mileage (ha! how can you use a word like mileage when you're only running maybe 8 miles a week, and some of that is walking?), so that I hopefully don't injure myself.
And I surprised myself by run/walking a 5k on my treadmill in 40 1/2 minutes on Friday. I know for some that would be considered a walking pace, hardly a running pace, but for me it's a PR.
So this one is for all the TRULY slow runners out there: there IS hope. Just keep taking it slow and steady. Consistency is the real key.
Wish I could shave 5 minutes off of that before my race, but that's hardly likely. Still, when I signed up for the race several months ago, I was really hoping to do it in less than 45 minutes. Now maybe, if I'm lucky and the stars align, I will be able to do it in a sub-40 time.
An added bonus is that my WW leader runs it with her memmbers -- and she'll make sure to try to pair you up with a runner who goes your pace & she'll come back to help you get across that finish line, too. I had no idea of all that when I signed up for the race -- I knew she was a runner, knew she'd run the race, but I didn't know all that. So maybe I won't have to tackle it on my own anyway.
On the disturbing news front, we fond a broken tooth from on e of the animals yesterday. It's a molar -- one of the teeth in the far back of their mouths -- so I really have no idea who it came from.
My guess is Simba, who has been very finicky about eating for a while now (not normal for him), and I've known I need to get him into the vet (thankfully everything else seems normal with him). I've been procrastinating about it. It's always a pain. The dogs are easy; the cats are hard, and it will be even harder in this house, having to lug the carriers down stairs where before I could just walk out the door.
But it needs to be done. So it will get done.
Friday, April 09, 2010
Don't you just hate the heavy feeling of having eaten too much food?
Boy, today I am just exhausted and i don't know why. I've been sleeping okay. Getting in my exercise.
Granted, my husband is suffering horribly with his allergies, but thankfully, I don't much suffer with seasonal allergies (every once in a while I'll have a brief, semi-severe allergic reaction to something).
I'm thinking it may just be too much food. I don't feel like I've been eating huge amounts lately, but digesting food can definitely make you sleepy. And I know that I was totally satisfied and full after dinner last night, but still felt the need for "a little something" and had a Luna bar.
So today I'm doing my best to eat cleanly. So far, so good, even including a green smoothie, but I'm still tired.
And speaking of things that make you go "hum?", I bought a pair of jeans yesterday. I took a lot of time with it (despite the fact it was at Old Navy & not terribly expensive), trying on 3 different sizes, sitting down, etc. etc.
Still, I swear they felt tighter this morning when I pulled them on. I'm dubbing it the new jeans phenomenon, because it always seems to happen.
On cookbook maven today:
Well, of course you can check out what I ate yesterday. And then you can check out the blog posts that spoke to me this week:
Enter a recipe challenge featuring beets.
Info on food combining & stress.
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