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A healthy lifestyle

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".


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEODAWG 4/14/2010 5:26PM

    This is what it takes to keep on the healthy path: Reminders from people who are doing it. Great blog and great thoughts! Especially about events!

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USARUNNERGIRL 4/14/2010 2:50PM

    Great blog. Hope you had a good "date" at the park! It sounds like a good day to me. Woohoo.

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WESTCOASTGIRL1 4/14/2010 11:59AM

    Once again insightful and food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

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4DOGNIGHT 4/14/2010 9:24AM

    Great Blog! Food for thought!

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Weight loss is like a sunrise

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.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPAL50 4/14/2010 9:31AM

    Good analogy! emoticon Thanks for sharing.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/14/2010 8:25AM

    The oats look great!

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BESSHAILE 4/14/2010 6:56AM

    wow - I could feel that swell of the day, of the colors, of the cycle, as I read your words. Thanks for the ride.

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TIFFANIE150 4/13/2010 5:11PM

    That was neat! emoticon

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JUSTDUCKY1405 4/13/2010 4:57PM


Love the analogy!

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WESTCOASTGIRL1 4/13/2010 1:22PM

    Love it and it is so so true. That is exactly how I have felt.
Thanks for the reminder and sharing your amazing incite.

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VLECKB 4/13/2010 10:15AM

    Boy, I needed that today. Thanks.

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 4/13/2010 9:26AM

    Great visualization. Thanks

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4DOGNIGHT 4/13/2010 8:52AM

    Only thing better would have been a picture! Thanks.

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CRAVE_FREE 4/13/2010 8:44AM

    Great analogy and wisdom as always!

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USARUNNERGIRL 4/13/2010 8:37AM

    Lovely blog and so true. I have been busting out of my grays, blacks and white now for some time and my closet and my life is full of colors for sure now.

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KARBIE18 4/13/2010 8:03AM

    Saw the title, and was thinking the same thing - it's been a while since your last analogy! And you're right that it is a good one. Great blog! Wearing blue, but it's a pretty, bright blue.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 4/13/2010 7:45AM

    I love your blog.
thank you for posting it.
i have put a pink shirt on today.

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Getting your healthy on early: trying to thrive

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?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

USARUNNERGIRL 4/12/2010 8:07PM

    I have days where eating healthy comes super easy, other days not so much. I am struggling with all the Easter candy in the house for my kids. I don't really need the chocolate, but it is hard to keep away from it. I keep reminding myself that I didn't do all that working out just to eat junk....sometimes it works, other times not so much.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 4/12/2010 1:18PM

    I agree, illnesses are a gentle reminder from your body to slow down from time to time!

And I also agree that starting your day on the right track is going to make the chances of a successful day that much higher!

I am glad you got that book and are enjoying it! Boredom, I am realizing, from eating the same foods, is my problem when I start to burn out! Another reason I like System Reboots! Allows me to spice things up, and then get re-focused!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter Judy!


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HEYRED221 4/12/2010 11:49AM

    I am always in a mental battle with food. Its almost always on my mind. And there are definitely times that I lose that battle. One thing I try not to do is eat late in the evening - it gives me acid reflex - not fun. And evening time is when I usually eat something I shouldn't or I'm not really hungry.

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SKINNYMINNY40 4/12/2010 10:13AM

    I battle before and after the sin... but during the indulgence I'm not sure where the fighter goes; just disappears as I enjoy pie, ice cream, candy, or whatever. Then I return as if I was in a trance wondering why the heck did I do that! But yes, at least if I've done good all day packing on the protein and fiber, I can feel good about that, and it does minimize the late afternoon and late night cravings.

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KARENBL 4/12/2010 8:21AM

    I always have mental battles with myself over food!! I too call it a battle. I think of this working to lose weight as a war against former bad habits.

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Slow & steady might not win the race . . .

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 4/18/2010 4:04PM

    This is very inspiring! Like you, I am not fast, but I do enjoy it!

Hope your furry one gets fixed up without too much agony!

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DRJJ2004 4/11/2010 1:22PM

    And you know what?! You're right about not burning out as fast. I just went through a spot where I was sick of doing it. It lasted about 2 weeks, BUT it did not keep me down. I'm back at it and ready to go!! Slow and steady...my motto!

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DRJJ2004 4/11/2010 1:21PM

    You go girl! I did mine in 44 min as well. That was walking and running. I just didn't want to be dead last....and I wasn't! :O) You can do it..it doesn't matter the time..you're just doing it and that is sooooo much better than a lot of other people can say! Just do your best...that's all you can do.


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WESTCOASTGIRL1 4/11/2010 12:29PM

    Way to go. Running is a journey and it is yours to take and develop in any way that works for you. It is awesome that you are running and doing your first 5K is so amazing! emoticon You are smart to take it slow. I thought I was taking it slow and I may have developed runners knee, so I am now going to have to take some time off of running in hopes of recovering. So, yes you are wise in your program. Slow and steady. emoticon
Good luck with your cat. I hope everything works out better than you hope.
emoticon Happy running!

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SHEILA1505 4/11/2010 11:52AM

    Hope you are feeling better - you say you're not 100% today?

I don't care what speed you go - I am in awe! I do not run for a bus - let alone 5K - did walk a pretty fast 2 1/2 miles at incline today after swimming for half an hour - but I am not going to run.

So long as you have fun with it - there's no need to win. A PB is always good!

with love

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HEYRED221 4/11/2010 11:43AM

    emoticon I've tried jogging a bit, but really prefer walking. But I know lots of people love it!

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BUCKINGS5 4/11/2010 9:54AM

  Maybe it's silly of me to say but...who says you have to win the race? IMO, sometimes is just about finishing it. emoticon

Sounds like you're doing great to me. At least your out there running it in the first place AND signing up for your first 5k! Great job!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARBIE18 4/11/2010 8:54AM

    Consistency is ALWAYS the key. It's amazing what we can do if we stick with things. Way to go on your PR! You deserve it!

What do they do for an animal with a broken tooth? If either of my pets have broken or lost a tooth, I haven't seen any sign of it.

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That heavy feeling

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 4/10/2010 8:15PM

    Good for you for paying close attention to how you feel, then adjusting your food intake accordingly the next day. It's wonderful that you are listening to your body. I hope your husband's allergies will ease up soon. Enjoy your new jeans!

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KARBIE18 4/10/2010 9:54AM

    I've been waking up REALLY tired every day for a couple weeks. Usually my mantra in the morning is, "This is going to be a good and productive day", but lately it's been, "I do NOT want to wake up!" I don't know if it's because it's spring, and I'm spending so much time in the yard. Anyway, I've never been refreshed upon waking up (especially on work days), despite the fact that I faithfully get plenty exercise and plenty of sleep. I think it's a myth!! Anyway, I've been especially sleepy in the afternoons, too, and I know it has nothing to do with overeating. In fact, I'm trying to include more protein earlier in the day because I don't think I'm getting enough to eat. It's such a balancing act, isn't it?

I hope those jeans are comfortable soon. Strange how they can seem tighter just a day later. But, as you know, that TOM can make you feel heavier overnight.

I have seasonal allergies, but, thankfully, they haven't been too bad for the last couple of years. Bad days here and there, but not for months at a time like when I was young.

Never had a green smoothie before. DH has been into making smoothies lately, but they're pretty fruity. I'm not complaining, though. They're delish, and I don't have to make them. LOL

Hope you're clean eating carries over into today. Have a wonderful weekend.


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BESSHAILE 4/10/2010 6:37AM

    I went years without wearing jeans because they just felt too stiff around my middle. fortuantely, they've added spandex to most jeans now so there's some give to the heavy cotton.

boy do I relate to the sleepy heavy feeling - but I wouldn't rule out pollen as a contributor to your sleepiness. I am positive that's the stuff that blew up out of the poppies when Dorothy was almost to the emerald city. emoticon

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GEODAWG 4/9/2010 3:47PM

    Ladies, It is called Spring Fever! And you might have ingested more sodium than you know thus the "full" feeling. Just guessing though.

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    I know how you feel. I kinda think a tiredness bug is going around because I have not been this tired every day in a row for a long while. Grr.

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/9/2010 11:46AM

    Yes, I have recently felt the effects of overeating and "yuck, this feels terrible" thinking. But the bright side is that this used to be the norm, and now it's very rare. As far as clothing, it's amazing how sizes can vary in the fit and cut. I have to take time now to see what fits as items are made very differently. Hope you have a wonderful day, and fun weekend.

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