Sunday, August 04, 2013
I finally, finally finally felt well-rested when I woke up today – and I think I now know why.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my fiance announced yesterday that he wasn’t feel well. We’ve been taking it easy since, but it wasn’t until this afternoon that I noticed that today was my fifth day of sniffling. I hadn’t paid much mind because I kept thinking that I’ve been too tired at night to remember to take my allergy meds. Wait. How long have I felt this exhausted? And when did the sniffling start? What if … I was the one who’s BEEN sick, and I’m the reason why he doesn't feel well today?
Ha. So problem solved – the exhaustion had nothing to do with stress and increase workout intensity. Glad that my body’s been strong enough to fight this, that it should be over by tomorrow, and I no longer need to be so careful to not “catch” thsi bug floating around my house. Hooray!
5 Sugar-Free Benefits I’m Living
I ate my last piece of sugar sweet EIGHTEEN DAYS AGO. What that means is, I have not consumed sugar in 432 hours, 25920 minutes, or 1555200 seconds. If you saw me the evening before I started went cold turkey where I ate TWO desserts (after eating tons of cookies, pies, cakes, Twinkies for many days/weeks in a row), you would surely be impressed.
There is no denying that I am feeling much better – not just physically but mentally as well. Sometimes though, when I’m feeling great and confident of my little achievements – that’s when I break. I start to think that one little piece of candy or slice of cake wouldn’t hurt me, so I do eat it, and that’s when I fall off the wagon.
To help me be successful in my “No Sugary Sweets” goal, I put together the following list to remind myself of the benefits of a sugar-free life. I might even print them out in a note-card for me to carry and reading during weak moments.
As in, the actual physical cravings are gone and so I am no longer obsessing on it 24:7. It might sound silly, but there is just so much more room in my head now to think of other things.
2) Better skin.
I’ve tried countless of products (including ones prescribed from a dermatologist) over the years to tone down the redness of my skin due to rosacea. When I quit sugar, I noticed a difference after only 3-5 days, and it’s improved further as the days pass. Who knew that the answer to my skin issues wasn’t about which chemical to put on my face; it was what not to consume!
3) Manageable hunger.
Prior to going sugar-free, I never felt … full. Left with the choice, the amount of food I could eat would truly rival a linebacker! It was embarrassing to eat with other people because I so often receive comments about how much I can put away despite being 5 feet tall. Since going sugar-free, I am so shocked that I can actually eat a salad with protein and feel full until the next mealtime. Finally, I am able to eat the proper amount for someone my height and weight with post-meal satisfaction.
4) Everything tastes sweeter.
A month ago, I bought two packages of grapes from Costco and split them into several containers that I stuck in the freezer. A week later, I started eating them for dessert, only to become disappointed at its lack of sweetness. Now that I am on Day 18 of going sugar free, I eat those grapes and am surprised at how sweet they actually taste; if I hadn’t packed it myself, I would have sworn the grapes were from a different batch. My sensitivity for sweet is so much more so now that I can taste the twinge of sweetness in almost everything I eat. It’s a joy, really!
5)Fruit cravings again. I used to reach for those salty sweet Reese’s Peanut Butter cups when a sweet craving hit. While going sugar free, I’ve since replaced candy with fruit, which is wonderful because I can eat about two cups of grapes for around the same calories as those two pb cups! Now that the sugar is out of my system, I noticed that when I do crave sweets now, I picture things like juicy cantaloupes and watermelon again, The best thing about this adjustment? I can eat the fruit and feel satisfied, whereas when I ate candy, cookies, pies, cakes, etc., it never felt “enough” and before I could finish the first dessert, I was already thinking and aiming for the second helping.
Confession: I’m still not completely sold on going sugar-free for the rest of my life, but it could be my denial about my addiction speaking. Instead of making any rash decisions or opinions about this topic, I will continue on with my goal of going sugar-free for the month of August and reevaluate after.
Last Night’s Lunch/Dinner
Yesterday, I made one massive improvement over last weekend: I made sure I got my food plans together BEFORE I starved.
We felt like being hermits last night, so we ordered in again. (((feeling spoiled)))
That, my friends, is a massive house salad with grilled chicken. Instead of their high-calorie honey mustard dressing (which I wanted so badly!), I instead opted for a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar.
Everything was tasting alright and well … until my nose caught wind of my fiance’s french fries. OHEMGEE THEY SMELLED AMAZING! And so I caved again, this time eating more than yesterday’s share. It was a good thing I switched out the dressing, because with the calories I “saved,” because that splurge put me right back where I started. *Whew*
I followed up my my “linner” with my nightly stash of frozen grapes.
P.S. Actually, aside from fried foods being bad for you period, I try not to eat them because I hate the coating I get on my tongue afterwards – if I don’t break out into an allergy attack first (my tongue starts to numb and develop canker sores). These are the main reasons why I hate myself for eating fried foods. It frustrates me so much that I can’t remember these consequences when I am around delicious smelling French fries! I need to work on this.
I started my morning with a cup of flavored drip from a local coffee shop, but this time black. YEOW! Without my usual soy creamer, the caffeine hit my system so quick that before I knew it, I was a chatty Cathy that could.not.stop. Ha!
For breakfast, we visited Pepy’s Galley again, where I ordered an egg white scramble with spinach, mushrooms and bell peppers with sliced tomatoes instead of hashed browns. Although the wheat toast is in the picture, I saved it for my dog instead and instead ate my fiance’s buttered crusts from his (delicious) white toast.
Although I had a rest day planned today, I was reminded that, except in very rare circumstances, there are NO actual rest days for dog parents. As predicted, he rested a little too well last night because he was tearing through the house like the one-year old pup that he is.
Here he is eating my hair:
As I went to grab my shoes and leash, he scurried to the front door, eager for his walk. How could I say no, right?
I originally thought that if I was going to walk him today, I thought that it would be only a 20 minute stroll around the neighborhood. Judging his activity level, I knew I couldn’t get away with that!
The day was cool and overcast (June gloom in … August?), perfect conditions for a 40 minute power walk. I’m glad we went after all! Thanks, Bruno. :)
Nothing much on the agenda today, except for lots of movie-watching (him) and Candy Crush-ing (me). It’s a relief not to have anything planned today except for a day of rest, but I think no one will be happier than the cats and dog, as rest day becomes family day for them.
Enjoy your Sunday, see ya tomorrow!
Saturday, August 03, 2013
Happy Caturday! Ha.
My post today will be short-winded because I am TIRED! I think this past week’s busy-ness and increased intensity of workouts caught up with me. Hopefully after a relaxing evening here, I’ll be back to my peppy self.
Last Night’s Dinner
After much debate, we decided to order from a new-to-us restaurant a few miles down the road for dinner.
I ordered salmon with two sides of steamed vegetables. It was good, but for the amount my dinner costed, I totally and completely disagree that that little thing was TWO servings of vegetables. To me that is only one!
And so I was left hungry after dinner. And therefore tempted. And so … I ate a whole bunch of fries from my fiance’s fish n chips plate. Along with part of a fish. I won’t deny it – it was so incredibly goooooood but somehow I was able to shut myself down before I ate half his dinner... Whew!
Dinner was followed by a serving of frozen grapes.
And that, folks, was the extent of my big and exciting Friday night. Woo!
Caturday in our house means hiking with the Bruno-meister!
Some pre-hike scenes from this morning:
I was NOT feeling it this morning, but seeing how excited the dog was, how could I say no?
Bruno is starting to get camera-shy
In celebration of Caturday, Zack received a few sprinkles of catnip and along with some pumps out of the catnip spray. Yeow!
On the way to Runyon Canyon, I fueled up with some Cinnamon Hazelnut drip from our favorite local coffee shop and half a granola bar.
The hike was done in the mid-70s though overcast. The sun did however come out when we were just about done – perfect timing if you ask me.
Scenes from today’s hike:
Ugh, I was SO done when we were finished: my legs felt like lead and even my arms could barely work while I planked later at home. I think this is my body telling me I need a rest day tomorrow. Bruno on the other hand, had a blast! He even had a little energy leftover at the end to play around with some new doggie friends. How does he do it?
Even though my energy level and the weather would have normally convinced me to call off the hike, I'm glad I went anyway.
"I regret that workout." -said no one ever
I was good: egg white scramble with broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms, with sliced tomatoes on the side and my fiance’s buttered crusts. Perfect post-workout re-fueling that I needed so badly.
Guess who else was bushed when we got home?
Yes, that’s right! This guy:
May he sleep deeply until dinner, at which time he will wake up full of energy and ready to tear the house up, ha.
Nothing on the agenda today except curling up on the couch with the cats and Candy Crush.
Have a great Caturday, see ya tomorrow!
Friday, August 02, 2013
Friday, you are here finally! TGIF. Whoop!
Last Night’s Dinner
Last night was low-key: I had the house, animals and the television all to myself.
As for dinner, I became panicked when I saw that I still had four boxes of salad to eat in my fridge – next to the two bags of broccoli from my crazy Costco trip! I knew right then and there that salad was for dinner before it would get wilty and gross.
I topped it with shredded chicken tenderloin (perfect after dropping them in the slow cooker for a few hours) mixed with bbq sauce. Speaking of bbq sauce – why have I not been using this all along on my chicken?! I am so getting ideas now about incorporating the yummy sauce on future meals. Mmm.
Post dinner, I nibbled on some frozen grapes (unpictured) before my eyelids grew too heavy … at 9:30 pm. I am one crazy party animal, aren’t I!
After a restful night’s sleep, I started my morning with a cup of Joe with soy creamer. Spot the cats! (Why do cats prefer boxes from Costco over all the toys and kitty condos you pay $$$ for?)
I sipped a few good gulps, put the leash on Bruno, and went out into the humid morning to complete this workout again:
After successfully completing Week 3 three times, I normally would move on, but I think the dog might need another week. He is just starting to have fun with it, though he seemed over it with the third interval today. I’m thinking one more week will do the trick.
i whipped up something a little different for breakfast today:
Ezekiel Bread French Toast topped with a cinnamon Greek Yogurt. It was pretty tasty!
Ezekiel Bread French Toast
2 slices Ezekiel Bread Cinnamon Raisin Bread, sliced diagonally
1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tbsp milk or unsweetened almond milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Many shakes of cinnamon (more or less according to your taste)
3 oz Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (omit if yogurt is flavored)
1 tsp sweetener (honey, Splenda, stevia, etc. Omit if yogurt is already sweetened)
Many shakes of cinnamon (more of less according to your taste)
1. Grease a medium pan with oil spray and heat over a medium flame.
2. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients and stir well.
3. In a medium bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir well.
4. Place a triangle or two of the bread and let soak for 30 seconds, turning the piece over to soak the other side. When the pan sizzles to water droplets, place the triangles onto the pan, cooking until the bottom is stiff. Turn over to cook the other side. When cooked, place on a plate and repeat until all slices are dipped and cooked.
5. After all the bread is cooked, spread topping over it and enjoy! (Hint: sprinkle a few chia seeds for staying power)
After breakfast, I jumped into the shower and immediately took off to my hairdresser’s for an appointment. Today’s do was something I hadn’t done in about five years – color!
I admit, it was a bit shocking to see the result after my hair was dried and styled. I chose a tint only on the bottom half of my hair – an “ombre” look my hairdresser called it, I think? I tried my best to choose the most subtle color I could find, but it was still a little too light for my taste. Maybe it just takes some getting used to?
Right after I got home it was rush rush rush to go out the door again! It was also time for lunch – thankfully I already had both chicken and salad prepped the night before.
I dumped some shredded chicken into the salad container, grounded some black pepper into it, drizzled balsamic vinegar, applied the lid, then gave the container a few good shakes. And check out my 64-ounce water bottle! I loaded it up with some Crystal light and off I went to eat lunch on the road. As long as I have things prepped, eating away from home is so easy.
My goals for this weekend:
Egg white omelette breakfasts
Two hikes this weekend with zeh puppeh
A few for next week:
Weigh in Wednesday morning – and stop fretting about it
Do at least ONE workout session from the Nike app
Keep on the good fight
Have a good day, see ya tomorrow!
Thursday, August 01, 2013
August 2013 Goal
Hello, have you seen July? Because it was here a moment ago and I now it’s gone!
First of the month means I get to do one of my favorite Type A things to do: Set goals!
Except for me, it’s goal – as in, singular. As I mentioned in a previous post, I tend to get too excited and start making a gazillion goals only to have me burn out from achieving them. I’ve never purposely paced myself like this before, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
So for August 2013, my one lone singular goal will be:
As in, no cakes, muffins, cookies, pies, candy, etc. etc.
The reason I am making something I’m already doing a new goal:
While I am finally free of the physical symptoms of the addiction, I have not shaken my emotional cravings for it. Thoughts of “just one Reese’s couldn’t hurt!” runs through my head quite a bit, so I think that the more distance I put between today and the day I quit sugar, the better and easier life might be. With that in mind, I will be using the next 30 days to create new habits and thought patterns when I “feel” like having a little sug.
Wish me luck!
Last Night’s Dinner
After Tuesday’s fiasco of fattening eats, I was mentally armed to tackle a baseball game without gorging on all the calorie bombs at the stadium.
Before I go into food, can I show you something cute really quick?
Dodger socks! (And my cat Zack, heh) I keep forgetting that I have them, so I was happy that I remembered last night for the occasion.
Back to eats: before I left the house, I knew that we were going to eat at Philippe’s before the game. In case you don’t know, Philippe’s is famous for allegedly inventing the Beef French Dip Sandwich (I say allegedly because there’s another joint in town called Cole’s that makes the same claim). It’s also quite the tradition for fans to eat at Philippe’s before a Dodger game, so when you go, it’s just swarming of people dressed in Dodger Blue.
For the entire morning, I thought and plotted on how I was going to maintain my calorie count but still attend Philippe’s at the stadium? Finally, I had this brilliant idea:
In the pic, you can see that I packed a salad, an empty plastic container, an apple and plastic utensils.
My plan was to order a beef dip at Philippe’s, eat only my salad and half of the sandwich, store the other half of the sandwich in the plastic container, then eat the apple at the stadium when I got hungry later.
It worked better than I could have imagined!
At Philippe’s, here’s the sandwich I ordered:
And my plan in action:
The next part of the evening was almost a disaster…
Let me just say that it was so very hard to sit huddled amongst a sell-out crowd of 54,000 when everyone is ordering burgers, hot dogs, nachos, and garlic fries that smell so incredibly intoxicating. Oh my.
Luckily we were sitting smack in the middle of our row so that it wasn’t easy to get in and out. I planted my butt on my seat, watched the game, and took on my apple (and maybe even cried a little inside).
By the end of 9th inning, I was breathing sighs of relief. Whew – that was a close one
Bonus points: We accidentally parked really, really, *really* far away from our entrance, so we had to go up and down quite a few flight of stairs. After the game, we decided to get all silly and go on a little workout by walking incredibly fast and racing as fast and as we could up staircases. Dorks!
P.S. We lost.
First of all, can I just say that this gal is no longer made for any events that put me in bed after midnight? I went to bed around 12:30 am and woke up this morning feeling super duper hungover even though I didn’t drink a sip of alcohol.
(Sidenote: Aside from waking up hungover-ish, I did not wake up feeling bloated from the gorge I really wanted to do at the stadium last night. Biiig sighs of relief here. Winwinwin.)
I wasn’t the only groggy one this morning, though. My fiance was feeling it too and so was this guy:
Bruno also had a little action last night. We knew we’d be away from the house for many, many hours (he is an “indoor” dog), so we dropped him off at his favorite day care late afternoon yesterday and picked him up late on the way home. Who knows what he did there, but whatever party animal business he conducted with the other dogs, he was feeling just as “hungover” as we were this morning. He even snored!
I would have LOVED to sleep in this morning, but it’s only Thursday, so I got up and started my morning with a cup of coffee.
Yesterday I mentioned that I wasn’t a big fan of our new coffee flavor Caramel Drizzle, but strangely, this morning it tasted fantastic. I think the problem was that I didn’t make the coffee strong enough yesterday, because I could totally taste the caramel today. Perfect wake-me-up medicine.
After working a bit, it was time to eat:
A creamy bowl of Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats. I had an inkling that last night was going to be a late one, so yesterday I made a point to whip this up and throw it in the fridge for today’s brekkie. I’m so glad I did, because I was too tired/groggy to make anything, and to just take this bowl out and eat was perfect.
After feeling physical fatigue and observing Bruno’s sluggishness yesterday, I planned for a rest day today – well, as much as a rest day can be for a dog parent, I guess.
My plan was to go on a casual 20 minute walk around our neighborhood, but then three things happened:
1) After being dead asleep all morning, Bruno perked up and it seemed like he was really enjoying himself
2) The weather and temperature was absolutely perfect!
3) My muscles were crying tears of joy for the movement that helped to unstiffen them
So instead of walking a little over a mile, we ended up doing this:
By the way, remember when I mentioned yesterday that my stretching program wasn’t working for me? I realized while stretching today that I think my problem was laziness; I just wasn’t challenging my muscles by pushing them in and slightly through the uncomfortable point. No sooner I started pushing, I could feel my muscles unwind, and post-stretch, I felt loose once again.
And before I knew it, it was time for lunch. Where did the morning go?
Today’s lunch was easy, but time consuming (as in 15 minutes total), as I seem to be used to five minute lunches or less.
That’s steamed broccoli (added onion powder, garlic powder, ground pepper and a few drizzles of soy sauce) and – one of my favorites – Vitapizza! Vitapizza’s expensive (as in almost $5 per pizza), but good and astoundingly cheap in calories – as in 190. The one in the picture is meatless pepperoni. I usually nuke it for a quick meal, but with the broccoli already in the microwave, I cooked it in the toaster oven for 10 min at 400 degrees. Splashed some Tabasco on it and down the hatchet it went. Filling!
I have the best plans for the rest of the evening: NO PLANS! Haha. I’ve been so tired and overly stressed lately that I’m looking forward to some couch time with my animals and maybe some Candy Crush.
Oh and speaking of Candy Crush, would you believe that I’ve been too busy/tired to play it in like 2 or 3 days? Sounds like major improvements are happening in my life, folks. Ha!
Have a good day, see ya tomorrow!
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Happy Hump Day – two more days ’til the weekend, whoop!
Starting Weight: 119.4
It *looks* like a 1.5 lb loss, but it’s not really. Last week’s weigh-in was conducted on the morning after gorging all sorts of the craziest eats after weeks of crazy eats already, so my body was filled with junk. After only a few days of eating healthy, I could already feel my body slimming from the detoxing process. At any rate, I’m happy that this is more of my “real” starting weight is this instead of 119.4 – looking at the bright side?
1) DRINKING *LOTS* OF LIQUIDS EVERY DAY. This wasn’t something I planned on, just something I became conscious about doing. I can’t explain the results exactly in words other than that I feel like I’m flushed out and as a result, my body seems to be functioning more efficiently (more specifically, my digestive system).
2) GRAB-AND-EAT HEALTHY NOMS IN THE FRIDGE. Yesterday, I mentioned prepping foods ahead of time is part of my success in eating healthy. The prepping part is rather unpleasant for me and time consuming, but it’s just so easy now to grab a box out of the fridge and EAT! No excuses, I love it.
3) WORKING OUT WITH THE DOG. This is an absolute win-win: the dog is too exhausted at the end to cause trouble and he get to lose weight. As for me, I get to stay active and not use up extra time in my day – kind of like streamlining. Now if only Bruno would enjoy running a bit more, I would SO be in business!
4) NO SUGAR. Yes I miss it, but I feel FREE! It was just a week ago that I thought about and obsessed on sugar. Now, I can think about sugar, but I no longer feel the choke-hold of my addiction that deludes me into believing that I need it to feel better. Bonus? My skin is looking so much better these days and less red. I need to remember these points the next time I crave the sweet stuff. Note: Yes, I had pancakes yesterday, but I’m talking about sugar like cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, candy, brownies, etc. Can you believe I was eating this every.single.day?
What’s Not Working:
1) MY STRETCHING PROGRAM. While 8 minutes is the perfect amount of time for me to maintain a program that will fit into my busy life, I do not fully feel adequately “stretched out” afterwards. I’m not sure about what to do about this just yet – should I be stretching longer or change the routine itself?
2) MY NON-EXISTENT STRENGTH-TRAINING. There is a point where I need to stop griping about this and actually DO it. I think this week I will have to put together a quick program that I can spend a few minutes a day doing so that I won’t feel like I’m dedicating more of my day, yet build strength.
Last Night’s Dinner
Warning: The following are two more pictures of non-healthy eats.
So there are no lunch pics from yesterday because … well, I didn’t eat lunch. I was so overly stressed that I simply wasn’t hungry and the thought of food made my face turn green. Sometimes this happens, I guess; it’s a good thing I ate a rather high-caloric breakfast I suppose.
I’m not exactly pleased with my dinner last night, but it was the only thing I could really order from the diner’s limited list (it was their anniversary celebration):
Er … that would be a fried chicken plate and a dinner roll. Even though I was hungry, I wasn’t excited to have it with my healthy eating and all. I removed the skin off the chicken and ate the meat only. And yes I did eat the roll, but plain – no butter that baby. Admittedly, I felt nauseous post-meal. Will this add to my motivation to eat much healthier? Absolutely, I’ll take it.
Thankfully after a crazy day, I was ready for a tame night of Dodger watching followed up by honkshoos. It was a good night.
I started my morning with a new flavored coffee today: Caramel Drizzle. I wish I could say it was the bombdotcom, but it was only okay. Added a couple tablespoons of soy creamer and I was a happy and on my way to being wide eyed and bushy tailed.
Because we ran out of road on Monday, I added a few extra streets to our route to make the workout last, making it a 50 minute heart-pumping workout. *cheers*
My dog was actually able to run in the 8 minute mile range today!
Bruno was flat out exhausted afterwards. For me, this counts as 5 extra wins, ha
Since I was a little sore while running and Bruno was feeling sluggish this morning, we might take a “rest” day tomorrow – as in no running, just a walk or two.
Sorta quick brekkie today:
Two waffles with Cinnamon Apple Greek Yogurt topping, perfect little cool-down eat after a hot and sweaty workout. I prepped the topping on Sunday night, so that all I had to do was toast the waffles. Easy!
Today’s brand of waffle was new to me. I’ve spotted Van’s for years, but never bought it because I’m such a big Kashi fan, however, when the store ran out of Kashi, I panicked a bit. I just about to abandon my waffle plans until I saw that this package was on close-out – and if you know me, I just can’t resist a good deal, so I bought it.
When I first opened the package, I was annoyed that they were a bit on the small side, though more dense than what I am used to. I was relieved that they smelled terrific – not like how Kashi smells like cake, but still delicious. Because they were smaller in size, my topping sat tall, but that is more of an observation rather than a complaint.
Verdict? I’m a fan. But after I’m done with these two boxes, if there’s Kashi, I’m going back to it.
Before lunch, I sipped on two mugs of Jasmine tea:
Actually, that’s two mug’s worth, but using the same tea bag. A little trick my mom taught me to get the most bang for your buck. (Mighty leaf teas are so awesome for this)
Spinach salad topped with two chopped hard boiled eggs, a few drizzles of Balsamic vinegar and many turns of the pepper grinder. Easy and filling. Huzzah!
Tonight my man and I have a date to see our boys in blue at Dodger stadium. Since I’m back on the health wagon, avoiding calorie bombs this evening will take some creative planning – but I got a plan! Cross your fingers for me?
See ya tomorrow!
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