CARILOUIE's SparkPeople Blog CARILOUIE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 3.12.17 It's been a little over a week since I stopped drinking coffee. Yesterday was a challenge - I was at a conference, and everyone around me was drinking coffee. It smelled amazing; it was really the first time this week that I felt tempted to drink it. Instead I found some hot tea and had a cup of that. It was a good replacement, and I still had something hot to drink. But this made me think that I should start carrying tea bags around with me. Tea is so expensive to buy when you're at a restau... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 07:45:45 EST 3.8.17 By golly I did it again - I set out my running clothes last night, and I got up this morning and did a short little run! I like this. <BR> <BR> It's Day 6 of no coffee. I haven't noticed any huge differences yet; I *do* notice, though, that I am able to get out of bed right away in the morning and don't feel sluggish. I was totally ready for my run this morning. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - 60 oz. of water/tea at work <BR> - eat mindfully (I bought carrots and hummus for work so I don't have t... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 07:54:55 EST 3.7.17 The exciting news from yesterday was that I got out and ran in the morning. The not-so-exciting news is that, in a moment of weakness, I ate FIVE packs of fruit snacks at work. Ugh. I have no idea what came over me. Maybe I do - it was day 4 of no caffeine (I've read that caffeine is an appetite suppressant), I ran in the morning... who knows. Anyway, today will be better. I plan to head out to the store on my lunch to get some veggies and guacamole for an afternoon snack. Planning is the key... Tue, 7 Mar 2017 07:55:01 EST 3.6.17 One of my challenges I'm constantly working on is that I have trouble with inertia. I have trouble moving from one thing to another, no matter how easy the second activity might be. It's a challenge for me to go for a morning run because I psych myself out, thinking about all the steps I have to do. Lately I've been breaking it down into baby steps - put on your shoes. Work on this thing for 15 minutes (and set a timer). Etc. And it seems to work. The less I think about something, the easier ... Mon, 6 Mar 2017 07:55:29 EST 3.4.17 I am away from home this weekend, visiting my niece who turns 6 months old tomorrow! I'm very excited to see her and my brother and SIL. We are having a really great time so far, and we watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone this morning. <BR> <BR> The biggest challenge for me this weekend is my eating. I have been so mindful about eating when I'm at home and at work, that being away is kind of throwing me for a loop. But it's a good lesson in "planning" for life. It's not always pos... Sat, 4 Mar 2017 09:16:27 EST 3.2.17 I'm getting the hang of this meal planning thing (again). Just a few months ago, I was going out to eat for lunch a few times a week, even if I brought my lunch. It was costing me loads of money and also wasn't helping me to reach my fitness goals. French toast and bacon was the norm. And although delicious, eating that on the regular wasn't doing my body any favors. <BR> <BR> I was craving Indian food this week (chana-saag, specifically) so I planned out what day I was going to have it. I d... Thu, 2 Mar 2017 21:28:47 EST 2.28.17 Coffee/caffeine detox Day 7: 75% decaf, 25% regular. Goal is to be off coffee by the weekend. <BR> <BR> This morning I am feeling especially fortunate to have a partner who is a great cook and prepares my meals for me. My lunches are always packed, I have hard boiled eggs ready for work along with healthy snacks for the day. I had fresh fruit salad this morning. <BR> <BR> It's kind of amazing how the earlier sunrise changes my whole morning. I feel like I have so much more time in the morn... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:02:22 EST 2.27.17 Today is Day 6 of the coffee/caffeine detox. I am down to half regular/half decaf. Last time I weaned myself off coffee, I did it more slowly - a week at 25% decaf, a week at 50% decaf, and then a week at 75% decaf. (I use 4 scoops of beans, so it's easy to change the ratios.) I'd like to push it along a little faster this time, just so I can start seeing what changes might be there once I am not drinking coffee anymore. Tomorrow I think I'll go down to 25% regular, and aim to be off coffee b... Mon, 27 Feb 2017 07:53:42 EST 2.26.17 The sugar detox is still happening, and I feel pretty good. I'm not sure when it changes from a detox to a changed mindset...? I've been conscious of food labels and choosing food with less sugar. I've made little changes like having almond butter on my toast instead of butter and jelly, and I'm feeling good. <BR> <BR> Last week I decided I was going to do a caffeine detox as well. Today is Day 5. Yesterday was rough - I went 50% regular and 50% decaf, and I had a mile headache all afternoo... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:58:41 EST 2.20.17 I'm on day I-don't-know of my self-imposed sugar detox. I know it's been at least a week, maybe closer to two? At any rate, I'm feeling great. I've been drinking a ton of water, eating many more fruits, and my skin even looks better. My clothing fits better, and it's been a real eye-opener to see just how much sugar I was eating. <BR> <BR> The biggest culprit of the extra sugar was the food at work. We have bins full of snacks for our events that I was digging into whenever I was hungry/bor... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:54:42 EST 2.14.17 Today was a bit of a challenge for me. Yesterday, I decided that I was going to start another sugar detox. And today was the day to start. I haven't made it so that I'm avoiding fruit, but it really made me think today before I ate anything. I really eat a lot of sugar during the day without even knowing it. I was alright this morning, but this afternoon rolled around and I was craving sugar. Like REALLY craving it. So instead I drank about 58 cups of hot tea. It was really hard. I forgot how... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 21:14:56 EST 1.30.17 It's an exciting morning here, waiting for the plumber. It's a good opportunity for me to work on some personal stuff - I'm making a real effort to get my financial life in shape. Tracking my spending goes hand in hand with tracking my food. It's eye-opening to see where my money goes - the spending adds up. <BR> <BR> I took two circus classes this weekend - one on Saturday, one on Sunday - and my body is letting me know for sure! I spent some time with the foam roller last night, and I'll ... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 08:54:45 EST 1.26.17 Sometimes I have these cravings for foods and I just can't ignore it. The other day I was SO hungry for a muffin and crackers... I caved in and got myself a muffin and ate a bunch of graham crackers at work. And then you know what? I was done. I got it out of my system and spent today eating healthier and drinking lots of water. Don't know if it's the best way to get past a craving, but it seemed to have worked for me. <BR> <BR> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 21:22:31 EST 1.19.17 I've been drinking lots of water each day, which is fantastic. The part I hate about getting back into the water habit is that I constantly have to pee. C'mon body, get used to this water a little more quickly! <BR> <BR> Today should be a pretty easy day at work; I'm also meeting a friend for lunch, and we're going to get Indian food. There is a great place just down the block from the library, and it's super delicious. I've been looking forward to it all week! <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - wate... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:04:13 EST 1.16.17 I'm back from my weekend singing in NYC! I hadn't sung there in a few years, and it was nice to be back. One of my biggest challenges (I posted this earlier over the weekend) while there was to find food that fit not only into the "relatively healthy" category, but also into the "relatively budget-friendly" category. The two choices I was most pleased with were a protein smoothie and a sushi platter. If you are ever in NYC and want some fast, good, fresh sushi, I would recommend Wasabi Sushi.... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:09:28 EST 1.13.17 Friday the 13th! I'm actually not superstitious about the date, but it's still fun to say it in a spooky voice. <BR> <BR> I was up in New York early this morning for a rehearsal - I am singing in Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon and have two days of rehearsal before then. One of my challenges was finding food that was relatively healthy. I wasn't too crazy looking for healthy food, but I didn't just want to grab a couple slices of pizza and a soda... I ended up with a protein smoothie. <BR... Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:56:44 EST 1.11.17 I went to a hot yoga class tonight with hubs - I'm feeling relaxed and loose. Tomorrow night I have a trapeze class, and then a few days off of working out to give my body some time to recover. It's been a while since I worked out this hard, and I kind of forgot how much extra rest my body needs while I'm getting used to it. <BR> <BR> Today I drank a lot of water - it's getting easier to drink a lot of water at work. I also stuck to fruit this morning at our staff meeting, despite having bag... Wed, 11 Jan 2017 21:07:12 EST 1.9.17 I took a closer look at my Spark page this morning and saw that I have been a member here since 2009. !!!! That's a really long time. Eight years of Sparking! Not always consistent, but here I am. <BR> <BR> So much has changed in 8 years. I've moved to the city, embraced running and challenging workouts, and started trapeze classes. I am a person I wouldn't have imagined becoming more than 8 years ago. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - water!!! <BR> - post an item on Craigslist <BR> - call the gas ... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 07:58:26 EST 1.7.17 It's snowing in Philadelphia today, and it's also very cold. I'll be staying in, thank you very much. <BR> Working on being more mindful in all aspects of my life, particularly eating and finances. This morning I didn't have any sausage (we are all out) and I didn't even miss it. So two positive things from that - 1) fewer calories for breakfast and 2) spending less money on groceries (sausage is expensive!). <BR> <BR> 2017 is going to be my year for getting smarter about my money. I'm set... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 11:29:35 EST 1.6.17 For months, my breakfast routine has been exactly the same. Wake up, shower, make my coffee, two eggs, one sausage patty, and two pieces of toast. <BR> <BR> Today I changed that. I ate about an hour later so I wouldn't feel so hungry at work in the mid-morning. I kept the same food, and paid attention to how it made me feel. And I'm really full. So maybe tomorrow I cut out one piece of toast to see how that works... <BR> <BR> I guess it's all about paying attention to my body to see what ... Fri, 6 Jan 2017 08:03:08 EST 6.1.16 For the last few years, June 1 has been kind of a downer day for me. Four years ago today, I was furloughed from a teaching job that I LOVED. I was great at my job, my kiddos loved me, and I thought I'd be doing that job for a long time. Nope. <BR> <BR> It took a long time, but I think I finally feel like I'm able to truly let it go and move forward. It took me this long to accept that I wouldn't be going back. I think it helped that I finally purged some of my old teaching stuff. I held on ... Wed, 1 Jun 2016 08:01:08 EST 5.22.16 This week I'm going to start a sugar detox. I've been hemming and hawing over this for a while, but I'm just going to DO IT this week. Make a plan, carry out the plan. I saved an article from a magazine - how to do a detox in three weeks. This week it's no dessert, no juice, no candy, and no coffee drinks. Lots of fruit and protein. <BR> <BR> I've been taking yoga classes at a studio near my apt (2 blocks away!) and I feel like it's really been a good addition to my running, which I've been... Sun, 22 May 2016 18:53:59 EST 5.8.16 I sucked it up, set the alarm, and woke up for a run today. I got in about 2.25 miles. I had perfect timing, too - as soon as I crossed the street to my apartment, it started to rain. Hard. <BR> <BR> On Friday I took a morning yoga class - it totally confirmed my hunch that I was out of shape. My body is still sore and the class wasn't even a "hard" yoga class. I guess I just need to keep going so I can improve myself. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - drink lots of water <BR> - keep calm while I p... Sun, 8 May 2016 08:14:20 EST 5.6.16 I'm trying something new today - a morning yoga class before I have to go into work. The timing means I need to seriously get my life together before I go; when I come home, I won't have much time to get ready for work. But I can do it! <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - drink lots of water <BR> - get up from the computer every half hour, at least <BR> - Enjoy my yoga class Fri, 6 May 2016 06:36:05 EST 5.5.16 One of my favorite feelings is when things just seem to start falling into place. The plan starts making more sense, it's actually enjoyable to get up early to work out, and I look forward to yoga after work. <BR> <BR> I ran a 10-mile race on Sunday, and it seems like that was the best way I could have started off a new month. It inspired me to make SMART goals for the month. I'm excited to see how I'll feel at the end of the month! <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - Drink 3-20oz glasses of water at ... Thu, 5 May 2016 07:51:42 EST 5.3.16 After a day off yesterday, I feel refreshed and ready to go. On Sunday, I ran the Broad Street Run, a 10-mile race in Philly. It was cold, rainy, and pretty miserable. But I did it. Phew! Yesterday I took a class called "Gentle Yoga" and it was PERFECT for race recovery. Today I feel great. I decided to try out the yoga studio for a month and see if I like it or not. Or, more accurately, if I am going to get my money's worth if I decide to join. It's not cheap! <BR> <BR> Today is a rest day... Tue, 3 May 2016 07:38:10 EST 4.19.16 Planning... I both love and hate it. In the moment, I feel like I could be doing something more productive. But when it's time for me to have a meal and I know exactly what I'm going to do... that's when I appreciate meal planning. <BR> <BR> Last night my mom called me and dejectedly told me that she was going to go back to Jenny Craig. We talked for a bit and I suggested that she work on changing one habit at a time - focusing on drinking lots of water this week. Next week, change something... Tue, 19 Apr 2016 08:10:17 EST 4.18.16 I have re-discovered the joy of turkey bacon. Hubs got a lot of it over the weekend, so I had some for breakfast and some more for a snack when I got home. SO GOOD. <BR> <BR> Got in a run this morning, a little over 4.5 miles. I am so excited that it's getting light nice and early - it makes it much easier to get out of bed. <BR> <BR> I bought a new dry-erase board over the weekend; I'm using it to keep track of my goals and have everything written out in one place. Hoping to make and meet ... Mon, 18 Apr 2016 19:21:58 EST 4.12.16 My calendar is filling up and I'm not so sure that's a good thing. <BR> <BR> Between classes, book clubs, concerts, work commitments, and race training, I'm not so sure I'm really enjoying all of it. When I write this stuff on the calendar I think I want to do it - but when I look at everything I have on there, it becomes more of an obligation, rather than an activity I'll enjoy doing. Maybe my mind will clear up after my grad classes are done (in two weeks, hurrah!) but I think for now, I n... Tue, 12 Apr 2016 15:15:37 EST 3.22.16 March successes (so far): <BR> - I bought a new water glass for work, and I am drinking a TON of water throughout the day. This means I have to pee a lot, but I know it's helping me manage my eating. <BR> - Every week I've been getting more mindful about what I'm eating. <BR> - Running has improved and I've gotten more consistent with my workouts <BR> <BR> March areas for improvement: <BR> - make more of an effort to get to bed by 9-9:30. Daylight will be getting earlier and I'd love to use ... Tue, 22 Mar 2016 09:11:42 EST 3.6.16 Any time I get up to run, I have to give myself a little pat on the back. It's not easy to get up early on a chilly March day, when it's so toasty under the covers. But I have a race coming up in May, and I have to get in my miles. And I skipped last Thursday's run, my body was exhausted. <BR> <BR> So almost six miles later, I'm done. And I feel good. I just need to keep stretching throughout the day and drinking lots of water. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - drink tons of water (an ongoing challe... Sun, 6 Mar 2016 08:51:23 EST 3.1.16 It was another great run this morning. I got in a good four miles before I had to go to work. <BR> <BR> Today I: <BR> - drank a lot of water <BR> - didn't eat too much pizza at my lunch meeting <BR> - ate a yogurt for a snack. <BR> <BR> Tue, 1 Mar 2016 21:27:51 EST 2.23.16 Every day I drink a little more water at work. Today I'll drink even more! <BR> <BR> I've been having trouble waking up early for my runs - I had been hitting snooze, re-setting my alarm for an hour later... so I got myself a new alarm app (White Noise) that wakes me up by having a sound gradually start playing, rather than having a loud sound jerk me awake. This morning was the first I tried it. <BR> <BR> And I woke up early! I didn't hit snooze! Of course, I have to give it a few days to ... Tue, 23 Feb 2016 08:24:37 EST 2.22.16 It's amazing what I can get done when I just DO stuff instead of think about it incessantly. This morning, I thought "I should paint my nails when I get home." And I have plenty of time before I have to go to work - I wake up early with plenty of time before I have to leave for work. So I just did it. Put on my morning radio stream and gave myself a mini-mani. And now I feel just that little bit more put together for the day. <BR> <BR> The last few days at work have not been good as far as ... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 07:58:58 EST 2.18.16 Back to the basics. <BR> <BR> - 2 big bottles of water at work <BR> - no eating snacks from the basement at work (we give out snacks to families and that's where we store them) <BR> - get to bed by 9:30 so I can wake up at 5:30 so I can run before work. <BR> - track today's food Thu, 18 Feb 2016 07:31:24 EST 2.10.16 I'm really good at making to-do lists, and I'm getting better at *doing* the stuff on the lists. I *do* need to work on, however, time management skills. I'm a good procrastinator and get my stuff done, but not without stress. Just one of these days I'd like to be prepared for my day without having to make myself nuts the night before and morning of! <BR> <BR> Today <BR> - lots of water at work <BR> - get up and move whenever I can <BR> - be mindful of what I eat <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:54:41 EST 2.8.16 Not a whole lot to say today... just here for consistency's sake. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - drink lots of water at work <BR> - tackle some tasks that I've been putting off (for no good reason) <BR> - schoolwork and cleaning tonight after work <BR> <BR> Happy Monday! <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> Mon, 8 Feb 2016 07:50:13 EST 2.5.16 I'm kinda proud of myself this morning. I've had it on my to-do list for at least two weeks to paint my nails (side note: when I was teaching, my nails got chipped often, so I've not painted them in a while). But since I am not teaching anymore, my nails can stay a little nicer. Not to mention I have to meet with people and want to feel my best. When my nails are done, I feel more put-together. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I crossed off that task this morning. It took me less than 10 minutes to swipe ... Fri, 5 Feb 2016 07:39:24 EST 2.3.16 I love making lists. I love making lists so much, in fact, that the actual tasks *on* the list are secondary to the actual list. For example - I wanted to put an alarm on my phone reminding myself to get ready for bed at a decent hour. Naturally, I added it to the to-do list. I know, it takes two seconds to add an alarm. <BR> <BR> I realized that this morning and just set the alarm. There. Done. <BR> <BR> There are lots of times I find myself putting tons of time into thinking about doing ... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 07:58:48 EST 2.1.16 Happy February! <BR> <BR> I feel like I write this every month, but I really do love turning the calendar page. I love the symbolism and the fresh start. <BR> <BR> This month I'm choosing to focus on three wellness areas - <BR> Physical <BR> Emotional/Spiritual <BR> Academic <BR> <BR> I'm working on the particulars, but this seems like a good start. I can't focus on *everything* I'd like to work on, so I identified the areas I'd like to improve the most. I plan to not only identify areas ... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 06:49:56 EST 1.29.16 Yesterday I learned that there always seems to be food around at my job. And not just little bites, but trays of sweets, pretzels, cookies, all kinds of stuff. I need an extra dose of motivation so I don't eat everything in sight! <BR> <BR> Something I know about myself, though, is that it's easier for me to not have anything at all than it is to have one or two of something and leave the rest alone. I think I may stock up on some mints and gum to keep at my desk so I'm not tempted to eat s... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 07:59:06 EST 1.27.16 It's going to be a busy day! There is a big meeting today at work - it's a once a month meeting, and this is my first one since starting my new job. I want to make a good first impression! Then I have to jet off to one of my grad classes - the drive is long, but I love what I'm studying and I have some great audiobooks to listen to on the way. <BR> <BR> One of the most significant differences between this job and teaching is that I'm not standing or moving around as much. I really started n... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 07:53:51 EST 1.26.16 The good news is that my grad class for tonight is cancelled because of the snow. I like my grad classes, but I do not like coming home from the classes to try and find parking. Parking is tight in my neighborhood, so the less I have to move my car, the better! <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - drink lots of water at work <BR> - get up to walk around throughout the day <BR> - do some stretching and light yoga this evening <BR> <BR> Have a great day, Sparkies! <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Tue, 26 Jan 2016 07:39:58 EST 1.24.16 We got about two feet of snow in Philly, so today was filled with shoveling and digging out. I spent most of yesterday reading and getting stuff done around the house, and still managing to fit in a nap. <BR> <BR> This week I need to focus on getting some workouts in. It's been so cold and snowy that I haven't really felt like going out to run. But that doesn't mean I can't do stuff in the house. Another focus is drinking lots of water. I've actually been really good about drinking water at ... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 20:00:51 EST 1.21.16 I just realized that the date on yesterday's blog was wrong. Oops. No matter. <BR> <BR> Another peaceful morning before work. The (loose) plan yesterday was that I would get up early and run before work. But I didn't go to sleep until almost 11:00 last night. While I probably could have gotten by on less sleep to get up, I preferred to sleep in. This leads me to my new goal - to get to bed between 9-9:30 so I can wake up early to run before work. <BR> <BR> I almost always get sucked into th... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 08:03:53 EST 1.20.16 Days 1 & 2 of my new job have been amazing. I feel totally at home and 110% sure I made the right decision by accepting this position. There are already a few things I'm really excited about - it's been a while since I've been so excited about my job. <BR> <BR> It's been ridiculously cold in Philly so I've not run the last two days. I'll check the forecast for tomorrow and see if it's going to be a morning or evening run tomorrow. Looking out for a lot of snow on Saturday - I love a lot of s... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 21:35:08 EST 1.17.16 Today's successes: <BR> <BR> - ran a little over 2 miles. <BR> - walked around the city like crazy. <BR> - limited myself to one cocktail at brunch. <BR> - had a great day with a good friend. <BR> <BR> Happy Sunday! <BR> <BR> <em>425</em> Sun, 17 Jan 2016 18:34:46 EST 1.15.16 Well, today is it. It's my last day of my current job. The last day of me being a music teacher for the foreseeable future. Maybe forever...? <BR> <BR> Long story short, I was laid off in 2012 from a job that I LOVED. Moved to Philly for a fresh start. Went back to teaching in fall of 2014. Also went back to school for a second masters degree and another certification so I could move out of the classroom. And now here I am, a new job starting on Tuesday, doing what I've been working toward ... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 07:08:32 EST 1.11.16 This week is going to take all my strength to get through. It's my last week of teaching before I start my new job! I'm really excited, but I've already kind of mentally checked out of this job. I guess that sounds kind of terrible. <BR> <BR> I have a lot of stuff to bring home and sort through. Again. I can't even tell you how many times I've hauled teaching stuff around, back and forth from various schools to my home. But I know this is a really good move. Yesterday was the first Sunday in... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 06:53:29 EST 1.9.16 Again, blogging for consistency's sake. Right now, for me, the most important part of my Sparking and running is to do it consistently, even if it's only a short post/run. I need to make these things habits again. <BR> <BR> I won't go into it too much, but ever since I've officially resigned I've felt more positive, lighter, and like my old self is coming back. A person I didn't realize was gone until recently. If I can carry this momentum with me throughout this year, I'll be in great shape... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 22:07:10 EST