NATALIE225's SparkPeople Blog NATALIE225's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Gluten Free-Week 2 and 3 I didn't have time to blog last weekend so I'll have to do 2 weeks in 1. As I discussed in my last blog, I experienced a few symptoms my first week. Starting my second week, those symptoms disappeared and I haven't had any other issues. I've been better about planning my food so I haven't felt like I've been missing any nutrients. I've also eaten out a couple times for family birthdays and I haven't had any issues at restaurants. (I've been going online before hand and looking at the men... Sun, 15 Sep 2013 20:05:06 EST Gluten Free-Week 1 What a week it's been! As I said in my last blog when I started this whole thing, I'm often surprised at how my body reacts to dietary changes. So far this has been no exception. <BR> <BR> The first day or two I didn't really notice any difference. I felt fine and didn't have any big cravings, which is supposed to be a major side effect from what I've read. However, on day 2 I started to feel really light headed periodically during the day. This lasted for about 3 days. The last couple... Sat, 31 Aug 2013 10:52:30 EST Going Gluten Free for 30 days I tend to read a lot of Natural Health books and newsletters. I love Food Matters and Hungry for Change especially. I've been reading a lot lately on being gluten free. I don't have Celiac's Disease so I never thought it was something that I would try. However, I recently read Wheat Belly and while I think it can be a little boring in some areas and the research he presents is not always very impressive, he's raised some interesting points for me. I had no idea that the majority of our w... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 12:43:49 EST Back to walking The last few months have been a little slow for me. I tend to lose my workout mojo in the spring for some reason. I started to feel a little lazy, then skipped one workout, then two. I told myself that as long as I wasn't gaining any weight it was ok to take a little break. <BR> <BR> I went on vacation at the end of May and I gained 3 pounds. Boy, was I motivated to get back on it after that! I started walking again. I usually walk 2-3 miles at a time, but it's been awhile since I've... Sun, 7 Jul 2013 12:02:08 EST Cholesterol Levels (great news!) I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol when I was 18. I was living a healthy lifestyle, at a healthy weight, and working out every day. I had never had all my labs tested and decided since I was finally an adult, I should know where all my health levels were. So I made an appointment and went to the doctor. All my blood work came back fine, except my cholesterol. At the time my cholesterol was 243 and my triglycerides were over 400! My doctor put me on special diet: no red meat, no... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 17:42:35 EST First beautiful day in a long time... I live in Boise, Idaho. According to the weather gurus, this has been the 4th coldest winter in the history of our dear city. It is the coldest winter in the past 75 years. Needless to say, it's been horrible! <BR> <BR> It's been way below freezing. I can't tell you how many consecutive days we had where our high was single digits. We've had a lot of snow and we're supposed to get more later this week. It's been one of the most awful winters we've had. <BR> <BR> Now I know anyone who ... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 19:40:14 EST Bought an elliptical today About a year ago I bought a treadmill and I love it. This winter has been really cold (the coldest in Boise in the past 70 years) so there's no way I can or will workout outdoors. I found out last winter that I won't even get in my car in the morning or evening to drive to the gym when it's freezing outside, which led to my treadmill purchase and the cancellation of my gym membership. <BR> <BR> While I love my treadmill, recently I've found the workouts don't challenge me as much. I sho... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 18:36:35 EST Lost during Thanksgiving week-so proud! Well, it's been about 10 months since I've blogged. And in that time I've gained a lot of weight. Things at my job got quite hectic and we had a lot of mandatory overtime. I was exhausted all the time and fell off the healthy wagon. I got back up to my original weight, gaining back the 35 pounds I'd lost. It was very depressing. <BR> <BR> So about 6 weeks ago, I decided it was time to make myself a priority again. I started off really slow, not with a specific plan. I just wanted to... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 13:55:46 EST Walking work station Well, the last few months have been difficult. It's been a big time of transition and spending money. But I'm finally settled in Boise and in my apartment and I'm trying to get back on track. Unfortunately, I've gain 10 pounds of the 35 that I lost. However, I realized that I need to get back on track. I'm not beating myself up for my little detour. Instead I'm focusing on the future. <BR> <BR> I'm very excited because I just bought a treadmill. For about the past year I've wanted a '... Sat, 7 Jan 2012 15:43:44 EST Finally back I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since I've been on here! But it has been. After I got my new job I found an apartment and then my life was a whirlwind. I had to move, buy furniture (I had almost nothing), start my job, and train. I was working weird hours while training so my life was all over the place. And I just got my internet hooked up this past weekend. <BR> <BR> So, now I'm finally connected again and it feels good. My diet has strayed a bit, but not too bad. I weighe... Tue, 1 Nov 2011 20:17:18 EST New Apartment In my last blog I told everyone how I'd gotten a job. Well, now I found an apartment. It's been an up and down journey the past few weeks. I found a place that I loved, turned in the application, went to sign the lease, and suddenly they tell me that utilities and the lawncare that was supposed to be included in the rent now isn't. This means I'd have to pay about an extra $100 a month plus do yard work, which I hate. So, needless to say, I didn't take the place. <BR> <BR> Life is fun... Sat, 10 Sep 2011 00:46:49 EST I got a job!!!! Ok, I know that I've been super quiet on SP recently. I've had a lot going on. Since I moved to Boise I've been applying for jobs like crazy! I've also been looking at apartments and bikes (because I plan to bike to work) and working out. <BR> <BR> Today I got the call offering me the position I REALLY wanted and I'm so excited!!! It's at the hospital as a Patient Care Associate. The hours are great and it's a good location so regardless of where I rent I'll be able to bike to work. ... Wed, 24 Aug 2011 17:47:20 EST Down 2 lbs Yes, I'm down 2 pounds. Granted, these are 2 of the 4 pounds that I gained over the last 2 or 3 weeks with my move and getting settled in Boise again. But that almost makes it more rewarding. It's always great to lose weight, but when you gain and you feel horrible, it's really wonderful to hop on the scale and see some of that gone. I'm looking forward to hopping on the scale next week and seeing even more of it gone! <BR> <BR> I've been working out a LOT! If you've been following my b... Mon, 8 Aug 2011 13:24:21 EST I love the YMCA!!! So, Monday I heard back from the gym and found out that I qualify for their financial aid. Since I was doing AmeriCorps and didn't have an income I qualify for the maximum discount, which is 70% off. So I now have a gym membership for only $12.50 a month! <BR> <BR> I absolutely love the YMCA. First of all, everyone there is really nice. They automatically give everyone the paperwork for financial aid when you go pick up an application so you don't even have to ask for it. I had a lot of... Sat, 6 Aug 2011 01:24:02 EST Feeling horrible I'm literally feeling horrible because I ate WAY to much this weekend. My mom had a big party on Saturday. It was the first time she's had one in ages. She invited all of her co-workers and people who had helped her after her house burned down last summer. Now it's rebuilt and beautiful so it was a chance for everyone to see it and to have a great time. <BR> <BR> But there was TONS of food! I had really good intentions of not eating so horrible, but I didn't have time to eat before peop... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 13:06:27 EST Gained 3 pounds My goal the last couple weeks was not to lose weight but rather to not gain. I was moving from L.A. to Boise, Idaho. I had several goodbye lunches during my last week at work and then a long 3 day drive to Boise with a stop-over to see my uncle. <BR> <BR> As some of you know if you've read my previous blogs, I ended up having car trouble. This meant that I ended up eating out as I didn't have access to my healthy food in the cooler in my car when it was being worked on. Then I went to ... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 17:11:58 EST Parent relationships I need to rant a bit. I've been in Boise for less than 2 days and I'm already sick of my mother. I can't stand her and I'm supposed to be living with her for the next month or two while I find a job and apartment now that I moved here. Um, yea...I'm going to look at apartments later today. <BR> <BR> So, what's the problem? Well, there's a few. First of all, she's very demanding and doesn't care about my time. I'm supposed to be out looking for jobs and taking tests online for jobs I al... Thu, 28 Jul 2011 14:38:20 EST Idaho I made it! It wasn't exactly a very smooth move. I left L.A. Sunday morning at 8:00 am. I drove 15 miles and suddenly had a ton of smoke coming from my exhaust and my check engine light went on. I called AAA and got towed to PepBoys because it was the only mechanic anywhere near me that was open on Sundays. Cost me $575 to fix my car, including replacing spark plugs that I had just replaced 2 weeks earlier (yes, I have a call into my mechanic about some reimbursement...). I also had to ... Wed, 27 Jul 2011 11:11:39 EST The funniest thing I've always loved meat. I've gone through many changes in my diet over the years, especially when living overseas. When I was serving in the Peace Corps in Madagascar I could only get (decent) meat once a month. The rest of the time I lived a vegetarian lifestyle. But I never stopped loving meat. <BR> <BR> Back in April I decided to transition to a vegan lifestyle. Why? I don't like industrial farming. And the more I learned about our meat and dairy and where it comes from and how unh... Wed, 20 Jul 2011 23:18:46 EST I maintained Anyone who read my blog yesterday knows that I was a little nervous to get on the scale this morning. I had quite a bad week last week as far as my eating and exercising. But I believe in being honest with myself, so I MADE myself get on the scale today and surprisingly, I didn't gain any weight...yay! <BR> <BR> Today I got back on track. I did an hour of cardio and I ate decently. I also went to the store as planned and bought enough healthy food to get me through the next week. So I'm... Fri, 15 Jul 2011 23:08:29 EST The next 10 days I don't even want to stand on the scale tomorrow morning. I know I haven't lost a thing. I've been horrible the past week AND I MEAN HORRIBLE!!! <BR> <BR> (Let me preface this: for those of you who don't know I teach adult ESL (English as a Second Language). I work in Los Angeles, predominately with Mexican students, but I have students from several other Latin American countries as well.) <BR> <BR> This past week has been crazy. I had my last class on Monday and then our student gradua... Fri, 15 Jul 2011 00:05:43 EST 50 Things about me you might not know... Got this from YOUNGANGELAM. I thought it was cute so I decided to do it myself. Here we go! <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? <BR> Nope, my parents just liked the name. Although a few weeks after I was born my mom wanted to change my middle name from Renee to Rose. My dad refused because he said it was too much paper work, but I've always wished they had. <BR> <BR> 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? <BR> Last night I got a little teary cuz of the book I'm reading. <... Fri, 8 Jul 2011 13:03:17 EST 4th of July Tomorrow I'm headed out of town for a couple days for the holiday. I'm really excited. Not only am I seeing a friend that I haven't seen since February when we went to Palm Springs, but I'm also going to the beach and getting out of hot LA! It's been 95-100 the past few days and I have no air conditioning in my house. It's been miserable! I'm going to San Clemente where it'll only be in the 80's. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather! <BR> <BR> I'm also excited because my friend is... Sun, 3 Jul 2011 02:05:17 EST Negativity on SP (small rant) I'm confused....why do people use a site and them continually bash it every chance they get? I understand that SP is a free site and that they need to use advertisements to keep it going. I get that there are some aspects of the site that some people might find challenging. I personally wish that their articles would always have a date so that I knew when they were written. However, I know that they don't and if I have questions about something written I spend the extra 2 minutes to do a ... Mon, 20 Jun 2011 17:42:24 EST Anxiety Ok, so I've been feeling a little stressed the past few days. First of all, I got sick, AGAIN. I normally only get a cold about once a year. I haven't had the flu in years. Then all of sudden, this spring I've had major sinus colds twice and the flu. It's crazy. I just can't seem to stay healthy, which is ironic because I'm also eating healthier and working out more than I have in years. <BR> <BR> Last weekend I was supposed to go to San Clemente to visit a friend. She lives in a fanc... Tue, 14 Jun 2011 16:31:08 EST The Omnivore's Dilemma Most of you know that I've been making some major changes to my diet. About 4 weeks ago I attended a big vegan festival here in LA and it had a huge impact on me. I learned a LOT and decided to give up meat and dairy. <BR> <BR> As a result of this change I've been reading so many books and articles the last few weeks. I'm trying to find out more about living as a vegan, but also just more about health in general. I've been reading about diets in other countries and the food industry in t... Fri, 10 Jun 2011 17:18:15 EST Skinny Jeans I've been on SP for 9 months and have never posted a picture of myself. I know a lot of people like pics to compare and track their progress. I've just never been a fan of looking at "fat" pictures of myself when I'm losing weight. It discourages me to see where I was. Instead, I choose to focus on where I am and where I'm going. <BR> <BR> However, I tried on my skinny jeans for the first time since I started this journey. (I haven't worn these jeans since I was in college. The last... Sun, 5 Jun 2011 17:44:00 EST Giving up another vice When I first decided that I was going to be serious about losing weight I knew I was going to have to give up a lot of things. However, I had a few things that I clutched to dearly, soda for one example. I LOVE soda. I knew I would never give it up completely. But I started buying the 7.5 oz cans and cut myself down to a few a week. Next thing I knew my cravings for it stopped. Even a small can was too much sugar. Now, I can't even tell you the last time I had a soda! <BR> <BR> Anoth... Fri, 3 Jun 2011 21:51:54 EST Measurements Ok, so in my last blog I was so excited because of my weight loss. I told you that this week it was time for me to do my monthly measurements and I was really excited because I thought I'd lost inches. Well...I lost 1/2 inch in my hips but nothing in my waist, thighs, or arms. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> I'm not really too upset about it though. I just started strength training again 2.5 weeks ago, so I guess it's just going to take a little longer to see results. Plus, this is kind of a ba... Thu, 2 Jun 2011 13:36:43 EST 30 pounds gone I finally got myself back into my workout routine a few weeks ago and the pounds started to come off again. I was excited to step on the scale today because I knew that I'd gone down but was happily surprised to see that I'd lost 2 pounds this past week. This brought me down into the 170's for the first time in 2 years AND I hit the 30 pound mark! I couldn't believe it. <BR> <BR> I realized when I logged on to track the weight loss that I only have another 18 pounds to my goal. When I lo... Sat, 28 May 2011 23:50:00 EST Whole Foods Well, I made my first ever trip to Whole Foods today! I was there for over an hour just looking at things and reading labels. It was just as big as I expected but I also had a few surprises... <BR> <BR> 1. You can buy a lot without spending a lot of money if you're careful about what you buy. I've been wanted to try millet, quinoa, and flaxseed for some time now, but I don't want to buy a HUGE bag and then find out that I don't like it (especially when said bags are about $7). I went to... Fri, 27 May 2011 19:59:31 EST Changes I've spent the past several months changing my eating and exercise habits. After a few months I finally felt like I was in a good place with the eating and after a small fall off the wagon, I'm getting to a good place with my exercise too. But it's funny how quickly things can change. <BR> <BR> Last weekend I went to a Vegan event called World Fest. It was amazing! I had a fantastic time. But I also learned a lot. I know about the horrible treatment of animals in the meat industry and ... Wed, 25 May 2011 19:34:43 EST Another pound down Everyone around me knows that I've been pretty stagnant over the past few months. I started off real strong last September, made it through the holidays, and then lost my momentum in February. It's not that I plateaued. I simply stopped exercising consistently. For me and my body, eating well simply isn't enough. My metabolism is very slow and cutting a few calories here and there just doesn't cut it. I know this. <BR> <BR> But in February something happened and I lost my motivation ... Fri, 13 May 2011 15:45:40 EST 100% again...finally I'm feeling really good today! It's the first time in a long time. Three weeks ago I got a really bad cold. I started to feel a little better but then I flew home for Easter. The plane ride with the change in altitude made me feel a lot worse. I was home for 5 days; long enough to start feeling better a second time, but then I had the plane ride back. By the time I got back to LA I was miserable again. <BR> <BR> After a few days I finally got rid of my cold, but then last Monday I go... Sun, 8 May 2011 18:04:15 EST First blog I've been on SP for about 7 months now and I'm slowly starting to take advantage of some of the many features that I've ignored for a long time. I started to actually get involved in my teams. I've been organizing team meetups for our local team and I recently became the team leader! Over the last few weeks I've been thinking of things I want to tell people, but have never actually blogged. I've just been emailing one of my Spark Friends. But then this morning, I thought "Why not tell ev... Sat, 2 Apr 2011 13:29:57 EST