Monday, July 25, 2016

Small changes

So super quicky this morning! If you have read my earliest blogs, you know it's all about slow and steady winning the race for me! Little changes that add up in the long tern to a better me!

As many of you know, I have been nursing my osteoarthritic (is that a word?) knee for about a month now. This tells me I have inflammation in my body. What causes inflammation? The wrong foods (SUGAR!!) .  While I am pretty good about staying off obvious sugars and processed foods (most of the time) sugar still is a part of my diet. I use coconut sugar  in my coffee, and sauces on my foods as well as dark chocolate containing sugar. ..... I'm tackling the small one first. This week's little change is the way I spice my eggs.
Instead of my Sriracha and Iguana sauce (both of which have sugar as the second ingredient, 1g per tsp. and I generously use at least 2 -3 tsp.),
I am using Turmeric and Cayenne which are healing anti-inflammatory spices. 
That's it. That is my small step this morning in a healthier direction. What small step would you like to make to become just a little bit healthier?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Breakfast of Champions! or Just Desserts?

A little while ago, one of my class goers, Cathy posted an article on my wall about breakfast in America being more like dessert. Click on the "article link above. A shocking read for sure! Boy did this resonate with me big time!!! Breakfast was always my favorite meal!!! So much so in fact, I could (and some times did) eat it for lunch and dinner too! **In my best Oprah voice** "I LOVE Cereal! I LOVE Cereal!"  

Seriously!! I LOVE CEREAL!! Capt'n Crunch Berries, Honey bunches of Oats, and Cinnamon Life were on my top favorite list! I also love pancakes! And waffles! And Cheese Dreams!! What are cheese dreams?!!? Cream cheese stuffed french toast, smothered in butter and syrup! Some of my other breakfast go-to's were cream of wheat or oatmeal with white and brown sugar.... Oh, and then they came out with flavored instant.... Be still my heart.

Breakfast was my golden ticket to eat all the sugar I wanted from a kid, well into my thirties and not feel even a little naughty about it. Remember in the 90's when Kellogg's  had the cereal diet (a bowl for breakfast, a bowl for lunch, and a sensible dinner?) Oh, I was on ship fast than you could say Ahoy! I have had a love for sugar since the first time it touched my lips. I think this picture says it all! I look drunk and in love! And I totally was!

Just this year, Kellogg's was in a lawsuit because of false claims in their advertisement. sited from cereal settlement dot com, "A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit involving Kellogg, the company that makes Frosted Mini-Wheats. The Lawsuit claimed that Kellogg falsely advertised that its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal improved kids’ attentiveness, memory and other cognitive functions to a degree not supported by competent clinical evidence. Kellogg stands by its advertising and denies it did anything wrong." 

Advertisement on any breakfast add (cereal, waffle, or breakfast restaurant) try to make us believe that what they are selling is a "healthy part of a nutritious breakfast". 

Um, looks like dessert to me. How about you?  

What about the cereal you feed your kids ? Nutritious start to the day, or dessert?
Okay, so maybe these look obvious. But really, the less obvious are just as bad. flaky cereals that don't have the kid cereal look are just as offensive as the ones that do. What about the more adult "healthy " breakfasts? Let's say, a bagel with cream cheese, and a yogurt with granola.  
Thomas plain bagel = 6g
Cream cheese = 3g
Yo plait Original Strawberry = 26
Quaker Granola = 12 (but you probably won't sprinkle an entire serving in your yogurt, so lets say 6g at half a serving. 
That gives you a grand total of 41 grams of sugar (not including your coffee or juice). Send little Johnny to school with this amount of sugar in his blood stream and it's no wonder your teacher wants to get him checked for ADHD. 

Breakfast has historically (at least from the seventies and up)  been derived from mass amounts of sugar. I'll take a bear claw please! So to answer Cathy's post asking me what I think, yes, Yes, YES, breakfast should change or at least be called dessert. 

On a personal note, I have long since changed my relationship with breakfast. I rarely touch any of the above, and can't remember the last time a box of cereal has graced my cupboards. I stick to eggs, salads, avocado, and occasionally a whole foods smoothie or steel cut oats. That said, one of these days, I am going to try the Capt'n Crunch french toast at our local DOA on 6th AV. I've been saying this for 2-3 years now, but it is going to happen.....someday..... As a dessert, of course! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Apparently I have some shit on my mind....

Monday sucked!!! That's all. It just sucked! (Tuesday was great, but Monday can bite it!)

 It also reminded me why I am doing this. I have been fighting my thyroid, estrogen, and a host of other hormones this year that has made it difficult to keep with my goals and healthy life style. Let me rephrase that... and keep it real. I HAVE MADE IT DIFFICULT on my hormones to provide me with what I need to support my healthy life style. I know better. A year of lacksey-daisy fitness habits mixed with regular drinking and crap food have been my own doing. Any imbalances I had prior may have made things more difficult, but certainly not impossible and I caved way to easy. 

Chronic fatigue, chronic disease, chronic depression, cancer, alcoholism, liver disease, sugar addiction, and hormonal imbalances  all run rampid on both sides of my blood line.  The things I have watched my family go through have not only been astronomically devastating, but have been the fuel that feeds my fire to stop the insanity! This is also the reason for my insatiable hunger for learning, researching, blogging, and learning more. So much of what I have seen has been a result of lifestyle and not genetics. It feels like genetics when so many close family members on both sides have suffered so much through many of the same things. The first thing we want to do is blame our genetics and render ourselves doomed. Truth is, culturally,  generations before me were taught that fortified, processed foods were part of a healthy diet. Smoking was a healthy form of relaxation. Drinking was also a way to unwind and let go. Exercise was only something you did to look good in a bikini. And then began the diet and weight-loss industry (a whole other blog.. and it wouldn't take you long to find several of them in my blog site).  

I grew up like most. My diet was full of Top Romain, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Hamburger Helper, fast food, Chicken pot pies, cheesy lasagna (my fave!) and large meat and potato dinners. Ice cream was a staple in the freezer, and lunch boxes were always stocked with wonder bread sandwiches, Doritos,  Twinkies and Oreos. Both of my parents heavily smoked and both drank. If I'm being completely real with you, my son grew up in that same environment until his late teens when I began to change as a result of watching my family in thier later years. He also began to come into his own beliefs about food and nutrition as a teen and is now a vegetarian.  

So why am I sharing this? It all seems so personal, but really this is a national crisis. I'm not special. I'm not alone in the way I grew up. This was life for most, and in many ways still is today.  We may not glorify smoking, but Vaping has become the "healthier" version that I have literately watched parents influence thier adult kids to try. You can find a vape shop in almost every shopping center selling more flavors than Baskin Robins. Pot shops are now on almost every corner and considered a healthy way to unwind and socialize (and  I'm not speaking of medical marijuana),  liquor is now sold in Walmart and every grocery store in my state.  The (processed) food industry  in hugely booming. (Be prepared for the longest ranting, run-on sentence ever.....) And the weight loss industry is quite possibly the most lucrative in our nation, with pyramid multi-level marketing
sales using social media and in-home parties to fuel our nations toxic relationship with food and further destroy our children's'  self worth and body images with the constant pressures of having to look like an "after" picture they see on a meal replacement post claiming to be healthier than real, whole foods.... ( Yes! My blood boils when I think about the weight loss industry).

Back to me personally. I said in a resent blog that I wasn't going to beat myself up for this past year, yet I find myself increasing frustrated  for knowing better and letting myself go down the rabbit hole anyway. But, yes. I am human and know better or not, I did. It's all part of my journey and it's these times when I'm knocked off my high-horse and humbled, that I remember what I felt like before I ever began this journey of a healthier lifestyle. 

Sometimes it can be overwhelming with information overload and the wide spectrum of "diets" that claim to be the real "paleolithic" way to eat, or the ones that remove entire food groups for everyone (allergies or not). With so much misinformation, and a completely dysfunctional relationship with food in our  nation, my personal challenge has been to resist the hang-ups with body image and looking a certain way, and instead concentrate on what will make me healthy vibrant, strong and give me the best quality of life, well into my senior years. My one word mantra is sustainable. If it's not sustainable for a life time, I don't do it. 

Anyway, let's chat. What motivates you? What are your hurtles? Do you struggle with body image vs. good health? Are they separate? What does sustainable health mean to you ? What changes would you like to see for the next generation? .... Your kids? 

 The advantage we have today is we are trying to get back on the right track.We have mass amounts of information available at our finger tips to research and decide what is right for us.  Slowly our government's food pyramid and food labeling  laws are changing. We see more demand for organic and non-GMO. Local produce, farmer's markets, and urban farming are on the rise. These are all positives and gives hope to our future generations to take it and run!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Day 6 and 7: The Careless Weekend

Here is how my weekends over the last year typically go:
No workout
No food log
Not a care in the world..... Bring it!

One or two meals out, one of which is always the Matador (our favorite hang-out ~ Tex Mex Tequila bar), where we order happy hour food and a couple of drinks. I consume way more calories than I burn, have a few drinks, and throw caution to the wind. 

Summer is especially difficult because almost every weekend there are festivals and events to go to, which offer great junk food, wine and beer. Once you get into the habit of allowing that into your weekends, it becomes the thing you do. 

This weekend, I still did not do (purposeful workouts) or food logs, nor did I weigh my veggies or take pics of every meal, but I stayed very mindful and on point with where I want to be, while enjoying the freedom of not logging and weighing.  

Saturday (day 6) we went to the Blues Fest in old Town.  Before we went we had a late breakfast (brunch) of 
2 eggs, and a fresh sweet potato hash that my hubbs made with onion, peppers, and jalapeno. SO GOOD!
We headed down to the Blues fest after brunch, and had an amazing day. Usually we will stop in a Treos and have lunch and a glass of wine or we'll hang out in the beer garden for a couple beers. Not this time. We brought our chairs, some waters, unsweetened coconut water, almonds and apples. My splurge was some toasted coconut shreds that somehow landed in my bag. 

When it was time to go home, we didn't stop at the Matador for a bite, we stopped at the grocery store for some filet mignon and veggies. We came home and had grilled filet mignon, sweet potato, and a large salad. It was a beautiful day and our dog loved being out in a crowd chillin' in sun.  (this is Honey enjoying some play time and ear rub from daddy)
Sunday (day 7) we had the same breakfast as Saturday and then headed to Seattle to spend the day with our kid (He is turning 23 on Tuesday, same age as I was when I had him... My hubbs had to point out that made me 23 X 2 .... :/ whatever ) We had Honey and Ryan (our son) had Harry. We walked all day (and my knee did okay! Hoping to run some hills by Wednesday!).  We had lunch at Stone Way Cafe. I had a veggie sandwich with a side salad and a locally made glass of kombucha and water.That's about what I'd normally order, except maybe I'd order a beer instead of Kombucha (btw, it's amazing how much I'm not missing the beer. Did I just order beer in the past , because that's just what I did? Like mindless eating when watching tv, you develop these little habits that become automatic).
We spent time at Gasworks Park trying to get Honey and Harry to play in the water, watching drum circles, and mid-evil sword fighting. It was a beautiful day! 

My one not so healthy meal was dinner. We were sun drunk and sleepy, so instead of coming home to cook, we grabbed some street tacos from a local taco truck and called it a night. Later that evening we enjoyed some fruit with plain yogurt, crushed pecans, and a little honey.

So that was my weekend. Over-all I feel really good about all of my choices ( with a little wiggle room, which is important too) and it felt good to treat myself the way I use to, instead of the reckless weekends I've allowed this past year. My goal is to continue this path (especially on the weekends where I tend to fold). That is not to say I plan to be prefect, or never indulge, but it should be an indulgent and not my norm, ya know?  That's one of the reasons I am sharing in my blog with all of you. Even if nobody reads this (and most probably don't), it helps keep me honest and accountable.  Also, my hope is that others do read this and see some habitual behaviors in themselves they want to change. It's funny how a handful of times doing something can create a habit and we don't even realize. It just becomes our new norm and what we do. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Day 5: Food/Fitness Log

Day 5: ( 14.2 oz veggies) Not super impressive, but I didn't have much of an appetite in the afternoon and evening and I wasn't feeling that committed, it is. 

Breakfast:  (7.4 oz. veggies) 
A meal fit for a queen! 2 c coffee w/ organic half and half, coconut sugar, cinnamon, Egg scramble (1 whole, 1/2 c whites, unsweetened almond milk, spinach, kale, purple onion, jalapeno, tomato, red pepper), 1/2 an avocado, and a 1/4 of Tuscan cantaloupe (my fave!) 
Calories = 453

Snack: left-over chicken salad (noshing from the fridge) 
Calories = 182 

Lunch: (1 oz veggies)
1 banana, 1 c kale , 1/2 c frozen, organic, blueberries, 1/2 T fresh ground almond butter, 1/2 T coconut oil, 1/2 T hemp seed, 1/2 T chia seed, 4 walnut halves,  1 T pumpkin seeds, 1 c unsweetened almond milk. 6-7 ice cubes. 

Dinner: (5.8 oz. veggies)
3 oz yellow eye rock fish and a salad w/ 2 c mixed greens, 1 c raw veggies, a large handful of mung bean sprouts (great for estrogen issues, btw) , blueberries, raspberries, and Tessemae's Balsamic. We also had green beans, but I didn't eat mine. Appetite was super low for me last night. No picture on this one, because we were on the phone with our son while eating dinner (way more fun than taking pictures of food ;) 
Calories = 365

Friday night drink: Fo-jito!! (mock mojito) Yes, still going strong on our 30 days w/o alcohol to reset my hormones. 
This was muddled lime and mint w/ filtered water and club soda. Refreshing and YUM! 

After dinner: I had a sweet-tooth, so we had a date cinnamon roll from Marlene's. I wish I would have taken a picture (I will next time) . They are made from dates, nuts, and LOTS of cinnamon (no added sugars, but oh, so sweet. OH GAWD, they are good! I get them from the dessert cooler at the Tacoma Marlene's, opposite the salad bar. I don't know how many calories are in these, so I guesstimated about 250 ish.

Fitness: 40 minute walk with Honey + 40 minute shoulder/triceps/core lift (my intent was to run with honey, but I'm still honoring my knee, and today my knee said, no. 
Calories burned: 292

This is a snippet of my shoulder/triceps/core workout. For my lift days right now, I'm doing 3 sets of 3 muscle groups. So I did this round above, 3 times. Then I do 2-3 more triplets grouped together for 3 rounds of different exercises for those same muscle groups (hope that makes sense).

So, that was day 5!
Calories consumed : 1833
Minus calories burned  - 292 
Total for the day : 1541

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 4, Hit my Goal!! 2 Pounds of Veggies!!!

Day 4 : There it is!!!!   2 pounds, .4 ounces!!!!!! Woot Woot!!! Not obsessing over hitting the exact mark every day. I'm really happy with the amount I'm consuming each day. That said, it feels good to hit the mark on day 4. ;)~

Breakfast: (6 oz veggies)
2 coffee w/ organic half and half, coconut sugar, and cinnamon,  egg scramble (1 whole, 1/2 c whites, full of spinach, kale, and chopped veggies) , and 1/2 an avocado. 
 Calories: 418

Lunch  : ( 11.1 oz. veggies)
I was soooo not feeling a salad for lunch, and with it being my house cleaning day, I wanted something with a little less effort. So this is what I had,
1/2 c chicken salad, 1c mixed raw veggies w/ 1 T hummus, and a sweet potato (w/skin) with coconut oil and cinnamon. YUM!  
Calories : 530
 Snack (1.2 oz veggies) 
A quick smoothie before my class that consisted of 1 c kale, 2 T almond butter, 2 T cacao, 1 t honey, 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk, 1 banana, 1 T hemp seed, 1/2 c blueberries, and ice cubes. 
Calories: 378

 Dinner: (14.1 oz veggies) With a busy day for both of us, tonight was yummy left-overs. Bison meatloaf, stirfry summer veggies, and a large salad w/ Annie's Goddess dressing. 
Calories: 475 

Fitness for the day was my Shred class! It's always a treat to sweat along side our amazing community, and outside on a such a beautiful day to boot!! 
Calories burned =  -491

Total calories consumed = 1801
Minus today's fitness - 491
Equals a total of 1310
(this is lower than I like to be, but the heat mixed with cleaning day made it hard to eat more. Ideally I like my range in the 1600's (post workout), but it all evens out. Sometimes I'll be under, and it's a given that there are days I'm over.

Day 3: Epiphanies, Intentions, and the "Don't Give a Shit" Hormone

Day 3 = 1 pound and 8.3 ounces of veggies
Less than day 1 and 2, but if I would have done the egg scramble with all my veggies instead of a smoothie, I would have been at  2 pounds, 1.9 ounces..... is that right?! Ouch. Even though that stings a bit, the smoothy was all whole foods and really boosted my energy and gave me something different, so no regrets there. 

Today's epiphany felt like a win to me! I noticed that in the last 3 days my plate looks different. Instead of protein, veggie, and starch or carb (like garlic bread or rice), it is protein, veggie, veggie. That's not to say, I will never consume bread or grains, but I have found a goal with-in a goal. That is to have 2 servings of veggies on my plate most meals. 

I am having the nerdiest kind of fun with all of this. In such a short time, I'm learning a lot about myself, and where I want to be. It's not about dieting, losing weight, or becoming a title (like vegetarian, vegan, or Paleo) but rather getting back to a place of gratitude for everything my body allows me to do and honoring that by giving it what it needs to fuel a high quality life. Yes, I am totally geeking out and loving it!  

I do, above all else, believe in balance. I want to be sure anyone reading this understands this is not about setting a goal and half dying to achieve it. It's not about scarfing veggies before bed to make my two pound quota. As you can see, I haven't hit that mark yet, and still consider every day to be a huge win! This is about learning and refocusing my relationship with food, fitness, and myself.

 In keeping it real, I  somehow shifted to a very careless relationship with myself over the last year. Excess crap food, drinking, and loafing around has been my main existence, with bursts of "Oops! Better reel it in!" moments of 'being good'.  I think a lot of it has been changing hormones and that has made it harder to give a shit. I actually did a   "dont give a shit vlog" 
about 3 years ago
(click on the "don't give a shit vlog" link above to view).... and this last year, my "don't give a shit" got the best of me.  I share this because I know many of you reading this may experience this and not know why. Hormones are definitely something to look at, but that's a different blog. 

Here is day three's food and fitness log: 

Breakfast : (2 oz. veggies) 
I know, far cry from yesterday, but I think variety is important. So this morning's smoothie, inspired by Dr. Mark Hyman really good! Here are all the nutrient goodies in today's smoothy, 
1/2 banana, 2 c kale , 1/2 c frozen, organic, blueberries, 1/2 T fresh ground almond butter, 1/2 T coconut oil, 1/2 T hemp seed, 1/2 T chia seed, 4 walnut halves,  1 T pumpkin seeds, 1 c unsweetened almond milk. 6-7 ice cubes. SO GOOD! Oh, must not for get, 2 c coffee with organic half and half and coconut sugar.
Calories: 471

Lunch: (9.5 oz veggies) - Must eat the left-overs before they spoil!
4 oz. wild salmon, 1 c fresh, sauteed green beans, 1 c brussels sprouts, diced sweet potatoes, and purple onion .
Calories: 392


Snack: (5.7 oz veggies) 
veggie plate with hummus 
Calories: 105 

Dinner: (7.1 oz veggies)

3 oz bison meatloaf, stir fry summer veggies (squash from Laura's garden *Yum! Thanks Laura!* purple carrots, orange peppers, white onion, jalapeno), and a salad (mixed greens, white onion, peppers, cucumber, cherry tomato, green onion, live sprouts, and blueberries) with Tessemae's balsamic.

Oh! And my fitness for today was 1 hour yoga in my studio and a couple of short walks with my dog. 

Total calories for today were 1523.