Friday, June 28, 2013

More clean eats...

Popping in for a quick food update....

I actually really enjoy doing the food posts. It helps me stay cleaner if I know I have to take a pic and share with the world. 

Nothing earth shattering food-wise the past few days... 

The lamb chops were AMAZING! 

I didn't eat protein with lunch this day. I was trying to listen to my body, and I wanted veggies! My son came and swiped half of my coconut flakes. I tried making them at naptime so I wouldn't have to share, but he got up and asked for some....sheesh, kids! Lol.

Pretty standard stuff...

I decided to use a scoop of whey protein in my smoothie. I won't be doing it on a regular basis, but I hammered my legs yesterday in my workout. I found out that dairy bloats me big time, but using a scoop of whey after a particularly intense workout is one of those choices I'm going to test. It seems appropriate for me. I didn't manage lunch as I had to get to a last minute appointment for my son. Needless to say I was HUNGRY  by dinner time! I ate the avocado half and some fruit while getting dinner together...

Eatin' clean & chugging along.  One thing that is becoming abundantly clear is that by eating this way my hormonal swings are much relieved.  I feel much more evenly keeled, which is fantastic compared to how I've felt through the years.

Anyway, I'm curious, do you like the food posts?? 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Forward into maintenance...

As promised yesterday, here are some updated pictures.  Looking at the pictures makes me feel good, especially looking at where I came from.  If you didn't read yesterday's post, scroll down now and at least look at the pictures...

FYI- I really don't like taking pictures. I feel very awkward....

This morning's weight was 147.6

Even though I'm not focusing on losing more weight, it's nice to see the small drop.  Here we go, living life.  Eating whole healthy foods & feeling good!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's time to LIVE.

I commented on Jess's blog the other day and it got me thinking.  I said something about being tired of being on the "weight loss" train, and that I've been actively trying to lose weight for the past 2+ years (since my daughter was born). I started thinking though and it's really been much longer than that. If I really look hard at my life after the age of 16, I can break it into 3 "zones".

1. Actively trying to lose weight 
2. Rebounding weight gain (and thinking how I've got to start losing again)
3. Pregnant (gaining massive amounts & thinking how I'll lose it, post natal)

I joined Weight Watchers for the first time at 18, but I had already been through at least one "losing" and "rebound" cycle on my own.  And now at 31 I realize I've spent almost half my life up to this point thinking about my weight. If not in an actively "trying to lose weight" cycle, then in an actively "gaining" cycle or pregnant and thinking about how to lose.  W.O.W.  Seriously.

Truth is, I'm tired of trying to lose weight.  

I just want to live my life, without the obsession of trying to lose weight.  

Could I stand to lose a few more pounds? Possibly.

Am I happy in my current place? Yes.

Would my world improve if I lost 7 more pounds? Nope, I really don't think so.

My body, it likes this spot.  It hangs out at 150(ish) without me really trying. I eat. I workout. I live. And my weight stays pretty stable without me thinking about it too much (as long as I'm feeding it well and not going crazy and stuffing my face with junk).

I've been saying I want to maintain this weight for a while, but to be honest it was mostly just talk.  I still had it in my head that I would lose just a few more pounds. Now, after stepping back and looking at the truth of my life thus far, I'm FINALLY feeling like it's okay to maintain this weight. (It really wasn't before...even though I was saying it was). 

The thing is, I really don't know how to live my life "in maintenance".  I guess I'll have to learn!

Living a full, satisfied life sounds good to me! Getting out of the "must lose more weight" mindset is not going to be easy but I need this.  I may change my mind in a month or a year and decide to give it another go, but for now I'm "done", and I'm good with where I am.

I looked through and found some old photos through the years. I thought it would be interesting to see, remember, and share. Some of these pictures make me sad and a little depressed. Looking at the years I've spent bouncing around weight-wise is difficult. It also makes me realize that it's okay maintain here. It made me realize that I have come a long way. I know how to not regain significant  amounts like I used to (we're talking 30+ lbs, not 10). I still have things to work on, I'm not delusional, but I also know what works for me, and how to eat in a way that helps me feel my best. Those are big steps in the right direction! 

Are you ready for a look into the last 14 years? Here goes....

Some of the picture quality stinks, sorry! But, you get the idea...

Obviously, these pictures are not in order.  I just thought you'd like to see a snapshot over the years.

Stay tuned... I'm going to take some new pictures tomorrow, embracing the hard work I've done and happy in the place I am now. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life & potential pitfalls...

The past few days have really tested several different ways. Allow me to share.

Day 21- It started off well with a veggie smoothie. I was about to head out to run errands when gma called and asked if she could take the kids and I out to lunch. Of course I said "Yes", but then I had to figure out what to eat at Extreme Pita.  It really wasn't hard, they made me a chicken salad....very basic- just lettuce, mushroom, tomato, cucumber & carrots. I did douse it with a little buffalo sauce, but that was a better option than any other dressings they offered. I ate the homemade "greek salad" after getting home, because the earlier salad was not very satisfying. Dinner was another test. Hubby came home and requested we eat out. He was craving brisket. Soooo, we got a "family meal" with brisket and smoked turkey breast. I went and picked it up then whipped up a huge side of veggies to eat with the meat instead of eating the potato salad, mac 'n cheese & rolls that came with it.  Not an optimal day, but I handled my choices in a way that made me feel good.  This is reality. There are going to be days when I just have to do the best I can...

Day 22- Busy day.  I really didn't feel like cooking breakfast, as you can see. 
I feel like I might be eating too much fruit right now, but I got a whole slew of peaches and nectarines in our CSA box this week and I'm pretty much the only one who eats them in our house. My husband will take a few bites (if I cut it up) & my son does the same. I think I'll freeze some today, just to cut out the "gotta eat it so it doesn't go bad" factor.

Day 23- This day was the epitome of a "hungry day". Seriously. I felt like a bottomless pit for most of the day. It was actual hunger though, so I ate. I wasn't mindlessly eating, I wasn't eating for comfort. My body was calling out for nourishment, so I obliged. I'm hoping today's workout will kick some serious tail since I'm very well fueled.  "Hungry days" are hard though, because it's easy to make poor food choices. Score one for me for avoiding that potential pitfall.

So, all in all I'm pleased with how I've handled situations over the past few days. These particular situations have thrown me off in the past, so it felt good to be aware and handle them.

What pitfalls throw you off your game? How do you deal?

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Clean it up June" food report...

Somehow I'm 4 days behind in my food updates? Whoops. Well, I know you're all wailing and gnashing in despair. NO!?! Well you should be. My food and photography skills are.....oh never mind.

On with the show...


Nothing earth shattering here either...

The nice thing about "Clean it up June"? It is what I make it.  I get to decide if corn can make an occasional appearance.  In this case, obviously, it did.  I also had a paleo pancake that morning (mashed banana & egg). The pancake was only because I made them for a kiddo and it wasn't a hit :( Paleo pancakes aren't my thing either. They're ok, but I like my regular pancakes smothered in butter (it's possible I have an unhealthy relationship with butter...), so I really don't get any "satisfaction" from the paleo version. 

Can you tell what fruit was in our CSA box this week? Peaches! They are delicious. 
Day 20 was awesome. My sister-in-law and I took the kids hiking. Good stuff right there. Being capable of hiking for a few hours with 30 pounds strapped to your back? That's the definition of "physically fit" to me.  At one point I got something in my shoe. I was able to balance on one foot (with the kid strapped on) and fix the problem...core strength at its finest.

And now you're all caught up.

Happy Friday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Insights & food report...

Things are plugging along just fine. I'm living life, eating well, & exercising.  Everything about what I'm doing is sustainable long term. That's kind of the point. I don't want to be obsessing over how much I'm eating, what I weigh, or if my macros are balanced. I had a few bad moments over some zucchini bread, but otherwise things have been good.  The zucchini bread situation is good to talk about, because it is an important example of several areas that I'm working on shoring up, so I can maintain long term success.  

What I recognized:
1: Don't make treats on days when you haven't gotten enough sleep
2: Be aware of the psychological impact certain foods have
3: Understand that just because I crave something, doesn't mean I have to eat it

It wasn't just that the zucchini bread "wasn't allowed" that kept me from eating it. I KNEW if I had a little, it would promote an unhealthy psychological response that would continue into a binge. It wasn't the bread and butter I wanted, it was the emotional/visceral pleasure that comes with carb/sugar/fat overload. 
It's similar to the gut reaction I had after quitting smoking.  There are still times when I crave a cigarette. I quit almost 6 years ago. I don't keep cigarettes on hand for "when the craving hits". I ride it out because I have no desire to ever be a smoker again.
I have no desire to get fat again either.  In this particular situation, on that day, that zucchini bread would not have been an intelligent choice. I would've eaten a whole loaf, and consumed at least a half a stick of butter. Then I would've rummaged through the cupboards looking for more to eat to fulfill the sugar/carb/fat cravings. Don't get me wrong, I intend to eat zucchini bread at some point in my life again, but I need to be supremely aware of how I am feeling before I eat things. Analysis should become a habit and part of the process, instead of the crave/eat mindlessly cycle. I have come a long way through the years and look forward to the time when the cravings and desire for that "hit" come less often.  I know from the experience of quitting smoking... it does get better. I also know that I have to retrain myself in a different way of living (which I've been actively doing for several years). Each time I've had a setback, I've learned. Becoming aware of myself and how I react to certain triggers is majorly important!
Anyway, here are my eats for the last few days...

Day 14 was more challenging because last minute, hubby and I decided to go see "Man of Steel".  By the time we got home I was ravenous, hence the missing picture, I was in such a hurry to eat I forgot lol.
Another "out of the norm" day. I was visiting with my family.  My sister pretty much rocks though :) She reads my blog and was nice enough to make a lunch I could eat. (Yeah, I know you didn't just do it for me, but I still appreciate it!) 
Father's Day. I ate more sweet potato AND more steak.  I wasn't hungry anymore, but I ate anyway. (Nope, I'm not perfect. That bad habit still needs work).

Hope you had a great weekend! Here's to a killer week ahead!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Best Version of Me...

While cruising around the other day I came across this article, The 10 Commandments of Getting Lean. I think it hits some really important points. Take a second and read it.

For me, all the "commandments" are relevant, but the first two especially hit home.

/ Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Physique

/ Thou Shalt Recognize Thy Strengths

Focusing on being the best ME is something I personally struggle with. The reminders were great.  I need to aim to be the best version of myself.  No one else is on quite the same journey.  We are all unique.  Of course there will be similarities, but it's important not to focus on what someone else is doing, or how they look. Improve yourself, and work YOUR strengths (and improve your weak areas). 

Which commandment hit home for you?? 

Just because... this made me laugh lol

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Finding Nutritional Serenity

So here's the deal folks, I want to clarify a bit.  I feel kind of bad categorizing what I'm doing this month as "Whole30".  Smoothies (even primarily veggie smoothies like I do) ARE NOT Whole30. Someone who hasn't read "It Starts With Food" and looks at my food may get the wrong impression.

I think a better description for this month would be "Clean it up June".  I AM (mostly) following the dietary guidelines for Whole30 & paleo (no dairy, gluten, legumes), but the focus is not as much about food this month. If my husband uses beer to marinate meat or I put a bit of butter on the veggies for dinner I'm not worried, as they're not problem areas.  The focus is my psychological responses and habits surrounding food.

In April I allowed myself at times to consume Whole30 approved foods in a manner that wasn't healthy. Nut butters, paleo mayo & dried fruits are "no brake" foods for me... meaning I over consume them.

By not changing food related behaviors in April, I set myself up for disaster in May. Once I started adding foods back in, old behaviors & cravings came roaring back to full strength.  I very easily regained 6 lbs last month. Frustrating reality.

What I really want to focus on is finding "nutritional serenity". I feel like I'm well on my way. Almost 2 weeks into the month and I have been able to analyze and continue addressing some of my trouble areas.  I think I've finally got a handle on post workout refueling (hint: sweet potatoes are my friend). Not letting cravings rule is also an important step. Identifying feelings of real hunger. Fueling my body in a way that makes me feel good all day long.  I still struggle with cravings right before dinner (snacking while cooking dinner has always been a problem) but not allowing myself in indulge the habit is helping break it.  

So anyway, enough blather... The last three days of food look like this.
The color of this ^^ smoothie came from beets...

Day 11 was a wholly "I feel uninspired by food" day.

The timing of my meals on day 12 was off, so I needed a small "meal" to get me through till dinner. I've been playing around with eating before my workout. Yeah, that doesn't work for me.  I do better working out in a fasted state. Back to what works for me...

Have you found nutritional serenity??

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Going "Crunchy"

If you listen to the "Balanced Bites" podcast, you may know where I'm going with this post, just from the title.
About 3 weeks ago I decided to transition from my normal hair & facial care, to something a bit less.... well, traditional I suppose.  As the girls on Balanced Bites like to say, I went "crunchy" or "hippy" lol. These things are now what I use to cleanse my hair & face...

I like how my hair looks and feels. I like how my face looks and feels. Bonus, it's inexpensive and there aren't any ingredients I can't pronounce.

I know this isn't for everyone. You couldn't pry the Head & Shoulders from my husband's cold dead hands. Same goes for his facial scrub.  I still use regular body wash. I haven't done enough research yet on body cleansing methods. That's next, as long as I can come up with a viable option that doesn't involve too much effort :)
If you want to know more about the regimes I use, here's a couple links:

No 'Poo Method- I use baking soda 2-3x a week + apple cider vinegar rinse 1x per week.
Oil Cleansing (I just use coconut oil, not castor oil)

The other thing I did recently was switch to a more "green" way of cleaning.

Kinda similar, huh? These 3 things pretty much take care of it.  Again, inexpensive. The other important thing in this situation, they're nontoxic (fume-wise, don't go drinking hydrogen peroxide obviously).  I don't have to worry about my asthmatic son breathing in fumes while I clean....I also don't have to worry about what I'm breathing in or what's being absorbed into my skin. Win-win.

So there you have it, I've officially turned crunchy :)

Do you use any non-traditional cleansing products or methods?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Eatin' Good...

Thought I'd give you a quick glance at my food so far. Yesterday afternoon I crashed pretty hard.  I was soooo hungry.  I tried to hold myself off, but in this particular situation I should've eaten sooner.  The HB egg was just enough to perk me up and hold me up while I made dinner.  Lesson learned.  I think I crashed because of my workout.  I didn't like the brain foggy, tired feeling at all!  I thought the sweet potato & banana I used in the smoothie would be enough to refuel, but I guess not.  Still working on this post-workout, refueling thing. 

Yesterday's workout was pretty intense, I did 6 rounds of this circuit: 20 squats, 15 box jumps, 10 burpees.  The actual workout called for 10 rounds, but I was shaking and sweating so much I decided 6 was enough! This is the first time I've done box jumps, they're no joke.  It felt pretty amazing though.  The "box" I used was 21.5" high. P.S. I LOVE powerful movements! lol.

If you're looking for a resource for at home workouts, checkout Bodee Fit.  It's Crossfit inspired workouts using body weight exercises.  You get daily emails with workouts, with links to videos of each movement.  I'm really digging it!

I'm glad I decided to jump back into another Whole30.  I feel so much better when I eat this way!  I am much more aware this time of my personal food triggers (definitely avoiding nut butters & dried fruit this time....or sugar/fat/salt combo).

I hope your June is off to a great start!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I *heart* hiking...

I did something unprecedented yesterday...I left the kids with my husband and went hiking solo.  Hiking is something I love!  It makes me happy and recharges my batteries.  I was desperately in need of some "me" time (I hate that phrase, but I don't know how else to describe it).  I love my kids to the end of the earth, but lately everything has been putting me on edge.  My husband could see it too.  Thursday evening I asked him if I could take off on my own for a few hours on Sunday.  He was totally on board. They got some time with Daddy, I got some much needed, soul recharging, solo time. IT.WAS.FANTASTIC.   

Don't get me wrong, I love hiking with my kids, but hiking with 3 kids is kinda tough.  You have to find age appropriate trails first off, which isn't always easy.  I do enjoy hiking with them because it exposes them to something I love and they have a blast.  I plan on taking them next week, which they're excited for.

I have one more hike that I hope to get done this summer.... Yosemite's Half Dome.  My husband said he would do it, and my sister-in-law as well. Hopefully we can get it handled :) 

Taking a break in the shade, listening to the water & birds

Shots from my solo hiking trip