Tag Archives: healthy food

Holiday Weight Gain – How are you preparing?

Happy Monday! There are a lot of reasons I hate the onset of colder weather, but lately I’ve been appreciating the lack of mosquitoes eating me alive every time I go outside to play Frisbee with my pups. As winter approaches, it’s easy to slack off on your fitness and healthy living goals. Putting on those comfortable sweaters instead of squeezing into your swim suit makes those extra pounds seem nonexistent. Trust me, they are still there!

Even though I’m not in weight loss mode now since I’m pregnant, I’m still trying to get my head focused on staying as healthy as possible during and after this pregnancy. And if you are like me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (and all the other holidays celebrated) all mean yummy food, tasty drinks and time NOT spent at the gym. So even though I’ve accepted that I will indeed be gaining weight over the next 6 months, I want to be gaining weight for the right reasons. Note to self: Giant Gingerbread Cookies & Triple Fudge Squares are not the right reasons. Continue reading

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Back to My Primal Ways…

Well, I’m starting to feel more energetic lately, so that is good news. I’m not grossed out immensely by certain foods so that is also going on the winner board. So what does this mean for my healthy eating lifestyle at this point? I think I’m going to make the leap and go back to eating primal/paleo inspired next week and see how it goes.

The last few weeks we have been trying to eat LESS of the bread/wheat stuff in an attempt to slowly help me move away from it now that I’m not on the verge of being sick all the time. I’ll admit that bread is just comforting to your stomach for whatever reason – or at least it helped me get past a lot of the sickness/queasy stuff in the first three months. BUT – man cannot live on bread alone, RIGHT!?

I was really digging my primal eating ways pre-pregnancy and saw improved energy, less cravings, feeling full on less food and I did experience some weight loss from naturally making better choices particularly when I went out to eat. So I’m going to re-focus and see how this goes. Of course, I’m planning on discussing this with my doctor on Monday during my next check in. I expect that I’ll still have the occasional weird craving and I’m not going to be all or nothing about this eating style while pregnant because what’s most important is that I’m eating what baby needs.

But I’m going to take a wild guess that baby does NOT need a chicken filet biscuit for breakfast…really ever. Okay, you only live once – so maybe just a few along the way. 🙂

I’ll still be eating dairy – so not true paleo style but still in alignment with Primal eating. I’m focusing on healthy fats like avocado, raw nuts, olives. And of course, moving back toward more lean protein and veggies as my main focus. So we’ll see how I do.

It’s funny because when I started this Paleo/Primal (wheat/grain free) back in the summer, my husband hated me for changing our diet. He hated eating wheat free. He hated all the things he saw as limitations and complained about it ALL THE TIME.

It made sticking to the plan so much more difficult for me. But now he is the one who keeps asking if I’m ready to go back to eating Primal/Wheat Free because it made him feel so much better. Now we laugh after he gives in and eats a biscuit or something at breakfast because he is SO reactive to it – gets stuffy almost immediately. He wonders how he never noticed before (despite my constant attempts of explaining my theory!).

Amazing how much we don’t listen to our bodies even when we have pretty strong reactions to foods/drinks that we have on a regular basis. So this next week or so will be interesting to see how my body reacts to changing up my diet and getting back on track with eating good for me foods!

Of course, I’ll keep you posted.

 

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Celebrating the BIG WIN

Last time, I talked about the little things along the way and how we shouldn’t overlook how important they are to us on our journey to being healthier. Today’s weigh in felt like a BIG WIN for me, and so I wanted to also properly celebrate that because all those little decisions I’ve been making this week paid off.

What I Did This Week:

I have been tracking my carbs a bit more – not writing down every single thing but paying a bit more attention to where I’m getting my carbs. I was surprised that one of the all natural fruit/nut bars I’ve been eating has like 23 carbs! That is a lot for such a small food item. I definitely want to be careful and not rely too heavily on those as a snack if I’m eating something starchy during the day (like my one allotted potato or corn based meal!). Just having that awareness has helped me make better decisions this week about what I should snack on based on what I had for lunch or what I’ll be having for dinner.

Apparently, it worked! I had gained a bit of weight last week unfortunately. But I sort of saw it coming because I just wasn’t on the bandwagon as much as I should have been. I had Mexican food twice PLUS a day at a baseball game where lunch was wings, popcorn and hot dogs. While I didn’t indulge in a bun with hot dog and  I passed on the cookies -there just is no recovery from so many off plan meals in one week. My weight REALLY fluctuated last Friday and it was depressing, but great motivation to pay more attention this week so I can meet my goals. So I was down about 4 pounds this week from my number last week which was a major win! I know a lot of it was probably just inflammation from eating the wrong types of food last week, but I think at least 1-2 pounds of it is reflective of my hard work this week.

Results

Either way, I am now about 7.4 pounds away from my first mini weight loss goal!!! 7.4 pounds away from my “wedding weight” as I like to call it. I’ve come a long way – I’ve lost about 10.6 pound since my initial visit with a nutritionist to do my metabolism testing back in December. My TurboFire program definitely helped light a fire under me again to take control of my situation instead of just being mad about it. And now my 30 Day Food Challenge has given me the tools I needed to make some life changing changes by really helping me focus on what I’m eating.

I’m finding that what Mark Sission (from marksdailyapple.com) says is true…80% of your fitness/health comes from your diet, 20% from exercising. I definitely think I had this ratio mixed up in the past. I was trying to work out all the time to compensate for some bad eating habits. Now I’m focused on making good decisions with my eating I can work out and not feel like I have to kill myself every time. I can be active in an enjoyable way – like on a hike, a walk with the dogs (although sometimes walking Yoshi is a nightmare!). Last night I wasn’t feeling that great so I didn’t do my strength training program (on the agenda for tonight!). But I decided to do a few sprint type things in the house – I did 50 jumping jacks and then jumped rope for 30 seconds. I did walking lunges and then quick feet drills. I ran up and down my stairs about 20 times as fast as I could (with my dog Peach running right along side me haha!). Something was better than nothing.

I feel like this new way of eating is very empowering. I am finally in control – and it’s a really good feeling. And today was definitely a reminder that all the little decisions along the way can pay off for a big win.

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This is my BIG WIN Dance

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My LAB (Life After Bread)

A few short weeks ago, if someone would have told me that I would not be eating bread or most of my typical snack choices (Goldfish Crackers, Triscuits, Granola Bars…etc), I probably would have thought it impossible. Truly, when my chiropractor first gave me an article on some of the positive impacts of removing wheat from your diet I read it – but it seemed so far out and crazy that I didn’t even consider it.

As many of you know, I decided to take the plunge and do a 30 Day Food Challenge that mostly centered around a Primal/Wheat Free foods. All of a sudden, 30 days have flown by and I’ve officially entered a new stage of my life: Life After Bread.

My husband asked me over the weekend, “So what’s next?” as he knows I’m constantly looking for fun and challenging ways to be more active, eat healthier, etc. I replied, “Nothing – this is it. This is good.” And it made me happy to finally have found something that doesn’t feel like deprivation. It doesn’t feel like a diet. It’s not boring, I’m not starving and I’m also not kicking my butt in the gym every single day until I’m reduced to a puddle of sweat on the floor.

It does mean that I put a lot more thought into what meals I’m preparing, the ingredients I use and my “usual snacks.” But I was already thinking a lot about those things to begin with – so it’s just been a bit of a learning curve to think a DIFFERENT way about food. Understanding that there IS life after bread is certainly step 1. I didn’t think I would ever say that – but when I’m not eating it all the time, I don’t crave it. It’s really that simple. In fact, a LOT of my cravings have vanished. It’s not perfect – of course I’m still tempted when I see sugary, carb loaded desserts – but it’s really not as all-consuming as it was before to me. It felt like before – I just didn’t have the will power to say no to cake, cookies, bread baskets…etc. And now it’s just a bit easier to take a pass.

I have noticed that certain  foods impact me in ways I never knew they did. I think I was so accustomed to eating wheat and grains and processed foods that I didn’t even notice that they were making me feel low energy, congested, or upset my stomach. Now it’s pretty crystal clear to me when I eat something that probably should be on my “extreme moderation list.” And it’s easier to avoid those foods when you can physically FEEL the negative impact of eating them. I would associate it with people who avoid foods they are allergic to – the food is usually not worth the reaction.

Shrimp Vindaloo served with Cauliflower Rice

I still am figuring out how to make it work and still participate in real life. For the most part, I’ve found it fairly easy to find things when we go out to eat. It helps that I don’t have Celiac Disease or something that would make me SUPER sick if I make a mistake, but when you are trying to avoid wheat/grain in restaurants there are still good options at most places. I tend to order meat & veggies for the most part. Still super delicious and actually pretty different from what I’d order in the past so it is giving me some variety that I didn’t have before. Another bonus!

There are times when it’s hard – and I make an exception. That is one thing that I’ve enjoyed about the Primal Blueprint book by Mark Sisson – he promotes adopting an 80/20 rule because it’s hard to be perfect and strict all the time. Sometimes you just want to eat cake, or you are in a situation where people are basically insulted if you don’t try their food. But I think i can live with following this plan 80% of the time. And most likely, it will be more like 90% of the time because I do feel like I can control most situations since I’m already in the habit of bringing my lunch to work, not eating out super often, etc.

I’m getting to the part in Mark’s book that discusses primal lifestyle in the weight loss mode and I think that will be helpful for me to focus in on things I can do (or avoid) so I can really reap the benefits of Primal eating. Then once I’m where I want to be – maintaining won’t be as strict as long as I’m still on the 80/20 bandwagon and staying active.

Some goals I have for the next few weeks:

  • For the best weight loss results, I need to be keeping my carb intake between 50-100. I’m going to track my meals for a few days to see where I am already just to be sure I’m not accidentally eating something that is blowing me out of the water with carbs. I’ve never paid that much attention, and I SHOULD be in this zone already by eliminating wheat but  I just want to be sure. I am currently signed up on paleotrack.com but am also going to look into fitday.com.  We’ll see which one i like better!
  • I’m going to focus on adding more moderate cardio to my week. It’s still been a struggle to figure out exactly what I should be doing. The strength training is going well! I’m doing that 2x a week already. Last week I went to the trampoline airobics class and it was a fun workout – I could see myself doing that once a week again!
  • I want to have a focus this month on backing off the corn and potato – corn is definitely troublesome for me so I need to make sure I’m not overdoing it. I think I may set a rule of one corn and one potato serving every week (if at all) while I’m really pursuing weight loss!

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Waking Up The Dead

I never could relate very much to those people who seemed so “in tune” with their bodies and their senses. People who taste something and can say things like, “Is their aspartame in that?” or “wow, is that a bit of brown sugar?”

I would look at them in confusion and have to look at the actual ingredients in order to confirm or deny. I’d think: Really,? How do you taste things like that?

It’s like my senses have been dead all this time. Totally and completely rendered useless by eating fake ingredients and “filler” items filled with wheat and grains.

Tastebuds: A little reminder for you…

Doing this whole wheat free thing is changing me – it’s like I’m waking up all my previously dead senses. It’s weirdly exciting to be able to identify more flavors naturally. To appreciate real food. It’s also scary to think that for a long time, I wasn’t really aware of how salty something was, or how overly sweet things were. They just were categorized in my mind as “snacky” or “dessert!” I had a hard time discerning when something was sweet vs. sour, or rich in flavor. I’ve also just become more aware of how I feel after I eat something that is either “good for me” or “off track.”

A Few Instances

I’ve noticed a considerable decrease in my need for salt over the past few weeks. I come from a family of “salters” – and my hubby used to hassle me about it all the time. I made a major effort to decrease my need to salt things over the last few years – but it was more because I knew I shouldn’t eat so much salt, not because I didn’t want it. But this month – I just don’t need as much. I don’t want things to be so salty. And for really what may be the first time in my life I’ve said this: Sometimes, things are TOO salty!

For instance, the other night I went out with my good friend to catch up – we had some wine and ordered a few appetizers to share. It was pretty limited because I’m on a no wheat thing and she’s doing no dairy. Fortunately, they had some olives and smoked almonds – so that’s what we ordered. I’m not a huge fan of almonds, but compared to some of the other choices, it seemed like the safest bet. They were actually pretty good – but way too salty. I found myself wanting to roll them around on a napkin first (which I didn’t really do because it was a nice place and I didn’t want people to look at me weird).

This weekend – we had sort of a crazy few days of eating “out of the ordinary” because we visited my family (Unless you consider eating ice cream cake “ordinary” of course).

At the beginning of our challenge – hubby and I agreed we would have 2 cheat days where you could eat whatever you wanted with no judgement from the other.  I hadn’t cheated until this weekend and I just took both my cheat days in a row and now it’s over with. The weird part? I’m glad that I won’t be cheating any this week – because I actually feel sort of crappy today.

Sort of like a fog is in my brain, and despite having more sleep than usual (like 8.5 hours) – I woke up groggy and tired. And I’m still tired now even after a cup of coffee. *sigh*

I felt sort of like that yesterday when I woke up as well. My husband and I kept saying – why are we tired? We both slept a decent amount! It wasn’t until this morning  we realized we were feeling the impact of eating “off plan.” After all, I had bread last night! We went out for our city’s restaurant week where a bunch of nice places offer a 3 course meal for $30/person. So it’s a good chance to try a new place, or a place that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford. It was DELICIOUS, but I did order for my first course this Crab Pimento Cheese dip and it came with pita chips. Of course, they also brought bread to our table and since I was cheating – I had a slice. It was weird – it tasted super sweet to me.

So – that was my cheat yesterday. The day before we had 2 slices of oreo cookie ice cream cake (it was my nephew’s birthday and NO the 2 slices were not in a row!). And I guess I’m paying the price today. Weird how just a few weeks can really change your body, your senses, and create a lot of awareness about how your body is impacted by certain ingredients. It’s like I’m having this new awareness ABOUT my new level of awareness and it’s sort of cool. Things are starting to come together – the pieces of the puzzle (if you will) are starting to form a picture.

I’m learning to listen to my body. And while that may not always be enough to get me to actually make the BEST decision – it’s way better than I was before! And I know that there is something to this when my husband actually says this morning: “Have you noticed me snoring at night lately? I know I snored last night because my throat hurts.” And I realized – he hasn’t been snoring as much since we started this whole thing – almost like he could breathe better while avoiding the wheat products. And last night – he had wheat and work up with a sore throat from snoring. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I guess sometimes we don’t even realize we are harming our bodies, or are suffering unnecessarily until you actually change something and realize you feel better without it. Despite feeling a little foggy today – this new understanding about my body and how different food impacts it has never been clearer. Best thing of all: I’m totally looking forward to all my wheat free meals this week because I know they will help me feel more focused at work, more energetic during the day/during my workouts and help me to avoid senseless snacking on bad for me foods.

It’s almost like magic – except it’s real. Real Food, who would have thought?

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Wheat Free: Week 2 Update

I figured I should do a check in of how I’m doing with the no-wheat/paleo inspired eating since this is halfway through week 2.

Haha – this is so true!

This morning I had one of my first “I’m not sure I’m hungry” moments.  I ate  breakfast anyway, because I didn’t want to arrive to work and THEN be hungry with nothing smart to eat. The last few days I’ve noticed a decrease in how hungry I am in general though. My snacks aren’t as robust, and it seems like my meals stay with me longer. It’s a neat feeling – just knowing that what you are doing is making a positive impact on your body. It gives me more of a feeling of control, i think.

My energy level is better this week than last – that is for sure. Part of my energy woes is coming from a weird work situation, so I feel like I’m just not being as productive or on task – so therefore I get tired because I’m procrastinating. Yesterday, I was so ready to not be sitting at my desk by the end of the day so I had great energy doing TurboKick and could have done more.

Our meals have been really awesome this week. We made:

Grilled chicken Caesar salad (with our own homemade dressing) sans croutons of course.
Pork Tenderloin with asparagus and fresh eggplant/mozzarella/tomato salad with balsamic vinegar.
Eggplant Parmesan with Ground Turkey *no breadcrumbs – we used a flax seed mix instead)
Bratwurst and sauerkraut with turnips

Pretty good! I don’t miss the wheat at all in any of those meals. They have all been really tasty and filling.

I’ve been doing egg scrambles in the morning – sometimes with sausage, sometimes with bacon and some veggies, or slices of avocado. Snacks have been a piece of cheese, olives, and nuts as I need it.

I’m curious to see how my progress goes this week/weekend, I’m hoping that my crazy travel weekend didn’t have any long term impacts on me.

But really – so far, so good. I think i’m past the worst of the “low carb” detox – I’ve noticed a considerable decrease in my cravings for things like candy or other sweets like cookies. I’m still working on moving toward just coffee with coconut milk (I can’t go cold turkey on a little sweetener in my coffee, but at least i’ve switch to Stevia vs. equal/splenda).

Baby steps toward the end goal – which is returning my body to the way it SHOULD have been all along. I just wish I had found this out earlier!

How are you coming along on your food challenges?

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View from the Hill

A little scenery along the way…

 

I had a great weekend visiting my friend in DC. We did basically the opposite of any sightseeing. The picture you see here was literally taken from the car window as we were driving back from a lunch place down on H street.

I have been to DC a few times before, and we did some of the touristy stuff during that trip – and once was enough for me. So many people!

Instead, we spent the weekend checking out some local bars and restaurants, watching “Once Upon a Time” via Hulu Plus, and waiting for a server to notice us at the restaurant across the street during the 3 times we went there this weekend. It was awesome (well, not the terrible service, but the low key weekend in general!).

Mainly, I just relaxed. It was nice to get away for a weekend and not have chores or any major responsibilities. No schedule and really nothing to keep me from doing whatever/whenever with the exception of my 2 workouts that had to happen during the 3 days I was there.

I realized a few things while I was there:

1) Eating no wheat and therefore very little carbs and drinking wine during happy hour = not good. I was literally in bed by 9pm on Friday night. WINNER! Right?

2) Bringing your water bottle with you on a trip is the best idea ever. I stayed totally hydrated (with the exception of our happy hour bar hopping afternoon). I will be doing this for my next trip for sure.

3) Avoiding grains/wheat wasn’t really that bad, even while eating out over the weekend. I had things like steak and eggs for breakfast, a gluten free turkey meatloaf and broccoli for lunch. The only place that gave me a bit of trouble was a bar – but I just ordered a hamburger and removed the bun. I felt like a lot of places offered potatoes as the side option – so I probably indulged in potatoes a bit more than I should. But – these are a “in moderation” food, so I’ll just lay off them this week.

I drank wine instead of beer (even though they had some wheat beer that I would have loved to try), I woke up and exercised in my friends living room while her cats hid from me in total fear.

When I stepped on the scale this morning so I could assess the damage of “vacation weekend,” my jaw dropped when I didn’t gain any weight. Wow.

So I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for not letting vacation totally derail me from my healthy habits as it normally does. I’m hopeful to see another loss on the scale on Friday (my formal “write it down” weigh in day).

I’m a little tired at work today. My flight was delayed last night several times – and I didn’t end up being home until about 10pm.

In other exciting news – this is WEEK 12 of my Summer Push Series. So I’m embarking on my LAST week of the TurboFire 12 week program. I can’t hardly believe it. The time has flown. It really makes me think about the difference between just DOING something versus thinking about doing something. I’m so glad I made the choice to do my summer challenge…and it led me to yet another challenge in the midst of it. So exciting!

I am excited to share with you my final report over the weekend as I take my 90 day photos and measurements. I know that i FEEL way better, and that is a major takeaway.

I guess it’s time to start thinking about…what next for my work outs?

 

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