Transparency

Before I can post anything else, I feel the need to be completely transparent with myself and whoever might be reading this. I have made no progress in trying to get back in shape. I have gone running once in the past month. My weight continues to fluctuate and I continue to hate shopping for clothes because I am so frustrated with how my body looks now. I have only myself to blame to because I just simply have not put in the effort and I have no excuse. I am such a planner and have great plans but my problem is following through. All I can do is take it one day at a time and blah blah blah…. doesn’t mean anything if I’m not doing a thing about it!

OK. That’s enough ranting. I continue to love my food and drink and that is just a fact of my life. I am on the journey to find a balance because soon I will be starting grad school classes again and I really have to have my routine down by then. Thanks for reading. I feel better already.

The following is my post that never got posted to due technical difficulties on Tuesday:

Oh blog.. I have missed you and am so sorry I have neglected you for this long. Blog friends, I have missed you, too!

First things first, I have to provide an update on the weight-loss thing. I succeeded in losing two pounds last week and noticed a visible difference in my abdomen area looking flatter. Then…. Friday happened. Friday, our team at work had a team lunch and we ordered in pizza. It would have been OK if I just stuck to one slice of cheese pizza but I had two… and a garlic knot…and a small cup of Pepsi… and a sugar cookie. Ugh! I was keeping track of what I ate on my calorie counter website and realized that if I was going to eat anything for dinner, I would have to go for a run right after work.

So that is precisely what I did. As soon as I got home, I changed my clothes and laced up my sneakers and went out for a nice run for about 30 minutes. When I came back, my boyfriend and I decided to go out for some appetizers and drinks. I thought that was perfect because with appetizers I could really control my portions. Well, my boyfriend decided to completly wine and dine me! Like the title of my blog indicates, one of the ways I receive love from others is through food and so he was showing me some major love! We had oysters, salads, entrees, drinks, bread, and ended the meal with Bailey’s. It was sooooo good! While I made good choices as far as what I ate such as spinach salad and grilled trout for the entree, when I tallied up the calories… welp, let’s just say I was 800 over my goal for the day and that is including the calories I burned from running.Yikes!

I ended gaining 4 pounds from that meal. (Sad face) I spent the whole rest of the weekend and up to today trying to lose that wieght again. I feel like I have made no progress at all and quite frankly this has been the cycle every week for months! The madness has got to stop! I have to have a plan for the weekend ready to go. Not sure what the exact plan is going to be at this point but I am working on it. Maybe having friends for drinks and a low cal vegan meal? Do some pumpkin carving and have some healthy snacks?

Going on a run tonight and hoping to blast mucho calories. Wish me luck!

Deviant behavior and chipotle ice cubes

 

I confess, my progress in weight loss was quickly stunted by my indulgance in some delicious enchiladas espinacas (spinach enchiladas) from our favorite Mexican place here in Tucson, Guadalajara Grill, last night. They came drowning in cream sauce and monterey jack cheese. Needless to say I feel heavy today and a little guilty. Well at least I didn’t order the house margarita like I usually do! Baby steps.

Usually when I over indulge, I do not wake up very easily the next day and today was no different. Instead of starting the day with a nice cup of hot lemon water and fruit to start the detox process, I had some Greek yogurt (pumpkin flavor) and two Trader Joes Joe-Joe cookies (the Jackolantern-faced ones) for breakfast with my coffee. I think my stomach is mad at me now because I hear it yelling at me. I’ll make it up to you, Stomach, I promise!

So my plan for the rest of the day is to show my stomach and body some love and enjoy some tasty fruits, veggies, and brown rice. I have to go out for lunch because I didn’t prepare my lunch since I woke up late. Maybe hit up Whole Foods? For dinner, it is going to be brown rice, steamed veggies, and kale salad. I am going to try to get in for some yoga tonight at 8:00 pm but we’ll see – I’m dragging today big time.

Last night, after I woke up from my food coma, I cleaned out my fridge to be able to fill it with wholesome lovely foods when I found an opened can of chipotle in adobo sauce in the back of my fridge. Oops! I use it for a chili two weeks ago and completely forgot to properly store it in another container. Then in my cheese-induced funk, it dawned on me to freeze what was left in ice-cube trays so I can keep them already divided in the perfect amounts in the freezer. I went ahead and lined the tray with plastic wrap and put one chipotle pepper with some sauce in each slot. It perfectly filled six slots. That’s 6 chili recipes worth! I have no idea if it will work out once it is frozen or if I will even be able to get them out. We will see tonight and I will show you the pictures.

That’s all for now. I feel better now that I confessed my deviance from my diet and feel more motivated to get back on track. Until next time…

Yoga Tuesday

I did really good with my menu yesterday, except I sneaked (snuck? snook?) a handful of Kettle Cooked Jalapeno chips while I was making my salad for dinner. I created another menu for today that I have been following already – so far so good. Amazingly, I am not lighter (because I weighed myself this morning) but I feel lighter. On this track of feeling lighter, I am going to do yoga tonight and really push myself to let go of all my extra tension. If you have not already tried yoga, show yourself some love and give it a shot. It’s amazing!

I am also super excited about trying a new pose tonight, Parsva Bakasana (or side crane). I got some really helpful hints from another great blogger, standandfacethesun.wordpress.com, and want to try them out while they are still fresh in my head. The plan is to eat a light healthy dinner of miso soup, stir fried veggies and brown rice. Then, I will go relax and re-center at yoga tonight from 8 – 9pm. Plus, I have a really major interview tomorrow so I need to be at my relaxed best. Wish me luck!

Tuesday menu is as follows:

Breakfast: My favorite oatmeal of whole rolled oats, coconut milk, TJ’s golden berry mix, cinnamon, and raw walnuts.

Snack: Organic gala apple, almonds

Lunch: Greek salad made with romaine lettuce, kalamata olives, English cucumber, grape tomatoes, cannelini beans and parsley. All dressed with balsalmic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

***Tip: Babyfood jars are great for making and packing your own salad dressing. You just shake the little jar to mix it up just before putting it on your salad. I also use baby food jars to store spices that I buy in bulk.***

Snack: grapes and walnuts

Dinner: Miso soup, stir fried veggies (carrot, onion, mushroom, fennel, broccolini, spinach, celery, and edamame are what I have in my fridge right now) and brown rice.

Monday food plan

Good morning! I’m sad to say I did not wake up early enough to go on my run this morning but I did drag myself downstairs, pulled my yoga mat out, and did some poses and strengthening moves for about half an hour. I’m happy I did something!

I went ahead and planned out my day in meals last night and thought I would share it. So far, I have already eaten my oatmeal and am still working on my coffee.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal prepared with one cup unsweetened coconut milk, dried fruit mix, raw walnuts, and cinnamon.

Coffee with soy creamer

Snack: 1 organic pear and 1/4 cup raw almonds

Lunch:

1 cup Snap Pea, Edamame, and Radish Salad with 1 cup brown rice

Spinach salad with tomato and goat cheese crumbles, lemon for dressing

Snack: 2 cups green grapes, 1/4 cup walnuts

Dinner: Big ass Romaine salad with canellini beans, red onion, fennel, parsley, and my delish cumin, lemon, olive oil dressing

After dinner, I am going to stick to tea if I need a sweet fix. I love Good Earth’s Original herb tea. It is naturally sweet and decaffienated. It reminds me of the Market Spice Tea I used to get at Pikes Place Market in Seattle.

I’m going to try to go for a run this evening since it is finally starting to cool down at night. Now I just need to log my meals in myfitnesspal.com so I can really see where I stand. Happy Monday!

Dropping 10

OK, I am finally putting it out there that I am trying to lose 10 pounds. I am little embarrassed by it but if I don’t tell someone then I will not have the will power to really push myself to lose the weight. I’m not worried about the “ell bees” (lbs., I’m just trying to sound cool) per se, but I have been steadily growing out of my clothes for the past two years. I am getting close to 30 and would like to blame my age for why I am gaining weight but there has to be another way. My biggest struggle is that I have done low-carb diets in the past and I just cannot do all that meat, eggs, and dairy. Sure, I will lose probably 5 pounds a week but I will be a grumpy, uptight person while I’m doing it, not to mention that I just can’t stomach all those animal products. I eat a primarily vegan/vegetarian diet so “carbs” are definitely going to be a regular part of my diet. 

I’m not sure that my diet is that much of a problem, though. I have heard, “weight loss is 90 percent diet and 10 percent sweating it out in workouts.” I may be in denial, but I think my diet is pretty good. I eat lots of organic veggies and fruits, whole grains, and I drink a ton of water -no soda and little bit of alcohol on occasion. So if weight loss is 90% diet, then what’s my deal? I figured I don’t exercise enough. If I am being completely honest, I do not work out as much as I used to. Lately, I’ve been running 1-2 times a week and yoga maybe once a month. I used to run 5 days a week up to 7 miles at a time, and did weekly yoga. So did I shock my metabolism when I stopped all that?

I could use a bunch of excuses like, “I’m so tired at the end of the day,” “I can’t wake up in the mornings,” “I’ll start next week,” I have too much homework” … the list could go on forever. I do work full-time in a pretty stressful job working with mentally ill adults then have homework and/or class in the evening. My day is pretty full, but, still, there has to be a way. I don’t want to feel like this any more and I don’t want to buy any more clothes in a bigger size. Enough is enough!

I am not going to start next week. I am going to start THIS week, today, right now. I am putting it out there for anyone to see that I have admitted that I have let myself get way out of shape and I want to change it.  I am a planner so I have come up with a short term plan. First, I am going to log what I eat on myfitnesspal.com. I have used the site before for a school project and it opened my eyes to my addiction to sweets. Second, the only “carb” I am going to cut way back on is sugar. I love my sweets! It is going to be hard with all the Halloween candy lying around but I have to do it – no excuses! I am going to switch to unsweetened almond or coconuts milks, leave out the sweetener in my oatmeal, and save my sweets for one day a week treat (I am excited to try Vegetarian Ventures Pumpkin Cocoa Brownies in a week). Third, I am going to do at least 30 minutes of cadiovascular exercise in the mornings before work, either running or a work-out video (my Jilian Michaels, 6 wk abs DVD is exactly 30 minutes), 3 days a week and yoga one day a week. I am going to do this routine for a month and see how I do. Fourth and final step in my short term plan is to share with you what I am doing, because even if no one is paying attention, I will still feel like I am being monitored on my progress. The whole purpose of this goal is to be a better me. I’m happy with my looks but I do feel self conscious sometimes. I just know my body could be better, more physically fit. Even more than that, I want to be a good example to my kids that exercise is important and we show ourselves love by taking care of this body we were given.

That’s enough for now. I have already created a menu for myself for the entire day tomorrow but I will share that with you in the morning – after I work out!

 

Taste the rainbow!

Taste the rainbow!

Who needs Skittles when you can have Moroccan quinoa with butternut squash (from the farmers market), chickpeas, and saffron?

So good, so filling, and guess what? It’s vegan!

Vegan Breakfast To-Go

Whether you are a breakfast-eater or not, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. I always try to eat something in the morning in addition to my coffee whether it is a slice of bread (bread not toast because toasting takes too much time on some hectic mornings), grabbing an apple and the whole jar of almond butter, or simply a few bites of cold left overs.

This morning, as many Monday mornings are, was hectic and rushed. I slept in a little later than I wanted to but I knew I still wanted the start the day of and the week off right witha nourishing, healthy breakfast. Cue: oatmeal made in the microwave. I used half a cup of whole oats and put them in a pretty big bowl with half a cup of hemp milk and half a cup of water. I cooked the oatmeal in the microwave for 2 minutes, swirled the bowl then added another minute. I then dumped the oatmeal into a plastic container (wish I had glass) and topped with chia seeds, dried goji berries, dried cranberries, chopped raw almonds, and a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Breakfast done in about 4 minutes – done! It would have taken more time in the McDonalds drive-thru to pick up a cup of their crappy oatmeal (did you know there ‘cream’ alone has 11 ingredients? – crazy!) and mine is much better.

Don’t know about Chia seeds? Well, they serve a much greater purpose than to make grass covered ceramic pets (remember ‘Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!’ ?). These little guys are packed with solubable fiber, protein, antioxidants, and the richest known plant source for omega-3’s. Sprinkle them on oatmeal and salads or add them to your next batch of granola. I used to buy them in bulk from Sprouts but now even Trader Joes is selling them (LOVE Trader Joes).

What about Goji berries? Also knows as the wolf berry, the goji berry has been used for thousands of years in China, Tibet, and India. They are full of antioxidants and have been linked to dozens of health benefits. Watch out though if you are on blood thinners, they have been said to interact with those medications. I buy them in the bulk section of Sprouts and I only get a handful that lasts me quite a while.

I ate my delicious, wholesome, and vegan oatmeal at my desk this morning but felt good that I was showing my body some love by making a point to eat breakfast. There is something about eating whole grains in the morning that make me feel really happy. Cheers to Monday! It is going to be a good week.

Farmers Market Sunday

I just LOVE a farmers market. I love local farming and the pride the farmers have in their product. I love the colors, the sounds, the fresh prickly pear lemonade, and the all the people buy food, who are supporting local farming. I would love to see a shift away from big box grocery stores to more farmers markets some day – it’s better on the environment, it supports local economy, and provides fresher more nutrient dense food. Many of these farmers literally picked their products for the market this morning. Amazing.