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!

 

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.