Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween, Confession Time and Scale Club Day

I wish I had seen the pic above before I had to experience it myself! A couple of days ago, after dinner,I gave in to the temptation of fresh brownies sitting on the counter. We had finished a very good dinner and the fact that I had calories "to spare" made saying no thanks a bit harder. 
I had half of one, and it was delicious but because I have been reducing my sugar intake  as much as I can ( getting it mostly from fruit), I was not prepared to my body's reaction. I had a sugar spike which probably made my body try to fix and lower it. It ended up with me crashing, feeling like crap and yawning up a storm within 20 minutes. I was asleep by 7:30 feeling like hell! It was no fun and definitely not worth the brownie!
I know it was the sugar that did me in. I didn't do anything different that day except that. I am not getting sick or have a bug. I just cannot handle the sugar anymore. A few weeks back, I had 1/2 serving of real Mac n cheese because we were invited to dinner at someone's house. I had all the veggies but the mac n cheese was the "main" meal. Because I have also cut on fatty and rich foods, my body couldn't tolerate it well and I'll just spare you the details of that night lol. Suffice to say the high carbs plus dairy fat was too heavy for me. And though I hate it at the time, it made me happy because it means maybe my body is making me make better choices.
So things I have learned is that even when within my calorie budget, indulging is not always the best idea (for me),especially if I have to feel like crap. Let me clarify, I felt like crap physically not emotionally. That's so good as crazy as that sounds! It tells me that I'm learning to be kinder to myself even when it comes to a "within calorie budget indulgence".
So with that said, tonight I will be avoiding the sugars at all cost because I want to feel good not crappy! Remember it's also Friday so that means weigh in day at the sunny coconut for the scale accountability club. Click Here to check it out! I am down two more pounds yay!  Until next time!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Incongruence of Healthy "Bad Food"


With Halloween coming up, I always try to plan a simple but Halloween themed dinner to celebrate that night. I have no kids and I'm past the partying times. So usually, the meal is our way to make it fun. We all know about my love for Pinterest,so of course that is always my first stop. This year, unlike the past few I am trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies rather than have a feast full of fat and starches.
Last year, I dyed Frozen fries green and got creative with ketchup to make bloody witch fingers . I made huge cheeseburger jackolanterns. I also made mummy hotdogs and orange Mac n cheese, For dessert we had double fudge brownies with an assortment of candies on the side. Can we have a guess on how many calories that was? *shudders* As you can see, this time that menu won't do.
So I've been browsing, trying to find better choices and something has become very evident and it really has nothing to do with my Halloween menu. It got me thinking. It seems like even though different programs do or not do different groups of food, one thing they share in common is that people try to come up with "healthy" or " good" versions of " bad foods". Even when we don't follow an specific program, we still try to come up with low cal, skinny versions of everything.  One example of this,  A big blogging lady had made some " Healthy Paleo Apple Cake". I do not know everything about paleo and even though I understand that people get creative with the starches and stuff they use to stay within the program. To me there is something about paleo and cake in the same sentence that seems I alone in this? 
Its not that doing what she did was wrong. I am not bashing any of it.  I am just analyzing what that would do that me.Maybe it's because of my deeply rooted issues with food. I can imagine that if, at this point, I started adding healthy cupcakes or skinny versions of junk food to my diet, I would be setting myself up to restart my old bad habits. Maybe that's just because those are my triggers? I can just imagine that I could easily go crazy on skinny brownies if I started rewarding myself with those healthy versions of "treats". Because somehow, I would rationalize with myself to think it's good for me because they're skinny. You know what I mean? Maybe I have not really progressed as much as I think I have if I can be "scared" by the thoughts of a skinny brownie and losing control?
Anyway, I decided that this Halloween I will have what I would have normally had for dinner. Why should the meal be the center point of the day? Will cutting my veggies into pumpkins and bats be necessary at all? Nope!   I have decided on  a new tradition instead: We will have a normal dinner within my calorie budget followed by Halloween themed movies instead! I may go crazy and save some calories for some air popped corn!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Are you confused?

Are you confused? or is it just me? Yesterday, I mentioned here that I have been reading up on no sugar, no grains lifestyles. I am interesting not only on the weight loss people accomplish but rather on the alleged health benefits. Reduced inflammation in particular. I follow and read a few blogs who do different versions of this. Some people do not eat sugar, some do not eat grains and legumes, some do not eat starch veggies or dairy. Don't shoot me if I am indeed all confused but aside from a few things these programs have several similarities just as they have lots of differences.
As with everything else you can find one or a hundred sources providing data and claims on how something would be so beneficial for you. Then search some more and  you can also find several debunking many if not all of those claims.This leaves me confused and semi overwhelmed. Some things make complete sense based on my physiology, pathology and pharmacology knowledge. Some things, I am just not sure. However, the more and more I hear about it, the more intrigued and curious I get.
So I filled my reading device with books and have been reading up a storm this past week. Then last night, as I poured over one more chapter I had the following thought. Am I so confused that I will end up setting myself up for failure? If I can't accomplish this switch will it make me just quit it all?
I have for years tried to change my lifestyle ( halfheartedly) and lose my weight by denying myself the things I have always liked.By buying the latest book, pill or gadget that would make this happen. This has always lead me to failure. For once in my life, I have actually been making good progress and although my diet would probably benefit from a change like those proposed in those books. I do not think I am ready to rock my boat.
Some of you may scoff at that and think how wrong I am. That the benefits would be worth it and I would not argue with you. That is very well possible. But, I think this is something that I have in my to do list later in my journey. I think that my progress is still at such an early stage that I don't want to set up myself for failure.
Remember when I tried to challenge myself to drink a set amount of water daily for two weeks? You can read about that here, My biggest failure within that challenge was that the pressure I put on myself and my anxiety over failing made me feel like crap even when I was doing good otherwise. When I told myself that I would intake as much water as I could without obsessing about the amount, I ended up finding that without my internal pressure, I would reach that goal amount more often than not. I think that it stems from the fact that I'm still not strong enough in my journey.That I can be my worst enemy. That self sabotage is still hiding inside of me. I never had any will power.None. A one day streak was my best. I am on a 100 day streak now and its not been easy at all. I have no intention on breaking it.
I have reduced my sugar intake probably around 85% as it is and my carbs to at least half. I am big on protein and vegetables, with them being what I consume the most. I eat fruit and some legumes as well. So although not within any specific program limits, I think I am doing darn good. I am proud of myself for getting this far and looking forward to how much I will be able to accomplish as I keep going.
I have said many times in my blog that we all have to do what works for us. For some following a strict regimen if what works. For others, sticking to an specific program is success. For others doing WW is the key. I have to learn from others, not compare myself to others. My weight loss journey will be different from everyone elses because we are all different.For me, as of now, calorie counting combined with portion control and exercise is what is working. I have also said that in order to be successful, I believe that one must be flexible. I believe I am and will continue to be. Being flexible is being willing and open to learn from others, to make tweaks and adjust your "plan" and even to have enough courage to "rock the boat" at some point. I think for now I am ok with taking a more "conservative" approach to my journey. When the time comes that I feel ready, I'll be radical enough.
So you keep doing you, whatever that entails. We are all in this together although we all come from different paths and travel them in different ways. So after all these words, I leave you with two great thoughts:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This and That

Am I the only one that feels like the week seems to drag on starting on Monday but all of a sudden, Thursday and Friday arrive and the rest seems like a blur, Then before you know it, you are dreading Monday again. This is how it felt this week, like once the latter half came it just got away from me.
Food and Weight wise things are going good. This Friday marked another weigh in for the 2014 Holiday Scale Accountability Club, so you can catch up with how everyone did right here at The Sunny Coconut. Although I saw no change on the scale, I know that it is because I was not good at exercising this week. This is on my need to improve this week list.
I have been reading a lot about the no grain no sugar lifestyle that I keep reading about on several different blogs. I am finding all the information I come across very interesting and the health impacts seem like something I would benefit from. I think its something I want to learn about more about and maybe consider in the near future. I'll keep you updated.
Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend and gets their batteries recharged for a new week. Until next time!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Sugar, Rewards and Advice to my 18 year old self

 I was having a conversation with someone who works in the school system about how children respond to positive recognition and rewards. I think this applies to us adults as well. I doubt there are many adults out there who do not enjoy being recognized for their efforts and earning rewards. As we chatted about what happens at her school ( I'm sure it happens at schools everywhere) we discussed the fact that candy and chocolate is what makes up for the bulk of rewards.  I have no children, but I was a child at one time, one that loved candy at that. I made the joke to my friend that poor Jamie Oliver tried to get sugar off school cafeterias on his food revolution show  but sadly it's teachers and others who are bringing it in as well. Why can't we learn to enjoy baby carrots or something as rewards? Even my fur babies do a dance to earn their carrots!
It is sad that just as it  has been for years, food is still being used as a reward. Why must food always be equal to a reward, celebration,comfort or even recognition?  Why is it that we have allowed food to be what everything else is centered around. It's your birthday? Let's go get dinner! You made the honor roll? Pizza night!  I am so sad, I need a donut or three. I am having a stressful week at work! I deserve some chocolate pie. It's football night! Let's make some cheesy fatty friend something's and eat way to many of them...the ways we use and abuse food is endless.
I am not anti food. Food is not the devil. Heck, it would have been hard to get to where I have been and I am without it. I always thought ( but failed to take action) that I was using food to fill up some void within me. It took me 30something years to accept that the void was my disappointment in myself over not being exactly who and what my mother wanted me to be. I laugh as I type that because I don't think I disappointed her in my career choice or even behavior ( probably exceeded her expectations in those areas) but in the characteristics and traits of my personality  as well as points of view that were so different from those of her and her side of the family. I was raised catholic so guilt is a very big deal or so you are trained to feel. Maybe she didn't even care but yet I always felt I wasnt "good enough" and that burdened me with guilt. I wish my 18 year old self had known that it was ok to be my own person, break away from a mold and that prioritizing myself was not a bad thing. I wish I would have told myself that guilt does not equal love and/or understanding. I also wished I had learned that there are so many more ways to punish or reward myself than with sugars and fats. A new pair of shoes, a good book, a nice cup of strong coffee, a trip,  a smile, a nice smelling candle, a calm peaceful moment or a kind word is sometimes all the reward and comfort we need.
As Halloween approaches and the stores are swamped with all that candy, I sure don't envy parents. I have established a candy ban in my household, my pants  my body and my wallet thank me for it. Some things or even traditions we follow are continued because they have become a part of our comfort zone, don't be afraid to redefine or do away with your comfort zone if that is what you need. Remember :


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm in a pickle!

Yes, you read that right. I'm in a pickle....a pickle kind of mood that is! I recently posted about the way I was Bulking up my meals in order to give my eyes a greater volume to appreciate without adding a bunch if calories. This is a part of the little things I try in order to stay on track.
Another thing that I've been trying is  doing what I call my Pickled Yums. Quite the fancy name,right? Right! I have tried to add more and more vegetables to my diet. Not only are they good for you but they are also low in calories. That is a winning combination in my book!
Every now and then, I get tired of eating them raw or roasted and get in the mood for something tangy. My all time favorite chips were salt and vinegar so I try to trick myself into thinking this is my alternative to those ;)
I will not make this a post about the pros and cons of vinegar. We all believe and have to do things the way it's best for us and our plans. I'm not even going to advocate for any specific type of vinegar. I'm advocating for a low calorie snack, side dish or whatever (for myself) ,that keeps me satisfied, doesn't add many calories and encourages me to eat extra veggies. So if I haven't lost you to google and the black hole that is googling benefits and risks of x,y,z vinegar consumption, here is how I make my pickled yums.
I should clarify that the term pickled might not be the correct term. As there is no boiling or canning to this process. These are just simple refrigerator keep a couple of days pickles. Here is what I used to make mine today:

Pickled Yums
1 large cucumber thinly sliced
1 medium onion of your choice thinly sliced  ( I had vidalia on hand)
5 ounces baby carrots
2 cups of vinegar
2 cups water
Salt, dry mint, dry oregano to taste
A pinch of sweetener (optional)
Glass containers 

 I thinly slice my cucumber and onion because it's what I prefer,but I have done spears and Cubs before. There's no right or wrong way! Once I'm done, I layer my veggies inside each jar. I usually make 4 jars with the ingredients. A mason jar is a must because everything tastes better In them, right? Well, that is what pinterest would have us believe ;)

Once you have added you choice of veggies, go ahead and add your salt and dried herbs. I haven't tried using fresh herbs but I can't imagine they would be a bad addition. I included the option of adding a pinch of your choice sweetener if you enjoy the sweetish tangy taste. I skip it most of the time. But hey, I also enjoy eating limes and lemons just because, so I'm a tangy kind of girl!

I add  1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup of water to each jar. Then I put the tops on and shake them like a Polaroid picture! Pop them in the fridge and you're ready to go the next day! These should be fine for 3-5 days in the fridge. I can't really vouch for more since I will usually eat them four days in a row whenever I make them! 

I will eat them as a snack,when I'm craving something crispy and salty or on top of a bed of greens as a "salad dressing". I end up just scooping out the veggies but they are moist enough to wet my greens and make for a yummy tangy salad. Another favorite of mine is using it as a side dish for a nicely grilled steak. The possibilities and vegetable combinations are endless! 
How do you incorporate more vegetables to your diet? Let me know! Stay tangy, Until next time!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Dryer Fluctuation

This weekend while I was catching up with chores and browsing along Pinterest, I came upon this gem :

I had to laugh out loud as I was folding clothes when I thought back to a conversation with my roomie several months ago. We kept complaining about how our dryer was shrinking our clothes. We decided that either I was drying everything on high, it was running too hot or clothes are just not being made like they used to be. Granted, the latter is true. The reason our clothes kept shrinking was because our bodies kept expanding,
Funny note, where I grew up we didn't use or have electric washers and dryers. Nowadays they are a bit more common but still not the norm. So that excuse about the dryer shrinking my clothes? That wouldn't have flown. This is similar to what we have back home: (thanks google!)
 It is a concrete washboard with a water  tub right next to it which is usually filled by a faucet installed right above. Man power does the work, no electricity needed. From there the clothes go up on the clothesLine where the sun and the wind do the drying trick. Fading may occur but no data on shrinkage !
I am happy to report that after two months of my journey, my dryer has been magically fixed haha and our clothes are no longer shrinking! We might have the opposite problem now as it seems some have stretched out a bit ;)
So as I wrap up my little anecdote I come to this parting thought. It's both funny and sad, how easily we  (I) can come up with excuses about the things we don't think about changing until the spark for change is lit within us. So now that it's been lit, let's keep it glowing  as each and every one of ur journeys continue. Until next time 

Friday, October 17, 2014

The 2014 Holiday Accountability Club

So, I came across this post from Gwen over at The Sunny Coconut inviting anyone and everyone to join what she's calling the 2014  Holiday Accountability Club.  You can check out her blog Here for all the details. The short version is that by joining you holding yourself accountable and you commit to not gaining any weight between the start date of  today (10/17/14) and the end date of January 9th, 2015.
Gwen's challenge comes at a great time since this is something that has been on my mind. Out of all the months in the year I think this period is usually the one where my eating has always gone out of control. I have always seemed to pack on the extra pounds during this time. Wearing all the layers that help "hide" the rolls has never really helped me either!
But this year it will be different because I am making that choice. I have no intention on halting my journey. I find this challenge will be a great tool to add to my "toolbox" in order not only to not gain but to continue losing even during the holiday season. So check it out and step on that scale! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bulking it up

I am very easily entertained. I enjoy watching and reading what people eat, seeing grocery hauls or reviewing people's meal plans. I don't follow any one plan but I find ideas I may want to try or products I'm curious about. So obviously, I'm a sucker for " what I ate Wednesday's". My disclaimer would be, that I enjoy these posts when they don't seem like a thinly veiled infomercial fishing for referrals for a product. I can find enough of those on my own tyvm ;) I do respect when someone can be honest about being sent a product, compensated and whatever all that entails. But I digress....
Of course, I missed Wednesday and this is not really a post about what I have eaten during the day. This is more of a tip that I have been using and that seems to be helping in  keeping me satisfied longer without adding too many calories.
You see as a person who has issues with food and binges, I know that one of the first things that seem hard when cutting back is how "little" food it seems it will be when compared to the disproportionate amounts one can binge on. This is a problem that had several components and in order to be solved there have been many things I have done.
First and foremost what I have had to do,was to try to learn about portion sizes and to follow them. I wrote about my "health weapons" here where a scale and measuring cups have become my good allies. Another thing I do is "deciding, discovering and distracting" as I mentioned here. The latest thing I have been trying is what I call the "bulking up".
The "bulking up" is my attempt at bulking up my meals by using greens in order to add extra fiber and bulk without adding too many calories. When I first started doing this, I was not sold. I am lucky to love most veggies and herbs. But some like the trendy kale and chard were new to me. I love a good deal, and these options I found seemed a fairly good one. After buying the first time wondering if I'd end up tossing them I found that it didn't take much time for me to really enjoy them.
I decided early on that I would not make or force myself during this journey to eat or like things that I simply do not care for. Meaning I hate eggplant but will not eating eggplant sabotage my journey? no, there's lots of options you just have to be open to trying. The way I saw it, I knew I was going to have a hard enough eating better and having a calorie budget. So at least I had to make choices I enjoyed in order to be able to continue doing this. So bulking up my meals with greens was a feasible choice for me.
I love Sam's Club and Costco. We go just about every weekend. Do I need to go every weekend? no, but I enjoy walking up and down those aisles. Hey! some people go to the movies every week, I go to Sam's Club and Costco lol ( how lame do I sound?). Anywho, one of the things that I have been loving lately have come from Sam's and they are worth their $5 and $6 respectively haha. These are what I have found at those places, but the beauty of America is that there are many brands, products and alternatives to choose from. This is just what I have used.

So this is what my bulking up entails. I will add either baby spinach and/or power greens to just about everything. If I am having pasta at night, Ill use a base of greens at the bottom and cut my sauce in half. If I am making myself a wrap, a cup or so of greens bulk it up. I have even been enjoying a handful of greens on top of my rice cakes spread with hummus. Throwing a serving on two in my soup before serving it works pretty good as well. Having an omelet for breakfast or dinner ? yes! lets add some more of them greens. A smoothie you say? ok ! lets add some pretty green color.... you can see where I am going with this. The greens make for a bigger volume which helps my still not fully trained brain and pleases my eyes. I feel like I get more bang for my calorie buck. It also increases my fiber consumption (we know why that is important don't we?) and hey, there has got to be some benefit when it comes to vitamins and the such. So far I can't see any cons to this..unless I start turning green!... And  If i do, I promise pictures will follow ;)
So this may or may not be something you would do but I am always open to hearing new tips and ideas. I leave you with a few visuals of my bulking it up. Until next time!

P.s. I have these pictures from using the Pact app I mentioned before. Btw quick update on that! I cashed in my first $20 woohoo!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's been a while...or so it feels

I posted on here for the last time on October 8th, its really only been a week but somehow it feels like it has been forever. I have been doing good regardless of all that has been going on around me. I have stuck to my calorie budget and have even been more consistent with exercise. For some reason, this past week I have felt like I didn't have much to say.
I am in a good place at this point, I feel like I am for the most part stable, although still aware that I am far from where I want to be. This is not only a physical journey but also an emotional one. I am stronger but not as strong as I can be. I am confident but not as much as I know I should be, I am working slowly to get there. The scale is going down the right direction, slowly but surely.
I have always been a natural loner. Being an only child, it was easy to become one even though I was involved in enough activities and had enough family around that I shouldn't have drifted that way naturally. My mother is and always be the life of any party and the center of attention everywhere she goes and loves it. Her daughter was expected to be the same. That was not the case. Me? I was the total opposite, I am way more laid back, like being out of the spotlight, relaxed and happy to have some alone time.
Even though I have enough aunts, uncles and cousins to build a small army, I have always been happy being an observer most of the time. This was a struggle growing up, since in my culture being very social and loud seems to be the norm and what is expected. I am not loud and I am a fairly social person, but if given a choice I'd rather blend than stand out. Growing up I thought this was a bad thing, as I have matured I have realized that it is ok to be a mix of both. I also learned that true friends are not the number of people on your Facebook ;) but the ones who are with you through thick and thin (haha!).
This past week rather than being inspired to write, what I was needing was to read, analyze, absorb and learn from others. Sometimes all you need is to hear what is going on with someone who has been or is in a place similar to yours. My loved ones are a great support system and will do anything to help my journey, but they come from a place of love rather than a place of personal experience. There is a difference, It is not a bad thing, it is just different.
I have talked before about how much following other bloggers has helped me. Sometimes a blog has helped distract me from grabbing something to eat,  given me motivation to keep going, inspired me to believe in myself, given me a good chuckle or just felt like someones sending ME the right message at the right time. I am always so thankful, for those bloggers because whether they are aware or not, they have sometimes made a huge difference in my day. It is MY choices that make a difference but the choices sometimes come easier after "clicking", being inspired or motivated by someone's post. so THANK YOU! Stay Strong, Until next time!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's not always easy

    I try hard, no matter what is happening around me, to stay positive and encourage myself and others in any way I can. But because I'm a normal human being, every now and then, I feel myself getting in a funk when my journey to a healthy me seems like a long long way away. Instead of focusing on what I have accomplished, I get stuck on how much more needs to be and it is so overwhelming that I sometimes wonder if I will ever get there. 
There is a part of me that feels focused and grounded in what I want and need to do but there's also the part of me that is insecure, doubtful and easily discouraged. Just like my food and life choices needed improvement in order to be healthier, those characteristics of my personality ( insecurity, self doubt) need to improve. It is alright to be insecure, doubtful and feel discouraged sometimes . It is important to recognize and admit I  am feeling that way. But It's not ok with me to let those traits define and take over who  I am and what I am working to accomplish. 
There are two things that I need to define and guide me: persistence and consistency.  Hard days will come for all of us, some days will seem simpler than others but we must keep going forward. Stay strong!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Munchies and the problem with my jeans

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Despite the forecast that claimed we would be back to the high 80's today, we are still holding on to the mid 70's and with the wind blowing it definelty feels a bit chilly. How can it not when we've been dealing with high 80-90s plus 100000% humidity all summer? I LOVE IT!
Whenever the weather starts changing, I love making soups for dinner. Although one would think that was a healthy choice, the ones I have tended to choose combined with  the way I'd prepare and flavor them, made for yummy hearty soups loaded with calories and fat. Tack on to that,the amounts of buttery bread I often paired it wonder I'm a hot mess.
This will not fly this fall. I am trying to make healthier versions of our favorites so that my soups don't bust out my calorie budget and consequently my pants! Which now reminds me of my most horrible jeans story: when I was in the  8-9th grade, I was getting too big for my one pair of jeans I owned. Yes, I was made to wear mostly slacks and khakis when not in my school uniform, so my ONE pair of jeans was my treasure.
As I got bigger, because my thighs are thick, I was putting those jeans through a bit of a strain. Pulling them on, was quite the workout haha. Anyway, one day I had decided I needed to figure out a way to make my pants bigger. My aunt is a seamstress, and I remembered watching her take out the side stitching on my moms jeans one time, to take them in because they had gotten too big for her. I remembered there was this "extra fold" inside, once that stitching had been removed which she stretched out before folding it back wider to make my mom's pants smaller. 
Based on that observation, I had the "brilliant" idea that if I could just get to that fold by undoing the side stitching I could make my pants slightlghty bigger. My thought process, undo stitch then Bam! The extra food would give my thighs more room. I was a clear genius!! So I proceeded to take off that side stitching and sure enough after removing that stitch,my pants had an extra, probably 1/4 inch in give. It looked odd because that part denim was slightly darker than the rest of my pants but on that Special Jean Friday at School, I was feeling pretty darn good about my clever ways. Fast forward to PE time . We were playing kickball, in the middle of the game, as I was playing catcher I crouched to catch a ball when I heard a rip and started feeling a breeze on my legs. The whole side of my pants is slowly starting to fall apart. Making my pants look a little like this except on the outside not the inside of my legs:

I was sooo embarassed! I started worrying the whole thing would fall apart and I'd end up in the middle of the playing field in my undies!! My two BFF's at the time were quick to come to my rescue, one ran to the PE teacher to let her know about my issue while the other gave me her jacket to tie around my waist! We then walked to the counseling office , each one guarding one side, to call home so I could get picked up. No way I was going back to class after that...bless my heart! Lesson learned : Not every brilliant idea works, no matter how genius you think it is. I have never "fixed" any of my clothing after that!

Ok , so back to the original topic of this post, SOUP! I decided to remake one of faves, split pea soup. I started off by making sure I only made enough for 3 servings instead of cooking for a small army. I cook for two, but when I don't adjust the recipe to those serving we tend to overeat. I also avoided cooking the veggies with butter or EVOO and switching out the canned broth for water to reduce both sodium and calories. Instead of bacon AND ham, I used turkey kielbasa. Here's the ingredients for :

Nicer Split Pea Soup

3/4 cups of dry split peas
8 grape tomatoes (only ones I had)
4 oz baby carrots (I mixed some yellow ones I had)
1/3 cup chopped onion
6 oz potatoes
4 oz turkey kielbasa 
4 cups of water
Salt, pepper, marjoram,bay leaf and celery to taste 


Chop and dump it all into your crockpot. Put your lid on and cook on low for 6-8 hours. The longer it cooks the mushier it gets which we like because it saves us from having to blend some for a smoother texture,

The house smells so good while this cooks, it drives the doggies crazy! Here's a picture of the end product:

 At around 238 cals per generous serving, I'd say this "fix" was a brilliant idea. Full of fiber and with a great taste, it makes for a satisfying and healthy dinner. Keep on cooking! Until next time!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Feels

As I sipped my smoking hot coffee this morning while enjoying this pretty view from the deck, I found myself reflecting on many things. It was our first chilly morning here down South and I loved it. As I sat, enjoying the calm and peaceful early morning, I thought about these words I've heard somewhere before...Life fails to be perfect but never fails to be beautiful. 
Just like it was true about my view, it is also true about everything around us and within us. We are far from perfect but in our own imperfect ways, we are beautiful. Don't forget that!

Friday, October 3, 2014

If a straight line doesn't happen, then Loopy and Wiggly is the way

Feels like fall is finally trying to get here! Fall is my favorite season and I must admit the reason has always been because of all the yummy foods and holidays that come along with the season. This year I will make fall be about so much more than the food. Our weather is starting to change and I love being able to enjoy outside more. I got our deck cleaned and cleared up and I also decided to get a little yard work in, to distract my brain when all of a sudden I couldn't stop thinking about cooking and eating some fall baked goodies.
I always try to make a deal with myself when I get a craving or the binge urge. I have written about that before. Some of the ways I deal with this is by telling myself I'll get something IF and only if,  I still want it bad enough after getting something done or drinking a bottle of water and what I get will depend on where I am in my calorie budget for the day. So far, it's been working, but sometimes it takes both focusing on accomplishing an activity (or three) and several water bottles to get me there. Who cares what it takes, right? The point is being able to work through it. It reminded me of this graphic I came across a little bit ago and that I want to share with you today:

So don't get frustrated or disappointed when the "straight line" isn't happening in your journey. It's ok get loopy, extra squiggly and wiggly on your road to your goals. Even if the loops and wiggles make the road longer and it takes time, you will still make it there! And the graphic will look more fun😉. Have a great weekend yall! Stay strong!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Water Dilemma Part 3

Well, it's been two weeks since I wrote the first part and challenged myself to drink 140 ounces of water a day. The first week was really not successful as I failed to meet my goal intake all but one time. My first reaction was to beat myself up and tell myself that I HAD to do this, no matter what. People thought I was being stupid and ridiculous about this "crazy number" both on the interwebs but mostly in "real life". My family would just shake their heads and smile when I tried to explain my logic.
I pointed out last time that I seemed to feel sick to my stomach after hitting 100 ounces. I think this was more of a mental than a physical thing. During the second week, I decided to drop the "number" and try to focus on just drinking as much as I wanted to. Turns out, without my own pressure, I actually got the 140 ounces 4 out of 7 days without a struggle.
 Important things I have observed is that during the days I drank more, I was actually more active therefore probably my body needed it more. I also noticed that during those days I didn't drink as much coffee or other beverages which I believe also helped.
I am so happy that my skin has cleared up so much during the past two weeks, something I attribute to my diet but also to all that water. I have also lost another 5 pounds so yay that makes me extremely happy. I've also found that adding three (yes, three) frozen grapes to my 50 oz water bottle seems to motivate me to drink up so I can eat the grapes when I'm done haha
Bottom line is, my experiment taught me that I still can psych myself out and be in my own way even when it comes to things like water. To feel like I had a bad failure day because I didn't meet the water ounces even though it was a day in which I ate well, was active, worked out and had quality time with loved ones is what is stupid and ridiculous.
I also realized, that I should not  be obsessed with meeting an ounce goal. Too many goals at once, for me, will only drive me crazy...or crazier ;) I know that if I get frustrated or feel like I am failing, I get negative energy. And I am all about trying to stay positive and moving forward even if it would seem too slow to some. So plan B is,  I will continue to drink drink drink as much as my body needs to and try to continue to decrease my diet soda consumption until I take it out of my diet at all.