Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Don't be an April Fool!

Goodbye March!

Not being an April Fool...That is my goal for the new month! To keep making the wiser, better and maybe even tougher choices daily so that I don't mess up and end up being an April Fool. 

I am very happy with how my journey is going. I am doing pretty well, I have stuck at this longer than I ever have to any 'diet' throughout my life. I believe to things are key: 
1. I dont consider it a diet. I don't have an end date or end goal weight. I have deemed this a necessary life change. I am doing it because I owe it to myself and my health. The looks benefit are an added bonus but not my driving force. I am happy with my food template and truly think I could eat this way for the rest of my life. 
2. I am doing it for myself. Not because I want to make someone happy or because someone is pressuring me to. This is how my 'diets' had always been, pushed by someone elses wishes and/or pressure on me. 

As part of my employers incentives to get healthy, we have access to a health station. I find it hilarious that they decided to locate it right outside the main cafeteria doors. Maybe the point of it was youd see it and maybe consider better choices going in? who knows!

 I have been tracking my progress there twice a month. Sometimes weekly, it just depends on how busy my days get. The Health Station measures your weight, BMI, Body Fat and Blood Pressure. I enjoy making the walk to it whenever I can. Its one mile from my spot to there and back. It is so nice to see the logbook and continue to see the downward trend. On everything. Slow but steady. 

I wish it were faster, but I keep telling myself it is ok to go slow. At this point, I think only extra exercise could push it faster, I have cut my calories as much as I can. It took me my whole life to get as big as I did. Why should I expect it to all come off in a short period of time? There is a lot to lose.

 I keep reminding myself that although fast sounds nice it may not necessarily mean off forever. I want the weight off forever. I want to have energy and be active and healthy as long as I can. I have to get it through my thick head that as long as I continue being honest with myself, following my path and being proactive to learn and tweak. I will succeed. So what if the darn scale does not move fast. It is not a race. 

Last weekend,I had a great 30% off coupon at the store and decided to go look for a black cardigan. I have discovered I have a whole 'new' wardrobe now that all my clothes fit. Some of them fit loosely. I have had to hem some of my slacks because as they get bigger they get longer. That is a great problem to have. Anyway, I was so happy to see that the 1x is starting to be a tad big for me. I have most of my clothes from this brand so its great seeing how the 3xs are now out of my closet. I think I may have a few XL tops in a bag somewhere. Hopefully soon, I will be trying those on. Looks are not my driving force but hey I am a girl, I like pretty clothes! 

Let me wrap up this post by challenging myself this month. I have been so bad about posting because life gets in the way. But whenever I do write, I am reminded of how therapeutic and enjoyable it is for me. It was the whole reason I even started this. To have a place to write out my thoughts, ideas, worries. So for April, I will make it a priority to write more often. I can't say I will write daily but I will definitely will be writing more often than I have been. Do you have any special goals this upcoming month?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Brussel Sprouts, Edamame and a Few other things

Hello y'all! I hope you ended the week on a good note and are getting some rest and relaxation this weekend. Spring break for local the school system is this week, so I am excited about less traffic during my morning commutes! 

 This past week I discovered my love for Brussel Sprouts. Now y'all stop rolling your eyes haha!I had not cooked/eaten brussel sprouts as an adult. 

Growing up back home, I remember that my parents would buy this 'special' pickled salad at the 'fancy' grocery store for special get togethers. This salad which we called 'repollitos' (spanish for small cabagge) was only served at the adult table not at the kids/teen table. But I remember sneaking one once. They were pretty tangy and a bit spicy. I don't think I liked them.

 Unfortunately (or fortunately) by the time I made it to the adult table, the store quit selling it so I never got a chance to decide if I liked it or not. So every time I walk past them at the store, I remember my old family get togethers and wanting to be an adult. All for the darn 'repollitos' haha!

 I was finally lead to buy a bag and give cooking them a shot. I knew for sure that I didn't want to pickle them so I decided to roast them instead. I cut them up in halves and added half a small onion sliced. Poured a little coconut oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and roasted them for about 25 minutes. It looked a little like this:

 OMG! The house stunk so bad!!!! Since its still chilly down here, all our doors and windows were shut. I totally forgot to turn on the vent so it was horrible for a couple of hours! Lots of matches lit and several candles burning later we were all good! WHEW! However, they tasted like heaven! So delicious, I am so obssesed.

 My favorite way to eat them is to squeeze a little lemon juice and sprinkle a little feta on them!YUM! I think that from now on, I will cook them on the grill so all the scents can just disappear outside! I mean there's only so much blaming of the dogs you can do haha 

 Another thing that I have discovered lately that is unusual for me is edamame. Yes, I know edamame is controversial and yes I have read about it. Yes, I buy it non GMO and organic. No, I don't plan on making it a regular part of my meal plan.To sum up my view on them I will quote the great Mark Sisson(Btw I love his Is it Primal posts): 
'While I wouldn’t make it a regular part of my diet, edamame appears to be relatively benign as an occasional snack. Just don’t eat bucketfuls, don’t make it baby’s first food, and don’t get into edamame pancakes or some silliness like that'. 

 The reason I enjoy them is because it takes me a while to eat one serving. It works for me, having to peel the pods to get the bean makes me eat slower and feel fuller. Crazy, I know! Now the true reason I HAD to write about edamame is because they made me remember one of my aunts who passed a few years ago.

 She would have deemed edamame in the pod as 'food for fools'. She did not care for those, because it meant to her that it was food that was not worth the trouble. She loved to eat, a lot. Among her other food for fools were pistacchios, bone in chicken wings, fish ( back home whole cooked fish is the norm as it is cheaper than buying the fish portions like we do here but picking through the bones sucks),some stuff I don't know the english word for and soup.

Soup was not hard to eat, but she claimed brothy soup was not worth the effort because she got real hungry soon after. Bless her heart, she was a big eater and loved her hearty meals!If it didn't include rice, beans and tortillas she was not calling it a full meal lol.So while I will only eat edamame a couple of times a month, I will forevermore think about my aunt whenever I do.

 In other news, I am hosting our Easter Meal this next Sunday. I decided to offer cooking it for two reasons. First, I wanted to take some of the burden from our usual hostess and Second I wanted control over what will be served. I feel like that sounds horrible but It will just makes it so much easier for me somehow. Control freak much? lol. I have not settled on a menu yet, so you might get an update later this week. I know we are having ham and I may be considering one more protein. As far as side dishes, I am switching out the sweet potato souffle and mashed potatoes for a baked sweet/regular potato bar. I will have several topings available,  both sweet and savory, and everyone can add what they want to theirs. I'll have my sweet potato plain thank you very much! I am making the ever popular canned green bean casserole because its been requested but I will have fresh veggies roasted or raw as well. Just got to figure out what I want to make. I am working saturday but will be off on Sunday. I want to try to be able to prep ahead as much as possible. 
 It is going to be a busy week for sure. How is next week looking for you? Until next time, Stay Strong!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My way or the Highway?

Hey everyone! Its time for what seems to be my weekly post. I have been doing pretty good and staying on path. 

Although not very active here, I do follow along with everyones blogs as much as I can. If there is one thing that I find the most appealing about the blogging world is its diversity. There are some many different bloggers out there even within each specific category. 

Weightloss/fitness/nutrition blogs are no different. I remember when I first found them, I was overwhelmed by the huge amount of information, the way it conflicted with what others were writing and the difference in results people obtained.

 I have since understood that everyones journey is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Heck, what works for me right now may need to be changed in the future. Nothing is ever completely static. In order to learn, progress and achieve we must constantly tweak, learn, research and even experiment in our own different ways.

 My way is my way, your way is yours.I may not always agree with you. You may not always agree with me. Concern and disagreement is only natural and a result of our 'virtual cammaderie'. Being negative and condescending shouldn't be. I admire the intelligent mature back and forth between opposite views. Respect and support is something we should always give each other. Until next time! Play nice ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

No News Is Good News and A Few Other Things

No news is good news. That is what my mom always said. Good news never travel as fast as bad news do. So I guess what I am trying to say is that luckily, no news (or posts) from me in a few days means no news. That is good news. Life continues to be extremely kind to me.

When I compare how my life was a year ago, it is insane to consider. The amount of stress and unknown that surrounded me was a constant stressor. The more stressed I got, the tighter my clothes got. The financial issues I was dealing gave me an excuse ( in my mind) to eat cheap processed crap and lots of it under the idea that it was at least super cheap. That way of thinking ( or not thinking?), paired with a sedentary life and constant binging was leading me to a path of self destruction. I used the crappy situation I was in as a perfect excuse to continue making the bad choices I had started years and years ago. I cannot say that last year triggered my food issues. It would not be fair considering my issues have existed most of my life. However, I have tended to see how sometimes we take one situation and blame EVERYTHING on it. Bad times should be lessons not excuses. Must always think and remember that. I am glad that I have stopped going down that path. I must always remember it so that I never head that way-I am so happy things are so different now.

I have continued on path with my eating but I have really not done much with increasing my water intake. I also need to get better at drinking less coffee and/or coke zero. I know why I need to do it, I just don't. On the days I cut down on the coke zero, I find myself reaching for that 5th cup of joe. Strong and with no sugar or cream is how I take it. However, I know its too much! It has to be! I do drink water and hot tea. I just need more of the water less of the rest. Will work on it this upcoming week.

 Remember when I got hooked on the stupid rice cakes? I had switched my bread/rolls/biscuits/bagels for plain rice cakes. I would wager my calories to include more of them until I realized that I had changed one bad habit for another. I stopped that cold when I realized it, and it was "easy" because it was around the time that I decided to tweak my food template to fall somewhere in between the paleo/primal/low carb ish templates and attempt at no sugar and no grains. Foodwise, I think there is always room  to improve but I feel like it is one of my strongest areas for now. By the way, I think cauliflower is becoming one of my top 3 veggies...how had I completely ignored it all this time??

I am working this weekend again which sucks a little bit because its supposed to be gorgeous outside. I have made a huge gardening shopping list for my roomie because I  cannot wait to start my garden. I have been doing some prep work and plan to finish it after work this weekend. This year I am going big and trying to grow lots of goodies. However, the weather man keeps saying that the last frost hasn't arrived yet. We will see. So far I am planning on summer squash, zucchini, multicolored bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, lettuce and lots of herbs. SO EXCITED! I cannot wait to share some pictures with y'all. Hope you enjoy your weekend. Until next time, Stay Strong!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is 43 minutes worth it?

43 minutes. That's how long it took me tonight to get my meal prep done for the week. 43 minutes, from the moment I started until I started the dishwasher and cleaned up. It is so worth it!

 Those minutes invested in fixing my lunches give me the peace of mind as well as the consistency I need to keep mysef on track. I know we are all busy and there are hectic days when grabbing something premade or stopping at a restaurant seems like an easy choice. 

My workplace has two cafeterias, 2 little markets and a food court. Within walking distance there's a huge array of fast food and sit down restaurants. Heck, on Wednesdays we even have a food truck park right outside!

I have mentioned several times before that eating out ( regardless of what it is) triggers my overeating and/or binges so I have to  protect myself from it by having a good plan to tackle meal time. So today, after getting myself together I decided to do my weekly prep.

I started off by trying to make mashed cauliflower. Unfortunately I couldn't find my food processor so I ended up making what I'm naming cauliflower rice.  Real easy just used a masher on steamed cauliflower, added a tablespoon of butter and 1/4c of grated cheese. Divided it out to one cup servings and voila!!
While I was steaming my cauliflower, I was Also cooking some hard boiled eggs and a couple of chicken portions. Those will be my proteins for the week. I usually pair them with a quick salad using some spring mix and grape tomatoes. 

My snacks for the week will be mini cukes and tomatoes. I totally messed up and forgot to buy my beloved radishes!

Once all is cooked and prepped I divy it out into containers for easy grab and go during the week. I also make my lemon juice/olive oil dressing in my tiny container and refill each day. I have some cute halos I might add to my lunch bag for dessert :)
Once I'm all done, I fill my fridge shelves with the containers in order so that every day I know to grab the ones in the front. Quick cleanup and loading of the dishwasher and lunch is all done. Hooray!!!

Hope Yall had a great Sunday.How are you prepping for the upcoming week? Take care, until next time!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Avocado Fiesta and Some Rambling

How many of us can  relate to the picture above?  It seems that no matter what different picking technique I try, I always end up with them all ripening at the same time.

I know I'm having and will continue to have an avocado fiesta all week. I went a little crazy buying veggies this weekend and when I saw avocados for 50 cents I really lost it haha! However I did not anticipate all of them being ready to eat at the same time.

Now I'm only half complaining because I do love me some avocado. Whether it is on its own with a few grains of salt, chopped up in a salad or mashed with some hard boiled egg.... The possibilities are endless. I have even seen people sautée and even roast it, but I can't come to grips with the idea of warm avocado lol. Do you have a favorite avocado recipe? If you do, don't hesitate to share it below!

This has been a good but busy week. I am excited to see my energy and stamina hold up during the day. I am also enjoying my new found confidence when it comes to addressing a group or standing by my position on something. Heck, something as shallow as not worrying about having clothes that fit or buttons popping when I sit makes a huge difference. If anything holding my pants up is becoming the new struggle haha.

 I mentioned on Gwen's blog that I can tell a difference on the way eating good protein, nuts and veggies help my body stay fueled during the day. When some have to reach for the candy and chips around 4, I can either reach for a handful of nuts or find that I'm good and don't need anything. I'm usually like the semi energizer bunny until I get in my car for my commute home. That's when I feel the tiredness. But that's gotta be normal right?

I have been working extra which is great however it's messing up with my sleep cycle. You would think that being tired at the end of the day would help you sleep better. For me, the more tired I am the harder time I have falling/staying asleep. Even a warm shower or sipping some decaf tea has not helped lately. I'll have to figure something soon.

Hope your week is going good where you are. Our cold and ice left but the rain took over immediately! After some warm sun on Sunday we have yet to see some shine. However we have tons of rain to share if anyone would want some ;) Stay on path! Until next time!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eat the Rainbow/Taste the Rainbow

The phrases  'Eat the rainbow' or 'Taste the rainbow' used to have a very different meaning to me. As as part of their many target audiences for candy ads (young obese female) I always associated it with eating me a bag full of skittles. Although my worse trigger has never been candy, I have eaten way more than my fair share of calories in sugar throughout the years.

Nowadays, when I hear these phrases I am lucky to find mysef thinking about all the beautiful and delicious things nature has to offer us. No artificial food coloring no sugar just good old fashion fruits and veggies. 


Not only are fruit and veggies good for you, but they also are eye pleasing and quite diverse. The nutrients,minerals and vitamins may vary depending on your choices but  I think most of us can agree that making them a part of our daily consumption can play a big part on your weight loss/fitness journeys.

Now, I am nowhere near a vegetarian. I salute those who are but I have no intentions to be one.I love my meat. I have found that the more open I become to real food, the more I have come to appreciate what produce has to offer. I used to eat veggies as a side before I started changing the way I eat, however they would often be drenched in butter or covered in cheese. I was finding  ways to 'hide' them as they were the smallest part of my meal. Overlooked and sauced was the preference. 

Boy, how things have changed!! I have found that veggies allow me to eat 'more' for cheap calorie cost. That way I get more bang for my calorie buck. I am all about that! I also enjoy trying to figure out different combinations of those I tend to eat the most. Of course, I also love to see how pretty your plate looks. Shallow, I know! Here's my lunch as an example:

Chopped cherry tomatoes, radishes and cilantro with fresh squeezed lemon juice, half an ounce each of almonds and feta, and a hard boiled egg. Delicious!

I truly enjoyed my day off today. I got my spring cleaning about 70%done which is huge! I was on a roll and full of energy and was shocked at how much I got accomplished. I got our junk room all straightened out, moved some furniture around, got several giveaway bags together, caught up with all the baskets of laundry and cleaned the house top to bottom. My arms are sore!

Tomorrow should be interesting driving into work. We are expecting freezing rain/sleet and some deep freeze temperatures. Hopefully no icy roads. We will see, it can change in the next 10 minutes around here! BTW, temperature today was 77  and it has already dropped 10 degrees in the past hour or so and expected to go into the  mid 20s by tomorrow. Crazy Alabama weather!!! Hope tall are having a good week. Until next time!!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sushi No Go

Just a quick update, it's funny how sometimes when you have decided to allow yourself to go "off plan" the world conspires so that you don't!  I have been craving sushi lately, probably because there's been several occasions in the last few weeks that during functions  its been eaten around me and I have politely declined. There had been tons of noodles, tempura a and dumplings but I don't really crave those lol yay me!
I decided today, that I was going to get some sushi and  eat just enough to satisfy my cravings and not break  my calorie bank. I decided against going to a restaurant because I know I would be more likely to have less control. Instead, I would  get a small tray from my favorite grocery store. We have always had great sushi made fresh there and I figured this would be the most controlled way for me to do it.

So after running all my errands, I drove there with a plan: Double check nutrition, make the "best" choice nutrition wise and allow myself the treat at home. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the sushi guy quit last week! I had to chuckle at the fact that they, for the first time since they opened, had absolutely no sushi! It's like the world didn't want me to eat that sodium and rice I don't need anyway!

Would eating sushi be the end of the world? Nope, especially in the controlled way I was planning to have it. However, the more I think about it, I realize that rice is something I no longer include in my diet so why would I deviate from that? All that sodium would have also caused water retention which I don't need showing up on the scale! If I were so inclined, I guess I could make a more plan friendly option using avocado/cauliflower rice instead of regular rice and coconut aminos instead of soy sauce but it's not that important lol that's too much work and hassle ;)

In the end I was glad it didn't work out and decided that it was probably for the best. I made a run through the produce aisles instead. I ended up leaving with a bunch of fresh veggies to make a big salad and some avocados that I filled up with tuna. It ended up being an even better treat! Thank you world!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Importance of NSVs

When I first started discovering the weight loss/fitness blog world, I would ocasionally see the letters NSV used. As a newbie, I had no clue what it stood for but figured it was something good based on context. Someone finally used the actual words in a comment I read and I was enlightened! 

 I used to think, mistakenly, that a non scale victory (NSV)was reserved for those who were far in their journey or close to achieving their goals. I also thought that it always had to do with a number, but not on the scale. For example 
measurements, since we get excited about smaller clothes or comfier shoes. And while I believe that smaller clothes rock and there is such a pleasure that comes from getting rid of your biggest clothes, there are some many other changes to celebrate! 

 We all know that any weight loss journey ( maybe even maintenance?) has many up and downs ( not just on the scale either!). There are days when I feel like I've got this, that I am unshakeable and that I will accomplish it all. Then there are other days when I am not as confident, not as tough or maybe not as emotionally strong. Like anything else, it is a learning process.

 I am a big believer that a good positive mind and a change in perception can make the hard days less hard. I am also a big believer of hard work and choices, rather on the "good/back luck victim" mentality. I try to enjoy those up days and learn to enjoy the bad ones too. If its a bad day, maybe instead of focusing on the bad you can find joy in discovering whatever good there is. Reframing and refocusing are great tools to keep handy during those times. I also am a huge believer of being honest with yourself. If a bad day is brought on by a bad choice, accept it, learn and move on. Lets not spend energy making excuses and justifying a bad choice. A bad choice is a bad choice is a bad choice. Yes?

 I think that sometimes we can spend so much time and energy focusing on what we are not doing or accomplishing and forget to pat our backs and celebrate the accomplishments. This is where NSVs come in. There are so many types of them. Something as simple as not feeling like youre going to pass out when you tie your shoes, being able to give yourself a pedicure or as "complex" as being able to go up "insert number" of stairs without keeling over or doing something at the gym you could not do before. One of my favorites so far, is being able to wrap a towel around me! 

 Another kind of NSVs that I find very important, are those where you are able to navigate through a situation or a previous obstacle successfully. When you used to have a stressful situation you would always binge and you have not done that this time. You used to have 3 pieces of cake during a birthday party and now you happily decide to have one or none. Heck, even making yourself work out on a day you dont feel like it should count as a victory! The more NSVs you have, the stronger and confident you feel. The best choices you will continue to make, day in and day out.  

Take this from someone who weighs almost daily. The scale is a necessary tool for me because of the way im'wired'. But your weight loss and/or maintenance journey is so much more than the numbers on the scale. Every change in your body, health and quality of life is worth celebrating...You've worked hard for it and YOU DESERVE IT! Until next time!