Monday, February 28, 2011
It's tough to start a blog about weight loss and then have it evolve. I have never wanted to exclusively focus on the physical because that's a part of it. The mental is the biggest part to me and still is. How much weight I lose, or have lost does not really matter. I'm different from every person and what's right for me is different then what is right for someone else so I am not going to do weigh ins, post measurements, and things like that. It does not sit well with me. It's too focused on what you have to let go of in my opinion. Key point there, my opinion, it does not work for me because it makes me more focused on unhealthy behaviors to compete with myself. Sure, you have to know where you are, or started and if that works for you go for it. I want everyone to find what works for them and embrace it, sing it from the rooftops. I will only argue with you if it's some sort of strict diet, said with love. I straddle a fence of weight loss, musings, and just being myself and I like the little niche I have found and I value each one of you who found me to.
I love clothes. I always have. My Mom is super stylish and so was my Grandmother so I think I have been influenced since I was young. I love the challenge of playing with texture, proportion, shine, detail and everything else that makes up memorable style.
When I was heavier I did the best I could. I tried to find clothes I thought reflected my style, and how I wanted myself to be reflected through my clothes. Unfortunately, this is not easy when your size is quite, quite large. I relied mostly on being put together, awesome accessories, and a good sense of color. Then the weight loss began. I was super excited for clothes. This was a major motivation at first, but it came with this new set of challenges. I do not stay in clothes for long. I shrink my way out of them, and it adds up. I found my way around this learning how to shop for it, what can be adapted what can't and not falling too in love with things unless I knew they could work as I shrunk. It's a good problem to have don't get me wrong, but lawdy is it frustrating. I also would get my hopes up that I was smaller then I was just to have to purchase a size bigger then I wanted, or to have something be tight. Eventually I started to see and realize though often there was nothing wrong, it just was not right for me or my body. Heavier I knew it well. I knew how to hide every lump, bump and fault, or at least I thought I could. I did not know how to dress this new body especially one that kept evolving.
I sort of went on shopping hiatus for a while. It was not so fun, and I felt overwhelmed, and a smidge defeated. My focus also shifted to other things, like sorting through everything previous shopping binges to fill the void in my life instead of adding more. Gradually this abated. I would test the waters, a little anthropologie on sale, a taste of urban outfitters. I started to be surprised. Everything fit, for the most part, but not everything looked good. I could more objectively see myself and how clothes appeared on me. I did not feel caught up in well my size is hard to find if it fits I better buy it. I had choices now. I also realized there's nothing wrong with the body I have I just have to relearn it. My shoulders used to be more narrow, now they have muscle and are defined so puff sleeve sweaters though I love them no longer work for me. Boho empire tops that use to please me when in a hippie mood, not so much they obliterated my waist I had worked so hard to reclaim.
When I was heavier I worked harder on my style. I over compensated and I think I thought if I looked so super cute you wouldn't notice I couldn't dress like everyone else or was over 300 pounds. All the make up, jewelry, cute clothes in the world was not going to hide that. I have always believed in maximizing what you have and being pulled together. My mom never felt pretty so she drilled into me that a girl's selling point was how she packaged herself, her hair, body, face, and style. I was already hosing myself on one point so I had to really step it up to stand a chance in the girlie olympics of life.
I got down with the constant evolving of losing weight and how I could not get attached to anything but now I am reclaiming my fashion sense. I am throwing down the challenge to myself. I don't really know what suits me now, or expresses me via the fabric arts. I gravitate to things I never did before because I can. I do not have to hide, I can wear bold prints, colors, and do not need to hide my shape. It's still weird to me sometimes just like I do with food I do with clothes, I give myself permission. I can break all the rules I set before of what I could and could not do. I have some things I won't do. I won't bear my upper arms because of my excess skin issue and you know what I am okay with that. I am working on feeling better about it but I also do not think it makes me any less self accepting to admit I do not want to show it.
Samara, writes a fabu blog about her style, http://mysocalledstyle.blogspot.com/ and what catches her eye. I was catching up on it this weekend and it inspired me to step it up! I am working towards the body I want to be able to wear the clothes I want and doing nada about it. I ordered some stuff Sunday night seizing the moment and letting go of what I think I should look like, dress like, or be. It's a whole new world. Posted are pics of what I ordered. Before you say anything yes I realize I have a boob issue with the bow shirt. I have not resolved this yet, open to layering suggestions!
Style related side note, I am obsessed with feathers. Forget the hair accessories everyone and their mom is doing that. It's all about the earrings. I have some forever 21 that I swear make me hotter, put a wiggle in my walk, and overall improve the quality of my life and any outfit. This fella on etsy.com makes some really beautiful ones, but they are pricier then my $4.80 affairs from forevs.
Friday, February 25, 2011
My friends Melissa and Tyler have been feeding me for the past few weekends. They are an amazing couple and the brains behind The Meaty Vegan. We're working together on a project which I can not wait to talk more about and will, but once things are a little more settled. Melissa and Tyler are super healthy, super fun, and their food is super tasty. They are lentil obsessed and Melissa was kind enough to share her amazing lentil salad recipe. The photos are also hers. Check it out below, and then make it immediately. You will not be disappointed. Thank you Melissa for the photos, deliciousness, and the newly found love of lentils.
Leek and Lentil Salad
1/2 cup of French Lentils (Lentilles du Puy)
1/2 - 1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
olive oil or grapeseed oil
Arugula or favorite green for salad!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut leeks in half, wash in between layers as dirt and sand like to hide in the depths. Place leeks on aluminum foil or roasting pan, cut side up. Add generous amounts of oil, salt and pepper to the cut side, put in 400 degree oven. Roast leeks for 20 minutes, flipping them after 10 minutes.
Simmer the French Lentils (Lentilles du Puy) for 20-25 minutes in 3 times the amount of water uncovered (1/2 cup of lentils in 1 1/2 cups of water) OR with a lid simmer for 7-10 minutes in one an half its volume of water (1/2 cup lentils in 3/4 cups water). If there is a small amount of water left, drain off. Mix 1/2 to 1/3 cup of balsamic into cooled lentils. Add chopped shallots and salt and pepper to taste.
Lay arugula or other green on plate, add lentils and top with warm leek. You can keep leek whole for a beautiful presentation or chop the leek into 1/4 inch slivers.
** Note: Please make sure you are buying French Lentils - Lentilles du Puy. The French Lentils (Lentilles du Puy) are perfect for salads and hold up their shape and texture. All other lentils, after cooked, looses its texture making red or brown lentils perfect for soups and stews.
Nuts are a complicated thing though, they are tough to keep at a healthy portion and super delicious. I do keep peanut butter in my house, but it's natural and the one I like but do not love. This makes it a whole lot less likely I will be eating spoonfuls of it all night or on everything. I also practice when in doubt throw it out. If It looks like I am getting too frisky with it I throw it out. It saves me, no really this is the last spoonful debate in my head and the heart burn which ensues after massive amounts of peanut butter. I also give myself permission to have it. I think this alone makes it so much easier to manage. I used to NEVER have peanut butter, nuts or dried fruit in my apartment. Oh no, not even a chance. Last night I needed to buy pecans for my breakfast quinoa obsession and they had some candied ones...I thought about it, they sure would be delicious, but the chances of me snacking on them mindlessly was pretty high. I went with the plain ones. I enjoy them in my breakfast, but do not feel the need to snack on them excessively and I even bought the ginormous bag and I logged it. Yes you are bringing a huge bag of pecans into the house, but I also said to myself but you got this you can have them when you want.
It's weird to see your relationship with trigger foods evolve. Some of my trigger foods have never been so in my life, but I am eating far less of them. I have peanut butter in the cabinet, raw almonds and almond butter at work, giant bags of pecans around me, and I do not even think about it. It does not occur to me to lose my ish and just rapid fire consume them, because I found a place for them in my life. Here's where my brain really gets wonky...I used to sometimes eat half a jar of peanut butter in a night, but I would not allow myself to eat nuts because they were too high in fat. I laugh so hard at myself these days. I really can work myself into a full on tizzy laughing at the bs logic like that I used to hide behind. A handful of almonds was not causing my problems the bags and bags of junk and other food I consumed might have been more responsible.
Calories, fat, protein, carbs, these are all words and they are all things you have to have to be healthy. People get so caught up in latching on to an idea of no carbs, or no fat not knowing how it all fits together what works in their body. You have to have fat to live and I am pretty content that I can now get it from almonds. We are in such deep like and I foresee a very happy none bingey future.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
So last night Melissa had me in pigeon pose. If you are not familiar it's intense. I have a love hate relationship with it. I love the intensity of the feeling and stretch, but it's definitely really hard to just focus on your breathing and not when you are going to get out of it. My hamstrings, and bum are permanently tight and this really targets that. Last night she had me hold pigeon for I swear a lifetime and a half, but what was really a few minutes. I also was using a block for my forehead, so I was not propped on my elbows which forces your body to submit further and the the feeling to intensify. I was doing well at first breathing, thinking yes brain this does hurt and the more you relax the more it hurts, but think of how much your muscles appreciate this. For realz I say these things to myself. About half way into my right leg I started to panic. I was not panicking because I thought Melissa had decided to take a nap and was not going to let me out of it. I started feeling things that I do not even know what the feelings were or what they stem from but I was tempted to burst into tears. It was not just that it's intense. I mean if the pain was crying bad I wouldn't do it, this was definitely emotional. I think my hips might finally be ready to talk. I have no idea what they have to say just yet and am not particularly caught up on figuring that out this second but it was really amazing to just be able to breathe through it, acknowledge it and ride it out. I did not end up crying but I can not even tell you how bad I just wanted out of that pose and my body. I just wanted to run and curl up into a ball and maybe rock for good measure. I know several people who have cried after yoga class, and I find this really interesting. It had never happened to me but I can get why it does. Strength training once I got all quiver lipped, but yoga had not stirred me. It stirs me positively, it calms me, but maybe now it's allowing me to continue dealing with whatever I need to. I know I am creating a place within myself to deal. I know I can sit with things and just be and sometimes I won't know what it all means I just have to feel it. After being numb for so long but thinking I was feeling it's still makes me catch my breath sometimes when I feel something I did not expect and then it surprises me even more I do not want to run from it.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I have a love affair with the treadmill. It's gotten me to where I am cardio wise. I also know I lose weight doing it. I trust the results it can give me. That's part of what keeps me coming back. I also just like to watch TV and zone out there. Lately I have been pushed by Marisa, and Egon to get off the treadmill and do other cardio. I was dipping my toe into this. I have not really embraced it. It's scary, it's not the formula I know and have trusted, but on the other hand can I really expect to be on the treadmill the rest of my life weight loss aside? Being sick I can not run, it's just not a possibility. Breathing is trying enough so running is a no go. I would have to be capable of breathing out my nose for that...Anyway I have been on the elliptical. I am embracing it. It's not what I know but right now it's what I can do. I usually do 45mins-60mins cardio minimum, but have only been capable of 30 minutes since the illness that would never leave came into my life. Last night I felt pretty well and thought about doing 45 mins but then thought why? So you can wear yourself out? Maybe you should call it quits and have an early dinner go home and get some rest. I did just that and you know what I survived and did not magically gain all the weight back overnight. Amazing how that works.
It's hard not to check out, whether it's a glass of wine, exercise, food, smoking, shopping the list goes on. It is hard to live in your life at every moment. I think some times we need an escape. I guess it's finding that balance between what is a healthy escape to process, feel and move on, and what is denying and distracting from the feelings. Oh feelings you tricky things. I may no longer eat you, but it doesn't mean I always want to deal with you. Being a girl I thought I understood the breadth of my emotional capabilities. Nope, I was too busy denying and running from them to actually know them. It still stumps me sometimes. Is it general malaise or is there an undercurrent? I do not know but I do know I feel something and at the end of the day that alone makes me feel better.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I have more to write on about some social stuff, but I am not sure how to talk about it...First things first I suppose I have to come clean and make a confession. I was sort of cheating on myself. There's a dudeski. He's a bad idea. I am clear on this. I had moved on, and distanced myself and then he sort of came back around. I do not know what I want from him. I do not think it's romantic because like I said he's a bad idea. Well this weekend that was completely and totally confirmed. He's not only a bad idea, but he's just not someone I have time for. It's weird to start feeling more cutthroat about who and what I have time for and can deal with but it's all about protecting yourself. Being around this person would not be a wise, healthy, or self protecting move. I get caught up on people's potential and seeing the positive and sometimes do not see who they are actually choosing to be. I make excuses, or forgive too much. Maybe now I forgive too little but for now it works for me. I have so many people in my life I would like to spend time with and do not get to why waste time with someone who is hell bent on running from themselves? I feel mentally pretty sound and healthy but why chance it? I have a self destructive streak a mile wide and do not need a huge amount of encouragement to dance down that path. I like to check out, punish myself, and do really dumb stuff. I shouldn't say I like I did. I used to like it because it's what I deserved and thought I was worth. I think I am worth a lot more then a mess. I am not a mess. I am someone who has worked hard, and been striving for better and it does not make me a better person then anyone else, but it does make me more discerning about who I give time and attention to. If everyone regardless of behavior can be my friend and be around me, then why should you be nice, smart, cool, funny and have your ish together? Why not just be a hot mess and call it a day come one come all? I already let myself down enough in the past and surrounded myself enough with people okay with letting me down. Not doing it again. Especially without any investment.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
There are studies about eating disorders and perfection, the links between these two things. I had a hard time really seeing that at first because I thought I was so flawed how could I be a perfectionist? Low self esteem makes everything so complicated. I thought perfection would make me safe, keep me one step ahead, protect me, give me power despite how powerless I felt. I equated it with these things, but never knew what it was I was seeking was perfection. I understand intellectually and have for most of my life seeking perfection is futile. How did I get wrapped up in this? How did I start to think that I was so wrong, and always needed to be modified, to try harder? Somewhere along the way I replaced myself with a pursuit. I lost asking myself what I thought, what mattered to me, and instead hid behind something else.
I probably will always will wear make up in public, and I probably will spill things on my clothes, but I am okay with that, I like a pop of color and I have bad luck with spilling. There's no "thing" I need to be or have to be for anyone else and now I have a much better sense of what I do need to be. I do need to be kind to myself and others, I do need to work hard because it's what I believe in, I do need to indulge my love of pygmy animals because lets face it they're awesome. I need to do these things because they keep me valuing me. Valuing myself is what will keep me healthy mentally and physically because there is no perfection, just protecting and really the only way to protect yourself is to care about who you are and want to keep that intact.
When I had cancer I had to see more doctor's then I ever would have wanted to, but I lucked out and saw truly magnificent ones. My oncologist remains one of my favorite people on the planet for his commitment to his patients. If it weren't for him renewing my faith in the medical field I would kick it pioneer style and try to cure myself.
I need to get a new GP for a few reasons. I'm lazy and generally in good health so I never get around to this. Today I had to get a physical because Marisa was about to frogmarch to a doctor over it. This is about being healthy right? Well I have to know what's going on to really be informed. It started pleasant enough, my Doctor is nice don't get me wrong, but I think she is bad at her job. There I said it, the former doctor's know everything person is changing. If I had my way Kymberly, my acupuncturist would treat any and everything wrong with me. My doctor praised me for losing weight, which was cool. Then she said so how did you do it, I said well I started seeing a nutritional therapist. She says that's interesting, what a smart approach. I gave her Marisa's info because one of the terrible nutritionists I previously saw is on her roster. I had already told her I thought this person was beyond bad and recommending her was irresponsible. Then she asked me are you binging now? I said no, and then she said yeah well I suspected you were before, I'm glad you're not anymore. Uhm, excuse me? This statement makes me really heated because when I saw her THREE years ago at my wit's end over 300 pounds and desperate for help, I said I do not want to do gastric, she replied with, have you thought about gastric? I kid you not. It made me feel like well I'm on my own here even my doctor has no advice.
Hearing her ask if I binged and confirm she suspected that's what was going on though changed this for me. I can forgive ignorance. I really can, if you don't know you don't know, but she knew and did nothing. Would this not have been the time to call me out and ask me if I binged and maybe suggested I seek help for that? It would have taken someone good at their job. Someone who listened to read between the lines and then actually take the time to suggest treatment and care. My weight forever is and will be my responsibility and truthfully I could have kept seeing her for meds when I get strep throat or something, but I felt like you knew when I didn't and was desperate for an answer and you did nothing. Shame on you. Shame on your checked out over worked, poorly working system. I care too much about my health these days to trust you with it.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I found eating smaller more frequent meals really worked for me. I was less hungry at meals, and it really helped me manage my cravings. I gravitated less towards sweets and the times I did because my overall hunger was being better managed it was easier to check in. The first few days I felt like everything I ate stayed with me for a nanosecond and then I was hungry again. Egon, my trainer, and Marisa both said this would be your metabolism kicking up a notch. Of course my concern was that I was a hungry beast monster. By the end of the week though I was feeling pretty good. I like to eat, this is no secret so having to eat every 2-3 hours definitely works for me. I need to avoid ruts, like greek yogurt. I ate a lot of it last week which is fine, but I do not want to rely on that and need to diversify my high protein snack repertoire. I threw some babybel cheeses into the mix and when I realized I was eating the full fat versions not the reduced didn't meltdown. Yay progress!
I went out Friday night, drank a fair amount of vodka and had pizza at 5am and still managed to lose weight. I did however, work out 6 days last week and cut my sweets so it all balances out somewhere in there. Working out 6 days a week is not something I can do every week, but I am glad I managed it last week. I planned my week because changing my habits, when I was eating and what I was eating necessitated it. I made my breakfasts, I penciled in Friday off from the gym to go out and live life, and I took my lunch to work when I knew we were having a pizza day. It still amuses me I was flushed with victory bringing my lunch to work Friday and then ended up eating pizza later. I think subconsciously I might have known that was going to happen. Lets face it when you are a few cocktails in, kale and quinoa does not sound too tasty or at least it did not to me. I chose to think of it as a very early breakfast.
I am going to continue with this for now. It works for me, and not because it helps me lose weight. That is part of it. It works for me, because I feel better, I feel like my body runs better. Eating earlier in the am helps me think clearer, all these are good things. The weight loss felt good, don't get me wrong, but it just supported what I already knew. I lost three pounds because the planets aligned and I worked hard last week. This is a new week how am I going to work hard this week? I already have new challenges, I feel like crap, a cold is coming, I had to take a client out who wanted BBQ, really dude? Really? But all hope is not lost. I can still plan ahead. I might not feel like the gym a whole lot so I can make smarter food choices this week to compensate for that and give my body well deserved rest instead of melting down and panicking. I got this...for now.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I've been on a roll lately of expecting little and being surprised. Hung out with a friend expecting to get a drink and we stayed out until 5am. For the record I am way too old for that nonsense now. I did however make it to the gym and only looked a wee bit like death.
Yesterday was Valentine's Day as we know. Not typically the most fun when you're single, but seriously who cares? I did not care I was single. I was skipping through the day enjoying it. I have a client, who says they have a crush on me. I call them out and say they are all talk and no woo. This person is in a committed relationship so it's really more amusing banter then anything real. Anyway I spoke to someone working with them yesterday and said I was both crushed and disappointed on Valentine's Day of all days, there was no woo. About two hours later I had a dozen roses and a bottle of champagne. The flowers and champagne are ridonk, but the comedy is what had me smiling the entire night. You just never know and it can be sort of wonderful.
Monday, February 14, 2011
It's been a crazy past few days. Nothing too nutso just a lot packed into a little time. A few things...
Happy Valentines Day Everyone! Big ups to dating myself and not being stressed about plans, or presents!
Cookbooks are going out this week.
The winners of the larabars have been picked by mine and Kevin's super scientific way and they are....
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and I will get them on their merry way to you.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I really like making breakfast at home so far. It takes some prep time and thought but it's really relaxing and I like the me time. I wanted to get some yoga in and breakfast but right now I will work on breakfast and then add in yoga. I made scrambled egg whites morning one, and breakfast quinoa morning two. Quinoa and I are going to have to get a room soon because this love is getting real. I am going to post the recipe I used because I heart it that much. I cut the agave out, and used almond milk for the dairy for the record. I did not miss either truthfully.
I have been spending a lot of time in grocery stores because if I remember to get one thing I forget another, both times recently I wanted sweets and I wanted them real bad. I resisted the urge because really am I going to do that every time? If I get a box of something each time knowing I am going to eat if not the whole thing close to it do I really want to do that? Do I really want to hold myself back that way? Do I also really not want to figure out some of the stuff still lingering that holds me back because of Trader Joe's dark chocolate orange sticks? No I don't. I love sweets but I love me more. I love feeling healthier, stronger, and clear headed far more then any sweet. That makes it easier to walk away, even if I am a little pouty about it at first.
I am big on the tea and I highly recommend it for beating sweet cravings. I had a tasty decaf chai last night I put a little almond milk in when I really wanted something else. My absolute favorite is yogi tea's sweet thai delight, 1. because it is utterly delicious, and the 2. the name makes me giggle. It's winter, tea is soothing and it keeps me busy. Is it the same as a piece of cake? No, not even close, but does it hard core distract me when I have a bad case of the noms. Totally. I salute you tea and apologize for my angrier comments when first letting go of my behaviors that drinking you at night was a crap alternative.
We'll see what happens this week. I am trying to stay on the protein train not feel flummoxed by the changes, get to bed earlier to get up earlier, and keep the refining going. It's nice to feel freaked out but open to modification. When food does not symbolize your happiness it is easier to modify it. It's easier to let go and try something out. If I don't like it, it's one meal, one snack, one week, it's not a big deal or a failure to fill that void of unhappiness. That is way too much pressure for any meal. It will never live up to it, it will never make you happy unless you already are.
Tasty Brekkie Quinoa Recipe from 101 Cookbooks:
1 cup organic 1% low fat milk
1 cup water
1 cup organic quinoa, (hs note: rinse quinoa)
2 cups fresh blackberries, organic preferred
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
4 teaspoons organic agave nectar, such as Madhava brand
Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.
Serves 4.*While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 350F degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Monday, February 7, 2011
I am a big fan of larabars. They are real food, they are delicious and they are easy to grab on the go. What I am less then a fan of is for the full size bars they are tough to only eat half and a little too much for a single snack. Enter the minis! I am in such deep love with these. This week's giveaway is a a 12 pack box of the larabar minis. They happily come with my favorite flavor cherry pie. To enter all you have to do is submit a comment and tell me what is your biggest exercise challenge or question? Mine is do I really need to wear a heart rate monitor? I am trying to hook us up with a fitness expert of some sort to answer said questions.... Comment away please!
How do you protect yourself? I've always believed when you argue with a fool no one knows who the fool is, but how do you stay true to who you are not, protect yourself against their nonsense, and function. It's not easy. It's not easy when often you just want to yell. I just want to have a touch of the tourette's and be allowed to be as unaccountable for me behavior and they are for theirs. I would like to be able to opt out of being an adult and just behave however I see fit in that given moment because I have a bag of never ending excuses. The most frustrating thing is I never get to feel how I want to feel, because they always have an excuse. It's so frustrating and maddening.
The more I commit to taking care of myself the less time I have for those who don't. It's not a question of judgment. I am no better or worse then anyone else but I do get to choose how my time is spent. I choose not to be around people wallowing in denial, insecurities, and excuses, because I can too easily and quickly go down that path myself. I want to be around people who are not afraid to say hard things about themselves, truly look at how they behave and not how they want to think they behave. I don't want to be around people who only look to keep themselves safe even if it is at the expense of others. It's a real kick in the teeth though that we have to work and do not get to choose everyone we spend the bulk of our time with. Time to create a better force field of protection.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Kale, can not get enough, chips, frozen, sauteed, I like it all
Collard Greens, revisiting my southern youth perhaps?
Sweet Potatoes, at this point sweet potatoes and I are getting serious
Persimmons, I went to 3 different grocery stores looking for these, and of course the last one closest to my apt had them. They are UNREAL. Super sweet, the one fruit you could have instead of dessert,
Brown Rice, boring but so easy to make tasty, found this tasty marinade at whole foods with 15 calories per tablespoon, and it makes the rice into takeway sluttiness.
Black Bean Veggie Burgers, I prefer morning star's or make my own,
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, measured out I keep these on hand for sweet related meltdowns
Peanut Butter in my oatmeal, w/half a banana, dear lord it is wrong how good that is.
Hummus but made with no oil and lots of lemon, amazing and has less then 1 gram of fat per 2
tablespoons, I especially like whole foods brand.
Red cabbage, braised, pickled, in a salad, I seriously can not get enough,
I have been cooking more and more at home, and I am really enjoying it. Below are some of the things I find I keep making again and again.
Kale is a total and complete super food. Packed with antioxidants, it's detoxifying for the body, and has some major vitamin and mineral punch. It's also good for reducing your risk against numerous cancers. While this is all fine and well, I find it delicious and you can make faux potato chips out of it. Super nutritious and it can be chips, it does not get better.
1 Bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Wash kale and cut stems off
Dry the bejesus out of kale, true story, I wish I had a salad spinner, needs to be completely dry
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over kale
massage kale with oil, I ended up massaging the the bowl and then making sure each leaf got some love to make sure it was properly coated. If you wanted to I think you could use less oil the more you make sure they get it on them.
Place kale leaves on a lined baking sheet
Bake for 12 minutes, I turned mine at 6 mins.
It should be crispy to the touch, but not brown. If it goes brown it will be more bitter.
Dust with salt and any herbs you please. I added a little smoked paprika but ended up preferring the plain ole kosher salt ones the best.
Super Green Saute
1 cup diced celery
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 Meyer lemon ( you can use any kind, I just happened to be theses cause they're in season)
1 bunch of collard greens, sliced into ribbons
1 bunch of kale , sliced into ribbons
Chopped garlic, not sure, 1/2 teaspoon? Tailor to your tastes
Smoke paprika to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
Spiced pecans, I used sweet and spicy ones, about 1/4 cup, can use more or less to taste
Heat olive oil in pan
add in garlic
Once you smell the garlic add in celery
Let cook 2-3 minutes, add in a dash of water
Add in red cabbage
Add dash of salt and pepper, cook for a few minutes
Add handfuls of greens and cover so they steam and wilt down. They will fight the power. Should take a few minutes.
Once greens submit and are cooking with everyone else, squeeze half of meyer lemon
add salt and pepper to taste, and smoked paprika
Allow to cook for several minutes, taste
Add more lemon, and paprika if you wish. I am a big acidity fan so I used the whole lemon. I also am obsessed with smoke paprika so I hit it up hard with that.
Add in spiced pecans, I smashed mine up to get more bang for my buck
This makes several servings so it's nice to have for the week.
1 pita not the pocketed kind, but more flat bread-esque, look for one that is low calorie, and high fiber and as whole grain as possible. It will not only give you more nutrition but taste better.
2 tablespoons hummus, can use whatever kind you like
1 tablespoon reduced fat crumbled goat cheese
4-6 Kalamata olives, you can leave whole or cut up, up to you, I like mine whole
spread hummus on to pita, add crumbled goat cheese, dot with olives
Toast until goat cheese melts
Slice into quarters and try not to become obsessed. This is my friend Avery's creation and I could eat it every day despite how thirsty it makes me. When you are feeling salty it will make you oh so happy.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
During class I started to feel self conscious. Usually I don't. There are all shapes and sizes, and skill levels but for some reason today I just sort of got hung up on it. It's my bottom half. I really try to get past my unhappiness about it but sometimes it crops up. I see so much change everywhere else but here. What I try to hang on to is it has changed A LOT. When I got started on this I was 6 sizes bigger on the bottom. I definitely lose sight of that just because I am not the size I want to be yet. One of the problems is mirrors. There are not supposed to be mirrors in yoga classes because you should learn by feeling not seeing. Interesting right? I was definitely getting hung up on the seeing. I made myself shake the negative and get back to the present and continue with class. I think that's what helped me have a lovely moment. I have not been able to do full wheel yet. I used to be able to do back bends when I was a kid like it was nothing. I have struggled with this an just felt so utterly heavy when I have tried. I mean soul crushing heavy. Today I thought I could hang out in half wheel or just try. I did try and I lifted myself up with so much ease I almost yelled in class I was so excited. I couldn't believe it, for realz. I was feeling like pudgy mcpudgkins a few minutes ago and then doing a pose that I felt my size had held me back from. I am not terribly lighter then when I started yoga, but what I am is stronger, leaner, and more determined.
I am determined to not be thin but to be healthy, strong, and confident of the body I am in. I felt such pride in myself and my body on Saturday. I felt this since of yes, we are in it together. It's not just me telling you what to do, we're doing it. I may not wear the size I want to yet, but I tell you want I rock a mean pair of black jeggings, this bottom half is full not half empty.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Daily Water Requirements: Drink 50-75% of your body weight in ounces. Sedentary people: 50%; Active people: 75%
I have been doing this and got to say I feel much better. My skin looks better, I feel fuller, and my work outs have improved because I am properly hydrated. One thing I really like is I drink pro-greens in the morning. I get mine from Trader Joe's and they are berry flavored. Pro-greens are pretty powerful stuff, packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. I feel better when I am taking them, and my hair and nails grows faster. Why? Cause of nutrients, nutrients, nutrients. That knocks out 16 ounces of my water, and then I follow it with another 32 ounces as I get ready for work. Then at work it makes me get up leave my desk, giving my eyes a rest, and making me move. You got to move to lose I say to myself when I'd rather stay put.
I thought I was already being super water vigilant and this has been really eye opening. The way to take caffeine into account is whatever you had, a 8 ounce cup of coffee, is going to pull out 16 ounces of fluid. Interesting no? My acupuncturist explained this to me when begging me to cut down my caffeine. Before when I was really off my coffee rocker I was drinking 40-50 ounces of coffee a day. True story and yes I am grossed out. There is no way I was drinking enough water to compensate. No way. Now I am down to 16 ounces, so I feel better by starting my day with the 32 ounces to sort of start at a water baseline.
Try your own water experiment, it's pretty interesting. Yes, at first you will pee pretty frequently, but I read and have found your bladder does adjust. I am now reconsidering my plan to wear adult diapers and feeling pretty good about my water plans.
If you're really feeling super adventurous get on the pro-green train. It's a really easy thing to do/drink to boost your overall health.
1. Start my 21 Days to a yoga body, this is really more get daily yoga into my life
2. Do the 8000 loads of laundry I have putting off
3. Go grocery shopping and get some cooking done for the week.
4. Make my organization action plan! All about the cloud.
5. FitPerez video, thinking this one will be about what is normal eating? I have some thoughts on this I'd like to share.
6. Mani/Pedi cause my hands and feet look prehistoric for realz. Cray cray how bad this is.
7. Clean up my kitchen, it's not pretty.
8. Attend Superbowl party with my friends from The Meaty Vegan! Really fun to be hanging with people where I know the fixin's will be healthy.
I think that's it, or at least as much as I can realistically deal with. I could list more but lets face it. It's not going to happen. I also need to get some anna time in there to get my true crime on. I have been on a real true crime binge lately but thanks to yoga breathing when I start to panic that someone will get me in the night I can deep breathe the fears away. True Crime 0 Yoga 3 Part Breathing 1. Have a great weekend everyone, and thank you for being such bright little stars in my week.
My Co-Worker Kevin assisted me in my super scientific winner selection process. I wrote everyone's name down on paper slips, put them in a picnic basket, and then selected 3...I'm real classy. Anyway the winners of the super awesome snack cookbook are:
please send me your address at email@example.com and I will send those books on their merry way.
This was REALLY fun, and I want to do more so let me know what sort of freebies would you be interested in?
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I was 26 at the time when I was diagnosed. I had cervical cancer stage 2, and came a millimeter away from a full hysterectomy. I am very lucky that did not happen. For the record since I am already discussing my lady bits, I did not have HPV. HPV is a huge cause in cervical cancer in women so if you are young enough to get vaccinated do it. Sorry to get all bossy but seriously why take the risk. I did chemo for about 6 months via pill form. In the midst of treatment I also started a company. I took 1.5 days off work and I barely gave myself time to process what was happening to me and how I felt about it. Chemo was rough. I felt crappy about 100% of the time and when I did not feel straight up awful I was not feeling good by any means. I was really lucky my brother had recently moved to Jersey City and was unemployed. He basically made his job running my life. He did my grocery shopping, cleaned my apartment, helped me take care of Dumplina (the dog). He was truly amazing and I will forever be grateful to him for the care. He was one of the few people who didn't treat me differently and just let me be. I had friends who couldn't even say the word cancer. That hurt. I had other friends who whenever it came up burst into tears, that was trying. It was a scary time for all of us. I've always tried my best to take care of those around me and now I was the one with cancer. This did not sit well with anyone. My Mom had recently gotten engaged and now she had just been robbed of excitement and carefree planning. Now that she's divorced I feel less bad about this. I knew on the one hand it wasn't my fault, I didn't do anything, and I wasn't troubling anyone but at first I felt that way.
Most of the negative things that have happened to me I have tried to find the positive in. Cancer was a gift. The first month of chemo I was so angry. I was mourning losing who I had always been to myself. I had had stamina, been able to push through, been tough, now I couldn't walk across down, was falling asleep in the middle of a conversation with my brother, and in bed by 8pm. I did not take this well. Month one was so incredibly hard for me. I felt so alone, angry, and frustrated, and now looking back on it I could not use food. I had a hard time keeping food down at first. I eventually by month 3 had figured out what I could and could not get down, but month one it was still trial and error. By the end of month one I went to a support group after resisting because I was starting to feel pretty crazy. A woman said to me when I said I feel like I shouldn't be here I have the common cold version of cancer she said why do you think you could die any less then me? You're not safe you have cancer. That was the hardest and scariest moment of all, because she was right I had cancer and I could die.
After that first month I sort of embraced the freedom cancer gave me. I could say no, I could impose limits, I could behave how I felt in that moment. I wasn't a ranting raving selfishtor, but I was starting the learning process of how to make sure I was getting my needs met. I had previously only addressed my unhealthy needs and now I was beginning to understand healthy ones. Friends who would say oh come to the movies you only need to sit there, I would stay strong and say nah you don't get it, I do not have the energy to even do that. It was tough at first but that desire to protect myself was beginning to grow and I stopped caring if people thought I was weak. I had cancer. There was no toughing it out, there was nothing to prove I had to take this seriously and I had to take care of myself. I think this experience was setting me up for the next phase.
When I was done with treatment, pronounced cancer free I was left with a lot I did not know what to do with. Cancer had dominated my life. I had been in this crisis bubble for months. I did not know how to go from high alert to nothing. When I would do my best other people who suck me back in. I went home to Atlanta for my mom's wedding, and several people thought then was the time to discuss it with me. Not terribly cool. I get where they were coming from but, really? Really? On what is supposed to be a great, joyous night, you want to bring up cancer? Nothing kills a party faster.
I lost some weight when I was ill, but it wasn't before long I started to gain weight. I think again in reflection, that I was depressed. Coming out of the bubble was hard. I had been 26 carefree on my way to my biggest career move yet when it had been snatched away from me. Why should I trust this would not happen again. Random but related I also lived in NYC for 9/11 and I feel similarly about these two things. I had to make a decision, was I going to live or was I going to stopping living and just be afraid? I started to live. It was weird at first, but I started to make my adjustments. I had an amazing team of doctors, nurses, and support group who helped me tremendously throughout the entire process. I will forever be grateful to them to. I started to go back to life pre-cancer, pre-sick, pre/post sick, I did immunotherapy, I started to read and get interested in health. I started to value my body and appreciate that it had fought for me when I needed it to and now I had to fight for it.
I still get scans every 6 months and will until I am declared in remission. I have nightmares once in a blue moon that the caner comes backs, but now I find I forget I even had it. I thought I never would, but time does heal your body, and your wounds and when you work at it even your mind. I am not really sure if I had not had cancer would I have gotten serious about my weight problem. Cancer helped me seperate thin and health. It helped me start to realize I was tired of not feeling healthy. I was tired of feeling gross and now I didn't have chemo to blame. I thought about gastric but it is not recommended for people who are not in remission, I totally hid behind that as an excuse at first, but now I think it all worked out the way it was supposed to. Gastric was not for me because it was not a lobotomy. I know many people have had amazing success with it, but I bet they were honest with themselves. When I was contemplating it I was not there yet. Part of me also did not want to have this mega surgery after I had just been through so much. Again I was starting to protect and appreciate my body. I thank cancer for this.
I thank cancer for teaching me how to say no, to learn my limits and respect them, and to value what an amazing thing the human body is. I thank it despite it being an evil disease. I started running to donate to cancer related charities and still try to do this. I try to raise awareness about getting your annual check ups and taking care of yourself because cancer is an evil disease. I was lucky and I hope I remain so September 1st 2011 will be 4 years cancer free and I look forward to that date, but I grow less and less concerned by it. It seems further and further in the distance and like it was another lifetime or a different person. In some ways it was. It was angry, overweight, unhealthy, miserable, in a toxic relationship, anna. It was not the happy life I have today.
I tried to stay on point with this post, but I think I probably got lost in the corn maze a few times. It's interesting to reflect on something that has very little meaning to me now that did dominate my life. Maybe it's because I feel so much healthier, maybe it's because it has been 4 years, who knows, but I am glad it's become another experience not a defining factor or moment.
I made an appointment to get it fixed for Wednesday evening. Then I realized I would have to miss yoga. I chose yoga over my TV. I am still a little stunned by this. I never choose something healthy over something that should be done in moderation. I also thought it was extremely interesting with all this discussion of silence and being with myself recently with Marisa this timing was extremely appropriate. If Marisa wasn't totally cool I might suspect we was in cahoots with TWC, but I suspect she actually spends her time doing cool stuff, helping others, and not taking my cable away. I rescheduled my appointment and embarked on silent dinner and evenings.
The first night I had silent dinner I freaked out a bit. I wanted to text someone, call somebody, read something, or eat really fast. I desperately wanted Dumplin' (my dog) to entertain me somehow. She refused to put on a puppet show as directed. Then I took a deep breath and told myself to lady up, slow down, enjoy my dinner and take in the silence. Amazingly I sort of liked it. It took some getting used to it but I really enjoyed it. I appreciated my dinner more, I felt a smidge calmer, and I ate much slower. I am thinking I might keep doing this. Supporters of intuitive eating say to truly be practicing it you have to eat without distraction. I sort of thought that was very high and mighty before. I get it a little bit more now. I was not ready to really focus on eating. I had checked out while eating for so long to be so conscious of it was uncomfortable. I know and better understand now, I deserve to eat, I need to be eat to be healthy, and I have to honor my hunger. I also invest more energy into preparing my meals and should take a moment to enjoy them and appreciate what I have done even though Jersey Shore is super tempting.
The cable is fixed, but I feel a little differently about it now. I love to read, and no TV made me read more again, get into bed earlier, and you know what I liked it. Amazing what you can learn when it's silent.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
For Realz. I am doing it mostly because I think all of you are so grand and want to send you what we refer to in my family as love gifts. Maybe it's Valentines being in the air, maybe it's that when I get obsessed with something I want to share it with everyone...So what's the giveaway, my new favorite cookbook. 100 Calorie Snack Cookbook. I think 100 calories packs suck, they are not real food, they are easy to over eat, and they don't taste very good. I love snacks. I am truly, madly, deeply committed to late afternoon delicious snacks. This cookbook has brought great snacking joy into my life. So to enter all you have to do is this...Tell me your favorite healthy snacks, and the lamest snack suggestion you have heard. I have two, frozen peas and carrots, weird and does not sound pleasant, and raw vegetables. Raw veggies are great, but where is the fun in that? And the protein for that matter. Give me some hummus and then we'll talk. Anyway I will choose 3 peeps to get receive the cookbook on Friday. So let me know those snackies please!
Snow is not so fun, ice is even less fun. We have had a lot of it this year. I actually broke down and bought real snow boots this year. Changed my life, and they are also cute. Well as cute as snow boots get. Anyway....on this frozen morning I was so thrilled to have received lots of emails from all of you, and an email from a friend paying me a compliment about my writing's evolvement. I already feel a little take charge in my snow boots, they're like 4-wheel drive for my feet, but today I downright skipped to work. Giant sidewalk ice glaciers be damned! Thank you everyone, for taking the time to read, comment, email, all of it. It makes me happier then unicorns, rainbows, puppies, hot men, and dark chocolate all together. That's some deep love.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
It's the first day of February and it's time to check in with my resolutions....
1. Minute is not shaved off mile, probably a few seconds, but a ways to go to the minute.
2. Lots more yoga in my life! At least once a week, practicing the breathing, and really liked the meditative aspects.
3. No real progress on alone trip, lots of thoughts, not much action.
4. Continuing to date myself, we are in deep like. I am learning how to listen.
5. Continuing to pursue the healthy life and strengthening my identity outside weight. I am less and less concerned by weight, and more and more concerned by health.
6. Another work in progress but I care a little less every day what people say or validate about me. Care a lot more what I think.
7. No cooking course progress, but cooking more. A small victory.
8. Nurture healthy relationships, trying and making efforts, peeps are busy, I'm busy doing what I can.
9. I am a slayer of the toxics. Working on this all the time, distance, boundaries, and good byes.
10. Trying to push my writing and videos...lemme know if it's better or tedious for you.
11. Doing things I am afraid of and admitting that I am afraid of them.
12. Every day I feel a little more confident and connected to me. Some days it's tiny other days it's a bear hug of self acceptance. I'll take what I can.
13. Organize my apartment...this is not really going at all. I have admitted I am not powerless but clueless at it. Marisa gave me a tip. We'll see how it goes. More later.
14. Working on reflecting me. Thinking of decorating reward system for organization. I want the bedding above from anthropologie, REAL BAD! What a fun riot of color to sleep in.
15. Teeth are in progress, practically drooling right now from said progress.
16. Get better at saving money, working on it...there's a little more left over each week which is cool.
17. Push myself out of strength/cardio zone, working on it, but could definitely be working harder. I am taking baby steps and could take larger strides.
18. Redefining goals, right now I want to be able to hold a plank for 5 minutes. It's a lifetime in a plank but I am going to do it.
19. Have not met with surgeons, but not as bothered by the skin.
20. I am really thinking about my career and what direction I need to go in to feel passionately about what I do. I have more questions then answers right now but know I'll get there.
How's everyone else doing? Or any new thoughts for this year?