Body Confident – New Year Resolution Update.

healthy-body-mind-imageI’ve been thinking a lot lately, probably too much.  As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t turn off my thoughts.  It affected my work – I had so much work to do, but I could not focus. At All. My mind was so fuzzy, it took me forever to get simple things done. The worst part is that I knew it was happening – it was a super slow movie playing – you know the story, the outcome, and it takes soooo long to play out.

I will update you on all my thoughts later.  Right now this is just a quick update on the body confident part of my 2015 New Years Resolution

  • Lose Weight – I went to the doctor last week and I am officially down 4 pounds.  It makes me feel really good that both the doctor and my scale register the same weight loss.  Also, I went to the doctors at the end of the day and it still showed 4 pounds down (I usually weigh myself first thing in the morning).  This means its not just about the scale, but is now officially part of my medical record.  For FYI – I lost 3 pounds in January, and one whole whopping pound in the months of February and March.
  • Exercise More – I also did take a Belly Dancing class. That was super fun!  These next few months I’ll be playing softball with my company softball team.  I just found my roller blades –  I’m now on the hunt for my knee and elbow pads. 🙂  I know I’m going to need them.
  • Stomach Issues – I also have an appointment with Dr. Feldman – a holistic doctor who is going to help me get back on track stomach wise. She helped one of my best friends through her stomach issues. My girlfriend swears by this woman.  I’m looking forward to working with her – and getting healthy again.

That’s it for me for now.  Looking forward to updating you on the fun things soon.

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Paleo Week 4 – Thoughts and Best Recipes.

Fat-Loss-Diet-and-Exercise-Plan

A not so quick update.

First, I love the Paleo diet – it has changed my life wrt my stomach issues.  I’ve had maybe 3 flare-ups – and they are identifiable, meaning I know what caused them.  My stomach can handle meats, fruits and veggies, and non-dairy dairy (nut dairy, NOT cow dairy). I also seem to be able to handle cheeses (so dairy in moderation) and wine without a problem.

I LOVE the fact that I can eat healthy, have a flat stomach, not have bloating or constipation issues, AND drink wine.  Yes, Paleo, you have me at Hello.

A couple of notes:

  • You can be successful IF you prepare yourself for success.
    • Remove shit from your refrigerator and cabinets and start over with the right ingredients. This was quite expensive for me – but well worth it.
    • Plan your shopping list and be prepared at all times with foods you can eat. This can take time… and its a conscious effort, one well worth it IMO. I prep and shop and cook on Sundays. It’s a half day at least… wish it was less but so far it hasn’t been.
  • You must live near a  Whole Foods or be able to order goods via Amazon.. otherwise, this diet won’t work. I know from experience that you cannot find much of anything that is Paleo friendly in small towns across the US.
  • You do need to like (more on the love side) to cook, experiment with recipes, be ok with failure, and most of all, love leftovers. If you have and love a slow cooker all the better.  If you don’t love to cook or bake, this is not a diet for you.
  • You will spend a shit ton of time prepping your food. Key staples in the kitchen are:
    • Cutco Knives. Best damn knives on the planet – they will help you chop, cut, etc. If you want to know which ones I use let me know. I’ll supply the list of must-haves.
    • Mandolin. Just got myself one – the OXO Mandolin – because it had storage.  It’s missing a chopper.  Other than this, its excellent. Reviews say watch your fingers – and its true. Almost sliced off the tips of my fingers a couple of times.  Because of my close calls with losing my digit fingers I ordered myself the NoCry gloves. I LOVE THEM so much I ordered a pair for my Paleo diet cooking friend (she also has Cutco and has cut fingertips, nails,and such).

For me, I love baked goods – there is NOT a donut I don’t love (except those covered in maple icing). Baked goods are brought into the office every day, which sucks for me.  So I’m experimenting with baking and I’m having a ball.  BUT, this was the hardest for me to cut out – I LOVED my Fiber One bars, Cinnamon, Gingerbread, Lemon Bars oh My!!   Below is what I’ve done, baking wise.  I’d open a bakery if I could – because this is where it’s at. Experimenting has been so much fun.  Why are bakeries NOT incorporating coconut or almond flours in their treats?

After a month, here are my favorite recipes, notes of changes included.

NOTE – you must use Google Chrome to search for these recipes. If you use Bing you will NOT get good results.

  • Making Sweet Potato and Beet Chips isn’t as easy as all the recipes I’ve found online have said.  NOT A ONE.  I’ve made a good 10 lbs of chips, none of which have turned out perfectly. I’m still experimenting with temperature and the right mixture of oil, baking time, and spices.  I thought the price of Terra Chips was ridiculous.  Given the time and effort I’ve put in to make the perfect chip, I think the price is well worth it. I’ve got 20+ hours into it by now and I still don’t have a recipe I’m happy with. Terra Chips – thank you for making a quality chip that I can eat my guacamole with!
  • Paleo Curry Chicken 
    • I first tried Danielle Walkers Against All Grain Cookbook slow cooker Chicken Curry. It’s ridiculously GOOD. However, I don’t always have slow-cooker time on my hands.  so I found this Paleo Friendly Quick Curry Chicken recipe – and I made the following edits – remember, I love leftovers
      • I used Thai Kitchen green curry paste – an entire bottle
      • I used a small rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods. I didn’t salt or pepper it, I just deboned all the chicken
      • I used 1/2 yellow onion, 2 heads of broccoli, 1 red pepper, one carrot julliened w/ my new mandolin, and a 1 inch piece of ginger – sliced
      • I sautéed the onions, added the curry paste, let it saute a bit, then added the veggies – mixed it up, then added the cooked chicken
      • Then added 2 cans of coconut milk – one full fat, one light
      • Let it cook for 10 minutes, serve.
      • This served 2 – then I had 3 leftover servings (enough for lunch all week).
  • Paleo Banana Pancakes – I needed something to fill the pastry desires I had.  I need carbs, or something that resembles carbs.  So after a few experiments, I found this recipe on CaveManCooking and modified it a bit –
    • one for one on banana and eggs. You use too many eggs it tastes like a bad omelet and the texture is too spongy.
    • I used frozen bananas – you know, the ones that are over ripe that you put in the freezer to “do something” with..  once you thaw them, be sure to rid yourself of as much liquid as you can. The riper the banana, the sweeter the pancake.  No matter what the other recipes call for, do not add honey or sweeteners – the ripe banana makes it sweet enough
    • Add a TBS of coconut flour and a pinch of cinnamon.
    • 3 eggs, 3 bananas and a TBS of coconut flour make about 7 pancakes that are about 6″ round. two for you to eat right away, and one for each day of the week.  It was perfect for me. If you have the chance, add a bit of maple syrup or strawberry rhubarb jam… you will love it.
  • Paleo Slow Cooker Pork – Danielle Walkers recipe is the best, and this recipe walks you through how to make this deliciousness happen.  It’s so simple – and you should make lots of it because you can create other meals with the leftovers.  Yum!

Next up is Chicken Tikka Masala, more time perfecting my own chips, Thai Chicken sauce for lunch wraps (not Pizza), anything with Pumpkin puree, and seal the deal on my own Paleo “bacon burger” recipe (yes, my first experiment that friends and family love).

I think that is it – other than working, I’ve been cooking and enjoying it.  So far I’ve lost 3 pounds (4 weeks, 3 pounds).  Not bad given that I’m still drinking wine, eating cheese (in moderation), and working more than full-time in an office filled with wheat filled treats.

I’ll post another entry about work…  as you may remember, I started a new job 3 months ago.  Got the title and responsibility I wanted… All I can say is be careful what you ask for.. 🙂

Paleo Diet – 3 Week Update.

woman-with-heartI’ve been going balls out on my 2015 New Years resolutions.  There are several of them I’m working on at once, but the one that I’m most focused on right now is “Body Confidence”.  It’s a recipe for success – it’s part diet, part exercise, and all commitment.  For the majority of the time, I have felt GREAT.  My stomach issues have all but disappeared, I have renewed energy. And the only reason I know this is because when I’ve faltered

  1. I ate cheese sauce made with milk and flour two weekends ago – with brocolli, it was delicious, but it hurt my stomach
  2. I had a few chips with my tostada on Sunday
  3. and tonight, I ate a small sliver of garlic bread

My stomach hurt me when I ate cheese sauce and chips….. not so much with the garlic bread. All mini-setbacks from my plan, but definitely recoverable.

Other than this, I feel good with this “diet”. Diet in quotes only because I don’t think its a diet, its a way of life – one that is easy to do for me  – I love to cook, especially with my slow cooker, and I’ve made some amazing recipes.  Danielle Walkers cookbook and website are my #1 go-to for recipes and information, but I’ve also found great recipes and tips on other websites.  My favorite is Danielle’s Slow Cooker Pork Roast.  I make the full amount and use it for so many dishes… it has such a great flavor and is so easy to make.  I had a cook-off day with a girlfriend and we both made unbelievably delicious recipes.  Had enough leftovers to share – meals for days.

The challenge is when I travel or go out to eat, which is when I faltered (see above). But other than that, I really like what I’m doing, I feel great, and I plan to continue until March (my original goal was to complete 30 days) as I think it will take this much time to lose the weight I want to lose.

Oh, I should let everyone know that I’m still drinking wine – I figured if grapes where on the safe list, well then, anything made with grapes would be too.  It may take longer to lose the weight, but its worth it.  The diet alone makes my stomach feel better – so much better than any doctor has.  I will go back to a nutritionist to make sure I’m not missing anything, but as of now, my stomach feels better in 2 weeks on this diet than it has felt in the last 5 years.  And for that I’m extremely grateful.

So far, 20 days in, I’m down 3 pounds.  I wanted to lose more by this point, but because my stomach issues have all but disappeared, I’m willing to continue and hope for weight loss.

As far as exercise goes, I signed up for Bikram Yoga and Belly Dancing – things that will help me stretch out and get healthy in a fun way.  This is in addition to walking more (got myself a fitbit!!).  I do love the belly dancing class. Its different and I’m learning a completely new way of doing things.

I’ll post on other interesting topics later.. I have so much to share, just not enough time..

For the Love Of Animals.

FactoryFarmingPhaseOut

I’m back in the USA. Arrived home, safe and sound, on Thursday afternoon, but just now adjusting back into the US Pacific timezone.  I had a fantastic trip – successful from a work front, and extremely successful on a fun/friend front.

  • I reconnected with a bestie – I was able to hang out with Smiles, one of my best girlfriends ever.  She was my partner in crime may years ago.  She was the reason for one of my greatest trips of all time – my trip to Australia (and to Hamilton Island) in 1996.  I know, a lifetime ago, but at the same time, unforgettable.
  • I connected with a new bestie – Sporty Spice. I was able to get to know her before she started her world travels, but I was lucky enough spend more time with her down under.  I love me some Sporty Spice!  She is so funny, so insightful, creative, interesting.  I can’t wait for more time together!

I know, I know, I’ve already said all of this. But it was a great trip, it felt too short, I would have loved to stay longer, and I look forward to my return trip in April.

What I’ve not shared is my current obsession with health. I know I said in my Yacht Body post that I’m going to go the no-alcohol route, but that was before watching 3 movies on juicing and vegetarianism.

  • Vegucated – great documentary on 3 meat and cheese loving individuals take a 6 week vegan challenge.  Also showed some shocking videos of slaughterhouses and compelling facts about farm animal cruelty.
  • Fat Sick and Nearly Dead – amazing documentary (available on the website, Netfix, and Hulu) on the lifestyle and medical transformation attributed to juicing.
  • Food Matters – medical experts weigh in on the lack of nutrition and natural healing education and support in the medical community as well as the growing dependence on pharmaceutical drugs (which I personally love) and expensive medical treatments.  What I learned is that there are many alternative therapies available, the easiest of which is choosing healthier foods to put in your body – “You are what you eat”.

After watching these documentaries, I truly believe that alcohol is the least of my concerns.  I need to be focused on a plant-based diet… not only for my health but to also save animals from undue torture (be careful, I got about 30 seconds through the video and couldn’t go any further).  I do have an appointment with an allergist to figure out my stomach issues.  I’ve met with my doctor to review my medications (I take sleeping pills, constipation, and pills to help manage my recurring panic attacks).

I can say, that I’m honestly sick to my stomach about the farm animal cruelty right now.  I think that I can get my Yacht Body AND contribute to making a difference in an animal’s life (Alicia Silverstone is a spokes person for Farm Sanctuary in the US and even Aussies have their own sanctuary anyone want to do a volunteer stint with me?). If I could save all the animals I would – they deserve better than to be created solely for the purpose of consumption IMO.  Anyone who knows of a farm that saves animals, please post it to comments.  I’d love to see how many active sanctuaries we can provide links to on this blog.

With my new-found purpose, I am going to focus on living a healthier life and saving the animals, one diet (mine) at a time.  I will post my weight loss, blood pressure, and bad cholesterol test results when I get them.  If I don’t show significant progress by April 1st, then I have 1 more month to cut out alcohol and anything else necessary. I WILL HAVE my Yacht Body by early May…  Please provide any advice, links to education recourses, or vegetarian recipes… I’ll take it.

Yacht Body Here I Come.

Yacht-bodyMy goal is to have a “Yacht Body” by May.  Why May? Its my birthday month sillies!  And I want to go on vacation, on a yacht, somewhere warm.

Why a Yacht Body? Somebody has to make the yacht look good! That somebody is going to be me.  This is one of my 2014 New Years Resolutions  (which I have yet to post) – to get fit, lose weight, and rid myself forever of my barrel body.  My goal is to get healthy, get active, and get yachting!   My unrealistic goal is to lose 20 pounds by my birthday.

I’m in Australia right now, my last night in this fabulous country.  I fly home tomorrow.  And on Saturday, March 1st, my Yacht Body regimen begins. So far I’ve got the following set up:

  • an appointment with an allergist to figure out what causes my stomach inflammations
  • a weekly Yoga class on Tuesday Nights
  • a full month of Fat Blast classes 2-3x a week – times TBD (I want evening to keep me from drinking, morning classes may be my only option)
  • Zero alcohol

I do plan on staying home most of the month as I get grumpy without my vodka or wine.  But this is really important to me. I feel like the source of my confidence issues from my short and round stature, my barrel body…  its stops me from going all out, it holds me back.  I don’t want to feel bad about myself anymore, so I’m going to do something about it.  Just like I did with my GM Diet, I will blog about my progress.  I’m expecting significant results, largely because of the zero alcohol and the changes I make based on the results of my allergy tests.   This has been a long time coming, I’m glad I’m doing something.

So now I’ve put it out there – so I have to do it right?  You will all keep me honest, right?

And if you have ideas or suggestions on how to stay motivated or want to share how you lost weight, please do so. I’m looking for your help!

Remember Me?

glass-halffullvsemptyI wasn’t sure what to title this post as I have been gone forever.. only writing now because I have a few minutes AND I’m not completely bitchy grumpy (thank you G.G Dirty for teaching me the ways of subliminal aka strikeout).

I think this might be the first night I’ve had to myself in six months.  I should be working, unpacking, organizing.. you name it, it should be happening, I should be doing it.  Instead, I’m doing what I love to do .. write.  So many things are going on in my head, this post will be a dyslexics/multiple personality dream come true.  So, being that I’m OCD, I’ll bullet every thought…

Diet/Exercise/Health.. blah blah blah

  • I stopped taking Qsymia immediately after starting it.. As much as I want to be skinny (and I really really do), this drug made me feel like I was having a heart attack. I had to stop it…  or risk losing my life.  Which I’m o.k. with (losing my life) except that I don’t have a living will in place and I want to make sure that all my financial plans have the appropriate beneficiaries (NOT my ex).
  • I have lost 4 pounds in the last month.  My motivation is clear – I will not be the short fat friend at my friend’s wedding in September.  And honestly, I’m sick and tired of being fat and tired.  I’ve just stopped eating everything – I eat half of what I’m served… . And I’ve cut out carbs for the most part.  That is all I’ve done.  I wish I could say I’ve been eating healthier, exercising more.. but it would all be a lie.  I need to exercise just to clear my head, but alas, I’ve still not been able to do it given my work commitments.
  • I am actually craving a workout. I’m desperate to get away from work… I’m willing to do anything, even if that means exercise. My body needs it, my head needs it.

State of Mind and other Uninteresting Topics

  • I’ve moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend.   Its great in so many ways.  The move wasn’t easy but we did it well together, his ying to my yang, yada yada.  … My boyfriend is so good to me – treats me like a queen, would do anything for me….. but god damn it if I don’t think about My Mr. Big every F-U-C-K-I-N-G day.  What is wrong with me?  I have a great guy who treats me so well, takes such good care of me, but every time I see a BMW 750 IL (doesn’t even matter what color these days) I think of him.  The man retreated from my life without notice, never to appear again (at least hasn’t tried to make contact in the last 2+ years that I’m aware of).  I am well aware of the good and bad we shared. In my 42 years of life, what I shared with My Mr. Big was unique and special… It’s not that I’m not over it, it’s just that I would like to experience it again.  I loved the feeling of being cherished while cherishing that same someone.  That unique connection, that apparently I only felt… but still, I want to feel that again.
  • I’ve got a serious case of “the envies”. I am no fun to be with.  Everyone else’s life seems easier to me right now.  I am so heavy with responsibility, with financial weight, with physical weight (see topic above)…  I’m just so sick of myself and envious of those that are skinny, thin, don’t have to work, are supported by trust funds, rich husbands, or in general don’t have to work a 16 hour workday (yes, those of you who are union who complain about an 8  hour day, go somewhere else, I can’t hear you).
  • In addition to the above, I have nothing going on hobby wise.. I have no time for my jewelry making, for catching up with friends, for exercising, for anything other than sleep.  My new sewing machine is still sitting in the box that I received it in from Amazon in January. As my mom used to say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all”…  I’m only silent when I’m not drinking… which unfortunately for me (and the rest of you) has been too much of my time.

In general, I’m a Pissy Patty.. a Negative Nelly… a Bitter Betty…  I’m no fun to be with. I don’t even like myself right now. If I could take a shower and rinse myself of myself (shit, I scrub myself raw to get out of this skin), I would do it….

How do I get out of this funk? How does a person wake up one day and choose to see a glass half full?  I’ve been trying, making a concerted effort to think about it every day… but god damn, if at the end of every day, I don’t think to myself that a) “that was wishful thinking”, and b) “when is my head going to become dislodged from my ass”?

What is it that tips the scale that pushes someone to just give up and not care vs. waking up and giving it one more shot (one more day)?  When I wake up, I’d love to just go back to sleep and not wake up…..  but I drag myself out of bed, get myself ready for work, and get another day under my belt…  When will I start caring about what I’m doing vs. just going through the motions?  Is it the job? Is it my relationship? Is it my situation? What tugs at your heart-strings? Your health strings? Whats important to your life, how do you know it, and how do you keep track of it, stay on top of it?

One last thing, a few posts ago I said I knew how to use Facebook.  I lied. I don’t get it. I tried to change my picture from a half hotdog to a real picture and it didn’t work. I give up.

Oh, and one more thing. I live walking distance to downtown San Mateo, CA.  Outside my window I can hear a guy walking home a drunk girl. He is being really nice, asking her where she lives… .. she’s not sure what block her house is on.  So I ask you, whose fault is that? This girl is too stupid to know NOT to get too drunk that she can’t walk to her own house/condo/home?  I am just disgusted with her… stupid girl.  If I see this girl on Maury Povich in 10 years and doesn’t know the father of her baby, I get it.  She set herself up.

Nope, stupid girl isn’t going to be my last thought for tonight.   I’m grateful for my wonderful cats. The transition to the new house has been almost seamless.  You know why? Because they thing I was most worried about – the cats – has caused me zero worry. They have taken the move in stride and are as comfortable here, in the new condo, in a more condensed area, as they were spread out at the Big Casa. They are the best pets/kids anyone could ever ask for. I’m lucky they picked me and stuck with me!!  Now I just have to worry that they will stay with me…..

Reset.

reset-in-cementAs I’ve written in my last post, I feel lost, like I’ve spiraled downwards.  I get up every morning and wish I could go back to bed, sleep it off.  “It” being my life.  I just want it to stop being so hard….  What’s so hard? Realizing that the divide between where I want to be/where I thought I would be and where I am is so vast…

I’ve been wanting to write about my New Years Resolutions for some time now, I’ve just not had any time.  And thats the problem – I have not committed to living my life.  I keep thinking I will do it tomorrow, and now its March.  March!  Two months of thinking about it, doing nothing about it.  So March 1st is the day.

  1. First, the catalyst is my weight. I’ve gained too much weight… I’m 5’2″ and I now weigh 133 lbs.  That is obese. I’m OBESE.  That is crazy to me. I have let myself go over the last 2 years…. well, 4 years really… I can no longer do nothing.
  2. Second, I have zero energy.  I actually had to come home from work during lunch a few weeks ago to take a nap. I could not focus, could not stay aware/awake, was in a complete fog. Without a nap, I would not have gotten through the day.
  3. Third, I have lost the ability to remember.  I cannot remember anything, even the simplest of things. A date? Google calendar.  A name. Not going to happen.  Whatever brain space is reserved for memory, mine is gone. If only I could get some cloud backup for shit that doesn’t matter so I can make for new, more important things like work.

All of these reasons made me focus on my health in 2013.  I am in another Not Buying It Year.. instead of buying things, I’m buying my health back.  I’ve been to the doctor a few times now, and we are working on addressing all the above, along with a few other things like constipation and hemorrhoids.

The reason I’m writing? Because I’ve been diagnosed as “normal”… believe it or not, according to healthcare standards, nothing is physically wrong with me.  Blood tests show that I don’t have high blood pressure, my thyroid is in normal range.. cholesterol is fine.  But I am overweight for my size…and it has totally effected my confidence.  Along with my horrible work experience with Man Hands, my weight has pushed me into a slight depression… so to address issue # 1 above, I asked for and received a prescription to help reduce my weight WHICH my insurance DID NOT cover.  The prescription – Qsymia.

In addition to taking the drug, I’ve also added in 2 more workouts a week – a Boxing class with a new work friend  and a Zumba dance class on Sunday…  But Qsymia has a few side effects that may have a negative impact on me – Side effects include concentration/memory difficulties along with mood problems.

I will start taking the prescription tomorrow, March 1st. I will track my progress over the next 6  weeks.  I will document how I feel, my weight, and anything else that I feel…  I’m looking forward to this journey… I need something to focus on other than work!