Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lessons Learned

This is what I learned today:

1. I really need to buy an Enell Sports Bra if I'm going to do high-impact aerobics.

2. Bodies in Motion with Gilad is a good workout. No fancy dance moves - just marching, jogging, jumping jacks, jump rope and everything in counts of 8 so you know what you are doing.

3. It is very important to hydrate before working out, and not just during. If you try to get all of your water in during jogging, jumping jacks and jump rope, you will likely want to hurl.

I've eaten too much bread over the last couple of days and I don't like how it makes me feel - sluggish and too full. I will do the aerobics again tomorrw, after I probably hyrdate the rest of today and tomorrow. Or maybe the Boy and I can walk from his house to the movie theater and see Indiana Jones.

I have to get back to tracking on Sparkpeople, too. I do better when I track.

More veggies!


I bought a yellow pear tomato plant today and planted it on the edge of the raspberry patch, since that gets good sun. And I bought a yellow brandywine tomato plant and have it in a pot at the end of the driveway (the end that ends in the yard, not the end by the street.) And I found kale seedlings! I was at the organic farm looking for some, when I saw some friends of the Boy who are organic farmers. They said "You are the one who loves kale." (You see, they are always leaving kale for The Boy, and he gives it to me.) I told them I was on the lookout for kale seedlings, and they just happened to have some in the back of their car. Now I have 3 kale seedlings in my garden! I am so happy and hope they grow into big delicious plants that will keep me in kale all summer and winter long.

I ate some of my basil today - in a little ciabatta sandwich with tomato and fresh mozzarella. Soon, there will be tomato from my garden, and if I got around to it I could even make some fresh mozzarella. Which reminds me, my goat milk lady said there would be milk in May and I have not heard from her...

Today is weekend chore day which means a lot of puttering around, and some exercise mixed in. There will definitely be some strength training and maybe a walk if the rain holds off. I am thinking of kayaking tomorrow since the tides seem right.

Scallops were on sale at Whole Foods, the little ones, so I think those will be dinner tonight, maybe over arugula. And I got some lovely white turnips at the farm (pictured above), so those will be roasted with oil and salt and then I'll wilt the greens.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I went for a bike ride this morning.  My ocean route is chopped up and covered in steel plates, so I did a short inland route - 30 minutes. It was a very nice ride.

i went to a networking event last night. I don't really like to eat at those, since I get messy can't figure out how to eat a piece of food on a long skewer without stabbing myself in the throat so I had 3 shrimp and some sort of roll. I stopped at Upper Crust for a slice of pizza on the way home. It was lovely.

This morning breakfast was a yogurt and a spoonful of almond butter. I had nothing to bring for lunch so I'm nibbling on some raisins and sunflower seeds. I'm hungry, but it's making me work faster so I can be done and go get some food. I think with the short week I didn't plan my lunches very well.

My office mates have decided to not work on Fridays this summer, and since it would be a waste of electricity to have just me here, I've decided to join them in non-working Fridays. That means I can build my chicken coop, work in my garden, do yoga, lie in the yard with the dog, swim, bike, read, sleep, whatever. It will also force me to work much more efficiently during the week, which is what I really need. Ah, fourteen 3-day weekends, what bliss.

I think I have to scrounge around in the cupboards here and find some soup or something for lunch...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

lunch

Well, my appetite is back, which is nice. I packed a bigger lunch today since I thought it might be, and since I have a networking event to go to tonight that will be serving mostly appetizers. The base of the lunch is some arugula, and then some broccoli that I stir fried this morning (not quite long enough though), then 2 chicken thighs wrapped in bacon (chopped), a 1/4 cup of the noddle dish, cauliflower and a little broccoli from last night. It is the perfect blend of flavors and textures.

Strange Food Times

Yesterday, all I had to eat up until 6 p.m. was the yogurt and broccoli. I kept checking in with myself saying "Are you hungry? Are you sure? Do you want a little something?" and my stomach would reply "No, thanks, I'm all set. Really." I didn't have breakfast this morning either, but now I'm having yogurt. I've also been exercising less this week, so I wonder if my drop in appetite is just a reflection of this.

Then I went to my Dad's for dinner with my sister, niece, nephew and Boy. I had a couple of slices of whole wheat baguette with homemade pate. Yum! Then dinner was chicken thighs wrapped in bacon, 1/2 an artichoke, some onion-noodle dish, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and vanilla ice cream (homemade) for dessert. They Boy and The Niece (age 3.5 years) ate most of the ice cream. I have left overs for lunch.

I have on a pair of pants today that I have not been able to wear for a while. Well, not without looking like a stuffed sausage. But today they look very nice and I'm glad to be wearing them again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday Report

I was awake last night, or rather, this morning from 1 - 4:30 a.m. I then slept until 7, so no walking this morning. But, I did sit and meditate for about 20 minutes which helped resolve some of the issues which woke me up.

I realized at 10:40 this morning that I had forgotten to eat breakfast. Then I had a client meeting and just started lunch at 12:30. I had brought the last of the lentil/rice pilaf with a bunch of broccoli, but only the the broccoli appealed to me, so that is what I ate. And some Fage 2% with peach yogurt. Seems odd that yogurt and broccoli can get me this far into the day, but maybe the pizza from last night provided whatever fuel my body needs right now.

No scale change this week. But I continue to keep my eating on track. I have slacked off on the exercise. My goal was 1600 minutes this month, and I'm only at 1100. I haven't been tracking the daily 15 or 20 minute dog walks, so it might be higher.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Make Love, Not More Food Pyramids

The basics: breakfast was 2 eggs, lunch was Lentil/Rice Pilaf, snack was Fage 2% yogurt. Dinner was some Upper Crust BBQ Chicken Pizza with 1/2 the cheese they normally use and portobella mushrooms. I tried to track that on Sparkpeople but the closest I could find was Pizza Hut Thin n' Crispy pizza, which was probably an overestimation, but it's not really important. Still within my calories for the day. Tomorrow is dinner at my dad's, so I'll be having a lot of vegetables then.

I walked for 35 minutes this morning, and did some push-ups.  

Harvard University has come out with a new food pyramid. Exercise is now on the bottom, "good" fats are in the middle, protein is higher. It also doesn't specify serving sizes, but is rather meant to serve as a guideline. I think this is helpful because the "servings" listed always seemed so skewed. It used to be 6 to 11 servings of grains. Now, the normal person thinking of a serving would probably think of a bagel, or a cup of pasta or a whole bun. But, a serving is actually half a bun, half a bagel (or even a 1/4 bagel) or 1/2 a cup of pasta. I wonder how many people heard "6-11 servings" and thought they were eating that much but were really eating 12-22 servings. i always thought it would be better to make the serving sizes more realistic and just have fewer of them. Same with veggies. 5 - 7 servings of veggies per days seems huge, until you realize that a serving is 1/2 a cup of veggies, 1 cup leafy greens, and can easily be met. I think when I make fajitas I eat all my vegetables at dinner.

If you don't like Harvard's pyramid, there is the Oldways Mediterranean Pyramid.  Oldways lists fruit as "olives, avocados, grapes" which strikes me as interesting, since most Americans (and Harvard's Pyramid) count olives and avocado as fats.   Oldways lists your activity options as "walking, house cleaning, running, soccer, tennis, golf, swimming, hiking, scuba diving, basketball, baseball, football, skiing, surfing, yard work, rollerblading, dancing, weight lifting, love-making." Gotta love those Mediterraneans (and you'll be earning activity points while you do!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Beets!

If all goes well, I will be eating beets whenever it is that beets are the right size for eating. These are red beets. 


I also planted some herbs: basil and oregano


creeping thyme, sage and something anise.


Not much in the way of walking or biking the last 2 days, but lots of house and yard chores, and good eating choices. I also planted pepper plants, and I still need to get kale and arugula. If I garden next year I will get some gold beets.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Quick update

Went to my mom's. She noticed I'd lost weight. Yay. I ate a few raisins and sunflower seeds in the car on the way up, and then when I got there I grazed over the 5 hours for lunch and dinner and had: salad, 2 turkey dogs, 1 slider-sized hamburger, a few chicken wings, wine and some icebox cake. Icebox cake is chocolate wafers layered with whip cream and then put in the ice box for a few hours until the wafers get soft and then you eat it. It is very good.

I'm full now, and when I stopped at WF on the way home to get groceries, I was too full to really buy much except yogurt and artichokes and, for some reason, a large amount of onions - 3 different kinds.

Anyway, the dog and I are off to the Boy's. He's going biking with his team mates at 7 a.m. tomorrow which means our leisurely Sunday morning coffee drinking will not be so leisurely, but such is life.

Where Beets and OLP Go Hill Walking

Having a friend to work out with is a great motivator, because when you think that 2 rounds of bench push ups and tricep dips are enough, she says "one more would be perfect." Or when there is a giant hill, you can go up it together and not talk yourself out of it.

So, OLP and I went walking for an hour, and did our strength exercises (I even did some plank) and now we have the rest of the day to do as we please - which for me involves going to a cook out at my mom's with yummy food and healthy food and fun people. I wish I had some yogurt as I am rather hungry now. I think I'll have a bit of almond butter, then shower and stop at Whole Foods in the way for yogurt - although Whole Foods on a holiday weekend is not fun, so maybe not. Maybe just the almond butter, and then grocery shopping on my way home.

I feel very good, and not just because I'm not sick anymore, but because working out feels good and not being up to it for that many days in a row was not fun.

Better Days

So, after my dinner last night where I pretended I was French, I headed over to the Boy's. I brought him the rest of the bread, and some cheese (which I just realized I left at his house. drat.) He is going on a 50 mile bike ride today so I figured he needed the bread more than I did. He was pretending to be French, too, but without the wine.

Bread, some stinky Spanish goat cheese, avocado with Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence.  I was full from my early dinner so the Boy ate all of it, but not all of the cheese. 

The Dog looked at us pleadingly, but we did not give in.

Today's plan: try to not get excited about the fact that when I weighed myself this morning the scale said 175.6 (which is what I weighed last year at some point), do yoga or walk somewhere (or maybe bike), figure out what time the party at my Mom's house is, hope that someone there notices I've lost weight. And clean the kitchen.

Friday, May 23, 2008

An Odd Dinner

Dinner, if you must know, was bread, cheese, a little butter (with salt sprinkled on top) and wine. And perfect.

And it appears that I cannot even overeat properly anymore because I just logged into Sparkpeople what I ate (thank you, food scale), and my calories are still within my range for today. Granted, it was not the healthiest thing I could have eaten, but it was what I wanted and I ate as much as I wanted, and still did not overeat. And I might even eat a vegetable later.

Now the dog and I are going walking.

Wish I Were There


I did some weight lifting last night, and then went to do the Yoga Journal Core Strengthening Podcast. It was fine until half way through it my arms couldn't take any more down dog or plank so I stopped. Next time I'll do the yoga part first, then the weights. And next time I won't be coming off of an illness.

Last night was Taco Night with The Boy, which was dampened a bit by Fatherhood Garbage that made me not very hungry, and made it so that neither of us could sleep. Some stuff just sucks and has no solution.

Anyway, breakfast was eggs, lunch is lentils and rice again and I have no yogurt. I have no idea what dinner is, but would be glad if it involved wine.

Oh, and according to the Boston Globe, I don't have to detox. Which is pretty much what I already knew.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back to Bento

A lentil and rice dish is the perfect thing to have in the Bento. So, I busted out the Bento this morning and filled it with some of the lentils, and the put beets and olives in the top section. The calories are a little lower than normal, but I'm not very hungry and it's Taco Night tonight so I'm sure I'll make up for it later.

Just About There

The Lentil Rice Pilaf came out quite well. But it made a gigantic amount of food. And since I added butter I can't even pawn any off on my vegan brother. Next time I will make 1/2 a batch.

I went to the Boy's last night for dinner. I was still feeling under the weather and hoping he was not cooking something heavy because I wasn't very hungry. Thankfully, he made the perfect summer dinner, and if I hadn't been too tired to go to my car for my phone, I would have photographed it. It was: bowl of arugula, some boneless chicken thighs he'd marinated maybe in some kind of raspberry dressing?, a few candied pecans that he made (these were amazing!), some riced potatoes that I added to my salad, and a few pieces of avocado. There wasn't even any dressing, just all those lovely warm things wilting the arugula - my favorite type of meal.

This morning I have a very early (7:30 a.m.) breakfast meeting. The the food at the venue is not worth eating, so I'll eat before I go.

I didn't work out at all yesterday, except for a walk or 2 with the dog. I will at least do some strength training today. It's funny that now that I am in the habit of being active, I don't like to be sluggish for this many days.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Staving Off Slugdom

Even though I am home sick, and very thankful that I can blow my nose in peace (although that last round of Benedryl seems to be having an effect, thank heavens) I am trying not to just laze around and read blogs and emails and magazines. So, I set an alarm on my computer and every 17 minutes it makes this funny noise and scares me, and then I get up and reset it and do chores for 17 minutes (which is about how long it takes for me to get fatigued again). So far I have done laundry and hung it on the line, vacuumed, started lentil pilaf, picked up random things and put them away, put away more winter things (I think it's finally safe to do that) and tended to the dog a few times who is outside sleeping under a shrubbery.

The lentil pilaf is cooking. I had to adjust it some because I only have brown rice, so the cooking time is longer, and I didn't have fireroasted tomatoes so I just used regular diced, and I added a little butter. And I'm hoping I can taste it so I don't oversalt or something.

I'll report back when it's done.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sick and Tired

I just ate a huge dinner. Well, huge volume wise, but not huge calorie-wise. I was rather hungry, having only had about 460 calories by the time I came home from work. Advil Sinus contain pseudoephedrine, so it makes me not very hungry. But, it clearly had worn off by dinner time, so I made some fajitas.

I figured lots of veggies would help me out. They contained: 1/2 an onion, 4 mushrooms, about a 1/2 cup of frozen red/yellow/green peppers, 2 cups of broccoli rabe (which really cooks down) and 6 oz. of shrimp. Seared all of those things with salsa, and put on a few tortillas with a dab of plain Fage 2%. The whole thing was only 712 calories, including tortillas and Fage.

According to Sparkpeople, the only nutrient I have had enough of today is protein. I am lagging under the limit of fiber, fat, calories and carbs. Gah. Whatever. I've blown my nose 1000 times today and feel like crap.

I wanted to make the lentil pilaf I posted about yesterday, but I also just want to go to bed. And I have to walk the dog. I will walk the dog and then go to bed.

I'm supposed to weigh in tomorrow, and I don't think I've lost weight. I think I've probably lost muscle since I haven't been doing my sit ups or as much strengthening for a few days. Oh well, this illness is temporary and soon I'll be feeling better and moving and able to lift my weights.

I feel like this baby panda:

Lunch and Committing to Trying, no, DOING New Things


I ended up not walking. My ear was hurting, and the cold bothers it, so I did 30 minutes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Shiva Rea instead. It was quite a workout and I should have hyrdated better beforehand.

This is lunch. Arugula topped with brown rice, a chicken thigh, golden beets and a roasted red pepper for some more color. I heated it up to eat, and it is very good.

I'm going to try to, no I'm going to actually attend a Bikram yoga class next week. (Thanks MizFit for the push) That will give my sinus issues time to clear up. 

My brain is too tired and foggy to write any more.

Up With The Birds

The birds (and the fact that I couldn't breathe out my nose) woke me up at 5:00 a.m. and I actually got up at 5:00 a.m. I've been having coffee and Advil Sinus since then, reading blogs and emails and thinking "wasn't I just sick in March or April?" I'll go walking at 7:00 a.m. probably with my hat on to keep my ear warm.

The New York Times has an interesting article on the effects of preparation on the nutrients of veggies:
In January, a report in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry concluded that over all, boiling was better for carrots, zucchini and broccoli than steaming, frying or serving them raw. Frying was by far the worst.
This is interesting. I cannot stand boiled zucchini or broccoli, so I will continue to saute mine because sauteed has to be better than not eating it at all because it is boiled and gross.
What accompanies the vegetables can also be important. Studies at Ohio State measured blood levels of subjects who ate servings of salsa and salads. When the salsa or salad was served with fat-rich avocados or full-fat salad dressing, the diners absorbed as much as 4 times more lycopene, 7 times more lutein and 18 times the beta carotene than those who had their vegetables plain or with low-fat dressing.
This I can get on board with. I always think a little bit of something with fat is better than a lot of something without fat.

And this recipe for Indian Lentil Pilaf came through in one of my Yoga Journal email newsletters. I might try cooking that tonight.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Last Lazy Night

Here is the pizza, before cooking (the shrimp are underneath)

and after.

According to Sparkpeople, the whole thing has about 800 calories, that's with the dough, 6 oz. shrimp, 1 oz. grated Parmesan, .75 oz. grated gouda, onion, mushroom, arugula and bbq sauce. I had about 3/4 of it. I want to find a dough recipe that calls for longer rising, since that would make it chewier and not as crispy.

I didn't walk tonight (yet). The dog and I will go as soon as I'm done blogging.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be 100% better and can walk in the morning. I'm starting to feel my slug ways creeping back up and I do not want that.

Thinking About Dinner

Well, really I'm thinking that I wish I was a farmer instead of an attorney sometimes, but that's for a different blog.

Anyway, I finally have energy and the thought of food is appealing so I'm thinking about dinner. I have between 500 - 800 calories for dinner. I could make some shrimp fajitas, or a small pizza (with 1/4 batch of dough) with shrimp, arugula, red onions and bbq sauce.
--
Alright, the pizza dough is rising. Dough, 1 cup of whole wheat flour plus one tablespoon of wheat gluten for chewiness, has 400 calories (and 14 grams of fiber!) then add shrimp, an oz. of cheese and all the veggies and dinner is still within my alloted calories. Yay.

I'll post pictures later.

Monday Report

Not much to post about this morning. I feel a little better after more sleep and some Advil Sinus. I did get up and do some evening yoga last night before I went back to bed.

Breakfast: oatmeal with almond butter, sunflower seeds and blackstrap molasses (contains 20% of the RDA of calcium, iron and something else important in 1 Tablespoon.)

Lunch: 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup gold beets, 1 chicken thigh (3 oz.) Some Fage 2% yogurt as a snack.

I somehow have 2 bunches of broccoli rabe in my fridge, so dinner will have to involve that.

I didn't walk this morning. I slept until 8 a.m. I will either walk today after work, or at least do some strength work and yoga.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

OK, I'm all set with this.

Dinner: 2 crackers with almond butter. Glass of OJ. Water.

I had a nice nap for a couple of hours, then took the dog on a walk. Came home and poked around the kitchen looking for something that appealed to me. Nothing did. I didn't want to cook. I would have eaten some Barbecue Chicken Pizza from Upper Crust had it magically appeared in my house, but it didn't. So I had 2 crackers with almond butter and some OJ in water (I love diluted orange juice) and returned to my bed.

I love my bed. My bedroom is surrounded on 3 sides by windows, and all I can see of them are trees - no houses, no streets, no cars, no signs of other human life. It is lovely. And I can sit and read or listen to NPR or watch bad tv on DVD.

The Boy called and when I started talking to him I collapsed into a coughing fit and had to call him back. He is making homemade macaroni and cheese with hot dogs for dinner. That sounds mildly appealing, more so if there was some Siracha sauce added but since he is cooking it at his house and is not downstairs at my house, I won't be having it anyway. And I'm not hungry enough to go make my own macaroni and cheese.

I am hoping this was the worst of whatever strange ailment I have which seems to involve coughing up half a lung, weird inner ear feelings, lack of hunger and joint pain. Let's think healthy thoughts for tomorrow.

Crackers in Bed and the Importance of A Food Scale

So I went out to take the trash to the dump and to try to find something to eat that would not gross me out. It was about 1pm, and I'd had around 250 calories for the day, far below what I should have had by that point to feel good. I decided on crackers and some hard goat cheese from a little store nearby. I put a tablespoon of peanut butter on a plate, and a handful of crackers and then sliced a few thin slices of the cheese - an amount that looked like a good amount to eat. I figured it was maybe 3 oz. of cheese. Then I weighed it, it was 1.25 oz. Clearly, I have a ways to go in estimating food. But, that is why I bought the scale, to train my eye and hand. Now I'm lying in bed eating crackers and hoping the cheese and peanut butter will revive me. They seem to be.

All dressed up and no where to go

Here I sit, in my workout clothes, early on a Sunday morning trying to explain to my stupid stomach why it should feel better so we can go walking. It apparently did not want breakfast (an egg with 2 tablespoons brown rice) even though I explained that we have to have breakfast if we want to walk. And now my lungs are chiming in saying "wouldn't it be much better to sit in a steam room filled with eucalyptus?" I do not want to listen to them. I want to walk. I will give my stomach 15 minutes to cooperate and then I'm taking Tums or something and going out anyway. And my lungs can deal. It's not like I'm going biking or running. I'm just wanting to go for a nice walk by the ocean. Isn't that supposed to be some sort of cure anyway?

Alright, stomach is feeling a little better. I'm going.

--

1.5 hour later, ETA:
Went for the walk. Slowly, and I cut the route short. A total of 45 minutes. I still feel like crap, but I'm glad I went. My joints all hurt like I have the flu or something. I hate being sick.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Food Prep & Picture Day

I still haven't done any cardio today. Whatever germs are in my throat are still there and are not compatible with heavy breathing. So I went to Whole Foods and got my groceries for the week: broccoli, golden beets, asparagus, shrimp, artichokes, lemon, chicken thighs, broccoli rabe, scallops, arugula, and a wall of Fage yogurt. I have lots of grains and beans in my pantry, so I was all set with those.  

This was the cranberry pecan roll I had on my way home. When I got home, my lunch was a piece of pork loin and broccoli stir fried with Braggs, hot sesame oil and 5 spice powder. Lovely and light.  

Afterwards, I cooked the beets, cubed them, and put them in tupperware for the week. I also cooked the 2 artichokes and took out the spikey things from the middle so I can eat them when I want to, I also made a pot of brown rice, and roasted the asparagus. This will give me lots of choices for lunches and dinner this week. I think dinner tonight will be scallops, roasted asparagus and brown rice.

This is the odd dog who tries to shove into small places to be next to people. I was lying on the couch and he was trying to get very close to me, but was really almost pushing me off the sofa.
I will do some upper body work tonight, and at least go for a small walk with the dog (not that dog. That is The Boy's dog. My dog is normal but not nearly as photogenic), but other than that I will take it easy.  I'm just cleaning and doing laundry (hoping the things on the line dry before tonight), and wishing I had more tupperware or zip-lock bags so I could prep the broccoli rabe.  

Stopping When Full

I had breakfast at The Boy's house this morning. He made eggs with avocado over english muffins, and some potatoes with bacon fat (and some bacon.) The bacon is from a farm in vermont and tastes like ham. Usually I eat my whole breakfast. Today, I decided to just see how much breakfast it took for me to be full. It took about 3 pieces of red potato, and then half of my english muffin with egg, and a few bites of the other half. The Boy wanted to know if I was going to finish my breakfast, and I said no, I was full. So we wrapped the english muffin for me to take home (and I forgot to take it home.) We also had super delicious coffee that I had 3 cups of. Coffee is one of my favorite things about waking up in the morning.

Breakfast was at around 9 I think, and I am just now a little bit hungry for lunch, so I'm having a Fage 2% yogurt.

I did my sit ups and side planks this morning. The Boy was in his home office doing some bookkeeping so I went to keep him company and did my exercises while the dog snuffed around my head and tried to figure out what I was doing and how it could benefit him in some way.

I need to get some cardio in today. I took yesterday off from exercising, I felt like I had a cold coming on (which seems to be not coming on hopefully) so I gave myself the day off. Today I might walk outside or do some vinyasa yoga.

I have to do some meal planning for next week, and go to the grocery store and do some food prep (and decide on next week's Grain of The Week. It might be time for brown rice again.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

The One Where Beets & OLP Go Out To Eat on a Rainy Friday

OLP and I set out on this rainy evening for a quick dinner. We figured we'd virtually share our meals with you, since they were so delicious.

We each had a Caesar salad, with white anchovies and some marinated or preserved grape tomatoes. OLP stopped eating her salad when she was full...

I kept picking at mine for a while longer:

OLP got the half servings of gnocchi with broccolini. The waitress said she loved gnocchi, but then patted her belly (which was concave) as if to indicate that either she was pregnant and therefore unable to eat gnocchi for some reason, or as if to say that gnocchi (which is made from potatoes and water and maybe egg) is somehow really fattening. Poor uninformed waitress, missing out on the joys of a reasonable serving of gnocchi for fear that it would make her fat. Or maybe she has some sort of eating disorder and if she started eating it she couldn't stop. Or she's allergic to potatoes. At any rate, it was very good.

This was my half serving of ravioli with ricotta, some hammish sort of thing, green garlic (kind of like mild scallions) and asparagus. The waitress made no remarks or hand motions about my meal.  

A little bit of wine finished off the meal quite well.

I feel just the right amount of full.  

Panera Lunch


The Mediterranian Veggie Sandwich: Zesty Peppadew™ piquant peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro hummus on our Tomato Basil bread.
Half a sandwich has 310 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber. 
and Chicken Noodle Soup, about 100 calories.  
I skipped the sides (bread, apple or chips) and was asked 3 times by 2 different people if I was sure I didn't want them. 

Lack of Planning

I did not plan well today. I wasn't very hungry for breakfast so I ate some of the remains of a Fage Total Yogurt before I left for work, and just finished the rest of it. I think there was about 3/4 of a tub total, which would be 195 calories, and 15 g. of fat. I also did not bring a lunch. I did bring a bowl and I have some soup here but that is maybe 200 calories, which leaves me about 500 calories below where I normally am after lunch. Not good.

What I think I will do is finish this package of papers I have to mail to the Court, then head to the Post Office and stop at Panera on the way back for a Mediterranean Veggie 1/2 sandwich, and have that with my soup.

Mmmm, bacon fat.

Dinner was at the Boy's last night. He always has a dish of bacon fat on his stove (who doesn't?) which makes cooking there quite tasty. We were making chicken with vegetables, and then some little red potatoes. We decided to turn the potatoes into Patatas con Tres Grasas (which I think means potatoes with three fats in Spanish.)
Here are 2 of the fats: schmaltz (chicken fat) and a little dab of bacon fat:

Potatoes. When they were done cooking, he mixed in some butter with the leftover stuff from the chicken pan and then added that to the potatoes

Chicken, broccoli, grape tomatoes. There might have been a dab of bacon fat added to this dish, too. And then some pesto stirred in at the end.

The finished product, eaten out of the funny dishes with dividers between the different sections. This was the Boy's plate. Mine had the chicken on top of the arugula, and no dressing. The potatoes were just about the tastiest things I've ever eaten.


Meals like that are nice because they seem very decadent, but since they are only eaten once in a blue moon, they are ok. And there is nothing wrong with a little bacon fat.

No walk this morning. I was going to leave early to walk, but it was so nice out we ended up sitting out on the porch drinking coffee and watching the 2 dogs and one cat wander around the yard and listening to the birds.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

NSV's

(Non-Scale Victories)

I know that the scale will not go down some weeks, even though good things are happening, and there is still a large quantity of fat covering my body, so I want to keep track of non-scale victories also. Here are a few from today:
  • My work pants from today need to be retired as they were rather droopy by the end of the day.  And these were pants that have been too small in the past.  


  • I bought new jeans, 1 size smaller, at the Gap today. No more droop there either (why does my bum lose weight? that is where I need padding!) 


  • I made sure to incorporate time to do my sit-ups and lift my hand weights before I go out the The Boy's tonight. 
I think dinner is chicken thighs with pesto and vegetables and ciabatta bread. I hope that it is will be ready when I get there. I'm hungry!

Salad-y Goodness


This is my salad. I normally do not like cold food, but I made an exception today because I am trying to have more carbs. It is very good. With little tasty morsels in each bite and nice mix of textures and flavors.

Ingredients:
1 romaine heart chopped small.
2 tsp. olive oil. Salt & Pepper.
1.75 oz. of salmon left over from last night.
1 roasted red pepper, chopped.
6 roasted asparagus spears from last night, chopped.
3/4 cup bulgar wheat.
6 green olives.

Nutrition info: 339 Calories, 17 grams of fat, 38 g. carb., 13 g. protein, 8 grams of fiber.

It's about 100 calories less than my lunches usually are, but I'm meeting a friend at Whole Foods for tea and cakes later, so I'll make it up then.

The One Where I Complain About Pain and Feel Old

My back and leg felt better this morning, but I think I must have hurt my ankle when trying to compensate for the leg pain, because it still hurt this morning. Thankfully my Jane Fonda DVD arrived, so I just braced my ankle and did some low impact aerobics. Can I just say that I am very thankful that the era of wearing thong leotards to do aerobics is over? Thankfully that was also the era of wearying flesh colored tights when doing aerobics, but really, no one needs to see that. (sorry for the overuse of the word "thankful" in that paragraph.)

The workout was a little less complicated than Denise Austin. It had the mambo, the two-step and a bunch of other moves I couldn't really get, but I did my best to follow and at least keep moving my arms and legs to keep my heart rate up. It was a nice half hour workout.

Breakfast was oatmeal, almond butter, molasses and sunflower seeds.

I have a headache, too. It might be allergies, since I'm properly hydrated.

I made a big salad for lunch, which I'll take pictures of soon. And I might venture over to the Gap to see if they have my favorite jeans in a 12. The 14's are starting to droop.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The One That Mentions Digestion, But Only Briefly

So, I went for my massage, which was very nice. The woman is also a reflexologist, so she spent some time on my feet and afterwards told me that she couldn't find any muscular/skeleter reason for my back and leg pain, but she read in my feet that my digestion is congested (which I didn't think it was) and that might be causing referred pain in my back and leg. Interesting. She suggested a detox (and no, they don't sell detox/cleanses there, so she wasn't try to make money) or a cleanse.

I really don't believe in cleanses. I think the body does a good job of taking care of itself it you take care of it. Plus, they just seem kind of gross. But, in the spirit of perhaps having some interesting blog fodder, I'll go to the Health Food Store and at least investigate them.

Anyway, this was dinner: asparagus from the organic farm nearby, and Fire Cracker Salmon from the Make and Take Kitchen. It looks like one of those "diet meals" they always try to tell you to eat in Self Magazine, or show on the Canyon Ranch website, the kind of meal I always looked and said "thanks, but no thanks, that's not enough food for me and it probably doesn't even taste good anyway." But this was exactly what I wanted tonight - the lovely asparagus sprayed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and roasted, and then the sort of spicy salmon, about 6 oz. (there's a piece hidden under that top piece) And a glass of white wine. If rice had been the Grain of the Week, I might have had some, but bulgar didn't seem quite right. I did have a piece of cheese while dinner cooked.



My eating seems to have taken a "lower carb" route, which was not on purpose. I'm just trying to eat what my body is telling me it wants. I'll have oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow, and maybe pasta for dinner to try to even things out for the week. And I'll make some bean dishes this weekend so some lunches can be meat free. And I have a recipe for no-knead bread I want to try, although I'm not ready for an entire loaf of bread to be in the house with me yet, so some of it may have to go to the Boy's house.

The dog needs walking, the coffee needs prepping, some evening yoga needs doing, and the Dawson's Creek needs watching.

Good night! And all my slacker friends who have not been blogging - start posting!! You know who you are! I need things to read in the mornings with my coffee.

Waitin' on the 3:45

I don't know what I felt the need to title this post with a made-up country song name, but since I just scheduled a 3:45 massage, it seemed fitting. Hopefully it will do something to help my leg. At the very least, it is a fitting reward for the 7 point something pounds gone.

Breakfast was 2 eggs with 1/2 zucchini, and 2 small mushrooms, wrapped in a tortilla. Lunch was 1/3 cup of bulgar wheat (this is a great grain if you haven't tried it yet. Very quick to make, and healthy), 1 cup broccoli (chopping all of it ahead of time was a very smart thing to do), and 7 oz (raw weight) of pork loin. Spiced with hot sesame oil, 5 spice, Braggs and salt and pepper. I ate it before I took a picture of it.

Dinner will be something involving roasted asparagus. It might even be warm enough to eat outside.

I left the chocolate chips at home, so they will have to be for dessert.

Now I've got to get a move on if I want to get all my work done by 3:45.

Two Point Two


These are the amazing noodles my dad makes. They are whole wheat shells, carmelized onions, a mix of cheese (chedder, asiago and parmesan) and then cooked until they sort of stick to the pan. Oh, and they have butter and a little sugar in them.  These are not something to be made at home. These are a special Dad Treat. 


This is broccoli. And the Christmas table cloth. 


This was my little bowl. It had some noodles, some broccoli dabbed with a little homemade mayonaise, some pork loin, and a few small beet cubes. I had a second bowl with a few more noodles, more broccoli, and pork. It was just the right amount of food.

I did not get a photo of the ice cream, but it was chocolate. I did not get a photo of the lovely rose wine, but it was delicious - dry and cold.  Nor did I get a photo of the niece who was covered in chocolate or the nephew who was giving my biceps another workout since he likes to be held and bounced. I have to figure out a way to get my triceps done while holding him, but that didn't seem quite safe since it would involve holding him over my head.  

My leg still hurts. My ankle hurts. My foot hurts. And my massage therapist is on vacation. I'm going to do yoga this morning instead of walking and see if that helps.  It feels like if someone could pick me up by my right leg, and give a good shake, it would fix things.  

And the organic farm stand is open! I drove by yesterday and they had asparagus, so I bought a bunch and will have it for dinner tonight.  

And I just weighed myself -  down 2.2 pounds from last week. Happy happy, joy joy.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Afternoon Report

Home from work and going to my dad's for dinner tonight. I was peckish when I got home, so I had a few bites of ground beef and a small hunk of cheese. Protein fills me up, and will keep me going until I get to my dad's, where there will be lots of healthy and yummy food. 

I feel like sitting around until it is time to go, but these are things I have to do:
  • prep coffee for morning -- done 
  • make bed  -- done 
  • walk the dog - done 
  • do ab work  -- done 
  • try to fix the painful sciatic nerve shooting pain down my right leg through my leg into my foot. -- did a bunch of down dog and pigeon poses. Pigeon was a lot easier without the large piece of fat that used to get in my way. I was sort of surprised to find it missing, but I don't want it back. So, if you see it, please don't tell it where i am. 
  • Buy a bottle of Rose (visualize an accent over the "e") wine for picnic at dad's. I can pretend it's summer, right? 

Preppy Lunch


My lunch is sort of preppy colored today, with the pink and green. But it is also delicious and filling!

The New York Times has 2 good articles today:

The Importance of Strong Muscles
There are two aspects to healthy muscles: endurance and strength, said Robert H. Fitts, an exercise physiologist at Marquette University and chairman of the biology department there. To maintain endurance, you should engage in activities that pump blood to the muscles, like walking. For strength, you need to lift weights, concentrating on what Professor Fitts calls the antigravity muscles, those of the back and legs. And, he adds, you should also maintain arm strength.

The most effective way to stimulate muscles is with a system known as progressive resistance. This approach can take about three hours a week and includes days, once a week or so, when you lift weights so heavy that you can do only three to five repetitions before your muscles are too tired to lift again.

Other days are devoted to moderate resistance, with weights you can lift 8 to 10 times. And then you should have some light days, with weights you can lift 12 to 15 times before your muscles tire.

That is an interesting approach. I might have to get some lighter weights, and some heavier ones.

The other article is on the affect of waist size on health. All the more reason to keep track of  measurements along with weight.

Food and Money

So, I'm reading Half-Assed, The Weight Loss Memoir and in it she talks about the similarities between spending money and gaining fat. She compares being overweight to being overdrawn in her checking account. I thought about this as I prepared my lunch and tracked my calories, wondering if it was weird to be tracking calories, realizing my lunch was only 200 calories and then going back in the kitchen, getting more things, going back to the computer to enter the amounts until lunch was around 450 calories.

But, it isn't weird, anymore than it is weird for me to track all of my spending in my Quickbooks account to make sure I don't get overdrawn. It is good to look at my checkbook balance before going into Lululemon, and to set a budget for myself and to exercise self control over my purchases. And it is good for me to set a budget for my food, and exercise self control and be pleasently surprised when a meal that seems large turns out to be less than I thought (it's like finding a shirt on sale at Lululemon and then getting another $10 off when you point out that a hem has come undone, which you can fix yourself.)

I used to live in complete avoidance of money. I didn't track anything, I left my bills in the mailbox for days (fine, maybe weeks) at a time until I was sure they were all late and then I would take them out and pay them with anxiety and a bad attitude. Finally, I realized I needed to grow up and practice gratitude around my bills. After all, wasn't I lucky for the education I got from my student loans? and my car came in handy, right? and if the credit card companies hadn't loaned me money to open my law practice I wouldn't have it, would I? So, I totally changed my feelings about money, which in turn changed my actions about money.

It's the same with food and exercise. For a long time I just borrowed calories from the next day, the next week, the next month. And now, the tracking and keeping them within my range and making sure I'm burning enough calories each day seem remarkably easy and I'm wondering what the heck took me so long to get here. In the past when I was fit, I had a little chart that I tracked everything on (walk, sit ups, upper body, lower body, weight, etc.) I know that is what works for me.

Exercise: 55 minutes walking at World's End.
Breakfast: oatmeal with almond butter and molassas and sunflower seeds.
Lunch: 2 cups chopped broccoli, 4.5 oz. shrimp, 1 tsp oil, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, 1/2 cup bulgar wheat, 16 Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chips.
Snack: Fage Yogurt with strawberry.

Total: 932 calories. Which leaves me between 558 and 908 calories for dinner at my Dad's tonight. I'll try to get some photos of the food.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tired and Hungry


6:20 p.m. Tonight is a that I would normally eat way too much. I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm cranky. But I came home and ate the artichoke that was in my fridge to stave off the hunger so that I could make a clear decision about dinner. And, I'm having a glass of wine, which is also helping stave off the hunger.

I bought a food scale today. So I weighed out the shrimp for my fajitas, and I cut the zucchini, mushrooms and onion, and I measured one teaspoon of oil into the pan and then I dutifully entered everything into Sparkpeople (including the wine, allowing for another glass) assuming it would just be tons of calories, but it is still within my range. So I guess even though I sometimes want to just eat without having to track every blessed thing, tracking is good because it shows me that sometimes what I want to eat is what is actually good and appropriate to eat. (And the food scale just informed me that 6 oz. of frozen shrimp = 3 7/8 oz. of actual shrimp. That is good to know.) And tracking is necessary right now. And tracking is doing good things for me.

---

Ok, these fajitas are awesome. There is no avocado, no cheese, just a dab of Fage Yogurt but they are so tasty. And so filling and so many vegetables. And now I am neither hungry nor cranky. But I am still tired and since OLP is making me walk tomorrow, too, I will go to bed early.

---

Aw, man, I just found out that I am missing Taco Night at the Boy's house. His neighbor, Young Kevin, and his girlfriend and his brother are going over for tacos. But I am too tired and not prepared and made him promise that he would give me advance notice of the next Taco Night so that I can be there to meet The Girlfriend. There is always a lot of drama with Young Kevin and his girlfriend.

I bought Pasta Queen's book, Half-Assed at Barnes and Noble and can't wait to start reading it.

And I'm not really going to bed at 7:30 p.m. I just happen to be in bed at this hour to read my new book.

mmm, scallops


I just ate my lunch. Due to my early rising, I ate breakfast early, and was hungry for lunch earlier, and now my lunch is gone. It was very yummy. It was more scallops, a romaine heart chopped small (there are few things I hate more than gigantic pieces of lettuce), 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 cup of bulgar wheat, and a few green olives and some salt and pepper. According to Sparkpeople, it was 433 calories, 7 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber. That is usually what my lunches are.  I should have brought a second yogurt, since I think I will be hungry later. But, I will pick one up when I run out in a few minutes to see if the local printer can make me some new envelopes, since I seem to have run out of my printed-letterhead envelopes. How professional! 

I think I am going to buy a food scale, since I really am estimating my meat intake.  I divide the total weight by the small piece, but I would like to be precise until I can eyeball it myself.  

I am noticing my stomach muscles in the mirror now, the sides near the ribs. I guess those planks are working.  Of course, there is still the layer of fat covering everything, but when that fat is gone, there will be some lovely definition.  My arms are coming along more slowly. I've been measuring them and they aren't really getting smaller, whereas the torso and legs are going down.  

But I guess this counting calories and purposeful moving and lifting and squating and crunching and biking and planning and measuring really does work. 

6:40 and 610

The lowdown:
Walk : 55 minutes with OLP.
Tricep dips: 10?
Push-ups on a low bench: 5, then 5 1/2 at the next bench. This has to improve.
Mountain Climbers: 3 or 4.
Dogs seen: 7 or so.

I usually walk at 7 after a leisurly breakfast and coffee in my PJs. But this morning I was meeting Jess at 6:40, so I had to get up earlier (which I didn't) but I did grab all my workout clothes on my way down stairs and put them on while I was still half asleep. Then I had 1 cup of coffee and 1/2 my oatmeal before I left for the walk. It was at a new park, which is always nice to find, and there were other people so it wasn't scary.

I should have put my coffee in a thermos since it was cold by the time I got home, as was the rest of my oatmeal. It does feel good to have my walk done sooner in the morning.

I'm at 610 minutes of exercise so far this month. My goal is 1600.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Night Blues and Greens


For some reason the Sunday Night Blues showed up around noon today. The SNB's are that melancholy that settles in on Sunday night for no real reason. When my brother and his Japanese friends had their band they even had a song called "Sunday Night Blues." I guess the SNB's are an international phenomenon.

Anyway, they settled on me and I spent the day being rather sedate and reading other people's blogs. Finally, I got up to start making dinner since I was getting hungry. I prepped the big bunch of broccoli, putting 2 of the stalks in the fridge all chopped, and keeping one out for dinner. Then I took one of the pork loin chops (I think it was 7 oz.) and sliced it thinly. I stir-fried the broccoli in a little oil with garlic and crushed red pepper, then added the pork and cooked it for a few minutes. I sprinkled it all with 5 Spice powder and ate it. It was very good, and filled up my bowl twice so I felt like I was getting a lot of food (which I was, even though most of it was broccoli.) I ate it with chop sticks.  I thought that in the past I probably would have made rice to go with it, but it didn't need rice at all. It just tasted very clean and fresh.   And then I had an artichoke. I think I have made up for my lack of vegetables yesterday.

Whole dinner: 533 calories. My percentage of fat calories was 30% today, which is just right. My protein intake was 40% (it's supposed to be 15%) and carbs were 28%, supposed to be 55%. Oh well, I'll keep an eye on things and I'm sure it will balance out over the course of a week.

Yoga Journal has a new Evening Yoga Video that I might do before bed.

The very pretty white and blue bowl was one of the ones I bought at the open studios yesterday.

Errand and Chore Day

Today was Sunday Errand and Chore Day, which is one of my favorite days. I love homemaking. I did 4 loads of laundry and hung all the clothes and sheets out on the line to dry. I took all the trash and recycling to the landfill, then went to the grocery store and came home and cleaned the kitchen to get ready for prepping lunch for next week.

This is what I bought on my trip to Whole Foods today (if you click on the picture, it will get big):


Top row bag of bulgar wheat (Grain of the Week), bag of brown rice, mushrooms, whole wheat tortillas, OJ.
Next row: romaine hearts, broccoli rabe (with semisweet chocolate chips under them), almond butter.
Next row: eggplant, 3 small zucchini, broccoli, small cabbage, pound of bay scallops, 4 boneless pork loin chops,
Bottom row: 4 2% Fage yogurt with Peach or strawberry.

This will see me well through the week. I've cooked some of the bulgar already. It will be the grain base for lunches. And I've eaten some of the scallops. I froze 3 of the pork loin in individual wrappers, so I can pull them out the night before I want to eat them. I have to cook some of the broccoli or eggplant or something tonight.

I have not exercised today. And I may not. I even took a little nap. I have been tracking my meals on Sparkpeople today, though, since I almost fell into the Trap of Endless Picking At Things - oatmeal for breakfast, a Fage 2% yogurt, 1 cup of bulgar wheat with a few tablespoons of taco filling, 6 oz. of scallops, then a few semisweet chocolate chips to send the message to my mouth that meals were over until dinner.

It feels nice to give myself the day off from walking or biking or lifting things for no purpose other than building muscle. But what I did do was lots of trips up and down the stairs, lots of trips outside hanging clothes, taking them down, folding them, making the bed - doing all the things I need to have done so that I can do all my exercising the other days of the week and not worry about lunches or clean clothes or dishes or dinners.

I like to have lots of fitness/weight loss blogs in my RSS reader. Here are 2 new ones I found today: Mr. and Mrs. Get Fit, and The ELFF Diet, which stands for Eat Less Fatty Food. I always get a few good ideas from other people's blogs.

Tacos and Pizza and Fat, Oh My!

A rather large percentage of my calories yesterday came from fat. I tracked everything on Sparkpeople, and my calories were within my range, but the percentage from fat was a bit skewed. This came from the eggs that the Boy cooked me in the morning (he adds more butter than I do) and the ground beef tacos I made for lunch, and the pizza I had for dinner. I was almost not going to track my food because the tacos made me nervous but then I figured I should, since knowledge is power.

The tacos kept me full until we had dinner at my mom's at 6:30. It was Open Studios in their neighborhood, and my mom's house was open for showing her paintings and drawings, and the rest of us had spent a bunch of time down the street buying pottery so we were all to tired to cook and ordered pizza. I had 2 pieces. That was just the right amount. And when I went to the Boy's house later in the evening, he was eating the leftover Chinese food which smelled tasty, but since I'd had dinner already I didn't have any.

This morning I had oatmeal, and I'm going to try to eat more vegetables today and just watch my fat intake. A bike ride or woods walk will take place, and some house cleaning and food prep, too.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Boy wanted to see the Blog this morning, so I took him on a skimming tour of it. He doesn't really need to see what my actual weight is, or read about some of my food issues.

We were talking about exercise and he was explaining to me the various "exercises" he does during his plumbing day. For instance he was under a jacuzzi tub on his back working on some tubes, but there was something sharp under his back so he was essentially in bridge pose for quite a while with his arms up working. Then when he has to shimmy in and out of crawl spaces he is in a low plank pose and moving. Or when lowering him self up and down out of some weird space at his friends house 30 times in a day, he got quite a few triceps dips in. All that without even meaning to exercise.

Dinner last night was: 3 pieces of eel sushi, 3 pieces of spicy tuna, a small lettuce wrap, some seaweed salad and some veggies & chicken over crunchy noodles. Just a bit of each thing, and I was a little hungry later but when I thought about it I was more mouth-hungry than stomach-hungry so I just said to myself "yes, that food was very yummy, but you had enough to fill you up. You can have it again some time, but not now."

It's gray and cold, and I'm driving my sister up to our mom's today with her babe, but I am going to go for a walk shortly, since the rain seems to be holding off for now.

Friday, May 9, 2008

And Tonight's Challenge Is...

Chinese food! The Boy is home and I'm bringing him dinner on my way to his house.  I gave him a few suggestions of what I wanted (seaweed salad and the chicken-lettuce things) but left it up to him to choose the rest since sometimes it's just nice when someone else decides things. And then I'll decide what to eat.

It looks like rain again tomorrow, but I know I'll find some time to exercise. And, this morning I added a whole bunch of random workout DVDs to my Netflix queue so I'll be giving my review of Jane Fonda's Complete Workout (circa 1989), and a few by Gilad, of Bodies in Motion fame. I used to do those workouts in high school so it will be a nice trip down memory lane.

Happy Friday! 

The Early Bird



Those are the little birds that live above my front door. I keep hearing them chirp, so this morning after my bike ride I stood on a bench to take a peek. I took a photo without a flash so I didn't hurt their little bird eyes. They didn't make a noise while I was up there (only for a minute, the bench was not very good for standing), but their mom or dad was flying around getting very annoyed because I was holding up breakfast.

What does this have to do with fitness? Well, it is these little birdies and their 176 friends who sing to me each morning starting at around 5 a.m. about how beautiful the day is and how I really should get up and have coffee and wake up so that I can come join them. So, I do and they are right.

Lunch was chicken and cuban black beans and about 1/4 cup of farro (what was left in the pot.)

The Mystery That Keeps Me Moving

How can the same bike ride feel so different just 3 days apart? My ride on Tuesday was miserable. I felt like one of those elephants on a tricycle at the circus (or are those bears?) trying to get myself up the hills and swearing the whole way and hoping the police officers on duty at the road work sites didn't think I was mutting f*ck under my breath at them.

And today I set out on the same ride, thinking it might be marginally better, and it was so much better. It was the exact same route, the exact same bike but I felt so much stronger and even happier by the end of it. I just kept thinking "this is a really nice ride." And it really was.

The only think I did differently was to leave the fleece vest at home. I think on the last ride the back of my neck was overly heated and that made me uncomfortable (I get very hot when I exercise). I left it at home today knowing it would be a little chilly to start but much better for the rest of the ride. There is one spot on this ride where the temperature in my body shifts upward and I push my sleeves up, or take my jacket or long sleeve shirt off. I noticed it last year, that every single time I rode I would stop in front of this one house and start to disrobe, it's rather strange, but sort of interesting, too.

Breakfast was eggs in a tortilla. I don't know what lunch is yet.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dawson's Creek & Sushi

I have a strange love for bad teen television. (I think it stems from my fond memories of watching 90210) So I spent the early part of this evening watching the first year of Dawson's Creek and doing sit ups and waiting for the Boy to call and say that he was done plumbing and that we were going for dinner. Alas, that call never came. And when I finally called him at 7:15, he was still on the Cape filling a jacuzzi tub to check it for leaks. (You must always add 3 hours to regular time to get Plumbing Time.)

So, no dinner together, and then there I was faced with having to leave Dawson and Joey and Jen and Pacey and go cook something, or calling someone to bring me dinner. So I called the nice people with the sushi and they will bring me some soon. There will be eel, spicy tuna, some seaweed salad and some steamed shumai. In the past, there would have been some crispy crunchy roll things with shrimp or vegetables. But, not tonight. And I will not miss them.

--

Later:

The sushi arrived and is lovely. It took a while to get here, and I'm eating dinner at almost 9pm, but it was good to just sit with my hunger and realize it would not harm me. And when the food came, I was still able to eat it slowly and really enjoy it. Now I'm done and not hungry, but not completely full. Just the right amount of full. I think it's tea time and then bed time.

Second Lunch

So, I ended up eating the steak part of my lunch at 11 or so, which kept me full through my client meeting at 1pm. Now it's a little after 2:30 and I'm eating the farro and curry part of lunch. And some carrot sticks. And a baby snickers square.

I put my hands on my hips this morning while I was standing at my desk, and the nice little cushions that are usually there to support my hands had shrunk. It might be my pants, but it might also be that my kidney insulation is getting smaller.

Tonight might be a challenge as far as dinner. The Boy is doing plumbing for some friends on the Cape, which means he gets home a little later, and I'm going over there which might mean stopping and getting Chinese food for him on the way to his house since he'll be tired and hungry. But, we usually get seaweed salad, the chicken that wraps in the lettuce and some dumpling things, which is all pretty good, especially since he likes the dumplings that I don't really like so I don't eat them. I'll have to be sure to have a snack when i get home from work so that I'm not famished which will cause me to order noodley things or fried things which would not really be what I wanted in the long run.

And now that it's sunny out, I can get in a late afternoon walk with the dog. And I can stop at whole foods to get some 2% Fage yogurt.

When In Doubt - Grapevine!!



It was raining this morning, and in keeping with the spirit of mixing up my workouts, I decided to try out the aerobics section of my Denise Austin Personal Training System DVD. (Yes, that is Jane Fonda, but since she was the first aerobicizer, I figured I'd put her picture up.)

Anyway, the workout started off fine with some marching in place and high steps, but then she moved into this very confusing routine of chasse/kick-step, charleston, "rainbow arms" and kept changing the routine just as I'd gotten used to it.  So, I decided I'd let Denise and her girls do their thing, and I'd do mine. So I grape-vined my little heart out, mixing it up with some heel taps, some kicks, some knee lifts, different arm combinations, jogging in place, a shimmy here and there, the works.  And you know what? I got an awesome workout. My heart rate was up, I was sweating and I felt great. 

After the 25 minutes of aerobics, I did the low intensity arms and lower body, which were still a great workout despite being called "low intensity." It just meant that the arm work was done in the chair or lying down, and the lower body was done on the ground with leg lifts and bridge pose and hamstring curls.  I skipped the abs because I was out of time, but will do those when I get home. 

Now my stomach is growling like crazy. I had 2 small eggs and a bit of avocado in a tortilla for breakfast.  And for lunch I have some carrot sticks, and a steak/farro/curry mixture.  It is a sort of "empty out all the remnants in the fridge for lunch" sort of day. But I might have to eat my lunch right now. Or at least part of it. I wish I had some yogurt.  Or peanut butter with my carrot sticks.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Don't Fear The Fat



If you haven't tried this yogurt yet, you are missing out. I normally do not like yogurt, but this is strained and thicker and not as tart, and it's really yummy. I don't buy nonfat dairy products, I don't think there is a point to eating them, but I do usually buy low fat. Well, I bought this in whole milk because they were out of the 2%. I didn't look at the calories or fat because I figured I had a rough idea of what they were. Then I went to eat it today and saw that the little 7 oz. container had 20 grams of fat. Hmm, that seemed like quite a few. But I ate it - a little before lunch, and the rest before I left work to go to my networking meeting - and it was worth the 20 grams of fat.

Then just for curiosity's sake, I decided to enter my food for the day into Sparkpeople to see what damage I had wrought with that little container. And guess what, I had not wrought any damage. Even with the peanut butter and sunflower seeds in my oatmeal, and the Fage Total yogurt, I'd still had just 45 grams of fat for the day - which is completely in line with the Sparkpeople (and other) guidelines.

And when I went to the event, which was serving wine and cheese and crackers, I was not hungry. I had 1 glass of wine, and 2 crackers with cheese. And I came home and took a brisk walk with the dog and I am still not hungry. So I think those 20 grams of fat did their job quite well by keeping me full.

I am figuring out what works to keep me full and energized - things with more protein and fat and not as many carbs, in small servings throughout the day. But I still make sure I get enough fiber and vegetables. I want to eat more fruit, but then I start thinking about pesticides and how the fruit travels here from Chili or California or Argentina and I get weirded out and can't buy it. It will be nice when it is really spring and I can have local things (and when the raspberry bushes in my yard start bearing fruit for the season.)

I think that taking out the wine at home, and the english muffins, and the Whole Foods salad/hot food bar lunches have really helped me listen to my body and give it what it wants (and needs.) Those things were the standard response to any kind of hunger, real or imagined, and when I made them no longer an option it forced me to figure out if I was really hungry, and what in fact I was hungry for. And so I'm figuring out that sometimes I'm hungry for cold oatmeal and olives, or whole milk yogurt, or eggs and avocado, or chinese broccoli, or kale or beets or spicy curry or any number of super tasty and healthy things to eat. And sometimes I'm hungry for a little serving of my dad's homemade ice cream, or fried clam bellies on a hot day in the summer with a cold beer, or pizza. And since there is not any "off limit" food, I can eat these things in a serving size that satisfies my hunger without feeling like it will be the last time I eat these things. (Well, except for last week with the pizza, but we're going to try that one again.)

Ok, now I'm hungry. Well my mind is hungry, but my stomach is not. And I am thankful that at least for right now, I can tell the difference.

walking, chicken, farro, blah blah blah

Well, I ate the rest of the oatmeal cold a little later, along with 5 green picholene olives. Salty, Yum! I ended up walking at World's End this morning for an hour, up the big hill again. I can feel my lungs getting stronger.

Varying my workouts in the morning is helping, I think. And I don't decide what I'm doing until I start getting dressed for it. If I tried to decide first, I'd never leave the house, so I just start putting on my shoes and clothes and at some point it hits me.

Lunch is the same as yesterday - chicken thigh, kale and farro. I have more of it for dinner, then it will be gone. I like to eat the same thing over and over until I am tired of it for a while.

This blog is starting to bore me - here is what I ate, here is what I did for exercise, blah blah blah. It's important for me to keep track of what I'm doing (and whatever I'm doing seems to be working) but I'll have to think of some way to make it more interesting for me to write, and for a 7 of my readers to read.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Eating Lunch on International No Diet Day

It's International No Diet Day.  They even give you a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Give up Dieting.  And a bunch of them, including #8 ("DIETS ARE BORING. People on diets talk and think about food and practically nothing else. There's a lot more to life") make sense and I've posted about that. (This blog talks mostly about food, but that's because it is my food blog, not because I am obsessesed with food and talk about nothing else.)   

But the site never actually says what they mean by "diet"? I think they mean food plans that ascribe judgments to food, like "this is bad" or "I'm being good today" or "I'm not supposed to have these."  

As for celebrating the day - does it mean that people will stop making inane comments about what they are eating at a cocktail party and will eat what their body wants without guilt? or does it mean that people will look down on others who are trying to get in shape? Because the first one I can get behind, and the second one, well, I can't see how putting people down who are trying to eat more mindfully and exercise, and lose weight in the process, does anything to advance the cause.

So, I'm celebrating No Diet Day by eating exactly the same as I do every day - what I want to eat, when I am hungry, and in amounts that satisfy me. (Which today happens to be kale, chicken and farro, with a little rogue eggplant mixed in.) And by moving and exercising in ways that maybe make me curse while I'm doing them, but make me feel better all day.

Are you celebrating today? How? Why?

9 Things I Love About Biking (and one thing I hate)

  1. Burning 576 Calories in 45 minutes. 
  2. Knowing that my metabolism will be higher all day because of the biking. 
  3. Being done! with the biking for the day. 
  4. The view from Jerusalem Road at 7 a.m. 
  5. Knowing my muscles are getting stronger. 
  6. Having new bike shoes that make biking a little bit more efficient. 
  7. Did I mention the done part? and the 576 calories? 
  8. The thought of fitting into my size 10 jeans, and size 8 pants. 
  9. Knowing that it can only get easier.
And the thing I'm not so fond of yet: 
  1. The actual biking part. 

Early to Rise

I got up at 5:30 this morning, and was rewarded with seeing 2 bunnies in the yard when I took the dog out. And being up earlier meant there was more time for my stomach to adjust to being awake, so I'm eating my oatmeal before my walk.

Nothing else very exciting to report, but in my blog reading this morning I came across these 2 posts that talked about the same thing, emotional eating and getting past it:

It's Not In There, by Scale Junkie

and

Not About Food by Escape from Obesity.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Early to Bed


It's is 8:40 p.m. and I'm posting from my cozy bed. My kitchen is clean. The water and oatmeal are measured for tomorrow's breakfast, the peanut butter/sunflower seeds/molasses mix is in the bowl, and lunch and dinner for tomorrow night is in the fridge. The dog has been walked, the little birds and their babies who live in the eaves of my porch are left in peace for the rest of the night, and all is right with the world.

Dinner was 6 oz. of steak, maybe a cup or a little more of farro, and a big bunch of chinese broccoli, with some teriyaki sauce. It was very yummy. I ate half of it, then walked the dog, ate an artichoke and then ate the rest of the dinner since I was still hungry. That meant I had to make something else for lunch tomorrow so I cooked some chicken thighs and kale and a little left over eggplant and that will be lunch tomorrow. And maybe dinner. We'll see.

Good night.

I Went Biking And It Did Not Suck

I used to love biking. When I was young and carefree and living in California, I didn't have a car so I biked everywhere: work, the grocery store, college, the fabric store, the Folsom Dam. I loved it. I didn't think twice about hopping on my bike and flying away. And I weighed 135 pounds. Then I got a car. I got old. I got real jobs that you couldn't bike to. I got heavy. And biking went from being freedom to being "exercise."

I still have 2 bikes, a road and a mountain. I ride them during the summer and fall. And thanks to the REI sale, I have a sweet new pair of biking shoes. So I put on my shoes today and went for a short ride. 20 minutes, a few hills, no left turns, and 12 minutes into it I sort of even enjoyed it.

I do better when I bike to a destination like the beach, or a walk, or a store, so I'll try to do more of that. And I'll head out on short rides more often and hope the love returns.

What color is your lunch?

I was making my lunch today and as I built it I thought, this is quite monochromatic. So I added in the spicy red pepper spread, and some carrot sticks.  That brightened it up and added more veggies.  This is the red pepper spread, and a cut up Trader Joe's chilie lime chicken burger. 

This is farro and eggplant.  I guess the eggplant could count as purple, except I peeled it.  The farro was cooked in veggie broth, and the eggplant was cubed and sauteed with salt and pepper. It is very yummy. 

I did 2 ten minute Sparkpeople videos this morning. One for lower body, and an abs one.  They are a great length, because it's easy to say "just one more" without feeling like you have to commit for 30 or 40 minutes.  I can see muscles emerging from my arms and legs, and feel my hips and glutes firming up when I walk up my stairs. Come on, don't you feel your bum when you walk up the stairs at home to check your progress?  Oh, well, anyway.  

Seeing these results is helping me keep my mind on my goal, and reminding me why I am taking the time to prepare lunches, and be mindful of what I'm eating, and making the time to work out.

Oatmeal Again

I'm having oat meal for breakfast again. I think I have found the right combination: oatmeal, molassas, peanut butter and sunflower seeds. I skipped the butter today, and it was just as tasty. 

I had some Fage 2% yogurt with peach before my walk, well some before and some after.  I was a little sluggish at the end of the walk which may have been either from dehydration or not enough of a pre-walk meal. My stomach is very particular in the morning so it's hard to find something to keep me going  on my walk that doesn't make me want to heave when I think about eating it. That was the nice thing about english muffins, they were perfect. Oh well, they weren't really perfect because they made me be 30 pounds overweight.  

I walked for 50 minutes and I'm going to do the Sparkpeople lower body workout with the hopes that it will help to tone without incapacitating me like Denise Austin did. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Not An Artichoke


That was dinner. It was not an artichoke. It was a homemade thin crust pizza with the following things on it: half whole wheat/half white crust, pesto, spicy chicken sausage, shrimp, mushroom, a little thinly sliced onions, a few roased red peppers, and a bit of Parmesan cheese. I usually put arugula on it but I was out and the thought of kale on my pizza was not very appealing. Oh, and some crushed red pepper, even though there is some in the sausage. I don't really like too much cheese on my pizza, or tomato sauce. But I missed the greens. And red onions would have been better than white.

I ate too much of it on account of its deliciousness, but then I went for a nice brisk 20 minute walk, which settled my stomach.

Plan for the week:
  • keep up the cardio everyday: walking or maybe biking. 
  • abs every day
  • strength training 3 times 
  • yoga 1 day
  • continue with portion control 
  • plan for healthy dinners on Tuesday & Wed. when I will be out in the evenings
  • don't eat so much pizza next time.  

Here is a post on motivation, or lack thereof, from the fit shack.

Here is a nice picture from our walk today that makes me feel all peaceful :
 

Lazy Sunday


Not too lazy, we did manage to get in a 45 minute walk at the park on Driftway with the dogs who found this puddle to jump and play in. Note to self: bring towels when taking the dogs to the park in the rain.  And I did some plank and side plank (inside, not out in the rain.)

We ate well - tacos on Saturday night with some of the grass fed beef from the farm, and a bit of lemon sherbet for dessert. Then he made omelets with pesto for breakfast this morning, and we had the leftover taco fixings over lettuce for lunch.

Now I've got to wash some dishes and think of things for lunch this week. I think that Farro will be the Grain of the Week, and I have some broccoli to cook, along with some cauliflower.

Dinner will maybe be an artichoke and I don't know what else yet.