Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some lessons learned... (and a new dress!)

I was looking for some quotes about not being afraid to live, take risks and be and have as full a life as is possible. This really has defined the last 5 years of my life... even after losing weight, I hid. I feel like a butterfly compared to myself 10 years ago. I do things that make me cry, that make me scream, that make me laugh. I put my heart on the line. I have a lot to lose, and that makes it all so precious.

Have courage and a little willingness to venture and be defeated. Robert Frost

Do not be too timid and squeamish... All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. Ralph Waldo Emerson

AND, something I came across that spoke to me VERY personally, since they use a mountain metaphor:

No one lives on the top of the mountain. It’s fine to go there occasionally —for inspiration, for new perspectives. But you have to come down. Life is lived in the valleys. That’s where the farms and gardens and orchards are, and where the plowing and the work is done. That’s where you apply the visions you may have glimpsed from the peaks. Arthur Gordon

I felt like he was speaking directly to me! This is something Chris and I often speak about. We WISH we could climb mountains every day, do something beautiful and daring every day, but that is not the core of life. The reality of life is at home, with my family and friends, creating relationships, working, building, making something stable and lovely.

But we never forget the fears and the joys and the struggles and the victories we have had in the mountains. They have sustained us and made us better people in our day-to-day :) I am less anxious, more hopeful, more joyful, more patient, and stronger than I was before. The lessons in the mountains have been undeniably important and I am glad to make use of them... to be here in "the valleys" and still so much a part of the mountaintops :)

Here is a picture of me in my new Victoria Secret dress, size SMALL, mmmm! I love it, it is so perfect for summer and I feel amazing in it!

(excuse the dirty mirror and weird background... but do take note of the super cute cat on the chair behind me... it's Walter!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weight training! (shaking up the routine!)

So I have been getting more and more interested in weight training (getting into paleo... it is hard not to read up on all the cross-fit stuff!).

I put in 2 or 3 days a week where I try to strength train at my gym... I use all the machines, do pull ups, dips, use free weights. But most of my knowledge comes from work out videos like the 30 day shred, haha.

I turned to a friend of mine who is pretty knowledgeable about this stuff. Josh took me to his gym this morning and put me through a workout... whoa, I am shaking!! He also showed me other exercises to put into play in my workouts next time.

I needed something to shake me up. I definitely think my body is getting used to my workouts. Two months ago, I used to be SORE SORE SORE after working out. Now, I feel some slight fatigue, but otherwise I am good to go.

Got a feeling I am going to be SORE SORE SORE tomorrow.

But that's good! It means I am changing my body :D

Also something we discovered in this workout... my core needs WORK. I thought I was pretty good with my core... I do balance work, yoga, planks, sit ups, etc. But Josh did some intense core moves with me and was like, "Whoa! You need core work!" Hahaha! Okay, duly noted.

What a great thing... meeting up with a friend and trying their workout. I think I will try to do this every couple of months. (or something similar: like try a sport I've never done or join a class I haven't tried) I think it will keep my body on it's toes and keep increasing my fitness.

Don't want to get too used to my routine, get stuck in a rut, get bored, or not see any changes physically!

Nothing else really of note as far as accountability... I got a GREAT night's sleep last night (didn't sleep well while traveling this weekend and Monday night was so damned HOT), still eating very well as far as paleo goes, and missing my guy. Trying to keep busy, though!

Love you all, thanks for taking the time to read my words, take a dip into my life, and help me stay accountable (the more readers I see reading my blog, the more I feel like I should do well :D)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The cat's away...

But this mouse is not going to play :)

Not in the cheating-on-paleo-let's-get-cake kind of way, at least!!

Chris is a traveling archaeologist for part of the year (I usually am, too, but the seasonal job hasn't opened up for me yet, argh!). He started traveling this week... off to the 1000 islands he goes, lucky boy! Free hotel and air conditioning. I am pretty jealous (got up to 90 here in Albany before freakishly intense storm rolled through this evening).

But that also means my partner and best friend is gone! I say again and again how I would never have been so successful at changing my life (eating well, being active) if it weren't for the complete and unconditional support of my guy. He is right there beside me, doing it with me, our health is important to BOTH of us and it makes this whole journey so much easier.

That means it is a little harder when he is gone :( I am a tad lonely and missing him. Last year, that would have meant I would have gotten myself a treat, watched some TV while eating it, gone to bed a little sad.

I am making a choice that I am still in control, no matter the circumstances! Ate very well today, lots of protein and seasonal fruit. Went to the gym as well for some cardio.

My dinner (which I prepped extra servings of so it is easy to eat dinner this week) is grilled chicken breast, grilled peppers, and roasted sweet potatoes with salsa! MMMMM... I seriously loved this meal.

Tomorrow, a friend is going to take me to his gym and show me how to do free weights. Going to be ripped and fit, oh yeah!! :D

Namaste, friends!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Checking in after the holiday weekend:

So we did trail work in the High Peaks on Saturday (10 miles, moving some trees off the trail) and then headed down to Fourth Lake in the Adirondacks to spend time with Chris' family.

Super active all weekend! Hiked out to a secret fishing spot with Chris' dad, did some fishing, walked around a lot (small hikes and trail walking).

No overeating :)

Went out to dinner Saturday night, had mahi-mahi and green beans. BBQ Sunday, ate pulled pork and salad.

Did splurge on 150 calories of coconut milk mint ice cream today, though... wooo! :D

Seriously. Paleo has changed my life and my outlook.

Things I would have normally eaten this weekend and didn't: pizza, cheese crescent rolls, pasta, mashed potatoes, coffee cake, chocolate cake, hash browns, .... haha! Instead we had omelettes for breakfast, berries for snacks, a little flavored coffee as a treat.

Adhering to paleo takes all the guess work out of this for me. Steers me towards the healthier choices. Makes it very hard to overeat (for me, anyway).

Weighed in at 128 around 3 PM today (I usually weigh first thing in the morning after peeing!) so I am super pleased to not have gained weight on vacation.

Had a lot of fun, to boot! Tons of fun, none of the guilt. Smiling!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tentatively calling this official..... (and a playground NSV)

I am a little nervous, as if I don't quite believe it, but I am ready to say that I am officially down 20 pounds since last fall!

I was weighing in at a little over 147 in the early fall, started to track calories mid-fall, got into a gym in February, and went paleo in April....

All of the above leading to a 20 pound weight loss!! I am pretty consistently seeing 127 - 128 on the scale. This morning was 127.2 :D :D :D :D

I have never been below 130. Last time I saw 130 I must have been a freshman in high school or even younger (I would NEVER weigh myself then, haha). I am super happy, feeling like a new person. I love that in these 127 pounds are MUSCLE... I am starting to get pretty ripped and I love it.

NSV: I went to the park with my dog, it was drizzling and there was no one around, so I let him off leash. He was running around, playing (he weirdly love to go down slides), and I decided to fool around too. I went to the monkey bars, which I never ever could do as a child OR an adult. AND I DID THEM. Hand over hand, crossed to the other side :D That was amazing. Working on my pull ups and chin ups at the gym is paying off, for sure.

Another NSV: my waist is down to 28 inches from 30 inches at the beginning of the year!

Mmmmmm... I am contented.

Going to be quiet this weekend on this blog: I am doing trail work in the Adirondacks on Saturday and heading up to Chris' family's camp Sunday and Monday (with very little internet). I am slightly nervous about eating, but I am going to prep what I can today and stay consistent! No morning bagels or donuts this time :D

Hoping everyone is going to enjoy their long weekend!

Namaste :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

No job? Going to the gym!

I am feeling pretty proud of myself. I have no responsibilities at the moment, I could sleep in all day if I wanted (as long as I still did my dissertation work later!).

But I wake up around 7:30 and get myself to the gym, run my errands, clean the house and then settle in for some school work. Being lighter and fitter has given me a ton more energy.

Weighing in at 128.6 today. Pretty happy about that. I had two shots of tequila with a friend last night... didn't go over calories, didn't get trashed, but got a small buzz and had a lovely night. This is how I want to treat alcohol - once every few weeks, when it feels really right, and not going overboard :)

I still can't believe I am under 130. Being overweight for ten plus years, and then kind of plateauing at a low-but-I-am-still-not-happy weight for years really made me distrust myself and my abilities. Now I am where I have ALWAYS dreamed of being, even when I was a little chubby girl who pretended she was a hot-shot beauty :)

It feels so ephemeral, like it is all going to be whisked away from me. But I know the truth: if I keep working, being active, eating right... no one can take this away from me but me :)

I am working on getting my mind and body in sync... believing I am this person!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Didn't grow it, but sure did make it!

I like that all the food in my house was MADE by me.

It might have been grown by someone else, but I make it into meals.

Everything in the house is a whole ingredient (excluding pre-made turkey burgers for emergencies and my beloved lara bars :D which I only eat on hikes!)

My "breads," my smoothies, my muffins, my nut "oatmeal", everything made with my hands! Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks... every protein was cooked by me or my guy, every veggie was washed and cut and cooked by me. No one in a factory somewhere put together my food and packaged it up.

It's hard work and it takes a good portion of time out of my day! But it is getting easier, I am getting better at it, and it is so, so worth it.

Also, Chris and I make sure our "after work" quality time isn't just spent on the couch. We get into the kitchen, prep some food for the next few days, get dinner all ready, and then enjoy a meal together before going for a walk or to a friend's house :)

I am glad I am making all these changes now, making them a stable part of my life now, so that when life gets hectic, I have routines and habits to fall back on.

Things are going well here in my neck of the woods. Looking forward to the weekend.... though I wish I was finishing my 46 this weekend!!!!! But we are volunteering in the same mountains we love so much, cleaning up the trails and whatnot, and then going to spend a day or two at Chris' family's cabin up by Old Forge. So a very nice weekend :)

Hoping that next weekend sees us finishing our 46 and joining the ranks of people I admire very, very much!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mood improvement: feeling buff!

Here's a "myspace"-style photo of my showing off my muscles :D

I really like getting strong! I never thought I would be so actively pursuing more muscle development. I guess now that I am 30, I am a little wiser and don't just want to be "skinny" anymore! ... I want to be healthy and strong :)

Staying on track, despite feeling a little low

Being very purposeful right now in my life and acknowledging that I am at a low point with my mood (nothing life-wise really to make me low, I just am, it happens!) and being aware that these low points could potentially be a trigger for poor eating... which would cause weight gain which would throw me into a cycle of depression and weight gain.

So, being bright and aware. So that I don't make food choices based on my mood. Food is still fuel, it helps my body move through this world. Other things (my animals, my guy, reading a good book, getting my work done, a bubble bath!) are things I need to use to improve my mood.

Yoga today was very different. We did only about a dozen poses in an hour... super slow, long stretches, just relaxing. I actually went into a meditative state a few times (especially in butterfly pose, folded over my feet) and I needed it. It was the perfect class for this point in my life and my state of mind.

To be purposeful. To be aware, of my body and my mind.

To NOT fall into bad habits, because they are easy and temporarily make me feel good.

I will stop these cycles now.

I weighed in at 129.4 today :) It is that TOM for me, so that's great. I AM doing this right, I am staying on track, I am treating my body well.

I will put my whole self into this, a healthy and balanced self, for the rest of my life.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Feeling a little blue... maybe normal, because everything has been so, so UP lately.

First Monday without a job. I have a weird job (archaeologist) and now that teaching is over, I am waiting for seasonal work to begin. It's frustrating. I need to get a year-round position somewhere, even if it is not doing exactly what I want to do. I just need some income. Future dreams of a family and a home someday!

Not weighing right now. Feel bloated (TMI alert: my period is late... I think I've thrown my cycle off since I am down about 8 pounds in the past 35-40 days) and just not too pleased with the mirror. My clothes are still fitting great and I am still hitting the gym and following paleo... so I have no reason to think I've gained weight, I am just not feeling good.

Nothing too drastic, just some Monday blues.

Upside: had a great one hour gym workout today, sweated quite a bit (probably because it is hot here finally, too!) and made some macadamia nut, apple, banana cookies for treats for the next two weeks :)

Short post today, not quite feeling like myself!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

18+ mile day

I am weary today, to be expected. We hiked our hardest (as far as isolation of the mountain, adding in the fact it is top-3 most rugged High Peak!) hike so far. Over 18 miles in 12 hours. Over 2200 feet of ascent in a two mile stretch. (Also we got up at 4 AM to get an early start... hiked from 7-7!) Whew!

We felt pretty proud, though... it was a big one on our list! I have a NEWFOUND respect for the 46ers! Anyone who is a 46er HAD to climb this mountain (Allen) and I will deeply respect anyone with the character to do it :D

I pre-measured out my food before the hike and I brought about 2400 calories of tuna, chicken, lara bars, nuts, paleo banana bread, almond butter and apples with me. For breakfast, we ate a homemade, pre-made quiche and a homemade, pre-made smoothie (bananas, strawberries, and coconut milk!)

Came home, had a turkey burger with a fried egg on top (no bun) and fell promptly asleep :D

Recovering today, some nice city walking, a little coffee and movie watching.

Here are some pictures (the hike had a long, flat section at the start with some AMAZING nature... we saw frogs, toads, efts, snakes and all kinds of birds, not to mention WILDFLOWERS!):

Gorgeous pond with a decrepit bridge at the start


Frog with leaf hat

Huge scary slide we had to go up!

View from Allen's summit

My vibrams that helped me cross the river!

The End!

Namaste, friends :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dinner party success

I had a great time last night :)

We invited two other couples over, and they stayed for more than 5 hours, we were all telling stories and eating and having a great time!

Even more impetus for me... this lifestyle isn't hindering anything. I have more smiles, not less, because of it!

One couple brought over an apple, raspberry spinach salad with balsamic dressing.. so great!

The other couple brought a huge fruit platter (mangos, kiwis, etc.. mmm).. also so great!

I also ended up making paleo banana bread to share.

So dinner was colorful and healthy!  - lean meat (pork and chicken meatloaf), spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, bacon, apples

Dessert was also! - coconut flour banana bread with walnuts and all the fruit you could want

I overate a little. Probably 400 or so extra calories. Not ideal, but also not freaking me out. I've been really good on calories for a long time, so a little splurge of super healthy, whole, clean food? Not going to send this girl into a spiral :)

I felt full, more full than I've felt in a long time, but it wasn't too bad... it wasn't a bloaty, tummy-gurgling, wince-inducing kind of full. The food was so lovely and good for us, I felt like my body kind of welcomed the overeating (weird to say)!

But back to normal today and for the weekend, going to continue eating paleo and eating clean and going to stay within calories.

Won't be hard to stay within calories tomorrow... we have an 18 mile hike planned for the day... so we are looking at about 2000 extra calories I COULD eat (though I will probably only eat an extra 1000). We are prepping chicken, sweet potatoes, tuna, and hard-boiled eggs to bring with us.... along with our trust lara bars and seed/nut/fruit trail mix!

You won't hear from me tomorrow... I'll be pretty darned busy, haha. But if I am feeling alive and well on Sunday, I will check in.

This hike is a big one for us, wish me luck!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Paleo Dinner Party!

So we are having 4 people over to our house tonight, hosting our first dinner party since we went paleo!

I am nervous and excited. I love to make people great food! I hope everything turns out well :)

I have a banana bread in the oven right now for dessert (coconut flour banana bread, of course!)

On the menu for the night:

       Pork and chicken meatloaf "cupcakes" (using ground flax instead of bread crumbs)
       Mashed cauliflower with herbs
       Sauteed broccoli with garlic
       Sweet potato hash (made with bacon, onions, and green apples!)

I am excitedly prepping right now :D

I am not even going to mention that everything is paleo. They might not even notice, if the meal is tasty enough :D

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I can't even tell you how much I loved my dinner tonight..

I just had to write about it. I am in ecstasy!

Healthy eating is not delicious? Hahahahahaha LIES

Start with gorgeous ingredients:

- Went to the co-op and got some decently cheap grass fed and finished Scottish Highland ground beef

- Went to the farmer's market and got a bundle of turnips and greens (fresh, local, no sprays) for 2 bucks!

- Picked up a sweet potato at the grocery for a dollar

Want to show you the gorgeous turnips!
And you have a dinner pretty much ready made! Roasted up the sweet potatoes with a little spice, sauteed the turnips in olive oil, cooked the greens in garlic and broth, and grilled up the burgers on the stovetop with nothing but a sprinkle of seasoning! A little salsa and homemade guacamole on the side :)

If I could give every one of you a taste of that meat, I would.  It was heavenly. The fat of the beef was its own sauce, so rich and tasty, it had to have been a sin!

<3 <3 <3 the way we have been eating... it feels so right for my body and my mind and dayyy-um, it tastes good!

Only took me 30 years to figure it out :D

One month of paleo challenge: COMPLETE!

So we (me and Chris) did our one month of paleo, the Whole30 challenge. We did very well! We had two cheat days, pre-planned, because they were planned before we decided to go paleo. I don't regret those cheat days, but I DID learn from them. We added two days to the month-long challenge to make up for our cheats :)

What we gained:

A wake up call (never, ever eating processed food again)

Two stronger bodies

About 15-17 pounds lost between the two of us (9-10 for Chris and 6-7 for me!)

The realization we don't need or want wheat/dairy in our lives (Chris actually had a headache for the first three days while detox-ing from wheat..... it's scary we are that addicted)

A better way to eat for hiking


What we lost:

Nothing! (other than weight)

We weren't ever hungry (in fact, I ate more calories on this plan than I did before it). We didn't miss out on social situations. We have felt better and more energetic day-to-day. Our hiking stamina improved. We are happy :)

So I think from all these gushing positives, it is pretty obvious we are going to be sticking with paleo ;)

We are adding back in natural sugars this week. Not every day and not in significant amounts. But I will use maple syrup to flavor paleo muffins and maybe put a teaspoon of honey in my tea once in a while. We won't be as strict with the no-added sugars as we were this past month. BUT I am ONLY going to eat natural sugars!

I'll let you know how the sugar test goes.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Semester is over!

The class I was teaching assisting for at the university is over. I am spending the day at home grading tests. Hoping to start work as a field archaeologist sooner rather than later this month! Don't need too big of a lag between paychecks, yikes.

I went to yoga early this morning and then rode three miles on the bike. I weighed in after being awake for 3 hours, drinking water and whatnot and weighed in at 130.2. I just really want to get a little lower so I don't see 130 anymore! Vanity, maybe? Hmm.

Had an amazing breakfast that included most of my fruit and veggie servings for the day (even though lunch and dinner will still be veggie heavy too!): mushrooms, tomato, green peppers and onions in my eggs and a coconut milk smoothie I made with BEETS, bananas and strawberries. LOVE.

Not much else going on in my little world. Planning to have friends over this week to cook them a paleo dinner :D and overall just planning for the hike this weekend (second to last hike to become 46ers!!!).

Peace to all of you out there :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Food as fuel!

Like I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to talk about the kinds of foods I eat while hiking or doing other long time duration or long distance activity (like biking).

I don't want to talk about it because I am an expert and trying to tell anyone what to do! I just wanted to make that clear :)

I wanted to talk about it because I feel like I was making some pretty bad choices that were keeping me from my goal that LOOKED like good choices.

Amount of Food!

First: I had to be realistic about how many calories I was ACTUALLY burning during hiking (I will just use hiking as my example from now on). My BMR is somewhere around 1650-1850 by my calculations... I try to eat within this range when not doing a huge activity like a long distance hike.

Last year, for example, I would eat an egg sandwich, tons of trail mix and other snacks, a huge lunch, and a big celebratory dinner after a long hike... I didn't log calories, but 4000 sounds like a reasonable estimate. For a 12 mile hike where I am carrying less than 10 pounds... how many calories do I burn?

It is so CONFUSING. Seriously. So many calorie-burn calculators on the internet tell me I am burning 4000 calories on a hike like that! Also, weird, they say I am burning a similar amount of calories for a full day of downhill skiing.

Then.... why was I putting on weight? I was stuck in a vicious cycle where I was being SUPER active and putting on tons of fat. This went on for over a year and was really demoralizing.

When I started tracking calories, I also made the decision that I wasn't going to overestimate calories burned. I go with an estimate of 100 calories a mile burned while hiking, raising that to 150 when I am carrying over 20 pounds on my back.

This estimate helped me to eat a ton of food but not over eat.

So on a 12 mile hike, I would have about 1200 extra calories to eat on top of my 1650-1850 I would normally eat. That's a ton of food, but my body needed it.

So what's the big deal? Eating about 3000 calories on a 12 mile hike versus eating 4000 calories? A huge deal. It is the difference between weight loss and weight gain. When I am in weight maintenance, I will most likely up my 100 calories a mile burned to about 120 to allow me even more food.

Type of Food!

The other mistake I made was the type of food I brought on a hike. 3000 calories of good, pure fuel that is easy for my body to turn into energy versus 3000 calories of pleasurable, sugary, carb-filled food that made my blood sugar spike and drop is important.

Last year: we ate chocolate, cheese, cliff bars, nuts and dried fruit, bread and freeze-dried backpacker meals (rice and beans make up the majority of them) as our main staples.

This year: we bring tuna, jerky with no nitrates, pre-cooked chicken, pre-roasted sweet potatoes, hard boiled eggs, lara bars, and still nuts and dried fruit (in moderation!).

Protein is the biggest difference here. Also, the only sugars we are getting is natural, from the dried fruit. We eat small handfuls of food about every hour or so (or whenever we feel we need it). It keeps our blood sugars normalized, there is no "bonk," and we have this continual flow of protein into our bodies.

The past four or five hikes we have done (all over 12 miles and with intense elevation change) have been amazing. We have felt clear, bright, focused and never hungry. Both of us seem to have endless energy on these hikes now, whereas in the past, we would get grumpy towards the end and lose our energy to finish.

Plug of my favorite hiking food EVER:



Now: I am NOT a fan of using energy bars as snacks or meal replacements. I think it is ludicrous. But that's just my feelings about it, if it works for you, it doesn't bother me!

For myself, energy bars, whether lara bars or cliff bars or whatever bars, are meant for when you are doing a demanding task (whether it is hiking or building a house or raging a day-long festival or whatever!) and you need a boost of great energy and it doesn't make sense to be eating large portions because you would cramp. They are high calorie, energy dense items that aren't meant to be snacked on without reason.

That being said, Chris and I loooooove Lara Bars. Love. I love how they taste (they all REALLY taste like the item they say they do... carrot cake for the win!). I love how they have very few ingredients (some only have two! ex: the cherry pie only contains dates and cherries!). I love how all their ingredients are whole and pronounceable (dates, nuts, olive oil, fruit). I love the energy they give me to use my body to its fullest.

So I just wanted to gush over them :) And also note that I eat them responsibly. I don't just nom on a 200 calories lara bar for fun while I am watching TV!


Everything I've said here works best for me. I am passionate about it. I think I've stumbled into a really great way of eating. It won't work for everyone. People do things differently and that's okay! I am not trying to tell anyone how to live, only to share my experiences in case someone can learn from them (what to do or NOT to do!).

Excited for my hike this weekend :)

Peace and love!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend adventures!

One overnight in a lean-to, 15 miles, four High Peaks, one slide climb....

An amazing weekend (which isn't even over yet :))

Here are some pictures!

Trout lily at the beginning of our hike! Lots of spring flowers out and about :)

Our dinner: Chorizo and broccoli!

This was the slide I climbed up.... it was steep and had lots of loose rock. I was pretty damned scared!

Cairn! These help guide us on our hikes.

Obligatory couple shot. We had a great time on this hike... it was grueling but we did it together!

Panorama from Elk Lake to Dix Mountain (you can only see the beck horn of it here)

We climbed Macomb, South Dix (Carson), East Dix (Grace), and Hough. Lots of up and down on the hike, even though the mileage was lower than some of our recent hikes, made it very tough!

We are at 42 mountains out of 46 to become Adirondack 46ers :) Super happy and can't wait to make it happen. We have another trip to get a big mountain done next weekend planned.

I weighed in at 128.8 this morning. That's a new number for me (biiiiig smiles). It is also an accomplishment. In the past, both Chris and I would overeat ON the hike and AFTER the hike, because our bodies would be so tired. Too many Cliff bars, too many nuts, sandwiches, and other high calorie foods on the hike. After: whatever caught our fancy at a restaurant, diner, or Stewart's convenience store. Too much!

My post tomorrow: how to participate in high endurance sports (especially hiking) and not fall prey to that trap I fell into so many times.... eating MORE than your body needs. It is so important to fuel your body properly, and it is more about WHAT you eat that counts in these times. We saw a group of 5 older people eating a five pound bag of M&Ms and peanuts during their hike.... that doesn't work for me!

Anyway, hope all you mother's out there have a GORGEOUS Mother's Day. I'll be remembering my mother today :)


Friday, May 11, 2012

Weight, dentist, hiking

Okay, so I have a crazy day ahead of me, but I wanted to report in!

Firstly, I weighed in at 129.0 today. (squeals) Pretty awesome. It might have been the coffee I had yesterday. I don't often have coffee, but when I do, it kind of cleans me out, hahaha. Oh well!

Secondly, I have a dentist appointment early this morning. I broke a tooth when I was younger and they filled it in with filling stuff. It has a dark spot under it now, so they have to clean off the filling and clean out the cavity. If it is too close to my nerve, they are going to do a root canal.......... I am petrified of the dentist and this sends me into a near panic even typing it.


Hoping everything goes quickly and well. I am dreading even the numbing shots!

Breathing more.....

Thirdly, if everything goes well at the dentist and I am not too screwed up by it, we are going to go hiking this afternoon... a backpack into the High Peaks to attempt four more mountains tomorrow. But we will see!

Hope everyone is well out there in blog land!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Holding steady, IBW???, sample day of eating.

I have been holding steady at 130.2 or 130.4 for this whole week. Which rocks, pretty much. I've never held this low of a weight for so many days in a row. I would still like to get down to 125-130, but I am not complaining, either. Just going to keep plugging away.

(note that angered me: my gyno sent me home with a report of my health, BP, and all that... had my height, weight, BMI.... and my IBW, which I learned is my ideal body weight. They put my IBW at 120 pounds. Screw them!!! I am rocking some serious muscle and think I am very healthy. My BP was 104/62!! I just don't think they should be the IBW on this "report", you know? Am I just really sensitive??)

Annnnnyway: My eating has been spotless!

I just wanted to put down what a REALLY great day of eating looks like for me, so if I start slipping up, I can come back and look at this and go "Ooookay, I got off the mark somewhere!"


1 egg 1 egg white with an ounce of chicken and lots of veggies (tomato, mushrooms, onions, broccoli) made with very little oil and topped with salsa and guacamole (small amount of these too)

Pulled pork snack when I visited boyfriend at work :) - made with vinegar, not BBQ sauce
Paleo carrot banana muffin
Red leaf lettuce salad topped with: tuna fish (no mayo), strawberries, and balsamic vinegar

Coconut milk smoothie with banana and strawberries
5 almonds

8 oz of AMAZING sockeye salmon topped with a mango salsa (note to self: this salsa is fresh and amazing: cut up one mango, 1/2 tomato, one avocado, and 1/2 green pepper, squeeze half a lime over it and sprinkle with black pepper.... this is your favorite ever!)
2 oz of roasted sweet potato

Date bar with shredded coconut

With the amounts, I came in around 1750 calories, and had taken some nice long walks to try and make a calorie deficit in the end.

But whatever the case, yesterday was an example of how I would like to (and try to) eat every day. Super fresh, clean, and chock full of veggies and protein. I was never hungry, never tired, and felt like I ate an amazing amount of food, too!

So, self: remember this. Try to emulate this every day. You feel great when you eat like this. GREAT!! No processed foods, no wheats... who cares? You don't need them! You are starting to love yourself and all the great decisions you are making. You need that feeling, for sure :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paleo Mold!

Little surprises all the time, haha!

So, here in NY, it has been warm, wet, and downright muggy for a few days now. Today has been the worst so far.

I opened up my muffin tin, and my paleo carrot banana muffins made with almond flour were moldy! Gaaaaaahhhhhhh :P

For the past month, I've been making these paleo baked goods (mainly made up of either coconut or almond flour, bananas and TONS of eggs) and they have stored very well. But this was in cool, stable weather.

I think these baked goods are very unstable in humid weather. So they are going to be stored in the fridge this summer!

Just a little heads up to any of you who pre-prepare a week's worth of food, that the very UNpreserved nature of paleo food made need a little extra TLC :D

What is a meal?

Some weeks ago, I read another blogger's post (can't remember who) where she was pondering meals and snacks, when to eat them, how much to have.

So I began to think about what constitutes a meal and how many meals we should be eating. Just for fun times, this is nothing serious :)

Philosophically, I don't believe in "mealtimes." Not as a rule. They are cultural, social norms that help us all get together to eat (or to allow workers breaks, etc). "Hey, let's meet up for lunch!" kind of thing. But sometimes, when I am waiting to go to dinner with someone, I get STARVING and I wonder why I am doing that to myself. Waiting for a "mealtime." Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner fits into our society's "clock" and not necessarily our biological clock.

The amount of meals and the TIMING, especially, of meals has varied widely throughout human history ( And that only deals with about 500 years of human history. I am such before agriculture, and its regular daily schedules, humans had more varied eating patterns.

3 meals a day is a good enough rule to keep the body consistently fed and not let our energy drop. But it doesn't always work for me!

I eat when I am hungry. I might eat 8 to 10 times a day, depending on the amounts and the types of food. I might eat 3-4 times a day, especially if it is an inactive day for me. Depending on what a meal is, I might be eating many meals a day or I might just be snacking a lot.

What is a meal? Wikipedia says "meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared food. A meal is different from a snack in that meals are larger, more varied, and more filling, while snacks are more likely to be small, high-calorie affairs; however, any food eaten in small amounts at an unscheduled time can be classified as a snack."

I would venture to say that I don't snack by this definition! Unless I have some almonds or something. Snacks for me are often beets, salads, hard boiled egg, or grapes lately.

Are meals based on calories? Over 500? Over 300? It's all so ephemeral! My breakfast is usually 250 calories (eggs and veggies, with a little chicken usually). But it's my most important "meal" of the day, it gets me going and makes me feel full and energized for hours!

And in the end, I am saying all this, because I don't think any of the semantics matter. Meals, snacks, timing, amount. Cultural norms don't have to be followed. I eat the right amount of food for me daily and I structure it based on my schedule that day, my activity that day, and my general demeanor that day.

Well, that was just a confused little ramble from someone who didn't sleep that good last night.

Namaste :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A little gorgonzola slip up!

In fairness and honesty, I will come clean that I ate a little gorgonzola cheese last night (a shmear). It was off plan and I shouldn't have... but I also am using this month to train myself to LIVE with this eating plan, so I am not displeased with myself either.

Invited to a backyard BBQ last night. I brought lemon marinated asparagus, a strawberry almond salad with red lead lettuce, and an olive oil and rosemary marinated pork loin. I did all this to make sure Chris and I would have tons of options for food.

We did not eat the potatoes or the hot dogs at the BBQ.

However, our good friend bought pricey grass-fed local steaks and stuffed them with gorgonzola and mushrooms... a very lovely and time consuming and expensive meal that he prepared for us. It was a miniscule amount of cheese and I was not about to not partake of his efforts! (Also, the meat was INSANELY good, the best beef I've eaten all year maybe?)

I actually like our little slip up. It showed me I can go to a BBQ, turn down the junk food, not fill up on chips and empty carbs, and still have a little taste of a food I won't usually eat and is not on my daily plan and it is all good :) I was social, did not drink alcohol, had a lovely meal, didn't go over my calories, and ate TONS of protein.

So, gorgonzola aside, a great success!

We were only supposed to "cheat" this month twice (once for the wine trail and once for the chocolate making class.. which is tomorrow, woooo!!) but this is a minor cheat. So I am going to extend the strict Paleo diet for three extra days to make up for our cheats. And then I will start to experiment with some foods to see what should be added back in :)

Had a great yoga class this morning, feeling stretched and calm.

Much love!

Monday, May 7, 2012

New favorite recipe, blood pressure, and hiking pictures :)


So, I first wanted to mention the dinner I had last night that was OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious and SUPER nutritious.

Chorizo-kale-sweet potato soup.

I wish we had leftovers.

First we softened the chorizo and an onion in a big pan, then added diced up sweet potato for ten minutes to continue softening.

We de-stemmed the kale and added it to the pan, covering everything in chicken broth. Spiced it up nice and let it cook till the kale was not bitter anymore.

Done. And soooo tasty. This meal was SO simple (though it took about 50 minutes total to cook everything, there was very little prep work to do. Highly recommended. Just think about the ingredients... the kale and sweet potato are basically "super" foods! I felt great after dinner :)

Blood Pressure

So I had a doctor's appointment last Friday, before I went hiking. And for the first time, I cared about what my blood pressure reading was. I literally never paid any attention when they took my pressure before, thinking I was too young and who cared? But I am 30 now. I am in this healthy lifestyle for the long haul. I want to know my body is functioning well.

My pressure was 104/62. I asked what it meant. She said it was great! Completely normal and healthy. I looked it up later online, just to learn what systolic and diastolic meant. One chart said that the diastolic number (62) fell in the category of "Children and Athletes."

And I smiled and smiled and smiled. I loved to just see that word described me scientifically!

I told Chris about it and he said, "Well, you are an athlete. You ski and hike weekly, and during the week, when you aren't doing those things, you are training for them at the gym."

And I realized, it is true! I am always active, and I do these activities well. I prepare for them at the gym (I always think about climbing mountains when I am there.... what strength exercises or cardio can prepare me best).

So this leads me to my next part of this post...

Hiking Pictures

I felt better than I ever have on this past hike. STRONG. I kept up and sometimes exceeded one of our friends that came with us who is super, super fit. I wasn't tired after 9 miles. My muscles weren't exhausted. They had prepared for the weekend and WOW, did it pay off. I was ecstatic every time we reached a new summit (we hit three High Peaks).

Smiling ear to ear all day, even during the scary parts.... and wow, was there a scary part. There is a cable down the backside of Gothics because it is so steep, it is hard to just walk down. The scariest parts were the slopes right before and after the cable, because they were steep too! I was glad for my upper body work at the gym, because it helped me hold firm to the rope!

So without further ado, here was my weekend:

Squeezing through tight places!

This is me not generally liking this kind of open cliff!
Snow on the top of the mountains!

Panoramic view of the High Peaks region in the Adirondacks

Me and Chris on the top of Gothics

Another "couple" shot
Basin Mountain seen from Gothics

Me conquering another fear, doing the cable route down the back of Gothics!

Stairs put in on a steep section of the Orebed Slide

 So that was my Saturday :) The Friday before was spent in a lean-to by myself for the afternoon while the boys went on a (in my opinion, stupid) slide hike. It rained and the lean-to was next to a river and I had the most beautiful, restful, almost-drugged out blissful afternoon of my life. I read a book and napped and listened to the forest.

We spent a lovely Sunday getting our lives together and the week planned.

And here I am!

Namaste, friends!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

To sum up how I felt this weekend:

I feel like this picture says it all.

I am happy. I feel strong. I had an amazing weekend in one of the prettiest places on earth :)

Over 15 miles hiked, 7 of those with a 35 pound pack!

3 High Peaks in the Adirondacks hiked (Upper Wolf Jaw, Armstrong and Gothics)

4 great people shared the weekend with me (including Chris!) :)

This lifestyle is paying off in numerous ways. I love every picture that was taken of me, even the ones where I am making a stupid face, haha. I ended the hike still feeling great and strong, no body-wrenching exhaustion for me! My pace was quick, my upper body was strong enough to pull me up and keep me safe.

I only want more.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Some pictures, as promised

Thought not my most thrilling or breathtaking hike ever, I am posting some pictures. Letting everyone in on a little piece of my life :)

I am going camping/hiking again in the Adirondacks this weekend. There may be a view or two to share with you all then!

A fork of the Boquet River

My favorite flowers are starting to bloom!! Trillium :)

Me and the guy

We stopped on our way home to visit Roaring Brook Falls by Giant Mountain

So, that was my Tuesday :)

Afterwards, we went to Grandma's to celebrate her birthday. We sat and had a nice talk with her. She's super sharp for 97.

Chris and I both turned down cake, even though it was really hard to do so (one: it feels socially rude to turn down bday cake!, two: my family are Italians and want to make you eat!). But we just told her we weren't eating flour and sugar right now, so we passed.

It felt good. I always eat socially. And I feel weird telling people no! At first, Chris and I decided to just have a little piece of cake and not worry about it. But that is not what this challenge is about. And, doubly so, it is not how I want to live my life. If I don't want cake or can't fit it into my day, why should I eat it? And this was a good step towards caring about my health and my body before social or emotional situations.

We both felt pretty damn good and strong about it!

Might not blog again till Sunday/Monday since I will be leaving early tomorrow for the camping trip!

Stay beautiful!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Up a little...

And to be expected.

I am up to 131.

It's fine! I would have been THRILLED TO DEATH a month ago to have weighed 131. So I am in a good place mentally :)

It just reaffirms that I have to stay on track and focused if I want to get down to where I am bouncing around between 125 and 129 and don't have to worry about the 130s anymore. I'd like to be at a place where a little drinking on the weekend won't put me into the 130s. Which means I have to be fit and eating clean 99% of the time!

I am willing to work on this. More than willing.

I am struggling with the effects of the wine trail, though. I am hungier for the past three days. I want JUNK. I want cake and candy and potato chips. I haven't craved those in weeks. So, big surprise that after a day of eating fudge and cheese and wine, I all of a sudden have these cravings back! Makes me want to stay a little farther away from the indulgences, haha.

Also, something of note. I started paleo because I was interested in how it claimed to reduce inflammation. I have some chronic itchy rashes on my legs... or did, before paleo. I struggled with them for a long time, they bothered me a lot. Tried creams and good soaps and etc etc. Then: eliminated bread and dairy (which I think dairy IS a big culprit in a lot of my digestive issues) and the rashes were gone!

But... after this weekend of a day off plan. They are back.

I don't think this is a big coincidence.

Another boost of confidence that paleo is really a good way for me to eat for the long haul!

I don't want cravings. Or rashes. Or weight gain.

I want clear skin and low body fat and to eat food to fuel my body to live my life!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hiked today: didn't summit!

Chris and I played hookey today and went up to the Adirondacks, looking to do one of the 8 High Peaks we have left to do.

It was a bushwhack, however. That means that there is no trail, not even a semi-defined herd path, no blazes and no help. We had to rely on GPS, compass, maps and our eyes to get to the top. The first two miles were very easy as they were well used by other people to get to a hunting camp. Then the trail stopped completely and it took us over an hour to go about a mile up a ridge. Fog was rolling in, it was lightly raining, and we were taking compass readings every five minutes.

Slow going.

It was around 11 o'clock when we got to our first landmark. I had to be back home by 6 to go to my Grandma's birthday. We knew there was no way we were going to make it. Also, it was rainy and there were no views. Aaaaaaand... we were slightly unsure about the way and how long it would take us. I didn't want to be in the middle of a forest in the dark (even though I had my headlamp, without a trail, that's unnerving).

So we made the decision to turn around. It was hard, I was a little upset about not finishing. But it was totally the right decision.

We hiked out the 3 miles, drove down the road a little to go to a huuuuge waterfall (Roaring Brook Falls) and enjoyed some time there before heading home.

Not technically successful, but we had a good time! We learned some lessons about bushwhacking (it took longer than we thought!) and ourselves and were active for about 5 hours today.


I'm pretty happy. We are hiking and camping this weekend, so we went and shopped for food for that today, got my Grandma some roses, and now we are off to say Happy Birthday to her! (She is 97!)

Pictures of the hike coming soon :)