Friday, November 30, 2012

Like an idiot....

I backed my car into a tree last night while trying to parallel park (the tree was sticking about half a foot into the street, urg).....

Cracked my bumper, destroyed my taillight.

Because I SURELY needed that. I TOTALLY have the money to fix it. EVERYTHING is going well for me. (please read all the very strong sarcasm in the previous statements!!!)

I just... am overwhelmed.

I wish my dad was here :(

I can't stop crying this morning.

I feel like every little thing that can go wrong, is. I miss the stable, strong rock my dad always was. He made things not seem so bad or overwhelming. He was there.

I'm so sad.

I'm so mad at myself!!!

Got to make it through the workday, bring the car in.... see what kind of damage is done and figure out how to fix it.

Not a great day. Crying at work. Feeling the dark clouds. Wearing a baseball hat because I didn't have time to shower this morning. I feel kind of gross and stupid and worthless. Like I don't know how to live. Not really sure how to snap out of it.

Hoping putting all these feelings down on "paper" will help me shed them.... at least enough that I can get through the workday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Other people's coffee habits... Whoa!!!

I'll preface this by saying I didn't start drinking coffee till about three years ago, so when I was 27. Hated the taste, thought it was a weird thing people did.

Then, I started dating Chris and I needed a lot more energy than was humanly possible hahaha!

I started getting fancy coffee drinks with lots of milk and syrups and crap. Quickly realized that was a silly waste of calories and started weaning myself down to drinking black coffee (usually hazelnut coffee!) and sometimes adding skim milk. This is the only dairy I consume, and the tablespoon or two doesn't really affect me at all.

Chris is and always has been a black coffee drinker. As a treat, he will sometimes use cream, but it's not the norm.

So, onto my story:

I went down to the Green Mountain coffee kiosk that I love so much, got my coffee and went to add some skim milk. There was a line...

One man was filling an empty cup halfway with half and half. Half and half!!!!! Do you want some coffee with that cream, sir? Good Lord!

A girl about my age was taking up the rest of the counter, taking her time adding SIX sugar packets to her already very light small coffee.

Now, it could have been their weekly treat to themselves, but I'm guessing not.

It just shocked me this morning, is all. Thinking about how many state workers in my building are downing 2 - 300 calories once or more a day for COFFEE. It seems like such a waste. I get all the benefits and pleasure from coffee for about 20 calories.

And I didn't start out on black coffee... I taught my taste buds to enjoy it without cream and sugar because I knew it was better in the long run. It only took about a month to wean down to black coffee from a very light and sweet coffee.

Now, if a sweet coffee is your treat, that's your prerogative! Just something I noticed and thought about today.

Little changes make a big difference!

Eating seasonally..

I definitely eat seasonally. I have to, because I eat local as much as I can: what is for sale at the farmer's market from the local farms is what I buy. When I shop at the grocery store, I buy what's on sale... which is often the things that can be grown seasonally because they didn't have to import them from Brazil or something!

This means I eat a ton of fruit (melons and berries!) in the summer and overdose on squash and root vegetables in the winter.

This feels right to me. Even though I get a very different nutrition profile depending on the month, I never feel like I am depleted in any way. I want to go to a nutritionist, get that all confirmed!

Now, ideally, I would eat seaonally based on my ancestry (what the Irish or the Sicilians ate seasonally) because that's what's in my blood, basically. My genes, my evolution... all based on those diets. However, that's a little TOO much work for me.

Sticking with the seasons of the Northeast to ensure I support my local farms :)

I noticed this when I went to go buy my veggies today... I realized I haven't eaten much fruit at ALL in the past few weeks. While, this summer, I was eating about 4 pieces of fruit a day! I thought I was sugar loading because it tasted good... but I just naturally decreased my fruit consumption as the season changed.

Feels very natural and easy.

Another thing I will mention that I heard some time ago: our bodies are atuned to the seasons in a ton of ways, not just with food. But with temperature. Some silly article somewhere recommended not turning the thermostat up too high to mimic summer/spring temps in the winter. It suggested letting your body naturally adjust to cooler temperatures, let your metabolism WORK (it's related to keeping you warm.. burns fuel to do so) and not just keep everything at an even keel all year.

I wonder how much truth there is to that? It kind of makes sense to me.

I keep my thermostat low because I am cheap... but if it is helping my body learn to work, so be it :D

It's getting coooold up here in the northeast... snowing lightly when I let the dog out this morning!!

Keep warm, live well, smile :D

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pre-planned lunches

I made four of these on Monday night do lunch would be SUPER easy, clean, and nutritious for my whole week!

It is my favorite squash bowl!!!

Acorn squash halves baked and filled with ground turkey (natural, no antibiotics), mushrooms, green peppers and onion :)

I wrapped each half in foul so I could just grab them out of the fridge in the morning.

Love it! Takes just a little bit of time at the beginning of the week and I don't have to rely on frozen lunches full of preservatives or a crappy bought lunch.

Also: it's really cheap... And I have no money, so that works, heh.

Eat well and be merry :)

Just keeping honest!

Just a quick post to keep me honest :D

Weight is holding steady. I am eating really clean this week. Feels great, actually.

Still not paleo, sigh... even though I know that's what's best for my body, it is SO HARD to get on that wagon. I am gluten-free, though, which helps. I am getting those rashes on my legs again... the ones I get when I am eating things that inflame my body.

So, honesty: I don't care that I am inflaming my body right now. I am eating my damned gluten free bread. UGH. Why? I don't know.

Actually, today I made the decision NOT  to buy the bread this week (I buy it on Wednesdays at the Farmer's Market)... so when I run out around Friday/Saturday, I won't have anymore. We'll see how it goes. It is such a nice easy pleasureable snack.

Everything else I am eating is pretty much strictly proteins, veggies, with a few nuts and fruits thrown in. So that front is doing well!

Walking everyday, at work and for the dog. Doing a few strength exercises in the evening. Ones that don't make my shoulder go OW.

So... there's my admissions for the day:

I am not doing everything perfectly.

I am eating clean and in reasonable portions.

I am staying active.

My weight is good.

My energy is PRETTY good (I get exhausted by about 7, haha, the days are so full!)


It's good for me to write that stuff down. I know I can do better. I don't want to hurt my body by feeding it things that hurt it.

Namaste, friends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shoulder injury (and why that's NOT an excuse)

So, I haven't really mentioned this to you guys, mostly because I've been in a kind of denial about it myself. (I don't GET hurt, I am always fine!!! ... why do I think I am invincible?)

Starting in August, my shoulder started to hurt. It only really hurt when I was shoveling/etc for work. Then, my dad passed and I stopped doing field work to work in the lab. So, I figured, my shoulder would start to heal because I wasn't using a shovel/pick ax/whatever anymore.

Wrong.Very wrong.

It's been hurting a lot more lately. Doing stupid things like pulling my hair off my shoulder or pushing the clothes to the side in the closet. Uck.

My soon-to-be sister-in-law is a physical therapist and we saw her at Thanksgiving. She did an examination and told me it looked like I had bruised the tendon that runs through my shoulder joint and down my bicep. She recommends physical therapy, ibuprofen and perhaps a cortizol shot in a month or two if nothing improves, just to get the swelling down and let it heal.

Okay. Things to work on. Will do!

HOWEVER, she tested my general shoulder strength and was pleased I haven't stopped using my shoulder because it hurts. Everything except one or two specific movements is strong. (the one that required me to use my bicep muscles when my arm is raised is the weak spot) She cautioned against relying on my "good" shoulder because if I favor one shoulder, the other will start to deteriorate, freeze up, and then it's a big problem.

So. Keep using my arm and my muscles like normal. Don't be afraid of the pain. Do physical therapy stretches. Take ibuprofen.

Get back to normal!

I want to nip this in the bud early. I am kind of mad at myself for waiting four months to even seek out a little bit of help on this matter. I don't want to be laid up, using an injury as an excuse as to why I am gaining weight, why I can't participate.

Also: down to 124 after three days of clean eating post-Thanksgiving :)


Monday, November 26, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Weigh In/Non-forgiving Dress

Chris and I got right back on track after some Thanksgiving indulgences. Ate more than was necessary, but didn't go crazy. No 3000 calorie meals for us!!

Weighed in this morning at 125. So, no real damage done. It is on the higher end of my acceptable weight range. So, I am marking it mentally, tightening the reins, and looking to get back to a more comfortable weight (I like 122 a lot, I feel like I look and feel my best there).

Last holiday season, I lost weight. It felt AMAZING. I loved not being one of those people who gain 7-10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years.

I like feeling/looking h-o-t on New Years Eve. It is a great way to start the year. Starting the year fit and healthy means I don't have to make any resolutions I don't mean to keep... I am already where I want to be and I just have to stay there!

Also, I just ordered a very NON-FORGIVING dress, that I would like to wear for New Years.

So excited!! It's the Cathedral dress from Black Milk Clothing. I've never ordered any of their stuff before (as I said... not forgiving clothing, haha)... I am hopeful that the size I ordered fits and looks good. I would love to rock this dress for one of the New Years shows I am going to!

I will let you know how it looks when it comes... and if it doesn't look horrible, I'll post a picture :D

Have a good day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Hike Since My Dad Died...

And it was bittersweet.

And kind of hard.

I am a little out of shape. And tired. Obviously still dealing with a bit of depression. I wanted to hide under the covers this morning.

But I got out my cold weather gear, loaded up the dog with Chris, and headed down to the Catskills to give it a go.

Here's how it turned out:

I'm a little exhausted. We were only gone for about six or so hours, but wow. My energy is at an all time low!

But, we had a nice time, regardless. Koda, especially, had a ton of fun, and slept for the entire ride back. It felt good to hike, we did a little over four miles and about 1500 feet of elevation gain. Not too shabby.

It felt good to not give into the urge to just curl into a puddle of mush with the cat and sleep the day away.

Still have a little of my fire left :)

Though.... winter hiking doesn't hold the same appeal as it did last year. It's just a lot of planning and organizing and worrying. And it's harder: slippery and such. I think I am just out of the loop right now, kind of flailing around and hoping for the best. 

We will see if I do another hike soon or not. Either way, this DID remind me that I like to be active. My body feels good when it is active. More rowing coming this week. Also, my boss has me scheduled to work out in the field for three days next week... it will be nice to not sit at a desk all day!

Onwards and upwards, friends :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not the best, not the worst!

Quick holiday check in:

I would say I didn't eat perfectly on plan, had an extra helping if stuffing and a crescent roll I shouldn't.. Ate extra bacon in the morning, etc. I would also I ate better than any other year during Thanksgiving!

Also: stuck with my word and didn't have any alcohol!!!

Not drinking probably contributed to the fact that I ate better... I had more control and better sense :D

There was some family stress and drama, but overall I had a pretty relaxing holiday. Ready to pick Koda up from boarding and take a hike this weekend!

Pretty thankful, really hopeful.

Have a good one friends :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

200th Post

Okay, wow. 200 posts. A lot has changed since my First Post.

Here is a list of the difference 8 months and 200 posts can make:

- I am down to a range of 123-125 lbs from 136 lbs

- I eat a mainly paleo diet (90-95% of my food is paleo)

- I eat a 99% gluten free diet

- I have maintained my lowest adult weight for so many months now, I believe it is real (I once touched 131 5 years ago, but never really got to linger below 135 for long... 140 was more the norm)

- I am a 46er (hiked NY's 46 tallest mountains)

- I did my first mud run

- I am engaged

- I took my first two week vacation with the love of my life

- My dad died

- I live in my childhood home

- I inherited my dad's dog

- My job ends in December and I can't go back to it (no more traveling for me with the house and the dog)

- I have a summer teaching job: I will be running my OWN class I need to prepare for


I think this maybe is the most tumultuous 8 months of my entire life.

And you were all here to witness it!

It's kind of crazy. I wonder why, at this point in my life, at 30 years old, I decided to start a blog. And it just so happened to coincide with the biggest changes in my life (as far as diet, love life, financial life, pets, living situation and family life go). It seems... serendipitous.

This blog has helped me stay sane and focused while some of the best and worst things have happened to me. I am grateful.

My health is so important to me. Feeling strong and proud has translated into all parts of my life... it has allowed me to get through so much, even the current grief and depression I still feel tugging at my heart.

I am also glad for this record of my life.

It has allowed me to see change is possible. That I can do a lot. That I am a capable woman.

I will not fall apart.

My heart is really so full. I have a new appreciation for life: my life, others lives. I want to grab everyone I love and hold them close, experience this life with them, know that all these breaths and all these moments are precious. Because they are. And I am not going to waste a single one of them (by burying myself in food, by being unhealthy/unenergetic/etc, by not participating, by opting out, by isolating myself.... NONE of these will happen again. I choose life).

I love you all. I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving and can see it for what it really is: a chance to share, to be grateful, to let those you love KNOW you love them. Enjoy every smile, every conversation. I know I will.

Namaste. Truly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaching job!

Ok, so it's not much, but I am excited!

I got hired to teach one course at the state university this summer :D

The experience is going to be great and I am really amped to have this on my resume. Hoping this will spur me into bigger and better things.

I'm still nervous about finances, the fact that I will be unemployed for the winter and spring, wondering what all is going to come in the future.

This is a step, though. I am excited to tackle it!

Just wanted to pop in and share that with you all because I am a little giddy, heh.

Cardio and Cameras

So last night's post was successful! No Kahlua and hot chocolate for me. I did have 30 calories of almond milk with 30 calories of chocolate. But whatever. Way better than the 200+ calories "treat" I had originally, insanely, planned on.

Felt better today :)

Weighed in at 125 today, like I have been for the past three days. Payment for drinking for over a week straight, I imagine. Consequences are real, got to deal with them, accept them and do it better.

Going to be decently busy tonight: prepping for my trip to Chris' parents, packing up Koda and filling out the paperwork for his boarding, and doing all the other house related things I need to be doing.

I plan to row for 20 minutes tonight! I only got to about 15 minutes last night. It's a toughie of a workout! And since I haven't worked out in so long, my cardio is not up to snuff. I am going to use my hand weights and do some strength exercises afterwards. Feels good to use my body again. I am looking forward to Thursday and Friday, I love the long walks Chris and I take up by his parents, they are really beautiful.

I studied my dad's camera last night. He has a really nice digital camera... it is one of those ones that looks like it's not digital, has interchangeable lenses, lots of manual control. It takes GORGEOUS pictures. I snapped a bunch of the cat and dog last night :) I am going to bring it while we are out at his parents and take some nice pictures.

Wish I had more pictures of my dad. He hated having his picture taken, especially in the last ten years. I think he didn't like the way he looked because he was overweight. He was a trim and very handsome man for most of his life. I think it was hard for him to connect his mental image of himself with what happened to him later in life.

Taking that as a lesson:

Don't let yourself go so much that you don't want to see yourself in pictures, creating a situation in which you don't take pictures with your kids. :(

This is for life. I want this now and I want this in the future.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Posting instead of drinking a hot chocolate with Kahlua....

You know, because I said I wanted to put the breaks on my drinking! Mostly because alcohol is numbing AND because I have been treating wine/liquor as a dessert or treat. Not good.

About two hours ago, I ate a nice dinner of a turkey burger and baked sweet potato, with tomatoes and onions on the burger. I had some gluten free bread as a bun (still not 100% paleo). Still, really yummy and filling and only about 450 calories, which is where I like my calories to be for the day.

After dinner, I thought... hmmm, a nice hot chocolate with Kahlua would be nice while I hang out with the dog this evening!

Well, I just got off the rowing machine. Thought about the drink again.

Then, I thought, REALLY?!?!

You just exercised, burned MAYBE 50 calories, and you want to have a non-nutritious dessert drink when you aren't even hungry!


So I am posting. Putting it out there. Making it concrete so that I won't trot off into the kitchen and make myself a drink because I am all alone and no one would know but me.

Me knowing is a pretty good reason to not do it, though.

I want to feel good about myself tonight. And tomorrow. And the next day.

So, I am going to have a drink of water, watch TV with the pup and get to bed early.

Good night!!


I am going to try my best this Thanksgiving holiday to truly, truly be thankful for the amazing gifts I have been given.

One of those gifts include my body. And if I am thankful for it, genuinely, I won't over-do it on Thanksgiving. I am going to track my food, go on a long walk with Chris in the Root Glen as is our tradition, and feel good about myself that day and all the rest of the days.

Being thankful for something, to me, means that you don't take it for granted.

Chris and Koda went on a super long hike in the High Peaks on Sunday. I couldn't go because I had a bridal shower to attend (which had a small amount of pretty healthy food options, I liked my choices!). I did drink mimosas... a lot, though. I feel like I am turning into a bit of a lush. I had at least one drink every night last week.

Today starts my prohibition on drinking for a while!

I was starting to rely on the alcohol to lift my spirits and bring me somewhere else... I am well aware that I am still grieving and more than a little depressed, but I think if I stop turning to alcohol to soothe those problems, I will be able to deal with them a little better.

Going to jump on my rowing machine after work today :D

Chris is out in Utica for work, and his parents live very close to there, so he is just going to stay out there for the week (even though we have Thur/Fri off) and I am going to join him on Wednesday. Koda is going to be boarded for three days... I am nervous/excited to see how it goes! If it goes well, it opens up a lot of doors for us for potentially getting out of the house for a weekend without the dog.

I've been a bad blogger this weekend. A little too much social time and drink will do that to a girl. Blogging keeps me super honest and super focused. I love reading inspirational blogs. Got to do that today and the rest of the week to keep me on track!

Peace and love, my friends.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Row, row, row your boat

Okay. Nice. Worked out for the first time since mid-September last night. (I've done some little hikes and that mud run, but those were more activities than exercise!) I rowed while I watched The Office!

Um. Super hard.

At the beginning of the year, when I was really working out hard... cardio every day, strength every other day, and getting kind of really ripped... the rower was my favorite workout. It wasn't EASY but it was do-able and fun.

I am a little out of shape (cringe).

I was burning after two minutes! I had to break after ten minutes, did some squats, then tried again.

It is going to take some time to get back to where I was. But I want it!

Also, weighed in today. Felt like it was time to be accountable for my actions (especially since I've been discussing/thinking about people who talk but don't do). I weighed in at about 123 (I have two scales, one weighed me in at 122, the other at 124... most of my weights are averages of the two readings.)


I definitely want to get my bad-disordered-emotional eating under control. It's not healthy to think of food like I do sometimes. BUT, I am not piling on the weight, either. I am still tracking (even when I admit to you that I had a cookie or too much wine). I am still 90% paleo. I would say I am 95% completely clean in my eating, as well. I cook for myself twice a day. No store bought meals for me! I don't lay around all day, I am decently active.

The hard and fast rules worked in the past, and they are working now, even when life is going all crazy!

I am not going to get off this path. Common sense works. Clean, whole foods heal your body. Food is medicine. Food is fuel. Activity is important. Moderation is important.

This is for life :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Booyah!! Rowing machine!!

Did it, yeah!

Putting things together is often frustrating for me... And it usually turns out a little wonky on me, heh.

This went well!! I'm pleased :)

Got to run and grab the dog from daycare, but I'm totally using this baby tonight :D

Going to be honest about this cookie...

It is lunch time.

I am eating a gluten-free cookie (soooo much better for me than a normal cookie hahahaha... sarcasm there) and drinking a coffee.

There is a LOVELY chicken sausage and vegetable mix in a tupperware right next to me, next to a tupper ware of sauteed brussels sprouts.

And I am eating a cookie first.

I really don't know why I let the old, bad habits, obese mindset get into my head. I thought about it on the escalator up to my floor. "Hmmm, that cookie is going to taste good this afternoon" (First of all, why I am thinking about my afternoon snack at 11:30 in the morning) "You know what? Food always tastes better when you're hungry. And you're hungry. Eat the cookie now and it will taste AMAZING. You don't want to be too full for it, who cares if you don't eat your lunch!!!"

Uhhhh. It wasn't till I sat down to the computer to do my normal lunchtime blog reading that I realized what I had done!

I was reading Norma and Kelly and Jenn (my three favorite blogs to read and be inspired by)... and I realized, none of those women are acting like I am right now. They are all busting their butts, working out hard, getting or staying right on track.

I'm a mess sometimes.

So, the cookie is gone. Yes, it was delicious. Kind of amazing, really. But it's over now. So, uh, great. Not doing anything for me long term. Just filled up my belly and left me with a vague sense of regret.


Anyway, to end on a positive note, I got something pretty stellar in the mail last night: A ROWING MACHINE. I seriously love rowers. They are fun for me, get my heart rate up, and I love how my arms look after using one for a few days. There was a groupon for a pretty nice one, so I jumped on it. I know I am still a little too insane/exhausted/depressed to get my butt to the gym... but I am not too insane/exhausted/depressed to do a little rowing while I watch a show in the evening!

Tonight, while the dog is still at daycare, I am going to attempt to assemble the rower. I will post a picture of the finished product if I am successful, haha :)

Ups and downs, my friends, ups and downs. Here's to making sure there are WAY more ups than downs, though!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wedding Dress, Coffee Addiction, and Over Doing It.

Yesterday, I went to go pick up my wedding dress.

I was a little underwhelmed. They had to order the dress a size bigger than my original purchase, because it didn't fit around my chest (and there is NO weight to be lost in my chest, haha). But now, I have a size 8 dress... and it literally falls off of me unless I hold it up. It's big and boxy and has no shape. But there is no point in altering it now, because the wedding is 10 months away (oh. wow. only ten months?? holy crap).

I know it shouldn't matter. But I wanted to look in the mirror and feel beautiful yesterday. I felt like a two year old wearing her mother's dress... I felt silly and little girl-like.

Eh, well. I packed it away in the spare closet and won't bother with it again till about June!

I might be a little complain-y right now because I didn't have coffee today. I am really starting to rely on the little boost of energy I get from coffee, which I tend to drink between 10 - 11 AM. So, being the control freak that I am, I told myself, no coffee today. You will not rely on outside stimulants to live your life. Hahahaha. I am going to stick to the no coffee thing today, even though my brain is begging me for it!!

I knew I never wanted to be someone who needed a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning. I easily follow my rule of not (usually) drinking coffee before 10 AM. I like drinking it then, because it gets me through the mid-day work slump easily.

But now, I am a droopy mess, writing this at lunchtime, ready to take a nap! Going to go get some fresh air and a walk in a few minutes to help with that problem.

Last night, I had two big glasses of red wine and an Italian meal prepared by my friend who is going to be making that same dish this weekend in a competition (had to help her taste test, of course!). Definitely not on plan. The calories weren't outrageous because the portions were very reasonable, but I definitely consumed pasta and meat with preservatives and cheese... and wine. Not on plan at all.

I am purposely bowing out of a social gathering tonight to make sure I don't drink or snack extra. I am starting to enjoy that social eating and drinking too much, so it is time to take a break.

Also, I think Koda would enjoy an entire evening at home with me. He is becoming such a good, good dog. I am glad I struggled through the hardest times last month, it was worth it, even though it almost reduced me to a drooling pile of exhaustion!

Koda is a little calmer, learning the rules a little better, and all the exercise is DEFINITELY helping his mental state. Also, I think he is starting to heal from losing my dad. He doesn't seem as anxious or stressed. I am trying to get there myself :)

Alright, time to go shake off this sleepiness so that I can finish up my work day,

Namaste, friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reading ingredient lists!

So I've been seeing around in the world (health news, podcasts, etc) the new push for people to read ingredient lists rather than just the nutrition label on food. I realized I had slowly morphed into doing this for myself over the past few years!

Now, obviously, one of the golden rules is: don't buy foods with labels on them! (goes right along with shopping along the perimeter of the store).

And if I was perfect, I wouldn't buy food with labels... it would be all fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and nuts!

But I am far from perfect :)

And some things I consider GOOD still have labels on them (which are important to read!), like coconut milk, frozen berries, and ketchup!!

First off, those nutritional labels can be downright misleading. For example, there is a law that says if there is a certain amount of trans fat in a product  (if less than 1 gram of trans fat per serving), the producers can "round down" to 0.... so producers will make whatever gross transfatty product they are selling a small enough portion size so that they can claim there is "0" trans fat in the serving size. All the while, people are eating 3, 4, 5 servings and getting a ton of trans fat in their diets.

Best way to combat that situation: don't just look at the labels and scan down to the trans fat line.... READ THE INGREDIENTS. If there are any hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list, you are consuming trans fats.

Second, I always look in the ingredient list for high fructose corn syrup. If I see that crap in the ingredients for my ketchup, I don't buy it. And almost ALL ketchup has HFCS, I often have to do some serious reading in the condiment aisle to find something made with just tomato and vinegar and sugar. (yes, I totally eat sugar)

And just a general rule I follow: if something HAS a label (eg. is not a whole food), I make sure all the ingredients IN that product are whole foods. No chemicals allowed. For example, when I buy mixed frozen berries, I make sure the ingredients are: raspberries, blueberries, etc. NOT sugar. Fruit has sugar already, I don't need extra :D

It's just that the food manufacturers are so damned sneaky, trying to make you feel like you are doing a good thing by buying their products, when in reality, you're just filling your body with junk.

So, my rules I live by:

- TRY not to buy items that have labels (buy whole foods)
- If an item has a label, read the ingredient list
- If there are chemicals, trans fats, etc in the ingredient list, put it back

One quick note before I get off my soapbox: I don't eat wheat products any more, but for those of you who do, make sure to read the ingredients on your bread! If it says, enriched bleached whole wheat (or some combination), PUT IT BACK. What that basically means is that they have so over-processed the wheat, that they had to put a few vitamins in it to make sure their bread wasn't totally nutritionally devoid. No where near the actual real nutrients you would have gotten from real, unprocessed whole grains. So be savvy!

Keep an eye out for yourselves and your health, it's a dangerous world out there :)


Monday, November 12, 2012

Eating the same breakfast every day...

Chris and I have definitely gotten into a pretty strict habit when it comes to breakfast...

And it's so good for me, I don't wan to change a thing!

Whoever wakes up first or whoever isn't on "dog duty" starts chopping vegetables... I think we might eat almost half our daily recommended veggies for breakfast, which is awesome. We do peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes usually... throwing in other odds and ends, depending what's in the house. Saute those up, then add in two eggs per person. Voila!

We also usually have two slices of turkey bacon per person as well, mm.

It starts my day off so right: TONS of protein and vegetables. That's it. We don't eat toast or anything else with it. It is still full of fiber from the veg, so I stay full on that and the protein.

Chris made the whole breakfast for me this morning while I took care of some things. Super nice :)

The dog is pretty tired from his long weekend with us. We are exhausting him, which I never would have thought possible. I love it when he is all squishy and cuddly!

About to head out and use this extra weekend day to it's fullest: going to get rid of some extra furniture, get some coffee, bring Koda to the petstore so he can get a treat while we pick up cat litter, and then dive right back into organizing the house.... I am trying to tackle the basement, which is so cluttered and confusing to me, but I am chipping away at it. :)

Namaste, friends, I hope your day is full of love and health!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Long weekends mean lots of work...

So, a quick accountability mention since I haven't told you my weight in a while: 125. It's on the high end of the spectrum that I like (120-125 is acceptable weight to me) so definitely trying to be conscious and make better choices to get that number a little more in the middle. It is definitely easy to gain weight with Chris around... he helps me relax, takes some of the chores off my shoulders, I eat more regularly with him here. But, no excuses, still need to keep an eye on my weight and health!

Just a few short weeks ago, long weekends meant sleeping in, doing tons of fun stuff, going on hikes, hanging with friends.

We've got a lot done on the house this week. Chris cleaned up the yard (oh my god. so many leaves.)

Moving things around. Figuring out the basement. Trying to make space. Cleaning things that haven't been moved/cleaned in 20 years.

Starting to see some potentials for this house, lights at the end of the tunnel.

Taking the dog on lots of long walks, trying to exhaust him :)

But I am EXHAUSTED. I took a nap for the first time in months today. Just could not keep my eyes open.

Going to make butternut squash bowls filled with sauteed ground turkey and veggies (again). It is definitely a favorite dinner of mine. Squash, so yum. Meat and veg, so filling.

Sorry for the kind of disjointed, half-sentences kind of post. I really do feel out of it! But, like the advice I give other people, I am just keeping on. If I do it, just keep doing it, eventually it will all work out and I will feel better again. I won't always be sad and exhausted!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend, and thank you to all the veterans out there <3

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This is the shopping haul of a clean/paleo eater!

Meat. Eggs. Vegetables.

All of it is natural, no hormones, no antibiotics.

The only things that have an "ingredient list" are the turkey bacon and chicken sausage. The t-bacon has nitrates and it is my one purposeful bad choice I make... No one is perfect!! :)

But I am trying hard, trying my best, and making sure my house is full of food that heals me from the inside out.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grief strikes out of the blue...

So, if you could tell from my past couple of posts, I've been feeling pretty good. Like this is all possible. (Chris being here this week is one of the reasons I can feel that way!).

I don't feel so overwhelmed. I see that the house will get put together, my life will get put together, and we can be happy.

Then, on my coffee break this morning, I went downstairs at work to mail a letter.  It is my life insurance. Something my dad started and paid for me. Kept for me. Life insurance. If I die.... my dad is dead. We used his life insurance to pay for his funeral. Because he's dead.


Started to cry a little bit in the hallway. :(

But, it's okay. It's okay now. I understand I am going to feel this way on and off. I miss him. I'm going to feel that.

I wanted to share something I heard while listing to an older Savage Love Podcast (so bored doing menial tasks at work, I listen to a lot of podcasts!). Someone had called in, grieving, recently having lost her fiance. Dan Savage brought up something he had heard (I think about 9/11) by the Queen of England:

Grief is the price we pay for love. - The Queen of England

It is a price we should all pay willingly, because a life without love is a life of constant grief. A life with love is a life with moments and seasons of grief. - Dan Savage

And that was Dan's thoughts on the matter.

It's true.

I'd pay this price a million times over (and I am scared I will have to :( ) in order to love and be loved and have love in my life. When death happens, this is the price for that love. But I wouldn't change it for all the world.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Favorite snack of the month:


About 3/4 a cup of Amande almond milk yogurt (100-130 calories) and a mix of frozen blueberries/raspberries/mango/whatever strikes my fancy. In the morning, I put the yogurt into a small tupper ware, throw the frozen berries in, and by the time I eat it later in the afternoon, the berries are half thawed, have leaked their juices into the yogurt and still have a little pleasant crunch!

Seriously. The sweetness of the berry juice (they are unsweetened frozen berries... I buy the organic ones even!) is amazing. There is NO NEED to buy those pre-mixed yogurts that have all that added sugar and preservatives in them. Berries are natural sugar and out of this world. Also, the bags I buy have the servings listed as TWO and each serving is 60 calories. I make those bags last me 5 or 6 servings, so this snack is always under 200 calories, which is a perfect pick me up :)

I always forget I've packed this little treat and get so excited when I pull it out of my lunchbox. Mmm!

Also, the plain Amande yogurt ( is SO good. There is something really delicious about it... it doesn't exactly taste like almonds, it's got it's own thing going on.

I don't get paid to rave about things I love, I just want to share them with the world, haha. Give it a try!

So much less stress!

It is amazing. Chris being here is so, so, so good.

Glad I am marrying him :) He obviously makes my life better!

It stinks that he has to travel for work most of the year. But it is making me appreciate the times he is here.

I gain weight when he is here, haha, I think just because my stress levels immediately decrease when he is here. Hugs, and reassurance, and help with the dog, and someone to eat dinner with so I make a better dinner.

I am relaxed for the first time in a long time this week. Sleeping a lot, getting some chill out time, it is really really nice.

The house and my life are still a horrible mess, though, and my to-do list is a mile long.


We have a three day weekend this weekend and we have no plans so far. Hopefully we can make a little dent in that list. :)

I didn't know what to do for dinner last night, so I roasted some sweet potatoes and made an avocado, onion, mushroom and bacon (half real bacon, half turkey bacon haha) little salad to put on top of them. It was weird but really delicious! Duh, bacon and avocado and sweet potatoes... no way that wasn't going to taste good.

I also drank wine last night while we had our Survivor night with friends.

So high calorie day, going to do a lower calorie day today to balance that all out.

Hope everyone is having a good day, still thinking of those in NY/NJ (a lot of my friends are affected by this storm, many just getting power back in the past couple of days), and hoping this crazy, weird, kind of dark part of the year starts to brighten up!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Simple roasted chicken = super tasty nice times

Just had an amazing dinner, totally paleo, very little prep time.

I splurged and got the free range, no antibiotic whole chicken (1.99/lb instead of 1.29/lb for the normal chicken).

It. Was. So. Worth. It.

Seriously, we lightly sprayed the chicken with olive oil to get a little but of pepper and herbs to stick, then plopped the sucker down in a roasting pan on top of a layer of cut up parsnips, carrots and celeriac.

The chicken needed almost nothing, it was naturally one of the tastiest chickens I've ever had! The veggies cooked in the chicken's juices and were perfectly tender and tasty!

Protein and vegetables for dinner, just the way my body likes it :)

AND a one pan meal is always super awesome because of the lack of dishwashing! Aaaaand we have delicious leftovers for lunch (I live making a yummy paleo dinner and having it for lunch the next day... Takes a lot of the guesswork out of things... Reduces the chance I'll eat something that isn't quite good for me)

So, yep, just wanted to share that eating right can be simple, tasty and totally awesome :)

No excuses thus holiday season everyone, no excuses!

Because it's hard... (another wake, my mom, trying to do this right)

Chris and I have been saying that a lot this week.

Life is hard.

Why does this hurt? Because it's hard.

This isn't easy.


And so on and so on.

It sure isn't getting any easier. Went to a colleague's wake last night. It is a big loss to the world that he isn't here anymore. He was so good hearted and fun.

Emotions are running rampant :(

I went, though, because after my dad's wake, I know how important it is for the family to see the support, to feel the love that people have for their lost one. So I went, hugged his wife (who I've never met before) and told her how much we all love and miss him. It was cathartic, though it was hard.

And today is the 20th anniversary of my mom's death. That's not easy. Not at all.


It's a LITTLE easier this week. Chris is local so that he can vote. :) It is nice to have him here. To have a break from constantly having to pay attention to every little thing! Koda freaking loves him so much, too, so the dog's attention is totally on Chris when he is here, heh.

He is also trying to eat strict paleo, so having him around keeps me on a track a little better as well.

We had all-natural ground turkey with brocolli and green peppers last night, lightly seasoned. Super simple, really filling, great protein and vitamins. I'm glad to get back to the simple stuff.

I have those leftovers stuffed into half an acorn squash for lunch.

Food is on track. That gets my brain on the right track.

Going to keep on keeping on... even though it's hard.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pictures from the Mud Run:

The Starting Line: Clean and a little late (haha, but it's not a timed event, so they don't care when you start!)

The only action shot... obviously we didn't have camera's on the course! ... I am the one wrapped up in the space/survival metallic blanket for warmth!

The Finish! Chris is the only clean one because he didn't get flattened by the fence in the mud crawl!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Successful Mud Run!!!

Not going to be long because I am TIRED, but I just got home from my first Mud Run, it was a Tough Mudder warm up at Jiminy Peak, MA.

Five miles, up and down, up and down the mountain with 12 obstacles like a mud crawl under HEAVY fence, 20 foot cargo net climbs, crawling over inner tubes tied together over a freezing lake, and carrying a 25 lb bag of sand up and down the mountain.

Let me just say: I killed it.

My body hasn't deteriorated, all my hard work this year has paid off! I was RUNNING up steep mountain slopes, carrying weight, pushing through. Super proud.

It was a team event and we had to stick with our team throughout. Finished in 2:45. :)

It was tough, for sure. But I felt all my training coming back to me. My body knew how to act, it responded well. Mentally, I felt great, too... I didn't doubt myself, I just kept charging on!

The biggest obstacle: the cold! I got covered in mud at the end of mile one and I was FREEZING, especially for the parts when we were on top of the mountain, 30 degrees outside, wind blowing. Lost all feeling in my fingers, which was tough for the cargo net climb!

But, hey, I'm tough :)

Love it, love my body, going to continue to do right by it and challenge myself!

Me, muscles bulging after the Mud Run, hehehe

Friday, November 2, 2012

Low weight/Mud run/Questionnaire

Weight is pretty low this morning... 121.5. I *am* still tracking all my food, calories and macronutrients, so I guess I can understand why I am not putting on weight, even through my ups and downs. It is just strange for a girl who hovered at 140 most of the time since getting out of obesity to just sit comfortably in the low 120s. I kind of don't believe it.

I am supposing that the major overhaul that went on in the past year really took root? Consistent activity, eating clean, eating Paleo, being mindful, not drinking all the time, etc.... those habits are still with me. Aside from my Halloween insanity, I did eat clean this week.

On the exercise front, not a lot has been getting done... however, I am pretty active in the "I'm moving around all day" sense. I walk a lot at work, and on my lunch break. I walk the dog in the mornings and evenings. I move things and clean and am just generally busy from the time I get home to the time I go to bed.

I miss the consistent exercise. I miss STRENGTH TRAINING the most. I miss feeling powerful.

Tomorrow, I hope, is going to jump start me back into purposeful exercise. I have a Mud Run I signed up for in the spring (when I was tough, strong, and all was well with the world). It is 4 miles, up a mountain, with obstacles. Oooookay.

It will be the first purposeful exercise I've done since my dad passed away.

I am hoping I do well (in that I don't fall down, unable to continue, red faced and struggling to breathe), with residual toughness from this year of being strong.

I am hoping that it is a HUGE wake up call to me... I hope it reminds me how important exercise is and how good it makes me feel. Being in nature while I exercise is super good for me (I miss hiking, wow).

I will let you know how I do.

Okay. So I saw this questionnaire on Norma's blog, which she got from Hangy Hippo's blog and wanted to do it as a good practice for me to stay mindful of what is going on inside my crazy, messed up head:

I view food as… 90% of the time, I view food as fuel. I eat things that are palatable to me, of course, but I eat a balanced diet, making sure to keep carbs around 50%, proteins and fats at 25ish%. I eat "super" foods every day, like sweet potatoes, spinach, and berries. Somewhere in this journey, it became very important to me to make sure my body has EVERYTHING it needs to be healthy (dying because I didn't take care of myself sounds awful to me :( it became even more true when my dad, who ate very poorly and didn't exercise, died suddenly because of his heart). However, I will not lie... a certain percentage of the time, I eat for pleasure, to soothe my anxiety or to divert my attention. I've never completely gotten rid of that mindset that made me fat in the first place.
My weight is… currently the lowest it has EVER been: 121.5. Before getting healthy, I was in the upper 190s. My previous low, when I was in my mid 20s, was 133. Then I hovered around 135-142 for the rest of the time. I thought it was impossible for me to be in the 120s at ALL, much less almost out of them. I do want to see 119 next... though right now, I am a little wrapped up in my grief. I need to be shaken out of my complacency to get to the next level.
When I think about my body, I think… that I have failed it. I regret so much what I've done to my body in the past. Now, presently, I can see my body for the gift that it is. I wish it didn't bear the scars of my past, but theyremind me of how important it is to treat my body well.
What I want in terms of health is… to stay at a healthy weight, to continue to have great blood pressure and cholesterol scores, to keep toxins out of my body.
The most important thing I’ve learned about for my own body is… that it is a reflection of and contributor to my mental state. If I am depressed, my body shows it. If I am out of shape, I am depressed. It is a vicous cycle I don't want to get back into!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Broke that promise to myself...

Pretty disappointed in myself. Bleh.

Chris came home last night with a bag of Halloween candy.  I wasn't going to give out candy so that *I* wouldn't be tempted.

I had just spent hours doing things that needed to get done, then I went downstairs and cooked and cleaned for an hour... and Chris came home and all hell broke loose: dog went nuts, Chris knocked a picture off the wall and it broke, trick or treaters rang the doorbell, and I felt overwhelmed and crazy.

So I ate a stupid, processed, dumb, awful Reese's peanut butter cup.

And then an Almond Joy.

And then I went to my friends house and ate a cupcake.

And cheese.

And Kitkats.

I was overemotional, eating out of stress, eating to relieve anxiety.

It was disorded. I felt right back into full swing disorded eating territory. I felt crazy.

(Now: just in case Chris reads this, I will say I would rather him come home and set my life all spinning and nutty than not have him there at all! ... I am just incapable of dealing with stress right now and that's my fault, not his!)

Anyway. I felt really bad about my behavior and myself.

I just feel like I CAN'T do it. The dog pees in the house no matter HOW right I take care of him, how out of my way I go to make sure he is walked late at night and let out early in the morning and I take his water away at 7 PM and UHHGHGHGHGHG. I can't take care of this stupid dog and I am trying so hard to feel love and compassion for the dog and NOT like he is just the hugest problem in this world.

How can I take care of my life? I can barely take care of the dog and get anything else in my life done (fixing the house, writing my dissertation, etc). How did I ever think I could be a full fledged grown up and take care of things? I'm falling apart.

I don't want to eat to soothe myself.

And I haven't been! Not since I found my dad on Sept. 22nd. I didn't emotionally eat through any of my immediate grief and stress. So why last night? Why, why, why. Damn it.

Is this blog going to become a record about my slow descent into insanity? Hope not.

Hope you don't continue reading me into next year to see me gain weight, withdrawn, mentally sick and isolated, not having accomplished anything but high levels of stress and the inability to deal with it.

I hope I can find a way to swing this around the other way.