Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Going into 2014 with balance in mind

There are a few big themes that run throughout my blog: Eating clean and organic. Being active. Finding balance. The belief that your body will never be healthy if your mind or spirit is sick.

I never really had balance before. I never really pursued balance before.

I won't say I am completely balanced NOW, but the pursuit of it has shown me that it is possible to be satiated, mind, body and spirit all at the same time.

This year has been so full of filling those three aspects of myself - 

Mind: I read a LOT. I created two classes and wrote all the lectures (which meant a lot of research). Worked on my dissertation. Traveled, learned, asked. Surrounded myself with thoughtful, intelligent and curious humans.

Spirit: I became interested in Buddhism and even went to a Buddhist retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh. We went to Japan with the main goal of learning about Buddhism and Shintoism, seeing the temples and shrines. I realized I just don't fit into any organized religion, but want to fill my spirit with a power greater than me. I do believe in something. And I believe that that something wants me to be kind and gentle.

Body: I didn't gain weight this year, after the death of my father, like I did after the death of my mother. I reached and maintained the lowest weight I've seen as an adult. I began strength training and yoga regularly again, to get back the muscle tone I had worked so hard for before my father's death. I am the smallest and the strongest I've ever been.

I go into 2014 as balanced as I've ever been, with the aim of learning more about how to gain and maintain balance. To find true happiness and be completely content with life. Mind, body, spirit.

I weighed in at exactly 120.0 today. I am very happy with that. I've never come out of the holiday season lighter than I went into it. The OCD part of me actually very much likes that very round and even number, hahaha :) It will be easy to remind myself that I started 2014 at 120 pounds... and if I am not pregnant next year, I aim to end the year the same way!

I will leave you with calligraphy from Thich Nhat Hanh... we have "I have arrived, I am home" by our front door.

He says about this saying: "Our true home is really in the here and in the now. Because only in the here and the now can we touch life. As the Buddha said, life is available only in the here and the now, so going back to the present moment is going home. That is why you take one step or two steps and you awaken to the fact that you have arrived. You have arrived in the present moment."

I hope everyone can stop, breathe, and enjoy the present moment that they are in as we go into this new year. Enjoy where you are and who you are, without worrying what has been done this year or will be done next year.

Be here, find peace, and life will flow much easier....

Namaste <3

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hitting goal for 2014?

My goal was to go into 2014 weighing what I weighed on my wedding day. I felt the most beautiful on my wedding day and absolutely love looking at pictures of myself on that day. I feel that I am small and fit and strong. When people look at my wedding photos they're always commenting on my muscles and arms, hahaha.

An example is below... I was laughing with the minister here: 

The way I felt that day is how I want to feel every day. 

I set the goal of weighing 119 pounds when 2014 rolls in. It's not an arbitrary goal or an arbitrary number, but a number I felt amazing at.

So, how's it going?

Well I will say I gained a little bit of weight after the wedding, I fluctuated a little bit. But I never gained more than 5 pounds, I never saw 125 pounds or higher. And I've spent most of September through December around 122 - 123 pounds.

And most of December has been spent at 120 - 121 pounds. I'm 120.2 today, as I've been for days.

I may or may not see 119 on the scale tomorrow. Is it a fail because I didn't hit goal? Not in the slightest!!

I set goals and I reach for goals to keep me on track, to make sure that I don't veer completely off the rails and slowly gain a ton of weight.

And I haven't done that, I've been at or around my goals all year. I've stayed fit and healthy, and it's all I can ask of myself.

I'm happy with where I'm at right now :)

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I don't completely deny myself the pleasures in life. I hope that people who read this realize that it is so very possible to maintain a fit and healthy body and still enjoy life. It's not about hating your life while you lose weight.

Example: I had a big piece of (paleo) pumpkin pie last night, made by my husband:

The crust is almonds, pecans and eggs. The filling is pumpkin, eggs, spices, honey and maple syrup. I knew I'd be eating it that night, so I left around 300 cal free so I could be a little guilt free when I ate it.

Maybe little indulgences like a few glasses of wine or the pumpkin pie are the reasons why I am 120 pounds instead of 119 pounds. But I just don't care. Life is too awesome not to taste it every once in a while. :)

But, also if you read my blog a lot, you know I'm a big fan of balance. I exercise every day. I eat mostly Paleo and mostly clean. And I do track my calories. It's how I know I can fit those little treats in!

I live this way because I've lost the weight and am no longer obese or overweight. I was much stricter and those times because I didn't want to spend one day more than I had to being unhealthy. But here, after weight loss, I'm working on being balanced.

Balance is tricky. It's really easy to go too far one side or the other. I've been on both sides.

I think, that right now, I'm going into the new year balanced. 

Namaste <3

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Almost Dead

Nope, I'm not almost dead, don't worry :) That's the name of the band we went to see last night! It's a Grateful Dead cover band made up from some of the best musicians in the jam band scene- they don't really play shows a lot, it's just a project, a celebration of the music... And something really special to be able to witness.

Chris and I ate salads for dinner before our friends picked us up from our hotel. We went to a taco bar so everyone could eat but Chris and I just had a few drinks, I had two vodka drinks. At the show, I drank water and had some sips of Chris' beer - it was a decently long show, but I barely noticed, super fun. Great having a ton of my friends there (though some of them got very drunk and there were a few incidents, hahaha, not my stories to tell though!).

So, very successful and fun night, we got a ride back to the hotel from friends, and I ate a chocolate bar in the car. It was really awesome (I was actually starving, we ate the salad around 5 PM and it was just a salad so not super substantial to sustain us for the next eight hours of our night of dancing!). Chris and I shared a little bit of wine back at the hotel and stayed up till four in the morning :)

We are now on the road back home, going to pick up the dog from the kennel, it's a clear and crisp and beautiful day here. The dog is going to be wanting a long walk and I think we're both excited to do that!

Oh yeah, we stopped for breakfast and I am proud that I made a good decision at the deli, and got a western omelette to go. Even though I was craving a bagel and cream cheese or an egg sandwich! Just a little off Paleo with the cheese, but no big deal. Wheat is more of my enemy than dairy.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!!! 

Back to normalcy for us the rest of the weekend! 

Namaste <3

Friday, December 27, 2013

Post-Christmas Weigh In

So I bit the bullet and weighed in today, on my own scale and at the normal time- 120.2! Seems like my goal of seeing 119 going into the new year is entirely possible, after all.

This weigh in hardens my resolve- the more possible a goal seems, the harder I work to get it... And this is very possible!

It also changes my plans a little, as far as drinking. We are heading downstate tonight (closer to CT) for a show, and we are staying overnight (free hotel room). Lots of friends are attending the same show, too, so it'll be extra fun. However, I don't think I'll be drinking as much as everyone else- I'll probably have a couple, though, and make room for it in my calories! I was originally planning to let a little more loose tonight, but NYE is coming up (where I will definitely indulge like it was a Roman orgy, hahaha) and I want to be at goal that night!

Chilling out at home for now- had my yogurt, about to workout, have my coffee and do a little school work!

Namaste, my friends!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Post-holidays Awesomes

I've never really understood the postholiday blues. People told us we would experience something similar with our wedding, that all the excitement leading to that one day would culminate in being kind of sad afterwords -- that the party was over, our friends were gone, the focus was off of us, whatever.

I didn't feel that way about my wedding and I don't feel that way now, about Christmas. Yes, there was a lot of excitement leading up to Christmas and a lot of looking forward to all the nice times. And then we had nice times, and they were really awesome. I got a really awesome day, and really awesome memories, and that's nothing to be sad about.

Now I have all those other things in life to look forward to. I'm seeing friends and a show this weekend. New Year's Eve is less than a week away. I have my daily walks with my dog that I look forward to. TV nights with friends. Chris's birthday is coming up. My new job will be starting soon. All the awesome things that encapsulate LIFE.

So, I'm urging everyone, don't be sad because something great is over. Be so grateful that it happened at all.

Not sure how much I weigh, I won't weigh at an unfamiliar scale just once. Who knows what it'll say or if it'll be lined up with my scale at home at all.

The past two days have not been Paleo or very clean. We are heading home tonight and to our normal food. We will be heading away for one more night this weekend, but we are going to have salad then foods we normally eat with us.

So I'm not focusing on my weight right now, today while I'm still at Chris's parents house. Going to enjoy these last few hours in the house, watching the snow fall and talking with the family.

I hope everyone is as grateful for today as they were for yesterday, and smiles just as much.

Our Christmas walk yesterday :)

Namaste <3

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Already basking in the afterglow of a sweet, homey, warm, loving and successful Christmas morning with my husband's family!!

Peace and Light and Love to you all!!

Namaste <3

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life lessons on Christmas Eve

Was back to my old tricks yesterday. Ate clean, ate Paleo, walked the dog, worked out:

I've told you guys about this App before. Love it!! Yesterday I picked a 30 minute moderate strength/cardio workout - the push-ups and mountain climbers have my arms decently sore this morning!

Still 123, but I'm bloated from that TOM as well. Just more motivation to behave during the holiday tonight and tomorrow!

Haven't been perfect this December, but I've been WAY better than last year. I've definitely learned a few lessons, but not all of them :)

I'll leave you with this thought on Christmas Eve:

All my love to you all - I hope the next few days are filled with love, light, and contentedness for all of you.

Be peaceful and kind, my friends,

Namaste <3

Monday, December 23, 2013

No sleep, carb coma

So, my weekend is really awesome, really fun. I spent most of it with friends and family.

Saturday was the Brother's Past concert, started off by going to a turkey dinner at a friend's house. I decided I would drink alcohol that night, but not too much. I had a few glasses of wine at my friends house and one beer when I got to the concert. I was glad I didn't overdo it but still enjoyed myself! I did get quite a buzz. And we danced till very late, it was morning by the time the show ended.

And by some unfortunate twist of fate, I could not fall asleep by the time we got home. It was almost daylight by the time we got home and it's just very difficult for me to settle down at that point.

So, no sleep on Saturday night. And at noon on Sunday I had a family party. (The party itself was really great, it was great to talk to all my cousins and aunts and uncles and, especially my grandma!!) I hadn't eaten by the time I got to the family party and they were serving only pizza and eggplant Parmesan. So I ate it. It was my only meal of the day, but it was about the opposite of everything I ever eat.

Sleep deprivation and extreme hunger are not what you want to be feeling when you go into a carbs only food situation!

My payment for that string of bad decisions? 123.

Not great, but expected. I'm sure it'll be less tomorrow because I'm going to cleanse my body of alcohol and grains for the next couple days! And I'm going to make better decisions when we get to Chris's family's house for Christmas. I will be well rested, I will have had a sensible breakfast, and a lot smarter.

I smiled all weekend though, and feel rather content and pleased in general. The gain isn't upsetting me, just letting me know what I have to do this week!

Hope your heart is full this week,

Namaste <3

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Solstice! - a new cycle begins :)

I'm a big fan of the solstices and equinoxes- starts of new seasons. If you want to make a change in your life, this is technically a more auspicious day to do it than our arbitrary calendar New Year!!

I'm celebrating by going to a dinner at my friends house and then a bunch of us are going to go dance the night away to one of my favorite bands- Brother's Past!

Still 120.2 today (third day in a row). Going to eat paleo and clean today - even at my friends for dinner :)

Start the season right - take care of yourself and those you love!!

Namaste <3

Friday, December 20, 2013

Enjoying the world in a physical and visceral way ;)

Chris had the day off today and we both decided to do something active instead of going to the movies or something (I want to see the Hobbit!!)...

It's really more of our whole value package to do something free and active than to pay for something that keeps us sedentary. Sometimes, I wish we were more of the go-out-and-have-dinner-and-go-to-a-movie type of couple.... but, in the end, our lifestyle makes me happy, pleasantly exhausted, and fulfilled- and healthy!!!

So he got me up at 5:45 AM, I didn't kill him, we had coffee and headed up north for a little snowshoeing adventure! We got about an hour and a half of completely isolated and lovely winter hiking in... and then it started to freezing rain, and then rain hard. So we turned around before our goal, but still had a fun day. I like being in the Adirondacks, in general, even for a short jaunt!

We're a couple for a reason. We like the same things and value the same things. We love nature, hiking, being physical, being fit and healthy, and enjoying this world in a very visceral way (odd phrasing, that... but it's true. We like to get down and dirty and sometimes suffer a little and feel how powerful and crazy this world can be, first hand!).

Got home in the afternoon (after a stop off to give a friend a ride whose car broke down!), and I settled in to a super hot, cozy, bubble bath with cedarwood aromatherapy powder!! Wow, that was pleasant.

Now, I'm sleepy. Now, I feel like curling up in bed and watching a movie with Chris - those lazy rewards are so much more awesome after I've earned them :D

Namaste, move your body, nourish it well, smile big and bright!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Start right now!!

I just wanted to write a quick post urging everyone, as we get closer and deeper into the holiday season, to remember that your health and your body are precious things. 

I'm not saying to not enjoy the holidays, or some treats, or to find pleasure in food. I do all those things. I think it's very normal, natural, and a big part of human evolution. We like to feast. We like to celebrate. It stimulates something in our brains - especially for those of us in cold-weather areas, feasting during winter is a long-held tradition.

But there's a difference between celebrating and overindulging. There's a difference between finding pleasure in your food and destroying your body.

To me, there's only a few days where I indulge during the holiday season. And most of those days, the indulgences are small. The big indulgences come on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

I am weighing in at 120.2 pounds today. It is proof to me that over 90% of my time and my days during this holiday season are spent eating and behaving as if I care about my health, first and foremost.

It's so important to not fall into the cyclical trap.

To truly believe it is possible to meet your goals. To truly believe it is possible to maintain your health and fitness at this time of the year.

Don't wait for New Year's day, I urge you.

You can start being mindful and careful and protective of your health right now, right this minute, today. It doesn't mean that you don't get to sit down with your family and have a traditional dinner on Christmas. It doesn't mean you don't get to enjoy some candy this holiday.

It does mean that most of the things you do should be to your benefit - not your detriment.

I indulged last weekend when I had a holiday get together. But I didn't indulge on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and I won't today. I'll eat my normal food, that fuels my body (and tastes pretty damn good!).

For example, my day yesterday looked like:

Breakfast- yogurt and coffee
Lunch - sweet potato soup (with added ground turkey)... This was a very big portion and a very hearty lunch.
Snack - dark chocolate!!
Dinner - 3 eggs with mushrooms, on a bed of spinach, tomato and avocado
Snack - banana with sunflower seed butter

I love all those foods. Because I've eaten them for years. It's what my body is used to, it's what you have to do, you have to train yourself to want vegetables more than you want cookies! If you look at my daily food from five years ago or from 10 years ago, it looked very, very different. But I don't miss it. It's interesting to really think about that, I don't miss the bread, pasta, sweets.

I truly enjoy eating this way! Yesterday, I was actually looking so forward to my planned dinner of eggs and spinach and the like, I had to remind myself to actually wait till I was hungry to eat, because I wanted to eat it even when I wasn't hungry!

I won't say it's easy. But I'd really love it if more people than not didn't end this year heavier then they started, or unhappier with their body, or little more unhealthy.

I'm not looking forward to the flurry of New Year's blog posts with resolutions. I've never been a fan of New Year's resolutions, even when I was fat. I haven't made a New Year's resolution in a decade, I think!

Just something to think about. Most of the days between here and the end of the year should be lived pretty normally. But I'll be with you, having some treats on the special days :)

Namaste, my friends.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Doing it because it's right (and sweet potato soup recipe)

A blogger I follow on the regular, Roni, has a little motto called "what you can, when you can" and I found that sticking in my mind like an earworm (you know those songs that get stuck in your head for days on end? It's a compliment, though, I promise!)!

I think of it a lot - and a variation on it, too. Doing what I can, even when I REALLY don't feel like it!!!

If you follow the weather, my little section of the northeast got pretty pummeled with snow the past 4-5 days. And it has been abso-freaking-lutely freezing out. Yesterday, I took the dog on a walk at 6:30 AM (because we both need a walk every day and I had jury duty all day) and my fingers froze when I took my gloves off to get his poop bag open (sorry for the gross image, haha).

The walk was awful. Not everyone shovels or shovels their walks well. Snowplows made huge piles of snow at every corner (meaning cross the street meant climbing a tiny snow mountain). Did I mention it was cold?

I really didn't want to go on my walk today. Really. Really, really didn't want to.

But if I didn't, I wouldn't get my steps in for the day (because I'd be cooped up at home) and Koda would be restless.

So I went. Did what I could. Because it's right.


Koda loved it, of course. He's got all the built in cold weather gear (he likes to take a nap outside when it's 5 degrees F out!)

There's lots of things throughout my day and week that I do because it's right. I don't always necessarily feel like it, but I think that's part of maturing and growing up. Cleaning, exercise, school work, eating well, tending to the animals' needs, etc.

So got my steps in today. Will do a core workout today (my arms already hurt from shoveling!!).

Weighing in at 121 today, again, and still happy with it :)

Food is spot on: lots of veggies in EVERY meal (tomatoes, onions, mushies, spinach), chicken, avocado and lots of homemade sweet potato soup!

Which reminds me, someone asked for my soup recipe. It's SUPER easy:

First, you should know when I cook, I don't measure anything. Ever, hahaha. Only for baking. So you kind of just have to know proper proportions here!

Cut up sweet potatoes into chunks, boil in veggie broth. When soft, blend with coconut milk and spices (I used cumin, curry powder, black pepper, ginger, paprika, a hint of cayenne and garlic powder) into creamy soup base!

I sauteed onions, chopped up broccoli and cauliflower in coconut oil and the spices used above.

I added those veggies to the soup base, threw in chopped mushrooms and voila!

A healthy, veggie-based soup :)

Namaste <3

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wasting food..

I don't just think about my own personal health and fitness when I decide what to eat. The ethics of eating well are important to me. I want my eating habits to NOT hurt this beautiful earth of ours - I don't want to contribute to the chemicals and pesticide use, I don't want animals tortured for my meat, I don't want landfills overflowing, etc.

I think there is a direct correlation between (true) healthy eating and ethical eating.

I think that the healthier you eat (less processed, less junk), the fresher your food has to be. The less packaging will be on your food. The more local your veggies and fruit will tend to be. And so on and so forth.

My groceries are organic when possible. Local when possible. And those "possibles" are pretty damned often once I figured it out. Also - we buy a ton of produce with zero packaging! It compromises most of our diet. And we compost the bits we can't eat.

We rarely go out to eat or get take-out. Because we want to know what we are putting in our bodies (fresh, local, organic, not covered in grease, etc!). So we don't pack our fridge with leftovers and don't throw out tons of Styrofoam containers, etc. We just make food, eat it till it's gone, then go out and buy and make more!

Chris and I buy what we need for a week, with just a touch extra.

We never throw out food. Never.

In the four plus years we have lived together, we have thrown out perhaps half a head of lettuce and maybe a tomato.

My friends were SHOCKED when I told them that. They throw out leftovers and rotten produce and other such items weekly.

I was sad that they were shocked. I was sad they thought it was so hard. I am, at my core, pretty damned lazy. And I manage to do these things.

I don't think it's very hard to eat the food you buy.

Especially if you are buying real food. Real food is meant to be eaten rather quickly. You buy tomatoes or apples, you eat them within a few days. Buy meat, put what you need in the fridge and freeze the rest.

And if you are not eating out a ton, you will ACTUALLY eat the food you bought at the grocery store. Not just leave it to rot.

Having a clean, organized fridge is also a big part of not wasting food to me. I can see everything in my fridge. I know what's in there. Having a clean, organized fridge is good for my mental state as far as healthy eating too - I feel peaceful and calm when deciding what to eat.

I saw this infographic posted on facebook and thought it was perfect:

We should care for ourselves, our bodies and health. And other people's health. And the health of this earth.

It all goes together.

The more we care, the less selfish and pleasure-focused we are, the better.

Hope I don't sound preachy. I know these things are hard - I know it's hard, especially if you are in charge of a large family and life is hectic. But I also think these things are important.

And, if the ethics of it don't matter to you - just imagine the money you will save if you never had to throw away rotten food again!!

General update: weighing in at 121 even this morning. I like that. Still possible to end the year at 119 if I behave at Christmas!!

Namaste <3 (off to my *hopefully* last day of jury duty!!!)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snowshoeing - full body workout!

Sunday was a much more focused on-plan day than my Friday and Saturday - we ate clean, TONS of veggies, and went on a long snowshoe hike in the freshly fallen snow! I don't have a ton of experience breaking trail while snowshoeing, and WOW, intense workout. My thighs, butt, and sides were burning by the end. Even my arms hurt from keeping balance :D

Seriously - I really recommend snowshoeing. Anyone can do it, regardless of athletic ability or stage of fitness. And you will build up muscles you didn't even know you had, hahaha.

It was a great day. It made me as happy as having everyone over to my house for a dinner party!

Actually, it was an overall amazing weekend that put me firmly in the holiday spirit.

Pictures from the hike:

Feeling fit :D

The wind would blow all the snow off the trees and cause mini blizzards!

Snow was DEEEEEEEEP - came up to Koda's chest, and he's not a small dog! Tough trail!

Koda and Chris playing :D

It's important to have more days like Sunday (activity and clean eating that makes me feel energized body and spirit!) than days like Friday/Saturday where I indulged a bit. And I do, so I feel at peace right now :)


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Soup Party - affordable and cozy!

We had a slightly impromptu soup party yesterday. I wanted to start repaying back all my friends who have been having me over for dinner while Chris is traveling!

The snow was falling softly into fluffy piles outside, not too much to drive in. And we ended up with 15 people coming over, not counting ourselves!

First, I was amazed at how little money it took to throw a really great party!! We spent about 70 bucks on soup ingredients, bread (not paleo at all, but I wanted to please the 15 people who DON'T eat paleo!!), and appetizer-type items (carrots, snap peas, hummus, etc). It fed everyone all night and we even have some soup leftovers :D I love entertaining!

Chris made a broth-based sausage and kale soup. I made a creamy-based (coconut milk was the cream) sweet potato and veggie soup with Indian spices! My soup was 100% paleo and Chris' soup was almost paleo except there were white beans in the recipe. 

I will admit that I ate some of the garlic bread I made for everyone - it looked and smelled soooo amazing. But I didn't drink at all! One step at a time, sometimes, ha. 

I got the house all comfy:

Everyone came over around 6:30 and the last people left close to 1 AM! The soups were a big hit, there was a decent amount of warming spice in them and people were loving coming in from the cold, snowy night and getting a bowl of hot soup :D

The house was filled with amazing smells all night, candles were flickering, snow was gathering out on the windowsills, people were laughing and talking and smiling so big!!

It just... this feels like the holidays to me.

I'm all filled up inside with happiness. I don't even really mind that my weight is up a little from the weekend celebrations (I also caved in and had one beer at the holiday party on Friday - though we stayed four 6 hours and I only had that one and drank my seltzer the rest of the time, so already way ahead compared to last year!). I'm bloated and a little hive-y from the gluten I consumed.

Going super clean today and the rest of the week!!!

Big smiles, big love,

Namaste <3

Friday, December 13, 2013

It always works in the end...

The scale finally moved - and in the right direction! 120.4... see, Kelly, sometimes the scale does still frustrate me! I have not perfectly mastered this art. Sometimes disordered behaviors and thoughts still surface. This time, it was the fact that I felt so stuck when I was doing SO well. It didn't make sense to me, and as the days went on, I got a little frustrated (also had something to do with my post from yesterday where I feel absolutely surrounded by gluttonous behavior!!).

But, I got past it yesterday by once again just doing what I know is right for myself - good sleep, lots of water, daily activity, lots of protein and vegetables.

I know in my heart of heart that works and that it is the right thing to do. I will keep my body healthy and energetic and my spirit light if I fuel my body well and keep it moving.

Even if I get frustrated with the scale, I will NEVER be let down by doing those things for myself.

And in that vein... there is a holiday party for where I used to work (and Chris still works) tonight. One of the employees brews his own beer, built a bar at his house and has his own kegs. He invites everyone over and we all drink his beer and have a nice time.

I told Chris I didn't want to go. I just am tired of temptations!

But my friends from that workplace kind of gave me a little heck when Chris told them I didn't plan to go (he wasn't supposed to tell anyone!). And I think I will go, now, for a little while. I still don't want to drink beer or eat any snacks, though!

I feel like a HUGE weirdo, but I think I will bring my own seltzer to drink - it keeps my hands occupied, my mouth satisfied (bubbles and flavor), my stomach full. I will also eat a nice dinner before I go (beef "chili" and brussels sprouts). And, it IS No Chip December for me and Chris, so that will help me not eat the snacks!

And I wanted to clear something up because someone asked in the comments - I am definitely NOT expecting anyone to eat like me. I eat clean and paleo and that is a tall order in this culture. It's insane to expect my friends to eat like that. BUT, my complaints are that they are at the other end of the spectrum completely - there is so much junk food, a ton of sweet treats, eating out all the time, take out, junk food, wine and beer all the time, and almost zero physical activity. I've done alright living how I want to live despite the people I love living the opposite way - but this holiday season, the drinking and eating is out of control! And I am surrounded by it! And I am torn because I want to be around people I love this time of year, but their habits aren't healthy, and healthy is a goal of mine.

But as Gwen has been telling me, it really IS this time of year... and this time of year will pass. And come New Years, I won't have any weight I will pledge to lose AND all my friends will start getting on the healthy bandwagon in a desire to lose some of those holiday pounds. And things will be easier. :)

I just need to be patient with them and with myself. And stay strong and do what I know is right for myself.

Where I walk my dog :)


Thursday, December 12, 2013

More Wedding Photos

We got pictures back from the photographer from the wedding - so I was looking through them to smile on a day when I didn't naturally feel like smiling. Thought I would share some with you guys (who put up with me even when I'm a little down!):

Hearing Chris' vows

Our friend/minister was AMAZING - made us cry and laugh!

We were CRAZY happy!!!

Mood is better! (Though all my friends are online talking about FOOD FOOD FOOD right now, hahahaha) I ate my sweet potato/meat/veggie brunch I usually do, walked the dog, downed some coffee, worked out and am all settled in working on my lectures right now. Looking at pictures was a fun break!

Peace and Light!

Small frustrations

I'm a little bit frustrated today. Still the same weight. I feel a little bit stuck. But the bright side, it's better than last year.

Last night I went to TV night. One of my friends told me how she's put on 16 pounds since Thanksgiving. Two other friends just got back from a vacation and are pretty horrified at looking at pictures from their trip and what the scale says. It's so hard this time of year and, in general, just in this culture.

I feel surrounded by overindulgence, decadence, and not really caring about health. It's a struggle just to maintain this week. I wonder when it's not going to be such a struggle anymore. I thought I was a little bit past it this year. I thought I had reached a new understanding with my body now that I've been maintaining under 130 pounds for so long. But it still can be very frustrating.

Especially when I'm surrounded in my social circle and in my culture by constant overindulgence. I want to eat Paleo and I want to eat clean but, other than blogs I read, and my husband, there is just no one else around me demonstrating that they really care about their bodies. It's hard to feel alone in this. It's hard to behave differently than everyone else.

So that's what I'm left with today. Just a bit of frustration. Wishing I had never been obese, never been eating disordered, and just had a healthy relationship with food.

Making this short today. I don't really want to think about food and weight and all that today.

Just going to live my day like I do every day. Try to do what's right for my body and my mind. Try to get out of this slightly negative mindset.

Namaste, my friends.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter munchies

I am weighing in consistently at 121.2 - 121.6 for over a week. After Thanksgiving, with all the holiday parties, with the concerts, the get togethers, etc. I am pleased that, at this time of the year, I am holding steady at a low (almost my lowest ever as an adult - 118) weight.

I do want to be 119, though. At this weight, those extra two pounds or so make a HUGE difference with the line of my body.

If I am completely honest with myself, I know why I am holding steady slightly higher than I would like.

Cold, gray, winter weather.

I am working really hard to fit exercise in (walking, yoga, home body weight strength training, cardio sessions)... but, in the spring, summer, and fall, it happens so naturally and all the time! I walk everywhere, to all my friends' houses, to the store, whatever. Koda gets extra walks. We hike several times a week. We just are always outside.

It's hard to replicate that behavior when it is so damned frigid out! Even as bundled up as I can get, I am still uncomfortable in the really cold winter weather. And my 20 or 30 minute little exercise sessions just don't match up to being active all day long!

And as far as food - I am eating ALL the right things. Lean meats, tons of veggies, healthy fats and a little fruit. Sticking really close to paleo. Organic. Clean. All of that.

No Chip December is a huge success thus far - really limiting my social snacking!

My alcohol consumption is VERY low... less than once a week. Very different from last year where I was hitting the beer pretty damned hard.

But, if I am completely honest with myself, my portions have gotten a little bigger and I've been reaching for extra raisins or a spoonful of sunflower seed butter randomly. It's COLD out!!! I'm hungrier than I was in the summer! (Might have something to do with the fact that I spend more time inside, too... general malaise makes me eat more).

I know I have healthy behaviors (especially when I see my friends who down a bottle of wine and a big bowl of pasta with cream sauce for just one meal)...

So, I am going to be forgiving of myself. This is the season that, naturally, animals put on protective weight. It is hard to battle that biological drive.

However, I am also going to be strict with myself. 121 is fine. But an extra 5, 10, 15 pounds? Not needed and not okay.

It would be so easy to let it all spin out of control. Especially with all the holiday drinking, eating, snacking, and sweet treats around.

Seasonal fluctuations are normal. Big weight gains are not.

Drinking my coffee right now after eating a really weird brunch (I missed breakfast because I was running errands) - cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, beef and eggs all scrambled together with some chili type spices. Yummy, though!

Off to finish living my day :)

Namaste <3

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coffee in, Spirits up!

Ok, 3 hours of sleep or no- I drank a thermos of coffee and feel much better!!

The weather is crappy here at the courthouse, wet and snowy and cold and gray:

We got our break at 11:30 so I went and walked up and down the courthouse steps for 20 minutes: 

Then I did yoga stretches and wall sits in the break room.

Feeling good.

Just goes to show that sometimes you can't control your circumstances, but you can create a better day for yourself!! (Sometimes!)

Namaste :)

Sleep deprived!

I've been sleeping very well lately. Last night was not one of those nights. I just couldn't fall asleep. Lots of things just churning through my crazy, anxious brain. Nothing even very important, actually.

Just a good, old, plain crazy.

It happens.

One very exciting thing kind of changed in my life though. Our friends' band that we love is going to play a New Year's Eve show in Brooklyn. We weren't going to go down to the city this year to save a little bit of money on a very expensive ticket (Phish costs 70 before fees!)... But now all we have to do is pay for gas. We have a free place to stay and a cheap and awesome show to go to! (We also don't get to see our NYC friends as much as we'd like.)

So, while I would not have minded staying home for New Years Eve and celebrating with all my friends that live here and also can't afford to go to New York City this year, I'm really excited to be able to dance and hear great music and ring in the new year like I usually do - raging it!!!!

But that's about it for now. I'm just really very tired. And I have jury duty today. Not fun.

That's my "I barely got out of bed, I didn't do anything to my hair, I slept for less than three hours, and I haven't had my coffee yet" face.

I am determined not to let my tiredness lead into over eating today, though. I brought my food for the day and that's all I will have until I go home. 

I had an egg and veggie scramble for breakfast. I have chicken, sweet potatoes, and peas for lunch. I have a large banana and yogurt for snacks. Also coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

Still weighing in around 121. My behaviors have been really really good lately. Very healthy eating and lots of exercise. But I've obviously got to tighten up ship a little bit if I want to weigh 119 pounds for New Year's.

Not stressing, it's just something I'd like -something I'm working towards. Something I keep my eye on when I decide not to eat chips or not to drink beer or not eat cookies or not to do a lot of things that are going on all around me all the time for the holidays!

Sorry if I'm scatterbrained or kind of boring or kind of grumpy. I really, really, like my sleep!!

Namaste- I hope everyone had a better night of sleep than me and can go through this day with brightness, lightness and energy!!

Monday, December 9, 2013


Things going as per usual here! I seem to be hanging on to this extra pound I gained from drinking on Friday, but oh well- I've been working out more than ever, too, and really enjoying feeling strong again!!

Thought I would share with you what namaste means, since I end almost every blog post with it:

Short and sweet today- have a bunch of work I'd like to get done!

Namaste :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mango Salsa

Had to share- I love making simple salsas with bright ingredients that pop! Often full of healthy fats and great nutrients in raw form, I love fresh salsa as a condiment.

My salsa:

Dice up:

2 mangos
2 avocados
1/2 onion
1 - 2 Roma tomatoes

Mix up and spice up: cumin, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Simple and fresh! So delicious... Made my turkey burger for lunch into something special:

Eating healthy doesn't have to be bland OR hard.

I'll leave you today with a pic of my sleepy, peaceful, happy dog (all his long walks gets this energetic 3 year old finally calm!):

Peace and light <3