Thursday, May 15, 2014

Break the addiction

I think i have done a pretty good job eliminating a lot of bad things from my life. I have stopped drinking pop almost completely. I have never once smoked a cigarette, and now that Wisconsin no longer permits smoking inside almost anywhere, I can't remember the last time I even smelled cigarette smoke.  My snacks (which used to be chips, or cookies, or whatever sounded yummy) now generally consist of a fruit or veggie and a hard boiled egg.

I broke another bad habit today, a habit that's really been bugging me lately. I guess I should say I started breaking it today, because it's only been about 8 hours. I don't know why I got hooked on it, it's mostly just a source of annoyance and stress and boredom for me. That habit is Facebook. I would look at Facebook on my phone probably 100 times a day. I don't know why, things don't even change that often on there (hence why it was a source of boredom) and when they did, it's almost always people sharing the same stories or cat pictures that 50 other friends had already shared - barf.

And so, for at least the next week, I am not going to use Facebook on my phone. I logged off and removed the shortcut from my home screen (no, I didn't uninstall it, there's something to be said for self-restraint). So we'll see how this goes and maybe I'll update later, even though I don't think anyone even reads this, but just in case someone does someday :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Life Is What You Make It

So many things have been happening lately!  I am totally okay with all of them, especially because I know that they are ALL part of my journey, but I feel like I should maybe lay some of them out here.

I haven't been going to the gym lately.  If I get there at all, its once a week.  I would like to climb back up on that wagon, but with the beautiful weather we finally have here in Wisconsin, I've been enjoying the outside world as much as I can.  But you know what?  I am still feeling fabulous!  I made a very important discovery fairly recently - the foods I eat have a direct effect on how I feel.  I know, WEIRD, huh?!  Who'da thunk that what you get out is in direct proportion to what you put in?  AMAZING! The days that I eat well, I have plenty of energy, and I can feel it vibrating through me.  In fact, one day I kind of accidentally skipped in the hallway at work for a step or two before I remembered that I am an adult woman, at WORK. 

On the flip side, when I eat junk food, I feel tired, sluggish and just all-around poor.  I never used to be so in tune to what I ate versus how I felt afterwards, but now that I am, I love that I can honestly say that I feel less compelled to give in to those hard-to-break cravings for crappy food.  I still eat it on occasion, but now that I know that my body actually suffers for it, it sure makes it less attractive to eat!

I have been working on eating "clean" (or at least a pretty high degree of "clean," everyone seems to have their own definition). I have been working on including more vegetables in our diet, especially at dinnertime, because breakfast is almost always a delicious, organic, whey protein shake and for lunch we typically eat leftovers from the night before.  So, dinner is my primary focus, and it makes my life much easier to only worry about one meal a day.

Anyway, this eating clean thing.  I have switched to whole grain pasta and leaner meats. Hard boiled eggs and vegetables have replaced chips and cookies as snack foods.  Vegetables make a nightly appearance, and you won't find a single prepackaged meal in my house.  However, there are a few things I haven't quite been able to come to terms with on the "clean wagon."  One of those things is stevia.  Many people have replaced sugar with stevia as they consider it "more natural."  Another thing is sour cream - Daisy sour cream (the full-fat kind, as fat is considered cleaner than low-fat) has one ingredient.  One. You know what that ingredient is?  Cream.  Bam, done, that's it.  So why would I need to replace that single ingredient item (that is oh so delicious on my favorite foods) with greek yogurt?  Seriously, if you know of a legitimate reason, let me know in the comments!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret:  I love food.  Like, seriously.  I could talk about it all day.  And I do, with the girl that sits next to me at work.  We talk about food, and grocery shopping, and now that its spring, most of our conversations lately have been about gardening (which reminds me, I got my garden put in this weekend! but I'll tell you about that in my next post).  Anyway, tonight's dinner was amazing.  I made Sun Dried Tomato and Mushroom Pasta in Garlic Cream Sauce, which I found on the website Julia's Album.  I made it just as the directions said and it was SO delicious!  I am not a big fan of changing a lot of components of a recipe the first time, so I try to keep things as close to the recipe as I can the first time around. I make exceptions on occasion (e.g. swapping white flour for wheat sometimes, or whatever I feel would make the recipe a little healthier without altering the dish too much).

Anyway, I strongly suggest you try this recipe!  I didn't take pictures of it, and I'm not even going to copy the recipe here, because I want Julia's Album to get the attention it deserves for this wonderful dish.  So go ahead, go check out the recipe by clicking this link.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

And now, a moment of revelation!

The other day, I made lemon pepper chicken with a side of broccoli quinoa bake for dinner. Every facet of the recommended meal plan was covered - protein, veggies, carbs, and... a pile of cheese.

I was feeling a little guilty about this. Then I realized that even though I planned on enjoying some cheese that evening, I shouldn't feel like I'm throwing away all my hard work at this "healthy living" thing. Two of my meals every day are incredibly healthy, a good portion size, and super easy to prepare. With that in mind, I am automatically eating better than I was before I started using these products 2/3 of the time!

Of course, I still try to prepare as healthy of meals as possible. Our household has been evolving slowly, building and growing into a "clean" household. That in itself is an improvement to my/our health, because we no longer put chemical-filled foods into our bodies (fluorescent orange processed cheese, anyone?). But my only point here is that instead of worrying about preparing three clean, healthy meals every day, I only have to worry about one. And if, on occasion, I decide to enjoy something that is not exactly recommended for a healthy lifestyle, I shouldn't feel guilty about it and then binge on junk for the next week because "I've already fallen off the wagon, I might as well keep going..."

It's a lifestyle, not a life sentence!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Moment of Reflection

Spring has just begun, and the weather has not yet received the memo.  Therefore, I decided to take a moment to think and write about my journey over the last year.  Last winter, I realized that I had slowly been changing.  I had been an active young girl, I always had energy for "one more horse" or "one more hay wagon," or even something more conventionally "fun." I had deteriorated into a homebody that barely had the energy to get through a workday, let alone ride my one horse, and I could generally manage to make something for dinner every night.  That's it.  I had gained weight, and on top of it I was miserably unhappy and couldn't figure out why.  My fiancee (then-boyfriend) was sometimes annoyed because he could tell my whole personality had changed - the person he had met and fallen in love with was missing.

When I came to this realization, I knew that something had to change.  I wasn't happy with how I looked, or felt, and I knew I didn't want to feel like this anymore.  So I took a good, hard look at what the two of us were eating, and slowly started adjusting.  I started using my Wii Fit (though I quickly realized this was not a viable option when our poor 110 year old home's living room floors were flexing under all my bouncing, hopping, running in place.  Believe me, it doesn't make you feel good when your home struggles under your weight).  So instead, I joined a gym.  Slowly, diligently, I worked at helping myself get better.  More and more veggies worked their way into mealtimes.  I felt myself getting physically stronger. It was great!

At least, I thought it would be great.  I still had a muffin top - partially exaggerated by today's clothing styles (why do jeans these days exacerbate the muffin top?).  I had lost a little weight, and I had a little more energy than before, and I continued struggling on.

In the meantime, I kept seeing posts on Facebook, from a friend I had known since childhood.  She had a very optimistic outlook on her adventure.  She had some AMAZING posts.  She had been posting little comments about how her life was improving, the exercises she had accomplished, and the goals she kept accomplishing.  What finally made the decision for me was when she posted pictures of herself over a two month period and you could actually SEE the amazing changes she had experienced.  I wanted to experience it for myself!

I committed to 30 days in August and lost several pounds and inches (though at the time, I thought I could maintain on my own so I didn't keep track of the actual numbers).  I just got back on the bandwagon a little over a month ago, and I will be sure to keep you updated as to my progress!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Worst Blogger Ever for the Best Possible Reason

I am the worst Blogger ever. Two posts in, and then nothin'. But the truth is, that I haven't been sitting long enough to write! Since I've started my 30 day I have found that I have limitless energy, and I no longer feel like I would rather sit at home on my computer. It's a beautiful thing :)

Now that it's getting nice out, this newfound youth is especially useful! I can work all day, go to the gym, go ride my horse, make dinner and more without flagging. I don't even suffer the post-lunch crash anymore, it's great!

The past two days, I tried deep cleansing for the first time. That's right, I didn't eat anything for two straight days. The best part was, I wasn't hungry OR malnourished (I take that back - the best part is that this cleanse is not a "dirty" OR "I'm going to feel sick all day" type of cleanse).  The cleanse product I use encourages your body to "turn on" the fat burners to accelerate weight and inches loss. Since last Saturday, I cut 6.4 pounds and 7 inches from my body! That's pretty incredible. What's more incredible is when I measured myself last Saturday, I found I had mostly maintained my results from my first go at this system, back in August 2013!

I am ready for whatever gets thrown at me. I am leaner, more healthy, and I'll be ready for summer in no time!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cravings? What cravings?

The most glorious part of my new, incredibly simple health adventure is that I am finding that I no longer crave sweets. Every morning at break time, I walk downstairs to get my cup of ice, and to get ice for my morning shake. While I'm waiting for Dave, I wander around the cafeteria.

In the past, I was constantly sucked in by the delicious looking muffins, strawberry or blueberry cream cheese croissants, or (if I was able to talk myself out of sweets that particular day) a bacon, egg and cheese burrito.  Lately, those cravings are gone. Instead of craving junk food, I don't even have to try to resist - it just happens. I look forward to enjoying my breakfast shake, and I try to get every last drop out of my Blender Bottle (yes, I'm guilty of the slurpy-straw noises, but I can't help it!  It's so good!) but when it's gone, I'm full and satisfied, and it actually costs less than what my other half gets for breakfast in the cafeteria every morning.  It's great!

In other news, tonight I hit the gym and for the first time in my life, I was able to run a mile without stopping!  I've never been able to do this!  Not even when we had to do it every semester in gym class!  And I could have kept going, but I didn't want to burn myself up in the first ten minutes!  I can't wait to see where this takes me!  I feel unstoppable! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A New Beginning

Greetings from Snowy Wisconsin!

Six months ago - in August, 2013 - I took a leap of faith and tried a product that I had very little exposure to previously.  I made the decision to try it then because my boyfriend was traveling for work (to Germany, the lucky punk!) and I had hoped to be a "changed woman" in the time he was gone. The month came and went, and results I did see - I lost weight, gained energy, and felt better than I possibly ever had, simply because I was providing my body with the right nutrition.  However, as the end of the 30 days approached, I was afraid it would be too difficult to maintain my healthy lifestyle when my regular life schedule returned.  I told myself that I would take the lessons I learned during that 30 days and incorporate them into a healthier lifestyle.  After all, getting healthy is all about putting the right things into your body to get what you want out of life!

So, the truth is, I failed at that.  Miserably.  Try as I might, I couldn't provide myself the right nourishment to maintain the vitality, the energy, the inches I lost in August.  As time passed, I knew I needed to go back.  2014 is my year for self-improvement - which encompasses so many mini-goals, ranging from paying off my credit card debt (and saving for a 2015 wedding) and any additional health-enhancing goals I can come up with along the way.  So I reordered.  And now, after less than a week in, I feel fantastic, reminiscent of my time on the 30 Day nutritional program - satisfying meals, no afternoon crashes (those are the worse, aren't they?), inches seem to be slipping off parts of my body that were a little wider than they used to be...  Plus, it's easy to prepare a shake anywhere with 8 ounces of water and a Blender Bottle!  I am so happy I have returned, I couldn't wait to share it with you!

In addition to the products that are designed for weight loss or increasing energy, there are also products for athletes looking to up their game as well as people who are interested in aging healthfully.  I feel like it is important to mention that these products are even conducive for people with many types of dietary restrictions, including diabetes (with minor adjustment and monitoring).

If you are interested in more information, please contact me!