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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Future Fitness and Food

I ran my first 5k on Thanksgiving morning- a recap is to come. For now, a quick look at my upcoming fitness endeavors:

  1. The Santa Antonio 5k on Dec. 3
  2. 4 Belly dancing classes, courtesy of GroupOn
  3. 10 boxing and/or kickboxing classes, courtesy of GroupOn
  4. Restarting SuperFit over the Christmas holiday
I'm learning that I really need things scheduled like this to keep moving. I'm glad to have so many options coming up!

At home for a few more days, enjoying having access to my beloved Trader Joes favorites- the vanilla Greek yogurt, the whole wheat mini pita pockets, and the huge tubs of hummus. I have plans to completely purge my kitchen when I get back to Texas, probably my whole house. Likely an epic undertaking that will take several hours of constant work, but I think it will be worth it. If I want to succeed in my apartment, I need to make it replicate the environments where I have succeeded before. I've been identifying foods I need to stock (doing a fairly good job there already, but a few new things need to be added to the rotation), and foods I need to toss (mainly my eggs- I only use them for making naughty things).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Thing

This is the second time this week that I have done my run first thing in the morning, and I think it is agreeing with me. Today's run included two bursts of 3 minutes of running, and I actually pulled it off. I played music for both of them, otherwise running in silence, and the first two minutes passed pretty quickly. I definitely felt my lungs a little in the last minute each time, but considering that it is twice the length of time I have run before, I'm calling it good.

Form felt pretty good. I noticed that when I made a conscious effort to speed up my foot-turnover, a little pain started creeping back into my Achilles area. So I eased off a little bit, and it went away again. Again, had a few moments where it all felt right and natural.

My main problem now is that it is freezing cold in my apartment (southern Texas has finally recognized that it is indeed November), so I have absolutely no inclination to go get on my bike or do any homework (even though I have a space heater set up next to my desk). I just want to snuggle under my covers and watch Tony-centric episodes of NCIS. But I promised myself that the DVDs would only be viewed from the bike, and I've already cheated and watched 2 episodes from my nest, so I should really cut it out.

So, in short, it's a very good thing that I just went out and got in my run this morning (it was actually almost noon, but that's beside the point). I got it out of the way before I could come up with excuses not to.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Building Better Ankles

After taking about a week off, I got back on my running schedule today to finish off Week 2. And I actually think the week off did me some good. While my ankles felt a little funny, I think my leg and ankle muscles have really developed over the past few weeks, because I didn't notice any pain until I was almost done with the program. I definitely felt the cardio in my lungs, but not to the point where I had to stop. A few times I even went over the target running time by accident. The whole endeavor just started to feel more natural. Time passed quickly, and I was able to run happily without any music (even though my iPod was actually charged for once). And when I got home, I was able to put a big X through another training day. Hooray!

P90X again tonight, more juicing, and more time on the bike. I have been also taking a serious break from juicing, so I'm going to make up for it today by trying out broccoli in a juice. I'm thinking broccoli, spinach, collard greens, and an apple. Should be very green! On the bike front, however, I've been much better. I've gotten obsessed with NCIS lately, and I've taken to marathoning episodes from my bike, on and off throughout the day. I've logged as many as 25 miles in one day, which is exciting.

Now I should really go have breakfast. What shall it be?...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Potentials and Partners

Today's juice: celery, kale stems, and apple, with chia seeds mixed in and left to gel. Not the most pleasant drink. I don't think I'm a fan of celery. It seems oddly... peppery? I'd like to get used to the chia part, however. Once my mind and body have gotten used to juicing (at least another week, if not two, I should think), I'd like to grit my teeth and try a 10 -Day "ReBoot," or juice fast, as seen in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Because I will be working out quite a bit during that time, I want to make absolutely certain I am getting enough oomph in my diet to continue progressing. I have heard that mixing in chia seeds is a popular method of accomplishing that.



Started P90X with Katie today (though she had to leave early because it is her mother's birthday, so we didn't get to AbRipperX). For now, we are doing it three times a week- her idea- but today she expressed some interest in maybe bumping it up to the full schedule! And, added incentive to keep up with it: one of her roommates will start joining us several times a week. So now there are three people all poking at each other to stay on track.

I've been keeping up with my running schedule, but I'm still experiencing a lot of tightness and sometimes a little pain in my lower-calf/Achilles area. Looking into strengthening exercises and stretches to try and alleviate that, and trying to monitor my runs to not push it to the point of injury. I do think that my endurance is already improving, however. Tomorrow pushes the running up to 90 seconds a shot. I'm interested to see how it goes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Immediate Reflections on Juicing

Today's juice: kale, cucumber, apple. A much prettier color than yesterday!

Today's run: Day Three of Week One- the same as the rest of the week, 60 seconds jogging with 90 seconds recovery repeated for a total of 20 minutes.

I have arranged with my mother to do a Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving together. We don't know yet which part of the state we will be in on which days, but as we get closer we can actually officially sign up. So this means that for my first race I will have someone to talk to, and for my second (just a week later!) I will have a Santa suit! This seems like a good sign for my running career.

Yesterday, after juicing for the first time, I got on such an energy high. First it was an emotional buzz, pride that I had done it and excitement and the like. Then I think my body realized it actually had micronutrients in it, and it went berserk. I was calling my entire family, trying to get someone on the phone so I could bubble over to them, and realized that I was speed walking in very tight circular paths all over my apartment. So I slipped on my Vibrams in record time, hopped outside, and absolutely booked it about half a mile up an incline. I talked my sister's ear off for about half an hour, wandered around the athletic fields at school, one eye on the soccer game, and then beat the fall of night to get back into my apartment. Made some Mexican rice with brown rice, cleaned up the kitchen some more, and got a wonderful night's sleep.

Actually letting my juice chill this morning, but it should be pretty cold by now, so I'm about to head out to have it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting the Juices Flowing

Holy cow, holy cow, holy cow.

I was feeling particularly sluggish this morning- eating nothing healthy, lying flat on my back glued to my computer, the works. And it just kept eating and eating at my mind. Yes, I know I said I'm not striving for perfection, but this just felt like it was actively causing the problem, rather than maintaining status quo or working to correct it. But I couldn't make myself do anything.

I reopened a document I started a few days ago about juicing. I'd heard about juicing, of course, but never given it much thought until Emily talked about watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Suddenly, juicing was on my mind. I checked my Netflix- Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead was available for instant watching. I instantly watched. Suddenly, juicing was all I could think about.

But I'm on a student budget. The juicer Emily was getting was $200. Hmm. I started brainstorming all of the different ways I could raise that amount of extra cash. Even if I started implementing all of those steps right away, it would still be easily a month before I felt I had the disposable income on hand. And it ate at me.

Then, today, as I moved from lying flat on the couch back to lying flat on my bed, a serious discontentment started festering. About 20 minutes later, I suddenly jackknifed up. I don't remember any thought process taking me there- I think I was in the middle of watching an episode of Chuck- but I had an urgent need to see if Walmart had any juicers. I checked my store specifically. Yes, they had exactly one model in my store- $30, with pretty good reviews. My heart rate skyrocketed. I remained in bed long enough to read through most of the reviews, and check the questions area to see if it would juice greens. All things checked out.

It was a Scarlett O'Hara moment of types. I knew I needed to do it, I knew I couldn't stay in my apartment any longer. I had to go out and get it. I had my makeup on in record time, and was feeling bold enough to wear lip color. Then I remembered to grab a reusable grocery bag, and skipped to my car. I have rarely felt so empowered. I felt oddly serious and driven, but with an underlying jubilation that caused me to loudly sing along to my radio during the drive to Walmart. I marched straight in, located the juicer within a minute, snagged a cheapo pitcher so I can make up large batches in the morning (my model only holds 8oz at a time), and was out of the store within 5 minutes, less than $35 dollars poorer. [Geek sidetrip: according to my microeconomics professor, I may have actually been about $150 richer, because I was able to get something I would have spent almost $200 on for less than $50, thus giving my $150 in Consumer Surplus]

I carefully placed it in the trunk, and then zipped over to Whole Foods, where I scouted for all of the sales on produce. Carrots, Fiji apples, kiwis, a lemon, a grapefruit, two cucumbers, a bunch of kale and a bunch of romaine. I already had spinach, tomatoes, limes, and more lemons in my fridge, languishing unloved in my vegetable crisper. I think I am being entirely honest when I say that I currently have more vegetables in my fridge than I have eaten in my entire college career combined.

Triumphantly returning home, I was energized to clean up my kitchen (which was in an absolutely incredible state this morning, adding to the extreme lazy bum feeling of the morning). I looked up a few recipes online, and decided that there was enough variation to basically wing it. Out came the sparkling new juicer, cleaned and set up, and I chopped up enough kale, cucumber, and carrot to make 1 glass (250 ml/8 oz).



I set it in the fridge to get nice and cold, and cleaned up- really quite an easy affair, though I do need to invest in a cheapo toothbrush to help clean the screen. Around this point I started having my standard "Oh God it's vegetables" brain freeze, so I snatched the juice out of the fridge before it could get properly cold. I took a picture to commemorate the moment, and ran to my computer to crank my number one Changing My Life Song- "Watch Me Shine" by Vanessa Carlton (also known as the song to which Elle Woods changes her life in Legally Blonde). Then I downed it, the whole glass. It wasn't super yummy by any means, but it was certainly palatable. I only had a gag reflex once, towards the very end when all of the micropulp started to build up at the bottom of the glass. But I pushed through and finished it all.



Now I'm all buzzy and super excited. I think I will be jumping up and down and calling my mom in short order, and then probably zooming away on the bike as I cackle hysterically at last night's episode of The Mentalist. I don't even know if it is a particularly funny one, I just think I'm going to find everything as amusing as possible.

I did it! I ingested KALE. I juiced! I have a juicer! And I'm using it! Scarlett O'Hara, this is how we do things in the New South.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Small Steps into Training

Just back in from completing my second training run. That is as far as I have pretty much ever gotten in any self-policed training program ever. Farther, in many cases. I generally stop at the planning stage, or sometimes after Day 1. I also have never had an actual, scheduled event coming up that I have trained for, so hopefully that is the kicker that will continue to get me out the door.

I know from previous experience (walking the Breast Cancer 3-Day -60 miles-) that I can physically finish something relatively low-key but still strenuous without training, but it was darn uncomfortable, and I was near to dead last on each of the two days of it that I walked alone. Note to Self: I want to walk it again. Must start earning money so I don't have to worry about the fund-raising (much harder than walking 60 miles in 3 days on little-to-no training, btw). End Note to Self.

However, I don't want to whimper through my Santa run. I want to charge through it, perhaps with a pathetic time, but with oomph and energy to spare. So training it is.

I was originally going to do my second run yesterday, but as with any time I restart my running program since switching to minimalist running, I have to deal with the overwhelming calf and ankle pain for a few days after as my muscles recover. Yesterday was the peak of the pain, so I scrapped the running plan and pushed it to today. The area below my main calf muscle but above my ankle was still pretty tight today (I suspect my ankles still need a lot of strengthening), but it loosened quite nicely by the end of my run. Still sore, of course, but feeling better.

I felt really strong during the first part of my run today. I felt I could go longer than the prescribed 60 seconds, and take shorter breaks than the prescribed 90 seconds. By the second half, I was dragging a lot more than I was during my first run. Perhaps not enough water and proper fuel this time, or a result of slightly giving in to the urge to push harder during the first half of the run? Time will tell, I suppose. Still learning who I am as a runner. One thing I have learned just from my scattered running exploits over the past year is that I run fast. Not when it comes to sprinting- I'm probably pretty slow at that. But out-on-the-street jogging/running- I zoom. Unintentionally, I assure you. It might be a biproduct of working on quick turnover that will fade away as I settle into my running form, it might be that love of speed I discovered in DC, or it might just be something about my own form or body or what have you. For right now, I consciously work to slow down so I don't exhaust myself early on, but I hope to don't stamp it out. It amuses me!

Now I must go fuel. Normally I'm all about hot beans in some fashion (stir fried tofu, beans with melted cheese, burritos, falafel, etc.), but since San Antonio doesn't believe in fall weather (I just ran in near-90 degree heat), I am actually craving something cold. I think my spinach is probably dead, so I'm running to the local HEB for some spinach, and then it's time to pound back a Green Monster! Woot!

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Official

Well, I did it. I signed up.

As I walked out of class today, I started to suspect that, seeing as it was a Monday morning, I would find that my parents had replenished my checking account. I logged on as soon as I was in the door, and sure enough, there it was: a nice large, shiny number, from which I immediately removed $38.60 to sign up for a 5k.

I will be running the inaugural Santa Antonia 5k on December 3rd. It's a little more than 6 weeks, but I don't yet know what my Thanksgiving schedule will be, so I couldn't sign up for any Seattle-area Turkey Trots at this time. So maybe, by the time I get around to it, the Santa Antonia won't be my first race. But it will be my first in a Santa suit! That's right- they provide every runner with a Santa suit on race day. I am so psyched. (I have a serious love for all things Christmas)

As previously stated, I am running this thing whether I train or not. So, in order to feel better about it all, I'm going to train! I'm all dressed, I've just checked Day 1 of the Couch-to-5k program, and I'm about to head out the door.

And this evening, Katie is coming over for our first day of co-P90X-ing!

Two major undertakings started in one day. I'm so accomplished! (And yes, my first 5k totally counts as a major undertaking. I don't care if it is weeny compared to the ultimate goal of running ultramarathons, for me to be able to run for a mile without stopping is going to be huge. I am so excited!).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Hour a Day

I found a list on Huffington Post that shows the most common habits among people who have lost a great deal of weight and kept it off for at least five years. The key findings that interested me:
  1. 78% eat breakfast every morning. I vacillate when it comes to how good I am at this. I generally strive to, but sometimes sleep or last-minute studying take the place of getting up early enough to eat before I run off to class. I will work on improving my consistency.
  2. 90% exercise about an hour a day. It doesn't specify cardio or weights, but I want to make sure I am doing both. Simply being skinny has never excited me- I want to be tone. I want defined arms and abs. I want to be able to pull myself up onto that darn dock in Chelan. But I also want to stop being out of breath whenever I have to make the mad dash from my dance class all the way across campus to my economics class in one passing period.
  3. 62& watch fewer than 10 hours of TV a week. I have three, soon to be four, shows I watch each week. This should bring me to a mere 4 hours, but I have a tendency to channel surf sometimes. I am instituting a new rule: the 4 shows can be, but don't need to be, watched while sedentary on the couch. Anything else, be it a game or an awards show or any other movie or show I find, must be watched from on the bike. Still trying to figure out what rule I institute for watching Netflix on my computer. 
Specific to getting my minimum of one hour in a day, then. One of my best friends lives a two minute walk from my door, and works out pretty diligently. After talking about it earlier in the week, we are officially partnering up to do P90X. Right now, we are just scheduled for three days a week, but I am going to add in at least some basic resistance training on off days, so that I don't go two weeks between exercising a particular muscle group as we currently will be scheduled to do. It's an actual proper schedule- specific times on specific days. I can already tell that I'm going to be pretty hard-nosed about it. I don't intend for us to miss these sessions.

Finally, for my running. I read over Emily's Journey to Running this morning, and she started out right where I am now. So, as soon as I get some money back in my account, I am signing up- and paying for- a 5K. Two months away, maximum. And then I am going to run it whether I train for it or not. I'm hoping that having that looming deadline will get me out and training more often than not. Maybe I'll luck out and my friend will train for that with me as well, or I can at least get a friend to run it with me, but regardless, I need to actually get out there and run a race. Running just isn't happening for me without something to strive to. So let's see what happens when there is a tangible goal.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Perfection

An amazing thing happened about 10 days ago.

I decided to stop feeling guilty about eating junk food, and just subscribe to Michael Pollan's idea: you can have as much junk food as you want, you just have to make it yourself. I promptly made myself some cookie dough, as I often do. Usually, an entire (half-recipe) batch is gone within about 24 hours. Not good. And I feel guilty from the moment I think of making it to well after I have finished scraping the bowl.

This time, it lasted almost a week. I could go snag a bite or two whenever I wanted to, no strings attached. Most of the time, that more than took the edge off of the sugar craving, and I wandered away, or ate some beans if I was actually hungry.


I also decided that going completely whole hog with vegetables and One Hundred Percent Mega Nutritional Meals Only was not really working about, and I didn't want to spend time in my kitchen. In addition to working harder to keep my kitchen a physically inviting space, I also decided to focus on just getting in there and cooking most meals, regardless of their nutrients. Making alfredo sauce on pasta, or buttermilk pancakes, or what have you, is going to be a sight better than nuking some pizza rolls or filling up on cookie dough because I just want out of that darn kitchen. 

And then I started making reasonably healthy things, based on craving alone. Sun-dried tomato pesto on whole wheat bowtie pasta. Falafel (I think this is the best batch I've ever made!!). Peanut-sauce tofu and quinoa.


Once I took the pressure off of myself to be immediately perfect, I started improving! I've still got a long way to go, but I've already lost two pounds this week. So something is starting to work.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Check Out Line

Generally, I feel moderately okay to moderately shameful/guilty when I am checking out at the grocery store. Moderately good: canned beans, Lean Cuisine, skim milk, whole wheat tortellini, and maybe something naughty. Moderately shameful/guilty: several naughty items (white cheddar popcorn, chocolate, pizza rolls, ice cream, etc.), and maybe something "healthy" like a Lean Cuisine.

I have read on multiple occasions about how we have an incorrect idea of what eating healthy is in the US- Lean Cuisines and 100-calorie packs and lowfat options for everything. I don't think that we necessarily need to completely cut out those things, and they have their place in a healthy diet, but I agree- eating those alone is not a truly healthy, nutritious diet.

Today, though, today I felt great. This entire weekend is going to be thunderstorms in my part of Texas, so I ran out to Whole Foods to restock before the roads flooded (they like to do that here. Today, I also learned that my "safe" alternate route, the freeway, also floods! Good to know). I didn't really notice until I was checking out, but I had solely awesome goodies in my basket. I felt so proud to lay out my stash- a bunch of bananas, baby spinach, two packs of extra firm tofu, a little bit of garam masala from the bulk bins, adzuki beans from bulk, black rice from bulk, raw cashew pieces from bulk, Greek yogurt (2 plain, 2 vanilla), and gluten-free multi-grain penne. Grains, beans, nuts, tofu, yogurt, and fresh produce. I feel like such a health nut vegetarian! Which is, of course, the goal.

I'm trying to focus in on the really positive and really negative feelings various types of eating provoke lately. Yes, I always feel really happy and good when I am making, and even eating my white cheddar sauce on whole wheat penne. But I always feel ill afterwards. I am testing out some GF pasta this week, to see if that is the culprit. When I was eating nothing but beans, yogurt, and whole grains during the summer, I felt ecstatic working out, practically getting giddy when I surged forward in a resistance exercise. Now, I feel weak and shaky early on in a workout. On the more mental side, I generally feel ashamed and guilty when I am at the grocery store, especially lately, but then today I felt so proud and special!

One of the things I have learned in my quest to kick my eating disorder is that there are two major aspects: changing habits (what you physically do) and changing mindsets (how you feel about what you do and don't do, why you do what you physically do). Changing habits is going to be making food substitutions, writing about why I want to binge instead of bingeing (is it actually binging? That sounds like it should be pronounced Bing-Ing, but it's all my spell-check is offering...), riding my bike instead of snacking while I watch TV. Changing my mindset is going to be about focusing in on these good feelings, until they become the norm and the craving, not the exciting exception.

So, what have I learned about what makes me feel good in the check out line? Whole foods, natural fuel for the body. Ingredients for a recipe, not a list of ingredients in and of themselves. I like that the yogurt was the most packaged, processed thing on the belt. I love that I had fresh produce. I love that I had uncooked beans. And tofu just always sends a good message.

Things to know for the future.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Peanut Sauce Quest

I may have just stumbled upon the end of my quest for The Perfect Peanut Sauce. For several years now I have been wandering through the archives of endless food blogs and recipe books, searching for that elusive mixture of reasonable health/nutrition and restaurant taste. Each time I find something that seems so promising, something falls flat when I actually make it. Generally, it's the sesame oil. I love the idea of it, but I hate the taste every time. Not like my dislike of vegetables, where it's more of the same mentality that makes me freak out over microscopic spiders than actual distate. I strongly dislike the taste of sesame oil. Some are too sweet (I honestly didn't think there was such a thing until I finally tasted it), others too bland, some just plain weird tasting. Every blogger insists that it is The Peanut Sauce For All Eternity, so feel free to take my recipe in stride. But, here it is, in its current form. I want to transition it a little healthier, using natural peanut butter or maybe even PB2, and then cutting down a little on the agave. But for now, here it is:

Equal parts soy sauce, amber agave syrup (or maple syrup), and water. Add a scoop of peanut butter roughly equivalent to the combined liquids. Shake on some powdered ginger, chili powder, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine. It won't want to whisk at first (peanut butter can be fussy that way)- persevere. It will give into your demands eventually, and taste absolutely amazing.

This was good on its own, and good on quinoa and rice. It was absolute perfection, however, when sauteed onto tofu (see Emily's tofu marinade for the process, just sub in this peanut sauce). Warm, sweet and savory both, an absolute perfect compliment to the subtle flavors of the tofu.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm in love. And I may have completed my quest.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Steam Frying and Derrière Burning

In light with my topic from yesterday- too many diverging dietary opinions- I have another little compromise I'm going to make. As I was making up some of my healthy falafel for lunch, I thought about how many things I will be sauteing in olive oil in the coming months. At least it's good for me, right? Then we run into the whole debate on oils. Gah.

For some items, I am going to continue to use the olive oil. Probably with the falafel, possibly also with the tofu. Though I do want to experiment with baked falafel.... Anywhoo, for the standard "saute the onions" bit that precedes most recipes, I want to experiment with this:






Hopefully I can figure out how to do this with other items, though I have my doubts about it being a viable option for tofu. I guess it's worth trying, though! (Also- assuming the man in that video is neither married nor gay, I call dibs, ladies)


In quick workout news, stalled on P90X Day 2, but getting back on the horse tonight. Not going to allow myself to feel guilty- the first day I missed was due to honestly not having the time- I was working on homework or in class from 8am to 3:30am. The days that have come since are not ideal, but starting something as big as P90X is bound to have a few stumbles. I don't want many, but I don't view having one or two as failure. As long as I get back on the horse, that is ;)

Additionally, I did a standard longer bike ride this morning, then hopped on for some HIIT. Only made it through 2 high-intensity intervals instead of the goal 4, but my heart and breath were going nicely haywire. I can still feel a little of that horrid feeling in the top of my chest that I get when I really push it on cardio, and it's been easily half an hour now. Walking was also interesting for at least 10 minutes- recumbent bikes are excellent for the posterior region!

Taking a Look at Beans

Maybe I'm just using the wrong search terms. But I'm unable to come up with a simple list or chart that discusses the various nutritional aspects of the different varieties of beans and lentils. I've found ones that discuss tastes and what they are best paired with, and individual pages that go into absolutely exhaustive length about the specific nutritional breakdowns of individual beans. No basic list that says "Chickpeas are good sources of x, y, and z, and work well in q. Black beans are high in j, as well as being good sources of k and l." So, I'm going to take 30 minutes and make up my own, posted here for future reference.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE OF BEANS

  • Adzuki Beans
    • Sweet, "nutty flavor"
    • Good source of iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and folic acid
    • High in protein, low in fat
  • Black beans
    • Excellent source of protein, folate, and fiber
    • Good source of iron, magnesium, thiamin
    • Good source of antioxidants
    • Dense texture, water used to boil is useful for seasoning other dishes
  • Garbanzo Beans 
    • Good for use in Middle Eastern recipes like falafel and hummus
    • Extremely high in protein
    • Good source of carbs for people with insulin sensitivity
    • Good source of folate and dietary fiber, source of iron, magnesium, and phosphorus
  • Kidney Beans
    • Absolutely vital to boil these for at least 10 minutes. NEVER consume raw or undercooked
    • High in fiber, protein, folate, and iron
    • Vitamin K, Thiamin, Phosphorus, mangesium, manganese, potassium
  • Lentils
    • particularly high in protein (of all vegetable sources, rank third under soy and hemp)
    • extremely low in fat
    • Good source of fiber
    • Excellent source of iron (more than half the recommended daily value), folate, and thiamin
  • Lima Beans
    • Keep blood sugars steady, good for those with insulin sensitivities
    • High in fiber, iron
    • Lowers cholesterol
    • Good source of folate, manganese, etc.
  • Navy Beans
    • Helps lower cholesterol, fights cancer cell growth, antibacterial and antifungal properties
    • Extremely low in fat, extremely high in fiber
    • Good source of calcium and iron
    • Good source of protein
  • Pinto Beans
    • Help to reduce cholesterol 
    • When combined with rice, makes for a complete protein
    • Excellent source of fiber
    • Good source of iron, phosphorous, manganese
  • Soy Beans
    • Contains all of the essential amino acids- a complete protein in and of itself
      • particularly high in protein, as well
    • Vitamin B6, Vitamin K
    • Good source of calcium and fiber
    • Excellent source of iron (looks like pretty much the entire recommended amount)
  • Split Peas
    • particularly excellent source of protein and fiber
    • Strong source of iron, thiamine, folate
    • extremely low in fat

Note: "Good Source" generally means 10-30% (I wasn't too specific). It might occasionally deviate, but if I wasn't blown away but it seemed somewhat significant, it got this designation

Having done this, I wanted to take a quick look at some of the repeating nutrients I was relatively unfamiliar with. Here is what they do for you:
  • phosphorus
    • part of the structural framework of DNA and RNA, used to transport energy between cells
    • When combined with calcium, helps strengthen bones and tooth enamel
    • Important to not overload your body with phosphorus- at extremely high levels, it starts to affect the body's ability to absorb other important nutrients
  • manganese
    • helps the superoxide your body produces to kill pathogens and infections not kill you
  • magnesium
    • essential for the functioning of virtually every cell type in your body
    • If using only dietary sources, and not supplements, nearly impossible to overdose, as kidneys are efficient at flushing it
    • Magnesium deficiency can lead to development of asthma, diabetes, and osteoporosis
  • potassium
    • nerve transmissions, healthy cardiac system, healthy nervous system- keeps brain firing, keeps muscles from contracting
  • folate
    • One of the B-vitamins (B9)
    • helps synthesize and repair DNA
    • produces healthy red blood cells and thus prevents anemia 
    • Not getting enough can lead to cancer, but can be problematic once you already have cancer (due to its proclivity for enhancing the ability of cells to regenerate, regardless of how good those cells are for you)
    • especially important for pregnant women
  • vitamin K
    • blood coagulation and bone metabolism (no idea what the latter is, but it sounds important)
  • zinc
    • structural role with protein
    • eyes and brain function
    • metabolism of DNA and RNA
    • reproductive systems
  • thiamine
    • B1
    • breaks down sugars in the diet
    • aids the nervous system and heart
Final Note: this is my own loose research. Think of it as Wikipedia when starting a research paper- it gives you a general framework, but you are better off sticking to the experts for actual usable data. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Too Many Cooks

When I started getting serious about turning my health around, I started hitting the books, and more specifically, the blogs, like crazy. I read and read and read and collected tips and made lists of foods to get and routines to start. I gradually filtered my way down to what I follow on a regular basis. Out went a lot of larger, less targeted places, like AOL Health, and even Shape Magazine, and now I always get a little bummed out on weekends because Emily and Angela take the weekends off. I also love Matt over at NoMeatAthlete.

Though there are individual differences, overall these three sites provide me with relatively similar overall health schemes. Something I've started to figure out over the past few months is, I really shouldn't delve any deeper than that right now. As you start delving deeper, you start getting more and more contradictory evidence. How much protein do you really need? Are grains and beans superfoods, or are they slowly killing you? Fruit- yes or no? Everyone has scientific evidence up the wahzoo about why their set-up is best. Everyone has anecdotes and the very compelling story of their own personal enlightenment.

I know of two quick-loss diets with very similar concepts. Stick with veggies and protein most of the time, and occasionally splurge on what you want. In one plan, it's at dinner, in the other, it's one day a week. Both forbid fruit except during the splurges. However, one expressly forbids beans but highly encourages dairy. The other expressly forbids dairy but insists it will never work without beans. At one point early in the summer, I literally wandered around my kitchen starving for three hours because I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be eating. I don't actually remember what I ended up having, but I'm fairly certain it was in violation of both.

Even though I haven't properly stuck to either- one of my favorite No-Starchy-Grains Diet meals is beans and cheese, which has a strike against it in either column- I have felt a little guilty for months every time I have a grain. There is the little voice somewhere wondering if I shouldn't be having it, because it will slow down my weight loss.

Yes, I would love for the pounds to just fall off. There was a brief glorious period in the summer of 2009 when I dropped about 25 pounds practically without thinking about it. Every single morning, I would excitedly rush to the scale and see at least 1, often 2 or 3 pounds off the previous day. I've isolated everything I can think of about that month, and tried to recreate it, and so far, nada. Can't repeat it. I've just come to realize in the past day or so that that drop in 2009 brought me to a state of equilibrium. At the amount I eat, the quality of what I eat, and the amount of exercise I get, this is where I stay pretty darn consistently. It oscillates by about 5-8 pounds depending on how good or bad I am being month to month, but it has not strayed from the same 10-pound range (think 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 130-140) in two years, save for a few precious days when it dipped down into the 9.5s of the next 10-range, on a few occasions.

To be accurate, I actually realized the equilibrium factor over a year ago. Where I am really going with this is that in the past day I have realized that quick change probably isn't really an option right now. I need to work with what I have to get what I want. One of the things I have right now is a fondness for whole grains and beans, and a distaste for most fruits and vegetables. I am working steadily to improve my palate for the fruits and veggies, but I'm not going to turn up my nose at nutrient-dense grains and beans that have been sustaining highly active and healthy populations for millenia if I know I'm not going to be replacing it with produce.

I'm going to stop delving deeper, and just enjoy my two blogs that I know and love. A few years down the road, when it is a lifestyle and not a goal/transition, I would love to start looking into raw veganism and the "fruitarian" 80-10-10 thing discussed on NoMeatAthlete today. But if I do it now, I either won't eat, or I'll end up self-destructing, figuring that I can't win in any case, so might as well eat junk that I know is junk. I'm going to read NoMeatAthlete a little more carefully for right now, since he discusses and sometimes espouses a lot of the more intense options. I need to stop confusing myself. I need to get to the point where I'm addicted to how good I feel physically (and emotionally) when I treat my body right. Right now, I love how that feels, but I'm addicted to the emotional feeling I get from stuffing my face with things I know are bad for me. So I'm not going to worry about what The Ultimate Best Way to treat my body is. I'm just going to focus on treating it a lot better.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Off to a Good Start

52 minutes on the bike today, for 8.78 miles and supposedly 450 calories. Those things tend to be inflated, but I think it probably still did me some good! Legs feeling decidedly shaky, even if I wasn't absolutely pouring sweat or out of breath at any point.

Did my first day of P90X today! Actually tracked my reps this time, which I didn't do when I first experimented with it in France. I had to cut out early on the AbRipper part, due partly to muscle fatigue, but also in large part to just plain running out of steam. I first noticed this second phenomenon during the second half of the summer at SuperFit, after I stopped fueling as well as I did during the first half. My body just doesn't have the energy to go all-out during an intense workout, because I am not feeding it properly. Had some of the chili today, so that's a start, and now that I've busted through that barrier, I'm going to use it in burritos with some of the quinoa that's also chilling in the fridge.

Didn't get any time in on the bike yesterday, but I was out and active all day. Well, not active all day, since we were floating a river, but I put in quite a few good swim intervals, especially when I was towing 7 linked tubes with my friends in them. I now sport some very interesting-looking sunburns, despite my best efforts to stay sun-safe. Off for shower and more aloe, then!

Tomorrow: long easy bike (probably with television or movie), and short interval bike. Day 2 of P90X (I think it's legs and back?). Beans in at least two meals or snacks, whole grain in at least one. I have the sweet chili sauce, so tofu is a distinct possibility, though I don't have anything for the quinoa yet. Hopefully I can find a good teriyaki joint around here that sells their teriyaki sauce. If not, there is always peanut sauce, and in one week (!!) I will be 21 and will be able to buy my own sake to make my own teriyaki sauce.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Learning About the Bike

Work on the Bike:

Day 1:
  • Bike arrives
  • Put together
  • 35 minutes, 6 miles
Day 2:
  • Busy all day, but hop on for my minimum required 10 minutes of solid, sweat-inducing work around 1:30 am after DD-ing and dancing all night.
Day 3:
  • 50 minutes of medium resistance- enough to feel it the whole time, and work up a consistent sweat, but not to be ragged of breath or pouring sweat. No intervals, but knocked out a good 8 miles while catching up on my USA Network genius. 
  • For now, this won't count as an actual workout, but will count as time put on the bike each day. However, depending on how I schedule my HITT workouts, 8 miles that leave the legs a little shaky might count as my cardio for a few days each week. I'd like to have a bit more rise in the heart rate, though. This was mainly just to keep moving instead of vegging. 
Today's experiment in using the bike while marathoning television was at once successful, informative, and perhaps a little disappointing. Overall, however, I will qualify it as a success. I burned some calories, and handily kept myself from munching while watching- a double win there! Sometimes I will want to log an actual workout while watching television, but I think just simple moving and breaking a sweat is also a worthy occupation. The main disappointment came from how much I noticed it, for what I wanted to be just moving. Time passed pretty quickly, but I was also pretty aware that I was on the bike for just about the entire time.  I only got a little into the second episode before I decided to hop off the bike. I think within a week or two I should be able to go for 3 episodes at a time, once I get some proper fuel in me, and build up a little strength and awareness again. It's been a while since I've been on a bike, and since I've eaten right.

My goals for this Saturday, then:
  1. Clear up the space/finish organizing the space in the front room where I will do P90X (though I did just have a brain wave the I can probably put it on my laptop and do it in the dining room, which requires no rearranging. Should still organize the front room, though....)
  2. Clean up the kitchen enough so that I am excited to be in there cooking up good things. Maybe try out that new energy bar formula on No Meat Athlete... I need to break in that food processor at some point!
  3. Heat up some of the chili and have it over quinoa. I need to get some nutrients in this body, and fast! It's getting angry at me. 
  4. Get the makings for peanut sauce, and sweet chili sauce so that I have stuff for tofu. I know Emily at Daily Garnish loves it with just salt and pepper, but I don't know that I'm there yet. 
  5. Commit to a blender. Get said blender. Make a mini Green Monster and just down it. 
  6. Homework....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Giant Post of Update- and a Bike!

I have landed once more in the Lone Star State, to start my senior year. I've got my own place, with my own kitchen, which is nice. I went a little crazy with junk food and binging during my first week here (interesting factoid: brownies make me uncomfortably full significantly faster than other foods, at smaller quantities even). But it's really been eating at me for several days now, and the arrival of my bike coincides nicely with my revived interest in being healthy and fit and generally smart about how I am treating my body.

So that's probably the biggest news: I have a cardio machine! I mentioned to my parents that I was looking on Craigslist for a recumbent bike to get for myself, and they decided to help me get a nice one. It isn't one of the $300 or $600 ones, but it is a good, solid, highly rated bike. I was figuring it wouldn't have enough resistance to do High-Intensity Interval Training, but until I really build up on it, I think the top resistance level will definitely do the trick for HIIT. Putting together the bike took somewhere in the range of an hour, give or take (I didn't think to look at a clock to time it), and was a lower level work-out in itself on a few occasions. But I prevailed, and it is solid, and looks good! Some of the cheaper ones just looked cheap, and weird. This one isn't quite as substantial as you would find in a higher-quality gym, but it looks like a proper piece of equipment. It looks like it should. Which makes me more inclined to use it!

I have it set up in my front room, near the TV. One of the reasons I wanted a recumbent bike over any other cardio machine is that it is the only one where your head doesn't bob up and down at all while you work. When I have lots of reading to do for class (and I'm a history major, so you'd better believe that extensive reading comes with the territory), I can work on a recumbent bike, but not anything else. Same for reading for pleasure. But, of course, for most workouts, I will be glued to the TV. I have DVR, which is excellent, so I can watch my shows whenever the workout mood strikes me, but I do like to watch things real time when I can. I love being the first to know about new plot developments! So commercial breaks could make for good built in intervals. We'll have to see about that- the intervals in HITT are generally supposed to only be the length of one or two commercials. Some trial and error over the next week, then.

I want to do both planned workouts and just general moving on this bike. HITT and hard, sweat-inducing rides are a must. Tonight, I pulled up George W. Bush's 9/11 Interview on my DVR and biked more than 6 miles, at a pretty consistent 10 mile pace on varying medium-high resistances. That was a pretty solid workout. And I'd like for that to be mostly what I do. But I also love to just watch and watch and watch full seasons of shows in one sitting. So, I want to have the option of not actually sitting. While I don't want it to be my main activity, I want to give myself permission to bike a little slower, on low resistance, sometimes, just to make sure that I'm still moving when I have a marathon TV session. Leave being entirely sedentary for being in class and working on the computer.

Ultimately, I want to put in a solid workout on this bike most days of the week, if not everyday. Even a ten minute HITT session if I'm totally slammed that day. I know you are not supposed to do HITT every single day, so I'll need to stay aware of that.

On the eating front, from this point out:
I've been making plans to be eating healthy this whole while, even if I have been sabotaging myself. I stocked up on whole grains and beans. I am even storing them in a wonderfully mismatched set of mason jars like my favorite bloggers! I made a batch of quinoa, and a batch of Cuban black beans. I made half of the CBB into a really fabulous looking chili. It's all chilling in my fridge right now- I've only had a scoop of the quinoa, in a burrito one morning, and haven't touched the beans or the chili. About half way into the first can of vegetarian refried beans I opened, as well. Tomorrow I'm going all out, though. I've had some of my Kashi a few times, and I'm definitely having a bowl tomorrow. A plate of beans and cheese for a mid-classes snack. Maybe a burrito at lunch, and then the chili and some corn muffins for dinner. I have the makings for a Green Monster, and a block of tofu, but no blender for the GM or makings of a sauce for the tofu.

I do have a food processor, which is excellent. It's huge, not like the wonderful 3-cup one we have at home, and certainly not as nice. But it should do for making falafel, hummus, and pesto, and for blending soups until I get a blender. I have my eye on a $50 Ninja one. It gets fabulous reviews for not being a Vitamix or a Blendtec, but is still reasonably affordable. I want one that really pulverizes the spinach in my GMs.

Shopping list: fixings for peanut sauce, sweet chili sauce, blender, parsley for falafel, lemons for falafel and hummus, basil for pesto, walnuts for pesto. And a new garlic press! We bought a $5 one, and it broke on the 2nd clove. I saw the nice one we use at home at TJMaxx for less than $10, so I'm going back for it. I love doing fresh-pressed garlic. Don't get me wrong, I still keep the minced around (darn good thing I did, too, when the press broke on me mid-chili), but I feel so fancy using the press.

The final piece of the puzzle is my weight training, and this is probably what I'm most nervous about. I brought my P90X DVDs, my workout bands, and my workout gloves. No more bugging out because my hands are dying! I have the requisite floor space, a TV, an area rug for the sit-ups, the whole shebang. I'm just a little worried about actually getting myself to do it. I'll keep you updated on that, for better or for worse. I'd better get on it soon, though, or I'll lose everything I gained at Superfit over the summer!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Good Diet = Good Performance

Before I get into the heart of today's post, I just wanted to share some news: I officially kicked off my summer running program. My goal is to be able to pretty solidly run/jog (whichever I tend naturally towards, I guess) 2-3 miles. I'm still deciding this week whether I want to train with the standard Couch to 5k program (7 weeks to be able to walk/run a 5k, or a little over 3 miles) or with this "8 Weeks to Become a Runner" program over at Runner's World (8 weeks to run nonstop for 30 minutes, or a little over 2 miles). One lets me cover more distance, one lets me go for longer times. But regardless of which I end up with, the first week works roughly the same.

Unlike prior attempts at running, this summer I am not just deciding to myself that it would be cool. I have roped in my parents to keep me honest, and I will be printing out my training schedule once I decide on it and posting it in the kitchen, for all to see, crossing off days as I complete them. If I can complete either of these programs by the time I get to San Antonio in late August, I will be prepped and ready to join the half-marathon training group run by my school. Today, I went power-walking with my dad for a good 75 minutes or so, on hilly terrain, with 7 separate jog intervals thrown in. Not by time, but rather by distance. We estimate that the majority were about 100-125 yards, but one was an absolute killer, and included a pretty decent hill. I'm still working on keeping my pace slower but my foot rate quicker, and I experimented with the whole "leaning forward at the ankles" style. It shows definite promise, but it's going to take some getting used to.

So much for a quick update!

What I've really been wanting to get on here and talk about for a few days now is nutrition and work-out recovery. Not in the traditional sense of what to eat immediately following a workout. Rather, how my overall nutrition has affected my ability to recover from workouts.

Though I started making an effort last summer, I didn't really start eating in a totally nutritious manner, focusing on whole foods, until this past month. And despite the fact that on my first day back at Superfit I could barely squeak out reps on Blue, I am now solidly in Red, even on my weaker muscle groups like biceps and chest. I can do the full set of reps, and not be dead the next day. I'm eyeing the calendar for when I want to make the transition into Silver. I've never done Silver, but then I've never had my muscles repairing themselves this quickly.

Beans have been a large part of my focus. Refried beans with melted white cheddar for breakfast, red beans and rice for lunch or as a dinner side, sauteed tofu every which way, Cuban black beans with a little feta on top, hummus (the perfect homemade hummus is still a work in progress), sauteed falafel (nailed it on my first shot, and now it is an essential), burritos, and black bean chilies. Good sources of healthy carbs, protein, and with the exception of the tofu, fiber. All low calorie, as well. I'm not really counting calories as I go, but when I look back to see how I've been doing, I can tell that I'm staying nicely under 1500 most days.

I'm not doing milk much anymore, preferring to drink water with meals and use yogurt for my cereal, but I'm still getting in dairy. As I just said, yogurt features prominently. Still can't stand it plain, unless it is for my tzatziki sauce for my falafel, but vanilla on its own, or mixed with some Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Pretty hooked on Trader Joe's non-fat Greek yogurt right now, but I'm going to need to find an acceptable alternate, because Texas has no Trader Joe's. The nearest one to my university is over 600 miles away. Boo. Also eating small amounts of many different cheeses. Still having love affairs with feta from my time in Greece and goat cheese from my time in Paris, of course. And sometimes when I'm feeling naughty I use my vegetarian parmesan (and white cheddar if it is in the house) to make an alfredo sauce for my whole wheat penne. Made with limited butter, non-fat milk, and whole wheat flour, so I'm not being too horrible, but definitely not a simple pesto or marinara sauce.

Grains are always easy to work in. I finally got a strainer small enough to rinse my quinoa, and it really does make a difference to the taste! It's wonderful now! I'm making up batches of brown rice or quinoa each week to have as a side with my tofu, since I found out that tofu has no fiber (who knew?). Though I bet the sprouted tofu I've seen at Trader Joes does... must investigate. Then, of course, there is whole wheat pasta, corn tortillas, and the occasional healthy whole wheat pancake inspired by the various creations of Angela at Oh She Glows.

I want to work in more vegetables. A few weeks ago I was able to eat some stir-fried carrots and broccoli without the customary gag reflex (pretty much entirely a mental thing). I've asked my dad to help me learn how to do it myself. I'm also aggressively attacking my issue with onions (they make that horrid squeaking sound in your ear when you bit into them) by adding them to as many recipes as I can find. Raw but processed in my falafel, and whole but sauteed in my Cuban black beans. And more Green Monsters. I just want to figure out a way to do so that keeps the amount of beans, grains, nuts, and yogurt that I am enjoying in my diet right now, and the right amount of calories to give me enough energy to continue moving up in my weights. Especially now that I am adding in cardio to my non-Superfit days. I will have a slight increased need for calories, but I don't think I will actually need to increase my intake much at all.

From my small binge last week, I learned that I actually have significantly decreased my stomach size, or whatever else it is that causes you to feel full at various quantities of food. When I was bingeing horribly in France, I could pack away a disturbingly large portion of food before I felt it. Last week, it was easily half that before I had to take a "I feel sick" pause. I'd like to not alter that with added consumption of vegetables. So it's something to consider.

But, point being: being fit is so much easier when you are fueling right! Letting your body recover and build strong new systems with the right nutrients feels wonderful and speeds up improvement. Something to remember for the future, when I am tempted to stray into packaged meals and all white food and the like.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Binge Danger Zones

This morning I made a sort of mash-up between the Healthy Spelt Pancakes for One and the Spiced Up and Stacked Pancakes by OhSheGlows, which I've been wanting to do for a while. Basically, unsweetened almond milk, whole wheat flour, and some spices. I barely made it halfway through, and these are supposed to be single serving. Just dense, perhaps? I alternated between two different syrups. One, my perennial favorite, standard thick sugary syrup. The other, I decided to dress up some pure maple syrup with some PB2. I'm not a huge fan yet of pure maple syrup on its own, but once I let these two combine, it was magic. Any thoughts on how maple syrup would fare on a hot skillet? Because I feel like this combo would be a wonderful marinade for my sauteed tofu.

As I said, I've been wanting to make these for several weeks, but I've been putting it off because, no matter how healthy they might actually be, it's hard to feel like I'm staying on track when I'm eating pancakes! But this morning, I decided they might actually be a proactive, preventative necessity. I've got some extended periods to myself coming up for the next few days, that I have known about for some time. All week, as they approached, I found that little voice in the back of my head excitedly planning all of the uninterrupted bingeing I could do. Some of this is latent habit- in previous times of living with people, I have always taken "advantage" of large chunks of solitude, because I don't have to worry about hiding my food. [A key part of binge eating, by the way- shame about eating, so you eat in secret, hidden places. You know when you take a candy bar or cookie into a bathroom stall that you have a problem] I also have had the binge urge creeping up a lot in the past week or so. I slightly gave into it over the weekend, when I talked a friend into making a whole batch of cookie dough, but I didn't go whole hog. I ate to the point of feeling uncomfortable, yes, but then I stopped. Normally, I go through about three cycles of eating to the point of serious discomfort, waiting about ten minutes until it fades, and then re-gorging to discomfort, etc. etc. So, perhaps this was a mini-binge? Or maybe this was just they way normal people overeat. That would be exciting.

So the pancakes this morning were to feel indulgent and maybe even a bit naughty, but while still being healthy. Hopefully, this will help me hold off a run to the local grocery later today. I'm also considering finally having some Top Ramen again- this is one of my biggest comfort foods (only Oriental flavor, eaten chopped up and scooped onto Wheat Thins), but is pretty much nothing but empty carbs. And if I'm not going to give up grain carbs like all of the weight loss programs suggest, then I at least need to be eating whole grain carbs. But maybe, when I'm in such a vulnerable state, eating unhealthy but portion-controlled will be the key? Or should I try powering through on just super healthy stuff? I'm worried about that backfiring right now. It hasn't been a problem for the past month, but I'm worried about getting to my last alone session and panicking over the end of a chance to eat poorly and loading up on cake and chips in one huge binge session.

Still working on that.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Natterings From a Recent Return Home

Snippets From Here and There....

I'm noticing that country music videos inspire me to work out. I think some of it is that I like the music, and if is an upbeat song, I want to move to the beat. But a large part of it is that I love the idea of living in Nashville for a time, and wouldn't it be fun to be one of those girls in the video? Need to have rocking abs for that...

I had this whole post ready to go on my brainwave to use DDR for some cardio work this summer, in lieu of talking my parents into shelling out $150 for a cardio machine on Craigslist. Then, disaster. I thought I brought home my whole DDR set up with me from Texas a year ago, but I can't find the PS2! I have the dance pads, the discs, even the game controller, all here. No console. This is problematic.

I am now on the 12th straight day of my food diary. This is unprecedented. And it's pretty impressive to go back and read over, as well... A lot of repeat items: tofu (sizzled in a pan a la Daily Garnish) and non-fat Greek yogurt (vanilla) are the most notable, I think.

IT IS SO NICE HAVING A KITCHEN AND FRIDGE AGAIN. Tofu every day, done up any way I want it. Chili. I have my eye on several soups. Cheese! Almond milk! Green Monsters!

Probably my proudest dinner thus far was a serving of peanut sauce tofu (a serving is the size of one fist) and a half of a Green Monster. Protein, healthy fats, fiber, SPINACH. Oh yes.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cheat Days- The Dilemma

I am running into a problem with my cheat days. You are supposed to allow yourself one a week, under pretty much any reasonable eating plan. In times past, I would usually be on the eating plan for maybe a day, then suddenly give into temptation and call it my cheat day, then never really get back on the plan. This time, I'm sticking to the plan. But I keep putting off the cheat day.

Maybe my problem is I'm not sure if I'm on the plan enough to warrant it. I allow myself some popcorn and peanut M&Ms when I go to the movies. We ate out one night, and I got a four-cheese pasta dish. I'm eating reasonable portions of all of this, and I can tell I am already starting to slim down, but is it enough for a cheat day? The nutritional science would seem to indicate that one pizza in an otherwise healthy and properly portioned diet doesn't affect the body much- it's the repeated consumption in a relatively short space, or a bad diet over time. I have fallen to both such habits in the past. I think I'm dealing with a slight fear of the cheat day. What if it wipes out my gains of the past week? After all, doesn't every little bit this week add up to a gain or loss next week? Alternately, the fear of repeating previous failures. What if it signals the end of the diet to my habit-trained brain?

I think maybe I'm still working through the ideas of how I eat while I'm still trying to get to my healthy weight versus how I hope to eat for the rest of my life. I think right now, I'm eating in maintenance mode, not loss mode. Now, of course, because I'm "maintaining" a smaller figure, I am still losing weight, just at a different rate.

I guess it comes down to this: as long as my diet is clean, healthy, and properly proportioned all around, is it better to allow myself small regular indulgences, as they come up and at my discretion, or one scheduled day of guilt-free indulgence to look forward to on a weekly basis?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Diet Debates

I don't like the word diet because of the connotations it has, but I suppose I am on one, to a certain extent, and it also does apply to the idea of what one eats as a whole, so there you go.

I was going to post a weigh-in update, but I realized that certain hormonal changes have it out of whack this entire week. So my initial "starting weight" might not be all that accurate either. Well, we'll stick with it for now. Fluctuations or not, the scale showed about 2 pounds, which is a respectable number for a week. It's the recommended one, as I recall. I was rather hoping for a few more, but if I can keep that rate for the rest of the summer I'll be in pretty shape indeed.

Having my beans and cheese each morning for breakfast is proving quite easy. How often do we really change up our breakfast routines, anyway? We generally go for the same thing each morning, so it's been pretty easy to stick with it this past week. Aside from having to keep a much larger stash of beans in the house than before (much cheaper than sugary cereal- bonus), it's going to be pretty easy. I'm trying to ease off on how much cheese I put on top, though. Cougar Gold is a little pricey! And I haven't checked, but I very much doubt that it is a low-fat cheese, as preferred under the Five-Factor Diet. As mentioned before, I am not sticking exclusively to this diet while I'm in weight-loss mode, but I can see it being a major part of the rest of my life, for life-long maintenance of what I plan to achieve this summer.

I do still find myself attracted to many grain options right now, however. These are perfectly fine under the 5-Factor alone, but bump up against the no-grain parameters designed for quicker shedding of weight. I'm currently debating the merits of sticking with non-grain/starch snacks, or going with Five-Factor low-calorie, whole grain and protein ones. My current thought is a compromise. One compromise might be to go with the 5-Factor option most days, and once or twice a week decide to really kill it for a day and cut out the grains (before dinner- I'm leaving dinner as a healthy and portion controlled but open meal). Another option is to simply impose a before-noon rule. No starch or grains before noon, then continue on with healthy and portion controlled and Five-Factor Friendly.

Right now, the biggest temptation is granola and muesli. I've discovered a love for non-fat Greek yogurt (vanilla bean- I still can't abide plain yogurt) in this past week that I never knew existed. I sort of liked it before, but now I'm eating it daily and actually orchestrated an otherwise unnecessary grocery run yesterday because I ran out. Now I'm stocked for at least... a week. If I don't start doubling up some days. It's wonderful on its own, but I'm so intrigued by mixing in Kashi Go Lean Crunch, or even getting fancy and making my own granola a la Oh She Glows. I keep remembering a little snippet of an interview with Peter Jackson. For those of you who don't know, he is no longer the lovable puff-ball of the Lord of the Rings DVD special features. He got healthy! When asked about it, he said "I just got tired of being overweight and unfit, so I changed my diet from hamburgers to yoghurt and muesli and it seems to work." 


Well, Superfit later today (sadly, no Zumba until Saturday- note to self: wear sunscreen this time), so the next few hours will be spent on my writing goal (and very likely the White Collar marathon on USA) instead. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Introduction to Zumba

We couldn't make Superfit last night, so we went this morning to the 9am session, which coincided nicely with a new feature of the summer: Zumba! It seems a member has a daughter over at WSU who is home for the summer, and she is offering free Zumba classes to Superfit members on Saturday mornings for the rest of the summer. Not going to deny, shaking my hips salsa style in the middle of a parking lot with cars honking as they drove past was a little bit awkward, but surrounded as I was by a whole group of women, it was mostly just fun. A killer cardio work-out on top of a pretty solid resistance workout- today was a killer ab set followed by repeating bicep and tricep work, with some squats and lunges thrown in. So, two solid hours of non-stop, high-intensity working out. I've convinced my mom to go for it each weekend. I also might succeed in getting a cardio machine in this house at some point this summer. Craigslist can work wonders.

On the food front, it's not been super easy, but when I look back at the food diary I've started keeping, I'm actually not doing as horribly as I think. On Thursday, we went out for the evening, and I was convinced that I had blown my diet for the entire week. Only when I actually wrote down what I had had and compared to to the entire day, I probably still came out ahead! It's all about portion control, people... love it. And my PB2 finally came on Friday, so I was able to make the oft-dreamed of peanut-sauce encrusted tofu of Daily Garnish. It didn't rock my world as much as I was expecting, but I've identified what I need to change (cut down on the amounts of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and especially sesame oil and replace with more water) to bring it more to my taste. Also, cutting my tofu a little thicker. I forgot that draining tofu compacts it as well, so I ended up with some pretty skinny pieces. The thicker pieces tasted better. But her method of cooking/frying tofu is spot-on. I foresee much of it in my future this summer.

Going to weigh in tomorrow morning and see what's what. Will check in then!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Inaugural Green Monster

I JUST HAD MY FIRST GREEN MONSTER!!!! The most basic one, just chia, spinach, banana, almond milk, and ice. It was absolutely terrifying- I actually made my mom come and make it with me because I was wigging out about it so much. We only made a half recipe, and then we split that, but that's still more spinach than my body has seen in... pretty much ever.




In other news:

On the sad side: my go-to decently healthy ballpark meal is not being served this year, I found out this afternoon. I liked to get the little microwave things of brown rice and put teriyaki sauce on it. In the future I should be able to work around this sad development by bringing in my own sauce (probably Emily's healthy peanut sauce, since teriyaki sauce might infringe upon the no-liquids/beverages rule), because a different Asian place finally offers brown rice this year, but only plain soy sauce. I cannot abide plain soy sauce.

On the happy side: We unexpectedly got out of the Mariners game in time to hit Superfit, so I jumped headfirst back into working out! Wasn't expecting to start until Friday. Hurriedly located my workout clothing in my as-of-yet unpacked suitcases, went, and nearly killed myself. It was awesome. We started out with mat abs, which is always the scariest, and he had us doing a round of minute long holds: static leg raise, side bridges on both sides, static push-ups, regular forearm bridge. He told us the 30 and 45 second marks and said we could stop at those if we needed. I probably should have, and will regret my decision tomorrow, but I somehow managed to eek out the full minute each time. Which of course shocked my little out-of-shape body and it wasn't the happiest for the rest of the time, but I managed. Doing interval bursts at level 17 on the elliptical during one cardio break probably didn't help either. But instead of progressing up to medium and heavy weights, I stayed at light weight for all three sets. I need to be able to move on Friday when I go back in!


But main point being: I just had my first Green Monster, people. This is highly momentous. My plan is to try and have them at least three times a week (likely as a pre-workout drink, maybe an hour before? Thoughts on the timing of that?). I'm actually really excited to try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bomb one and the Pumpkin Pie Protein Power one. The regular one was good, and is probably the one I will drink the most of, long-haul, but my mental game is still pretty shaky with regard to vegetables, so I think smoothing the way with chocolate and peanut butter is wise.

Home Again

I'm back, and it's time to kick this into high gear. I decided while in Iceland to dedicate my summer to two goals that I have had for a long long time: finish my writing, and get healthy/in shape.

Opening Stats:
Weight: 166.8 
   This is not as much of a net gain as I was worrying I would find upon my return from Paris. Accounting for general weight fluctuations, I estimate between 5-10lbs. I was starting to dip below 160 right before I left for Paris, but it wasn't consistent yet.  
Resting Heart Rate: 93 bpm
   Probably not an entirely accurate number, since I've been up, walking and eating and drinking ice water, for over an hour, and of course because I took it with my fingertips on my wrist, not with a sensor. But it seems about right.
Pant Size: Generous 14
   Bleck. At least I haven't popped back up into a size 16 like that one horrible two month period back in 2009. But closer to moving up a size than moving down a size.


Ultimate Goal Stats:
Weight: 130 and fit
Resting Heart Rate: 60 bpm
Pant Size: 6


First Goalpost Stats:   For June 15, 2011 (two weeks from now)
Weight: 158
Resting Heart Rate: 90
Pant Size: 12


Other Stats I Would Like to Collect:
Heart rate after a 10-minute mile
Heart rate after an 8-minute mile
Time to run a mile with a heart rate under 166 (apparently my target long-distance heart rate)
Body fat percentages
Inches measurements


This morning has started out much as I want most mornings to. I've been planning this for months, since relatively early on in Paris, so it was exciting to finally do it.

  1. The first thing in my body was a glass of wonderfully cold water from the fridge filter. At some point ideally I will be able to add in a little lemon juice, because the alkalizing effect on the body and liver and what have you is suppose to be very healthy and excellent for the metabolism. But the cold water itself isn't too shabby! 
  2. Second thing in the body is a source of healthy fats, which helps to keep the glycemic index from spiking throughout the day, and especially throughout the immediately following meal. Again, good for health and metabolism. I've been choosing nuts, though this morning, sadly, all I could find in the house were walnuts- definitely not my favorites. They are kind of waxy and look like brains. But I chowed down on a large one anyway, and I'll just make sure we get some almonds and maybe some cashews in the house when my mom and I go grocery shopping this weekend. 
  3. Third thing: a properly portioned meal of protein without any grain or starch-type carbs. This morning, I tried out a small plate of vegetarian refried beans with some Cougar Gold melted over the top. It was incredible. I tried the beans and cheese thing once up in Scotland, after a particularly long hike, and it was fine but nothing exciting. I was using a little single-serving tin of spicy vegetarian refried beans, and some shredded mozzarella. Fine, but definitely something I was eating because it was good for me and palatable, not because it was yummy. This morning, highly yummy. Cougar Gold kind of rocks my world. Breakfast was warm and tangy and oh-so-flavorful. Plus, you know, good for me. I saw Trainer Bob talk about using your fists to gage the proper portion size for your carbs and proteins in a meal, so I spooned a slightly generous single fist onto my plate. I'm thinking now that since I'm not including carbs, I should probably allow the full meal serving of two fists, because it seems to have stimulated my appetite rather than sated it. Probably having a small handful of almonds instead of one walnut will help, and maybe I'll make it the serving size I would have if I had normal sized hands (mine aren't bizarrely small, but they are often as small or smaller than the hands of those ridiculously petite and small-boned girls we all know. I am not one of these girls). 
Some things to add to this morning:
  1. Interval runs up my hill. I live at the base of an extremely steep hill. I want to do speed bursts up this hill 3 times, multiple times a week, waiting for my heart rate to subside a bit before charging up again. Studies show that going absolutely all out for short intervals and then taking decent rest periods in between is just as, if not more effective than consistent medium effort at building endurance and burning calories. This should aid both parts of my goal this summer- endurance for getting healthy (and that hike), and extra calorie burn for losing weight and shaping up. 
  2. Vegetables. I want to aggressively attack my problem with vegetables this summer. I tried zucchini in Scotland, and I've been lightly poking around spinach and broccoli for a while now. I want to go full force with spinach- Green Monsters and baked spinach everywhere you look! Also really excited to try kale chips, and I've got my mom on board, so it's happening. 
  3. Lemons in my water, green tea, water bottle, etc. I want to be so hydrated it is crazy. Lemons in the water and green tea both have positive effects on the metabolism, and I'd like a dedicated water bottle that I can carry with my everywhere. But for this morning, lugging around a little glass on a coaster will suffice. 
  4. Some additional form of exercise: yoga, push-up routine, AbRipperX, etc. What this is will largely depend on how recently we worked what at SuperFit. e.g. If it is the morning after a day of mat abs, AbRipperX would be both painful and counterproductive. But if I know we are on a schedule of only working the chest on Mondays, and it's Thursday, then a push-up routine would fit in nicely and not jeopardize my ability to do well in Superfit the next day. I suspect yoga videos that stream on Netflix and free ones from the yoga download site place will make frequent appearances. 
I know this seems like a lot. And it is. But I think it needs to be. I'm so sick and tired of feeling run down and yucky. I want to run my darn marathon. I want to knock somebody's socks off in a bikini. I have no job or internship this summer- this is my work. I will write, and I will shrink my size and lengthen my life. This is my job this summer. And hopefully in going about it, I will build some life-long habits that will make this a permanent change. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick Turnaround on a Quick Tour

It's interesting how much my body really wants to be healthy. I guess it makes sense, from an evolutionary standpoint. I've been hiking the Scottish Highlands for the past 5 days, and I really do mean hiking. Lots of elevation, clambering on rocks, jumping off things. I'm really seeing how far I've let myself slip in Paris, and how much work I have to do to be ready for that bachelorette party hike. The fact that I'm now stationed in Edinburgh will help with that- this city is nothing but HILLS. Crazy hills. I was going to change into basic flats now that I'm city-bound again, but I think I'm going to stick with my Vibrams so that I don't find excuses to stay on level ground.



In addition to all of the walking and climbing, I'm also eating less often, and making a bit more of an effort to eat well. In the UK, they have many more foods that are closer to my American style of healthy eating- lots of beans, whole wheat and whole grain products, raw nuts rather than salted and roasted and smoked and the like, etc. Plus, the hostels have all had kitchens with fridges. Don't get me wrong, I've still been plenty naughty, but just five days of a slightly altered eating style and more movement, and my cheeks have hollowed out again.

I actually found refried beans on the remote island of Skye. It was a teeny 100 or 200 gram can, and they were spicy (really spicy!), but they were refried beans! I spread them out on a plate and melted some mozzarella cheese on top, until the edges were crispy. Heaven. This is what I'm planning on doing frequently for breakfast once I'm back home in the US. With regular refried beans (maybe even of my own making, if I get really into it) and a cheddar-jack blend, most likely, but the same general thing. I had them for lunch after a particularly extensive hike on Sunday.

It's odd how I get so much more of a mental buzz out of feeding myself nutritiously than I do out of giving in to a binge, yet binges still run my life to a certain extent. Still, over the past few days, I am seeing even more how healthy habits build on themselves. When I am out and being active and eating healthier, I get on a roll. I can't tell you how many times I tried to buy tofu during our travels this weekend. No one had it! Amazingly, the only tofu I found for sale was in a little remote town of 300 that takes over 90 minutes of traveling, via bus and ferry, to get to. They sold both tofu and vegetarian sweet chile sauce! I didn't get it there, because we weren't going to be cooking for ourselves that day, but I'm betting now that I'm back in Edinburgh I can find some. Even if the major shops don't have it, apparently there is an Asian market here. I am so psyched about the sweet chile sauce! I'd found a recipe to make my own, but the stuff in the bottle looks just like the stuff at my favorite restaurants. Also hoping that one of the Thai restaurants here serves my favorite appetizer (the tofu with the chile sauce), unlike the one in Iverness, which oddly had corn fritters instead of tofu (very delicious corn fritters, but not what I was hoping for).

Something really cool about European foods, as much as I miss my American foods: they are labeled "Suitable for vegetarians and vegans" (or sometimes just vegetarians) when applicable! No more scouring the label, wondering if they forgot to mention that the cheese is made with animal rennet, or if gelatin goes by any other name. In France, obviously, this label is much harder to come by, but up here in Scotland I'm finding it on most everything I think to look at.

Going to go walk the Royal Mile today, and probably do a little shopping. But I'm going to do it in my VFFs, and I am going to throw in a few hills. There's nothing like powering up a huge, endless hill to make me realize how out of shape I'm in, and know that I'm definitely doing something about it!

When I get back home in the US, I think I'm going to do hills every day. It won't actually be a big deal- I live right at the base of an extremely steep hill. It's not huge, but if every morning I speed up it three times, that will do so much for my endurance. If I want a huge hill, about a 20 minute walk from my house (up moderate hills) is an absolutely gigantic one. I always am wildly impressed when I see a biker attempting it. But just stick to the healthy eating, my Superfit, and adding in that little hill each morning. I'm getting giddy just thinking about it. Also still really hoping I can convince the parents to get a recumbent stationary bike off of Craigslist...

But first, Edinburgh.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Don't Want to be Ruled by my Food

I suffer from binge eating disorder. Have I ever mentioned that? I haven't gone back to check, but I rather doubt it. I've only ever told a few people in my life, when I decided to seek treatment. I never fully beat it, though, as my time was cut short by summer vacation, and I just never went back.

Take right now, for instance. You know how all of those "stop emotional eating" articles say that cravings go away after 10-20 minutes? I've been battling an insane craving for chips and chocolate (pretty much my go-to binge for several years now, though certainly not the only one) for hours now. Not because I keep myself from having grease or chocolate- I caved an ordered a pizza last night, and pretty much live on Nutella. And I'm actually doing better on social/emotional fronts, so it's not entirely emotional eating, either. I think a lot of it has to do with my pending vacation to Greece, where I know I will be sitting around in a bikini. Just another overweight American wearing far less than they should in Europe. Oh joy. Focusing on the fact that I am overweight just tends to lead to behaviors that continue to make/keep me overweight.

With this particular binge, I can tell that one of two things is going to happen: I'm going to hold out until the stores close (and they close early in this country), and feel a little bit virtuous but mainly denied, or I'm going to give in shortly and go down to the store and stock up. This will lead to elation, guilt, shame, feelings of being gross, feelings of pleasure, happiness that I indulged myself, and disgust that I gave in and am once again stuffing my face.

I have to say, the later is sounding more and more like the possibility. I'm getting really cranky.

I really hate this. I am a smart person. With drinking, smoking, it is so easy not to start. And whenever I think of someone who is hooked on drugs or hooked on anything else like that, I think, why don't they just go cold turkey? Why don't they just... not go for the bad stuff anymore? Yes, there will be some cravings, but you know it is killing you/illegal/what not, so just... don't!

Isn't that hypocritical of me? Recent studies are showing that binge foods, particularly sugar, actually have the same addictive qualities as cocaine. And just not going for it? Not so much with the actually happening in my life!

There is something to be said for overall diet with regard to bingeing as well. [P.S. I can already tell I'm going to go get the chips. My heart rate is actually speeding up because the stores close in 45 minutes and every minute I spend on this blog post is getting me closer and closer to missing out on the stupid chips] When I'm eating healthier overall, I binge less. It doesn't cut it out, but it's there. When I'm living on whole grains and hummus and chia and beans and the like, I get really caught up mentally in eating super well, and binges happen with a startlingly lower frequency. They still definitely happen, but it at least gives me hope that when I get back into treatment in the fall (which I finally accepted that I really need to do just a week or so ago), I'll be able to sort of work off of that. If I can get to a place where I am bingeing less, maybe it will be easier to distinguish the exact cause of the bingeing, since it won't be muddled with mere habit and general poor eating habits.

And you want to know the weird part? When I'm not on a binge, I actually naturally feel full at small portions. People always think I don't like my food, when in reality, I have eaten to the point of fullness. Maybe it's just my body compensating, I don't know. It's not a mental thing, where I'm consciously trying to diet the rest of the time to compensate.

Who knows.

*insert swear word of choice*. I'm off to the store.

P.S. Could someone get on the food authority people to please come up with a better name than Binge Eating Disorder? It makes it sound like it's just a lack of willpower, and a gross one at that, rather than an actual disorder. And trust me, people, it is an eating disorder.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Zen in Paris

I have finally found my zen with my situation for the rest of the semester. I am not going to feel guilty about eating lots of bread. After all, in two months, I will no longer have fresh, truly French French bread 30 seconds from my house. I've also found teeny little single serving cans of lentils, and of spaghetti sauce, so I will just pop open a few of those each week to make sure I am getting in nutrients.

Upon my return to Seattle, I am going to distract myself from my breadless state by instead going full force with all of the foods I have been wanting to eat here. You know, foods that they don't sell here, or, most importantly, that REQUIRE A REFRIGERATOR. Never again. NEVER again will I live without a refrigerator. To put it succinctly, and a little crudely, it blows.

Spring (and practically summer) has finally come to Paris, and with it my last excuse for not getting out and running has flown the coop. My little sleeveless workout shirt is going to do just fine. And I saw someone out in Vibrams (probably a tourist, but still), so I know that it isn't unheard of here. Plus, it is light so much later! Until 9pm, basically, and it's only going to keep getting lighter.

I have been consistent at doing push-ups, though I have fallen off the schedule. Now that I've switched to really truly proper form, with my chest between my hands, it is SO MUCH HARDER. I think I need to accept the inevitable and start the 6-Week program over, at whatever level I am at with the truly proper form.

Walking more now that I have flats, randomly doing walking lunges and ab workouts in my room. It's getting alittle harder to get in all of my water now that it is getting warmer (and this room refuses to let out heat), but it's going pretty well, all in all.

Still, need to make a point to start sharing the brie with other people, so I don't go through an entire wedge by myself in one hour....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Six Weeks

Definitely not feeling as strong with my push-ups this week. I wonder if I am shifting into better form, and this is why? I'm being hyper-vigilant to have my chest stay between my hands, instead of behind them. I guess I don't know my physiology very well (right word?)- I would have assumed that having hands forward would use my weaker shoulder muscles more than my chest muscles. Maybe my having my hands directly under me, I'm targeting my triceps more?

Still, all shaking and griping and weakness aside, I still managed Day Two of Week Three today- a total of 70 push-ups in under 10 minutes! And all with really good form. I tried a few different times to get more than the minimum required 19 on my max reps, but I could never complete it with good form, so it stays at 19.

Did a LOT of walking over our weekend in the South of France, and have confirmed that I am definitely nowhere near ready for the bridesmaid hike this August. Five months to whip this girl into shape! Tomorrow on my way back from classes I am going to run into GoSport to grab a cheap long-sleeved exercise shirt. It's not about needing the right equipment (though I am sorely lacking in any cold weather exercise gear), it's about removing all of the excuses that I use to keep me inside and sedentary. I'm going to start the Couch-to-5K plan this week. I think it's a 6 week course, just like the push-ups.

Six weeks is a good amount of time for these sort of things, I realized recently. Think about it:

  1. Week One: Yay! You completed the first week! You are on your way.
  2. Week Two: Wow, you are already a third of the way done! Way to go!
  3. Week Three: Half way. You are really doing it!
  4. Week Four: OMG! Two-thirds of the way done! Who would have through you would make it this far?
  5. Week Five: Only one week left- what?? When did that happen?
  6. Week Six: You did it!!!
Constant gratification. Love it.

On the food front, still being stymied. I got my electric cooler, and it totally does not work. Kind of crushed. It whirs and makes noise, but nada. Even after being constantly on for over 48 hours. Not really sure how to return it, either. It was from Amazon, though, so it should be doable... I should have gone with my initial instinct and just bought a minifridge for 120 euro in the first couple of weeks, so it would have paid for itself multiple times over. Alas. Hindsight. Gotta love it. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cold Food is Good Food

I didn't get the fridge, unfortunately, but I decided that I just plain need some form of refrigeration, so I've ordered this funky electric cooler off of Amazon. It should help things last for a few days. It's pretty small, so I'm planning on prioritizing:

  • Almond milk
  • Emmental cheese
  • Opened cans of beans
  • Bulk batches of quinoa
  • Opened cans of coconut milk
  • And finally, overnight oats made in Tupperware

I want to get back on the Five Factor diet (affiliate link) idea. I haven't found any corn tortillas here, which is unfortunate, but I can make my standard burritos sans the tortilla, and still cover my bases. It means I won't have my olive oil for the healthy fat, but there are healthy fats in the beans and the chia, so it should still work out. And I can always eat a few almonds. Maybe if I run through this quinoa fast I might try millet as well. Emily at Daily Garnish speaks highly of it. But, when you factor in Spring Break, I'll actually only be eating in this room another two months, so I shouldn't go out buying anything else just yet!

Starting to worry that my chia might have gone bad. The last few batches of overnight oats I have made have tasted pretty sketchy, like something has spoiled, but the mixture I've been making of oats, crushed cashews, and agave syrup has been fine. I hope my chia hasn't died! It's probably really expensive to ship over here, and I didn't see any in Naturalia.

Push-ups were harder today, but still doable. Also about to go add in some ab work.

As far as actually getting out to run goes, I'm still being a weeny about it. A blog I stumbled across but can't for the life of me remember the name of collected some motivational exercise quotes from her readers, and I noted down a few:

  • Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • You are just one workout away from a good mood!
  • Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated
  • I've never regretted a workout
  • You know your limit, and this is NOT it!
Hopefully making these a mantra will get me out the door. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mini Update: Pushups Make Me Giggle

There is something really exciting about the feeling of blasting up from a push-up. I've never really had the strength to do it before, I guess, but I suspect it's going to be rather addicting. When you start giggling while doing push-ups, you know it's going to your head....

It is possible that I might finally put an end to my horrible fridge-less state- someone in my building is moving out and selling theirs, and I've put a request in. But the notice has been up for a few days, so someone may have already claimed it. Well, here's hoping!