Sunday, September 29, 2013

Great shopping trip!



List:

4 organic pears
3 organic onions
1.5 pounds of organic coffee
2 avocados
3 sweet potatoes
1 acorn squash
2 cans organic coconut milk
2 zucchinis (green and yellow)
4 organic tomatoes
Carton of flax milk
2 packages of organic frozen vegetables
1 small bag of organic snap peas
2 HUGE bunches of organic kale
1/2 pound spinach
6 coconut milk yogurts
2 jars organic salsa
Steak
1/2 lb wild caught swordfish
1 lb free range/no hormone ground chicken
1 Whole chicken (from same people)
1/2 pound mushrooms

The cost? 70 bucks (it would have been 60 but the coffee was just over 10 bucks). Going to feed us for the week!! (we might need to get one more pound of meat, but I can get that for ~4 bucks).

Choosing organic/free range/etc over conventional products is more expensive, but I have a grocery budget for two people of about 80 bucks a week and I can always feed us for that (and we buy paleo, so that increases the prices as well -- no cheap rice or beans for us anymore, rats!).

Off to paint our front porch (going from a maroon-ish color to forest green, big change!)

Have a gorgeous day, everyone :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Why I do what I do!

A 9 mile hike in the bank ON THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FALL DAY UPSTATE NEW YORK HAS EVER SEEN.

No exaggerations.

Warm, sunny, perfect, clear AND the leaves are changing.

Drool.

Here's a little peek:





Staying active, eating right, and reaping ALL the benefits!

Namaste <3

Friday, September 27, 2013

Strong is the New Skinny?

So, a few years ago, Crossfit and just general weight lifting became the hot fitness trend for people (women especially).

Previously, we were all super fans of the really skinny, dangerously waif-ish look that all the Hollywood starlets were rocking (to the point of looking like walking skeletons).

When strength and muscles became the focus, there was a LOT of criticism against the super skinny women many women previously admired.

And the catchphrase began "Strong is the New Skinny."

I don't like these kind of catchy little memes, because these issues are so much more important and deeper than they can convey.

Now I am starting to read criticisms of the Strong is the New Skinny theme, as people are ONCE AGAIN trying to emulate a nearly unrealistic body type.

One such article: Strong is the New Skinny, and that's not Necessarily a Good Thing

I, obviously, would prefer women to idolize strong, athletic women who had to eat right and be active to get their bodies rather than someone who just starved themselves skinny. But, at what point are we all going to start getting REALISTIC about our bodies?

Look at all these memes that tout that strong is the new skinny and notice how FREAKING SKINNY all the models are:


And these are just a fraction of the images floating around.

Yes, they are muscular, but let's not pretend that we're not still idolizing skinny. And idolizing airbrushed bodies. And almost impossible to achieve bodies.

The article I posted mentioned how a young woman just desperately wants defined arms, and would go to yoga every day for them. I would rather she want to go to yoga every day for her overall health and well-being!

These women are strong, too:


I just wonder what it would be like to live in a society where what we SHOULD look like wasn't shoved in our faces all the time?

I posted these thoughts not to tell you how you should look or how you should WANT to look... but in the hopes that you will stop and think about the propaganda that is perpetuated throughout our society and how it is affecting you and what you think about yourself and your body. We should all take a step back, be kind to ourselves, be realistic and logical, and decide that our health is the most important. 

I sometimes feel like a hypocrite... because I like to be "skinny" (I don't think I'm quite at skinny, though I am thin now) and I like to be "strong" (well, that's not really a decision I made... I've always had pretty good musculature and if I work out at all, I get definition very quickly... so it was more "This is my body and how it looks, so I am going to learn to love that my body looks strong!"). But I have no misconceptions that I look like the fitness models in the first group or ever could. I don't have their perfect bodies, and it's something I have had to work on accepting.

It's hard when those Strong is the New Skinny memes are constantly floating around facebook, twitter and blogs. I prefer seeing pictures of the people posting who are getting strong - because THAT is real!

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Have a great weekend, my friends, I will be on another hike tomorrow, so will post pictures after!

Namaste <3

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Eating cake, Weighing in, Planning another hike

I had quite the off plan night last night at my friend's birthday. I also had an amazingly fun time and am feeling pretty happy today :)

Weighed in at 120.8, despite drinking pumpkin beers and eating birthday cake and cheese!

Back to normalcy today - drinking lots of water this morning, clean and paleo food, and dog-walking/yoga. Not letting the cheats steamroll me into more off-plan behavior today. I had three drinks last night, so that's the only day I'll be drinking this week, which is fine by me. I had enough fun last night to last me the week, haha :)

We have plans to wake up at 4 AM Saturday morning to meet Chris' dad for a High Peaks hike, so I obviously won't be partying hard on Friday OR Saturday - it will, by necessity, be a weekend focused on good sleep, eating well, staying hydrated and hiking. I think that's why I let myself let go a little bit last night...

Something to know about me: I LOVE, love, love, love being social. I love my friends. I love getting super silly and laughing all night with them. It's my absolute favorite thing to do in the whole world. Making relationships, making memories, creating bonds - it's the most important to me :)

So, I also love to fully throw myself into a social gathering, and I easily get caught up in the flow of the group. So, for me, I think I am doing a good job at balance and only drinking/eating with my friends once a week. It's tough to know when to draw the line. But this is something, for my life's pleasure (and pleasure IS important to me), that I don't think I will be changing any time soon.

Well, maybe next year.... Chris and I are going to consider children next year, so when that becomes an option, I will obviously scale down hard. But till that time comes, I am going to fully rage this life :)

I'm not a perfect role model for clean eating and paleo. But I am making it work in this life I live. I'm STILL 120 pounds (I am over the moon happy about this), putting 90ish% clean and whole foods into my body, being active with my husband and dog, and still reveling in all the joys life has to offer.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Not letting the train derail!

Back to 121!

I gained this past weekend (up to almost 124 from 119). For a variety of reasons. I drank beer. I ate salty food. I went off paleo. (I didn't indulge in any of these things TOO heavily). Also, I hiked 18 miles and got really swollen.

But, I am back in my happy weight zone, which is nice.

All it took was TWO days of getting back to paleo, my light exercise routine, and drinking lots of water.

I didn't eat 17,000 extra calories to make me gain five pounds. I was inflamed, bloated and swollen from salt, alcohol, and grains! It's easy weight to get off if you catch it in time.

So the take-away lesson from all this for me: it's okay if I go off the rails a little, once in a while. But I have to throw the brakes on hard and not let it become habit!

It's okay for me to have some beers with friends on an emotional weekend. I try not to NEED substances to help me relax, but life is really, really, really hard and I like that I can give myself permission to drink once in a while. If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know that alcohol was really getting in the way of my weight loss.

So, I am a little tougher on myself. If I drink 2 - 4 drinks in a night, then that is the only night I will be drinking that week! If I have a glass of wine with dinner one night, I'll have another glass another night.

Just trying to find that age-old balance, is all :)

I plan to have a pumpkin beer tonight (oh, dear, pumpkin spices are the best ever and makes me love, love, love fall!) when I get together with friends to celebrate a birthday. Making room in my calories for it today :)

Alright, off to go run some errands, write a syllabus, write some thank you notes, and then head out to the party. Namaste, my friends <3

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I exercise more because of my dog!

So that 18 mile hike on Sunday? Challenging! I could walk 18 miles in a day and be sore - but add in uneven mountain terrain, a little bit of rock scrambling/climbing and I am FREAKING EXHAUSTED. That's why there was no post yesterday, I used all my energies for life stuff and then crashed, haha.

The hike was awesome - we had some really amazing views and it didn't rain on us at all (even though the forecast was not so good!). Koda was super happy all day. That was the best thing of all - because September 22 was the day that we took him to our apartment after discovering that my dad had passed. So it really marks the anniversary of when we took over his care.

What a difference a year makes!

We did some math and realized that in the past year, he has walked on average three miles a day, with at least half of the weekends having a super high mileage day because of hiking. We added it roughly up and estimate he has walked over 1300 miles! That's pretty awesome for him - his first two years of life, we assume he didn't walk more than 200 miles total.

It was the best way to celebrate such a sad anniversary. To realize how far we've all come.

Last year: we were crazy, exhausted, depressed, stressed, etc. The dog was desperate for exercise, training, rules, stability. The house was dusty and un-updated for 30 years. We could have quickly spiraled into a bad situation.

This year: as an example - last night, we sat on the couch in our newly painted and decorated, bright and fresh living room, tired from a super long hike in our favorite place on earth, watching a TV show on the couch with the dog sleeping ON us, twitching in his dreams, and the cat napping on the corner of the couch.

:)

We are ALL very well exercised because of this dog! And that translates into healthy, happy, calmer people (and dog).

I wouldn't have walked as much this year if Koda didn't need it. I would have hidden in my bed the first half of the year, pretending it didn't all happen. Instead, rain or snow, I took that dog out for a walk EVERY day, no matter what.

Chris wouldn't have hiked as much if Koda didn't need it. He would have been at home, trying to soothe me from my grief. But the best help to me was to get Koda tired and exercised! So they hiked 19 High Peaks (and several other random mountains in NY) this year. Pretty impressive :D

This weekend, though tough, was definitely a celebration for me - a celebration of getting Koda, of seeing how far we ALL had come as a family. Having Koda definitely kept us awake and present this year, because he needed us. There was no other choice. We couldn't hide in the sadness.

He saved us as much as we saved him.

I'm still sore this morning, but better, not as stiff. Weighing in at 122.5 (I had a lot of indulgences this past weekend - it was a tough weekend emotionally and though I didn't binge eat, I definitely ate and drank socially!).

Here are some pictures from the hike, before I sign off for the morning:



Koda climbed a 20 foot ladder!






Off to run some errands, and surprise-surprise!, take Koda out for a walk :D

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Chris made us a paleo pumpkin pie - because I have this undying love and happy nostaligic feelings for all things fall. My dad loved fall and always made pumpkin pie in the fall. I've transferred that love of pumpkin pie into the love of all things pumpkin spice - pumpkin beer, pumpkin coffee, etc. I have no shame about my love of food in this instance. It is just so warm and homey and feels so good! As long as I don't binge, I will continue to indulge my pumpkin spice love :)

This was the result (I LOVE this picture, feels straight out of a magazine!):


We used this recipe, highly recommended: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/10/the-best-paleo-pumpkin-pie.html

Enjoy!

Off for another hike today (attempting 18 miles!)

Namaste :)

One year

This weekend last year, my dad passed away. It was unexpected, sudden and heart breaking. I miss him just as much today as I did the day I knew he was gone.

But I'm thriving. I am living in his house, taking care of his dog, and honoring his memory by living as deeply and fully as I can.

His house is updated, clean, open and warm. His dog is as happy as ever - super healthy, always hiking, and playful as can be. And I, his daughter, am still healing and still sad but better. The grief isn't as painful, it is more just there reminding me I miss him and wish he was here to see how we've all grown.

I am married now, and my then fiance proved to me what a perfect, wonderful match he is for me by standing firmly by my side, protecting me and helping me this past year. He made it possible to heal.

Last year, there was despair and depression.

A year later, there is bittersweet joy.

But there is life, always life.

I filled my house last night with friends - we provided beer and snacks and played games. Hours of smiling and laughing that was a perfect way to start a weekend like this. A weekend last year that I wish had never happened.

There is peace coming, acceptance coming.

As in all things, patience and time is required to fully understand.

Last year, I could not imagine feeling this type of happiness. But it is here and it is now. It is a different happiness than the carefree, wandering, no responsibility happiness of years past. Now there is pride. I am proud of myself for being where I am now.

I love you, dad, I miss you.

A picture of my parents on their wedding day that I put up at my wedding reception :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Importance of Food Tracking

I mentioned yesterday that one of the habits that I've developed into an almost second nature is food tracking. I truly believe it is one of the major tools that keeps me at a healthy weight. This brings up positive feelings (yay! I have something that will, without a doubt, help me!) and some negative feelings (sooo... I have to record every single thing I eat for... the REST of my life?!?!).

I will caveat and say that there are times I do not track my food: special events (weddings, etc), going out to dinner, a pre-set aside party night, and vacation. I, through time and work, do not let myself binge and go crazy at these times when I don't track, though! There are still rules. I still have to be strong. The past two vacations, I have come home at the same weight as when I left, or even a little lighter! That gave me hope that I wouldn't always have to track my food...

But my vacations are often exciting adventure vacations where we are always go-go-going. It's not exactly the normal life where I get bored or munchy or have access to lots of food and the option to not be busy.

Where I am right now - I plan to track my food for the foreseeable future. It takes about 30 seconds before/after I eat to input it into my iPhone app (so about 2 minutes a day, give or take). My app is simple, straightforward, easy to use.

And I weighed in at 119.8 today... so the results are undeniable!


This is a screenshot of my overall progress from yesterday - ate just under "goal." I don't always use the water cups to record my water, but I usually start the day doing it to remind me to drink water.

Sorry it's sideways! I love that my app tracks my macronutrients - I aim for about 50% carbs, and 25% each of fat/protein. I was pretty close this month! Before going paleo, I was eating 65-75% carbs, yikes.

Here's a screenshot of my "favorites" - I put the foods I most often eat in my favorites to make the process of recording my meals easier and quicker. Love this function!

I used to track my food when I initially lost the weight - at this point, I was writing foods and calorie estimates down in a little notebook that I had to carry everywhere with me. When I started dating Chris years ago, I stopped tracking to just act like a normal person and enjoy dating him. I put on over 15 pounds pretty quickly. I had a smart phone at this point, downloaded my calorie counter app and voila - realized I was overeating like CRAZY and had to tone it down.

I was obese. I was a binge eater. I had disordered eating. I medicated with food. I don't believe all that truly goes away. So, for now, I will continue to take a few minutes out of my day to track my food. Because I have never felt better or more at ease with my body than I do right now.

Namaste <3

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not that hard???

Still weigh 120.2! It's really great. 

But I don't know if I'm a great role model for maintenance??

I'm not trying very hard. I am just living my life, following the habits I spent YEARS creating, and it's just.... so easy, right now, in a way I never expected.

I expected to be coming on here after my wedding, telling you about how I was struggling to maintain my weight, how hard I was working, etc, etc.

But I think the hard part was learning the habits, the habits themselves are easy!

Walk a lot, stretch a lot, track my food/food journal (I think this is a HUGE thing that keeps me on track), eat moderately, eat mostly clean and mostly paleo, let myself have some treats, alcohol once or twice a week, no junk food, no processed food, get in as many vegetables as possible.

And now that I am back into the hiking on the weekend swing, I am not worried about my lack of gym time. Hiking (the way we do it - pretty rugged High Peaks!) is a full body strength workout. I work on my muscles lightly throughout the week - pushups/squats/planks/lunges/etc whenever the mood strikes me (which is about 2 - 3 times a week).

Is THIS true weight loss? I lost the weight over a period of many years, but this us the first time I've felt I really LOST the weight, if that makes any sense! All those years doing the work, I'm finally reaping the benefits! 

I wish I had bigger insights for you guys!

So it's just life, now. I will let you know if this plan of kind of just relying on my good habits starts to fail. But for now, it rocks :)

I'll write tomorrow about my thoughts on food tracking/journaling - I struggle with the idea that I will need this tool for the rest of my life! But that's tomorrow, things need doing today :)

From our registry, we got new kitchen storage (I LOVE IT) and new dishes:

So neat and clean! We even have an extra shelf with nothing on it - YAY


Also neat and clean - I can get to all my dishes finally!

Pretty patterns to look at while eating :D

Namaste, friends <3

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Balance

Went out for dinner last night with Chris and his parents - I wanted to spend time with them to let them know how grateful I was for everything they did to throw such a beautiful wedding for us!

I shared a beet, walnut, and gorgonzola salad with Chris for an appetizer, and ate a filet for dinner (I told them not to give me the risotto that came with it, but to add steamed veggies instead!). Lovely dinner, not 100% paleo, but not crazy, either - and still REALLY tasty.

We took the dog on a long, long walk today - got coffee, saw a friend, and enjoyed the sunshine :)

This is life, for me. Balance. Walking with those I love, using my body to experience this world, enjoying delicious food and drink, but taking care of my health and my fitness.

We can't always have it all, but we can strive for the balance among all the good things we need and want!


My family :)

Our city has some lovely little hidden gems, like this pathway!

My still-indulgent but still-reasonable dinner out!

Namaste <3

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What Works For me

This is a strange feeling - feeling like I found a place where I am maintaining my weight. I weighed in at 120.4 today. This is a weight I have been battling to get to my entire adult life, and now, all of a sudden, I find it easy to stay there?

An awesome blogger I read, Karen, often puts in her blog posts what works for her and what doesn't. So here it is, in bullet form:

What works for me:


  • eating CLEAN (no processed foods or chemicals)
  • eating organic/no-antibiotic/no-hormone foods as often as possible
  • eating at least 90% paleo during the week
  • walking ~3 miles a day with the dog
  • stretching/yoga/light body weight work during the day - whenever the mood strikes me
  • eating 1800 (give or take 100 on any given day) calories
  • limiting alcohol to once or twice a week
  • giving myself my little treats I love (dark chocolate, ho!)
  • weighing every day/every other day


What doesn't work for me:


  • eating grains, ESPECIALLY processed bread products
  • eating anything with unpronounceable chemicals in it
  • eating high fructose corn syrup
  • choosing inactivity


I truly believe that the fact that most of my food is clean, organic, and paleo helps me to maintain this weight. At 5'4, I am 120 pounds - it's not crazy, it's not super skinny, but when I was obese, it was an impossible dream. Of course, when I was obese, I was eating french bread pizzas, drinking soda, and never even taking a walk.

Very different life here!

Peace and Light to You :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting back into the groove..

I haven't gone completely off the rails, but I definitely gave myself a LOT of slack last week (starting on the 6th with the rehearsal dinner).

This summer has been about moderation and being in control - about not turning to food/alcohol with all the stress of the wedding and the upcoming anniversary of my dad's passing and my joblessness, etc, etc.

But the wedding came and went, joyfully!, and I just... relaxed. It was like a weight off my shoulders. And relaxation was key. It was tough to start to relax, last week started off rocky (Chris and I were exhausted, had a funeral to go to, etc) but I finally began to mellow. I had a lot of evenings full of friends, and drink.

I hung out with friends four times in the last 7 days, and have let myself drink and eat a little extra (still trying to stay clean and paleo, but definitely eating for pleasure a little more than just fuel!). We DID hike 12 miles on Saturday, so that is a step in the right direction, haha.

I am up to 121.2 pounds. No big deal. But I know how easily weight can start to trend up. It's best to just nip it in the bud before it gets out of control and all of a sudden I am 10-15 pounds heavier.

I just so badly want to just MELT into my bed and completely relax. But it is difficult. This is life, after all, and there is always something else to do or to get done, you know? Just got to accept it and move on!

Back to doing my daily yoga (something I let slip the past couple of weeks), my dog walks, my same-every-day meals. Limiting drinking, for sure.... it is SO easy to let drinking get out of control for me. I LOVE pumpkin beer!

Side note, speaking of pumpkin beer: FALL IS HERE! FALL IS HERE! Chris and I had a lot of fun talking about all the things we love about fall while on our hike. We were hiking in 50 degree weather and the leaves were turning! So, what I love about fall: HOODIES, autumn leaves, cozy fires, fluffy blankets, scary movies, it gets dark earlier, HOODIES, pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin beer, PUMPKINS, hot cider, apple season, HOODIES. (can you tell fall is my favorite season?? :D)

Back to normal posting: Survivor starts this Wednesday (and if you know me, my friends and I love to get together and bet on Survivor and scream at the TV every Wednesday - it's a gathering with snacks and drink and laughter). I am NOT going to drink. I drank last night, so this is a good start to remind myself that there is no reason to have alcohol with every single social event!

I also am trying to get back into blogging mode. I am reading all your blogs, but my commenting has slacked. Will get back on track soon :)

Namaste <3

I am a wolf bride - and my spirit hood (the wolf hat, hehe) will be coming out a LOT this fall!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Whiteface Hike Pictures

Our first hike as man and wife, and Koda's birthday hike (turned three on Saturday!). 12 miles round trip and a stunning fall day!!



Connery Pond


Lake Placid!

Koda's new found love of jumping off docks!



Wild forest :D

First hints that we would get views on the summit!







STUNNING





Lake Placid in the afternoon :D



We are sore and stiff today - I realized I have to get back into shape for hiking! Now that the wedding is over, I don't have as much on my plate (just, oh, you know, finished my PhD and preparing to teach classes in the spring!).

Namaste, my friends <3