Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fighting a lazy day

So Chris went on another hike that wasn't ideal for me or Koda (he's hiking some of the hardest mountains in the Adirondacks right now as he pursues being a winter 46er... I did many of the more moderate winter hikes with him, but 17 miles on one of the most rugged mountains in the state? Not my idea of a nice time! I'm not as passionate about winter hiking as he is.).

He left in the wee hours of the morning and I slept in (hahaha, if you can call 7:30 AM sleeping in!). I went downstairs to this sight, a very sleepy puppy:

And since he wasn't begging to go for a walk, I decided to enjoy a very lazy morning. I drink water and played Lumosity, then slowly sipped on my mostly flax milk and a little bit of coffee drink (cutting back on caffeine), did some easy yoga stretches, ate breakfast and watched Chopped.

It was heavenly compared to my rush rush rush mornings this week

I could've luxuriated in the laziness all day long. Not leaving the house for even a second appealed to me briefly.

But I knew I couldn't just chill out all day :-) I went to Target and then the grocery store to pick up some needed items/food. Then I took Koda on his walk.

The weather was gorgeous!! I wasn't freezing, the sun was shining and the snow was melting (finally!). I can feel spring around the corner!

Aren't I stylish??? ;)

We went to the pond today. We don't spend much time there in the winter, because they don't clear the trails, but the snow was packed down enough for us to take a loop around today.

I'm glad I got out! It's important not to give into my laziness, and I do have a very lazy aspect of my personality. It's a characteristic of mine of had to fight in the past decade, realizing I'll never be healthy or successful if I give in to the laziness too much.

But a few hours to enjoy a slow weekend morning and be lazy?? Perfect! But the morning is over and my errands are done, now it's time for schoolwork :)

I've been staying really active this week, utilizing my breaks at work to get my steps in:

Now, I am debating what to do tomorrow. A friend of mine is having a get together for lunch for his birthday, but it is at a barbecue restaurant where there is absolutely not one single choice that is appropriate for me. It is a place that is about indulgence- salty meats, fried foods, cheese, etc. I really don't want to go and not eat, I don't want to go and eat something that isn't good for me, and I don't want to snub my friend.

Haven't decided what to do yet - I'll work out some sort of situation. They do have ONE menu item (a small salad meant as a side dish with lettuce and tomatoes .. Haha not something I want to pay for) that isn't fried/drenched in oil and salt/covered in cheese. I might end up going and not eating, even if it makes me a weirdo! I'll see :)

Edited to update: the decision was made for me - my cousin asked me to go help clear out some things of my Grandmother's right when the birthday lunch would be. I do have to prioritize helping family over a meal out with friends, in the end.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Are you eating enough vegetables??

I happened across this website:

Pictures of Your Recommended Servings of Vegetables Per Day

Far, far, faaaar too often, I see on blogs or message boards or whatever talk about their eating plans, their daily menus, etc, and a really unfortunately common denominator is that vegetables are NOT prominent in those plans! Veggies are often relegated to a meager side dish at dinner or spinach added to a smoothie. I rarely see veggies be the star (I'm picturing "star" being said like they're about to be a hit on Broadway ;) ).

Today my vegetables included: a coleslaw made of cabbage and carrots at lunch, mushrooms and onions and spinach in a cheese-less omelette with roasted sweet potatoes for dinner, leftover peas as a snack, sugar snap peas as a snack, roasted beets as a THIRD snack (I snack a lot, but on vegetables, so whatever). 

I didn't have my typical big romaine and tomato salad for dinner that is pretty common for me... because I was eating an omelette and just plain old didn't want to eat a salad with my eggs :)

An interesting thing that website above mentioned was this "When it comes to salad, a cup is not a cup. It takes 2 cups of leafy greens to equal 1 cup of vegetables." Good to remember! I usually eat over two cups of romaine when salad is the star of dinner, so I've been doing pretty well.

The website (and the government) recommends a lot more fruit than I think a lot of people I know in the "healthy living" blogosphere would like because a lot of people are trying to reduce the amount of sugar they eat, which I get! I think as long as you have a really nice variety of vegetables in your daily rotation (including lots of colors!), you don't have to rely on fruit all that much. I eat about 1/2 cup of blueberries and an apple everyday. Not the recommended 2 cups, but I don't think I'm suffering. Extra veggies, please :)

I think whatever plan you follow - paleo, primal, high protein, high fat, IIFYM, WW, etc, etc... the basic rule that should be followed in EVERY PLAN: eat simple, eat fresh, focus on the vegetables!! 

Anyway, that is my recipe for success. I eat a variety of things, but make sure vegetables are the highest percentage of foods I eat. I eat fats like oil, nuts and avocado, I eat proteins like eggs, lean meats and cottage cheese, and sprinkle in a good amount of seeds into my day. But veggies are the star. Our fridge is always bursting with them!

Just a little thing I was thinking about when I realized in a comment on Gwen's blog that I no longer ate vegetables at breakfast (I used to eat a veggie egg scramble but now eat blueberries with cottage cheese) and have had to work a little harder to get in more veggies... such as often eating a big salad with protein for dinner!

Have a good Friday, everyone <3

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Maintaining health while working extended hours

Well, my mood is holding out pretty well despite the overtime hours at work! I'm not AS high energy/bubbly as I was on Monday, but hey - it's "hump day," right? Give me a break ;)

I'm leaving the house around 6:30 in the morning and not getting back till after 6 PM... and I am trying to fit in my schoolwork, so I will admit to letting my usual stretching/yoga practice slide a little bit this week. I've also let my push-ups slide, too (I've been trying to get in a set or two of pushups everyday for a couple of weeks now to maintain my arm/core strength!).

I'm giving myself the night off from the dissertation tonight, though, because we are getting together with friends to watch Survivor. I plan to get in a yoga practice before I head over to my friend's house, though. Cannot underestimate the benefits of mindful movement!

I am hitting 10,000 steps per day for the past week, which is great. I get an extra break at work when I do overtime, so throwing on the extra 15 minute walk really helps me hit that goal.

Food is going well, too - Chris is helping a ton by getting dinners ready (and leftovers that easily turn into lunch the next day). If he wasn't around this week, I think I would have had to make a huge veggie-filled chili in the crockpot, roasted 4-5 sweet potatoes, and just live off of that for the week. But I'm glad I'm getting more variety than that!

Sleep is a little less than usual, too, because of the early wake up. 

So, yeah, it's not been easy to be as healthy as when I am working my normal schedule. And some things are slipping to the wayside as I have to prioritize other things. Since this is just for this week, I'm okay with that. If this was for a prolonged period of time, I would need to do some serious life organizing to make sure I got in purposeful exercise (not just walking) and went to bed earlier.

Right now my priorities are:

- getting at least 6 hours of sleep (ideally 7-8.. but 6 is necessary for immediate sanity)
- staying hydrated
- making sure I don't have to rely on outside-the-house food purchases even though I am gone for 12 hours a day!
- take my vitamins and make sure my food is well-rounded nutritious for the day
- making sure I have enough energy to get schoolwork done when I come home!

My weight is the same as its been for a few weeks now - no updates there!

Just looking forward to this week being over AND the nice paycheck from this week :)

We have a little bit in the budget every month for small house-hold goods purchases. This month we decided to get a little art for our bedroom. I found a new-to-me artist that I absolutely LOVE: Franz Marc who is a German expressionist painter and has some really great, bright, abstract nature pieces that I think are really awesome.

I found this painting in a print (Deer in Woods II, 1914) and ordered it:


There are actually several other pieces of his I love, it's really fun to explore an artist I hadn't seen before, look through his works, and get inspired :) I never really was into expressionism as a style, so  I don't know a ton about it or the art the was created during that time. It was nice to spend a little while looking into it online.

Just wanted to share a little beauty with you today :)

Take care of yourselves today <3

Monday, February 23, 2015

Starting the week right

Happy start to the week, everyone!

I am in an inexplicably good mood - which is nice, since nothing in my life has changed, necessarily. Job is still unsatisfying, finances are a struggle, my car needs a bunch of repairs, I'm working 12.5 hours of overtime this week (going to be tired!), my dissertation is frustrating, my weight remains up, and it is just plain old hard to get everything done.

And, yet?

I feel pretty good!

Some level of acceptance for all the hard stuff? Natural ups and downs of mood? Who knows, but I am enjoying it while I can :)

I went to my niece's first birthday party yesterday in Providence, which was awesome. I cannot believe it had been a year already! She's such an awesome little person (generally very happy but can be very serious and intent about things... also has a pretty good sense of humor for a one year old :) ) and I was really happy to make the trip to see her. Chris' mom actually drove from a more eastern New York town to drive down to Providence with us, then stayed the night. It was good to have some quality time with her, too.

I'm pretty focused on getting through this week, with all the extra work hours. We are super, super prepped on awesome food. The fridge is full to bursting with vegetables! Chris is around this week and will doing a lot of the cooking, which is helpful. I'll be getting most of my activity in on my work breaks, then head home to try and get some words down on paper for school.

Planning is the key to my success here - making sure I have enough time to get everything done that NEEDS to be done and carving out a little time for relaxation at the end of the night. Making sure I am calm right before bed so I have a good night of sleep.

I will not be relying on cafeteria food or coffee to get me through this week :)

Just a little update on me, I will catch up on blogs I missed this weekend over the next day!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Unwavering Scale

Well, I no longer feel a little twinge in the pit of my stomach, where my vanity and superficiality lie, when I step on the scale, because it is said 125 or 126 for so many days in a row that it is becoming my new normal!


I'm just not willing to cut back too much on my normal food (though obviously I'm being moderate and staying paleo/primal with a focus on overall nutrition) or go crazy with exercise right now. I'm not sure how it would affect my fertility, so I'm just trying to keep my body in a stable state!

Going to a friend's birthday gathering this evening. It'll be my dinner (they'll have chili!) but I made myself a promise if no grains whatsoever. That'll just send me down a bad path - especially because I have my niece's birthday party tomorrow, too. I don't need to start another month-long off plan cycle where I think cupcakes and chips are normal food for me!

Here's a selfie, since it's been a while :-)

I know the extra 3 to 4 pounds are not noticeable to anyone else, but I do feel a little bit thicker in the middle which results in less of a defined waistline, which I don't really love, but I'll get over it. My focus is on building a family and staying healthy :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Making Dinner for Others - and overall wellness

Dinner last night went well! We brought a shepherd's pie (with mashed sweet potatoes, you've seen me make this several times on the blog!), a loaf of bread from a local bakery, and strawberries and pineapples with a yogurt dip for dessert.

When we make dinner for others, who obviously don't eat primal/paleo in their day to day lives, we try to make little compromises. We want the bulk of the meal to be primal/paleo (so that we have lots of options that we feel good about!), but we also sometimes add things that are more "standard" in the American diet, like bread.

Often times, we actually do manage to get a completely grain-free meal made when we make dinner for others. We like to do it in such a way that they don't even notice! We'll make beautiful salads, have a great protein, lots of veggies, and serve a side of roasted or mashed sweet potatoes that is the starch. Sometimes we'll choose quinoa (I know it's not paleo, but I think it's a really great, nutritious seed grain with lots of protein... we don't keep it in the house, but it is something I eat once in a while) as the side.

But, always, when I make dinner for others - my main goal is provide them with a nutritious meal.

I like to know that I am not adding to the problems of the SAD diet. I try to have the bulk of the foods I serve those I love chemical-free, preservative-free, whole, fresh foods. Just like I do for myself :)

I want them to be healthy for the long haul, so we can all be around till we're old people, gray and laughing about old memories, and still able to make new ones!

I don't force my beliefs on others, I don't shame anyone for what they choose to eat or what their lifestyle is. All I do is create an example by how I live. I discuss how and why I do what I do when asked. And, when faced with social situations, I try to incorporate activity, steer away from creating events that are focused around food, and when I can have a hand in the food - I bring a nutritious (and still delicious!) option!

So that's my input on sharing food and making meals with others.

I also wanted to briefly address Katie's comment on my last post - that I should not focus so much on the physical and worry more about my emotional/mental state. Well, the truth of the matter is that this is a weight maintenance/physical health blog. That's what I started it, to help me work through the reasons why I gained weight and why I was having trouble maintaining the loss!

But I am more than aware that physical health, mental health and spiritual health are intimately entwined. I do not ignore any facet of the whole picture. I want to be healthy and happy in ALL ways! And I think I am very honest about my struggles with all three of those aspects of health. And while I try to make progress with all of them, the physical aspect is the most VISIBLE and, for me, the easiest one to succeed at right now. But that doesn't mean I am ignoring the rest of me :)

I bring this up because I don't want anyone who does read this blog to think I am obsessed with the physical... because I don't want to set that example. Being physically healthy is a key part of overall wellness, but it is not the only part. In fact, when we are truly sick in any of the three areas (physical, emotional, spiritual), it seems inordinately hard to keep wellness in the others. They are so intertwined, that we must pursue progress in all three at the same time!

Just a thought I had, because if I have any influence over any person ever... I don't want them to think I think it is okay to focus solely on your physical body. We are much more than that.

Namaste <3

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dealing with stress: Finances, Insurance

So it's not a secret that I don't have a lot of money, and I'm not financially stable or comfortable... I'm always working to BE that way (finishing my PhD, looking for jobs) but that's where we are right now.

It's almost a full time job managing my stress about it!

I do ok, I remind myself that as long as I have my family/pets and we all have good and shelter, that's all that really matters (of course I'm always terrified that some small link in the chain - like the car - will break, causing a reaction where I can't get to work, we can't pay our bills, lose the ability to have food and shelter... I'm an anxious person).

So when I get a letter in the mail that my insurance company won't cover a $1400 doctors bill, I panic. Now, I'm taking care of it everyway I can (calling insurance and the doctors, trying to get it rebilled/recoded, having the doc write a letter of medical necessity)... But I'm also stressed out... A lot.

I can't seem to relax the tension in my neck and shoulders and I want to cry! 

It's an exaggerated response to this situation.

I know that. But that "knowing" never seems enough to reduce my stress/anxiety. I keep thinking about almost a month's wages lost, how that will affect us. Ugh.

I'm hopeful this will get straightened out -- I just tell you this to let you know what's been going on in my life (it's been the foremost thought in my head the last 3 days) and try to relate this to the purpose of my blog ... The finding health in all ways. Body, mind and spirit.

It's a much longer process to heal my mind and spirit from the sicknesses that have plagued me my whole life than it was to heal my body.

Even now- my physical health remains good. Just got my BP read, the nurse laughed and said "well, you'll never have to worry about hypertension, huh? Perfect BP!"... They weighed me in at 125. Everything checks out.

Amidst the stress, I'm eating well, sleeping, taking care. Because if I fail my physical body, the rest of me doesn't have much of a chance!

I've been working on the anxiety... But this situation showed me I have a long ways to go, still. I can reduce my anxiety in day to day life, but when a "blip" happens (especially regarding money/jobs/etc), I revert really quickly to old patterns.

So I tell you this because I'm far from perfect and have this whole living thing far from figured out. I'm not turning to food/alcohol to mitigate my stress (which is great!), but my stress is out of control. I know I don't have to feel like this.

What I've been turning to recently:

- husband cuddles

- dog/cat snuggles 

- bubble baths

- terrible but entertaining TV

And tonight, we are going over to a friends house, and making her dinner because she recently had knee surgery that is keeping her immobile. So I get the benefit of having a good time with my friend, doing something really nice for someone, and eating a healthy dinner that I cooked!

I'm still a work in process -- this anxiety, that was probably one of the main reasons I got obese in the first place, is still something that plagues me. My weight was a symptom, and though I fixed that symptom, there's still a lot to be done.

I'll do it :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Healthy" salad?! ^.^ Rant to follow...

I was watching the Food Network recently. I don't usually watch cooking shows (except for Chopped, which I find to be really fun! I like trying to think of what I would make with the ingredients and to see what really good chefs come up with) but I also am a weirdo who doesn't like silence, so I like to always have the TV on, even if I am not watching it. I flipped to some sort of Farmhouse cooking show and it seemed to have a nice vibe, so I left it.

I started to pay attention when the lady said she was going to make a healthy salad as an addition to her meal (which was delicious sounding and made with awesome fresh ingredients... but pretty much soaked in butter and an incredibly decadent, calorie rich meal). I was like, Oh! Good, a salad would be a great, light addition to the heavy meal.

Ah, well... here is the ingredients in her HEALTHY salad: romaine lettuce, potatoes roasted in oil and garlic, cheese (forget what kind, maybe cheddar), and BUTTERMILK dressing. That's it. The only vegetable was the lettuce.

Ok, guess we have different ideas of healthy.

Now, technically, it was a dish with whole, fresh ingredients (I think also everything was sourced locally?), everything homemade. That's a plus. I'll always be an advocate of making your food at home from great, fresh, seasonal ingredients. It's a great way to eat - for the environment and for our bodies. No chemicals, no packaging? Awesome!

But, come on!

If you wanted to make that salad, that's fine. It's your meal. But don't call it a healthy addition. It's just another part of an indulgent meal, that's all. It's not giving people a chance to fill up on tons of fresh vegetables prior to big meal, it's just another fat-laden side dish.

I think it just struck me in the moment, because it was clear the lady truly thought it was healthy. And I think a lot of other Americans would think so, too. Because, salad = healthy, right? 

This society has gotten so turned upside down and backwards when it comes to understanding nutrition. And I think the country, as a whole, has really messed up their taste buds and physiological responses to food. Not everything has to be drenched in butter or cream or oil to taste good. Food in it's natural form, well cooked and lightly seasoned can be amazing (I'm thinking broccoli roasted with garlic and black pepper or a really nice pork chop sauteed in a minimal amount of oil with rosemary, stuff like that)!

And I am all for having a few items or meals a week that ARE pretty decadent - being able to really taste the butter or whatever. But when I have a more decadent main meal, my salad sure isn't going to be covered in cheese and buttermilk dressing.

The balance is missing, and it's painfully obvious everywhere you look.

People want all the pleasure all the time, all the desserts, all the tasty snacks, all the convenient dinners, every day.

The reality of my life is lots of time spent buying fresh food, a lot of time spent preparing it, and it IS delicious (though not in the way lots of people would desire... I love the taste of my favorite vegetables, raw or lightly cooked, we don't use a lot of oils or butters, and only sparingly use salt).

I know everyone is free to do as they wish, I am not the food police! However, I think it just gets my goat a little when I see someone on TV call that salad healthy. You're free to make and eat anything you desire, but let's not fool ourselves. And let's not propagate ridiculous notions of what healthy is.

I've watched Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and I never get annoyed at that type of show - because they never try to come across as healthy! They know the food they are making is basically entertainment, it's not about eating well. So I think I just like honesty and a little self-awareness, haha!

Last night, Chris got to splurge and get a really nice grass-fed steak from the co-op. I am not a big beef/steak lover (though I eat ground beef a few times a month) so I made my own tasty dinner. I had a turkey burger in a lettuce "bun" with an egg and turkey bacon on top, served with roasted sweet potatoes and a veggie mix:


It was super tasty and I was super satisfied. We had our Paleo banana ice cream afterwards (blended up frozen banana with frozen blueberries to make a great dessert!).

So, sorry for the rant today... it is just frustrating to see people living in denial about what healthy really means and pushing that agenda forward. I think it's important to be educated and to make educated choices (and if you still choose the buttermilk cheese potato salad, that's fine... but just be honest about what it really is!).

That's it for me today ;)


Monday, February 16, 2015

Sleeping in, Freezing temps, Stubborn pounds!

FINALLY! I slept in!! I slept till 7:45 after falling asleep around 10:30. Ahhhh, more than 8 hours of sleep. I feel incredible!!

I knew it would take a couple of days for my body to relax and get off it's very strict schedule, so only on a 3 day weekend will I probably get the sweet sleep in morning :) That's ok with me though - my schedule works really well for me, because I naturally get up early and I'm not in a bad mood because of that when I go to work. I'm rested and have had an easy morning before work, it's key for maintaining sanity at work!

Anyway, take a look at this:


I still won't let the weather keep me down... We are going to head out with the dog around 2PM when it is at least 9°. Below zero temps are NOT my idea of a nice time!

I'm going to do an extended yoga practice at home today to make up for being sedentary for the better part of the day. It's important to my health to keep this body moving and strong!

My weight is stubbornly the same ~126. Whatever! I know I'm feeding my body well and treating it right in all other ways.

I can be at peace with my weight when it is still a healthy weight to be and I know for sure that I am:

1. Eating moderately - healthy portions, only when I'm hungry. I'm not calorie counting, but the past obsessive calorie counter in me knows I'm eating between 1700-2000ish calories a day, depending on activity level.

2. Eating WELL- most of my diet is vegetables, the other parts are primal/paleo: lots of good proteins (poultry and eggs mostly), seeds and nuts (flax, chia, almonds, etc), coconut or olive oil for cooking, and limited fruit because of the season (apples and cantaloupe and frozen blueberries are the usual suspects in the house right now).

3. NOT cheating myself .. Not lying to myself about what I'm eating. There has been no SAD junk food in my life for weeks. I'm eating from my (paleo and clean food-stocked) home only l, except for Valentines Day brunch (where my one non-paleo indulgence was 3 pieces of gluten free toast)!

4. Sleeping enough, walking enough, stretching enough, drinking enough water, etc, etc.

When I know, in my heart, I'm doing everything I can for my health, I cannot logically be displeased that I weigh 126 rather than 123. 

The 3 lb gain IS strange,  since I'd been maintaining 122-123 for the better part of a year. I'm definitely keeping an eye on my weight to make sure it doesn't continue to climb (if I all of a sudden started putting on weight despite maintaining my current lifestyle, I'd bring it up to my GP).

A thought I had: I might have really disrupted my body's systems when I had my really off-plan January. It might take another whole month for my digestive system to completely heal. So I'm giving my body that time and treating it well. 

I'm getting over the mental struggle, the disordered thoughts, and back to focusing on what's important: a healthy body that can carry me through this life! I have to do work for a healthy body and a healthy spirit... I'm closer than I was last year or the year before. Progress is good :)

Namaste <3

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow...

No weather is going to prevent me from getting my steps in! Especially when I have an energetic German Shepherd who loves the snow :)

We've been getting out there a lot, especially considering how much snow has been dumped on our city and how extremely cold it has been (around 10°, with lows in the negatives almost every day):

The snow is over Koda's head in places!

But I've been making the effort to stay active - I have also been making sure to get in stretching and yoga in the morning! I've also been challenging myself to remember to do some push-ups every day, to keep my arm strength up :)

But walking is still my main exercise, keeping my steps around 10k as best I can:

Now to get some school work done and, I think, to enjoy a bubble bath <3 <3

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Celebration

Chris and I always do a little something for Valentine's Day... Sometimes we ski or hike, sometimes we take a day trip somewhere, sometimes have a dinner out. But we always get each other cards and small gifts. We're not big into over-celebrating holidays, but it's a nice time of year to sort of celebrate being in love :-)

Hehe... I'm tickled by the card I got him:

He got me a pretty card, flowers, a cute Adirondacks bear and chocolate covered strawberries!

I love chocolate covered strawberries, one of the better flavor combinations in this world!! It's a nice indulgence to have 2-3 and not over-do it, too. He knows me, that I like treats but NOT ones that are worth a whole day's calories!

Yesterday at work, my supervisor brought in cupcakes. I didn't have any. Our managers put cookies on everyone's desk, three beautiful cookies all wrapped up, as a gift for doing so well last month. It was harder to resist the cookies, because they were right in front of my face on my desk. At first, I put them in my drawer, thinking I would bring them home to Chris. But every time I opened my drawer, the temptation got more and more intense. I ended up putting the cookies on the shared food table with the cupcakes, for someone else to take them if they wanted.

I knew I would be having a sweet on Valentine's Day. I'm really dedicating myself to the idea that treats are not treats if you have them all the time. I have a new goal of not eating anything sweet at least four days a week. It's a good starting point to truly shake myself out of The habit of having dessert every day. It's not necessary.

Our meal out was breakfast (breakfast and lunch, for me. I never eat that much food for breakfast so I'm still pretty full even though it is well after my lunch time) at a cafe that serves local, organic, fresh foods.

I got a veggie omelet, gluten free toast, and shared a veggie hash with Chris:

Today was my first real "off Paleo" meal in weeks. It was a really tasty meal, too! It still was the quality of food that is important to me... Not processed, no chemicals/preservatives, and fresh! I enjoyed the bread and cheese, but it was one meal. Back to Paleo for the rest of the day and all the foreseeable days :)

My weight is still hanging around 125/126... My new normal? I don't want to try too hard to cut back on calories or up my exercise routine too much as I am more focused on just maintaining a fertile body right now. If I can have kids, I'd really like to! So I'm just keeping my actions focused on maintaining a healthy, strong body that is free of toxins. Weight has to be a less important priority.

Finished a morning off with a four mile city walk with Koda!

Next on the agenda after reading some blogs in bed is cleaning the fridge and working in my dissertation.

A nice Valentine's Day!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Where I Am At

I wanted to post just so that no one who reads me regularly thinks anything is wrong!

Things are fine in my neck of the woods - routine is back in place: nice morning to set me up for the day, work day, home for school work, dinner and family cuddle time and bad TV :)

I will say that I have hesitated to blog for a couple of days because I am wrestling with those disordered demons in my head. My weight continues to stay up (around 125/126) despite my food and activity and general taking-care-of-myself being BETTER than they have in months.

The normalized thoughts in my head, the thoughts of the healthy-living blogger who has done a lot of self discovery are this:

- This is normal and okay.

- Your health is good and that's the major reason you do ANY of this!

- A few pounds is not reflective of your self-worth.

- The effort you are putting into your health right now (sleeping, eating well, stay active, drinking water, etc) is reflected in your strong, healthy body and it is something to be proud of.

The disordered part of me, that still lingers somewhere in the recesses of my mind, that part of me that really had a hold of me for many years during my obesity and following my initial weight loss... well, that part of me is hard to make go away completely, it's voice is loud, the patterns are deeply ingrained in me (I think it will take years of constant work till those patterns are totally broken). It says:

- You should really start restricting your food, this weight gain is going to continue until you are obese again.

- You should double your workouts, you are being lazy and it is reflected in your body.

- You don't look good and it's obvious.

- Obsess about this till your weight drops!!!

- Feel guilty about everything you eat, you shouldn't be eating, you're gaining weight.

So... it's those tendencies that might keep me from blogging as much as I usually do. I don't want to indulge those thoughts, I don't want to get wrapped up in them. I have to focus on doing the work to consciously think positive, self-loving, proactive thoughts.

I know the disordered thoughts are just that... DISORDERED. They are not the truth, they are part of a sickness I had for a long time, a result of self-hatred and a low sense of self-worth. I know the rational truth. But, as many of you know, knowing the truth is different from feeling it, deeply believing it.

I will never let myself get to a disordered state again. But, sometimes that takes a lot of self-reflection and a lot of self-work. I want to rid myself of negative feelings about my body and weight. I started this blog because I knew I had a LOT of work to do, to achieve health in mind, body and spirit. It is a whole package deal.

So I might blog tomorrow, or the next day, I might not. I sometimes need to focus on my life when I get too wrapped up in thoughts about my body.... focus on my husband, my animals, my friends, my home, my school work, the real things that matter in this world. Wasting time with negative energy and thoughts about my weight is ridiculous and I do know that, but it takes work to escape it.

So that's where I am. Namaste <3

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


First, a little update as far as my health and weight goes. I am at 125 pounds as of this moment, nothing new there! But there has been the slightest of downward trends for the last few mornings, as I was a little bit higher before. So, I'm doing what I can to keep that downward trend going!

And, I officially don't have pregnancy to blame on my weight fluctuations this month. It's strange that that is a possibility now. I'm keeping an eye on my body in a very different way than I have ever before. Weight gain is now a possible sign of something in my body changing. So I was wondering if hormones were affecting me this month. But they weren't! So I'm just gonna continue taking care of myself and see what happens as far as my weight goes.

I'm also taking my temperature every morning, to get a good read on that pattern. It's strange, my temperature has read 96.1°! It seems quite low, but I'm healthy, so I'll just take that as my body being my quirky human body.

Everything else is going well. I'm getting my steps in every day, as usual. I'm still getting outside every day, as well :-) If it's actively snowing or raining, I stay in the parking garage, but the cold isn't going to keep me cooped up, no way. I love fresh air.


Food has been spot on, super nutritious! I haven't gone off plan in a long time now, February is going to be awesome, I can just feel it!

Which brings me to my thought of the day, momentum.

It is so much easier for me to wake up, drink a big glass of water, take my vitamins, do my yoga, and get my food set up for a healthy, clean, Paleo day, etc IF I did it the day before.

Every healthy action, every good day spurs another one.

Right now I have a couple weeks of great momentum behind me, which gives me a great sense of pride, believe in myself, and the desire to keep moving forward.

Here is a cool post about how momentum can be a really powerful force in our lives:

This is an excerpt that spoke to me:

"Let momentum move you

Take that first step in a direction of your own choosing, then with each bold statement, each strong stride, each clear-thinking choice let momentum joyously lift you higher and farther. Exceed your own expectations and strengthen your resolve to be who you were meant to be and nothing less. Don’t strive and stress – instead simplify and find success on your terms.

Let momentum ignite you

Once you feel it growing, let momentum fan the fire inside you – a fire that may have been burnt out or smoldering under the surface for a long time. Let yourself feel love and passion towards yourself, your life and everything you do then begin to recover, uncover or discover your true potential. If often leaps out of the flames."

I have to remember this feeling of momentum... because at times when maintaining my healthy habits feels too hard and I seem to be bogged down and completely unable to change? I just have to know that if I can make it one day where I return to my good, healthy habits, then the next day will be easier... and the next even easier. I can push my own self forward and I can get myself out of an unhealthy rut.

 Till next time, friends... Namaste <3

Saturday, February 7, 2015

How Saturday Went

Started the morning off with another no-sleep in (6:50 this time!) but made up for it by laying around in bed while Chris left, reading blogs on my phone :-) No jumping out of bed to start my day before 7 AM!

We eventually got motivated, and made ourselves a really lovely breakfast:

And, after a lot of exasperated sighs from Koda, hit a local hike around 10 AM (he is used to either being walked by 7 AM or going for a big weekend hike for Chris around 4 AM, hahaha, he is not used to lazing around). It was a nice hike- it was softly snowing the entire time, was very quiet, and we got to enjoy pretty winter woods. Snowshoes were required, as the trail was not very well broken out.

The views where obscured by the small snowstorm, so I don't have any big pretty pictures to show :-)

The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning the house for Chris and working on my dissertation for me. It was actually pretty relaxing.

We had a party to attend that we were invited to in the evening. A lot of people we hadn't seen in a while we're going to be there, so I really wanted to go. However, it was a fondue party.



Absurd amounts of things to dip in them.

Our strategy? 

1. Eat a great, nutritious dinner before going (sausage, rutabaga and salad)

2. Bring decaf tea to keep my hands busy  (no alcohol for me!!)

3. Arrive slightly late so as to miss the initial excitement of party food that inevitably happens shortly after things like that get set up

How did it go? Really well!

I didn't have any grains or cheese! I ate the veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) for dipping with no dip :) I did eat some strawberries and marshmallows dipped in chocolate, and apples dipped in caramel, though... It was awesome! Really tasty, and not a bad end to the day since we ate really well and kind of light earlier.

But without focusing on food, I was able to enjoy the party and had a lot of fun catching up with my friends. Someone brought cardboard cutout accessories, so we obviously had a bunch of fun with those:

Haha :)

I woke up early again today, sigh, is sleeping in not going to happen for me ever again?? Ah well, got our grocery shopping for the week done by 9 AM and now we're about to take the dog for a nice long walk.

Weight is stubbornly stuck over my goal of 123ish.. Anywhere from 2-4 lbs over (it fluctuates). Just going to keep on doing what I'm doing, focus on good nutrition, listening to hunger cues, staying active, etc! Things will be as they are meant to.


Type 3 Diabetes?

I've been seeing more and more in health news the past 2+ years, indicating Alzheimer's is not simply a degenerative brain disease, but linked to the overall body system. I can't find the article I read over a year ago, but the gist was that they were having incredible success treating Alzheimer's with a multidisciplinary approach that included a really specific anti-inflammatory diet.

I just saw this video today, of a man who is making a documentary about the link between lifestyle and Alzheimer's, calling it type 3 diabetes:

I'm interested to see where this research goes in the medical community, as it is scary how high the numbers are in our population of Alzeheimer's sufferers.

Just a little Saturday morning web surfing going on. I'm about to cook up a nice egg breakfast and hit a local snowshoe hike with Chris and Koda :)

Enjoy your weekend <3

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Bread

It seems like a switch has flipped in the past couple weeks with my eating. I'm right back to where I was before the holidays/winter gatherings/funeral food insanity that I let take over in December/January. Back to simple foods, simple cooking, paleo/primal focused, and NO grains (especially those white flours!), processed sugars, chemicals, preservatives, or anything of that sort.

And I would have to say, because of my mindset, the cravings just aren't really there. I felt really sick by the end of January, and my mindset definitely got shifted back to "Let food be thy medicine" instead of "you aren't allowed to have that food." I'm allowed to have any food I choose, but I am choosing not to eat foods that damage my health and well being. It's a small attitude difference but is huge for me. It's a lot easier to make good decisions when I look at it, not as deprivation, but as enhancing my life.

Keeping it clean and simple the last two weeks has made me feel worlds better. My systems are starting to get back to normal (and my face has cleared up, yay!).

Tonight, we were feeling hungry after dinner, which was pretty light (porkchops, roasted cauliflower, and peas and carrots). We have nothing in the house other than the basic staples (meat, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, oil, etc) because I didn't want to be tempted.

But, after two weeks or so strong, I wanted to treat us a little! I've taken to heart the idea that you can't call something a "treat" if you have it all the time- I stopped buying chocolates or anything sweet for the house (and haven't bought anything "on the go" as that's not my style... I'm cheap, so house food is my food!).

I wanted to stay Paleo, though, and work with what we did have in the house (no running out for a store bought snack!).

I had happened to just have all the ingredients for this recipe on hand:

It was super easy to put together (I did not add extra sweetener as suggested, in fact, I even reduced the honey in the recipe just a little... It ended up being a little more savory, which is what I was looking for), took about 40 minutes to bake and came out nice with a slight crust on the outside and very moist inside.

I love all the spices, they gave the bread a terrific flavor. I ate about 1/10th of the loaf and felt really satisfied, and not tempted to reach for more. Chris was really grateful for the warm baked treat!

It doesn't look pretty, but I'll share these photos:

It was fun to bake, too :) I really enjoy baking, but it's obviously not an activity that goes well with my ideal life. I seem to bake a Paleo-fied treat about 5-6 times a year and will occasionally bake a standard cake for a friend's birthday. That's enough to satisfy my baking jones :)

Weight isn't really budging, I'll update tomorrow if anything changes with my weigh in.

Namaste <3

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Call for Blogs

Ok - I've accepted that blogger deleted my listed of blogs I read, so I don't see them on my homepage anymore. Unfortunately, the list of blogs I read now vs. the list on the sidebar of MY blog didn't match anymore (list on my blog is kind of old, lots of those blogs went inactive).

So I'm doing a clean wipe. Starting fresh!

So if you read here and have a blog (or read a really great blog you think I should be reading), leave me the full URL in my comments, and I will add it to feedly! (some of my dear blogging friends like Kelly and Gwen need not do this, I know your URLs by heart!)

And as a side note, since I am publishing this anyway, I am down a pound today, finally! I'm at 125 though, but that's still closer to my goal than yesterday. Not counting calories, getting obsessive or restrictive, just fueling my body with great stuff and staying active (hitting 10k steps a day, yoga in the mornings :) ).


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Zucchini Latkes and Chia Pudding

I finally tried out a few recipes I've been seeing around blog-land tonight: zucchini latkes and chia seed pudding! Neither turned out pretty enough to photograph, so there's no photos to show you - I really like pretty food pics, not weird mushy piles of stuff that you wouldn't know what it is at first glance!

The winner of the night was the chia seed pudding. This is the recipe I used, putting together ideas from other blogs (like and

1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cans organic coconut milk (the thick kind)
1 tablespoon maple syrup 

I put this in a tall, cylindrical Tupperware, shook it up REALLY well and refrigerated. In two hours, it became a gorgeous, nutrient dense (and calorie dense!) pudding!! It cost about $7 and made about 8-9 servings (around 220 cal each)... You'd have to pay over $25 for the same amount of chia pudding at my co-op! Big win!

It's cool to watch the seeds expand, too, and they will fully soak up the milk by tomorrow morning.

The latkes, eh! I winged this recipe and made a few mistakes (I didn't squeeze/drain the shredded zucchini for one!).

I shredded 3 zucchinis, chopped some red onion. Separately I combined 3 eggs, spices and coconut flour.. I added too much coconut flour, so had to add a fourth egg to make it wet again. This was a mistake, the latkes turned out way to eggy, almost like little quiches.

Well, anyway, I combined the wet mixture with the veggies, sautéed them in a pan with olive oil. They tasted fine, but they weren't what I was looking for, I was looking for more veggie and less egg mix!

Still a filling and nutritious dinner, so not a total fail :) We ate them with some bacon for our local butcher (might have saved the meal, haha). We have leftover latkes for lunch tomorrow, too.

My weight has remained the same - I'm feeling really off lately! My food has been real clean (whole, unprocessed, chemical free!) and paleo, too. But my body isn't cooperating. I'll see what happens tomorrow on the scale - I'm feeling healthy and strong otherwise!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Stuffed Red Peppers - half fail, half win!

We made a really nice dinner for ourselves last night, after skiing (and I am proud that we went to the effort, even though we were pretty tired, we didn't just grab something to-go!). We made roasted, stuffed red peppers and it was my first time making stuffed peppers :)

We actually don't often buy peppers, for a couple of reasons - they are decently expensive, especially the organic ones (and they are one of those thin-skinned veggies that are more important to buy organic!), and are not terribly nutrient dense. I'd rather spend my money on a vegetable that has more nutrients and calories than a pepper, and one that is less likely to soak up pesticides (so something like broccoli)! That's the frugal lady in me :) But I kind of had a craving for peppers AND they were on sale. Perfect.

The recipe was pretty simple. I looked up a few how-to's for stuffed peppers and got the basic idea. Cut and clean the pepper, boil it for a couple of minutes in water, cook up the stuffing separately, stuff the pepper and then roast them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Obviously my stuffed peppers were not your typical because I wanted to stay paleo, so no cheese or bread crumbs :) So, compared to the kind my dad used to make, they were pretty dry! I'll have to figure out something to add to the recipe that is still grain/dairy free, but not as dry >.<

My stuffing was ground turkey, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, leftover red peppers, and lots of chili powder and cumin. Very delicious! But, since it was dry, it wasn't easy to eat the pepper and stuffing together - stuff kept falling out.

So delicious, but a technique fail :) It happens!

My weight is down a half pound, which is nice, still not back in my goal range, but I know that will take time. The off-plan January really made a big impression on me... I am back to being dedicated to my health, above all, and being grain-free is a big part of that. I guess I just needed a reminder of how crappy, fatigued, bloated and rashy I get when I don't stay mostly grain-free.

The snow is coming down HARD here by me... but work made us come in, boo. Definitely not a safe drive in (you could not see the lane lines on the highway, yikes). Hope we end up at home tonight, warm and safe!!

Have a good one, friends <3

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Skiing- all day exercise! (Weight/food update too)

Now, skiing is not a great exercise for losing weight (too many prolonged rests on the lift to keep the heart rate up, and other than your quads, not a significant strength workout), but for getting overall strong and fit with good endurance? It's a great addition to my rotation of activities!

I love how my quads feel after a full day on the mountain (especially doing challenging trails) and how awesome it is to use my entire body to get safely down. A strong core and good balance are key... And every run strengthens both! My biceps end up getting a great workout from the traverses across flat parts, too!

My pedometer registered 6,000 steps from my day, too, because of all the walking from the lot, the lodge, etc. So that's nice!

Anyway- a great day (about 7 hours straight!) of activity with my husband on a GORGEOUS winter day. Definitely my idea of a lovely date <3 and quality time. Over the course if our relationship, he's gotten to see me learn to ski and become pretty decent at it! It's been fun and he's been a good partner for it.

Some pics from the day (we went to Bromley Mountain in Vermont, a smaller and more affordable family type mountain with a great vibe!):

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! We might be getting hit with a bunch of snow this week, so we'll see how many steps I can get in this week. And I hope to get my weight back down this week - Food has been great (and as usual, exercise is spot on), even when we went out to eat (thanks to a Christmas gift certificate!) and treated ourselves to dinner at the City Beer Hall:

I'll keep you updated!