Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Whole Health: your feet!

Interesting article popped up in my morning news perusal: Feet: the foundation for fitness and it made me think of the fitness blogs I read and the foot problems many of those writers' experience!

I've actually shied away from running because of the high impact it has on the feet/legs. Well, that, and because I suck at running :) But I always noticed that it was so much harder on my feet than my other favored exercises (walking, yoga, body-weight strength training and hiking).

Feet carry us through our lives. We are dependent on them for transportation and many types of exercise. They are also pretty delicate mechanisms - the article talks about how a quarter of our bones are in our feet/ankles! And it goes into the fact that we all care so much about stability, and often focus on our legs and core for stability and strength, but that all starts with the feet. Definitely need to take care of them, whether you are doing high impact sports or not.

They recommend strengthening your feet and incorporating that into your regular exercise/self-care routine. From the article:

"Simply trying to pick up a washcloth, towel or marbles with the feet fires up the muscles that build arch strength, he said. Standing on one foot for 10 seconds is also a good way to build core strength.

Bowman suggests doing exercises such as spreading, pointing and individually lifting the toes, rolling a tennis ball underfoot, and standing on tiptoe to strengthen the calves."

So I wanted to throw that out there, something to keep in mind :)

Especially as I move into this new phase in my life, I want to really get back to the original purpose of this blog - that this is for total health, for life. No quick fixes. No short cuts. Not focusing on just one aspect of health, one sport, one diet. Just plain old good taking care of your mind and body to ensure the best health possible.

This is possible. It is not COMMON in our society of narrow-focus and quick results. People want what they want, in almost a child-like manner. They will rework true science to be able to feel like they are living well, even if in the end, it is harmful. Truth is truth, and there is no altering of that, no taking the easy way out. The body is multi-faceted - it requires complete nutrition, exercise that includes the whole body (strength and endurance!), as well as mental-care.

So maybe it might not be easy to focus on total health - but it can be fun :) There are a multitude of different ways to achieve this, and I hope to explore those at the same time as telling you all how I personally go about it.

That's enough for today for me. I'll try to focus more on these issues, because they are what is important to me.

Otherwise, things are fine! I had a tougher day yesterday with nausea/fatigue. But I slept 10 hours last night and am feeling better this morning. I got right into bed when I got home from work, Chris made me eggs with sweet potatoes, we had banana ice cream (paleo: it's just frozen bananas!) after, I watched some television and fell asleep. Not the most productive evening, but I needed it.

Have a great day, namaste <3

Monday, March 30, 2015

Back on the Grid

It was super nice to take a long break from everything this weekend - being completely unplugged is really awesome :)

Also, it was nice to come back to so many really nice messages. I just wanted to thank everyone who reached out to me, it really brightened my day. And that's a really powerful thing. I was talking a few days ago about being confused by the fact that, when it is easiest to do nothing, people put their energies into causing suffering. Well, you all make me smile, because, when you could have done nothing, you reached out and made me smile. It's a lovely thing to be reminded that people are pretty great :)

I didn't have the most restful weekend, though, because I am such a light sleeper and sharing a cabin with a dozen people is hard for me. So definitely did not get a full night's sleep either night. Definite trade off! I'm working overtime again this week, so I am kind of exhausted this morning. Will be getting to bed super early tonight.

The mountains were still in full on winter, despite that fact that it is supposed to be spring! We actually couldn't drive our cars up the long, long, long driveway to the cabin. All the cars got stuck within 50 feet. We had to abandon them and trek up the driveway with all our stuff in deep snow! Crazy. I didn't leave the cabin at ALL on Saturday because of the cold and snow, only got in 2000 steps, and don't regret a moment of it, haha.

I did get out on Sunday, despite it being 5 degrees out, and took a little hike with Koda. The whole group also went on a walk down the road to a local Maple Fest at a neighbor's farm. That was really neat, being able to see how the maple syrup is made, and we scored a nice pint of tasty maple syrup for a reasonable price! With all that walking, plus errands after we got home, I got up to 13,000 steps.

Some pictures from the weekend, leaving out most, because I don't want to put my friend's pictures out there:

Koda and Chris out in the snow

A pretty brook during one of Sunday's walks

The Sugar Shack, where the maple syrup gets made

Alright, just wanted to check. I'm pretty tired today, but I hope to have more of substance for you guys later this week!

Namaste <3

Friday, March 27, 2015


A little theme of respite here.

First, I thankfully am having a moment of respite from nausea and other associated problems! Thank goodness. I'm not silly enough to think I am home free, but any day I feel like normal is a blessing. I had three days of being a complete zombie, who was disgusted by everything except grains, feeling dizzy and nauseous and absolutely exhausted. I am feeling like myself today! My energy levels are still lower than normal, but I am eating my usual foods and don't want to burst into tears because of how crappy I feel. Big plus :)

My second respite is a little break from normal life - work and housework and schoolwork. We are going to spend the weekend at our friend's cabin in the woods. There will be about a dozen people there and it looks like we will spent the weekend enjoying the local Maple Fest, cooking meals for each other, and just hanging out. We are bringing Koda because they have a huge, isolated property he can run free on, so he will be having an amazing weekend, himself!

I am bringing my book, which had been tossed to the side this week, and plan to finish it this weekend on a cozy couch by the big windows :)

I just need a break from my own mind, too. I'm still pretty worried about the ultrasound in a little less than two weeks. I just wish I could know right now. I keep hoping for the best, but I also don't want to fool myself that it's 100% guaranteed to mitigate my heartbreak if something is wrong. It will be nice to just be surrounded by friends for 48 hours straight. I need it.

My weight is holding pretty stable, just obeying hunger signals and giving in a little bit to cravings (I don't normally have real physical cravings... sometimes I absolutely crave fish so I know that it is time to buy some, etc. I know the difference between wanting and craving :) Craving is my body telling me it needs something. Wanting is me being childish and wanting chocolate rather than veggies, haha.).

So I am holding on, here! Doing the best I can to take care of my mental and physical state. It is working out pretty well, too. I know I am struggling, but generally, I feel okay. Of course, I'd rather be in bed than at work, but I'll get over that :)

Enjoy your weekend, friends, take care of yourselves <3

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Response to Anonymous

The first thing I am going to say is that I always have and always will allow anonymous comments. However, if the comment asks nothing/says nothing constructive/offers no good advice/something along those lines and is purely designed to be an attempt to be hurtful, I will delete it. I welcome criticism and like to encourage discussion, and have engaged both in the years I've had this blog. I know haven't got this all figured out and like advice and commentary. But nastiness for no other purpose than to be nasty? No thanks.

I've gotten an uptick in blog traffic recently, so I am guessing that my readers are not all just people actually interested in Paleo or handling weight maintenance or dealing with a disordered past (I fear this is some GOMI/snark related traffic). And I wouldn't normally feed the trolls, but I also don't LIKE deleting comments, and wanted to address why.

So in response to anonymous, no I don't have an eating disorder.

However, I have been really open about my disordered past with regards to food and weight and self-image. An unhealthy relationship in life with food developed really early with the death of my mother when I was ten. The whole family turned to food for comfort, not to each other. I got really developmentally and emotionally stunted. And when I got older and adulthood was on the horizon, I didn't have any healthy coping mechanisms. Yes, I lost weight, but not in a healthy way. The past ten years have been a time when I've done a lot of work to get rid of the burden of my past and my disordered thoughts/beliefs.

Do I still struggle with disordered thoughts/behaviors? Yep. Am I way less disordered then I was 10 years ago or even a year ago? Definitely.

I've been open about it, so I am not sure why you felt the need to attack me. It was in response to me trying to NOT eat a store bought cupcake. So that brings me to my second point.

Completely separate from any disordered body image or thoughts about food is my 100% belief that it is important NOT to eat preservatives, chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, and really any non-food stuff. My process of getting to a healthy relationship with food still will always center around actual food. I do not believe in eating processed junk (though I'm not perfect and sometimes do... I know it is not good fuel for my body). After years of getting real with myself and figuring out what is important to me, what is good and healthy for my mind/body/spirit, one truth has always held true: food can be the best preventative medicine.

And a nasty, preservative-laden (and I know from experience NOT TASTY) cupcake doesn't really meld with all that, huh?

I started this blog to get healthy in all ways - to get past my disordered beliefs, to find peace in my mind and heart AND to find a way to eat and exercise that kept my body at optimal health!

So did you want to hurt me? You didn't. But you did upset me, because I will never understand why people choose to be cruel. Because your easiest course of action when you read my blog was to do nothing. But instead, you put effort into the world to do something. And that something was designed to cause hurt or suffering. And, when the easiest option is to do nothing, I wonder what drives you to make the effort to choose action in that moment.

I made a post some years ago about this - wondering why, when it is so easy to do nothing, people chose to cause suffering. It is something I do not (or attempt not to!) do. It gives me no pleasure to know I've disrupted or upset someone else. I am not perfect at this life, but I am trying and I am learning. When I went to see Thich Nhat Hanh speak, it resonated with me. There is beauty in this world in the present moment, in connecting with others in a kind way, in spreading happiness. It takes so much effort to cause ugliness in this world and relatively little effort to find calm, peace and joy with every breath and every step.

So that might seem dramatic :) But this question is an existential one I wrestle with (not just on the internet, but seeing it in my life and in the world). Why choose to put effort into creating ugliness? I'm sorry for those that spend any of their time this way.

I won't change anything about the way I blog. I still feel my story is a valid one - especially for those looking to AVOID the pitfalls of self-hate and self-harm that I fell into when I started to try to lose weight for all the wrong reasons. I want to push the message that, no matter your past, even if you have struggled with disorder, there is health and happiness for you when you work at it.

So sorry for deleting your message, but it was ugly. Debate and conversation and criticism aren't ugly, but what you said was. I'll continue to allow anonymous commenting but also reserve my right to delete comments that offer nothing BUT ugliness.

Namaste <3

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Note to self: don't eat crappy store bought cupcake

I'm writing this because I am struggling at work today. I am extremely turned off by vegetables today (it took me about 15 minutes to eat a half cup of coleslaw because it was so insanely unappetizing and I want to die at the thought of eating my lentil/carrot soup for lunch).

And there are some birthday cupcakes sitting about 10 feet away from me, right in my eye line.

They are really gross looking - small and dry and totally chemical-looking. And they are chocolate cupcakes (I really don't like chocolate cake, prefer vanilla or yellow cake).

But. The sugar. I want it. I'm freaking out about it! I've been sitting here for 45 minutes reasoning with myself that it is totally not worth it. I have some beautiful sea salt dark chocolate at home (our weekly bar!) that I can have tonight. It will be delicious and it is made of real food, not chemicals.

I have to put this down on "paper" to remind myself what I value. Momentary carb/sugar high is NOT on the list of priorities.

But I am struggling a little as I feel queasy and disgusted with my food, haha.

Using the blog as an accountability tool today!! Making me saying no to the cupcake-that-isn't-worth-it a little more real than just in my head. No throwing my hands up in frustration at 3 PM and digging in.

Otherwise things are going well. Still managing my anxiety, it peaks at times but I am getting a hold of it (though it probably won't be till after the ultrasound that I get much TRUE relief). My weight is holding steady around 126 right now (which seems insane because I am eating pretty much constantly! And like I said, I was pretty much a sloth this past weekend compared to normal.). I feel good and healthy if you remove the fatigue from the situation.

Okay :) No cupcake for me. But totally going to eat chocolate tonight after dinner! No question about it. Chris is making beef burgers (got awesome grass fed beef on sale) with Brussels sprouts for dinner. I'm asking for an egg on top of my burger, too (so hungry, duh).

Hm. Definitely pretty much only thinking about eating and sleeping lately. Sorry about that! I'm sure you can understand :) I am making an effort to stay as active as I can right now, but sleep/rest has definitely been a priority.

Namaste <3

Monday, March 23, 2015

2nd Post today: Got Riled Up by a New "Is Paleo Healthy?" Article

Here's the newest "Is Paleo Healthy?" article/debate:


Well, I can say for certain the anti-Paleo stance in this article is ridiculous. First of all, I will reiterate that most people following the Paleo diet today are not doing it under some misguided attempt to "eat like our ancestors" but rather to reduce inflammatory foods (such as processed foods and modern grains) in order to optimize health. This diet is awesome: no processed foods, focus on plant-based foods and high quality proteins. You get your complete nutrition needs met on the Paleo diet if you educate yourself.

But here's the kicker from the anti-Paleo stance:

"So does eating a largely plant-based diet. Research suggests that we can reduce risks for today’s diseases of affluence by eating more foods from plant sources and balancing calorie intake with expenditure. To the extent the paleo diet achieves these goals, it is a reasonable choice.

But food is so much more than bundles of nutrients. What we eat also nourishes us psychologically and culturally. So while a paleo diet isn’t necessarily bad, why bother? I’d be sad to miss all those delicious forbidden foods."

Wow. Just wow.

It's not a bad diet? But you've got the sads because you are missing out on delicious foods (like processed junk?)? That's kind of.... gross.

If people have found that following a Paleo-ish protocol helps them eat that largely plant based diet that helps them stay healthy and live well, what is the problem? Why take a stance against it at all? Let the people who enjoy eating this way eat this way and stop arguing against a perfectly healthy and reasonable way to eat.

I am tired of seeing these types of articles pop up now and again in the news, on Facebook, etc. It's ridiculous at this point. No one is forcing anyone in America to follow this diet, or any diet, it is all personal choice.

And I also disagree with the idea the author has that we will be sad/miss out on delicious foods. I eat really, really delicious food daily while eating Paleo. Sometimes I make really indulgent Paleo foods. And, occasionally, I veer from the Paleo template and eat something made of grains or even processed sugar. In the end, I don't get much more satisfaction (nutritionally, emotionally or socially) from eating Paleo or non-Paleo. My food is my fuel and I like for it to taste good, it doesn't have to get wrapped up in more than that. In fact, making food more important than that is probably the problem....

The takeaway I got from that was they they both agree it is a healthy way to eat. One of them just has a problem with giving up Standard American Diet treats.

Naps? Not Great For Me

I have been fatigued beyond belief the last few days. I managed to get in my steps this weekend, going on walks with Chris and Koda and running errands in the morning, but I would crash by early afternoon and spend the rest of the day in bed. I really haven't felt anything quite like it!

So I gave in yesterday and took a nap around 1 PM yesterday, waking up sometime before 3. It felt great to sleep, but it didn't really help my energy levels - I was still tired and not up for much of anything (I usually clean my house and prep food when I am home on a weekend... I did nothing at all, Chris had to pitch in way more than usual).

However, when it was time for bed around 10 PM - because I wake up at 5:45 for work - I was wide, wide, wide awake. Nothing was putting me down.

So I am not functioning at my best today, working on about 5 hours of sleep. And add to that the general fatigue I've been struggling with anyway? Well, I'm pooped.

Only two and a half weeks left till my doctor's appointment. I'm so excited and nervous! I hope everything is alright and I hope my life gets to change drastically this year :) I didn't know I wanted this so much until it was so real.

Eating was also crazy this weekend. I cannot manage my hunger. It's pretty relentless! I gave in to some sweets cravings, too, which isn't ideal. I packed a really great lunch - turkey burger, sweet potatoes, coleslaw and beets, and a lentil, carrot and sausage soup. I want to keep it tight this week - really make sure I'm eating GOOD fuel, not junky calories!

Drinking a cup of green tea to substitute for my coffee today. I need some type of caffeine to keep awake right now!

Hope your Mondays aren't too tough, friends :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Waiting for Spring!

My lazy day is going well! Laying around watching TV and planning to make some banana paleo ice cream with Chris in a little while :)

We went on a 5 mile walk down by the river... Spring is on it's way! We can't really walk down there in the winter because they don't clear the trail (so we head into the woods instead).

There are few things I love as much as watching Spring come to Albany. The season of rebirth is so beautiful and I can't help but feel joy as I watch the world wake up - green buds on the trees, the tulips starting to peek out of the earth (Albany is an old Dutch city and loves it's tulips!) and the birds coming back!

Nature is where my spirit gets full :)

A robin in that last photo!

Can NOT wait for my walks in the coming weeks. The days are warming and I'm ready for green green green living things!! I will be much more active then because I hate to be inside when it is so lovely out. I'm already at almost 12k steps for the day, though. Not bad!

Enjoy your weekend everyone <3

Friday, March 20, 2015

My Food Yesterday - incredible hunger!

Well, happy Friday to everyone! I'm pretty excited for my weekend - we have NO plans whatsoever, so I think my days are going to look basically like this: wake up whenever I want, go on a local hike/walk with Chris and Koda, make some fun meals, read my book in bed and catch up on Girls on TV. I'm going to work on my dissertation one of the days, but going to give myself the other day off.

I'm feeling fatigued pretty much constantly right now. Sometimes, at my desk, my vision starts to go because I am so tired. So I have to get up, shake it off, walk around, get the blood flowing just to get back in working order! It's been especially hard dealing with tiredness because I've cut out pretty much all coffee - am down to one 6 ounce cup a day or less.

I took an extra walk after work yesterday, the sun was shining and it was really lovely out - got my steps up to 14k for the day. Exercise really does help stave off the tiredness, because the tiredness is NOT a result of lack of sleep or hard work, it's just hormonal.

Thought I would give you a look at my food for the day yesterday, since it's been a while since I've done this in bullet form:


  • oh yes, you know it - my lactose free cottage cheese with frozen blueberries and sunflower seed butter. I don't know if I will ever tire of this breakfast, I still look forward to it every morning! I do about a serving and a half of the CC, less than half a cup of blueberries, and a tablespoon of the SF seed butter.
  • about 80 calories of lactose free, organic yogurt with cut up pineapple
  • about a cup of turkey/beef chili leftovers - heavy on the tomato, onion and mushrooms!
  • about a cup of roasted sweet potatoes
  • about a cup of homemade coleslaw topped with roasted beets
  • banana

  • BURGER SALAD - this is probably my favorite dinner right now. We cook burgers (usually turkey or chicken burgers, rarely beef), chop them up and throw them in a salad with romaine, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and pickles. Chris uses salad dressing but I use a mixture of mustard, mayo and ketchup, which he thinks is really gross... and it does look really, really gross, but I love the taste, haha.
  • I was freaking ravenous within an hour of dinner... my body feels crazy right now, like I can't get my hunger under control. I ate some mashed sweet potatoes that we had made for lunch the next day and then Chris decided to make the paleo pumpkin bread we've made a couple times this year so I had a slice of that with butter.
So, yeah, if you notice there, I'm eating pretty heartily. Checked in on my weigh this morning just to make sure I'm not going totally crazy with food - still at 127, everything is copacetic there!

I've just never felt hunger like this before. I'm glad I've been putting in the work to recognize true hunger from emotional hunger... and let me tell you, I have been truly hungry! I'm not going to deprive myself if I feel truly hungry, so I am focusing on vegetables and fruits as well as getting my protein in (the cottage cheese and yogurt are excellent sources for me so that I am not scarfing down a pound of meat a day, yikes). I eat a good amount of fat - nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and, for an off paleo treat, mayo.

I really like the paleo pumpkin bread because it is mostly made up of almond flour, eggs, and pumpkin. Spices and just a touch of honey give it extra flavor, but it definitely is not a sweet bread. Nuts and eggs and pumpkin are super densely nutritious.

I'm still trying not to eat "sweets" too often - chocolate bars, especially. Those are just kind of wasted calories. I want to inundate my body with lots of nutrients with all this food I am eating :D Sugar isn't really ideal - I am getting plenty of sugar from my fruit, no need to add to it.

So that's where I am. Recognizing that I could eat us out of house and home right now if I let myself. And making sure I am treating this old body of mine well - it needs to be in prime working order! A focus on fruits and veggies will help me not pile on needless weight right now, but will stave off the hunger, keep me energetic and healthy.

It's a tough balance. Especially when I feel like I do (so hungry even as I type this, haha).

Alright, back to work - looking forward to getting home to start a super relaxing weekend!

Namaste <3

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Commitment - bringing lunch to work

I made that post a few days ago showing you my lunch Tupperware situation and I realize that I have religiously brought my lunch to work every day since the very first day I started last July!

I feel rather proud of that commitment - to my health and my finances :) 

No matter how busy we were, how late we got home, or if we were running low on groceries - we always were able to put together a satisfying (and mostly paleo!) lunch. This way of eating is important to me and it shows. I stuck true to my promises to myself and to this blog when I started this job - I wouldn't take the easy way out. I'd put the work in and make sure I was eating things that were good for and fueled my body.

I bring this up to let you guys out there know that it takes a decent amount of hard work and commitment (and a fair bit of pre-planning and reliance on good habits!) to live a healthy life-- especially if you have spent any significant amount of time mired in an unhealthy lifestyle.

I had spent ages 10-22 overweight or obese... And it wasn't till my 30s that I got focused on health (I lost weight in my 20s, but I wouldn't call myself healthy by any means). Now, at 33, I'm very set on this path.

I sometimes wish for the convenience of a bought lunch or the pleasure of a junky lunch (especially when I smell the pizza my coworkers bring into the office from the cafeteria or I smell the bacon smells that come up the stairs during breakfast time!)... But I haven't faltered when put to the test. I bring my cooler full of veggies, protein, fruit and nuts daily. It's not even a thought NOT to, it has become such an integral part of my routine. And I know that the food quality in the cafeteria is low, low, low - lots of chemicals and frozen foods, etc.

The only things I've bought from the cafeteria is coffee and hard boiled eggs, hhaha.

On Monday, Chris made a big batch of beef and turkey chili, so we are going to be able to have that for lunches for several days. Because we didn't have a need to have dinner that gave us leftovers last night, Tuesday, in order to have something for lunch on Wednesday, we just made ourselves eggs.

Breakfast for dinner, always a winner! We also had kale, sweet potatoes and avocado. My eggs were stuffed with onion, mushies and tomato:

I'm feeling a little off today - I got really hot and dizzy while doing my hair before work and had to sit down for a while. Not much I can do but keep monitoring myself and call the doctor if something really out of the ordinary happens. 

Not doing overtime tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it :) The extra money in the paycheck has been nice (and I've been banking all of it!) but I need a break, for sure.

That's all for now. Namaste <3

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Weighing in on weighing in :)

Though it will be for different reasons, I'm still going to check my weight, whatever might happen. If all goes well, I should be hitting around 130 around the end of April (first time in my life I've ever really hoped that I'll gain weight... because that means good things now!). Today I weighed in at 127, so doing well.

The plan moving forward is to weigh in less than usual, just to let myself focus on nutrition and not worry about weight, but to keep weighing in 2 - 3 times a week. I do want to stay on track with doctor recommendations (which seems to be to gain around 3 pounds in the first three months, then about a pound per week after... totaling 25-35 pounds). I want to make sure I'm not undereating or overeating for my body.

A girl in my office, a very normal weighted person, had to get taken out of work 3 months early when she was pregnant and put on bed rest because of really bad gestational diabetes. She gained a lot of weight fast and ate a ton of carby stuff (she routinely had cereal in the morning, a bagel and some sort of snack bar for a snack, and pasta for lunch.. she is in a cubicle across from mine, so I was aware of what she was eating - mostly because I am a freak who can't stand the sound of people chewing so I have to put on headphones when an office-mate eats, haha). Anyway, it was kind of scary and she had a tough delivery.

Seeing something like that makes me determined not to over-eat or eat junk at this point. I want this potential little life to have the best nutrition and start it can. Quality of food seems even more important, now, too. I am really focused on getting chemicals/hormones/antibiotics/preservatives out of my diet.

I'm only talking about this because my blog is a health and wellness and weight-maintenance blog. In general, during my hour-to-hour normal life, I just try not to think about it. Because I have created such good habits for my physical health, it's really a non-issue. Just continue to do what I've always done.... just with a sense that it is ever more important, now :)

Not thinking about it is the status-quo for me, though. I need to get confirmation that all is well at my doctor's appointment in a few weeks before I really let myself believe this is all going to happen!

I tend to be negative and a worrier and to expect the worst. So if I just don't think on it too much, then I won't get myself all worked up. Focusing on my dissertation, getting the floors renovated at home, spending time with my family (husband and pets!), and prepping for the many weddings/bridal showers/bachelorette parties coming up.

So that's where I am - in a good place, doing what I can to mitigate the craziness that is my mind, and trying to enjoy each day! I am going over to a friend's house after I finish up a little schoolwork tonight to watch the premiere of Community, so I am looking forward to a fun evening.

Have a great day, friends!

Monday, March 16, 2015

How to be Present and Mindful - why it's important!

I have a million thoughts going through my head - so many what-ifs! I'm trying to relax and enjoy the moment, but I cannot wait for some time to pass and see what the future brings. I'm really glad I drastically altered my situation in the end of January (no alcohol, reduced caffeine, really cleaned up my diet and got back into daily yoga) because I have high hopes that things will go well or at least high hopes that I did everything that *I* can do to better my situation... but you never really know what the future holds, do you?

Learning to accept things out of my control has always been hard for me :) Trying to breathe and be present!

I'm putting effort into calmness and presentness - I know if I can achieve those, my body will be the stronger for it. I've been reading a few articles this morning to remind myself why and how to do this. I thought I would share some for those looking to improve a little in that arena:




I had a really nice and peaceful morning yesterday - everything from grocery shopping to walking the dog and yoga and watching TV was not hurried or stressed. I got kind of worked up later in the day after brunch (my friends were drinking champagne and conversations were getting pretty animated, haha).

I have to work on taking things as they come. Things have worked out decently for the past 33 years, even when life threw me painful curveballs. But I am still here, still moving forward, and I got to believe I will continue to do that, no matter what :)

Other than that, things are going well with me. Especially physically - I feel great, actually, just a little more tired than usual (though I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact I used to drink 6-7 cups (or two big mugs) of coffee a day and now I am drinking one small cup that I pour into warmed up coconut milk, haha). But still staying active - getting between 8500-11000 steps in a day, depending on number of walks. Also did an arm workout yesterday before brunch while watching some bad TV. My shoulders and upper arms are definitely feeling it today!

Alright - back to the grind. Overtime again this week (less hours, though, because as I said, I've been decently tired lately).

Namaste <3

Sunday, March 15, 2015

St Patrick's Day Dinner and Groceries

Last night, I went to my cousins house for a traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage. My cousin makes really amazing corned beef, getting it from a local source. I don't usually like corned beef, but it's the best I've ever had! 

It was nice seeing my family, it's the father's side of my family and we have all been through a lot together in the past couple of years, losing my dad and then my grandmother recently.

I went off paleo for dessert - I had a mint brownie and 2 chocolate chip cookies. Very much on the agenda for the day, I might add!! Once again, this week has been a very great eating week for me. I have easily stayed on plan and kept all my foods whole and fresh and on my personal Paleo-ish template. So once a week dessert indulgence feels pretty damned good.

Chris is off hiking again today - hiking his 44th and 45th mountains in his pursuit of hiking the winter 46. He is actually not going to finish and hike his 46th mountain this season, he's going to wait until next winter when our good friend, who loves hiking but had to have knee surgery this year, can finish with him.

So I was on my own for Sunday shopping at the co-op. We get a student discount on Sundays (the only time I'm glad I'm still a student!). Only spent $50 and got two huge, heavy bags full of food, including, but not limited to: apples, acorn squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, raisins, sunflower seeds, two cartons of coconut milk, two tubs of yogurt, two jars of salsa, organic barbecue sauce, Tamari soy sauce, frozen organic peas, navel oranges, two huge bunches of organic kale, beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, a jar of local and organic berry preserves, and a little bar of dark caramel sea salt chocolate (I've definitely broken my chocolate addiction, and we only buy one bar week now, and wow, do I enjoy that bar so much more!!). I can't remember what else... It took forever to put away!!

I'm about to walk the dog, do some yoga and meet some girls I'm in a wedding with in August for brunch to make bachelorette plans :)

I probably won't be weighing in too much for a while.... For a very good, exciting reason :) It's too early to make an official announcement but I'm also not superstitious (and definitely very open - I love having community support in good AND bad situations). I'll have the official everything is fine or it's not quite right in early April. Will let you know then!!

Namaste <3

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Red Fish Dinner and Lunch Prep

Last night we picked up some red fish at the supermarket - it was on sale and caught at sea (I don't buy farm raised fish because they are given antibiotics and treated with pesticides). Turned out really nice sauteed in olive oil, lemon, garlic and red onions! Chris spiced everything with Mexican spices (cumin, cayenne, etc) and we had roasted cauliflower, peas and avocado as sides. It was a really, really satisfying meal, maybe because of all the healthy fats in it. I was sated for the rest of the night:


But fish doesn't lend itself to leftovers (and you know my lunches are always dinner leftovers!) so we only ever buy just the portion we are going to eat for dinner. So Chris also roasted up some pork for our lunches.

I wanted to show you my system for lunch:

I pack everything up the night before, stick it in the fridge and just grab and go in the morning. I like making lunch without time pressure - I make better decisions!

Lunch today: Pork and roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, peas, beets, cantaloupe and grapes! I have a snack of raisins and pepitas if I get hungry.

I am still hanging out anywhere between 125-127 as far as weight goes. I'm weighing in about every other day, just to check in and make sure I am not constantly gaining. I am not trying to lose, either. Just trying to eat good foods in the portions my body needs and stay active. No eating under-calories or going crazy with exercise. Working on being balanced :)

Have a great day <3

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dinner Out

Dinner was awesome last night - it's been too long since I've sat down with another couple and socialized like that. I felt absolutely civilized, haha :) 

I also had curled my hair yesterday to enjoy getting dresses up/dolled up for a dinner out, another thing I miss:

We don't go out much because of finances (we actually had a gift certificate that covered most of the bill last night) so it was a particular treat! 

I had a hanger steak and kale salad that had pomegranate seeds in it - real tasty. And I split a peanut butter cheesecake slice with Chris. Totally off plan and indulgent and I loved every bite!!! No regrets :)

Back to normal today - cottage cheese and blueberries for breakfast, tuna over a spinach salad for lunch, veggie snacks and then we're picking up some fish for dinner (I think we're both craving fish right now).

Not much else to say right now - just wanted to let you know I had a lovely night where I got to feel like I wasn't as stressed as humanly possible :)

Back to the grind!!

Namaste <3

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Weigh In and true hunger vs. emotional hunger

Did my check-in weigh-in this morning: 127. It is what it is! I've been battling the post-hike munchies on Sunday and Monday. It's a phenomenon that occurs when I put myself into freezing temperatures for most of a day and exert like crazy for 14 miles, completely exhausting my muscles. I imagine it has something to do with the recover/repair period for my body and muscles and I just want all. the. food.

But I've been good, trying to eat moderately but also listening to my body and not letting myself linger in true hunger pains for long. Giving myself lots of lean protein and fresh veggies instead of the junk I'm actually craving (sugar! salt! bad fats!). Still, calories were a little higher than normal that past few days, as expected.

I was talking to Chris about that "feeling" on a hike when you know you are challenging yourself, pushing your body to do more than you thought. I really like feeling that soreness that lets me know I dug a little deeper and went a little further than I thought I was capable of. I like that feeling in that last couple of miles when I am just bone-deep tired, but my body can still move through the woods at a good clip.

I forgot to tell you - I did the 14+ mile hike in almost exactly 7 hours! That's a GREAT pace for me, 2 miles per hour. Especially climbing the tallest mountain in the state. Usually, in the High Peaks region, which is pretty rugged and can get really steep (and we don't have switchback trails like out west), on the ascents, it isn't abnormal for my pace to drop to 1 mile per hour. So maintaining 2 miles per hour is awesome - I felt really proud :)

I was looking up stuff on the internet about your body needing more food after intense exercise and found this great paragraph on http://greatist.com/grow/when-exercise-makes-you-overeat:

"Hunger is the body’s way of asking to be refueled, so don’t ignore a rumbling stomach, particularly if you've recently started working out or ramped up your exercise routine. Stronger hankerings than usual may be a sign your body and brain are adapting to a new set of physical challenges, but craving tons of treats may also be the mind’s way of asking for equal attention in the form of rewards and comfort food. Try to tune in to the difference between physical hunger and the emotional desire to eat, and hang in there as you learn to accommodate new habits. Opting for more fruits and veggies will promote feelings of fullness, and staying fueled and hydrated throughout each day could stave off binges."

Definitely good advice!

It's hard to re-learn to listen to my body after decades of completely ignoring it. But it is a worthy cause. I don't always succeed and sometimes eat out of boredom/stress/sadness/etc,  but more often than not, I am trying to feed my body when it actually needs fuel to keep performing at optimum levels!

It's been an important task the last couple of years to get comfortable with the feeling of hunger again (not doubled-over intense hunger pains, just that little bit of stomach growly-empty belly-time to eat feeling). When I was obese, I feared hunger. I was NEVER hungry. I kept it at bay always. But now, it's a normal part of life, a body cue.

I'm going out to dinner with one of Chris' old friends from growing up tonight, we are all going to go to one of our favorite restaurants in the area, the City Beer Hall! Because my weight has been trending so high, I'll stick to a lighter option, like salad (they use gorgeous seasonal/local ingredients, though, and the chef is really skilled, so even a salad there is really lovely). Also, though I don't think I am pregnant this month, I will be continuing to abstain from alcohol :)

Have a good one, friends <3

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stuffed Red Peppers - idea for next time

I wanted to get this down on the blog before I forgot - something I want to try next time I make stuffed peppers!

Well, first things first, we made tasty stuffed peppers last night - organic red peppers were on huge sale so I had to grab some! The filling was ground sausage, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes. They were topped with a little flax meal. Big hit flavor-wise:

But, once again, they suffered from crumbly-ness! Because I really, really can't eat cheese (getting more and more intolerant of lactose every year), the stuffing ends up being pretty dry. So when you cut into the pepper, you lose a lot of the filling.

As we were eating last night, I thought it would be kind of awesome to go through the normal steps of making stuffed peppers, and then right before we put them in the oven to bake, we could top them with a raw egg that would, theoretically, cook to perfection ;) And hopefully, it would act as a binder and make them easier to eat.

So, just something I wanted to try next time. 

Sunday was good - definitely was tired, though. I don't sleep the greatest in hotels AND we were sharing a room with Koda, who was really good, but very gently tried to wake us up a little to early (it was really so sweet - just a wet nose pushed into my hand in the morning, haha... he gave up after a little while and went back to bed). Also, I did hike over 14 miles on Saturday!

So there was a lot of resting on Sunday, I finished reading Lyonesse by Jack Vance on Saturday and am almost halfway through Prince Lestat by Anne Rice now... I love reading for pleasure (rare when you are working on your dissertation)! We did manage to get in a few mile walk with Koda in the city, though. Everyone needed to stretch their legs so we didn't get stiff after the hike.

Working overtime again this week, and I am definitely going to have to prioritize sleep. I can feel the hours I have been losing here and there catching up with me.

No weigh in over the weekend, but probably tomorrow, just to check in and see what this ol' body of mine is up to :)

Have a great day <3

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Knee and Hike Update

Well, I was definitely right in my estimation of my knee being bruised/inflamed but not otherwise injured. I rested it all day yesterday and got most of the swelling to go down.

So I joined Chris on his hike today (tallest mountain in NY!) with an understanding that I'd turn around at any point if I felt like it was no longer a good idea. My knee did great.. Weight bearing and going uphill were no problem!

I did turn around though - less than 1000 feet from the summit. The plan had always been that if I joined Chris on his hike, I would turn around on Mount Marcy and head back to the parking lot while he and his friend continued on to another mountain. 14 miles and one huge mountain are enough for me!

As we got close to the summit, on the ridge, the weather got significantly worse - winds that were pushing me around, horizontal snow and low visibility. I had to make a call to turn around because I didn't feel comfortable coming down the summit by myself... The trail was obscured by snow and the tracks we were making as we approached were being wiped away by the wind almost immediately.

I feel good!

I made a good, safe decision and still got to enjoy an otherwise lovely winter day in the Adirondacks. Got in over 14 miles of hiking (my pack was so heavy, my back and shoulders might be more sore than my legs!). Got to participate in a charity event with other 46ers. Got to remember I'm a strong hiker!

My knee bothered me just a little after 10/11 miles, but went back to no pain once I rested. I'll probably be a little easy on the walking for a day or two just to let it recover from the big hike.

But a general win overall! 


Friday, March 6, 2015

Charity Hike and Injured Knee

We are heading to the mountains tomorrow. There is a charity hike that we are participating in - the group tries to get one person on every Adirondack High Peak (there are 46 of them) on the same day, and all the hikers donate/raise money for the organization that does a lot of volunteer work for trail maintenance and things like that. Chris signed us up for Mt. Marcy - the tallest mountain in New York.


I decided to do it with him, because I haven't gotten out much in January/February because of the absolutely frigid temps (usually negatives in the mountains) and Saturday, while there will probably not be any views, is at least going to stay in the positive temps, even on the summit (a blistering 7 degrees forecasted for the summit!).

However, last night I tripped over - well, basically slammed into - the baby gate we have at the bottom of our stairs (we keep the gate up to make sure the dog stays downstairs... we like for the cat to have a place he can completely relax upstairs AND I like to have at least a little bit of my house not completely covered in dog hair!).

There was some significant blunt trauma to the bottom of my knee, right under the cap. I iced it in the evening and it is a little better than after the initial accident, but I am going to have to wait and see how it feels tomorrow morning before deciding if I am capable of hiking. I am not taking my usual walks on my work breaks today to rest the knee, not aggravate it any further. It is just a touch swollen/hot.


I really hope I can hike with Chris tomorrow! I want to participate in the charity activity and just spend some time in the woods. It's been too long.

I'm a little mad at myself, it was totally my inattention and thoughtlessness that caused me to fall like that. I don't fall a lot, I try to be mindful. But, accidents happen.

So I will update you on if I get in the hike or not. I could really use a nice, big physical activity in my life (still hovering between 125-127 on any given day) to shake things up a little. It would also be really lame to sit in the hotel all day while Chris and Koda did the hike. Lonely and lame!

I'll try to enjoy the weekend, whatever happens, but will hope for the best!

I hope everyone else has a good weekend <3

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Birthday Day

Well, it's my birthday - 33.

I turned 30 graciously, no crisis to be seen!

Every year past 30, I start to cringe a little. I don't think it's really because I fear aging, but because I am not where I saw myself being at this age. I want security, I want children, I want to be done with school.

Alas - acceptance is something I always have to work on. I got myself here and it isn't going to change over night. I'm working on ALL of those things I mentioned above, so hopefully by next year, I will be much closer to my goals (or have achieved them!).

I went to TV night last night to watch Survivor with my friends - got treated to some coconut milk ice cream and macaroons! Chris made sure my treats were paleo-friendly :) I also ate some strawberries and vegetable chips. I've been really, really, really spot-on with my food for over a month now, so I felt no guilt in eating some extra calories than I normally would.


I am not sure if it was the excess sugar or the fact that I snacked late at night (9 PM... I usually don't eat after 7 PM), but I woke up around 4 AM in a feverish sweat with waves of nausea! It took about a half hour to get my body temps back to normal and to relax enough to fall back asleep (till 5:55, which is when I wake up, haha).

I think I have been eating so clean and so right for my body, that it was a little shocked by the change. Yikes. I didn't weigh in this morning because I figured I can give myself a break - especially since I already know my body didn't really like what had happened the day before. No need to drive home the point :)

But, anyway, I had a GREAT night with my friends - I belly laughed in a way I haven't done in a long time. My sides hurt when I got home :)

Chris treated me to a few cute presents this morning (I always ask him not to spend too much money on me, the peace of mind of having bills paid is much more of a gift to me than any other material thing!).

So, it's not a crazy big birthday celebration, and I am not exactly at peace with the passage of time right now, haha, but I had a really nice day yesterday and expect to have another one today. There's not much more I can ask!

Namaste, my friends.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Homey little scene right?


A friend came over because we had talked up our delicious curry butternut squash and pea soup so much, she wanted to try it!

Here's the general recipe we use--

Do everything in one pot (we use an enameled Dutch oven):

Sautee chopped carrots, onion, and mushrooms in a little olive oil

Put in a peeled, cubed butternut squash and about a quart of stock (however much to cover it)

Add spices: garlic, black pepper, curry, ginger, cardamom (we're pretty heavy handed!)

Bring it to a boil, then simmer till the squash is super tender 

Use an immersion hand blender to purée the soup nice and creamy!

Add a bag of frozen peas

Taste and re-spice if needed!

Let simmer till the peas are cooked .. 

And you've got yourself a great soup!!

I'm loving eating my meals at my new table. It's round, not oval like our old one, takes up less space and is adorably cozy.

I don't know why I'm so happy about this table!! Maybe it brings a little of my awesome, adorable, funny grandma's energy to the kitchen :)

Have a great day - I will try to! I'm tired, in general, from working extra and a lot of other  life stuff (MORE house renovations, academic stuff, etc) so I'm trying to actively keep a positive mood (hard for me!).



My Sunday, weight updates

Happy Monday to everyone! I am only doing five hours of overtime this week (one each day) so that will be a cake-walk, I will barely notice the extra hours compared to last week.

Sunday had a nice start, despite me waking up at 5 AM for no reason. I had the time to make Chris and I a nice breakfast before we walked the dog and started our Sunday grocery shopping - paleo banana pancakes and a bunch of my favorite things on the breakfast table to start the day!

The co-op shop went great - $50 and we are more than stocked up on produce for the week. A butternut squash soup is on the agenda, as well as a Brussels sprouts and bok choy stir fry. Looking forward to having nice dinners/lunches!

I spent the rest of the day at my Grandma's house with my family, clearing out the last bits of small items and seeing who wanted to take what furniture.

I ended up with her kitchen table, which I am thrilled about! First, it is a gorgeous pedestal table made of real wood. Second, I get to think of my Grandma every time I sit down to a meal :)

A friend came over to have a drink and chat in the evening (I did not partake of alcohol, instead enjoyed a new passion fruit seltzer!) and then I did some stretching and general body-weight exercises (push-ups, planks, squats, etc) while watching terrible reality TV.

It was a great Sunday for me. Definitely prepared me for a busy week where I try to fit in school work and social time around work!

My weight? Still 126. Hahaha. Well, at least I am consistent!

It's been a few weeks and so I have accepted that that is my weight now, not 122/123. I used to use getting to 125 as a sign of having to pull the reins a little tighter on my eating.

But I am eating great! I know it. I feel no shame for my choices as far as food and exercise and taking care of my body goes.

I don't feel that physical anxiety I used to feel when my weight would go up. And I take that as a great sign, that I AM recovering from some of the disordered thoughts that used to plague me. Weighing more than I wanted used to entail a lot of self-hatred, shame, restriction and over exercise. I have done nothing but care for my body and mind since my weight went up... and I am reaping the benefits, because I feel at peace and strong and healthy and happy :)

I definitely urge people in the process of losing weight right now to take the time to be kind to yourself and to get your thinking right- when I initially lost my weight, it wasn't done in a loving way. It was full of shame, disgust and self-loathing. It took a lot of work, post-weight loss, to undo the damage that I had done to my MIND and my sense of self-worth during the process.

Losing weight and getting healthy should be an act of self-love. Making the right decisions because you deserve to be healthy and you deserve to live well. Choosing good foods and choosing exercise and choosing to drink water, etc,... well, it shouldn't be a punishment. It should be something awesome you are doing for yourself because you are awesome.

Namaste, my friends <3