Archive for September, 2011

The Redemptive Salad

Monday, September 26th, 2011

I don’t know how redemptive my salad actually was, but I stayed within my budgeted calories. I guess my question is, to no one in particular, is staying within the budgeted calories on its own enough? This is the plan, and by year’s end we will know the answer!

To lose 30 pounds by the end of the year, my calorie allowance is 1700-2000 per day as figured using the free iPad APP from SparkPeople. I have done this using the APP linked up to their website, but the website has too much going on for my liking, so this time, I am doing it APP only. I think this is a totally respectable amount of calories (I am pretty consistent around 1700), and while I do plan to insert some exercise, I don’t want to have to rely on it because all I have to go on is my own track record and honestly, it is way less than stellar.

Traditional exercise? I just don’t like it. Yoga? I like very much and would do a daily practice if I could. Before the onset of my Crohn’s/intestinal crud, I had worked up to 3-5 classes a week and was in the total yoga groove. Then, two things happened. My disease made it’s appearance, and my favorite yogi ever closed her studio. Actually she sold her studio and some of the teachers remained, but it just wasn’t the same. And with the crud, I really couldn’t be all bendy squishy, so I basically used up the classes I had when I felt well enough and then just didn’t go back. I think that was at least 5 years ago, maybe more.

Since then I have done some yoga here and there, but nothing you could call consistent. Unless travel brings on a disease flare, I will be going 2x a week when we get back and hopefully, I will like the studio well enough to continue after the 8 classes I am signed up for. The upside of this is that yoga combined with eating whole foods as I have been mean a sort of disease remission (in my experience) that will allow me to move forward.

My salad last week was simply put, delicious. Romaine lettuce hearts, shredded carrots, a tbs of shredded parm, 6 bocconcini, a whole avocado (half of the 500 calories), 7 grape tomatoes, 3 stalks celery heart(leaves included), a tbs each of good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and wait, my Tony Soprano guilty pleasure…2 slices Soprasseta (only 45 calories!)…The Soprasetta made it so tasty. I enjoyed this combination so much that I made sure I had 500 calories left for salad the following night for dinner, too. And my salad was huge.

For much of the last week, I have been feeling a little ookie. I have had sinus and allergy flares that I typically get in October and March every year. I started using the neti pot as soon as it began and I think that has helped tremendously as I am already past the worst of the coughing. My ookiness has been a nausea similar to morning sickness from the remaining slight sinus drip combined with a bit of light headed-ness. Also add in a daily fever usually after 5 pm which I haven’t isolated as being from the sinus or the disease crud, but has usually happened with both. On top of this, We have worked every day since September 12th and planned to work through this Friday making 18 days straight(necessitated and followed by a 15 day vacation). I didn’t work yesterday because I felt *that* sick and since I slept most of the day away, I don’t really count it as a day off.

Ookie and tired are not a good combination. Yesterday, Elizabeth got home and said she was going to the store, did I want anything. Well yes, I did…Pepsi, Tylenol, 2 cuban tacos and queso from El Rey. Not the best food choices, but well within my calories as I only consumed 1100 on Sat and including the above, about 1000 on Sunday. Here’s to feeling better by a mile (so far)today!

It might be the work of the devil…

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

I went for a stroll in the garden just now and while that is more exercise than I would normally do during the work day, I don’t know if it should be counted as exercise. My pace was a little too browsy strolly, but I didn’t stop and I did keep moving for 15 minutes. I needed to distract myself from being in a mood. You know the kind of mood I mean. That’s right. The sort of mood where you reason with yourself that a calorie is a calorie.

When Elizabeth and I went to the store this past weekend, we stocked up on a lot of ‘good’ groceries. Ingredients that will come together for a nutritious meal including a lot of fresh produce. I also got a few ‘bad’ groceries because honestly, I am usually pretty disciplined at portioning out the crap and having it in moderation. The chocolate Oreos maybe shoulda stayed on the shelf. I did good with them on Monday and only had 4. That’s a 300 calorie snack, and I had the calories available.

Yesterday, while still tracking the calories, I had more than I should have, and today? Enter the mood. It isn’t a good mood and it isn’t a bad mood. It’s more a restless mood I guess. I thought the walk would be a good deterrent and it was for about half an hour (the walk itself and 15 minutes after). But then I heard the call.

600 of the 1200 calories I have consumed so far today have been Oreos. That’s just. eight. cookies…and I have to fess up here, those other 600 calories? That was a honey butter chicken biscuit from Whataburger. Not my finest hour, but I am planning a wonderfully redemptive salad for dinner tonight.

Progress report…

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

I have made it past the decadent birthday cake having had one more small piece and I don’t feel at all bad about that. For me, this trip is totally about portion control, not denying myself foods I really enjoy. It is also about eating good quality fresh food.

The cake was from a local bakery called Ooh La La… And I think the name tells you all you need to know. Since I am a fan of red velvet cake and it was after all, my birthday, that is what was ordered. The cake was only two layers, but it was nearly seven inches tall and extremely dense. That I only had two thin slivers, honestly, only half an inch at the widest point, is testament to me being ready to walk the talk.

Since the cake day, we have been to Dallas for an ePub seminar and I might have gone off the wagon there had I been feeling better. The rest of the contingent went to pf changs for dinner while I went right to bed. I might have made some poor choices had I gone, especially not feeling well and seeking comfort. As it was, Elizabeth brought me back some plain fried rice and I ate about half of it, so stayed nicely within my calories for the day.

On the drive home I had a pepsi from buc-ees and half a pulled pork sammich. Again, not bad since portion is my focus. I know my goal is water only, but pepsi is something I have learned it is better to have when I am feeling it because if I put it off I easily binge. I actually wanted it more for the nausea than because I wanted a pepsi and I fully enjoyed it so I might go some time before I have another.

tonight we are having a nice piece of beef tenderloin with thyme tomatoes and shallots. Very lean, and very yumm. Tomorrow I am making a quick chicken and dumplings recipe from cooking light magazine.

We did a major grocery shop tonight and got a lot of produce, so things should follow the plan for the next two weeks until vacation on October first. Even vacation will be on track, becaus e a little wiggle room is a given.

Birthday cake…

Monday, September 12th, 2011

The fabulous birthday weekend in Austin has passed and I was thinking that for the most part, I was on track today to be going forward with the plan. Of course the plan still hinges on a preliminary shop at the grocery store to really be in motion, but we got into town last night and were in the glow of the weekend. And it was my actual birthday. And we still have plenty of food, that as long as portion control is maintained, we will be eating. Add to this that we are out of the house for work on Weds and Thurs, getting a lot of fresh produce seems a little counter intuitive.

All of the above had little to do with stopping at Starbucks this morning. That was totally an intentional capitulation to laziness. I could have gotten something together for breakfast, but we were running a bit late and a chai latte was just the easier choice. And tomorrow can be a new day.

So back to the subject of birthday cake. I totally forgot that today was to be the office celebration with cake and ice cream. The cake was red velvet from Ooh La La bakery. Very dense. Very tall. Even a very thin slice was decadent, and I suffered through a half scoop of ice cream. The best thing about this cake is that it isn’t in our fridge at home. While I would have the good intention of having enjoyed my sliver of cake at work, if it was at home, I would definitely been grabbing a forkful here and there that would amount to way more of it than I want to be eating. I have taken a rather large slice of it to bring home for Thomas, and already informed him that it is for him and him alone. Yes, all the extra gooey icing on top is his, too…we shan’t be wasting all that sugary goodness. Nothing wrong with someone young and thin eating it, and I know he will enjoy it for me.

Other than my breakfast chai, it has been a water day all around. I think I will give a concession to exercise and take Clare for a walk this evening before I settle in to knit. She will be happy about it, for sure, even if I am less so.

now i know why…

Monday, September 12th, 2011

I just learned the real reason for US postage to be going up…and up…and up…

Through a link on one of the blogs I have been reading, I happened into the usps postage store. I thought it was a good way to get a variety of interesting stamps to use on the letters I am trying to get back into the habit of writing. The last time I tried to get a variety of stamps at the post office, they didn’t really have much selection. I ordered stamps on Thursday I think, and they arrived in the mail today. I won’t be doing this again in the future.

Let me repeat that…I won’t be doing this again in the future.

The packaging waste involved in getting my stamps to me is not only excessive, but nauseatingly so. My stamps arrived in a large tyvek envelope. If that wasn’t bad enough, each different stamp variety, I ordered seven, is in its own sealed celophane sleeve, each with a stiff cardboard backing.

Now I appreciate the post office wanting my stamps to arrive undamaged, but one piece of cardboard in one envelope would have more than been sufficient. Not only is it economic waste, but environmental waste as well. I can at least recycle the cardboard…

Delighted with my stamps, but really disappointed in the waste…

Where was the wisdom?

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This morning, I asked Elizabeth where we were stopping on the way to work. She gave me the look that questions my sanity…you know the look…”What happened to yesterday’s resolve to reel it in?” Not her exact question but it shares the sentiment.

I responded by way of explanation that it is the start of my birthday weekend (or week as is tradition…or our birthday month as it usually ends up since we are about a month apart). To be clear, my intention wasn’t only to start talking about it, but to physically do something (go public and blog it) to get the ball rolling. I further reasoned to Elizabeth that for me to have really started today, we would have had to go to the store yesterday after work, which seemed a little silly as we are heading out of town this weekend.

So yes, a breakfast stop was in order today. If all holds to plan, it may well be the last work day breakfast stop for 2011. Somehow, that sounds too big. It feels irrational to think we won’t stop for anything on the way to work. This includes Starbucks for chai, Whataburger for a honey butter chicken biscuit, El Rey for breakfast tacos, and Old Town Kolache for kolaches. It will include other places my brain might try to stray toward as well, but those are the main stops.

I will have to decide what breakfast will be and quite likely, it will be a toasted english muffin with pbj, or perhaps yogurt and fruit. Both will be the default selections. Not hard and fast the only choices, but in general, I think this is what is practical as they are easily maintained on our regular grocery list. I recently saw a recipe using quinoa to make a breakfast cereal by cooking it in milk and cinnamon, adding brown sugar and vanilla to taste. I will be trying that next week but I do have reservations.

To help with the Starbucks moratorium, I am imposing a water only rule through the end of the year. No beverage but water. None. I have done this before and by making this one small change, I lost 30 pounds in three months so we shall see where this takes me. The first time I did this, after about 6 weeks, I had asked someone to pick me up an iced tea on the lunch run. Prior to this, I had always had sweet tea and I didn’t really give it a thought. The tea that I got was unsweetened and it was so good! It was such a difference from water, and such a difference from sweet tea, too. I have never looked back. Crystal (my niece) indirectly reminded me yesterday that it is the caffeine that makes tea a no-no, so if I reintroduce it before the end of the year, decaf tea is interchangeable with water. But the tea I like is caffeinated, so¬† I imagine just saying water only is still the best option.

As with breakfast this morning, travel plans that were in place are grandfathered into the new plan. So this weekend, I might have the wine pairings with my 3 or 7 course chef’s menu dinner. Or, I might not. I didn’t want to wait until after the weekend, because since I have officially started on the path, the intention will help me remember portion control and to not lean toward excess. The same will hold true for our vacation in October.

Let’s drive to Austin!

Let’s just put it out there

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

I am three days away from my 47th birthday which somehow seems serendipitous for launching my intention for a three year journey. I want to be fit by fifty. There. I said it. Out loud, even. Let’s be clear, fit doesn’t mean thin. I can’t imagine I will ever be thin. Ever. I am also not big on traditional exercise. Just. Don’t. Like it. It is, however, well past time to take action.

I have been feeling this strong urge to get serious about this for much of the last year. Small changes have been happening that frankly, don’t amount to anything more than moving in the proper direction. Slow progress, but progress none the less, and I’ll take it. I need to get serious about my health while I still feel I am able. I don’t want to see decline ever, but I know it will come sooner rather than later if I don’t do something now.

I have a lot of fears around this journey, and I am hoping that blogging the process will help me work it all out and find a more fit me. I have some lofty and ambitious goals during this journey, but more on that in a future post (a little of that fear I mentioned creeping in here). One of the most important things I know about myself, I do better with some kind of accountability. I am hoping that putting it out here will be just what I need to make it happen.

Here goes everything (an important edit from Patti Digh!).