Archive for February, 2012

Juice blends

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Why is it such a challenge to find the nutritional info for juicing? I can find it for a piece of fruit and I can find it for a brand name juice, but finding it for juicing that I do at home using real fruit has been a challenge.

When I have a smoothie, it’s easy because I just have to add up the calories I put in and divide by the number of servings. But in a smoothie, all of the fruit is still in there. If I just count xx calories of say pineapple juice, I don’t feel like I am getting a true value because there is pulp and more substance than if I were to just open a can of juice.

My solution has been to use the calories for the fruit and half of the fiber. I don’t feel this is the best solution but it’s something and at the least, consistent.

I tried the digestive juice blend this morning from squeeze in Marfa. I don’t know what ratios they use so I had to wing it. The following ingredients yielded 16 ozs of drinkable (for me, not so for Elizabeth) juice:

one apple
half a pineapple, peeled
2 kiwis, peeled
1 thumb of ginger
2 sprigs of mint

I put the pulp back into the juicer 3 times which got me about a third more final product. I don’t know if I just have a crappy juicer or if this should be standard practice. I usually look at the waste bin where the pulp collects, and if it looks wet, I put it through again. Sometimes it seems like doing this a time or two really doubles up the volume.

I thought it was way to heavy on the ginger at first sip, but I really like ginger and once I was drinking it, I thought it was just about right.

When I got the juicer, I vowed to myself that I would clean it immediately after use and I have stuck with that habit. I can totally envision coming home after work having not, and seeing a lovely buffet full of fruit flies which are near impossible to get rid of, so this has been the rule. I just with it was a little easier to use on the fly. I know my cousin has a travel juicer that is more compact and I might look into that and see how it goes.

random updates…

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Eating options in Marfa were slim, but we did have a kitchenette, and they did have a nice little healthy-choice-available market, The Get Go. There were more healthy, organic options crammed into this small place than I had imagined and it would have been fine if none of the eateries in town were open (many are only open Thurs-Sat and we were there Sat-Mon).

One of the places we found was called squeeze marfa: a swiss cafe. It’s a small place that has breakfast and lunch options and makes fresh juice blends and smoothies. The owners brother is also a Swiss chocolatier and squeeze sells some of his yummy chocolates. I had a waffle there with banana on the side and some honey ginger tea, as well as one of their juice blends, Digestive Delight.

Juicing is fairly new to me and I am always looking for new blends. The Digestive Delight was intriguing to me given my less than stable digestive history, and the ingredients are all things I like so I tried it. Kiwi, pineapple, apple, mint and ginger. It was very good, so at the store this week I stocked up, and tonight I am going to experiment with ratios. I also grabbed one of squeeze’s menus so I can try their other blends.

Also this past week, I talked with one of my coaches and he took my numbers and gave me a more personalized calorie allowance. I was targeting 1700 as a daily goal and I find the number quite manageable. I have been targeting 1700 for the last 6 weeks or so and have had zero movement on the scale, which is good in that there hasn’t been a gain, but is a little frustrating when I have been actively seeking a loss and part of that being exercising moderately (but still way more than recently). Greg increased my calories to 1800-1900 daily and asked me to not go under 1800.

200 more calories a day…what’s not to like?

Meal time…

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

I can’t really say meal time is a challenge, that isn’t quite right. We have been trying to eat more healthfully, and I think that has been a success. Whole foods are being consumed at least 90% of the time. I think a 90/10 split is pretty responsible.

Ideally, I am leaning toward vegetarian and I think we will ultimately have at least a 90/10 success in that, too. My current plan is to use up the meat that is in the freezer and from that point on, only buy meat when there is a pointed craving for it. To me, if I am going to be tuned in to listening to my body, such a craving means something, and shouldn’t be ignored. In addition to that, there are some specific things that I like well enough to not forever banish…like fried wontons at our favorite Chinese restaurant (the only one we go to anymore). I also like meat. A lot. But I have definitely begun treating it as a side item, and it isn’t consumed daily.

My niece Crystal sent me a link to a vegetarian egg casserole that uses some whole eggs and additional egg whites, lowfat milk and cheese, and morning star farms grill crumbles (I think that is what they were called), along with some sauteed onion and peppers, and some shredded potatoes. I followed the recipe for the most part using an onion and red pepper, but subbed a poblano pepper for the green one. It was tasty, but I didn’t really care for the texture. It was a little too spongy to me which I attribute to the egg whites. The upside of this for Crystal is that it freezes and reheats well so it is breakfast she can take on the run to work and not be eating something processed, which I agree is a good plan.

If I make this again, I will likely use a dozen whole eggs to see if it is a better texture. I have made plenty of egg casseroles over the years, but always with whole milk and cheese or sometimes even half and half or cream. Using the low fat counterparts brings this in at about 250 cals per serving and that is the matter of import at this time. I think for me, it is just as easy to saute up the veg and then just scramble an egg or two into it, so I don’t know if this will become a staple or not.

There is a huge learning curve for me and my cook’s brain when it comes to thinking vegetarian. It’s like learning another language. My friend Patti recommended the book Veganomicon which I downloaded straight away to begin reading this weekend on vacation in Marfa (which for those who don’t know is sorta like The-middle-of-nowhere, TX). Now I am wondering what Marfa might offer us to eat…should be an adventure!

With a 5k on the horizon…

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

February first was time to step it up a notch. I have been consistently using the bathroom at work a floor below and on the first, I started going two floors below. That’s right. Two flights of stairs for every trip to the bathroom. Forty-four stairs. At least five times a day.

Each flight of stairs is broken into two sections of eleven stairs each and as I increased from one flight to two, I was feeling okay about it. The first thirty-three stairs are a breeze. The next few, not so bad. But somewhere between thirty-eight and forty, they start to really kick my ass. But yes, I am committed to getting healthier, and three days in I am seeing an improved recovery time for my heart rate’s return to normal.

On Wednesday, my first trip to the bathroom, as was my habit, I went to the fifth floor. While in the bathroom, I realized it was the first of the month and I should have gone to the fourth floor. I went back to the elevator and down to four and proceeded right to the stairs and up, up, up…yes! a non scale victory (NSV) of no excuses!

While the scales is choosing not to budge, these little NSVs are important. I am not getting put out about the scale because I am seeing my clothes fit better and have even had to add a few favorite items of clothing to the donate bag because they are too big. But still, I’d like the scale to cooperate, too.

This week, I learned about True Lemon products. The lemonade and raspberry lemonade are sweetened with stevia and are an all natural alternative if you like to add some flavor to your water. I don’t care for the aftertaste of diet sweeteners, and these are acceptable to me, but in all honestly I prefer water, so these will be reserved for when I specifically want something different.

On the 5k front, I have been increasing my step count. In part, it is increased because of the fourth floor ritual, but in addition to that I am drinking more water at work thus requiring more stairs, and I am also trying to walk more otherwise. My goal is to go to the park track three times a week and while I didn’t go there last week, specifically, I did manage to walk the equivalent on the convention floor while out of town last week for work. Also, last weekend we walked a mile of a trail on the esplanade on Heights blvd.

This week, when I go to the park I will do a lap and a half and see what that is distance wise (to know for the sake of increase), and on the weekend I am thinking maybe the zoo or a museum. Or maybe the path at the Japanese gardens.

I also have a few other 5ks on my mental agenda as distinct possibilities. The Hair of the Dog (at a winery and we will be in/near the area) is one my niece Crystal is considering in May and if we can tailor our trip to include this, we will. The Frank Lloyd Wright Races are being considered by Good Friend Deborah and depending on the dates are a definite maybe for this October. These make me feel a little ambitious but I know they are achievable, so we shall see.