Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Water, Water and more Water

Okay I was supposed to give you an update on how the water only challenge is going. I've done very well. I've only slipped up twice. Once was when the husband made some cookies (which I didn't need to eat in the first place); I always have milk with my cookies so I poured a small glass and as I was taking the last gulp I realized..."Oh shoot, I just drank something that wasn't water." The other time was a little more deliberate. It was one of my friend's birthday so I had an alcoholic drink with her. It was a vodka and tonic which is practically the same thing as water. Not really but at least it wasn't something super fancy. I haven't really missed drinking things other than water. The only time I get a craving is when I get cold at work and wish that I could have some hot tea to warm me up. I considered drinking some hot water but that just seemed like it would be nasty.

Speaking of hot. I went for another round of hot yoga yesterday. Today I'm a little more sore than expected, mainly in my hamstrings. I guess I don't strech them as often as I should. We'll see how the next sessions feel.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hot Yoga and H2O

I've been doing yoga on and off since college and I've always enjoyed it. I'm not well versed on the different types of yoga but I know I prefer the more "power" type yoga verses the meditative type. Recently a friend of mine told me about Hot Yoga. I was a little skeptical at first seeing as I hate being hot. Well this morning I decided to go for it. And you know what?? I loved it!! It was invigorating, relaxing, and an intense workout.

The workout was 90 minutes long, we did 26 different poses in a room where the temperature was about 100 degrees. The poses were a combination of sitting and standing poses. Unlike the majority of the yoga I've done this was mainly focused on flexibility and balance. I was able to do the majority of the poses even if I couldn't move into the advanced form of the pose. The actual workout itself wasn't too hard but the heat made it super intense. I'm pretty sure I was sweating from every pore in my body, I must have lost 5 lbs in sweat. I'm strongly considering added this to my workout routine. The yoga place recommended that you go 3-4 times a week to get the maximum benefit but that's a little to costly for my budget. I'm thinking once a week is the most I'll be able to swing.

Bottom-line: I really enjoyed this new workout..it is always nice to find a new way to exercise.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Challenge: Water Only

One of my friends and long distance fitness buddies issued a challenge to me and some of our friends. The challenge is to only drink water for the month of March. After some bullying from her side I agreed to accept this challenge. On the surface it seems easy because I generally do only drink water. The thing I didn't take into account was that by doing this I will also be giving up caffeine. Now I'm not some caffeine junkie but I do often have a cup of coffee or green tea in the morning to jolt myself awake help me make it through the day. This just means that I may need to seriously work on getting more sleep so that I won't need the caffeine anyway.

I don't know how much of a difference drinking only water will make but I'm certain that it will at least cut out a couple hundred calories a week that I get from various drinks. I also won't be ingesting any unnecessary chemicals from those diet sodas I like. The one exception I'm making is that I will not include my breakfast smoothies in this "water only" challenge. I don't believe that counts as a drink since it is being used as a meal replacement.

Will I make it? I think so. I've decided that everything comes down to willpower. While that is a simplification I believe it to be true. I'm making the decision to have the willpower I need to accomplish this and other challenges. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ski Trip 2010

The last time I went skiing I was 13 years old. When I think back on that ski trip all I remember was how much fun I had. I didn't remember it being particularly difficult or that I fell too many times. Well that was about 15 years ago.....

This past weekend I went on a weekend ski trip to Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. It was the perfect weekend for skiing. It had snowed a few days earlier and the sun was shining so the snow was nice and powdery and it wasn't terribly cold. Since it had been so long since the last time I'd been skiing I decided to take a 2 hour lesson before hitting the slopes. I'm glad I did! While I picked it back up fairly quickly it was very helpful to learn some new tips. I was mainly familiar with doing to "the wedge" in order to stop but during my lessons I learned how to do the "hockey stop" which is more effective and it just looks cooler. The ski instructor made fun of me because at first I definitely wasn't getting it and he said I was doing the hockey FLOP and not the hockey stop.

I was smart enough to stay on the green (easy) slopes because I wasn't trying to come home with any broken bones. As it was, I fell about 10 times and I'm definitely suffering from that today. My body is SORE. I didn't realize how much of a workout skiing is. Your legs get a heck of a workout trying to control yourself going down the hill. When you're trying to stop yourself from going too fast you get even more of a workout. The crazy part was how sore my arms were. I didn't even think about my arms being involved but when you get to the flat parts and you need to keep moving that is allll arms.

All in all, I really enjoyed myself and I definitely would like to make this at least a yearly thing. Skiing isn't exactly cheap so unless I get a raise I don't think I'll be doing it much more often than that.

Have you ever skied? If so, what's your favorite ski resort?

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I'm starting to think that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) which is also known as "the winter blues". I just don't really feel like doing anything other than sit on the couch and watch TV and honestly I barely feel like doing that. I wish I was a bear and I could just hibernate for the winter. I also wouldn't mind eating a whole bunch of food to prepare for hibernation. Sadly, I'm not a bear so I have to deal with the cold and dreary weather.

I need to come up with a happiness kit, full of items and activities that make me happy so that I can survive this winter. Hmm...maybe I can find a way to bottle up some warmth and sunshine.

Okay, I really just wanted y'all to know that I haven't frozen to death in a block of ice. I'm still here just haven't been in the greatest mood and I didn't want to bring anyone else's mood down with a bunch of depressing posts. So that I don't end this post on a "sad" note, I'll share with you a few things that make me happy and keep me warm.

  • A mug of hot chocolate with melted marshmallows on top
  • My snuggie
  • A large pot of homemade soup
  • Fuzzy slippers
  • Super soft pajamas
  • Hot bath with red velvet scented bubble bath
  • The best chili ever
  • Cuddling with my hubby

What things help you make it through the winter blues?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pasta Free Spaghetti

I've been saying that I was going to write this post since Tuesday when I made some spaghetti squash for dinner. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get around to it but here we go.

Have you ever had spaghetti squash? If not, you should definitely try it because it is delicious. One of my friends was over and he is a pretty picky eater. So I told a little "white lie" and failed to mention the SQUASH part of the spaghetti. The funny thing about it is that he didn't even notice and after he finished eating it he didn't even believe that it wasn't pasta. Which just supports my developing theory of who needs grains?

If you're interested here is the method I used to cook the spaghetti squash. There are a several other methods.....if you google it then lots of different recipes will pop up.

Spaghetti Squash:

-1 big spaghetti squash
-pasta sauce (whatever kind you like best)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Wash the spaghetti squash.
3. Poke holes all around the squash with a sharp knife or skewer. (very important step if you don't want the squash to explode)
4. Place the squash in a baking pan and bake for an hour or until the squash is soft. *test the squash by squeezing with an oven mitt. It should give easily.
5. Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy portion (this part was hard because it stringy part and seeds got caught in the "meat" of the squash).
6. Scrape the meat of the squash, it should look like noodles. Serve with pasta sauce.

Tip: I recommend using a meat sauce. The next time I make it I will serve it with a tomato sauce that has ground turkey in it.

I will definitely be making spaghetti squash a part of my regular meal plan. The good thing is that my mom said she plans on growing spaghetti squash in her garden this year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Primal Living Update

It has been a week since I decided to change my lifestyle and predominately eliminate grains from my diet. I've done pretty well. I ate some sushi one night which of course contained rice. I'm not sure if I count that 100% since I got sick after eating it and most of it didn't stay in my stomach. A word of advice...don't mix sushi with bananas and ice cream. It is NOT a good combination. I decided not to eliminate potatoes but I do plan on eating them in moderation. Potatoes and beans aren't officially a part of the Primal lifestyle and maybe if I get more into it I will eliminate them as well but for right now I'm not going that extreme.

So how do I feel? I feel great! Other than a slight stomach issue I've had for the past few days, which I don't believe is due to the diet I've felt much less bloated than normal. I've also lost a few pounds which is great. Hopefully this weight loss trend will continue so I can reach my goal of losing 15 pounds by June. I haven't really started exercising regularly so once I get on track with that, I expect to see more results.

Do I miss grains? Not really. There have been a few times this past week when I wanted to eat some cake or a doughnut but it hasn't been that intense. When I think about it, the things that I have eliminated are the things that I shouldn't have been eating regularly in the first place. It isn't like I was eating some super healthy grains, I was eating the unhealthy types of grains and it is best that I eliminated them anyway.

Tonight I made tacos but instead of a taco shell I used Boston Lettuce leafs. They were delicious. I didn't miss the taco shells at all. This is just one example of easy substitutions I'll be making.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Island of Temptation

I've blogged before about how my office is full of unhealthy temptations. At first I was thinking maybe I was exaggerating and it really isn't that bad, until this week. Yesterday at a breakfast meeting we had Chick-fil-A chicken minis, doughnuts, and fruit with caramel sauce. What in the world! If that wasn't bad enough today we had a going away event complete with a giant cake that they tried to force down everyone's throat. I mean, some people actually tried to make me feel guilty about not eating any of the cake.

It is a good thing that I am resolute in my decision to keep my diet at around 80% primal. I was able to pass on all of the things that didn't meet this description and just stick with the fruit in both cases. The funny thing is that I was only slightly tempted to partake in the food orgy that was going on around me. There are some key visuals that helped curb my enthusiasm for the unhealthy food but I'll let you just imagine what they were since my blog is open for anyone to read.

I'm sure that this situation is not unique to my office. These scenarios are what cause large amounts of office workers to become unhealthy and overweight all the time. Between the stress of the job, the long hours and the endless "celebrations" it is no wonder people have such a hard maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Biggest Loser....Motivating??

I usually don't watch The Biggest Loser but since none of the shows I normally watch are on tonight I decided to watch. I know that some people find this show motivating but I just find it extremely sad and depressing. The fact that there is no shortage of potential contestants for this show and the fact that each season these contestants get bigger and bigger each season is very sad. It just illustrates the problem with obesity that is plaguing our society. If we, as a society, don't make some major changes when it comes to health and diet then they can run 100 versions of The Biggest Loser and still not capture all of the people that need the help.

I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with this show. Yes, these are people that are morbidly obese. If they don't lose weight they will most likely die from an obesity related disease. So I'm happy that they are getting professional help and that they are losing the weight. The problem I have is that most of these results are not feasible for a normal person. If you are at home and you have a job and other responsibilities then you are not going to be able to work for the amount of time that these contestants are working out. You won't have the incentive of winning a quarter of a million dollars to help motivate you to lose the weight. And we all know how powerful of a motivator money is for a person. I also question how healthy it is to lose 50% of your entire body weight in less than a year. I'm not a nutritionist or a doctor but it just doesn't seem right.

I just hope that the show does provide motivation for some people and helps push them to meet their goals. To me it is just a reminder of the ills of our society...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting off the Year Caveman Style

You may recall one of my posts last year where I talked about the book The Primal Blueprint and how I said I planned to incorporate those principles into my lifestyle. The main change is in my dietary habits. The elimination of grains and most processed foods. Sounds easy when you put it like that but when you think of how many delicious things are actually made from grains then it becomes a little more difficult.

Well today I've made the switch. Today I didn't eat any grains and my world didn't come crashing down. Of course that's just one day...we'll see how I feel after an entire week. I've made my meal plan for the week and I'm confident that I can stick to it. I will have to make sure I get up a little bit earlier since I'll be making breakfast in the morning. Nothing complex but I can't do like I just usually do and run out of the door and eat oatmeal when I get to work.

I'm not going to type out my entire meal plan for the week but I'll give you an idea of what I'll be having.

Breakfast: Protein Shake or Omelet with veggies
Lunch: Big Salad with chicken and homemade dressing
Dinner: Variety of meats combined with veggies
Snacks: Dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit

Tonight I made some homemade ginger dressing. It was pretty tasty but not GREAT, I'm going to try to tweak the mixture a little bit before I post the recipe.

I think that I'll be satisfied with this plan. I'm not going to be so super strict that I don't enjoy myself if I go out to eat or if someone invites me over for dinner but I will try to stick to this at least 80% of the time.

I'll be sure to let you know how it goes and if I feel a difference. And of course I'll let you know WHEN I start to lose some weight ;-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Theme for 2010: Completion

In keeping with my switch from just a list of resolutions I'm instead choosing a theme for the year which will help guide me. I've decided that my theme for 2010 is "Completion". It took me a while to decide on one word to sum up my ideas for the next year but I think that does a pretty good job. I have been working on a number of areas in my life and this year I will be completing some of those items. As you may have figured out by reading my blog, I'm good at planning but not so good at follow-through. Having a theme of completion also signifies that I'm going to follow-through. Plan and COMPLETE those plans.

There are a few specific goals that I am going to list out. I may also post detailed plans for each goal in some future posts.

1. Ran a half-marathon: I don't want to take the time to train for a full marathon but I need a race to help me stay motivated with my running schedule.

2. Pay off 2 of my debts: I'm working on a specific plan to accomplish this.

3. Lose 15 pounds by June: That's less than 3 pounds a month which I think is very doable.

Those are the only goals I'm going to post for now. There are numerous other small things that I want to accomplish over the next year but I'm only posting my top 3.

What do you want to accomplish in 2010?