Monthly Archives: February 2013

New Focus

I’ve been struggling with a mental block. I’ve been holding steady for about two weeks now with no real weight loss. So, I’m making a few changes.

First, I’m going to up my focus on cardio. Increasing my heart rate to around 150 for a sustained amount of time (30-40 minutes) will be the goal.

Second, I’m going to start weight training, focusing on heavy weights and maxing out. I have a personal trainer lined up and I’m hoping to do a session with her and a session on my own once a week, so two sessions per week.

Third, I’m going to take measurements of my body tomorrow morning and use those to judge my progress. I can tell I’m losing inches, and people tell me they can tell, but I want proof.

Fourth, and finally, I’m going to use a coworker’s help to keep me on track. For every one week out I miss out of six scheduled workouts a week, I’ll owe her one dollar. Since deciding that with her, I’ve made 12 of the last 12 scheduled workouts in two weeks. Not bad, and my bank account appreciates it.

Four things. Let’s give it a try for four weeks and regroup. Until then, I’m feeling rejuvenated.

Falling Off the Wagon, Getting Back On

I’ve let myself get a little lax with the Paleo lately. First it was wings and stromboli and chocolate cake for the Super Bowl. Then it was a chicken salad sandwich at a diner with a friend from out of town this weekend. I’m feeling the effects of the gluten and cheese, and I know I need to just be more strict about what I put into my body. 

This morning, for breakfast, I had a tart cherry juice smoothie. I added one cup of juice to one cup of almond milk, plus one banana and 1/2 cup frozen blueberries. So good! The frozen blueberries meant I didn’t have to add ice, which I loved because I hate the noise my blender makes when it crunches ice. 

For snack this afternoon I ate a fuji apple with 2 tablespoons of almond butter. 

For lunch, I meandered over to the campus dining hall for some good conversations and people watching. I had a spinach salad with cucumbers, red bell peppers, olives, edamame, and grilled chicken, drizzled with oil and vinegar. 

For the rest of the day, I have some grilled chicken leftovers, some mixed berries, and half a baked potato. I’ll be able to eat these snacks throughout the afternoon, and hopefully stave off any hunger that might sneak it’s way in. 

Dinner tonight will be spaghetti squash with lean ground beef and Paleo-friendly spaghetti sauce. You have to be careful with sauce because a lot of them have soy, or gluten, or other non-Paleo friendly things. You guys, my mouth is watering as I type this. I’m so excited for dinner. Already. And I just had lunch. Oh well. 

All this to say, I’ve planned my day out very specifically. I avoided the sandwich line and the cupcakes and the grilled cheese in the dining hall. I’m prepared with snacks for throughout the day. I have a full nalgene with iced water next to me. I can get through this day, this week, this month, and I know I’ll see results at the end of it. 

Here’s to getting back on! 

Weekends

This weekend is a rare weekend at home without my significant other. Since I am in a long distance relationship, this is a very unusual thing. Having a partner in graduate school means sometimes we just need time apart (so one of us can study without feeling guilty). That’s ok. 

This weekend I have focused on doing things for myself. I made a delicious dinner last night of grilled chicken and brussel sprouts. When I was growing up, my mom told me she thought brussel sprouts tasted like farts. It took me 28 years to decide for myself– I love them. I usually saute cut sprouts, flat side down, with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 15 minutes until soft. They come out with this incredibly unique texture, both crispy and soft, with an unbelievably good taste. Totally un-fart-like, MOM. If I had never tried food my mom told me was gross, I wouldn’t be a fan of cottage cheese, radishes, hummus, or almond milk. Sheesh! 

I will be doing some menu planning and grocery shopping tomorrow. I like shopping on Sunday afternoons because I feel like it’s a good way to restart any kitchen and get back on track from any slip ups I might have made during the week. I stock up on a week’s worth of apples, eggs, vegetables, and meat, but make sure to have menus fully planned to make sure I don’t get into a situation where I think I don’t have any food but I really do. Planning is key! 

How do you plan for your week? 

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Today’s Victory

I’ve never been an egg in the morning kind of person. But since starting Paleo, I’ve learned to embrace the incredible, edible egg. This morning for breakfast I scrambled two full eggs and one egg white (I’ve never really been a fan of the yolk) with last night’s leftovers: ground beef with grilled tomato, bell pepper, spinach, and carrots. Last night’s dinner was a failed attempt at stuffed bell peppers: I realized I really didn’t want to pretend I was going to eat the bell pepper all dainty-like, so I just chopped it up and grilled it with the rest of the veggies. My breakfast was delicious and filling.

My office likes to celebrate things, a lot. We have parties and gatherings and get togethers– and they always involve food. Today we celebrated the last day of a coworker’s last day, which involved an extra long lunch at a local restaurant. I resisted a LOT of temptation and ordered a Cobb salad: romaine lettuce, egg, tomato, bacon (which I really could have done without), and balsamic vinaigrette.

For my afternoon snack I had a hardboiled egg and about 3 cups of mixed berries: strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. I have learned so much about food from pinterest, including a tip to rinse fresh berries in a diluted vinegar mixture. Apparently, it keeps them from going moldy. I have a huge bowl of mixed berries in my fridge, designed to last the whole week. They are divine.

For dinner tonight, I grilled some chicken breast tenderloins and paired it with a salad of mixed greens with SuperFruit dressing. So delicious! I haven’t had a drop of Diet Coke since 2012 (ok, ok, since New Year’s Eve) so I just drink water or tea now. But for dinner tonight, I had my new fave drink: Perrier with a splash of lime. It has just enough bubbles to trick my mind into thinking I’m drinking a soda, but it’s all natural with no artificial sweeteners or sugar. Perfect.

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Capital Ten Thousand

When I was growing up in Austin, Texas, my friends and I would run the Capital 10k nearly every year. It was just for fun, and Chloe, my best friend from age 2, would stop at 7-11 and get a Slurpee mid-race. When I say we did this just for fun, I mean we really did this just for fun. 

I travel back to my homeland for work often, and I’ll be in Austin this April for a few national college fairs and recruiting events. As luck would have it, I’ll be in Austin during the weekend of the Capital 10k. So, I’m signing up. I’m stoked. I have been training for an Olympic distance triathlon in May, and this will be the perfect way to make sure I stay on track. I even found a focused, 8 week training program for a 10k. So awesome! I’m pumped! 

How do you stay motivated? 

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Why Paleo?

I have been overweight my entire life. I have also been an athlete my entire life. I played soccer as a little kid, began swimming in high school, and I was recruited to swim and play soccer in college. Although I ended up just swimming in college, I did pick up volleyball my senior year. Four years of varsity college athletics meant hours in the weight room, hours honing skills, and hours sweating with my teammates. But I have always been overweight. And I’ve struggled with it, and I’ve beat myself up for it, and I’m tired of it.

I hit my rock bottom in the parking lot of a Weight Watchers. I am a repeat Weight Watcher, but I’ve never lost more than 30 pounds. I had been traveling for work and I thought I had been doing well. I got on the scale and had gained 6 pounds in the two weeks since I had last weighed in. I sat through half of the meeting, fighting back tears, half listening to the yippy, way too loud, older woman who lost 20 pounds 20 years ago, until I finally just walked out. I called my mom, sobbed into the phone for about twenty minutes, and quite frankly, didn’t know how to move on. At that moment I knew I would be okay eventually, but I had to tell myself it was okay that I was upset. I knew this wasn’t the end of the world, but I gave myself permission to think it was pretty damn close. I wallowed in self-pity for the rest of the day, trying to eat healthy, but giving in to hopelessness just a tad.

The next morning I woke up feeling much better, just like I knew I would. I had been researching Paleo online and found several delicious-looking recipes on pinterest. Paleo is a lifestyle meant to mimic how our ancestors ate. The diet is based on the fact that agricultural techniques hadn’t been invented yet. Cavemen ate meat, vegetables, and fruit. That’s it. Nothing else. The modern Paleo diet consists of a strict elimination of dairy, grains, sugars, and legumes. No milk. No chocolate cake. No beans. No soy. No hummus. No ice cream. No flour. Get the idea?

But yes meat. Yes vegetables. Yes fruits. Yes delicious, wholesome, goodforyou food. It makes sense to me. According to weight watchers, the only foods that “costs” points are meat, dairy, grains, sugars, and legumes. Everything else is “free.” It makes sense to me that the foods that cost zero points, or the foods Weight Watchers wants me to eat most of, are the best for me. So, I figured I’d give it a try.

The pros: It’s a focused, wholesome, straightforward program.
The cons: It will definitely take planning. And NO ICE CREAM?!

I can live without ice cream. In fact, I have even found a recipe for sweet potato ice cream (?!?!?!). I’ve been trying this now for a few weeks and I’ve finally got a hang of it. I’m starting this blog to help chronicle my journey, gather recipes, and help me track my progress. If I can motivate someone to try Paleo in the process, that’s even better.

I have a few goals for this blog.
1. Track my progress, both with weight loss and eating habits
2. Find and share recipes I’ve tried (or want to try)
3. Find and share other Paleo resources
4. Track my fitness evolution

So, here we go!