Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My first Video Blog... do-it-yourself step aerobics!

Okay, guys.  Here it is, my video debut into the blogging world.  I'm not thrilled with how my body looks (yet) and my workout clothes (as usual) don't match and aren't flattering!  Anyone else have that issue?

Anyway, this first video was an example of a do-it-yourself step aerobics that I did tonight for the first time.  I bought this step at a yard sale this weekend and have been dying to try it out with some techno music!  So, I decided to share the experience with you.  It was very successful, I worked up quite a sweat just doing my own thing.

The second video is just my closing message plus an introduction to my 3 surviving dogs.  Actually, they live at my parents' house.  I'm dog-sitting for the week!  My 'rents have such a gigantic living room compared to me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tasty Tuesday!

Time for another edition of Tasty Tuesday!  Today was a delicious day.  And it felt so good to eat like this.  After two full weeks of avoiding processed food (for the most part) and focusing on whole and healthy options, I feel amazing.  I'm looking forward to see how the rest of the 6 weeks go.  Two weeks down, four to go!

The day started out with a green monster smoothie!  In the mix: 1 banana, 3 strawberries, 1 cup soy milk, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, and a couple of ice cubes.  :-)

Lunch was a gigantic salad of mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, bell pepers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and 3/4 cup of kidney beans.  Topped with a mix of red wine vinegar, fat free zesty italian dressing, and lime juice.

...and an orange! (too long since you've seen my face, right?) 

Dinner was a big bowl of cooked veggies (squash, peppers, onions) with black beans. 

Then it was time to hit my parents' treadmill!  I don't have one, but they live just down the street and have this awesome setup with a TV in the corner, so I got caught up on Pretty Little Liars. (Yes, I know who "A" is now!)

Diva and her frog watched my run/walk.

My run wore her out.

And finally, a big bowl of fruit before bed!  In the mix: 1 orange, 1 banana, lots of grapes.

Have you eaten anything tasty lately? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Everything in Moderation vs. A More Restrictive Plan

...In other words, Weight Watchers vs. Eat to Live.

I have been warned by some that what I'm doing now is probably not sustainable, and that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is slow and steady and everything in moderation. 

These are exactly the kinds of things that I was advising folks to do a year ago.  You know, when Weight Watchers was WORKING for me, and I was about to reach yet another new low weight by breaking out of the 150's.  Yes, life was good.  Yes, Weight Watchers worked for me.

...but did it really?  I'm not writing this post to ditch Weight Watchers (NOT AT ALL) because I really do love it.  Weight Watchers works.  And for some people, it works for a lifetime. 

I'm not one of them.  For me, "everything in moderation" worked short term, and didn't actually help me to heal from my food addiction.  Instead, I used the Weight Watchers plan as an excuse to binge weekly. 

"These are my WEEKLY points, and YES I am allowed to eat them all at once if I want to, so that's why I'm allowed to binge!!!!" 
"I haven't eaten ANY of my activity points, so that's why I'm allowed to binge!"
I gave myself permission to have these "controlled" binges every week on Weight Watchers.  And yes, by eating that way one can still lose about a pound a week as long as you are following the plan and exercising plenty. 

But it just wasn't sustainable for me, and eventually I needed a break to try to get over my bingeing problem.  I wasn't learning how to give up my binge-eating habit altogether while under the WeWa plan.  So I tried other plans, including Intuitive Eating... but my binges would still continue. 

I decided that perhaps a more restrictive plan could help me to overcome my obsession with certain trigger foods that for whatever reason I could not let go of, even though I knew that eating them would result in a binge. 

My list of trigger foods, FYI:
1) chips and crackers (except salt-less ones like Wasa, I seem to be able to control myself around those)
2) cookies (usually oreos, but any vegan cookie will do)
3) pizza (Amy's roasted vegetable pizza or Pizza Hut no-cheese-crispy-crust-extra-veggies... I would ALWAYS eat the entire thing in one sitting.)
4) sugary cereal, or plain cereal with syrup added to it
5) bread or tortillas (entire package in one day is NOT unusual if it's in the house)

6) peanut butter (this is usually a last resort, if all other above foods were gone)
7) vegan ice cream (ditto what I said about peanut butter)

I'm sure that I'm missing some, but those are the biggies that helped me to regain half of the weight. 

Oh yeah, here it is, my confession about how much weight I gained between September and February, up and down, but eventually up to: 183.  That was my big, scary number on February 27th that I was too scared to tell you about. 

I'm down to 172.6 (-10.4) in three weeks.  During those weeks, I have only been officially following Eat to Live for two of them.  The first week was me just trying to incorporate more ETL meals into my life while preparing for the new way of eating. 

I'm on week 2 day 7 of ETL now.  The first 6 weeks are the most restrictive, then it becomes a 90/10 plan, with 90% of the eating being the same as the first 6 weeks, and 10% being other foods.  Dr. Fuhrman also mentions that it's okay to have a "cheat" as long as it doesn't happen more often than weekly.

I don't know how long I will go without my trigger foods, but I'm pretty sure it will be longer than the 6 weeks.  I need to break the addiction to these foods. 

So that, in a nutshell, is why I'm doing this restrictive plan instead of going back on Weight Watchers.  At this point in my life, restriction is what I need. 

Plus, I'm eating healthier than I've ever eaten before. 

I'm considering trying another vegan diet after a couple of months on ETL, just to compare and to review.  Maybe either the Ornish plan or the McDouggal plan? 

I will continue to keep you all updated on how Eat to Live is going.  For now, I'm pretty happy.

Look forward to another Tasty Tuesday tomorrow!  Hopefully I'll have some new and exciting ETL recipe to share.  :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Eat to Live style!

I was running late this morning, so I grabbed these things for breakfast:

an ounce of almonds and two bananas.  I ended up eating one banana for breakfast during my first class, then wasn't hungry again until lunch.

It was homemade chickpeas (crock pot!) and some cooked veggies along with my second breakfast banana.

Later I enjoyed a snack of vinegar soaked cucumber and onion with a couple of cherry tomatoes.  It's really good!  Just soak sliced veggies in a bowl that is half apple cider vinegar and half water, with a bit of sweetener.

I had a big plateful of cucumbers and tomatoes and half of a baked potato for dinner...

Then another bowlful of veggies and chickpeas with a small banana on the side.  So I actually ate 5 times today, but my banana-only breakfast was pretty pathetic.  ;-)

Eat to Live is supposed to be "no eating between meals" and I am just not into that idea yet.  I am a snacker.  I'm especially a snacker when I don't get a substantial breakfast!  On days when I eat a bowl of oats for breakfast, I am not as hungry the rest of the day.

Things to note: 
1) I ate three bananas today.
2) In total, this is about 1100 calories, which yes I know seems like not enough.  But I'm seriously stuffed.  This is a LOT of food! 

I am about to go do some cardio on the Nordic Track, and I may get hungry again after that.  If I do, I will eat my ounce of almonds and will then be safely above the 1200 mark.  :-)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Eat to Live week 1 update

Hello, everyone!

First of all, I just wanted to thank all of you who sent prayers, thoughts, energy, and/or vibes to my childhood pet, Rose.  Unfortunately, she didn't survive her illness, and passed away last Tuesday.  But I know that she felt those wonderful thoughts from all of you, and for that, I thank you.  This has not been easy for me, since Rose was my best friend for 15 years.  I'm working towards getting back to regular blogging, and I thought I'd start with an update on Eat to Live.

I started Eat to Live almost a week ago.  Today is the final day of week one.  I've been pretty good at following the rules, with a couple of exceptions.

1) One day I wasn't hungry for vegetables, and instead ate a big bowl of fruit for dinner.  This is not technically against the rules, since Dr. Furhman says in ETL that fruit is unlimited and that if you aren't hungry, you don't have to eat all of the veggies.  But it still felt kind of iffy, so I put it in the list.

2) I'm still not completely off of caffeine, and I never plan to go completely off of artificial sweetners.  This is because I am a gum addict, and pretty much all gum has sweeteners in it.  I've cut waaaaay back on caffeine, and I've done this by switching to caffeine-free diet sodas.  I know it's not the ideal solution, but it's working for me so far.  I figure that I'll switch completely over to caffeine-free (I'm still drinking one or two regular diet sodas a day) next week and then will work to wean myself off of the caffeine-free stuff.

3) I had a little more than a cup of potatoes today.  One of the rules says "up to a cup of whole grains or starchy vegetables a day", so this was definately a no-no.  But otherwise, I stuck to the rules.

4) I've been having one small snack every day. 

So, as you can see, I'm still not perfect, but I'm pretty close.  ;-) 

I didn't weigh in today, but Saturday's weigh-in had me having lost about a half pound a day so far.  I'm excited to see how my weight continues to respond to the plan throughout the six weeks.

Here are some awesome things that I've noticed about Eat to Live so far:

1) I had NO period pain last week.  I had no bloating or cramps, and I usually have at least one day of each when I'm on my period.  I don't know if that has anything to do with my new way of eating, but it definately could.  I'm eating WAY less salt than before, and absolutely nothing processed.

2) I'm almost always 100% satisfied between meals.  Even though I was on spring break and was dealing with a personal tragedy, I was never tempted to snack when not hungry, because I was so satisfied.  I have been eating a small snack most days, though.

3) I'm still tracking on My Fitness Pal, and have noticed that the calorie count is anywhere from 1000 to 1400, depending on what I choose to eat.  But I'm always equally satisfied.  Dr. Furhman said to not calorie-count, but I just couldn't help myself.  I will wean myself off of this, too.

Okay, that's all for now!  I am going to do a Tasty Tuesday (Eat to Live style) tomorrow, so look forward to that.  :-)

Thanks for your patience; it's good to be back.