My progress...

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Getting the word out...

My husband often listens to me with only one ear when I start talking
about my topic of the moment. I tend to be a complete information
whore (info ho'), so when I become interested in a topic, I spend a
lot of time reading about it and thinking about it and talking about
it. I am sure it gets to be repetitive and a bit boring.

My topic of the moment recently has been the importance of unprocessed
and organic foods in the human diet. After reading 'Animal, Vegetable,
Miracle' and watching 'Food, Inc.,' I began paying more attention to
where my food is coming from and, as a result, where my husband's food
is coming from. I have focused more on local than on organic where
produce is concerned, but once winter hits, I will go organic as much
as possible. I have put a lot fewer processed foods in my shopping
cart. I have bought only organic chicken thighs from Wegmans,
grass-fed beef from Wegmans, naked pork chops from Stew Leonard's
(during my best grocery shopping trip EVER during my visit to my
sister's, and Applegate Farms turkey burgers that came from Whole
Foods during that same visit to CT. And my sister was in PA this
weekend and brought me a new box of turkey burgers because my original
supply has been depleted.

This is a lot of background to an entertaining story. Today, my dear
husband asked me to look up for him something he saw on PBS late last
night. It was all about how cows are not made to eat corn and how corn
fed cows give us meat and milk that is higher in cholesterol than meat
and milk from cows fed a grass diet. Eureka! He's late to the party,
but he's finding it out! I told him that we were eating only organic
or humanely-raised meats, and he was a little surprised, but happy, to
hear this. He approaches this plan from a health standpoint, instead
of the health/animal love standpoint that I do, but the important
thing is that he made it there.

Regarding food and fitness, I am doing better, although still a bit
hit-or-miss. I went to a retirement party today and enjoyed some cake,
homemade truffles, and chips. But I am feeling good about things and
expect to see the scale moving in a downward direction soon.

Make it a great day, everyone!

Sent from my mobile device

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have been in such a funk with this health and fitness thing lately.  Part of it was situational, as I discussed in my last post.  But part of it has just been lackadaisical.  I find myself more often falling back into those behaviors that got me to this place in the first place.  Why have just one cookie when you can have four or five?  Why eat the healthy lunch you brought to work when you can order Chinese food with your coworkers?  Why eat healthy at the picnic when everyone else is pigging out?

It's time to recenter and recommit.  Every item that goes in my mouth goes in the food journal.  Every calorie is accounted for.  There is no more "It's one piece of chocolate, so it doesn't have to be counted."  Everything counts.  I have to remember my mantra, "I am WORTH IT!"  I am worth looking good and feeling good.  I am worth those more expensive fresh fruits and vegetables and the organic meat and dairy products.  I am worth the clean foods.  I don't have to settle for processed foods and sugar and HFCS.  I am worth more than that.

I head back to yoga tonight, and I think that will be good for me.  I was off for two weeks because I had concert tickets and then was in Florida for my grandfather's funeral.  I look forward to spending that hour getting into my head and quieting the noise of the outside world.  I am going to stretch myself to the limit tonight, and it's going to feel great.  And then tomorrow, I am getting back into the gym.  I did work out twice last week in the hotel, but I haven't been to my gym, to get on my elliptical and my arc trainer, in over a week.  I am looking forward to our reunion, and I know that will feel great too.

Make it a great day, everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blah. Also, yuck.

Out of the last three weeks, I have been out of town for three days of two of them.  First, I had my fun visit to my sister's, and then this week, I was in Florida for my grandfather's funeral.  As always happens when I am out of town, there was a lot of restaurant food in both of those trips.  I have already talked about what I ate in Connecticut, and at the end of that trip, I was up about five pounds on the scale.  Well, this week, after some fast food in the airport, snacks on the plane, dinner out at a barbecue restaurant on Monday, lunch and dinner out (at Nancy Lopez's restaurant at her country club in The Villages and at TGIFriday's), lunch at a deli yesterday (big sandwich, but no fries, but a black and white cookie), and plenty of wine (the four of us split four bottles in two days, and I also drank at both dinners out), I am up about another five pounds.  For those doing the math, I am currently about ten pounds higher than my lowest weight recently.  Not good.

I did work out both days in the hotel on the elliptical, which was good.  And I did drink a lot of water while I was away.  I am now back on healthy eating lockdown and off to a great start today.  I can't wait to get back into my normal routine and watch these pounds melt away (and take some friends with them!).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacay (part 2)!

Because West Hartford really seems to me to be a foodie paradise, I wanted to devote a special post to the food that we ate while I was on vacation.  This will veer off the healthy path a bit, as it involved desserts and also Chipotle, but it was an amazing couple of days of food!  The first night I was there, we went to MAX Burger, which is a gourmet burger place.  I had a burger called Miss Daisy, which was a beef burger with brie, applewood smoked bacon, apple honey Dijonnaise, lettuce, and tomato on toasted brioche.  I also had sweet potato fries.  My sister had a lobster burger, along with onion rings.  We split the two sides.  We also got an Oreo ice cream thing for desserts that involved homemade Oreo ice cream, chocolate cake, and a whole of of yumminess.  And we also each enjoyed a glass of wine (Chardonnay for her and Sauvignon Blanc for me)!  However, my favorite thing about MAX Burger was this statement on the menu: "MAX Burger proudly serves all-natural Niman Ranch Certified Angus beef. We share their mission to provide humanely raised, environmentally-sustained animals, using no antibiotics, no pesticides, and no added hormones."  Ah, see, I came back around to a topic common on this blog.  Humanely-raised meats in a restaurant setting = my Nirvana.

The next day, we went to Chipotle for lunch.  I had never been, and it was pretty fun!  The food was yummy, and it was a fun experience.  I also enjoyed seeing on their menu information on their Food with Integrity focus.  From their website: "Food with Integrity is our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment, and the farmers."  And this is a major national chain!  If they can do this, why can't all the other chains?  Anyway, I had the burrito bowl with the barbacoa, and my sister had a burrito bowl with the carnitas.  We split chips and guac.  I am glad I don't have Chipotle too close to home because I can tell I would crave it often, and I am sure it is not a healthy everyday option.

And that night was the big birthday dinner for my newly 30-year-old sister.  After our great experience at MAX Burger, we chose another restaurant in the MAX Restaurant Group, Max's Oyster Bar.  We were looking for something a little more high-end to celebrate her big birthday without veering into stuffy, and this restaurant really fit this bill!  We started off with Peach Bellinis, which were yummy, and we had as an appetizer a family favorite, fried calamari.  Whenever we go out to dinner, calamari is certain to be on our table...we just love it!  The dipping sauce, along with the red pepper flakes on top, made this calamari stand out as some of the best I have had.  The dipping sauce tasted of ginger and lime, among other things, and it was so yummy!  For dinner, I had a lobster dish that had the lobster resting on a mound of homemade mashed potatoes and some fennel and sitting in a cream sauce that almost reminded me of the flavors of a very good lobster bisque.  My sister had a fillet mignon for the main reason that it came with grits as a side.  She doesn't like to share that she was born in the South too often, but her love of grits gives her away!  We also split two desserts.  One was a banana cream pie, and the other was a blueberry pairing, which had blueberry buckle with blueberry sorbet, along with blueberry compote with lemon curd.

Of course, the morning after this big meal, we were feeling the overeating and took a nice 2.8 mile brisk walk around town to stretch our legs and get some exercise before I got in the car to head home and she got in the car to head to Philadelphia to continue her birthday celebration!  It was such a nice visit, however, and I can't wait to go back again!  My sister is such a great inspiration to me, as she lives a very healthy lifestyle, and she is also a great friend because she listens to me ramble on and on about any of a variety of topics that I may be considering at any time.  She also gives great advice, and I love spending time with her!  I never would have guessed, back in the day when I used to hang "KEEP OUT!" signs on my door, that we would be so close one day, but I am so happy to have her in my life.

Next on the health and fitness agenda is the purchase of a Polar heart rate monitor, which I am probably going to pull the trigger on this week.  I am choosing between the FT4 and the FT7 now, and I am not sure which way to go.  I really only want it to track my heart rate and calories burned throughout the day to better direct my workout efforts and my eating goals.  The FT7 has some extra features that I probably don't need, but it's only $20 more expensive, which seems so minimal.  I had decided on the FT7, but I am now leaning toward the FT4.  Clearly, some more research needs to be done before I make the actual purchase.  I am trying to cut back on my spending, so the cheaper one is probably the better option.

Make it a great day, everyone!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Vacay (part 1)!

Last week, I was able to spend three days out of town, visiting my
sister who lives in West Hartford, CT. Since I live in a rural area
and West Hartford is a suburb to a relatively large city, there were
some things there that I don't have in PA. Among other things, this
included Chipotle, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. It also includes a
grocery store called Stew Leonard's and a great restaurant scene. Yes,
most of the trip did revolve around food. Hence the seven-pound weight

First, let's talk about the grocery shopping. Our first stop was Stew
Leonard's, which promises "farm fresh foods." For those unfamiliar
with Stew's, it's sort of set up like an Ikea. You go in the entrance,
snake in one direction through the store, and hit the checkout and are
then ready to exit. Stew's has lots of great produce, a large fish
counter, amazing-looking prepared foods, meats, cheeses, pastas, and
dry goods. They don't stock every possible brand of every item, but I
could easily do all my grocery shopping there. My favorite thing at
Stew's, however, was their line of "naked" meats. These are meats that
are humanely raised in low stress conditions but are not organic.
After my <i>Food, Inc.</i> experience, I have only been buying meats
that purport to be from animals raised humanely. For the most part,
this means I have to buy organic (read: expensive) meats. These naked
meats fill an important bridge between sticking with my values and
breaking my bank. I wish a grocery store around here (I am talking to
you, Wegmans!) would offer such an option!

We also went to the more well-known Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. This
was my second time at TJ's ever, and it was my first trip to WF. I
live about an hour and a half from my closest locations of these
stores, and I don't make a trip like that for groceries. At TJ's, I
got some of their amazing dried fruit, as well as some frozen items.
At WF, I grabbed some heirloom tomatoes, Justin's Honey Almond Butter
(I can only get single serving packets of Justin's Nut Butters around
here), Larabars (the new flavors!), and bulk steel cut oats (over 3
pounds!). I headed home with two coolers full of food, and we will be
eating well for a while!

Next time, I will share about what we ate while I was in CT. Make it a
great day!

Sent from my mobile device

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Back on the wagon (yet again)...

For the past two or so weeks, I have been having a GOOD TIME with
food. And this past week, I went to the gym a grand total of ZERO
times. So the "eat less, move more" thing? Not so much for the past
two weeks.

In the past, this would be the point that I fell off the wagon, gave
up the weigh-ins, and gained back all my lost weight and more.
Clearly, I do NOT want this to happen, so this morning I weighed in.
And my weight was 235.6 pounds.

Yuck. Also, ouch.

At mt lowest weight, I had been somewhere just under 229 pounds. And I
CELEBRATED being under 230 the point that I am NOT
anymore! This means the past two weeks of "fun" have led to almost a
seven-pound gain.


In my defense, I was visiting my sister Wednesday through Friday, and
we ate at three restaurants together (one of which involved my
first-ever Chipotle visit and two of which involved dessert), and I
made a Mickey D's stop on my way home. Therefore, I think I may be
carrying a bit of water weight. However, I know full well that I am
not carrying almost seven pounds of water weight. There has been some
true weight gain there.

I am back on track, starting today. Make it a GREAT day, everyone!

Sent from my mobile device

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi