Tuesday, March 31, 2009

trying to get it right

I thought I did really well yesterday, but I entered my food on SparkPeople this morning and I'm STILL getting too much fat (64 g. when my recommended max is 56). According to the goals they set up for me I'm also slightly too low on carbs and too high on fiber, but probably not enough to be worrisome.
Printable Nutrition Report

It is helpful for me to enter my food and get that feedback though - otherwise I wouldn't have realized that my 4 oz. of tempeh had 8 g. of fat! I wouldn't have even thought to factor that in as a fat source. Seeing what I eat all laid out in front of me helps me understand where the little bits of fat are coming from and how they add up (4 g. in the crackers, 2 in the lowfat yogurt, 2 in the protein powder, 3 in the hummus, etc.)

The problem I'm still having with fat is trying to integrate these recommendations I hear about oil and still not go over. I'm trying to get 1 tbsp. each of flaxseed oil and olive oil, which is 28 g. of fat right there. I'm also trying to eat seeds or nuts regularly. I only had 1/2 an oz. but that's another 7 g.

I wrote about this last week or the week before, but I think I still need to search for another source of long-chain omega-3s that is lower in fat. And maybe I'll cut down on the olive oil, although it's going to be hard to get less than 2 tsp. if I use it for cooking and in my salad dressing...

I woke up at 4 AM from a nightmare and that spiked my anxiety which somehow led to me lying awake worrying about my health instead of doing what's good for my health and resting!
I'm already planning a nap later when I get home from work.

Even though I didn't feel ready, it was so great to be back at work and see my kids yesterday. They were so excited when I came to pick them up and were hyper and huggy and a little clingy all day. With the standardized testing nonsense we'd been doing before break I hadn't really had classes with them consistently for a month, so they were relieved to get back to normal.
Such angels :)
I really am lucky to have that job and be in their lives. I want to get my health together for me but for them too - as an example and as a more energetic teacher.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh the horror of weigh day!

169.4 this morning. Yup...mmhmmm....sounds about right after last week. Even when I stopped binging on Friday I still ate crap.
Okay, then.

In other, better news, food for the day is packed and meals for the week are mostly planned. My work for the week (grad school) is NOT done, but I plan to take care of that today.
I made a sort of outline of meals that I'm going to try to stick with for at least a month...it doesn't tell me what specific dishes we're having, but has broader categories like 'bean soup' or 'tempeh/veggie dish'. It outlines the main nutritional components I should choose so I know that whatever specifics I choose at the beginning of the week I'll be on target for protein, fat, carbs, fruit, veggies, etc. Should be close on calories too without too much specific planning.

I made oatmeal, walnut, chocolate chip cookies last night (some with butterscotch) but sent 3/4 of them with Ryan to work.

Stayed up too late last night trying to choose a topic for my final papers (I'm choosing one topic for both classes so my research will overlap and be kinder with time demands on me), then trying to choose an article to represent that topic for the rest of the students in my Thursday class to read before then, then wrestling with the printer to scan it in so I could send it. I actually thought it would take me 15 minutes, but it wound up somehow taking 2 1/2 hours!

So, this morning I was all set to be early and now I'm late to my first day back at work after spring break.
Better get a move on.

Friday, March 27, 2009

turning it around

Wow. This week was fantasticly horrid. Bingey and stress-filled and just bad. I was worried about classes at UT and stressed about it all week. Monday's class was fine even though I wasn't prepared. Thursday's class was a huge, anxious train-wreck.
Ug. I don't want to talk about it.
Every day I'd feel sick at the end of the day and feel SURE that I would turn things around the next morning. And every morning (Tuesday through today - Friday), I'd fall apart before noon.

Today was going similarly, but I decided to change course midway through the day.
I showered, put on make up, got dressed and drove to Nashville where Ryan was attending the ASCE (civil engineering) conference. I hung out with other adult humans which is a sadly rare occurence these days, cheered on teams and ate a salad for dinner.

I have a pretty unpleasant stomach ache right now even though I finished my peanut M&Ms 11 hours ago - I can't believe it's my first one of the week - I totally deserve it. But, I feel really good about stopping the badness and confident about tomorrow.

I'm going back to Nashville to get my hair cut and colored and meet up with Ryan and his engineer friends again. I also need to get some work finished, clean up and get a bit of exercise in. I'm going to start cleaning right now - at least the kitchen - so that tomorrow morning I won't have hours of work to do.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grilling - just pics

veggie prep

veggies on the grill

Ryan - hard at work grilling potatoes

Finished! Yummmmmm
counter-clockwise from bottom left: BBQ tempeh, teriyaki tofu, shiitakes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ciabatta sandwich with roasted veggies, avocado, goat cheese, feta cheese, pesto, balsamic vinegar and marinated tempeh (marinated in oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper)


Yesterday unraveled a bit, but it's still not bingey and that's still my measure of good or bad.
I wasn't hungry at all in the morning, so I skipped breakfast which turned out well because I had a huge lunch.
That was the one thing I entered in SparkPeople before I stopped keeping track and it added up to 750 calories with the veggie burger, fake bacon, bun, cheese, sweet potato for fries, olive oil for cooking those (now I know I could've used less), etc...
The rest of the day I didn't photograph or count too closely....
There was a potato chip, um, incident and I have no idea how much I had. I'm trying to see how much is left in the bag this morning and Ryan's trying to remember how much of them he ate, but it's a guess at best. I tried to recreate the food journal this morning and I think I had ~2,100 calories and about double the fat I should've.
I had a very light dinner of leftover brown rice, steamed veggies and tofu (about half as much as last night), but then had a glass of wine and Ryan and I sampled a few of our chocoaltes (Indian curry/coconut, dark with almonds and dark with cocoa nibs).

With the chocolate and cheese this is the first day I've gone over my saturated fat limit. And with the chips, this is the first day (I think) that I've gone over in sodium.
Maybe I should be more upset at my choices, but that's life and it's going to happen and I'm moving on. I was very crave-y all day and had to run out to Walmart by myself for something, but got what I was there for (a funnel and rubbing alcohol for Ryan's home brew experiment) and nothing else - no junk food. Small victory.

We have a good day planned today - eating and otherwise. Ryan's mom and aunt Mary are coming to visit Ryan for his 25th birthday. His birthday was actually a month ago but this is the first weekend that everyone's been in town and off work since.
I'm obviously not hungry for breakfast.
For lunch we're grilling out. We're going to make a salad and try to recreate the yummy roasted veggie panini sandwich Ryan had at Greenlife in Asheville last weekend. We got a bunch of different cheeses but are probably going to use goat cheese. We're using ciabatta bread so it'll be a little different, but good.
I'm off to look up marinades for the eggplant and portobello mushrooms and then try to get some studying done before they arrive.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

spring cleaning

Well, it was slow going, but I spent the last 2 days on and off and on and off cleaning and I'm pretty much finished! I reorganized the pantry and fridge, took things off shelves to dust and clean underneath, did all the laundry, straightening, organizing, windows, scrubbing - everything. I just have to mop and clean the humidifier (to put away) and the dehydrater (to start using) and I'm finished! I love having a clean house. I feel like it sets a good foundation for feeling in control of my environment and myself. Plus, it can only help me going off allergy pills.
I'm about to head to the post office to mail in my tax forms, too. I'm getting a big return which will be very helpful whatever I decide to do with it...probably save for next year's tuition if I stay in this program.

On the eating front, I got a little snacky yesterday and went over my calories, but it wasn't unhealthy snacking (except for the amount of almond butter) and it wasn't bingey so I'm okay with it.

Breakfast: Smoothie with 1/4 c. raspberries, 4 strawberries, 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil, 1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt, 1/2 c. diluted, unsweetened cranberry juice and protein powder. (I cut the amount of cran-water I'd been using in half and blended at a slower speed for less volume and fewer bubbles)
Lunch: MorningStar Farms ginger teriyaki patty, 3 veggie pot stickers, 1/2 c. edamame, 1 tbsp. Soy Vey teriyaki
Snacks: 1) rice cake with apple and 2 tbsp. almond butter; 2) 19 brown rice thins with 2 tbsp. hummus (this would've been fine to have 2 snacks since I skipped my popcorn dessert IF I had only had 1 tbsp. almond butter...oh well)
Dinner: ate very late - that's probably why I still feel full this morning - had 1/4 block of tofu made with soy sauce, nutritional yeast and 1/2 tsp. olive oil, ~1 c. steamed veggies, 1/2 c. brown rice, sauteed shiitake mushrooms with garlic and another 1/3 tsp. olive oil, more nutritional yeast on top; multi-vitamin

1,716 calories
66 g. fat
204 g. carbs
81 g. protein
26 g. fiber
2,076 mg. sodium

Note on vitamins & supplements:
I'm still low on calcium even though I had tofu and yogurt and took my mulit - I was at 90% of RDA. I hate milk and don't really want to have too much more dairy from cheese. So I probably need to start taking my cal-mag.
I've also been tracking vitamin D since it was suggested to me (by my mom?) that I might have a deficiency, and although I get plenty in my multi, not once has vitamin D shown up in any food I've eaten this week...and I'm hardly ever in the sun...not good. I looked it up and vitamin D is in fish and foods that are fortified with it...I don't have any foods fortified with it and I don't eat fish.
However, I have been thinking about starting to take a fish oil supplement. I've been reading a bit on how vegetarians get long chain Omega-3s and I took Dr. Weil's vitamin advisor quiz. According to him, I can get short chain Omega-3s from flaxseeds, walnuts, hempseeds and I don't know what else and I can get long chains from algae, but it's not converted efficiently by my body. I thought I was doing okay by getting my tbsp. of flaxseed oil each day, but maybe I'm not. I'm going to look into that a little more. I'm not a vegetarian because I think it's wrong to eat animals, I'm veggie because I think the way animals are abused and degraded by a factory system of production is immoral. So I'm open to taking fish oil supplements if I'm convinced it's what my body needs and I can find a good source...not sure what 'good source' means to me but I'll think about it. I'm definitely more comfortable taking an algae supplement if I need to...I just need more information.

Happy weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

daily weigh ins

I've been weighing everyday and I think I have to stop or learn not to worry about it so much. On Tuesday and Wednesday I lost, but then I gained Thursday. I lost again today but not down to Tuesday's #. I'm not sure why....I'm diligently tracking everything I eat and staying in my range. I exercised by walking Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - I missed yesterday but cleaned & organized the house almost the whole day, so at least I was active.
It's pretty deflating to do everything right and see those numbers on the scale go up, so I think I might just weigh Mondays and leave it alone.

I think my brain is adjusting to trying to focus on health rather than quick weight loss. I can remember in the past losing half a pound a day....but the thing is, I never kept it up, always gained it back, etc... Now I'm hoping to lose 1-2 pounds a week, but more importantly to improve my long and short-term health, and feel happier and more active. Before, I always JUST wanted to be skinny. So - I'm trying to change my state of mind, but am partially still expecting the same quick results I'd get briefly before. I logically know that my weight will fluctuate due to differences in hydration, elimination, time of day or whatever, but since I have such huge guilt and shame issues with my body, seeing a number go up triggers something bad there.

After feeling great and having an easy time sticking to my meal plans the first 3 days of the week, I struggled a little yesterday and I'm not sure why, but one possibility is the disappointment about that stupid #. (I also got less sleep, was worried about how much time my organization projects were taking and was starting to stress about school work - plus I had cocoa Wednesday night after not having any sugar for 2 weeks, so that could've triggered something I suppose).

My calories and other #s actually turned out fine. I'm still labeling this a 'good day' (I have so many more posts labeled good days than 'bad day' now! It's nice to see. For a long while they were neck and neck). At the end of the day the only difference between the plan and what I ate was that I had 2 flatbread crackers instead of fruit. Fat was better because I didn't have a smoothie or salad with 1 tbsp. of flaxseed oil - which isn't really something I want to make a habit of. Here's the rundown.

Breakfast: 1 c. lowfat plain yogurt with 1 banana, 1/4 c. Ezekiel flax cereal and 10 almonds
Lunch: 'leftover' gobbetti whole wheat pasta (3/4 c. dry), 3 meatless meatballs, 1/2 c. Amy's tomato basil sauce, 1 c. broccoli (boiled with pasta for 2 min.), lemon juice and 1 tbsp. parmesan. (Actually, I didn't make enough for leftovers Wednesday so I just made the same thing)
Snack: 2 multigrain flatbread crackers and 12 cashews (no picture)
Dinner: leftover split pea soup with 5 pieces tempeh and 1 slice Ezekiel sesame toast with 1 tsp. olive oil and nutritional yeast; 5 carrots and 1 c. raw, red cabbage (not pictured)
No dessert

1,515 calories
44 g. fat
210 g. carbs
69 g. protein
43 g. fiber
2,219 mg. sodium

Printable Nutrition Report

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I will be productive today!

Yesterday I took my anxiety meds as normal and was promptly knocked on my butt for 2 hours feeling horribly dizzy, tingly and nauseous. I had these symptoms when I first went on them almost a year ago, but they hadn't shown up in awhile - only if I don't eat before I take them. But yesterday I had that nice, big bowl of steel cut oats, apples and almond butter first...so it didn't make sense.
I'm trying to get my intake as clean as possible so I went off my allergy meds (haven't noticed much of a difference) and birth control pills (started Fertility Awareness Method) this week - one or the other of them must've been interacting with the anxiety pills in some way. I went off my asthma meds a couple months ago and haven't noticed a difference. My asthma has been really mild for years now and I don't have problems unless it's extremely hot or cold or I'm otherwise sick in a way that affects my lungs.
So - I called my doctor & cut my dose back, but in the meantime it seriously put a damper on my planned productive morning.

Today I got up at 5:15 with Ryan, made his lunch (since I made a mess in the kitchen, didn't clean up and didn't want him to have to deal with it), and now I'm going to have my tea and get right to work before I eat or take that pill.

Yesterday was the 3rd day of eating my pre-planned meals (seems longer) and it went well!
I'm still too high on fat and fiber...should've replaced my celery and guacamole snack with crackers or something...it's a funny dilemma to have, but as a vegetarian, trying to avoid going too low on calories and trying to eat fewer processed foods most of my choices are either higher in fat or fiber than I necessarily need. Hmmm....I have some low-fat string cheese...that might be a good option. Maybe more yogurt is in order, except I usually try to get the plain and add my own fruit and other toppings to stay away from the sugar in most fruit-flavored yogurts - so that makes it become more of a meal than a snack. I'll figure it out.

I needed to pick up my car from getting worked on, and Ryan wasn't going to get home before they closed. I didn't want to bother anyone else for a ride and I still needed to get in my exercise, so I walked! It took me an hour and 20 minutes, my pedometer says it was 9,550 steps and I think it was ~3.5 miles. It was sunny and windy and on a busy street, so it wasn't the most relaxing or enjoyable walk, but I'm really glad I did it.

Here's the journal:
Breakfast: 1/4 c. (dry) steel cut oats cooked with 1 apple; topped with cinnamon and 1 tbsp. almond butter
Lunch: salad with romaine, red cabbage, red pepper, carrots, cucumber, 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. flaxseed oil, 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 1/2 serving of szechuan smoked sprouted tofu
Snack: 2 celery stalks; guacamole (1/2 avocado, lime juice, salt, garlic powder)
Dinner: gobbetti shaped whole wheat pasta (3/4 c. dry), 1/2 c. Amy's tomato basil pasta sauce, 3 Veggie Patch meatless meatballs, steamed broccoli (3/4 c.), lemon juice, 1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
Dessert: huge mug of hot chocolate (4 tsp. Green & Black's hot chocolate powder, 1 c. vanilla soy milk, filled the rest with hot water)

1,426 calories
60 g. fat
172 g. carbs
58 g. protein
42 g. fiber
2,179 mg. sodium

Printable Nutrition Report

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I heart spring break

Aaaahhhh....relaxation :)
It was so nice spending the day with Ryan yesterday.
We went for a walk, went shopping for the rest of his homebrew supplies, ran errands and watched Matrix Reloaded (I hadn't seen any but the 1st one...apparently I'm a little slow).

The only negative was, remember how his car needed $900 of work done in it last week? Well, I took mine in for 60,000 mile service (it's over 120,000 mi.) and it needs $1,000! I knew this one would hurt - I think last time I had the 60,000 mile service it was $600-$700....but it's older now and needed more done. Ug. That's pretty brutal.
I really need my car to be reliable though, so I told them to go ahead and do it. I've never had 1 thing go wrong with that car mechanically - it's been great. It's pretty beat up physically from a deer running into it years ago (I swear! I didn't hit it! It ran right into the side of my car...I cried and cried and cried...I'm too sensitive for the country...anyway...)...and 2 of the windows don't roll down...but in terms of getting me from place to place, I've never had a problem and that's the most important thing. I figure, even $1000 if it's just every few years is better than having a car payment again.

The walk was my exercise - 45 minutes (~4500 steps)
For diet, I planned my whole week ahead of time without checking nutritional info first. I just sort of guessed at what I thought would be about right. So - yesterday I ate what I'd planned to except a piece of fruit I wasn't hungry for at dessert-time. But, it didn't turn out the best nutritionally. I went a little over on calories over on fat, over on fiber (probably not a big deal), and came up to the maximum of my sodium intake. I learned how easy it is to eat too much fat when I wasn't paying attention - especially since I'm trying to get in 1 tbsp. each of flaxseed oil and olive oil each day for health reasons...when doing that I really can't have, for example, nuts or almond butter AND guacamole on the same day. Yesterday I had chips, guacamole and cheese...can't do that apparently. Like I said yesterday - I'm not sweating it too much if I get too much fat because of flaxseed oil, tofu, nuts and avocado (Omega-3, mono- and poly-unsaturated)...but I do need to watch the cheese and chips.

I can't tell you how much I'm loving planning all my meals, snacks, everything ahead of time for the week. I have a super-anxious personality and I feel like this takes some pressure off for some reason...and I never remember ahead of time what I'd planned, so I feel like I get a happy surprise each day. My real test will be when my stress level rises again for whatever reason...that's when the cravings start - but I think planning ahead and having something specific to look forward to every few hours really does help me combat that. It's a good thing to get into the habit during these 2 weeks of spring break. Maybe that will help it stick later.

Breakfast: smoothie with frozen berries, protein powder, 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil, diluted and unsweetened cranberry juice, and 1/2 c. low-fat, plain yogurt
Lunch: leftover split pea soup with tempeh; Ezekiel sesame toast w/1 tsp. olive oil and nutritional yeast; raw baby carrots and red cabbage
Snack: 2 tbsp. roasted red pepper hummus with raw celery and baby carrots
Dinner: 2 corn tacos with cheddar cheese, mixed beans, a mixture of romaine, red cabbage, vinegar, & olive oil, and hot sauce (Wizard's Hot Stuff - my favorite...actually not hot at all); guacamole (1/2 avocado, lime juice, salt, & garlic powder); 1 serving tortilla chips (10 chips)

1,602 calories
71 g. fat
173 g. carbs
68 g. protein
42 g. fiber
2,230 mg. sodium

here's the full details: Printable Nutrition Report

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

tracking calories

Yesterday went well.
I planned ahead for the whole week, so I'm excited about what's coming up - I think Diet Girl wrote a post about this recently...or maybe it was in her book....I don't know, but either way, she's right on. I can definitely see how having a planned, nutritious, yummy meal to look forward to would curb cravings.
I felt satisfied and happy with everything I ate yesterday, it was all good for me, and the calories were evenly spaced out so my energy stayed up. I'm so glad I have the time while I'm on spring break to track nutritional info. I'm starting to record that info for foods I eat frequently so that I won't have to spend so much time looking it up and so I'll have a better sense of how to plan my days when I'm not on break.

Yesterday I walked for 40+ minutes for exercise.
Food Journal -
Breakfast: 6 oz. plain, nonfat, Chobani Greek yogurt with 1/4 c. Ezekiel flax cereal, 1 banana and 7 almonds (347 cal., 6 g. fat, 55 carbs, 25 g. protein)
Lunch: Romaine salad with peas, carrots, red pepper, red cabbage, 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds, 2 oz. peanut ginger tofu and dressing with 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. flaxseed oil and 1 tsp. olive oil with seasonings (345 cal., 22 g. fat, 25 carbs, 14 g. protein)
Snack: 1 oz. cheddar cheese, 9 rice crackers, 1 flax multigrain flatbread cracker (220 cal., 11 g. fat, 20 g. carbs, 9 g. protein)
Dinner: Split pea soup with potatoes, celery, parsley, and tempeh baked with olive oil; also split the rest of the cornbread from Greenlife with Ryan (368 cal., 11 g. fat, 53 g. carbs, 9 g. protein)
Dessert: apple with 1 tbsp. almond butter (183 cal., 10 g. fat, 24 g. carbs, 3 g. protein)

Totals: 1,462 calores, 60 g. fat (36.5%), 177 g. carbs (47.4%), 60 g. protein (16.1%), 30 g. fiber

So - pretty good except a little high on the fat - that's always where I'm off. I am going to try to watch that, but I'm not stressing too much because it's all 'good fat' except from the cheese.

Printable Nutrition Report

Today I'd planned to clean all day and watch some of my recorded shows from Monday, but Ryan's home sick, so I'll just clean up and then see what he feels up to. He almost fell asleep in the shower and was so dizzy he could barely stand. He's sleeping now. I think he's just exhausted, so it's a good thing we have nutritious meals planned and I'm home to take care of chores. His eating has been pretty bad lately, he hasn't had time for exercise and he has an hour and 15 min. commute to and from work everyday - I think all that's catching up with him. He was always super skinny, so never had to think about calories or 'diet'. I've always been heavier than I wanted to be (although now I'm kicking myself for hating my 135 pound body all those years and 30 pounds ago), but at least all that obsessing and worrying about my health and weight translates to a good understanding of nutrition now. I guess that's a benefit for all us serial dieters if we can channel it for good.

I'm so glad we have DVR now. I love my tv but can't justify all the time I'd spend watching it if I couldn't do chores at the same time and fast forward through commercials. (I probably still can't justify it, but that's not changing today)

I watch House, 24 and Medium and they're all on the same night, so I record them. I also watch CSI and usually record 18 Kids and Counting, Ace of Cakes, and sometimes watch other cooking shows like Iron Chef. I also sometimes watch Jon & Kate + 8, but I don't know what happened to that show - Jon and Kate seem different now - always angry and really short with the kids - and the kids are picking up on the adults' conflict resolution 'techniques', so it gets on my nerves. I know that's judgmental and they're probably great parents who are tired of having cameras around, but it just seems like the show was more fun to watch before Kate, especially, became a different person because of the success of the show. Hmmm...maybe I should stop watching if I'm going to be negative :)

Okay - I get a smoothie this morning :) Mmmmmm

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weigh-Day & Greenlife haul

163.8 this morning.
Down from 165.4 last Monday for a loss of 1.6 pounds.
Total loss of 12.2 pounds.
I exercised very lightly this week and didn't count calories - just tried to eat well. So, I'm happy with that :)
It's still a part of those same 5-10 pounds that I keep gaining and losing over and over again, but a loss is a loss and I'll take it! Plus - I haven't had any bad (i.e. bingy and careless) eating days for 10 full days now and I feel tons better - just happier and lighter and more energetic and hopeful.

We're back from Asheville and I'm officially on spring break and loving it! I slept in an extra 2 hours until 7:30 this morning and that feels great. I have our meals planned for the week already and I think that will help me stay on track.

Yesterday (3/15) I exercised for 30 min. on the elliptical at level 8 out of 25. I've noticed that I'd been getting headaches after I work out strenuously and I thought that might be because my heart rate is getting too high. So - yesterday I checked every once in awhile and I think I was right. I'm going to take it a little easier than my body feels like it wants to and keep an eye on that until it gets better. If I get day-long headaches every time I work out I don't think I'll be very motivated to do it, so - slow and steady seems like the way to go. Anway...yesterday's journal...

Breakfast: apple and 60 cal. light & fit strawberry yogurt at the hotel (if you're not used to eating aspartame, which I haven't had in a long while, it is really over-sweet and chemically tasting and pretty gross...but it was the best choice I felt I had)
Lunch: I thought we'd order pizza at the homebrew lesson but that must just be for the longer classes (ours was just 4 hours - some are 5-6), so I didn't eat lunch until 4-ish. I had a handful of raw cashews in the car and then at Greenlife (grocery store) I had tofu, steamed veggies, a small piece of cornbread and a piece of Ryan's super yummy roasted veggie panini (~2"x2")
Other: No dinner or snack because when we got home it was too late to eat. But I did have a taste of one of the new crackers we got from Greenlife (just 1 bite); and I tried one of my new teas (plain - no sugar, milk, etc.) - Moroccan Orange Spice. Good!

We got a huge haul of groceries at Greenlife - sooooo expensive :(
But we got great stuff and a lot of it was staples that we shouldn't have to buy again for months. I got a bunch of good quality dark chocolate because I feel like I can have a really small amount and satisfy a sweet tooth so it doesn't turn into an out of control craving. I got hot cocoa for the same reason. I only plan to have either about twice a week. All together the chocolate haul should last a month. (famous last words?) So - here's what we bought...

- tons of veggies (cabbage, broccoli, romaine, cucumber, red pepper, celery, squash, garlic shitakes, asparagus (just Ryan), parsley, sweet potatoes, garlic, English peas and kale)
- fruit (bag of apples, pears, bananas, lemons, limes, and avocado)
Vegenaise (vegan mayonaise - really good, although I never liked mayo, so I can't say if it's a good substitute)
teriyaki baked tofu
peanut ginger baked tofu
extra firm tofu (2 blocks)
tempeh (2 pound block)
garlic herb almond cheese
cheddar cheese
coconut oil
bulk tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
Amy's tomato basil pasta sauce (my favorite but it's ~$7!!! So I only get it maybe twice a year)
brown rice cakes
brown rice thins (crackers) x2
multigrain flatbread
pasta (gobbetti shape, whole wheat)
rice noodle soup packets x4 (1 lemongrass chili, 1 garlic veg, 1 thai ginger, 1 Bangkok curry)
dried apricots (just Ryan)
dried figs (just Ryan)
raw almonds
raw cashews
dried pinto beans
dried kidney beans
dried black beans
dried split peas
large container of Nancy's low-fat plain yogurt (Just me)
2 Stonyfield Farms strawberries and cream yogurt (just Ryan)
2 Stonyfield Farms French vanilla yogurt (just Ryan)
Siggi's "Icelandic style skyr - strained, nonfat yogurt" - orange and ginger (just me)
Chobani non-fat, plain Greek yogurt (just me)
4 Yogi Herbal Teas (Moroccan Orange Spice, Lemon & Ginger, Berry Antioxidant, and Mexican Sweet Pepper - I'm anxious to try that one!)
Earl Grey tea (just Ryan)
Green & Black's hot chocolate
Vosges Naga Bar (half ounce chocolate bar, 41% cacao, "sweet Indian curry powder, coconut flakes, deep milk chocolate")
Lake Champlain Chocolates - peppermint crunch dark chocolate, 54% cocoa
Theo 84% cacao chocolate from Ghana
Rapunzel dark chocolate with almonds - 55% cocoa
Equal Exchange "dark chocolate with pure cocoa nibs" 68% cacao

and that's it!
pretty much all organic...maybe all - not sure.
Of course I forgot carrots and coconut milk...it's so annoying when you do a big, expensive shopping trip and forget 1 or 2 little things...oh well.
I'm off to see what's on my meal plan today. Something yummy I'm sure :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 14 food journal

Really quick journal - we're at the hotel in Asheville and Ryan's anxious to get to breakfast, but I want to get this down before I forget.

Breakfast: 3 veggie links with potatoes, hot sauce, salt and other seasonings. (Ryan made the potatoes - so good! - he added cumin seeds, smoked paprika, and garlic)

Lunch: apple, baby carrots and more potatoes (snacks on the road). Total with the potatoes at breakfast I probably had 3/4 of a white potato and 2 small red potatoes

Dinner: out for Japanese (not my favorite, but it makes Ryan happy) 1 piece of an "Altenderfer roll" with tempeh, avocado, almond butter and maple syrup; 1 piece of a "veggie futomaki" with avocado, cucumber, broccoli and smoked tofu; 2 veggie gyoza dumplings; 3 pieces of spicy garlic tofu; 4 pieces of tempura (2 squash, 1 carrot, 1 broccoli); brown rice (maybe 1/2 cup); 3 pieces steamed broccoli; soy sauce; barley tea (mild and earthy and weird)

Later: 1 glass white wine

Today we have our beer-making lesson.
I'm going to try to get a workout in at the hotel before that :) It's raining so we'd just as soon stay here than walk around Asheville today.

I feel like I'm going to have a loss on Monday's weigh-in. Feeling lighter :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

not weigh day

I've moved my weigh day to Monday to provide some extra motivation over the weekends. I think when I initially set my weigh day as Saturday a part of me wasn't wanting weekend eating to effect weigh ins...I know it all works out the same and doesn't really matter, but maybe it'll provide a psychological boost.
That being said, I did weigh in this morning because I've been doing that most mornings and I'm down a pound from last Monday. Up .4 from yesterday which, I think, is because I ate much, much later than usual. So, I weigh 164.4 but it's not 'official' until Monday :)

I feel like I've had a great week! I haven't had sugar in 8 days, I've been journaling when I remember and I'm starting to remember to take pics. I've remembered my multi a few days, been good about water and fruits and veggies. I've been walking just a little in the neighborhood. I plan to step that up quite a bit this week. Today we're going back to Asheville because we didn't get to do Ryan's beer homebrew lesson last time when he got sick - this time will actually be better because it's for beginners. But, I hope to get plenty of exercise walking around there as long as it doesn't rain all day...which it very well might. Sigh... It's all good though.

Here's yesterday's food journal.

Breakfast: 2 veggie links, Ezekiel toast with olive oil (~1 tsp) and nutritional yeast (~1 tbsp.)
Lunch: baked potato bar at work - 1 baked potato, lots of broccoli, cheddar cheese (?), salsa, salt and pepper
Snack: apple, rice cake and almond butter; handful of blue corn chips
Dinner: veggie burger with 2 slices veggie bacon, pickles, lettuce, ketchup, mustard and a high fiber whole wheat bun; 1/2 package of plain baked lays (split a 3 serving package with Ryan)

Friday, March 13, 2009


Yesterday - March 12 - Journal
Breakfast: smoothie with frozen raspberries and strawberries, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tsp. flaxseed oil and 8 oz. diluted unsweetened cranberry juice (~1 part juice, 7 parts water)
Lunch: bagel sandwich with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, roasted red pepper hummus and TONS of veggies
Snack: apple (I packed almonds but they tasted off)
Dinner: salad with garbanzo beans and tons more veggies (cabbage, carrots, red pepper, cucumber and romaine); salad dressing with 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 2 tsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. flaxseed oil

I felt hungry and probably could've eaten more, but I get home late Thursdays and don't like eating late. I usually put yogurt in the smoothie, but we're out - I'd usually have more snack too.

We finished our standardized ESL tests at work! Yay! We're boxing them up and turning them in to central office today. This is exciting because 1) it's been going on for weeks, 2) the kids are extremely impatient and frustrated that I haven't been able to pull them, 3) it won't be hanging over our heads during spring break...which starts after school TODAY!!! :) Yay!

Bad news with one of our cars (the one Ryan drives) - it was rattling a little, so Ryan took it in to get an oil change and have the tires rotated...long story-short it needed $900 worth of work! Ug. That hurts. It was out of alignment and some tire rod had worn down and was almost broken. Then there was something cracked and leaking on the engine. And because it had been out of alignment 2 of the tires were worn down and needed to be replaced. Plus little things like the oil change and replacing the windshield wipers. The labor is the big part of it though. So - he has my car today while his is at the shop and I'm getting a ride in and back from work.
I'm due for my regular service at 120,000 miles - that's a big one too.
Good thing we just last week made a budget and talked about saving for car maintenance and repairs. We decided we'd each save $100 a month toward that so now we can just think of the repairs as coming from that and that we have $300 left for the remainder of the year for that car....although that's just a comfort for our heads because we hadn't actually had that plan in place for more than 1 week.

I was really stressed about class yesterday - I just feel lost, as I keep going on about. I don't know what it is about me, but if I don't understand something fundamental about an article I'm reading I have a really hard time feeling comfortable 'getting the gist of it' and moving on. It tears me up. I either figure it out or agonize. To make another long story short, my prof asked for my comments about something (there were only 2 of us in class, so there was a lot of pressure) and I didn't answer and instead got up my courage to say that I needed to ask some questions first - she thought they were really good questions and kept saying so and that she wasn't sure she could even answer them well - and she spent a pretty long time addressing them and talking about the fact that they are huge, long-standing issues in the field. I felt better after that because I realized that she didn't just sigh and ask me to talk to her after class or scold me or look down on me with her manner.
Hopefully I'll have a lot of time to study and work on that class over break. I just need to get through the semester - just to the end of April, I think.

I'm off to get ready for my last day before break! Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

doing alright

I finally got batteries for my camera so I can post pics again.
Yesterday was just fine - I did get way to hungry between lunch and dinner but it wasn't a disaster.
Breakfast - apple with almond butter.
Lunch - brown rice, steamed veggies, and teriyaki tempeh
Snacks - carrots and roasted red pepper hummus, 4 blue chips, rice cake with almond butter (too much almond butter)
Dinner - leftover cheese tortellini with steamed veggies and pesto

If I do well today (and I totally plan to...everything's packed), I will have gone 1 week without sugar. No sugar = no binges = happier me. Well...that's 1 week without sugary treats - I'm not counting foods that probably have sugar, but aren't sugary treats. Like - last Friday I had veggie lettuce wraps from PF Chang's and the sauce probably had sugar....anyway - it's an improvement. I realized I keep losing the same 5-10 pounds over and over, but I'm down to 164.2 today from 165.4 on Monday and that's encouraging to me. I was worried I would do well this week but not lose at all because I would be regaining from having strep and not eating much.

I keep having recession dreams. Last night there was hardly any food left in the grocery store and the custodian from school was there working a 2nd job (in my dream). We started the year with 3 custodians and so far 2 have been laid off. It's so sad. The director is doing everything she can to avoid cutting teachers - we've cut programs, supplies, buses (now each bus runs double duty), support staff....I hope everyone gets to come back next year.
Okay - no point dwelling on that. I'm off to work.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

being reasonable

After I posted yesterday all about how great I felt not eating sugar right now, I had all these sugar cravings! I don't know if it was blogging about it or that I didn't have enough of a lunch or what....
But I was able to think about how I'd feel - physically and emotionally - if I ate sugar and decided against it.
I ate as planned yesterday - I had the lasagna for dinner. I was so hungry when I got home from school, that I put that in the oven right away and ate by 5. Before that I had a half a rice cake with almond butter and a handful of blue corn sesame chips while I was waiting. I also had a 100 calorie kettle corn pack at school.
I went out to the disc golf course with Ryan and walked while he played. Didn't eat anything else the rest of the day.
I only walked about a mile, but it was hilly and better than nothing. I'm just trying to stay in the habit of getting any exercise at all.

Last night I planned my meals out for today. I had planned to have a smoothie for breakfast but woke up at 4 after doing something tretcherous to my back - I think I pinched a nerve - I could barely move, took some advil and laid on an ice pack for a while before I got up. By that point I needed a quick breakfast so I had an apple with almond butter (which I'd planned as my snack) and I'll just have the smoothie for snack.

I'm cautiously positive right now.
I'm working a bit on housework everyday to catch up and things are looking better. I'm starting to listen to my 7 Habits cds. I'm pretty much hanging in there with my schoolwork. I know that doesn't sound too awesome, but it's the best I can hope for right now. The stuff is just way over my head. I feel like I don't have the appropriate prerequisites...anyway....I'll muddle through.
I'm eating pretty sensibly and enjoying eating less and feeling lighter.
I have my sights set on some goal weights for upcoming 'events'. I'd love to be below 160 by the time I get back from spring break (starts next week - goes for 2 weeks). I'd really be proud of myself if I could be back in my 10s (for me - about 135 pounds) by our 5 year anniversary and family-reunion-type event over 4th of July weekend.
So far, so good.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

better without sugar

I'm back at work and feeling relatively healthy! Luckily, since yesterday was a county-wide sick day, I didn't have to take any days off work.
I've been off sugar again since I got sick - today is the 5th day. I feel a lot better without sugar. I'm sure it wouldn't matter if I had a little, but if I had a little it would probably snow ball into a lot - I don't have a great track record there. I'm not having cravings....just commenting.

Yesterday I went to class and cleaned when I got home until after midnight. It felt great to make a dent in the disaster area that is my house.
We're having a hard time keeping up with chores with me always sick or recovering from being sick or scrambling to make up work that wasn't done when I was sick (or wasn't done because I didn't get it done) in time for a deadline. Ryan's exhausted from his hour and 15 minute drive to and from his internship everyday. Plus it's hard for him to get motivated to do his half of the chores when I'm not doing my half. Sometimes that irks me - like on Sunday when I woke up after a marathon 11 hour fever-filled night of sleep to see that Ryan was still there beside me. It makes me feel like 'mom'. Like, if I don't get up and set an example, no matter what the differences in our circumstances are, nothing will get done. I'm not saying I don't appreciate him or everything he does (like cooking, etc.), because I am extremely grateful for him, but I don't want to be mom. So I'm just going to try to get the rest of the cleaning finished this afternoon and then we'll just have regular chores to keep up with everyday. At this point it doesn't matter who does what - I just don't want it hanging over my head.

Eating has been fine since I haven't been allowing myself sugar. Of course, those days of not being able to swallow anything but soup helped keep the calories low too.

Today, so far, I've had an apple for breakfast and a bowl of brown rice, steamed veggies, teriyaki tempeh and cashews for lunch.
For dinner I'm going to see if our leftover lasagna is still good and have that if it is. If not, I'll have leftover tortellini with pesto or a veggie burger. I haven't decided.

For exercise...last week Ryan and I made that commitment to walk at least 20 minutes a day together, and for the days I've been home we've done well. Even on the really sick days we took a leisurely stroll around the block. If it's not raining we have a walking date today.
I haven't been counting calories or sticking to any plan, but I feel really good right now and think I'm going to just try to keep up with no sugar and 20 minute walks (as min. exercise standard) for now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

this is ridiculous

Well - I can't believe it but I have strep again. This has been the worst year for illness in our county. Schools were actually closed Friday and will be again Monday because of it.
I've definitely been sick more than anyone, but I'm never alone with it - someone always has something - or more like a dozen 'someones'.
It's hard not to feel guilty and stupid over it. I'm such a worrier. Ug.
I have so much work to do, but I'm not sure how I'm going to - My heartrate's been hovering around 120 lying down for awhile now, so all I really want to do is lie as still as possible and try to lower it. I guess elevated heartrates are normal with fever and pain but it freaks me out!
Well...guess I'm off to the couch.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yesterday was okay-ish...I mean - judging by very low standards (i.e. not stopping and buying my usual junk food at any store) it was better. Calorie-wise - better. Not super.
I had a banana and yogurt for breakfast.
I had a big salad with lots of veggies, garbanzo beans, ~1/8 cup of cashews and dressing with flaxseed oil, olive oil and red wine vinegar for lunch.
After school I made nachos....yeah - not so good. I also had a handful of Thai Kettle chips.
The nachos were made of 3 handfuls of corn chips (about a single layer of chips on a medium dinner plate), ~1/2 cup of black beans, cheese sprinkled on top (probably 1/4 c.) and salsa.
I totally skipped dinner but did have 2 squares of dark chocolate.
I really don't do well with afternoons, do I? :)

I know I don't deserve a pat on the back for not eating multiple candy bars, but I actually do feel a lot better this morning. I'm not in that sugar-hangover fog.
I'm still gnat-like in my ability to focus, though.

I was thinking of looking into books about sugar - like Sugar Busters, for example, and just reading about the ways in which it's harmful, why it's so addictive, etc. This sugar thing...obsession...fixation...whatever you want to call it, is a big part of my life and I really should learn more about it. At the very least, maybe it would help motivate (or guilt) me into making it easier to avoid. If I could just get this sugar habit licked, I think I'd have a really good foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

I love veggies. Broccoli and red cabbage are 2 of my favorite foods right up there with raspberries and chocolate. I love whole grains and always prefer them by taste & texture to white flour-based products. I love beans, tofu, low-fat yogurt, tempeh, fruit, nuts, etc....all the good stuff. I don't like fried foods or fast foods at all with the exception of Indian fried foods (pakora, samosas). I prefer to drink water and never have soda with the very, very occasional exception of a natural ginger brew. The only juice I drink is highly diluted unsweetened cranberry juice and the only 'teas' I drink are really just 'herbal infusions' (don't know if this is a good thing, but at the very least it's neutral - no caffeine, calories, etc.).

These habits aren't because I'm disciplined (obviously) - it's just the way my tastes naturally lean. If I don't descend into a sugary, bingey, state of zero control, I think I'd do alright. I don't have to learn to dress up or choke down healthy foods. I don't have to be taught about normal portions.
But that's the tricky part for a lot of people, right? Just tackling that one, huge, ugly demon.

If, in a moment of sugar-craving or too-hungry/low energy weakness, I were offered a plate of steamed veggies, tofu and rice OR a bowl of ice cream, I really think I'd go for option #1. Maybe the key is to just have those foods readily available to me because I know if I have to spend 45 minutes making it, I'll go for option #2 in a heartbeat.

I'll work on that this weekend and see if it helps. Maybe I do have some sense in me afterall!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Even though I had the real food right here in front of me I always liked seeing my meals pop up in picture form & for the world to see (theoretically) on this page, so I'm going to try that again.
I just posted my breakfast (a banana and a carton of strawberry yogurt), lunch (salad with lots of veggies and garbanzo beans - dressing is 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil, 1 tsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar), snack (apple and cashews - some of which may wind up in my salad), and my mulitvitamins.

I'm sort of cringing as I type this 'plan-for-the-day' because the way I am with my 'plans', I keep telling myself I should just post what I do instead of what I kind of think I'm maybe going to do.
But anyway, I'm going to try to write down what I eat and enter it into SparkPeople the next morning while I have my tea. (I drink a huge, 3 cup mug of tea every morning to get a jump on hydration, but it takes me awhile). And Ryan and I have made a committment to each other to, at minimum, go on a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood every day that I'm here in the evenings (i.e., not Monday or Thursday). I feel good this morning, so we'll see how it goes :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WW drop-out

Just dropping by since it seems I haven't posted in more than a week...
I've been reading and lurking but not feeling talkative.
The way things have been going these past few months, it's no surprise that I've been off plan, but I am trying to do positive things in other ways like schoolwork, work-work, getting organized, making a budget, etc.

I don't know why I've been struggling so much.
Yesterday I was soooooo exhausted all day after sleeping ~6 hours (not enough for me, but still, the extreme level of exhaustion was a little silly). I set my alarm to get 8 hours last night but overslept and got 9 - it was like I just was physically incapable of budging into consciousness. Then I felt sort of dizzy and woozy and distant and just crappy for hours until this afternoon. Not sure what's going on, but right now I feel short of breath and just blah so I know I need to need to need to crack down on getting my health on track - this isn't even about the scale right now although that's one measure of whether or not I'm doing healthy things for my body.

So - I'm dropping out of Weight Watchers because I never use their tools, don't follow the plan and don't need to pay them for me to sit on my tush and whine.
I think it's a fine plan that does work and did work quite effortlessly for me (to the tune of -18 pounds) for 2 1/2 months before I fell off the wagon in truly spectacular fashion. That was October and I haven't picked myself back up yet, so it's time to move on.
What I'm thinking is that if I'm on plan and tracking my food or counting something about what I'm eating or looking up nutritional values of food, it could just as well be through a free site like SparkPeople that gives me detailed nutritional info as through WW which only gives me points info. Plus, when I did that detox week and tracked everything through both sites, it did concern me that I could be eating so clean and healthy and mostly under 1200 calories a day and still come in at or above my daily points allowance.
I'm not knocking WW, but I just feel like it's not for me right now.

I had good intentions today, packed all my food and gym clothes, but then got so busy at work that I didn't have a bite to eat until 2 PM and was too low energy for a workout.
I left the food that I didn't eat in the fridge at work, so I just need to pack another salad for lunch tomorrow and try again to have an on-track day.

We have a 2 week spring break coming up next week and the week after, and besides attending an ESL conference the first little bit of that, I'm going to try to take the time to reformulate my daily operations around here. Ryan's mom is visiting that first weekend, and mine may or may not be popping in sometime, but that's all good.

I'm still thinking that the way to go for me is focusing on clean, organic-when-possible, whole foods. I'm also considering switching from birth control pills to "natural family planning" and going off my allergy meds and just using my neti pot and keeping the house super clean, etc. I feel like my body is more unhappy with me than it usually would be from just not eating the best and I want to eliminate as many variables as I can in trying to figure out the exhaustion and such.

I'll try to be around more regularly, but it's not easy to get motivated to post stupid decisions, whines, binges, and that sort of thing. I'd be much more prolific if I were having more success.