Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I woke up thinking about how this all relates in my life, and it most certainly does especially in the past few years. For one reaching goal weight, when I got there I was excited that moment on the scale, then what? When I train for a race, what happens when I get over the excitement of finishing it? The training, the healthy eating, the preparation, is really what it is all about, not only achieving the goal. The health benefit is in the getting to the goal not the number on the scale or the time it took me to finish one race. The process is what brings good health.
Of course it is great to achieve goals; however, I need to really put perspective there and be prepared, what's next. I have to set more goals beyond to not allow myself to reach that state of "Oh no" what am I going to do next! Let down with no where to do, is a sure trigger for failure. The tricky part is not focusing on that, but what I must do today, and being right here right now.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in what seems so important and must get done. Laundry and dishes and grocery shopping. Yes, it must be done. I just hope that I can get beyond that thinking and thinking about it all the time, plan better so that when I am not doing everyday tasks I can enjoy what I am doing. I have to say that over the past week, I have enjoyed my youngest child's birthday and then Hanukkah with my family. It was really nice to not pressure myself to do anything much. I played games with the kids, put together paper star wars models with my youngest, and just spent general time really relaxing. I have felt good and seems I have even managed to get more done. How does that work? Not really sure. Perhaps, the fact that I just didn't stress over what I should be doing. Amazing how that all works out.
Last night I cooked a great meal for my family and we enjoyed chatting and eating. My husband had to go back to work today, which is a bummer and I have lots of things to work on. I have finished up all my knitting projects and need to start another one. This time of the year I can't stand to not have one going. I had some deadlines of projects for gifts and then I finished up my felted yoga mat bag (which I still need to felt).
I have a huge stack of books to get to, plus I need to study. I find that having a plan for what I am going to do when, really helps. If it is all scheduled out it all gets done without too much worry and I hope to enjoy what I am doing when I am doing it.
Seems a simple task, sometimes just not as simple as it seems.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
For many years, I would set that resolution, like so many others to lose weight, to be healthy, you know the drill. Many of you have been there yourselves. After awhile I finally decided that I wasn't even going to set any New Year's Resolution, mostly because I failed miserably year after year. It only brought on lack of desire and confidence from being disappointed in myself for not achieving my goals. Eventually, I did achieve these goals but they really didn't have anything to do with New Year's Resolutions. About 5 years ago, I just decided that I would set small realistic goals for myself throughout the whole year. Weight loss goals, fitness goals, family goals you name it. All written in a little journal, dated when I achieved the goal. (if it was the sort you can pin point a date) You can only imagine my excitement when I could sit with my legs crossed for the first time in 10 yrs! Sounds trite I know, however, it was a really big deal to me. My list looked something like this:
- cross my legs when sitting in a chair
- be able to put my water bottle between my legs when driving (at the time no cup holders in the car)
- climb a rock wall (I WAS terrified of heights, now only a bit queasy)
- learn to swim (with my face in the water)
- be able to buy clothes in a store that isn't for 'plus' sizes
- run a half marathon
- do a triathlon
That's just a few, and as you can see some goals are bigger than others; however, my confidence has increased tenfold not matter the size of my goals. I have achieved all of these goals except the last. I debated not writing it, then decided that I would because despite all odds someday I will do a little triathlon.
I continue all the time to add to this list, to make adjustments where needed and not be so ridgid with myself. I sit as I am typing cold but still drinking my green smoothie for breakfast. Why because another small goal I set for myself. As the weather started getting colder, I found myself not drinking them. Also, I found myself more tired and less goal oriented, letting things go. So my goal is to drink it anyway, even if I have to chase it with a hot cup of tea.
Even though I set goals all year long, and allow myself the flexability to change them as needed I am going to set some goals for this coming year. Here they are:
- I am going to continue to persue my MS in Holistic Nutrition, despite how much I am challenged to get the work done and adjust my schedule. I have proven to myself that I can learn (despite my age) and do really well in school. I hope to make good strides in getting closer to graduation this year.
- I am going to continue to exercise and challenge myself to reach new levels of fitness, including adding yoga on a regular basis, even if it means doing it alone at home. Add weight training, and getting myself back on my bike (when the snow is gone) and back in the pool (which I haven't swam since I left WA)
- I will continue to teach (mostly by example) the desire to live a healthy life, through foods and fitness to my children.
- I will start to plan my first 'real' garden during the winter so that I will be ready when spring comes.
There you have it. I do think that these are all reasonable goals that I can achieve this year. I am going to be setting smaller goals to reach these bigger ones. I will come back to this next year and see where I stand.
What are your goals for yourself next year? Please share I would love to hear about them....
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
First I have to share this link: This is a post by a friend of mine at Studio J. The video she put on her blog has a powerful message. It blew me away. Go now. Watch and then come back here.
When I first started watching I thought... Why in the world did she put this video on here, but I kept watching because, I knew there had to be something to it and there was... if you have a daughter(or even a son) please watch. Really what is our society doing to us?
Then it led me to thinking about another blog post I read. Generally speaking I love this blog and read it regularly. So if you didn't read it, sorry I wont post it here. I mean no harm. Just have to share my own opinion as a person that is studying in the nutritional field(I am not at a mainstream school that teaches by the USDA guidelines). The writer of this blog posted a chart that she felt was appropriate MAX weight for individuals for their height. I was stunned, the writer was adament that medical charts we are used to using were basically wrong to have a range. Holy crap, her chart said that I should weigh no more than 112 lbs! for my 5' 5'' body. YIKES! I wont deny that I would like to weight less than I do now, but if my medical professional told me that I should weigh no more than that number, I would give up. (most people would get discouraged and hit the twinkie bar)For some maybe they can, for MOST they never will. Self esteem is more important than reaching number that low on a scale!
I feel that having a range, IS a better option as it is far better to weigh 150 at 5' 5'' than 265! From a professional standpoint, it is unrealistic to counsel a client/patient to this standard... hence I really started thinking after watching the video. Do we really expect EVERYONE to live to hollywood and the media's standards to be considered healthy(ie worthy). No offense, but many of those people are not healthy(even at 112lbs), they starve themselves and exercise obsessively to stay that way not to mention surgeries and all the other procedures they do to themselves. I wont say all celebreties, because perhaps there are some out there that are 'normally healthy'.
I know that I could run faster with less weight however, I really don't run to be fast, I run to clear my mind and exercise my heart. I accept this. My calling is not to be an elite runner, just a healthy one. I really hope that my daughter (or sons for that matter) or yours, do not ever feel they are not good enough because their body isn't that tiny. Truth be told we can not and will not all be that small no matter what we do, and for some it will be an obsession and become what the video link above depicts. I don't wish that wanting and pain on anyone. Life is too precious and a size 10 just isn't that big in the scheme of things. I absolutely despise this about our media, young teens are highyly affected by what they read and see.
With that off to my third thing. Promise its not near as deep or controversial, but still close to my heart. It's the cost of water... yes water.... I love that add (above)and they have another that says something to the effect of 'I dont need any fancy bottle and caps'.
Water bottles, they are all over the gym, they are everywhere. Water it's so important. It makes up 60 % of your body and without it, our bodies can not function, all the way down to the cellular level. (if the cells don't funtion, neither will you) so here's my point. Drink water AND be aware of how many times do you buy bottled water? Did you know that if you bought a reusable water bottle you could save as much as $1400 a year! Wow!!!
I know your next thought, but I refill the bottles until they are falling apart- well they fall apart because the plastic is breaking down, into your water! which means that you are drinking all the 'stuff' that they use to make the water bottles, at a cost to your body especially your liver, which is trying to keep your body free of toxins.
Here's a bit of info on plastic bottles with PET #1 copied from an article here: Polyethylene terephalate (PET or PETE) – Used in soft drink, juice, water, beer, mouthwash, peanut butter, salad dressing, detergent and cleaner containers. Leaches Antimony trioxide: workers exposed to antimony trioxide for long periods of time have exhibited respiratory and skin irritation; among female workers, increased incidence of menstrual problems and miscarriage; their children exhibited slower development in the first twelve months of life. The longer a liquid is left in such a container the greater the concentration of antimony released into the liquid.
I would never tell anyone to not use any plastics, but to educate yourself and make choices as to what you want. Never having any plastics would be really tough. Choose wisely. My husband called me today from work to tell me he finally understands why I choose to not reheat food in plastic containers in the microwave (along with my other plastic issues). He used a plastic knife at work to score an orange and peel it he said there was a black strip of stuff on the orange, first thought it was a worm, strangely enough it wasn't. It was the knife breaking down onto the orange. I can finally buy him some metal silverware for his lunches! Hurray! Yes, it may cost a bit more to have 'real' silverware in your lunch box, but in the long run I doubt it. Please consider reusable/washable bottles and containers to carry lunch and picnic foods. For water at home it is less expensive in the long run to put a filtration system in your house and even less to get a pur or brita filter to just fill your reusable bottles. It will decrease the landfills (please recycle) and even better why even recycle in the first place. In the matter of fact a gallon of Dasani would cost you about $8 a gallon. (This could vary depending on brand, price and location and these figured are based on $1.50 for a 20oz Dasani)We thought gas was expensive!
So I guess what I am saying is we really have to think of The true cost of things. Our emotional well being, our physical health, and our environment. What do we want for ourselves and our families now and in the future. Sometime the costs of things weighs far more than the effects on our checkbooks. Somethings are priceless we can not buy them nor replace them once they are damaged or gone. Make the best choices possible in every situation. I wish each one of you, good health and happiness.....
Namaste (the spirit in me, bows to you and respects the spirit in you)
PS. I am in a very thinking mood and yes I missed my yoga class today.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This is when I really started focusing on learning even more about nutrition. Hence the addition of this ol' mom going back to school. I digress. I started learning that sometimes us Americans have gotten so far away from nature, that even in our eating patterns we have really done ourselves a disservice. What do I mean?
Aside from the fact that many of our very own children don't have a clue about where food comes from besides Price Chopper/Albertsons/Safeway, some children are even mortified by the fact that their food grew in the dirt, and maybe even had bugs on it(Vitamin B-12- another post). How did we get to this point? It is just too easy to go into the store and pick up the first box with pretty writing that says 'All Natural' if it was truly all natural would it be in a box? So many people say, I can't afford to buy vegetables right now. Why? We are programed that we are supposed to eat salad EVERY day to be healthy, truth be known that spinach doesn't grow in upstate NY in the winter. So What do I do? Of course out of season vegetables are going to be more expensive when they are out of season. Ever tried to buy a watermelon in February? Not only is it expensive but it is not tasty, nor did it retain it's nutrients for the thousands of miles it's traveled. So why buy it?
Winter has its own vegetables that grow, harvest season by nature is in October! This is when SO many of our fabulous winter vegetables are ready to be eaten. Nature is an amazing thing and we should all spend more time thinking about how much we have deviated from this and how to get back to it. It's amazing because, I went to visit a local farm a few weeks ago and stocked up so now in my basement (used to be known as a root cellar because that is where all root veggies were stored for the winter) I have spaghetti squash, delicata squash, acorn squash butternut squash and about 70 lbs of fresh local grown spuds! This is where most of my winter meals will come from! When bought in season these vegetables are cheap and are in their best nutritious state! Ever bought a pumpkin in May? Of course not, this is because you can't get them. This is the thought process we should have for MOST veggies. Sadly most of us don't.
I have to admit that I have struggled with this myself. More last winter than I will this one. It doesn't mean that I wont miss my cucumbers, it will mean I will love them that much more next summer. I can't say that I will never eat them all winter. I will spend more time focusing on what's available and in season, knowing that all my favorites are coming back next year and they will taste even better.
The reason that winter vegetables and fruits cycle is amazing. In the summer when it's hot we need more water, we do not necessarily drink all we need, so nature has provided us with high water content foods like watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes and berries. In the winter when we need warmth, although the media would disagree, we would naturally need more insulation hence heavier foods that may even put a few pounds on us. This is a natural process for humans that goes way back. We didn't used to gain weight from Christmas cookies so please don't get confused with that. This winter, try to stick to warming soups and chilli's that use produce in season or closer to it. Not only will your health notice but so will your checkbook. If you must splurge once in awhile do it, but just remember it is not your only option.
Changing our thinking is hard, however, we can do this in a slow process and be successful in it. The rewards will be there, in every way. I am looking forward to sharing more great winter recipes with all of you! We can eat our veggies in the winter. Fruits too.
PS: I am practically living off of apples right now, I can't even express how grateful I am to be living in a such a place that is so full of delicious apples!! Yummy!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
This recipe is from Veganomicon Isa Chandra Moskowitz of The Post Punk Kitchen.
Are you ready??
Black Bean Burgers
2 Cups cooked Black beans or 15 oz can drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vital Wheat Gluten
1/2 plain whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tsp chile powder (or more if you like more spice, I will add more next time)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup water
1 T tomato paste (or ketchup)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional, I did not use it)
2 cloves of garlic (or all the garlic you own)
1/2 small onion
@ 2 tablespoons olive oil plus olive oil spray (I did not use spray, I had no problems browning on both sides)
Whole Wheat Buns ( I made mine from Tam's Best Yet Whole Wheat Bread)
Mash the beans in a mixing bowl, don't puree them just mash till no whole beans were left. ( I still left a few and mashing will help the burgers stay together) Add Wheat Gluten, Bread Crumbs, chile Powder, cumin, water, and tomato paste (cilantro if using) don't mix yet... use a micro plane grater of garlic press and add garlic, do the same with onion, I actually just finely diced the onion. Mix together with a fork, then proceed to knead until the mixture is completely mixed and firm.
Preheat skillet with oil. Divide mixture into six balls and proceed to cook, a few at a time as you need to really flatten them out so they will cook all the way through. Press with a spatula while cooking, turn to brown both sides. The patties will be firm when finished.
I suppose that you could really get creative with the seasoning, of these burgers and season any style you liked. They were simple to make and we just added some veggies and fruit and had a complete meal.
I would love to know what you all think.
Veganomicon is quickly become my favorite cookbook. I have only had it for a few weeks now. I had a 40% off coupon for borders and I am so glad that I brought it home. I have tried 3 or 4 recipes from it all a success so far, eaten by the whole family. Nothing is better than a meal that passes by all 5 of us!
* Just a hint I use when cooking, I will make notes in my cookbooks after making a recipe for the first time, what I would like to do to make the recipe better, tastier, mistakes I made etc. I really helps. Sometimes I will just write Dud.... if we didn't like it at all.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Here's a great soup recipe It's delicious, easy and vegan, and I just can't stop thinking about and in the matter of fact, I am going to make it again this week... Not to mention those yummy spuds that I have in abundance and need to eat.
Corn and Potato Chowder
2 TBS Vegetable Oil (I think I used coconut oil)
2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 medium onion
1 leek (white part only, saved the rest for broth)
2 cups corn kernels (I used frozen, or cut from 4 cobs, wouldn't that be yummy)
2 medium russet potatoes (I used our eastern whites, might be fun to try with yams too)
5 cups rich vegetable broth
2TBS chopped fresh basil or 2 t dried
1 t chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 t dried
salt and pepper to taste
In a pot over medium heat, warm the oil, add carrots, celery, onion, and leek, stirring until soft. (10 min)
Add the corn, potatoes, broth, thyme and basil. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is reduced to just cover the ingredients (I admit I didn't pay much attention to this part, and I added a bit of garlic too)
In batches transfer into the blender and blend, I only blended a portion of it (maybe half) as I really like more texture to my soup. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy...
*This recipe if from The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley (here)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
On top of it all, I finished a very challenging class, Physiology and Anatomy of the Digestive Process, I learned more than one would really ever imagine about intestinal function, balance and yes microbes (otherwise known as intestinal bugs, bacteria, microflora etc....) I have been ruined for life in eating fast without chewing my food fully and I guess that is just ok by me! I feel even better than I did before.
I just got off the phone with my sister and it's been awhile since we have really talked, I always feel so good after a conversation like this because so many people don't feel the way I do about food, or really get it, Denise does. How many people are excited to hear about what you are storing in your pantry and how you are preparing food, and how it makes you feel? I guess that is why I come here, because many of you (not that there are that many of you) feel the same way, and I need to connect with others out there.
In the mist of family chaos, I have managed to maintain healthy whole foods in my diet. Yeah! Not an easy task being I barely sat in my own house. I have tried many new recipes, most have been a total success. My favorite is a vegan corn and potato chowder. I will share that info soon as I really feel like everyone should try it at least once! I really can't stop thinking about it, and being that I have 70 lbs of potatoes I must use them up. Remember the pototoes we dug up with the scouts. Well they are SOOOO good I don't think I could ever buy another store potato again! I have made SO many recipes with them. Veganomicon is filled with little markers of recipes to try.
I haven't made it to the gym much, but I am happy to report that I am back on schedule this past week. My gym added indoor cycling and that is fabulous. I just love it. I am hoping in the next few weeks to regain my regular routine of school, gym, and cooking during the day and find myself having a good time with the family in the evenings. I have been knitting a yoga mat bag ,that will be felted, and I am really happy with how it is turning out. I am finishing up the strap now and I will post photos of it, before and after felting. I find knitting to be very mediative and relaxing and even if I am watching tv and such in the evenings, I feel that I am being productive as well.
What has everyone else been up too?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
If you saw it please bear with me, and if not, I will explain. Each week the contestants are given a challenge, and the first one came in the form of a big advertisement for a book. The book Eat This Not That, and it's author was 'advertised' on the show. Then the contestants played a little game, blue team against black team. The host and author showed two plates of food and then the contestant had to decide if they should eat this or that. (the book just shows photos and says eath this not that) I was crawling out of my skin looking at the options. One choice was between Chicken enchiladas with the works or 18 light beers! Each had just about a whole days calories and NO absolutely NO nutrition. I was appalled.
This book is a best seller, in the matter of fact he has two Eat This Not That books now. I have looked at them in the stores to see what the hypen was about and never even considered purchasing it. I am completely disappointed in the fact that NONE of the options put on the table were nutritionally sound, there was barely a vegetable on the table (with exception of a green salad and a Caesar salad) nor fruit. Shouldn't' these people be promoting something else, like NOT eating in fast food joints. One 1100 calorie meal is not what one should eat EVER! imagine how much fresh produce, even beans and nuts, you would have to eat in one meal to equal that amount of calories!
Would love to hear anyone Else's thoughts on the matter. I hope not to offend, however to get healthy and lose weight one much decide to give up these foods completely unless they want to lose the weight and gain it right back. Permant changes to fresh foods is imperative for successful weight loss/balance.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Denise has always had a drive to be a doctor and it's amazing that from 2ND grade when she wrote a paper about it she never looked back! That is total dedication, I have so enjoyed getting to see the medical side of her through her book and her blog posts.
So now for the good stuff. I am going to pick one random person to win a copy of her book. All you have to do is either: Leave a comment stating... if you have read it-Your favorite part in the book Permission To Mother or What you hope to get out of reading it! Oh and feel free to write any other tidbits.....
I will draw a winner to be announced Thursday evening. Check back for the winner and be sure that if you are the winner you send me your shipping info so I can mail your prize to you... Stay tuned!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I wish I could say that I know how it works. I think it's mostly momentum, like an avalanche, once you gain confidence or the ability to do something that you couldn't do before I had to celebrate. I can't even express the excitement I felt when I could cross my legs again. Then there was the goal to climb a climbing wall (despite my fear of heights I did it). There was the half marathon and many short races. Each time I did something I couldn't do before, it was a chance to celebrate. I kept a journal, and still have it to look at. There are still goals I would like to accomplish.
For the most part, I face my fears and do my best to put them to rest. (OK still dealing with the heights thing) Each step is toward a new day and a better me. It is the only way. It was not only about calories, food and exercise (although its a big part) but dealing with the reason I hid behind my size and my emotions.
For everyone out there trying to lose weight, You can do it. If I did it, so can you. So take my belief in you and use it until you have it in yourself. Share you victories!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The dilemma for me is what happens when I run on the treadmill. I just can't seem to set the speed to match the pace I run outside and if I do, I feel like I am sprinting and I get winded so easily. I am being really conscious of my posture and keeping my chest open etc.... Is it just because I find treadmill running boring that I feel like I don't have the conditioning to do it? What do you do in the winter for running when the snow hits and the streets are icy? (if you have that problem) Anyone ever ran with yaktrax (I think that's what they are called).
I am finally back to running without knee pain (after 3 years of barely running at all) and I really don't want to lose it due to the snow and crappy weather that I know is coming. Do any of you have running gear that's made for cold/freezing temperatures? Is it worth the expense? I really want to train for another half marathon this spring?