Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quiche & hot tubbing in the snow

I was on the phone yesterday talking with a co-worker about nothing even closely related to eggs & cheese when it hit me....I smelled quiche, I could taste quiche. MUST HAVE QUICHE!  Odd to have something hit me like that, so aromatic, so delicious, and so nonexistent. I'm thinking I can chalk a portion of the craving up to "that time of the month" because this week, unlike last week, I WANT to eat stuff, anything, lots of it, barely even chew it.  So far, I'm resisting the urges pretty well.

Friday (tomorrow) will be a long one and I am going to have to fit my running/walking in during early morning hours before hitting the office. Not overly happy about that but it's worth it since in the evening, I am gathering with 3 dear friends to don bathing suits (YES, bathing suits) and scurry outside to the hot tub. Boil me like a potato - I can't wait!!!  Does boiling oneself in hot water burn more calories? Are there detoxifying benefits?

We've all agreed to have healthy snacks during our gathering to help me and my pal Linda (also a BTWG recruit) stay the course, but I admit -- I have not totally ruled out one glass of wine for myself, calories allowing by day's end.  I mean, come on - outdoor hot tub, lovely snowy landscape to behold,  4 middle-age-hotties bobbing about in their one-piece bathing suits, and no wine????  It's hard for me to picture my hand empty in that scenario since in the past it's never been.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at Alison's house this Saturday and at yoga Saturday morning. Until then, keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Recipe - Fatoosh Salad

For those who like crunch in their food, here's a simple salad sans lettuce!

1 cup cucumber diced (I use baby cukes because they are so much crisper)
1 cup tomatoes diced 
1/4 cup onion diced
mint leaves diced (or you can use dried mint leaves)
juice of lemon, about 4-5 tablespoons
2 tsp of olive oil (or less)
1 Arnold Select Multigrain bread round (available at Kroger - only 100 calories, good fiber)

Combine veggies and mint. Add lemon juice and oil. Stir well.  Separate bread round into 2 pieces and toast. When toasted, cut bread into small pieces. Add to veggies.

Pizza isn't worth it

See this guy...does he remind you of times when eating too much, then slumping on the couch and holding your rumbling tummy to recover was common place? I had a brief flashback last night. after a stunning weigh-in on Monday morning (stunning in a fabulous sort of way, not the deer-in-the-headlights way), I got a little careless.

After carefully packing food to last me through another day that would begin early and not end until around 9pm when I got home, I had a brain fart. I walked out of the house that morning with only 1/2 of my food stash. 

NOT TO WORRY! At work, I have a reserve food stash and so the day - up until 5:00 - went well. That's when I trotted off to attend a volunteer meeting - again without my food - AND with my aerobic run still to be done post-meeting.  That's when the meeting organizer brought in Domino's Pizza for the committee. That's when my mind started rationalizing. That's when I realized I still had my running to do (and on an empty stomach!) so I could check off that damn box on the tracking sheet. 

THAT's WHEN I CAVED. Not once but twice. Gone was the cheese pizza slice (with the exception of the crust which I've never liked). Up came by body from its chair, that body that only that morning weighed in 5 pounds lighter than the previous Monday, and it glided back toward the pizza boxes.

After piece number 2 was swallowed, it started. First a tingle, then a constant churn.  

After a full week of healthy eating, my stomach and its sister acid rebelled against the invading Italian intruder.  I didn't feel so good suddenly - "Could it be the pizza," my mind questioned, "affecting me this quickly?"  My body answered the question with a response: "Hello, Einstein, of course it's the pizza. You are shocking your system with this crap after a week of feeding it high quality stuff. What else could it be? Up until cramming 2 slices into your piehole, you felt great. Now, you feel gross. Do the math."

AND SO, post volunteer meeting, I got into my car and marveled at how those 2 pizza slices were quickly making their way south to the intestinal track and producing some potent gas (yes, girls do fart), and I wondered how the heck I was going to run with this pressure in my stomach. I wanted to warn those running behind me to not run in my path or they might suddenly be gripped by a lack of oxygen.

BUT NO EXCUSES prevailed. I drove to the running track, got on my unfashionable running attire, and hit the track.  I was determined to exorcize (exercise?) those demon slices from my body!!  I had a good workout, even saw into an unexpected friend there, and felt much better as I drove myself home around 9pm as the snow started to fall.

Sadly, the effects of my decision to gobble up those 2 slices was reinforced for me again this morning (if you know what I mean). 

Trust me, folks -- fight the urge to indulge in those high-fat, low nutrient, stomach-churning comfort foods. What we are doing with our nutrient rich, controlled eating is soooo much better...although I must admit it was interesting to have a brief return to my old way of eating and not feeling well afterwards....and I didn't like it!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Week One Winding Down

Folks, we are nearly one week into BTWG - congrats and back pats to us all. Today I had no food cravings of any sort BUT at 3:00 I was overwhelmed by this feeling of NEEDING to be at the beach. Instead, this photo taken in Orange Beach, AL will have to do...sigh.

I gave an especially hearty kudos to myself yesterday morning at 6am when I dragged myself from bed, dressed warmly, and took off on my aerobic workout on our rural Martinsville roads....I walked without any streetlights, without any idea if my feet were going to hit the numerous potholes on the road and turn my ankle like poor Sam's, and with an uneasy feeling as I crossed by a large field that coyotes were watching me from the brush and deciding if I constituted a meal they could "take down". I survived  the coyotes, the pot holes and the exertion BUT...

I need to rethink my morning aerobic plan because it just doesn't work well out here in nowhere land. So I threw out the question to the universe, "What to do?" and then driving home that day, the answer landed in my lap as they so often do when you are open to them.  My drive home from work in downtown Indy takes me right by a neighborhood that has miles of walking trails - cha-ching!  Jackpot. The new plan is to change into workout clothes after work, drive the car to their neighborhood, park outside someone's home and make them nervous, then run and walk their paved sidewalks. Back in the car...finish the drive home. Wallah!

I teach yoga tonight at Mallow Run Winery (oh, so sorry - I brought up wine and we can't have it!!  Trust me, every time my class goes into Child's Pose and their eyes are hidden from mine, my eyes sweep over all the wines out on display and I have to wipe my chin to remove the saliva before releasing them from the pose.)  That means strength and toning exercise for me when I get home around 8:15pm tonight...about the time my body starts thinking bedtime is looming. 

Still have to do my meditation tonight too...funny but when I did the meditation on Tuesday, I actually heard two different (more? Hold your Sybil comments.) voices in my head talking at the same time and I could hear each one plain as day. The one voice was counting from 1 to 10, just like Chris suggested in our manual. The other voice, equally as distinct, was saying all kinds of stuff: "How many minutes have gone by do you think? I really need to work on that corporate development plan this week. I wonder how many people will be at my Tuesday yoga class? At my Thursday one? I wonder what time it is now?  My back is a little achy sitting like this. Why does this meditation method require me to hold my arms out like I have an egg in each armpit? Armpit - now that's a funny word...." and so on. I'm not quite sure how multiple voices had equal presence in my head at the same time....and I'm not sure how to shut up the voices inclined to wander. Ah, it's only week one though. I'm just thrilled I actually sat still for 10 minutes with my eyes and mouth closed. My mother would never have believed it possible.

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday at Chris's yoga class.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So Far, So Good..but parts are Challenging!

Whew. Today's strength and  toning is arms are trembling and my legs are wiggling under them. My gut doesn't seem to ache...yet.

And what's with the jump roping?  Does anyone else remember it being so taxing on the lungs and legs?  That was a real surprise. (AND, what's with this? I have never been a compulsive weigher but now I am fitting the urge to weigh far, I've resisted but ain't that weird, folks?!)

With the strength and toning exercises, I found that I was strong...but only for a small amount of time. Endurance is where I really need to focus my energies and attention. And especially on the ab area.

As for the eating adjustments, I'm not really eating anything that different than I normally would, but I am regulating portion size. Who knew that a serving of wheat penne pasta with organic tomato sauce should only take up 1/4 of your plate and NOT the entire plate. I almost cried at that poor little pile of pasta all by itself on that big plate.

My challenge for today, as BTWG recruit Kelly and I discussed yesterday as she attended my work's Day of Service project (thanks Kelly!), will be the meditation portion of today. Ten minutes of quiet and stillness shouldn't seem so daunting. In fact, I think I may have elected to blog at this very moment as a meditation avoidance technique. 

Aerobic work tomorrow could be tricky with lots of day and evening meetings...oh my, this might mean I have to get up pre-dawn to fit it in!!!  I CAN DO IT, with baggy eyes and crabby morning attitude running alongside me!  Estimated bedtime tonight: 8:30pm.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bring It On!

I said farewell today to dining out for the next 12 weeks since BTWG officially starts tomorrow. Of course, the way I said farewell was by dining out at lunch today. How screwball is that reasoning. 

Although I said "No" to  cheese, sour cream, and meat on my burrito and went veggie only, when I looked up the nutrition value of that darn thing just a moment ago the total calorie amount was 920!!!!!  YIKES (and yes, I ate it all).  Hope this lesson learned will come to mind often when I feel the temptation to dine out here and there. I know it's coming to mind now thanks to a few gastrointestinal comments about my choice of hot salsa.

This morning (pre-big-ass-burrito) I went to Chris's strength and toning demonstration and I found those darn bands more challenging than anticipated. But it was also invigorating and exciting and being a part of the community with everyone at Cityoga was great, especially seeing those folks I met at the initial training session. After the banding session, I was off to work for a few hours to "catch up " on things, then to the yoga class I teach. Just arrived home and I am whooped. Running a hot bath as I type right now, then off to bed - estimated time of shuteye 9:00pm!

Thinking about the aerobic part of our training and how my runs/walks could be interesting since I live south of Indy, right where the hills start. Our road is all hills....hmmm. I complain about so much of Indiana being flat as a pancake (or a flour tortilla) and now I am really wishing I lived in a flat area!  

I expect a rather hectic workweek with a large grant due, a co-worker returning from medical leave and needing to be brought back up to speed, a Day of Service event that the nonprofit I work for is holding on Monday,  a sponsor open house on Wednesday, meetings every day, teaching 3 yoga classes a week, blah, blah, blah. Already the challenge of putting my wellness first, of fitting my wellness commitment into this crazy schedule, is being tested.

So, it's affirmation time: starting tomorrow I will eat well, I will track my nutritional intake, I will rate my hunger level pre and post, I will be mindful of why I am wanting to eat, I will not beat myself up if I stumble but will pick myself up and keep on keeping on, and I WILL leave work no later than 5:00 so I can get home and get in my aerobic workout per the Level I training specifics. NO EXCUSES...and NO BURRITOS!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mushroom, Barley & Spinach Soup Recipe

Here's a healthy soup/stew if anyone is interested. I broke down the calories and for a one cup serving it's between 135 and 150 calories. To bring the sodium level down, use low sodium chicken broth and/or use 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 water.

1 tablespoon butter/margarine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
2 carrots chopped
4-5 cups chicken broth (ok to water down to reduce sodium level)
1/3 cup pearl barley (rinsed)  (NOTE: sounds like a small amount of barley but it puffs up; also barley is a higher calorie grain so don't overindulge with the amount)
1 tablespoon red vinegar
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
ground pepper to taste

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter with oil. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add stock, barley, and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until barley is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Add spinach, salt (optional), and pepper and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Me? Blogging? Soup recipe to follow!

Oh, my...I'm officially a "blogger" now, aren't I?  To blog, blogging, to be blogged at, blogable -- I don't know what to think of this sudden entrance into the world of technology.  As someone who just mastered using my cell phone to send text messages (and grudgingly so), this blog "thang" has me all in a tizzy.

But here I am, so here goes. 

The New Year has brought with it a new challenge and opportunity (actual several) as I embark upon putting my health and well being at the top of my priority scale. Physically, the middle age squidgies had crept up on me (let me rephrase that: I allowed the middle age squidgies to creep up on me. Accountability, you know.). Amazing how your physical well being has the ability to color the rest of your life and what you do with it.  Even more amazing is how reaching middle age brings with it this realization that the second half of your life has arrived. The second half of life?  I'm forty-what? 

Yes, you realize that you are now that age when - as a child - you thought people had one foot in the grave with the other foot lifting up to join it. But truth be told, I don't mind getting older; it makes me look back on past experiences and understand their relevance since those experiences made me who I am today, and  getting older makes me really give thought to how the remainder of my life can be lived more fully.

SO, through the BTWG program I am well on my way. I'm already finding myself becoming more aware of my habits, not just of the action itself but of the mind and emotion that so often drive the actions, and it's fascinating (and scary and sad and amazing and...) to actually listen to yourself!

AND guess what? I actually called a friend who runs and asked if we could go running tomorrow!  Me running!! Who would have ever thought...

Looking forward to seeing everyone in BTWG more over the next months. Check back later for a great tasting healthy and low calorie soup recipe I'll post....Mushroom with Barley and Spinach.  Mmmmm.......