My Healthy Food Staples

Even though I'm nowhere near my goal weight, there are a few healthy foods I eat routinely. Here are a some of my staples.

Diet Soda: My husband and I have been strictly buying diet soda for about 6 years now. It was a tough switch. I hated the taste at first, but have tried enough brands to know which ones have the least aftertaste. My favs are sprite zero and diet cream soda. Least fav is diet coke or pepsi, even though I'll drink it with lemon.

Splenda: I take splenda with just about every coffee. My husband and I go to diners a lot (I know, bad habit) and we always have to ask the waitress for splenda. I despise equal/nutrasweet.

Olive Oil: I cook with olive oil (or cooking spray) about 99% of the time. I love using different oils such as sesame and peanut to cook with (I'm a foodie) but olive oil is the staple. It burns easily at high temperatures so keep an eye out for smoke.

Granola: I love granola...even if it's eaten with ice cream. One of my fav desserts is sliced, fresh strawberries with granola and a dollop of whipped cream. My fav breakfast at work is a McDonald's parfait (with granola!)

No Pudge Fat-Free Brownies: These are sinful, and I'm not even a "chocolate" person. I buy them at trader joe's but have recently seen them at my local pathmark for the same price.

Nuts: I buy raw almonds, pecans and walnuts by the pound from TJs. They're very nutritious, curb my appetite and are a great snack.

Seafood: I rarely ate seafood as a child. It was sort of a luxury for us. I found as an adult that I love fish, especially shellfish. I keep large bags of seafood mix (for pasta), shrimp and tilapia in our freezer. I love white, boneless fish and have hooked my husband on it too.

Cleanse, Goals, Resolutions...Major Update

Hi. I'm finally taking the time to reflect on my weight loss journey. There's so much to say so here we go.

My first attempt at the Master Cleanse was a total flop. I tried it for about 1/2 a day. I got a bad headache and felt dizzy so I gave in. I just don't think the timing was right. I am now left with a bunch of lemons and maple syrup that'll collect dust in my kitchen cabinet. I haven't totally given up on fasting. I plan on revisiting this and trying again -with way better preparation- sometime in February.

2008 was such a roller coaster ride for me. This wasn't one of my "better" years, especially in the health dept. I haven't made a inch of progress, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I didn't expect 29 years of food/weight issues to disappear in one year. What I know is that the key to making an progress with weight has come from 1. preparation, 2. keeping a food journal and 3. being patient. I really need to kick these three things into high gear this year.

It's the day before New Year's Eve (New Year's Adam?) and I'm thinking about my resolutions for 2009. I love making resolutions. I'm fine with not completing all of them, just a fact of life. It's a great feeling to accomplish some of them. I usually categorize them into personal, finance, family, and health. Here are my health resolutions for 2009:

1. Lose 50 pounds -This has been at the top of my list for at least 5 years. It's really time this comes off of my list.
2. Drink more water -I really don't drink enough water. Why? I don't know. I know I'd see so many benefits if I drank at least 6 cups of water a day.
3. Take a daily vitamin -This is a must.
4. Exercise at least 3xs a week -Another must. I'll leave this open to any form of exercise for at least 30 minutes.
5. Stretch daily -I love stretching. It's another form of meditation in my mind. I just need to remember to do it everyday!

I might have to be the crazy lady with post-it note reminders all over the house. Seriously though, I'll be setting reminders in my g-cal. They actually work.

So what are my immediate goals? As you know, setting goals is tough for me. My half-hearted goals haven't served me well in the past. My day-to-day goals are basically my resolutions. The only way I'm going to succeed is to keep them at "the top of my head", as I like to put it. Here are my revised goals for 2009:

  • Current weight (as of 12/30/08): 224.6 lbs
  • Current jeans size: 16 (tight)
  • First major goal: 200 lbs
  • Second major goal: 175 lbs
  • Ultimate goal weight: 150 lbs
I hope all of you are already holding fast to your weight loss goals or getting ready to start your own journey. Good luck everyone and I wish you all the best of health for 2009!

Video: Diet Tips: Why You're Not Going To Lose Weight

My Master Cleanse Experience: Day 0

I've decided to try the Master Cleanse. I've read the Master Cleanser eBook (PDF), forums and seen countless videos of other people's experiences. I am doing this more so for the benefits that come with detoxing. My health has definitely deteriorated over the last year. I wake up with a stuffy nose almost everyday. I think I've developed asthma over the last year. I've developed a whistle/wheezing sound in my chest while sleeping, which actually wakes me up sometimes. My allergies are in full effect no matter the season. And the list goes on.

It's recommended to cleanse for a minimum of 10 days. I'm trying to cleanse for 4 days (until New Year's Eve.) I've never juice fasted/cleansed before so I don't want to set myself up for failure. Baby steps. I'm already having a problem with drinking the salt water flush. My gag reflex is in full force after only cups. I have gone many days not eating until late afternoon. I suspect I'll run into problems in the evenings. I might have to break out the crochet needle to keep my mind preoccupied.

I'm off to the store to stock up on supplies. I'll post my experience here. Wish me luck!

EDIT-7:56pm: Damn it! I couldn't find Grade B maple syrup anywhere! I'll have to take a drive up to Trader Joe's tomorrow. Have to postpone one day.

Video: Healthy Breakfast Food Recipes

Video: Food & Toxins: Keeping You Fat

Back from Vacation

We had a lovely vacation out of the country. We had an all-inclusive plan which I was sure would be my demise. The first day, I ate so much I had heart burn all night. I drank an obscene amount of pina coladas and white russians. I told myself I wouldn't obsess over food. We had a fabulous time.

To my absolute surprise, I only gained 2 pounds. I was scared to get on that scale. My husband still hasn't weighed himself. We'll be back on track with our workout plan tomorrow. I can't believe I only have about 4 months to get to my goal weight. I haven't made any progress. I'm not going to short change myself and change my goal weight. I hope as I get down to the wire, I'll start to pressure myself. I think I'll spend today planning out my meal plan for the week and reading inspirational articles.

Staying Hydrated is Work

Am I the only person who finds it difficult to drink water? I love water. Icy cold, please. But for some reason, I will go hours and not drink a drop. There are days where I will not have 1 glass of water the entire day. I usually drink coffee, fruit juices (I know, loaded with sugar) and diet soda. Yes, we know the pros and cons of diet soda. But water will always trump any other liquid. I am very picky with water. I drink from the tap, but after reading this, I try to keep a distance. My fav brand of bottled water is Smart Water. The best/purest tasting water on the market imo. But, as I'm trying to be a greener person, I want to invest in a reusable bottle. Not to mention the cost. This leaves me one option. Filters. I have an old Brita jug my mom gave me but never used it. I haven't researched the cost of filters but it's something I need to do.

Anyway, I'm going to start drinking at least one cup of green tea daily. Tons of benefits plus the H2O. I might even set a reminder via email.

Video: Kitchen Raiders

One Foot in Front of the Other

I don't really want to jump the gun so all I will say is that things are going well. I feel more energetic and focused on my health since the stress of my former job is diminishing. Going to the gym with my husband is great. I feel comfortable around him regardless of the ugly mismatched workout clothes and streams of sweat. I weighed myself for the first time in a long time. 3 pounds lost. That's a nice little emotional boost but for right now it's all about getting to the gym. I'm keeping it simple. 30 minute workouts, 3-5 times a week.

Gym Hopping

The Bally Total Fitness 'experience' was a complete flop. After reading the fine print, wasn't happy that I was locked in for three years with pretty much no way to cancel. I've read many complaints about there cancellation policy, unfortunately too late. Joining with a co-worker was another silly thing to do. She was being billed for both. This meant I'd need to pay her regardless of where I live, work or are on friendly terms. For three years. Because I knew I'd be leaving my job, I canceled via there "60-day promise." I'd have to go at least 17 times in two months, see a personal trainer and pay for two months (actually three with the first month being a 'down payment'). I fulfilled all requirements and have sent off the cancellation letter. I hope that I've covered all bases.

Now for the plot twist. I'm joining another gym. Yes, you read correctly. This will be my third gym membership in less than one year. My husband joined a very nice local gym for $10 a month...with parking! How can I not join? He's been going regularly. Since I now have tons of time, I can pick him up after work and workout together or just go alone during the day.

A Few Moments...or Months of Clarity

I've decided to remove the thing in my life that was causing me the most grief. It was my job. It was a very difficult decision to make since I once loved this job but this is one decision I absolutely do not regret making. I knew it was time to leave once the job began affecting my physical health. I am still getting over bronchitis and a nasty sinus infection (2 weeks in!) I am pretty sure this was a direct result of the amount of stress I was dealing with on a daily basis. My immune system has taken a hit and it's time I put first things first.

I have given 3 weeks notice and will continue to freelance on a regular basis. I have been planning this for a few months, in that time getting my finances in order. This will allow me to pursue the things I love in life (my art, family) as well as dedicate myself to my well-being.

I'd like to re-introduce you (and myself) to my fitness goals:

  • exercise 4xs a week.
  • eat 3 healthy meals + 1 snack a day.
  • enjoy trying new healthy foods/meals.
  • meditate/stretch for at least 10 minutes a day.
  • Get to 170 lbs by my 30th birthday (February 2009.)
Although I'm a little nervous to be jobless for the first time in almost a decade, I am optimistic. The one thing that I always wish I had more of is time for me. Time if now on my side.

I'm Trying

Trying to recuperate from an illness, figure out what I want to do in life and get back on track.

Bare with me.

Extended Reflection


  • Today was the first day I've been on a scale in over a month. My weight went up, but isn't out of control.
  • My horrible emotional eating habits have resurfaced.
  • I've only worked out once in the last month.
  • Overly focused on my job problems.
  • Lost all motivation.
  • Distracted by too many tasks.
Lessons Learned
  • Health should rein over any other stresses.
  • Bring lunch and stick with it. It'll save me calories and cash.

Rekindling the Gym Fire

Life interferes...sometimes we have to just go along for the ride. Huge changes have shaken things up at my job. Things out of my control, but have nonetheless zapped me of all mental strength lately. Of course, because of my terrible habits, my fitness routine went out the window. I've shuffled my priorities around and have set fitness high on my list...again.

Because my NYSC membership is basically collecting dust, I've decided to transfer it to someone else and take on a Bally Total Fitness membership (sports club status) instead. The monthly fee is about $20 less. I also joined with a co-worker which is is a great motivation. She's only working a few problem areas but is also a former gym rat. I'm sure she'll have me in the gym at least a couple of times a week.

I'm interested in taking classes, even though I've never taken a gym class before. Most of the good ones are at weird times, although there is a pilates class on Saturdays at 10:30am near my home. It seems like a nice way to start the day...and a rgood eason to get out of the house early on the weekend. My co-worker and I plan on attending a weekly pilates class at 7:30 am! Once, weekly.

I'm going to bite the bullet and actually weigh in this coming Sunday, although I'm dreading it.

Inside My Medicine Cabinet

I've taken supplements on and off since I was a teenager. I've also been on the diet pill bandwagon, here and there. Everything from Dexatrim to Hoodia has been in my bathroom...obviously none of them had worked. The truth is there really is no quick fix to weight loss. It's taken me quite a while (and lots of trial and error) to figure that out. Lately, I've been trying to stick with natural/whole vitamin supplements or herbal remedies. I don't take all of these pills religiously, although I try to take a multi-vitamin daily. Here is what is in my cabinet right now:

  • Multi-Vitamin: A must. We just ran out of our usual Centrum so I'm on the search for a really good one in pill or liquid form.
  • Vitamin D: This vitamin has been all over the news lately. Few foods provide it and we get most of our daily dose from the sun. The benefits are astounding. The recommended dosage of Vitamin D (400 IU/day) is considered too low. I take about 4xs that amount. It has been said that taking it regularly will extend one's life by years.
  • Complete EFA: Essential Fatty Acids are not made by the body. Most Americans are EFA deficient (specifically omega-3) because of our over-consumption of processed foods. It's been found to reduce inflammation, depression, memory loss. EFAs may reduce the risk of a variety of infections and some illnesses. My brand contains fish oil, flaxseed oil, borage oil, ALA, Omega-6, EPA and DHA.
  • Flax Oil: Basically another EFA source. It's also believed to help in weight loss.
  • Green Tea Pills: I take an all natural brand. Green tea has tons of health benefits including being linked to preventing certain cancers and cardiac diseases. Other benefits include reduced risk of infections, preventing tooth decay, increasing metabolic rates, as well as preventing and curing many other ailments.
  • Tongue Scraper: Not a supplement, but worth a mention. Tongue scraping removes harmful bacteria, prevents tooth decay/oral diseases, and cures bad breath. I get colds and sore throats pretty often. I just started scraping and hope it will lessen the amount of colds I get.

Great Articles:
Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2007
Five Supplements to Avoid
Online Vitamin Database

Video: Top 10 Best Foods

Here's a nice video I found. I've been eating pretty cleanly lately...not so much during dinner, though. I'm trying to incorporate more "super foods" into my diet so these are great suggestions. I'm lactose intolerant so I try to stay away from eggs and milk. Try being the operative word. Smart Water is awesome...I love how "clean" it tastes. Quinoa...hmm...must try it! I must find sprouted grain bread!

Pardon the Interruption: Weekly Reflection - Week 3

It's been a tough week. While my fitness routine has sort of fallen apart, things have been good on the nutrition side of things. I don't want to say I've picked up the good habit of eating nutritiously, but I'm pretty close. I still am having issues with drinking enough water. I missed last week's reflection so here is a brief version:


  • Continued to eat properly.
  • Had a slight weight loss.

  • I let stress get the better of me.
  • Didn't exercise!!

  • Felt guilty for not working out when I should have.

Lessons learned
  • I have to learn to put my health higher on my priority list.
I'll be back soon to talk about rewards. Hope your week has been better than mine.

Stress is Sabotaging My Goals

The last two days have been extremely rocky for me. There have been big changes at my job and a lot of people were unexpectedly laid off. Luckily, I still have a job but this has turned my whole fitness routine upside down. This brings me to the subject of stress eating (or lack of.)

There is no way I can eat during a stressful event or when depressed. Nope, not going to happen. Some people run for the fridge, while I try and untie the knot that is my stomach. Now, the aftermath is a different story. In yesterday's case, I didn't eat for 10 hours straight. Repeat: 10 HOURS. Tons of meetings, work to be done, and fear of getting the pink slip stole my appetite. When I finally did eat (at 9pm) I grabbed what was quick, tasty and familiar. 2 1/2 slices of pizza. I gave in. I didn't have the willpower to make good choices.

I also haven't exercised since my bonus workout on Tuesday. I know I should have since it would have relieved a lot of stress, but all I could do is sit still when I got home. I'll be back on track tonight no matter what.

Yup, I need to get it together. I need to create a plan of attack for these types of situations because there will be many to come. I feel completed drained mentally and physically. I'm looking forward to this weekend. Hopefully, I can relight the fire that has gone out.

My Favorite Healthy Foods

The supermarkets around my home don't carry many healthy food options. However, they are getting better about it. We usually take a trip to Trader Joe's once a month to stock up on our healthy picks. I find Trader Joe's to have an amazing variety of pre-packed ethnic foods (we love Indian food), and other hard-to-find, or usually over-priced healthy foods. Most items are very affordable, which is a plus. Our monthly food budget has only gone up about $50 since choosing healthier items. I think it's totally worth it.

side note: I find that most of TJs dairy, bread and produce items spoil very quickly. Is it because they ship these items from California?

Anyway, I'd like to share some of the healthy foods that get love in our home.

• wheat bread
• basmati rice (not especially light, but loved)
• naan bread (same as above)
• oranges, bananas & avocados
• salsa (green and red)
• frozen peas & frozen broccoli
• frozen fruit (all types of berrries, mango, passion fruit, coconut)
• onions, garlic paste, fresh and pickled ginger
• Edy's slow churned ice cream/bars
• sunflower seeds/almonds/walnuts/pecans
• romaine lettuce
• tomatoes (plum & cherry)
• soups (boxed and canned)
• tomatoes (plum & cherry)
• 2% milk
• chicken breast
• low-fat yogurt
• low-fat popcorn
• diet soda
• whole wheat pasta
• pecan praline granola
• olive oil, red wine & balsamic vinegars
• tons of spices

• reduced-fat cheese puffs
• tortilla chips
• fat-free brownies (I'm rethinking this-high sugar)
• fat-free half & half
• low-fat cheese (hard to find)
• red & white wines
• whole wheat tortillas
• protein powder (mainly for my husband)
• light string cheese
• eggs (have you seen the price lately?)

Fitness Isn't Achieved in a Day

We all know that Rome wasn't built in a day. So how can we expect ourselves to change years (even decades) of bad habits overnight? Yesterday was pretty rough for me. Everyone wants to be at their ideal weight NOW...including me. This is definitely one of the reasons why I've failed to lose weight over the years. I'm guilty of this way of thinking. Actually, it's this way of thinking that zaps my motivation. It's a vicious cycle. On my way to work this morning, I began thinking about where I'd like to be. One month from now...three months...6 months...1 year. The next thought that ran through my head is being exactly the same at those milestones. It's hard taking it one day at a time, even one meal at a time.

I have a fitness binder. This is just one motivational tool I use. It's stuffed with pages from magazines, inspirational photos, tips, spreadsheets and more. I pull it out whenever I need at little push. Reading blogs, fitness articles and before & after photos also help me stay focused. This blog has also helped me to stay motivated. :)

One of my favorite magazines is Men's Health. I find the mag to be much more to the point (I love bulleted lists), full of tips and beautifully designed.I'd say 80% of the content is unisex. I subscribed to Shape and Fitness for a while, but lost interest. Too many fluff articles on What to Wear to the Gym and not enough What to Do at the Gym. It's been a couple of years, so I may pick them up at the newsstand to see what's new.

How do you stay motivated?

Mastering the Power of Lunch

Today was pretty laid back. I've been low on energy all day. I felt guilty not exercising (I'm not even scheduled to work out today!), but I decided against it and listened to my body. The hubby and I indulged for lunch. I had a chicken quesadilla and fries. Our rationing for this is that it'll keep us from cheating during the week. Thankfully, I couldn't finish the whole meal!

No major lunch prepping this week, although I did make whole wheat rotini pasta w/ chicken and veggies for tomorrow. I learned that salad doesn't last very long in baggies. Besides, there are way too many tasty foods to limit myself to salad. I've been searching for healthy lunch ideas. Bento boxes are really interesting. Click the image for a closer view. It really is an art form in itself, but I've been checking them out simply for healthy lunch combinations.

I'll probably take lunch with me only 3 days this week. To avoid temptation, I've created a list of healthy takeout options I'll allow myself to have around my job:

  • sushi!
  • salad (of course)
  • soup (tons of options)
  • fruit (if I'm not very hungry)
  • Subways or Blimpies chicken wrap (no cheese, oil and vinegar dressing)
  • parfait
I had a 1 lb loss this week but don't feel happy about it. I was expecting more...until I reflected on the past week. Too many desserts , and late night snacking may have been contributing factors. But I'm happy that I stayed in control. Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Goal of the week: drink at least 6 cups of water a day (this is difficult for me.)

Weekly Reflection - Week 2

Here's a rundown of my successes, failures, problems, and lessons learned.

Week 2


  • 1 lb loss.
  • Prepared and took lunch to work every day!
  • Exercised 3 times this week.
  • Ate consciously.
  • Felt a little more energized.
  • Didn't strength train.
  • Changed dinner plans spontaneously.
  • Couldn't finish the whole cardio section of my DVD.
  • Didn't drink enough water.
  • Ate too many desserts (albeit low fat.)
  • Still making excuses.
  • Weighing in mid-week.
  • Eating when famished...instead of just hungry.
  • Have to take vitamin/supplements daily.
  • Being too hard on myself.
Lessons Learned
  • Being adaptable keeps me determined...and sane.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help/support!
  • Planning ahead really keeps me on track.
  • Variety is the spice of life! Having lots of healthy food options around keeps me from cheating.

Great Food Choices

I didn't exercise yesterday. We got in late from dinner and I was just beat. I'll make it up tonight by doing cardio and strength. I made good food choices today. Actually, I made pretty good food choice all week. I'm surprised at how easy it seemed. Planning my meals out may have been the key.

Tonight's dinner was delicious. Shrimp with basmati rice and Brussels sprouts. Please give Brussels sprouts a chance if you're not a fan. They're packed with Vitamin K and C and other nutrients...even protein! The trick is to not overcook them. I love them steamed or boiled but you might want to try blanching them and then roasting with a little olive oil. I even got my husband to eat them! Here's my recipe for the shrimp:

Lemon-Ginger-Cilantro Shrimp
1 lb large shrimp (shelled)
1 piece fresh ginger (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from 1 lemon
1 small onion, diced (I used red because it was on hand)
1 tsp minced garlic
.5 tsp chili powder
.5 tsp red pepper flakes
.5 tsp paprika
4 Tbsps white cooking wine (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil (or cooking spray)
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except olive oil and onion in a bowl. Toss and put aside. Heat olive oil. Sautee onions on low/medium until tender. Add garlic for about 30 seconds. Toss in all remaining ingredients. Cook until all shrimp turn white-5-7 minutes. Enjoy!

I'll be prepping lunches for the week tomorrow. Probably a different menu. I learned a few things from last week's adventure. I'llbe sure to share them tomorrow along with a weigh-in.

Choose Wisely When Dining Out

Tonight will be my dining out test. It was between Japanese and Mexican. My husband chose Japanese, thinking there may be healthier choices on the menu (even though he doesn't like sushi!). We will soon find out, but until then I'm preparing myself.

I've been to this restaurant once before. I might have chosen the least healthiest dish, A variety of meats fried in tempura batter. It was so oily I had a tummy ache afterwards. I just had a light snack (baked potato chips) to avoid eating everything in sight. Luckily, I can browse the menu online and make some wise decisions before-hand. I think I'll go with a bowl of steamed edamame for an appetizer, a sushi platter as an entreé and a glass of wine. No dessert.

Hopefully I don't throw everything I said out the window. Hey, I do get one free day a week, right?

EDIT 8:27pm: We caved. Went for the Mexican spot (The Japanese spot was packed.) I had chicken breast with a corn salsa and one glass of sangria. He had salmon. Mexican hot chocolate, chocolate cake and dulce de leche ice cream for dessert. Oh well. I guess this was my free meal of the weak week.

Kick Cravings to the Curb

Check out this video to get the scoop on battling cravings with...of all things...cinnamon! I am very intrigued by homeopathic/all natural remedies and medicines. I will be trying this tip in the very near future, like tomorrow morning! Ms. Token Fat Girl has an awesome recipe which incorporates a decent amount of cinnamon. I'm a huge fan of smoothies and actually bought one for breakfast this morning. A local Mexican restaurant has a huge array of foods to create your one-of-a-kind smoothie. I had the Strawberry/Granola/Pecan/Splenda today. Splenda smoothies take a little getting used to, but the benefits far outreach the taste. Plus, I felt full for hours!

A quick search on craving control yielded a ton of helpful articles and tips. A few tips that caught my attention were:
• Brush your teeth/chew gum
• Fill up with water
• Keep your triggers out of the house

I added a countdown above the calendar. It's set to end in mid-February (my birthday) 2009. Yes, I'm shooting for great health by 2009. However, entering my 30s in great health is more important to me than looking good for New Years Eve.

Soreness = Evil

Soreness is a tricky little devil. I thought I'd only feel sore the day immediately after a workout. Oh how I was wrong. That little bugger can creep up on you days after. I have to work on really stretching out before and after I exercise. I skipped the pre-stretch, thinking it wouldn't matter. Now, I pay the consequences. My left calf feels really tight and my knees feel tender. I walked at a pretty fast pace this morning to warm up my muscles. It did help a bit. I'm sure I'll be really stiff after sitting at a computer for 8 hours. I'm shooting for 10 full minutes of pre and post stretching tonight.

I ordered green tea pills and a heart rate monitor. Green tea is known to have many health benefits beyond increasing our metabolism rates. The heart rate monitor will come in handy during workouts as well as my speed walks to and from the subway.

Check out the new banner. Trying to spiff up the place.

Staying the Course

Right now, I'm eating one of my pre-packed salads. Still crisp after two days in the fridge. Not sure if I can say the same for my lil sandwich. Haven't tried it yet, but I think I'll just eat the meat and cheese. My stomach is pretty tight. I'm never really hungry around 'that time of the month', but I'm trying to get it down. I'll thank myself later tonight when I'm not scarfing down french fries.

I haven't been tracking my food intake anywhere (usually spark people for me.) I'm afraid I may overwhelm myself with too many fitness-related tasks. Exercising as planned and watching what I eat is all I want to do for the next couple of weeks. Once I get that down packed, I'll move on to counting calories, measuring water intake, and such.

Funny how I'm not scheduled to workout today, but it's all I've thinking about all morning. I kicked my own butt with yesterday's workout. I bought this DVD on sale when I bought a little, cheapy DVD to exercise in my room. Boy, was it a great investment. I did the low intensity cardio circuit, which didn't seem low intensity at all. My husband kept saying how proud he was, while I shooed him away to catch my breath. I couldn't even get through the circuit (20 mins.) Sort of embarrassing, but now it's my goal to complete the whole set (without pausing.)

Snack Attack

I've been snacking all day. I'll chalk it up to 'that time of the month'. Luckily, the snacks have been healthy, such as one of those delish fat-free brownies and some reduced-fat cheese puffs. Lunch was two of those low-fat wraps ...although I added a handful of light shredded cheese. The guilt is still working me over. I have 30 minutes to get myself together (mentally) before working out. There's no backing out now.

I've added a few goodies to the sidebar. Check out my twitter and please follow me! The more people I feel accountable to, the better! I've also added a link to an about me post. Get to know me a little better.

I did add my weigh-in yesterday. Had a 2 lb loss. It's a good start, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.

Serious Meal Planning

Lunch for the entire week is just about in the bag. I have two plastic containers of salads, and three plastic bags of prepped salads waiting in the wings. At this moment, I'm cooking chicken tenderloins to add to the salads. I'm also preparing some chicken wraps to be frozen. I also bought a large ciabatta and made awesome sandwiches to eat with the salads. I froze them and really hope they defrost well. Here's the homemade wrap recipe:

Low-Fat Mexican Chicken Wraps
light shredded 3-cheese blend (I used trader joe's brand)
1 lb chicken tenderloins/breasts
1 cup salsa (divide into 2 parts) or enchilada sauce
.5 sliced green pepper
1 sliced onion
.5 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper
.25 tsp cumin powder
.5 bunch cilantro leaves (optional)
8-10 tortilla wraps (whole wheat wasn't in stock so I went with flour)

Lightly coat a large pan with olive oil. Over low/medium heat, sautée onions and green peppers until soft. Add minced garlic, chicken breast and seasonings/herbs. While meat is cooking, heat tortillas in microwave for 10-20 seconds (or preheated oven for about 3 mins) to make them pliable. Cook meat until it's white throughout. Turn off heat. Shred or dice chicken in the pan. Add .5 cup of salsa to pan (if using enchilada sauce, add all). Spoon about 3 tablespoons of filling into each tortilla. Top with a handful of shredded cheese and a little salsa. Serve immediately or wrap tightly and place in individual plastic baggies. Freeze.

These freeze really well. I pop them in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes.

Oh my goodness! I baked fat-free brownies today. I kid you not, these are beyond delicious! My version isn't technically fat free because I used low-fat yogurt...and I added walnuts (good fats? hehe) It makes 12-16 servings but I can't see how you can get any more than 8...they're really that good. We'll be enjoying these for a couple of days.

I Will Never Be a Gym Rat

I have a one-year membership (began Jan. 1) at the New York Sports Club. I love having the little key fob...there to remind me of where I should be (ideally 4 times a week.) However, I am simply not there yet. I've tried to go a couple times since the beginning of the year. I just feel so uncomfortable. The locker room puts me into a slight panic attack. What keeps me a member is the fact that I really enjoy interval training on the treadmill. I also have a love-hate relationship with the elliptical trainer.

Until I can work up the courage to go on a regular basis, I'll be exercising at home. Why not cancel the membership, you ask? I hope to eventually get over my fears and enjoy the gym in a couple of months. The monthly fee is also a slap on the wrist for neglecting my health.

Here is my newly planned exercise regimen:
M: 20 minute-cardio (The Biggest Loser DVD)
T: -
W: 20 minute-strength &cardio (The Biggest Loser DVD)
T: -
F: 20 minute-strength &cardio (The Biggest Loser DVD)
S: weights:
bicep curls-3Xfailure
tricep extensions-3Xfailure
Chest press-3Xfailure
S: -
Daily: 10 minutes of stretching 7Xweek.

I have a couple of Taebo DVDs, but they intimidate me. I'm in search of a couple of other DVDs, one being pilates. You can see my progress in the Health/Fitness Calendar ->.

Off to prep my lunches for the week.

Learning to Eat Properly

This morning I put together a bowl of plain yogurt (fage brand), pecan praline granola and sliced strawberries. This has been my usual breakfast for about a month...although I usually get it at McDonald's. For some reason, I had a tough time getting it down. I think it's because the yogurt was unflavored. I also have a hard time eating first thing in the morning. My routine has been to eat at 10am. This isn't best for my metabolism, but I'm working on it.

Eating has always been an issue with me. I am a 'dinner' gal (well, 'ice cream' gal would be more accurate.) I am usually famished by the time I get home and tend to over eat. Our local fast food restaurants are pretty familiar with my face. It was years before I trained myself to eat breakfast. I still eat a very late lunch at about 2:30pm. Another habit I'm trying to break. I am hungry earlier...although I usually push it aside to make way for more work. What a shame, right? Well, this weekend, I intend to do something about it.

Weekly charts and lists seemed to fall apart the next morning when I walk out the door, forgetting to take my lunch and snacks with me. My husband, on the other hand, has it down to a science. He irons his clothes, washes the dishes (I know...lucky me!), and preps his healthy lunch before clockwork. I'm going to try to go one step beyond. I will be pre-packing my lunches for the whole week on Sunday. Saturday is grocery day, making it a perfect opportunity to pick up all of the essentials. Pre-packing lunches will not only save me time in the morning (or before bed), but also save me money. It's hard to get a decent lunch in New York City under $7.

So wish me luck as I mass-cook chicken breast, veggies and whatever else seems like it can last 5 days. I'll be sure to tell you how that escapade went. Now to remember to take it with me in the morning!

To Set Goals or Not to Set Goals

Not setting a goal date is a tough thing...something i can't do (just yet.) I've set countless goals, all of which have failed. Everything from, "I'll lose 50 pounds this year" to "I'll lose 50 pounds this week" have been given serious thought at some point in my life. We all wish we can change ourselves for the better...overnight, no less. And just about everyone who has succeeded will tell you that you're setting yourself up for failure if you believe that.

As of today, my main goal is to lose 50 pounds by my 30th birthday (about 10 months.) This is not my ultimate goal, just a starting number. Honestly, I don't want to think about my actual goal weight any time soon. Here is a breakdown:

  • Current weight (as of 4/21/08): 220 lbs
  • Current jeans size: 16 (tight)
  • First goal weight: 170 lbs
  • Ultimate goal weight: 140 lbs
I don't subscribe to American guidelines of ideal weight. If I did, I would have to be approximately 115 lbs, according to my height. My lowest weight as an adult was 128 lbs, even so, I appeared very slim, even sickly at that weight.

I don't expect any weight change for this coming weigh-in on Sunday.
All of this being said, I plan on taking it one day at a time.

Day 1

This blog has been in the works ('works' being in my mind) for a while now. I've read many fitness blogs to find inspiration, motivation and all of those other 'ations' we think will fix us. Although fairly new, Leo's Training Blog is a great example of a well rounded fitness blog that is as helpful to him as it must be to his visitors. I've a fitness blog is various forms over the years. Fit Day, Spark People (which I still visit), I even created a clunky page on my old site.

I don't want to pile on the guilt too early so I'll set a few loose guidelines for myself.

  1. I will weigh in weekly on Sundays.
  2. Acknowledge small victories.
  3. Be perfectly honest with myself...and you.
  4. Try and write at least every other day.

About Me

MeI am a 29 year old married lady living in New York City. No children, yet.

Weight has been a major part of my life since childhood. I've always been a heavy girl. I'm conscious of my issues with food and know that I am an emotional eater and eat out of boredom. There was a time during my teenage years where I lost a lot of weight (my lowest weight being 128 lbs.) All of that weight was lost through unhealthy means. Of course, I gained it back over a span of 6 years.

I am at my highest weight ever (220 lbs). Seeing that number on my doctor's scale really hit hard. I've noticed my health deteriorating slowly over the last year, but have tried to ignore it. I've also gain 20 lbs within the last year so it all adds up. I've become oblivious to the frequent colds, constant allergy attacks, snoring and body aches. But the possibility of having developed asthma because of my weight (pending test results) frightens me.

The decision to have children is closing in on my husband and I. We both feel the time has come to have a child. I fear that my weight may cause complications with the pregnancy as well as my own health in the long run. We hope to try to conceive later this year or early next year. I hope to be at a healthy weight and full of energy before bringing our child into this world.

Video: Super Foods!

I haven't tried most of these items. I've recently introduced agave nectar and quinoa into my diet. I hope stevia will begin to be used by consumer products.

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