Tag Archives: healthy eating

Mardi Gras, Travel, Wedding Things and Such…

It’s been a few weeks since I said anything here, and I appreciate the messages and comments asking if I’m okay. I’m okay. It’s just a busy time, and blogging hasn’t been a priority. I have to say that I still enjoy it though, so I’m happy to be spending quiet time at home today.

I’m down a little over 80 pounds, which hasn’t changed much in the last month. I’m not exercising much, but I hope that if I exercise it will break this plateau. The numbers haven’t moved in the last few weeks, but I can wear jeans that I couldn’t wear at the beginning of the year. Two pairs of jeans that have been too tight since 2013 now fit again. One is even so big that people keep suggesting that I buy smaller pants.

The picture on the left is from about five months ago when I finished dead last at the New Orleans Saints 5k, and the picture on the right is from a few weeks ago. I’m obviously still big, but I feel so much smaller and lighter on my feet than I did that day. I’m incredibly proud of my progress, but I’m still striving to change what’s in my heart and head. My life’s purpose is not to lose weight; it’s to love people.

I’m doing an in-depth study of the book, “Made to Crave,” by Lisa TerKeurst, which unpacks the reality that God made us to crave Him, not food. People here have suggested that I read it in the past. Is anyone else reading it now? Has anyone read it?

It’s incredible how much my life has completely changed in the last several years, and I’m seriously ready for God to change this part of me too. The number on the scale is important, in that, I need to live at a healthy weight, but none of that will really change for good I don’t invite God in to really change the way I feel about food.

 

Speaking change…my wedding is only a few months away, and everything is going well so far. People keep asking if I’m stressed, but it hasn’t been stressful at all since I wrapped my head around the fact that I get to spend my life with Michael.

The venue, the food for the reception and the registries are complete. We’ve secured a block of hotel rooms, and the invitations are sitting in my kitchen waiting to be addressed. It’s still a bit early for that, I suppose, but I’m ready to do this. My soon-to-be sister-in-law is an event planner for one of the most popular venues in New Orleans, and she has been a tremendous help! I’m thankful for my future family of chefs too because they’ve made the process of choosing foods so easy for me.

I’ve always joked about want to register everywhere if and when I actually got married, and it was, indeed, as much fun as I thought it would be! It was most fun at Bed Bath and Beyond because they made a big deal about it, and I got to use the scanner gun thing. Target was cool too because I could scan things with my phone. There’s no way I’ll get everything that I scanned, but it’s okay. It was one of my favorite parts of wedding preparations so far.

Last week I came home to a gift from my Amazon registry, and I want to thank Connie for the beautiful salt and pepper shakers. I’ve loved them for years, and I was so touched to receive such a sweet surprise from someone from my blog. Thank you so much, Connie! It really made my day! I’m already using them, and Michael gets to use them too when I cook for him too.

Have I mentioned that I cannot wait until we live in the same place? It’s going to be an adjustment, but I’m looking forward to when I can go to sleep and wake up with him everyday. Is it June yet??

My plan (after blogging) today is to finish up our little wedding website. I enjoy quiet weekends from time to time, and I carved out some time to relax at home this weekend because it’s crazy in my neighborhood due to Mardi Gras and the NBA All-Star game. (Seriously, it took 45 minutes to get from my exit to my parking garage, and it usually only takes 3 to 5 minutes.) Next week I’ll be in San Francisco skipping out on the revelry, and I’ll be back when Carnival Season is over.

I’m looking forward to heading back to California because it’s been several years since I was last there, and any time that I get to spend with Leslie is awesome. She’s one of my closest friends, and I never would have met her if I hadn’t started this blog. Isn’t the internet cool like that?

Now Leslie is like family. I’m excited to meet up with her in San Francisco, and I’m excited that she’ll fulfill such an important role in my wedding this summer.

Life is good right now. It’s not always easy or perfect, but I have so much peace. I’m joyful and hopeful about what’s God has done and is doing in my life. I’m in awe, and I’m thankful.

 

 

 

Date Night, Shiftcon and More…

Life has been pretty good over the last few weeks, but this has been one of the best weeks I’ve had in quite a while.

domenica-new-orleansTuesday night Michael and I went out for an early dinner at my favorite restaurant, which is located in the Roosevelt Hotel near my home. The food was delicious! I used to eat the majority of their thin pizza, but that night I was able to eat a small slice.

After dinner we walked into the lobby of the hotel because it’s always decorated beautifully at Christmas, and there were old-fashioned Christmas carolers singing all of my favorite tunes.

I also met Santa Claus that night, which was the highlight of the tree lighting! I’m pretty sure he was the real Santa too because he definitely looked the part.

santa-clausAfter the tree-lighting ceremony we walked back to my place to put our leftovers in the fridge, then we walked down to the Riverwalk. It’s only a few blocks from home too, so we stroll over there from time to time.

We stopped at the Riverwalk outlet mall and shopped. Okay, no…I shopped while Michael played Pokemon Go, and I was able to find the perfect Christmas gift for my dad.

It was also a healthy week for me, which makes me feel good. After hearing my primary doctor tell me that she’s “never seen anyone do so poorly” after weight-loss surgery I dropped another 6 pounds. I’ve added two since then, which brings me to 52 pounds lost since in the last 10 weeks. I’m not losing weight as quickly as I thought I would (or as quickly as others have lost,) but I’m losing. I’m not seeing it on the scale, but I’m feeling it in my clothes.

I bought a shirt last month that I couldn’t button yet hoping that it would fit by Christmas, but it fits now. I could wear it, but I have to drive an hour each way back to The Avenue because they forgot to remove the sensor. I’m glad I kept my receipt!

Now it’s the end of the week, and I spent the day at Shiftcon. I’ve been struggling to consume enough protein lately, but I resorted to drinking things that I don’t like. Thankfully, when I arrived at Shiftcon this morning I learned about a product called Vital Proteins, and it’s going to be a game changer for me.

The awesome folks at Vital Proteins sent me home with lots of unflavored protein that I can add to my coffee and most other things I consume, and it’s such a relief to know that I’ll have enough protein by the day’s end (without continuing to drink stuff that I find appalling.

There are so many awesome people and products at Shiftcon that I’m still a bit overwhelmed by it all (in a good way.) It was so nice to see my long time pal, Alyssa, and my fierce friend, Kia. We were Twitter partying together, which we’ll be doing again tomorrow at 4 pm. You should join us if you can to win some cool prizes!

shiftcon-twitter-party

Now I’m heading out again to have coffee with my friend, Amanda. I’m not ready for beignets, but it’s a great night for a warm and cozy drink.

I can’t wait to head back to Shiftcon tomorrow. I’m so glad it’s right here in my neighborhood because change is happening right in my backyard.

I’m feeling better than I have in months, maybe years. I feel smaller, healthier and lighter on my feet, and I’m starting to feel like this whole weight-loss surgery thing is working. I’m also working on exercising more, and this week I’ve really enjoyed it. (That’s a relief!)

 

 

 

Monday, Monday…

Today was the first awesome Monday I’ve had in a while. I woke up feeling rested, felt good about my outfit (blue sundress, white cardigan and coordinating scarf,) and every person I encountered at work had something positive to say. I even had a special and unique surprise when a lovely woman and blog follower I met years ago through Weight Watchers came in to see me. She joined the gym today, and I’m sincerely looking forward to seeing her progress as she gets into a healthy routine. The a/c is finally working again in my office too.

I’m so thankful for these things, which may seem small, because the last few Mondays have been less than stellar.

skinny taste shrimp

Please excuse the paper plates. Ha..

Michael came over to exercise with me tonight as well, and I prepared a healthy, protein-packed dinner for us to enjoy after that. In my last post I mentioned that he’s lost over 100 pounds, and I love that he understands my journey. I don’t have to explain anything to him because he already knows, and being at the gym with him makes me look forward to cardio. (He doesn’t read my blog, but if he did he’d get a shout out right now for being awesome…and handsome.) We didn’t  talk during our workout because I prefer the elliptical (and headphones) while he prefers the treadmill. It was just nice to have him there with me. It was also nice to see that my favorite water bottle fits in the cup holder. Sometimes it’s the little things…

Hydro Flask

Now it’s nearly midnight, which means it’s time for me to get some sleep. I ate pretty well today, and my goal for tomorrow is to plan out a menu for the next few days. I can’t buy groceries if I don’t have a meal plan. But first, sleep…

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

Ideas for Tackling Food Cravings?

As I was reading blogs this morning I came across a post about strategies to tackle food demons, and I started thinking about what I can do to control my own cravings.

I often crave food when I’m not hungry.  In my mind it doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad, stressed, lonely, bored, etc.  My mind automatically assumes that situations will be more gratifying if food is involved, and I’ve been attempting to change that mindset for years.  I still have a lot of work to do.

I did a little research (thank you, Google) and came up with a few ways to beat cravings that I can imagine working, and I am going to start implementing them right now.

Brush your teeth – I can see this working because I don’t like to eat anything for a while after I brush my teeth.  I can also whiten them because that means no eating for at least two hours, but I certainly can’t do that every time I have a craving.  i don’t want my teeth to be so white that they glow in the dark. 😉

Avoid your triggers – Jeez.  This one is tough because so many things make me want to eat junk, but I get the point.  Last week I picked up my old friend, Clint ( aka The Suit) at the airport, and his flight didn’t come in until after midnight.  I had some time to kill so as I was driving past Krispy Kreme, I decided to order a doughnut.

Krispy Kreme Metairie

I avoid this place most of the time because it’s so easy to convince myself that I need to buy more than one doughnut, but that night I reminded myself that the gratification of the doughnut would make me feel good for about 30 seconds before it made me feel bloated, lethargic and regretful.  I left the parking lot…doughnut-less, and I felt like I had won a battle within myself.

Drink  water – I drink a lot of water, but it’s hot in New Orleans so I won’t hurt myself if I drink more than that.  I keep a few 32 oz. bottles filled at all times, and it’s fairly easy to drink one quickly.  I usually feel full for a while after that, but I also feel like I did something good for myself, thus making it a little bit easier to pass on the junk food.

Keep it out of your environment – I cleaned out my fridge last week and got rid of most of the things that aren’t good for me.  I have a pint of ice cream in the freezer, but it’s not a trigger for me.  I have a serving from time to time, but I’m usually okay with that.  I don’t keep chips or candy in my place most of the time, and when I bake, I get it out of my house quickly too.

It’s easier for me to succeed when I have healthy choices available instead of unhealthy ones which leads me to my next strategy…

Plan – When I chop veggies for stir fry or roasting, I eat them.   When I boil eggs so I have a quick snack, I eat them.  When I come up with new, delicious ideas like a banana + 1 tbps of freshly ground almond butter, I eat that.

Exercise – I don’t mean that you should hit the gym every single time you crave a cupcake (although that may not be a bad idea for me.)  I mean, if you’ve made time to exercise, it’s a little easier to remind yourself that you’re doing good things for your body.  Maybe it’s a good idea to do three sets of jumping jacks, planks or something similar instead of eating, but that won’t always be a realistic option.  I mean, the folks at Starbucks might look at me like I’m crazy if I start doing lunges when I’m craving baked goods.  (I just ten avoid them there.)

Having healthy options that I like allows me to eat food that tastes good which reminds me that I’m doing this because I can, not because I have to.

Eat regularly – I know that when I eat breakfast and exercise that I will likely have a healthy day.  I also know that when  I avoid eating until late afternoon, I’ll eat too much at that point so it’s important to eat in a timely way.

I realize that there must be a zillion other ways to fight cravings so I’d like to ask YOU to offer some advice on this.  My question is…

What strategies do you use to avoid cravings?

Or is there something that you think might work that we should try?

Many of you have learned how to deal with this successfully, but I’d like to think that I’m not the only one who still fights with myself to say no to overeating.

I’m working on this, and I’d like to know if you are too.  I’d also like to hear your ideas too so please take a moment to share them.

 

 

 

A Breakfast Question For You…

I’m still not feeling 100%, but I felt good enough for some treadmill intervals yesterday.  There’s more cardio on the agenda this morning too, but I’m making breakfast first.

Most of us agree that breakfast is the undisputed meal of champions, right?  We know that we’re supposed to eat it to get our day off to a good start.

My question today is:

What do you eat for breakfast?  Do you eat the same thing everyday, or do you change it up?

I’m going through an oatmeal and boiled egg phase right now.  The oatmeal and added protein helps me feel satisfied all morning.

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What about you?  What are you eating?

Making Memories and Other Stuff

When I began writing this I lived in New York.  I still love New York, but I’ve been making some pretty awesome memories in New Orleans.  Living in the heart of this city has definitely opened my eyes to things that I never knew I missed before.  I love being close enough to spend the weekend at Mom’s house if I want to, and I love the festivals, parks and live music.

Friday night I spent the evening at French Quarter Fest before heading to the House of Blues, then Spirits, a dueling piano bar on Bourbon Street, with friends to hear live music.  We ate dinner, and I limited myself to two alcoholic beverages even though I definitely could have enjoyed a few more. 😉  It’s nice to live so close that I can walk to the French Quarter because it seems like there’s always something fabulous going on there.

Saturday was a busy day too.  It started with a Spring fashion show at Macy’s  and a conversation with Clinton Kelly.  I’ve loved this guy since I started watching TLC’s “What Not To Wear” almost ten years ago, and he was as kind, respectful, funny and all-around amazing as I dreamed he would be.

CK

I have to say thanks for my friend, Tammy, for making me aware of his visit!  I met some lovely ladies, and I was blown away by the crowd’s support and acceptance as Clinton and I discussed dressing my changing, oddly-shaped body even though I’m not a size 4.  (Have I mentioned that I love this man?!)

CK2

After he signed my book and chatted with me, I headed to East Bank Cyclery to see my favorite bike guys.  I wanted to be sure that my bike was in good shape because I’m ready to take advantage of the bike paths on the levee.  I’m not sure how far the path will take me, but I know that I can easily work up to 20 miles which is all I’m trying to do right now.  Doesn’t my bike look ready to go outside?!?!

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Mom called while I was at the bike shop to let me know that she had arrived in New Orleans.  She stayed at my house Saturday night, but we did a little shopping and visited City park for my friend, Candi’s, birthday celebration before heading to my place.  We had a picnic after dark, and everyone had a great time.  I was excited for Mom to meet some of my friends, and she loved them as much as I do. That’s my pal, Jeff, between Mom and me.

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Thunderstorms woke me up Sunday morning so Mom and I headed to church before going to a crawfish boil with friends from school.  It feels a little odd to say that I’ve been to church two weeks in a row, but I like it.  I’d like to be there again Sunday, but I’ll be out of town.  I do plan to go back the following week though, and I’m looking forward to it.  I’m sure I’ll eat crawfish again next week too. 😉

New Orleans gets a bad rap when it comes to food because it’s all so delicious and so bad for you, but as my friend, Alyssa, pointed out, seafood is an exception.  Crawfish and shrimp is loaded with protein and very low in fat and calories.  It might not be so amazing for those who suffer from hyper-tension, but as we discussed recently, my heart is in great shape so bring on the crawfish!

boat

It was served in a boat which I thought was pretty awesome.  Being at the crawfish boil with Mom also gave me a chance to check out Audobon Park.  It’s across from Tulane, but I’ve only ventured in a couple of times.  It’s another great spot to ride my bike.  Can you tell I’m in the mood to put the peddles to the pavement?! 🙂

Last night I spent some much needed relaxation time with Shannon and Matt, and I’m looking forward to spending a little time with friends today before heading out of town to be with the family.  I’m looking forward to celebrating my niece’s 4th birthday, seeing Disney on Ice with her, going to high tea and having a princess themed birthday party.  I’m looking forward to spending time with the rest of my family too. 😉

My workouts were weak last week, but I’m back in the game.  I’ll be sweating my guts out at the gym before class, and I’m going to be conscious of my food choices because I want to see a loss when I’m back at my Weight Watchers meeting next week.  I’m also just craving a nice endorphin rush.

Now it’s time to watch The Voice, study for the quiz that I have to take later today.  Wish me luck!

What kind of workout will you do today?

 

 

Opinion: Celery Is NOT a Snack

I stay up late.  Don’t even bother telling me that I should go to bed before 1 am because I’m not going to do it.  I don’t get up at 6 am so I can go to bed late and still get enough sleep, but around 9 pm I start craving food.  Right now I’m trying to figure out what my last snack of the evening should be.

It’s easy to say “eat a vegetable,” and that’s good advice.  I just have to be more specific about what I need to have in my kitchen to satisfy me while keeping me on target.

 

Here’s a list of late night possibilities that I’ve come up with so far:

– raw sugar snap peas

– hummus

– Greek yogurt

– fresh berries

– oatmeal (with a boiled egg white on the side)

– 100 calorie Belgian chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s

 

My list needs to be longer, but I am aiming for things that will truly satisfy me so I don’t find myself searching for something else after my snack.  I know it seems like I should add almonds or other nuts to my list, but history has taught me that they’re not a good evening snack choice for me.

For months I drank a gallon of water everyday, but I lowered my goal to 10 glasses recently.  I think a gallon is probably best, but for now I’ll stick with being happy with at least ten.  Maybe drinking significantly less means I’m thirsty.  I’ll keep that in mind too.

Working out five days a week is going well, and while I set a goal of 30 minutes, most days I’ve done twice as much.  I know that making small, healthy goals is the way to do this, and surpassing them makes me feel like I’m in control.

Losing weight is a mind game, and I try to remind myself of that.

How are you doing with your current goals?  What are they?

 

 

 

Elliptical, Stairmaster and Zumba…Oh My!

I joined a new gym yesterday, and it feels good to have a place to go to workout hard.  I started with 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 30 minutes on the Stairmaster.  The elliptical was no big deal, but I felt like a champion after completing thousands (okay, barely over 2,000) steps.

My pace was slow, but my heart was racing!  I haven’t felt that incredible in a while, and I was reminded just how important it is to have a gym to go to everyday.  I already knew, of course, but it feels good to belong somewhere again.

Following my hour of cardio I went to the weight room and worked my upper body.  I wanted to do Zumba as well so I killed some time in the brand new Ulta that is close to the gym.  OMG!  I want everything in there!

I especially want this shea sugar body scrub! 🙂 

After window shopping I went back to the gym and completed an hour of Zumba.  I cooled down on the recumbent stepper, then headed home for dinner and a hot shower.

For dinner I had taco soup that I made over the weekend.  I’ve been looking forward to planning meals and cooking soups in advance, and living in my own place has made that easier.  I don’t have to share the fridge with anyone, and I can cook to my heart’s content!

Preparing meals over the weekend has already begun motivating me to eat at home.

Soon it will be time to hit the gym again!  Today I think I’ll swim laps after Zumba before heading to class.

Life is feeling pretty fantastic right now, and I’m so utterly thankful for it.  There’s a lot coming up between the holidays, trips to see family and visits from special people, but I want to go into 2013 living a healthy life.

Are you ready for the holiday season?  What are your plans between now and the end of the year?

 

The Long Day Is Over

Have you ever experienced a Monday that never seems to end?  That was my day.  I woke up before my alarm went off and breathed a sigh of relief that it was Sunday, then after basking in the fact that I could sleep in I realized it was Monday.  That reality would have been harsher if I hadn’t been looking forward to the day.

My attempt to go back to sleep for half an hour was thwarted by my desire to workout before facing the day so I got up and completed Level one of  30-Day Shred.  Monday isn’t typically a workout day, but after two workouts yesterday I felt compelled to continue in a healthy way.  The half hour I spent working out set the tone for my day, and I’m glad I did it.  (Don’t worry.  I showered and brushed my hair after that!)

You may recall that Monday is my new weigh-in day, and I’m happy to report that I lost 3.8 pounds.  After two weeks of working my way back into a healthy groove I’m down 11.6 pounds, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can do this again.  Sure, I have a long way to go, but it feels great to be on the right track!

Monday meetings seem to work well for me because I’m more conscious of my weekend eating.  I found myself looking forward to attending again too, and that makes a huge difference!  I like this meeting and the people in it, and I want to succeed with everyone else there.  I can’t say that I love this meeting as much as I loved my New York meeting, but it’s possible that I will eventually.  I’m comfortable there, and that’s one of the most important factors to consider.

After my meeting I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up something delicious for dinner, and I made a new friend.  We had ample time to talk as we waited in line, and we continued our conversation outside.  He’s from New York and seemed rather brilliant and friendly so it was easy to talk to him.  I love making new friends so I’m glad I made that stop.  During our talk he suggested that I season my next batch of kale chips with chipotle, and I plan to do that before the presidential debate.

When I got home I considered working out again, but I opted to wait until today.  Instead I began practicing recipes that I plan to make for the holidays (because it’s important to do that while others are around to eat it.)  Now I’m ready to tackle Tuesday!

My confidence is on the rise again, and it feels good.  I feel like I’m in control of my health today, and I’m keenly aware that it’s up to me to make good choices.  I’m feeling strong in my workouts again too.  I plan to hit the pavement after I sleep, and I’m already looking forward to continuing my healthy week.

What will you do to make this a healthy week?

 

 

Today

Today I will step on the scale to see where I stand after a week of eating processed junk food during the hurricane.  I will exercise.   I will also make healthy choices, and I will remind myself that giving up is not an option.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that quitting is not an option, and right now I have to remind myself to fight the mindless cravings, the feelings of lethargy and defeat…I have the power to be successful, and I’m claiming it today.

How do you motivate yourself to move forward when you feel like you have failed yourself?  How do you convince yourself to try again?