Tag Archives: food

Day 30… Hallelujah!

Today marked the last day of me being on The Whole 30 (you can read about the beginning here).  I started the program so I could detox my body from all the sweets, cakes and chips I had been eating, and I started it with enough time to complete it before my next half-marathon, which just happens to be this Sunday.  I wanted to see if detoxing could possibly help with my running.

The program was a total success.  I stayed true blue the entire 30 days, but I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy.

I had to dig deep to fight the overwhelming cravings in the first week.

By the third week, I had lost interest in cooking and food and all the planning required.  But I persevered.

By the fourth week, I was starting to look forward to all the food that was about to open up to me again.

However, by day 28, when I would think about eating bread or dairy or even sweets, I felt no desire to add these things back into my diet.  The thought of eating a donut or a piece of cake made my tummy hurt.

On day 30, I had the best peach ever for dessert which signaled my eating shut-off valve.  I have won my battle.

So let me break down some of the good for you:

  • No more cravings.  I only “want” something nowadays; however, with a small amount of willpower, I can say no.  I don’t have to have it.
  • No tummy issues.  No heartburn, no stomachaches, no nausea, nothing.
  • Increased energy.
  • I never feel bloated.
  • I don’t have to measure my food, nor do I have to count calories.  I eat as much as I want and whatever my body requires, sometimes an entire cookie sheet of roast veggies.  Even if I reach the level of “full,” I never feel “stuffed,” as if I ate too much.
  • I can eat fruit again without any GI issues!

I mentioned before that I would share a couple of numbers.  The third week of the diet, I went to my doctor and had some labs drawn.

  • While I was in the normal range to begin with, I still managed to take another 5 points off my total cholesterol.  All other values are also within normal.
  • My glucose remains in the normal range (a biggie for me because of the hypoglycemia).
  • And the final important number that you might be wondering about… yes, I lost weight…14.6 pounds to be exact, which is 6.6 kg, or just over 1 stone.

Me with a baby squirrel. They eat all the time too, 😀

I’m ready to stop obsessing about food now.  Moving forward, I’ll follow the program to the letter every other month and I’ll relax a bit in between, although I’ll still follow the principles (at the very least up until my marathon).  At the suggestion of a fellow blogger, Chocolate Runs Judy, I’ll give my next Whole 30 update in 6 months.  Will I stick to it?  Will I lose more weight? Will I finish my very first 26 point 2?  Does The Whole 30 have staying power?  Stay tuned…

In the meantime…

It’s a new dawn; it’s a new day; it’s a new life for me… and I’m feeling good…

Food Boredom

Salmon, veggies, and a nectarine for dessert. All of 400 calories, filling, and loaded with nothing but goodness.

Day 26 of The Whole 30.  The book said this would happen.  You feel kind of blah with not a lot of interest in food… and with me, I’m really fed up with cooking as I’m not one of those happy chefs.  The book goes so far as to say that you may lose your appetite, which basically I have. I have no taste for anything.  Oh, I eat plenty as I have to keep my energy up, but I’m not all that excited about it.  Guess I’ve discovered what it means to eat to live as opposed to live to eat.  It gets terribly boring… but onward I go.  Four more days.

Janet playing around on her visit last year. She wears a hat well.

My mother-in-law from the UK has hopped the pond for her yearly visit.  We went to lunch at The Macaroni Grill this past Saturday (day 25 of my diet).  It was the first time I had eaten out since starting this program.  I ordered a Chicken Caesar salad, minus the cheese, minus the croutons, and minus the dressing, with a couple of slices of lemon that I could squeeze over the top (so basically it was romaine lettuce and chicken, flavored with lemon).  Gotta get creative, people.   Boring, yes, but I ate out and remained true to my diet.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca as seen from Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles. I took this picture after one helluva hike.

One week from now is the North Olympic Discovery Marathon and Half.  All of us will be heading off to the lovely town of Port Angeles to give this sweet little race a go (two of us will be racing, two of us will not, 😀 ).  Even though Thursday marks the end of The Whole 30 for me, I have no choice but to continue the program until after the race so I don’t sabotage all the good I’ve done. Although, I do have to say, my pre-race breakfast will consist of the same thing I usually eat pre-race which is a package of Belvita biscuits.  We’ll see how that goes.

Thursday night I will post the stats for my diet, plus the pros and cons from the last 30 days. You might be amazed by a couple of the numbers.

Meep, my card-playing buddy. Just because.

Until then, have a Happy Memorial Day and a great week!

Easy Wheatberries

It had been awhile since I made wheatberries and completely forgot how to do it, because, you know, I’m such a whiz when it comes to cooking… not.  So I turned to the internet for advice.  A simple recipe… that’s all I wanted.  Water-to-wheatberry ratio!  Length of boiling time!  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently.

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After searching and sorting through tons of worthless articles about how to boil wheatberries and getting incredibly frustrated in the process, I decided an easy recipe needed to be posted. No rubbish about how wonderful they are for you… just a simple wheatberry recipe.  Here ya go:

3 cups of water to 1 cup of wheatberries.  Boil water, add wheatberries and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.  Eat them however your little heart desires.

Just so happens we eat them on our salad, which is what our dinner was tonight.  You know… New Year, running, upcoming races… no time like the present to get back to healthy. The holidays are over after all and it’s time to re-focus.  However, when I was preparing said salad, and because I’m such a rockstar in the kitchen, I forgot to peel the cucumber before I cut it up. The skin was too bitter to eat, so I took each piece of cucumber out of the salad and peeled them individually.  It’s been a banner night.

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That being said, at least we’re warming up now.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been under a sheet of ice and sometimes snow, getting down to 15 degrees F (-9C).  Today was actually the first day I’ve felt warm in a long time.  The house wouldn’t even heat properly during our cold spell.  I was making those pre-made, drop-dough cookies just so I could turn the oven on for extra warmth!

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Our turkey vulture at work had to have 2 heat lamps hanging for her.

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The trail… yeah, not happening…

But I know one person that the snow didn’t stop!  Such dedication!

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As for the first race of the year… it will be April 9th, The Seahawks 12K Run.  Cannot wait to have that hot little bling in my hands!!  After that, it’s Reno baby!  The Downtown River Run on April 30th!  Half marathon for me and the full for James!

And, so… the adventure continues…

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Happy Trails!

Ivar’s and Mukilteo

This past Sunday was a beautiful day on the Sound, so we opted to go out for lunch.  Because of the previous day’s activities (Hamster Run), no one felt like cooking, so this seemed like the most logical solution… besides, it was nice family time, all 3 of us.  I can just imagine what people thought when they saw us trying to walk.

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Ivar’s Seafood in Mukilteo backs up right onto the water at the ferry terminal, so we had great views.

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Lots of activity going on as well, watching the people and cars going on and off the ferry.

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If you look left of center in the above picture, there’s a white spot.  That’s Mt. Baker.  Here, I’ll zoom in for you:

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Quite a few people were out, just enjoying the parks and the water.

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And special for the haters (haha, #kiddingnotkidding), we had some very special guests join us for lunch:

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Squirrel count:  27.  And we’ve only just begun…

Have a great Thursday!!

Meanwhile in Scotland…

Check out these desserts my in-laws are enjoying while on holiday!

  • First up, from the Brig O Doon in Ayr:
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My mother-in-law, Janet, who recently visited us in June. No, she didn’t eat this all by herself, 🙂

  • From Souter Johnnie’s Inn, Ayr.  The dessert so big, two pictures had to be taken so we could see the beauty of it all:

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Oh hey everyone… this is my father-in-law’s first appearance on my blog!  Meet Alan!  Hi Alan! Great dessert you have there!  Care to share?  

Brag time:  Alan ran a 2:58 London Marathon in the early ’90s.  He was in his 40s.

Fact: My son is named Alan James, or A.J. as we call him… unless he’s in trouble, then all the syllables in his name come out.

What’s on your dessert plate today??

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Credit of all pictures go to Janet and Alan… unfortunately I was nowhere near the above desserts.

Work Place Health Hacks

Over the years, I have tried diet after diet and fad after fad to try to help me lose weight.  After nearly 30 years of personal research and trial and error, I’ve discovered that the only way to lose weight and keep weight off is through healthy eating, portion control, and exercise.

However, for those of us who have a job outside of the home, work can prove to be quite challenging on the diet and exercise front.  The following tips may help you stay on track with your healthy eating and perhaps even give you a few extra steps to log for the day or the week.

Never a Dull Bling Workplace HacksBrush your teeth to stop mindless munching.  We all get bored during work at one point or another, and sometimes we reach for those oh-so-convenient snacks in the machine because we think we’re hungry.  Or we think we need some energy.  Try brushing your teeth first and foremost when you start to get bored.  Who wants to eat a gooey candy bar right after brushing their teeth?  Not me!  I like the feeling of clean teeth and minty fresh breath!

Eat a high protein, low sugar breakfast.  Obviously it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast as eating breakfast means no snack attack mid-morning.  And if the breakfast is high in protein, it will stick with you longer.  I have a serving of oatmeal with peanut butter and a sprinkle of flax seed and nuts (pecans, walnuts, whatever floats my boat), no milk, no sugar… this will last me 3 to 4 hours if all I’m doing is sitting at my desk.

Park as far away as you can from the building.  Want some extra steps to log for the day? Park as far away from your office building as you possibly can.  If you wear heels, bring walking or running shoes to cover the distance.  Who knows! You might get an extra 2000 to 4000 steps a day (approximately 1 to 2 miles), or 10,000 to 20,000 steps per week (approximately 5 to 10 miles).  And you might appreciate that little 5- to 10-minute walk right after work to detach from your busy day!

waterStay hydrated.  Keep a bottle of water at your desk to sip on regularly. Once you’ve reached the stage that you’re actually thirsty, you’ve gone too long without water. If you don’t like plain water, try some homemade fruit-infused water instead.  Add strawberries, lemons, mint, cucumber… anything to make it taste yummy.  Another trick to try is to drink a half or a whole cup of water before each meal or snack.  Not only will this hydrate you, you’ll feel fuller faster.

Take a walk.  When you’re feeling tired or bored at work, get up, take a break, go outside for some fresh air, and walk around the building.  Guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and more awake.  And if you’re able, try to squeeze in a quick walk after you eat your lunch. You’ll feel better in the afternoon, and you’ve just added more steps to your step counter! Score!

Keep healthy snacks handy.  Never leave anything to chance and always plan ahead. There are going to be times when you will absolutely need a snack.  To avoid the snack machine sabotage, keep a healthy snack within reach, just in case.  For some great healthy snack ideas, I found that Nuts.com has some great options on their Healthy Snacks page, all for about 160 calories or so.  Having had hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) my entire life, I need to have a snack with me at all times, and my snack of choice usually includes nuts or peanut butter.  I need the high protein that nuts have in order to keep my blood sugar level.

Take the stairs.  If I had stairs in my building, I’d run up and down one level every hour! What a great way to re-energize and get a quick workout in!  So what if you’re on the 6th floor!  If you start taking the stairs on Monday instead of the elevator, think of how much more fit you will be in 1 month!  Again… wear running or walking shoes to make those extra steps a bit more comfortable!

It’s important to plan ahead and to just keep moving!  Take control of your health and diet at work… don’t let it control you!

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And so it begins… again…

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What a cool-looking dude!

James and I were doing a finger count tonight, and there are now 38 days until our next half-marathon in Lake Sammamish.  Don’t know why we thought it was 6 weeks away; hence, the counting on our fingers.  So today began the start of my next short and sweet training cycle.  As I just did a half and don’t really have the time on the calendar, I won’t be cutting back in mileage much.  My long runs for the next 4 weeks will be 8, 10, 12, 6, then 13.1.  Hmmm, that’s kind of scary.  But doable, especially as the weather is now cooperating and all the snow and ice has moved east (sorry East Coast).  Once again, I can run outside!  (Happy dance!)

Tonight was a scheduled 3 miles.  However, I was feeling pretty good and decided to attempt Mo Fo Hill, my nemesis.  What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.  At least I got some major work in on improving my VO2 (major major).  And just when my legs were feeling pretty good after my recent half, now my quads are screaming at me.  No pain, no gain!  (lovin’ those good old motivational mantras right now!)

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Meeps is thinking he could really go for some overall body toning…

I also really liked the workout that Alana had posted on Living Out Loud, so I wanted to give that a try after my run as well.  A great workout!  I had to forego a couple of things on her list because my legs just weren’t having it (like the sumo squats and jumping jacks), but it was a great way to kick-start some toning and strength training (as my quads were already screaming at me, they especially weren’t too impressed after the wall sits).  So if you are in need of some toning, give one of Alana’s workouts a go!  She has lots of different ones to try.  Thanks Alana!

And the super good news is that I ordered a new pair of Brooks Glycerin’s 13, a full size larger this time (see, I really did learn my lesson).  I will have them just in time for my 8 miles this Sunday!  I’m so excited!  Can’t wait!  (You can read about my adoration of the Glycerin’s here.)

As well, it’s time to lose all that vacation weight!  Have you ever noticed that most everything in Hawaii comes with a side of chips/crisps?  So the dinner menu tonight consisted of spaghetti squash as the main course for Meatless Tuesday (it’s really supposed to be Meatless Monday, but… well… today is Tuesday).

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And yes, according to my 5 running apps, the streaking continues…

Have a happy week! 😀

If you were to rule Mondays as meatless, what would you choose to serve?

 

One Final Splurge — Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

As 2016 approaches and we think about all the things we’re going to change, adjust, aim for and/or do, it’s important to have that last little bit of debauchery to send out 2015 in a big way.  And I’ve got just the thing before the sugar goes on hiatus for the New Year!  Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding!  This stuff is so sinfully good, you’ll be wanting to stop by the confessional no matter your religion!  Here’s the best part… it’s so easy even I could make it (I don’t because I’ve got a good thing going with The Motivator being the chef, but if I wanted to, I could, really and truly)!!

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that…

DSC00044Getting back into the swing of things is a little harder to do after a long vacation weekend than I originally anticipated, I’ve come to find.  After all that fabulous Chicago food and pasta, I was looking forward to eating some simple and healthy roast chicken and veggies, but I find myself having to combat those ugly bad carb cravings mid-day that I had control over beforehand (you know… chips, soda, sweets).  It amazes me that 5 days of debauchery can completely undermine months of good behavior!  And then when I give into those cravings, they’re not even satisfying, so go figure.

wpid-20151016_202401.jpgOkay, well, it doesn’t help when you come home from holiday and actually are in the mood to try to cook or to try to bake!  I say “try” because I am not a baker and I am not a chef and I can’t stand to be in the kitchen for any length of time doing anything remotely “kitchen-ish.”  However, when James and I got back from Chicago, that Friday we had a celebratory happy hour in which I decided to bake these wicked Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings.  Talk about a sugar overload, holy cow.  But oh, they were good.

 

Not to mention the 18th was our son’s 11th birthday, so on Saturday night, I decided to make this:

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This is so out of character for me.  I’m not exactly sure that I’ve made one single cake in the 11 years AJ has been on this earth, but something possessed me to attempt this that night (Jamesy is the one who made sure there were plenty of sprinkles on it, not me; he did a great job).  I think the baking inspiration has come from some of my blogging friends who have actually made me want to step outside my comfort zone.  The cake may not be professional grade, but I sure had fun doing it.

However, all calorie-laden creativity aside, I do have my next training plan for Maui in place and have already started it:

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I don’t start the killer hill training until next week, but I’m happy to say I’ve nailed my runs so far.  In the middle of the one chart, you’ll see a big 3.1 highlighted… that’s a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot we’ve signed up for (James will do the 10K).  As well, we’re doing another Turkey Trot race the Saturday before that (after which the next day it looks like I have a 13-miler scheduled in there… oh dear).  Anyway, I already have an 8-miler coming up this weekend, so… here we go again, off and running.

And now it’s time for me to put all the sugar and processed foods to rest and make up our quickie oatmeal breakfasts for the next week:

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I start with 1 cup quick cooking oats, then add flax seed, dehydrated fruit (blueberries, craisins, bananas), nuts, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, store in mason jars, add boiling water (I add a tablespoon of peanut butter for protein when I add my water)… this is a rib-sticking breakfast that won’t allow any type of craving to rear its ugly head and you’ll even question whether or not you’ll want to eat lunch!  But don’t eat it then go running!!  All your energy is being used for digestion for a couple of hours, so you’ll never get through a run without GI issues if you eat this beforehand.

Lastly, I leave you with this thought:

Running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.

Cheers!