What we are looking for is already here…and a side of lemon

lemon-header

Is it true?  Everything we are looking for is right here, right in front of us?  I suppose if I look at everything around me, my home, my kids, my husband, my life, it really is all here, everything I need and anything I could ever want, (although I would not mind winning that power ball, I mean $510 million??? Come on).  But inside all of us, sometimes, there is an amount of unhappiness, maybe when times are trying or are less than ideal.  So how do we find our way out of the funk?  In my last blog I touched on ways to just be, find ways to slow down and enjoy the moments, but what happens when those moments can’t turn your frown upside down and days turn into weeks, maybe months of unhappiness?

I think it is important to first decipher the difference between being unhappy (not pleased or not delighted) and just being unsatisfied, (not content).  Being unsatisfied is, I can only assume, in this day and age, quite common. I mean, our economy depends on it and our culture thrives on it!  We are marketed to 24/7- whether it’s seeing ads on tv, internet, and social media on how to be more beautiful, more thin, more wealthy, more stylish, more Martha Stewart, more MORE.  All of these create reasons for us as to be unsatisfied with what we have.  What I have is not enough.  What I have doesn’t solve all my problems.  What I have doesn’t make me perfect.  Marketing is designed to create a need for something you never knew you had, (Scrub Daddy sponge any one?). If our society is any indication, our greed precedes us.  We want these things because the images and ads create an unnecessary need.  It breeds insecurities by inundating us with perfect images of people, places and things.  A lifestyle that is germ free and problem free.  But if we closely examine our surroundings and place priority on what is already in our lives, we can choose to be grateful.  We can choose to be happy and we can choose to be satisfied.  We can place importance on the moments that make up life and as they say, turn lemons into lemonade.

Lemons.  I am sure at this point in time, everyone has heard of the multiple benefits in lemons.  Lemons even without the sugar, are wonderful.  I use a slice of lemon in my water pretty much every day.  It gives my water an extra dose of vitamin C, it helps with inflammation, they enhance digestion and they help boost your immunity.  In fact, my fine lines have become less noticeable.  I chalked it up to good makeup but soon realized I was actually wear less makeup on the daily, (because my skin was looking better).  After reading up on lemons, they are known to help skin tone, making you bright and glowy.  I am pretty sure increased intake of vegetables, from the slow carb diet, specifically greens has helped my skin too but out of all my food, lemons are a mainstay.  I squeeze lemon on my fish, chicken, and veggies in addition to putting it in my water.  So I definitely attribute my rejuvenated skin to my daily intake of lemon.

The littlest things can have the biggest impact.  Its just a lemon, but over the course of a month, it has changed and affected more than a couple aspects of my life.  The expensive miracle cream I have been searching for to rid my fine lines, was really just a daily dose of lemon juice.  Just a little thing, always been right there, right in front of me, and it was really all I needed. I just needed find it, use it in a different way and recognize its worth.  So if your day is going sour, (no pun intended), your daily life seems just so ordinary, find that slice of lemon, it’s already there, right in front of you.  It can make you see things in a different light, a brighter light and provide a more satisfied perspective.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”                              -Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

Just Be

IMG_2802Be present. This was the meditation theme for last night and it definitely stuck with me. We live in a time that we thrive on hustle and bustle, every day is filled with appointments, meetings, traffic, kids, and on and on.  We have a phone attached to our hands, belts and heads.  This device buzzes with texts, messages and voicemails, constantly notifying us of things we have to do, people we have to talk to and new things to read, watch and buy.  Social interaction and information is constant and it is hard to pull away from the busyness of life.  With so much to do, we seem to completely bypass and miss the little things, the moments that count, and the amazing things that are all around us, even take for granted the most mundane things we do in every day life.  So how do we be right here, right now? How do we just be?

Stop

Stop and notice your surroundings.  We are all human, we all have good days and bad, so when you think things are bad just take a break.  Stop what you’re doing and notice your self, your being, how you feel, and what is happening around you. Go for a walk outside, write in a journal or do something you enjoy to remove yourself from your current setting.

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Detach

Definitely do not pick up your phone and start scrolling the latest and greatest on the news/social media.  There is no bigger time suck than the internet and although most of us decompress by doing something on our phone, it actually does quite the opposite, because our phone is a stimulant.  It literally keeps us awake and alert, causing our brains to generate more and more activity.  So put your phone, computer, ipad, whatever tech toy you may have- put it away.  No distractions allows your brain to be quiet and really enjoy peace.

Focus on breath

In meditation there is a lot of focus on breath and being still.  It’s hard to push all thoughts away so the best way to not think about daily stresses is to replace it with thinking about your breath.  Sounds simple but its not.  To concentrate on this basic bodily function is hard.  My mind wanders and wanders until finally the thought of “go back to the breath” saunters in and I have to pull myself back into the thought of breathing.  Do this for two minutes and I can guarantee your mood will change.

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Step outside

I am quite happy sipping a glass of wine in my back yard, looking at the amazing Colorado sky with a mountain backdrop.  But not every day is a glass of wine or a pink and orange sunset.  In fact some days will be rainy, cloudy and down right trying, (cue teething baby and a 2 year old crying…just because).   But being outside brings a whole new perspective.  For me, stepping outside and breathing fresh air, admiring our flowers and getting some natural vitamin D is just enough to bring some calm and quiet to your head space.

Exercise

If I have time and the weather is cooperating, there is nothing more satisfying than going for a jog alone or with the kids in the jogger stroller.  I wish I could do this more often because I am most happy after a run.  My head feels the most clear and I feel most accomplished and appreciative when I have had a good run.  It is what I miss most about living next to Wash Park-running it every week.  There was something about having all those other people running or doing some sort of physical activity there, that gave me so much motivation.  When I am running I don’t think of anything but the act of running so it’s the best stress relief I have ever practiced.

Be in the present

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As cliché as it sounds, we need to be able to stop and smell the roses.  Because time is fleeting and it is something we can’t get back.  So invest in your time, your moments, because these make a life, your life.

And so I tried today, to just enjoy the moment. To just be, while cleaning the bathroom, while cooking breakfast in the kitchen, or helping my son get his shoes off. Today, Sunday, was a “just be” day and it was lovely. We all should probably “just be” more often, including me.

 

 

 

 

 

First, The Soapbox

Allergy Walk 1Saturday.  I always look forward to this day, a day of different food- but now, instead of having a cheat list, its just nice to go about the day and be able to eat whatever comes my way.  Saturday is the day I don’t have to second guess my choices, and even indulge if I choose.  But on this particular Saturday, I definitely had a different perspective on food and the food choices I make.  I am lucky enough to be able to choose my food and have no restrictions when it comes to eating food.

First thing this morning, we had the allergy walk in Wash Park.  We attend this every year because my niece has severe food allergies.  In fact, I wouldn’t even call it allergies, that’s putting it too mildly, these foods are like poison to her.  She is anaphylactic, which means certain foods cause her body to go into shock and can kill her. These foods are basic foods and included in most peoples’ every day lives.  But for my niece, eating an egg can cause deadly reactions,  drinking milk can make her vomit, and even so much as touching a piece of garlic can break her out in hives.  She has reactions to so many things, even carrots and avocado, things most all of us consider healthy and safe.  The allergy walk is a way for these kids, their friends and family, to get together and realize how widespread our food allergy problem has become.  Growing up, I had only known one girl who was allergic to certain foods and now I realize she was lactose intolerant.  Intolerance and an allergy are quite different.  Food allergies, such as my niece’s, which are life threatening, were simply unheard of up until a couple decades ago.  But now, food allergies are prevalent and its pretty clear why.  Our food is tampered with and treated with all sorts of pesticides and chemicals, and most of our food is genetically engineered, (aka created).  And unfortunately not all children, or humans for that matter, can process these foods.

If you look at the Asian culture, many asians are lactose intolerant.  This is because their diets rarely include dairy, therefore, their bodies and their immune systems can’t tolerate or digest lactose.  But with people who are lactose intolerant, there is some treatment and in most cases, the most severe side effect is uncomfortable or upset stomach.  These side effects won’t kill you.  Also, dairy is a naturally occurring ingredient – I’m sure there is nothing natural about latex and pesticides in our food. So how does a country create or grow such foods that will actually cause such extensive amount of harm to so many people?  Well I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that our food is not the healthiest or the purest.  Those of us born without these allergies (in addition to a healthy dose of luck) just so happen to be able tolerate the pesticides, chemicals and genetically engineered food.  I may not know of many food allergy children but I certainly know most every body at one time or another has suffered from a bout of food poisoning. Food poisoning is never pleasant, but chances are whatever you ate was probably not clean, whether it was mixed or grown with something not clean or could have even just touched something not clean.  Once consumed, your body rejected it, while leaving you reeling and praying to the porcelain gods.  Now, think if your child ate a cookie and had an even more severe reaction than food poisoning.  A reaction to the point their body went into shock, and every time your child ate this cookie, they were taking a chance they would be put into the hospital or stuck with an epi pen to save their life?  For 4-6% of the population, and one in 13 children, this is a reality.

How many of us don’t think  twice of our child sitting down in a movie theatre or in their desk in a class room.  How about forgetting to wash our kid’s hands after eating a meal or a snack,  or getting onto an airplane for a 2 hour flight, even hunting for eggs on Easter?   To an allergy kid, these are activities that are well thought out and planned, maybe even avoided.  Washing hands is not just a must but a necessity.  Just a spoonful of peanut butter can be straight poison, causing not just hives or vomiting, but restricted breathing, even cardiac arrest.  Doesn’t that statement sound ridiculous?  Why in this day and age is something as simple as a peanut or an egg even a concern?

So what can we do?  Well I am not suggesting everybody stop buying peanut butter.  I am suggesting people be educated, get educated and share the knowledge.  We need more research on our food and what is causing our children to reject these foods.  We need more funding to make sure we understand what and how we treat and grow our food sources. We need to prevent more children from having these so called allergies.  In this case, knowledge really is power.  If you are so inclined, check out these articles and organizations devoted to understanding food allergies:

FARE – Food Allergy Org.

ACAAI

webmd

Clearly this is an issue near and dear to my heart but it deserves a chance to be understood by the greater population because there are quite a few kids’ lives that depend on it.  Now I will proceed to step off my soap box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditating Effects (or lack thereof)

I started doing some mediation via this Head Space app and even though I have only done 5 sessions, I am not sure its doing anything for me.  Granted the sessions are only 3 minute sessions, and they are nice while I am doing them, as well as for a short period of time after the session, but it seems to be difficult to carry on this feeling of calm as the day goes on.  It kind of disappears and I am not sure if I am supposed to think back to the session to initiate that feeling or if it should be hitting me because its ingrained in my head, or maybe the session itself is just meant to give me a moment of “zen”?  Who knows, but I guess I will continue meditating this month and see where it leads.

I find writing/journaling much more therapeutic.  I have been binging on bullet journaling videos on You Tube and I have to say, I am pretty intrigued. I have been using a passion planner for the past two years, which I love.  Its a planner but it has lots of monthly questions, quotes and game plans to achieve short and long term goals.  So in some ways, it is similar to a journal but combined with a weekly and monthly calendar.  Now with the bullet journal, you create your own calendar and can draw or write as much as you like, in addition to plan your days, weeks, months any way you like.  For instance, you can create / draw / design a cover page for each month. You can create a daily log or set up a vertical calendar versus the standard monthly calendar.  Here are some vloggers on youtube that I love to watch for inspiration:

My Life in a Bullet

Anne Le (Anne or Shine)

Miss Louie

AmandaRachLee

If you are interested in bullet journaling and want to learn the basics:

Bullet Journal

After watching quite a few videos on the bullet journaling (aka bujo) I think I may give it a try.  I am thinking I will make a final decision in September and get my supplies in October. That’s usually when I order my planner- yes I like to plan months ahead, which may seem stressful for some, but for me its fun.  I love to organize and plan, and the thought of being able to write and draw in a journal / planner seems like a perfect hybrid of planner for me, although it does seem to be pretty time consuming but maybe my baby will miraculously start sleeping through the night and I will have more energy to create in all my newly found spare time – haha.  I currently carry a notebook in addition to my planner in my bag so it would be nice to be able to combine the two and cut down one less thing to carry.  I also like the idea that I can create the style in which I can and will use a calendar in addition to add what ever features i find helpful in planning and staying organized.

I also love to do this thing called a brain dump. This is usually just a page or pages of everything and anything that is clogging up my mind, (kind of like word vomit in visual form).  Sometimes I have a lot on my mind, whether its the kids, meal planning, work, or future ideas on travel, business and just personal stuff and its nice to get it all down on paper, then go through these thoughts and see what is really important.  What should be prioritized is much easier to see and pick out when everything is laid out in front of me. It also allows me to organize the to do’s from the random thoughts that really don’t need attention at the time being.  Currently I like to journal and brain dump before going to sleep to help me wind down and empty my head.  Makes room for my dreams.

 

 

 

 

8 Tips for Slow Carbing

I plan on doing some blogging on meditation and other forms of mental health exercises but I wanted to first put my main tips out there for those of you wanting to try the slow carb diet.

The gist of this “diet” is not really so much a diet but more of a food change.  Once you start seeing results and figure out what works for you, it becomes pretty easy to maintain and adapt when eating out or traveling.  Here is just a quick summary of the “diet”.

A protein (preferably meat), a vegetable (preferably green) and a bean / legume, every meal.  You should avoid sugars and carbs- this includes dairy, potatoes, fruit and juices. Soy is not the best choice either so for vegetarians, this is a tough diet but can be done if you can load up on LOTS of vegetables and beans. Nuts are also allowed but only in moderation.  You should try and eat every four hours so as not to get hungry and that is about it. No exercise needed.

After slow carbing for a month, here are 8 tips to help stick to slow carbing:

  1. Organize your fridge – Yes making the fridge look nice and clean, also stocked with all slow carb friendly foods really help make it not only nice to look at but easy to find food you can eat, and if things are easily accessible, the more you are willing to cook/eat your food.  Yes, this is my actual fridge!  And no that is not my apple juice or apple sauce- no fruits while slow carbing friends!  Fridge
  2. Food presentation counts / make your plate pretty – Along the same lines as making the fridge look nice is making your plate of food look nice.  Presentation really counts for a lot with food.  In Japan, food is presented very artfully, (sushi).  It is colorful and minimal.  If your food looks attractive, we will appreciate it and enjoy it more. Dinner
  3. Enjoy your food – If you enjoy your food usually, it only goes without saying you should take time to eat, savor and enjoy your food.  The book recommends taking 30 minutes per meal but as working full time and being a busy mom of two, I try and get 15-20 minutes per meal for my enjoyment.
  4. Be mindful – before choosing foods, be mindful of what is going into your body and be mindful of how it makes you feel during and after your consumption.  I have learned that I did a lot of mindless snacking and eating prior to this diet.  Grabbing a handful of candy from one of the many candy jars around the office was a habit I had, and I did it several times throughout the day, easily tacking on hundreds of unnecessary empty calories and really providing me no value.  Yes it takes good for a very short time and yes the sugar does provide a burst of energy, but more times than not, that spike leads to a drop in energy and lethargy kicks in and you just end up eating even more to sustain some sort of empty energy- in slow carbing, these energy levels don’t really dip and if you do feel a bit tired at that 3 in the afternoon lull, eat some nuts.
  5. Don’t go by the scale (only) – it is best to have several methods of testing your weight- yes, you should use a scale, but also go by water weight increases and decreases, a tape measure to track inches and your body changes, and last but not least, the fit of your clothes.
  6. Stick to a plan – setting up a plan as to how you will approach the diet is a great way to stay on track.  For instance, planning your meals, having some go to meals and setting aside time to prep your meals can not only cut time but it allowed you to not have to think about it and grab and go.  For me, I like making enough for dinner that I have leftovers to use as lunches for the following day.  I have a set breakfast during the week before work so I always know how much time it will take me and I don’t have to fuss or rush through my morning.  I also like to stock up on dry beans and frozen veggies so there is always a back up in case something doesn’t work out, and marinating my meats during the week, make for easy dinner preparation after a long day at work.
  7. Set short term and long goals – I like to have a few goals- short term is losing another 8 lbs within a month, long term-being a size 4. But I have lots of goals outside of my weight.  For instance, physically I want to be able to do more than a few pushups so increase my arm strength and get leaner more toned arms.  I want to improve my mental awareness and health by reading more and meditating and overall I want to spend more quality time with my kids like keeping up with them outside.
  8. Stay motivated! Planning is essential to my success but also staying motivated is a requirement.   Whatever works for you, do it- I like to journal my thoughts, ideas and results every day. But you can motivate by measuring your results every day, by reading other blogs and forums for support, inspiration and ideas and also reading books on not just weight loss but self help / inspiration books, as well as exercising your mind.

 

 

 

 

I think I over did it

I planned on only having one cheat meal come Saturday but instead I went completely off the rails! I am not sure what happened.  Maybe it was the celebration of my 13 pound weight loss, maybe it was the carb cravings finally kicking in or maybe it was just me wanting to be a pig!  All in all, I wayyy over did it Saturday. I started out with an egg and egg whites, then wanted to go get a bagel but these chocolate frosted Entemman donuts were just sitting on the counter, staring at me, and I just couldn’t stop. I had 4 of them, seriously.  And I didn’t stop there- I ended eating several slices of toast with butter, I mean I REALLY missed bread, then had 2 cups of black coffee to try and compensate for this carb overload.  I am pretty sure it didn’t help.

Flea market finds IMG_2777

We headed to a local flea market to be outside for a bit and do a little local shopping and what is outside shopping without a bag of kettle corn, (I blame my son for that one).  I chomped away on the sweet and salty goodness with my son with no regrets.  Flea markets are fun and also pretty competitive.  I had no idea people were so aggressive when it comes to shopping, except for Black Friday of course.  It was no where near THAT competitive, but there was definitely some calling out first dibs on items, (I plead the fifth).

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Lunch was Mexican food!  I had a tad more self control at lunch, indulging in a crispy chili relleno but refraining from the chips and salsa, rice and limiting my intake of the refried beans.  By the way, doesn’t that relleno look like the gooiest, yummiest, cheesiest piece of deep fried goodness ever? After eating the chili relleno, I realized that my previous last chosen meal of “if I ever had to choose my last meal of life” of filet mignon, baked potato and wine may be replaced with this chili relleno. It was just that good.  After lunch, we had walked Home Depot I thought I needed a pick me up so a Starbucks stop was in order!  A small iced chai tea latte, then a few golden Oreos and  then some Cheetos- like what. am. I. doing?  I truly just could not stop!  I did try reasoning with myself- I mean I did just lose 13 pounds, I should be allowed to eat whatever I want!  (Rule #1, don’t try and justify your poor choices, it doesn’t help anything).  Now, I know I said on this diet, you are allowed to eat whatever you want on your cheat day and you really can, go ahead, eat whatever, but I really wanted to dial it back this Saturday so I could try and maintain a decent weight for Monday and not have to get back down as much of the week. I wanted a net a loss  in weight instead of staying the same weight. But maybe even after all of this binging I will still maintain my weight loss.  I suppose, if so, this will be a good test and maybe a bad outcome because if it doesn’t effect my weight, then I may over indulge every Saturday!  Something I would prefer not to do since I always end up feeling so lousy.  This Saturday was no exception.  The lousiness kicked in around dinner and I couldn’t even muster enough appetite to really eat much dinner, which maybe is a good thing.

At the end of my cheat day, I realized how much mindless eating takes place.  When you are not paying attention to your eating habits you really do eat anything that comes up.  It’s just so easy.  Today it was the cookies in the cabinet, the kettle corn at the flea market, and the leftover Cheetos from my son’s lunch on Friday.  But if you are diligent and actually paying attention to your food intake, it really keeps your calorie intake so much lower and the scale numbers so much nicer.

At work, there are candy jars every where. My boss likes candy so much he has a candy rep come in every couple weeks to our office to entice us with sweet goodies.  Now before this diet, I always bought at least one bag of candy.  I also would grab a handful of candy, sometimes several times a day when passing a candy jar or every candy jar in the office.  But now that I pay attention, I catch myself thinking about it before putting my hand in that jar or pulling out my wallet to buy candy. Lesson – even in food choices, BE MINDFUL.

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Sunday is a new day, a mindful day, and I decided I really had to get back on track so first thing I did was avoid the scale and move into the kitchen to eat my usual high protein breakfast.  After finishing my eggs, mushrooms and spinach, I was drinking black coffee and realized I really don’t like coffee, at least not without sugar and cream, so I think this will be the last of my coffee intake.  Its strange because I love coffee flavored ice cream and candy, even the smell of coffee, but black coffee is just not good at all and I think I will start drinking more green tea if I need a pick me up.  Mindfulness note taken.

Overall, Sunday ended on a high note- I stuck to my regular slow carb meals – (Lunch was a BLTA minus the bread, dinner was marinated chicken with squash and zucchini) and didn’t feel nearly as lousy as I did last night.  But speaking of trying to better myself physically, and being mindful, how about taking some time this month to improve my myself mentally, working on the mind.

I decided to start meditation practice this month to not only help me cope with stress (aka my children), but to establish a (somewhat) new blogging theme for the month.  Still focusing on wellness but this month, take a more mental wellness approach- meditation.  I had seen a You Tube vlog that mentioned the app Headspace for guided meditation sessions.  I then watched more videos and read some information online about Headspace.  This app is used by over 18 million people- that is unbelievable.  It also means there are a lot of stressed people out there!  This app is an audible app that allows you to listen through guided mediation sessions in daily increments.  I have tried other ways to practice meditation in the past, even one other app, but i find meditating one of the most difficult things to do.  My mind is always on the go, constantly working, so its hard to stop.  So far, Headspace is very easy to follow.  It starts at just 3 minutes a session which is short and sweet, but I’m not sure it accomplishes much.  I’m going to try it for the rest of the month and see if it provides anything of substance to my life- after all I am working towards a better me because there is always room for improvement.  So here I go along the path of meditation.  I will keep you all updated as to my thoughts, ideas and progress, (if any)! Breath in, breath out, be mindful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Month Recap

The green dress aka the green tent.  Yes, this is the picture I looked at almost daily to motivate me, (see first entries of my blog)! And wow, what a difference a month can make!  Granted this first picture taken while I was on vacation just over a month ago is a horrible picture, angle and all, but it’s pretty obvious I lost weight in my face and the dress is an overall better fit, at least it doesn’t resemble a tent any more!  I would have posted my before and after in my workout gear but I am not quite ready to share those just yet!

 

RESULTS 

Overall weight loss – 13lbs

Inches lost: – 4.5″ waist, -2.5″ hips, -1″ arm, -2″ thigh – TOTAL: 10″

Fat percentage: 31% body fat down to 28.6%

BMI: I started out at 26.3 BMI down to 24.5 BMI

So I would say seeing a 10″ loss all around my body and a 13 lb weight loss in one month is a pretty good indicator that this slow carbing works for me!

Was it worth the effort? 

I definitely think it was worth the diet change.  It does take more planning but if you  plan your meals out for the week, it actually makes the days easier and more time efficient.  Plus, I have not seen those numbers on a scale in a couple of years so I am happy with the results after just one month!

After losing 13 lbs in just a month with no exercise, I’m also pretty skeptical of anyone that says you HAVE TO work out to lose weight- now I do understand that if you already have low body fat to begin with and want to become more lean, working out would be required as well as a much stricter diet, but in my case, just losing that extra baby weight was ALL diet.

This “diet” has been pretty easy to deal with overall. I think the first week is not bad because you are motivated and should see results pretty quickly, but into the start of the third week, I definitely had withdrawal like symptoms- headaches, strong cravings, and slight grumpiness due to wanting some sugar.  But once I got past those couple days, the cravings became less and less and now, I don’t even have a single item on my crave list for cheat day! Probably because, although it’s nice to have different food on my Saturday cheat day, I never feel great at the end of the day and the following day is usually difficult, at least on my stomach!

Will I continue the same slow carb routine?

Yes! I plan on sticking to this “diet” since its pretty easy to maintain, its adaptable to traveling and going out to eat, and its effective!  Now that I am exploring more recipes, the food is good, satisfying and keeps me energized.

Although my BMI and body fat did not change significantly, I think continuing the slow carbing and checking in after another month would put me in a category I could be happy with. I think a (short term) goal of 25% body fat is not too hard to attain.  I would say my overall goal would be to get down to 18-20% but that is thinking more long term- maybe by the end of 2017???

I have now hit my pre baby weight and anything I lose on top of this as I continue the diet, is icing on the cake.  I would love to get back down to my pre-marriage weight so another 10 lbs would be fantastic but I keep thinking at some point, my body will stabilize and keep myself at a certain weight.  I am sure there is a max amount I can go before my body just stops shedding the pounds.  Has anyone out there done this for longer than a month and noticed any plateau of weight loss???

This week has been especially effective and I am not sure why- I haven’t really changed my meals (maybe a decrease in my bean intake) but in two days, I lost 5 lbs!  Maybe because I have included a bit more nut intake (cashews) and haven’t had any peanut butter.  I also added more egg whites to my breakfast and I think in doing so, my hunger has completely disappeared.  I do wake up a bit hungry in the morning, but this is a good thing since you really should eat a large breakfast, heavy in protein and vegetables.  Maybe the added mushrooms helped too.

So now that I went above and beyond my goal of 10lbs, I should take myself shopping, but I think I may hold off and lose a little more weight before committing to another green dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Mind is Still Up in the Mountains

My mind is still up there in the mountainsOh Mondays-  what is it about a Monday that makes it so unfortunate and uneventful?  For one, having to suck it up and come into the office after a nice weekend away in the high country makes it unfortunate, and being the start of a week with really nothing to look forward to but four more days of work, makes it uneventful,  It’s difficult to get started as my mind is still up in the mountains.

After seeing that my damage wasn’t all that bad after the weekend, I decided to do the unthinkable- stray from the slow carbing!!! I was only up a couple lbs and since these generally come off as the week progresses, I wasn’t too discouraged.  Plus my pants were getting pretty baggy so I was taking it as a good sign the weight was coming off, regardless of how many lbs the scale was telling me.  I didn’t have my usual eggs, spinach and mushroom breakfast since I had no time to hit the grocery store when arriving late from the mountains yesterday, so I made an executive decision to stop and get a bagel on my way into work-  I know, what a splurge!  I also followed it up with a black coffee.  I enjoyed every minute of that bagel but vowed to stick to my slow carbing diet for the remainder of the week.

I had a spinach salad with cucumber, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs with some vinaigrette dressing.  Very tasty and filling.  Then chicken fajitas (minus the tortillas)with guacamole and black beans made for a delicious dinner.  I didn’t have any cravings after dinner.  It may be the first time I didn’t have a craving for something sweet after a meal since I started this whole process- I even skipped the peanut butter, and the next morning, the scale did not disappoint, I was already 2.5 lbs down!

Being Tuesday, I had to take my measurements, these were also very good- I was definitely making progress!

Down 0.5″ in waist

Down 0.5″ in arm

Down 1.0″ in thigh

0″ – no change in hips.

I felt so good about the loss in weight and inches that I decided to try on a skirt I haven’t worn in over a year and a half, and to my relief, it fit better than before because it didn’t even feel tight!  I also need to brag just a little here- I have had this skirt for close to 15 years making me the same size at 25 years old!

Once I found out I was pregnant with baby number 2, I went through my closet and stored many clothes I knew would not fit me for quite some time. I marked the box with a label to be opened in October.  With how things were going, I would probably be able to fit into those clothes a lot sooner than October, now that was something to look forward too! As much as I was looking forward to going shopping I may not have to seeing as all my old things would be wearable again.   Nothing better than a free shopping spree of clothes I already love.

 

 

 

 

A Weekend Away

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As of today, down 1 more pound, making 9 lbs total.  Could I sustain this after a weekend away?

Today is Friday, a day of preparation for our little family to head to the mountains.  I had to run a few errands before leaving for the mountain trip so once we were all ready to go which was fairly early afternoon, the baggage kept accumulating.  It is truly amazing how much stuff a parent must pack in order to appease a baby.  Just 2 nights requires all sorts of baby gear- a stroller that can handle rough terrain, some sort of chair apparatus that can hold the baby up right in order to feed and corral her for a few moments, bedding and of course the toys.  We were lucky enough to have a pack and play already available at the condo so at least we didn’t have to make room for that!

Once the car was packed chock full of more items and bags than I took on a month long trip to Europe (for real), we headed west.  There is nothing better than getting up into the fresh mountain air, seeing trees and the views, it is nothing short of true peace-minus the small children that insist on sporadically crying or calling “mommy” anytime calm is coming into my personal space.  It is truly all. About. Patience.  Breathe….

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Anyhow, once there we were able to do some shopping at the outlets (Coach please!) head up the mountain in a gondola, listen to some live music a top said mountain and eat some dinner.  I, of course, had to accommodate for the slow carb dieting so I had a grilled chicken salad with spinach, black beans, onions, peppers, avocado and some corn.  No cheese, and a small amount of dressing made it just about a perfect salad for me.  It was delicious.  I even enjoyed a glass of red wine!  (More like gulped down a glass of wine to get those kids outta there before baby woke up-asap!)

The following morning was cheat day and as you (and I) can imagine, begin away for the weekend, cheat day was taking on a whole other level of eating!  I had my usual breakfast of eggs, spinach and mushrooms (brought them with me for the weekend) and then we headed to my favorite bakery in Silverthorne,  Blue Moon Bakery.  My wedding cake and cupcakes were made by this bakery so it is quite sentimental in addition to being delicious.  If you are ever in Summit County, go there- even just to pick up a Cookie Monster Cupcake.  I indulged in a bite of my son’s cinnamon roll and then treated myself to a molasses cookie creme sandwich.  I ate about half before hotting my sugar threshold.

We then headed to Breckenridge to the Alpine Coaster and some other kid activities, and then into town for some shopping and more playing.  The weather was a bit cloudy but luckily, it was warm.  The town was pretty busy and crowded but none the less always charming.

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Breckenridge Peak 8 Adventure Park

Lunch was a quick Wendy’s stop because when kids finally fall asleep in the car after not napping AT ALL for 24 hours, you find the nearest drive through and eat in the car, while driving for as long as possible.  My chili was good and I ate only about half my fries- I don’t seem to miss them much.

After a long day of being a tourist, it was only appropriate to order in pizza.  I had some caesar salad and two slices of pepperoni pizza which for me is conservative.  I used to be able to take down my own half of a pizza but tonight was not that night.

Sunday was back to the slow carbing and I wasn’t really dreading it.  The only thing I was dreading this morning was heading back into Denver because the traffic on I-70 on any given day is 9 times out of 10 – horrible.  And guess what the odds were not in our favor.  Huge accident and our drive and day was completely derailed, as was my diet!  By the time we got home after being the car for 3.5 hours (its normally a 1-1.5 hr drive) I was pretty grumpy and making dinner was not on my list of to-dos, so we ordered chinese food, definitely not ideal for the slow carb diet, but I made it work. I am sure sesame chicken in not ideal but I had a few small pieces and filled my bowl with a lot to broccoli.  I figure balance and effort are better than completely throwing in the towel!

All in all, the weekend was so very nice and it was nice to realize that my slow carb dieting is adaptable, even in small mountain towns where beer and burgers run rampant!

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Top of the Mountain on Loveland Pass

A Little Bit of Everything

The first thing I did which I wasn’t supposed to do, was weigh myself.  The damage wasn’t all that bad.  I had about a 1.5 lb gain.  I had been really full yesterday so I really didn’t eat that much overall, and maybe the regular slow carb breakfast helped.  Either way, I would be sure to stick to a typical breakfast to start my cheat days.

So now three weeks in, I am becoming used to eating specific meals- breakfast is the typical eggs, mushrooms and spinach, lunch is a protein like leftover  chicken or a can of tuna, a vegetable and sometimes lentils or beans.  I usually have a snack of almonds in the afternoon if I need it, then dinner is a protein, veggie and maybe beans.  This week I have not been eating too many lentils/beans and so far it doesn’t seem to be effecting my weight at all.

What really effected me today was my eye and the aftermath of the PRK.  It is not so painful as much as uncomfortable.  I have to wear a bandage contact to protect my eye and I do remember once this came out, my eye felt much better.  Well I had until Wednesday before it came out so I would just have to suffer through the blurriness and light sensitivity.

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But you know what made up for the inconvenience of my eye?  Seeing my little one crawl!  Today was her first day to crawl- more like an army crawl but watch out, she is on the move and gonna be a whole lot more work! Children are such hard work and will try your patience (and your sanity) every step of the way but the  rewards are huge – love and more love.

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STARTING ANOTHER THE WEEK – WEEK 4

I am coming upon a month of doing the slow carb diet and I am exited to do an overall summary of my results, my feelings, etc. That will post in the next week or so.  I am trying to catch up my blog posts to current time so I should be back on track to start next week.  Monday was no change in weight but that’s what I have come to expect so far after the weekend.  But Tuesday was measurement day and despite my little weight loss on the scale, my measurement results were surprising!  Since last week’s measurements, I had a 1.5″ loss in my waist, 0.5″ in hips, 0.5″ in arms and no change in thighs.   So even though I wasn’t seeing too much change in poundage, I was at least losing inches and that was making me very happy.

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I got a bit derailed on Tuesday with nuts- I think nuts are ok to have on the slow carb diet but it is easy to consume too many – and I think I did just that.  I bought these coconut cashews from Trader Joe’s, they are AH-MAZING, thinking they would be healthy and not effect my diet.  Which after consuming more than a handful, they actually didn’t effect my weight but I am pretty certain I am not allowed to eat as many as I had, but boy were they good!  They only have 7 grams of sugar for a serving of 13 cashews, which compared to 40 grams of sugar in a soda, I think it’s a much better alternative! I just shouldn’t have a bag at my desk- wayyy tooo tempting…But as I mentioned before, the nuts didn’t effect my weight, in fact I lost another 2 lbs., just two days later.  This week has been not too bad on the craving front- hoping that the carb cravings are subsiding.  And even though I really would have enjoyed my mom’s home made chocolate chip cookie after dinner last night,  I knew it wasn’t hunger, it was just habit.  I have (or maybe had) such a sweet tooth!  I am used to eating something sweet after pretty much every meal- at least lunch and dinner, every day. But this again is just a habit, and they say it takes 21 days to break  habit – it’s been just about that so maybe it has mostly gone away?    All I know is, the only thing on my crave list is a iced chai tea latte – pretty boring huh?  We are going out of town for the weekend so I am excited to eat out at some mountain favorites- most likely pizza and my favorite bakery in Silverthorne.  My next post will be all about my weekend get away- looking forward to some fun outdoor activities, maybe stopping at the Coach outlet- yea for bag shopping ( a favorite activity!!!)  and writing on one of my favorite spots in Colorado- Breckenridge.