Archive for the ‘Diet’ Category

Still hanging on!

Back on November 15th I started on my lifestyle change and took a little quiz to determine my level of health. I had scored between a 4 and 5, which is not so healthy since the ideal number was 10. Now that I have been on this crusade for almost a full month I decided to retest myself. By drinking more water, making a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies, and by eliminating alcohol I am now at a score of 7.

Although that is not perfect, I do feel better knowing that I have moved up on the health scale. My goals had been simply to consume more “good things” (fruits, veggies, water) and less “bad things” (salt, alcohol, white carbs). How did I go from not having any fruit and very little veggies to getting the day’s needed amount? Well I sprinkled berries on my cereal in the morning, had bananas, oranges, apples and grapes as snacks instead of my usual chips, candy, etc., added additional veggies on top of my salad at lunch, had 100% vegetable soaps in veggie broth, and added steamed veggies into my daily diet. I also started drinking 100% (anything less doesn’t qualify as a veggie serving) vegetable juice. That is really gross, but it works if I know I’m not going to be eating a veggie anytime soon.

My biggest accomplishment was eliminating alcohol from my diet. As an alcoholic I was drinking almost daily, with a couple days of complete binge drinking. Although I’ve only been completely sober for 13 consecutive days, it as made a difference. My husband thinks my skin looks better and I am really enjoying the non-hangover lifestyle.

So what’s next? My goals now will to be to try to control my sweet tooth. I say try to control instead of eliminate because there is no way for me to eliminate sweets. I won’t lie to myself or to you…I cannot give up treats. I love, love, LOVE desserts. But my problem is that I emotionally consume treats. If I’m bored I find myself wanting to bake (doesn’t help that it’s the holiday season!), if I am sad I want chocolate, If I am stressed I want candy…It is terrible. So my goal is to consume these devilish goodies in moderation as well as finding other ways to relieve my emotions. So much easier said than done, so I need to get even more specific: I will only consume one treat a day and never go back for seconds. (I have a big problem with going back for more.) I know from a nutritional stand point, a treat a day is still pretty bad but I need to be realistic. Right now I am consuming probably 5 treats a day, easily. Sneak a piece of chocolate here, another one there, try a cookie here, have a hot cocoa there, a piece of pie after dinner…see there’s 5 servings of delicious badness. I’m also going to try to have “good treats.” Meaning maybe instead of a Oreo McFlurry I’ll have a yogurt parfait, or instead of a piece of chocolate cake I’ll have a banana split. Seriously anyway I can be healthier without giving up my desserts I will try.

As for another way to handle my emotions? I know what’s next. EXERCISE. Shudder. I know this because time and time again I hear from numerous sources that working out is the best way to cure boredom, create endorphins, decrease stress, etc. I know, I know. But really, giving up sweets and working out? One thing at a time please! After I can control my sweet tooth I’ll tackle exercise. If reading my blog hasn’t yet told you, I am a seriously, professional lazy person. The best lazy person you will ever meet. I can sleep for hours if you let me. I can wear the same sweatpants for days. I have no idea how to even begin to incorporate exercise. So that will definitely be a task to conquer…later.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Here’s to a new week!

I don’t know what’s been going on with me lately. I don’t know if my “healthy” choices are paying off or if someone is lacing my food with meth but I’ve been a happy, chipper lady lately! I mean, minus this disgusting morning (I do not do mornings-ever), I’ve been really happy! Even while driving in wet snow with dumb ass drivers going 20 mph on the freeway all morning I was really positive that this week is going to rock my socks off. Last week was pretty pleasant, when I reflect on it. I give myself a B+ for last week. We can’t say I ate really healthy but we can say I didn’t drink alcohol 5/7 days (miraculous improvement!) and I consumed fruit! Big steps for me yo. This weekend though I did falter, not going to lie. I happily consumed massive amounts of desserts but come on now, I attended a birthday party and a Baby Gender revealing party. Cake was essential. Yes. Absolutely necessary.

Anyways, whatever it is…I don’t know if it’s all the nasty lemon water I’ve been downing like a fish, or if it’s the extra nutrients that my body was deprived of, but I’m way less tired (only taking 2 naps a day now-haha-perks of being a nanny), and I fit into clothes without looking like sausage. It’s an excellent feeling knowing that I’m going in the right direction. I’ve even lost 2 lbs. although weight loss wasn’t really my goal. I have all this freaky energy too. You should have seen me last week-cleaning my house, baking vegan cookies (recipe tomorrow!), scrapbooking and doing laundry. I was a maniac. A really happy productive maniac.

This week will be fun, testing myself on Thanksgiving- (Why so many pies? Really? Banana cream , apple, pumpkin, french silk…what the hell. Are you trying to kill me?) But I really am excited. It’s snowing, it’s gorgeous, I have a great family and great friends. I stayed sober for 5 days in a row. So much to be thankful about. 🙂 Hope everyone has an awesome Monday! I’m going to go take my second paid nap now.

“Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health.”

Good Friday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Friday today, because I did. Today was full of awesome.

First things first. My “lifestyle change” goals are still on track! I’ve been swapping alcohol for water and eating healthier this week and it’s already made a tiny difference. I got into my skinniest skinny jeans today which of course made the rest of the day really that much better.

I also was at an elementary school today assisting teachers in 5th grade, 2nd grade and my absolute favorite…kindergarten. The kids have next week off so today they celebrated Thanksgiving. The little kids are sweet enough on any given day, but today was even more unbearably cute because they had a little Thanksgiving Feast, complete with paper construction bonnets and pilgrim hats. I had a permanent smile on my face all day. Then as I walked down the hallways and looked at the artwork on the walls, I laughed as I found “Don’t eat me” turkey’s some kids made.

I got out of the school early and went to eat a early dinner at Big Bowl and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have a new vegetarian and gluten free menu! This totally rocked my world! I already love Big Bowl, and had a few signature vegetarian meals that I always ordered but now there’s a whole menu! There’s new appetizers and entrees. Here are some of the new entrees:
Cilantro Salad – cilanto, pressed tofu, roasted peanuts and sesame dressing

Crispy Tofu – chiles, fresh ginger, soy-sesame dressing

Unfried Rice – jasmine rice, wok tossed with fresh ginger, spicy Fresno chilies, shiitake, bamboo, Sichuan vegetable, pressed tofu with sunny-side up egg.

Lucky 8 – eight types of vegetables such as green beans, spinach, napa cabbage and tofu with sesame soy sauce. The complete eight will depend on what’s local and seasonal at the time.

I tried the Unfried Fried Rice. Two thumbs up! And because I’m trying to cut my extra calories, I boxed half of the meal. I actually pushed half of it on one side of my plate and didn’t touch it. This is like a first. Second accomplishment? Passed on the alcohol again! Oh so good. Third accomplishment? Passed on dessert!

My aura is so positive right now, I just had to share because maybe I can pass it on to you! Here’s to accomplishing goals and little kids! Love!

Have an amazing weekend!
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  -Winston Churchill

Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving is in exactly one week from today. I love Thanksgiving, even if the message is hugely skewed and a little
fabricated. The intent is good and it comes down to the start of the Winter Holiday Festivities and family time. The one time of year that I actually do genuinely feel some type of love and warmth towards everyone. I love the holidays! This will be my first holiday season without meat, and I’m prepared to be ridiculed. Bring it on, I don’t really care.

What I do care about are the poor turkeys that are being fattened up right now as I type this. Fattened up on shit they normally wouldn’t even consume to become big, plump feasts that Americans who already are fat don’t need to eat. Why do we use a holiday like Thanksgiving, where we are suppose to give thanks for our bountifulness, to consume even more food than normal while there are countries in poverty? Makes sense back in the hay day when food was scarce and one had to hunt for their family’s turkey feast, but nowadays it’s just a tradition for families to pig out together then all crash from their tryptophan (the reason why you get so sleepy after eating turkey) overdose then have a Thanksgiving hangover the next day.

Look at those poor baby turkey’s. 😦

Pretty much every family out there is going to be purchasing a turkey in the next week, so where do you think all these turkey’s come from? First off they are so obese from what factories feed them that they can’t naturally reproduce. They are almost all conceived through artificial insemination. Then they are raised on factory farms in large incubators and separated from their mamas. Then when they are a couple weeks old they get moved into windowless sheds with thousands of other turkeys and this is where they spend the rest of their lives. They get pretty stressed out, so in order for us to keep them from killing each other in these crowded sheds we cut off their toes and beaks without pain relievers.

How do we get them nice and plump for Thanksgiving? They are drugged and genetically manipulated to grow as large as they possibly can as quickly as they can. In the 1970s the average turkey weighed 17 lbs. Today they weigh 28 lbs! For anyone who thinks this is normal (to fatten and kill turkeys) take into consideration that they are so unnaturally large that they often die from organ failure or heart attacks before they are even 6 months old. They are suppose to live for 12 years.

Please eat organic turkey this Thanksgiving, or better yet don’t eat any. I may not be a perfect eater, but I’m really not going to be a vessel of dead turkey this Thanksgiving.

 

Who will win tonight?

Being healthy is one thing. Being sober is another. Who knew that the hardest part of my week would be giving up booze? (And it’s only Wednesday.)  All my other goals I am on track with. It’s just this not drinking thing that’s really making me want to rip my face off. How do normal people only consume alcohol in moderation?

Here’s the real dilemma: Tonight I am going to the Minnesota Wild hockey game where I will be surrounded by beer guys shouting out insanities like “Cold beer! Who wants a cold beer? I got your cold beer!” Damn those insensitive jerks. What am I to do? As if the smell of overly large soft pretzels with fake cheese isn’t bad enough, now I have to resist from the juice too? Why did I do this to myself.

Oh yeah I remember. Because I don’t want liver damage. What I’ve done to my liver thus far as well as the rest of my body is near suicide. My poor liver deserves a trophy…whatta champ. It’s time for me to give something back to my body, like health. So here goes. Let’s see if resistance is one of my talents. Go Wild!

“Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.” – Frederick William Faber

Thirsty?

I like to read books. Especially one’s that give me useful information. As I was strolling through the library for unnecessary reading material not for school, I stumbled upon “Drink this, Not that.” I love these “Eat this, Not that” books so of course I was intrigued. Here’s some useful information I think we can all use, especially us alcoholics.

If you are going to drink vegetable juice or use some in your Bloody Marys, V8 is always best. V8 is actually better for you than real straight up tomato juice even. Why? Because it includes an expansive list of nutrients and an 8-ounce glass provides two servings of fruits and vegetables. This is heaven to my ears since I can’t even find it in myself to put tomatoes on my sandwich. More interesting? V8 Fusion is tastier but still good for you. It’s 50 calories per serving and each calorie comes from a blend of sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, pomegranates and blueberries. Nice. One more interesting thing? V8 Splash is bad for you. The book says it is “unfit to carry the V8 brand name. It’s made with artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup and a pathetic 10% juice.” Of course V8 Splash was the one I liked, but that’s just how my life has been going lately.

Another devastating blow? Rice milk is bad for you too. Fudge me. I don’t really enjoy drinking cow milk because I love my dairy cows but I do love the taste of cow’s milk. That’s why I love rice milk. It tastes just like skim milk and I always thought it was awesome that it was made from rice…how healthy! Nope. The book crushed all my dreams by telling me “You can’t expect the milk to be more nutritious than the grain that produced it, and that rule is best illustrated by rice milk. Rice consists of mostly starch, a carbohydrate that quickly breaks down to sugar in the body. Likewise, rice milk is the most carbohydrate-rich of all common nondairy milks.” Sweet. I’ve been DRINKING my carbs too! Wow. I’m an idiot.  So now my husband can say “told you so!” since he’s been trying to convert me to almond milk for months. Husband 1 Wife 0. Damnit.

Now, onto the important stuff: beer.

If you are going to drink Domestic beer my lovely Rolling Rock Extra is a winner! Hallelujah! It is one of the lowest calorie beers. 132 calories to be exact. You want better than that? I gotchu. My favorite grandma drink that everyone makes fun of me for drinking is Michelob Ultra. But I don’t care because it only has 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs. Holla! Miller Lite is pretty awesome too, at 96 calories and 3.2 grams of carbs. The lowest though is MGD 64 (Miller Genuine Draft 64) at 64 calories and 2.4 grams of carbs. How come no one has introduced us before? Now if you want your fancy imported beer, the “healthiest” beer is going to be Becks Light, which is pretty good I have to say myself and has 64 calories and 4 grams of carbs. Another good one? Yummy Amstel Light at 95 calories and 5 grams of carbs.

That was the best of the best. Here’s the worst of the worst. For Domestics, Budweiser American Ale is your worst enemy. A bottle carries 182 calories and 18.1 g of carbs. Holy guacamole. My husband’s fave Sam Adams Boston Lager comes in second at 170 calories and 18 g carbs. Ha! Husband 1, Wife 1. For light beer drinkers Michelob Light is the worst at 123 calories and 8.8 carbs. You might as well switch to my Ultra. Also bad? Bud Light and Bud Light Lime. For imports Guinness Extra Stout (176 cals, 14 carbs) and Heineken (166 cals, 9.8 carbs) were the worst. Corona also made the bad list. Sadness.

If you are intrigued so far, you should get the book because I only highlighted what was important to me. I thankfully don’t consume coffee, pop, tea or juice. Most other people do, so this book explains and compares many gazillion brands of drinks. It also goes into wine and spirits. 😉 Also important to me, but I don’t have all day to write about alcohol. Maybe if someone paid me. Anyways, get the book because it’s awesome. It runs about $20 at the bookstore or be cheap like me and get it at the library. For those of you unwilling to spend $20 on a book but have accidentally gone to the bar when it wasn’t Happy Hour and spent $20 on two margaritas, you may want to reevaluate your priorities. Not judging, just saying from one alcoholic to another.

Cheers!

Are you on my level?

Here we go all. Day 1 of my lifestyle change. So as if it’s not already bad enough that it’s Monday and I have a night class tonight, I also am embarking on healthy eating. So far? Blah! Breakfast consisted of bran cereal that tasted like literally nothing with almond milk. (I used to be a HUGE avocet of rice milk…but more about that later.) So far, so bland. But that’s alright. It’s a step in the right direction. I may even eat a fruit for my morning snack today. Yes sir, you read it here first, I am going to eat a piece of fruit. (For any of you who don’t really know me, I am a vegetarian that eats very little vegetables. And almost no fruit. The fruitiest thing in my diet is wine.)

So as I jump forth into this new territory of conscious eating I had to have some sort of backbone and goal to motivate me through this. I found a pretty cool book called “Eating for Health” which is part of the Teach Yourself series and is written by Sara Kirkham. In it I found a little quiz that tells you which level you are at on the “health scale.” At one end of the spectrum, 1 is Junk and 10 is Optimum Nutrition. Ideally you want to be at a 10. I am between a 4 and 5. That’s freaking’ terrible.

Anyways, the chapter goes on to describe how to achieve a 10, or at least how to try to achieve a 10. Our bodies, as well as any other changes we want to achieve, can only adjust in stages. So I need to make realistic goals. I can only aim to make a few changes to move to the next level. Bottom line…I’m not going to be at 10 by the end of the week. So what realistic goals do I have for this week?
1. No alcohol.
2. Consume at least one serving of fruit and at least two servings of veggies a day. (We’re suppose to eat like 5+ servings of this stuff a day, but hey, I said realistic goals.)
3. No white icky carbs like donuts, cakes, etc.
4. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
5. No use of the salt shaker.

Let’s see how today goes. I already am bored, but I need to redirect my thinking. I eat to live, not live to eat! Here’s the quiz from the book…see what level you’re at!

How many servings of fruit and vegetables do you eat a day?
a. One or less, and unlikely to be fresh
b. 2-3
c. 4-5
d. 5+

How much water do you drink each day?
a. none
b. only if I am thirsty, or in coffee and tea
c. A couple glasses a day
d. 8+ glasses

What sort of carbs do you eat?
a. Croissants, doughnuts, cakes
b. French bread, white bread, white rice
c. Grain breads
d. Whole wheat/whole grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta

What type of proteins do you eat regularly?
a. Ground beef, processed deli meats, hot dogs
b. Yogurts, milk, cheese, meat products such as bacon and sausage
c. Mainly red meats including pork, lamb
d. Mainly fresh fish, soy, nuts, and/or some organic meat

What types of fat do you consume?
a. Lard, salad dressings, sauces, margarine, a lot of refined fats (biscuits, pastries, etc.)
b. Butter, vegetable oils, limited amount of refined fats
c. Vegetable oils for cooking, low fat spreads
d. Olive oil for cooking, vegetable oils for salads, no refined fats

Which of the following fibers do you eat regularly?
a. White bread, breakfast cereals (think typical kid’s cereals)
b. Bran
c. Whole wheat cereals, oatmeal
d. Fruit, veggies, brown rice, oats

How much alcohol do you drink?
a. Above 8 (10 for men) drinks weekly, drinking either every day or binge drinking on weekends
b. Between 6 to 8 (8 to 10 for men) a week
c. Between 3 to 6 for either sex
d. Under 3 a week

How many drinks of coffee, tea, or pop do you drink each day?
a. Over 6 cups (are you crazy?)
b. 3-5 cups
c. 1-2 cups
d. None

How often do you eat sweets, refined convenience/ready-made foods?
a. In every meal or several times a day
b. At least once a day
c. Few times a week
d. Rarely

How many meals do you eat each day?
a. I often miss meals and have coffee and/or snacks instead
b. One of two meals, I usually miss breakfast and eat more later in the day
c. Usually 3 meals a day, including breakfast
d. I eat throughout the day including breakfast and healthy snacks

 

How’d ya score?

Mostly a’s: Place on the optimum nutrition scale: 2-3. You do need to change your diet. You need to limit the use of convenience foods, reducing salt and sugar intake, and drinking less coffee, tea and/or alcohol. Increase your servings of fruit and vegetables and eat regularly through out the day.

Mostly b’s: 4-5. Some changes need to be made. Look at the questions which you answered b or a and try to improve specifically on those areas. Altering different areas of your diet slowly without too many drastic changes is the best way to adopt a healthy diet and improve your health.

Mostly c’s: 6-7. You eat better than most people but would still benefit from a few more changes. Most of your diet is fairly healthy but you may want to cut back on coffee, tea, alcohol or sugar. Address specific questions that you answered a, b, or c to.

Mostly d’s: 7+ Well done. You are already close to eating an optimum nutrient diet. Look back at the questions you answered a, b, or c to and improve on those particular aspects of your diet.

See you tomorrow-Happy Monday!