Thursday, August 25, 2011

I really love eating well

I've been avoiding eating out as much as possible for months. But sometimes, I throw caution to the wind because I just want to go out and have a nice meal with special people. Tonight, the special people were my boys. I love them so much. We don't get to spend a lot of time together because we've all got our stuff to do. But tonight, it was Farmer's Market downtown, the weather was perfect closer to evening, and I wanted to walk around with my boys and enjoy one of the pleasures of small town life for which I'm cultivating a fondness.

We ate at Crush Kitchen + Bar, a local eatery that strives to adhere to the idea of building their menu from locally available produce (in fact, most of their produce they grow themselves) and having nearly everything made in-house. ("Except the gelato," we were told.) It's really nice to know that even in my small town I can find a restaurant that will provide me something really good to eat that supports my healthy lifestyle choices. We ate well!

I blurred the edges of my Paleolithic diet just a little. I started with the fried squash blossoms. The boys each tried one and then I ate the other two. YUM!!! So light, filled with ricotta and drizzled with a little chili sauce. (Not like my grandmother's...she always stuffed them with feta and dipped them in egg and flour before frying. Her's were MUCH greasier.) For dinner I ordered the full plate of roasted beets on a bed of arugula and topped with chopped raw almonds and a few bits of goat cheese. Beautifully dressed and lots of herbs too! So good! Not too far off the Paleo path, and I easily came in on target with macro-nutrients and fiber for the day.

We were too full for dessert, but I fully intend to go back for it at a later time. Maybe next Thursday we'll buy some cucumbers and tomatoes at Farmer's Market and eat them on the street then end up at Crush for some dessert. I read about their zeppoles from the menu and while I'm not much of a dessert eater...well, here's what the menu says. You read and decide what you'd do:
Zeppoles Italian donuts filled with vanilla bean pastry cream rolled in orange sugar on a bed of bittersweet orange chocolate ganache.
Duh!!! Guys? Can I have mine with the French press coffee?

After dinner, my youngest and I walked around downtown a little. All the vendors were packing up their pop-ups and putting away the produce. We had missed it all. But it was worth it. I got to spend a couple hours of quality time with my sons. We had good meaningful conversation, laughed some and ate well. Plenty of joy points for the day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

This video is looooooong, like an hour and a half, but if you're a sciency/mathy sort of person, you'll find this very interesting...or rather, eye-opening and shocking. Made me rethink about how much I was doing to help protect myself and my sons.

Sugar wasn't all that important to me, but I was indulging my kids. As of now, we're done with sugar at my house! And we're totally ramping up the fiber too!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Check out my home gym!

My older son and I spent a few days cleaning and rearranging things in the garage. I finally have a dedicated gym for us to use! No more fighting cobwebs to get to the treadmill.

In the garage I've got the treadmill, elliptical cross-trainer, weight bench with bar and weight set, step bench and risers, Pilates mats, a kettle bell and hand weights. My youngest uses the punching bag to practice taekwando. Still room to park the car!

There's additional equipment in the backyard. That's my rowing machine. I like using that early in the morning. TV and DVD player will be moving out there soon so I can do workouts in the fresh air.
An important part of working out is the cool down. I think it needs some potted plants.

And then there's pain reliever for the muscle aches. But that's at the end of the day.

Anybody feeling achy?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I get bored so easily!!! Time for another personal challenge, I think

I'm starting a Ramadan-style fast tomorrow morning. I've been struggling the last few weeks. With everything! My weight loss is at a standstill, I've been letting my appetite rule my decision-making process, and I've been letting my mother hijack my life so much so that my exercise schedule is gone. So I've decided to get back on track using a vehicle...Ramadan.


Ramadan is the Muslim holy fasting month. It started last week. But my peri-menopausal body decided to surprise me with an extra-heavy Shark Week, which just knocked me on my ass for a few days, so I postponed the start of Georgia's version of Ramadan until all that business is done. I start my 30-day Ramadan-style fast in the morning.

Here's the fasting plan: Sunrise is around 6:15. I'm getting up at 5:30 for breakfast. It'll consist of a double portion of steel-cut oats, a poached egg and a little olive oil, plus my big cup of coffee with half and half. (I forgot to plan for cutting out coffee before starting the fast, so I'll wean myself by having a decreasing amount of coffee in the mornings over the next week or so.)

I'm going to keep drinking water during the day. I won't have any other sort of beverage. I'll be taking my vitamins throughout the day, so I need the water. I'm not Muslim, I can make my own rules about this! I'm also adding a good bit of skin-brushing on a daily basis, plus conditioning my skin with almond oil.

Sunset is just before 8:15, so to break my daily fast I'm going with a modified traditional method...three dates. That's how my Muslim friends broke their fast. I don't really like how sweet the dates are, so I'm going to make myself a date-banana smoothie with full-fat Greek yogurt. And I think that's all I'm going to have. If I simply can't handle that, I'll resort to vegetables. And going to bed by 10!

Right after sunrise, I'm going to start with the exercising. I'll spend about 40 minutes on my rowing machine, then Pilates. Around noon, I'll hit the rowing machine again. In the late afternoon, I'll do my weight lifting split routine. I'll exercise six days a week.

I should see a caloric deficit that will buy me at least a 5-6 lb loss. I'm going to weigh myself every Sunday morning and record it here. Plus all my personal observations about how I'm doing.

When I fast, things come up, and usually all my anger issues first. I may be in a pissy mood by Tuesday. Good thing I'll be seeing my therapist on Wednesday! I hope to work through some personal stuff over the next month. I have my EBT work to do and I'm very curious to see what the fasting will bring up for me.

I may be "fasting" from other things over the next month. Like no TV during the day, or other behaviors that lead to mindless eating. I drive a long distance on Tuesdays to go to class, and I have a tendency to snack on something along the way. Maybe I'll just turn the radio up loud. If I listen to NPR, I'll learn something!

Who knows where the next 30 days are going to take me. I hope it's a fruitful journey.