Mar 10, 2010

30 Day Shred - Level 2

I finally tried level 2 of the 30 day shred, and I'm ashamed to admit that I couldn't finish it. It's packed with lunges and squats, both of which really kick my rear. This is because I have NO muscles in my rear, or thighs for that matter, and I NEED these lunges and squats desperately. I think I'm going to enjoy this level far more than level 1.

I've done level 2 twice now, and haven't finished it yet. The first time, I couldn't even do the third circuit. The second time (last night), I managed the third circuit with some breaks but couldn't manage that last burst of cardio.

It's pretty obvious that I need this level, badly.

Tonight is night three - and I'm going to try to finish strong. But if I can't, that's okay too. I'll just keep trucking along until I get there.

Mar 8, 2010

Put a fork in me, I'm done.

Dinner was AWESOME. Grilled chicken burgers loaded up with avocado, feta, arugula and spinach. Roasted lemon broccoli (I forgot to add the garlic, doh!) that was to DIE FOR, and a small salad of arugula and spinach topped with baby carrots, tomatoes, lemon hummus and a splash of Newman's Own Asian dressing. 


My hamburger bun of choice

Since it's another warm, sunny day in Atlanta, I figured the husband and I would go for a walk or run, but that was a no go. I tried out the DVD that came with my medicine ball and it was a serious workout. I was kind of surprised. I think I'll do it three times a week, mixing in with 30 Day Shred and regular cardio in the form of walks and runs, when I can fit them in.

You are what you eat. No, really. You are.

It is AMAZING what a difference my eating habits have made in my life, already. I woke up veritably sprang out of bed at 8am on Saturday morning, feelin' good and ready to just do STUFF. I honestly have not felt like that in probably six months... not even for one day.

And then......

We screwed it all up. It was like falling off the wagon, only also pulling all of your supplies and the horses down on your head. We ran out of time and ended up eating junk (Zaxby's is horrible for you. Why? Why did we go there?), and it started a rumble in my tummy almost immediately. Then, we went out to meet up with friends, which we rarely do anymore for cost reasons and to avoid potential dietary disasters (although we love hanging out with our friends... just usually at our home or theirs). Plus, I hate smoky bars. We ended up in a smoky bar. Where we polished off a giant piece of the richest chocolate cake I've ever had. And I didn't have time to exercise that day. And we stayed out til 2am. No bueno.

So Sunday rolls around, and I wake up too early, and I feel like three kinds of crap. We had already made brunch plans with good friends, so I rolled my butt out of bed and hit up Cracker Barrel. Noooooooo. BAD. Someone slap my hand. I felt like eighteen kinds of crap by the end of the day. Zero energy. Nothing felt good. I couldn't pinpoint what felt sick.... just everything. My tummy hurt, I was exhausted, lethargic, unhappy. So I didn't exercise that day, either.

It's now Monday, and I didn't feel well this morning. I only managed about six bites of my oat bowl before giving up. But I've slowly made progress, and have eaten a banana, some soup, and a snack of walnuts, almonds and butterscotch chips. I realized I didn't drink nearly enough water this weekend, so I'm putting some of that down, too. And you know what? After a little health injection, I feel better! I think I'll be just fine after another night of good sleep, a heck of a lot more water, some exercise and a nice healthy dinner full of greens and fruit. Maybe a chicken lime burger topped with tomato and spinach, with a side of fruit? Sounds good.

It really is true - YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. You will only put out quality if you are taking in quality.

So how good is your food? Do you know? Do you even know where it comes from, down to the seeds? Do some research.  It may surprise you. No, I know it will surprise you.

Mar 5, 2010


It was a GORGEOUS sunny day in Atlanta yesterday, so I grabbed my husband after work and headed outside. We took a long walk and had great conversation. I love it when I can incorporate a workout into time spent with him!

He is working tonight (and I had to work late then stop at the store) so I did the usual - the 30 Day Shred, and some Wii Yoga. Felt good to stretch out.... I need to stop during the day and stretch my muscles more often. I tend to be a tightly wound little hunchback while at work. I need someone to tie me to my chair with an Hermes scarf (any movie dorks out there? No? Just me? Awesome).

The oat bowls and whole food eating has just made the biggest difference in my energy level throughout the day, and I've noticed I'm far less hungry than I used to be. I also realized today that I CRAVE whole foods now, instead of junk. This morning I had an oat bowl with flax and then stirred in some pumpkin and almond butter. I ate the crap out of that oat bowl. I didn't have time for lunch (oops!) but I did have two snacks at work - a Kashi bar and a sliced granny smith smeared with almond butter and sprinkled with coconut and butterscotch chips. I also just realized I haven't eaten dinner yet.... and it's 9:12pm.... and I worked out for about 45 minutes straight.... TWO HOURS AGO. I should be absolutely famished right now. Hm.

And I am BEYOND proud of my husband, who went to the grocery store and bought hamburger (instead of going out to lunch on his day off) and then bought the whole wheat thin sandwich bun things.... instead of regular white bread hamburger buns. And he proclaimed that they were GOOD. And, he said that they were the only ones there without high fructose corn syrup. He looked!!  :D

I really think he just needed a good influence in his life, as far as diet and nutrition go. He grew up eating whatever he wanted and thinks that because his dad isn't fat, that he's healthy. Soooooo not the case. I'm glad he's starting to see the difference between "not fat" and healthy.

Mar 3, 2010

Time to get back to it!

Finals week is finally over! Huzzah! 

And I wasn't being such a good girl either. I have the muffin top to prove it. Nah, I wasn't that bad (the muffin top was already there) but I didn't really have time to exercise amidst that many assignments, papers and tests. 

It's a new week and I'm ready to get back on track! 

I've recently become interested in whole eating. I've been eating a lot of organic food, and everything else I eat has to at least be natural and have ingredients I can pronounce and identify. I've been doing well with this and not just because I want to do well - I really like it. The food, 95% of which is home cooked or raw, is just GOOD. I don't overeat, I don't feel sluggish or bloated after eating it...what is the new concept in eating??? 

Well, it's what we are supposed to be doing, duh! Eating REAL FOOD that is GOOD FOR YOU. 

I'm kind of shocked when I think about what I used to eat. Not just the junk from fast food restaurants or the vending machine, but the "health food" (bwahaha!) I was eating for the sake of weight loss. Really? I was loading my body with as few natural items as possible, full of chemicals that I can't pronounce, in the interest of losing weight. Geez, um... that sounds healthy.... yeah *blushes*. 

So what have I been eating? Well, remember, I'm new to this so I've started slowly. However, I've gotten a TON of inspiration from Kath Eats Real Food and Oh She Glows (I'm seriously addicted to these blogs, as well as Bites + Bowls - check them out, you will be too.) Anyway, I've been eating: 

Oat Bowls for breakfast - Oatmeal, ground flaxseed, and various additions. I've got bananas, walnuts, honey, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanut and almond butter, cranberry apple butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, granola, raisins, pumpkin... the options are endless! I'll start taking pictures, but I have a crappy point + shoot, so they won't look very cool. Still, it'll be neat to see what combos I come up with. 

Snacks have been greek yogurt with a bit of honey, or plain fruit, or a jazzed up piece of fruit - like a sliced banana with organic peanut butter, unsweetened organic coconut, organic raisins, and a few butterscotch chips on top! Yum. I do like to nosh on Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax bars, as well.

For dinner tonight, I took inspiration from somewhere (can't remember where, but probably one of the aforementioned blogs) and threw together an organic, vegetarian enchilada bake and it. was. AWESOME. Inexpensive (due to being meatless), easy, one pan, ample leftovers and incredibly TASTY. What more do you need? I'm pleased. I can't wait to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow. :) 

I also found a yoga studio nearby (that is also part of a health foods store - bonus!) and am looking into taking some classes, but I'm still weirded out by being so sucky at it. Why can't I just be coordinated?

Feb 22, 2010

Such a busy thing.

I'm just trying to survive this coming week, then I'll be back in all my blogging glory. It's the last week of this semester, and I have way too much reading, homework and oh yeah - a few papers that I put off - to do. I love to write. I don't love to write papers. And when I do write, it has to be when I'm good and ready. Seeing as how that doesn't always jive with a college schedule or a full time job, I procrastinate papers until the very end, because I write better under pressure.

So this next week will be monster for me, then I have two glorious weeks off of school before the next term begins. After that term, I'll be taking the summer off to relax, work a second job, learn American sign language, write, read, and  generally bask in happiness (until fall semester starts).

See ya in a week!

Feb 15, 2010

That one time that one lady thought I was prego...

And I WASN'T.  Eeep. 

Wanna hear about it? 

About this time last year, my stomach was doing some pretty odd things. I would wake up with a totally flat stomach (not defined, mind you - just flat) and by the time I went to bed, I looked like I was about six months pregnant. I'm not exaggerating. Seriously - six months. I assumed it was food related, but couldn't figure out what the cause was. I didn't have any other tummy problems, for the most part. No gas (TMI!), no pains, and I certainly wasn't incubating a fetus to six months of age every day then magically and painlessly giving birth to it while I slept, so what the hell? I did notice that I had zero energy by the end of the day, was horribly grouchy (food babies will do that to you, I guess), craved desserts like a CRAZY woman and was horribly emotional. 

I went to a gastrointestinal specialist, and he very dismissively diagnosed me with IBS, by just looking at me. That's it. Told me to eat fiber, take imodium. Neither of which did a thing to help my phantom six month food fetus. 

I started spending way too many hours on line doing research on my symptoms, and after about two months of dealing with this, finally started getting somewhere. It looked like I might have something called SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth. I started taking pics of my belly when I woke up, at lunch time, and when I went to bed. I tracked what I ate and when, and after reading a bit on SIBO, discovered that the only real "cure" is to eat as low carb as possible, since the bacteria that have taken over your gut thrive on carbs. Huzzah! It worked. But still... wth was I going to do the rest of my life? Live low carb? I still needed a doctor to figure out what caused it and how to make it go away. 

More internet research brought me to a specialist at Emory Hospital. He was an endocrinologist that had started researching nutritional issues in endocrinology patients and was only seen after an interview. Yep, I had to interview to see this doctor. My case had to be special enough. It was. 

I brought my pics, my diet, my argument to him, ready to fight vehemently that I did NOT have IBS. I didn't have to. He said it was 100% SIBO, and he didn't even have to perform a hydrogen breath test to know that. He told me to stick to serious low carb for three months (NO SUGAR), take heavy probiotics, take gas-x even though I had no gas (it did help), and gave me a prescription for Xifaxin, an antibiotic that was only recently approved by the FDA for travelers diarrhea which is absorbed directly into the intestinal lining instead of the blood stream, thereby killing the bacteria in a more vicious, gladiator manner. And it DID. Now, months later, I still notice that if I eat too many carbs in a day, my stomach will bloat up to about four months phantom food baby. I have an emergency stash of Xifaxin in case I have issues again. 

What caused this? I have thyroid disease, and flip flop back and forth between hypo and hyper. When you go hypo, your body sloooooows dooooown, including your, uh, motility. That is, you don't poop often. Slowed down motility = bacteria hanging out too long = multiplying like a mofo = SIBO.

So what happened at the nail salon? Well, the nail technician asked if I was pregnant. This was in the very early stages, when everything first started, so I was aghast that someone would ask that! After yelling WHAT?!?! at her, she then acted like she didn't speak English. Awesome. I never went back there. 

What did I learn from this? a) a big belly doesn't always mean someone is pregnant, b) but neither does it mean that someone is fat - sometimes it's an underlying problem that needs to be checked out. Don't ignore stuff like this. SIBO is a miserable little bastard of a problem, but at least now I know how to handle it, should it reappear and c) sometimes, you really do have to do have to take control of your health and research your symptoms and present a case to a doctor. If you can't get a doctor to listen to you, go to another one. Don't accept a dismissive  diagnosis if it doesn't feel right or sound right to you. Take charge of your health. No one cares about it as much as you.