Friday, October 26, 2012

Adventures in juicing: beets!

Yesterday morning was an adventure with beets. I did a google search for a starter "recipe" and zeroed in on this: 

 Oops, I forgot the celery. 

I was impressed with the beautiful colors of the pulp, I felt like we truly were drinking the rainbow when I was cleaning up afterward. 

Tastewise, not my favorite combo. Next time, I'll use only 1 beet to minimize that "earthy" taste and probably less fruit. I'd give this recipe a grade of a C, maybe a C-. We can definitely do better. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A tasty experiment... so light and fresh!

We were out of apples today, which made my morning juicing taste not so good. I made an imperative stop at the store... pausing first to appreciate my body for taking me where I need to go. 

 It feels good to be ack on the healthy food wagon. My PMS cravings had me totally off track for a day or two and I paid for it. Look closely, and you'll see V's beers.

 The beginnings of dinner...
More of Steve's tomatoes

 A KILLER sauce! Tomatoes, mushrooms, italian sausage, garlic (lots and lots of it), onions, basil, and olive oil. Man oh man was this amazing.

Tossed onto a bed of spaghetti squash, with a touch of butter. V ate hers with some goat cheese sprinkled on top. Next time, we might add in wilted spinach and fresh parmesan. But it's hard to imagine that it could taste any better. Experiment successful!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

TMI Tuesday (for 10/24)

As a person with Crohn's, I find that the pertinent details in my life often fall into the category of Too Much Information. While it makes sense to avoid topics people are uncomfortable with, it's also socially isolating. In the interest of authenticity, I'm launching a series of post called "TMI Tuesday".

Technically, yesterday was Tuesday, so this post is already a day late. Which is an accurate reflection of the pace I've been moving at. I had a slow and sluggish start and throughout the day, I complained frequently of fatigue and tiredness.  I struggled to find words to capture the feeling. It felt like all of the energy in my body was being leached from my bones. There were weird things going on in the ol' digestive system, and I wasn't hungry at all. My food intake for the day consisted of a veggie juice in the morning, a handful of potato chips, and a soup for dinner.

V was a complete sweetheart and called me to tell me there was a boot sale at Macy's... and that if I could find a pair I liked, she'd buy them for me. I was stoked, but didn't feel good. When the first pair didn't fit, I pretty much abandoned the sale. I didn't have it in me to keep searching. You know a girl isn't feeling right when she can walk away from a fall boot sale!

The ride home was... well, I promised TMI, so I should deliver TMI. I don't know if I can go there quite yet, in detail. Nor do I believe anyone wants me to. I'll leave out the details and allude instead.

Today, Wednesday, has been a better day. My appetite is returning and my energy levels are better. I was actually a whiz at work. The low point would be the frequent restroom visits, which is tricky when your job involves being on the road and visiting people's homes. (Most of which, you couldn't pay me to use the restrooms of). Are you starting to get the picture? A day in the life of a chronie....

I'm looking forward to dinner tonight, and hoping my body receives it well. We have a bunch of tomatoes from Steve's garden still, so we're experimenting with cooking them down, along with mushrooms, garlic, onion and some italian sausage... and pairing it with spaghetti squash. Please, body, please...  play nice.

Monday, October 22, 2012

You glow, girl!

V has been noticing a difference in how she feels on days we juice and days we skip it. I'm SURE her body is doing a happy dance  - thanking her for nutrients and begging for more. It's not just us chronies who need to keep our insides healthy.

She got a super cute haircut yesterday, which totally inspires me to do something new and different. But alas, I've been growing my hair out for Nikki's wedding. No sense in cutting it with only 18 days to go. Doesn't she look great though? She's getting that healthy glow! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Big Island Love: Super Saturday

First things first: I had a "Saturday splurge" meal. Except... it was on Friday night. 
All I can say is ... YUM, YUM, YUM! 
Peppercorn shrimp, mandarin chicken, honey walnut shrimp, thai cashew chicken and crab rangoon. And, obviously, noodles. My taste buds did a serious happy dance. 

I was going to skip the fortune cookie, but now I'm glad I didn't! ;) 

Before going to bed, I did several yoga poses to help with digestion. It's become a bit of a nightly ritual and I'm convinced that it helps.  As a bonus, I'm starting to feel a bit like a bendy-bad-ass.

This morning, I was stoked to have a couple of different plans to choose from: a hike in volcano or trying stand up paddle boarding for the first time. Although I'm feeling better by the day, I questioned whether or not I have the strength for SUP just yet. 

I opted for the hike. The wind was whipping and there was a powerful silence as we trekked across the lava. Not a day goes by without my feeling grateful to be here.  
It started to rain as we wrapped up our hike. I missed the farmers market today, so had to hit KTA for the produce. $30 later, and we're stocked up with fruits and veggies for the week.

I finished the evening with a nice healthy dinner: more of Steve's tomatoes and Joane & Terri's avocado with balsamic vinaigrette. A few bites of pork steak and I have one happy belly! 

All in all, it was another beautiful Big Island day. My heart is happy. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eating local

 Yesterday's breakfast was a modified version of the "mean green" juice: kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, a fuji apple, 1/2 a lemon and some ginger. This wasn't from a local supply, it all came from Safeway and KTA.  But I plan to hit up the farmer's market for a re-supply.

 Lunch on the go! An organic avocado, cherry tomatoes and a tangelo. 
 It's not often that I eat citrus type fruits, but when they're free.... (from Christy's tree) why not?

Dinner: roasted root vegetables with cherub tomatoes from Steve's garden, avocado from Joane and Terri's tree, salsa, a drop of sour cream. And the eggs were from Gary's chickens.

I didn't realize until just now, how much local food we eat. With a conscious effort, I'm sure it could be more.

5 Ways To Inspire Yourself Into Happy, Healthy Action

5 Ways to Inspire Yourself Into Happy, Healthy Action

1. Isolate and unplug.  That's right, RELAX! Alone. Without the television on, without being glued to the internet, tapping on your iphone, or sucked into a book. Give yourself the gift of silence and peace. Disconnect from the constant flood of other people's input, opinions and advice long enough to hear your own voice.

2. Meditate, journal or pray. This takes "peace and quiet" one step further. Chances are, your inner wisdom (or higher self or whatever you want to call it) is waiting for you to connect to it, and is loaded with encouragement, support, fresh ideas, etc. I'm always amazed at the ideas and energy I receive when I consciously tune in to spiritual guidance.

3. Surround yourself with healthy, active, positive people. It's been said we should choose our friends wisely - because the people we spend the most time with are the greatest influences on our thoughts, perceptions and behavior. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be influenced by energetic, radiant, optimistic attitudes than depressed, grumbling, "woe-is-me" thinking.

4. Practice positive self talk. This might sound cheesy, but it's so important. The way you talk to yourself directly influences the way you feel. The way you feel directly influences the way you behave. Make sure that your self talk is encouraging, uplifting, and positive. Stop berating yourself when you make an unhealthy choice out of habit. Instead, compliment yourself when you notice it wasn't what you really wanted to do. Awareness is the foundation that change is built upon.

5. Give yourself permission to be who you are, to grow and change and to realize your full potential. A lot of us have grown up with specific ideas about who we are and are not. These ideas are reinforced by our parents, our siblings, our interactions with others. Knowing your roles in life is important. But it is equally important to recognize that you don't have to be limited and defined by these roles. You can choose, in each new moment, how you want your life to unfold. By giving yourself permission to step beyond your comfort zone (or those of others) you open the door to endless possibilities.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Force versus Desire

One of the blogs I follow covered a useful topic today: getting back on track when you've veered a bit from healthy habits.

My response to the question surprised me a little. For a lot of people, the "just do it" approach is the way to go. Put on those tennies and sweat it out, even if you don't feel like it. In other words, "suck it up, princess". This has been my approach for the past 3 years, and overall, it's better than the "just ignore it" mentality I had going on before.

But I think I'm on to something better. What about inspiring yourself, instead of forcing yourself, into action? I truly believe that the way we feel about ourselves, our lives, our activities, is translated through our every action. The results will take on the energy of our creative efforts.

If you eat healthy, but wish you didn't have to, you're sprinkling a bit of resistance into every bite. What should taste amazing has a surprisingly bitter aftertaste, if you're secretly coveting your friend's free-for-all at the buffet.

If you choose, instead, to recognize healthful food for what it is - one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself, you'll relish every single mouthful. Healthy is amazing.

Stay tuned for my next post - in which I address ways to inspire yourself to healthy habits. It's one you wont want to miss.

A confession

I've been feeling rather sluggish lately, which seems odd, given the fact that I'm eating all sorts of nutrients. Instead of fighting it, I took a long(ish) nap this afternoon. It wasn't a great belly day either - lots of distention.  I decided to take it easy, and with the exception of 1/2 avocado (and a bite of V's bratwurst at dinner) , everything else was liquid for the day: 

 This morning's juice: kale, lemon, celery, cucumber, fuji apple. 
 The colors never get old!
Dinner: Chicken broth with pureed carrots, celery, ginger, etc. 

Here's to better days ahead. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mondays are for starting fresh

It was another juicy day here on the Big Island...
 I tried a new recipe, upon the recommendation of an old high school classmate. Kale, ginger, lemon, celery, and a fuji apple. I threw a cucumber in there for good measure.
 I love the vibrant colors! Last week's carrot / apple / etc. concoction was nice, but this looks electric.
 I really shouldn't post this... Vea first thing in the morning, before the first sip. Good thing she never gets online. Maybe I can get away with it! LOL!
And finally, my first go-round with Sassy water. It's featured in the Flat Belly Diet - to detox and reduce bloat. Ginger, mint, cucumber and lemon slices steeped in water overnight, then strained out the next morning. I figured what can it hurt? Ginger and mint are supposed to be good for the ol' gut.

As you can see.... it was quite the refreshing day. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Teeny tiny (tasty) portions...

Learning portion control isn't always fun.... but it can be oh-so-tasty!

 Taco bowl leftovers: ground chicken, fresh salsa, avocado and tomatoes. 

 Moroccan chicken, beets, tomatoes, quiche in a pie shell. 

I didn't bother to take a picture of dinner..... bummer. A few bites of steak and a glass of merlot never tasted so good!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Such a sweet lil' tomato!

It's official! I have a favorite tomato! ;) I have, on more than one occasion, been described as "cherubic". (Someone with "a round face and an air of sweetness"). Well. If I'm cherubic, then I might as well make friends with these Heavenly Salad Tomatoes. They're AWESOME. I've been eating them all week. 

Today's offering was a bowl of avocado, with tuna salad, and of course, ye old cherub tomatoes with a sprinkling of feta cheese and some pepper. I should pause for a moment to brag. The tuna salad was awesome. Maybe the best I've ever made. 

(Tuna + polish pickles + sweet pickle relish + mayo + yellow mustard + spicy mustard = TASTY)

I promise. :)

Why I'm so grateful

The beauty of the Big Island is stunning. I often believe my words don't do it justice. I've been thinking about this a lot, since we're traveling to Iowa and Illinois in a couple of weeks. It will be hard to explain in words alone what it's like to live here. 
 "Awesome", while true, doesn't exactly tell the whole story. Does it? 
 I snapped these pictures with my trusty iphone yesterday afternoon (Friday). I ended up at the beach because my my afternoon appointment had cancelled and I was only 5 minutes away from this bliss when I got the call. This is why it's always a good idea to travel with a packed beach bag, extra towels, etc. :)
 I think it's funny that I have no qualms posting pictures of myself looking like a drowned rat .... it's because I'm so happy and relaxed I just don't give a crap! :) Never in a million years, if I still lived on the mainland, would I think of posting a picture like this. The island has relaxed me a zillion times over. (That's pretty scary, because I still have tons more relaxing to do, I think!)
 This is the view from my towel, looking up. Sometimes I wonder how wise it is to perch myself directly beneath the coconut tree.
 The zoom isn't quite powerful enough, but there are baby coconuts hanging out up there. :)
Someone was adjusting their snorkel mask before going back in. The water was playful, and so friendly. People were having a blast on their boogie boards, stand up paddle boards. I swam with a few honu (turtles) and basically played like I was a kid again. 

All on a whim on a Friday afternoon. A day like this is just one of the many reasons why I love living in Hawaii, and why I'm so grateful. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

A day in the life...

It was a "deviate from the plan" kind of day. And that was a-okay with me. I was supposed to go to yoga after my first client session of the day, but I just wasn't feeling it. I wanted solitude. So I headed to Starbucks for a (soy) pumpkin spice latte...
I bought this mug today - fascinated with mermaids lately. No idea why.
                                                             and headed to the beach!

I stayed here a while, listening to the waves come in and out.....

and then I headed down the road to the next one. 

It was a gorgeous morning, hopping from one beach, to the next, to the next. (Yes, I visited 3 overall).
Not what I had planned for the day, but I'm so thankful for how it unfolded. I had a "is this really my life" moment ... I don't think I could be any more grateful. I love Hawaii and I love my life ! 
another mermaid - at Hilo Tropical Gardens

Nutrition update:
Breakfast: Soy pumpkin spice latte, no whip
Lunch: from the hot bar at Island Naturals -  A tiny piece of ahi, a tiny portion of chicken hekka, garlic and onion string beans, and the veggies out of a veggie lasagna. It took restraint to leave the noodles and that amazing cheese behind.
Dinner: Taco bowl with fresh spinach, ground chicken and beans, salsa, black olives, avocado and tomatoes. It was tasty!
Dessert: Snickers peanut butter squared (1 piece) and a ginger chew.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Everything under the kitchen sink" post :)

First of all, I have to say it: mornings in Hawaii rock! On a rare day when I'm up before 6 am, this is the view from my living room window. I am surrounded by beauty every single day - and not a day goes by that I'm not grateful for that.

I've been a little busy this week, and getting really excited about the upcoming trip to Iowa and Illinois. I'm very excited - our last trip back was 4 years ago. I just wanna hug my friends! The big finale will be Nikki and TJ's wedding. This special event has been a long time coming and I'm so honored and excited to be part of their celebration. Really, I just wanna be stepping off the plane already!

Some of my accomplishments this week include buying a couple more items of clothes that actually fit (a pair of skinny jeans, a top, and a couple cute pairs of ballet flats). Usually the shopping process leaves me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied (even if I buy something). Lately though,  I'm actually happy about my finds. Pretty sure it has to do with expanding my horizons and being willing to try different things. Can we say, personal growth?

On to the nutrition update: 
Some days it's hard to remember everything I eat. I use the "My Fitness Pal" app on my phone to track it, which helps.
  • Yesterday's breakfast: coffee with peppermint mocha creamer. 
  • Yesterdays' lunch: one piece of chicken satay, homestyle mashed potatoes, 1/3 an avocado, a few cherry tomatoes, and some vegan coconut broccoli soup.
  • Yesterday's snack: I had a moment of weakness and splurged on 2 1/2 pieces of chicken strips from McDonald's drive through. What can I say? It tasted pretty good, but  noticed a greasy feeling in my mouth afterward. 
  • Yesterday's dinner: about 2-3 oz of steak. OMG. It was so good. It was another moment of weakness, because truly I wasn't hungry, and it's not healthy to stuff my body with food it doesn't need. I guess yesterday was just a "letting go" kind of day. 
  • Yesterday's dessert: 2 tbsp of nutella, out of the jar. That's right. 
Lifestyle update:  I skipped morning meditation, and instead hopped around on blogs and Facebook. It was a busy "go go go" kind of day, from one appointment to the next. My meals were late and rushed - no planning and impulse choices. I didn't remember to get much water in.  I was up too late (reading on my kindle) and it was almost midnight before lights went out.  It was the kind of day that helped me really value healthy routine and structure, so my goal is to do better today. Here's to "weak things made strong". 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What changes with a weight loss of 72 pounds?

Weight loss is much much more than a physical process. Sure, the way you look changes:
Me, pushing 190 (at 5'4")

October 2012 at 115 pounds

But I think there even more internal than external changes. Some of the things that seem different to me: 
  • The way I think about food. Culturally, food is the social "glue" that brings people together. There are endless excuses to indulge at any given moment. But food is fuel for the body. There's an entire scientific process happening once the fork hits the mouth. It's not so mainstream, but I'm starting to think about things like digestive enzymes, and alkalinity vs. acidity and healthy gut flora. Yeah, sexy. I know. 
  • The way I think in general. I've more or less always tried to fit in with the crowd. I used to base my choices and behaviors on what people around me are doing and / or what other people would think of me. The better you blend in, the "safer" you are. Or so I thought. I've recently discovered there's little safety to be found in the mindless actions of the herd. Anonymity, yes. Invisibility, sure. Safety, not so much. In fact, following the crowd to the exclusion of your own intuition could lead you down the road of destruction. This last experience has shown me that I need to follow my own path. I may not know where I'm going, but if I take the time to go step by step, I cannot fall from a cliff. 
  • The way I feel. As you can see from the first photo above, I had genuinely happy moments. Of course a person can be overweight and be happy at the same time. But did I feel free? Not really. When my digestion is functioning properly, and I'm able to exercise - I feel strong and free in a way I've never known before. I trust my body, which leads to trust in myself on every other level as well. 
No doubt there are more changes, but these have been some of the key shifts. What about you? What changes have you noticed (inside and out) as a result of weight loss? 

And now, on to.... 

a Lifestyle update: 
I'm looking forward to getting my workouts started again. Yesterday I got a pretty solid calorie base in and my digestion seems to be on track. Still doing great with lots of water, and I had a restful, stress free weekend. 

a Nutrition update: 
Yesterdays' breakfast: Green goddess smoothie (coconut milk, avocado, cucumber, spinach, bluberries)
Yesterday's lunch: Ensure chocolate shake with 25 g protein and tomato basil soup
Yesterday's snack: A few bites of roasted chicken 
Yesterday's dinner: 1/2 avocado and a handful of cherry tomatoes sprinkled with goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette; 1 slice kabocha squash; a tofurkey italian sausage. 
Yesterday's dessert: a ginger chew and 3 squares of dark chocolate. 
I had plenty of water all day long. A totally yummy, nutritious day. Win/win!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Progress, not perfection

Ingredients for my 1st ever attempt at "Green Goddess" smoothie
In the interest of variety, I gave the juicer a break this morning and attempted a "Green Goddess" smoothie. The recipe comes from Kris Carr, (amazing survivor and author of Crazy Sexy Cancer. )

I altered the recipe a bit, subbing coconut milk for coconut water, even though I had the required ingredients. I was hoping it would make me like the end result more, since I've discovered I'm actually not a fan of coconut water. At all. I also played with the amounts - since the original recipe would yield 16 oz and I didn't want that much. Let's just say, I didn't do the math correctly and I still ended up with a shit ton of green smoothie that was an odd texture. Maybe it was from over-blending, and the ratios of ingredients were probably a factor too. 

That being said, it actually tasted okay. Very "fresh". If the texture had been better, I would've been able to drink more. So ultimately, it's worth another shot, I think. 

On to my lifestyle update: 
I weighed in at 115 pounds this morning. I've been drinking LOTS of water every day. I also am moving toward a daily practice of meditation, and unplugging from electronics by 8 pm on weekdays. I notice that after a couple of really good days, something inside of me thinks, "Hey, take a day off. Why be so good"? I don't know where that voice is really coming from. I probably shouldn't take my orders from it. Stress management and relaxation ... check!

Diet / nutrition update:
Breakfast yesterday: Smoothie made from coconut milk, blueberries, banana and a scoop of natural peanut butter
Lunch: Mashed potatoes and a biscuit from KFC
Dinner: A broiled hot dog

Not the best nutritional choices on the planet, but I suppose I could've done worse. Perfection isn't realistic, but progress is. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

A relaxing (healthy) day

After yet another breakfast of fresh fruit / veggie juice, and morning meditation, I tried restorative yoga for the first time yesterday.  I'm really glad I went. I was younger than everyone in the class by a good 20 years, but it was still the class for me.   The instructor shared some meditation and visualization techniques that were really helpful, and then we worked our way through some poses, including some twists, which are great for digestion.

The class was great, and even better, so was the scenic drive to get there.  I had to follow the highway about 10 miles out of town, turn and follow a narrow road through some gated ranch land. Then I turned (by the cattle pens) to follow a long winding driveway up to the instructor's home/ attached studio.

The view from inside the studio was amazing: pasture and ocean as far as the eye could see. Such a tranquil setting, I couldn't help but be at peace. I snapped a few pictures as I was leaving.
Leaving the studio

Look closely -the ocean is pictured here - crappy lighting makes it hard to see. In person it was stunning.

I finished my day with some client sessions and I also fit in a little bit of relaxation at Wailoa park. For a busy day, it truly was a good one.

Feels like I'm getting my mojo back....