Friday, August 27, 2010

Honor your body

I've noticed, I don't make changes well when I do them gradually as most recommend. It has to be cold turkey with me. Case in point, my decision to work out 5-6 times a week. I went to sleep one night and woke up the next morning with the determination to " just do it" and not be lazy. Truthfully, its taking care of myself, and If I don't do it, no one else is going to. I didn't start working out 3 times a week, 30 minutes a day like you find in health brochures because that never worked in the past.

Thankfully, I have this workout thing squared away and because of classes I have been taking such as Yoga and Pilates, my outlook on health has adjusted as well. One thing I have hear instructors say several times in the past few weeks is the phrase " honor your body". It's a simple statement, but so profound as well. How often to we stop ourselves to ask if the choices we are making daily are actually good for our body, honoring our body? Do we listen to our body to hear what it needs? 

This combined with another phrase I have heard recently, " eat to live, don't live to eat". The statement in turn led me to conduct a google search which led me to the book " Eat to Live" by Dr. Fuhrman.  I'm not sure if it is the timing in my life or that the contents of the book truly spoke to me, but my whole outlook on food has changed. I feel like I have just woken up and realized what is surrounding me. I highly recommend this book, but if you like, you can wait and see how I am effected by following its suggestions.

Essentially he recommends a 6-week induction period where the diet is completely vegan -- however, processed starches and high-starch vegetables like potatoes are limited. I know it sounds extreme, but read the book before you judge. Though he suggests eating 1 lb of raw green veggies and 1 lb of cooked veggies a day, I cannot eat that much, I'm sorry. I did buy lots of spinach today and i'll be making green monsters to get the green leafy vegetables in that way. It's a work in progress, but if feels right, just like the workout regime felt right.

Strawberries for example, are becoming a part of my daily food intake ( at least while they are in season)

I've also purchased lots of new veggies to try like golden beets, beets,  baby broccoli and Italian eggplant.  Whole Foods may become my best friend... maybe.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Orientation, in-n-out, and sweat

Don't you love it when everyone gets an email but the computer oddly has a glitch and you are left out? 

Originally , I had plans to workout this morning then head to school to buy ridiculously expensive law books for the impending semester.

Thankfully, I called my friend Thursday morning before leaving the house and she told me it "welcome back" day for graduating students. This of course meant a change of plans.  Thankfully I made it to school on time. To compensate us for spending a good chunk of our day at school listening to horrible stories about the bar exam and the third year of law school, the administration brought in two in-n-out trucks to feet the ravenous students  in the late afternoon.  It was good, but not perfect... no onions, no ketchup, no mustard -- my picky palate did protest just a little bit.... ask Carolyn.

 After, I felt horrible, I admit. But, I thought the gym might make me feel better, hence this workout followed:
45 minutes on the "comfy bike" ( the one that doesnt hurt the derrier), 1 hour of yoga, and 1 hour of " S.E.T" (a combination of aerobics, step and strength training). Yoga was decent, the bike was a breeze, but SET did me in, I couldn't keep up to my liking -- perhaps muscle fatigue.

I didn't make it to the gym on Friday, so when we purchased a desk set ( Desk, filing cabinet, bookshelf) I decided to put it together myself... 3 hours later, a very sweaty Marina felt it would do for the "workout" of the day. Saturday was spent at a school function from 9 am to 9:30 pm and since I was up till about 2 am Friday night, waking up at 5 am on Saturday to go to the gym consisted of  opening my eyes, thinking " ughhhhh my body hurts and im so tired", possibly saying that phrase out loud, then setting my alarm for 7 am. Finally, Sunday was spent running errands and watching a couple of Blueray movies we rented from redbox. It's literally a 5 minute walk from home -- so convenient. The evening finished with a nice 1 hour walk outdoors.



Honestly, I can't wait for the weather to cool down just a little bit.
1) I will be able to sleep better
2) I can workout outdoors more often, instead of having to head to the gym or wait till it get dark out.

Sunday morning brunch consisted of eggs, scrambled with a pinch of seasoning salt, garlic salt and dried basil -- SMF ( So Much Flavor )

I also snuck in a good amount of our daily fiber intake but using double fiber bread for breakfast toast :p


Of course, to seal the deal, fresh homemade hash browns. After grating the potatoes, I washed them in a bowl of water to get rid of the excess starch. This helped the hash browns to come out more crunchy than mush. Don't forget to squeeze out excess water and pat dry before placing the potato in the hot oiled pan.

The finished result looked something like this... Simple, homey and delicious.  What do you make on Sunday mornings for breakfast/brunch?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yoga, you suprised me

Wow, Lea was right.  I went to the 1 hr yoga class and I was " sweating buckets" just as she predicted. It was so bizarre, you are moving in a space no bigger than 8-10 sq ft per person, your heart may or may not be racing, but you are sweating like crazy -- i might have well been in a spinning class I was sweating so much.  Admittedly, there were a few flops, falling out of poses, inability to hold certain positions as long as others -- but considering it was my first class ever, it was great.

On the way home, I stopped by at the grocery store. I was craving a hummus cucumber sandwich. But, alas, while I found bread I was happy with I did not find cucumbers or hummus at a reasonable price. Sabra was $6  -- really???  Made me miss Trader Joes....

So, my next thought was to make a traditional cold cut sandwich, substituting cheese/mayo with avocado. So, I headed over to the deli section, and sampled at least three or four cold cuts, putting each aside after only one bite. A while ago, I cut out cold cuts from my diet, and now it seems I wont be able to include them ever again... taste buds rejected them.

I knew I wanted some sort of protein in the sandwich, but veggie patties were on the expensive side this week  ( I try to only buy items on sale -- the economy ya know). Finally, it struck me, egg sandhich :)

Simple, affordable and packed with protein. I picked up some red leaf lettuce and tomatoes and went home to construct the meal. Speaking of meal... the lady at the deli counter said she never eats sandwiches or anything cold because she prefers " real meals that must be hot".  Ok I guess? But its over 100 degrees out  -- no thank you.

Once home, I began assembling the " non meal" sandwich. Two pieces of fiber bread put me at 40% on my daily fiber requirements, a fresh tomato off the vine, two organic cage free eggs, and light string cheese from trader joes.
Once piece of bread was topped with ketchup. the other with horseradish mustard.


Some sliced tomatoes and "stringed cheese " made the next layer of the sandwich.

Two fried eggs came next, topped with red leaf lettuce...

Et, voila!

I think Daisy would like this one, vegetarian friendly and colorful.

Served with some baked Ruffles Chips and Trader Joes Fat Free European Organic Yogurt  = perfectly satisfying lunch.

I ate half the sandwich and felt full beyond capacity... the other half is sitting in the fridge in saran wrap. Hopefully, it will last till tomorrow??   I think next time I will just make the half sandwich to start with :)

Yoga was great, I'm not craving much for dinner, maybe just fruit. Its either the heat, or yoga.  Dunno which.
Contemplating another workout tonight... Is 1 hour of yoga enough of a workout for someone trying to lose weight?

No pain, no gain?

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I've finally adopted the habit of nearly daily workouts.  Its great, I love the feeling of sweating like crazy ( does that sound weird?)

Well, yesterday I decided to mix it up a little bit. I started off with 15 min on the elliptical machine to warm up then took a class at 24-fitness called  "24Cycle Shift n' Lift ". Basically its 30 minutes of intense spinning, followed by 30 minutes of guided weightlifting with barbells, and free weights. To top it off, she finished with a set of ab exercises and plank/pushups.  I then followed this with 30 more minutes on the elliptical. It felt great.


 Well, this morning .... actually at about 4 am this morning, the soreness set in  -- back, triceps, biceps, gluteus, quads... you get the picture.


  

I don't know whether to be happy or sad that there is soreness. Does it mean it was a really good workout? Do I tough it out and workout again through the pain? Does it mean (gasp) I'm getting old???

I had another one of these for breakfast this morning : Fat free milk, frozen bananas, flax seed, honey, vanilla, and a tiny piece of frozen mango.

I'm contemplating yoga today -- what is the payoff exactly though? I know it helps with flexibility and stress, but how does it fare when it comes to weight loss?

Right now I have the luxury of working out mid morning or mid afternoon, for one hour or three hours... but starting next week my third year of law school officially begins. Its a little hard to believe. What does this mean for my new workout regime? Its going to have to move to the morning... VERY EARLY in the morning. Fun times. It'll be ok as long as I dont fall asleep in class.


Dinner last night was on a whim. I picked up a few items from Whole Foods and combined them with other items I had in my pantry and came up with this group of ingredients:

Bella Terra Organic  8 whole grain pasta with milled flax seed, button mushrooms, fresh asparagus, sun dried tomatoes and basil pesto. I later chose to add the following ingredients: 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 3 cloves garlic,  1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp grated Gruyere cheese.

While the fusili was boiling away in one pot, I sliced, the veggies and cooked them up in another, using the broth as a heating medium instead of oil. I added the pesto and Gruyere last. It tasted fine, though I would have loved to add fresh diced tomatoes and fresh Parmesan as well, but I was making due with what I had.

The picture is off, I know. I wasn't patient enough to wait for the pasta to cool down before taking a picture. So, the steam got in the way - I'm sorry.  I'm still adjusting to using my droid for pictures... at least until i find that darn camera cable.

.... to be continued.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recipe + lunch

As promised,  here is the recipe for the morning pancakes.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup mashed banana

1 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 egg white

1/2 egg yolk

1/8 cup organic plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions:
Mix the ingredients well, saving the baking soda for last.  It will react with the yogurt making the batter/pancake fluffy.

Recipe makes two large pancakes at about 1/3 cup batter each.


Nutrition:

263 calories

3 grams fat

5 grams fiber

13 grams protein

LUNCH 

A simple combination of red kidney beans, spices, and a touch of lowfat mozzarella String cheese = fusion between jumbo flavors and " refried beans". 

Tasted yum I promise.  Nutrition :  333 calories, 6 grams fat, 16 grams protein.  (plus 1/2 cup blessed grapes)

Banana almond pancakes



Test post.  If this works, recipe to follow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New improvments

Since I recently moved to a new, better apartment i misplaced my camera cable - hence no pics uploaded to my computer and no blog posts. But since the move I have adopted the new habit of excersising in some shape/form daily (awesome right?)

Also, I bought a droid 2 today which means i can post from my phone ( i think-test run here) . Look for more posts on a regular basis . Better late than never???

Much love,

Mar
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