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Posts Tagged ‘food’

I don’t really like to watch too much TV, but sometimes on weekdays I have off I’ll cruise the channels a little bit with my morning coffee or tea until I’m fully woken up. Today I caught a show on Lifetime TV (which I usually HATE mind-you) called “Cook Yourself Thin.” As most shows on the Lifetime network that aren’t reruns of “Frasier” the show was a bit condescending, pandering and corny. But I thought the recipes were good. The basic concept is that the women who host the show go to the house of a woman who wants to lose some weight and they’ll examine some of her typical recipes, then show her ways to health it up while still making it taste good. That’s a pretty common-sense concept to those of us who’ve been doing this thing for awhile, but I can see how it’s kind of a novel thing for some people to change up what they’ve been used to doing for so many years. The particular episode I caught did a healthier quiche (and I LOVE quiche!), a grilled eggplant dish that was meant to take the place of a very fattening, deep-fried eggplant parmigiana, and a lighter version of cupcakes as well as a light version of those frou-frou coffee drinks you get at Starbucks and the like that usually have a zillion calories per serving. I could take or leave the frou-frou coffee thing as I enjoy my coffee unadulterated (I drink mine black and unsweetened), but the cupcakes looked pretty good. Something to think about for when I make my contribution to take to our family holiday gatherings this year. It had about a third of the calories of a traditional cupcake recipe and looked pretty tasty…doesn’t mean you can eat 10 cupcakes, but still not a total calorie disaster by comparison to the “fully loaded” version.

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Amy Tracks Her Progress is my new blog. It’s more or less an online archive/back-up of my spankin’ new food/exercise journaling/progress tracking program I designed for myself by tweaking a food/exercise journal template I found on The Balanced Weight Management site . Go to my new blog and you’ll learn of how I tailored my new journaling system to work just for me (although it may help others as well). I’ll be keeping a Weekly Assessment page (which is also in spreadsheet form on my PC), as well as my journal entries (which are also saved as Word documents on my PC). It will differ from this blog in the sense that it’ll focus mainly on my personal weight tracking and thoughts regarding weight, whereas this blog’s topics have strayed all over the place (not that there’s anything wrong w/ that).

Also, I have a page on there with pics of myself at various stages of weight gain and loss since 2001. I’ve blocked out my face, as a personal safety and privacy measure (I only show un-masked photos on more “private” venues online where only people I know can see them), but it gives a bit of a visual representation of my battle of the bulge. It also helps me, because sometimes the number on the scale isn’t always the whole story.

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So my next health and diet goal I’m thinking is to markedly reduce my sodium intake. It’s not something I’ve really addressed as I’m still pretty young and chipper, but I can tell that my propensity to pour tons of salt on all my food is going to come back to haunt me one day. Genetically, I’m predisposed to a laundry list of heart problems, and high blood pressure is definitely a thing I risk from the paternal side of my family. Multiple incidences of stroke and high blood pressure on that side of the family makes me not want to take my chances.

I’ve actually been helping out a couple I know who have a child on the way out with cooking. Neither one of them have the instinctual urge to cook, but appreciate home-cooked food. They essentially hired me to work for them part time, which is awesome. One of the dietary needs I have to look out for in cooking for them is the husband’s high blood pressure, which means the food I cook for them has to be low-sodium. I have a tendency to find foods without salt in them bland. It’s definitely a challenge to me, but I know for a fact that it’s only because my tastebuds are no longer sensitive to salt.

I’m going to start retraining my tastebuds. I want to learn to be content with the flavors of herbs and spices, and get used to food without using salt to cook it. Right now I’m actually enjoying some roasted veggies that I added no salt to, and I’m finding myself appreciating the complexity of the flavors I’ve built with the herbs I used. I used to be one of those, “I like a little food with my salt…” types. But I really want to change that.

An uncle I’m particularly close to on my dad’s side of the family thought he was being healthy when he had his first and only heart attack at the age of 50. Upon examining his diet, he realized that his “addiction” to salt was more than likely a dietary culprit, and when combined with his genes was a disaster waiting to happen. He and my aunt still, 17 years later, don’t add any extra salt to their cooking, except for maybe a small dash of Bragg Liquid Aminos. In addition to that, they broil or bake most cooked dishes, and use maybe 1/4 of a teaspoon of oil (using a brush to brush it around) to pan-sear things. They also eat a lot of raw foods. My uncle’s health has turned around amazingly. He and my aunt also started exercising more regularly after joining the YMCA. My uncle’s blood pressure has stayed in the safe range for years now, and he hasn’t had any other heart problems according to his doctor. They are excellent health-food cooks on top of that! Come to think of it, I know for a fact they don’t add salt to their cooking but it’s always so flavorful that I never feel the need to add salt. Thusly, I’ll be emulating them. 🙂

It felt good yesterday to cook very healthy, vegetarian food for my friends yesterday that also tasted amazing. Not to toot my own horn, but cooking comes very instinctively to me. I almost never use a recipe, and most of my stuff is made up off the top of my head. I guarantee that if you have a well-stocked pantry, spice-rack, and fridge, I can make you a good meal. I do not consider myself a vegetarian, but I don’t eat much meat, either.

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I have stretch marks and saggy skin from all the weight I’ve lost. I’m young enough that I know that’ll eventually go away with time. I have a pretty good skin-care regimen, I use a good cocoa butter lotion and such. But it’s annoying, and it’s a reminder of the damage I did to my body by being so fat for a good decade or so. At least now when I’m walking I can look down and see my feet. Most people in my life consider me a “normal” weight at this point. I have about 30 lbs. left to lose until I’m at my goal of 120. It feels good being in the “home stretch” for sure, but I just really hope that my skin starts to look normal eventually. I accept that I may always have a little bit of stretch markage going on, but I hope they at least become reduced in appearance.

My ankles are weak for some reason. Wearing ankle braces while I work out isn’t really helping, it almost seems to make it worse. I still work out and work on my feet anyway. I have to. I deal with the pain with Tiger Balm, ibuprofen, and soaking my feet and ankles in epsom salt. I keep telling myself that this too shall pass. I can’t afford new shoes right now. Good shoes are expensive, even if you get them on sale.

My mom got me a cute, new workout outfit to wear to the gym. My current workout clothes are more appropriate for winter time and what my mom got me will be good for when the weather is warmer. We’ve been having really nice, sunny, warm days this week so I’ve been skipping the gym in favor of getting outdoor exercise. I just can’t stand being shut-in inside all day. I’m on day 2 of a 7-day work week. This shall be interesting. I know that exercise will help me not get too stressed at work. The next Saturday that I get off work, I want to go swimming. The bathing suit I bought at the end of the summer last year that was a bit too snug now fits great. It’s not a “sexy” bathing suit, it’s just a nice suit that a swimmer would wear, very full-coverage and aerodynamic (or would that be hydrodynamic?)…Even when I get to be thin I’m not sure I’m into the idea of prancing around in a bikini.

I would rather have saggy skin than extra fat. I know for a fact my skin isn’t as saggy as some people’s who’ve lost a lot of weight since I’ve lost weight slowly, and because I didn’t get as fat as some people.

I’m going to go change into my workout clothes and run now. It’s really pretty outside and unseasonably warm.

As far as being poor goes, we seem to be doing ok. I’ve picked up extra hours this week at work (obviously) and hope to pick up some more later, enough to cover all the bills and such. It’ll be close, but we’ll make it. Roomie’s bosses want to get people back to work in a few weeks if all goes well. Think positive for us, I’m doing my best to do so.

I had a tough weekend with food. I succumbed to my lust for donuts and ate a half dozen of them over 2 days. I guess some would argue that you could do far worse than that, but 3 donuts is a lot of calories and sugar and bad crap. This is why you eat before going grocery shopping. Me and the roommate went to go get a few necessities and neither of us had eaten much that day. That was a mistake because we cruised by the bakery to maybe get a little of the day-old bread for dinner, and instead left with a dozen donuts since they’d marked down the day-old ones to half priced dozens. I told myself I’d only have like 2 of the whole dozen and the roomie could have the rest, but I ended up having six. And I felt it, too. Blarf. I suppose that other people do worse and maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up over it, but because I felt very “out of control” and binge-y while indulging in these things, instead of it being a planned thing, I feel that it merits a little bit of reflection so I deter myself from doing it again. That being said, we rarely keep any sweets in the house aside from his lime sherbet and pop tarts (which I hate anyway, they’re all his and the skinny mofo can eat a ton without gaining an ounce), and sometimes some lowfat frozen yogurt for me to have on weekends (to keep me from eating things like donuts, lol). So I guess I didn’t do as bad as many people do every day. Sometimes I wonder if I do replace food for other forms of pleasure that would actually fulfill me more, like masturbation or massage…haha. Either way, back in control yesterday and today, which is good.

OK I’m going to go exercise now. Laters!

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Well, today I’m glad I don’t have to be at work til 4 pm, because that means I can be home to watch the first Inaugural ceremony I’ve ever been actually excited to watch in my lifetime. I’m hopeful and optimistic about Barack Obama’s potential to help lead our country in a new direction.

As far as fitness goes today, I’m definitely getting the sick. I find that natural remedies help me feel more relief from the symptoms than the over-the-counter Nyquil/Dayquil crap. Coughing is a very important function of the immune system, and most modern medicines suppress coughs, which can make your illness last longer. I tend to try and heal myself with rest, good food, tea, and a few supplements. I find elderberry, zinc, oil of oregano, garlic, ginger and goldenseal to be very helpful whenever I’m sick. Those, along with a little bit of ibuprofen and and antihistamine usually help me better than nyquil or dayquil (or their other counterparts). I also really love spicy food and I like it even spicier when I have a stuffy nose and sore throat. As far as exercise goes today, I’m still feeling up for a little bit. Yesterday when I did the aerobic tape I still had to do the moves faster than they did on the tape, and it felt good to get my heartrate up. Today I’m feeling more groggy, headachy, etc. so I’m thinking a walk is more my speed. I’m going to suit up and go do that before the Inauguration starts. It’s a bit warmer out today than it’s been, and the sun is shining. And I’m happy today.

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Well, I woke up with a head full-o-snot and a sore, scratchy throat. So much for not getting sick. I have decided if I have something infectious, I’m not going to be a jerk and go to the gym and spread it around. But that doesn’t mean I get to slack off! I have a bunch of chores I should have done yesterday that I’m going to do this morning. I’ve already got the garbage and recycling out, and I have a kitchen that needs to be gotten into shape, as well as laundry going. And that aerobics tape that’s normally too easy for me? I’m going to do that today. I still want to exercise even though I’ve gotten the yuck, just take it down a notch so my body can still heal. Since I don’t feel any lung congestion, I feel like some cardio will still be safe to do today. I’m still optimistic that I won’t get as sick as others around me since I’ve been taking good care of myself lately, so I shouldn’t be absent from the gym too long. I just don’t want to spread my illness to others.

Yesterday I had a “cheat day” of sorts, but I still ordered one of the healthiest things on the menu where I went to eat w/ my folks. My parents like Jimmy Buffet (I don’t, haha) and recently one of his chain restaurants opened up in my city. They wanted to eat there. Most of the menu consisted of, well, cheeseburgers (“Cheeseburger in Paradise…” is one of his songs and the name of the chain). But they had some healthy stuff on the menu. I ordered the “chicken satay” skewers with terriyaki broccoli on the side. It wasn’t too bad. The chicken was the white meat marinated and grilled on skewers kabob style, and the broccoli was steamed w/ garlic and such. I couldn’t eat all the chicken, there was just too much for one meal (obviously) so I only ate 2 of the skewers and saved the other 4 for later (yep, there were SIX skewers of chicken, probably amounting to about 24 oz. of meat for one entree!). I plan on using the rest of the chicken in some sort of stir fry dish later. Anyway, I was proud that even though I was allowed to “cheat” I went for the healthier option anyway. The real “cheat” was the ice cream I had, which I couldn’t even finish because it was so sweet.

OK, I have 2 hours and 20 minutes til I have to leave for work, so I’m going to finish up the kitchen, do my exercise, prepare food, and get cleaned up for work. I hope everyone has a great, productive day!

In other news….I am a little worried. My housemate works for a small business which is suffering due to the poor state of our economy. He’s one of the upper managers, so I’m hopeful that his job isn’t in jeopardy, but it still worries me. If he’s out of a job, we won’t be able to afford our apartment – I can’t make enough money at my job to float both of us without some kind of assistance. So if everyone out there in blogland could think happy, positive thoughts for his business to stay alive, I’d really, truly appreciate it ever so much. Thanks, all! Peace and love!

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Another day, another workout. I went with the elliptical again today instead of swimming to avoid the swimmer’s ear. I had time to relax in the sauna today, which was great. Went and got lunch and saw a friend after, home now relaxing. Mind trying to convince the body not to get the sick that everyone around me seems to have. I feel a little congestion coming on, but I feel like I won’t get as bad as my roomie or my friend I saw today (the latter is already feeling better than he did before). I feel my workouts and healthy diet and vitamin-regimen will help stave it off. I just have to keep getting lots of sleep. That’ll be no problem tonight. My muscles are sore and it feels good because I know they’re getting used to the new routine (hence not wanting to get sick, not wanting to slow down the process of getting in shape). I think I can use the power of mind over matter to keep myself from succumbing fully to the bug going around. That combined with common sense (getting sleep, good diet, taking vitamins), I shall overcome. Sorry if I’m boring people. I actually do have a point to posting.

People always freak out when they found out that you’re pushing your body physically. Not seasoned fitness folks, mind you, but just everyday people. They’re the people who tell you that you shouldn’t push yourself, and you shouldn’t feel any pain whatsoever from exercise, and that building muscle will make you “bulky,” do pilates instead because it’ll give you a “long, lean” look…the people who say that taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking far away from the building you’re entering, and playing with your cats is enough exercise for anyone. The body is made to do a lot more than that, and with the insane portion sizes people eat these days, they should be doing more. Furthermore, I want to be super fit. I want to be able to lift heavy things without asking a man to help me. I want to be able to clamber around mountains and climb up rocks with grace and ease. To me, having a very strong body is my ticket to seeing the world in a very unique way. Why shouldn’t I push myself? If I just go for a nice, little walk every day, I can keep from gaining more weight maybe, but I won’t maintain actual fitness. Fitness requires cardiovascular and muscular exercise. Fact.

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