Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Whatcha Eatin'?

Thanks firmhope.org

I write a lot about what I am NOT eating or what I am NOT indulging in, but let’s talk about what I AM eating shall we?

These foods appear in my week most every week:

Liquid Egg Whites
Today’s Temptations Low Carb Bread (I am pretty certain this is only found in Chicagoland.)
Natural Peanut Butter
Olive Oil (sprayed from The Misto)
Quorn Brand Turk’y Roast (this is fake meat made from mushroom, not soy and it tastes so real- you can get it at Whole Foods but my local grocery store carries it.)
2% Shredded Cheese
Vegetable Juice
Frozen Veggies
Spicy Mustard
Parmesan Cheese
Tony Cashere’s Creole Seasing

These foods make several appearances, but less frequently because sometimes I can’t make it to my fave cheap produce store or any number of life reasons:

Yellow Squash
Tomato Sauce

What do I make with these foods?

First, to be fair, I am almost always cooking just for myself. My husband is a carnivore (as in he would love to walk up to a live cow and bite it) and I am a Pescatarian (a vegetarian whose diet includes fish –Merriam Webster has dubbed it an actual word now!) So, we eat very differently and thus cook side by side more than for each other (and we are okay with that).

A few things I eat frequently:

Scrambled Eggs: I typically start my day with one egg scrambled with liquid egg whites. Starting your day with protein is a good thing. Sometimes I sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese on top. Please treat yourself to basil in your eggs. You will not be sorry. Sometimes I make a piece of lo-carb bread toast to go with it or I’ll also have…

Apples and Peanut Butter: I love this combo. It is healthy and ridiculously delicious. Fruit and Protein are friends and work well together. I am learning this through my nutrition studies.

Veggie/Turk’y Bowls: I load a bowl full of veggies (frozen or fresh) and toss in my Turk’y Roast and a little bit of cheese to bind. I go heavy on herbs and figure friendly seasoning and definitely turmeric for liver health. They are so delicious! When I am feeling rich and have placed an order for a case of the best diet trick ever-Shiritaki Noodles -I will mix those in as well. I buy them here: http://stores.pkuperspectives.com/Detail.bok?no=57 They are less than $2 a pack which really isn’t bad.

Sandwiches: I could do an entire post on how I am turning into Joey Tribbiani (has it really been FIVE years since Friends ended??) I have been obsessed with sandwiches for the past two weeks. Maybe it’s my aggressive craving for tomatoes and summery delights. I have been building the most gorgeous and delectable sandwiches lately.

The Bikini By Sandwich
*Toasted Today’s Temptations Lo-Carb Bread (and just 45 calories a slice!)
(I swear it’s not gelatinous and styrofoamy like other lo-carb breads)
Three Pepper Hummus or Avocado (best creamy mayo substitutes for me)
Turk’y Roast or Smart Deli Lunch Meat
2% Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slice
Spicy Mustard
A Dash of Tony’s
Tomato slices
Bell Pepper (I like Yellow and Red)

Yep, this ain’t no leaves-ya-hungry sandwich. It’s a biggin’ and your belly will be full after eating it.

*This is not standard square shaped bread, the slices are wider, thus how so much can be packed into one sandwich.

These three current staples of mine may not be your cup of tea or sound anywhere near tantalizing, but they make my taste buds sing!

Maybe if you are lucky I will one day share my recipe for no noodle eggplant lasagna!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Temptation Monday

My day thus far has been front loaded with temptations.

As much as I speak up about not putting food near my work space, my co-workers have continued to target the area directly by my desk as the hub for food sharing.

Look what was here this morning when I walked in:

Chocolate Chip cookies are one of my favorite dessert items! I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but they looked really delicious and just the right doughy texture. So, I put my bag down, confiscated the cookies and took them to the nearest kitchen where they could still be shared by all, but out of my sight and mind.

Three hours later, there was a celebration for some expectant work mothers where this was served:

Offices are just not figure friendly.

What is interesting and exciting is that I really don't feel sad or deprived by not indulging in these treats. If I absolutely really wanted some of either, I think I would have tried a bite or two, but when I thought about it, I wasn't all that interested. Victory! It is so nice not to feel like I had no choice but to eat the treat. In the past (and still occasionally now) I have felt like I almost had no choice. The treat was there and I simply had to eat it-like I was hypnotized or something. Do you ever feel that way, like the food controls you? There have been times I have actively gone out and pursued a calorie filled unhealthy food knowing full well that I didn't need or really want it, but couldn't stop myself. I truly feel like today I was in control.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekly Round Up

How'd I do this week?

I let my busy couple of evenings keep me from my goal of burning 1900 calories via exercise. However, I did get workouts in three days this week totalling 1100.

Thurs 500
Friday 300
Saturday 300

I learned a good lesson about planning better during busy weeks and worked out three times, so that is very positive.

This week I have a short class on Monday and possibly (fingers crossed) a call back for a play on Tuesday or Wednesday so I know I need to make time for workouts and not use my busy schedule as an excuse!

My workouts have been on my elliptical mostly, but I need some variety. Thus, my goal for this week will be to continue to keep exercising and being mindful of what I eat, while trying to do one workout that is not on my elliptical. Workouts are most affective when there is variety (or so I hear.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shower Me Balanced!

Friday night and today were filled with temptations.

Last night my husband opened a play and there was of course an opening night party with snackables and cocktails. I did well. Other than a tiny cup of popcorn given out at the top of the show I had no snacks, I made friends with Diet Cherry 7-Up (a fab mixer) and kept my consumption at a minimum. (I also did some pretty rad Michael Jackson dancing to honor our fallen King of Pop if you wanna know.)

Today was a day of celebration. First, our sweet friends are the proud expectant parents of their second baby, so there was a little brunchy shower for them today. I sampled some chips (hello they had a Dorito Bar of all the flavors of Doritos-unreal) and some of a cupcake, but I chose to fill my plate with delicious spinach salad and scrambled eggs. I enjoyed some mimosas, but definitely didn't overdo it. After that, we headed over to a couples shower to celebrate two friends who are tying the knot soon. Tempting snackables were there as well. I did good! A little plate of chips and dip, one beer, and no brownies. Did I want more of everything I ate today? Heck yes. Did I taste everything I wanted to while not overdoing it and feeling gross and failure-y right now? Heck yes. BALANCE! I didn't destroy my day calorie wise, I had a nice time, and don't feel deprived. Love it.

On the agenda for this evening is enjoying a healthy dinner while preparing for an audition(because even though I only sampled the high calorie yummies, my body is asking me to please give it some nice clean food.) That's something else I am learning- if I really pay attention to what my body is telling me, it longs for fresh healthy food, and I feel so good after eating it.

Have you had any major temptations this weekend?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Thanks imaginecache5

So...Monday night I had an audition. Yay! As I have mentioned the audition pool has been rather dry and things are starting to pick back up and cast again. This particular audition was a two hour group audition. Luckily it was very movement based so I was able to be active. This is good because it lasted from 6:30pm-8:30pm and took me an hour to get home via public transit so I didn't roll in until 9:30pm. Shower/dinner/sleep or exercise? Ummm..no brainer.

Tonight I was called back for the same show. Yay again! This time for a 3 hour group audition. Again....shower/dinner/a bit of net time/sleep or exercise? Ummm...IT'S LATE, I'M TIRED! Again, tons of movement tonight (and I'm not kidding-the ol' heart rate was definitely up.)

So, I am now down to four days to complete my burn goal. Feasible, but it could have been easier with my Monday and Tuesday. What about Sunday you ask? Sunday I ate way too little food and drank way too many lemonadesy sweet drinks that surely had an unimaginable amount calories to them. I am still kicking myself-which is totally not what a Naturally Thin person does, they forgive and move on. I am struggling with that, but working to let it go, especially because the girlfriend time involved was so very needed and healing.

But I digress. I always say that I have two jobs. I am an actor and I am an admin. When I am in rehearsals and working all day it can be brutal. I have had the realization that taking on exercising as part of your daily/weekly routine is seriously like having a part time job. Even if you decide to squeeze in a 20 minute cardio dvd or go for a fast jog or walk, it's not just 20 minutes of time. You must change clothes, do your work out, shower or clean up, dress again and then resume life. Somehow 20 minutes can become an hour. In these first eight weeks of my journey I have not been involved in a show and only working my day job. I will make it work this week since I am only booked up for two days after work this week, but holy heck-what will I do when I begin work on a production again? How will I balance three jobs??!! Sounds totally unmanageable and exhausting! On the flip side I really hope that I get the challenging opportunity to explore this, because my little actor soul needs some artful nourishment somethin' awful!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wrap With Me

Hello Week 8!

So how'd I do this week? I did not burn 3500 calories exercising. I came to the realization that this was a bigger goal than I was ready for, but hey, this journey is about learning. So, what else did I learn? I learned that I CAN burn 1900 calories through exercise in one week if I put my mind to it.

Here is how it was broken down:

Tuesday 500 cals
Wednesday 500 cals
Thursday 550 cals
Friday 400 cals

Yesterday I did a ton of errands so I was up and moving and active, but not doing concentrated exercise.

I got myself up and exercising four days over the last week. That's great! No jeers for not meeting my huge goal, only cheers for what I did accomplish. Negativity is how I've approached every other weight loss/fitness journey. Not this time!

Allow me to share a great portion control lesson I learned yesterday. So, I actually slept in on Saturday (a great feat for me-unfortunately I can't get off of the internal work clock on the weekends). So, breakfast came around 10:45am. I had an errand to run soon with the fella, so I needed something quick but with some substance, because it would be a few hours before I would be eating again. I was strapped in the grocery department, so I went with a little spinach, cheese, and tomato wrap.
Thank you 11streetsaladworks.com!
I have been obsessed with fresh tomatoes this week (mmmm they just taste like summer), so I had part of one left as well as some spinach that was on it's last leg before Dumpsterville. I keep my breads in the fridge to prolong their life (it seriously works) and I had some whole wheat tortillas on hand. I knew there were some carbs in my future, so I needed to mindful of that as well-gotta balance those starches. Taking some Naturally Thin advice, I practiced some portion control. I used half a tortilla and made a little warm wrap (no doubt I sprinkled in some Tony's seasoning-oh yessss). I wasn't so sure it would do the trick, but it was super delicious, and much to my surprise it actually filled me up! To be honest, I don't eat a ton of starchy breadsy carbs, my main carbs come from other places like fruit and beans. So, the whole wheat tortilla really stayed with me (warming the wrap and adding spice helped too). Point being, I totally thought I needed way more food than I actually did. I got a complete serving of bread, vegetable, and a little protein, and I was good to go on so much less than I assumed. Love that!

My goal for Week 8? Burn 1900 calories through exercise (we all know I can do it!).

Did you make any discoveries this week on your fitness journey?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Casualty of Getting Fit

Thanks ehow.com

One thing that is rather tragic about the road to a better bod is the unfortunate loss of my two special gals. My chest is getting so flat y'all! I am not and have never been blessed in the mammary department, but c'mon Mother Nature, must I lose the cup-age I do have?! I notice this mostly in strapless bras which the need for lately in my life is high due to summer and the wider 80s necklines in today's fashion. Why oh why must our biddies be the first to go? Hey mass loss is mass long. At least now I have an excuse to buy myself pretty new under things.

In other news, I am chipping away at my goal for the week. I have come to realize that burning 3500 cals through exercise in one week is really ambitious, and I may not be able to reach it since I was sans exercise on Sunday and Monday.BUT I have been a good exerciser Tuesday, Wednesday and today, averaging at least 500 a day, so I am doing well and the challenge has been motivating if anything.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Drink and Watch

Behold one of my favorite things to consume:
Thank you marthastewart.com
I love vegetable juice. I think it's so delicious and it makes me feel so good with its vitamin rich goodness! It is one of my very favorite snacks. I typically have an after work snack like apples and peanut butter or a cheese stick and almonds, but if I get home later than usual, closer to dinner time, then I bust out my drinkable lover. I doctor it up Bloody Mary style with some dashes of Worchester sauce, lemon and/or lime juice, hot sauce, and sometimes celery salt or my beloved Tony's Creole seasoning. It's delightful and keeps my hunger at bay while I make dinner!

Please pour yourself a glass of drinkable healthy happiness and enjoy it while you watch:

Per usual, we have stolen a television program from England, and per usual I am glad. Cook Yourself Thin airs on Lifetime but episodes can be found On Demand through some cable providers which is how I watch them. Each episode of this show takes a woman who wants to shed some weight and teaches her how to cook her favorite things in a healthier way so she can lose a dress size in six weeks while still eating her favorite foods. My favorite tricks tend to be about the baked goods. I knew you could use applesauce in place of oil in cakes and such, but zucchini and beets? Neat! I guess moisture is moisture is moisture. Their rule of thumb is that you take your goal weight and multiply it by 10 to get the number of calories you should eat in a day to reach the goal and maintain it. 150lbs=1500 calories 120lbs=1200, etc etc. Mind you, the women on the show are b-b-b-bad eaters, some consuming upwards of 3,000-4,000 calories a day with fried food, cream based soups, and desserts. Still, the three hostesses' tricks to making comfort foods not so detrimental to your booty and belly are great because they keep it flavorful and find ways to give you the tastey pay off you crave.
I have been reminded that I mustn't down play the amzingness of the veggie juice concoction. It is simply not a spiced up cousin of plain ol' veg juice. Once you try it you shall come to know what my bestie and I have known for years. This beverage is in fact the Elixir of Life, sure to cure any ill feelings and energize you for the day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekends Can Be Dangerous Things

This weekend presented plenty of food challenges, and I did a pretty darn good job of practicing balance and keeping myself in line despite lots of work stress over the week, my time of the month, etc.

Fridays in the summer time my company works through the noon hour and leaves at 1pm. This is good and bad. Good because, hello, early release! Bad because it is sooo hectic trying to condense everything into 5 hours instead of 7 or 8, and when I should be having a mini meal/decent snack to tide me over until 2-3 when I finally get home, I am too busy. This is super bad and I often become an incoherent mess by the time I finally get food. (I have been tested for hypoglycemia and diabetes, but the doc swears I don’t have either. I am working on making it a habit to pack a mini meal for Fridays.) Anyway, when my incoherent self and my hubby finally arrived to a place to get lunch, I could have eaten the table I was so hungry, but instead of the gooey grilled cheese sandwich or quesadillas that were calling to me I stayed in check and chose a huge salad (dressing on the side of course). It was a southwestern style salad with romaine, a little bit of corn and black bean action, and the most savory portabello mushroom slices that had been tossed in taco seasoning-soooo delicious and genius-why didn’t I think of that?! I can’t wait to make my own seasoned 'bellas at home. I will admit that I indulged in a few of my husband’s tater tots, but keeping balance and Bethenny’s book in mind, I knew that this was how a naturally thin person eats.

We went to see a movie and I had time to prepare my food plan in advance and have a walk so I could have some popcorn. I stopped eating when it stopped being the most delicious thing ever (something Bethenny advises to do.) Calories saved-balance practiced. Woo hoo!

We didn’t plan out dinner well so we ended up eating way too late and I ate some completely unnecessary chips and guac that I didn’t even enjoy that much (that's the killer part). Hey, I’m not perfect.

So Friday was challenging and more high calorie than I would like. Am I a big fat failure? No. I just didn’t have an A+ day.

Saturday had its temptations, but I prevailed. The fella and I went to a street festival (Rib Fest, for those in the Chicago-know.) I don’t eat meat (except for fish) so this wasn’t that big of a deal. I avoided the delicious looking ice cream cones and drinks served in pineapples with whipped cream on top and enjoyed a delicious piece of corn on the cob (hold the butter) and some salad. We had two friend functions to attend after that so beer appeared in my evening, but I kept my consumption to one per party and had a snack of almonds and a cheese stick in between.

Sunday I was dying for sweets, so after contemplation and trying to talk myself down from the craving and distract myself (as per the gospel of Bethenny that says if you still want it after thought and distraction, then you actually do want the treat) I busted out a pumpkin bake mix that I had on hand (you must hit up your Trader Joe’s in the fall and try one) and made some pumpkin muffins. I ate one and stopped there. I will most likely bring the rest to work tomorrow to rid myself of them and their temptation. I didn’t even think of eating one for breakfast, so I know that my itch has been properly scratched. (But I don’t want to push it by having them around!)

So, food-wise it was a challenging weekend, but there will always be weekend temptations to fight, so I have to learn to live in balance and harmony with them. For week Seven I shall focus on burning 3500 calories (a pound's worth of cals) through exercise. Why? Why not?

Did you have any big food temptations over the weekend?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Read It. Live It.

I am currently reading and enjoying Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel. I am in the early parts of the book, but I am already using her methods to manage eating. Bethenny claims that we all have a naturally thin person inside us, it's just been stunted by endless yo-yo dieting and obsessing over food. She has ten basic rules she follows that keep her naturally thin.

Thank you simonandschuster.com

She stresses enjoying what you really want to eat while keeping in mind that you cannot eat all of it. She also reiterates that while she gives examples of how she balances having gelato and pasta everyday in Italy and eats steaks and MuShu pork-she will never tell you exactly what to eat, because each us have our own favorites and we control what we eat. If ever there was a way to practice balance it's through her methods.

Have any of you read Naturally Thin?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Please Put This In Your Mouth

First, I proclaim myself a horrid poster for this week!!!!! I have been trying to stay offline at night to give my youchy arm/shoulder/neck some extra relief, so I have been low on the spare internet time.

Second, please do yourself a flavor favor and treat your meals to this:

Thanks cajun-shop.com!
Tony's is one of my favorite ways to perk up any meal. I throw it in veggies, on toast, in eggs, even veggie juice (or Bloody Marys). See what the label says? Great on everything. It's sooooo true!
Also, although I have no exciting pictorial, I also must sing the praises of Dannon Light'N Fit Yogurt's new Cantaloupe flavor. I know it sounds weird, but give it a lil' 80 calorie try!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tape Measure vs. Scale

(Thank you getfitsource.com and umm.edu)
After my One Month Mark post, I wanted to share my thoughts on using measurements vs. just weighing myself.

When I took my monthly measurements I didn't review my beginning stats so I could make sure I was super honest about where I was. It was such a fun surprise to see my results. The next day I actually did step on the scale. 3lbs down. Any weight loss is good at this point, but I was so glad I had measurements to gage my progress, because I know I would not have been as proud or given myself as much credit if I was just comparing weights. I tend to be hard on myself (and of course think way too much in black and white), so it was nice to discover a tool to help me, well, be more pro-me.

Do you prefer measurements to the scale? Have I made you want to try it?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The One Month Mark!

I was so nervous about this post. I knew I should probably check in and see how I did regardless of if I thought I had my perception of a rough month. Maybe this post should be called Oh ME of Little Faith. Check out these "rough month" stats:

May 3rd Waist (at belly button): 33.5 inches
June 3rd Waist (at belly button): 33 inches
Down 1/2 an inch!

May 3rd Hips: 39 inches
June 3rd Hips: 38 inches
Down 1 inch!

May 3rd Arm: 11.75 inches around
June 3rd Arm: 11.5 inches around
Down 1/4 inch!

May 3rd Thigh: 23 inches around
June 3rd Thigh: 22.75 inches around
Down 1/4 inch!

I am so blown away! It's working y'all! Maybe I wasn't able to go jump in as full force as I wished, but the results speak for themselves. Slow and steady just may win this race!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's All About the Little Things

Last night my handsome husband called me from his rehearsal (oh yes he is an actor as well) to tell me they were done early and would I like to go see a movie. So off we went. When we walked in there was of course a grave question to be answered. To partake in some movie theater popcorn or not to partake? I had already eaten dinner when he called, and really had no calories to spare (plus the movie started not so long after 9pm-and I would like to keep the no eats after 9pm rule going for the most part). I wished hard that I was actually hungry, but alas, I really wasn't. I just ached for some popcorn (seriously it's one of my top five favorite foods). Had I made it my dinner, maybe it would have been okay-ish (we did walk there and back for a two mile total), but I knew in my tryin-to-get-fit heart that there was no room for the empty calories. So I stayed strong!! I thought of cyberland and how I would need to publicly out myself (so thank you out there). I thought of myself and how I owed it to me to make good choices. Triumph! It will forever amaze me how hard it is to avoid small temptations like that (especially when I am not even hungry!) but that stuff adds up (on your arse)! Of course, if I know further in advance that a trip to the movies is in order, then I can prepare for the savory cinema delight with a work out and food management, but in the case of the last minute movie-I did well, and I feel proud.
Let me share with you some of my favorite tricks of the low cal trade:

1) Meet the Back to Basics MICROWAVE Air Popper. Oh yes, no weird 1982 air popping contraption taking up space (although-ah memories)! This helps me have my corn and eat it too without all of the chemicals, calories, and fattiness of regular popcorn AND you just put it in the microwave. I suggest cracking fresh black pepper over it or sprinkling in some creole seasoning. Shazaam! (Thanks for the image focuselectrics.com!)

2) Cinnamon smackables like Altoids Chewing Gum. Aspartame haters, you will be pleased to know that this gum contains xylitol instead. It stays true to the brand's "Curiously Strong" slogan, so it's not for the weak of mouth, but I am from swampy Cajun East Texas, and I savor spice and heat! It definitely helps me combat that need for a dessert or afternoon sweet! (Thanks for image shopzilla.com!)