Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back on Track

I've been told not to flagellate myself in this blog with regard to my weekend indiscretions.

But in the interest of honesty, and documenting my path (as sporadic as that may be at times), I ate some dessert on Saturday. I went to a wedding reception and a dessert party. Considering the temptation, I think I actually kept things pretty moderate. . .

Then I ate butternut squash soup, cornbread and pie on Sunday. We had friends over and we had two butternut squashes. The soup was fantastic, actually, as was the cornbread and the pie.

Yesterday morning I dragged into work and dutifully entered everything into SparkPeople. Actually, Saturday wasn't TOO bad. Carbs stayed under 100 g. Sunday I got up to 185 g of carbs, and as soon as I saw that number I realized why I felt tired and cloudy. It's amazing how the carbs impact how I feel. So yesterday and today I'm back on the low-carb track.

However, today I am cloudy and tired, but for a totally different reason. We went to Chili's for 2-for-1 fajitas. FAJITAS ARE NOT LOW CARB!, you say. Well, it is if you just eat the meat and the toppings. I didn't really miss the doughy tortilla, actually. I wish they had lettuce leaves so I could make wraps, but when I asked, they said their lettuce comes pre-shredded. Ooookay.

My downfall came in the 3 Diet Cokes I drank. See, the water in Pawtucket, Rhode Island tastes like dirt. The very first time we went to that Chili's, our friends warned us that we needed to order a drink. They weren't kidding. We thought it was just a clever ploy of Chili's to get us to order a drink, but when we moved to Pawtucket a couple months ago, we discovered that it's the city water that's bad. After not having any caffeine for a couple weeks I was buzzing after dinner. Then I was wide awake until 3:30. Since I had a meeting at 8:30, there was no sleeping in for me.

Next time, since I'm ordering a drink anyway, I'll get club soda.

Recent Thoughts On All the Big Fat Lies

America: A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 4 - The New Day 3

So remember how I was dreading Day 3 because of the carb withdrawal and the achiness and the foggy-headedness, then was pleasantly pleased by how I felt yesterday? Apparently this time, Day 4 is my withdrawal day. I have kind of a general achiness and feel a bit cloudy. I would like a Diet Coke (with lime).

This explains why I felt fine yesterday. It would also explain why I was totally craving something sweet all yesterday afternoon and evening. My body's last ditch effort to get me to cave.

As the scale still hovers around a number I don't really like, I've had a couple of NSVs (non-scale victories) this week. First, I have baked twice this week. That's not the NSV. On Wednesday night I made pumpkin muffins (one of my favorites!) for the group of girls I work with at church. I admit, I dipped my finger in the batter once. As soon as the batter was in the muffin cups, I filled the mixing bowl with water so I wouldn't be tempted to go ahead and lick up the rest of the batter (yes, I know, salmonella blah blah blah. Pumpkin muffin batter is good!). I ate zero finished muffins and gave them all away.

Last night, I made another of my favorite recipes for cornbread because we had the college kids Jason teaches over to our house and one of them requested it. I plugged the recipe into the SparkRecipes calculator just for kicks, and wow, that is some unhealthy cornbread. I ate one corner of one piece and dutifully entered it into my SparkPeople nutrition chart.

The second NSV is, despite my little tastings, my net carbs so far are:
  • Day 1 44
  • Day 2 40
  • Day 3 43
I'm pretty proud of that.

OK, now to get through Day 4. I have a feeling this is going to be a long day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 3

Day 3 of low carb for reals and I actually feel fine. So either the serious withdrawal hasn't kicked in yet, or I wasn't doing that bad with my eating pre-Tuesday. I don't really believe the latter, but I hope it's true.

I think the only major side effect has been feeling tired. "Not setting my alarm correctly in my pre-sleep stupor and turning it off in my sleep when I do" tired. This morning I planned to go for a walk on the path near our house and instead I initially woke up an hour too late to do that, then woke up again 45 minutes later and missed the early bus. Darn it! Maybe that's my withdrawal this time.

Or it could just be the insanely busy schedule I'm keeping this week. All good things, just busy.

In other news, my new favorite things in the world are True Lime and True Orange. I had heard about these products before, but Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment* reminded me recently to try them out. I use half a packet in my cup of water that's always on my desk at work and it makes drinking water absolutely delightful. And overall is cheaper than the flavored fizzy water I buy sometimes to spice things up a little. (Woo! I am a wild child! Look at me with my flavored water!)

I like water anyway, but the flavors make me want a soda less come mid-afternoon when water starts to feel a little boring. No one is paying me, but I thought you should know that you can get free samples (which I totally did).

* Warning: Gross picture at top of post. But hilarious content, as always, which counteracts the grossness. Kind of.


Just a quick thanks to Jimmy Moore for listing my blog in his Low-Carb and Health Blogs for September 2010!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Low Carb

So I'm back on the serious low carbing as of yesterday.

This past weekend we went to a wedding and had an absolutely fantastic time. The only thing is, I felt like kind of a whale next to most of the other girls my age there. Granted, most of them were super skinny to a degree that I will never reach (or want to really), but I haven't been feeling comfortable in my skin (or my clothes) lately anyway, so that just added to it.

Also, I think last week some guy might have called me fat. Maybe I'm being hypersensitive, but you tell me. We were discussing sciencey-type stuff, and the biochemical mechanisms behind fat storage (I was telling him what I've learned about low carb). Then he talked about something he was working on and said how they were studying, "no offense, how lack of sleep may increase obesity." I didn't flinch or comment or anything, but it left me wondering what exactly was implied by that "no offense".

Weird, right?

So I've been listening to my low carb podcasts for a few weeks, reading Gary Taubes, and feeling like I need to accept that this is the best way for me to eat. I feel best when I'm eating low carb - meaning under 100 g per day. Also, I have a bright idea for a new blog that is low carb-focused. Maybe I'll just convert this one over when the time comes. It's a fledgling idea inspired by people like Jimmy Moore and Tom Naughton who are educating people about the topic, though I don't think it's a niche that has been filled yet. I need to do some more research. We'll see what comes of that...

Yesterday, says SparkPeople, I ate 44 net carbs. Right now I am at 26 net carbs for today(including the afternoon snacks I haven't eaten yet and the zucchini I have on tap for dinner tonight). I need to add some more calories to today, but they will most likely be high fat/protein, so I don't anticipate the carbs being too much higher than that. I don't actually have to keep track in SparkPeople because I've done this often enough to know how. I do like numbers, though, so seeing the fat/protein/carb gram counts in their nice little columns gives me a bit of a thrill.

I'm starting to feel a little foggy-headed this afternoon. Day 3 is always the worst, so I kind of expect to feel like poo tomorrow, but to come out the other side on Day 4 feeling awesome.

Friday, September 10, 2010

No Farm Share This Week

With the move, I got totally thrown off track with my reporting about the Farm Share. We're still getting it every week, and it's been interesting to see what sort of new crops Farmer John planted this year. He seems heavy on the peppers this year, which is fine, except I have grown two extremely prolific pepper plants myself and have PLENTY of peppers. Maybe even a peck. (I know. That was very bad.)

Anyway, yesterday evening a combination of bad traffic, taking dinner to someone who just had a baby's house and trying to get my place straightened up to have people over meant I couldn't pick up the Farm Share. Jason would have, but he was in the middle of something at work (fruit fly experiments wait for no man!). So I'm disappointed, but it's not the end of the world since now we live about 30 seconds from the huge Saturday morning farmers' market.

We stopped by last Saturday and in addition to bringing home some zucchini, corn and a rosemary plant, I was so intrigued by the farmers selling grass-fed beef and other animals. Jason is out of town this weekend and I kind of want to buy a little something tomorrow morning just to see how it tastes compared to the regular store-bought beef. Maybe I will...

My ultimate fantasy is to buy a deep freezer and go in with someone to buy half a grass-fed cow, or something crazy like that. But I think the deep freezer will have to wait until we're a little more permanently settled. Shame.

Want to Win!

I don't usually post these links to contests, but Cheeseslave has a drawing for a Le Creuset stockpot.

**Le Creuset!!!***

So I'm blogging to let you know, but I can't wish you luck because I want to win!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

So Much for the Swim

I turned off my alarm in my sleep and finally woke up enough to realize it at about 6:30. Too late for a swim. My legs are really sore today too. According to Rachel, my PT guru, it's my muscles that are sore and I don't have shin splints. That's a relief.

So no workout. I'm busy tonight so going for a walk or an elliptical after work isn't an option.

I get frustrated sometimes when I just want to go go go with my newfound motivation, but my body holds me back (because, to be fair to my body, I have been pretty lazy this summer). I know it's all about gradually getting into the working out, and I definitely don't want to injure myself. So I'll work out tomorrow morning and Saturday morning* and call it good for the week.

* I have an early morning work meeting in Boston on Friday.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Keep Moving

This morning I did Week 1, Day 3 of C25K. And I decided to repeat Week 1. I'm having a hard time catching my breath after only 60 seconds of running. The idea of moving up to 90 seconds feels impossible. Last time I didn't have so many breathing issues because I had been doing other cardio stuff. Since I've had such a relatively lazy summer, my lungs need to warm up to this idea of working out again.

I'm going to do the unofficial Day 4 of Week 1 on Thursday. Tomorrow, my plan (if I can wake up early enough) is to go swimming. I need a little confidence boost in the exercise department since I feel like everything I've been doing lately has been further proof that I am a doughy, out of shape girl. Lap swimming, even slow laps, will soothe me. Being in water soothes me.

Yesterday I didn't work out in the morning because we went to the Newport Irish Festival and I knew I would be walking and standing (not to mention bouncing to the beat) all day. Actually, my calves were a little sore by the end of the day. There were some good beats. I did a lot of bouncing.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Labor Day

This has been a nice weekend, though not exactly what we had planned. The original plan was to go hiking and camping somewhere. I will confess, I was looking forward to that with a bit of trepidation. The last time I climbed a mountain in New Hampshire, I wound up feeling like I was going to throw up or pass out or fall down the rocks or all three. We went up a VERY. HARD. TRAIL. I think I just need to start out a little slower.

Then the next time we went hiking, I begged off of climbing up the whole mountain because after going up hardly any elevation for the first mile and a half, it suddenly became apparent that the main ascent was going to be just as steep as the last trip, even though I had explicitly told Jason I wanted something a bit more tame.

I guess my point is, I'm having a hard time catching the vision of climbing mountains. At least going up the very hard paths that leave me feeling sick. I know not everyone feels sick at the end of a hike like that, and I think if we could just maybe do an easier hike and I could work my way up to the harder hikes I might enjoy it more. However, the people I was going to go with this weekend wanted something more X-Treme, and I didn't want to ruin their weekend. At the same time, I wasn't really looking forward to looking like a wuss when, once again, I got sick trying to climb a mountain.

So I'm not going to lie. I wasn't completely devastated when the uncertainty of what Hurricane Earl would do to New England put the kibosh on this weekend's New Hampshire trip.

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day. Earl came through on Friday night and rained away most of the heat and humidity and we woke up Saturday morning to bright blue sunny skies. I did Day 2 of Week 1 of C25K (very proud of myself for actually getting past Day 1 this time. Tomorrow I plan to do Day 3).

Then we went to the Indian buffet down the street and sat out in the sunshine enjoying our food. After that we headed over to Lincoln Woods, with a plan to walk around the 2.75 mile loop, then go for a swim in the pond. After our walk, we discovered that the area where you can actually swim in the pond is very small. Jason was bored just looking at the still pond. I kind of wanted to go to the lifeguards and ask if my many years of swim team gave me enough street cred to swim past the red buoys. We stood there for a minute, and decided to skip the pond and head to the beach.

We drove down to Narragansett Beach and jumped around in the huge waves Earl had left in his wake. Honestly, I've never been in waves quite that big. The current was super strong and kept pushing us down the beach. I decided to swim out where the waves were breaking and suddenly it got very calm. A little eerily so. We floated and wondered where the waves had gone, then suddenly there were two huge waves one right after the other. They crashed right on top of me and I didn't duck under quickly enough so I got spun around under the water as the first and then the second wave hit. I am a strong swimmer (see aforementioned years of swim team), but that shook me (and exhilarated me!) a bit. After that, I stayed a bit further in, where the waves reached me a few seconds after they crashed.

Being there reminded us that we really do have awesome beaches in Rhode Island and we need to take advantage of them more on those nice days when we're sitting around wondering what to do. The water stays warm (low 70s) until the end of September, so we will be going back.

So that was yesterday and I woke up pretty sore from my super active day. I forget how good it feels to get out and USE my muscles.

Today, on the other hand, has been dedicated to sloth. But sloth is good in its place. Tomorrow, I'll go for a jog, and then we're heading to the Newport Irish Festival for another active day.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Starting Over

Sunday night I planned to go to the Monday morning strength training class at the Y. Only I wound up hitting the snooze button for a whole hour in my sleep before the alarm even registered in my brain enough to wake me up.

Then Monday night we were up late, which is a very old and ragged excuse of mine. This morning, despite being up until 12:30 last night, I pulled myself out of bed at 6:15 and did Day 1 of Week 1 of Couch to 5K. I think this is the 4th or 5th time I've done Day 1, Week 1. I am determined that this time it will stick. Unless I get some sort of injury again, which is what stopped me during my 2nd effort. Then I will do something else and not stop all activity completely like a loser.

Since we moved, we now live about a minute from this amazing footpath that is very popular with the runners and walkers on our side of town. The path goes down the middle of a semi-busy street, but has enough grass and trees on either side to muffle the street noise pretty well. Lining the street are all these AMAZING homes. Sometimes I'll walk up the path, but then walk back on the sidewalk across the street so I can look more closely at the homes.

This morning I was out there with a bunch of other people, some walking, some running, some running while walking dogs. Some in amazing shape, some less so. I listened to a Livin' La Vida Low Carb podcast* and wogged** down the path.

* I've been avoiding my low-carb podcasts lately because I didn't want to hear about the unhealthiness of the yummy things I've been eating. On the upside, now I have a big backlog to listen to.

** This is what I tell Jason I'm going out to do early in the morning when he asks where I'm going or where I've been because as far as he's concerned no one in their right mind would be up and active so early. Walk + jog.

I have been so lazy this summer, and for no good reason. My motivation just completely vanished and the idea of exercising or eating healthy wasn't super appealing. I haven't been eating too horribly, but I have definitely been remiss in the exercising department. I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in a few months and wasn't happy with what I saw. That was good motivation to get my wog on, rather than just walk down the pleasant path.

There are a couple of reasons I want to be healthier. The first one is just because I know I'll feel better. I feel better when I'm taking care of my body - physically and emotionally. It's a fact that is so easy for me to forget.

The second reason is because we're going to Tucson in October. I haven't been back since my Nana passed away in 2002 and I'm excited to show Jason where I grew up. We'll alternate staying with my aunt and my grandpa, and I fully intend to eat my way through Tucson*. And I plan to eat a strawberry/lemon Eegee every day we are there. So I think it would be best for everyone involved if I have a good baseline of healthiness before I head off to relive my youth through food.

* Fingers crossed that the Tohono O'odham ladies with the frybread and red chili are set up in front of the mission on the day we go.

Another important reason is because Jason and I are starting to talk about having a family. As I think about what it might be like to actually have another person inside of me, and then someone I am responsible for taking care of, I realize that I want to make sure the things that go into my body, and the child's body, are as healthy as possible. I've been gradually adding more organic produce into my menu, and really thinking critically about my options when it comes to my protein sources. If I don't have the money to eat grass-fed everything, should I be eating the alternative? It has really made me think.

Then there's the whole physical process of being pregnant and recovering. There's a blog I read by a woman who has a 5-month old and who is such an inspiration to me. She set monthly, weekly and daily goals for herself for both fitness and amounts of quality foods she wanted to eat the whole time she was pregnant. She ratcheted down the intensity of her workouts as her pregnancy progressed, but still managed to stay active. Once she was up and about after giving birth, she continued to set and achieve fitness goals and is already back in pretty great shape. I want to be like her when I grow up. I'm just starting to work on it again.