Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 10!!!!!

It's hereeee!!! Day 10! I made it!!

     I'm not going to lie, it was tough!  There were times I thought I would crack.  Not because I was starving, or I didn't like what I was eating (ok, maybe that's a stretch, the yogurt was painful at times) but because I was so used to reaching for things that were easy, but so bad for me.  I have to say, with my schedule, if I can make this work, anyone can.  There are NO excuses!

     Certain things were though, but others I didn't even miss.  Coffee was for sure the biggest woe.  I personally cannot cut sugar out of my coffee.  So giving it up cold turkey was really sad.  Also, as I had mentioned previously, fresh baked goods were an issue.  Mayonnaise was a HUGE issue.  I was really sad not to have mayonnaise, but because of that bread was a non-issue.  I thought I was going to really miss my white bread sandwiches, but not really.  I know a lot of deli meats have preservatives and I never got the opportunity to research which ones I could buy, so I just didn't.  I never ended up using the peanut butter I bought.  I never got the opportunity to.  Again, no bread= no peanut butter sandwiches and I didn't feel inclined to use it on anything else.  I'm sure I will though. 

     One of the things I wrote about was hoping to see an increased energy level... that didn't happen.  But that's what I get for trying to begin a challenge like this 3 weeks before the end of a semester!  Because I will put into practice these habits in the future, I know that in time (with restoration of normal sleep) I will see the benefits.

     I am excited to continue on the challenge.  I want to complete two full weeks before I start cheating and allowing certain things back into my diet.  First thing, definitely coffee.  Definitely.  Final (10 days) weigh in will be tomorrow, I'm excited!  I will not continue blogging every day from here on out, but I will be updating several times per week, especially once I start cheating, I will post about what I have allowed back in.

Day 10:

     Breakfast was grapes on the run then two eggs with fresh tomatoes.  Really yummy.  Lunch was leftovers of corn on the cob and couscous.  Not very well thought through, and I was quite hungry not long after.  Study snacks in the afternoon included cheese, grapes, raspberries and kale chips.
     Dinner was somewhat bad.  I went out with a friend in search of a restaurant that was airing the Bruins game.  We decided on a local Thai place.  In hind sight, maybe not the best choice, but hey.  I did the best I could with the menu and am going to consider it my cheat meal for the past 10 days.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I will be continuing on with "real food" until at least Monday (the two week marker).

Happy running :) xo

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 9

Super crabby today. The lack of sleep due to enormous amounts of school work had me craving really bad-for-me comfort food. For some reason a bowl of fresh strawberries doesnt hit the spot quite like a chocolate chip cookie. Maybe I can mash up some strawberries into the shape of a cookie...  If I had more time, I would definitely investigate a good whole wheat flour cookie recipe, maybe next week!

     Breakfast was simple, yogurt and granola. I have to say, I am finally getting used to the texture of the plain yogurt. I don't prefer it, but I don't despise it as much as I did. As far as the taste, I added a teaspoon of honey in it and man, what a difference!! SO much better!! Really enjoyed that. I had a plum in class and half of a leftover pork chop with green beans for lunch. More snacking in the afternoon of grapes and cheese as well as some mixed nuts.

     Dinner was amazing. My mom adapted a sauce recipe for seafood using balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cream cheese, fresh tomato and basil.  Shrimp and scallops were sauteed in the balsamic vinegar and oil, then removed and the cream cheese and tomatoes were added until it is reduced down to a uniform sauce.  The proteins were tossed back in and served over pasta.  I made some whole wheat shell pasta to go with it. It was incredible!!

Late night snacks of raspberries, mango, and a laaaaarge triple brewed green tea with quite a bit of honey to hopefully shake me awake. I see shots of espresso in my future...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 8 - Real Food

     Holy moly! Day 8?!  I can't believe that I have already reached this point.  I feel amazing.  I have noticed my clothes fit better and my pants are needing another notch in the belt to hold them up!  I think it is pretty safe to say that most of the weight I have lost so far is all bloat.  The biggest difference by far is in my stomach.  I have considered before and after pictures (I took a pic of myself the day before I started for personal comparison) if I think that it is warranted.  So far, the change is pretty noticeable so I just may.  I wish I had more time to exercise during this challenge because with all of the good foods I am eating, I know it would kick fat-burning into high gear.  Oh well, soon.  I have already decided that I will be extending my pledge to be at least two weeks.  We will see from there, a girl can only say to no cheeseburgers for so long!

     Breakfast was nothing special, granola and yogurt with a plum.  I froze a full two pounds of strawberries this morning.  They were on sale, and I'm a sucker for a good deal! haha  My mom gave me a great tip.  If you half the berries freeze them flat, on a cookie sheet or something similar, and then place them in a freezer bag or Tupperware, they don't clump together and are MUCH easier to just grab a few for a snack at any time!  Worked great, I was really happy about that.  I was on the run this afternoon with a big presentation at school, so the frozen berries ended up being lunch and needless to say I was STARVING by the time I got home this afternoon.  A snack of grapes and cheese while I made dinner hit the spot.
     Dinner was pork chops cooked in olive oil with sauteed onions and Old Bay seasoning.  I know it's more than 5 ingredients, but I was too lazy to put all of the spices together myself.  But man, was it good!  Along with fresh mashed potatoes and green beans with grated Parmesan cheese I was quite full.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Days 6 and 7- Real food

     Day 6 - This morning I woke up and brewed a cup of green tea as usual.  But I was so preoccupied with Luke Bryan's hotness that I poured a whopping spoonful of sugar right in.  And as my luck would have it, it was the last tea bag... bummer :(  But I mean come on...

     For breakfast, I have to brag.  I made some pretty awesome "baked egg cups"  They weren't quiche, just scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach.  I scrambled the eggs and spooned them into the cups (greased with just a touch of butter), then added the mushroom and spinach.  I stirred it with a spoon to make sure that the veggies were well coated and would just burn sitting on top of the egg.

15 minutes in a 375degree F oven and these little lovelies come out :)

     I had two with a dollop of sour cream.  Weird I know, but I have been going through mayonnaise withdrawals and I was in need of an acceptable condiment in my life!! haha

     Lunch was fantastic.  Salmon on the grill with a salad of shrimp and pine nuts over wilted baby spinach.  I cooked the shrimp also on the grill in an aluminum packet with a little bit of butter.  I used the melted butter and some fresh squeezed lime as the dressing for the salad.  

     At work I snacked on some strawberries and cantaloupe as well as a plum.  Dinner was on the move, just the rest of the shrimp salad.

Day 7 - Nothing fancy for breakfast this morning, just scrambled eggs.  I had a cranberry tea later in the morning that was wonderful.  I feel like such a brat sometimes checking labels on absolutely everything.  I think that is one of the reasons I have refrained from going to a restaurant so far.  Like I said before, I work in food service and no one likes that whiny customer.  Plus I enjoy experimenting with things at home.  Anything that can get my brain off of my homework for half an hour is ok in my book!

     Today was a hard core school work day.  I had a few friends over to work on some things and throughout the day we enjoyed some good snacks including this frozen fruit salad concoction.  Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and mango.  So good.  I also had some granola and a plum.  

     Dinner was really good.  My mom had made a red sauce with crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and onions.  They had the sauce with hamburg over pasta, I mixed it with couscous.  Doesn't look very appetizing I know but it tasted amazing!

     Going to try and muster up the strength for 50 push-ups before bed... We'll see.

Happy running :) xo

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 5 - Real food

     Good news!! I'm down 4lbs! Honesty, I forgot to weigh myself on Sunday, right before I began.  But the last time I remember weighing myself was about a week before and I am down 4lbs!  I was shocked.  I didn't think that it would make such a big difference so quickly.  I had it in my mind that if I lost 5lbs in the 10 days, or even two weeks that it would be a success.  But 4lbs in 5 days?!  Never would have thought that.  I have decided to only weigh myself on certain "milestones" if you can even call it that.  Today was day 5, so I am halfway through the intended plan.  I will wait to weigh myself again until day 10 (the potential end).  If I decide to extend my pledge I will weigh in again on day 14, and so on until I feel like I can't take it anymore and eat something really terrible.

     I want to reiterate that I am not doing this purely for the number on the scale.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am not one to pay attention to that.  I am not saying that I don't need to loose weight, but if I feel comfortable with my body, and how my clothes fit then I am alright with whatever that number may be.  That is why I didn't expect to actually loose that much weight.  I have practically no time in my schedule right now to exercise the way I should, so I thought maybe a few pounds.  But I have tried really hard to tell anyone who asks that I am not on a diet.  I called it a challenge, or a pledge because I didn't want it to be something I did for 10 days and then gave up.  It is way more mental than anything else and I wanted to challenge myself to doing it.  If I look better in a bikini in Aruba in a few weeks, then hey, I won't complain! :)

     I did my "8 minutes to a better day routine" this morning, had a bowl of Kashi and then went off to work.  I brought plenty of snacks with me to deter from the wonderful fried food and clam chowder :)

     Lunch was baked cod with fresh pico de gallo and a double helping of broccoli.  It was delicious but I would have really loved some crunchy breadcrumbs! I finished all of my snacks, except for the orange.  Got home pretty early so I made scrambled eggs with tomato and Tabasco sauce for dinner.  Overall a pretty boring day. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 4 - Real food

Oh my goodness.  What I would not give right now to have a Chippi!! haha

          By late last night, my day had really worn on me and I wanted nothing more than to reach into the freezer, grab the Snickers ice cream and say "to heck with it."  But I stayed strong and just went to bed.  That is one of the biggest changes I have noticed in my eating habits.  I am usually a late night snacker of brownies or cookies or whatever wonderful baked good my mom has around the house.  That's the biggest hazard of living at home with a mom who doesn't need to watch her weight, a father that works hard construction all day and can eat whatever he wants and a brother that is trying to GAIN weight... C'est la vie

     Breakfast was Kashi cereal with more iced green tea.  Mid-morning munchies led me to yogurt with granola in class while my professor very hilariously described the "girly bits and boy bits" of flower reproduction systems.  Far From Boardinary knows what I'm talking about hahaha.  Speaking of which, big congrats to Boardinary for his acceptance into med school yesterday!! A few of us in the lab had a beer this afternoon to celebrate... The guidelines to the challenge say that alcohol doesn't count, but it still felt like cheating! Haha woops!! :) Bravo Tim!

     Lunch was a big fresh salad with carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and the yummy honey mustard chicken.  

     This afternoon was tough, I went to a small gathering where linguica pizza was served... Not cool. Dinner was boring. I made some fresh warm kale chips but then had the rest of the chicken and broccoli from two nights ago with a sweet potato.

     50 push ups before bed. Double shift at work tomorrow... We will see how that goes. Really tough not to snack while I am there. So much yummy stuff!!

     Happy running xo

Day 3 - Real food

     So I believe that I have found the cause of my headache the past two days... Not enough caffeine.  I am a two-cups-a-day (at least!) kind of girl and I realized this morning that the green tea that I have been supplementing my morning cup of coffee with has less than half of the amount of caffeine in it as one cup of coffee.  I will be making steps to increase my green tea intake.  There are worse things!

Step one:  This morning I brewed some green tea (3 bags in 2 cups of water) and poured it over a big cup of ice.  I then poured about 1/4 cup of hot waster over 1 tablespoon of honey in a separate cup to get all of the honey dissolved and mixed the two.  Yum :) A nice big cup of iced green tea!
Step two:  Bring one of the tea bags to school so I can have a cup mid day if I feel another headache coming on.

     Breakfast was yogurt with frozen mixed berries.  I can't believe how much more bearable the yogurt is with the berries in it!  Not too shabby.  Lunch was honey mustard chicken and broccoli leftovers.. I forgot my sweet potato at home :(  A snack of grapes and strawberries helped a lot this afternoon, this weather has me craving iced cream really badly.

      I had dinner at work tonight which was somewhat challenging.  Anyone who has ever been in the food service industry cringes at special orders, but sometimes it has to be done!  I had seared tuna with peppercorn crust, a baked potato with blue cheese crumbles and steamed spinach.  Work wore me out, and by the time I left I had snacked on some mixed nuts, a baked sweet potato and an orange.

     When I got home from work, I found out that my family had eaten Chinese food for dinner.  And let me tell you, an apple with peanut butter DOES NOT taste like yummy Chinese food :( haha

     Before bed: (10 push-ups +10 bicycles) X 5

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 2 - Real Food

   OK everyone, plain yogurt is gross!  I have never tried yogurt without at least vanilla flavoring and I have to say, now I know why.  The consistency is completely different and the taste is nothing like I had expected.  Good thing I had a boatload of cantaloupe chunks to throw in there!  I am pretty sure that melon, mixed berries, or granola are going to be the only way I finish the container before it goes bad!

       I had a snack of some grapes with cheese mid-morning.  Lunch was yummy, yesterday's shrimp and couscous leftovers with a side of raw baby carrots.  I had an orange in the afternoon, then made kale chips when I got home.  Yes, KALE chips!  Chopped up kale with a drizzle of oil (used my hands to coat it well) and into the over at 400F for 12-15 minutes until crispy.  A sprinkle of sea salt when they come out, and they are ready to enjoy!Be careful, there is a very delicate window from crispy to burnt, so watch them after about 10 minutes.  SO delicious, thanks Auntie Sue :)

     Dinner was baked chicken with a honey mustard marinade that I made myself with steamed broccoli and what was supposed to be a baked sweet potato.  Come to find out, 30 minutes is not long enough to bake a sweet potato, so we had left over couscous instead.  Still very yummy, and now I can have the sweet potato with my lunch tomorrow.  

    It may seem like I am eating a lot, but I should have mentioned earlier that I am a snacker.  I have never been one to be able to go a full 5-6 hours between meals.  I would much rather have less food, more often.  Which is good, because that is what is recommended anyways, but in the past I was not always the best decision maker when it came to snack time.  I have always been one to say that I would rather run an extra 3 miles than not eat a piece of cake.  That still stands true.  But I am going to try and cut down... maybe.  haha

   No yoga tonight :( Major headache made me conk out super early.  I am definitely going Thursday though.  It's hip-hop yoga night at Southcoast Yoga.  I am excited :) I have really enjoyed it the few times that I have gone.  I am getting very determined to return to my gymnast flexibility and master some of the more advanced poses that I know I could do a few years ago.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 1 - Real Food

     OK, PROBLEM!  Not sure how this never entered my mind until right this minute, but when I decided to do this pledge and cut out all forms of processed sugar I didn't realize that the sugar in my morning coffee was part of that.  HAHA so needless to say I was a bit grumpier at 7:00am than I had expected.  But a nice cup of green tea with honey fixed that real quick! Crisis averted :)

     I didn't mention it yesterday, but I plan to use my FitnessPal and RunKeeper apps to track my food intake vs exercise and energy levels on runs.  I want to reiterate that I am NOT COUNTING CALORIES.  The whole point of this is not to be on a diet where I feel hungry or restricted from eating good food.  It is to cut out processed, refined components in the food I eat.  Having said that, I have no intention of eating an entire block of cheese this afternoon haha :)  But I will not be tracking caloric intake whatsoever.  It will be purely data entry.

Breakfast was good. An orange and a small bowl of Kashi 7 grain cereal.
Lunch was amazing! I made shrimp on the grill with fresh squeezed lime, pine nuts, and garlic with couscous and corn on the cob. SO yummy.
Dinner was equally as good. Fresh Atlantic cod baked with just a little bit of butter and dill and homemade french fries. The fries were cooked in vegetable oil, which is not a total no-no but I'm not going to make a habit of it. A little light snacking throughout the day of cheese with grapes, and some nuts.

    The hardest part was all day having to say no to things. I'm not hungry or unsatisfied with my meals but it took a lot of will power to say no to homemade Toll House cookies last night!  I am excited to continue on :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Preparing for 'Real Food'

     Alright, so I did some grocery shopping this morning after my run and I have to say... natural, organic food is really fluffing expensive!!! $40 on these items! (the granola is being returned, I somehow skipped over the cane juice in the ingredients). I didn't get things I already had like eggs, milk, honey, green tea and whole grain pita pockets from Joseph's (a local bakery).  The almond butter and quinoa were two items that I really wanted to get, but were just not in the budget.  Maybe later this week I will go get them if I feel like I can extend my pledge to two or three weeks.

  I mostly bought staple items that will last me the 10 days least, but holy moly I have never spent that much on so few items before. I felt so anal standing there reading ingredients on everything I picked up but I was really surprised how much sugar is added to things that I thought would be ok. Come to find out, just because something is organic, doesn't mean it's healthier! You still have to check the label!

     One of the rules that I have ready broken is 'buying local'. Unfortunately, April in Massachusetts does not have a lot to offer in the fresh produce department. So my produce will be coming from the grocery store.
This is Sugar, she has been my running buddy this past week while I house sit.  I found it quite ironic that her name is Sugar and here I am doing everything in my power to cut sugar out! haha 
She isn't part of my pledge but she is so darn cute!! :)

Day 1 tomorrow... Wish me luck!
Happy running :) xo

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Real Food Pledge

Hey everyone!
     I have been slacking a bit in new post production, sorry!  Lent recently ended, and though I didn't give up blogging, I did give up meat.  Every year it is such a difficult decision and unfortunately my diet usually suffers.  The lack of meat in my diet usually gets supplemented with pastas and late night bowls of cereal.  I have never been one to eat a salad and be satisfied.  Fish was a large part of my diet, but it gets expensive and with my schedule I couldn't stop at the market every day for fresh salmon or tuna like I would want to.

     Although I have not been blogging, I have never stopped working! Over the past several weeks, I have done some extensive research on "real food" pledges.  I don't want to use the diet, because I am not looking into them as a form of a fad diet.  I became interested after watching a video about "low-fat" and "sugar-free" commercialized items that are SO bad for you.  As a scientist, I can admit I probably don't put enough thought into what goes into my body.  There are far too many products with chemical compounds that I cannot even pronounce so why are we ingesting them at such high frequencies??

     So this coming week, I will begin my first "real food pledge."  My main resource will be 100 Days of Real Food.  It is a blog created by a woman named Lisa and she has a wonderful set of guidelines that she has created over her own personal experiences.  I plan on starting small.  10 days, then depending on how it goes, two weeks, then maybe three.  We will see!

    It is going to take a lot of concentration and dedication.  Sometimes I am at school for 12 hours a day, and my only relief is an iced coffee with way too much caramel sauce.  Also, I am a sucker for chicken wings, and being on the rebound from Lent is going to be bittersweet seeing them disappear from my vocabulary again :(

     I will be writing about my experience (hopefully daily), what I find the most difficult, what I find easier than expected and most importantly, my energy levels.  I am VERY excited about seeing how my energy levels will change with the increase of natural foods.  Check back often to see how it goes and let me know about anything you have done, whether it was successful or not, and if you would recommend it!

Have a great weekend, and as always happy running :) xo