Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 17

17 days into the healthy eating life, and I am still going pretty good. Last Friday we had a veggie pizza from Ledo’s for dinner, I immediately began to feel sick afterward. Not sure if it was the grease or the cheese. I guess that’s the cost of eating healthy for over 10 days.

A few days last week I began to feel really sick even though I was just eating fruits and vegetables. I felt tired, like I wanted to nap but worse. It was not a good feeling. I felt like my body was missing something. It wasn’t something like sugar or steak, it felt different, like nutrients were missing. Since I have decided that a full on vegan life is not for me, I returned to eating egg whites. My body felt like it was craving protein and I don’t think I was doing a good job getting it from just vegetables. I am still meat free. And I actually don’t think that there is harm in eating eggs. So I have been boiling eggs and eating hard boiled egg whites either for breakfast or before I work out. I feel normal again.  And I feel awake.

So the after the first 10 days I was down 7 pounds. Since then I haven’t lost anymore weight, but I guess that’s normal. I am proud of myself for staying away from candy and cookies. That is a huge accomplishment.

After reading up on the plant based lifestyle, I have realized that veganism is truly a serious thing. I am proud of anyone who is a strict vegan. It is hard! There are animal products in stuff that you would never guess have animal products, like vitamins. You really have to do a lot of research if you want to be a true vegan, and a ton of meal planning to make sure you are getting healthy nutrients. Since I have decided to lean more towards vegetarianism I will continue to eat eggs, and I will add cheese in sporadically.

It feels good to be healthy. The best part about this is that Stephen doesn’t complain about our lifestyle change, and he is open to eating whatever I cook. It’s super helpful to have a partner on this journey, I would fall off the wagon alone. Really, I have no will power. You need a partner, trust me! I am now less hungry at night, and my ability to be alert and awake is getting better each day. Today was a good day.

Workout:

Rest day

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Spinach, strawberry, pineapple smoothie

Muti-grain bread with almond butter

Snack: Watermelon slices and strawberries

Lunch: Spring and spinach salad with homemade coleslaw, quinoa and kidney beans

Snack: Raw almonds

Dinner: vegetable wrap with quinoa and kidney beans, roasted corn, homemade guacamole, peppers, onions, lettuce and tomato

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Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 9

Did you know that oreos were vegan? Hmmm….No I did not eat oreos today. But I did do a google search for vegan junk food, and oreos just happened to top the list. I’ll just keep that bit of info in my back pocket for now.

Day 9 was not bad. I don’t feel the excess sugar cravings anymore which is wonderful. I like to chew gum. I am a chain gum chewer. Unfortunately gum is filled with a lot of artificial sugar that is in no way good for you. So I have severely cut back on chewing gum. Today I did not even chew one piece. Which is huge. I used to chew about two packs a day. Today I had none. My teeth thank me.

I am feeling satisfied with my meals, and I am not hungry during the day. I have kept my calories down, and I still attempt to drink as much water as possible. I had a day of vegan eating today, so it was a good day.

A lot of people have been watching What The Health which is great. However I am reading a stories about the dairy and meat industry publishing videos to debunk some of the facts in the documentary. I am wondering what is the point of wasting time to debunk facts of a vegan documentary? There is no way in the world that enough people are going to become vegan, that the meat and dairy industry will lose money. Like that will NEVER EVER happen. People will always eat meat and drink milk. Steak dinners will still be considered a luxury, and ice cream will never go out of style. So for the meat and dairy industry to fear that money will be lost due to a documentary on Netflix that just happens to be the talk of today is ridiculous. A meat free lifestyle works for some people, but I happen to think that the majority of people will continue to eat meat.

I am excited to try out more vegan recipes. Yesterday I ate a chickpea and mushroom burger from Wegmans, let’s just say that it was not very yummy. I won’t be trying that again. Hey some meals will be tasty, some not so tasty. For now I will keep trying and keep eating clean. My body actually likes this clean eating thing, guess I’ll keep it going.

What I ate today: 

Breakfast: Spinach, blueberries strawberries pineapple, flax seed smoothie

Multigrain toast with almond butter

Snack: Oatmeal with apple

Late lunch: Quinoa with stir fry vegetables

Snack: Cherries and blueberries

Pre workout snack: apple, handful of almonds

Dinner (light): Multigrain toast with almond butter

Workout: Crossfit

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
“The Dallas 5”
5 minutes of:
Burpees
Then, 5 minutes of:
7 deadlifts, 105 lb.
7 box jumps, 24-in. box
Then, 5 minutes of:
Turkish get-ups, 25-lb. dumbbell
Then, 5 minutes of:
7 snatches, 55 lb.
7 push-ups
Then, 5 minutes of:
Rowing (calories)Complete as many reps as possible at each 5-minute station. Rest 1 minute between stations.

 

Healthy eating/healthy living Day 8

I went to paint nite  DC this weekend. I am really bad at painting. But I wanted to go. So me and Stephen (who is my boyfriend by the way), went on a date to paint nite in DC. It was at the Blackfinn Ameripub in Washington DC, it was our first time there, but I think we will definitely return for happy hour. The food was good. I was able to stay to a vegetarian diet eating a kale and quinoa salad, and having a vegetable flatbread. The flat bread had goat cheese sprinkled on it, so I may have ate a few bites of goat cheese. Stephen is on this healthy living kick too, well he actually has no choice since I do the grocery shopping, but he will be more of a “sometimes I eat fish” eater. Since he likes to go fishing, I guess he can eat the fish. He had the fish tacos which he enjoyed.

Paint nite turned out to be fun. No I didn’t drink, but even without alcohol it was a fun date night. I highly recommend if you are looking for a date activity.

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The acting like I know what I’m doing look
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This is actually pretty fun!
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The finished project….ummm

 

Today is day 8 of no meat, or eggs either. I am feeling healthy! Really I am. I am logging my food into my fitness pal to keep track of calories. My energy levels continue to increase, I didn’t feel like I needed much nap time today. I woke up with energy, and I am still up with energy. That is a huge improvement. The cravings for snacks have even decreased. Now I read that this would happen, but of course I didn’t believe it.
Now don’t get me wrong. Even though I have been clean eating for 8 days doesn’t mean that it is not a challenge. Sometimes I want a burger, or a layer of cheese just for the sake of eating tons of cheese. I keep my goals in mind, and I push through. When I am hungry, I go for almonds, or veggies. I only keep healthy snacks in the house, and stay away from buying packaged, and processed foods. I am taking it one day at a time.

I know I missed writing on days 6 and 7, forgive me, it was the weekend. But I will keep you updated on my workouts.

Workout:

Saturday: Crossfit

Partner WOD: Barbara

Five Rounds for time:
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats

Sunday: Cardio

12 mile bike ride, 1 mile run

Monday: Crossfit

Bench Press (4 -4-4-4  @77%-80%)- 85 lbs
 
Metcon (Time): Since I can’t do a muscle up at all, substitute muscle-ups for ring rows and dips.
For time:
5 muscle-ups
50 double-unders
4 muscle-ups
40 double-unders
3 muscle-ups
30 double-unders
2 muscle-ups
20 double-unders
1 muscle-up
10 double-unders
What I ate today:
Breakfast: Spinach, blueberry, strawberry, banana smoothie
Multi grain toast with almond butter
Snack: almonds, 1 cup of cherries
Lunch: Tri-color quinoa and stir fry vegetables
Snack: apple with almond butter, 1/4 cup of pineapple and blueberries
Dinner: Zucchini noodles with basil pesto, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes

Healthy eating/healthy living: Day 5

Finally Friday and we are at day 5! The first 5 days of clean eating have not been as hard as I had anticipated. Cravings for sweet snacks were at a minimum and I pretty much felt satisfied with all of my meals. I don’t even want a bacon cheeseburger. I am even drinking more water. My energy levels have been up and down, but I don’t wake up as groggy, which is a very good thing.

I even feel lighter. But that could be all in my head. I did weigh myself this morning and I was at 173.8,  remember on Monday which was day 1 of the plan my weight was 177.0. So to be down 3.2 pounds feels good. My body is still in the detox stage.

Meal planning continues to be a bit of a struggle, mainly because I don’t know what I feel like eating. I think I should keep the meals as simple as possible for now, but I think that will get boring. I know I can eat tofu, and vegan meats, but I am staying away from that right now. I do like tofu, but I don’t miss meat that much yet. I am fine with veggie filled meals right now.

The diet will continue to be vegan lite for now, which really just means vegetarian. Although be a true vegan sounds like a good idea in my head, in real life I just know that it won’t work out. So instead of setting myself up for failure, I will be a 30 day vegetarian and then transition back to sparingly eating fish for the omega-3’s sometime in the future.

It is still close to 100 degrees in the DC area. I have not been running. I need to run. I also need to wake up at 6am. Goals for next week. In good news, I signed up for the Annapolis 10 miler today. The race is on August 27, so I have about 6 weeks to get ready. I would like to finish with a time under 2 hours. I also have about 6 weeks to get faster. I will run one day this weekend! Hopefully.

Here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast: Kale, banana, strawberry, pineapple, flax seed smoothie

Multi grain toast with almond butter

Snack: Watermelon slices

Lunch: Spinach with eggplant, sautéed zucchini noodles with basil and coconut aminos, baked sweet potato slices.

Snack: Raw almonds

Dinner: Vegetable stir fry with baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, chick peas, half sweet potato with cinnamon

Snack Raw almonds

Work out: Crossfit

For Time:
2k Row*
*EMOM  4 burpees

 

I have a confession: I am a black woman, and I work out

 

I’m a black woman and I work out.

Actually I work out a lot, and I am damn proud of it. So yes, black women do work out. I almost killed myself in the midst of my kick ass cross fit workout  this morning, so again, yes black women do work out.

Recently, there was a large stir surrounding a NY Times opinion piece insinuating that black women want to be fat. Black Women and Fat, was written by Alice Randall, a writer who has embraced her own weight loss journey. Randall states “many black women are fat because we want to be.” With that point I would have to disagree. I know many black women who are overweight, but  they do not WANT to be that way. Not to make excuses, but to lose weight and keep the weight off requires a true lifestyle change, many black women are not yet ready for that lifestyle change.

As the article proceeds, I can completely understand what Randall is saying. Though the title may have turned off a few readers, she actually makes good points. As a black woman I embrace my curves and thick figure, black men love that. Black men love that my hips are thick and that my butt is big. It is what makes me sexually attractive as a black woman. I accept that. I have never had a man tell me that I need to lose weight, or I should eat less. In fact since I work out 5 days a week, and 6 days on a really good week,  I am often asked why I work out so much, or I get the “you’re trying to lose weight?”, in a sideways crazy sounding voice.

Obesity truly has been a generational problem in many African-American families. The problem stems from years of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. My grandmother used to make fried pork chops, butter grits with cheese, and biscuits  when we would visit her at her home in Georgia. When we would go to the south I would drink the sweetest iced tea, and lemonade I have ever tasted in my life. Full of flavor and loaded with sugar, it was delicious.  Subsequently my mom would cook the same way. Food wasn’t good if it wasn’t friend, or soaked in butter. I remember my mother used to put a slab of pork fat into collard greens to add flavor, and yummy it was.

But it also kills you.

My grandmother died from heart disease, both my parents have type  2 diabetes, my father has high blood pressure. I don’t want to die before I have ever had the chance to live.

So yes, I work out a lot.

Eventually my mother did start to change the way that she cooks, no more fried everything (awww I miss those days). No more full sticks of butter used on food, for now on it is baked or steamed, which I have grown to enjoy. With healthy eating, I also feel a hundred times more healthy.

Not only do I work out, I eat healthy. The combination increases overall health and happiness.

No matter how much I work out, I will never be a size 2 or model thin. Actually I don’t ever want to be. Curves are what make me a woman. I have had a personal struggle with weight all my life. Yeah I was the “fat kid” in school. It sucked. When I was in college I lost a lot of weight, nearly 40 pounds, everyone thought I was sick, how ironic. Well I actually did start to look sick, so I gained some weight back. Since then I have felt great.

I truly enjoy working out. It is a lifestyle requirement for me. To kick start my day, I start with a work out. It gets me going. To fight my periods of depression, I turn to working out. I am a true believer that a great consistent workout it better than any anti-depressant.  I get bored easily, so my workouts always change. I recently added cross fit to my regiment. While doing cross fit, I have periods of feeling like I either want to die or vomit. I am still alive, and no, no vomit yet. I get out of breath, winded, my muscles are screaming, but it is great! In a few short weeks I have started to feel stronger, I am eager to go back, ready to do it again. Despite the unbearable soreness, and my screaming quads I always go back for more.

My goal: to go longer, stronger, harder, faster.  I also do spin classes, yoga, running, and when I need a quick filler workout I’ll even hit the gym and run on a treadmill. However when you live in Hawaii, running on a treadmill at the gym can get very old, very quick.

The key to sticking with a workout out routine is to do whatever works for you. Find something you like and grab on tight. It may not be the same as what everyone else likes, or what everyone else is doing. Once you find it, continue with it. Watch yourself improve, the improvement will keep you going.

I suck at cross fit. I have absolutely no upper body strength and can not do 1 pull up. My personal goal is just to do one pull up. Just because it is hard at first doesn’t mean that I won’t get better at it. Each day I return, is one more day of improvement.

Have a vision of what you want to accomplish. Maybe you want to get stronger, maybe you just want to fit into old clothes that you have in your closet. See your vision in real life. Become that vision. Make it a realistic vision. If you dream of looking like a model…well that may not happen. Work with your mind and body on what you want to become. If you see that mental picture, believe it, stick to it, your body will follow.

At 30 I am now in the best physical shape of my life. Who would have thought. I never thought that I would be signing up to run races, and continuously look forward to running the next race. By the way, I still hate running, but I love competing against my own personal best time. Each time I race, I want to beat my time from the previous race. That keeps me motivated. I am excited I have realized what I could really do. I am doing activities that would have been an easy, “no, never, get the hell out of here” a few years ago. So far this year I have ran an 8 mile race, and two 6 mile races, with more to come. Slowly working my way to that half marathon.

I love being able to walk, to move my limbs, to run fast, to hike, to struggle while trying to do pull ups. I am working now to prevent years of having to be on medication for diabetes, or heart disease. I am working now to do my part in staying alive.

So yes, I am a black woman and I work out! And I love it. 🙂

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Tis the season to eat!

I ate a hot dog today.  I rarely eat hot dogs. Well actually I had a sausage dog that looked like a hot dog from Hanks Haute Dogs, I always drive by that place, today I decided to try it. It was my Christmas gift to myself, extra calories!

Tis’ the season to eat whatever you feel like! Merry Christmas!  From Thanksgiving to New Years day all the delicious holiday foods come out from nowhere. Christmas cookies, Pecan pies, Pumpkin pies, Sweet Potato pies, and the infamous egg nog are constant reminders that you will gain weight during the holiday season. Stop trying to fight it, don’t torture yourself, eat, drink, and be merry! The good part: you can again make that New Year’s resolution that you will run straight to the gym on January 2, 2012, and lose those holiday pounds along with all those other pounds you gained in 2011.

Magazines are filled with ways to keep your waist line slim and trim during the holiday season. Fitness blogs are in full effect with tips to avoid those holiday pounds,  and gyms are getting ready to take advantage of you and your wallet at the start of the new year  as you try to keep your new year’s resolution.However, around January 14th you  suddenly forget what your resolution was and you intentionally forget which direction the gym is in.

Christmas only comes around once a year so eat. Holiday cookies and office parties only happen once a year. Egg nog disappears into far off egg nog land after New Year’s day, making you wait 11 more months until it welcomes itself back into your grocery store.  Do yourself a favor and eat without feeling guilty for Christmas. Just don’t eat make yourself sick, as always be smart when eating.

My Christmas present to myself was probably that sausage hot dog thingy that I ate today oh, and those Christmas cookies that I have been eating for the past two days, wait let me not forget that egg nog latte I had from Starbucks last week. I’ll call it my Christmas splurge. Am I worried I won’t be able to fit into my clothes in 2012? Well no, I will make a new years resolution to go to the gym and lose weight of course! And yes I still work out during the holiday season, maybe that’s why I don’t feel so bad if I eat a cookie.

Just remember during the holiday season, stay active, continue to work out, it helps you de stress from the trauma of mall crowds anyway.  Don’t try to start a diet during the holidays, you may want to wait to the new year for that one. But you can start working out any day of the week. The gym is always open so you don’t have to wait until January. Get a head start on burning those extra calories, then you won’t feel guilty. I would suggest to anyone, do what makes you happy for the holidays. It only comes around once a year, so take a moment to enjoy the season, and enjoy life. No need to worry about those delicious office cookies, they won’t be around next week anyway.

christmas 2007
Image by paparutzi via Flickr