Today’s post is going to be short. I entered our dining room earlier after dealing with my daughter in the living room to find that my son had squirted an entire new bottle of sunscreen all over our leather bench and my leather purse. Plus, over the weekend I determined that Jacob has been watching too much TV and so we’re embarking on a week long purge to stop the urge. It’ll be a fun day 🙂
So my official weight this morning was 201.0. Still not as low as I’d hoped but it was really no surprise as I’d sort of been keeping tabs with it over the week and knew I’d probably still be at 200 or higher. But as I look back to my first weigh-in on June 16th, my weight then was 202.4 and so while I haven’t lost as much as I’ve wanted, at least I’m moving in the right direction.
So my commitment this week is to REALLY STICK to a better diet. Surely I can find the willpower to follow a basic eating regimine. As long as I don’t leave the house, haha!
I hope your holiday weekend was safe and extremely, extremely fun. I love holidays because that means lots and lot of time spent with family. We spent the 4th at my sisters, saw her and her husband and my parents again on Saturday for boating and then spent today with the whole family, cousins and all!
My eating went as expected, I entered the scene with pure intentions and then they quickly flew out the window once the spread of food was in sight. But luckily my family is pretty healthy and so the food choices weren’t too destructive.
My mom is eating clean, which you can read all about here, here, and here, and I think that I’m really going to start focusing my eating habits to follow more closely with that eating style. I know that basics of healthy eating and am a fan of such diets (and by “diets” I mean lifelong eating habits, not a short term restriction of foods eaten) as paleo, clean eating, raw foods, and pescetarianism. But I think clean eating is the one that everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions, preferences, or lifestyles, should implement more of. So that’s what’s on my mind as we enter into a new week.
In other news, the scale hasn’t been moving much so I’m curious what tomorrow’s weight in will be. Will I finally be under 200? Let’s hope so! I could use a motivational boost the start the week.
One of my most difficult challenges while trying to lose weight is eating healthy but also eating a variety. With my busy lifestyle and often drained mental state, I often eat what’s easy and what doesn’t take a lot of thought. That’s why I made so many freezer meals for after the birth of my second child. My husband lot a bunch of weight right before we met by following the exact same pattern week after week. He worked out three or more times a week. And he ate the same thing EVERY SINGLE DAY: oatmeal, cooked chicken with raw veggies, hard boiled eggs, a protein shake, baked tilapia with cooked veggies, and a spoonful or two of peanut butter for dessert. He rarely strayed from that menu. It had some flaws if you ask me, 1. Where’s the fruit? and 2. BORING!!! I’ve tried to implement similar rigidness in my healthier diet goals but I just can’t. After eating the same thing two days in a row, even if it’s only one meal such as lunch, I lose my mind and immediately binge on something not healthy. And I’m not talking a “There was probably a slightly healthier option of that” kind of meal, I’m talking a “Holy Crap! If I eat this meal so much as one more time in the next 2 years I will surely have a heart attack/be diagnosed with diabetes/die” kind of whammy of a meal. Delicately said, I need variety in my life.
Enter The Big Ass Salad.
I stole this term my Mark Sisson founder of Marks Daily Apple. He has a great post about salads that I have recently been referring to.
Salads are great because variety is basically their only criteria. And if you’re talking green salads (which I am) then the only criteria is that they have a leafy green base. And luckily even leafy greens provide plenty of variance. So lets start there.
I usually fill a large dinner plate with Organic Baby Spring Mix
Disclaimer: Once my garden starts producing and I get a chance to get to picking I’ll be using my own kale and swiss chard. Though I’ll probably still switch it up by adding some organic store bought greens at times.
And then come the veggies! I like to buy a few staples such as avocado (which, yes I know, is actually a fruit), green peppers, carrot sticks, peas, and tomatoes. Then I toss in some onion on my husbands salad as I don’t prefer them on mine. And then I just buy whatever other veggies that I find either at the farmer’s market or local grocery. I don’t always put everything I have on one salad either. Every now and then I’ll keep it simple with just a few veggies. But more often then not I just pile everything right on there!
Next comes the protein. Which I don’t consider a must by any means. As the daughter of a vegetarian I have subsided off my fair share of meals that have no to little protein. Though there are, of course, plenty of non-mean based protein sources. I usually put baked or grilled chicken on my salad. Or else I’ll due canned tuna but I don’t like that as much on a salad. And when I have hard boiled eggs I’ll cut up one of those puppies and toss it on with the chicken or by itself.
And then come the “treats” as I like to call them. These are items that should not comprise the bulk of the salad but are nice additions that add flavor and fat. I like dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and sunflower seeds. I’ve also used pine nuts, fresh fruit such as thinly sliced apples or pears, canned beans, and shredded cheese.
When it comes to dressing, sometimes I’m ambitious and make my own and other times I just use a healthy(ish, considering it’s store bought) bottle from the local grocery.
I love dutch braids. Or as I called them when I was a kid, inside out braids. (I didn’t even know they were dutch braids until recently.)
French and Dutch braids are so easy to do and are so easy to wear. A terrible hair day can be given a quick 180 turnaround simply by putting in a braid.
It took a while for braids to be as suitable for adults as they currently are and I can’t be more elated that they’re currently all the rage.
An important note for those of us above the age of 15 or so is to keep the braid loose and full. Anything too tight or polished can begin to look juvenile. The romantic/bohemian look is much more flattering for the adult group of braid wearers.
If you’d like a step by step explanation of this particular look just say so in the comments and I’ll make sure to do that for you 🙂
When we’re told that meat has antibiotics and hormones, that grains contains gluten which can wreak havoc on our gastrointestinal track, and that even soy isn’t good for us because it’s genetically modified, certainly the only pure whole natural foods left are fruits and vegetables. Can’t go wrong there right? And yet, we find that we can. *Cue sad music*
While it’s next to impossible to eradicate all toxins and chemicals from our diets we often think that fruits and vegetables are a safe bet. Nearly every diet choice agrees that fruits and veggies are a must and one of the best ways to be healthy and lose weight. But it’s disheartening to find that so many farms use pesticides that are dangerous to the consumer. As a parent myself I found this excerpt from an online article especially upsetting:
::Parents’ concerns have been validated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which in 2012 issued an important report that said that children have “unique susceptibilities to [pesticide residues’] potential toxicity.” The pediatricians’ organization cited research that linked pesticide exposures in early life and “pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.”::
So what can we do to make sure that we are consuming the healthiest produce possible? One of the most important things we can do is grow our own gardens or buy produce from local farmer’s markets (make sure, though, that you know what the grower used on the plants, if anything). If these options aren’t readily available to you then knowing which fruits and vegetables have the most chemical exposure and which have the least is vital to eating healthy.
Fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue data
EWG analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for these popular fresh produce items.
(lower numbers = more pesticides)
7 SWEET BELL PEPPERS
8 NECTARINES – IMPORTED
10 CHERRY TOMATOES
11 SNAP PEAS – IMPORTED
13 HOT PEPPERS
14 BLUEBERRIES – DOMESTIC
16 KALE / COLLARD GREENS
19 NECTARINES – DOMESTIC
23 BLUEBERRIES – IMPORTED
24 GREEN BEANS
25 WINTER SQUASH
26 SUMMER SQUASH
29 SNAP PEAS – DOMESTIC
30 GREEN ONIONS
Buy these fruits and vegetables organic when you can, especially those further up on the list, such as the top 10 or so.
Or better yet, find a clear patch of dirt in your back yard or find someone that has some extra space you can borrow and plant your own garden!
You guys won’t believe this. The scale in my bathroom is right next to a floor mat. This week I discovered that sometimes if, when I pull it away from the wall to use, it gets pulled out too far the rug actually supports of the weight of me while standing on the scale causing a 4-5 pound miscalculation. Last week I wasn’t 197, the carpet tricked me! I was weighing myself off and on all week and never saw a number under 200 and thought it was strange until this morning when I weighed myself and discovered the rug issue. So today’s official weight it 201.6 and last week’s was probably similar. I’m still looking forward to when I never see a number above 200 again. I thought that the initial pound lost when loosing weight sort of “melted off” and that people didn’t have trouble getting past plateaus until further along in the weight loss journey. And while my diet and exercise patterns could be more consistent and committed, I’m still eating better than I used to and, of course, the exercise is a big change. So why is the scale being so stubborn? Maybe I need to re-evaluate my methods and make adjustments.
Here’s a glimpse of what my current changes besides the exercise have been.
This Month’s Goals
1. No added sugar (Which I’ve been doing pretty well with. We quit buying sweets and I even went as far as tossing anything from the house that had sugar as one of the first 4 ingredients. If you ever go through your cupboards and fridge and do the same you’ll be astonished at the items that contain a lot of sugar! Give it a try! Not eating sweets while at parties has been a little harder. Like when someone throws a birthday get together and all they serve is cake? How do you not eat any without it being a big deal? I don’t want it to seem as if I’m taking the attention away from the birthday boy and placing it on my new diet goals.)
2. Drink more water (This one hasn’t been too hard as it’s summer and I’ve been drinking a lot anyhow. One thing I’d like to try to do more of is drink water first when I think I’m hungry in case I’m actually just thirsty.)
3. Exercise everyday (With a busy household that hasn’t been as easy as I’d hoped.)
4. Go to bed hungry (It’s so hard to sit down and have a proper meal when taking car of the kids, so I often do the bulk of my eating once they go to bed and I have time to relax. I usually sit on the couch in front of the TV and stress eat. This goal has been hard to break.)
5. No eating in front of the TV (Refer to goal number 4.)
Next Month’s Goals will probably be the same minus numbers 1 and 2 which I’ll swap for something new.