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i will be the first one to say “i do not like pilates.” but on the flipside, i absolutely love pilates, that is the workout on the apperatus. maybe it’s the years of being used to the movement and particular breath work in yoga, where my body just has a hard time to adapt to mat pilates – the form you find in most gyms around the country.

working on the pilates machinery is a completely different animal to tackle. i view it as more strength training than stretching.  it is a beautiful compliment to a yoga practice. it’s also deceptive. you only do a few moves (maybe a count of 8 or 10) and that’s it. you move on to the next thing.  it’s deceptive. you don’t feel the work you have done until later. but oh how glorious the delayed onset muscle soreness is when it does sink in.  

Anne Marie took it a bit easy on me because my ankle was feeling rather sore from hiking yesterday. (clutzy me tripped four times.) i guess she planned a very leg intenstive workout and she had to switch gears. also some of the work, i felt it in my bad hip (down the sciatic nerve).

overall i had a great time working out this way. i wish i could take classes in pilates reformer but they are so dang expensive.  eventually i suppose.  everytime i am lucky enough to get on the pilates equiptment with instruction,  i find the pull to get deeper into it.  she had me on the reformer, the cadalliac and the chair. it was a good lesson, and man i feel it across my upper back.

with this being a holiday weekend, i have no idea what i am going do phyisically. friday and saturday are about the same schedule…i teach a class,  then i have a massage client. i do have sunday and monday completely off, and i am considering going hiking again (although i would have to pay for parking) only if i can go in the early morning.  if i can’t go hiking then i’ll pick up a season parking pass  ($10)and head to the beach for a walk.

oh and on the way to hiking yesterday, i noticed a bike path/route. so it’s another option in my get fierce journey.

i haven’t started the food journal yet, but i back to actually making sure i eat regularly. there was a lemon bar and a glazed donut i did snack on, but the majority of my food has been been clean and whole foods.

clean eating  is something that can be so easy for me since i love to garden, i adore veggies, and cooking is a wonderful activity. it’s easier to reach for a pre packaged food item. for me it’s easier to reach for a package of sweet cookies or salty chips to satisfy a craving when clean foods aren’t readily available. shifting from prepackaged foods to clean foods isn’t hard, it’s just a little expensive at times when you are on a budget.

paying attention to the food i eat is important. for the past few weeks i’ve made a stronger effort in watching what i eat and when i eat. even after cutting back on the sweets, i was still feeling really tired. my body wanted to nap more than workout. a bigger problem was that even with working out i felt like i was starving. i would eat, and eat all these clean foods, but ten minutes later i would feel like i never had one single bite of food. after speaking with Stephanie, the dietitian, she asked if i ate breakfast.

the majority of my yoga classes that i teach are in the early morning hours. it’s great because i am a morning person. i’ve never really was a breakfast eater. due to some classes being at 6am, meaning i have to leave the house before 5:30am and sometimes earlier depending on the weather forecast, i don’t eat and i was usually okay with it.  i remember in third grade my mom would have to make pancakes in the shape of animals or letters to get me to eat before school. or she would wake up and make me hamburgers (during the time i actually ate red meat)  for breakfast. i’ve always been unconventional.

my answer to Stephanie was no, not usually. she gave me some great ideas of what to eat. with the suggestion to add breakfast, i started to pay closer attention to what i ate that week. i purchased greek yogurt, fresh berries, honey, oranges, bananas, and wheat flour & flax seed tortillas. Stephanie also suggested to eat more often to help with metabolism. in the same way that eating breakfast helps fire up the metabolism, eating frequently helps in keeping that internal fire going. adding breakfast and never really letting myself get hungry by keeping good snacks handy. to help with my feeling of starvation she said to add fat to my diet since i was eating primarily low fat, low calorie foods. it’s amazing what a little peanut butter or almond butter can do for you.

the saying “you are what you eat,” holds so much truth to it.  once i started to eat 75% clean, eat more often and adding breakfast to my diet i noticed changes.  my mood swings leveled off, my energy levels went up, my workouts felt amazing, and i no longer felt like i was starving. i stayed on the path for a good two or three weeks. it wasn’t until this week when i started to stray with forgetting to eat, not purchasing the good foods going back to prepackaged. i totally felt the difference.  my body felt sloth like again, choosing to want to nap rather than workout.

eventually i need to make a food diary so Stephanie can really help me figure out the best food path to help me on my goal to lose weight. my fear of the food diary is the obsessiveness i get sometimes. i know it would be temporary and really assist in me shedding the fat off my body. my fear stems in the same reason why i can’t weigh myself and know the numbers. i get too competitive. it’s great when i am on the elliptical and working on increasing distance and shaving time. a food diary for me can be a guilt magnet which can force me to backslid into old binge habits. i dont’ want to got there. i noticed how easy it was for me to slag off for a week when i hopped onto a scale and saw the number. my brain switched off and i had a pity party. if it wasn’t for the supportive people around me, checking in with me, i don’t know if i would have pulled myself out of it so quickly to get back on track.

this is a lifestyle change. it’s a mental change in the way i think about my relationship with food, emotion, body image and exercise. it won’t happen overnight. i just have to keep being aware, keep moving, keep eating clean and keep eating breakfast.

Cheat day doesn’t seem right. A day of freedom maybe? A day where I’m not worried about what i put into my body. No worries of calories, no worries of what or how much to eat. Just a day to relax and let it go. Calling it a cheat day doesn’t add the positive spin i am trying to put on this journey. Freedom day doesn’t sound right either. Either way i am allowing myself one of those each week, although i am finding that i really don’t need it so much.

The first week wasn’t as hard as it could have been. I made my shopping list, and on that first Friday i cooked my meals for the week, and froze a lot for the future. That week my mom made yummy southern/soulfood style banana pudding, a weakness of mine. It’s not often that banana pudding is made, so it is a rare treat. I had to have some, even though it wasn’t my free day.  I did feel some conflicting feelings over this, including a smattering of guilt. If i had denied myself, the outcome would have been worse.

I wasn’t a hog and eating mounds of it, but i ate enough.  I went back later that evening, the next day and the day after that. A weakness. At one point i had to put aside the guilt, it was hard. I had to accept that i did eat but that i didn’t gorge, i did keep portion size and my food intake for the week was all clean eating (turkey meatloaf, cauliflower smash, veggies, brown rice, shrimp, etc).  The biggest win was and has been i haven’t had any type of soda since i started this journey.

The elimination of soda from my foods has been a huge win. The cans that would fill the recycle bin was like a small mountain.  Honestly, i would drink it even though i thought it tasted like horrible battery acid or something.  The sweetness would keep me hooked, like a drug. I would drink so much soda that i would wake up with a dehydrated hang over (major headaches and feeling really sugglish). If i knew i was drinking too much, i would make sure to have a bottle or two of water to counteract the dehyration.  Since this journey i haven’t had a drop of soda. I have been tempted, but i just look in the fridge and think about that taste which i really do not like, and i pass.

I do have a serious sugar addiction. this past week or two i have had less than a tablespoon of white sugar. i have substituted it with honey or agave nectar to lightly sweeten fruit or oatmeal.  The craving for cakes or pies haven’t happened yet. I’m looking different cookbooks so i can keep it clean.

I’ve had amazing support on this journey and it’s only the start. Brittney loaned me some of her Clean Eating and Nutrition magazines and cookbooks. I’ve been pouring over those, figuring out my menus.  I’ve stocked the fridge with grapes, bananas, peaches and sliced apples so i have no excuse. I can easily grab that for a quick snack between meals or to hold off hunger while i am waiting for the microwave to finish heating up my frozen lunch or dinner.

Today’s cooking marathon included turkey chili (four types of beans, eggplant, broccoli, squash, tomatoes, peppers, and onions), curried butternut squash soup (butternut, sweet potato, carrots, and no cream), and mashed cauliflower with garlic.  Most of it will be popped into the freezer for future consumption.

to lose weight the math is simple…calories in versus calories out.

Calories In:

there are tons of programs out there which have worked for many people – weight watchers, jenny craig, the zone, atkins, south beach, etc.  cut the carbs, cut the fat, cut the (fill in the blank). i have to take a holistic approach to my journey. when things are too restrictive with food, i end up on a binge doing more harm. it’s that control issue.

as i have gotten further in my wellness journey with teaching yoga and opening my own massage therapy practice, i’ve increased my interest in nutrition.  at somepoint i would love to attend a particular nutritional program offered in NYC.  this is the perfect time to explore that aspect of health using this experience as a foundation.  after reviewing numerous ways to eat, clean eating and intutitive eating are the two that stand out and connect with me.  if you know me in real life, i am a gardner and a cook. i know the value of a tomato off of the vine, or not being afraid to try a new vegetable. there is a real passion  and love for real fresh foods.  i fell into a rut of processed foods because of the ease due to my crazy schedule. it’s time go back to real foods and making my own meals. for convience, i will keep a stack of prepared meals that i’ve cooked in the freezer for a quick defrost and microwave when i am in a pinch.

i am aiming for 85% -90% clean eating. there will be things i need to use processed (canned beans, tomato paste, frozen veggies in some cases, etc). this is a lifestyle change, not a diet. so for now i am going to eat clean at least 6 days a week.  i don’t want to call it a cheat day. it’s more like a free day where IF i want something that is not clean, there is no guilt and no binge. Friday will be my day.

i’ll get into the principles of clean eating and intutive eating for another post.  there are many books and even magazines out there on the subject these days.  i can be very type A personality at times, so i like to prepare and plan.  since i put my foot down that i was going to finally lose weight, i’ve been pouring over my cookbooks and magazines. friday i hit the markets, picked over what was left in the garden, and hunkered down cooking up a storm.  i’m not going to stay to the exact menu, but i have choices. and if i want to make something else that is in the clean eating principle i will, and freeze some for a later date.

split between the freezer and the fridge are:

soups: butternut squash, lentil and barley stew, and shrimp with veggies broth

proteins: turkey meat loaf, and grilled or boiled shrimp

veggies: mashed cauliflower, and various frozen veggies

at this point i am not paying attention to calories.  I am checking out the calories, and with respect choosing recipes that aren’t insane with them.  i have switched refined sugar in my tea or on my oatmeal to honey or agave nectar.

down the road i would love to try a day with just raw food. right now i’m not ready for that big of a change. there is plenty of time for that because this is a lifestyle change not a diet. if i need to tweek anything i will, i have to listen to my body and see what happens.

Live. Love. Laugh.