Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Swing, Swing

As part of my meetings with the Dietician, I took a quiz to look at my food "personality"... and one of the types that came out included that I tend to be a Swing Eater. 

The goal for a person who is a swing eater is to embrace all foods, and stop that thought process of categorizing foods as a bad food or a good food.  I can attest that I definitely categorize foods in this way... even on days that I stay within my calorie range, I can feel anxiety when I am trying to think of that "bad" food I ate.

My dietician talked to me about changing my food language and make better word choices when self-talking:
  • Instead of "this is a bad food" say "this food has a lot of calories; if I really want it, I will eat it in moderation"
  • Instead of "I cheated" say "I ate more than I wanted to, but that happens to everyone once in awhile. It is normal and I won't beat myself up over it."  
  • Instead of "I feel so guilty" say "I did nothing wrong. I ate a moderate portion of something I wanted to eat and I enjoyed every bite."
I get pretty hung up on the feeling guilty... and when I am feeling guilty and feeling I did "bad" already, I am so much more likely to eat more "bad" things because I feel like I need to get it out of my system and just start fresh the next day.  I think this is where remembering that "E" of everyday is so important... remembering I can make healthy choices everyday, I can do better the next meal, or even with the next food choice I make, while also changing my language to stop beating myself up over high calorie foods (note: I did not say "bad") that I choose to enjoy.

As I finish with my detox in the next month, and need to start reincorporating a wider variety of foods back into my diet, the concept of being able to enjoy smaller portions of "off-limits" food will be important.  I think this also relates to both that concept of Mindfulness I talked about on Saturday, as well as the "E" of environment I mentioned the Monday before that.

By Mindfulness, I mean savoring each bite and taking my time.  The handout talks about making snacks last at least 15 minutes and meals last at least 30 minutes.  It also talks about making food more "special" by putting it on a real plate or bowl, rather than eating out of a package.  When thinking about environment, I can purchase portion controlled packs of "off-limit" foods to help remain in control.  Other ideas to help with my environment would include enjoying a moderate portion of a high calorie food while out (i.e. cookie at the coffee shop, one slice pizza at a restaurant, one scoop of ice cream from a shop).  This would eliminate the temptation to go back for more if these food choices were kept at home.

The handout my dietician gave me was adapted from Dr. Kushner's Personality Type Diet, although I am not following that particular diet, and really know nothing about it, I thought the Swing Eater information was fun to share.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Motivation Monday- Here We Go!

I did it again!  I went all in and decided to do another detox in order to help me get back on track.  I have to say, that I felt great during my last cleanse in December.  Unfortunately, I fell off the wagon since then, and have just really been eating poorly these past few months.

This time, I am trying a full body cleanse from a company called Blessed Herbs.  I asked my Aunt Kathie, the Naturopathic Doctor, and she hooked me up.  She even lent me her juicer to try out during the cleanse!  I am excited.

A couple things I will be doing differently... I plan to fast for this first few days or so to help with the first phase of the detox.   I also plan to be better at exercising as much as possible, and hope to add more vegetables than I did back in December.

Can't wait to see how I feel next week!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I love to post gratuitous pictures of Ava, but truly she does relate to my post tonight.  The topic of Mindfulness.  Lately I have been thinking a lot about being mindful in my actions, and much of that has related to my interactions with Ava.  I am mindful of my tone with her, try to anticipate what she is telling me with her burgeoning vocabulary, and have really been mindful of being really present when I am spending time with her.  That means iPhone away, books away, Nook away when I am sitting on the floor playing with her.  I try to take in all of the things that make her special, and commit them to memory for those days when I need a mental picture of her to bring my day up.

Mindfulness also came up the other night when I was watching The Weight of the Nation on HBO, and a group of people were talking about mindful eating.  It sort of stuck with me, because so often I am shoveling food in my face when I am bored, or annoyed, or when I am trying to eat while balancing a squirmy toddler in my lap.  I thought about how nice it was that these people take time to think about their food before eating it.  The look at it, smell it, notice its qualities, how it has been prepared... and then take their first bite, noticing the taste, texture, etc. before taking another one.  They talked about how they notice they are full much more easily, notice when they aren't actually hungry, or don't want a particular food that they had been about to eat.  And I thought to myself, "Boy do I need to slow down!"

And so I have been.  Well, at least I have been trying to.  A few weeks ago I had a great afternoon with a few of my girlfriends when we went to The Drake in Chicago for their High Tea service.  As I sat there, I kept thinking about how much I truly enjoy tea.  I always have, but as I sat there sipping my tea (I had a splash of milk in it for the first time-- yum!) I really felt quite content.  

I then of course forgot about the tea for a few weeks, until The Amateur Gourmet featured his morning tea ritual on his blog using PG Tips tea.  I had to restrain myself from running to the store that minute, but I managed to wait until the following morning.  Don't ask me why I HAD to have PG Tips, since a) I have never had it before, and b) I have about 10 different types of tea in my pantry already, but I think it is because I don't have any teas that I could put a splash of milk in... and I really liked doing that when I was at the Drake.

And so here it is.  PG Tips, brewing in my favorite mug.  I love red, I love flowery designs... I love this mug. Plus one of my best friends gave it to me, so I like it even more.

Ahhhh... and to brew a nice cup of tea in it is just wonderful.   I do 2 minutes, add a splash of milk, and then Stevia for a sweetener.  I am mindful of how I am content, how I don't need to snack because this is warm and comforting and just a little sweet, and how I could be happy with this as an evening "snack"... and it is a heck of a lot less calories than a cup of ice cream!

Friday, May 25, 2012

What I've Been Up To

It has taken me a really long time to finish the 24 blocks for my first bed-sized quilt... But here they are! I used Good Fortune by Kate Spain fabric, and I really like how my swirls are so bright and cheery. Now I just need to add my sashing, binding, and backing and I will be ready to quilt.

I plan to use a scrappy binding with the same Good Fortune fabrics and hope to have all the sewing completed by the end of the month, so that I can show off a completed quilt in two weeks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Update

I have made a little more progress towards my Goodreads Challenge... after reading the Fever series, I moved on to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. 

Fifty Shades Trilogy Bundle: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed

Steamy? Yes... Good books? Yes... you actually care about the characters, even as you are beginning to think "ok, enough already" to Christian and Ana's ardent love for each other.  I had a hard time putting these books down.  A side note, however; there are a lot of similarities to Twilight (minus the Vampires, plus some steaminess)... so if you did not like the Twilight saga, Fifty Shades is probably not for you.  I was initially hesitant to read this series... not my thing... but then I saw on The Today Show that Hoda read it, and I thought that if Hoda can read it, I can read it!

Since reading these past few series... I have been searching for more books that I want to devour.  These books were pretty good, and were worth the read... but not in the sense that I couldn't put them down.

A fun chick-lit, summer read... beach read... you catch my drift:
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
I've Got Your Number

These three were YA reads... and I will probably read any more of the series that come out:

Angelfall by Susan Ee
Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent (Divergent, #1)

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (although this was dangerously close to being 'meh')
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

I also picked up Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series again at #4... because the characters overlap into the Fever series (yes, I know I got obsessed with that series for some reason).  Really they were written a little more like a traditional romance novel, but they were quick reads that entertained me enough to keep picking them up.  These are the kind of books that make me feel guilty for enjoying... like now I should go read some real literature!

Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4)
The Dark Highlander (Highlander, #5)
The Immortal Highlander (Highlander, #6)
Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7)

Then I have been reading a slew of books that I would put in the "Meh, that was ok" category... still trying to find a series that captured me the way that the Fever series and Fifty Shades series did.

I am not so sure I will read more books in the series... just depends on how bored I get. The writing wasn't so good, and the storyline was only ok.

The books I read in this category include:

Vampire Academy #1 by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

Dark Lover by JR Ward
Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1)

Finally, I read Loving Frank by Nancy Horan... and did not like it.  The writing was fantastic, but I just didn't like the story...things that the main character did... or how it ended.
Loving Frank

PHEW! I better keep up on updating my books... this was a long one!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Motivation Monday

So where have I been?  Well, I wrote some time ago about falling off the deep end... and I guess I wasn't done yet.  I have definitely had a bit of a backslide as far as my weight loss goes, and I wanted to get myself under control before I started to post again.

I have been using MyFitness Pal, which has an online and iPhone app.  I hear this app is one of the best weight loss tools out there, and it is free!  That number below used to say 15... it is funny how easy it is to get my weight on, and how much work it is to get it off!

I thought I would add a little badge to my site in order to help me track my weight loss.

MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

This past week, I have worked out almost every day, and have been doing quite well staying within my calorie range on MyFitness Pal. So my little gem of advice for this week?  I have two that I learned from my dietician. I think I talked about the three "E's" before... but they bear repeating!

The three "E's" when thinking about helping yourself loose weight.  "E" stands for:
  • Exercise- the dietician told me to aim for burning 2000 calories with exercise per week.  Which, for me means exercising pretty much everyday.  But she also said that every little bit helps, so on the days I don't feel like going to the gym, just try to do something.
  • Environment- I have talked about Environment before I know... set my environment up for success.  Lately I have been having trouble staying away from sweets... so I stopped buying them.  I have been buying crystal light packets and throwing it in the blender with ice in order to make a slushy.  A perfect 0 calorie sweet treat!
  • Everyday- relates to the "every little bit helps" idea... do something everyday... and if you make a mistake at one meal, that doesn't mean you have to sabotage your whole day! Make every day count!

My second piece of information has to do with Protein.  I have been seeing a lot about increasing your protein in fitness magazines lately, so this is timely advice.  There have been studies that show that increasing protein in your diet specifically helps you to loose that dangerous belly fat.  The study looked at people who ate the same amount of calories-- but within those calories, those who ate higher levels of protein lost more weight around their middle than those who ate low fat/a little higher carb diets.  Comparing persons who ate the same number of calories really has me thinking about food choices!  Beware of manipulating your diet to continue eating that yummy processed food and sugar instead of foods that are going to help you be healthy and actually loose weight.

So how much protein should we be aiming for? The formula I learned was 0.8 grams of Protein per kg of body weight.

How do you figure out how many kg of body weight you have?  Just divide your weight by 2.2.
So... a person that weighs 150 lbs would figure 150/2.2= ~68.  And 68 x 0.8= 54.4 grams of protein per day.

I hope this helps, and thanks for reading!