Friday, May 31, 2013

May Foodie Pen Pals

I decided to join in on The Lean Green Bean's Foodie Pen Pal program for the month of May. I was so excited to get to send some of my favorite things to someone, and to get a package from someone else! If you don't know what Foodie Pen Pals are, head over to the blog linked above for more info. Sign up for next month!

My Foodie Pen Pal, Cheryl, was a rockstar. She sent me an e-mail to find out my likes and dislikes and I let her know that I was trying the Paleo diet, but not to let that restrict her choices. I do like my cheat days! She was spot on with everything, and she even sent me recipes so that I can use everything.

In my box was: 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Coconut flour
  • Almonds
  • Dates
  • Coconut Milk
  • Fish Sauce
  • Rice sticks/flat rice noodles (like pasta)

Everything but the rice sticks are paleo, but can totally see using the rice sticks in the recipe she sent me with it. Unfortunatley I have bene traveling ever since I received my package and haven't had a chance to try anything out. I'm home for the next few weeks, so I will be cooking! I've been intrigued by fish sauce, as a lot of paleo recipes call for it, so I'm glad I get to finally try it out.

The recipes she sent me were:
  •  Chocolate chunk (paleo) cookies
  • Raw Walnut and Pecan Tartlets (uses the dates I got)
  • Coconut Lime Chicken Soup (uses the flat rice noodles, coconut milk, and fish sauce)
  • Banana Chia Bites (uses the chia seeds)
I can't wait to try them out! Thank you so much Cheryl for making my first Foodie Pen Pal month a great success.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

21 Day Sugar Detox: Days 7 - 9

Don't worry, I'm still on the detox. A couple of slip-ups and I'm back on track. I did make it through the first week pretty much sugar free (see Day 2) and with minimal cravings. But almost like a switch was turned on and the cravings were pretty strong on Day 8. So much so that I did indulge, and my sugar of choice was ice cream. And yes, because I had bought more than a single serving, I had finished it off on Day 9 for dinner. Seriously, I don't know what that is all about. Yet, I am confident that these few slip ups will motivate me even more to finish strong. I know when they said it's ok if you fall off the wagon, they didn't mean to eat a whole 1/2 gallon of ice cream in 2 days, but that's what did. So I am pledging for the rest of this week I will be sugar free according to the 21DSD program guide. Yes, I'm declaring that on this blog, so it's going to happen right? Yup, that's how my mind works.

Day 7 Eats

Breakfast: Omelet and bacon
Snack: Apple and cheese
Lunch: Chicken Bruschetta (and I think I had a vegetable)
Snack: pistachios
Dinner: Salame (yup, salty cravings kicked in and this was what I had)

Day 8 Eats

Breakfast: Frittata
Snack: Apple and cheese
Lunch: Chicken Bruschetta and salad
Snack: pistachios
After work snack: more salame
Dinner: Chicken Bruschetta and veggies
After dinner snack: ice cream :(

Day 9 Eats

Breakfast: Frittata
Snack: apple and string cheese
Lunch: Chicken Bruschetta and salad
Snack: pistachios
Dinner/Snack/Royal ScrewUp: ice cream

A couple of black marks on here that I'm not going to let bother me as I push forward to finish this thing. I did notice today that I had a headache that I think may be related to my lack of caffeine. I don't drink coffee, and I used to have at least one Diet Pepsi and day, and quit that cold turkey when I started this. I've been drinking tea, but most of it has been herbal which is caffeine free. While I have started craving a Diet Pepsi, I've been able to take care of those with tea. Thank goodness! I think the daily Diet Pepsi, which I would have in the mornings, was really my downfall and made me crave sugar, sugar, and more sugar! Glad that stuff is behind me.

A very positive side effect of this sugar detox for me has been weight loss. I decided to weigh myself every day last week and was pleasantly surprised as the scale showed smaller numbers. Then when I did my regular weigh-in on Monday, I was up a couple of pounds. Ugh, the scale, it is a necessary evil to show progress, at least for me. I know there are other ways to tell one has lost weight, but I like the scale for now. I don't feel as if I'm defined by the number, but it is a measurement, just the same as waist or bust measurements. My end result for my first week on 21DSD is...

Starting: 242
Current: 238
Week's Loss: -4
Total Loss: -4

I will take the 4 pounds, woot woot! My clothes do feel a bit looser, but nothing dramatic. I've set a goal to reach 220 by the time I have a big event at the end of June. It's a bit ambitious, but if I continue the way I'm eating, I think I can get there. But I can't have anymore lapses and indulge in the ice cream. Gosh, it wasn't even good ice cream, ugh! Ok, done beating myself up now. Here's to 2 more weeks of this, and I feel like I am definitely going to make it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Yoga for Hope

I had a great weekend, which started with an event in downtown San Diego at Petco Park. Yoga for Hope was started 3 years ago to raise funds for City of Hope. City of Hope is a cancer research hospital located north of LA. They have done amazing work over the years, providing hope for so many stricken with cancer. Yoga for Hope has raised over $100,000 and expanded to several cities throughout the U.S. If you get a chance to go, I would highly recommend it. Not only do you get to do a yoga class with some well-known yoga teachers, but you can raise funds for City of Hope. You can also sign up with a team and raise funds together. San Diego has several donation-based classes leading up to the event as well. It's just a great event that brings so many yogis together for a great cause.

Here comes the trolley!
My morning started pretty early as it was recommended you get there before 8am. I drove down to Old Town and took the trolley to the Gaslamp District. I was surprised there were so many people on teh trolley. Seriously, it was 7am on a Saturday, you people should be sleeping in! Once I got to Petco, I checked in and was able to visit several of the vendors.
  • I tried Honest Tea for the first time, the pomegranate one, and it was so good and refreshing! 
  • There is a new company, Sweatnet, that calls itself the AAA of fitness. You purchase a one year pass or membership and get discounts at a variety fitness studios. They have a lot on their list that I am definitely interested in trying out. It's only $40 for the year, and you get about a $5-6 discounts per class you take. If you like to change things up, it may be worth it. About 6 classes and it pays for itself. They are only in San Diego right now, but are planning to expand to other large cities soon.
  • bBar Superfood Vitality Bar was a bit interesting. They are like an organic juice bar. They had samples of some of their juices, and I tried one made with beets, and a bunch of other veggies. I have to say I didn't like it. Then I tried their Beaming Protein Bite, and it was so good. I don't live that close to Del Mar, where the store is, but if I'm driving by, I might just have to stop in.
  • NRG Matrix was another vendor that I really liked. They call their product "intelligent energy." I don't know if I really buy it, but I took a taste and loved it! It's all organic and made with mushrooms! I have no idea how it ends up tasting like orange, but it does. It also has cordyceps, vitamins D+C+B, antioxidants, tumeric root, yerba mate, and ginseng, among a few other things. I am so glad to learn they will soon be in my favorite Sprouts store.
    Vendors for Yoga for Hope
Onto the yoga. We actually got to go on centerfield of Petco Park and do yoga, how cool is that?!?! The event started with Claire Petretti talking about the program and City of Hope. It was very touching. We started with a bell ceremony, where everyone had a bell and rang it as she read off a statement that applied to them, and by the end everyone was ringing their bells. It was very powerful. She then led off the class with a great intro to warm the body up for more yoga. When I was taking yoga at Haute Yoga, I took her class several times, and loved it. I was so glad I got to do a class with her again. After Clair, Stacy McCarthy took over and got us into sun salutations. I've also taken her class before, and it was very challenging. She got us moving and ready for the next instructor. Bonnie Saldiver-Jones led us through a very powerful section. It felt so good to be moving and flowing with all of these people around me. Next up was Michael Fukumara, who led us in some group yoga type poses. We all stood up and put arms around each other and did some balance moves and really opened up the heart. It really was amazing. Rounding out the class was Seane Corn. She led us through a "cool-down" and shared great spiritual insight with us. It really was amazing. Savasana felt so good after all the work we put it. It was amazing for the end of class om as well. Wow, the positivity and energy that surrounded us jsut carried me through the entire weekend. This is one event I do not want to miss again.

I took the trolley back to Old Town, but stopped off in Little Italy first. They have a weekly farmers market (the Mercato), and it was really amazing. It was also crowded so I didn't get to everything, but the selection of fresh organic foods was outstanding. I'm so jealous of the people that live close to there that can go every week! I did pick up some fresh eggs and some loose leaf tea. I also stopped at Napizza for some lunch. I will be writing a review of this place as I thought it was pretty awesome.
The rest of my weekend was used to restore myself and prepare for the week ahead. I cooked, went to church, hung out with the dog, and got a few things around the house done. It was a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 6

Whew, I made it through day 6. There were so many temptations, but I stuck to my guns and passed on most of them. I say most because I tried some Honest Tea Pomegranate Tea early in the day. I don't know if it's allowed on this or not, but it sure tasted sweet. It's tea, and most teas are allowed, so if this is the case, then I did pass on all of the temptations!

Day 6 Eats

Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs
Snack: random, very small, samples of stuff from vendors at Yoga for Hope (blog post coming soon on this!) and a green apple
Lunch: Natural Angus Salad from Napizza (more on this place on another blog post too!)
Snack: piece of cheddar cheese
Dinner: omelet with onions, mushrooms, yellow pepper and monterey jack cheese; bacon!

How I'm Feeling

I feel pretty good. I was pretty tired after the yoga in the morning, so I took a 2 hour nap when I got home. I don't think I got very good sleep last night due to some congestion, so I definitely needed that nap. Like I mentioned above, there were a lot of temptations (I also stopped by the Little Italy Mercato), but I wasn't really wanting any of it. For dinner tonight I wasn't quite sure what I wanted, I didn't really crave anything, I just knew I needed something in me. The omelet and bacon was definitely satisfying. Also, I had been having headaches for several months, and I've noticed my headaches have lessened in severity and duration in the last week. Could it be related? I'm going to say yes! I also feel like my head is a bit clearer, and combined with the yoga, I felt pretty amazing today.

So on to Day 7 and finishing week 1. I've come so far, but has so far to go. But I really feel like I can do this, that I can make the 21 days detoxing from sugar. One day at a time is all it takes.

If you're on the 21DSD or have done it int he past, what's one of your favorite recipes that you've made?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 5

Can you believe I made it to day 5?!?! I sure can't! I'm not going to say this is easy, but I've made it a priority. I make the effort to cook at home, I keep stock of things that are on the "yes" list, I'm consistent with what I eat, and I am being more mindful when I eat.

I was feeling a bit up and down on day 5. Part of me was thinking, "This is easy, I got this." Another part of me was really craving chocolate and ice cream. And then part of me was thinking, "This is only day 5, yikes!" I feel as if I've come so far, yet still have so far to go. And I'm ok with that. Physically, I'm feeling pretty good. I haven't had any headaches, lightheadedness, tiredness, etc. that some say are signs of the body withdrawing from the sugar. I don't know if all of that will hit me, but the information in Diane Sanfilippo's 21 Day Sugar Detox program book, was very helpful so I knew what I was getting into and what to expect. One other thing I've noticed, is that I can tell when I'm full. I know that sounds a bit weird, but before all I would think about was food and not whether I was full or not. I'm thinking the benefits I'm gaining is definitely outweighing me missing the sweets.

Day 5 Eats

Breakfast: Frittata
Snack: Cheddar Cheese
Lunch: Leftover steak and salad
Snack: Pistachios (I probably had a few too many!)
After-work Snack: salame, prosciutto, capocola
Dinner: Salmon, roasted veggies, and green apple

I had a lot to eat as you can see. The pistachios were very addictive today! And then I finished up the antipasti meat plate I bought the day before. It's almost like I'm craving salty foods instead of the sweets. It's a bit strange, but I'll take it. The salty foods I'm eating aren't quite as calorie or sugar-laden as the sweets I usually crave! I think that's a win in my book.

I'm super excited because as soon as I post this, I am headed to Petco Park for Yoga for Hope! A bunch of yogis practicing yoga on a baseball diamond, how cool is that?! I'm hoping to take some good pictures and do a post. Yes, I know you'll be surprised when you see some pictures on my blog, ha ha ha! I'm working on it!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 4

I made it to day 4 of the sugar detox, woot woot! And I was spot on today. Of course I had a few cravings, but turned my attention elsewhere and forgot about those cravings. I still felt the afternoon slump, and felt like I was doing my work a bit slower than usual. Symptom of withdrawal from sugar? Maybe. But these are things that I can work through and deal with. I want to say I'm on cruise control with this, but I'm far from it. However, I am prepared with all the food necessary to get me through this. And the food is good and good for you. It's either eat a pint of ice cream or a nice juicy steak. I think I'll take the steak please, and the veggies on the side. Yummy!


Breakfast: Frittata
Snack: Green apple and cheese
Lunch: Leftover steak from last night and salad
Snack: Pistachios
After work snack: salame, prosciutto, and capocolla (thanks Trader Joe's, I couldn't resist!)
Dinner: Roasted salmon and vegetables with coconut aminos (courtesy of Mark's Daily Apple, and I subbed tamari for the coconut aminos)

It is Friday and I can't wait to just chill out and relax this weekend. Although I know there will be temptations, I am determined to get through them and live this much healthier life!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 3

Day 3 is in the books, and I am back on track. I really wanted to stop for sweets on my way home from work, but resisted! Yeah for me! Instead I came home to the steak I bought yesterday and knew exactly what I was going to do with it, lime and basil beef kebabs. So delicious, I highly recommend everyone to try it out.

So on day 3, I didn't hit the wall like I did yesterday. I was busy with meetings and a big project I'm basically in charge of. My mind was definitely engaged with my work today. I love days like this as it seems to go by almost too fast. I did feel like when I got home I had some extra energy, but I channeled that into making a yummy dinner for myself. So, here's what I ate today...

Breakfast: Frittata
Snack: Green apple and cheddar cheese
Lunch: Grabbed a chicken salad at my favorite Greek place. I passed up the pita and tzatziki that comes with it. And while I was eating I realized that cucumber may not be on the plan. Is a cucumber a fruit or a veggie? My vote is for fruit. And I googled it, most people say a fruit because it has seeds. Oh well, I didn't have too many. I should be okay!
Snack: Pistachios
Dinner: Lime and basil beef kebabs and asparagus

After dinner I started thinking about dessert, but then realized I don't have anything in my house for it, so there would be no dessert! I can tell things are changing in my, both physically and mentally. Can't wait to see how I do on Day 4.

I wanted to talk about this because I never thought I could get through the day without my Diet Pepsi. Well, I have gone 3 days without. Instead I've been having some tea, mainly green tea with jasmine. I also have some other flavored Tazo teas I take into work, but those are herbal, so no caffeine in those. I'd have to say that my caffeine intake has mostly decreased and I have yet to have any "withdrawal" symptoms. Here's hoping I keep it up and get what I need from the green tea! 

Do you think cucumber is a fruit or a vegetable?