Archive for April, 2014


thumbs upWell I am almost half way thru my 30 day challenge and I am on cloud 9! I can’t quite explain it but I am so inspired and joyful right now. I know there are many many factors involved here: the #100daysofhappiness project, the healthy eating, the beautiful sun shining on this glorious spring day, the quality of sleep I have been getting, and the fact that I am down a couple of pounds… Like I said, cloud 9. I also just got off the phone with someone who might even have more passion about this stuff than I do and it was contagious.

I am taking control of my health and my life and it feels amazing.

Now, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Last night I had to work late and my family ordered pizza. It was very hard to come home late at night with Lou Malnati’s in my fridge and not have some. But, I didn’t have to say ‘NO’ to pizza forever, I just had to say ‘NO’ to pizza last night. I will have pizza again, soon in fact. Just not during my 30 day challenge. And, like I mentioned in my last post, I have a LOT of Easter candy sitting around staring me in the face. But you know what? If I am going to blow this challenge, if I am going to ‘cheat’, it is certainly not going to be on sweet tarts or crappy sugar bombs. If I am going to splurge, it is going to be worth it. Starbursts? Yuck!

When you start to focus on what makes you happy and you get rid of the processed food fog that clouds your brain, you really start to ‘wake up’. You start to get up in the morning feeling good. You make it to lunch without effort. You take pleasure in the fact that you have the energy to play with your daughter (even if she is being a little a-hole! She’s 2, it’s not her fault.)

I am going out to dinner tonight and you know what? I am excited. I am on a restricted diet (even though I hate those words! Remember diet just means ‘what you eat’) and I am still excited to go out to eat. Eating healthy does not make food the enemy, it makes food your best friend. If you look at food in a way that enhances your health versus something you need to ‘limit’ or ‘avoid’, you change your relationship with food. Calories don’t make people fat. Shitty food makes people fat. So, I am going to go out tonight. I am not going to even consider calories. I am going to choose food that will provide nutrients to keep my body and my brain happy.

I hope that you manage to find your own little ray of sunshine today that makes you happy. If your life is not happy, what do you need to do to fix that?

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Day 10

10 days ago I started a 30 day challenge to get my eating back on track. I had seriously fallen off the wagon. Like, fell off the wagon, hit my head on a rock, peed my pants and forgot who I was… Anyway, in order to break the binge, I thought I would try to be as strict as possible for 30 days and see how I felt at the end. So, I am saying no to gluten, most dairy, sweets, and red bull.

After 10 days, I am doing really well! I did have a 1/2 of an egg roll on Saturday and that is technically gluten so I am not 100%. BUT, I went out in the city and to a concert on Friday and did not have a red bull (shut up, for me it’s hard okay!), and I did not have any candy/sweets/chocolate on Easter or since. That’s right, I have about 10 pounds of candy in my house and I am not eating it.

My energy level is definitely creeping up. I find that I really only want (let alone need) 1 cup of coffee in the morning instead of 2. I am back to sleeping really hard at night. Much less tossing and turning. I also feel like my face is a little less puffy but it is so hard to tell in a weeks time.

One thing I wanted to mention is that I am a busy person just like the rest of you and I know that eating this way is tough. I have mentioned my love for Trader Joe’s in the past, but I have not spoken about Mariano’s before. They have a lot of really great pre-made options. These, of course, are still not as good as knowing exactly what’s in your food and where it is from but it is a great option. They have the rotisserie chickens, meatballs (these do have gluten, so beware if you are strict), seafood, pork tenderloin, chicken salad, beef tenderloin, etc. On weeks that I know are going to be busy, I will go load up on 3-4 things that- at a moments notice- I can serve to anyone who is hungry. My key to success in my diet is having ready-to-go protein 24/7. It’s not that I eat protein non-stop, it’s that those are the foods that take longer to prepare. We all know that weak moment when we realize there is nothing quick for dinner so we grab the phone to order something instead.

I wish I was a better planner. I wish that I was the kind of lady who planned her menu and shopping list ahead of time and stuck to it. Maybe someday, but as of right now, I do the best I can and have a few go-to dishes that I can whip up.

Eating snapshot:

Sunday (Easter)-
Brunch: Ham, egg, sausage, fruit, bloody mary
Lunch/Dinner: Brisket (so good!), cheesy potato casserole, deviled egg

Monday-
Breakfast: Banana/egg pancakes, fruit, coffee with coconut oil and coconut milk
Lunch: Lara bar (breakfast was huge and late so wasn’t very hungry)
Dinner: Chicken, carrots, pistacios

Tuesday-
Breakfast: omlette with spinach and turkey (cooked in coconut oil/butter), coffee with coconut oil and coconut milk
Lunch: BIG salad, with pork tenderloin, hard boiled egg, and homemade dressing
Dinner: roasted broccoli and onion, a little pork tenderloin (not too hungry because of big lunch), wine

If you want to follow along on my journey, I am posting a bunch of ‘food stuff’ on instagram lately. (@candysbrain) I will also continue to update on here.

How is your challenge going?

So, I am on the third day of my challenge and I am feeling really great so far. As a reminder: no gluten, no sweets, no red bull, and no bad dairy. After all this time of talking about food, the question I get asked the most by far is ‘so, what do you eat???’. Well, here is what I have eaten since Sunday morning.

Sunday-
Coffee, sweet potato hash, sausage, egg, strawberries
Chicken, carrots, water
Ham, Brussels sprouts, red wine (1)

Monday-
Coffee, left over sweet potato hash and sausage, water
Mixed greens salad, lemon/olive oil dressing, chicken and avocado and bacon, water
Apple
Ham, kale, water

Tuesday-
Coffee, ‘green eggs and ham’- eggs with spinach and green onion and ham, water
Salad with hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, bacon, water
Cucumbers and cashews, water
(tonight will be) Apricot chicken, butternut squash, sauteed spinach, red wine

My energy has been good. I didn’t have the best night of sleep last night. I have been drinking a lot more water than I am used to which led to me getting up 3x last night. I am confident this will improve. Normally when I am eating and drinking right, I sleeplike a baby. But not a stupid new born baby, like a 3 year old that sleeps for 12 hours a night and wakes up all sweaty and crazy-haired. 🙂

I also am on Day 3 of my happiness challenge and am having a lot of fun with it. I am already spending so much time thinking about the things that make me happy. There were 3 things by 9am that I wanted to use as my # picture on instagram (@candysbrain), but decided to hold off. It is amazing what simply focusing on what makes you happy will do with your mood. I have also been walking around for 3 days singing, ‘because I’m happy…!’ like some kind of maniac. That is, when I am not harmonizing with my son to ‘Let it go’. He got his singing skills from his mama. Poor guy.

Okay, that is my update for now. Did anyone come up with their own challenge?

calendar with pinsThat’s right. I am recommitting, again. I have fallen off the wagon a little. Nothing dramatic, but my cheat days have turned into cheat weekends. And my weekends have turned into Thursday-Monday. The nice weather has given me an excuse to increase the amount of beer being drunk. I have indulged in a few things that I know darn well are horrible choices. Don’t get me wrong, I am still eating great about 85% of the time, but I have learned that for me to feel great and have the energy level I know is possible and to effortlessly control my weight, I need to be closer to 95%.

Now, let me be very clear on this. It is not the AMOUNT of food that is the problem, it is the type of food. So, when I say I need to recommit and/or buckle down, this is not a ‘diet’ in the traditional sense. When I am eating right, I don’t feel deprived or hungry. I don’t count calories. I just don’t eat crap and I drink less alcohol. I am very anti calorie restriction diets. These diets very rarely address the real problem that is the kind of food being eating (processed, chemicals, diet foods, etc.). I believe when we restrict calories, we are dooming ourselves to failure.

So what’s my plan? I’m doing a 30 day mini-challenge. If I can do this for 30 days, I know it will be the jump start I need to get back on track. After the 30 days, I can go back to the 95% plan. Here is what I will be abstaining from.
· No Gluten
· No ‘bad’ dairy (yogurt, kefir, raw milk-okay)
· No sweets/treats (I put a little bit of good quality chocolate in my coffee and will continue with this, but nothing else)
· No red bull (my favorite drink is red bull and vodka and yes I know how horrible it is for me and my sleep)
· No dessert drinks from Starbucks (no toffee nut mochas, etc. coffee okay)
· No quesadillas (my family’s favorite quick dinner is ‘dias’ on corn tortillas, I will not have one this month, sad face)

What should I expect? Well, I can tell you right now, I can expect a little frustration and temptation. I can expect me really wanting to give in with a RB&V on the weekend. I can expect trying to convince myself that a little piece of a brownie is not that big of a deal… Sounds bad right?

I can also expect my energy to sky-rocket. I can expect the puffiness in my face and stomach to go down. I can expect to lose weight. I can expect my skin to clear up. I can expect to simply feel better. And, maybe I am just super sensitive to food or maybe it’s all in my head but I genuinely feel happier and less stressed… Sounds good right?

This is the perfect time for a challenge! I don’t know if you have heard of the 100 days of happiness project but I just started my 100 day challenge on Sunday. Every day I am going to post a picture on instagram (@candysbrain) of something that makes me happy. And, it just so happens that being healthy and feeding my family right makes me VERY happy. In fact, I would put health at the very top of the happiness mountain! So, the 2 challenges go perfectly hand in hand. Also, winter is over (mostly) and the weather is turning. Soon it will be time to get back into summer dresses and bathing suits. I’d like to transition to shorts without tears. 🙂

As usual, I invite you to join me. You can either do my challenge or make up your own. It should be challenging though. For example, me just cutting out sweets would not be hard. Sure, it wouldn’t be easy, but not too hard. It is not easy to change habits, but soon enough you can have new habits and it will be easy.

And, 30 days is important because we build up tolerances to the foods we eat. You might not know that you have a sensitivity until you completely take it out of your diet and then try to add it back. Food sensitivities are not like allergies. The reactions are delayed. Sometimes hours, sometimes days. Sometimes, like with gluten, you eat so much of it that it is never really out of your system so it’s impossible to tell if that is causing problems or if it’s something else. And, sensitivities can be vague: joint pain, skin irritation, headaches, gas, bloating, increased menstrual cramps/PMS symptoms, bags under your eyes, anxiety, insomnia, seasonal allergies, etc. You never really know… I would bet that most of us are walking around with sub-optimal health because of our diets not including our weight!

So, ‘insert call to action here’… and join me! I’ll update regularly on FB and Instagram so stay tuned. Also, I want to hear about your challenge if you do one. It’s so much easier if you know someone else is doing it too. xoxo

Past is past

Letting go of

what I used to think was me

memories and regret

time to let me be

old is gone

like summers past

can’t feel the sun

not meant to last

I’m not that girl

though not ashamed

she got me here

not to be blamed

so bye to the tightness

that creeps in my chest

time for my guilt

to be laid to rest