Thursday, March 7, 2013

Heather Hobby

I’ve found a new hobby. AND I LOVE IT. Hand embroidery. I joined my friend Heather’s craft night at her shop, Smoobage, and we learned how to embroider. I took to it right away and I’ve fallen head over heels. I’ve finished one design and I’m working hard on my second. I’ve ordered some stablizers off of Amazon so once those are in, I am going to make a T-shirt for someone. Lucky I know a lot of little kids! And after T-shirts, canvas bags! Yay!

IMG_6107Craft night at Smoobage

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IMG_6116My first design, finished in two days!

IMG_6121My floss, all organized

IMG_6124Second design and my nifty floss box

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bishop Peak–San Luis Obispo

There is a mountain here in San Luis Obispo that is infamous among hikers and locals. Bishop Peak is the first of the seven sister’s here in SLO county and, as far as I know, it is the biggest peak of the seven, too. The mountain has kind of been the center of my life here. I’ve worked at various establishments near it’s base for over a year now and I drive by the mountain everyday. I’ve admired the switchbacks from afar, secretly wanting to be the one to traverse them. It just seemed too high, too crazy, too much.

Behold… Bishop’s Peak. I took this picture in the back country during a walk after work last year. It looks a lot scarier in real life. Take my word for it.

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Well… last week I did it. I hiked to the top of Bishop’s Peak. And it was glorious. I went by myself on a Friday afternoon and it took me 3.5 hours to go up and down. The weather was perfect. The skies were clear. It was hot and the higher that I climbed, the hotter that it got. The switchbacks were insane. Just when you think you’re almost there, there are five more switchbacks ahead of you. People come up and down. Good excuses to stop and take a breath while they pass. Eventually, I made it to the top. I was sweating like a mofo, too.  I ran out of water at the top. I ate my lunch up there. I enjoyed the view. I took pride in yet another accomplishment. Reminded myself how awesome I am. And then I put Tegan & Sara on my iPod and I went back down. Took my time. Watched my step. Enjoyed the descent. My legs hurt like a mother when I got to my car. I was sweaty and thirsty. And then I went to the gym and worked on the weights for my arms. And then I went home. And I took a big, deep breath and promised myself that I would do it again. And soon.

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FINALLY.

My declaration of independence.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy, Healthy Heather

It’s been some time, hasn’t it? I’ve been busy and haven’t really sat down to blog in a while. Either that, or I just haven’t been all that interested in it. But I found some time and something to say. So here I am.

My life has been pretty awesome lately. More awesome than it’s been since… pretty much forever. I have found myself in the happiest, most perfect place I could ever be in. And I’m just me, by myself, on my own, loving my life. For most of my life I thought that I could never be happy without someone to love, without someone to complete me. That was pretty dumb because right now I couldn’t imagine my life with someone else in it. I don’t want anyone else in it. The balance is so perfect right now. I’m finally living my life and I’m alive. I’m not waiting for someone else to come and resuscitate me.

At the turn of the new year, like a bazillion other people out there in the world, I decided that I wanted to get in shape and lose some weight. And that journey took me somewhere I had only hoped to go. I didn’t know that I could actually do it. I found a way to make my life good. I found a diet and exercise routine that works for me. It’s not something that a million other people could testify for. It’s just something that I started doing and adjusted it until it was mine and it works.

I sleep 7 to 8 hours every night. I work out 6 days a week, sometimes 7. I work on resistance training 3 times a week. I can press 120 lbs with my legs and I’m currently curling 50 lbs on my biceps. My arms are looking leaner, my body is becoming more toned. You should see my legs! Between weight training and the elliptical three to four times a week, my legs and butt are looking pretty sexy these days. But I’m biased. Ha! I eat five small meals a day. I balance those meals. I haven’t had fast food (except for Subway, oh wonderful Subway) since December 27th. I hardly ever drink soda. I’ve been out to the bars once and when I did that, I had a full glass of water between every drink. I take vitamins and supplements everyday. I juice my own fruits and vegetables. I stay healthy. I like being healthy.

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I’ve lost a total of 18 lbs as of this morning’s weigh in and about 1.5 inches around my entire body. And I’m going to keep going. I have a goal weight and I know I can reach it. And I’m going to. Watch me.

Oh yeah… and I still have the world’s cutest, most perfect cat.

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MY LIFE IS AWESOME.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Could It Be? It Never Was!

Lately (actually, for my entire adolescent and adult life) I’ve been really mindful of the music that is out there, acting as my personal, independent therapist. I heard this one today that had me thinking, reminiscing, laughing, forehead-palming all at once.

This song pretty much sums up my life for EVERY damn relationship fakelationship, one-night-stand, confused-one-sided-broke-down-relation… or what have you – that I’ve ever had in my whole life. I wonder “COULD IT BE?!?!” with every new boy that shows me any shred of attention or affection. Obviously, it never was. What a dumb idea… to have a one-night-stand from a meeting at a bar and think, “THIS COULD BE REAL LOVE!” Now, as I listen to this song again, in the background as I write this post, I’m starting to think that I might hate it a little bit because it reflects so much of me, or at least a past version of me and a part of me that I want to change. I’m almost kind of embarrassed of myself for having admitted that I think like that. As a much stronger girl woman than I was just a few short weeks ago, I know this mentality is seriously damaging and it’s probably why I’ve got a playlist that is 7 hours long which I’ve titled, “Free Therapy.”

“Could It Be” by Charlie Worsham

Right now I’m single and being selfish with my time and I’m happy being ALONE. No “could it be?” questions are circling overhead. It’s a good thing for me because I’m working on me and falling in love with me… which absolutely, positively has to happen if I ever hope to get over my “could it be” syndrome. So, while this song makes me laugh and think back on one too many bad decisions and fast mistakes that I thought would be my one and only, I really hope it’s a thing of the past.

*Well, once I actually looked up the lyrics, I realize that the song is about hooking up with his friend who he’s had a crush on and the repercussions of it but since I don’t have any idea what that’s like, I interpreted it in my own way. Regardless, it has brought up some tough stuff that I’m really willing to work on!*

Stay tuned for an update about my all time favorite free and versatile therapist, Taylor Swift!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Diet, Two Women, and a Whole Lot of Butt Kicking and Fat Banishing

Instead of doing homework for my newest graduate course (assessment and intervention strategies for early childhood education, BORING!) I am going to write about this diet and exercise game that I’ve been playing for the last month and a half.

It’s called The Game On! Diet and I stumbled upon it by accident. I was browsing diet books at Barnes & Noble for the millionth time, trying to find some fix for my current body problems and low self esteem. I pulled it off the shelf (I liked the cartoons on the cover) and started reading it. I was hooked. I loved it, it seemed like something that I could do. And better yet, I knew that my cousin had the same body woes and confidence problems that I was going through so I knew she’d be the perfect person to go in on this with me. I bought the book, told her about it, and the game was on!

Here’s how it works.

The Game On! Diet is a competition. You gain points for eating balanced, healthy meals – points for exercising 20 minutes a day – points for sleeping 7 hours – points for drinking butt loads of water – points for getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with new, healthy habits - points for losing 1% of your body weight each week. You get points taken away for bad stuff like stepping on the scale more than once a day, drinking alcohol, snacking, cheating, and changing your habits.

You record your score as you go. There are a lot of good resources out there for this part of the diet, too. I found a really cool PDF scorecard that I print out and use for every game. You add up your points, subtract your offenses, and report your scores. Because it’s just my cousin and I playing against each other, it’s all pretty easy. My score against her score. We’re both opponents and encouragers. But someone has to win. She won points and weight loss for the first game and so I had to buy her a $15 gift card to Sephora. I’m trying to beat her this time! I want a gift card to Sephora, too!

We started the Game On! Diet on January 2nd. I started at 260 lbs. At my “biggest loser” point, I weighed 243 lbs, shedding about 17 lbs in 3 1/2 weeks. However, I had help from a 3-day juice fast/cleanse and I’ve gained half of that loss back. But even still, I’m down more than 10 lbs from my starting weight and all that I’ve done is follow the Game On! Diet rules.

I eat five small meals a day, each meal balanced between small portions of carbs, protein, and healthy fats. For me this means a lot of hard boiled eggs, raw and steamed veggies, Reduced Fat Wheat Thins, cheese sticks, sunflower butter, whole grain toast, tuna, salmon, brown rice, and Greek yogurt (among other things). I exercise about 6-7 days a week, usually 20-60 minutes of cardio (walking, treadmill, elliptical, jogging) and resistance training (3 days a week). I sleep 7, usually 8 hours a night. I drink so much water and so much fresh juice and so much hot lemon water, that I could pee a river if the time of day called for it. I take one day off a week from all points and one meal off a week. I’ve come to realize that I don’t indulge because my tastes and habits have changed but having the option to eat what I want, at least one day of the week, is probably what makes this work so well for me. I am not deprived from the things that I love and can look forward to having them if I really want them. It won’t set me back and I’m not penalized for it.

I love this diet. I love it so much. It’s the best thing that has happened to me in years. It’s perfect for me and my current lifestyle and it’s something that I can turn into a lifetime habit. I’m doing great and I’m stronger, leaner, and much more motivated than I ever have been before. My clothes fit looser, my muscles are growing stronger and more taut. My feet hurt less. My indigestion is a thing of the past.

My cousin and I hope to continue keeping scoring and kicking each other’s butts for the rest of the year. We’re going to be so hot and sexy when this is all over and we’ve reached our respective goal weights. I can’t wait!

Check out The Game On! Diet on Amazon.com.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Splendid Saturday

Today was a good day. I didn’t do anything spectacular. I didn’t spend an evening out or go anywhere important. I spent most of the day at home, actually. But it was just what I needed. I went for a long walk around Morro Bay with my mom and the dog and then we came home and watched Frankenweenie. I spent most of the afternoon and evening cleaning my apartment which is now beautiful and organized. I took a day off from my dieting, which I do once a week, and I didn’t indulge on too much of anything. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday. I have a post that I’m working on that I will deliver soon but for now, enjoy some photos. Hope you have a good weekend and enjoy the Superbowl!

IMG_5932I can’t wait to juice half of these fruits tomorrow.

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Lucy had a hard day. Decapitated a bird and got high on catnip. Time for some sleep.

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I took a selfie in the gym locker room yesterday.
I’m down 15 lbs and working for 20.
SO PROUD OF ME.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sick Day

So yesterday was fabulous. I was officially off of my juice fast but I felt so good… energized, light, and confident that I’d done a great thing for myself. Juice fasts really work! I kind of want to keep doing it. I think I’m going to do a 3 day juice fast body reboot once every few months, just to give my body a break as I work on my health and weight loss goals.

Unfortunately, throughout all of yesterday, I was still suffering from a gnarly cold which had first hit me the morning I started the fast. I powered through it for most of the day as it wasn’t that bad. It was really the only thing bothering me. That, and a final that I had to finish before midnight. I managed to finish that and turned it in but my cold was the worse that it had been since Friday. I took some Nyquil, passed out, and hoped to feel better in the morning.

I felt better but still stick so I decided to take the day off to rest and to get away from the germy kids. That’s the thing about being a preschool teacher – I am sick ALL the time. Now I have the day off. And I’m already bored. Figures.

I made a breakfast juice and will make myself a lunch juice, too. But for now, I think I’m going to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for a little bit, burn some calories. At my best, I’ve lost 17 lbs since I changed my diet and exercise routine at the beginning of the month. I haven’t felt this good for months, maybe even a few years. I have to keep it going.

So while I go do that you can enjoy these pictures that I took this morning.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Note to Self

Write a post about how AWESOME my Monday was.

Day 3 of a juice fast might suck but the day AFTER the detox is frickin’ awesome.

More on this later…

Sunday, January 27, 2013

3 Day Juice Fast: Day 3

Today. What a bitch. I felt like shit all day long. From start to finish. Which sucks because the first two days were great. I woke up feeling stuffed up, cranky, and slightly nauseous. I took a shower and made a breakfast juice – cucumber, blueberries, carrot, celery, and lime - and drank most of it during a walk with my friend, Shanna. That thing cleaned me out. So gross.

I went home right after that because I felt so uncomfortable. My whole body ached, my skin hurt. It was so weird. But I had to come home and continue working on a final that is due tomorrow. I spent all day working on that, feeling like poo the whole time. I had this horrible taste in my mouth all day that was mostly just complete and total disgust for juice. I really didn’t want anymore! It seemed like the least appealing thing on the planet.

I ended up drinking some tea around noon and then had another juice around 2. It was a veggie blend but I can’t remember what I put into it. It wasn’t so bad but I really didn’t want to drink it. However, it did keep me full for a while. I didn’t have anything but water well past six o’clock but my body was in revolt. My mind was foggy, my skin crawling, my attitude completely down the toilet. I walked over to make another juice and it took everything I had not to throw up all over my juicer. I couldn’t even fathom drinking another juice. I didn’t want to. It sounded horrible. But I was hungry…

I ended up eating a banana and two crackers.

I also had some soup.

I know.

Fast broken.

*sigh* If I ever finish something that I’ve started, it will be a cold day in hell, eh?

Actually, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself that I didn’t make it through the entire three days. I did it for freaking 2 and 3/4 days though! That’s a long time to fast and drink ONLY juice, water, and herbal tea. I did a good thing for my body and I’m proud of myself for sticking to it for as long as I did. But my body just couldn’t handle it. Or maybe that was my brain. It was getting mixed signals and it wanted real food. I didn’t want to bust down McDonald’s doors or anything, in fact, I hardly had an appetite at all. But I just couldn’t drink another juice. I should have just left it at that and had lemon water or tea or something. But the banana and crackers and soup won’t kill me. My body will forgive me. My heart will, too. Eventually.

Ultimately, I’ve finished my fasting and hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow. Full report to come later.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

3 Day Juice Fast: Day 2

Today was a good day as far as the juice fast goes. I woke up and didn’t feel very hungry at all. I peed for about 2 minutes straight though. Probably because I drank a bunch of water and a cup of tea before bed and had drank so much juice the day before. I made up my own breakfast juice: carrots, about 14 clementine's, half of a lemon, 2 apples, and a handful of blueberries. And two teaspoons chia seeds. That juice was delicious, a perfect breakfast blend. It kept me full for about four hours. I had a second juice at 12 when my stomach started growling. I don’t remember which recipe I used. It was a lot of leafy greens and veggies. I had some green tea in between lunch and dinner and then made another juice around 5:30. That one gave me the craziest burst of energy, I ran up and down the street like a mad woman, trying to get my exercise in for the day. My lungs hurt so bad afterwards but during the run it felt awesome.

I’m home now and just drank about 800L of water. I’m planning on watching The Lorax with my mom tonight. We like watching kid movies together. We’re so super cool. I told her that she can’t eat anything through the whole movie. That has been the hardest part about today – the cravings I have for anything other than juice. FOOD. Real, chewable, digestable food. It’s psychological though. Totally in my head. My body doesn’t need it, obviously. It’s getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins, calories and carbs. But I want it. And I have to resist it. And I’m doing a good job with self-control.

When I went for my run tonight I passed by all of these delicious restaurants and could see all of the people eating inside. I could smell the Thai food, the Japanese food, the Italian food. Oh my god, it all smelled so good. Even the gas station food. But I powered through it because I know now that all of that food should be a treat, not a habit. It’s fat on my hips and pain in my feet and zits on my face. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Well… except most Americans.

I don’t want to be fat. I don’t want to be unhappy and uncomfortable in my own body. I don’t want my clothes to hurt me. I want to be able to keep up with my students and maybe someday, my kids. I want to be healthy. I want to be smart. I want to live. That’s all. Simple, really? This is just a way to clean the palate and reboot my body.

Full speed ahead!

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Here is a picture of me from the other day,
looking slimmer and already showing some results! You go girl!

Friday, January 25, 2013

3 Day Juice Fast: Day 1

Today marks the almost-end of my first day of a 3-day juice fast. I originally wanted to do a juice fast for 10 days but after doing some research, I figured it was smarter and safer for me to embark on a smaller fast. I’ll still get the benefits of detoxification so it’s less about weight loss now and more about a clean palette for my body.

Today has been a mixture of both determination and frustration. I can’t tell you how many times today I have had to talk myself down from giving up. And I haven’t even seen the end of the day yet. The start of my day was actually on a see-saw. To fast or not to fast? I hadn’t done any shopping and didn’t really have a plan. The night before I’d actually told myself that I would do it another weekend. But I pulled out all of the left over produce that I had in my fridge and I decided to just do it. I made up my own juice recipe for breakfast this morning – kale, celery, lemon, Gala apple, pear, and some chia seeds. It was surprisingly delicious but it did not keep my full. My stomach was growling and aching less than three hours later. I hadn’t really committed to the fast that morning – I was only partially there so I had brought a yogurt with chia seeds to work with me. I ended up eating that during snack break - I love preschool, built in snack time! So I haven’t been on a 100% fast but since then I haven’t had anything but juice. It satiated me for a bit but I was hungry again an hour later!

I went to New Frontiers around noon and bought some more kale and 5 pounds of carrot. And a birthday card for my dad. And a juice from their juice bar. I ended up spilling it all over myself and my car and breaking my cup so I had to go in and get a knew one. But it went from a 16oz juice to about a 8 oz juice pretty quick. I finished it and then went to Costco and spent $50 on fresh produce.

I came home and made another juice. I felt like I was starving by then! That one was pretty good. Cucumber, kale, celery, apple, grapefruit, and lime. It was tangy and sweet and came out all pretty and green. I had my mom taste it and try to guess the flavors. She was mostly right. As soon as I drank that juice, I felt full. Like overfed, full. I hate that feeling. All of that liquid but I can imagine all of the nutrients sinking into my body, not having to digest any of it.

I was hungry again about two hours later but I drank water, lots of water. And then I went to the gym. I was strangely energized. I powered through my weights routine and even upped the row machine to 75 lbs! I walked on the treadmill for 50 minutes with a high incline and moderately speedy pace. Burned 550 calories and finished the book that I was reading (I LOVE using my Kindle at the gym!). I had weird stomach cramps through most of it but I peed for about ten minutes after I was done. Yay toxins leaving the body! Goodbye water weight!

I felt really slow and lethargic afterwards and driving home I felt a little disoriented. It was like my body and brain were trailing a few feet behind me. Very strange feeling. I feel a little disconnected right now. Am I making sense? I hope so.

Once I got home I made myself a dinner juice – spinach, kale, carrot, celery, cucumber, and apple. It wasn’t my favorite juice but it did the trick. Got rid of that hungry, starving feeling. After I type this up, I’m going to take a shower, make myself some hot tea with lemon, snuggle with Lucy, and watch Netflix until I fall asleep.

If my hungry stomach will allow that to happen. It’s growling right now! I finished that juice about 30 minutes ago. I know that this isn’t going to be easy and that I will struggle with my will power about 8 million times over the next two days. But I can do it. I’m so tired of always giving up on everything. Nobody takes me seriously anymore. I feel like the boy who cried wolf. I want to do this for myself. I want to make a difference in my health. I want to be stronger, healthier, and smarter about my food choices. I can do this. I can! One day is already done. I’m already almost halfway there!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Off Day

I am tired today. So very tired. I don’t know what’s going on as I’ve been feeling so good the last couple of weeks. I started my day off with a juice but perhaps it wasn’t the right thing to do today. My body had other plans for me. Achy all day long, a headache. I’m pretty sure this is what the first few days of my juice detox will feel like as I detox and get rid of all the junk that is inside of my body. I’m ready for it, I am, so don’t think I’m complaining. I know that the detox is necessary to feel the energy that comes later, the glowing skin, the restful sleep. I can’t wait for that part. But today… man, I am going to cook some tofu and a baked potato and lay in bed and watch Heroes on Netflix. It was definitely that kind of a day.

But look what I found on my long-lost-in-the-recesses-of-my-purse camera! Kitteh in the blankets! I sure do love her. She’s so cute. Meow.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Pinspiration: Magnetic Make-Up Board

Not too long ago I said that I wanted to start featuring projects on my blog that I pulled off of my Pinterest boards. Well, I am making good on that starting today. I found a project that I really like which produces a pretty unique DIY product that is incredibly functional in my daily life. I’m not a huge make-up afficinado but I am kind of an organization freak. I like things to be organized (but if you came into my apartment right now, you’d never know that). This project will add some order and creativity into my miniscule make-up collection. I took this “Pinspiration” for a magnetic make-up board from the Laura Thoughts blog. Her materials are a little different than mine but pretty close.

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Juice!

I upgraded a favorite recipe today… I added two handfuls of blueberries and 2 teaspoons chia seeds into my Bountiful Breakfast recipe. It made for a delicious mid-morning meal. I’m starting my juice fast this coming Friday… can’t wait!

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Juicing Journeys: Thoughts… “If Not Now, Then When?”

It’s been about two and a half weeks since I changed my diet and exercise habits and I’ve officially lost a total of 9 pounds! I am so proud of myself because I’ve found a method that is good for me, that works, and is something that I like and can see myself doing well into the future. I don’t feel deprived or starved of my favorite foods. I’m getting nutrition, eating healthier, and I feel stronger and smarter and much more confident about myself and my will power. I’m proud of myself for taking control of my life and my health. I feel like I’ve unearthed a whole new person… a new Heather, all shiny and sparkly. It feels good to be in control. I recently saw a quote that sort of had a slap-upside-the-head effect for me…

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If not now, then when?

If you’re struggling with the walls that you’ve built around your heart or your mind or your body, ask yourself that question and see what it takes to change. Can you do it? I did and I am! And I feel fabulous!

Yogi Juice w/kale - Bliss CafeIn preparation for my 10-day juice fast and body detox, I have been trying out different juice recipes and juice bars around town. On Thursday I visited the Bliss CafĂ© in San Luis Obispo and had their Yogi Juice ($5) – carrot, apple, celery, ginger, & lemon – with a $1 addition of kale. It turned out to be a strange terracotta color but no matter – it was scrumptious!

I also tried the juice bar at New Frontiers also in San Luis Obispo. Their juices are much cheaper ($3-$4 per juice) but they don’t have as many juices on their menu. I tried their Carrot Plus Three juice and chose apple, lemon, and spinach. It was pretty good – not my favorite juice that I’ve ever had but I would have it again.

When I’m doing my 10-day detox I plan on visiting juice bars for my mid-day juice since I can’t juice in the middle of the day and it’s hard to store freshly made juice throughout the day. I’m starting my juice fast on a Friday so that is six days of lunch time juices, not including the weekends because I can juice at home. About $20-$30 dollars for the whole fast if I buy juices from either place. And plus, they are great places to collect new recipes, too.

I tried a new recipe today which is probably my new favorite juice and one of my first veggie blends. I’ll call it the Green Chia Monster!

IMG_5823Green Chia Monster
3 stalks celery
1 cucumber (peeled)
1 green apple
1/2 Gala apple
1 inch nub of ginger, sliced
3 kale leaves
parsley (handful)
1 lemon (peeled, leave the pith)

I juiced them in a random order but I made sure to put the ginger and kale in right before the apple because the apple releases a lot of the juices. I also wrapped the parsely inside the kale leaves to make sure that the sprigs didn’t just flip back into the pulp collector.

IMG_5824I added 2 teaspoons of chia seeds, too. I bought them from New Frontiers yesterday because I’ve been researching their amazing health benefits. I just mixed them up inside of the juice until they began to gel because they will sink to the bottom. Once they gel, they float but still stick close to the bottom of the juice. They have the weirdest consistency once they gel but it’s fun – I like it! Needless to say, I had the most wonderfully healthy juice today! Probably my favorite recipe so far, right next to my Bountiful Breakfast recipe.

A drink well drunk!

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But don’t worry! I may be healthier and thinking smarter with my body but I’m still a cat lady. Lucy doesn’t really factor into my body health becaue she’s more of an emotional healer but trust me, she’s still doing her job and making me happy and well-loved on a daily basis. Sweet kitty, I love her so!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Curse of Womankind

What kind of cruel and unusual punishment is the menstrual cycle? I mean, really… I hate this week, every month. I wish that women were able to excuse themselves from humanity for 3-7 days every month. I’m a raging lunatic – emotional, grumpy, tired, irritable, bloated, and generally unpleasant. And it really sucks for being on a diet… I want to gorge on cookies so hard right now!

Grrr, I’m going to bed.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Juicing Journeys: Taste Tests (Pt. 1)

I’m working my way towards a 10 day juice fast and I’m in the very beginning stages. I’m doing a lot of research, a lot of “pinning,” and a lot of taste testing. I’m hoping to have tried a wide variety of juices before I start my fast so that I don’t get bored in the first few days. There are millions of combinations, of fruits and veggies, veggies only, fruits only, etc. and so I’m making my way through as many as I can before I’m ready for the detox to begin!

Here are a few of my favorites so far…

Green Zipper (source)
2 1/2 green apples
1/2 cucumber
1 snippet of ginger (about the size of the tip of your thumb)
1-2 cups of kale (to taste)

  • For this recipe, I only used 2 green apples because that was all I had in my apartment but I think when I make this again, I will add that extra half an apple. Without it, the ginger and cucumber were pretty overwhelming together and I hope the apple would mask some of that. Maybe I might even skip the ginger and put it half a lemon or lime instead.

Bountiful Breakfast (source)
2 chopped grapefruits (peel and pith removed)
5 chopped carrots
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

  • This one is my favorite so far! I love, love, love the grapefruit in this juice. The two that I bought from my local Albertson’s were soooo juicy. And I love carrot juice so this was a perfect combination.

ABC Breakfast (source)
1 small beet, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint sprigs

  • I had this one with my breakfast this morning and it was interesting. I’d never had beets before and so I was pleasantly surprised. Aside from the beet juice stains all over my hands, it added an interesting twist to the apple/carrot blend and made the juice a dark, crimsony purple color. However, I think I will use a much smaller beet next time because it made the juice taste very earthy… almost like… dirt. Or something. Also, I couldn’t get the mint springs to juice – they just flew back into the pulp collector so I suppose that part could be optional since I can’t speak for its addition to the juice itself. Without it, though, the juice is just fine!

Easy A
3-4 medium carrots
1 Granny Smith apple

  • This makes a small serving of juice – perfect compliment to a fried egg and toast or a pancake breakfast. It was deliciously sweet and the color was fun too. If I were to use this recipe for my fast, I would double the ingredients to make a more substantial juice.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lesson Learned

Since the start of the new year, as part of The Game On! Diet, I’ve been eating five small meals a day, each meal balanced between carbs, healthy fats, and protein, and have significantly cut my portions down in size. The only processed food that I’ve been eating are reduced fat Wheat Thins because, hello… they’re like crack and I love them. But, long story short, I’ve had little to no indigestion, no break-outs on my face, no empty stomach grumbles, and the small patch of dry, itchy, scaly skin on my left inner elbow and behind either of my knees has been non-existent!

Until I hate four slices of an oven baked artisan pizza on my day off… no indigestion thankfully but dang! I felt like crap everywhere else. I felt bloated and it made my stomach hurt. And ever since I ate it (this was on Saturday) I’ve broken out all over my face and my elbow eczema has come back with any angry vengeance. (Of course, that might have more to do with the butt ass cold weather that has swept across California recently.)

I’m so happy with my new diet and having something like that happen only strengthens my desire to keep going as I am. I will not be eating another crappy, processed, greasy pizza (or anything else) for a while… if ever. What a bummer. Or not. Because I feel stronger in my own body – nothing significant yet but it is a change from how I was feeling at the close of the year. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting into juicing. I just bought my own juicer today! I’m currently researching juice fasting and will be implementing my own in the coming weeks to detox and start over with a cleansed body.

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Hurray for good decisions – I fully intend to keep making them!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Journey of Change: The Beginning

In 2013, as I work on treating myself with more kindness and care, I can’t help but think about my existing insecurities and how desperately I want to turn them around. I’ve spent so much of my life being afraid of how other people perceive me and I hardly give any attention to the part of me that is okay with everything that I am. When I think back on the last ten years of my life, I realize how much time I have wasted in berating myself for my body, for the fleshy parts of my belly, for my thighs, for the cellulite, for the blemishes. Through all of this, I haven’t treated myself with kindness or respect. I put foods into my body that are unhealthy and I don’t exercise. And I don’t love myself for my imperfections, I just see the flaws and I outwardly project my insecurities. I rarely celebrate the parts of me that I love. I love my hair, especially the color. I think I have the most beautiful hair in the world. I look at myself in the mirror and I think that I am beautiful but for some reason, I’ve remained convinced that it doesn’t matter what I think. It’s the world around me that has to accept me. That’s what has become important to me. What a sad society that we’ve grown up in where beautiful, young women like myself are brought to doubt their own self-confidence.

I need to stop doing that right now.

In high school, I thought I was unattractive and overweight but now, at 26, I would do just about anything to have my high school body back. I’ve never had a flat stomach, not even when I was a little girl. I’ve always been full and voluptuous and I’ve always carried my weight well. But now, I’ve come to a point where I’ve let myself get past that point. I’m at the heaviest weight of my life, over 250 pounds, and I’m not happy about it. I’ve exercised and dieted in the past like everyone else who seems to come to their senses once or twice a year but the difference now is that I want to create a lifelong change. I’m tired of being lazy, of letting myself down. I want to be healthy and strong and radiate from the inside-out the things that I feel when I am alone, in the comfort of my bathroom walls where society’s judgments can’t find me.

I am tired of being overweight, this is true. I am not one of those chubby girls who wants to be proud of her obesity. “Chubby love" doesn’t seem right to me. It seems lazy. I like who I am. I like my personality and I love my beautiful, red, perfectly styled hair. I love my freckles and the dimples on my cheeks. I love my sense of humor and the passion that I have for many things. I love that I love cats. And I do love my body – I love my long legs and my funny, curly toes. I love my long fingers which are a perfect mixture of both my mom and my dad’s hands. But I don’t love that I can’t wear jeans because they cut into my belly and they leave painful indentations. I don’t love that my feet hurt in the mornings or after I’ve been sitting down. I don’t like that I can’t walk up the hill to my house without my lungs burning from the effort. I don’t like the way that my body responds negatively to most of the food that I eat. I don’t like the extra weight that I carry around. It’s hurting me, not only physically but emotionally, too. It’s taking away from the good things that I feel about myself and making me doubt myself as a strong, beautiful woman who can have the good life that she deserves.

Confidence comes from the inside but it certainly helps when you feel good about the outside, too. I don’t need to be skinny. I don’t even need to make it about weight loss. Of course, weight loss helps me find strength and fights body image issues that I have but in the end, it’s more about being healthy and feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’ve always walked into weight loss goals for the wrong reasons. This time around, I want to make it about me and the love and acceptance that I have for myself. Who cares what everybody else thinks? Whatever comes my way as a result of the changes that I make will be a lucky bonus but ultimately, I’d just like to love myself to the fullest extent. Treating myself with kindness and respect requires that I start paying attention to the ways in which I can strengthen my body and change the bad habits that have brought me to this point.

From now on, I want to be the best version of myself. I want to focus my efforts on strengthening my body from the inside out. I promise to eat for my health. I’m excited about juicing and putting micronutrients directly into my body two to three times a day. I’m excited to exercise and work my body six times a week, even if it’s just a thirty minute walk around the neighborhood. I want to get back into running – I actually liked doing it! Maybe I can do another half marathon! Not maybe! I will! For my health and my happiness, I will make these changes. I don’t have any excuses.

This is a picture of me at 16, ten years ago, almost exactly to the day. This is the body that I want to have today - tall, strong, and healthy. I wasn’t skinny and I wasn’t perfect (who is?!) but I was healthy and I was comfortable. What I lacked was a strong identify and a sense of self. Without that, having the confidence that I needed to appreciate myself was impossible. I want to get back to this body. This is the body that I visualize as I work on my goals. It will be mine again. I can do it and I will. Watch me!

Heatherat16

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year, New Life

Oh joy. A new year. 2012 was a tough one. I’m hoping for good things this time around with a lot of healthy changes. Like about 98% of the planet, I started the new year with resolutions which I would rather call promises. This year I make one ultimate promise to myself – to take care of myself mind, body, and soul and to be kinder to myself. If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I am my greatest ally. People come and go in my life more than I’d like to admit and so I owe it to myself to be my own best friend. I’ve been eating healthier – mostly fresh produce and fruit and lots of lean meat and tofu. I haven’t eaten much processed food over the last few weeks and I’ve exercised at least 20 minutes (mostly walking) everyday and so far, I’ve lost 5 pounds. I feel great, my body feels stronger, my metabolism is changing, my mind is starting to catch up, too. I hope to create good habits that last a lifetime, not just a couple of months.

As I’ve ventured through the world that is healthy eating, I’ve stumbled upon the concept of juicing. I’d never considered it before but it seems to be a viable option for healthy eating and weight loss so naturally, I’m interested. I borrowed a juicer from a friend and tried my first juicing recipe: kale, parsley, celery, cucumber, apple, and lemon. I threw one lime in there too but I regretted it, the juice turned out really sour but I drank it anyway! I’ll follow the recipe tomorrow and see how I like it then. If anything, I would add a second apple.

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Juicing is supposed to be really good for you since it’s vitamins and antioxidants that goes straight into your body. I’m looking into more recipes and contemplating buying my own juicer if I like more of what I try. So far though, I’m happy. However, my apartment still smells like the juice so it’s kind of weird. I also bought a 2 QT Crockpot recently so I’m excited to get that going. I’ve never used a crock pot before but I can’t wait to come home to the smell of a delicious dinner. And then eat it! YUM.

Another goal that I have this year is to blog more and Facebook less. I’m starting to hate Facebook. It’s turning me against all of my friends. I hate watching their lives move on while mine is stuck and I hate that Facebook allows us to be lazy about staying in touch. Also, I’m becoming sort of a hermit via Facebook and everyone’s becoming slightly concerned for my well-being. I’m absolutely fine but if you looked at my Facebook you might think differently. I appear to be a hermit, living in a feline infested cave, who doesn’t have any friends, or a social life. Regardless of whether or not any of those things are true, I shouldn’t be advertising myself that way in the first place. So, blog more, Facebook less. Good plan.

On that note, I hope to incorporate some of my Pinterest-inspired ideas into my life and blog about them. I also hope to keep up with my plans of moving. As it stands now, Vancouver may not be the final destination but I do plan to move this summer. The best part about being single and having a traveling cat is that I can move wherever I want. So, for now, my plans are on hold but this spring I fully intend to give them life again and get on with it. Lord knows I need a fresh, new perspective.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cat on a Ledge

Remind me later to write about import life things but for now… enjoy this picture that I took of Lucy last week. I love when she sits on the railings and watches the world.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dating Sucks


Thought Catalog is my favorite. I like this one – just posted today by Ryan O’Connell. He’s right, too. About all of it. I hate dating – I never know how to just be myself. Fortunately, dating seems to be going out of style and I don’t have any plans to engage myself in it right now, anyway. But even so, when I do go on a first date… my mind pretty much mirrors Ryan’s sentiments. Click on the screenshot to read it the whole thing. My favorite line of most of these articles is always the last one…

“All I know is that when you date, nine times out of ten you end up screwing yourself rather than someone else.”

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Yum

Good things are happening in my tiny little apartment in the dawn of this new year…

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Let’s hope it sticks.

Inspiration

I’ve been following Meghan Tonjes for a while now. I don’t even remember where I first heard her music but she is FABULOUS. I love all of her songs – her voice is beautiful and she is absolutely gorgeous. She’s been on a weight loss and fitness journey for a while now and while I’ve only picked up bits and pieces of it through her YouTube channel, what I have seen has left me inspired and wishing that I could be as strong and beautiful and determined as she is. This year, in 2013, Meghan Tonjes is my role model. I’ve written before in past blogs (or maybe even past versions of this blog) about her song “This Year” and I’ll write about it again right now. This is a fabulous, wonderful, perfect song for the new year. Thank you for this song, Meghan. Thank you for the inspiration.

This year is gonna be better and you’re gonna see
This year I’m gonna be stronger and a braver me
This year, I’m gonna make it ‘cause I said I would
Do all the things you said I never could

I may not be perfection
But I never claimed to be
Maybe if I was thin or beautiful classically
Of all of the things I carry
And all of the things I know
I know that I will be loved
No matter where I go

 
Visit Meghan’s YouTube channel here. And her Facebook page here.