Pursuit of Healthfulness - New Discoveries

I've been focusing on the things I've had to give up while doing this Cleanse as well as on my pursuit.  This week, instead of focusing on those foods that I've been avoiding, I'm going to focus on new discoveries.

I forgot how much I like bok choy, stir fried with some broccoli and shrimp served over brown rice...yummy!

I don't like broccoli cooked as much as I like it raw.

I can't believe that I never had celery with peanut butter as a snack.  Well maybe its because I don't like peanut butter BUT celery with Almond butter (yes, I know I'm weird) is one of my new favorite snacks.

I really enjoy cooking and this cleanse is making me cook more often and get creative.  Still working on the creativity though :)

I am adding Cayenne Pepper to almost everything.  That little zing makes everything taste better.

In Trader Joe's the other day the cashier was talking about using avocado in lieu of mayonnaise when making tuna.  I stopped using mayo over a year ago so I thought I'd give it a try.  It was good but still needed a little something...so I added some cayenne pepper!

Medjool Dates are the BEST THING EVER!  How I never tried these before I don't know but now I am in love!  Watch out avocados you have a new rival!

So those are some new discoveries this week.  What about you?  Anything new you want to share, any new recipes or ideas?

Don't forget to visit with Karen over at Journey Back to Self to see what she has learned this week.

And if you want to try the 21 Day Cleanse, go visit Melissa at Wellness with Melissa.

Pursuit of Healthfulness - 21 Day Cleanse

When I hear the word CLEANSE, I immediately think of those all liquid cleanses where you only drink lemon water and don't eat a thing.  Or remember the cabbage one?  Or the one where you only ate orange food?  You may have the same reaction when you hear the word cleanse.  Well this week I started a 21-day cleanse with my friend Melissa who is a Health & Wellness Coach.  There are two reasons I am doing this cleanse.  One, because Melissa asked me, and two, because I can still eat real food!  Oh and three, because I already cut most of these foods out of my diet already so I didn't think it would be too difficult.

Here are a couple of things I have learned so far on this cleanse.

  • For me, its been about being more mindful of how I eat than what I eat.  Savoring each bite and slowing down.
  • I have had to plan ahead more.  Making a batch of quinoa and roasted veggies to have on hand.  Because several nights a week I get home after 8pm, this has been great to have at the ready.
  • I can still go out to eat and make good choices and if I want to enjoy a beer or glass of wine with dinner, then I should go ahead and do that, as long as I'm not going to beat myself up about it afterward.

I still have 17 days to go on this cleanse, so it will be interesting what else comes up for me in the days to come.

Also on the health and wellness front, I had a great conversation with Karen over at Journey Back to Self yesterday and her recent health challenges.  Go over to her blog and see what she has been facing these past couple of weeks.

And don't forget to check out my friend Melissa's blog, Wellness with Melissa!

Pursuit of Healthfulness - Weeks 7 & 8

Last week I spent several days in NYC with some wonderful friends, including the lovely Karen over at Journey Back to Self.  We ate, we drank, we walked, we talked and we laughed...alot!  I then headed to PA, to spend time with more wonderful friends and continued to eat and drink...alot!

I love traveling and spending time with friends and when I get in social situations tend to throw my healthy eating habits out the door.  Its not like I ate donuts AND ice cream (that was someone else who shall remain nameless), but I did indulge in a bit of wine and cheese and chips and guacamole and margaritas, oh the margaritas!  I did not have toast with my morning eggs but did have diner coffee every day.

All of this to say that sometimes its hard to stick to your guns and its OK to indulge once in awhile.  I did put on a pound or two while on vacation and while I did try to order healthy meals off the menu (salad, egg white omelet, fish), I find it harder to stay on the healthy path while traveling.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this or what lesson to take away other than life is meant to be enjoyed!  And well I truly enjoyed my vacation to NYC and PA, spent with great friends, eating good food, drinking good wine and laughing...and laughing...and laughing some more.

Pursuit of Healthfulness - Week 6.3

I missed my post on Friday and now its Monday so that accounts for the 6.3.

This past week was a bit of a downslide for me.  I ate out more than usual including a hamburger and fries that tasted great but a few hours later made me feel sluggish.  I had chicken pot pie that was delicious and a brownie sundae with my sister.  I had beer and wine and more cheese than normal.

I am noticing more and more how various foods make me feel.  I am learning what gives me energy and what saps it, what makes me bloated and what fills the hunger without any side effects.  I feel like I have a long way to go but one step at a time.

Since I am heading out of town for the rest of the week I'm sure I will be tempted with all types of foods I've been avoiding...that's what happens when you go on vacation.  I am sure that I'll have a lot to share when I return next week.

Until then, check in with Karen at Journey Back to Self and please feel free to share your journey here.

Pursuit of Healthfulness - Week 5

Its a new year and I see all kinds of people making resolutions to get healthy, eat better, lose weight.  At the Pilates studio, we are starting to see some new faces, people looking to turn over a new leaf.  My cousins are starting a Biggest Loser contest amongst the family.  Everyone on a pursuit to get healthy.

Karen over at Journey Back to Self and I started this pursuit to encourage each other but hope we can do that for you too.

The holidays were a bit of a challenge to eat healthy.  I did give in to temptation a time or two...hello cheesecake.  But I did learn a few things that I want to share.

  • it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought to not eat every single cookie that was put out.  one or two and I was good
  • taking just a little bit of all the food that was put out was satisfying
  • when eating out, I'm still learning what to eat.  I went to PF Changs and had some rice noodles with chicken and shrimp, I was so bloated afterward and the next day felt like I had a hangover without the booze...crazy!
  • I am still learning what my trigger foods are, what makes me bloat up, what makes me dehydrated, etc.  Its a process and it takes time...learning patience.

The weight loss as remained pretty constant, around 8 pounds total to date, although I am feeling better physically so I'm not as concerned that the pounds aren't melting away.

How about you?  Any revelations over the holidays?  Anything new you have learned on your pursuit?

Please feel free to link here.  And don't forget to go visit Karen to check out what she has to say this week.

The Pursuit of Healthfulness - Week 3

It has been a challenge the last week and a half to stay on track with my goals.  I was traveling part of the time and this week has been busy getting ready for the holiday.  I've been sleeping in late (or should I say oversleeping) every morning so my breakfasts this week have been protein bars (pictured above).  I like these particular bars because they have 20 grams of protein and I don't know about you, but I need crave protein in the morning.  And if I'm planning on getting a workout in, its a must.  I would much rather enjoy some eggs or oatmeal with fruit and nuts but this week I've been rushed so these bars have done the trick.

I did indulge a bit while traveling in LA so my weight loss had a little set back.  I enjoyed prosecco at the big book launch and fries with oysters which is Christine and my traditional meal.  I have decided not to beat myself up about it because I enjoyed every single moment.  I'm learning what food means to me, what it represents.  I'm not quite ready to share that yet but I will very soon.

I'm learning some very interesting lessons on this pursuit and I can't wait to share more in the new year.  I think I'll be taking a week off for the holidays and will see you back here in 2012!

Now go check out Karen's latest post as I think she has some good stuff to share.

And if you are joining us on this pursuit and want to share, be sure to link up here.

The Pursuit of Healthfulness - Week 2

As you read this post I will be in Los Angeles getting ready to attend the big launch party for Desire to Inspire.  Another reason for this post on Thursday is that on Friday, Christine Mason Miller will be a guest here with a little snippet from her latest book, Desire to Inspire.  There will be a Giveaway too so be sure to check back tomorrow!

Now on to my health observations since last Friday.  Normally when I face a stressful situation, I eat whatever is quick and easy and I tend to add alcohol in the mix too.  On Friday, when Allie got home from her surgery the first thing I thought was I need a glass of wine.  I didn't necessarily want it though.  I think there is a trigger in my head that says, you have stress then have a drink.  Don't get me wrong, if I really wanted that drink I would have had it.  Instead I had some sparkling water and celery with hummus.  This was not the best meal to have either but it was far more healthy than pizza and beer.  Again, I'm not saying that if I really wanted those things I would have denied myself, I'm just listening to my body more and realizing what I do and do not need or want to eat.

I haven't had coffee in a few weeks so on Saturday I thought I'd try a cup to see if I really missed it.  I learned I didn't miss it one bit.  The cup was not at all satisfying so I'll continue to drink my tea instead.  I'm sure I'll try again at some point but for now, no coffee.

These past two weeks have been a great kick-off to eating healthier.  I know when I get out to LA, I will have lots of temptations but with this foundation I am building, I will focus more on what feels right for me to eat or drink.  I will pay less attention to what everyone else is doing and more on what works for me.

These lessons I'm learning about my eating habits can easily apply to all other aspects of my life.  I'll focus more on that at a later date.  Until then, I have dropped 2 more pounds since Friday.  I like seeing the scale go down but I am less focused on that then how I feel.  I am feeling so much better in the last two weeks than I have in quite awhile.  I know I'm on the right track.

Don't forget to go check out Karen's latest post on Journey Back to Self and see how she's doing on her Pursuit to Healthfulness.

And if you have decided to join us and want to link to this post, please add your link below.

The Pursuit of Healthfulness - Week One

I have a love-hate relationship with the scale.  Actually, I haven't owned a scale in years so the only time I know my weight is when I visit the doctor's office.  And you know those scales are off by like 10 pounds right?  So this week I went out and purchased a scale, its digital and has BIG numbers so I can read them.

Since I didn't purchase the scale until this week, I am going to start with the weight I had at the doctor's office and track my progress from there.  As of this morning, I have lost 6 pounds since last Tuesday (10 days).  It hasn't been too difficult to give up bread or the sugar.  I put Agave in my tea and even though its probably got as many calories as sugar, I put much less in (about a tsp will do).

Some other changes I've made to my eating:

  • I have veggies and hummus, instead of chips or crackers
  • I eat pistachios or almonds for a snack but limit the numbers instead of munching on endless amounts of trail mix
  • If I eat a protein bar for breakfast, I don't eat anything until lunch, those bars fill me up
  • I haven't eaten out in over a week which may be the biggest change of all.

One of the biggest challenges I have encountered is coming up with healthy creative meals.  My go-to meals are quinoa with just about anything, black beans, chicken, veggies, more quinoa or egg whites with spinach or black beans and rice.  I try to spice things up with a little salsa, avocado but it gets boring.  If you have any great recipes you want to share with as few ingredients as possible (the longer the recipe the less likely I'll make it), please do so.

Karen and I have had a lot of comments from you wanting to join us on this pursuit.  If you want to share on your blog, we will be including a place for you to link to your blog posts on our sites.  Also, if you need any support, please leave a comment here or send an email to melissa52767@yahoo.com.  I will be happy to give you any support or tips that I can.

Don't forget to visit Karen at Journey Back to Self to see what she's been up to this week.

And please feel free to link to your blog posts about your pursuit below.

The Pursuit of Healthfulness

Last week I wrote about my latest physical and the need to lose weight and lower my cholesterol.  I received lots of positive comments from you.  A few said I look fine just the way I am.  I appreciate the compliments and I don't disagree with you.  I'm not unhappy with the way I look on the outside, but I am not happy with how I've been feeling physically on the inside.  I've been feeling sluggish and bloated and knew that I was not eating the right things for me.

One of my lovely friends, Karen, and I decided to team up and support each other, and any of you who want to join in, on our pursuit of healthfulness.  We will be posting once a week on our progress (or slip ups) and share any tips, recipes or other things that are working for us.

I can tell you a few things that seem to be working for me since I started last Wednesday.  I have stopped eating bread and sugar and I can already feel less bloating and a little more pep in my step.  Last night I had a holiday party and limited myself to one glass of wine and felt much better this morning for having done so.  I treated myself to a small slice of pizza at the party and immediately felt some bloating in my hands so I know to stay away from that.

I know that what I do to change my eating may not work for you, but one thing that will work for all of us is to listen to your body.  If you pay attention to how you feel after eating or drinking something, you'll know what to avoid or what to eat more often.  That is my advice for today.

Now go check out Karen's blog to see what she has to share.