healthy |ˈhelθē|adjective ( healthier , healthiest )in good health: : feeling fit and healthy.• (of a part of the body) not diseased : healthy cells.• indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health : a healthy appetite | a healthy balanced diet.• (of a person's attitude) sensible and well balanced : a healthy contempt for authority.• figurative in a good condition• desirable; beneficial• A conscious choice; A life-long commitment.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bakin' Friends - October

Another month end, another Bakin' Friends. Secret ingredient this month: PUMPKIN.

I was paired up with Meighan over at Life is in the Journey.

Here is some information on Bakin' Friends:
Bakin’ Friends is all about connecting bakers, bloggers, foodies, and people who just like sweets! We’re in the business of baking and making friends! 
Each month we will be baking goodies, with a secret ingredient, to send out to one another. I’ll let you know at the beginning of the month what secret ingredient we’re using. It might be chocolate, it might be maple syrup, it may be bacon, whatever it is though you’ll be required to use it (unless there’s an allergy to the ingredient) in your baked goody.
On the 6th of each month you will be paired up with a Bakin’ Friend. You’ll contact your newly appointed Bakin’ Friend to see if they have any allergies or dietary restrictions and you’ll also get their mailing address. Then you’ll bake your goody and have it in the mail and on its way to your new Bakin’ Friend by the 16th of each month. You’ll of course want to include the recipe for your baked goody so that your new friend can recreate the yummies at home! How cute would it be if we all did our recipes on vintage recipe cards, just sayin’!
Then, on the last day of the month we’ll post about who our new Bakin’ Friend is, what they baked, and how they used the secret ingredient. (This group right now is only open to US and Canadian residents. US residents will be paired with US residents, and Canadian residents with Canadian residents.
 Funny story. Meighan and I actually ended up sending each other the SAME recipe. Hah!

Skinnytaste's Pumpkin Granola. YUM.

Of all the Pumpkin recipes in the land, we both decided on this one! Great mind's think alike ;)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Inches : Weigh In : Commitment

Funny how I can pre-schedule a post, almost 2 weeks in advance, that I have been planning to write for months, and then have it all back fire in my face? Healthy Coping Skills. Vital to weight loss and weight maintenance. So what I have I done the last 2 weeks? Well eat my feelings of course.

I have probably eluded to the family stuff I have going on in the past. Between my biological mom and dad, my troubled sister, and everything in between, sometimes it gets to be "Too Much" for me to deal with.

That coupled with the fear and anxiety related to some health concerns (a low WBC count and not having a period since February).

I also just ended an eating rampage at a Nursing Conference. Holy Chocolate. So many desserts.

The thing about weight loss and weight maintenance is that you have to be consistent with your efforts. I definitely have not been.

I weighed in today at 134lb.

Here are my inches:
  • Waist; 28 (+0.5)
  • Hips; 38 (+0.5)
  • Chest; 36 (+0.5)
  • Thigh; 22.5 (-)
  • Arm; 12 (+0.75)
 Up in almost all of them.

So what now?

Well, a plan.

I call it Plan 125 :)

That's the magic number.

More accountability, accurate tracking, continued activity.

My activity level has been good. My problem has been my eating. Time to crack down. I have a wedding dress I need to fit in to ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Healthy Coping Skills

Warning; I am pretty opinionated about addictions, harm reduction, and mental illness, but I love to debate! If you disagree with anything I have posted below feel free to comment about it and weigh in on the topic.

My favorite people to work with are those who have addictions.

It can be anything from alcohol, to crack, to food, to negative attention. It doesn't matter the addiction, I enjoy working with it. Not the easiest thing to deal with/counsel on, but it is interesting and unique to everyone, and for that, I am thankful.

Addictions are, in a twisted way, easy. They are merely a coping mechanism for something else. The addiction is not the problem, it is the poorly selected solution. When you work with someone who has an addiction you often have to look deeper, find out the root cause of it. Once you fix that, the person can work on healing their addiction.

My addiction was food. I ate to cover up my feelings of self loathing, my anger at my family, and the stress from day-to-day. Once I worked through those feelings, I was able to address the addiction of food for what it was. I was able to learn healthy coping skills, and that has helped me keep the weight off, keep the food monster off my back, and keep me mentally happy and healthy.
Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

Many health problems are caused or exacerbated by stress, including:

  • Pain of any kind
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema

This means we need to all learn how to cope effectively right? Right!

Facts about Coping (source):
  1. No single coping strategy is going to be effective all the time; that's why it is necessary to have a repertoire of stress relief techniques. When you have many possible coping techniques, you can draw upon several as needed to manage each stressful situation.
  2. The purpose of relaxation and other stress reduction techniques is to relieve stress and anxiety in the moment, and decrease the stress response. In this calm state, you will be able to think more clearly and solve problems more effectively.
  3. Sometimes coping strategies that are initially effective start to lose their effectiveness. This is perfectly normal. If a coping strategy stops working, this is a reminder to develop some more options. 
  4. It is important to continue to develop new means of coping. As discussed above, the more coping strategies you have, the greater the chance that you will be able to find a method that works for a particular stressor. Another bonus is that by trying new things, you continue to learn and keep life interesting! A new hobby can be an excellent way to relieve stress. 
  5. Only you can decide what works best. Each of us is a unique person with our own individual responses to stress and our own ways of coping with stress and anxiety. Explore various strategies to find out which ones work for you. A strategy may be very effective for someone else, but not at all useful for you. Similarly, a coping strategy that did not work for you in the past may now be very effective in relieving your stress. Keep trying new ideas.
Here are some healthy ways to cope with stress:
  • Write; I blog, some people journal. Writing down what is upsetting me helps me gather all of my thoughts in one place. It is a way to get it all out, so that I can come back in a few days once I have cooled off and reflect.
  • Read; Reading books, magazines, healthy living blogs, helps me to take some time for me; forget the outside stress and just be in the moment.
  • Yoga, Walking, Other Exercise; Get those endorphins going! Exercise helps get the blood flowing in the good way, it is a free mood lift :) Yoga in particular helps with stress management because of the positive effects such a lower blood pressure, increased oxygen capacity, ext...
  • Attempt to increase self control of the situation; take a few minutes, is there anything, anything at all, that you can do right now to change/diffuse the stressful situation? If not, then stress will not do any good, accept that change will happen, time will pass, and perhaps you will be able to deal with the stress at a different time.
  • Look at the situation with the "Glass Half Full." Have an optimistic outlook! Look at the positives in the situation and write them down. Always identify the situation as an opportunity to learn something about yourself. It can be anything from patience, to taking five minutes to yourself to just breath.
  • Listen to your favorite music while taking a warm bubble bath. Ahhh. So relaxing.
How do you cope with stressful situations?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday... er... Monday

I am so thankful for the seasons. Lots of people hate going from Summer to Fall to Winter, but I look at it, recognize the passing time, and take time to reflect on what has happened and what is happening and what will hopefully happen in my future.
This past year has been a whirlwind. But doesn't everybody say that? I have had my share of smiles, laughs, meltdowns, and fear. Everything must change, and that is what Season's are all about.

Change can be a burden, but change can also be a blessing. With each day that passes, we can learn, grow, and become better and fuller than we were yesterday. I believe that happiness is a conscious decision. No matter what is going on in our lives, we can chose our outlook on what is happening.

So stop for a minute.

Take a big deep breath.

Realize that you are blessed. And whatever challenges you face today, well, they will be a little bit different tomorrow, and that is quite alright.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

You know, it is kind of hard to remember to photograph ALL of your eats in one day. I guess it would get easier the more you did it, but I have so much going on all the time that I rarely remember! Anywho, here is what I ate last Wednesday.
Breakfast; Pumpkin Oats
Snack; A few handfuls of Pumpkin Granola
Lunch; Salad with a fried egg
Snack; Coffee with a half cream
Supper; Spaghetti Squash topped with a stir-fried vegetable mix and Balsamic Dressing
Work Snacks; Pineapple, Chocolate Vita Top, Banana Muffin

Monday, October 15, 2012

Recipe: Protein Balls

Okay. You need to go and make these now. They are SO good. And the stats on them are PRETTY AWESOME.


Protein Balls - Original
Adapted from Here
Makes 11 Balls

Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Isoflex)
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1/4 cup Almond Butter (Runnier is better)
- 1 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
- Pinch of Salt and Cinnamon
- Favorite Cookie Add-in's; I used 1/2 a Chopped up Speculoos Dark Chocolate Bar
- Optional; 1/2 Tsp Extra Maple Syrup

Directions:
  1. In a Small Bowl, mix together the Protein Powder, Coconut, Almond Butter, Maple Syrup, Salt, and Cinnamon.
  2. Add your mix in's!
  3. Form into Teaspoon Sized Balls
Stats:
Calories: 73  Fat: 4g Protein: 4g Fibre: 1g


Protein Bites - Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream
Adapted from Here
Makes 11 Balls

Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Isoflex)
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter (Runnier is better)
- 1 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
- Pinch of Salt and Cinnamon
- Favorite Cookie Add-in's; I used 1 Reduced Fat Oreo Chopped Up
- Optional; 1/2 Tsp Extra Maple Syrup

Directions:
  1. In a Small Bowl, mix together the Protein Powder, Coconut, Peanut Butter, Maple Syrup, Salt, and Cinnamon.
  2. Add your mix in's!
  3. Form into Teaspoon Sized Balls
Stats:
Calories: 66 Fat: 4g Protein: 4g Fibre: 0g

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ebay

Have you ever made any crazy Ebay Purchases?

I have. Guilty as charged.

Here are some of the things I have bought over the years:

Shoes
Water Bottles/Pants/Sweaters
Cereal
and .... Chocolate

I bought 12 bars of chocolate for 42$. I know. I am crazy. And the crappy part? They are only O.K. They would be AWESOME if the Cookie Butter was creamier (like it is in the jar), but alas, it is dried out. Sad face.

What are some of your crazy Ebay purchases?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Juice Cleanse; Day 3

Day 3. I feel good this morning!
Breakfast; 1 Medium Frozen Banana, 3/4 Cup Strawberries, 1/3 Avocado, 1/2 Tbsp Chia Seeds, 3 Baby Plums (1 serving)
How was it? Very tasty!
Lunch/Supper; 2 Beets, 4 Leaves of Kale, Handful of Garden Parsley, 4 Large Carrots, 2 Apples, 1/2 Lemon, 4 Stalks of Celery, 1 Tomato, 1/2 Cucumber (2 Servings)
How was it? Decent, I am starting to get used to the taste of juice.

I feel: Surprisingly good today. I slept like a log last night and got in a solid 9 hours!! Catch up for tomorrow's double shift :) Less Hangry, I feel "lighter" today
I want: To end after today. 3 full days and I am ready to re-introduce solids in to my diet. I am going to ease back in to eating by having my smoothie and 2 juices tomorrow and a salad for supper. I am also working a double shift, so I didn't think it would be wise to work 16 hours only running on juice. I want to Run on Healthy ;)
I weigh: 127.5lb. Please note: I didn't do this for weight loss at all. I did this for cleansing my system and giving my system a break. I am sure the weight loss is all water weight, but it is still nice to see ;)
Activity: 30 minute walk with the Dogs, 20 minutes of Yoga.
I learned: That I can live without my beloved Banana's, Chocolate, PB, and Starbucks, but that life is pretty sucky without them! I also learned that juicing is hard, time consuming, and sometimes not too tasty, but that it has great health benefits. I didn't complete the full 10 days, but I absolutely appreciate food 100% more than before. I can't wait to get back to eating whole, fresh food. I plan on keeping dairy out of the equation and eggs just on occasion. This really renewed my sense of determination to fuel my body with only the best!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Juice Cleanse; Day 2

Day two.
Breakfast (for one); 1 Small Frozen Banana, 2 Kale leaves, 1/2 Orange, 1/2 cup Frozen Berries, 1/2 Avocado
How was it? Best. Smoothie. In. The. World.

Lunch and Supper (2 Servings); 1 Gala Apple, 1/4 Cored Pineapple, 2 large Kale Leaves, 1/2 Cucumber, 4 Large Carrots, 1/2 cup Baby Carrots, 4 Mini Plums, 4 Stalks of Celery
How was it? Pretty good. Sustenance. Nothing extraordinary but drinkable.

I feel: Hyper-aware of my senses regarding food, they look, smell, and feel better to the touch than they did before. Everything looks delicious. Like that smoothie that I had for breakfast. Best. Smoothie. In. The. World.
I want: Coffee. Starbucks. Pumpkin Spice. Pumpkin Scone. Solid Food. Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal.
I cheated: I had two bites of Chocolate Zucchini Cake. I had to. Moving on.
Matthias: Total fail hahaha he made himself so nauseous from the juice/coffee withdrawal that he puked and ended up eating soup and eggs. Poor guy.
Activity: 40 minute walk with the Dogs at the Dog Park

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Juice Cleanse; Day 1

Day 1 done.

What did I eat drink?
Breakfast (for 2)
2 Honeycrisp Apples, 1/4 Cored Pineapple, 3 Handfuls Spinach, 1 Cucumber, Cilantro, 4 Handfuls Baby Carrots, 1 large carrot
How was it? It was okay lol.

Lunch (for 2)
1/2 Lemon, 2 Beets, 1/2 Grapefruit (YUCK), Bunch of Grapes, 4 Apples
How was it? Tart. I hate Grapefruit. I tried to tell Matthias but he didn't believe me.

Supper (for 2)
2 Apples, 1/2 Cucumber, 4 Large Carrots, 1 Red Pepper, 2 Tomatoes
How was it? Kinda like V8. Not too bad.

I want: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana, Pumpkin, Starbucks
I feel: A bit hazy, A bit hungry and tired, Resentful, Angry at Juice, Aware of Small gestures (like going to grab a grape out of the fridge or reaching for a mint)
Changes for Tomorrow: Matthias and I are going to add in a smoothie as our breakfast, and juice for lunch and supper. The smoothie will be only composed of fruit, vegetables, and water.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

10 Day Juice Cleanse

Good Morning,
 Today, Matthias and I embark on a 10 day juice cleanse. We will be consuming only fresh juice made from Fruits and Vegetables. Plus, water. Lots and Lots of Water. Why, you ask?
  1. Rapid absorption of nutrients. Juicing requires very little work from the digestive system so all of the nutrients are absorbed quickly
  2. Liver Detoxification
  3. Normalizing the pH of the body (Veggies are alkalizing)
  4. Cooking vegetables often destroys Micro-nutrients, juicing condenses these nutrients so they are readily available
  5. Increased Energy
  6. Reduced Cravings for Junk Food
  7. Clearer Mental Focus
Wish us luck. I will do a recap after every day on how I am feeling physically and mentally. I will also include recipes!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Engagement Pictures :)

Movies Worth Watching

I love watching documentaries on Health and Well Being. They are motivational, educational, and often reaffirming of why I try to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some of my favorites:

Food Matters
Hungry For Change
Forks Over Knives
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Ones I want to watch:

Cray, Sexy, Cancer
May I be Frank?

Any Recommendations? Have you seen any of the Movies I have listed? Thoughts?

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Goals

Wow. I feel like I just hit "Publish" on my September goals yesterday! Can you believe it is October already? I sure can't.

I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 131. I wish I could say I maintained my weight but I pretty much threw in the towel when I went to Vegas. Such as life. This last week I have been focusing on quality food instead of calories and have been feeling a lot better. Will continue to monitor the quality of the intake this month and hopefully get the weight back under the 130's.

So how did I do?
  1. Only 3 purchased drinks per week. Well... this probably could have been done a little bit better. I think I did about 75% good on this one. Will carry it over to next month ;)
  2. Run at least once per week. Success! Will continue to keep this up.
  3. Maintain my weight. Weighed in today at 131. A few of the spots where I measure inches were also up 0.5in. Not the end of the world. But also not awesome.
  4. Blog 3x a week. Ugh.. I think I did this before the Vegas trip and then stopped once I got back? About 50%. Will carry it over!
  5. Quit Baking. Aside from Bakin' Friends this was a success. I make Granola Bars for Matthias's lunch weekly, but those are "healthy" and I rarely eat them.
Not bad! Here are October's Goals:
  1. Only 3 purchased drinks per week.
  2. Run at least once per week.
  3. Blog 2x a week - I think this will be more manageable and achievable as I will be working a few double shifts and going away for 4 days to a conference.
  4. Practice Yoga 3x per week - Whether it be in a class or the 20 minute free podcasts I have on my Ipod, I hope to get down and Zen-y on a more regular basis.
  5. Walk the dogs 3 days a week - Poor pups have lacked in their walks a bit since starting to work full time. I am hoping to make this a regular habit even if it is just a 15 minute walk around my neighborhood.
  6. Buy a Wedding Dress - Going Shopping on October 27th. Have you seen my Pinterest Board? There are tons of ideas on there.. Any suggestions?!
  7. Weight Under 130.