Holiday Work Party!
We closed the doors at around 4 o’clock and all of us coworkers had a pot luck get together to celebrate the end of the year and have a gab session. So thinking about what it is that we all were going to bring was an interesting process. One person brought chocolate covered cherries because she figured that the more she could share the less she would gain. I thought to myself that I would bring something that I could eat which were devilled eggs. Another person brought butter pecan squares, two people made cookies (accompanied by turtles) and one person brought a fruit tray.
Now you have to appreciate the fact that out of six of us I am the only one that is on the weight loss program, while the other five are all in their maintenance stages (although in my personal opinion one is in denial).
So after talking for a while, and no one eating anything, finally one person said “lets open the fruit tray!” and interestingly enough every person took some fruit and nothing else.
When the last person arrived, bringing with her a platter of meats and several different cheeses, all of a sudden everybody seemed excited “praise her!” She brought two different kinds of sausage, four different cheeses, garlic stuffed olives, and grapes. I attacked that board. It was like they brought the sugary garbage so they could get rid of it. And at the same time everyone had the same idea, not to eat it. So we were all stuck in limbo of not eating sugary food, until the meat board showed up and we could eat.
So as it was that we started our gab session the last person to arrive started talking about how she has lost 50 pounds this year by exercising. While we were sitting talking however, she was also the only one that started scarfing down all of the sugary snacks. Crackers, cookies, turtles, you name it she had it.
So this to me proves two facts,
The person who brought the squares not only didn’t open the package, but when she was asked to open the package so that another person could have one, she said “just take the whole package, you can have it. I don’t want to eat it and if I take it home chances are I will.”
The moral of the story is: when asked to attend a pot luck bring good healthy food for yourself and everyone because everyone will appreciate it and most importantly you will have something to eat, and not have feelings of guilt. And when you are in the work place and people bring in all those sweet snacks remember, that they have done so because they want you to gain their weight.
My dad and I like growing stuff, for years we have grown tomatoes, onions, zucchini outside and this year for Christmas we got each other raised gardens! Imagine that. Last year my dad received an indoor herb garden which he fell in love with, he still uses it to grow lettuce and tiny tomatoes. My dad got me a book on pumpkin recipes, I actually wanted to grow watermelon with mine but anyway.
I find that growing your own food has the same effect that making dinner with your kid has; because I put so much work into it I feel the need to eat it. So this past year has been filled with fresh salads and side dishes.
Having fresh vegetables is a delicious way to get more greens into your diet. What I have experienced with my friends is that they go to the grocery store and buy all this healthy stuff, like my roommate when I was at school, only to let all the healthy purchases go to waste, rotting in the refrigerator while he ordered take out galore! And did nothing but gain weight.
So you do have to have a plan if you actually really want to be living this new lifestyle, you can’t keep fooling yourself into thinking that by shopping healthy you’ve done the job! You actually have to eat healthy, that’s what looks good. So for us what we try to do is get as much as the dark leafy greens into our diet by growing them because they are packed with essential nutrients, age defiant antioxidants , bone building vitamins, and energizing minerals that I have talked about previously.
The antioxidants are called carotenoids which neutralize carcinogens, they are great for reducing inflammation, bolstering your immune response, and relieving oxidative stress on skin. They are filled with vitamins A and C which conditions for healthy well conditioned skin and shiny hair.
But you gotta have fun too. It’s about taking these leafy greens and making them into fun great tasting recipes. (which we have under recipes)
When I was working for the restaurant, we had a herb garden and we went out and picked dill weed, basil, edible flowers, raspberries, tomatoes, mint and we would garnish the desserts or add them into appetizers. These little additions elevated the dishes to something fresh tasting, and an appearance of luxury.
Also, if you are looking for a soul filled experience, getting in touch with your spiritual side by getting close to the land and are looking for something ‘more’, then give it a try!
Perhaps what you are eating will become more for you than just the act itself.
Yesterday we talked about sodium intake (which is salt) and we discussed how it is that the body only requires 500mg of sodium per day but the truth is dieticians suggest eating less than 2300mg per day. The trouble is people regularly exceed that.
Hyponatremia is low sodium in the blood, it can actually be caused by drinking too much water.
Hypernatremia is when a person has too much salt in the blood which can lead to high blood pressure and edema, my mom actually had a problem at one point with eating too much salt. She started to suffer from tinnitus and she could actually feel her inner ears swell.
There is another important electrolyte which is potassium, sodium and potassium work together to normalize blood pressure. Higher potassium intake helps to lower blood pressure; so sodium and potassium actually work together. The daily intake requirements for potassium is 4700mg.
Sources of potassium include sweet potato, plain non fat yogurt, yellow fin tuna and cantaloupe. While sources of sodium include dill pickles, canned chicken soup, pretzels, and bread. The more sodium you consume the more potassium also needs to be consumed in order to create a balance of electrolytes in the body. The key is to increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and dairy in order to be able to balance your intake of sodium as well as potassium.
I notice when I have low potassium I get charlie horses in my leg or my feet. So once a month or so I will make sure to eat something that is fairly rich in potassium, of course if I forget I will be reminded when I am just going through my everyday life and all of a sudden I can feel a cramp coming on, never has anyone cursed themselves more for not eating a banana.
So for example, 1 cup of milk (1% or 2%) has 107mg of sodium and the same cup of milk has 366mg of potassium. The key is sodium and potassium go hand in hand in order to balance salt in the blood.
Over the last few days with all the fun we have been having with food, the Cinnabon, the Chinese take out, the trifle and pie, the mashed potatoes, what I really started to notice was how I was waking up with a really dry throat and needing more water than usual to quench my thirst. I realized that the one thing that I started to do with the ingestion with all of these baked goods and processed foods was that I have been eating a lot more salt than what I usually eat.
My grandmother was one of those that would use the salt shaker for everything. As she got older she would complain that food had no taste and she started to increase her use of the salt shaker. She also loved drinking margaritas (salted rim, salted drink mix). I have inherited a number of her salt shakers, little dancing frog and Mickey mouse, but the truth is they are just on display in the China cabinet. The only time they get put out on the dinner table is when we have friends over, but even then I forget.
When I watch that chef Ramsey continually says ‘more salt! more salt! Where is the seasoning?!’ I think to myself “I just don’t think I would be able to make it as a chef.” It makes me shutter to think how much salt gets put in my food when I go to a restaurant. I used to clamber to go out to a restaurant every single time my mom would suggest that we need to go shopping, I would continually push, “lets go out for lunch!”.
The one thing that I really notice now that I am on this new plan is that as I have been emotionally focussing on what I want to be eating and working on researching and creating the meals that fit my new profile, I have just naturally changed my focus from wanting to eat out to being very happy to eat in. Don’t get me wrong, the Cinnabon was scrumptious. But I found the Chinese food to actually be bland. I was surprised to find the only thing on my plate that I actually enjoyed were the egg rolls; because of the sugared plum sauce.
I found myself hungry the moment I woke up each morning this week, because of the increase in carbohydrates, parched because of the increase in salt, and sluggish too.
Sodium or salt is an electrolyte that your body needs, and your body only needs 500mg of it everyday. Salt is in everything that we eat. 77% or our sodium intake comes from food processing, 12% is naturally from all of the different foods that we normally eat that are not processed, 6% is added to our food by us, by using either the salt shaker or sauces, condiments, and seasonings, 5% is added during cooking.
When I cook I actually don’t add salt, I use herbs, spices, lemon/lime and I am very particular in regards to the cooking sauces looking for carbohydrates as they have a tendency to be a hidden source of carbohydrate intake and they can also be a hidden source of salt intake as well. Salt is good for you, but too much (like anything else) is bad for you. Something else to pay attention to on that food label.
Merry Turkey Day!! I just finished off a most beautiful turkey dinner which consisted of turkey, squash, mashed potatoes, stuffing, brussels sprouts with onions and cranberry sauce, all covered with gravy of course.
YUM YUM YUM!
So today is the day, it is a joyful day, and a day of expressing thankfulness for the abundance of life and, as such the conclusion of the scrumptious feast consisted of trifle, pumpkin pie, and lemon meringue pie. Because if you are going to blow the diet, blow it wide open. Today we celebrate.
I gave my dog a bone today as a Christmas gift, she was so proud of it she pranced around the kitchen with it in her mouth and then she wanted to go outside. I let her out and she pranced around outside holding it in her mouth, it was so adorable!
So then I redirected myself to preparing Christmas dinner. My dog, Lacy was out for a long, long, time and then all of a sudden she wanted in and to my utter shock, she was covered in mud because she had buried the bone. I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be funny if we did the same thing?
When presented with a treat, we go outside and bury it. We bury it so that in the days to come, we have a stash of food. So that, when we know that there won’t be food enough, we can go and dig it up and eat it later when needed. Wouldn’t that be hilarious?”
But instead, what we do is overeat, we eat for the now. We eat for being in the moment. And that’s fine, it’s just important to remember to actually buy less food so that you can actually be comfortable while eating in the moment.
The reality is, as your stomach shrinks you really can eat way less than you did before and, if you don't want to go back to your old way of being, it also means that you cant keep picking at the food slowly over time. The food that you didn't manage to eat in the first sitting becomes a huge impediment to your new lifestyle. If you feel the need to consume it all, because you cooked it or you paid for it or you don’t want it to go to waste, then those core beliefs will rule you!
So if you buy less, then you will have less to throw out, or give away, or freeze. But you must make a choice as to what your core belief is, and then act on it! I celebrated so now the remainder is out of my hands and into somebody else’s. I am back on the plan!
Tonight we decided to have for our Christmas Eve dinner, take out Chinese! So I needed to do some research this week because I needed to compare the different options available in regards to carbohydrates, so that I made sure that dinner, is going to be as low in carbs as possible, yet, I still get to enjoy the take out scrumptiousness!
What I found was the best available option. Which, is egg foo young, but basically what you get is an omelette with vegetables with meat so of course it would be the lowest carb option. I don’t like it, so we are not ordering it. Instead we are going for second best in regards to carb intake. These include chow mien, and chop suey. There are always the options of the meat choice you enjoy most, and whatever vegetables the chef decides to put in. I have strained my eyes away from the online recipe which, includes corn starch but, there is nothing I can do about that. We are also getting lemon chicken and house special fried rice for my brother because other wise he will have a hissy fit.
We are also getting kung pow beef, and dry garlic ribs. My mother LOVES egg rolls so we are also getting those as well. Not low carb unless you take off the outer shell and you don’t use the plumb sauce or sweet and sour sauce. I recommend low sodium soy sauce, for those who want the lowest carb option or the pickled ginger.
It should be an interesting experience, but I am glad I have done the research, otherwise my dad might have been stuck asking some poor Chinese man what low carb dishes they have, explaining what low carb dishes are, and probably giving up to just order some kind of breaded thing.
At our local restaurant my dad is known as Mr. Christmas because of the brightly coloured green, white and red jacket he always would wear into the restaurant to place the order. This dinner is in honour of our favourite Christmas movie, The Christmas Story. No duck though, because duck has a lot of fat, for us.
Tonight we have been drinking dirty martinis (recipe in recipe section). Have all of the olives you want because they are no carb too!
I wish you the merriest of Christmas eve night and I hope that you receive all of your caviar dreams of tomorrow.
Happy Christmas Eve Eve!!!
Today was a big day. I wore my size sixteen pants for the first time in a long time! I have worn them before, and then I gained, and then I put them in the drawer and then I gained. Originally I went up to a size twenty two and then down to a size eighteen and now officially, I am a size sixteen!! Yay! I spent the day at the mall Christmas shopping and it was stressful, there were people and they were in distress, they were displaying their distress with their inappropriate driving techniques, inappropriate parking techniques, and for some reason no matter what it was I was interested in looking at, so were thirty other people.
I was remembering when we were out and about, that my main usual focus was ‘where are we going to eat?’ and I would badger my mom until she would finally acquiesce. Yet today, I remembered that I used to concentrate on that but, I didn’t feel the need to act on it at all today. We did the shopping, we commiserated on the irritation of others, and then we found our way home, without eating.
Okay, so here it is in a nut shell, my brother loves cinnamon buns. Tonight we are going to sit down and enjoy a cinnamon bun, each. I am admitting to the fact that I have enabled my family to enjoy a sweet memory. I encouraged the purchase by agreeing with the purchase of the cinnamon buns. This is the important fact though; this hasn’t been an everyday thing. We have been to that same mall many times this year, we have not stopped at Cinnabon, once. So this is a special celebration to have with my bro, that we are all going to enjoy as a family together as we sit down and watch our Christmas eve, eve movie chosen by me, Prometheus!
So as always the goal is to enjoy life as we know it, because the truth is we have the freedom to make our lives as we will and as such, I choose to be in control of my diet and therefore size, and as well, I get to choose when I celebrate. I get to enjoy a Cinnabon and feel like at the same time I am making a choice because I have the freedom to choose.
Family is important and each person in the family has to feel like they are important and their preferences are important as well; so today is the day of my brother. We all get to share in something that he loves. I am not sure how this applies to the movie choice tonight, except that we need to pay attention to what is it is that we put in our mouths…..because it really did end up screwing with humanity!
The first step for all change is based in the responsibility assumption. If you feel like you are in no way responsible for your predicament then how can you possibly change it? People have a tendency to externalize the problem and come up with responsibility observing arguments such as, “It’s my genetics.”, “Research that states that there are causes for obesity because of physiological abnormalities such as lower basel metabolic rates.” So instead of focussing on content, it is really important to focus on process.
Process is how the content is expressed.
So there are two ways to create a new you,
The first is just that, creating what it is that you would like to become. The idea that if you stop eating and lose weight then the world is going to be different.
The other is to reveal yourself. Your true self. To take away the layers that you have piled on top of yourself to reveal what is underneath the true you and if you were to reveal yourself, what would you show?
Interestingly enough a lot of the time when people actually do start to pay attention to what is on the inside instead of what is on the outside, what people get in touch with is pain or fear and a lot of the times what people describe, especially when it is an issue with eating is that they use the word, “emptiness”. People are afraid or pained of being alone.
“When people use the term ‘empty’”, says Dr. Laurie, “They are really talking about how they were not mirrored by their parent when they were young. We all have mirror neurones in our brains and when we are mirrored it tells us that we are okay so when we smile and someone smiles back at us, that tells us we are okay. If we smile and someone frowns at us, then we know we’re not okay which leads to emptiness. That emptiness needs to be filled and one way to fill it is by eating.
So a question is how can you begin to mirror who it is you want to become and at the same time unveil your true self. One way to to create art, by concentrating on your self portrait. Artistic practice is a subconscious practice, meaning that you get in touch with your true self. One way of doing this is to create a dream board of vision board.
A dream board is when you create a collage of all you want to accomplish in the future. It can be a span of the next year, month, or even week.
Mine has a picture of myself at my starting weight, then it has my starting weight beside it and the goal weight I want to be. It also has titles of what I want to succeed in the next year in regards to career, hobbies, and family. Everything is accompanied by pictures or stickers. I try to add something positive to the board each day such as a quote or something small like a fake gem stone. This practice allows me to visualize where I want to be in the year to come, and looking for positive things to add helps me to remember to look at it and keep these goals in mind.
Apple, Banana, Pear, Or Hourglass
Today I had the intense pleasure of fitting into a Christmas sweat shirt that I got two years ago for Christmas. Unfortunately it was a size too small when I received it. I was okay with that because I knew that I was going to be able to lose weight. Several attempts later and two years have gone by but here I am now and I have finally succeeded.
It feels so good.
So that gave me the opportunity for me to look at what body shape I am, I am proud to announce I am an hourglass. That means my shoulders and my hips are the same width with an indent in the waist. A person who is pear shaped is smaller on the top and wider in the hips. An apple is someone who carries all of their weight on top and generally has stick legs. A banana is generally someone who is extremely tall and lanky, this person would generally have the same measurements on top, waist, and hips.
Personally I think there needs to be a fifth category. The fifth category is for people who carry all of their weight in their legs.
I have seen absolutely normal looking women who I would identify as either an hourglass or a pear, until the day they decide to wear a skirt. Legs are easily hidden in jeans but some people carry all of their excess weight strictly in their legs so I don’t think that the pear of hourglass actually really applies.
What do we call this category?
I call it the ‘bellbottom’.
I think it would be the easiest to lose weight if you were an apple because your legs and arms are relatively thin, you would know exactly where you are losing weight from.
The banana is always just going to be a banana. And sadly enough probably needs to gain weight… in places that they can’t naturally.
I think the pear must have the most trouble in finding jeans! And I think it is probably really difficult to lose weight from the right place. I like to watch a show called ‘The Last Ten Pounds Bootcamp’ (it’s Canadian) and there was a woman who had very large hips, but with all the exercise and the calorie deficits she only lost weight on her waist and bust.
The great thing about being an hourglass is that I can lose weight from anywhere and I will be happy. I think the most difficult to lose weight has to be with the bellbottoms.
Carrying all your weight in your legs must be hell. I bet it’s really difficult to lose weight in that specific area. I think it is important to pay attention to how it is that you carry your weight.
When you pay attention to your body will be able to recognize the moment you start to gain weight once it is that you hit your goal.
My Beef With Vegans And Gluten Freegans!!
My dad works in an office space filled with women and what he notices is any time one of them or a client brings in food it is always based in carbohydrates. Day after day of cookies, doughnuts, cakes, and even though my dad doesn’t eat any, it all goes extremely quickly.
My dad has noticed that several of his coworkers waistlines have expanded.
I had a conversation with one of their husbands who works at Ferrero Rocher and he told me that one of the perks of working there is that you can eat as many of those sweet crunchy delicious balls of sin that you want. He has lots of female employees who started relatively thin and he told me that, ‘you can always tell about six months after hiring them who has been eating the chocolates and who have not. The weight quickly piles on and is very noticeable.’
So the other day was my dads office Christmas party and my dad prepared his usual tray of sliced meats and cheeses. Others brought sweet and sour meatballs (2 people did this), several dishes of macaroni salad, but ALL the employees brought trays upon trays of desserts. Cookies, chocolates, cupcakes, it was a gigantic smorgasbord of carbohydrates.
Both macaroni salads- gone
Sweet and sour meatballs-gone
And my dad brought home the uneaten portions of meat and cheese tray for my family to finish off. It wasn’t even that big of a tray. I guess he learned from last year.
He learned they ‘don’t like’ smoked ham or pastrami or pepperoni. The only meat they were willing to try was the turkey. Even though these processed meat choices have trace carbs in them apparently they are not sweet enough to compete with the other foods.
People who are gluten free or vegan are not afraid to not only shout out, preach, drone on and on to the world of their dietary restrictions but they are also not afraid to bring whatever they eat to a potluck or get together. No one says otherwise or lifts a finger in protest to their choice.
I of course see value in bringing a salad with dressing on the side. What I don’t see value in is constantly telling people, berating people with information of your food choices.
What I am trying to say is, YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF YOUR DIETARY REQUIREMENTS! (Vegans, Gluten freegans, I am talking to you)
Once upon a time, there was a potluck. The host of this potluck sent out an email of suggested food for people to bring so there is no overlap and a nice variety to choose from. Unfortunately, there was one guest who emailed back, “well, I will bring an item on the list, BUT I need to make a vegan, gluten free casserole for my son because of his diet.”
And the question I need to ask is…. WHY NOT JUST MAKE THE GLUTEN FREE VEGAN CASSEROLE, SAY YOU ARE BRINGING A CASSEROLE, HAVE YOUR SON SOLELY EAT THE CASSEROLE, AND NO ONE WOULD BE THE WISER?
Because honestly, the person who would look like a sore thumb in the crowd would be the person who brought a single this for themselves at a gathering where everyone is expected to share.