Monday, December 30, 2013

Turning My Life Around in 2014

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Really? 7 months since I posted here? How can that be? I just reread all my posts from 2013 and am so disappointed in myself. I have stopped juicing and exercising and have just about reverted to my previous diet. I know I have gained weight back, I just don't know exactly how much as I haven't gotten on the balance board recently. I did get on it for a while a month or so ago when we got the WiiFit U and I was getting active again and losing weight. But I think I am back to where I was this time last year. So very frustrating.

The new year is drawing near and I guess it is time to refocus. There are some things I want to get back to and some changes that are going to be new.

Here is what I would like to get back to:

  • I am going to drink my green tea regularly, at least once a day, preferably twice.
  • I am going to make sure I drink at least 9 cups of water each day.
  • I am going to go back to eating eggs with veggies for breakfast with a half a grapefruit (or another fruit) on the side.
  • I am going to go back to eating salad for lunch.
  • I need to exercise at least 5 times a week.
  • I am going to try really hard to juice for my dinner meal at least 3 days out of the week to start with. In fact, I just found out about All About Juicing's 21 Day Juicing Challenge and I am going to attempt one juice a day from January 11th through the 31st. 
Along with bringing back these healthier eating goals, I am also going to be getting wheat out of my diet and keeping it out. I have been eating wheat-free off and on since the beginning of November. I slipped a bit at Thanksgiving and then the week before Christmas and Christmas itself was a disaster when it came to eating wheat-free. It was a disaster in two ways. First, I gave in to way to much wheat, a sub, pumpkin roll, cookies, sausage rolls, dinner rolls and I am sure there were more. Second, by giving it to these temptations I was painfully reminded of my big reason for going wheat-free in the first place. My tummy has been killing me. And I haven't seen to keep completely wheat-free since then (pizza yesterday, grrr).

I will be sharing some details about why I am going wheat-free later this week, but I will share that reading the book, Weeding Out Wheat by Luke and Trisha Gilkerson has made a huge impact in my life.

So, what are your goals for the new year?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet: J is for Juice Recipe

I sort of missed a couple of letters in the Blogging Through the Alphabet Challenge. Oops.
So, I'm going to try again, starting with J. I thought I would share the juice recipe I had come up with after reading about the benefits of cruciferous vegetables. 

Here is some very interesting information I found at
"The best juicing recipes for weight loss, should always include ingredients from the cruciferous vegetables list. By giving your body the tools it needs to fight against xenoestrogens, nudging detoxification in the right direction and helping with hormonal balance, cruciferous vegetables are uniquely positioned to promote fat loss in your body."

Here is a list of the recommended cruciferous vegetables:

  • Cauliflower (white or purple)
  • Broccoli (green or purple)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale (green or purple)
  • Bok choy (chinese cabbage or pak choi)
  • Cabbage (green, red or purple)
  • Collards greens
  • Watercress
  • Radish
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Arugula (rocket)
  • Kohlrabi (white or purple)
  • Mustard greens
  • Turnip
  • Broccoflower
  • Daikon

I use some kale and brussel sprouts regularly and I have added cauliflower and finally found some arugula mixed with spinach. I could not find any on its own.

Here is the one recipe I have come to enjoy.
4 carrots 
2 celery stalks
1/4 red pepper
1 beet (or 1/2 large beet)
1 cucumber
3 brussel sprouts
1 apple (seeds removed)
1/2 head of romaine
big handful of spinach/arugula mix
1 tomato
couple leaves of kale. 

This makes about a quart of juice. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet: G is for Green Tea and Grapefruit

When I was a part of a different challenge a couple of years ago (back when I was losing all that weight before getting pregnant with baby Harold) I learned about the benefits of drinking green tea. When I was pregnant I decided to stop drinking it because of the caffeine and I just never started back up until recently. Even now I am not drinking it as regularly as I would like. The plan is to have a cup of green tea with my breakfast every morning, after two cups of water earlier in the morning. Additionally, if I can tolerate the caffeine, I hope to begin drinking a second cup in the afternoon. 

So, just what are the benefits of green tea?
Two years ago, Vera at Plus Sized Bloggers posted about how green tea can help you burn fat naturally.
  • As green tea is a diuretic it helps to flush toxins out of your body. Did you know toxins can cause your body to store fat? I didn't. So if you want to flush those toxins out of your body, in addition to drinking water, it seems green tea is a great addition to your diet. 
  • Green tea is also an appetite suppressant. This is another reason I would like to start drinking it in the afternoon. I thought it might help keep me from snacking, seeing as drinking water isn't quite working all the time. Hopefully my body can tolerate the extra caffeine. .
  • Lastly, green tea can help burn fat because it increases your metabolism. 
I also found some other health benefits of drinking green tea over at WebMD.
  • Green tea has powerful antioxidants which help to fight against cancer.
  • It also appears, that as a part of a healthy, active lifestyle, green tea can help improve heart health. 
  • Green tea also lowers bad cholesterol.
Quite a few benefits there. I think, after writing this post and having this reminder fresh in my mind, I will be more faithful with my green tea consumption from now on. 

G is also for Grapefruit. Why? Because I was trying to think of something that started with G that would be appropriate for this blog post and I thought of grapefruit. I remember when I was growing up and my mother tried to help me lose weight she would serve me grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Did I like it back then? Um, NO! Perhaps I would have if she had gotten me some pink grapefruit, I don't know, but I was not really interested in eating this pucker-up fruit for breakfast.

After thinking about it at the beginning of the week I had my hubby grab some from the store. I have been enjoying half a grapefruit with my eggs and veggies for breakfast. I have got to tell you, I am really enjoying it. I am also thrilled to have found out that it really does have some great benefits and can help you lose weight.  

Here are some of the reason I found, over at 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet, that Grapefruit helps you to lose weight.

  • Grapefruit is high in enzymes that burn fat.
  • Grapefruit has a high water content.
  • Additionally, it is low in sodium.
There are other health benefits to grapefruit.
  • Like green tea, grapefruit helps in cancer prevention. 
  • Additionally, grapefruit can help lower cholesterol.
  • It enhances immunity against infections. 
  • There are quite a few more benefits to eating grapefruit or drinking it's juice. If you would like to see them I would recommend following the link above. As a quick note, it was mentioned in the article that grapefruit can have a negative effect if you are on prescription drugs. 
So glad I have started adding both the grapefruit and green tea back in my diet. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet: F is for Frustrated

I am just so frustrated with myself. I can't seem to stick to any plan to get healthy. I start each week with high hopes and big plans only to sabotage them myself within the first day or two. The Biggest Loser Challenge with our Weight Loss Accountability Group has come to the end of round 1, but I haven't lost near as much as I had hoped for. 

Beginning weight Feb 1st: 262.6
March 2nd weight: 258.2
March 29th weight: 247.8
Final weight for BLC Round 1 April 27th: 246.3

I lost a total of 16.3 pounds. While I am happy that my weight is decreasing, I was really hoping for quite a bit more than this. The week that I had actually juiced every day, I lost 7 pounds. Granted that is a little too big when it comes to healthy weight loss, but I would love to see some bigger numbers.

I know it is not going to fall off itself. I have to get up early enough to exercise. I need to stop making excuses when it comes to not making my salads for lunch and my juice for dinner. 

I would have much rather have posted about how I was "fight[ing] the fat" as the boxing trainer tells me on WiiFit Plus. So, here is to another round of Biggest Loser Challenge Weight Loss Accountability Group version. Hoping for a good week with exercising, eating and weighing in.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet: E is for Exercise

As I continue down this healthy living path I have been attempting to increase my exercise again. After each baby I get lazy, sit around too much, eat unhealthily and gain weight. Not only am I trying to improve my diet, I know I have to get moving to burn calories. 

Really, I have no excuse for not exercising now. No excuse but pure laziness. 

When I was trying to lose weight years ago, the only exercise I could really do was walk. Walking around town before work was my daily exercise. Unless it was raining, then I had that excuse not to exercise. Then I purchased an aerobics DVD from First Place, which helped me to exercise when I couldn't get outdoors. This was years ago, before I met Harold, while I was still working at the Montessori. 

In recent years I have been alternating between the DVD, walking and our new toy, the Wii Fit Plus.There was a time when I was doing a bit of the WiiFit Plus and the DVD, though that has been a while. I love the WiiFit Plus, but it is hard to get a good cardiovascular workout in as even with the "aerobic" exercises you constantly have to stop and wait for the program to go through giving you your points and telling you how many calories you burned and then you have to choose a new exercise. I'm not knocking the WiiFit Plus, it has been there for me quite some time, but there are definitely some things that could be improved upon. It is great for a beginner though. 

I have been following my own made up routine these last couple of months, though I have been sporadic and that needs to change. I like to start with My Routine, where I can select my yoga and strength exercises. I do about 18 minutes of this for warm up purposes. Then I move on to the Stepping and the Rhythm Boxing. I follow that with some bicycling and the Obstacle Course. Then I cool down with some more stepping and balance activities. 

I like to get my exercise out of the way before the children wake up, otherwise I rarely find time to fit it in. When I do exercise with the children up, they tend to distract me and I don't do as well. Especially when a certain little boy keeps getting underfoot. But the constant bickering doesn't help either when it comes to me being able to concentrate.  

So, here is the plan for the next 30 days. We are finishing up the first round of our Biggest Loser Challenge in our Facebook Weight Loss Accountability Group in two weeks. Then we will be starting up another challenge. These challenges really do keep me motivated. To help me along with this challenge I have accepted Amanda's "Spring into Fitness" challenge. Amanda blogs over at Honor Your Health and she is starting this neat little challenge to exercise for 30 minutes every day for 30 days in an effort to regain the habit of exercising. I think I will take a picture of my activity log to share daily here on the blog. Maybe I will include what I have eaten during the day on this post, but maybe not. It takes a lot more time to write down what I am eating than it does to upload a picture of the exercises I completed. We'll see.

If I exercise using the DVD or take a walk I will log that to share. I am really hoping to alternate between all three so I can keep from getting bored. 

If you would like to join in on this challenge, head on over to Amanda's blog Honor Your Health to see the details and her reminder of exercise precautions. 

Here's to getting moving and improving our health!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet: D is for Diet

Diet...not in the terms of "I'm on a diet."
But, from the food and drink that a person or animal regularly consumes. 

I have tried going on different diets in the past. But, as is quite common, once I was off that diet, the weight came back. I really, truly want to be able to change my eating habits and be able to continue with a healthy lifestyle. I've heard it said that it takes 21 days for a habit to form. When I looked it up, I discovered that time frame is actually a myth. I read that it could take closer to two months or even a year (or more) to develop a habit, to make it a part of your life. 

I have to say, that took me by surprise. I figured, if I could consciously work toward making these healthy lifestyle changes for 3 weeks it would be easier and easier to continue with them. Now, it appears, that the conscious decision making is going to be a lot harder. 

So, what habits/lifestyle changes am I wanting to change in regards to my diet?

I have started to juice again and I would like to continue. It surely would be easier if I didn't have to prepare food for the rest of the family and if it didn't take me so long to prepare the juice. But I plan to persevere. My first week and a half were great. I lost 7 pounds in one week. I was juicing in place of eating dinner. Then it started to go down hill with family coming over bearing food and wanting to make sweet desserts. Oh, and going to the movie and chowing down on popcorn probably didn't help. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to stay faithful to my healthier diet since that weekend. 

Here is what I want to get back to.

2 egg whites with veggies (spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper and grape tomatoes)
This is either served with a fruit (preferable blueberries) or in a wrap. 
Green Tea

Big salad (If I had a wrap at breakfast, I have the salad with salad dressing. If I didn't have the wrap at breakfast, I make my salad in the wrap which I first spread with hummus.)
The salad may consist of: Romaine, baby spinach, mushrooms, pepper, onion, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower,with some dried fruit on top. I add a serving of vinaigrette dressing.  

A few cups of veggie/fruit juice which I juice with my Champion Juicer to get those living nutrients out. I have been using a fellow blogger's recipe for Kid-Friendly Green Juice (though the girls don't like it).  Marcy at Juicing Momma has several other recipes that I would like to try. Plus I have found some other recipes online that have intrigued me. I plan on sharing more about those at a later date. I actually found an article titled, "Best Juicing Recipes for Weight Loss." After I read through it some more I will start implementing and sharing.
Then I may have a bit of the dinner, though I have been known to not have anything besides the juice. 

Throughout the day I drink lots of water. The goal is at least 9. If I feel really hungry between meals I have allowed myself to eat some crackers. The problems start when I give in to the unhealthy choices. 

As you can see, I am trying to cut out meat and dairy again, along with limiting the carbs. I would slowly like to get rid of sugar, salt and white flour as well. These are some things I did without when I was following the Hallelujah Acres "diet" several years ago. 

Hopefully, I can start to be more faithful to my plan.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet- A is for ...Again


I gained weight...again.

Okay,'s been awhile. My poor neglected blog goes along with my poor neglected health. My weight has climbed back to what it was before I started my weight loss journey in Dec 2010.
For the last 2 months I have been struggling with trying to get healthier, but my numbers have only fluctuated between the same few pounds.

I've been struggling...again.

I tried different motivations. I looked for the different challenges that I was a part of a couple of years ago, but wasn't happy with the change over at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and couldn't find any others. My sweet hubby tried motivating me by promising me a certain amount of money toward a better camera for a certain amount of weight lost. Now, you would have thought that would have motivated me. Unfortunately, not near as much as I hoped.  I joined in with a bunch of great ladies from the Schoolhouse Review Crew as a Facebook Weight Loss Accountability group was formed. I even joined in on this groups Biggest Loser Challenge. Still, I wasn't losing weight. Even after trying things that worked in the past...again.

I am not sure what happened last Thursday, but suddenly I decided I had had enough.

I started juicing...again
I started eating healthier and restricting dairy, meat and sugar...again
I started exercising...again
I started losing weight...again.

I know I could have given up again, but I didn't.
I was reminded that the Lord's mercy's are new every morning.