Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Do Something, Day 10

Welcome to day 10!  1/3 of the way through our goal of 30 days.  How are you feeling??  I feel great!

Well, the muscle aches are back, but that means I'm working hard!  I can't wait to see how much stronger I am when this is all done.  Exciting!!

Today I went to a morning yoga class.  The one from last week when the teacher was not feeling well, so we ended up doing our own thing.  The teacher, happily, was not sick today, and we got to do a great relaxing mind-heavy practice.

We did some breathing techniques I don't do often, and that was great for helping find the focus for the day, and practice was calm and slow.  That isn't to say it wasn't hard.  We held poses longer than I am used to holding them, for vinyasa style practice, but it's a good thing.  I need both.

Anyway!  I hope your day is going well, and that you find your purpose for the day.  Calm.  Peace.  Happiness.  Om.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Do Something Challenge, Day 9!

This is not a diet.  This is not a fad.  This is a change, lifestyle-wide.  I am not doing this to lose weight.  I am not doing this to shrink in sizes or fit a dress or wear a bikini this summer.

The most common thing I am hearing is that when I fall back into my old habits I will put on more weight than I lost.  Well, sure, I suppose that could happen.  But I'm not exactly only drinking water with cayenne pepper in it for 2 weeks straight.

I'm eating fresh fruits and vegetables.  Whole foods.  Making my meals again instead of stopping somewhere on my way home.  Being more active and less lazy.

Before, I still did fresh foods, but also would swing by somewhere on my way home to grab dinner on really busy days.  I didn't plan ahead.  And I had to slow in my activity to help an injured shoulder heal.  You can't very well yoga or swim with a bad shoulder.  So I stopped and just tried to do what I could for the moment.

I'm finally getting back to normal, for me.  This IS my normal.  Yoga, good food, a little swimming on the side.

Diets don't work, because they are simply minor changes for a short lived time frame.  Also, you tend to think of all the things you can't have, and it's easier to trip up.
Fads especially don't work, because they fade with time.

Food changes are hard!  We get set in our ways and we have to retrain our tongues to enjoy things we might not usually enjoy.  But our bodies CAN get used to and even learn to crave the foods that are good for us.  And once we're there, if we listen to our bodies, they will tell us what they need.  Last night, I was craving orange juice.  This morning, I had a stuffed nose.  My body knew it needed a little extra vitamin C, and I'm glad I listened!

I don't want to lose weight or fit other clothes.  If I happen to get that from this, great, but that's not the point.  I want to be healthy and strong again.  I want to have energy to do things again.  Oddly, the best way to do that is to expend what energy I do have, and feed my body well.  It will recover faster if I eat better, and be able to do more, over time.  You have to spend some energy to get it.  Like spending money to earn it.  There's some truth in both.  ;)

This is no easy thing, don't get me wrong.  But if you think of your recent changes as a permanent change for you, instead of a temporary thing, and focus on the positives rather than the negative stuff (I didn't get that pose right today, or the scale says I gained weight!?)...  you will have an easier go of it.

You did something today.  That is great!  So what if the balances didn't come to you, you weren't able to lift as much today, or the scale says you're at a stand still?  You are still making great changes for yourself.  Focus on that.  And tomorrow, let's see what we can do!  :)

And in the meantime, giggle some at Diet Mammoth.  He's my new friend.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Do Something: Day 8

Good morning, all.

Up early for another morning class today.  Feeling good!  :)  Getting stronger, able to press through longer, hold poses better.  Heck, the waking up early is getting easier.  I had to fight myself to get up at my normal time last week, when this all started, and this morning, I was up early and leaving the house hours before that.  With no trouble.

It is as they say, when you exert yourself, you get more energy returned to you.  You do it more, you can handle more, and more often.  If I'm feeling tight this afternoon, I might even head back over and do a second class for the day!  If not, I'll probably work on a core practice at home.  It's getting better, definitely, but I could work on it more too.

Anyway, have to run to work for the morning.  You all have a wonderful day!  Stick with it!  You already feel it paying off.  Don't lose your momentum!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do Something! Day 7

Quick check in before bed.

Made vegan pancakes for brunch (recipe below!), went to yoga, did a little swimming, then went out for veggie crepes with the mother in law for dinner.  Kids were starving, so you know they got their little work out too!

Heading to bed here in a minute, because I plan to get up and head to the 6:45 class tomorrow morning.  :)

Day 7, feeling great!  Hope you all are well!

Coconut Pie Pancakes (from 'La Dolce Vegan')

3/4 cup flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 C shredded coconut 

1/2 tsp ground cardamom 
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup non-dairy milk 
1/4 cup coconut milk 
1 banana 
Mix dry parts in a bowl, blend milk and banana until smooth. Stir wet and dry together until just mixed. Pour into lightly oiled frying pan. Let sit on medium heat until the centre starts to bubble, flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Makes 2 large or 4 small pancakes

(I added a little vanilla extract, and then added 1 oil, flavorless or coconut would work, when they kept sticking to my cast iron pan!?)


PINEAPPLE SAUCE (from Vegan with a Vengeance)

1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice 
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder 
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

In a saucepan, off the heat, stir the pineapple and juice with the arrowroot until it is mostly dissolved; stir in the sugar. Over medium heat, heat the pan until the sauce thickens, stirring often (about 7 minutes). Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

Find arrowroot powder at a health food store, probably with the baking items. I believe Bob's Red Mill has some if you can find it. It's a thickening agent without gelatin in it, and creates clear sauces. Tapioca starch or corn starch would work too, but not in the exact same way, and the liquid will be cloudier

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Do Something! Day 6

Good morning, all.  Day 6 is upon us!  How are you all doing?  I'm doing great, and looking forward to today's 90 minute yoga class.  I have a couple appointments today but I moved them around to accommodate my class, and I can't wait to see how I do with a longer class length!

My soreness of muscle is moving from place to place, now.  My ribs are achy today.  Must have done some good side stretching yesterday!  Legs are tired, but not as bad as they have been, so this gives me hope.  The body is learning what this is all about, again, and getting used to it.

Already noticing squish-factor reduction, but that happens for me pretty fast when I am toning up again.  I have muscle under that layer of squish, and it tends to burn off fairly quickly.  Now, whether the number on the scale has changed, I could not tell you.  I don't own a scale anymore.

Most people find that to be strange, but I have my reasons.  When I was growing up and there was a scale to be had at all times, I found myself using it.  All the time.  More than once a day.  And I would allow that number to tell me how to feel about myself.  It was not a healthy thing.

When I moved out, I didn't have a scale, probably because I didn't have extra money to buy one, but I lived happily without one for a few years.  And then I got married, and quickly was pregnant, and allowed myself to buy one.  You know, to be sure I wasn't gaining too quickly, and was gaining enough.  It was all fine and dandy during my pregnancy, because there was no desire to lose, and there was no such thing as "extra weight" then.  It wasn't weight, it was my baby, and I would just lose it later.

But then after that, I slipped easily back into my old habits.  Any time I was in the bathroom, it came out.  For no reason.  I allowed it to rule my feelings.  It didn't matter that I was gaining muscle and losing flab, so the number didn't change.  It didn't matter that my clothes fit much better and I was losing inches.  The number was king.

So when the bathroom floor flooded and my precious lithium battery hospital quality scale was broken, I made the conscious decision not to buy another one.  I do not need a scale to know how I feel about myself.  The number does not rule me.  My clothes fit well and I'm wearing a smaller size than I have since high school, so it does not matter that the NUMBER might be the same as it was when I was wearing almost plus sized clothing.

What matters is how I feel, physically, and beyond being a little sore, I feel great.  It's a good kind of hurt, the muscles growing kind.  My clothes are getting looser and fitting better, and my energy levels are finally in a good place.  I will take it.  That is what matters.

So my hope is that if you tend to let the scale tell you how to feel....  you might start to change how you think about that.  It took me years to get from that mindset to this one.  But it's food for thought.  :)  You are more than a number on a scale.  You are more than the size on the tag in your jeans.  Don't let those things rule you.  You are better than that.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do Something: Day 5

4:30am.  The phone buzzes.  Yoga time!  Text sent to friend, who was brave and decided to go to early morning yoga with me.  Wakey Wakey!  She answers back, she just got up too.  We argue with ourselves to get out of bed, and eventually the mind wins.  Up.  Go.  Do it.  You'll feel better.  You won't regret it.  And so we do.

I hate ending up at the front of the class right in front of the instructor.  Because that means everyone is looking past little old not super flexible or strong ME, to see the instructor.  But that's where I ended up today.  I tried to not let it bother me.

Literally everyone in the class was pointed in my direction.  I tried to focus internally, listen to the body, ignore the other people's poses and not compare them to my own.  I might get deeper than you in the hip opener, but you can sure hold that plank longer.  No.  Turn off the inner monologue.

Focus on the breath.  Maintain the ujjayi pranayama (yoga breathing, most common breathing technique for the flow yoga stuff.).

Breathe in, arms up.  Breathe out, fold, bend knees if hamstrings demand it.  Breathe in, half way lift, breathe out and fold again, relax the head and neck.  The instructions flow through the room and every person breathes together.  We move together.

We hold the balances and fall out one by one, each doing what we can.  No one judging.  No one laughing at our inability to hold simple poses, or go deep in the folds.  We are each there, each on our own journey, each doing our best.  And that is what matters.  We are one.  We are a clan, moving on our personal journeys, but together.  And it is beautiful.

No matter if you work out alone, if you run in the early morning hours, or lift weights, or find time to hit the gym, join a class...  if you sit in your office doing chair exercises between phone calls, or do some crunches and push ups and jumping jacks in your living room...  know we are in this with you.

We understand that you might not want to get up and do something today.  But we also know how awesome you will feel if you get yourself to do it.  You can do this.  I can do this.  Together, we can make the choices to better ourselves, and step forward once more on our journey to fitness.  To health.

Thank you for joining me!  You all, knowing you are in this with me, keep me going.  Thank you for keeping me accountable.  I'm grateful to each and every one of you for that.

Have a wonderful Friday, and a lovely weekend!  Namaste.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Do Something Challenge, Day 4

Day 4.  How you guys doing?

I'm feeling better, achiness-wise, today.  Not sure if that's because last yoga practice was yesterday in the morning or what...  but I will take it.  :)

I found this morning I woke up early, well rested and ready to go, and even got dishes and laundry done before work.  Just did my work shift and picked kiddos up, and have a yoga class I'll need to leave for in about an hour.  It's one of the harder classes, like Tuesday was, and I'm looking forward to it.

Should be a good night!

But today, on a slightly different subject, I've been having thoughts about our food choices during our little experiment here.  We might not feel very full if we eat a lot of junk foods, and there is a good reason for that.  This image shows why that might be.  If we are eating vegetables and fruits, it doesn't take so much of it to fill our stomachs up.  It breaks down to fewer calories per meal, naturally, but we feel full and are satisfied.

The fried foods take up less space but offer up themselves in larger calorie portions, which doesn't work out so well for us.  It might be time to start thinking about what foods we are eating and how that is affecting us.

Keep in mind, what you put in your body is fuel for your work out.  Vegetables, fruits, grains, and easy to absorb proteins are your friend.  The more of those, the better!  If you're going to eat meats, try and keep them lean and in reasonable portion sizes.

Portion control is a big thing for me.  If I am not careful, I can eat twice what I really need to live on.  Eat to live, not live to eat!  Try taking a small portion, eating that, then waiting to see what your body says.  If you are still hungry after 5-10 minutes, have another small portion, but try to take it easy.

Our stomachs are only meant to be about the size of our fists.  If we are constantly filling our plates and eating all of that, how much space must that take up?  We often eat twice what an appropriate portion is, without thinking.  Packaged foods are too big for one person if you use the fist as a guide.  Quick foods and fast foods certainly are.

It is hard to retrain our bodies to know what a proper portion is, but it's essential to eating right and getting our bodies to a happy healthy state.  Next time you make yourself a plate of food, think about the amounts.  It will take time, and you might be a little hungrier at first since your body thinks it needs what you have been giving it...  but give it a try.  It's worth the effort.  Really!  :)

Anyway, it's food for thought, no pun intended.  I will make up a nice little list for you of good documentaries to watch on the subject of food.  I'm a bit of a documentary nut, and am happy to peruse these things for you.  :)

Anyway, gotta go get kids ready for the pool, and get laundry moving again.  A mother's job is never done, as they say!  :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Do Something! Day 3

Good morning, everyone!

I woke up and dragged myself out of bed this morning.  Achy from the previous 2 days of working out when I'm no longer used to it.  The muscles screamed at me, joints refused to move, but I did it.  There was a sunrise yoga class I could maybe get to if I could get up in time.  It was the only chance for a class I had today, because I work later than my usual shift, so it was then, or never.  Or by myself later, which isn't nearly as awesome.

Don't get me wrong, the home yoga practice got me through years and years of time, but there's something different about everyone in a room breathing together, moving together.  It keeps you going.  You are less likely to allow yourself to give up.  Home is where it's at if you can't make a class, but it's nice if you are able.

Anyway.  So I dragged myself out of bed, didn't get lost on my way to the center this time, and made it there to the giant room full of mirrors before anyone else did.  An older gentleman came in and asked if we were really using this room, and I said I didn't know, but nobody was in the smaller one either, so we set up and started  warming up, just the two of us.

Another girl joined us shortly, using one of the borrow mats they have laying around.  They squish and are not sticky, but they're certainly better than the hard floor!  But when another woman wandered in and asked if we knew the instructor was home with food poisoning, we had a choice to make.

Get up and go home, or do something.  I entertained going home and enjoying a cup of coffee in the early morning quiet.  For about half a second.  And then I returned to my half lotus forward fold I was in when she entered the room.  The woman graciously offered to talk people through her Tai Chi stretch she was going to do, and the borrow mat girl joined her for a while.  Another woman wandered in when I was finishing up my second Sun Salutation round, and we all set to work on our own.

Together in the room, the small group of us, each working at our own pace.  I moved through my poses, fell out of silly ones that I should really have down by now (Tree pose?  Really!?), and challenged myself to try wheel and head stands again.  I managed wheel for almost 2 full breaths before I needed to let it go, so that was exciting.  I've been afraid of that one due to the shoulder rotation and my injury, but it feels fine.  :)

I had to move over to a wall for the head stands so I wouldn't fall over, but I am definitely still working on that and need the wall.  The older gentleman watched my third headstand for a moment, taking note of how I was using the wall as a prop, and went back to his own thing.

Overall, I am really glad I made myself get up.  Even though I really did not want to.  I could hardly move, but I knew I would feel better once I was moving in that room.  And I did.  I do feel better.  I still feel achy, like you do when your muscles acclimate to something new.  I'm starving, so it's time to go make a smoothie for breakfast, and I need to go drag kids out of bed...

But that was my challenging day 3.  I know you don't want to do it today.  I didn't either.  But just do it.  Make it happen.  You'll be glad you did.  :)  I promise.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do Something Challenge: Day 2!

Do you feel the burn?  I sure do.  But it's a happy sort of ache.  It's the "I feel good" ache.  :)

This morning I made a pineapple blueberry smoothie with chia seed and raw almond-cashew milk.  I should have added a little agave.  It was not as awesome as yesterday's smoothie, when I didn't forget.  :)  But I also had avocado toast this morning, so that does make some difference.

Avocado toast, by the way, is smashed up avocado smeared on toast (I like whole wheat bread for this), and then you salt and pepper the tops of the avocado.  Amazing, filling, and good for ya.  :)  Good stuff.  Give it a try.  I usually use about 1/2 an avocado per 2 slices of bread.  If you store the other half of the avocado with its pit, it doesn't get as brown and yucky looking.  By the way, that's just oxidation and it is still perfectly fine to eat.  Just like apples.

I'll have to get a pic to share when I make it again tomorrow.  :)

Anyway!  Eating well, good choices, and making time to DO SOMETHING.  That's my plan.  So tonight I will be going to a multi-level yoga class and pushing myself a little while the kiddos go swimming.  And then we'll head home and have something for dinner.  I'm planning something, will make it up and have it ready to eat when we get home.  There will be no greasy fast food caving!  :)

How are you all doing?  Well, I hope.  Don't push yourself too far!  Just do what you can, and then try to do a tiny bit more.  :)  You will get there!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Do Something Challenge: Day One: My plan.

I'm up!  I'm up!  GOSH, Mom!  Stop nagging me!

Getting up and getting ready for work right now.  Kids are off school for the holiday, so I don't have to run them out the door for once!  Think I'm going to go make myself a smoothie for breakfast instead of making coffee today...  and I need to toss some potatoes (cleaned, poked, wrapped in foil) into my crock pot.

I have big plans for dinner, I tell you.  Leftover soup I made the other day, Spicy Peanut Eggplant, time consuming and a little more complicated than I usually do, but totally worth every single minute!!  And vegan, to boot.  :)

So there's that, but then I am going to debate between 2 levels of yoga classes for this afternoon.  I could probably do the intermediate-advanced one on a good day, but I'm not sure how "back in the saddle" I am there.  Probably will start with the beginner and see how I feel after an hour of that.  :)

Up, moving, time to run.  Don't forget to find your 15 minutes of time to DO SOMETHING!!  :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Long time no see!

Hi guys!  It's been too long!  Hope everyone is doing well!

I'm popping back in for a couple reasons!  First off, I just started this little facebook group to go with the blog, for people to pop over, ask questions, link stuff, that sort of thing.  You can find and join it here:  Whole Food Fitness Group.  It's a closed group so only members can post or see what has been posted, and I, the crazy Becca chick, am in charge of that.  Play nice and you will be welcome!  That's about it.

And secondly!  I'm finally feeling better after my stupid shoulder and back saga of irritation.  So I'm trying to get back in the swing of things.

I'm going vegetarian again.  Officially.  For the first time in years.  I think I'm finally in a place where I can do it healthily, officially, without allowing it to be an excuse to slip back into eating disorder land.  I used to allow it to just not eat when "there were no options."  There are always options.

Anyway!  So, there's that...  BUT I'm also starting a challenge for myself.  Starting tomorrow, 1-21-13, I will be challenging myself to do something.  To move.  To yoga, or swim, jog, do jumping jacks...  do SOMETHING.  Every day.  For at least 1 month.

I think officially this will be a February challenge, but I'm starting it now while I have the momentum going.  I want to do this.  It is time.  :)

So, who is with me!?  You want to move, you know you do.  15 minutes is nothing.  You spend less time getting ready in the morning, getting changed for bed.  You can do 15 minutes.  :)  There are 15 minute yoga videos over on the Yoga Challenge tab, if you want to do that.

The theory is, if we move our bodies, just a little, it will feel nice.  We will like how we feel, and we will want to continue.  And if we are having an "off" day, 15 minutes might be enough.  But most days?  We'll go longer.  We'll run more.  Do another lap in the pool.  Finish that yoga class.  :)

We can do this.  I believe in us.  But I know the power of accountability, and that's why I started the group.  To keep in touch.  To post happy little things, remind each other to keep at it.  Because alone we can give up, but together?  We are strong.  :)