Category Archives: weight loss

Things I’m gaining while I’m losing!

Shirshasana

This isn’t me but this is what I did!!  Shirshasana (Photo credit: kellinahandbasket) 

Ok, no time for a long, well thought out post!

Since starting WW, I’ve lost 5 lbs!  Which could be mostly water weight, but feels good nonetheless.  I have been consistently going over my points per day, and using up almost all my “extra” points they give you a week.  I haven’t been starving, but I also haven’t been making the healthiest choices I could.  Sometimes I think the “points” thing makes it a little too easy to cheat.  Like, last night I shouldn’t have eaten half a frozen pizza from Trader Joe’s, but it fit within my points so that’s what I did!  This last week I didn’t really lose anything, which I’m ok with since I went to a Top Chef dinner (what?  I can’t tell you anything else about it!), ate out Indian  on Friday night and didn’t work out as much as I could.

But, this week I feel like I’ve gained something really important. I’ve gained back my hope, my motivation, and my pride. I’ve realized just how far I’ve come since starting my wellness journey 6 years ago!  I might weigh more now, but I’m so much freakin stronger than I was!  Case in point: I did 22 REAL push ups today.  I also have been ROCKING the Insanity workouts which are the hardest workouts I’ve ever done.  This has really strengthened my arms, core, shoulders and legs! I noticed when I did a yoga podcast yesterday and I did the whole plank/downdog/plank thing repeatedly with no problem.  Also, I did my first LEGIT yoga headstand! And held it for like, 20 seconds!  It was amazing.  I did another one yesterday and today just to prove I could, and because it’s a killer core builder.

I was so tired this morning I wanted to take the day off. But today’s my weigh in day for WW and I wanted to have a loss, so I decided to do the Jillian Michaels Banish Fat video.  I remember the first time I did this video, I almost died.  I was huffing and puffing and “phoning it in” for the whole second half.  Today, I picked it because it was an “easy” work out for me!  And, I added in some harder moves because I wanted to kill it.  And kill it I did.

I am super excited to be feeling strong and proud of my body again.  I think that’s the most important thing you gain during the weight loss process–your confidence and self respect.

I have 3 days to lose 1.6 lbs to win my Diet Bet! Can I do it?  I’ll let you know! Either way, I think I’ll do another one because it’s super motivational and keeps me on a schedule.

Gotta Go, Keep it moving!

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Carrot Ginger Miso Soup with Tahini Swirl

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For some reason, when I’m working, by the time I get home I’m STARVING.  Like, light headed, hunger frenzy where I eat everything in sight before and while I cook dinner.  Even if I eat a snack in my car on the way home! And I eat a decent lunch and breakfast, so I’m not sure why, by the time I get home, I’m pretty much in a blind hunger rage.

So one of my New Year’s projects is to curb the hunger rage.  I decided to make a big batch of veggie soup every weekend (that I don’t have school) so I can eat a bowl while I cook dinner.  Soup is souper low in calories (and points!) and fills you up because it’s a large volume of liquid going into your belly. Plus, they are easy to make and very flavorful!

Friday I made a kale and cauliflower soup that would have been amahzing, but I over salted it!!  Ruined.  Sad.  I ate a bowl and it still tasted good ( I have a high salt tolerance) but I was thirsty for days so I threw the rest out.  One day I will remake it with a vengeance, and it will be uh-sogood.

Deb from Smitten Kitchen opened the year with a carrot soup recipe that sounded intriguing.  I decided to make a giant batch for the week and see if eating a bowl before dinner helped curb my cravings and over eating.  Smitten had two great carrot soup recipes, so I adapted my own combination of both! I think it’s best (for me) this way.  I don’t think I would want a week’s worth of soup that has curry (cumin) undertones so I used the Ginger-Miso soup recipe.  But I couldn’t pass up the tahini-lemon dollop because it just sounded so good!  I went with a little more ginger and a little less miso, but the recipe is pretty much the same.

The soup is sweet, spicy from the ginger, and the tahini-lemon swirl adds a nutty, umami note that makes this soup a must!

Carrot Ginger Miso Soup with Tahini Swirl

Adapted from these SmittenKitchen Recipes: Carrot Soup with tahini and crisped chick peas  and Carrot Soup with Miso and sesame

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Nutritional Information Per 1 cup serving with drizzle of tahini:

Calories: 95  Fat: 5g   Carbohydrate: 11g  Protein:  2  Points+: 2

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, diced
  • 1 lb. carrots, diced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp yellow miso, or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic

Ingredients for the tahini drizzle:

  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons, or to taste
  • water to thin

 

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add sesame and olive oil.  Stir in onions and ginger, and let them cook over medium-low heat while you peel and dice the carrots.  Let them caramelize real nice!
  2. Add garlic and continue to cook for another few minutes, until the mix starts sticking and browning.
  3. Add carrots and raise heat to medium high.  Let them soften for a few minutes before adding the broth.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for another 15 minutes, or until carrots are nice and soft and fall apart when stabbed with a fork. DO NOT SALT anything until you have blended it all up and added the miso!
  4. Use food processor or immersion blender to puree soup until smooth.  Thin with water to desired consistency.  Add miso to taste and use blender to stir it in.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together tahini and lemon juice, and add water until it’s a thin, creamy consistency.
  6. Serve soup in a bowl with a dollop or drizzle of the tahini!  Enjoy!

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New Year, New Favorites, and least favorites!

Hello, everybody!

Well I suppose it’s time for the obligatory new year’s post where I go into how this year is going to be different, I’m going to be different, and so are you! Well, I’m with Roni here on the “stateless diet”, so I am just moving forward on my path to better health and cleaner living.  Which really means, of course, that I haven’t lost weight!  Another reason I haven’t posted on my healthy living/weight loss/cooking blog.

Well, cynical self, I hate to break it to you, but things ARE going to be different year.  Why?  Well, because I’m going to be quitting my job, moving back to Santa Cruz for a month (or two!), and finishing grad school!  By this time next year I’ll have a masters and be on my way to a BCBA!  So yeah, I actually feel confident that this year is bringing some big changes for me and my boys.

Ok, and I confess, I jumped on the New Year’s band wagon and joined Weight Watchers. I’ve had success on their plan before (a long time ago) so I thought I would try it again.  So far so good, but we’ll see! I’ll keep you posted.  I like that fruits and veggies are “free”, which encourages me to eat them!  But, I don’t really like that traditional processed “diet” foods are low points while wholesome things like grains are pretty high.  I’m definitely trying to stick to the Skinny Rules but it gets tricky!

Another first? I joined a Diet Bet! 

I’m not really a betting gal, but I am all about rewards.  And response cost!  I bet 20$ that I will lose 7 lbs. by the end of the month! If I do it, I get to split the pot with everyone else who succeeds.  So far the pot for my bet is over $12,000!  I definitely don’t want to lose 20 bucks, and I definitely want to win some cashola!  It may sound silly  but 20$ is a small price to pay for motivation!

I guess instead of New Year’s Resolutions, this years I have New Years projects!  I also am on a mission to DIY make-over my bedroom into a fabulous chic boudoir!  Here is my first step:

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New vintage side table, lamp and table hippo!

What are your New Year’s projects? Anything big on your horizon? I”d love to hear!

And now, a few favorites to start this year off right!

Gerber Daisies!

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Anything mint or pistachio colored!

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This creepy abandoned zoo in Griffith Park.  Haunted? Probably.  Reminiscent of the Lost bear cages? Yes.  Instagrammers heaven? Totes.

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And, I can’t really afford to eat this on my WW plan, but this soda bread and these empanadas sound SOOO GOOD!

Finally, a truly terrible invention that is another first for me: a LEAST FAVORITE!  Don’t you sometimes wish Facebook had a thumbs down button? Well now you can hate all you want with a least favorites list!

This machine lets you eat all you want and then sucks it out of your stomach so you don’t get fat.  Everyone’s dream come true! Honestly, it just makes me so mad that the capitalist market encourages schemes like this instead of treating the problem.  Instead of coming up with creative ideas to encourage healthy living, let’s make tons of money off letting people consume as much as they want and not change their lifestyle at all! Ugh.  Anyways.  Signing off, for a better and brighter 2013!

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How do you find balance?

The past few weeks have been at best, stressful.  Long hours at work, working on my thesis and crazy long assignments for school!  Not to mention I’ve been having health problems again, I’m pretty sure its an ulcer so I have to go back to the doctor this week.

I’m exhausted all the time.  I have 4 days off a month which I spend cleaning, organizing, and working on homework if I have the energy.  If I don’t, I zone out on the couch watching TV for hours because sometimes my brain just needs to be off.  I’ve also been going out more, which results in me spending too much money, eating too much bad food and drinking which DOES NOT help the ulcer situation! And then the next day I’m hungover and worthless.  Then I get anxiety about how I’m wasting my day off and  I have so much stuff I need to be doing!

Which leads me to my question: How do you find balance?

Gymnast feet on beam.

Gymnast feet on beam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems like there are a lot of healthy happy people out there who have even more going on than me.  Moms who work full time and still have time for yoga and jogging and cooking healthy delicious meals. Girls who work the same job as me, are in the same school program and have time to go out at night while still being skinny and beautiful. People like that.  How do they do that?  I feel drained from the moment I wake up until when I creep into bed at night.  I miss my regular workout routine but don’t know how to squeeze it in. And now I’m at the point where, if I do have time, I just don’t want to work out 😦  I need to find a way to fit everything I want in my life and prioritize.  If on my own, my priorities would be cooking healthy meals and exercising regularly.  With work and school though, my priorities have to be finishing my schoolwork and making it to work.  (I can’t even have a sick day which has been pretty miserable).  I know I shouldn’t complain and I should just find ways to alter my behavior.  But I really don’t see how, if I work from 8-6 every day, then come home and do 3 hours of homework, I can fit a workout and cooking healthy dinner in my life. I’m losing it! How do I fit it all in?

If anyone has any helpful resources, tips or words of advice I’d love to hear it.  How do you balance your life between things you have to do and things you want to do?

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Favorites for September

Here are some of my favorites/obsessions from the past month!

Japadog

Japadog

Japadog (Photo credit: sean lancaster)

Weird hot dogs with crazy Japanese toppings!  I haven’t been to one but I’m fairly obsessed.  I know I would love it.  Make one in LA and I will go to there!

I can’t decide if I want the one pictured, with seaweed and japamayo, or one with croquette, or the one with kimchi!  And also, seaweed fries?  Yes please!  Maybe there is a reason to visit Canada after all…

Okonomiyaki or Japanese Pancakes 

Ok, it’s safe to say I’m just actually obsessed with Japanese Mayonnaise, slathered all over all sorts of fried delicious things.  Such as chewy, savory pancakes filled with cabbage, onions and whatever else you like! I actually did try these this month and I AM IN LOVE.  If fried things that are both sweet, mayonnaise-y and incredibly salty are not your deal, then just keep on walking, mister.

Cute Hipster Moustache iPhone cases

Not sure if I could really pull one of these off, but I’m definitely considering ordering the octopus one!

Skinnytaste Turkey Meatballs

I have been making these once a week and eating with pasta, barley, seaweed salad, or on a sandwich!  Healthy and tasty, a dieter’s staple.  And a good way to use up my plethora of zucchini from the garden.

Eggplant

Eggplant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bhangan Bhartha If all the eggplant in my garden hadn’t died, I would be making loads of this!  I love the smoky, spicy, rich eggplant dish that is a favorite at any indian restaurant.  I can’t wait to try out this recipe!!

Miso Eggplant  While we’re on the subject of eggplant, I’m madly in love with Japanese miso eggplant. (I guess I’m just feeling japanese food lately!) This recipe looks amazing, and I also made a pretty good miso eggplant-tofu stir fry!

Kelp Noodles  I know, I know, it sounds super weird.  But they are delicious!  They are great cold and crunchy in a salad, or even with turkey meatballs and tomato sauce!  The only downside is they have no fiber as compared to pasta.  But ONLY 6 CALORIES A SERVING?  I’ll have 3!

 

And finally, a really important, serious, artsy one!  Julia Kozerski’s art is inspiring, feminist and body positive.  She lost 160 lbs in a year and chronicled photos of her changing body in changing rooms.  It’s real and raw, and her triumph is also a sad inability to recognize the person in the mirror.   I also like her other work, Tag, where she flashes images from tumblr that she found by searching tags of “beautiful”, “perfect” and “sexy” on the wall and tries to match her body to the image. It’s a really haunting video that reminds me of how we all compare ourselves to images we see, and we never match up! Check her out, it’s heartbreaking how honest her work is!

 

Well, that’s all for now folks! I’ll have more things to post about some day, I promise!

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Skinny Rules Challenge: Rules 14 & 15

I think I got all messed up on which rules I’m supposed to follow on what days!  Good thing I made myself a handy dandy checklist of all the rules so I can check off the ones I follow each day.  It looks a little something like this:  I am a total geek and think this is cool. I can check off which rules I follow which will give me not only a percentage of how often I follow the rules, but a visual reminder too! I printed it out and it’s on my fridge.  Also, it will give me data on which rules I rock at, and which rules I suck at.
Let me tell you, I suck at rule #7.  I keep eating carbs for snack and dinner! I just haven’t brought myself to get rid of them! That is my real challenge.

Yesterday was rule 14: eat a real breakfast. I made oats in a jar (tupperware) with greek yogurt, almond milk, and raspberries. I also had veggie sausage to add extra protein and deliciousness.  For lunch I had an eggwhite salad sandwich, and snack was an apple and babybel cheese.  Dinner was 2 wheat flatbreads! Carb central! And I just ate too much in general. But they were so good! One had my zucchini, tomato and soyrizo sautee on it with cheddar cheese, and the other had turkey, goat cheese and broccoli.  Delicious!  But, Bob Harper was right and I did have cravings and munch later. Wa Wa.  Now that I’m writing this I realized I think I AM a day off! Pretty sure I wrote about breakfast the other day! Help me, I’m losing it.  Working so much plus homework plus obsessing over meal planning = I’m confused. Sorry folks, my challenge is turning into a hot mess.

Today (or not) was rule 15: Make at least 10 meals a week at home.  I already do that anyways! Done and Done.  Number one, I can’t afford to eat out that much! Number two, how could you possibly avoid refined grains, sugar, potatoes, and large portions if you are eating out all the time?  You couldn’t! I think Bob Harper was going too nice on this rule.  For me to be successful, it should really be at least 15 times a week, if not 20.  If I want to lose weight I’m going to have to eat at home ALL THE TIME!  Which is fine because I love cooking when I have energy.

Today I had overnight oats for breakfast again, lunch was a weird mix of eggwhite salad, quinoa, romaine lettuce, tahini and seaweed salad. I know, it sounds disgusting and I was really worried all morning that my lunch would be barf.  But it was awesome! I’m awesome at throwing crap together and making it taste good!  Dinner I made miso eggplant with tofu (recipe soon!) which sounds carb-less but I definitely added a lot of Agave to sweeten it up.  Then I was stressed from school work and my brain dying so I ate 1/2 a lara bar and 2 dates with pecans.  Damn you sugars!

Tomorrow: Banish High Salt Foods.  Mr. Bob Harper says eat less than 2,000 mg a day.  I wonder how much I’m consuming?  I really have no earthly idea.  Probably a good thing I ate my miso eggplant tonight, that probably has a lot!

Sorry, I’m too tired to think of any awesome pictures to add!

 

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My “meatless” day

Today: Rule 14: Eat a Real Breakfast

This is so important for everyone, even if you don’t want to lose weight! Your mom is awesome and always right.  You should listen to her!  It’s super important to eat a big, protein loaded breakfast to stay on track throughout the day.  I haven’t missed breakfast in well, ever.  I have to eat within the first few hours of waking up or I will have a melt down!  Usually I go on a spree, right now it’s smoothies!  Other benders have included english muffins with peanut butter and banana, and morningstar veggie sausage. Ok usually I drink a smoothie.  Tomorrow I’m trying overnight oats with greek yogurt and fresh raspberries! I’m pretty excited.  Bob Harper suggests oats or eggwhite omelets with veggies and some fruit for a full, rounded breakfast.  How could you say no to that?

Today I decided to make my “meatless” day ala Bob Harper, aka vegan! It all went according to plan, until I was shopping at Trader Joes and totally forgot about it and tried a sample of chicken and mac and cheese! Whoops. But it was just one bite and free! So it barely counts.
My main worry was my morning coffee, which tasted ok with coconut and almond milk. Breakfast was a smoothie with berries, bananas, spinach, coconut and almond milk. And Chia seeds!
Went to Cafe Gratitude for lunch and for this amazing bruscheta with heirloom tomato, cashew cheese and fig balsamic vinaigrette!

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Then I tried the raw kelp noodles with hemp pesto! I know, I’m a hippie of the worst kind. But it was SO GOOD!  Spinach, tomato, avocado and olives (I could’ve done without those) mixed with kelp noodles and pesto.  It was crunchy, rich and satisfying! I literally ate this whole huge giant plate.  And then we got dessert.

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Needless to say, I am still full! I don’t know if I’ll make it to dinner but I am prepping food for tomorrow and the upcoming week:  Overnight Oats for breakfast, eggwhite salad for lunch, and that might be it.  I’m pretty tired!

My verdict on eating vegan for a day:  It ain’t cheap! Lunch (1 appetizer, 1 Kombucha, 2 entrees and 1 dessert) was 50$! Plus a tip!  I’m sure if you cooked at home it would be much cheaper.  I think it’s fine as long as you can manage to get your protein in.  Honestly I think it’s sort of silly to limit animal protein for one day a week.  I feel like it’s a better plan to try to make more meals without animal proteins, or at least meat, and make those a regular part of your diet.  But since I’m on the challenge, I will do it! I will do it for you, Bob Harper.

Overall, I had an amazing eating weekend!  Last night we went to an izakaya (Japanese Appetizers) place for my splurge meal–and boy did I splurge! Yakitori (skewers), Salmon Belly, Japanese pancake with mayo and teriyaki sauce, even a little rice!  Tomorrow it’s back to work and the skinny rules challenge!

Tomorrow: Rule 15: Cook your meals at home at least 10 times a week.

(I have to say, Bob Harper is trippin if he thinks you can follow the Skinny Rules and eat out more than 2-3 times a week).

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