Tag Archives: Health

Things I’m gaining while I’m losing!


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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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:


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!


Anything mint or pistachio colored!

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 9.49.01 PMScreen Shot 2013-01-10 at 9.50.44 PM

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


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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What would skinny people do?

Ok guys, Skinny Rules challenge is on hold for 2 days because I have class all weekend in DT L.A. which equals long days, a lot of stress, and a lot of eating out.  Not on hold like “hey I’m gonna go back to eating whatever I like” but on hold like “hey, let’s keep it real and just maintain in this moment of utter chaos.”  I definitely have been following Skinny Rule # 6 which was to eat an apple and berries every day.  That one was easy.  It’s # 7 I’m scared of and generally avoiding, which is “no carbs after lunch”!  Mentally I’m just not prepared to make that commitment today, so I’m waiting til Monday.

On the plus side, I lost 4 lbs this week!  Just from following rules 1-6! Not bad, considering I didn’t work out and I was sick. Usually that makes me feel like eating CHEESE AND BREAD, USUALLY SMOTHERED IN SOME KIND OF SAUCE.

The surprising thing for me about eating healthier and cutting out refined grains and sugars is, it’s not that hard (ok I know I’m only on day 6).  I haven’t had any major cravings and I feel full and satisfied after every meal/snack.  Seriously! Me of the night time munchies!  The worst thing I’ve eaten all week is too many whole wheat crackers with spinach and kale dip!

But today was hard.  Hard emotionally.  I guess this is where my relationship with food comes to light and I have to learn some new replacement behaviors.  I ate 3 bites of a friend’s crepe at lunch and 1/2 hour later, broke out in hives! Hives!  Can cutting out processed food change my body that quickly?

Crepes Ooh La La

Crepes Ooh La La (Photo credit: Premshree Pillai)

Not to mention the giant red itchy bumps on my hands/legs, I had a long day at school and even longer one tomorrow.  I came home and my boyfriend was working/hanging out with his sister drinking beers.  I was hungry and needed to eat before going into munch mode. I ate left over soup and 1/2 wheat pita with 1/2 piece of cheese.  I wanted to hang out and watch tv but I had to do homework.  They went to go get a pizza (pepperoni and olive!) with garlic bread.

Saying no to the food wasn’t that hard.  I could eat it if I wanted to but do I need any more hives plus a stomach ache? not really.  But I feel tired, lonely, left out and abandoned.  The ritual of eating delicious comforting unhealthy fattening food with people you love runs deep in my 1/2 filipina veins.  I am sad I haven’t really eaten any meals with my boy this week because our schedules are so different, and our meals are too.  I wish I had a partner who would go on this journey with me, but it’s unfair of me to force that on him.  Especially when he’s making so many positive changes in his own life right now.  Now I feel even worse because I took all my feelings, stress and anxiety out on him and was mean to the one person who I wish would comfort me in my moment of sadness.  I know it will take some time to get used to our new routines.  I know the more healthy food I cook and eat, he will see how much it changes me and start to feel the change in himself.  It just feels a little lonely right now.

Normally I would eat an extra slice of pizza/whatever I could find if I was feeling this way.  What do skinny people do when they are sad and lonely and feeling like they need a little something to perk them up? (please don’t tell me go for a run even if it’s true.)  And by skinny I don’t mean thin but healthy, happy people who have learned to balance their lives and their bodies.  Because that’s who I want to be.

The ocean always makes me feel better!

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Skinny rules challenge day 5: eat your fiber!

Day 5 of my skinny rules challenge!

Today’s rule: eat 30-50 grams of fiber a day.


Légumes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought this would be pretty easy if you were following other rules, such as eating whole grains and lots of vegetables.  So, I didn’t really try to hard on this one.  I was like “hey, there’s no way I’m not eating enough fiber with all that whole wheat and barley and stuff!”  I added up my totals on Spark People and saw I was well below my goal!  I realized I had forgotten to include raspberries, lettuce, a persian cucumber and some seaweed salad. I added an apple to see if I ate that what would happen.  That still only brought me to about 28 grams of fiber!  So I ate another handful of raspberries and that rounded me up to an even 30.  Whoa! I guess getting fiber is harder than I thought!

The foods that are high in fiber are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Some of Bob Harper’s (and my) favorites are:

  • Strawberries (9 grams/1/2 cup!)

    English: Alaska wild berries from the Innoko N...

    English: Alaska wild berries from the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Apples (4 grams/ 1 medium)
  • Squash (4.5 grams/ 1 cup)
  • Spinach (7 grams/ 1 cup)
  • Zucchini (8 grams/ 1 cup)
  • Garbanzo beans (3.5 grams/ 1/4 cup)
  • Whole grain pasta (6 grams/ 2 oz. dry)

Legumes (beans, lentils, etc) also have a crazy amount of fiber!

The problem I think I will have with this is that an upcoming rule (oh no!) is to not eat carbs after lunch 😦 I’m very sad about that rule and I think I am going to struggle with it!  But also,  a lot of foods that are high in fiber are also high in carbs (I think), like fruit, beans, grains etc.  So, I guess you eat those in the morning and the roughage-y vegetables at night?  Sad jojo.

Today I did a really good job following all my rules!  I drank a ton of water, managed to get a glass in before every meal.  I didn’t even put any agave in my coffee and had unsweetened iced tea after work.  I had tons of protein, didn’t eat any refined grains, and worked in all my fiber!  My body is feeling better even though I’m actually sick.

Breakfast: Whole wheat toast, canadian bacon, 1/2 slice cheese, raspberries

Lunch: Whole wheat pita, turkey, home made hummus, lettuce, cucumber

Snack: Kashi whole grain crackers, kale yogurt dip, egg white salad

Dinner: Soup! (I know, it’s hot! but I have a cold)  I made a soup out of leftover chicken and barley, tomatoes, onions, frozen kale, and seaweed salad! SOO good and filling and super low cal.

After dinner: Apple and handful of raspberries.


My night: Soup, homework, water 

Tomorrow: Eat apples and berries every single day!

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Skinny Rules Challenge Day 3: Eat your Protein!

I am 3 days in to a 20 day challenge to learn to eat healthily by following Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules, 1 day at a time.

Today’s Rule: Eat Protein with every meal.

Well I usually do that, but by eliminating most forms of carbs (processed grains), you end up eating a lot more protein anyways.  I’ve been into high protein diets since high school when my family all went on the Atkins diet.  I lost tons of weight! Then I gained it all back!  However, I did learn that eggs, cheese and meat can be very filling snacks.  I don’t think atkinsers can eat nuts because of the carbs.  Anyways, I also find that if I eat sugary snacks like granola bars, they usually make me hungrier and feel really crappy.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to have diabetes problems later in life because I’m really blood sugar  sensitive.  If I eat fruit or something sugary on an empty stomach, it makes me feel all light headed, tired, and hungrier than before!

Bob Harper says you should eat half as many grams of protein as you weigh.  So, if you weigh 200 lbs you should eat 100 grams of protein a day.  He has no real reason or scientific basis for this and freely admits that.  From personal experience I agree that it’s important to eat tons of protein as much as possible so I don’t get hungry and over eat.  Plus I think it’s harder to over indulge in proteins.  It’s super easy to eat a giant bag of chips/crackers/bread etc.  Rarely am I ever like “oh yeah, gimme some more eggs!”  enough is enough.

I’m pretty happy with my plan to introduce the rules slowly.  As the days go by, the previous rules seem easier and like they are just habits.  I drank a TON of water today, I probably refilled my 20 oz brita bottle 4 times at work (12 hour day).  This is easier because it is SO DAMN HOT!  Also, I put even less agave in my coffee this morning and was happy with the result. I forgot that I like coffee for the taste of coffee, not just the sugar that comes in it!  So, I followed 3 out of 3 rules today! Go me!

Protein crystals

Protein crystals (Photo credit: orinoco14)

Today I ate greek yogurt and berries, and a piece of whole wheat toast with hummus and 1/2 slice cheese for breakfast.  Lunch was a chicken breast sandwich on whole wheat bread with avo, tomato and pickles (no cheese or mayo!:)) and a little seaweed salad.  Snack was an apple and a hardboiled egg.  Ate a babybel cheese on the drive home, then had barley, cooked spinach, turkey meatballs and tahini for dinner!  I had the night munchies after, so I ate some cottage cheese with hot sauce. It sounds weird, I know but it’s actually delicious, and high protein!  Last night after I blogged I ate some cheese and crackers so I wanted to stick to the plan today.  I feel successful, and my stomach feels content and not bloated.

I put all my food into SparkPeople calorie calculator, and I ate 98 grams of protein today! Whoa! Way over my goal.  I also stayed around 1300 calories, which is quite impressive for me.

Tomorrow’s Rule: Slashing intake of refined flours/grains.

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Skinny Rules Challenge: Day 1, Rule 1

Water Bottle in the Airport

Water Bottle in the Airport (Photo credit: Leo Newball, Jr.)

I am currently starting a 20 day challenge to follow Bob Harper’s “Skinny Rules”, one rule at a time.  Today is the first day, and I’m glad the rule was fairly easy.

Rule #1: Drink a large glass of water before every meal.

Well, I thought it was easy! I was home today and drank a ton of water.  However, when it came to meal time, I would get so excited and just start eating.  Every time, a few bites in, I would say “oh no my rule!” and run to get a huge glass of water.  I ended up drinking the water with my meal, which I think is ok.  The point is to stay hydrated, and fill yourself up before the meal so you don’t overeat.

Also, I went shopping for healthy foods and prepped a ton of healthy proteins!  I crock potted some chicken breasts to chunk and eat this week with veggies, salad, sandwiches etc.  I made a double batch of turkey meatballs to eat for dinner and throughout the week.  I also made my own hummus (amazing!) with only a tiny bit of olive oil so it’s healthier than the store bought kind (and cheaper–the ingredients are literally 1 can of garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil and  a little tahini! probably cost me like 2 bucks :)) I also boiled a batch of eggs for high protein snacks.  Last but not least, I made some barley for the first time.  It’s actually really good!  It’s kind of sweet by itself, but was great with the meatballs and sautéed squash.  Whew!  It actually didn’t take too much work to make all of that, and I won’t have time or energy to cook all week.  So, now I’m set to eat healthy for a while! I think the major challenge will be the weeks after I have school.  (I have school all weekend every other weekend, making the week after really hard because I have no personal time for laundry, cooking, resting, etc).

Overall I think I did well today with my rule.  I forgot to drink the water BEFORE my meals, but I think the more I do it the more it will become a habit.  I drank a TON of water today, either way.  I also bought one of those brita water bottles so I can always have filtered water when I’m on the go!

Tomorrow: Rule # 2, Don’t drink your calories!  Yikes, no coffee creamer 😦

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Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules: Review and Challenge!

I recently bought Bob Harper’s “The Skinny Rules” book.  My eating has gotten kind of out of control, especially after this week long vacation ending in San Francisco!  Honestly, when given the chance I eat fairly healthy.  I definitely need to work on my portion control.  The hardest thing for me is eating out.  Who wants to order the grilled chicken salad every time?

I didn’t want to go on a “diet”, seeing how they never work and I just feel deprived and don’t ever stick to them.  Instead, I want to learn how to eat healthier in an easy, natural way.  Some people can control every little thing they put in their body with an obsessive attention to detail.  I’m more of a “eat when I’m hungry and be damned the consequences” kind of girl.  However, telling myself to “eat more whole grains and vegetables” hasn’t really resulted in a measurable change in the past.

I researched several diet books, but the one that stood out to me was Bob Harper’s “Skinny Rules”.  Not necessarily because he’s famous and on the Biggest Loser (but if he can get them to lose weight, he must be good!), but because it seems easy to understand and use.  It consists of 20 rules to follow to achieve healthier eating habits.  I like it because  these rules are concrete, measurable, and easy for me to understand. It’s pretty much a task analysis to healthy living!  Which is perfect for me, because I can make a checklist and basically take data on whether I’m following the rules.

Some of the rules are super easy and common sense.  The first one is “drink a ton of water, at least one big glass before every meal”.  Some are going to be harder for me to follow, like cutting out refined grains (bread! rice! pasta!) and not eating carbs after lunch.  He goes into detail about why these rules are important for maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar level (important for those who have family history of diabetes).  I like how he explains the rules and uses data to back his claims.  However, he doesn’t go into too much detail with some of the rules and how to follow them exactly.  Like when he says “only eat whole grains”, I am so nutritionally challenged that I would like a list of exactly which grains I can eat, how to cook them, and what a portion size is.

After explaining all 20 rules, he gives tips on how to follow them and 4 weeks worth of recipes and diet plans for men and women.  I don’t know how helpful the menu plan will be for me, as I eat lunch on the go or in my car a lot (don’t worry, I always pack it) and a lot of his lunch recipes involve cooking and prep time I just don’t have.

Overall I think the book is helpful for people like me who want to eat healthy, but need someone to outline how, exactly to go about that.  If you already maintain a healthy diet, I think this book is probably pretty basic for you.  But for me, it’s perfect.  Somewhere to start, some rules to follow.  Something to help me take control of my eating!

Which brings me to my challenge.  I decided that trying to do all 20 rules all at once might be a drastic change that I wouldn’t be able to sustain, and would end up just like any diet.  I am challenging myself to follow 1 rule a day, adding as I go.  (First day, rule 1, second day rule 1 & 2, etc.)  By the end of the 20 days, I should be eating healthier and feeling more in control!  Plus, it will help me feel successful by achieving a new goal each day while maintaining the old ones.  By the end of the 20 days, I will be well on my way to forming a healthy eating habit!  Stay posted to see how it goes.  Honestly, this week is about to get super crazy (12 hour work days plus school just started so lots of homework! and tests! and starting my thesis!), so I might not be able to post every day.  But I will try!  I’ll let you know what I think as I go!

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