Monday, January 31, 2011

DAY 31 -- Losing Weight!

I weighed in this morning and lost 2.5 pounds since my last weigh in (2 weeks ago).  I am satisfied with that, especially considering I did not get much exercise last week (due to traveling) and ate at restaurants and meals prepared by others.

This really works for me.  I wonder if others are willing to take the challenge!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

DAY 30 -- Wish I had extra encouragement.

Today I am still on track, but wishing I had extra encouragement.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that my husband is eating the same kinds of food, but sometimes I wish I had someone else to also discuss healthy eating with.  I know some people who have formed a little group where they encourage each other to fight fat and lose weight, but they are counting calories and eating sweets.  Most people cannot understand my going without refined sugars, etc.  They think I am extreme.

It boggles my mind.  I don't count calories, fat grams, carbs, or whatever.  They measure and mete out their portions and tally every bite and exercise their heart out -- and yet I am considered extreme?  Hmm...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

DAY 29 -- Chimichaunga downfall!

Today we went out for a late lunch with my brother and his wife.  We went to a restaurant that serves the best chimichaungas (sp?) I've ever eaten.  I did not resist ordering one, even though it was not the healthiest choice to make.  And I ate the whole thing (it's huge) so I was overly full.

I'm not beating myself up too much about it though.  I have done pretty dog gone good so far.  I only fail if I give up.  This isn't about perfection, it is about health, and overall I am pleased with my progress so far!

DAY 28 -- Traveling while sleepy

Well, I did "okay" for most of my trip.  I made fairly healthy choices with what was offered, and during the times I ate out.  However, it was difficult while driving home since I was sleepy.  I wanted to eat to stay awake.  I had healthy foods to snack on, but still ate more than necessary.  I finally decided to talk out loud as though someone was traveling with me, so that my mouth would be busy talking instead of eating, which helped me stay awake!  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

DAY 27 - Traveling

Today I leave on a small trip.  I will return tomorrow night.

Again, I worry about eating healthy while traveling, especially since I will be gone overnight.  I plan to pack a lot of healthy foods to snack on, but when it comes to meal time with family or friends I worry a bit.  I never know what kinds of food they might have to serve... refined flour, foods with added sugar, packaged and processed food.

I remind myself that this challenge about making healthy food choices every day, so I will do my best to choose the best options out of what is offered.

DAY 26 - Dinner at Restaurant

Yesterday was so busy I forgot to post a blog entry.

Last night we went to dinner with a group of people.  They selected a buffet type restaurant, so I was a little worried about over-eating, but it turned out okay.  I filled half my plate with salad and used vinegar and oil dressing.  Then I cruised around the buffet to mentally check what the restaurant had to offer, then made my choices and took small portions.  I wanted foods that I could feel fairly confident did not have a bunch of added preservatives and/or added sugars.  Other than a half plate of salad, I had a small portion of steak, and a small serving of potatoes.  I was satisfied after eating that plateful, and did not go back for seconds.

It felt good to leave a buffet restaurant and not feel stuffed.  I can do this!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DAY 25 -- R.I.P. Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne passed away on Jan. 23, but I am still thinking about him.  I always admired how he was so active even in his old age.  I still recall watching him on T.V. when I was a little girl.  My mom used to exercise to his television show and I liked to join in.  I didn't pronounce the word "exercise" correctly; I used to run to her and say,  "Come on!  It's time to do our extra-sizes!"

You will be missed Jack LaLanne!

Monday, January 24, 2011

DAY 24 -- Diet Books, Begone!

I cleared some space on my bookshelves, sorting through the books I no longer wanted to keep.  I came across several "diet" books I used now and then.  One book recommended a person keep track of their portions; allowing so many portions of certain food groups to stay within certain caloric ranges for the day. Another book recommended keeping track of ratios and percentages of fat, carb, and protein.  (I'm not even sure why I hung onto that book since it was far too complicated for my everyday use.)

Anyway, as I took those books off the shelves, I tossed them into the "donate" pile without so much as flinching.  I've hung onto them for years because there were parts of them that worked for me (with the exception of the afore mentioned ratio/percentage book) and at various times of my life I would pull them out and try again.

But now, I feel like I truly have found a way of eating that works for me, and I feel confident to toss those books.  It's a good feeling!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DAY 23 - Interesting Benefit

This morning my husband told me that eating healthy helped him decide we need to set up a budget.  ???  He explained that he used to think diets were restrictive because he couldn't eat whatever he wanted, but now he realizes that he does not feel deprived and in reality has more freedom because of eating within healthy guidelines: he's lost weight, his blood pressure is down, his blood sugar under control, he has more energy and feel more alert.  Somehow those things crossed over into realizing that in the past he always viewed a budget as restrictive--he couldn't spend on whatever he wanted.  Now he sees that using a budget  will actually give more freedom and peace of mind.

This is a milestone for us.  I used to faithfully keep a budget and he used to faithfully fight against it.  For the past 3 years we didn't keep a budget at all.  Now he is excited about starting one, so we downloaded a program that will be easy for him to use, and easy for him to track spending.

Of all the benefits of eating healthy, I sure didn't expect this one!!  :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22 -- Yummy pizza!

For dinner tonight, I fixed a delicious pizza with whole wheat crust, tomatoes, spinach, and all natural pork sausage from Sunflower Market (made fresh there, daily, and they use animals without antibiotics, etc).  I found the recipe on  I added some garlic to the recipe.  Oh my goodness!  We feasted, and sounded off a lot of "Mmm mmm mmm!" while eating.  We are so pleased over the wonderful foods we've had--not feeling the least bit deprived.  In fact, we both feel like going to a restaurant would be disappointing to us now, since our home-cooked meals taste so good.

Friday, January 21, 2011

DAY 21 -- Still on track

Well, today marks 3 weeks of eating health.  They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit -- I hope eating this way will be a habit that continues the rest of my life.

DAY 20 -- Time to cook.

I realized when my head hit the pillow last night that I had neglected to post a blog, but I was too tired and discouraged (rough day) to get up and do it.  So today I will have two entries.

Yesterday I reflected on a time when I worked at a credit union.  Some of the tellers would come to work with horror stories about how long it took them to go through the McDonald's drive-thru to get their egg McMuffin that morning.  I asked them why they didn't just eat at home, and they told me they don't have time to cook.  I don't understand that.  Forget the fact that the fast food is not healthy, let's just look at the time issue here.  I think a person can cook their own version of an egg with muffin in far less time than it takes to get in the car and drive there and wait in line to get it.  And I would venture to guess that the fat and calories in a home cooked egg with muffin would register less than the fat and calories of the one purchased at a fast food joint.

In only takes a few minutes to toast a whole grain muffin and fry an egg.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DAY 19 -- Discovering a magazine

Today at the library I came across an interesting magazine called Clean Eating!  I am very excited to find out more about this magazine.  I didn't have time to look through it much, but it looked like they have the philosophy I have been trying to follow (of eating foods as close to natural as possible).  Anxious to see some of their recipes.

Meal time is like a savory celebration around our house now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DAY 18 -- Frustration

I stayed on track with healthy choices, but it's been a frustrating day.  I tried a new recipe for tonight's supper and it didn't turn out.  (That is just one of the many frustrations.)

Went to bed at 9 PM and woke up at 1:30 AM.  Could not get back to sleep.  My mind was too busy.  Finally gave up and got out of bed around 2:30.  I've been up ever since (except for a 25 minutes nap) and my batteries are running down.  My lack of sleep probably caused some of my frustrating situations today.

BUT, I did not overeat and I still ate good for me foods.  That is a success for me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

DAY 17 -- "I'd lose weight too if..."

Today as I ate my salad, brown rice, cut up steak (from a local farm that raises grass fed cattle), and kiwi, I thought about how it has taken more time to prepare meals, but how the meals have been so delicious.  When we first started this venture, my husband worried that he would get bored with eating healthy, but that has not been the case.  In fact, it is the opposite.

As I ate my delicious food, I reflected on the times I have been guilty of saying (referring to celebrities), "I could lose weight too if I had a personal trainer making me exercise and a personal chef making all my meals."  Today as I reflected on that, I realized, "Isn't that the same thing as saying, I could lose weight too if I weren't so lazy!?"  It's like saying one won't lose weight unless someone forces you to exercise and prepares healthy foods for you.  I've been like that.  I know others who have made that comment too.

So sure, eating this way takes more time and effort in some cases (not all meals take a long time to prepare) but the result is extremely worth it.  I don't need a personal trainer and I don't need a personal chef.  I can get fit and healthy because it is important to me and because I want to.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

DAY 16 -- Observation

Since eating healthy I have noticed that we create half as much trash (due to the very limited packaged goods we use), but we seem to run the dishwasher  more often (due to cooking from scratch and eating meals at home).

Not sure which is better for the environment...but I know this way of eating is far better for our health.

My husband realized today that lettuce actually has a "taste" to it.  And tonight he preferred the vegetables to our main dish.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

DAY 15 -- Braved the scales!

This morning I braved the scales.  I started eating healthy on January 1 and as of this morning I lost 8 1/2 pounds.  I was stunned, and very excited.

I did not count one single calorie.  I did not measure one portion.  I did not count one fat gram.  I ate whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, and very little processed foods.  I drank water and milk.   I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was no longer hungry.  I've prepared some delicious meals and never felt deprived at all.  I did this for my health, but losing weight sure is a nice bonus!

Friday, January 14, 2011

DAY 14 -- Fatigue

I battled fatigue today for some reason.  Not sure why.  Still eating healthy.  I guess some days are just like that.  With fatigue, my body starts to act like it needs more "fuel" for energy but I made sure I was really hungry first before having any snack -- usually I drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes (or more) and see if I still feel hungry.

I love having fruit mixed with plain yogurt with a few chopped walnuts.  Mmm mmm mmm!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DAY 13 -- Foods taste better

Foods seem to taste so much better to me now that I am eating healthy.  I've heard that the reason food companies add sugar and fat to food is to improve the taste, but I don't believe that now.  Foods actually taste better when they are fresh and without all the additives.  Maybe they have to add sugar and fat to processed/packaged foods to cover the taste of the chemicals.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

DAY 12 -- Seeing changes

My husband started eating healthy along with me, saying, "I will try this for one month, and if I don't see any change, then forget it!" Well, this morning he weighed himself and saw that he lost 6 1/2 pounds.  He checked his blood sugar and it is very close to normal range (he is diabetic).  Now he's a believer!

I feel more alert and focused.  And tonight I saw an acquaintance who asked me what I was doing different because I looked like I was radiant.  I think it's the healthy foods I am eating!  :)

(I still haven't weighed myself so I can't report on that, but my pants are fitting better!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DAY 11 -- Still thinking about Biggest Loser

This morning as I exercised, I kept wondering how on earth the contestants on Biggest Loser can do all that exertion and not keel over or get injured!!  I exercise fairly consistently, and yet at times (like this morning) when I stepped it up a notch I nearly pulled a muscle.  So how do such obese people suddenly become so extremely active without injury?  Makes me wonder if they really show the whole story on there.

(But as I mentioned before...I have not watched the show much, so maybe I need to watch it more often to learn how they do this.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

DAY 10 -- Thankful obesity has not struck my children

Tonight I watched last week's episode of Biggest Loser Season 11 (on the  I have only seen the show once or twice several years ago.  This season I was curious to watch it after hearing that Rulon Gardner is on there.  I can still vividly recall the thrill I felt watching him win Olympic Gold.  But I digress...

Watching that show made me so grateful that my children do not suffer from obesity.  They are fit and trim, and I realize it is miraculous.  Seeing the parent/child teams on the show really hit me... first with gratitude that my children are not overweight, and second with gratitude that I woke up and gave up refined sugars years ago--otherwise I would be even heavier than I was at that time, and certainly heavier than I am now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

DAY 9 -- Recognizing hunger and fullness.

I nearly forgot to post today!

This morning I was tempted to weigh myself.  I feel like I have lost weight, and my clothes seem to fit a tiny bit better, but I resisted the urge to get on the scale.  Why?  Because my focus is health, and weight loss will be a hopeful benefit--not the goal.  I worried that if the scale did not reflect a loss of pounds, then I might get discouraged.  I decided to not weigh myself until my wardrobe fits noticeably different.  At least by then, I will have measurable change even if my weight remains the same.

I felt happy with myself during supper tonight when I reached a point where I was politely full and stopped eating.  I wanted to finish my plate of food, but restrained myself, and rejoiced the I could recognize hunger before eating as well recognize when my body was no longer hungry.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

DAY 8 -- Family meal after funeral

I did fine yesterday during the family meal (after the funeral).  They had some healthy choices for me.  They served salad, so I was able to eat that along with some thin slices of roast beef.

A niece went with me on the trip.  She has been a health food guru to me for several years, so it was wonderful to have her along for the ride.  We discussed nutrition and health for most of the journey there.  And, of course, since it was a family gathering, we had plenty of "food" for discussion on the way back!  hahaha

Friday, January 7, 2011

DAY 7 -- Funeral trip

I am preparing to drive to a neighboring state for a funeral.  I packed healthy snacks to take (raw nuts, carrots, celery, healthy muffins, fruit, water...) but I am concerned about when we have the family dinner after the funeral.  I have confidence that I can make healthy choices, but not so sure there will be healthy items to choose from.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

DAY 6 -- Blog posts

I think remembering to keep a daily blog might be harder than making healthy choices each day!

Still on track.

Tomorrow I go to a funeral in a neighboring state and might not have a chance to make a blog entry.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

DAY 5 -- Stocking up!

For lunch today, it seemed difficult to figure out what to eat that was "healthy," but I managed.  Then my husband and I went grocery shopping and stocked up on fresh vegetables and fruit.  The highlight of our shopping trip was stopping at a market that specializes in olive oils.  What a variety!  Came home and sauteed some tomatoes and green onion with garlic then served it over toast (brushed with our new olive oil).  Mmm mmm mmm.  Satisfying!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

DAY 4 -- Healthy muffins

Still on track.  Today I am making "healthy" muffins that have very little sweetener in it (about 2 TBS of honey for an entire batch).  I've made these before, and I think they are quite delicious, and a nice snack, or for an alternative to bread.  One of my nephews tasted them and declared, "There's not enough 'muff' in these muffins!"

They are plenty sweet for me.  Some of my friends don't believe me that when sugar is out of the system, foods taste much better.

Monday, January 3, 2011

DAY 3 -- Good food, but low mood

Still successful.  This morning I had "Zoom" hot cereal (100% whole wheat), with lowfat milk, and an egg cooked with vegetable oil spray.  Oh, and I had a clementine.  :)  I used to use a little bit of honey in my Zoom, but today I decided to leave it off.

For lunch I had a mixture of fresh potato, green beans, and extra lean ground beef.  And a fresh plum.

Tonight I plan on having a salad with vinegar/oil dressing.

I feel somewhat down today.  I guess I expected my mood to be elevated.  After all...I am on the right track again...I am successful at this so far...I am eating healthy foods.  What's wrong?  I am wondering if it might be withdrawals from the refined flour.  Missing my comfort foods, maybe?

I read a book (awhile back) about overeating, and the author suggested that we turn to God for comfort instead of food.  I am a religious person, and agree with her on that point.  Time to get on my knees and ask for His comfort.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

DAY 2 -- Motivating Documentary

So far so good.  :-)  And, to help with motivation, my husband and I watched the documentary FOOD, INC.  That film really added to my desire to eat healthier: locally grown produce in season, and grass fed beef, etc.

It's amazing to me that after only two days of eating like this, I already see some difference.  Today I don't feel bloated and I haven't had any *gas* :-)  That's progress!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

DAY 1 -- Eating Healthy

Here I am, in the middle of day one.  I ate so much last night (New Year's Eve) that I did not feel hungry this morning when I arose, so I didn't eat breakfast until around 11:00 a.m. this morning.  I used a recipe called "Pop up eggs" which consisted of whole wheat flour, milk, egg, and butter.  It baked in the oven, but the eggs did not "pop up" and it tasted like a heavy pancake.  What a way to start my new eating plan!  Ugh.  Oh well.  :)

Lately I read that a person should only make little changes to their diet in order to be successful, so maybe I am shooting myself in the foot by making such drastic changes:  eating more natural foods (very few processed foods) and striving to eat only when actually hungry and stopping when I am full.  I am not measuring servings or counting calories or watching fat grams.  Just trying to eat healthy.

I really want this to work!