Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Camera!

I've been camera-less and sad about it for a while now.... but...

We got a camera for Christmas from my father-in-law!

It takes really beautiful pictures and has truer colors than any camera I've ever used. I'll take some pictures of our orange chihuahua later to show you how amazing the colors are-- seriously. And I have to make almost no changes in photoshop! I haven't tried food yet, so we'll see how that goes. I look forward to blogging more soon!

And Merry Christmas!!!! And I hope anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas has an amazing day too!! Also, check out the snow! In Texas! On Christmas!! That almost never happens...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Brendan Brazier's 6 Stress Busting Tips for the Holidays

Monday night was great, then really great, then kinda horrible. A few days ago I signed up for a class/ q and a session with Brendan Frazier on LearnItLive. It was free, and I thought the idea of a live q and a with one of the top vegan fitness/ nutrition guys sounded pretty awesome. I didn't take good enough notes to remember what specifically his 6 stress busting tips were but I think you can listen to a recording of the session here.

What I really liked was his talking about whole foods, fewer grains (and more psuedo-grains like quinoa and amaranth), and alkaline boosting foods-- which I've been meaning to look into, and how to get your nutrient-rich foods on the cheap. So that was the great part. Then the great part-- he answered my question in the q and a section! And it was the last question answered, so it might not have happened at all. I asked about muscle soreness after working out. See, I get sore. Really, really sore. If I do like, one 15 minute workout I can't move very well for the next 4 days kind of sore. I try to make sure I eat enough protein (and when I was counting calories I would track protein specifically), eat before and after workouts, get enough iron, eat healthily, and drink enough water. First off, he said some muscle soreness is really good, especially when you're switching up your routine. I'm cool with that. He said if you are super sore day after day, even when you are doing the same types of workouts consistently that that is a problem. That's the boat I'm in.

So what was his answer? Three parts, non of which was "take a certain supplement", which I thought was pretty cool. Part one: alkaline foods. Still need to look into that, about to go do that right now. Part two: higher-quality protein, like pea and hemp. My protein powder has these but next time I order, I'll get something with a higher percentage of each. Part three: greens! This was kind of an "aha!" moment for me. I eat greens, I like them, but I wouldn't say they're a huge part of my life. I get a bag of spinach, some broccoli, and maybe something else a week. Sometimes it's spinach or broccoli. I also love kale but I haven't been feelin' it. That's gonna have to change. He said a green smoothie every day for breakfast is great and that plus other greens have chlorophyll, which is apparently great for muscles! Good to know. I'll bulk up my greens and let you guys know how my workouts go. Does anyone else have this muscle soreness issue? Did you find anything that helps?

Oh yeah, the horrible part. It got better this morning so don't worry. Remember my post about our kitties? One of them got out of the window Monday night and we couldn't find him. And he'd never been outside before (well he was born outside, but pretty quickly came in and has been a snuggle-bug-not-so-outdoorsy type since then). Anyway, We found him Tuesday morning, on the roof, just chillaxin' like nothing happened. If he wants to go outside, more power to him, but I thought he'd be scared so I was all worried. He napped all day long Tuesday, so I guess he had quite the adventure, and since he's obviously not upset, I'm fine now too.

This is him. His name is Little Prince. I call him Little or Little Kitten most of the time.

He doesn't love pictures. This is him looking all grumpy and also huge-- he only weighs about 9.5 pounds and he's usually not grumpy, so just ignore the giant grumpy cat-man in front of you, but look at his big, bold stripes on his arms and the spots on his tummy-- isn't that awesome? I think he's pretty. Or handsome. But he's a cat, so he can be pretty, right?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I've missed you! (And a weight loss post)

Image Source

First off, an apology. For anyone who reads the blog very often you'll know I haven't posted in a month-- tsk tsk on me! My camera broke, but that's really no excuse because I have a few recipes and pics backed up that I still need to blog about. Plus I could still do roundups or other things. Truth is, I've been lazy. I've also been lazy with food. Then not. Then lazy again. I haven't really written on here before about weight loss, a topic that for some people, at some times, becomes all-consuming. 

So, personal history, here goes: I was a bit chunky in 4th grade, leaned out a little in 6th, but at the time I was still at least 30 pounds heavier than all of the other girls in my class because I was taller and more developed. I felt like an Amazon woman. I never got any taller after that, and if I'd just stayed where I was weight-wise and maybe exercised a little, I would have been exactly where I wanted, but I didn't know that. Growing up I got some pretty weird messages about weight, like, if I was trying to lose weight or exercising I must hate myself, if I got below about 150 pounds I was too skinny, thin isn't womanly or healthy but overweight is, if I change my weight it must be for a man-- I couldn't possibly just want to feel better for myself, and skinny girls are skinny b****es. Not like these things were always said word for word out loud, but that was the general gist. Also, guys, I now have several very thin, very nice friends and it hurts them when people call them skinny bi***. A lot of these girls are nice and you become the bully when you call them names, even behind their backs. But I digress. So with these thoughts regarding weight in mind, I went to college, gained and lost and gained 30 pounds, got married, lost some for the wedding then gained in back plus 20, and found myself just shy of 200. That was my wake-up call.

At first, all I knew about nutrition or weight loss was what I had googled during my first real foray into dieting before the wedding. I ate 1200 calories a day and worked out everyday, sometimes more than once. Needless to say that wasn't sustainable, and when I stopped I found myself eating bowls of peanut butter and honey and drinking an ungodly amount of soda. Hence the 40 pound weight gain to my highest. I started listening to my body, eating what felt good, started tracking calories on FatSecret (which I don't love the name of, but I like the website), found some amazing veggie blogs (thank you Susan, for being my first real introduction to vegan food!), became vegetarian, then vegan, and lost 50 pounds. Then sometime last year I went crazy in regards to weight loss. I felt rebellious, and angry that I had to count and measure everything, and sad for reasons unrelated to weight loss but which made me want to basically stop eating. Then when I started to eat more I ate a lot. All the time.

I've spent the last year gaining 12 pounds and trying to get a grip on my eating and exercising. I think I've found the answer. I'm not going to count anymore. I'm not going to make exercise schedules that I have to stick to. I am going to weigh once or twice a week. I am going to really, really listen to my body. Only eat when I'm hungry or feeling low-blood-sugary, not for comfort, or distraction, or just to be social. I do eat dinner with my husband, and for other social occasions, but I'm not going to put pressure on myself to have a "dinner sized" portion. I will exercise when I feel like it. I will celebrate every victory. I've lost 4 pounds this week, it seems to be working. I don't expect to lose that much every week, but I've just started this new philosophy. It feels good. I'm excited to see how it goes.