Monday, August 23, 2010

Adventures in fasting . . . Sort of

So last week DH and I come up with the great idea to try a two week fast. It really seemed like a good idea at the time, anyway. The intentions were good, the motivation was there. But what wasn't there was our expectations. Neither of us had any idea what was about to happen to our bodies and minds. After a day and a half, we couldn't continue. But we learned a lot those two days, and I believe I got a lot out of it.

I chronicled the first two days in my journal. To re-post all of it would take too long, but here are a couple of excerpts:

Day 1
Mood, Hopeful, Excited

I woke up hungry for the first time in a long time . . . Had a bottle of water with lemon - it was surprisingly yummy . . . Ronnie is doing things differently. I'm a little worried for him actually . . .

Day 2
Mood: Bleh

Yesterday was plain awful . . . I had to lay down most of the day and when I'd get up, I was weak and light headed. Even now, I don't feel like myself . . . Poor Ronnie, I think he suffers more from watching what I am going through . . . I am calling it withdraw. After all, it is an addiction I am trying to break . . . and I'm trying to justify my addiction.

Yesterday I had 2 shakes, a mug of broth, and a cup of juice and drank lots of water and lemon. The shakes are going to become tiresome, though . . . I had a nice talk with Ronnie yesterday and finally understand fully his reason to want to do this . . .

Last night had a CSH meeting . . . Friends were worried because of how I was acting. I just wasn't myself at all.

Hoping and praying that today is much better.

Day 3
No more fast.
Mood . . . ???

I am unsure how I feel about quitting. I know Ronnie feels like a failure, but somehow I do not. I am taking so much with me on this experience, as short as it was. I no longer crave the soda. And the food that I crave is on the healthier side. Things like salad and green beans, and tuna and scrambled eggs . . . I am confident that I have gotten the detox over with and that my journey will become easier . . . I feel for those that have to do this for surgery . . .  I now know that my will power for that just might not be strong enough.

What did I learn from this experience? Well, I learned that I am not as strong a person as I thought I was. After two days both my husband and I were in bad shape. I also learned that I lean on food too much for comfort - more than I thought I did. I learned that I don't have to eat when I am bored - I can drink something that tastes good such as water with lemon or some sugar free tea and be just as satisfied. I also learned that I don't have to eat as much as I thought I needed to in order to survive or to lose weight.

I am thinking that this fast is what is going to help me get back on track this time. And when I lose track, all I need to do is another 1-2 day fast to get back on it. I am hopeful that I can do this.

My meal plan for the day has changed as well, and now looks like this:

Breakfast: Bagel Thin with 1T cream cheese, coffee with splenda and fat free 1/2 and 1/2
Snack: Weight Loss Shake
32 oz water

Lunch: Soup or salad, fruit, iced tea with lemon and splenda
Snack: cup of broth or cup of power juice (pear, apple, grape, celery, carrot, spinach)
16 oz water

Dinner: Low-Fat Entree, Salad, Vegetable, iced water
Bed time snack: cup of herbal tea with splenda (occasionally air popped pop corn)

No soda, low carbs, low sugar, and low fat. My daily calorie count (not that I'm counting) should be in the range of 1200-1500 a day. I know it seems low, but in reality I don't get much exercise (as much as I'd like to), and I've been reading that the more sedentary a life you live, the fewer calories you need.

I know that I can do this with lots of prayer and encouragement.
Here's to your health!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hate Not Working Out . . .

This week the workout has been a bit of a challenge, and my body is feeling the after effects. The main thing is my ankle - it's been hurting for a few days now. What did I do to it? I have NO idea. There's no problem with flexibility, but when I put weight on it, it hurts. I am utterly clueless.

Then there's the problem with the "burn out". I have a couple of work out videos I've been doing, and the truth is, I'm already tired of them. I need to invest in a couple more, I'm sure, but I can't find what I want in the store, and online it's hard to find too so . . . *sigh*.

I know that working out is the most important thing I can do - even more so than the eating. But I just can't seem to get with it this week. Yeah, I know I know . . . "just do it" . . . that kind of thing, but it's not as easy as it sounds! Really!

I need to figure out a way to get moving . . .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Low Fat, Easy brats and "Kraut"

Ronnie and I LOVE our Bratwurst. That's what I get for marrying a man with German blood running through his veins. But, brats can be SUPER high in fat and calories. Add a sandwich roll on top of that, and it's not exactly the healthiest thing you can put in your body.

Well, today I created a recipe that will satisfy that brats-and-kraut craving - it's SUPER easy, and FULL of flavor!

Crock-Pot Sausage and Kraut

1/2 head cabbage, sliced into shreds (you can also find pre-shredded cabbage in some supermarkets)
1 lb lean turkey brats
1/2 c Chicken broth
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
2 T sugar OR Splenda (if you're watching your carbs or are diabetic)
1 T caraway seed (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a 5 qt crock pot, combine broth, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, caraway seed, and cabbage (I used my clean hands to mix it gently and well). Lay brats on top of cabbage.

Cook on high 3-5 hrs or on low 6-8 hrs.
*note - if you prefer the more sour sauerkraut, omit the sugar and use white vinegar*

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DIY - Do It Yourself!!

One thing that a lot of people have issues with when it comes to eating well, is the cost. I'm a huge fan of Diary of a Mad, Fat Woman, and her most recent post is what has inspired this one. 

Everyone who tries to lose weight always has an excuse - It's too hard, it's too expensive, it doesn't taste good . . . You know who you are (and yes, I am just as guilty as you are some days).

Well, here are some great tips that will help you off-set any time or cost issues you may have for eating well.

1) Buy in bulk, cook in advance. Buy 2 lb bags of brown rice and cook it all at once. Portion it out into 1 cup servings in freezer bags and store it in the freezer for those nights when you want to do a quick and easy stir fry or skillet meal. Do the same with chicken breasts - in some stores, you can buy 5 lbs of boneless, skinless breasts for about the cost of 2 1 lb packages. Buy it, cook it up, and store it for later use. This can also be done with ground turkey, whole wheat pasta, even veggies!

2) Make the most of your time. Of course you can't cook a pork loin and veggies when you get home from work. But you can make something quick and easy. Even a spaghetti dinner can be made healthy by switching from white pasta to whole wheat, using ground turkey instead of beef, and bulking up your sauce with some mushrooms, onions, peppers, or spinach (or, you can do what I do and add all three!).

3) Invest in a crock pot! A crock pot is an ESSENTIAL part of my life - I use it at least once a week, sometimes twice. And it's just made for low-fat, low-cal cooking! All those cuts of low-fat meat that dry out easily? Stick them in the crock pot with some veggies, a little broth, and set it and forget it! Remember that pork loin you didn't have time to cook? Well, now you do!

4) SOME packaged products are okay - in a pinch. For example - you can find good low-fat and low-sodium cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soups. Add some brown rice, veggies, and a protein and you have a great casserole! If you don't have time (or think you don't, anyway) to cook brown rice for an hour, go ahead and use the quick-cooking variety. It has the same nutritional value and a fraction of the time. Just be sure to read the labels to make sure there's no added sugar or fat!

5) Vegetables are surprisingly cheap. Even more so if you buy them frozen, in some cases. You can buy stir fry mixes for a fraction of what it would cost to buy all the veggies separately - and there's little to no waste since it can be stored in the freezer for up to a year!

"But Jen, how can I make dinner in a hurry for my family in between work, PTA meetings, soccer, cheerleading, swimming, supper club, book club, and the church auxiliary?"

There are SO MANY options for just that. I have a secret formula I'm going to share with you. Ready?

1 lb meat + 1 1/2 c Brown Rice or Whole Wheat Pasta + 1 C broth or water + 1 can cream soup or tomato paste + 2 T seasoning of choice + 1 1/2 c fresh or frozen vegetables of choice + 1 deep sided skillet + 20-30 minutes = a skillet meal for four fit for a family of four. : )

For example - use ground turkey, brown rice, beef broth, tomato paste, taco seasoning, peas and carrots and you have a taco skillet meal! 
Use chicken, pasta, chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, thyme, and mushrooms for an out of this world mushroom chicken skillet. 
The possibilities are endless. The benefits - YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOING INTO YOUR FAMILY'S TUMMIES! Unlike the packaged products, where you can't even pronounce half the items.

So, NO MORE EXCUSES! Eating healthy does NOT have to break the bank OR take up your time!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Outlook - Again . . .

After my meltdown the other day, I came to realize quite a few things.
1) Never weigh yourself then blog about it when you're hormonal
2) I have an amazing network of friends and family that love and support me
3) I need to hide my scale (and dear, dear Hubby has done just that for me)
4) Hubby loves me, no matter what I weigh (he told me so, too!)
5) GOD loves me, no matter what I weigh
6) If I am eating right and exercising, the weight itself is secondary

Looking back on last week, I've thought a few things over - while I DID do more last week then usual, it just might not have been enough. I exercised two times. I ate healthfully, but I probably ate too much (even healthy food can be bad if you eat too much of it). So, in retrospect, I need to "fuggetabowtit" and move on.

I also realized that I am disobeying God by relying too much on the scale. God wants us to rely on Him, and put our trust in Him. Instead, I was putting my trust in a machine. I was worshiping a false idol.

One thing that I often write about is self image. I apparantly forgot my own mantra the other day:
"I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) by God "in his own image" (Genesis 1:27). God created me as I am - fat and all. He made me with frizzy hair, big boobs and a flat tush. He gave me a mole on my nose, and missing incisor teeth. He gave me a quirky look that my husband just loves.

So, as I repent for all of that, I make a vow. Okay, two vows.

1) I will never EVER blog on PMS again.
2) I will F.R.O.G. = Fully Rely On God.

If I can do those two things, I'll be just fine.