Eat Clean Day 3: There will never be a good time to start…

so you just got to do it.  I was thinking more about starting my 5-day clean eating goal, and I started thinking that this probably wasn’t the best week to get started.  First off, it’s that time of month for me (sorry.. TMI) which makes me feel bloated and always craving something.  Second, it’s Halloween today, which means that there will be a never ending supply of treats floating around the office today.  I will need to stay very focused today because should I slip and indulge in a treat, I can see myself just having “one more”.  

I know that every now and then a treat is a good thing, but I really enjoy my dark chocolate treats, so if I’m indulge, I may as well indulge in something that I will really enjoy.  And last week I discovered a new dark chocolate bar:

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It’s not one of the healthiest dark chocolates out there (with the addition of toffee) but the combination of the salted toffee and banana is a great combo!  I probably should have picked up a bar yesterday to help me get through today.  

Yesterday was definitely a tough day for me, but by the time I got home I was feeling much better and the rest of the evening was good.  Today will be another tough day but I’m already looking forward to tomorrow.  I was thinking this morning, that if the 5 days of clean eating goes well, I’ll extend it to November 7th when I’m planning to take my next progress pictures.  

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Eat Clean Day 2: This is where it gets tough for me…

I started the day without my warm cup of coffee (w/ a splash of french vanilla creamer).  I got into work and immediately made myself a cup of tea to help me warm up.  It wasn’t the same, the hot cup of tea just didn’t have that comforting feeling that I get from a warm cup of creamy coffee.  I even found myself down in the cafeteria with my coworker, cup in hand, lined up at the coffee carafe.  Then I had to pause and step back and tell myself that I didn’t need the coffee and the sugar that I usually add to it.  I put the cup back and walked away.  Of course I walked away from the coffee section and couldn’t help but take a peek behind the food counter at the tray of hashbrowns.  They looked really good, and again, I paused, had to really think about how I would feel if I ended up eating hashbrowns, stepped back and walked away.

Last night was rough, thinking about chips and dip (specifically a super delicious artichoke and jalepeno dip) and thinking about potato chips.  I’m not sure what it is, but right now I just want to munch on crunchy and salty snacks.  At this point it’s all in my head.  I’ve had more than enough food for the day and still have fruit and snacks available to me.  I just don’t want them.  I want a coffee because I think it will make my headache go away.  I’m thinking if I have a bag of baked Lay’s it won’t be so bad.  I’m thinking… OMG it’s only 1pm and I’m at work for another 3 hours 😦

I can’t wait to get home though and to cook supper.  I’m roasting some bbq chicken and broccoli.  Can’t wait!  OR can I have sushi for supper? hmm…

I think today is going to be the most challenging day.  If I can get through today I know the rest of the week will get better and will be easy.  I need to stay focused.

Eat Clean Day 1: Things I’ve learned in the past 2hrs

I’ve been at the office for 2 hours and started thinking about I brought for lunch and snacks today.  Also thought about what I had for breakfast and here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • I’m going to have to give up coffee, or learn to drink it without my flavoured creamer.  At first I was thinking I’d allow myself to have my coffee and creamer, but now I’m realizing that if I’m going to eat clean, I really need to give 100%.  I’ve gone without coffee before (gave it up for Lent – 40 days), so I know it’s something I can do.  Unless I learn to drink my coffee black or with skim milk and sweetened with agave.  For now, I will stick to my ginger peach green tea.
  • Whole wheat bread will only be eaten for breakfast and if possible every other day.  I’ve read online that whole wheat bread is considered “clean” but should be kept at a minimum if you really want to see results
  • I need to prepare next day’s breakfast the night before.  Today I ran out of time in the morning, which resulted in my quick breakfast of whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter.
  • Most important… I can’t allow myself to try and justify tiny cheats or to convince myself that I’ll make up for it by working out extra hard later.  No excuses.  Just do it.

I’m going to start visiting The Eat-Clean Diet site more often to get inspired and to find answers to any questions I may have.  It looks like the site has a good database of tips and recipes, so I will need to take advantage of that.

This morning was tough, and there was a moment when I thought that I’d “start tomorrow”.  But if I keep that attitude, I’m never going to make it to my goal of 5 days.

That’s right.. I’ll start on Monday…

We hear it all the time, a minor slip in the meal plan, a small indulgence and then it’s “I’ll start on Monday”

I’ve always told myself that following a small indulgence, I can re-focus and get back on track.  As I stated in my last post, this past week wasn’t a great week in terms of eating clean and staying focused.  And this time, I did tell myself I’d start again on Monday.  This weekend the hubby and I finally went on a date.  We were hoping to have a nice dinner before the movie but ran out of time and found ourselves having fast food (how romantic! hehe)  I actually really enjoyed my burger and couple chicken nuggets.  Haven’t had fast food in awhile so it really hit the spot.

Today we watched a friend’s son play football.. it was the bantam finals so we were there to cheer them on.  Afterwards we found ourselves short on time and still had errands to run so we found ourselves back at a fast food restaurant.  Another burger, more chicken nuggets AND fries this time!  Oh my!! It was really quite the indulgence.  I enjoyed my meal and didn’t feel guilty about it, but I know that I still need to get focused because the entire week wasn’t very good.

Tonight I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen prepping my meals and snacks for the upcoming week.

I really want to aim for 5 days of clean eating.  And I know I need to take it one day at a time, because honestly the thought of 5 days is daunting and perhaps I just need to focus on one day at a time.  

Tomorrow I am going to start a mini-series on my blog to help me track my goal .. 5 days of clean eating.  I hope that as I write down my thoughts and experiences with staying focused, it will help me stay motivated.

An off week…

Or is that a week off?
This past Monday was a huge day at work. The project that has been kicking my butt for the past month finally went live! With the go-live came alot of overseen issues that had to be addressed immediately. So work continued to kick my butt this week.
On Monday night while working out I must have gone a bit too heavy with my dead lifts and shocked my body because my lower back was killing me the next day. And by Wednesday it was worse and I found myself in pain most of the day. So workouts for the rest of the week haven’t been intense.
Wednesday was a big food day for me. My team meeting was a potluck so there was alot of good food there. I even had an apple fritter. Then in the evening we had a project windup which involved go-kart racing and more good food.

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After all the hard work on the project I really wanted to enjoy a slice of cake. A tiny slice was perfect.
So donuts, cake, and hashbrowns… Oh and potato chips managed to sneak themselves into my meals. This week I’ve allowed myself to indulge with minimal guilt. I know I’m going to have to work my butt off to make up for the treats but my back is feeling much better and it’s time to go hard.

50 Shades..

Last week a coworker of mine had asked if I read the 50 Shades of.. book series and she was thinking about reading them.  Until she had mentioned the books, I actually never thought about reading the books.  I heard women absolutely loved them, so I got curious.  I found myself reading the first book last Friday night… by Sunday evening, I had finished the 3rd and final book.

Were the books so good that I had to finish them over the span of one weekend?  No.  And to be honest, by the time I got to the 3rd book (which is 700+ pages) I was just skimming through the pages to see if anything good was happening.  And when I say good.. I don’t mean, good as in passionate love making.. I mean good as in.. is there a hint of a storyline here?  At about page 50 in the 3rd book, I realized that there was no way I was going to read the entire book, so I went to the end, backed up about 100 pages and skimmed those pages just to see how the entire book series ends.

Final verdict?  I didn’t like the series and I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone to read.  There were a few good things about the book:

  • I am such a sucker for the boy/girl relationship, where the super hot, super sexy guy who has never fallen in love, finally falls in love with the shy girl who feels like she’s nothing special.  This reminded me of the Twilight relationship between Edward and Bella.. 
  • hmmm…..

Okay, maybe that’s the only good thing I enjoyed about the book.  Did the book get me lusting after my husband?  Not really..  it’s definitely a “ooh.. that’s a bit hot” moment, but that’s about it.

So how did I manage to read the books so quickly?  Whenever I start reading a book, it’s very hard for me to put the book down and stop reading.  When it’s a series, I will read through the entire series, day after day until I’m done.  I think it’s just wanting to know how everything ends.  This shows my lack of patience.. hehe.. 

I seem a bit harsh on my review of the 50 Shades of.. book series.  I think this is mainly because… (and here’s my internet confession) I’ve been reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  And now that I’ve read 50 Shades, I’d have to say that the Black Dagger Brotherhood series is a combination of Twilight and 50 Shades.  The series which currently has 10 books (actually Wikipedia says 11 books.. which means I’ve got some catching up to do!) can be described as: 

An ongoing series of paranormal romance books by author J. R. Ward. The series focuses on six vampire brothers and warriors who live together and defend their race against Lessers, de-souled humans who threaten their kind. The first book in the series was published in 2005.

It’s got the boy/girl relationship where the super hot warrior vampire falls for a woman, and they’re attracted to each other but try to fight their feelings.  I think that’s the best way to describe it.  So there’s that YAY feeling when they finally hook up, and when they do hook up the passionate love-making is WAY better than 50 Shades.  And the best part?  There’s a real storyline.  Stuff happens outside of the bedroom.

Now I need to go find out where to get the 11th book.

 

 

Yummy snack bars… oatmeal coconut flax dark chocolate chip..

For the past week I’ve been searching for a healthy cookie or muffin recipe where I could use oatmeal, coconut and dark chocolate chips.  I didn’t have much luck until tonight when I found a recipe for these oatmeal coconut pecan squares with chocolate chips.

I changed up the recipe a bit and here’s what I used:

oatmeal coconut flax squares with chocolate chips
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c dark chocolate chips
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c flax
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
5 T unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all the dry ingredients (oats through salt) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together the melted butter, egg and vanilla. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well blended. Oil up an 8×8 pan and pour mixture in, patting the top flat with your hands while making sure the mixture gets into the corners. Bake for 25 minutes and cool. Cut into squares.

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They turned out great!  Although the next time I think I’ll definitely cut back on the sugar.  I’m not sure if it’s just me being a bit more sensitive to sweets but it seemed overly sweet to me.  And next time I’ll try substituting the butter with coconut oil.  Oh and one other change, I’ll substitute the dark chocolate chips with a darker chocolate, maybe buy a Lindt 85% dark chocolate bar and just chop it up.  A small square is enough to satisfy that sweet craving and I can’t wait to bring some to work with me.

My Favorite Things…

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Earlier today I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Lisa at She’s Losing It.  This is an award for up-and-coming bloggers to encourage them to continue.  Thank you Lisa!  The nomination is definitely motivation to continue blogging.  So here’s what I need to do:

  • Post 11 facts about myself
  • Answer 11 questions from the person who nominated me
  • Nominate new bloggers

11 FACTS ABOUT ME: MY FAVORITE THINGS

Movie: Serendipity (w/ Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack).  LOVE this movie and the definition “a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it”

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Food:  I hate to admit it, but my favorite food would still be extra crispy french fries.  Whenever I think about indulging, my first thought is fried potatoes.

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Color:  Green.  I absolutely love the color green.  

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TV series:  Seinfeld.  I can watch re-runs over and over again.

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Dessert:  Mocha Torte

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Quote: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

Super hero:  Rogue from X-Men.  I would watch the cartoon episodes and thought she was the best.  And I loved her red hair with the white streak.

Pizza:  For the rare occasions where I have pizza, I love a thin crust pepperoni and feta pizza.

Board game:  Monopoly.  I never win, never had the patience or strategy to win.  At the first opportunity I would buy, buy, buy!

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Piece of clothing:  I have this chunky knit sweater (green of course!) that I bought at H&M 7 years ago and although you can tell that it’s old and has been loved, I can’t let it go.  Friends and even coworkers have told me that it’s time to replace it.  

Scent:  Jennifer Lopez’s Live.  The hubby gave me this perfume our first Christmas together.

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11 Questions I have to answer from Lisa @ She’s Losing It

  1. How did you get interested in your favorite sport? My favorite sport is running and I first got interested in it when people kept telling me that I couldn’t do it.
  2. If you saw your friend about to quit, what would you say to her? I would tell her to give it another try and that she wouldn’t want to look back and have any regrets.
  3. Truth or Dare? Truth.  I don’t think I have the guts to do a Dare.
  4. If there was a fight between Superman and Mighty Mouse who would you root for? Definitely Superman.  I remember watch the Superman series on television (ooh… Dean Cain)
  5. Why did you start blogging? I’ve always kept a journal and love writing down my thoughts and my experiences and being able to go back and read them.
  6. What are your goals for next year? Main goals for next year:  move forward in my career, do a smarter job at the household budget, run my first full marathon
  7. If you could choose between never having to sleep or being able to read people’s minds, which would you choose and why? I would choose never having to sleep.  I don’t think I want to know what people are thinking, I don’t know if any good could come out of it.
  8. What is your favorite TV show? Seinfeld.  
  9. What is the very coolest thing you did between the ages of 7 and 14? I got promoted from grade 5 to grade 7, skipping grade 6.  So the coolest thing had to be experiencing junior high one year early.
  10. Which exercise gives the best result? I think that squats definitely give the best results.
  11. Do you have any superstitions before a big game/event? No superstitions, just focus.

Bloggers I nominate:

Confessions and Dreams

Happier, Healthier, More Fit Me

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

I picked up a sweet potato on my grocery shopping trip yesterday and spent some time last night looking for a recipe online.  I came across this great recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples.

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly and the dish still turned out great:

1 large sweet potato (2lbs) cubed

2 gala apples cubed

1 cup almonds

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

I tossed the cubed sweet potato, apples and almonds in the coconut oil and cinnamon until thoroughly coated.  Placed the mixture in a glass dish, covered with foil and baked at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

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I brought some to work today and it was the perfect way to satisfy that sweet craving.

So following my post yesterday about wanting to stay more focused and to be more motivated, I have to admit that on my way to work this morning, I started thinking about the least harmful treat that I could have.  I can’t lie, I started thinking about hashbrowns and tried convincing myself that having them for breakfast wouldn’t be that bad.  I stayed focus though and I stayed on track with my healthy eating.  

Tonight’s goal is to be in bed before 9:30pm.  I want my alarm to go off tomorrow morning and I want to feel energized and ready to face the day.

You can’t track progress…

.. if you’re not posting the progress being made (or in my case not being made).

I started this blog for the main purpose of tracking my progress to a healthier, fitter me and to journal my progress on this journey.  To write down my struggles and my victories and to share any new knowledge I may learn on the way.  And yet my journey is partially documented.  There’s a lot of planning and thoughts of what I’m going to do next and my plan to be healthier and fitter.  But then past the planning there’s not much action happening.  I won’t say there’s NO action, because there is some action, definitely not as much action as I plan though.  And that’s quite disappointing.  The issue here is that I talk all I want about my plans and my goals but don’t stay focused or motivated.  There’s still that thought in the back of my head telling me “so what if you’re not as fit as you’d like to be in Mexico, you were never going to wear a bikini anyway”  Did I mention the time I was wearing a sports bra and sweater to work out and it got really warm so I took off my sweater thinking people work out in their sports bras and shorts all the time.  But then it just felt uncomfortable seeing myself in the mirror so I put my sweater back on.  Am I being too hard on myself?

Anyway, back to talking the talk but not walking the walk.  What I need to start doing is being accountable for the progress or lack of progress that I am seeing.  I need to say I’m going to do something and do it with 100% effort.  I can’t just post a progress picture when I think I’m doing good.  Those not-so-great pictures have to be posted as well.

For the first time, hubby asked me to work towards a goal.  And it works because his goal is the same as mine, Mexico.  He asked me the other night to push myself harder so that I could see those results in time for our trip to Mexico.  He wants to see what I am capable of and what my body is capable of.  We’re are 3 months minus 1 day from Mexico, so that’s 12 weeks.  Can I do it?

The last week was a better week for healthy clean eating, I tried no carbs one day and that was rough, so I’m not sure if that’s something I want to try again.  I started thinking that since I’m 12 weeks out, maybe I should hire a personal trainer that will get me through the next 3 months.  Then I thought I should first try following some basic rules like clean eating and daily exercise (weightlifting and cardio) before I seek a trainer’s help.

Tonight’s post isn’t going to include and goals specific to eating healthy or exercising.  The one goal I want to set for myself is to post regularly and to write down one mini-goal for the week and to put all my energy into reaching that goal.

Week 1 Goal: October 15

Choose healthier alternatives whenever I have a craving for something sweet or deep fried and salty.  Specifically, no hashbrowns, creamy soups or pizzas from the cafeteria.

And so in order for my to track my progress, here is my Week 1 photo.

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I don’t think it’s a horrible picture (but for some reason it was really hard to actually post) and really at most, I have 17 followers that may read this post and see this picture.  But that’s alright because knowing that others have seen this picture motivates me to post a better picture and to post my progress.