Monday, July 31, 2006

day 51: broken zippers and hot glue meltdowns

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine with ETL "ranch"

Dinner: chili

Exercise: 45 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes weights

Nothing much happened today except that the zipper broke on my pants, my favorite pair of pants, while I was at work. This sucks particularly because they still fit (although baggier than before) and I'm not ready to buy a new pair. It also sucks because my fly was basically open from the time it happened until I was able to slip out the door home relatively unnoticed. Oh well, hopefully we can fix them and the crisis will be averted.

These are the same pants that I accidentally got hot glue on last year a few weeks before my wedding... and you can imagine what that was like. When it's so close to your wedding the last thing you need is to ruin your favorite pair of pants... or favorite anything for that matter.

So when said drop of hot glue dropped (I can't remember how but I was the one holding the hot glue gun) onto my leg, all I could think about was saving my favorite pair of pants. I had absolutely no regard for the molten glue or my finger as I tried to wipe the glue off of my pants... proceeding to burn my finger. Not a smart moment. But hubby (then fiance) came to my rescue as he so often does and got the glue off with some sort of magical combination of detergents and I don't know what but they were back to normal in no time.

So here I am crossing my fingers that all is not lost and my favorite pants can be salvaged. Honey, enjoy this experience now because as I lose this weight all I'm going to want to do is shop shop shop!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

days 49 & 50: i needed this

Saturday's Food:
Breakfast / Lunch: chili
Dinner: chili quesadillas
Exercise: 45 min on the treadmill, 15 min weight training

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Dinner: salad with ETL ranch

Exercise: 60 minutes on the treadmill

Yes! Back on track this week! -4.6 pounds for the week and hit the -30 pounds overall. I was so scared to weigh myself this morning and see no change (or a gain) again. But it seems that the changes I made were positive because I got back into losing mode; which is great for so many reasons!

Since I made a ton of chili last week all I had to make today was some salad dressing and put together the fruit for my smoothies. I put the strawberries, blueberries, and banana in a container together and then in the morning all I have to do is measure out 2 cups of water and put the flax and fruit in the VitaMix. It makes my morning routine a lot quicker and simpler. The same goes for the chili- having it all done now lets me just put it in the microwave when I'm hungry and not have to worry about cooking anything. When I get everything for the week together ahead of time it makes things so much easier and makes it easier to stick to my workout schedule etc. Planning is so key for me!

Friday, July 28, 2006

day 48: eating is for a reason...

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: sample piece of pretzel, raw cashews
Dinner: 1/2 bowl of chili

Exercise: 45 minutes on the treadmill, 15 min abs

Today we somehow ended up shopping for cars. We didn't buy anything but we sure looked. Our favorite of everything we looked at was the Pontiac G6 GTP Convertible. Isn't it pretty in black?

I had heinous cravings for bad bad bad food today. After running around all afternoon and not having a proper lunch I was mighty hungry when we got to the grocery store. Everything looked good and smelled better. I got a bit whiny and pitiful and woe is me, I can't have all this food I am so miserable... but I was really just hungry. I came home and had some cashews and felt much better.

I'm working on reminding myself when I am hungry that I'm really not craving all this bad food... I'm just hungry. Invariably when I get home and eat something good for me I forget about all of my cravings for junk. Perhaps I should take something with me when we go out for the day so that I can quash the cravings before they get really out of control and "woe is me" Nicole comes out.

It just goes to show that even after almost 2 months of this I'm still learning about myself and food.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

day 47: Canada, here we come! or maybe not...

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: was supposed to be salad
Dinner: salad with chickpeas; red onion; cucumber; and mushrooms, some roasted acorn squash, a small dollop of mashed potatoes, orange glazed carrots, cole slaw, and 3 vegetable egg rolls.

Exercise: well, we did some walking

So as I mentioned yesterday; hubby went to Buffalo (about an hour and 15 minutes from Rochester depending) with me because I had a meeting for work and then we were planning a trip to Niagara Falls or maybe even IKEA in Hamilton, Ontario. Well we decided on not going to IKEA and didn't go to the falls (we live so close we've been there a bazillion times anyway) but we still had a decent time.

Lunch was supposed to be my standard: romaine with ETL salad dressing on it. We thought that I would be able to eat it in the car on the way to the meeting but when I was shaking up the salad in the GladWare container it... kind of... exploded... all over the car. Yeah. Well, really, the top just came off of it in a catastrophic kind of way. So no lunch for me today...

After the meeting we decided to head up to the Niagara Falls area. Hubby wanted to go to the casino for a little while so we did. I personally get bored on slot machines and don't have the guts to play a table game so I usually play about $20 worth in the slots and then just chill. I would have played video blackjack but couldn't find any machines that have it. No big deal though.

We decided to have dinner at the buffet at the casino. It was probably one of the nicest buffets that I've been to. Not that I've been to a lot of buffets; but this one was better than the ones in Las Vegas that we went to. ANYWAY... I started off with a big plate piled high with salad and drizzled with just enough italian salad dressing to give it some flavor. I ate the salad and it did a really good job of filling me up so it was easier to go back and just get little bits of other stuff that is less good for me. The worst thing was the veggie egg rolls since they're fried; and I should have stopped at one... but they were good and I'm willing to accept the consequences.

Tomorrow is a vacation day for me. I'm looking forward to having more time to exercise and all and also to be able to sleep in!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

day 46: making time for "me"

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine, red onion, ceasar dressing, fresh strawberries
(not on the salad)
Dinner: chili

Exercise: 45 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes weights

Dear blog,

I am sorry for neglecting you yesterday. Hubby says that my post "sucked" or something along those lines. Please understand that although I can't always dote upon you like I so love to do, that you are always on my mind and I look forward to the quality time we spend together.

Since I know you're dying to hear the latest of my ETL journey; I will detain you no longer. As we all remember on Sunday I declared that I would make time to eat 3 meals a day, be very very very good about not consuming excess sodium, step up my workouts to 45 minutes of cardio and 15 of weights, and and... i forgot for a second what the last thing was but I remember now... No nibbling! So how am I doing you ask?

WELL.... I have found that I do have to work to make time for myself to eat 3 meals a day. I find that I get so wrapped up in something... whether it be working around the house or some project at the office that I don't hear what my body is saying and end up skipping lunch. Yes, I know this is silly because with all of that lettuce and just enough salad dressing to coat the pieces it's probably my lowest calorie meal of the day. So this week I have been taking time for "me" in the middle of the afternoon to make sure that I eat my salad. And yes, most of the time I have been hungry for it as well.

I have been doing well on the sodium and exercise resolutions. These two are probably the easiest ones for me to keep. The chili I made has no sodium other than what naturally occurs in the ingredients and the same goes for the salad dressing. It feels really good to know that the food you're eating is as pure and unprocessed as possible. Working out is also been going very well. I worked my arms out very well on Monday and am feeeeeeeeling it today. :-)

The toughest resolution by far is no nibbling. I'd fallen into a pattern of thinking that it was ok for me to take one bite of something off plan as long as I didn't binge on it. Well when you find yourself taking one bite several times a day it can build up. Especially when it is bad bad fat or refined flour type food. So this week every time I've initially said to myself "one bite isn't going to hurt" I tell myself no, I promised that I wouldn't do that anymore and I must keep this promise to myself or how can I ever achieve my goals? It's going ok so far.

Hubby and I are going to Niagara Falls tomorrow after I have a meeting in Buffalo for work. We're not sure if we're going to come home tomorrow night or not. So I may see you again tomorrow or I may see you on Friday. I'm sure that I'll have some sort of news to report.

So I'll tuck you in now sweet little blog. Have sweet dreams of groves of oranges, orchards of apples, and fields upon fields of romaine lettuce!

With love,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

day 45: yawn...

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine, red onion, ceasar dressing
Dinner: handful of raw cashews, green soup

Exercise: rest day

Taught tonight. Am tired. Still on track. Feel good about it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

day 44: everybody's got a chili recipe, here's mine

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie (frozen strawberries, blueberries and banana with flax)
Lunch: romaine, red onion, ceasar salad dressing
Dinner: chili

Exercise: 45 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes weight training upper body

So here's how I do it (ETL style)

5-6 cloves of garlic minced
2 onions grated (I used the food processor)
2 green bell peppers grated (also used the food processor)
4 14.5 oz cans of no salt added whole tomatoes, 2 cans drained and all tomatoes chopped (in the food processor)
1 14.5 oz can no salt added corn
8 oz dry black beans, soaked and cooked
8 oz dry cannelini beans, soaked and cooked
2 14.5 oz cans no salt added red kidney beans
1 lb dry lentils
3 small-medium zucchini, cut into big chunks
2 cups green beans
barley or cooked brown rice (optional)
chili powder
garlic powder
onion powder

In a BIG soup/stew pot, saute the garlic, onion and peppers for a few minutes. Add in the spices and saute for another minute. Add in tomato, corn, beans, zucchini, and barley/rice and add water to just cover. Simmer for 1 hour until lentils and barley are cooked.

I don't have amounts for the spices because it ends up being different every time I make chili. This is the first time I've made chili with no salt added beans and tomatoes so the overall flavor is a little more bland than I used to make (although still good). Next time I will add more spice to liven things up a bit.

This recipe makes A LOT of chili. I got 10 very generous servings out of this batch. It seems like a lot of ingredients but comes together very quickly (after cooking the beans) and it feels really good to eat something that I know is free of unnecessary salt and fat.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

day 43: unexpected...

Today's Food:
Breakfast: Boca Italian Sausage
Lunch: 1/2 bowl of chili
Dinner: 1/2 bowl of chili

Exercise: 45 minutes on the treadmill

So I haven't been sleeping so well the past few nights and when I woke up this morning at 8am I figured why bother trying to go back to sleep. After I don't know how long I had to go to the bathroom so I did so and figured it would be a good time to weigh in for the week.

I stepped onto the scale with optimistic interest to see how much I'd lost in the past week only to be greeted with the same number that I saw last Sunday. At first I was honestly in complete disbelief. I really could not believe that there was absolutely no change at all. I weighed myself again and again. The same thing.

So I went back to bed and laid there trying to figure out what I did wrong last week. And feeling completely crappy in what I interpreted as a major setback in my progress. I still didn't want to believe it and after a while went back in the bathroom to weigh myself again. It really is too bad that wishful thinking isn't enough to get the scale to move. The number was the same stupid number that it said last week. For a moment I even thought that the scale might be broken or something... but that was just denial.

I spent the rest of the morning with a little bit of an "I blew it" attitude (thanks PortlandBound/BadYoga for the term), hence the Boca Sausage for breakfast. I just didn't care at that moment and figured well last week was a bust; but at least I have a whole week to work this off. I made the mistake of not losing anything turn into feeling like I'd lost the battle overall. I really felt like junk all morning.

But at noon I got off the couch and began cooking for the day and I worked out. By the time I was done with my workout I already felt better. I think that my non-loss was due 4 things:
1. not getting enough calories last week
2. skipping meals (sort of goes with #1)

3. not putting in enough time working out
4. too much nibbling on non-ETL food/ too much sodium

So I went about the rest of the day; made chili (more on this tomorrow I promise) cleaned up the house and did laundry and did some reading for class on Tuesday night. The class is reading Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and I've gotta say; a lot of it hit home for me. The one thing that I am going to apply in particular to this situation is when you make a mistake, acknowledge it and correct it so it doesn't happen again.

I already acknowledged my mistakes above and here is what I am going to do to correct it:
1. Make time to eat 3 meals a day
2. Minimum treadmill time is now 45 minutes; and adding 15 minutes of weight training
3. Straying from the plan once a week for only part of a meal. No nibbles here and there.
4. Being as vigilant as I can about cutting sodium completely out of my diet.

I know that I am capable of living by these guidelines and that it is for the best. I feel much better now that I am approaching this week's results from a proactive rather than a reactive standpoint. I know that next weeks results will be a product of these positive changes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

day 42: Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday...

Today's Food:
Breakfast/Lunch: veggie burger with lettuce & tomato on a dry roll (white), 6.5 french fries
Pre-Workout Pick-Me Up: ~1 cup of pineapple
Dinner: handful of cashews, green soup
Dessert: a bite of hubby's PB&J

Exercise: 51 minutes on the treadmill

So today started off with the death of a hair dryer... it must have passed quietly in its sleep because it worked the last time I used it but this morning it just wouldn't turn on. It was a rainy and gray day here in western NY so we decided to go to the mall.

I got my new hairdryer and we got hubby a new wallet. I had negotiated the veggie burger and few fries for a promise of exercising for an hour (hubby reminds me: and a 5 minute back rub for him) before we went to the mall, so we went to get lunch. I was hoping they'd have wheat rolls but they didn't so I settled for the white roll. I refrained from mayo on the sandwich and did get lettuce and tomato; although it was just a teeny tiny bit of lettuce and 1 slice of tomato, i was hoping for more... oh well. The few fries I had were enough to satisfy me but not so many that it ravaged my tummy later. For an off plan meal I think I did a decent job.

We did a lot of walking around the mall, including hubby's guilty pleasure... Bed, Bath & Beyond. We didn't get anything there but he likes to look. It reminded me of the Old School quote from Will Ferrell. Too funny! We just ended up getting a few odds and ends; nothing especially special...

We went to our new favorite place for groceries (well at least veggies), the farmer's market. It's sad to admit we never really went to them before I began ETLing but now it's a lot of fun to go and fill up a basket with veggies and then pay what seems to be a ridiculously low amount of money for them! We just need to find one closer to our house instead of the one we've gone to which is 20 or so minutes away.

So all in all a pretty nice little Saturday ;-)

Friday, July 21, 2006

day 41: just another day

Today's Food:
Breakfast: Green Soup
Lunch: romaine, red onion, ETL Caesar dressing
Dinner: hummus on a wrap, smoothie

Exercise: 36 min on the treadmill

I guess it's a good sign that you're settling into something when it's "just another day" nothing especially dramatic or noticeable happens. Things are just business as usual.

Smoothies used to be my ETL crutch. They were the one thing in the beginning that I really liked and looked forward to. I've since grown accustomed to huge salads for lunch and have found some great recipes for beans and cooked veggies. I've established a routine and things are becoming normal. It's too bad that normal is boring in terms of blogging.

I suppose that is part of the reason that Dr. F challenges ETL neophytes to the 6 week challenge. It not only gives your body time to adjust to a different way of eating, it also gives you a sample of the results of Eating to Live so you can see that it really does work as a weight loss tool (if that is your goal). But another implicit reason for the six weeks is that it really does give you time to establish new habits and routines; so that at the end of six weeks you see just how manageable it is as a lifestyle. The key is making it through those first six weeks.

ANYway, this weekend I plan to make chili to satisfy my beans and my cooked veggies for the upcoming week. I'm going to slightly modify the "recipe" I made before starting ETL. I'm looking forward to it. I'll be sure to post pics and recipes and all.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

day 40: thank goodness for cashews

Today's Food:
Lunch: smoothie
Dinner: 1 oz raw cashews, green soup, hummus on whole grain wrap

Exercise: 36 min on the treadmill

I was dangerously close to having a Boca Italian Sausage for dinner instead of my ETL food. I was all thrown off today because I had a meeting with a student first thing when I got into work this morning which lasted a good hour and a half and then I was in a co-worker's office for another hour plus so I didn't get to sit down to drink my smoothie until well after 1 pm... So I decided not to eat anything else (mostly because I wasn't hungry) at work.

WELL... by the time I got home and worked out and all I was SO HUNGRY! I really did want that Boca Italian Sausage and I am trying to be as perfect as possible this week since it IS week 6 (have I mentioned that already?) and not have any salt or other major departures from the plan. Then I remembered that I have some raw cashews, and I hadn't had my nuts/seeds portion for the day. So I measured out my 1 oz of nuts and they really hit the spot and took the edge off. Thank you cashews!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

day 39: some days you just can't be super woman

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine, red onion, ETL ceasar salad dressing
Dinner: green soup, some nibbles of other stuff

Exercise: didn't make it today :-(

There are just some days that you do the best you can; some days that you just can't be wonder woman. Today was one of those days for me. I got home from teaching last night at 10:45 and was just absolutely exhausted. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning so I didn't get up early to work out, which in retrospect I should have done... but hey, being perfect every day would be boring... or something...

But I did want to work out today, I just did a poor job of finding the time. Well tomorrow is another day and I will work out tomorrow!

Tonight after work I went to a Tastefully Simple party that my boss threw; she was very thoughtful and had raw veggies for me there but it was tough! Everything that they had on the list to buy had oil, salt, or sugar in it (if not other un-ETL things) except for a Spinach Herb seasoning blend. A lot of the spices and seasoning blends that they had to taste were mixed with sour cream or mayonnaise... I did have a few small tastes but tried my best to limit myself. It was tough to be respectful of my boss and of the TS rep and not veer totally off plan. I think I did ok, I wasn't the picture of restraint, but I kept things reasonable IMO.

Well it's super late and I need to get to bed as tomorrow is another long day, at least I'll be getting home much earlier tomorrow night!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

day 38: purple + green = not pretty

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine, red onion, caesar dressing
Dinner: green soup, raw baby carrots

Exercise: rest day (unless standing up & teaching counts... i bet it doesn't)

Randomness that I'd like to share...

I like to post after I've had dinner and am done eating for the day because then I can post exactly what I ate. It always seems like when I post ahead of time that I end up having to edit my post to reflect reality... oh well, life can't always accommodate blogging!

Today I went to lunch with a co-worker, my boss, and my boss' boss. My boss' boss works at a different campus that is about an hour from us; so when she comes we usually go out to lunch with her. So today we went to lunch at 11:45... am... I was just finishing my breakfast before we left. I thought maybe I'd get a little side salad but when we got there I was too full from breakfast to even think about eating; which is a great thing because nothing on the menu really looked appetizing to me. Hopefully nobody else felt bad about me not eating because I didn't have a problem just sitting there talking with them and enjoying not being in my office!

Today I'm wearing a suit. I usually dress nice for work but I only wear suits when I am teaching or giving an orientation to a new group of students. This is partially because suits are expensive and I only have 3 of them and also partially because before; my suits were uncomfortable to wear. Well this morning I knew it was a whole new story as I pulled on my pants and they were a cinch to zip up and button. The jacket is actually baggy on me! What a great feeling!

I have 2 Nalgene bottles that I bring to work with me each day, one with my smoothie in it and one for water. Smoothie Nalgene is purple and water Nalgene is red. This is great because my smoothies are also a purpleish hue, so purple + purple = all good. BUT when you wash out said purple nalgene and put bright green soup in it... it's just not all that pretty looking. I wonder how it would have looked in the red one... or maybe I need to get a green Nalgene... lol.

Progress pics... we took them for the -25 lbs mark but they just aren't all that attractive. For various reasons. I should have initially picked a nicer outfit to wear for the "before" pic rather than what I did but you can't go back in time! Needless to say, I'm going to pass on posting the -25 lbs pic (maybe we will try again this weekend for the completion of the first 6 weeks). The differences we did see are in my face, which is a good place to see a difference! I am definitely feeling the differences in the fit of my pants and my ability to exercise harder and longer and feel better about it.

Ok, gotta go teach in a few. Have a great night all!

Monday, July 17, 2006

day 37: did i mention that this is week 6?

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine with Casinera's Caesar Salad Dressing
Dinner: Bree's Green Soup, raw baby carrots, hummus

Exercise: 40 minutes on the treadmill

So I kind of got the images in there for yesterday. I think that there is some sort of bugginess with blogger because I tried uploading pics the "normal" way on another computer and it still didn't work... but when I uploaded this pic it did. Hmmm.

My proudest accomplishment of the day was sticking with my workout even though I have a blister on one heel. I suppose it goes with the territory of breaking in the new sneakers (and am I ever glad I kept the old ones around too)!

I had Bree's Green Soup for dinner tonight; it was excellent! I had a few small tastes yesterday as I made it but nothing really to allow me to form an opinion. I did add some garlic and fresh basil and some other spices to it, and I think it was great. I blended everything (as you can see in the pics) and it has the consistency of a thick and hearty tomato soup. Very good and satisfying even on this sweltering day.

Tomorrow night I start teaching a 3 week intro course for a group of (mostly) first-time adult college students. I'll work my normal day and then teach from 6 to 10. Long day! I've already budgeted tomorrow as a rest day as far as working out and will have the green soup on our break I think... I'll post when I get home tomorrow night and we'll see how things turn out!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

day 36: week 5 results & HELLO week 6!

Today's Food:
Breakfast: eggplant lasagna
Dinner: enchilada casserole
Dessert: "nice" cream (frozen banana, frozen blueberries, a splash of soy milk and flax)

Exercise: 30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes weight training

So it turns out that I'm down 4 lbs this week, and 25.6 lbs overall! I'm extremely happy with the week's results. I am now in week six of Dr. Fuhrman's Six Week Plan/Challenge! I'm so happy that I made it and am seeing the results that I am. Each week is a reaffirmation that ETL is the weight loss tool AND lifestyle for me. It is such a great feeling to know those things.

Today was chore day (and how!). After hubby left for work I worked on cooking food for the week, worked out, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, took out the trash, picked up the house, and folded and put away laundry. All of this in an extremely hot house with ridiculously high humidity... good times! I am so tired and I still have another load of laundry to put away... ayyy!

All of the housework is worth it though because it will be less that I will have to do during the work week (this one is going to be a busy one) and that means I have less excuses not to get my workouts in. Here's the food that I prepped:

I made Bree's Green Soup to satisfy my cooked veggies quota for the week; and I also made hummus for my beans, I made some new salad dressing from a recipe on Dr. F's website; first impressions are that it's really tasty (i immediately made a second batch). More to come after I actually have it on lettuce!

Well laundry calls; have an excellent week everyone!

day 35: better late than never!

Saturday's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
"Lunch": eggplant lasagna
"Dinner": small frozen pizza (the really cheap kind...)

Exercise: 60 minute walk/jog on the treadmill, walked to/from and around the county fair

Yesterday was kind of a busy day; but then again it wasn't. The evening just didn't work out with enough time/ a good time for me to post. But here I am, making up for it!

On Friday night we went to the drive-in with some friends. It was a beautiful night and we got to see Pirates of the Caribbean (it was good). In the past the drive-in has been a time of snacking and drinking lots of soda. This time we brought sandwiches and I took fruit for something sweet. Alas, the drive-in concession stand is a cruel mistress; first hooking hubby into getting popcorn and me into having some. I'm not going to lie; it was very tasty. BUT after a while it made my tummy feel absolutely horrible! I know it's the "butter" because oily foods used to do this to me before I started ETL and I must admit that I am enjoying not having an upset tummy nearly as much as I used to. Needless to say, I learned my lesson about drive-in popcorn.

And then last night; we went to the county fair and you know how that is... a celebration of all foods that are fried, salted, or riddled with sugar. The funnel cakes/fried dough are my favorite of that kind of stuff; but the memory of the popcorn from the night before stopped me from giving in (and also knowing that I had to weigh in the next morning). I did get one of those very small frozen cheese pizzas from the store. I thought to myself after all of that salt that I'd be happy if I broke even for this week.

All in all I'm not beating myself up over the popcorn and the pizza. I've been pretty good for the rest of the week and was good about working out also. The way I see it; a little something off plan every once in a while keeps a girl sane. :-)

Friday, July 14, 2006

day 34: planning is the best defense

Today's Food:
Lunch: enchilada casserole
Dinner: hummus/tomato/romaine/onion wraps

Exercise: rest day, super workout planned for tomorrow

This is my wrap before I wrapped it up, it's kind of tough to see how high it is piled with lettuce and everything. I think it's going to make a good dinner tonight at the drive-in. The wrap is multi grain but it does have more sodium in it than I'd like. I should look into making stuff like this for myself at home so I can control what goes into it.

Gotta run and pack up the car now. Have a great night!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

day 33: jeff gordon was flirting with you...

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie

Pre-Workout Pick-Me-Up: leftover smoothie
Dinner: enchilada casserole, eggplant lasagna

Exercise: 40 minutes on the treadmill

Conversation between me and hubby this morning:

"Hi/good morning... etc"

"I had a dream about you." (Hubby)

"Oh yeah? What was it about?" (Me)

"You and I were on the way to a race and Jeff Gordon was on the side of the road flagging us over, so we stopped and he was flirting with you but you just ignored him and put your makeup on in the mirror. I said 'Jeff Gordon likes you' and you said 'I know' and that was the end."

Crazy dreams are fun aren't they!

Tomorrow night hubby and I are going to meet some friends and go to the drive-in. I'm excited because we love love love to go to the drive-in! I'm thinking about some portable food that I can take with me so all the not so good for you foods at the concession stand have no power over me!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

day 32: more trial and error

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine with Lemon/Mustard/Garlic dressing
Dinner: enchilada casserole, eggplant lasagna

Exercise: yoga

Trial: leaving the soy milk out of my smoothies.

Reason: I was out and didn't feel like going to the store.

Result: Great! I can hardly taste the difference! The smoothie has a little less in the way of creaminess but like I said; it's really tough to taste the difference. The banana still gives it smoothness and I've replaced the soy milk with more water. The best benefit is that it's less calories and fat in my daily intake and I don't miss it at all.

Trial: Lemon-Herb-Garlic-Mustard salad dressing

Reason: Why not try something different?

Result: Wouldn't make it again. The dressing was pretty much as I listed, lemon juice, dried parsley and basil, garlic, some onion powder, and ground mustard. I made it according to the recipe I had and it was strange looking and tasting. I ended up adding some more prepared mustard and a squirt of Braggs in it to make it a little more likeable. Still when I had it I found it very tart and a little sour.

It's all about trial and error, some things work out and some things don't. That's what learning is all about huh! This weekend I'm going to try some different dressings... I'll report back on them too :-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

day 31: losing weight is hard!

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie (without soy milk)
Lunch: romaine & Green Velour
Dinner: Enchilada Pie

Exercise: 36 min on treadmill

I'm blogging early today because I have plans after work and I also want to be able to get in a workout when I get home tonight. SOO... I was sitting here daydreaming and maybe possibly looking at clothing websites planning my future wardrobe and thinking, why can't I just lose all of the weight overnight and then deal with maintaining it? Don't we all wish we could just wake up in the morning and be who we really want to be? And then I had a little bit of a schizophrenic conversation with myself:

The Realistic me: "If you don't work toward what you really want, and if you're not making the changes from the inside-out; you won't appreciate the results and also won't have the commitment to making sure that the results are permanent."

Regular Me: "Yes, realistic me, you're right. But I'm still impatient!"

Pessimistic/ Low-Self Esteem Me: "Who's to say you'll even make it to your goal? You haven't weighed less than 200 lbs since middle school."

Regular Me: "Well I've never even tried. If I can effectively become vegetarian, if I can make it through Grad School, why can't I do this? Other people have lost as much weight as I want to; there's no reason why I can't be one of them! I'm just as smart and dedicated as they are."

Me (all of me's): "I can do this, but I have to be patient! Things take time for a reason; and it will be all that much sweeter when I reach my goal after X amount of time, hard work and dedication."

I suspect these are the normal trials and tribulations of losing weight. It's very clear why people say that it's important to set small or mini goals for yourself along the way so you don't get discouraged by just thinking about the overall goal. It surely is daunting to think about how much weight you want to lose altogether, especially when there are people out there that want/need to lose only a fraction of it to get to their goal weight. I guess in that sense losing weight is kind of like the way that my parents talk about golf, you're not playing against your friends or fellow golfers; you're playing against yourself.

I'm the one that is making the decision every day whether or not to eat on or off plan and I'm the one that's exercising my body and it's my body that is losing the weight. It really comes down to me and my sticking with it and getting over that pesky impatience. In the end my success will be just that, my success. I'm sure that others will feel a part of it, and they should; because it's support of my hubby and all of the other people whose advice and comments really keep me going! I doubt that I would have lasted this long if it weren't for all of your accountability!

Monday, July 10, 2006

day 30: 1 month down

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: didn't eat
Dinner: enchilada casserole, eggplant lasagna

Exercise: yoga

I can't believe that it's been a month already! I can remember waking up on the first morning and thinking "do I really want to do this?" It was a scary thing to give up almost everything that you are used to in terms of food and start something completely new; I haven't been perfect but I have settled into routines that I can live with long term. I can't say enough how important planning and making food ahead has been for me. It lightens the burden so much.

Exercise is another area which I had a lot of struggle with prior to staring ETL. I knew it is good for me and that I should do it, but I just didn't have the willpower to consistently exercise. Now I have the motivation to exercise and (most of the time) I even enjoy it. So much of what I want to be able to do as I lose this weight is physical, being strong and in shape will only enhance these things as I start to do them.

There have been times that I doubted if I could make ETL a lifestyle; and its been just recently that I've started feeling comfortable with it. I think that as time goes on it will become second nature, just like being "normal" vegetarian did before. I hardly ever thought of being vegetarian, it was just the way things were for me. ETL will become that way as well; but it will take time and patience.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

day 29: weigh day IV

Today's Food:
Breakfast: my standard smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, flax, soy milk)
Lunch: enchilada casserole

Dinner: eggplant lasagna

Exercise: bike ride with the hubby

So, 3.4 lbs this week. Not bad; but not stellar either. I think I was too lenient with myself this past week with allowing myself to have bread as much as I did. So, bread is now reserved for the really really bad days when you just need a little something to help you cope... hopefully there won't be too many of those! I also want to step up my workouts a little bit more. Hubby and I are going on vacation at the end of August and I want to be in as best shape as possible by the time we go so that I can be active and have fun instead of sitting around and reading all week!

I'm increasingly glad that I did all the cooking that I did yesterday. It definitely will make the rest of the week a lot easier in terms of making food. It just goes to show that planning is key with ETL!

Have an excellent week all!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

day 28: quality time with my Cuisinart

Today's Food:
Breakfast: Smoothie
Dinner: Enchilada casserole

Exercise: 30 minutes walk/jog on the treadmill, 30 minutes weights & abs

Today was a day of cooking; we went grocery shopping this morning before hubby had to go to work and I spent the post-workout afternoon making homemade tomato sauce for FFV's Eggplant Lasagna and Enchilada Sauce for FFVK's Mexican Lasagna/Enchilada Casserole. Yes it was a Fat Free Vegan kind of day around here indeed!

For some reason blogger isn't letting me upload pics right now, but SusanV's pics on FFV look much better than mine anyway! The enchilada casserole is excellent; I was worried that I wouldn't like it or would find it bland without salt or cheese or sour cream that one might normally put on a mexican style dish, but my tastebuds surprised me; this is an excellent dish! I left out the olives because I don't like them, and I also didn't use salsa but I did add some extra spices (cumin and cayenne pepper) to the sauce. This is a great way to get your beans. I'm absolutely going to make this again.

The eggplant lasagna looks and smells excellent. I did cook it for longer than the recipe reccommends because I am paranoid about undercooked eggplant, and I did leave the salt out of the tofu/spinach mixture; but I'm confident that this is going to be another great dish. I'll be having it tomorrow probably. :-)

Here's what I did for my homemade sauce, it was easy and quick and came out pretty well:

ETL Friendly Homemade Tomato Sauce

8oz. Can of Salt-Free Tomato Sauce
Big Can (28oz?) Crushed Tomatoes (salt-free if possible)
As much garlic as you can stand (I used 6 or 7 cloves)
1 T Dried Parsley
1 T Dried Basil
2 t Rosemary
1/2 t Oregano

Place all of the garlic cloves in a food processor or blender and chop them unil they are fine. Place the tomatoes and spices in the food processor or blender and process until well incorporated and as smooth as you want it. Simmer over low to medium heat for 20 minutes or until the flavor is to your liking. Use in recipe.

See you in the morning with weigh-in results!

Friday, July 07, 2006

day 27: getting in touch with your inner... hunger

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine with good ole green velour
Dinner: vegan mock chicken salad wrap from the Natural Foods Store

Exercise: 55 minutes on the treadmill

Ok, yes, dinner was off plan but I've worked hard this week and have been 99 - 100% ETL. It is vegan and all natural so it's much better than digging in on the delish smelling calzone that *someone* has in the fridge right now. ;-) PLUS I think that I did pretty good with workouts this week, so I think that I can take the hit.

But anyway, something that I wanted to blog about today is being in touch with hunger. Dr. Fuhrman frequently stresses eating only when you are hungry so that you learn to listen to your body and can experience true hunger (as opposed to the toxic hunger that occurs on a SAD diet). I think this is a great concept. I can remember times when I was eating a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian diet and thinking to myself, I can't remember the last time I actually felt hungry.

Why would I think this to myself? Because I was eating for companionship and comfort, or just because the food was there and I wanted to experience the pleasure of something that I thought tasted good. I didn't really need all of that food, and I wasn't really listening to my body. It was all in my head.

In the past few days I have been really putting an effort forth to be conscious of my hunger and then only eat when I am hungry. It's tough to do; after years of being conditioned to eat breakfast when you first get up and lunch in the middle of the day and dinner at a certain time in the evening. I'm learning that food is much more enjoyable when you are actually hungry for it; and the sensation of being (full or "comfortable" as we called it growing up) is also much more satisfying. To give an example, I'd usually eat dinner between 7:30 and 8:00 because that's when I'm done with my workout and showered and all, but tonight I just wasn't hungry at 7:30. I ended up eating dinner at nearly 9:00, and as a result; I enjoyed my dinner much more than I would have if I weren't hungry for it, and I also feel fuller on less food. It's a great thing.

In other news, I think tomorrow will be a cooking day. I have some good stuff in mind; definitely some sort of bean concoction and something with cooked veggies because those are the areas that are challenging for me. I'll be sure to post pics and recipes etc.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

day 26: recipes n stuff

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: romaine with Green Velvet/Velour
Dinner: open face hummus sandwich
Dessert: apple (EDIT: didn't eat the apple)

Exercise: rest day, mowed the lawn & doing laundry

Open Faced Hummus Sandwich
(well, it's not really a recipe but anyway...)

1 slice of whole grain toast or a whole grain pita or wrap... whatever floats your boat
hummus (make your own to avoid excess salt and oil)
sliced red onion
fresh clean romaine lettuce

Assemble and enjoy.

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Spicy Veggie Sauce
Simple and quick little sauce to put over broccoli or stir-fried veggies.

2 T water
1-2 t Braggs
1 t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
1-2 t crushed red pepper flakes

Mix together and pour over cooked veggies.

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Green Velour Salad Dressing
Adapted from’s Green Velvet Dressing

Makes 2 to 2 ½ cups, 4 to 6 generous servings.

1 cup water
½ cup fresh lemon or lemon & lime juice
½ cup tahini (raw & unsalted please!)
¼ to ½ cup frozen spinach or mix of green herbs
1 - 2 cloves garlic (more if you are a garlic freak, like me)
2 T no-salt seasoning blend of your choice
2 t Braggs

Place all ingredients in a blender and whiz it up until it is creamy and has a lovely green color, about 1 minute or depending on your blender.

Flavor is tangy, garlicky, and in general not for those who like milder things. Texture should range from a heavy cream consistency to a bit thicker than that depending on how much spinach is put in and how much liquid is added. Definitely tastes better after refrigerating over night. Keeps well in a tightly closed container in the fridge.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

day 25: Vita-Mix day!

Today's Food:
Breakfast: Smoothie
Lunch: romaine with Green Velvet
Dinner: cooked broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yellow and green squash with spicy sauce, 1 slice of whole grain toast

Exercise: 40 minute walk/jog on the treadmill

Gather 'round all and hear the story of the 5 blenders...

Once upon a time in the northeast of a country that some call the USA; a girl named Nicole started on a weight loss quest. In her mission for health, happiness, and cute clothes; Nicole decided that Eat to Live would be her trusty steed and aide her in achieving her goals by eating 1lb of raw veggies, 1lb of cooked veggies, 1 cup of beans, 4 servings of fruit, 1 oz of nuts, and 1 T flax seeds every day.

"But how am I ever going to get all of that food into my body?" Nicole wondered, "I surely cannot spend all day eating, I have a life to live after all!"

Try a smoothie or a blended salad. Said the ETL internet fairy godmothers and godfathers.

"Ah! A smoothie! A tasty and efficient way to get in my fruits and maybe someday veggies too!"

So our fair protagonist tried a smoothie. First with a smoothie maker that she found somewhere in the depths of the enchanted kitchen.

"GGGGRRRR GGRRRR GRRRRRR WAAHHHHHHH!" Screamed the smoothie maker. After days of battling the smoothie maker to make breakfast, the smoothie maker gave out; rattling itself to bits and leaking all over the enchanted kitchen.

"Well this won't do," said Nicole, "Tomorrow I'll try the Magic Bullet; maybe it will do the trick."

"Well, I'll give it a try, I think I can do it," said the Magic Bullet valiantly, "Hey look, I can handle this, yeah... I can do it! Oh, I seem to be getting a little hot, but I can handle this, oh, oh, hotter still. Gee, is that smoke I see? I think it is. I need a nap."

"Hmm, it seems like the Magic Bullet isn't quite what we need. I must consult Prince Hubby about this one." Nicole said to herself.

"Fear not my dear wife," Prince Hubby reassured her, "I will purchase you a brand new blender that will solve all of your smoothie needs for my love for you is neverending and as long lasting as the sun shines and broccoli is green."

And he did, he researched and researched and shopped around and presented her with what they agreed was the nicest, most reasonable blender in all the closely surrounding land.

The new shiny blender blended up smoothies with performance heretofore unmatched by the other blenders. Until after a mere week of frozen fruit punishment, it decided to start leaking.

"I will not have my sweetie subjected to this... this... inferiority!" Said Prince Hubby with vigor, "I shall end this ordeal by purchasing you the best blender in all the land! The Vita-Mix! But you must endure a few days of the ancient Betty Crocker blender until it arrives; can you handle this grave test my love?"

"I can, and thank you my dear Prince Hubby, you are truly the best hubby ever and I love you."

So she trudged through the BC (Betty Crocker) days, trying to be as nice as possible to the poor blender, relegated to backup duty. Gently she took extra care cutting up the frozen fruit and adding extra liquid to the mix to ensure that she wasn't left blender-less. The Betty Crocker whined and whirred and even smoked a little; blending its way through the darkest of hours.

Until one day when the UPS elves delivered the wondrous Vita-Mix. Nicole and Prince Hubby knew that the dark days of blender oppression were behind them and they (she) could soldier forward on in their (her) quest for health, happiness, and designer clothes.

The End

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

day 24: feelin' fine

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: celery & hummus
Dinner: steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and squash with spicy sauce

Exercise: 30 minutes jog/walk on the treadmill, 30 minutes weights

Today was a low-key day around the house as hubby had to work. I spent the day picking up and doing laundry. I had a great workout today. I am gradually running more and more each day; as long as my back isn't bothering me. I know that as I lose the weight my back issues will go away, and that's something extra special to look forward to.

I had a good day with food as well. I ate when I was hungry only and didn't struggle with cravings for the food I shouldn't be eating. It feels good to feel in control of your body and the food that you are ingesting. I read a post by someone somewhere (on one of the ETL forums I frequent) that they simply accept the fact that they have cravings and choose not to let it affect them. I find this an interesting way to deal with cravings. I know that when I experience cravings sometimes it's tough to psychologically break through the craving; and that when I'm craving something it's tough to think about something else other than the food that I want and why I should allow myself to have it. Still, something kicks in (for me) that stops me from giving in to the cravings; and I'm happy for that.

Monday, July 03, 2006

day 23: the daily grind

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: hummus with celery
Post Workout Snack: 1/2 banana
Dinner: broccoli curry, 1 slice of whole grain toast, apple

Exercise: 50 minute walk/run on the treadmill

Yesterday we bought me new sneakers. We tried this cool sneaker recommending kiosk at Dicks that you walk across and it tells you what size shoe you need and recommends actual models of shoes that would work for you depending on where you need support and what sport you want them for. It was very fun and I got these cute Nikes. I could definitely tell a difference on the treadmill today over my old shoes. It was pretty cool.

Today I struggled a lot with being happy about ETL; but I didn't cheat at all. Sometimes even though I have hubby (and me) reminding me that it's just food and of all of the reasons I'm doing this; it's tough not to crave the bad stuff all of the time. Seeing results each week helps and feeling better while working out helps. Thinking about being able to buy a new wardrobe when I've lost all of my weight really helps. It was fun to watch What Not to Wear today and see something and think "I'd buy something like that" rather than "I could never wear something like that."

Off to watch a movie with my sweet hubby. Have a great night all!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

day 22: weigh day III

Today's Food (updated 7/3/06):
Breakfast: smoothie
Dinner: hummus with baby carrots, celery, cucumber
Exercise: treadmill for 35 minutes

Hey! I decided to post in the am today because my weigh in is first thing right after I wake up... 4.4 lbs isn't too shabby! I'm happy with it. Seeing the weight come off is inspiring me to keep up with everything and also to increase the intensity of my exercise. ETL definitely works; it's just dependent on the individual how closely they want to stick with the plan. But I can't imagine how anyone that wants to lose weight wouldn't be successful if they faithfully followed the 6 week plan.

Well, I have a long day of calorie burning ahead of me, so have a good Sunday all!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

day 21: end of week 3

Today's Food:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: leftover spinach, mushrooms and beans from last night's dinner
Dinner: romaine with green velour

Exercise: 45 minute walk/jog on the treadmill

Well, today is the end of week 3. This is the middle of the first six weeks. There have been a many ups and downs; and I can't really say it's been easy. But I can say that I've learned a lot about myself and have started along the road to much better and healthier habits. I know that I can make it in the long run with ETL.

Tomorrow is weigh day, and "sarge" (my hubby) set a goal for me (really not sure why but he was joking around about celebrity fit club...) this week to lose 5 lbs. I know that I tried very hard to stick as close to the plan as I could. I did have about a teaspoon of natural peanut butter on some whole grain toast the other night, and the peanut butter is technically not ETL but I can deal with it.

I also met my goal of exercising 6 days this week. What's more important; I had fun doing it too. Again, it's something that I know I can stick with in the long run.

No matter what I lost this week I'll be happy because I'm feeling more in control of this than I have been, and I truly believe that this is the best lifestyle for me.