Transitioning to Plant Based Diet


Cutting dairy and animal protein, exploring vegan, and experimenting with raw led to frenzy-research, buying, and preparing. Vitamix and Excalibur joined the appliance family overpowering Kitchen Aid mixer and barely nodding to coffee pot.

Twenty-two jars, four bowls, a fifty-five gallon Coleman, and countless green storage bags joined two four feet industrial shelves.

Five new cookbooks, a cookbook holder, Pinterest, and a blog gave me unlimited learning opportunities and hours and hours of study. What did I learn?

Less is best. Simple is underrated. Eating a raw plant based diet eliminates cravings, therefore learning to make nuts into cheeses and fruit into ice cream, and nuts and soy into meat proved unnecessary. We no longer crave meat, want cheese, or need dessert. If I want a nut, I eat a nut and it does not have to taste like anything but a nut. Really!

I appreciate all the wonderful chefs and cooks who pour heart and soul into new ways to make old recipes, but for me, for now, I will keep it simple.

To your health,

Claudia

Change it Up


Swimming laps rapidly became my easy in and out routine; no equipment needed and basically painless.  I grew lazy and tried to fool myself that I worked out.  Sure, swimming three times a week is good, but I know it is not great.  I need more.

I added Yoga and my aquatics workout to my weekly routine.  Result?  I am sore because I work muscles I did not use in swimming.  I also discovered less boredom and greater anticipation of the next day’s workout, instead of fighting excuses not to go.

Yeah, variety is the spice of life.  

To your health,

Claudia

Self-Talk


I am.

As I struggled through my first lap Monday, I asked myself why. Surprisingly, I answered myself without hesitation. Because you said I am tired, I am out of breath, I am bored, so the body followed. After changing my conversation to positive I ams, I swam on, playing like an otter, then beaver, then the Phelps!

Whether from biblical accounts of God speaking to Moses, “I am that I am”, Unity’s 70′s movement, or Tom Shadyac’s documentary, I am is powerful. Use wisely and selectively.

“You are” is strong if internalized and translated to I am, so let’s be careful who we listen to and what we listen to.

Confessions of a Fitness Nut


I cheat.

Yes, I do.

Here is my list of confessions from last week:

  1. I only worked out one time
  2. I will not swim in an unheated pool
  3. I drank wine (vacation!)
  4. I ate an ice cream dip (Mother’s Day walk in Annapolis!)
  5. I tasted chocolate fudge (Mother’s Day)
  6. I ordered grilled chicken wings (but sent them back when I realized they were fried!)
  7. I sometimes skip lunch and just snack
  8. I do not like weight bearing exercise
  9. I do not like to sweat except in yoga
  10. I clench my teeth

In spite of my imperfections and occasional lapses in perfection, I lost 20 pounds in less than four months, I look less stressed (but those clenching teeth tell me I am still detoxing), and I keep getting better.

The point is, I do not fall of the wagon and give up.  I even give myself permission to regress occasionally. So what?  I used to be so regimented with dieting and routine that all fun and flexibility disappeared and eventually I crashed.  I learned to be kind, gentle, less critical and more accepting of myself.

I used to set myself up to fail, my expectations were so high and demands unrealistic.  What about you?  Ever done that?  Are you doing it now?

To your health,

Carecia

FLUCTUATION IN WEIGHT


Fitness is not about weight; we all “know” that, but until we get “there” most of us look at the scale.  I dropped to 139.5 pounds from 159.5 pounds since I launched my attack on mediocrity, which was my state of mind mid January. Then the scales went up the next day to 140.5 I was okay with that.  Then the weekend trip (yes, the same retail therapy trip mentioned in an earlier post), I gained 5 pounds.  I am okay with that.

Has that happened to you?  Experienced and informed dieters know not to panic!  Here is what I did wrong.  No water!  Irregular elimination, well beyond the urge to go.  No exercise.  Two martinis (happy hour-I swear they were alcohol free!)  Two hour driving time.  Otherwise my diet was stable, I took Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie for breakfast, http://www.kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2009/07/11/green-smoothie-recipe/ and her Acai Berry Chia Power Protein Smoothie for lunch.

This enforces how important it is for me to stay hydrated and take time to take care of myself.  I knew I was retaining water when I saw my ankles looking swollen.  Today, WATER, WATER, WATER, move, move, move, and workout!  20 laps.  I will weigh in tomorrow!  :)

Stay healthy,

Claudia

Self Image


The “Self ‘Talk” article posted earlier hit home.  At the age of thirteen my aunt bought me a girdle and from that day on, regardless how much I weighed or how fit I was, I was convinced I needed a girdle, then there was SPANX and I became a religious follower of the SPANX movement (or lack thereof).   I thought I was destined to stuff my body into some constraining fabric the rest of my life.

This week-end I had a chance to do some retail therapy and saw two perfect dresses, a pair of shorts, and a must have blouse.  I picked my size in the first dress and went to the dressing room.  The armholes were huge and the dress hung on me.  I decided I must need a smaller size.  I put the size 12 back on the rack, got the next size down that was in stock, sure the 8 would not fit.  To my surprise, it fit and was even a tad large.

With regained confidence, I grabbed the second dress off the rack and it fit even better!  I was so pleased, I decided to try on a pair of shorts  and a blouse in the same size and they were too big.  I could not understand why one dress fit perfectly and everything else looked big.  Then I re-checked the second dress and it was not an 8 but a 6.  To my total surprise, I exchanged everything for size 6.  However, I was not beaming.  I was confused.

My self image was a size12 (and I have seen many women whose bodies are too die for that are even larger) and I was happy with being a 12; the size does not matter, just the fit.  However, size 12 did not fit, it swallowed me.  That is the point.  I am a size 6 and I thought I was a 12.  I noticed my jeans were a size 10 and  could hardly keep them up and there was no way to keep the hems from dragging, but that did not register with me when grabbing that first dress.

Some of my heavier friends like to say they are a little woman trapped in a big body, I never thought I could say I am a big woman in a small body.  Yes, there is size 0 and truly small women who would think I am overweight or at least be glad they are not like me,  I get that.  The point is, there are size 0 women who think they are a size xxxxx.

Self talk, self image.  That is what it is about.

To your health,

Claudia