Weigh In Wednesday #5

This is me jumping across the finish line of my first Olympic Distance triathlon, The Spudman. Obviously it's a motivator for me.
This is me jumping across the finish line of my first Olympic Distance triathlon, The Spudman. Obviously it’s a motivator for me.

This week I suffered from a near lethal combination of PMS and this particular loaf of banana bread. I usually mark my weigh-in calendar with basic eating patterns: star = good day, circle = splurge day, spiral = bender (aka sushi night). This week when I saw that 4 days past the last weigh-in I’d been circling, as opposed to starring, I decided to just let go for the week.

The banana bread and accompanying brevés were delicious and I enjoyed every bite of the half loaf I managed to consume over the week. At least it took me the better portion of the week to eat it. It could have been the better part of an hour if I wasn’t practicing some restraint.

Since I had decided that my hormones were going to get the best of me this week, the new goal became maintenance. Or more to the point…avoiding the frozen dessert section at the grocery store. It’s been awhile and my good friends Ben & Jerry were dying for a visit with a spoon and my belly. Thankfully, I avoided them like the plague and survived this crucial week intact.

Last night I went to Body Jam (dance) and physically reset my mind and body for this next week. It worked and today’s been much easier. Although, I’ve had to power my way past the graham crackers I make for Porter, because they’re really freakin’ good. I’ve been reading my original post about why I’m doing this whole weight loss thing to help keep me focused. I also made some apple chips yesterday and they are a great alternative snack, sweet and crunchy. In the end I feel good about not going on any serious sugar benders. I still haven’t consumed any refined sugar or refined food products since the start of the year and I feel great about that.

Last night at dance I stood in front of the tiny portion of mirror that is in the room. I usually stay away from it because a few months ago I made the mistake of watching myself in the mirror and it gave me the sads (as Chelsea says). Last night I didn’t plan on dancing in front of the mirror, but after an hour of watching myself move I could see the changes happening in my body and that made me so happy.

When I’ve lost weight in the past, I’ve never really paid attention to how I was feeling internally, and this time is different. Acknowledging success in all it’s forms has helped get me through this first month, for sure. Here are this weeks numbers:

 Week 5, Jan. 30

Last Week

This Week

Difference

Weight (lbs)

249

249

0

Left Leg (in.)

31

31.5

+0.5

Hips (in.)

52

52

0

Waist (in.)

45

44

-1

Chest (in.)

46

46

0

Left Arm (in.)

16.5

16

-0.5

Neck (in.)

15

15

0

Total loses since January 1st: 12 pounds and 12.5 inches

Weigh In Wednesday #4

This last week went really well. I was concerned about how my eating would be on our trip to McCall, but apparently I’m dialing in what my body wants. It wants breakfast, lunch and dinner with lots of nuts, some blueberries and apples paired with a slice of cheese, and caffé breve. And it wants those things all day long. If I forget about the brie attack that I had late last week, which involved eating wedges (yes plural) of cheese with a spoon, I would say I’m back on track. Moderation is something I hope to achieve by the end of this years experiment. Clearly I haven’t mastered it yet.

I added a Body Pump class at the gym, which involves lifting weights to music. Group exercise is my favorite. I plan on doing that once a week. My chiropractor also bought me a Living Social deal to a Svaroopa yoga class, which I’m really excited to try. All in all I’m supremely happy with myself.

If you want to see where I started on this journey, read this.

 Week #4

Last Week

This Week

Difference

Weight (lbs)

253

249

-4

Left Leg (in.)

35.1

31

-0.5

Hips (in.)

53

52

-1

Waist (in.)

46

45

-1

Chest (in.)

46.5

46

-0.5

Left Arm (in.)

17

16.5

-0.5

Neck (in.)

15.5

15

-0.5

OVERALL TOTAL LOSES: 12 pounds and 11.5 inches

Porter had a well child check this morning and here are his numbers too. Yes, he’s a really big and really healthy boy. Must be all that Real Food and real love he gets.

Height: 36 inches   96 percentile
Weight: 34.5 pounds  97 percentile

Weigh In Wednesday #3

You know what they say about a plan? The only reason to have one is in case something better doesn’t happen. As we all know, my plan is to lose 100 pounds. In my perfect world, I’d lose 2 pounds a week at a steady pace and achieve my goal easily by the end of this year.

Low and behold, this week something better happened. I pretty much stayed the same, gaining 1/2 pound and losing 1/2″. A solid BM will get me back to where I ended last week, and I’m trying really hard not to get bummed after last weeks triumphant beginning. This journey is a long one and everything isn’t going to go as planned.

Reasons I think the weight didn’t come off this week:

  • I stopped going to sleep by 10:30 and resumed some previously bad habits. Along with a little help from my sleep companions, the ZZZ’s flailed.
  • Not eating enough food. After going on a sushi bender on Saturday I freaked out and stopped snacking. Bad idea.
  • Didn’t drink enough water. Last week I was really good about sipping on water all day long and this week I slacked.
  • Birthdays and weight loss are not good friends. Porter’s 2nd birthday was a blast, but I’m glad it won’t happen for another year.

Now, here are the things I learned this week, which turn out to be just as important as losing pounds and inches:

  • I have enough energy to POWER through dance class. This has been the hardest for me since I started dancing again late last year and I’m ecstatic to finally have enjoyed a class again.
  • I wouldn’t have come to this conclusion without a little help from my friend Chelsea. She said, awhile back, that when she eats sugar she becomes less nice and more irritable. This was exactly the case for me. My patience, listening skills and temper have been much better and more pleasant since I stopped eating sugar and refined foods. My two year old doesn’t know it yet, but it’s made his life a lot happier too.
  • Because of the last point, I’m having a great time being a mom. I have more energy to play, patience to read books, better attitude in the early AM, will power to resist the television and more love in general. I’m feeling like a good mom, which you may or may not understand, and that’s a big deal.
  • I get what can best be described as a cramp in my foot when I don’t eat right, always have. It has now left my body.
  • I’m still optimistic. I know what needs to be done and I’m not going to be flung off course by a week that didn’t go as planned.

And now for the numbers:

Last Week

This Week

Difference

Weight (lbs)

252.5

253

+0.5

Left Leg (in.)

31.5

Same

0

Hips (in.)

53

Same

0

Waist (in.)

46

Same

0

Chest (in.)

47

46.5

-0.5

Left Arm (in.)

17

Same

0

Neck (in.)

15.5

same

0

TOTALS: Gain 0.5 lb lost 0.5 inch

***

Radio Flyer rollin’ snow style.
My boys made Hawaii in the living room.
Newest snow girl, at dusk.
This is why the humidifier runs almost constantly.
My new spice cabinet.
My new spice cabinet.

Train tracks.
Train tracks.
With tunnel.
With tunnel.

 

Weigh In Wednesday #2

If you haven’t read my New Year’s Resolution, do that first.

Ahh. The first week of a new diet. It can be simultaneously the hardest and easiest week of the whole darn thing. Hard because kicking any bad habits, like sugar, can result in withdrawal and crankiness. Thankfully, it wasn’t bad at all, that is to say I’ve had worse sugar withdrawals. Before I started this I was slightly afraid for Porter’s safety, but we both made it through the week with flying colors. It is also the easiest week because it’s brand new and I’ve got nowhere to go but down. I’m going to get to my numbers, but I want to remind you that the first week of dieting can yield abnormal results due to, in my opinion, water loss. Yes I’ve done this before, and it’s been pretty much the same every time. I know that my losses for this week are unrealistic in the long term and not very healthy either.

For breakfast I ate my usual 2 eggs and Canadian bacon. I grabbed a snack whenever I got hungry and they included nuts, celery and apples with peanut butter, cheese, and 1 cappuccino per day. Lunch was always a hearty salad with dark green lettuce, broccoli, peas, cucumber, carrot, sunflower seeds, bacon bits, hard-boiled egg, beets, olives and ranch dressing. For dinner I made family friendly meals and substituted vegetables where my boys had noodles or bread. On Friday night I had Thai curry with rice, and it was more enjoyable than ever. The week was delightful, and the only time I felt hungry was when I didn’t plan my day correctly and ended up eating like a chipmunk. Otherwise, I feel great and am ready for week 2. Here are the numbers:

————->Week 1                               Week 2                         Difference

Weight (lbs):  261.0                                  252.5                                 8.5 lbs

Left leg (in.):  32.5                                    31.5                                      1″

Hips (in.):       54                                        53                                       1″

Waist (in.):     51                                         46                                      5″

Chest (in.)      47.5                                      47                                    0.5″

Left arm (in.): 17                                         17                                     0″

Neck (in.):       16                                         15                                     1″

TOTALS OVERALL:

Lost: 8.5 lbs and 8″

Homemade Cappucino
Homemade cappuccino
New Kitchen Adventures
New Kitchen Adventures
iPad puzzels
iPad puzzles
Snow Kitty is now an artic seal cub.
Snow Kitty is now an arctic seal cub.
It's, like, really winter here.
It’s, like, really winter here.

Spaghetti sauce with grass fed local beef, shitake mushrooms and onion, served over spinich. All organic. My new favorite!
Spaghetti sauce with grass-fed local beef, shiitake mushrooms and onion, served over spinach. All organic. My new favorite!
Montage of trees at the Boise Library!
Montage of trees at the Boise Library!

IMG_2729 IMG_2732

Examining worms from our Urban Worm vermi-composting house.
Examining worms from our Urban Worm vermi-composting house.
Dried beans and some kitchen utensils...
Dried beans and some kitchen utensils…
...pure joy for 45 minutes.
…pure joy for 45 minutes.
This mornings eggs were like opening a present, I found a rainbow inside. Jillian at Green Goat Dairy is the very best.
This mornings eggs were like opening a present, I found a rainbow inside. Jillian at Green Goat Dairy is the very best.
I've been working on making a slicing bread that could take the place of store bought bread. Today I finally did it! It's the America's Test Kitchen Sandwich Bread recipe, using 1/2 sprouted organic spelt flour and 1/2 organic Einkorn flour. I did try a bite of every loaf, but managed to sustain myself at that. I'm really glad Luke and Porter enjoy it so much.
I’ve been working on making a slicing bread that could take the place of store bought bread. Today I finally did it! It’s the America’s Test Kitchen Sandwich Bread recipe, using 1/2 sprouted organic spelt flour and 1/2 organic Einkorn flour. I did try a bite of every loaf, but managed to sustain myself at that. I’m really glad Luke and Porter enjoy it so much.

2013 New Year’s Resolution: What have I got to lose?

scale

100 pounds. That’s right. According to this website, I have chosen the #1 new years resolution, which will have a success rate of 8%. Oh joy, I just love a good challenge. But Megan, you say, that’s so much and so dramatic. What could have compelled you to consider such a freakishly (small human sized) amount? And I will rattle off all the many reasons I have decided this is the year to complete such a task:

  • Except for when I was pregnant with Porter, I have never weighed this much in my life.
  • I don’t enjoy wearing my nice clothes.
  • There are 4 numbers, which I plan on finding out in the next couple weeks, that I’m scared of knowing. They are my cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and body mass index. These, surely, need to go down.
  • Frankly, I just don’t feel that healthy. I get winded easily and hearing myself breathing on the videos I take is NOT appealing.
  • I’ve got this crazy fascination with the number 154.
  • If I’m constantly waxing on about my authentic self, but not looking/feeling in a way that matches my mental happiness then I’m nothing but a hypocrite.
  • Porter deserves a better example than eating chocolate croissants in the car and sneaking bites of candy in between meals and drinking root beer. Although they were all really nicely made quality treats.
  • Porter and Luke need me to be healthy and active.
  • I can’t remember the last time I felt comfortable in my body. I take that back, I feel great when I’m dancing (although that’s been harder lately) and when I was in 3rd/4th grade. After that, I pretty much know I could be better.
  • And the main reason for losing 100 pounds is…in a year I plan on getting pregnant again. I don’t know about other ladies, I think many will feel the same, but after having my first baby all the reserves of good health are gone. If I want to have a home birth and then a newborn again, I’m gonna need all the health and stamina I can get.

So, now you’re wondering what crazy fad diet I’m going to do to shed these pounds? No fad diet, no counting calories, no portion control, no points. What I’m going to do is cut out grains and high starch foods. What I will be able to eat is Real Foods: vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, meats, fish, cheese, eggs, a little bit of dairy, Real Salt, oils/fats, kombucha. If you look at that list of items and then consider the endless possibilities, there will be plenty for me to eat. I’ve tried all the diets before and I know this works for me, so don’t feel too bad that I’m missing out on baked goods and ice cream. I’ve eaten enough of those to last a lifetime already. We do have a tradition of eating out on Friday nights that I’m going to maintain. I’m not a total party pooper. I already do yoga, dance and water aerobics at the gym and will keep that up. Plus I have a toddler, period.

And so, here’s the part that is really terrifying. I’m going to use you guys as my accountability. If there’s anything I learned from last years resolutions of 30 day challenges, it’s that when I promise to post regularly and with hard facts, I will follow through. Every Wednesday on Waking Up Happy for the next year has been dubbed “Weigh In Wednesday”. This means I’ll post my current weight and measurements and the occasional photo to document this journey.

The reason this is terrifying is because I’m a big gal. I have 100 pounds to lose. And while anyone can see me walking down the street and know that, I’m still scared of being judged and ridiculed in all assortment of ways. But I figure, if this blogger (who I follow and is great) can come out of the closet to his LDS family, after 2 divorces, a son, and having considered driving off a cliff near his home in Utah…I can at least be honest about my weight. Especially if it’s going to help me reach my goal and hopefully inspire others. So, here goes. Weigh In Wednesday has begun!

Height: 5’6″

Weight: 261 pounds

Left leg: 32.5″

Hips: 54″

Waist: 57″

Chest: 47.5″

Left arm: 17″

Neck: 16″

IMG_2668
The black background was a poor choice. It’ll be clearer in the future.

IMG_2667

I’ve got a long way to go. I know I can achieve this, in my heart of hearts. What I’m not sure of yet is how I’ll maintain when I reach my destination. Luckily, I’ve got a year to figure it out and great friends and family to love and support me on the way.

Check my latest Weigh In Wednesday results.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  Comments please.

Real Food Cha Cha’s Chicken Sofrito

sofrito
A Facebook friend, who I knew briefly in 7-8th grade, made a status update that spoke of a delicious Dominican dish, Sofrito. In the comments someone asked for the recipe and she gave a brief description of how her friend Chacha taught her how to make Sofrito in a small New York kitchen years ago. It sounded delish. I Googled “sofrito” and was presented with many different recipes, however, my FB friend’s sounded the best. As it turns out, Chacha has a new website, Chacha’s Kitchen, but this recipe isn’t on it yet. I’m reposting (my real food interpretation) here for you, for me, and because both Chelsea and Sarah wanted the recipe. I doubled the recipe and had lots of leftovers, which were even tastier. It’s a one pan wonder too, bonus! Thank you Chacha, for this fantastic Latin American dish.

Chacha’s Chicken Sofrito

INGREDIENTS

1 whole chicken raised on pasture, cut into sections or 6-8 pieces of chicken. I used bone-in legs and thighs because they’re cheap, but boneless is certainly faster.
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 small onions chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp oregano
salt/pepper to taste
2 tsp tomato paste, from a glass jar
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 small tomatoes, chopped with juice and all
2 handfuls cilantro, chopped
2+ tbsp capers
1/2+ cup sliced olives (I used green)
1 lemon, juiced
hot sauce to taste (Chacha recommends Cholula, I had Tapatio on hand)
avocado (optional garnish, but mighty good)

1. In a big pan brown the chicken in oil for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside.
2. In the same pan saute onions and garlic until the onions begin to turn translucent.
3. Add oregano, salt/pepper, tomato paste and mix. Turn heat to low, cover pan, and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add peppers, cilantro, diced tomatoes, capers, olives, lemon juice and hot sauce. Stir it up!
5. Add chicken back to the pan with the Sofrito and cook for 30-45 minutes, if you’re using boneless chicken cook for 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165*F. Chicken should fall off the bone.I served the dish over rice with fresh avocado. It was REALLY good, tangy and savory. Every bite that Porter took he literally made the “mmm” sound as the spoon touched his lips. If my 19 month old can appreciate this meal, you will too.

This recipe featured on Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday

Top 5 Ways To Make Zero Waste

zero wasteI’ve stolen it from The Zero Waste Home blog, one of my favorites. I first read about the Johnson family in Sunset Magazine in this article. Read the article and then decide if they’re crazy or not. I’m leaning to the side that says they’re really extreme, but just on the right side of crazy. My home could never be zero waste, or even as minimal as the Johnson’s, but it’s pretty inspirati

onal if you’re into the less is more thing. It’s a phrase my father often used and I can’t help but hear it floating through my head as I swim through toys, clothes, books, rugs, artwork, food, kitchen appliances, outdoor equipment, gardening what-not, cars, stuff. We live in a small home without a lot of storage so that means most of our possessions are out in the open, to look at and collecting dust. I’m trying desperately to part with much of this stuff, although it’s hard and I certainly like my things as much as the next girl. Le sigh. Work in progress. Back to the top 5, these are the 5 ways the Johnson’s reduce waste in their home, which they stick to rigorously and it works. The steps are always to be done in just this order:

1. Refuse – say no to receipts, drink carriers, disposable grocery bags, disposable tasting spoons, etc.I’m kinda cheating on today’s top 5.

2. Reduce – do with less. Interesting fact I learned: eating organic food makes a person feels satiated with 30% less food than commercially grown food. Another reason to eat organic – to reduce food waste in step 5.
3. Reuse – canvas totes, library books, glass jars for food and shop in bulk, shop consignment
4. Recycle – if you must use something disposable make sure it can be recycled
5. Rot – if you’ve followed all the other steps then the only stuff left should be organic matter that can be composted. MMMM…black gold.

If you’re into reducing your stuff and all the stuff on our planet, you might find these videos interesting:

The Story Of Stuff, part 1
The Story Of Change, part 2
***
July 2011

Bushwacking! July 2012
Bushwacking
Big Kitty’s hiding spot has most definitely been compromised.

Real Food Bounty & Top 5 Favorite Veggies

I just got back from the Boise Farmer’s Market with this bounty of food:

3 dozen pastured eggs from Green Goat Dairy, summer squash, cucumber, onions, peaches, sunset beets, lettuce, cauliflower, garlic and a flat of berries (red, yellow and purple raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries) 

I’ve also been listening to the Real Food Summit, which is going on for a few more days and you should totally check it out. What is Real Food you say? Isn’t all food Real Food? Not anymore. People are finally getting hip to what real food is and are co-opting the term. It’s also been known as the slow food movement and to some extent the organic food movement. Organic food, however, has been around long enough to be corrupted a bit, mostly in terms of animal treatment. Here’s a really excellent explanation of Real Food. The gist of it is, if the food (fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, etc.) have been raised and grown in the way nature intended and then are cooked in a way that your great great great grandmother would have prepared them, it’s probably real food. The key word to look for in meats and dairy foods is pastured. This means that cows and goats (herbivores)  get to eat green grass in the full sun, chickens and birds (omnivores) are free roaming to scratch the earth and to eat bugs and plants, and piggies (omnivores) are given room to run and root in the earth.

For a long time it’s the way I’ve wanted to eat, but couldn’t quite identify how to express it. This way of eating has always made sense to me, despite my love for Hostess cupcakes and all things chocolate. The nice part is that it’s entirely possible to make all the foods I love out of real foods. The drawback is that it’s not always convenient. That simply means planning ahead, which I’m getting good at now that Porter is around.

I’ve started my Real Food journey by changing the fats I use. I’m stocking up on organic pastured and cultured butter, cooking with coconut oil and only using olive oil in it’s raw form. Canola and other veggie oils have been proven to be bad for your heart and health and those are out the window. I’ve also started going to the Farmer’s Market and getting to know the farmers.

When I take the time to eat good meats, fats, dairy, veggies and fruits I feel amazing. It’s only when I don’t eat that way that Real Food becomes a hassle. I’ve gotten of my diet of healthy eating and I’m ready to get back, so here are my top 5 favorite veggies (there were some ties):

berries 1

5. corn, organic and non GMO

4. beets, wrapped in foil and cooked on high heat for about an hour (thanks America’s Test Kitchen)

3. asparagus & crook neck squash, from a local garden and grilled they are so sweet and tasty

2. onions & bell peppers, any way you want to prepare them, I’ll eat it

1. lettuce, give me a crunchy bitter/sweet salad any day