Cooking Adventures

Over the last week, I have been trying out a few of the recipes from the 8WW handbook, and it has been a delightful adventure.  I had family in town and made them the egg and sausage muffins.  Define a muffin?…dome shaped dough baked and eaten with butter.  However, that is not what I did, nor was it doughy at all.  They were more like mini quiches, and quite delectable, making my kitchen smell like heaven in the a.m…combining gluten free turkey sausage (a special gluten free for my celiac best friend, 6 eggs and 6 egg whites, sliced fresh mushrooms, onions and peppers, cheese (added at the end for my lactose intolerant roommate), bake and serve.  SO GOOD!!  We had a smorgasbord of treats that morning.

A few days later I made the Healthy Chili…and discovered the challenges of cooking with raw kidney beans.  Let’s just say my chili came out with a few crunchier bites.  House smelling like heaven again though…this is nice.  Chili is so easy!! you just add all the ingredients in a big pot and let it do it’s thing!!

A few of my friends are trying the vegan diet, and we have had dinner with them a few times this week…I realize that my restrictions in eating exist, but nothing compared to theirs…so I continue to adventure!

Two weeks in…

Two weeks in and I feel like I’m making some progress.

The diet part is easy and yet not.  I just got back from a weekend in Vegas.  Even though I packed healthy snacks and brought my Ultrameal and Blender Bottle, my intentions and what I really ate fell short.  Even though I can order something healthier off the menu, making food in the hotel room was a hassle.

I have made myself work a bit harder with planning meals and making sure I have a good variety of healthy food in my fridge.  I am not a huge fan of breakfast, so it isn’t easy to plan the protein, fat and carbohydrate…

The workouts have been fun and make me feel like I’m working hard for the scheduled hour.

I haven’t been as good with pulling out the meditation CD.  I have taken a couple minutes here and there while waiting for something to sit back close my eyes and take a few deep breaths.  I have been making an effort to give myself a little bit of R&R time that I haven’t been able to get around to in months… reading before bed.  Even though work is getting busier and busier I feel that along with some good food, more exercise, I’m feeling more motivated.

The chiropractic adjustments have helped my right leg that I’ve favored for three years now since running and hiking injuries summer of 2009.  Dr Jim has shown me how my range of motion is improving.  I also noticed, that it seems my circulation in my toes has improved…

The improvements with that bum leg can definitely be attributed to the myo therapy work as well.  I discovered how tight my IT band has become, along with my hip flexor.  While the ‘massage’ isn’t relaxing with ocean sounds playing in the background, I find it becoming less painful and more tolerable over the past two weeks.  I am putting more weight on my right leg without it feeling so off balance, and I think the improvements with that leg will allow me to get the most out of the workouts…


No Recipe Required Cooking

So I’m not going to lie… I’ve never been much of a follow a recipe type person.  Maybe if I’m making something special, but I don’t frequently pull out a cook book.

One meal I’ve made twice (in week 1 and week 3) are spiced chicken tenderloin strips.

I usually get the boneless skinless chicken tenderloin packets from Costco.  They’re convenient to freeze to have a quick meal on hand.

Once defrosted I use Savory Spice Shop’s Wash Park Seasoning on one or both sides.

And then I throw them onto my George Foreman grill.

Three minutes later I have dinner and some leftovers.  (And of course I add a couple veggies or a salad with my spiced chicken tenderloins too!)

Now that’s my style!

Week 2 of 8 Weeks to Wellness

Into week 2 of program, day 11 to be exact. We had a great workout with Dusty today, it just goes to show you do not need to spend hours in the gym. I looked at my watch at in 4o minutes we did some great mobility work, ie foam rolling, we did an intense cardio workout and did some challenging strength moves. I feel awesome. I feel good the majority of the time but this has taken how I feel to another level. My right knee that has the screw in it was a little sore, but after my adjustment and massage I feel great. Everybody is having different challenges but to impliment some changes in our daily routine might be a little challenging, but like any challenge there is usually a reward at the end. Planning meals is the biggest aspect and that seems to be going alright even if I have to grab a quick bite, I am eating healthy and even better than I did before. Journalling really holds me accountable. Loving it and excited for staff and patients to experience the difference.

Week 2 Mind and Body Status

Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal. – Friedrich Nietzsche.

Keep your eyes on your goals but be open to HOW it all unfolds.  Do you realize how many possibilities exist that will get you where you want to go? We can’t even imagine it!  We must be open to the path changing on the way to where we want to be.

The biggest thing I see happening is the breaking down of the lies that have been in my mind for what seems my entire life:  how much weight I have to lose, my physical capacity, my time management, my creativity and cooking abilities, self-control of thought and of appetite….these are all things that I see breaking down, and being rebuilt on an even stronger foundation: WELLNESS. 

I have found myself cheating with a few extra bites of carbs, a piece of fruit in the evenings, too much cheese, half a glass of white wine late at night…those things will not hinder success, but will certainly slow it down.  I have to ask myself, is that what I want? NO! I have 8 weeks!  6 and 1/2 now! I have to keep going and fighting hard and breaking habits and lies and rebuilding foundations.

Also, I am competing in a Triathlon this Sunday, so the outside cardio has been easy! But what will happen come Monday when I no longer have such a strong and tangible and inspiring goal?  Will my priorities be my motivation? What about my future family? My energy and wellness now? A few sizes smaller jeans?  IF weight loss is a goal, then what happens when I reach that?  What is my goal then? Does that mean my goal now has to be different? Something such as wellness? Longevity? Endurance? Energy? Attitude?  How has God intended me to use my body, and am I doing it well now?  All big questions, all needing answered.  I am opening my mind to a different path to the wellness goal, one trial, one question, one answer at a time.

Week 1 and Start of week 2

Well, it’s been an interesting start to this journey of 8 weeks to wellness. On the diet and nutrition front, there have been challenges.  Cutting out fruit and bread was something I’ve missed, adding in more protein was a bit unusual, as I don’t eat meat on a daily basis. I felt like I was  consuming more calories than normal.  I usually consume around 1400 calories per day and adding on the ultrameal shakes I was adding about 150 calories onto what was a fairly normal diet to myself.  When I weighed myself on friday morning I had gained 1 pound!      After I discussed this with one of the clinic’s personal trainers; he said I needed to split the amount of ultrameal I was consuming in a day by half. Within three days I was back to my orginal starting weight.

As far as the weight training and cardio; I have really enjoyed the routine and phases we have began with.  It has been challenging but well worth the soreness I endured in the first week. The only struggle I have really had is fitting a third cardio session into my week.  Saturdays and Sundays aren’t any problem since have always excercised on those days, but finding time during the week has been a difficulty.  Next week I plan to make it a priority. 🙂

Week 1 Overview

Week one seems to have flown by.  The details of keeping track of food, being sure i’m taking my supplements and Omega 3’s, getting in all the cardio and training sessions, muscle soreness, myo and massage, and a little quiet time, can all seem overwhelming but I can see the importance of including all of these things into a daily routine.  I feel energized, less hungry now (i was seriously ravenous without carbs!), and I see myself being optimistic. I can succeed.  I am succeeding.  I am a success. 

The training sessions were a blast! I never imagined I’d be doing wind sprints again, and to be doing it with all my coworkers is truly amazing.  I have one week until a long anticipated Triathlon, so my cardio sessions were already planned out.  Week two will be a breeze because it’s tapering week.  Less time working out, more reward come Sunday morning.  I did have muscle soreness and fatigue, but it left me energized and ready for the next workout.

My adjustments were great too.  End of an 11 hour workday, get an adjustment, and I feel as though I could go 11 more!  I had myotherapy done on my forearms, and it made a world of difference in my massages.  Also, my low back was bothering me so Sean worked on me and I felt great.

My next challenge and need  to plan is: WEEKENDS.  How do I have my mid-morning Ultra-Meal shake if I sleep in past mid-morning?  How do I not eat carbs at a wedding where they are serving Chicken and Waffles? Does the dancing count as my cardio?  Forgot to take my supplements on saturday even though that’s the day that I organized them all.  Discipline of mind and time has always been a challenge for me, and this is a great exercise in diligence and intentionality.  I have 7 weekends left to keep developing habits that will last a lifetime.  My life is go, go, go during the week, and part of my great attitude is my well-deserved Sunday afternoon nap! Rejuvinating and wonderful.

So: to sum it all up: I need to work on portion sizes, bedtime, weekend craze and wellness, and a little more quiet time and prayer for my heart and soul!

Staci: Week 1 of 8ww

I’m half way through the first week of 8ww.  I’m excited for the program, but can’t quite say I’ve got it all down 100%.

This week has been busy with work and errands making it hard to keep up with the nutrition and workout part.

I relaxed for my first time on day #3 for the meditation component.  I relax easily so that was no problem.

I also got my first adjustment today on day #4.  I got to see my new x-rays, which showed that I sit in a desk more than I am on my feet and active.  My spine and hips don’t have the same alignment that I had 7 years ago.  I’m also going to try to take a better focus on my posture.  I don’t think it’s that bad, but when I’m tired of sitting at my desk I think I start sliding further and further under it.

The group workouts have been good.  I am always more motivated if I know the others who I am at the gym with.

I also had my first myo treatment, and let me tell you, I didn’t know or expect that my IT band and hip flexors were so tight.  I make my way through the treatment alright, but will definitely be pulling the foam roller out of my closet!

All in all I think this is going to be baby steps to get everything up to 100%.  I thought perhaps I’d be able to get everything under my belt within a few days but diet and exercise certainly need a lot of planning and scheduling to get done!


Sunday Shopping

My typical sunday afternoon routine includes a trip to the grocery store…but this week’s trip required a little extra planning.  I actually sat in my office reading recipe books and my 8WW handbook, trying to wrap my mind around the Glycemic Index, carbs, proteins, fats (good vs. bad), etc. etc. etc…and by the time I got to the grocery store, I was ready to take the produce by storm.  Week one we aren’t allowed any carbs, except those found in veggies.  THAT is hard to cook and shop for, especially since ZERO carbs, including fruit!!! is very difficult for me.  So my cart slowly filled with green and red bell peppers, broccoli trees, lettuce, spinach, celery, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, onions, and the veggie list goes on and on.  My friends gave me bib lettuce and zucchini from their own garden, and it was been well used and deeply appreciative.  I then hit up the dairy department for low fat cottage cheese, part skim ricotta, a little bit of shredded cheese.  The few things left were eggs (which I have a feeling I will be eating an abundance of in many ways; and some flax…which I found out is a good fat! who knew?  The regular flaxseeds were expensive so I opted for the flaxseed meal, and it has been so easy to mix into food and recipes!  So as I arrive home, I stare at my freshly picked veggies and eggs, crack open Fanny Farmer cooking guide to better understand all the above veggies, maybe to find a casserole to make with spinach and zucchini, and try a Chicken Parmesean Week One permitted recipe from the 8WW handbook, cut up and get all the veggies ready for the week.  So a few hours, 2 casseroles, 6 chicken breast, 3 steaks, a handful of cheese, 18 different sizes of tupperware, and a well used food processor later, my well balanced, low glycemic, 8WW approved weekly meals are ready for me Monday morning.

My conclusion from the process: write your grocery list out, use spices like nobody’s business, avoid salt, veggies actually bake well with nothing else with them, more veggies, steak cravings, no carbs…. here we go

As we work through this I am excited to learn how to combine these ingredients with the multitude more in this world, and I know that 8WW will help me progress into that, and, even better, to increase my future culinary creativity…8WW here we go!!