Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 16: Trying to Negotiate the Good and the Bad

Well guys I realize it's been a full 8 days since I've written anything as I'm feeling pretty conflicted. I again want to share some positives and negatives that I'm hoping will explain my absence (again, these will be categorized because my Type A personality only allows me to make things with lists and bullet points in this blog - ha).

I'm going to start with the negatives because I've really been struggling with a few things. . .and I'm looking for feedback - so here goes

1. I don't really feel good eating this way.
I'm okay energy wise but when I get in the gym I find myself unable to muster the energy to really hit the workout the way I want to.

What's even more difficult for me to come to terms with is that I
a. don't know what is making me feel this way. . .could it be
         i. the small amount of carbs I'm eating (most days the majority of my carbs come from veggies as prescribed and many people I know eat this way so why am I reacting in this way)
        ii. general stress in my life (I have some big test results I've been waiting for)
        iii. this really weird lack of caring about my gym results. . .(okay - I'm being honest here). It's not like I don't care. . .let me take that back - it's more the idea that I feel in some weird, crazy way like I'll never be good at crossfit. I don't know why I feel that way - I know that I'm making gains in the gym but for some reason I've gotten it in my head that there are just so many things at crossfit I'm 'bad' at. Destructive and ridiculous - I KNOW. But again, I'm being honest

b. the other thing that is difficult for me to come terms with is that I wasn't eating dramatically different from this. So to feel this different is strange and odd.

2. So here I am - more than halfway through the challenge and wondering at the end what the impact will be. It's not all negative (positives will be detailed below in list format) but I'm wondering A LOT (and probably too much) if I'm going to stick with this. Why? How? In so many ways I'm wondering (like many aspects of my life) what I'm willing to sacrifice in order to have this ideal body I want (which is at least 15 lbs of body fat away).

Am I willing to give up coffee in my creamer? And why do I look at it like 'giving up' something, rather than gaining this ideal body I want.

I think part of me realizes now, in order to get to that dream body I will have to push harder and do things I really (at this point) don't know if I want to do.

Okay, so enough negatives - at least you all know what I'm struggling with. . .and although I know so many of you will read this and think that I'm not thinking rationally, this is just me and my struggles, irrational and all =)

1. I have the willpower of an ox
     a. I haven't cheated once. NOT ONCE. Not one sip of alcohol, dark chocolate, NOTHING. I am AMAZED. I have gone to football games, parades, festivals, block parties, and watched other people eat fried foods and funnel cakes and have munched on my coconut and deli meat (hormone free and minimally processed of course -
      b. Have I mentioned I haven't cheated once =)

2. I am a COOKING MACHINE.AND I'm a cooking machine on the budget of a graduate student. Not only do I have more spices in my cabinet than I have ever had in my adult life, I realized I enjoy cooking and get REALLY excited when I can copy a recipe. . .and speaking of. . DRUM ROLL PLEASE

I have PERFECTED the flax seed cracker recipe from R. Thomas. (PLEASE go eat there if you haven't). If you're eating Paleo the last time you had a cracker was. . .. .a LONG time ago so I hope you enjoy it. I have named these

Jasmine's Cracker Delight 

This is an AWESOME snack option. OBVIOUSLY serve with guacamole

-either whole flax seeds or ground (I buy them whole because they are cheaper and grind them in my coffee grinder - you could do the same in a food processor)
-egg whites
-oil (I used coconut - you can use olive oil)
-some sort of seasoning (I used garlic salt - but if you don't like this, use whatever type of seasoning you like)
-sea salt

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees
1. Grind up 3/4 cup of flax seeds into a meal and pour into a bowl
2. Add 3-4 egg whites. . .this varies depending on the size of your eggs, etc. You want to create a dough type mixture that is MOIST but not gooey. If it's too gooey add more of the flax seed meal.
3. Add two spoonfuls of coconut oil
4. Add your seasonings. The way I did this is to add seasoning and mix until I could smell the seasoning from the bowl. This is KEY. Remember - flax seeds by themselves are pretty disgusting so you want your cracker to taste like the seasoning you use. I used a BUNCH of garlic salt and a pinch of sea salt.
5. Drop your moist but not gooey mixture (again, the mixture should not be able to pour out of the bowl) onto parchment paper. Than roll it out by placing another piece of parchment paper on top and rolling it (I didn't have a roller so I used a large vase)
6. This is another KEY step in this recipe. You have to roll this out thin - like PAPER thin. Like it could even have 'holes' in the dough when it's rolled out. If it is not thin it will cook and taste like thick flax seed. . .again, disgusting (trust me - this is my third time making this)
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes (varies depending on your oven but timing doesn't really matter)
8. When you take them out they should be really crisp and break easily (if they don't it means you made them too thick)
9. Let them cool for a few minutes and DEVOUR

So bye for now - hope this wasn't debbie downer blog post as I don't intend for it to be. Just wanted to share and get feedback. How are you all doing? Where's everyone's head at?

HUGS through the INTERWEBS =) (I can't, I really can't stop myself)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 8: Week 1: The Good, The Bad and the Scary =)

Well ladies and gentleman of the inter-webs (I told you I'd be using that word more frequently - ha!) we find ourselves at the end of week 1 and here are my observations. (please excuse the list type format I am extreme Type A personality so making lists make me feel calm) =)

The Good
I'm down 5.6 pounds - I don't know how, I don't know why and I'm certainly not going to question it. BUT as I have told everyone I can speak to the scale is NOT the answer.

(Let me repeat that primarily for Kristen) THE SCALE IS NOT THE ANSWER

Body fat % is, plain and simple. We have all heard of the skinny fat and those types of observations but regardless of how 'thin' you look you can still be in poor health and I'm sure we all know people who are 'tiny' by all standards and can't run a mile.

So on November 3rd a few of us are getting our body fat tested post challenge. Again, because I have simple short term goals, my body fat test result goals are simple. All I want in life is for the body fat tester man to never again say to me I have good news and bad news. I mean NEVER.

The Good and  Little Bit of Scary
I have EXTREME clarity about my sick sick relationship with food. As I've mentioned before, and I think is for most women we take our relationship with food from when we were younger. I know for me I have dieted for most of my life, and EVEN when I was so super thin in middle and high school I was dieting. It's not normal, it's not healthy BUT I think that whole back and forth relationship with food is what makes me feel in so many ways like throwing myself a pity party for doing 'everything right' and not seeing the results I want .

(please reference Day 6's blog where I actually get honest about the truth of the matter that I'm not REALLY doing everything right - and who really is? and again, why do I care what everyone else is doing? This is about me AND my health. I'm the one who wants to live to 116 so I can sit in a rocking chair on my porch and yell at people, and no one can say anything because I'm old! )

The Bad and Potentially Good
 I love coffee. Let me restate this to be clear, I love coffee with creamer - I still miss creamer. Every day. It is the first thing I think about when waking up (reference above, sick relationship with food - ha!). I love coffee with creamer in a way that is likely not normal or healthy - in fact, I used to think that when I got to heaven I would be surrounded by tator tots, but now I think that in heaven there will be a Starbucks - that's right, I said it, Starbucks in heaven =)

So every morning I wake up and get a little sad thinking about black tea. However, I am praying that Macy's can save the day with an espresso maker that is $9.99 - I KNOW - I KNOW! I'm going today, trust me =) Thanks to Veronica and Raul for the suggestion! (Yet, another reason to go to Crossfit Peachtree - other members can solve your life's probems - lol)

The Bad and Scary
 Sadly, I am a little frightened to eat out. I know this sounds crazy. But in my graduate school bubble I am pretty much able to eat my breakfast at home, 1st and 2nd lunch at school in my cubicle and dinner at home. I don't really want to experiment with eating out yet (again, yes - I realize this is crazy)

The Goal
 I still want to lift cars, maintain pretty and go on Oprah =)

So world - what lessons have you learned in this week? What's your good, bad and scary? Anything you've realized about yourself and your relationship with food? Anything you've been SO proud of yourself for?

THANKS also for the comments - I now know that there are SO many of us that are going through all the same things. Who would have thought?!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5: 80/20 rule and my Goal for the nutrition contest

Mother Master of Crossfit Peachtree told us that as part of this nutrition challenge we had to have a non-crossfit related goal. Hmmmm - I've been thinking about this for a while (primarily because as a graduate student - we think ALL DAY. . .we can't turn it off - I think when I sleep - it's amazing! You should try it sometime) =) But I've been trying for a while to decide what my goal was. . .I don't do well with short term goals, I like to think big picture and other than writing a dissertation, being on Oprah or Tyra and lifting cars I don't really have anything else on the horizon I want to achieve. 

But I've been thinking about my weird CRAZY jacked up relationship that I've had with food, my body, my thoughts about my body, food, food, and food since I was in highschool and I wondered if 30 days of doing something completely good for my body would help me gain perspective on this.

I was also inspired to write this by a very pretty girl at Crossfit Peachtree who won the last nutrition challenge =) She mentioned that she follows an 80/20 rule with Paleo. . .and I do as well. . . Most of the time . .well sort of.  See as I started to think about my results these past few days, how I feel, how my muffin top is starting to disappear (and watching other people at the gym who in 5 days seem to also be shrinking) I started to think about whether that 80% was actually happening. 

And when I think about it and am 100% honest with myself I'm not REALLY following Paleo 80% of the time.  I'm having cream in my coffee, drinking diet coke every day, and eating a Greek Yogurt, among other things. So I know what your thinking (it's the same thing I think) - SO WHAT! 

That's what I thought (pre nutrition challenge too). . .Greek Yogurt isn't bad, and diet coke has no calories. . .that can NOT be the reason I'm not seeing the results I wanted. That's what I basically have been telling myself - that those things are okay BECAUSE. . .because I work hard in the gym, I work hard at school, I am more strict with my eating than 94% of the people I know in the world, etc, etc, etc.

BUT I'm starting to realize that the results I'm getting are exactly reflective of how I'm eating. I'm basically (if I REALLY think about it) only eating Paleo 50-60% of the time, which is the type of weight loss results I'm seeing. And that's just NOT ME! I don't give 50% in any aspect of my life - work, school, etc. If I only gave 50% in the gym everyone would yell at me =) So why is it that in this one area of my life I'm only giving 50%? 

I don't know ladies and gentleman of the interwebs (hahaha interwebs - I'd like to use that word once a day!)- I think it has something to do with the fact that I've been throwing myself a pity party for not being able to get these last 15/20 pounds off. . . why me? why do I have to be so strict? why do I have to eat 1/2 apple while I watch other seemingly thin, healthy people eat sandwiches?

But even more importantly - why the HELL do I care? When am I going to stop comparing myself and my body to other people and just STOP?! I want to peeps - I REALLY do. . .and I'm hoping this nutrition challenge will give me that perspective. 

So after all of that blabbering I'm here to state my goal: I'd like to be more honest with myself about my results or lack thereof and how they are directly reflective of the commitment/or lack thereof to eating the way I know my body needs it.

Basically my goal is to put up or shut up. I can NOT complain anymore about not seeing certain results when I don't fully commit to what I know I need to do. . .

So peeps - how much are you committing to what you put in your mouth versus what you do at the gym? =) And what are you going to do to change that?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 4: Support Systems for Your New 'Lifestyle' and my plea for an espresso maker

Before I talk about support systems and all of that touchy feely stuff I must ask someone for an espresso maker. Thanks - I had espresso today and it's DELICIOUS. Why haven't I been drinking espresso all along and why don't I have one in my house. So here's my deal. If you buy me an espresso maker when I am on Tyra or Oprah I will mention the lasting impact you have had on my life and. . .cry, as I talk about you - which I think is a fair exchange. =)

Anyway, the point of this blog is really my pitch for Crossfit. I went back and forth about writing this blog because those of you that know me have heard me talk about it and those of you who go to Crossfit already know these things. However, I had to write because I think after I explain this it will explain WHY I'm doing this nutrition challenge and most importantly how I think I'm going to stay strict for 30 days.

Before I went to Crossfit Peachtree I had lost the majority of my weight on Weight Watchers and at gym's (my most recent being LA Fitness in Buckhead). I was running a LOT - like LOTS of miles every day. . .and than would do weights and abs. Most days I would spend over 2 hours in the gym - slaving away - feeling bad about myself as I ran my 5.0 for an hour and the girl next to me ran at 7.8. Than I would go over to the weight machines and do them and just feel even worse because it was SILENT. No one talks to you - no one smiles at you or asks you how you're doing. After 3 years of doing everything by myself I was getting FRUSTRATED. My weight wasn't moving at ALL, in fact it was going back up and I felt just to maintain my weight having to run over 25 miles a week seemed stupid. 

Also, I didn't really feel like I had anyone who understood my goals, my struggles, my past. . .when you don't have people who support and participate in your lifestyle choices (eating healthy, working out 5+ times a week, etc.) it's hard to a even find someone to talk about it who gets it.

So enter Crossfit Peachtree. And dare I say - for me, it has been life changing (btw Tyra or Oprah if you'd like me to be on your show about Crossfit I'd be honored). 

First, I know about 80% of the people in my gym, by name and they know me. They ALWAYS encourage me during a workout, are willing to sit and talk with me about whatever - what we ate this weekend, what we didn't eat, what we wanted to eat, etc. =) We trade recipes - we commiserate about watching people eat things we don't =) But most importantly every single person is supportive of each individual. Despite popular belief there are a WIDE range of folks in the gym, and ANYONE can do it. I appreciate that. I appreciate that no one expects me to be the fastest or best, but will encourage me as I try. . .try to lift cars that is =)

Anyway, my point is. There is NO WAY possible I would make it through this challenge without the support of a large community of people at my gym. Can you imagine doing 30 days of strict anything without having a support system? Not possible. . .So anyway - whatever you're doing or have been doing I can promise you it will work a lot better if you try a Crossfit near you.

So that's my blog post - try crossfit. . .just do it. . just go in one day and try it. 

PS - In one year I've put 7 1/2 lbs of lean muscle on my body. . .was that ever going to happen at LA Fitness? hahahaha - NO =)

On another note  I have introduced two ladies at my gym to spaghetti squash and as I predicted it is LIFE ALTERING. . .I'm not sure who you are and why you haven't tried spaghetti squash but you need to get it together. 

Here's an EASY way to cook it. 

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds. . .drizzle olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper over the squash. Season well. Bake it in the oven at 350 for about 45-50 minutes. 
Make some meat sauce and call it a day. ..

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 2: Am I really drinking tea today? and. . .things you never wanna hear the guy doing your body fat say

So today was a full day. . I got up and didn't want to experience the nastiness that is black coffee so decided to drink some black tea instead. This is a HUGE step for me people - HUGE. I feel like tea is for people who do yoga and want to breathe all day - which I don't want to do. . .I feel like coffee is for Type A people who have lots of post it notes and put appointments in multiple places, and like to stay in a heightened state of anxiety (which is what I like to do), but I broke with tradition and had some tea. And SURPRISE - it wasn't disgusting. Black tea is okay. . .I'm not saying that I haven't been thinking about a tall sf latte from starbucks ALL DAY. . .however, the black tea is okay. I considered the morning a SUCCESS!

Anyway, after my tea experience I went to CFPT where I'm beginning  to incorporate some workouts that will help me get stronger (I hope). So twice a week I'm going to do a workout from Rob Orlando's website in addition to the main CF wod's. . .

I have a personal goal of lifting a car someday and I'm hoping his workouts will help me get there =) Yes, I said lifting a car. . .I mean wouldn't it be so super bad ass to go to parties and just lift cars - I'm just saying! Obviously, if I can lift cars and still maintain a little pretty Tyra and Oprah WILL be calling. . .

Anyway I did an amended wod from his page and then one of my CF friends and I drove out to Smyrna to get our body fat tested with Bali in his 'tank o' lies'. If you're interested in hearing someone lie to you, you should go =) After I was done, he tells me "I have some good news and some bad news". . .just not what you want someone to be saying who's just seen your fat ass in a swimsuit be submerged in water. . .

Bad news was I've gained about 3 lbs of body fat since MAY - EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKk. . .I definitely feel this is due to my cheat meals being a little too frequent and the fact that my knee injury has slowed me down from doing any sort of running

Good news was I gained about 4 lbs. of muscle since MAY. . .

So here's how I see it - I obviously need to reign my Mexican fiesta nights in, because I'm having too much fun! And I need to incorporate some running like cardio back into my life until my knee is rehabbed. . .

Yet, the biggest gift of all is that I've come to a place where hearing that I've gained 3 lbs. doesn't make me want to jump off of the top of my apartment building (which coincidentally is only two stories so I'd probably just break a lot of bones). But I've come to terms with how slow of a process this is going to be and feeling good about all of the things I'm doing right.

So if you're drudging away at LA Fitness (like I was) - comparing yourself to everyone that walks by and feeling less than because of it. . .I'd say find yourself a gym where no matter what you and your goals are supported =)

On that note - I'm going to finish the amazing paleo jerk chicken I made courtesy of Crossfit Verve in Denver

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 1: Strict Zone/Paleo

So I'm not going to start off by explaining what Paleo or Zone/Paleo is - there are a ton of resources online. Instead I'm going right into why I'm doing this (primarily why I'm doing zone/paleo instead of paleo).

1. I lost the majority of my weight doing weight watchers (see about me section) so I like counting and it doesn't bother me

2. I do not do well with uncontrolled portions of food because as I have found out in my Paleo experiments the last few weeks I will consume lara bars, nuts and those sorts of tasty things way before I would pick up a chicken breast =)

3. There is a nutrition contest at my gym (the BEST GYM EVER) and the only way to win is to have a noticeable difference in before/after photo's. . .and everyone buys in so there's a pot of money to win and Mama needs a scooter. . .so there you have it

Today is Day 1 - I plan to use this blog really as an accountability system for myself but maybe also as some motivation for my gym family to stay on course. . .and maybe even for those of you out in the world who are considering eating this way. I also plan to use this to document the emotional journey that withdrawing from diet coke and the crack/cocaine that is obviously inside of it. Additionally, if this blog gets me on Oprah or Tyra I won't be mad about that either. . . .yes, I said it - Oprah or Tyra!

Just for a brief background - I've dabbled with Zone Paleo before but never found the right # of blocks to make me not want to kill people or cry at the gym (yes, that's right - cry). . .so I went back to Paleo but found that I just was eating too much of the good stuff to frequently. I also have NEVER given up diet coke. .

Okay so here's what happened so far today

Woke up and prepared myself to have breakfast which includes black coffee (I'm in graduate school and not giving up coffee). . it was ultimately DISGUSTING. . .I tried to put coconut milk in it and it became this weird oily mix of nastiness - but guess what I drank it anyway. I've met myself without coffee and it's not nice, in fact it's mean

Then I got excited because I went to the Dekalb International Farmers Market - I haven't been in about a YEAR and when I checked out realized how dumb it was  ( I got FOUR bags of groceries and it was $60.00 bucks - $60. . .

So here are some of the goodies I plan to make this week

1. flax seed crackers with guacamole - I think a great way to get fat in and I had them at R. Thomas before and they are DELICIOUS
2. spaghetti squash with meat sauce - I love spaghetti squash. . .like whenever I get spaghetti squash I overeat it just because I can. . .it is SUPER low carb and great!
3. paleo jerk chicken
4. a large salad with a cut up pear, some walnuts, avocado with olive oil drizzled on top (had some of this for lunch and it was FANTASTIC)
5. mexican lettuce wraps - basically making the meat filling and adding salsa and stuff and wrapping it in lettuce

I'm excited. . .and love spending practically no money for so much food.

PS - Thanks to B for this challenge. I'm a year into crossfit and this is the first one I've had the courage to sign up for
PPS - Sorry in advance Jeff, I have a feeling I will be having diet coke withdrawals in your presence