Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Simple Kind of Life

   This week's WW meeting topic is about busting through the plateau. I am not a master of this currently because I am having a huge plateau. This plateau is taking over my life. We all have them from time to time and we try many different things to bust through them. First of all , I have gained about 8lbs during this plateau. I have gained and lost anywhere from .2lbs to 1.2lbs. Although I have had a few psychotic breakdowns, tantrums and Sylvia Platt black wearing depressive moments, I have bounced back and tried to figure out a new path through the maze. Seriously folks, I am beginning to feel like the Wile E.Coyote vs the Roadrunner. So allow me to strap a rocket to my back and tell you some of my plateau busters.
1) The Joy of Tracking- I track therefore I track.A lot of people do not feel that tracking is a joy. When I first joined WW, I tracked like it was the cure for cancer. Later on, not so much. A lot of fellow WW that have been working the plan tend to flub tracking every now and then. Everyone has their own method. My friend Tam challenged me and Cindy to take pictures of what we eat. This has been interesting because it forces you to think about your choices when you know someone else is going to see it. We send these pictures anyway. I have been lax in tracking online, so this week I tracked online all week. And third, I purchased a brand new handy dandy notebook for journaling and written tracking.

2) Make some food changes. This week I stopped buying "the usual" breakfest of two egg whites on an english muffin. I bought instant Irish oatmeal packets and ate them with fresh blueberries. I also made myself a pretty salad the night before work so that there was no excuse to eat poorly. And my salads were banging. I was sad when I finished eating them.
3)Make a change in your exercise routine. I have been walking a lot more. I have to take advantage of the beautiful weather and use the streets of New York as my gym. I have been leaving home early enough to get off the bus 30-40 something blocks away from the office 3-4 days a week. I love having an early workout just in case I do not have enough energy at the end of my work day.  I also started jogging. It was only one day. But one day at a time is all it takes.
My WW homies Tam & Cindy

           I signed up for a 4 mile race/walk on September 17th with my friend Cindy who ran all of the 5Ks I had hoped to do this summer but limped  along. But now that I am doing better and have been building up my endurance and strength by walking as much as I can. So this Saturday I set my alarm clock to get up by 7am and I woke up before the alarm. This was a sign. I went out to the track and started out walking. I had those same doubts I had when I first started jogging last year. Everyone is looking at me. Look at the fat girl trying to run. Guess what Carin? Not everyone is looking at you. So I finally said, like Nike, just do it. I decided to run for a quarter of the track but when I got there alive, I decided to keep running. Eventually I jogged 1.6 miles. I felt a little worn so I walked for 1.4 miles but then I felt good enough to jog again and I jogged the rest of the way which was 1 mile. All together I did my 4 miler. If you add in the walk to the track and back , plus the trip I took to get breakfast for the guys at Mickey D's (you would be proud that I did not buy anything for myself), I ended up doing 5.67 miles first thing Saturday morning. I felt great and posted it on facebook. By the end of the day, I had 8.67 miles and 20,266 steps on my pedometer. I am still in pain five days later.
       One of the errands was my weekly trip to Farmers market. One of the newest things I purchased is pattypan squash. I have never cooked it before and I am not sure what to do with it. If you have any ideas, let me know. I found out that green tomatoes turn red if you don't use them fast enough.  I cooked only yellow veggies( carrots and corn off the cob) in a dish for a color presentation experiment.  I also chopped up eggplant and added it to spaghetti sauce since Jake refuses to eat salad. I am having childish fun going to the farmers market every Saturday.
my total bounty

pattypan squash

purple potatoes

yellow carrots

green peppers


corn on the cob

green tomatoes

donut peaches

what do I do with these?

Tues. all day - 6pts
Wed. Walking 30+ blocks plus all day - 10pts
Thurs. Interoffice moving + all day - 7pts
Fri. all day - 9pts
Sat. Walk/jog 4 miles + all day - 17pts
Sun - 0pts
Mon. Walking 40+ blocks plus all day - 10pts
TOTAL = 59pts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Learn

            The last two weekends in a row I have been completely lazy. Usually I use the weekends to run around and get in as much activity as possible. I let the exhaustion of the busy work week get to me and hug my bed and catch up with my DVR.  But the lazy weekend did bring something else. I read the local times for my neighborhood and was reminded that we have a local farmers market on Saturdays through November.

             After a The View marathon, I put on some clothes, grabbed my mini shopping cart and camera and hit the road. There were quite a few neighbors out there. The very first thing I saw was a guy unloading tons of corn on the cob, which I love. There was even a receptacle for corn husks so that you can peel right there (this saves on a garbage can full of husks at home). Everyone was talking about the corn and how good it was. There was even an elderly woman sitting on a crate eating it raw. She exclaimed " this corn is so sweet you can eat it like this". I had never eaten raw corn before, so I made a mental note to have some when I got home.

           Right after my devotion to corn, I looked to see what other things they had that I do not buy regularly at the supermarket. I found shallots, purple carrots, beets and skinny eggplants.  Next I wandered over to the fruit section and I saw something I never saw before. Small green plums. I asked the seller what they taste like because I imagined that they would be tart. He advised me that the softer ones are sweet. I also purchased some apricots( yuck!), and beautifully huge red delicious apples.
           I took my booty home and rinsed everything off. I had a straw basket that I decided to use as a mini pantry. I also cook the beets right away. I am the only one in my house that likes beets. All I use to boiled beets is water, salt, black pepper and garlic powder. As a tip, when you buy carrots in different color, cook them separately. Purple carrots dye orange, white and yellow carrots purple. I also chopped some veggies up so that I can grab them to add to dishes. You could put them in ziplocs in the fridge.

         I had so much fun with my veggies. One night while the kids were out, I made whole wheat pasta with sauteed shallots, skinny eggplant, grape tomatoes, crushed garlic, olives and olive oil. I cannot get Jake and Josh to eat everything but hubby and I enjoyed it. I also added sardines which grossed out my homies (sorry Tam and Cindy).  Josh and I did sample raw corn on the cob for lunch. It was so sweet that it could have been a dessert. I went back to the farmers market this past weekend and found donut peaches. My friend Tam swears by them but I never see them in the store. They are so delicious and just the right size when you feel like something sweet to eat .This week I picked up yellow and orange carrots and more shallots.

         Ironically, this week's topic is about going meatless(or as it's known in my house as going rougue). Yes, the menfolk like of the meat. Once and a while I slip in a little meatless pasta but they turn into zombies later and forage for leftover meat parts in the fridge. Going vegetarian is a good way to lighten your food intake but it's not for everyone.  I gained a little bit this week; .8lbs.
Tues. walk 30+ blocks to work + all day - 7pts
Wed. all day - 6pts
Thurs. walk 30+ blocks + all day - 9 pts
Fri. all day - 8pts
Sat. errands - 1pt
Sun. 0pt
Mon. walk 30+ blocks + all day - 8pts
         I am still a work in progress. I purchsed a new notebook this week. I usually use the ultimate 3 month tracker from WW but I think I need to log a lot more.

Monday, August 15, 2011

If It Makes You Happy

    What have I been up to? Plenty of things. You ever do so many different things that you start to feel run down? Well that's what happens to me when I stop moving. Lately I have been trying to do my walking early in the morning. I love walking. I strap on a backpack with my work clothes inside, throw on some workout clothes and hop on the bus. Then I get off thirty to fourty blocks away from the office. Walking is truly a great form of exercise. It's free.
the start line;Bob, Pete, Cindy, Tam, me, Josh and Steve

1st destination

Jake watching the sailboats

Josh, Jake and me in front of Alice in Wonderland

Pete and Cindy


      The week before last was our monthly social 5K. This is when a group of my WW homies and my two sons (as long as there is no school the next day) walk around the great city of New York taking in the sites. My friend Tam planned this month's walk in Central Park. I love Central Park. Walking around checking out landmarks, people watching and sometimes hiking. You can lose your self for a whole day. We had to meet at Fifth Avenue and East 72nd Street. That happens to be more than thirty blocks away from my office. I chose to walk up to meet up with my friends. Once I arrived, I did not feel tired. Instead I fely energetic and ready to walk some more. I got to see parts of the park I never saw before , like the Alice in Wonderland statue. Of course I took plenty of pictures.
Jake and Tam

Tam, me and Cindy

Bob, Cindy, Jake , Tam and Pete

walking down a hill

        Last week's meeting topic was about getting in the "good health guidelines" These are things that you shold try to achieve everyday in order to set you on the right path for your weight loss journey. When you're planning a trip you use a map. Well when planning to live healthy for the rest of your life you use the tools that will hep you get there.
1) Liquids. Do not fool yourself. This means water. You should try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. That is what I do. I have coffee with my breakfast and then I drink water for the rest of the day. I try to knock out at least fourty to fifty ounces in the early part of the day by 3pm. I drink water with my lunch and for dinner I drink a bottle of water with a flavor packet like Crystal Light ( Wild Strawberry is my favorite). After dinner I keep a bottle of water on my nightstand so that I reach for that before anything else.
2)Eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies every day. This may not be easy for everyone but it is a no brainer for me. I grew up having a vegetable at dinner every night. With breakfast I have two pieces of fruit. With lunch I have veggies and fruit. For example, you can have a sandwich for lunch. A sandwich is a prime opportunity to add lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions and green peppers. It's a salad on a sandwich. Sometimes I save some veggies leftover from dinner with a little rice. At lunch I like to pretend that my fruit is dessert. You know that feeling you have sometimes when you just need something sweet. Well pow, instant dessert. No guilt necessary.
3)A multivitamin. I take a multivitamin with iron and a vitamin D pill every morning. If you eat veggies and fruits every day, you are getting some nutrients and vitamins. But why not stack the deck. You never know, that extra vitamin might end up being the thing that kicks your weight loss up a notch.
4) Whole grains. When at all possbile go for the brown bread, rice and pasta. Most of us grew up eating Wonder white bread. I happen to feel very strong feelings about bread. I could very well live on it. I introduced brown bread to my family. I thought it would not go over well. But we all eat it. And now if I ask someone to pick up some bread from the store, I no longer need to say "whole wheat".
5) Non-fat or low fat dairy. I am lactose intolerant but there are some things I can tolerate. I buy Lactaid fat free milk for me. It lasts forever in the fridge.
6) Healthy oils. Do not be afraid to add a little extra virgin olive oil to food. Since I tend to broil a lot of meat, i will add a little olive oil to that. You can also use it to sauteed someveggies for dinner.
7) Be active. You should try to be to get activity everyday. Even if I am not doing laps or riding my bike, I walk everywhere I go. I do not drive. I walk to the store. I push a large grocery cart home. I get activity points.
Don't climb up there ,Jake!

Jake and Bob climb the rocks

Tam climbed one too

         I am still on yo-yo scale trip. I gain 1.2lbs the week before but I did not gain or lose last weigh in.
Tues. all day - 6pts
Wed. - walk 40+ blocks to work plus all day - 9pts
Thurs. Social Walk + 30 blocks to 5K+ all day - 18pts
Fri. all day - 8pts
Sat. 0pts
Sun. 0pts
Mon. Walk 30+blocks to work + all day - 8pts
the finish line- the pub