Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stripped Bare

Well, yea, kinda. I kinda got my cart before my horse with my nutrition and workout clients. I was trying to build my recipe data base, launch a website, design spreadsheets, and serve the needs of 9 clients. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, until I wasn't. I was developing new recipes faster than I had time to figure out all the macros for so I couldn't put them on clients menu plans. I'm working to put individual training manuals in a written form w/pictures for each client and still working full time, plus the travel I had in the month of March. All this to say, I sadly lost a couple clients this month. The good news is, I gained new friends over the time that I did work with them and will continue to encourage their pursuit of their goals.

Ironically, tomorrow starts my first day of part time which gives me a focused day to work only on things for my clients. The day that I got two notifications from clients I was down for a moment and felt like I had let people down. Then I remembered a little saying that my dad used and I have used here on Spark several times . . . he who hunts two rabbits goes hungry. Meaning, you need to pick your target and aim for it. What is it I really want. What is the thing I desire to do. Every since I went to the Arnold Festival, it lit a new fire in my belly to continue setting and reaching for a cleaner, healthier, stronger life. This is not a diet that I am on. This is a life mission, a ministry. I want every man, woman and child to enjoy the benefits of clean eating and living an active lifestyle. I want women to understand the importance of strength training. Yes, I want to be an evangelist of the clean eating movement. I want to celebrate all that I have received from clean eating and enjoy all the benefits from it. So, we these thoughts still in my mind, I went home from work, still feeling like I had let some people down. I went to open my business email and 'accidentally' opened my personal email. In my email was a new message from stating that my story had been selected to be a featured success story and asked me a few follow up questions. Accidentally? I don't think so. More like confirmation!

Let's eat! I'm hungry!

Oatmeal w/choped apple & cinnamon! Also had 4 scrambled egg whites

Morning snack was, as you can see, celery and sunflower seed butter

Lunch was Tilapia and sweet potato wedges. I cut the sweet potato into wedges, you could do fries. Sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Coated them in a mix of garlic pepper, chili powder and cinnamon. Bake on a baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes. Super delicious.

Snack: Chicken breast and tomato wedges w/garlic pepper on them.

Great workout after work! Upper body. Actually focused just on the lats, traps, delts, and shoulder rotators.

Dinner was delicious! Chicken breast, farro and a mix of stirfry veggies. (menu called for zucchini and green beans, but I had this nice tray of assorted stirfry veggies that were begging to be used up).

That's the day! Ended it with a great snack of strawberries and cashews and 1/2 of a chocolate casein shake.

P.S. Thank you for you input and your ideas! I love the tip about the rubber bands! Thanks SBHPatrick!

Have a lovely day! Choose the rabbit you want to catch and hunt that sucker down!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Strip to the Goal

I am the kind of person who is always setting goals and I have big dreams! However, I am not a deadline person. I don't like to put limits and expectations to deliver XYZ by this date, etc. Unless it is a training goal. I will train to be faster and set a specific speed goal that I want to hit by a certain event and I will train towards that goal and have usually been able to exceed my expectations on those type of things. But I don't give weight loss goals a deadline. Like it would not be a common thing for me to say I want to lose 10 lbs. by the end of the month. I might say I would like for my jeans to fit more comfortably by the end of the month. Or I would like to be in the next smaller size jeans by summer.

So, it came to a shock to me when I went to change my weight on my ticker the other day and there was a stated goal to weigh 157 by March 31, 2011. Why that date? I know why that weight because that brings me to a nice round 110 lbs. lost. By why that date? I still can't figure that out. Even now. Hmmmmmm. Interesting. My son is graduation from college on May 21 and getting married on the 22. Why didn't I pick a date closer to those dates? And when did I select that date? I truly don't remember it at all.

At any rate. Today is the 30th and I weighed in at 157.6 this morning. I never had a dream of being in the 150's ever. Which makes that date and weight even more puzzling to me. This all feels a little surreal to me. When I see my weight and the size tag in the back of my pants I can't believe this is mine! I get this, it's my reward and I am enjoying it fully. This body can do things my larger body could not. Oh, and even though I started this journey to get my blood pressure down and to lighten the load on my knees . . . the motivation to continue comes from all the benefits I receive from being healthy, strong, fit and yes that my husband thinks I'm sexier than when he first met me.

I could not have lost weight for someone else, not even for my husband. At the time when I started this journey my marriage was on shaky ground and I wanted to run away. Then I realized that what I wanted to run away from was not a person, it was the pain in my heart and that no matter where I went or who I was with, that pain would be with me and would pollute any relationship I was in, in the future. I didn't want to chance that the best thing in my life might be standing right in front of me, but that my pain was preventing me from receiving it. So, I decided to open myself up to the possibility that my husband was strong enough to catch me if or when I would fall.

Best gamble I have ever made. Guess what I found out? I am strong enough to get back up when I fall without blaming others that I fell and then continue forward along side of my husband. I don't need him to pull me up or push me forward, we are a team. With confidence and full assurance I truly feel each day that my husband loves, adores, admires, appreciates, encourages and supports my every hope and dream. He and I are totally different personalities and move in totally different directions at totally different paces. He doesn't workout with me, but he understands I need my time in the gym. He does run with me when he is home and he does eat most of the foods I eat. Mostly he just sees how happy and healthy I feel and he gives me space to grow and bloom.

Sorry, I'm not so sure how I got stuck talking about my relationship with my husband other than right now he is traveling and I miss him. Suffice it to say that although I did not lose weight FOR my husband, getting healthy, fit and leaner truly has saved my marriage and THAT is a reward worth working for.

Let's talk about the other passion in my life . . . food!

Breakfast: 10 grain hot cereal with strawberries, bananas and pecans!

Super delicious. I add cinnamon to almost everything these days. Did you know that cinnamon helps to balance out the glycemic index of foods? Try it on your oatmeal and your sweet potatoes! Delicious!

Morning snack was half of a red bell pepper and humus. Not usually very filling for me, but I am not hungry this week like I was last week.

Lunch was out of the world delicious! It was a Shrimp and Watermelon salad on spinach with red onions and a tangy balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing. Mmmmmm!

Afternoon snack was a pear and a protein shake.

Dinner was super filling! Salmon fillet, sweet potato wedges with garlic pepper/chili powder/cinnamon and sauteed brussel sprouts.

I gave myself the challenge to drink 100 oz of water a day. I filled my 16 oz. water bottle, made a little sticky note with multiples of 16 on it and would mark off as I finished off the bottle. Luckily I have a water cooler on one side of my office and a bathroom on the other! By the end of the day my pee was so clear I was merely filtering water for Culligan!

I'm on the water challenge again today! Let's go!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tantilizing Stripper Food

Yes, food can be seductive! Delicious food that feeds my body and restores health and balance is a sexy thing! Our bodies react chemically to the foods we eat. Hormones are released and so much exciting stuff is happening, not just the little pleasure party in your mouth, but every cell in your body is receiving and interacting with a new stimulus. Well, I have been having a strange hormonal response to foods over the past couple days. Almost as soon as I start eating I start getting this warm flush across my face then in the front of my throat and it moves down into my chest area. It feels like the tingling you get when you have been in the sun a little too long. I feel and look like I have been kissed by the sun. It is the strangest thing.

So, let's talk about some sexy food! Or as Buff_n_NW refers to it Stripper food! I must say I am getting a little sexy swagger in my walk these days. These last couple pounds that I have lost seem to have all come off my tummy and mid hip. Things that used to go Kaboom when I walked now glide and slink along.

Started off my morning with a warm cup of lemon water, while my breakfast cooked up!

Oatmeal with Blueberries, Strawberries and Walnuts. These are rough cut oats, they are similar to rolled oats. I use 1/4 cup dried oats, 3/4 cup water in a 3 QUART glass container in the microwave for 3 minutes. The glass container has to be at least 3 quarts . . . believe me. And the water cannot be more than 3/4 of a cup . . one cup of water will boil over a 3 quart container. This is experience speaking here . . . yuck!

Snack was albacore tuna and a small red apple. I like them chopped and mixed together.

Now you have to admit, that is one of the sexiest salads ever! Chicken breast, black beans, tomatoes, red onion on a bed of raw spinach

Afternoon snack was a banana and two hard boiled eggs. I don't have a picture because my sweety paper supply representative, Wendy (In_the_Loop) stopped by on a business call! She and I always spend some quality time catching up on each others progress and encouraging each other. She is looking amazing. So fit and trim! Love you girl! And she just keeps me challenged and motivated. A thought she put in my head yesterday: She brought me paper samples and is encouraging me print some of my blogs and do some promotional materials to do some public speaking to women's groups. . . . hmmmmmmmm. Maybe. Lord knows I feel passionate about encouraging other women to start where they are right now to make the best choices for their health and wellness. We are never to old, too fat, too poor, too tired or even too depressed to learn to move towards a healthier choice. So, needless to say. .. chatting, enjoying company, didn't take a picture of my snack.

Dinner was sooo delicious!

Chinese Five Spice 'venison' w/ Indian Eggplant. I used a very lean grass fed sirloin steak. And I learned (quickly) that a 'sprinkling' of cayenne is a lot less than I estimated and that it does NOT need to be on both sides! WOW!!! Caliente! BUT I also learned that the leftover root vegetable sauce from the previous nights dinner was the perfect thing to spread on the eggplant to help cut the fire. Delicious! A very nice dinner.

I am feeling fuller and more satisfied these past two days. After these 28 days, I will be writing a series of blogs about Stripping on a budget and batching cooking for a week of Stripping.

Challenge for the day: Endeavor to drink 100 oz. of water today!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Strip it Up! Strip it Down!

Just a quicky today! I need to get out to go shopping for this coming weeks good eats! Where I live it is not a quick trip to the store to get some of the more 'exotic' or organic things. It is a minimum 3 hr. venture. One hour drive each way, plus shopping, usually a meal with my hubby out and a little stop by another shop. We make it a 'date day' so it doesn't seem like such a chore.

Friday started off with a protein smoothie. It was yummy. However, I am honestly not a fan of starting off my day with a liquid breakfast. I workout hard in the evening and come breakfast time I am pretty hungry.

I must have been too hungry to remember to take a picture of snack, it was albacore tuna and an apple. I chopped the apple up into the tuna.

Lunch was leftovers from the night before. It was supposed to be a bouillabaisse, but the ingredients and the nutrition were so similar to the Seafood Chili, I just saved myself the work and packed leftovers.

Afternoon snack was chopped up apple and pear with blueberries and walnuts. Since a fruit serving is one small-medium piece of fruit, I ate 1/2 of a small apple, 1/3 of a medium pear, and 1/4 cup of blueberries.

After work I had my favorite lower body workout! Lunges, squats, deadlifts, skater squats, plyo in and outs, leg abduction and leg adduction and hip thrusters. This workout drains me! But the results make me smile. So I give it my all. When I got home I was too tired to make the salmon and pineapple chutney. So, I had tilapia. I did make the greens and they were delicious!!! I am going to be making more kale in the future!!! Real near future!

The kale was sauteed with red pepper flake, garlic, olive oil and golden raisins. I also had 1/4 cup of cooked farro, thanks to Amy (fitchick75) whose picture of her dinner reminded me that I could have a grain serving! Thanks girl!

Oh, and we don't usually have the night time snack that is listed because food late in the evening makes it difficult to sleep. We usually have a casien protein shake. HOWEVER, Friday night snack was an apple with almond butter!!! mmmmmmmmm! I did not have almond butter, so I used sunflower seed butter (which I adore!).

I licked the spoon . . . heck, I licked the plate!

Amy gave the salmon such a good review that I was excited to see that leftovers from Friday night dinner were for lunch on Saturday! I definitely made the time to cook that up and will tell you all about it in a later blog!

Time to get rolling!

Live beautifully! Lift something heavy! Light a spark in your life today!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 3 of the Strip Down

Yesterday was so busy, I didn't get a chance to write about my day three. I'm so glad that I am following written meal plans right now, because I am so super busy I would have a hard time focusing on what I need to eat and would just be estimating and over shooting on some things and under shooting on others. By the way, I almost always follow a written plan. I write my own, just like I do for my clients. I want to spend just a moment talking about a concept known at periodization. This is something I have used for myself and for my clients and I find it to be very effective. Athletes use periodization. It is the idea of eating and training for the 'season' you are in. Professional athletes have on off season, pre-season, in season and post season. During these times, their focus and training are different for each phase to meet the goal of that phase. Runners, who strictly run and run year round tend to stay injured and have more difficulty with recovery and progress.

Likewise, those who are trying to lose weight, drop body fat and increase muscle, need to look at the year in quarters. Think of a large slab of marble. The tools that you would use to chunk off the larger outward sections is totally different than the tools you would need to use to chisel out the finer details. So, in weight loss, you have the beginning phase that is focused more on cardio and larger muscle groups and making the dietary changes along the way. Your plan has to ebb and flow. There has to be times that your purposely cause yourself to relax, pause, reassess your goals and the road ahead of you. This may shock you, but I have purposely put myself on maintenance to give my body (my skin and musculature) time to catch up with the changed that were taking place. Maintenance phase for me usually lasts 3 mths. then I start working on the next goal. During weight maintenance I focus on muscle gain, not fat burning. I want muscle to fill out the space that fat has left so that my skin has minimal sag.

Okay, I need to move on. I have much more I could say about periodization and all that I have learned from head coaches and olympic conditioning coaches. But that 'article' will have to wait! Food! We need to see food!

Yesterdays breakfast was sooooo divine! I truly wish I could have it EVERY morning!!!

Take Me On Vacation Oatmeal! Believe me, my picture does not do this meal justice. It looked better before I drowned it with the almond milk. It is cooked and cooled steel cut oats, 1/2 a mango, shredded coconut, pecans, flaxseed and almond milk w/vanilla protein powder.

Mix of fresh berries and hard-boiled eggs for morning snack

Shrimp Ceviche for lunch! Hello! Amazing!!! Shrimp, Avocado, Cilantro, Lime, Red Pepper, Red Onion, Jalapeno and a spritz of orange.

Okay, this combo is going to sound strange to you, but it was so good. Snack was tuna and a pear. I have been missing my fage greek yogurt which I usually put in my tuna. So, I chopped up the pear and put it in my albacore tuna. OMG!!! Delicious! I now have a new favorite combination!

Sorry I do not have a dinner picture! I made dinner in the crock pot, ran home after work grabbed a container and took off to a hair appointment. YES, I ate dinner in the hair salon while getting my hair foiled. LOL!!! It was only me and my hair dresser there. Dinner was London Broil (was supposed to be Bison or Elk, I am out of Bison and don't have access to Elk), roasted carrots and half of a sweet potato! This was so filling and delicious!!! BTW, my family had London Broil, carrots and red potatoes in the crock pot for their dinner. I could have and would have had the red potatoes without a concern, except I am trying to stay as close as possible to the menu plans so that I can give you a true review of the 28 days. AND I LOVE sweet potatoes!!!

Be blessed! Be amazing! Be YOU! Let it flow! Shine that light! Share a smile!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 2 of the Strip Down

The challenge will be to keep coming up with titles for 28 days! LOL!! The food is delicious and so nutritious! I have tried combinations that I would not have thought of today! Love trying new things.

Someone asked me today how many calories were on the plan. The plan really doesn't count calories, it goes by serving size and my serving size would be different than say Amy (fitchick75). Amy and I are doing this plan together and use each other for accountability and support. Amy is 5'3" and I am 5'8.5". Our body frames are different, I'm broader boned, Amy is more petite. So you use your hand for your measurements and Amy's had would be the proper portions for her and my hand is the proper portion for me. The palm of my hand is my protein serving size. One of my cupped hands is my grain or starch serving size. Two of my cupped hands is the right amount of leafy greens. Nuts and berries are measure by what can fit on the palm of your hand. Doesn't that make sense. Taller, bigger people usually have larger, bigger hands.

Let's get to the fooooooood!!!!

Breakfast was oatmeal w/chopped apple & cinnamon

I was supposed to have 4 egg whites, but was so enjoying my oatmeal and totally forgot the eggs!

First snack was called a Go Green Smoothie! Strange sounding ingredients - parsley, kale, avocado, lime, almond milk, vanilla protein powder . . . it was supposed to have fresh ginger in it, but I totally forgot it until I had filled my thermos and washed the blender. It was delicious!!!!

Lunch was a grilled chicken breast and a Light and Lean Leek and Potato Soup! So super delicious. I am sorry the presentation does no justice to how yummy this lunch was. I ate at my desk and then went for a 1 mile walk in the fresh air and sunshine.

Afternoon snack worked well for me today. It was fresh berries and nuts. I also had one hard boiled egg and one egg white to make up for the eggs I missed in the morning. Truthfully, I would have been fine without the egg, but I 'm glad I had them because I would need the energy for a challenging workout later.

After work I had a challenging workout called the 99.

Amy found this workout for me and she posted another workout called the hundred last week. Ironically the 99 is tougher than the 100. Except that the 100 has lots of squats!!! And when I did the hundred I ran 3 miles and then did it. . . ouch! My quads were burning! But tonight, the 99, I felt strong, confident and fast. Once I got to 77 and still felt strong and fresh I knew I was fine. On the 11 minute run I went out too fast in the first couple minutes. My plan was to run out for 5:30, then turn and try to come back in faster than I went out. I was 20 yards from the finish line sprinting in as fast as I could muster at the end of an hour long workout and just couldn't make that goal happen. But, I finished strong!!!

Oh, here is another sneak peak picture from my photographer. Not sure it is my best angle, but I love it none the less.

Be blessed, be healthy, be the awesome person you were created to be!

OOPS!!! Forgot dinner!!!!! And it was scrumptious!!! I coated my broccoli in a mix of olive oil with garlic pepper and sea salt and then 'grilled' it in a skillet! mmmmmmmmmmmm! A serving of farro and season tilapia (I buy it already seasoned and flash frozen.

To answer a question I received from someone, I don't remember who, how to make farro, I make it just like brown rice in my rice steamer. It is a little tougher grain (when cooking, the germ layer is thicker) so it take 45 minutes or so to cook up. When it is cooked up the texture and taste are just the best! Enjoy! Eat something yummy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Starting to Strip

Here we go . . . cue the music, deem the house lights, bring up the stage lights . . . oh, wait, it's not THAT kind of Strip show!

This is my 28 day venture into the newest edition of Tosca Reno's Stripped plan. And to answer a couple comments and questions I have already received . . . I agree this one is more of a 'diet' as opposed to a lifestyle plan. This is not designed to be on for more than 28 days and it outlines in the book that you should follow up the 28 days with a Cooler 2 lifestyle plan to help you maintain your weight. This is that jump off the plateau, get ready for a big event, fit into the dress next month plan. I would not advise it for my friends who are endurance athletes. However, it is a very nutritious plan and with some minor additions would be wonderful plan for most anyone. For those who have more weight to lose I would recommend the Eat Clean Diet Recharged. Of the cookbooks I own, I use the Best of Clean Eating cookbook more than any other.

Okay, to the day! Breakfast was Be the Master of Your Frittata! You got to pick your protein, your veggies and your starch for the frittata from a list provided. I chose farro as my grain (it is like brown rice but superior in nutrition), I selected a mix of mushroom, red peppers and fresh spinach. For my protein I had shrimp. I do not have a good pan for making a frittata, so I did 'fried rice' version of the dish. It was yummy!

Snack was a little skimpy for me. I am used to having 1/2 an apple and some chicken breast for snack at 10 a.m. Then I teach yoga from 12 - 1 and then eat my lunch. So, a snack of an apple and almonds left me feeling hungry. I don't find nuts to be very filling for me unless they are chopped up in my Fage Greek Yogurt w/cinnamon.

I was soooooo ready for lunch!!! And it was delicious!

Chicken breast, raw spinach, black beans, red onion, cherry tomatoes with a squirt of lime!

Afternoon snack was two hardboiled eggs and celery stalks! This was actually filling. I usually have hardboiled eggs in the afternoon on a regular basis. Only one egg in the picture because the other one was rotten and I had to have my husband bring me a fresh egg from the house.

Then to the gym after work to get in the lower body Boom Boom Pow workout!!! LOVE lower body night! Hit those glutes, hammies and quads hard, low and heavy! This workout makes me super hungry!!!!

So, I am sooooo glad that dinner was a filling portion of Farro, Steamed Broccoli and Chicken Breast (the menu said Turkey).

Yes, I am a mixer, masher! That's the way I roll! I like all the flavors to dance together. This was very filling and close to what I would normally have for dinner.

I will not be having the optional 'snack' of egg whites and tomato tonight, I cannot eat later in the evening. However, I will have my usually casein shake. That is my one deviation on the plan.

My review of the plan for the day is 9 stars out of a possible 10 . . . only because I need something more than almonds at morning snack.

Oh, and look what surprise I got today!

This link was on Tosca's Facebook page after I posted on her page that I had rewarded myself with a photo shot for having lost over 100 lbs. Yay!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

28 Day Stripped

Tomorrow morning I start the Eat Clean Diet Stripped 28 day meal plan. I have had great success making my own meal plans using the Eat Clean Diet as guideline, combined with the things I learned last summer and the 'life experience' I have gained and the anatomy and physiology knowledge I have acquired throughout my years of self exploration and discovery. This is actually the first time I am giving myself totally over to a plan that is not my own. I am doing this not because I am frustrated or bored or feeling desperate to 'get there'. I am doing this to explore how affect the plan is and how difficult or doable I think it is.

A few disclaimers here, the plan is for 28 days only. There is no dairy in the plan so I will be taking a calcium supplement while I am on the plan. I will stick to the plan as closely as I can and will blog about the process. I will share my thoughts on the meal plan and the recipes in the plan. There will be some changes to the plan, for instance there is this yummy potato soup recipe that I have made for one of the lunch plans in week one. It serves 4. I only get one serving in week one on the menu plan. I will have it on a second day in the first week and freeze the remainder to have in the third week when I repeat week one menus. So, following this format, I will only be cooking every other week. The foods look delicious and my fridge is packed!!!!

The greek yogurt will not be eaten by me this week. And actually is down to just two containers now!
I weighted, measured and took pictures to start the 28 days off properly! 

Weight: 161
Bra Band: 33
Bicep: 11.5
Natural Waist: 32
Hip: 40.5
Thigh: 20.75
Calf: 15"

There it is. That's the numbers I have to start with. I am hoping to get my waist down to 30 inches and my hip down to 38 . . . not sure that can happen in 28 days but measurements moving down are more impressive to me than the "10 lbs in 28 days". Pounds don't drop easily for me, so it will be interesting to see how it goes. To prevent me from getting addicted to the number on the scale and feeling anxious about a number, I will only weigh in once a week. There will be no cheat days, no indulgent meals, etc. for this 28 days. When I focus I set aside the time to make it happen and it will happen. I will be following the plan for exercise, as closely as possible without sacrificing the quality exercise I currently enjoy.

Tune in and following along! Anyone else on the plan is welcomed to chime in and tell me your progress, thoughts, concerns.