Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's that time of year when we all start thinking about making a clean start, setting goals and resolutions, planning for the year to come. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not really very good with this process, so every year it seems like I'm making exactly the same resolutions, because I didn't stick to them the year before. The goals that I've set throughout the year often remain unmet. Goal setting is an important part of many weight loss programs, so I've read a lot about the proper way to set a goal, focusing on making them achievable and measurable and all of that, but it doesn't really seem to stick. I start out strong, but quickly run out of steam. I always thought there was something wrong with me that I couldn't manage something as simple as setting a goal and following through on it (and maybe there is, maybe I'm the only one in the world who can't do this) but after a lot of thought, I think I'm going to try something different. Part of this is inspired by this article a friend shared on Facebook the other day, it made me think of things a little differently.

This year, I'm going to pay less attention to the goal setting and work on putting in place systems that help get me to where I want to be. So where do I want to be at the end of 2014? The biggest one is that I want to be healthier than I am now, and continuously working to be as healthy as I can be. I'm not even going to try to set a weight loss goal, it's just too hard to know how fast or slow I will lose weight, and I don't really want to stress over a number on the scale. Instead, I'll pay attention to how I feel/look (currently, my skin isn't looking so hot -- dry patches and acne, I'm tired, my nose is stuffy, and some pants that were fitting well are a little snug again). I will weigh myself once a month, just to see how it's going, but I don't want that number to be THE measurement of how my life is going. I have some other goals, but right now, this is the one I want to focus on, because it's the easiest one to make a plan for.

So what systems can I use to make this happen? For a start -- the best I've felt in a long time is when I was doing the Whole30 a few months ago, so I'm going to do another one starting tomorrow. (After the last Whole30, I stuck to mostly eating that way for a while, but lately I've gotten way off track with it, which explains the stuff above about how I feel.) I'm going to blog every meal I eat throughout the 30 days and probably even after that. After the 30 days are up, I plan to continue eating that way most of the time, doing strict Whole30s as needed to clean up my eating when I get off track, aiming for a balance where I can still enjoy going out to eat occasionally or having my favorite foods sometimes, but staying mostly on track and feeling good most of the time.

I also plan to add exercise to my routine -- nothing fancy, probably walking most of the time, maybe trying some exercise videos to change things up. I'd also like to incorporate some stretching or yoga, just because I remember feeling better when I used to do it. I know I need to add strength training but I find it a little intimidating, so I'll probably add that later. Right now, since I'm mostly sedentary, anything I do is going to be an improvement, but I know that over time, I'll have to make it more challenging. I'll revisit this when I get there. For now, 20 minutes, five times a week seems like a good place to start. 

I'm also going to work on trying to get eight hours of sleep a night. I know it probably won't always happen, but I'm going to work on it. This means figuring out what time I need to get up in the morning and going to bed in time to get eight hours of sleep. It also means turning off the tv, computer, and phone at least an hour before bedtime. (I think the recommendation is two hours before, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen most nights.)

These three things -- food, exercise, and sleep -- seem to me to be the most important part of being healthy. There are other factors -- socializing, stress reduction -- but I think trying to address them too may be too much right now.

So, these are the things I intend to work on throughout the year. I'm sure everyone reading this has their own plans and dreams. I hope for all of us that a year from now, when we look back, we find that we've made some improvements in our lives, that we've had some good times, and that whatever troubles may find us in 2014 serve only to make us stronger rather than defeating us.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Today's food (non-Whole30 foods in red):

Breakfast -- diced sweet potato seasoned with Garam Masala spice blend and eggs.

Lunch -- pork shoulder roast (seasoned with Garam Masala, salt, and pepper, then cooked it in the crockpot overnight, and added some sliced apples coated with cinnamon in the morning -- yummy), with cauliflower topped with homemade mayo.
 Somewhere between lunch and supper, I had a cup of coffee with coconut milk, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and honey. I was hoping for something that would mimic hot cocoa mixed with coffee, but it didn't really. I didn't want to use much honey, so it didn't really get as sweet as hot cocoa would have been. But it wasn't bad.
Supper -- leftover spaghetti squash with meat sauce, with some added cauliflower and  mushrooms.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 5

Nothing exciting going on here. Just posting my food for the day:

Breakfast -- eggs scrambled with spinach and mushrooms, grapefruit

Lunch -- spaghetti squash and zucchini topped with meat sauce made from Rao's Marinara Sauce and Italian sausage from Burgundy Pasture Beef
Supper -- I'd only eaten about 2/3 of lunch, so I reheated the leftovers from it, and had two small apples with almond butter. I probably should've had more meat/veggies instead of the second apple, since now I'm hungry and it's bed time. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I haven't been posting here. I haven't posted my food pics on Instagram either. Some days I've eaten pretty well, some days I've veered way off course. I haven't weighed myself in weeks. My clothes don't seem to be getting any looser than they were, but they don't seem any tighter either, so I guess that's something. 

I haven't given up on the Paleo/Whole30 way of eating, it is something I intend to continue doing, I guess I'll just say I've been taking a bit of a break. For now, I'm going to keep eating according to Whole30 guidelines for my regular meals at home, but in social situations, I'm not going to worry too much. Fortunately for me, even during the holidays, my social life is not terribly active, but there will be a few things, and they may involve non-Paleo food, and that's okay. I am going to do another strict Whole30 after the holidays. I'm planning to start on January 2 (gotta have my black eyed peas for luck on the 1st, which would break the no legumes rule, so I'll start the next day), and hopefully I'll continue it for more than 30 days this time. 

I also think I preferred keeping a food log here, rather than on Instagram -- not that Instagram isn't great for looking at other people's foods and getting ideas, but I like being able to link to recipes or list things I forgot to take a picture of, which seems sort of limited on Instagram. Or maybe I just haven't figured out all the bells and whistles over there, I don't know.  Anyway, that means more food pictures here. Things that don't qualify as Whole30 or Paleo, I'll list in red, just to make it clear for myself or anyone else who may look at this later for food ideas during a Whole30. 

So without further ado, here's today's food:

Breakfast -- scrambled eggs with spinach and ground beef, roasted sweet potato with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder, homemade mayo.

Lunch -- (sorry for the really blurry pic, didn't realize it was that bad until I went to add it here) Applegate Farms organic beef hot dog, ground beef, spinach/kale mix, mushrooms, yellow cherry tomatoes, mustard, mayo. Not pictured -- packet of Artisana Cacao Bliss.

Supper -- two Applegate organic beef hot dogs, Bubbies sauerkraut, broccoli slaw, sweet potato baked fries, mustard, mayo, Strawberry Bliss kombucha.