Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Speed swing ladders

Here's the second part of my week's routine for fat loss...interval speed work. So, first workout of the week, longer sets, lighter bells. Second workout, faster & shorter sets, light to heavy bells.

Warm up

40 2 hand swings w/12kg x 2 sets = 4 min.

Work sets

22 reps 2 hand swings w/12kg, 22reps 2 hand swing w/16kg,
1 minute work, 30 sec. rest,
22 reps 2 hand swings w/16kg, 22 reps 2 hand swing w/20 kg
1 minute work, 3 sec. rest

I alternated these 2 sets 10 x each. Each rotation took 3 minutes to complete = 30 min.


12/12 w/12kg, 1 min work, 30 sec rest (120 points)
8/8 w/16kg, 45 sec. work, 45 sec rest (160 points)

I alternated these 2 sets x 5. Each rotation took 3 minutes to complete = 15 min. (I did the last 2 sets of each weight without a rest period, because I just wanted to get the workout done! )

I almost kept up the speed work, instead of switching to snatches, but I'm going to be doing alot of swinging in the next few days, so I went ahead and added some snatch points today.

280 snatch points

Monday, April 28, 2008

Four Minute Swing sets with 12 kg

As usual, I did the math wrong, and this is a 160 rep, 4 minute set, not a 200 rep, 5minute set! But what do you expect, LOL, I was on my forth set of this, after 600 snatches in about 25 minutes!

10 2 hand swings
10 transfers
5, 1 swing, 1 transfer (2 reps per = 10 reps)
5 swings L, 5 swings L
10 swings L, 10 swings R
20 swings L, 20 swings R
10 swings L, 10 swings R
5 swings L, 5 swings R
5, 1 swing, 1 transfer (10 swing reps total)
10 transfers
10 2 hand swings

I posted this part of my workout here on F&D, beause I really want to focus on these longer faster, lighter, swing sets for fat I just have to get my food right!

Monday AM weight 137.2 (It's killin' me to post this number! lol)
9:15 Bikram yoga
1:00pm KB 600 snatches and 800 swings


coffee/cream 80 cal.
orange / apple ginger 250 cal.
carrots / raisins 200 cal.
black bean and chili pepper soup w/ kale and smoked turkey 500 cal
oatmeal w/yogurt 550 cal.

Total calories 1580

I'm actually trying to not count calories! I know how much I eat, and it's time for me to take more responsiblity to stop when I know I'm eating food my body doesn't need. But more about that another time!

Lamb and Lentils....Indian Style

I rarely go out to eat for a few reasons....I can cook most foods myself using higher quality ingredients, as well as knowing exactly what's going into my food...I can grocery shop for a week with the same money as a good meal would cost.....and I'll have leftovers. If I do go out to eat it's more about the experience of having time with friends...and it has to be a good restaurant! So when I look at the menu I always look for the foods that I might not cook myself, I mean why anyone would order chicken at a restaurant, especially a good restaurant, seems crazy to me.

Lamb used to be one of those foods that I didn't cook much, and I would chose when eating out, but lamb is just as easy as anything else, and with my pressure cooker lamb shanks and lamb shoulder cuts are fast too! Another food that I wouldn't cook at home is any recipe for Indian food. Too many ingredients, and ingredients that I might not already have in my pantry or spice cabinet, until I came accross this one....

This recipe, adapted from The Complete Meat Cookbook, one of my kitchen bibles, appealed to me because, after looking at the list of ingredients I knew I already had all of them, no need for a special trip to the grocery looking for crazy spices I might not ever use again. I made this 3 times, the first using full fat coconut milk, the second, no coconut milk just chicken stock, and lastly "lite" coconut milk. The first two times I used lamb shoulder cuts, (with bone), and the third I got a leg portion (the top portion) on sale @ Whole Foods (5.99 lb), which I boned, cut into big chunks, and threw the bone in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.

The full fat coconut milk version was the most "Indian flavored", with the lite coconut milk coming in a close second. Without the coconut milk it was still good, but in my opinion, nothing special. The difference in calories? 140 cal per serving, full fat coconut milk, 7 servings per can = 980 cal versus 40 cal per serving, lite, 7 serving per can = 280! 0 calories in chicken stock. I think I can sacrifice a little flavor! Also the leg cut was much less fatty than the shoulder cuts, again a little less flavor,(fat = flavor) but less time in the cooker.

Indian Lamb and Lentils

2-3lbs lamb, shoulder or leg, cut into chunks
1/2t. ground cumin and coriander
2 t. salt, 1 t. pepper

Coat meat with seasoning and let marinate for up to 2 hours at room temp, while prepping the rest of ingredients.

In a food processer, mix to a paste,

2 med onions
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
8 garlic cloves
1 c. mint leaves

Brown lamb pieces in oil, remove, and add onions, ginger, garlic, mint paste to pot and cook 5 min., scraping up browm bits on the bottom of the pan. Then add,
1 t. ground cumin

1 t. ground coriander

1 t. ground cradamom

Cook for 1 minute longer. Add browned lamb back to pot, along with,

1 14oz can coconut milk (your choice of full fat or lite)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 c. water or stock
2 Tbl. tomato paste
1 c. lentils

If using a pressure cooker, bring to high pressure and cook for 20-30 min (20 for leg pieces, 30 for shoulder pieces). If using dutch oven, cover and place in a 325 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours, stirring once or twice, and adding water if the lentils seem too dry.

I shredded fresh spinach and spooned lamb and lentils on top. I always have to include more veggies, especially greens!

One more thing about the lentils I used. The first time I used red lentils. I loved the color, but the pressure cooker obliterated them and they lost their shape completely. Next I used the small green lentils...I think they're called french lentils...not as pretty, but they held their shape.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pasta w/ Yellow Chard

Pasta gets a bad rap because it's a "carb". And I think most everyone dieting these days has experienced greater success with weight loss by reducing carbs, but I, personally, don't believe you need to cut them out completely.

Everyone should find the 'carb" exceptions that work for them. For instance I know potatoes and yams sit on, and in, my body like lead weight, but for me I don't have any ill effects from pasta. One of the reasons pasta works for me is because I make my pasta sauces with lots & lots of veggies, more veggies than pasta! In fact I only use 1/2 box, (8oz. instead of 16oz.) because every 2oz. serving has 200 cal. So 1/2 box makes 4 servings. Pasta is one of the fastest, easiest, and most versitile dishes to add most any veggie to, and Spaghetti noodles is my "go to" pasta shape and one that I always have in my pantry

Here are my two big tips for making pasta that I learned while staying at a cooking school in Tuscania, Italy.

Add 2 Tbl. salt to the pasta water (I use coarse sea salt). I kid you not! It seems like alot of salt because we've learned in this country to not use so much salt, but I swear to you it makes a huge difference in the flavor of the pasta. And if the Italians do it, then so do I!

Get in the habit of reserving some pasta water to thin the sauce as needed. Just before I drain the pasta I "fish out" about 1 cup, in a metal or glass (pyrex) measure, of the pasta water. Thinning your sauces with water instead of oil, cream, cheese, etc. will save many calories and give you the proper consistency.

And lastly.....pasta sauces don't have to be a red tomato sauce or a creamy cheese sauce. In fact in Italy, they are rarely either of these two. Instead, pasta sauces in Italian cooking are veggie based with seasonal, and regional produce, simple olive oil, and maybe a dust of hard cheese (like parmigiano reggiano).

Pasta with Yellow Chard

Spaghetti, 8oz
Chard, I used 2 small bunches of yellow, including the stems
olive oil (1-2 tbl.)
anchovies, 2-4 minced, optional
garlic, 2 cloves minced, optional
parmesean, 2 tbl., optional
Salt....not optional! (for pasta water)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to the time listed on the box. I sliced the yellow chard stems in thin strips, roughly the same size as the pasta and added them to the pasta pot during the last 3-4 minutes cooking time.

While pasta is cooking heat olive oil in saute pan and add anchovies, if using, cook for 1 min. Add chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes, adding crushed garlic in the last minute.

Just before pasta is 'al dente', reserve some pasta water! Drain pasta and chard stems and add to the wilted chard leaves in saute pan and toss. Add 1-2 tbl. olive oil if needed and/or pasta water, and a dusting of parmesan. (see above photo of the finished pasta)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Binge..... it's just a word

I try and stay aware of the things that I say, and the words that I use. I have a whole list of words and phrases that I've changed over the past few years, more so in just the past few months. One of the words I stopped using was the word 'binge'. I did not want to associate with that word. I did not want to own that word to describe one of my eating habits. That word makes me uncomfortable. Why?

Well, I think one of the obvious reasons is that part of the definition of "a binge" is one of being out of control, and the judgement I put on the behavior of being out of control. I don't like the thought of giving up responsibility of my actions to being "out of control". I mean, am I really out of control? That seems ridiculous when I think about it, because everytime I put food in my mouth, I'm the one doing it, I'm the one "controling" it. I'm choosing to not stop.

But in the past few weeks I started using that word again. I started using it again because it best describes one of my eating just does! I mean, what else is it? Overeating? Yes, but come on....I have to be honest and call it what it is. I realized I wasn't using the word because of fear. What am I so afraid of? So stinkin what! It is what it is. a monkey on my back, and constantly trying to deny it's there.

Instead of fearing the word I need to change how I feel about the word, so I am. It's just a word. The power and feelings I give the word is under my control.

Eating can be, and is, joyful. Food is good. Life is good.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Food Journal MIA

OK, what's going on? Well, I had a crazy busy week, and I lost my camera (no photos or video for 3-4 days). My food has been crazy. Jessica and I re-evaluated our parameters on sugars in our diet, we both felt as if the original purpose, which was to drop some weight and feel better, was not our experience so we agreed that dried fruit and natural sugars were allowed within normal serving other words....moderation!

Obvious white sugar and fake sugars are not allowed. Neither one of us experienced any kind of sugar withdrawl, and both of us experienced the same kind of crazy 'trade-offs' of foods we would never normally eat, like bread & butter, chips, and many more higher calorie choices like nuts.

I'm also having some crazy thoughts about food journaling, at this point, for myself. I think food journaling is, and can be extemely valuable, but for me, at this time, I feel as if I'm putting too much focus on my food, more specifically, calorie counting. It's creating stress. OK....being accountable for it, on my blog, is more like the truth.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in making the "perfect" food choice, the "perfect" calorie count, that I over think it, and craziness happens. Of course, craziness doesn't just happen to me, nothing jumps onto my plate, or into my mouth, I chose for myself. But for some reason it's creating, or I'm letting it create anxiety. OK, I've talked myself through it........

Saturday AM weight 135.8
7:00am KB's
8:00am Bikram yoga
10:30 KB demos

coffee w/cream 120 cal.
apple ginger salad 120 cal.
white beans and lamb stew w/greens 400 cal.

Total calories 640 cal.

This was a low calorie day to make up for a oatmeal/brown rice/raisin/yogurt binge at 7:30pm the night before.

Sunday AM weight 135.6
10:o0am Bikram yoga
7:00pm 1 hour walk

coffee/cream 90 cal.
orange 80 cal.
oats 150 cal
nuts/dried fruit 600 cal.
pizza foccacia bread (2 1/2) @ Farmers Market 800 cal.
more nuts....I don't want to say.......craziness

Craziness. I thought about swinging for 45 minutes, but my front left deltoid is sore from snatching on Friday and I really need to recover in time for a killer workout tomorrow morning. I'm not going to like what I see on the scale tomorrow, but this I know.....I train hard.....I show up and never miss. I've been consistent like crazy with my yoga practice. and I'm going for a crazy, hauling ass walk right now! (I already posted it so I have to go, lol)

There's alot of pressure to be perfect. In fact, I have some anxiety about questioning myself whether or not I could "walk the talk", and Mark reminded me that I do walk the talk....everyday. Walking the talk isn't about being perfect, a perfect 1500 calorie day, or being a perfect size 6, but moving in the direction I know I want to go, even though it feels hard.

Life is good. Sometimes life feels hard, but everyday I feel luckier than the day before....everyday.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gayles Fruit Salad with Ginger and Lemon

Gayle Hunter made this fruit salad for us this past weekend and I was so impressed by the simplicity of the ingredients, considering the blast of flavor for so few calories, not to mention the health benefits, that I'm sure this will become a regular treat for me. I've made it twice, mixing it with plain yogurt one time...yum!

Gayle's Ginger, Lemon Fruit Salad

Diced organic Fuji apple
Dried organic blueberries
chopped walnuts, and/or almonds
grated fresh ginger, at least 2 thick inches of a 'hand', squeezing the juice from the pulp
juice of 1-1/2 lemon

Gayle uses fresh peaches with this in the summer, I can't wait to try that!

(We lost our camera this past week, and as soon as I get my new on I'll post a picture and more details)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Have Enough Food.

Do you know that this country produces 3,900 calories, per day for every man, woman, and child? And the average adult only needs a bit more than half of that amount and children much less? What does that mean? It means we have way too much food available to eat, and much of it will, it has to, end up in the garbage.

I often tell people that if they think food in this country is about nutrition, then they are mistaken. It's about profit...for the food companies. But that's another topic for another time.

I've realized this state of food abundance for quite a while....just look around in any grocery store. How can all of this food get eaten? Well, we sure do try don't we, lol? But just recently I've realized how much food I buy....still too much. I certainly have times where eating too much food is obvious, too much of the wrong foods that is. But I still eat too much of the right foods also! What do I mean? Can a person eat too much of the right foods? I think so.

If I think about my food buying habits, my food eating habits, I would have to say that they are probably "rooted" in food scarcity. In other words, I often feel as if I won't have enough food. And that feeling sends out a sense of panic, a sense of anxiety. I always feel as if I need to "stock up". God forbid I run out of something I need. What do I need? How much do I really need?

Right now in my fridge...and I haven't bought any vegetables/produce besides some spring garlic, fuji apples, limes and ginger, in the last week, because I have enough stuff!(I'll be posting Gayle's apple ginger salad later today!) I already have so much, and because I know I can eat veggies in practically unlimited quantities, I keep buying, and therefore eating much more than I physically need to. Bottom line, I haven't broken this habit of overeating.

So, I decided last week that I am just going to have to cook what I have. And I have alot...still! Yesterday I made my broccoli salad with only 4 veggies....broccoli, purple carrots (from CSA 10 days ago), jalapeno, and spring garlic....and the green and purple colors were gorgeous! Normally I would of put everything I could in that bell, cilantro. red and green cabbage, etc... But less is more, right? (OK, I'm finally getting it!) I also had a warm radish salad with spring garlic, and salad greens, olive oil and lemon dressing only, some pulled pork from the freezer. Some of the radishes came from CSA last week, but I had 3 watermelon radishes from the farmers market at leat 3 weeks ago!

I have enough food!

I still have 3 bunches of leeks, 3 fennel bulbs, mushrooms, and arugula from CSA last week. Tonights dinner will use up the leeks, fennel, and with more spring garlic (I love that stuff!), I'll make a pasta dish for me and a friend. No more shopping, or at least minimal shopping and buying.

Life is good and I have enough food!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 11 and Lesson Learned

Man, I wish I could relive today! Not really, but what a trip! I started out the day fine, I got up, had my coffee, got on the computer, made a big batch of hot pepper and veg soup (5 am), cleaned the house up a bit before going to 7:15am Bikram yoga. By the time class started I knew nothing would go as planned!

I felt weak in yoga class, the heat actually had me worried today! I felt very low energy and I knew I had a KB workout to do when I got home. When I come home from yoga, and I know I have to do another workout, I tell myself, "Don't think about it, just do it", but noooo.....

I talked myself into having a spoonful of almond butter before my KB workout....and then another.....and then another....and then get the picture. As I stood there mentally adding up the calories I couldn't help but think if I could just put some jelly with this, the sugar would give me that little boost of energy I needed, and have way less calories than spoonful, after spoonful, after spoonful of almond butter. But noooo.... The nut, and nut butter extravaganza was just starting.....

I remembered some crackers that I bought at Trader Joes, sesame whole wheat crackers, without any sugar...or so I thought. I took the crackers and started to spread a thin layer of nut butter on them (as I was making oatmeal), and after doing that with about 8 crackers I crunched the rest up and threw them in the garbage. And as I threw the box away I decided to look one more time at the ingredients.....clover honey! WHAT! Was I not wearing my glasses when I bought them? Oh well, I blew it now! ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!

I don't need to get into the details, but lets just say I succesfully made it 10 days without sugar!

So here's what is going to change. I will eat my 1 peice of fruit per day, probably an apple or blueberries in a shake. And I will also use the 1 tbl. of honey allowed, per week. I just tried to go too usual....all or nothing, right? Still many more lessons to learn, and I'm still excited about it, back on the wagon tomorrow.

Friday AM weight 135.0
7:15 Bikram yoga
2:00 pm KB (1000 swings in 30 min)

Menu (9:30 - 10:30am)

nuts and nut butter, crackers
yogurt (fig flavor, with yes...sugar!) & brown rice (oh yes, and a scoop of ice cream)
brownies....double whoops!

Not one stinkin' vegetable today! Can you believe it? All of this food put me in a short coma, and then killed my appetite for the rest of the day. ('killed my appetite', LOL Can you believe I just said that...I mean, how ridiculous! After all of that food I didn't need anymore 'appetite') I did manage to swing my ass off, doing 5 minute sets of KB one hand swings w/12kg (200 rep sets).

Life is good. I am good.

Day 10, and Lessons Learned

OK the hardest part of cutting sugar out of my foods is the remaining food choices....the trade offs. And, although I don't notice too much "moodiness", Mark is ready to wring my neck, lol!

So the past 2 days have been great as far as my food choices go. I learned a huge lesson this past weekend about carbs. Beans, squash, rice, oats, yogurt/milk, are not bad choices, but too much is still too much. And chips (corn), bread/tortilla, pasta in addition to all of that in the same about losing one's mind! It's Friday, and although I'll weigh myself in about an hour (5am), I don't think I've managed, even with tons of workouts, and stricter caloric intake, to get rid of last weekend's cheat day. (although my weight has gone down everday...slowly)

But the lesson learned was not so much about the carbs as it was taking responsibility for eating too much! I was, and have been eating too much food. I thought I was getting away with something, but the scale wouldn't let me...... It was time to walk the talk....hear my own words...."if you weigh more than you want to, you are eating too much food" bottom line. I've gotten out of some eating and food habits that got me, and kept me at my bodyweight goals.

As far as my moods.....Mark was begging me to eat some sugar yesterday, but I think I was just my 'normal' bitcheyness! There is no way I'm cheating. I still think some sort of breakthrough, whether physical or mental, yet to come! I don't think I've had any physical changes as far as withdrawl....headaches, uncontrollable urges, or even feeling leaner, or fatter, etc.. And the mental stuff....yes, I've thought about cheating, but that was just a thought, I know I won't. And as I've already mentioned, a little emotional sadness.

At the very least, I think this experience will make me more aware of my snacking habits, and I know I'll cut sugar back drastically when this is over. Wow, did I just say that? Was that me, or have I finally gone mad!

Wednesday AM weight 136.4
7:15 & 9:15 Bikram yoga
1:00pm 600 + snatch workout


coffee/cream 120 cal.
almond butter 190 cal.
lamb, lentils, veggies 400 cal
curry coleslaw w/chicken (4oz.) 500 cal.

Total calories 1210

This stinkin weight just wasn't coming off! Too much food! Cut way back on portions and carbs, I've got to quit messin' around.

Thursday AM weight no data (still not in the habit)
6:30 am Bikram yoga
9:00am misc swings w/8kg
6:00pm 45 minute walk


coffee/cream 180 cal.
almonds (6) 60 cal.
warm radish salad w/baby lettuces, oil & lemon, smokey blue cheese (1oz) 300 cal
oats/milk 260 cal.
lamb, lentil, veg stew 400 cal.
yogurt/blueberry and strawberry shake w/fiber 350 cal.

Total calories 1550

I haven't had my daily fruit serving regularly, instead I've been 'banking' my fruit for special occasions if I feel the need for sweetness. Same with my option of honey...I haven't had any yet. So, last night I used one serving each of blueberries and strawberries (frozen), because I had to use plain yogurt in my shake. In the past I've used vanilla or maple...and you know what, I was concerned that the shake wouldn't be sweet enough, but it was fine, more than fine!

Life is good, and sugar might not be bad, it's how we eat it and how much of it we eat. But isn't that true of all foods?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Let's Get Back to the Business of Fat Loss

Ok, so this 'snatch race' got me losing track of what my own training is all about, staying lean and lighter. Formula for putting on more food, train heavy! My strength is endurance. Am I the strongest woman in the world? No. And I don't care more about snatching the 24kg than I do getting this extra weight off. And I don't care more about swinging the 24kg for 1000 reps than I do getting this extra 5lbs gone! I'm a stump...a heavy stump! And part of it's fine, but if I had to be honest with myself it needs to change.

So, back to the 12kg and 16kg, for the majority of my workouts. I just have to make them harder. And how do I do that? By changing the intensity of my swing. Here's how:

Will I never use the heavier weights? Of course I will, but, more intense high volume is where I need to train right now. Can I snatch the 24kg without my bodyweight increasing? Yes, but first I have to get my body weight down....and besides, I'm not "training" specifically to snatch heavy everyday, nor do I need to! I'll leave that to the truly strong women! If I have to actually snatch 50,000 reps, then so be it....that's what I'm good at!

PS During my evening walk, I reminded myself to haul ass!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

One Week Without Sugar

Well. I made it....7 wasn't that hard. The hardest part so far was just the loneliness...the sadness of not even an itty, bitty, bit of sugar! The trade-offs I had to make have been interesting, I'm not sure it's the best food approach for me. And the physical/chemical effects have yet to be real obvious.

The first thing I noticed was how often I automatically reached for sugar when it came to snacking. Snacking in the form of unconscious reaching for oral fixation, not "planned snacking". Unplanned snacking is one thing that leads to many calories unaccounted for. Passing by the mints at the reception area of work....looking around the house for a little "sumpin, sumpin", almost asking Mark for a bite of his ice cream bar. All of these empty, and extra calories add up, but more importantly is that the habit of eating unconsciuosly that needs to be changed. And I think that limiting what I can choose from, automatically, makes me more aware, more conscious....and that's a good thing.

Then came a little sadness! Sad at the thought of a whole month without my little "sumpin, sumpins". "But why? Why did it have to come to this?" (giving sugar up completely!) , I would ask myself! Momentarily acting like a victim. Can't I just be normal? Why does life have to be so complicated? Blah, blah, blah.

Now, the trade-offs.....

No sugar, obviously, but fat and carbs are allowed! So, I have become the queen of nuts and nut butter. Fats are so much higher in calories than sugar, so when I do look for a little something, my choices are always at least 100 calories! And 10 freakin almonds don't last near as long as a 70 calorie chocolate sucker, and not near as satisfying! I mean really 10 almonds? What are some other choices? Carrot sticks? I guess roasted veggies might be good, Ill have to use at least 1tbl. oil. Maybe I just have to eat a meal and get over it, OR, how about snacking! Now there's a thought! Maybe I can get this 5lbs. off now, lol!

Crackers are out..they have sugar. not a food that I eat, although maybe a slice with butter (1 t., 130 cal total) might be a consideration. Chips? Corn chips don't have sugar, but they're fried in fake fat. Popcorn? Wow, it's been so long since I've had popcorn, I didn't think about it until just now. I did buy some jicama...maybe jicama with lime juice? I think I'll try the "no snacking" idea from now on...I said I'll try...whoops, I mean, yes, that's what I'll snacking.

So much more to write about this subject! It's actually taken me 2 days to get this posted! So the update since I started writing 2 days ago....

I've had 2 1/2 apples total in the last 7 days and I haven't used my option for 1 tbl. honey, per week, so far. I might of given in yesterday (Tuesday) if this whole thing wasn't in support of another person, but my main reason for keeping this going 100% by our rules, is that I'm really interested to see how this plays out physically. I've actually gained weight because of the higher calorie "carb and fat" choices I've made, but I'm curious to see where my bodyfat lands at the end of the month, now that I know I still have to limit my carbs, big time, my weight should even out over this next week. And lastly....I'm not sure this "sadness" isn't an effect on my brain from no sugar, but if it is, how long will it take to "feel" better, if not better than ever! More to come.

Monday AM weight 138.0
5:30am Bikram yoga
8:00am KB

coffee w/cream 120 cal.
veggie soup w/turkey (5oz) 350 cal.
veggies, PNB, yogurt 350 cal.
Indian lamb with lentils and spinach, 2 servings 700 cal.
Total calories 1520

I made this awesome Indian Lamb w/Lentil recipe in my pressure cooker on Monday! I've never made "Indian" food, but this was relatively easy, and I'll share it soon on this blog. I like to make new recipes a few times to work out the 'kinks'...the biggest 'kink' is the use of coconut milk @ 14o cal per 1/4 c. (980 cal!). So I made it again with chicken stock and 1/2 the amount of coconut milk.....not as good, but good in a different way. So this next time I'll use 'lite' coconut milk I found at Whole Foods.

Tuesday AM weight 137.0 (going down....)
6:30am Bikram yoga
9:30am KB speed swings 45 min.
6:30pm Fast walk

coffee/cream 120 cal.
oats/milk, 210 cal,
pistachios 100 cal. 1/2 fuji apple 50 cal.
lg veggie salad w/ceasar dressing 250 cal.
tuna/mayo 250 cal.
lg. stirfry w/agretti, turkey (5oz), and leftover roasted squash 650 cal.
brown rice/yogurt/yam 250 cal.

Total calories 1880

I got this veggie called 'Agretti' in my CSA box 2 weeks ago, and I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it (I'll look for a picture and post it), so it sat in the fridge. Yesterday I decided to just 'go for it' before it was too late...I so don't like throwing perfectly good veggies away! Wow! It was "the bomb', lol. I'm so happy to see that it's coming again in my box today! Now I just have to figure out where else I can find it....I have never seen it before, even at the Farmers Markets! I'll post more details about it on this blog.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Deal About Sugar and Carbs

Am I married to a smart guy, or what? (He's the reason why I think I'm so smart!) Mark was kind enough to chime in about sugars and carbs in regard to Cathy's question about sugar creating cravings for more sugar.

Here's the deal about sugars and carbs. To begin with, ALL carbs are basically sugar. In fact, ARE sugar, the only difference between a bowl of oatmeal and a bowl of sugar is that the oatmeal takes much longer to break down into pure sugar( and the fiber and nutrients, of course). Sugar is essentially ''predigested" which means as soon as it hits the stomach it hits the blood which raises your blood sugar.The faster the blood sugars go up, the faster your body sends out insulin to clear the blood of sugar which means the faster it goes down. Hence the 'crash' after eating too much fast digesting sugar products.

Complex carbohydrates such as oats, and beans and grains that digest slowly( have a LOW glycemic index) break down into sugar much more slowly,creating more of a sugar 'drip' into your system which means their is less chance of a sugar crash.If you add other ingredients into the mix it slows the process even more. For instance, if you add cream or butter into the oatmeal it will slow the digestion( conversion ) of complex into simple sugars even more.

Many foods you don't think of have sugar in them as well, such as milk. Lactose is the form of sugar in milk, and that is made up of galactose and sucrose.ALL carbs break down into sugar in the body. This is not a bad thing as the brains ONLY source of energy is glucose, that is to say, PURE SUGAR.

If one goes on a pure protein/fat diet the body will break down the protein into sugar( via gluconeogenesis) so that you can still think. No sugar for the brain, you start to lose IQ points rapidly. Any body that has gone under 60 gms of carbs per day will easily attest to how slow your thinking will get if your carbs get too low.

BUT a little carbs go a LONG way. Carbs are gasoline for your body's engine. Just that. An energy source, and unless you are burning THOUSANDS of calories per day with exercise and or activity you just dont NEED as many carbs as people think, or eat, every day.
Constantly filling up on carbs every meal,imo, is like filling up your cars gas tank, driving a few miles to the next gas station and topping off! But that's another topic. Carbs are energy and proteins/fats are repair.CARBS DO NOT BUILD OR REPAIR MUSCLE TISSUE!

Your bodies need for high quality proteins and fats, if you are training hard ,is equally or MORE important as your carbohydrate intake.People act like they are going to die if they don't have carbs every meal.This is especially true right before a workout. The energy you need for training should NOT, imo, come from blood sugar, it should come from stored glycogen in the muscles,i.e energy that has been stored there previously.If one doesnt drain those glycogen stores( if one trains on energy drinks or eating carbs right before training) it doesn't teach the body to store future carbs in the muscles, as they should be, but as body fat more preferentially.

All vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates but our bodies cannot access all of them equally.For instance, brocolli is a carbohydrate same as corn, but unless you have four stomachs such as a cow, your body cannot break down and access them. Thats why one can eat ALL the starchLESS carbs such as brocolli, spinach, celery, etc on a no carb diet and be fine.The body cannot convert those 'carbs' into energy.Of course most peoples favorite diet veggies usually are carrots, which happen to be the highest in available sugars of all the vegetables except for( sugar) beets,lol! People just crave and seek out sugar like crazy!

And, as Cathy pointed out, the more sugar you eat the more sugar you want! When I was bodybuilding we took out ALL the sweet things in our diets including fruits and artificial sweetners as we found that even the taste of concentrated sweetness in a meal would upset our insulin levels and make us MUCH more hungry.Proteins and fats will not have this effect.
There have been studies that show that some peoples blood sugar levels can go up just by LOOKING at pictures of chocolate cake!

My training partner, Scott Wilson, Mr America, would always say he knew when he was really getting in shape( bodyfat wise) when his oatmeal and brown rice would taste as sweet as sugar. He could taste the sugars in those bland foods from many months of no sugar at all.
To conclude, if one wants to control one's blood sugar it's important to choose carbs which have a low glycemic index and try NOT to have carbs at every meal.If you want get lean and burn as much body fat as possible you will do better turning your body into a diesel engine than an inefficient gas burner.

And remember ,if you are going to cheat, real ice cream has a very low glycemic index :))

Before I forget....

Friday AM weight 134.0
8:30am KB (260 snatch points)
6:30pm 1 hour walk


cream/coffee 150 cal.
fuji apple (8oz.) 12o cal, 12 almonds 120 cal.
beans and lamb + veg soup 475 cal.
turkey thigh meat (6oz.) 300 cal.
salad on a stick w/ceasar dip 350 cal.
misc. 100 cal

Total 1615

I missed 5:30am yoga, I just let myself get busy on the computer. And then by the time I finished my KB workout I had to rush off to train a client @10am, and since I didn't plan my morning well, I exercised my option of fruit and grabbed an apple on my way out the door. It was the first fruit serving I had this week, so it was fine that it weighed more than 6oz.

Saturday AM weight 134.2
7:00am 30 min. KB's
8:00am Bikram yoga

High Calorie Day Menu (crazy ass, unplanned, seriously huge, no sugar, learning experience!)

oats/yogurt/rice/yam craziness
almond butter/unsweetened coconut flakes
peanuts...lots, and then more!
corn chips...hey, at least they didn't have sugar!
bread w/butter....oh yes, that's right I can have bread! And I can have butter! Killer!
pasta/italian sausage/ mean I actually got a veggie in! Miracle!

Calories....who the hell knows....but if I had to guess, if I had to force myself to look at it....honestly....I would have to say around 4000...and even that might be low!

Hmmnn....did I enjoy it? I'm not sure....I must of enjoyed some of, after all, no one held a gun to my head, LOL. I'm I beating myself up? No. It's just a good opportunity to make sure next time I plan better, and enjoy it more.

Sunday AM weight 138.2
8:00am Bikram yoga
6:30pm 50 minute walk

Low calorie Menu

coffee/cream 200 cal. (throughout the day)
fuji apple 120 cal. (8oz)
almonds 200 cal.
veggies/cesar dip 120 cal.
sm veg soup 80 cal.
misc. 150 cal.

Total calories 870

After Saturday's crazy, no sugar, high calorie, overeating binge, I woke up seeing a number on the scale I haven't seen in a long, long time. So, I went to Bikram yoga, as usual, burping up the taste of peanuts and started again! I did alot of cooking in the afternoon, and the misc. calories were the food I ate while tasting for correct seasonings.

I had thought about doing a KB workout this afternoon, since it had worked out so well last Sunday, but I couldn't get my head into it. Instead, I cleaned out the fridge by cooking, and using the veggies I hadn't gotten to yet, before another shopping trip.

By the way....the cardoons sucked! I cooked them (or should I say, "tried" to cook them) on Thursday, and I don't know what I did wrong, but even I couldn't save them! Mark did what I did, which was we actually spit them out of our mouths! Stringy, crunchy, a bad way!

OK, so let's end on a positive note.....I am so lucky to be able to eat a huge bag of peanuts, I am so lucky I love to cook, as well as eat, and I am so lucky to have the capabilty, desire and openess to try new foods. Lucky to live where I live, with all of the fresh food goodness, and all of the ethic food diversity, and so much available to is good, food is good, I am good.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Salad on a Stick

So, I got this great idea I call "salad an a stick"! The "stick" refers to the veggie....carrot stick, celery stick, broccoli stick, etc.... One of my friends loves veggies and dip, usually a mayo/yogurt base with ginger or horseradish, garlic, etc... Too much mayo makes it too calorie dense, so I made my own, and for around 250 cal. I get a whole cup of dressing/dip for my veggie's quite a bit of food, and fun to eat.

Lime and Garlic Dip

plain yogurt (Your choice, nonfat, 2%, or full fat, about 8oz. I use one 7oz container of Fage, Greek style yogurt available @ Whole Foods and Trader Joes.)
1 tbl. olive oil
lime juice, 2-3 tbl. (1-2 limes)
1 garlic clove, pressed
salt, a generous pinch

about 225 calories

Cesar Dip
plain yogurt, 8 oz.
1 tbl. olive oil
lemon juice, 1 lemon
anchovy paste, or minced anchovies (2-4 t.)
garlic clove, pressed
parmesean cheese, 1-2 tbl.

about 280 calories

Basil, Tomato Dip

8oz. plain yogurt
1 tbl olive oil
handful of basil, minced
sundried tomatoes, minced ( 2-3, if packed in oil, reduce olive oil)
garlic, 1 clove pressed
salt, generous pinch
about 275 calories

Avocado, Lime Dip

plain yogurt 8oz.
lime juice
garlic, 1 clove pressed
jalapeno, minced
1/2 avocado, mashed
generous pinch of salt

about 280 cal.

Lots of other ideas, like olive tapanade dip, bleu cheese, lemon and capers, salsa, cilantro, etc..

Today I had purple and orange carrot, celery, and broccoli, "sticks", along with french radishes with their greens. Other options like, red bell, green onions, blanched asparagus or green beans, etc..
Thursday AM weight 134.6
3:00pm 45 min walk


coffee/cream 120 cal.
oats/milk/almonds 250 cal.
salad on a stick, with lime garlic dip 350 cal.
veg soup 200 cal.
lg pork chop 350 cal.
brown rice w/yam 200 cal.

Total calories 1470 (no sugar, 3rd day!)

I'm going to bed a little hungry tonight, oh well I'm not going to die...I can feel the scale going down though! I had a break between clients this afternoon, and on the way to Whole Foods I decided to go on a walk's a good thing I live out of my car, like a vagabond, because I had some extra shoes for walking, in the back, next to my bells! 5:30am yoga tomorrow, KB's and then I get to spend the afternoon at the Salon getting pretty!

I mentioned to Mark that we should have one candlelit dinner a week...tomorrow night just might be it!
Mustard Greens
Baby Spinach
Baby Salad Greens
Parsnips (more puree!)
Purple carrots
and flowers!

This was probably my least favorite so far. I don't eat alot of salad greens, and I like to wash my own lg spinach. Although I am excited about the mustard greens and the cardoons, both I have never cooked or eaten. The bright orange, fat, carrots last week were so freakin good and sweet, they made the puple ones this week taste "grassy", now I know not to buy them at the Market.
Life is good, veggies are good.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No Sweat Pants for Me!

OK, so we've all been there...."fat days". Those are the days we reach for our comfy, stretchy clothes. And then what? We keep reaching for those loose, comfy, clothes. And then what? Our loose, comfy, clothes get tight and we have to buy new, bigger, loose comfy, stretchy, clothes!

So, I admit, my favorite pair of jeans are tight, and I've been avoiding putting them on to see just how tight they are, until yesterday. Wow, they weren't nearly as bad as I thought. I mean I could still get them on, I don't think they look as good as they did 5lbs ago, but not too bad! I still can't wear my opinion, lol. But, I know which clothes I own that are 'bigger', and I refuse to chose them. I refuse, because I know it won't make me feel better. Instead, I decide to wear jeans. So they're a little snug! I'll tell you what I like about this extra five pounds though.

First off...I'm chosing this 'extra' 5 lbs. I must like it! I do like having bigger legs, I don't know why, but the tightness of my jeans around my legs doesn't bother me, it's the 'muffin top' around my waistline that I don't care for. I like how my face is fuller, not so gaunt. Hey, and who doesn't like a little extra up front, right? I like the extra calories for my KB workouts....but not for yoga. And, I am enjoying all of the food I eat. But I want to be a 'size 6' all day long! So what to do.....?

I'm ready to change it, and I've got alot of things going on. I've looked back at my hard copy food journal from last year and I could see what it's going to take to get me back there. And, I've given up sugar.....yes, I've given up sugar for the month of April! So I'll have plenty to blog about in regards to that. (hopefully, my next blogpost will detail the reasons and the strategies to accomplish that) So, skinny jeans, here I come, no sweat pants for me!

Monday AM weight, no data
7:15am Bikram yoga
7:00pm 50 min walk


coffee/cream 50 cal.
oats/blueberries 280 cal.
carrot/PNB 200 cal
2 lg pork chops 500 cal
yogurt, lots 630 cal.
brown rice 300 cal.
almond butter 300 cal.

Total calories 2260

Can you believe I ate all of this food between 10:00am and 12 noon? I wasn't hungry the rest of the day. And the only vegetable I ate on Monday was 2 stinkin' carrots (from CSA, they were so freakin' good!), I think that's a first in a long, long time! I'm still not in the habit of weighing myself everyday, honest oversight, and in fact I forgot the next day too!

Tuesday AM weight, no data
6:30 bikram yoga
8:30 KB 720 swing/720snatch
6:30 1 hour walk


coffee/cream 100 cal.
chicken and veggie soup 350 cal.
oats/yogurt 350 cal.
decaf coffee w/cream 70 cal.
broccoli/cabbage/tuna salad w/anchovy dressing 450 cal.
brown rice w/sweet potato 440 cal.

Total calories 1760

The last 2 days were not exactly "diet" days! The brown rice and sweet potato definitely put me over the top! I'll post my recipe for that soon, because now that I can't have sugar, I have to find a way to eat other alternatives like sweet potatoes! They were awesome in the brown rice BTW, but oats and lots of rice, AND sweet potato? I'm just asking to hold water!

Wednesday AM weight 136.8 (freakin' brown rice and sweet potatoes, lol)
5:30am Bikram yoga
2:00pm KB 16kg snatches


coffee/cream 120 cal.
oats/almonds 350 cal.
veggies/lime, yogurt, garlic dip 250 cal.
lamb shanks/beans/veggie soup 400 cal.

Total calories 1120

I said I was going to get back in my jeans...I mean it, damn it! Watch me!

Life is freakin great!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Weekly CSA Vegetables, Cardoons!

This Wednesday will be my 3rd delivery of the freshest vegetables that I've ever had, with the exception of Wayne's Garden. I haven't posted details about this new (to me) food adventure, or take pictures, because I just haven't found the time. I'm settling into organizing how I shop and how I cook, because I never know what I'm getting in my CSA Box.

Organizing is my first priority so that I can actually use these veggies that day, and within a few days. I chose to pick them up on a Wednesday, after 4pm, because I don't work on Thursdays. But I because I work on Wednesday's I can't pick them up until after work which is many times after 8pm, and then by the time I get home I'm too tired to wash and organize, sometimes I'm too tired to even look and see what I've got! Two Small Farms does send me an e-mail at the beginning of the week, however, to list what is in the weeks box, so I'll have to pay more attention and put a little more thought into my food and cooking plan.

This week I have Wednesday off however, and I just took the time to read through the newsletter 2SF sent me and guess what? Cardoons! I wouldn't even know what they were, but I happen to have taken a piture at the Monterey Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago, of this huge crazy looking stuff I had never seen before! I'm assuming that the cardoons we'll be getting will be smaller...maybe trimmed, or a slightly different variety. What I do know about them, since I talked with the vendor is that they taste like artichoke. We'll see.....!