Week 10 Food/Health Log 6/10…a pattern?

Week 10 Food/Health Log 6/10…a pattern?

This last week included a few social events, so you’ll see I enjoyed myself (see my notes about social events at the end of this post).

I didn’t go too crazy, but I dipped into a few of the unhealthy foods that tend to pull me in. I still included lots of healthy foods this week , but I’ll need to eat even more healthy foods like salads, beans, potatoes, veggies and fruit to crowd out the naughty ones next week.

Before I get into it, I realize I report on more than just what I eat, so I think I’ll start to call this a Health Log instead of a Food Log.

Here’s a quick recap of the week:

-I walked 6 out of the 7 days., with a total of 18.86 km. Awesome! I’m proud of being consistent with my walks.

-I had zero alcohol-free days….that surprised me. Definitely need to increase this number.

-I continued with my TV cleanse, watching Netflix on only two days.

Something else I forgot to mention last week, was that my husband and I have been eating all our meals at the dining room table, and NOT on the couch in front of the TV. We did eat on the sofa on the one day we watched a movie on Netflix, and I ate at the couch once when I watched a new series on Netflix (Good Girls) while my husband was at a football game.

Eating meals at the table is a big change for us. It’s often just the two of us eating and watching TV because our 16 year old daughter is busy and often not home to eat meals with us (she swims and competes with a swim club, and she also has two jobs).

During our TV cleanse, we noticed how much time we have to do other things when we’re not sitting in front of the TV. If you think you don’t have time to prep healthy foods or to fit in a walk during your day, have a close look at your TV/Netflix/Screentime habits. You might be surprised by the time you really do have. I was.

Here’s where I’m at with weight loss:

May 21 to June 25: I went down 6.2 lbs, up a few lbs and back to my original May 21 weight.

June 25 to July 2 …down 5.6 lbs

June 25 to July 9...down 3.2 lbs

As you can see, my indulgences this last week affected my weight. That’s ok. 🙂 I had a great time this week at a some events, so I don’t regret it.

I do see a pattern, however. My weeks 4-6 food logs are similar…a strong start and then gaining a few pounds.

Of course, this is the story of my life, and the story of many people’s lives. Like I’ve said before…this is NO reason to give up. Again, I’m proud of not beating myself up. Time to move on.

Here are the details of my week:

July 3 (friend’s 25th wedding anniversary)

-10.5 eating hours (10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

-2.26 km walk (25 min.)

-1/2 baked potato, 1/2 corn on the cob, 1/2 lightly cooked zucchini, all with ground black pepper

-chamomile mint tea

-leftover salad with whole wheat cous cous

-mashed potatoes with soy milk, salt and pepper

-catered event: mashed potatoes, pasta in mushroom sauce, sautéed veggies (green beans, peas, red pepper, cauliflower, onion, and carrots…with oil and/or dairy; 1/2 whole wheat bun with butter; cheesecake, cherry pie chocolate cake

-2 glasses of red wine

-2 oz drink (scotch and Drambuie)

July 4

-9 eating hours (12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

-2 km walk (22 min.)

-salad: cous cous, barley, arugula, broccoli, potato, Italian parsley, and lemon juice, Bragg’s, balsamic vinegar, pepper

chickpea patty with salad (oil) and French fries (vinegar, salt , ketchup/siracha) from restaurant

corn chips with cheese sauce and salsa from restaurant

-1 glass of red wine

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-1 cocktail: rusty nail

-ice cream bar

July 5 (our wedding anniversary 😊)

– 11 eating hours (10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

-4.2 km walk (39 min.)

chickpea patty with salad (oil) and pita bread, French fries, and lentil soup (from restaurant)

-dinner out: lobster, potato, tuna, avocado, bread, mushrooms Neptune, Caesar salad

dessert after dinner: ice cream cake

-1 glass of sparkling wine

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-2 glasses of red wine

-1 green apple vodka

July 6

-7 eating hours (2:00 pm to 9:00 p.m.)

-4 km walk (38 min.)

-mashed potatoes (soy milk, salt and pepper), leftover chickpea patty and salad

-Starbucks decaf soy caramel macchiato with two portions of sugar

-1/2 ham and cheese sandwich on white bun (from deli in grocery store)

sushi from deli area of grocery store (spicy salmon, shrimp and spicy california)

-2 glasses of red wine

-ice cream bar

July 7

-13 eating hours (12:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.)

-2.4 km walk (25 min.)

-coffee (2 espresso shots with water and soy milk)

-salad-potato, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, arugula and creamy bean dressing (oil-free; made with white navy beans, soy milk, lemon juice and spices)

Caesar salad and French fries at restaurant

1 Old Fashioned

-1 glass of red wine

-club soda with lime

-cheese and Mary’s crackers

potato chips

-red grapes

 

 

July 8

-11 eating hours (11: 00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)

– 4 km walk (38 min.)

– coffee (3 espresso shots with water, soy milk, cocoa, turmeric and maple syrup)

-fruit bowl: grapes, blueberries, Mandarin orange

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macaroni and cheese from grocery store deli

chicken bites with Frank’s hot sauce and ranch dip from grocery store deli

-cherries

2 glasses of red wine

July 9 (attended a baseball game)

-10 eating hours (10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

-banana

-cherries

-apple

-2 baked potatoes

nachos (cheese, tomatoes, olives, peppers) with salsa and sour cream

-pumpkin seeds (in the shell)

-peanuts

1 Bulldog Prosecco: lemonade with peach vodka and 1 sparkling white wine

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1 glass of red wine

-1 club soda with lime

It’s definitely harder to stay on track with healthy eating when there are social events. It’s something we all have to deal with. I find that once I’m eating unhealthy food, I just wake up the next day wanting more. My body gets hooked on the fat, salt and sugar.

As I said in my Give up?…or Fight Back Part 1 post, there are so many things in food that pull us in, and our taste buds feed on what we give them.

Honestly, right now, I want to write, “I’m really going to commit this week”, but I’m wanting more of the bad stuff.

I do want to get back on track. I’ll revisit my list from Part 2 of Give up?…or Fight Back! and remind myself of the ammunition in my arsenal.

Wishing you a healthy and successful journey,

SignatureAli

Greens n’ Grains Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing/Dip

Greens n’ Grains Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing/Dip

Sometimes, it’s nice to have a thick, creamy dressing on a salad. It’s a bonus when that same dressing can be used as a dip.

A double bonus? This recipe is super healthy, oil-free and dairy free! Try the dressing/dip for this salad recipe and tweak it a bit to make it precisely to your liking.

Note: although a list of specific grains and vegetables were used for this salad, use whatever veggies and grains you have around.

Pour this dressing on anything you want! It’s a thick one, so thin it out if you prefer it that way. Add it to pasta, any vegetables (raw or cooked), potatoes (steamed, baked or for a guilt-free potato salad), crackers, pita slices, as a sandwich spread etc. You get the idea.

Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked, tri-coloured quinoa (or any grain you like, such as regular quinoa, cous cous, barley, rice, millet, and so on)

2 cups chopped greens; I like to chop them into small pieces (any combination/ratio of your choice: arugula, romaine, spinach, kale, chard, Italian parsley, cilantro, etc.)

1 cup diced cooked potato

1 cup chopped purple cabbage

1 cup chopped snap peas

1 diced yellow pepper

1 diced orange pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.

Makes 9 cups of salad. Put to the side.*

*Alternatively, you could make the dressing first and refrigerate it before preparing the salad.

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Creamy Garlic Dressing/Dip

Ingredients:

1-19 fl. oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-19 fl. oz (540 mL) can white navy beans (also called cannellini beans), drained and rinsed

1.5 to 2 cups of plant-based milk of your liking (I used Eden soy beverage, which contains only organic soy beans and water. If you use a sweetened or flavored liquid, the taste will be different). If you don’t want to use any type of milk beverage, use water or vegetable broth instead. Start with 1.5 cups and add more to thin out to your liking.

4 dates (smaller variety), or 2 dates of the larger type

½ cup of lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp of garlic powder (adjust to less or more, according to your tastes)

1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp of onion powder

1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Add all liquid ingredients and dates to a blender. Do not blend yet. A high-speed blender is not necessary, but the dressing will be smoother if you use one. I used a Vitamix.
  2. Add the chickpeas.
  3. Blend slowly at first, and then build up the speed until all chickpeas appear blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients.
  5. Begin blending again. Slowly add the white navy beans. It is at this point you’ll need to determine how thick/thin you want your dressing/dip. Add more soy beverage or water/vegetable broth, as needed. Add a little at a time, to ensure you don’t make your dressing thinner than you like it.
  6. Stop blending when smooth.
  7. Taste the dressing. If you want more garlic, add it. If you want more lemon juice, add it. Same with the salt. Tweak it to your liking. Blend and tweak again, if needed.*

Makes 4.5 cups of dressing. **

*I find the flavors in the dressing will taste stronger when tasting the dressing by itself. When the dressing is mixed in the salad, I find the taste milder. Adjust your seasonings as you desire.

**I used about 3 cups of the dressing on the salad, as I wanted it extra thick and creamy. Depending on how thick/thin you make it, and depending on how much you use on your salad, you’ll likely have a cup or two of leftover dressing/dip.

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Give up?…or Fight Back! Part 2

Give up?…or Fight Back! Part 2

Ok. You’ve read Part 1 and realize your health/weight struggles are NOT all your fault.

What a relief!

You know the crappy, unhealthy foods like pizza, potato chips, baked goods, rich sauces and ice cream are…

-too calorically dense (has too many calories)

-too rich

-too addictive-like

-too artificially concentrated with sugar, fat and/or salt

-everywhere in our environment

You know the odds are stacked against you.

You know things can get tough and sometimes you want to give up. Those of us that keep trying to eat better and lose weight are right beside you. Please know, you are NOT alone!

But…you’ve decided you WILL NOT GIVE UP!

You will NOT let those foods unleash any permanent power over you.

Like me, you want to fight back. You want to fight back against the unhealthy, crappy foods that keep luring you into their body-damaging, fat-cell-producing world.

What are we Fighting?

We need to arm ourselves to fight against the carefully designed, created and marketed food that shows its ugly face everywhere.

We need to arm ourselves to resist the highly prolific world of fat, sugar and salt.

We need to be on guard, especially, for the sneaky ones…the addictive-like, rich combinations of…

fat and salt (potato chips, cheese, rich sauces, deep fried food)

fat and sugar (desserts, cakes, cookies, ice cream, baked goods)

salt and sugar (salted caramel syrups/toppings)

fat and sugar and salt…the triple threat (salted caramel popcorn, ice cream flavours with salted treats)

That’s a lot of food waiting to attack. We need to use mighty weapons to fight back, and willpower is not one of them. Willpower often runs out of steam in the long run.

How do we arm ourselves in this insanely crazy food world that surrounds us?

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Create Rules Decide you will not, under any circumstances, bring crappy food into your house. If you find yourself in a restaurant or at someone’s home, you may or may not be able to resist the power of unhealthy foods, but you can decide you will NOT sabotage yourself by bringing it into your house. You CAN control the environment in your home. A couple of weeks ago, there were potato chips and a super-yummy dip in my kitchen. The kind of dip I can’t stop eating. Mmmmm….The odds of me eating it were high. It was right there, steps away. I held off for about an hour. Then I dove in. What if those chips and dip hadn’t been there? If they weren’t in my kitchen, I wouldn’t have eaten them. I would not have jumped in my car to go buy some. Although it is possible to get in your car and drive to the store to buy what you crave, we are MUCH less likely to eat the crap if it is not in our home.

Keeping crap out of your house is an example of a rule that is one of the easier ones to follow. Why is it easy? If you don’t buy it, it won’t be in your house. If you have a hard time resisting chips, cookies etc. while shopping, ask someone you trust to shop with you, to help keep you on track.

Now, if you don’t do the grocery shopping, that can be trickier. Sit down with the person who does buy the groceries, and other family members, and ask them to keep the unhealthy foods outside of the house. If they give you a hard time, ask for even just a month to help you get going on a healthier path, more consistently.

Even if you do buy the groceries, ask family members to please enjoy the unhealthier foods outside the house, at least until you can get a handle on things. Avoid hosting any parties/dinners in your home for 30 days to help you get on track, as well.

sleep

No Food Before Bed This is an example of another rule. Avoid filling your stomach with any food before bed. Some say you shouldn’t eat 2 hours before bed. Others say 3 hours or 5 hours. Give your body a chance to digest your food, so when you sleep, your body can do what it is supposed to do…repair and maintain. Based on your own schedule, your rule might be: No eating after 6 p.m. Only liquids like tea or water after those times. Is that doable? If you think it might be tough, work on the next tip to help you achieve a light belly before bed.

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Eating Window A similar rule is you eat only during an 8-12 hour window. If you eat breakfast at 9:00 a.m., and you decide on a 10-hour window, then your last meal needs to come at or before 7:00 p.m. Maybe 10 hours is too difficult? Try 12-hour windows for a week, then move down to 11.5 hours, then to 11 and so on. Whatever it is, start with a window that works for you, and ease into making your eating window shorter. I’ve started to track my eating windows, and I notice how much better I feel when I eat at 5:00 p.m. and go to bed at 10:00 p.m. I haven’t mastered this yet, but I see the benefits and want to work on this habit.

Don’t go crazy here…keep the eating window no shorter than 6-8 hours. You still need to get in enough calories for your body each day, and you want this way of monitoring your eating, called intermittent eating, to be sustainable over time. If you shave your eating hours down to 6 hours per day, over a month, and lose a bunch of weight, what happens when you go back to a 12-hour eating window? Take it slow and let the weight come off slowly; you’re more likely to keep it off if you do so. Work towards and establish an eating window you can live with most of the time. Aim to have your eating window 12 hours or less.

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Have a Support System Whether it’s a close friend or a Facebook group, make connections with others who are in the same boat as you. Being able to talk to others who also struggle with food and their weight can be very helpful. It helps to know you ARE NOT the only one! If you don’t have a support system, you need to put on your armor and get out there! Find someone or a group of peeps you can relate to. Don’t ignore this crucial way to fight. This might be scary for you, but it is super important. Feel free to contact me for support.

Move When we move our bodies, we’re less likely to eat rich, unhealthy food. We also feel energized, and even inspired. Begin your day with a walk or make that a priority when you get home from work. A priority means you don’t dismiss it. A priority means you do it, no matter what. Do it BEFORE dinner, if making dinner throws off your plans. Figure out how to do it. Start small. Ten minutes of moving. Who can’t fit that in? If your health is important to you, you WILL fit it in.

Moving our bodies doesn’t have to be at the gym. It doesn’t have to be sprinting. Even simple yoga or stretching is a start. Maybe you can find a buddy to walk with you. If you have stairs in your home, maybe you commit to climbing them 5 times per day. Then 8 times per day, and so on. Find simple ways to move and then build from there. I like to walk and record the distance and the number of minutes it took me. Over time, I can see if I’m moving more quickly and easily. For others, it’s the distance they want to increase. Start with 1km. Then 1.5 and build up to 5 km. It takes me about 50 min. to walk 5 km now (depending on my pace). If I improve my fitness and increase my speed I could jog/run it in about 30 min.

Your goals need to work for you. Remember…baby steps can be your best friend because they allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment. Jumping in and deciding you’re going to run 10 km may not be best for your body, and you can end up sore and/or injured, making it likely you won’t continue. Keep it simple to start.

learn

Education Learn how nutrient-poor, rich foods are damaging your body. Even though I veer off track now and again, for days or weeks, I eat well most of the time. Why? Because I know what the crappy food is doing to me based on what I’ve learned from books, documentaries and from how my own body responds to foods I eat. I’ve also earned a Plant-based Nutrition certificate from the ECornell program, which gave me incredible, science-based information. There are so many resources out there. Have a look at the books on my shop page. Also, check out the My Vegucation blog post to get more ideas on books and documentaries.

Once you learn about how fats/oils damage the endothelial lining of your arteries, for example, you start to realize what is actually happening inside your blood vessels minutes after you eat a cheeseburger, a piece of pizza or a piece of cheese. This is INSIDE YOUR body, not in some distant land. Once you discover how so many chronic and autoimmune diseases today are caused by what we put in our mouth, you begin to think about whether you want to eat white bread and white rice, or whole-grain bread or brown rice.

Even though everyone in our society seems to be eating unhealthy food, you start to realize that so many people are getting sick. You see how people’s bodies have seemed to deal with it all until they reach their 50’s or beyond. Then you see how it’s getting worse and people are getting diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases at younger ages than they used to. When you spend time researching the value of nutrient-rich foods and the dangers of nutrient-poor foods, you become empowered and look at your food choices differently.

Baby Steps Choose one type of food that’s an issue with you. Soft drinks or ice cream, for instance. Give it up for 2-4 weeks. Don’t worry about the other stuff. After 2-4 weeks, if you’ve ditched the soda pop or ice cream, look for something else you can get out of your diet, like cream in your coffee, or cookies.

Give up the bad things, one by one, over time. This can work for many people. And yes, I said “bad” things. Some people don’t want to call any foods “bad” and say they can have them once in a while. Beware: “all things in moderation” usually doesn’t work. If it did, we wouldn’t have a huge weight-loss industry. If people could moderate their intake of pizza, ice cream, donuts, potato chips etc. obesity wouldn’t exist.

If instead of moderation, you face the music and recognize what your food weaknesses are, you can make a decision to get them out of your life. You can work at giving up the food-like products that are really toxic to your body, and over time, you won’t want/crave them. If you eventually achieve your ideal weight, and then you want to dabble in those danger foods a bit, well, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the risk of getting “hooked” again.

Cold Turkey On the other hand, baby steps won’t work for everyone. Some people need to go cold turkey. Make a big change, all at once. Eat clean and that’s it. Get the fat and sugar-laden foods out of your house and get the good stuff in. Prepare foods in advance and be ready to eat only healthy foods. Chop veggies ahead of time, so you can grab them and throw them in a pan to sauté and serve with rice and your favourite sauce. Even if the sauce isn’t perfectly healthy, if it helps you eat a bowl of healthy food, go for it. You can always transition away from the sauce later if it has too much fat or sugar.

Almost always, I have the following in my fridge: cooked grains (more than one type is ideal: rice, quinoa, cous cous, barley, oatmeal), cooked potatoes and/or yams (baked), cooked beans (from a can: black beans, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas), fruit, and raw veggies ready to eat (snap peas, mini cucumbers, grape/cherry tomatoes).  When I make dinner, I usually make enough so there are leftovers for someone’s lunch the next day, or for dinner the next day. This works especially well with chilis and soups. Make lots, so you have leftovers to eat or freeze. Try the cold turkey method and have ONLY healthy, ready-to go, clean foods in your fridge.

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Snacks on the Go You’ve got to have healthy food at work or when you’re on the go. If you don’t, you’re really setting yourself up to surrender to one of the powerful foods like pizza or cookies. One of my favorite snacks is snap peas and grape/cherry tomatoes. So fresh and tasty. Another is a baked potato. I microwave it, cut it in half, add salt/pepper and wrap it in foil. Even if it’s only room temperature later, it satisfies me and prevents me from eating something I’d rather not. You can bake a bunch of potatoes at the beginning of the week and cut and wrap them in advance. Then, you just need to quickly unwrap one, microwave it and you’re ready to go.

When you leave the house, be prepared with a snack or two. Even if you think you’ll be out for an hour doing errands, sometimes that can turn into 2-3 hours. Be prepared. Apples and Mandarin oranges are quick and easy to grab and provide a juicy, refreshing snack. Prep your snacks in advance, or prepare for a growing waistline.

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Be Kind to Yourself Avoid beating yourself up. The food’s doing that to you already! When you decide to indulge, do it. Choose indulgence only if you can do it without feeling guilty later. Eat the pizza and enjoy it. Roll around in bed with it, if you want. Eat the pizza and then get back on track as soon as you can. Don’t let the pizza rule you. YOU rule YOU. You are strong and can accomplish anything. This struggle with food and your weight doesn’t have to be forever. It’s just the way it is right now.

The above ideas are more than “tips”. They are specific weapons we can use to fight back against the lure of the crappy food and can help us take in more of the healthy food.

For me, I’m still struggling. I have about 40 lbs to lose.

I’d like to lose the weight to decrease my odds of getting a chronic disease.

I want to lose the weight to feel energetic and to be healthy.

I WILL accomplish my goal.

Even though I continue to have my ups and downs, I will NOT give up.

Please do not give up!

Say, “HELL NO!”, when you start to doubt yourself and when you start to speak horribly to yourself in the mirror.

Fight back!

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Week 9 Food Log 9/10…down 5.6 lbs :)

Week 9 Food Log 9/10…down 5.6 lbs :)

I’m fighting back! After four weeks of being off track, I jumped back on!

It feels great to be eating clean, whole foods again. My success is due to 100% abstinence in the first few days. During those days (June 25-27), I did have a few cravings. I did want to “give in” to the power of crappy food. I was so close to making popcorn with oil, just to give me that fix of fat and salt that my taste buds love.

Instead of giving in? Victory!

I knew my taste buds would adjust; they just needed a few days. For our taste buds to truly no longer desire fat, sugar and salt, we need about 30 days or more of abstinence from all the fatty, sugary and salty foods that tempt us so. But I find that three days gives me what I need to get started.

If you read Part 1 of Give up?… Or Fight Back!, you’ll see that I don’t believe my struggle with health/weight is all my fault. Having said that, I do need to take responsibility for myself. No one else will do that for me. I can fight back and continue to work toward my goal of becoming more energetic and losing about 40 lbs.

This week:

-I ate 95% healthy foods: vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes

-I moved my body 6 days with walking; I even walked 2-3 times on four of those days…super awesome!

-I had 5 days without any alcohol (one of the two days when I did have alcohol included only half a glass of wine 😊

-New challenge-TV cleanse: my husband and I did not watch any TV or Netflix for 5 days (June 27-July 1). On the sixth day (July 2) we went to a movie with our daughter.

In terms of weight loss, here’s where I’m at:

May 21 to June 25: I went down 6.2 lbs, up a few lbs and back to my original weight on May 21.

June 25 to July 2 – 5.6 lbs

I’m thrilled to be down almost 6 lbs. That might seem like fast weight-loss, but that’s what can happen when you first start to eat as clean as I have for the last week.

Quick Reminder of My Rules

-I DON’T diet, portion control, count calories or weigh/measure my food, and I’m not looking for fast weight loss. I want the weight to come off naturally through eating as much healthy, whole foods as I want.

-I don’t limit the amount of food I eat. If I want to eat a big salad, followed by three baked potatoes, I do it. I CAN do it because the salad and potato don’t have any crappy ingredients like oil, sugar or refined products. I DO put salt on my potatoes at times. Salt is MY weakness. I’d like to wean off the salt altogether, but I’m not there yet.

-I continue to focus on eating plant-based foods, avoiding or greatly limiting meat, dairy, eggs, refined flour, and highly processed foods. For each meal, I choose from vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes. I use some processed items like mustard, balsamic vinegar, Frank’s hot sauce and spices, but only if they are mostly clean. If a condiment has oil, I usually won’t use it. If it has sugar, maybe, but only if it isn’t too much. I DO use pure maple syrup for dressings now and again. I watch sodium intake as well. Frank’s hot sauce is high in sodium in proportion to its calories, so I want to decrease its use. I try to make homemade sauces/dressings when possible, so I can control the ingredients.

-I aim to have my last meal about 2-5 hours before bed. The closer to 5 hours, the better.

-I want to decrease my eating window (the number of eating hours from my first bite to my last) to 6-10 hours a day, so my body can focus on repair and maintenance during the remaining hours. Ideally, I’d like to keep it at about 8 hours.

-I want to keep 5 days a week alcohol free.

-I want to move my body 6-7 days a week.

-I want to continue to watch much less TV. My husband and I haven’t decided what our next plan is after our recent 5-day TV/Netflix cleanse. We’re enjoying not watching TV, so we’ll likely keep that up for a while.

One more thing before you look over what I consumed this week. Some of the days look like I didn’t eat that much food. There are two reasons:

1) Healthy, whole foods are loaded with fibre and fill you up, so I felt full and satisfied from my meals. Some days, I ate only twice.

2) The TV/Netflix cleanse I did made a big difference. I didn’t sit on the couch for 2-4 hours each night watching tv and eating out of habit. My husband and I can easily get sucked in to whatever Netflix series we’re “hooked” on. Instead, we did other things in the evening (socializing, to-do list around the house, an evening walk, etc.).

If I keep fighting back and follow my rules 90% of the time, the weight will continue to come off, but a little more slowly. That’s just fine with me, as long as it comes off.

Here are the details of what I ate this week.

June 26

10 eating hours (12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)

3.4 km walk (38 min.)

-homemade soy milk latte

-mango, nectarine, orange

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-sautéed pepper, mushrooms, onions, black beans and potato (sautéed in water)

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-apple

-big salad with kale, romaine, spinach, arugula, broccoli, tomato, red onion, purple cabbage, cucumber, quinoa, whole wheat cous cous, lemon juice and ground black pepper. A little dressing towards the end–homemade dressing (balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic and onion powder)

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-baked potato with chives, onion, salt and pepper

-cherries

-baked Japanese yams with Frank’s hot sauce

-no alcohol

June 27

9 eating hours (10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

-5.5 km walk (1 hour 3 minutes)

-2.5 km walk (27.5 min.)

-homemade soy milk latte

-zucchini (chopped into large chunks and lightly cooked, with black ground pepper)

-asparagus, mushrooms, potato with onion and home homemade dressing (balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic and onion powder) and Frank’s hot sauce

-apple

-fruit bowl: apple, mango, nectarine, Mandarin orange and banana

-salad with spinach, arugula, kale, romaine, purple cabbage, cucumber, red onion, broccoli, orange pepper, whole wheat cous cous, tri-coloured quinoa and homemade dressing (chickpeas, soy milk, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, lemon juice and sea salt)

-no alcohol

June 28

8.5 eating hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

-3.75 km walk (38 min.)

-4.4 km (47 min)

-apple

-banana

-pot barley (not the more refined pearl barley) with asparagus, chickpeas, Italian parsley, lemon juice and Mrs. Dash (a rushed, on-the-go meal I ate in the car)

IMG_4710

-almond milk latte with vanilla syrup from restaurant

-salad with spinach, arugula, Italian parsley, purple cabbage, orange and yellow pepper, tri-coloured quinoa, potato and homemade dressing (chickpeas, white navy beans [also called cannellini beans], soy milk, dates, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and sea salt)

Salad before dressing added.                                Salad, after dressing added.

-1 probiotic capsule

-no alcohol

June 29

12 eating hours (9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

-no exercise

-banana

-Starbucks matcha tea latte with 1 portion sugar

-salad-potato, barley, red onion, chopped greens, tomato, red pepper, and homemade dressing. (same as June 28)

chickpea burger with peach chutney and spinach and orange salad at restaurant (had oil)

IMG_4743

This was tasty, but you can see how much oil there is in the dressing.

-couple of bites of a sautéed mushroom and onion on polenta at restaurant (had oil)

-one bite of carrot cake

-decaf coffee with almond milk

-1 probiotic capsule

-no alcohol

June 30

-7.5 eating hours (12:30 to 8:00 p.m.)

-5.6 km (58 min.)

-salad: spinach, kale, cilantro, zucchini, tomatoes, black beans, white navy beans, barley, quinoa and homemade dressing (balsamic vinegar, mandarin orange [packed in water], mustard and garlic)

IMG_4745

-apple

-Brussel sprouts, sautéed in water, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and Mrs. Dash and topped with a sauce (white navy beans, soy milk, garlic, Italian parsley and a bit of horseradish)

-Japanese yams with Frank’s hot sauce

-bit of baked potato with Dijon and salt

-1 probiotic capsule

-no alcohol

July 1 (Canada Day!)

7 eating hours (11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

-5.7 km walk (1hr. 1 min.)

-1 km walk (11 min.)

-fruit bowl: banana, kiwi, mango, Mandarin orange

-3 baked potatoes

2 Mike’s Hard Lemonade

-1/2 Greyhound cooler

-salad: spinach, kale, arugula, Italian parsley, cilantro, black beans, white navy beans, red pepper, yellow pepper, broccoli, barley, quinoa with homemade dressing (balsamic vinegar, mustard, Mandarin orange slices [water packed], maple syrup and garlic)

-home baked tortilla chips with homemade hummus (chickpeas, tahini, soy milk, dates, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, sea salt)

-homemade quinoa bread (tri-coloured quinoa, Mrs. Dash and water)

Greek salad layered dip: hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumber, and black olives topped with feta cheese

-corn on the cob

potato salad (with mayo)

-coleslaw (with mayo)

-potato and cheese casserole (likely mayo/oil as well)

-chocolate cake

July 2

6.25 eating hours (12:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.)

-4.3 km walk (44 min.)

-2 km walk (22 min.)

-2.4 km walk (27 min)

-Starbucks Roobois tea soy milk latte with 2 pumps sugar

-fruit bowl: apple, Mandarin orange, banana and grapes

IMG_4782

-home baked corn chips and homemade hummus (chickpeas, tahini, soy milk, dates, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, sea salt)

– salad: spinach, kale, arugula, Italian parsley, cilantro, black beans, white navy beans, red pepper, yellow pepper, broccoli, barley, quinoa with homemade dressing (balsamic vinegar, mustard, Mandarin orange slices [water packed], maple syrup and garlic)

-home baked tortilla chips with homemade hummus (chickpeas, tahini, soy milk, dates, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, sea salt)

-baked potatoes with homemade horseradish bean sauce (white navy beans [cannellini beans], horseradish, soy milk, garlic)

-homemade quinoa bread (see recipe) with homemade hummus (see above)

IMG_4749

Quinoa bread cooking in oven.

1/2 glass of red wine

-1 probiotic capsule

Note: this last day of the week I went to a movie with my hubbie and daughter. They ate popcorn, candy and a soft drink. Not me. Just water. 😊 I felt tempted and deprived for maybe 5 min. Then I used my power to overpower the call of salty/fatty crappy popcorn that only causes havoc in our bodies.

Feeling good about my week. I do have a social event tonight that will test me for sure. This week also includes my wedding anniversary. We’ll see how I do this week.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Week 8 Food Log 4.5/10

Week 8 Food Log 4.5/10

As I write this, I realize that 8 whole weeks have gone by since I started to keep a weekly food log. Wow! The first thing that came to mind was how much I could have accomplished in 8 weeks. Maybe an 8-15 lb weight loss?

Nope. The first couple of weeks were awesome, and then I kinda let things go. 8 weeks is a lot of time. Geez. What I could have done…

But wait, there are some positives here.

First…I kept a food log for 8 weeks consistently. Woo hoo! Good for me! Sometimes I felt lazy. Sometimes I forgot to record what I ate and had to really think about it or ask my husband what we had for dinner the day before. Sometimes I just didn’t feel like doing it.

In the end, I followed through with my goal and achieved it by being consistent. I won’t do a weekly food log forever, but for right now, it’s helping me see the reality of what I put in my mouth, and I’m proud of my accomplishment. 🙂

The second thing that’s positive (even though 8 weeks went by and I veered off course with my diet/eating pattern) is that I reminded myself that when I don’t achieve my goals, I’m not going to be too hard on myself because it’s ok to not be perfect. It’s actually quite a relief not feeling bad or guilty about it.

After the last few weeks of eating a lot of crap, my taste buds have adjusted to eating fatty and processed foods. I’m craving cheese, potato chips and dip, etc. That’s what happens when you don’t eat well for a few weeks.

The good news? On the last day of this week, I recommitted to eating well–whole foods that are mostly plant-based. I’m happy with how the day went, and I even fit in some exercise. Yay!

Let’s hope I can continue to eat well so I can feel and look healthy, and so I can drop some of those extra pounds.

Speaking of pounds, have a look at where I landed on the morning of June 25.

May 21 to May 28 -6.2 lbs

May 21 to June 4 -6.4 lbs

May 21 to June 11 –2.8 lbs

May 21 to June 18 -3.4 lbs

May 21 to June 25 – 0 lbs

Back to square one. Time to reset.

The key word is “reset”. I have a new opportunity to try again and be successful. I’m definitely not giving up. We can reset any time we want, which is a powerful feeling. Every single day is a new day.

Time to get back into the game instead of crying “woe is me”.

A 4.5/10  rating this week definitely says it all…a pretty poor rating, but I’m looking forward to fighting against my crappy food cravings as my taste buds adjust to the fresh and flavorful food nature has to offer (whole, plant-based foods like greens, vegetables, rice, potatoes, legumes and fruit). Once I get reset to enjoy the real, natural foods again, it will be easier to stay on track.

Here’s a quick recap of my week:

Meals in restaurants– 5 (too many)

Days without alcohol– 2 (not enough)

Exercise- 2 days (better than 0 last week, but I need to move on more days)

Here’s week 8:

June 19       

12.5 eating hours (8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

-banana

-Starbucks soy latte with 2 pumps of vanilla syrup

-potato chips

-chocolate chip cookie

-ice cream with caramel sauce

-piece of bread with egg salad

-half of one Beyond Meat burger

-potato chips and dip

-cheese and crackers

-1 Greyhound cooler

-pan-fried shrimp in butter with garlic

-baked potato with sour cream and chives

-zucchini

June 20

16.5 hours of eating (8:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.)

-zucchini and sweet potato with Frank’s hot sauce

-Starbucks soy latte with 2 pumps vanilla syrup

-watermelon

-pineapple

-rice noodles with veggies and kung pao sauce from restaurant

-garlic toast from restaurant

-club soda with lime

spinach and cheese dip with tortilla chips and mini toast (buttered) from restaurant

-1 red wine sangria

-1 lime margarita

-1 glass of white wine

3 glasses of red wine

-pizza (veggies and blue cheese)

June 21

9.75 eating hours (9:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

-almond milk latte with a bit of sugar (from restaurant)

sandwich with tomato, lettuce and havarti cheese and Caesar salad (from restaurant)

-mashed potatoes with sour cream

-potato chips with dip

-cherries

Caesar salad (from restaurant)

-macaroni and cheese (from restaurant)

-cheese toast (from restaurant)

-no alcohol

June 22

-9.5 eating hours (10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

– almond milk latte with a bit of sugar (from restaurant)

tomato and havarti sandwich on sourdough with mayo and soup (potato and kale) (from restaurant)

-1 Old Fashioned

-1 glass of red wine

-French fries

-spring rolls made with rice paper, veggies and with hoisin sauce (from restaurant)

-Thai red curry soup with veggies (from restaurant)

Pad Thai (had oil, from restaurant)

-Thai green curry noodles and mushrooms (had oil, from restaurant)

June 23

11.5 hours of eating (9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

-nectarine

-mashed potatoes

-Starbucks matcha tea latte made soy milk and 2 portions of cane sugar

-nectarine

shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic

-baked potato

-zucchini sautéed in butter and garlic

IMG_4595

potato chips and dip

-2 glasses of red wine

June 24

11 eating hours (12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.)

-1 hour cleaning house

-leftover Thai green curry noodles with shrimp and mushrooms (had oil, from restaurant)

-mashed potatoes with soy milk

-potato chips and dip

-2 Mike’s hard lemonade

-2 glasses of red wine

-2 oz of green apple vodka

-cheese and crackers

-grilled mushrooms, peppers, onion

rhubarb pie and vanilla ice cream

-popcorn cooked in oil

June 25

8.5 eating hours (12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

-2.16 km walk

-mango juice

-apple

-Starbucks soy caramel macchiato (2 pumps of the syrup and caramel drizzle)

-salad with spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, tomato, red onion, beans (six bean variety), and homemade dressing (balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic and onion powder)

IMG_4615

-snap peas

-baked potato with chives

-Japanese yams with Frank’s hot sauce

-cherries

-mandarin orange

I’m feeling good about my last day this week and plan to continue eating healthy most of the time.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Week 6 Food Log 5/10 :(

Week 6 Food Log  5/10 :(

Week 6 Summary 5/10

Low rating this past week due to my consumption of foods I rarely eat (fish and fish/seafood in sushi). Also, on two occasions, I had a Dairy Queen blizzard! I went a bit crazy on four days this week.

I had 3 alcohol-free days..so that could have been worse.

I did not exercise once…not good.

Total weight loss:

May 21 to May 28 -6.2 lbs

May 21 to June 4 -6.4 lbs

May 21 to June 11 –2.8 lbs

Yikes! That means I gained 3.6 lbs over the last week. But you know what? It’s not the end of the world, and I’m not going to value myself based on a number on the scale.

I didn’t beat myself up after veering off course, like I normally do. And you know what? It feels awesome!

Ok…well, there might have been some light punches, but honestly, I enjoyed the indulgences and decided to move on. I feel proud of myself.

So, here’s what I ate. It’s obvious to see where I indulged too much.

June 5

-10.5 eating hours (11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)

-homemade matcha tea soy latte with turmeric and dates

-baked Japanese yams with Frank’s hot sauce

-homemade smoothie with kale, spinach, banana, frozen berries, green powder and water

-pumpkin seeds (whole, with shell)

-baked potato with green onions and horseradish (a little dairy)

-baked Japanese yam with Frank’s hot sauce

popcorn cooked in oil

-dark chocolate

-no alcohol

June 6

-11.75 hours of eating (10:15 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

-Starbucks matcha tea soy latte with 1 portion of cane sugar

-mini cucumber and snap peas

-baked Japanese yam with Frank’s hot sauce

-salad with mixed greens, tomato, banana peppers, beets, hummus (oil), dressing (mustard and balsamic vinegar)

1 Old Fashioned

-1 glass of red wine

-bread and butter

-mushrooms stuffed with escargot, in butter

-sauteed shrimp, in butter

haddock fish, blackened with maple sauce, mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans and red peppers (from restaurant-oil, butter)

IMG_4356

-tiny piece of chocolate truffle cake

-green apple vodka

June 7

-8 hours of eating (10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

-sautéed spinach, kale and onion with Mrs. Dash

-Starbucks soy latte with 1 part vanilla syrup

-mini cucumber and grape tomatoes

-sweet potato and Japanese yam with Frank’s hot sauce

-black bean burger on white bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers, relish, mustard and bbq sauce.

-white rice with veggies

-apple

-mandarin orange

-baked sweet potato and Japanese yams with Frank’s hot sauce

-edamame with salt

-no alcohol

June 8

-10 hours of eating (10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

-zucchini

-homemade matcha tea soy latte

-mini cucumber and grape tomatoes

-Japanese yams with Frank’s hot sauce

-pumpkin seeds in the shell

-faux cheese and crackers

1-half scotch and half GM drink

-1 green apple vodka

-2 glasses of red wine

-baked potato with chives

-broccoli

-asparagus

pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes (oil)

-peanut butter M&M’s, OMG’s and chocolate covered almonds

June 9

-11 hours of eating (10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

English muffins with homemade avocado spread (avocado, salt)

IMG_4458

-Japanese yams and Frank’s hot sauce

-strawberries

-mandarin orange

veggie broth with veggies and black bean chile paste, garlic, cilantro, chives, (at a restaurant-with oil)

deep fried shrimp and French fries at restaurant

-cocktail sauce

-ketchup

Dairy Queen blizzard

-popcorn cooked in oil

-no alcohol

6c281c1a-678c-4a07-86cf-4d35d1b8e46f

June 10

-10 eating hours (11:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

-homemade latte with vanilla and maple syrup

-baked Japanese yams with Frank’s hot sauce

-potato chips

-homemade salad with black beans, cucumber, tomato, artichoke hearts, lemon juice and a bit of store-bought raspberry vinaigrette

-baked potato with chives

1 gin and tonic cooler

-1 greyhound cooler

June 11

-10 eating hours (10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

-baked Japanese yam with Frank’s hot sauce

-mandarin orange

-salad with spinach, tomatoes, banana peppers, broccoli and balsamic dressing (oil)

-black bean burger on 1 piece of rye bread with mustard, spinach and tomato

sushi (veggie, tuna, crab)

3 glasses of red wine

-Dairy Queen blizzard

Now, that the week is over, I wonder if I might be a bit off track for more than a few days. I’m craving foods I normally don’t crave (ice cream, for example). It’s because I’ve been eating that stuff, so now my body wants more.

I have a busy time at work this week and next, finishing up teaching for the year, so we’ll see how long I allow myself to stay off track.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli