Tag Archives: healthy

Health and Not Weight Loss (or My Current Game Plan)

Since getting sick, I’ve lost a pretty significant amount of weight. This is a good thing since I’ve been working on losing weight and I’m pleasantly surprised that the weight has stayed off. Typically when I lose weight quickly like I did, it comes back just as quickly as it came off. But this time has been different and I’m starting to be ok with that and not in constant fear that the scale is going to jump up like crazy the next day.

It does freak me out that many people are commenting on my weight loss. I’m hearing it from so many people lately. I know it’s a good thing, but I still feel like I didn’t earn it. But I’m trying to just accept that now I’ve been keeping the weight off even though I’m not sick anymore and focusing on that.

While I am trying to lose weight, I’ve decided that it isn’t my focus right now. I’m basically preparing my body for surgery now and I take that very seriously. When I was preparing to have my hip surgery, I did the UCLA RFO diet to lose weight. Being at a low weight was good for that surgery since it was helping to make my joints have less weight on them while I was recovering. But I still hate that I lost and gained that weight so quickly. But that was the best option at the time to get my body ready for surgery.

I’m really working on the physical part of surgery preparation. And yes, that does involve working on weight loss but that is more of an after thought for me. I know that this surgery will be tough on my core, so I want to get my core as strong as I can. After surgery, I won’t be able to do any core or abdominal work for a while as I heal. So being extra strong there will help with that. Being flexible will help too since I know I won’t be able to bend like normal for a bit of time too, so I’m working on stretching a lot and making sure I won’t have a hard time when I’m not able to move around as much.

I’m doing this by pushing myself even more at Orangetheory. I know I won’t be able to work out like normal right after surgery, so I want to make as much progress as I can now so the setback won’t be as bad. I’m looking into more workout stuff I can do at home that will help get my body ready for this. And I’m working harder than ever on my eating disorder recovery because that will help with the weight loss aspect of preparation. I know that the smaller I am the easier the surgery will be. The surgeon will have an easier time getting the tumors out and my scars should be smaller. Those are good things to focus on when I’m having a bad moment.

And there is a lot of mental preparation I’m doing to get ready to have surgery next year. Right now, the only thing I need to focus on is hoping the tumors get smaller. The smaller the tumors are, the less of my liver that they will have to remove (which means less liver I need to regenerate). My mom is a big believer of how much thinking positively can do to help your body. When she was dealing with chemo and radiation, she spent time each day imagining that little Pac-Men (that’s what she called them) were going to her tumor and eating it away.

I can’t see Pac-Men in my liver working on my tumor, but I have my own thing. For some reason, when I think of my tumor getting smaller, I think of the Dwarfs in Snow White with their pickaxes. So I spend time each day thinking of them using their pickaxes and busting up the tumor. I know that the tumor won’t go away completely from this positive thinking, but I’d love to see them significantly smaller when I have my next MRI in April.

I’m doing whatever I can to make this surgery successful. I’m grateful that I have time to get my body and mind prepared as much as possible. I know that even if I’m not as skinny as I was during my hip surgery, that doesn’t mean that I can’t be healthier than how I was back then. Health is the focus because that is what will control how successful the surgery is and how easy my recovery will be after.

Learning Lessons (or What Being Sick Taught Me)

I’m finally feeling almost 90% better now. This past week seemed to drag on as I felt off, but I’m glad that I almost feel like myself again. I’m questioning if the residual uncomfortableness is related to my liver, but I won’t find that out until I meet with the surgeon in a week and a half. And I think that going to Disneyland was good for my mental health and that helped me to feel better.

I’m still being very careful with what I’m eating and trying to take things easier than I normally do. I don’t want to do anything that will make me feel horrible again and being cautious makes me feel a bit in control in a situation that feels very out of control to me right now.

Now that I’m almost over whatever stomach thing I had, I’ve been reflecting a bit on what good things came out of this. Obviously, discovering that there may be a cyst on my liver is something good to learn about. If I didn’t have the stomach pain, I wouldn’t have known until it was worse and it may have been a more urgent situation. And I’m starting to wonder if my stomach pain was my body telling me to get checked out. I know when my mom found out she had cancer, it was because of a suspicious bruise that wouldn’t go away. The bruise had nothing to do with cancer, but it was what got her to the doctor and to do all the medical testing. Maybe my body was doing the same thing.

I’ve been on a pretty restricted diet since last Wednesday. At first, it was just clear liquids (chicken broth and jello) and has moved to soft foods. I’m starting to eat more normally now, but I’m still keeping things a bit restricted. This doesn’t feel like a weight loss diet, but that’s what it is. I’m eating mainly fruits and some vegetables with very little meat. This is not the most restrictive diet I’ve been on, but it’s up there.

But because of these restrictions I’ve been rediscovering foods that I love or that I forgot could be just fine for a meal. I’ve rediscovered cream of wheat (although the exact packets I loved before don’t seem to be in stores anymore). I make it with water and have a banana with it and it’s a pretty filling breakfast or lunch. I’ve had cheese and crackers for dinner one night when I was feeling a bit full and knew I still needed to eat something. And I’ve been looking at making the sautéed vegetables again that I used to have a lot when I was on the cleanse I did last year.

All of those foods are things that I could have had before, but I either forgot I enjoyed them or was so focused on other things that I wanted to eat that they just didn’t come to mind. These are all good and healthy things for me to eat and I need to work on keeping them in regular rotation. While I’m still a believer that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, there is a difference in how you feel when your calories are from a variety of foods versus a binge of one food.

I’ve also learned how to be gentle with myself. It’s not easy to take things easy, especially when you know you have so much you need to get done. I don’t want to be lazy and sit on the couch all day because that reminds me of myself when I wasn’t working hard at bettering myself. But sometimes, you need to have those days on the couch doing nothing. It was important for me to do that so I could get better and if I had pushed myself I know I wouldn’t be feeling as good as I do now.

And finally, I’ve learned to accept the out of control feeling again that I really hate. Right now because my liver isn’t healthy, I can’t take any painkillers. I hate the idea that I might be in pain and can’t take something to make it better. But I have to deal with that now and it’s been a good thing for me. I may have been taking too many painkillers for what I really need (I usually took 3-4 a week so it wasn’t close to what the maximum I could take would be). I’ve had to tolerate a bunch of needles lately. In the last month I’ve had 3 blood draws, 3 shots, and 1 IV for an MRI. And I’ve got at least one more IV coming up next week. It’s not fun, it’s not easy, and I can’t do anything to change it. So I have to learn how to accept something I can’t fix and make it the best situation I can.

While I wish I could have learned all these things without getting sick, at least knowing something good came out of it makes me feel a bit better about the situation. I know that I may need this positive thinking to continue as I do more tests on my liver and find out what a surgeon thinks needs to happen. Maybe I will learn more lessons from this whole liver situation to make it even seem more worthwhile that I had to go through something that isn’t that great. I know how easy it can be for me to get sucked into feeling sorry for myself (I had that happen when I got sick last week) and I am refocusing my energy on learning what I can from the circumstances I’m in.

Staying Healthy (or 2 Needles in 30 Minutes)

I’m usually pretty on top of my health. I have to be since I have some on-going medical issues, but it’s easy to let some of the regular stuff slide from time to time. Recently, I had my annual appointment with my doctor and she mentioned that it would be time for me to get blood work done again since it’s been a few years since everything has been checked. I know this is necessary, but I hate doing it.

And in the same conversation, she mentioned that flu shots were available and that I could get one while in the office that day. I turned down the flu shot then (I was still over getting sick and didn’t want to risk feeling off after the shot), but I promised her that I would be getting my flu shot soon. I don’t want to get the flu, but I do miss when they offered the nasal spray vaccine since I didn’t have to deal with a shot then.

While I wanted to put off the blood work and the shot, I had to get my blood work done sooner rather than later. I have to do a MRI cancer screening (more on that after I do it) and part of the stuff I had to do before the MRI was a blood test. So I had to get in and get it done so I went on my day off this week.

I was more than prepared to be at the hospital for a few hours. The blood work area can be super crowded and I’ve waited a while there before. And for my flu shot, I would have to go to urgent care because being a faint risk means I don’t want to sit in a chair for my shot (I’ve fallen out of chairs before and it’s not fun). So when I went to the hospital, I had my book and my phone to entertain me and I tried to keep my heart rate down and my breath steady.

I did the blood work first (that one is the worst one so I wanted to get it over with) and as expected the waiting area was really crowded. The way they do blood work at the hospital is that you grab a number, check in at the desk, and then you wait for your number to be called. I grabbed my number and waited to check in, and I noticed that they were on number 220 so I figured I had a while to wait.

blood-work

To my surprise, as soon as I was checked in my number was called before I could even sit and relax. I have no idea why I was next when there were plenty of other people waiting before I got there, but I went back to get it done.

Fortunately, the woman taking my blood was very understanding and didn’t make me feel bad for shaking or crying (yes, I was crying as soon as I sat in the recliner where they take your blood). She was very calm and was telling me step by step what she was doing and warned me before she stuck me. I was grateful for that because some people try to surprise me thinking it will make it easier, but that’s when I usually faint.

It seemed like it took forever (they needed 5 vials of blood) and my vision was getting dark and blurry from time to time. But I never fully passed out and that is a big accomplishment to me! I still hated the process, but since my MRI will involve an IV I’m glad that this longish needle time went better than I expected.

As soon as the needle was out of my arm, I took some time to calm down and wipe my face (I’m so glad I don’t wear makeup when I go to do blood work) and then made my way over to urgent care for the second needle.

Again, I was expecting to wait a while. I’ve been to urgent care several times and usually there is at least a 30 minute wait. And when I was checking in, the person next to me asked the receptionist how long the wait was and she was told 90 minutes. So I figured it would have some time to calm down and read while waiting.

Nope! Within a few minutes a nurse called me back so I could get my flu shot on an exam table (this is not normal, but I’m glad they allowed me to do it). The nurse was very nice and he understood my issues with needles. And he also told me when he was going to give me the shot so I wasn’t surprised. I’m not sure if my body was still in shock from the blood draw, but I didn’t feel the needle and I didn’t feel like I was going to faint.

By the time I was walking back to my car, I realized that only 32 minutes had passed since getting the parking ticket for the parking lot. I survived 2 needle encounters within 30 minutes and there was no fainting! This was a victory in my mind, but I know I’m not totally over my needle issues yet. But hopefully this will be like the dentist where it gets easier each time I go in.

My arm still hurts from the flu shot and I have a pretty decent bruise from the blood draw, but I’m glad I decided to do both my needle things in one day and was able to get it over with quickly and without too much drama. And in case anyone is wondering, my blood work came back with everything looking good!

Finding My Way Back On Track (or A New Balance)

I have been doing pretty great with my food lately. I’m cooking a lot at home now. Most of my meals are pretty boring, but I’m ok with that. I’ve found that with the boring food (like veggies and a turkey burger) I don’t get as bored with the food as quickly as I do when I make fancier things. I’m not sure why that is, but I can totally eat a turkey burger every day without issue when I can’t eat 3 days of leftovers. I’m aware that I might be in a bit of a rut and I’ve been trying to remember other things that are easy to make (and I can make 1 serving of) for other meals, but I’m pretty good with how things have been going for a while.

But then last week, I got off track pretty badly. Fortunately for me, being off track now is not as bad as it was before. I’m still not ordering delivery food (although I was craving Chinese food the other day) so if I want to eat “bad” food I have to go out and get it. So those bad days are not as bad as I know they could be. But they are still pretty bad and I’m still having issues coming back from them.

This time, my bad days lasted a couple of days before I was able to pull myself out of it. Ironically, it was the meal at the Hollywood Bowl that got me on track again (even though that meal wasn’t that great). I’m not sure what triggered me to get back to what I should be eating, but I am grateful that it happened. It did have an effect on the scale, but because I’ve been doing better lately my bad days were a weight that was my good day weight in the past. I’m almost back down to where I was before the bad days, so that’s a relief for me.

I know that it’s totally normal to have good days and bad days and that they have to be balanced out. That’s totally normal for everyone, but since I’ve never really had normal eating habits it feels really weird to me. I’m trying to remember that slip-ups are a part of life and they don’t have to make the rest of my day/week/month just as crazy food-wise. It’s a new system that I’m trying to figure out and it’s still very foreign to me.

Sometimes I do wonder if living alone makes things tougher on me because I don’t have someone to use as an example, but then again when I had roommates I actually had worse eating habits than I do now. With roommates (and none of them that might be reading this are the ones I’m talking about), I found it almost impossible to cook or use the kitchen. There were never clean plates or dishes and the kitchen was such a mess that all I wanted to do was grab my food and get out of there (again, any of my past roommates that would read this, know that this isn’t about you). At least now, all the messes in the kitchen are my own and I try to do my dishes every night (or the next morning if my evening gets too full).

I’m trying to keep myself accountable for my food choices and I’m doing ok with that. Even on the worst days, I’m still maintaining 100% food tracking accuracy. I’m not always tracking where I can see the calorie counts, but I’m writing down everything I eat in an app that allows me just to write the food and track any feelings I want to put down. I’m not hiding from what I’m doing like I’ve done in the past. I have to confront exactly what I’ve done every time I have a bad day.

Finding the balance between eating foods I’m craving but still staying on track is tough, but each time I find a new way to keep myself accountable helps and makes me feel like recovery is possible. It’s also made me think about what recovery will actually look like for me, and I’m finally letting go of the idea that recovery means no more bad days or cravings. That’s not ever going to be my reality, and letting go of that idea that has been in my head for years (and decades) is tough. But it’s also made me much more hopeful for what my recovery will look like and the idea that I might be closer to it than I thought.

My Medication Routines (or Feeling Like An Old Lady)

Growing up, I didn’t take any medication or supplements on a regular basis. I took medication when I was sick (and since I got strep throat multiple times a year that did feel like a regular medication), but beyond when I was sick I didn’t take anything. Not even a multi-vitamin. It just wasn’t something that my family did and since I ate a pretty decent diet there was no need for any supplements.

The first time I had to take a medication on a regular basis was right before I turned 18. When I was getting ready to leave for college, I had a doctor’s appointment where I was checked out and got up-to-date on immunizations. One of the things they check for is TB. This is done by a skin test where they inject a little amount of a TB protein under your skin and then you return a few days later and they measure the bump. My senior year of high school I did tutoring at low-income schools and I must have been exposed to TB because my test came back positive for TB exposure. Even though I had my tutoring job, it was pretty unexpected that I would test positive for exposure and since I was leaving for college soon we had to get everything in order quickly.

I had a chest x-ray and tested negative for TB (most people with exposure don’t have the disease), but I was still required to take a year of medication to make sure that my exposure remained dormant in my body. That was a year of medication (which my body didn’t react well to) and a year of a B6 supplement because the medication can cause a deficiency. I had to do this the first time I was living away from home, so I took it seriously and never missed a dose. I knew that I needed to take the medication for a real reason and I didn’t want to make any mistakes or have to extend how long I was taking it for any reason.

Since then, the only other medication I took on a regular basis outside of painkillers for my hip was birth control. This of course changed when I started on Vyvanse. Then I was taking 2 medications in the morning and that wasn’t too bad or difficult to manage. Then my Vyvanse dosage increased and I started taking one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Once I started the afternoon dose, I had to add melatonin to my routine and take that before bed (the Vyvanse can make it difficult to sleep).

Taking medications 3 times during the day isn’t always easy to remember, so I have an app to remind me to take my mid-day and nighttime things (it’s easy for me to remember my morning stuff). It’s actually pretty nice to have an app to remind me especially at night because it’s a reminder to turn off the tv or stop doing whatever I’m doing and start getting ready for bed. Since using the app, I’ve been able to get to bed earlier on a regular basis and I know that even without the melatonin I’m sleeping better now (so that’s a bonus!).

But lately I’ve been working on other things that can help my health and that has included taking supplements. I’ve tried many times to take a multi-vitamin, but my stomach can’t really tolerate them. But I discovered that I don’t have the same stomach issues with the gummy ones, so I take those now. My mom recommended that I start taking Zyflamend and some sort of oil, so I started those. I tried fish oil, but my body wasn’t feeling good on those so I switched to flax oil. And then the new hip surgeon recommended I add glucosamine so I got some online and started taking them yesterday.

My mid-day and nighttime pill routines haven’t changed, but now I’m taking so much stuff in the morning to keep me at my best.

Morning Medicine

I know that some people don’t believe in supplements, but I don’t think they are doing any harm to me so I figure that even a minor benefit will be worth it. And it takes me so little time in the morning to take everything so it’s not a big inconvenience to my life.

But I never thought I would be someone who takes a ton of pills each day. That always seemed like an old person thing and I don’t think I’m that old yet. But it seems that more people my age are looking into more supplements now than people did when I was younger, so it makes sense. Hopefully all of these things will help me as I’m working on my recovery and will keep my body at its best for as long as possible.

Cooking Routine (or Adding Flavor)

I’m working really hard at cooking more at home. With my challenge for this month being no delivery food, I must have better options in my house to eat so I don’t fail at the challenge.

I think what I really struggled with in the past was the sheer number of options for foods to make. I have dozens of cookbooks (I recently gave some away so I think it might just be under 2 dozen cookbooks now) and all of them have lots of recipes that seem super delicious and I know I could probably make them. I’m a good cook and I can follow a recipe, so I don’t worry too much about not being able to make something (although I do worry about something not tasting good if I make it).

I think the other problem with a majority of the recipes in the cookbooks are the number of ingredients that a recipe requires. Maybe if I had a huge kitchen I’d keep a ton of ingredients on hand to be able to make anything with very little grocery shopping required, but that’s not my situation. My kitchen is a small but functional and I don’t have much storage or counter space. So I have to keep things limited that I store. So many of the recipes seem like I would have to fill an entire grocery cart with the ingredients just for that meal. That’s expensive, that’s a lot of stuff to store, and chances are most of it would spoil before I used it up.

So a lot of the things I’ve been making in the past have been pretty plain. I do a lot of the same veggie bowls that I made a year ago on the cleanse I did. Even though the meatloaf I make is a bit fancier, it’s still not a ton of ingredients and it’s really easy to put together. I keep lots of things that are easy to make (like turkey burgers and veggies) in my freezer so it’s not too difficult to put together a basic dinner. And I’m glad that this is a habit that I’m still sticking with.

But I’m still looking to bring more variety into my cooking because even though basic foods can be healthy, they can be boring. And I know that if I get bored with something I won’t keep eating it (that’s why I stopped making veggie bowls for so long). So I’m working on easy ways to add variety to the flavor of my foods but don’t require too much effort or shopping.

This past week I had a couple of different meals that worked out really well. Toward the beginning of the week, I made a turkey burger for dinner (which to me is perfect just plain on its own). But I knew I’d want a good side dish to go with it. I had picked up some broccoli because I figured I’d make broccoli at some point, so I figured this was as good of a time as any. I steamed the florets in the microwave and then put those into a bowl to cool a bit. Then I browned some butter in the microwave (it’s a bit messy, but the flavor is totally worth it) and after that was done added some fresh lemon juice to it. My mom does this to broccoli all the time and it’s one of my favorites. And it made a delicious and nice looking dinner that night.

Turkey Burger

Next time I’ll make more of it because I ate so much of it and I need to do some adjustments to the flavor of the sauce (I needed more lemon), but it was really good and reminded me how good healthy food is.

Then on Wednesday night after my workout I knew I needed to cook dinner. I used to hate cooking dinner on workout nights, but I’m starting to be ok with it. In the past, I might microwave a dinner or get delivery after a workout because I was tired. But honestly it’s not that much harder for me to cook (I know, everyone has been telling me this for years but I didn’t believe it) and as long as I have things in my kitchen that are easy enough to put together I can get it done really quickly.

One thing that I’m a bit obsessed with right now are smashed potatoes. I use baby potatoes and cook them for a few minutes in the microwave. Then I smash them down with a paper towel and bake them until they are super crispy. I usually use my oven to bake them in, but on Wednesday I wasn’t using my oven for anything else. So I tried making them in my toaster oven. And to add some flavoring to them, I tried this new seasoning grinder I got at Trader Joes.

Garlic Salt

While the potatoes were baking, I cooked up some chicken sausages and thankfully I timed things out pretty well because the potatoes were done pretty soon after the chicken was. While I’ve made these potatoes a lot lately, adding this new garlic salt seasoning really made a huge difference and made them so good! I’m thinking maybe I’ll try this seasoning on some chicken next week.

While I’m super happy that I’m still keeping up with cooking at home and that I’m taking more chances and finding more things I enjoy making, I’m still worried that this is a phase and I will go back to my old ways. Maybe being cautiously optimistic is better than feeling overly confident that I’ve changed and will never go back to how I was before. I really want to keep making steps toward a healthier (and cheaper) life and I know that cooking is a huge part of that. Hopefully I’m able to keep this up.

Still Cooking (or It’s Almost A Habit)

I’m scared to be too excited about this, but I’m happy to report that I’m still doing a lot of cooking at home. I’m not doing this because I have to for a specific reason (like a diet plan or limiting food options). I’m doing this because I want to.

Most of my cooking is still pretty basic. It’s not as much of a lazy thing, it’s more because I don’t want to have to buy a ton of ingredients or risk a recipe coming out badly. Turkey burgers and sautéed veggies are still a staple for me. It’s super easy and fast to put together and while it isn’t the most flavorful meal it keeps me full. And when I’m getting home late after a workout, I really don’t want to have to spend a long time putting together food.

But when I do have the time, I’m testing more and more recipes so I can have more things that are easy enough to put together and are very tasty. So many cookbooks seem to have dozens of ingredients (and things that I don’t always keep in my house), so I’ve been doing a lot of searching online for recipes that include a lot of what I already have (or something that I decided to pick up at the store that week).

This past weekend while doing my grocery shopping, I decided to pick up some ground beef. I honestly had no plan of what I would do with it, but I figured I could make meatballs or hamburgers or something. So I did some searching online for fun ground beef recipes and what came up most often was meatloaf. I’ve made meatloaf before and it didn’t come out so great because the outside was overcooked and the inside was undercooked. But then I started to do a search for meatloaf muffins and found enough basic recipes to put something together myself.

I made meatloaf (made pretty simply with a pound of ground beef and added a minced onion, diced a red pepper, added some ketchup (about 4 tbs), some Worcestershire sauce (about 1 tbs), a cup of bread crumbs, an egg, and some salt and pepper) and mixed it up pretty well. Then I took a disposable cupcake tin and divided the mixture into 6 portions. I baked it for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees (I waited until a meat thermometer got to 160 degrees in the middle of one of the muffins) and they looked pretty amazing. I also made smashed potatoes (I microwaved baby potatoes until they were soft, smushed them onto a baking sheet, and baked them with some garlic olive oil while the meatloaf baked) and my food looked pretty incredible.

More Home Cooking

Between the prep time, the baking time, and the time to let things cool down so I could serve myself; it was only about an hour from start to finish (and I was able to do all the dishes while the food was cooking). That’s not bad at all and the food tasted pretty great! The potatoes could have used a bit more olive oil on them (and maybe some actual garlic on them too) and the meatloaf had a bit too much Worcestershire in it, but overall I was pretty happy. And I know the next time I make the meatloaf I’ll add some more veggies in the mix because you couldn’t tell they were in there at all. Maybe I’ll add some mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini since I usually have those in my fridge anyway. And the recipe is pretty easy to double, so I can always make even more and freeze them so I have easy microwave meals on days I’m too tired to cook (instead of having limited time to eat leftovers in the fridge).

I’m seriously proud of myself for cooking when there isn’t a specify reason I have to. This is the start of making cooking more of a habit for me. And I know that this habit has started and stopped for me a couple of times in the past, but this time things are different. I’m not trying to be trendy (by following a specific plan or tying to bulk cook). Those trendy cooking things work for so many people but I guess it doesn’t help me. I just need to cook when I feel like it, allow myself to have easy meals on nights that I don’t, and to have enough variety to not get sick of what I’ve made and want to go and order delivery food instead.

Doing More Cooking (or Maybe It Does Save Time)

I think we’ve all seen tons of articles that talk about how cooking from home is so much better than getting take out, delivery, or going out to eat. Obviously, it is cheaper (unless you are making something really elaborate or with a ton of ingredients). But there are also dozens of articles that I’ve seen over the years saying that it’s much faster to make your own dinner than it takes for a delivery person to get to your house.

Cooking has always felt like an event to me. Maybe it’s because I live alone and cooking for one person isn’t always that fun. But it’s never felt like part of the routine or natural in my day. I’m really working on fixing this because I was doing great cooking all my own meals while I was on the cleanse a year ago. It’s been really tough for me to get back into really cooking but it’s an effort that I’m working on right now.

After making my chicken dish on Monday, I was feeling a bit better about cooking again. It was my first big cooking thing in a long time and it did feel great to cook again. And since there were leftovers, I knew I’d have some home cooked meals for a few more meals.

I had ever intention of eating the leftover chicken for dinner the next night, but I ended up eating it for lunch and then feeling very uninspired to make dinner that night. I’m not happy I did this, but I ordered delivery food. While the delivery food tastes good while I’m eating it, I know my body doesn’t love it. I feel a bit sluggish after eating and I know that it is a big factor in my weight gain.

I don’t know why I ordered the food. Obviously I needed dinner, but I didn’t need to order food. It’s almost like an impulse or reflex that I didn’t think about until after the fact. I need to work on being in the moment or more aware when I do this, because I know that I could have done without the delivery food.

From the time I placed my order for food until the time I was eating was just over an hour. And the next day I was determined to prove to myself that I can do much better for myself in an hour with food that I had in the house.

The next day, after getting home from my workout and showering, I cooked myself some dinner. It wasn’t anything fancy. I cut up some zucchini and an onion and cooked those in one pan until the zucchini was brown and the onions were soft. And in another pan (yes, it was a 2 pan dinner!), I cooked a frozen turkey burger that I had in the freezer from Trader Joes. I started the veggies first and then the turkey burger and by some miracle they were basically done at the exact same time.

I have to admit that not only was it healthy and tasted great, it looked pretty nice too.

Home Cooking

I sat down and ate my dinner and then started working on the dishes. There were a lot of dishes to do (knives, 2 pans, cooking utensils, a cutting board, the plate and fork I used to eat) so that took me a while to clean and figure out how to fit everything into the drying rack since I don’t have a dishwasher at my house. By the time that I was done cleaning, I felt like it had been a big production to cook and clean. But I looked at the clock and it hadn’t even been an hour from the time I started cooking until the time I was done with all the cleanup.

I know it shouldn’t have surprised me, but I was pretty shocked. I figured that obviously cooking is faster than waiting on delivery since you can easily cook in under and hour and most deliveries seem to be an hour. But I wasn’t expecting it to be faster to cook, eat, and clean in the time I wait for the delivery guy.

I’m not going to say that I will never order delivery food again. That would be a total lie. I know I’ll order it again because it is delicious and there is nothing wrong with an occasional treat. But I need to work on making it a treat and not a habit. And now I know that the most important thing for me is to make sure my house is stocked with foods that are easy to put together. I’d love to make awesome meals all the time, but when I’m tired and lazy I just need something that is easy to make and will be healthy and fill me up.

I’m sure that at some point it may be possible that I will “forget” this lesson and go back into my bad habits. I’m hoping that won’t be true, but I’ve learned that setbacks are a part of life and I can’t let those get me down. I need to be able to have my setback and then get right back to the regular game plan right away. And I’ve proved to myself that I can do that.

Splurging In San Diego (or Back To My Boring Food)

While I was in San Diego, I didn’t really worry about what I was eating.

The hotel that we stayed at had a full breakfast. So I ate eggs and a banana both mornings I was there (I also had a muffin one morning). Most of the other options at breakfast were carbs, and I’ve learned from experience that I do best when I have some protein at breakfast.

We didn’t really do lunch any day. I got something to eat, but it was more of a “grab what you want” sort of situation. I pretty much had leftovers from dinner or some of the banana bread that I brought down.

And for dinner, the first two nights my mom cooked. They were super delicious meals and she also made dessert. My family’s favorite dessert is her triple layer brownies (the bottom layer is the gluten-free brownie that I make). I had a brownie each night.

Triple Layer Brownies

We also went out to dinner at the restaurant in the building that my grandma lives in for the last night. That dinner is usually 3 courses, but I had to leave before dessert.

With all that eating, there was pretty much no exercise. Most of the day each day was spent in my grandma’s apartment. I really didn’t get out for a walk or anything each day. I didn’t think about the lack of exercise since I was so focused on family stuff.

That’s not the routine that I’m used to. But fortunately, I didn’t gain too much weight over the few days I was in San Diego. And as soon as I got home, I got back to my regular food.

I’m really eating pretty boring these days. But I’m ok with that. I like having a routine and a plan of what I will be eating throughout the day. I’m still working on what I want as a regular breakfast (right now it’s a multi-grain waffle with peanut butter and a banana), but I’ve got my lunch down.

At least on work days, I’m eating almost the same thing every day for lunch.

Turkey Burger Lunch

A turkey burger on top of some veggies (usually peas, corn, or broccoli). It’s a good meal to eat and I’m fortunate enough to work from home so I can make a nice lunch each day.

My dinner tends to be a rice bowl. Whether I add beans and veggies to the rice or a veggie burger, it’s usually brown rice based. I do want to work on adding more fruits and veggies to my meals, but I don’t want to force it either.

I’m sure that eventually I will get sick of this for lunch and dinner, but for now it’s working for me. And by making a majority of my days “good days”, those splurges I have occasionally don’t hurt my weight loss efforts too much.

But I am still thinking about those triple layer brownies. I wish I had one to eat today.

My Fit Foods (or Looking At Some Post Cleanse Options)

Now that I’m almost half way through the cleanse, I’m starting to think about what I’m going to be eating post-cleanse. While I’m going to do a small splurge, I do want to maintain a healthier lifestyle and keeping the majority of my diet fruits and vegetables.

So when I was invited to My Fit Foods in West Hollywood for a tour and hear more about their plan, I jumped at the chance!

This particular location of My Fit Foods (they have several locations in a couple of different states) is pretty close to my house and I’ve passed it when driving around town probably a few hundred times (I guess I pass it twice a week on average). But this was the first time that I ventured inside.

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I was greeted right away by Chelsey who is one of the nutrition coaches at the West Hollywood location. She told me how My Fit Foods was started by a personal trainer who wanted to make sure that his clients were going to see results from the work that they did inside the gym and outside the gym. So he created My Fit Foods to help his clients eat right and get the right balance of nutrients to help them maximize their workouts (and their results!).

My Fit Foods is a meal service that has options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. People can pre-order several days worth of food or they can come into the store and buy what they need and want.

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Everything that they have is fully cooked (no need to heat it up unless you want your meal to be hot) and they have lots of dietary restrictions that they can accommodate (like gluten-free, dairy free, vegetarian, Paleo, and low-sodium). And the food is good in your fridge for 4-5 days, so you can have several days of meals in your fridge and ready to go.

Chelsey explained that when most people get started at My Fit Foods, they take part in their 21 day challenge. In the 21 day challenge, you get paired up with a nutritional coach like Chelsey and they create a meal plan for you. These plans can be customized to your tastes and dietary restrictions. I got a change to check out some of the 21 day plans, and they look amazing! They have lots of different food options for each meal (all the dinners look super incredible and delicious so I can’t pick a favorite!). During the 21 day challenge, you come into My Fit Foods about twice a week and they have all the foods that you need for the coming days ready for you to take home!

It’s so simple for people to follow! I’ve done a meal delivery service before in college and for the first few days it was awesome. But because the service had so few options, after a few days, my meals were repeating themselves! I quickly got tired of the same few things rotating through. But when I looked at the 21 day challenge menu, while you might get some things twice within the 21 days, there is enough variety available to not repeat things every week!

After customers complete the 21 day challenge, most of them continue to order their foods from My Fit Foods. They can create their own meal plan or have guidance from a nutritional coach. But it is completely customizable and you do not have to order all of your meals from them if you know that there are a few days where you don’t need dinner (for example).

And for people who just need an occasional meal (so you don’t get delivery food that you regret), you can walk right into a My Fit Foods and pick up a single meal. They even have microwaves and tables there so you can eat inside if you don’t want to bring it home (or if you are having it as a lunch and don’t want to eat at work).

Finally, Chelsey showed me some of the supplements that they have available. I’m learning more and more about supplements now that I’m doing the cleanse, and what I think is awesome about the ones at My Fit Foods is that they are packets that contain everything you need (no need to purchase 5 or 6 different bottles).

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It was so awesome to get to go into My Fit Foods and sit down with Chelsey to learn all about it. They are definitely going on my list of good and fast choices that I can make if I’m not able to cook for myself. It’s so much better for me to run in there and grab a lunch than for me to get some fast food. And I need to be looking at smarter choices from now on if I want to continue the path that I’m going on. And it looks like My Fit Foods will fit into that plan perfectly!