Friday, April 30, 2010

Confession

Perhaps it's because I'm hormonal (yes I'm announcing my feminine instability to the universe via the internets), but the lack of interest or support on my blog is making me want to literally cry right now. This is my only outlet, my only cheerleading section, the only place I really get to talk about how !)(%%!)(#8 !(%0(* 0)(#*$)&!*&@#^!*!!!!!!!!! HARD this whole overweight thing is.

Okay I censored that last bit because my mom would say "do your students read this? you don't want any school districts denying you a job because of what you wrote on the internet do you?"

Well I'm frustrated MOM. I'm frustrated WORLD.

I just want everyone to know that even though I've been trying very hard to set up and maintain a lifestyle that would have me be more healthy, I'm not doing so well emotionally and I could really use some support. You have absolutely no idea how big of a difference it makes to me to know that other people are willing to try with me. To know that someone reads what I say. That someone understands and goes through it like I do. I feel like I'm doing this alone.

But I guess it doesn't matter if no one reads this or anything else I write anyway.

What are friends for if not to ignore the things that matter to you right?

I'm not fishing for sympathy or comments. I just feel like I need to be honest. I won't be posting for awhile.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

7 Day Exercise Challenge?

Wow. The response for the 30 day challenge was overwhelming. Perhaps more people would be willing to try 7 days?

Come on people! Get off your derrières and get moving!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

30 day exercise challenge!

Okay people. This is what I want to do. I want to challenge you and myself to 30 days of exercise. No days off. No taking a break. 30 days. You can do whatever exercises you want at any intensity you like.


I realize part of my lack of improvement in my physique is that I keep doing elements of my improved lifestyle irregularly. In other words, yes I walk...once or twice a week. Sure I work out on the elliptical ... when I remember to and I feel like it.

So! I'm going to challenge myself to stick to an exercise schedule that I can do EVERY DAY and I want you to do it with me. I think this way we can have lots of exercise buddies without actually having to coordinate schedules or meeting places with anyone. If anyone's had an exercise buddy you know how easy it can be to get off track because one or the other backed out at some point. Well, if someone misses a day in this challenge, it's not going to give you the excuse to miss one too!

4 weeks people! Let's do this!

Here's what I'm going to do:

MON
TUES
WEDS
THURS
FRI
SAT
SUN
30 min.
Elliptical
1 hour
Dragon Boat Practice
30 min.
Elliptical
or Walk
1 hour
Dragon Boat Practice
30 min.
Elliptical
1 hour
Walk or Other

2 hours
Dragon Boat Practice
Tell me what you're going to do and I'll make a post of participants. I'll give you my e-mail and I'll check in with you every few days and do posts on everyone's progress. I think this will be fun if we can get enough people involved!

Monday, April 26, 2010

GF Kudos & Another Recipe

I shall probably post more of these as I do this, but this will be the first. I want to give kudos to the food establishments that do nice things for people on diets and with allergies.

First of all, kudos to Red Robin. Not only did they have a whole menu of gluten free options that they let me keep, they also made me gluten free fries in a separate fryer, and I ordered a salad! I was also thrilled to find that their honey mustard poppyseed dressing is gf! WOOT!

Kudos to Chipotle. Their entire menu is gf except their tortillas. I always get a burrito bowl anyway so I didn't have to change anything about my order. The guy behind the counter also changed his gloves so as not to contaminate anything I'd be eating. I told him he didn't have to but it was nice of him anyway.

Kudos to the Ram. They didn't have a gf menu, but they were very happy to make sure that my salad was gluten free. They even grilled the chicken in a different spice without my asking (I didn't know to ask actually).

So Kudos Red Robin, Chipotle, and The Ram!

My last Kudos goes to Bob's Red Mill. They have an entire aisle of gluten free products at their outlet store in Milwaukie. I got some gf all purpose flour, and gf pizza crust mix.
I used the flour for breakfast yesterday and made pancakes that were killer! I used the recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, but here's the abridged recipe that I used:


Gluten Free Pancakes

1 3/4 C Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
2 Tbsp granulated Sugar (I used sugar in the raw)
1 Tbsp baking powder (Clabber Girl is gf)
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 C milk
3 Tbsp cooking oil

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar baking, powder, and salt. In another bowl use a fork or whisk to combine egg, milk, and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. With the gf flour, it might be kind of soupy. You'll just need to use a small frying pan rather than a griddle to keep it from running everywhere when you cook them. Cook over medium/low heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. You can sprinkle whatever toppings you like onto the uncooked side after you pour them onto the griddle. If you use fresh or frozen fruit, you'll need to put a lid on your pan to cook them more thoroughly, otherwise they'll be undercooked around the fruit.

Topping Suggestions:
I used frozen blueberries and  the Omega-3 trail mix from Trader Joes that has:
dried cranberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, pistachios, and almonds

I'd also try:
sliced banana, strawberries, toasted coconut, chocolate chips, peanut butter, flax seeds or chia seeds, any dried fruit, apples with cinnamon, peaches, or pears.

These were seriously just as good, if not better, than regular pancakes and they were super golden brown and crispy on the outside! Even if you're not gf, try these!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Super Recipe!

I just want to state that I am only doing the gluten free thing as a temporary trial. Actually, in 'You! The Owner's Manual" (by Dr. Oz) he suggests trying to eliminate certain elements of your diet over a couple of weeks to see if it changes how you feel. He says to try omitting gluten but also trying to omit dairy, meat, caffeine, processed foods, etc... So this is just a trial run.

I have to say that all of these drastic dietary changes have made it much easier to choose better foods. I'm getting used to eating most of my meals without meat now and it's not difficult anymore to choose vegetarian options when I go out. I don't even feel like I'm tempted by unhealthy options or missing out on something that would have tasted better. I redid my real age diet test and it said I was pretty much eating the right things now, I just need to be careful with how much oil I'm using.

Anyway, I made up a recipe for dinner last night that turned out really good and I wanted to share it. Of course it's gluten free.

Veggie Lasagna/Casserole

1 polenta log
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 very small eggplant (I used a purple japanese eggplant)
1 pepper - I used red but any color works
ricotta cheese (I didn't use it but I would have if I'd had it)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 bag shredded italian cheeses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice all of the vegetables into discs. I used an egg-slicer for the zucchini and squash. Chop the pepper. Slice the polenta into discs. I would suggest baking these for 2-5 minutes on a nonstick cookie sheet, but I didn't do this myself. It would probably be good though. Spread some sauce into the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish. Place a layer of the sliced polenta in the sauce followed by a layer of eggplant, zucchini, squash, and peppers. If using ricotta, spread ricotta on. Dump some more sauce on followed by a bit of the shredded cheese. Then layer in the same order again topping the whole thing with the cheese again.
Bake for about 30 minutes until cheese is browned and everything is heated through.

Other ideas:
You could use lots of vegetables for this. Some other suggestions would be mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, spinach, basil, or whatever else you might fancy!

Enjoy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Gluten Free Diet: There Are Many Benefits To Eliminating Gluten

A Gluten Free Diet: There Are Many Benefits To Eliminating Gluten


A Gluten Free Diet

There Are Many Benefits To Eliminating Gluten

Gluten free diets have become very popular for many reasons. Some people must eliminate it from their diets, while many people should avoid gluten for other reasons.

Gluten is the protein part of wheat, spelt, rye, barley, most oats, and other related grains. Gluten intolerance is the inability to digest or break down gluten. This condition can range from a mild sensitivity to full blown celiac disease. The skin disorder called dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes a chronic itchy rash of bumps and blisters, is also linked to gluten allergies. The gluten-free diet must be strictly followed by sufferers of celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.

Some People Have to Adapt To Diets Without Gluten

Around ½% of the world's population is Celiac. This means 1 in 200 people. Some people are not celiac, but have intolerance to gluten. Some studies show gluten intolerance to be around 30 times more prevalent than celiac disease. Up to 15% of people or 1 in 7 are gluten sensitive and suffer the same symptoms. These are people who test negative or inconclusive for celiac disease. They are known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS). Symptoms include gastro-intestinal issues, headaches, mouth ulcers, weight gain or weight loss, poor immunity to disease, and skin problems like dermatitis and eczema.

Who Should Avoid Gluten?

According to some celiac specialist researchers, everyone has some reaction to gluten, but non-celiacs recover quickly. Many people report feeling better on a gluten free diet. Studies have found that a gluten free diet significantly decreases allergy symptoms among children. Some medical practitioners believe that gluten-free diets benefit other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ADD/ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, thyroid disease and other autoimmune disorders. Many people also find that weight loss programs are much more effective one gluten is eliminated from the diet. It is interesting to note that many people who live in gluten free households due to a family members allergy, find that they have improvements in their own health conditions once their own diets transition to being gluten free as well.

Changing Your Diet

Sticking to a gluten-free diet is not easy. Grains are used in many foods, especially processed foods, which everyone should avoid despite gluten intolerances. It is often difficult to determine by an ingredient’s name what may be in it, so it is easy to eat gluten despite the best of intentions. Gluten is used in unexpected ways, for example as a stabilizing agent or thickener in foods, in over-the-counter or prescription medications and vitamins. Also, cosmetics such as lipstick, lip balm, and chapsticks may contain gluten.
A diagnosis of celiac disease, or even gluten intolerance, requires careful changes in your routine, but you can still live your life. Many of the diet guidelines are ones that everyone should adhere to for a healthy lifestyle. Sticking to a diet of whole, fresh, unprocessed foods eliminates any worry about confusing and hidden ingredients and offers a healthy way of life
.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Things to consider

Well, I have returned from my four day trip to san fransisco with the choir at Wilson intact. I was quite sleep deprived and cranky, but I did survive. Now, three days later, I can't seem to catch up on the sleep thing. I set my alarm to go dragon boating this morning and talked myself out of it since I felt like I was dreaming when I hit the snooze button for the fifth time.

I do want to do a team sport. This is something I need to be very on top of to make it happen. I think that the expectation a team puts on you to be at practices and races would be a great way for me to be active on a regular basis. I may have to find a team that practices at a time that I can make it to on a more consistent basis.

I've been on this vegetarian kick for quite some time now and it's made absolutely no difference in my size and shape. I should probably journal to keep track of the number of calories I'm taking in. Probably. But I hate writing down what I eat and it's not something I will ever do as part of my lifestyle so I need to find another solution.

A student of mine whose mom owns a Curves suggested to me that I might have a gluten allergy. I have contemplated going gluten free before but there is gluten in half of what I eat! I suppose if that's the case I've basically been writing myself a death sentence regardless of what things I cut out of my diet.

Basically anything with wheat or barley has gluten in it. So breads, pastas, beer, cereal, pastries, and a bunch of other random things.
This would be a very difficult and dramatic shift in my eating habits. Just yesterday I had a peanut butter (with flaxseeds!) sandwich on daves killer bread, an avocado sandwich for lunch, mushroom ravioli at happy hour and a late dinner of stir fried vegetables with yakisoba noodles. There was not a meal that I had without gluten in it! So perhaps I should do what I've been doing with meat and be gluten free most days of the week so that I'm not feeling like I'm completely deprived. I think I will finish off my killer bread first since it's not cheap and it's my absolute favorite!

Is anyone else gluten free that can tell me what you've found to eat as staples of your diet?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things I've Learned from the Sims 3

I've been playing an overabundance of Sims 3 the last few days. It's kind of a weird addiction because you're living life, but you're not living life. Anyway I had a realization that I've had many times already but I had it again. You don't get anything you don't work for.

In the game you can improve your sims skills by having them spend time practicing different skills. There's several like cooking, playing guitar, charisma, and fitness. The different sims you make can have personality traits that improve their ability to learn different skills but ultimately they have to practice to obtain any of them.

Even though it's a simulation of reality it's probably more honest than actual reality.  The point being, how many times have I tried to tell myself that I just have to find another way to get healthy because the thing I'm doing isn't working. The reality is that it probably is working I just have to keep doing it and keep improving my skill so I get better at it. This applies to running. This applies to walking and the elliptical. This applies to every sport or form of exercise that I've started and not ever improved upon because I got frustrated and found something else to do.

The moral of the story is that starting and maintaining a new lifestyle is great, but if you don't keep pushing yourself you'll never get better than you are.

Today I ran week one and did 4 of the 6 intervals. Tomorrow I will walk for an entire hour. Next week I am going to start dragon boating and I will go to every practice that doesn't conflict with working. Every single one. This is how I am pushing myself. And, I challenge everyone that reads this to tell me what you are going to do!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The New Adventures of Genius Girl!

Today Genius Girl pulled two Genius Moves. First, she tried to procrastinate running in the randomly nice weather by going to the mall. Luckily her coupons had expired at the clothing store so she couldn't justify buying anything.

Then she went to the apple store where she finally purchased an armband for her iPod. You would think this is a great thing except that she didn't check to see if it fit her 2nd generation iPod nano (it didn't) and so it's a bit difficult to get into the holder and the touch wheel is a somewhat difficult to use. But at least it no longer has to be held.

Then Genius Girl got home from the mall and decided to make herself get out and run no matter what! So she did. But what she didn't expect was to be coughing all up and down the trail because she hadn't gotten over her cold yet. Fortunately for her it didn't exacerbate her cold further and she's not coughing now that she's rested a bit. She also concluded that her inhaler just isn't going to work as well as her old one and that it was a good idea to take a step back on do the first week of the c25k program instead of trying to push through week 2.

Genius Girl will now go eat dinner and watch bad tv shows.

Thus concludes todays adventures of Genius Girl!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wha?! Where do I find this?

I'm watching Kirstie Alley's Big Life which is actually more interesting than I had anticipated. Right now she and a couple of people are riding exercise bikes in a pool! Where do I find this? I want to ride an exercise bike in a pool! Has anyone else done this before? I would also like a swimming buddy to go to water aerobics or to go aqua jogging with me. If I can find a Tuesday evening class to go to with someone I would seriously be excited. Who's in? I NEED a workout partner. I'm tired of trying to do everything alone.

I came to the realization this weekend as I read my copy of Shape magazine that I have started to really slip with my exercise routine. Actually, it probably wasn't much of a realization, I pretty much know I'm being a slacker. But I think having a monthly reminder of what I could be doing for myself, like a magazine subscription, would not be a bad thing for relatively little money. There's a great pilates workout in here that I think I will try. It actually looks, dare I say it, fun.

That said, I'm going to drag my butt out of bed come hell or high water to go to another dragon boating workout on Wednesday and I'm making it my goal to go RUNNING, not walking, three times this week. I'm not going to give up couch to 5k because I've been keeping it up for so long and I think if I power through and make it to the next level of workout I'm going to be really proud of myself. I've come too far to give up now!

If you read my blog and haven't commented before or in a long time I'd love to hear from you. I'm beginning to feel like I only have three or four readers and I'd like to be wrong. :)