More diet notes…

Immediately the title of this post makes me want to address the word “diet”.  It isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle.  You have to find what works for you or you won’t stick to it.  What works for me, may not work for you, or maybe you incorporate different kinds of vegetables that get you through the week.  Like carrots for me are great.  They are sweet and filling.  Yes, I should choose a vegetable with less sugar but they help get me through and they are so easy to rinse, put in a baggie and throw in my purse/car.  Too easy.  I don’t peal them, by the way.  The outsides will not hurt you.

I had a really good conversation with my friend, Ethan, about my food lifestyle today.  He brought up some really good questions, some that I have received from others too so I want to formally address them to help out anyone that is interested.

Some people would think I’m not eating enough.  I’m eating, but only when I’m hungry, and then I only eat until I’m NOT hungry anymore.  I don’t wait until I’m full.  If there is food left on my plate, I throw it in the fridge.  I’ve gotten used to not feeling full and it feels good.  I know the food will always be there, I can always eat a little something else in an hour or 2, if needed.

No, I don’t eat fruit!  So many people ask me this too.  It is too much sugar for me.  Sugar is sugar, whether natural or refined.  If you are watching your caloric intake, watch out for ALL types of sugar!

What about oatmeal/grains?  Grains have gluten and most of society cannot properly process gluten, though they don’t realize it.  This article will help clear up some of the myths the run rapid in our culture.  Plus, I don’t need those cheap calories.  I can fill the space with lean meats and vegetables just the same.

What about dairy??  This article will help with the dairy subject.  Avoid it!  Your body has a hard time processing it and you can get your calcium elsewhere!

I forgot to mention that we mix our daily meal replacement shakes with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.  It is super low calorie (40/serving) and goes really well with the shake.

I also have to mention that with my altered food lifestyle, I did NOT give up my coffee creamer.  Yes, this has cow dairy, but it is something that helps get me through when I’m “sacrificing” in other areas.  I do try to stay with the best of the worst, which to me is International brand, specifically the Breve line, which only has milk cream and sugar.  Coffee mate is awful, especially powered stuff!  Please stay away, my friends.

Also stay AWAY from:

  • Partially hydrogenated ANYTHING
  • MSG
  • Processed foods
  • Foods that come in a box
  • Foods that have an ingredient list that takes you more than 5 seconds to read

Alcohol – is there a place for it?  Best answer – yes, cheat day!  That is when Tim will have beer.  We used to have red wine (not sweet red) during the week occasionally.  Tim still does, but I cut it out when I was really trying to limit my calories to lose the weight fast.

I do NOT eat after 9:00 pm.  I usually go to sleep at 11:00 pm.  Water, decaf hot tea, that’s it.

We love fresh mushrooms, cooked onions.  I forgot to add them to my list.

If you are snacking on nuts, consider measuring and putting in a baggie or container to keep your portion low.  I will put some in a bag for the day and make sure I don’t eat more than that.  I never finish the entire bag in one day.  Always consider portions!  It is easy to consume a large amount of calories from nuts.  Even though it is a good super food with good fats, calories are calories if you are really trying to lose the pounds.

Just let go, Friends!  It is all mental and your body/joints/digestive system with thank you!

I want you all to know that it is encouraging and motivating for me to share these things with you.  It helps enforce what we are doing and also keep me on track.  If I can help any of you meet your goals – FANTASTIC!

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Just let go!

JUST LET GO OF THE FOOD YOU KNOW IS BAD FOR YOU!

I’ve spent the last month or so eating like my husband and I lost 10 lbs doing it.

Most people act/seem surprised when I tell them I have weight to lose.  Are they just being nice or do they truly not see the extra weight around my lower half?  Either way, I still knew it needed to come off and I knew what I needed to do.  I needed to LET GO!

The background for my scenario – over the majority of the last 10 years, I have been about the same weight.  How do I know this?  I can look at old APFT and medical records from when I joined the military back in 2001 and my weight was about that same.  That was until I got deployed.  My weight in the spring of 2009 was my worst and I knew it when I met Tim in Greece for R&R and the civilian clothes he brought for me where tight.

Coming back home, I almost immediately lost a few pounds, just by falling back into a healthy eating cycle with Tim.  However, I always felt that little extra lingering and wondered if I really COULD fall below that next threshold, one that I hadn’t seen since before I joined the military, before I put on those extra pounds my freshman year of college.

Honestly, I just wasn’t that motivated.  I saw Tim eating right and I did for the most part, also, but I was still holding on to those things I knew I shouldn’t be eating every day of the week.  I wasn’t ready to let go…. until recently.

Don’t ask me what happened because I can’t really say.  All I remember is that I decided to do it.  I let go and just started eating what Tim eats.  He does a combination of the paleo diet concept and the Slow Carb diet.

It is much easier for me to say what we do eat than what we don’t eat.  What do we eat?

  • Breakfast – Raw meal replacement (sometimes later in the day but usually one per day)
  • Lean meats – chicken, tilapia, salmon, lean ground beef, lean cuts of beef  (free range/grass fed or the best you can get)
  • Fresh vegetables – specifically whole carrots, sugar snap peas, green beans, broccoli, spinach
  • Frozen vegetables (we buy the really BIG bags)
  • Plain pecans, walnuts and almonds (Lunch/Snacks)
  • Almond butter (more Tim than me)
  • Eggs – both whole and just the whites (from a carton)
  • Raw sauerkraut
  • Salsa
  • Some beans but only occasionally – they are not a staple in our diet
  • Hot tea with honey
  • Coffee
  • WATER

THAT IS IT, PEOPLE!!

I usually have my shake in the morning after PT (exercising), snack on carrots/veges and nuts throughout the day, then have a dinner of meat with some frozen vegetables mixed in along with a little bit of spice or salsa.

Now don’t think we live without treats.  Tim is religious about taking a 24 hour cheat day once a week.  He starts Friday night and continues through Saturday.  During this time, he splurges on the ice cream and chocolate chip cookies he didn’t eat all week.  I do this also, but don’t get AS crazy.  I try not to go all out because I may have a small cheat “item” during the week that I need to account for.

You don’t have to let go of the items you love ALL the time, just focus on good foods most of the week.  The bad stuff will always be there.

Also, eating should NOT be about what tastes good ALL the time!  Food is fuel for your body, you should give it what it needs.  Tim and I feel BETTER eating like we do.  After cheat day, we feel better going back to the “healthy” foods.  For me, I like NOT feeling bloated and gross.

I want everyone to know that I have NOT increased my exercise.  I usually work out about 3 times a week, with weight lifting on one of those days and cardio on all. I’m not the best about this either because schedules change, work locations change, etc, so some weeks are better than others.  The thing to remember is you don’t have worry about busting your butt working out if you aren’t consuming a ton of calories!  Honestly, my knees love me more when I’m doing what I’m doing (plus I’m taking some of the weight off them!)

I’m open to feedback/questions!

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Ladies of the Cloth

I’ve learned that when my mom and her sisters get together, things can get pretty crazy…

Usually that just consists of random trips to sewing shops, eating amazing food cooked by Carol and lots of laughs.

Well, the latest trip brought all the Ladies in from Missouri and Wisconsin to our area of Texas for a few days and as you can see, they brought their shenanigans to a WHOLE new level.

These pics were taken in our living room by the way.

Thanks to Renee, Jackie, Jean, Carol and Garden Ridge for making this post possible.

I just don’t know why they had to bring poor Charlie into their craziness??  😛

Love you, Ladies – can’t wait to see you all again during the next Sisters Week in Texas!

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FINALLY found my “perfect” coffee table!

You all know I love my CL and it has served me well again!

I have been searching for MONTHS (maybe a year??) to find my perfect coffee table.  Ever since I saw the Hyde turned leg coffee table by Pottery Barn, I knew what I wanted.

Natural pine finish, hopefully turned legs, and tall enough for laptop use (since we don’t have TV and use them for movie/tv watching).  However, even though this is one of PB’s cheapest coffee tables at $400 (even $300 at the outlet) I knew I couldn’t stomach spending that much and KNEW I could find something that suited me elsewhere.

So I’m pretty persistent with my CL shopping.  I’ve learned to use key words to help me find exactly what I want.  I also have the advantage of two large markets to shop from, San Antonio and Austin.  I knew eventually my patience would pay off as I searched “pine table” just about every day.

Well, it DID pay off this past week as I found what I thought might be “the one”.  I spoke with the seller, the table was still available – yay!  Unfortunately, we had to make a little trip to San Antonio for some other important house business (to be discussed later!) so I had to hold off looking at it.

A little off topic (don’t worry, I’ll come back) – traffic in Austin can be CRAZY!  This not only effects commuting to and from work – it also effects CL transactions!  This particular table was located in SW Austin; we live in NE Austin.  See how this could be an issue and a headache??  Lucky for me, I had the day off and was able to coordinate a viewing/pick-up in the middle of the day when traffic is light – yippee!

So after stopping by an ATM for some moola – I made it to the house.  She had already moved the table into the house from the garage and it was ready for me to see.  She gave me a little background: purchased from an antique store, made from reclaimed wood and she hated to give up the piece but had moved on to a (what I would say much inferior) faux leather ottoman.

Although definitely used and slightly wobbly, but 19″ tall, the perfect color and for a $75 asking price, I knew I wanted to give it a shot.  Very seldom do I NOT try to haggle with people so I offered $60.  She said, “Will you give me $65?”  I said “SOLD!!”  Not really, but I said I would take it and out to our very convenient Honda Fit it went!

When I got home, Tim was busy with a business partner and couldn’t immediately help me bring it in.  I couldn’t wait FOREVER though and finally asked for his help.  🙂

As soon as I moved the old table out of the way (one we purchased for $15 off CL a couple years ago), I KNEW I done good.  😛

It was PERFECT!

Oh yes, I have yet to mention I already own one piece of the actual Hyde collection – the end table!  No, I didn’t pay full price for this item, $200- yeah right!  I got it a while back at the PB Outlet for about $100 – love that place!  The crazy part is I still spent more on that end table than I did on my new coffee table!

Even though they aren’t EXACTLY the same, pretty good considering the deal I got, right?  I think so, and I love some of the detail on this table, such as the 3 lines on each leg, plus that it isn’t perfect so we don’t mind putting our feet up on it 🙂

Plus they the two don’t sit next to one another so who would even notice the difference??  See my family posing- aren’t they cute??

So here’s to my newest CL find and finally checking “coffee table” off my list of items to find!  I’m sure another item will quickly take its place on the list 😉


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Welcome Home! – again!!

We are making it official – we are moving into Celtic – for the 2nd time!

The first time we moved into this house was in September 2007, when we bought it as our first home and moved to Texas.  After living in the house for 9 months and not taking much time to personalize and make it a “home”, I began training for deployment and never returned to it.  Reason being – while I was gone, Tim began his real estate investing business and owner financed it out prior to my return.

Since returning from Iraq, I have lived in many houses, stayed in various locations and with different people – to include with friends and at my mom’s.  All this time, Tim had been living in San Antonio so we were not living together 90% of the time.

Lucky for us, our home on Celtic was returned to us after the family who purchased could no longer afford to keep it.  We immediately moved back in and began cleaning/fixing it up.  Although we didn’t plan to stay here long term, we still made some renovation decisions with the mindset that we WERE staying, in order to justify getting some of the nicer items, such as plush new carpet for the entire second floor and master bedroom down.

While staying in the house over the past 5 months, I continued to hunt for our “perfect” home in Austin, as we still planned to move.  Then one day last month we thought we had found OUR home!  We put it under contract, made negotiations and were moving through the process.  When the day came that I found out my job might not continue after the next month, 2 things happened.  One – we knew our financing would fall through; two – we were already living in a really AWESOME house!

Tim and I spent hours talking that night and made the conscious decision that we were going to stay in OUR home!  Once we did that, we really began to realize that although this home does not have EVERYTHING we want, it does have many of those things and we are excited to make this house a HOME for the first time!

So we officially took the FOR SALE BY OWNER sign out of the yard yesterday – WOOHOO!

The list of to-do items is growing – EXCITING!

We are home; and so is she 🙂

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Following a diet is tough!

I gotta be honest, I used to think I had good self-control when it came to eating habits.  I generally try to eat healthy and make good decisions, having done this for years after being taught how to read labels by my mom when I was a kid.

Over the past couple years, I feel that I have made the “wrong” decision more than the “right” when it comes to food.  My husband is extremely disciplined when it comes to eating what is good for him and I always figured I could do it – just chose not to. 

Recently, my husband has been dabbling in a couple of diets, one being the Paleo, and currently the Slow-Carb.  This particular diet was highlighted in the book The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss.  There are only 5 rules!

Rule 1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates (or anything that can be white).
Rule 2: Eat the same few meals over and over again.
Rule 3: Don’t drink calories.
Rule 4: Don’t eat fruit.
Rule 5: Take one day off per week and go nuts.

To hear more detail or explanations, be sure to check out the link.

Although my husband has been living this diet the past few weeks, I have not attempted.  One reason – being away from home most of the time for work, I figured it would be difficult to stick with something to rigid.  Reason two – I need SUGAR! 

After a weekend at home with Tim, I decided I would try out the Slow Carb Diet.  Although I have physical goals I would like to obtain, my biggest reason, honestly, was to test myself.  CAN I really follow a diet?  Something I have NEVER done before?  Can I go without sugar, grains and fruit?  It’s only 6 days until a cheat day… right??

Day 1 started out good.  I healthy breakfast before hitting the road for Austin.  Plain tuna, baby carrots, peanuts at work.  Chicken breast and frozen vegetables with ginger for dinner.  So how did I feel toward the end of a successful first day?  I NEEDED SUGAR!!  I felt what can only be described as a Sugar Detox.  I needed SOMETHING!  Unfortunately, I have some fun-size candy bars at our Austin house from my bad-decision days.  I had to stay away!  I knew I didn’t need something that drastic; just something!  What are my options in a house with almost NO food – I see a jar of all-natural peanut butter.  I desperately called Tim and ask, “Can I eat peanut butter on this diet?”  He thought about it and said it is probably OK.  I took this as a strong YES and dug in! 

Was it the best food choice ever?  Probably not.  Did it get me over that hump?  Yes it did.  Bless you jar of peanut butter!

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Swallowing me whole!

Sorry for the lapse in time between posts.  So what has happened….

I finished Level 1 Combatives Certification so that is pretty cool!  Made it through the punch drill and everything 🙂  I’m not big into fighting but once we started rolling at about 30-40% strength, it began to get fun.  This was we could practice our techniques but not feel like we were kicking the crap out of one another.  I enjoyed it.  Don’t think I’ll be doing level 2 anytime soon though!

It felt like there was a huge lull between January and February drills.  It was really nice.  Every week felt like it should be drill week and then I’d happily surprise myself!  Alas, drill did eventually arrive.

February was our last slow OCS drill weekend before our new class starts up in March, along with our senior class completing their 10 mile ruck march and heading to the field for the first time.  It was nice to have one more slow weekend to catch up on mandatory training, especially with my NCOIC absent from drill for the second month in a row.  I need my right hand!

My NCOIC competed in the Texas NCO of the Year Competition that weekend and came in runner-up!  I was very proud of him.  He’s pretty awesome at Land Navigation and Road Marching but he also kicked butt on the Obstacle Course.  Now it looks like he will be moving on to the regional competition in Kansas since the winner cannot attend.  Woohoo!  I’ll be rooting him on from here as I’m sure I won’t be able to attend.

Immediately after drill weekend my boss, NCOIC and I headed off to New Orleans for a conference.  Yes, I’ll give you a moment to note the date – week before Mardi Gras?  Why yes it was!  Not that it matters too much since Bourbon is always crazy.  Did I mention our awesome Wyndham hotel was at the corner of Bourbon and Canal Streets?  Oh yes, we had that going for us too!

Needless to say, the conference was not the closest thing in our minds, though we did manage to get some work done.  Our battalion had some productive breakout sessions that helped the trip feel worth while – besides the fact that we were able to let off a bunch of steam.  My coined phrase for the week was “functional hangover”.  I had a great time hanging out with the people I work with and also making some new friends.  I believe it was a “Whatever happens in New Orleans, Stays in New Orleans” week, except for all the crazy stories I told my husband – HA!

After taking a couple of days to recover, work hit me and the title of my post comes into play.  I decided on Saturday that I would need to begin my work week early.  This meant leaving the San Antonio home on Sunday and heading north.  I arrived at Camp Swift later on Sunday and rushed head first into some of my necessary tasks.

On Monday, I was able to get my NCOIC to work as well and we were able to get a lot done without the distraction of other people in the office and tons of phone calls.  I worked late into the night on Sunday and Monday, feeling as though I was only uncovering more and more things I needed to get accomplished.  Then I hit a block.  I realized that when my computer had restarted on its own the night before, I had lost the piece of work I’d spent so much time on during my long Sunday evening.  I was crushed, tired and hungry, as I’d been staying in the barracks and felt like I hadn’t eaten since I arrived.  It was time to take a couple of things to get me started once again, and head home for the night.

Charlie and I enjoyed a nice meal that evening because I purchases a rotisserie chicken.  He loves when I get those because I always give him the fat and skin – oh happy doggie day!  Besides eating, I wish I could say I had a better night, but I tossed and turned for hours, thinking about my impeding work.  It was a short night.

PT with my NCOIC got me up early.  After a good breakfast, I was ready to begin again.  The day seemed to be going as well as possible, making headway on certain items, until I got a phone call at 3:30.  I am to brief the LTC tomorrow morning at 8:30.  I’m WHAT?!  Oh yes, it was on my calendar but I didn’t notice it.  Add it to my plate!  Oh wait, I guess it was already there.  Anyway, my boss went through all the slides with me and I felt as prepared as I could be.  Luckily it’s not new material and nothing I had to create.  Just gotta do the best I can!

So I headed to the house again tonight, only for the fact that I got into Austin tomorrow and my house is between my two working sites.  Might as well, right?  If not, I would have pulled another late-nighter and stayed in the barracks.

As I drove home tonight, I talked my husband’s ear off.  Seriously.  I talked for about 30 minutes about what is going on and all the things I need to accomplish.  Sometimes it’s just nice to talk about it even if he doesn’t understand 95% of what I’m talking about.

So there you have it!  From my last couple weeks to finding me in my bed right now.  I’m tired and the day starts early again – but with a brief to the LTC!  Oh well, kind of humorous in a way.  One thing at a time…

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