Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well On My Way

So I realized that I hadn't written in a while and with all this hype about Hurricane Irene or at this point tropical storm I am sitting here watching Million Dollar Baby (for the first time mind you) and really thinking about what has changed in my life. 

So roughly 3 months ago is when I first started at Planet Fitness weighing a little more than 20lbs then I do now. I find that to be a great milestone for myself. I have managed to lose an average of 1.5 lbs a week which isn't much but they way I look at it is loosing in always better than winning (well at least in this case). 

As lillian dickson says "Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once." This is something that has stuck with me since I heard this quote. I finally realized that only I can control how I "spend" my life. But also that because I decide, I also have to be the one to care. so I am happy to say that I am proud of myself for what I have accomplished! I have worked hard and will continue to work hard so I have no one to thank but myself, I did it! Not anyone else, ME!!

I felt the need to write about this because I was just having a conversation about how most people do things for others and not themselves and that you need to work on yourself and not worry about what other people are doing. I think to some extent that is possible but there is no way to shut off caring for those people that matter in your life but there has to be time for yourself.

I have decided to spend my life taking care of myself! You all should consider doing the same, trust me when I say it is definitely worth it!!

as part of taking care of me I have discovered exercise and healthy eating. If you would like to check up on my exercise please check  me out on daily mile. I will be posting my progress on here as well as far how I am doing working on the exercise/healthy eating/weight lose part of the taking care of me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Fun Day!

Given the fact that I have decided that I need to lead a healthier life that not only means exercising but also eating healthier foods as well. This is something that can be quite daunting especially trying to make everything from scratch. So I decided that sundays would be my day to prepare for the week (or at least get a head start anyway).

So I started my day by going out and getting all of the produce I would like for the week. I bought green beans, summer squash, broccoli, baby spinach, carrots, pineapple, bananas & cherries. When I got home the fun began!

First thing I did was think about breakfast. This is a very difficult time of day for me usually because I waste so much time in the morning doing other things that by the time I get around to breakfast I am already 5 minutes late leaving for work. 

So seeing that I love to cook (and of course eat) I subscribe to Rachael Rays magazine and in it was a recipe for a breakfast burrito which sounded really good and it was something that you can make ahead of time to just grab in the morning.

Breakfast Burrito  
To make this delicious burrito all you need is two strips of bacon cut into small pieces. Saute them over medium heat. While they are cooking take 3 cups fresh baby spinach and mince it. Just before the bacon is done add the spinach. It should take only a few minutes to cook. While that is cooking you need 4 eggs and 4 egg whites. Add any seasoning you would like to it (I added basil and garlic) put about 1/4 cup milk in and whisk away. Drain the spinach/bacon mixture and remove from the pan. Add the egg mixture and cook until it is still a little loose and then add the bacon/spinach mixture into the eggs and finish cooking for another minute or two. Just before you remove the pan from the heat add 1 cup shredded cheese (your favorite will work).

I used 3 large whole grain tortillas but you can use 6 small as well. Add a 1/3 of the eggs to each, roll them up and package it in aluminum foil and they are ready to go. When you are going to eat them cut them in half and one half is your serving. you can also put the egg mixture into a container and then add it to the tortilla to keep the tortilla a little fresher. Easy, yummy and you get something from every major food group!

Moving on to the next process. I cut/preped all the veggies. I like to pressure cook my veggies because it is quick and easy. You just throw them in with a little water, lock the lid, turn it on and once it's wobbling you cook it for max 3mins. Cool under cold running water until lid unlocks. They are all well cooked and ready to go. I usually drain into a colander and then put it the fridge to cool before I put them into containers to lessen the amount of moisture.

Summer Squash, Green Beans & Broccoli!
I then moved onto to lunch. I had some left over chicken from a dinner sometime this week so I took that and sliced it up. I also saved a little of the bacon/spinach mixture from my breakfast burrito. I took two whole grain tortillas put the chicken, spinach, bacon and shredded cheese into them and then made a quesadilla. I was able to use that to make 3 lunches taking 2 triangles of the quesadilla for each day (this is where the getting a head start on the week came in).

I was then thinking about how when I am about ready to head out to the gym it is that in between time of afternoon snack and dinner. So I decided to make my own smoothies, well sort of. I was recently exposed to yoplaits frozen fruit/yogurt smoothy mixture that you can find in the freezer section at the grocery store and you just add milk. However I happen to think that they are quite expensive and you only get enough to make 2 smoothies. So here is my crack at it:

1 cup fresh strawberries (which I already had so I did not purchase them today)
1 large banana
1 cup fresh pineapple
1 cup yogurt (try different flavors)
1/4 cup sugar or you can substitute that for 2 tbls of honey

Take all the fruit and cut it up. Add everything to a food processor. Puree until smooth, then you can pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze it. When you are ready to use it I used 3-4 cubes (you may need more or less depending on what size your ice cube tray is) and 1 cup of milk. Blend it in the blender and then you are ready to drink away!
Frozen Yogurt

I also have some pre-made little baggies of whole wheat pasta in the freezer all set to use for a lunch or dinner. And I was able to make a fruit salad to add to my lunch as well. 

So what I have gotten out of my Sunday fun day today is that by taking a few hours to do all of this I just saved myself probably double that for the rest of the week. My breakfasts and lunches are made. Everything but the protein part of my dinners is made, and I just have to throw some frozen smoothy cubes and milk into the blender and then head out to the gym. I am very happy with what I have been able to accomplish today and I just wanted to share with everyone who like me has a hard time finding the time during the busy week to cook healthy food that if you prepare ahead of time it is a lot easier than we all think and you in the end are benefiting even more.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Double Duty

So Today was a double duty kind of day. First off my school went on their field trip to Davis Farmland and then I started my first week (out of thirteen) for a cardiac wellness study I am participating in. Let's first begin with Davis Farmland...

On our way into Davis Farmland.

So we had four classes that went on the field trip ranging from 3 years old - 6 years old (fun I know). Oh yea and we can't forget all the additional parent chaperons that went with us. Let's just say some were a lot more help than others.

We took all our children over to our corral where we would be having lunch and then headed out onto our "tour" of the farm. We started with a hay ride which was fun, all the children got to look at some horns/antlers and horse shoes and then we got to check out some animals. There were many animals that were roaming free and we even had some come and visit us as we rode. The favorite of the whole ride seemed to be the horses however I must confess one of the children in my group constantly says she is going to be a horse when she grows up so I think they were a little biased.

Two horses and two ponies.
We went on to explore the rest of the farm. Now here is where I always get a little confused at the setup of how Davis Farmland does these things. As part of their field trip "tours" they lead you around the farm to different animals and tell you things. I always find this problematic mainly because the children are never interested in A.) Whatever animals they happen to be showing us & B.) Seem as though they could careless about what they are saying. My suggestion would to just let the groups roam around where they would like from the start rather than trying to give a guided tour (Just my opinion probably not every else's that was there from my school). After finally getting about 10 minutes to explore by ourselves we headed back to out corral to have lunch. At which point I discovered that one of the children did not have a lunch, but I have moved beyond blaming others and have just realized I need to double check everything for myself before we go anywhere (which was also reconfirmed while trying to change the children after playing in the splash pad).

Everyone was done eating and we all headed over the splash pad. All the children had to keep their school shirts on in order for us to keep an accurate eye one them. There was plenty to do, they had water tables, water guns, all kinds of sprinklers and things that just got you drenched. Needless to say I certainly did not stay dry at all but I had planned on that happening. 

As we were walking to the corral there weren't many people in the splash pad so I got a good shot of the water guns without having to worry about getting my camera soaked trying to take it later.

After the splash pad we went back to change all the children at which point we discovered numerous children who didn't have underwear and one who didn't have a change of clothes at all (like I said I need to check everything myself from now on). Once fully dressed and cleaned up we headed back to the bus and sang our way back to school. All in all I would say it was a successful field trip even with the minor complications.

Now on to part two of my day, My first class for my 13 week Cardiac Wellness study at The Benson-Henry Institute For Mind Body Medicine.
Week One Done!

We start off each week by taking our blood pressure and weight. My blood pressure was normal and I weighed relatively the same as I did when I went for my initial intake interview a week and half ago. Then we start our hour of exercise. I started on a machine called NuStep which is basically a combination of a stair machine and a bike. It was very interesting. I did that for about 20 minutes and then moved on to the treadmill (Something I am much more familiar with). They come around while you are doing your machines and check your heart rate and talk to you about how your previous week has been and can answer any questions you have as well as give you pointers about different ways to do things or how to help your accomplish your goals. We did about 45 minutes of cardio and then moved into the weight room and did mild weight training for 15 minutes.

The next part in something that I think will be the most difficult part of this whole process for me, relaxation. We started will deep calming breath, moved to stretching/yoga and then a form of meditation. I say this is going to be my most challenging part because I have a hard time just relaxing. My mind is constantly going and I often feel as though doing something like meditation is a waste of time because there are so many other things that need to get done that I could be doing. I am hoping that this will force me to really focus on spending a little more time de-stressing myself and learning to relax will be very helpful.

All in all I think it will be far out weigh the annoying things with good things so I am still optimistic about the program. I think if things progress this way for the thirteen weeks when I talk to the survivor-ship people running the study for Lymphoma patients I might suggest having a separate group for them so that everyone is experiencing the same things rather than feeling like a fish out of water. But given it is only week one I will not jump to too many conclusions.

So after driving home (oh yea I forgot to mention that this cardiac wellness study is out in Waltham so it takes me about an hour to get home) and having a piece of pizza, shower and writing this it is far past my bedtime as I am exhausted!

Thanks for reading and staying tuned for the next one!!