Own Your Beauty!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So one of the things I have been looking at in my move towards losing weight and also towards saving money, as how to handle snacks. I think that because I have a history with using food for so many reasons OTHER than being hungry, I have a tendency to reach for snacks throughout the day just out of force of habit or boredom or stress. Sometimes, I will even FEEL hungry when I know there is no earthly reason why I should!

Case in point - I made a fabulous green monster smoothie for breakfast this morning and drank it in my first class at 8am. Now I have calculated the calories on this before just to see about where it stands on the complete breakfast food chain, and with the protein powder, spinach, soy milk, flax seeds and fruit it averages around 400 calories and a good dose of protein and nutrients. Very healthy for a full breakfast, and no reason why this shouldn't last my tummy a solid 3-4 hours until it is time for lunch. BUT by around 10am I started to feel like I wanted to eat something. I had about an hour until my next class, I was sitting down to read, I was a little bored, and I almost felt like my tummy was rumbling for food. But how could this be? It had been LESS than 2 hours since I had my smoothie and really was it that difficult to wait until lunch at Noon? But I swear to you, I spent the next 2 hours going back and forth on if I wanted my string cheese that I had brought for an afternoon snack now, or maybe a bottle of soda (what?? I don't drink soda anyway! Why now??)

So what I ended up doing was telling myself to suck it up, that my tummy being a little hungry for the last 1/2 hr before lunch wasn't the end of the world (that in fact I SHOULD be going to lunch a little hungry!) and that I could wait and I wouldn't die of starvation - and it turned out to be true. I was just the right amount hungry for lunch at Noon when I got to work, and I saved my string cheese for my afternoon snack around 4pm when I actually WILL be hungry and looking for something to sustain me through the bike ride home and the couple of hours until dinner.

But I find myself facing this issue a lot. I don't just nibble because I am bored, my body will actually make me feel PHYSICALLY HUNGRY when there is no biological reason I should. For example, I eat a healthy sized lunch at 12:30, and 1-2 hours later I get bored and then feel starving. Am I really starving?? No way! I am just bored and my body is kicking in anticipating the food it knows I will most likely consume to distract it. Because as soon as I am busy the hunger goes away, so I know it wasn't really "I need fuel" hunger, it was just "You are bored which means I am getting a snack soon and I am going to find a way to make sure of that" hunger. Even now typing this post and THINKING about snacks I am feeling that fake hunger starting up in my tummy even though less than 2 hours ago I had homemade minestrone soup, a slice of sourdough bread, a container of greek yogurt, and a dish of peaches. In other words...my tummy in no physical way needs food but my mind is trying to convince me that it does. AUGH!! So I LITERALLY cannot trust my body to tell me the truth?!?! How do you listen to your body's natural signals if the signals it is sending are fake???

So I am thinking for both health and for budget I need to get better about planning my menus for the day. Just write it out, "this is what you are having for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and evening snack if you really want it and this is what time you are eating each of those items". That way, I am not digging into my lunchbag and downing my afternoon snack at 10am out of boredom. Saves money because I am not eating a ton extra than I need, helps with health and weight loss for the same reason. As long as I am regular about planning this out in advance and making sure I pack my lunchbag properly before heading out every day this should be a good thing.

So although it is a little late, here is my plan for today:
Breakfast - Green Monster (8am)
Lunch - Soup, bread, yogurt, peaches (12:30pm)
Snack - string cheese, orange slices (4:30pm)
Dinner - leftover Mexican casserole w/veggies, sauteed bananas (7pm)
Snack (optional) - mini bag of popcorn(10pm)

There - now I am accountable and everything is already packed and ready for consumption until I get home. I will plan tonight for tomorrow, and so on and so forth and hopefully this will help greatly with my budget and overall feeling of health and wellbeing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Check In

Alright - I am going to not apologize for how long I go between blog posts and just accept that for the time being I am an inconsistent blogger and I will post when I have the time and inclination to. And if things come up, or I get more readers, I may try to increase that...but until then I am just going to let this be what it is - a place for me to share my thoughts, ideas, recipes, struggles and successes when they strike me.

On that note - I was home alone all this weekend. The roommates were on a roadtrip, my car is still broken down so I wasn't going anywhere. So poochie and me curled up on the couch and enjoyed the chilly (occasionally snowy) weekend together. And I won't lie, Saturday stunk...I was in a funky funk, feeling lonely and sorry for myself, irritated that I couldn't go anywhere and just kind of all together BLAH. It's funny because I think my Saturday blahs were kicked off by a Friday night party I went to.

Being back in school can be GREAT in many ways. Even the first time I went to school I didn't do a lot of the full time student stuff because most of my friends were older and already out of school. So it has been fun to just throw myelf in and experience some of the college things I didn't do as much the first time around (and maybe cut back on some of the stupid stuff...haha!) And the group of friends I am developing are fabulous, and hilarious, and awesome and I just love them to death. It's hard to believe that 3 months ago I didn't know ANY of them and now I feel like I might as well have known everyone forever. BUT...the fact of the matter is that I AM a decade older than most of the people in this group. And let's be honest, 10 years spent in college, out of college, working, married, separated, moving from the Pacific NW, to the Greater NE, and now to the mountains of the South makes for a BIG experience difference. And while I try not to harp on it too much (yes, I occasionally smack myself for getting a little too "well back in MY day!") Friday night for some reason I just felt the age difference very keenly. Maybe it was the fact that the music people were saying was "old school" was actually the music that was just coming out when I first moved to NJ so it brought up a lot of memories. Maybe it's that for some reason I was looking around the party and seeing the faces of people who I knew over the last 10 years but are now firmly in my past juxtaposed on my new friends here in NC. But somehow, I just felt like I was a person out of time and out of place in that moment and it weighed somewhat heavily on me. And that energy carried over into Saturday for me, and not in a positive way.
Yes, you may remember when Britney came out - but the difference is I could have been babysitting you at the time, while we were actually partying to her music!

And unfortunately I manifested my Saturday down energy in my old, not so healthy ways - namely, eating a bunch of junk food, watching almost the entire 3rd season of The Wire, and sleeping more than half the day away. But by Sunday morning I realized that this was no way to be, and that living in a melancholy past was doing no one any good! So Sunday I attacked with purpose and energy!

So Sunday I decided that my rear end was back on the healthy living bandwagon. First I pulled out my journal and did a little writing to center myself. Then I got out one of my favorite books, "The End of Overeating" by Dr. David Kessler. A really fascinating book that talks about how the food industries really do manipulate us through science and chemistry to eat more, take in more calories, be less satisfied with healthy, NORMAL food, and ultimately spend more money on their junk while getting less and less healthy as a society. I read that book entirely through during the course of the day, just to remind myself why I had made a commitment to eat whole, natural foods and get rid of the junk. In between I also cleaned my kitchen, which turned into me emptying the fridge and scrubbing it with soap and water, emptying my cabinets and putting the less healthy food up to out of reach and more healthy food down in plain sight, and cooked up a storm!
I admit, when I went to the grocery store last week I got JUNK...frozen pizzas, lean pockets, fried okra, Oreos, chips...all that stuff that makes me feel like crap. And you know what - it WAS making me feel like crap! For the week that I was eating a combination of that and junk take out I had a permanent headache, stomach ache, tummy problems, and just felt all around sluggy. As soon as I started changing over to the whole grains, more fruits and veggies, and less processed food I feel a MILLION times better immediately!
So I made 2 pots of soup (I have learned from experience that if I plan on taking soup for lunch every day and I only make 1 kind I get burned out by Wednesday. By making 2 kinds I can switch it up every day and not get bored and go spend money on fast food) A sort of minestrone, and spinach/lemon/orzo. I also made a quiche bake with bacon, cheddar cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and eggs that I will have for dinners. And I have the stuff to make a mexican polenta casserole a little later in the week. I am meal planning, packing, and keeping things healthy and whole. And you know what? I feel GREAT already! I think a combination of the change in attitude and the change in food is already kicking in and I feel positive and ready to move forward and continue with getting healthy.

And you know what else? 29 isn't really that old :-)