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Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

June has come and gone, and yesterday America celebrated Independence Day. Due to the impending bad weather and social distancing, I spent the day at home. I walked in the morning, read some, and finally wrapped up answering some questions from Mind Over Weight that I needed to answer before rebooting (again) my exercise/clean eating routine. Needless to say, I was not successful with getting back on track with eating properly or incorporating additional exercise into my daily routine. Clearly, I was not really ready to change my indolent ways. So, since I have now listed all the reasons I want to take this journey, selected some motivational strategies to keep me on track, and created an action plan with some realistic goals, I think (eye roll) I’m ready to take the first step starting tomorrow morning.

I have two main goals:

  • Lose 20 pounds (#5 on my 20 for 2020) by 06 December 2020. I weighed in this morning at 159 pounds. I haven’t lost anything since June 1st, but I also haven’t gained anything.
  • Run a 5K (#20 on my 20 for 2020) by the end of 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has currently halted road races. Therefore, if I cannot actually register to run a race in 2020, I will have to create my own 5K. I ordered new running shoes which should arrive sometime this week. I will start my run/walk program next Monday.

I must think about my future self. Obviously, I am not getting any younger. If I do not commit to a healthier me TODAY, it is evidently not important enough to pursue, and my future self will be the one that suffers when it’s all said and done. If not now, when? Without sounding overly dramatic, the answer is never. I have made the decision that if I cannot change my ways in the health and wellness area of my life at this point in time, then I’m done. I’m tired of talking about it. I’m tired of thinking about it. Frankly, I’m tired of dealing with it.

Additionally, I will be spending the next 30 days breaking up with my phone. A couple of weeks ago, I listened to Episode #6 (“Dial D for Distracted”) of Season 2 of The Happiness Lab podcast. It was an eye-opening conversation between Dr. Laurie Santos and Catherine Price, a science journalist and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone. Yes, I bought the book! Sadly, I am addicted to my phone, and COVID-19 has added fuel to that fire. In order to protect my brain, I must reevaluate the relationship I have with my phone and set some boundaries with it.

The next few weeks of my life should be interesting, dear reader. I’ll be going through withdrawals from sugar, a breakup, and the pain of having a tooth extracted, so approach with caution if you see me in public. I hope my future self appreciates everything that I’m doing for her. Happiness!

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? But when I am for myself, then what am “I”? And if not now, when?” ~ Hillel the Elder

Books & Coffee Cup

 

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Today marks the last day of the year. As I reflect on 2019, I am amazed at all that I accomplished and experienced throughout this year. I turned 50 years old, celebrated my youngest son graduating from high school and starting college, and took the stage for the very first time in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Every month was spent with family and friends who I cherish dearly. Every month was filled with adventures and opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. Every month was committed to improving my health, my home, and my acting career.

19 for 2019 List Update

  • Yesterday, I completed #7 Donate blood. Next year, I plan to donate blood on a regular basis. I can give blood every eight weeks which puts me at donating again at the end of February.
  • This morning, I completed #8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This Booksmonth I read Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. This book was recommended by Gretchen Rubin. I’m an instructional coach, not a boss; however, some of the advice that Scott gives can be used in my position. The book is broken into two parts: A New Management Philosophy and Tools and Techniques. It is basically a guidebook on how to mix praise and criticism in a way that produces better results and helps employees achieve. It is also about building strong relationships between bosses and employees. Kim Scott also cohosts the Radical Candor podcast with Russ Laraway. It is “a show about how not to hate the boss you have…or be the boss you hate.” There are currently 23 episodes. I actually listened to the podcast before reading the book. Interesting stuff!

I completed 11 items on my 19 for 2019 list. My list this year was a little more ambitious than my list last year; however, I am happy with the items that I completed, as well as the ones I almost completed. Below are the 3 items that I almost completed on my 19 for 2019 list.

  • #4 Lost 19 pounds. As of today, I lost 13.5 pounds. Even though I did not hit my target weight, I am still proud of myself. I didn’t get serious about shedding weight until September 2nd. I’ve cut my sugar consumption drastically, and I eat less processed food. And, I did not gain any of my weight back over the holidays.
  • #9 Purge stuff in house one room/closet at a time. This goal was too broad and ambitious to complete in one year. I should have chosen specific rooms to declutter. Instead, I decluttered and remodeled rooms. I now have a scrapbook room. My utility room is almost complete. I need to order cabinets for my laundry hampers, a decorative laundry sign, and fill in two spaces between our new cabinets and the wall with wood. My office has been repainted and crown moulding installed. I just need to furnish it to make it cozy. Also, one of my bathrooms was repainted and new accessories were purchased for it.
  •  #12 Complete Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook. I’ve done a great deal on Andrew’s scrapbook; however, I just did not have enough time to get it completely finished. One of my scrapbooking goals is to set aside a specific amount of time per month to scrapbook. Hopefully, Shelly and I can scrapbook more often in the new year. When we scrapbook together, I get more accomplished. At the beginning of December, we scrapbooked a few hours each day for three days in a row, and I finished quite a few layouts.

Stella aka NovaThere are only a few hours left of 2019. It started off on a happy note and ended on a bittersweet one. Today, Andrew and I took the sweet female pup that wandered into our lives last Monday to Northshore Humane Society. Everyone at the facility was very nice; however, it was hard to let her go because I got attached to her. They named her Nova. I contacted Briana later this afternoon to check on her and was told that she was doing awesome. She was picked up by her foster shortly after we dropped her off. While I miss her, I know this is the best decision for my family and for her. Please pray that she finds her forever home very soon. In closing, dear reader, enjoy the rest of 2019. Tomorrow begins a new decade and a wonderful new year of possibilities. Happiness!

“When Radical Candor is encouraged and supported by the boss, communication flows, resentments that have festered come to the surface and get resolved, and people begin to love not just their work but whom they work with and where they work. When people love their job, the whole team is more successful. The resulting happiness is the success beyond success.”  ~ Kim Scott, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

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Earlier this weekend, I wanted to beat myself up a little, like I feel like doing to those damn kids in the Putnam County Spelling Bee. The reality for me right now is that I cannot physically and mentally do everything I want to do in the timeframe I scheduled everything. It’s a bummer because everything I want to do brings me joy. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I checked myself and counted my blessings of which I have a multitude.

Simply Blessed

So, how do I salvage the remaining portion of what I committed to without forsaking my sanity and still gleaning some benefit? Letting go of the time lost and picking up where I am right now is my solution. I have not, I repeat, not written one word of my 50,000 word novel. However, if I start today and write every day for the next 21 days, I could still meet my November 30th deadline. Of course, that means I will need to write at least 2,381 words per day. I have only meditated once with Deepak Chopra. However, if I start today and meditate every day for the remainder of the meditation series, I will only lose one day. The series allows a five day window to catch up. Finally, I want to get back to my scrapbooking and getting my house in order. Realistically, both of those activities will have to wait until I’m on Thanksgiving break. My calendar is marked to devote some time to both. Fingers crossed that the utility room will be completed by then.

In Other News:

  • I am taking an Improv: Level I Course in Metairie. This course will focus on the foundation of improv performance. It will also help me with improving my acting and auditioning skills through active listening, confident communication, and acceptance of given circumstances. It is four classes that meets once per week (two in November/two in December). The first one starts this Tuesday evening.
  • As for my weight loss goal, I am down another pound which puts me at a total loss of 12 pounds since September 2nd. I have 7 more pounds to lose by the end of 2019 to reach my goal.
  • There are only two more opportunities to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: Saturday, November 16th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 17th at 3:00 pm. Tickets are still available at www.theoctavians.org.

I have NO plans today but to rest (and write/meditate), dear reader. I started feeling a little funky last night (itchy throat, dull sinus headache). I think it is a combination of weather change, staying up late, and being on the go constantly. All great components on their own; but together, they can lead to feeling run-down and depleted. I cannot get sick with two upcoming shows and everything else I want to accomplish this week. So, today will be ALL about self-care. I even got out of going grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. Happiness!

“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations” ~ Jodi Picoult,

 

 

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On Friday, November 1st, I took the stage for the very first time as Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. My friend Tina sent me a text later that evening and asked me, “How did your first performance feel? Empowering? Awesome?”

I responded the next morning (since I was already in bed when she sent the text), “Without sounding dramatic, my first performance on the stage was exhilarating! Being a part of this cast has definitely been a dream come true. If there is such a thing as an actor’s high, I was as high as a kite last night. I cannot wait to do it again tonight. I’m still giddy this morning. Thanks for being one of my biggest cheerleaders. Love ya!”

Julia & Mitch

Julia and I after the show on opening night. 

And, I DID do it again last night. And, I get to do it again four more times this month. I’m having a blast! I fully expected to be a bundle of nerves on opening night, and shockingly, I was not really nervous on opening night or last night. I couldn’t wait to get out on the stage and entertain the audience. There is nothing quite like performing for an audience. We sold out opening night and had a good number of guests last night; however, both crowds brought the energy we needed to give it our all. I am proud of our cast and the musicians. Did I mention that we have live music for the show? The music is amazing! I am extremely grateful to everyone who has attended so far, including my friends and former students from HGCS. Our next show is on Friday, November 8th. Of course, I can’t wait! Undoubtedly, it is going to feel a bit strange not going to rehearsal in the evenings this week.

In Other News:

  • I’m flying to Atlanta on Wednesday of this week. My niece Emma, who is also my godchild, asked me to be her Confirmation sponsor. What an honor! It will be a quick trip, and I’ll be back home by Thursday evening.
  • NaNoWriMo started on Friday, November 1st. I have not written one word of my novel, yet. The plan is to start writing today. I will have to adjust my word count per day to reach my 50,000 words by the end of the month.
  • Today, my hubby and I are driving to the WWII Museum in New Orleans to see the play, Higgins: The Man, the Boat, the War. It is a gorgeous day today, so the drive to the city will be pleasant.
  • As for my weight loss goal, I am down another 2 pounds which puts me at a total loss of 11 pounds since September 2nd. I have 8 more pounds to lose by the end of 2019 to reach my goal.

November has certainly started off with a bang for me, dear reader. Much more is to come as the month unfolds. I am amazed that there are only two months left in 2019. I still have a few items to cross off of my 19 for 2019 list. I have a feeling a couple of those items will be added to my 2020 list. Life is unpredictable, so it is best to go with the flow and to adjust as needed. I’m really not a go-with-the-flow kind of gal by nature. I’m more of a planner and prefer structure; however, life doesn’t always accommodate me, so I’m slowly learning to adapt. While the unpredictability of life can be stressful, it can also be invigorating. How do you handle life and all its unpredictability, dear reader? Happiness!

“It is tempting to quit striving toward a goal when you have neither the time, the resources, the support, the means, nor perhaps the confidence in talent to reach the level of standing you wish to reach. But these are not reasons to quit. Move forward anyway. Try your best. Put what little you do have into accomplishing what you can, because along the way you may attain a portion of what you feel is lacking. And owning a portion of a dream is better than owning no dream at all. Never give up.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

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It is time for me to buckle up my seatbelt for this week’s wild ride. It’s finally here…TECH WEEK! My castmates and I have five days of rehearsal left until our play opens on Friday, November 1st. At this point, I can only imagine how this week will play out since I have never experienced tech week as an actor. Right now, I am fired up and ready to perform!

NaNoWriMoThere is more exciting news to announce today. Not only is November 1st the opening night of my play, but it is also the beginning of NaNoWriMo. And yesterday, I signed up to participate for the first time this November (#18 on my 19 for 2019 list). Of course, when I included this item on my list for 2019, I had no earthly idea that I would be performing in a play. I am currently in the prepping stage. I probably should have started prepping back in September with the NaNo Prep 101 Workshop. Nonetheless, I am excited and will do the best that I can to write a novel with at least 50,000 words in it by the end of November.

Another wonderful opportunity that I’m taking advantage of starts on November 4th. Deepak Chopra is offering another meditation experience called The Path of Empowerment. And, it’s free! I’m already signed up and encourage you, dear reader, to sign up as well.

As for my weight loss journey (#4 on my 19 for 2019), I have temporarily stalled this week. I have not lost any more weight, but I also have not gained any weight back. In addition, I have not been eating enough veggies which I think is contributing to bathroom issues. Thankfully, I am drinking enough water, and I am avoiding added sugar most days. I confess that I did eat a chocolate chip cookie at lunch on Fun Fair Friday and a mini chocolate pie (compliments of my mother-in-law) last night after dinner. I anticipate this week (with it being tech week) may be a challenge; however, I need to figure out another way to deal with the stress besides eating junk food.

In Other News:

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I am reading The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today by Joel Osteen. I have always enjoyed Joel Osteen’s work whether it be a book, a podcast episode, or a televised event. I love his positivity. This book is about the way you speak about yourself and how it can determine your destiny. Even though I try hard to be upbeat and positive the majority of the time, I am guilty of allowing negative self-talk to creep into my narrative and expressing negative feelings towards certain situations or circumstances. Osteen’s message is all about the attitude and the gratitude. For me, I need to work on having more patience and eliminating the complaining while I’m waiting. I need to focus on being me and not get distracted by others. I have so much I want to see, do, and experience in the second chapter of my life. I have to truly believe my time is coming, be intentional in my pursuits, and practice gratitude for the blessings that I have received and continue to receive daily. I AM BLESSED! Those three words are the beginning of the declarations I want to make a reality.

Today is the start of a wonderful week for me, dear reader. I hope it is for you, as well. I have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to in the next few weeks. Heck, tomorrow, I have the day off of work and get to take my amazing friend Michelle out for lunch. I haven’t seen her in ages, and I am thrilled we get to spend some time together. Happiness!

“One voice will point out that you’ve reached your limits. You’ve gone as far as you can. You don’t have what it takes. The other voice is clear and matter-of-fact: “You are well able. You can do all things through Christ. Your best days are still out in front of you.” Now, here’s the beauty. You get to choose which voice comes to life.” ~ Joel Osteen

 

 

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This coming week is the last week before rolling into TECH WEEK. While I have never experienced tech week as an actor, as a drama mama during Andrew’s tech weeks, I know it can be intense for all involved. Yesterday afternoon, I attended rehearsal to work solely on my monologue and solo for the play. I’m enjoying the process of developing my character and exploring different choices as Mitch. It’s an exciting feeling!

So, I plan to bask in the calm before the storm this week. Hydration and eating clean are top priorities. Getting an ample amount of sleep and keeping stress to a minimum are key. This week is a season of self-care. Next week is a season of sacrifice. Both are temporary but necessary for an incredible end result. Tickets are now on sale at www.octavians.org if you, dear reader, feel so inclined to come see a hilarious show that encourages audience participation.

In Other News:

If you want an excuse to rewatch The Office, check out the new podcast, Office Ladies. Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela), who happen to be BFFs,  take you on an episode-by-episode journey that breaks down each episode and gives you behind the scenes information on the much loved tv show.

Kombucha 2My quest for Big Easy Kombucha is still in full force. I have only been able to find it at my local Wal-Marts. They have added two more flavors, Jammin’ Ginger infused with ginger, Meyer lemon, and hibiscus and Melon Magic infused with cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon. I usually enjoy a cup of Kombucha with my dinner. Apparently, Big Easy Bucha has a tasting room in New Orleans where you can try Kombucha on draft. Road trip!

I am down another pound which puts me at a total loss of 9 pounds since September 2nd. Slow and steady wins the race. I am ten pounds away from meeting my weight loss goal.

Life is good, dear reader. Better yet, life is wonderful! I am living a blessed filled life. What are your plans for the remainder of the weekend? My hubby and I are going to see Zombieland: Double Tap in a couple of hours. We watched the first one last night to refresh our memories. Good stuff! After Andrew gets off work (yes, work…an official employee at BAM), we plan to meet him for dinner at SLU. The cafeteria in the Student Union is amazing. Happiness!

“…and when the tension receded there was calm, the calm that is called before the storm, but is in reality the foundation of a human life, waiting there for us between the steps of our march to our mortality, when we are compelled to pause and not act but be.”  ~ Mohsin Hamid, Exit West

 

 

 

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Spelling Bee 2In three short weeks, the show that I am doing, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will be opening. It is hilarious and will be so much fun for audience members. Tickets went on sale yesterday. My experience, thus far, has been wonderful. I’m grateful to both Rachael Knaps (director) and Brent Goodrich (music director) for giving me this opportunity. Being in a musical production is a huge commitment and a great deal of work.  I am being stretched creatively in so many ways, and I am loving the challenge. While I am extremely excited, I am also incredibly nervous. I don’t want to just perform well, I want to SHINE!

Currently, I am struggling with my monologue. I know the words, and I know the message that I am delivering to the audience. However, I am not taking ownership as my character Mitch. I can spout out my lines at home, in the car, on a walk, but then I take the stage as Mitch during rehearsal, and my mind goes blank. I’m tongue-tied Kat, instead. The other night at rehearsal when I called for line, Tina gave it to me, and I swore she was speaking Chinese. I could NOT think! At that point, I wanted to sing “Woe is Me,” curl up in a fetal position, and suck my thumb. Thank the stars that I’m just a little dramatic and not a quitter. I have to work hard on getting out of my head and getting more into my character. Thankfully, everyone has been super supportive and patient with me. If they are willing to believe in me, I have to believe in myself. I may not be as talented as my fellow actors, but I am talented. With more effort and determination, I believe I can shine.

In Other News:

Onion MumI have completed the reemergence period of The Clean 20 program. I am down another 1/2 pound which puts me at a total loss of 8 pounds since September 2nd. Even though that may not seem like such a stellar accomplishment, I’m actually happy with it. The reemergence period is where foods that were eliminated during the clean eating phase of the program are reintroduced or banned entirely. I did not create the two lists suggested by Dr. Ian Smith. I did not want to ban anything. Restrictions backfire on me. I would rather give myself permission to eat what I want and choose not to eat it than tell myself I can never eat something ever again. I’m also of the mindset that if a poor food choice is something that will only be consumed once in a very long while, enjoy it. Sometimes, feeling like crap after eating it will be enough to not reach for it again in the future. For example, I adore Bonneval’s Cracklin, but that deliciously seasoned snack with fried out pork fat skin attached is not adored by my stomach. So, as much as I would like to indulge in the future, after belching for hours afterwards and having to pop a Zantac to stop the belching, I am no longer in adoration. I confess to you, dear reader, that although I ate clean most of the time, I did eat what I wanted during this period. I ate beef and fried foods a couple of times. And, I ate sugar! I wanted carrot cake, so I ate a third of a slice that I brought home from Outback Steakhouse. It was yummy, but rich, and enough that I enjoyed it without regret. I was stressing and a little hormonal this past week, so I ate part of a chocolate rabbit (top half) on Tuesday afternoon and the other part (bottom half) on Wednesday afternoon.  I basically drowned my feelings in chocolate. I must have felt guilty because that night I ended up having a sugar-related nightmare where I was in a room filled with bowls of candy, and I was stopping at every bowl, grabbing a piece of candy, and eating it. The HORROR! I have accepted my moments of weakness and have moved on. Fortunately, I am back on track.

Autumn weather has finally arrived in Louisiana, and it feels fantastic. It is perfect weather for a walk or run. My big plans for today consist of going to the movies to see Joker and then swing by the bookstore before coming back home to work on my monologue and read “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft. Enjoy what is left of the weekend, dear reader.  Happiness!

“Temporary failure will not prevent you from achieving lasting success.”              ~ Matshona Dhliwayo

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PandemoniumMy life is pandemonium right now, and I’m surprisingly happier because of it. I have a bunch of irons in the fire. Some are way more enjoyable than others. I’m working on making my dreams a reality. It is awesome to set goals; however, I must remind myself that the satisfaction of achieving those goals comes from the journey or the process in fulfilling them.

I’ve started rehearsing for the 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee show. I’m taking an Acting for Film and Television Workshop on Saturdays. I’m working full-time as an instructional coach at Holy Ghost Catholic School. I’m blogging. And, I’m trying to lose 19 pounds by December 31st, all while taking care of my fur babies and meeting the other demands of my personal life. No two days are alike which makes trying to successfully balance it all interesting at times.

Last week was challenging because I had a work commitment every day (except Friday) after school. Needless to say, I did not get in any extra exercise. I had to choose between exercise and rest. I chose rest, so that I could be my best during rehearsal and at Saturday’s class. Thankfully, eating clean and being active at work is helping to keep my weight in check. I am currently in the reemergence period of The Clean 20 program which will last another two weeks. At the end of that period, I will post an update. I do want to share that I am down another 1/2 pound which puts me at a total loss of 7.5 pounds since September 2nd. Woot-Woot!

In Other News:
Four Tendencies#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve always been fascinated by personality assessments and learning how personality influences decision making, job performance, etc. While those assessments share some specific aspect of human nature, Rubin’s framework is based solely on meeting inner and outer expectations and how people respond to them when making decisions, reaching goals, and handling relationships. A variety of personality types can share a tendency. As I have mentioned previously on my blog, I am a Questioner. According to Rubin, “Questioners question all expectations; they meet an expectation only if they believe its justified, so in effect they respond only to inner expectations” (6). Finding out my tendency has been helpful to me. It has helped me understand why I am unable at times to complete a task or make a decision, or it explains my resistance to meeting someone else’s requests. If you, dear reader, are interested in finding out your tendency, visit Gretchen Rubin’s website to take the Four Tendencies Quiz. Let me know your tendency if you decide to take it!

My life feels like a whirlwind at the moment. Unlike a season of sacrifice, it is challenging in a way that is both energizing and exciting. I love learning, and I’m beginning to love getting myself out of my comfort zone and seeing how far I can push myself creatively. At times, it feels exhilarating, and other times it feels terrifying. The one constant, though, is the support and encouragement that I receive from you, dear reader, along with my awesome friends and family. Happiness!

“When we understand ourselves and how our Tendency shapes our perspective on the world, we can adapt our circumstances to suit our own nature – and when we understand how other people’s Tendencies shape their perspectives, we can engage with them more effectively.” ~ Gretchen Rubin

 

 

 

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Kale Chips

Kale Chips

I completed Week 2 of The Clean 20. Overall, I am feeling successful even though I am still a work in progress, for sure. The good news is I have lost an additional three pounds this week which brings me to a total of six pounds lost since I started eating clean. I have stuck to my plan of eating clean 98% of the time. Last night for dinner, I ate a thinly cut piece of steak with no condiments and a baked sweet potato. There is no beef on Smith’s plan, yet there are health benefits from incorporating it in your diet. For example, he mentions that beef is among the best sources of foods that contain zinc which is important for our brains. So, I am not going to beat myself up too much for having my beef. The victory is that I did not eat it with BBQ sauce which is laden with sugar. Also, during the week, I did eat a frozen organic meal for dinner. It was one of Amy’s Bowls (Mexican Casserole made with organic corn and beans topped with enchilada sauce and cheese). I liked it! It was quite tasty and convenient. The meal is gluten free, contains no GMOs, includes 12 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar. It does have 780mg of sodium, so if sodium intake is an issue, this may not be a good food option. Nevertheless, it is a processed food that is not listed on The Clean 20.

Let’s talk about processed foods for a minute because not all processed foods are equal. When a food is processed, it is undergoing a deliberate change to the food before it is eaten. Freezing, drying, cooking, and canning are ways that foods can be processed. Some processed foods go through minimal processing (bagged spinach) while others go through heavier processing (granola bars). Therefore, it is imperative to read labels on any foods that are processed to discern if these foods can be a part of a clean eating diet.

Processed FoodsSome processed foods that I have incorporated in my clean eating repertoire include: Wholly Chunky Avocado minis (only one ingredient, Hass Avocados), Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt (terrific substitute for sour cream), Sargento Balanced Breaks snack pack (not thrilled with the 8g of sugar that comes from the golden raisin medley), Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, Primal Kitchen Ketchup (organic and unsweetened; no added sugar); Amy’s Organic Soup: Black Bean Vegetable (does contain 5g sugar; organic and gluten free; I get two servings (3/4 cup each) out of a can and pair it with a sandwich), Amy’s Bowls (Mexican Casserole), Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I also made kale chips this week. It was interesting. I burned my first batch even though I followed the directions carefully. I received confirmation from co-workers that my second batch was successful. So, I can add kale chips to my clean eating list and add a little more crunch to my life.

I’m sure you are wondering, dear reader, how well did Kat do this week with meeting her water intake and exercise goals. Both were still challenging. On average, I am drinking about 6 glasses of water per day. As for exercise, I did none beyond my walking and climbing stairs at work. I am NOT meeting the exercise goals outlined in The Clean 20. Planning and prioritizing are the key with both of these challenges. Smith writes on Day 9 of The Clean 20, “As you embark on a journey to better health, you need to understand that making perfect decisions in what you eat and how you move is not a requirement and, in fact, could be a self-defeating goal. Try your best to remain true to your purpose, but remember that there’s more to life than what’s on your plate or in your cup” (122). Sometimes, we need to make decisions that can be hard because of our circumstances. Surprisingly, I passed on pepperoni pizza at the staff meeting on Tuesday afternoon. I LOVE pepperoni pizza! I planned accordingly and ate my carrots with hummus instead. And, it was fine. Does this mean that I will never eat pepperoni pizza again? Of course not! It means that I made a commitment to eat clean for 20 days to improve my health.

That’s a wrap, dear reader. Since starting my clean eating journey, I am feeling better both physically and mentally. And, I need to feel my best because I start play practice tomorrow afternoon which means my life is about to get crazy…in an exciting way. Happiness!

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” ~ Anthony Robbins

 

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Clean 20This week I decreased added sugar, reduced process food, reduced consuming unnecessary additives, and incorporated most of the foods recommended in The Clean 20 by Dr. Ian K. Smith. I lost 3 pounds. One of the main observations that I have made so far is that I do not feel as bloated as I have been after eating meals. Surprisingly, I do not miss the added sugar; however, I do miss the convenience of processed food. Thankfully, I like the foods on the clean eating list because I eat many of them already.

While I am following The Clean 20 rules and taking suggestions from the program’s menus about what to eat, I am not eating the meals in the exact order that Smith has outlined in the book. It is just not realistic for me. I do not like to cook, so preparing Baked Apple Oatmeal Cups for breakfast and Herb-encrusted grilled skinless chicken breast with salad greens for lunch is not going to work for me. However, I will eat my cup of oatmeal with blueberries mixed with a 1/4 cup of reduced fat milk for breakfast and a turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread with 5 ounces of turkey, a slice of pepper jack cheese, a tomato, and mustard with a 3/4 cup of black bean vegetable soup.

Let’s discuss coffee for a moment. I LOVE coffee! What I do not love is drinking black coffee. Therefore, when I prepare my 10 ounce cup of coffee in the morning, it includes the coffee (K cup), one packet of Truvia, a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (cuts the aftertaste of the Truvia), and 1 tablespoon of half & half. My coffee contains about two grams of sugar. According to Jackie Warner, who wrote This is Why You’re Fat, “Choose foods with five grams of sugar per serving or less. The body doesn’t register anything five grams and under, so that is optimal” (35). Many afternoons, I enjoy a second 10 ounce cup of coffee. Even with my miniscule amount of sugar that I add, I am within my sugar limits.

The clean eating challenges that I faced this week included not drinking enough water, not being able to eat perfectly on a schedule, and eating dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. When I am home, I come close to consuming the recommended amount of water (between 8 and 10 cups per day) suggested on the program. When I am at work, not so much. I have always struggled with consistently drinking enough water during the work day. I’m not sure how to solve this issue; however, I’m not giving up. As for my eating schedule, I had a couple of long meetings this week that interfered with me eating my morning snack or lunch on time, and I attended an afternoon swim meet with no afternoon snack and eating a late dinner. Being overly hungry can lead to overeating or reaching for the wrong food choices. I prevailed, but there was a time or two this week that I wanted to consume something extra and not so clean or take a trip through a fast food drive-thru. Also, eating out or having someone cook for you can be a challenge on any clean eating program. On Friday evenings, my mother-in-law is kind enough to cook dinner for my family. And, she cooks well. Unfortunately for me, dinner this week was fried catfish, mashed potatoes, carrots, and chocolate cake. I ate it all in moderation.

As for exercise, I failed miserably this week. I only walked on Monday (off). I do walk a bunch around the school’s campus and climb a fair amount of stairs while working, but I am not hitting the recommended amount of steps or completing the exercises in the program. All excuses, but here it goes: too hot, tired (probably from not drinking enough water), no working earbuds for phone, lack of motivation.

I am a work in progress, dear reader. Even though I did not follow the program this week to the letter, I did make more positive than negative choices to improve my health. And, I’m not giving up because my desire to be healthier outweighs my desire for eating bowls of Blue Bell’s “Happy Tracks” ice cream. Happiness!

“What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart.” ~ Cheryl Strayed

 

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