Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday Favorites (Saturday Edition): Daily Kale

If you're not following @daily_kale on Twitter, you're life is at least 50% less funny.  The kale jokes just never get old.  Here is a sampling of my personal faves:

And also this one:

You're welcome.

Daily LOL


Hahaahahhahahahaha! Love this.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Friday Favorites: Fitness Blogs

Welcome to the Sunday edition of Friday Favorites! 

Okay, so I have a confession to make: I went back to work this week, which explains the drop off in posts.  But I'll have you know that even though I haven's been posting with the fervor that characterized my vacation time, my brain is working on all sorts of interesting things for you, readers! 

Anyway.  This week, I want to talk about fitness blogs.  That's how this whole adventure got started in the first place.  First, I was just trolling the before and after tumblrs like this one.  The bf says that this makes me obsessed about losing weight and that I shouldn't compare myself to others, and he is right.  But he's also wrong.  These before and afters are a source of motivation because when I see someone who struggled like I have attain even a modicum of success, I do a (sometimes) silent cheer for them in my living room and give them a mental/virtual high-five.  All this positivity reminds me that people who have a harder struggle than mine have been successful and I think, "So why shouldn't I be successful?"

But that was just the beginning.  My blog inspiration really came from this man, Hank Hanna, who has a blog called The Business of Losing Weight.  

Hank. Lol. See why I love this guy?
Hank hasn't posted in a while, but here are 5 reasons why you should get into this blog (start from the beginning and you will have plenty of reading material) yesterday:
  1. Hank is just your average person, like me, except he's a man.  And some of you readers might be men and might be able to connect with that. Or you are a woman, like me, and don't care too much about the gender specifics of your blogger.
  2. Hank had a lot of weight to lose, which is different from me.  Some of you readers might connect with that too.  
  3. But even though I never had to lose as much weight as Hank, his stories are so incredibly relatable to anyone trying to lose any amount of weight.
  4. Hank is funny.  He adds pictures and videos to break up the text that always make me laugh. He also has a segment called "stuff fat people do" that are funny and relatable at the same time.
  5. Hank is also a triathlete, which is incredible.  You can read about how he got to that place and it will inspire you to do something you never thought possible.
  6. He always has a sweet sign-off at the end of each post that is like a little mantra for fitness and health.
  7. He's smart.  You ever read a post from someone who is obviously inexperienced, immature, or maybe even blatantly dumb? Yea, that will never happen on Hank's blog.
  8. He has a cool southern accent.  

Did I say 5 reasons? I guess there were a few more, eh? :) 

Start with this post.  This is where I began and I was hooked after just this one post.  Now there have been many bloggers who have written on this topic, but Hank's is original and funny.  After reading that, I went all the way to the beginning of Hank's story and read all the way to now.  I hope there is a future post soon!

So, readers, what do you think of fitness blogs?  What are your favorites?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Type 3 Diabetes: Another Reason to Stop Eating Crap

Did you need another reason to stop eating crap? I can never have too many reasons.  I just file them away in a corner of my brain and pray that they will activate when temptation arises.  The more items in that corner, the better my activation chances.  So if you need more reasons for your corner, keep reading for a really good one.

Not a lot of things run in my family.  I mean, there's good looks, incredible wit, and, oh, wait, yea...Alzheimer's disease.  If you have ever known anyone with this disease, or if you have seen/read The Notebook, then you know what I'm talking about.  One of the scariest things about this disease is that doctors don't fully understand why it happens, which means that there's no clear way to prevent it. The Mayo Clinic says that not eating fruits/veggies, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all linked to Alzheimer's disease, and I have also heard that exposure to aluminum might be a factor.

Doctors now think that there is a link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease - it's like diabetes of the brain, or type 3 diabetes.  Although they don't understand this relationship 100% yet, I will heed this warning because it makes sense to me, at least how Women's Health explains it here.

What to do if you're scared of losing all your hard-earned brain cells to this stupid disease? Stop eating crap.  More specifically, don't eat the stuff that contributes to diabetes: high fat and high sugar. I love fat and sugar...and salt.  Well, at least I can have my salt, am I right? No, I know, excess salt contributes to high blood pressure, which is linked to Alzheimer's disease.  Thanks, logic, for killing that little bit of happiness. This year, I think I'll just stick with the "everything in moderation" mantra, and actually try to mean it, because what we are talking about here is sugar and fat in excess

Oh, and if you're interested in avoiding aluminum like I do, start with your deodorant.  Those things are chemical bombs waiting to explode on your pits.  I've tried a lot of different ones and I like this one the best (you can get it at Whole Foods).  Also, check out this video by the Sexy Vegan, who does a review of different pit colognes. It's both funny and informative!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Short Term Goals: Part 1 of Infinity

So on day two of this new health adventure/lifestyle (yesterday), I had a rendezvous with friends.  You know, the typical dinner and drinks thing.  My old self would throw caution to the wind, drink like a fish, and eat like it's my last meal.  This just would not do for my new, healthy take on life, now would it? (No, no it wouldn't!)

Old self always has room for more snacks.
One thing that I'm really, incredibly, good at is making excuses for my bad habits.  I feel no guilt going nuts and abandoning a diet for a "special occasion".  You may have noticed that I did not type special occasion, but rather "special occasion". Well, my perceptive little readers, that's because when it comes to food, I give that term a loose definition.  Special occasion = vacations, holidays, celebrations, dinner out, dinner in, hanging out with a friend I haven't seen in more than a day, going to the movies, walking by a Sweet Frog, breakfast, lunch, dinner...  You can probably tell that with so many occasions in my life deemed special, it's no wonder that weight loss has been difficult to achieve and maintain.

So here's what went down:

Fail! Even including the calories I burned running 5 miles that morning, I still went over my daily calorie goal by about 50 calories.

Victory! I got a bowl of vegetarian chili, and upon realizing that by "bowl", they meant "trough", I only ate half of it.  And with that, I only ate half of the tortilla chips.  I also ordered a small side salad to get my greens on and fill up.  This is what I chose instead of french fries and a burger. Niiiiiiice!

Victory! I really wanted some beer because we went to this place that has interesting beers.  Instead, I had 2 tequila and sodas, 1 ale, and a glass of cabernet.  Okay, so I had about two too many drinks but I am still navigating the social pressure thing and I will do better on the next test (tonight).  But I did choose half of my drinks responsibly and I think that's a (small) victory.

Now I know that I did some little things right and some little things wrong, but it's a step in the right direction. I'm happy with my decisions even if there is still a lot of room for improvement.  

This recap brings me to my first short term goal:
Short Term Goal #1/Infinity - Healthy eating at the wedding tonight.  
More specifically, this means:
  • No bread
  • No crackers
  • Lots of raw veggies and fruit
  • Lots of water 
  • 2 drink maximum, clear liquor and soda only
  • Enjoy family and friends - talk more, eat less.
I'm feeling up for the challenge.  Check back tomorrow to see if I make myself proud!

What small victories have you had in your pursuit of fitness and health? What excuses do you make to justify poor health related decisions?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorites: Trader Joe's Extra Dark Chocolate Wedges

Hello, readers!

Today is Friday and I was thinking that on Fridays, I will highlight my favorites: products, websites, cookbooks, recipes, whatevs.  Any day of the week would be good to talk about my favorite things, but come on, I can't ignore the convenient alliteration of Friday Favorites, can I? (The answer is, no.  No, I can't.)

For the first installment of Friday Favorites, I offer you the following:
Happiness is triangular.
No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, 73% Belgian cacao, 100% vegan, creamy, and delicious! For me, this is the perfect chocolate serving when I need a fix because each wedge is only 40 calories (although a "serving" is 2 pieces).  Two triangles and a bowl of fresh cherries was the perfect nighttime snack last night while I was trolling the interwebs before bed.

The only bad thing I have to say about this chocolate is that it contains soy, which for me is not a problem, but I realize there are allergies out there so if that's you, this very addition of Friday Favorites was a waste of your time and you probably wish you could have your 2 minutes back.  Sorry, no refunds.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 1: Trials and Triumphs

Third post of the day! Don't get comfortable here, readers.  Although I promise to put in the effort needed to maintain this blog, just like any relationship, over time, I expect that my enthusiasm will wane and soon you'll be asking me why I never buy you flowers anymore. 

Here is the day 1 recap:
  • Kicking negative thoughts (I can't do this; Why bother exercising today - one day doesn't matter) is going to take some time. I guess I didn't think this through, eh? Just because you declare something adorable like I'm going to believe in myself! doesn't make it magically materialize into reality, unless you have a 3D printer, in which case, any m-fing thing is possible. Anyway.  Where was I going with this? Ah, yes.  Whilst driving through town today, I was planning my exercise for the afternoon and I caught myself thinking that I'd skip today, because, well, one day doesn't matter much.  SKIP TODAY?! TODAY IS DAY ONE! Yeesh!  So after I chided myself for getting off to a slippery start, I told myself that every little bit of positive behavior is important.  I don't know how much I really, deep down, believe that yet, but I'm trying! Which leads me to...
  • Exercise: The bf told me today that what matters most in seeing change is consistency and intensity.  Sometimes, I think I'm going to choose my battles here and only accomplish one or the other.  Today is one of those times.  I have had a headache for two days straight despite sleeping well and so I was not pumped for any exercise whatsoever.  But I did it, readers.  I think it's important to move at least 30 minutes a day, in a concerted effort to sweat (not just rolling around on the floor with my cat). It wasn't my best run, but any run completed is better than no run at all. Am I right?
  • Victory! Made a delicious dinner.  Instead of just roasting tofu how I always do it (with Braggs) and roasting brussel sprouts like I always do it (with garlic, oil, salt, and pepper) I whipped out the cookbooks for some much need inspiration.  Just using different spice combos can make ordinary staples fresh and interesting again.  Feels good to be excited about healthy food! Recipe for the tofu here. Recipe for brussel sprouts came from this cookbook.

    buckwheat, lemony dill tofu, and ginger brussel sprouts
  • This gem of a healthy snack got me through the dinner planning process.  This could be a new routine.  When I get home from work, I'm usually too ravenous to be creative.  A little snackeroo while planning will tide me over for sure. I really enjoyed this snack, mostly because it allowed me a little break from the day. I think snacks have potential for being a blog focus/feature...

baby carrots, Cedars red pepper hummus, Califa double espresso almond milk - and yes, this is the same plate I used at dinner.  Don't judge me.
Oh, and one more thing: did I tell you that my healthy routine that I'm setting up, while it will be a lifestyle change (even though it's true, I'm definitely sick of hearing people say that - sounds pretentious, doesn't it?) I am ultimately looking to be in the best shape of my life one year from today.  I read somewhere that goals are important.  So there's my long term goal.  My first short term goal is to create some short term goals...

Faith in Fitness: Taking a Leap

I have been searching for the elusive fitness cure all thirty of my years.  I have tried Weight Watchers, counting calories, fasts, calorie restriction, intuitive eating, hoping, wishing, and dreaming.  I love fitness blogs and motivational tumblrs, Women's Health magazine, running, biking, spinning, hiking. And yet 20-30 pounds of unhealthy remain. 

So what will be different this time?  This time I am dedicating myself to believing in the system. Believing that consistency, effort, and plain old healthy practices will get me where I need to be.

You know:

And, of course:

Here's to a new way of thinking!

The Beginning of the End

How the world will end.  You're welcome.
This marks the first of several many blog posts chronicling my adventures in becoming healthy.

Now I know what you are thinking.  You're thinking Pea.  Can I call you that? Um, Sure. Well, Pea, there are thousands, maybe MILLIONS of blogs about fitness.  So no one cares about your little bloggity-blog.  Just so you know. Are you even certified or a professional or anything?

Well, yes, you are right.  And no, I am no kind of fitness expert.  This is just another fitness blog. And I haven't lost 100 pounds.  Heck, I don't have 100 pounds to lose! This blog is for me, to keep me honest (and maybe sane) on my quest for health and happiness.

So here is what you will get if you stay tuned to this blog:
  • Snarky commentary about life/health/fitness/food
  • Daily musings 
  • Recipes and meal ideas
  • Successes and failures
  • Motivation and inspiration to stay on track