Raining bad times.

The thundering weather in Austin sets up a good metaphor for the bullshit that has been happening to me lately. So, as much as I wanted to, the mini-vacay was just not in the cards because of some unforeseen medical bills, so that sucked. On top of that, my phone decided to be an ass and stop working, my hope is that it is just the battery and that I can get it replaced soon. So the consequences of that have been that I have had to put my GymPact on hold, because there has been no way of checking in via RunKeeper or through the GPS. Sucks, I really liked having that accountability. In general, I have been pretty depressed, too. I have to have hope that this is the end of bad things and better things will start happening, but then again it has been a long stretch of bad. 

Weight has been pretty stable at 126-127, but then again I have been eating mostly beans, veggies, and rice (I was able to basically feed two people for like 5 days on $15, crazy huh?) I know like weight loss, life has a way of working out, if you make the right choices, but being stressed out all the times certainly doesn’t create the right environment to make those. I made it 15 days smoke free, and this past Saturday I relented “socially” to indulge in those awful things. The cognitive dissonance doesn’t work on me, I know they are terrible, fatal, and it is not likely that science will help me grow a new lung. Yet, give me a mint julep (my way of celebrating the Kentucky Derby) and a bloody Mary and those concerns just melt away. Pathetic. Stop doing stupid shit, Lauren. Self-destruction isn’t cute anymore. Ugh, can someone cheer me up, please.

 

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Thankful Thursday – eating your words

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Waterloo Icehouse breakfast – so good!

So, I knew that I would regret posting that spoiled brat kind of rant, but honestly it was kind of a distraction for things that were really bothering, but did not want to publicly rant about. I can say that they are resolved. There are some other matters that need to be taken care of, but I don’t feel so crazy stressed about things, and just have a general sense that everything will work out for me.

Ah, endorphins, in my personal exercise experience, I have come to the conclusion that even if I do cardio/gym stuff at night, that I should get some activity even if it is rather light walking, in before I go to work. The well-being of exercise really carries over into my daily activities and I feel very at peace. One thing that I notice that I am doing less and less of, however, is obsessively tracking my food, but at the same time, I am not really eating much of a breakfast (coffee) or lunch (cashews, almonds  and/or pistachios from the office), and really not eating a huge dinner (too broke to get fast food, hah!) This probably isn’t the best meal plan, as I am freaking starving right now. Not really attempting to starve myself, but  I usually will just forget to pack a meal and just  not that hungry in the morning. So, I need to work on that. Thankfully I had breakfast this morning, bacon instead of fruit, as pictured.
Anywho, the struggle not to become a cardio queen continues, my gym is going to be offering ballet classes, so that might be a cool thing to try and will sneak in some strength training because it feels so hard to to do it on my own gumption.  Oh, so very hungry, only about 90 minutes until I get to rock out with stir-fry yumminess.

A little bit empty-brained, so will sign off for now.

Work(it)out Wednesday – Spring into Summer!

Vacation, time to get away!

Vacation, time to get away!

So, with the lack of inspiration, I am going to steal like an artist and piggyback from a post by ChicFitChef  yesterday and talk about the summer time. Around this time the diet and fitness industry is really going into overdrive about bikini season and giving our collective body dysmorphic disorders a shot of adrenaline. Well, I can’t really help being unhappy with your body, as that is a personal journey that even my zen (yeah right) self struggles with almost daily. But, as far as self-improvement, there are a few things that we can all do to look our best for the beach:

1. Ditch the Booze
Spring Break is over, and you probably need a good detox as it were. Sure happy hours that turn into late hours are fun, but really do you need to add those extra calories. Clean eating is not easy but, IMO, teetotaling is. Okay, so you may have to become a hermit, at least that has been my experience in Austin, y’all love to drink! Also, once you give up the sauce, then I feel like it builds the better habit to do more stricter elimination such as sugar/processed carbs. Admittedly, I was going to recommend a Whole 30, but really a sensible diet plan can get you there, just takes more like 60 days versus 30.

2. C U later
So after some research, because I am truthful I decided to ditch my hypothesis about Vitamin C,  cortisol and weight loss because of this. I am not going to dismiss Vitamin C for weight loss however, because of this. Not to mention its many other health benefits, Vitamin C assists in collagen synthesis, and I think you know where I am going with this. Oh no, the c-word, dun dun dun.. CELLULITE. I don’t have any articles to back me up here, but it stands to reason, if collagen is the result of the breakdown of collagen, and you are taking something that restores it? (not sure if that is accurate, biologists help me out here) that Vitamin C would at least mitigate future attacks of this dreaded orange peel accessory. Anyway, I am trying it, and will let you know if that works out for me, do keep in my my confounding variables of other nutrition and exercise, for you more skeptical readers!

3. Sleepytime!
Feel like a big ole hypocrite for advising on this one because I had like 3 hours of sleep last night, but study after study after study has linked sleep with weight loss, and I feel like it needs to be repeated in this insomniac society we live that getting some shut-eye can greatly improve our health. Also, it just makes you feel better, and when you feel better, you look better, totally anecdotal, but probably true.

Foodie Friday: Rollin’

One of my favorite foods is sushi, but unfortunately it is not the cheapest fare. Thankfully, I live in Awesome, er Austin, TX and we own the franchise How Do You Roll?, and this place is just great because a) the food there is cheap, probably like Subway cheap, and b) the food is low calorie, and healthy, just look at what I constructed from their website:

You can make a sushi roll even with spicy mayo, and add a side of miso soup, and you will only be around 420 calories! If that isn’t bad ass, I don’t know what is. You will spend about $8 with a drink and soup, so yes, very reasonable for sushi. Also, the ingredients for the rolls are pretty healthy, if you want to opt for better carbs (and less calories) you can switch to brown rice in lieu of the white rice, and if you really wanted to get serious with your calorie cutting, you could opt out of the sauce entirely, ps the tempura crunch adds a lot of cals.

The inspiration for this post came from trying to construct a food choice that will have positive effects on stress, as outlined in this article. In the spirit of alliteration, I wanted to create a menu based on the items listed. Breakfast is easy: coffee, oatmeal, and berries. However, when I thought about lunch I remembered my newly created Saturday ritual which is getting HDYR from their Breaker/mopac location. Fortunately, we have two of the 7 items covered. I guess that means walnuts, dark chocolate and sunflower seeds for dindin. Strange, but I think it could work!

I have tried this roll and it is definitely delicious. Will have to report back with pictures.

Vanity killed the hot yoga star

Yes, it is true. I am thinking of taking off my focus bracelets from sunstone for a more cooler version of the practice Today was a really good practice for Fire 90 at Sunstone, but my god I hadn’t been to a fire class in a while and boy was it unbearably hot. So, yeah it got me to thinking, is this actually great for my skin, which is finally starting to clear up once I am obsessive about washing it after the sweaty practice.  So here is the rub, I found this study that suggests that 6 weeks of 43 degrees Celsius (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit)  for only 30 minutes and 3 times a week. My classes are probably about 98, sometimes less, but also they are 60 to 90 minutes long, and some weeks I was going 4-5 times! So, yeah, I don’t want to be wrinkly as I take hot enough showers, and any more exposure might really cause some oxidative damage, oh look at you trying to sound smart.

I guess I can justify fitness and the exposure of heat in that capacity because it isn’t just sitting still and I feel like you are supposed to be active in your daily life, which brings me to my next point. I need a new yoga place. Yeah, I certainly don’t want to quit practice, because it does make me feel good, and I feel like if I were to do it with a DVD at home, I would some how find a way to phone it in or half-ass it, as they say. The group dynamic just works for me. Le sigh, Pure Austin
or as I like to call it “fancy gym” has the best selection of classes for the price as most of the studios here are like 99-120 per month, holy mackerel!!  Even at $64 for the fancy gym, it is a  bit more money then I want to pay, so 24 hour fitness might be the second best at $29-36 a month depending how many gyms you want to have access to, or if you want to pay a stupid enrollment fee, which I don’t. There is also donation based downtown, but this cities two main arteries of traffic are perpetually clogged, and who wants to deal with that, no thank you to stress that I do not need. Haven’t found anything in my location that is cheap except for the damn hell asanas, just kidding.

I may try the Gaiam stuff online, but really the motivation not the actual classes are the problem. The only way I think I would do it is if I was at the apartment’s gym or clubhouse and using my iPad, just so that I am away from the distractions of my apartment. Well, enough pointless rambling and bitching. .

Beware the ides of Squatober.

Okay so I am not really doing that as well as I should, but I love the idea of starting over as it were on the 15th of a month. Maybe it is because I get paid bi-monthly, and without having to pay rent, it kinda makes me feel like it is bonus money which gives me a sense of freedom (well not really because I got them student loans) But anyway, the 15th represents a chance of renewal, that you can salvage the rest of the 31 days and start fresh even on a new month.

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Sunday, I came up with kind of a spicy special sauce for my paleo(ish) remixed sandwich. It is low-carb, but the mayo is store bought, which is not primal compliant, BFD. I am so over it, but really I am just mad because the one time I tried making the mayo with egg whites and olive oil, it was a big-time failure. I haven’t tried since then, but I should.  At any rate, the sauce I made used generic mayo, Frank’s red hot wing sauce, and minced garlic, and it had just the right amount of creaminess, spiciness, and healthy benefit with the garlic. Not so sure it was the best thing calorie-wise, but the lettuce and chicken really needed some sort of sauce to make it actually be appealing.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. No yoga, and it is looking more and more like no orange bracelet by the end of this month, which sucks, but it is what it is. I may skip breakfast tomorrow, but I freaking love those nopalitos. Excuse Monday was  that my boyfriend needed the car because his has been having a lot of difficulties lately and I didn’t want to come back to pick him up. Yesterday’s excuse was that the night before I woke up around 3:00 AM and could not get back to sleep until like 4:30-5am. BTW, did you know that Jerry Springer has a dating show now? Maybe the world really is ending in 2012. This morning, what was my excuse, well I simply didn’t have one. I feel like I am going to sabotage myself with the work breakfast tomorrow, even though it is optional for me, but hopefully I will be strong.

My skin situation has really been ticking me off. I am not sure if it is acne, or if I am allergic to something, but I have been getting these bumps on my forehead and has seem to coincide with my hot yoga, so I am wondering if it is just not washing my face thoroughly enough after yoga, but I did buy these special face cleansers, so I am not sure. I was looking into Proactiv, but if you look at the reviews on Amazon, all of them mention the sheisty Auto-Pay system that Guthy Renker uses to send them. They have kiosks at the mall for it, so that might be something that would better serve me just paying the extra money not to have my debit card information held hostage. How about you audience, have you had any experience (good or bad) with Proactiv for breakouts?

Of course, the stress from money problems could be the cause of the breakouts, and really I don’t know what to do about that. I am actually taking some strides in making better choices financially.  Instead of my normal salon, I am going to Avenue Five, which is a beauty school, and it is significantly cheaper then the one I had been going to, like $45 instead of $125. I figure the worst that could happen is they fry my hair and I have to get a wig, KIDDING, but seriously all the yelp reviews were good, so yeah. Okay, yes, be judgmental and say that I could just avoid going to the salon and have my natural hair, pish posh, what madness is that?
Besides, now that I started my DIY tanning and do not have a gym membership, I figure I can allot that money towards my hair. The last time I tried to DIY bleaching my roots, it was a disaster, so I have learned to not do that!

Well, not much else to say, so hope you are having a Wonderful Wednesday. Stay sweaty, my friend!

Winner Winner, Poached Chicken Dinner!

Why oh why are both of my hamstrings sore today.  I slept most of Sunday and I don’t remember doing much of anything except for punching my car  out of frustration when I left my keys at the spice counter at the grocery store  and I was so distraught I couldn’ t imagine that it would take a while for someone to bring them to the lost and found (btw car one, my hand zero, no broken bones, but I clearly bruised my pinky finger)

So, to combat the lazies I had decided to cook the vegetables on Friday, and then for the mashed sweet potatoes, I boiled them while I was poaching the chicken. I got this recipe and used it. Forgot to add the lemon, but it was still yummy even with just the bay leaves, also added some rosemary because it just seemed like it would  add a good flavor.  So the second time around, I will use the lemons. I believe poaching is my favorite way to cook chicken. All the succulence of sauteing with the ease of baking. There is a little bit of prep work with the broth, but it is incredibly easy, in my view, plus you can make different dishes with the chicken once cooked. I have never tried making a chicken salad, but it might be time for me to try that!

With the mystery sore muscles and imaginary cinder blocks strapped to my ankles and eyelids today, hot yoga this morning was not happening. Someone decided to delete my Insanity workouts from the hard drive, so I had to re-obtain them, heh heh heh, “RRRRRRR”.  I cried this morning coming to work, because it really just seems that all I do anymore is work and fight with my boyfriend. I wish things could get easier, but it always seems like I make such bad decisions based on bad advice and then I am forced to be the one that takes full responsibility just because I happen to make more money. Could I be anymore vague?

My womantimes are about to happen, again sure y’all wanted to have this information. I wish things were somehow less stressful, but it never ends. I am in such a precarious position with my money, if i were to be fired, I would be so screwed.  I have considered selling my car, just to put some ease on the bills I am having to pay, but then I would have to walk in triple digit heat or freezing ass cold (if we happen to get a bad winter) to work, or worse live near my job and trust me, that would be fucking dreadful. Sorry to complain about these first world problems, but right now I have zero money and I know it is my fault, but I feel like it isn’t all my fault, if that makes any sense.

Whole 30, Day 23

Stress, stress, stress, stress, stressity STRESS!! Was too busy at work to update yesterday, strangely enough I had one  my highest traffic days stats wise on the blawg. This morning I missed yoga, because I was fighting with my boyfriend. That’s always fun. So, what is the stress about, well, my dear readers, it is about money. I just don’t have enough of it. Admittedly, some of this is self-inflicted from purchasing a car in 2011 and having to finally pay back my student loans. There are other factors which make it difficult to get by, but I am not one to talk shit. I got a raise, and I am incredibly grateful for it, but it really wasn’t enough. I have to remind myself, however, that everyone is suffering, and to be brutal honest, even with my qualifications and skill, I am fortunate to have a job. Don’t let that detract from my awesomeness, though, because as you have read, the awesomeness of the Lauren is a force to be reckoned with, even if I feel mostly like this:

Okay.. now that this out of the way, we can just move forward. I know that I am still deviating from Whole30 (not enough to not count it, but enough to note it) by my consumption of fruit and coconut water. My boss had some Larabars, and I could have asked for one, but decided to use my own energy, okay mostly from coffee, to power through the day. So, my resolve is getting slightly better in eating sugars, but I know there will be at least one time it is truly tested.  My stepsister is having a dinner party this weekend, and it is so close to the end, I wish she could have scheduled it for September 1st, so I could have a least one martini, but life does not work that way, and sometimes you just have to put your big girl pants on and suck it up. The good news is that with the exception of this morning’s missed yoga, I have been able to keep up with my fitness. Yesterday, I almost made 10k steps with the help of some interval training. In Jackie Warner’s book, she said to just do jogging, sprinting and cool down rounds. Well, I varied it up a little bit and did: buttkickers, high knees, jogging in place, jumping jacks, and repeated butt kickers and jumping jacks for a total of  5 rounds.

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Day Seventeen

Just gobbled a bunch of berries for breakfast. Day numero trois for the whole 30. Today, unlike yesterday was good for stress relief because I did make it after a 3 day break to yoga for the Metal (\m/) 60 class. Walking, walking walking to please my fitbit, but also snuck in some elliptical (it is all the same to its motion sensor). Would have done “Hot Cycle” but was a little bit too sweaty, so it was embarrassing , if you know what I mean. Still need to put in more strength training, as that always gets neglected, probably because I like to zone out and read articles/listen to music and you really can’t do that when you are pumping iron. Get it right, Lever.

Yesterday’s breakfast was easier than I thought it was going to be, given that it was at a local Mexican restaurant, but I managed to stay whole30 compliant by ordering the fajita omelet sans cheese, ranchero sauce on the side, and opting out of the tortillas, beans and potatoes that normally accompanies the dish. Still, I ate lots and lots of fruit, which probably means I am not becoming insulin adapted as the intention of the program is. It is all “good” sugar, though, and I move the equivalent of 5 miles everyday, maybe Melissa and Dallas would disagree, but I think I am counterbalancing the sugar with movement.  Speaking of sugars, namely the artificial ones, it is getting a lot easier to avoid the diet coke, and my beloved coffee is becoming easier to chug without diluting it with ice/cream/sweetener.  Overall, I say day two, despite the extra fruit was a success, and I have been eating a lot prettier to boot:

That was lunch: mashed avocados, strawberries, blueberries, and canned tuna. The tuna could have used some more seasoning, but overall a healthy and satisfying lunch. Ever battling the stress monsters, they seem to become less apparent when I bring order into my life. I do believe, again, that there is a certain harmonious atmosphere that order creates. Routine for me, is a bit blissful in that it creates a certain that limits the anxiety of having tasks/projects looming over you, also it brings about a sense of accomplishment even just completing certain tasks like straightening up. Maybe it is all in my head, but it certainly feels better to “take care of business” as it were.

Let me here your body talk, your body talk. If I haven’t mentioned this already, I had to hide my scale in the closet because I would weigh myself multiple times a day, and the Whole30 forbids that. Don’t know if the program is making me lose weight or not, but I definitely thing my stomach is looking more toned.  Struggling through my own insecurities in yoga this morning. This is super silly, but I get really self-conscious about going to the class with all of these skinnier chicks. I am no Moby Dick, but even the teacher today was rather svelte and I felt like a giant Pear in comparison.  Hips, for crying out loud, what the hell is wrong with hips??? Could just be the caffeine on an empty stomach giving me strange fixations, but now that I am not in the room focused on looking at these other chicks, quick where is the tumblr thinspo??,  I feel a bit better. As obnoxious as I am sounding right now, I’d like to have a smaller trunk, hopefully I will be nice and tiny like a dancer at the end of this program.

 

Day Fourteen

Bittersweet victory.  120 pounds and some change, however that doesn’t change the fact that I had four hours of sleep last night, smoked a cigarette, drank a “Toffee” monster coffee drink, and now finishing it off with a diet coke. Hey, if you are going to backslide, really get into it. Okay, so it is not like I am going full-tilt Sex Pistols with my vices, but for someone who is trying to write a health and fitness blog, it is pretty shitty.  Not to divulge too much personal information, if you had the night I did, you probably would be feeling rather bad as well. I really need to detox negativity in my life. You just can’t make people change, unless they want to. Why can’t I just learn this lesson already?

Taking a break from any strenuous cardio or hot yoga today, not really because I want to but because I need to. The lack of sleep is making me irritable, anxious and depressed. Three for the price of one! I don’t really have any religious leanings, but it would not be a terrible thing if you prayed for me or at least sent me some positive thoughts as I am having a really hard time with things. Yours in tears.