Clearing out the clutter

Second day of Squatober, and boy are my hammies screaming. Surprisingly my glutes are not very sore at all, perhaps they are as lifted as they are going to get from all the stairs and the dancing. Insomnia struck again this morning, not sure what time, but it was still dark out, so it probably was around 4:30 or 5 am. This is for the birds, it is keeping me from getting to my 7:30 class, really just considering of cancelling the membership if I can’t make it to the class, on the weekdays or weekends, but I don’t want to feel like a quitter either. 4 weeks or 28 days until Halloween, if I put my efforts towards attending class from tomorrow onward, I can get an orange focus bracelet from Sunstone, because I really need to get past the vagina chakra (what? I am not making this up!) Urrrgah, legs are really sure, not sure how I am going to dance tonight, but I will certainly try. Want to find the best mix of hard music and rhythm so that I am not just flailing around, but I am simply better than Gangham style.

Last night, I got rid of a slue of books/magazines and sold (if you really want to call it that) them to Half Priced Books for $6. On the bright side, they were kinda just taking up space in the office, but man, I was really hoping for at least $10, come on, no one wants to buy a Flash 8 book? Yeah, pretty much all outdated software, and some fitness books. I imagine by how many copies of some of their fitness books, that they are highly devalued,  just economics, baby.  But, hey, after a few days of clean-ish eating I was able to get back to 120.8 this morning. Freaking sodium, I knew I did consume a lot with the foods this weekend, but I didn’t think I would retain 3 pounds of water. My belly even looked bloated, really sure that was actual fat, and some of it is, but my clothes do feel a bit loser today than they did on Sunday. No more Chinese takeout for me, well unless I want to freak out for a few days about my weight, and who really needs that?  One bit of complaint is that my arms feel way too soft, like I feel like if I wagged them really hard I could use them as propellers and take them to Japan without having to worry about airfare! (it is one of my goals this birth year to go to another continent) Perhaps, a Curlvember?

I do eat a lot of stir-fry when I cook.  Because I try to stick with mostly paleo at least at home, I don’t make the yummy yummmmy fried rice that we get from the takeout. Even with the effort of having to get the groceries and cook for yourself, there is a bit of advantage when you have the control of cooking it by yourself. I have not gotten the trick of sauce yet, however with clean ingredients. For example, I tried to get a beef/broccoli base with ingredients such as coconut aminos, coconut flower, olive oil, and coconut oil. I think if I would have actually started cooking the broccoli sooner, the sauce would have not burned and I would have a better consistency, so yes the sauce became a little bit clumped (probably should have not added the almond meal, either), however the taste was good and that is really what matters, right?:

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Squatober, bitches!

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Mixed it up a little and decided to poach fish instead of chicken last night, and danced danced danced to some trance music including Antiloop and Mubali (name dropping time: the latter is actually a friend of mine from my psy-trance raving days, good times.  So, I am not sure what is going on with me, but I cannot go to bed before 11 and thus cannot get up before 7 to actually make it into my class, and it really bothers me. Something stupid keeps happening like waking up at 4:30 in the morning, so I will end up going back to sleep but be too exhausted to actually make it awake, and I don’t want to sacrifice something as essential as sleep, so no go on the hot yoga this morning, yet again. Man, I am getting sick of typing that, well there is a simple solution for that.

Small successes though, as mentioned, I did get about 45 minutes of dancing done last night, and I have completed two of the eight rounds of 25 per day for my 6000 squats in 30 day challenge. I have to say it is almost not enough of a challenge, even making full squats with just body weight. I hope it is enough to actually get some physical change in my posterior. Fitspo is great inspiration, but admittedly I was skeptical that the ones that have perfectly round asses with a pithy caption such as “squats” really meant that the chick in question did squats, but rather it was a genetic blessing that gave her such a bountiful booty, so I am going to conduct my own experiment and see if doing 6000 squats in one month will give me the results I need, and it really isn’t just squats either. Hopefully, there will be some insanity, some dancing, some hooping, and some weight lifting incorporated. Those are my goals anyway. I probably won’t hit the 110 mark by November, but maybe by 11/11, sucks that I couldn’t hit 111 by 11/11/11 but I didn’t even have access to an oven at that time!

I am not even concerned that doing so many different things at the same time will confound the results of my experiment. I get too bored with one thing, I may not be consistent with one thing, but as long as I am somewhat consistent with a bunch of different things, it will show similar results if I stay active. Plus, muscle confusion, brah! hah, anyway, have not been doing the Whole 30 as anticipated, for one, the cheaper broth for the poached fish had sugar as one of its ingredients. For two, I kinda like the hot cocoa keurig cups in the office plus I do actually like creamer in my coffee and I gave it up for a month, didn’t see that much harm in my digestive system when I added it back to my diet.  Yeah, sure I gained 7 pounds in September (but most of that was due to the sodium from this past weekends Chinese delivery) okay, I can’t blame that on going off paleo, I can, however blame that on just completely falling off the wagon diet-wise, mmmm  Torchy’s Tacos but even labeling certain foods as verboten is a bit silly, unless you are diagnosed with gluten intolerance. If you do have a legitimate condition such as Celiac, just from reading about this disease, even a bit of gluten will make you have digestive woes. However, my gut is just fine and really I think that the 80/20 might be applicable when it comes to clean eating. I have heard that one before but it always felt like either I wanted to starve myself or binge, maybe I do have a bit of an eating disorder.

Alas, I must get back to my day job, as much as I would like to pontificate about fitness and healthy eating, it is time for me to depart. Stay sweaty, mothertruckers.

I’m losing focus

It is hard to write this because I feel like there are a lot of things that I want to do but some weird imaginary force keeps me back from them. In reality, there is no force, it is just me. I keep repeating to myself that things are going to be better in October, but are they really? There is an end of the month anxiety that I feel, maybe it is partly watching my bank account drain from the plethora of bills I am paying, or maybe it is just a disappointment of not having completed my goals from the month before and slowly watching my life dissolve in front of me. Fuck wrinkles, by the way.

Reorganizing my goals into categories helps but it really isn’t enough. I still have the desire to buy a new pink purse, or some other thing that I don’t really need in my life. It seems like it should be as simple as creating a flowchart with a basic question, “Does this action support or detract from reaching your goals?”..  With the obvious “support” -> do the action or “detract” -> don’t do the action, dummy! It should be that simple, shouldn’t it? I just wish that the desire to do to bad things wasn’t there.

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Fucking autosave, I had all this stuff written down and now it is gone. Anyway, poached chicken = awesome and doesn’t cost me $400. Not technically, but yes, I ate sushi Friday, and since this is not yelp, not going to name names of this terrible place, but they had charged us $397.48, and let me tell you, it was good sushi but it wasn’t that good, and it was just a generally bad experience, and normally I would overlook something like this and just focus on the food, but Strike 1) the server made a snide comment about how quickly we ate. Strike 2, they made this terrible error, and then Strike 3, when we went into the place so they could cancel the transaction, they basically told us to GTFO in awkward English, sorry but it is true. I hate it when you cannot communicate dissatisfaction with someone because of that, you would think they would at least know that this was at terrible mistake and correct it, but there were a ton of people and it was a lot of pressure for us to leave. So, yes, those three things will definitely not make me come back there.

Because I have bitching a lot lately, I wanted to take a break and just express in reality, that though my student loan, credit card, and automobile loans might be almost unbearably high, last year at this time, I was living in a 300 square feet extended stay because of my bad credit and ended lease. Now, I am in a 1100 sqft place and have room to explore my passions such as dance, hooping and blasting tunes. I think there was more that I wanted to say, but I can’t remember it.

Whole 30 – Day 27

Only about 72 hours to go, and I was almost about to cheat today. I do not think that I have slain the sugar dragon by any indication of the ideal Whole 30 and how it should make you feel. In fact, I had to pound a coconut water just to keep from going insane this evening. I am not sure what I am so stressed about, either. Everything seems to be going okay, but I feel very agitated and angered. Right now, I should be at the gym getting the rest of my steps (around 3300 to the 10k mark) but here I sit. Hey, I don’t feel so bad not having really given up sugar substantially because of the excessive fruit consumption, as I have successfully been able to give up tobacco and booze, and while I kind of already did that earlier this year, I have been able to go over 3 weeks straight (something I hadn’t been able to do with cigarettes), and for someone who would smoke everyday last year, I think it is pretty impressive, while losing weight to boot!

Okay, well enough ego stroking, I am just trying to make myself feel better for eating so many calories today, actually according to MFP it was approximately 1300 (sure it was actually more just due to human error) Ugh, was there a point to this. I write a lot better in the morning. All of my ideas get sucked out of my brain from the TV, I think. Last night, I constructed a delightful summer feast with grilled vegetables, marinated chicken with sautéed onions and mushrooms. Instagrammed for your pleasure:

This morning was very discombobulating with the lack of coffee. Wanted to skip the coffee so that I would not risk dehydration in my yoga practice. This was a disaster, combined with the fact that I did not eat anything (oops) I was highly unmotivated to stick to anything. Speaking of mornings, my mattress is not the most comfortable in the world, no padding, no sleep number, nothing fancy, just a 5 year old springy thing from IKEA, well this morning it was if cherubs had constructed it with gossamer clouds and my comforter was a warm embryonic shell to sustain me in a Matrix-like sleep, not really sure where that metaphor was going, but yes, I really did not want to get up this morning. The whole point was to be able to write and workout early. Getting up early in the morning never works out, get it, get it?

Well, I would post more, but I have to do my civic duty of 3 hours of TV watching and catch “Hells Kitchen”. TTFN!

Whole 30 – Day 21

Dang! Today will conclude 3 weeks of the program, and it surely has been an interesting journey. Yesterday I almost went the whole day without eating fruit, but that dang coconut water was the only thing from making me turn into a gremlin from low blood sugar, that happens, right? GRRRRRRR, the gremlin in my belly, wait it is inside you now, yes, hush, anyway. It is growling this morning. Only thing in my stomach are  some overly seasoned sweet potatoes, (same mistake with the un-tacos of Sunday night, took the lid off and nearly have the bottle spilled inside). It really did not agree with my stomach, but the desire to getting that damn pink focus bracelet drove me to go this morning to my class, and I am thankful that I am learning to have a bit of self-discipline to stick with something besides a job. It only took 3 decades. Much more than a silly wristband, what motivated me to go to class today was my newly created mantra “erosion”.  If you want to know why that is my mantra, read yesterday’s post, sillybutt! Great, now this song is in my head, maybe it is just the clouds that are getting me all darkwave, but goth as lame as it is to everyone else, will always be cool to me:

Continue reading

Whole 30, Day 19

This weekend has been pretty productive, and yes I was a bit lazy yesterday, and if by lazy you mean cleaning up the kitchen, cooking, meal planning, grocery shopping, kickboxing, and yoga, then yes I was a bit lazy for not posting. (oh and I caught an episode of Awkward on Hulu). Decided finally to get down to making this program work for me and not be so reliant on sugars even if from fruit to get through the day, and with the exception of the morning kombucha, I was pretty successful. Another thing which I forgot to post about was some food hacks I have learned through experimentation, and invention. I present to you some thing that I figured out to get iced coffee that is creamy without adding dairy. Hint, you buy this at the Vietnamese Grocery store, it is about $3. The reason why I say invention is that I noticed after I bought this that there was a sticker that said this product would need to be used by 3 days, and if you notice on the bottom, there is about 33 ounces of this.

Coconut Cream

Had to figure out some way to preserve this, naturally the freezer comes to mind so voila:

I have to give my bf credit for coming up with the idea of putting them into ice trays, but it was a very successfully executed experiment, more actions shots:

Not so sure what the calorie count is because the box did not have nutritional information, but according to MFP raw coconut cream is about 90 calories per tablespoon and that is high but not surprising since the coffee has a bit of an oil slick to it once the cubes have melted, kinda like an executive coffee vegan style.

So, one of the criticisms by the uninformed about the challenge is that it is an “Atkins apologist”. Now, this is kinda stupid. Yes, I have read stuff by Gary Taubes and others who promote eating mostly eggs, cheese, and lots of meat, and even tried it myself. It was not very pleasant for me, and needed some more carbs to make me not wanting to stab someone in the face with a fork. Now, I do agree with the carbohydrate curve, which according to MarksDailyApple.com is the notion to stay in the sweet spot of burning calories from fat and not sugar, you should stay under 100 grams of carbohydrate  and that is what I have been doing and what has really been working for me. 20 grams which is what Taubes recommends is pretty extreme and nearly impossible to eat any kind of vegetables, plus and I know this is TMI, it plugs you up like a damn stopper.  If you stay within the range of 50-100 grams, you can eat a lot more veggies and even a modest amount of fruits. I wanted to really show that my diet isn’t just a bunch of meat, in fact it mostly plant-based, but yes I have some yummy free-range and grass fed flesh to go with my greens:

Paleo grocery list

In their full glory, sorry for the bad lighting:

Eating this way certainly is more visually appealing as you can see. It really does go back to the old saying “You are what you eat”. My skin and hair look more vibrant and I feel less sluggish than when I ate a diet rich in Vitamin TC (taco cabana I will always hold a place in my heart for you) As I have really been addicted to movement lately, posting this and  trying to wrangle all of these pictures in WP has been a bit of a challenge and equalled more ass in the chair time, so I must get up and do something, perhaps this will be a double post day, but probably not, much to restless for that!

Whole 30, Day 17

Metal class really kicked my butt today. The consistent vinyasa flow of warrior one poses followed by chataranga pushups really gave me a workout. Anyone who says yoga is not challenging is obviously not doing it right. Made a rookie mistake of not eating except yerbe mate and coconut cream (I really wanted to like this drink but it is totally yucky to me), but at least I showed up! It really is giving me so much bliss, the process of it all. I don’t think I will ever really not want a cocktail every now and then, but the cravings for sweets and nasty food are really starting to go away (until tonight).  Yesterday evening, I was feeling rather depleted and was becoming light headed and starry-eyed upon standing even after eating chicken, so I went and got a Jamba Juice. Okay, so we have established that I like breaking rules, and yes even juicing because of its sugar response is not allowed, but if you are seeing stars upon standing, I would hope that this could be an exception. I simply had a case of the “IDGAF”‘s, and if you don’t know what that acronym is consort with the urban dictionary.  Also, I weight myself again, D’OH!!! Quickly seeing how obsessive I was getting promptly returned the scale to the closet, and even though I was desperately wanting to see how low my “morning weight” was, I resisted the temptation, but if I had to make a guess it is somewhere around 117-118, holla!

Deviations aside, I am doing okay. Today was less than perfect, whoopsies again.  As I was happily chopping a forgotten pepper, I thought I had a canned tuna for lunch. My father would say that I thought like Nit, and you know he thought it was candy, but it was shit*.  I swear I giggle for far too long for someone my age when I think about that expression. So, lucky for me my coworker brought breakfast tacos that I told myself I was not going to eat and before you think I completely crumbled in the face of temptation, I will let you know that I without shame completely disemboweled this cherished breakfast item and simply used the bacon and eggs for my pepper and almond lunch feast. Yeah, it is a strong possibility that the eggs were cooked in un-clarified butter and also the strip of bacon was cured with sugar, but for fuck’s sake, I really just needed something to eat, and seriously, how much inflammation can that little bit of sugar and dairy cause. I have already decided that while I definitely feel better sans processed carbs/grains, I will probably introduce dairy back into my diet. A part of me thinks that I am probably one of those people that should do a Whole60, but really getting sick of stressing out about food. The whole point is to have a HEALTHY relationship with food, and if not having a can of tuna is causing me this much anxiety, it ain’t healthy!

Another self-imposed stressor is the damn FitBit. I swear to god I love it, but hate it at the same time. It is so freaking small! It is constantly being lost. The other night I had put it on my seat belt, while we were driving around for errands, and the BF and I traced our steps to two different places before I finally after looking twice in just the vehicle where it was. Sadly all of the steps and floors traversed were not counted. BOOOO! Oh well, it could be viewed as a waste of time, or an adventure!!  So yeah, even just remembering to put the stupid thing on is a challenge, but I have managed to do most of the days tracking my steps.

In general news, Austin needs a raindance from anyone who will give it, we need to make this a reality:

Sadly since I screencapped that, the Monday stormcloud turned into a dark cloud, laaaame. Well, even if we just get rain this weekend, I will gladly sacrifice laying by the pool so that we don’t get forest fires in this area again!

Day Twenty Nine

This morning feels blessed. Today when I woke up, I was in a weird mood. I wasn’t terribly motivated to go to Earth 60, but I went anyway and it was tough (no breakfast), sweaty, and to really knock me off my balance for today, I forgot my damn bra. Ya know, that could have ruined my day, but it didn’t. It’s whatever. I will be like the 70’s today, and with my, shall we say, petite, set of knockers (more like jinglers, hah!) it really isn’t a big deal. If it gets too cold, I will just wrap up in my office blanket. 70’s day!  Okay enough about my pencil eraser, time for first round of Workout DVD Duel’s. Today’s contenders are Jillian Michaels and Jackie Warner, and we have a bit of vintage materials circa 2008 from them. First off it is Jillian Michaels 30 day shred Level 1:

facing off against JW’s “Workout” lower body:

(not entire workout)

The common thing about these videos is the bit of snarkiness by both Jillian and Jackie. Let’s face it, working out sucks sometimes and snide remarks are way more realistic than some overly enthusiastic cheerleader trying to make it feel like you are eating a cupcake, no, let’s get down to brass tacks and power through this shit. That is the kind of attitude and honesty that I prefer. The structure of these videos also makes the workouts challenging thus effective for sweatiness and fatigue.

Jillian’s workout is a bit more of a comprehensive full-body routine, which may or may not be good to be working the same muscle group day after day, from what the fitness business would have you believe, but they would have you believe a lot of things that aren’t necessarily correct, ie: the efficacy of eating small meals a day versus the standard 3. Jackie’s give you an upper, lower, and core workout, so that would give you 20 minutes for three times a week. Both of these videos provide cardio along with strength and stretches, so it gives you a fuller picture of fitness. Although both of them give a comprehensive workout, I would have to say the winner in this round is Jillian. Some of Jackie’s leg moves were kinda advanced such as the lunge box squat combo, and I never got into a good rhythm with that section. Also, in terms of working muscles you wouldn’t normally, my upper body always gets neglected and the fact that Jillian gives us the shoulder raises with a side  made my arms scream while pumping up my heart rate. My biceps also being bitchy today because of the squat/curl combination.  My legs do not feel much love even after doing the workout, it could be that I did not advance myself with the weights, but the more upper body I incorporate, the better the workout, in my view.

Day 15 of the Whole 30 experiment. Just devoured some organic sweet potato mash I created last night. Fun fact, organic sweet potatoes are yellow! Had to taste it to verify it, but sure enough they were still sweet. On this diet path, I am cooking/preparing (okay canned fish is kind of a cheat, I will admit) 95% of my meals, so if you do not have an arsenal of spices, chicken can get pretty boring. Because I get bored so easily, I have been experimenting with unusual combinations of spices. For instance, last night, I decided to get a little bit equinoxy and added cinnamon and clove to the chicken:

The trick I employed to get all the meat covered was to pre-cut the chicken while the sweet potatoes were boiling, put this into a sealable container, and shake with a base of the spices plus coconut milk,  shake it up real good, and let the chicken/spice mix and sit in the fridge for about 9 or 10 minutes to marinate. The chicken is fully coated once you take it out to cook, and tastes super yummy after you add some broccoli and onions to the mix.

Monday night, I experimented with some paleo sides of vegetables. Oh, how I miss my mashed potatoes. The go-to substitution for this as I have read on the interwebs is mashed cauliflower, or as I like to be fancy and call it purée, so I gave it a go. Firstly, I boiled the vegetables as you would with potatoes. Once these were cooked, I added them to the Ninja, and added olive oil as a non-dairy substitute for butter. They blended rather easily and the consistency had very much the mouthfeel of mashed potatoes, so it was a win for texture. The taste was a bit on the sweet side for my liking, and that is saying a lot because I (used to) have a raging sweet tooth. The solution to counter-balance the sweetness was to add a bit of garlic and salt to the the mash, which gave it more of a savory note.

For the stir-fry, I went “Superfood” and added spinach and almonds. The spinach was not fresh, but since I was sautéeing it anyway, it cooked nicely. The almonds weren’t quite toasted due to the timing, but still the crunchiness of the nuts complimented the creaminess of the purée quite nicely.

Not as active as I would like to be, stats and further analysis tomorrow.

Day Twenty-Eight

I have a confession to make. I occasionally look at thinspo. Yes, it is freaking horrible to my self-esteem, yes those pictures are probably of GIRLS who are 10-15 years younger than I am. It cascades into a flood of “if only”s and it further plunges me into depression, but I do it again and again. Giving up sugar has been wonderful for my body: I feel less sluggish and my skin looks brighter, but these images are basically mental sugar, it activates all the same reward centers in my brain, I guess in some weird aspirational way? Furthermore, let’s just go ahead and include the fitspo, because it is basically the same body fat percentage, but the latter just has a bit more muscle. There is a thinspo for every overly pointy joint connection in your body: hipbone, chest bones, shoulder blade. Yes, I have googled them all, but why?

Why do I torture myself like this? I am clearly never going to be an ectomorphic type naturally, and I love food too goddamned much to ever go full-on ana, but these images of perfect bodies doing ballet poses, or just high fashion black and white portraits of models makes me long  for a  svelter physique. I can’t help but wonder how many pounds I would have to shed.. 10… 15.. 20???? to get to the point where my upper arm is thinner than my elbow. How much suffering would I put myself through to finally be perfect, or would it just spiral into a full-blown eating disorder where even 90 pounds wouldn’t be good enough. It sounds awful, just from what I have read about anorexia and bulimia, but why in the world do I look at these images, then? Fittingly enough, I never went to that therapist’s appointment, maybe I am beyond help. Maybe, I don’t want help.

Still eating clean. Still going to yoga, not getting enough steps.

Day Twenty-Seven

Day 13 of the Whole 30 plan.  No posts on Sunday, but I  surprisingly didn’t fall off the wagon yesterday with the plan, but I did bust out the scale. 120! Only 10 more pounds until my goal weigh. I am not sure if I should go any lower than that, as that might be underweight for my height of 64 inches. I know some girls that are even smaller that go go dance, but really that is a younger persons game and I am not sure if that is even something I have the skills for, though I do love dancing, and I probably will do it until the day I die in my own living room.

I know, I know, that is not “allowed”  to look at the scale, but hell I wanted to see something that would make me happy after some stuff I would rather not get into, you know how that goes. Even negativity does not seem to faze me with my goals. So right now, I am ripping the workout DVD’s I have to mp4 format so I can view them on my iPad. In North Austin, there is a recreation center that has a free dance studio that would be perfect for hoopdancing (my apartment does not have high ceilings). Really gotten to my practice where I can get the hoop around all the points on my body: neck, hand, chest, shoulder, waist, upper legs, still need to work on the single legs, and then popping it back up to the hand and then back down to body hooping, really close to being showcase-worth, just need to create a cohesive routine and then I would be able to be a performer in that capacity. Hey, just because I am older, doesn’t mean my dreams are dead!

I just found out that Sacred Circularities is doing a scholarship contest for their retreat in Sedona on December 12th. I am not sure if I deserve something like that but would it be cool to meet likeminded people that just enjoy the flow of dancing. I better get to work on my picture and essay! I certainly have the writing skills, but do I have the hooping passion that others do. That certainly is the question.

Speaking of insane talent, this yoga video is really inspiring:

Crazy huh? Even though, I am not a fan of them, I am starting to get more into the Wood classes that my studio offers. They really help my poses get deeper, integrating yogic poses and hooping would be the coolest thing, I think just because they seem to be integrated (tree pose and one-legged hooping) but I haven’t really seen any one fully merge the two practices. Just have to take a rad picture of myself in the zone, man would it be cool to win this. Okay, enough day dreaming, back to reality:

this isn’t me, but it could have been!