Thursday, January 27, 2011

The snow and the fridge

It calls to you. You walk past and open it, staring blankly into the depths, wondering if there is anything new, if there is anything that calls out "Eat me."  Then you close the door, walk away, maybe to the pantry or other snacky area, looking for you-don't-know-what, walk away again. Maybe you grab that old bag of whateveritis NOW WITH 50% MORE, and you look at it and put it back, and then you walk back over to the fridge wondering if anything magicked itself into existence since 3 minutes ago. Then you close the door again, frustrated, with or without that lone pickle which has been floating in that jar for who-knows-how-long, and go back to working from home and simultaneously watching daytime TV and the snowstorm.

Oh you don't do that? Huh. That just may be me when I am stuck at home, bored but working, hungry but not really, and just a touch stir-crazy.

I woke up this morning, starving, dehydrated, and cranky as hell. I bleary consumed a handful of sesame sticks and a cup of coffee, black, with little thought of 6WBMO. Now, hours later, I feel guilt, am waiting on the fridge magic show (and check back regularly), and am happy my sis had the day off and cooked.

She made lettuce wraps filled with Mexican spiced ground turkey and Spanish rice. No salt, no oil, all fantabulouso!  Add this to the tilapia and grapefruit I had for snack and I am feeling happy and full. I am glad things (like Italian Subs) didn't appear in my fridge today. I feel much better. My mouth is a bit on fire from the filling, but it was so good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Basics of 6WBMO: The moving part

The moving part, the aerobic exercise, is cardio (walking as much as daily) and an 18-minute strength training routine, a few times a week. It doesn't seem like a lot at all, but it is the hardest part for me on the program.

The asthma I was working on reversing through that juice fast, has not really gone away. It is better than it was when I was at my heaviest, but it is far from a distant memory (of collapsing in middle school).

Up here in NJ, the winter is a bitch, well, a bastard. Jack Frost has this place covered in white and the chill in the air (the dry dry cold air) has stolen my breath with a walk to the car from the office. The gym's the thing, albeit the pack full of January new recruits, gym.

I am gearing up to go, really, when I get my ass out of bed in time...

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Today, however, I am on plan. I discovered this great salt-free, gluten-free steam-in-the-microwave fish that was delicious. I think it is Beacon Lights Steam Series, the Mediterranean cod was really good. My fear of making fish in the micro at work was real, however, but in the 4 minutes it took to cook, I was in and out before anyone could wrinkle;e their nose.

I also made some juice this morning for my sister and myself - kale celery zucchini anise(fennel) and pineapple. It was very good, not too bitter from all the kale. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Basics of 6WBMO: The food part

I thought it would be good to lay out the basics of the plan (if anyone reading is interested), and later give you more about how I am working it, tweaking it, etc. I don't want to break copyright laws, so I won't post exact directions or recipes, just the drift.

The plan is about portion control, that much I told you already.  It is customized based on your body type (gained from taking a quiz which goes over your eating, energy, and hunger patterns). There are 6 body-types (so says the plan), and what you eat (and how much) is laid out via a meal planner and binder of information (lots of good research stuff and common sense stuff and all the reasons behind what the plan is about).

The gist of the program (IMHO) is no-salt, no-processed food, no-added-sugar plus portion control and scheduled eating plan.  This means no grab-and-go meals ala protein bar/shake.  Grab and go is now in the form of a chicken tenderloin and apple. It is a hydrate-till-you-float plan.  This means 100oz of H2O minimum. You eat every 2.5-3 hours (for me an balanced amount of protein/carb + a salad, at lunch and dinner) to keep your blood sugar level and energy up. It is quite simple once you get into the swing, and if you keep with the prep work.

For one person, with a kitchen and tools, prep for a week should take half a day (including shopping). With practice, I have made a week of meals with packing in 3 hours (this was basic foods: grilled chicken, salads, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, rice, turkey chili, maybe a meatloaf). If you didn't want to cook all ahead of time, you can make dinner fresh each night and then pack your next day meals (this takes longer and for me, sucks up my relaxation time).  For 3 people, we spent most of Sunday shopping, chopping, grilling, mixing, washing, bagging, and organizing for the week. In protein and produce, for 3, we spent about US$100. I bought extra veggies to juice, so the farmers market bill was almost $50 alone. The fridge is packed full and will last us at least the week, with any leftovers to be frozen for use at a later time (more on banking food in the freezer another time).

I like this plan for it's simplicity and its restrictions. While I miss having a steak or a burger (I can have these, but only in 1oz portions, so not worth it for now), I like the variety creative members of the community have come up with. The forums online are packed with recipes and variations. Nothing says you have to eat boring food, but you have to eat real food, not overly processed, fried, flavored, or altered food. It takes some getting used to, but when you get used to not adding salt or sugar, you don't miss it.  Last time I followed the program for over a month perfectly, then the food I ate at the wedding I broke plan for was so salty I could hardly eat.

The restrictions are almost a blessing. Like when I was fasting, the rules for me now are clear and easy to follow. After the "reducing" phase, the plan transitions to something even easier to live with. The other thing I like about "rules" is their structure. I am a highly educated, savvee and smart woman who knows the good from the bad. My tastebuds and will-power, however, are dumb beasts who liken Chicken McNuggets to fine dining. Rules and plans offer me a proven method and ease of management. I know science and math and nutrition behind why the rules exist and it all adds up. If I follow, I will succeed. Simple.

Mama's got a brand new bag

Long time no write.  If you have been following along all this time, you may notice that I removed the 30-days of blogging.  I regretted starting that project and not finishing it, and as I wrote on, the topics seemed primed for a grade-school SLAM book than serious retrospection and writing. I actually have a .doc file filled with posts for the whole 30 days, but when I tell you some of it was better left alone, boy I am not kidding. People don't need to know your whole life.

Ha. And so I find myself blogging again, ringing in 2011 with a single post to say I have begun a new journey into a new body, one I have been on before.

When you last left me, I was minus a gall bladder and plus an endless set of excuses to not move on with my transformation. While you were gone, I found comfort in the holidays, hosting Thanksgiving for 17 and baking and attending parties. It was such a splendid season! I also went down to Georgia as usual, getting some new ink and totally relaxing with some good friends. In short, I had a blast.

Come 'round to the almost close of January (the bitter end of the holiday season was when my last decoration made its way into my attic), and boy are my pants tight! I have put back a lot of the weight I lost, not all, but more than half.  I think at least 10 lbs of this is solely my mom's Christmas cookies. I made them with her and know how much butter and sugar went into them, but I ate them anyway, and enjoyed the shit out of each one!

So here I am, 4 paragraphs in, and I have yet to talk about my new bag - working up to new juice fast 2011 via 6 Week Body Makeover (6WBMO).

In the past I did the 6WBMO and it worked, well. The downfall was in the preparation (always the prep). You need to cook your meals, and portion them, and bring them with you, to succeed. It is portion control at its finest.  I really enjoy it, but Sundays are cooking days and it is a lot of work.  My sister and The Hubs are joining on this plan for the next few months, then I will depart onto a juice fast on indeterminate length.  We did on-plan foods last week during the day, but this weekend we pulled out all the stops and cooked and bagged and made meals for 3 for the majority of the week.  I am excited, one because the food is really yummy, and two because I will ease into my pants again.

I will be blogging about this process, and the plan, and the food, so stick with me if you will.  I already know this coming weekend will pose a challenge as we are going away with friends, but I'm bringing food and trying to be on plan minus Saturday night when we are going to a fancy-dress restaurant. Food is likely to be in small portions, but expensive and butter-laden, so I will be as good as I can. I'm off to enjoy my morning snack of 1/2 sweet potato and 2oz of yummy Greek chicken (with a splash of our garlic hot sauce)..

Career: Be a tree - grow in place

In an age when research says millennials change jobs 4 times before age 32 an d job sites advise switching companies to advance in your ...