Oh, my gosh. It's humid and nasty in Southern California. Despite that, I've been muddling through and really feel like I am finding my stride. I went out last week and bought Chris Powell's book Choose More, Lose More for Life and read it a day. There are a lot of elements that I am slowly working into my routine, but it feels like an excellent balance to me. The basic premise is carb cycling, which he explains online here. I'm aiming for the turbo cycle, which includes more low carb days, since I am used to a low carb style and am coming from a paleo past. In general, I am trying to eat 5 small meals a day, and drink as much water as I can get in. I do two days of low carb, where my meals are mostly protein and fat (with some natural carbs like berries with breakfast) and then one day of a higher carb day, which I like to refer to as a high fiber day, in which my meals are built of protein with a carb like fruit or a whole grain. I go two low carb, one high fiber, two low carb, one high fiber, and then a reward day, and that's my week. Every fourth week I eat more carbs so my body doesn't get too used to things (which I think was starting to happen with Paleo) and then I exercise. There's a lot more to it, and I am slowly trying to shuffle in the elements because I don't want to get overwhelmed (which is an element in itself), but I have been walking at the park a lot and it sort of seems to be very therapeutic for me. I even got up early on a Saturday morning before the kids were up and the humidity became unbearable and did 2.25 miles at the park. I put on my headphones and just go round and round while I think and think. It's the cheapest therapy there is.
As I mentioned when I came back from Vegas, I'm realizing that my bliss doesn't lie in skinny jeans and numbers, it lies in challenges and adrenaline and strength and that is where I need my focus to be. There's a saying which I think I heard from my mom with regards to careers and money that goes something like "Follow your bliss and the money will follow" and I had a realization walking in the beating sun yesterday that it's the answer to my health and weight as well. I'd rather be a big girl triumphant at the top of a mountain than a skinny girl who's too miserable to climb the mountain. I'm going to get myself to the top of some mountains, the crest of some waves, the end of some roads, the bottom of some canyons, and the peaks and valleys of whatever other adventures come my way, and they are their own reward. You can't do that stuff and not leave a few pounds behind along the way, and that's great, but if not, at least I came, I saw, I conquered.
That being said, I still acknowledge that I have a food addiction that needs to be controlled, and a body that needs hydration and training, and for that this book feels like a good fit. If you are transitioning to low carb or away from super low carb, or just looking for a good balance between the two, I think this book/plan is perfect. I am trying to not be so scale obsessed, but I can tell you that I feel stronger, leaner, and healthier after my first week.
I started taking pictures of my food this week, with the thought that I would full on do daily food blogs but then I realized that since I am eating a lot of the same meals over and over, that would be a total snoozefest. I am tracking all my shiznit on my BodyBugg, so food tracking on the blog would be redundant as a tool for me and I am trying to crack the habit of giving myself all sorts of homework in life so a daily blog assignment is not where it's at, but here's some of what I ate this week so you can get an idea of where I'm at.
A little scrambled egg for protein with avocado for fat on the low carb days, with fruit as the recommended one morning carb, and a homemade egg sandwich (I got a handy egg sandwich maker that we are all loving!) on my fiber day. It's an egg and a turkey sausage with a double fiber English muffin.
My morning snack is pretty consistently a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk with this Trader Joe's Organic Hemp Protein Powder added. I forgot to take a pic of this, but one day I did remember after I drank it at work and snapped that pic of the empty jar. It needs a lot of blending, so I just put the milk and powder in a jar, and shake and then throw the jar in my bag and take it to work where it's easy to grab from the fridge and shake some more and chug down. On low carb days I will have a handful of nuts, on the carb days a piece of fruit.
my afternoon snacks vary more, but I've had this rollup, some cottage cheese and nuts, some tuna with celery, salad, and so on. I just boiled a bunch of eggs as a good protein snack as well.
On the low carb days it's mostly salad for lunch. The top one is a sort of homemade Chipotle bowl with romaine, steak for protein, salsa, and avocado for fat, and the next is a sald with lettuce, tomato, cukes, chicken for protein and blue cheese dressing for fat. I do the dip the fork in the dressing thing so I don't eat more dressing than I need. The third pic is a higher carb day, and it's plain Greek yogurt (specifically it's Fage 0%) with berries mixed in as the carb.
I know that top one was Tuesday, because every Tuesday the hubs takes the kids to his moms for dinner and I eat fish because he doesn't like it and it's easy to make for one. That was a low carb day, and it was salmon with a giant pile of organic green beans. The second pic was a carb day and we had stir fry with chicken and lots of veggies with a measured portion of brown rice, and the third one is some chicken sausages and veggies on a low carb day.
You get the idea. Today is my reward and rest day so I'm taking it easy. I made whole grain pancakes for breakfast, and my snack and lunch will still be healthy (probably a shake like above and a big salad) and then this afternoon I am living it up and we are going to cook pizzas outside on the grill, something we've been wanting to try out ever since my brother-in-law introduced me to the idea when I was in Illinois. I've been looking forward to it all week!