Follow up to fasting

  The 21 day fast crept by like a slug across a bridge.  Not having candy wasn’t really that hard for me. Coke on the other hand was a constant battle!  I woke up every morning wanting to crack open that Mexican Coke. When I was tired or just needed to a pick me up, I wanted a Coke.  I realize that I also use Coke to replace a meal. So, what now?    As a habit I am trying to break or at least decrease, I am going to start there.  I will start with one Coke per morning with the goal of 2 per month or special occasions.  I don’t want to tell myself NO I can’t have it, but I also don’t want it to be a daily habit. Over the next month I will be working on this goal.    Candy, not as big of a deal.  I will bring a snack pack to work or something to eat.  I will also find substitutes. Since it’s summer, I will hit up the farmers markets once a week for cherries, strawberries and peaches.  If I have the fruit cut and ready, I will eat them.     UPDATED PLAN     1. Meal plan on Tuesdays (allowing for some meals that just need warming up)    2. Only one Coke each morning for a week    3. Continue to incorporate tea and water in daily.  Get all 64oz in each day.    4. Track all FOOD and water!    5. Attend weekly farmers markets with a list    6. Plan for snacks    I think this plan with help me bridge the gap between where I am and where I am going.  I will journal what I am feeling each evening.       Note, there is no exercise because I had a procedure on my leg that doesn’t allow me to swim or work up a sweat for 2 weeks.  I will get up and walk as much as I can though. Monitoring my steps daily and including the information in my daily journal.     Where are you in your health journey?  What tips or tricks do you use to stay motivated?        

The 21 day fast crept by like a slug across a bridge.  Not having candy wasn’t really that hard for me. Coke on the other hand was a constant battle!  I woke up every morning wanting to crack open that Mexican Coke. When I was tired or just needed to a pick me up, I wanted a Coke.  I realize that I also use Coke to replace a meal. So, what now?

As a habit I am trying to break or at least decrease, I am going to start there.  I will start with one Coke per morning with the goal of 2 per month or special occasions.  I don’t want to tell myself NO I can’t have it, but I also don’t want it to be a daily habit. Over the next month I will be working on this goal.

Candy, not as big of a deal.  I will bring a snack pack to work or something to eat.  I will also find substitutes. Since it’s summer, I will hit up the farmers markets once a week for cherries, strawberries and peaches.  If I have the fruit cut and ready, I will eat them.

UPDATED PLAN

1. Meal plan on Tuesdays (allowing for some meals that just need warming up)

2. Only one Coke each morning for a week

3. Continue to incorporate tea and water in daily.  Get all 64oz in each day.

4. Track all FOOD and water!

5. Attend weekly farmers markets with a list

6. Plan for snacks

I think this plan with help me bridge the gap between where I am and where I am going.  I will journal what I am feeling each evening.   

Note, there is no exercise because I had a procedure on my leg that doesn’t allow me to swim or work up a sweat for 2 weeks.  I will get up and walk as much as I can though. Monitoring my steps daily and including the information in my daily journal.

Where are you in your health journey?  What tips or tricks do you use to stay motivated?   

 

Getting in my summer workouts

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I am so blessed to live in the San Francisco Bay Area because of the weather.  We get super weather 95% of the year.  This allows me to create a workout schedule that I can usually stick to most of the year.  But there are those to can’t possibly swim in a lake in the winter or hike in a forest in the dead of winter.  So today I would encourage you to get out there before the summer weather turns chilly.

This is what I did the last couple of weeks.  

CAMPING TRIP!  Oh yeah, we had a family reunion camping trip in Calaveras Big Trees State Park in the Sierra Mountains of California.  It was three days of family, food and beautiful weather.  Here a picture of my site outside the trailer (my dad gave me his trailer for the trip).  Seeing this beauty, TOTALLY relaxed me!

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This is the sunset in the forest that looks like the trees are on fire.

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And the lake I swam in…

 

I can not tell you how relaxing this was for me!  I came back to the Bay Area positive, recharged and my spirit was filled.

Yesterday I took a hike in a local park and found this cool monument in a local park (Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland).  I just stumbled upon it. COOL!

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And this is the view!


 

Soak up this beautiful summer and walk on the wild side!  What have you been doing this summer to improve your wellness both physically and emotionally?

LOCAL HIKE

  Last week, some of my coworkers joined me on a hike along a beach trail then a dip into the Pacific Ocean.   https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=528   This gem is just a 20 minute from our work yet feels like a million miles away from the crowded city of San Francisco.  The hike is only 2 miles so we decided to explore a little more than just 2 miles.  There are small paths through foliage and poison oak then on to larger dirt road.  The views are GORGEOUS!    Here are my tips to finding local hikes:    * I use weekend sherpa for California.   http://weekendsherpa.com/     * Yelp is actually another resource!    * All trails has a lot of information as well:  https://www.alltrails.com/    * EXPLORE!  Just find a local park or state park and start exploring.    * Do you live in an urban area?  Head to the local park and walk around the boundaries    * Your local newspaper also has information about local hikes and adventures    I implore you to try and get out while it’s still summer and beautiful.  Of course the San Francisco Bay Area isn’t as hot as other places, so we can hike year round.  Hotter weather? Then make your hike a sunrise hike!  Or go at dusk with some friends and a flashlight (stay on the trails!).      These are some of the supplies I take with me on a hike:    * Backpack    * Big water bottle    * Trail Mix or energy bar    * Dried Fruit    * A camera    * A journal to just sit and write about how you feel sitting in nature    * A book!      * Small first aid kit    What are your favorite local hikes?  Do you like the hikes that are high and difficult or more leisurely? Have a great weekend!    

Last week, some of my coworkers joined me on a hike along a beach trail then a dip into the Pacific Ocean.  https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=528  This gem is just a 20 minute from our work yet feels like a million miles away from the crowded city of San Francisco.  The hike is only 2 miles so we decided to explore a little more than just 2 miles.  There are small paths through foliage and poison oak then on to larger dirt road.  The views are GORGEOUS!

Here are my tips to finding local hikes:

* I use weekend sherpa for California.  http://weekendsherpa.com/

* Yelp is actually another resource!

* All trails has a lot of information as well:  https://www.alltrails.com/

* EXPLORE!  Just find a local park or state park and start exploring.

* Do you live in an urban area?  Head to the local park and walk around the boundaries

* Your local newspaper also has information about local hikes and adventures

I implore you to try and get out while it’s still summer and beautiful.  Of course the San Francisco Bay Area isn’t as hot as other places, so we can hike year round.  Hotter weather? Then make your hike a sunrise hike!  Or go at dusk with some friends and a flashlight (stay on the trails!).  

These are some of the supplies I take with me on a hike:

* Backpack

* Big water bottle

* Trail Mix or energy bar

* Dried Fruit

* A camera

* A journal to just sit and write about how you feel sitting in nature

* A book!  

* Small first aid kit

What are your favorite local hikes?  Do you like the hikes that are high and difficult or more leisurely? Have a great weekend!

 

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AN AVERAGE DAY

When learning anything new, I like learning about the person who is presenting the information.  A look behind the scenes as it were.  So here is your glimpse into my life. I am in my forties, a 1970’s baby.  I am 5’7 ½.  My lowest adult weight was 125 lbs after the birth of my 9lb 5oz son.  My heaviest weight was somewhere in the low 200s.  I was very active as a kid and young adult.  But later in life, I had jobs that I sat at a computer most of the day.  That’s when the pounds came on.  I have always prefered junk food and snacks over vegetables and quinoa.  So the weight caught up with me as I sat more than moved.

Now I have a job that allows NO sitting, I am a server.  I climb stairs and a busy shift could be about 19,000 steps.  But we are not always that busy.  I also have a gym membership to swim, hit weight machines and take classes.  However, I still like exercising in a natural way.  Walking to the store, swimming in a lake, skiing down a mountain.  I wish I had the time to do that, but like most people I don’t have hours to spend on natural exercise.

My work schedule changes every week.  I have set up a workout schedule that works for me.  That means before I do anything else, I workout.  Normally that is even before breakfast because once I get distracted, it’s hard to get back on track.    


Here is what habits work for me:

  • Exercise first thing in the am.

  • Put my workout clothes out on the bed at night and get into them as soon as I wake up

  • Always have water handy

  • Plan workouts

  • Plan meals AND SNACKS

  • Always carry some snack foods with you.  I like almonds and trail mix over a protein or meal replacement bar.

  • In the summers, I love to start the morning with a shake.  (Fresh spinach, greek yogurt, lemon juice, frozen berries, coconut water and apple or pear)

  • Always end the day with reflection on what I am grateful for

  • Write what worked for me and what didn’t (new recipe, workout for the day) so I can evaluate and adjust to the weather, seasonal fruits and veggies, events,etc.

  • Always forgive yourself if you don’t eat perfectly or don’t workout.  Start anew immediately!  The very next meal.  Add some steps in if you can’t exercise.

  • Lean on your community to support your efforts.  

 

Here is a normal day.

Today’s workout (day off)

 

What I ate today (day off):

Noon - Whole foods prepared foods: ½ bbq chicken breast, ⅛ cup of mashed potatoes, ¼ cup mac & cheese, 1 cup of steamed broccoli, one dinner roll with butter (the treat!)

4pm - air popped popcorn and cantaloupe with coke zero (with lemon juice)

7pm - 2 cups spaghetti with turkey sausage and ground turkey, 1 cup salad with 1 tbsp newman’s light salad dressings

9pm - 1 each skinny cow

As you can see, a meal is missing.  The way my schedule is, for most of the week I go in later in the afternoon or early evening.  I eat when I get off work at 1am - 3am at night.  Thus it ends up being 3 meals.  Again, adjust your eating habits to when you can sit down and enjoy every single bite!

I hope this gives you an idea of what I do to keep my mind and body on track to stay healthy.  As you see, I am not perfect.  Be well and have a good week!        

How many steps per day should I walk?

For many years, the common belief is that people who are healthy should be stepping at least 10,000 times per day.  A new study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28138134) in Scotland suggests that maybe we need to increase our daily steps to 15,000.  The study was conducted on postal workers who were walking mail carriers compared to their seated counterparts.  They found that the walking mail carriers had smaller waist lines, small body mass indexes and lower  cholesterol levels.  

This study reiterates that sitting more than standing isn’t beneficial to health.  I am not sure everyone can walk eight miles a day.  Depending on how fast you walk, that can take 2+hours a day.  So, what can you do?  

 

Make a plan

Start out increasing your current goal by 1000 steps.  This can be done quickly and in the matter of a 30 minute tv program.  I like to not just walk in place, but side to side, 3 steps back - 3 steps forward.   Add 30 second jumping jacks.  Maybe you prefer books instead of tv.  Listen to a book and walk around the block twice.  Be creative and be happy!

 Work

Is there something you can do at work (if you have a sit down job)?  Drink more water!  You will be peeing more therefor going to the bathroom more often.  Go to the bathroom that is farthest from your desk.  

 10 minutes

Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than normal and go outside for a quick walk to start your day.  Maybe you take those 10 minutes while walking to pray or mediate. There is something wonderful about starting out the day on a positive note.


I encourage everyone to take those extra steps today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day, until it becomes a new habit.    

5 TIPS TO LOSE WEIGHT

WATER

Water is the most important part for losing weight and keeping it off.  Water is also the best way to keep your body in good health.  Here are my favorite tips and  tricks.

Tips:

  1. Drink 8oz of water before every meal or snack
  2. Bring a bottle of water everywhere you go.
  3. Find your favorite way to get the water in. There are a million ideas on pinterest on adding fruit and herbs but go back to basics too.  Water with ice.  Hot water with lemon. Water with crystal light or other alternative.  

SLEEP

Most people ignore this tip by making excuses.  I am too busy.  I can’t sleep well.  I just have to do...*(insert excuse).  But your body needs to reboot.  And rest.  Sleep helps you live longer and happier.   In weight loss and weight maintenance, sleep is crucial.  And without proper sleep we turn to comfort foods (high calories, high energy) because our bodies think that we need to hold on to our resources.  This ultimately slows down our metabolism.  We make bad decisions.  We are often cranky.  Sleep is absolutely necessary.  

TIPS: 

  1. Monitor your sleep daily.  Notice patterns in sleep habits and adjust accordingly so you can get the best sleep.  

  2. Try and sleep at the same time every night

  3. Take a fun quiz about your sleep patterns at http://www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com/ 

CLEAN EATING

Clean eating is taking in whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. In order to be good to your body, 90% of your daily food intake should be from whole foods.  

Tips:

  1. Add fruits and vegetables to every meal and snack

  2. There are clean eating recipes for old favorites.  Check pinterest or clean eating magazine for recipes.

  3. Check out domestic geek on youtube.  She has a bunch of videos and meal planning tips that are easy to follow.

  4. Check ingredients of the foods you eat.  You will be surprised how much sugar is added to everyday foods such as peanut butter and marinara sauce.

 

FIND A BUDDY TO EXERCISE WITH

Everyone needs a support system when creating new habits.  Why not your friends or neighbor?  Or group exercise at your local gym?  Find your people.

TIPS

  1.  Find a group on meetup.com that runs/walks/exercises in your area.  
  2. Try something new.  A swim class or masters swim club.  Try tai chi. Explore new opportunities to find your people, your niche.  
  3. Don’t know where to start?  Try my exercise plans.  It helps to have a goal and measure your progress.  The exercise plans aren’t difficult, they meet you where you are.

BE POSITIVE

You will never get where you want to go, if you talk yourself out of it all the time.  What you think is so important to your overall health.  This is going to be your saving grace.  Your ace in the hole.  I want to encourage you to try and pay attention to the way you think about yourself, your self image.  

TIPS

  1. Be confident!  Your body is going to change with age, with health factors, with exercise.  Love your body.  It is the only one you have!

  2. Be grateful.  Write down something everyday that you are grateful for each day.  Not the same thing, something new each day.

 

I want to let you know that you aren’t alone in your struggles with your weight, food, life, stress and health.  I am here.  I have put together these tips to help you be the person you want to be.  Happy and healthy.  If you are ready,  I am here to be the bridge between who you are now, and who you want to be.  

 

Smile.  Today is going to be a great day!