Category Archives: Recipes

Fast break: Finding the Time

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It’s Sunday again! Time to get geared up for a good week, which for me pretty much boils down to planning. I’m feeling motivated as this is the new view in my basement!

treadmill

Strategy: This week the Spark Diet talks about using every small opportunity we have to do a good thing for ourselves and our diets. One example is especially easy if you’re a Subway fan – switch out the mayo (100 calories) for mustard (11 calories) on your next sandwich. Carve out 15 minutes to move rather than sit. Maybe even team up with someone for meal planning or exercise. I forgot to mention it last week, but if anyone would like to hook up with me on My Fitness Pal for some accountability, my screen name is keandrew82.

Move your body challenge: I was an epic failure at last week’s challenge. I printed it out with grand intentions, and I didn’t do it even one day. I’ll keep it out again this week. I also challenge you guys to do this one at least once this week. It shouldn’t take long (maybe 20 minutes?) and it’s all basic moves that are great for you.

workout

What am I going to eat? I’ll post recipes with photos later in the week, but this Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing is on my agenda for today. Like many people, I keep a lot of recipe ideas on Pinterest, so if you want to follow me, you can find me as Kelly Andrew or under the email keandrew82@gmail.com.

Motivation: This is from one of my favorite workout songs (and songs in general) “Shake it Out” by Florence And the  Machine. Let’s be honest, the devil on my back right now is a whole bunch of extra pounds, which are making it hard for me to do the things that will make my life how I want it (ie: physical activities with friends who are in better shape, having the confidence to date, etc.). Shake off whatever devil is riding you this week, and dance with me, okay?

devil on your back

 

Goals: I didn’t do this section last week, but I thought I’d share to stay accountable. I’ve used this goal sheet for years (on and off) and it helps me remember to take baby steps each week to feel great about everything in my life, not just a “diet.” I think it’s a combination of something I read in a Jillian Michaels book, and Spark People, and maybe a little me, but it’s not original by any means. It helps me though, so feel free to use it if it will help you.

What was my biggest challenge last week, and how can I overcome it this week? The cleanse offered a protective barrier from the real world, and once it was over, I went nuts and had waaaaay too much wine and felt like crap. This week I will remember that moderation is okay. I can drink wine, it’s not “bad.” I just need to do it in a way that doesn’t make me feel bad.

What will I do this week to improve my appearance? I will take the time to wear makeup when I leave the house.

What will I do this week that will increase my energy? I will work to get on a sleep schedule that allows 7-8 hours per night. For me this means moving away from a bad habit of Netflix in bed.

What sports, exercise or other physical activity will I do this week to improve my fitness? When and how often will I do it? M-3 mi. jog with Erin, T-morning walk & yoga, W-off, R-off, F-workout challenge, S-morning walk/jog, Su-morning walk/jog. I want to say I’ll do something every day, but I also want to be realistic. I’ll get there.

What will I do this week to boost my self confidence? Put together a training schedule for Crazy Legs.

What actions will I take this week to improve my health? Stick to my food plan and cook at home.

Fast-break goals – small, simple, powerful changes:

Nutrition: I will continue to track all of my food daily using My Fitness Pal

Fitness: Switch out couch TV time with treadmill TV time

Motivation: 210 pounds by Feb. 1 – which is coming fast. I’m going to a gala next month and I want to be able to feel good in a dress!

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 7

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As I sit here drinking my tea on the morning of day seven, I feel good. I’m proud that I’ve been able to stick to the cleanse guidelines for a week. I’m happy that those holiday pounds seem to have come off during this week. I’m glad that I feel good.

But this is also a scary day for me. Without the excuse of “I’m doing a cleanse” how will I regulate my diet? I already have social plans for this weekend that include eating and drinking – how will I maintain moderation? How can I keep the cravings that I know are going to pop up again at bay, and how do I keep from overeating and binge eating in the future?

I have to think that this is the case for many people out there. We start the new year right, we clean out our systems, we engage in the right activities for a few weeks and feel great…and then we stop. Somehow the weight gets put back on and we start to feel like shit again. I don’t know how this story is going to end, but I’m committed to sharing the story along the way, and hopefully becoming accountable to readers of this blog.

On to day seven. Nothing new or earth-shattering here. Same routine as yesterday. I made this slow cooker savory bean and spinach soup, which was good, so I’ll have some leftovers for the next couple of days.

spinach soup

 

I’ve also got some broccoli slaw salad left, and ingredients to make this crunchy cashew thai salad tomorrow. Of course I’ll be back with more recipes next week.

Why I’m looking forward to the weekend: my treadmill gets delivered tonight, I have a date with Erin for a 3-mile run on Saturday (it’s going to be 35 degrees, a WI heatwave!) and there’s plenty of time to cook.

Why I’m nervous about this weekend: I want some red wine. And I want brunch. And those are two things that can get me in trouble when it comes to going overboard, having no boundaries, and ending up with a 3,000 calorie day.

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 6

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Wow, after an impressive reiki session last night, I slept well and I’m ready for my day. I’ve got some appointments this morning and afternoon for work, so I’m strategizing on how I’m going to handle my food and liquids since I’m leaving the house and won’t be 12 feet from my tea pot and refrigerator! I should be okay though – I’ve got an hour to kill between two appointments, so I’ll take some of this broccoli-slaw salad to eat in the car, then get some tea at a coffee shop.

broccolislawsalad

 

Today, the cleanse instructs that in addition to fruits and vegetables, I can add back mushrooms, beans, legumes, seeds, nuts and healthy grains. I made the broccoli salad yesterday without pumpkin and sunflower seeds, but I’ll add them in today. I’m sticking with my green smoothy for breakfast, although I’m out of juice cubes, so I’ll need to stop at the store for more greens to juice. I’m going to pop this Savory Bean and Spinach Soup recipe into the crockpot before I leave, so I should have a nice, warm, NEW meal when I come home tonight!

As we near the end of this cleanse journey, I feel good. My body feels revitalized and my head is clear. I think I may even feel a little less achey when I wake up in the morning. I’ve tracked my food intake every day on My Fitness Pal and cleared all of the crap from my fridge. So the next challenge is living this as a lifestyle, not just seven days out of the year. How can I incorporate this feeling into my every day life? What kinds of recipes can help me stay craving-free and eating at a normal intake rather than bingeing? I don’t know the answers yet, but I’m working on it.

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 4

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Today’s the big day. My cleanse guidelines instruct me to avoid eating any solid food; drink plenty of water, broth, juice, and tea. Although I didn’t make the Superfoods Detox Broth, I do have some vegetable broth in the house that I’ll warm up (it’s still in the negative degrees here in WI, so soup is totally appropriate!) I’m also prepared with a wide variety of tea (I think I drank four pots yesterday – I just brew the tea in my 12-cup coffee maker), the ingredients for vitalizing beverage, and if I get really desperate, I’ve got a cucumber, carrots, apples and oranges that I can juice.

Yesterday began to get challenging for me. Maybe it was just a Monday where I was cooped up in the house all day, but I struggled with focus and some negative thinking. I got hungry in the afternoon, so instead of my ants on a log snack, I made some sweet potato hash:

sweet potato hash

 

This is a really easy solution and I’ve added beans and more veggies to make it into a full dinner before. I just shred a sweet potato using my food processor attachment, heat about 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet and cook it with about 1/4 of a red onion and a bunch of spices: salt, pepper, and this time I used Penzey’s Forward! salt-free blend.

I did notice that about an hour after this meal, I truly started to cleanse (ie – my bowel was moving and hasn’t stopped since). I’m thankful right now that I work from home, and that it’s too cold to go anywhere, because it’s nice to just be able to let this process happen and not feel weird about running to the bathroom frequently.

My negative thinking struggle is a whole different aspect of this process, and trust me, I battle with it outside of my cleanse time, too. There was a realization yesterday, that I should move my body, I needed to sweat, but I felt trapped in the house and couldn’t even take a walk. I’m eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new treadmill (3 more days!) but until then, I need to figure out ways to deal with this. At one point I thought that maybe I should just give up and order a pizza (I didn’t). I also had the internal conversation of, “you’re never going to loose the weight, so why are you even doing this?” I can tell you this: I’m doing this because I love life and I want to live it well, in a body that can take on anything. I started a business, and it’s my responsibility to my business and my clients to be the best me, to feel good, to be productive and sharp, and this cleanse is a way that I can start down that road.

Today will absolutely be the most difficult, but I’m ready for it. Day 4 can bring it on!

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 2

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Welcome to day two of the cleanse – I’m feeling good! Yesterday I took it very easy – spent a lot of time on the couch working on my Create Your Amazing Year workbook (which you can get on Amazon) and cooking, juicing, etc. in the kitchen. Since I’m using this workbook, I haven’t been journaling separately; it’s a recommended part of Dr. Fortney’s detox plan, and he has a great handout to guide you if you’re so inclined. I was a little hungry during the day and evening, so I had two rounds of “Ants on a Log” made with natural peanut butter, celery and golden raisins. Today’s instructions are the same as yesterday – no meat, eggs, dairy, wheat, alcohol, caffeine or sugar.

Here’s how my green juice smoothies turned out – so yummy! It did take some time yesterday to juice everything, but I’ve got enough frozen juice cubes for four days, which is great.

The apple & orange separated from the kale & parsley!

The apple & orange separated from the kale & parsley!

Blend cubes with 1 c. coconut milk and a banana - yum!

Blend cubes with 1 c. coconut milk and a banana – yum!

I had a little bit of trouble getting to sleep last night. I was in bed by 10:00, but my mind was buzzing (sidebar: I recently started a consulting business and am in the naming process currently – so it was good, creative buzzing, but still kept me awake). I may take a small amount of melatonin tonight (per Luke’s recommendation) to help me shut off and actually get the eight hours that I’m striving for.

Today I’m headed to a 90 minute yoga & meditation class at Haleybird Studios in Tosa. Should be relaxing, and I have to remember that just because I’m being gentle with myself and detoxing, I still need to move my body to have the best effects. I wasn’t planning to make this Asian Broccoli-slaw salad until the end of the week, but I think I’m going to whip it up today – I was a little bored with my spaghetti squash and soup yesterday and this could give me the variety I need to stay satisfied. 

I’ll keep you posted! Hopefully this good feeling and productivity continues!

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 1

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Today I start a 7-day journey to help me get rid of the sugar and processed food cravings and get back on the track of basing my diet on the things that really work for me – fruits and vegetables primarily! I am beginning a cleanse that I’ve done a number of times before, and really felt great after. My friend Dr. Luke Fortney developed Detoxification to Promote Health: A 7-Day Program to help his patients detox in a healthy way that promotes our natural detoxification ability. I highly recommend devoting the time to do this a couple of times a year – and for me, after the holidays is the time where I need it most.

I love that Luke lists the five basic elements of detoxification as:

  • Exercise: every day such as yoga or walking, especially in nature
  • Regular sweating: a sauna, steam room, or hot yoga class
  • Healthy nutrition: rich in organic fruits, vegetables, and water
  • Self reflection: such as meditation and breathing-focused relaxation
  • Body-work: such as massage or acupuncture

The approach is gentle and realistic. You can do this cleanse in the midst of your regular lifestyle, although if you can manage to take some time away from your daily grind, it’s beneficial. I bought my groceries yesterday, and since it’s going to be -20 degrees in Wisconsin for the next few days, it’s the perfect time for me to hunker down at home and focus on my health.

I am doing version #1 of the cleanse, so today I begin by eliminating meat, dairy, eggs, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and sugar from my routine. I brought my juicer out of the basement, and am taking my inspiration from this Green Smoothie Plan.  I’m doing mine a little differently – I’ll juice the kale, parsley, and apple together and add an orange, then I’ll freeze my juice in ice cube trays. This way, each morning I can throw a few juice cubes in the blender with a banana and some coconut milk. I’ve also prepared a meal that I’ll use throughout this week which is spaghetti squash with a home-made marinara sauce (I simmered 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, roasted red peppers and a chopped onion with a bunch of basil, Penzy’s Pasta Sprinkle and some sea salt and pepper). I’ll make this Winter Minestrone soup for dinner, and call it a day! I always drink a lot of tea, so that’s nothing new for me, and I’ll make some of the Vitalizing Beverage using lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and seltzer water if I feel hungry or have a craving.

And finally, as my self-reflection efforts, I’m working through Leone Dawson’s Create Your Amazing Year workbook. This project is helping me let go of 2013, envision 2014, and document how I’m going to live this year.

Stay tuned for the rest of the cleanse. I know what’s coming, and I may not be as chipper as I start to feel some of the detox effects, but I promise to be honest about how it’s going and hope that you’ll find this tool helpful in your life, too.