Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 25 of Clean Eating

It's been 25 days since I started 'eating clean' and I have to say that it's been much easier than I was expecting. Sure, it takes planning and it's kinda difficult to do when you are away from home but I think the benefits are worth the trouble. I feel better, my headaches are less frequent, I'm needing less naps and it feels good knowing I've stopped the vicious cycle of poisoning myself with sugar. I expected the cravings and withdrawl to be worse than it was.

People always say to me 'I could never give up sugar' and I say that you CAN, but it's a choice you have to make and you need to resolve to make the changes necessary. You need to commit to reading labels and avoiding what is easy in order to progress towards a better lifestyle.

I'm most annoyed by the sheer volume of sugar placed into the foods we eat. I am stunned by how much sugar is in things I pick up at the store. I don't eat anything that has more than 5 grams of sugar in a serving.

It isn't easy, I'll admit that but neither is being a vegetarian and I've been doing that for almost 7 years now. It's especially difficult living in the midwest. People here think that every meal needs to contain of a hunk of flesh. Is it easier to say 'to hell with it' and give in? Sure... but that isn't the correct road.

Like I said, you choose what you 'can' do.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Clean Eating

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted. I am going to try and commit to posting at least once a week from now on.

Anyway, one night in late April when I had insomnia, I was flipping thru the channels and came across a talk show where Jackie Warner was making an appearance. Jackie is a fitness instructor and personal trainer. She owns her own gym in Los Angeles, called SkySport and had a reality show on Bravo called Work Out. I really enjoyed the show and I came to really like Jackie. I bought her workout DVD even tho I rarely workout. LOL ... Anywho... she was discussing her new diet plan book that had come out on April 27. I didn't know about her book so I sort of took it as a sign that the universe was saying 'go buy that' .. and a couple days later, I did.

On May 1st I picked the book up and began my new eating lifestyle. I officially began her program on May 3rd (you need to start on a Monday) and so far I love it!

Her program is basically the centuries old idea of 'clean eating' .. you eat what the earth provides and nothing that man has gotten his hands on. Fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains, lean protein.
You stay away from simple carbs like sugar, white flour, white potatoes, alcohol and all manner of sweeteners. You dump dairy (eecept for a few low fat things). You ditch the packaged and prepared and stick with fresh and whole. It's how the human body was meant to eat!

Back in 2003, I lost 50 lbs on Weight Watchers. I stayed on plan for a full year to lose it and the program absolutely works. However, lately, I couldn't get the plan to work for me and that indicated that something more was going on with my body.

I had gained back 30 of the 50 I lost and I wanted to get rid of at least 20 of it. I was losing and regaining 3 lbs over and over.. I just couldn't get off the yo-yo thing. It was obvious that my metabolism and body processes were whacked.

Jackie's book led me to research clean eating and how sugar is a poison to the system. I'm stunned by how bad sugar is for you. I'm not just talking cookies and candy bars.. sugar is in everything and Americans are addicted. I'm disgusted by the amount of sugar people eat.

Jackie's plan has you eat clean Monday thru Friday and then for one meal on Saturday and one meal on Sunday, you are allowed a 'treat meal' where you can have anything you want (yes, even fried food, sugary stuff, cheesecake.. whatever .. as long as the entire meal isn't over 1500 calories) .. her idea is that deprivation doesn't work and that by eating clean for 5 days straight you can break the sugar addiction and give your body a much needed break from junk and sugar so that having some on the weekends won't be detrimental to your efforts. I like it.

Now that I have been clean eating for the past 10 days, I'm finding that I'm losing weight, feeling better, have less headaches, I can wear smaller sized jeans and my belly is flatter. I have more energy and a better attitude. I'm not always needing my daily nap and I have a general feeling of well-being that I didn't have before.

I'm finding that my motivation and willpower are at a high and I'm not really having too much trouble staying with this eating style. It isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change and I realize I will no longer be eating sugar (maybe a little on the weekends) and altho it's a hard thing to imagine for most people, it's necessary.

Now that I've been researching how bad sugar is, I shouldn't have any trouble staying away from it. My husband is a sugar addict and the house is filled with it but I'm not tempted at all. When I look at sugar I see evil in it instead of delight ... and I just don't want it in my body anymore.

I think everyone is capable of doing anything they choose to do but you do have to make the choice. You have to choose health over indulgence. You need to educate yourself and be responsible for learning what you need to do to feel good and look good.

I'm still working on the exercise part. I hate it so much so I'm just not there yet but I think changing the way I eat is a big accomplishment. I think exercise may come into play by fall, we'll see.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I need to get back to blogging!! but... I started a handcrafted earring business... check my stuff out:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pet Peeve: Cellphone Etiquette

Cellphones. If only they had cellphones when I was dating..
I can't imagine not having to sit home waiting for that phone call from that cute guy.

As much as I enjoy the freedom my cellphone gives me, I don't always enjoy what comes with the cellphone. Here are the things that bug me .....

Answering when you can't talk.

It drives me crazy when I call someone and they tell me it's a bad time or they are in the middle of something. WHY DID YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? Back in the day, if you couldn't pick up the phone, you let the answering machine get it and called the person back. Now days, people think if their phone rings, they are obliged to answer it. Not so, folks!

If you are peeing, in the checkout lane at Shop 'n Save, naked, have your hands full of groceries, soaking wet from the shower, trying on swimsuits, getting romantic, are driving, have anything in your mouth, are sitting in the waiting room, working, sleeping, getting your haircut, or any other number of things... we can all wait. You can call us back when you can chat. Really. People in life and death situations should call 9-1-1 first anyway.

Being a bad customer.

I've worked retail and this one really, really bothers me.

It's incredibly rude to be on a cellphone when you are being waited on. Please give your full attention to the Starbucks guy, the waiter, the deli worker, the bank teller or the department store associate. You'd be offended if they were on the phone while helping you. At the very least, tell the person on the phone to wait until you are finished being waited on.

Cellphones and driving

Seriously. Don't do it. Don't call, talk, text or email when you are operating a motorized vehicle, You could kill someone! You could kill yourself! You could run into something and cause your insurance rates to rise! Have someone else in the car do it, pull over or WAIT... nothing is that important that you can't wait until you get there or get to a place you can safely pull over.

Not turning the phone off while in a movie theatre.

Hello? Leave it in the car or turn the ringer off. Do not take it out to text either, the light is distracting to the the people behind you. If you can't spend 2 hours watching a movie without talking or texting, stay home and get Netflix. Or therapy.

Talking in a restaurant.

The only time I wanna hear someone on their phone in a restaurant is when the person they are meeting is calling to tell them they are running late or need directions. I might answer my phone in a restaurant but once I determine it is not an emergency, I'll tell the person I'll call them back when I'm done. (see? I get the protests from people about babysitters) If you absolutely MUST take the call? Go outside.

I don't want to listen to your random chitchat .. it's bad enough to listen to the random chitchat between you and your dinner companion because you can't use your inside voice but hearing the one-sided version is worse.

Not answering your phone and making no attempts to turn it off.

I get that somtimes you don't want to answer it.. then at least acknowledge said call and turn it off so I don't have to listen to Rascal Flatts or Flight of the Bumblebee over and over and over while I'm trying to read nutrition labels. People that do this often ignore their children too. It' s annoying.

Ignoring the real people you are with by cybering others.

Ever been out to dinner with someone that sits across from you, says nothing and spends half the time emailing and/or texting other people? Bad manners. Pay attention to the real, live people you are with and let your cyber shit wait.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Homemade is Better!

After reading the ingredients on store bought dressings and croutons, I decided to make my own dressings and croutons.. they taste so much better and they are much healthier.. I can’t imagine anyone using a bottled dressing after making fresh at home. I even take my homemade dressing and croutons with me to restaurants.

When I have to bring a dish to pass, I often take a 'salad bar' and make a few fresh dressings and the fresh croutons. As a vegetarian, this guarantees that I have at least one thing I can actually eat. LOL

These make small amounts that should be used within a week since they don't have preservatives.

Anyway, here are some recipes …. A new dressing, an old favorite and I finally wrote down the crouton recipe… well, sort of.

Caesar Dressing

I made this and it was so good that I had TWO salads last night. LOL It’s close to a Caesar but I left out the anchovies since I’m vegetarian. You can add some in if you like.

I used my bullet blender to mix this. I’d suggest that or a small blender/food processor as you need to fully blend the cheese in.

½ tsp chopped garlic (you can another ½ tsp if you are a big garlic fan)
1 cup light mayo
¼ cup skim milk (you can also use buttermilk)
1/3 cup fresh grated romano cheese (or parmesan)
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce (I found a vegetarian one, others have anchovy paste in them)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Blend together. If you want it thinner, use an additional 1/8 cup of milk (or more) to get it to the consistency you prefer. If you don’t have fresh cheese, you could probably use the traditional ‘dry’ stuff but I don’t know how that will change the recipe.

1000 Island Dressing

I love this dressing. So fresh and tangy. Kids usually go for this as well. Makes a good sandwich spread too. This should be hand blended with a whisk. You can double this if you need a larger amount.

½ cup light mayo
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP ketchup
2 tsp agave nectar (you can sub regular sugar or even honey)
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 t minced onion (I use the dry kind or you can use fresh)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Shelly’s Homemade Croutons

When I make croutons I don’t use a recipe. I dump and mix and taste and create.. but so many people have asked me to give them a recipe, I thought I’d do a basic one and post it.

Store bought croutons have no flavor and they contain ingredients you can’t even say.. and many have corn syrup! WTF?

You can use any bread you have/like.. I’ve made croutons with plain sandwich bread, hoagie rolls, multigrain and fancy artisan bread and they’ve all been yummy!

When you are using up your bread and it starts to get stale, toss the rest in the freezer and use it for crouton day! You can even cube it before you freeze it. Sam's Club has hoagie rolls in white and wheat (packs of 12) that are perfect to use and cheap! I often buy those, come home and cube them all and then freeze them in large baggies for quick use later.

I put the dry ingredients in a small Tupperware container with a lid to shake it up and mix it.. or you can use a small bowl and a spoon. It’s just fun to shake the crap out of it!

1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp smoked salt (you can use regular salt)
½ cup dry parmesan cheese

9 oz of cubed bread
(ok, I weighed it because I wasn’t sure how else to tell you how much to use.. honestly, just cube up what you have.. you can always add more oil to coat it)

¼ cup oil (I prefer olive or grapeseed as it’s healthy, but use what you like)
2 TBSP melted butter (this is for flavor, you can leave it out)

I use a big bowl that has a lid so I can shake the croutons but a large bowl and a spoon work fine too … put ½ the cubed bread in the bowl, add ½ the dry ingredients, add second half of cubed bread and last half of dry ingredients (this is to distribute the dry stuff) and pour the oil and butter over it, toss gently to coat all the pieces well.

Spread on cookie sheets in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes at a time, stirring until all sides are evenly brown. Watch them though as the cheese makes them burn faster. You can cook them less if you like a chewy crouton vs a crunchy one. Let cool and place in an airtight container.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Never Judge...

Just when we all need some hope....

Have you seen this clip from Britain's Got Talent? It's 47-year old Susan Boyle. She made Simon Cowell smile. This is the perfect example of how humans pre-judge other humans.

The audience was snickering... even the judges were a little snide... and then... she sang.

I predict a big 15 minutes of fame for this adorable lady. I also think someone is gonna give her a makeover.

I love her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why I Love a Good Nap

I love to nap. I do it almost every day. Napping isn't given it's due. Napping is so underrated.

One of the things I look forward to is my nap. I tell my dog, Sam that it's 'nap time' and he's in the bed before I am. Often, he reminds me that it's nap time. We cuddle up and sleep for an hour or two. It's a great bonding experience. You could do it with a child or even your significant other.

Sometimes I take a nap because I'm actually tired. Other times, I may have a bad headache and I just need to lie down.. but most often I just need a quick rest.

I know if you work full-time, it becomes a little harder to fit a nap in but on the weekends, you could indulge... or even take a nighttime nap after dinner and before bed. Men tend to take couch naps.

1. Why do parents make kids take naps? Is it becasue they are less cranky after one? Do they just want time to themselves? Guess what? a nap combines those two things when you're an adult - you get time to yourself and you wake up less cranky.

2. Have you ever noticed how much pets sleep? They sleep hours and hours a day. Pets are always happy and rarin' to go. Hmm... coincidence? Besides, there is nothing in this world that is cuter than a sleeping dog... seriously.

3. In Mexico and some other countries, like Italy and Spain, it is tradition to take a siesta in the afternoon. It's the hottest part of the day so shops and restaurants close down and then re-open and stay open later in the evening.