For much of April, my focus was on eating healthy and caring for my body. I’ve encountered some examples lately of what I don’t want to end up like, which gave me the motivation to get myself in gear and lose (hopefully) 30 pounds by the end of summer.
Motivation comes every so often and if I don’t have that, I really can’t psych myself up for spending so much time focusing on what I eat. Of course, then I end up snacking on junk (I blame Girl Scout cookies just as much as my lack of will power) and not caring about it. You may remember I was doing Weight Watchers for awhile about a year ago and was successful on that. This time, similarly, I am counting calories with an app called LoseIt that I heard a nutritionist recommend on the morning news. It’s not the program so much as my mindset that matters. Once I decide I am doing something, it’s going to happen.
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve changed up my diet. I am eating 1,000 calories a day, which doesn’t sound like much, but the way I’ve spread it out, I am perfectly satisfied. Passover didn’t affect me at all because I don’t need the bread anyway.
Most days, I have 1/2 cup oatmeal for breakfast with cinnamon and pure coconut sugar (92 calories). Then I have a chocolate EAS shake (100) mid morning. If I’m still hungry, I have a greek yogurt (80).
Lunch is a large salad I make each day at Whole Foods. Lots of raw veggies, 4 oz of grilled chicken, 2 tbsp parmesan, and 2 tbsp lite dressing (240). Dinner varies, but generally I’ve been making veggie stir fry/steamed veggies with a small amount of chicken, or some derivative of that. Tonight we are having steamed spirals of zucchini and meat sauce made with antibiotic-free lean beef and a sauce that’s mostly tomato paste. Whole Foods makes it simple when Mr. B is traveling because it’s easy to make a salad for one person or get something that’s prepared fresh. Also, I’m trying out a new healthy single-serving boxed meal delivery place called Freshly. And the key at bedtime is to NOT munch on M&Ms while reading my book. I moved them to the kitchen so that one small handful is all I get. 🙂
Before all of that, after I walk Sweet Girl to school in the morning, I walk the .7 mile loop around her school and the park and fields that adjoin it. Walking to and from there plus 4 laps around is 3 miles, which almost completes my daily goal of 10,000 steps. That’s quite an accomplishment before breakfast! Then I drink a couple glasses of water (a few drops of this flavoring that I discovered at the hotel spa when we were in Colorado makes a huge difference and has led me to drink much more water in the past few months) and 2 apple cider vinegar pills. (The Food Babe suggests waking up to warm water with either that or lemon and cayenne, but since I don’t like the taste of either, this was the next best option and it has the cayenne in it as well.)
So far, I am 6.5 pounds lighter and I feel incredibly better and healthier. Before starting, I’d been feeling very weighted-down and I had zero energy. Now I am on the move. (I like parking far from the store so I can get in extra steps!) It could be mental, but knowing that I am not putting as many chemicals into my body feels great.
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Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre by Tracy Chevalier
Stories by 20 women authors (Tracy Chevalier, Francine Prose, Tessa Hadley,Emma Donoghue, Audrey Niffenegger, and others) that inspiration from the famous line in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Generally, they were engaging stories about romance and marriage, though I didn’t particularly enjoy the collection.
A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable
April is a furniture appraiser sent to Paris to value what’s inside an apartment that’s been shut for decades. She reads the journals of a very bold and lively demimondaine (sort of an upper-class courtesan). In Paris, April finds personal meaning in the stories, as well as the time to work through some very personal issues of her own.
I thought it was fun and interesting to learn about what life was like in Paris at a different time. I didn’t think that April was a very strong character and didn’t particularly agree with many of her choices. I found the book flat at times, but kept going and it resolved in a satisfactory way.
“EVERY BITE OF FOOD that passes through our lips and every glass of water we drink are potential sources of toxic chemicals, including pesticide residue, preservatives, artificial flavors and colorings, addicting sugars and fats, genetically modified organisms, and more.”
Scientists blame chemical-filled food for the dramatic rise in obesity, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility, dementia, mental illness, etc. Hari’s mission is to educate people about the ingredients in their food and teach them how to live an organic, additive-free, healthy lifestyle.
Learning about what is in most of what we eat has been shocking for me. I still can’t believe “big food” doesn’t care that what we are eating is killing us. Just GMOs alone should be illegal. Why would we knowingly eat artificial ingredients extracted from bacteria, viruses, insects, and animals? Ew.
“How, as mothers of schoolchildren, can we bring our best selves to the task of mothering so that we are not at the mercy of daily frustrations, fears and anxieties? How can we rise above habitual reactions of irritability, stress and impatience? And what are the most reliable sources of contentment for us?”
I really liked Napthali’s book on adjusting to becoming a mother and caring for ourselves. This one addresses the different challenges of raising school-aged children like time pressure, our response to stress, boredom from the repetitive nature of everyday life, making friends, and much more toward living a balanced life. Highly recommend.
We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story by Josh Sundquist
This book is a quick read and it’s hilarious. 25-year-old Sundquist realizes he’s never had a girlfriend so he tracks down his old crushes and asks why it never worked out with them. He learns about his own preconceived limits and Very honest and very real about how tough it is to be in high school with the social pressures and awkwardness. I’d recommend it for anyone in my generation.