Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Highlights

I thought I would end 2012 with a look back at progress I made toward my healthier living goals this year. I may not have managed to hit the ideal I wanted, but, dang, I did make progress and I'm proud of it! :D

Not in any particular order and not necessarily all-inclusive:

*fresh garlic is a regular staple around here; a few years ago, I'd never used fresh garlic in my life
*I've tried so many new recipes compared to previous years
*kale is a fairly frequent visitor in our house now
*Swiss chard has appeared a few times
*have managed to do a week and a half straight of gluten-free eating--and don't want the bread back
*did yoga each day for over 100 days in a row
*had lots of days with raw mornings
*started working on strengthening my poor atrophied muscles
*haven't gained weight beyond a certain point that I seem to hit each year at some point
*fewer pre-packaged items have been used for supper than previous years; a couple years ago, Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, pre-packaged rices, frozen chicken nuggets and such were all regular meals around here
*typically eating more fruits and veggies
*more vegetarian suppers served to my family this year compared to previous years

These are all great steps for me! It's motivating to see all the little steps I've taken even though the final product may not be at the level I wanted. But, so what? :D I wonder what I will accomplish in 2013?

What accomplishments are you proud of--health-wise or other--for 2012?

Happy New Year's Eve to you all and wishing you a happy and healthy 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Flab-Free Challenge

LOL. (Yes, laughing at myself at my choice of titles.)

All right, it's not even 2013, but I stopped by the library and a book on display has become my next fitness challenge guide:

Clicking will bring you to the Amazon US listing.

I had a look at it and it looks like it's easy to do and is based on how much a person can push themselves, which means for things that may aggravate my IT-band, I just do what I can and leave it at that. It's designed to be for everybody, including those of us who haven't properly exercised in ages. My kind of book! lol. It has a devotional component which suits me just fine, but someone who wasn't interested in the spiritual fitness aspect of the book could ignore it. I won't be following the food options since I'll be working on my own individualized food goals and with food allergies/sensitivities and strong dislikes, there's too much I just wouldn't eat. The book also goes into an additional 28 days, so it's really kind of a 56-day program, if someone decided to do it all, which I will if the first 28 days make a difference. :)

One thing they say to do is to journal: write down each day how many of the exercises you did, how long it took and all that. I haven't decided if I will post that all here or on the forum they have on their website It doesn't seem used much, which means if I post there, I don't know that I'll have the kind of accountability that could be useful. If I post here, you all might get pretty bored. We'll see.

I see no reason to wait until January 1st, when I'll be tired from having stayed up late and less motivated to get it done and the waiting will just encourage procrastination, so I started today! Today's exercise, after a 3-minute walking warm-up, was just to provide a baseline, and here's mine:

Inclined push-ups: 10 (so sad... lol. I have a decent amount of strength to lift things, but my shoulders aren't very strong, apparently!)
Crunches: 27 (not horrid...)
Time: 1 minute 47 seconds

The way the program is set up is that there are 4 mandatory workout days each week. These are the exercises for this week, if I've previewed properly. That's it. The goal: Beat each previous day's number of reps and/or time.

Are you waiting to start some fitness goals? What are they?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Yummy Shake'N Bake Gluten-Free Supper

At the grocery store last week, my 15-year old was looking at a Shake 'N Bake BBQ Chicken Glaze package. No wheat, no gluten. She asked if we could have it. Sure! Why not? That makes for a supper that's both gluten-free and dairy-free.

There was a recipe on the back for the glazed chicken to cook on top of slices of peppers and purple onions. I don't have purple onions in the house, but I did have the peppers. We served it on rice (white rice, unfortunately, but not instant rice) with some fresh veggies. I remembered to take a picture after I'd eaten some. (Woops.)

While it did have a barbecue taste to it, it was a lot like fajitas, to be honest. Which makes it a wheat-free "fajita" option for my daughter. This has got me thinking about finding a spice recipe for fajitas and using it to make something similar, but only veggies, no chicken, for a vegan option. Regardless, it was very tasty and everyone was happy--which is a difficult feat in this house with new meals. lol.

There is a version of the recipe here, but that's not what's on my box. You know what? Why don't I just type out the recipe that's on the box since it doesn't seem to exist elsewhere:

SHAKE'N BAKE Quick Oven "Stir-Fry"
Prep: 10 min | Total: 30 min | Preheat oven to 375F | Makes 4 servings

Preheat oven to 375F.
Spread 3 cups assorted pepper strips (green, red and yellow) and 1 sliced red onion onto bottom of shallow foil-lined baking pan.
Coat 1 lb (450g) boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips with 1 pouch SHAKE'N BAKE BBQ Chicken Glaze Coating Mix; place over vegetables. Sprinkle with any remaining coating mix.
Bake 20 min. or until chicken is cooked though.
Meanwhile, cook 2 cups instant brown rice as directed on package; spoon onto serving plate. Top with chicken mixture.
Best of season: Prepare using your choice of fresh vegetables, such as sliced mushrooms, celery slices, zucchini slices and/or broccoli florets.

If you know of a homemade fajita-type seasoning that could be used, or maybe a tried-and-true veggie fajita recipe, please share!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Our Gluten-Free Trial

As I mentioned in previous posts, my 15-year old daughter decided to finally try going gluten-free. She was starting to have daily stomach complaints, pain, bloating and we'd suspected at least wheat before, and she was desperate for some relief, so she went for it. First evening, pain ended up worse than before, but within a few days, she had no pain, her stomach was flattest its been in ages and she was feeling good.

We lasted about a week and a half gluten-free before holiday celebrations hit and she decided to indulge here and there. And so did I. ;) But to backtrack, the first day of going gluten-free was okay, the next two days were very hard to make the switch. After that, it didn't seem like a huge deal. Yes, I had my evenings where I was going, "Oh my gosh, what are we going to eat?" but I figured things out. With the internet, you can find just about any recipe you want by listing ingredients you have on hand that you think would go well together! I managed to find this one evening:

I slightly modified it (didn't have tomato paste, for example) but it was definitely a keeper recipe!  And if you use vegetable stock (Campbell's vegetable broth is gluten-free; the chicken broth isn't), the recipe is not only gluten-free, but vegan, as well.

Since being back on wheat, I'm feeling blah again. But since so many of the wheat things around here are junk (German lebkuchen, for example, and stollen) with sugar, hard to know how much of it is wheat and how much of it is sugar. I don't have any desire for bread though. Nor the baked goods I had intended to make and haven't. I'm eager to get back to the wheat-free/gluten-free eating we were doing. I have this aversion now, which I should probably pay attention to!

My mother tried to tell me that it wasn't healthy to be on a gluten-free diet if you didn't need to be on it. My mother's an intelligent woman, but she doesn't seem to realize that what she said makes no sense. She's just going off of something she read somewhere. If celiacs can be healthy on a gluten-free diet, there's no reason others can't be. This isn't like the recommended diabetic diet where it's playing around with your blood sugars; it's just a matter of having gluten in your system or not. Since I definitely felt better being wheat/gluten-free (I hardly eat other gluten than wheat, so hard to know if it's wheat or gluten), then, by golly, I'm going to aim to pretty much eliminate wheat from my diet regardless of what certain experts may say (other experts say none of us should be eating gluten)! I'm thinking about convincing--or forcing--my 12-year old son to try, too. He has absolutely horrid dry skin on his hands every winter. We tried eliminating dairy last winter or the winter before and it had no effect. Something in his system is causing this! It's so bad that if I don't make sure he gets hand cream on his hands, they end up cracking and bleeding. And, yes, I have to make sure cream gets on him because he doesn't seem to pay any attention to it until it does start cracking and bleeding.

There has been some good things so far about going gluten-free:

  1. Improved health.
  2. Increased knowledge about using things such as digestive enzymes. Definitely helps my daughter and I've taken some a couple of times and I find my intestinal area seems flatter than usual--less inflammation?
  3. Increased experimentation with recipes. Rather than eating the same old, same old, I've been forced to go beyond, find new recipes, try different things. Things I had wanted to do in the past but it took my daughter's health to really push me through the comfort zone barrier.
  4. Seeing how we did reasonably easily manage to make the switch--yes, we still had our moments of going "Arrrrrrgh!"--it has me thinking more about my switching to a vegan (or beegan--using honey) diet and at least 50% raw. It can be done; it'd be nice if it didn't take a health crisis to finally do it.

I'll leave you today with just some of my finds during my gluten-free search:

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Challenge Is Done--Merry Christmas!

One of many Christmas cards made--and I'm not done! I copied from All stamps and paper are Stampin' Up!

Okay, so Christmas isn't until tomorrow, but it's Christmas Eve, which is when Christmas starts for me. I'm not sure how it came to be a tradition in my grandfather's family, but they always opened gifts on Christmas Eve. (Family was from Prussia; might have had something to do with it.) My grandmother (who had grandparents from Prussia) went along with it, which means my mom grew up with it and I have grown up with it. With my mom living nearby and my in-laws out of the country for winter (snowbirds!), my husband, our kids and I open Christmas gifts with her and my step-dad Christmas Eve at their place (but we reserve some for home Christmas morning!).

In any case, the challenge is done. I completely dropped the ball yesterday on it, so I guess I stopped on Saturday. And how do I feel today? Crummy. I feel puffy and my nose is running--but not like a cold--and I'm thirsty and my IT band is burning on both sides (didn't even do yoga yesterday).

Given it's the end, time for a bit of self-assessment:

How'd I do?
Not bad. I have a few rough days, but overall, food consumption was much better, fruit and veggie consumption is up and muscles have been strengthened.

What could I have done better?
Planning would have helped make sure raw consumption and overall fruit and veggie consumption was where I would have liked it to be. For the exercise aspect... I really did do as I had aimed to do, except for missing a day here and there. I think my next challenge has to include doing the Egoscue exercises to help get my body in balance. I think a lot of the walking around in my winter boots is why my IT band is acting more, more so than too many reps. The Egoscue exercise ought to help!

What's next?
Well, it's Christmas, so a bit of a break until my next challenge. But... I haven't yet done any of the baking I was planning on doing and now I'm kind of rethinking it. Once I start on something sugary, especially after a short break, I seem to go overboard, especially when I'm lacking sleep, which I severely am these past few days. I had way too many candies, for example, yesterday. I'm sure that's got to do with how blech I feel today, but the wheat might have something to do with it, too. But my tired mind is rambling: I was wanting to make the Better than Butter Tarts from "How It All Vegan" and some gluten-free Rice Krispie squares and some dairy-free shortbread (and raw vegan Nanaimo bars, but they're awfully complicated and I don't have the ingredients that I need), but I'm now rethinking it. Maybe just pick one? (Butter tarts! :D) After Christmas, I will settle on another goal. Gluten/wheat-free is definitely a part of it, at least for the bulk of the time. Trying even more raw recipes--including as part of meals for families--is another part. I've already started putting together a raw veggie plate that gets set out on the table before all the other food and it's getting all eaten up. Salad--that would be a good starting goal to have with each supper.

Enough of this Christmas Eve ramble. Have a very Merry Christmas! And if you were doing your own challenge, why not share how you did? :D

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 28--Yes, I'm Still Alive! lol

Still alive, just having a ridiculously busy week. My regular weeks, which are already busy, plus a fancy birthday party last Sunday and Christmas shopping and running two gift-making classes... The supper on Sunday was fantastic: the restaurant even had a special menu for special diets. There was even a raw menu. This is practically unheard of where I live, unless you go to some vegetarian restaurant, which this was not. This is among the high-end restaurants in town! I didn't eat from the raw menu, but did take from the vegan menu and was so excited to be able to actually have dessert. lol.

As an update to my progress: Some days have lacked in raw due to lack of groceries, and then when we got groceries, because I live in winter wonderland, the fruit wasn't yet raw (EDIT: RIPE. lol). It looked promising yesterday that it would be ready today. Yesterday actually lacked raw in part because of my being so busy. A girl in my Monday afternoon class brought me -free banana bread (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free...) and there was still some left and it was an easy breakfast. Rest of the morning, I was in class. Lunch time was busy again with cleaning stuff up from that class and getting ready for the second class. I did make sure to get a salad with supper, so that's all good.

As far as I know, I've been gluten-free--except for the sausage that first day--ever since my daughter decided to go gluten-free. She did "cheat" on Sunday, then had nothing again until yesterday. Tuesday or Wednesday she declared herself really feeling completely well for the first time in a long time. And that the wheat-based foods she used to love weren't as appealing to her anymore. We went to the grocery store and all the foods she used to go, "Mmmmm" were just a kind of "Meh." "Except cookies," she said. ;) In any case (excuse my brain this morning), she did have gluten yesterday and no immediate stomach ache or anything. We'll see if she has any symptoms today.

In terms of what gluten-free has done for me, I'm not entirely sure. At first, I thought it was nothing. But I did have a bit of a skin breakout, more of a rash pattern than true acne, which could have been related. And my weight is staying 4 lbs down from where I started, even though I'm having some days without much in terms of fruits and vegetables. That is different. Normally, that causes my weight to bounce up a couple of pounds. I'm kind of worried now about eating gluten again. lol. I've got plans for "butter" tarts (no, I am NOT making a gluten-free crust ;)) and when we'll be at my mom's, I'll probably have to eat gluten or starve. I'm thinking I need to bring something to add to the Christmas meal--I won't be able to eat the turkey because she always uses butter for the basting, she did make me butter-free stuffing last time, she messed up on the potatoes last time and I couldn't eat those and the only other thing she serves--other than brussel sprouts, which I can't stand--is cranberry sauce. Which I don't even really like, but I can make myself eat. (Can't make myself eat the brussel sprouts.) I think I need to figure out something to bring, just in case! Heck, even a small platter of cut fresh veggies would be great.

My exercise component of my challenge: I actually had to stop a couple of days, but have been doing the yoga (missed one day this week, I think). The reason I had to stop was I started causing a flare up of the IT band: burning sensation, tightness (which I could feel just laying in bed) and knee pain. I did do some exercises last night, not as many as I had been, and my IT band is telling me this morning I should have done only the yoga. I had upped the number of repetitions and while it felt fine doing them, it was apparently too much.

All right, I've actually got to get going here. Raw morning it will be though! :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 21!

It is Day 21! And I'm finding today to be a huge challenge!

Actually, yesterday, I did not do my exercises. By the time I got myself to bed--at 9:27 pm, so we're not talking late here--I was so exhausted, I gave myself permission to skip for just yesterday. My husband got home from a school play between 9:30 and 9:45 and I was completely out already! I normally take at least a few minutes to fall asleep, but I'm pretty sure it was less than a minute last night.

Today, I do need to make sure to get those exercises and yoga in! But there's so much else on my mind today, like:

  • What is my daughter going to eat for lunch?
  • What will she eat for supper?
  • Am I going to stick with gluten-free, too?
  • How long will the line at the post office be since today's the last recommended day to get cards send to the US in time for Christmas?
  • My cards aren't even done. Am I going to be able to finish them today?
  • I have run out of fruit to make a green smoothie. What will I eat? The little clementine I ate is not nearly enough. And when am I going to have time to pick up some groceries? We don't have anymore potatoes either, just one carrot... 
That's my mind this morning. Goodness.

I need food right now. And to finish Christmas cards. I suppose if worse comes to worst, my 15-year old can use her new gluten-free bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch or supper and then... um... not sure what the other meal could be. (I don't even have Daiya cheese to make my own gluten-free grilled cheese...)

A little update on my 15-year old: Yesterday was her second full gluten-free day. She felt great all day, was in a great mood all day, no stomach issues, well rested... I'm amazed at how quickly things have changed for her! She's still in bed, so we'll have to see later if she's just as rested today as yesterday. We will test at some point, most likely, if it's gluten or just wheat, but for now, focusing on gluten-free as much as possible.

But seriously, what are we going to eat today? lol

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sausage can equal wheat

I didn't even look at the ingredients in my sausage other than when I bought it, to make sure it didn't have milk.

While I threw that pack away, a similar pack--same company, just with cheese--has wheat flour in it.

Good thing I looked. My 15yo has decided to not eat them now, even though she's pretty much the only one who wanted them.

She is, by the way, doing better this morning. She seems happy and well rested for a change. Her stomach, she says, it flatter than it's been in a very, very long time. She is very contentedly munching on an Udi's Cinnamon Roll this morning and feeling great.

Day 20 and a Mix of Things

Yes, today's Day 20 of my pre-Christmas challenge. I've been doing better this week with the smoothies, have kept up the exercises, did skip the yoga Tuesday night (bad move! was very stiff yesterday) and yesterday, even managed to have a grain-free day*! Life is crazy right now so that's quite an accomplishment! lol

And this brings me to the "Mix of Things" portion of this post. My 15yo has shown signs of potential wheat/gluten issues for years. She is still very small, rather undeveloped (looks like a beginning-to-develop 11yo, to be honest), but my mother was the same, so I never thought too much of it, other than my daughter would have stomach issues here and there after eating things like a Subway sandwich or certain pizzas.

Last week, her stomach started permanently bothering her and got bloated. She calls it "puffy." Just where the stomach is (rather than the whole abdomen) actually sticks out. She finally decided she was going to go for it and try gluten-free. For most of the day yesterday, she was feeling much better. But after supper... Stomach hurt worse than it's hurt all week. :(

I looked things up and apparently, it does happen that symptoms can get worse when you start a gluten-free diet. One theory is that there is a toxin build up and when you stop the gluten, the toxins start releasing and make things worse. Kind of like people who go from a horrific diet to a 100% raw food diet overnight and have detox symptoms, I suppose. A friend recommended, even before we started the gluten-free, to get some activated charcoal. Looking things up, it seems activated charcoal is a common remedy for those on gluten-free diets for when they have slipped up or inadvertently consumed some gluten. I will be getting her some as soon as I can, possibly tonight or at the very latest tomorrow.

Now I have a crazy day ahead of me, complete with intensive cleaning this morning, teaching a 2-hour class this morning and another one this afternoon and all kinds of other things to get done. Time to get cracking!

(*What I ate for the grain-free day: Green smoothie during the morning, a sausage smokie--I know, horrible for me--for lunch, with ketchup, a Larabar as a snack, chicken, potatoes, broccoli and salad for supper and a banana with some peanut butter for an after-supper snack/dessert!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 18 Pre-Christmas Challenge--2 Weeks to Go!

There are only 2 weeks left before Christmas starts for me (we start on Dec. 24th)!

Two weeks doesn't seem like a very long time. My mind is saying, "Not a lot can be done in 2 weeks." Well, pooh on you negativity! I've just finished 2 weeks and reported on some of my progress yesterday. Is it a lot? Maybe not. But it's something. And with another 2 weeks, I can hopefully at least double that something.

I know this is going to require more focus on my part. I really need to get those fruits and veggies in. I just have to if I want to feel better, enjoy better health and, yes, lose the extra weight, be it fat or water. Doing more exercise would be helpful, too--without going overboard.

So, you know what? It's only 6:40 am here as I type this. I'm up earlier than usual, so why not take advantage of it? I think I will go walk on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes. What's something you can do today? Some extra thing to help you reach your ultimate health or fitness goal?

See you later. ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 17: Pre-Christmas Challenge--Progress

Already at Day 17! Yikes!

Borrowed from

It's a little past the mid-point, but I figure it's a good time to assess. Have I made progress? Have my goals helped?

I can't say my raw morning focus has made much of a difference. Well, no, at first, I was feeling better, "cleaner". But I was eating more fruits and greens at that point. Aha! My raw morning yesterday consisted of a tiny clementine and my standby of Ani Phyo's Coconut Breakfast Cakes, topped with blueberries and maple syrup. That's been a pretty consistent breakfast this past while, so low fruit intake and little variety! I had said before that I needed to eat more fruits and veggies. It's very clear today that I do!

For the exercise portion, while I didn't see a difference when I put on my bathing suit the other day (;0), when I first started doing the exercises, I could barely do 10 repetitions of some of them. I made my way up to a set of 15 of each and just last night, started with two sets of 10. Definite progress, even if it's not exactly visible. This is very good on my part: I have had a tendency in the past to go too quickly, exacerbating the IT band and knees further, which set me back and forced me to stop. No need to stop! I do think continuing to do yoga after the exercises definitely helps, too.

No, not my suit, but it's cute, isn't it?

Yes, the bathing suit. Do you know, I think a bathing suit can have two potential effects with a goal: convince you that you might as well give up or spur you into a more dedicated action!

My kids and I went to a recreation centre on Friday where we spent some time in the pool and some time in the gymnasium. My IT band ended up having some burning here and there. I'm not sure if it was because of overuse or because it was being released. In any case, put my bathing suit on before we left and had a good look in the mirror. I have to be honest with myself: my challenge's overall goal was to improve habits but I know deeper down, I would really, really like to be in better shape much more quickly! Am I prepared to dedicate myself to that at this point? I'm not so sure. I am really trying to be more careful about what I eat, be more aware. The food diary kind of helped, but just paying more attention during the day, not grabbing something out of habit is more helpful. I took a couple of Christmas cookies after lunch the other day and five minutes later thought, "What did I eat those for?" It wasn't intentional, it was "they're there on the counter, mmm, they'd taste good" and I ate them. Bah. I was tired and craving something sweet last night but did not give in. Within about 5 minutes, the desire had passed. But exercise... With Christmas nearly here, my busyness is crazy. I haven't even been keeping up my novel writing. This may have to be an after Christmas challenge.

What is this Sunday morning babble about? I hope it's about something. About progress, about not giving up, about seeing things for what they are and taking the next step.

Only fifteen days left until Christmas Eve! Just over two weeks to take another step and make even more progress. I can do it--and so can you. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Which is more important: goals or well-being?

Today is Day 15 of my challenge. I have a confession to make:

I did not follow the challenge yesterday for Day 14.

Yesterday was the third day in a row of huge tonsils. No throat pain, just huge tonsils, making it hard to swallow and I could very often feel their pressure. I was also easily tired and had a bit of a snuffly nose. I ran two classes yesterday nonetheless, but by evening, I was spent: headache, exhausted, freezing even though I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, sweater, slippers and wrapped in a thick blanket. I can't remember if I ate only raw in the morning, although I know I had a banana first thing. The rest of the day wasn't great in terms of food choices. But I do know I gave myself permission to not do the exercises and yoga.

My routine has been to do them at night once everything else is done. It's a good routine. Because it's routine, I don't even really have to think about it. "Oh, it's 9! Time to do my exercises." Last night, every time I unwrapped myself, I shivered, sometimes violently.

Some might say to suck it up and just go ahead. After all, I don't have to spend many minutes, just get the exercises done. I assessed the situation. I didn't want to not do the exercises just because I didn't feel like them, but really assessing the situation, I had to face facts:

*Being cold can make illness worse.
*I was only warm, despite layers of clothes, when wrapped up in a blanket.
*Doing the exercises I would be doing while wrapped in a blanket just doesn't work.
*Pushing yourself when you shouldn't doesn't make any sense. A goal shouldn't come before your well-being.

Goals are great, but sometimes, you do need to give yourself permission to take a day off. The trick is to see it as "This is just for today." It's an exception. It's not because you don't feel like it or because you have some excuse, it's because for that day, it really does seem like the better option.

I can report today that my tonsils are finally going down. And I have every intention of following the challenge today! Only 17 days left! And only 8 days until a fancy supper. Just a couple of pounds down can make that dress of mine look even better. ;)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 12 of the Pre-Christmas Challenge!

Life has been a challenge these past few days! Oh my! Very busy, too much going on, weather issues, getting sick--again. But, I'm still sticking with my bare minimum of as much green smoothie/raw as I can in the morning (no green smoothie for me, so far, this morning, just clementines; smoothie doesn't sound appealing at all, but that could be the swollen glands talking), glute exercises to help my IT band and keep up with the yoga. I still haven't missed a day for those things!

Doing that extra little bit has been hard. I had decided the other day to track what I've been eating. Have I done it yet? Nope! But I did find a little notebook last night I can use. I will write in my food today!

Despite feeling like my neck/throat may implode, I'm still in good spirits. I'm glad I set myself the small goals that I could still keep up with even while I'm not feeling great. I'm glad Christmas is getting closer and closer, even though that means I need to get cracking on making Christmas cards and buying presents and getting the house in order. I'm glad I work from home so I can laze around for the most part today. :P

So, if you are doing your own challenge and the "sick season" is affecting you, or you're just tired and there's too much to do, do make sure part of your challenge is simple enough that you can still do it during these busy pre-Christmas days! And if you haven't started your own challenge but would like to, why not start today? Three weeks left until Christmas! So much can be accomplished!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 9 Pre-Christmas Challenge--Christmas is Coming!

"Where did day 8 go?" you might be asking. Well, here's a brief recap of my day 8:
  • Woke up with a fever and headache and had a runny nose on and off all day
  • I had 5000+ words to finish for NaNoWriMo (yes, I managed to finish! woot!)
  • I was looking after my nieces and nephew yesterday (they had a day off school), which involved my 5-year old niece showing me magic tricks she created, making cupcakes, seeing my son come upstairs with a Nerf gun and sunglasses on and oh, so much more
  • I still did school work with my daughter in the morning, and she had dance class in the evening, which I drive her to and stay in the waiting room
  • Had a Christmas card design to work on

Any wonder I didn't write? :) I did eat raw in the morning. Actually, I have a picture. Know what's better than Ani Phyo's Coconut Breakfast Cakes? Let's have a peek at before and after pics:

lol. Coconut Breakfast Cakes with blueberries! Soooo amazingly good! We've got a very low supply of fruit, so I was kind of stuck with what to eat that would be raw and fill me. Technically, the blueberries are frozen, which means they probably aren't raw, but I'm not going to be a stickler with this. It's fruit. No sugar added or anything. It's all good.

And yes, I did my exercises and yoga!

Now we are on Day 9 (I wish I could write it the way that sounded in my head):

It may be Day 9, but it is also December 1st! Nothing like hitting December 1st to really feel like Christmas is coming. I weighed myself this morning, as I did a couple other mornings, and let's say that it's prompted me to up the ante on this challenge. I had lost three pounds right off the bat when I was eating lots of fruits and veggies; when my appetite started dwindling in the morning and I have not been getting a whole lot of fruits and veggies, the weight's gone up a pound or so. Those fruits and veggies are so crucial to our well being, but especially my water retention issues!

Trying to convert what's going on in my head to something measurable to challenge myself with is, well, a challenge. I know I need more fruits and veggies; I know I need fewer grains. I know I need to keep up the water. Maybe for right now, that's just what it is: Trying each day to improve my fruit and veggie consumption beyond the previous. Well there, that's given me an idea: I will track my food the next few days and see just what is it that I'm eating, how much, where can I really tweak things to improve. With busy days, it's easy to just eat out of habit rather than consciously!

There are 23/24 days until Christmas. Lots of time to start up your own challenge! What will you do today?