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Posts tagged “healthy

Christmas Wish List – Part 4

I’ve had this book, The Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking, saved to my desktop at work for a long time.

Although I couldn’t really care less about gluten-free recipes, I am really into whole foods and clean eating.  I don’t practice clean eating all the time, but I am in love with the Whole 30 program and do it often.  In fact, I’m planning on a recharge at the start of the new year (anyone with me??).

This book has tons of plant-based recipes that look pretty easy and delicious.  It’s not high on my wish list, but I would love to try out some of the recipes.




Veggie Love

Last week I was having some delicious Brussels Sprouts for dinner and I noticed this itty bitty sprout.

Do you think it was trying to tell me something?

Do you think it was trying to tell me something?

Brussels Sprouts sometimes get a bad rap (thanks for nothing Rudy Huxtable!) but I love them. I think they’re delicious and they’re good for you. Maybe these sprouts were returning the love.



#1 Over the last several months I’ve been working thru some health issues. Aside from the insomnia (which makes me horribly cranky and unable to function properly, leaving me, at times, not knowing what people have just said because I’m so damn tired, making them repeat sentences two or three times and then I will stare at them until they just go away), my heart has been acting up, I haven’t been able to lose weight and things are just pissing me off.

Some background:
My heart has been giving me “trouble” since high school. I started having palpitations, chest pains, skipped beats and racing and slowed beats to the point of passing out. I had to wear a heart monitor a few times to record “events” and I had several tests done as well. (Also to note, my grandmother had two heart attacks by the time she reached her early 40’s and by 45 she had a pacemaker put in.) When I was 19, after tests and this and that, I had some dillhole heart specialist tell me I’d have a pacemaker by the time I was 30. My family doctor was pissed!

Anyway, over the years and with the improvement of my lifestyle (healthy eating, exercise addiction, etc.) my heart palpitations subsided somewhat. On occasion I would have chest pains or skipped beats and whatnot but not to the extremities that I had had when I was younger. But then, this mid winter I started experiencing more frequent chest pains and heart palpitations – skipped beats and racing to the point of gasping for breath, and also the physical reactions of anxiety attacks. At first I thought it was all a side effect of my “bootcamp”** exercising but things have not gotten better. So, eventually I went to see my doctor. She sent me for more tests; blood work, EKGs, another wearing of that super sexy heart monitor. Then, two days after I stopped wearing the monitor I thought I had a mild heart attack. I was at Blair’s working out on the eliptical and I got struck with the most intense chest pains I’ve ever had. The only way I can describe it is by saying it felt like I was being stabbed and electrocuted at the same time (although, I’m just guessing. I’ve never actually been stabbed. Electrocuted; li’l bit.). The pain knocked me over and I grabbed my chest, gasped for air and made a noise that scared the shizz out of Blair. I should have made the decision right then and there to go to the hospital but I’m stubborn and stupid and let the pain subside.

So, the other day I went back to my doctor. My blood work has come back super-duper but we’re still waiting on the results of the monitor. And I have an appointment to see the heart specialist (Internalist?) in 2 weeks. My doctor, of course, yelled at me for not getting my butt to the ER last week.

**Now, comes the other shizz (I like the word “shizz” almost as much as Thoughtsy over at Thoughts Appear likes “asshat”): This Bootcamp that I started a few months ago is a hybrid of exercises. As you may know, I’m a little obsessed with exercising. It runs my life. At first I thought it was a healthy addiction but addiction is addiction. So, I work out, at minimum, 6 days a week (sometimes 2 or 3 tiems a day), two of those days I’m at the gym for 3 hours (2 hours in the actual gym then an hour of Suzi’s intense Zumba), the rest of the week I rotate between the gym or videos at home (Insanity, P90X, etc. and as of April 1st I’ve also been participating in the 30 days Squat challenge). I use weights, do a lot of cardio, work on my abs (they’re under there somewhere!), etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately, my weight has plateaued. And I am super-pissed.

I work my ass off. There are days that I come to work after not sleeping, barely able to stand up, but follow thru with my regime….even if it means dragging my butt to the gym for those three hours when I can barely keep my eyes open. And to not lose weight is frustrating beyong belief. (The 16 year old recovering anorexic/bulimic inside me still can’t get past the number sometimes.) Of course, I brought all of this up to my doctor and even asked her if she was familiar with Overtraining Syndrome, as it’s something my Zumba instructor is going thru. She and I share a lot of the same symptoms (hello, heart palpitations) but my doctor doesn’t think that my health concerns or plateau are related to this “syndrome” so it’s leaving us to question what it could be since my eating habits are healthy healthy healthy and my bloodwork has proved that, aside from my heart problem, I am healthy (my cholesterol levels are “impeccable”). So, I’m left wondering and fighting with myself once again. One thing that everybody and their dog seems to be suggesting is that I should cut down my exercising. I know this may seem like any easy answer and one that makes sense but, like I said, addiction is addiction and I’ve been exercising daily for years so for me to quit “cold turkey” gives me some anxiety and guilt.

#2 Back at the end of September I had surgery on my eye (see here) and have been attending appointments since then to see (pun!) how my improvement/healing is coming along. I’ve had A LOT of appointments and several CT scans of my eye. My vision has been improving although my sight still isn’t up to par. Currently my vision is 20/20 although I still can’t properly see in my left eye. I know that sounds weird but it makes sense, trust me. Anyway, 5 weeks ago I had a CT scan and was told I could stop taking all of my drops because the swelling was still coming down in my eye and hopefully (hopefully, Doc??) it would continue to come down sans drops. But yesterday I went back for another CT scan and Doc is a little concerned because my improvement/healing has plateaued. At this point things are sort of up in the air.

Sooo….in a few months I’m going back for yet another CT scan, although this time it will be with a new higher tech machine and they’ll be able to see (another pun!) more and figure this shizz out. I will, however, need to go back on more drops and then, he said, have medication injected into my eye. INJECTED. Injected with what? I asked. With a needle. Another needle in my eye. Oh my chest! Pains. Chest pains.

In conclusion to all this: I hate Pleateaus just as much (maybe more) as I hate needles. And I really hate needles. Especially needles that go in my eye. Especially needles that go in my eye while I’m fully conscious. We’ll see (I LOVE PUNS!) how things go.


PHAT with a P.H.!!

“Is It Ever Okay to Comment on Someone’s Weight?”  I saw this article recently and thought I’d “weigh” in on the subject.

So, is it ever okay to comment on someone’s weight?  Well, that depends.  Are YOU a doctor?  No?  Then mind your own business!!

I grew up kinda chubby.  Not really fat but definitely not thin.  In high school I had several eating disorders (see: https://welcometosandyland.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/my-secret-obsession/) and slimmed down.  After high school I maintained my weight for a while, then gained some and in college lost some.  But it was after college that I “ballooned” up.  In college I had a little accident and spent 14 weeks on crutches and then a few weeks with a cane.  This, of course, hindered my exercise regime.  After college, when I started dating my now ex-boyfriend and he moved in, my weight started going up.  In part because I was eating differently with him.  I was never a meat and potatoes type of girl, but he was so I began eating meals with him.  That definitely affected my weight.  Also, I was on a medication that, aside from some crazy-ass night terrors, a side affect was weight gain.  It took me years, however, to realize that this medication was a factor in me packing on the pounds.  I knew I had put on a ton (pun!) of weight, I just didn’t completely know why.

But here’s the thing – and it’s important – I knew I was fat.  I didn’t need anyone else to point it out to me.  I knew I had grown out of my college clothes.  I knew I didn’t look or feel my best.  I knew that my jiggly parts shouldn’t be that jiggly. Was I proud of being fat?  No.  Was I embarrassed of being fat?  Yes.  Would it have been mortifying to have someone point out the obvious, that I was overweight?  You’re friggin’ right!  I would like to believe that I would have been a strong enough person, emotionally, to punch a person in the face had he or she addressed my weight issue.  But, the truth is I would have cried for days and days.  I would have been ashamed and embarrassed.

I know people judged me.  I know they still judge me.  We all judge each other.  It’s an unfortunate part of human nature.  But, we should, as often as we can, try to put ourselves in the shoes of other people and try not to be assholes.  Fat people know they’re fat.  But whose business is it to comment on it?  Aside from a medical professional, it’s no one’s business.  It’d be like telling a person with a lisp that he/she had a lisp.  You think that person doesn’t already know?  Now, you’re an asshole and that person feels like a big bag of nothing because you pointed out that he/she talks funny.  Dick.

Just to be clear on this….commenting on someone’s weight is different than addressing a health concern with a loved one.  When I was overweight my dad would often (and kindly) tell me that I should do what I can to try and get my weight down because it’d be “harder to do when you get to be my age.”

The article I read which prompted this post (http://www.chatelaine.com/health/wellness/is-it-wrong-to-call-melissa-mccarthy-fat-or-simply-stating-the-obvious/) has film critic, Rex Reed calling actress Melissa McCarthy “tractor-sized” and a “humongous creep”.  To add insult to injury, this isn’t the first time McCarthy’s weight has been the topic of discussion.  But I’m not going to address that at all because I refuse to give that writer any more “celebrity.”  The issue at hand for Mr. Reed should be whether or not the movie sucked (I can’t comment because I haven’t seen it – tho I want to…and I will.  Up yours, Reed!) and whether or not Melissa McCarthy can act…and she can.  In fact, she’s a great actress.    I enjoy her.  I think she’s funny and I also think she’s beautiful.  Do I think she’s overweight?  Who cares?  I’m sure she has addressed this issue to death.  Do I feel the need to make comment on her weight when discussing her performances?  No.  I  don’t.  At all.  A) Because it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t affect her ability to say her lines or hit her mark.  She’s a believable actress.  B) Because it’s none of my business.

Phat!  With a P.H., bitches!!

Phat! With a P.H., bitches!!

It’s also unfortunate that it seems to be “overweight” women who are targeted for this ridicule.  It’s never “Pencil-thin” Gwyneth Paltrow or “nearly-invisible” Claire Danes (LOVE AND KISSES TO YOU BOTH!!!).  And men never seem to have the same weight-watchers that their female counterparts have: Chris Farley (RIP), John Candy (RIP), John Goodman (OMG YOU RULE!).

If I weren't already gonna marry Cole Hauser, I'd ask YOU to marry me!

If I weren’t already gonna marry Cole Hauser, I’d ask YOU to marry me!

These dudes ruled the roost.  Their performances funny and dramatic and right on cue…and (rarely) (n)ever did a critic seem to be concerned with their weight or that they were “tractor-sized.”

Regardless of the gender, tho, it is never right to comment on someone’s weight.  That person could be suffering from an eating disorder or the loss of a loved one or could have a medical condition or could be overweight from a condition not yet diagnosed.  Or that person could just be fat because he or she is fat.  And guess what.  He/she is well aware of it!  So, be a good person and keep your trap shut.



Breakfast of Champs

This morning I was feeling a little weakish from my lack of protein.  After two high energy workouts yesterday I didn’t have enough protein in my meals yesterday.  I knew this as I went to bed still feeling hungry but it was late and I didn’t want to eat too much before bed.

Since I had some time to spare this morning I made some delicious high-protein eggs (which, I have almost everyday because I’m thoroughly addicted);



And, in addition, I made myself a protein shake, which I nursed most of the morning.

My shake contained:

Chocolate whey protein
1/2 a banana
4 large fresh strawberries
a handful of blueberries
a scoop of peanut butter
a handful of greens (spinach, etc.)
flax seed
pinch of cinnamon
Almond milk

Healthy and Delish!

Healthy and Delish!

It was so good and I feel so much better now.




So, I’ve decided to do another bootcamp.  Only this time I’VE designed the program.

boot-campIf you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you’ll know that I am (or attempt to be) a fitness buff.  I work out on a nearly daily basis and I usually follow a pretty strict “diet” – meaning, I try to eat healthy and not overeat*.  On occasion I will indulge in something if I really want it badly enough, however, with my exercise restrictions after surgery and then Christmas treats, I feel like I’ve mammothed up and that my body isn’t where I want it to be.
I realize that my self esteem issues will continue to stand in my way of seeing what I’ve accomplished over the years with my fanatical faithful fitness following but I still don’t feel like I’m “there” yet.

(*My biggest problem is that I don’t actually eat enough/consume enough calories throughout the day, which is likely why I’ve plateaued. *sad face*)

I will be tracking my progress and hopefully posting on my workout routines and sharing food ideas.  Last year I documented every single day of my workouts.  I have continued to do this again this year.  I feel that being accountable certainly helps out.

Sunday (Begin: Bootcamp) – 1 hour at the (mad)gym in the am + 1 hour of P90X yoga in the late afternoon.

I also did crazy grocery shopping yesterday spending tons of money on produce and other things to prepare my meals a bit better.  Although I always have fruits and vegetables in the house I feel like, lately, I’ve not taken advantage of all that’s offered (especially with those damn Christmas treats lingering in my deep freeze *drool*).  Here’s a list of (some of) what’s in my fridge:

Sweet potato
Red and green peppers
Red and green onion
Garlic (always a staple)
Sugar snap peas (one of my favorite snacks)
Salad greens
Coconut water
Almond milk
Seeds and nuts and beans and quinoa (not kept in the fridge, duh)

fruits n veg

I think this is a pretty great list of food and I will have tons of options when it comes time to make meals.  (*Just another note so I don’t get lectured, I also have meat/poultry/fish and other protein options.)

Last night for dinner I had a 1/4 sweet potato, greens and a 1/4 cup of chopped beef marinated in tangerine, guava and pink peppercorn dressing, garlic and pepper and then cooked in the oven.  In the evening I also had a 1/3 dragonfruit and a handful of sunflower seeds.

A little flavor goes a long way.

A little flavor goes a long way.

My big goals for the week are to drink more water – like gallons and gallons of it – and to sleep more, which has only become  a problem since I’ve developed some weird semi-form of insomnia within the last 6-7 weeks.  OMG, it SUCKS!  I can be exhausted all day long.  To the point where I don’t have the energy to blink and then when I hit the sack I’m wide awake all night, normally not finally falling asleep until 4 or 5 or even 6 in the morning.  Even with sleep aids I’ve been having issues.  I don’t know what my problem is but I’m pretty friggin’ cranky in the interim.

So yeah, drinking more water (more than usual so that I always feel full and hydrated) and working on that sleep thing (please keep your fingers crossed for me for this).  Our bodies always function better when watered and rested.

Man, this chick's got it made.

Man, this chick’s got it made.

My fitness routine for this evening was:  35 minutes of P90X yoga and a Zumba class. *whew*

Don’t worry, I’m not going to be bombarding you with every single workout and a play-by-play of what I’m eating.  But here’s hoping for some great results and finally getting over this hurdle.  And I welcome any of you to join me.

Olivia rocked it.

Olivia rocked it.


Holiday Wish List (part 2)


'Ice cream' made from frozen bananas and other fruit.

‘Ice cream’ made from frozen bananas and other fruit.


I saw this product advertised back in the summer and though “what a great idea!”

Yonanas makes fresh healthy ‘ice cream’ using frozen bananas and other fruits.  it’s a great idea and a healthy alternative to fattening ice cream (and is dairy free for people who are allergic to dairy…like me *sad face*).






Last summer I was introduced to the Larabar – a yummy, delicious, wholesome, nutritious snack bar, made entirely of raw food, the main ingredient being dates.  They’re a little on the expensive side so I decided that I would attempt my own version of them.

I bought my dates and ground them into a paste:

Then I ground of nuts:

… and added them to the paste:

I added in vanilla (straight from Mexico):

Since I’m a crazy chocoholic I added healthier Carob chips (in place of chocolate chips):

Some lovely ground cinnamon:

And mixed it all together:

Then I flattened it out on my stone:

And then you cut them up and wrap them:

(They really should look like this:)


The best thing about these treats is that they’re so easy to make.  And you can add any ingredient: coconut, fruit, other spices.  Easy-peasy and totally yummy.