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It Starts With a Hole

Holding out several packets of squash and tomato seeds to the nursery cashier, I asked.

“Is it too late to plant these?”

She then turned to the bagger and snickered.  “Ummmm, you can always try.  See what happens.”  She said in a “good luck girly” tone.

Okay, so it was no mystery that she was talking to an amateur, but would it have been too much to ask for her to have a little faith?

Armed with a bag of seeds, I then consulted with my neighbor about starting my own garden (Organic and non-GMO, of course!) in which she simply laughed, “By the time you start, gardening season will be over.”

I figured she would be the perfect source considering the fact that she’d managed to grow a jungle at her other house in the mountains.  Pineapples and lemon trees in the mountains of North Carolina?  In the middle of winter?  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  And although she’s a little tight lipped about the secret fairy dust she sprinkles over her garden,I’m beginning to believe one of the main ingredients is Miracle Growth.

I thought that perhaps with a little luck and lots of praying I could develop a green thumb or at least a fraction of it.  Were my ambitions so low that at that point in time my only wish was to have something green sprout out of the ground?  At least an inch or two or something plant-like.

So what if it was June-ish when I finally built a house for my soon-to-be garden and July-ish when I planted my first zucchini seed?  I needed that month to build the best veggie house I could on a budget and to muster up enough courage to actually build the damn thing.  If you haven’t guessed it by now, I was little worried about my adventure into gardening.  (Just a little.)  But I pushed through my concerns despite the snickers and giggles and here’s how it all went down.

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(By the way, I have to admit that if I were a vegetable, I’d want to live here too.)

Why am I imprisoning my beautiful garden you might ask?  

deer

There’s your answer.  Deer are a gardener’s worst enemy along with their buddies, the squirrels.  In Eastern and Central Carolina we don’t play around.  You either build a fence or forget about having food for yourself.  You’ll just be feeding the wildlife instead.

Okay, so I’m not a professional (Just yet), but I know a little somethin’ somethin’ about getting dirty.  I spent plenty of summers planting seeds along my grandfather in his garden when I was a little girl.  As a child, I may not have understood the true awesomeness of burying a seed into the ground or how that simple act had the potential to affect the rest of the world and someday possibly end world hunger, but I knew something great was about to happen.  And that greatness started with a hole.

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It took cutting through the arteries of the earth and going toe-to-toe with live snakes (Did I mention that I hate snakes?  Like run-in-the-house-with-the-rake-still-in-your-hand kind of hate?) to create this late summer miracle, but in the end it was worth the effort and next year I’ll be a little ahead of the game.

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BON APPÉTIT

Seeds Planted:

Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash (a.k.a. Spaceship Squash (the only way I could describe them as a child), crookneck squash, grape tomatoes, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, herbs: basil, chives, parsley, bay leaves, lemon balm, thyme).

Produce Harvested:

Grape tomatoes and all herbs

Healthy Journey!

(Deer: Photo courtesy) http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/whitetaileddeer.htm

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Week 1: The Elimination Diet Review

Four four days straight, I managed to pass Exit 12 without so much of an urge to make a pit stop on ‘murderous-row’, the restaurant-saturated street on the way to our house.  I resisted the urge to kick this elimination diet shenanigans to the curb and sink my teeth into a juicy, greasy chicken sandwich.  Instead, I went home, pulled out a few salmon fillets, veggies and big girl portabellas and made dinner and prepped meals for the next day.  The future was bright and full of more produce.  Until Day Five came along….

After my four days of elimination zen, I broke down.  I was huuuuungry!  My body said, “Whoah, whoah, whoah.  Girl, are you crazy?  FEED ME!!!”  Is it even possible to live without citrus, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, nuts and seeds, gluten anything, meat (only turkey, fish, and wild game allowed), soy, beans of any kind, dairy, sugar, and canola oil?  And the list goes on.

Im-hungry Patrick

I have to admit that I’m surprised I made it this far on such a restrictive diet and I would’ve gone longer had I not gotten bored with the menu or maybe prepped better, but I had the drive, I was committed all the way up to my first bite of California Roll at my favorite Japanese restaurant on break-down day.  Really, I was.  But I didn’t regret my decision to jump off the wagon.  I needed it.  To regroup, to think this thing over.  To put more protein and fat into my body.

My thinking of going all in on this thing was that I didn’t want to do it in phases.  I wanted to do it once, suffer once, and be done with it.  Get the results I wanted, find out what’s causing these crazy sinus issues.  Boom-Bam-Pow, Done!  But I can’t ignore my voice of reason and hunger headaches.

So what was a typical day like for me?  Why was I so freaking HUNGRY?

Breakfast: Cream of Rice with almond milk, coconut oil, and a pear/apple.

Snack: More fruit

Lunch: Salmon, Veggies, Arborio Rice with Mushrooms and Cauliflower Sauce

Dinner: Turkey Burger (no bread), beet greens, sweet potato wedges

This isn’t enough for a grown woman like me…not even close.

Elimination Dinner

And by the way, everything that you can possibly think of has sugar, citrus, or soy in it.  Including my Vitamin D supplements, which send me searching on Amazon for a substitute.  I even checked the labels on my mouthwash because I WAS dedicated.

Going to Whole Foods proved to be an adventure too. I found myself circling the hot bar, drooling over Thai tofu and citrus rice.  Both yummy and healthy.  Both off-limits.  Ironic, most of the healthy things you typically pick up in a health food store were off limits to me.

But have you noticed that not once in this post have I declared defeat?  That I’m done?  I’m like a surfer.  Rising and falling with the waves and at times I may fall off the board, only to get back on.  This isn’t a failure, just a bump in the road.  I didn’t fall off the wagon, I jumped off to take a different path.  Only time will tell how successful my next attempt will be, but one thing’s for sure, it’s gotta be better than the last.

COWABUNGA!!!

Healthy Journey!

Photos Courtesy of:

http://berzinatorfitnessdesigns.com/15-tricks-for-killing-hunger-on-a-diet-part-1/

Personal (S.J.)

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Day 1: Elimination Diet

Around Exit 12.  That’s usually right around time when I look over at my boyfriend on our way home from work.  Like clockwork, Laziness rears its ugly head.

“I don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight.  What do you want for dinner?  Chick-fil-a, Zaxby’s, Tokyo Express?”

“I don’t know, whatever you want.  You choose.”  Says Laziness’s companion.

And now on Day 1 of dipping my toes into the deep end of a very strict Elimination Diet (6 weeks of torture), when I saw Exit 12 in the horizon, I could feel the words forming on my lips.  “Chick-fil…?”  But I kept them to myself, resisting the urge.

No joke, old habits die hard, but so does a mystery sinus infection from HELL.  Having gone to Urgent Care, the Emergency Room, to an allergist, ENT, two family practitioners, two dentists, and being stuffed inside of a tube and having my brain baked for twenty plus minutes only to be told, “It could be a mild sinus infection, but other than that, we can’t find anything wrong with you,” I’ve had enough.

I know that’s a mouth full, but that’s been my life since August 15, 2014.  I remember the day well and hope I never have to repeat such a thing again.  Sinus pressure, dry sinus, wet sinus, brain fog, depression, dizziness, balance issues, fatigue, gas, toothaches, nasal inflammation, breathing issues, chest congestion, popcorn popping in my ears (seriously, that’s exactly what it sounds like on a daily basis), and more, OH MY!!!

‘If the doctors can’t do anything about it, then I’m going to take matters into my own hands.’  That’s what I decided last week.  Figuring the only thing left to do now is hook me up to a bunch of machines and have me run on a treadmill or see a nutritionist, I chose to wait on getting a cardio work-up.  It’s not really an option anyway given the amount of moolah I’d have to dish out.  Even with insurance.  I could see a nutritionist, but my insurance may not cover it either and quite honestly, I’m tired of being poked and prodded.  Another possible solution?  Reboot and try an Elimination Diet!

Now there’s an idea.  Something I’ve somewhat experimented with in the past and had great results.

On paper I’m a very healthy young lady, but physically, I feel like crap.  My diet is crap.  Crap, crap, crap, crap!!!!  That’s what I’ve been putting into my body and expecting to feel like a million bucks. And that’s supposed to make sense?

So I’m doing an elimination diet.  What do I have to lose?  Maybe a few pounds, but weight loss is not my goal, People!

As much as I would love to spend the next 30 minutes or so going over the details of this diet, it’s getting kind of late here and beauty sleep is very much needed.  However, I will list some of the things I’ve eaten today and I’m proud to say that I survived Day 1 without chewing someone’s arm off out of starvation.  High-five for that!!!!

Here we go:

Breakfast: Cream of Rice w/ Almond Milk, Coconut Oil, Cinnamon, and a Pear

Snack:  Homemade Applesauce

Lunch: Mushroom Arborio Rice w/ Cauliflower Dressing and Asparagus (Lots of it)

Dinner: Turkey Burger (No bread), 1/4 Avocado, More Rice, and Steamed Broccoli

*Nibbled on more applesauce and a date while cooking.  Drank a lot of water also.

Healthy Journey!

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Tested: DIY Protein Powder II

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Oatmeal….yummmmmm!

Hemp Seeds…delicious!

Quinoa…complete protein perfection!

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)…nutty awesomeness! (when cooked)

ingredients

All of these ingredients grounded into a fine powder, blended with a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, banana, and honey……a test kitchen disaster.  Folks, the taste was a little rough, but great if you’re into drinking bean flavored milk.  I originally added two tablespoons of the DIY Pro-powder to my normal morning smoothie, but found the garbanzo beans (chickpeas) to be extremely overpowering.

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When adding only one tablespoon, the taste was less extreme and sweeter.  The drink itself was somewhat bearable, but far from enjoyable.  Well, at least I could taste a little bit of the sweetness from the milk and the banana, but the bean flavor was still pretty pronounced.  Soaking the beans overnight and adding a few to the milk and banana mixture may be the solution, but has yet to be tested.

The upside of this kitchen nightmare is that all of the ingredients were things that I had on hand.  In general, aside from the hemp seeds, the ingredients are inexpensive.

There’s potential with this protein combination if I skip the chickpeas, but I think I’m going to play around with a few more ideas as well.

Folks, it ain’t over!

‘NOT SO YUMMMY’ – DIY Protein Powder

1/3 cup oats (not instant)

3 tbsp raw hemp seeds

3 tbsp quinoa

3 tbsp garbanzo beans, uncooked

* Blend ingredients in a food processor or heavy-duty blender until fine powder if formed.

vitamix

Healthy Journey!

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Did You Think I Gave Up?

 

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Just six months ago, my inner fitness goddess was a badass, tattoo embellished, hair in the wind chick on a Harley with oodles of goals and plenty of places to go.  That girl was smoking hot and unstoppable.  So she thought.  Everything changed when her Harley ran out of gas and she’d maxed out the mojo funds going too fast, too soon.  Now, she’s slowly trucking along in her 1971 baby blue Ford Pinto, still moving forward, but riding down a completely different path this time.  And that’s okay.  It’s all part of the journey.

I’ve been away from the blog and YouTube community for a few months now, but I’m still hanging around.  I have no plans of giving up on my fitness and weight loss goals anytime soon.  I just a hit a few bumps in the road and it took a little while to get back up.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes you need to fall flat on your ass before you realize exactly what you’ve been doing wrong or need to improve on.  Some sabotagers are obvious like eating an extra bowl of pasta after dinner or eating out three or four times throughout the week instead of bringing your own lunch to work, but there are those other buggers that don’t show up so easily under the flood lights or even a microscope.  I call my invisible buggers denial and anxiety.

Sometimes there are events in your life that shake you to the core, that wake up old demons and memories that you thought you’d conquered and killed off years ago.  What I’m beginning to understand is that if you don’t face them, truly confront them as oppose to going around them, they’ll follow you through every aspect of your life.  Many of us struggle with them a lot throughout our weight loss journeys and if they don’t show up in the form of self-deprecation, screaming fits, depression, or something else, it’s sure enough going to show up on the scale.

With that said, enough with the sad stuff.  It’s a new year, new day, new second.  We’ve got to make the best of it, right?  I decided that I could care less about new year’s resolutions this time around.  I’ve planned, plotted, diagrammed, and app-ed (Is that even a word?) my way through the first part of my journey and in the end it drove me crazy.  I’m opting to JUST DO IT this year and to get back on that Harley once again, but this time I’m letting my body tell me what it needs.  If it’s telling me that it’s tired at 9:30 p.m., then I’m taking my booty to bed instead of forcing it to stay up until midnight simply because I’ve convinced myself that adults don’t go to bed before 11 o’clock.  On second thought, maybe that is exactly what “responsible” adults do.  If my body’s craving a little sweetness, I’ll give it to her, but in a smaller bowl or maybe even just a spoonful.  Sounds like a good idea, but we’ll have to see how that goes.  More importantly, when I feel the stress coming on, I have to figure out a healthier way to deal with it instead of bottling it up and using food to cope.  Honestly, for me, that’s what I want to focus on more than anything this year.  Creating a healthier me from the inside out.  I know how to lose weight, workout, and make banging green juice, I just have to learn how not to let the emotional stuff make me feel like I don’t deserve to have or keep that kind of success.

So there, Folks, you have it.  My introduction back into the blogging community.  As always, I wish you all the best with your weight loss and fitness goals.

 

Healthy Journey!

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Some Call It A Comeback…

I’ve been here for years.  On the same journey, wishing for the same results, but allowing every little thing to become a distraction or a reason to celebrate with food.  However, lately, I’ve been inspired to make a few small changes because Folks, it sucks to carry this extra weight.  You know, those same twenty pounds that I vowed to lose last year are still here.  Sure they’ve fluctuated from time to time, but they haven’t changed because my mindset is still the same.  I’m still keeping the negative thoughts, processed foods, and despair into my life and that my friends is a recipe for redundancy.  So what happens when you decide to replace that negative crap with something good?  When you choose to eat more vegetables instead of bread?  When you decide that eating in is so much awesomer than eating out?  Well, sometimes!  What happens when you decide that being healthy and feeling good is so much better than the alternative?  I’m still pounding the pavement and working it out because giving up is not an option!

 

Sweat.Eat.Transform.

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Get Your Booty Outside!

 

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Folks, this is the last week of summer and there is no better way to take it all in than to take your workouts outdoors.  Take in the fresh air, hear the birds chirping, and take your workouts to a different level.  Don’t waste another minute staring out the window trying to find reasons why you shouldn’t go for a brisk walk or bike ride.  Just do it!

Trail Running (2) 9-14

As always, Healthy Journey!

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