Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

As we end the year, many of us are eager to erase 2009 from our memories. We are focused on all of the things we failed to accomplish and all of the things we will accomplish next year. Instead of focusing on our failures let us focus on what we did do this year.

Here are some of my accomplishments from 2009:
  • I started doing volunteer work with NY Cares.
  • I graduated from IIN as a certified holistic health counselor.
  • I ate kale, quinoa and bunch of other foods that I have never tried before.
  • I am cooking more than I ever have.
  • I eat less junk and processed foods.
  • I eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains.
  • I am able to identify my trigger foods.
  • I know that working out is not an option for me. It not only helps me stay in shape but it calms me like nothing else does.
  • I learned that I need sleep to not only function but to make better decisions about my health and well being.
  • I learned to give up some of my obsession surrounding food and weight loss.
I would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy new year. Be Well!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 30

Here it is, Day 30 of my GMST Challenge. So, how did I do?

I need more sleep! I need to pick a time to turn everything off and get into bed; no exceptions. When I am well rested I have the energy to workout and take care of myself. I was not able to reduce the use of the snooze button. I will tackle this once my bedtime is set.
I have reduced the amount of fast food, junk food and eating out. I plan to try more recipes, cook more and reduce the organic frozen meals that I eat when I don't feel like cooking. I need to remind myself that cooking will nourish me more than a frozen meal will (even if it is organic).
I worked out 18 out of 30 days. I would have liked to see more workout days however, 18 is not too bad. I will continue my workouts and will be adding a whole lot of running into my schedule. (I still plan to run the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in April). I started going to yoga on Sunday mornings.
Self Care:
I volunteer, I go to yoga, I workout, I am running again, I have reduced foods that do not nourish me, I go to acupuncture and I am working towards improving my sleep.

Overall, I feel good, more in control and more together. My skin is a little clearer and has a glow. My pants feel a little lighter and my head feels a lot clearer. I can see a little muscle tone coming back to my legs and abs. I learned that I need sleep in order to take care of myself. I feel like my shit is a little more together and that was my goal.

I'll be back in January with another challenge for myself as well as some New Year's Resolutions. Until then, Be Well!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 28-29

1 more day to Day 30! So here's what's going on with me:

Fantastic! I sleep at least 8 hours every night. Vacation is great :)
My eating habits are a little looser while on vacation but not bad by any means. I am trying to keep everything in balance.
I am averaging every other day while on vacation.
Day 28: Squats w/kickback, plank, pushups and 30 min on the treadmill (incline workout).
Day 29: Rest
Self Care:
I am sleeping well, reading and spending time with the family. Everything is good!

Until tomorrow...Be Well!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 27

Today is Christmas Eve. I did not workout, I did not worry about what I ate and I did not feel bad about it. I did get lots of sleep, relaxation and family time in today. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Be Well!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 24-26

Made it to FL! Now for my stats...

Day 24-25: Not good at all. I only had 3 hours of sleep Day 24 b/c my flight was at 6AM the next day and I was up late getting ready. Needless to say, I was exhausted Day 25 and extremely cranky. I ended the day with a killer migraine-like headache. I will do better now that I am on vacation.
Day 26: I felt well rested.
Day 24: What a crazy day. I was so busy at work and I had to do a million things to get ready for my trip. With all of this craziness I did manage to eat very healthy. Again, I had a TON of veggies (kale twice in one day!). Trying to use up all of my food before I left town worked out to my advantage.
Day 25: Since this was a travel day I came prepared. I had a Lara Bar and an apple with me to hold me over until I arrived in Florida. These came in handy with all the delays that came up.
Day 26: Mom and I started out the day with breakfast at Let's Nosh. I had challah french toast and it was fabulous. I would definitely go back to this place. Lunch was at La Nopalera with a friend from high school. I had beans, rice and part of a chicken quesadilla. The food was delicious and so cheap. Another place I would visit again. Dinner was pasta at home with Mom.
Day 24-25: No time.
Day 26: I did 3 sets of 12 lunges per leg, 3 planks (2 @ 45 seconds and 1 @ 35) and some hamstring exercises. For cardio I jogged/walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
Self Care:
Day 25: I brought food with me and was not subjected to unhealthy airport food.
Day 26: I dragged my Mom to Whole Foods and we stocked up on veggies. My mom is not a big veggie eater and neither are my brothers. I am going to try out a few recipes on them while I am here and hopefully convert them. I'll let you all know how it goes. 

Until tomorrow...Be Well!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 23

What a productive day! I woke up at 8:30 and immediately threw on my boots and coat and went outside to see the snow. It was beautiful!

So here's how I did today...

Nothing to report. I feel rested today.
I had the last of my Trader Joe's pumpkin pancakes and coffee for breakfast. For lunch it was all veggies. (I am going out of town and I am trying to use what I have in the frig.) Also, I knew I was going out for dinner and I wanted to keep it light. For dinner my friend and I went to York Grill. The food was great! We shared Crispy Spring Rolls (shrimp and vegetable spring rolls with a sesame seaweed salad and three dipping sauces). These were ok, nothing spectacular about them. For my main course I had Grilled Atlantic Salmon (served over a crispy Idaho potato-bacon-arugula cake topped with a shaved carrot salad with a drizzle of arugula emulsion). This was amazing. I wish I had taken a picture. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with dinner. Not my favorite white wine but is was good. For dessert we split a molten chocolate cake w/a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was quite yummy. Overall, I really liked this place and definitely plan to go back.
Yes, I finally worked out today!!! I did 90 minutes of weight training at home including stretching and foam rolling. Woo hoo!! To get cardio benefits I threw in jumping jacks, random dance moves and I didn't rest between exercises.
Self Care:
I was able to get a lot of things checked off my list. One more day at the office and then I am off to Florida to spend the Holidays with family. Yea!!

Be Well!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 20-22

I know, I haven't posted in 3 days but I have been slammed at work. We have been pretty slow and then all of a sudden, madness!! To make things worse most of my staff is taking off for the Holidays, including me so we are way behind. I actually went into the office today to get some work done. But enough about work, let's talk GMST!

I have made an effort to get to bed at a decent hour and I have been doing pretty well. I have been getting up on time if not early too. Yeah me!
With all of the stress you would think I would be eating everything that isn't tied down...but I'm not! After all of the meat eating and other randomness from earlier in the week my body was craving veggies!  
Day 20: I made quinoa, steamed veggies and a veggie burger for lunch (told you I needed veggies!).   
Day 21: I had more steamed veggies over couscous w/a tuna burger. 
Day 22: I had a vegetarian burrito bowl from Chipotle.
What can I say, I like my veggies :)
When I am slammed at work the first thing to go is the workout.
Day 20-21: I added some walking to my commute but did not make it to the gym.  
Day 22: I did quite a bit of walking while running errands.
Self Care: time! I have to work on this.

Tomorrow I have more work to do but luckily my software at home is fixed and I will not have to go into the office. I plan on going to my 8:30 AM yoga class unless they cancel due to snow. Either way, I will get some kind of a workout in tomorrow. Until then...Be Well!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 18&19

It's been an interesting week. Here's what is going on with me.

I have been turning everything off by 10 and getting into bed. I usually spend a little time reading before I turn off the lights. I find that reading before bed time helps me unwind and sleep better.
Random! We had lunch catered the last 2 days and I definitely found myself eating things I wouldn't normally eat.
Day 18: I had Dinosaur BBQ yesterday. It was fan-freakin-tastic!! I think I ate more meat yesterday than I have in the last 6 months.
Day 19: Another great meal for lunch. This time is was pasta, green beans and some kind of chicken.
Day 18: Rest
Day 19: I didn't have a lot of time today but didn't want to skip another day. I did 100 jumping jacks, 3-40 sec. planks and 60 push-ups. I wish I had the time to do more but I did something and that is what counts.
Self Care:
I need some serious self-care. A mani, pedi, a movie...I need something as I don't feel myself this week.I am not sure I will have time before I travel to FL next week.

Monday, December 14, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 17

Ok, Day 17 feels so much better than Day 15 & 16. My body needed rest, relaxation and a whole lot of nothing and that's exactly what I gave it.

I went to bed early and got up early. I was able to enjoy my oatmeal and coffee and did not feel rushed this morning. I even had time to run an errand before work! I like this going to bed early thing :)
Other than some random candy nibbling in the office, today was a good day.
I wasn't able to go to the gym during my lunch hour like I normally do so I went for a jog/walk when I got home. I did 2.76 miles. 
Self Care:
I am going to read tonight instead of vegging out in front of the TV. I love to read and do not allow enough time for it in my day.

Until tomorrow...Be Well!

GMST Challenge-Day 15&16

Not a problem since it was the weekend. I try to go to bed and get up within an hour or two of my normal week day time to keep everything consistent.
Let's just say it could have been better but it's wasn't terrible.
Had every intention of going for a run Day 15 but when I got up it was 29 degrees and I felt crappy. The only exercise I did was walking around the city on Day 15 while shopping.
Self Care:
Let myself relax and do nothing since it seems that is what my body wanted. I gave myself a facial on Day 16 which made my skin look fabulous.

Friday, December 11, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 14

I went to bed too late but managed to get up early which was hard b/c it's really cold outside (21 degrees this morning!).
Not too bad.
I had an awesome workout today. I took a little extra time at the gym this afternoon. I did full body weight training, jogged/walked 1.25 miles and stretched. I will feel a little pain tomorrow but it's worth it.
Self Care:
I allowed myself extra time at the gym.

I am 1/2 way through my challenge.  To recap, here's what I am trying to accomplish with this challenge:

It means no more excuses to stay up late. No more hitting the snooze for hours and then running around barely making it to work on time. No more lazy workouts. No more fast food, junk food and foods that hurt rather than help me. It means doing more yoga, making my workouts count, self care and cooking nourishing foods for myself even when I feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It means putting me first!

So how have I been doing? Not too bad. The hardest thing for me right now is the sleep part. I easily get sucked into something on TV or Facebook and then I stay up way too late. I have managed to get up earlier leaving me a little time to enjoy my oatmeal and coffee at home. For the next 2 weeks I plan to focus more on my bed time, the snooze button (limiting it) and giving myself more time for "me" in the morning.

The food part has been good. I have not had any fast food in 2 weeks and I have significantly cut down on the junk food. By listening and observing my body I've discovered that junk food has started to affect me in a new way; swelling. For the remainder of my challenge I will continue to cut out the crap. This is going to be really hard considering I have 3 holiday lunches planned next week and I have no control of what is being served on 2 of those days.

My workouts are better. I have been more consistent and I have been going to yoga on Sunday mornings.

How do I feel after 14 days...good! I feel lighter emotionally and physically. I may have lost a few pounds but I really don't know (I don't weigh myself). My pants do feel a bit looser though.

I would love to lose weight but right now it's not my main focus. What I need right now is to get control of my life. This means sleeping better, working out, eating less crap and taking time for me. This will make me feel happier and more alive.

Until tomorrow...Be Well!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 13

Ok guys, Day 13!

Could be better but could also be worse. I need to go to bed earlier.
Ok, so I had Hostess Mini Donuts last night and today...swollen legs and ankles! I recently wrote about my visit to the doctor. I called my doctor back after 2 more weeks of swelling and requested an ultrasound of my legs to rule out leaky veins or blood clots. Everything was fine. On Day 4, I had an appointment with my acupuncturist and she mentioned that she had 2 patients with swollen legs and ankles like me. It turned out they both had an allergy to corn, specifically high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Well, here I was on Day 4 having significantly reduced my junk food intake and my legs were noticeably better. Then yesterday I had junk food and today, swelling! This was an AHA! moment for sure. 
Today was supposed to be a resting day but I did get a little walking in; about 1.94 miles.
Self Care:
Came home and made a lovely dinner and did not snack!

10-day Cleanse in January

My friend Hadley is offering a 10-day cleanse program. Check it out!

*You do not have to live in NYC to participate*

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 11&12

Sleep has been better this week. I ended up going to bed really early on Monday night which refreshed me and I have been able to get up at a decent hour too. I still need to wean myself off of the snooze button.
I've been snacking. Not crazy, out of control, binge snacking but sort of a controlled snacking if there is such a thing. I am still standing strong on the no fast food (yea!!) but I need to reign in the snacking!
Day 11: I did 35 minutes on the elliptical, 50 girl style push-ups and abs.
Day 12: I jogged/walked 2.67 miles. This is good for me. I've been having problems jogging lately but today I did better than usual. I was able to increase my speed and the time of actual jogging. The only problem is that my heart rate went too high for me. I felt like I couldn't breathe and I felt pressure on my throat. When this happened I backed off and started walking until I felt better. Although I usually start out a workout with a goal I need to listen to my body. I know the difference between feeling tired or lazy and my body needing  rest.
Self Care:
Since my knees and hip flexors are feeling sore I will ice, stretch and foam roll tonight (even though foam rolling is painful!!).

Monday, December 7, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 9&10

Ups and downs...

I was in bed at a decent hour last night and I am still exhausted today. I had trouble sleeping through the night. First, I was hot. I cannot sleep when I'm hot. Second, the cats were running around at 2:30 AM!!! Once I ripped off the comforter and the cats settled down again I was able to sleep.
Day 9: I got a little off track. I had ice cream...a lot of ice cream and I feel like crap!! Not so much emotionally as physically. My body felt great without the crap and then to put all that ice cream in it...not good! I feel bloated, heavier, lethargic, less focused and I have a wicked headache coming on. Looking back at the act of eating the ice cream I notice that it wasn't the usual binge. I wasn't sitting around inhaling it like it was my last chance to eat ice cream...ever. It actually took me a while to eat it. I enjoyed the rich, creamy flavor; savored it. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not but it's definitely different.
Day 10: It's a new day and so far so good. I am eating as I normally would. I am not cutting calories or restricting myself in any way. Whatever happened with my food yesterday is in the past and I cannot change it. All I can do is treat my body with love and respect by giving it nourishing foods today.
Day 9: Yoga and a little walking
Day 10: 2 mile jog/walk
Self Care:
I am scheduled to volunteer tonight but if this headache keeps up I will have to cancel. I really don't want to cancel. Either way, I plan on getting to be early.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 7&8

Happy Saturday everyone! It's Day 8 and I'm feelin great!!

I need to work on getting to bed earlier. If I don't, I am worn out by the end of the week. When this happens I am more likely to eat unhealthy foods and ditch the workouts.
I let myself indulge in a piece of flour-less chocolate cake last night. Whole Foods sells it by the slice so I didn't have to buy an entire cake (which would be dangerous!). It was yummy and totally worth the splurge.

In the past 7 days I have not had any fast food and only ate outside of the home once for breakfast (Day 6). 
Day 7: I went to the gym and did weights for about 40 minutes. I feel a little sore today which feels great!       
Day 8: Most Saturdays I walk with disabled people in Central Park. Today however, it's cold and rainy. Rather than going back to bed, which was tempting, I got up and did a Tae Bo and Pilates video. My abs are tired!!
Self Care:
I worked out 6 out of 8 days...even when I didn't feel like it!

Since it's cold and rainy I am going to stay indoors and tackle my to-do list. I need to purge, organize, clean and get my Christmas cards ready to send out. Crossing things off my to-do list always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

How do you feel about your to-do list?

Until tomorrow...BeWell!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 6

6 days down!!!

Went to bed earlier than Tuesday night but not early enough. 
I had to buy breakfast b/c I got up too late this morning. I had eggs w/cheese on whole wheat toast. I thought about a muffin but decided eggs would be better. The rest of the day was good.
Today was a day of REST!!! It's important to schedule in some down time or you may burn out.
Self Care:
Gave myself a day off from the workout and my eating was decent.

Tomorrow is Day 7!!! I am thinking about working in a treat...maybe a cookie or something. To deprive myself will eventually cause a binge. Planning in an occasional treat is necessary for me as long as it really is occasional and of a reasonable portion. I'll let you all know what I end up getting. Until tomorrow...

Surviving the Holiday Party

Tonight I am attending my first holiday party of the season. I find it so easy to get sucked into all of the excess this time of year. Here are my top 5 tips to surviving the holiday party.

1: Remember all the hard work you have done this year. Make a list and review it before you head out the door. Thinking about all you have accomplished will help you stay positive and focused on your health goals.

2: Think about where you want to be at this time next year. If your goal is to fit into your favorite little black dress then eating an entire cookie tray and downing a bottle of wine just because it's the holiday season isn't helping you work towards your goal.

3: Eat something healthy before you go out. If you arrive hungry you will be more likely to binge.

4: Set an alcohol limit. Making a conscious decision about how many drinks you will consume will help you stick to your health goals.

5: At the dessert table ask yourself what you really want?  Is a cookie what you really want? And if so, what kind of cookie? If your favorite is double chocolate chip and they only have oatmeal and sugar then skip the cookies. I find that if you don't eat what you really want you will overeat to compensate. Scan the dessert table and find something you truly desire and eat a reasonable portion. This will leave you satisfied and feeling guilt-free.

If after all the planning you happen to overindulge don't beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day. Do think about why you overate and what steps you can take next time. Remember, we are all human and we all make mistakes.

Be Well!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 5

Day 5!!!!

Went to bed too late again and was tired all day. I need to work on this.
I ate more for lunch and it made a difference. I had the desire for a vending machine treat but it wasn't b/c I was hungry. The desire was b/c I was tired, bored and needed comfort food. I did not go to the vending machine though. Instead, I drank water and then about 4:30 I had an apple with pb.
Went to the gym and barely made it 2 miles on the treadmill. I started out doing a jog/walk and ended up walking most of it. I was so tired...this is why I need to get to bed on time!!
Also had a 1 hr Pilates private lesson and it was fantastic!
Avoided the vending machine and worked out.


Got cravings? If so, you may be lacking something in your life. Maybe your life is too boring or stressful. Maybe you are overwhelmed and not able to schedule in enough "me" time. Whatever it may be, a craving is a signal from your body telling you that something is out of balance. A craving for something sweet could mean that you need more love or sweetness in your life.

No person, book or dietary theory can tell you how and what to eat. Listen to your body. The next time you have a craving, try these tips: 
  • Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
  • Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets try eating more fruit or sweet vegetables.
  • Create a nourishment menu. A nourishment menu is a list of things that nourish you. Yoga, Pilates, mani./pedi with the girls, long hot bubble bath...these are just a few on my list. I keep this list on my refrigerator to remind me that food is not the answer.
  • If you do decide to give into a craving do not punish yourself. Ask yourself what was going on at the time you had the craving. Were you stressed? Overwhelmed? Lonely? Notice what is out of balance in your life and works towards creating balance in those areas.
Listen to your body and it will tell you everything you need to know.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 4

My day was so-so. I went to bed a little later than I should have and got up late. I managed to eat breakfast at home and get to work on-time but I was rushed and felt a little "off" all day.

Went too bed too late.
Had to hit the vending machine this afternoon b/c I was STARVING! My vending machine choice...animal crackers. Animal crackers are low in fat and calories but high in processed stuff. In my mind it was a better choice than M&Ms. Tomorrow I am going to try to eat more at lunch and see how that works.
I was tired today and did not want to go to the gym but I did. When I feel lazy I usually do the bike. I did 30 minutes on random hill program with 10 resistance. Woo hoo!!
I went to acupuncture after work. I started going about a year ago to help with sleep and now I go monthly for a tune-up.
I also managed to go to Whole Foods and leave without 1 bakery item. For those who know me, this is a HUGE deal. I always pick up 1 or 2 or 5 (not proud of the 5) items from the bakery. Not only did I leave empty handed but I didn't even browse. I had no desire. This could be due to my relaxed state after acupuncture or maybe these last 4 days without the junk has started to diminish my cravings for sweets. Whatever the reason, I am happy!!

Be Well!!