Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Raw Food Day 9

Pic: my 12 yr old daughter enjoying some raw pesto w/ zucchini noodles





Yesterday I tried out a new Raw Vegan cafe. I was so excited to find out that I had one so close to me. It is literally 5 minutes away from my house. YAY!

I went to the cafe and spoke to the chef. She teaches classes at a local health food store and I was excited to ask her a few questions. I told her that I have been eating raw for 9 days and I am struggling with my detox.

She said it was normal and that the duration of the detox depended on how much junk was in my body. She said I can speed up the process by juicing. I don't have a juicer yet so I decided to stop by my local Fresh and Easy and buy some fresh juices.

I want to get this process done and over with already. I have noticed that I require less sleep which is crazy. I tend to wake up on my own at about 6:15am. I pretty much lay in bed until about 6:45am.

I sampled lots of yummy food at the cafe yesterday. I had some macarons, kale salad, swiss chard wrap, zucchini alfredo, and teriyaki almonds. I ordered kale salad and some hummus with chips. My daughter ordered zucchini pesto and my mom also had some kale salad.

The funny thing is that the portion sizes were very small but we were all so stuffed after we sampled and ate our food. The reason being that raw foods contain lots of water and fiber. They tend to fill you up a lot faster than cooked food.

I am going to sign up for a class to learn some more about raw food. The chef told me that she has been raw for over 20 years but that during the winter she eats cooked food. She did agree that being 100% raw is a very challenging lifestyle to live.

I know many people do follow it but I think I might adopt the 50/50 raw food diet. I still want to enjoy some cooked food.

A recent pic of my progress. My hips are slimming down and I am getting smaller. YAY!


12 more days to go...........

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Raw Food Day 8

Okay, let me start by saying I wasn't sure if I could make it this far. This first week has been a challenge but definitely worth it. I still struggle with the occasional nausea. Not really sure if it is still due to detoxing or what. I am expecting it to subside this week.

I had an amazing workout yesterday. I am in Phase 3 of my LiveFit program and now it is all about shedding fat. I am doing lots of supersets, active rest sets, plyo and intense cardio intervals.

Notes from the LiveFit program:
We're going to hit the ground running in Phase 3 with some serious leg work!
You'll quickly notice that these workouts combine traditional weight moves with
plyometric exercises - for example, you follow-up leg presses with jump squats. Combining strength moves with explosive movements allows you to train for hypertrophy (the fancy word for muscle growth) and strength gains at the same time that you increase power - another important quality for fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike.
By hitting both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers, these moves also will stoke your fat-burning furnace. Picture the marbling in a steak. Our bodies have intra-muscular fat like that. Plyometric exercises help "squeeze" the fat from those areas.
Terms you'll need to know:
Superset: Perform the first exercise and then immediately do the next exercise. Only then do you take the 2-minute rest in between before repeating again.
Active rest: Instead, do the first exercise, and then instead of resting, perform the active-rest movement (for example, jump rope). Immediately repeat the first exercise.
So are you ready? We're on the home stretch now. Let's do this!

This is what my leg workout was like yesterday:
Superset: (complete one set of each and then rest)
Leg press 3 sets of 15 reps
Squat Jumps 3 sets of 15 reps

Working set active rest: (no rest between sets)
Single leg press 3 sets of 15 reps, per leg
Jump rope 3 sets of 1 minute

Superset:
Lunge (w/ dumbbells) 3 sets of 20, per leg
frog jumps 3 sets of 20 reps, 10 jumps forward, 10 backwards

Superset:
Leg extensions 3 sets of 20 reps
Side to side single leg hops 3 sets of 20 reps

Weighted squats 3 sets of 30 reps

Working set active rest:
Standing calf raises 3 sets of 20 reps
Jump rope 3 sets of 1 minute

Working active rest set:
Calf press on Leg press 3 sets of 20 reps
Jump rope 3 sets of 1 minute

Can you see why my legs where like noodles when I was done. This was an intense leg workout for me. This incorporated a lot of plyometrics which really helps burn fat, works the heart and builds muscle endurance. I can't wait to see what kind of progress I get after this week.

I wasn't in the mood for food when I got home so I drank a smoothie. Later I thought it would be best to eat something because I worked out so hard so I ate a small raw veggie pizza. I topped some raw pizza bread with tomato sauce, mushrooms and walnuts. It was good and filling.

Thanks for checking in on me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Raw Food Day 6 & 7...and a loss

This weekend was a good one. Ok yes I ate raw 99.99% of the because I had 3 corn tortillas on Saturday night and a tiny bite of my daughter Subway sandwhich. I was feeling a little sick again and wanted to eat something different. It is not bad food it is just not raw food.

I am still extremely proud of myself for sticking to this 21 Raw Food plan. I went and bought some raw tortillas, bread and crackers yesterday. I also tried some raw chocolate cheesecake and it was yummy. I still think I can make it better though so I am going to try this week.

I noticed that I feel best when I eat lots of fruit. I love watermelon right now. That is what I have been craving besides the rice, beans and bread.

I weighed myself yesterday and I lost 2 pounds. I also measured myself and I lost.......6 inches all over my body. I can see the difference in my stomach and I like that. That is the part of my body that I don't like the most.

I had a c-section and was very overweight so my stomach has saggy skin and a large pooch. I don't like it. So I am determined to get rid of it.

Well today marks day 7 and I am also starting my new phase and last phase of my workout routine. The next 4 weeks will be intense but guarantee to shed some major pounds and start to reveal my hard earned muscle.

I must make sure I am eating enough to keep the muscle and not burn it up with my new workouts. I hope to show you some awesome progress pics after this last phase.

Wish me luck. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 5 Raw Food

Yesterday was another successful day but I did have something that was not raw. I had a very hard workout and I wanted something other than a salad. I did eat a salad for dinner but then later on I warmed up 2 corn tortillas and added a slice of avocado to each.

I don't really consider this a failure or cheating. My body just wanted something and I gave it to it...LOL! It wasn't unhealthy so I am not going to beat myself up about it. I have been really wanting some bread or something heavy like grains.

I found out that the raw cafe in my town has raw breads, tortillas, and crackers for sale. I plan on going to purchase some today. I want to buy a dehydrator to make my own but until I do I will just purchase the premade goods.

That is what I have been craving the most. I think once I buy them I will be able to stick to this for the full 21 days. I definitely see progress in my body already after 5 days so it motivates me to follow through til the end.

I also see how my attachment to food has diminished. I don't really think about food the way I did before. That is one of the reasons I decided to do this raw food diet. I had to repair the relationship I had with food.

Although I am not eating complex carbs like I used too I still have the energy to get through my workouts. I did chest and shoulders yesterday and also some interval training on the treadmill. I did 30 minutes of sprints on the treadmill. I run for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. I started at 6 mph and ended with 7.7 mph. I was super proud of myself.

Next week starts Phase 3 of my LiveFit program so I know I will need some of the complex carbs back in my diet. I have noticed that since starting the raw food I don't have gas. I know that might be too much info but it is something I noticed.

I guess it is because I have eliminated soy and beans. Those foods can cause some major issues...if you know what I mean..LOL! I also frequent the bathroom a lot more. Raw food contains lots of water so that might be one of the reasons.

Well today I am going to only do yoga and tomorrow will be my rest day. I am going out to eat with some friends after work today so I knew I couldn't go to the gym. I did my shoulder workout yesterday to make up for today.

See you Monday. Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 4 Raw Food

I think I might have a hang of this now. I ate more food during the evening to make sure my sugar levels stayed at a normal level. I am not diabetic or anything but I think that my sugar levels must drop at night especially after my workouts. That might be one of the reason I get sick.

I ate a small snack before the gym consisting of 2 celery sticks with raw almond butter and raisins and a medium gala apple with a little almond butter too. Then immediately after my workout I ate a small banana. It really helped me alot. I also put a 1/2 scoop of my Vega preworkout energy powder in my water bottle I took to the gym. That really helped me get through my workout. I only used 1/2 a scoop because it tends to keep me up all night if I drink more.

When I got home I made a taco salad with walnut taco meat, lettuce, guacamole, cashew cheeze and salsa. Then I made some mango sorbet tartlettes. Yummy. The recipes calls for Agave Nectar but I noticed when I eat it it gives me a headache so next time I will use something else to sweeten the crust. Maybe some dates instead.

So I am still doing my Bodybuilding LiveFit program. I am finishing week 8. I haven't followed it to the T on somedays because I forget to take my workout log to the gym. It has all my workouts on it with the amount of sets and reps.

Next week is week 9 and it is an intense week as it focuses on shedding fat and building more muscle. There are lots of supersets (two exercises done without rest), active rest sets (jumping rope between sets), and triple sets (3 exercises done without rest). It also has me doing sprints on the treadmill on level 8 for 30 minutes. That will be 30 second sprints with 30 second rests. I know they will be challenging because I currently do them at level 6 for 15-20 minutes and they work up a big sweat.

I am not sure how this raw food diet is going to go with my next phase of my workout. I am just going to make sure I am listening to my body and eating atleast every 3 hours or as my body asks for food. I would still like to atleast get through another full week for a total of 14 days. If it works out then I will go for the full 21 days. We will play it by ear. :)

Here is a link to one of my favorite hamstring moves. I love it so much because you definitely feel the burn. http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/leg-curl-stability-ball.html

If you try it out let me know what you think. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fitness Update

So next month I plan to start training for my upcoming Mad Mud Run in April. Since the 1/2 marathon I have not been doing much endurance running so I need to focus a little more on that.

Due to the nature of the event I will focus on uphill runs, sprints and intervals. It is a bootcamp style obstacle course so upper body strength is also important. I am determined to do a few pull ups before the event.

That makes me the most nervous. I have never been able to do a pull up. Now that I am lighter maybe I can muster up one. :)

Day 3 Raw Food

Yesterday was another bad day. I tend to only get really sick as the evening approaches. I don't know if I am not eating enough during the day or what the deal is. I only eat when I am hungry and I am not hungry very often lately. Raw food has a lot more water and nutrients in it than cooked food so you tend to stay fuller longer.

I am really sure that I feel sick because of the detoxing and there is nothing that I can really do about that except for wait it out. It will get better after the first week.

So yesterday I was really craving something heartier and decided to go to Whole Foods after the gym to see what they had premade in the raw food section. Holy Cow! It as super expensive. A raw burger was $16.99. Are you serious? There were other things to chose from but I did not want to pay that much. My daugther talked me into getting a piece of pizza that was the size of both my hands. It was $10.99.

That was still really expensive but I was desperate to try something other than salad. I wanted some form of bread right away..LOL! I was also hungry from my workout so I decided to just go for it and buy thte pizza. I felt that after 3 days I deserved it.

It was delicious so it gave me a sense of hope that this raw food diet is going to be ok..LOL! It also confirmed that I need to invest in a dehydrator really soon so I can make some bread. Ummm bread takes several hours to dehydrate so I won't be making too much of it.

Anyways, I am glad that I completed my 3rd day of eating raw. I made a delicious salad for lunch today and can't wait to eat it. I used a whole bag of romaine lettuce and added strawberries, avocado, cucumber and sunflower seeds. I will top it with a tomato basil dressing. Yummy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Am I Dying?????

Okay yesterday was the worst day. I think my body must be detoxing. Not sure from what but man did I feel sick as the day progressed. I had a massive headache and I felt so sick and nauseous. I was still determined to stick to my raw diet and go to the gym.

I was able to power through a leg routine that consisted of the following:
50 deep squats (no weight)
20 deeps squats (w/ 30 lbs dumbbells)
cable kick backs
cable adductors
single leg presses (25 lbs)
leg presses (both legs 75 lbs)
plie squats (30 lbs)
plie squats with jumps (5 pulses with one jump....3 sets 5 reps)
leg curls on stabilty ball (works hamstrings)
leg bridges with stability ball (works hamstrings)
side lunges with reach (5 lbs dumbells)

I was absolutely sick and exhausted after this workout. I really thought I was going to puke. I have to realize that until my body gets used to this new way of eating I might not have the same amount of strength to complete my normal workouts.

My mom was asking me some questions and I snapped at her. I said "I can't talk right now...I think I am dying". LOL! I was absolutely miserable.

Eating raw gives you energy but the first few days I am sure my body is in shock and detoxing. I was really dreading going home and having to eat some cold food. I kind of wanted some rice and beans but guess what? I stuck with my program. I drank a protein shake the minute I got home and felt lots better. Then I made my daughter some pizza :( and made myself some raw lasagna.



I was not looking forward to it but it tasted amazing and I was satisfied with my food. I treated myself to some banana ice cream with pecans and coconut for dessert. It was amazing too. I just put frozen bananas in the food processor and blended until smooth and creamy. Then I added a handful of pecans and pulsed until they were chopped up. I topped it with some unsweetened coconut and was in heaven. Yummy!

I think I am going to experiment with some other flavors because I really enjoyed that ice cream last night. Maybe some pineapple and mango with coconut. Oh my! :)

I am glad I got through day 2 of my raw food diet.......19 more to go. What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger...LOL!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Raw Energy

There are so many energy bars on the market. Sad thing is many of them are loaded with chemicals and ingredients that we can't even pronounce.

I have tried my share of energy and protein bars and many fall short when it comes to taste. Not to mention they can also be expensive.

I made these little concoctions that quite honestly taste way better than chocolate. I actually made the first batch in the form of brownies and topped them with sweet cashew butter. They were so yummy I wanted to make something a little different.

The original brownies I made had the following ingredients:
1 cup dates
1 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

You put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until it resembles potting soil. Then you press the mixture into a small pan and put into the freezer for 30 min. I topped them with sweet cashew butter which consisted of raw cashews, agave and water. Super yummy without the cashew butter but if you like your brownies with icing then try it.

For the Raw Energy Balls I used basically the same ingredients but I ran out of walnuts so I used some raw pecans instead:

1 cup dates
1 cup raw pecans
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

You basically do the same thing in the food processor but instead of putting into a dish you form them into little bite size balls. (LOLLL! Sorry my mind went there!) Then you put some agave nectar on a plate and roll the balls in them. Then you put some unsweetened shredded coconut on a plate and roll the balls in the coconut. Freeze them for 30 min and enjoy.

I keep my brownies and Raw Energy balls in the freezer. They don't get rock hard so don't worry about it. I think this is the best way to store them.




KNOW WHAT YOU ARE EATING


Dates do not contain much vitamin c but are rich in iron and fibre. They therefore have a laxative effect, they are great for reducing cholestrol and, due to their high iron content, are a blood builder so aids treatment for anaemia. They aid digestion, are an energy booster, maintain a healthy nervous system due to their potassium content. Dates are a good source of selenium. Selenium is a potent antioxidant that also benefits thyroid function and the immune system. High in sugar and fiber and rich in taste and antioxidants, dates have been used medicinally to treat muscle weakness, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Walnuts are tree nuts that are packed with nutrients. The California Walnut Commission states walnuts have cholesterol-lowering abilities along with other nutrients such as vitamin E.
The body cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, which can protect the cardiovascular system, limit inflammation and promote better cognitive function. Walnuts contain a significant amount of this healthy protective fat. According to World's Healthiest Foods, walnuts are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants have been shown to keep the body healthy by fighting free radicals and reducing inflammation. Fiber has been shown by the American Heart Association to lower cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood as well as possibly reduce cancer risk. Walnuts are a good source of fiber, containing 8 percent of the daily recommended amount in 1 oz. Walnuts are also a good source of essential minerals such as copper, magnesium and manganese. They contain protein and vitamin B6 also.

The pecans nutritional value is very high. Pecans are a good source of protein and potassium, and can be used as meat alternates. Pecans are loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats and recently published scientific studies show that pecan consumption can help lower blood cholesterol. Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and several B vitamins.

The endless benefits of unsweetened cocoa include a healthier heart, relief from diarrhea, protection from colon cancer, improved insulin sensitivity, and improvement of cognitive function.


Coconut is an excellent source of protein. Because of its high fat content and calorie count, coconut is often a food of choice for those trying to gain weight but still want to eat healthy. Body builders also use coconut as a high-protein food to assist in muscle building. Coconut provides long-lasting boosts of energy. It also aids in the softening of the skin, keeping the scalp and hair healthy, controlling dandruff and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The meat of the coconut contains lauric acid. Lauric acid helps fight off bacteria from intestinal parasites and assists in fighting common infections ranging from the common cold to the flu, according to HealthMad.com. The water in the coconut helps to keep the bladder and kidneys functioning properly. Eating coconuts regularly helps fight gas, ulcers, constipation and various other stomach and digestive ailments. Coconut naturally contains iodine causing it to support thyroid functions and preventing an enlarged thyroid. Coconut has even been shown to dissolve kidney stones, reduce symptoms of pancreatic disorders, protect the body from osteoporosis and cancer and reduce epileptic seizures.


One of the benefits of using agave nectar as your sweetener is that it has a low glycemic index. This means that it does not cause a sudden rise or fall in blood sugar, which is especially important for people with diabetes. The glycemic value of agave nectar is 27. Compare that with sucrose, or sugar, which has a value of 92! Eating foods low on the glycemic index can help keep cravings for unhealthy foods away, which can assist in weight loss. Another benefit of using agave nectar as your sweetener is that it has inulin, a type of fiber with many health benefits. Some studies show that inulin can decrease the appetite and increase satisfaction from food. This means that you stay fuller for longer and therefore eat less than on a diet including sugar-rich foods. Studies also show links between inulin and lower cholesterol, as well as increased absorption of various nutrients.

Nutritional info taken from: www.livestrong.com

Raw Food Day 1

Yesterday marked my first day of my 21 day raw food diet. I must admit the morning was tough because I was cold and wanted some warm food. I had to settle for a smoothie and some veggies. At that moment I thought "OH my gosh can I really do this?".

Then...I made what would be my lunch and dinner for the next few days. And BAM...It was amazing. I was like "I might actually be able to be raw for the rest of my life". I was super excited about the recipes I tried.

Like I had posted before I researched different raw website and came across some recipes that sounded easy enough to make. I didn't want to try anything too complicated because I wanted my first days to be successful and stress free. Hopefully ensuring that the rest of my journey would be the same.

I went shopping Sunday for all of my goodies and was excited to start preparing my food on Monday. I made cilantro cashew cheeze, taco meat, teriyaki veggies, brownies with sweet cashew cream frosting, and energy balls. I was basically in the kitchen ALLLLLL day long. Not because the food took long to prepare but because I was so excited to make everything.

I made enough food for the whole week BUT it was so dang good most of it is gone. My daughter, mother and mother in law all loved it so much I had to share with them. So today I have to make more taco meat so that I can have enough for the rest of the week.

I would say my day was pretty successful until the evening hit and I started getting a major headache. Not sure why but it could be due to several things. Either I was tired from cooking all day, detoxing, or my stuffing nose caused it.

Whatever it was I almost made it an excuse to eat some pita chips. But I ate some grapes, drank some water and went to my bed. I was super exhausted and slept like a champ.

I definitely know that I will be able to stick to this raw food diet but I also know I will want some bread or crackers soon. So I plan on getting my dehydrator really soon to ensure I don't crash this diet. :)

Here is what I ate yesterday:
-smoothie: frozen strawberries, 1/2 frozen banana, frozen blueberries, spinach, chia seed, Vega protein powder, water.
-cherry tomatoes, snap peas, jicama
-taco salad: romaine lettuce topped with walnut taco "meat", cilantro cashew cheeze and salsa
-teriyaki veggies: mushrooms, bean sprouts, red and orange bell peppers, and broccoli slaw with homemade teriyaki sauce
-a whole lot of brownies.....LOL! (dates, walnuts and cocoa powder...that is all) with cashew cream (cashews, agave, water) I actually made a tiny dish of these so I didn't really eat alot of them. It just seemed like it because I made them in tiny bite size pieces.
-3 tacos: large lettuce leaves stuffed with walnut taco "meat", cashew cheeze and guacamole.
-bowl of grapes

I didn't exercise yesterday because it was my rest day but I was standing in the kitchen almost the entire day preparing food and cleaning the kitchen. I also did laundry, clean my house a little and helped move some furniture.

Not sure how my workout schedule will work with this new diet plan. I know I have to make sure I am eating enough to sustain my muscle and have enough energy.

I don't plan on tracking my calories because it is a little difficult. I tend to just eat what I want when I want it. We will see how it all works out after my first week. I weighed myself on Sunday and took my measurements so I will post progress stats after my first week.

So far I feel extremely blessed for this new journey I am embarking on. This raw food cleanse is a part of me fasting and rebalancing my mind, body and spirit. Eating raw gives me the ability to clean my temple by nourishing it with living food.

Although I normally eat pretty clean...cooking food often destroys many of the nutrients we need. So eating raw will help replinish my body with what it needs. I know in my heart that it was time to finally do this. I am glad I listened.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Super Excited

I have been really excited about this new raw food thing. I have actually set a goal to do it for 21 days but I won't be disappointed in myself if I only last 14 days. I don't really think it will be that hard for me since I love raw food.

I think the only challenge might be the monotony of eating the same thing over and over so I need to keep researching recipes. I absolutely love fruits and veggies so I know I can handle most of the recipes I have seen so far. The only issue will be that I will need to purchase a few gadgets to prepare them.

Like I have mentioned before I want a juicer and a dehydrator. I also think I need a more powerful blender. Mine really sucks and I use it a lot so I think I deserve one. :0)

I have to plan to succeed not plan to fail. So part of my plan is making sure I am equipt for this new journey.

I found about 5 recipes that I am going to try next week and if I like them I will make them in bulk to ensure I am not tempted to eat something unhealthy. We all know how we can get desperate when we are hungry especially after a workout.

So I looked through my recipes and made out my shopping list. I am determined to not only eat healthy and follow this raw diet plan but also do it on a budget. Not because I don't have enough to buy healthy food but because I want to prove that anyone can do it.

The first excuse people make about eating healthy is "It is too expensive". Look if a single mom making a little more than minimum wage can do it than so can you. When I first became vegan I was actually on unemployment which didn't pay me much at all. I made due with what I had and started my journey to become healthy.

So I will be updating my blog along my raw food diet and let you know how I am doing. I would love to make a vlog too but my computer at home sucks and I don't have internet access right now.

See you later....hopefully you will see a smaller version of me soon. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Going Raw

So I have been thinking about this concept for a long time but was a little scared. First because it is a new territory and secondly because it takes a lot of discipline and dedication.

But like becoming vegan I know it takes time to learn. I am still learning about being vegan. I have decided that I am going to only eat raw food for the next 14 days. That means I won't be eating anything cooked. That eliminates rice, beans, bread, pasta and tofu in my diet.

I really don't have a problem eliminating those foods for a while but I do know I might get tired of eating cold food. So I am a little worried about that. I think my first few days will consist of salads and smoothies until I find more options.

I have been checking out some recipes but many require dehydrating food and juicing. I don't have any of those kitchen gadgets so I think I might go look into buying them soon. I have been wanting them anyways so this might be the perfect time to invest in them.

Although I only plan on following this diet for 14 days I want to eat more raw food on a regular basis so spending money on those items is justified. I tend to eat more salads and smoothie during the summer anyways.

I am also going to go check out a raw food restaraunt next week to see what it is all about. I also plan on going to Whole Foods to check out some raw food meals they have prepared there. Once I taste them I can look at the ingredients and try to recreate them.

I am not 100% educated on the whole concept behind raw food diets but I do know they are beneficial to the body. Whether or not I will continue this lifestyle later on I am not sure but for now this is what I feel my body is asking for.

I want to learn how to eat simple again and recharge my body. I feel this is a way to heal my body from the damage I have been causing it. Not just physically with my workouts but also emotionally and spiritually. I feel this is a way to reconnect with myself and gain strength.

I will let you know how it goes and maybe even post some recipes and pics.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Some of the food I eat

I wanted to share some pics of the some of the things I eat. When people find out I am vegan the first comment they make is "what do you eat?". That question is so funny to me as if people only eat meat all day long. Maybe some people do but most eat meat, veggies, fruits, grains and other foods. So if I eliminate animal products there is still a large variety of other foods I can enjoy. Right? RIGHT! Here are some of them:


Here is a post workout meal I made. It is a pizza made on a pita bread that I sliced in half and added tomato, asparagus, Daiya cheese, meatless meatballs, avocado and red pepper flakes. Super yummy and nothing to feel guilty about. You can be healthy, vegan and enjoy your favorite dishes. This was made in my toaster oven and done in 8 minutes.






These are my oatmeal muffins. This is my spin on a traditional carrot cake or zucchini muffin. I used 2 cups oats, 1 c. applesauce, 1 small ripe banana, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp baking powder and baking soda, and..............1 cup of broccoli slaw. I also made some icing with powdered sugar and vegan cream cheese for my daughter but I am watching my calories so I didn't eat any icing. :)



This is my lunch from last week. I sauteed some tofu w/ mushrooms and broccoli slaw and ate it along with a small sweet potato and asparagus. Another delicious, quick and healthy meal.



This is my dinner from last night. I made a HUGE kale salad topped with some meatless meatballs, salsa, brown rice, beets, avocado basil dressing, sunflower seeds and a few croutons. This large salad was under 600 calories. That might seem like a lot of calories but everything on it is readily available for the body to use. It also helped replenish my body after a very hard workout. I left me feeling satisfied, healthy and strong. Kale is a superfood that should be consumed as often as possible.

Homemade avocado basil dressing: 2 ripe avocados, 5 sprigs of fresh basil, 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or lemon juice, 2 tsp nutritional yeast, and add veggie broth instead of olive oil until you reach desired consistency. I blended this in my food processor.


It can be mixed into cold or hot pasta or used as a salad dressing. My daughter likes it drizzled in her sandwich as a mayo substitute.



This pic is a little crazy but I was checking out my legs after 4 weeks of weight training. I have super skinny legs so I am trying to bulk them up with heavy weights. After only 4 weeks I am pretty happy with my results this far. I have dedicated 2 days a week to legs because they are the area I want to bulk up the most. :)

I have been doing a lot of weighted squats and lunges, leg extensions, leg curls, leg presses, weighted step ups and have now incorporated running. I will post some other pics next week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl


I love this new meal I have been eating.

This is how I prepare it:

1 package organic extra firm tofu
garlic powder
Fresh and Easy teriyaki marinade
Trader Joe's broccoli slaw (U can use any brand but I prefer this one because the slaw is thick like noodles)
brown rice
asparagus (I use the frozen kind from Trader Joe's)
sliced mushrooms (I used Trader Joe's crimini mushrooms)
Fresh and Easy roasted salsa

Okay so it's really simple and you can make enough for the whole week if you want. Put it in little tuppeware containers and you are ready to grab and go with a healthy lunch, mini meal or dinner.

So you take the package of tofu, rise and drain it. I like to put it in a clean dish towel or napkin and put something heavy on it to drain all the water out. This makes it firmer and resemebles diced chicken breast..LOL!

Then you sautee the tofu....I use 1 tsp Earth Balance. You can use Pam spray or any low calorie spray. I usually don't use oil or butter but in this case the tofu often sticks to the pan and I want a nice little crisp to it. I usually sautee it until it is brown or yellowish on all sides. I season it with garlic powder as it is sauteeing.

Then you add the mushrooms, broccoli slaw and asparagus or what ever veggies you want. Let them hang out for a bit and add a little veggie broth if they begin to stick.

Next I add about 3 TBSP of the Teriyaki sauce. I don't use a lot because it can contain lots of sodium. I also add a little more garlic powder to taste.

I cover and let the veggies steam cook for a little while. Then I put this over brown rice and add a little roasted salsa from Fresh and Easy. This is so yummy and oh so filling.

This is about 4 servings so I have meals for 2 days. I usually eat it during my mini meal and lunch meal at work. Today I skipped the rice for my mini meal since I sit on my but all day. I did eat the rice for lunch because I will need the carbs later for my workout. :)

Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do.

Learning to love my body

You know it is crazy how we tend to create an enemy out of our body. We try to avoid looking at it. We focus on all the flaws and imperfections. We beat ourselves up because we allowed ourselves become so overweight. Sometimes we avoid being intimate with our significant others or we avoid going out and socializing altogether.

That has been me. I have created such a bad relationship with my body. Part of it stems from my broken relationships and the thoughts that I am not good enough or pretty enough to be loved. Also from being told as a little girl and teenager that I was fat and needed to lose weight.

I have had a negative body image for as far back as I can remember. Even now after I have lost over 60 lbs. I still have days when I want to hid and cover up. I recently had to take some pretty revealing pics for a competition I was going to enter and I could just throw up at the thought of others seeing my pics.

It took courage to even show my mom who has already seen my body more than once. Just the thought of being criticized made me feel sick and so ugly. I went back in my mind to that fat girl that wanted to be hidden. The one that did all she could to avoid attention.

Then I said you know what "I have came a long way." I have a ways to go but it's time to stop hiding and just learn to love and accept where I am right now.

I am more than my body....something I have said on several occasions. But at times it is so hard to believe especially when society puts such on emphasis on physical appearance.

I should love my body...no matter what is looks like. I don't have to be comfortable with it's appearance. I don't have to settle for a flabby stomach. It's okay to want to better myself. What is not okay is wanting to hide because I feel I am not good enough to be seen.

I find myself pointing out my imperfections when others try to compliment me.Why? Is it because I don't believe them? Or is it because I don't think I am worth the weight of their compliment? It can be a little of both.

So lately I have been making a conscious effort to look at myself in the mirror when I am getting ready to shower and accepting what I see. I see changes and I have to give myself credit for every inch and every pound I have lost.

Mostly I have to appreciate how much my mind has changed. Only I can understand that. Only I can understand that dark place my mind used to be at and where it is now. Realizing how far I have come as a woman makes my heart full of gratitude.

Thank you God for showing me how to honor, respect and love the body YOU have given me.

I am letting go of who I thought I was, embracing the woman I am now and reaching forward to become the woman I know I can be.

I will reach my full potential not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. I know that this journey has not just been about shedding unhealthy pounds but also unhealthy thoughts. I am freeing myself from myself. I am no longer my worst enemy. I am my bestfriend.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No more challenge

I waited for the last day to register for the challenge because I wanted to make sure my body was ready. I wanted my nutrition, supplements and workouts to be tested before I started. Well guess what? It bit me in the butt.

I was required to submit 3 photos of myself and the front view, the most important pic, did not load. It said the file was too big. Ok I know I am fat but dang..LOL!

So I was not going to be able to upload a new pic til the following day since I no longer have internet at home and have to use my office computer. So that disqualified me from the competition. BOOOOO!

Although there will not be a $25,000 prize for me, the reward of my progress will have to be enough for now. I am not too disappointed. I will try again next year. :)

Thanks for being excited for me though..Iris :)