HeartEdu

Matters of the Heart in Story Format – Tales of a Vancouver Girl

Month: May, 2013

The Top Three Things I’ve Learned from Changing my Diet and Counting Calories

I mentioned before that I’m counting calories as a means to reset my diet after my San Fran trip. However, it has turned into a lifestyle change and I have learned so much about good eating habits, of what works for me and my body, and of eating balanced meals.

ONE: I NEED MY PROTEIN AND FATS IN THE MORNING

I’ve had breakfasts of fruit and oatmeal, muesli and hemp milk, smoothies, fresh pressed juice and yes, it all does feed me, and I am full for the moment. However, I feel unsatiated during my other three to four meals that happen later in the day.

I am mostly vegetarian and I have found that if I eat my day’s portion of protein (and maybe fats) in the morning, I’m pretty much not hungry when I have my other meals (although, I eat anyways).

So what do I eat? Well, a single egg along with whatever else I’m eating. Alternatively, I make an egg sandwich.

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Baked Egg with Vegetarian Ham, Cheddar and Spinach with a side of cherry tomato’s and red bell peppers. yum.

I was actually baking my eggs with some spinach in a muffin tin…but then that proved to be a mess to clean. So then I switched to silicone muffin liners which turned out to be a pain in the tooshie to clean also. I may just hard boil the eggs from now on. I make my egg-spinach sandwich with vegetarian ham, and cheddar cheese on a Weight Watchers Multigrain Flat Roll. I also have veggies with my brekky sandwich. This breakfast is usually 350 to 400 calories (a little more if I throw in a piece of fruit).

TWO: VEGETABLES ARE CENTRAL TO MAKING THIS ALL WORK

They say adult females should eat 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. That is actually a LOT of bulk. As a result, it keeps me quite full. I am counting calories so the best bang for my calories-buck is to eat veggies. Specifically veggies and not fruit so that I do not go over what is acceptable for daily sugar intake.

I’ve also found that the more raw vegetables I eat, the less I crave things like chips, chocolate, candy, and grease. If I eat more fruits than veggies, I crave sugar again later in the day like a crazy person.

My favourite veggies to eat are sugar snap peas, carrots, cauliflower, red radishes, bell peppers, and broccoli. Bean saw my Ziploc container of veggies and said that what I had was enough veggies for a week. I was actually kinda scared that it wasn’t enough for the day. Carnivores have a funny perspective.

THREE: COUNTING CALORIES HAS HELPED ME FIND INTERESTING THINGS TO EAT

With an allotment of calories per day and a mostly vegetarian diet, I needed to find ways to get my nutrients. Basically, I have to be smart about what I eat.

I found this awesome recipe for black bean quinoa patties from Runner’s World. Yes, it has Black Beans, and Quinoa, which are good foods to eat for iron and protein. However, this recipe also calls for Nutritional Yeast, which is high in Vitamin B12 (typically found in meat and soy products).

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homemade black bean quinoa patties

If you’re wondering whether or not they’re tasty, Nathan ate three of the four patties (not at once). I only got to eat one.

Another thing I like to eat is chia-seed pudding. I take two tablespoons of chia seeds (yay for Omega-3) in 5 tablespoons of chocolate almond milk (yay vitamin D, vitamin E, and calcium) and leave it in the fridge over night. I top it off with fruit in the morning.

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Chia Seed “Pudding”

CHALLENGES

There are challenges to changing my diet. For one, I am not getting enough sodium. Sodium gets a bad rep, but our body does need the appropriate amount of sodium to function properly.

Another challenge is to plan my meals out the night before. Sometimes earlier if I need to hit up the grocery store. This task does get easier with experience though.

RESULTS

I feel fantastic, and am performing better athletically-speaking. My scale hasn’t budged much, but I am less bloated, and my tummy is looking a bit more toned.

I enjoy what I eat now over what I used to eat. Now when I go out to eat, everything tastes too salty, sweet, or overdone. I find that I prefer the natural sweetness of plain raw carrots, the texture and light taste of cauliflower, etc. I still let myself cheat though. Even when I cheat, I still plan for it. It’s rarely spontaneous. I still want to get close to my daily nutritional needs even if I cheat; thus, I do plan.

Knowing how great I’ve been feeling the past month, I say don’t wait to start eating for the better if you’re considering it.

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A boy named Su and the Bruno that keeps him

While in San Francisco, I stayed with Jay and Kat who have two cats, Su and Bruno.  Su and Bruno provided Nathan and me with hours of entertainment. They are wonderfully quirky…as are Jay and Kat. <quote=”Pastafarian”>Samey = Samey. </quote>

This is Su. He’s under the blankets…sitting on my stomach…in my face…while I’m trying to watch Cheers. This after 5 days of him running away from me…and then suddenly, he wanted to be my buddy.

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A boy named Su

I’ve also walked into the bathroom to find him sitting in the tub. His brother, Bruno, watching him from the side of the tub either quizzically, amused, or both.

This is Su with his “purrr” face. He’s in his favorite spot in the sun.

Su rolling around in the sun

Su rolling around in the sun

He also loves himself some paper bags.

Cat in the bag!

Cat in the bag!

However, when he’s in there, his brother, Bruno, likes to bat at him and walk on the bag. It’s pretty hilarious. Here’s a pic of Bruno, who stopped smacking his brother when I pulled out my camera.

Bruno stopped taking a smack at his brother when I snapped the pic

Bruno stopped taking a smack at his brother when I snapped the pic

Speaking of Bruno, he’s just as adorable. He likes to smell things…including cameras. I tried to snap this pic of him, but he closed in on me and was all up in my grill.

What you smellin'?

What you smellin’?

When you walk into the house, the first thing he’ll do is smell you all over. It’s his way of asking and saying, “Where’ve ya been? What cha been doing? What have you eaten? Will you pet me? But don’t actually pet me. Okay. Thanks!” He then proceeds to walk away.

Sometimes in the middle of the night, you can hear Bruno “mrowwwww”ing quite loudly with a stuffed toy in his mouth. He struts about in the dark quite proudly with his latest capture.

Bruno in a playful mood

Bruno in a playful mood

Crazy cat love!

Flash mobs, bubbles, photo booths and sparkles – Ingredients for a Wedding

I have been swept up in a sea of life and am having a difficult time balancing. My beautiful friend, Allu got married this past weekend. Allu had a Sikh wedding, and I kid you not, it was a week long with plenty of festivities.

Allu and Kit (her now hubs) were so glam throughout the whole thing. Being a part of their celebration was like being in a Bollywood movie. I’ve seen Allu in several outfits that past week, and she was breathtaking in every single outfit. Allu wasn’t the only one looking good; Kit was very handsome in his garbs. Model couple much?

Some time prior to the wedding, some of the ladies got Mendhi done. Me included.

The Mendhi on my hands

The Mendhi on my hands

Allu had the most beautiful mendhi I had ever seen. She had peacocks on her legs, and beautiful paisley on her hands and forearms.

At the reception, there was a flash mob that Nathan and I were a part of. Allu and Kit’s first dance was interrupted, and we jumped in with a routine…sounding more and more like a Bollywood movie to me. Random dancing? Hellz to the ya!

With bubbles, a photobooth, flash mob, food galore (with plenty vegetarian options), it doesn’t surprise me how much fun I had. It also doesn’t surprise me of how well-planned it was given  Allu’s experience in the area of events planning. I had a blast!

Nathan had a blast too! He got so wild on the dance floor, he accidentally flung one of our friends into the crowd. Too.much.fun. Oh, dear.

Congratulations to Allu and Kit on their nuptials!!

My Newest Fitness Finds

It is HOT in Vancouver. I went out for a run today and nearly melted. I was very good though and slathered myself up in sunscreen. I’m sure if anyone tried to hug me, I’d shoot up in the air ten feet from being so greased up.

SUNSCREEN!

Speaking of which! I found the most awesome sunscreen today: Coppertone Oil-free Mousse in SPF 60.

spf 60

 

YES. MOUSSE! It was so easy to spread around on my skin and the greatest part is that it will protect your skin for 80 minutes of sweaty activity. Just thought I’d share in case anyone was looking for sunscreen.

JUMP ROPING

In other news, I’ve taken up jump roping. I was sucking the first time I tried it with 30 repetitions at most. But now I’m doing sets of 100, which sounds more impressive than it really is.  Essentially, my upper body is very still, and I jump very low to the ground.

jumprope

This guy explains it well: http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/06/learn-how-to-jump-rope-like-a-pro-7-tips/

The jumping has tighten up my calves, hip, and inner thighs. It made me absolutely crazy in yoga, but it has given me so much power in my running. Tradeoff.

FITNESS APP

After eating my way through San Francisco, I returned home and started counting calories. I’m doing this to reset and remind my body what it’s like to eat like a healthy person. I don’t go about it in a way where I think, “I need to consume less calories!” In fact, my approach with it is, “I hope I’m getting enough of everything I need.” With this mindset, I’ve been making really good choices and have been eating a LOT of vegetables. I also make sure I eat my fats… the good kind like avocado’s and nuts. It’s been two weeks of this, and I feel AWESOME.

I’m using the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone, however, they also have a website where you can track your activity. Best of all, it’s FREE! I like free stuff!

myfitnesspal

 

Luddy loves licks …and sleeves

During my San Fran trip, I got to meet another one of my online friends, Joy. She even brought her adorable corgi, Luddy.

Took a photo of Luddy by some lotus at Golden Gate Park.

Took a photo of Luddy by some lotus’ at Golden Gate Park.

Joy and I have been online friends for about a decade. That surprised me. It means I’ve been on the internet for way more than 10 years. Scary.

Luddy got to sit in my lap in the car as Joy drove us to Land’s End. Luddy loOooves to give puppy kisses. He kept licking my hands at random moments. When I hid my hand, he moved onto the sleeve of my sweater. Too adorable.

Land’s End was breathtaking.

Breathtaking Land's End

Breathtaking Land’s End. It was a bit overcast-y when I took this.

Then Joy drove us to Golden Gate Park where I snapped this cool shot from outside of the Japanese garden.

Taken from outside of the Japanese Garden

Taken from outside of the Japanese Garden

While at Golden Gate Park, I almost stepped on this little guy. Joy pointed him out to me.

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I’ve captured you with my camera, lil groundhog!

He was looking at us with his peripherals and kept popping his head in and out of the ground.

After the lovely nature walk, we headed into Chinatown where we found a Vegetarian Restaurant called Loving Hut. It was so good! I forgot to take photos of the food, but here is one of Chinatown at night.

Chinatown at night

Chinatown at night

It was really nice to meet Joy. We sat around dinner and talked about things we’ve read in each other’s old blogs. I think it was revealing. We learned much about ourselves as we did each other.

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