Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bikini Body Challenge Conclusion

So- ever have a week get away from you? Well it happens all the time to me! With so many things to do I often wish I had more hours in the day so I can achieve all my goals, projects, and fun! I love spending time in my garden which is so green and overflowing with potential friuts- it's amazing! I really hope I can spend a bit more time weeding this week! Thanks to my father-in-law, he has saved me so much time this year by tilling between the rows!!

This week I biked a total of 132 miles with my long ride being 90 miles! I have been so encouraged by my friends and family in achieving each longer distance as it comes around each week and each week I know that I can do it! Next Saturday I will be doing my 100 mile ride!! Whoo-hoo!!! I am so excited!!

Btw, I know I mentioned a couple posts ago that I was going to get a new bike, well, that got put on the back burner for a few more months, so I won't be riding the Hilly Hundred this year, but that's okay, there's always next year!

Anyhow, yesterday was the last day of my journey in the 14 Day Bikini Body Challenge, and while I didn't always follow strictly the diet- especially on my long ride days- I can only carry so much food with me! However, I have slimmed down and I am feeling confident! And I have a lot more energy and I am feeling far less stressed than I was while eating a less raw diet. Previously I was eating between 40-50% raw with far smaller meals and far fewer calories and I think that was my problem. In my efforts to lose weight I was consuming less calories but slowing down my metabolism by doing so instead of eating more raw food which has fewer calories and more nutrients, plus almost every fruit or vegetable out there helps to reduce inflammation- the main source of weight gain and chronic disease!

This morning to help aid in my recovery from yesterday's ride- inflammation wise (I am currently out of our curcumin supplement that Chris and I are on, so my knees have been aching more than usual-owey!) so I made the following anti-inflammatory smoothie to help my knees and the sunburn I got :(

V.I.Note!! If you have organic, all natural sunscreen, or any sunscreen really
I suppose, check the expiration date!!! It does go bad! I used mine yesterday and
while it worked okay, it didn't work as well as it used to- come to find out it
expired June of 2013! Yikes! So much for sunscreen never going bad! Haha!
Granted I probably should have re-applied more than I did- but who wants to stop for that!
Especially when you can still see the titanium dioxide! Common! It must still be working!
Right?-- So check your labels or you will end up with funny tan lines like me.

Go! Man-go!

1/2 Pineapple-chopped
1 mango
1 banana
1/2-1 tsp turmeric
1/8-1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C coconut milk or water
Ice cubes!!! 7-8

Blend until smooth and enjoy! 

This smoothie is great for anyone who is on the go! The turmeric has an active compound called curcumin which has many health related benefits but one of the best is reducing joint inflammation. I have been taking this as a supplement because I don't eat a lot of Indian food and it has helped immensly. I am always recommending it to friends who are complaining of their joints hurting- it really helps! 

The cinnamon in this recipe helps fight inflammation but overall, it's best for balancing blood sugars and keeping you on an even keel. Pineapple and mango are full of beneficial fiber to keep you full and clear out toxins! The bromelain in pineapple is a huge inflammation fighter! 

So here are a few of the meals that I had this past week.
On day 10 I had sunshine juice for breakfast and half a watermelon for lunch. I was only able to eat a little more than half of the container! Oh it was soo much, but it was soo good!

I read some cool information in my magazine the other day about watermelon juice- which I made for breakfast on Saturday before my ride.
'People who sipped watermelon juice before exercise were less sore the next day. "It's the only food that contains large amounts of L-citrulline, an amino acid that can improve oxygen delivery to the muscles," says Leslie Bonci, R.D., the director of sports medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center...'
Fitness magazine June 2014

Dinner that night was spirilized zucchini! Yum yum!!

1 spirilized zucchini
1 carrot shreds
1 red bell pepper
black sesame seeds

1/8 C tahini
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp white miso

1-2 heads lettuce

1 yellow bell pepper

1 cucmber
2-3 mushrooms
dill and pepper seasoning

handful of blueberries

Dressing- it looks better than how it turned out, so I'll spare you the details.

Sesame Noodles

1 spirilized zucchini
carrot peels
2-3 mushrooms diced- set aside
2 chopped tomatoes
pepper and garlic powder
1/4 chopped yellow bell pepper

While chopping veggies, place diced mushrooms in small dish and marinate in the following dressing.

1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp raw soy sauce
2 tbsp orange juice

When mushrooms are soft (er), place them on top and pour remaining dressing on noodles. Mix and eat!!

Thanks for reading this rather lengthy post- I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I did!
Have a great rest of your week!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 8 Bikini Body Challenge

Hey Everyone!! It is the end of Day 8 in my journey on the 80-10-10 Bikini Body Challenge by FullyRawKristina and I feel GREAT! I have soo much more energy in eating raw than I have in the past 6 months. 

My only issue thus far was on my really long weekly training ride (it gets longer every week- thus the training) and I was tired and my knees and back were really aching by mile 55 where as last week I did 69 miles no problem- yesterday's distance was 78 miles- which I overshot and did 81. I was able to finish but I was really feeling it. Today my knees still ache a bit but I think that eating raw REALLY helped with the inflammation caused by this ride- which was actually really flat- hardly any hills that were challenging.

My energy today was also impressive- granted I woke up really tired but I got going and (yeah, ok, I admit it- I had caffeine- from green coffee beans), with the raw food, I have had so much energy where as a few weeks ago I would have been so tired I would have come home after work and sat. Instead, this evening I made my dinner, juiced breakfast, made a smoothie for lunch, made raw cookies from leftover juicing pulp, made my hubbie some chocolate chip cookies, washed the dishes, and finished the laundry- oh yeah, and wrote this!! I have energy!! Hazaah!!

So after that run on sentence, here are a few of the meals that I have prepared the past few days! I haven't been strictly following Kristina's meal plan as I have been using what I have on hand by creating something comparable.

Oh-btw, thus far I have lost between 3-5 lbs! It's approximate because I didn't weigh myself at the beginning but I was around 131-132 and now I'm 127!! Yay!!!

Here is my dinner day 5- it's not what Kristina made but boy was it good!

Taco Salad

1-2 heads of your choice of greens- spinach and kale here
3/4 of one cucumber

half of 1 avocado
red onion diced
pepper- to taste
mushrooms- diced (optional)
olives- sliced (optional)

Taco Dressing
1/4 pkt taco seasoning
3 tomatoes-roma
garlic powder- large dash ( I put garlic and pepper on most savory dishes!)
small squirt of sirichi sauce

Place all dressing ingredients in blender and puree. Pour over salad and enjoy the heat!!

Above is my dinner (the salad) for Saturday, and I had the smoothie- which was made from left over juice- I used one of Kristina's recipes but I have discovered that orange juice by itself in large quantities contains too much acid for my stomach to handle. Upon drinking the original juice and starting my bike ride, I had to return and eat a piece of Ezekiel bread to balance out the acid :/So the above juice is the left over orange, pineapple and mango drink, plus 2 bananas and wheat grass powder that I had for breakfast on Sunday morning.

The salad dressing is composed of 2 tbsp cashew butter (I didn't have hemp seeds, 1/3 C water, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp beet powder (I just happened to have on hand as opposed to a raw beet- granted I have pickled raw beet that would have worked but this was faster. And shake-able.

This was dinner tonight. I got tired of the lettuce and went for one of my old favorites- 

Raw Spaghetti! 

1 1/2 spiralized zucchini
toppings of choice- red bell pepper, red onion, artichoke hearts, and black pepper are what I used tonight- I often love to use olives but I skipped them tonight since I used the artichoke hearts (no they weren't raw)

I also was a bit lazy and instead of making raw sauce I used organic pre-made spaghetti sauce.

The above jars contain tomorrow's breakfast and lunch. 

Sunshine Juice

4 oranges
5 apples (medium to smallish)
3 carrots

Juice and pour! Breakfast is served!! Lemon and ginger are excellent additions if you so desire.

Blue Moon Smoothie

Created by Penni of RawFoodRehab, it is one of my all time favorites! I made one and a half times the quantity of the recipe below to fulfill the 80-10-10 proportion requirements- or at least as much of it as I can eat!!

1 C frozen blueberries
1 C banana
1 1/2 C orange juice - I sub 3/4 C almond milk
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Blend and serve! Yummy!!!

I hope this helps encourage you to try going raw, or at least eating healthier by consuming more raw meals!! Have a wonderful day and stay balanced!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Re- Starting a More Healthy Diet

Over the winter I wandered away from being as raw as I used to be with healthy options that were more processed. I wandered away from smoothies and shakes in favor of soups that I bought at the store- a few I made myself but it's time to get back into the swing of things as I have been feeling slower and more tired- and I've gained a bit :(  
Darn cookies!! Why do you have to be so tasty!?!

To jump back into my high raw food lifestyle, I am doing FullyRawKristina's Bikini Body ChallengeIt's 14 days of eating fully raw in the 80-10-10 proportions. While I have been fully raw before and felt fabulous- and done weight loss raw plans before- none of them were the 80-10-10.
So this should be an interesting 14 days!

I am currently on Day 3 ( The program started June 1st but I started June 2nd.)  
Day 1 was pretty easy but I started to get a detox headache in the afternoon.
Day 2 was difficult and I do admit that I cheated a little-- sneaky cookies! Whaat! How did that happen?! I still had the detox headache and did my workout anyway- although I was much slower than usual as I felt like it was taking a lot more energy to get it all done. The headache dissipated around 4pm but it may come back- we'll see...

Day 3- there was plenty of food- too much really, which a couple of my friends at work were like "what are you drinking?", and "what is that?" so they got to taste my smoothie for lunch which they really liked too! 

The smoothie I made for my lunch was a little different than Kristina's recipe as I didn't have 5 oranges, only three, or any cilantro-- but it tasted great- and it is super thick! Packed full of FIBER!!! So much fiber... fiber fiber everywhere!

Every morning we drink 32 oz of lemon or fruit water to get the plumbing going, followed by a breakfast juice, a smoothie lunch, and a fruit appetizer with a salad dinner.

My Lunch Smoothie

3 Naval oranges
1/2 a pineapple
1 peeled and sliced mango
1 C de-stemmed kale
Pack into blender and blend until smooth and serve (or as smooth as your blender will allow you to get it).

I personally am having a hard time understanding how Kristina eats soooo much food!!!! It's super filling and I couldn't even finish the smoothie! I drank the glass for lunch on my way to work and had 3/4 of the jar for my snack. The salad was more than enough for dinner- it looks deceptively small in the picture.

Anyhow, another day down! I will post my progress periodically- weight loss has yet to occur but I really hope it happens! I admit I'm a tad bit concerned considering the quantities I'm eating... Guess I'll find out!!

For those of you interested in trying out the raw food lifestyle, this is a great opportunity! Check out Kristina's videos on!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Healthy Eating Makes a Difference

I recently posted an update about my personal life. My mom recently had ankle replacement surgery and her recovery is slow but steady. To prepare for her surgery she needed to loose a little bit of weight and decided to try the Ani Phyo 15 day Fat Blast, raw food diet that I reviewed here about a year and a half ago. 

In my last post I listed several "hard core" physical events that I am planning on participating in this year and next and I want to make it known that when I was a teenager I NEVER would have imagined that I would be doing ANY of these events. I hit puberty and got fat. My family is heavy. I was heavy. I have worked hard to loose weight and maintain it. Raw food has played a huge role; being vegetarian has been a large part of it. Learning how to balance what, and how I eat was probably the most important thing I have ever learned because it has influenced every part of my life.

I say this because several years ago when I went vegetarian and got into raw food my family didn't understand. People I worked with didn't get it. And now, years later, my family understands that high fructose corn syrup is the devil. I was talking with my mom and she was telling me that my uncle has decided to go vegetarian and will switch over in about a month- this is a big guy who loves his meat! Who also has several health issues.

I realized today that my eating healthy, the changes I have made, have influenced and will continue to influence, the people around me. My co-workers know that I eat healthy, and while I am skinny, it's because I eat healthy (and workout) that I'm skinny. I make it clear that I am not blessed with a high metabolism. I can not eat whatever I want and have no consequences.

So here are a couple recipes to try that will have those around you going, "what is that?", "man that smells good", "what are you eating"?

Miso Soup for One

1 tbsp white miso
1- 1 1/2 C water or veggie broth ( I like to use the concentrated veggie broth- I add about 1/2 tsp for one serving)
1 spring onion chopped
1/2 C peas
1 tbsp wakame
pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste

Put on stove top, stirring to dissolve miso. When heated through, serve! Super easy and filling! The other great thing is that you can add any veggies or seasoning you want- you could do corn with taco seasoning and mushrooms, or carrots and potatoes... be creative!

I made this shake at my parent's house and my Dad loved it!! 

Pear-an-go Shake

makes on large serving or 2 small

1 pear, chopped

1 C mango
3/4 C cottage cheese
2-4 pkts stevia, to taste
dash of almond milk to blend

Mix till smooth and pour!

Thanks for reading, I hope to become more consistent in my posts this year than I have so far- biking and work takes up a LOT of time!! But really I just have to manage my time better :)  
All the veggies are planted in the garden now so see you veggi soon!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Time Flies: Personal Life Update

It is amazing to me how quickly time passes overall and how slowly it can slog by in a day. I have been meaning to post a couple recipes on here for several weeks now and between life and laziness it hasn't happened. 

My mother recently had ankle replacement surgery and I went to help her out for a week afterward- for her time is moving slothfully slow as she is non- weight bearing and gets to spend her days sitting and wishing she could get about and do more. 

At work this past week I felt like the more I tried to get done, the longer everything took to get accomplished. 

The past couple years I have gotten into long distance bike riding- a style called touring that is more about distance than speed (mostly). It's aim is mostly for cross country travel. Last year I hit 50 miles in a day or a half century.

I am currently in my third week of training for the century ride I want to do this year- hopefully more than one when all is said and done! I am planning on doing the local Goat Ride- it is in four parts of different distances but when all four are done it equals 116 miles. Training has been going well-- except that it has been VERY windy here in Indiana making the miles pass by extremely slowly at times. Part of the problem is my bike. I have an old bike. It is very sturdy and has three speeds! It also weighs about 30 lbs! (yes I just weighed it!) Super sturdy!

My ultimate goals for this year are:
  • A half-marathon
  • The Goat Ride, August 9th: 116 miles
  • The Hilly Hundred, October 10-12th: 100 miles
I would love to try to do a century and a half or even a double century before the season is over as I am hoping to do RAIN (165 mile Ride Across INdiana) next year.
My ultimate goal that I came up with a couple years ago was to tour ride down the west coast. I thought that by riding a lot that I would be able to gain the distance that I needed to build the endurance to ride 50-60 miles a day. This is only partially true! I have learned a lot this year and plan on a more active training module this year and next. I hope to be able to do the trip next fall.

Soon I will post a pic or two of my old bike and my new bike- I am hoping to get it this week!
I will post again soon- no more slothfulness for me! Winter is over and this bunny is hitting the trails!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Help: A Book Review and Move Comparison

Well I don't know about everyone else but I am VERY glad that the holidays are over. As I mentioned in my October post that I took on two part time holiday positions at two retail stores and as a result I have been working almost non-stop throughout this holiday season. I will be going full time at one of the locations and I am actually really excited about it! In the past I didn't ever picture myself being satisfied and happy working retail. I have worked elsewhere in the past and wasn't seeing it as a permanent, long term job. I was surprised to find though, that I really enjoy the work and the people I work with! Needless to say, I am so happy about the full time position and that the holiday season is over so I can have a more balanced work/home life! 

I finished reading The Help recently and it was just as wonderful as the movie! I have seen the movie many times before reading the book and sometimes the books are a real let down, or vice versa but in this instance the book and movie were on par with one another. Both kept the essence of the story true to each other and are equally fantastic! 

There are a couple things that I really liked that the movie didn't convey as well was Skeeter's struggle as she was writing the stories down. She lost all of her friends and was shunned from the community. I didn't notice it before but, later in the movie when Miss Celia Foot takes the pie over to Elizabeth's on bridge party day, Skeeter is not there. The movie being more fast paced didn't have the time to show this struggle as well. 

The second thing is that the movie glosses over some of the more violent aspects of how desperate the times were for the blacks living in Jackson. Some of the stories that the ladies told helped but one part of the book tells about the young man that mows Aibileen's lawn get's beaten for accidentally using the white's bathroom at a hardware store and as a result has a broken leg and is blinded as a result. I think that if the producers had added in perhaps one or two more of these events that we, the viewer's, would have a fuller, truer view of the situations all three main characters were faced with in respect to the time period in which the story is set.  One part where they did give some indication as to the depths of the culture was the line by Aibileen, 
"They set my cousin Chynell's car on fire just for going down to the votin' station. "
Skeeter responds, "A book like this has never been written before."
"'Cause there a reason, I do this with you I might as well burn my own house down."

Another cool thing that would have been nice to include in the movie, although it wasn't essential to the story- hence they cut it out, was Aibileen asking Skeeter to get her books from the white library that she was on the long waiting list for or didn't have access to.
   'Aibileen gives me a dry cough. "You know colored folks ain't allowed in that library."
    I sit there for a second, feeling stupid. "I can't believe I forgot that." The colored library must be pretty bad. There was a sit-in at the white library a few years ago and it made the papers. When the colored crowd showed up for the sit-in trial, the police department simply stepped back and turned the German shepherds loose. I look at Aibileen and am reminded, once again, the risk she's taking talking to me. "I'll be glad to pick the books up for you," I say. 
    Aibileen hurries to the bedroom and comes back with a list. "I better mark the ones I want first. I been on the waiting list for To Kill a Mockingbird at the carver Library near bout three months now. Less see..."
    On her twelfth title, I have to know. "Aibileen, how long have you been wanting to ask me this? If I'd check these books out for you?"
   "A while." She shrugs. "I guess I's afraid to mention it."
    "Did you...think I'd say no?"
    "These is white rules. I don't know which one's you following and which one's you ain't."
    "We look at each other a second. "I'm tired of the rules," I say.
    Aibileen chuckles and looks out the window. I realize how thin this revelation must sound to her.'
pg. 179-180

Another thing that wasn't shown too well was the wrath that Hilly and any other white woman with means could unfold if she really wanted to. Aibileen described it as a shiny little set a tools.
    'After while, my mind done drifted to where I wish it wouldn't. I reckon I know pretty well what would happen if the white ladies found out we was writing about them, telling the truth a what they really like. Womens they ain't like men. A woman ain't gone beat you with a stick. Miss Hilly wouldn't pull no pistol on me. Miss Leefolt wouldn't come burn my house down.
    No, white womens like to keep they hands clean. They got a shiny little set a tools they use, sharp as witches' fingernails, tidy and laid out neat, like the picks on a dentist tray. They gone take they time with em.
    First thing a white lady gone do is fire you. You upset, but you figure you'll find another job, when things settle down, when the white lady get around to forgetting. You got a month a rent saved. people bring you squash casseroles. 
    But then a week after you lost your job, you get this little yellow envelope stuck in your screen door. Paper inside say Notice Of Eviction. Ever land lord in Jackson be white and ever one got a white wife that's friends with somebody. You start to panic some then. You still ain't got no job prospects. Everwhere you try, the door slams i your face. And now you ain't got a place to live.
    Then it starts to come a little faster.
    If you got a note on your car, they gone repossess it.
    If you got a parking ticket you ain't paid, you going to jail.
    If you got a daughter, maybe you go live with her. She tend to a white family a her own. But in a few days later she come home, say, "Mama" I just got fired." She look hurt, scared. She done understand why. You got to tell her it's cause a you.
Least her husband still working. Least they can feed the baby.
    Then they fire her husband. Just another little sharp tool, shiny and fine.
    They both pointing at you, crying, wondering why you done it. You can't even remember why. Weeks pass and nothing, no jobs, no money, no house. you hope this is the end of it, that she done enough, she ready to forget.
    It'll be a knock on the door, late at night. It won't be the white lady at the door, She don't do that kind a thing herself. But while the nightmare's happening, the burning or the cutting or the beating, you realize something you known all your life: the white lady don't ever forget.
    And she ain't gone stop till you dead.

The book shows Aibileen's determination that Baby Girl not grow to hate the coloreds the way her mamma and Miss Hilly do. She takes to telling her stories about how there are two little girls who are different colors but both the same- they're people. She even makes up a story about Martin Luther being different and no one liking him because he's green. The following passage shows her thinking clearly.
     'But Miss Hilly shaking her head. "Aibileen, you wouldn't want to go to a school full of white people, would you?"
    "No ma'am," I mumble. I get up and pull the ponytail holder out a Baby Girl's head. Them green plastic balls get all tangly when her hair get wet. But what I really want to do is put my hands up over her ears so she can't hear this talk. And worse, hear me agreeing.
    But then I think: Why? Why I have to stand here and agree with her? And if Mae Mobley gone hear it, she gone hear some sense. I get my breath. My heart beating hard. And I say polite as I can, "Not a school full a just white people. But where the colored and the white folks is together."
    Hilly and Miss Leefolt both look at me. I look back down at the kids.
    "But Aibileen"--Miss Hilly smile real cold-- "colored people and white people are just so...different." She wrinkle up her nose.
    I feel my lip curling. A course we different! Everbody know colored people and white people ain't the same. But we still just people! Shoot, I even been hearing Jesus had colored skin living out there in the desert. I press my lips together.

At the end of the book, Miss Skeeter recommended Aibileen for the Miss Merna column and so after she lost her job with Miss Elizabeth she was started on a  new path. I love the book and the movie both as they are a wonderful tale of how we are all just people and how the principle of- Treat Others How You Want to be Treated- has so much impact. People affect one another- good and bad and we should all focus on being kinder to others- especially on our bad days. Taking the focus out of oneself and placing it on others is most often a healing balm. So go out of your way to be a blessing to someone else- it can be as easy as offering a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or getting your elderly neighbor's mail.