Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Busy and a bit stressed before vacation

Work is crazy these days. Isn't summer supposed to be the time when everyone is on vacation and taking it easy? I'm swamped and need a couple of good days of quiet in my cubicle to plow through the paperwork and wrap up projects. I've got five working days to get my sh!t done before I go off on vacation, so the pressure is on!

I've not been on vacation since.... since Christmas? Wow. That's too long. I'll be able to unhook my brain and the computer for two weeks. My man and I are going camping so I'm hoping for good weather. 
On the home front, I've been cleaning and organising like a mad woman. "Spring Cleaning" came late this year, ha ha! Honestly, it's out of frustation because I keep misplacing things when I can't see past the clutter.  

I'm battling vines and hedges that are growing like mad! With all the rain then high heat, they are growing like crazy. I'm going to give up and call in the professionals to do a major trim. I know it's not the best time of year to do this but they've grown so high they are reaching  the telephone and cable lines.
Some medical stuff is going on which always stresses me out.  I'm still going through some tests. Doctor has recommended watching my protein intake as he's concerned about my kidneys.
Food-wise I've been eating clean, but I'm going back to tracking to make sure I'm not eating too much protein. Especially on vacation I have a tendency to gain, so maybe this is a chance to lose for a change.
Weight-wise I'm holding steady. I'm okay with that. After last week's debacle, I thought I'd surely see a gain on that scale!


Thursday, 25 July 2013

A Fail

I’ve been a lazy ass this week, made two very bad “food” choices and the scale hasn’t moved, as expected. 
I was feeling down due to a specific issue and ate my way through a large bag of corn twists. Also had a Camino espresso bean chocolate bar. Even though I always keep a stocked fridge and pantry (eg. a variety of vegetables, some fruit, dried dates and natural almonds), I turned to the dark side… rather than going through my usual steps.
Identify the emotion: fear, loss, stress, anger, hurt feelings, loneliness, ect.
Then do any of these:
  • Go for a long walk outside
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Take a warm bath
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Re-read a chapter of a favourite book
  • Listen to some music
  • Call a friend
Alter the situation, accept it or adapt! Do not procrastinate, deal with it as soon as you can.
In my case, changing old habits and turning to a new way of dealing with problems is not like throwing a switch.  I really wish it was. It would make life so much simpler. But life is not always easy or fair. I’m thankful that this emotional eating is not a regular occurrence anymore and over time, it’s happening less and less.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Heat and fighting laziness

In this city, we get heat waves all through the summer into September and while the first blast of heat and oppressive humidity comes as a shock to the system, by the second you know what to expect. The temperatures are in the 30 to 35C range and humidity makes it seem even hotter.
During times like these, I feel like crawling onto the couch and veg out in front of the television to watch classic black and white movies from the 30s and 40s while eating salty snacks and drinking cola. 
Not going to do it!  Instead I'm trying to keep moving as much as I can. In the morning, I've been walking as briskly as I can outside. If I'm feeling the heat, I'll just work out in the basement instead: Elliptical then weights.  After work, if there are no errands to run, or a second workout, I'm tending to the lawn, yanking and whipper-snipping weeds. Once that's done there are always chores to do in the house to keep me busy and away from the television.
I keep reminding myself that when I'm lean, fit and healthy, I'll probably be able to handle the heat so much better than I can now. 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Iced tea and other discoveries

Growing up, the only iced tea I was familiar with was that powered brown sugary mix that you add to water. The first time I travelled with my man down to Massachusetts, we stopped at a diner and the waitress asked "Would you like sweetened or unsweetened iced tea, hun?" She explained that they make tea in a big batch, let it cool and stick it in the refrigerator. I had forgotten about that until this week when I was tired of guzzling water, lemon water, seltzer with lime in the heat and humidity. I made some iced tea using some Lemon Zinger and it was so refreshing... sure beats a Diet Coke! No, not adding any sugar either :) Raided the cupboard for some other teas, and I found ginger green tea then adding some squirts from a lemon seems to taste the best to me.

Today was the first day here in a while that hasn't been humid... probably won't last. I'm doing my brisk walks in the morning because by the time I get home after work, the temperature is usually up to 28C (82F) with a 35C (95F) or more humidex reading. Tried to exercise outside after work but the heat, plus humidity, plus long day at work, plus lack of sleep equals a half-assed workout! I'm sticking to mornings even though it's not my favourite part of the day.

I'm still having trouble with my sleep patterns: Still averaging about 5 to 6 hours a night. A friend recommended spraying my sheets with lavender. It worked well. Not perfect, I felt relaxed all week, so here's that recipe:
Add 1 tsp. lavender essential oil to an empty spray bottle containing 1/4 cup unflavoured vodka and 3 1/2 cups distilled water. Shake before spraying.

Have been trying a new veggie this week... fennel! I used some in a regular stir-fry and in this Green bean, mushroom and fennel salad. A nice change from my regular routine!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


It's another day of smog here in my city and it makes it harder to exercise outside. Sort of like breathing in thick air. This morning, my legs were like lead pipes and I felt like a slow poke turtle plodding along my 30 minute not-so-brisk walk. I was still a sweaty mess by the time I got back to my place. If the air is still bad tomorrow, I'll just workout indoors. My elliptical and the Rebounder are ready and waiting for me :)

Canada Day on Monday was filled with BBQ'd goodness! Chicken, burgers and the crowd favourite: Salmon on a cedar plank. We've been eating delicious left-overs for the past two days. I'm trying to keep portions in control. With the wealth of tasty and fresh veggies and fruit out there, I'm feeling mostly satisfied with my meals these days.

Cravings are still coming and going especially at the grocery store. I keep seeing my trigger foods (Doritos, Cheezy-Poofs and Corn Twists) on sale on entering the store and on the ends of a few aisles. I have to deal with this head-on. I could go to another store, but that is admitting food has conquered me. That the food engineers have me hooked forever.  It has not defeated me and will not.

The following is from the NYTimes article: 'The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food':