Saturday, September 8

Out to Dry

One of the things I've been doing for about 5 months is line drying clothes.  I've line dried nearly every load, only one or two loads that we needed in a rush went straight to the dryer.  I thought of it one afternoon after listening to the air conditioning run and run and run because I was doing a lot of laundry.  Around here air conditioning in the hot months (and there's a lot of them!) is very expensive.  

At first the line drying didn't go so well, but after doing some research I quickly figured out how to make it run much more smoothly.  The biggest thing I learned was using distilled white vinegar in the fabric softener place to take out the stiffness in clothes.  Sadly, for this load I had run out of vinegar so the clothes were a little stiff.  Its not a huge deal, I will throw the clothes that are stiff (cotton) in the dryer for 5 minutes and they'll come out soft.  Work out clothes are perfect for line drying, the dry so quickly and dont get stiff, even without the vinegar.  I'm really proud that I'm saving money, saving wear on our clothes and saving energy.  I feel very "green" :).

I had a great yoga practice today.  I really hope I make it tomorrow morning.  It made my day complete today.  My mantra was about peace and health.  I felt I found some peace and felt today was a great day for my health.  I had a great dinner.  I baked tilapia with some tomato basil spices and olive oil.  It was lackluster when it came out so I added salt and pepper and it was delicious.  On the side I had a half a red pepper and some carrots with Greek yogurt and natural ranch dressing mix for dipping.  The dip was really good.  Im not going to lie, Greek yogurt dip isnt the same as sour cream dip but I did really enjoy it.

I ended the night talking to my hubby, it was a pretty amazing day.  I had a lot of biking and walking too- I didn't use the car.  The puppy dog is so tired!

Deployment by the numbers update:

hours in yoga: 4.5 hours
miles walked: 4.3+2.7 (with our dog)+1=8 miles
miles biked: 4.3+1.1+1.1+.6+.6=7.7 miles
loads of laundry line dried: 1

Friday, September 7

Survive and Thrive

I thought it would be fun to keep a "deployment by the numbers" tally going to document all the craziness that happens during the deployment.  Mostly they will be about my goals, but I will put a few "normal" life things to see what it comes down to in the form of day in day out things in the end.  So far we've got:

gas station fill ups: 1 pit stop
hours in yoga: 3 hours
miles walked: 0.8+0.8+.7=2.3 miles
miles biked: 1+1.1+1.1+1.1=4.3 miles
bags of dog food: 1
presents sent from my  love: 1- a beautiful orchid plant, I need to post a picture!

Today I rode my bike around.  Yesterday I practiced around the neighborhood.  I was pretty nervous, the bike is old and the gear shifts are in very inconvenient locations and the steering is very sensitive.  I went to coffee with a friend and thought it would be the perfect time to try it out!  It is a "road" bike, but for me it will be a "sidewalk" bike :).  My friend snapped my picture.

My phone is in my front pocket leaning out making me look preggo.  Oh the joys of constantly carrying around your phone and making sure it is accessible at.all.moments, just in case!

I was also excited about a couple of my healthy eats today.  One was at breakfast.  I had oatmeal in yogurt and a spiced peach.  The peach came from the farmers market, so delicious!  I felt bad taking them, 3/$1 is what the lady told me, in the grocery store they are so much more expensive.  I made the peach extra exciting with some coco powder and cinnamon on the side.

Next was a delicious salad at dinner!  The rest of the spinach (I need to replenish tomorrow at the farmer's market) some tomato (FM), yellow pepper (FM), red onion and quinoa.  Sprinkled with white balsamic, grapeseed oil and pepper.  YUM!

While Im never going to be the blogger taking professional pictures, they will get better quality wise than this.  I guess in the transfers they didn't do very well.  I will be working on that.  I do really love to lookiat blogs that have healthy foods on them, they give me some motivation and ideas.  

Happy Friday!  I'm excited for the weekend, even though Im not sure what Im going to do yet :).

Thursday, September 6

The Beginning of the End

As we like to call it, the beginning of the end has started.  This deployment is the last big thing we will have to do in the Army.  Next summer we will be moving on, starting with our RTW trip.  RTW is what the cool kids say instead of Round the World.  Lots more to come on that!  We'll be working on planning, budgeting and researching over this deployment to prepare for it!

We've always called our relationship our biggest adventure.  We see this is another part of that adventure.  It will be hard for us, we're that couple that can spend nearly every second together for weeks on end and love it.  I'm not totally sure how he can stand me for that long, I think I get tired of being around me but it works for us.  This is going to be a new phase, a different relationship for a little while.  Both of our love languages are touch, so it isn't hard to see where the problem is here.  I've come up with a lot of goals that I want to accomplish while he is gone.  I want to be happy this next 6 months.  It may sound weird but I do believe all we have is today, this moment.

xoxo, little fish

Tuesday, September 4

Bonus Weekend!

This weekend was a bonus for SO many reasons.  We found out we could go to Atlanta on Wednesday.  I rushed to try to find a hotel (it wasn't easy, there were a lot of events going on in Atlanta last weekend), space for puppy dog at a boarder and all of that.  After fighting Labor Day traffic we made it to Atlanta.

Weekend festivities with family included...

NCSU vs Tennesse football game (a friend generously gave us tickets they couldn't use)
Atlanta Aquarium
A few amazing meals; Atlanta Fish Market and The Treehouse were outstanding!
Got to see my brother's studio apartment
A lot of laughs, quality time and story telling


Atlanta Aquarium was amazing!

Me with the little bright fish :)

A MUST visit for Atlanta, there is no bad item on the menu!

Enjoying the next couple days!  There's a lot to look forward to for us, specifically planning our RTW trip.  More on that later this week!

I love comments, feel free to leave one.  How was your Labor Day weekend?

Thursday, August 30

An Update

A lot has changed since my long ago last blog.  I think over time you'll see some of the differences, but most of all the biggest change is that I got married!  I've continued my deepen my practice of yoga, healthy eating (but ditched the diet, that was no fun), running, walking, general healthy living :).

The new biggest change will be here much sooner than I'd like.  My hubby will be leaving for a deployment.  It'll be a new phase in our relationship and life.  While I wish that he didn't have to go I am determined to make the time he is gone a happy time full of life.  I hope to continue to build our relationship and myself.  A while ago there was a blogger who really inspired me.  She's since taken down her blog, but her motto was, "Survive and Thrive."  That is my goal.  Just surviving isn't good enough.  Yoga teaches that the only moment you really have is right now.  If I spend months of "right nows" upset, sad and miserable, Im not really living.

As the changes have come and gone like waves the last few years I've realized we're always in the middle.  I love the name of my blog because it is so true, Im in the middle today.  Today Im in the middle of packing, preparing, and celebrating.  What are you in the middle of today?

I'm off to enjoy a "bonus" weekend with family out of town!  This trip just became available to me a couple days ago.  I've felt like I could explode like party confetti all day!

Monday, May 23

The 17 Day Diet: Day 9 Review

I started the 17 day diet May 14th after reading through the book and reflecting on the diet quite a bit.  I’ve never been on a formal diet before, where I follow rules and such, so I’m a complete newbie at it.  Deciding to go on a diet was a big decision for me.  I don’t really like the idea of diets in general.  The reason I went with this one was because it promoted whole foods and healthy eating rather than eating whatever you want within a certain “points” or calorie scale.  So far here are my thoughts, my apologies in advance, it is long, but I wanted to give a full review :)
1-      The 17 days thing is misleading, I was very disappointed to read that really, that is just one phase.  There are 4 total phases, phase 1 and 2 everyone must do and phase 4 is more about the lifestyle.  So really, I committed myself to 34 days.

2- The diet is do-able, but it isn’t as easy as they’d like to make it sound.  I was already on the track to eating only non-processed sugars and am not a huge carb person.  So for me it wasn’t huge leaps and bounds from my every day diet. 

Dairy- I have found it difficult to cut most cheeses and dairy.  I couldn’t find the acidophilus milk, although I tried to find it at several health foods stores.  There is one more for me to try, but in the mean time I bought fat free milk to put in my tea, scrambled eggs and protein shakes.  I’ll try almond milk (which is preferred over milk) if I cant find acidophilus milk when I'm out of the milk I have now.  To be honest, I would like more of an explanation in the book of why milk is completely avoided.  I bought kefir and was sorely disappointed, it has a very bitter taste.  I have used them in shakes (1c kefir, 1 c frozen blueberries, 1 scoop protein powder) where the taste didn’t bother me, that is the only way I’ve been able to incorporate it into my diet.  I already eat a lot of Greek yogurt, so I’ve kept that and it has helped.

Sugar/sweeteners- the book suggests using sugar substitutes like Truvia.  Personally, I do not eat sugar substitutes.  Not even the ones that “come from nature.”  White sugar from the grocery store also comes from natural origins, but that doesn’t make it good for you.  Before this diet I was weaning myself off of sugar, but was still using about ½ tablespoon in the morning with my huge cup of tea.  I’ve stopped putting sugar in my tea and to be honest, I don’t miss it.  This has shocked me.

Fruit- The 2 servings of fruit before 2 has been a do-able component of this diet, no problems here!

Carbohydrates-  One of the hardest parts of this diet has been not eating my oatmeal for breakfast.  My whole life I’ve eaten oatmeal for breakfast, I’d say 75% of the time.  I love oatmeal.  Thankfully, in the next part I can eat oatmeal every other day (I think, don’t quote me on that one until day 18).

Protein- For some reason getting enough protein has been hard for me.  I don’t think it really has to do with the diet, I'm working on it this week!
Veggies- I like veggies, but wouldn’t consider myself a veggie lover.  I got a steamer to help me with the vegetable portion of this diet.  I’m doing ok, but will continue to do better this week.  Just getting in the mindset of packing veggies for snacks while I'm out is probably my biggest challenge here.

Travel- This weekend I traveled to see friends for 2 days.  Eating out was difficult.  Plain and simple, it is not easy to find things on the menu.  I packed my Playmate for the trip which helped immensely, but it required quite a bit of planning.  All together I didn’t totally fail this weekend, but it was hard.  It was also the first time I’d had something fried in weeks, my body really didn’t like it and I barely ate dinner because my stomach was rejecting it.

Alcohol- Im a wine and beer enthusiast.  How do I put this without sounding badly?  My social engagements usually revolve around a glass of wine on the back porch.  Me and {E} have a book of beers from around the world.  When we find and try a new beer from our book we make notes about it in our book.  My family drinks wine, our extended family drinks, my friends all drink.  Alcohol is something I’ve realized is immersed in my culture.  The wine on the back porch was not at all hard to give up, but the general absence of alcohol has been.  For instance, this weekend I was celebrating one of my best friend’s upcoming wedding.  It was a girls weekend, a time for celebrating, hence a time for a cute margarita.  I broke the no alcohol rule.  The good news is that after the month of dieting, alcohol in the form of a glass of wine is acceptable on a normal basis.  I am very much looking forward to this. 

Headaches- I had headaches about the same time of day for days 2, 3 and 4.  I practically never get headaches and nothing else was out of the normal so I attribute them to the diet.  They weren’t anything serious, I think my body was just letting me know it was a bit stressed with the change in food.

Exercise- The exercise is not at all difficult for me, and I do well over the 17 minutes required daily.  Just walking the dog daily requires me to be walking for 30 minutes.  I am trying to incorporate more strength training to help me get toned.

Results… what everyone cares about.  Before I left for the weekend I’d lost 5 pounds, which was at Day 6.  After the weekend I had gained 1.5 pounds back, so at Day 8 I'm 3.5 pounds under.  I'm just going to put it out there because it was something I wondered while reading the review.  People said they would lose 10, 15 or 20 pounds the first 17 days, but they gave no reference.  If I lost 20 pounds I'm pretty sure I’d be having an intervention from my loved ones.  My starting weight was 134 pounds.  I’m 5’6” and have a small to medium frame.  My general goal isn’t about loosing weight, I want to get more toned.  I am not a perfectionist, I'm not trying to starve myself, I just want to feel more comfortable in my body.  Even at 3.5 pounds down I feel much leaner.  I started trying to eat healthier and exercise a couple months ago, but only lost 3 pounds over the course of a couple months, mainly because I did eat very healthy most of the time, but when I slipped I really slipped.

If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them!  I’ll continue to give feedback as the diet progresses!

Tuesday, May 17

Not-So-Healthy Granola

I started the "17 Day Diet" on Sunday and have been doing very well.  The diet isn't far from my normal diet, but it is cutting out sugar and complex carbohydrates for 17 days.  One of the difficulties I've had is that my body is metabolizing the food so quickly that I am hungry very quickly.  So today I packed some Cauliflower Crust Pizza (I will blog about this soon!), an apple, a cup of grapes, and marinara, spinach and mushrooms to go on my pizza.  For 8 hours I thought I'd be ok, but I thought wrong.  Sitting at my desk I was so hungry I resorted to {dun, dun, dunnnn} the vending machine.  Trying to make a healthy choice I picked a Nature Valley Oats N' Honey granola bar, "100% natural."  While I imagine that this probably was the best choice out of what was available, I was a little disappointed to see the ingredients list.

#1- Whole Grain Oats- Makes me happy, whole grains are great!
#2... Sugar! 
Next was canola oil, followed by yellow corn flour before we finally get to honey.

I am really taken aback by this.  There are only 12 grams of sugar for the snack, which is equivalent to 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon.  Even before my diet I have tried to remove processed sugar from my diet.  I've also made a vow after becoming educated about the corn industry in the US to reduce the amount of corn I consume as much as possible.  Whole corn does not have the nutritional benefits other vegetables has and has been broken down, stripped and modified so much to fit into so many foods today.  I'll go into detail about this soon!

What foods have you found that have a high amount of sugar that you though was so very healthy for you?

I think they should change the name to Nature Valley Oats N' Sugar.  I'll contact their marketing team and see what they think :)