Friday, December 4, 2015

Fitness Update

I mentioned in a previous post that I joined a 60 day fitness challenge at my gym a few months ago.  I am shocked, shocked to tell you that, guess who won the challenge?   the wimpiest one in the class!  yeah, me!  Here is the white board showing my victorious accomplishments:

I just found out yesterday that I won prizes too.  I got 3 personal training sessions, and 1 month membership to a climbing gym.  Those will be fun to cash in on.

One thing that helped me win is that we earned points for eating a Whole Foods Plant-Based diet!    I also improved my fitness, attended the classes regularly, converted some body fat to muscle, and took a lot of yoga classes, all of which earned points.  The best thing I learned from the challenge was that, by golly, I can improve!  Our classes are repeated 3 times each month.  Before the challenge, I was content with just showing up to class and getting through it.  Now I log my exercise, time, weight, etc, and try to improve each time the class is repeated.  I made some substantial improvements in areas that surprised me, like some challenging core exercises and weights.  I had a mindset that I'm weak and there is nothing to be done about it but now I'm thinking I can get a little bit stronger.

Now I have a new challenge.  I'm hoping to do a backpacking trip next fall that I had to cancel this fall.  So I signed up to climb the Hancock building in Chicago on Feb. 25.  That's 94 floors.  I started training about 3 weeks ago with my basement stairs.  I started with 10 flights in a day and am increasing by 1 flight a day.  I'm up to 32 flights right now.   Fun tools to help me with that are my clicker and my stair log posted on the refrigerator.

Here are the stairs that I am becoming close personal friends with:

Bright Line Eating Update

I haven't posted in a while, so I'm going to try to catch up with some updates.  I'm on day 283 of Bright Line Eating.  However, I have fallen off the rails lately and wow has that ever been difficult.  My current streak of following the bright lines is only 8 days long.  But I'm already feeling stronger and much happier.  

I've been thinking about a couple of things Susan talks about.  One is identity.  I realized I still think it's odd and maybe extreme to not eat flour and sugar, not to mention weighing and measuring your food; and that I probably viewed this as something I can ease up on in the future.  Yet, every time I've crossed these bright lines, it's led to overeating, feeling like crap, huge cravings, and difficulty getting back on track.  I've noticed that because I identify as a vegan, I can go into stores and to parties with non-vegan food loaded with sugar and flour and, okay I may drool just a bit over them, but I have no intention to eat them because they are not vegan.   It doesn't take much willpower to resist them.  I'm thinking I need to develop an identity as a bright line eater.   Part of my reluctance is my shame that I would need to follow this kind of program for life and my embarrassment to tell people about it.  I think I just have to get over it and identify as a bright line eater who doesn't eat flour and sugar.  I'm going to meditate on it to help establish the mindset.

Another thing Susan talks about is the train analogy.  I think this is really cute and I love it.  Bright Line Eating is like being a train.  The bright lines are the train tracks.  Stay in the bright lines and you can travel the world.  Leave them and you are stuck, unable to move.  I just love this and want to meditate on this too to keep it in my mind.

As part of my recommitment, I've been following my daily checklist (readings, meditating, food logs etc) as much as possible.  Here is something fun I'm doing with my food logs:

I got the template (a word doc) from someone on the BLE Facebook page.  Then I bought these cute stickers to celebrate a successful BLE day.  It's fun.  I realized I have to combat society's constant messages and brainwashing to eat unhealthy food by using my tools and my BLE community and spending time doing it.  I have to battle the 24/7 messages to eat unhealthy food with at least a few hours of messages about what's best for me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Opportunity to Participate in a Research Study

I signed up to participate in a "Nutritarian Women's Health Study" run by the Nutritional Research Foundation.   If you follow a Nutritarian lifestyle (Dr. Fuhrman's plan) and want to participate, go to this link.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Bright Line Eating Bootcamp starting in October

In case you are interested in this weight loss program, you can watch the 4-part video series here that introduces the program.  This link takes you to the 4rth video which has links to the other three.  About 10 minutes into the video, is the registration button if you want to register.  It's a great bootcamp:


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Monkey Bar Gym 60-Day Challenge

I had to cancel my planned backpacking trip due to an injury of my travel companion.  To keep me motivated for next year, I joined a 60-day challenge at my gym.  It's fun.  And the best thing of all is that the gym owner promotes a whole-foods plant based diet.  You get points for attending classes and improving fitness, but I think you can score the most points for each day that is plant-perfect. Is that cool or what?  We also get points for logging our food.  We can do it simply by just writing down what we eat but they also suggest we could use myfitnesspal.  So I started doing that just for the challenge.  You can see my food logs there--I'm barbarawhitney182.  I don't know if I want to lose weight or not.  I'm at Dr. Fuhrman's recommended weight but I still have a tummy.  But maybe that's just life for a 55 year old who weighed 30 lbs more a year ago.   I think I won't focus on the weight, just staying on my food plan and scoring points with the exercise classes.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Updating the Blog

I’ve updated my links to the right to reflect my current thinking.  I now believe that healthy fat is an important part of my diet so I took off the links to sites that promote extremely low-fat diets.  I’ve recently discovered some vegan Registered Dieticians (RDs) whose recommendations fit very well with my experience and make a lot of sense to me.  I’ve read the new edition of Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, and think that is an excellent resource for anyone who is vegan.   I’m still exploring these sites.  The Reasonable Vegan site is not even about health.  Even though my blog is about health, I’m an ethical vegan first and this blog has many articles of interest for me.  This reminds me that I have noticed that most of the vegans I know are not any healthier than the general population and I’m concerned that some appear to be less healthy.  I think many vegans lack some knowledge of simple ways to make their diet much more healthy.  I think it’s important for us to thrive on a healthy diet so we don’t feel the need to go against our core values and start consuming animal products again.   The Vegan RD website has a few easy-to-read articles that tell you pretty much all you need to know to get enough protein and calcium, and to thrive on a healthy diet.

I'm also updating some of my featured posts that are linked at right.  It will take a few days to get through all of those.


This is a fun lunch I make for housemate.

2 corn tortillas
some beans seasoned with chili & cumin powder
little bit of tomatoes chopped
little bit of cilantro chopped
little bit of lime juice
little bit of avocado

Use these to make the shells:

My tortillas are in the freezer.  I thaw for 10 sec in the microwave, then smash them between two of these pans and heat in the oven (350 F) for, say 10 minutes, then take the top pan off and toast for, say 5 minutes--the longer the better without burning.