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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Artisana Raw Organic Goji Bliss

Day 108.

I have found the best Organic, Raw Coconut Butter I have ever had in my entire life!

They say that M&M's "melt in your mouth, not in your hand." Here is the perfectly perfect "perfectness" way of doing this in an Organic, healthy way!

This delicacy is called Artisana Raw Organic Goji Bliss. The ingredients are as follows:
  • Artisana™ Organic Raw Coconut Butter

  • Organic Raw Coconut Oil

  • Organic Raw Goji Berries

  • Organic Raw Agave Syrup

What could be better than those 4 ingredients? I have been craving something "sweet" this week. I don't have any dessert that I can have in our house. I never keep it; it would be too tempting! So, I got the great idea that I was going to get me some rice cakes and unsalted, raw cashew or pecan spread. When I got to Whole Foods, though, and was looking at their wide variety of Organic, Raw butters, I came across this one. And naturally, when the Coconut Butter was the 1st ingredient, I knew I had to have that one.

After I ate my dinner last night I decided to have just a 1/2 Tbsp of it. The jar specifically says that it's best to warm it up and spread it over fruit, bread, cake, etc. You can also add it to smoothies. Basically, you can do whatever with it. I decided to just eat it as it was; straight out of the jar, in a 1/2 Tbsp measuring spoon.

UNBELIEVABLE. When it hits your mouth, it melts. It's got a coconut flavor, with a hint of "buttery fat" meets "sweet." I decided to not even put it on my rice cake. I am so glad I didn't. I was able to take in the full flavor of it. I savored every second of it!

I am 150% endorsing this product! It's not cheap...this is not your $2.99 jar of Skippy Peanut Butter. But the nutritional benefits, full-flavor and satisfying component to it make it absolutely worth it.

You can find this at Whole Foods. You can also find it HERE from a variety of sources via the Premier Organics website. Premier Organics is located in Berkeley, CA.

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I was a little more tired today. My mouth started to annoy me later afternoon. It was about a 5/6 today. I got bloated late afternoon. My stomach made a lot of funny noises. I got sick around 5pm and then the bloat/twisted began up again. My right eye still twitching a little.

Here was my day:

Breakfast
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • Steel Cut Oats + Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein + Stevia/Cinnamon
Snack
  • Iced Protein Latte
Lunch
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with XLean Turkey + paprika
  • Spinach + Sea Salt/Pepper + ACV
Snack
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with XLean Turkey + paprika
  • Spinach + Sea Salt/Pepper
  • Orange
Snack
  • Wild Salmon Burger
  • Organic Apple
Dinner
  • Tuna + Romaine Lettuce + (Steamed) Spinach & Garlic
    + Balsamic/Sea Salt/Spirulina
  • Watermelon
  • Rice Cakes + Artisana Raw Organic Goji Bliss
Carbs, carbs, carbs, carbs....I'll talk more about these next time. Stay posted because Leah has me starting the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet. I will probably be starting on Monday. I am mentally preparing until then; making food, researching and accepting this very limited carb method to healing via eating.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Journey Along the Way

Day 106.

I learned something from the day Ryan and I spent together on Saturday about health, fitness and overall wellness.

I talk a lot about "endless possibilities" and about how great life is/how much we can take from it. But what I realized on Saturday was that if you do not take care of yourself and care even just a little about your health, fitness and overall wellness, your "endless possibilities" soon don't become so much "endless" anymore as they become "the end." And here's what I'm talking about.

The second thing we did on Saturday was take a Ferry from Pier 41 to Angel Island. Angel Island is gorgeous - you take it for what it is - beautiful. When we got to the Island, we rented bikes. We biked around the Island, for a total of about 5 miles. Keep in mind, it's not a flat loop around the island; there are definitely hills! When our bike ride was over, we returned the bikes, grabbed a little "energy fuel" and then decided we wanted to hike to the top! It took us about an hour to climb to the top. We enjoyed each and every step along the way. The views were incredible. And then we reached the top and could see every angle of the city - San Francisco is so amazing! All the little islands - the "blueness" of the sky, of the ocean - and greens/flowers/trees surrounding us. Simply beautiful!

But as we were hiking up to the top for a split second we thought, "Wow, I'm out of shape!" Now, really, my husband and I are far from being out of shape. Ryan says we're just not in "hiking shape." This all made me think, though. How much are some people forced to limit themselves because they have neglected their health, fitness and overall wellness? For many, walking up one flight of stairs is too much. If you can't walk up that one flight up stairs, then you certainly won't be able to climb to the top of Angel Island and see what we saw that day. It wasn't just the view from the top, but the journey along the way. And I pray that everyone reading this will take the time to care enough about themselves; their health, fitness and overall wellness so that they, too, can enjoy their own journey along the way.


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One final thing for today - I "invented" an Iced Protein Latte. It was so good and simple. Here is how I made it:
  • 1.5 scoops Nutribiotic Vanilla Protein
  • 1 c. unsweetened Rice Milk
  • A few ice cubes
  • Stevia
  • ~ 1/4 c. Coffee
I had plenty of great energy today. My mouth started to annoy me later afternoon. It was about a 5/6 today. I got bloated late afternoon. And then I got sick around 8pm. I felt better after that. My right eye still twitching a little.

Here was my day:

Breakfast (pre-4 mile run)
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
Breakfast (post workout)
  • Small Barista Cafe Au Lait + Soy/Stevia
  • Steel Cut Oats + Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein + Stevia/Cinnamon
Snack
  • Iced Protein Latte
Lunch
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with XLean Turkey + paprika
  • Spinach + Sea Salt/Pepper
Snack
  • Orange
  • Lean Turkey
Snack
  • XLean Turkey + paprika
  • Organic Baby Carrots
  • Spinach
Dinner
  • Tuna + Romaine Lettuce + (Steamed) Spinach & Garlic
    + Balsamic/Sea Salt/Spirulina/Fish Oil
  • Watermelon

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Salmon & Quinoa Citrus Salad

Day 105.

It was a wonderful weekend! Ryan's birthday is on Tuesday, so we spent the whole day yesterday celebrating!

I will post tomorrow with all the places we went and the things we did.

Tonight I want to tell you about the dinner I made for us tonight. I made a Salmon salad, with Quinoa and homemade dressing. I highly recommend it. Here is how I did it (served enough for Ryan and I):
  • Chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • ~ 1 c. Quinoa with fresh squeezed lemon/sea salt/pepper
  • Grilled Salmon
  • Dressing: 2 Tbsp Olive Oil + 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice + sea salt + pepper
Mix it all together. Unbelievable! A clean eat, with a citrus twist.

Yesterday I felt ok for most of the day. I did not feel good, at all, at night. I felt achy and flu-like. However, no mouth problems. Today my fatigue finally lifted. The spell since Tuesday has hopefully been broken (well, at least until last night's dinner catches up with me). The fatigue this past week was so awful. That may be almost worse sometimes than the rest of the reactions I get. I felt great today - worked out a ton. I got the red dots in my cheeks last night after dinner, which makes sense because we ate out and because my mouth is annoying me just a tad bit more than yesterday. I would say it was about a 3/4 today vs a 1/2 yesterday. I was great until about 3pm today, then I got bloated. My left side hurt (bloat) from there on out.

Here was my day:

Breakfast (pre-6 mile run)
  • Fruit Fusion
Snack (post workout)
  • Peets medium soy latte + stevia
  • Banana
Breakfast
  • Protein Pancake
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Lean turkey
Lunch (pre-workout)
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with Lean Turkey + paprika
Snack (post-workout)
  • Apple
  • Organic baby carrots
  • Watermelon
Dinner
  • Salmon & Quinoa Citrus Salad
  • Small glass red wine
  • Watermelon
And we're off to another week......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green Fridge

Day 101.

A big, fat Green fridge.

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No, I'm not talking about an actual green fridge, although I think I'd really love one!

I'm talking about making the foods that go into this fridge be "green." I was reading an article today from Food and Wine Magazine called, "Eco Checklist: Stock a Green Fridge." The article was fabulous! It was all about the ultimate eco-friendly refrigerated products.

Directly from the article, these were my favorite sites:
  • Citizenbean.com You had to know that a Coffee one would be one of my favorites! You can learn more about them at their site. However, what I really appreciate from this site is their blog - Coffee with a Conscience. I love coffee so much, but what you must know about Coffee is that it is not all created equal! The reason Leah didn't want me to have coffee in the first place wasn't because I reacted to it. It was because of the chemicals that get put into it and the way that it's processed. Not always is my cup of Joe in the morning good for me, even when it kicks me into high gear! I believe that Citizenbean.com works to resolve this problem. It specifically says on their site, "brings a new meaning to having a fresh cup of coffee."
  • Lacensebeef.com I like a good burger every now and then. I believe that, unless processed, chemical-filled or dangerous, there isn't a single food group anyone should avoid. I don't eat a ton of meat, but I know that I eat enough. The problem is, I don't eat the good quality as I need to. Welcome to Lacensebeef.com! They pride themselves on their 100% grass-fed beef. Their beef also contains no pesticides, antibiotics or hormones. It's because of places like this that I am happy to be, as Leah would say, a "Flexitarian."
  • Wildedibles.com Where would I be without seafood? I love seafood! Don't be fooled, though. You cannot just go to the store and buy farm-raised fish. Make sure it's Wild! It's so important; farm-raised fish contains PCB's. You can learn all about these dangerous mixtures here.
Yesterday and today I have not been feeling fabulous. Yesterday and 1/2 of today I had a lot of fatigue. The 2nd part of today it was a little better. I'm still tired. My body has been a little achy, too. This morning I had every intention of hitting the gym. I felt sick when I got there. I made it through one set and that was it. I didn't feel very bloated today. My stomach has been a lot better, actually, lately. My right eye twitched just a tad today. My mouth was better than the 7/8 it was yesterday, but it was still about a 4/5 today. I was super hungry today, so I listened to my body and ate! I don't expect a miracle, especially since I made too many mistakes last weekend! I just have to be very patient right now.

Here was my day:

Breakfast
  • Fruit Fusion
  • Protein Pancake with Coconut Oil
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Cafe Au Lait (Vanilla Soy + Stevia)
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Spinach + sea salt
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with XLean Turkey + dill
Snack
  • Coconut-Hemp-Nutribiotic Vanilla Protein Smoothie
  • Lean Turkey
  • Apple
Snack 2
  • Whole Foods Chicken
  • 2 pieces each of: watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple
  • Organic, Raw Carrot
Dinner
  • Romaine Lettuce + spirulina
  • Grilled Tuna + Spinach - cooked in Coconut Oil
  • Maple Syrup + Balsamic Vinaigrette + Vanilla Extract
  • Organic honeydew melon + mango
  • Unsweetened applesauce

Monday, July 20, 2009

Protein Pancake

Day 99.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! And it should be, too. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I will never miss a breakfast meal.

I love pancakes. I used to love these Honey Wheat Pancakes at the Original Pancake House in Minnesota. I would eat a whole plate of them. Ryan would eat a whole plate of the Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Pancakes are like dessert for breakfast - cake in the morning - terrible sugar to get you going for the day!

Once I started working out a lot, I discovered Protein Pancakes. I made these almost every morning. They consisted of: 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 c. Oatmeal and 3 egg whites. I would cook them with Pan Spray and then use Sugar Free syrup to top them off. Better....I was surely on my way to a "healthier" pancake.

Fast forward to me finding out that Eggs are a huge no-no for me. Now what was I supposed to do?

Today I figured it out! And now, here's a great new breakfast for all of you Fitness Buffs (or non-fitness buffs) to try out:
  • 1 serving Chocolate Nutribiotic Rice Protein
  • 1/4 c. Bob's Rolled Oats
  • 2 Tbsp Flax + 6 Tbsp Water (Yes, my egg substitute!)
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch stevia
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I did not use any unnatural pan spray (but you need to use something, or it sticks too much - try Olive Oil Spray). I also did not use any unnatural syrups (Note: To make your own natural syrup, buy the flavor of fruit you like and freeze it. As it unthaws the leftover juice makes a great, natural syrup. ie. Blueberries). I literally just enjoyed the pancake as it was. Protein. Complex Carbs. Healthy Fats. My day started out fabulous!

Here was my day:


Breakfast (Post-Workout)
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • Protein Pancake
  • Cafe Au Lait (Vanilla Soy + Stevia)
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Spinach + ACV + sea salt
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with XLean Turkey + dill
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Light Milk, Flax, 4 raspberries and Stevia
Snack
  • Coconut-Hemp Smoothie
  • Lean Turkey
Dinner
  • Organic, Raw Carrot
  • Romaine Lettuce + spirulina
  • Grilled Tuna + Spinach - cooked in Coconut Oil
  • Maple Syrup + Balsamic Vinaigrette + Vanilla Extract
  • Organic Apple
I'm starting to get fairly bloated. Left side pain today and bloat. My mouth is definitely annoyed again; about a 7/8 today. My right eye twitched a few times. I'm breaking out a little. Overall, the weekend has caught up with me:(

But hey, tomorrow is another day....and a glorious morning with my new Protein Pancake!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Out of this "State"

Day 98.

The Kenny Chesney concert started off great! And here are the pictures to prove it.

Danny doing the pullup contest.

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Shondra, Tracy & I.

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Mike & I. (So nice seeing you come all the way from Minnesota!)

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Ryan & I.

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But shortly after that, around 6pm, I got so sick. I didn't even make it to see Kenny!

I had 4 drinks yesterday: 2 glasses of red wine, then a pineapple/vodka and finally a bloody mary.

Right after the bloody mary I was so hungry. I thought I could be "normal" just for a second. So I ate a few random things at a restaurant - grilled chicken, potatoes, veggies and random seasonings, spices, oils, condiments.

I don't remember much after that. I will keep this psting as "clean" as possible, but I got sick. Very sick. I went back to the hotel and fell asleep.

I am not perfect. I have never claimed to be perfect throughout this journey. But I will say that yesterday was so frustrating for me. I wondered why I can't just be "normal." Why can't I just have one day to go out, have fun and not have to worry, worry, worry about what goes in my body?

Today a new outlook, though. What happened yesterday, while frustrating at the time, was perfectly okay to have happen to me. And it does not make me a failure. It's like the quote from Anais Nin,
"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death."
Today I realized how awful that feeling was. How terrible it is/was for my body. How miserable a state I put myself in. And it is this "state" that I don't want to be in. I've elected to get out of it - and I did so immediately upon awakening today!

Here was my day:

Breakfast (At Roxanne Cafe in San Francisco)
  • Fresh Fruit (Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Melon, Strawberry)
  • Oatmeal + Banana + Raisins
  • Cafe Au Lait (Vanilla Soy + Stevia)
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Spinach + garlic + sea salt
  • Watermelon
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Lean Turkey + ACV
Dinner
  • (Steamed) Spinach + garlic + sea salt
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Lean Turkey
  • Quinoa
  • Maple Syrup + Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion
I can't wait to wake up tomorrow, grab my cup of coffee and hit the gym!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Something out of "Nothing"

Day 96.

It's not always easy. It's not always fun. BUT....eating few foods and few ingredients can still be good!

I know a girl from back home who just found out there are many foods she cannot have, either. Her nutritionist put her on a very strict diet and is adding food in every week. Here is a comprehensive list of what she can eat currently:
  • Chicken. Turkey. Millet. Quinoa (but she doesn't like this one). Green Pea. Mushroom. Carrot. Apricot. Grapefruit. Banana. Orange. Cheddar Cheese. American Cheese. Olive. Cashew. Honey. Mustard. Maple. Crab. Barley. Amaranth. Eggplant. Celery. Cucumber. Honeydew Melon. Avocado. Grape. Plum. Whey. Cottage Cheese. Pistachio. Almond. Black Pepper.
Small list, right? Wrong! With a little creativity, a lot of positivity and a "foodie" on your side, this turns into a fabulously delicious list. And here's to you, Colette, some ideas:

Breakfast
  1. Fruit Cup: 1/4 c. each of: Apricot, Grapefruit, Banana, Grapes, Honeydew Melon and Orange (If desired - Added Protein: 1/2 c. Nonfat Cottage Cheese.)
  2. Millet "Oatmeal": Millet mixed with a tiny Organic Maple Syrup and chopped Almonds.
  3. Cucumber/Carrot/Banana Food Smoothie: 1 Cucumber + 1 Carrot + Banana
Lunch/Dinner
  1. Salad: Green Pea, Mushroom, Carrots, Celery and Cucumber. (If desired - Added Protein: Grilled Chicken or Turkey.)(Dressing: 1 part honey and 1 part mustard. May need to add a little water to thin out.)
  2. Salad: Millet (cooked ~ 1/2-1 c.) mixed with Grilled chicken, chopped Almonds and Olives.
  3. Cubed Chicken + Cubed American Cheese + Sliced Cashews
  4. Stir Fry: Grilled Chicken or Turkey + Green Peas + Mushroom + Celery + Slivered Almonds. Add just a touch of Honey/Maple Syrup and Pepper (if desired)
  5. "Pasta": Melt cheese. Add grilled mushrooms to it. Pour it over Quinoa (just try it!) and add either Grilled Chicken or Turkey to it.
Snacks
  1. Almond "Sandwich": 2 Almonds + 1 small dried apricot ring. (Apricot goes in between the almonds) Make a few of these.
  2. Celery + Raw, Unsalted Almond Butter.
  3. Freeze grapes. Eat them frozen. Enough said!
And of course, as always, eating any of those foods - alone - is a great idea! I heard an awesome quote today from someone who "gets this!" It goes,
"Eat Boring, Have an Exciting Life."
That is such a true statement. And we need to remember this when life "gets us down" about what we can/cannot have!

I felt pretty good today. I lifted this morning and did my 8-mile run tonight! My mouth was about a 5/6. My stomach was not bloated at all. It hurt a little post run after I ate. Not bloated, just things were moving.

I am so excited for tomorrow - Kenny Chesney in San Francisco!

Here was my day:

Breakfast (Post-Workout)
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • Steel Cut Oats + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • Cafe Au Lait (Vanilla Soy + Stevia)
Snack
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Light Milk, Flax, and Stevia
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Spinach + garlic
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with XLean Turkey + dill
Snack
  • Coconut-Hemp Smoothie
  • Apple
  • Raw, Organic Carrot
Snack (pre-workout)
  • XLean Turkey + dill
  • 1/2 Fruit Fuison
Dinner (post-workout)
  • Grilled chicken
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Quinoa + Sea Salt
  • Maple Syrup + Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
To Colette: I hope you enjoyed this blog posting!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ouch...Pineapple?

Day 94.

Pineapple hurt me today! I had a big plate of mixed fruit for lunch. Everything was fine until the 4-5 slivers of pineapple I ate at the end. My mouth felt so awkward. It was mostly the back, sides of my tongue. It felt like my mouth had been scalded; then got sort of a raw feeling. This was a feeling similar to what I feel daily, but for some reason this just felt way differently. My cousin told me her mouth gets like that with pineapple, strawberries and apples.

It makes me wonder if there is something to this and my mouth as a whole?

My stomach has been doing so great! And the only thing that's changed is the (lack of) vegetables! No more huge plates of vegetables. I've been sticking to pretty much just steamed spinach and in smaller quantities. My mouth was OK today, besides the pineapple incident, which still has the back of my tongue a little weird. Other than that, it was about a 4/5 today.

Here was my day:

Breakfast
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion
  • Steel Cut Oats + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • Cafe Au Lait (Vanilla Soy + Stevia)
Lunch
  • Big plate of Fruit: Watermelon, Honeydew Melon, Cantaloupe, Strawberry, (a few) Blueberries and Pineapple
Snack
  • 1 c. Extra Lean ground turkey + dill
  • Spinach + Sea Salt + Spirulina + ACV
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion
  • Raw Organic Carrot
Dinner
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • Spinach + Spirulina + Fish Oil
  • Maple Syrup + Balsamic Vinaigrette + Vanilla Extract
  • Wild Salmon Burger chopped up in Romaine Lettuce Wraps

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Endless Possibilities

Day 93.

A very good friend of mine said to me today, "The Possibilities are Endless....they really are."

She is absolutely right. I have such a burning passion for excitement, life and endless possibilities. But when she said it today, it really hit home.

She continued on with, "There are a trillion - more than a trillion - possibilities in life. Where you live; what you do; who you spend time with; ideas you come up with; on and on and on."

What is more exciting than that? There is an entire world out there - and it awaits for you and for me - for the possibilities that are yet to come. But you need to search within and find your own source of inspiration; where your possibilities derive from.

I believe that these sources are ever-changing. And that's okay. They should change. Change is good. This same friend says, "Shake it up people....change is good."

So where is my inspiration coming from at this very moment? Here are my Top 3:

Curly Girl Designs
  • Playing with words from a girl's perspective.
  • Creative.
  • Artsy.
Between the website and products, the owner Leigh and her team do a fabulous job with making any day "lighter" and "brighter." My favorite quote they have says this, "I am fairly certain that given a Cape and nice tiara, I could save the world." Every woman should have this fridge magnet hanging up!

"With words we create anything we want to create; with those creations we realize our endless possibilities." - s.k.h

inner architect
  • Social Media.
  • Marketing.
  • Promotion.
inner architect is a company I truly admire. In my opinion, they have success because they have built a great foundation. Their website is amazing. Through their website they demonstrate what they are good at, what they know and how they execute. I have heard them speak live and I have listened to them via Webinars. I strongly recommend anyone wanting to learn more about Web 2.0 to join in their next series of Webinars beginning August 14th.
"Web 2.0 is not going away. With patience, persistence and education, you can make Social Media a part of your Marketing plan. You should make it a part of your Marketing plan. With it will come endless possibilities." - s.k.h
Run Like a Girl
  • Physical fitness.
  • Strength. Endurance.
  • Mind strength.
I "Run Like a Girl" in the "Nike Women's Run Club." I am praying to get in to the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon. I attend my long runs every Sunday in Danville. It's so inspiring to see so many women there - all running together. There is nothing like running with many other people. I run a little harder, a little faster and a little further to be my best. I find strength, happiness and comfort in this - mostly because I am so proud that I can do it with my stomach still healing. It's so amazing, though, when I get done with a long Sunday morning run and I feel great!
"Sure running gets you in shape. Sure it allows you to eat a little more and weigh a little less. But what running does for me is lets me know that I am in charge of my body. When I feed my body like I'm supposed to, listen to my body like it tells me to and treat it the way I should given my condition, I see only the endless possibilities." - s.k.h.
Here was my day:

Breakfast
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Steel Cut Oats + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • Cafe Au Lait (Vanilla Soy + Stevia)
Snack
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Light Milk, Flax, Banana and Stevia
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Spinach + garlic
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with Lean Turkey
Snack
  • Banana/Coconut-Hemp Smoothie
  • Apple
Dinner
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • Raw Organic Carrot
  • Spinach + Spirulina + Fish Oil+ ACV
  • 1 c. Extra Lean ground turkey + dill
Tonight I THANK YOU, Ms. Julie Gomes, for teaching me, showing me, believing in me (and in us - in our fame) and pushing me to endless possibilities. (You will be so missed!)

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

A "Little Bit Sweet" Homemade Marinade

Day 90.

Wow! Today is the 3-month mark! Unbelievable! Time goes so quickly!

2 items of interest today:
  1. My new homemade marinade
  2. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition
1. I was craving grilled chicken lettuce wraps. (I made them both last night and tonight.) However, I was craving my grilled chicken to be a little bit sweet. Back in the "old days" (prior to 90 days ago) I would have gone to Safeway and grabbed the first "fat free honey mustard" (heck, fat free, Splenda-laden anything I could find) there was. Not now! Now it's up to me to create this perfect "little bit sweet" marinade. So here is how I created it:
  • Whole Foods 100% Certified Organic Maple Syrup
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  • Whole Foods Organic Vanilla Extract
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  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
And that was it! I mixed about 1/2 each of the Maple Syrup/Balsamic Vinaigrette. I put just one or two drops of the vanilla in. It was perfect. It was free of preservatives. No chemicals. Purely delicious!

2. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition: I have been thinking of this school so much lately. About 2 years ago I left my Corporate job at Robert Half International. Enough was enough, and one day I just upped and left. I essentially "started over." It was a blessing in disguise. I spent a few months concentrating on me, where my heart was and what I wanted to do with my life. That ultimately landed me in Health and Fitness at ClubSport in San Ramon, but I tossed around the idea at that time of going to The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. The thought has never left my mind.

Lately, I've been hearing and reading so much about them. They just got a Distance Learning program, too. I believe it would be great for me study with them. I'm not saying that it will lead me to a full-time career as a health counselor, (but you never know) but it fascinates me and I might like to see just what I could do with it!

And besides, knowledge is power. Knowledge gives me the power to promote people, places, ideas and things I believe in - heath, fitness and nutrition at the top of that list!

I have been feeling pretty good, as far as my stomach is concerned. My mouth has been some more annoyed. Today it was probably about a 6/7. Not good....but, breathe....

Here was my day:

Breakfast #1 (Pre-workout)
  • Fruit Fusion
  • Steel Cut Oats + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • (2) Red Grapes (on accident!)
  • Baristas Soy Latte (Not on accident!)
Lunch (post-workout)
  • Albacore, no salt, tungol tuna
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa
  • Raw Carrot
Dinner
  • Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps + homemade marinade
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Glass of Red Wine
Up early tomorrow to run 6 miles "Like a Girl" in Danville!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just a Good Week

Day 88.

It's been a really great week. And I have to say that I cannot even say why, as there hasn't been anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes things are just as they should be.

I have been feeling pretty good this week. I had no stomach problems yesterday. I have had no stomach problems today, either. I noticed something with my mouth: it gets annoyed post-solid food. It was annoyed about a level 5/6 after my breakfast and lunch today. It was not annoyed after any of my smoothies. I wonder about that. I will test this theory again tomorrow to see what happens.

And speaking of tomorrow - Happy Friday Eve!

Here was my day:

Breakfast #1 (Pre-workout)
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Applesauce
Breakfast (Post-workout)
  • Steel Cut Oats + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
Snack
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Shredded Coconut, Flax, Banana and Stevia
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Spinach + garlic
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with Lean Turkey and ACV
Snack
  • Banana/Coconut-Hemp Smoothie
Dinner
  • 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • Spinach + Spirulina + Flax + ACV
  • 1/2 can Tungol no-salt Tuna
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Banana/Coconut-Hemp Smoothie

Day 86.

I made the most wonderful smoothie today. I call it my Banana/Coconut-Hemp Smoothie. Here were the ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp Trader Joe's Vanilla Hemp Protein Powder
  • About 1/2 Tbsp Coconut flakes
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1/2 Banana
  • Water + ice
It's such a quick and easy "re-fueling" food, too. I had it before my night workout. This hemp protein powder is from Trader Joe's. In 2 Tbsp there are 11 g/fiber! There are barely any ingredients in the hemp powder, so I find it to be the only protein powder I will put into my body. This is what the powder looks like:

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Light, fluffy and green. Don't be afraid of the color! For more information on Hemp, click HERE.

I felt pretty good today. I had good energy! My mouth would go in-and-out of being annoyed. It went from a 2/3 to a 6/ today. Odd! My stomach was bloated for a few hours in the early evening. It hurt some to run. Just twisted, that's all. Breathe.....

Here was my day:

Breakfast #1 (Pre-workout)
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion
Breakfast (Post-workout)
  • Steel Cut Oats + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • 1/2 Chicken Apple Link
Snack
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Milk Light, Flax, Banana and Stevia
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Spinach + garlic
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with Lean Turkey and ACV
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
Snack (pre-workout)
  • Banana/Coconut-Hemp Smoothie
Dinner
  • 1/2 Chicken Apple Link
  • 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • Spinach + Spirulina
  • Organic Apricot
I hope you made it a beautiful day today! If not, make tomorrow one!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quinoa

Day 85.

I had a delightful lunch (and dinner) today centered around Quinoa.

Quinoa is a grain that's okay for virtually everyone, even Celiacs or other people that have a hard time digesting grains. Quinoa is sort of a "nutty" grain. It is packed full with nutrients, tastes wonderful and yet it's still not very common in most kitchens.

You will typically always find it in the Hoffman kitchen!

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Here are the top three reasons why I believe you need to run out to the nearest Whole Foods and get yourself some Quinoa:
  1. Quinoa is a grain and yet it is a complete protein.
  2. Quinoa makes itself useful all meals of the day (breakfast cereal, lunch and dinner grains, soups and even added to desserts like muffins or cake).
  3. Quinoa has no sugar and almost 3 g/fiber per serving.
You can find more about these 3 facts, along with many others HERE.

I felt okay today. My mouth was about a 6/7 for most of the day, until about 4pm, when it magically started going away. It stayed about 1/2 the rest of the day. My stomach did well today. I did not have any movement through me, though, which is not good. About 6pm is when it started to twist and turn a little. I feel tired tonight. But overall great energy today.

Here was my day:

Breakfast #1 (Pre-workout)
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • Tiny Coffee + Unsweetened Rice Milk
Breakfast (Post-workout)
  • Steel Cut Oats + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • 1/2 c. coffee + unsweetened rice milk + stevia
Snack
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Milk Light, Flax, Banana and Stevia
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Zucchini, cucumber, spinach + garlic
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa mixed with Lean Turkey and ACV
Snack
  • Hemp Vanilla Protein smoothie with banana and stevia
Dinner
  • (Steamed) Zucchini, spinach + garlic + sea salt
  • Fish oil + spirulina + ACV
  • 1/2 c. quinoa
  • Wild Salmon Burger
  • 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
Enjoy yourself some Quinoa!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lake Del Valle

(Still on) Day 84.

It was such a perfectly beautiful day today!

After my first blog posting this morning, Ryan and I decided that we were going to go hiking today.

We had breakfast, got ready and stopped by Peets to grab a latte. Ryan laughed at me because I sat there and stared at the latte, the milk and how the whole thing glistened in the sunlight. I was just enjoying its beauty.

After Peets, we went to VW (I'm looking to buy a new Jetta). We stayed there for about an hour, but told them we had to be somewhere at noon.

And we did - Lake Del Valle in Livermore!

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We went on about a 5 mile hike at Lake Del Valle. It was beautiful. I could feel the sun hit my skin just perfectly today.

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The lake was gorgeous. As a matter of fact, at times I thought the lake was a turquois color - reminded me of the ocean. The trees were calming and I saw a few willows, too.

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We stopped for a quick break, just to take in the beauty.

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The time just flew - 5 miles seemed like a mile stroll.

When we got home, I went for about a 3 mile run, since I needed to for my training. It was a nice run. I was so hot when I got home. I decided that a nice, long Epsom Salt bath would do me well. And it did. Felt great!

Ryan and I enjoyed an Ahi Tuna meal together. Grilled Ahi is so good. Better yet, grilled Wild Ahi!

I'm so happy I was able to end the weekend with zen!

I felt okay today. My stomach was upset first thing this morning. I expected that, though, as we drank a lot of Coconut Rum to celebrate the 4th! I got a little bloated before my run. The run and then the bath alleviated that problem. My mouth was okay yesterday, maybe only like a 4/5. Today it's been more like a 5/6. When it starts getting bad, I've just been reminding myself - breathe.

Here was my day:

Breakfast
  • Rice & Shine + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • Banana
  • Small Peets Soy Latte + Stevia
Lunch (Pre-Run)
  • Organic Apple
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion
  • Spinach + ACV + Sea Salt
Dinner
  • Spinach, Zuchinni, Garlic + ACV + Sea Salt + Fish Oil + Spirulina
  • Ahi Tuna
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
Have a beautiful week!

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"Foodie" turned Foodie

Day 84.

I have come to a realization about why this whole journey is frustrating for me.

Sure, it's frustrating that there are so many things I feel I'm restricted from: Cake, ice cream, chips, candy and daily Soy Lattes. (But gross - how unhealthy - except that Soy Latte!)

But this is not the root of it all. The real root of it all is that I feel as thought I'm restricted from the delicacies that I love. I'm a "foodie," or at least I'm a self-proclaimed "foodie." I've loved food my entire life, but it wasn't until later in life when I began to appreciate, savor and grasp the concept of good food.

I could take any craving at hand and turn it into a healthier version to satisfy. Here are a couple examples:
  1. When I wanted something sweet and creamy, I would take 1 container of Voskos 0% and add to it 1 pack of stevia and 3/4 c. blueberries. It was perfect.
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  2. When I wanted salty, I would grill tofu and baby shrimp. Then I may put honey mustard on it or BBQ or just plain sea salt. I might mix it with broccoli, edamame or baby corn.
Both of these are simple. They are healthy. They were satisfying to me. I miss them.

It's funny how being a self-proclaimed "foodie" can play these mind games with someone who can't actually be a "foodie." Then again, perhaps I'm still entitled to be a "foodie," despite my disadvantages in "that" world.

So I researched: What does being a "foodie" actually mean? Who is a "foodie?" According to the Wikipedia a "foodie" is:
An amateur who simply loves food for consumption, study, preparation and news. A foodie wants to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food. For this reason, foodies are sometimes viewed as obsessively interested in all things culinary.
The Wikipedia also has "Persuits" for "Foodies." Here they are:
  • Typical foodie interests and activities include the food industry, wineries and wine tasting, food science, following restaurant openings and closings, food distribution, food fads, health and nutrition, and restaurant management. (Side Note: Nutrion, found here, is extremely interesting to me.)
  • A foodie might develop a particular interest in a specific item, such as the best egg cream or burrito. (Side Note: I will never be on the hunt for the best egg cream or burrito, as I'm sure you can imagine! I am on the hunt for the best red wine, the best protein and the best overall concoction, among many others.)
  • Many publications have food columns that cater to foodies.
  • Interest by foodies in the 1980s and 1990s gave rise to the Food Network and other specialized food programming, popular films and television shows about food such as Top Chef and Iron Chef, a renaissance in specialized cookbooks, specialized periodicals such as Gourmet Magazine and Cook's Illustrated, growing popularity of farmers' markets, food-oriented websites like Zagat's and Yelp, publishing and reading food blogs (a number of people photograph and post on the Internet every meal they ever make or consume), specialized kitchenware stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La TAble, and the institution of Celebrity Chef. (Side Note: I guess I'm already in this category, with my food blog. Additionally, I believe that Williams-Sonoma is one of the most fun stores. Most of our kitchen items are from Williams-Sonoma. I believe that food tastes better and looks better when it's on the right dishes. We have the Apilco Edwardian Windows Dinnerware. You can see them here.)
Perfect! This is Sarah Kay Hoffman. I am definitely a "Foodie." And since I have come to this understanding I won't say "Foodie" anymore, I'll just say Foodie. I believe that it's time for me to stop feeling bad about what I cannot have, shift my thinking and make magic happen from what I can have. Ryan said this to me on Friday, "You already know you can work magic…sometimes you just have to be patient for your magic to happen, though!" And he's right - after all, I'm a foodie. I should be able to make magic happen from anything.

Have a beautiful Sunday. I'll be back later tonight.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Only in America

Day 83.

I had another bad day yesterday. I was super tired, my stomach was bad and my mouth was a level 7/8. I'm not sure what's going on.

BUT, I do know what's going on today. It's July 4th - Independence Day. I will pay my respects to this day.

What do I think of when I think, "4th of July?"

1. We are so fortunate to live in the United States of America. We have so many things in this country that people from around the world could only wish they had.

I was at the park a few weeks ago when I overheard one lady speaking to two girls, both under the age of 18. She was telling them how, "America is such a bad place. There are bad people here, with a government that only makes bad decisions." It took everything in me to keep quiet, as I could not have disagreed with her more. I was frustrated and felt an anger that I do not like to feel. If America is really so bad - if our current government is really so bad - then no one is forcing anyone to be here!

We have men and women who are currently serving this country, who are risking their lives and being taken away from their families and their friends - men and women who are doing this now and who have done this for as long as this country has achieved its independence. I believe that these people are truly heroes - they deserve the utmost respect.

2. I think of Eric Church's Song, "How Bout You."

"I cover my heart with my hat,
When they fly that Red, White and Blue,
Just like my Daddy taught me:
How 'bout you?"

3. I think of my Father's passion towards the American Flag every 4th of July. This resonates with me. He is as American as they come. My Father even makes American Flag art for people. My Father assembles and my Mother does the painting on these (yes, each and every one of those stars!)

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4. I think of many 4th's, being with good friends and family in Minnesota. I remember back to that feeling when we're listening to "God Bless the USA," and they say, "From the Lakes of Minnesota...."

5. Finally, I think of Brooks 'n Dunn's entire song, "Only in America."

"Sun coming up over New York City
School bus driver in a traffic jam
Starin' at the faces in her rearview mirror
Looking at the promise of the Promised Land
One kid dreams of fame and fortune
One kid helps pay the rent
One could end up going to prison
One just might be president

Only in America
Dreaming in red, white and blue
Only in America
Where we dream as big as we want to
We all get a chance
Everybody gets to dance
Only in America

Sun going down on an La. freeway
Newlyweds in the back of a limousine
A welder's son and a banker's daughter
All they want is everything
She came out here to be an actress
He was the singer in a band
They just might go back to Oklahoma
And talk about the stars they could have been

Only in America
Where we dream in red, white and blue
Only in America
Where we dream as big as we want to
We all get a chance
Everybody gets to dance
Only in America

Yeah only in America
Where we dream in red, white and blue
Yeah we dream as big as we want to."

Enjoy your 4th of July - appreciate the day - and smile, when you remember that we live in America!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Soup

Day 81.

I have broken my "food-rut," even if for just one meal. Leah gave to me half of the idea. I provided myself with the other half.

It's my own soup. A simple soup. I'll just call it Sarah Kay Hoffman's Simple Soup. Here are the ingredients:
  • (Steamed) Cucumber, yellow tie squash, carrots, zucchini
  • Organic, Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Quinoa
  • Lean turkey meat + onion
  • Pinch of sea salt + a pinch of cayenne pepper
That's all. (It looks a little crazy, but it tastes so great!)

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My stomach was not very good again today. Tonight it was definitely not good. It felt like it was rotting. It felt like it used to when I ate a lot of dairy. My mouth was also not pleasant again today. It increased throughout the day to arrive at a 6/7 or 7/8. I had to shift my attention several times throughout the day today to make me think only positive thoughts. It worked!

Here was my day:

Breakfast #1 (Pre-workout)
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • Tiny Coffee + Unsweetened Rice Milk

Breakfast
(Post-workout)
  • Rice & Shine + Unsweetened Rice Milk+ Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder
  • 1/4 Fruit Fusion
  • 1/2 c. coffee + unsweetened rice milk + stevia
Snack
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Milk Light, Flax, chlorella and Stevia
Lunch
  • (Steamed) Carrots, squash, zucchini, cucumber, spinach + garlic
  • (tiny) Baby Organic Spinach
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion
  • Green Tea
Snack
  • Banana
  • Pineapple, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, strawberry
Dinner
  • (Steamed) Carrots, squash, zucchini, cucumber, spinach + garlic
  • Fish oil + spirulina + 1 Tbsp flax a little sea salt
  • Sarah Kay Hoffman's Simple Soup.
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Layer Cake

Day 80.

My stomach has been blah again. My mouth has been blah again. My mouth was probably about a 6/7 today. I'm frustrated; won't lie. I haven't felt any tongue twitching in quite some time again. That's never a good sign. I don't feel very stressed, either, which is why it's odd to me that I don't feel so good.

I can't focus on negative today. Since I feel negative, I'm shifting my mind to think positive.

Layer Cake.

No, I'm not talking about a triple-chocolate cake with frosting and sprinkles (although that sounds great right now...of course, dairy, egg, soy, wheat, gluten and sugar free)! Ok, I digress....I have something even better - Layer Cake - the wine.

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We were introduced to this wine by our friends a few weeks back. We have been hooked ever since. I was never a huge fan of red wine. Actually, until we moved to California some over two years ago, I was not a fan of wine at all. I started out drinking solely Champagnes or White Wines. Then, my palette began to have a yearning for reds over the whites.

That being said, I have a sweet tooth by nature. Naturally, then, I like port wine (in small doses). I've been looking for my perfect combination in a red wine. I wanted sweet, but not too sweet. And then I found it with Layer Cake.

Layer Cake gives a sweet taste when it hits the lips. But then it's not so sweet that you can only have a few sips (I could probably drink a bottle). Layer Cake tells my palate that it's a mix of fruits with a hint of chocolate. There are many different Layer Cakes: 2006 Layer Cake Shiraz, 2007 Layer Cake Malbe, 2006 Layer Cake Cotes du Rhone, 2006 Layer Cake Primitivo aka Zinfandel, 2007 Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2007 Layer Cake Primitivo/Zinfandel, Pulgia, Italy and 2008 Layer Cake Shiraz, South Australia. I have only tried the 2006 Shiraz; perhaps I'm scared to venture out from that now!

You can learn all about Layer Cake from their press release here or via there trade tools here.

You can buy Laker Cake from Vintage Point here.

My day for food was the same as yesterday. And still I feel the same. But not to worry, I'm going to go have me a glass of Layer Cake now! Cheers!