Back to the (new) Normal

Okay seriously ya’ll…it is SO nice to not have to cook everyday like we were on the reset.  Like SO awesome.  It’s also nice to be able to not have a sense of dread when I go out to eat.  Today I went out with my fellow bridesmaids for my girl T’s wedding and it was very easy to eat vegetarian.  Yep I’m still doing that.  One of my friends commented how weird it was to hear me to say I’m eating vegetarian and not missing meat because I’ve always been a meat evangelist.  I told her that I’m still getting used to that myself.  But I am finding it very easy still.  I told her I’m not a committed vegetarian, so don’t flip out when she sees me with a burger 🙂

Other than not having meat, the other reset habit I have maintained is drinking a LOT of water (still about half my bodyweight in ounces) and not snacking.  After years of believing that I had to eat 5-6 small meals a day I’m enjoying eating just 3 regular meals.  It’s just easier  – both for travel and for planning – than the small meals.  It’s also cheaper and I’m finding the budget much easier to stick with, even though I’m shopping at Whole Paycheck more now.  Breakfasts I’m sticking with shakeology for now with misc frozen fruit and almond milk for now.  Although I do have a plan to have some pumpkin oatmeal since it’s getting chilly and a smoothie isn’t going to be my first desire when it gets below 60.  Lunches and dinners have been a variety of things.  Now that I’m back home from NC I did a meal plan for the week again that includes both vegan and vegetarian meals and portions large enough for leftovers (can you tell I love me a good leftover???).  As I’m new to doing my own plant based meal plan and am honestly not sure how big my servings will need to be, I picked up a few Amy’s frozen vegetarian meals and a variety of pre-made soups in boxes and cans.  I figure these are my new backups.  I threw away a lot of old canned foods in my pantry and organized my spices and vinegars and oils and grains and nuts and seeds.  The (new) normal around here is so different that it really took me a few hours to get my kitchen ready and organized so I could do better with planning.  I actually now have a list printed out of all of the spices/oils/vinegars so I won’t buy the same stuff over and over again (like I did during the reset, oops).

And the new habit I’m bringing back – it’s exercise baby!!  Since the reset was over (okay maybe including the last day of the reset) I’ve exercised regularly again.  I love it.  I have lots of energy and feel like I’m powering through them.  I have followed the reset advice and not going full out.  Since I don’t trust myself to really follow this advice, I’m making sure I do by planning exercise that isn’t too intense.  Like the elliptical at the hotel or playing Dance Central at home.  I haven’t done anything that I know is one of my intense hard workouts yet intentionally.  Not just because of the reset guidelines, but also because I’m scared of hurting my knees.  I don’t have the best knees and I’m concerned that with 3 solid weeks off jumping right into my old routine will leave me broken.  So far I’ve definitely felt stiffness in my knees but no pain, so I know I’m doing the right thing.  I’m not sure what I want to do first as far as stepping up intensity, but it may be a more gym based strength training program for a few weeks to build up my legs a little more before jumping back into the interval training I love so much.  I will tell you it’s really nice working out without the 20 lbs I had on me a week ago.  I feel amazing right now because last time I worked out I didn’t feel this light.

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow with my menu for the week and possibly a recipe to discuss.  I’m diving into vegetarian cooking with something that isn’t just roasting veggies!

Ultimate Reset: Day 22 and Beyond!

Well folks, the man and I have finished the reset as of Wednesday!!

It’s been a hard 21 days. But totally worth it. We have gained a better understanding of how to eat and how we want to eat. We have lost a combined 37.9 lbs (21.4 for me and 16.5 for the hubs). We have really changed our lives for the better when it comes to food.  We also are both wearing clothes that we have not been able to wear in a long time.  I am only now SEVEN lbs away from losing the 50 lbs that I re-gained.  All in all – there is a huge happy dance going on.  I started a new fitbook this week to help me out with the post reset life and I’m just finding it much easier than ever to make the right choices.

Do I think people should reset? Yes. I honestly do. I think everyone who survives on a lot of process foods, has a bad relationship with food, has trouble sticking with a healthy eating program, or just is having a lot of digestive problems would benefit from this program.  I think the committing to the program and really going into it with a positive outlook and a positive mindset is vital to completing it.  I also think having a buddy to do it with you or a friend who has done it to coach you through it is really important.  There were definitely times where knowing my husband was eating the same dinner made it so much easier to go forward.  This reset is HARD.  Let’s not beat around the bush here.  It’s hard because those of us who need to do is most just are not eating anything like this plan.  It is a mental challenge more than anything physical because you have to really accept the purpose of the reset for it to be something you can actually do.

Read that again:  you have to really accept the purpose of the reset for it to be something you can actually do.

For the first time, I have really bought into the purpose of something.  From my research pre-reset I really believed that it was something that was good for me and would help me become the person I want to be.  I kept that belief through the program.  My husband totally accepted this and has really studied and taken some of the nutritional beliefs to heart as well.  We both bought in.  Drank the kool-aid so to speak.  And because of this, being successful was much easier than I thought it would be.

So now is actually day 2 past the reset (I started this way before I finished it).  We both have maintained vegetarian diets so far and had several vegan meals each.  The hubs is ready for some fish next week and I’m kind of whatever on that.  I’m not really sure when I’ll actually eat meat.  The vegan days all I could think about was cheese and eggs on my plate.  That’s all I really missed.  Meat was never the main thing I wanted/needed to make it “easier” to stay with the healthier eating.  I’m not saying I’m going to be a vegetarian.  Because I’m not one in my heart.  But I don’t plan on eating the tons of meat I ate before and I no longer believe that every meal needs meat to make it a complete meal.  Same with the hubby.  I also think I may plan to do a stricter vegan “cleansing” week every once in a while just to maintain the lifestyle and to do a mini reset. We will see what happens on that front.  I think because we are committed to continuing to eat in a way that is very similar to the reset we will both maintain our losses and continue to lose weight as we (well I) add exercise.

I hope that my story during the reset inspires someone to either do the program or just really take a good hard look at their diet and make those changes.  You don’t need to do the reset to make these changes.  I did because I needed the push to actually do and stick with the program.  But I have friends that have done this on their own.  The point isn’t that you use a beachbody program, but the point is that you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed everything.  That is the purpose of the reset.

I couldn’t wait..

..so I totally hit the gym tonight. Nothing crazy – 30 min on the elliptical with mainly medium intensity. It felt AWESOME. I’ve been feeling really energetic at night and honestly, I needed this. I’m actually tired now instead of wide awake. The extra energy is fantastic- however I don’t get to sleep in so I really do need to be tired earlier than midnight.

I’m already feeling the workout a little – 3 weeks of no workouts will do that. I’m so ready to get the med/low intensity re-entry week under my belt so I can whip it into high gear. I want to start sculpting this sleeker body!

Stocked for Success

Well, with the end of the reset comes a challenge- a business trip. This is obviously altering my approach to the last few days of the reset and my entry into post reset life. In the face of a challenge like this where does a girl head? Whole Foods of course!!

I stocked my room fridge with fruit, vegan pre-prepared foods (sushi, grain salad, pre-portioned veggie only salads) and water. I also have some sunflower seeds and some vega packets. Those are NOT all for this week at all. But I’ve been curious about them, so I bought one of each flavor to try lol. I’ve never seen some of these flavors before, like vanilla chai, so I had to go for it.

These items will get me through breakfast and lunch while on the road. I decided that I would stay vegan this week as much as I can since I’m on the road and in general have less knowledge of what I’m eating. But I definitely need to increase my cals a bit because it’s gym time!!!

Ultimate Reset: the home stretch

Well, this is it folks!  Only 2 days left on the reset and we are DONE!!!  We are really looking forward to being done just because it will be nice to have control of what we eat again and also to be able to eat without such a rigid schedule.  This week at work was really hard because I had so many meetings that it was hard to get the supplements in when I was supposed to take them and all that jazz.

And honestly time?  I’m so ready to not cook 2-3 meals a day.  Seriously, that was probably the part of the reset I hated most.  A lot of meals in phases 1 and 3 do not repeat so I was doing a lot of cooking which meant a LOT more cleaning.  I was running the dishwasher 1-2 times a day and that’s only because I handwash all my pots and pans.  If I ran those through the dishwasher we would be at 2-3 easy.  That part of the program I will not miss at all.  I am a cook enough for a few meals and eat leftovers kind of girl.  I cannot wait to be back on that groove.

I also miss working out.  I got my new ugi ball for bodyrock and I may or may not have decided to pull up some workouts to do them and see how I felt.  I went slow and aimed for slow proper reps instead of going all out and didn’t do every exercise.  I can tell I haven’t aggressively worked out for a while because some of the moves were really hard for me.  But I can also tell I’ve lost some inches around my waist because I felt less interference during some of the ab exercises and the overall jiggle factor.  I was very happy about that.  I think this week I will aim for doing more walking and adding in some short BodyRock bursts here and there. I honestly did not do much working out or walking during the reset because between cooking, cleaning and work I didn’t have any time.  Also every single weekend of the reset was busy with friends and family in town or something else going on (including this weekend).  So it’s just been a very jam packed 21 days.  Now that I don’t have to spend hours cooking and cleaning (because that’s honestly what it was…at least 2 hours in the kitchen between prep, cook, clean) I definitely am ready to re-direct that energy into some sweating!

Life after the reset?  I’m ready for it.  I spent a while in Barnes and Noble yesterday and picked up a few vegetarian cookbooks.  I also now am a new subscriber to the vegetarian times.  I am really committed to having this lifestyle of vegetarian with dips into carnivore and total herbivore living here and there.  I think that is a balance that I can live with for weight loss, higher energy levels, no gastro problems, and overall happiness.  I also think that with my traveling lifestyle I can do that while on the road.  I’ve already saved Happy Cow as a bookmark on my iPhone so I can find places to eat while on the road.

Ultimate Reset: Phase 2 Over!!

The  hubs and I are finally through week 2!!  The numbers?  The hubs is down 6.5 lbs and I’m down 6!  We are wearing smaller clothes and feeling good.

I also got my body fat taken last Wednesday and repeated last night.  Those numbers are incredible.

Last week (9/12) :
Body Fat: 39.7%
Fat Weight: 105 lbs

This week (9/19):
Body Fat: 37.9%
Fat Weight: 98 lbs

That’s one week folks.  Even better than the numbers, I feel amazing.  My skin is cleared up, I am sleeping better, I am more energetic, and I’m just in a better mood.  I’m really feeling good.

Now on to the last phase, phase 3 which is the fruits and veggies phase, all the grains are optional.  I’ll tell you, I’m not really that excited about this.  There are no beans, just lots of veggies and lots of salads.  I will tell you – the one thing I don’t like about this is all the freaking SALADS.  I am loving all of the cooked vegetable meals or even the salad as a side to a cooked meal.  But salad every day is just not something I ever want to do or ever want to do again.  Today’s lunch (Day 2 of Week 3) is just a microgreen salad. Bah.  Every single DAY this week is a salad.  I’m not going to be loving this week as much as prior weeks at all because of that I know.  My office is constantly 65-70 degrees and freezing.  This is again my ONE thing I wish the reset had, warm lunch options.  I’m honestly thinking of subbing in some of the dinner options for lunch because I just do NOT like eating cold food like this.  Perhaps I should send a letter instead of blogging about my disdain for cold food?  I did read the book Eat to Live recently and they talk about the virtues of fresh fruits and veggies and I get it.  Buttttt I just don’t want to eat salad every day.  So I’m going to complain just a little 🙂

Mental Shift

I think that I experienced a crazy mental shift this week.  Today I really started embracing the vegetable lifestyle.  As in not just enduring the program but actually really enjoying the food and looking forward to eating my vegetables.  I stopped being sad that my lunch didn’t have meat or cheese and started embracing what I am eating.  I haven’t been thinking about what I’m not able to have on the reset, but I have been thinking about what I can eat after the reset.  I’ve been looking at vegan and vegetarian sites and trying to discover more plant based recipes to eat in the weeks to come, especially the week or so after the reset when we are still working the things we want to eat back in our diets.

I think the most surprising thing is that I feel really really good.  I have lots of energy, I have non of the gastro problems that I typically had daily, and I’m sleeping like a well fed baby.  I honestly feel better than I have ever felt.  At least in my memory.  I think that is fueling this desire to keep keeping it clean.  I still really am not sure I want to be vegan or vegetarian or any thing else with a title, but instead keep striving for my version of the food pyramid.  I do know that I want to have vegan and vegetarian days.  Weeks even.  That is definitely a truth for me now.  And having this experience I feel like I can’t be stupid and pretend that what I was doing was ok and healthy and eating in a smart way.  I want every meal to be mostly vegetables and fruit.  Maybe 75% at least?  Then that 25% – that’s where I can throw in some pasta or rice or even some grilled shrimp.  I want to make sure I keep drinking lots of water and staying hydrated.  I want to monitor how I feel so as I start adding workouts I make sure I keep my body fueled enough to get through those BodyRock and Insanity workouts.  I want keep my weight loss that I’ve worked so hard for and keep adding to the total in a smart and healthy way.  I want to just keep eating real, healthy, fresh food, and I think I’ve finally got myself to the place where that actually feels like it’s the right choice.

Ultimate Reset: Healing Crisis?

I read prior to starting the reset that some people experience a “healing crisis” of the skin. I kind of paid that no mind. Until the other day when I woke up with my face all red and bumpy. Not to be totally riding my own bandwagon, but I have always had great skin. Always. So having my face look like this was flipping me out. I didn’t immediately know what it was. I assumed it was reset related but thought it might be due to a reaction to the food since I was eating so many new things. Then I blamed the supplements. Finally I realized that I had no pain or itching. Just red and bumpy. So I just held on to see if it w

Ultimate Reset: Detoxing

So today is the 3rd day of week 2 aka the release week.  This week is a little more annoying because we have to add in the detox supplement 3 times a day.  That supplement is NASTY.  There is no 2 ways around it.  It’s gritty and the grit doesn’t dissolve.  My hubby is a low water and chug kind of guy and I’m a more water to dilute the taste kind of girl.

I had a good talk with the hubs last night about cravings and life after the reset.  Being that we are a week and a half away from being done, we are starting to think about what we are going to do long term.  The husband really likes the meal plan aka tell me exactly what to eat lifestyle.  I am not sure what I really like yet.  I am shocked daily that I’m sticking to the plan as well as I am but then again – it’s really easy to do this when it’s all laid out with shopping lists, ect.  There is really no reason to cheat so to speak.  So maybe we will continue with a different program that is similar with meal plans.  I still am standing firm on flexitarian life after this for me for sure.  I want to have at minimum one meatless meal a day, at least one meatless day a week.  I also want to stay off of red meat and pork, adding back fish and chicken as my meats.  I’m so torn on dairy.  I want to stay dairy free – but I also really miss cheese.  A lot of awesome vegetarian recipes do have cheese in them and I’m a sucker for a plate of cheese and crackers and fruit.  I think I may try cheese and see how it impacts me.  I will also experiment with some of the non-dairy alternative cheeses for cooking.  Maybe I can just limit cheese and yogurt a lot and still have them but not have them all the time.  I know milk is the big problem that I have with lactose intolerance, so maybe if I continue to be an almond milk drinker, that will be enough.  We will see I suppose.

We also had a good talk about processed food.  It’s interesting how for years I’ve been saying things to my husband but it never clicked with him.  Through the reset and through other research the reset has inspired him to do, he has now gotten it.  About how bad it is to eat all that processed food and that eating sugar in mass quantities begets sugar addictions. And how it’s easy to eat too much sugar when you eat a lot of processed foods.  In general this has been a huge educational experience for the man and I.

In another life after the reset moment – I totally ordered an Ugi ball, lol.  I’ve wanted one for a while but the discounts were kind of meh.  I wanted to make one but the more I researched it the more I was like I’m not sure I have the skills required.  BodyRock finally had a deal with jumping on – $30 off plus no shipping cost. Ok, it’s under my magical number of $100 now so I went for it.  I got a bigger one than I probably should have (the 10 lb one) because it’s the only one I’ll ever buy, lol.  So it will take me for a while.  I’m so excited to get back to BodyRock – I’ve been staring at the site.  I think during the week after the reset where they say do 50% intensity I will do some of the BodyRock Lite workouts since they are for beginners and just modify when necessary on reps and/or sets.  I cannot wait to get back into the exercise groove.

I had a pretty interesting conversation with my husband the other day about healthy food.  It went something like this:

Him: Hey, did you know processed food was unhealthy before this? (this being the ultimate reset)
Me: Uhh…yeah?
Him: Is that why you told me to stop eating so much cereal?
Me: Um…yeah.
Him: Yeah I didn’t realize that until I read this other article….

He went on to talk about how what got him interested in the reset and what got him to realize the problem with processed foods were the same thing – the control issue.  The fact that eating processed foods can lead to a very addictive cycle and process that leads you to really feel out of control with cravings for certain foods.

This was really interesting to me because I think a lot of people don’t understand that the crap (and yes I mean crap) foods that we eat sometimes are doing a lot more to our bodies than we realize.  Big Food knows that by loading us up with sugar and additives they create a cycle where we just buy more and more because we crave it.  It’s not just lack of will power that keeps us with our oreo cookie or ben and jerry addictions – it’s the fact that our bodies send signals to our brain that say NEED and WANT.  And then we lose our minds and beat ourselves up.

All the media says eat less!  move more!  eat low fat!  eat low sugar!  But nobody explains the addictive properties of processed foods.  Nobody really tells you that the answer isn’t really eat less – it’s actually eat natural.  Eat food that actually rots.  And nobody explains WHY this is necessary.  It’s necessary to get your body to work optimally and function correctly.  It’s necessary to get your body to break the cycle.

Is it more complicated?  Yes, no lies here.  It means doing more cooking/prepping and less heat it up and go (on the front end).  It means it may take a little longer to prep your food.  It doesn’t mean hours more, but it will be a little longer than 5 min from box to microwave to place.  It may mean taking your favorite meals and making them from scratch.  Instead of buying a box of hamburger helper, it just means buying the components in a fresher less preservative filled version and putting it together.  It may mean learning to make your own pizza dough.  It may mean making a conscious decision to cut back on meat because the better varieties of meat are more expensive than their processed and poorly raised counterparts.  It can mean starting by cutting out one thing this week and replacing it with actual food.

But at the end – it’s going to make you a healthier, happier, and yes thinner human being.