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Bad Bloggy.

I’ve been a bit of a slacker for the past couple of days because work has been insanely busy and the last thing I’ve felt like doing when I get home each night is turning on the computer.  I spend all day staring at one, so my eyes are totally burned out by the end of the day.  Especially during a no-lunch-break kind of week, like this one has been.

We’re still going strong on the South Beach Diet plan.  I guess today would be our 6th day and I’ve had no sugar cravings whatsoever, which I find amazing.  The first few days I felt a bit achey and tired but after a couple good nights of sleep, I’m feeling awesome.  I’m actually finding this very easy, which I’m surprised about.  If this is supposed to be the most restrictive phase of the diet, this will be no problem at all.  I may even stay on the strict phase a week or two longer.  You’re encouraged to move on to Phase 2 after two weeks but you can choose to stay on it a bit longer if you want.  They give the two week limit because of the nutrients we are missing out on from fruits and whole grains, but we are eating a ridiculous amount of veggies, lean protein and low-fat dairy (though not much), so I don’t feel as though there are a lot of nutrients we’re missing.  I’m being careful to take a multivitamin every day to supplement. 

We donated blood yesterday…always a good time.  There is always a somewhat desperate need for blood on the Rock because they have so many restrictions on who can donate and so, being prime candidates, my man and I try to donate every three months or so.  However, I haven’t been able to donate since December of 2009 because some bloodwork came back showing very low iron levels.  This time around, my hemoglobin measured in at the top end of
“normal”, which was a lovely surprise.  But my blood pressure, which has been historically low to the point that my doctor always makes the “are you even alive?” joke when she checks it, was high for the first time.  I know you can’t use one BP test because blood pressure fluctuates so much during the day, but it bothered me.  It wasn’t high, but it was on the borderline between normal and high.  So, that’s something I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Back to the SBD – here is what we’ve/I’ve been eating for the past week or so:

Breakfast:  2 eggs or 3 egg whites, scrambled with onions and spinach, topped with hot sauce OR, for my egg-hating guy, sauteed ground turkey with vegetables.  Kind of an omelet without the egg.  Whatever works.

Lunch:  Leftover protein from the previous night’s dinner with either a huge salad or leftover vegetables.  Easy.

Dinner:  Big salads, chicken, fish, and lots of steamed broccoli and cauliflower because it seems as though I *might* have gone a bit wild at the market last weekend. 

Not a lot of planning involved, which is nice, but the meals are satisfying and easy to put together.  I do have the SBD cookbook which hasn’t been featured much this week…it will have it’s time to shine in the week to come.  I’ve already flagged some winners.

While the lack of sugar cravings was the intention of this change in our eating style, I can’t help but be happy about the 3 pounds gone this week as well.  I’m sure it’s mostly water, but when your pants feel a bit better, you feel a bit better.

OK, off to get ready for work.  Have a great Friday!

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Is it Friday yet?

Seriously. 

So, we’re on day 2 of eating on the South Beach plan and so far, so good!  I’m following it mostly because I’ve had some crazy sugar cravings lately and have found myself eating things that don’t usually find themselves on my plate (or in my purse).  Baked goods, particularly, haven’t been a part of the regular rotation for years but suddenly I have one lousy muffin and BANG, I want more.  What?  Cookies are a different story…I LOVE cookies (and so avoid them as much as possible), but for a little while there, I was eating a huge oatmeal-white chocolate-cranberry cookie every. single. day.  Again…what? 

So, the thing about sugar is that the more you have, the more you want.  Know what that means?  That means that the less you have, the less you’ll want it eventually, once those addictive beasties have left your system.  Some people have more difficulty with cutting out sugar and generally, if it’s hard for you, that’s a good sign that cutting it out is the right choice!  Your body doesn’t receive any benefits from sugar consumption.  And no, “it tastes so good” is not a benefit.

The South Beach plan cuts out all sugars (including fruit, for the first few weeks), flour products and starchy vegetables (there are other things, but these are the biggies for me).  Once the initial phase is over, the “rules” become more lenient.  All in all, it’s one of the most sensible plans out there (in my opinion), as it really pushes the consumption of vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.  And NO cookies.  No big, chewy, delicious, oat-y, chocolately cookies.

Sigh.  OK, I’m over it.

As I said before, so far, so good.  Today would be Day 3 and avoiding my favorite little coffee place (where those cookies are, enticing me from the confines of a big glass cookie jar) was no problem yesterday.  I crunched away on my celery sticks and roasted chickpeas (more on that in another post) and felt surprisingly good for a sugar-free day.  I had some minor aches and pains last night, which are a good sign that my body is going through a bit of a detox.  Success!

Today’s meals:

  • Breakfast: two organic eggs scrambled with 1/2 cup chopped onions, with a splash of tomatillo salsa
  • Snack:  organic cherry tomatoes!  YUM.  With some roasted chickpeas and a light Babybel.
  • Lunch: leftover chicken cooked with onion, garlic, artichoke hearts, kale and veggie broth.
  • Snack:  same as the morning snack, minus the cheese.
  • Dinner:  steamed broccoli and…something yet to be determined.  Kind of not into chicken twice in one day, but I’m not going to lie to you…it might come to that.

I am totally procrastinating my morning routine, so I better get to it.  Those eggs aren’t going to cook themselves.

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To market, to market…

Though I’m more inclined to buy a fat fig than a fat pig, I love me some farmer’s market!

This week’s bounty:

An abundance of GREEN.

Florets and Leaves.

The only kind of eggs I'll eat: eggs from happy chickens.

My next Blendtec experiment: Nut Butters.

I’d say that it was a fairly successful market day.  I picked up:

  • kale
  • boston lettuce
  • a huge head of romaine
  • an avocado
  • a bag of spinach
  • two bunches of green onions
  • a huge bunch of dill…just because it smelled so good
  • two heads of cauliflower
  • two heads of broccoli
  • a dozen organic eggs

This morning’s load (produce and eggs only) cost me just over $40.  Given that it is all local, organic and picked about an hour before I bought it…I think this was a good deal, especially compared to the prices of organic produce in our local grocery stores.  I love the market.  I wish it was open year-round (it’s only open from November until June).

Afterwards, we went to a little coffee shop for a pick-me-up, since we were at the market at the crack of dawn.  By that I mean 8:00 a.m.  I had a bowl of cottage cheese with fresh fruit on top and a drizzle of honey…mmmm.  A quick stop at the local health store for nuts, earth balance, tempeh and a few other odds and ends and our morning errands were done.

We used to laze around our apartment on Saturday mornings, often not even getting dressed until after 12:00 p.m.  I’m finding that getting up earlier and getting out – to the market, or wherever – really makes the weekend seem longer.  I love it!  Why not make the most of precious time off?

How do you like to make the most of your weekends?

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Yikes!

My internet service keeps cutting out because the Rock is currently being pummeled by hurricane-force winds, which are no friend to wireless service.  This has been going on since yesterday evening and at one point last night, the rain against our bedroom window was so loud that we were both laying there at 4:30 a.m., wide awake and contemplating just getting up and watching a movie or something, since sleep didn’t seem like an option.  Somehow  I managed to get back to sleep eventually, but my better half spent an hour or so playing Tiger Woods on PS3, waiting for the wild weather to die down.  Poor guy. 

It seems like roads, bridges and schools are open today, so we’re going to slowly make our way into work in the car.  No scooters today – they are our usual method of transportation.

I’ve been eating SO badly this week.  I blame a stressful week at work, but that’s really no excuse.  February always seems to be a low point for my normally healthy eating habits.  I don’t know what it is about this month that makes it so blah, but my body seems to crave things in February that it normally rarely thinks about…like cookies.  We’ve committed to a healthy eating plan starting this weekend, loosely based on the South Beach Diet.  Has anyone tried SBD?  I know so many people, and read the blogs of many, many more (including the fabulous Fitnessista), who have had a lot of success on the plan, especially with curbing cravings (which obviously, I could use some help on right now).  Anyways, I have had (and loved) the cookbook for awhile now, so we’re going to give it a shot.  It really is a very sensible eating plan, and VERY close to how we eat when we’re doing well with meal planning and cooking…which we’re currently not.

Anyways, wish us luck.

In other news, time for work!  Fingers crossed that my connection doesn’t cut out as soon as I hit ‘publish’….

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Introducing…George.

There are a lot of aspects of our life here on the Rock that I would say are fairly unconventional, but most of them come nowhere near as unconventional as our pet…

George.

 Meet George.  George is a 30 year-old tortoise who lives in our backyard.  George is roughly the size of a large, oblong salad bowl, if you can imagine such a thing, and enjoys chicken (or ham) sandwiches on white, with lettuce and crusts ON, thank you very much.  And by “chicken” I don’t mean deli-sliced meat.  The tortoise has a refined palate and prefers real chicken breast, roasted or baked.  Thankfully, our landlord is responsible for his diet.  But, since he lives on our side of the yard, we reap all of the rewards of having George for a pet.

He’s been hibernating since November, so the rewards thus far have been few.  However, he came out on the weekend, nibbled at the corner of an offered ham sandwich, and then retreated back to his igloo for…another month?  Was it the ham?  Did we offend him?  Or was it just too early?  I don’t know.  He doesn’t say much.

Expressing distaste.

I love him.  He’s not exactly a fast-paced thrill ride of a pet, but if we’d wanted that we would get a beagle.  For now, he is the perfect pet for us.  And, since he’s such a fantastic model (this tends to be the case when it takes 10 minutes to gather up the energy to take a bite of sandwich), I’m sure I’ll be posting much more of George when he re-emerges from hibernation.

See you soon, little friend.

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Monday, Monday.

I took a few days away from the computer because my man and I celebrated our six year anniversary this past weekend!  Six whole years from our very first date, back in snowy Ottawa.  Hard to believe…the years have flown by.  But then other times I think that it feels like we’ve been together forever.  Anyways, we celebrated with a little trip.  We stayed on the Rock…a “staycation”, if you will, and spent a lovely evening at a resort.  It was awesome.  No computers, no cell phones, just us and the ocean (and a five-course dinner).  Good times!

View from the Rock.

It is just so ugly here. I don't know how we can stand it.

And then we came back to reality.

Before our little getaway, I snuck in a trip to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning to stock up on this week’s goods:

kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli and an avocado!

I know that it doesn’t look like a lot for a “week’s worth of goods” but we still have the bunch of beets and a bunch of carrots from last week, so we’re fully vegged out over here.  One of those sweet potatoes was roasted with some cauliflower last night and served alongside garlic shrimp and steamed broccoli. 

Roasted sweet potato and cauliflower. Mmmmmm.

I’ve been craving roasted veggies a lot lately.  I’m not sure what it is – the time of year, or just the fact that for once I actually have been able to get my hands on organic roast-ables that are staring at me from various bowls and the depths of my fridge.  Who cares?  I just love them.  LOVE.

In other news, my entire department is getting struck down, one by one, with a nasty cold.  Mind you, I am one of only two members of the department without kidlets at home, and those kids, collectively, seem to be a gigantic germ machine.  I am fighting back, however, with this:

My Savior: Effervescent Vitamin C.

Effervescent vitamin C.  Taken this way, it is more easily absorbed by the body (compared to large pills that may not dissolve completely).  I’ve been taking one of these each night in an effort to ward off the germies.  So far…knock on wood…I’m healthy.

Hmmm.  We’ll see.

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Local Harvest.

Yesterday morning, I dragged my man out of bed at the crack of dawn (also known as 8:00 a.m. in our house) and dragged him to the local farmer’s market.  We’ve been before but never went early enough to score the good veggies and were left staring at a few tables of brownish bananas and wilted spinach.  I never gave the market very much credit after that but decided, on the urging of a co-worker, to give it another shot.  And guess what?  Fabulous.

The Rock is unique for a lot of reasons, one of which being that the soil isn’t very deep (it really is a rock), so there are a lot of vegetables and fruits that simply can’t grow here.  However, there are a lot of vegetables and fruits that definitely can and I came home yesterday with a shopping bag full of them.  Observe:

Unpictured is the dozen organic eggs that I bought from the same farmer.  Cost-wise, the market was no real difference from the grocery store…maybe a few dollars more, and about double the price in the case of the eggs.  However, I got to chat with the farmer and his wife and they told me a bit about their farming practices and what they would have  next weekend, which was cool.

What wasn’t cool was realizing that I have WAY too much stuff in the fridge, so I had to get a bit creative there.  Carrots in the butter compartment.  Oh well.

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  After the market, we went for coffee and then made our way back to our apartment, which we attacked with sponges and soap until it was sparkling again.  We haven’t given it a really good clean since before Christmas and it definitely needed it.  I also put in some more time with The Shack because I’m super anxious to get to the next book in my pile!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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