Thursday, March 31, 2011

It is time!

All right, here I am...ready to face facts.

Fact: I weighed a healthy 133 lbs before getting pregnant with Leo. I was running 5 miles at least 3 times and week and feeling and looking fairly great. It wasn't perfection and I wished that I could lose another 5-10 lbs to get back to where I was in college, however it was good and I felt good.

Fact: I gained about 40 lbs during pregnancy, tipping the scales at 175 right before birth. Yes, this is more than the recommended, but I was still exercising daily and so I think it is just what my body needed...obviously. The doctor I went to had me very concerned about what I was eating and I quickly figured out that it didn't matter if I was a saint or sinner about my diet, I kept gaining what Leo sure I splurged here and there but I really was pretty good about my eating during pregnancy because I loathed getting on that scale at the doctor and having them tell me again to watch it.

Fact: I came home from the hospital 20 pounds lighter...but that is what happens when your baby is 9 pounds of it! Plus I had more than the "normal" amount of fluid and we all know that water weighs a lot.

Fact: The scale has been stuck for the last few weeks. I started to shed pounds when I got home and then I hit 150 and have been stuck. Ugh. Obviously this whole "I can eat whatever I want because I just had a baby and I am nursing" mentality is not going to get me my pre-pregnancy body back. Even though I have been hitting the gym (and even ran outside this week for the first time!) I am not losing pounds. Sure I feel stronger and more like normal, but call me vain because I want to be 133 again! And I want my regular clothes to fit again...yes, I can get them on now, but that doesn't mean that they look or feel great.

So even though I want to live in fantasy land forever where I can do whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it, it is time to get my body back on track. So here we go Skinnies...

Starting weight - 148lbs

Long term
weigh 133 lbs
have toned arms
fit comfortably into pre-pregnancy clothing

Short term
eat balanced meals
exercise daily
drink lots of water

I will report next week!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kathy Week 65: Welcome Spring!

We had a wonderful Spring Break vacation trip to visit family, but it was hard to "behave" completely on my eating. This morning the scale said "136." I'm sure having a tough time getting my weight to 130-ish, where I would like it to be!
I hope the spring weather will help. We got out for a short hike today along the Salmon River Trail, one of my favorites.

The trail goes right along the river for most of the way - lots of views of the fresh, sparkling water. Oh, the air smells so good!

Everywhere along the trail there are little streams and waterfalls that come rushing down the mountain toward the river. So pretty!

We hiked a mile or so along the river, then turned around to head back to the car. It was starting to rain, and getting a little late. But we'll be back out for more hikes again soon!

Recipe Alert!

Back at home after the hike, I tried out two new recipes this evening.

My, oh my, they are so very yummy. Luckily I snapped a couple of photos before we gobbled them up, so I can show you this deliciousness, and I will give you the links to the recipes, too.

Avocado and Papaya Salad

I found the recipe here.

I made these changes:
1. Added a few blueberries. They look beautiful and are full of anti-oxidants. So healthy, so yummy.
2. Used Annie's Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette salad dressing instead of making the dressing in the recipe. The recipe was headed that direction anyway. Have you tried this dressing from Annie's? It's SO GOOD and only 40 calories for 2 Tablespoons.
3. I wish I'd torn up the lettuce leaves before putting the fruit on top. It was kind of a pain to cut them up for eating.

Roasted Asparagus with Olive Vinaigrette

The recipe is from the Real Simple magazine, here.
We've had it two nights in a row now, and I am going to have to buy some more asparagus. Mark and I both in love with this recipe.

The only things I did differently were:
1. I cut the recipe in half, since there are only 2 of us.
2. I used fresh cilantro instead of parsley. Yum yum yum.

Seriously, we agreed that both of these recipes taste better than what you get in a fancy restaurant, but they are so simple and healthy.

Oh, and by the way...papaya. I bought this fruit for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We had it fresh when we were in Guatemala, but for some reason I never tried it here in the U.S. What was I waiting for???

If you haven't tried it yet, here are my papaya recommendations:
1. For your first adventure with papaya, buy the smaller kind of papaya, which comes from Hawaii. It looks a little larger than a pear. The bigger kind is the same shape as a small football, and it's a lot of fruit to consume. The smaller ones aren't so overwhelming. They cost more per pound, but go ahead and just buy one to see how it works out for you.
2. When you buy it, you shouldn't detect a fruity smell. Once the papaya has that fruity smell, it's overripe, and it won't taste as good.
3. I looked online at this website to learn how to cut it up. I hadn't known they have so many seeds! The seeds are edible...a little spicier than we like at our house, but they might be just the thing for you. Or you could plant some and get a cool plant like this one.

Well, Skinnies, that's all I have for this week! I hope the spring is lovely wherever you are, and that you are getting out and getting some healthy exercise. I get to start my yoga class with my husband again on Monday night--hooray!!--and I'll be getting out for some runs, too. See you next week!
One last pic from our Salmon River hike today.
Yes, that is SNOW in the foreground.
Hurry up, Spring!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lets make today a good one!

I ran! Well, kind of. I ran on the treadmill...I know a lot of people count that as the same as running outside; I don't but I consider it a great precursor! I have been doing the elliptical for two weeks as recommended by my doctor to get my insides firmed up and used to the extra movement, but today I jumped on the treadmill instead. (I was feeling pretty amazing after 6 hours of blissful, silent, uninterrupted sleep!) I was surprised at how quickly I found my rhythm again! The last time I ran (5 miles) was December 10th!

So there is hope...if you have skipped a workout one too many times and now think "I can't do will be so hard to start back up...blah blah blah" GET OVER IT! You can do it! Get out there and get some exercise today! Statistics say the "average American" is about 20 pounds overweight...and you definitely don't want to be just "average" do you???

And in case you are in need of a quick dessert to satisfy those sweet cravings, here is one I have come to love!

There isn't really a name...should I take suggestions???

Cube angel food cake and put in pyrex (or something). Mix up one small box of sugar free vanilla pudding with 2 cups skim milk and wisk in about a 1/2 cup fat free sour cream. Pour over the angel food cake. Open a can of lite pie filling (so far blueberry and cherry have been the best) and pour on top of the pudding. Chill and serve! :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kathy Week 64: Magical Shoes

The Fairy Tale of the Magical Shoes

nce upon a time there was a princess who dreamed of running. In her dreams she felt light and free as she sped across the land. But when she tried to actually run, she felt heavy and clunky. It felt nothing like her dreams. She was sad and discouraged.

The king and queen worried about their princess. They watched her from the castle window as she ran around and around the moat, huffing and puffing in her heavy old clunky shoes, and the king had a wonderful idea. He would obtain magical shoes for his little princess so she could run as free as her dreams.

The king called in the best cobbler in the land to make the magical shoes for the princess. He sent runners to every corner of the world to find the best, most magical shoe materials. The elves and fairies pitched in to help, and before long, the shoes were ready. They were white and silver, they sparkled in the sun, and when the princess wore them, she could run faster than ever before.

Alas, she still huffed and puffed. Even with magical shoes, she still had to keep running every day to get a little stronger every day. But with the magical shoes she had more spring in her step, she could feel the energy coursing through her muscles, and as she kept after it, week after week, she began to feel light and free as she sped across the land.
The End running shoes! Aren't they just the best! They do feel magical, for sure. We live in such an amazing world, where something like running shoes, composed of parts from around the world, and manufactured halfway around the globe, can be purchased just around the corner. It is a little like a fairy tale, when you think about it.

I've know for a while that it was time to replace the ones I bought last year. So I've been saving up, and this week I went back to the Portland Running Company to buy some new running shoes. Magical! They are the same brand and model I bought last year (why fix it if it ain't broke?) but I definitely notice the difference.

And then...since I'm such a novice runner, and since I'd been saving up my pennies...I asked the clerk for recommendations for running pants. Oh, my! These make a difference, too! I was surprised at how they feel. Their snug fit feels good when I run. She talked me into a shirt made out of the technical fabric that wicks away moisture--not that I sweat hard enough to notice it yet--but it feels good and I know I'll get years of wear out of my new running clothes.

I had an interesting "ahah!" moment yesterday. Mark and I were laughing and reminiscing about a memory from our trip to Guatemala in 2004. We had gone to the Mayan ruins of Tikal, and we were huffing and puffing along the trail to one of the pyramids. I remembered thinking at the time that it was embarrassing that I was so out of breath. But it hit me yesterday--I weighed 175 pounds back then! The "ahah!" moment was the realization that now I weigh 40 pounds less than that.

Wow--I am healthier at (almost) 57 than I was when I turned 50. I am maintaining a healthy weight, I can run and lift weights and do yoga, and I am eating better than ever.

Speaking of eating...that little "letter to my mouth" I posted last week actually helped me get my head straightened around about making food choices, and I've been doing much better this week. I followed most of the recommendations for an "elimination diet" in Dr. Alejandro Junger's book, Clean. I first heard about the book in this article in Outside Magazine. The article piqued my interest, so I bought the book. I'm not sure I agree with all of his ideas, but he had some suggestions that really got me thinking.

For the last week, I have not eaten any of the following foods:

The "NO" List:
Citrus, grapes, bananas, dairy, eggs, gluten grains (wheat, oats), beef, pork, soy products, peanuts, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, butter, margarine, mayonaise, alcohol and coffe (I don't use those anyway), soda, refined sugars, honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, chocolate.

Here's what I've been eating instead:

The "YES" List:
All fruits except the ones listed above, all vegetables (preferably fresh), dairy substitutes (rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk--unsweetened--YUM!!), brown rice, quinoa, other non-gluten grains, fish, chicken, turkey, lean lamb, split peas, lentils, legumes, sesame/pumpkin/sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds, walnuts, nut and seed butters, olive oil and other healthy oils, water, herb tea, agave nectar (small amounts), stevia sweetener

How did the week go?

To my surprise, I have not been hungry. I thought I would miss my favorite breakfast, but I switched over to brown rice for breakfast, and I actually like it better. I bought some gluten-free crackers and I've had a little turkey or kale butter on them at lunch instead of a sandwich.

(If you're going to use brown rice, follow Polly's suggestion and go with the short-grain brown rice. WAAAAY better. So yummy. I cook it in my cheap-o rice cooker and it is so easy-peasy. I buy the short-grain rice in the bulk food / health food section at my grocery store.)

I lost 2 pounds. The dark circles under my eyes are lighter. My sinuses aren't congested.
Hmmm...maybe I have some food sensitivities I haven't been paying attention to? Maybe.

Dr. Junger recommends eating this diet for a week, and then going on a 3-week cleanse to rid the body of toxins. The cleanse consists of eating a "liquid meal" (soup, smoothie, etc) for breakfast and dinner, and a regular meal from the Elimination Diet for lunch.

The health teachers at my high school have their students read articles about not going on cleanses, because they are too extreme and unhealthy. After reading Dr. Junger's book, his program seems more moderate and healthy than the ones the health teachers are concerned about.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do that or not. If I do, I'll check with my doctor first, and I might wait until summer vacation, when the food prep would be simpler.

In the meantime, I'll be traveling to visit out-of-town family several times in the next couple of months, and I'm not going to impose special eating plans on my hosts. For now, I'm impressed with not only this week's weight loss, but also how good I feel, so I'll probably try to eat mostly from the "YES" list as often as it's practical.

Well, I've blathered on a bit today. I'm feeling good and grateful to be healthy and have running gear and an abundance of nourishing food easily available. Reading about the struggles of the Japanese people at this time really makes me appreciate grocery stores and the farmers who grow the food I eat. We are so blessed, and my heart really goes out to the people and their struggles.

On to a new week! It's spring break in Oregon, and I get to meet my newest granddaughter this week! I hope you are healthy and happy, too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I've never been sorry that I went to the gym

So I am a new mother and still work from home...that means I am exhausted. My mind, my body, everything is tired. However I have started to get back to the gym a few days a week and you know what? Even though I am tired, I have never been sorry that I went to get a quick work out in! I always feel good afterwards and I think it gives me an extra boost of energy throughout the day. Plus it makes me happy and you know what they say....when momma is happy, everybody is happy! So if you are contemplating exercising today and can think of eight hundred reasons why you shouldn't, I get you...I have been there....but just do it! You will feel great later, I promise! :)

(Oh and yes I know I promised to come back with more healthy recipes for nursing mothers and everyone else, however the truth is that I am still figuring it out and have spent my few precious moments of non-baby time exercising or working from home rather than blogging...sorry. Someday!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kathy Week 63: A letter to my mouth

Dear Mouth,

What's up with you, anyway? Do you think you in charge of my body or something? I always thought it was my brain that was in charge, but lately I'm not so sure. I've been trying to convince myself otherwise for a long time, but to be honest, I'm not really sure that I can trust you. Even when the rest of me wants to be slender and svelte, even when my brain knows that I don't need another ounce of food, even when my stomach is sending out "full" messages, you keep slurping up morsels of this and that. Why do you do this to me?

Yes, I'm talking to you, Mouth. To every bit of you: the tongue that is infatuated with the texture and flavor of food, the teeth that relish a good hard crunch, especially when my jaw is getting tight with stress, the lips that love to linger over sips and flavors.

If I even think about food, you get busy with your salivary glands, lubricating and setting me up for a complete loss of willpower. And if it's chocolate I'm thinking of? Then there's that tingle in the back of my mouth, like a little whisper saying, "Come on, just one won't hurt." And probably "just one" wouldn't hurt, but you say it over and over and over again.

Mouth, don't get me wrong. I love your smile, the way you kiss, the kindness you express, the laughter that comes bubbling out of you. You are a wonderful part of me. Truly, I'd be nothing without you! But we have to work out this eating thing. You don't get to be the one in charge. You are only one little piece of me, and all the other parts--hips, thighs, upper arms, jowly cheeks, bum, and the belly fat, too--they get to vote from here on out. When I'm tempted to eat, I'm going to be checking in with the rest of me to see if I'm really hungry or not, and to choose the quality of food you'll be taking in.

Really, this will be so much better for both of us. You'll have more time to smile and laugh, and the rest of my body will get to be skinnier. So don't take it personally when I don't come around so much at snack time because, really, it's not about you. It's about ME! And I want to be healthy and fit.

Until our next meal together, Kathy

PS: Today I weighed in (again) at 136. Sad to say, I was actually pleased about that, because I peaked at 138 a couple of days ago. The spirit has been willing, but the flesh ate Girl Scout cookies and donuts again this week.

PPS: At least I did get back into running again! I was out three different days, two miles each time. Usually it's no fun when I start, but it feels so good when I'm done!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kathy Week 62: Going Bananas

I love bananas. The other day, I got to thinking about how much I love them, and I did a mental estimate in my head as I was driving:

1 banana / day x 50+ years x 300+ days per year = at least 15,000 bananas I have eaten in my lifetime.


So I was thrilled when I ran across this article in Shine magazine that calls bananas "the ultimate hunger-buster." Bananas, the article says, are loaded with a kind of starch called "resistant starch" (RS), which helps to curb hunger.

Slightly underripe medium bananas have 12.5 grams of RS, which is more than most other foods. Ripe bananas have 4.7 grams of RS, which is still enough to keep hunger pangs away.

Guess I need to eat more slightly underripe bananas...I have had another naughty week.
Current weight = 137. Not much exercise. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Time to get back on track.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


So first let me give my disclaimer- if you choose not to or can not breastfeed, this post isn't intended to make you feel bad. I recognize that there are a lot of reasons that someone would use formula and I am grateful that in this day and age we have that option. Also, if breastfeeding isn't a topic that applies to you, keep reading! I promise that you can benefit too! That being said, I really wanted to breastfeed my little guy and thankfully everything worked out so we were able to...but I am definitely learning a bunch of things!

First off, every single thing I eat goes to my milk and thus my baby. This more than anything else has helped me to change some of my eating habits...only the best for my boy! :) Now I know that there are plenty of people these days that breastfeed and don't really change their diet, but I wanted to make the best/most nutritious/easiest to digest milk that I could and that required some definite changes.

I am not eating any foods that would be super acidic or gassy, spicy or garlicy, etc. To say the least it is a fairly bland diet. Oh and one more thing- no chocolate! It is said that chocolate is hard to digest in babies (like in dogs) and can give diarrhea....and since I would rather be safe than sorry, chocolate is out along with tomatoes, onions, beans, anything in the cabbage family, etc.

So what is the point? How is this relevant to you? Well I have been finding that meals are a struggle for me- just what exactly do I eat? I am hungrier than ever and it seems like everything has at least one no-no on the ingredient list. So I am here to share some recipes that I find that would be good for breastfeeding mothers...and everyone else!

The first recipe is for "fluff"...maybe it has a real name, but my grandma always called it "fluff".


1 container whipped topping
1 container cottage cheese
1 small box jello

Put all ingredients in a big bowl and mix! Serve chilled. So easy that I can do it with my baby in my arms! :)

Now my favorite is orange jello with mandarin oranges in it, not only because it is delicious but because it is a year-round go-to with no fresh fruit needed. Other favorites include raspberry/strawberry/cherry jello with strawberries/raspberries/blackberries.

This recipe helps me eat cottage cheese which I definitely am not a fan of plain. But it is a great snack as it is high in protein and calcium. Plus if you get the fat free cottage cheese and cool whip and sugar free jello, it is about as healthy as a sweet treat can get!

I will be back next week sharing more recipes and ideas!

*Side note: Altering your diet while breastfeeding is seen as old fashioned...however I am just here to say that I can count the times on one hand that my baby has spit up, diaper changes are quick and painless, and he is hardly fussy at all. I would much rather have an easy baby than deal with spit up or a gassy baby!*

We'd love to hear from you!

Want to write a guest post for The Skinny? E-mail Katie at kathleenann08 (at) gmail (dot) com.