Wednesday, July 10, 2013

As the End Draws Near.........

Tomorrow is my last meeting with Maggie.  I am both happy and sad about this.  I'm happy because I feel like I've come a long way.  The materials I've read, the changes I've made and the support that Maggie has given me have helped me feel better, more in control, healthier and happier.  It is my goal to hang onto these changes not only now, when the weather is gorgeous and I can get outside whenever I like, but to keep them close to me during the winter months too, when I tend to get more sedentary and depressed.  I have all the tools to lessen my winter blues, I just need to remember to open that toolbox and use what's there.  

For my final assignment, I was asked to complete a four month review. I have done so and it posted below.  This blog won't be around much longer as I plan to return to my other blog, but for now, here's what's what.

Four Month Program Review

  1. Please review your list of symptoms and share what changes you’ve experienced over the last four months.
·         Extra weight – While the scale doesn’t exactly reflect much, I have noticed a shift in my body, things have re-arranged a bit and I’m feeling a little bit better.  I still have big issues around my weight, but they are much further back on my list of priorities now.  I’m more focused on staying active, being strong and healthy, making good choices, etc.  I feel confident that the weight will slowly continue to come off if I continue on the path that I’m currently on.
·         Stressed, feeling rushed – Summer has helped really slow things down at work so it’s hard to tell how much the changes in diet have affected my stress level.  I’m doing a much better job of leaving my desk to go enjoy my lunch, but I still am usually reading while eating instead of focusing all my attention on my food.  Improvement will be ongoing forever.
·         Lack of energy – I feel much better!  I have way more energy.  I credit the Blood Building vitamins I take (along with fish oil) and I know my diet and exercise help incredibly as well.  In addition, the SUN and SUMMER have had a huge impact on my mood and disposition.  I realize now that I must be more pro-active next winter and really focus on taking care of myself so I don’t get so depressed again.
·         Poor self image &/or negative self talk – Depends on the day, some days are better, some are worse, but in general, I feel better.  I am being nicer to myself and placing more importance on what is on the INSIDE instead of what is on the outside.  This is something I need to keep track of as it’s easy to move away from and slip back into old habits.  But I think it’s really up to me, by just keeping the positive thoughts in my mind and reminding myself daily of all the good in me, I will feel better.  It’s totally something I can control and steer in the right direction; I just need to be committed daily to doing so. 

  1. Based on the handout found in Tab 1 called “Integrative Nutrition Plan: 12 Steps” please share your progress
    • Drink more water – Never a problem, always hydrating.  J
    • Practice cooking – Always cooking and trying new recipes.  Repeat ones that work.  Doing really well here.  J
    • Increase whole grains – I have increased them, but I need to do better and work on REPLACING processed grains with whole grains.  K
    • Increase sweet vegetables – Already eating them, could probably use more.  K
    • Increase leafy green vegetables – Have increased them, but could probably use more.  But I have experimented with new recipes and consider this an ongoing process that is moving in the right direction.  J
    • Experiment with protein – I have not experimented at all; I eat protein daily and haven’t really played around with types or portions or anything.  L
    • Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and chemicalized, artificial junk foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco. Working on reducing all of these.  Some, like chemicalized, artificial junk foods, are easy!  Walked away from diet soda, many kinds of snacks I was having previously, etc.  Never ate a lot of red meat, have reduced some sugar and some white flour but there’s always room for improvement.  Have reduced my alcohol intake for sure, as drinking and training don’t mix.  Overall, I’m moving in the right direction.  J
    • Develop easy and reliable habits to nurture your body - Feel like I have a good base here.  Pre-cook meals to take to work, always have a water bottle near by, am on a workout schedule, take time to self care regularly, etc. J J
    • Have healthy relationships that support you J J J J I <3 Shawn Riley!
    • Find physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly – Ta Da!!!!  Training for a sprint tri with my eye on an Olympic Distance tri next year.  LOVE the swim and the bike!  Am tolerating the run as a necessary evil, but overall, rockin’ it!  J
    • Find work you love or a way to love the work you have – Have become un-stuck and am currently job hunting.  J
    • Develop a spiritual practice – Admittedly have not done much here.  I do not feel it is hopeless, but I need to really watch and listen for when I feel ready to invest some solid effort here.  L

  1. Which areas and/or symptoms still need attention?  See above.

  1. How have you changed your relationship to food? I think the biggest change is the move to buying, preparing and eating organic foods.  I have fully bought in to the benefits of eating locally grown foods without chemicals.  They are worth the extra investment (as am I) and they taste terrific.  I am cooking more than ever before, planning ahead so that I have healthy meals to take to work.  I have left many unhealthy habits behind, greatly reducing my intake of coffee, diet soda, white flour, sugar and processed foods.  I’m not perfect and never will be but I am much improved.  Where I would like to continue to make changes is in HOW I eat, being mindful, slowing down, taking my time, enjoying every bite.  I am more AWARE of mindful eating; I just need to start putting it into practice on a regular basis.

  1. Are you now better able to understand how your cravings are created?  Please share an example.  I think I have a little bit better of an understanding, but I am not the best at noticing things as they are happening.  I am more likely to heed a craving without putting mindful thought into the fact that I am HAVING a craving and SUBMITTING to a craving.  I see things more in hindsight, but you can still learn that way.  I understand more about the addictive nature of sugar. 

  1. Lifestyle (career, exercise, spirituality, relationships, emotions, stress reduction, self-care) plays a very significant role in your health.  How has your perspective changed regarding this aspect of your health? 
    • I have taken the beginning steps at finding a job that I feel joy in doing.  It will be a process, but it seems less overwhelming now and less like I’m stuck at my current job.  I’m checking for vacancies, applying for jobs and imagining a happier work place. 
    • I am consistently working out 6 days a week and feel much more in control of my physical movement.  Knowing what I do about myself, I realize that I do better when I have a goal to work towards, the triathlons and duathlon are essential in keeping my choices healthy.
    • Spirituality continues to elude me.  I am still not connected/connecting with a higher power.  I have not made it a focus or a priority, but am hopeful for someday.
    • My relationship continues to bring me joy, be a positive force in my life full of love and support.  Shawn is my rock.

  1. Would you like my support in continuing to improve your health?
I would love to continue to see you, but the finances are a concern for me.  If I could see you and have it covered under insurance, I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute.

  1. Do you know someone that would benefit from this program?  I grow my business based on referrals.  You’re welcome to share with this person that I offer a free, 60 minute consultation for them to learn more.  Thank you!  I have talked you up already and will continue to do so.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Winding Down

It almost feels right that I've been slowing down on posting on this blog.  My time with Maggie is drawing to a close and I've learned so much about not only what I'm putting in my body, but what I'm putting in my brain as well.  It seems right that as these things become routine in my life, (buying organic from the co-op and cooking new and healthy foods) I am posting about them less.  It's not such a big deal that I made a new whole grain recipe or am having delicious turkey patties for breakfast.  That's everyday for me now. 

I'm in a MUCH better place right now than I was when I started seeing Maggie 4 months ago.  And I know the change is partly in due to better food choices, more exercise and positive self talk, but also, partly in due to this wretched, horrid, nasty, HATEFUL winter and spring finally coming to a close. 

My awesome coping mechanism is that I never realize how miserable I am until the misery has passed and I look back on a time in my life.  Wow, I was REALLY miserable there for a while, huh. This week I have learned that I REALLY need to be more pro-active.  I was truly depressed this winter and I didn't even really recognize it.  NO MORE!!!  Next winter I MUST use my SAD light, get to the tanning beds here and there, KEEP WORKING OUT, take my vitamins and take more frequent getaways to sunny locals.

As I wrap up here and prepare to move back to my Petite Flower blog, enjoy these 2 photos Miss Maggie.  Turbo Lucas is BACK baby!!!
First Open Water Swim Training at Lake Nokomis.  1200 meters!
My membership card for USA Triathlon.  

P.S.  I registered for a Duathlon in September.  Hee hee.  And I WILL do an Olympic Length Tri next year.  You watch me. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

You GO Girls!

Having a blast while making a mess.  Lozilu Mud Run 2013.  Team Mudder Muckers. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hey Maggie....

...if you have a few minutes, read this.  Holy whoa, does this resonate with me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I can't believe an entire week has passed since I posted. Where does the time go?  Training is going really well, I'm consistently getting in 6 days a week of exercise, usually with my girl Megan.  Food choices are 90% there on the weekdays, less so on the weekends,but overall   I'm pleased. Lost $16 worth of freshly cooked organic chicken breasts in addition to some others stuff due to the power outage. Still working on letting that one go, we are really lucky in so many ways but having just gone to the coop and filled my fridge, I was a little crabby about it.  But nothing can overshadow the PHENOMENALLY DIRTY time I had at Lozilu with my GO Girls!!  A 5K run with 15 muddy obstacles, what a blast!!  What wonderful woman, what a lucky girl I am.  Feeling healthy, strong and a little less lost these days. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Had a truly GLORIOUS weekend that I didn't want to see end.  I spent tons of time with neighbors, made a delicious meal for my lunches this week and went on a totally spectacular 23 mile bicycle ride! 
Organic chicken stir-fry with brown rice, snow peas, peppers, carrots and cabbage. Super deelish. So there you go.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I KNEW I made that quinoa for a reason!  I made quinoa stuffed roasted peppers for dinner!  I had tons of leftovers and stretched it into different sorts of meals for days, added it to my bfast egg bake and lunches and such.  So you see Maggie, I DID make a new whole grain recipe, I just didn't REMEMBER that I did it!  :)  I feel so much better now.  I've been staring at that leftover quinoa in my fridge that I STILL need to throw out and thinking "WHAT DID I MAKE WITH THIS??"

And that's today.

Friday, June 14, 2013

No thanks.

Resisted the urge to buy the full order of Duck Fat Fries (French fries fried in duck fat oil) from the gourmet food truck parked outside my office building. Instead I ate my salad I brought from home and snuck a lone fry from a co-workers plate.  And that's today.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Said goodbye this weekend to one family member.  Wrapped arms around countless more.  Ate good, clean food, even got out for a run with glorious mountain views. And that's today.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Oh boy, bok choy!

One of my assignments this week is to make a new greens recipe.  I chose this Bok Choy recipe from the book Great Greens.  Where Kale has failed me, Bok Choy has come to my rescue.  I actually really like it.  It's nice in a recipe, like Pho or just on it's own.  When I made this, I had no other agenda, I was making Bok Choy and nothing else, so it worked out great.  But I gather that it's similar to broccoli in that it cools very, very quickly and needs to be eaten right away.  It would take some mighty good timing to make this recipe with a meal and have everything come out at the same time and be served hot, but I'm willing to give it a try.  Especially since I know Shawn would LOVE it too!   And that's today.

Affirmation Station

Finally, finally, finally, my affirmation wall is up.  It's not complete and I will keep adding to it, but it's a start for now.  The goal is to fill my head with healthy thoughts just like I'm filling my belly with healthy meals.  And that was yesterday.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa

This recipe was labor intensive, especially since I added ground beef.  Besides that and substituting zucchini for mushrooms, I stayed close to the recipe.  It seemed to call for a LOT of cinnamon so I dialed it back a bit but even that was too cinnamon-y. Next time I make this, and I will make this again, I will add some tomato paste as a binding agent and change up the spices. On the plus side, I have leftovers for lunches and will use this mixture in my breakfast egg bake.  And that wraps up today.

A good start

Morning Glory Oats and green pomegranate tea.

And that's far.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Springs rolls for lunch, all week long.  I had to get my spring in someway....since that bitch Mother Nature kept denying me.

And that's today.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


The tri-training is officially underway.  Swimming, biking, running.  A little something almost every day.  Feeling pretty good these days.  Taking some vitamins has increased my energy level (as has a few appearances by the sun), food choices have been good, even lost a few pounds.  Most importantly, I am feeling better on the inside.  Doing my best to throw more self love my way, be kinder to myself and remind myself that I'm actually pretty ok.  And that's today.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Chickens

Just because I eat them, doesn't mean I don't want them to have a happy life beforehand.

Never before noticed this rating system.

My lunches this week are a two, but I'd like to find some fives to enjoy.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Fresh from my swim workout, I take the extra time today to sit and enjoy my breakfast on this glorious morning rather than wolf it down in the car.  And that's today.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Delicious Choices

Whether its a Thai dish homemade with love...

...or a Thai dish prepared for me out at a restaurant... makes for some mighty delicious meals.  

It's Official

The sprint-tri training has officially begun. 
Walk 5 mins
Run 5 mins
Walk 10 mins
Run 5 mins
Walk 5 mins

And that's today.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Back Up Plan

The breakfast I brought with me to work had spoiled.  So instead of going to the McDonalds across the street for a quick fix, I drove to the nearest market for Kashi cereal and almond milk.  And that's today.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Membership Has Its Priviledges

And now so do I.  I became a member at both LA Fitness and Mississippi Market.  And that's today.

Monday, May 6, 2013

5 Dollars Worth of Spinach

This is what 5 dollars worth of spinach looks like.
Washing spinach in my kitchen sink.
Eating organic ain't cheap, but I hope that someday, organic will be the norm and the prices won't be so high. A girl can dream.

Also, a 3 mile run this morning and a 2 mile walk in the sunshine at lunch. And that's today.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Focal Point

I need a focal point.  A goal to works towards.  Something to get me going again.  And so, this weekend, I committed to doing a Sprint-Tri.  And the training program begins soon.  Woot!  Since I've done one before,  I'm not terrified, I'm actually really excited.  And that's today. 

Dinner at Taste of Thailand
Lunches for the week, Greek chicken.

Homemade Vegan Granola Bars

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


The trip to the co-op could have gone horribly wrong.  He didn't really want to be there, I was a little bit crabby.  I was trying to calmly make my point, to explain why I was asking to spend more money on groceries we could get cheaper somewhere else.  He was in turn trying to make his point and we were both trying not to be assholes to each other, especially in public.  In the end, we compromised.  The meatloaf was made of organic chicken and turkey.  He added both fresh organic vegetables and frozen organic vegetables instead of the can of veg-all he initially proposed.  Because of all his efforts, I agreed that he could wrap the meatloaf in bacon for the grilling/smoking process.  Not only that, but he used brown rice pasta in the macaroni and cheese.  It might not have been pretty getting there, but in the end, it was success.  And I was really, really happy!!!!  And that was yesterday.

Monday, April 29, 2013


On vacation and rocking good choices 85% of the time. Success in my book.


Scads of healthy choices along with some indulgences.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Hello inner badass. Where the fuck have YOU been? 2 miles , 36 degrees, rain and snow mix.

Who says you can't eat healthy at the airport? Roasted beet salad with grilled chicken and orange vinaigrette.


Passing on sweets is starting to FEEL differently.  Instead of thinking about how "I'm not eating that right now" it's more like "I'm not eating sugar anymore" or "I'm not eating white flour anymore".  Even though nothing is black and white right now (I haven't TOTALLY eliminated sugar and flour but I'm trying) it still just FEELS differently. I even go through the reasons sometimes about why I'm saying no to sugar or white flour, having a little internal dialog to just remind myself what my body needs verses what my brain thinks it wants. More like a permanent shift instead of a temporary fix if that makes sense.  And feeling that way makes saying "No Thank You" easier.  Ta-da!  And that's today folks.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Well, I tried my first kale recipe.  I mean, I've thrown it in smoothies before, but never actually just cooked and ate it.  I was a bit nervous.  I love fresh, raw spinach but I HATE it hot and I figured kale would be along the same lines.  Turns out..............I was right.  Ish.  Ew.  Yuck.  Blech.  I did not care for it.  but I was really glad I tried it.  I think my kale eating will consist more of it being mixed into smoothies and recipes.  But continue it will.  And onward we go.

Tofu and kale with sesame seeds.


Bran and flax seed muffin made by my friend Jenn. Not too shabby!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ups: Mon, Tues, Wed: workout, workout, workout. Hooray! Damn it feels good to be moving again. It feels good to be headache free again! And I'm sleeping great. Food is where it needs to be at this stage in the game.

Downs: I miss my coffee, not the caffeine, but the creamy, smooth ahhhhhhh I got after a sip. It was comforting and filling in a way that tea isn't. Not sure there is any healthy alternative to that horrible, chemical filled creamer that I enjoyed so much. Also, my cholesterol is high which only inspires my inner hater. "Of course it's high fatty. What do you expect when you allow yourself to gain 30 pounds? You've earned this. Way to go." While I can change what I put in my body, and I can become more active and I can be mindful of my awareness and breathing at mealtimes, my inner hater is still there, more vocal than ever. I wish that stupid bitch would just shut up.

So that's today.

Monday, April 22, 2013


When you fail to plan, plan to fail. That's what I was thinking this morning as I threw together a breakfast of brown rice, craisins, raisins and strawberries. Not to self...some things shouldn't be heated up, like craisins, raisins and strawberries. They turn to mush and smell funny and don't taste great. I threw in some salt and peanuts but it did little to help. But that's what I get for being too lazy to make my breakfast quiche yesterday. Guess I know what I'm doing tonight after work.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Body

One of my assignments is to write about my body.  Just a little free flow, whatever pops into my head kind of thing.  As I start, I am thinking about how this blog is not private.  I could make it private if I chose, but so far, I haven't.  I haven't told anyone besides Maggie and one other friend (Hi Kimmy) about this blog, yet there are 48 pageviews.  From whom?  How did they find their way here? Are they coming back?  Do I know any of them?  Those things are in the back of my mind as I start to type and I just wanted to mention that as it will not alter what I write but it may alter how I feel as I write it.

Dear Body,

I do believe I have written you to before.  Odd as it may sound, this is not my first letter to you.  I believe I wrote to you either as my father was dying or shortly there after.  Or maybe I wrote ABOUT you to my Dad, something like that.  I have such a love/hate relationship with you.  There are plenty of things I really love about you.  You have a really great shape and great proportions.  When you gain weight, you gain it all over which I think is one of your best features.  You carry weight well I think.  Strange as it may be, I think your feet are one of your most attractive features.  Who gets to have pretty feet?  Me.  I do.  I love that about you.  Thanks for that.  Because of that, I wear flip flops as often as I can.  I also really love the way your eyelashes and are so thick and long.  I don't have to wear mascara if I don't want to, and I almost never do.  Also, your hair is awesome.  It's thick and long and curly.  When women tell me they are jealous, it's always about my hair or my eyelashes.

But that's all centered on how you LOOK.  There are plenty of good things about you that have nothing to do with how you look.  Like how you are strong and healthy.  You get sick rarely, you have no major diseases, you get up every day and do what you are supposed to do, despite how terribly you may be treated.  Despite me eating things I shouldn't, drinking alcohol which sometimes leads to a few cigarettes, despite me not moving enough or sometimes at all, you perform all of your duties as expected.  You totally rock.  Also, you are tall, and tall girls kick ass.

Now let's talk about how you don't rock, about how you suck, hard.  You require a lot of sleep.  Sometimes I think you are the equivalent of the slow kid in class.  You prefer to be at rest, you don't really like hard work, while you seem to be built well; easily capable of being an athlete,  able to master most physical tasks with little difficulty, you'd rather take a nap.  You store up fat like a bear about to hibernate.  You are not inclined to be a real go getter.  Maybe if you were, your metabolism would be faster and you would burn what you take in easier, maybe you would be more driven to compete, maybe you would TEAR SHIT UP on a daily basis instead of always having to be talked into every single workout. 

I hate how you feel at the weight you are at now, pretty close to the heaviest you've ever been.  I hate the way bras feel, I hate that there is fat UNDER your arms.  What the fuck is THAT?  I hate how every waistband feels.  I hate your double chin, the way you don't have one of those long marvelous necks with a defined jawline, how all your skin on your face is just starting to..............sag.  I mostly just hate how uncomfortable I am IN you.

I really wish I could accept and love you just as you are at whatever stage you happen to be in but I can't.  I really wish that so much of my self acceptance and self love weren't wrapped up in how you look in a pair of blue jeans but they are.  I would like us to be best friends really, but it seems that I am never satisfied with you.  Sorry about that.  I would love to be able to change that and I keep trying to, but so far I haven't been able to.

But I will tell you this.  I will never stop trying.  I will never accept you at this weight and I will fight forever to get you where I think you need to be.  I will continue to dream of a better future for you, I will seek out whatever means necessary to try and get you there and I will never ever give up on you.  Ever.  I think there is a key out there somewhere that unlocks the door to your health and my happiness and I won't rest until I find it.  That's a promise.

And finally, I love you.  Even when I hate you, I love you and I'm so grateful for you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Field Trip to The Wedge

Mornings are always an enjoyable time for me.  I love sitting at the counter, enjoying a warm beverage, eating my breakfast while reading a little something.  Lately, what I've been reading are my materials from Maggie.  My binder chapters, the chapters in my books and of course recipes.
 I sit, I read and I make shopping lists for the recipes I want to try.  The different ingredients needed for my recipes have me going to different kinds of markets and co-ops.  This morning I decided to venture across the river to visit a co-op several people have raved about called The Wedge.
 I do believe it was the first store I have ever been to that had a big bin full of fiddleheads.  I don't even know what they are, how they taste or how you would cook them, but they are the coolest shaped food ever. 
 And I was SUPER impressed by their selection of items in self dispensing bins.  An ENTIRE aisle of them, whoa.
 And who wouldn't love wood from your hood?  Cute slogan and I LOVE the idea of taking scrap wood and turning it into useful cutting boards.
 I filled my cart with some things I would need to make a big batch of Pho and a 3 bean salad recipe I want to try.
 Like all of these places, it was expensive.  This organic thing ain't cheap, that's for sure.  But I was happy with my experience there.  I will probably stick to Mississippi Market as it is closer and just as nice, but I was glad I went so I could see what the fuss was about.

Afterwards, I was stopping by an art fair and found an awesome food truck parked outside that used only local organic ingredients from businesses whose philosophies matched their own.  Perfect, I was hungry and was thrilled to be presented with an entire truck full of good choices.
 Behold, my red lentil, brown rice "burger" with beets and sprouts with a side of quinoa salad.  It was super delicious and I sat in the sunshine and slowly ate it while breathing deep and appreciating the flavors.  Success.