Procrastination

I am a secret procrastinator. On the outside, it seems like I am always doing something – writing, starting a private practice, marketing, and working at the hospital. Forgot to mention driving back and forth from home to my daughter’s school, volleyball practice, spending time with friends, cooking, and attempting to work out. Then paying the bills, laundry, keeping the house clean enough for an escape route if necessary, finding time to call or email friends, and taking care of the dogs.

1.Part of the secret: classifying naps as meditation. I can meditate for 2 hours sometimes in an effort not to do some task I would prefer not to do.

2. Another part of the secret: writing a “to-do” list. Writing it out is something yet not actually completing the tasks. Plus, it makes me appear efficient and super busy while taking away the stress that I could be forgetting something. One of the items on the to-do list is “meditate.”

3. Research. In this day and age that means getting online. If I’m online, I should check in on Facebook to see what is going on (social connections are a good thing), LinkedIn, and Gmail to make sure there aren’t any important emails that require a response. LinkedIn is work, right?

4. Make a snack….this could be why I’m overweight. :(

Sometimes I wonder if procrastination is simply a way of my brain telling me that there is too much on my plate (literally and figuratively).

So today I am taking a deep breath, figuring out what needs to be done now and what can be postponed or delegated, and just getting it done. First item on the list: meditate.

10 day sugar detox

I know, I know. Yet I’m being sucked in with the marketing aroung Mark Hyman’s 10 day sugar detox. The promise to help inflammation, lose weight, bring about world peace, and win a Nobel prize in just 10 days….ok, maybe not all of those promises were made in the book. The premise is that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine and that it is terrible for health. I admit to having a monster sweet tooth – fruit, cookies, candy, anything sweet at all is my go-to. But I also like salty and crunchy. Hmmm…perhaps I just like food too much and should just call it a food addiction? I also like naps a lot and get cranky when I can’t take one. Oh no! I have nap addiction. And vacation addiction, book addiction, money addiction, and breathing addiction. After all I’ve read and all I’ve tried the same truths come to the surface:
1. Eat real food made with real ingredients.
2. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
3. Cakes, cookies, etc. are a sometimes treat.
4. You have to move your body to keep it well.
5. Drink water.
I don’t always do all these things and the scale (plus how tight my pants fit) will let me know when I’ve slipped up. I can say that some of the recipes in the 10 day sugar detox diet look great and I will probably give them a try, but as part of a healthy eating plan and not some detox craze. I also won’t spend hundreds of dollars on the supplements marketed by the author. Peer reviewed studies have shown that most vitamins end up as expensive pee and don’t do anything for you (with the exception of vitamin D and fish oil, which were shown to have significant effect).

Now all I need to do is write a book with the word “detox” in the title and make a ton of money.

On Hating Exercise

Exercise sucks. It is a necessary evil if I want to eat and still fit through the door, but I spend twice as much time dreading it as I do actually doing it. One would think I could claim credit for dread time + exercise time but the human body does not work that way.

I’ve been working out twice per week with a personal trainer. I consider her my exercise babysitter; she is there to make sure I show up and do what I’m supposed to. That is, not goof off and make sure I sweat, pant, and push myself. The other day she shared the idea that stress makes it more difficult to lose weight; that is, if the body is under a lot of stress it holds onto those pounds in case you are in a famine. This came after I got frustrated and cried at the gym like a sissy-girl because I couldn’t face three sets of exercises I was barely finishing two sets of. She dropped the program and said, “let’s play”. We kicked, punched, played on the ropes, and the 30 minutes passed quickly (although I couldn’t breath at times!) So the lesson here is that while I do have to lift weights and build stamina that it is ok to play and let go of the stress. Will it affect my weight? Time will tell.

Thai lettuce wraps

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This comes together relatively quickly and is quite tasty; it’s much lighter than the lettuce wraps in restaurants so you can feel good about having this as the main dish. You could add a jalapeno if you like extra spice, rice or rice noodles if you want a heartier dish, or substitute tofu for the chicken if you are cooking vegetarian. Original recipe is by Aida Mollencamp; my version is below.

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon coconut, grapeseed, or peanut oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
6 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
1 tablespoon pure chile powder
Kosher salt
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh cilantro
1 head Boston or butter lettuce, washed and separated

Instructions

Combine the coconut aminos, lime juice, and sugar in a small jar, close, and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add onion and the white parts of the green onions (save the green parts for later) and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add ginger and garlic and cook a few seconds until fragrant.

Add chicken. Season with chile powder and some kosher salt and cook, stirring rarely, until meat is cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sauce ingredients and cook until there’s only enough left to coat the meat mixture.

Remove from heat, stir in remaining scallions and the cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve hot or cold, filling each lettuce cups with a few spoonfuls of filling.

Are you kidding me?

I’ve been working out and watching what I eat yet the number on the scale is stubborn. SO stubborn that I have put my faith in a health and wellness clinic (MD – Western medicine) and a personal trainer in an effort to shed some of this insulation. It has been enlightning and discouraging all at the same time. I truly do have a slow metabolism because I do not have enough lean muscle mass; my metabolism has been chugging along like a wagon powered by hamsters at 1246 calories per day. Over the past few weeks I have managed to gain 2 pounds of lean muscle so now the metabolism is racing along at….get this….1275 calories per day. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It was explained that I need to cut the carbs to allow my body to access all these lovely fat stores to burn for energy and the protein to repair muscles that I’m working on building.

Take home message today has been:
MD: Eat 1100-1150 calories per day, low carbs, lots of green veggies and lean protein.
Personal trainer: 2 sessions with her per week focus on muscle building + 3 cardio days

This was the suggested calorie spread:
Breakfast – 200 calories
Lunch- 300 calories
Snack – 150 calories
Dinner -400 calories

The trick becomes finding meal ideas that work in these parameters and only add up to about 60g of carbs per day. Bye bye bananas. So long dessert. If you don’t see a blog post from me for a while you can assume I ate my iPad.

Anna’s favorite chicken and broccolli

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My daughter, Anna, is 12 years old. Her favorite food from the age of about 18 months has been chicken and broccolli from Wan Fu (a Chinese restaurant that my family has gone to for so long that they greet my dad by name when he walks in). They watched Anna grow up there. She tried a few other menu options, but chicken and broccolli has remained her favorite.

It was a very sad day when the allergist told us that she was allergic to soy and corn (as well as other foods) as most Chinese food will contain soy sauce and corn starch. We eliminated all the allergy foods and her chronic hives went away. We recently tried to re-introduce some of these foods and shortly after eating chicken and broccolli out she broke out in hives.

After some tinkering in the kitchen and exploring various websites we have come up with this dish that everyone enjoys; even my broccolli-hating husband admits it is pretty tasty.

Stir Fry sauce for chicken and broccolli

5 T coconut aminos **
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2T honey
2T orange juice
1T fresh lime juice
4T almond butter
1 t minced garlic

Whisk together all the ingredients and set aside.

Add to mixture 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thin. Marinate for about an hour.
While the chicken marinates, cut up a head of broccolli into florets. Lightly steam.

Preheat a large skillet and add chicken and stir fry sauce to it. Cook until chicken is done. Make a slurry of arrowroot powder and water. Add slowly to the boiling sauce until it thickens to the consistency you prefer. Add broccolli and stir to incorporate.

Serve over brown rice, white rice, noodles, spaghetti squash – whatever you like. If you feel like being fancy you can garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Recipe notes:
1. Coconut aminos can be purchased at specialty health food stores and amazon.com. They make a great substitute for soy sauce that is both gluten free and soy free. I find it is less salty than regular soy sauce and prefer the taste of it over gluten free tamari.

You can find out more about this ingredient here: https://www.coconutsecret.com/aminos2.html

2. I usually double the stir fry sauce recipe and freeze half for a quick dinner another night.

T25

A former coworker of mine has become a coach for beachbody; she was always thin but after having 2 babies she looked great: strong, toned, lean….a body I had given up on. I decided with that big 4-0 looming ahead to give one of her challenge programs a try. 25 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

Today was day one. I’m not thin yet and that sucks.

The workout: Full body circuit (aka – everything will hurt in 2 days)
Minute 2: My heart rate is up. How many more minutes?
Minute 10: I’m going to throw up. Back it down and march in place.
Minute 12: What do you mean HALFWAY done????
Minute 15: Cardio punching. I’m pretending to punch the smiling instructor.
Minute 20: I’m sweating so much the dog came over to lick me much like a deer to a salt lick.
Minute 23: 2 more minutes. Can I be waterboarded instead of finishing this?
Minute 25: DONE. Collapse.

Go upstairs for a shower and step on the scale. Hmmm… I’ve gained a pound since yesterday. Get naked (it’s my bathroom, not like I’m weighing in at a public location). Same number. Suck in my stomach – yeah, I know it makes no sense and I would be surprised if it worked but I did it anyway. Go pee. Nope. The scale is obviously broken.

Now I’m off to pack a healthy lunch and head in to work. Tomorrow is another day and another workout. Note to self: pick up ibuprofen on the way home.