Sunday, December 20, 2009

"SLIM IN 6" DVD Giveaway



Today was the first snow day of the season! I got snowed in, so I had plenty of time to do something I have been wanting to do for a while. Since I have gotten so much love and support from my You Tube subscribers, I have decided to have a giveaway to show my appreciation.

I will be giving away a "SLIM IN 6" DVD and a resistance band to one of my You Tube subscribers.

http://www.beachbody.com/slimin6

For those of you that also follow me here in Blogger, your entry counts twice!! So click the link below and watch the "Thank you, subscribers..." video to find out the rules and how to enter!

http://www.youtube.com/freshfoodiefitness

Contest ends December 28, 2009.

Incorporating new videos into your workout regimen is a great way to "Keep it fresh"! ;0)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fresh Foodie Find: Soup so good I blogged about it

Garden Vegetable Soup

Well, I can hardly claim to have "found" it. I've been hearing about it for years: "Weight Watchers' Zero Point Soup". Seriously. It's practically legendary. I've tried Weight Watchers* several times in the past, and- even though I love soup- have always steered clear of this one. People would rave of it's deliciousness and I would turn my nose up at it after merely reading the recipe-I never was a fan of cabbage.

But in my new-found efforts to be a "Fresh Foodie"- and try to eat more of a variety of fruits and veggies- I started incorporating cabbage into my diet. First, I tried it raw, mixing it in with my romaine salad. Surprisingly delicious. Then, when that became a habit and my weight loss slowed down just in time for winter, I remembered the soup. I crave soup this time of year. since I have a new respect for cabbage and eating a healthy variety of foods, I figured: "why not try the recipe and see if it's worth the hype?"

Well, it is definitely worth the hype. Soup so filling and delicious, I was compelled to blog about it. I was even inspired to create a new series: "Fresh Foodie Finds". If ever I am overwhelmed by the awesomeness of a recipe or product I've tried, I will let you guys know all about it. As we've already established, I LOVE FOOD.

So here's the recipe for Weight Watchers' Garden Vegetable Soup as I made it last night. Of course, as we all do in our own kitchens, I tweaked it to my liking. Hopefully you'll like it this way too! I added the marinated chicken breasts, took out the green beans and doubled the zucchini instead and added the cilantro. (NOTE: Adding chicken to the soup is optional, but if you decide to do so, it is no longer zero POINTS. I'm not on Weight Watchers, so I don't count POINTS. If you are, please found out how the chicken affects the POINTS value so you can track accordingly.)


Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup (a la Fresh Foodie)

2/3 c sliced carrot
1/2 c diced yellow onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 large diced chicken breast (marinated in mojo criollo for an hour)
3-4 c fat-free beef broth
1 1/2 c diced green cabbage
1 T italian herb tomato paste
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t salt
1 c diced zucchini
pepper to taste
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Spray a large saucepan with olive oil spray.
Saute the carrot, onion and garlic over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken. Saute for 5 minutes more.
Add broth, cabbage, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer covered about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the zucchini and heat for 3-4 more minutes.
Add cilantro and heat for 3-4 more minutes.
Serve hot. (I sprinkled mine with feta cheese, optional. Also adds to POINTS value.)


Serving size: 1 cup

Recipe makes 4 servings.

Enjoy!

* I am not affiliated with or endorsed by Weight Watchers in any way.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

7 Day Kickstart Challenge- Day 7!!

Day 7- Sunday

The final day of my Kickstart Challenge has come and gone! I did not feel like working out today at all. As a matter of fact, I took a 2 hour nap. I guess three late nights in a row finally caught up with me. But I knew that I had to do it in order to make my workout goal for the week. So I made a deal with myself: no watching the shows in my HULU queue until I had done my 30 minutes of Cardio and 10 minutes of toning. It worked!

"Last Chance" WORKOUT-Since it was too cold and dark outside for a walk and I had already done Turbo Jam 2 days this week, I decided to do the 30 minute cardio of Hip Hop Abs. It was fun and the 30 minutes flew by. I followed up with 100 sit ups and upper body weight work, and I feel great. I feel great physically, but I also feel very proud of myself for meeting my goal since this week's goal included more workouts than usual.

Today's VLOG- http://www.youtube.com/freshfoodiefitness


WHAT I ATE

BREAKFAST-

Organic granola with skim milk and unsalted cashews

LUNCH

Lean/Lite Bacon cheeseburger and a Romaine Salad with almonds, feta, craisins

DINNER

Ezekiel Bread with Natural Peanut Butter and Honey, Skim Milk and Apple

WATER- over 110 oz

Tomorrow is my regular weekly weigh in day.

See you tomorrow for a weigh-in and challenge recap!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

7 Day Kickstart Challenge Day 6



DAY 6- Saturday

Despite how much I dread the winter, I absolutely love winter clothes. Colorful hats and scarves, fashionable coats and high-heeled boots are so much fun to wear. (Besides, they work wonders for a girl's figure.) I had another great day, despite the cold, wet, rainyness outside. Since I had to be out in it today, I decided to dress in colors to offset the grey landscape.

Bonus: I had my first weight-loss related compliment today. My next door neighbor asked me how I've lost weight and how much I've lost. When I told her I'd lost about 12 pounds so far, she looked amazed. "Looks like so much more," she said. "you really look great."
It was so nice to see that someone had actually noticed the results of all my hard work these last 4 months. 12 pounds in 4 months may seem like a little to many people, but I worked hard for each and every one of those pounds. I am proud of what I have accomplished so far. Plus, I feel great knowing that I have the tools I need to succeed. It gives me the boost of confidence that I need to reach my goals.

Here's what I ate:

BREAKFAST

Organic Greek Yogurt with Low fat granola and Almond Milk
(not green juice and tea as shown)

SNACK
Wasa crackers, 2% colby jack, apple and orange

LUNCH
Grilled Tilapia and Cheese (made with 2% Colby Jack Cheese and Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins) and Romaine salad with walnuts, goat cheese and craisins
DINNER-Pizza Night at a friend's house.
Unfortunately I got to Dinner 3 1/2 hours late, only to find the menu had been changed to pizza.
2 slices of Domino's Pepperoni Pizza (blotted the grease as much as possible)
One very small sliver of a Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie that I took to the party

WORKOUT
Turbo Jam (20 min) and Turbo Sculpt (40 min) in honor of Twitter's #turbothon day!!!

WATER- 110 oz
I have not been home in time to make my rest goal the past few nights, but I have been out living life and I know that's just what I've been needing to beat these winter blues!
See you tomorrow!! :D

Friday, December 4, 2009

7 Day Kickstart Challenge- Day 5

DAY 5- Friday

Everyday vloggers, this idea was genius. I have not changed anything about my plan. I have not decided to workout everyday, or eliminate major food groups from my diet. I don't even weigh-in everyday. All I have decided to do is show the world what I am doing on a daily basis, and it really helps keep me on track. I feel so successful and happy with how I have done so far.

But this is about the time of the week when I start to feel a slight panic about what the scale will say come Monday morning. I have a night out with the girls tonight and ahead of me; the dieter's nightmare: the unpredictable weekend. How will that effect my progress? Have I even made progress? Should my progress be measured only by the number on the scale? All of these questions run thru my head when the weekend approaches.

Part of the idea of my five factor approach to weight loss is that I only have control over four of the factors. I can control my diet, exercise, water intake and the amount of rest I get. But it's that fifth factor that I use to measure my long term goals. Despite that, I need to remind myself of the fact that no matter what the scale reads come Monday morning, this Kickstart Challenge has already been a success. I have regained my focus, improved my mood, treated my body well. I feel strong, optimistic and, believe it or not, even a little bit slimmer.

Here's what I ate:

BREAKFAST
Organic Natural Peanut Butter on Ezekiel Raisin Bread and Green Juice
(not almond milk as shown)

SNACK
Wasa Crackers, 2% Colby Jack, Apple, Orange

LUNCH
Romaine Salad with Almonds, Dried Cranberries, Feta Cheese and Soy Ginger Dressing.

DINNER- TREAT MEAL!! :) At a Cuban restaurant. ohhhh my, was this delicious......
(Sorry about the lighting, it was dark in there and my flash was too harsh)
Appetizer
Cup of Cuban Chicken Soup
Entree
Lechon (Slow Roasted Pork); Arroz Congris (Black Beans and Rice); Maduros (Ripe Cooked Plantain Slices)
Dessert
Tiramisu (1/2 of shown) and Cuban Hot Chocolate
Workout- Today is a rest day from working out, but I got a bonus 20 min workout in busting my moves on the dance floor.

WATER- 120 oz

Here's the link to the Day 5 Vlog http://www.youtube.com/freshfoodiefitness

See you tomorrow!!! :-)

7 Day Kickstart Challenge- Day 4

DAY 4- THURSDAY...

Hi Guys!! Sorry my blog is late, I went to a show last night and got home too late.



The Evening Muse


1-Matt Lowell; 2-Tony Lucca



1- Josh Hoge; 2- Britten

The bad news is, I got into bed an hour late and missed my bedtime goal last night. The good news is, I had so much fun!! The show was great and it was a much needed night out. Also, I still managed to get a good workout in and make great eating choices.


For my workout, I did Turbo Jam "Cardio Party" (40 minutes).

Go here to see my workout:

http://www.youtube.com/freshfoodiefitness

Here's what I ate:

BREAKFAST-


Organic Greek Yogurt with Lowfat Granola and Green Juice

Lunch-


I did my workout on my lunch break, so my lunch was light.

DINNER-



Romaine Salad with Turkey Pepperoni, Feta Cheese, Almonds, Dried Cranberries


Plus, 100 oz of water!


This was a really good day!



See you tomorrow!! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

7 Day Kickstart Challenge- Day 3

DAY 3- Wednesday

Today was a cold, wet, nasty day. From the time I stepped out of my house this morning for work, to the time I walked in this evening, the rain and wind never let up and the sun never came out. But my spirits weren't dampened just because my feet were. I kept a positive outlook all day, and stuck to my plan. (I even turned down a cupcake and passed up the cookies at Subway without the slightest hesitation. To my surprise, I actually didn't even want them.)

Me at work feeling positive despite the gloomy weather :)

See my Kickstart Challenge Day 3 Video at http://www.youtube.com/freshfoodiefitness

I had the bright idea to make a breakfast recipe video this morning (which made me even later for work than usual). I bumbled thru it this time; I hope the next one will be better...
BREAKFAST-
Bacon, Egg (Whites) and Cheese Sandwich and Green Juice
See the video on how I made this at http://www.youtube.com/freshfoodiefitness
LUNCH-
Subway Meatball Marinara, Sunchips, Spinach Salad, Apple
SNACK-
Reduced Fat Colby Jack Cheese, Wasa Crackers, Orange
DINNER-
Romaine Salad w/ feta cheese, almonds, dried cranberries & soy ginger dressing
Plus 100 oz of water!!
Today was a rest day from workouts.
I went to bed on time and got a good night's rest again last night...
hmmm...maybe that has something to do with my positive attitude. haha
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

7 Day Kickstart Challenge- Day 2

Day 2- Tuesday

I am feeling great today. I am feeling positive, optimistic, energetic, in control...dare I say it...happy. I honestly believe that after 7 days of doing this challenge, it doesn't matter what the scale says; I will be a success. Not only for getting back on track with my healthier lifestyle, but for taking control and fighting back as hard as I can against my Seasonal Depression. I know that I can't just make it go away with a couple of salads and a walk in the park, but at least don't feel quite as helpless and hopeless when I know I am doing all I can to minimize its effects.

I've been trying to set smaller goals to give myself something to look forward to and help keep me in line during these winter months. For one thing, I am less than 9 pounds away from "ONEderland". I have to admit, when I was first introduced to the phrase I rolled my eyes and swore to never call it that. But the closer I get the more anxious I am to get there. There is this part of me that is yearning to be able to say, "I've lost over 20 pounds, I weigh ONE...." Oh it's been so long since I have been there and I am longing to get back. This challenge is designed to remind me to stay focused and do what it takes to get there, and beyond.

TODAY'S WORKOUT
Today I met my friend at the park after work and we walked together for 40 minutes. Not that I don't have some great tunes in my mp3 player, but it's nice to have the company and the conversation every once in a while...
video




WHAT I ATE


Breakfast-

Organic Greek Yogurt and Granola with cashews and dried cranberries, Green Juice, Constant Comment Tea


Snack-

Reduced fat Colby Jack Cheese and Wasa Crackers (only ate half the amount of cheese and crackers shown here), Apple, Orange

Lunch-

Subway 6' Toasted Ham and Cheese, chips and salsa, Romaine and Spinach Salad

Dinner-

French Toast (made with 2 eggs, skim milk, Ezekiel bread), Syrup, Decaf Vanilla Hazelnut Tea

Plus 100 oz of water!

I also went to bed on time last night, so I'm off to a good start! :)

See you tomorrow :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

7 Day Kickstart Challenge

INTRO
So I had another week of "phoning it in"...wait, who am I kidding? what I did wasn't even the equivalent of sending a text message. It was a slight improvement from the previous week, but a week of bad behavior nonetheless. I worked out one time. I may have eaten two salads all week. Apart from that, staying up late, restaurant take-out, long midday naps and seconds on dessert were the order of the day. Every day.

While I was feeling discouraged and very much like a failure at life, I decided to watch some of the videos by my fellow You Tube Weight Loss Community members for some motivation and encouragement. And there it was. Another way for the "Fresh Foodie" to keep it fresh: The daily blog. Talk about a great way to be held accountable! Letting another entire week of unhealthy decisions go by? Not THIS week!

Thanks for the idea, Dusty (everyday120togo) and Mandy (choosing2lose)

Many of the people who do daily blogs do it for weeks at a time. But I just want to kickstart my progress and get back on track after letting my focus and motivation putter and die these past few weeks. So I decided to challenge myself to do a daily blog every day for a week. The challenge guidelines are as follows:

1) Make and upload a video to YouTube everyday.

2) Make a blog entry everyday that includes photos and/or video of everything I consumed that day (good or bad) and the workouts i did.

3) Meet all of my weekly fitness goals:

*Diet*- Salad everyday, watch portions

*Exercise*- At least five 30 min cardio sessions and three 10 min toning sessions

*Hydration*- At least 100 oz of water per day

*Rest*- in bed by 12:30pm or at least 7 hrs per night

*Weight Loss*- Lose at least 1 lb (c'mon, is that too much to ask?)











I'm feeling optimistic for the first time in a while....






DAY ONE- Monday


Despite my careless and reckless behavior last week, by some miracle I still managed to lose 1.6 pounds. So my starting weight for the Kickstart Challenge is...

video


I did a 35 minute walk on a local trail. Here's a short clip of my cardio workout...



video

I also did 10 minutes of toning today. I did 5 minutes of upper body toning with weights and 5 minutes alternating abs and chest presses. (I recorded it, but it has taken over an hour and still won't upload. I can't keep waiting if I'm gonna make my bedtime! Besides, that video was pretty boring to watch...)

Here is what I consumed today....
Breakfast- Organic Natural Peanut Butter Sandwich on Ezekiel Raisin Bread w/ Almond Milk












Lunch- Organic Spinach and Romaine Salad with Feta Cheese, Almonds, Dried Cranberries and Organic Soy Ginger Dressing, an Apple and an Orange










Dinner- Bacon Cheeseburger (made w/ extra lean beef, whole wheat sandwich thins, reduced fat colby jack cheese, lean bacon, organic ketchup and pickles), sun chips, spinach and romaine salad with fat free italian dressing



plus.....over 120 oz of water total. :)






Here's the link to today's YouTube vlog...
http://www.youtube.com/freshfoodiefitness
and click on the video entitled "Fresh Foodie's 7 Day Kickstart Challenge".



See you tomorrow! :0)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fighting Back and Starting Fresh

As long as I can remember I have suffered from depression during the winter months. It wasn't too much of a problem when I was growing up outside of Houston, TX. True, winters were dark, gloomy, cold and wet, but they were short. Plus I lived close to the water, close to the city, close to my family and friends. I moved farther north a few years back. Although the weather is way better than Houston's most of the year, most of my local friends live over an hour away and these longer winters landlocked in the mountains have been doing me in.

I had been looking forward to my South America vacation, only to have it tainted by a wicked stomach virus and altitude sickness. The surroundings and the company was so enjoyable that I tried to be a trooper, but i wasn't feeling well at all and spent several days on a liquid diet. I was even more depressed to come back after a vacation with family to cold, dark, rainy surroundings.

I realized this week just how much of an emotional eater that i am. I've eaten fast food, junk food and candy for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for days now. I have gone to bed ridiculously late and taking long naps during the day. I have not exercised or had nearly enough water. I have been completely unmotivated to do anything at all since i got back. My room was so cluttered, it took me three times as long to do the most basic of daily tasks, simply because i couldn't find anything.

After over a week of living like this, i decided i had to regain control of my own life, fight against the crashing waves of depression and not simply allow myself to drown in them. True, it's not something that is just going to go away on its own. But i can control how i respond to it to some degree. I can fight back. And i will.

I'm refocusing on the basics- healthy food choices, water, exercise, rest and blogging. I took yesterday afternoon and completely cleaned my room. I started fresh today. I'm gonna make it through this winter, one choice at a time. And it makes a world of difference to know that I have your support along the way.

CHECK OUT THE RELATED VLOG "CRY FOR HELP" here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64qyd6BMREA

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vacation Deviation?

I always gain weight on vacation. Always. Never fails. i don't know if it is because i don't have as much control over what i eat and when, if i drink less water, get off my sleep schedule... but it always happens.

Case in point... 1999, age 19: 9 day trip to Costa Rica- 10 lbs gained. i got back from vacation and the next day i started a two week class where the meals were provided. another 10 lbs gained in 2 weeks. by the time we took our class picture at the beginning of the second week, i already couldn't fit any of the clothes in my closet. 20 pounds gained in 23 days, and i wasn't even binging. i just wasn't eating food from home and wasn't working out like i was used to doing.

Up until this week, the most proud of myself that i have been when trying to lose or maintain on vacation was a 4 day cruise i took in 2001, when i was 21 yrs old. i was on weight watchers at the time and i only gained 3 pounds...

"But Joy," you say, "3 pounds in 4 days is a lot"... true, but that was with me watching what i was eating and being aware of portions. my "skinny" friends made full use of the "free" all-you-can-eat buffet and each gained 5-7 lbs in those 4 days.

This week, i was concerned that i would gain on my Hotel Carolina Music Fest Weekend beach trip. It was a road trip, which helped because i took all my food and water and allowed myself to eat out only once a day. i did fit in my workouts, but mostly, i just had a blast!

How'd my week go as a Fresh Foodie? See for yourself......check out my latest video at http://www.twoak.com/vacation and watch the video: "Fresh Foodie's Week 7 Vacation and Recap".

Hope you all have a healthy week!
PS- i love to get feedback on my Vlogs and blogs, feel free to comment below! ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On Bed Rest...

So, i am noticing a pattern here: Of all my new healthy goals, getting to bed at a (semi)decent hour is the hardest one for me to reach. I have always been a night owl, but knowing that a good night's rest makes a huge difference in my productivity, energy and just overall enjoyment of the next day should be enough incentive for me to slide under those covers well before midnight. For some reason, it's not; I stay up until ridiculous hours doing who knows what, and then hate my nighttime self in the morning.

it started when i was very young. i had two teenage brothers and well after i was sent to bed, i could hear my brothers and my parents laughing and talking downstairs without me. my mom still has one of my kindergarten art projects where i drew a picture of the scene: downstairs- my family eating cookies and laughing at johnny carson; upstairs- a sad faced, pigtailed little old me tucked into bed.

i guess subconsciously i associate going to bed late with freedom and being grown. When i am relaxing, I savor the quiet, the solitude, the impression that i have all the time in the world because nothing needs to be done immediately. I also love the idea that i am getting ahead on certain tasks for the next day, so i often find myself very productive at night: cleaning, organizing, packing lunch, doing my hair or painting my toenails and the like.

It's very simple. I need a lot of rest. i function best on 8-10 hours of sleep. one of my favorite things to do is sleep late, but i rarely have that luxury. so i end up living my life sleep-deprived, frustrated and feeling rotten. I am way too young to feel like this. So i am determined to kick this unhealthy habit. No matter how long it takes, i will train my body to go to bed at a decent hour. For my health, for my beauty, for my overall well-being.

"Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything"----Count Rugen to the evil Prince Humperdink in The Princess Bride

Thursday, August 13, 2009

'Keeping it fresh'... and stressing nonetheless

So it's day 4 of my new lifestyle and i am already overwhelmed. i set my goals for the week on monday, and i am doing well so far. but as much as i try to tell myself not to focus on the scale, i can't help it. after about twenty years of dieting, i've been conditioned to rate the successfulness of a diet and exercise program by the number on the scale.

i have told the world (well, at least youtube's weight loss community) what my goals are. only one of them involved weight, and yet, as i continue to fulfill the others, the only thing going thru my mind is, "after all of this vlogging about what my new plan is and what my new approach is, i can't have a bad first weigh in". I want to focus more on gradual changes to a healthy lifestyle rather than rapid pound loss, and yet that little nagging voice in my head continues to stress about that giant digital number i'll see blaring up at me from between my pedicured toes come monday morning.

"don't stress, just keep it fresh", my new motto, is already being drowned out by the blaringly loud inner voice of self doubt and worry: "will i be able to practice what i preach?", "is what i preach even worth practicing?"

i am so happy to see the successes of my new online weight loss partners. i excitedly watch their update videos. i cheer them on. I learn from them. And yet, when i checked my diary today, i saw that 242 people had viewed my starting weight and goals video and my anxiety skyrocketed. ...what have i gotten myself into?

two of the ladies even gave me shout outs in their videos and links to my channel in the side bar. i was literally moved to tears to find out that i had been able to encourage or inspire someone, when i was just taking my first baby steps on my own journey. i love the encouragement, support and motivation that i receive from each of the people i am subscribed to. i appreciate each one of them in a different way.

i only hope that i can be as much help to them as they have already been to me.

.....yeah, no pressure or anything... ;0)
video

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Starting Fresh...

It's been a constant struggle since i was about ten. i gained 20 pounds that year... i guess puberty hit me with a vengeance. i never did shop in the juniors' section; i skipped straight from wearing the largest size in girls' clothing to shopping alongside my mom in the misses' department at 12 years old. i remember i would read fitness magazines and write out exercise plans. I would borrow workout tapes and low fat recipe books from the library. but i would always eventually grow tired of whatever "plan" had sparked my interest and it would eventually fall by the wayside...

what i need
- i would tell myself- is money. when i get old enough to work, i'm gonna buy this tape or that, join this gym or the other, eat on this program, or cook from that book... THEN i'll be able to lose weight and be fit.

So at age 16, with my first paycheck in hand, i started down a long road of the ups and downs of expensive yo-yo dieting. i bought exercise tapes from infomercials, got a gym membership, joined diet programs, got health and fitness magazine subscriptions, drank stuff in cans, ate stuff from packages... don't get me wrong, they all worked. but i continued my pattern of growing tired of the program and returning to my old habits until the next "new thing" came along. all the time i was growing less and less healthy. how is that possible? because i wasn't really eating a healthy diet. i knew my body, so i knew how to lose weight, but i really wasn't focused on how to be healthy.

Mom was right all along, of course. she never was a calorie counter. never really into fads. always more concerned about her overall health than her waistline. but she was always a healthy person, because she recognized that just because a grocery store label says "low fat" doesn't mean the product is healthful... it doesn't even mean it's food. she focuses on fresh fruits and veggies, whole foods; avoids things swimming in corn syrups, salt and hydrogenated oils. She eats fresh. sure, eating this way costs a little more than many less healthful alternatives, but it's worth the investment in your health. and when you save money by walking in the park instead of paying a personal trainer, it all balances out in the end. you can make healthy changes in your lifestyle without breaking the bank.

as for me, I am a foodie. always have been. i really enjoy food. i savor the smells, colors, flavors. but the strange thing is, i am also a very picky eater. there are a lot of foods i don't like and that makes eating right even more difficult. fresh fruits and veggies are really not my thing. i love restaurant food and it gets expensive. instead of ordering an entree, i'd rather have a fattening appetizer and a decadent dessert- the richer, the better... i would convince my self that if that was all i ate that day other than my nightly bowl of cereal with skim milk, i'd stay within my calories (and my budget). and if i did a 20 min. work out video, even better. i rationalized having an organic hemp protein smoothie made with pomegranate/acai kefir and almond milk for breakfast and then a Mickey D's combo ("hey, it may be fried, but at least it's a chicken breast" and "yes, please supersize those fries") for lunch.

in the past i have lost weight to the point that i could buy two items of clothing in a size 12 as an adult (i still have them- a dress and a pair of jeans i had at 21. the dress still has the tags on it...). But i felt my very best a couple of years ago when i started eating a mostly vegetarian diet (i still ate eggs and dairy products and the occasional seafood or chicken breast); i did it for about 6 months. of course, i gave up on it because having healthy foods on hand at all times took a lot of preparation and even though i felt better, i didn't lose much weight. but i had energy galore, i slept like a baby, my skin was amazing, my digestive problems all but disappeared...

i have never really minded eating right and exercising. my problem is getting bored or complacent and losing focus. i hate counting calories and writing down every morsel i place on my tongue, logging workout minutes and the exercises i did. so this time, i decided to take a fresh approach: the only rules are fresh foods, fitness and blogging. I am determined to make this time, the last time.

so here i am, starting over. Again. Or better said: Starting fresh.
video