It Costs Too Much To Eat Healthy – Plus Supper Tutorial

This puts a bee in my bonnet, so to speak. I have to disagree. If you’re coming from eating a diet of fast food, pizza, bagels and sugary cereal washed down with cow’s milk and soda, you might have noticed that your body doesn’t necessarily feel vibrant, or optimal. Right?

I know what it’s like to have to choose to put gas in the car or groceries on the table. When I put myself through school to be a nurse, I was in food pantry lines and using modern-day “food stamps”. My house was nearly foreclosed on. I was working 2.5 part-time jobs, going to school full-time, mothering 3 kids on my own and pursuing mountain bike racing endeavors. Yeah, I learned a lot about what’s important back then. No cable TV. I had a work-provided cell phone. An old Toyota with a lot of miles on it. The point is, I know what it’s like to have very little in the way of finances. While I do eat almost entirely organic these days and enjoy fueling my body with the best nutrition I can afford, this is a post for people who are eating food laden with trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and whatever other chemical cocktails are being served up at a drive through window.

I was told something about a healthy diet being too expensive and stressful.

Being obese and disabled isn’t expensive and stressful, then? Feeling lousy about oneself and out of control isn’t stressful? Really?! Yeah…. I don’t buy that. In fact, it pisses me off. I clearly recall being obese I was miserable. Am I alone in that?

I put together a week’s worth of menu and groceries for one hungry person. Before I get to that, I want to address some things.

“I can’t cook”. Can’t, or won’t? You can drive, wash dishes, wipe your butt, etc right? Don’t tell me you can’t cook. I call bullshit. You won’t. You don’t have the time? Do you have time to watch horrible things on the news? You have time to cook. Look up how to bake a potato on YouTube or something. You’re reading this. You have the internet. None of this is gourmet food. This is busy, weeknight, easy food. Tonight, I spent 10 minutes prepping supper which included sending a few text messages. The rice cooker (freebie, but they’re often $5 at thrift stores) cooked the rice. The vegetables cooked in a pot on the stove for 10 minutes. In that time, I cut and froze some vegetables and washed the prep dishes. Less time than it takes to go to McDonald’s.

Plan ahead. On a weekend, get your shopping done and  cook up a large batch of rice.

My menu is vegetarian. Suck it up. Eat some different foods. You might find you drop weight, save money, feel awesome and increase your health. Everyone is so obsessed with protein. Educate yourself. Try this article. You’re not a little kid any more. You can expand your palate. It actually does change, given even a few weeks.

Your body WANTS to feel good and it is ALWAYS trying its best for you. Give it some LOVE.

Tutorial Time. Here’s my Thursday-night dinner.

I put 2 cups of brown rice and 4 cups of water in the rice cooker, and pushed the “On” button.


I bought a giant cabbage for $2. Garlic and carrots are from friend’s gardens. Ginger root is cheap.

I cut it all up (5 minutes). Whew. Such hard work. I also got some turmeric, salt and pepper out.

I added some water to the pot, stirred it up, set the heat to medium and covered it with a lid. I stirred it a couple of times over the 10 minutes. Super time consuming. I can see why people don’t have time to cook <rolls eyes>.

I ate it!! I’m content and I feel good.  There’s enough left over for lunch tomorrow, too.

A word on the menu plan. You probably eat the same damn thing every morning for breakfast. I’d recommend keeping your weekday menu kind of boring and functional so you have time to play in nature. Or rest.

There are actually 2 breakfast options.
1. Put a heaping 1/2 cup of rolled oats in a bowl that has a lid. Add 1/2 teaspoon or so of cinnamon. Cover with non-dairy milk and put in the fridge overnight. It’s ready in the morning. Chop up an apple, stir it in and drizzle with maple syrup (just a small amount!).
2. Scramble some eggs. Take a cup of cooked rice from the large batch you made. Put it in a bowl, add the eggs and some salsa.
Boom. Eat and get your butt moving. You have things to do.

Then, make one large meal for dinner. Eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Or, make the large meal for lunch and eat it again for dinner. It doesn’t really matter.

Lunch/Dinner Options
1. Pasta Marinara
. Cook the pasta, drain it, dump in the marinara sauce. Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and dump them in. Add a handful of spinach. Stir and heat through.
2. Mashed Potatoes with Gravy and Mixed Vegetables. Wash, quarter and boil the potatoes. Drain when tender. Mash them with a potato masher and some garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Top with gravy. Open the package of mixed veggies and cook them in a saucepan while the potatoes cook. I just add some water, cover, and cook on low heat.
3. One Pan Meal. Preheat oven to 375. Wash and cut up your sweet potato in some chunks. Open your bag of frozen California Blend vegetables. Cut up your tempeh and toss that in a bowl with a little soy sauce or liquid aminos. Get out a sheet pan and throw it all on there. Season with whatever you want. I like garlic and just a touch of salt. Bake for 45 minutes, flipping it all over on the pan halfway through.
4. Cabbage Stir Fry. See the tutorial with pictures above.
5. Potato Hash. Dice potatoes, green peppers and onions. Saute in a pan on the stove with either a little veg stock or in a non-stick pan with a spray of oil, preferably coconut, until browned. Of course this can be seasoned with whatever. I’m kind of stuck on garlic and onion.
6. Soft Tacos. Warm a corn tortilla. Warm some of your rice or cook another batch if you need to. Warm your refried beans. Put the beans and rice in the tortilla, top with salsa and eat.
7. Baked Potato. Wash and bake some potatoes. Saute the rest of your spinach with some onion. Put it on top of the potato when it’s done. Make another batch of gravy if you want to.

Try to let your digestive system rest between meals. If you need a snack, you have bananas and carrots. Bake some potatoes to keep on hand and eat one with just salt. If you’re not hungry for them, you’re not really hungry. Go take a walk. Drink some water or tea.

Drink mostly water. I put peppermint tea on the shopping list because it’s beneficial to your health and something different.

Here’s the shopping list and price breakdown. I went to ALDI for everything except cabbage, tempeh and peppermint tea, which was from Golden Harvest.

Shopping List (with prices as of October 5, 2017)
Bananas 2#……………………………………………………………. 0.84
Bag of spinach………………………………………………………… 1.49
5# baking potatoes…………………………………………………. 1.69
1 large sweet potato………………………………………………… 0.69
3# bag of onions………………………………………………………. 1.49
Green peppers (use 1, cut and freeze the other 2)…… 1.49
3# apples………………………………………………………………… 1.49
Carrots……………………………………………………………………. 0.99
Cabbage (use 1/2, save 1/2)……………………………………. 2.00
Eggs………………………………………………………………………… 0.58
Non-dairy milk………………………………………………………… 1.99
Corn tortillas……………………………………………………………. 1.29
5# bag of rice (will last awhile)…………………………………. 4.79
Rolled oats……………………………………………………………….. 1.75
Cinnamon (will last awhile)………………………………………. 1.19
Garlic powder (will last awhile)………………………………… 1.19
Onion powder (will last awhile)………………………………… 1.19
Brown rice pasta………………………………………………………. 1.89
Marinara (the organic is dairy-free)…………………………. 1.99
Salsa…………………………………………………………………………. 1.29
Refried beans (low-fat vegetarian)…………………………… 0.79
Garbanzo beans……………………………………………………….. 0.65
Tempeh…………………………………………………………………… 3.49
Vegetable broth……………………………………………………….. 1.89
Soy sauce (low-sodium)……………………………………………. 1.49
Organic maple syrup………………………………………………… 5.49
Mixed vegetables (frozen)………………………………………… 0.79
California blend vegetables (frozen)………………………….. 0.99
Peppermint tea (20 bags)…………………………………………. 3.59

Total for 1 week of minimally processed, easy, nourishing meals = $50.48

Try this for a week. Also, move your body for 30 minutes every day doing something you enjoy. Drink water or herbal tea, about 0.5 ounces for every pound of your ideal body weight. Get to sleep by 10 and wake up with the sunrise. If you don’t feel better after a few weeks, go back to eating the way you do now. What have you got to lose?

If you’re looking for accountability and personal training, I am open to take 1 new client at this time. It includes meal planning, weekly personal training sessions, daily accountability, availability by text/message and a massage 🙂 Click here to learn more. 

Ayurvedic Fall Cleanse and Weight Loss Update

The idea of a cleanse with the changing of seasons appeals to me. The more I synchronize my own rhythms with nature, the more aligned and centered I feel. Today marks the end of my first 4-day Ayurvedic cleanse, so I thought I’d give a little update. It’s been a decade since I started exercising on a regular basis. I’ve been everything from pushing myself hard 100% of the time and chasing mountain bike podium spots to simply walking in nature. Exercise might help shape my body, but I find it benefits my mind more. I am still recovering from a tear incurred during an obstacle course race this past summer, so recently I’ve been doing mostly yoga with some walking and run intervals. A little mountain biking for fun. I think of it as recess :0). Also, I meditate almost every day for about 10 minutes.

As a reminder of where I came from, this is me in 2000. Postpartum, gaining weight, and miserable in my body. See, I know where a lot of you are at. I’m 5’1″ tall and I think I was about 170# here. P.S. Can you believe that little baby towers over me now? He’s going to be an adult soon!
Me in 2000

I did, at one point around 2009, starve myself down to 109#. I was skinny but still not happy. Funny how that works. I just had no boobs any more and my hair was falling out in clumps. I was on hormones and antidepressants. No pics of that.

In 2010 I “went Paleo” and like most things I do, I was all in. I’m either in or out with very little in between 🙂 I like that about myself now. Aaaanyway. I struggled with my weight and cholesterol the entire time. I tried to convince myself that horrid blood lipid panels were fine for all manner of reasons. I ate a shit ton of animal products.

There’s a story about why I went plant-based here, but I’ll get down to recent changes.

Also can I say, I frigging hate when people use beauty filters?? Ok I’m wearing some makeup. I have to go to work. But no, I’m not using a filter. Cripes. They make people look like porcelain and then you see them in real life and your like WTH?!? 😀 Ok I feel better.

January 2017
141#
38″ lower belly
32″ waist
36″ hips
September 2017
123.8#
34.25″ lower belly
29″ waist
36.5″ hips

Oh – you’ll maybe ask what I’m eating in a day. The cleanse I was on got me down to 3 meals per day. Lunch is pretty huge and I do love to eat. I don’t count calories or restrict myself in that way any more. Breakfast – steel cut oats with cinnamon and a cut up apple, drizzled with maple syrup. Lunch will be wild rice and split mung beans with seasonings and a slice of the thick sourdough rye from my local health food store. Ingredients are sourdough starter, rye flour, water and salt. Supper will be light and will be sweet potato soup. It’s chilly here today so I’ll sip tea and decaf coffee. I’m down from 4 cups of coffee or so to just one with half decaf, and then a cup of decaf later. I do love coffee.

It just goes to show what when we let go of the things and ideas that no longer serve us, and give our amazing bodies what they need…. love, whole foods, nourishment, and *time*, beautiful changes can happen.

And it’s so much more than physical looks. I feel pretty awesome. I feel good in my body and in my mind. Without pills, powders or potions 😉

Namaste.

RESOURCES:
Life Spa’s Ayurvedic Short Home Cleanse
Yoga With Adriene

Want to work with me for a 4-week health journey? Click here to learn more.

The Inner Mean Girl

Me in 2000

Time To Quiet Her Down 🙂

This was me in 2000. At 5’1″ and nearly 170#, I was gaining weight postpartum. I have to say, reflecting back to this time, I *feel* incredible in my 40’s in comparison to my 20’s. I have energy now – enough to do some pretty incredibly physical feats.  My health is dramatically better. My mind is in a completely different, much happier place.

That all said, I have a goal to run my next obstacle course race in shorts and a sports bra. Mostly for logistical reasons. On my recent Warrior Dash, my tank top (Hylete, top-quality workout gear) was so bogged down with mud and water it was a nuisance during the race. Also, I’d like to feel good in shorts and a sports bra. Like, maybe even confident! Without surgery!

I often glance in the mirror, even now, and the only thing I see is my belly. It’s like that one piece of me 

can determine how I feel about myself. More than a scale or a tape measure. It’s a life-long habit of criticizing my body instead of embracing it. Funny thing, even when I starved myself down to 109# in 2010, I wasn’t happy. Actually, I was miserable and on anti-depressants.

Over the past year I’ve given more focus to acceptance and love, but even the past few days I’ve been feeling extra squishy as my race deadline draws near. I got ready for today’s workout and looked in the mirror. Hmm… I mean, really. Formerly obese. Mom of 3. Stretched my belly to it’s limit more than once. Definitely wasn’t athletic my whole life or anything even remotely close to that. So, you know what? I FEEL pretty fantastic most of the time. I feel centered. I am discovering my gifts in life through work in massage, hospice, and health coaching. I don’t want my clients to see me as fake or unattainable anyway. I’m in good health, strong and capable. I think I’ll wear this outfit or something just like it to my race, proud of who I am and how far I’ve come!

Magic Potions, Pills and Powders

Lately I have been seeing *so* many people sign up for promises of weight loss and success that involve taking potions, pills and powders. I’ve tried many of them myself. What I found was they were generally expensive, unsustainable, and marginally effective. If they work for you, great! But I wonder, how are you learning to feed and care for your body long term? Is it just another quick fix? Another waste of your time and money? Are you misled by great advertising?

Do you suppose humans were meant to eat real, wholesome, nutritious foods? Or powder? Do you feel satisfied and energetic on powders and pills? How is your health? Can you stick with those programs year after year?

Again, I get it. I’ve been there. Now, I’m here. I’m here to say that I’m offering a program to you as a health coach that will teach you how to care for your body in a way that is *sustainable*. Maybe even kind of fun. With minimal time commitment. I’m here to support you in creating new habits. I’m here to turn your focus to health and self-love. I’m here to help your body remember how sweet life is, even with no added sugar (or artificial sweeteners).

No gimmicks, potions, pills, powders, boxed foods, crash diets, subscriptions, pyramid schemes, crushing workouts that leave you depleted….. none of that. Think ease, fun, and love.

Go to my Services page to learn more and get started on creating an optimal you. For a limited time, I am offering a full 4-week program for only $125 in exchange for your testimonials and feedback. I look forward to hearing from you!

The Gym

I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore. Going nowhere on a treadmill, elliptical machine, rower, or spin bike. Waiting for a weight lifting machine. People watching Constantly Negative News (isn’t that what CNN stands for?). I can’t. I’m done.

They have their place and a lot of people benefit, but I’ve become bored as hell with the gym scene. Give me the elements….. rain/snow/cold/hot…. give me my favorite music played too loud and dancing for a warmup 🙂 No worries about what anyone thinks. My dog joins me for nearly every workout. Usually during the week, I exercise 30-45 minutes which is about the time it would take me to drive to the gym and back. And, although I use kettlebells or dumbbells sometimes, most of the time I lift my body weight or a rock/log/sandbag/bucket.

It’s all so simple.

Research continues to show benefits to our well-being when it comes to being outdoors. 

Here’s something more serious, though. I have a feeling that MANY people, especially women who are overweight, want nothing to do with going to a gym. They are hard on themselves and very self-conscious. What they want is to move through their bodies through their day with relative ease, for the long term, and feel okay about themselves when they look in the mirror. They want their clothes to fit. Right?? Am I right?? !

I will not be conducting my personal training in a gym. It’s unnecessary! I have a beautiful little room in town, or I can come to you at your home. We’ll keep it simple, light, and probably filled with some laughter. I want you to feel good about moving your body using functional exercises that humans were designed for.

Contact me if you want to meet and discuss how I can help!

This Is The Tough Stuff

It’s easy to talk about health, nutrition, and fitness. This is the tough stuff…

2016 was a year of loss. My sister died from breast cancer at 37 years of age, and my sweet, green-eyed cat disappeared a few months later. Now, I think I’m ok with death. I mean, I work in hospice. I have a healthy attitude about the end of life and beginning of “what’s next”. Beyond. I hold a curiosity about it all and know it’s the one truth we all share. So, when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer that had metastasized and was untreatable, I was hoping she would simply not suffer and cross over with ease.

Around this time last year, Becky had one foot in this world and one in the other. She was fading in and out. With cancer in her bones, she was on IV opioids to keep her pain under control. Becky was a triplegic since the age of 9 months old when she had a brain hemorrhage, subsequent coma and was “never going to amount to anything”. She never walked a step in her life. She had the mentality of a child. But she did have love. She loved this world so much it was hard to leave! And despite her physical state, in her last weeks she would want to know how I was doing (or anyone visiting her). She showed so much love and concern over others. She hung on into June, actually. At her birthday party in May, about 50 people came to visit this girl that would never amount to anything. She taught a lot of people a lot of things about what’s really important.

Bompo was my soul cat. He would join me for walks and even took a couple of trips around the lake in the kayak in his striped pajamas with his Q-tip paws. He was a lover and an accomplished hunter. He was 9 years old and I thought I would have several more good years with him. He went out hunting one night in October and never returned. I’ve never been so deeply attached to a cat.

My reaction to pain is to stuff it deep down inside. I am the strong one. I feel the tide rising and put a lid on it. I know it’s fear, really. Fear of falling deep into a well of tears and drowning, maybe. Fear of “losing it”. So, when my sister was buried and I heard my mother sobbing, I jammed my emotions down as hard as I could. I can still feel her pain. The day after the burial I woke up unable to stand without help. Apparently the little bear tick I had been bit by a few weeks prior had taken a hold of me and knocked me down, hard. I don’t remember much of the next few months. It took a long time to be able to walk a mile without limping.

I guess it should be no surprise that I’ve developed breast pain to the degree that I’m concerned. In my learning, I read a book that said they have not seen a case of breast cancer that wasn’t in some way connected to unshed tears. And I had to stop listening to the book to stuff my feelings. I keep overly busy in general so that I don’t have to address the hard stuff. But I couldn’t ignore the pain any longer.

Recently I met with a healer to have a couple of stones blessed. Or so I thought. He directed me to sit down, pulled his chair right in front of me and looked me in the eyes. I put on my Warrior face so I wouldn’t break down in front of a crowd of people. He said I have to address my heart. Whoa….

Today I had a mammogram. It hurt. I left feeling sick to my stomach from the pain. I decided to go visit the humane society and sit among the felines, but they were closed. So I cried. I drove the the forest, got down on the ground and cried. I heard Crow greeting me and leaves rustling in the wind and I just let it all go. I laid my face on the moss and let Mother Earth catch my tears.

And then I laughed at myself. Imagine that! I cried, and I was ok. It stopped when it was supposed to. I felt relaxed and lighter in a way. I thanked the Creatures of the forest for supporting me. I thanked Becky and Bompo for being part of my life and teaching me that love never dies. I carry them in my heart and always will.

While I await the mammogram results, I will continue to love and nourish my body on all levels. I will continue to relish my time here and my journey, grateful for those who are here as well as those beyond.

Do You Have Enough Willpower?

Lately I’ve been observing a pattern. People who are overweight or obese will talk about things they “should” be doing.

Before I go any further, know that I did this for years. I “had no willpower” when it came to food. In 2010 when I tried an elimination diet to see if my irritable bowel symptoms would ease up (they went away)  I struggled. A lot. So I get it. Food held a strange power over me.

Fast forward to 2017 and it’s easy for me to pass up baked goods, sugary drinks and even conventional pizza. I don’t even feel deprived a little bit. I’m not better than anyone else. So again I hear folks talking about what they should be doing…. folks who are obese and facing some pretty serious health problems. Where is the disconnect? If you know that what you are putting in your body is not helping you, and it’s difficult for you to move through your day, why on earth would you do that?

It got me thinking. How is it easy for me to say no to these things now? I don’t feel deprived in any way. I crave Sockeye salmon and giant salads. Sweet potatoes are *amazing*. A Granny Smith apple or fresh berries are plenty sweet, and for an indulgence I look to dark chocolate with a glass of Pinot Noir. I’m not at all deprived. I feel quite good. My energy level continues to rise. I move through my day with ease. Yet, I used to eat the whole damn pan of brownies if there was one.  I could demolish a bag of chips no prob. I hated the “taste” of water.

You know what I think the real issue is?? I think it’s not a lack of willpower. I think it’s a lack of self-love. That can take a long time to cultivate! And it’s not easy after decades of being so hard on yourself.

So here’s the thing. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are amazing. How do you want to feel? How do you want your children see you talking to yourself in front of the mirror? Why do you suppose it’s so hard to realize that you were created in perfection, and your dear body has been trying to do the right thing all along?

Be nice to you. Be nice like you would to a dear friend. Love your curves. Nourish yourself. Live optimally.

Fixed My Scale Today

From a Facebook post 2/19/2016:

I stepped on the scale yesterday for the first time in a long time. Despite staying active on a regular basis and strictly eating no sugars or grains since 1/31/15, I’m up in weight. I beat myself up a bit over it and contemplated drastic methods to lose the 10# I would like to be down by the end of April when race season starts. And then the whole thing makes me a little angry. Do I look unhealthy in my profile pic taken a week ago?? Don’t I *feel* strong and capable? And happy?! What about the 7″ of bloated belly that disappeared? And the pants that fit now…

So to the scale I say: You will never again have so much control over my life or my feelings towards myself. I am stronger of mind and body than ever before. I am capable and curvy. Energetic and yet peaceful within. I love my life and who I have become. I will focus on my fitness goals and I will get there by being kind to my amazing body and nourishing it with real foods.

Today I “fixed” the scale once and for all.

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