Aug. 1, 2009 8:53 pm
Unemployed from a fast-paced, fine-dining restaurant since early May; I found myself with flab on my legs and arms instead of muscle, by mid June, and I freaked! While not over-weight, my sedentary 6 weeks caused some havoc with muscle tone.
First thing I did...removed all white starch and sugar from the cabinets. I've always made healthy choices in my diet by: not eating red meat, butter, fried foods, bread, whole dairy products, etc. I stepped it up a bit and said "No" to soda pop, ice cream, chocolate, cheese, and anything with trans-fat...no dining out or cocktails either!
I bought a mountain bike, found my pedometer, and pulled the 5 lb. weights from under my bed; re-read a great book "Body for Life for Women" by Pamela Peeke (a must read for women of all ages), and committed to myself! On July 1st, began a personal challenge. I should tell you that I am single with no children and live alone, the choices I make affect only me.
I filled my fridge with carrots, celery, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, and low carb fruits. (BTW: Debbie Myers Green Bags really keep fruit and veggies fresh longer)
I keep canned tuna in water, sardines and crab meat for a quick salad topper. I use whole wheat pita bread and tortillas, cut each into triangles and bake a short time to use with my house made salsa and guacamole. Also great as a cracker for a little dab of 'Krema Natural' peanut butter (the best)! Snack shelf has: natural/unsalted almonds and sunflower seeds, raisins, and other dried fruit. (I make my own trail mix with all things I like)
I love to start my day with steel cut oats and found a great way around the 30 minute cook-time each day: One cup oats, 4 cups water/skim milk, cook, let cool, refrigerate a few hours, divide into 8- 1/2 cup portions, and freeze. At night, slip one into fridge, in the morning heat stove-top or microwave, top with bananas, blue berries and strawberries. Great way to start the day!
Cooking for one has become quite easy for me...I buy skinless, lean turkey and chicken, fresh salmon, shrimp, and anything else looking nice at the market that day. At home, I clean and prepare, then freeze off in single portions. I might make a large pot of turkey chili and freeze off 8 portions. I marinate chicken breasts in various styles and freeze those off individually as well. Salmon, I purchase in 3 or 4 lb weight and portion them out in 6 to 8 oz. size, slip into a double Ziploc bag (making sure no air inside) then freeze. I do this with lasagna, meatloaf, casseroles, just about anything. One day cooking allows for nearly a full month of meals. I find, when I have an easy, healthy meal with little prep time waiting, I don't think about Pringles or Tootsie Rolls!
The key is to think about your meals for the day, ahead of time, so you avert a bad decision. (If you choose unhealthy, no problem, make a better choice next time!) Don't beat yourself up!
Slowly but surely, I began working my properly fueled body...Detroit is experiencing a lovely, mild summer; no oppressive heat this year. -Use weights for my arms every other day: 7 different exercises, 3 sets each.
-Worked up to cycling 20-25 miles, usually 5 times a week. -Climb 205 stairs to my apartment 3-6 times, every other day. -Looking into a Yoga class.
As the month of July ended, 7 lbs. lighter, I noticed muscle tone in my arms mostly. My calves have always been tight, but I do see renewed tone in my thighs and for all the pain I have felt in my gluts, I'm sure something is getting ready to happen back there too!
At the end of all this, I should confess...I have been a smoker for many years. I'm relying on 'Nicorette' to help me through the cravings, I've only purchased 3 packs in a month. Saving $7.00 daily is great, but making it up that huge incline at the end of my 20 mile bike ride is, for me, a personal best!
Get inspired! Peace!