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Coffee With Kay:

Day 8: It’s time for a weekly re-cap and progress report. I’ve finished Week 1 and this is the first day of Week 2. This morning I woke up, recorded my weight and took some time over coffee to reflect on the first week if my 90 Day Challenge. Here are my thoughts:

What went Right? I stuck to the plan: no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, no sugar or sweeteners and no artificial additives. I ate at the right intervals, every 3-4 hours during the day & included all three macro-nutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate & Fat) at each meal. I met my goals for water each day and took a liquid multi-vitamin every morning. I tried quite a few new foods, found a coffee creamer that I like and I’m really happy that I am still enjoying my morning coffee ritual (even without honey and half and half). I’m feeling good; cravings have virtually stopped. I admit I really wanted a glass of wine on Friday evening, but that passed. A glass of Kombucha or flavored soda water seem to do just fine for now, and I know the pay-off will be well worth giving up my evening libation for a while. As far as leaving out those previously mentioned food groups, I have found that I’m eating a much bigger variety of vegetables and fruits, and enjoying my meals more than before. Actually, I think I was sort of bored with my old eating plan, and this has encouraged me to try new things. I’ve actually had fun trying new foods, and I’m definitely eating better than I was before. Part of this is just plain “self-care”. I hadn’t been taking the time to prepare meals for myself—and frankly, I’m still not spending a lot of time on meal prep. These meals are easy! In addition, I got a deep tissue massage and got some acupuncture to help my body heal. Reading every single label in my kitchen was a great exercise for me—it created a lot of awareness around all the things that have been in my food, even though I try to eat healthy and buy “natural” and “organic” whenever I can. I’m feeling really good about eliminating some of those things, and also adding some much healthier alternatives.

What Went Wrong? Starting my 90 Day Challenge with a pretty bad knee injury was not what I’d anticipated. I couldn’t exercise during this week—frankly I could barely walk during the first few days. Having to be on Prednisone to help with inflammation, which stimulates appetite and tends to cause weight gain was another challenge. Last but not least, I didn’t sleep well most of last week, either from pain or from being wired due to the steroids. As you know, there are five components to this program: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Water and Supplements. I nailed 3 out of 5, but Sleep and Exercise definitely were issues during the first week. During the later part of the week I felt sorta “meh” and was tired of being stuck in the house with no exercise, and also could have done a better job with my meals. I sort of ate out of my EFK (Emergency Food Kit) on Friday Night rather than eating a real meal.

How can I improve? This week it is time to gradually add in exercise without over-doing it—I don’t want a set back with my knee. In addition to walking, I can do some upper body work. My goals for this week are: Walk at least 20-30 minutes each day, do some core & resistance training at least 4 days per week, do some yoga every day (at least 15 minutes) and 2 Restorative Yoga Classes during the week. Today I did a couple of sets of upper body exercises with some light weights. I walked twice. I resolved over the weekend to get a little more creative with my food preparations, and also to put together a more solid plan for an EFK “Emergency Food Kit”, for eating on the run or travel.

Results? Okay, I don’t want anybody following this challenge to get stuck on numbers, and especially not on the scale; nor do I want you to compare your results to those of anyone else (including mine). Results will vary widely depending on your body, your dieting history and your health history. This isn’t a race. Sustainable results and positive lifestyle habits are most important—that and creating awareness around food and learning what works for your body. Also, I want to remind everyone that we don’t just want to lose weight, what we really want is to lose body fat and maintain or increase lean body mass, or muscle. There are many other ways to measure results. How are you feeling? What is your energy level? Are you having less cravings? Feeling ready to eat when it is time to eat? It was almost difficult for me to answer those questions due to lack of sleep, which will affect cravings and water retention, being on the steroid, and in pain, and I certainly wasn’t happy about being virtually house bound for the past two weeks. Frankly, all of that had me feeling pretty crappy at times. However, I’m feeling better & I’m hungry when I’m supposed to be (about every 4 hours; feeling satisfied but not stuffed after eating), and I’m not having cravings. I was very happy to jump on the scale this morning to find, in spite of last week’s challenges, I’d lost 3.5#—and my knee is much better—considering my limited activity this was a real “win” for my first week!

Breakfast Ideas:

Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage ‘n’ Scrambled Eggs with Cantaloupe. This Spicy Italian Sausage is from Trader Joe’s. It comes fully cooked in large links. I removed the casing from one link and crumbled it into my skillet this morning and then added 1 whole egg and an egg white. Served with a side of cantaloupe.

Where are the macros in this meal?

Protein: Spicy Italian Sausage & Egg Whites; Fat: Spicy Italian Sausage & Egg Yolk; Carbohydrate: Cantaloupe

 

EFStash Meal:

A call from a friend to come help them with an outdoor project had me reaching for my Emergency Food Stash. It was likely that I’d be out past the time for my next meal and I wanted to be prepared in case that happened. I also wanted to be prepared in case my friend offered to buy lunch which he frequently does when we are working together—only a hand cut (fried) port chop sandwich from the local place, or hot wings from the ‘Get’n’Zip’ was NOT going to be on my menu for today. So I packed an EFStash, and even took some extra in case I needed to share. I figured an Epic Bison Bar and a boiled egg would be close enough to ‘man food’ that it wouldn’t offend my buddy, and I took along an apple to go with it, and he may even want to try some. As I tossed my zip lock bag of food in the truck and explained that if his project took until lunch, I’d need to eat this food, and I had enough to share, he commented, “Oh yeah, you’re doing that food thing now.”

As it turned out I got home in time to eat a regular lunch so I put the EFStash things away … it made me think: I need to ALREADY have some of these bags packed and ready to go. And I should have some items in my purse and in my car!

Salmon with Asparagus & Potatoes

Since I got home in time to have some “real food” (just kidding, my EFK Stash is made from 100% REAL food) I had this left over salmon & asparagus with white potatoes. This was the second Salmon Packet I cooked on Saturday.

Creole Seasoned Chicken

I had two chicken legs (thighs & drumsticks) left from the chicken I roasted two days ago. I decided to make a chicken skillet recipe with them. What went in the pan? I diced & sauteed 1/2 bell pepper, 1/2 onion, 2 t. garlic paste, and a container of pre-washed mushrooms in the skillet then I added salt, pepper & Lucille’s Creole Original Seasoning to taste. Then I put the cooked chicken legs in the concoction, and topped them with about 12 sliced green olives. I covered the pan to let the chicken warm through and the flavors to blend. After a few minutes turned the heat off so they could sit until I was ready to eat.

Where are the Macro-Nutrients in this meal? Protein: Chicken; Fat: Olive Oil, Olives and dark chicken meat; Carbohydrates: Tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, & a glass of Kombucha!

I love these RxBars!

Just a few short years ago, when I needed a meal replacement I reached for a protein bar, meal replacement shake, or made a shake with protein powder and added some fruit and almond butter. None of those options satisfied me as much as “real food”, and they were all loaded with whey protein (dairy), artificial sweeteners, and other additives that weren’t really great. At best, I considered them a “medium” quality meal. Still, they were great to have on-hand for emergencies, long meetings and travel. I just recently found these RX Bars, and I am so happy I did. Real food, no additives and down right delicious! I LOVE that the whole ingredients are listed in great big letters on the front of the bar! Packing 210 calories each, they get their protein from 3 egg whites (12 g), fats from the nuts, and the sweetness from dates, and the other whole ingredients are to add to the flavoring and variety. Granted, I’d like a LITTLE more protein, and if I want to (like tonight), I can add to it by eating the whites of a couple of boiled eggs (about 30 additional calories and 8 additional grams of protein). In addition to being a great thing to have in your EFStash (Emergency Food Stash), they are sweet enough to satisfy that craving for a little something sweet, and no too filling that I get at the end of the day. As you see, I like to cut mine into bite-sized pieces and eat each morsel like a piece of candy! This and a cup of tea in the evening make me feel “indulged”.

To recap some of the awesome things I discovered this week:

 

 

 

 

All of these items are available from Barefoot Provisions, where you can get free shipping on orders over $99. 

Please post any comments, questions or feedback you have below. I really do love hearing from you!

 

 

Kay Rice, M.Ed. Wellness & Lifestyle Coach, Vedic Educator, Consultant, Author & Free Spirited Adventurer

 

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