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Crap Free Living starts today

mondaybreak

I really debated over what to have for breakfast this morning, but the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted a simple bowl of cereal. Above is 1.5 cups of Honey Nut Cheerios with 1 tbsp flax sprinkled on top, plus 1 medium banana and 1 cup of skim milk. The husband isn’t using milk for cereal this week, so I was able to go down to skim from 1%, yay. It’s only a 20 calorie difference per cup but hey, every bit adds up. I had a cup of black coffee when I got to work. Its weird, but there was a time when this would’ve tasted bitter to me, in here in just the last couple of weeks, a cup of black coffee has become quite pleasing, even though I drank two sweetened beverages over the weekend.

Today is the first day I’m no longer officially under Crap Free Week rules. But I found through my experiment that this was not an unreasonable way of living. I wasn’t restricting anything good for me, only additives and chemicals that I can do without. I still enjoyed a cup (sometimes two) of caffeine but from black coffee and plain teas, no sugar or artificial sweeteners or creamers added (with the exception of my two weekend Starbucks runs-one was just with soymilk though). So from here on out, the rules pretty much stay the same, only we’re now into Crap Free Living.

I have really tackled my cravings for sweets and snacks, especially at night. I make sure that dinner is very satisfying by making what I’m really craving (and having lots of stuff available to chose from) and then a small snack of either fruit, cereal or a rice cake at night, keeping most late night snacks under or around 100 calories. I have been wanting for NOTHING, I truly mean that.

I got on the scale this morning and saw 151.5 lbs. Even though I was up 0.5 for the month of March, I technically lost 2.5 lbs just last week (on Monday 2/23, I was at 154). I’m not making weight loss a priority with my new Crap Free lifestyle, its about much more than that. But any added benefit would be greatly appreciated nonetheless πŸ˜‰

I cleaned out the pantry and fridge this weekend and threw together a bag of stuff to take to work because I can’t stand for anything to go to waste or in the garbage. I removed all the sugar free jello pudding and no sugar added rice pudding (which I didn’t care much for anyway) from the fridge, drink mixes (powdered, cider, hot cocoa), and a few other odds and ends from the pantry. I think I now officially have no more crap (that’s mine) in my house!

I think one thing I’m going to have some issues with is gum. I like chewing gum once or twice a day because it keeps my mouth from getting dry and gets rid of some powerful food tastes like onions and stuff. What should I do in place of this? Sugarless gum, like Extra, contains aspartame, so I don’t want to chew it anymore if I can help it. But I don’t want to pop sugar-laden higher-calorie gums or mints either. Hmm…I may just have to get back to brushing my teeth after meals and keep drinking lots of water I guess.

I’ve gotta get at least 20 minutes of yoga in today, which I think I’m going to do tonight between dinner and “24” or perhaps right before bed, as long as I choose a relaxing program and nothing vigorous that’s going to fire me up! πŸ˜‰ I’ve got a 5k coming up on Saturday morning, so I’ve also got to practice running a few more times this week. But I’m really looking forward to it!

Crap Free Week, Day 7

I made pumpkin-raisin stove top oats again! Seriously, I have been missing out all these years, it’s unlikely I will be microwaving them again anytime soon…

That HUGE sandwich you see is a Beach Club (turkey,Β lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, provolone, avocado spread)Β from Jimmy John’s on 7 grain bread. It wasn’t the best choice, as its a 610 calorie sandwich (without mayo!) but it held me over for a long time and I got in my grains, protein, dairy and veggies πŸ™‚

Got a nonfat caramel macchiato (tall) at Starbucks with my mom — I’ve been spoiled on the Starbucks this weekend, need to take a few days off!

For dinner, I made a salmon burger (with 2 tsp light mayo) on the Foreman with some Green Giant veggies (asian style mix), a couple pieces of wheat oat bread (from Saturday) with Smart Balance. Then for dessert during Big Love and Tara, I had two apple cinnamon rice cakes plain with some Sugar Cookie sleigh ride tea.

What a great weekend, can they all be like this??

Snowy Saturday

My Saturday was mostly Crap Free…the only exception was the soup that night coming mostly from canned ingredients (my friend Courtney’s Rockin’ Taco soup, I’ve got the recipe now). Still no HFCS or trans fat though and definitely no artificial sweeteners. So I can certainly handle and balance out a little sodium πŸ˜‰

At dinner, I only drank about 1/3 of the beer, I just wasn’t feeling it. I think I will be more into it in the summer perhaps when it’s warmer out πŸ™‚ I went back for a second bowl of soup (half the size you see here) and halfway through I was full, so I just stopped eating it. I also had a few more chips than are pictured πŸ˜‰ But they were Multigrain and had no CFW banned ingredients.

I also had a tallΒ soy latte from Starbucks (before dinner) that was not pictured; I decided to change it up and had forgotten how good a soy latte was (because they use vanilla soy milk), I will have to remember that (plus it was only 130 calories)! I had a great day, got some homework done at breakfast (the dog woke me up early, grrr) took a 6 mile walk with my family, then hit the public library up with my best friend, had dinner, watched movies (Vicky Cristina Barcelona-pretty good; Prozac Nation-ok, very depressing). It was a great day πŸ™‚

When I got home, I was hungry so I had a small cup of Multigrain Cheerios with 1% milk. It snowed a bit on Saturday but none of it stuck, thank goodness. Come on Spring!

More crap free foods

Product Review: Quaker Rice Cakes – Apple Cinnamon

I got these as a snack idea from a friend at work who assured me that the first ingredient was whole grain brown rice, very few other ingredients and certainly no HFCS or hydrogenated anything. I love it when other people are conscious about the same things as me in foods πŸ™‚

I had a coupon anyway, so I purchased a package of them and tried my first one with 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter spread on top (per my friend’s suggestion). It makes for a very light and tasty snack, without being overly sweet or filling. They make a very good dessert or a snack between meals. I have also just tried them plain and they were very good. I think I had a certain idea about rice cakes from the old days when that’s what women who were dieting ate and it tasted like cardboard.

Each cake has just 50 calories, 3 grams of sugar, no fat or sodium. Now, some of the other rice cake “products” that have icings drizzled on them, you are going to find trans fat (meh). But these are safe! They even contain natural apple & cinnamon flavors, wow. I can’t wait to try some other flavors!

My friend says the chocolate ones with PB is the best! Might have to look into that πŸ˜‰ And other ways to eat the apple cinnamons…

Also, check out the pics of the Kashi Pumpkin Pie bar! I used that as a mid-morning snack on Friday and it powered me through a tough treadmill workout. I just love the Kashi products, don’t you? The layer of pumpkin on top is the best part πŸ™‚

Friday night, I did end up getting the grilled chicken salad from Impellizeri’s like I’d planned, plus 2 tiny baked mushrooms (w/cheese) as an appetizer. I didn’t even feel deprived, the salad was quite large and very filling…the chicken was warm and seasoned, so much better than lots of other grilled chicken salads I’ve had (McDonald’s, ick).

After dinner, we headed to the grocery store, then came home to watch a movie (“Hancock”…started out good, got boring and weird toward the end, had its funny moments) during which I had an apple cinnamon cake with PB and some good ol’ hot tea. I love that I seem to have control of my nighttime snacking now, its the best feeling.

Bittersweet ending

Today is the last day of Crap Free Week which is both cool and sad. I don’t plan on going hog wild on the “crap” once tomorrow begins, but I think I am going to miss the excitement of this experimental week. I will have to come up with another one soon πŸ™‚

However, I’m glad that I did this because I now remember that I want to be crap free, all the time. There will be occasions when it’s just impossible to avoid the crap, but as long as I’m in control, I want to pick as little crap as possible to put into my body. I just feel that much better.

This has been a good weekend all around. I’ve learned a lot and have not gone off the deep end as I tend to do on the weekends. I’m excited to wrap this week up and to share more about it with you guys soon.

I hope everyone has had a great weekend and I’ll post some pics tomorrow morning. Thanks again for all the supportive comments, they really do mean a lot πŸ™‚

p.s. I almost forgot! Today is Day 1 of the 31 Days of Yoga challenge! I rented a yoga DVD at the library yesterday and this morning I participated in a 26 minute meditation exercise. It wasn’t my favorite, but the DVD has 5 other programs on it, plus I have a couple of my own that I can use too. I can’t wait to see what I learn from that experiment too. Thanks Tina for the inspiration!

Today’s workout and de-“crap”ping my coupons

I met my partner for another amazing treadmill session at the gym today! πŸ™‚

Once again, I went over there expecting to only do 30 minutes or so and ended up at 65! The only thing holding me back was that I had to get back to work. Otherwise, I could’ve kept going. What an amazing feeling. I’m not so concerned about my upcoming races anymore, it’s going to be fun!

Today was very similar to yesterday, only we warmed up for 0.75 mile (instead of 1.o) and then I ran for 1.25 miles! Then we did pretty much an entire mile of incline challenge (1.0-15.0 and back down) and then I ran again for another 0.75 mile, bringing my running total of our workout to 2.0 miles. I’m so thrilled. I’m sure it won’t be long before I can do those 2 miles all at once without stopping.

Here are my stats (I think, I should really write this stuff down, haha):

Time: 65:00

Distance: 4.25 miles

Calories: 500’ish (according to the treadmill)

Remind me to put “Heart Rate Monitor” on my wishlist!

Friday nights in our household are almost always for grocery shopping (we’re so old). So usually throughout the day, I will pick through my coupons and make decisions (and a list) about what to buy that night. In the spirit of Crap Free Week and Crap Free Living, I have decided to have Crap Free Coupons! I weeded through them all and picked out ones that I knew were not Crap Free Living-friendly, but I won’t let them go to waste, I love sharing coupons with people who need them πŸ™‚

If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. And I’m less likely to buy something if I don’t have a coupon for it. So I figure, it’s a win-win situation. Save money and save crap from going into my body πŸ˜‰

We’re having dinner with my parents tonight at Impellizerri’s Pizza, a local favorite. We just ate pizza last Friday (before CFW) plus I know they don’t have any whole wheat crust, so I think I’m going to opt for the grilled chicken salad — that actually sounds good, plus it has olives on it. I’m thinking either Italian or Balsamic on the side for dressing. Watching everyone else eat pizza or bread is going to be a challenge but I’m not worried because I feel good about how I’ve treated my body this week.

I haven’t checked the scale (and don’t plan on it until Monday) but the pants I’m wearing today are huge and it’s only been maybe 2 weeks since I’ve worn them last. Its to the point where I think I should get rid of them!

Have a good weekend everyone, be back soon…I have another 6 mile walk planned tomorrow with my family in the morning and then my first day of 31 Days of Yoga starts on Sunday!

Is it really Day 4?

I can’t believe it’s already been 4 whole days of Crap Free Week! Honestly, this doesn’t feel like a Crap Free Week. It feels like the way I want to live. I’m so glad I did this and I’m really glad Caitlin, Lindsay, and others did it too because it inspired me to create my own CFW. I think from the end of the week on, I shall refer to it as Crap Free Living. I honestly don’t think I want another diet soda or artificially sweetened pudding again. πŸ™‚ I’ll be going to Starbucks with my family tomorrow and the strange thing is, all I can think about is a nice hot tea! What happened to me? Ha ha.

Yesterday was a great day even after my breakfast debacle. I’m just glad I ate wholesome foods, even if they didn’t fill me for as long as I would’ve liked.

I mentioned scarfing these down around 9:30 yesterday…

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I also had a cup of black coffee beforehand — might as well just commit this to memory because I have coffee every day during the week but I have switched to tea on the weekends πŸ™‚

Somehow I managed to make it to 11:00, which is when I drug out my lunch. I’m really loving my lunches this week but can already tell I’m growing tired of sandwiches, so I think at the store this weekend, I will plan accordingly. I’m definitely going to pick up some veggie burgers and I still have salmon burgers in the freezer. I’ve also got some stuff to make some big salads so I hope to do that at least one day next week for lunch.

Today was a turkey sandwich (w/ spinach, 2% cheese and light mayo on whole wheat), some carrots + hummus, orange, and a pickle.

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I didn’t end up finishing the carrots because I got full, so there are a few in the fridge for another time.

Aruond 2:00, we had a party here at work for which I was one of the hostesses. I brought fruit & veggies of course. The apples & strawberries were a big hit but not too many people touched the veggie tray 😦 I already had to use up some veggies from my previous one so now I’ll have to deal with this. I’m really going to get sick of broccoli, carrots & celery if I’m not careful. Perhaps I can come up with a creative way to use them? Hmm…

Anyway, at the party, I had some apple slices (pre-cut) and a few strawberries and some nice hot apple cinnamon herbal tea. It really hit the spot. I was having an afternoon workout though, so before I left I ate what has become my daily yogurt. Another new flavor!

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This is the Voskos Greek Yogurt in Honey Vanilla Bean. I didn’t know what to think of it at first — it’s a smaller container than I’m used to (even though I had Blueberry earlier in the week) and I thought it kind of looked like ranch dressing! Don’t you think?

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But I’m glad to say this yogurt was PHENOMENAL! I loved the flavor, the vanilla and honey really go well together, neither overpowered the other.

Its still not the thick greek yogurt consistency that I like, but it’s definitely not runny like Stonyfield. I would definitely buy this one again, not to mention the Blueberry. Can’t wait to try other flavors and even the plain πŸ™‚

I kicked some major butt at the gym yesterday afternoon but it was slow going at first. Around 4:30, I was kind of tired and we started walking on the treadmills at 3.8 and it seemed harder than it was. Luckily my training partner was there (I’m growing quite fond of her!) and she started jogging, so I did too. We walked for a mile, then ran for about 1.10 miles, then we walked again at 3.8 and increased our incline gradually up to 15.0 and then back down gradually too. Then we did some intervals. I had originally thought I would be lucky to get 30 minutes in and guess what…we did 75! We also took some time out after our workout to do some stretching because we knew we’d need it.

Time: 75:00

Distance: 5.12 miles

Calories burned: 500+ (according to the machine)

Wowzah. In a good way! Lets just say when I got home last night I was totally ready for dinner.

I didn’t know it until this week, but I have to declare my undying love for Garbanzo Beans! I knew I liked them but now I love them πŸ™‚ I decided to have my beans + brown rice combo again, only as a side and a pork chop for some more protein. It definitely feels good to eat protein after a tough workout, I could almost feel my muscles repairing!

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I ended up going for 2nds on the beans, so I ate probably twice what you see there. They are so good! I definitely have to get those again. I would love to put those on a salad πŸ™‚

After dinner, I did the dishes and some laundry and then plopped down on the couch to catch up on two of our favorite shows: “Big Love” and “United States of Tara” they were both good episodes too. Between the two, I got up (which was hard!) and made myself some Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea and a little dessert/snack:

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Just a little unsweetened applesauce topped with some cinnamon and a handful of Multigrain Cheerios. This really hit the spot — I can already tell my sweet (fake) cravings are ceasing, this was perfectly sweet enough for me, plus I got another fruit serving out of it!

You know, if nothing else becomes of this Crap Free way of life, I love the way it makes me feel. The bottom line for me is that if I eat crap, I’ll feel like crap. If I eat mostly real food with no added junk, I feel good. You are what you eat?

Have a good day everybody, thanks for stopping by!

Crap Free, Day 3

Can I say how much I love NOT eating crap?! πŸ™‚

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I woke up early yesterday to make real STOVE TOP OATS! I was so excited. It takes a few extra minutes but it is so worth it because they come out the perfect consistency and stirred up right and everything, which I know I can be really picky about. Unless I’m in a hurry, I doubt I’ll go back to microwaving. Woah!

These are pumpkin oats (1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup 1% milk, 1/4 cup oats) topped with pumpkin pie spice, milled flaxseed, 2 tbsp raisins, 1 tbsp sliced almonds, and 1 tbsp PB πŸ™‚

This breakfast held me so well, I’m thinking about having oats almost every day because there’s nothing else quite like it in terms of lasting power, for me. You’ll hear more about that later.

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Lunch was a PB&J (preserves, haha) sandwich on whole wheat with some veggies + hummus (ended up only eating the celery and one piece of broccoli — think they tasted old), some Annie’s cheddar bunnies and an orange.

This lunch was fun to eat, tasted good and lasted me 4 hours again, woo hoo!

For my afternoon snack, I re-tried a yogurt I hadn’t had in a while. My only problem with Stonyfield is that it tends to be a little on the runny side. The taste is very good though and vanilla is one of my favorites from what I remember. I’m definitely a thicker yogurt person so I may not get these again for a while, but I would like to have some other flavors just to change things up a bit from time to time.

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I topped this with some blackberries which ended up being a nice addition! I broke them apart with my spoon as I ate the yogurt and it started changing colors, hehe. Ok, getting a little too excited there…

Yesterday I faced my first real challenge of CFW in going out to a restaurant for dinner. I was excited because we went to Red Lobster, which I had never been to before because my husband is not a big fan of seafood. I ended up ordering the Garlic jumbo grilled shrimp which came with a side salad (I had honey mustard on the side and had less than a tablespoon by dipping my fork in it). The side salad was ice berg but was at least topped with cucumber, tomato and red onion; I tossed the croutons. My shrimp were very juicy and light, not quite the buttery explosion I was afraid of but with this particular dish I was concerned that if I’d ordered it without the spread, the flavor might not have been there. It also came with some wild rice pilaf and steamed broccoli (no butter, yay).

My meal wasΒ in generalΒ crap free (grilled shrimp, veggies, rice, salad) but I do have to think about the butter (trans fat?), wild rice (not sure if it was whole grain) and salad dressing (HFCS? it wasn’t light though). Since I didn’t have an ingredients list in front of me, I’m just going to say this meal was an exception, hopefully the only one I’ll have the rest of the week.

I just checked the Red Lobster website and they have nutritional information! Whether its accurate or not, I’m pleased that I ended up ordering one of the lighest things on the menu, without even knowing ahead of time, yippee! The website is impressive; they have a meal calculator, smart tips about dining, cooking, and facts about seafood and Omega-3’s. I wish all restaurants were this caring.

I didn’t take a picture at dinner because I was with my in-laws who don’t know about the blog (yet) so I didn’t want them to think I was crazy. I think I am finally getting comfortable with the format and everything though, so hopefully soon I can share this site with everyone πŸ™‚

After dinner, we went to our beloved Louisville Palace and saw the Celtic Woman concert which was amazing. I didn’t know too much about the group going into the show but I’m a big fan of Irish traditional music so I gave it a shot. They were amazing, they do a lot of singing, dancing and the costumes alone were worth going to the show for. I had a really good time.

When I got home, it had been about 5 hours since I’d eaten anything so I was a bit hungry even though bedtime was soon. So I made myself this snack, plus some lemon herbal tea and laid in bed reviewing my anatomy notes (midterm was today, easy as pie).

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All in all, another good day…