Body By Design Day #22

Monday... no amount of sleep would've been enough for our muscles to recover from Sunday's hike.  Wow.  I felt muscles I didn't know I had.  What's interesting is that in the midst of this pain, I feel strong, stronger than ever.  I was a bit unprepared this morning and just made a smoothie with hemp protein, banana, raspberries and oats (soaked in water overnight).  It was very filling but the fruits are definitely not in the program.  Didn't do very well on my meals because I was just so busy I didn't realize it was time to eat so I only had my lunch which was Quinoa Salad from yesterday with cubed tofu.

The Monday workout is the easiest one but it was tough for us.  We were still very sore from the hike on Sunday but we pushed through it.  And so we begin our fourth week in the program.  I have not weighed myself, but I do feel better in my clothes and my husband 's seeing very big improvements in his muscle definition.  We keep each other motivated and seeing how the body responds so well also helps!


Body By Design Day #21

Sunday oh Sunday! I knew I wasn't going to do any of the daily workouts because I'd be doing enough exercise hiking on Crowder's Mountain, I just didn't know that's I'd be doing 5 days worth of workout on that day... That was really INTENSE!.  We hiked going up the mountain in about an hour and a half.  The hike was fun, meaning it was really interactive, a little bit of just walking, a little bit of going up hill, a little bit of climbing on really cool rocks and a lot of wonderful views.  See for yourself:

We were supposed to meet our friends at the beginning of the hike but were about 45 minutes late of course...  We finally caught up with our friends at the top of the mountain...

You could see the city of Charlotte from there.

According to my hubby, until you climbed up to this rock, you cannot say you got to the top of the mountain.  I thought about joining him but then he said "the trick is to jump up here and know when to stop before you keep going... going down the precipice, that is"... Um, "no thanks" I said.  I just enjoyed the views, the fresh air and the liberating feeling of being alone with nature all around you.

We then proceeded to hike back down, taking another trail which I'm glad we didn't take going up because it was 25% stairs...  This took us about 2 hours!  I had never walked for so long in my life, but I did have fun and my body hurt, specially my legs.

We hiked for 7.3 miles in total.  Now you understand why I said it was 5 days worth of exercise!

We're definitely going back!  The challenge is to keep going until we're in such great shape that nothing hurts when we finish :-)


Body By Design Day #20

Saturday I volunteered at the Latin American Coalition to help the community with their naturalization documents. It felt so good to to help out and also meet really smart and kind people. I felt like I was doing something also for my own well being. Not necessarily exercise but something that gave me a boost in confidence and it made my day.

One of my friends makes the most delicious cupcakes ever and she made a batch last week.  She sent me two and I enjoyed every last bit of them.  The were really small so I don't think it made a big difference.

I didn't do any of my workouts but at night we went out on a party bus!  We danced all night and I only had about half a drink.  We had a delicious vegetable soup that my hubby whipped up and made sure we were really full so that we wouldn't be tempted with any chips.  We did really well and I'm sure we burned plenty of calories.  I liked the idea of doing something active and fun on the weekends instead of the regular walking/elliptical/bike workouts.

Party Bus painted with the Colombian flag :-)

The party bus experience was AWESOME! We drove around Charlotte, dancing, laughing and waving to strangers looking at our very loud bus!


Body By Design Day #19

I think my body knows the weekend has come because it craves for things that are not part of the program! On Friday, I did have some coffee and a little creamer and it tasted so good. I decided to give into those cravings with moderation. Half a cup of coffee, maybe a Hershey kiss and wait a bit, drink some water and then see if I'm still craving for it.  Couldn't go for any of my workouts on Friday. Not a very successful day overall...


Body By Design Day #18

Thursday I walked two miles at lunch time! I try to walk to talk to coworkers or make copies as much as I can. In the morning, since I had run out of peanut butter, I had a sweet potato with some spicy bean paste from Trader Joe's.  I really liked the potato in the morning, nice to have something sweet and filling.  Also, instead of having a little snack at 10 am, I divided my lunch into two and had half at 10 and the other half at lunch time.  That way I keep myself satisfied long enough to keep my energy and when I'm hungry, it's already time for the next meal!

I ordered the Vega Mango Smoothie to supplement snacks and tried it today.  It only has 11 grams of protein so it doesn't qualify as a meal replacement but it tastes really good and I will use it whenever I feel hungry.  It's only 100 calories per serving!

I decided to go to the gym for my evening workout to kind of mix things up.  I used the elliptical for 30 mins and it felt really great.

 Daily January self-portrait, later in the day at the gym and my workout playlist!


Body By Design Day #17

I did struggle a bit on this day with the food.  I had very strong cravings for something sweet, something crunchy.  I think that because I had been eating the same thing for about three days, I was just bored.  So when I got home I immediately cooked a really nice meal consisting of grilled tofu with cauliflower and broccoli.  I had also cooked some sweet potatoes (which I LOVE).  I really enjoyed having a warm, home cooked meal and satisfied my cravings for sweets with the sweet potato.  The moral of the story is: Keep your meals interesting by varying ingredients and ways of cooking.  I think my body wanted something sweet because I hadn't eaten anything sweet in a while.  By keep king our meals varied with different flavors, seasonings and textures, we keep cravings from unleashing the cookie monster in us!

No photo for you today but here I am, going strong.  Thanks for visiting!


Body By Design Day #16

Tuesday was an ok day.  I got so busy @ work in the afternoon that I skipped one of the meals.  I then went to meet a girlfriend for a walk date.  We walked through the Southend neighborhood in Charlotte, a very walkable neighborhood with really nice shops and restaurants.  We stopped by Paper Skyscraper an awesome store with all kinds of beautiful and original gifts.  Sorry I totally forgot to take some photos of all the goodies they have, but I'll post some next time I visit.

I had my Vega shake on the way home and then just made a veggie omelet for dinner.  Not very exciting but: I finally made Kale Chips!! I had been reading about these crunchy-good-for-you snacks and I still had a bunch of kale we got at the farmers market so I went ahead and chopped it, added a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and then put them in a cookie tray in the oven at 300F.

The result was better than expected!! Since I had so much of it I got to bake three batches modifying the baking time until I got it right.

They are crunchy but light and I guess the heat, oil and pepper & salt, really mix well with the kale's flavors.  And Kale is so good for you. It has anti-cancer properties, antioxidants, fiber, it protects your eyes and it's good for your bones.  This is a great a fun way to add it to your diet.  Just a warning:  If you over-bake (which happened the first time), they will come out bitter.

Just delicious!!!  Glad I got to try something new!


Body By Design Day #15

I gained 1/2 a pound last week.  Did nothing different than the first week except for giving up coffee everyday and also started taking fish oil supplements.  I don't know if it's water weight, or the fish oil or coffee withdrawal but I gained instead of losing.  This has happened to me before, I'm recognizing a pattern:  I loose a LOT of weigh the first week of a new weight loss program, I assume my body doesn't know what hit it and just sheds a bunch of fat and water and then it realizes what's going on and tries to adjust.  By this time in my past attempts at loosing weight, I've already quit.  But not this time.  I'm not quitting, I feel really great, I have energy ALL DAY.  I sleep like a baby.  My mood has stabilized and I'm pretty much in a contempt mode that I like to think of as pure, peaceful joy.  I feel lighter, more agile.  I even signed up to do one of those Mud Runs where you go through a bunch of obstacles for miles and end up with mud up to your ears.  I feel I can do it.  That's how good I feel.  No quitting, we're just beginning.

This is my third week in the Body By Design program and I decided to not weigh myself until I complete 5 weeks which is the first phase.  That way I don't get fixated on a number, but in how good I feel, how my endurance and strength has improved and how my pants are fitting.  I'll weigh myself and take measurements at the end of this first 5-week phase and share them with you.  Wish me luck!


Say Hello!!

Now, I know that my blog's getting some traffic thanks to Google Analytics.  It's really cool to see that people are actually reading my blog and it makes me very happy every day when they tell me how many visitors I had.  Next time you visit, write me a line and say hello, I'd love to hear from you!

Gorgeous sunset on 1/19/2012, Charlotte, NC

Body By Design Day #14

Sunday was a REALLY good day! We went to the Greenway with a group of friends and walked/jogged almost 4 miles!
At the finish line!

I wore my heart rate monitor and according to the reading, I burned 900 calories, whoo hoo! And ladies and gentlemen, it is all about planning.  I woke up @8am and had a slice of bread with peanut butter, then at 11 on the way to the greenway, we had a banana/hemp/chia seeds/strawberry shake.  When we were done I did have a cup of coffee and then a Vega protein shake on our way home.  Did not feel hungry AT ALL.  And that makes all the difference.  If you have what you need, when you need it, it prevents you from eating whatever's available (which it was donuts and croissants).  I felt satisfied and focused on sharing and talking with friends rather than on eating.

In the evening I skipped my afternoon walk and finished a bag of chips...they were so good.  All in all an ok weekend.  I did stay on track for most of the time and managed to enjoy and even indulge a couple of treats here and there :-)

Today is monday...you know what that means: Weigh-in day! aaaahhh!


Body By Design Day #13

Weekends are always tricky.  We wake up late, meals are not at the right times...  But today we did go to the gym and did the whole strength workout.  I'm so proud, that's two weeks going three times per week.  I'm already feeling stronger and with much more stamina.  Can't wait to start increasing the weights!

I made pasta with tofurky sausage (I swear, it's delicious) and lots of veggies.  Skipped the afternoon walk because it rained all day and we stayed inside watching "How I met your mother" on Netfilx (I highly recommend it).  Not a very successful day to be honest.  Aside from going to the gym, I didn't have the six meals, I did eat some tostitos...  and I skipped my afternoon workout.  I hope to make up for it tomorrow.  We go to the greenway with a group of friends every Sunday to jog, walk and ride our bikes.  That'll be a good 2 hrs of good exercise!


Body By Design Day #12

Friday was an "ok" day.  I started to have some cravings for ice cream.  Ice cream of all things! So I went out with a friend and got myself a yummy cup of chai (totally not in the program but I decided to enjoy it).  I know I'm not having coffee every morning but I want to have it once in a while as a treat, only when in good company or when I'm relaxing at home.  It definitely satisfied my cravings and let me tell you, I savored that cup of goodness and appreciated it very very much.

It was a little bit cold today.  50 degrees seems to be "freezing" weather for southerners.  But I put my gloves on and went out on my daily lunch walk.  25 minutes went by so fast! I use that time to catch up with mom or listen to my favorite songs.

I ate my lunch in the cafeteria with one of my coworkers.  he was telling me about his grandmother who is 103 yrs old.  I asked him, "what's her secret?".  He said " she tells me all the time to listen to the "great spirit".  That if I listen to it, I will live to to be even older than her and in good health and in peace".  I take the "great spirit" to be God, or the divinity that is in all of us that knows it all.  We have that with us, at all times.  We just have to Listen just like Charlie's grandma said.  I kept that thought with me all day.  Listen to yourself and you will live long and healthy.

52 Moments Moment #2

Wow! yesterday's moment seemed more like a prophesy than an inspiration!  When I read it, I immediately thought about my midday walks at lunch time.  I want to get my heart pumping, burn some calories and fat and I want to make it a habit.  To go out, take a walk and be with myself and my environment.  So I did make a change and instead of eating lunch at my desk or sitting at work all day, I got up two weeks ago and started walking.

Photo taken with instagram at the park where I go walking everyday

52 Moments is a new project seeking to inspire, motivate and get you living life. Every week for a year they’ll present you with a new task/goal/moment, to inspire and enrich your life.  Become a part of the movement and share your moments and experiences with the world here.


Body By Design Day #11

I'm starting to get into the rhythm and establish a routine that makes sense. I love going to the gym with my husband because we go through the exercises together, we correct each others form and posture and time just flies by.  But he doesn't get home until 9:15-9:20pm.  We considered going separately but found a way to make it work.  I get home and have time to rest, think about the next day's meals and even read or do a little bit of crafting.  I leave everything ready for the next day.  This includes: my clothes and 4 meals; that way, when we get home @10:00-10:30, all we have to do is shower and go to bed.  it's been working really well!  It is time consuming, yes, very time consuming but I made the decision to give this my full attention.  Also, I'm seeing the cooking and preparation of meals as a way of showing love to myself and my husband, just like in my manifesto: "Cook as a form of meditation and as a love offering to yourself and others".  Think about this a little, if our food is our medicine and our medicine is our food, don't you think we should give it the importance and time it deserves? At least if we want to stay away from doctors and medications.

And since most of my free time is being spent in the kitchen and I don't have much time for crafts, I decided to use that time and play with food a little...

 I got these beautiful peppers at the farmer's market and made color palettes with them!

 I'd love to do some sketches later and use these wonderful colors


Body By Design Day #10

Feeling really great today.  Went for a walk with a coworker and had a really good, insightful chat with her.  These walks at lunch time are becoming my favorite part of the day.  I had the Salmon burger I made at lunch and was full until 5pm when I had my protein shake.  I feel so convinced, so motivated to do this.  I keep watching videos and reading articles on health and wellness that just confirm that we should take control of our health, of our bodies.  This is a great way to keep motivated and truly convinced to keep up the good work!

 This was dinner last night: Lettuce, tomato & spinach salad with avocado and.... sardines! I' don't usually eat them... I've had that tin of sardines sitting in my pantry for the last two months but after reading how good they are for you, I decided to eat them.  They were surprisingly good! As long as I don't keep looking at my plate to see the bones and other body parts :-)

Gratitude #2

I'm grateful for my husband. He chops all the veggies for me so that my cooking time is cut by more than half. We eat better and spend less time cooking!


Inspiration and Encouragement

I was reading Kelly Rae's blog this morning and she was mentioning this quote:

"Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth. And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." - Paulo Coelho

You are not alone in whatever you set up to do for yourself.  I'm taking this as a sign that I'm on walking on a path of truth and growth.

Photo taken during my lunch-time walks with the Instagram photo app


Since one of the statements of my manifesto (and the one with the largest font, therefore, most important to me) is GIVE THANKS, I decided to give a little section of this blog to express moment of gratitude.  I firmly believe that remembering to give thanks, everyday, is truly one of the secrets of happiness.

Here's my gratitude #1:

I am grateful for the sun that comes through the windows of my home.  Its light fills every corner of my home with warmth, and my heart with joy.

Christmas Morning

Body By Design Day #9

Tuesday was another good day.  Went for my lunch time walk, again very invigorating.  I had a 6 oz salmon burger for lunch (recipe to come) and I even weighed it to make sure it was exactly what the book said.  It was HUGE! I ate it with some simple quinoa and a piece of avocado and was full for the rest of the day.  I couldn't eat my 3pm meal because I was still so full.  When I got home, I had my Vega shake and danced my butt off for 20 minutes keeping my heart rate consistent at my fat burning zone.  I felt great afterwards and cooked up a delicious tofu with string beans and mushrooms for thursday.  Our scale at home stopped working (probably from going on it so many times...and the fact that it was only $10) which is better because I won't know how much I weigh until next monday :-)


Body By Design Day #8

Holy moly Monday!!! This really works! I weighted myself today and I lost 6 lbs last week!!  I'm so happy, so proud, I feel great, have more energy, I'm a good mood most of the time and have a better outlook in general.  This is good ladies and gentleman.  I think it's a breakthrough.

Today at lunchtime I told one of my coworkers how much I had lost and she immediately said "I'll join you in your walk at noon!".  She said she felt inspired and we had a really nice walk at the park.

About my walks, I was trying to walk as fast as I could and I was even breaking a sweat.  But I went back to the book and read the part on "raising your heart-rate into your fat-burning zone".  It turns out that I don't have to walk so fast.  It should be fast and consistent enough to get my heart-rate up but not so fast that I can't talk while walking.  I used my heart rate monitor to see exactly how that feels so I can do it again.

Last night my hubby (who's been extremely supportive) chopped up all the vegetable we needed for this week.

Look at these beauties.  Some are from the farmer's market and some are not, I figure that even if they're not all organic, at least they're better than a cheeseburger right?

Yummy zucchini!


Garlic: My best friend in the kitchen!

Throw them into omelets and stir frys


 Pure, colorful goodness

I had never before eaten so healthy before.  I had done weight watchers but overdosed on processed foods in order to keep the points down.  Don't get me wrong, I still think weight watchers is an excellent program but it defeats the purpose when we just buy the frozen foods and everything low fat and low calorie.  Ideally you'd only rely on whole foods but that's usually not the case.  With this program, it's so straight forward: 6 meals containing a carb, a protein a vegetable and a condiment.  That's it.  Whole foods at their best!

Six pounds gone.  So excited.  Thanks for visiting!


Body By Design Day#7

Sunday I woke up really late... ughh.  So I really only had 4 meals out of the 6.  I ate half a bag of shelled peanuts and put condensed milk in my coffee (I gave up coffee during the week).  So I "cheated" but with good things so it's not really that bad right?  At the beginning of this program we got rid of all the cookies, the cheese, the yummy bread, all the things I would go to if I felt hungry.  Now, if I'm hungry, whatever I eat if it's not part of the plan, at least it's healthy.

Again, the workout part was a success.  I put my favorite music on my ipod and went out at around 11am for my morning walk.  The sun was shining, the breeze was cool and refreshing.  Just beautiful.  Then at around 6, I went out again with the hubby for the evening walk.  Equally enjoyable, equally doable.  It's only 20 mins.  Go out and give that to yourself, it's really beneficial.

Found these berries during my walk... So  nice to find some color in the middle of winter!

We had leftover whole wheat pasta with tuna & veggies for meals #1 & #2.  Then I had that coffee with a slice of sprouted cinamon bread (yummy...but not on the plan...) And since I ate half a bag of peanuts, I felt so full for like 4 hrs so I didn't have another meal until 8:30.  That's 4 meals only but it's the wkend so I'm not stressing over it.  Monday's weigh-in day!!


Body By Design Day #6

I found out this weekend that it is tougher to follow the plan on the weekend.  You'd think that since you're off from work, you have more freedom and it'd be easier but noooo.  Saturday I woke up a little later than usual and at the end of the day, I had missed one meal.  We went out for the most part of the day and thank God I had prepared the protein shakes to take with us, otherwise we would've had to eat out.  My last meal, which was at around 8pm, was pasta with tuna and veggies (recipe to come).  I'm not supposed to have any carbs after 3pm but I had to eat it because it was the only real meal of the day.  So the nutrition part of the plan was really tough to follow but the exercise, it was a total success!

My hubby had a soccer game at a park, so after the game, we went for the 20 minute walk.  Very invigorating.  Then at around 8pm (there should be at least 5 hrs difference between the two workouts), I went for another walk around my apartment complex.  Very easy, done before I knew it!  If I were to preach something, I would definitely preach about taking walks during your day.  It helps clear the mind, you feel the blood pumping and the sensation of doing something for yourself is just amazing.  Another item in my manifesto is: "Love yourself by moving, walking and dancing" DONE!

Pasta with tuna & veggies....yum! I made so much I think we'll be eating this for the next couple of days...
Monday is weigh-in day... a little terrifying but whatever the outcome, I will continue this.  It just feels right.


52 Moments - Moment#1

 52 Moments is a new project seeking to inspire, motivate and get you living life. Every week for a year they’ll present you with a new task/goal/moment, to inspire and enrich your life.  Become a part of the movement and share your moments and experiences with the world here.

It started yesterday with moment #1  It reads something like this:

Moment#1: "It's time to act, to learn and grow - to figure out where it is you want to go.  Regroup, refocus and share with us" 

I already signed up and submitted my moment #1: (photo taken during my mid-day walk)

 "It's time to take my body into consideration and 
I will do everything I can to give it what it deserves: 
to be healthy, thriving and young.  
This week I started a fitness program that will change my life".

Sounds pretty compromising right? I re-grouped, re-focused and realized that it's time to stop being afraid of compromise.  It's time to dive-in, to believe in yourself and that by giving this purpose all of you attention, it will be ok.  You will be ok, whatever the outcome.

It's a great opportunity to be inspired, to do something only for yourself,  to take a photograph of something meaningful to you every week.  Wanna join 52 moments? It just started yesterday!  Go here.

Body By Design Day #5

Friday was another good day, planned my meals the day before.  We had an egg omelet with cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms with mashed sweet potatoes for lunch.  It was very filling.  For my 3pm meal, I had 3/4 cup of blueberries with a handful of almonds.  The mid-day walk was again, AMAZING. I'm thinking of posting a photo each day from my mid-day walk.  Little details that make me happy.

When I got home I was feeling really tired.  Didn't want to go to the gym but we went anyway.  I did a 5 min warm-up on the elliptical and was really dragging through it.  Maybe because it was friday and my body was ready for rest....don't know.  But we went through the seven strength training exercises and they were tough!! But as we went from one to the next, we felt stronger.  It was a very good feeling of being in control, of stimulating your body, making yourself stronger.  At the end of the workout we were feeling pretty good, much better than when we started!

Now is the weekend and it will present its challenges.  But we're on our way to the farmers market to stock up on veggies and other necessities.  I'll get my 20-min walk at noon and in the evening and tomorrow, Sunday; will try to prepare the menu for the week and at least three days worth of meals.

Thank you for reading and accompanying me on this journey.  Knowing that someone is reading about this adventure, makes me feel supported and accountable in a really good way.  It's like whatever I'm doing will succeed because someone else knows about it and might even get inspired to try it.  That's pretty cool.

Have a happy and healthy weekend!


Body By Design Day #4

Had Hemp and Oat pancakes again.  Just a smaller portion with a tablespoon of Trader Joe's Spicy Black Bean Dip.  VERY satisfying.  I snaked on blueberries (not part of the body by design program but I refuse to part with them...they're my favorite) and a handful of almonds and walnuts.  Lunch was the Quinoa-Tilapia stir fry from last night.

The weather was really windy but sunny so I went and had lunch at the park and got my 20 minutes of cardio in! It was really invigorating and I found to be more productive and had a really great mood all afternoon.  Mid-day walks should be mandatory at the workplace.  Seriously!

Thursday night I had a sewing date with a friend and got home so late.  But I was so proud to have prepared myself beforehand.  "Plan ahead" is one of the sentences in my manifesto and yes, it does take time and work and a little bit of anxiety at first, but it is SO WORTH IT!  At 6pm I had my Vega shake ready to drink and @ 8:30 I had my dinner at her house.  I totally skipped the evening workout but hey, it's ok.  I'd rather get a really good night's sleep which in fact I did!

Day #4 a total success!  I will try to take more photos of my food and little details of my day to accompany my posts I promise!  Happy Friday!!


Body By Design Day #3

Yesterday started feeling a bit sleepy.  I still have trouble getting into bed at 10.  Need more sleep.  For breakfast I had a new pancake recipe: hemp powder, whole meal pancake mix from Trader Joe's, oat milk (make by soaking oats overnight and then blending it.  The result is a really yummy and creamy milk), and 1 egg.  The pancakes are green but good!  Better than eggs everyday, so I'll alternate the two recipes.  I had another one for my snack at 10 am.  Lunch was the same salad from last night.  
Couldn't get that 20 min cardio session in due to torrential southern rain :-(  Hubby's been getting out of work late and I really enjoy working out with him so I waited and did 30 mins on the treadmill before our strength training session. IT WAS REALLY TOUGH.  But we went through it although I could only do one set of ONE rep on the bench dips.  Those bench dips are HARD!  Now I know that I am really getting stronger if I can go beyond one rep of those suckers.

Dinner was a "stir fry" of quinoa, mushrooms, onion, peppers, little bit of egg whites and tilapia... It was soo good!

 Loooove Quinoa!

My favorite brand.  I order it from Amazon

Oh, and I'm super excited that I finally got my VEGA Food Optimizer Whoo Hoo! I am so ready! I confess the berry flavor's not my favorite but after reading all the ingredients, I don't care.  I WANT ALL THAT IN MY BODY! So I'll be having one of those at 6pm before my workouts.  I had it last night and I really felt energized and even stronger.

I'm not tired of the food, I'm happy with the workouts, I'm sleeping much better, waking up much more energized and eating lots of veggies.  I also stopped drinking coffee after reading it promotes cortisol production so I'm testing that to see how well I do without my morning caffeine fix.

Day #3 is done and I'm loving it!


Body By Design Day #2

I felt really AWESOME yesterday! Really great mood and had very restful night's sleep.  Monday night I made dinner and had enough leftover to pack for today's lunch.  I sauteed some kale with garlic and a little bit of apple cider vinegar, sauteed some tofu cubes with scallions, ginger and a bit of liquid aminos and it was delish!  The hubby was still hungry afterwards so he ate more but I stuck to my portions and called it a night.

I'm discovering that the food part of this program will be much easier for me than the exercise part of it.  We already were following a whole foods, mainly plant-based diet, it's just that my portions and abuse of coconut oil (yum) and bread were not helping me shed any weight.  We don't buy any pre-made, frozen foods, except for an occasional treat from the Trader Joe's frozen isle.  We don't eat meat, chicken or pork.  Our diet consisted of grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, legumes...lots of them like beans, lentils and my favorite: chickpeas and all fruits and veggies.  I can eat pretty much anything from our previous diet except for fruits and the legumes.  It's really more manageable now that I've understood how to organize myself.

As I said, we prepare a meal at night which will serve as lunch for the next day.  In the morning, we have our breakfast which yesterday was an egg white omelet with onions, peppers and mushrooms.  At 10 am we had our improvised protein shake (hemp protein powder, chia seeds, strawberries and 1/2 a banana), then lunch and @ 3pm we had a slice of sprouted grain bread with a tbsp of peanut butter.  So far I've felt very satisfied and my energy levels have been pretty stable.  I did go out at lunch time and walked for about 45 mins.  That was SO REFRESHING! I took some instagram pics during my walk and just breathed the nice winter air and enjoyed the sun.  I will try to do that when possible form now on!

At night, I didn't have time to go to the gym so I put my favorite music on and busted some dance moves to get my heart rate up (which should be at 112-132 for fat burning) for 20 minutes.  Dinner was a mixed lettuce salad with tomatoes, red onions, 1 can of tuna, 1/4 avocado and my favorite dressing: minced garlic with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil.  Simple. but. delicious.

I also took my "before" photographs today.  I will post some of those in a couple of weeks when I have new ones to compare them to.  So far, I'm sticking one of those on the fridge as a reminder of my goal.

Day#2 done.  I'm ready for more!


Body By Design Day #1

I did it! I started the Body by Design program yesterday.  Two of my coworkers did it last year and they lost a lot of weight and got a six-pack in the process.  They started last week so we're doing it at the same time.  My dear hubby's doing it as well to build up mass and get stronger.

I was a little unprepared and did feel hungry a couple of times during the day but then we went to the gym together.  It was the first time we exercised at the same time and it was quite enjoyable!  We left feeling really proud of taking control of our bodies and becoming stronger.

We're ready for tomorrow.  Bring it on!


A New Year

It's been a whole year since I last posted on this blog.  I actually created another blog to kind of start fresh... That was back in September and here I am, on the 2nd of January of 2012 wanting to blog and wondering if I should use the new blog or just continue on this one.  Well, Paperspices was my first blog.  I had a lot of fun posting and showcasing the things I was doing back in 2009 when I started getting crafty :-)
So, I decided to keep it! We will continue to grow together and when the time comes, (or a better name comes to mind) we'll part ways.  But for now, here I am.  To help me get into the creative zone again, I've signed up for Alisa Burke's "Create Daily" online class.  I've admired Alisa's work for so long that I decided it was about time to take a class from her and this class is perfect!  It's about finding time to do something inspiring/creative everyday.  Be it a couple of minutes to take some photos or 30 minutes of art journaling, It can be done!  Check out her webpage for more info on her classes!

Welcome 2012.  I'm so ready for you! And to celebrate the new year and the promise of a better me, I created my own manifesto.  I had always loved the Aardvark Manifesto and wanted to make my own.  Yesterday I woke up bright and early and made it.  I used photoshop (which is VERY time consuming for working with type but it's what I have) but InDesign would've been much better.  Anyway, here it is.  I hope you like it and maybe get inspired to make your own!  I already made an order to have it made into a small poster to put in my studio!

Happy New Year and welcome to my blog!