Thursday, September 18, 2014

Improving Health with Food: Journal Wrap-up

Sometimes even the best of intentions fall victim to life!  I had the intention of posting daily for my journey in the Ultimate Reset.  I regret not holding to that.  It would have held me more accountable!

I ended up bailing on the meals in the evenings in the last half.  I had no real reason other than not wanting to do the meal prep...sheer laziness!  The meals were just fine.  I would have loved them.  I intend to use the ingredients in my meals in the coming week.

Nevertheless, the Ultimate Reset served its purpose in helping me improve my health.  I haven't suffered a headache or migraine in a month.  I had slight headaches yesterday and today, but they went away when I drank water.  That means I was dehydrated.  I still have trouble drinking enough water.  I don't drink anything else except coffee.  

My attempt to be caffeine free by today will have to be delayed a bit.  I need to wean myself off of it.  My withdrawals were pretty severe.  I haven't been conscious about dropping the caffeine yet, but I still fully intend to do so in the coming weeks.

I haven't had allergy troubles in 3 weeks or headaches in 4 weeks.  I know this is all due to the supplements I've been taking as part of the Ultimate Reset.  My gut aches from the gluten do not exist because I have dramatically limited my gluten intake.  It was pretty low going into the Reset, but I've reduced it further and even request gluten free options when dining out.  My boyfriend, Sean, has been incredibly wonderful in supporting me by eating gluten free, too, on occasion and even calling ahead on our date nights to restaurants to inquire about a gluten free menu.  He is incredible!

I am a bit disappointed in myself for not following the meal plan more closely.  It was incredibly difficult to make adjustments to meet my needs for teaching fitness classes, my own workouts, and just the general chaos of daily life.  I won't be posting my statistic progress because there isn't anything to report.  I've reported on the effects I sought after in doing this.  I am okay with that.

I'm giving myself the weekend of no structure, mostly because I will be away from home a lot and unable to plan like I am used to planning.  Monday I will start back to my usual way of eating...clean, balanced, and healthy.  In support of those I coach, I will be following the nutrition plan for the 21 Day Fix.  It is simple nutrition with container provided for portion control.  I highly recommend it to anyone not wanting to or tired of counting calories, weighing, and measuring food.  With this system, the containers do all that for you and the color-coding make sure you get the adequate servings of each food group.  Simple.  I'm happy to be your coach, too, if you are interested in simple nutrition and simple workouts, from your own home.

Chicken Taco Chili

Chicken Taco Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 Hours On High; 10-12 Hours On Low
Yield: About 8 - 2 cup servings


  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 c. organic pinto beans (no salt added)
  • 1 c. organic black beans (no salt added)
  • 28 oz. organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz. organic tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 2 roasted green chili peppers, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • Optional: shredded cheese
  • Optional: sour cream or nonfat, plain Greek yogurt


Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot.  They can be frozen or thawed.  Added remaining ingredients on top.  Stir until dry seasonings are mixed in well.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove chicken from the pot and transfer to a bowl.  Using two forks, shred the chicken.  Return shredded chicken to crock pot and stir.  Makes approximately 8 servings, 1.5-2 cups each.  Serve with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese & 1 tablespoon sour cream or nonfat, plain Greek yogurt.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

 Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Yield: About 3 Tbsp.


  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder*
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes**
  • (optional: 1 tsp. flour)


Stir or whisk all ingredients together until combined. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Improving Health with Food: Journal Days 5-6

I was having some cravings yesterday...cheeseburger, hot tamales, yogurt covered raisins.  They weren't too strong but still there.  I realized that the moment I was having these "cravings" I was also really tired and about to lay down for a nap.  This is something I've learned in the last couple of years.  When I get tired, I have the urge to graze.  I use that term because that is what it feels like.  I eat.  I have no reason to eat.  I'm not hungry.  Nothing in particular sounds good.  I just have the urge to stuff my face.  When I started trying to figure out why I was doing that, I realized that every time I did it I was really tired.  Now, instead of grazing, I go for a walk, or get moving in some way, or take a nap if that is a possibility, or simply go to bed.

Part of the structure of the Ultimate Reset is to evaluate your behaviors.  Eat consciously.  Think about how what you are eating makes you feel.  Think about your emotional state at the times you eat and in between.  It helps to write it out and refer back to it.  You might be surprised at what you learn about yourself.  I know I was.  It really helped me break some vicious cycles I kept visiting.

I found myself a feeling a bit run down last night and opted to go to bed, on time as it turned out.  Once I got to bed, I couldn't sleep.  I've had so much energy these last few days that I'm having a hard time getting to sleep!  The problem with that is having to get up early the next morning for work.  That brings me to how I'm feeling today.

I've been tired all day today.  I had a hard time focusing at work, but because I was tired, not due to pharmaceuticals.  Aside from that, I still had energy enough to get in my half marathon training, strength training, and teach my BODYCOMBAT class this evening.  I'm very much looking forward to changing up my meals starting Friday!  One more day of the same meals!  

I've not cheated once!  I haven't followed the nutrition plan to the letter because not exercising is not an option for me considering the fact I am a fitness instructor.  I must have additional fuel.  I have, however, kept that additional fuel to those items available within the Reset nutrition plan, sans bananas!  My muscles get a bit upset with me from time to time, so I eat a lot of bananas to keep them happy.  Being awakened with a Charlie horse in the middle of the night is no picnic!

I have not had any headaches since the caffeine withdrawal headaches.  I started to get one today and used a natural ointment made with essential oils.  I worked!!!  I've had no GI discomfort, either.  I have had some bloating but I attribute that to the carb overload for dinner!  It doesn't last long.  Dinner has been loaded with fiber.  It's a different kind of discomfort.  This one lasts only about an hour, as opposed to days!

I'm very happy with where I'm headed.  I'm very happy to have my mental clarity back and to be tired naturally.  Fifteen more days of this and I get to start experimenting with new foods and meals for my new way of life without gluten, caffeine, or processed sugar.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Improving Health with Food: Journal Day 4

Today started with a great fast-paced walk with Sean.  My energy was high and I felt great.  My meals have been the same since day 1 for ease of preparation, time, and money.  

Meals for Days 1-7

The day ended with dinner at my parents where we cooked out hot dogs and hamburgers, accompanied by potato salad, baked beans, potato chips, and Pink Lemonade pie for desert.  I planned ahead and took my own plate with my Reset meal.  I'm feeling way too good to blow it on processed foods, again.  

In the last 6 years, my family has grown accustomed to my being the "healthy" one.  I'm sure I'm now known as the picky eater.  Only my younger brother really gives me any grief about it.  I don't let any opinions bother me.  What I'm doing is for my health.  It isn't to offend anyone or to be rude.  I bring dishes to the family get-togethers that they will eat and I bring what I will eat - with plenty for anyone who wishes to try it.  I'm already making plans for Thanksgiving, in fact.

I choose to not sacrifice my health, strength, and peace of mind for the opinions of others.  They may not like it in the beginning, but they get used to it and notice the difference in me.  They gain an understanding for my choices and leave me to them.