Kentucky Bluegrass bred which means March Madness is my favorite time of year. Co-Editor of Around the Foghorn. Avid San Francisco Giants fan and not-so-closeted Pittsburgh Pirates fan. AT&T Park is my second favorite place on earth, the first being Scottsdale Stadium during Spring Training. Halfway through visiting all the MLB stadiums. Fueled by WordPress and my rainbow of Chucks.

Getting back on the horse

john-wayneIt’s funny that in one of my first posts here, since re-focusing on myself, my journey, and my health, I mentioned how my doctor reminded me of how life always had the potential to get in the way of our health decisions.

…life is always going to have things that challenge us to make good decisions, particularly with what we eat. We have to learn to adapt to those things that affect our eating and exercise habits, just like we adapt them to the rest of our lives.

That was on June 11th. The next day, life happened in a big way. My grandmother passed away the following evening, which put me on a few week tour to Kentucky, living out of a suitcase, helping my grandfather sort through things and get moved (they were already in the process when this happened). It led to being in a situation where my options for making healthy choices were not ideal. So, yes, life happened and I got off track, and even since I’ve returned home, to my new apartment, and new working situation, I’ve struggled to adapt to all the changes that life has thrown at me.

However, what I’m finding is that the more I make healthy decisions a lifestyle, the easier it becomes to get back on that horse, and the easier it is to not even consider some of the “bad” options anymore. Things that I once considered normal, don’t even seem enjoyable anymore even when I’m not closely monitoring myself and what I’m eating.

I’ve not done what I planned by any means, but I did better than I was doing, and I’ve made some progress. I’m schedule to see my doctor in a little over a month and she asked me to lose 5 lbs in that time. It was a very small goal, that I figured I’d knock out of the park. I didn’t knock it out of the park because, you know, life, but I have met the goal and still have a little over a month to go. Again, it was a small goal, but at least it’s moving in the right direction.

So here we are, with just a quick update, and the goal to keep going and keeping using this place as accountability and openness.

 

Breakfast – The most important meal of the day

 

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?I’ve heard for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Before a big test, or job interview, or anything important, people always say to “eat a good breakfast” as part of their tips on preparation. It makes sense. It starts you out in the morning, and even without research to back it up, it just sounds reasonable. I mean, who wants to be in the middle of a job interview and have their stomach start growling, right?

I’m not a breakfast eater. I never have been, so eating breakfast is hard for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love breakfast food and could eat it for any meal. Unfortunately in our home, that doesn’t happen because according to my husband, “you can’t eat breakfast foods except in the morning.” Yeah, I know, it’s weird. Most people I know love having breakfast food for dinner once in the great while.

But back to the point. Most of my life, I have rarely eaten breakfast. At most I’d do cereal, a bagel, or a shake. But given that research mostly says that it’s an important meal, one of my goals is to start eating it on a more regular basis. The problem is that almost all breakfast food either is unhealthy or has an unhealthy connotation. The obvious ones like donuts and Pop Tarts, but also bagels, sugary cereal, bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes, syrup, etc…

It’s like, the fat is too high in bacon and sausage, the cholesterol is too high in eggs, and don’t even get me started on the bread-based items. It’s all pretty confusing when try to avoid all the things that the world (or internet) tells you to avoid.

If breakfast is the key to reducing hunger, increasing metabolism, and weight loss though, there has to be a happy medium besides fruit, granola, and yogurt every single morning, right?

This week, my breakfast has looked a lot like the photo above (well, except I like my eggs scrambled). Eating bacon and eggs seems contrary to what I’m trying to do, at least in my mind. But again, my goal here is to start eating healthier. Even if there may be a bit more fat, cholesterol, or calories in my breakfast, it’s coming from natural sources compared to the Pop Tarts I was eating a week and a half ago, and definitely makes me feel better than skipping breakfast, as has been my norm for many, many, years.

Don’t get me wrong, we won’t be having bacon and eggs every morning, but as we’re moving this week and trying to clean out our fridge, it seemed like a good idea to make use of the food we buy and always plan to eat, but end up throwing away. It just seems that if I’m going to get in the habit of eating breakfast, I should just start with something I actually like, and something that feels like I’m cheating the system.

So, what breakfast foods do you go for? Obviously, bacon and eggs are not going to happen every day, even if for practical reasons. But any quick and easy ideas would be appreciated.

Breakfast is the hardest meal of the day for me.

*Note: I am a fan of egg whites, and I’m aware that most of the cholesterol (and calories) is in the yolk. In fact, I prefer the whites to the yolk, but I am trying to look at food different and for its overall nutritional value. So yes, egg whites are an option for me.

 

How much water should I drink?

how much water to lose weight

I’m probably not alone here in my dislike of having to drink water. I’ve never enjoyed drinking water, but it’s one of the things that is pretty much required for good health and for weight loss. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched “How much water should I drink?” or “How much water should you drink to lose weight?

The hard part for me is that there isn’t really a clear or go-to answer. We’ve all heard the old adage of “drink 8 glasses of water a day.” That’s 64 ounces of water, and doesn’t seem too unreasonable, unless, like me, you hate drinking water. Then there are people who say it’s not enough, and even people say it’s too much (a small minority).

  • Mayo Clinic says women should drink 2.2 liters (9 glasses for us Americans) and 3 liters for men. They acknowledge it’s different for everyone however, and those numbers are just an average. By the way, 8 glasses a day would be about 1.9 liters, so it’s not too far off their recommendations for women.
  • WebMD doesn’t commit to a number, and again says it varies by the person and their health. They say you know if you’re drinking enough water based on the color of your urine. I can tell you from experience, I don’t drink enough water (sometimes none), and my urine color is what is considered “normal” for someone who drinks enough water.
  • US News says to drink half your body weight the minimum, and even more if you’re exercising.

Given that I should be drinking anywhere from 64 ounces to half my body weight (a lot more than 64 ounces), my goal is going to be somewhere around 100 ounces every day. I doubt I will get there every day, at least in the beginning, but hey, that’s what goals are for, right? To give us something that’s not easy to work toward.

To be honest, the times I’ve been the most successful with weight loss and being overall healthy was when I was drinking more water and less of everything else. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference.

So, how much water do you drink every day? How much do you think we should be drinking? I’d love some feedback here and tips on how to get there without spending all day in the restroom.

My Fitness Pal

myfitnesspal

This is my journey into the unknown and uncomfortable. If this is your first time here, visit this post first: A brand new journey to better health and a better life.

So, I’ve used MyFitnessPal in the past and have begun using it again. I’ve always had my diary settings closed except to people that I approved, however, in keeping with accountability, I’ve set my diary settings to publics.

If you’re on MyFitnessPal, either online, or with the app on your phone, give me a follow if you’d like to do so. It doesn’t mean I have to follow you back, if you prefer to keep yours private, that’s fine with me. But if you want to check in on me, help keep me accountable, or just see what kind of good things (or bad things) I’m putting on my body, you can find me here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/melfelk

Username is melfelk if you’re looking through your mobile app.

If you choose not to, or don’t use MFP, or don’t like MFP, that’s okay. You’re still welcome to follow along. It works for me. It works for some people, but it’s probably not for everyone. This really isn’t an endorsement of whether you should use it. It just happens to be a tool I use.

Welcome: A brand new journey to better health and a better life

keep moving forward martin luther king, jr

I’m going to try something new here. Something that takes me outside of my comfort zone, and something that challenges me, motivates me, and hopefully changes me.

I have huge changes happening in my life right now. We’re in the process of moving from the apartment I’ve lived for the past 7 years. I’m also moving on from where I’ve worked for the past 10 years. Oh, I also live where I work, so you can say I’m heading back out into the real world where I don’t wake up to the sounds of preschool children outside my window every morning. So a new apartment, a new job hopefully soon, and hopefully a new lease on life.

Last week I visited my doctor for a check up. Lab test and things were normal-ish. But there lies the problem. My doctor can look at me and talk to me and know that I’m not in good health. At this point, I don’t have any major (or really even minor) health issues. I’ve dealt with hiccups here and there, and have allowed things like stress to take over my life, but by and large, the numbers on lab reports say I’m a healthy person. So we’ve played this dance the past few years where she would ask questions about how I was eating, how much exercise I was getting, etc… and I would give all the wrong answers with promises to do better. Then results would come back and she’d say, “well, things look okay, but you need need to take better care of yourself.” There was never any real urgency for me because, despite her warnings, things looked good.  [Read more...]