So after being sick for eight days, I was finally able to run again! I was a bit nervous, it had been eight days since my last run. I thought I had done pretty well last time and felt like this week of illness would be a total set back for me. Today was day 3 of week four in my training. There are three days of training each week for a total of nine weeks. Luckily I am already four weeks in and the race in ten weeks away! Todays training consisted of the following:

It’s about 30 mins total

5 minute warmup

3 minute run

90 second walk

5 minute run

3 minute walk

3 minute run

90 second walk

5 minute run

5 minute cool down (walking)

My last run (prior to being sick and 8 days ago) was the same routine and my time distance then was 2.3 miles which isn’t to shabby considering how much walking is involved. That day was my best so far making it pretty nerve raking for me to wait it out all week. So I got out there today, 40 degrees with winds strong enough to cause major resistance, and post nasal drip…..ugh. I managed to push through and once I got to my last five minutes, my Couch-2-5K training app decided to stop causing my whole session to start over!! So I ran a bit further than I thought the time was and did an estimated cool down. None the less, my distance was 2.2 miles and I can’t complain considering I had a considerable amount of down time. So I am hopeful now and looking forward to my next run! Now, if I could just get back on track with my eating habits……

Sick and shoes!

So I’ve been sick for the past four days and haven’t been able to bring myself to work out. It’s awful, I hate it!! No work outs, no running!! My 5K training has come to a standstill. Ugh. Luckily, the morning I started feeling sick I managed to get in a 2 mile run/walk along with a workout. I’m still super frustrated at the fact that I haven’t been able to work out. I usually work out everyday with a run on alternating days. And if I miss one workout, I freak so you can only imagine my feelings now. What is it about feeling like crap that makes us eat like crap? I have done so well since the new year with my resolution of no desserts during the week. The minute I started feeling sick made me feel like I had a free pass to indulge in crappy foods. Since I had already started and broke my resolution, why stop eating junk now? I’m still sick right? Grrr. I’m pretty sure it’s the irrational type of thinking that leads to overeating, food addiction, and obesity. Lucky for me, all I can think of is my chance to work out again and I’m going to do it double time. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained five pounds this week!

On another note, if you aren’t a member of DSW then what are you waiting for? If you don’t know about it, DSW is a shoe warehouse that offers discounted shoes for men and women. Not only do they have great prices, they have a clearance section with discounts up to 70%.  As a member (which is free) you receive points every time you buy. Over time the store sends you a certificate in a dollar amount which matched the points you have earned. Recently, my mother (a shoeaholic) received a $30 certificate and offered it to me. She knows how hard I am training for my upcoming 5K and a new pair of running shoes would help out bunches. So I set out to the store and found this great pair of shoes!

They are much nicer and person and have pink on them!! They original price was $50 and they were in the clearance section marked 30% off taking the price down to $35. Don’t forget the $30 coupon!! Yup, I scored these bad boys for $5 and change! Many companies offer these types of memberships, but most will not let you use your coupons on clearance or sale items. Like I said, check out DSW, we all need shoes!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get my running shoes back on and get back into my routine!

Updates, updates!

When I started on this journey eight months ago, I was wearing a size 12, or was it 14? Who knows at this point. I also used to wear clothing a little bit too big because
a.) I hated my body so much and
b.) I just didn’t really know how clothes were supposed to fit on me.

Becoming vegan definitely helps with weight loss in addition to better health, but it wasn’t until recently that my physical change has become more dramatic. I made the decision to enjoy sweets only on the weekends as my New Years resolution. This task has been a challenge since I became employed by a vegan baker five months ago. It’s just about three months into the new year and I have been going strong. I have incorporated daily workouts into my routine and taken on the challenge of participating in an upcoming 5K this May. I am now in my fourth week of training for the race and must say, I am thoroughly enjoying it. The race is in supports of Poplar Spring Sanctuary located in Poolesville, Md. They take care of and support rescued animals. Not only is my participation in this event to support the sanctuary, but a huge milestone for me. Three years ago I was living in excruciating pain, unable to lift my leg without the help of my hands picking it up. Now, I am running two miles in twenty-five minutes (and that includes walking in the mix)! I am determined to run this race and to do so with an amazing time!

My weight is down about fourteen pounds from eight months ago, but does tend to fluctuate within three pounds(as womans weights do). It gets frustrating being stuck at the weight range that I am at, I am eager to get into the 130′s and seem to be stuck around 141. I guess at this point, I am gaining muscle as I am toning the fat, makes it a bit tedious. The good news is I’m down to a size 6!!!! Wowee, I now have a ton of clothes that are too big….how much shopping can a girl do?

What am I up to now? Besides, the daily workouts and 5k training? Oh yea, and taking care of my now THREE year old son!!! As I mentioned, I have been working for a baker. Not just any baker, all of her desserts are vegan!! Woohoo!!!! I have also started writing weekly blogs on the Food Channel of I now have an account on twitter where you can follow my research and writings as well. I also have a big surprise in the works that will be revealed in due time. Until then, I promise to keep these posts more often and chalked full of information and resources.

I survived my week !

To my surprise, my struggle on this one was non-existent. The first day was a little rough since I was  venturing out on something completely new ! My body was hungry ! But the next day was easier and things went quit  well. I will save you the boredom of having to  read my daily menu and some it up with this……broccoli and brown rice with butter and old bay every day from Sunday to Sunday. Each day I lost a pound and at the end of my week, I was seven pounds lighter !! I am so excited about that. I went from 149 to 142 in a week and my goal is 135 !! Hey, if I do this another week, I can lose that last seven pounds right? Well on my eighth day I was craving something new and had an apple and added some strawberries to my diet. I also had three bites of Vegan Mac and cheese which I felt just terrible about.

I did some more research about this “Elimination Diet” which is different for everyone. The problem with my situation is that we have no idea what we are looking for !! We as in me, my family, doctors, etc. Many people who have taken to this diet already have an idea, ie-a dairy allergy. So at the end of my week, I am to add one type of food for a day and then back to my broccoli, brown rice and lentils (which I never did eat) for two days. Within these two days, if I show and signs of reaction (ie-I swell up in my hands, etc) then I have an intolerance to whatever it is I ate.

Well today I also ate veggie sushi for lunch  and a few GF or Gluten Free crackers with a Vegan Chicken salad spread!!! My right hand is now inflamed !!! Ugh, what have I done !! I was doing so well holding true to my Elimination diet….

Rewind to a few days ago……My heart was racing, my breathing restricted, and  my body fatigued (I do have a 2-year-old that has been waking up at 5 am!!!) My mother of course a worrier has since been on  my case about eating more and I suppose I let her constant suggestions make it seem okay to add more into my diet. I am regretful now and I assume that I will have to start this task all over again . Next time under the supervision of a dietician !

I am seriously feeling the pain at the moment and my mood is not great…….I am just at wit’s end having to constantly live in pain.

My week of lentil, brown rice, and broccoli, Day 1

I went to my  first vegan meetup last Wednesday at Mr. Chan’s in Pikesville and it was very nice. I enjoyed meeting other Vegan/Vegetarians and engaging in common conversation ! I met a dietician there that was kind enough to lend me some free advice. I was so happy to get a chance to speak with him as my doctor had previously recommend that I got to see a Dietician. Since insurance doesn’t cover their services, I had to hold off on an appointment: which I am still planning on (sooner than later, I hope). Mark, the dietician stated that there is obviously something not agreeing  with my body. Be it air quality or a food allergy, I need to figure it out.

To determine a food allergy, I must take the same approach as we do when introducing new foods to infants. I must eat broccoli, brown rice, and lentils for a week. During this time my body will detox and rid itself of nasty irritants. Mark said ideally my inflammation will dissipate and it takes a few days for anything to rid itself from our bodies. After my week of  a truly boring diet, I will then introduce one new food every three days. If it is in fact a food causing my health issues, this is a sure-fire way to figure it out !!

So, I am taking it upon myself to try this out. I would love to do it with a dietician by my side, but financially it’s just not happening now, so I’m just gonna wing it.

As of this morning, Sunday the 19th of September I weighed in at 148.8 lbs, okay….we’ll make it an even 149. I started my morning with my vitamins : zyflamend- a natural vitamin for inflammation, omega-3-which I would love to stop taking since it’s not vegan, glucosamine-also not vegan but good specifically for hands and knees, and diclofenac- a prescription for inflammation. I wonder if I am supposed to stop taking this stuff too? Most times when I run out of vitamins I feel an increase in pain almost immediately, so I’m really hesitant to do so. Perhaps I should and go full force here, eh? I also, had a hot green tea for breakfast, since I am staying away from all juices, etc.

For lunch I enjoyed some cooked broccoli with *ehem* butter (come on, I can’t go completely plain all week—-or can I?) and a little salt. So I am wondering a few things…………can I use butter and salt or any spice for that matter? People have allergies to spices too right? I just don’t know….

Ironically, I have gone my whole life without allergies, or so I thought.

So far, so good today !

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, opinions, or any knowledge you guys have to offer!!!

Some interesting links

Here is a disgusting article I came across and thought I should share…… 

I don’t really have too much to say about that except ewww and I am a bit saddened by the fact that I am not completely shocked by it. It seems these types of stories are fairly common nowadays and I just can’t stand it.

Another sad article….

Now many meat eaters may not even be phased by this and I have to admit I used to be one of them. Somewhere in time reality set in for me and I realized that these creatures aren’t just put on this Earth for our abuse and shouldn’t have to suffer the way they do, which leads me to my next article….

It’s been 3 Months !

Wow , time flies ! But you know, at the same time it feels like forever….in a good way.  Incorporating a Vegan diet into my life has been much easier than I could have ever imagined. And when I say easier, I am referring to my own desires and will power. Society still makes it a tad difficult, but the options for Vegans are definitely made available to us. My desire for meat is non-existent. I once was the person that had said I could NEVER give up cheese, but I really don’t even crave it. I would love to find a GREAT Vegan cheese, but I’m not sure there is even one out there. I have however found a shredded cheese that I use for several dishes by Daiya (now available at Wegman’s). The cheese transition is just that; a transition. As a some other foods, but now that I have been trying all the different brands I am really learning what I like and *ahem* don’t like.

I still have a long way to go in the cooking process and learning different recipes, but it’s coming along. I have even found some nice cafes that serve Vegan food and can’t wait to hit up my next one ! I have also joined a Vegan meetup group that gets together once or twice a month. My next goal: to actually make it to one of their events !

I do a TON of label reading now and I am learning about all kinds of ingredients that I had NEVER even been aware of ! I feel so ignorant as I move along in this process and yet I am so shocked by other people’s ignorance about health when I speak to them !! What am I supposed to say to the lady that tells me her son eats healthy because she packs his school lunches and puts fruit in them, but then spends his money on McDonalds ! Ewww……Only then do I turn around and see a mother put a lollipop in her 8 months olds mouth….AGHHHHHHH !!!  But back to the label reading…it seems as though there is some form of milk in almost everything that is manufactured. From chips to tomato sauce and just because something is labeled Veggy or Lactose free doesn’t mean dairy free ! I had found a cheese (called Veggy Cheese) I really liked and was using for a few weeks before I discovered it contained Casein, a protein found in milk.  Casein is used in several types of food and several other products such as paint and cosmetics. This is NOT part of a Vegan diet. I am sure the unknowing consumption of this ingredient played a part in my health as I switched over my diet. Just as a reminder, meat and dairy cause inflammation-one the problems I am facing.

It has been 13 weeks since I have started my Vegan lifestyle and I am happy to report noticeable changes. I five pounds and my body is getting toned. The pain I used to have in my foot is virtually gone ! I think that this pain is the first to go since it was the last one to start. I guess it didn’t have a change to get as far along as my other joint problems have and has reversed itself almost immediately. This is so great ! I can wear shoes again without pain ! It’s too exciting for words. I am noticing a decrease in pain in other areas of my body as well. Unfortunately I still have a lot of inflammation and with that still lingering around, so will the pain. I have started a new vitamin recommended by the doc called Zyflamed. It is an all natural anti inflammatory. All of the ingredients are the same as some of those listed in Dr. Weil’s anti inflammatory diet. Here is a link it….

Lately I haven’t been eating as well as I should be and really need to get back on track and today I discovered this:  “The nightshade family of vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, paprika and chili peppers has been linked with increased inflammation since the 1940’s”-    Now I have to cut out these yummy veggies too ?? Man my list keeps getting shorter and shorter.

My next challenge is to cut out Gluten. I have been conscious of Gluten and tried to cut it out of my diet as much as possible, but this seems like a nearly impossible task to achieve as a Vegan.  So many of the meat supplements contain vital wheat gluten. Which leads me to also contemplate another step…..a raw diet. Oh I don’t know, I love my steamed veggies ! Here is a little info about it….

I think I will work on cutting out the “nightshade family” of veggies for now. Baby steps, baby steps…..haha, although I don’t think becoming Vegan was a baby step at all, more like a giant toddler one !

That’s all for now, on to more research and I promise to get on here a lot more than I have been !

The Verdict is in

The Doctor called yesterday to tell me that my biopsy came back Cancer Free, Good news !! But, there is still something funny going on and since she did cut out the surrounding skin, that area will not develop into anything else. I can’t remember the name of what she called it, but the paper work should be in the mail now. She also wants to me see a Dermatologist for a full body scan. Yay, more Doctors visits for me !! As if I don’t go enough now. At least someone has actually found something.

We are off to the beach next week and I am going to have to really be covered in Sunblock from now on.  I went many, many years without it because I have always had a dark complexion. Actually, I use to put on Tanning oil !! In 2002, I took a trip to the Dominican Republic. It was a week after the death of a close Aunt of mine. On the flight there I started to feel sick and wound up having a bad cold the first few days. I laid out on the beach the fist day and BURNED !! It was the FIRST time in my life I ever burned and it was painful !! Ever since then I have worn sun block and ever since then I have burned. I have always attributed it to being so close to the Equator. Looking back now, the stress I was going through at the time probably didn’t help. Regardless, it was foolish of me not to take better care of my skin up until that point. I was already 21 ! I have st Get Shortlink

Proofread Writing

made many mistakes in regards to taking care of myself. This situation is just one of them. Looking back now, I can’t believe how abusive I was to my body. The birth of my son has really saved my life in so many ways. I only wish I was this educated sooner. It is so important to me, that I teach Anson to care for himself and his body early in life. It is sooo important. The idea of good health is one that my father always worked hard to instill in me. And in some ways he had. I never was big into makeup because he had taught me that my natural beauty was better than any makeup could be. He was a Vegetarian for a loong time and I never understood it because I was much younger. I wish he had explained it better. For as long as I can remember, he would wake up at 4 am and exercise. Whether it was out on the deck as the sun would rise or at the local pool during the winter. All of this and with an artificial knee !! His example of good health has been something I have always admired. Too bad he doesn’t care enough to be in my life or he would know these things about me. But that’s a whole other chapter, lol.

So, my new goals in life are to be as Healthy (physically and emotionally) as I can be, and to instill these very important values in my son. I am finding that GOOD Health is the way to a good life !

The Doctor Says…..

I went back to the Doctor yesterday to have my stitches removed after 10 looooog days of no exercise !!! I did manage to do some minor forms of exercise without stressing my leg. Biopsy results are not back yet, ugh….the waiting game. Celiac and all other tests are normal, of course ! But I am Vitamin D deficient, very much so. I was an eleven and thirty-three is normal. So the Doc prescribed me some hard-core vitamins to get me back to normal. Also, she strongly encourage that I take Fish Oil instead of Flaxseed oil. Much of the Omega-3 in Flaxseed get’s lost in transition and doesn’t hit anywhere near the amount that I need. So I have started taking them and hit a little bump in my Veganism road. But I am only taking the supplements rather than eat Fish and she says this is going to help my health tremendously so I am giving it a go. Also, she mentioned that I won’t really see major results in regards to my diet for about 6 weeks. I should be hearing back from her any day now with biopsy results and will let you know !

In the meantime, here is an interesting article…………….

Food log-Week 2

Monday April 19

  • Breakfast-One slice whole grain bread with jelly and one half slice with butter, strawberries and a glass of Oj
  • Lunch-Salad of Baby spinach with strawberries, Veggie Mix crunches and a Raspberry Vinaigrette  and a quarter of Anson’s PBJ sandwhich
  • Snack-Tortilla Strips (green mountain) and red pepper Hummus
  • Dinner- Vegan Roast (Whole Foods) with steamed broccoli (with butter) and Banana for dessert

Thursday April 29

  • Breakfast-Oj, Banana and an Energy bar
  • Snack-Banana and Raspberries
  • Lunch-Bok Choy with Raspberry Vinaigrette and a few bites of Anson’s BPJ
  • Snack-Pretzels and banana also a small home made fruit smoothie (mango and raspberry with soy milk)
  • Dinner-Salad (baby spinach with strawberries and almonds and raspberry vinaigrette), side of brocolli and about a half of a southwestern veggie burger (Sunshine burgers—soooo yummy !)

Friday, April 30th

  • Breakfast-Glutino Honey Nut cereal with soy milk and a banana + Orange Juice
  • Lunch-Baby spinach with almonds and strawberries and a raspberry vinaigrette, watermelon
  • Snack-Carrots and yellow corn chips + roasted red pepper hummus
  • Dinner-Wrap…red chili wrap with red pepper hummus spread, tomatos, cucumber and avocado, banana

Saturday May 1

  • Breakfast-Gluten Freen English Muffin with light butter and Grape Jelly, glass of Oj
  • Lunch-Pizza made with Rice cheese and veggie cheese plus green preppers I chopped into the sauce
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