Saturday, September 6, 2008


Actually, it's more accurate to say I'VE MERGED.

As some of you may know, I've tried to maintain a separate blog called Refrigerator Raid. It's sole purpose was to provide health tips based on current news and research (rather than personal stories).

But with new baby, it's been impossible to maintain both. Moreover, I realized that many of my favorite blogs combine practical advice with personal anecdotes.

So I've decided to do the same. You can now find me at Refrigerator Raid.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two Pounds!

In two days on the BFL program, I've lost two pounds!
  • Yes, I know it's mostly "water weight."
  • Yes, I know it's also because I had a baby 8 weeks ago.
  • Yes, I know I'd gain it right back if I went out and ate my typical dinner of Papa Johns breadsticks and mushroom pizza.
But I don't care about those little factoids! I'm just happy to see the numbers on the scale move again (in the right direction).

Of course, my motivation for this program has to be something other than external. It's important that I concentrate on how I feel--confident, sexier, more energetic, happier--if I want to maintain this lifestyle for the long haul. External motivational factors like my weight and dress size will only motivate me for a short period of time.

Although I confess, I'm already looking forward to my "free day." (The BFL program allows one
"free day" each week when you can eat whatever you want. The reasoning behind the "free day" is both psychological and physiological.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Program

Baby is now about 7 weeks old, and I've decided to start a new exercise/fitness/diet/weight loss program! Based on past experience, I've chosen the Body for Life program. Although I've never achieved the dramatic results of actual BFL winners, I have lost a lot of weight and built a lot of muscle following the plan in the past.

Fortunately, Hubby is on board with the program, too. So we basically take turns watching Baby and exercising. Once my fitness levels increase and I can actually run instead of walk, we all three may be able to go out jogging together.

In terms of my diet... it's probably going to have to be bland and boring since I don't have much time to cook. (Up until this point I've been living on microwave foods, like processed mac and cheese.)

We took our "before" photos, but I'm not quite ready to share them. Maybe I'll take a progress pic in a few weeks and compare them here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Baby

My new baby arrived on July 11, 2008!

I am (obviously) still recovering physically... plus I am learning how to be a mommy!

Until things start to heal up, I'll be taking it easy on myself when it comes to diet and exercise. However, I'm hoping to get started on a new program within a month or so. As soon as I get ready to lose the baby weight, I'll be back on this blog.

In the meantime... I'm busy cuddling with a bundle of love!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Still waiting....

I am in total waiting mode. Baby hasn't yet arrived, and I admit that I'm feeling a bit antsy about it.

I really hope she shows up soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Done (temporarily) With Exercise

Guess I'm done with exercise for a while. Every time I stand up from a sitting or lying position, I get this pain in my belly. It's usually there whenever I'm on my feet. I don't know if it's pressure from Baby or my belly stretching, but it's extremely uncomfortable. Sometimes I can only hobble to the bathroom.

I could probably get a temporary YMCA membership and try some swimming, but at this point I'm not sure it's worth the effort. Hubby thinks Baby will be arriving in less than 2 weeks. (According to my due date, she's scheduled to arrive in about 3.) Either way, she's coming soon, and I still have lots of stuff on my to-do list.

So I guess I'll just skip workouts until after Baby arrives and I've done a bit of recovering. But I'm still going to try and eat healthy foods.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Healthy Foods Can't Usually Be Frozen

So I've been doing a lot of "freezer" cooking... which means I've been making meals that can be frozen right now and then thawed/cooked after Baby arrives (and life is too hectic for real cooking). It's a technique sometimes referred to as OAMC, although I've adapted it a bit for my needs. Here are a few things in my freezer stash:
  • Twice baked potatoes
  • French toast sticks
  • Whole wheat pizza crusts
  • Veggie lasagna
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Stuffed shells
  • Veggie noodle soup
Not necessarily the worst foods in the world... but definitely not the healthiest. And none of them would make the BFL approved foods list. There's nothing really "clean" on that list. At best, most of those meals would be okay for a free or cheat day.

So what's a gal to do? I've been trying to come up with convenient, easy-to-prepare BFL-style meals that I'll be able to grab-and-eat even if this baby turns out to have the worst case of colic ever. So far I've come up with:
  • Hard boiled egg whites
  • Plain fruit
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Canned tuna or salmon pouches
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Oatmeal
Not exactly the tastiest menu. But I'm guessing I won't have time to make Tilapia in parchment with zucchini and carrot matchsticks... at least not for a few years. I guess we'll see how it works out.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Soba Noodle Salad

Cold noodle salads are one of my favorite summertime meals. I can make one on Sunday and pretty much eat it all week long for a simple, satisfying lunch. However, I do try to limit the amount of refined grains I eat. So oftentimes I use soba noodles.

Soba noodles are an Asian noodle made from buckwheat. Although they're about the width of regular spaghetti, their texture is a bit softer and lighter (I think). Some soba noodles do include some refined grains, although higher quality versions have mostly buckwheat. A typical Japanese meal would be cooked soba noodles and a dipping sauce, but I like them in this salad:

Soba Noodle Salad

Salad Ingredients
- Soba noodles
- Lightly steamed veggies
- Sliced spring/green onions

Dressing Ingredients
- 2 Tablespoons Tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon hot chili oil
- Dash white sugar

Cook soba noodles. Rinse with cold water and drain. Toss in lightly steamed veggies. Coat with dressing. Top with onions.

This is a very simple recipe that can be modified to fit whatever veggies you have in the fridge and to suit your tastes. (I like extra veggies with fewer noodles.) I often make it with matchstick carrots, red pepper strips and strips of snow peas. However, I have heard of people using broccoli and squash, too. It's the perfect cool lunch for a hot day, and you could add some cold, peeled shrimp if you wanted some extra protein.

Outdoor Exercise Protection

(Sponsored Post)

Although I live in a relatively safe neighborhood--the biggest crime around here tends to be stolen bicycles--there's always the chance that some crazed, serial-killer-attacker-type will start stalking my streets.

And there are lots of loose dogs around here, too.

So I think it's smart--and practically a necessity--to carry protection during my outdoor runs and walks around town.

Fortunately, websites like LA Police Gear provide lots of equipment and accessories that can be used by the average citizen who wants to protect herself around the neighborhood, such as tactical knives. (Always check the laws in your area about carrying a blade! Many states limit the size of the knife you can legally carry concealed on your person.) For those already equipped with some basic self-defense gear, the website also sells holders for things like expandable batons.

If you're just looking for clothing, the site sells plenty of tactical apparel like 511 Shorts and Under Armour Covert Ops shirts.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Body For Life Comparisons

I finished reading the two different Body for Life books: Body for Life and Body for Life for Women.

Here's my verdict:

BFL Women is definitely more touchy-feely. There's a lot more talk about motivation and "mind." Women who have typical female problems with weight--yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, etc.--may find the text useful. Overall, however, I found it lacked a lot of practicality.

Moreover, neither the eating nor exercise plan is as strict as that found in the regular BFL program. The concept of the "free" day--and the rationale behind it--seems to be missing almost entirely. And the suggested cardio is less intense (and probably less effective) than recommended in the traditional BFL plan.

Women may find BFL Women easier to follow since it's more flexible and less stringent. However, I'd guess that the 12-week results would not be very dramatic. Weight loss could almost definitely be achieved, but it won't be the kind of body transformation that can be seen in the regular BFL plan.

Personally, I'll stick to the original. I want to see serious results, and I'm not afraid of some high intensity cardio or some heavy weight lifting.

Short Walk

Took a short walk today. After 20 minutes, I started having this terrible pain in my lower abdomen. I knew it wasn't contractions since it was a steady pain. But I was practically doubled over! I immediately walked home--slowly--and laid down until the pain passed.

It was a pretty scary experience. From now on, I guess my walks need to be slower (and closer to home). I had been rushing a bit because I knew a storm was coming.

Wish my walk could have been longer and better... but at least I did something. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to get out and try again. I guess the smartest thing to do now is listen to my body.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Don't Feel Like Exercise

I don't know if it's the weather--hot and muggy--or if it's my expanding tummy (which grows bigger and more uncomfortable each day). But whatever the cause, I just don't feel like exercising. Every morning I set my alarm so I can get up and take a walk. And every morning I turn it off and go back to sleep.

Now that I'm nearing the finish line of pregnancy... about 5 weeks to go... I've been growing more and more uncomfortable. An average day includes:
  • Kicks, punches and jabs into my ribs
  • Swollen feet and fingers (my joints constantly ache)
  • Heartburn and/or nausea
  • Tremendous amounts of fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
Overall, my physical body does not feel at its peak. I know that exercise might actually help make me feel better, but I'm finding it harder and harder to motivate myself to get out and walk.