In the Blink of an Eye

Last Sunday on one of my 2 daily walks with our dog, Lily, my world could have changed in the blink of an eye.

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We were almost home from our 1 mile walk and I spied 2 dogs trotting towards us.  I hadn’t seen them before in the neighborhood and since they were running loose, I immediately was on guard.  One of them was a Pit bull mix and the other one was some sort of Shepherd.  The Shepherd stayed farther away but the Pit bull started coming right up to us.  I yelled very loud with all I could muster for the dog to GO AWAY!  He paused and at first I thought he was going to go.  But then he came forward.  I was praying so hard that he’d just do the stiff thing and then leave but in the blink of an eye, he was attacking Lily.  I didn’t hesitate and started kicking him and hitting him with Lily’s leash.  Her leash and collar had slipped off in the struggle.  Thankfully, just as fast as he attacked, he left and trotted on off through the woods with the Shepherd.

Lily was okay.  She only had one puncture would on her hip.  And I didn’t have a scratch.  It could have been a different situation though.  Lily could have been killed and in all reality, that Pit bull could have killed me too.  My heart was racing!  I was scared out of my mind.  A neighbor that had heard me screaming came out and I’m sure she would have come to help if the attack hadn’t ended so quickly.  She did holler over to me and let me know that those same 2 dogs had killed her outside cat.   We are going to try and alert the Animal Control if we ever see them again in our neighborhood.

Later in the afternoon, on my daily Amazon order, I included some mace that I really should have had with me in the first place.   I also tightened Lily’s collar.

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It has been 23 days now since my office sent us all home to work remotely.  At first, I was so out of it.  I had home projects all around me that were in some stage of incompleteness.  My daughter, her boyfriend, and our granddaughter had just moved out of our home into their own apartment just the weekend before.  We had given them our old washer and dryer and when Ron hooked up our new ones, something went awry.  I noticed a wet spot in the carpet in our bedroom and I had no clue it was the washer.  The washer is in the kitchen for Pete’s sake!  I totally blamed poor Lily.  I thought she had had an accident.

It took us one full day to figure out that the hose on the washer was the culprit.  After Ron got the leak stopped, he ended up pulling up the carpet and the padding.  We had decided to replace the carpet and since we are laying the new flooring down ourselves, he said he’d just rip this spot up now.

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We were also in the middle of painting the laundry closet and putting up new shelves, so EVERYTHING was in an upheaval.  Luckily now, the new shelves are up and at least the laundry area is neat and tidy.

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My sis and niece and their husbands were going to help us with the new flooring and even though they said they’d still come up and help us, I’ve decided to heed the Shelter at Home advisory and just tackle the flooring later when this virus gets past us.   I know this is the right thing to do even though this flooring situation is so frustrating!

I’ve been trying to stay off social media as much as I can.  I try to limit myself to 2 quick sessions each day just to keep up with friends and family.  The one thing that I’ve really been noticing is all the memes that people are posting about the struggles they are having with food now that they are working from home.

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I’m not sure how I’m doing it but I’m really rockin’ the healthy eating!  The only thing I can think of is that I have absolutely zero cheat foods in my house thanks to Lydia and Cam moving out prior to the pandemic. When they lived with us, it was all I could do to not partake of all the pizza Friday’s they’d have.  The cinnamon rolls they’d bake all the time were also my downfall.  Heck if they were out of stuff, I’ve been known to eat all of Harley’s goldfish crackers or mini pretzels.  I’d always replace them the next day but it was so difficult for me to say no.

Ron has really been trying to lose weight and he just can’t make the scale move much at all!   So when they moved, we really did a huge pantry purge.  We decided to go on the Chef AJ ultimate weight loss program.

Chef AJ

I actually started the weekend before the pandemic so it has been a whole 4 weeks for me.  I’ve lost 6.1 pounds and feel fantastic.

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Ron stayed on the program for almost 2 weeks and he did lose a little but he said he didn’t feel good only eating plants and he has gone back to being an omnivore.  In fact, he went to Costco and stocked back up on meats and nuts and all his favorite Paleo foods.  He did promise he wouldn’t go back to the Bulletproof coffee though.  Ron had an AFib (atrial fibrillation) episode last month and even though AFIB is not the normal heart disease with clogged arteries and such, it is still very serious.  He promised me he’d cut down on the fats.  He also came home with 2 canisters of mixed nuts.  That little blip you see in my weight loss is me cheating and eating nuts last weekend.  I know that some fats like nuts and avocados are so very healthy but I can’t seem to partake of any without overdoing it.  They are such trigger foods for me.  Well nuts and a take out meal from my favorite vegan local restaurant.  I’m happy I was helping to keep the small restaurants in business by ordering take out but I swear, you can totally eat vegan food and gain!

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That carrot cake was divine though and it was my only sweet in a whole month.

Here’s some shots of my normal daily meals.  I’ve really been cooking up a storm and eating oh so healthy!

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Quinoa Banana Oat muffins

Lots of Hugh Jass Salads topped with balsamic vinegars

caramelized onion gravy over rice

beet burgers

lots of potatoes air fried in Ron’s awesome new oven

mashed banana butter on Ezekiel muffins

I pray that that you are finding ways to cook and eat healthy while we weather out this Covid-19 storm.    Jesus and our health is all we really have.  Everything has changed so much and it really does feel that this all happened in the blink of an eye.

Much love and peace!

Melissa

 

Weight Loss Roller Coaster

Uggghhhhhhh!

Oh the journey of weight loss!  What a roller coaster it is for me.

Disclaimer:  Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor.  All information on my blog is my own ideas and experiences and is not intended to be a substitute for consultation with a doctor or healthcare provider.  I cannot accept any responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from this post or any post on A Handful of Spinach.

First of all, what I have come to finally realize is that there are many different paths to follow and many ways to achieve your healthy weight.  The Paleo’s can get you there and I really believe they have an awesome program.  For me the “nothing processed” is the way to go.  Dr. Fuhrman can get you there.  Dr. McDougall can get you there.  Whole 30 can get you there.  Weight Watchers can get you there.  Just cutting out sodas and desserts can get the lucky ones there.

You get the idea.  I’m finding that you have to find the plan that works for you and stick with it.  None of them will get you there if you give up and resort back to your old habits.  Most often just choosing “this not that” and doing what you can when you can “wycwyc” are the little healthy steps that can lead up to a whole new life over a long period of time.

I’ve tried nearly every single plan you can name.  I was an Atkins girl in the 90’s, a WW girl early in this century, and for the past 5.5 years I’ve been an on again off again vegetarian and vegan.  I keep coming back to vegetarian and vegan diets for ethical reasons.  I love cheese but I hate the dairy industry.  I cannot look at a pig and for one second think about eating them.  Factory farming gives me nightmares!

However, I can totally take the approach shown in the movie Avatar, and if you give honor to the animal and kill humanely, I’m ok with that.  Salmon Fish Farms, NO but my brother in law’s fresh catch of the day from a beautiful Missouri lake, YES.  Eggs from the normal factories where the hens never touch their feet to grass, NO, but eggs from my neighbor’s backyard chicken coop, YES.

That’s my view on the subject of weight loss.  However, I want the weight loss to come off fast and be easy to maintain.

28 days ago I embarked on yet another weight loss experiment.  I’m going to go ahead and put the numbers out there for your reference but please note this scale disclaimer.

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I started off at 153.  I brought it down 5 pounds to 148 by just being mindful and cutting out the desserts and too many breads.  At 148 I started Chef AJ’s weight loss program.  I do need to say that I did not purchase her complete program and only took bits and pieces of her advice from what I could get for free on the internet.  So, this may not be a true experiment.

Anyway, what she preaches for weight loss is no sugar, no salt, no oil, and no nuts.  She explains about caloric density and how to try and get the healthiest volume of food to fill your stomach for the lowest calories.  A pound of most veggies is only 100 calories vs. a pound of oil at 4000 calories.   On her program, I could have all the fruits, veggies, and whole grains that I wanted but I needed to consume 2 pounds of cooked greens before the other choices.

In one week I had lost 8 pounds and made it down to 140 pounds.  I was on cloud 9!

Things that I learned that I could do that I never thought I could change:

  • I had steamed broccoli and cauliflower for breakfast and didn’t have my normal smoothies or oatmeal. Yes, steamed greens for breakfast.  Believe it or not it is possible and they are so filling!
  • I learned that I really didn’t have to sauté onions and garlic in oil. You can put just a little bit of veggie broth or plain water and sauté’ just fine.
  • I learned that I COULD live without the salt shaker. I am now a recovered salt-a-holic .  I found some delicious salt free spicy seasoning, some salt free mustard, and a very low salt salsa that flavor things deliciously.

After that 1st week, I gained back 2 pounds and I think it had to be the fact that I stopped concentrating on the 2 pounds of greens daily. For weeks 2-3, I let myself by with only 12 ounces and sometimes as little as 8 ounces.  At the end of week 3, I splurged and went out to brunch at a restaurant.  I had a Thai peanut bowl and even though I didn’t eat the peanuts, the creamy sauce did me in.  I also had a good amount of noodles later that night.  At the beginning of week 4 I was at 146!  I was heartbroken.  After all that work I was close to where I started.

My husband had similar results.  He lost a lot in the beginning and then he stopped eating so many greens and the weight loss stalled.  He stopped the program after 21 days and is now back to Paleo.

I’ve stuck it out and this week has been better.  I’m back down to 142.  My good friend sent me this article and I’ve discovered that I’m actually large boned.  According to this, my idea racing weight may be somewhere around 130-135 pounds.  (65 inches tall x 2 = 130 + 5 more for being big boned)  I don’t think I’ve seen a number on the scale below 140 in probably over 24 years and I have no idea how I’m ever going to get there.

I do know that on vacation next week that I will have some sugar.  I can’t go to Millennium and not try a dessert.  I’ll probably have some salt.  I’ll probably have a glass of wine and a craft beer and maybe even a mixed drink or two.   I might even have some meat.  (We’ll be with Ron’s family for some of the trip and I never want to be “that vegan person.”)  I am all about modeling a healthy lifestyle and not being so preachy preachy.

After vacation I plan on focusing on getting more protein after all my morning runs but still staying away from the sugar and oil.  I plan to stay away from drinking my calories (i.e. smoothies) and to try and stay away from too many grains.

My biggest commitment for after vacation is to go back to the track.  Ron at 50+ Runner does a track workout very often and he has inspired me to work my way back to 8×400’s.  I’ll still be in the middle of my 50 mile training after vacation and that plan calls for merely getting as many miles as possible under my feet.  But I can’t wait until after September 26th and my 50 miler.  I’m itching now to focus on speed.

Happy Running everyone.  I’ll post my San Francisco race recap as soon as possible after my return to NC in August.  I’m California bound in T-15 hours.