Sometimes I am a really crappy blogger.
It’s true. That’s why I’m lucky to have people around me who will call me out on it. So what’s been going on with me the past 3 weeks?
I’ve been focusing on my health and sanity. I’ve got some personal stuff going on right now that I’ve been in counseling about. Anxiety/panic attacks and food issues are some of those things. I’ve been going every week for about a month now, and I feel like it’s genuinely helping me. It’s interesting to explore how my attitude towards food is so deeply rooted in the way I was raised. I don’t feel embarrassed to say that I’m currently in therapy. I’m a firm believer that everyone probably needs therapy at some point in their life for one reason or another.
I’ve also taken a huge step in improving my physical health. In the past month, I’ve been in and out of doctor’s offices and labs like you wouldn’t believe. And for those who know me (and know of my severe phobia of these places), this is pretty major. I’ve avoided doctors my entire life for various reasons which I won’t go into now, but just know that this is a big deal for me.
I (finally) went to my primary doctor. It’d been over 5 years since I’d been seen. I got a full physical (including the annual lady visit), blood work, and other various things. Here’s the highlights:
- My cholesterol has gone down almost 100 points since I was 16. Yes, my cholesterol at 16 years of age was 320. For those who are unaware, this is RIDICULOUSLY high. My cholesterol is now 223. A little on the high end, yes, but not high enough to require me to take medication. Diet, exercise, and a fish oil supplement should help me out here.
- I’m a little low on the Vitamin D (like most people), but taking a multi-vitamin and/or Vitamin D supplement will change that.
- Every other test they performed (thyroid, diabetes, blood pressure, pap, etc.) came back 100% normal. Do you understand how big a relief that is to me? I know it’s irrational, but I had almost convinced myself that something was wrong with me because I hadn’t been examined in so long.
I am so happy that I went through this. In spite of my fear, it really is a a huge burden off of my shoulders to know that I am healthy. I even went to the optometrist and had my eyes examined and got fitted for contacts (which I am still trying to adjust to). Overall, I’m proud of myself. I have a clean bill of health from the dentist, optometrist, and doctor. I’m working on my mental/emotional issues to make myself a better and healthier person. And I’m slowly (but surely) getting back on the healthy eating wagon again after a far-too-long absence.
I promise to try and be a better blogger, guys. Thanks for hanging in there with me!
How to make your own tea
As promised, here is my amateur tutorial of how to brew your own individual cup of tea. I apologize in advance for how vague the measurements are, I never really keep track of exactly how much of everything goes into this.
Without further ado, the ingredients:
Per cup: Roughly 1/3 organic green apple with skin still on, 1 cinnamon stick, roughly 3 tbsp. organic mint (chopped), ground cloves to taste (I used roughly 1/4 tsp.) and 1 scoop of organic stevia extract (optional, I like sweeter tea).
Slice apple into thin slices. You want to make sure that the slices of whatever fruit you’re using are thin enough for the hot water to permeate. Also, when using fresh herbs, you want to make sure to bruise them a bit before adding them (rubbing the herb between your fingers should do the trick). This helps release the flavor.
Put all your ingredients in your cup.
Add hot water and steep for at least 5 minutes. Let it steep longer for more intense flavor (it took about 10 minutes for me).
Strain and enjoy!
Maybe it’s just me, but I thought making your own tea was a lot harder than this. Color me enlightened. I like that you know exactly what goes into each cup (and that it’s caffeine-free). I also like that you can use whatever you may have on hand to make an absolutely delicious cup of tea (lemons, oranges, basil, ginger, etc.).
Anonymous said: Alisa,
I have followed your journey almost since day one and I must say--you are incredible. In life, there are so many moments that distract us or overwhelm us and then there are those brief moments of reflection. I hope, in yours, you truly take the time to see what you've accomplished. You are the most inspirational person I have ever had the pleasure of coming across and I admire you for fighting the good fight and keeping this blog going. You've lost over 130 pounds- girl, that is unbelievably awesome!!! Almost too awesome for words. Stay strong and good luck as you continue!
Loyal but shy, therefore anon, follower :)
Because I’m (finally) cleaning out my inbox and answering messages, and I couldn’t bare to delete this.
Seriously one of the nicest messages I’ve ever gotten. I’m publishing this on my blog as a reminder of just how great this community can be.
Thank you, anon. :)
I’ve gotten a few questions about this recently, so here it is! My desk/office stash o’ food.
Oatmeal, dried fruit, tuna, soup, tea, Kashi cereal, bagels, etc. I also have a stash in the refrigerator: more water, yogurt, OJ and a few other things.
The goal is to always have something on-hand when you
A) Forget your lunch
B) Need a snack
C) Need to avoid the work kitchen because there’s a delicious amount of forbidden food there
The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.”
I did something quite out of the ordinary this weekend. I went on little meditation retreat with some wonderful ladies in my area, and I had an absolutely wonderful time.
It was led by one of my yoga instructors who has had training in meditation and ayurvedic health from the Chopra Center. She hosted it in her garden and I really wish I had snapped a picture for you guys. The ambiance was amazing: tons of beautiful trees, plants, flowers, a waterfall, burning incense.
We did a series of sun salutations to start off the day which is always invigorating. After that, we learned a little bit about ayurvedic health which is something I wasn’t too familiar with previously. We learned about which foods are good for digestion at this point of the year (transitioning into fall) and the things we can do to increase our health. She recommended eating what’s in season (squash, carrots, grapes, apples) and favoring warmer foods over cooler ones. She also talked about the importance of eating locally and how it relates to our immune system. We also got to experiment with some really nice natural oils that I am now in the market for. We even got to make our own organic tea (which, by the way, I’m totally going to do a photo tutorial post on how to do this).
Finally, we got around to the meditation aspect of the class. She told us that there were 20 groups around the world meditating at the exact same time we were. How cool is that? Admittedly, it was a bit hard for me to focus during this at first, but after awhile, it started to feel so good. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it was an out-of-body experience or anything, but I definitely felt relaxed and refreshed, which was the goal from the start anyway.
Overall, I had an amazing time. She’s actually going to be teaching an ayurvedic health class soon with one-on-one instruction. I think this could be a really great compliment to the way I currently live my life, and can provide some influence other than the traditional western belief of what’s healthy and what’s not. It’s something I’m considering.
Small goals are the best way to get back on track. I’ve walked every day for the past three days. It’s not a ton of distance, but it’s better than sitting on my butt all day, right?
Your need to ‘get it perfect’ isn’t about perfection. It’s about staying in control. And staying in control is not a virtue if it’s making you miserable.”
— Elizabeth Wilson
Two weeks ago: 271.4
This week: 273.0
= +1.6 lbs.
Not the end of the world, but enough to be annoying. I don’t know why getting back on track has been so hard for me lately. I feel like the strong will power I had earlier in this journey has faded a bit. It’s so much easier for me to say “yes” to going out with friends and co-workers, eating tons of delicious (and extremely unhealthy) food, and not working out.
It almost feels like I’m back at square one. I need to get my priorities straight.
Forgiveness is not something you do solely for the person who hurt you. It is something you do for yourself, for the sake of your own inner freedom. You forgive so that you can live in the present instead of being stuck in the past. You forgive because your grievances and grudges—even more than hopes and attachments and fears—bind you to old patterns, old identities, and especially to old stories.”
— Sally Kempton, “Forgiveness Heals”, Yoga Journal
Getting back to food!
Today was a pretty solid day on the eating front. And quite honestly, I’m feeling really good about that! One day at a time.
Breakfast: Kashi cherry vanilla cereal bar, Chobani black cherry 0% Greek yogurt
Lunch: Madras Lentils (2 servings)
Dinner: Orange chicken (1 cup), brown rice (3/4 cup), steamed broccoli (3/4 cup), skim milk (10 oz.)
Snacks: Trader Joe’s mini brie bite on 1 whole grain Wasa cracker, 2 oz. pkg. apple slices, Dreyer’s Neapolitan NSA ice cream (1 cup)
Exercise: 15 min. walk with co-workers, 20 min./mile pace
Whoopdie do, 10g over in the carb department is not the end of the world. Overages in protein & calcium are never a bad thing!
It’s not often that you get to wake up to thunder in southern California!
Breakfast today consists of 1 egg, 2 egg whites, goat cheese, onion, spinach, and sundried tomato with 2 slices of maple pecan toast and tea. Delicious!
So why am I posting today?
To be completely honest about the fact that today has been an utter disaster on the food front. There’s this new group of food trucks that have decided to put up shop right next to my office. My co-workers and I walked over at lunch (hooray for the 20-minute walk, though) and I had to get something.
So what did I decide to choose (you know, in all my infinite wisdom)?
A tri-trip grilled cheese. With tons of butter. And sauteed mushrooms. OMG. Absolutely amazing.
Tonight I will eat a healthy meal, do some yoga, and get a full 8 hours of sleep. Doesn’t that just sound like a wonderful night? Gosh… TGIF (almost)