Sunday, May 15, 2011

Measuring Success

It's only natural that when we commit ourselves to any lifestyle change that we insist on results to keep us motivated.  So what deems a successful measurement?

I can tell you that after six weeks of eating clean and working out I have lost 4 lbs and total of  5" off my bust, hips, thigh, and waist areas.

Reading that last sentence, you're probably wondering if I'm ready to throw in the towel.  Aren't we constantly inundated with people miraculously losing 15-20 lbs of weight in the first month of the newest diet fad?  Look at my results.  Is this success?   ABSOLUTELY!!!!

Why?  Well, first off I'm 5'8 and 141 lbs so I know my body is going to lose excess body fat slowly but in return sculpt defined muscle mass.  Any rapid weight loss will only result in rapid weight gain the next time I smell a cookie.  That's what's wrong with diet fads.  This is a lifestyle change.  I'm feeding my body with energy and resistance and in return it will reward me with strength.

Secondly, success can be measured beyond the scales and tape measures.  Let me give you some better numbers to judge by:
6- the number of weeks of been respecting my body by eating clean and making it work
4- the number of consecutive weeks I've been increasing my weights at the gym
9, 7, 5 - nine is the dress size I was before I started.  Seven is the size of pants I bought two weeks ago.  Five is the size of the dress I bought last Friday.
14- pieces of clothing I've given to Goodwill because they were too big and not able to be altered.
152- the number of wonderful, witty, determined, motivational women that belong to a fitness/clean eating online group I am lucky to be a part of.
4- the minimum number of days I work out at the gym (up from 0 two months ago)
6- the number of delicious meals I eat per day
1- the notch I moved to tighten up my belt
2- the number of sizes I had exchange my new birthday jeans for.  You can see them here!

Now add in some non-measureable successes like the confidence I feel and the good mood I always wake up in, the energy I feel throughout the day, the ability to accept compliments instead of brushing them off with self depricating comments, and the amazing knowledge I've gained to be able to listen to my body.  I know when it feels healthy, hungry and when I can push it even further and when I need to back off to prevent injury. 

My point is that there's more to success than numbers on a scale.  I feed my body with good food and my mind with happiness knowing that I'm not just on my way to total transformation, but that I'm doing it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Spiked Oatmeal Cookies

I used this recipe from The Best of Clean Eating magazine cookbook to make some delicious treats for company on the weekend.  Our family loved them!  Well, to be honest, my youngest son didn't favor them, I think he preferred the treats in his Easter basket.  But they were a big hit with my oldest son, my husband, my parents and myself.  They do have more of a granola bar texture, but the addition of the dark chocolate chips gives it that cookie splurge feeling.  Next time I'll make up a batch with unsweetened cranberries too.  Big thumbs up for these.

You can find this recipe and so many others on the the Clean Eating magazine website
I highly recommend picking up their cookbook


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cook old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp flaxseed meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp unsalted almond butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips (about 40 grams)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together agave, egg white, almond butter and vanilla.
  4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients all at once and combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter equally into 16 mounds (about 1 rounded tbsp in size) and arrange evenly spaced on prepared baking sheets. Using the back of a slightly dampened spoon, flatten each mound into 2 1/2-inch circles. Bake 9 to 10 minutes, until golden. Cool on sheets for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container, cookies will keep fresh for 2 to 3 days.
Nutrients per 2 cookies: Calories: 170, Total Fat: 3.5 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 35 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 18 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 75 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Just a note:  the recipe yields 16.  I got 14 out of a batch.  I didn't flatten mine quite as much as it instructed, and I was pleased to see that they do plump up a bit during baking.

I divided the batter up before dropping them by the spoonful on the cookie sheet.

Fresh from the oven.  Mmmmmm....they smelled so good.
Everyone came into the kitchen asking when they'd be ready to eat.

Three weeks of Eating Clean

If someone told me that in three weeks I would totally change my habits about food and not only look forward to more food prep, going to the gym and be happy about how I feel about myself, I would have thought that wasn't enough time for such big overall changes in a person.  But I'm here to tell you that that's exactly what has happened.

Everyday I'm learning new ways to combine food and to make better grocery shopping decisions.  We have decided as a family to not go completely organic, mostly in our meats, but our sugar, pesticide and chemical consumption has fallen drastically.  For myself and my husband, we have not had any white sugar in 21 days.  Our family has always chosen whole wheat and grain bread over white so we've focused on changing our other starchy choices, like when it comes to pastas and rice.

Meal planning has become second nature.  I've learned to make delicious ordinary meals at home and to eat out and be satisfied.  I know that what I put into my body is more about health and disease prevention and with that I am starting to reap the rewards of a clean body.

I did have some moments of doubt in the first two weeks because that scale barely moved. Now before you tell me to throw away that scale, I know I need to.  Its been hard since I've relied on it for 30 years.  I'll get there one day.  I chatted with some wonderful long time  EC'ers (Eating Clean) and they assured me that my body was going through an adjustment period and since I don't have alot of weight to lose, the kickstart may take longer.  They were right.  Hardly any movement in weight and measurements the first 2 weeks, and this week BAM I'm down 4 lbs and have inches lost.

Even better is the way I feel.  Energetic, strong, tall and proud.  Feeding the body properly is euphoric.

I'm seeing mindful eating in my children and I'm so proud of my husband who is also doing awesome with this lifestyle.  He's feeling great and he's getting plenty to eat  lol.  We are a busy family and we're making this work.

I can't wait to see the transformation the next 3 weeks will bring.  My focus will be more on the strength training.  I want definition in my back and shoulders! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Raspberry Smoothie

This was my first attempt at improvising a smoothie.  It was yummy, and definitely a great healthy snack option.  I think next time I'll throw in some banana to try something different.

1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup water
1/4 cup low fat plain vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup frozen raspberries 
blend and serve!  Makes 1 serving

When I doubled the recipe to make this for me and my husband, I didn't quite double the protein powder.  Just our preference.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14/11 Meal Plan

Blue-protein    Pink-starchy carb    Green-fibrous carb    Purple-simple carbs   Orange-healthy fats

Breakfast: 1/2c uncooked oats, cooked with 1 tbsp flaxseed.  Two egg whites

Midmorning:  raspberry smoothie (I'll post my recipe).  Protein powder, water, plain low-fat yogurt, raspberries, cocoa powder

Lunch: Chicken wrap - whole wheat grain wrap, chicken breast, fresh spinach, cucumber, hummus.  Cooked zucchini on the side.

Midafternoon: scant handful of unsalted, raw almonds (yum), apple

Supper: baked haddock, asparagus, brown rice cooked in low sodium chicken stock

Evening Snack:  energy bar (recipe posted in 'snacks')

also 1 cup of green tea and water, water, water

Clean Eats Journal

This is one of the best health journals I've ever seen.  Track your nutrition, fitness, sleep and even your preplanned treats.  Everything is brilliantly color coded.  Plan your meals around proteins (blue) and incorporate your complex carbs, healthy fats and supplements.  Get in all of your daily eat-clean requirements.

Here's the blank journal

And this link will show you some sample entries

My Gym Personality

I had an amazing workout today. I knew I would love it, but it took 2 hours to convince myself to go. I had every intention of taking my son to school then head straight to the gym since I didn't have to work today. Well we all woke up to an awful spring blizzard (Mother Nature has a warped sense of humor lol). My husband took my son to school, so without HAVING to go outside, I was quite content to stay indoors and warm. Silly part of it was that I really WANTED to go to the gym. So I started to think about my gym personality. I really do prefer to hit the gym when I'm coming from or going to somewhere else, which is my normal routine. Its so hard to convince myself to get it together and go when the only purpose I have for leaving the house is to go just there. When I'm there, I'm loving it! I'm seeing my body transform and I'm stronger every day and that's such a rush.

While I was at the gym today, and thinking about how ridiculous it was to get me motivated to make the 4 minute drive, I started thinking about the reality of the fact that I live in Alberta and ...hello!!!....we have some pretty wicked winters. So if a spring storm was going to hold me back, what was going to happen to me next winter? Well let me tell ya, that really was an eyeopener for me.  I'm so glad I pushed through that barrier today.

I really enjoy my gym.  We have several nearby so I had quite a variety of choices when I signed up.  There are others that are bigger and with newer equiment and cost less, but I know this is the perfect fit for me.  Location was a big deciding factor.  This place is under 2 minutes from work and about 4 minutes from home.  The instructors are friendly and very knowledgable and it's an all female facility.  Everything I need is right at my fingertips so I'm determined to take full advantage of it.

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