Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Year of Healthy Eating

Here's a shocker: I don't even know exactly when I started my healthier way of eating.  I didn't take pictures, measurements, or anything.  But honestly, I've come to the point where I don't even care.  I just know that I have received so many benefits from this lifestyle, and it's something that I plan on continuing to implement for a long, long time.  What's a year in the grand scheme of things?
That being said, I've learned a lot in a year's time.

Quick background: I've always been tall and in decent shape, but over the past couple of years I had started accumulating an extra pound here and there that started adding up.  I didn't really care enough to do anything about it - until I started working a summer job last summer, ate a bunch of junk food thinking I was burning it off, and started growing out of all my clothes.  It was only an additional 5 pounds, but that 5 pounds was enough to throw me into a whole new wardrobe if I didn't do something about it.  My mom had just started Trim Healthy Mama, so I joined in.

Some things I've gained:
-knowledge about how food affects me
-a love for the cooking section of my library's nonfiction floor
-lots of experience in the kitchen
-a taste for strange things...maybe I already had that though
-a passion for ICE CREAM (how's that for irony)!
-a love for sardines
-a contentedness with how I look
-a thorough knowledge of bread-baking (I literally have 5 pages, front and back, of written notes on bread-making)
-a very messy desk and a notebook full of recipe ideas

Some things I've lost:
-pocket money due to seeing cool photo props at thrift stores
-my scales!
-time: spare time is now spent cooking stuff up in the kitchen, photographing said stuff, eating said stuff, editing said pictures, and blogging said recipes
-my concern for how I'm not as skinny as I'd like to be
-acne (unless I cheat, which is not an unheard of thing, and then my splurge is literally written all over my face)
-my new size large; I've gone back down to medium, which is my happy size.  :)

My tips:
1) Switch things up.  Don't always eat E for breakfast.  Your body starts to anticipate.
2) Exercise.  A good brisk exercise (we're talking just 20 minutes of torture, not 2 hours on the treadmill) can really get things going.
3) Watch the peanut butter and super-heavy S meals, but...
4) your good fats.  Coconut oil is your friend.
5) Eat plenty of E meals; two E meals back to back can really give your metabolism a boost.  Love me some healthy carbs!
6) Doing a Fuel Cycle for a week or so not only gives your metabolism a kick-start but also helps you better understand the plan and what really gets your body revved up.
7) Enjoy life, and enjoy food!  Don't beat yourself up for a splurge now and then.  You're in this for life.
8) Oh, and don't forget to eat protein with every meal.  Even just a spoon of Greek yogurt is great.

Where I'm going from here:
I live a wonderfully full life.  There are always new things to be found around the riverbend, and while the blogging and such can sometimes be overwhelming (especially since I have OCD), I enjoy it and I have learned a lot through it.  I have tons of brainstorms for the next year or so (really, I have enough brainstorms for two lifetimes), and I'm excited to see where God is going to lead me.
I started Trim Healthy Mama, a low-glycemic approach to eating, about a year ago.  I shed some extra pounds, have toned up a lot, and I'm happy with my body.  I still have some weight I want to lose, but weight is no longer important to me.  I never thought I would be able to say that.  I used to weigh at least once a day, but a month or so ago I put my scales in a cupboard because I never used them and I kept tripping on them.  I pull them out every once in awhile to see what's going on, but I've learned that weight is not a very accurate representation of what's really happening in my body.  Looking at myself and judging by how I feel, I am coming closer and closer to goal, whatever that will end up being, every day.  It's not a diet, it's a way of life.
One other thing I feel I am gaining victory in is putting Trim Healthy Mama in its proper place.  When I do something, I like to do it completely, and especially once I started blogging, food became really important to me.  It still is, and I still love to eat and cook and blog, but I'm coming to the point where this eating lifestyle is not my whole life.  A healthy way of eating is great, but if you're not careful it can become too important.  God should permeate every aspect of your life, and that means that God should come before food, and spending time with God should come before spending time in the kitchen and/or eating ice cream.  That's a lesson I had to learn, but praise God, it's coming.  For all those of you who are overwhelmed by the amount of cooking you feel you have to do when starting to eat healthier: take heart!  It will get easier and easier the more you understand what you should eat and what you shouldn't, as well as what foods you should pair with each other.  Give yourself a couple months to adjust, grab a mentor to bombard with questions, and take it easy on yourself!  It'll come in time, and then  you'll wonder how you ever ate "normal food."
If any of you out there need help, feel free to e-mail me (brintraveler (at) gmail (dot) com).  I'd be happy to give you tips and suggestions or look over a meal plan or answer questions or share my favorite recipes.  The purpose of this blog is to help people.  If I've done that, I am satisfied.  I'm constantly overwhelmed by everyone's support and enjoyment of the recipes I post; thank y'all so much!

My Favorite Foods:
Breakfast: it's a toss-up right now among this chocolate overnight oatmeal recipe, leftover dessert from the previous day, or dessert scrambled eggs
Lunch: Buffalo Ranch Chef Salad
Snack: more dessert.  :P  Or a shake (see my favorite shake here).  Or Greek yogurt with THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder to sweeten and any number of extracts or toppings to make it S, E, or FP.
Supper: honestly, my favorite meal is probably a good juicy burger with the works, all wrapped up in half a Joseph's lavash wrap.  Rice and beans is also a current favorite.  My favorite side-dish right now is yellow summer squash tossed with olive oil, layered on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and garlic salt, and roasted at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
Favorite Dessert: I thought you'd never ask.  I have a recipe for S'mores Pie that I'm going to be posting in the next couple of weeks.  It's the best dessert I have ever tasted.  Other than ice cream of any sort.  Check out some of my many ice cream recipes on this page.
And of course, I'm always game for a good cup of Oolong tea sweetened with a sprinkle of THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder.

And now, since I know a Trimaversary post is not complete without before and after pictures, here you go!  :)  I didn't start with a lot to lose so a difference can be kind of hard to tell, especially in pictures, but I just wish I could share with you how different I feel.  Maybe you can tell a little of that in my face.

Before (these were actually taken before the extra 5-lb. weight gain):


I'm really bad at selfies - please excuse the soap bottle.
I think I can tell the most difference in my face.  I even got to keep my dimples.  ;)
Here's to another year of healthy eating!  And speaking of looking ahead, hopefully this blog will be getting a facelift in the next couple of months.  Stay tuned!
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  1. Great blog and so encouraging - I have left my scale behind, too - it is too discouraging to weigh every day and be obsessed with a number. It is HOW we feel that counts! Health is what matters - not a number ;).
    Your godly perspective is refreshing to read, as well!

    1. Thank you. :) I love getting feedback.

  2. You are a wonderful and beautiful inspiration! You have been blessed with such a great talent of cooking & baking and I love your recipes! Thank you for sharing with us! I haven't seen the Dessert Scrambled Eggs before but will be trying them soon!

  3. You look wonderful!! Congratulations!

  4. I love your recipes! Thank you so much for taking the time to post them. You look wonderful! Congratulations!

  5. Thank you for a practical look at THM! I need to give it a 100% chance! :)

  6. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your recipes as well as your success story. I have been trying to eat healthier for over a year now and haven't been able to stick to it until now. I have gone about 10 days now eating no sugar or starch (except
    for the small amount in salad dressings), and I think I will be sticking with it this time. I struggle wiith keeping food in its proper place. I'm always looking for new CIM and shake recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. Hopefully I will be able to settle into this lifestyle as you have and not be completely obsessed with food! I'm not following the THM plan, but I'm glad that it works for many and I enjoy the recipes associated with it (S recipes in particular).

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. :) I love to learn more about the people who read my ramblings... :P I wish you success in your choice to eat healthier. The most important thing to remember (imo) is that you can't put yourself on a guilt trip if you cheat. That just causes most people to totally give up. Give yourself grace - but never forget to jump back into your healthier eating. :)

  7. Thank you for your post and the blog! I am trying out THM.....challenging, but this post is so encouraging! Thanks for posting all the recipes!

  8. You are a gorgeous girl! The Lord has definitely given you many gifts. Thank you so much for sharing those gifts with all of us!!! :0) I am very new to thm. I just started on Friday and have already lost 4.2lbs!