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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 19: Random Thoughts

  • I roasted the veggies without burning them tonight. Success! (and I love roasted root veggies. beets! sweet potato! onion! carrots!  nom.) The kids ate them without complaint! Woot!
  • you, too, can eat half an avocado every single day and still lose/keep off weight. Healthy fats, people!  Also: nom.

  • My "cheats": 
  1. Dunno what day it was, but I did have a "that-time-of-the-month"-related chocolate diversion; a square of Lindt dark, 85%? chocolate. I savored it and don't regret the decision.
  2. I've had Caffix on a few occasions. 
  3. Today I totally broke and had a scone. It was a calculated break, I made the conscious decision to go to the kitchen and get the thing. It COULD have had something to do with watching a steady stream of Master Chef and Kitchen Nightmares for the past few days, or it could be that I just wanted a damned scone. In any case, it was an unsanctioned snack.
  • TMI ALERT: One would think that a diet consisting nearly 100% of fruits and vegetables would ... ahem ... MOVE things along, even for a tough case like me. Alas, either by way of the supplements, or my incredibly SLOW digestive tract, the Ultimate Reset did little to nothing to REGULATE. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I'm actually relieved (ha!) that increasing my fiber and water intake alone will not solve my intestinal issues ... that means that other experimentation is necessary but I have a baseline of healthy eating to use.
  • Despite more frequent night-time trips to pee, I think I'm sleeping better. Bonus! Which of course means I am more awake during the day. The increased water and lack of sugars/carbs I'm guessing accentuates that day-time awake-ness. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have more ENERGY (pingpingping woohoo! bouncebounce look at me! I have energy!!), but I DO notice I'm not lethargic, aching for a nap, etc.
Only 2 more days. What happens next? To my husband's dismay, we're supposed to ease back into dairy, meat, etc, if at all. I really don't think it will be that much of an issue. I'm thinking about all the things I'd like to make soon, and some of them require cream in the sauce, that type of thing, so we'll have to ease into all of that (fall! chili! ground beef!). But for the most part, I don't think it will be difficult to get back to "normal" - as our normal wasn't that bad to start. 

I really miss coffee. And I don't really miss the caffeine. So that's nice. I know that even a decaf at Starbucks will have some caffeine, so I do need to be careful there, but ... I do look forward to coffee dates. And sometimes, a scone. :) 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ultimate Reset Day 11: Misc. Thoughts


  • Cumin is still my favorite seasoning. Yum. 
  • Avocado with a spoon. Also yum.
  • I wouldn't want to do the Reset in the winter. Have I mentioned this? The gorgeous freshness of the farmer's market so far surpasses paltry grocery store produce ... I can't imagine eating all these tomato dishes and salads with pasty, rock-hard "tomatoes."  Blick.
  • I wouldn't want to do the Reset in the winter. I would have a hard time not having tea/warm beverages in the morning and throughout the day. The soups would be nice but the salads (quinoa-based, lettuce based, cucumber based) would also not be as pleasant on a cold day.
  • I'm content to purchase my miso soup at a restaurant. 
  • I am still looking forward to crackers. But not so much that I'd break the plan to have one. 
  • Also: I do not miss cleaning CHEESE (cooked, baked) off of things.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ultimate Reset Day 6: Random Thoughts

  • Extreme orthostatic hypotension and resulting vasovagal syncope this morning; increasing my salt intake to hopefully combat this. (note: this is a pre-existing condition of mine, I don't blame the diet, other than to say in "normal diet mode" I must get "hidden" salt from items in my diet .. perhaps the crackers I've mentioned? because I don't add it at the table and rarely use it much in cooking. Pondering what I eat and what I SHOULD eat to balance this phenomenon.
  • Roasted vegetables make the house smell glorious... even if they've charred into black crunchy things.
  • I still have a lot to learn in seasoning my own food without a recipe; watching Master Chef does not an intuitive cook make. 
  • my kids are troopers in the new foods department. They even ate the burned beet chunks.
  • My daughter loves salmon. (and lamb, and scallops, and lobster. She's an expensive date.)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 5 General Thoughts

  • Miso soup fail tonight! I blame the ingredients. Truly! disappointing flavor. Bummer.
  • Looking forward to some new seasonings ... The veggies and grains have been great and plentiful, but I'm getting bored of the flavorings suggested. cilantro is not a favorite, mint is not an Ian favorite, basil is tasty and plentiful ... but I could do without as much sesame/soy/seaweed/sesame oil ... Would love some curry, red pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin ... If it doesn't show up soon I may be forced to go "off book" a bit.
  • There are a few puree soups coming up I'm excited to try.
  • Tonight is the first time I'm hungry. It's 9pm though, so I find going to bed solves that dilemma :) I'm not tempted to go raid the fridge, but my stomach does have a bit of that burn feeling to it. Maybe it's all the miso?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 4

Random thoughts on the Reset:

  • If you don't like cucumbers, you would not do well on this particular regimen (although you can certainly swap out meals, a LARGE portion of the recipes contain cucumbers).
  • I've seen 150 on the scale this week. I don't weigh myself every day, but that was exciting!
  • I do NOT feel hungry "You mean it's time to eat AGAIN?!" is a thought I've had. Truth. (This could be because I've been preparing all the meals which require a lot of peeling, chopping and washing.)
  • I do not feel deprived ... much. We eat a pretty healthy diet at home - we all love fruit and vegetables and I have never bothered with meat at every dinner. We haven't been to a restaurant since we started, naturally, but we also haven't been to a potluck or family meal to be tempted by Gramma's Famous Whatnot. What happens when Ian goes back to school and smells the delicious (no, really!) cafeteria food? What happens when I'm home alone all day with Nut-Thins
  • I don't have cravings unless I'm watching Cake Boss with the family ... which is funny because I don't like cake. But it does make me want a giant chocolate chip cookie from our local bakery.
  • We have mostly healthy foods in the house, so avoiding bad-for-us items has not been difficult. For me the issue is crunch and carbs ... a bag of crackers and a bowl of pasta. But I do like quinoa and brown rice ... they'll have to do for now!
  • I. Love. Lentils. (still).
  • I need to remember to READ AHEAD... some things can be prepped in advance ... or NEED to be prepped in advance. Doh!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 1

Day 1 is complete. Just a few random thoughts:

  • the food is plentiful. In fact, I found it very difficult to finish all of my meals. I can only surmise this is because the program wants to provide folks who eat WAY more than I do with a gradual decrease in pure food mass. (If you feel like you're starving yourself on day one, you're gonna get a headache, cheat, give up, or all of the above.) I should have taken pictures of my meals, but you'll have to take my word (s) for it- colorful and huge.
  • the food is good. eggs and toast for breakfast (with spinach), giant salad plus miso soup for lunch, salmon, asparagus and potatoes for dinner. Lots of snack options (we happened to skip that course today).
  • the most difficult part is scheduling ... staying ahead of the game enough to have food prepared and take supplements at prescribed times (designed to be taken 30 min before or 2 hours AFTER meals - so it's flexible but there is some clock-watching involved)
  • there is a "scary green goo" drink which has been much maligned by other participants; we both found it to be like drinking the water left over from steaming spinach. No biggie. *whew*
  • in order to construct the prescribed salad, we need bigger dishes. Not bowls -- dishes; today's salad exceeded our dinner plates.
  • drinking a gallon of water a day does what you think it would do - sends you to the bathroom more frequently. The good news is, apparently I've already been drinking quite a bit of water, because this amount didn't put me in there too many more times than a normal day.
  • I don't "feel different;" I don't have a headache. I am a bit tired, but I also woke at 4am to the amazing downpour we had (and listened to My Hero snore for about an hour, but I digress). I'm looking forward to tomorrow's meals - oatmeal, chicken salad, tacos ... yum.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ultimate Reset: The Prep Phase

"Ok, so what is it again you're doing?" (I've already been asked a few times - so here's the answer.)

The program is called Ultimate Reset. The company is Beachbody.

Yup, Beachbody -- those late-night commercials of folks dropping hundreds of pounds and being rewarded financially to do so! (and also the makers of Shakeology, which I love, and such unassumingly-named exercise programs as "Insanity," "ChaLEAN Extreme" and "Turbo Fire") -- that's them.

"Is it one of those fad, 'cleanse' things?"

The short answer: no.

The longer answer: There are some important differences from the "eat only grapefruit/cabbage/chicken soup diets":

  1. While a participant may indeed lose weight on the program, that is not the goal/purpose. 
  2. In direct contrast to "deprivation" diets, the eating program provides a wealth of carefully selected recipes and (for some) new flavors. It's ADDING food, in place of poor choices. I've purchased miso paste, nori, and I can't wait to try the lentil-lime concoction!  
  3. The program's COST is largely due to the select supplements provided. The above photo does not depict fancily-packaged laxatives :) 
  4. While the concept of "reset" or "detox" may be considered a "fad" to some, I have witnessed first hand the lasting dietary changes and health benefits of the 21-day program. Again, if this were labeled, "Lose 20 lbs in just 10 days!" or "Cleanse the Colon..." Uh, no thanks.
  5. Anything that sends me to the farmer's market for 90% of the week's food is a good thing! :) 
  6. Support: Beachbody stands behind their products. When purchasing from a coach, you are linked up with experts in the program, other participants in the same phase, etc. You are part of a community (online and otherwise) of fellow travelers. Even if no one else in my STATE is doing the Ultimate Reset, I can connect every day with someone who is. 
So ... that's a brief view of the program. Twenty-one days, a menu plan to follow (which notably removes dairy and meat from the diet, while replacing it with nutrient-rich fruits, veggies, legumes, seeds and nuts), supplements to ingest, and an overall emphasis of self-care and hydration. 
  • Who: me. Also, Ian! Yipee!
  • What: see above
  • When: Starting this Monday Wednesday.
  • Where: meals will be eaten at home whenever possible. If you see me carting a salad to "Donut Day" you'll know why.
  • Why: Aha! 
So we've hopefully already established it's not about the weight. I've actually managed to accomplish a respectable weight loss by drinking Shakeology and making better choices with the rest of my meals. (note: it's way easier to drink a cold, frothy, ice-cream-like shake in the HOT months. Talk to me in December!)

Ever feel like you just need a do-over? I have the feeling it's why people are drawn to vacations -- a break, a change, a ... well, a reset. That's the general idea. Only I have no desire to head anywhere else. School is gearing up and I'm preparing to buckle down ... If it's possible to clear the brain fuzz, sleep better, tackle anxiety, increase energy, prevent illness and disease, etc, etc by making dietary changes, I'm in. (and so is Ian!).

I'm posting this to 1. answer questions and 2. journal the journey. If you have zero interest in this endeavor, skip posts in the coming month with "UR" in the title ;) Cheers!