Author Archives: Jodi

10 awesome things not about my weight, and a weigh-in!

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1. I’ve been making a ton of excuses about why I haven’t gone to the gym. I haven’t seen my trainer in over two weeks! I always think getting up early is so much worse than it really is but once you’re awake for five minutes, the feeling of wanting to die subsides haha. So on Monday I bit the bullet and forced myself to stay awake when my alarm sounded. I laid in bed for a few minutes listening to the birds chirping when it dawned on me that it was probably warm enough to walk to the gym! That thought alone kicked my butt into gear. The gym is about a half mile from my apartment, an unbelievably perfect distance. I used to walk to the gym in the morning all the time and totally forgot how lovely morning walks are. I see morning runs in my future…

2. All that being said about the gym, I’m really happy with myself exercise-wise this week. I got outside everyday and either walked, ran or hiked and had a blast! I’m so blessed to be living in an area with tons of cool parks, walking paths and hiking trails right outside my door and took advantage of all that nature this weekend.

3. Fun fact: I get sausage fingers really easily when walking from all the blood rushing to my hands. For prevention purposes, I pretty much do all of my walks with what I can only describe as floppy jazz hands. Attractive, right? Stare on, people, stare on.

Source: joannemattera.blogspot.com via Kathy on Pinterest

4. And in case I wasn’t already drawing enough attention to myself at the park with my floppy jazz hands…the Zensah compression sleeves I ordered came in the mail this weekend! I’m pretty sure that the pain that has halted my running progress recently is just from shin splints. I remembered Allie at Live Laugh Eat had awesome results with the Zensah sleeves and decided to go for it. I’ve worn them a few times for recovery after the long hikes and walks this weekend and have had no shin pain, so it’s possible they are working but the real test will be running in them.  I am itching to get past the 3-mile running mark and go further and faster so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they help with the pain.

5. I’ve officially hit the one month mark on paleo. I’m going to stop doing weekly updates. One, because I don’t really feel that I’m following a true paleo diet, more that I’m incorporating paleo principles. Two, weekly updates are super boring. Will I continue eating the way I’ve been eating? ABSOLUTELY. I have so much energy! The change in the way my hunger feels is also reason enough to keep up with a higher protein/lower carb plan. When I started, I honestly didn’t believe I would see that many changes, but I’m totally a believer now! Also, behold this delicious bun-less burger I got at Smash Burger on Sunday. Yum.

6. I made chocolate coconut flour cupcakes (with applesauce!) this weekend from this recipe and am pretending they are muffins so I can eat them for breakfast. Don’t hate. Also, I recommend making them, because they are delicious, but if you’re the kind of baker who follows a recipe exactly, don’t click that link. I found a lot of the measurements to be off and ended up making a bunch of substitutions to get the sweetness/consistency that I wanted. I’m absolutely addicted to the taste of coconut flour. So…coconutty!

7. I can’t stop eating baby carrots! Maybe it’s because I started buying organic carrots, or because I cut down on my sugar, but these babies (pun intended!) have never tasted sweeter. I snack on them throughout the day. Try them with sunflower seed butter and thank me later.

8. I successfully partied smart this week. With all my new-found energy, I’ve been making more time to see my friends, which generally includes a lot of going to bars. I like drinking as much as the next recent college grad, but honestly, it doesn’t make me feel good. I hate being hungover, and truly, alcohol really messes with my mood. I’m way more likely to be sad the day after drinking too much. So this week I stuck to a one to two drink limit, and sometimes no drinks at all, and had a great time! Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing ordering water, or explaining to all your friends why you aren’t drinking, but I’d much rather be in a temporarily awkward situation than regret my actions the next day. Plus, I’m way better at darts when I’m sober.

9. It’s officially Spring!!

10. Monday was my  nephew’s 5th birthday! I’m not saying this just because my amazing sister reads every single word I write (Hi Stacy!), but my nephews have been an unbelievable source of inspiration. I think about them a lot when I’m running and the thought of their ridiculously cute faces keeps me going. I’m glad they will get to know me as someone who puts 100 percent into life. Happy Birthday E!

On that note….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 174.5

This week: 172.5

Change: -2.5

Total loss: 70.5

Fat Acceptance: A Love Story

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I had a huge moral dilemma when I first started this blog. I did not and still do not want to promote diet culture. I know I have written some things that have done that, and it truly feels like a betrayal to myself and of how I actually feel about losing weight.

I’m in a hard place because on one hand I am actively trying to lose weight, but I know the only reason I’ve lost any weight is because I’ve accepted being fat.

I know that doesn’t make much sense on its face, but stick with me for a bit, folks.

Fat Acceptance. If you don’t know what it is, start here.

I’ll wait.

The thing is, I’ve gotten a lot of compliments over the last couple of months about my weight loss, and while I know people are being nice, I’m slightly, ok really, uncomfortable with people seeing my weight loss as inspiration.

Why?

Because I believe you should love your body the way it is right now, and I don’t want anyone to think that my life is better just because I wear a smaller size. I’d much rather promote body acceptance than weight loss.

It’s because of Fat Acceptance that I’ve managed to be healthy at all. Through reading Fat Acceptance blogs every day  of others who were living full, wonderful existences as fat women, I realized I could too.

My life, the one I wanted and dreamed of, didn’t have to wait until I was skinny.

People diet, I assume, because they are unhappy with their bodies. But diets are absolutely not the answer to this problem. You know what might be? Not letting your fat body stand in the way of going to the gym for some endorphin-producing, stress-reducing exercise. I don’t know if going to the gym will help you lose weight, many studies say it won’t, but I do know that your mood will absolutely improve from getting your sweat on.

My self-esteem grew immensely when I stopped believing a diet could change my life and started living exactly how I wanted to live. Me. With my fat body. Right at that second and not after I had lost weight.

Or, from the New York Times:

The aim is to behave as if you have reached your “goal weight” and to act on ambitions postponed while trying to become thin, everything from buying new clothes to changing careers. Regular exercise should be for fun, not for slimming.

Living a life that embodies Fat Acceptance means that I do not pay attention to the things people assume about me for being fat.

And when I truly understood that, the years and years of not living because I was fat ended. And so did my struggle with my weight.

That’s the truth.

I feel like I live between two worlds right now. In one world, I want to lose more weight. In the other world, I know I’m living life exactly the way I want to and that my weight does not have an impact.

It’s an internal struggle and the whole reason I wanted to start a blog.

Right now, I can confidently say that I am healthy and fit. Would you know that by looking at me? Probably not. And these are the kind of societal evils that I have dealt with my whole life and that seep in to my brain and act as sabotage.

Fat Acceptance is about seeing fat as an adjective for your body, not your person. It’s also not an adjective that is synonymous with “bad.”

I can write and read that, but what I really need to do is be feeling it.

Because, truthfully, At 174.5 pounds, I sometimes feel worse about my body than at 243 pounds.

I’ve been wrapped up in the excitement of losing weight, but instead of making me happy, it’s left me feeling like I’m not good enough when I don’t lose weight and that’s a dangerous place that I really don’t want to be in.

I’m putting my struggle with this out there, because really I want to spread a message of Fat Acceptance, not weight loss. This is who I am, Jodi, fat or not.

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu

Quick Coconut Shrimp Curry

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I know I’ve struck gold with a recipe when my taste buds crave it night after night.

And that’s exactly how I feel about this super quick and super easy coconut curry shrimp dish.

It’s bold and flavorful with a hearty amount of spice and feels rich and creamy even though it contains only a teaspoon of oil and light coconut milk.

Quick Coconut Shrimp Curry

For one

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz of frozen, cooked shrimp
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • For more spice, add in a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

  • Thaw frozen shrimp following directions on the package.
  • In a pan just big enough to lay all the shrimp flat, heat the olive oil. Over low heat, add in all the ingredients and stir until the spices are well mixed and any clumps are gone. Lay each shrimp flat in the pan. Because these shrimp are already cooked, you are really just warming them. They can become tough and chewy if cooked too long, so only cook until hot, a minute or two on each side.
  • Remove the shrimp and cover to keep warm
  • Turn the heat on the pan all the way up and cook the remaining liquid, stirring constantly, until the sauce reduces and thickens. Pour over the shrimp and enjoy!

Wednesday Weigh-in and Week 3 Paleo Update

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Hello!

I really feel like I hit my paleo stride this week. The first week was a huge adjustment, I was definitely going through some carb/sugar detox and my head felt cloudy all the time. Last week involved a lot of thinking, planning and learning and this week following the paleo diet has been almost, well, natural!

Brussels sprouts, asparagus and onions seasoned, ready for roasting!

I want to reiterate that I am far from following a paleo diet strictly. When I began, I said my goal was to be consistent, and I’m very happy to report that I absolutely have been consistent. Striving for perfection, I feel, is just undue cause for stress and burnout and eventually failure. I’m loosely going by the 80/20 concept, where I’m following paleo 80 percent of the time and not 20 percent of the time. This week that 20 percent consisted of Tasti D-Lite, Indian food at Brick Lane Curry House and a slice of homemade apple pie from a local farm. It was amazing.

I’m still shocked by how long I stay full with paleo-inspired breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Last week I did a breakdown of breakfast, paleo vs. pre-paleo, this week, lunch!

Pre-paleo my lunch was typically a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, a half cup of chickpeas or a veggie burger and a homemade dressing of oil and vinegar. With the salad I would have 4-6 oz of fat free plain Greek yogurt and 1-2 pieces of fruit, something like an apple and orange or strawberries. For about 500 calories, this meal had 58 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein. Since beginning paleo, I’ve had the same basic meal for lunch every day. A salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, 4 oz of chicken, avocado and/or almonds and dressing of oil and vinegar with no snacks on the side. This meal, a little lower in calories, around 450, has 23 grams of carbs, 28 grams of fat and 34 grams of protein.

Yes, it’s lower calorie, and less “things” to eat – but I’m so much fuller! Because avocado and almonds are high in fat and calories, I keep my portions on the small side, usually about 50 grams of avocado (maybe 1/4-1/2 an avocado, depending on its size) and about .5 oz of almonds.

Pre-paleo if I was hungry, I would also be very unfocused and find it hard to follow conversations or work or do anything that required effort. I needed to eat ASAP. It felt terrible and I felt like I was always complaining about being hungry. Pre-paleo, I could barely make it to lunch without wanting to chew off a finger or two and absolutely needed to snack between lunch and dinner. Most days I could barely even wait until 5 p.m. to eat dinner. It’s a totally different story now. From my 8 a.m. breakfast, I stay full right up until about noon for lunch, and if I’m hungry after work/before dinner, I will snack on some veggies and don’t feel like I’m in a rush against my hunger to make dinner.

Breakfast: Pumpkin coconut flour muffin, Fage Greek 2% plain yogurt and a dollop of sunflower seed butter

And like I’ve said many times now, I’m totally enjoying cooking more and trying out different recipes and flavor combinations. I’m really glad I’ve been tracking my food on MyFitnessPal this whole time, because I find it absolutely fascinating to see the break down of why and how my meals are different.

Sauteed zucchini and baby portobello mushrooms with chicken sausage

I’m not really missing any pre-paleo food, and if I want it, I eat it. Same rules as before. Restriction absolutely DOES NOT WORK for me.

This was another so-so week as far as exercise goes. I didn’t see my trainer at all – blaming the work schedule on that one – but I have gotten outside everyday to enjoy this unusually warm weather! My goal for joining the gym in the first place was not only to have somewhere to work out during the winter, but to develop a strength training routine. Ideally, I would like to go a few mornings a week to work on strength and walk outside during the afternoons. That would be a perfect workout plan for me – now I just have to make it happen!

The view at the start of one of my favorite running/walking paths

Anyway, enough babble, here are the numbers:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 176

This week: 174.5

Change: -1.5

Total loss: 68.5

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Flour Pancakes

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I have to admit, the star of these pancakes is not the apple. Or the cinnamon.

It’s the subtle sweetness of the coconut milk.

A stroke of genius by Shannon at Nourishing Days, from where I adapted this recipe.

She calls her’s Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes.

And oh, are they ever.

Just the right balance of wet and dry ingredients gives these pancakes the perfect texture.

They flipped beautifully, which is the number one factor I look for in pancake recipes.

I kept them small, like she recommends, and eked out three pancakes in a single-fied version of her recipe, with a few changes.

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Flour Pancakes (inspired by Nourishing Days)

Note: this recipe has been adapted to serve one person. The batter will be THICK, not like regular pancake batter. Keep these babies small on the stove. The batter should be enough to make three SMALL pancakes. I left out the tablespoon of sweetener from her recipe because I thought the coconut milk and apple would make them sweet enough, and it did. To make up for the moisture, I added an extra 1/2 tablespoon of coconut milk, which you see reflected below. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 TBSP Coconut flour
  • 1/4 Cup + 1/2 TBSP light coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 Cup Grated apple (about half an apple)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions

  • Beat the egg with a whisk until it is frothy. Add in the coconut milk and vanilla and mix again.
  • Stir in the coconut flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Let the batter sit for a minute, it will be really thick! Then stir in the grated apple.
  • Heat a pan to about medium. Use a spoon to get the batter in the pan. For each pancake, I used about three spoonfulls of batter. You will not see bubbles form on top like regular pancakes. I flipped them when they slid around the pan with a little shake, after about 2-3 minutes.
  • These already have a great coconutty flavor, but I also topped with a few drizzles of honey. Get creative!