Monday, January 30, 2012

Ellen and Portia BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

There are very few celebrity relationships that I look at adoringly, and Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi make that list.  They are just so darn cute together, and seem to be ridiculously happy, devoted, and committed.  I love those two!

True love
Anyway, I have been truly inspired not only by their relationship, but also by their books.  Yes, they are both successful authors!  Ellen has written three books, all hilarious.  Her most recent book, "Seriously...I'm Kidding" also has many good life lessons within.  I got it as a Christmas present from my amazing bro

Portia's book, "Unbearable Lightness" is a wonderful read about her eating disorders, both the experience of going through anorexia and bulemia as well as her journey to recovery.  It's an important book to read, especially if you know someone with an eating disorder and would like some insider info on what they may be going through.  It was VERY real to me, and many of the "crazy" thoughts within this book are thoughts that I have had many times, and it was great to read about someone else's journey.

Anyway, I have decided to do an Ellen and Portia BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!  1 lucky winner will receive a copy of both books.  :-)

Rules to enter: 

1) You must follow my blog.  I mean, you must be one of the people who follow through either Blogger or Google, and your name needs to be in the list over THERE --->; where it currently says I have 200 followers. 

2) You must have a delivery address in the continental U.S.  I hate having this rule, but I'm a poor student right now and have to cut shipping costs!  Hopefully in the near future I'll open another giveaway to everyone.

3) You must leave a comment in this entry, letting me know which of the following below you have done.  :-)

How to earn entries:

1) For 1 entry (mandatory), follow my blog through google or blogger!

2) For 2 additional entries, "like" my facebook page

3) For 2 additional entries, link to this giveaway on Twitter.

4) For 3 additional entries, link to this giveaway on your blog or Facebook!

5)  For 2 additional entries, link to this giveaway on another website of your choice (Pinterest, Reddit, etc.)

That's a total of 10 possible entries for each of you!  I will  draw the winning name on the evening of Wednesday, February 8. 

Good luck!!!!  I hope that I get lots of entries.  :-)

P.S.  If you already own one of these, go ahead and enter anyway, and I will give the book that you don't own to a second winner. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


These are two words that I have spent a majority of my life striving to be.  They have always been in the back of my mind as goals.

Which is fine for some  people, but for those of us who have... let's just say, a dysfunctional relationship with our bodies, there has to be a better word to strive for. 

"I wish I were as skinny as..."

"If only I were thin..."

"Some day, once I've lost ______ pounds, I will be thin."

"I wish I were one of those naturally skinny women!"

...and so on and so on.

I've been trying to take the focus of this blog away from weight loss, but the truth is I still desire to be "thin".  I want to wake up tomorrow and be a "naturally thin" person,  who eats whatever I want, whenever I want, and never has to worry about gaining the weight back.


My quest for this post is to start training my brain to have a better word goal to strive for.  "Thin" is just not a healthy word for a EDNOS survivor to strive for. 

A word that I can say to myself whenever I need a boost to get through a workout, or put down my 11th cookie before the whole bag is gone and be able to stop after just 10 cookies (a real struggle that I have occassionally.)

Here's a few to start, and please feel free to add to my list:








Can you think of any more?

Monday, January 23, 2012

What does health mean to you?

What does being healthy mean to you?  I have a few healthy goals that I'm working towards, that I think I mentioned in a previous entry, but if not, here they are:

1. Learn to love the body that I have.
2. Not diet. (no tracking my food or avoiding any foods because they are "bad")
3. Eat when hungry, don't eat when not hungry.
4. Exercise when I want to, and do fun exercises for the sake of feeling good, not for the sake of burning calories.
5. Get stronger, faster, and healthier.

The following sentence pretty much sums up what those goals are about in one, big, broad goal:

Get over my EDNOS once and for all, and become one of those people who have a healthy relationship with food, exercise, and their body.

That being said, I do really want to be healthy, and there are some more specific things that must be done in order to get and stay healthy.  You probably have a good idea of what you should be  doing to be your healthiest, and here's a list I came up with for me that would probably work for most folks.  I figure that I will only be my healthiest when I'm doing all of the following things:

1) eating a basically healthy diet (lots of whole foods, ENOUGH food, not TOO MUCH, etc.), but with plenty of room for all favorite not-so-healthy options in moderation

2) drinking enough water (at least 2 liters a day for me)

3) getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night

4) exercising my body 5-7 days every week, 40-60 minutes per session

5) spending time with loved ones

6) exercising my mind by learning, reading, etc.

I'm working on #1 constantly, trying to figure out which foods make me feel my best.  I'm great at numbers 2, 4, and 6.  I am failing miserably at #3, and usually do okay with #5, but because of conflicting schedules, am not spending as much time at home with Stacey as I'd like to be.

Well, I'm off to a study group.  Thanks for reading!

I will be posting a giveaway very soon, some time before Friday.  I'm excited about this one, and yes... it's books again!  :-)

"If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want." ~Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

post and run... school thoughts so far!

Feel free to skip this entry if you don't want to read ramblings about my schooling.

This semester is tough so far, and it's only just begun (began?  Hmmm.... good thing I'm in school.).

Here's my schedule, in case you all were curious, and because I love giving any potential stalkers more opportunities.  I'll also let you in on what each class seems to be about so far, and how I like the teacher and feel about the class:


8-8:55am- Literary Heritage.  This class is going to be very reading and writing intensive, and the professor seems to be tough but fair, which is great.  Basically, it's reading fiction, poetry, and drama, and writing many essays about the readings. 

9:10-10:05am- Modern Political Thought.  The teacher in this class is a retired military guy, and it shows.  Lots of shouting at us.  But I like him anyway.  :-)  I can tell that as long as I work hard to finish the reading and to do my presentations as well as participate in class, this one will be easy for me.  (he let us out early today, giving me time to blog before my next class...)

10:20-11:15am- Elementary Spanish I.  This is my final attempt to learn Spanish.  I tried in high school and it didn't take, but since Political Science majors must complete two full years of foreign language, I'm giving it another go.  I've always wanted to learn three languages: Spanish, Japanese, and American Sign Language.  I'm going to start with Spanish now and get that crossed off the bucket list!  The teacher is really nice, and it's a very online-intensive class with lots of homework assignments to be submitted online almost daily.  She says that classes will be for learning how to actually SPEAK the language, which I think is cool. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays

9:40am-11:05am- Comparative Politics.  Another fun class for a Poly-Sci nerd like me.  I'm going to learn about governments all around the world, and will be comparing them to each other.  Bonus:  I'm going to finally be forced to learn geography.  There are map quizzes every few weeks.  Next week I will have to know where all 48 Asian countries are...  wish me luck!  I love the professor in this class.

11:20-12:45- Film and Philosophy.  This class has definate potential for me, but it's also scary because it's upper-level philosophy and I've never taken a philosophy class, so many of the concepts are completely new to me.  I'm enjoying it, and actually am learning to like the professor.  He grows on you. 

I'm trying to make it to the school gym at least 3 times a week after class.  Today is my first spinning class, so... I'm prepared to sweat buckets and hurt all over tomorrow, YAY!  :-)

I'll  be back for a more on-topic post before the weekend, and look forward to a GIVEAWAY soon, too.

Are you in school?  How are you liking this semester so far?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

my back to school plan (and some unflattering self-portraits)

I'm doing a three-in-one kind of post, since it's been a while since my last post and I have three things that I want to talk about.
The first thing is that I ate a yummy dinner tonight that I'd like to share with you guys. 

It may not look pretty, but this meal was great!

ingredients: brown rice, lentils (from dried), peas (canned, no salt added), and tomatoes (canned, with celery and green peppers), EVOO, salt

directions: Cook the rice and lentils according to instructions.  I used 1/2 cup dried lentils and 2 cups of cooked brown rice.  Combine the lentils and rice together.  Add the peas (about a cup) and tomatoes (entire can) and stir up.  Add a tablespoon or less of EVOO (I  used two teaspoons).  Salt to taste.  This recipe probably will be about 4 or 5 servings.

Secondly, I'd like to show some reverse-progress pictures.  Or "here's what I look like with some holiday weight on, squeezing into some new size 14's that would have fit perfectly only a couple of months ago" pictures.

And I want to make this perfectly clear:  I'm not upset with myself about this gain.  I had a LOT going on in my life, and eating right and exercise both took a backseat to those things.  But I wanted to be honest with you guys.  I haven't been weighing myself, but the last time I weighed in I was about 156 and I have not gotten any bigger since then, so I assume that I'm still around there.

I adjusted the saturation on Picnik!  Now it's "art".
neck... not too shabby.
ummm... I need to do some work on the ol' triceps.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, here's what I'm doing to get back down to a more comfortable size, and I'm calling it My Spring Semester 2012 Plan (clever, I know):

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Breakfast- Luna or Lara Bar + piece of fruit
Snack (if hungry)- fruit or nuts
Lunch- sandwich, veggies, pretzels, fruit
Exercise- gym class
Snack (if hungry)- veggies, redvines, yogurt, fruit, OR nuts
Dinner- something cooked that includes whole grains, veggies, and healthy fats
Snack (if hungry)- popcorn, pretzels, yogurt, fruit, nuts, cookies, ice cream, OR veggies
Before bed- tea

Tuesday, Thursday
Breakfast- oatmeal with peanut butter and piece of fruit OR cold cereal with piece of fruit
The rest of the day- just like MWF

Saturday, Sunday
Exercise- walks, cardio at home, or DOR

Random Rules for every day-
Never buy chips at grocery store, can only eat chips when out .  Substitute with pretzels, baked potato, popcorn, etc. This is because chips are a trigger food for me to binge on, but for whatever reason, those other foods are not.

Exercise at least 6 days a week.  2 days a week do cycle class, 1 day a week do yoga class, other days mix it up.
No calorie counting unless I feel like I'm gaining weight; just go with hunger signals and follow the basic plan as outlined above.

And that's the plan!  :-)

This loose(ish) plan is to help me stay focused without being obsessive.  All the foods listed on Monday through Friday are favorite foods of mine, and the calorie count will be anywhere from 1200 to 1800, depending on which options I choose. 

I won't be tracking calories or PointsPlus, and will be listening to my hunger signals 100%, every day at every meal and snack. 

I will be switching up my exercise routine, which will probably help me out quite a bit.  I'm finally going to be taking advantage of my "free" membership to the University of Memphis gym and will be taking cool classes like kickboxing, spinning, zumba, and yoga. 

I'll take monthly progress pictures of the same three areas, and hope to fit comfortably into those way-too-tight jeans by the end of the semester, which is May 5th. 

Okay, that's it for now!  I hope to post again soon.  By the way, I'm back down to 199 followers, so if you want me to do a 200 followers giveaway, please tell a friend about my blog.  :-)

Do you follow an eating and/or exercise plan? 
How is it going for you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Distraction-Free Eating?

Okay, so I had this big plan for today with my eating.  It was going to be HUGE for me.  One day or distraction-free eating.
For me, that means no TV while eating.

...I will admit right here that it didn't work out.  I'm too addicted to eating while watching TV.  Plus I'm still on winter break.

Life update:  I left my job as an administrative assistant on December 22nd (with plenty of notice in order to get a great reference).  This was a great decision for me, because I am now going to be able to continue going to school full time, and will be able to take classes during the day. 

The new semester starts on January 12, and I am very excited to start my life as a non-working student!  I will have to get a parttime job within a few months, but I am taking an entire semester off from work, which will feel like such a break for me. 

So I thought that during my little break, I would get stuff accomplished, and maybe learn some new healthy eating habits, such as eating at the table with the TV off.

Today, I sat down at the table to a delicious breakfast of waffles with PB&J and some syrup on top.

Plus diet coke (my version of coffee) and a banana.  It was delicious, and filling, and I even had some left over that I just wasn't hungry for.

But by the next time I was hungry, I just didn't want to sit at the table.  I wanted my old school TV tray, and I wanted to watch Buffy and enjoy myself.  So...  I gave up.  Well, I still consider it an accomplishment that I did it for one meal!  Maybe an entire day was too much for a beginner. 

Anyway, here's something else that I accomplished today-  I cleaned out one of my closets!

STUFF TO DONATE!  (Anyone need size 16's or 12's?)
So that's all for now!  I hope that all of you are having great days. 

Also, I'm considering doing another book giveaway soon!  It will be for specific books this time, not choose-your-own like the last couple.  ;-)

Do you eat your meals at a table, distraction-free? 
Or are you more of a TV-eater, like me?

My first taste of sunflower seed butter: a picture story

Official review:  tastes like spreadable sunflower seeds.  I don't know why I expected anything else!  Pretty tasty, not as sweet as I was hoping for, but very good.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas 2010 vs. Christmas 2011

Same outfit, same weight.  I spent 2011 trying to lose weight, but I ended up basically maintaining.  I'm pretty happy with that, actually. 

I'm not weighing in at all right now, and have decided to go with how I feel in my clothes instead of what the scale says for 2012.  I have a bit of post-holiday chub going on at the moment, and my formerly loose 14's are now a bit snug.

I'm going to post another picture-post later about  my first experience with sunbutter spread... 

I hope that all of you had a happy holidays, and I wish you all only the best for 2012. 

Let's make 2012 a year of health, happiness, and prosperity, okay?  Seriously, we can make it happen.  :-)  Cheers.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A successful experiment with vegan holiday treats! Von-vons (vegan bon-bons)

(not actually my von-vons, but this is what they looked like I swear)

I made the same vegan sugar cookies that I had success with last year, and they were once again AMAZING.  This year I decided to try to make vegan bon-bons (von-vons!), based on an old family recipe that I have been enjoying my entire life but had to miss out on last year because I couldn't find any vegan condensed milk.

This year, I decided to make my own!  I found a recipe that works great for making condensed milk from any type of milk.  I used Silk vanilla soy milk, but it supposedly works for any type of soy, almond, coconut, or dairy milk. 

Here a link to the recipe for condensed milk: condensed milk
I used the slow-cooking method (of course!), which I'll put here for you-

2.75 cups non-dairy milk (I used Silk Vanilla soy)
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Set slow-cooker to high, pour all ingredients in, leave top off of slow-cooker, and cook for 7-8 hours.

Now for the recipe for von-vons!  This is based on an old family recipe, and is ridiculously sugary and delicious.  This is a one-time-a-year type of deliciousness, and makes about 30 von-vons.

about 1 cup condensed milk (the above recipe makes the perfect amount)
about 1/3 container of Earth Balance (original recipe calls for 1 stick of butter)
2 pound bag of powdered sugar
2 pound bag of semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1/2 slab of Gulf baking wax

1) Mix the condensed milk, the Earth Balance, and the powdered sugar together with a mixer.  Put in refrigerator for about 4 hours.
2) Remove from fridge or freezer, and form into balls with your hands.  Place on wax paper atop of random pans, and put into freezer.
3) While the balls are hardening, melt wax in double broiler (or in a small pan inside a larger pan that has water in it, like I did!).  Add chocolate chips when wax is almost completely melted. 
4) Using a toothpick, dip balls into the chocolate/wax mixture, and replace balls onto wax paper.
5) Put back into the refrigerator until the dip is hardened (less than an hour).
6) Enjoy!!!

P.S.  You could also add coconut to the mix in step 1 if you would like coconut von-vons!

Recipe makes about 30 von-vons and they are about 150 calories each, if you're counting. ;-)