Thursday, December 26, 2013

Countdown to 2014~

Hello everyone!!!

Now that Christmas is over, the next big deal is the new year, which happens in five days from now!

So, I am thinking of a challenge. I don't really want to put a number to it, like lose x amount of pounds, because if, by chance, I fall short then I will feel really bad even if I do make a huge improvement. 

It's coming~ Time for the parties, drinking... and resolutions!

So I have the following for ideas for a New Year's 2014 thing!

1. Become a vegan by the end of the year

2. Become 100% gluten free and paleo by the end of the year

3. Have a habit of working out at least five days a week by the end of the year

4. Become better at cardio by the end of the year

It's really had to come up with non-scale goals... If you guys have any ideas too (such as what you will be aiming for this next year) please feel free to post!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Hello everyone!

I just want to take a moment to with everyone (whether you celebrate or not) a very safe, happy, Merry Christmas! 

Don't worry too much about your diet today.  Take time to spend it with  your loved ones and just enjoy it.  Christmas only comes once a year, after all.

I am going to spend today at home, nursing my arm (I fell on it yesterday, see my previous post!) and cuddling with my dog. I really hope my arm is better soon, I can't work out with it like this. (It hurts all the way into my chest and back)

If it's a white Christmas where you are, like it is for me, please be careful on the ice.  Don't be like me and slip and fall! 

Have a very happy holiday!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Not-So-Merry Christmas Eve

Hello everyone!

It's Christmas Eve! 

I can't believe the year is really almost over.  This time of year means family, friends, love....

And ice. 

Today, I was having a very nice Christmas Eve, until it happened- I slipped and fell on some ice and landed right on my butt.   


What made this whole thing painful was that on my way down, I instinctively tried to stop myself from falling by grabbing on to something, effectively pulling my shoulder muscles.   The part I actually landed on took no damage, also I did not hurt my ankle (which is USUALLY what happens when I fall) but my arm and shoulder is killing me, all the way into my chest and back. 

So, what does this mean for my workouts? On hold. Rest.  I do not want to do anything that involves me using that arm (even TAM legs are a no go because I have to use that arm to grab onto the chair) so I am going to rest it until it no longer hurts and I can do things with it.  Hopefully that time comes before New Year's Day.   I want to start working out January 1, at the latest.

So the moral of the story: Be careful on that ice! Please! And go to bed early, Santa is coming tonight!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Survived the Holiday Party!

Hello everyone!

Today was the big company holiday party/lunch!

I skipped breakfast because I knew there would be a lot of food, not including the candy and chocolates, etc.

So yes, I indulged. I had chocolate, chocolate with liquor in it. And it was delicious. 

The Chinese food we had was also amazing- I still kept grain free even though there were many of my old breaded favorites- egg rolls, orange chicken, etc.  My Mongolian beef was also very good.  No MSG, no wheat, no tummy aches!  

Like this, but with Chinese food.

For dinner, I was pretty full still and ended up just eating the leftover Mongolian I got to take home. 

Now next week begins my break from work and school! I am very much looking forward to it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gluten Free Madness- Day 3

Hello everyone!

As you can see, I have been at this for three days now, and while it doesn't seem like a long time, for me it kind of is. 

This morning, I decided for shits and giggles to take one of my keto test strips I had laying around and see what's going on.

I am actually in a slight state of ketosis being grain free, even though I am eating sweet potatoes and drinking coffee with carbs in it (like my almond milk latte).  Interesting.  

I am not consciously trying to be keto or paleo but it's just sort of happening that way I guess.  Take grains and dairy out and you're not left with a lot. 

That said, I am noticing more changes in how I am feeling. 

1. I feel slightly more energetic than before. Even with not a whole lot of sleep. 

2. My appetite is very LOW.

#2 Is not concerning me too much yet, a few low calorie days isn't too bad, as long as it's not ongoing I guess. But yeah, major 180 from this time last week where I wanted to eat everything. 

I ate some sausage and eggs for breakfast, and a little bit of beef I cooked for dinner. Picked at it, wasn't too interested in food. 

I'm sure my appetite will come back. I have read up and seen others have had similar things to how I feel and that this is totally normal.  Well then. 

Short post today, but thought I would give everyone a little update. Tomorrow is my last day of work for a while (I am very excited about that- I look forward to spending more time with my dog too).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gluten Free Madness - Day 2!

Hello everyone!

Today is my second day of being super-duper-careful gluten and grain free, and already I am noticing some things happening (in a good way).

1. No stomach issues- no gas, no poop problems, no bloating!
2. Almost no joint pain at all
3. I slept a little better last night than previously
4. I already see my belly deflating. 
5. I am going pee a lot more (but that could be also related to my increased water intake)
6. Less hungry and less of an appetite *in a good way!*

Today what I ate-


Sausage and eggs again, like yesterday, again with the iced coffee with no milk.

Mid-morning snack: Terra vegetable chips

Lunch: Chicken Limone and olive oil-sauteed green beans.  This was super decadent and super delicious so I only took a little, but damn, was it good!

Dinner: TBA, I actually still feel satisfied from the foods I already ate today. If I eat something later, I'll touch on it in tomorrow's post. 

Exercise: running around doing Christmas shopping. I am not sure if I have time to get a workout in tonight. Again, if I do, I will mention it tomorrow. 

I am actually very proud of myself, at lunch today it was actually set up more like a buffet, we got the gluten free chicken I wanted, just a lot of it, haha (to share).  The hard part was resisting the stuffed pasta and chicken parmigiana.  

Yup. I said no to this. It was so hard but I did it. 

I am having really high hopes for myself eating like this, I am curious on something- I wonder how much I can lose being grain free for this week WITHOUT exercise.  I think I will make that an experiment. No real exercising until Monday, after I do my next weigh-in. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gluten Free Madness- Day 1!

Hello everyone!

Today I began eating absolutely grain/gluten free, because as I mentioned before, I have been dealing with a lot of physical symptoms and just a general feeling of crappy unwellness.

I am not a vegan yet, by the way, not even close, but it is my goal one day.  Today did not reflect that.

I got my starting weight, and it was higher than it's ever been, which I actually expected since I have been feeling so crappy.

Here's a breakdown of my day today:

Breakfast: Sausage patty and scrambled eggs, with iced coffee (no cream, just sugar free sweetener)

Lunch: Homemade sliced beef and a can of green beans, and 1 serving of Terra sweet potato chips 

Dinner: Grilled pork belly meat and onions

8 cups of lemon water

As I said, not vegan, but I am working on one eating issue at a time, starting with grains since they make me feel the sickest aside from lactose. 

How did I feel today?  When I woke up, I was exhausted, achy, and tired.  I felt like crap like any other morning.  As the day progressed, I felt slightly less bogged-down.  I didn't find myself as ravenous as I did when I ate too much starch, I ate 3 meals until satisfied. That's it. No snacks, nothing.  And yes, there were lots of goodies at work that I just said no to. 

And being that the holidays are coming, there are two work luncheons coming up (one is tomorrow!) and thankfully, we all ordered what we wanted on our own, allowing me to pick my grain-free stuff.

Tomorrow's lunch will be Italian, I put in an order for Chicken Limone (in lemon butter and capers) and they do make it gluten-free, the menu specified to tell the person taking my order not to use flour. 
Chicken Limone- I hope it's as yummy as it looks. 

Thursday is another work lunch- Chinese this time. I almost gave in and put in an order for Orange Chicken (that fried, bready, sweet deliciousness from heaven that sadly doesn't agree with my tummy) but changed my mind and ordered Mongolian Beef (basically beef and onions, it's not breaded to my knowledge. Other Mongolian Beef I've had was NOT breaded in any way).

As for working out, I had an incredibly busy day- originally I was supposed to be off this week, however due to circumstances I am putting in a lot of hours this week.   I did walk for 15 minutes running errands at work, not including walking around grocery shopping later and other little trips I made (like taking out the trash). 

So, thankfully, I am surviving the dietary holiday onslaught just fine. (Unlike last year!) If anything, I plan on starting TAM workouts on Friday when I do not have to go to work. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Starting to Re-Inspire Myself to Get Back to Exercise

Hello everyone!

Turns out I will likely be able to start working out as soon as Friday! *Yay!*

Today I had one of my final exams, so I didn't have a lot of time to prepare for much.  I did, however, watch some of my thin/fitspiration videos in between studying.

If I had to name one person who is my number one thinspo, I would have to say Madonna is the first to come to mind, followed by Tracy Anderson and Gwyneth Paltrow.

So, here was my playlist for today!

Also, I still do have the Addicted to Sweat DVDs.  I gave the preview for those a watch too.  Of course, I can't do them yet, they are really more for more intermediate/experienced exercisers but they inspire me just the same. 

What are your inspirations for being healthy?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Planning ahead- Preparing for my Next Semester of School

Hello everyone!

After this week, I will be off of school for a little over a month and I have taken a look at my schedule for next semester and... I am a lot busier.

This means the only time I would have for a work out is early in the morning.  Like 5 o'clock in the morning. 

I start work at 8 am, so perhaps that could work for me.  

The hard part for me is- getting up that early to exercise.  

So, I am thinking and looking up ways to change my  habits so that I have an easier time in the morning to get my workout done.

The most obvious (and hardest) thing that I will have to do is start going to bed earlier.  And that means unplugging from my precious social media. I have a very bad habit of checking my Facebook all the time, and I have that nagging feeling that I am missing something or hurting someone's feelings by not being online. Yeah, I am crazy.

That kind of thinking has to end and I need to start putting myself and my health first.  I will be going to school at night several times a week and I really do not want that to be an excuse to not work out either. 

I am also coming up with ways to save time on making meals that are also, importanly, portable. I think I will be eating a lot of sandwiches in the future.  An inexpensive way I found to make gluten free sandwiches is to use corn tortillas in place of bread.  

I only need to make it through this week and I can start doing what I need to, and also my Dance + Cardio should be here by the end of the week too!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Coming Soon: Tracy Anderson Dance + Cardio DVD Review

Hello everyone!

I found out that I do not have to order Tracy's new Dance + Cardio DVD- I am getting it for Christmas~ (Yay!!!!)

I should be getting it in the mail sometime next week- of course after that, I will do a review of it for you guys!

I have been looking forward to this for a really long time, I am really excited for this!  I have heard bits and pieces from people who already have it (It came out on December 3rd), and that makes me even more excited. 

Here is a preview of it from Total Fitness DVDS.

Any of you guys have the DVD yet?  Do you want it? Any thoughts?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson Releasing New Reality Show

Hello everyone!

A long, long time ago, I heard something about Tracy Anderson coming out with a reality show at some point, but nothing was really available on the subject, so I chalked it up to mainly being rumor.

Rumor no longer.  

Tracy and Gwyneth Paltrow will be coming out with a show called "The Restart Project" due to come out on December 16th online via AOL On.

This is not another "Biggest Loser" ripoff, or anything similar to that.  Instead, they are focusing on women who have "restarted" their lives using health and fitness.   

The series will be airing online, I really look forward to starting to watch it. Have you guys heard of this before this post? Will you be tuning in?

To see the trailer to "The Restart Project", click Here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Last Minute Goals

Hello everyone!!!

Again, I am sorry it's been a while, but I have been pretty busy with school- finals are next week and then I am DONE!  Lots more free time to blog and lots more free time to finally, FINALLY get back to working out. 

My winter break will involve preparation for next semester, being home more meaning eating better and more Tracy time involved.

My plan is to spend my winter break with all the time I will have off to work out at least one hour a day.  Not sure if I could handle two hours but it would be nice, right?

Also being home more = more cooking. I will do my best to eat better and make more home cooked meals. I have been so busy that I had to rely a lot on shitty fast food to get something to eat. Not good.

I guess this is sort of like a pre-new year resolution.   In the meantime until next week is done, I will try to eat well during my busy end-of semester schedule.

Anyone else have a last minute 2013 goal?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Bit Frustrated...

Hello everyone!

This isn't so much of a news post or anything so much as a reflection and an opinion.  I have been doing a lot of thought about my diet and I have come to some conclusions. My diet is both easy and hard. Let me explain.

Going vegan: a lot easier than I thought, yet a little difficult.

The easy: It's very easy to find food that is vegan.  You can find vegan food in any grocery store, and it's not ALL over priced processed fake meat, etc.

The hard: Most of it is NOT convenient. When it is, it's junk food like potato chips, bean burritos from Taco Bell, or it has wheat in it or some other grain I don't want, or a chemical shitstorm to make it taste edible.  I am still not used to home cooking a lot of my food, so this sounds like the whining of a lazy person to some of you, I know.

Going gluten/grain free: The hardest (and absolutely necessary) part of my diet. 

Why is it hard? Not because I crave it (I really don't, actually) but the fact that in the United States, wheat and other gluten grains are in EVERYTHING (not literally, I get it.). Maybe not flat out there but hidden. Even in vegan food. (Boca Burgers have wheat gluten in them, making them a big fat NOPE.)  Also, gluten free/grain free food is generally more expensive than grain (aka bad-for-my-digestion-crap) foods. 

Sure, eating real whole food vegetables etc, is grain free and the logical thing to do, but I am being a whiny baby about how much time and prep everything takes. I'll be the first to admit it. 

So this was more of me venting a little than anything.  I may even have to go back to eating meat because without gluten, my protein options are a bit more limited (see above) and tofu all the time will get dull. I know it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Had a Dream Last Night. It's a Sign!

Hello everyone!

I don't have any amazing new updates today (I will post starting measurements tomorrow, tomorrow is my official "start") but I did have an interesting dream last night that really got me motivated.

In my dream, I somehow (I don't know that much detail) got to get a membership at Tracy Anderson's Brentwood studio.  I actually got to meet her in my dream and talk with her, and she even gave me an evaluation, taking my measurement and everything. She told me that to begin, since I am out of shape, I need to stop eating wheat/gluten and begin with her beginners DVD (which I have) until I am strong enough to move on, then do Precision Toning (which I have) with the Dance + Cardio DVD (not out yet but it will be mine!) and when I feel that THAT is easy, go on to Metamorphosis Abcentric.  She also taught me a new low impact, jump-free cardio routine. Very cool. 

Working out with the boss lady herself: What dreams are made of.

I know it's just re-iterating the plans I already had for myself,  but having it come from a dream and from the boss lady's mouth herself (still in a dream, but that's irrelevant!) is a bit more motivating.

I will do all my usual checking in tomorrow, but tomorrow I am not sure I can do the workout (unless I squeeze it in late- MAYBE I can do that.) but I will at least walk around tomorrow for about an hour. That's my goal.  

Also, just to get it out there when I start posting my food- I am NOT a big breakfast eater. Don't freak out on me for lack of breakfasts.  If I am hungry in the morning, fine. I'll eat breakfast. If not, then poop on that. I'll wait to eat lunch. I am a big believer (now at least) in not eating unless hungry. I don't want to reinforce my boredom eating habit by eating when not hungry. 

So, I hope everyone had a great weekend, and I will be posting on My Fitness Pal! Add me as a friend: asagi722!

Also, if you see I am eating too many/too little calories, I am not counting calories.  I am just logging what I eat. The app decides to write in calories. So again, please do not crap all over me with the "Omg why are you starving yourself/overeating so much" stuff.  It's not nice, and not supportive ANYWAY.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Slight Change in Plan~ Also the Weather is Getting Colder

Hello everyone!

Don't let the title of this blog post fool you- I'm not quitting out on you *or myself*. I am only making one tiny change to my diet and that is that I am not going to be 100% wheat free; it's very difficult for me to do, but I will limit my wheat as much as I can. (I am not going to stop eating soy sauce because of it having a little wheat in it, etc, but on the other hand I do not see this as a license to go eat tons and tons of bread.)

I am still going to keep being vegan.  So far today, I am doing that very well.  Had some rice and miso soup for breakfast (more like brunch) and I am going to make myself a Japanese curry for dinner with lots of potatoes, carrots, and onions (the mix I use for the spices IS vegan, but some Japanese curry mixes have cheese, etc in them so watch out and read the label!) 

Also I am taking care to take my vitamins! Especially B12. (Vegans tend to be a bit low on this)

As for my workout tonight- may or may not happen because I have to clear out the space I usually work out in (Gotta love living with other people who put their stuff wherever they want~! ) and if that fails I'll go for a walk or something.

I did not weigh myself or measure today, I will do that over the weekend and just start tracking that on Sunday.

I'm also going to make some gobo kinpira today (I have a TON of carrots in the house and gobo (burdock) root and they have to be used before they go bad!) and another thing I love these days is yaki imo (roasted Asian sweet potato!) which is delicious with no butter or anything needed. People in Korea and Japan (I'm not sure of other countries) buy these as street food when the weather gets a bit colder, like now. 

Asian sweet potatoes: Known as Goguma in Korea and Satsumaimo in Japan. Same thing. Same yummy. And they're in season right now so they are even a bit cheaper than usual!  Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours and there you go! 

The weather is getting colder, so I am even more inclined to work out indoors. I am recovering from a nasty cold, so I think that may be better for me.  

How do you guys handle working out in cold weather if you are usually an outdoor person?  Stay warm (for those of us having autumn/winter) and stay cool (for those down under having summer weather) !

Thursday, November 14, 2013

More Updates on My Condition!

Hello everyone!

Here's a little update on what's been going on with me~

I wanted to start becoming a vegan about a week ago- sadly I have not been able to keep up with it because I fell ill with a really bad cold- I was in bed for most of the weekend and had no energy to cook, so I relied on convenience foods. 

My cold is now over for the most part (I have the occasional cough) so that's a good thing.

Another good thing: My back is no longer in pain!  I can resume my usual workouts as long as it does not cause my sciatica to come back.

You know what that means?

Time to make a long overdue date with Tracy Anderson!

I also am going to try to go wheat free, dairy free and vegan, as wheat and dairy- no matter how the rest of my diet is- makes me feel like total crap.  It probably won't happen all at once, but it's a transition I feel like I should try. 

Meat in the grocery store is so full of weird hormones and drugs and the cruelty is just too much, so meat and eggs have to go too.

That's about it, I will be starting tomorrow with the good eating and I will try to get a workout in. I'll also measure myself and take a new starting weight so I can track and see how this works for me.

I am really excited to be starting again and I hope I start feeling better and full of energy. (I'm also hoping my skin clears up too!)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Trying Again- Let's Go Vegan!

Hello everyone!

A little update on my back- it is a LOT better, and I may try to do the Method for Beginners tomorrow, as much as I can do without hurting my back.

Here's another update: I decided I would LIKE to try veganism again.  As of late, my diet has been absolutely terrible, and my skin and weight SHOWS it.  I am 28 and got mistaken for being older... That has never happened before... And my skin is full of blackheads (also unusual for me) and I am just so blown out after hurting my back it just makes me disgusted with myself. (I am aware it's not a great way to feel, just being honest.)
Yay! Veggies!

Also there IS an ethical reason too, but I am not going to be preachy and such.  Also, I am not going to make my dog a vegan.  That to  me is also unethical to deprive him of food he would eat if he were wild. 

But anyway...

I did successfully eat vegan today and it was NOT bad or difficult.


2 bananas and some green tea


Korean tofu stew with mushrooms in it instead of beef
Caramel Light Soy Frapuccino (which is vegan from my understanding)


Ajinomoto Vegetable Gyoza (These are vegan and delicious and do not even need oil to make!)
Stir fried shirataki noodles in a little gluten free orange sauce


A dinner roll (vegan)

I did not exercise today but I am easing myself back into that. My back feels loads better so I should be fine. 

I also checked my weight. I will update later as it goes on.

I am also weaning myself off of processed food, vegan or not. I admit I feel some guilt after having that roll (It's my monthly right now so I just went with cravings with that as well as the Frapuccino) but I want to stop eating those as much as possible. 

I also am aware I may slip up and eat an animal product. I'm a new vegan so this is more like a transition for me. 

So, I will keep blogging here to keep myself accountable. And yes, I do plan on a lot of repeat meals because I cook in batches. (I'm busy and need to save time)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Progress With Physical Therapy

Hello everyone!~

I have gone to physical therapy 3 times now and it's really changing my perspective on it.  I thought it was going to be EASY.

Yeah, no.

Okay, so the first couple of sessions are SOMEWHAT easy.  Now that I've gone a few times, it's getting harder.

My first time going, I thought it was sort of easy, all I was able to do was bend to my side. 

My fourth time going: Now I am doing all kinds of pelvic tilts, with bent knees, with straight legs, lifting my legs and knees, some work on my hips with a theraband...

Now it's feeling more and more like a real actual workout. I get tired from doing my therapy now, haha.  The goal right now with all these exercises is to strengthen my core and get me walking longer. I have been able to walk in 15 minute bursts and that hasn't improved yet. After 15 minutes, my foot on my left side starts numbing a little, meaning time to stop. 

While it sounds great that I am getting better, (he even said my herniation is starting to reset itself and heal) I asked about returning to my old workouts- I am still very much NOT clear to do anything except walk and my therapy right now. Bummer. 

Oh well, backs take a lot of patience. I just have to keep up my diet and therapy as told.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Second Physical Therapy Visit~

Hello everyone!

I went to my second physical therapy session on Thursday and I have some good news- I am steadily improving!  I am walking a lot better (even though my left foot still goes numb after 15 minutes of walking, but it used to be 5-10 minutes that it would happen) and less things aggravate my sciatica.  Now, my therapist added some more exercises to my regime- all core work to do on my back.  I have pelvic tilts, pelvic tilts with straight/bent knees, and some hip strengthening movements to do while having a resistance band tied around my knees.  These are not for pain  management (the side bends do that job just fine) but to help strengthen up my core and hips (which he said were weak).

Also more progress: I am losing weight!  I am eating mindfully (meaning listening to my body for fullness) and staying away from fast food for the most part and despite not moving around much, have lost 5.6 pounds/2.5  kilograms. I'm keeping it up! No real restrictions aside from calories. 

Happiness is seeing the scale go down and finally seeing something work for you.

Not only is the scale headed downward but I feel like my body is slowly getting smaller, especially in the belly.  Go on body, keep shrinking!

Lastly, I have been trying to add more activity in my day, a few times this past week I took walks until I started numbing up.  I stop when I start feeling tingly in my left leg (doctor's orders!) but am doing my best to keep moving. I really want to lose this weight, and perhaps it's helping my back heal better by lightening up on it. 

I hope all of you are having a nice weekend! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crazy Day Today- And New Food!

Hello everyone!

Today was a really crazy day~  Ended up taking a surprise road trip, driving 3 hours each way to help someone with a flat tire.  Who knew even just being a passenger could be so tiring? 

Even though I was on the road for most of the day, I kept my naughty eating to a minimum.  


1 egg with 1 cup of rice
Green tea

This kept me full for a long longer than I expected.


Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher from Starbucks
1 small fry from McDonald's.

And that is the start and end of my bad eating for today.


1/2 cup of the carrot kinpira I made a couple of days ago
1/2 cup of rice
1 tofu burger (1/4 of a block of tofu mixed with a tofu burger mix I bought at the Asian grocery store and tried for the first time- it was actually quite good.) 

Mix with a block of firm drained mashed up tofu, shape into patties, fry. (Requires VERY little oil and I made 4 baby patties (each one 1/2 of a normal patty) to take to work and school tomorrow.)

It looks like not a lot of food but I did feel content, I am training myself to learn when I am actually hungry, and training myself to eat until I am 80% full.  (One of the Japanese secrets to staying thin- they even have a saying about it: Hara hachi bu /腹八分 which literally means "belly 80 percent full")

I also took my initial weight today, but I will keep that to myself until I see a significant change. 

For more info on the whole 80% full concept, wikipedia has some pretty interesting facts about it:

I hope everyone had a restful weekend, tomorrow is everyone's favorite Monday~

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 1 of Physical Therapy

Hello everyone!

I had my first physical therapy session yesterday and it went... Okay, I guess. The therapist did clarify for me exactly what my problem was (he got the xrays and such to look at too) and what's plaguing me is a good ol' herniated disc.

What is a herniated disc? It's also called a slipped disc. Between your vertebrae (back bones) there are little cushioning discs. Sometimes they rupture, bulge, or even break into pieces.  The result? the lack of cushioning causes the spine to press on nerves, most commonly causing sciatica- which is what I have.

When I went, the therapist had me lay in all kinds of positions to see what would happen painwise.  ALL but one of the positions he had me go into caused shooting pain down my leg, which is NOT what we want.  Last, but finally not least, we found something that helped:  standing up and doing side bends to the right. (Doing them to the left caused the shooting pain)  After doing a few sets of ten, my walking improved quite a bit.  When I got to the office, I was limping a bit and walking weird.  After doing some of the side bends, I walked with a much more normal gait. My back still hurt but there was no shooting pain down my leg.  

My homework from PT: do a set of 10 every hour, minimum 100 reps a day.  More is okay if I feel good.

My diet is also changing.  I discovered a new vegetable: Burdock root.  I am shifting my diet in more of an Asian direction.  Tried gobo kinpira (the Japanese word for burdock is gobo and kinpira is a cooking style) and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted. Here's the recipe!

Very simple and easy- and inexpensive- Gobo is not an expensive veggie if you can find it.

1 gobo root (they grow to be about 3 feet long)
1 medium carrot
Dashi stock (I use kombu dashi which is vegetarian but most dashi has fish in it too)
1 Tbsp Mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
1 Tbsp Sake
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds

1. Peel the gobo and cut into 2-2.5 inch matchsticks- the thinner the better.  Put the freshly cut gobo in a bowl of water until you use it because it turns brown. 

2. Do the same with the carrot, but you do not need to put it in water.

3. Heat a pan or wok with sesame oil and add gobo (no water, just the veggie) and cook for a few minutes stirring frequently.

4. After a few minutes, add carrot and cook all together stirring frequently for about 5 more minutes.

5. Add enough dashi stock to cover the vegetables and add mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar.  Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is gone. 

6. When the liquid is almost all gone, add a little drizzle of sesame oil to taste and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

This recipe can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for 3 days if you make a lot.  It can also be made with just carrots (I made that today actually) but with the same seasonings. Also, try using potato or Japanese sweet potato (Satsumaimo).

The end result with the gobo should look something... like this!

Burdock is also very good for you: low in calories, high in fiber, and it's tasty!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Injured- Now What?

Hello everyone!

Over the past couple of weeks, I had been suffering from pretty bad sciatica, to the point where it would even numb my leg while I stood on it for too long (about 5-10 minutes).  After stretching and walking on it, I went to the doctor and they did an X ray.  I have a pars interarticularis defect (something in the spaces of the vertebrae I think) on my very bottom vertebrae and I need physical therapy (which I will go to this Thursday).

So, Tracy Anderson or any workout like that is out for now. Even walking irritates it (hell, even sitting does) so working out in general aside from what the physical therapists tell me to do is somewhat out.  I do not have access to an indoor pool now (it's autumn and all the outdoor pools are closed for the year) but that would have been a nice alternative. 

I still want to lose weight. Now what do I do?

Diet, diet, diet. Did I mention diet?

What I need to do now is be extremely careful with what I put in my mouth.  Sounds easy, but for me, it really ISN'T.  I am someone who eats mostly, well, crap and it's ADDICTIVE.  It seems the easier it is to make, the worse it is for you. 

So, I am now forcing myself to eat more fresh foods.  Not claiming to become a full on vegan but I want to be mostly vegan and preferably less grain.  I won't be able to make the changes overnight, every time I have tried doing that I failed.  

I have to get used to cooking more again, it's a bit hard with  my back hurting but I have to do this for myself. Maybe in some way this is life's way of smacking myself upside the head to get my health and life back. 

So, in future updates I will be talking more about healthy food I made and how and what I did in physical therapy.

Hopefully you guys are doing a bit better than I am but they say I should make a full recovery. Let's hope so. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm Back~ With an Exciting Announcement- Tracy Anderson Coming to XBOX!

Hello everyone!

It's been a while and I hope everyone has been doing well.  I apologize for not being around as of late but...

For those of you who want an alternative to having Tracy on DVD... She will be on the XBOX soon!  XBOX is launching something called XBOX Fitness which not only features Tracy but also Jillian Michaels, Tony Horton (P90X) and Shaun T (Insanity)

The service will use the Kinect to track your movements and even your heart rate, which I think is pretty neat.

Here's a video clip preview~ Enjoy!

As for pricing and release date, I do not know that yet but I have heard that it will come out this winter and requires an XBOX Live membership (which is paid.)

I also think that this is on the XBOX One, not the XBOX 360... So you may have to upgrade.

Will I upgrade?  Maybe, if the console goes on sale after Thanksgiving or something. I have time to think about it and more details need to come out before I make a choice.  However, I do think it is a really cool idea, especially for those who really want guidance on their form.

Here's the full website (With our teeny tiny boss right on the page)

How about you guys? Anyone thinking of getting into this? 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Love Lululemon, Nike, etc but Hate the Cost? Go to Old Navy!

Hello everyone!

Again, I bought more workout clothing and I am very pleased with my purchases.  

I know I already wrote a bit about Old Navy's Active line, but I am even more surprised and happy with the new stuff I bought as well.

Here's what I have and a little review for each!

Fold-over Yoga Pants (Purple Essence)

These are very comfortable, fit well, and really allow me to move around easily without worry.  They are also a little thick, but that is a good thing because they are not easily seen through (like a lot of yoga pants tend to be!).  They also fit snugly around the legs while still allowing you to move around.

They cost about $18, got mine on sale!

Compression capris (in Carbon)

Also very comfortable, even though they are snug (that's what compression pants do- they are supposed to be snug!) They are very well-made and I feel that they are comparable to more expensive brands like Nike or Lululemon.  Love them for my TAM!

Compression Tank

Now, these are my favorite workout tops I have ever had.  I have owned mesh tshirts and what not (always fit weird on me and felt too tight) but these... Were amazing.  I tried them on at the store- glad I did- and initially thought I would need a XXL.  It was actually a bit too big for me- this top has a built in sports bra and I am not a busty girl (not all plus size women are! A lot of clothing stores seem to ignore this!) and I actually needed an XL.  As for the other part that I love: the bottom!  It's mesh and has a drawstring and fits very loosely- even though I went down a size, the lower portion has plenty of give to cover  up my belly (my main problem area) and be comfy and loose and breathable.

In fact, I loved these shirts so much that I not only got one in purple, but in black and grey too.

They also resemble something Lululemon sells for 4 times the price (these tops are usually $20, got mine for $15 on sale!) 

In all, quality, cost, fit- Active by Old Navy is an excellent alternative to pricier brands!  Very cute, comfortable, flattering and come in bigger sizes (Who says bigger girls have to wear ugly stuff when we work out?  Lululemon does, haha.) and very well made!

Have any of you bought any of Old Navy's workout clothes? Were you pleased with it?