1 Month No Takeout

The title sums up the post but I’ll elaborate! Please note I’ll use restaurant, takeout and fast-food all referring to food we didn’t cook at home.

My husband and I had a terrible fast-food/ takeout/ restaurant habit. It was so bad that I would meal prep then we’d get takeout and have lots of food waste as we wouldn’t double back to eat what I cooked. I kept watching my weight balloon because I ordered whatever sounded good at the moment. My new peak was/is 251lbs; I’m only 5’6″… As the horror of this new depressing milestone set in, my husband pitched the no fast food idea to me. I quickly agreed but was worried he’d have to be my strength due to my sugary coffee addiction. Little did I know I was going to do great!

Week 1: The biggest challenge was finding a coffee alternative to my Starbucks addiction. In case you need an idea of what I mean, I’d go to Starbucks and buy 2 drinks (grande and venti) usually with extra espresso or a syrup and a pastry (chocolate croissant). It was expensive and not the best choice for me. The alternative I found was La Colombe available at some Target and Costco locations. I have tried the four flavors available near me but they have more (listed by preference): Mocha, Triple Shot, Vanilla with regular milk and with oat milk. Though the month is over I continue to buy these or brew coffee at home instead of going out.

Purchased at Costco in Northern California

Week 2: I really started missing the convenience of fast food. The ease of going through the drive-thru or waiting until night before eating because I could. Around this time I realized I could meal prep without it being boring. I decided to start planning my meals a day or two before we went grocery shopping. I thought of what I used to order and simply switched the drive-thru for the grocery store. I even went back to finding quick flavorful meals on Pinterest. I can’t decide if I want to write about the things I’ve tried on Pinterest or not but here’s a picture of one meal we loved. My husband ate it with his steak on “fancy” days when he didn’t feel like eating his regular meal.

Oven Baked Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Week 3: We went to the grocery store way too much. This was a strange issue. We were eating at home like we planned but we weren’t sticking to our normal food. We made lots of unnecessary trips to the grocery store for wine, sake, sushi, pastries and frozen pizza. Needless to say I was eating at home but my extras were eating up the money we were saving. Again I had to take a look at what I was eating, when and why. I knew I was an emotional eater but the detailed answers to those questions became clear during this month. Once I started addressing them, I was able to make a more realistic meal plan.

Week 4: I was doing well and even preferred cooking all of my meals. It was a different form of self care. I was choosing to put my health first with every meal I cooked. I had to plan, commit and cook. I would listen to music, think about fun things to do with the kids or just have random internal conversations with myself. I could keep this up no problem. At the end, I knew I’d go back to eating out especially sushi as nothing compares to the actual sushi bar but this time it would be rare versus regular. Plus we like to support local and try new restaurants.

Week 5: The month ended and I had my first take-out in over 32 days! I was excited since I was armed with this new resolve to only eat out occasionally. I opened it up, took a bite and immediately thought “that’s it, right back to old habits” then something cool happened. I felt GROSS. My stomach was bloated and upset, my feet and hands started to swell and I couldn’t finish it. I COULDN’T FINISH IT!!!! That might sound awful to some but for me it was great. It was proof my choices really were having a negative effect on my health. At home, I controlled all of the ingredients and the amounts but when someone else does the cooking you can’t control it. Sure you can order healthy alternatives, eat at certain places, etc but at the end someone else is still in control.

Conclusion: If you want to try something different or challenge yourself, go for it. You might be shocked at what you discover. Did I lose a bunch of weight? No. Did I save a ton more by eating at home? No because experimenting with food can be pricey. I didn’t expect what I did get. We did start eating all meals at the table. I started being more aware of what I was eating as well as the snacks my kids were eating. My oldest tried kale. I’ve started to take better care of myself; no more quarantine slump. Overall I feel better, am more aware of what I’m doing and am more present with my kids. I also have a schedule and am starting to get active. I would definitely consider this experiment a success. I’ve even moving on to a new challenge but that’ll be for a separate post 🙂

Professional Hairdresser Experience

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I keep forgetting to put this post up.

A while ago my dad (step-dad), treated my mom, sister and I to a day of pampering. It came out of nowhere! No special occasion or event; he simply surprised us. My dad’s literal words were “Do you have to work Saturday?” I replied and then it was set. We all met at the salon and got the works (mani/pedi/hair).

It had been a long while since I’d been to a professional stylist as I do my own hair. However my dad was so sweet as to do this I viewed her Instagram page and went to the appointment knowing exactly what I wanted. I wanted the one style I was usually too lazy to do myself: flat iron!!

I’m no fanatic but I do treat my hair with special care before applying heat so I was extremely excited and nervous about my experience. I knew I couldn’t let a new person cut/ trim my hair plus I’d already done it so I declined that part. She started off by explaining the process, telling me about the products and saying something I’d never heard before. She told me I had a lot of hair but it was fine. I was shocked. I was always told how thick my hair was so this was news to me. However when I started thinking about everything I knew it made total sense. Curly it looked like it went on forever but straight or wet most of it seemed to disappear and that was why. Other than that shocking info the rest of the experience was as if I did it myself with regards to the care and attention given.

The results as well as the first wash after the service are above. I waited because I wanted to make sure there was no heat damage then I forgot… All in all it was great experience and I would (will) do it again!!

PS – The only reason I didn’t include her contact info is because I didn’t ask. If you’re curious then message me on Instagram and I”ll share

Self-care

 

Things have changed. I’m working, failing at being primarily plant-based and other stuff. Most noteworthy has been my mental health. I debated mentioning this but decided it could help my son when he’s older. I hope he realizes there is nothing to be ashamed of, embarrassed about or fearful of because it can happen to anyone. Before I start, I’m not taking anything as I don’t think it is that bad however if you do need help do not hesitate to seek a professional. In my case, I sought comfort from my family.

It started when I was having a hard day. I wasn’t sleeping, everything went from great to horrible over the smallest things and I didn’t seem to enjoy anything. By all accounts, I thought my depression was coming back. I feared not being able to handle everything with a smile on my face. Embarrassed that I lacked endurance because all of this took place in only a few months. And I was ashamed of not being able to balance everything perfectly. Holding everything in was turning me into an emotional monster.

One day I decided to blurt it all out no matter how crazy I thought it made me look. I was nervous as I’d built up a terribly dramatic scene in my head. Thankfully all went well. My husband comforted me and reminded me that taking time for myself is important. Actually following through with what we discussed was extremely hard since I’m not good at relaxing…

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Step 1 – Logging off

I stopped checking social media which included watching vlogs. I started comparing my life to the ones I saw which isn’t fair because most only put up the good stuff and even “regular” moments seemed to look shiny compared to my own.

 

Step 2 – Getting the basics done

I knew there was no way I could relax if I didn’t clean my house to my satisfaction and check off certain things on my to do list for work. I’m the type of person who has to have clean, organized space or my mind feels cluttered. I stopped fighting and used my first (and second) day alone to do just that!

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Step 3 Relaxing

I never thought I’d be able to do this! Technically I’m writing this post, working, making grocery list, light cleaning (I truly enjoy cleaning) and planning my return to healthy lifestyle changes. But I am truly relaxed (for me…). Like previously stated, I enjoy getting things done and though I should’ve continued to do nothing it just isn’t in my nature.

Was my time alone perfect? No. Was I relaxing the whole time? Nope. Did I enjoy myself? Absolutely! I may have times when my emotions go haywire and I don’t enjoy anything but now I have steps to get me back into the right head space. I also have people I can talk to that will help me come back down off of the emotionally dangerous ledge. So here are my keys to success*:

  • identify the problem(s)
  • talk to someone including a professional if necessary
  • make a plan
  • follow through

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*this is not medical/ professional advice; this is what works for me 🙂

Update -Primarily Plant-based

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Made this after grocery shopping!

The first week of my Pescatarian/ Vegetarian lifestyle was easy. It was fresh in my mind and I was filled with blind determination. I knew what I wanted to do and I made sure to stay close to home so I wouldn’t be tempted to revert to my old eating habits. I felt great. My mind and intestines felt clear. I’m not sure if this was in my head or real but I loved the feeling. I wanted to keep it going but I still hadn’t bought groceries so I kind of fell off on the weekend. Not horribly but still not what I planned.

Week two was just plain sad… It was so sad I didn’t even track how many good days I had. As far as how I felt, I didn’t have the same clear, excited feeling. I was slightly stressed, distracted and questioning every decision I’ve ever made as an adult. Some of those things were huge and caused a lot of unnecessary anguish. I won’t say my new lifestyle was the cause because I don’t know. What I took from the first two weeks:

  • Don’t be a junk food pescatarian/ vegetarian
  • Be prepared
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not perfect
    • esp if you’re not a vegetable lover…
  • Have a backup plan when you’re on the go
  • Don’t skip meals unless you are planning to fast
    • this is not medical advice
  • Keep a food journal or at least jot down food you weren’t planning on eating
    • Ex: in my case it would be any meat other than fish

The picture at the top was the first meal I planned after going grocery shopping. It was a big deal because I wasn’t a fan of cucumbers. However I am challenging myself to try vegetables I don’t like. Sure I don’t love them but I’m glad I went for it because now I find them tolerable. The takeaway is give yourself leeway without completely forgetting your original goal(s).

Lifestyle Change – Pescatarian/ Vegetarian

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve been considering being a pescatarian or vegetarian for a while but never fully committed. Now I feel inspired to give it a try. I’m not going to commit to a specific duration because I’m hoping this will be a permanent change. I know myself and the people I’m surrounded by so there will be challenges but in the end everyone will be supportive (or tolerant).

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I plan to read the Meatless Machine chapter in the book 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris. He was spot on helping me lose weight (though I’ve fallen off the wagon and burned it…) so I trust this source to get me started with all around health and nutrition for my seafood only journey. I still plan to transition to full vegetarian but I feel pescatarian is a more realistic goal for now. I’m not a huge fan of vegetables. So the first thing I need to do is research recipes in order to make my meals edible. Once I get that down I’ll start trying new things. Any advice or helpful tips would be more than welcome.

Thanks in advance!