bright side

There’s a bright side to everything if you’re willing to look for it.  I’ve been finding the bright side of almost everything negative in my life for the past 10 years.  I find it comforting to know that there’s light in all darkness and that life is what you make of it. That’s all.  Honestly.  Sometimes it’s totally okay to ignore the bright side and focus on the negative.  We’re humans.  We do it all the time! So go ahead, be negative, but not for too long, okay? Your friends won’t want to be around you that much anymore if it’s too much 😉

Weight Watchers really works well for me.  It may not work well for others, but I absolutely love the website, the app on my iPhone, and the accountability because of those things.  I’ve lost 4lbs since last week while sticking to it.  I’m sure it’s mostly water weight, but that’s okay! It’s progress and motivational and I will continue! I made Slow Cooker Pork and Green Chile Stew on Saturday night in Somerset.   I wish I would’ve added more jalapenos and maybe some red pepper flakes, but it was pretty tasty! It was even better the next morning with some scrambled eggs! I also made Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach last night and it was SO GOOD.  You guys, these recipes are so good.  I hate the fact that I’m using low fat everything, but it really doesn’t matter.  It’s still incredibly tasty and delicious. (most things!)  I’m going to try and make the pumpkin granola next! Yummy 😀

By the way, my nephew has me hooked on Hay Day – a farming game on my iPhone that I cannot stop playing! If any of you want to be my friend, my game center name is edublizzie.

Happy Tuesday!!!!


Day 2!

I killed it on my first day back with Weight Watchers! I went for two long walks with the dog, ate only my allowed points (even though we got salads to go!) and didn’t eat my activity points! YAY! I slept really well and started the day off on a positive note with another walk and a healthy breakfast.  I’m going to lunch with my sister before my doctors’ appointment, but we’re going somewhere with salads where I can pick and choose what I want.  Always good as long as I stay away from salad dressing, croutons and cheese! (which is good to stay away from because I’m lactose intolerant!) Very exciting.

The fall weather has arrived in San Francisco.  It’s cold, overcast, and I think it rained a little last night while I was finishing up reading Game of Thrones.  What a great book! I know I’m nerdy, but holy cow.  It took me months to read it, but it kept my interest and I read almost every night.  I’m looking forward to the second book.  We’re heading up to Somerset this weekend, so I’ll have plenty of time to read, clean up the garden and soak up the woodsy air.  And go on those amazing 2 mile walks in the morning with Billy!

Being healthy is a lot of work, but once you get into a routine it’s really easy to stick with.  I hope all of you have at least one healthy routine you do a day!


Healthy Town!

I’m back at my healthy (keeping myself accountable) posts! I started Weight Watchers again today.  I kinda slacked a little before and after the wedding and have gained four pounds of those I have lost.  It isn’t a lot, but boy it’s really easy to put weight on and so much harder to take it off.  Weight Watchers helped me lose fifteen pounds and I am almost positive that once I get momentum going I’ll be able to lose another fifteen and maintain that weight loss.  I’m not trying to get supermodel unhealthy skinny.  I think 160lbs on a 5’7″ frame is perfectly healthy and normal! My doctor thinks so too.  I think I’ll be a size 6 at that weight, but maybe more of an 8.  It’ll put me in the correct BMI tier (even though I think BMI is stupid.) It’ll make her happy and I’ll probably feel a lot better.  I’ll have more energy for long hikes, walking up stairs without heavy breathing, swimming, cycling, etc.  Fall is probably not the best time to start this again, but I think it’ll help me get through the pumpkin madness and the Christmas madness.  🙂
Gina’s Skinny Taste blog of Weight Watcher friendly recipes has been a savior to me and I am so excited to start making more meals from her site.  The Weight Watchers website has a lot of recipe ideas, but Gina’s are so much better! They’re flavorful, fun to make and everyone in my house has loved everything I’ve made.  She even has skinny pumpkin flavored recipes.  UM, OKAY! If you know me at all, you know how obsessed I am with pumpkin and making everything pumpkin from the first day of fall until the end of Christmastime.  Pumpkin is just so delicious.  Savory or sweet! Look at all of these amazing pumpkin recipes! Even if you’re into WW, you should try a few of these out and see how you like it.

On a completely unrelated note (that’s how my brain works), the Fall Issue of my favorite online magazine came out today!! Take a look! The Violet is amazing and I think you’ll really love it!


On life and it’s bumps in the road

What a roller-coaster year of emotions 2012 has been!  I got engaged on my birthday in 2011 (SO EXCITING!).  My fiance had a seizure in March that lead to us discovering a brain tumor and cyst that were ultimately removed in July.  My nephew had a rare autoimmune disease from a vaccination that paralyzed him for 5 weeks and included a long hospital stay in August and early September and lots of physical therapy.  I married my best friend and love of my life on September 21st (the best day of my life).  My sister in law fainted and hit her head so hard she had to have a hematoma removed from her brain this past weekend.  Bad things happen in 3s, and I am quite certain that this latest hospital stay will be the very end of this madness. NO MORE ILLNESS.  NO MORE HOSPITALS.  NO MORE, I SAY! Authoritative, isn’t it?

My own health this year has been a big focus.  I’ve lost 15 pounds and feel great.  I have another 14ish to go to make my doctor happy.  I finally feel comfortable in my skin and have been feeding it amazing things.  I didn’t finish Whole30, but I will start it again soon and I will make it through the entire 30 days.  I will continue to feed myself healthy, whole foods and continue on this amazing journey of staying healthy and positive.

On that note, my husband and I picked 20 pounds of pears from our pear tree this weekend and we’re going to make pear butter in the crock pot.  Can you say CHRISTMAS PRESENTS?!

here are some photos from the wedding.  most photos are by Terry Spraitz Ciszek.

Days 10 & 11

I broke Whole30. I won’t go into reasons why because it will just seem like a bunch of excuses, but it’s difficult to maintain while shuffling back and forth from the hospital while simultaneously taking care of a 3 year old. I finally learned that I can go grocery shopping with him as long as he stays in the cart! I honestly didn’t have the energy to try. I’m emotional, I’m exhausted and I STILL have an awful headache. After today I think I can continue without any hiccups, but for today I’m just making the best choices I can make with regard to food. Dinner might be easier 🙂

My nephew is getting better and I am so grateful. He even played wii with me today :). Hopefully he’ll be able to come home next week, but we’ll see. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers, everyone!!!!

How to Handle an Emergency and stick with Whole30 – Day 9

I had a family emergency yesterday around noon (I’m going to be watching my nephew until probably Monday), and have been scrambling to maintain the Whole30 guidelines, and I can tell you, it’s been incredibly difficult.  I realized that my salad from Subway (ew) had some peppers and jalapeno’s and I’m sure they’re not on plan because of the pickling process and because I couldn’t read the ingredients listed.  I’m not counting myself out entirely for that one (technicality).  Although I was starving and very tempted to stop at In N Out on my way to watch my nephew for a few days, I stuck it out and made dinner at 9pm – eggs, grapes and half of an avocado.  This morning I had eggs, sautéed bell peppers and sugar snap peas and some berries.  I haven’t been able to go grocery shopping at my sister’s house yet (and it’s chock full of food I can’t eat!!!!!), so I went out to pick up The Counter’s burger salad.  I added a lot of fresh veggies, excluded the dressing and BOY was it delicious.  I REALLY wanted sweet potato fries, but they fry them in soy bean oil and something else.  So that was out.  I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do for dinner tonight, but I might be able to bring the little one with me shopping for more meat.  There are tons of veggies, but probably not enough.  I might be able to go home to get a change of clothes tomorrow, so I might bring all of the stuff I have there back with me here so I at least have some more options.  My sisters mother-in-law is Iranian and she is dying to make me Persian Food, but it’s all rice and lentils and stuff, and although I really want to eat it, I’m not going to.  This is super hard and I’ve really thought about throwing in the towel more than once.  Stress is a nightmare.

If any of you are the praying type, please say a prayer for my nephew, Anthony.  If you don’t pray, please think happy thoughts for him and for a speedy recovery.


One Week Down, Three To Go!

Hey everyone!  I’m done with week one! Although I don’t think my cravings have been THAT bad (I still really want a blueberry scone and a soy chai latte, among other things), I’m glad this week is done.  This next week is supposed to be just as hard, but after that, it should be smooth sailing.  Fingers crossed! These headaches are pretty obnoxious.  Although they haven’t been as bad as when I first started last week.  I don’t miss alcohol at all.  I thought I did, but I don’t.  I don’t really drink that much anyway, so it hasn’t been hard to give up AT ALL.  I have two bottles of Prosecco in the fridge staring at me every time I open it, though.

I’m having dinner with a friend tomorrow night and she’s cooking.  I completely forgot to let her know about all of this, but just sent over a quick email.  She normally only cooks the foods I can eat because she’s really healthy, so I don’t think it will be a problem.  Man, what a pain.  It takes a lot of foresight and careful planning doing Whole30!! Totally worth it, though.

If you’ve been following my instagram (@hobolipgloss), you’ve probably seen most of what I’ve been eating.  I try to take a picture of every meal, but I didn’t this morning.  Too hungry – just stuffed it in my face after I cooked. (sautéed onions and yellow squash with two eggs and a white nectarine)

Here are some of the photos from yesterday:
breakfast yesterday

Lunch yesterday
And dinner 🙂

I’m probably going to make Chicken Pad Thai for dinner tonight (Well Fed Recipe!) with spaghetti squash for the noodles.  Oh, heaven.  I can’t wait!

On a completely unrelated note, Happy 3rd Birthday to my nephew, Teddy! And Happy Birthday to sister-in-law, Jamie!!!

Day 7 on Whole30!


First week down! (well, after tonight).  I’m a quarter of the way done with this! And you know what… that fact is making me feel a lot better. I only have 3 weeks to go 😀

So I meant to write about this yesterday, but completely spaced.  You guys, I read It Starts With Food this weekend on my kindle (by the lake, heavenly!) and it seriously has changed my life.  I haven’t even finished a week of this program, but I HONESTLY believe everyone should read it. Even if you aren’t planning on doing Whole30. It’ll change your view of how food is marketed to us and your relationship with food! Their “science-y” stuff was really well written (easy to understand) and they back it all up with so many references that it’s really hard to question.  Did you guys know that you don’t even digest any of the nutrients found in whole grains?? How is that healthy? Anyway, I highly suggest it.  Read it, or even start and tell me what you think!

I read this testimonial yesterday while I was in the throws of a really nasty sugar craving that really helped put things in perspective.  I don’t even have PCOS and it made me want to stick with it!  Here are a ton of other testimonials about how this has helped so many people with so many different ailments, autoimmune disorders and other issues.  I had to keep reading them yesterday to stop me from baking some blueberry scones!!! While really tempted to ruin the whole thing, I stuck with it and ate really well.  I went to dinner with my sister Emily to discuss wedding items at Sol Food (I had to admit to her that I had eaten there the day before), and had a really fun night.  I’ll admit that I’m so obsessed with this right now that all I can really think or talk about is food, but once she got me talking about the wedding, I felt great and stopped talking about how the chicken is cooked at Sol Food, or how I made the most delicious breakfast, or even how I’m making lamb meatballs this week.  I even told her I think it would help her out a lot with her health issues! But I’m not being pushy, here, just sharing information.  Everyone has to decide for themselves if this is even plausible for them (Although I think it is for everyone!).  Well, almost everyone.

I feel great today.  I slept pretty well (went to bed too late, woke up early because I was too hot), had a great breakfast (sauteed onions, yellow squash and spinach with two fried eggs [coconut oil is awesome] with smoked salmon, blueberries and green tea).  I’m going to make some swordfish for lunch with a spinach salad! Dinner with probably be more fish and veggies, but I’m happy with that.  It sounds so good right now.

I will concede that this has been much easier for me since my I work from home.  If I still went into the office every day, I’d definitely have to do the weekly shopping/cook up on Sundays and pack everything for the week.  I’m not good at last minute preparations for that kind of situation.  I’d probably end up cheating, or eating out all the time.  No. Thank. You.  So hooray for working from home!

I hope it continues to be this easy when James gets home.  I know he’ll make something that looks delicious and I’ll want to eat it, but he’s so supportive, he’ll probably tell me to get lost. 😉 Well, I hope so anyway!!!

Well, cheers to you all and Happy Day 7 to me! xo

Days 4, 5 & 6 on Whole30

I knew as soon as I got to Somerset my headache would go away! 🙂 Thank goodness, right?  I did my usual stop at Whole Foods and got some delicious stuff to cook for the weekend.  I ate all of the foods I was supposed to eat, got to hang out by the lake with my man and my dog and went for our nice 2 mile walks Saturday and Sunday morning, even though it was SUPER hot.  We even got to experience the BEST thunderstorm I’ve ever been in.  So cool.
I found out that James wasn’t taking this thing as seriously as I was, and he was surprised that I was! Funny.  He’s still recovering from his surgery and I realized on the drive up that maybe now isn’t the time for him to try an elimination diet.  Headaches after brain surgery aren’t really ideal.  He is doing amazing and eating a lot healthier than usual, so that’s good.  I cooked a lot, so he got to eat my version of his healthy 🙂
You guys, they bought cookies. COOKIES.  I stared at them in the pantry and dreamed of the day when I could stuff one in my face.  I also saw the beautiful popsicles and ice cream in the freezer.  And the sourdough bread. And the deli meat, and cheese.  I was really sad to see how much sugar they add to deli meat! Even the awesome nitrate free stuff from Whole Foods has honey or maple syrup added to it.  Pretty uncalled for, if you ask me.  It’s amazing how food manufacturers can add and hide SO MUCH sugar into things.  Gross.
I didn’t want to leave yesterday at all.  I missed my man and it was so nice and hot up there that the thought of coming back home to fog without James wasn’t really the happiest place I had been all weekend.  Plus I was cranky.  Super cranky.  Driving in traffic sucks when you’re cranky.  Tips to all of you drivers: if you’re in the fast lane, don’t go slow.  DO NOT tap on your brakes just because you see people braking a mile ahead of you.  It’s annoying and it causes more traffic and sometimes accidents.  Make sure your brake lights work if you’re going to hide them with 5 bicycles.  Changing lanes every quarter mile isn’t going to get you there any faster.
I was steaming in my car.  So instead of stopping at the fruit & veg stand on the way home, I went to Sol Food.  It’s this amazing Puerto Rican restaurant in Marin that I drool over.  It’s so popular that there are THREE restaurants in one block.  One take out place, one take out-sit in the back garden place, and one sit-down restaurant.  Nuts.  Anyway, I went to the sit in the back place since it’s usually not so busy and I asked the woman 25 questions about how they prepare their food.  What I found out was that the shrimp in tomato sauce (they don’t add sugar!) is cooked in olive oil (yay!), and the plantain coated shrimp I wanted is cooked in rice oil. (bummer).  So I got the shrimp with tomato sauce and onions with a big fat salad with avocado and added tomatoes.  It was outrageously expensive, but it’s what I needed.  No more grumpy pants. Until the traffic at the tunnel leading up the bridge.  I really needed to get home.  Anyway, I’m happier now and I have some delicious meals planned out and will be going grocery shopping later today. 🙂

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Whole30 Day 3!

If you’re asking yourself “Why is this nut job doing this? It seems pretty stupid to deprive yourself of such delicious food!”, please read below:

I eat real food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat, seafood and eggs come from, and buy organic local produce as often as possible.

This is not a “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight.  I aim for well-balanced nutrition, so I eat both animals and a significant amount of plants.  I’m not lacking carbohydrates – I just get them from vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal or pasta.  And my meals are probably higher in fat than you’d imagine, but fat is a healthy source of energy when it comes from high-quality foods like avocado, coconut and grass-fed beef.

Eating like this is ideal for maintaining a healthy metabolism and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s good for body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mental attitude and quality of life.  It helps eliminate sugar cravings and reestablishes a healthy relationship with food.  It also works to minimize your risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and autoimmune.

I’m on day 3.  I’m starting to crave sugar in a BIG way, but it might be because I was watching Samantha Who? last night on Netflix and they showed cupcakes, and a cupcake shop, and she drank juice and was drinking a lot of wine. The power of suggestion flew right into my brain and all I wanted to do was go out and get a cupcake and a glass of wine.  But I didn’t.  I went to sleep instead.  Because I wasn’t hungry! And I knew that if I cheated, I’d have to start ALL over again, and who wants to do that? Not me!

Now for the sucky parts: I’ve had a headache the entire time I’ve been doing this.  To be fair, I’ve had a headache for about a week.  I think it’s a combination of sleeping on my stomach, stress from the wedding and James’ brain surgery a few weeks ago, and from going back to work after two weeks off.  Plus eliminating sugar and bread probably has something to do with it.  But I’m sure that once I get to our vacation house early this evening to see my lovely fiance, all of that stress will melt away and I’ll feel great!

Awesome parts: I’m not bloated! I don’t have gas (and although I hate to admit this in a public forum, I’m generally a pretty gassy person. Not cute at all.) I feel amazing besides having a headache.  I have a lot of energy, I’m really loving everything I’ve been eating and I really really do not want to cheat.  It was just a fleeting moment.

I won’t be blogging for day 4 and 5, as I’ll be unplugged while I’m enjoying our vacation house, but I’ll definitely post an update when I get back.  James is doing this with me while he’s gone, so I won’t be tempted to eat bad things when I’m with him.  I’m really looking forward to talking to him about how he feels, too.

Here’s what I had for dinner last night. I’m eating the other half for lunch today:
grilled chicken, cucumber, olives, onion, carrots, avocado and baby spinach. 🙂

Here’s my breakfast for Day 3. So pretty and colorful!
Steam Sauteed broccoli, snap peas and bell pepper with 3 eggs. Yum!

Have a happy weekend, everyone!