Sunday, December 12, 2010

I heart blogs

I like to read healthy living blogs. I find them very motivating and often I get excited when my favorites post a new entry. The main purpose of this blog was to document my healthy living progress and to also document the weight loss that often comes with that. Since November 2009, I have lost 40 lbs and I feel great about that. Aside from losing some pounds, I been reflecting on the changes I made the past year. The changes were minor, for example, I eat less and I diligently watch my portion sizes. At first I used measuring cups and a food scale, but now I am pretty good at eyeballing. Michael and I eat a lot of veggies, whole grain carbs, and lean cuts of meat. We never buy white bread, white rice or regular pasta. The only white item we allow is homemade bannock. Michael’s granny makes the best Cree style bannock. It is a treat. She sends it home with me when I return from Gillam for work. Bannock has its roots from Scotland and over the decades or even centuries it has become a tradition in Cree people’s lives. I can argue that we should stop eating bannock for health reasons – but there are ways to make the bread healthier like using white wheat flour and eliminate the lard and use fat that is less evil.
Another factor I contribute my success to is exercise. Over the past 6 months or so I have taken up weight lifting in addition to cardio. I have read from numerous sources that weight lifting is essential to building lean muscle mass and assists with weight loss. I feel stronger and more confident.
Here is a list of blogs that I love to read! Some deal with weight loss, living a balanced lifestyle and humour. They are not categorized.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lost 35 lbs since Nov 2009

I do not think my aspiration to lose 50 lbs by end of November is achievable. Although I do exercise and eat right I feel I been lazy. However, I did manage lose 1 lb since my last post. Maybe a 50 lbs loss will happen for December 31, 2010? We shall see.

I like this blog

She has been an inspiration since the summer of 2009!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ouch Ouch... bye bye summer

I hurt my back a few weeks ago and was bedridden. Since I was not moving very much, I limited my food intake. Eating very light resulted in a two pound weight loss. I am kinda worried that it may be muscle deteriorating away.

Michael and I went to Minneapolis last weekend. It was great. Walked around Mall of America, visited the Zoo, and explored Macy's downtown. All the walking around paid off. I weighed in last night with another 2 lb loss. So, since November 2009 I lost 33 lbs.
Yeah me!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday August 18/10 workout

I hurt my back last Wednesday. I was bedridden and miserable. Finally after a week I am now recovered.

Here is my workout
I went to check out the North Centennial Pool on Sinclair Street and was amazed with its goodies.

Elliptical machine 10 minutes
Leg press - 100 lbs - 3 sets of 15
Chest press - 70lbs - 3 sets of 12
Back row - 70 lbs - 3 sets of 10
Swimming (doggie paddle and back stroke) - 45 minutes

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday's workout

Twenty minutes on stationary bike (med-hard effort)
Twenty minutes on treadmill (incline 3 and 3.8 mph)

Leg press 150lbs 3 sets of 12
Chest press 10 lbs per arm 3 sets of 12
Lat. Pull down 70 lbs 3 sets of 12

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ill today

My day yesterday started out pretty good. I slept until 11 am and woke up to breakfast that consisted of over-easy eggs, three pieces of bacon, sliced tomatoes, sliced avocado, homemade hash browns and a slice sprouted grain toast. It was delicious. Michael went to work and I decided to clean house. Our plan after he got home from work was to go to the gym. We made it to the gym for a quickie and came home to cook supper.

I made a meat-loaf (with extra lean ground beef) with shredded carrot, basil, mushrooms, Melba toast crumbs, onions and garlic. I added sautéed onions, garlic, eggplant, mushrooms and a jalapeno pepper with a jar of pasta sauce and a can of tomatoes. This was served with whole wheat pasta. By the time it was ready I was super hungry. Keeping portion control in mind I served myself 1 cup pasta, ¾ cup sauce, and a small slice of meatloaf (I cannot find my camera battery charger so no picture this time, plus by the time it was ready I was ready to gobble it up). Knowing I have ‘issues’ with certain dairy, I never seem to learn my lesson, I sprinkled a handful of shredded mozzarella and cheddar onto my dish. I also added crushed chillies. Michael asked me what I wanted to drink; I said I wanted a glass of milk! As soon as we sat down to eat, I WOLFED down supper. It tasted AWESOME.

If there is one thing that I have learned during my weight loss endeavour is not to eat fast. Tricks include putting your fork down while chewing and chew thoroughly. Last night it was obvious that trick was thrown out the window. I felt grossly full. I wanted to die. I forced myself to do the dishes and tidy up and not lie down and watch TV. It was hard.

I went to bed feeling nauseous and awoke several times feeling ill. Once seven AM rolled around, I had a feeling it would be dangerous if I went into work. As I sit here typing, I contemplate my ‘issues’ with food and my weight, feelings of inadequacy surface. Although I have accomplished a few things so far, food and weight-loss is one thing I cannot seem to control and manage. Along with my digestive issues, I feel sad, depressed and discouraged. I am disappointed in myself for overeating and getting sick. I can sit here and lament my ‘woes’ or I can get up and get moving and get back to the land of the living. I am going to attempt a light workout at Shapes and hope for the best.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back on track

I remember back when I first started graduate school. I was 24 and probably the best shape in my life. Although I was overweight working out was a priority. I would graciously enjoy step and body pump classes. I could endure 40 minutes on an old school stepper. I considered myself strong and fit. I worked my way through grad school and I was so busy, I could not keep up. I started to socialize a lot more. Socializing involved a lot of beer, wine, gin, cigarettes, and dinners out. My friends and I would discuss political theories, solutions, movies, music, and social change. It was fantastic – until I my clothes got tight.

Since 2005, being unfit, unhealthy and overindulgent has been the story of my life. This past week as I was shuffling through my wardrobe I discovered a shirt that I have not worn in 2.5 years. I tried it on and OMG it fit. My rolls were not bulging out of my shirt and it flattered my beginnings of a defined waistline. My re-commitment to live a healthy life is showing its rewards.

My new goals the following months include:

Fitness Goals

Lose another 15 lbs by end of September
Hot yoga once a week
Gym and weight training 3 times a week

Eating Goals

Continue to make iced coffee to bring to work (in order to save some $$)
Continue to bring breakfast and lunch to work (in order to save some $$)
Limit eating out to once a week

Blog Goals

Start to take pictures of what I eat

Now that things seem to be happening in this area I feel more motivated to continue to treat myself well. I am looking forward to the fall and cooler temps and a more routine schedule. My partner, Michael, will be entering his first year of studies in the Faculty of Education it is very important that we plan more diligently and not let our health deteriorate. Maintaining a balance is important especially when life starts getting busy in the fall.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peachy Breakfast

Cup of cooked oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red)


¼ cup half-and-half cream


1-teaspoon brown sugar


1 peach sliced



Thursday, July 29, 2010

My first summer without a thesis hanging over my shoulder:

Last summer I was sitting 12 hours a day, 8 hours at work and 4-6 hours at home writing my paper. I was miserable, sore and stressed out. My skin was also breaking out. I was tired and all my motivation to live a balanced life was thrown out the window. I was at my all-time heaviest and the most depressed I have been in my life.

The summer since my defense in March of ’10, I have more energy and more motivation to not spend my days in front of a computer. I do not have much of a choice at work. After work I try to stay away from the computer until later on in the evening so I can catch up on the blogs I follow. I have Twitter and Facebook on my Blackberry so I browse now and again in my spare time.

The gym and the pool have been my choice of destinations the past month or so. Often Michael accompanies me and we always feel awesome when we have a good workout. I am proud to say I have maintained a 28 lb weight loss. I was hoping to lose 15 lbs this summer I am not to sure if I will make that goal but I am trying.

I must admit I been snacking a lot more, plus I have not been any good at planning my meals. Cravings for pizza, greasy Chinese chow mein, and rich creamy curries have been quite frequent and in most cases my lack of self-control has taken over. Although I have been giving in to my cravings, I am very aware of portion sizes, for example when I crave a green curry Thai stir-fry I request that it be prepared with half the rice and with more veggies. The people at Thai Express are very accommodating. I make sure the next meal is light like a basic salad. There is also this awesome pizza place in Winnipeg called Santa Lucia which provides the customer with the option to order a multigrain crust and I always asked for ‘easy cheese’. I usually order pepperoni, Canadian bacon and mushroom. Not the healthiest toppings, but it is delicious. I am not a fan of gooey, cheesy pizza as I may be developing intolerance to dairy do not want to risk getting sick. My indulgences along with being physically active have probably contributed to the scale to stay the same. I am happy to say that I didn’t gain any weight and I am able to be mindful of my weaknesses.

Michael, my partners sister, a few friends and my mom have noticed an over all change in both my face and body. I have noticed some change in my clothes and receiving complements is motivating. Re-establishing healthy habits is hard. I think I am finally getting it, which is rewarding.

Yesterday, lunch consisted of a hummus, light cream cheese, parsley, cucumber, tomato and hot pepper on a multigrain bagel from Tim Horton’s (forgot to pack my new favorite sprouted grain bread). It was delish.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Too much Salt

I was reading an article in the Globe and Mail online this morning about how restaurant chain Boston Pizza is cutting salt from a few of its dishes. I was pretty shocked to see how much sodium is in restaurant food. There have been a few times this past spring my partner Michael, his uncle, his girlfriend and I would meet up at Boston Pizza for drinks and pizza. As I attempt to live a healthy lifestyle and eat food that is closest to its original form, the sodium content in a Rustic Italian (individual size) is 3,670 milligrams down from 3,860 mg. This is crazy! According to health professionals adults should only be consuming 1,500 mg as directed by Health Canada. Excessive sodium intake can increase peoples blood pressure and may lead to further complications further down the road. Since I am not a health professional I rely on the internet for information to make conscious decisions.

As mentioned here when I first started to document my journey to make healthy decisions, I stated I needed to shed some weight. Since November 2009 I have lost 24lbs and regained some muscle. I feel a lot stronger physically and mentally. The past seven months there have been more efforts not to eat junk and I feel that I am back in control of some aspects of my life. In my initial post I shared that I was a graduate student in Native Studies. I passed my defense and I graduated last week with my Masters of Arts.

My goals for the this summer is to lose 15lbs and to stay away from restaurant food. Today Michael and I got our first CSA box from the Wiens Farm and plus we get other organic food delivered to us once a week. I will keep you updated with the tasty meals over the next few weeks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Not a very good blogger :(

My brown bag lunch challenge Results

March 22 – Eggs and rye toast @ home

March 23 – Thesis defense day – Steel cut oatmeal, milk with sprinkling of brown sugar

March 24 – East India Company – Co-worker took me out to celebrate my successful thesis defense.

March 25 – Soup and sandwich @ home

March 26 – Office celebration lunch (office took care of the tab)


March 29 – Bagel with lox and cream cheese

March 30 – Bagel with lox and boiled eggs x2

March 31 – Flew into Gillam – Brought leftovers Mexican inspired beans and rice wrap (again)

April 1 - Went to grocery store in Gillam for lunch. Bought Campbell’s soup, sandwich and apple

Long Weekend

April 6 – Annie’s Organic Pasta and Cheese

April 7 – Polo Park Mall – Thai Fried Rice

April 8 – Boiled egg sandwich and leftover homemade curried roasted butternut squash soup with yam

April 9 – Canned Primo chicken noodle soup and toast

Sunday, March 21, 2010

this past week... still on track

Friday March 12 – Left over Jambalaya from Tuesday

Monday March 15 – In Gillam for work, Michael packed me Sunday’s leftovers that consisted of bison burritos with spinach and avocado

Tuesday March 16 – Toast with margarine, apple, mini mandarin, and Activa yogurt

Wednesday March 17 – Multi-grain toast with margarine and oatmeal (brunch)

Thursday March 18 – Salami sandwich on multi-grain bread and mustard and a 3/4 of yogurt and mixed berries

Friday March 19 – Came home from lunch and Michael made me an egg sandwich with a bit of cheddar and a handful of buffalo wing chips

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010 - Brown Bag Lunch

I slept in this morning. I had enough time to make Scottish oatmeal, with apple sauce, plain almond milk and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Michael helped me pack my lunch and I went on my merry way. Lunch was microwaved poached eggs, red river multi-grain toast, tomato, green pepper and spinach sandwich. It was simple and delicious.

March 10, 2010 - Brown Bag Lunch

My dinner the other night turned out not to be vegetarian. I ended up asking Michael to fry up some extra hot Italian sausage to add to the Jambalaya. In my attempt not to eat “store bought meat” on a regular basis I figured that I could pick out the sausage. I ended up eating a few pieces within the dish and it tasted awesome. If I can figure out who can lead me to a spicy moose meat sausage source I will be a happy Cree woman. I had enough for lunch yesterday.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Brown Bag Challenge

Brown Bag Lunch = more money to savings account

I need to stop eating out! 3 or 4 times a week my co-worker and I go out for lunch. Usually we stick to healthier options like salads, sandwiches, soups and sushi. Sometimes I will indulge with mall Thai food (Coconut curry). From March 10 to April 10 I will not go out for lunch. I will splurge on eating out once a weekend. This is my challenge to manage my time in the evenings to prepare nutritious foods for dinner to bring as a left-over lunch. I am approximately spending $30-50 dollars a week eating out. If I can curb this habit for one month = more to savings for a future trip/vacation (not sure where to yet).
Today for dinner I am making a vegetarian jambalaya. I will let you know how it turns out.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Where I am...

This past November I handed in my thesis and now awaiting a defence date. I started graduate studies in September 2004 on a part-time basis. Since then it seems like I put my life on hold. For almost six years my life has been about deciphering articles and books on indigenous people, hydro development, research methodologies colonization/decolonization, and about Ininewak (Cree people).

I admit I have not strived for a balanced life. I have spent many nights drinking pints, litres of wine, gin doubles while discussing a perfect world with fellow students with a pack of menthol cigarettes. Although I paid for a gym membership, the cardio machines rarely met my feet. During the past 5 years I gained 50 lbs. So that is 10 lbs a year. Since I handed in my thesis I am 15 lbs lighter and I feel great.

Since the summer of 2009 I quit smoking and my boozy nights are seldom and far in-between. I love a nice glass of wine with warm cuddles with my partner of two years as we strive to live a balanced and healthy life together. I hope to blog on a regular basis and share a bit to those who inspire me.