So I want to challenge myself with these four things as markers of my success:
1. Taking my weight with a grain of salt and focusing on inches.
4.Wake up every day and be grateful that you are in this body. Because if you were a twig you would be searching for all the missing curvy girly parts that bring all the boys to the yard.
In terms of fitness, I’m really proud of myself. I’m trying to get back into lifting weights and more intense workouts now that I’m finished with physical therapy and it’s lighter outside later at night so I just finally have more TIME. I also am proud of the fact that it’s been 6 weeks since I had one of the many candies lying around the office. Go me!
In the past 6 weeks I’ve lost 10.25 inches all over, including 5 from my waist (of I love being pair shaped) and about 7 pounds. SUMMER is soon and Spring weather is finally here! I am really happy that I’ve dug deep the past few weeks, it made the transition to dresses and sandal a snap since I didn’t have a bunch of winter weight to shed hehehe! The nicer weather motivates me even more and I’m excited to feel 150% by the first day of summer
All photos via pinterest.
What a sad day for the truth. Front of NYT Sunday reads “Taping of Farm Cruelty is Becoming the Crime.” I went vegan for my health and very quickly realized what a huge step this is for how I view animals by choosing to love and respect them instead of scarf them down. There are alternatives, go vegan, save your life, save an animal!
My screen cover on my phone, so beautiful.
One thing I’m excited to do with this online space is talk about vegan/natural products, something that I try to stick to where I can as a vegan. It is definitely a process and requires research because sometimes vegan and natural items are overpriced and out of reach to the masses, including myself. But depending on where you shop you can get some great vegan items to cover all your needs. I use natural toothpaste, facial and body cleansers, and laundry detergent. In the future I want to go a step further with make up and nail polish. But one thing I’ve noticed I that there aren’t many options for darker skin in terms of foundation/concealer. Any suggestions welcome! Right now I just use MAC and I really love their stuff.
Earlier this month I bought myself two things from LUSH Cosmetics so that I could mix up my routine. Spring has started and the month of March just feels like the right time for renewal and switching up your beauty and care regimen. They are such a cool company to fight animal testing and support green initiatives.
I got the Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly. It’s really cool and an actually gel mold and very wiggly, making showers a lot more fun. It took a while to learn how to use it so in the beginning I was very disappointed and thought I wasted my money. You break a chunk of the size of one finger (just about how much shower gel you would use in liquid form), stick it sort of inside your wet loofah’s layers, and rub it in until it foams up. It smells heavenly sweet, like dessert, and I sort of want to eat it… but that would be a terrible idea. It’s cherry-coconut flavored, hence the delicious smell. Also it is super sparkley and contains glitter, but I have not noticed any such thing on my skin, it would be cool if it did leave a slight shimmer though. Another cool thing about the “freshmade cosmetics” is that the tub includes a sticker telling me the name of the person that made my soap!
I also got a solid body tint in Black Stockings. The product description notes that it was made to suit darker skin (but works on all skin tones if you watch the informational video) and luckily I read a product review under the product description where a black woman said it is indeed a great product for her skin! Part of her review said “I WAS SO HAPPY WITH THIS. I’m a dark skinned black girl so when someone says bronzer I’m like ‘obviously that will look stupid on me’ but it looks amazing! I look glowy but not like I put anything on my skin.” I was so lucky to read that review since sadly so many products are made for only certain skin tones or don’t note that they work on all skin tones (like BB cream… which I would love to try but they don’t make it in darker tones, womp womp). This isn’t my first time hearing about black women and bronzer. My fave beauty blogger Patricia Bright (formerly BritPopPrincess) once mentioned how she loves to use an argon oil bronzer on her skin during the gray winters of London, where she lives.
In all I love both products and I can’t wait to put the black stockings on my legs and arms once it’s warm enough for clothes that show them off. Yay for vegan beauty!
Note: obviously I wasn’t compensated and bought this stuff on my own. No one reads this blog anyway and if people do, my audience is probably myself and my 3 other vegan friends.
I wrote a long post about this and logged into my account the next day and it was gone! WORDPRESS YOU ARE LETTING ME DOWN!
This sucks so much and it’s not the first time I want to blog and talk about cool things and life and happiness and fitness but this system is letting me down. I also want to draft posts in advance then publish them later. Well I guess the best option is to just start writing in a Word document.
Anyway enough venting. Just going to quickly say that the 5 Day Slim down was awesome! I got to eat a lot of food, all clean eating, and everything was so guided. Next step is to keep it up and follow the rest of the TIU lifestyle. Tomorrow I plan to wake up early, do some toning workouts as part of the “booty call workout” which is the early morning workout they recommend to revv up your body and metabolism before the day gets crazy. I try to do toning in the morning and my cardio in the evening, which is sort of he opposite of how it goes but my gym is so crowded that it’s easier to just get in some cardio and a tiny bit of toning there instead of attempting an entire toning routine in the middle of a crowded DC gym.
My results: I lost 2.25 inches off my bust, 2.25 inches off my hips, and 1/2 and inch off my hips. I’m pear shaped so it’s harder to lose weight off my hips. I also lost 5 pounds! My clothes feel a lot more comfortable and I’m excited to finally commit and make more effort with my nutrition and this plan that I invested money into buying.
A week ago I decided that when I get back from my trip to Arizona (which was amazing!) I will start the Tone It Up 5 Day Slim Down (5DSD) and get focused on getting fit now that I’m finished with physical therapy. The irony is that the trip and the beautiful warm weather (and the eventually hot weather that will follow in a few months) is exactly what geared me up to reach some of my ultimate goals.
The heat and concept of wearing summer clothes year round is a huge inspiration since I am always motivated by how good I look in clothes. And oh man, if I reach my goals, then I will have sooo many awesome new clothes I’ll need to buy, wooohoo! I honestly had the happiest feeling when I dropped weight the first time, and looking good in the clothes I have now is definitely step one since some of them have gotten tight in these winter months. Especially looking great in my favorite pair of jeans (they tweak the design a little each year, so mine are a little different) that are honestly a gift to women’s bodies everywhere and are actually affordable.
Tone It Up 5 Day Slim Down (5DSD)
I’ve been following Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up (TIU) since 2010 but all these years I’ve never fully subscribed to everything because after losing weight on my own I thought I could just keep doing it on my own. Even a year ago I bought the nutrition plan (they have a regular, vegan, and gluten free version, very accommodating) and just kept being extremely stubborn, working out intensely instead of thinking of my diet as much as I should have, which is what TIU does. They way I’ve been eating since starting the 5DSD means I don’t have to go crazy working out for hours anymore. I have way more energy too. The 5DSD includes tons of veggies, fruit, and protein. After I finish this stage I will stick to the TIU diet plan.
I’m currently on day 3 of the 5DSD and I’ve lost 4 pounds, never been hungry. Pretty much a sign of how crappy my diet has been that when I switch to a completely whole food diet I drop all this weight.
Look at all the amazing things I’m eating! My fave is the collard green wrap in the top right, the spicy mustard is the best with the vegan chicken, red onion, and tomato.
I’m pretty excited about this all so to inspire myself I made a new board on Pinterest full of summer styles I love. Yea I’m pretty much obsessed with clothes in case you didn’t notice. I want to start including some fashion entries on here as well. Here’s a screen shot of my pinning:One final thing I want to treat myself with is a Maaji swimsuit, they are so avant-garde! As much as I want it, hopefully I can find it on sale.
Today I did something that I hope will set into motion something great in my life, reaching my ultimate fitness goals. I took some “before” pictures of myself in one of my swim suits to motivate myself for this summer. Last summer I was more than eager to wear this suit, I had lost nearly 60 pounds and felt really great. But these pictures I just took and how I currently feel about myself and my progress have shown me that fitness is an intense, personal, and continuous journey.
One thing about ALL these pictures, before and after is that I was incredibly happy in all of them and it wasn’t unhappiness that caused me to get fit again, it was my clothes! I know everyone gets motivated by different things and as a devote fashionista, my clothes and fitting into a familiar numerical size and specific style are what truly make me feel good because that’s when I know my body is in it’s happy mode. The before pictures are from September 2010 but by February 2011 I had enough and had very few clothes that were both comfy and appropriate for winter (nice warm jeans are a lot more restrictive than a bunch of summer dresses). Life is so cyclical and that’s the case now, I honestly feel SO uncomfortable in my pants. I’ve gained about 20 pounds back, the first ten from vacationing/a break up and I accepted them because I still looked/felt the same. But the next 10 were from working out less intensely due to a knee injury and a 9-5 job I was so grateful to finally get after 8 months of job searching (8 months that I spent working out 2 hours a day and eating whatever I wanted).
This brings into play another issue. I really like to eat what I want and I LOVE to snack. So many of my friends know I’m a health/fitness nut and my Instagram looks so healthy but to be completely honest with myself, I probably only eat 60% healthy (my main meals) and 40% crap (from all my snacks, which I do consider crap at least because of the amount, but as a vegan there is a lot less crap phew), things that are not conducive to weight loss once you hit a plateau. And that worked out for the longest time. I was slimming down every month, working out like a mad woman, and it felt balanced because I often enjoyed what I wanted and I love working out more than anything. But with all the sitting at work, plus commuting 2 hours a day, the snack calories really add up and I’m starting to notice it on my waistline, which sucks even more because I usually start gaining weight on my hips first and I don’t want to lose my pear shape from my own poor choices. The difference is that the last time I noticed how tight my jeans were, freshman year of college, I put them in my dorm room closet and enjoyed 2 more years of college before I decided I missed my jeans and all my old fabulous clothes and flat stomach. So this time I vow not to miss my clothes which I worked so hard to get back into.
Like I said yesterday, the power of visualization is all I need and I want to use that to remember all the amazing strides I’ve made and remember all the tons of information I’ve learned that got me to the point of getting fit in the first place to really dig into reaching my ultimate goals. My goals are to: (1) find balance and consistency with better nutrition/less snacking, (2) find ways to de-stress, and (3) be patient and more calculated because it’s not as easy now. These 3 goals will lead to weight loss and feeling as fit as I did 6 months ago but I really want to focus on the journey and not a destination so I can teach myself some things I have failed to learn the first time around.
Side note: currently watching the Oscars and loving it! I tweeted so much, rare for me but I wanted to see all the buzz, Perez Hilton’s tweeting was hilarious but also a little mean! What did you think of the show?
The clip from Amour was beautiful. “C’est bon” “Quoi?” “La vie.”
I found this awesome idea on Pinterest to decorate a jar and fill it with all the good things that happened throughout the year since it has really just begun (but already passing by so quickly!). I love crafting and art and one of my goals is to get back into it since it’s a great way to express my thoughts and tap into that right brained-left handed creative bit I was born with!
I decided to use two triangular glass jars with cork (which I painted white, no pictured) rather than mason jars. I used two jars so that a second jar could have my goaIs for the year. I used glass paint which works great but of course now I’m stuck with all this paint that is only for glass so I’ll have to come up with some interesting uses for them!
I had to put these in the oven to set the paint. It feels dry after a few hours but it actually takes 21 days to set otherwise and since I did some piping with the paint, I wanted everything to dry quickly. Really happy with how they turned out!
I really think visualization and positive thoughts are the best way to get things you want, work HARD towards all your goals, and cherish life because you can’t control every last bit of it.
My coworker made a pumpkin curry for our office’s holiday party. I love it so much, needed that recipe, and finally she got the chance to give it to me. We were busy joking around and I ended up with just and ingredients list and a few directions since I told her “it’s all good, I know how to cook!” Well I’ve been playing around with the recipe and switched out the pumpkin for squash out of convenience (Trader Joe’s has pre-cut squash). Some of my lovely friends want my squash version and here it is! I apologize in advance for how vague the directions will be, I made this twice so that I could measure things out but since I “can cook” there is a lot that I can’t describe well (will work on that!).
I used squash from Trader Joe’s.
20 oz package of precut squash (can also use pumpkin)
1.5 tsp olive oil 1 tbsp mustard seed 1 tsp crushed red chiles pepper 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp curry powder 2 dashes cinnamon or you can try using cinnamon bark pinch of turmeric ( i use a bit more, I like the stuff!) a bit of sugar for enhancing flavor if it is too spicy/bitter
Cooking Instructions: In medium-sized pan bring squash to boil until soft, it should take about 15 minutes once the water comes to boil. Drain water into the sink and set pan aside. Meanwhile (do this as squash is boiling) dice up half an onion and saute in 1 tbsp olive oil. As onion starts to clear and soften, add all spices and continue to cook down spices and onions, but do not let them burn, turn down heat if necessary. Add spice and onion mix into squash man and gently mix together as the quash falls apart and flavors meld together. Add sugar as needed.
The first time I made it! A million spices later and no measurements, it came out amazingly In this one I didn’t cook down spices so it was a bit bitter from the mustard seed.
I enjoyed it with some collard greens and apple sage Field Roast.
The Super Bowl happened… just informing those of you who live under a rock. AND THE RAVENS WON! I grew up and live in Maryland so it’s exciting that a nearby team was victorious and got crowned the “world champion” (except I thought it was a NATIONAL football league so it seems overzealous to use the term world champion. Haha, that’s my logic kicking in when I try to do things like follow football!
This was my second vegan Super Bowl and I made a 7 layer dip for the second time. I am obsessed with this dip, it is so rich and delicious. Definitely a once a year food!
The layers are extremely simple:
2 cans of rinsed black beans poured into a 9×9 or larger baking dish and partly mash the black beans, but leave them mostly whole for texture
tub of vegan sour cream mixed with either taco mix or a combo of 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. I also had some dried chives I threw in, about 2 tablespoons. Spread it over the bean mash.
Pour your salsa on. I used a entire jar of Trader Joe’s Chipotle Salsa.
Sprinkle a little bit of cheddar daiya on if you want cheese mixed within the layers.
Spread your guacamole on next. I useed an entire pack of Trader Joe’s Avocado’s Number guac (haha cute name right??! I’m nerding out).
Sprinkle on more cheddar daiya, I gave it about a medium amount of coverage (see pic).
The seventh layer… it’s love or something because this only has 6 layers and I’m used to the term “7 layer”.
I warmed this in the oven at 350 F for 15 minutes. When I ate leftovers, I scooped it into a bowl cold then warmed it up, it’s best warm! Gobble it up with your fave chips!
So now that you made this rich yummy snack, how will you keep your pants fitting all week?? Well now that you know what all the new commercials are about (because sometimes they have surprises with the new ones), you can try this awesome TV commercial workout. My friend sent me this a few weeks ago, and it’s perfect for this post Super Bowl week. If you don’t know some of these exercises, Google it and if you can’t try one of them, replace it with something that works out those same muscles. For example, I can’t do push ups but I can do chest flies or bicep curls. GET MOVING!!