Archive for the Musings Category

Update: Weight Loss, etc.

Posted in Musings, Weight with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by Dena

Well, lately I’ve been too busy to update, but I’m in a good place right now, work-wise, so what the hell. I was gonna do a long update in one post, but I think instead, I’ll split it up into different subjects since it’s been so long and there’s a lot I could go into.

Anyway, weight loss … uh … it actually hasn’t been going that well. Before I went Primal, I was around 220-230. I eventually got down to around 180, which was great. I’d actually been 200+ for pretty much my whole adult life, so getting well below that was a huge accomplishment for me.

Unfortunately, the move to Sacramento (much as I’m glad we’re here) meant lots of stress and changes and … I kind of just said “fuck it” to dieting for awhile. Next thing I know, I’m back up to 200.

Once it got up to 209, I freaked out a bit and decided it was time to go back to trying to lose weight again.

I am kind of half-assing Primal some days, but I still keep all the rules in mind. For example, I don’t eat bread every day, and I eat my burgers with no buns, but I’ll make grilled cheese sandwiches 1-2 times per week. I also drink flavored sparkling water with artificial sweetener in it. Yah, not Primal, but not that bad.

Unfortunately, I am having to cut down on fat. When I first went Primal, I could have all the “good” fat I wanted and the pounds dropped off effortlessly. Now it seems that excess fat of any kind stalls my weight loss. I’m still technically doing HFLC, but I’m watching the fat.

I’m also trying to keep my calories around 1000. I don’t know if that’s healthy, but I feel okay doing it and it’s not that hard if I just have a couple cups of coffee for breakfast. ie: I don’t feel like I’m starving myself.

As I kind of indicated above, I’ve had to start looking at the numbers again. I can’t just magically lose weight on Primal anymore. I have to look at calories, carbs, and fat. It’s kind of a drag, but I’ve gotten used to it.

Anyway, all that seems to be helping because I’m below 200 again (if barely–I’m in the 199 range as I type this).

I think I’ll just leave it at that for now. My thoughts were already kinda scattered, but I think they’re getting worse  =P  Hopefully I’ll post more in a few days or so.

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Things I’ve Noticed While Sick

Posted in Musings with tags , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by Dena

Firstly, yeah, I’m seriously sick (well, “seriously” in my little world of being a mostly-healthy person). Mostly congestion, but I also felt just generally crappy yesterday and ended up being light-headed shortly after getting home from work. My husband has it worse–he has a full-blown flu with nausea and fever and such–but I’m pretty sure what I have is different, tho I guess it’s possible that my body is just fighting it off somewhat better.

Anyway, more rambling about sickness in a bit–the stuff I’m noticing:

  • I’m sure that by the time this is over, I will have drunk my weight in tea. I don’t quite consider myself “a tea drinker”, but it’s one of those things I keep around for when I am in the mood for it. It’s also good for when I’m trying to avoid desert–that single spoonful of honey is nowhere near as bad as eating cake or something like that. It’s also–big shock here, I’m sure–something I like to have when I’m sick. My sick “diet” used to consist of almost nothing but orange juice and chicken broth. Now that I no longer drink orange juice (too much fructose–it’s more sensible to just eat an orange), I guess I’ve more or less replaced it with tea. I do find hot tea to be kind of comforting. Not a tea snob, by any stretch–I usually get Celestial Seasonings’ herbal tea, usually in the sampler box–no caffeine, since I normally drink it in the evenings, when I do. I usually like it with about a spoonful each of honey, lemon juice, and Truvia.
  • I really like the smell of menthol–I find it oddly comforting. I think it’s because … well, as I said, I’ve generally been a pretty healthy person, but at one point I started getting a really bad flu-like cold about once per year (usually around the holidays–fun!). The upside to improving my eating habits is that that seemed to stop shortly afterward and, up until a few days ago, I haven’t been sick since–so this is the first time I’ve been sick for something like 3 years? Not a bad track record. But anyway, as I said, I used to get sick at least once per year, mostly during the time when my husband and I lived with his parents. What they always did when one of the kids got sick is that they’d set up a vaporizer. I had never used one before, but I came to really like it. Which is weird–shouldn’t the smell of menthol bring up memories of feeling crappy? I guess, instead, it reminds me of staying home from work and napping. The fact that my job was REALLY stressful and I was doing tons of overtime around that period probably has something to do with it too.
  • Possibly craving fruit more than usual (?) Not sure, tho. I have been really enjoying the strawberries and blueberries I had left over from July 4th. Maybe it’s because they’re another substitute for orange juice? Or maybe it’s just because they’re strawberries and blueberries  XD

Well, I guess that about wraps up my sickness ramble. Taking today and Friday off of work in hopes that I’ll be up to going back on Monday.

Name Change

Posted in Musings with tags , , , , on June 21, 2014 by Dena

I finally changed this blog’s name. It’s now called “California, Carbs, and Cats”, since I’m from California, I watch my carbs, and … err, I like cats? Whatever, at least it’s less dorky than Everchanging Dena … I hope. I need a new header image too, but no hurry about that.

Anyway, I wanted something that’d indicate “lifestyle” in a way that suits me, so … yeah.

Oh, hopefully I’ll remember to update once in awhile. I’ve got some ideas for more recipes I could post, and an update on my living situation would probably be a good idea (finally made it out of that hotel room!).

For now, laterz.

Potato Hack Diet: Final

Posted in Exercise, Musings, Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by Dena

Okay, I was able to weigh and I’ll tell the result, but first let me explain where I started.

The lowest weight I got to when I hit my plateau was 182.

After quitting my job in Memphis and moving to Sacramento, I started consuming a lot of junk food, and surprisingly I only ever got up to about 184.

After doing the potato hack (and probably because of the exercise as well), I’m now back down to 182. So not spectacular or anything, but at least I undid that small amount of damage.

What I’m going to take away from this diet is that I’ve re-learned some self-control when it comes to succumbing to junk food cravings, so even though I’m going to go back to regular-Primal-ish, I’m going to try to apply that and stop cheating so much. Since it’s a much less strict diet, it should be easier to control myself.

I hope I can get back to losing weight again. I’m really only about halfway to where I hope to eventually be. I have accomplished a lot, but at the same time, I’m still a work-in-progress.

Potato Hack Diet, Day 1 (plus recipe)

Posted in Musings, Recipes/Food, Weight with tags , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by Dena

So, I’m doing it.

I’m still having sausage and eggs for breakfast, but after that, it’s potatoes whenever I get hungry, tho I’m not being super strict even with that part, as I’ll explain below.

First, here’s what I made in advance for the next couple days …

Paleo Mashed Potatoes

Not much of a recipe, and I forgot to take any pics, but here’s what I threw together.

Ingredients:

  • 4 red potatoes (they were the cheapest)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3T of coconut milk
  • Spoonful or so of minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder to taste

Peel and chop potatoes.

Boil water and/or bone broth. I started with bone broth, then added water until it looked like enough to cover the potatoes. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender enough that they almost fall apart when speared with a fork.

Drain, then add butter and coconut milk. At this point, I used a stick blender to mash potatoes and mix everything.

Add salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste–seriously, I just eyeballed it.

.

Back to the diet–traditionally, it’s supposed to be just potatoes, according to the info I read, but I have to put something on them. Also, I don’t want this to be a starvation diet (tho it’s near the end of the day, and I’ve only gotten about half my normal amount of calories in–not sure if that’s such a good thing, but I’ll see how I feel after doing this for awhile. I’ll quit if I end up feeling low on energy), plus I don’t want to suffer too much. Did that in spades with the Cabbage Soup Diet–never again! Anyway, in addition to potatoes, you can have only water, coffee, and tea to drink–that part I am sticking with. No sugar in my coffee, either, but I will continue to use Truvia.

For dinner tonight, I made Lemon Chicken with Potatoes, but I only ate the potatoes. Seriously craving something sweet right now, so maybe I’ll have some coffee in a bit.

Like I said, we’ll see how this goes. Unfortunately I don’t have a scale so I can’t really show my progress here, but I’m mostly hoping this’ll help with my junk food cravings.

EDIT – At around 10:15, I couldn’t decide if I was hungry or just wanting food. Came to the conclusion that I was slightly hungry and, since I had a very late breakfast and skipped lunch, decided to eat half a serving of mashed potatoes.

And now I’m craving sweets again. Had coffee earlier, think I’ll make some lemonade with Truvia this time.

ANOTHER EDIT – After midnight, and stomach is growling, so I’m eating the other half of that serving of mashed potatoes. I’ll probably be going to bed soon, but I HATE going to bed on an empty stomach.

Haven’t felt like updating / change in routine

Posted in Exercise, Musings, Recipes/Food, Weight with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by Dena

So, yeah … there hasn’t been much in the way of “Ever-changing” with Dena lately (can I just go on record as saying I hate the name of my own blog?  XD  But I digress …)

Still in a hotel room. I have had a string of temp jobs since about January, and we got a nice tax refund, so we’re okay for now. Unfortunately, I am jobless at the moment, but hopefully things will look up again soon. Anyway, enough about that.

There is one change I could talk about–it’s something I decided to start doing while unemployed and now that we have our own space: I shower and make breakfast first thing in the morning.

My routine used to go like this: Wake up, get coffee and drink it while going on the internet for about 30 minutes, then spend another 15-30 minutes getting ready, then leave, and still feel barely awake once I got to work.

Now, it’s: Wake up, shower for about 30 minutes, make breakfast (which also takes around 30 minutes), then eat while going online, etc., for about 30 minutes, then spend 15-30 minutes getting ready.

As you can probably guess, it adds something like an extra hour to my morning routine, but I think it’s worth it–I’m pretty much wide awake once I get out of the shower. I still drink coffee, but I don’t feel chained to it anymore.

On the downside, being unemployed and having my computer set up on the kitchen counter is having a really bad effect on my eating habits–being bored/depressed and with junk food within arms reach, I’m just eating way too much junk lately. But tomorrow, I’m going to try something different, known as the Potato Hack. I just feel like trying a mono-food diet (somewhat) might help get me back on track with eating more responsibly. But I’ll talk more about that in a later post.

I also haven’t been exercising, but with California weather being so nice lately, I think it’s time to change that, so I’m gonna try to start walking again.

I don’t have a scale, but my mom does, so I try to use hers when I’m at her house and I think about it–the good news is that while I haven’t lost anything, I at least haven’t gained either, so things could be worse.

I think that’s about it for now. It’s 2 AM and I don’t have it in me to come up with a snappy ending remark  XD

For what it’s worth, I will try to update more (in case anyone still even reads this).

In a New Place (Or an Old One, Depending How You Look at it)

Posted in Moving, Musings with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by Dena

Just wanted to say that we did make it to Sacramento safely (on October 30th), tho there was a bit of a snag getting the cat through the airport, then another snag getting picked up at the final airport, then yet another snag borrowing my mom’s car … but eh … the important thing is that we’re in Sacramento and things are beginning to settle down. Time for me to start being productive again.

I’m not doing great diet-wise. I think it’s partly because I have the laptop set up at what is really the kitchen counter, so I’m just too close to temptation most of the time. Also, I’ve kind of slipped into screw-my-heath-need-to-binge mode. Like I said, we hit a snag with borrowing my mom’s car and we were without transportation for a week. We are within walking distance from a liquor and food store, but it is a bit of a trek and there’s only so much you can carry when you’re on foot (not to mention, I don’t think they had any meat or produce). So we basically lived on delivery pizza and free Pop Tarts and oatmeal from the lobby during that time. At some point I had to just throw up my hands and not worry about the quality of food too much, if only to save my sanity, and I’m having a bit of a hard time letting go of that now. This is where being a creature of habit can really put a damper on things.

But, the good news is that we’re now borrowing my mom’s car (she doesn’t use it much), so we’re able to make trips to the grocery store. Therefor I’m making breakfast and dinner every day. Breakfast has been bacon and scrambled eggs (soon to change to sausage and scrambled eggs, since I got a bit tired of bacon).

As for dinner, I came up with a good recipe for chicken drumsticks (they’re cheap–it’s something like $5 for a dozen–I think it was Julie who drew my attention to that awhile back–thanks), which was adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I will try to post it soon–either way, it turned out awesome. Even Lee, who was really unenthusiastic about drumsticks, loved it.

I really need to start a job search, like really really soon. We’ve got no source of income, just some money saved up, and we’re living in a hotel room, which we’re only going to be able to afford for a little while. But, honestly, I’m having a hard time getting motivated. I’m so tired of office jobs, and I’m kind of into the domestic thing right now–I can’t think of anything more daunting than sitting at a desk all day just for the sole purpose of earning money to survive, and not having time to cook and such in the evening. It’s awful and selfish of me, but it’s just how I feel right now. Hopefully I’ll get over it soon.

Well, I guess it’s time to wrap up for now. I’ll try to get back into the swing of things and post more often. This blog is as much for me as anyone else–the soul-searching I do while writing this stuff can be pretty helpful with getting my thoughts in order.