Most of you have seen the What I Ate Wednesday series that many bloggers participate in. If you haven’t, it’s basically a weekly post that chronicles what a person eats on a typical day. Like this.
The first time that I saw one of those posts I thought to myself, do I really care what you eat over the course of any given day? Not really. But then I thought about the people who struggle to eat healthy, and are trying to eat vegan, but don’t really know what that looks like on a day to day basis. Perhaps, just maybe, a post about what a healthy vegan diet looks like might help someone figure it all out?
Eating healthy every day can be a challenge, especially for people who work outside of the home, so every little bit of encouragement, and every idea that a reader can take away from a WIAW story makes sharing what I eat on a typical day worthwhile. It will also show that I walk the walk, not just talk the talk. And….you’ll see that I’m human, and that even I have less than healthy moments.
We all know that you can’t exercise away a bad diet, but does eating a whole foods plant-based diet mean that you don’t need to worry about exercise? NO. To live to your fullest potential, to feel your best, you need both in your life. Consistently. This is where Fitbit Friday, What I Ate, and Other Ramblings comes in.
From this Friday forward I will be sharing a week of exercise, a day of food, and the stories of the week that made me laugh, cry, pound my fist in anger, and slap my forehead in dismay. In a nutshell, you are going to get a chance to see what kind of a crazy biatch I really am. 😉 Are you ready?
After that introduction do I need to say any more? Yes, yes I do. A lot more. Let’s start with Fitbit (affiliate) Friday.
My husband gave me a Fitbit! (affiliate) He and Alex have had theirs for months, and they have weekend throw downs to see who can get the most steps in. I felt left out, so he finally gave me one. I know why it took him so long. They were afraid of me. They know that I don’t sit still, and I’d beat them from here to next Tuesday. What does that even mean?
Anyway, I got one, and I’ve been wearing it ever since. Guess what? I realized that I wasn’t moving as much as I thought I was. Many studies recommend that people take 10,000 steps a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Piece of cake, right? Not if your job requires a lot of sitting. But herein lies the beauty of the Fitbit, because it tells you how many steps you’ve taken and how many you need to go to reach your goal of the day.
My goal is to take the recommended 10,000 steps a day, and I got close on Sunday with 9,525 steps—the first day of keeping track of my steps. I wasn’t too upset that I didn’t reach my goal because I didn’t put the bracelet on until noon, and I moved a lot in the morning. In my mind, Sunday was a success.
And then came Monday.
6,074 steps, WTF! I walked the dogs, I did high intensive interval training on my own (clearly not as intense or as long as it should have been), and I walked back and forth in my kitchen while developing recipes. I also sat at the computer and worked on the blog for many hours.
This day was a big awakening for me. Seeing those numbers made me realize that managing, marketing, and writing for Veganosity is a sedentary job.
Tuesday was better, 8,851 steps, but I still didn’t reach my goal. Could I have gone outside and ran around the block a few times to get there? Yes. But this week was going to be all about tracking how much I sit as much as it was to see how much I move. Alex and Greg were happily killing me. Yes, they were quite proud of themselves.
Wednesday was a great day. 12,090 steps!! I went to my favorite boot camp type class at my club, I took the dogs on one long walk and one shorter walk, and I developed recipes all afternoon. I sat from 6:15- 8:40 am and then from 4:00-6:30 pm to work on the blog. And I sat with my guy from 8:30-10:30 and watched the US Open. That was six hours of sitting, and it seems like a lot, but I have to maintain the blog, eat dinner, and watch some television, and I’m not going to do those things standing up. As long as I’m getting in my daily steps goal for the day, I’m good.
15,555 steps. Thursday was freaking awesome! At least it ended up that way. It started to rain at just about the time that I wanted to go to the beach to run the stairs and the ramps, so I prayed for it to clear while I stayed seated and worked on the blog. It was still raining at noon, so I continued to work. Mind you, I did get up to do laundry and I also get up every half hour to do a few minutes of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, pushups, and dips to get my heart and blood pumping. Even with all of that I only had just over one thousand steps in at 4:00 pm, when it finally stopped raining. I put on my shoes and drove to the beach and did an hour of stairs and ramps. It was gorgeous and my mood lifted immediately. I could have done another half hour but it was getting late and the dogs needed a walk. I drove home and walked the dogs for forty-five minutes, showered, ordered dinner—I was too tired to cook—ate and watched some television.
As I look over this week’s steps thus far I’ve determined that it’s not what a person does every day, it’s what they do every week. There are going to be days when you can’t get to the gym, the weather keeps you inside, or you just don’t feel well. On those days, do what you can and then try and make up for it later. What I love about my Fitbit (affiliate) it is that I can keep track of what I’m doing. I can’t fool myself into thinking that I’ve exercised enough, it’s right there in all of its digital glory, telling me to use it or lose it.
I also love that I can see my active heart rate while I’m working out and I can track my resting heart rate, miles, and calories burned. Although, I don’t believe in counting calories if you eat a healthy whole foods plant-based diet.
In summary, I tracked my activity for five days. I didn’t reach my goal three days in a row, but I made up for that on Wednesday and Thursday. In total I took 52,095 steps in five days for an average of 10,419 steps. I’m certainly not going to beat myself up over that. This proves to me that my activity level can dip every once in a while, but, it also shows that if I want to maintain or increase my fitness levels I need to figure out how to ramp up my work outs. I’m excited to share my ideas and results with you next Friday. Stay tuned.
What I Ate One Day This Week
Let’s be real, every day looks a little bit different, but overall my daily eating habits are pretty much the same. I strive for healthy and on most days I eat only whole foods, but sometimes I eat things that don’t really fit into the “healthy” category. This week I’m going to let you see what I ate on Wednesday. Come on, let’s take a look.
Morning: I started my day with lemon water and coffee. I made a kick-ass copy of the pumpkin spice syrup that Starbucks uses, only mine is made with actual pumpkin and no artificial colors or flavors. I’ll share the recipe with you next week.
8:00 am green smoothie made with water, spinach, frozen pineapple, cranberries, and fresh ginger.
After my boot camp class I had a handful of pistachios and the other half of the green smoothie that I made earlier in the morning.
Lunch: A heaping pile of spinach, arugula, chickpeas, cucumber, and olives with a lime cilantro dressing – oil free.
Afternoon snack: I made these pumpkin spice doughnuts (recipe will be on the blog next week) and so of course I had one with a cup of tea.
Dinner: My poor husband never got to try the chile rellenos that I made last week so I made them for him. Yes, I ate fried food twice this month. Sometimes you just have to take one for the team. We also had a huge salad with red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and a lemon vinaigrette, but I forgot to take a picture of it. Oops.
Dessert: Like I said, there are days that you won’t eat as well as you usually do. Today was one of those days. I had another doughnut for dessert. Oh well. But, I did eat a lot of leafy greens and other plants, so I’m not going to freak out about rellenos and two doughnuts. Tomorrow’s another day.
Let us never forget.
What were you doing when life as we knew it in America was forever changed fourteen years ago today?
September 11th 2001 is etched in my memory as vividly as my wedding day and the days that my children were born. Unlike my wedding day and the birth of my beautiful kids, it’s a day that I’d like to forget, but I can’t, I shouldn’t, and I won’t.
It was approximately 9:00 am when my husband called me from his office. I was frantically writing a paper for one of my classes (I was a late bloomer and was finishing up my bachelor’s degree at DePaul University) and I almost ignored his phone call because I didn’t want to break my concentration. Annoyed, I picked up the phone and he immediately asked me if I was watching television. With a slight note of irritation in my voice I reminded him that I was in the middle of writing a paper.
He told me to turn on the news because a plane had hit one of the towers at the World Trade Center. Because I wanted to get back to my paper, I humored him and walked into the family room and turned on the television. The channel is always on one of the financial news channels in the morning so I didn’t need to change it to find the story. As we were talking about how tragic it was for the poor people who were on the floors that were hit by the plane, we watched in horror as the second plane flew into view and struck the second tower.
My knees went weak and I sat down on the couch, my hand was over my mouth and I don’t know if I made an audible scream when I saw it hit the building. I started to cry as I heard my husband tell me that this was an attack, that there was no way that it was an accident.
I begged him to come home immediately because he was working on one of the top floors of a high rise in Chicago. I was terrified that Chicago was going to be next. We had been on the phone for what seemed like an eternity when the news reported that another plane had hit the Pentagon. At that moment I knew that our lives would never be the same.
My husband told me that he would take the next train home so I walked over to my computer to save my paper and shut it down. The phone rang again and it was a call from my kids’ elementary school. They said that we could pick our kids up early or maintain some sense of normalcy and let them finish the day. After some thought I thought it best to let them stay in school. We live in a sleepy suburb and even though I was shaking and overcome with fear, I didn’t think that whoever was attacking high rise buildings and government offices would be coming to our little town any time soon.
My friend/neighbor called me to ask what I was going to do about the kids and I told her that I thought they were better off in school. I was a mess and I didn’t want them to see me like that because it would scare them. She agreed and decided to keep her kids at school as well, then we took our dogs for a walk because we needed to feel some sense of normalcy.
It was a beautiful day. The sky was a vivid blue and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. It was so surreal to be walking in our beautiful tree lined neighborhood, listening to the birds chirp and the last of the summer cicadas sing, knowing that a few thousand miles away people were dying and running for their lives. We just prayed that there wouldn’t be any more attacks.
My husband later learned that he had lost a fraternity brother who had been in one of the towers. Having been to the World Trade Center for business numerous times, he also recognized some of the names of the deceased who worked in the financial industry.
The attack hardened him a bit, it took away some of his carefree nature and made him look at the world differently, as it did to many of us. It also made us reevaluate our lives. It cemented our belief of family and faith before anything else. From that day forward we never left the house without a kiss, a hug, and saying I love you. Fourteen years later that hasn’t changed. I laugh because all four of us say, “love you” every time we hang up the phone or just walk out of a room for a second. The kids don’t really remember that day or the following months after the attacks, but they do have the “I love you” rule down.
Each year on this day I turn on the television at 9:00 am, the same time that my husband called me on that fateful day and the world began to unravel. I don’t do it to torment myself, I do it out of respect for the people who died and their families. I do it to remind myself that life is precious and should never be taken for granted. I do it because I don’t ever want to become complacent and stop being alert and vigil. I do it because if feels like the right thing to do.
I could take this further and talk about how I decided to become a vegan because I felt like it was the right thing to do, but I won’t. Today isn’t about that, it’s about remembering one of the most infamous days that the United States of America has ever experienced, and to pay tribute to the 2977 innocent people who died on that fateful day.
As I finish this post I am listening to family members read the names of loved ones lost and I hope that they know that throughout this country, and the world, there are people who still remember, who still care deeply, and who hold them in their thoughts and prayers today and every day. I am one of those people.
I wish you a beautiful, peaceful weekend.
Do you remember what you were doing on September 11, 2001?
Note: I used to write for a local Patch news. Here are two stories that I put together on the 10th anniversary of September 11. My editor wrote the headlines, I wouldn’t have used the word, “haywire.” 9/11 Reflection: ‘It Was Like The World Was Silent …’ and 9/11 Reflection: Business Trip to D.C. Goes Haywire